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The weather is heating up and so is the harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. This past week saw the first appearances of both the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and The Stallion Series, those showcases for younger horses which bring the finest horses and horsemen to the Downs to strut their stuff for big purses. We also saw Open pace and Open trot action on Saturday night for the first time in 2015. It all leads to a jam-packed edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK:  RISE UP NOW If you follow sports, it's likely you're familiar with the term "meteoric rise." It's often used (maybe overused, to be frank) when an athlete ascends from anonymity to great success in a short period of time. In the case of Rise Up Now, a 3-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding, he's got a name that seems to fit that term, and he's lived up to it and then some this season. In his 2-year-old season, he picked up just one win in seven races. Yet he started the season off sizzling in overnight races at The Meadows, ripping off three straight victories right away. His next start was on May 9 in Pennsylvania All Stars action at Pocono, a tough test that he passed in stellar fashion by gutting out a win by a nose in a career-best time of 1:50:2. On Saturday night in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action, Rise Up Now, trained by Brian Brown, was a 2-1 second choice behind Blood Brother, who also won an All Stars race last week and set some nasty fractions on the lead. Driver Simon Allard provided a canny drive for Rise Up Now, sending him first-over on the back before sliding into the pocket behind Blood Brother. In the stretch, Rise Up Now wore down Blood Brother by a length-and-a-half in 1:51:3 on a sloppy track. Five wins in five races while soaring from the lowest condition ranks to Sire Stakes action: I do believe we can freely use that "meteoric rise" term in this case. Other top pacers this week include: Alexas Jackpot (George Napolitano Jr., Marty Fine), who followed up an Open win at Harrah's at Philadelphia by winning Pocono's first Open pace of the 2015 meet in 1:49:3, which matched a career-best and was fastest of the week at Pocono despite coming on a sloppy track; Catalea Seelster (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), a mare whose victory in a $15,000 claimer on Sunday night in 1:52:3 was her fifth in a row, with the last four of those victories coming at Pocono; and Caviart Shelley (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), a mare who gutted out her fourth consecutive condition win on Wednesday night in 1:51:3, a new career mark. TROTTER OF THE WEEK:  CLASSIC MARTINE In the first $30,000 Open trot of the season, a pair of distaffers shared the pre-race spotlight. This was by no means a slight on the male horses in the race, all of whom were accomplished veteran trotters with many big wins and copious earnings to their credit. But Classic Martine and Shake It Cerry are no ordinary mares; they rank among the finest in the world. In their previous meeting on May 3 at Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio, Classic Martine, the 5-year-old Classic Photo star from the Chris Oakes barn, overcame a #9 post and 15-1 odds to upend heavily favored Shake It Cerry, who struggled to sixth. This time around, Classic Martine got the betting love at 1-5. Driver George Napolitano took her to the front end and rated the pace very well, making it very unlikely that anyone would run her down in the stretch. Classicality, who had the pocket trip, and Shake It Cerry, who started slow but moved up aggressively around the final turn, both attempted to rally. But Classic Martine never looked worried, keeping a nice margin all the way to the line as she won by 3½ lengths. Her winning time of 1:53:1 was achieved without much urging at all. Right now, it doesn't matter the age or gender facing her, because Classic Martine is going to be a handful for anyone lining up to take her on. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Razor Ramone (Anthony Napolitano, Eric Ell), who arrived from Harrah's and powered his way to a condition win on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53:3; Scorcher Hall (Tom Jackson, Greg White), who moved up in class and racked up his second straight condition won on Tuesday night in 1:55; and It's Not Over (Jim Morrill Jr., Matias Ruiz), who, despite being laid off for two months since a victory in his previous start in California in March, returned strong with a condition win on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK:  MARATHON MAN When a couple of leaders broke stride late, this trotter with Brandon Simpson in the bike came storming home to win a condition on Tuesday night at 75-1 for a $152.60 payoff on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK:  SCOTT ZERON Zeron made the most of his lone appearance at Pocono for the week, ripping off four victories on Sunday night, more than any other driver on the card that evening. TRAINER OF THE WEEK:  BRIAN BROWN Brown, whose base is in Ohio, continues to win big in Pennsylvania, following up success last week in the Pennsylvania All Stars races with a pair of Sire Stakes winners on Saturday night. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at Jim Beviglia

