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Amal Hall (Jason Bartlett) and Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) won their Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) trotting fillies elimination races at Vernon Downs on Friday (May 17). Both races were for a purse of $12,500. In the first harness racing division Amal Hall ($4.30) went to the front and led to a first quarter of :27.2. Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris) then took over control and led to a half of :58.1 and to three-quarters in 1:27.2. Amal Hall, who is trained by Julie Miller for owners GTY Stable, Andy Miller Stable, and Dumain Heaven Farm, popped out of the pocket in the stretch and blew by to win in 1:56.4. Conway Kellyanne hung on for second. Pilgrims Lass (Mike Simons) finished third. Amal Hall is a three-year-old filly by Credit Winner. It was her first win in 2019. She now owns four career victories. In the second division, With Out A Doubt (Tyler Buter) charged out to the lead and led the way to a first quarter of :28.3. Quincy Blue Chip ($5.70), who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and trained by Gareth Dowse, took over the lead on the back stretch. She led them to the half in :58.0. As she hit the three-quarter mark in 1:26.2, she would be joined by Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer) as they made the turn for home. Quincy Blue Chip shook lose in mid-stretch and held off a late charge by second place finisher Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) to win in 1:54.3. Winndevie held on for third. Quincy Blue Chip                                   -- Fotowon photo   Quincy Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. It was her second win in 2019. She now has reached the winner's circle six times in her career. Here are the qualifiers for the EBC Final for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Memorial Day (May 27): Amal Hall, Conway Kellyanne, Pilgrims Lass, Sensibility, Quincy Blue Chip, Sweet Chapter, Winndevie, With Out A Doubt, and Gobi Princess. The alternate is Hanna Dreamgirl. The field is set for EBC final for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Post-Horse-Driver 1. Gettin Serious 2. Star Track Hanover 3. Skyway Kon Man 4. Whimzical Chapter 5. Gimpanzee 6. Mr Vicktor 7. Travel Winner 8. Cavill Hanover 9. Big Money Honey   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.   John Horne for Vernon Downs.

Batavia, NY---Three $36,567 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting fillies were contested under rainy conditions on opening night at Batavia Downs Monday evening (July 23), but the weather didn't deter the girls from going some impressive miles throughout the night. Conway Kellyanne (Conway Hall-Pacific Centerfold) won the fastest heat and she did it very convincingly. After dropping in third off the gate, Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris) pulled past the eighth pole and rolled up the outside to take the lead from Safe Word (Jeff Gregory) at the quarter. She cleared, hit the pylons and the race was basically over. Conway Kellyanne continued to lead unchallenged until the top of the stretch when Safe Word pulled the pocket to make a rush. But the attempt was to no avail as Conway Kellyanne opened up three at the wire in an easy 1:59.4 victory. Conway Kellyanne ($4.20) is owned by Carrie Norris, Acadia Farms and G & B Racing and is trained by her driver, Charlie Norris. The first division was won by Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse) who was parked to the quarter in :30.2 before taking the lead, but when she cleared it was for good. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. grabbed leather in the middle half maintaining an open length advantage. Around the last turn Quincy Blue Chip was given her head and she stepped the final panel in :29.1, drawing off to a two length win in 2:01.2. Quincy Blue chip ($2.70) is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and is trained by Garth Dowse. And the final split was taken by Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie) in a thrilling finish. Water Lily Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) went down the road, hitting the half in 1:00 over the off track with the heavily favored Amal Hall (Andy Miller) right on her back. After passing the three-eighths, Liquorstoreblues (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from fourth and Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer) followed along. As they rolled up, Amal Hall pulled from second in front of both of them and the outside group moved forward. When these three hit the head of the lane they fanned across the track. It was Amal Hall on the pylons, Liquorstoreblues in the middle and Winndevie three-wide and farthest back. Amal Hall looked like she was the best but Winndevie flew past Liquorstoreblues and caught the leader right at the wire to win in 2:00.1. Winndevie ($6.20) is now undefeated lifetime after scoring her third win in a row for Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable and trainer Trond Smedshammer. There were also three divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series on Monday. The first leg was won by Lifetime Credit (Credit Winner-Mariah De Vie) in a lifetime best 2:01.3. Lifetime Credit was driven by John Stark Jr. for owner by Robert Messing and trainer Maureen Salino. The second division went to Beautiful Brenda (Credit Winner-Yankeedoodlecandy) who registered her first lifetime win in 2:03.3. Beautiful Brenda ($4.10) was driven by Scott Zeron for owners Rick, Joe and Johnny Stable, The Camel Club Stable and Bettola Stables Inc. Rick Zeron trains the winner. And the final grouping was bested by Jumalay Mass (Muscle Mass-Acoustic Hanover) who also went a lifetime best 2:02.4. Owned by Erv Miller, Joe Faraldo and George Golemes and trained by Erv Miller, Jumalay Mass returned $3.40. