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A trio of Winter Series FInals that were a part of the Saturday card that had to be cancelled due to weather last week, went postward tonight at The Meadowlands.  The Sonsam, Burning Point and Charles Singer Memorial Finals were the feature events on the 13-race program. Rockeyed Optimist entered the $59,000 Sonsam Final off a powerhouse performance that included a 25.4 final quarter.  Tonight, he had to work a little bit harder to earn the victory, but earn the victory, he did.  Sent off as the 4/5 favorite, Rockeyed Optimist was away in the back-half of the field through fractions of 27 and 55.2. It was at that point, that the 8/5 second-choice, Major Uptrend moved first over to challenge for the lead.  Rockeyed Optimist set himself up third over, just off the helmet of Rediscovery, through three-quarters of 1:23.  Turning for home, Major Uptrend grabbed the lead and reached for the wire, but Rockeyed Optimist was lurking in the wings as he fanned out off cover and powered home to score in 1:50, equaling his lifetime mark.  The win was the fourth from five starts in 2015 for trainer Steve Elliot.  He was driven to victory by Brett Miller for owners Anthony Perretti, Berkner, A&B Stable and Battaglia.  Miller was very impressed with his gelding. "He really impressed me (last week)," said Miller, referring to his monstrous final quarter.  "He just powers home.  Tonight I was a little worried in the first turn, we were pretty far back.  But, he raced giant.  He dug-in in the stretch.  This is real horse." On the trotting side, JL Cruze made it back to back series' wins with his wire to wire victory in the $49,000 Charles Singer Memorial on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, JL Cruze would dictate terms from the start, seating Opulent Yankee in the pocket through fractions of 27.4, 56.2 and 1:25.2.  From there, the race was on and the top pair sprinted away from the field, but Opulent Yankee had all to do just to keep up, as JL Cruze ripped through a 26.4 final quarter, reaching for the wire in 1:52.1, a lifetime mark.  Opulent Yankee never got closer than one length. Blocking The Way checked in third.  Trainer Eric Ell indicated that last week's weather cancellation helped his trotter.  "I was able to get a good mile into him over a decent track at Harrington," said Ell.  "The track at my place I couldn't train on because the weather has been so terrible." A $32,000 Harrisburg purchase, JL Cruze has exceeded his trainer's expectations.  "No, I didn't expect he would be this good," added Ell.  "We made a lot of changes when we got him and he just keeps getting better.  He tries hard every week. JL Cruze was driven by his usual pilot John Campbell for owners William Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr and Stephen Iaquinta. Ell confirmed the Shiaway St Pat trotting series, a more difficult late closer series based on its conditions was next for his prized trotter. That series begins on Friday, March 13th. The mares went to the post in the $50,600 Burning Point Final in a highly-competitive and select field. Empress Deo was looking for a series sweep and was sent off as the 3/2 betting choice.  The Ron Burke entry of Southwind Serenity and Donttellruss were the 8/5 second choice, while Worldly Beauty winner Witch Dali was sent off at 3-1. Southwind Serenity established the early pace, gliding through fractions of 27.2 and 56-seconds.  Heading to the half-mile pole, her stable-mate Donttellruss committed first over, but made little headway, forcing Empress Deo three-wide in the middle of the far turn.  In the meantime, Somenicebeach and Ron Pierce were riding a perfect pocket trip behind the lone speed through three-quarters of 1:23.4.  In the stretch, Empress Deo was finding just even pace while Somenicebeach was ripping out of the pocket and pacing right past Southwind Serenity nearing the wire.  Witch Dali was left with too much ground to make up and had to settle for the runner-up spot while Empress Deo could manage only to be third tonight. Trainer Mark Capone gave credit to his mare who "overcame a rough foot bruise, but has kept racing well despite that, noting that she has earned some time off after this win." He also praised his driver Ron Pierce, citing "Ronnie has put her in a great spot all series and tonight it worked out great." Somenicebeach earned her third victory of the season for Susan Oakes, pacing the mile in a lifetime best 1:51.1. The Buddy Gilmour series began with a pair of $17,500 divisions for three year old pacers on Saturday night at The Meadowlands as well. The first division featured National Seelster, unbeaten in both lifetime starts entering the Gilmour.  Sent off as the 1/5 favorite, National Seelster sat third early in the mile, while Fast Movin Train established fractions of 27.2, 56.3 and 1:24.4.  The field began to string out at the five-eighths pole and that is when National Seelster made his move for the lead.  He engaged Fast Movin Train into the stretch and was able to grind that foe down to score in 1:52. National Seelster was driven by Andy Miller for Chris Ryder and is owned by Robert Mondillo and Oompa's Farm Inc. The star of the entire Meadowlands program may have been the winner of the second division of The Buddy Gilmour Series, Wiggle It JiggleIt.  Entering his fourth lifetime start with an unblemished record, Wiggle It Jiggle It quickly asserted his supremacy, establishing the lead at once from post position eight.  The gelding would coast through fractions of 27.3, 56.3 and 1:24.3 before turning for home with an ever-expanding lead.  