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After a four-week respite, Captain Crunch is ready to get back to work. The award-winning harness racing pacing colt's layoff followed a seven-start first half of his campaign, which saw the Nancy Johansson trainee post five wins including the North America Cup and Cane Pace. Captain Crunch's most recent race was the Cane, which he won by a neck over Bettor's Wish in 1:48 on Aug. 3, Hambletonian Day, at The Meadowlands. With many of August's remaining top events for 3-year-old pacers on half-mile ovals, such as the Milstein Memorial and Messenger Stakes, the colt's connections opted for the opportunity to refresh for the second half of the season. This weekend, Captain Crunch returns to action when he meets six rivals in Saturday's C$171,503 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A trip to The Meadows on Sept. 7 for the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship is expected to follow. "We didn't have many options after the Cane," said Alan Katz of the 3 Brothers Stables, which shares ownership of Captain Crunch with Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. "We knew the situation. We didn't want to race him in the Messenger or the Milstein on a half, so we decided to race him in the Simcoe. "That was basically the game plan right from the get-go. A little break in the schedule can only help him." Captain Crunch, the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer, has won 11 of 17 career races and earned $1.26 million. His top victories last season came in the Breeders Crown and year-ending Governor's Cup. This year, he opened with back-to-back wins in divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes before going off stride in his elimination for the North America Cup. The colt jumped a shadow in the first turn but rallied to finish fifth and advance to the $750,000 final, which he won as the fourth choice at odds of 4-1 in 1:47.2. The time is the fastest in history by a 3-year-old pacer on Canadian soil. "The fans got off him pretty quickly when he made that break," Katz said. "You're not going to get $10 (for a win payout) on him anymore this year, that's for sure. That $10 was a gift for people who bet him. "That to me was his best start. He came back to show you what kind of horse he is." Captain Crunch followed with a win in his Meadowlands Pace elimination and then finished fourth in the final, beaten three-quarters of a length, after setting fractions that culminated in reaching three-quarters of a mile in 1:19.3. Three weeks later, he rebounded with his triumph in the Cane Pace. "He's a dream come true," Katz said. "He's just one great horse. He always shows up, gives it all he's got. He's so game. "We couldn't ask for anything better than this. He's lived up to all our expectations, and more. He's a once-in-a-lifetime horse. It's hard to get horses like him. We've been in this business a long time, since 1975, and to get a horse who's going to be a stallion like him, it hasn't occurred for us before. Not this type of quality. He's been great." In the Simcoe, Captain Crunch and driver Scott Zeron will start from post two. Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show leaves from post one while Century Farroh, the winner of nine of 11 races this season, begins from post three. The remainder of the field is Better Up, Stag Party, Tyga Hanover, and Bronx Seelster. "Scott loved (Captain Crunch) from day one and has done a tremendous job driving the horse," Katz said. "Nancy and Marcus (Johansson) have done a fantastic job with him. A lot of horses don't come back at 3 as good as they were at 2. He came back even better. Nancy has done a great job managing him. "To have a horse like him is just a pleasure. And the partners, we all get along great. What more can you ask? I wish we had more like him. You can only hope." Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. In addition to the Simcoe (race nine on the card), the track hosts the C$600,000 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters (race five) and C$525,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers (race eight). For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug 25, 2019 -- Monday's $167,277 Pennsylvania Sires Stake has drawn many of the division's top 3-year-old filly pacers, none of them hotter than Tall Drink Hanover. The daughter of Captaintreacherous-Take Into Account has won three straight -- all stakes -- defeating most of those rivals in the process, and her 1:48 mile in the Shady Daisy was a thing of beauty. She'll try to extend that streak when she leaves from the rail in the ninth race with regular pilot Andrew McCarthy aboard. First post is 1:05 PM. Although Tall Drink Hanover banked $362,414 at 2 for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing, she started this year more slowly. While she captured a Lynch Memorial elimination, she was last in the final. That followed a seventh-place finish in the Fan Hanover final. But she was most impressive in the Shady Daisy at the Meadowlands, when, despite a parked-out first quarter, she downed such outstanding fillies as Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut, Stonebridge Soul and Alagna's Treacherous Reign. It was then, and still is, the fastest mile this year by a 3-year-old filly pacer. Tall Drink Hanover sold for $35,000 at Harrisburg, something of a bargain considering her blue-blood pedigree. She'll benefit from the luck of the PASS draw, as all the foes she vanquished in the Shady Daisy will go in other divisions: Treacherous Reign (race 7, post 1, Dexter Dunn); Warrawee Ubeaut (race 7, post 3, Yannick Gingras); Stonebridge Soul (race 8, post 6, Tim Tetrick). Monday's card also features a $40,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly pacers and a pair of carryovers -- $4,236.22 in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), $428.60 in the final-race Super Hi-5. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