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (July 25) at 5 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Picture This (Charlie Norris) went gate-to-wire to win the harness racing feature ($9,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday night. The 7yo gelding by Classic Photo charged to the front and never looked back. Picture this ($3.00) is owned and trained by Norris as well put up the fractions of :28.4, :57.4, 1:26.2, 1:55.0, won for the second time this season and has 18 career wins. McKensie's Star (Fern Paquet Jr.) finished a gritty second while Explosive Drama (Micke Merton) came up late to get third. Jim Meittinis and Arron Byron would each win three on the night. Meittinis first won with Master Of Puppets ($3.90). He drove Winemaster Hanover ($2.80) to victory for his second win. He got win number three with Katch Kanna ($8.00). Byron would pick up his firstwin with 2 year-old Rolling Sea (Roll With Joe-Romancing The Sea) paying ($6.80). His second win was with American Mistress ($5.30). The final victory was with Believe This Romeo ($7.90). Tioga Downs returns to live action Sunday (July 16) with a 12 race card starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

When harness racing trainer Charlie Norris prepared to ask Treviso for her best effort in her Bluegrass Stakes division last week, the 2-year-old female trotter was ready. In fact, she didn't even really need to be asked. Treviso pulled out from behind leader Broadway Idole, driven by Brett Miller, in the stretch and trotted to a two-length win in 1:54.1 last Friday at Lexington's Red Mile. The time is the second-fastest of the season for a 2-year-old female trotter and the third-fastest clocking overall. "She was very good," said Norris, who trains and drives Treviso. "She came out of the hole pretty good. I tipped off Brett's shoulder there, and I actually didn't even pull her, she just came out on her own. She was ready to roll. She likes to race." Treviso has won four of eight races this year and earned $112,694 heading to this Friday's International Stallion Stakes at Lexington. Treviso competes in the first of four $63,750 divisions and will start from post seven in a seven-horse field. The division also includes Bluegrass division winner Thats All Moni. A daughter of stallion Muscle Massive out of the Taurus Dream mare Valbonela, Treviso was purchased privately by Norris for owners Klis Brothers Stable and Carrie Norris. Treviso's family includes former Quebec star Val Taurus as well as stakes-winner Valdonna and Foot Bowl, who won races in the U.S. and Europe and is the dam of stakes-winner Bruschette and second dam of stakes-winner Smokinmombo. "I like the Muscle Massives," Norris said. "They're a pain in the butt a lot of times, but they do have some go. "She looks good, she's just small. She's not a very big filly but she has a very efficient gait." Treviso won her debut, a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars, and then posted a second-place finish followed by two wins on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit. Her only blatant misstep this season came in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, where she went off stride behind the gate and finished seventh. "I don't know what the heck happened," Norris said. "She was just acting up, but that's not usually her at all." With a strong performance in the International Stallion, Treviso could punch her ticket to the upcoming Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands later this month. "As long as she's sound we'll probably give her a shot," Norris said. "She's really on top of her game now, I think." Multiple-stakes-winner Ariana G headlines the second division of the International Stallion Stakes while the third division includes Bluegrass division winners Onda Su and Overdraft Volo. Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Fine Tuned Lady, who has finished no worse than second in nine races, leads the final division. For Friday's complete of The Red Mile card, click here. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

WILKES-BARRE PA - The front end proved the place to be in three $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting fillies Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Synonymous Hanover, Lookin Sharp, and Modern Mercury all parlaying leads at the half-mile pole into new career marks.   Synonymous Hanover made a sharp brush to the top on the second turn in her All-Stars division, "stole" a 1:00 middle half, then sprinted home in 28.1 to hold safe early leader Ginny Weasley, trying to come back in the Pocono Pike, by 1¼ lengths in 1:56. Brett Miller handled the daughter of Andover Hall in her victorious 2016 debut for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Susan Oakes and Scott Bice.   Andover Hall quickly earned a siring double credit in the next All-Stars heat, where the winner, Lookin Sharp, was probably the most impressive winner of the night, powering straight to command from the outer post nine and commanding her field by 4¾ lengths in 1:55.2. Lookin Sharp, in her second start of the campaign, certainly lived up to her name for driver David Miller, trainer John Butenschoen, and owners William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware Inc.   The third division saw the Donato Hanover filly Modern Mercury regained pace control in front of the stands the first time, then making her advantage stand up for one complete lap more, tallying by two lengths in 1:56.1. Trainer Charlie Norris was in the sulky behind the winner of two straight for owners Carrie Norris and Anthony Klis III.   On Sunday night, inaugural Pennsylvania Classic Final winner Check Six returns to town, heading three divisions of the first preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. His Ron Burke stablemates JK Will Power and Big Top Hanover, 2-3 in the Classic Final to complete the Burke "sweep," all also among the entered, as are the three winners of Pennsylvania All-Stars divisional action this past Sunday - Another Daily Copy, Voltaire, and The Catamount Kid.   From the PHHA