WASHINGTON, PA, April 27, 2015 -- Typically a closer, Classicality exploded to the early lead and never allowed a challenger near him as he captured Monday's $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Coming off a sickness scratch and a qualifier, Classicality moved so quickly to the front for Brian Zendt that he was ahead 5 lengths at the quarter. He scored effortlessly in 1:55.1, 2-3/4 lengths better than the first-over Crosby's Clam Bake, with Big And Little third. Lisa Dunn-Adams trains the homebred 5-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding, who extended his career bankroll to $220.362, for Dunn Stable. Trainer Rich Gillock fashioned a triple on the 13-race card while Tony Hall and Eric Ledford each piloted a pair of winners. THE MEADOWS TRIPLES TUESDAY PICK 4 GUARANTEE TO $15K The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has tripled — to $15,000 — the total-pool guarantee for its Tuesday, April 28 Pick 4 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 4 guarantees are regular features each Monday and Tuesday, The Meadows sweetened the pot when Monday’s Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $6,243.00. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Tuesday’s program is 12:55 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, April 23, 2015 -- Shake It Cerry, 2014 Trotter of the Year, and Classic Martine, 2014 Mare Trotter of the Year, headline a field of nine top older harness racing mare trotters who will contest Friday's inaugural $51,100 The Meadows Maturity at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. The event goes as race 9, with first post at 6:55 PM. The Meadows created The Meadows Maturity, as well as a companion event for colts and geldings that's set for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Day card, as a rich earnings opportunity for the sport's trotting stars that could keep them from retiring early to the breeding ranks. That's a mission throughout harness racing, and in the case of The Meadows Maturity events, the effort appears to be a success. The distaff version attracted two Dan Patch Award winners in Shake It Cerry and Classic Martine as well as The Meadows' elite female trotters, including Daylon Miracle, Anaffairtoremember, Cowgirl Hall and Whata Donato. Shake It Cerry, who was won more than $2 million in her career, kicks off her 4-year-old campaign in The Meadows Maturity following a winning qualifier in 1:55 -- last quarter in 27.1 -- at the Meadowlands. Trainer Jimmy Takter was in the sulky that day and was pleased with her performance. "I was very impressed with how she felt," Takter reports. "I'm very happy with the way she's training." When Takter turns the reins over to Dave Palone, he won't be advising the Hall of Fame driver to take it easy on the champ her first time out." "She likes to be in charge," Takter said. "When she gets behind the gate, she wants to be part of the action." Takter indicated he and Shake It Cerry's owners, Solveig's Racing Partners, have mapped out an ambitious schedule for the champion that likely won't include any races against males. "It's possible she could race against boys if it's for 4-year-olds only, but we wouldn't race her against boys in anything that's 4 and up," Takter said. He said he does not expect this to be the final season on the track for Shake It Cerry. "At 5, I think she'll be a candidate to ship to Europe to race," Takter said. Classic Martine also is launching her 4-year-old campaign and must do so from post 9 for driver Dan Rawlings, trainer Chris Oakes and owners Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich and Edwin Gold. But The Meadows Maturity brings her back to the scene of a particularly memorable finish. That occurred in the championship of the 2013 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for sophomore fillies, when Classic Martine and Frau Blucher crossed the wire together in 1:53.2. It was the fastest trotting dead heat in North American harness racing history, a mark that still stands. If she wins Friday, the daughter of Classic Photo-Drinking Days becomes a millionaire. Friday's program also features the $33,700 championship of the Do Me Honor Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Here is The Meadows Maturity field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Sweetie Hearts, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock, 20-1 2. Cowgirl Hall, Eric Goodell, Ron Burke, 8-1 3. Anaffairtoremember, Mike Wilder, William