Under no urging whatsoever, with his pilot Montrell Teague visibly looking around for competition mid-stretch and effectively slowing his horse down nearing the wire, Wiggle It Jiggleit paced home in 26.4 to win emphatically in 1:51.2. In a pre-race interview Montrell Teague noted the connections have high hopes for the son of Mr. Wiggles. "We'll race him in the Gilmour series and then shut him down until May," said Teague.  "He's staked so we'll look to some races in New Jersey and focus on The Meadowlands Pace and a couple of other big ones." Without question, Wiggle It Jiggleit is the most exciting early season prospect of 2015.  The Meadowlands Pace eligible gelding is trained by Clyde Francis for George Teague Jr. Inc. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers carried over.  The fifth-race carryover into the Friday, March 6th program is $41,316.79, while the last race carryover has swelled to $148,525.71.  Post time for the Friday card is 7:15 P.M.   by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

DOVER, Del.--- After dominating the Tuesday harness racing card with seven wins, Corey Callahan did one better on Wednesday, Feb. 18 , making it 15 wins in two nights at Dover Downs. Callahan steered Classic Belisima, who won four in-a-row on the front end before a third last start, took a 2-hole seat and sped down the passing lane for a 1:55.3 victory, It was Callahan's fifth of eight wins during the chilly night. It came in the $14,500 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over feature trot. After sweeping the first three races, Callahan piloted Bill Cantrell's hard-hitting four-year-old daughter of Crazed - Classic Yankee, trained by John Cabot to victory. It was her ninth career win in 25 starts with seven seconds and three thirds banking $63,315 in purses. Everyone's Talkin (Trace Tetrick) led for most of the mile and was a close second at the finish breaking a two-win streak. Stirling Charisma (Vic Kirby) closed well to be in the photo finish but had to settle for third. In the $11,5000 sub-feature trot, while Tim Tetrick is away in Australia preparing for the World Driver Championship, his brother Trace took the lead with Powerful Charger, a horse Tim and Jim King own, and then fought off a strong assault in the stretch, for a 1:54.1 victory, the first of the year for the Powerful Emotion - Fox Valley Poetry gelding. Picard (Callahan) rallied to finish second in front of I Like My Boss (Jonathan Roberts). Calllahan's eight-bagger is one fewer than the track record of nine, set Feb. 27, 2011 by Tim Tetrick. The track's leading driver for the past seven seasons, Callahan has already wrapped up the 2014-15 title. He has won 199 races this meet, almost double runner-up Allan Davis, who drove two wins, for a meet total of 101 wins. A five-race win streak ended for Joyeux Dream the second-place finisher in the $15,000-$20,000 Claiming/Handicap. Can Do closed well for Vic Kirby, who co-owns the gelding with Chris Giaccio, to win the trot in 1:54.2. Trainer Dylan Davis moved into a tie for first among trainers. Davis and Doug Lewis have haltered 41 winners, third-place Wayne Givens has conditioned 39 wins. Tony Morgan won one race to up his career total to 14,968 winning drives. Jebswesternshark, last week's 10-1 up setter, meets Bandolito, Nova Artist and Believe This Bob, among nine starters in the $26,000 Delaware Special headliner on Thursday, Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are "dark" days. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad      

DOVER, Del.--- Veteran Tirade Hanover ended Tough Mac's win streak, Razor Ramone extended his wins to four straight and Eternal Prince equaled his lifetime record in the top three harness racing events on the Wednesday, Feb. 4 program at Dover Downs. In the $18,000 Open trot, Tirade Hanover took the lead at the start for Vic Kirby and the Crazed - Teagarden Hanover gelding was not to be caught on the sway to a 1:53 victory in the feature. Tough Mac rolled out of post 8 trying for the front but had to find room third on the first turn. Corey Callahan pulled Tough Mac out to challenge for the lead through the backstretch but was unable to get to within a half-length of Tirade Hanover. The five-year-old is owned by Moss, Solomon and trainer Leigh Raymer. It was his second win in the last three, and 22nd success in his career mounting lifetime earnings to $632,430. Tough Mac, second, ended a three race win streak. I'm So Striking came between horses for Eddie Dennis for third place. Wind Of The North was scratched. Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta's Razor Ramone continued to streak for red-hot trainer Eric Ell. Ron Pierce piloted the Kadabra - Oaklea Rae four-year-old to his fourth consecutive win and fifth in his last six in one of two $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot sub-features. Pierce took Razor Ramone right to the top and won easily in 1:54.2. Derby (Allan Davis) used the passing lane to edged Classic Belisima (Callahan) for second by a nose. Classic Belisima entered the race with a four-race win streak. In a 1:58.1 photo finish, Eternal Prince and George Dennis used the passing lane to nose-out longshot Up Front N Crazy (Roger Plante) in the other $14,000 trot for young horses. Tommy N Dakota Stables, trained by Paula Spencer, own Eternal Prince who won for the third time in his last five opportunities. Keep It Sweet (Callahan) was a game third. Roger Plante drove the biggest price winner, 69-1 Juanna Be The Man, owned by Gregg and Tom Morris, to a 1:57 upset in an $11,800 trot for young horses. A $2 win ticket paid $140.60. The 6-3 exacta returned $1,494 and 6-3-4 trifecta returned $4,262. A supefecta of 6-3-4-1 was good for $10,586.40. Pierce led all drivers with four wins, Callahan, Vic Kirby, Jonathan Roberts and trainer Eric Ell had doubles. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are "dark" days. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