Lexington, KY - The Kindergarten Trotting series continued on Thursday evening at The Red Mile.   The colt divisions began the evening with Mavens Way scoring a $37.20 upset for young Oskar Florhed taking a nice record of 1:55.3 in the process. The son of Muscle Hill from Doris Deo sat close up early then wore down Dominion Beach in the shadow of the wire for the win. He is trained by Ake Svanstedt for his own interests along with partners al & Janet Burroughs and TLP Stable.   Charlie Norris worked out a perfect pocket trip for Cloud Nine Hanover in the next division for a huge $54.40 upset after favored Southwind Flash broke on the final bend. Charlie trains the son of Muscle Massive who was winning for the first time on behalf of his wife Carrie, Acadia Farms and G&B Racing. Celebrity Express rallied from well back for the place.   Hollywood Highway struck a blow for favoritism winning right back for Dave Palone in a new record of 1:55.2 in the third and last colt split. He's another by Muscle Massive who has found his best form here on the clay for trainer Staffan Lind. Marvin Katz and Al Goldband share the ownership.   Palone won the very next race with Haughty, who has clearly been the class of the Kindergarten filly races in Lexington. Jimmy Takter conditions the winner and had the second place finisher as well in Hollywood Hill. Haughty was well within herself tonight in a measured 1:55.4 tally. She races for the ownership group of Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband.   Howie Okusko, Jr steered Sweet Ashley T to yet another upset in the last of the Kindergarten races returning $38.60 to her small legion of backers. The Conway Hall filly took a 1:56 record in the process for trainer Homer Hochstetler who owns her with South Of The Tracks Racing.   The Kindergarten goes on hiatus until leg five set for October 23 at Vernon Downs with the finals the next week.   Red Mile racing resumes on Saturday before going dark for week. The Grand Circuit kicks off on Wednesday, September 30 racing at 7pm through Saturday, October 3 then matinee racing the following Wednesday through Saturday.   Find all the info you'll need on all things Red Mile on the website.   Nick Salvi

Vernon, N.Y. -- Four New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting fillies headlined Friday (August 14) evening's harness racing card at Vernon Downs, and Lucky Chucky filly Posterity ($7.30) proved most impressive among the quartet of winners.   In the $27,250 seventh race, trainer-driver Charlie Norris floated Posterity into midfield from her outside post, rating well off odds-on favourite Dizzy Broad (Jim Morrill, Jr.) through a :27.4 first quarter before charging to the fore amid a slackening :58.1 half mile. Upon reaching the end of the backstretch, Posterity was able to clear down to the pegs, turn aside a mild challenge from the first-over Credit To Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), and draw clear of her rivals through a dazzling :27.4 final quarter. Her 1:56 mile was the fastest of the four Sire Stakes splits, and she defeated runner-up Dizzy Broad by 3-1/2 lengths.   Carrie Norris, Janine Zito, and Buck Sprinkle share the ownership of Posterity.   Ãke Svanstedt recorded a Sire Stakes driving double, teaming up with Jimmy Takter trainee Pampered Winner ($13.00) in the $27,250 fourth race for his first of two co-featured wins. The royally-bred daughter of Credit Winner kicked clear off a first-over effort, holding off a late charge from Monarchs Sequel (Mark MacDonald) in 1:56.2. Svanstedt also prevailed with his own pupil Non Stick ($6.30) in the $27,750 ninth race, kicking clear from the pocket to defeat Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3.   The greatest margin of victory went to Goosebump Hanover ($6.10), who drew off for a 4-1/4 length triumph in the $ 27,250 sixth race. After brushing to the lead on the first half of the far turn, Goosebump Hanover gradually extended her advantage over Lucky Kristen (Marcus Melander) and I Will Take Credit (Dan Daley), prevailing ultimately in 1:57.2. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the RC Royalty filly for trainer Ron Burke.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 15) evening. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

