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WILKES-BARRE PA - Homicide Hunter went to the lead past the quarter, then trotted successive 27.3 panels home to hold off first-over Crazshana by a half-length in the $25,000 winners-over handicap trot Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the final clocking of 1:51.1 missing the divisional world record for harness racing four-year-old trotting geldings by a single tick.   And with Pocono being Pocono in the five-eighth mile track category, especially on the trot, Homicide Hunter didn't even get a track record out of the brave effort. The 1:51 standard was achieved by Wind Of The North here in 2014, and then JL Cruze in a mountain stop last season. The altered son of Mr Cantab, owned by Crawford Farms Racing, did lower his mark from the 1:51.4 he posted in winning the Meadows Maturity on June 18, and raised his bankroll to $622,013.   The teaming of driver Eric Goodell and trainer Chris Oakes was a very fruitful one for both parties this weekend, as Homicide Hunter's win at Pocono added to the three times the two paired successfully on Wiggle It Jiggleit's Gerrity night at Saratoga 24 hours earlier. Even more remarkably, Goodell had a horse he was driving fall down while in contention at The Meadows on Monday, didn't get back into the sulky until Friday - and after this race had posted a 14-6-2-0-.508 tally since coming back!   An altered son of Crazed also accounted for the $18,000 sub-featured trot, as Crazy About Pat led at every pole under the guidance of Andrew McCarthy in recording a new mark of 1:53.1. Paul Kelley conditions the six-year-old earner of $663,899 lifetime for the Patricia Stable.   PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA - JL Cruze, 2015's champion Older Male Trotter in North America, got his 2016 harness racing campaign again headed in the right direction with a 1:53 victory in the $25,000 winners-over feature Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   John Campbell had his usual seat behind the altered five-year-old son of Crazed, and he guided him to the lead past the 27.2 opening quarter, then backed off the half to 57.1. From there, "JL" cruzed home in 55.4, winning by two lengths over the out-at-every-call Crazshana, completing the Crazed-sired Exacta, with Il Sogno Dream another half-length back in third after going first-over.   This season JL Cruze opened his campaign with three straight victories, but he had gone "only" 1 for 5 since then before this race - if you count a second to Rose Run Parker, still 2016's fastest North American trotter (1:50.4), and a fourth in the Cutler and a fifth in the Lee, in the "only" category. But perhaps his win at Pocono will mark a turnaround back towards his championship form for the Eric Ell-trained trotter, owned by Wm. Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta, and now the winner of $101,430 this year and $761,483 lifetime.   If you like two-year-old trotting stakes fillies, Pocono is the place to be for you the next two nights - eight divisions of Pennsylvania Stallion Series action top the bill on Monday, while the next night will feature five divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes racing.   PHHA / Pocono      