MILTON, ON - August 23, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment and Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership are pleased to announce a harness racing breeding auction for Wednesday, October 4 in Lexington, Kentucky to raise funds for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge. The auction will take place prior to the second session of the 2019 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion and features the opportunity to acquire a 2020 breeding to one of harness racing's most-notable stallions. A group of prominent owners and breeders have graciously donated the breedings to raise funds for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge. A single 2020 breeding to the following stallions will be available: Always B Miki Captaintreacherous Chapter Seven Father Patrick Muscle Hill Sweet Lou Tactical Landing The Breeders Crown Charity Challenge features four teams consisting of a celebrity, a charity of their choosing and an award-winning three-year-old Standardbred. Each charity is receiving one per cent of their horse's earnings from June 1, 2019 through October 26, 2019. The challenge portion of this initiative features the teams competing to garner the most votes in a Facebook poll. The poll closes on October 26, 2019 and the team with the most votes will receive a significant donation from the funds raised by the breeding auction. The funds raised for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge are expected to exceed $100,000, which will mark the single largest donation by Woodbine Cares. The four-teams for the Charity Challenge are listed below: Michael 'Pinball' Clemons - Warrawee Ubeaut - Pinball Clemons Foundation Kim MacDonald - Woodside Charm - Breast Cancer Society of Canada Eddie Olczyk - Gimpanzee - Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation Dan Pleasac - Captain Crunch - Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society Each charity is guaranteed to receive a minimum of $5,000. Fans can submit one vote per day for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge by visiting www.BCCharityChallenge.com. The Breeders Crown Charity Challenge would not be possible without the support and generosity of the following individuals and groups: Marvin Katz, Libfeld/Katz Breeding Partnership Blue Chip Farm, Tom Grossman: Chapter Seven Burke Racing Stable LLC: Warrawee Ubeaut Hanover Shoe Farm, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky: Captaintreacherous & The Captaintreacherous Syndicate Diamond Creek Farm, Adam Bowden: Father Patrick, Always B Miki & Sweet Lou Southwind Farm, Kevin Greenfield: Tactical Landing Southwind Farm, Michael Klau: Muscle Hill Trainer, Verlin Yoder: Woodside Charm Trainer, Nancy Johansson: Captain Crunch Trainer, Marcus Melander: Gimpanzee The 2019 Breeders Crown, presented by Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will take place Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. For more information, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment              

LEXINGTON, KY--A pocket trip poised Catch The Fire for a 1:50.4 blowout mile in the fastest of two $30,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) harness racing divisions for two-year-old pacing colts on Thursday, Aug. 22 over a track rated "good" at The Red Mile.   Driver Mike Wilder placed the John Ackley trainee on the helmet of early leader Fortify heading to a :28.1 first quarter. Wilder then circled the Captaintreacherous colt to the front but yielded as Lottery Winner marched towards the top past a :55.3 half.   Starship tipped first over from fourth approaching three-quarters in 1:24, forcing Catch The Fire to vacate the pocket at headstretch. Catch The Fire then shot past Lottery Winner and opened four-and-a-half lengths on Starship giving pursuit from second while Fortify held third.   Winning his third race from six starts, Catch The Fire has earned $67,022 for owner CT Stables LLC. He paid $11.00 to win.   Moneyman Hill stalked from the pocket and inherited the front from a rough pacesetter to win the first division of KYSS in 1:51.2.   Driver Scott Zeron sent Moneyman Hill towards the front but yielded for the pocket as Its Showtime brushed to control heading to a :28 opening quarter and accelerated towards a :55.1 half.   However the pacesetter veered wide rounding the final turn, giving Moneyman Hill the lead approaching three-quarters in 1:23.1. The Somebeachsomewhere colt maintained command through the stretch while chased by Sea Of Life, pulling from the pocket for second. Roll With Jr, angling first over from fourth at the top of the stretch, took third.   A son of Somebeachsomewhere, Moneyman Hill won his first race from five starts, earning $34,730. Brian Brown conditions the Tom Hill homebred who paid $9.00 to win.   Sent the 2-5 favorite, Baby Your The Best swept to the front moving towards the final turn and cruised clear to a 1:52.2 victory in the first of two KYSS splits for two-year-old pacing fillies.   Ellagator took control heading to the first turn while Blood Red ground first over towards the top nearing a :28.4 opening quarter. Blood Red cleared to the cones and led briefly before driver David Miller angled Baby Your The Best from third to the top heading to a :56.4 half.   The Captaintreacherous filly continued to control the pace while pressured slightly by Sail By, stalled wide of the leader at the third station in 1:25.3. Sail By gave way through the stretch as Baby Your The Best kicked clear of her competition, with Blood Red finishing second and Ellagator third.   Owned by Richard and Joanne Young, Baby Your The Best won her first race from four starts, earning $68,720. The Linda Toscano trainee returned $2.80 to win.   Firefly pulled to the front past the quarter and went a slow clip when holding off a backfield blitz in a 1:54 mile to take the other KYSS filly division.   Pristine Beauty pushed for the front while Firefly floated for position from the pylon post rounding the first turn. Driver Andrew McCarthy then angled Firefly for the lead heading to a :29.2 opening quarter and led the field to a :57.2 half.   