Some people win the Super Bowl and go to Disney World, or in the case of this year Disneyland. Harness racing owner Bill Dittmar Jr. is going back to the Meadowlands. Dittmar is the co-owner of 4-year-old trotter JL Cruze, who on Jan. 24 won the $50,000 Super Bowl Series final at the Big M. On Thursday the horse begins a second winter series at the Meadowlands, the Charles Singer Memorial for 3- and 4-year-old trotters. JL Cruze competes in the first of two opening-round divisions Thursday. The gelding will start from post No. 4, with driver John Campbell at the lines for trainer Eric Ell, in the seven-horse field. The second leg of the Singer is scheduled for Feb. 12 and the estimated $50,000 final is Feb. 21. Dittmar, who lives in Langhorne, Pa., and partners Stephen Iaquinta of Havertown, Pa., and Ken Wood of Denton, Md., bought JL Cruze for $37,000 at November's Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. The horse has won five of seven starts for his new owners, including three of four this year. The group purchased JL Cruze because he fit favorable non-winners conditions at Dover Downs, where the owners race frequently, and it was an added bonus the horse met the conditions for the Super Bowl, Singer Memorial, and Shiaway St Pat winter events at the Meadowlands. The Shiaway St Pat Series is in March. "He's in real good shape right now," Dittmar said about JL Cruze, who won the Super Bowl title by two lengths over Opulent Yankee in 1:54.4. "We had about 10 horses earmarked at the sale. As long as he fit into our price range, he was one of the ones we were looking for because he fit the (conditions) at Dover Downs, where we were looking for him to fit in. "It's worked out very well. We made him eligible to all three series (at the Meadowlands). We thought he would be very competitive in the Super Bowl, and we're hoping for the best in the next two." For his career, JL Cruze has won eight of 21 races and $73,847. In his five starts prior to November's sale, all at Vernon Downs, the son of Crazed-Topcat Hall posted one win, two seconds and two thirds. "He was coming on right before we got him, and John Campbell liked him," Dittmar said. "Once Eric got ahold of him, he thought he had potential." Dittmar, who works as an insurance inspector, grew up near Liberty Bell Park and started owning harness racing horses in the 1980s. "I used to go over to Liberty Bell a couple nights a week," Dittmar said. "That's how I got into it. I bought a horse with a couple guys and we had some success. It got in our blood real quick." One of Dittmar's top recent horses was Anders Bluestone, who won the 2011 Maxie Lee Memorial final over Buck I St Pat and Corleone Kosmos at Harrah's Philadelphia. Dittmar and Wood still own the horse, who now stands as a stallion in Delaware. Dittmar hopes JL Cruze can follow in Anders Bluestone's footsteps on the racetrack. JL Cruze is the 6-5 morning line favorite in his Singer division, which also includes Opulent Yankee, who is 8-5. Blocking The Way, who finished third in the Super Bowl final, is the 5-2 favorite in the second division. That split also includes Super Bowl fourth-place finisher Propulsion (3-1) and fifth-place finisher Two Hip Dip (4-1). Walk The Walk, who did not compete in the Super Bowl, is 7-2. In the Super Bowl final, JL Cruze raced on the outside through an opening quarter of :28.4 and half of :56.1 before getting the lead from Two Hip Dip. Opulent Yankee, who handed JL Cruze his only loss this year in the second round of the series, got into second place on the last turn but was unable to make up ground in the stretch. "We thought (JL Cruze) would be better racing from behind, but his last two starts it hasn't worked out," Dittmar said. "The first quarter in the final went real slow and we kind of got stuck out there, so he had to push on. We still think he would probably be better off chasing horses, but we've got to take what they give us." While the connections are focused on the Singer and Shiaway St Pat series, they will have to decide by Feb. 17 whether to nominate JL Cruze to the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters. The three-leg series concludes with a $250,000 final on July 11 at the Meadowlands. "We've got a couple weeks to look at that," Dittmar said. "You're going to have better horses there. That's a tough call. Now you're investing a little more money. Other than that, we haven't looked that far yet because we didn't really expect him to be where he is. You just never know sometimes." Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications / USTA

DOVER, Del.--- Tough Mac took the lead and never looked back scoring his third consecutive victory in the Dover Downs $18,000 Open / Handicap trot, meet leader Corey Callahan's fourth win of the day on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Callahan rushed Tough Mac, a Mike Casalino-owned Lockkeeper-Traditional Lady gelding, smartly out of post 6 and kept his seven rivals at bay the rest of a lifetime best, 1:52.4 mile, coming the final quarter in :28.1 to secure his record at 3-for-3 in 2015. Tirade Hanover took a shot at the leader heading for the three quarters but retreated when the field turned for home. Baximum rolled down the passing lane for Allan Davis to edge Powerful Charger (Trace Tetrick) for second money. The win was the 13th lifetime for Tough Mac, now a winner of $147,444. William Cantrell's Classic Belisima scored her fourth consecutive decisive victory to win the first of two $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners Over trots in a new personal mark of 1:55.4. Corey Callahan teamed with the John Cabot-conditioned well-bred daughter of Crazed-Classic Yankee for her