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WILKES-BARRE PA - Kiss Me Onthebeach, who had never been better than third in a harness racing stakes race during her first 17 career starts, changed her luck in a huge way Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, coming home strongly after wild front-end numbers to win her division of the fourth and final preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in 1:48.3, a world record for three-year-old pacing fillies on a 5/8-mile track. Another daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Darlinonthebeach, took her second Sires prelim win with a 1:48.4 victory.   The new world champion Kiss Me Onthebeach, to be fair, had been "there or thereabouts" against top fillies throughout her career before Saturday at Pocono, getting checks in 12 of 14 starts in stakes competition and winning her only three starts in overnights for trainer Chris Ryder and Bella Racing LTD. And she used every bit of Hall of Famer John Campbell's sulky magic to make her breakthrough in a big way while defeating Newborn Sassy by a neck.   2-5 favorite I Said Diamonds left strongly from midpack in the field of five, but she met resistance from East Side Hanover, with the polesitter using racetrack geometry to force her flying rival to tuck well before an astonishing 25.2 quarter. East Side Hanover had her earplugs out coming into the stretch the front time, and soon so did I Said Diamonds, who rushed out for command 5/16 and was stretched by "East Side" before making to the top into the second turn, just before the "52.3" clocking flashed and had the crowd buzzing.   Shezarealdeal was the first to move around the tiring East Side Hanover and tucked in the pocket, with Campbell and Kiss Me Onthebeach going on from behind her to challenge the leader to the 1:20.3 3/4s. When "Kiss Me" took the advantage late on the turn, Newport Sassy, who hadn't been far back, tipped outside, and that filly ate into the two-length advantage the leader still had at midstretch, but came up short in the photo, with I Said Diamonds settling for third, a total of four lengths behind.   The 1:48.3 mile lowered by a tick the world divisional standard set by I Luv The Nitelife at Pocono just under three years ago (August 17, 2013). The winner lowered her record by three full seconds, and with her first stakes victory raised her bankroll to $131,075 while returning $53.40 to win to her scattered backers.   Had Darlinonthebeach raced 17 minutes earlier, her 1:48.4 clocking would have put her name alongside that of I Luv The Nightlife, however temporarily; in any case, "Darlin" returned to the track where he had had a problem and had to be pulled up in the Lynch Final on July 2, putting to rest any "bad vibes" or whatnot with her authoritative triumph. Driver Matt Kakaley settled the winner of $488,272 in fourth early as Call Me Queen Be worked to get around Lispatty in a 25.4 quarter, then got to the front past the finish line the first time and hung up middle splits of 54 and 1:21.4.   Call Me Queen Be had stayed tight in the pocket, and after a first-over move from Lispatty was shaken off, the "Queen" mounted a strong charge in the famed Pocono Pike, but Kalaley's filly still had a 27 last quarter in her and kept her adversary at bay by 1¼ lengths, with longshot Skinny Dipper third after an inside journey. Darlinonthebeach, who was sent off at 7-5 from the outside post six against Call Me Queen Be's 4-5 favoritism, is trained by Nancy Johansson for owner/breeder White Birch Farm, and lowered her mark by 2/5 of a second.   With Pure Country off at Northfield again taking on the boys in the Milstein Pace (she was second to Betting Line after finishing fourth in the Cane Pace on Hambletonian Day), Newborn Sassy saw her 25 points earned in finishing second Saturday bring her unofficially to 100 points in the Sires preliminaries (35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1) to lead her group with a 4-1-2-1 record.   With stakes conditions limiting the $350,000 Championship, which will be held at The Meadows on Saturday, September 10, to eight, the following horses also get automatic qualification for the Championship, listed in points order: Darlinonthebeach (95), Call Me Queen Be (90), I Said Diamonds and Pure Country (tied at 85), Kiss Me Onthebeach (65), Shesasmokinlady (58), and Lispatty (35). Skinny Dipper (31) and Shezarealdeal (30) will be programmed as AEs and can draw into the race until 6 p.m. the day before. The next nine highest pointearners not in the Championship will have a $50,000 Consolation on the condition sheet for them.   Tomorrow night at Pocono, these fillies' Stallion Series counterparts will race four divisions of their final preliminary leg, going in slots 3, 4, 7, and 8. The two double winners in the three prelims so far will headline the first two divisions: Dismissal has post three in race three, while Terror At Night has post five in race four. The top nine pointwinners after tomorrow's Stallion Series racing will become eligible for their $40,000 Championship, to be held right here at Pocono on Sunday, September 11.   And while the top eight pointearners didn't change because of the results of tonight's Sire Stakes racing, we can assure you of no such certainty tomorrow: after the top five horses, who look pretty safe, there are fewer than 20 points between the horse currently sitting sixth and the two horses tied for twentieth, with sixteen of the top 21 entered for Sunday.   PHHA / Pocono

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Bushwacker prevailed after a length-of-the-stretch duel with even-money favorite Melmerby Beach to take the harness racing featured $17,000 conditioned pace at the Meadowlands Saturday night by three-quarters-of-a-length in 1:48.4, a lifetime best. After Melmerby Beach grabbed the lead at the quarter in :26.2, Odds On Equuleus made the top at three-eighths before Bushwacker quickly brushed to command at the half in :53.2. The eventual winner still had the lead at three-quarters (1:21.4) as Melmerby Beach crept closer from first-over after vacating the three hole at the five-eighths. Melmerby Beach poked a head in front at one point as the duo battled through the stretch, but Bushwacker, who won a week ago in 1:49.3, repelled his challenger to go on to a dead-game victory. Alexie Mattosie, a 68-1 longshot, finished third. As the 8-5 second choice, Bushwacker returned $5.20. The 5-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover was driven by Daniel Dube and is trained by Chris Ryder for the Henderson Farms of Chicago. HIGHER AND HIGHER: Neither of the Big M's 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five wagers had a single-ticket winner, setting up one big and one enormous carryover for the next live program. The fifth-race wager now has a carryover of $15,884.81, while the 12th race JSH5 now sports a $253,827.71 jackpot. ... Greg Merton drove three winners on the night, including the 4,000th of his career with Major Buddy A in the 11th race. Andy Miller also scored three times. ... Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