Wayside, racing third, edged first over moving into the final turn. Even-money favorite Gai Waterhouse tracked cover from second over while Shining Beauty raced third over in a flow nearing the pacesetter heading to three-quarters in 1:26.1.   Wayside retreated through the stretch while Gai Waterhouse and Shining Beauty fanned off cover and chased the drifting leader from the center of the track. However Firefly held on in the final-quarter sprint to win with Gai Waterhouse second and Shining Beauty third.   Returning $29.20 to win, Firefly won her second race from eight starts this season, earning $29,000. Richard "Nifty" Norman conditions the Somebeachsomewhere filly for owners Charles and Julie Nash.   Kentucky Sires Stakes action resumes at The Red Mile on Saturday, Aug. 24 with two $30,000 divisions each for three-year-old trotting colts and fillies. The card will start at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile    

CHESTER, PA - The Captaintreacherous - Tulu Hanover freshman pacing filly Lyons Sentinel became the only three-time winner in her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes preliminary competition on Thursday at Harrah's Philadelphia, where she triumphed in 1:51.1. Now with three victories and three seconds (by a neck, a head, and a nose) in six starts, Lyons Sentinel has spent much of her racing career against the pylons until past the ¾, but here she got away fourth as Rocknificent (the 4-5 favorite off two previous SS wins), Shouldabeenatd and Primrose established themselves 1-2-3 past a 27.2 quarter, leaving the even-money second choice Lyons Sentinel in fourth and forced to move first-over at the :56.3 half. But David Miller was able to get the talented baby in high gear very quickly, and she had reached the leader by the 1:23.4 three-quarters, then slowly put away her rival. Annabelle Hanover, who had done well to follow the winner's cover, proved to be the major danger in the lane, but she had to settle for second, 1 1/4 lengths back, with Rocknificent another ¾ of a length back behind Lyons Sentinel, who came her own last half in :53.3 raw. Lyons Sentinel emerged as the leading pointwinner in the division's prelims (she had been tied for first with Rocknificent with two wins and a second, with each defeating the other in a photo), but now she goes, at least temporarily, to the top of the class as the group prepares for its PA Sire Stakes Championship here at Philly on Sunday, September 8. The classy winner is trained by Jim King Jr. for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. The Somebeachsomewhere - Fashion Ecstasy filly Beyond Ecstasy put herself squarely into the divisional picture with a new mark of 1:51.2 while winning her second PaSS event in the other division (both were worth $91,521). Beyond Ecstasy went frontward to gain the top by the :27 quarter, then yielded to the favored JK First Lady (Western Ideal out of the Horse of the Year JK She'salady) midway from the quarter to the :55.2 half. Beyond Ecstasy and driver Andrew McCarthy sat patiently in the pocket as Sweet Ace grinded up to third but no closer, pulled for the stretch drive, and outfooted her pacesetting rival by 1½ lengths, with Sweet Ace third. Beyond Ecstasy now has three wins and a second in five starts; she suffered interference in her other outing. The full sister to Filibuster Hanover is trained by Jim Campbell for Jeffrey and Michael Snyder and the Four Friends Racing Stable LLC. The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission is the official tallier of the points earned in the Sire Stakes and the Stallion Series, but a quick, unofficial calculation performed after the last PaSS race revealed the following eight horses with the most points: 1. Lyons Sentinel; 2. Rocknificent; 3. Beyond Ecstasy; 4. Sweet Ace; 5. Baby Your The Best; 6. Shouldabeenatd; 7. JK First Lady; 8. More Than Kute. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - In the fourth and final preliminary round for the Pennsylvania Stallion Series two-year-old pacing fillies Wednsday at Harrah's Philadelphia, Aplomp Hanover and Arden Hanover both visited victory lane for the third time - after both of them finished second to the other in the one prelim they did not win. First to parade back was the Artspeak - A Pippin Hanover miss Aplomp Hanover, already a five-time winner on the campaign, with an Arden Downs division victory on her resume as well. In Wednesday's contest, Aplomp Hanover went to the lead in front of the stands for the first time and held the advantage from there, withstanding the inside charge of Love For Sail by a neck in 1:54.4. Allan Davis drove the consistent filly for trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick. Captaintreacherous sired the three other Stallion Series winners of the afternoon, including the 1:55 winner Arden Hanover, who had an arduous trip in getting home first - making the top, yielding, then having to come back on in the last 3/16 for driver Dexter Dunn to defeat the previously-unbeaten Alexis's Beach by a half-length. Arden Hanover (dam Allamerican Coed) posted her third straight triumph for trainer Mark Harder, who is also co-owner with Joseph Jannuzzeli. The Party's Rockin looked on her way to join "Aplomp" and "Arden" as three-time StS winners, but the favorite made a break while on the lead nearing headstretch. Real Long Hanover (dam Rockin Everyway) proved to have the best late rally, outfooting Anthem by 1¼ lengths in 1:55 to take her second Stallion Series win in succession. George Napolitano Jr. drove the winner for trainer Tony Alagna and Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz, and Riverview Racing LLC. The final division had no multiple winners, but it proved to be the fastest of the four, and its winner, Culture Shock, won by the largest margin, 3¼ lengths. Anthony Morgan sent the filly to the front before the half and went on to win over closer Speaking Of Coffee in 1:54.2, the faster victory for the filly who is now undefeated after two starts. Joe Holloway trains Culture Shock (dam Sawyer) for Brittany Farms LLC and Val D'Or Farms. The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission is the official tallier of the points earned in the Stallion Series and the Sire Stakes, but a quick, unofficial calculation performed after the last race revealed the following nine horses with the most points: 1. (tie) Aplomp Hanover and Arden Hanover; 3. The Party's Rockin; 4. Real Long Hanover; 5. Shotgun Persuasion; 6. Speaking Of Coffee; 7. Keystone Eureka; 8. Sweet Camille; 9. Alexis's Beach. Each Stallion Series division will have its $40,000 Championship at Pocono on Monday, September 9. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

