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Delaware, OH — Minutes after watching Party Girl Hill win Wednesday’s Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds with a performance that included a world record in her elimination and a 3-1/2 length score in the final, breeder/owner Tom Hill summed up his thoughts about the filly in simple terms. “She just proved what I’ve been telling everybody, that she’s the best horse I’ve ever owned,” Hill said from his home in Lancashire in the United Kingdom. “As we would say in England, she’s a Rolls Royce with hair.” Party Girl Hill, driven by Dexter Dunn and trained by Chris Ryder, won the $142,635 Jugette final in 1:50.3, with stablemate New Year finishing second and Peaky Sneaky third. Earlier in the day, she won her elimination in 1:49.3, the first sub-1:50 mile by a female pacer on a half-mile track in harness racing history.   Unraced at age 2, Party Girl Hill improved to 11-for-11 in her career with her two victories in the Jugette and pushed her lifetime bankroll to $577,270. “I don’t know how good she is,” Hill said. “I don’t know where the bottom is, I really don’t. “She can leave, she can come from behind, she can sit parked; it doesn’t make any difference. That’s when you’ve got a great one, when they can win from anywhere. She’s just a very special filly. She’s a gift from God, that’s what she is. I’ve had a lot of good horses, but I’ve had nothing like her. I’ve been blessed.” Party Girl Hill’s win gave owner Hill his second Jugette trophy. He won his first in 2010 with Western Silk. It also came four days after Hill celebrated his 70th birthday. “It’s near enough for a birthday present,” Hill said with a laugh. Party Girl Hill opened her march to the Jugette crown by beating Lyons Sentinel, last year’s Dan Patch Award divisional champ, by three-quarters of a length in 1:49.3 in the second of the event’s two eliminations.   The time eclipsed the previous world record for a 3-year-old pacing filly on a half-mile track, 1:50.1, shared by Warrawee Ubeaut and Call Me Queen Be. It also lowered the all-time mark for any female pacer, 1:50, shared by Godiva Seelster and Tequila Monday. “She’s just an amazing animal,” Dunn said. “There seems to be no bottom to her, she does her work so easily. It’s truly a real pleasure to be lucky enough to sit behind her. I have to thank Tom Hill for that, for trusting me with the drive. “She’s exciting. She’s gone both heats today without the plugs being pulled or really being asked. She just does an amazing job.” The 31-year-old Dunn, who arrived in the U.S. in the summer of 2018 at the behest of fellow New Zealand native Ryder after a standout career Down Under, added the Jugette to his growing list of Grand Circuit victories. He won a total of six races Wednesday at Delaware. “I had a lucky day,” said Dunn, who was the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s 2019 Driver of the Year. “I got to drive really nice horses and they were all on top of their game today. This girl really topped the day off well. “This is a special moment for my lifetime because the Ryders have been family friends with the Dunns for 50-odd years. Chris and (his wife) Nicola have done so much to get me over here and support me. It’s a day I’ll never forget.” Dunn’s only concern following the eliminations was Party Girl Hill racing in the final off a world-record performance. “As soon as we stepped on the track, those worries went away because she had her ears pricked and she was happy as anything being out there,” Dunn said. In the final, Dunn let New Year (who won the first of the event’s two eliminations, also with Dunn in the sulky) and Lyons Sentinel battle in the first turn before launching Party Girl Hill to the lead. Party Girl Hill, the 1-9 favorite, was on top at the quarter and never looked back. “Many thanks to Tom Hill for giving me such an amazing horse,” Ryder said. “Many thanks to Dexter, he’s done a tremendous job driving her.” When reminded in the winner’s circle by track announcer Roger Huston about Hill’s birthday, Ryder quipped, “That’s great. Happy birthday. Anything else I can do for you Tom?” Back in Lancashire, Hill said winning was enough. While some speculated about how Party Girl Hill might have fared if she took on the boys in Thursday’s Little Brown Jug, both Ryder and Hill downplayed the idea. “I don’t want to hurt the filly,” Hill said. “I don’t want to do something and regret it. If she raced the colts and got beat, I know it’s no disgrace, but I don’t want to do that. She’s only had 11 races. She’s only a novice.” A novice assembling one heck of a resume. One that Hill thinks should get noticed at the end of the season if her current form holds. “She should have a shot at being Horse of the Year,” Hill said. “She’s never been beat and she’s raced on every size track. She’s never been beat and never looked like getting beat. What more could she do? She is the only one out there that’s undefeated. I think she should have a good push to be Horse of the Year. Not for me, but for her. She deserves it.” Party Girl Hill sets world record in elimination Trainer Chris Ryder and driver Dexter Dunn swept the two $47,545 Jugette eliminations on Wednesday, with 1-9 favorite Party Girl Hill winning the second in a world-record 1:49.3 after stablemate New Year won the first in 1:52. Joining those two horses in the $142,635 Jugette final were Peaky Sneaky, Blazin Grace, and Keystone Eureka from the first elimination and Lyons Sentinel, Perfect Storm, and Lady Lou from the second. Party Girl Hill was third through the first half of her elimination before launching a methodical attack on leader Lyons Sentinel. The two battled around the last turn and Party Girl Hill drew clear by three-quarters of a length as they neared the wire. The time of 1:49.3 eclipsed the previous world record for a 3-year-old pacing filly on a half-mile track, 1:50.1, shared by Warrawee Ubeaut and Call Me Queen Be. New Year, sent off as the 4-5 favorite, won the first elimination in 1:52. Peaky Sneaky finished second, followed by Blazin Grace and Keystone Eureka.   