There were 3 divisions of PASS events for 2-year-old filly trotters held at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 13) each going for a purse of approximately $78,000. In the first division, it was part of the Charlie Norris trained entry Synonymous Hanover rallying to win. The daughter of Andover Hall drafted in mid pack throughout much of the race, as second-favorite Best Of Dreams (Andy Miller) set the tempo. Race-favorite Windowshopper made a break early on. Synonymous Hanover swung wide for the drive at the top of the stretch, narrowly out closing the John Butenschoen charge Lookin Sharp (Corey Callahan) to win by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:58. She paid $21.40 to win. Ultra-long shot Sand Grenade (Yannick Gingras) finished third. In the second division, it was Brittany Farm's Twice Is Right (Yannick Gingras) going all the way to win. The daughter of Donato Hanover went right to the front from post 1, setting fractions of :28.1, :57.2, and 1:26.3, with an overall time of 1:56.2. It was the second career win for the Jimmy Takter trainee, pushing her lifetime earnings beyond $50,000. Ultimate Shopper (Tim Tetrick) rallied for second, while Maker A Yankee (Marcus Miller) was third. Twice Is Right paid $11.60. In division three, it was Paul Holzman trainee Whitelake Hanover remaining unbeaten. The daughter of Explosive Matter floated off the gate into third, before quarter-brushing to the front. There were some anxious moments in the stretch however, as upset-minded Maeve Quaider (Corey Callahan) made the most of a pocket journey to finish just a neck behind, with Parimutuel Hanover (Andy Miller) finishing a distant third. The final time was 1:57.4. Whitelake Hanover is now a perfect 5 for 5 for owners Omar Beiler, Dennis Coons, and Sue Oakes. She paid $2.60. Michael Bozich

Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting fillies went postward on opening night (7-27) at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs and as a result the first record of the season just missed being broken. The track proved lightning fast as three of the four divisions set lifetime marks. Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Ship) took full advantage of an early break by favored Winning Princess (Jim Morrill Jr.) to wire the field and post a 1:59.1 victory, which was only one-fifth of a second off the track record set by Dreamy Dawn in 2010. Charlie Norris, who both trains and drives the filly, left sharp and set even fractions en route to an easy three and one-half length decision. The winning time was a new lifetime mark and the second win in three starts this year for Posterity, who paid $7.00. Posterity is owned by Carrie Norris, Janine Zito and Jerry Buck Sprinkle. In the first division, Lima Playtime (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) was an easy coast to coast winner who led the field by open lengths the whole race. Driver Rick Zeron seemed to have a gas pedal at his disposal after they passed three-quarters in 1:32.1; that's when the mare sped away from the group to come home in an impressive 28.3 and take a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4. The even-money favorite returned $4.20. Zeron trains and co-owns Lima Playtime with Millar Farms, James Walker and Paul Fisher. The second division saw a dominant winner displaced due to interference by her coupled entry. Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) and Jim Morrill Jr. wasted no time getting the lead before setting speedy fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:29.4 into the far turn. The entry on the ticket, Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) and Gates Brunet pulled off the rail from third to take a shot at the leader. But shortly after that move, she made a break and interfered with trailing horses. After the heavily favored Goosebump Hanover pulled away to an easy five-length victory, the inquiry sign went up, and the winner came down due to the interference by the coupled horse. Second place finisher, Credit To Thelimit (Credit Winner-Prize Angie) and driver Sam Schillaci were then declared the winner ($23.80). Credit To Thelimit is also trained by Schillaci for owners Matthew Bencic, Peter Barbato, Sam Bova and Jodi Schillaci. In the final split, Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) proved last week's win was no fluke as she set a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4 while registering a four-length decision over her six competitors. Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious Lindy) flew off the wings for Chris Lems and went right to the front before leading for almost three-quarters of the race. But when the field was headed up the backside, driver Kevin Cummings pulled Dizzy Broad from third and appeared to fly past Lindylicious to take the lead. From that point on the only thing in question was how much the filly would win by. Dizzy Broad, who is owned and trained by Noel Daley, returned $9.10 to her backers. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card and the both also proved to be career best efforts for the winners. Take The Cash (Cash Hall-Take The Lid Off) driven by Jim Morrill Jr. scored her first career victory in 2:01.4 and returned $4.60. Take The Cash is trained by Perry Simser, who co- owns the filly with Clifford Morcom, Richard Kaplan and Salvatore Corcione. In the second leg, Barn Diva (Conway Hall-Misty Ridge) captured her second straight career win while also stopping the timer in 2:01.4. The winner, who returned $4.30, is trained and co-owned by Steve Pratt with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. Racing resumes Wednesday night (7-29) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

