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Grand Circuit harness racing trotting mares capped off an eventful May long weekend Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The first leg of the Miss Versatility Series featured two $30,000 divisions. The series for older trotting mares stops at Mohawk twice, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs before wrapping up with the final on Little Brown Jug Day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. A scratch in each division left fields of seven to battle in first round splits. Four-year-old Jewels In Hock and driver John Campbell took care of business in the first division with a 1:54.2 victory by 4½ lengths. The Linda Toscano trainee took command of the race on the way to the half with a fourth to first move. After posting fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.2, Jewels In Hock kicked clear from her rivals and trotted home comfortably in :28 to win as the public's choice. White Becomes Her, the leader at the opening-quarter, finished second, while MissysGa Ga crossed the wire third. A daughter of Credit Winner, Jewels In Hock won 9 of 17 starts last season and was the New York Sires Stakes champion. She finished her sophomore season with over $353,000 in earnings. The four-year-old trotting mare picked up her first win in her second start of the season Monday. Owned by KJ Stables LLC, Jewels In Hock now has 12 career victories and over $382,000 in career earnings. The Toscano trainee paid $3.80 to win. Jewels In Hock In the second division, Rockin With Dewey just held off a late surge from Charmed Life to win in 1:53.3. The Ben Baillargeon trainee flashed some early speed for driver Mario Baillargeon and got away in the two-hole behind longshot Second Sister. There was little movement throughout the opening-half with Second Sister posting panels of :28.1 and :56.3. Baillargeon angled Rockin With Dewey out of the pocket nearing the three-quarter pole, while Charmed Life was moving up towards the front on the outside. In the stretch, Rockin With Dewey took the lead and was trotting up a storm. Charmed Life was sitting a few lengths back of the leader, but in the final strides closed in to make it a photo finish. At the wire, Rockin With Dewey came out on top by a narrow margin. Charmed Life now has four runner-up finishes in five starts this season. Elegant Serenity finished third. A six-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Rockin With Dewey now has two wins in five starts this season. She is owned by Ben Baillargeon and Diane Ingham. Rockin With Dewey has had success previously in the Miss Versatility. The Baillargeon trainee won two legs of the series last year. The six-year-old trotting mare now has 16 career victories and earnings of over $523,000. Rockin With Dewey paid $5.70 to win. Rockin With Dewey The next leg of the Miss Versatility Series is set for Canada Day (July 1) at Mohawk. Also on Monday, Flanagan Memory was a repeat winner in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory came first up around the final turn to draw even with the leader Rubber Duck turning for home. The Rene Dion trainee marched by to take the lead in the lane and score a length and a half victory in 1:53.3. Intimidate got up to finish second, while Rubber Duck was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory now has two wins in three starts this season after winning two of 15 starts last year and banking $299,769. He paid $3.10 to win Monday evening. Flanagan Memory Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Harness Racing Trainer Anton Golino and owner Pat Driscoll combined to win Saturday night’s NSW Trotters Oaks at Tabcorp Park Menangle with talented filly Pizza Queen.  The daughter of Credit Winner was purchased from the 2014 Harrisburg Sale for $100,000 and produced a big upset as she ran down short priced favourite High Gait in the shadows of the winning post. Golino had three runners in the NSW Oaks and Pizza Queen was the longest priced filly of his trio. “I thought she would need a good trip to win but in saying that she has always had ability and she did run second and third behind High Gait in the heats of the Need For Speed,” Golino said. “I wasn’t overly confident or anything but I thought she’d be in the finish with the right run.  Her work in the lead up to the Oaks was great and she had come on a fair bit in the last fortnight.” Pizza Queen is out of top race mare Armbro Domino.  She won $275,000 during her career on the track and was sold for $260,000 after the birth of her first foal in 2008. “Pizza Queen is beautifully bred, she’s by Credit Winner, he is a great sire in America and he stands in New York.  Her mother performed very well on the track.” “Noel Daley picked her out for us from Harrisburg, he did all the research and he got it right so we’re very happy.” While Golino has decided to keep fourth-placed finisher Courchevel in Sydney for next Saturday night’s NSW Trotters Derby, Pizza Queen and Dream Island will return to Victoria. “They’ll both come home for the Victorian Oaks, they left Sydney on Monday.  Courchevel’s run was really good on Saturday night, she got a little bit too far back but she got home well and hit the line strongly. “Courchevel is awkwardly gaited, she’s got a lot of ability when she does everything right.  She’s had a few little niggling issues, we’re starting to get on top of them but I think she’ll develop into a very nice mare next season.” Golino confirmed he has enjoyed the transition from New South Wales to Victoria. “Yes I’m loving it, there are plenty of racetracks to pick from.  The farm is coming along very well and full credit must go to Pat Driscoll because he has worked his butt off to get this place up and going. “We’re getting there slowly, it’s been a good time here so far but winter’s coming up and I’m definitely not looking forward to that.” Greg Hayes