by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Hightstown, NJ — Party Girl Hill, undefeated in nine races this year, was among 11 harness racing horses entered in Wednesday’s (Sept. 23) $237,725 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. The Chris Ryder trainee competes in the second of the event’s two eliminations. The top-four finishers from each elim advance to the same-day final. The first elimination features five fillies. They are, in post order: New Year, Keystone Eureka, Peaky Sneaky, Blazin Grace, and Seadog Lady. The second elim, in post order: Lyons Sentinel, Party Girl Hill, Lady Lou, Marloe Hanover, Perfect Storm, and Bolt Of Beauty. Party Girl Hill, undefeated in nine races this year, was among 11 horses entered in Wednesday’s $237,725 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers. Chris Gooden photo. Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous out of Look Cheap bred and owned by Tom Hill, enters the Jugette off a Sept. 6 win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Her victories this season also include the Fan Hanover Stakes and Adioo Volo. She has earned $482,181 in 2020, the top figure among all 3-year-old filly pacers. Ryder also sends out New Year in the first elim. She enters the event off a win in a conditioned race Sept. 16 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. It was her first victory in eight races this year. She is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing. Lyons Sentinel was the 2019 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer. She has one win and five second-place finishes in seven races this season. She won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in July and her runner-up finishes include the Adioo Volo and Mistletoe Shalee. Lyons Sentinel is trained by Jim King Jr. for owner Threelyonsracing. Tony Alagna-trained Lady Lou goes to the Jugette with five consecutive second-place finishes. Most recently, she was second in a division of the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 12. She also was second in the Fan Hanover final, her Fan Hanover elimination, the Shady Daisy, and a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. She is owned by Brad Grant and Steve Heimbecker. Peaky Sneaky, trained by Nancy Takter, is the leading money-winner in the first elimination. She most recently won a Fan Hanover elimination and finished third in the final. She is owned by Howard Taylor, Judy Taylor, and Order By Stable. Racing begins at noon Wednesday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Party Girl Hill has given owner Tom Hill reason to celebrate. Unraced at age 2 because of a stress fracture, the 3-year-old female pacer is 6-for-6 in 2020 as she prepares for a Fan Hanover elimination on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Chris Ryder-trainee has won all but one start by at least 1-1/4 lengths, including an 11-3/4 length romp in her debut June 12 at The Meadowlands. She won her most recent race, a sire stakes division at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:49. It was her third consecutive sub-1:50 win on a five-eighths-mile track and the fastest mile on a five-eighths oval by a 3-year-old filly pacer in four years, only two-fifths of a second off the world record. “I don’t know how fast she can go,” Hill said. “I don’t know where the bottom is. She’s a freak.” Hill bred Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous out of Look Cheap. Party Girl Hill trained well as a 2-year-old but was injured just prior to qualifying. “There was no surgery, we just had to give her the time to heal,” Hill said. “She was training like an absolute monster. If we didn’t have to quit with her, there’s no doubt she would have been a top-class 2-year-old.” Hill, who lives in England and will turn 70 next month, is no stranger to good horses. He owned two-time O’Brien Award winning trotter Caprice Hill, Breeders Crown champion Racing Hill, millionaire Western Silk, and North America Cup and Breeders Crown runner-up Art Colony. But Party Girl Hill is something different. “She’s the best horse I’ve ever been fortunate enough to own,” Hill said. “She’s just in a different sphere. We knew last year she was a tremendously fast horse, and a good horse. If I said I knew she would be as good as she is, I’d be telling you lies, but she had blistering speed and she was intelligent. Whatever you want to do, she will do it. “Chris says she’s easy on herself, nothing bothers her. She travels good, she sleeps good, she eats good, and after a race you wouldn’t think she had one. She can race from the front, she can do it from behind, she can get parked out; it doesn’t matter. She’s the full package. That’s what makes a champion, when you get all those things coming together.” Party Girl Hill faces seven rivals Saturday in the second of two Fan Hanover eliminations. Doug McNair is listed to drive the filly, who will start from post two. The top-five finishers from each elim will advance to the final. Party Girl Hill had been entered previously to race Thursday in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division at Harrah’s Philadelphia, but will be scratched. “I’m just hoping she carries on and stays healthy,” Hill said. “When she’s on her game, I don’t think there is a 3-year-old filly that can go with her. If she stays healthy, I think she can be a big contender for Horse of the Year. She’s just a special horse. She’s a gift from God.” by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk    A sensational filly on the track, Shez All Rock is a Mum, for the first time. Owned by high profile expatriate Kiwi Chris Ryder in New Jersey, Shez All Rock has had a colt to boom sire Bettor’s Delight. The colt was born on April 27 and the photos of him were taken at 10 days old. Ryder bought Shez All Rock after she won the New South Wales Oaks. In 11 starts she had 10 wins and a second, also taking out the Victoria and New Zealand Oaks and the three year old Diamond at the 2018 Harness Jewels. Her total winnings were just shy of $450,000. “I brought her over here to the U.S. to race but she had a continuing knee problem and I did not race her,” said Ryder. Intially the filly was trained by Mark Pitt in Tasmania before successfully linking up with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen at the All Stars Stable in Christchurch. Ryder is hopeful that he has “an excellent broodmare”. He already has plans to breed her to the 2019 three-year-old colt of the year Bettor’s Wish, who Ryder co-owns and trained.