When horse owner Peter Mazzella was growing up, he looked up to his grandfather, John Nittolo. It was Nittolo, known as "Oompa," who introduced a young Mazzella to harness racing --- and ever since then it has been Mazzella's passion. And although his grandfather is no longer alive, he is still with Mazzella whenever he sends out a horse to compete. Mazzella races under the stable name Oompa's Farm Inc. in honor of his grandfather. On Sunday, two Chris Ryder-trained horses co-owned by Mazzella --- Rodeo Romeo and National Seelster --- will participate in the C$244,000 Confederation Cup for 4-year-old pacers at Flamboro Downs in Ontario. Rodeo Romeo will start from post one while National Seelster will leave from post six. The nine-horse field also includes Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Dan Patch Award Horse of the Year. "I used to hang out with my grandfather, go to the farm with him, and that's how I got into the horses," said the 57-year-old Mazzella, who as a young child gave his grandfather the name "Oompa" when he couldn't pronounce "Grandpa," and the name stuck forever thereafter. "He was like an idol. He lived for the horses. When he was dying, I made him a promise that any horse I ever owned would race under the stable name Oompa. And that's what I did. "That's something I'm kind of proud of. I haven't had any Wiggle It Jiggleits, but I've had some nice horses. It's something that means a lot to me. He got me started in the horse business. It was a love of his and it's a love of mine." Mazzella, who has a 20-acre farm in Cream Ridge, N.J., owns Rodeo Romeo with Ohio's Bob Mondillo and New Jersey's Michael Day. He shares ownership of National Seelster with Mondillo. The partners bought both horses at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. National Seelster, a son of Bettor's Delight-No Strikes Against whose family includes millionaires Strike An Attitude, Delinquent Account and Artiscape, was first for $50,000. Rodeo Romeo, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Southwind Vanna and a half-brother to recent Pennsylvania Classic winner Check Six, was purchased for $30,000. Neither horse raced at age 2 as the connections gave both time to mature physically. Last year at 3, National Seelster won eight of 21 races and earned $203,402. His wins included four preliminary divisions of the New York Sire Stakes, an elimination for the Adios and a preliminary round of the Buddy Gilmour Series. He was often a victim of bad post luck in the big money races; he drew the outermost starting spot or second tier in all four of his starts for $400,000 or more. National Seelster is winless in two starts this year, heading to the Confederation Cup off a second-place finish to Mel Mara in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands on April 30. Rodeo Romeo won three of 10 races last year and earned $45,333. All three of his victories came after October and he closed the season with consecutive triumphs in conditioned races at the Meadowlands. This year, he has won four of six races, including the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series championship at Yonkers, and earned $67,660 while hitting the board in every start. He heads to the Confederation Cup off a win in a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on May 1. "When people don't see horses racing at 2 they think something happened to them, but it's better to not race if you're not quite ready," Mazzella said. "We just gave them the time they needed. Chris liked both colts. They both came back really strong. We're happy with both of them. "They can go to the front, they can come from off the pace; they're very versatile. They've raced against some really top horses in the last year or so. I think they've shown what they're made of. Obviously you need a lot of luck in this game. You have to draw well, stay sound. But I think they should have a good year." National Seelster and Rodeo Romeo are eligible to the upcoming Graduate Series, but Mazzella is taking it one race at a time. And that means focusing on the Confederation Cup. "When you're racing against horses like Wiggle It Jiggleit and these kinds of horses, you've got to take one at a time," Mazzella said. "Wiggle It Jiggleit isn't the only good horse in that race, though. There are nine horses in that race and all good horses. Of course Wiggle It Jiggleit is a champion, and he certainly deserves it. He's a great horse. When I'm not in a race with him, I root for him. "But I think our horses will race well," Mazzella added. "Chris is great at prepping horses. You just need to get a good trip and hope for the best." Post time Sunday is 6 p.m. Below is the full field for the C$244,000 Confederation Cup. C$244,000 Confederation Cup PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer 1. Rodeo Romeo (Brett Miller-Chris Ryder) 2. My Hero Ron (Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke) 3. Americanprimetime (TBA-Rick Dane) 4. Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke) 5. Drachan Hanover (Randy Waples-Marcel Barrieau) 6. National Seelster (Sylvain Filion-Chris Ryder) 7. Rockin In Heaven (Trevor Henry-Dr. Ian Moore) 8. Rock N Roll World (Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke) 9. Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis) Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications A division of the U.S. Trotting Association

Westfield, IN- With the May 15 deadline approaching for students t apply for positions at the Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s summer camps, the organization’s stable of Trottingbred horses is being prepped for their cross-country tour. Nineteen-year-old goodwill ambassador Sweet Karen (www.facebook.com/HHYFSweetKaren?ref=hl) is being  conditioned by the Chuck Connor Stable at Goshen (NY) Historic Track when they can keep the staff of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame from doing the work for them. She will be featured at the foundation’s 40th Anniversary Brunch on Sunday, June 5. This year four Trottingbreds have been shipped to Delaware. CD’s Miss M is with Bobby Clark Stable; Ima’s Hit is with the George Teague Stable; Royal Attire returns to  the Eddie Dennis Stable; and LR Trixie is again being put through her paces by the Andrew Stafford Stable. In New Jersey, the Chris Ryder Stable is prepping I Want Another as he starts his second year with HHYF, while newcomer Sonny is being readied in Springfield, Illinois by the Nick Giberson (and family) stable. The Gibersons won the HHYF Service To Youth Award in 2014 for their work with Sweet Karen. “Just like racehorse, our horses can’t just show up at camps and be expected to work,” says HHYF Executive Director Ellen Taylor. “They need to be legged up, to be in condition. We could not possibly do the outreach we do without the voluntary work of our trainers each year. We are especially appreciative of Brittany Farms for annually providing an off-season home for our Trottingbreds.” The trainers will work with the horses for about two months before the HHYF camp season begins at the home of the Little Brown Jug, the Delaware County Fair from June 18-22. From there the move on to North Carolina, Maryland, New York and New Jersey before returning to Ohio for programs at Scioto Downs and the Van Wert Fairgrounds in August. For a complete camp schedule, go to http://hhyf.org/schedule-applications   From HHYF    