Vernon, N.Y. -- A special Sunday (June 19) night harness racing card at Vernon Downs features over $450,000 in purses for top New York-sired 3-year-old trotters as a pair of Empire Breeders Classic events share top billing on the 10-race program.   Elimination winners Fad Finance and Earn Your Wings both look to upend last year's Sire Stakes superstar Non Stick in the $234,375 Filly Classic, carded as race seven. Fad Finance (post 5, 3-1 part of entry) stayed in close attendance to a strong early pace, pouncing on the then-undefeated Non Stick at the eighth pole and holding off a late charge from Straight A Student in 1:54.1. Trainer Trond Smedshammer also drives the daughter of Credit Winner. Earn Your Wings (post 6, 2-1 part of entry) likewise pounced late off a tracking trip in her elimination, sprinting off to a 1:54.4 victory over Swinging Royalty and Open Access. Jason Bartlett once again drives the Credit Winner filly for trainer Anette Lorentzon.   In the $222,975 Classic for colts and geldings, Sir Royson (post 7) has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite. The son of Crazed prevailed in both of his New York Sire Stakes races so far this season, winning from both on the lead and from off the pace. Jim Marohn, Jr. drives the five-time winner for trainer Linda Toscano. Among his eight rivals are Dexter Cup winner Dante (Ãke Svanstedt, post 9) and last year's Sire Stakes runner-up Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley, post 3).   Camels and ostriches make their annual stop at the Miracle Mile on Sunday evening as well for a pair of non-wagering exhibition events after the second and fifth races. The camels and ostriches, from Hedrick's Animal Farm in Kansas, will compete in the early part of the card, as they do at many events nationwide. Post time for the Father's Day card is slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Scarborough, Maine (June 16, 2016) - Demonstrating a distinct affinity towards harness racing at Scarborough Downs, Midnite Craze has once again etched his name in the record books at the southern Maine harness racing venue. The six-year-old son of Crazed toured the oval timed in a blistering 1:57 flat, during Friday's (6/16) $7500 Free For All event, equaling the fastest trot ever recorded in the track's 66 year history. Confidently handled by driver/trainer Ivan Davies, Midnite Craze now shares local bragging rights with the mare, IPO Blue Chip, who was crowned the track's fleetest trotter in June of 2012. Owned by G Richard Mason, Jr of The Villages, FL, the zippy high-stepper established a new track standard for aged gelded trotters in the process, supplanting the 1:57.1 record set by Waterloo Willie in July of 2013 and equaled by Midnite Craze himself, in his last local appearance, just last November. In addition to back-to-back track record appearances at Scarborough Downs, Midnite Craze can also boast an uncanny record of success at the seaside oval, having now tasted victory in five out his six starts at the Downs, including an impressive current skein of three consecutive Free For All class scores. When Midnite Craze comes to town can a new track record be close at hand? The "Horses for Courses" theory answers strongly in the affirmative! Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

HARRINGTON, Del. - Leigh Raymer, Stephen Moss and Harold and Helane Solomon's Tirade Hanover ($9, Victor Kirby) was victorious in the harness racing $17,500 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:55.2. Spunky Jack led the field at the start from post position five at odds of 7-to-1 and headed the field of eight on top until the top of the stretch when he was swarmed by a host of horses. When the dust settled, it was Tirade Hanover coming away with the narrow win in a tight finish 1:55.2 over Six Gun Hall and Theresademoninme. Trained by Raymer, it was the 31st career win for Tirade Hanover, a 6-year-old son of Crazed that has banked more than $745,000 in his career. Kirby, who won three races for the second straight program, emerged in the winner's circle again in the seventh race with Steel Reserve ($5). Trained and co-owned by Kirby with Chris Giaccio, the 4-year-old Credit Winner gelding notched his fourth win of the year with a front-end triumph in a $10,000 sub-featured trotting event. Kirby kept his roll intact with a consecutive triple, piloting Rojo ($5) to victory in the eighth for owners Morgan and Jeanne Mc Innis and Beatrix In Der Wiesche in a lifetime best 1:59.3. Matthew Sparacino  

Neither favorite prevailed in New York Sire Stakes action at Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 21) evening, with harness racing 3-year-old trotting colts Smalltownthrowdown ($8.70) and Sir Royson ($42.00) prevailing in their respective $61,300 events.   In the first division, carded as race six, Smalltownthrowdown yielded to even-money choice Allerage Echo (Jim Morrill, Jr.) upon reaching the backstretch, vacating the pegs and dueling to a 1-1/4 length victory after enjoying a clear tracking journey. Trainer Dan Daley drove the Cash Hall colt to a 1:56 score over sloppy going, defeating Allerage Echo by 1-1/4 lengths. Third-place finisher A Jersey Contract (Jeff Gregory) was 2-3/4 lengths farther back.   Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, IV, Donald renner, and Richard Lombardo own Smalltownthrowdown.   The compexion of the eighth-race second division changed entirely when 2-5 favorite Dayson (Morrill) broke stride at race's midpoint. Jim Marohn, Jr. worked Sir Royson out of traffic on the far turn, drawing off to a 3-1/4 length victory in 1:56 after reeling in pacesetter Sweet Royalty (Gregory) in upper stretch. The Crazed colt sprinted off through a :27.4 final quarter mile to defeat Dexter Cup winner Dante (Oskar Florhed) and Reve Royale (Chris Lems) for trainer Linda Toscano and owner R-and-I Farms, LLC.   Marohn led all drivers with three wins on the 12-race program, also teaming up with Southern Palms ($15.60, 1:57.2) and Uncle Mack ($21.40, 1:58.1) in $15,000 Excelsior A events.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (May 27) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

