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MILTON, ON - August 13, 2018 - Captain Ahab remained undefeated with a dominating performance in Monday's $39,000 Dream Maker Series final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A full field of 10 rookie pacing colts and geldings squared off in the finale of the three-week event. Captain Ahab went off as the 3/5 favourite, as he entered the final undefeated in three starts, including a convincing first leg score. The Tony Alagna trained son of Captaintreacherous was to team up with driver Andrew McCarthy, but travel issues for McCarthy led to veteran reinsman Paul MacDonell picking up the assignment. Best In Show got the affair rolling by storming out to the lead and posting a :27 opener. A charged-up Shipshape sat in the pocket, while stablemate Captain Ahab got away third. The heavy-favourite got his cue from MacDonell entering the backstretch and made an effortless move to the lead, pacing by the half in :55.1. Despite Captain Ahab rolling right along on the lead, several of the rookies got jammed up entering the far turn. Blank Canvas, who was also undefeated entering Monday's final, moved to the outside from sixth before the half and came with a hard first-up attack at the leader on the far turn. The undefeated rookies were side by side at three-quarters in 1:23.3. Captain Ahab didn't shy away from the pressure and instead stepped his game up a level. The Alagna student put away Blank Canvas at the top of the lane and proceeded to pull away from his rivals with ease to win by 3¾ lengths in a career-best equaling 1:51.1. Best In Show finished second, while Captain Nash was third. Blank Canvas dropped back to finish eighth. "I just barely scratched the surface here tonight," said MacDonell post-race. "There was so much left in the tank and he does it so easy. He's got a great future." A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Captain Ahab is currently the top colt from sire Captaintreacherous' first crop of two-year-olds. The undefeated rookie is the second foal, first colt, out of Western Ideal mare Acquavella, who is a full-sister to 2014 Metro Pace champion Artspeak. With his fingerprints all over the family, Alagna had an easy-decision to make when deciding to pursue Captain Ahab as a yearling. "I trained the mare Acquavella and she was meant to be a great mare, got hurt early and she was responsible for Artspeak because I went back and bought Artspeak because I liked the mare so much," said Alagna. "Training the mare and knowing what kind of ability she had, she got hurt and never got to live up to her potential, so when we saw this colt, being by Captain, it was a no-brainer." Captain Ahab has now earned $36,500 for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Vincent Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing. Alagna noted Captain Ahab will remain in Ontario and compete in upcoming Grand Circuit events at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with eyes on the September 22nd Metro Pace. Captaintreacherous, who won the Metro Pace as a rookie in 2012, is enjoying a tremendous start to his career as a stallion. Alagna trained the two-time U.S. Pacer of the Year and is proud of what he is seeing unfold this season. "We started with 18 Captaintreaherous, 17 are racing and I think 12 of them have already won and taken marks," said Alagna. "We're very proud of what he has done so far." Captain Ahab's next start is scheduled for the Nassagaweya Stakes on Saturday, August 25. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the $37,000 Whenuwishuponastar Series final headlining an 11-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 13, 2018 -- When trainer Ron Burke confided to longtime owner Mark Weaver at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale that De Los Cielos Deo was his top-rated colt in the auction, Weaver thought he had a pretty good idea what was coming. "Usually, we can't afford Ronnie's No. 1 picks," Weaver says. "We were pleasantly surprised to get him, and we're really happy now." Happy, indeed. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lisjune has won all four career starts, and in Tuesday's $188,111 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, he'll be looking to complete a sweep of PASS preliminary legs. He goes from post 4 in race 1 with Yannick Gingras at the helm. De Los Cielos Deo didn't come cheaply, as Weaver and his partners -- Mike Bruscemi (they're Weaver Bruscemi LLC), Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby) had to give $140,000 for the colt. "Believe it or not, we were prepared to go to about $300,000," Weaver says. "He's a half to I Luv The Nitelife, a fabulous filly who made close to $2 million, and Ronnie loved him as an individual. Anytime you can get one with that pedigree, you jump at the chance." De Los Cielos Deo has captured his four starts by a combined 8 lengths; he's won on the front, with quarter-pole moves and by stalking from the pocket. The only potential rap -- every race has been on a five-eighths-mile track. "I don't think bigger tracks will be a problem," Weaver says, "and I'm not sure he'll have to worry about a half-mile track until the Little Brown Jug." After the Sept. 1 $252,000 PASS championship at The Meadows, De Los Cielos Deo is eligible for the Metro -- "That will be his first test against the rest of the world" -- a pair at the Red Mile and the Breeders Crown. "From the day we bought him, he's probably been the most hyped horse we've had," Weaver says. "It reminds me of the Sweet Lou hype. They don't always come through, but so far, he has." Burke will send out four others in Tuesday's PASS, with Pyro (race 3, post 1, Matt Kakaley) probably the most interesting. When the mares he bred to Sweet Lou produced exclusively fillies, Burke and his partners went looking for a Sweet Lou colt and found him in Pyro, who is out of the Somebeachsomewhere mare Whetstone Hanover. "We bought him for $75,000 as a weanling," Weaver says. "That's a lot more than people thought we should have paid for him." by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The cream of the State-sired two-year-old pacing crop contested three divisions of the second preliminary of their division's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In the first division Stonebridge Soul went to the top, but she was passed first by Treacherous Reign near the 27.4 quarter, then by Sylph