fifth win in her last seven outings, with two close seconds. It was her eighth lifetime win in 23 starts, 17-times in the money, for career earnings of $54,135. Razor Ramone won the other $14,000 division as Ron Pierce picked up his fourth win on the card. The Kadabra-Oaklea Rae four-year-old won for the Third Straight time and fifth in his last seven outings for owners Steve Iaquinta and Bill Dittmar. Derby (Allan Davis) was runner-up. Hit Andrun (Art Stafford Jr.) was third. Other trotters on winning tears during the program are Howard and Josh Kaufman's Hey Pancho (Trace Tetrick), trainer John Cabot's second win, and fourth straight success in an $11,500 4&5-Year-Old trot; Payson Racing's Joyeux Dream (Pierce), also with four-in-a-row winning a $15,000-$20,000 Claiming trot in 1:55.1; and two-other race winners of two straight, Breakaway Racing's Holiday Spirit (Callahan) in 1:57.4 taking an $8,000 trot for young horses and John Cancelliere's Winning Design (Pierce), a $5,500 trot for 3&4-year-olds. Callahan and Ron Pierce visited the winner's circle twice and Trace Tetrick won two. Joe Hundertpfund had two training wins. On Thursday, Papa Ray returns to face Bandolito, Mustang Art in $25,000 Delaware Special feature. BANDOLITO, PAPA RAY HEAD DOVER $25,000 DELAWARE SPECIAL DOVER, Del --- Bandolito and Papa Ray, winners of the last two $25,000 Delaware Special paces head this week’s top event at Dover Downs on Thursday, Jan. 29. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Bandolito, holder of the 1:48 track record set last Spring, uncorcked a resounding come-from-behind 1:50.1 with owner, trainer, driver Daryl Bier conducting the neck victory besting Eddie and Kathy Davis’ game Nova Artist and Allan Davis.  Joan Dalphon and Elanor Laws’ Don’t Ya Know with Ron Pierce was third. After a two-week respite, razor sharp Papa Ray returns to action. Eddie Davis Jr. drove the veteran to his second win in three trips and fourth victory this meet and drew post 1. Corey Callahan drives Joan Dalphon and Elanor Laws’ talented Don’t Ya Know. Framed Art steps up after a Winners-Over win for his first Del. Special venture for trainer Andrew Stafford and driver Art Stafford Jr.  Mary Ann Larrimore’s Believe This Bob, a winner of this event three weeks ago with Ross Wolfenden, and battle seasoned Mustang Art, owned by Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, with Corey Callahan driving, both previous Del. Special winners. Mary Alice and Tom Tetrick’s Maddysonofagun (Trace Tetrick), Dedi’s Dragon (Vic Kirby) racing for McGill, Carsey and JL Benson Stables and Wade Wyatt’s Flying Cowboy (Ron Pierce) tangle in the  $16,000 Open pace sub-feature on the tough undercard. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing Fridays and Saturdays and this week Super Bowl  Sunday will also be “dark.” Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting opens daily at 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del. --- Tough Mac lived up to his name romping to a 1:53.4 victory in the feature $13,000 Winners-Over trot while Fitness Craze and Classical Belisima picked up third consecutive victories in $14,500 and $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners- Over divisions on Wednesday, Jan.14 at Dover Downs. With Corey Callahan driving from post 1, Tough Mac controlled the fractions on the way to his second straight impressive victory for owner Mike Casalino. The win was the 12 lifetime for the Lockkeeper-Traditional Lady gelding now a $138,144 career winner. Baximum (Allan Davis) was runner-up. Prayer Session (Jonathan Roberts) was the show horse. Fitness Craze turned in his third consecutive success for trainer Bob Bresnahan and owners Howard Taylor and Rich Lombardo cruising to victory for Daryl Bier in a $14,500 Winners-Over for young horses. The altered son of Crazed-Aerobics has won four of his last six races. Deacons Valley (Callahan) closed well for second in front of Please Okay (Vic Kirby). Callahan rang up his fourth win on the card steering Bill Cantrell's Classic Belisima to her third consecutive triump in a $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. Jilted Bride (Ron Pierce) and HS Merlin (Eddie Davis Jr.) finished second and third respectively. John Cabot conditions the Crazed-Classic Yankee four-year-old. Ron Pierce joined Corey Callahan with four winning drives. Trace Tetrick had two wins and Jim King and John Cabot had trainer doubles. Razor sharp Believe This Bob, a three-time winner this meet, is program favorite this week in the $25,000 Delaware Special on Jan. 15 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Ross Wolfenden guided Mary Ann Larrimore’s Believe This Bob from fifth after three-quarters to a driving 1:51 triumph in last week’s feature. Mustang Art, with Corey Callahan racing for Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, also closed strongly to finish second beaten by only one-half length. Meanwhile Reg Hazzard II and Legacy Racing’s Papa Ray, put in a strong effort for Eddie Davis Jr., racing outside from before the half to challenge for the lead but had to settle for third, one-and-a-half lengths back. Nova Artist drew the rail. Eddie and Kathy Davis own last season’s Horse of the Meet who will be handled by Allan Davis. Joan Dalphon and Elanor Laws’ Don’t Ya Know and Ron Pierce steps back up after a near-miss last week in an Open. Ringler Stable’s Simon’s Artist gets a big change in post positions and should be a factor with Trace Tetrick. Not to be overlooked is Janet Hudson’s Just A Jolt and Vic Kirby, last week’s race favorite. Art and Andrew Stafford’s Framed Art (Art Stafford Jr.)  gets a big post change in the sub-feature $16,000 4&5-Year-Old Open pace. Chief challengers should come from among Wilbur Eash’s Bluehorsepower (Allan Davis), Tom Lazzaro’s Contraband Hanover (Trace Tetrick) and Dedi’s Dragon (Corey Callahan) in thr nine-horse line-up. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DOVER, Del. --- Corey Callahan pulled Tirade Hanover out from fourth place at the opening quarter mile and then wore down The Triple Lindy in the stretch for a 1:54.3 victory in the cold and windy Wednesday, Jan. 7, $18,000 Open/Handicap trot at Dover Downs. Once again the race favorite for his third straight outing, Tirade Hanover delivered with his first win of the new season after two consecutive seconds. In a three horse battle down the lane, Tirade Hanover zipped past The Triple Lindy, winner of the last two Open trots with Vic Kirby driving the front trotting leader, and Awsome Valley, handled by Ross Wolfenden, sitting second until the passing lane opened, and then came storming through the stretch to finish a close-up third. Corey Callahan made the win his third on the card. Owned by Steve Moss, the Solomons and trainer Leigh Raymer, Tirade Hanover won for the 20th time and now has won $621,990 lifetime. Howard Taylor and Rich Lombardo's Fitness Craze made it two in-a-row as Daryl Bier piloted the Crazed-Aerobics gelding to victory in 1:56 to win the $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot sub-feature. Sentry (Callahan) was runner-up. Futuristic Bride (Jonathan Roberts) finished second. The win was the second for driver Bier, who drove 70-1 shot Ooh Dear Sam to a 1:54.4 upset in a $15,000 Claiming pace. Owners Tim Mumford and trainer Shane Long collaborated on two longshot winners. Jake Of Hearts and Allan Davis, at 37-1, took the first of two Delaware $5,000 Claiming pace, and later 18-1 Annie's Shooter with Ross Wolfenden in the bike. Christmas season is over but Jingle Bell Rocker is still at it winning for the fifth consecutive time. Trace Tetrick drove the Rocknroll Hanover-Blissard Of Oz gelding conditioned by Les Givens to a 1:54 victory in a Delaware $7,500 claimer. Tina Clark posted her second owner victory on the card. Callahan led all with five winners. Ron Pierce drove three wins, trainer Eric Ell, trainer-owner Shane Long and owners Tim Mumford, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta also won two races. Papa Ray seeks repeat score at Dover Thursday Papa Ray, a winner of two of the last three $25,000 Delaware Special events, seeks a repeat of last week’s come-from-behind victory in this week’s feature pace on Jan. 8 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Reg Hazzard II and Legacy Racing own Papa Ray, a winner of four feature races already this meet. Eddie Davis Jr. is his regular driver. A week ago Mary Ann Larrimore’s Believe This Bob stormed down the lane for Ross Wolfenden to finish second, beaten only three-quarters-of-a-length. Ringler Stable’s hard-hitting Simon’s Artist with Trace Tetrick was third. Not to be overlooked Janet Hudson’s Just A Jolt, handled by Vic Kirby, should improve with an inside post. Another sharp contender is Max Walton and Greg Papaleo’s Mustang Art, reined by meet-leading driver Corey Callahan. Stacie Billings’ SB Mikes Hot Beach and Sean Bier drew the rail with last season’s Horse of the Meet, Eddie and Kathy Davis’ Nova Artist with Allan Davis, is alongside. Nine start in the sub-feature $16,000 Open pace. Bandolito, who set the track record 1:48 late last meet,  qualified last week and returns to the races dropping down from the Del. Special. Daryl Bier, owns, trains and drives the five-year-old. Wade Wyatt’s Flying Cowboy (Ron Pierce) has won his last two and Dedi’s Dragon (Corey Callahan) in from the Meadowlands, head the starting line-up. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are 'dark day.' Racing resumes on Sunday with post time at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

Europe’s best four year-olds squared off in today’s Gr. I Criterium Continental with a €240,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters with one scratch at Paris-Vincennes in the UET Masters Series) vying for its winners invitation to the Prix d’Amerique. The slick gaited, well-mannered Tumble Dust (4m Crazed-Affinity-Victory Dream) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owner Stall Tumble Boys, rallied to score by a nose at 13.8/1 odds in 1.10.7kr. Tumble Dust scored from post nine, outside first tier, and battled to the front in fast tempo before allowing a game 16/1 Amiral Sacha (4m Ganymede-Nostalgia Sacha) to gain the front for Gabrielle Gelormini with Malmqvist’s stablemate 33/1 Backfire (4f Offshore Dream-Fashion Brodde) behind Tumble Dust. Positions remained unchanged until even-money choice Aladin d’Ecajeul rolled near the leaders on the outside. Off the final bend Tumble Dust found room to the outside and Backfire found space on the pegs as the favorite faltered and Amiral Sacha battled on with great courage. The top three were noses apart on the line. Tumble Dust secured his tenth career win now for earnings of €510,169. Aladin d’Ecajeul ended fourth, Akim du Cap Vert fifth and J-P Dubois’ Tast of Bourbon was seventh. Fractions were 1.05.2kr at 1500; 1.08.5kr at 1000; 1.10.9kr at 500, 1.10.7kr at the finish. On post-race interview reinsman Bjorn Goop was quoted as saying Tumble Dust was good today, got over the track well and still had gas left. Goop recorded his seventh win in France this year with the Criterium Continental triumph. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou are the highest profile pacers retiring to the stallion ranks this year. They both head off to Pennsylvania. The Captain will command a $15,000 stud fee, double that of Lou. That’s $5,000 less than Captain T would have gotten if he retired at three and avoided the disastrous four-year-old campaign. His book is already full and closed. And Lou’s fee is $2,500 more than his up and down career would have warranted prior to his 2014 speed explosion. His soon to be fifteen-year-old sire, Yankee Cruiser, has yet to produce a credible stallion. The Captain’s new stablemate, his daddy, Somebeachsomewhere, is the only Hanover stallion to take a pay cut this year, as his fee dropped 17% to $25,000. This is the second time he has experienced a price reduction. Last time his fee went back up the following year. During his short stint at Hanover he has stood at various times for $15,000, $20,000, $25,000 and $30,000—there have been a few zigs and zags along the way. Pennsylvania will also be home to the most prestigious new trotting sire, Father Patrick. The son of Cantab Hall will do duel-duty at Diamond Creek Farm. His fee will be a rich $30,000 for a limited number of mares. Crazed, who was not well received during his two year stay at Hanover, heads back to Blue Chip Farm in New York at a 20% fee increase; he’ll stand for $5,000. Those buying for the PASS tended to discount his offspring. On the other hand, Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow had very successful seasons in the NYSS, while Tirade Hanover carried on in the aged ranks. Soon to be fifteen-year-old Broadway Hall is also moving out of Pennsylvania. The sire of Hambletonian winner, Broad Bahn, millionaire trotting mare, Action-Broadway, and the mercurial speedball, Cooler Schooner, was purchased from Fashion Farms by Global Farm of Sweden and will stand in the new “it place” for stallions—Ohio. He’ll be relieved to be out from under Cantab Hall, Andover Hall and Donato Hanover in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program. Along the same lines, the pacing stallions in Pennsylvania won’t miss the peripatetic Bettor’s Delight, who will lead all pacing sires in earnings once again this year. He took a one-year hiatus from the turbulence in Ontario and will head back there now that a stable funding mechanism is in place. The back from the brink Ontario program also gets local favorite Betterthancheddar, who moves from Winbak New York to Winbak Canada. Tara Hills struck gold with Casie Coleman pupil Sportswriter last year; perhaps Cheddar can also succeed in the OSS program. He stood in New York for one year at a $4,500 fee and Winbak is knocking $1,000 off of that, bringing him to market at an attractive price point that is $1,500 less than Shadow Play and Big Jim and $2,500 less than Sportswriter. Archangel, who has movie star looks, speed to burn and a mighty thin resume also heads to Winbak Canada for $4,000. He covered 42 mares at Blue Chip in 2013 but the cold shoulder he got from New York breeders sent him back to the track where he only won twice this year, but a world record tying 1:50 mile in a Cashman elimination enhanced his desirability as a stallion. To this point his daddy Credit Winner hasn’t excelled as a sire of sires. The soon to be eighteen-year-old has produced Crazed, RC Royalty and Chocolatier. North America Cup winner Up The Credit, began his stallion career in 2012, when he stood at Seelster Farms for $5,000. That didn’t last long, as he returned to the track in the spring of that year. He’s been retired for a second time, and stands at Casimir Farm in Ontario for $3,000. He would be the first successful stallion by soon to be thirteen-year-old Western Terror. Mister Big, who met with little success in Ontario, has been relocated to Abby Stables in Ohio, where he will stand for $2,500, which is $2,000 less than he was available for in Canada. Abby has also added the highly regarded but chronically stymied Western Vintage to its roster for $3,500. And Running Brook will stand there for $2,000. Last year Midland Acres in Ohio added world champion Pet Rock, who is available for $6,000. There are no high profile pacing newcomers like him on the horizon this year. Although world champion Uncle Peter matches Pet Rock in the fee department, becoming the state’s highest priced trotting stallion at $6,000. He stands at Hickory Lane Farm. And Wishing Stone, the richest and fastest son of Conway Hall in North America, who did double duty for Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey this year, will stand at Sugar Valley for $4,500—that’s $500 less than his 2014 fee. There isn’t much happening in the way of new stallions in Indiana. Of course Always A Virgin has drawn lots of attention to the program during the last three years and Rockin Image just impressed us with his first crop. The latter’s Well Said half-brother, Tellitlikeitis, who won an elimination to the NA Cup but not much else, will be standing in Indiana in 2015 for $3,000. And a full brother to Rockin Image, Rockin Amadeus, who knocked off Captain T in the BC at two, will stand in Ohio for $3,500. Kikikatie is making her presence felt. In one of the more curious moves in the breeding realm, Trixton will stand at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey for $12,000. Muscle Hill began his stallion career in New Jersey but the lack of a stable and lucrative sire stakes program seemed to be holding him back, so he was relocated to Pennsylvania. Like Muscle Hill, Trixton will be perceived by most as a Grand Circuit stallion, so location won’t matter as much as it would for a bottom or middle tier stallion. The gamble is that gaming will come to the Meadowlands and restricted dollars will flow like water from a tap. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 30, 2014-The fourth foray into Yonkers Raceway's "L'Arc Before It Gets Dark" went postward during an overcast but pleasant (low-50's) final day of the month. The 12-race card again began with five French-centric, overstuffed, mile-and-a-quarter trotting fields. A dozen were behind the gate for the $46,000 Open Handicap opener (post time 11:27 AM), with former New York Sire Stakes champ Crazy About Pat (Jason Bartlett, $6.70) winning as the favorite in 2:26 for the added distance. The Sunday overseas numbers continue strong, with just under 1.2 million Euros (a bit more than 1.47 million US dollars) wagered during the five exported events. The first four matinees have seen more than 5.2 million Euros (or more than 6.4 million US dollars) wagered for 20 races by the French-hubbed audience (including Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta). The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule continues through Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fifth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) next weekend just after 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Tumble Dust (4m Crazed-Affinity-Victory Dream) scored a gate to wire victory in Saturday’s Axel Jensens for four year-olds held at Bjerke Racecourse, Oslo, Norway. Purse was 565,000 Norwegian krone (€67,111) The Danish Derby winner scored by a neck for teamster Bjorn Goop and trainer Tomas Malmqvist over the Steen Juul reined and trained Tycoon Conway Hall (4m Conway Hall-Golden Sunday-Supergill) with Radysin America (4m Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei-Victory Dream a close third along the pegs for Johnny Takter driving for trainer Jerry Riordan. This one is a half-brother to Lisa America. Tumble Dust was timed in 1.11.7kr over the 1609 meter (one-mile) distance. The winner is owned by Stall Tumble Boys and he recorded career victory nine in 27 starts, now for earnings of 3,344,257SEK, or US$448,553. He’s a half-brother to Hard Livin that is campaigned successfully in Europe by Stall Zet and Daniel Reden. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Crazy About Pat (Crazed) moved his record to five-for-five this season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway behind a front running score in Sunday's Open Trot. Trainer Paul Kelley, who also had the winner of Saturday's Open Pace Bet On Roulette, has thrived with Crazy About Pat since acquiring him this summer. A closer in most of his wins this season, the four year old trotter moved to the early lead for driver Shawn Gray in Sunday's $17,000 co-feature. Met with the challenge of the race's favorite Zooming (Billy Dobson) in the stretch, Crazy About Pat dug in and scored a seasonal best win in 1:55.2. Returning $7.20 to win, Crazy About Pat led an exacta with the favorite Zooming the returned $19.40. Let's Go Higher (Billy Dobson) prevailed in the co-featured Fillies and Mares Open on Sunday afternoon with a last to first win clocked in 1:54. Live racing resumes on Thursday night with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Robert Bi (4m Toss Out-Up Front JM) won today’s €400,000 European Championship for four year-olds in 1.12.9kr over 2150 meters autostart at Mauquenchy (FR). Off as the 2.7/1 favorite in a very competitive field, reinsman Robin Bakker executed a strategic victory early when he vacated third on the pegs and swept to the lead ahead of first away Tumble Dust (4m Crazed-Affinity) driven by Torbjorn Jansson. Positions were unchanged as Bakker rated the pace until several challengers appeared late. Tumble Dust was blocked down the lane and never able to escape with Tast of Bourbon in the same situation behind that one. Amiral Sacha (4m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) ralled late for second ahead of Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne) with Jean-Etienne Dubois up with D’One (4f Donato Hanover-Giant Diablo) fourth and Tumble Dust fifth. Nine starters were within three lengths on the line. Robert Bi is trained by Paul Hagoort for owner  K.K. Bijkcrk of Holland. The winner recorded his 12th win in a career that now shows €687,570 earned. Robert Bi was bred in Italy by Allevamento G. Biasuzzi. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Sunday's Morrisville Sale featured overall numbers close to last year’s; five more yearlings were sold for a similar average of more than $10,000. Still, the number sold is down about 37% from 2011. Last year the first crop sales of high profile New York stallions Rock N Roll Heaven and Lucky Chucky created some buzz, while this year it was 2011 sophomore division winner Roll With Joe who was experiencing his first auction. Only five by that stallion sold at Morrisville, for a very modest $8,700 average. Most of the initial action on RWJ will come at Lexington, where nine fillies and eight colts will be sold, and in Harrisburg, where nineteen fillies and eighteen colts will be hammered down. Last year only six from Lucy Chucky’s first crop sold at Morrisville, for an encouraging $22,000 average—high for this sale. The $450,000 the Cancelliere brothers paid for a brother to Muscle Massive and Muscle Mass skewed the results at Lexington, but at Harrisburg 32 averaged more than $32,000. Overall, the Chuckys were well received. Lucky Chucky ranked third behind Conway Hall and Crazed on the NYSS 2-year-old earnings list; Nunkeri, who finished second in the Championship Final, was his top filly and Gabe The Bear Dean and Mambo Blue Chip were two of the better colts. All in all Chucky was competitive in the program but hasn’t made his mark on the Grand Circuit. Granted, opportunities for the latter have been limited. Twice as many sold at Morrisville this year—13—and they averaged about half of what they did last year--$12,423. A dozen Lucky Chuckys will sell in Lexington and 17 will be available at Harrisburg. Like Lucky Chucky, Rock N Roll Heaven keeps a low profile at the Morrisville Sale. Five sold for a $15,000 average last year while three averaged almost $13,000 today. What happened at