With his first career win now under his belt, Divisionist heads to Saturday's Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold Raceway looking to build on his success. And harness racing trainer/driver Charlie Norris believes the 3-year-old trotter is ready to put his best foot forward. Divisionist was winless in 13 races last season, going off stride four times, but had on-the-board finishes in divisions of the Reynolds and Simpson stakes plus two divisions of the Kindergarten Classic and one of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. The colt broke his maiden on April 14 with a 1:57.2 triumph at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "He had an issue last year with breaks, but he's come back well this year," said Norris, who trains Divisionist for owners Carrie Norris, G And B Racing and Acadia Farms. "It was just a matter of maturity. He was really good there in his first start. Physically he's matured a lot and we're definitely on the right track for this year." Divisionist will start Saturday's single elimination for the $133,170 Dexter Cup - the first stakes test on the road to August's Hambletonian Stakes - from post five. He is 4-1 on the morning line. The three-horse Ray Schnittker-trained entry of Switchblade Hall, HA Taylor, and Bavaro is the 9-5 morning line favorite. Rounding out the field are Handover The Money and Southwind Mozart from the stable of trainer Ake Svanstedt, Jimmy Takter's Apostles Creed, and Oyvind Hegdal's Explosiveday. The top four finishers in the $44,400 elimination will join Broken Record, Gabe The Bear Dean, Habitat, and Sixteen Encores in the Dexter Cup final on May 2 at Freehold. Those four horses received byes based on lifetime earnings. Apostles Creed, Divisionist, Habitat, Handover The Money, Sixteen Encores, and Southwind Mozart are eligible to the Hambletonian. Divisionist, who has earned $44,612 in his career, is a son of Andover Hall out of stakes-winning mare Only Lonely. He was purchased for $40,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes former Ontario standout Beer Budget. "He's out of a decent mare and he showed a lot of athleticism in his video," Norris said about purchasing Divisionist as a yearling. "I thought he might be OK. He wasn't great last year, but at different times -- even at Lexington when he made a break -- he showed a lot of raw speed." Last year in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile, Divisionist went off stride behind the starting gate, but rallied from more than 20 lengths back to get within a length of the lead while racing three wide on the final turn. He was unable to maintain his surge, but finished fifth. "Hopefully he'll just keep getting better," Norris said. "If you're in the business, everyone has high hopes. That's why we're in the yearling game. I don't know if he's a (1):51 trotter or a (1):52 trotter, but I think (1):53 is not out of his reach at all. If he keeps in the right spots and gets his confidence up, I think he'll be alright." Norris raced Divisionist with trotting hobbles last year, but has taken them off this season. "I'm going to leave them off unless he shows me otherwise," Norris said. "He's really come around. He's coming into (the Dexter Cup elimination) good and he's fit enough. I don't know if he's top caliber, but in the secondary stakes and some of the earlier ones here, I think he can prevail a little bit." By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

An overall increase in handle (total money wagered) and seven track record performances marked a successful 2014 season at Tioga Downs, which concluded on Saturday, September 13.   Overall handle on the 61-day meet was considerably improved in comparison to the 2013 season, with all-sources handle showing a 5.4% increase. This increase was largely due to a more involved simulcast audience, whose handle was 13.4% higher than in the previous season.   "We thank our customers and horsemen for their support of our 2014 racing season," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "We are proud of the great competitive racing on our 5/8 mile track, and that it continues to be well received across the North American harness racing audience."   With respect to the record books, four-year-old distaff trotter Charmed Life and driver Jody Jamieson established a new overall record for trotters on New York State's only 5/8-mile track, winning their Miss Versatility preliminary in 1:52.2 as part of the Cane Pace undercard on Monday, September 1.   Trotting geldings Datsyuk (three-year-old, Charlie Norris), Obrigado (four-year-old, Aaron Byron), and Traverse Seelster (older, Brandon Simpson) also turned in track-record performances through the season, scoring in 1:53.1, 1:52.3, and 1:52.4 respectively. Two-year-old trotting filly Jolene Jolene (David Miller) equalled You Want Me's mark of 1:55.2 as well, completing the quintet of record established on the trotting side of the ledger.   Additionally, a pair of pacers entered the Tioga record books, with Sweet Lou's 1:48.3 triumph in the Roll With Joe on Sunday, June 1 (Ron Pierce aboard) equalling Shark Gesture's past mark for older pacing entires. Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill, Jr.) set a new record outright for two-year-old pacing fillies, proving victorious in 1:52.1.   Jim Marohn, Jr. claimed his third consecutive driving title with 91 wins on the meet, 13 more than runner-up Aaron Byron. Top training honors went to Mike Deters, who took his second training title and first outright with 33 wins. Normand Fluet and Gail Wrubel finished in a dead heat for second with 20 wins apiece.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Without ever seeing the “rail” and parked out first-over the entire mile, Sumatra was able to grind it out for driver Brian Sears in capturing the $118,300 Old Oaken Bucket Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. It was a bulky ten-horse field for three-year-old trotters on a half mile track and winning trainer Tom Fanning said this was going to happen. “I don’t like everyone not having their nose on the gate,” Fanning said Wednesday morning. We won’t be able to take back if we don’t leave or else we will be parked out the entire mile. I still think my horse is a contender in here. He has been doing great the last two weeks.” Fanning was right on the mark with that pre-race comment. Uva Hanover (Tim Tetrick) were the first out of the gate and on the early lead with race favorite Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) grabbing