Chris Ryder, as harness racing trainer and part owner, has announced that Bettor's Wish will stand to a limited number of mares in 2020 for a stud fee of $10,000. He will be collected at Walnridge Equine Clinic, Cream Ridge, N.J., making his foals eligible to the reenergized New Jersey Sire Stakes.   Bettor's Wish will remain in training and race next year against the sport's older pacers in the popular free-for-all events.   "There was a lot of interest from around the country and within our own ownership group to breed to him. I don't think there will be any issue keeping a regular collection schedule," Ryder said.   Part-owner Eric Cherry is delighted to be able to breed to Bettor's Wish next year. "I bought into him for his stallion potential and because he crosses so well with a lot of my mares. I will be breeding Breeders Crown Champion Call Me Queen Be (p,3,1:49.1f) Candlelight Dinner (p,2,1:52.2), I'm Trigger Happy (p,3,1:51.3f) and others. I'm very excited for the future."   Bettor's Wish had a remarkable 3-year-old season amassing $1,643,745--the most of any horse this year--and a record of 13 wins and 6 seconds in 19 starts. He finished the year with a field-sweeping second in the TVG Final at the Meadowlands racing against older horses, making him the first 3-year-old pacer to hit the board in the history of the TVG races.   For further details or booking information call (908) 451-4135 or email BettorsWish@gmail.com.   From the Bettor's Wish Ownership Group    

It's been decades since a 3-year-old male pacer beat older harness racing horses in a race the magnitude of Saturday's $350,000 TVG Open Pace championship at The Meadowlands, but Bettor's Wish is ready to give it a go. Gimpanzee, on the other hand, will attempt to continue a win streak for 3-year-old male trotters in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot final. The past two editions of the championship were won by sophomores, Tactical Landing in 2018 and What The Hill in 2017. The TVG open finals are part of a stakes-filled card Saturday at the Big M. There also are TVG championships for trotting mares and pacing mares plus the Fall Final Four for 2-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EST). Bettor's Wish is this year's richest horse, with $1.56 million in purses. He has won 13 of 18 races and finished second in all five of his defeats (the past four by no more than a neck). He heads to the TVG Open Pace off a victory in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers Nov. 14 at Dover Downs. The most recent 3-year-old male pacer to knock off older foes in a major race was Niatross, who won the American Pacing Classic at Hollywood Park in 1980. The only 3-year-old to previously enter the TVG Open Pace final was Captaintreacherous, who finished sixth in 2013. "I hope to win it," said Chris Ryder, who trains and co-owns Bettor's Wish. "Honestly, I never put my expectations too high. That's the way I started in the business, and that's the way I am. But this horse always, I don't want to say exceeds my expectations, but he always gets there. He gives you a lot of confidence. I'm never nervous racing this horse, he's just a high achiever. "If we could win it, it would be huge. I know it's a risk, but no risk, no gain. Things don't happen if you don't try. I'm just excited to be in. To think at the beginning of the season that we would have been in with the big boys at the end of the year, you never would have thought that. But he's earned his way in, all credit to him." Bettor's Wish, by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, will start the TVG final from post seven with driver Dexter Dunn. The 10-horse field includes returning event champion McWicked, who also is the defending Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Breeders Crown winner American History, Potomac Pace winner Endeavor, and Canadian Pacing Derby winner Courtly Choice. "We're just pleased to be in it, pleased that we're well, and that's it," said Ryder, who owns Bettor's Wish with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. "He's as good as ever." Gimpanzee will start the TVG Open Trot from post two with Brian Sears driving for trainer Marcus Melander. The colt faces a group that includes history's fastest female trotter, Manchego, and one of history's fastest male trotters, Six Pack, as well as Maple Leaf Trot winner Guardian Angel AS. "It will be an exciting race to watch," Melander said. "I don't know what to expect. I know my horse is very good at the moment. I think he's coming into the race very sharp. "It's been a long season for all these horses, so you never know. But I'm confident in my horse. I think he can step up and win this race, otherwise I wouldn't have put him in the race. I didn't want to be in the race just to be in it. I believe he is capable to win the race, but it's going to be tough." Gimpanzee, who was the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, has won eight of 13 races this season and $1.10 million. The son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows, owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, enters the TVG off wins in the Breeders Crown in October and Matron Stakes on Nov. 14. "He came out of the Matron very good," Melander said. "We trained him (Wednesday) morning and everything felt good. I'm pleased with him. "We got a good draw. You never know when you're racing against aged horses, but I was really happy with how my horse performed last week. He showed, at least, that he's in good form. There were some nice 3-year-olds in that race, and he won pretty easily." Manchego will arrive at The Meadowlands with a six-race win streak, which includes her 1:49 world-record triumph at the Allerage Mare Trot at Lexington's Red Mile and the Breeders Crown Mare Trot final. Six Pack, who owns a career mark of 1:49.1 and season mark of 1:49.2, won the Allerage Open Trot and finished second from post 10 to French star Bold Eagle in the Breeders Crown. For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

LEXINGTON, KY--Chris Ryder harness racing trainee Bettor's Wish--off five days rest--paced a meeting's best at The Red Mile when winning the third of three $30,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) opening-preliminary divisions for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:47.4 on Thursday, Aug. 15.   Driver Dexter Dunn darted Bettor's Wish to the lead while Captain Trevor floated towards the top nearing a :27 opening quarter and eventually crossed over to control the field into the backside. Dunn soon angled the son of Bettor's Delight from the pocket and retook the lead prior to a :54.2 half. From there Bettor's Wish paced to three-quarters in 1:21.4 and finished the mile under minimal encouragement with a :26 final quarter. Captain Trevor cut into the leader's margin late when finishing second while Backlight rode the pylons for the mile and finished several lengths behind in third.   Co-owned by Ryder with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor's Wish won his seventh race from 10 starts this season and his 12th from 22 overall, surpassing $1.1 million in earnings. The Brittany Farms-bred colt paid $2.10 to win.   Can't Beach That pounced on pacesetter Dancin Lou to take the opening KYSS division in 1:50.   