WILKES-BARRE PA - Bushwacker, under full-out assault by Cooperstown down the backstretch in the $25,000 winners-over pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, turned back that rival on the far turn, then held off second-over Badiou Hanover by a neck in 1:49.3.   Driver Larry Stalbaum had no problem w(h)acking out the pace with the altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, passing the first two striped poles in 26 and 54.3. Shortly after the half Cooperstown, gunning for his fourth straight victory, came roaring up to the leader and got a half-length by before the ¾ but could not clear as the timer read 1:21.1, a 26.3 third quarter into an atypical backstretch headwind at Pocono.   Bushwhacker fought off Cooperstown and regained the lead, then had enough left when Badiou (pronounced ("BAD-I-O-U") Hanover circled wide and menaced nearing the finish. Cooperstown settled for third; favored Bettor's Edge raced in the pocket but may have been bottomed out chasing the whirlwind front end duel, as he faded in the last quarter and finished fifth.   Bushwacker posted his first victory since February 20, but he has been facing some pretty mean hombres in the interim: foe one example, he finished third behind Wiggle It Jiggleit and Rockeyed Optimist, arguably the two best pacers at the races at this moment, on March 28 at Dover. Chris Ryder trains the winner, who raised his bankroll to nearly $460,000 lifetime for Henderson Farms.   The Angus Hall mare Allerage Star went the fastest trotting mile year at Pocono in a $15,500 conditioned event, going right to the top for driver Marcus Miller and steaming home in 56 to complete a 1:52.3 victory, also a lifetime mark. Julie Miller conditions the winner of two straight for Little E LLC (also the breeder), Arthur Geiger, David Stoltz, and Jason Settlemoir.   With a temperature reading of 72 degrees at first post time, speed was the order of the day, as three other miles in 1:50 were paced, with Achilles Blue Chip (Marcus Miller), Simply Business (Anthony Napolitano), and Allbeef N Nobull (Mike Simons) all freezing the timer at exactly the new standard for the "magic mile." The Downs seasonal pacing standard of 1:49.1, set by Eighteen on March 26, did stand up to the speed-producing card (ironically, that win came in "nw9000L5," about four classes below the winners-over level).   The third round of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacers highlights the Sunday card at Pocono, which has a post time of 7:30 p.m. Both the males and females will contest three $15,000 divisions; hoping to making their Weiss records 3-for-3 will be, for the males, Options Are Adream (race 10, looking for his ninth win of an undefeated career) and Midnight Leader (race 11, the fastest Weiss winner in 1:51), and for the females, Candy Corn Hanover (race seven, her two Weiss wins the first two starts of her career.)   From the PHHA

Bushwacker, the richest harness racing horse of 2016 won the $30,000 Preferred Handicap for the second straight week at Dover Downs on Monday, Feb. 8. After Mustang Art, with Sean Bier, took the feature pacers to the quarter in :25.4, Tim Tetrick pulled Bushwacker to the outside in front of the grandstand to take lead at the half in :54.3. Bushwacker was in command through a 1:22.1 three quarters and had enough to reach the finish line in 1:50.4 with Mustang Art, second. Doctor Butch came on in the lane for Tony Morgan to finish third. The five-year-old altered son of Rocknroll Hanover-Dolphins Can Talk, conditioned by Chris Ryder, won for the fifth time in 2016 and sixth in his last eight, for Henderson Farms. It was his 17th career win with a $426,212 lifetime bankroll. Bushwacker has now won $71,100 already in 2016. Frank Chick's Warp Factor Three, trained by Kevin Lare, made good use of starting from post 1 with Yannick Gingras scoring a 1:52 victory in a $15,500 4&*5-Year-Old Male pace. Skyway Gladiator (Mike Rossi) was second in front of Apollo Seelster (Roberts). Russ Foster, the youngest driver in the race at 26, drove Sentencing Memo, the youngest horse in the event, a three-year-old, to a fast closing triumph in a $14,000 pace for young male horses. Suchasenceofhumor (Jim Morand) was runner-up with Roll Big (Corey Callahan), the favorite, third. Veteran Arty Foster, the driver's grandfather, owns and trains the Western Terror-Lady Annie gelding, who won for the fourth time in five outings and sixth time in seven starts. In a $14,000 Male Winners-Over pace, Owner Foulk Stable won for the first time since claiming Sparky Mark for $50,000 in December, as Jonathan Roberts, who had a driving triple, piloted the nine-year-old son of Astreos-Luckbealadytonite to a 1:51.2 triumph. It was one of two training wins for meet leader Dylan Davis. Just A Jolt (Tetrick), the race favorite, finished strongly for second with Don't Ya Know (Vic Kirby) the show horse. Rocknroll Jewell gave Gingras a double winning for the sixth consecutive time notching a 1:51.2 conquest in a $12,000 Male pace. Tom Lazzaro owns the Rocknroll Hanover-Michelle's Jewell gelding trained by Dylan Davis. Gallic Beach (Callahan) went a big trip and finished second. Believe This Bob (Ross Wolfenden) was a close third. In a day of big prices, 21-1 Millennium Wheel was the biggest, scoring a 1:52 decision in a $20,000 Male Claiming Allowance. Trainer Jason Lynch shares ownership win Jim Jacobs in the Bettor's Delight-London Eye gelding. Beavercreek Artist (Allan Davis) and Brioni (Tony Morgan), whose seven-race win streak came to an end, were second and third respectively. Jonathan Roberts with three wins, Montrell Teague, Allan Davis, Yannick Gingras and trainer Dylan Davis had two wins each. SPRINGFORTH, SHINE N SHIMMER HEAD $20,000 MARES OPEN TUESDAY   Springforth, a just miss second in his last two starts meets regulars Shin N Shimmer and Fashion Showdown in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Dover Downs.  Post time is 4:30 p.m. Owner-trainer Jeff Clark’s Springforth, piloted by George Dennis, has been a close-up second in three 0f his last three outings, with a win in between, takes on Howard Taylor’s hard-hitting Shine N Shimmer teamed with Corey Callahan and Chris White’s Fashion Showdown, driven by Ross Wolfenden, a two-time Open winner, who has a major change of post positions this week moving from post-8 to number-3 this week.   Jerseylicious leaves from the rail with Allan Davis driving for Pam Curran, Niel Gargiulo and Legacy Racing while Tony Morgan will drive JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious from the outside in the seven-distaff field. John McGill’s No Respect with Tim Tetrick in the bike, and Lou Catana and trainer Vince Bradley’s sharp Matinee Dragon with Jonathan Roberts complete the highly competitive lineup. A $15,000 Mares Winners-Over pace heads the undercard.  