The 2015 aged trotter of the year J L Cruze was in harness racing action Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The gelded son of Crazed was matched up against five other combatants in a winner's over $25,000 lifetime trot going for a purse of $25,000. The race became a bit anti-climactic when top contender Gural Hanover (Yannick Gingras) went off stride at the quarter pole. He was rushing up to challenge J L Cruze (John Campbell) for the lead when he made the miscue. J L Cruze went down the road for the easy win, setting fractions of :27.3, :57, and 1:25.2. The final time was 1:53. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera's Escuela (Geo Napolitano Jr) drove out of third at the three-quarter mark, but settled for second. The margin of victory for J L Cruze ($3.60) was nearly two lengths. He is owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr, and Steve Iaquinta. Mike Bozich

Crazycat (Crazed) cruised to victory in Thursday's co-featured race for New York Sired harness racing trotters at Saratoga. The three year old trotter is co-owned by his driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. who moved the 2-5 favorite out to the early lead in the $9,950 trotting event and Crazycat took it from there. Making just his tenth career start, the Jose Godinez trainee cruised to victory in a lifetime best 1:57.4. The other co-feature saw longshot Fast N Loud (Conway Hall) pull off an upset in 1:59.2 as the four year old swooped the group at odds of 20-1 for driver Mark Beckwith. The win was one of three wins on the card for Beckwith who entered the day in third place in the local driver standings behind only Stephane Bouchard and Frank Coppola Jr. Live racing continues on Friday evening at the Spa with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

Leigh Raymer, Stephen Moss and Harold and Helane Solomon's Tirade Hanover ($9, Victor Kirby) was a 1:56.3 harness racing winner in the $16,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. It was one of three winners on the program for Kirby, who raced Tirade Hanover from off the pace before circling the short field of six late with a powerful charge to reel in leader Royal Becca J for the victory. Spunky Jack was third. Tirade Hanover, a 6-year-old gelded son of Crazed, notched his 30th career win for trainer Leigh Raymer and boosted his lifetime earnings closer to $800,000. Jim Morand and Ross Wolfenden each had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino  

Nono Lindy (Crazed) scored a first over win in Thursday's co-feature at Saratoga. Harness racing driver Frank Coppola Jr. piloted the three year old gelding in the $9,300 co-feature for New York Sired trotters.   Nono Lindy had a strong freshman campaign in 2015 hitting the board in eight of nine starts while prevailing three times.   It was the Tony Mondi-trained trotter's second start of the year on Thursday and Coppola pulled the 5-1 shot first over before cruising to victory in 1:58.3.   The other $9,300 trot went to Dions Prayer (Phil Fluet) who went coast to coast in 1:58.   Dions Prayer is trained by Andy Byler.   Live racing continues on Friday evening with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella  

Crazy About Pat, driven by Shawn Gray and trained by Paul Kelly, took Sunday afternoon's harness racing feature at Saratoga.   The Crazed colt trotted to the victory over a mile and 1/16th in 2:05.   Live racing continues onThursday afternoon beginning at 4pm. Mike Sardella  

