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Guardian Angel AS went to post as the public choice in Saturday's $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic at Northfield Park and did not disappoint. He delivered a spectacular 1:52 world record victory. Guardian Angel AS ($3.80) started from the rail. He floated off the gate and two rivals were ahead of him at the 1/8-pole. Once the field was set, driver Jason Bartlett attempted a quarter-move. However, Jody Jamieson, who was in front with Emoticon Hanover at the time, foiled Bartlett's plan and would not relinquish the lead. Bartlett remained first-over the remaining 7/8 of the mile through fractions of :27.3, :55.3, 1:24.1 and 1:52. "My first priority was to get him through the first turn without breaking. Then, I got him to the outside and saw that Jody wanted to stay on the lead," explained Bartlett. "So I let him grind it out the rest of the way. On the third turn I knew I had it won. He was spectacular tonight and overcame a tough trip." The 1:52 time is the fastest mile ever trotted over Northfield Park's Flying Turns and officially breaks the five year-old and up trotting horse record previously held by Crazy Wow in 1:52.3, set in 2017 with Chris Page. The speedy clocking also represents a new world record for five year-old and up trotting horses on a half-mile track. The previous 1:52.3 record was also Crazy Wow's previous track record the 2017 Cleveland Trotting Classic victory. Saturday's win is Guardian Angel AS's fourth consecutive victory and represents his 20th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $702,280 for owners ACL Stuteri Ab of Kentucky and Kjell Johansson of Sweden and trainer Anette Lorentzon. Guardian Angel AS Completing the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic were Musical Rhythm, Emoticon Hanover, Pinkman, Plunge Blue Chip, Dayson, Marion Marauder and Weslynn Dancer. Earlier on the card Yes broke the Northfield Park track record and lowered the world record for sophomore trotting geldings on a half-mile track. His 1:53.1 clocking won the $25,000 Gin Blossom Series Final by 6¼-lengths. Ryan Stahl drove the trotter for trainer Jason McGinnis and owners Thestable Yes Group, of TheStable.ca, a fractional horse ownership conglomerate that has grown to be the largest stable in Canada. Yes (Manofmanymissions-Fantasy Yankee-Muscles Yankee) now has five wins in 16 career starts and earnings of $129,525. Ayers Ratliff

As the time for stakes nominations for 2019 nears, Northfield Park reminds the connections of top Open Pacers, Open Trotters and Three-Year-Old Pacers that the track's richest three Grand Circuit events in 2019 will all be "By-Invitation-Only". The $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie (Open Pace) on June 8 -- the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic (Open Trot) on June 29 -- and the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial (3YO Pace) on August 10 will all be Invitationals with no nomination or starting fees for the participants. Northfield's Executive Vice President of Racing Dave Bianconi adopted the change for this year's Battle and Trotting Classic (the Milstein Memorial has already been an Invitational for the past few seasons) with the following reasoning, "I simply think that Invitationals are the way that Northfield can attract the best eight horses for each of these great events. When you are handcuffed with only the horses that paid into your stakes races as possible starters, you can often miss a late-bloomer who gets hot leading up to your race. "It isn't uncommon for connections of good horses miss a payment deadline early in the year," Bianconi added. "and then find themselves on the outside looking in come race time. Also, with state-bred Sires Stakes programs across the country so economical to enter and so lucrative to participate in, it has become more difficult to get young horses to stake to numerous Grand Circuit events. That led to the change when the Carl Milstein Memorial became an Invitational, and we have had some great fields for that race since the change. I want that same flexibility for our Open events (The Battle of Lake Erie and Cleveland Trotting Classic)". While Northfield will be actively recruiting the top horses for these races as the year goes on, Bianconi encourages the connections of horses that are interested in participating to reach out to him as well. "I'd love to hear from owners or trainers who think their horse would fit in well in any of our big events. I like to invite horses from different circuits across North America to meet here at Northfield, which is an easy ship from just about anywhere. Please feel free to email me at dbianconi@northfieldpark.com or call me in the race office at 330-467-4101 ext. 2300." Northfield's feature event for three-year-old pacing fillies, the $125,000 Courageous Lady on October 12, will