Hannover, who went a big second quarter to grab the lead well before the 55.1 half. Sylph Hanover continued on a tear to the 1:22.3 3/4s - a 54.4 middle half, but in the stretch the Captaintreacherous-Scandalous Hanover miss Treacherous Reign was able to pass the pacesetter to stop the clock in 1:51.1, a half-length better than Sylph Hanover, with a flying Sweeter Lulu another 1¼ lengths back in third. That 1:51.1 was significant in several respects. It was a lifetime mark for the winner, now 2-for-3 in her career; it set a season's record for the division on 5/8-mile tracks; and it tied her as fastest baby filly overall with three fillies who went that fast on bigger tracks (Tellitsassymae, Key West, and Glorious Virgin). Andrew McCarthy handled the speedy miss for trainer Tony Alagna and the ownership of Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stable, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Dana Parham. The second division featured She's Allright, who won a Sire Stakes at the start of her 3-for-3 beginning to her career, but her fortune did not carry on this night despite 1-5 favoritism. She's Allright moved to the lead in front of the stands after a 27.3 quarter and was able to stroll to the half in 58.1, but then she really had to turn on the jets as Blue Ivy made a big move in the 27.1 backside (1:25.2 3/4s) and into the turn, and when dueling with Blue Ivy She's Allright made a midturn break. Blue Ivy thus had a two-length lead headstretch, but the A Rocknroll Dance - Philadelphia miss Rockin Philly, who was used in tucking third early, moved outside nearing the top of the lane and had a huge late kick, winning in 1:53.2, 4¼ lengths ahead of railshooting 60-1 shot Sweet Lucy Lou, with Blue Ivy third. Driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr., who had teamed at Philly earlier in the day to take a 2PC Sire Stakes division with Crimson And Chrome, were the guiding forces behind the winner, who took a new mark for owners CC Racing LLC and Jo-Ann Looney-King. The third section was a showdown of unbeatens and previous PaSS winners, Warrawee Ubeaut (2-for-2) and Bestseller Hanover (3-for-3). Bestseller Hanover made the lead at the 3/16 en route to a 27 opener, but Warrawee Ubeaut was underway soon after that point to command just past the 3/8, getting the middle clockings in 56.2 and 1:24.3. Bestseller Hanover had stayed tight in the pocket, came out in the lane, and paced home well, but Warrawee Ubeaut had a 27.3 last quarter in her to equal her lifetime mark of 1:52.1, with Bestseller Hanover second, a length back, and Izzy Hanover another ¾ lengths back in third. Yannick Gingras and Ron Burke are the team behind Warrawee Ubeaut, and a comparison between this filly and a colt counterpart from the same two horsemen, De Los Cielos Deo (also a Philly winner in the afternoon), is apt in that both horses look like they haven't shown their best yet, that although undefeated, they haven't been fully extended. This is a thought certainly cheering to the ownership of the victorious Sweet Lou - Great Memories filly: Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Six divisions of Stallion Series baby pacing fillies will be the highlight events on the Monday card at The Downs. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Chester, PA --- De Los Cielos Deo ($2.20) remained undefeated with a 1:51.3 victory on Sunday (Aug. 5) at Harrah's Philadelphia, brushing from third with a circuit to go and holding his ground handily in the second of four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.   After yielding to Captain Victorious (Marcus Miller) and Odds On Boca Raton (Scott Zeron) on the first turn, Yannick Gingras brushed from third with the son of Captaintreacherous and Lisjune just beyond a :27.3 first-quarter sectional and continued on to rate a :56.2 half.   Up the backstretch, Odds On Boca Raton re-emerged and forced the pace to quicken once again, but De Los Cielos Deo held his ground to a 1:23.4 three-quarters split.   While Odds On Boca Raton kept grinding away, reaching the leader's neck upon cornering for home, De Los Cielos Deo remained steadfast to the winning post, prevailing by 1-1/4 lengths while under a Gingras hand drive. Odds On Boca Raton held second, half a length better than pocket foe Captain Victorious.   De Los Cielos Deo earned his fourth career win in as many starts for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi.   His 1:51.3 mile equaled his lifetime mark established at The Meadows in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event there in July. The winner's share of the $47,828 purse lifted De Los Cielos Deo's career earnings to $82,039.   In the $47,828 third division, Love Me Some Lou ($12.00) used second-over cover to nose out Semi Tough en route to a 1:50.4 victory, just one-fifth of a second shy of Rock N Roll Heaven's track record for juvenile pacing colts. Corey Callahan drove the son of Sweet Lou and Shark Lightning for owner John Cancelliere and trainer Tom Cancelliere.   The $48,228 first division saw Brian Brown trainee Proof ($6.00) push clear early and parry a first-over challenge from Ehrmantrout to lower his lifetime mark to 1:51.3. Driver Scott Zeron carried the colors of Diamond Creek Racing behind the son of A Rocknroll Dance and Ginger And Fred who now has won three of his four races to date.   Tim Tetrick homebred Crimson And Chrome ($9.40) upended odds-on favourite Sugar Factory in the $47,828 final division, recording a new lifetime mark of 1:51.4. Tetrick drove the Jim King Jr.-trained Sweet Lou-McSauna gelding.   As the fifth-race 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 saw multiple winners cash for $408.98, Wednesday's (Aug. 8) Hi-5 will feature a $4,371 carryover. Post time for the 14-race card is slated for 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