It was an afternoon of harness racing favorites prevailing on Thursday at Saratoga Casino Hotel.   That was until longshot Imacrazynewyorker (Crazed) posted not only the biggest price of the year at the Spa but the biggest win payoff in a couple of seasons.   Imacrazynewyorker pulled off the upset in Thursday's $9,950 feature for New York Sired trotters at odds of 102-1.   Heading into Thursday's tilt, the John Hallett-trained trotter had not finished on the board in 2016 but that all changed after a second-over trip led to the major upset.   Mark Beckwith piloted Imacrazynewyorker to victory in 2:00.2.   The win price was an eye-popping $206 for the longshot who led an exacta with the favored Meshugana Miss (Bruce Aldrich Jr) second that came back $496.   The race's triple paid $2,702 with third place finisher Kinda Naughty (John Stark Jr).   Live racing continues on Friday at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm.   Mike Sardella

The African (Crazed) continued his strong spring season on Thursday afternoon as the four year old trotter prevailed in the $9,300 feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Trainer Dave Dewhurst started the week in seventh place in the local trainer standings and continued his recent hot streak as The African rolled to victory in the feature for New York Sired trotters. Bet down to odds of 1-9, The African lived up to the hype as he cruised to a nearly four length victory in a career best 1:59.1 with Billy Dobson in the sulky. The African has now hit the board in five straight starts. Dewhurst, a Vernon Downs regular, has enjoyed a strong spring season at the Spa due in large part to the successes of his young trotter. The win completed a Thursday hat trick for Billy Dobson who piloted three winners on the Thursday card. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JL Cruze stayed perfect in three seasonal starts Friday night, taking the featured $25,000 open handicap trot at the Meadowlands by 1½ lengths over Shake It Cerry. Opulent Yankee was third. A 5-year-old gelded son of Crazed, JL Cruze used a change in tactic from his first two victories of the season and was hustled to the top by driver John Campbell before hitting the quarter in :27.1. Campbell was allowed to rate the Eric Ell trainee through a half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:25.3, leaving plenty of gas in the tank. At the top of the stretch, Rose Run Parker was a non-threatening presence alongside the eventual winner, but did provide live cover for Shake It Cerry, the lifetime earner of $2.4 million who was making her 2016 debut. Shake It Cerry closed well in a solid try for the Jimmy Takter barn. JL Cruse, who is pointing toward the May 8 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff at the Big M, hit the wire in 1:52.2 after trotting a final quarter in :26.4 and paid $3 to win as the 1-2 favorite. Campbell, the all-time leader in wins and earnings at the Big M, scored four times on the card. In addition to JL Cruze in the sixth race, Campbell won with Massive Clout ($6.80 to win) in the first, Kiss Me Onthebeach ($8.60) in the third and longshot I C Caviar ($33.00) in the eighth. All-source wagering on the 12-race card was $2,650,557 while the 12th race Jackpot Super High Five carryover swelled to $179,502.82 for the next racing program after the wager was again not hit. Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

Saratoga Springs, NY - Meshugana Miss (Crazed) set a lifetime mark in the co-featured race on Thursday evening at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The four year old trotter made her return to the Spa where she set her lifetime mark last year following two starts at Yonkers to begin her campaign. Shawn Gray piloted the Janice Connor-trained trotter in the $9,300 co-feature for New York Sired highsteppers. Gray cut Meshugana Miss loose heading to the half and overpowered the leader. Despite tiring a bit late in the mile, the 9-1 shot in the wagering had enough to hang on to win in 1:59.1, a new lifetime mark set over a track labeled 'good' on a day that consisted of on and off storms. It was the second win on the card for the Gray-Connor tandem as they also secured a victory with pacer No Shame Blue Chip who also set a lifetime mark on Thursday scoring in 1:56.3. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