remain a stakes event overseen by the Hambletonian Society. "The Courageous Lady is late in the year after everyone's Sires Stakes have been completed, so it has been successful as a paid-in event. I'm leaving it alone for now." explained Bianconi. by Aryes Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Marion Marauder trotted home a winner in Saturday's $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic, dethroning last year's champion Crazy Wow, and continues his march through the national trotting ranks. He trotted the one mile race in 1:52.4. The 2015 trotting Triple Crown Champion, Marion Marauder entered the Classic off a 1:55.1 victory in a $44,000 Open Handicap at Yonkers Raceway despite being parked the entire mile. He again had to take a considerable amount of air to grind out a first-over victory in the Classic's Grand Circuit event. The Trotting Classic was scratched down to a field of six, with #7 Homicide Hunter and #8 Will Take Charge withdrawing from the race due to illness. Marion Marauder ($2.20) was heavily favored by the betting public and started from post two. He sat third through the: 27.4 opening quarter. Driver Jordan Stratton pulled Marion Marauder first-over in the second turn and remained parked the remainder of the mile despite the leader, Crazy Wow, going off stride at the half. "I'm not sure what happened to Crazy Wow. That sure was an uncharacteristic break," said Stratton. "But it sure worked out for me." In Secret, who sat the pocket through the opening quarter battled with Marion Marauder through fractions of: 56.2 and 1:23.4 before weakening at the top of the stretch. "I was a little worried about In Secret. I have seen him race several times and know he is a tough horse," commented Stratton. "But Marion Marauder just trotted through and overcame tonight." He took the lead at the top of the stretch and bested his competition by 1 ¾ lengths. Saturday marked the second time Jordan Stratton traveled to his native state of Ohio this month. On June 2, he piloted Bit Of A Legend to victory in Northfield's $200,000 Battle Of Lake Erie. Saturday's win is Marion Marauder's third win this year and 17th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $2,705,200 for owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, and trainer Paula Wellwood. Completing the Classic field were I Know My Chip, In Secret, Dia Monde, Another Breath and Crazy Wow. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Crazy Wow trotted home a harness racing winner in Saturday's $185,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic, dethroning last year's champion Obrigado, and continues to march through the national FFA trotting ranks. The son of Crazed entered the Classic off consecutive victories in the $150,000 Maxie Lee Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia and the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot at Scioto Downs, scoring in both by leading his competition from gate to wire. Crazy Wow showed versatility by flying past his competition in a thrilling stretch drive to win by ½-length in 1:52.3. The impressive clocking equaled the all-age trotting track record at Northfield Park. Crazy Wow ($9.40) started from post two and sat second behind Obrigado (Mark MacDonald) through solid fractions of :26.4, :56 and 1:24.1. Race favorite, Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) sustained a strong first-over bid and was slightly in front through the final turn, allowing Crazy Wow enough room to shift to the outside. "The trip worked out perfect. I got to loom the danger the whole way," said winning driver Chris Page. "When I got him out he showed he was a real horse and knew what to do." The race time replaces the 1:53.2 time of 2015 Cleveland Trotting Classic winner Daylon Magician (Jack Moiseyev) as the fastest mile ever on the Flying Turns for a five year-old and up trotting horse, and equaled the all-age Northfield trotting record of Muscle Up The Goal (Aaron Merriman). Saturday's win is Crazy Wow's third win this year and 18th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $1,865,064 for owners Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, J&T Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms and trainer Ron Burke. Completing the $185,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic were Resolve, Obrigado, Maestro Blue Chip, Il Sogno Dream, Fly Jesse Fly and Will Take Charge. Homicide Hunter was scratched from the event due to sickness. "He (Crazy Wow) is having a great 2017 campaign," explained Page. "I look for a very, very big year from this horse." Ayers Ratliff

