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(NEW KENT, VA --- 10/16/13) ---- Hillbilly Desire took advantage of a perfect pocket trip and well timed move in the stretch to capture the $4,500 second leg of the Juniors Pacing Series Wednesday at Colonial Downs. Amanda Jackson's 4 year old Real Desire mare finished second as a beaten favorite to Our Flight in the first series leg. On Wednesday, she sat behind John Ingram's Our Flight through the first three fractions while that 3 year old Panspacificiflight gelding triggered panels of :27 2/5, :56 1/5 and 1:23 3/5. Both Chesapeake Bay, who was third throughout, and Hillbilly Desire passed the first leg winner in deep stretch, and Jackson's pacer crossed three quarters of a length ahead in a lifetime best 1:52.0. Regular driver Frank Milby directed the winning effort for a horse that thrives at Colonial's one turn mile oval. Hillbilly Desire had four wins and a pair of seconds last fall and in the current meet, has a pair of wins and a runner up finish in four outings. Day #17 of the meet was in stark contrast to the past week when clouds and continuous drizzle led to either sloppy or good track conditions. The surface didn't matter to leading driver Chris Page who scored four wins on an off track Saturday and rolled to another four win day on Wednesday over a fast track. He connected with Le-Sirenuse, who has won four straight, McBlack, Bettorseeitmyway and Forever La Nigh. He leads Corey Braden in the standings by a margin of 31 to 26. Colonial Downs will host an eleven race card on Thursday beginning at 1 PM. By Darrel Wood  

(NEW KENT, VA ---10/13/13) --- With only two weeks remaining in the Colonial Downs fall harness race season, drivers Chris Page, Corey Braden and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. are within three wins of each other as a spirited duel between the trio went to new heights during Saturday and Sunday programs this weekend. Entering the weekend action, Braden was on top with 22 wins while Wrenn was second with 21 and Page was one behind with 20. Page, last year's top driver at New Kent, got hot and scored seven wins to surge to the head of the standings with 27. After a four bagger Saturday, the 29 year old scored a hat trick on Sunday with I Concur, Kennairnmachmagic and Candid Photo, who was last year's Virginia-bred 2 year old colt/gelding trotting champ. Wrenn, the nation's leading driver who has raced primarily on weekends during the season's first month, had a driving double Saturday including a dead heat win aboard Tiger Bait. The 27 year old only got to the winners circle once Sunday though, directing Little Nicky B to victory in a Class D pace for leading trainer Dean Eckley. Corey Braden meanwhile, matched Wrenn's output with a pair of scores Saturday and a win Sunday with Indescribable for conditioner Gerald Longo. When Colonial Downs resumes racing on Wednesday, Page will have the outright lead for the first time this meet with 27, two better than Braden's 25. Wrenn, who raced in New Kent his past Thursday too, is in third with 24. By Darrell Wood

(NEW KENT, VA --- 10/6/13) ---- Indescribable won his second straight and had his fifth consecutive impressive outing in Saturday’s featured $4,250 conditioned pace at Colonial Downs. Owner/trainer Gerald Longo, who had been in the sulky for all three of Indescribable’s Colonial starts, opted to have leading driver Cory Braden drive Saturday. The move paid off as the 6 year old Cole Muffler gelding wired the field in a new life mark of 1:50 3/5. Braden’s charge triggered quarter panels of :25 3/5, :54 2/5 and 1:23.0 before crossing 2 ¼ lengths ahead of runner up Sharp Shuttle. He earned his eighth win of the season and 17th lifetime victory. A keen race in in the fall driver standings continued to develop between leader Corey Braden, Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Chris Page, who did not compete at Colonial Saturday. Braden entered the weekend with 17 wins while Page had 15 and Wrenn was two back with 13. Wrenn got to the winners circle four times Saturday while Braden scored a hat trick. Heading into Sunday’s card, Braden leads Wrenn 20 to 17. The unique aspect to the battle is that Wrenn only drives in Virginia on weekends so his win total has come from only five actual race programs. by Darrell Wood for Colonial Downs  