Bercury, 10-1 4. Daylon Miracle, Aaron Merriman, William Bercury, 5-1 5. Rockin With Dewey, Eric Ledford, Benoit Baillargeon, 12-1 6. Handover Belle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1 7. Shake It Cerry, Dave Palone, Jimmy Takter, 7-5 8. Whata Donato, Doug Snyder, Doug Snyder, 20-1 9. Classic Martine, Dan Rawlings, Chris Oakes, 4-1 Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 24, 2015 -- Mistress Valentine overpowered the field with a strong first-over move that carried her to a harness racing victory in Tuesday's $22,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Mike Wilder hustled Mistress Valentine to a seat fourth from post 8. When no cover materialized down the backside, the 6-year-old daughter of Master Glide - Patsy's Valentine did the heavy lifting herself, gobbling up the leaders and scoring in 1:55.3. Anaffairtoremember was second, 2-3/4 lengths back, with Kandian Klub third. Tyler Stillings conditions Mistress Valentine, who now boasts lifetime earnings of $256,354, and owns with Rags To Riches Of PA. It was one of five wins on the 14-race card for Wilder. In the companion feature, the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality moved first over from fourth to capture his initial 2015 win in 1:54.3, 1-1/4 lengths better than Crazolo. Tall Cotton shot the Lightning Lane for show. Lisa Dunn-Adams trains Classicality, a 5-year-old Classic Photo - Penn Worthy Lane gelding who extended his career bankroll to $196,262, for Dunn Stable. Aaron Merriman enjoyed a four-bagger on the day. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino       A world-class entertainment destination, The Meadows features over 80 table games and more than 3,300 slot machines, premier restaurants with spectacular views of the gaming floor and the racetrack, a racing grandstand with VIP suites, a simulcast area, and an all-ages bowling center. The Meadows also offers a high limit slots area and an exclusive high limit table games room featuring exceptional service in a relaxing, upscale setting.       For more information, please see:       Cannery Casino Resorts       The Meadows is owned by Las Vegas-based Cannery Casino Resorts (CCR). CCR conceived, built and operates two highly regarded resorts in Las Vegas: the Cannery Casino & Hotel and the Eastside Cannery. For more information, please see:           # # #       Gambling Problem? Call (800) 848-1880                      

Pompano Beach, FL...January 19, 2015...Pompano Park presented a pair of Open harness racing events for mares on Monday night with Pure Barre extending her winning skein to three for Mickey McNichol in the trot and Pertty Music returning to her winning ways for Ed Hensley in the pace.   Pure Barre, Tom Gonsalves' outstanding seven year-old daughter of Classic Photo, overcame the outside seven post and a pair of stout challenges during the mile to score what turned out to be a handy victory in 1:54.4 on the coolish night (68 degrees), pinning a 3 1/2 length defeat on Saint Patty's Doll, with Bruce Ranger in the bike. Black Swan, handled by Dan Clements, finished third while Reverie Devictoire and M T Ur Pockets picked up the minor awards.   As the gate opened, McNichol sent Pure Barre winging and out-rushed Saint Patty's Doll to the opening marker timed in :27. Unlike last week, when Pure Barre saw only one minimal threat develop around the final bend, much earlier threats developed this time around as Trot Fudge Sundae (Dave Ingraham) rushed up along side the leader half way through the mile clocked in :56.4. As Trot Fudge Sundae's bid disappeared on the backside, M T Ur Pockets (Ed Hensley) went on a double-bubble binge to reach the saddle pad of Pure Barre at the third station, clocked in 1:25.2.   In the lane, Pure Barre put away that challenge and easily pulled away from Saint Patty's Doll for the handy win, one tick faster than last week's triumph.   In a post race interview--if one can call it that--driver Mickey McNichol said, "It was a nice trip!"   The victory kept Pure Barre's record perfect this year--two-for-two--and sent her lifetime bounty to $226,645 on the strength of her 22nd lifetime win.   As the 3 to 5 favorite, Pure Barre paid $3.20 to her faithful.   Pertty Music got a picture perfect journey from owner-trainer Ed Hensley to score a resounding victory measuring just over five lengths in 1:52--this after sitting cozily in the pocket and letting McFlirty and Ricky Macomber, Jr. cut all the fractions--:27, 55.4 and 1:24.   The late charging De Vins Girl, driven by Rick Plano, rallied from far back to finish second while McFlirty held on for third. Wind River Cat finished fourth in the mile while Mach Me Not picked up the nickel in the field of nine.   Just A Bee, coming in to the action on a four race winning streak, could not overcome the handicap of the outside nine post and finished off the board this night.   