DOVER, Del.--- Though stabled a short distance from the track, JL Cruze made his second 2016 start and first local appearance and responded with an easy 1:53.2 victory in the $36,000 Open Preferred trot at Dover Downs Wednesday. The program also featured two $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 2nd leg 3-year-old male trot divisions that led off the program with Triple Bottom Line and Epic Smash scoring impressive victories. Hall of Fame driver John Campbell left with JL Cruze and tucked in fifth after the start. Campbell began his frontward movement heading to the half mile and steady continued to move. The Crazed-Topcat Hall bay gelding finally took over after the three quarters on the way to his second triumph of the year for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, of Denton, Md., and Philadelphia area residents, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta. Emerging from a pack of trotters bidding for second was Spunky Jack with Roger Plante, who has five seconds this year and 15 over the last two seasons. Somebody AS teamed with Tim Tetrick, finished third in front of early leader Gural Hanover, driven by Andrew McCarthy, third. JL Cruze now has 23 career wins and earnings of $690,553 lifetime. In the stronger of two $20,000 divisions, Epic Smash rolled to his second DSBF 2nd leg trot victory holding off a determined bid from Cicada's Song in a 1:56.4 mile. Pat Berry, who won consecutive races, took Epic Smash right to the front as he did last week and was never headed in the lifetime best clocking of her career.Cicada's Song was relentless chasing the winner home. JCraparotta&PBerry Racing, own the Political Briefing-Giant Smash filly who now has five lifetime wins and purses of $115,208.Chestnut Chic (George Dennis) came on to finish third. The outside post didn't deter Triple Bottom Line and Jeff Fout in the other $20,000 DSBF section. The CR Commando-Current Yield bay stormed away to get the early lead and cut out all the 2:00.1 winning fractions. Miss Baltimore (Tony Morgan) who stalked the winner from the start but had to hold on for second. Devlin (Carlo Poliseno) was the third-place money winner. Winbak Farm bred and owns Triple Bottom Line who won for the first time this year and third time in her 10 race career. She has banked $88,200 in purses. Colt pacers battle Thursday in DSBF divisions Three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 3-Year-Old Male Paces complete the two-weeks of preliminaries, Thursday, April 7 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p m. John’s Dream, winner of last November’s DSBF $100,000 Two-Year-Old Final, and a 1:53.2 winner last week, drew the rail and will again be driven by Tim Tetrick from the rail in the second $20,000 prelim. Chuck Perry is owner-trainer of the ridgling that completed his two-year-old season with five consecutive wins. Pam Wagner’s Canthelpbutwin and Allan Davis starts alongside. Cut The Beach, owned by Rubin, Johnson Thomson and Henry Faragalli III, has two win under his belt but must start from the outside in the six-horse field. Mike and Linda English’s Double Miles (Jim Morand) was a third place finisher. In another $20,000 DSBF Male Pace, Trainer-driver John MacKinnon’s JW Renegade spent much of last start on the outside. Garnet O’Marrow’s homebred Seboomook Dreamer and Allan Davis completes the lineup. The opening $20,000 DSBF division Dorothy and Chris Conner’s Hail To The  Master, driven by Art Stafford Jr., won five-times last season and began this year with a 1:52.4 wire-to-wire win. Winbak Farm’s All Artist with Jeff Fout, has two straight second-place finishers. Cavalli Pazzi Stable’s Casino Bags Anso, a strong second a week ago, leaves from the rail with Vince Copeland. Carter Racing’s Rusty Carter and George Dennis. Carter Racing Stable’s Rusty Carter, piloted by Corey Callahan, the 2015 Harrington $100,000 champion at Harrington, was third in his seasonal debut. Rich Lombardo and Howard Taylor’s Stellar City will be driven by Ross Wolfenden and Lee Louthan’s homebred Spinstigator and Allan Davis leave from post 2. The third $20,000 DSBF prelim is a wide open affair led by Don Marine’s Power To Perform (Tony Morgan) who just missed by a neck to finish second last start. Henry Faragalli III, Bay Pond and Nanticoke Racing’s Next Success (Jim Morand) has been racing well. Paul and Lorie Davis and Pres Moore’s Gimme The Pacifics (Callahan) should be a factor front the rail while Willard Hall and Brian Wright’s Sizz Matty (Teague) must overcome the outside. The other starters are Shawn Hanley’s homebred Richie The Flanka with Ross Wolfenden and Serendipity Stable’s Door Prize (Sean Bier). by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs                                  

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