MILTON, ON - August 13, 2019 - Captaintreacherous filly Reflect With Me established a new series record of 1:50.3 with a dominating harness racing victory in Tuesday's final of the Whenuwishuponastar. A field of seven two-year-old pacing fillies clashed in the $50,000 series final. Round one winners Reflect With Me and Alexa Skye returned to action after a week off, while Somebeachsometime entered with plenty of momentum after a stunning victory in the second leg. The opening-quarter saw Dr. Ian Moore trainee Kat storm out to the lead and post a :27.3 opener. Stablemate Alexa Skye tipped off her back entering the backstretch to circle to the lead, but that was short-lived as driver Andrew McCarthy started up Reflect With Me from third and the Tony Alagna trainee made a powerful brush to the lead. Reflect With Me proceeded to put the series final to bed by pacing a :27.3 third-quarter followed by an easy-looking :26.4 kicker to win impressively by four-lengths in 1:50.3. Kat finished second, while Somebeachsometime rallied from sixth to finish third. "I've been pretty careful with her just racing off the pace and I kind of wanted to prove a point tonight and let everyone know how good she actually is," said McCarthy following the victory. "She's so slick gaited and smart and just does everything so easy." A $120,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Reflect With Me has two wins and $35,800 earned in four starts for owners Brittany Farms and Brad Grant. The daughter of Captaintreacherous gives her conditioner Alagna back-to-back series victories following last year's triumph by Tall Drink Hanover. A $2 win ticket on Reflect With Me returned $3.90. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 13, 2019 -- Lyons Sentinel blasted through the soggy Lightning Lane to score for Tim Tetrick in 1:51, matching the stake record for the Meadow Cheer, a $183,040 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman harness racing filly pacers, Tuesday at The Meadows. Rocknificent worked hard to capture the other division, giving Tetrick a stake sweep. Trainer Jim King, Jr. received Lyons Sentinel in mid-July when owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound moved her from the stable of Gareth Dowse. King said he made only minor rigging changes for the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover. "She came to me a pretty good filly," King said. "She's kind of limber necked, so we added a pair of line poles, and we ended up putting a set of knee boots on her. I like her determination. On the front end, she'll be loose-lining. When a horse comes to her, she bucks right up. She's a fighter." In the Meadow Cheer, she yielded to the pocket once Baby Your The Best quarter-poled to the top. Though the track had been rendered "good" by intermittent rain, Lyons Sentinel had little trouble overpowering Baby Your The Best and downing her by 2 lengths. More Than Kute finished third. It was the second PASS win for Lyons Sentinel, who matched the stake record of Bettor's Up and vaulted over $100,000 in earnings. When she won a July 20 PASS split, Rocknificent was forced to close outside after a slowish 58.1 first half. On Tuesday, it was deja vu all over again; the half went in 58.1, with Rocknificent chasing outside. This time she was able to follow the live first-over cover of Beyond Ecstasy. "When I saw that half, I thought, 'here we go again,'" said Linda Toscano, who trains the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Rocklamation for Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC. "I saw her pace the last half in 54 the last time she was here. I think she can do it; I just don't want her to do it too often. "She looks the part, she has the pedigree and she acts like she likes doing what she's doing.' Rocknificent kicked by Beyond Ecstasy in the lane to defeat her by 1/2 length in 1:52.2, with Marloe Hanover third. Aaron Merriman collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the card features a $994.84 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 12, 2019 -- The Party's Rockin powered to the lead at the quarter and scored geared down in a career-best 1:52.4, fastest in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for harness racing freshman filly pacers at The Meadows. Real Long Hanover, Sweet Camille and Arden Hanover captured the other divisions. Tyler Buter and trainer Mark Harder teamed for a stake double with The Party's Rockin and Arden Hanover. Once The Party's Rockin reached the point, she drew away steadily to down the pocket-sitting Keystone Eureka by 4-3/4 lengths, with Don't Speak third. It was the second stallion series victory for Matthew Dugan's daughter of Captaintreacherous-Rocknroll Cameo. "This filly has a lot of high speed. I liked her the first time I sat behind her," Buter said. "She's right on the verge of being a sires stake filly. She'd be very competitive in that group." Off the board in all three previous starts, Real Long Hanover zipped to the front from post 7, took advantage of some early confusion towards the back of the pack and sprinted to victory in 1:53.2, 3/4 lengths better than Dream Dancing. Coral Reef Hanover earned show. "Last time she was here, she wasn't on her game. She didn't feel that good," said winning