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YONKERS, NY – When trainer John Butenschoen purchased Destined To Dance at the 2019 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, he thought the filly would be perfect for the New York Sire Stakes program. Nearly a year later, Destined To Dance enters the $225,000 NYSS Final for 2-year-old trotting fillies with a 5-for-5 harness racing record in the statebred stakes program and has a chance to sweep the series with a win on the Night of Champions card Sept. 12. By Chapter Seven out of the multiple stakes winning mare Go Go Dancer, Destined To Dance was bred by Crawford Farms. Butenschoen bid $100,000 to take the filly home for owners Heritage Standardbreds and Richard Preziotti. The group also offered a piece back to Crawford Farms, who obliged. “She’s not very big, but she’s put together very correctly. Conformation wise, she had the right type of physical appearance that I like to see,” Butenschoen said. “I was up there at the farm and saw her turned out. Then her video showed exactly what I saw when she was turned out, just very light on her feet, quick, just acted very athletic. I thought she would be a really good fit for the New York Sire Stakes program. She’s not too big and with the athleticism she showed me, I thought she would handle things and do real well.” Destined To Dance trained down well throughout the winter and spring and showed professionalism on the racetrack. Although Butenschoen does not like to get too high on babies before they qualify, Destined To Dance looked the part. “She’s not a mean filly or anything. She’s a little standoffish, but she’s been a pleasure to work around. She’s pretty good on the racetrack, she’s pretty simply rigged, we don’t have to do much to her,” Butenschoen said. “She just goes out and she’s very professional about her work, even training down. Any time you ask her to go, she’ll go. If you want to go slow with her, she’ll go slow. She’s been a real treat that way.” Destined To Dance qualified at Windgate Farm June 15, winning by a neck in 2:02 with Corey Callahan in the bike. She then made her first start in a $10,400 overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia June 26, finishing third beaten a neck while trotting the mile in 1:57.3. Then her NYSS streak began. Destined To Dance went straight to the lead in the series first leg at Saratoga July 8. She cruised through the first three-quarters and when driver Tyler Buter asked her at the top of the stretch, Destined To Dance put up 2 lengths on the field in an instant. With whip tucked away. Destined To Dance powered away with a :29.1 final quarter to post a 1:59.4 win.  “I’ve been more pleased than surprised,” Butenschoen said. “More often than not you’re fooled by the ones you think are good. You never know until you race them. You always hope they have that amount of ability. It was fun to see her race well her first start at Chester. Then we went to Saratoga and she won. We were thinking we had a filly who’s competitive.” Destined To Dance came to Yonkers Raceway for the series second leg July 21. Floating out from the inside post, she rode the cones in third until Buter pulled on the right line hitting the backstretch the final time. Trotting past the three-quarter pole, Destined To Dance took flight. She zipped past leader Me Three and barreled around the final turn 3 lengths clear of the field. Destined To Dance was strong through the stretch, scoring a 4 1/4-length victory in 1:58.3. “Tyler said when he pulled her, she was great. The only nervous moment he had at Yonkers was when he pulled her up the backstretch, she was trotting into that last turn too fast. He said when he pulled her, she just took off,” Butenschoen recalled. Destined To Dance overcame post eight in her next start at Batavia Aug. 2 before putting up back-to-back 1:54.4 miles in wins at Vernon Aug. 15 and Tioga Aug. 23. Destined To Dance has earned $103,456 in her six starts to date. “She’s just getting a little better each time,” Butenschoen said. “We don’t know where the bottom is or what’s going to happen, but we’ll keep marching forward with her. Every time we’ve raced her or any time we’ve asked her to do something, she’s stepped up to the plate and done it.” Destined To Dance and Buter drew post three and are the 6-5 morning line favorites in their NYSS Final, the third race on the Saturday night card at Yonkers. The field also includes Aela Jamieson, who drew post one and enters the final with two straight wins for Julie and Andy Miller. Broad Strokes, Iteration, Insured AM, and Splash Blue Chip each won a single division of NYSS this season and made the final. NY Excelsior division winner Credit Income and maiden Ifnomewho complete the lineup. While Ifnotmewho and Credit Income made pari-mutuel starts between the last NYSS leg Aug. 23 and the Sept. 12 Final, Destined To Dance trained at the farm Aug. 28 before shipping to Pocono Downs for another training mile last week. She trained at the farm again Tuesday (Sept. 8) to prepare for her championship bid. “She seems good, she’s had a good week, she trained good. Now we just hope for the racing gods to look out for us so we can get a decent trip out of there,” Butenschoen said. “You hope nothing happens. That’s all you can hope for everybody, a big night of racing to showcase your New York Sire Stakes horses, you want to see everybody get a fair shot, nobody make a break. You like to see everybody get a shot and let the horses figure out what’s going on, on the racetrack. Hopefully things will work out.” First post time for the $1.8 million Night of Champions card is 7:12 p.m. Free full card past performances are available here. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through Dec. 22. First post time is 7:12 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