NEW KENT, VA --- 10/3/13) ---- Diamond Star made up for a pair of runner-up performances in both early legs of the Delmarva Pacing Series to capture the $9,250 final leg Thursday at Colonial Downs. The 1 1/4 miles finale featured prior leg winners Hillbilly Desire, Bettorseeitmyway and Omaha Survivor but it was Diamond Star that crossed first in 2:23 2/5. The 5 year old gelding was eighth in the nine horse field through the first three fractions but a well timed move from driver Corey Braden paid off in the meet’s richest race thus far. Diamond Star passed six front steppers in the stretch to beat Omaha Survivor by three-quarters of a length. The win gave both Braden and Stacy McLenaghan a natural driving and training hat trick. The duo, who are engaged to each other, scored in the two prior races with trotter Marion Good Ro Go and pacer Hickory Again. Both wins came in a similar come from behind style in 1:56 4/5 and 1:54 3/5 respectively. Marion Good To Go swept the Parker’s Memorial Trotting Series including Thursday’s $7,000 finale. The 4 year old Conway Hall gelding beat Jane Dunavant’s My Heidi by 2 ½ lengths. He won early Parker legs in 1:58 4/5 and 1:57 3/5. Marion Good To Go, who is owned by William Mulligan, established a new life mark with the 1:56 4/5 time. Colonial Downs presents a pair of ten race cards this Saturday and Sunday beginning at 1 PM. by Darrell Wood for Colonial Downs  

(NEW KENT, VA --- 9/26/13) ---- Mary Dawson's Bettorseeitmyway passed six pacers in the final quarter mile to capture a tight win over betting favorite Diamond Star in the $5,000 Delmarva Handicap's second leg Thursday afternoon at Colonial Downs. Eleven pacers started the race including first leg winner Omaha Survivor who left as a trailer from post eleven in the seven-eighths mile event. Dean Eckley's pacer did a fine job of getting into the mix early but was parked through the half and faltered in the stretch. Lee A Bryant meanwhile left from post six, got to the front and cut panels of :26 3/5, :54 2/5 and 1:22 3/5 before encountering several closers. Corey Braden gave Diamond Star, one of those closers, a perfect pocket trip in the crowded field while Chris Page shook free from the pack with Bettorseeitmyway and engaged Diamond Star in a thrilling stretch drive. Page edged Braden by one half length in 1:36 3/5. Jojo In The Sky took third. Marion Good To Go earned his second consecutive series win in the $4,000 Parkers Memorial second leg. Ten trotters competed and Corey Braden, who had four wins on the card, guided the winner from deep in the field to a 2 ½ length triumph in 1:58 4/5. The 4 year old Conway Hall gelding is trained by Stacy McLenaghan, who celebrated her 29th birthday Thursday with three wins. She also connected with Man's Treasure and Beyond Perfection. Colonial Downs presents a pair of weekend cards Saturday and Sunday beginning at 1:00 PM. Ronnie Wrenn, the nation's leading driver, will compete in both cards. by Darrell Wood for Colonial Downs  

Omaha Survivor Scores a 1:50 4/5 Win in Delmarva Pacing Series Thursday at Colonial Downs (NEW KENT, VA----9/19/13) ---- Dean Eckley's Omaha Survivor wired the field in a $4,500 first leg division of the Delmarva Handicap Pacing Series in 1:50 4/5 Thursday afternoon at Colonial Downs. Driver Robert Dinning, who is competing at Colonial for the first time ever, directed the 8 year old Ideal Towne gelding to fractions of :26.0, :55.0 and 1:23 2/5 before crossing the wire in 1:50 4/5. That final time equaled his previous mark which he set at Pompano three years ago. Omaha Survivor maintained a 1 1/2 length lead throughout the race and beat runner up Diamond Star by that exact distance. Trainer Stacy McLenaghan's second place finisher got a pocket trip from the start but could not wear down the pacesetter in the stretch. Eckley's charge, who is owned by Gregory Gardner, captured his 26th career win. Amanda Jackson's Hillbilly Desire came from behind to earn a Delmarva division win Thursday as well. Frank Milby guided the 4 year old Real Desire pacing mare to a one length win over Dalhousie Dave in 1:53.0. The eventual winner was sixth entering the turn but went three wide and passed all but one by the head of the stretch. After a slow start this year, Hillbilly Desire has won three of her last five. Marion Good To Go had a nearly identical winning trip in the Parkers Memorial Trotting Series which got underway Thursday. Corey Braden directed the 4 year old Conway Hall gelding from fifth at the three quarter mark to a solid 4 ½ length triumph in 1:56 3/5 over eight other foes. Boscoe's Choice was second. Colonial Downs is dark Friday. Action resumes with ten race cards both Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM. Darrell Wood