Driver David Miller placed the Brett Pelling-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt in the pocket moving to a :27.1 opening quarter and stayed put at the pylons to a :55.3 half. Doc's Hooligan pulled first over from fifth moving to the far turn and progressed to apply pressure to Dancin Lou passing three-quarters in 1:23.4 but retreated through the stretch. Can't Beach That angled outside of Dancin Lou into the final eighth and powered past to win by three-quarter lengths. Dancin Lou held second from Skip To My Lou, who rode the pylons for third.   Owned by breeder Melvin Segal with partners Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran, Can't Beach That--out of the Kentucky-based broodmare Cannae Cammie--won his fourth race from nine starts this season and his fifth from 18 overall, earning $84,104. David Miller steered the $4.00 winner.   Trainer-driver Dan Noble swooped the field with odds-on favorite Native's Sweetlou to take the middle KYSS split in 1:49.2.   Egomania left for the front while Pyro sat pocket through an early clip of :26.3 and :54.2. Noble had Native's Sweetlou positioned seventh approaching the final turn and tipped the Allamerican Native gelding to race third over, gapping cover, as Western Exposure led the two-wide tier to three-quarters. Western Exposure pressed Egomania through the third station in 1:22 and took a narrow lead through the stretch. Noble fanned to the center of the course with Native's Sweetlou and brushed by tiring horses in progress to a length victory. Pocket-sitter Pyro snuck through a seam inside for second while Western Exposure, rough-gaited at the end, settled for third.   Leased by Chuck Grubbs, Native's Sweetlou won his fourth race from 11 starts this season and his sixth from 22 overall, crossing $100,000 in earnings. The Thomas Cave-bred gelding paid $3.40 to win.   Race-favorite and defending KYSS champ Beautyonthebeach managed slow fractions on the front while battling a far-turn blitz from Blue Ivy to take the sole split of KYSS for three-year-old pacing fillies.   Summer Charm charged for the front from the outside while Margret Hill tucked into the pocket and driver Doug McNair protected position from the pylon post circling the first turn in third. McNair then moved the Somebeachsomewhere filly off the pegs past a :28 first quarter and cleared control entering the backside. Blue Ivy sat fifth and pulled wide to venture uncovered through a :56 half with Alii Nui and Salutation in tow.   Blue Ivy accelerated towards the pacesetter and took a slim lead as the pace quickened towards three-quarters, timed in 1:23.3. Beautyonthebeach drifted from the pylons exiting the turn but quickly angled towards the cones straightening into the stretch. Blue Ivy backed through a wall of horses while Summer Charm attempted to pull pocket but threw several bad steps. Beautyonthebeach faced little challenge in the final strides to win in a lifetime-best 1:50.4 with Ali Nuii rallying from off cover to take second while Salutation paced widest of all to finish third.   A homebred filly out of Precocious Beauty for James Avritt Sr., Beautyonthebeach won her second race from nine starts this season and her seventh from 22 overall, earning $319,873. Gregg McNair conditions the $2.80 winner.   Kentucky Sires Stakes action resumes Sunday, Aug. 18 at The Red Mile with trotting freshmen contesting in the second preliminary of their events--three divisions for the colts and three for the fillies. The 15-race program starts at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).     By Ray Cotolo for The Red Mile

Harness racing Kiwi duo too classy. New Zealand born, and now American based trainer Chris Ryder teamed up with fellow kiwi reins men Dexter Dunn to win the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial, with top three-year-old pacer Bettors Wish. Dunn simply outdrove the rest of the field. The pair found the front end from the three post early and ran a first half in a pedestrian 57 seconds, something unheard of in the open pacing ranks. From there Dunn knew, “If he got beat from there it would have to have been an off night”, so control was taken from that point as they blistered the last half in 53.3 to complete the mile in 1:50.3 on the half-mile track and win by 3 ½ lengths. With that victory, the 3yo son of Bettors Delight took his earnings to $1,096,600, joining the million dollar club and it was his 11th win of his career. It was also trainer Chris Ryder's 40th win of the season and notched his stake earnings to over the $1.7 million mark. Dunn continues to make a huge impact in the North American scene. Dexter has won 261 races this season and over $5.9 million in prize money to date. Top Down Under trotter Speeding Spur N bagged his first North American win impressively today Sunday the 11th of August. The 8yo son of Pegasus Spur was seen flying home to win the $148,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot at Tioga Downs, in a track record time for trotters of 1:52.4. The successful driver, Brian Sears commented after the victory, “He’s a classy horse, he knows what it’s all about” as he was extremely impressed with the Woodlands Stud owned trotter. Now trained by Linda Toscano, he promises plenty more to come in his North American career as he looks to expand his top quality reputation for a future breeding career. Previously prepared in New Zealand by John and Joshua Dickie, Speeding Spur was the winner of over $1.1 million including nine Group 1 victories across New Zealand and Australia. Sunday 4th August Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Torrid Bromac N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $7,000 Statement Made A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $14,500 Piccard A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $11,000 Our Positano N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $7,000   Tioga Downs NY Hugh Hefner N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $6,000   Monday 5th August Monticello Raceway NY Kamwood Laughter N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $5,500   Plainridge Park MA Buckeye N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $7,200 Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $14,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Glengarry Knight N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake, $16,000   Tuesday 6th August Monticello Raceway NY Power Dreaming N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $5,500 Kenrick N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $5,900   Yonkers Raceway NY Abraxas Blues N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,500   Thursday 8th August Monticello Raceway NY Lettucerocku A – Time: 1:57.3, Stake:$3,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Brookies Prince N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $14,500 Bronze Over N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $18,500   Friday 9th August Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Backup A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $17,050 Gold Class N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $19,750   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Queen Lostris N – Time 1:52.1, Stake: $12,500   Saratoga Harness NY Misty Memory N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $7,250 