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Creatine sets new track record of 1:52.4 at Scioto Downs in the $25K Open Trot. Creatine shattered the previous harness racing record for a 4-year old horse of 1:54.1 set by Shark Kosmos in 2002. Creatine is a son of Andover Hall out of Berry Nice Muscles. He's conditioned by Bob Stewart for Diamond Creek Racing of Pennsylvania. Creatine started from assigned post five in the field of seven and Dan Noble had the controls. Slated as 9-5 favorite and going off at odds of 3-5, Noble said go when the gates folded. The pair had to work for the top from a stubborn Its Complicated and Josh Sutton. They cleared before the quarter that was trotted in a brisk :26.2. Noble was able to give Creatine a breather on their way to the half that was clocked in :56.1. Boy Meets Girl K and Randy Tharps started their first over bid to apply the pressure down the back side. Southwind Pepino and Sandy Beatty were right in their tow second over. Its Complicated started to tire giving Southwind Pepino a chance to sneak back to the rail. They clocked the three quarters in 1:24.4. Creatine held off the challenge from Boy Meets Girl K, but still had Southwind Pepino to fend off in the stretch. Creatine dug in to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Southwind Pepino and War Cry Hall and Greg Grismore rallied to complete the trifecta. This victory was Creatine's first of the season, but the 12th of his career. He's now banked over $938,000 in just 32 lifetime starts. Betterluvnexttime becomes the fastest mare in the history of Scioto Downs after winning the Filly and Mare Open Pace in 1:50.2. Betterluvnexttime broke her own track record set earlier this year of 1:50.4 and a mark of 1:50.3 set by her stable mate Top Brand. Betterluvnexttime is a 6-year old mare by American Ideal out of Darriwillian. She's trained by Scioto Downs leading trainer, Virgil Morgan Jr for Daniel Mitchell. Josh Sutton had the lines from post eight in the partially assigned field of nine. Betterluvnexttime was the 9-2 morning line third choice and went off at odds of 5-1. Sutton drove her like she was the one to beat. When the started said go, so did Josh. They pushed the gate away and drove for command. Sutton settled in an early third after the opening quarter that was paced in :26 by Sectionline Yankee. She's Shocking settled in the pocket spot for Kayne Kauffman, but they would have the pocket seat for long. Betterluvnexttime and Sutton were underway before the half that was paced in :54.1 and she was able to clear to the top on the backside. Betterluvnexttime had no time back down the pace. She had company from Continual Velocity and Chris Page. They battled to the three quarters in 1:21.3. The duel continued through the stretch and Sectionline Yankee was licking her chops behind the battling pair. The two outstanding mares battled it out and Betterluvnexttime had the winning stride. She beat a game Continual Velocity by a narrow neck and Sectionline Yankee settled for the show spot. This was Betterluvnexttime's fourth consecutive win and her 37th victory in 86 career starts. Racing continues on Saturday (August 31) post time is 6:30 pm. Scioto Downs will host an autograph session prior to post time, starting at 5:45 pm in the grandstand breezeway. Scioto Downs Racino

Victory Is Coming and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.stole the spotlight with their world and new track record performance of 1:51 at Scioto Downs Friday. The previous world record of 1:51.4 for an aged trotting mare on a 5/8 mile track was set by Beatgoeson Hanover and In Your Room, both in 2013.  The previous track record of 1:52.2 was held by Unefoisdanmavie and Modern Family. The 7-year old mare by Victory Sam out of Norse Comer is trained by Ammon Hershberger for Betty and John Shaw. Victory Is Coming has now earned over $520,000 in her 107 starts and has made 47 trips the winners circle. The mare started from post five in the full field of 10 and went off at odds of 8-5. Wrenn got away an early fifth behind the battle of Its Complicated and Creatine. Clicking the opener quarter in a hot, :26.2. The pace didn't slow much when Lachance grabbed leather with Creatine to drop in third. They clocked the half mile in :54 and it was shortly after that Wrenn pulled the right line and made a quick brush to the front. Victory Is Coming quickly opened up 3-lengths on the field as she hit the three quarters in 1:22.2. Wrenn had the talented mare well in hand as the cruised to a 1-1/4 lengths victory over Southwind Pepino. The other lone mare in the field, Daylon Miracle was a closing third. Freshman fillies dominate in $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes at Scioto Downs on Friday night. Like Old Times and Josh Sutton set a new track record of 1:57.2 for 2-year trotting fillies at Scioto Downs. The previous record of 1:57.2 was held by Rose Run Keepsake. Like Old Times is a daughter of Chip Chip Hooray out of Royal Two. She's trained by Don McKirgan for Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio. She started from post four in the field of eight and was in good company. The 9-5 morning line favorite, Dark Roast started from post five. Dark Roast and Kurt Sugg left out for command and landed In The Pocket spot, but were out to take command just passed the 1/4 that was trotted in :28.3. Sutton and Like Old Times were parked the entire way and still were charging for command after the half that was trotted in :59. Dark Roast and Like Old Times went toe to toe and stride for stride down the three quarters that was clocked on 1:27.4. Sutton finally asked the filly for more and she responded by opening up on the field by 5-3/4 lengths. Sammy Star and Aaron Merriman came on late for second and Dark roast held on for third. Bettys Sam and trainer, driver Ammon Hershberger upset their division in 1:57.4. Bettys Sam is owned by John "Red" and Betty Shaw of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. She's by Victory Sam out of Norse Comer. She was out to prove that she wanted to be just like her sister, Victory Is Coming and her point was made. The filly started from the rail, but still had hard work ahead of her. The undefeated Sunrise Nibbles had post four in the field of eight. Page sent Sunrise Nibbles to her normal spot and clocked the opening quarter in :29. Ammon had Bettys Sam sitting third and after the :30 second quarter decided it was time to move. She started her first over grind and hit the three quarters in 1:28.2. Sunrise Nibbles and Bettys Sam battled down the stretch, a small neck separated the fillies. Bettys Sam earned the victory and paid $71.40 to win. Chip Girl and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.completed the trifecta. Lisa Jane takes the final division for trotting fillies in a career best, 1:57.2. Lisa Jane started from post five and Ryan Stahl had the lines for trainer, Scott Cox. She's a daughter of Neely Dunn out of Vanilla B and is owned by Parent Racing Stable LLC and G.Peters. Stahl wasted no time to gain control of the fractions. After the opening quarter was trotted in :28.4 by Tt'scaramelcream, Ryan made the move to the front. The trotted to the half in a moderate :59.1 and passed the three quarters in 1:28.2. Lisa Jane was well in hand and won by 3-1/2 lengths over Student Of Life and Dolly Dunn was third. Bell Flower and Chris Page dominate their $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes division in 1:55. Bell Flower never made her connections anxious as the heavy favorite. She started from post six in the field of eight. Page steered the perfect filly to the top and never looked back. She clocked fractions of :28.1,:57.1 and 1:25.4 before drawing clear by 7 lengths. Crosswinds Cupcake and Dan Noble rallied for second and Ut Oh Spakiddio grabbed the show spot. Sectionlinefriskie breaks her maiden with a win in her division of Ohio Sires Stakes in 1:56. Sectionlinefriskie is a daughter of Feelin Friskie out of Aquatic Yankee. She's trained by Steve Bauder for Harold Bauder, Michael Dixon and Harold Lee Bauder. Dan Noble had the assignment from post seven and was overlooked at 22-1. Noble ended up an early seventh in the field of eight. The heavy 1-5 choice, Friskie Lil Devil was the pace setter and cut fractions of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:27. Aaron Merriman and Zoey's Lemon Tart sat the pocket trip and waited to pounce in the stretch. Neither one could hold off the late charge from Sectionlinefriskie. She paced her final quarter in :28.3 Friskie Lil Devil settled for the place spot and Zoey's Lemon Tart was third. From Scioto Downs Racino