MILTON, ON - July 31, 2018 - Trainer Tony Alagna and driver Brett Miller teamed up to sweep Tuesday's opening round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series with a pair of Captaintreacherous fillies.   A group of 17 two-year-old pacing fillies were split into two $14,000 divisions.   Tall Drink Hanover converted off a two-hole trip to break her maiden and win the first division in 1:53.2. The daughter of Captaintreacherous shot home in :26.1 to defeat Beautyonthebeach by half a length.   Abuelita Hanover and Beach Bar finished third and fourth, respectively.   A $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Tall Drink Hanover shipped in off a pair of third-place finishes in the Kindergarten Series at The Meadowlands. She is owned by Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC.   Tall Drink Hanover paid $7.60 to win.   Key West unleashed a stunning :25.4 last-quarter to win the second division in 1:52.4 for Alagna and Miller.   The daughter of Captaintreacherous swept up to the lead on the first turn and dictated the tempo, posting fractions of :27.4, :58.3 and 1:27.   Prescient Beauty, who entered Tuesday's contest two for two, shot out of the two-hole just before three-quarters to set up a final-quarter spring.   Key West briefly surrendered the lead, but reclaimed in the final-eighth with her powerful strides and the help of a drifting Prescient Beauty to win by a little less than two-lengths.   Deb finished third, while Tarryn A Strip was fourth.   Key West was a $130,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. The daughter of Captaintreacherous already has a mark of 1:51.1 and is now two for three for owners Brittany Farms and Brad Grant.   A $2 win ticket on Key West returned $2.50.   Live racing resumes Thursday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - July 30, 2018 - Captain Ahab and Best In Show were victorious in round one of the Dream Maker Series on Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 12 two-year-old pacers were split into a pair of $14,000 opening leg divisions of the Dream Maker. The annual series has been used as a launching pad to stardom over the years. Captain Ahab appeared to never break a sweat in cruising to a 1:52.4 victory in the evening's first division. The son of Captaintreacherous and driver Andrew McCarthy took their time at the beginning and got away fourth, while Tyga Hanover paced out to the lead and posted a :29 opener. With little tempo up front, Captain Ahab was given his cue to move in the second-quarter. The Tony Alagna trainee effortlessly claimed the lead well-before the half and paced by that station in :58.4. Captain Ahab went to work in the back-half, pacing a :27.2 third-quarter and a :26.3 final-quarter to secure the victory at odds of 1/9. Shipshape, also from the Alagna barn, finished up strong along the pylons with a :26.2 final-quarter to cross the wire in second, 2¾ lengths back of the winner. Tyga Hanover finished third, while Sauble Play was fourth. Captain Ahab is now three for three in his young career. The son of Captaintreacherous came to Mohawk Park off back-to-back wins in the Kindergarten Series at The Meadowlands, including a national season's best 1:51.1 mile on July 20. Captain Ahab is owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Vincent Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing. He was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase and is the second-foal from a full-sister to Artpseak. A $2 win ticket on Captain Ahab returned $2.40. Best In Show, the third-foal from World Champion Put On A Show, was able to shoot up the rail to capture the second division in 1:54.1. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Best In Show fired off the wings of the gate and was able to tuck in behind the first-leader Captain Nash, who would control the tempo throughout. Captain Nash posted fractions of :27.1, :57.4 and 1:27.3 to lead into the lane. Best In Show was able to capitalize on the rail opening up and fired home in :26.1 to get by Captain Nash by half a length. Planet Hanover finished third, while U S Captain, the 3/5 favourite, finished fourth after sitting sixth for most of the mile. Best In Show is owned by Richard Young and Joanne Young, who were also co-breeders of the son of Bettors Delight from their world champion mare, Put On A Show. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee was making his second career start Monday after finishing fourth in a Gold event on July 23. A $2 win ticket on Best In Show returned $6.30. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A pair of Whenuwishuponastar Series divisions headlines an 11-race program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

CHESTER, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday featured six $20,000 sections of the first leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for two-year-old pacing colts, and in the end two hot stallions came away with honors-even, as Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou each fathered three of the winners. Fastest of the sextet of winners was the first on the racetrack, Latissimus Hanover (dam Ladyking), who never looked back from the pole while taking a mark of 1:52.2, burning home in 55 - 27.1 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Ray Schnittker, the latter co-owner with Mary Kinsey Arnold and Hall of Fame ballot finalist Ted Gewertz. Captain Disomma (dam Ramona Disomma) went first-over and still was able to catch favored Hilarious Lou by a half-length in 1:54.1, a personal best, for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Roland Mallar, and Anatolia Farm LLC. Rounding out the Captaintreacherous sweep of the card's first three races was the longest shot on the board, 20-1 Captain Panko (dam P Note Blue Chip), who tipped wide from second-over and was along by a neck over No Pulse Richie, tallying in 1:54.3 in his purse bow for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc and William Wiswell. Corey Callahan also drove two of the Sweet Lou colts who won in Stalion Series competition, including two for trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere. The second-fastest StS victory was turned in by first-time purse starter Love Me Some Lou (dam Shark Lightning), who cut the pace in front of Captain Hill, then held that one off by a neck in a 1:52.3 mile which featured back fractions of 55.2- 27.3. The "1:52.3" number was also achieved by his stablemate Sugar Factory (dam Cam Swifty) in a Meadowlands baby session; on Sunday, his first purse outing, he fronted the field from the quarter while winning safely in 1:54.4, with big back fractions of 55.4-27.3. The two winners for Team Cancelliere were the only chalk to prevail in the Stallion Series. The other victorious son of Sweet Lou was Costello (dam Laughandbehappy), who got a relatively soft half on the engine, then had enough in a 27.3 last quarter to withstand Flameproof Hanover by a length while taking a personal speed badge of 1:54.2. Matt Kakaley sulkysat for trainer Ron Burke, who knows a thing or two about Sweet Lou, and the oft-winning partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura. The sire whose offspring earned the biggest check of the night was Mr Cantab, as his double world recordholding son Homicide Hunter took a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series event in 1:52.1. The gelding moved to the lead early for driver George Napolitano Jr., got to rest to a 57.2 half, then despite being off 28 days sprinted home in 54.3 - 27.1, winning easily by 1½ lengths over Smalltownthrowdown, who caught the pocket horse Moonshiner Hanover to take second. Chris Oakes conditions the winner of $1,255,907, who raised his lifetime win percentage over 50% (34 for 67) for Crawford Farms Racing, and Homicide Hunter also took a bigger lead at the top of the Great Northeast pointstandings. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The first four of five divisions of the first leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono were conducted in lovely weather, with a slight stretch headbreeze, but there was a 180-degree shift in the direction and intensity of the wind, and the addition of rain from the heavens, when the "featured division" of the Sires, containing three of the five winners in recent PA All-Stars action here, went postward. And the adverse weather seemed to have absolutely no effect on the prohibitive favorite De Los Cielos Deo ("from the heavens of God"), a Captaintreacherous - Lisjune colt who won by 3¾ lengths in 1:52.4. The unfolding of the race was interesting. Four of the seven contestants left quickly into a headwind, with the Ron Burke trainee De Los Cielos Deo pacing three-wide to the 1/8 under the guidance of Dave Palone, then moving to the top just past the 27.3 quarter. He was quickly confronted by his stablemate No Mas Amor, who seemed fated to racing first-over if he didn't make something happen, and driver Anthony Napolitano did, going around his stablemate before a 54.3 half - coming his own second panel in the vicinity of 26.3 with the tailwind. No Mas Amor backed things off into the now-headwind to reach the ¾ in 1:24, but De Los Cielos Deo was right on his back then out on the far turn, and despite bearing out slightly at headstretch, the winner finished powerfully in drawing off. Ehrmantraut stayed close most of the way and was second, 2¼ lengths clear of Duddie's Lot, who photoed No Mas Amor for third. But they were all way behind De Los Cielos Deo, undefeated in two purse starts and four trips gateward, who has as good a right as anyone to consider himself numero uno among the babies right now for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Karr, J&T Silva - Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Trainer Brian Brown started a consecutive stakes double with the Sombeachsomewhere - Allamerican Cognac colt Air Force Hanover, recording a personal best of 1:52, a season's record for all freshmen on 5/8-mile ovals. Air Force Hanover, an even-money favorite to main foe Captain Malicious at 7-5, actually outleft his lefthand rival, but Captain Malicious came blasting through from the inner spot, forcing tucks in a monstrous opening quarter of 25.3, with the winner into the two-hole, where he stayed during moderated middle splits of 54.3 and 1:23.1. Driver Simon Allard tipped Air Force Hanover out at headstretch, and while the pacesetter held gamely, the pocket rocket had enough firepower to get a head up on the money. He is owned by Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and William Donovan. Proof remained undefeated - in two purse races and four lines overall - with a well-earned victory in 1:52.2, a new mark and a season's record for about 18 minutes until his Team Brown stablemate broke it. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. had to go the overland route from midpack with the son of A Rocknroll Dance - Ginger And Fred at the 5/8, but the pair made the lead in the lane and dug in to withstand Bring The Thunder, who followed tightly on his back, by a half-length. Diamond Creek Racing owns the successful favorite. After opening his career with three straight "2"s on his charted lines, Captain Victorious was finally able to make the breakthrough in his Sire Stakes division with a 1:53 victory. Marcus Miller hustled the son of Captaintreacherous - Belclaire right to the top despite the outside post seven, then yielded to favored Blood Money at the 26.4 quarter. Captain Victorious sat behind a long battle between the leader and first-over Semi Tough in a 56.2 back half, went to the Pocono Pike, and rallied for a length victory over the tough Semi Tough, who photoed the previously-unbeaten Blood Money for second. Julie Miller conditions the victorious freshman for the Andy Miller Stable Inc., Jean Goehlen, and Caroll Huffman. Two longshot colts were separated by a nose at the end of their division, and their names are as related as their proximity at the finish, as Pyro edged Aflame Hanover to take a mark of 1:54. Pyro was still sixth and inside early in the stretch, but as the front horses softened a bit, Pat Berry was able to circle his live horse out to four-wide and just caught Aflame Hanover in the shadow of the wire; favored Lyons Night Hawk, after a troubled trip, was another ¾ of a length back in third. Pyro is a Sweet Lou colt out of Whetstone Hanover who started a Sires double for trainer Ron Burke, and he is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Karr, Phillip Collura, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A season's leader for two-year-old pacing colts on 5/8-mile tracks (De Los Cielos Deo) and mile tracks (No Mas Amor), both from the powerful Ron Burke stable, will start side-by-side in the fifth and final tenth race division of a first round Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for this group on Saturday evening at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. De Los Cielos Deo ("from the heavens of God") was the fastest of Pennsylvania All-Stars winners here on July 1, putting in a 27 last quarter to stop the timer in 1:53. A former's mile track season's leader by virtue of his 1:52.3 win at Gaitway (with his own last ¾ in 1:21.3!), the son of Captaintreacherous - Lisjune will be driven by the sport's all-time winningest driver, Dave Palone, making a rare Pocono appearance, with the pair starting from post four. Don't put those translation dictionaries yet - just outside De