Jive Dancing A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $7,250   Yonkers Raceway NY Simply Sunsational N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $22,250 Kept Under Wraps A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $18,500 Miss You N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $30,000   Saturday 10th August Batavia Downs NY Kiwi Tintin N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $9,000 Lightning Raider N – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $4,900   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Bravo Tex N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $12,500 Torrid Bromac N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $14,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Military Master A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $24,000 Mickey Gee N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $30,000   Sunday 11th August Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Mister Ohanzee A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $12,500 Our Max Phactor N – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $30,000 Bright Diamond N – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $11,000   Ocean Downs Get Outta Eyre N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $3,500   Tioga Downs NY Ascot Encounter A – Time:1:53.0, Stake: $6,000 Speeding Spur N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $148,000 Kotare Yael N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $9,000     Click here for previous weeks articles     Carter Dalgety

Dexter Dunn hails from Down Under in New Zealand and traveled to the United States less than a year ago. He had never been to MGM Northfield Park, but arrived on Saturday (August 10) full of confidence to drive race favorite Bettor's Wish in the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial. He went to the gate on the heels of losing two straight photos in the $682,650 Meadowlands Pace and $285,362 Cane Pace. Bettor's Wish started from post three and went to the lead around the initial turn. He set pedestrian fractions of :28.2 and :57. "I was happy when I saw the fractions," admitted Dunn. "If we would have got beaten from there, it would have been a rough night. The fractions were pretty slow, but it all pays the same." Dunn urged Bettor's Wish in the third quarter and he responded, posting times of 1:24.1 and 1:50.3. The colt pulled away by 3 ½-lengths from his closest competitor, Captain Victorious (Yannick Gingras). Bettor's Wish (Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star-Western Ideal) is owned by the partnership of Christopher Ryder, Bella Racing LTD, Fair Island Farm and Bettor's Wish Partners. Saturday's victory is the 11th score for Bettor's Wish. The win makes the Chris Ryder trainee harness racing's newest millionaire, pushing his earnings to $1,096,600. Following in succession after Bettor's Wish were Captain Victorious, Century Farroh, Yankee Boots, Southwind Ozzi, Rockie Got Framed and Workin Ona Mystery. American Mercury was scratched sick. Bettor's Wish returned 3.80 to win. The race was in honor of Carl Milstein, who owned and operated Northfield Park from 1984 until his death in 1999. It is the richest invitational event in harness racing for pacers. Two races prior to the main event, Dancin Yankee captured his fourth straight $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace. The Ohio-sired event by invitation began in 2016. Dancin Yankee left from the gate, initially taking the lead before letting the heavy favorite, Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith), reclaim the top just past the :26.2 opening quarter. He received the garden trip through times of :54.4 and 1:21.3 before making his move in the stretch and winning by ½-length in 1:49.2. The clocking equaled Northfield's track record for Five Year-Old and Up Pacing Horses, set by All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) in 2017. Ron Burke trains Dancin Yankee for the Burke Racing Stable. Chris Page was in the bike. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Chris Ryder knows what it is like to race in the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace -- this year's appearance with Bettor's Wish will be the trainer's seventh trip to the harness racing event's final -- but this time feels different. Bettor's Wish, who has won five of six starts this season, is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line in Saturday's $682,650 race for 3-year-old pacers at The Meadowlands. The colt, with driver Dexter Dunn, heads to the final off a win in his elimination last weekend. The morning line favorite is Captain Crunch, who is 2-1 after also winning his elimination. Captain Crunch, the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer, won the North America Cup on June 15 at Canada's Woodbine Mohawk Park, with Bettor's Wish finishing second. Bettor's Wish has finished third or better in all but one of his 18 career races, winning 10. "Quite often in the past, I've been in the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace, and you get a bit nervous," the 63-year-old Ryder said. "You think hard about it, what has to be done. You always question yourself as a trainer. But with this horse, I'm absolutely not doing that because he gives you confidence. That's what Dexter says, and he's right. "He's so reliable when he races. Every time he races, he shows you some brilliance. I'm not nervous, I'm going to enjoy it, because you don't get in these spots very often. I'm just going to enjoy it and make the most of it." Ryder is among the owners of Bettor's Wish, along with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Ken Solomon. The colt, by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, was purchased for $20,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Sale and has earned $664,556 so far in his career. "It's just a good story," Ryder said. "He was a cheap yearling, but when you look at his pedigree, it's tremendous. He's from the family of Life Sign and American Ideal; Three Diamonds is his fourth dam. But he was small and he wasn't a (Captaintreacherous-sired yearling). That was the first year of the Captains and the money went to Captaintreacherous. "He doesn't look small when he's racing," Ryder added. "He's got a big, long stride. And he's always good down by the wire. We're just pleased to have him." Bettor's Wish won five times last year, all in Canada, and was second in the Battle of Waterloo and Ontario Sire Stakes championship. This season, his triumphs include the Art Rooney Pace. Bettor's Wish "Honestly, he's a little better than I thought he would be," said Ryder, whose best Meadowlands Pace finish came in 2002 with runner-up McArdle. "He impresses me every time he races. He trains quite well, but plenty of horses train pretty good. When you go and race, he's got that bit extra that you don't always see when you race them. "I like his speed and his versatility. He's getting two-hole trips all the time and it's not just luck. It's because he can get himself where he needs to be." Bettor's Wish will start Saturday from post four. Captain Crunch and driver Scott Zeron will leave from post one while Workin Ona Mystery, the 5-1 third choice on the morning line, and driver Tim Tetrick start from post nine. No other pacer in the 10-horse field is better than 10-1. "This is going to be a tricky race," Ryder said, adding with a laugh, "I said that about the North America Cup, and here I am saying the same thing again. Who knows?" Saturday's 13-race card at The Meadowlands features eight of the top-10 horses in this week's Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. In addition to Captain Crunch (No. 3) and Bettor's Wish (No. 5) in the Meadowlands Pace, No. 1 Shartin N is in the Golden Girls, No. 2 Atlanta is in the Hambletonian Maturity, No. 4 Greenshoe is in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, No. 6 Lather Up is in the William R. Haughton Memorial, No. 9 Warrawee Ubeaut is in the Mistletoe Shalee, and No. 10 Hannelore Hanover is in the Miss Versatility. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT). by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager  