This Week: Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Lady Liberty, Peter Haughton Memorial, Merrie Annabelle and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Hanover Colt Stakes and Hanover Filly Stakes, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill; and Tompkins-Geers, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Friday (Aug. 1) at Meadowlands Racetrack with the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters and 2-year-old filly trotters. There will be three $10,000 divisions for the colts and five $10,000 divisions for the fillies. The big Saturday afternoon (Aug. 2) program is led by the $1,006,125 Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Other major stakes races to be contested that day are the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $300,650 John Cashman Memorial for older trotters, the $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship for older pacers, the $177,750 Lady Liberty for older pacing mares, the $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters. Also on Saturday, Balmoral Park will host the $50,000 (est.) Hanover Colt Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $50,000 (est.) Hanover Filly Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Sunday (Aug. 3) the Crete oval will feature the $50,000 (est.) Hanover Colt Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $50,000 (est.) Hanover Filly Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. Tioga Downs on Sunday will feature the $78,000 (est.) Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $67,000 (est.) Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Confronted by a challenger who would not go away, 1-5 favorite McWicked dug in, blazed the back half in an amazing :53.2 and captured this past Saturday's (July 26) $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows. McWicked held off Somewhere In L A at the wire to win the Delvin Miller Adios. With the 1:49.1 victory, Casie Coleman, who conditions McWicked for S S G Stables, became the first female trainer to win an Adios final in the 48-year-history of this important test for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Leaving from post two, David Miller was able to give McWicked a rather leisurely half in :55.4 on the front. When Brett Miller moved Somewhere In L A uncovered down the backside and the pair looked McWicked in the eye, the battle was on. However, McWicked edged away in deep stretch to triumph in 1:49.1, a length better than his gallant rival. Cammikey was a ground-saving third. With the win, McWicked pushed his career bankroll to $798,447 and extended a prolonged roll that has seen him sweep the eliminations and final of the Max Hempt Memorial and the Adios. Many of the sport's stars were out on Saturday night at The Meadowlands and none were brighter than Archangel who won the first elimination for the John Cashman, Jr. Memorial trot in a world record 1:50. The mile broke a six-way tie for the fastest mile ever by a trotter on a mile track. Yannick Gingras sent the handsome 5-year-old millionaire son of Credit Winner out fast for the lead with a wicked :26.1 opening quarter then set even fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.3 in the record mile. Archangel was a geared down 1-3/4 length winner over Intimidate with Market Share third. Your So Vain and Sevruga rounded out the qualifiers from this elimination for this Saturday's Cashman final. Ron Burke trains the winner for Legendary Standardbred Farm and Claire Semer. Sebastian K was back to his winning ways in the second elimination for Ake Svanstedt with an easy three length score in 1:51. The race began with Creatine flying off the wings from the outside for Mike Lachance and clearing Sebastian K as they reached the quarter in a dazzling :26. The pace slowed abruptly when Lachance took up on the lead and Svanstedt was forced to yank Sebastian K out quickly before Mister Herbie could get the jump on him from third. He got out, though the judges flashed the inquiry sign and reviewed the move, and was back to the top. Sweet Justice mounted a final turn challenge but was rebuffed with a :27.3 final quarter. Mister Herbie split horses late to be second, Uncle Peter was third in his return to US soil, Appomattox a solid fourth and Arch Madness captured the final berth in this week's race. The winner is trained in the Svanstedt barn for Knutsson Trotting and was winning for the sixth time this year in seven tries. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 509; 2. Tim Tetrick - 443; 3. Ron Pierce - 307; 4t. Brian Sears - 205; 4t. David Miller - 205. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 884.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 444; 3t. PJ Fraley - 189; 3t. Ray Schnittker - 189; 5. Joe Holloway - 154. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 206.75; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 188; 3. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. S S G Stables - 80. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at The Meadows with the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old colt trotters; at Hoosier Park with the Dan Patch for older pacers; and at Charlottetown Driving Park with the Gold Cup and Saucer eliminations for older pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Intimidate followed his most lackluster performance of the year with a stunning victory in the Maple Leaf Trot last weekend and trainer Luc Blais is hopeful the 5-year-old trotter can keep the momentum going in Saturday's first of two eliminations for the John Cashman Jr. Memorial at the Meadowlands. The Cashman, formerly known as the Nat Ray, attracted 15 horses, including world champion Sebastian K. The top five from two $50,000 eliminations will advance to the $300,650 final on Aug. 2, Hambletonian Day, at the Big M. It is an accomplished group, with Sebastian K being history's fastest trotter and 10 of the remaining horses having won at least one Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot, or Trotting Triple Crown race. Intimidate, who won the 2012 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters and the 2013 Credit Winner, edged previously unbeaten Sebastian K by a nose to win the Maple Leaf in 1:54.2 on a sloppy track. Intimidate was 47-1. "It was an amazing feeling again," said Blais, who trains Intimidate for Serge Godin's Determination stable