This year's harness racing season has been hard on so many but not so much for Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven), the sophomore trotting filly trained by Julie Miller. Dominating a small but fierce division, she's swept all five legs in convincing fashion and now boasts over a half million dollars in career earnings. Miller, who is currently second in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) trainer standings, has her eyes set beyond this weekend's $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway. "We have the option to go onto Lexington as long as she maintains being happy and healthy," said Miller. "We hope to bring her back next year." Andy Miller pilots the 3-year-old for his wife and owners Daniel Plouffe, Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. "She and Andy have a great connection you just dream about," said Miller. "Real fortunate, she's dominating that level of competition and things have really worked out for her." In 2019, Love A Good Story, demonstrated her promise, winning six legs and finishing fifth in the NYSS Final on her way to more than $230,000 in seasonal earnings. Miller's plan for the 2-year-old at the time seemed to pay off. "We gave her a lot of time, raced at Lexington and then we elected to put her away and give her green grass, some vacation time and then picked up training back in Florida," said Miller. "When back in Jersey, she matured. She filled out and she knows her job and what she is supposed to do." Miller will look to finish the season with a perfect NYSS record. With so many changes to this year's schedule due to COVID-19, Miller reflected on her preparation for this weekend's finals. "There was a little bit of time in between the races - a longer time frame. I was able to train her easy last week - I'll train her up," said Miller. "New York Sire Stakes is the toughest spot to race in. To be a part of the race and be successful, it's all you want." Love A Good Story heads into the Night of Champions as the top overall earner in NYSS purses this season and will look to boost her already impressive $226,850 bankroll in the final for 3-year-old filly trotters, which goes off as race two. She drew post five in the seven-horse field, but will have to contend with top filly Hypnotic AM, who drew inside her in post three. New York's richest night of harness racing returns to Yonkers Raceway this Saturday. Eight final events featuring the best state-bred 2- and 3-year-olds will be contested for $225,000 purses each. Post time is 7:12 p.m. A full list of entries can be found here. By Eliza Bianco, for the New York Sire Stakes  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Chapter Seven gelding Hashtagmadeyalook, coming to Pocono showing strong Meadowlands form, was bet down to 1-9 favoritism in the $12,800 claiming handicap trot Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, won easily in 1:53.2 - and then was taken for the $25,000 claiming tag. Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr., who had four winners on the card, sent Hashtagmadeyalook right to the lead and rattled off fractions of :27.4, :56.2, and 1:24.3, stretching a two-length lead at the three-quarters to 7¼ lengths at the finish. Trainer Richard Johnson and owner Carmen Iannacone may be sorry to see the trotter move to a new barn, but they have done all right with him, with the form showing three wins and a second since June 29 and earnings of $21,275 in that short period.   The Rainbow Pick 5 again had multiple solvers, so the carryover going into Saturday afternoon's card will be $142,216.54. Pennsylvania-sired two-year-old colts will contest their final preliminaries in the Sire Stakes and Stallion Series on the Sunday twilight card. Double Sires winners In Range and Captain Corey seem to have secured themselves a spot in their Championship event, to take place during the $1.2 million Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Two-Year-Old Championship Day on Saturday afternoon, September 5. However, they and the rest of the entrants in the $206,722 two-division event - and the top fourteen in the current standings all dropped in - will all be looking for a high finish in a bid to make the Championship and approach it in sharp form. There will also be four $20,000 fields of Stallion Series action, with Sunny Crockett looking to complete a sweep of his preliminary action. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