This Week: Camluck Classic, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; Currier & Ives Filly Trot, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Graduate Series second leg and Somebeachsomewhere, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action opens on Friday night (May 31) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$157,000 Camluck Classic for older male pacers. Racing will take place on Saturday (June 1) at two venues. The Meadows will host the $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters and Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature two C$80,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts and single C$99,000 second leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and 4-year-old pacers. Complete entries for the Meadows race can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair and Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: As a yearling, Bettor's Wish sold for all of $20,000. "But he's not a $20,000 horse anymore." So said co-owner and trainer Chris Ryder Saturday night (May 25) after his charge - and driver Dexter Dunn - made short work of Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The 29th Rooney, for 3-year-old colts and geldings, turned into a romp for the odds-on ($3.70) choice. One of two elimination winners, Bettor's Wish drew post position No. 6 in the finale. He found himself three-wide early, outside of Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald) and Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) and inside of Blood Money (Scott Zeron). Blood Money made the lead before a :27 opening quarter-mile, then a :55.4 intermission. Going up the backside the second time, Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno) was advancing out of fifth before he broke stride. That allowed Buddy Hill a path out of third, and as he was about to leave the cones, Bettor's Wish extricated himself from the pocket. That one disposed of Blood Money soon after a 1:24.1 three-quarters, preparing to bust the race wide open. Bettor's Wish slapped three lengths on his rivals in and out of the final turn, then ran it up. The final margin was a half-dozen lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Second went to Branquinho (Tyler Buter), while Air Force Hanover (David Miller) was third. Buddy Hill and Blood Money picked off the remainder. Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt co-owned by Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Kenneth Solomon, has won all three of his seasonal starts and earned $180,000. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards.   Here are the leaders following this past weekend:   Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 193; 2. Jason Bartlett - 144; 3. George Brennan - 110; 4. Jordan Stratton - 107; 5. Daniel Dube - 104. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 149; 2. Ron Burke - 85; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Richard Banca - 61; 5. Andrew Harris - 54. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 55.2; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 51.7; 3. Richard Poillucci - 41.7; 4. Brad Grant - 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg - 40.   Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Northfield Park, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Tioga Downs. Northfield will host the Battle of Lake Erie for invitational pacers, Mohawk will feature five stakes eliminations, led by the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers, and Tioga Downs will offer the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 25, 2019--As a yearling, Bettor's Wish sold for all of $20,000. "But he's not a $20,000 horse anymore." So said harness racing co-owner and trainer Chris Ryder Saturday night (May 25th) after his charge--and driver Dexter Dunn--made short work of Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. It was Kiwis on Parade during a cool and windy Westchester evening. The 29th Rooney, for 3-year-old colts and geldings (actually, it's an open event, but why quibble?), turned into a romp for the odds-on ($3.70) choice. One of the last week's two elimination winners, Bettor's Wish drew post position No. 6 in the finale. He found himself three-wide early, outside of Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald) and Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) and inside of Blood Money (Scott Zeron). Blood Money made the lead before a 27-second opening quarter-mile, then a :55.4 intermission. Going down the backside the second time, Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno) was advancing out of fifth before he broke stride. That allowed Buddy Hill a path out of third, and he was about to leave the cones, Bettor's Wish extricated himself from the pocket. The one disposed of Blood Money soon after a 1:24.1 three-quarters, preparing to bust the race wide open. Bettor's Wish slapped three lengths on his rivals in and out of the final turn, then ran it up. The final margin was a half-dozen lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Second went to Branquinho (Tyler Buter), while Air Force Hanover (Dave Miller) was third. That tandem offered solid closes, especially 'Air Force,' the faster (1:52.4) elim winner who was stuck behind the eight-ball here. Buddy Hill and Blood Money picked off the remainder, while Captain Malicious--uncoupled stablemate of the runner-up--Price Hanover (Dan Dube) and he misbehaving Rollwithpapajoe completed the order. For Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt also co-owned by Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Kenneth Solomon, he's won all three of his seasonal starts ($180,000). The exacta paid $24, the triple returned $242.50 and the superfecta paid $1,138. "I thought if I stayed in here I could get stuck in a two-hole trip," Dunn said. "It was pretty intense going in the first turn. We'd done a bit of work, but he travelled really good past the half. I decided to pop (before the three-quarters). It could've been a bad move, but the horse pulled through." "When I first qualified him, I thought he was a very good horse," Ryder said. "I drove him and he won the race, but broke a hopple. "I knew tonight was a real test. He didn't have the best of posts, but I figured if he's the best he'll get there one way or the other. I'm very thankful of the way Dexter drove him. "This wasn't an easy race for a driver and he did a great job." Ryder said Bettor's Wish is off to the North America Cup. For his part, Dunn finished off a helluva week, which began by winning last Sunday's (May 19th) Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs with Done Well. Saturday night's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Trot--Weslynn Dancer (Zeron, $5.80) in 1:54.4, --Pace--Micky Gee N (Jordan Stratton, $3.80) in 1:52.2. The Raceway now takes a hiatus until Friday night, June 7th.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity

YONKERS, N.Y. – When Chris Ryder pulled up his entries Monday evening and saw that Bettor’s Wish drew post six in the $300,000 Art Rooney Final, the harness racing trainer was dismayed. However, the isolated snippet of Bettor’s Wish’s post position didn’t tell the whole story. After Ryder saw the full field, he was intrigued. “When I saw I had the six hole on my USTA entry line, the full field wasn’t there, it just showed my horse having the six hole, I thought, ‘here we go again with a bad draw in the final, as usual,’ ” Ryder said. “But then when the full field came out and I saw the good ones were outside of me, I thought, ‘well, maybe it’s not so bad.’ When you have the six hole at Yonkers, the good thing about that is it’s not the seven and it’s not the eight. I think it’s very interesting. It’s definitely opened up the race.” Bettor’s Wish drew inside fellow Rooney elimination winner Air Force Hanover, who will start from post eight in the open-draw stakes. Blood Money, the runner-up to Bettor’s Wish last week, will start from post seven.  “I’m sure there’s going to be action in this race,” Ryder said. “It’s going to be a very interesting race. I think it’s a driver’s race.” Although Bettor’s Wish figures to be at the forefront of the action, the colt initially wasn’t eligible to the race. A $20,000 buy from the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Bettor’s Wish didn’t stand out as a yearling or a 2-year-old and had limited stakes engagements, primarily in Canada. “We bought him off of Brittany Farm,” Ryder remembered. “I liked his video before I went to the sale, I liked his pedigree page. When I saw him, he was a bit small, but that didn’t really put me off. “He didn’t particularly stand out,” Ryder continued. “He’s always trained well, but did he really stand out? Not completely. But he qualified well straight away at Chester. Even now, you wouldn’t know he’s in the barn. He’s really quiet, he’s not a flashy colt. He just does everything pretty well.” After starting his career with a pair of qualifiers at Harrah’s Philadelphia last June, Ryder sent Bettor’s Wish to Chantal Mitchell in Canada. The colt won on debut in a Mohawk overnight July 5 before placing in two Ontario Sire Stakes legs in the following weeks. Bettor’s Wish won an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River and was second in the final before notching a victory in OSS August 15.  After a pair of placings in Kentucky Sire Stakes and a fourth in the final, Bettor’s Wish shipped back to Ontario, earning another win and finishing second in the Gold Final to cap his freshman season. Ryder gave Bettor’s Wish a break before he returned to the barn to train down for his 3-year-old season. The colt had started to grow up and he made a good impression. “He’s grown up a little bit, he’s physically filled out. He’s still not a big horse, but he’s big enough,” Ryder said. “We gave him six weeks out in the field, left him alone completely. We trained him down normally. We were happy with him training back. He just trained really well.” Ryder was so pleased with Bettor’s Wish, that when the February 15 deadline came to supplement the colt to the Art Rooney Pace, he pulled the trigger and paid the $6,000 fee, favoring the Hilltop stakes over an OSS leg. “When I was doing the staking, I noticed there was a supplement to the Rooney,” Ryder said. “I saw it was available and I thought, ‘you know what, we might as well take a shot.’ It’s $300,000 instead of $80,000 or $90,000 Canadian on the same day. So, we opted to cough up the extra $6,000 to make him eligible.” After a qualifying win in 1:53.3 April 16 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Ryder brought Bettor’s Wish to Yonkers to test the waters in a $20,000 overnight April 29. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, Bettor’s Wish raced in the pocket, but driver Dexter Dunn edged him to the outside with five-sixteenths to pace. He advanced alongside leader Twin B Tuffenuff passing the three-quarters and extended through the stretch, winning by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:52.0. "Obviously, I brought him to Yonkers to race him in that overnight race specifically because we were going to the Rooney,” Ryder commented. “He’s been on a half in Canada in the Battle of Waterloo and he handled it, so that made it easier to supplement.” Seeing that Bettor’s Wish was ready for the Rooney eliminations May 18, Ryder opted to qualify the 3-year-old at the Meadowlands May 11 rather than race again. Bettor’s Wish then cruised in his elimination, scoring a gate-to-wire win in 1:53.2 with a :27.1 final quarter. “We just went to the Meadowlands to qualify because I really didn’t think he needed a race,” Ryder said. “He was ready, just qualified him wanting to keep him fresh. That’s all he needed, particularly when you have an elimination and a final. “I was really happy with his elimination,” Ryder continued. “I was happy with the way he got away from the gate and happy with the way he finished. It wasn’t a particularly tough race, which I was pleased about. You’d rather have an easier race than a tougher race with the final coming up. The driver was happy and I think the horse is happy.” Entering the final Saturday night (May 25), Bettor’s Wish is 7-for-14 for Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm, and Ken Solomon, who own in partnership with Ryder. Dexter Dunn, who has driven Bettor’s Wish in each start so far this year, will take the lines again. Ryder is happy to be paired with the New Zealand transplant. “He’s been dedicated to driving since he was a little fellow, and he’s always been good at it. I’m not surprised to see him doing as well as he is. And I’m very happy to have Dexter on the horse,” Ryder said. “His father was a good friend of mine growing up. I kind of encouraged him to come over here. It’s not an easy decision for the guy who’s the leading driver in New Zealand to come somewhere where you might struggle for a few years. He’s done extremely well.” The full field for the $300,000 Art Rooney Final is listed below. 1 – Captain Malicious – Mark MacDonald – Ray Schnittker – 8-1 2 – Rollwithpapajoe – Joe Bongiorno – Jenn Bongiorno – 7-1 3 – Branquinho – Tyler Buter – Ray Schnittker – 7-1 4 – Buddy Hill – Brian Sears – Marcus Melander – 6-1 5 – Price Hanover – Dan Dube – Tom Cancelliere – 12-1 6 – Bettor’s Wish – Dexter Dunn – Chris Ryder – 7-2 7 – Blood Money – Scott Zeron – Nancy Johansson – 5-2 8 – Air Force Hanover – David Miller – Brian Brown – 5-1 Saturday night’s card also features the $109,234 Lismore Final, along with the regular $44,000 pacing and trotting co-features.  First post time is 6:50 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here.   By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