and Judith Farrow. Blais and Farrow bred the son of stallion Justice Hall and mare Fabulous Tag. "That (Maple Leaf) was an amazing win. "He was just so-so in the elimination but came back good. I think Sylvain Filion gave him a perfect drive. I think everything was perfect that night. At that level, you need everything perfect." Intimidate finished fifth in his Maple Leaf elimination, losing 3-1/2 lengths in the stretch, but Blais says the horse was still feeling the effects of a quarter-crack on a front foot. "I think the foot wasn't right-right," said Blais, a native of Quebec. "We worked very much on his foot and the quarter-crack looked better (in the Maple Leaf final). That's time. You need time to repair that. Now he looks sound. I don't know if he's a hundred percent, but he looks better than before, that's for sure." Intimidate has won three of seven races this season and earned $326,070. For his career, he has won 24 of 36 starts and banked $923,628. His only off-the-board finishes this year came in his Maple Leaf elim and in the final of the Cutler Memorial, where he had a three-wide trip. "I think in the Cutler we had no luck," Blais said. "After that he came back and won the preferred at Mohawk. He hasn't raced a bad race, except maybe the elimination of the Maple Leaf. That was the only race that I think wasn't right." Ron Pierce will drive Intimidate on Saturday night, leaving from post four as the 2-1 second choice on the morning line. Market Share, from post one, is the 8-5 favorite. The remainder of the field, from the inside, is Your So Vain, Spider Blue Chip, Sevruga, Archangel, and Royalty For Life. The second division, from the rail, is Mister Herbie, Wishing Stone, Sweet Justice, Uncle Peter, Sebastian K, Appomattox, Arch Madness, and Creatine. The group has five Breeders Crown trophies (Uncle Peter, Arch Madness, Intimidate, Spider Blue Chip, and Market Share), four Maple Leaf Trot titles (Arch Madness, Mister Herbie, Market Share, and Intimidate), two Hambletonian triumphs (Market Share and Royalty For Life), two Kentucky Futurity wins (Wishing Stone and Creatine) and one Yonkers Trot (Archangel). "That's a nice bunch of horses this year," Blais said. "The competition is very high level. I think that's good for the game; it's good for the show. People want to see that." Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes a $35,000 Hambletonian Oaks prep for 3-year-old female trotters and $40,000 single elimination for the Lady Liberty for older female pacers. Nine of the 11 fillies entered in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, which is Aug. 2, will compete in Saturday's prep. Ten mares are in the Lady Liberty elimination, with Rocklamation receiving a bye to next week's final. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Arch Madness wasn't ill, but a victory in a conditioned handicap at Harrah's Philadelphia last week might have been just what the doctor ordered. Now the 10-year-old gelding is returning to competition against the continent's best older trotters as he heads to Saturday's eliminations for the John Cashman Jr. Memorial at the Meadowlands. The Cashman, formerly known as the Nat Ray, attracted 15 horses. The top five from two $50,000 eliminations will advance to the $300,650 final on Aug. 2, Hambletonian Day, at the Big M. Among the entrants are world champion Sebastian K, Maple Leaf Trot winner Intimidate, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, and 2013 Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life. Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes a $35,000 Hambletonian Oaks prep for 3-year-old female trotters and $40,000 single elimination for the Lady Liberty for older female pacers. Nine of the 11 fillies entered in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, which is Aug. 2, will compete in Saturday's prep. Ten mares are in the Lady Liberty elimination, with Rocklamation receiving a bye to next week's final. Arch Madness, who skipped the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario, enters his Cashman elim with one win in eight starts this season. Lifetime, he has won 35 of 115 races and earned $4.22 million, good for sixth place among all trotters in history and second to only Moni Maker among trotters that raced the majority of their careers in North America. "It's always nice to get an easy win in a horse," Trond Smedshammer said about Arch Madness' three-length victory in 1:52.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia on July 16. "That's the best medicine for a horse, winning. I was very happy about that decision [not to go to the Maple Leaf Trot]. It worked out good. "You can't ask him to go everywhere; he's 10 years old. Canada was an easy decision to leave out." Arch Madness (a son of Balanced Image-Armbro Archer) was winless in two races at age 2, but won at least one race worth more than $170,000 in six of the next seven years. His top triumphs came in the 2007 Breeders Crown for 3-year-olds, 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, 2011 Oslo Grand Prix, 2010 Cutler Memorial, 2009 Credit Winner, and 2013 Allerage Open Trot. He finished second in the Elitlopp in 2012 and 2013. He also finished second twice in the Breeders Crown Open, in 2008 and 2009, and twice in the Maple Leaf Trot, in 2009 and 2011. "Arch is pretty much the same as he's been previous years," said Smedshammer, who trains the horse for owners Marc Goldberg and Willow Pond LLC. "It doesn't seem like he's lost much, it's just the competition is tougher. It's been brutally tough, especially [Sebastian K]. "I haven't been too worried about it because later in the year when the others seem to be getting tired, he usually gets better," Smedshammer added. Arch Madness will start from post seven in the second of the two Cashman eliminations. To his inside from the rail are Mister Herbie, Wishing Stone, Sweet Justice, Uncle Peter, Sebastian K, and Appomattox. To his outside is Creatine. The first division, from post one, is Market Share, Your So Vain, Spider Blue Chip, Intimidate, Sevruga, Archangel, and Royalty For Life. It is an accomplished group, with Sebastian K being history's fastest trotter and 10 of the remaining horses having won at least one Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot, or Trotting Triple Crown race. They have five Breeders Crown trophies (Uncle Peter, Arch Madness, Intimidate, Spider Blue Chip, and Market Share), four Maple Leaf Trot titles (Arch Madness, Mister Herbie, Market Share, and Intimidate), two Hambletonian triumphs (Market Share and Royalty For Life), two Kentucky Futurity wins (Wishing Stone and Creatine) and one Yonkers Trot (Archangel). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 16 - Sebastian K's dominance may be overshadowing his competition, but Creatine is taking steps early in his four-year-old season to be a contender with the older trotters. Creatine and driver Mike Lachance will start from post seven in Saturday night's $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot final. A son of Andover Hall - Berry Nice Muscles, Creatine banked over $800,000 last year as a three-year-old, with his biggest victory coming in the Kentucky Futurity. This season, the Bob Stewart trainee has had to quickly make the transition from age three-to-four to compete with a talented group of older trotters led by Sebastian K In four starts, Creatine has yet to find the winner's circle, but has shown he can hang with the big boys by picking up a cheque in three of his four starts. In the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished second and four lengths behind winner Sebastian K., but the effort pleased his conditioner. "We were very happy with him, Mike (Lachance) actually never pulled the ear plugs," said Stewart following the elimination. "He saw he was going to be second and he was coming back in six days from a very tough trip at the Meadowlands, we couldn't be happier actually." Before the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished fifth in the Hambletonian Maturity, a race restricted for four-year-old trotters only. While Creatine has shown he can compete with the older trotters, Stewart said he would have liked to have seen more opportunities for the four-year-olds to compete against each other, rather than having to jump right in against the heavyweights. "It's very tough (transition from three-to-four)...they should have made that Hambletonian Maturity a series of three races and a final," said Stewart. "They had the money to do it and these four-year-olds would've been able to get their legs underneath themselves a little more." Creatine and the rest of the top older trotters may be wishing their was a stake race without Sebastian K as the "Scandinavian Powerhouse" has yet to be lose in five starts. Stewart said it was bad timing that this was the season he had a competitive older trotter. "It's just unfortunate that he had to come back as a four-year-old the year that Sebastian K showed up, any other year I would feel better about the situation." Heading into the Maple Leaf Trot final, Stewart admits Sebastian K will have to be off his game to get beat and hopes he can find some races down the road to avoid the world's fastest trotter. "To be realistic you don't see him every beating Sebastian K, unless Sebastian K slips some, but he's eligible to everything and hopefully for our sake there are some races at Indiana and a race in Ohio that hopefully Sebastian K won't go to," Sebastian K may hold down the spot as top older trotter, but Stewart is confident that Creatine is good enough to be right there in second. "He's going to hold his own against all the rest of them I think." by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 15 - A stellar 13-race card featuring the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot has been assembled for Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk Racetrack. Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), highlights the field of ten for the 63rd edition of Canada's most storied trotting event, the Maple Leaf Trot (Race 9). The eight-year-old "Scandinavian Powerhouse" won his elimination last Friday (July 11) for trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt in 1:52.2. Upon earning the right to select his post position for the final, Svandstedt selected the rail as the starting spot for his prized trotter. Svandstedt, a top horseman in his native Sweden for many years, relocated his stable to North America this season and is in the midst of a successful campaign, thanks in large part to Sebastian K who is a perfect five for five on North American soil. The high point of the season thus far for Sebastian K was a seven-length victory in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs on June 28, in which he became the fastest trotter in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping mile time of 1:49. Before coming to North America, Sebastian K had victories in top events such as the 2013 Oslo Grand Prix, a heat of the 2013 Elitlopp and the 2012 UET Trotting Masters. The nine rivals who will look to knock Sebastian K off the top of the mountain, include the last two Maple Leaf Trot winners, Mister Herbie ('12) and Market Share ('13). Market Share won the second elimination last week in 1:53 with a last quarter of :26.4 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano. His connections selected post position two for the final. The five-year-son of Revenue - Classical Flirt is the richest horse in the field with over $3.2 million in career earnings. Market Share followed up his Maple Leaf Trot victory last year with a triumph in the Breeders Crown. His career highlights also include two million-dollar race victories in 2012 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk. Leading the charge for the local horses will be Mister Herbie, who finished runner-up to Market Share in not only his elimination last week, but also in last year's final. The Jeff Gillis trainee won the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4 and was last year's O'Brien Award winner as top older trotter in Canada. Mister Herbie will start from post six and will be driven by Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image. The seven other challengers in the field are a group of well accomplished standardbreds. Intimidate, a past Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winner, will start from post three for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. Ron Burke, North America's leading trainer, will send out two starters. Archangel, post four, was the 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, while Wishing Stone, post five, has had success in both North America and Europe with victories in the 2012 Copenhagen Cup in Denmark and the 2013 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia. Creatine, last year's Kentucky Futurity winner, will start from post seven for the duo of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance and trotting conditioner Bob Stewart. Undercover Strike will leave from post eight and is a Preferred winner at both Mohawk and the Meadows. He is sent out by trainer Tony O'Sullivan and will be driven by Doug McNair. Flanagan Memory, who won last year's Goodtimes, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and an O'Brien Award, starts from post nine for trainer Rene Dion and Woodbine/Mohawk's leading driver Chris Christoforou. Modern Family, a multiple stakes winner, will start from post ten for trainer Daryl Bier and will have Ron Pierce, a two-time Maple Leaf Trot winner, in the sulky. The field of ten for the Maple Leaf Trot has combined for 188 career victories and career earnings of $13,837,506. The Maple Leaf Trot undercard will feature four Canadian Breeders Championships (Races 2,3,7,10) for three-year-olds. Trevor Ritchie, a three-time Maple Leaf Trot winning driver ('03 Rotation, '06 Peaceful Way, '07 Equinox Bi), recently announced his retirement from driving. Ritchie will be on hand Saturday night to present the trophy to this year's winner and will be a special guest on Mohawk Racing Live's pre-game show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Post time for Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot card is 7:25 p.m, with the Maple Leaf Trot expected to go behind the gate at 10:05 p.m. Here is the field for the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Race 9 - Maple Leaf Trot - Purse: $603,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line 1. Sebastian K - Ake Svandstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 2/5 2. Market Share - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 6-1 3. Intimidate - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais - 12-1 4. Archangel - Jody Jamieson - Ron Burke - 10-1 5. Wishing Stone - Randall Waples - Ron Burke - 20-1 6. Mister Herbie - Steve Condren - Jeff Gillis - 15-1 7. Creatine - Mike Lachance - Bob Stewart - 15-1 8. Undercover Strike - Doug McNair - Tony O'Sullivan - 25-1 9. Flanagan Memory - Chris Christoforou - Rene Dion - 25-1 10. Modern Family - Ron Pierce - Daryl Bier - 20-1 AE: Wheeling N Dealin - Jody Jamieson - Luc Blais - N/A by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