Northfield, OH --- Northeast Ohio's newest premier race, the Cleveland Trotting Classic, will go to post Saturday (July 1) at Northfield Park. The harness racing Classic carries a $185,000 purse and has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. The Grand Circuit race is the featured event on a program that includes four $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers. Resolve drew post one and has been named the 8-5 morning line favorite in the Classic field by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi. Resolve enters Saturday's race off a 1:54.3 mile against open company at Yonkers. The race was his first start in the United States since returning from Sweden where he competed in the prestigious Elitlopp at Solvalla Racetrack. In 2016, Resolve won the $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot, a race that was renewed after a 20-year hiatus. Resolve sports 16 wins, lifetime earnings of $2,327,254, and a mark of 1:50.1. Crazy Wow is the 3-1 second choice. He drew post two for powerhouse trainer Ron Burke. The 5-year-old has two wins this year including a track record-setting win at Scioto Downs in the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot on June 10 and an impressive victory in the Maxie Lee Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia. He has garnered career earnings of $1,772,564 and took a mark of 1:51.1 at Vernon Downs in 2014. The 2016 winner of the Cleveland Trotting Classic, Obrigado, will return to Northeast Ohio to defend his crown. Obrigado comes off two strong efforts, including a second to Crazy Wow in the Charlie Hill. Mark MacDonald will be looking for back-to-back Cleveland Trotting Classic wins as he is scheduled to drive the talented 7-year-old gelding. Obrigado has a mark of 1:50.3 at the Meadowlands and has made $1,684,749. Bianconi said about the Classic: "This is the strongest field of trotters we have hosted in my 26 years at Northfield." The 2017 Cleveland Trotting Classic field: Horse-Driver-Trainer-M/L 1-Resolve-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-8-5 2-Crazy Wow-Chris Page-Ron Burke-3-1 3-Il Sogno Dream-Aaron Merriman-Christopher Beaver-10-1 4-Obrigado-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-9-2 5-Fly Jesse Fly-Peter Wrenn-Ron Otto-20-1 6-Maestro Blue Chip-Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-Scott Di Domenico-12-1 7-Homicide Hunter-Aaron Merriman-Chris Oakes-8-1 8-Will Take Charge-TBA-John Bax-15-1 Driver selections will be finalized by 9 p.m. Tuesday evening. This year's Classic program undercard is highlighted by four $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races featuring the best sophomore colt and gelding pacers in the Buckeye State. Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday's 11th race, the Classic feature, and will carry a guaranteed pool of $15,000. A $7,500 guaranteed Pick-4 has also been added and covers races eight through 11. First race post time is 6 p.m. In addition to superior racing action, the night will also offer guests a buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The buffet is just $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330.467.4101. The first 1,000 racing fans (18 and older) will receive a FREE limited edition 60th anniversary t-shirt from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or while supplies last. In addition, from 6-10 p.m. stop by the outdoor apron to listen to country band, Tony Rio and Relentless perform between races, or stop by and try the delicious offerings of Smash Time food truck and Crooked Kettle Popcorn Stand, or try your luck at the beer slide from 7-8 p.m. for cash and prizes. Cleveland Trotting Classic night attendees will receive a bonus entry for the 60th Anniversary Car Giveaway making them eligible to win a 2017 Buick Cascada or a 2017 Honda CR-V. One lucky winner will be drawn randomly on Carl Milstein Memorial Night on Aug. 12. Every summer has a story...start yours at Northfield Park! By Michael Carter, for Northfield Park Assistant Director of Mutuels 330-467-4101, ext. 2240

Obrigado avenged last year's Cleveland Trotting Classic defeat with an impressive track record victory on Saturday (July 2). Last year's runner-up trotted like he had something to prove and bested his competition by 5 ¾-lengths. Obrigado ($3.40) started from the rail. He floated off the gate and two rivals were ahead of him at the 1/8-pole. Once the field was set, driver Mark MacDonald quarter-moved Obrigado. He took the lead just past the :27.2 opening quarter and never experienced an anxious moment the rest of the mile. He led his rivals through times of :56, 1:25 and 1:53.2. "He (Obrigado) is really sharp right now. I got him to the front and let things play out from there," said MacDonald. "Once this horse is near the lead, he does the rest." The 1:53.2 clocking replaces the 1:54.1 time of Kirty Dream (Aaron Merriman) as the fastest trotting mile ever on the Flying Turns for a five year-old and up gelded trotter. Kirty Dream's mark has held since 2014. Saturday's win is Obrigado's fourth win this year and 38th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $1,109,749 for owners Paul Kelley Racing Stable, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45. Completing the $180,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic were Muscle Up The Goal, Shake It Cerry, Il Sogno Dream, Maestro Blue Chip, Homicide Hunter and Like Old Times. "This is a great horse to drive. I love driving for Paul Kelley, and his owners are extremely patient," explained Mac Donald. "It is very meaningful to win races for guys like them." by Ayres Ratliff, for Northfield Park