Mildred’s Button (Montrell Teague) closed strongly to win last week’s edition. Lorie and Paul Davis’ Lady Beth (Tetrick) was a head back in second for the second straight start. Playncardswitroddy (Dennis), owned by George&Tina Dennis and Ask W stables, was used on the backstretch and was only two-lengths off at the wire. Naty (Jonathan Roberts) step up a notch for trainer Brian Malone and Carrie Stackowitz after an impressive win last week. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del. --- Bushwacker recorded his third win at the meet this season scoring a 1:50.2 harness racing victory in the week’s top pace the $30,000 Preferred on Monday, Feb. 1. It was de ja’ vu all over again for 13-1 Mustang Art winning the $27,500 Delaware Special at Dover Downs. Tim Tetrick tripled.   For the second straight week, Tim Tetrick who piloted Henderson Farms’ Bushwacker into the early lead but this time did not stop in the stretch on the way to a 1:50.2 success in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap pace. The five-year-old altered son of Rocknroll Hanover-Dolphins Can Talk posted his sixth victory in his last eight starts with a second and a third for trainer Chris Ryder. The win pushed his career bankroll to $411,212. Doctor Butch (Tony Morgan was a fast finishing second with Dapper Dude (Vic Kirby), last week’s winner third. For Mustang Art, the only change was a driver, Sean Bier. Just as last Monday, he went off at 13-1, and the Artiscape-Paula Seelster gelding left fast to get the lead, then sat second behind runner-up Bad Boy Matt (Allan Davis) until late in the stretch before coming on for a !:50.2 triumph for his second consecutive $27,500 Delaware Special win. Captive Audience (Corey Callahan) was the show horse. Max Walton and Greg Papaleo own Mustang Art who won for the 42nd time. Casey At Bat made it two straight victories in $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Male company to lead off the program as Allan Davis drove the four-year-old Sportsmaster-Odds On Casey gelding to victory number-5 this meet for trainer Wayne Givens and Sharon White, Denise Davis and legacy Racing. Totally Dreamy (George Dennis) finished second with Twin B Stingray (Kirby) third. Blazing Bobby Sox came from off-the-pace to take the lead three-wide turning for home and rolled to a 1:54.1 decision in a $15,000 4&5-Year-Old pace. Driver Art Stafford Jr. who owns The Panderosa-Liamatters gelding with his dad, Art Stafford, won for the fifth time this meet. Skyway Gladiator (Mike Rossi) led until the closing steps and finished second in front of Denslow Hanover (Tetrick) third. Vic Kirby put Soto into the lead and there was no catching the four-year-old Rock N Roll Hanover-Incredible Beauty horse in a 1:51.1 $14,000 Male Winners-Over pace. Contraband Hanover (Callahan) was next best wile race-favorite Just A Jolt (Tetrick) came storming down the lane from way back to finish third. The win was the second in-a-row and Third in the last four for owners ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta.         Brioni, a five-year-old Four Starzzz Shark Ambro Bahama horse, claimed last week, won for new owner-trainer Ron Davis for his sixth consecutive victory, romping to a 1:52 conquest in a $15,000-$20,000 Male Claiming Handicap to give Tony Morgan, the second leading winning driver in North America, his third win on the program. Beavercreek Artist (A.Davis) and Sir Jonathan Z Tam (Tyler Davis) were second and third respectively. Impressive winners from last week meet Hearts And Flowers and No Respect, a pair of impressive winners last week, head the 'Ground Hog' day, $20,000 Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. After taking the lead in front of the grandstand, Bay Pond Stable's Hearts And Flowers had clear sailing for Allan Davis on the way to a 1:52.1 victory having enough to hold off the consistent and fast finishing Springforth, owned and trained by Jeff Clark with George Dennis driving. Race favorite JFE Enterprise's Scandalicious and Tim Tetrick, finished third. John McGill's No Respect turned in a convincing 1:52 triumph in her last start and will be driven by Vic Kirby from the rail. Cheyenne Robin, the only four-year-old in the contest, was absent last week after a near wire-to-wire victory, finishing second by a nose, in her last start. Corey Callahan will be at the controls this week. Chris White's Fashion Showdown won this event two weeks in-a-row with Ross Wolfenden, but was parked-out last Tuesday and again is burdened with post 8. Other starters are Bob Winkelman's Paradise Lost piloted by Montrell Teague, and Elliesjet N, owned by Barry Spedden, Kevin Evans, Nanticoke Racing and trainer Josh Parker, who should enjoy leaving from post 2 this week. Among as talent rich assortment of top female paces is a $15,000 Mares Winners-Over pace led by last week's 1-2 finishers, Playncardswitroddy (Dennis), owned by George &Tina Dennis and Ask W stables, and Lorie and Paul Davis' Lady Beth (Wolfenden) and a $12,500 distaff pace featuring Howard Taylor's steady Shine N Shimmer (Callahan) and Foulk Stables' Valerya (Jonathan Roberts). . Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. No live racing on Friday and Saturday. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant's acclaimed Buffet and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

East Rutherford, NJ --- After making two separate moves in the first three-eighths of Saturday (Jan. 16) evening's $25,000 Open Handicap Pace at the Meadowlands, Henderson Farms' Bushwacker ($2.80) held sway for his third consecutive harness racing top-level win in New Jersey. Tim Tetrick sent the 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding forward at race's outset, easing off a trio of other leavers before commencing a brush to the fore after a :26.4 first quarter. Bushwacker forged clear with five-eighths of the mile yet in front of him, taking charge from Dover invader Atta Boy Dan (Yannick Gingras) and subsequently rating a :55.3 middle half. After facing mild first-over pressure from Kingofthejungle (Andy Miller) on the far turn, Bushwacker accelerated clear in mid-stretch. He ultimately prevailed in 1:50 by 1-1/4 lengths, holding clear enough of Atta Boy Dan's late rally between rivals. Sweet Beach (Brett Miller) swung four-wide in mid-stretch off his third-over bid to pass tired pressers and stalkers in claiming third honors. Chris Ryder trains the 15-time winner. In addition to his win aboard Bushwacker in the feature, Tetrick paired up with five other winners on the night, including True Blue Hall ($8.20, 1:51.4), Moonlight Ransom ($5.60, 1:52.3), Dinner At The Met ($5.00, 1:52.1), Our Dragon King ($4.80, 1:51.3), and Arockin Hanover ($2.20, 1:53.1). In the evening's sub-featured $16,000 upper-level conditioned pace, Real Nice ($17.80) capitalized on a pocket trip, enjoying clear sailing throughout behind favored pacesetter Bettor Than You (Gingras) before kicking clear by 1-1/2 lengths for a 1:50.4 triumph. The 11-year-old veteran earned his 53rd career win in rein to Scott Zeron for owners Anthony Scussel and the Lightning 5 Racing Stable and trainer Scott Blackler. Saturday evening's total handle for the 14-race program was $2,826,048, including $156,822 in the evening's trio of guaranteed-pool horizontal wagers. Since neither 20-cent Jackpot High 5 was hit, Friday (Jan. 22) evening's seventh race High 5 will boast a $5,915 carryover, while the finale's High 5 will carry $62,725 of added money should one punter take down the entire pool. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday (Jan. 22) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:35 p.m. (EST). Race 1 - Grand Theft Race 2 - Bushwacker Race 3 - Piece Of The Rock Race 4 - True Blue Hall Race 5 - Moonlight Ransom Race 6 - Dinner At The Met Race 7 - Gratias Deo Race 8 - Onedin Mach Race 9 - Our Dragon King Race 10 - Sometimes Said Race 11 - Fraternity Race 12 - Intheblinofaneye Race 13 - Real Nice Race 14 - Arockin Hanover by James Witherite

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 9, 2016) - One week ago Bushwacker emerged on the scene at The Meadowlands in the featured Open Handicap with a compelling harness racing victory. Saturday night was no different as Bushwacker steamrolled to another sharp score, posting the first sub-1:50 mile of the season, winning in 1:49.3. Despite winning last week, Bushwacker (8/5) was relegated to the second choice in the wagering behind Doctor Butch (4/5) who was making his second start off the brief layoff. Doctor Butch left hard off the gate, as did Bushwacker, but it would be the former to dictate the terms. Doctor Butch set an ambitious pace, reaching the points of call in 26.1, 55 and 1.23. While Bettor Than You rode the pocket, Bushwacker launched a bold blitz toward the lead and overtook Doctor Butch just as the field was set to turn for home. Bushwacker quickly opened up by a pair of lengths and he maintained that margin through the stretch thanks to a 26.3 final quarter to score his second victory of the year in as many starts. Doctor Butch held on to the place spot, with Kingofthejungle rallying from last to be third. Bushwacker won for the 14th time for trainer Chris Ryder and owner Henderson Farms. His career earnings surpassed $380,000 with the win. Corey Callahan scored a grand slam of driving victories on the card, including the aforementioned featured Open pace. Total handle for the 14-race program was $2,935,127, a 12-percent increase over the totals for the 13-race card one year ago. Racing returns on Friday, with first post time at 6:35 P.M. Darin Zoccali

East Rutherford, N.J. - Henderson Farms' Bushwacker (9-5 morning line) and Kenneth Jacobs's Doctor Butch (2-1) are poised for a Saturday night (Jan. 9) rematch in the featured $25,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadowlands, and the heavily favoured pair will square off against a quintet of other harness racing foes in the night's most prestigious of 14 races, carded as the second event. Doctor Butch, the lone millionaire of the septet, was assigned post 6 for his second start of the meet. The 6-year-old Art Major entire turned in a massive rally in last week's Open, kicking third-over cover late to pass all but one of his rivals. John Campbell handles the driving duties once again for trainer Linda Toscano. The one that Doctor Butch failed to pass--Bushwacker--was assigned the outside post 7 in the group by virtue of a string of four straight top-two finishes against Open company at both Dover and the Meadowlands. Last week, the 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding found a seam up the pegs in the final eighth to kick clear off a pocket trip. Corey Callahan handled the driving assignment for trainer Chris Ryder last week, and "The Captain" is slated to be back aboard the 13-time winner this week. Other notable contestants include Kingofthejungle (Andy Miller, post 5), who won three straight races before facing defeat in the final sixteenth in last week's Open, and Sunfire Blue Chip (Brett Miller, post 2), who has amassed over $920,000 in career earnings. A sub-featured upper-level conditioned pace will go as race 9 on the evening, with a field of nine vying for a purse of $15,000. Following a traffic-troubled journey last week, Ron Burke trainee Ultimate Beachboy drops down from the Open ranks for his third outing of the meet. Yannick Gingras will drive the 2-1 morning line favourite from post 7, but the pair will face their fair share of formidable foes. Mr Franklin N (Tim Tetrick, post 1) and Rockin Wizard (Callahan, post 6) both come back off solid in-the-money finishes at this class, while Good Side (Jim Marshall, III) steps up off a third-level win and four prior top-three outings between Freehold and Harrah's Philadelphia. Punters should note that while the Pick 5 and Pick 4s still combine for $105,000 in guaranteed pools, the Pick 5 now begins in race three and the Pick 4s are due to begin in the fifth and ninth events. Likewise, the 20¢ Jackpot Super High 5 will be offered in races seven and 14, with over $50,000 in carryover money awaiting this week's players. On Saturday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., fans who have opted into the email database can redeem coupons for $5 wagering vouchers they have received in their inboxes. Post time for both the Friday and Saturday cards this week at The Meadowlands will be 6:35 p.m. EST. For more information on racing, dining, and entertainment at the Meadowlands, visit playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

The 15-race Saturday card at The Meadowlands produced a total handle of $3,775,943, an increase of $1,178,455 over the 13-race harness racing card on this same night in 2015, or 45-percent. The per-race handle of $251,729 was a 26-percent increase over the $199,806 per-race handle on this night in 2015. In addition, on-track handle nearly doubled, increasing 95-percent from $209,066 to $407,897 and the per-race on-track handle increased 69-percent as well. The total handle of $3,775,943 was the third highest-handling program since the Breeders Crown of 2014, trailing only Meadowlands Pace and Hambletonian Day of 2015. Bushwacker Ships and Scores at The Meadowlands Coming into the $25,000 Open Handicap on Saturday night at The Meadowlands, Bushwacker's Meadowlands resume was short and select. He sported just seven starts at the East Rutherford oval, with five of the seven races coming in stakes events. While Bushwacker had never won at The Meadowlands, he is stakes-placed in races like The Graduate and New Jersey Classic. On Saturday night, he found The Big M winner's circle. Getting plenty of support at the betting windows, Bushwacker, the 8/5 favorite at post time led at the first point of call, a 26.1 quarter, before yielding to the pocket behind the brushing Kingofthejungle. Bushwacker sat the pocket past the half-mile in 53.3 and three