the pocket trip. They went to the opening quarter in :28. Then Skates N Plates (   ) came first-over and cleared to the lead with Sumatra and Sears losing their cover and getting parked-out to the half in :56.4. Around the third turn, Skates N Plates was in command with Sumatra gaining ground with every stride. They passed the three-quarters in 1:26 and Sumatra was then able to clear to the lead as Skates N Plates began to fold. Down the stretch Sears urged Sumatra on and they held a two length lead as the field came at them but it was too late as Sumatra held on at the wire to score by a diminishing three-quarters of a length in 1:56.1. Datsyuk was second and Il Sogno Dream (Aaron Merriman) finished third. Sumatra went off at odds of 19-1. “It did work out,” Sears said, “My horse was able to overcome it (first-over). He doesn’t have the handiest speed in the world but he is honest and he tries real hard. I know that horse of Trond’s (Smedshammer) would not hold the lead and my horse got by him on the last turn and that made the race for him. I didn’t put any pressure on him. I let him do it on his own. He’s not real quick but he keeps going and does not get tired and he showed that today.” It was the second win this year for Sumatra. The gelded son of Muscles Yankee other win this year was the Dexter Cup Trot final at Freehold Raceway, once again on a half mile track. Sumatra is owned by Joseph Smith of Vero Beach, FL and paid $41.00 to win. Pinkman takes $59,445 Standardbred Stake Nothing was “breaking bad” for Pinkman in Thursday’s $59,445 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters, as he overcame favorite Crazy Wow in deep stretch for the victory at the Delaware County Fair. Making only his second start, Pinkman and driver Yannick Gingras followed leader Crazy Wow -- who won the New York Sire Stakes championship last Saturday -- for nearly the entire mile before pulling out of the pocket and trotting to the win in 1:57. Crazy Wow finished second, followed by Ralph R and Walter White. The Jimmy Takter-trained Pinkman, racing as an entry with Walter White, went off at 5-1 and paid $12 to win. Pinkman and Walter White are named after characters from the television series “Breaking Bad.” Pinkman is a son of Explosive Matter out of the mare Margie Seelster. He was purchased for $77,000 under the name Traffic Jam at the Lexington Selected Sale. His family includes stakes-winner Grassbed, who is the mother of 1990 Dan Patch Award-winner Me Maggie and grandmother of millionaire racehorse and top stallion Credit Winner. In his first start, Pinkman finished second from post eight in a conditioned race at The Red Mile. He has now earned $27,275 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. On Thursday, Pinkman sat behind Crazy Wow through fractions of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:28.4. Walter White made a first-over challenge from fourth place at the half-mile point, but only was able to get within a half-length of overtaking Crazy Wow for the lead. Pinkman found room coming off the final turn and was able to overcome a 1-1/4 length deficit to win by a neck. "He is now a gelding rather than a colt," said Jimmy Takter. "We had some problems that resulted from the castration surgery that took some time for him to recover from so that is why he had a late start. We started him in Lexington last week and I was very happy with him so I decided to put him in here." By Steve Wolf, Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French

Monticello Raceway hosted the final leg of the New York Sire Stakes and the Excelsior Series for 2 year old filly trotters on Wednesday (Sept. 3). There were three $37,000 splits in the sire stakes and five short fields in the Excelsior Series. And despite eight of the 12 races on the card featuring the up- and -coming freshmen trotters still wagering was good. The owners of all the winners could stand tall especially Braxton Medical AB, the proprietors of Shaqline who, in only her fourth lifetime start, equaled the track record for freshmen trotting fillies when Jimmy Takter guided her to a 1:59.2 triumph in her NYSS split. Shaqline now shares top honors with Lady Riviera who also was victorious in 1:59.2 for Ronnie Pierce in 2012. Takter, driving more now and enjoying it immensely, sent the daughter of Credit Winner-Vivaca Hall to the lead from the pole position and they raced unchallenged on the front- end until the final turn. There, after shadowing Shaqline all the way from the get-go, Mark MacDonald moved Nunkeri out to contest the leader but all Takter had to do was give his filly her head and she remained in front as she trotted a final quarter in :28.4 en route to her track record equaling performance. Nunkeri was three lengths back in second place and Dancewithmechuck took home the show dough for Charlie Norris She's a real good filly," Takter told those who joined him in the winner's circle.. He was asked why this was only Shaqline's fourth career start to which he replied; "She had an entrapped epiglottis and it took three surgeries before the problem got fixed. She's breathing great now and she's going to be a real good 3 year old." Shaqline is a pretty nice 2 year old now, Jimmy, and she'll be the one to beat in her $225,000 NYSS Final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, September 13. Sent of the favorite in the betting Shaqline paid $3.80 for win. The finale will be no cake walk when Shaqline faces some of the other division winners along the way, especially Concentration and Kaliska, who each were victorious in NYSS action at the Mighty M on Wednesday. Concentration, a daughter of Conway Hall-Super Starlet, had driver Chris Lems smiling in the