Morrisville gave no clue about Heaven’s future sale prospects in 2013: 33 of them averaged a hefty $48,000 at Harrisburg. Twenty-five will be available there this year and 30 will sell at Lexington. Heaven ranked third in his division, behind Bettor’s Delight and Art Major, on the NYSS 2-year-old pacing money list. His daughters Sassa Hanover and Band Of Angels were dominant players in the division for Ron Burke, but in the Championship final at Yonkers, the leader in both age groups, Bettor’s Delight, stepped up for the win in the form of his daughter Mosquito Blue Chip. Heaven was a decidedly gyno-centric stallion; his colts were no factor. Prediction: nobody will be writing a $450,000 check for one this year. RC Royalty stands at Morrisville and topped the sale in the number available, as 17 brought an average of more than $13,000. This was down 27% from last year when 20 sold on the wave of Royalty For Life’s division championship. RC Royalty ranked fourth on the 2-year-old money list and fifth on the 3-year-old list. The sophomore filly Avalicious and the freshman colt Royal Deceptor were probably his best. There were no budding Royalty For Life’s in the mix. He sells one at Lexington and none at Harrisburg. His brush with fame did not propel the eleven-year-old beyond his regional stallion status. But the sales topper on Sunday was one of his daughters, Royal Encore, who brought $85,000. Cash Hall, the Self Possessed stallion who now stands in Ohio for $3,000, raised his profile markedly in the NYSS with his outstanding freshman filly Market Rally and her paternal brother Buen Camino. The former crushed the opposition on the Night of Champions. Premium performers will always garner a stallion more love than healthy averages. Last year Cash Hall, who still has NYSS eligibility, had 13 sell at Morrisville for an $8,800 average. This year only four sold, but they averaged three times that. Cash Hall is in a no man’s land between New York and Ohio right now. The young Credit Winner stallion, Crazed, is about to stand his third season at Hanover in Pennsylvania. His fee was dropped from $6,000 to $4,000 last year. Crazed, who still has NYSS eligibility, sold seven for $16,571 today, up from the 12 he sold for an average of $9,200 in 2013. He was second to Conway Hall among two and three-year-old trotters in the NYSS this year. Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow, both winners of their respective finals, were crazy good this year. Nineteen by Crazed sell at Harrisburg. The buyers haven’t been particularly receptive up until now, but we should see more enthusiasm for him this year. Credit Winner, Art Major and Bettor’s Delight play a very limited role in this sale.  The latter, who now resides in Pennsylvania, has exhausted his two-year-old eligibility which will transfer to Ontario next year. He won’t be missed by the other stallions. We’ll find out at Lexington and Harrisburg whether or not the buyers consider his little brother, Roll With Joe, a suitable substitute. Conway Hall, leader of both the two and three-year-old divisions, and the most underrated stallion in the sport, sold seven for a $19,000 average, just like last year. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com

Robert Bi and reinsman Robert Bakker took today's first local elimination for the October 4th European Championship for four year-olds. The Paul Hagoort trainee (4mToss Out-Up Front JM) held off Tast of Bourbon (4f Donato Hanover-Qualita Bourbon) with owner Jean-Pierre Dubois up and Rue du Bac (4m Infinitif-Ici) and teamster J-M Bazire in a hotly, closely contested battle on the line. Robert Bi was off at 2.2/1 odds and he covered the 2150 meters autostart in 1.14.2kr in the mud. Purse was E60,000. The Dubois/Bazire battle continued post-race with an unusual on-track altercation. The second elimination this day went to Africaine (4f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne) and owner/trainer/driver Jean-Etienne Dubois. The pair scored in 1.13.2kr at 1.9/1 odds. Amiral Sacha (4m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) was second ahead of Alienor de Godrel (4f Orlando Vici-Julietta). After all qualifying elims, in France and Sweden, Robert Bi and Tumble Dust (by Crazed) lead a very competitive group of four year-olds into the European Championship on October 4th. Mauquenchy October 4 – Grand Prix de l’UET Final Tast Of Bourbon Africaine Västerbo Loveboat Robert Bi Tumble Dust Radieux Amiral Sacha Dominator D'One Rue du Bac Boys Going In Aliénor de Godrel Thomas H. Hicks

With an ultra-impressive three-wide sweep from seventh place at the three-quarter mile marker, Crazy About Pat and driver Shawn Gray gave racing fans a thrill in capturing the $17,000 Open Trot Sunday. The seventh race feature saw Baby Boy Grin (Stephane Bouchard) leave the grab the lead by the opening quarter mile in :27.4 with Just Make Believe (Frank Coppola, Jr.) grabbing the two-hole spot. By the half mile marker in :57.4, Baby Boy Grin was on the lead but facing a challenge from first-over Slugfest (Jay Randall) who helped push the pacesetter to the three-quarters in 1:27.1 with the Northern Dude (Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) taking up second-over cover. But it was Crazy About Pat and Gray making their big move three-wide and moving into third place by the top of the stretch and then kicking in a :28.3 last quarter mile to win going away by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Baby Boy Grin held for second place with Slugfest third. Trained by Paul Kelley and owned and bred by Patricia Stable, NY, Crazy About Pat is a four-year-old gelding by Crazed and paid $4.50 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

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