quarters in 1:22.3 as Kingofthejungle blazed the way. In the stretch, Bushwacker found a seam up the pylons and powered through to the lead. Doctor Butch, off a three month layoff rallied boldly down the center of the track, but Bushwacker was long gone and he would score in 1:50.1. Ontario Success was even off cover, finishing third. Winning driver Corey Callahan said in a pre-race interview that Bushwacker, "hits a knee at Dover and should like the bigger track." He was right, as Bushwacker won for the 13th time in his career, with earnings of $367,612. Bushwacker is trained by Chris Ryder for Henderson Farms. Bettorthanyou Impresses in Sale Audition Bettorthanyou, who is January Mixed Sale-bound on the 18th of the month, scored in the $17,500 upper level condition pacing event. Released as the 7/2 second-choice in the wagering, Bettorthanyou assumed command early in the mile and was well-rated throughout, putting up fractions of 28.1, 56.3 and 1:24.2 before sprinting home in 27-second to score the victory for Yannick Gingras. Sunfire Blue Chip, 3/2 choice, was locked in the pocket for much of the stretch as Gingras made sure to keep his gelding glued to the pylons and didn't have clear sailing until the shadow of the wire. Mr. Franklin, who went a tough first over trip, held on gamely to finish third. Bettorthanyou is HIP #200 in the January Mixed Sale presented by Tattersalls at The Meadowlands Racetrack on Monday, January 18th. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable L.L.C. and Weaver Bruscemi L.L.C. The win was the 13th in the career of Bettorthanyou, whose earnings went past $350,000 for his career. Campbell Wins Four John Campbell closed out his 2015 season with a five win night at The Meadowlands, the last of which pushed Campbell past $5 Million on the year. He opened his 2016 season in similar fashion, winning four races on the Saturday program, including a 27-1 upset with Mudslide. Campbell has now won nine of his last 27 races at The Meadowlands. If you had wagered $2.00 on John Campbell in each of those races, your total investment of $54.00 would have realized a return of $260.80 an Return On Investment of just shy of $10.00 for every $2.00 wagered. Bongiorno With a Hot Start On the heels of the most successful season of his young career, Joe Bongiorno began 2016 much like he ended 2015, winning races at The Meadowlands. He scored a driving triple on the card, including the 14-horse race at one and one-eighth miles. The 2015 season saw Bongiorno win 192 races for earnings of $1,973,758. Both career highs for the 22 year old reinsman. His Meadowlands numbers included 46 wins and earnings of $659,784, the highlight of which was the dead-heat victory in The Valley Victory Final with Make Or Miss. Friday racing returns on January 8th, with post time returning to 7:00 P.M. The Meadowlands racing schedule returns to each Friday and Saturday through Hambletonian Day, Saturday, August 6th. Darin Zoccali

Louisville, KY --- It has certainly not been the swiftest or simplest journey for Bushwacker during his 49-race career, but the 4-year-old pacing gelding is poised to relegate all those frustrating miles far in arrears and fulfill all the potential his harness racing connections were convinced he possessed as a youngster. “I liked him right when I first saw him,” said Chris Ryder, his conditioner. “He was a big, strong colt with a presence about him. He missed out in some of the races that went for big money as a 2- and 3-year old, but he is doing really well right now. I think he’s the best he’s ever been and I expect a very good performance from him on Saturday (Jan. 2) night.” Ryder is referring to the horse's appearance in a very stout edition of a $25,000 Open Handicap at the Meadowlands that evening. Bushwacker will attempt to collect his first win after his fifth birthday and commence his 2016 season on a winning note. Owned by Henderson Farms, the $135,000 yearling purchase will begin pacing from post position eight in the ninth race on the card and is the 5-2 favorite on the morning line. Corey Callahan will be responsible for guiding him over the New Jersey oval where his primary competition will come from Kingofthejungle, Ultimate Beachboy, Doctor Butch and Shooter's Dream. “I am very pleased with him right now,” Ryder said. “He seems to have put it all together and we are looking forward to the upcoming season with him.” A son of Rocknroll Hanover and the Camluck mare Dolphins Can Talk, Bushwacker elicited high expectations from those associated with him immediately after the check for him was signed at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. Not only is he the progeny of a tremendous sire, he hails from one of the most powerful female families in harness racing. His dam, a daughter of the world champion and prolific producer Stienam’s Place, is a half-sibling to Donkeys Can Talk (Jate Lobell, $153,164), Showherthemoney (Cam's Card Shark, $871,161), Put On A Show (Rocknroll Hanover, $2,406,628), Good Day Mate (Christian Cullen, $469,189), Rockstar Stride (Rocknroll Hanover, $103,025) and The Show Returns (Rocknroll Hanover, $377,327). Prior to giving birth to Bushwacker, Dolphins Can Talk continued the family tradition by foaling Flipper J (Art Major, $586,182) and Talk Back (Tell All, $103,410). All six of her offspring have picked up at least one check and none of them have sold for less than $70,000. With a pedigree packed with that type of star power most participants in this business would wonder why Bushwacker is a gelding. “Right when we got him home he was very naughty,” said Ryder, who also managed the careers of Put On A Show and The Show Returns. “That is why we had to castrate him and his manners improved immediately after we performed that surgery. We just would not have been able to get along with him otherwise.” In his first year of racing, Bushwacker amassed a record of 7-2-0-3, collected just over $82,000 and paced in 1:51.4. He ended his year with a third place finish in the $534,500 Governor’s Cup at the Meadowlands behind divisional heavyweights JK Endofanera and Arthur Blue Chip. After he was shut down for the winter, Ryder noticed he was having an issue with a stifle and the horse was sent to the New Bolton Center. “(Dr.) Mike Ross performed surgery on that stifle to remove bone chips,” Ryder said. “We were quite shocked when he sent us the pictures after the operation and there were 19 chips. That definitely had to be bothering him all year. We were really unsure if he would ever be able to race again after he recovered, but he never allowed it to faze him one bit. He came back as good as new and you would never even know he had the procedure performed.” As a sophomore, Bushwacker made 15 trips to the post with a resume of 2-3-2 and earned just more than $122,000. He was third in the $225,000 New Jersey Classic and fourth in the $437,325 Cane Pace, but failed to hit the board in the $500,000 Hempt Memorial final, the $400,000 Adios final and the $227,000 American-National. He did, however, lower his lifetime mark to 