(NEW KENT, VA .---- 9/16/13) ---- Colonial Downs opens its sixteenth season of pari-mutuel harness racing this Wednesday (September 18) with a ten race card highlighted by a pair of first leg divisions in both the VHHA Pacing Series and the Horace Martin Memorial Pacing Series. Last year’s respective Virginia-bred two year old filly and colt champion pacers will compete in separate VHHA divisions Wednesday as three year olds. John Ingram’s Blueridge Casino captured the $50,150 colt/gelding title in 1:56 4/5 on the “Day of Champions” program last fall while Morgan Hagerman’s Blueridge Adalia won the $49,675 filly title in 1:56.0. Drivers Jeff Nisonger and Herman Hagerman, who directed both those championship wins, will be back in the sulky for their respective VHHA series starts in the fourth and seventh races. The Horace Martin Memorial fields will compete at the odd distance of 7/8ths of a mile Wednesday. Fortune’s Jenna, with a career bankroll of $205,892 is favored in the first division while Art At Heart, a winner of $243,881, is early choice in the latter division. The stakes duo has been carded as the fifth and eighth races. Trainer Dean Eckley, a newcomer to the Colonial meet, has entered nine horses in the opening day’s races while returnees Mark Gray, Dustin Ingraham and George Anthrop will send out five each. Ingraham leads all reinsmen with seven drives while Gray, Jeff Nisonger and newcomer Robert Dinning have six each. Veterans Corey Braden and Frank Milby have five drives apiece scheduled. Colonial Downs will continue racing on a Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday afternoon basis thru October 27th. The 4th floor Turf Club Dining Room and Sky Suites will be open on weekends beginning at 12 Noon. Simulcast wagering from tracks around the country will also be available on live race days. The New Kent County Fair will be on the grounds during opening weekend this Saturday & Sunday (Sept. 21/22). A $5 carload special is being offered which includes parking & Racing/Fair admission for all passengers. Highlight of the Fair on Saturday is a post-racing concert with Statler Brothers tribute band “American Pride” at 4:30 and again at 7:30 PM. For more information, call 804-966-7223 or visit www.colonialdowns.com.   Darrell Wood  

For You Almostfree and Aaron Byron took home the featured $16,000 open trot on Friday night at Tioga Downs. Leaving from post position number three in a field of eight, Byron got For You Almostfree away sixth as Neighsay Hanover (Jim Meittinis) took the field by the opening quarter in 27.1. As the field went by the three eighth’s mile mark of the race, Howard Parker brushed Cold Certified to the front but paid a steep price for the move as they got to the half mile in 55.1. Down the backside, Speculation (Mike Merton) moved first over with For You Almostfree following second over cover. The field passed the three quarter station in 1:24.1 as Cold Certified was feeling the effects of the opening half and was beginning to fade. Byron tipped For You Almostfree three wide around the last turn and he responded opening up with ease to win by more than four lengths in 1:54.1. In Your Room (Mike Simons) trotted home late to be second, while longshot Surface Tension (Fern Paquet Jr.) finished third. John McDermott trains the 5-year old son of Glidemaster – Pizza Dolce who won for the seventh time in twenty seven seasonal outings, good for earnings of more than $113,000. Corey Braden, Rod Allen, and Mike Simons each posted driving doubles on the night’s ten race card. Tioga Downs wraps up its 2013 racing season on Saturday, September 14th with a post time of 6:50pm, featuring two divisions of the Reynolds Stakes for 2-year old filly pacers and two divisions for 2-year old colt and gelding pacers. Tioga Downs will also have the finale of the 2013 Horseplay Car Giveaway, fireworks following live racing, and many giveaways during the racing program. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com . by Dustin Ross for Tioga Downs          

Fiesta Camcun and Corey Braden captured Thursday night’s $16,000 fillies and mares miracle mile 1 handicap at Tioga Downs. Leaving from post position number four in a field of eight, Fiesta Camcun got to the opening quarter in 27.4 and the half mile mark in 57.1. As the field headed towards three quarters, Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) applied heavy first over pressure and those two raced stride for stride through a third panel in 26.3, reaching three quarters in 1:23.4. Around the final turn, Braden and Fiesta Camcun had repelled the challenge of Little Santamonica, but the backfield was in motion. In deep stretch Braden continued to work on Fiesta Camcun and the iron tough mare held strong through the stretch to win by half a length in 1:52.4 over a track listed as sloppy. Southwind Trini (Mike Simons) raced well from off the pace to finish second, while Arodasi (Jason Beattie) closed from seventh at the top of the stretch to finish third. Paul Bernardo trains the 7-year old daughter of Camotion – Perfect Catch who won for the 8th time in thirty two seasonal starts good for earnings of more than $57,000. Aaron Byron posted a driving triple on the night’s eleven race card, while Mike Simons, Corey Braden, and Fern Paquet Jr. each recorded doubles. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Friday, September 13 with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com . Dustin Ross