This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial finals, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Tompkins-Geers, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; Miss Versatility, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will once again be on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Saturday night (July 2) as the track will host four lucrative stakes finals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin for older pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $180,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic for older trotters, while Historic Track will card eight Landmark Stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. A trio of Friday night (July 1) stakes open the Grand Circuit action this week with the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs and the Miss Versatility at Mohawk. At Tioga, there will be two divisions in the $77,380 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old male trotters and two divisions in the $55,380 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old filly trotters. Mohawk will host a pair of C$30,000 divisions in the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the U.S. races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries are available at this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action opened up on Friday night (June 24) at Meadowlands Racetrack with the $200,000 Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters. Displaying no ill effects after being away from the races for almost a month, Resolve powered down the road to an easy one length win in the Cutler. Resolve, the even-money favorite, was sent away fast from post seven and had the lead at the quarter in :27.1. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt did a masterful job of rating the second fraction, which was timed in a sleepy :30 as they hit the half in :57.1. Obrigado, the 2-1 second choice fresh off wins in the Maxie Lee and Charlie Hill Memorial, vacated the four hole at the seven-sixteenths and grinded his way into contention at three-quarters, which went in 1:25.4. Then Svanstedt hit the gas and Resolve responded with a final quarter of :26.3, leaving Obrigado behind while opening up a safe lead. Flanagan Memory, who went a third-over trip, closed well through the stretch to end up a no-threat second. Obrigado held third. Resolve trotted the mile in 1:52.2 for owner Hans Enggren. Social media was abuzz when Wiggle It Jiggleit captured the first of three $30,000 Ben Franklin eliminations on Saturday (June 25) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but the horse that many considered to be the star attraction was overshadowed by his two colleagues that triumphed in the two following divisions and establishes a contest in the $500,000 final on Saturday (July 2) that may very well be epic. Wiggle It Jiggleit is the 2015 Harness Horse of the Year, and is the top-ranked horse in the industry poll. Trained by Clyde Francis and owned by George Teague Jr. Inc. and Teague Racing Partnership, the gelding won his Franklin elimination in 1:48.1. Which was the slowest elimination. By a full second. Because world records were set in the other two cuts: first the 5-year-old pacing stallion Always B Miki took his Franklin elimination in 1:47, equaling Sweet Lou's all-time world record for a five-eighths-mile track (set in the Franklin final two years ago) and missing the all-time race record by a single tick, and then Freaky Feet Pete was off by himself much of the other elimination and still crossed the wire in 1:47.1, a world record for a 4-year-old pacing horse on a five-eighths-mile track. Always B Miki now has won four of six races and $91,500 this year, and 22 of 41 races and $1,319,576 lifetime. Jimmy Takter has brought the pacer all the way back from injury to the top of his game for owners Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter. Freaky Feet Pete is now five-for-six in 2016 and an amazing 29-for-33 in his career, with $1,224,050 in his till for trainer Larry Rheinheimer and owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer and he completed the "Indiana-sired" sweep of the Franklin eliminations. Complete recaps of the weekend races, including the other six Pocono stakes eliminations, are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Jordan Stratton - 191.5; 2. David Miller - 170; 3. Yannick Gingras - 167; 4. Tim Tetrick - 166; 5. Matt Kakaley - 130. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 258; 2. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 170; 3. Peter Tritton - 139.5; 4. Rene Allard - 125; 5. Jimmy Takter - 118. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch - 139.5; 2. Bamond Racing - 112; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 72.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 62.85; 5t. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 51.25; 5t. Teague Racing Partnership - 51.25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Tioga Downs, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Yonkers Raceway. Tioga will host Tompkins-Geers races for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers; The Meadowlands will host the Graduate Series finals for 4-year-old pacers and trotters, Meadowlands Pace eliminations for 3-year-olds and a Reynolds division for 3-year-old filly trotters; and Yonkers features Lawrence Sheppard eliminations for 2-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Northeast Ohio's premier trotting race, the Cleveland Trotting Classic, will go to post Saturday (July 2) at Northfield Park. This will be the second edition of the Classic and it carries a purse of $180,000. The Grand Circuit event has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. It has been slated as the 11th event on a 15-race program. First race post time is 6 p.m. 1-Obrigado, runner-up in this event last year, draws the rail for his return. He has been victorious in 37 of 68 career races, including a 21 race win streak earlier in his career. He has lifetime earnings of $1,019,749 and a 1:51.3 (M 1) mark taken last year. Although entering this event off a third place finish in the $200,000 Cutler Memorial, Obrigado has three wins in six races this year. Those wins include the $200,000 Maxie Lee at Harrah's Philadelphia and the $210,000 Charlie Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs. The six year-old is owned by Paul Kelley Racing Stable, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45. He is conditioned by Paul Kelley. Canadian native Mark MacDonald has been named to steer. 2-Homicide Hunter was sired my Mr Cantab and is owned by Michelle Crawford and Albert Crawford. With 20 career victories, he has been a model of consistency, finishing in the top three 29 of his 33 lifetime starts. He enters the Classic in very good form, just equaling his 1:51.4 lifetime mark in a $54,000 stake race on June 18 at The Meadows. That victory bolstered his career bankroll to $609,513. Christopher Oakes trains the four year-old gelding. Dave Palone, winner of more races than any driver in harness racing history, has been named to drive this 4-1 morning-line competitor. 3-Shake It Cerry has been named the 2-1 morning-line favorite. She is the richest in this year's field, sporting career earnings of $2,547,962. She has 50 lifetime starts and 28 career victories, including the $500,000 Breeders Crown in 2014. She is a five year-old daughter of Donato Hanover with a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 (Lex 1). Shake It Cerry is trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Solveig's Racing Partners. Ronnie Wrenn Jr, Northfield Park's leading driver, has been given the driving assignment. 4-Il Songno Dream is one of two starters in this race from the powerful Christopher Beaver Stable. He has won 17, and been on the board in 32 of 54 career races. He has two runner-up finishes this year in three efforts. This five year-old son of Cantab Hall has career earnings of $803,077. His 1:50.2 (Lex 1) lifetime mark is the fastest in this race. Canadian Trevor Henry comes to drive this 10-1 morning line selection. 5-Muscle Up The Goal enters this race for owner Synerco Ventures, Inc. He is the second entrant in this field for trainer Christopher Beaver. 2015 Dash Driving Champion Aaron Merriman has been given the driving assignment for tonight's outing. The four year-old has already won three times in five tries this year and has won eight of 24 starts lifetime. He earned his 1:52 mark at The Meadows this year in a $20,000 Preferred event. In May of this year, Muscle Up The Goal broke the Northfield Park trotting record and a world record for four year-old trotting horses in 1:52.3. This son of Muscle Mass has lifetime earnings of $257,896. He carries an 8-1 morning line. 6-Maestro Blue Chip is owned by Richard Poillucci and trained by Jo Ann Looney-King. The four year-old enters this race off a 1:53.4 win on June 12 in the $75,000 Graduate at Tioga Downs. He has a total of 25 career starts with 13 triumphs, but has blossomed this year, winning 11 of 12 outings. He earned a 1:51.3 (M 1) lifetime mark just three races ago and has career earnings of $270,173. Victor Kirby has been named to drive this 6-1 morning-line starter. 