driver Dexter Dunn. "She didn't have to be on the front today, but she really felt like she wanted to tear into it." Tony Alagna trains Real Long Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous-Rockin Everyway, for Alagna Racing, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing. Real Long Hanover Facing a long, arduous first-over trek, Sweet Camille found a path back to the cones for a breather that helped her rally again and break her maiden in 1:54.3 for Mike Wilder. Early leader Windfall Profits finished second, 1/2 length back, while Anthem completed the ticket. "It's always nice to get back to the rail -- especially after you've had to do the work first up with a horse that's a little bit green," said Wilder of the daughter of Sweet Lou-Camille. "I'm not sure she needed that, but it sure helped out. It got her right back on the bit nice." Ron Burke conditions Camille for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable and Jack Piatt III. In the $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot, Meme Hanover sprang a 14-1 upset for Jason Merriman and owner/trainer Kris Rickert. The 5-year-old Explosive Matter-Migisi gelding prevailed in a career-fastest 1:54.1 and lifted his lifetime bankroll to $144,986. Tony Hall collected three wins on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features a $183,040 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers as well as a $722.96 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The cream of this year's three-year-old pacing filly crop, including the first six finishers in the Shady Daisy Pace on Hambletonian Day, will gather at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday to battle in three divisions of the $168,480 third preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. There will also be four $20,000 divisions of the group's Stallion Series action. In the sixth race first Sire Stakes division, the Captaintreacherous filly Treacherous Reign will look to rebound off a trio of off-the-board performances as she starts from post six for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Dexter Dunn. Earlier this year, Treacherous Reign won the Fan Hanover final and a division of Pennsylvania All-Stars competition. Also in this division is Sylph Hanover (post four, trainer Ron Burke, driver Matt Kakaley), the 2018 divisional Sire Stakes champion who also was a winner in this year's second prelim of the PaSS. In the eighth race second division, the Sweet Lou filly Warrawee Ubeaut, the 2018 divisional North American champion, goes from post three for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. After starting this year with four wins (including a 1:49.2 first prelim Sire Stakes win) and a second, Warrawee Ubeaut has finished second once and third three times in her last four starts, but she has not had great racing luck as of late and has been in the middle of the action in all of those races. Also in tis division are Trillions Hanover (post four, trainer Tom Fanning, driver David Miller), who missed just a neck in finishing second in the Shady Daisy; Stonebridge Soul (post two, trainer Chris Ryder, driver Tim Tetrick), whose fourth in the Shady Daisy snapped a three-race winning streak which included the Lynch Final here and the Mistletoe Shalee; and Odds On St Lucie (post one, trainer Tony Alagna, driver Corey Callahan), a Sire Stakes winner in the second prelim. In the tenth race third PaSS division, there will be a showdown between the Captaintreacherous miss Tall Drink Hanover (post six, trainer Tony Alagna, driver Andrew McCarthy), the Shady Daisy winner and an Adioo Volo divisional winner in her last two outings, and Philly Hanover (post three, trainer Ron Coyne Jr., driver Brian Sears), the only double winner in the Sire Stakes prelims so far this season. The Captaintreacherous filly Annie Hill has been the only double winner in the Stallion Series in this group, and she will have to show her mettle if she is to make it three straight from the outside post seven for trainer Chris Oakes and driver Tim Tetrick in her StS division. Also in to go are three Stallion Series winners this season: Alkippe, JK Mardi Says, and Blue Ivy. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - It required a photo to decide all three harness racing divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes second preliminary round Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and the closest finish was in the third section, as JK First Lady rebuffed Sweet Ace by a head in 1:54.1. The Western Ideal filly JK First Lady came into the race with obvious credentials - her dam is 2014 Horse of the Year JK She'salady, and coming to the mountains she was 2-for-2 in Kindergarten Series races at The Meadowlands, including her last race when she came home in 1:22.2 to win in 1:51.3. That kind of quick back speed was again in evidence in the Sire Stakes, as early on Sweet Ace, whose 1:50.4 first round Sires win is still the fastest mile by a freshman under any circumstances this year, got to the lead in a pedestrian :28.4, with Yannick Gingras moving "First Lady" after that point to get the lead and reach the half in an even more pedestrian :58.4. The sprint started down the backstretch, with first-over Speak To Siri coming on and a :28 third quarter resulting, but after the 1:26.4 three-quarters there came an even more serious challenge in the stretch from Sweet Ace, who gradually angled clear and hit a very high gear. But JK First Lady still had a :27.2 kicker in her to complete the hard-fought victory for trainer Nancy Johansson and the 3 Brothers Stables (who also were the braintrust behind JK She'salady). The other two Sires divisions went in 1:52.3, and both saw the winner have a neck margin at the finish. First up was 11-1 upsetter Beyond Ecstasy, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere - Fashion Ecstasy, making her a full sister of Filibuster Hanover. Beyond Ecstasy showed the quick response of a seasoned veteran as she swung clear in early stretch