After the race, driver Ed Hensley said, "She has been racing good over the past month but this is a very talented group of mares in the open here and it is very tough to win week after week. Tonight, we had the luck of the draw on our side so, when the gate opened, my mare just kind of followed it out and we were lucky to get a garden trip when Ricky's (Macomber) mare (McFlirty) took the top spot. When I asked her turning for home, she just exploded with pace. She was very sharp tonight."   Pertty Music, a five year-old daughter of Jereme's Jet, now has 15 lifetime wins in 65 career starts, good for $221,522.   As the even money favorite on the tote-board, Pertty Music paid $4.20 to win.   Finally, with the 3 to 5 favorite Senorita Santanna scoring a resounding 1:52.1 victory in the night's finale, there were several winning consolation tickets worth $174.18 for a 20 cent investment in the Super Hi-5 event meaning the carryover to the Tuesday night program for that event is close to $60,000, again, a track record.   Post time for the Tuesday night card is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park            

Pompano Beach, FL...January 12, 2015...Pure Barre and Just A Bee extended their winning streaks on Monday night as Pompano Park hosted a pair of Open events for mares--one for trotters and the other, of course, for pacers.   The grand mare Pure Barre, making her 100th lifetime start, overcame the outside nine post to score a near gate-to-wire win for Mickey McNichol in 1:55 for her 21st lifetime win.   Owned and trained by Tom Gonsalves, the now seven year-old daughter of Classic Photo, secured the lead around the opening turn and clocked panels of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:26 before sealing the issue with a :29 finale to score by 2 3/4 lengths over the late charging McTiny's Hope, driven by Ben McNeil. M T Ur Pockets, well back early, finished third for Ed Hensley while Trot Fudge Sundae, a stout challenger around the final turn, was fourth. She's All In rallied to get the nickel.   In a post-race interview, driver Mickey McNichol said, "Yes, we had the nine post but this mare is very handy out of the gate and likes to be in the thick of things from the get-go. There didn't seem to be that much early speed in there, so I just let her do her own thing. She knows how to throttle and she knows how to relax--something she did in the second quarter. There was a bit of a challenge around that final turn but she was well in hand all the way home."   Pure Barre, with only nine starts under her girth last year--her scorecard reading 5-3-0 with $34,280--made her initial start of this new year just as she ended last season--with a win--to send her lifetime bounty to $220,145.   As second choice in the wagering, Pure Barre paid $7.00 to her faithful.   Just A Bee, known as the "Queen Bee" in this top class for mares off of three straight winning performances, justified her even money backing on the tote-board by making it a "hambone"--four-in-a-row--as she, too, was a near wire-to-wire winner for Mike Micallef. Her 1:51 triumph was measured as 3/4 of a length over McFlirty, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr. Mach It A Par, longest prop on the board at 48 to 1, finished third for Dan Clements while P L Hula and Pertty Music earned the last two awards.   Starting from the outside post in her septet of mares, Just A Bee was on the fly from the get-go, stinging her way to the top spot around the first turn and buzzing through panels of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.1 before zipping home in :27.4.   The seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, owned by Anita Micallef along with John Mc Goff and Greg Heath, won for the 27th time during her blossoming career, sending her lifetime earnings to $162,416.   After the event, driver Mike Micallef said, "when the gate opened, I really didn't know if we were going for the top spot or somewhere close up. She's very handy and has an attitude kinda like, 'just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it!' Were riding the crest right now, so we have to enjoy this while we can. These other mares are very good, too, so each week is an adventure. Just A Bee is just very sharp now. Who knows how long this will last."   Just A Bee returned $4.00 to win.   Once again the Super Hi-5 had multiple winners on Monday night--the consolation paid $1,437.46--so the carry-over to Wednesday's program is close to $40,000.   Post time for the mid-week 11 race card is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry, for the Isle Pompano Park        