Saturday morning's short program of seven harness racing qualifiers at The Meadowlands got underway at 9:30 on a fast track under overcast skies with the temperature in the low 60's and no wind.   Last season's Dan Patch Freshman Filly Trotter of the Year, Broadway Donna was back for her second go around which resulted in a 1:55.2 romp for Dave Miller. She set fractions of 28:2, :58.2 & 1:27.4, edging away through the stretch on her own. Haughty, Thankful Reward and Side Bet Hanover followed her in. Jim Campbell trains the winner for Fashion Farms, LLC.   The royally bred Pampered Winner (Credit Winner x Pampered Princess) knifed through rivals with plenty of trot in deep stretch for Brett Miller to a 1:57.1 win. She's prepping for the New York Sires Stakes and $250,000 Empire Breeders Classic next month for Jimmy Takter and Brixton Medical, Inc.   Goin To The Limit found his best foot this morning for the Alagna barn. Lightly raced at two, the Donato Hanover colt cut the mile to win in 1:53.2 / 28.1 for Tim Tetrick. Tony owns him with John Fodera and Tangie Massey.   Hambo hopeful Make Or Miss returned to the mile track and looked happy to be back after making a break over in a PA All Star race at Pocono on Derby Day. Joe Bongiorno moved him to the lead at the three-eighths and he went on to win comfortably while drifting out some in the stretch over Soderberg in 1:55.1 / 28.3. Burke Rascing, Our Horse Cents, Weaver Bruscemi and J&T Silva own the colt.   Shake It Cerry made her return following an uncharacteristic poor performance in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff this morning and she looked fantastic. Dave Miller eased her over to the half in :58.1 then let her trot, resulting in a :54 flat final and 26 last quarter to end the 1:52.1 mile. She's back on track for Takter and the Solveig Racing Partners.   The gritty old campaigner Clear Vision is back to the racing wars for the Burke barn. He sat third along the rail in for charioteer Yannick Gingras until mid-stretch, then sprinted into the 27 flat last quarter to collect the 1:55.1. Now ten years of age, Clear Vision is less than $8,000 for $2.5 million in his distinguished career for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Panhellenic Stable and James Koran.   Top pacing filly Pure Country got some work in this morning, closing a 1:54.1 mile with a 26.3 final panel for Brett Miller while holding the late rallying Petticoat winner Capela at bay. Takter trains her for Diamond Creek Racing.   Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15.   Meadowlands Media Relations  

Ake Svanstedt says Dante possesses the ability to cover short distances extremely quickly. On Saturday, the harness racing colt used that skill to win the $140,800 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway. Starting from post seven, Dante and trainer-driver Svanstedt blazed to the front prior to the first turn and coasted from there, winning the Dexter Cup by 1-3/4 lengths over Cufflink Hanover. Credevie finished third. The time for the mile was 1:59.4 over a track labeled good. Dante, part of the favored entry with Dominion Beach, paid $4.20 to win. Dante benefited from several horses --- including Dominion Beach --- going off stride in the first turn, which enabled Svanstedt and his horse to separate from the field by several lengths. Dominion Beach rallied from more than a dozen lengths back, going three wide at the halfway point, to get alongside Dante on the backstretch, but was unable to sustain his drive in the stretch. Dominion Beach finished fifth, beaten by 4-1/4 lengths. Dante and Dominion Beach won their respective Dexter Cup eliminations last weekend. "He's very quick and he feels much better this time after his last race," said Svanstedt, who trains Dante for owner Anders Strom's Courant A B stable. "He's in very good shape. (The horses making breaks) made it more easy for us. It was an easy race; not so fast." Dante, a son of Credit Winner out of the stakes-winning mare Michelle's Angel, was purchased as a yearling for $355,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale. He is a full brother to millionaire Archangel. Last year, Dante was winless in two races. This year he is 2-for-2. "He's a different horse," Svanstedt said. "He was very nervous last year. He was stressed last year and did not trot so good. He was always pulling. Now he is nice to drive. He's grown up and is a much better horse." The Dexter Cup is the first major stakes event for 3-year-old trotters on the road to August's $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Dante is not eligible to the Hambletonian, but is staked to races on the New York circuit as well as the Breeders Crown. Earlier on the card, Dazzling Dollars won the $58,000 Lady Suffolk Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters by a half-length over Southwind Hope in 2:00. Curikee finished third. Dazzling Dollars went off at 10-1 and paid $22.60 to win. Favored entry-mates Flowers N Songs and American Gal K both went off stride. Trond Smedshammer trains and drives Dazzling Dollars for owner Purple Haze Stables. Dazzling Dollars has won two of 10 career races and earned $128,624. The filly, by Cash Hall out of Designed To Dazzle, won a division of the New York Sire Stakes last year and finished second in the NYSS championship. Ken Weingartner