after a third-in trip and flew the last 1/16 in a :27.3 quarter, catching favored pacesetter Baby Your the Best and lowering her record by three seconds for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Jim Campbell, and the ownership of Jeffrey and Michael Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable LLC. The other Sire Stakes cut saw the Captaintreacherous - Rocklamation filly Rocknificent swing out of the pocket at headstretch, get past pacesetter Shouldabeenatd (a first round Sire Stakes winner), then hold off Pocono Pike shooter Lyons Sentinel (also an earlier Sires winner) during back fractions of :55.2 - 27.1, with Shouldabeenatd third. Tim Tetrick drove the winner, who equaled her mark previously taken in a Kindergarten event, for trainer Linda Toscano and the ownership of Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables, and Little E LLC. The only repeat winner in the night's PA-sired action was the Stallion Series winner Aplomp Hanover, who won her fourth straight race, including an StS contest at The Meadows, with the 1:53.3 time both a lifetime quickest and the fastest Stallion Series section. David Miller brushed the Artspeak - A Pippin Hanover filly to the lead in front of the stands, then stepped her home in :27.3 to rebuff pocketsitter The Party's Rockin (also a Meadows StS winner) by a half length for trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick, who are combining for an excellent year with baby pacing fillies. In addition to siring Sires winner Beyond Ecstasy, Somebeachsomewhere earned three siring credits in the Stallion Series competition. The first one was the longest price of all the night's stakes races, $29.80, and the one winning by the biggest margin, two lengths -- Coral Reef Hanover, a daughter of Clef Sign Hanover. The filly made a big sweeping move from sixth mid-backstretch to the lead on the final turn, then stayed clear in taking a new mark of 1:55.3 for driver Mike Wilder and trainer/father-in-law Dan Altmeyer, the latter co-owner with Richard Kelson, Lone Wolf Stable, and the Walter Gesek Stable. The other two Somebeachsomewhere winners were Alexis's Beach (out of Marinade Hanover), who is now perfect in two purse starts after an engine triumph in a new mark of 1:53.4, ¾ of a length ahead of previous StS winner Shotgun Persuasion, for driver David Miller, trainer Brett Pelling, and owner Melvin Segal; and Keystone Eureka (out of Sir Erika Z Tam), who rallied wide on the final turn to nose out PA fair star Dream Dancing, who had been hung the mile, by a nose for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Ryan Miller, and the Miller Racing Stable Inc. while breaking her maiden in 1:54.1. The other Stallion Series winner was the Captaintreacherous - Allamerican Coed miss Arden Hanover, who also broke her maiden here, rallying in the Pocono Pike to catch BFF Hanover by a neck in 1:54.4 for driver Tyler Buter and trainer Mark Harder, the latter co-owner with Joseph Jannuzzelli. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

East Rutherford, NJ -- Captain Crunch tracked down pacesetting Bettor's Wish in the final strides to win Saturday's (Aug. 3) $285,362 Cane Pace for 3-year-old harness racing pacers by a neck in 1:48 at the Meadowlands. Semi Tough finished third.   Captain Crunch, the slight 9-5 favorite over Bettor's Wish, was second throughout the mile as Bettor's Wish led the way through fractions of :26.2, :54.4 and 1:22. The two dueled down the lane with Captain Crunch sticking his neck in front at the wire.   "He's a good colt," winning trainer Nancy Johansson said about the Scott Zeron-driven Captain Crunch. "He gives 110 percent effort every time he races. He lays it out on the track for us every time.   The Cane Pace is the first jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown, followed by the Messenger Stakes on Aug. 31 at Yonkers Raceway, and the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio on Sept. 19.   Captain Crunch is not eligible to the Messenger but is eligible to the Jug.   "I think we're going to have to have a little bit of a discussion where we are going to go from here," Johansson said about Captain Crunch's future. "He has a few options and we have to pick the best one for him."   Captain Crunch, who captured the North America Cup in June, has won five of seven races this year and 11 of 17 lifetime. The son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika has earned $1.26 million in his career for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms.   by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Christina Takter was in Sweden when Captain Crunch won the C$1 million North America Cup last month, and although it was around 4 a.m., it did not prevent her from cheering on her 3-year-old harness racing colt or from celebrating enthusiastically with her husband, retired Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. "We were yelling so much I thought the roof was going to lift from the house," said Christina, who is among Captain Crunch's owners, with 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. "We had set the alarm to wake up and see the race. It was a lot of fun." The Takters were in Sweden for a month, seeing family and friends. At the time of the North America Cup, they were visiting Per Eriksson. Did the commotion disturb their host? "We were staying maybe a quarter of a mile from their house," Christina said, adding with a big smile and laugh, "so I don't think I woke them up." Christina hopes there are more reasons to celebrate in the weeks ahead, beginning with the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. Captain Crunch, a Dan Patch Award winner in 2018, was among 15 horses entered in the event, with the group divided into two $50,000 eliminations that will be contested Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack. The top-five finishers will return for the final on July 13. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through six. Captain Crunch, trained by Christina's daughter Nancy Johansson and driven by Scott Zeron, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the first of the two eliminations. North America Cup runner-up Bettor's Wish is the 9-5 choice in the second. For the year, Captain Crunch has won three of four races. His only loss came in his North America Cup elimination, when he went off stride in the first turn because of jumping a shadow. He recovered to finish fifth and advance to the final, where he started from post eight and posted a three-quarter-length win over Bettor's Wish in 1:47.2. "I was very, very nervous," Christina said about the final. "But, at the same time, that was kind of a freaky thing he did in the elimination, so I wasn't too worried about it. Of course, it's in the back of your mind, but we still had faith in him. "That's when you really want to show the world that the horse is what you think he is." Captain Crunch, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika, was purchased for $85,000 at the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale. Johansson's daughter, Ella, fell in love with the colt the day prior to the sale and implored her mother to buy him. The connection has added another layer of joy to Captain Crunch's story. "It's special," Christina said. "She picked him out, kind of; she really liked him. She has that extra bond with him. "I thought the price was right too. I was happy to get a piece of him because with the pedigree, I don't think we overpaid for him. And it's a very nice group (of owners) to be involved with." If Captain Crunch advances to the Meadowlands Pace final, it will conflict with another big event for the Takter family. Jimmy, already a Hall of Famer in the U.S. and Canada, is scheduled to be inducted into the Swedish Trotting Hall of Fame on July 13. And although Christina and Jimmy celebrated the North America Cup win in Sweden, the couple plans to remain home for the Meadowlands Pace. "It's going to be exciting," Christina said. "Of course, we have to get to the final. You never know. I just hope nothing happens, that the horse doesn't have bad luck or get sick. It all depends on Saturday." Joining Captain Crunch in the first elimination are U S Captain (5-1), Reigning Deo (10-1), Workin Ona Mystery (5-2), Mangogh (15-1), Captain Ahab (4-1), and Mac's Power (12-1). U S Captain, entering open stakes company for the first time this season, is unbeaten in four races this year. Mangogh and Mac's Power are making their seasonal debuts. The horses joining Bettor's Wish in the second elimination are Love Me Some Lou (10-1), Escapetothebeach (10-1), Best In Show (12-1), Captain Trevor (7-2), Hurrikane Emperor (8-1), Caviart Rockland (8-1), and De Los Cielos Deo (4-1). Saturday's card at The Meadowlands also includes the $250,000 finals of the Graduates Series for each 4-year-old trotters and 4-year-old pacers. Racing begins at 6:35 p.m. (EDT). It is Fan Appreciation Night and fireworks will follow the races. For complete entries, click here. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

Captaintreacherous was outstanding in his clean sweep of the North America Cup, claiming the $1,000,000 harness racing final in 1:48.3 - but his exciting son, 3YO colt Captain Crunch, has outdone his sire, winning the 2019 North America Cup in a Canadian, track and stakes record of 1:47.2! The exciting million-dollar earning colt was the second of a feature double for Captaintreacherous with perfect-record 3YO filly Treacherous Reign laying the foundations earlier on the card with a $454,000 Fan Hanover victory - just outside a record with a time of 1:48.3. Southern hemisphere breeders just can't wait for their Captain stock to hit the track and with good reason - in North America, he has eight juvenile winners in 1:50 or faster and an incredible 41 in 1:53 or faster and well over $3.7M in progeny earnings!   For all you need to know about Captaintreacherous click on this link.    

The Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale in Melbourne on Sunday February 3rd was a great day for the harness racing Victorian breeding establishment Empire Stallions. In total, 84 of the 225 catalogued yearlings were sired by the Empire stallions and what a terrific group they were! Sale numbers show that Captaintreacherous and his sire Somebeachsomewhere gave the APG Yearling Sale more firepower than ever this year with their yearlings grossing $1,554,000. Seven of the top ten highest priced sale yearlings were by Somebeachsomewhere or Captaintreacherous. The first Australian yearling crop from the USA two-year-old boom sire Captaintreacherous led ALL sale sires with his average of $45,715.  In total, 9 colts and 5 fillies by Captaintreacherous went through the ring with his top-price selling for $82,500 for the outstanding colt out of Behappysam NZ, the dam of two $150,000+ winners. Tim Bunning, who owns his promising 2YO brother by Mach Three, signed for the colt. Lot #135, another colt by Captaintreacherous, out of the Art Major mare The Baggy Green was purchased by the U.S. partnership of Marc Hanover & Gordon Banks for $78,000. Selling for $70,000 was Lot #116, the Captaintreacherous colt out of Slip Slop Slap by Perfect Art. The striking individual is a half-brother to the 2018 Chariots of Fire Champion Jilliby Kung Fu p,1:48.8 ($526,710).  Also selling for $70,000 was Lot #162, another Captaintreacherous colt, out of Always A Target, a sister to the sensational Four Starzzz Shark (GR1) winning mare Milly Perez p,1:52.7 ($343,882). Somebeachsomewhere also had an exceptional sale selling 23 lots including the top priced yearling of the day. The very impressive colt out of the Western Ideal mare Ideal Priority, a full-brother to the Australian 2 & 3YO Filly of the Year & Breeders Crown Champion Petacular p,1:55.6 ($454,083), stole the show bringing $130,000. The colt, consigned by Durham Park of Victoria, was purchased by Tom Hogan. Lot #206, a gorgeous Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Dreams Of Heaven by Safely Kept, was sold for $95,000 by breeder Susan Wegmann and is a full brother to the multiple GR1 Winning Champion Menin Gate p,1:54.3 ($574,758). The Somebeachsomewhere filly out of the 100% producing Live Or Die broodmare Perfect Life was knocked down at $80,000 and went to Justin Baker. Victorian trainer Mattie Craven was all smiles when he signed for Lot #197 for $70,000 – a stunning Somebeachsomewhere colt out of a half-sister to Lazarus consigned by Benstud Standardbreds. A list of all sales results can be found at apgold.com.au. Hernesslink Media