winners circle after they scored a 2:00.1 victory over Summer Scent and driver Dan Daley. After a slow start Lems put Concentration on the pylons in third position and they were five lengths off the lead set by Daly and Summer Scent as they passed the quarter in :30. Lems followed the leader until he moved his filly out to challenge up the backside. They easily gained command and at the third stanza in 1:30 they had two on Summer Scent. From there it was catch me if you can, and no one could, as Concentration coasted home a 1-1/4-length winner in 2:00.1. Daley's filly was second and Ray Schnittker got Summers Windsong up for third place. "She's a nice filly and if we get a good (post) position in the final I think she'll be heard from,' Lems added through his smiles. Trained by George Ducharme for owner Chip Campbell, Concentration paid $5.20 for win. Schnittker also got a chance to have his picture taken after he won the final $37,000 NYSS division with Kaliska in 2:00. But he had to work hard for it. After they fell into the two-hole on the first turn behind Dan Daley and Cherry Crown Jewel that duo led the field by the quarter in a swift :28. When they passed the half in :58 Schnittker was out and going and Kaliska took command up the backside. They kept the lead until the finish and Schnittker had to steadily urge his filly but Kaliska held off a late rally on the far outside by Mark MacDonald and Duolectra to win by a neck. Favored Pig Hunt was third for George Brennan. "She's green and I had to keep after her because she tried to pull up three times in the stretch," Schnittker expounded after the mile. The Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian filly is trained by Schnittker and owned by Schnittker, Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable and Fam Alber Horse Racing LLC. She paid $10.00 for win. The undercard featured five divisions in the Excelsior Series also for freshmen trotting fillies. Winners included: I'm Very Lucky (Sam Schillaci) in 2:08.4 ; Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory) in 2:00; Morcredit Bluechip (Jeff Gregory) in 2:00.2; Teacher Pat (Chris Lems) in 2:02.3 and Waiting Room (Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) in 2:01.1. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Vernon, NY --- Labor Day weekend harness racing began with a bang at Vernon Downs on Friday (Aug. 29) night as the opening leg of the Tioga-Vernon All-Star Drivers' Championship shared the spotlight with the Zweig Memorial, the Jack Bailey Memorial and the Crawford Farms Trot. All drivers advance to Tioga today (Sept. 1) for round two and the Cane Pace. Following the first four legs of round one of the drivers 'race for the cup' the lead is shared by Yannick Gingras and Ron Pierce with 20 points each. But it was not solely the lure of a $10,000 first prize that drew the top reinsmen to Vernon. With over three-quarters of a million dollars of purse money on the card, and some of the best racehorses in the country, the big guns were happy to be in town. For trainers, the day began with a noon check-in at the detention barn for the top stakes horses. Many horsemen made the most of the opportunity to attend the inaugural Open House at Crawford Farms in Durhamville, just 10 minutes north on route 31 near Verona. With plenty of yearlings to inspect, several trainers like Ron Burke, Linda Toscano, Charlie Norris, Homer Hochstetler and Gates Brunet got a head start on their evaluation rounds. Al and Michelle Crawford put out an elaborate spread of barbecue and refreshments and most attendees spent the sunny afternoon socializing and looking at colts. The crew at Vernon also had a fun-filled evening planned at the Downs, which started with an autograph session with the top drivers and included a T-shirt giveaway as well as the Jim Marohn Jr.bobblehead. Fans lined up along the apron to get the T-shirts and Marohn dolls which were individually emblazoned with the nine different drivers competing. Even the boss himself, Jeff Gural, was on-hand to greet the drivers and fans, and could be seen along the outside fence chatting with the Green Hornet before the card began. Following the third race was the ever popular Racing Under Saddle series $5,700 final. The race was won by Heather Reese who opened up a city block on the rest of the field by the time they rounded the final turn. Team Crawford packed the winner's circle to help celebrate with their colleague and farm manager who was the winning rider in 2:04 with Tymal Oh So Nice. Both Zweig finals went to Takter stable all-stars. Filly Shake It Cerry rallied in 1:53.4 with Ron Pierce driving and improved her seasonal stats to 8 wins in 10 starts and $395,036. Colt Father Patrick got back to his winning ways and eclipsed $700,000 for the season with regular pilot Yannick Gingras in 1:52.2. Despite all the 3-year-old trotting talent on tap, the elixir that the crowd was truly thirsty for was Sebastian K and the rest of the field in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot. The number one horse in North America went off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and did not disappoint, winning strategically for Svanstedt USA in 1:53, equaling the track record. The Crawford-sponsored purse put the collective earnings of the talented field just over the $15 million mark, and included Archangel (2nd), Market Share (3rd), and 2013 Dan Patch Horse of the Year Bee A Magician (4th). Gingras and Pierce will be reunited today (Sept. 1) at Tioga along with Corey Callahan, Tim Tetrick, Matt Kakaley, Scott Zeron, Jody Jamieson, Jim Marohn Jr. and Chris Lems for the final round. Along with the drivers challenge, the Miss Versatility and the Shady Daisy fill-up the Southern Tier's holiday menu. Highlighted by the $437,325 Cane Pace, first leg of the pacing triple crown, the historic event features glamour boys He's Watching and JK Endofanera. Labor Day in central New York will assuredly go out with a bang as well. by Chris Tully