1:50.1. “He got really tired towards the end of last year,” Ryder said. “So we just stopped on him and gave him the time he needed. He came back terrific and is an even bigger, stronger horse.” The gelding has enjoyed an excellent 2015. While competing primarily at the Meadowlands and the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Bushwacker advanced to the Open ranks after competing in non-winners contests. Since Sept. 26 he has not been worse than fourth in nine starts. He enters this Saturday's contest after a pair of triumphs in two Open events at Dover Downs and just missed to the red hot Atta Boy Dan at the same facility in his most recent start on Monday (Dec. 28). He has banked just under $150,000 in 2015, paced in 1:49.1 and his record stands at 27-8-6-4. “David (Miller) is actually a really good fit for this horse and has driven him in his last several starts,” Ryder said. “He’s out of town for this race and I’m sure Corey (Callahan) will do a top notch job with him. “It took him awhile to come around, but we plan on staking him to some of the big events over the summer. He will keep the same schedule of races over the winter until I give him a rest. It’s hard to do when he is doing so well, but it will be a long year for him and we want to give him opportunity to have an outstanding 5-year-old year, which we think he will.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Back to back quality starts behind the potential horse of the year ensures inheriting the role of favoritism in your next start. That was certainly the case with Rodeo Romeo, who was bet down to five-cents on the dollar in the third race at The Meadowlands on Saturday night. The prohibitive choice did not disappoint, powering away to a near five length harness racing victory in a very sharp 1:50.3. Rodeo Romeo had finished fifth in his previous two tries in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs behind Meadowlands Pace champion Wiggle It Jiggleit. Prior to that, he was an easy winner in the non-winners of two condition at The Meadowlands, the level he returned to on Saturday night, where he romped again. Driven by Brett Miller, Rodeo Romeo was asked for speed off the gate and he reached the lead prior to the opening quarter in 27.1. An outer-flow developed, but the race favorite coasted through a 29.1 second panel before moving onto the far turn. In the meantime, Wegottatruckyea broke stride passing the five-eighths pole causing some confusion in behind, only enhancing the favorite's prospects. Rodeo Romeo reach three quarters in 1:23.4 and sprinted away from the field with a 26.4 final quarter to win while pulling away from the field in a lifetime best 1:50.3. Midnight Lightning chased in futility while finishing in the runner-up spot, while Major In Life, who was bothered by the breaker on the far turn, made up a substantial amount of ground and rallied willingly to be third. Rodeo Romeo is a three year old son of Rocknroll Hanover and is trained by Chris Ryder. The colt earned his second lifetime victory for his owners, Oompa's Farm Inc., Robert Mondillo and Michael Day. Kingofthejungle Repeats The feature race, a nw15000L5 event for $16,500 kicked off the Late Pick Four and it included a very well-balanced field of nine. The post time favorite, was Kingofthejungle at 2-1, despite the move up in class. He did not disappoint. Kingofthejungle took over past the opening quarter and sprinted to the half-mile pole in 54.4, pacing the final turn in 27.1 before completing a back half-mile in just 54.2 seconds to establish a new lifetime mark of 1:49.1, one of the fastest miles of the young Meadowlands meet. Kingofthejungle rebuffed a challenge from Shooter's Dream throughout the stretch. That rival was riding the pocket behind the winner around the far turn and that pair scampered away from the rest of the field. But Shooter's Dream could not get to the winner in the stretch and had to settle for the runner-up spot. Itrustyou finished third. The winner, a four year old gelded son of Well Said was driven by Andy Miller for trainer Mark Capone. He is owned by Fox Racing Inc. and Darius Oshidar. The win was the 12th in the career of Kingofthejungle, whose earnings have now surpassed $270,000. Sunfire Blue Chip Back in the Winner's Circle Sunfire Blue Chip, who earned over $700,000 as a three year old returned to the winner's circle for the first time since winning the Prix D'Ete last September, scoring in a mid-level condition pacing event on Saturday at The Meadowlands. The 2013 Adios winner made a strong brush to the half-mile pole and led the field all the way to the wire to score in 1:49.4 with Brett Miller in the sulky. Jimmy Takter conditions the now five year old son of American Ideal for Christina Takter, John/Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical and A W Equine Incorporated. The win was the 17th in the career of Sunfire Blue Chip, whose lifetime earnings now stands at $914,799. Jet Airway Back on Top Jet Airway was making just his third start since the 2014 Breeders Crown Eliminations. Following a pair of races where he was left with too much to do, Jet Airway was launched on the far turn and paced away in mid-stretch before holding on to win a mid-level condition pacing event at The Meadowlands. Jet Airway earned over $300,000 as a three year old in 2014, but had not won since an Ontario Sire Stakes event in September of his three year old campaign. He is closing in on $400,000 lifetime. The 1:50.2 triumph on Saturday night was the 11th from 33 starts in the career of Jet Airway for trainer Erv Miller, whose son, Marcus, steered the four year old to victory. The son of Jereme's Jet is owned by Erv Miller Stable, Massey, Sunderhaus and Agle. Total handle for the 13-race program was $2,671,529, a slight increase over the same Friday in 2014 ($2,616,757). On-track handle was up five percent as well. Racing returns on Friday with first post time at 7:00 P.M. The double-draw for the Friday and Saturday programs will take place on Monday, with the entry box closing at 9:00 A.M. Darin Zoccali