Top harness racing trainer Tim Butt has purchased the top lot at the APG yealing sale held at Albion Park in Brisbane yesterday.   Lot 16 sold for $55,000. The sale topping colt by Captaintreacherous is out of the champion racemare Forever Gold (1-51.7) who won 42 races and had career earnings of more than $700,000 from her 92 starts.  Butt was busy during the sale also purchasing a Roll With Joe filly out of handy nine win race mare Save Me Christian for $36,000 along with a Western Terror colt out the 24 win mare Billabong Girl for $10,000. 27 lots were sold from the 46 entries with the sale average being $18,593.  Several lots were passed in with reserves higher than the top priced lot. Captaintreacherous won 23 of his 33 starts, with seven placings and $3,148,657 in the bank. The next APG sale is in Melbourne on the 3rd february 2019 at Oaklands Junction commencing at 11am. For full results click here. Brisbane Lot Sire Dam Sex Vendor Status Price Buyer 1 Artspeak USA Walking On Air Filly BURWOOD STUD SOLD $8,500 W Crosby 2 Pet Rock USA Wheres Holme NZ Colt Monarch Farm SOLD $4,000 C Towns 3 Grinfromeartoear USA Arks Crystal Colt G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $25,000)  Make an Offer     4 Hes Watching USA Babe Mattgregor Filly Brisbane Pastoral SOLD $8,000 D Searston 5 Western Terror USA Billabong Girl Colt Cameron Spencer SOLD $10,000 T Butt 6 Roll With Joe USA Blue Eyed Suzie NZ Colt Ross Patrick PASSED IN (reserve $50,000)  Make an Offer     7 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Cold Mountain Sue USA Filly Tobias Raeth SOLD $6,000 R Carkeet 8 Western Terror USA Crazy Mach NZ Filly Monarch Farm SOLD $4,500 C Frisby 9 Bettors Delight USA Courageous Annie NZ Colt Montana Park P/L PASSED IN (reserve $60,000)  Make an Offer     10 Sportswriter USA Bubby Doll Filly Brisbane Pastoral SOLD $6,000 Veivers Purchases Pty Ltd 11 Mr Feelgood USA Early Harvest Filly Trent Smith SOLD $11,000 T Smith 12 Western Terror USA Doubting Darcey Filly Trevor & Louise O'Reilly SOLD $12,000 B Cotterill 13 Captaintreacherous (US) Evelyn Dee Filly Cameron Spencer PASSED IN (reserve $20,000)  Make an Offer     14 Heston Blue Chip USA Exclusif Colt Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $32,500 Tumby Park Pty Ltd 15 Art Major USA Empty Promises Colt Trevor & Louise O'Reilly SOLD $40,000 J Farrugia 16 Captaintreacherous (US) Forever Gold Colt M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $55,000 T Butt 17 Badlands Hanover USA Half Moon Bromac NZ Filly Testmating Pty Ltd PASSED IN (reserve $10,000)  Make an Offer     18 Art Major USA English Elegance NZ Colt G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $30,000)  Make an Offer     19 Mach Three CA Joy To Behold Filly G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $60,000)  Make an Offer     20 Western Terror USA Kidabout Filly Monarch Farm SOLD $10,000 C Frisby 21 Art Major USA Find Fake Cash NZ Colt G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $40,000)  Make an Offer     22 A Rocknroll Dance USA Mardys Victree Filly Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $22,000 Kriden Investments Pty Ltd 23 Sunshine Beach USA Layback Cullen Filly M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $14,000 J Riseley 24 Mr Feelgood USA Goldplay NZ Filly Brendan Sippel SOLD $5,000 D Wearne 25 Mr Feelgood USA Miss Real Colt Rob Jones PASSED IN (reserve $19,000)  Make an Offer     26 Hes Watching USA Our Sweet Melody Colt Patrick Croghan SOLD $35,000 c Lusby 27 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Left Dancing Colt Brendan Sippel SOLD $11,000 R Veivers 28 Safari Making Gold Colt M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $10,000 J Nieuwenburg 29 Warrawee Needy CA Presidential Night Colt A Class Carriages       30 Artspeak USA Paris Highlights Colt Monarch Farm SOLD $15,000 J Mammino 31 Betterthancheddar USA Queens Up Filly anadate pty ltd PASSED IN (reserve $12,000)  Make an Offer     32 Roll With Joe USA Save Me Christian Filly William Hill SOLD $36,000 T Butt 33 Mr Feelgood USA Strip Sir Filly M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $10,000 M Sparkes 34 Heston Blue Chip USA Our Sweet Victree Colt Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $40,000 R Morris 35 Hes Watching USA Romancing Ashley USA Colt Rob Jones PASSED IN (reserve $23,500)  Make an Offer     36 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Shesgotemgood Filly Trevor & Louise O'Reilly PASSED IN (reserve $27,500)  Make an Offer     37 Mr Feelgood USA The Oval Office NZ Colt Liz Donohoe PASSED IN (reserve $30,000)  Make an Offer     38 Follow The Stars Spirit Messenger Filly Monarch Farm PASSED IN (reserve $4,000)  Make an Offer     39 Courage Under Fire NZ Starofmydream NZ Filly Brisbane Pastoral SOLD $10,000 M Craven 40 Artspeak USA Victree Bette Filly Lindsay & Mary Vagg       41 Sunshine Beach USA Teamenup Filly Trevor & Louise O'Reilly SOLD $23,000 P Crennan 42 Art Major USA Tatachilla Filly Felgate Holdings Pty Ltd PASSED IN (reserve $45,000)  Make an Offer     43 Mr Feelgood USA The Tom Boy Colt Liz Donohoe PASSED IN (reserve $18,000)  Make an Offer     44 Hes Watching USA Tout Le Monde NZ Colt BURWOOD STUD SOLD $37,500 G Mitchell 45 Artspeak USA Victree Bonita Filly Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $26,000 Tumby Park Pty Ltd 46 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Truly Famous Filly Dr John mammino PASSED IN (reserve $45,000)  Make an Offer      

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