Los Cielos Deo will be his Burke barnmate, No Mas Amor, "no more love," the Sweet Lou colt's name explained by the name of his dam, No More Loving. No Mas Amor went wire-to-wire at Meadowlands in 1:52.2, last quarter 26.4, which was tied by Stag Party three days later and Captain Ahab three days after that. Trainer Burke has engaged Anthony Napolitano to sulkysit behind No Mas Amor from post five, Pocono's winningest spot. The other four PA All-Stars winners are all back at Pocono on Saturday: Lyons Johnnyjnr, who will start just outside of De Los Cielos and No Mas Amor; Blood Money (race one, post four); Lyons Night Hawk (race three, post five); and Proof (race four, post three). There is also a "double stakes winner" in this Sire Stakes collection, as Aflame Hanover (race three, post three) comes to Pocono with two PA Fair Sire Stakes wins, the latter at York this past Saturday in 1:58.3, faster than anyone has traveled on the Keystone twicearounds this season at press time. On Sunday, six divisions of this group's Stallion Series horses will contest their first preliminary leg action. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Trainer Tony Alagna is undoubtedly hoping he can carry his momentum from one night to the next. Alagna, who has a total of five horses in the two Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace eliminations Saturday night, started his weekend in a big way, winning four times on the Friday program at the Meadowlands. The trainer got things going in the first race with Mollydooker ($4.20 to win as the second choice, Brett Miller driving) in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. The daughter of Great Vintage completed the mile in 1:55.1. Treacherous Reign ($4.60 as the second choice, Andy McCarthy) took race four, a division of the Kindergarten for 2-year-old fillies on the pace. The time for the mile was 1:53.1 for the daughter of Captaintreacherous. Odds On Boca Raton ($9.00 as the second choice, Scott Zeron) won the sixth race, a Kindergarten for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace. The Captaintreacherous product stopped the clock in 1:53.4. Alagna's four-bagger was completed in race 13, as Captain Ahab ($5.40 as the third choice, McCarthy), won another Kindergarten for juvenile male pacers. Sired by Captaintreacherous, Captain Ahab hit the wire in 1:52.2. A LITTLE MORE: The Big M's signature 50-Cent Pick-4 was extremely popular, as the pool reached the $100,000 mark for the first time since May 19. A total of $112,478 was poured into pot, and the odds of the winners in the sequence were 2-1, 3-1, 6-5 and even-money, leading to a payoff of $73.10. ... McCarthy guided Mother Bonnie to a 12-1 upset in the 12th race for NJSS 2-year-old filly trotters, giving him career win 2,000. ... A pair of lucky players went 10-for-10 in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and cashed in for $6,989. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $273,937. In the event no one hits the jackpot Saturday, the wager will have a mandatory payout on Friday, July 13. ... All-source wagering on the card was $2,318,503. ... Racing resumes Saturday at the Big M with a special post time of 6:35 p.m. Food and drink specials, the 1st annual Wiener Dog Derby, a fabulous fireworks show and eliminations for the $701,830 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace will all be a part of what promises to be a big night. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The first stakes event of the year for two-year-olds, raced as five $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for pacing colts on Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, saw all five divisions beat 1:55 by winners making their betting bow, and had no winner starting from inside post six. The fastest two-year-old of 2018 is De Los Cielos Deo, who won at Gaitway in 1:52.3, his own last ¾ in an incredible 1:21.3! And he wasn't even the favorite in his All-Stars race, as he and another son of Captaintreacherous, Captain Malicious, were both sent off at 1-1, the latter the slight choice, perhaps because he had post seven in his eight-horse division, and "Cielos" starting to his right. But it was the last-named colt who won, as De Los Cielos Deo added the 5/8-mile track season's record to his already-impressive resume, winning in 1:53. The winner, whose name translates to "from the heavens of God," was midpack outside at the quarter in 27.4, with Captain Malicious third and frontward-bound; after he made the top, Yannick Gingras got the front with De Los Cielos Deo, reaching the half in 57 and the 3/4s in 1:26. It was then that the serious pacing got started, and De Los Cielos Deo had a last quarter of 27 in him to hold off Captain Malicious by a half-length in 1:53, which gave the winner a second seasonal best. Ron Burke conditions the precocious baby (his dam is Lisjune) for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Karr, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver-Bruscemi LLC. The former season's recordholder for baby colts at 1:53.4, Lyons Night Hawk, also won a division, from post eight as well, and in 1:53.3 - 56 - 27.4, his fastest time. The son of Sweet Lou - Weapons Against, who sat the pocket behind pacesetting favorite Semi Tough then caught him by a neck , would have rewritten his own (at the time) seasonal best for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Gareth Dowse, and owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound ... ... if another Tetrick/Dowse/"Mound" horse, the Well Said - Stolly Up Bluechip colt Lyons Johnnyjnr, had not 22 minutes earlier won in wire-to-wire fashion from post six in 1:53.2 - 55.3 - 27.3, putting him temporarily at the top of the hill. The clocking was also a mark for Lyons Johnnyjnr, who is owned by Joseph-Lyons Mound. Proof made the lead past the quarter from post six and set the pace, blistering home in 54.1 to lower his best clocking to 1:53.4 while withstanding a pocket rally from Captain Victorious by a neck. The son of A Rocknroll Dance - Ginger And Fred was driven by David Miller for trainer Brian Brown and Diamond Creek Racing. Sire Sweet Lou got a second stakes credit and another winner from post eight, and Diamond Creek Racing had a consecutive owning double, when Blood Money came home in 55.3 - 27.1 to win in 1:54.