At the three-quarter pole it looked as if the 1/5 favorite, Shake It Cerry, after being passed by two horses, that she might be out of the hunt in the $150,000 Harry M Zweig Memorial for three-year-old harness racing fillies at Vernon Downs Friday. Then came the dramatic comeback in the stretch as driver Ron Pierce beared to the outside and then ducked back to the inside, shot up the rail and won going away by a length in 1:53.4. The race started off with Pierce and Shake It Cerry leaving from post six only to get three-wide early as Broadway Socks (Dan Rawlings) left from the rail as did Ake Svanstedt with Heaven’s Door. The end result was Broadway Socks holding the lead with Heaven’s Door dropping into the pocket seat and Shake It Cerry floating first-over to the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Then Pierce sent Shake It Cerry to the lead until the half mile marker when Avalicious and driver Jim Morrill, Jr. came charging up first-over at the half in :57.2 and blew right by Shake It Cerry. Heading to the three-quarters, Svanstedt came first-over with Heaven’s Door and they were also able to pass Shake It Cerry in 1:24.3. But then Pierce and Shake It Cerry weaved their way around and came back with a dramatic brush at the finish to win. Heaven’s Door was second with Bikini So Teeny (Charlie Norris) closing well to be third. It was the second straight win and eighth victory in ten starts this year for Shake It Cerry. The daughter of Donato Hanover is trained by Jimmy Takter and was bred and is owned by the Solveig’s Racing Partners, Inc. of East Winsor, NJ. She paid $2.40 to win. “The pace was pretty decent and that other horse came right at them,” Jimmy Takter said. “Ron decided to let her go. You never know what will happen when you sit behind another horse. She raced good at the Meadows after the Hambletonian Oaks. She looks now like she has come back to herself.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 26, 2014 -- Nuncio rolled to a facile 8-1/4-length victory in a division of Tuesday's $199,980 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, completing his sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs. In the other split of the event for sophomore colt and gelding trotters, known as the Hickory Smoke, Datsyuk had to work harder but still won and cemented his spot in the championship, which is set for Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. Nuncio, who hadn't raced since his tough loss to stablemate Trixton in the Aug. 2 Hambletonian, had little trouble dispatching the field, vaulting to the front for John Campbell and scoring in 1:53.2. Dony Andreas overtook Don Dorado late for place. Campbell called it just the type of start Nuncio needed, since Stall TZ's son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle will perform again this week, in Friday's $376,000 (est.) Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs. "I didn't have to stress him at all today; he was cruising pretty easy," Campbell said. "You're always concerned a little bit when they come out of a couple hard races like you had in the Hambletonian. But he's bounced back, put on a little weight, and he felt great today." In most other years, Nuncio's impeccable credentials -- six wins in nine seasonal starts, first or second in all 19 career outings, nearly $1.1 million in lifetime earnings -- would place him at the forefront of divisional championship discussions. But the only horses to have beaten him this year, Trixton and Father Patrick, also are Jimmy Takter trainees and are grabbing more attention. Campbell cautioned not to count Nuncio out just yet. "The year's not over," he said. "It's a long time between now and the vote, and there are a lot of big races yet, so I'm not conceding anything in that regard. He's talented enough that he could win any of those races or all of them." Fresh off his 25-1 upset of Father Patrick in the Tompkins-Geers, Datsyuk was headed for the lead from post 6 when trainer/driver Charlie Norris noticed an early duel developing and dropped in fourth. The Explosive Matter-Pink Ribbons gelding moved confidently first over and defeated the rallying Madewell Hanover by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:53.4. Early leader Wheelsandthelegman saved show. "I could have gone on with him, but I thought the leader would carry us to the stretch anyway," said Norris, who owns Datsyuk with Leonard Buckner. "I really wasn't worried. The way he's been racing out of a hole, I was pretty confident. I had to get after him in the stretch a little -- he was kind of lazy. "I don't think he's as sharp as he was, like for the Beal, but he's coming back. He got beat a couple times, but now he has his confidence back. I look for him to be really sharp for the final." Norris said the tentative schedule for Datsyuk, who extended his career bankroll to $250,650, includes the Old Oaken Bucket at Delaware and Grand Circuit action at the Red Mile. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. On Wednesday, Aug. 27, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $10,000-guaranteed pool for its Pick 4 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Tuesday’s Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a $2,941.17 carryover. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Wednesday’s card, which features a $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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