7-Like Old Times was the 2015 Ohio Horse of the Year. She enters this race off two consecutive local victories, including a 1:55 track record performance and lifetime mark. This daughter of Chip Chip Hooray is owned by Keith Ross and trained on the Flying Turns by Northfield Park Wall of Famer and Ohio Trotmaster Don McKirgan. Like Old Times has 17 victories in 34 starts and has $343,350 in earnings. Ryan Stahl has been named to drive this 25-1 longshot. 8-Boffin, 25-1, enters off a runner-up finish in a $25,000 Open event at Scioto Downs. He has a 1:51.1 (PcD 5/8) lifetime mark and career earnings of $340,127. This son of Donato Hanover has won 28 of 85 career starts. Anette Lorentzon trains Boffin for owners ACL Stuteri AB, Kjell Johansson and Karin Lorentzon. Jason Merriman has been given the driving assignment. This year's Classic program undercard is highlighted by three $20,000 Open events. One features Foiled Again, the richest horse in the history of harness racing and a three-time Battle of Lake Erie winner. The Opens and the Trotting Classic comprise the evening's Pick-4, which carries a $10,000 guaranteed pool. In addition to superior racing action, the night will also offer guests a buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The buffet is just $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330.467.4101. Guests who want to be close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron for an array of free fanfare activities. These attractions include a free Northfield Park ball cap for the first 1,500 patrons, a t-shirt toss from the winner's circle by the successful driver of each race, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6-10 p.m., spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for free cash and prizes from 8-9 p.m., and some of Northeast Ohio's favorite food trucks on the grandstand apron from 6-10 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Northeast Ohio's premier trotting race, the Cleveland Trotting Classic, will go to post Saturday (July 2) at Northfield Park. This will be the second edition of the Classic and it carries a purse of $180,000. The Grand Circuit event has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. It has been slated as the 11th event on a 15-race harness racing program. First race post time is 6:00 p.m.   Shake It Cerry drew post three and has been named the 2-1 morning line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi. Although winless so far in 2016, the five year-old mare has 28 lifetime successes and earnings over $2.5 million.   Obrigado drew the rail and has been assigned a 3-1 morning line. He was the runner-up in last year's Classic and has three wins in six starts this season, most recently a 1:53.3 score in the $210,000 Charlie Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs on June 11.   Local favorite Like Old Times enters this event off two straight wins over the Flying Turns. She was the 2015 Ohio Horse of the Year and is conditioned by Northfield Park Wall of Famer and Ohio Trotmaster, Don McKirgan. Although programmed as a 25-1 longshot, she broke the track record for four year-old trotting mares just two weeks ago.   The 2016 Cleveland Trotting Classic field: Post Horse Driver Trainer M/L 1 Obrigado - Mark MacDonald Paul Kelley 3-1 2 Homicide Hunter - Dave Palone Chris Oakes 4-1 3 Shake It Cerry - Aaron Merriman Jimmy Takter 2-1   4 Il Sogno Dream - Trevor Henry Christopher Beaver 10-1   5 Muscle Up The Goal - Aaron Merriman Christopher Beaver 8-1   6 Maestro Blue Chip - Victory Kirby Jo Ann Looney-King 6-1   7 Like Old Times -  Don McKirgan - Ronnie Wrenn Jr. 25-1   8 Boffin - Jason Merriman -  Anette Lorentzon 25-1   *Driver selections will be finalized by 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.   This year's Classic program undercard is highlighted by three $20,000 Open events. One features Foiled Again, the richest horse in the history of harness racing and a three-time Battle of Lake Erie winner. The Opens and the Trotting Classic comprise the evening's Pick-4, which carries a $10,000 guaranteed pool.   In addition to superior racing action, the night will also offer guests a buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The buffet is just $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330.467.4101.   Guests who want to be close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron for an array of FREE fanfare activities. These attractions include a FREE Northfield Park ball cap for the first 1,500 patrons, a t-shirt toss from the winner's circle by the successful driver of each race, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6-10 p.m., spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for FREE cash and prizes from 8-9 p.m., and some of Northeast Ohio's favorite food trucks on the grandstand apron from 6-10 p.m.   Ayers Ratliff