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter. Out of the mare Blood Diamond, Blood Money had previously won a Meadowlands a.m. session in 1:53.4. Tim Tetrick drove a third winner in a $30,000 Sunday Pocono race when he got a ferocious late rally from the Bettor's Delight mare Diva's Image, who won a blanket finish in a Great Northeast Open Series race for pacing mares in 1:49, a new mark and a season's record. Tetrick was locked in much of the mile with the Jennifer Bongiorno trainee, then found room in front of a gapper late on the turn, swung widest, and thundered past everybody nearing the wire. The pointleader in her Great Northeast division, Diva's Image is owned by Joseph Bongiorno LLC, Howard Taylor, Thomas Lazzaro, and J&T Silva Stables LLC. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - OK: you just had many great horses race at your track on the previous card in the $2,120,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Championships Night. So what can you possibly do for a followup the next night, Sunday, July 1? Well, here's what The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is doing - it has scheduled five $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for two-year-old colt pacers. The top pacing colt trainers of the last few years all have multiple entries in the stakes sessions - Ron Burke has seven in, Brian Brown five, Ray Schnittker four. Despite the fact that raceday is the first day of July, the collective fields already have ten horses who have won in 1:56 or better, including six who have gone 1:54 or less (baby races and pari-mutuels treated equally throughout). There are eight horses in the All-Stars who have already twice crossed the wire first, including three who have beaten 1:55 in each of their two victories: Semi Tough (race 3, PP1, Burke), Blood Money (race 5, PP7, Jimmy Takter), and Captain Malicious (race 7, PP7, Schnittker). And that listing doesn't even include the fastest two-year-old of 2018 at the time of this writing, De Los Cielos Deo. This member of the Burke Brigade, on June 18 over the Gaitway mile track, won in 1:52.3 while coming his own last three-quarters in an astounding 1:21.3, in his second lifetime start (he won the first, but "only" in 1:56.4 - 27). De Los Cielos Deo, a name which is a Spanish/Latin hybrid meaning "from the heavens of God," does have un infierno de une mala posicion (a hell of a bad position) drawing the 8-ball, just outside of his fellow son of Captaintreacherous, Captain Malicious, in the seventh race, the last of the five All-Stars divisions. That's how you follow up a $2M+ card featuring the stars of today - load up the next card with the stars of tomorrow. FINISHING LINES -- Pocono will have a sixth $30,000 race on Sunday night, a Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) event for pacing mares. Caviart Ally, who won in the GNOS last week from the rail at Philly and paid $72.20 to win, finds the other two series winners starting from more difficult spots: L A Delight from post six and Tequila Monday from post eight. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

MILTON, ON - June 25, 2018 - Captaintreacherous, the two-time US Pacer of the Year and winner of $3.1 million, sired his first pari-mutuel harness racing winner on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Capitano Italiano, a $77,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, delivered as the public's betting choice in 1:54.3 for owner Bruno Comegna, trainer Nicky Comegna and driver Chris Christoforou. The sixth-foal from Pro Bono Best mare On The Catwalk, Capitano Italiano was bred by Riverview Breeding LLC, Steve Stewart and The Bays Stable LLC. He is a half-brother to past New York Sires Stakes champions Social Scene and It Was Fascination. Capitano Italiano left from the rail and got away second in the early stages of Monday's contest. Driver Christoforou circled the Comegna trainee to the front in the second-quarter to lead by the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.2. In the stretch, Capitano Italiano sealed the deal with a final-quarter of :27.1 for the 1:54.3 victory. Monday's start was the first-time Capitano Italiano was paired with driver Christoforou. "Well-bred colt, very quick, very efficient, very professional and he raced great," said Christoforou. "I picked up the program and saw I was driving him and was very happy about that." Capitano Italiano is eligible to Woodbine's Grand Circuit events for rookie pacing colts, including the Metro Pace. A superstar on the racetrack, Captaintreacherous is wasting little time making noise as a sire. As of June 25, 2018, a total of 19 Captaintreacherous two-year-olds have taken a mark in a qualifier or race with eight of the 19 posting a mile of 1:55 or better. De Los Cielos Deo is currently the fastest son or daughter of Captaintreacherous. The Ron Burke trainee posted a 1:52.3 mile on June 18 at Gaitway Farm. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday, June 23 Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) at The Meadowlands began at 10am on a fast track under overcast skies with little wind, temperatures unseasonable cool in the mid-sixties. Jules Siegel sponsors BWTB via his Fashion Farms harness racing breeding operation. Tony Alagna brought six sons from the first crop of his champion pacer Captaintreacherous in to race this morning and opened the colt pacing races with a one-two finish in the 11th. Odds On Boca Raton (Zeron) sat tight behind the pace of then edged by stablemate Shipshape (Brett Miller) in 1:54.4. Shipshape went easily through the 1:27.4 three quarters with Zeron tipping his charge out for the drive and getting by the leader with minimal encouragement. The winner is owned by Dana Parham's Odds On Racing who paid $105,000 for him at the Lexington sale. Steve Stewart and Conquest Acres are the breeders. US Captain (Gingras) made the team 2 - 4 - 2 when he edged by a game Bombay Hanover (Zeron) through a 26.4 on the board end to a mile in 1:55. This precocious Captaintreacherous colt is from World Champion American Jewel and brought a winning bid of $180,000 from Myron Bell on behalf of breeder Brittany Farms, Brad Grant, Joe Barbera and US Captain Racing. Captain Ahab completed the perfect day with a 1:54.4 / 27.2 Gingras with something left. He set all the pace, was left with a big lead when the pocket sitter broke at headstretch then held sway over a late charging Duddie's Lor for the win. Captain Ahab is another Brittany bred with the farm remaining a component of the partnership