MARKET SHARE WINS HIS ELIM IN 1:53

R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race.   $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel   Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous   If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored)   Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1   "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi   THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary   Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso.   Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale)   NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five.   ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th   Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same   Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace.   WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace)   Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki   IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger.   Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership.   "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer.   Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn   If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction.   Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton  Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry.   "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final.   Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second.   He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle)   SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace)   The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005)   Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera.   The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58   Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD!   OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro...   15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders)   Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd   Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992   Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779   Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden

The world's fastest trotter is set to make his Canadian debut this Friday as Sebastian K is one of 12 horses entered in the 2014 Maple Leaf Trot. Sebastian K drew Post 6 in the first six-horse elim, Race 3 on Mohawk Racetrack's Friday night card. The European-bred superstar, owned by Knutsson Trotting of Vero Beach, Fl., has been unbeatable in his four North American starts, two of which have been in world record speed. Trained and driven by Sweden's Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K's most recent effort was a scintillating 1:49 effort at Mohegan Sun Pocono -- the fastest trotting mile in harness racing history. Svanstedt's hope that Sebastian K could get another week's rest with no elimination divisions needed was not to be had with 12 entered in the rich stake. A number of O'Brien and Dan Patch Award winning trotters will look to knock off the top-rated horse in North America, including two in his elimination race. Wheeling N Dealin (PP1, Jody Jamieson), 2012's top two-year-old trotter looks to be returning to form and 2013 three-year-old O'Brien winner Flanagan Memory (PP5, Chris Christoforou) has solid recent form. Both, however, will have to up their game to knock off the Swedish superstar. In the second elim, back-to-back O'Brien Award winning Older Trotting Horse Mister Herbie (PP5, Steve Condren) is the fastest trotter ever on Canadian soil by virtue of his 1:50.4 effort in the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot. Another O'Brien Award winner, Intimidate (PP1, Sylvain Filion) is no stranger to big stage heroics. His 2012 Breeders Crown win (over Market Share, also entered in this race) helped propel him to divisional honours two seasons ago at age three. Race 3 -- 1st Maple Leaf Trot Elim - Purse: $40,000 1. Wheeling N Dealin - J. Jamieson - L. Blais 2. Creatine - M. Lachance - R. Stewart 3. Wishing Stone - To Be Announced - R. Burke 4. Archangel - To Be Announced - R. Burke 5. Flanagan Memory - C. Christoforou - R. Dion 6. Sebastian K - A. Svanstedt - A. Svanstedt Race 8 -- 2nd Maple Leaf Trot Elim - Purse: $40,000 1. Intimidate - S. Filion - L. Blais 2. Market Share - Ti. Tetrick - L. Toscano 3. Modern Family - D. Palone - D. Bier 4. Dws Ny Yank - To Be Announced - R. Burke 5. Mister Herbie - S. Condren - J. Gillis 6. Undercover Strike - D. Miller - T. O'Sullivan Friday's card also features Canadian Breeders Championship elimination races for three-year-old trotters as well as an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg for two-year-old pacing fillies. (With files from Mohawk Raceway and Standardbred Canada)

Bee A Magician will try to return to her winning ways when she faces 13 male rivals - including last year's Hambletonian Stakes winner Royalty For Life - in Saturday's $484,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Last year, Bee A Magician won all 17 of her starts and was named Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada. This season, the mare is winless in three races and coming off a ninth-place finish in the Armbro Flight Stakes on June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. It was her first off-the-board finish since going off stride in her second lifetime start in July 2012. Trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman said Bee A Magician scoped sick following the Armbro Flight. Bee A Magician, who has won 27 of 33 career starts and $2.33 million, prepped for the Hambletonian Maturity with a 1:53.1 qualifier win on June 27, trotting her final quarter-mile in :26.3. She will start the Hambletonian Maturity, to be contested at 1-1/8 mile, from post No. 13 with regular driver Brian Sears. "She qualified really good and she's acting fine, so it looks good now," said Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. "I was really happy with her qualifier and Brian thought she was back to her old self, so hopefully we're good. "It was a bit of a shock," he added about Bee A Magician's finish in the Armbro Flight. "I've never seen her stop before. But these things happen. She's never really had any setbacks before, so we weren't used to it. But she got over it, so we're OK. At least we knew there was something wrong." Joining Bee A Magician in the Hambletonian Maturity field are Your So Vain, Sweet Justice, Bambino Glide, Fico, Wheeling N Dealin, Royalty For Life, Flanagan Memory, Spider Blue Chip, High Bridge, Master Of Law, Major Athens, Possessed Fashion, and Creatine. Conditions for the Hambletonian Maturity allowed for up to 16 starters rather than the traditional 10. Royalty For Life, who is making his 2014 debut, won last year's Hambletonian Stakes while Spider Blue Chip was the Breeders Crown champion and Creatine captured the Kentucky Futurity. Wheeling N Dealin was the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "I think it will be OK; I think we'll be alright," Norman said about facing the boys. "We'll see how some of those colts are." Also on Saturday's card at the Meadowlands are two eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace and one elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee. The first elimination for the Meadowlands Pace features North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. The second division includes He's Watching, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer, and last year's Breeders Crown champion Luck Be Withyou. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the July 12 final. As for Bee A Magician's future schedule, she is being pointed to the Ima Lula Series at the Meadowlands, which is for trotting mares, following the Hambletonian Maturity. "I think I'll try to keep her at home as much as possible, race her close to home," Norman said. "It's a long year and I don't want to over-race her. We'll see how it goes. If we can do some good on Saturday and get some money there, that's a big purse, it would make the rest of the year a lot nicer." Following is the field in post order for the Hambletonian Maturity with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Your So Vain, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 2. Sweet Justice, Corey Callahan, Bruce Saunders; 3. Bambino Glide, Marcus Miller, Julie Miller; 4. Fico, Tyler Smith, Staffan Lind; 5. Wheeling N Dealin, Jody Jamieson, Luc Blais; 6. Royalty For Life, David Miller, George Ducharme; 7. Flanagan Memory, Ron Pierce, Rene Dion; 8. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 9. High Bridge, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 10. Master Of Law, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci; 11. Major Athens, John Campbell, Rich Gillock; 12. Possessed Fashion, Tim Tetrick, Tom Fanning; 13. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman; 14. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart. by Ken Weingarter, for Harness Racing Communications

If it seems like a while since world champion trotter Sebastian K went to the racetrack, that's because it is. The No. 1-ranked harness racing horse in North America last appeared on May 17 when he won the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial in a stakes-record 1:50.2. His connections hoped to race last week in the third round of the TVG Free For All Series for older trotters, but the race failed to draw enough entries. So Sebastian K's return was delayed until Friday's $50,000 TVG leg. But gaps in Sebastian K's schedule are nothing new. After all, when he competed in the Cutler Memorial eliminations and final, it marked the first time he ever raced in consecutive weeks. "He's been off a month before and come back racing very good without training him too hard," said Bernie Noren, top assistant to Sebastian K's trainer-and-driver Ake Svanstedt. "We don't go on the round track, but we've been training regularly on the sand track and doing intervals. He's doing very good, training very well." Sebastian K is the 4-5 morning line favorite in Friday's race. He will leave from post five. The remainder of the field features DW's NY Yank, Archangel, Market Share, Arch Madness, Creatine, and Sevruga. Following the TVG Free For All Series start, Sebastian K is expected to head to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 28 for the $100,000 Mohegan Sun Invitational Trot. "It would have been nice to have gotten to race last week because then he would have had two weeks for the next race," Noren said. "He's going to race in the Pocono Invitational next Saturday. It would have been nice not to race two weeks in a row because he's going to have a busy schedule in July. But it is the schedule and he'll have eight days between the races." Owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Sebastian K was the U.S. Trotting Association's Horse of the Month for May after winning his Cutler Memorial elimination in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 and capturing the Cutler final a week later. The Cutler elims and final counted as the first two rounds of the TVG Series. Those two starts were the beginning of Sebastian K's North American racing career. The 8-year-old trotter was Sweden's Horse of the Year in 2012 and has won 28 of 65 lifetime starts and earned $2.39 million. Svanstedt, Sweden's five-time Trainer of the Year and three-time Driver of the Year award winner, moved his stable to the U.S. late in 2013. Sebastian K has generated excitement on this side of the Atlantic and added depth to an already talented division of older trotters. "We're very happy that people are excited to see him and come forward and say it was nice to show up with a nice horse," Noren said. "I'm a big harness fan, always have been all my life, so to give harness racing a boost so that we can go forward with this sport that we love, it's a great thing to do. I know it's a lot of money to be a stallion, but everybody loves racing. We don't like to see good horses in the breeding shed too early." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Meadowlands Maturity, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 14) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$457,500 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$330,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$272,100 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$266,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters. Friday night (June 13) will see Meadowlands Racetrack host the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity or 4-year-old pacers. Two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous makes his seasonal debut in that race. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Meadowlands entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs and second choice Modern Family prevailed in an all-age track record-equaling clocking of 1:52.2. Modern Family left alertly and took the front end from Creatine at the opening quarter in :27. The order remained intact with a very soft half-mile time in :56.4. At that point Arch Madness began to turn up the heat with a first-over move and gave the winner all he had to offer down the backstretch. He was followed on the rim by DW's NY Yank and favored Market Share. Driver Dave Palone asked Modern Family to trot in the third quarter and he responded with a :27.3 panel to gain some separation. From there the Daryl Bier trainee trotted away and won in 1:52.2 by 1-3/4 lengths over longshot Archangel and Creatine. Market Share finished a disappointing sixth. Five sets of eliminations for this weekend's Mohawk stakes finals were also part of last week's Grand Circuit action. Leading the way were the finest 3-year-old pacing colts on the continent facing off in three Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Lyonssomewhere, McWicked and Tellitlikeitis all turned in impressive victories heading into this weekend's C$1 million final. Lyonssomewhere and driver Corey Callahan shot through an opening in deep stretch to take the first of three C$50,000 eliminations June 7 at Mohawk. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of champion Somebeachsomewhere kept his racing record perfect, now five-for-five, as he scored by 1-3/4 lengths in a career best 1:50.1. Beat the Drum wound up second, with JK Endofanera fading to third. McWicked and driver David Miller rallied from third in mid-stretch to haul down Sometimes Said and take the second C$50,000 Pepsi North America Cup elimination by two lengths in 1:48.3. Sometimes Said, with driver John Campbell, appeared headed to victory but Miller eased McWicked out from third and blew by the pair for the win. Sometimes Said wound up second, Let's Drink On It was third and Ideal Cowboy was fourth and also advanced to the final. The third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination looked to be the toughest on paper, with He's Watching, Luck Be Withyou, Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover all highly-regarded contenders. But at the finish, it was the Jimmy Takter-trained, Brett Miller-driven Tellitlikeitis who rolled by the odds-on choice, He's Watching, to win by a comfortable 2-1/4 lengths in 1:48.4, just a tick slower than McWicked's time in the second elim. He's Watching, the 3-5 favorite, took over from Luck Be Withyou before the half was reached in :54.2, while Tellitlikeitis was tucked in third along the rail. He's Watching hit the three-quarters in 1:21.4 and appeared capable of holding off a bid from Luck Be Withyou in mid-stretch. But Miller moved out from third with Tellitlikeitis and came motoring home for the emphatic win over He's Watching, with Luck Be Withyou third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 313; 2. Tim Tetrick - 276; 3. Ron Pierce - 205; 4. George Brennan - 164.5; 5. Brian Sears - 135. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 502.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 175; 3. PJ Fraley - 169; 4. Joe Holloway - 122; 5. Julie Miller- 100. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 136.5; 2. Burke Racing - 112.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.8; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 62; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at Meadowlands Racetrack and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Meadowlands will host a leg of the TVG Free For All series for older trotters on Friday (June 20), while Pocono will have eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 21). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Modern Family was his best Saturday in the $200,000 inaugural Charlie Hill Memorial FFA Trot at Scioto Downs as he led from start to finish over a field to top performers with total lifetime harness racing earnings of more than $10 million. Sent off as the 9/5 second choice in the race, Modern Family was driven for the very first time by Hall of Famer Dave Palone. They won the race by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.2, which set the track record for older horses and tied the all age trotting record. The tenth race feature saw Creatine (Mike Lachance) go out quickly to the early lead but on the move was Palone with Modern Family and they took command after the opening quarter mile in :27. Modern Family then led the field past the half mile marker in :56.4 as Arch Madness and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. moved first-over to challenge with DW’s NY Yank (Josh Sutton) following second-over and world record holder Market Share (Tim Tetrick), the betting favorite, third-over on the outside. The action really heated up after the three-quarters in 1:24.2 as DW’s NY Yank fanned three-wide and carried Market Share four-wide as they geared up for the stretch drive to try and beat Modern Family. But Modern Family and Palone would hear or see nothing of that as they skirted away from the field to win with ease over Archangel (Chris Page) with Creatine third. Market Share was a disappointing sixth place finisher. “Daryl (Bier) said he was a beautiful horse to drive,” Dave Palone said. “That he had plenty of gate speed and that was all we needed. I had never driven him before but I am a fan of the horse. I have seen him racing against Sebastian K and can see how great a horse he is. He has a really nice way of going. I was lucky enough to get a call from Daryl asking me to drive him. Daryl and I have been friends for over 25 years.  It’s just nice to do good for good people.” Trained and co-owned by Daryl Bier of Smyrna, DE with Charles Dombeck of Davie, FL and Richard Pollucci of North Easton, MA, it was the sixth win in twelve starts this year for Modern Family. The five-year-old stallion by Cantab Hall now sports earnings this year of $241,150. Modern Family paid $5.80 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

This weekend the bulk of the racing action is at Mohawk Raceway both Friday and Saturday as they host the eliminations for five major stakes events headlined by the North America Cup for three-year-olds pacers. The big stakes event of the weekend is Saturday at Scioto Downs with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial FFA Trot plus on Sunday Vernon Downs hosts two rich ($217,000/$215,00) finals of the Empire Breeders Classic. Good Luck! $35,000 Trot Armbro Flight elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 2nd race FRIDAY – Very tough to go against perfection, as in Perfect Alliance, who is perfect this year with ten straight wins. She is the first to have beaten Bee A Magician and should be able to lay over this field with her front end dominance. Use Ma Chere Hall and Rocking With Dewey in exotic plays. $35,000 Trot Armbro Flight elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 3rd race FRIDAY – She may have tasted defeat for the first time in over a year, but Bee A Magician is still the best there is and may not get beat again this year. She was a game second to Perfect Alliance in her first start back and now gets tested again but should prevail. Use Classic Martine and D’Orsay in exotic plays. $30,000 Trot Goodtimes elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 5th race FRIDAY – This is the tougher of the two divisions tonight but I think that Flyhawk El Durado will end up being the best in here. He easily handled his division of the NYSS last week with a sharp 1:55.1 triumph at Tioga Downs and now seems primed to cut loose in here. Use Verdi and Hitchin A Ride in exotic plays. $30,000 Trot Goodtimes elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 8th race FRIDAY – Here comes on of the dynamic Jimmy Taker’s three top Hambletonian prospects. Trixton has been nearly perfect this year with three wins in his four starts this year, including a sizzling 1:51.2 lifetime mark. Once he gets rolling he should not be beat. Use Speak The Truth and Harper Blue Chip in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Fan Hanover elims 3YO Fillies Mohawk Raceway 1st race SATURDAY – With five return winners in this field there is no clear standout so I am going with Nat A Virgin. This filly was decent last year and is coming off a sharp win here last week in 1:50.3 with a final quarter mile in :26.3. All she really needs to do is repeat that effort to win again. Use Beach Gal and Uffizi Hanover in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Fan Hanover elims 3YO Fillies Mohawk Raceway 2nd race SATURDAY – Here comes the Dan Patch winning two-year-old pacing filly of the year in 2013, Precocious Beauty. She started off the season with an easy win in the NYSS at Vernon Downs in 1:52.4 and should be ready to cut loose against this field. Use Lady Shadow and Major Dancer in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway  3rd race SATURDAY – Here is the first of three great preliminary round divisions. JK Endofaneara is undefeated in his three starts this year, can cut the mile of come from off the pace and is super razor sharp. He will be very tough to beat. Use Western Vintage and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 5th race SATURDAY – This is the toughest of the three divisions as a good case can be made for just about everyone in this field. I am going to go with Let’s Drink On It because last week he faced He’’s Watching and went first-over against him in a valiant second place finish. Same effort will make him a winner