Lutetium and harness racing driver Kevin Cummings got back together after nearly a four month separation and they celebrated their reunion with an easy two length victory Friday night (May 6) in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot.   Lutetium sorely missed the services of Cummings who was out of commission with a broken arm since January 30. While Cummings was sidelined, the front-running Lutetium found the winner's circle just once, that coming back on February 19 when Truman Gale guided the 9-year-old gelding to the victory.   But with Cummings back in the sulky and rival B Z Glide in the field, Lutetium was ready to regain his old form.   Taking off when the starting gate swung open, Lutetium took no prisoners in setting fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:28.0. While stalling out in recent races, there was no dropping anchor in the stretch this time with Cummings on board. Lutetium confidently trotted home and put up a seasonal best 1:57.4. Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) took second place and B Z Glide (Mike Caprio) third.   Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, it was the third win of the season for Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby). He has now put $26,360 in the bank this season and $382,977 lifetime.   Todd Cummings, Kevin Cummings and Jim Morrill Jr. each completed the night with a pair of victories in the bike.   Racing will resume at 7 p.m. on Saturday night with a 13-race scheduled. The night will feature the $10,000 Open Pace along with five finals of the Championship Claiming Series. The Pick-5, which starts in the fifth race, has a carryover of $959.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Saturday April 30th Freehold Raceway set the stage for harness racing three-year-old colt trotters in eliminations of the Dexter Cup. The first elimination was taken by Cufflink Hanover, the son of Andover Hall. He settled in for a two-hole trip behind the favorite Steed. Cufflink Hanover took the lead in the stretch to win in a brisk 1:57.3 for driver David Miller. The three-year old colt trotter is trained by Nifty Norman and has secured a spot in the Dexter final. Dominion Beach was favored to win the second elimination and did just that. Marcus Johansson and Dominion Beach held off a late surge by Sir Royson in the stretch to win in 1:58.0. Trained by Nancy Johansson the Muscle Beach colt looks to repeat in the final. Dante driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt took the lead from the word go and never looked back in the third and final elimination. The son of Credit Winner defeated the favorite Inukchuk Chuck in 1:58.3. The $140,800 final will be held on Derby Day, Saturday May 7th, at Freehold Raceway. The three winners will be accompanied by the three-second place finishers: Steed, Sir Royson and Inukchuk Chuck, and two of the third place finishers. Credevie, Cloud Nine Hanover and Hillman will draw for the two remaining spots in the final, by lot. Courtney Stafford

On Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Stirling Debutant, a winner only once in 25 starts at two and three, stamped herself as the firm favorite for next Tuesday's $30,000 Championship of the Bobby Weiss Series for harness racing trotting females by taking a new mark of 1:55.1 in her fourth and final preliminary leg to post a quartet of victories in the prelims.   The Credit Winner mare, piloted by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Christie Collins and owner J M F Racing LLC, sat second while the speedy but still green Selfie Hanover cut hot fractions of 28 and 56.1 before going offstride coming off the second turn. Stirling Debutant, inheriting the lead, maintained control easily from there, winning by 3¼ lengths over Hot Curry, who came first-over to grab second away from South Side Hanover, who inherited the pocket after the break but who could not muster the needed speed and thus saw her own Weiss unbeaten streak stop at three.   Though South Side Hanover tasted defeat tonight, trainer/driver Todd Schadel did get to the Weiss winners circle, with the SJ's Caviar filly Real Caviar rallying as the pocket rocket to post her second Weiss victory, here in 1:59.4. Squeals Of Delight, last week a $107 winner in defeating Real Caviar and heading a $919 exacta, set the pace this week but finished ¾ of a length behind Real Caviar (the pair both went off at 9-5 this week). Schadel shares ownership in the winner with Dr. John Egloff.   