Vernon Downs welcomes three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old harness racing trotting fillies on Saturday (August 15). The John Butenschoen trained Destined To Dance (Tyler Buter) should be the big favorite in the $33,600 first division. The filly by Chapter Seven-Go Go is three for three on the NYSS circuit. She has claimed wins at Saratoga, Yonkers, and Batavia. Her top contender should be Broad Strokes (Chapter Seven-Lady Marian). The filly is one for two in her career with a NYSS win at Batavia. She is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt. The top choice in the $34,200 second division is the Marcus Melander trained Insured AM S (Brian Sears). She is one for two in her career. The Chapter Seven-Blur Muscles filly captured a leg of the NYSS at Yonkers. Her chief rival should be the Maureen Salino trained Credit Income (John Stark Jr.). The Credit Winner-Income Devie filly has a win and two seconds in three career starts. Splash Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) and Iteration (Brian Sears) will be the major contenders in the $33,600 third division. Splash Blue Chip (E L Titan-Dunk The Donato) is trained by Svanstedt. She has a NYSS win at Saratoga and a second-place finish at Yonkers in two lifetime starts. The Marcus Melander trained Iteration (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) is one for two in her career. She finished a close second to Splash Blue Chip at Saratoga. The 15-race card starts at 3 p.m. For more information goes to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs          

YONKERS, NY - Yonkers Raceway hosted two harness racing divisions of New York Sire Stakes races for three-year-old trotting fillies Tuesday evening and the rail was the place to start from in both divisions. In the first division, a $73,100 four horse race held before the wagering card, Love A Good Story relinquished the lead early from post position one to No Mas Drama, but then brushed by that rival and drew away to a length and a half score in 1:55.2. Love A Good Story is a daughter of Chapter Seven and remains a perfect four for four in New York Sire Stakes action for Andy and Julie Miller and the ownership group of Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe. Chapter Seven continues to lead the way for trotting sires in this year's New York Sire Stakes, with 83 wins in 184 starters and surpassed earnings of more than $1 million in the series. In the second division, race two on the card, Without A Warning was bet down to 2-5 favoritism from post one and was an easy two and three-quarter length winner in 1:55.1. Scott Zeron drove the daughter of RC Royalty to victory for trainer George Ducharme and owner Raymond W J Campbell Jr.   The $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions will be Saturday September 12 at Yonkers Raceway. Yonkers continues a four-day racing schedule, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with a first post of 7:12pm. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A first-over grind proved no problem for even-money harness racing favorite Darlene Hanover, who dashed away in the stretch to win the $350,300 Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands.   In his fourth victory on the day, Queensland native Andy McCarthy floated Darlene Hanover off the gate while Ixia Maculata S barreled for the lead from post eight into a :27.1 first quarter. May Karp raced in second as her stablemate Mazzarati rolled first-over towards the front and cleared command midway up the backstretch. At that point, Altar, the second choice at 3-1, galloped while uncovered heading to a :56.3 half.   Darlene Hanover ventured into the far turn with no cover, racing sixth, and began to advance towards Mazzarati. By three-quarters in 1:26.3, Darlene Hanover ranged to within a length of command and soon downed the tiring pacesetter at the head of the stretch. The Chapter Seven-Danielle Hanover filly strolled through the lane in progress to a 1:55.1 victory while chased by Material Girl, who rallied from third-over to take second. Ineffable closed for third.       "I actually didn't think I would see the inside," McCarthy said of Darlene Hanover's overland grind to victory. "The way it worked out, I was happy to be first-over. I didn't really use all of her the first half, so I kept going up there and I could just hang onto her until the head of the stretch, and she turned around nice."   Darlene Hanover won her second race from four starts and has earned $188,700 for Yankeeland Partners LLP. Brett Bittle conditions the filly who paid $4.00 to win.   by Ray Cotolo, for the Hambletonian Society