Classic Martine and driver Tim Tetrick faced four other world champions and went right to the lead and never looked back en route to a 1:54.1 triumph in the $121,000 final of the Ms Versatility for older trotting mares. Tetrick made the best use of the rail starting point on a half mile track and shot out to the early lead with Maven (Yannick Gingras) getting the two-hole trip to the opening quarter mile in :27.3. Then to the half mile marker in an easy :57 saw Classic Martine face her first challenge as Ma Chere Hall (David Miller) started up first-over and Bee A Magician (Brian Sears) was able to grab the second-over live cover. They raced down the backstretch and after the three-quarters in 1:25.1, Sears sent Bee A Magician three-wide and make it a three horse fight to the finish down the stretch. Classic Martine would have no part of that as she dug in and held on to win by a half length in 1:54.1. A late closing Charmed Life (Brett Miller) was second with Maven third. It was the ninth win this year for Classic Martine. The four-year-old mare by Classic Photo is trained by Chris Oakes and is owned by Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, C. Zurich and Edwin Gold. She paid $5.60 to win. “She raced really well,” said trainer Chris Oaks, “She is a very good mare and has a great season. Last week at Chester she had the 8-hole blues, but she bounced back quick. Everyone know my mare can leave like a runner. She real good on her feet and that it would take someone special to beat her out of the gate.” By Steve Wolf, for

Sweden’s Ed You benefitted from a masterful drive by Torbjorn Jansson to storm home past compatriot Mosaique Face to became the third winner of the Group 1 UET Trotting Masters Final (500,000 euros) at Denmark’s Charlottenlund racetrack. Three of the top four UET Masters’ Series ranked Swedish horses were in the field for the 2500m race including French-trained Commander Crowe (Juliano Star), in his very last start of stellar career in Europe before embarking on a swansong to the Untied States Indeed it was Fabrice Soulouy’s 11-year-old chestnut who began the fastest holding off Ed You (Love You) in the initial speed duel, the latter settling into the trail. Into the straight for the first time Europe’s highest ranked horse Timoko (Imoko) of France sprinted up from the back to try and outflank Commander Crowe, but was forced to sit parked and then ended up in the one-one when Lutfi Kolgjini moved up with last year’s Swedish TravDerby winner Mosaïque Face(Classic Photo) a lap out. Commander Crowe kept up the tempo as Mosaïque Face applied the pressure and the two accelerated out of the turn of the back straight for the last time, with Prussia (Ken Warkentin) and Solvato (Donato Hanover) also sprinting hard three and four wide turning for home. Timoko found himself in a difficult position as these attacks occurred, unable to move out and and lost ground and momentum. In the home straight, Commander Crowe’s brave bid faded as Mosaique Face got to the front but Jansson found room to get Ed You off the fence, and used the kinder inside run to his advantage to get by Mosaïque Face with a irresistible burst. Canaka B.F. (Jobie Tempest) found room on the inside ahead of Commander Crowe to grab third just ahead of Timoko, who came on strongly with a stayer’s run for fourth. For Ed You, a late bloomer and controversial winner in July of the prestigious Hugo Abergs Memorial after Un Mec d'Héripré's disqualication, this was best result of his career. He is trained by the Swede Robert Bergh. In the supporting N.J. Kosters Memorial Fredrik Solberg’s BBS Sugarlight (Super Light) shot out of the gate to take a lead he never relinquished. From ther Peter Untersteiner took control of the race from the front with Amour Rapide (Love You) and top Swedish driver Johnny Takter in the bike settling into the trail. Untersteiner released the brakes off BBS Sugarlight at the top of the final bend and he responded superbly and cruised to the line with ease, covering the 1600m journey in a 1.12.0 kilometre rate (1.55.8MR). Flemming Jensen’s veteran warhorse O’Grady (SJ’s Photo) who had sat second-over for most of the race, charged home to nose out Amour Rapide for second money. The previous day at Vincennes, there were two national Group ones, the most prestigious races on the French calendar, with a placing from first to seventh enough to earn prestigious black type in France and coveted Classique status. In the Prix de l'Etoile, an intergenerational race over the Vincennes sprint distance of 2150m, which brings the cream of the 3, 4 and 5 year-old crops together in a handicap setting similar to weight for age racing, Brillantissime (Ready Cash) and Black d’Avril (Oceano Nox ) fought for the early lead, with the inside horse handing up to Brillantissime before the turn into the Joinville plain. Favourite Biche des Clos (Rolling d'Heripre ) moved up prominent outside Brillantissime up the hill and these two led the field down the sweeping turn and into the front straight. Biche des Clos poured on the pressure and Brillantissime could not respond, while Black D’Avril pulled out of the trail and once clear showed terrific acceleration to swoop past Biche des Clos and claim the coveted Group one. Former age group star Billie de Montfort (Jasmin de Flore ) nabbed