Harness racing driver Jack Moiseyev won the Cleveland Classic in 1991 with three year-old pacing star Precious Bunny and had not been to Northfield Park since. He returned to the Flying Turns on Friday (July 3) to drive Daylon Magician in the $170,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic and found himself in the winner's circle again. Daylon Magician ($19.80) started from post seven and let his competition carve blistering early fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:23.4. Moiseyev pulled second over and followed cover up the backstretch before making his move in the final quarter and besting his competition by a head, stopping the timer at 1:53.2. The clocking broke the track record for five-and-up trotting horses and tied Northfield's all-age trotting record. "Everything kind of worked out for us. They were going pretty fast and I was able to rest him (Daylon Magician) early, and that is what he really likes," said Jack Moiseyev. "He was in a good spot turning for home because if he is close he tries to beat whoever is in front of him." Friday's win is Daylon Magician's sixth this year and 31st lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $1,934,527 for Komoka, Ontario, Canada owner Daylon Farms LTD. Completing the 2015 Trotting Classic were Obrigado, DW's NY Yank, Rompaway Galaxy, Awesome Valley, Il Sogno Dream, Datsyuk and Count Me In. Daylon Magician The track record set in the Classic was just one of four records set on the 15-race program, which also featured 11 $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races for freshman filly pacers and trotters. In the evening's fifth race Shut Up And Dance ($4.20) broke the track record for two year-old-trotting fillies when she posted a four length victory in 1:58. Aaron Merriman drove for trainer Dirk Simpson and owner James Bafia. The previous record was 1:58.1 held by both Rose Run Keepsake (Steve Carter) in 2008 and You're Majestic (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) in 2014. Lease Ness Monster won the evening's $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open and broke her own record for four year-old-pacing mares. She won by 4¾-lengths in 1:52 for driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and trainer Matt Waltz, who co-owns the mare with David Waltz. Her previous 1:52.1 record was set earlier this year. Victory Is Coming was parked every step of the way in the $20,000 Open Trot and still managed to edge out her competition by a nose in 1:53.2. Ronnie Wrenn Jr drove the mare for trainer Ammon Hershberger and owners Betty and John Red Shaw. That time beat her previous 1:53.3 record she trotted last year. She solely held the title as Northfield's fasted trotter ever for about 15 minutes before Daylon Magician equaled that time in the very next race. Ayers Ratliff  

Northeast Ohio's newest premier race, the Cleveland Trotting Classic, will go to post Friday (July 3) at Northfield Park. The Classic carries a $170,000 purse for its inaugural edition and has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. The Grand Circuit race is the featured event of a stakes-laden program. The Friday harness racing card offers total purses of $647,500. Obrigado drew post two and has been named the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the Classic field by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Entering Friday's race off a 1:51.3 lifetime mark in the $50,000 TVG Free for All at the Meadowlands, Canadian Mark MacDonald has been named to drive the 5 year-old Boy Band gelding. Obrigado sports 31wins, including 21 consecutive victories earlier in his career, and has lifetime earnings of $421,164. DW's NY Yank is the 3-1 second choice. He drew post three for powerhouse trainer Ron Burke. The six year-old has five wins this year and 37 career victories. DW's NY Yank is a hard-hitting Open trotter that has garnered career earnings of $855,914 with a 1:51.3 mark at Pocono Downs taken in 2013. Daylon Magician is the richest in the field with $1,849,527 in earnings. The son of Kadabra drew post seven and is 6-1. The seven year-old has five wins this year and 30 lifetime scores, the richest being the $1,020,000 Canadian Trot at Mohawk Racetrack in 2011. Jack Moiseyev is the seven year-old's trainer and driver. Daylon Magician has a 1:51.1 mark at Mohawk Racetrack, trotted in 2013. The 2015 Cleveland Trotting Classic field: Horse   Sire   Driver   Trainer   M/L 1 - Count Me In by Full Count - Aaron Merriman* Ron Burke 9-2 2 - Obrigado by Boy Band - Mark MacDonald Paul Kelley 2-1 3 - DW's NY by Dilbert Hanover -  Yank Chris Page Ron Burke 3-1 4 - Awesome Valley by  - Aaron Merriman* Joseph Hundertpfund Jr. 20-1 5 - Datsyuk by Explosive Matter - Charlie Norris Charlie Norris 15-1 6 - Rompaway Galaxy by Rompaway Wally - Aaron Merriman* Krista Harmon 12-1 7 - Daylon Magician by Kadabra - Jack Moiseyev Jack Moiseyev 6-1 8 - Il Sogno Dream by Cantab Hall - Aaron Merriman* Christopher Beaver 8-1 *Driver selections