(NEW KENT, VA----9/12/13) ---- Colonial Downs opened its barn area yesterday for the upcoming fall harness racing season, and 40 of an expected 300-plus standardbred horses shipped onto the grounds and got a morning workout in. The sixteenth annual campaign opens this Wednesday September 18th, and continues on a four day a week schedule thru October 27th. Ten races will be carded every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 1 PM. Races for opening day will be drawn this Saturday morning and next Thursday’s card will be drawn on Sunday. Qualifying races will be conducted this Saturday as well. Many new faces will populate the barn area this fall. Trainers competing in Virginia for the first time include Tom Dawson, Robert Dining, Dean Eckley,  Mike Jarvis, Erik Jaeck, Todd Johnston, Steve Nason, Tricia Sheppard, Rex Watson, Lawrence Cooper, Russell Early III, Kevin Johnson and Glen Bratcher among others with smaller stables. Returning conditioners from last fall’s top fifteen include Jane Dunavant, Rick Mapes, George Anthrop, Stacy McLenaghan, Evan Coblentz, Morgan Hagerman, Mark Gray, Cheryl Whitsell and Amanda Jackson. 2012 Colonial driving champ Chris Page is expected to compete in Virginia once the Little Brown Jug card is over. Runner-up Corey Braden will be in the sulky all meet and reinsman Frank Milby, who finished third in the ’09 and ’10 seasons here, will race at Colonial three days a week this fall.    “This will be an interesting season, especially the first couple weeks,” said Colonial’s Director of Racing Craig Andow. “We’ve got so many new stables that will be racing over this one turn mile track for the first time. Since Colonial Downs isn’t part of a circuit per se, my staff worked hard to recruit stables from all over the country to race here this fall.”  by Darrell Wood for Colonial Downs  

Speculation and driver Jim Meittinis captured Saturday night’s $16,000 open handicap trot at Tioga Downs, one of four wins on the card for Jim Meittinis. Leaving from post position number four after the field was scratched down to five, Meittinis got away last as Waiting On A Woman (Jim Marohn Jr.) took the field to the quarter in 27.2. Marohn and Waiting On A Woman continued to lead the field by the half mile mark in 55.3 as Fox Valley Smarty (Corey Braden) was parked out in second. Down the backside, Waiting On A Woman was still in command as Meittinis got underway from last and moved Speculation into second over position behind Fox Valley Smarty as the field reached three quarters in 1:23.3. Just past the three quarter mile mark of the race, Waiting On A Woman made a break on the lead leaving Gaelic And Garlic (Fern Paquet Jr.) in control of the race with Speculation making a three wide move around the final turn. In the stretch, Gaelic And Garlic was clinging to a short lead, but a closing Speculation would not be denied and got up to win by a nose in 1:55.1. The win was the fourth of the year for the 7-year old son of Pistols N Spurs – Mathers Cunchita, who is trained by Robert Bath. With the win, Speculation increased his seasonal earnings to more than $78,000 for owner Cozette Mcavoy of Pennsylvania. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, September 8 with a post time of 1:30pm, featuring two divisions of NYSS for 3-year old colt and gelding trotters. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com . Dustin Ross

Prairie Lee and Jim Meittinis captured Friday night’s $16,000 fillies and mares miracle mile 1 open pace for trainer Mike Deters. Leaving from post position number one in a field of seven, Prairie Lee settled in fourth as Fiesta Camcun (Corey Braden) gave the cold shoulder to Brownsville Bomber (Fern Paquet Jr.) past the quarter in 26.4. The two continued their disagreement neck and neck by the half mile mark of the race in 54.4 and as the field reached three quarters Brownsville Bomber began to pack it in as Fiesta Camcun tripped three quarters in 1:22.1. Jimmy Marohn Jr. slipped to the outside from the two hole and went three wide around Brownsville Bomber which allowed Meittinis to continue up the inside behind Fiesta Camcun. As the field entered the stretch, Hot List was beginning to fade on the outside and Meittinis squeezed Prairie Lee out in close quarters and got up to nip Fiesta Camcun on the line in 1:51.2. The mile established a new lifetime best for the 4-year old daughter of Spy Hard – Taylors Lady who is shared in ownership by Laurie Lee Poulin and Mike Deters. The win was the fifth of the year in fourteen seasonal starts for Prairie Lee, and with the win she increased her seasonal earnings to more than $35,000. Tioga Downs’ leading driver, Jimmy Marohn Jr., Jim Meittinis, and Aaron Byron all posted driving doubles on the night’s ten race card. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Saturday, September 7th with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com . Dustin Ross