with Brad Grant, Vinnie Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing that gave $100,000 for him in Lexington. Trotting fillies opened the card and The Ice Dutchess began her promising career with a 1:56.4 winning effort for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter. Takter put her on the lead from the word go with Personal Paradise (Ake Svanstedt) tracking her every move from the pocket through sociable fractions, when they straightened up he hit the gas pedal and she responded with a 27.3 final quarter. The Ice Dutchess was a $320,000 Harrisburg buy for Coyote Wind Farms and the Muscle Hill filly was bred by Stephen & David Dey. Speed Titan won the second race for Brian Sears in a forwardly placed 1:59.1. Taking over on the backstretch on the way to the 1:00 half, Speed Titan sailed home in 27.4 to win by nearly 10 lengths over Taja Mahalla (Brian Connor). The winner is trained by Marcus Melander for Rick T. Wahlstedt who paid $70,000 for the EL Titan filly in Lexington. The breeder is Kjell Magne Andersen. Trond Smedshammer won the third with the Explosive Matter filly Matterlei in 2:00.4. After leaving to the top, Trond released Ms Masterpiece and followed that rival through a 1:01.1 middle half before tipping Matterlei to the outside off the last turn for the 28.3 sprint home. Mimi'spearloflindy (Tim Tetrick) closed a bit to be second. Purple Haze Stable paid a mere $14,000 for Matterlei at Harrisburg last fall, Shanamphilankilou is the breeder. Colt trotters came around in the fourth where Gerry converted a perfect Tim Tetrick drive into a 1:58.2 / 27.1 win. The pair tracked Battenberg (David Miller) through easy numbers then jetted by that rival through the fast final quarter well in hand. Lennart Agren as SRF Stable gave $225,000 for the Muscle Hill colt at the Lexington Selected sale, KG Bertmark Hingstdepa is the breeder. Melander sent out another winner in the Muscle Hill colt Demon On The Hill (Sears). The path to victory was the tried and true go to the front, rate and sprint, with a 28 flat end to the 1:58 record over a very handy Osterc (Yannick Gingras). Vicky Trotting, Inc owns the winner, a $125,000 Harrisburg yearling bred by Walnridge Farm & Meirs. Galixton won at first asking for Ake Svanstedt in 1:58.2, closing into a 29.4 final quarter to get by Lucius Vorenus (D. Miller). He's from Trixton's first crop and was an $87,000 Lexington yearling buy for Little E, LLC, Hans Enggren and Joe Sbrocco from breeder Brittany Farms. The race was marred by The Chutzpah Kid falling at the half; happily both the "Kid" and driver Brian Connor got up and walked off. Uncle Peter had a 2:00 winner from his first crop in Super Schissel, another Takter pupil. A pocket ride behind Consus Victory was the route to success, Takter tipped his charge out in the stretch and closed in 28 and change for the score over Captain Krupnik (Svanstedt). The Ohio-bred winner was sold at the Lexington sale for $115,000 to Al Libfeld and Perry Soderberg, consigned by Coyote Wind Farms. As Time Goes By (Andy Miller) won the first of the pacing races as the Captinatreacherous lass sat a pocket to another Cap'n filly in Cash Reward (Gingras) then sprinted by that rival with a 26.2 end to the 1:56.4 mile. The winner was bought by Willow Oak Ranch and Andy for $120,000 in Lexington from breeders Steve Stewart and Birch Hollow Farms. Joe Holloway has another top filly prospect in Zero Tolerance, a Heston Blue Chip $30,000 Lexington bargain that won impressively again, this time in 1:54.2 / 26.3 in hand to Dave Miller. She set friendly fractions, fought off a hard rush from Hurrikane Norakane around the final bend then kept Izzy Hanover (Scott Zeron) and Treacherous Reign (Bret Miller) at bay late. Zero Tolerance is a Winbak bred, owned by Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. Dave Miller came back to win with Mi Nina Bonita next, cutting the mile and holding off Odds On Clearwater (Zeron) and Michelon's Filly (Marcus Miller) through a 28.1 end to the 1:56.4 mile. Robbie Siegelman trains the $7,000 Harrisburg bargain for himself, Horowitz and Vasquez, Barry Rubenstein Farms bred her. Several colts with Hambletonian aspirations were in qualifiers today and the enigmatic Tactical Landing made a large stride in that direction for Jimmy Takter with a 1:53.1 win over another legitimate prospect in Met's Hall (Andy Miller). Celebrity Express (Dewayne Minor) went along quickly on the lead and it was mid-stretch before the pair of sophomore colts reached him, trotting official 27 final quarters to get by that rival with Tactical Landing holding off Met's Hall close by just over a length while in hand. Tae Kwon Deo made his first start state-side for Takter a winning one with an easy 1:57 effort. He comes with strong credentials from Lufti Kolgjini's stable in Sweden and was the winner of the Swedish Breeders Crown. The Muscle Hill colt was sent to Takter with the Hambletonian targeted. Complete results may be viewed on the web. Live racing resumes at The Meadowlands tonight at 7:15 pm with The Summer Wine Festival on the bill with 11 races. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Manalapan, NJ --- Trainer Scott DiDomenico got his first look at a new addition to his stable during Monday's (June 18) qualifiers for 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm while trainer Ron Burke got his final look at a number of horses that will soon begin their racing careers. Both were pleased. DiDomenico's newcomer was 2-year-old female pacer So Awesome, who won her qualifier in 1:56.4 with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. So Awesome was purchased by Bill Hartt on June 13 following a qualifying win at Saratoga in 1:57.4 for former owner-trainer Tony Ciuffetelli. So Awesome is a daughter of So Surreal out of Teddy Ballgirl. "She looks like she's pretty good," DiDomenico said. "To this point it looks like she's got a shot to be special. We haven't done much with her, but everything she's done has been professional. So far so good. Hopefully I don't mess her up. It was a good first step." Burke had eight winners among the 11 races for the 2-year-olds. Three from the Burke Brigade picked up their second wins of the three-week qualifying sessions at Gaitway -- male pacers De Los Cielos Deo and Semi Tough as well as female pacer Warrawee Ubeaut. De Los Cielos Deo, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Lisjune, won in 1:52.3. Purchased for $140,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, he is a half-brother to Dan Patch Award-winner I Luv The Nitelife and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership. Semi Tough, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Jan It Jackson, won by 12 lengths in 1:53.4. The colt, who was purchased for $115,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is owned by Burke Racing, Frank Baldachino, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. His family includes stakes-winner Sunshine Beach. Warrawee Ubeaut, a daughter of Sweet Lou out of Great Memories, paced her mile in 1:54.3. She was a $70,000 purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership. She is a half-sister to O'Brien Award-winning millionaire Warrawee Needy. Burke's remaining winners among 2-year-olds were male pacer Warrawee Unique, female pacer Typhoon, male trotter Cheap Tricks, and female trotters Atonement and Fade Into You. Warrawee Unique, by Sweet Lou out of Queen Fourteen, won in 1:54. Purchased for $160,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, she is owned by Burke Racing, Crawford Farms, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. His family includes 2010 Metro Pace winner Mystician and Ontario stars Camystic and Lucks Mistress. Typhoon, by A Rocknroll Dance out of Hallie Gallie, won in 1:57.2. She was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Bill Donovan. Typhoon's second dam is Dan Patch Award-winner Galleria, who is the dam of stakes-winners Gallie Bythe Beach and Western Gallie. Cheap Tricks, by Trixton out of Maud Blue Chip, won in 1:58.1 for owners Burke Racing, Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. She was purchased for $65,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Fade Into You, by Cantab Hall out of Fortunes Of Fables, won in 1:56.4. She is owned by Burke Racing, Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi and was purchased for $65,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. Her family includes stakes-winners Flawless Bluestone and Feed Your Head. Atonement, by Father Patrick out of Swan Hot Mama, won in 2:00. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm, she is owned by Diamond Creek Racing. She is a half-sister to stakes-winner Repentance. Her family also includes stakes-winner Swan For All and Swan In A Million. "For our better ones, this was it," Burke said about the qualifiers. "They might start in an overnight, but a lot of them will go to stakes right off this. "De Los Cielos Deo is probably as good a colt as we've had in a long time. I also thought Semi Tough was very impressive today and Fade Into You, (Warrawee) Ubeaut and (Warrawee) Unique were very good too. For Unique, that was good. His first start (a sixth-place finish) was disappointing; that was totally out of character. We've always thought he was just a step below De Los, and even here they were starting to think it was a tossup. We're thrilled." The day's remaining two winners among 2-year-olds came from the stable of trainer Julie Miller, who won with female trotter Ev's Girl and male trotter No Drama Please. Ev's Girl, by Crazed out of Lindys Lullaby, won in 1:58.4. She is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Harvey Eisman and Little E LLC and was purchased for $29,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. She also won a qualifier on June 4. No Drama Please, by Trixton out of Female Drama, won in 1:57.4. He is owned by Stroy Inc. and was purchased for $54,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Trainer Tom Fanning, who like Burke, DiDomenico and Miller is based at Gaitway, sent out his entire group of four 2-year-olds for their debuts on Monday, with female pacer Trillions Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Tutu Hanover) losing by a nose to Typhoon and female pacer Unspoken Promise (Somebeachsomewhere-Pucker Up) losing by a neck to So Awesome after leading for nearly the entire mile with Andy Miller in the sulky. "They all went good," Fanning said. "We don't train them in (1):56 before these races, they all went about (2):01. They all paced good. Andy really liked Unspoken Promise. She opened up by like seven (lengths) and got lost on the lead. She was kind of waiting for someone to come up on her. "We'll probably go to (Harrah's Philadelphia) next week (to qualify) and then they'll go in a race depending on how they come out of it. There's not a lot of stress here, a little bit of a home-court advantage. It's just another day for them." Food and refreshments were provided during the three weeks of qualifying at Gaitway Farm by sponsors Colts Neck Equine, Cunningham & Cunningham Equine Insurance, Deo Volente Farms, Dey Equine Veterinarians, Fair Winds Farm, Freehold Raceway, Goshen Yearling Sale, Heritage Hill Farm, Meadowlands Racetrack, Northwood Bloodstock, Preferred Equine, SBOA-NJ, Southwind Farms, Tattersalls, TrotPac, Walnridge Farm, and Wedgewood Pharmacy. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

CHESTER PA - Some very nice babies were on display during a morning session at Harrah's Philadelphia on Tuesday. The barns of Noel Daley and Jim Campbell were especially hot, sending out four and three, respectively, winning freshmen. Among the highlights: The Somebeachsomewhere colt Union Station, named for bluegrass musician Alison Krauss's band, made sweet music while stopping the timer in 1:54.4, tying him with Captain Malicious as the fastest two-year-old to date on a 5/8-mile track (all season's records as of Monday night). David Miller was in the sulky for trainer Joe Holloway. The standard for baby pacing fillies was lowered to 1:56.3 by the Captaintreacherous miss Sea Princess, who came home in 56.1 to win for driver George Dennis and trainer Joe Columbo. Staying on the pacing side, the Somebeachsomewhere colt V O Joe did not set a season's mark with a 1:58.4 triumph, but coming his own last back fractions in 55.3 - 26.4 after an uncovered journey marks him as one to watch for driver Brett Miller and trainer Sam DePinto. On the trotting side, the Possess The Will colt Windchill Fashion blew home in 2:00.2, making him the fastest colt in his division so far and tying filly Measuredperfection for fastest mile over an "f"-sized track by a two-year-old. Tim Tetrick handled sulky duties for trainer Jim Campbell. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

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