Brillantissime on the line for third place. The Prix d’Normandie, one of the top three monte races in the world, for 5YOs, is raced over 3000m for 240,000 euros and here it was Vittel de Brevol (Jag de Bellouet) who took control of the race down the straight for the first time, while hot favourite Vision Intense (Prodigious) got parked three wide and five back. At the top of the hill David Thomain pressed the go button on Vittel de Brevol and by the crossroads where the flat inside floodlit track joins the “grand piste” had slipped clear by seven lengths. Vittel de Brevol still had a handy lead into the straight and though Vision Intense tried desperately to close the gap, the line came up too quickly. Valse Castelets was a long way back third ahead of Viva Forest. The winner recorded a slick 1.13,9 (1.58.9MR) for the 3000m, just a little outside Prince Gede’s record 1.13.6 (1.58.4MR) which was set in 2009. Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 10, 2014 -- Trailing by 6-1/2 lengths at the half, Classicality went widest in the stretch to pull off a 16-1 shocker in Wednesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. It was the second consecutive Silky Sullivan-style upset for Classicality, who triumphed last week at 10-1. Waiting On A Woman took the field through the half in 56.3, but a 27.3 third panel made her vulnerable to Classicality's late charge. The 4-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding rolled home for Brian Zendt in a career-best 1:53 to down Better Caviar by 3/4 lengths. Daylon Miracle earned show. Lisa Dunn-Adams trains the homebred Classicality, who now boasts $143,427 in lifetime earnings, for Dunn Stable. Dave Palone drove five winners -- three for trainer Ron Burke -- on the 15-race card while Aaron Merriman fashioned a four-bagger. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 3, 2014 -- Idling in seventh by 6 lengths at the half, Classicality brushed wide through the lane and scored a 10-1 upset in Wednesday's $15,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot at The Meadows. Classicality's position -- third over and chasing Run And Tell Pap, who enjoyed a leisurely 58.1 half on the lead -- appeared unenviable. But his cover was live enough to carry him to the stretch, and the 4-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding did the rest, roaring home for Brian Zendt in 1.54.3. Major Athens was second, 1/2 length back, while Run And Tell Pap garnered a third-place check that lifted him over $500,000 in career earnings. Lisa Dunn-Adams trains the homebred Classicality, who boosted his lifetime bankroll to $134,427, for Dunn Stable. Six drivers -- Eric Ledford, Jim Pantaleano, Dave Palone, Dick Stillings, Wilbur Yoder and Zendt -- each drove a pair of winners on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues with a special Thursday card, first post 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

Drivers Truman Gale and Jimmy Whittemore each scored three victories on the Labor Day matinee program at Vernon Downs.   Gale picked up victories in the first race with Mass Appeal (Muscle Mass-Pana Colada), the seventh race with Psyched (Conway Hall-Psychotherapist), and the tenth and final race with Funny Photo (Classic Photo-American Jean). Funny Photo was sent off as the even-money favorite and certainly trotted that way, winning by a comfortable margin of five lengths in a final time of 1:57.   Whittemore won the third race with the betting favorite, How Bout Cash (Cash Hall-Hot Chili Girl), the sixth race with Ehi Guaglione (Camotion-Her Eyes Only), and the eighth race with Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail).   The drive with Jokerman might have been the most impressive of the day for Whittemore. The horse was sent off at 26-1 and sat last in the field of seven through the three-quarter mark before weaving through traffic in the stretch to strike the front before the wire and win, returning $54 for those who backed him.   The $3,500 feature race on the Monday program was the ninth race, which was a work of art by the winner Daley Lovin (Conway Hall-Dreamsrmadeofthis).   Trainer-driver Dan Daley sent Daley Lovin immediately to the lead and was never threatened after that. The colt built up an eight-length lead through three-quarters and continued to pull away through the stretch, eventually building a winning margin of sixteen lengths. The fractions were 27.2 for the quarter, 56.3 for the half, 1:24.3 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:53.4.   The complete order of finish for the ninth race was: Daley Lovin, Sonnewald, Im-A-Gangster, Paradise Paintball, Tellmehowyoulikeit, Lucy, and Dewlalula.   Daley Lovin is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Jirl LLC of Yonkers, New York.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs 