in here. Use Always B Miki and McWicked in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Rose Are Red elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 8th race SATURDAY – This will be a real slugfest as some top mares will be going to post in this first division. Some are worried that Shebestingin was not at her best in her last start. Well, horses, especially mares, can have off days and I think this was one of them so watch her warm up and then you will see how great she really is. World champion mare will make amends. Use Anndrovette and Drop the Ball in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – Looks like He’s Watching is back into the swing of things after being choked down in first start in the Rooney elims. He came right back last week and smoked’em with a 1:49.3 romp and will most likely repeat that same effort tonight. Use Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover in exotic plays. $200,000 Trot Charlie Hill Memorial Older Horses Scioto Downs 10th race SATURDAY – The older trotting ranks this year will be a sensational division. Tonight we have the return of $800,000 winner Creatine to the mix of outstanding squaregaiters but all eyes will be on the continuing world champion Market Share. With Sebastian K not yet in the traveling mood, Market Shares looms the horse to beat and rightly so. He made amends for his costly break two starts back with a world record effort last time out. Use Modern Family and Arch Madness in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Rose Are Red elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – Another world record holder heads this field as Somwherovrarainbow comes to Mohawk off her amazing 1:48 mile in her last start. She has been tops this year with six wins in eight starts for the Joe Holloway Stable and should be able to continue her winning ways. Use Camille and Moneky On My Wheel in exotic plays. $217,725 Trot Empire Breeders Classic 3YO Fillies Vernon Downs 6th race SUNDAY - Looks like it will pay big time for a couple of horses to be New York sired with these two rich stakes. The filly field is headlined by the Leigh Raymer entry of Avalicious/Winning Pursuit for the Crawford Farms. They have each won recent starts and provided winning Pursuit can mind her manners, can take this field. Use Glowngold and Annies List in exotic plays, $215,125 Trot Empire Breeders Classic 3YO Colts Vernon Downs 9th race SUNDAY - Tough to not like Expressive Action in here. Undefeated early on with two straight wins against this same company. Look for him to either cut the mile or come from off the pace and win once again. Use Karets and Cash For Gold in exotic plays.

Market Share has visited six different states and the Canadian province of Ontario during his award-winning harness racing career, but has never been to Ohio. That will change this weekend. Coming off a world-record performance 10 days ago, Market Share heads to Scioto Downs for Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Market Share drew post four in a field of 10 and will be driven by Jeff Gregory for trainer Linda Toscano. The Charlie Hill Memorial field also features Arch Madness, Archangel, Creatine, Undercover Strike, Modern Family, Fusion Man, Major Athens, Rompaway Beau, and DW's NY Yank. Toscano said she was "on the fence" whether to go to the race, particularly because Market Share's regular driver, Tim Tetrick, would be unavailable due to commitments in Canada, but made the decision after talking with owner Richard Gutnick. "We sat down yesterday and talked about it," Toscano said. "We made a 'pro' and 'con' list and the only thing on the 'con' list was we're not going to have our driver. But we're very fortunate to have Jeff Gregory in the barn and there's a break from Yonkers and the New York Sire Stakes this week, so he can go and drive the horse. "Our next main goal is to have him as good as we can for the Maple Leaf Trot (in mid-July). I think this race fits his schedule nicely and he seems good. I understand the track is great out there, so we're going to take a shot." Gregory drove Market Share to a 5-for-5 season as a 2-year-old in 2011. For his career, the 5-year-old Market Share has won 23 of 42 races and earned $3.26 million. He was named the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter and the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter. He is owned by Gutnick, TLP Stable, and Bill Augustine. Market Share's victories include the 2012 Hambletonian Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic, the 2013 Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot, and this year's Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. In winning the Maxie Lee on May 25 at Harrah's Philadelphia, Market Share trotted history's fastest mile on a five-eighths track, sto "He came out of the Maxie Lee really, really well," Toscano said. "He had a nice easy week last week and should be ready to go." Market Share is not the only star in the Charlie Hill Memorial. Ten-year-old Arch Madness is one of just nine trotters to earn more than $4 million in career purses. He has won 34 of 111 lifetime races, including the 2007 Breeders Crown, 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, and 2011 Oslo Grand Prix. He is a two-time runner-up in the international invitational Elitlopp in Sweden. Archangel and Creatine both won Trotting Triple Crown races at age 3; Archangel capturing the 2012 Yonkers Trot and Creatine the 2013 Kentucky Futurity. Modern Family is coming into the Charlie Hill off a second-place finish in the Cutler Memorial on May 17 and has finished no worse than third in 11 starts this year. He has won five times. DW's NY Yank leads the field in earnings this year, with $171,600, and has exceled on smaller tracks. He has won nine of his last 14 starts around five-eighths-mile ovals and failed to hit the board only once. "It's going to be a good race," Toscano said. "It all goes to promoting the horse and promoting the industry. That's the beauty of the older horses. I think we're going to find that the older horses really develop a following. People really like watching quality horses race. "Years ago, the horse was the star. I'm all about making the horse the star. I believe in it. I love that." Racing in Ohio has enjoyed a resurgence since the introduction of video lottery terminals in 2012 and has attracted some of the sport's best horses for Grand Circuit events. "It's nice to see Ohio is getting back on the map again," Toscano said. "They've always been good fans. Probably the single-biggest turnout every year is the Little Brown Jug, so Ohio has been very good to Standardbred racing. It's kind of fun to be able to pay back a little bit and go out there and race." Here is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Arch Madness, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Trond Smedshammer; 2. Archangel, Chris Page, Ron Burke; 3. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart; 4. Market Share, Jeff Gregory, Linda Toscano; 5. Undercover Strike, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Tony O'Sullivan; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Fusion Man, Dan Noble, Jeff Smith; 8. Major Athens, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock; 9. Rompaway Beau, Don Harmon, Krista Harmon; 10. DW's NY Yank, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Ron Burke. DW's NY Yank will start from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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