East Rutherford, NJ --- Hypnotic AM and driver Brian Sears grabbed the lead on the backstretch prior to the half-mile point and cruised to victory in Saturday's $15,000 harness racing prep for 3-year-old filly trotters entered in next week's Hambletonian Oaks, defeating May Baby by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.3 at the Meadowlands. Solsbury Hill finished third. Hypnotic AM, the even-money favorite, started from post eight in the eight-horse field and raced on the outside until clearing early leader Solsbury Hill for the top spot following an opening quarter of :27.1. From there, the Marcus Melander-trained filly reached the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.4 on the way to her third win in four tries this season.   "I was just going to try to go forward if it looked like it was possible and take it from there," Sears said. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Hambletonian Oaks, the sport's top race for 3-year-old filly trotters. Twelve horses entered the Oaks, with eight opting to race in Saturday's prep at the Meadowlands. The $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks is Aug. 8 at the Big M, part of a card that includes the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes. Hypnotic AM is a daughter of Chapter Seven out of Daydream AM S. She is owned by breeder Courant Inc. and her triumphs this year include the Empire Breeders Classic. For her career, Hypnotic AM has won 10 of 13 races and $624,725. "We've come back this year and tried to get her to relax a little bit," Sears said. "At the end of last year she was getting a little warm with us, but Marcus has done a great job keeping her calm and she's been doing everything we've asked so far." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Tioga Downs welcomes two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts & geldings on Sunday (July 26). Both divisions will race for a purse of $53,100. Ambassador Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) and Sevenshadesofgrey (Corey Callahan) appear to be the ones to beat in the first division. Ambassador Hanover (Chapter Seven-Angel Eyes Hanover) is one for one in his career with a NYSS win at Yonkers Raceway. The colt is trained by Svanstedt. The Ron Burke trained Seveshadesofgrey (Chapter Seven-Ms Naughty) is searching for his first career win. The colt has two second place finishes in two career starts including a second to Ambassador Hanover at Yonkers Raceway. The second division will feature Incommunicado (Ake Svanstedt), Special Prosecutor (Marcus Miller), and In The Cards (Scott Zeron). All three are coming off NYSS wins at Yonkers. Incommunicado (Chapter Seven-Gran Cavalla) is trained by Svanstedt. The colt is one for one in his career. The David Dewhurst trained Special Prosecutor (Chapter Seven-Valley Makala) is unbeaten in two career starts. In The Cards is one for one in his career. The George Ducharme trained gelding is by RC Royalty out of Super Starlet. The 12-race card will start at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs      

Love a Good Story (Andy Miller) writes another chapter in her book with a win in the $114,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) race for sophomore trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Saturday (July 11). It was Munster (Tyler Buter) with the early lead. Reba Blue Chip (Verlin Yoder) took over and led to a first quarter of :26.3. No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) then took control as they headed for the backstretch. Destiny Blue Chip (John MacDonald) came first over and put the pressure on. No Mas Drama maintained a short lead hitting the half in :56.0. The two kept side by side going around the final turn. No Mas Drama hit three-quarters first in 1:25.1. Love A Good Story ($3.30) moved second over third as they went around the final turn. As they made the turn for home, she went three-wide and looked like she was shot out of a cannon as she rushed to the front. Reba Blue Chip was blocked in as they headed to the final turn. Once she got an opening it was too late and she had to settle for second as Love A Good Story won in a lifetime best of 152.1 Munster finished third.   Love a Good Story is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. It was her second win this season and ninth career victory. She is trained by Julie Miller for owners Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Daniel Plouffe. Howard Parker drove five winners on the card. He combined with trainer George Ducharme to get wins with Ltmeatcake Hanover ($3.10), Greyscale ($8.30), and Charlotte Chaplin ($3.80). His other wins came with Golden Brit ($4.10), and The Dough Man $11.60). Driver Leon Bailey and trainer Misty Carey combined for three wins as well. They were in the winner’s circle for Mister Livan N ($8.70), Tempster Hanover ($6.90), and Hit The Road Joe ($5.30). Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a 12-race card on Thursday (July 16) with a post time of 4:00 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) and Reba Blue Chip (Verlin Yoder) faced off inthe  $114,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies on Saturday (July 11) at Vernon Downs. Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven) is coming off a solid second place finish to Hypnotic AM in the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) last Saturday (July 4) at Vernon Downs. She won her other start in 2020 at Tioga Downs in a leg of the NYSS. The filly is trained by Julie Miiller. She has eight wins in 12 career starts and has won more than $310,000. Reba Blue Chip (Chapter Seven) is three for four as a sophomore. Her only defeat this year also came to Hypnotic AM in a NYSS race at Tioga Downs. Yoder trains the filly, who has six wins in nine career starts. Their major danger is the Jenn Bongiorno trained No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno). The filly by Muscles Yankee is looking for her first win as a sophomore. She finished third in the EBC last week and was second best to Love A Good Story during a leg of the NYSS at Tioga Downs. She has two lifetime wins and nearly $100,000 in the bank. The 15-race card will start at 1:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