For You Almostfree and Aaron Byron captured Saturday night's $16,000 open trot at Tioga Downs for the 5-year old stallions Saturday. It was his sixth victory of the year. Leaving from post position number three in a field of seven, Byron moved For You Almostfree to the front and took control from Cold Certified at the quarter in 28.4. From there Byron controlled the half mile mark in 57.4 as Jimmy Marohn Jr. sent Waiting On A Woman with a strong first over brush and was neck and neck with the leader by three quarters in 1:26.1. Around the final turn, Byron had repelled the challenge from Marohn, but Cold Certified (Jim Meittinis) had got to the outside and was coming three wide off the final turn. In the stretch Byron asked For You Almostfree for more and he responded hanging on to win by a length in 1:55.3. Cold Cetified (Jim Meittinis) got up for second, while Waiting On A Woman (Jim Marohn Jr.) hung tough for third. It was the sixth win of the year for the 5-year old son of Glidemaster - Pizza Dolce for the ownership group of JET Dream Stable, Pucila, Klee Racing, and Cohen. Tioga Downs' leading driver Jimmy Marohn Jr. increased his lead with a driving triple on the night's ten race card, while Aaron Byron and Corey Braden each recorded doubles. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Monday, September 2nd with a post time of 1:30pm featuring the Cane Pace, Shady Daisy, and the final round of the Drivers' Championship. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com . by Dustin Ross  

Mike Simons and In Your Room captured the $16,000 open trot on Saturday night at Tioga Downs. Simons and In Your Room got away third from post position number three as Cold Certified (Aaron Byron) the 1-2 betting favorite cut through fractions of 27, 56, and 1:24.1. Around the final turn, Simons and In Your Room found themselves four lengths off the lead with Cold Certified controlling the race over a pocket sitting Fox Valley Smarty (Corey Braden). Down the stretch, Simons pulled In Your Room to the outside and she responded trotting a final quarter in 28.4 to get up for a length and three quarter victory in 1:53.4. The win was the sixth of the year in twenty seasonal starts for the 5-year old daughter of CR Excalibur – Chris Image for the Classico Stables and trainer Gail Wrubel. Cold Certified (Aaron Byron) hung on for second, while Fox Valley Smarty was third to round out the 3-5-6 trifecta good for $92.00. Fern Paquet Jr. recorded a driving triple on the night’s ten race card, while Jimmy Marohn Jr. and Corey Braden each posted doubles. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, August 25th with a special post time of 1:00pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com . by Dustin Ross  

Hot List (Jim Marohn Jr.) captured Friday night's $16,000 fillies and mares miracle mile 1-2 handicap at Tioga Downs. The duo of Marohn - Burke have been on a roll lately at Tioga Downs, and they continued their success on Friday night as Marohn put Hot List on the lead from post four after an opening quarter of 26.3. From there Hot List controlled the half mile mark in 55.1 as Aaron Byron and Little Santamonica unleashed a wicked first over move down the backside and stuck a nose in front as the field reached three quarters in 1:23. Around the final turn, Hot List fought back and repelled the tough challenge from Little Santamonica to go on and win by a length in 1:51.4. Ron Burke trains the 5-year old daughter of McArdle-Only Gossip for the ownership group of Burke Racing, Di Scala Jr., and Massari of Pennsylvania and New York. Fiesta Camcun (Corey Braden) used a pocket trip to secure second, while Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) hung on for third to round out the 4-5-6 trifecta good for $54.50. Jimmy Marohn Jr. and Corey Braden each posted driving triples on the night's ten race card. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Saturday, August 24th with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com . Dustin Ross  

The 7th race open featured World Champion and multiple Dan Patch award winner Check Me Out as the heavy 1/4 favorite. In the early going, Tioga Open regular Aruba Vacation left swiftly from the far outside and cleared easily to the front while posting a 26.3 opening panel. Check Me Out drifted from her outside starting position and settled in 4th. As the open trotters passed the stands for the first time Ray Schnittker eased Check Me Out 1st over and began a slow march to the front as Aruba Vacation led them past the half in 56. As the field turned down the Tioga backside and headed to three quarters, Check Me Out stalled 3rd on the outside and had to be urged on by Schnittker, but to no avail as the field passed three quarters in 1:24. Check Me Out began to back thru the field and eventual upset winner Fox Valley Smarty eased out from the perfect pocket trip given to him by driver Corey Braden, locked horns with and wore down front runner Aruba Vacation to win by a half-length in 1:53.4. The win was the 4th of the year for the David Duspiva trained Fox Valley Smarty and his 27th career win. Fern Paquet, Jr. and Mike Simons picked up driving doubles. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, August 18th with a post time of 6:50pm. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com. Jason Bluhm  

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