CHESTER PA - Warrawee Ubeaut, the harness racing filly who became the fastest two-year-old of all time when she won in 1:48.3 en route to her 2018 divisional championship, makes her seasonal debut Friday at Harrah's Philadelphia in what will also be the first 2019 racing in the rich Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program. There will be two $83,240 divisions of Sire Stakes three-year-old pacing fillies, while their Stallion Series counterparts will contest $20,000 in each of five divisions. The Sweet Lou filly Warrawee Ubeaut, to start from post seven in her Sire Stakes section for driver Yannick Gingras and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, is one of six fillies trainer Ron Burke has entered in the Sire Stakes, and he'll have three going in each division. Warrawee Ubeaut, who also was the richest freshman in 2018 North American harness racing with $646,995 in earnings, won her Breeders Crown event last year, one of her seven victories on the campaign; another was the historic world record at Lexington, where she came home in :53.2. Warrawee Ubeaut has had two qualifying preps at The Meadowlands for her sophomore campaign, both times winning in 1:53.2. The champion's main rival in this event may be the Somebeachsomewhere filly Stonebridge Soul, who won her last two starts as a freshman in stakes company, then returned last week for trainer Chris Ryder and driver Dexter Dunn by winning at Philly in 1:53.1, with twin :27.3s coming home. Taking a shot at "the big girls" is another daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Trillions Hanover, the winner of her 2018 Stallion Series Championship and also victorious in her first start of the year in 1:52.3 at The Meadowlands for trainer Tom Fanning. In the second Sire Stakes division, starting from the rail will be Sylph Hanover, another Burke trainee who was a 13-1 upset winner in her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship last season in 1:51.4. Matt Kakaley is the regular driver of the Somebeachsomewhere filly for Burke Racing LLC, William Switala, James Martin, and Joseph Critelli, and he was in the sulky when "Sylph" added the Matron Pace to her list of credits towards the end of her two-year-old campaign. Sylph Hanover faces no fewer than four horses coming off of a victory. Three of them are undefeated in their 2019 campaigns; the other, Pretty N Fast, added her third straight victory in a late-closing final at The Meadows last time, and she also hails from the productive Burke barn. The Sire Stakes events will go in races eight and twelve; the five Stallion Series events will face the gate in races three, seven, nine, eleven, and thirteen. Though currently in the lower division of the program, the Stallion Series fillies have already won 24 races among them this year, and some are only now finding their top form. Post time for Friday's card at Philly is 12:25. There will be live racing on both Saturday and Sunday at 12:40; the Saturday card is a special Kentucky Derby Day card that will feature opening round action of the 2019 Great Northeast Open Series.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

FREEHOLD, NJ - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey's annual board of director's meeting and election was held on Friday (Oct 19) at Freehold Raceway. The committee summary reports were given by board of directors. Mike Gulotta reported that the Pension Funds are benefiting from the change of investment managers with returns better than expected and funds in line with benchmarks. Chris Ryder reported that racing days in New Jersey are still in negotiations however, he is hopeful that 2019 race dates will be similar to the 2018 dates. He also reported that the Benevolent Fund has assisted many members and horsemen with health issues and funeral assistance. Mike Klau reported that over 400 mares were bred in New Jersey this season. Insurance committee head Anthony Romano announced that there will not be any changes to insurance benefits and no increases to premiums for members in 2019. Anthony Perretti reported that TrotPac is continuing to build important relationships with Legislators to help raise awareness to the need for alternative revenue to support our industry and to help push the $20 million dollar appropriation bill through. The board of director election results were announced from the 360 ballots that were received. Mike Gulotta and Richard Meirs were each re-elected in the breeder category as they ran unopposed. Thomas Pontone and Dennis Lane were both running for one spot in the owner category. Incumbent Thomas Pontone will continue to represent the owners as board of director. The driver/trainer category had two open seats available this election. The nominees were incumbents Chris Ryder and Thomas Luchento, and new comers Linda Toscano and Ray Baynes. Chris Ryder and Linda Toscano were elected to fill the two positions. The SBOANJ would like to thank all members who ran and voted in this years election. It is important to have members involved in all aspects of the election. We would also like to thank all those that attended the meeting especially Mr. Taylor Palmer, one of the original founders of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Rodeo Romeo used his vaunted early foot and propelled his 2018 earnings over the $150,000 mark when he led at every call in winning the $21,500 pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:50.3. The son of Rocknroll Hanover cleared to the lead just after a 26.2 opening quarter, and then driver Eric Carlson was able to get him a rest to the 55.2 half. From there, favored Stormont Czar A came up first-over, with Rodeo Rock hot on his bumper at the 1:23 3/4s, but Rodeo Romeo was kept alive at crunch time, holding off Stormont Czar A by a nose, with Rodeo Rock just another neck back in third. The Chris Ryder trainee, owned by Oompa's Farm Inc. and Robert Mondillo, has now bankrolled $154,080 this season and $335,029 lifetime. Pembroke Wildcat won his second straight race when he was victorious in the $18,000 claiming handicap pace in 1:51.4. Driver Anthony Napolitano got the winning Western Maverick gelding away in the two hole behind Polak A, stepping up in company in search of his fourth straight win, but after fractions of 26.2, 55.3, and 1:23.2, Polak A could not sustain, and Pembroke Wildcat was able to make the lead and then resist 42-1 shot Onlythetuffsurvive, second for the fifth straight start, by a head. Brittany Robertson trains and owns the career winner of $345,227. For 46-year-old trainer Michael Seddon, making his career debut as a conditioner, certainly will have the Pocono patrons remembering his name - not too many trainers have a lifetime profit generation of 11410%. The very first horse Seddon ever sent out, Some Gold, rallied from an inside trip for trainer Vinnie Ginsburg to tally in an $11,000 pace and return $230.80 for a $2 ticket - despite winning his last start at Freehold. Of the eight horses who have paid in excess of $50 at Pocono since August 11, five of them have lit up the board for $100+, including season's leader College Hanover ($336.60) on September 9. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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