will be finalized by 9:00 p.m. Tuesday evening. Powerful Undercard This year's Classic program undercard highlights 11 $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races featuring the best freshman filly pacers and trotters in the Buckeye State. There will be six divisions of filly pacers and five filly trot stake races going to post. Superfecta wagering has been added to Friday's 11th race, the Classic feature. A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 has also been added and covers races eight through 11. First race post time is 6:00 p.m. In addition to superior racing action, Battle night will also offer guests a buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The buffet is just $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101. Guests who want to be close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron for a plethora of FREE fanfare activities. These attractions include a t-shirt toss from the winner's circle by the successful driver of each race, driver meet-and-greets and commemorative poster signings throughout the evening, Harness Racing Bingo offering over $1,000 in cash and prizes, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6:00 till 10:00 p.m., and spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for cash and prizes from 8:00 till 9:30 p.m. Ayers Ratliff

The Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northeast Ohio's newest premier race, is scheduled for its inaugural edition on Friday, July 3. The Grand Circuit race is estimated to carry a purse of $180,000 and has drawn an impressive slate of 22 of the best harness racing veteran trotters in North America that are eligible to the event. Market Share leads all eligibles in earnings with $3,685,796. The six year-old, although winless this year in three starts, has 25 lifetime victories and sports a mark of 1:50.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia. In 2012 Market Share won the $1,500,000 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, the $1,030,000 Canadian Trot at Mohawk Racetrack, the $235,000 American National at Balmoral Park and the $108,000 Galt at Maywood Park. In 2013 Market Share won the $526,710 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack, the $600,000 Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the $200,000 American National at Balmoral Park and the $500,000 TVG Free for All at the Meadowlands. Last year Market Share was successful in the $250,000 Maxie Lee at Harrah's Philadelphia and the $162,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Daylon Magician is the other millionaire of the bunch with $1,847,324 to his credit and a lifetime mark of 1:51.1 at Mohawk Racetrack. The seven year-old has 30 lifetime wins, the richest being the $1,020,000 Canadian Trot at Mohawk Racetrack in 2011. The trotter already has five wins this year and has not been worse than third in his seven starts so far in 2015. DW's NY Yank just won a $26,000 Open Handicap at the Meadowlands. That triumph increased his seasonal win tally to five and lifetime victories to 37. The six year-old hard-hitting Open trotter has garnered career earnings of $853,414 and sports a 1:51.3 mark at Pocono Downs taken in 2013. Il Sogno Dream, in rein to Northfield Park's runner-up leading driver, Aaron Merriman, scored in his last outing in a $25,000 Open Trot at Scioto Downs. He has won two of four starts this year. The four year-old has earned $488,101 with 10 lifetime victories and a 1:52.2 mark at Scioto Downs in May of this year. Natural Herbie also posted a win in his most recent race, a $15,000 conditioned event at Hoosier Park. The five year-old has 25 lifetime wins including the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stake final in 2012 and 2013 and the $250,000 International Trot at Yonkers Raceway in 2014. Natural Herbie has $770,991 in career earnings and a mark of 1:51.4 at the Meadowlands. Friday's Cleveland Trotting Classic will be well-supported with an undercard featuring multiple $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for freshman filly pacers and trotters. Numerous fan-friendly attractions are on tap, including a t-shirt toss from the winner's circle by the successful driver of each race, driver meet-and-greets and commemorative poster signings throughout the evening, Harness Racing Bingo offering over $1,000 in cash and prizes, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6:00 till 10:00 p.m., and spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for cash and prizes from 8:00 till 9:30 p.m. Lady Luck's Clubhouse Restaurant will be offering a $19.95 picnic-themed buffet special. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101. First race post time for the inaugural Cleveland Trotting Classic card is 6:00 p.m. Parking and Admission are always FREE at Northfield Park. Ayers Ratliff

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