In the other Weiss cut, Abbie's Celticlass, second in his first Weiss start last week while adding trotting hopples, seems to developing quickly now, with the Explosive Matter filly breaking her maiden with a 5¼-length victory in 1:57.2 for driver David Miller, trainer Ken Hess Jr., and owners Stop The Jade Farm LLC and Troyce Craig Thomas.   The trotters qualifying for next Tuesday's Weiss Championship in this division are Stirling Debutant, South Side Hanover, Real Caviar, Squeals Of Delight, Abbie's Celticlass, Ready Any Time, Keystone Taylor, Grandma Jan's Gems, and Casino Cutie It.   Pocono next races on Saturday, with eliminations for May 7's $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic for the best PA-sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings and $313,500 Miss Pennsylvania for pacing fillies. The elims will feature last year's respective Sire Stakes champions, Ideal Jimmy and Pure Country.   Sunday will see the first two $30,000 Championships in the Weiss Series action, with both pacing finals going that night. Among the males, no one was able to post three victories in the four preliminaries, but six horses won twice, and that event figures to be a slam-bang competitive affair from gate to wire. The complexion of the Weiss distaff event changed dramatically when Candy Corn Hanover and Some Fancy Filly, the only multiple prelim winners, opted to bypass the Weiss Final and take a shot at the big money in the Miss Pennsylvania eliminations, leaving Southwind Tango the likely Weiss choice.   ALERT:   David Miller going into Tuesday's racing: lifetime earnings $199,841,086 Thus $158,914 short of following John Campbell and Ron Pierce into the $200 Million Club In Miss Pennsylvania elims this Sat: Darlinonthebeach 5-2, Some Fancy Filly 5-2, Ivy League 7-2 Miss Pennsylvania Final May 7 -- $313,800 **half of which is $156,900   PHHA / Pocono  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 23, 2016--The song remains the same for Maestro Blue Chip. Tuesday afternoon was the ninth victory in as many seasonal starts for the prohibitive ($2.50) favorite, easily winning the $73,500 final of Yonkers Raceway/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series. The series was open to 3-year-olds and their elders who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 through this past Feb. 1 (winners over $150,000 through that date ineligible). In play early from post position No. 6, "Maestro" (Tim Tetrick) had to work around first leader Summers Windsong (Jason Bartlett) before taking over. Lakota (George Brennan) was away third from the pole. Once pointed toward the point, there wasn't a whole lot of suspense. Maestro Blue Chip did his thing (:28.3, :57.4, 1:27.1, 1:56), dismissing a weak, first-up challenge from Newcastle (Brett Miller). "Maestro" owned and length-and-a-three-quarter lead entering the lane, before closing the sale by a length-and-a-quarter. He had won his three series legs by nearly 15 combined lengths. Summers Windsong was a solid second in a very good effort, with Lakota a three-hole third. Newcastle did hold fourth, while Tuscanellie (Dan Dube) recovered from an early misbehave to grab the final pay envelope. Jackie Goldstein (Vinny Ginsberg), Stormont Park (Jordan Stratton) and breaking-early A List Lindy (Matt Kakaley) rounded out the order. Maestro Blue Chip is a 4-year-old son of Credit Winner owned Richard Poillucci trained by JoAnn Looney-King. The exacta paid $41.60, with the triple returning $82. The $36,750 winner's share upped the seasonal earnings to an even $105,000, not including the $10,000 bonus from the SOA of NY. "He's just so versatile," Tetrick said. "I don't think we know where his bottom is since he hasn't race that much (22 career starts). He can get over any size track and I know they're very high on him. He has some tougher stakes later in the season, so we're going to find out." A $30,000 series consolation was won by a down-the-road Covert Operative (Brian Sears, $5.40) in 1:56.4. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, April 24, 2016--They haven't beaten him all season, and they're probably gonna have to go some to do it with the money on the table. Maestro Blue Chip, he of the 8-for-8 seasonal resume, looms a short-priced proposition Tuesday afternoon in the $73,500 final of Yonkers Raceway/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series. Post time for the dozen-race card is 1 PM, with the series finale going as the fifth race. The series was open to 3-year-olds and their elders who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 through this past Feb. 1 (winners over $150,000 through that date ineligible). "Maestro" wears head No. 6 after drawing post position No. 5 in the finale of the four-week event, which has seen him win his three series legs by nearly 15 combined lengths...all as the odds-on choice. The 4-year-old son of Credit Winner is again driven by Tim Tetrick for owner Richard Poillucci and trainer JoAnn Looney-King. Maestro Blue Chip enters with seasonal earnings of $68,250 and his 1:55.3 effort a week ago was the fastest mile of this series. A List Lindy (Matt Kakaley, HN 1A, post 2), Tuscanellie (Dan Dube, HN 2, post 3) and Newcastle (Brett Miller, HN 6, post 7) each won twice in their series tries. Lakota (George Brennan, HN 1, post 1), Jackie Goldstein (Vinny Ginsburg, HN 3, post 4), Summers Windsong (Jason Bartlett, HN 4, post 5) and Stormont Park (Jordan Stratton, HN 7, post 8) complete the field. A $30,000 series consolation goes as the fourth race. Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