YONKERS, NY - Tuesday night, Yonkers Raceway hosted four $35,450 New York Sire Stakes Divisions for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters and harness racing stallion Chapter Seven stole the show with his offspring winning three of the four divisions. In the first division, race three, Incommunicado led from start to finish, prevailing by two and a quarter lengths in 1:59. Ahundreddollarbill was second with Dee's Red Delicious finishing third.   Incommunicado is a gelded son of Chapter Seven trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt and owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. of Del Ray Beach, Florida and Little E LLC from New York, New York. In the second division, race four, Special Prosecutor held off a fast closing Super Cruiser by a neck in 2:02.1 with Manuka being placed third after Limitless Winner was disqualified from that show spot.   Special Prosecutor is also a gelded son of Chapter Seven. He was driven to victory by Andy Miller for trainer and co-owner David Dewhurst of Clinton, New York. Philip Hale from New Hartford, New York co-owns the trotter. In the third division, race six, Ambassador Hanover made a strong brush to the lead around the final turn and held off Sevenshadesofgrey by a length in 1:59.1 with Steel finishing third.   Just like the first division winner, Ambassador Hanover is a son of Chapter Seven trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt. Svanstedt also owns the colt along with Order By Stable from Boras, SD and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. In the eighth race final division, In The Cards sat a perfect pocket trip and prevailed by a length in 2:00.1 over the pace-setting Credit Con with Fix-It-Up finishing third.   In The Cards is a gelded son of RC Royalty owned and trained by George Ducharme. Other co-owners are Campbell, Dickson and Cimetti with Scott Zeron the winning driver. Tuesday's card also featured the first pick 5 carryover for Yonkers Raceway since returning from the stoppage. A $5,894 carryover from Monday night produced an additional $39,291 in wagering for the Tuesday Pick 5. The winning sequence of 2-2-3-1-6 returned $462.25 for a 50 cent wager. This week and next week, Yonkers expands to a four day race week, adding Friday nights to the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, first post is 7:12pm each night. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway

Vernon Downs will host three Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) races for 3-year-old trotters on Saturday (July 4) at 1 p.m. There will be two divisions for sophomore trotting colts and geldings. Both divisions will race for a purse of $97,750. In the first division, the Steven Pratt trained Barn Holden (Jim Morrill Jr) looks to be the horse to beat. In a leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) last week the colt by Conway Hall faded in the stretch to finish third after leading most of the race. He has two wins in 2020 and five career victories with earnings of over $135,000. His main rival will be the Julie Miller trained Book Seven (Andy Miller). The Chapter Seven colt is one for one in 2020 with a lifetime best mark of 1:56.3 last week at Tioga. He has six lifetime wins and has earned over $85,000 in his career Third Shift (Ake Svanstedt) and Berkery J (Scott Zeron) are set to face off in the second division of the EBC, Both are coming off of NYSS wins at Vernon Downs last week. Third Shift (Chapter Seven) won the ($225,000) NYSS final for freshmen colts & geldings. He looked real sharp in his 2020 debut last week winning in a lifetime best of 1:54.3. Trained by Svanstedt, he has earned over $210,000 including four career wins. Berkery J (Chapter Seven) came flying late to win last week in a lifetime best time of (1:54.2) in his first start of 2020. The George Ducharme trained colt has four career wins and earnings of over $176,000. Chaptiama (Chapter Seven) should be their main competition. Trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer, the colt came charging late to finish a close second to Berkery J at Tioga. She has two lifetime victories and nearly $200,000 in earnings. 11 fillies will square off in the $207,250 EBC for sophomore filly trotters. Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears) is the top money earner in the group with nearly $500,000 in the bank. Marcus Melander trains the filly by Chapter Seven. As a freshman she finished first in the $225,000 NYSS final and a decent third place finish in the Breeders Crown. She is one for one in 2020 with an impressive NYSS win at Tioga Downs last week. She is eight for ten in her career. Senorita Rita (Scott Zeron) will be making her 3-year-old debut. She had a sensational freshman season with wins in the $475,000 Goldsmith Maid final and the $251,000 Kindergarten Classic final (both at the Meadowlands). Linda Toscano trains the filly by Chapter Seven. She has six career wins and earnings of over $410,000. Morning line favorite, Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) is coming off a lifetime best of 1:53.0 in her 3-year-old debut at Tioga Downs last week in a leg of the NYSS. The sophomore filly by Chapter Seven is trained by Julie Miller. She has eights career wins and has amassed over $260,000 in her career. There will also be two divisions of the NYSS for freshman pacing fillies. Both divisions will race for a purse of $53.100. Post time for the 15-race card on Saturday (July 4) is 1:10 p.m. Vernon Downs will race on Thursdays and Saturdays for the rest of July at 4 p.m. They will race on Friday (July 10) with a 4 p.m. post time as well. For more information go to www.vernondowns. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs            

Lake Worth, FL - On the final day of the harness racing qualifying mini-season at Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center, romps were the order of the day for most of the winners. It started in the very first race as trainer/driver Dan Daley won by 20 lengths with Lucky Sevens in 2:01.3. Lucky Sevens is a three-year-old gelding by Chapter Seven. Also winning in romps were Homecoming King (Dan Daley) in 2:01.2 by nine lengths. Then Baggage Claim (Fern Paquet, Jr.) wired the field, scoring by ten open lengths in 1:56.4. The fastest mile on the afternoon came in the fifth race pace where Sweet Deisel and trainer-driver Dan Daley wired the field in 1:55.4 by three and one-half lengths. That was the fastest mile of the six races and gave Daley a trainer/driver triple for the day. Management at Olympia of Palm Beach looks forward to having a bigger and better mini-season of racing events next Spring. For full chart results, click here.  By Steve Wolf, for Olympia of Palm Beach    

LEBANON, OH. - Majestic Player A certainly has enjoyed his first month of American harness racing. After a 'head' defeat in his first U.S. start on February 4, the 6-year-old Australian bred gelding has reeled off three consecutive impressive triumphs in Miami Valley Raceway's weekly Open Handicap Trot. With his 1:53.4 score on Tuesday (Feb. 25) he increased his earnings for the month to $41,250 for his new import owners Jeffrey Fought, Brian Carsey and Casey Myers. The son of Majestic Son, who banked less than $100,000 in three years of racing Down Under, has earned a well-deserved one week vacation from the racing wars at Miami Valley due to his three consecutive Open Handicap victories. He has adapted well to American racing under the astute handling of trainer Walter Haynes Jr. In the latest romp, Majestic Player A and driver Brett Miller marched directly to the front of the field and had no anxious moments while cruising through fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:25.2 before sealing the deal with a :28.2 final panel. Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Trace Tetrick) got a desirous two-hole trip the entire way, but never could mount a serious threat to the winner. Northern Skyway (Tyler Smith) was best of the rest in the seven horse field of top squaregaiters. A pair of first leg divisions of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial Series for trotters who are non-winners of four races or $40,000 lifetime also went postward on Tuesday. The first split went to B Threeseven (Sandy Beatty), who topped Forget It Im Crazy (Kayne Kauffman) by four lengths in 1:56.2. Stonebridge Symba (Miller) finished third. Beatty also trains the 5-year-old son of Chapter Seven for owner Ben Robards. Feel Invincible AS (Chris Page) copped the other division with a 1:57.2 gate-to-wire tally over Serene Hall (Miller) and Wrapped In Rubies (Smith). The Paver Memorial score gave Page his third success on the matinee program. Anette Lorentzon trains the 4-year-old Broadway Hall mare for the ACI Stuteri Ab Stable of Kentucky and their partner Johansson of Sweden. From Miami Valley Raceway