DOVER, Del. --- Bushwacker made it two wins in-a-row stepping up to the $30,000 Preferred Handicap while Captive Audience Atta Boy Bones romped to victory in the $27,500 Delaware Specials, the Monday, Dec. 7 twin harness racing features at Dover Downs. After winning last week's $20,000 Open Handicap, Bushwacker scored an impressive 1:50.3 success in the Preferred Handicap with David Miller at the controls. The win was the eighth of the year for the four-year-old Rocknroll Hanover-Dolphins Can Talk gelding owned by Henderson Farms. Chris Ryder conditions the winner of $157,325 this season and $362,612 in his career. Dapper Dude closed well for Vic Kirby to finish second. Atta Boy Dan was third with Brett Miller driving. Captive Audience powered to a 1:51.4 score in the Delaware Special Handicap with Corey Callahan handling the driving assignment for Carter Racing Stable and owner-trainer Doug Lewis. Sweet Rock (Allan Davis) was a game second. Mustang Art (Marcus Milller) took show honors. Allan Davis had a three win night, his second came in an $18,000 3,4&5-Open Handicap, driving Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing's Bad Boy Matt to victory in 1:52 giving trainer Wayne Givens his second victory. The Badlands Hanover-Mattercycle five-year-old gelding out-legged Sweet Talkin Satin (B. Miller) home in 1:52. Givenupdreaming (Callahan) was third. With the win, Bad Boy Matt entered six figures with $106,385. In one of two $15,000 3,4&5-Year-Old Male paces, Art Stafford Jr. took Atta Boy Bones to the lead and never looked back en route to a 1:52.2 lifetime record. Owned by the driver and trainer Andrew Stafford, the altered son of McArdle-Santino's Rose won for the fourth time this year upping his career earnings to $48,490. Good Luck (David Miller) and Rockin' Cougar (Tony Morgan) were second and third respectively. Sean Bier owned and driven Brody notched a 1:52.4 decision in the other $15,000 section. Trained by his wife, Crissy Bier, the five-year-old Real Artist-Glenmount-Suestur Bier homebred gelding now has won seven times this campaign earning $45,185. Shanzhai (Brandon Henley) was next in front of One Last Roadie (Brett Miller, third.) SHINE N SHIMMER, TYRA HEAD $20,000 DISTAFF TUESDAY AT DOVER Shine N Shimmer, Tyra and two-time winner Hearts N Flowers lead the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap pace on the Tuesday, Nov. 8 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Corey Callahan, the meet’s leading driver, will be in the bike driving Howard Taylor’s Shine N Shimmer, an $112,747 winner this season. The Doug Lewis trainee has won three of her last five starts. CC Racing’s Tyra, with Vic Kirby in the bike, has been second in her last two outings but must overcome starting from the outside, meanwhile Bay Pond Racing’s Hearts N Flowers and Allan Davis have consecutive wins. Foulk Stables’ Valerya, driven by George Dennis, has drawn the rail with Bob Baley’s Duneside Chella, handled by Marcus Miller, a winner of two of her previous three races, starts along side. JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious, piloted by Tony Morgan, and Montenegra with Brett Miller, owned by Randall Bendis and Tom Pollock complete the lineup. A pair of $15,000 3,4&5-Year-Old Fillies and Mares paces tops the rest of the program. Stakes seasoned Girlofyourdreams (Montrell Teague), owned by The Wiz Kids Stable, Ava Destruction (B.Miller) racing for Melissa Cabot and Dennis Olsen and the sharp Sweet Bobbie (Callahan) leaves from post 8 for owner-trainer Gary Ewing, lead the eight-horse field. In another $15,000 division Herb Mazeke’s Melanies Sharkette (Marcus Miller),  Lady Beth (Ross Wolfenden) and owner-trainer Quik To Fool You (Kirby) are the horses to beat in that section. In other events, CTC Stable and trainer Doug Lewis’ Mach A Wish (Callahan) JTE Enterprises’’ Handsoffmycookie (Morgan) and Bob Winkleman’s Paradise Lost (Wolfenden) lead one of two $12,000 female paces. Marv Bachrad

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 20, 2015 - Tom Luchento and Chris Ryder were elected to the Board of Directors of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Ballots were returned by 438 of the 789 members and counted on Monday, October 19, 2015 by the accounting firm of Drucker, Math & Whitman, certified public accountants in North Brunswick, NJ. In the only contested category - driver/trainer - Luchento was re-elected and Ryder was a winning challenger. Incumbent Kelvin Harrison and challenger Nancy Johansson were the others on the ballot. In uncontested categories, Thomas Pontone [owner], Michael Gulotta [breeder] and Dr. Richard Meirs [breeder] were re-elected. "I am grateful for the opportunity to continue on the Board of Directors," said Luchento, who has a dozen years of experience and is the incumbent president and chief executive officer of the SBOANJ. "Both 2015 and 2016 are pivotal years in our efforts to revitalize harness racing in New Jersey. This Board has a full agenda of challenges. "This is no slam dunk, but we are hopeful to get expanded gaming - casinos - at our racetracks to make our purses on par with any in the country," Luchento added. "We continue to work for sports wagering, historic racing and other alternate gaming options just as long as our purses are the beneficiaries." This was Chris Ryder's first bid for a seat on the SBOANJ Board of Directors. "I had been thinking about [running for the Board] for 10 or 12 years, but with my two boys off to college now, I had more time available," said Ryder, 60, who maintains a stable of 25 at Winners in Chesterfield, NJ. "My main concerns are insurance [for horsemen] and the New Jersey-owned and bred races," noted Ryder, a New Jersey resident and horseman since 1989. "I want to listen and be independent, and make the best decisions I can" Ryder added. "I intend to represent the grassroots. I've been there; I'm still there. I want to represent all horsemen. I thank everyone for their support." The Board will hold its re-organization meeting on November 9, 2015. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

There were four divisions of the Liberty Bell series at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 24) for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers, each going for a purse of $35,000. In the first division, it was Erv Miller charge McDave (Marcus Miller) with a gate-to-wire score.   The son of McArdle set fractions of :27.1, :56.2, and 1:25.3, before sprinting away to win by a wrapped-up 2 lengths in 1:53.   It was the fourth career win for McDave ($3.20), who is owned by Ron Michelon, and Dave and John Prushnok. Race two featured Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner Ideal Jimmy (Marcus Miller) as the heavy 1-5 race favorite.   An upset was in the cards however, as Joe and Vince Barbera's JJ Flynn (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) used a pocket trip to pick up the win.   The son of Western Ideal won by two lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:52.3.   It was the first career win for JJ Flynn ($13.80) in eight career start. He is trained by Chris Ryder.   Division three saw Tony Alagna trainee Sam McSmith best the field.   The son of McArdle settled in behind the early speed of the outside leavers.   He was able to successfully quarter-brush from that point, holding the lead until the finish, completing the mile in 1:54.1.   It was the third win in four starts for Sam McSmith (Tony Morgan), who is owned by Andray Farms and David J. Miller. He paid $10.80. In the fourth and final division, it was He's Marvalous (Marcus Miller) springing the upset ($29.20).   The son of Delmarvalous settled into the pocket behind the speed of favorite Pretty Boy Hill (George Brennan).   He vacated the pocket at the top of the stretch, going on to a two length win in 1:52.   He is owned by Badlands Racing and The L.A. Express Stable's, and trained by Erv Miller.   It was one of four wins on the day for Marcus Miller. Michael Bozich

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