Eight top three-year-old pacers will contest the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown, the 60th Cane Pace, and nine top drivers will contest the second half of the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship on a blockbuster Labor Day (Monday, September 1) card at Tioga Downs.   He's Watching brings a four-race win streak into the $437,325 Cane Pace, carded as Monday's ninth race. Since fading to third in the North America Cup, the son of American Ideal proved a powerful 1:46.4 winner in the Meadowlands Pace and an equally dominant 1:49.1 winner in the Empire Breeders Classic, taking the eliminations for each respective event as well. Usual driver Tim Tetrick has once again been listed by trainer David Menary. He's Watching is one of three $35,000 supplemental entries, along with Luck Be Withyou and Lyons Somewhere.   Among those looking to deny He's Watching the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown are Milstein runner-up Luck Be Withyou and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera.   Luck Be Withyou, the Chris Oakes-trained son of Western Ideal, chased McWicked in the $400,000 Milstein at Northfield two weeks ago, finishing in a dead heat for second with McWicked, just three-quarters of a length behind eventual winner All Bets Off, who pounced up the open stretch. Ron Pierce is listed to drive the nine-time winner.   JK Endofanera, the lone millionaire in the field, rebounded well from a sixth-place finish in the Meadowlnads, taking second in the Empire Breeders Classic before scoring a 1:50.1 Geers Stake win locally. Ron Burke has listed Brian Sears to handle the driving duties.   Ten three-year-old pacing fillies entered the Shady Daisy, which will be raced as a single $124,325 dash in the afternoon's seventh race. Fancy Desire, a $7,500 supplemental entry, leads the full field, having won the $300,000 James Lynch at Pocono in 1:49.3 among seven other career wins. Mark MacDonald has been nominated by trainer Kevin Carr to drive the Real Desire filly. Geers winner Katie Said (Marcus Miller), Pennsylvania standout Tyra (Tim Tetrick nominated), and stakes-placed Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell nominated) are also among the Shady Daisy entrants.   Eight distaff trotters will vie for their share of $40,000 in a Miss Versatility preliminary event, carded as the third race. Divisional standout Maven returned to her winning ways in a Preferred event at Pocono last week, struggling in prior events since returning to the States after a sixth-place finish in the Elitloppet. The Jonas Czernyson trainee will be reunited with regular driver Yannick Gingras, and will race as part of a three-mare entry with stablemates D'Orsay (Corey Callahan) and Ma Chere Hall (David Miller). Classic Martine, who has found her way into the spotlight as of late with wins in the Armbro Flight and Ima Lula events, also draws into the star-studded event, with Tim Tetrick listed to drive the Chris Oakes-trained daughter of Classic Photo.   In addition to the high-profile stakes action, nine of the premier drivers in the sport complete the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship, with the first round taking place on Friday (August 29) at Vernon Downs. As in years past, the overall winner of the nine-race tournament takes home a $25,000 first prize--the equivalent of the commission for winning a $1,000,000 race. All nine drivers additionally will donate their commissions to charity.   Tioga Downs honors last year's Driver's Championship winner Jim Marohn, Jr. with a bobblehead giveaway. Fans can receive their bobblehead, as well as a Drivers' Championship t-shirt (while supplies last) at the promotions table on the tarmac prior to and during the races. Post time for the 11-race card is 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Corky (4m Muscles Yankee-Clarice Marie-Balanced Image) was an easy winner of today's TeleBolaget Grand Prix for 150,000SEK first prize at Orebro. Eleven contested this 2100 meter autostart event with the Stig H. Johansson trained recent US import scoring in 1.13.5kr for teamster Erik Adielsson. Corky is now owned by Stall Corkad and he posted his third 2014 victory in six starts and 10th in 30 career appearances, now with earnings of 6,757,773SEK. Jonesy was second for Tuomas Korvenoja with Finally Famous home third for Torbjorn Jansson. Peter Haughton winner Aperfectyankee was eighth for trainer/driver Jim Oscarsson. The undercard saw O'Grady take a fast-class event for 50,000SEK first money in 1.13.5kr for Flemming Jensen. Denmark's veteran eight year-old son of SJ's Photo-Dawn Garbo-Smasher recorded his 34th career win in 65 starts for 3,139,064SEK as he defeated Zlatan Blou with Jorma Kontio up and Classic Son handled by Peter Untersteiner. The Orebro card also saw First Visit (3f Muscle Hill-Falls For You-Yankee Glide) win for owner/trainer/driver Stefan Melander in 1.17.9kr over 2140 meters volt start, her first win in her first start. Two Italian imports also recorded impressive wins. Polar LB (5m Classic Photo-Electa LB-Supergill) scored over 1640 meters autostart for Bjorn Goop in 1.12.6kr, his ninth win in 36 tries. The Breeders Course for two year -olds, worth 70,000SEK to the winner, went to Troja d'Asolo (2f Varenne-Avigliana-Lemon Dra) with Rene Legati up for trainer Holger Ehglert in 1.14.5kr over 1640 meters autostart. This was her second win in only two starts. Tunika was second for Erik Adielsson with Pasithea Face home third for Adrian Kolgjini. The Breeders Course final for two year-olds is September 9th at Jagersro. Thomas H. Hicks