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund has released annual Breeders Awards for the 2019 racing season, totaling $1,000,000. A total of 332 New York-bred horses earned awards for 154 different entities. A total of 18 breeders earned more than $15,000 in awards. The full list of awards can be found at the New York Sire Stakes website. Last year's 2-year-olds returned 14.5% of their NYSS program earnings to their breeder, while 3-year-olds returned 15.5%. The largest single Breeders Award earner was Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven). The trotting filly won three legs and the NYSS Final in her sophomore season. She returned $53,150.23 to breeder Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. Combined, Blue Chip Farms and Blue Chip Bloodstock earned $128,881.90 in breeders awards for 29 offspring. Breeder Steve Jones received the most in awards with $134,208.19. Jones bred four horses that earned more than $100,000 last year, including three NYSS Champions-Cigars And Port, Hickfromfrenchlick and The Fun Marshall. Other top earners included Crawford Farms LLC with $88,990.49, generated by standout performers like Brooklyn Lilacs and Stella Jane; Winbak Farm with $58,461.12, led by top earners Artie's Ideal and Hanna Dreamgirl; Little E LLC with $33,958.44 earned largely by campaigner Seventimesalady; and The OK Corral with $29,410.17, produced largely by filly So Awesome. "Breeders are at the core of the racing industry's positive economic impact in the State of New York and the Fund is pleased to recognize their contributions to our agricultural vitality," said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "It is through their investment that New York has become known for its exceptional breeding and racing opportunities." The Breeders Awards program provides rewards for each level of NYSS racing: Sire Stakes, Excelsior Series and County Fairs. The awards are residency based, rewarding breeders who keep their mares in New York State for at least 180 days surrounding conception, thereby contributing to the agricultural economy. The program is designed to stimulate New York State's agriculture sector and support New York farms. The Fund has previously announced that another $1 million will be available to breeders for the 2020 racing season. It's not too late this year for breeders to make their mare eligible for Breeders Awards in the future. Once a mare is in the state, the first step to establishing residency is by submitting a Form A to the Fund. Those wishing to find out more about New York's mare residency program should check out the guidelines. and call or email the Fund office with any questions at 518-388-0178 or info@nysirestakes.com. About the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the Fund) is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the Fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the State. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races. Additionally, the Fund provides assistance to county agriculture societies and contributes to the statewide 4-H program and to the Harry M. Zweig Fund for Equine Research. From the New York Sire Stakes

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Southwind Chrome shrugged off a late challenger once again on the way to winning a second straight Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, the Preferred for trotters. Last week, the Jeff Cullipher trainee had to deal with Muscle M Up from the far turn to the finish but dug in determinedly to win in a snappy 1:51.4. On Friday night, the 4-year-old son of Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe had to deal with Melady's Monet in the latter stages, but once again proved up to the challenge. Southwind Chrome was asked for speed from the gate from driver Dexter Dunn and provided it, racing wide around the first turn before tucking into the three-hole as JL Cruze hit the quarter in :27. Shortly thereafter, Southwind Chrome was back on the outside moving toward the leader, clearing the top just after the three-eighths and leading at the half in :55.1. Melady's Monet, the 9-5 favorite, was activated first-over at this point and gradually made up ground on the leader but was still 1½ lengths behind when they turned for home. Through the stretch, Southwind Chrome maintained his edge in a thoroughly dominant performance, hitting the wire 1¼ lengths in front of Melady's Monet. JL Cruze held on for third.   Southwind Chrome paid $7.40 to win as the second choice in the wagering after completing the mile in 1:52.1. He now has 11 wins from 31 lifetime starts and earnings of $196,085 for owners Pollack Racing and Cullipher. "I would say he was better tonight than last week," said Cullipher. "When he broke three starts ago, we'll just leave it as a driver's error. He's a little funny with his mouth. He can't stand to be pulled on too much." As for Southwind Chrome's future, Cullipher has high hopes. "(Owner) Tom (Pollack) and I are going to sit down at the beginning of the year and discuss what we are going to do. I think we are going to try many of the older trotting events, races like the Graduate, during 2020." A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Dunn upped his win total at the meeting to 37 after winning five times on the program. ... The Ettore Annunziata-trained Mister Truth pulled off a 78-1 shocker in the eighth race with Vinny Ginsburg driving, keying a 50-cent Pick-4 that came back $3,528.40 in the first of two Toys For Tots Finals (this one for a TrackMaster rating 74.5 or less on the pace) on the program. Piercewave Hanover took the other (for non-winners of $6,500 on the trot). ... All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,210,198. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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