The sun peaked out just in time for the first race at the Meadowlands Saturday afternoon and with the track maintenance crew working overtime paid off as Classic Martine held off a determined Bee A Magician and tied the world record for four-year-old mares with a 1:51.1 triumph in the $52,000 final of the Ima Lula Trot. Classic Martine and driver Tim Tetrick was able to take the early lead away from NF Happenstance (Jack Parker, Jr.) by the opening quarter mile in :27. They started to back it down to the half mile in :55.2 as Bee A Magician and driver Brian Sears come first-over over and started to grind their way towards the leaders and nearly collared Classic Martine at the three-quarters in 1:23. As they started down the stretch it looked as if Sears had Bee A Magician in full stride but each time they nearly caught the leader, Tetrick asked Classic Martine and she responded twice before holding off for a neck victory. NF Happenstance was third. “My mares best game is usually not on the front,” said Tetrick, “but today we had to do it. We fought it out. Brian’s mare was still good but mine was better.” It was the a lifetime mark for Classic Martine as the daughter of Classic Photo tied Bee A Magician’s world mark she set back on July 12. It was her seventh win this year in just nine starts for trainer Chris Oakes. Classic Martine is owned by Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, Zurick and Ed Gold. She paid $2.60 to win as the 1/5 betting favorite. “She is a good mare and she came back gamely,” said Chris Oakes, “She is a very talented filly. She couldn’t get the job done against Bee A Magician last year but she has come back super this year.” Classic Martine By Steve Wolf for

Take My Picture (7g Classic Photo-Habits Lady-Muscles Yankee) with Therese Lindgren in the irons for trainer Nikolas Drennan captured the second division of the first leg of the Hambletonian Monte Series at the new Meadowlands in a hotly contested affair. Bred by Status Stables and owned by Joseph and Laurie Davino, the winner scored in a sharp 1:58.1 (last quarter :27.4) to defeat Vernon open trotter A Penny Earned and Michelle Crawford with pacesetter, veteran Master Pine and Helene Gregory home third. Master Pine holds the North American monte record of 1:57.1 taken August 4, 2012. Take My Picture is a career earner of $836,916 with 23 victories in 109 starts (both sulky and monte). The first division went to Flowing James (8g Ilooklikemymom-Flowing Jody-Rule The Wind) and trainer Tara Hynes. This pair scored in 2:00 over Bambino Hall, Stephanie Jacobs aboard, with Tymal So Nice and Heather Reese finishing third. Each division carried a purse of $5,000 and were conducted as non-wagering races after the second and fourth races on the regular card. The Hambletonian Monte Series Final will take place the evening prior to the Hambletonian and will carry an estimated purse of $30,000. by Thomas H. Hicks, for MonteAmerica

Magic Tonight (5m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) easily won today’s Gr. II International UET Masters Series Stora Sprinterslopp over 1640 meters autostart in Sweden. The Roger Walmann trainee was reined by Johan Untersteiner to victory in 1.09.9kr to earn 600,000SEK first prize. The talented trotter now has 14 wins in 44 outings for earnings of 4,875,831SEK. Mosaique Face (5m Classic Photo-Iona LB-Supergill) was second for Adrian Kolgjini. Reven d’Amour (9m Revenue-Melody d’Amour-Super Arnie) finished third for Ulf Ohlsson. The beaten field in order of finish also included Oasis Bi, Ed You, Mr. Picolit, Orecchietti, Nahar (2013 Elitloppet winner), Digital Ink, and Democrat. The card at Arjang also showcased a win by KLM Buymethemoon (6m Pine Chip-KLM See Bye Fly-Nordin Hanover) and Erik Adielsson up. He scored in 1.12kr over 1640 meters autostart in the Bronze Division worth 110,000SEK to winner. The US import Curtsy Hanover (4f Cantab Hall-Chiptease-Pine Chip) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom. The Silver Division, worth 125,000SEK to the winner, went to Arazi Boko (7g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) and Orjan Kihlstrom. He scored in 1.12.9kr over 2140 meters autostart. The J-P Dubois bred Nato Dream (5m Donato Hanover-Nugget Dream-Pine Chip) was second for Stefan Melander. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

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