WILKES-BARRE PA - Both South Side Hanover and Stirling Debutant are now two-time winners in as many preliminary legs of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting females after Tuesday action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but Stirling Debutant was more impressive to the eye as she easily trotted over her field after a fast pace to win in a lifetime best of 1:55.4.   Anthony Napolitano placed the Credit Winner mare third behind a streaking Real Caviar, also a winner last week, as the latter posted scalding fractions of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25.4. Napolitano was able to back out behind the cover over first-over Hot Curry on the far turn, then tipped wide and easily trotted to the fore, winning by a length and a quarter. After going 1 for 25 at ages two and three, Stirling Debutant is now 2-for-2 in 2016 for trainer Christie Collins and owners J M F Racing LLC.   Although trainer/driver Todd Schadel's Real Caviar tired after that hot pacesetting, his other winner from the first Weiss leg, South Side Hanover, did make a return trip to Victory Lane, tonight winning in 1:57.1. Schadel sent the Cantab Hall filly uncovered at the half, and she trotted a 27.4 third panel to clear to the lead en route posting a length victory. Schadel also co-owns South Side Hanover, unbeaten in three seasonal outings, with Roger Hammer, the pairing behind 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo.   In the third $15,000 division of Tuesday's second round action, the Kadabra filly Ready Any Time was ready this evening, also using first-over tactics en route to a 1:59.4 triumph by 1½ lengths. Matt Kakaley was in the filly's sulky for trainer Nifty Norman and the partnership of Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman, David Mc Duffee, and Little E LLC.   Rene Allard is still four winners away from becoming the first trainer to achieve 3000 conditioning victories before the age of 30, dividing six starts between The Downs and Yonkers on Tuesday, and doing very well with three seconds and two thirds, but no winners circle appearances. Allard, 29, sends out one horse tomorrow at Harrah's, and then his magic moment seems likely to arrive over the weekend: he has seven in at Yonkers Thursday and nine Friday, and then has entrants in every one of the 14 races at Pocono on Saturday in addition to four at Yonkers; if those horses don't get him to 3000, he'll have eight more chances at Pocono on Sunday.    

Trainer Jenny Melander hopes to build on her career-best year in 2015, although she will have to do it without one of her stable's stalwarts, Wisenheimer, who is out for this season because of an injury. But if newcomers such as Bobby Weiss Series-bound trotter Apostles Creed can step up, she might have a prayer. Melander, a native of Sweden, is in her fifth year of training horses and previously worked for stables such as Erv Miller, Mark Harder and John Butenschoen. Last season, she established career highs with 401 starts, 71 wins, and $822,608 in purses. Her numbers of starts, wins, and earnings have increased every year. "That's our goal," said Melander, who has a stable of 23 horses, about half of which she owns with boyfriend Marty Noonan. "As long as we can beat the year before, we're doing good. "That means we've got to make a million this year; I'm not so sure we can do that," she added with a laugh. "I started out with nothing. Me and my boyfriend started out by claiming a few of our own. I didn't have any big owner behind me, or anything like that. It's not an easy game, for sure. You've got to start from the ground and work your way up and hope with success we get more and better horses. "Now I have owners like Hans Enggren and Steve Organ and other owners from overseas. Hopefully the more we do good, we can interest some new owners and try to get some more nice horses." Wisenheimer, a 7-year-old male trotter owned by Lauren Keckler with Melander as lessee, earned $231,706 over the past three years. Apostles Creed, a 4-year-old male trotter that Melander and Noonan purchased for $30,000 at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale, is among the horses Melander hopes can fill Wisenheimer's horseshoes. "He's been my money-earner for me the last couple years," Melander said. "I was hoping this guy could be the money-earner for this year, for the ones I own myself." Last year, Apostles Creed was in the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, where he won once in 17 starts, but earned $110,355. His victory came in the elimination for the Dexter Cup (he was fourth in the final) and he posted four top-three finishes in preliminary rounds of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. "He's a beautiful horse," Melander said. "I didn't think I was going to be able to buy him for $30,000; I thought he was going to cost quite a bit more. He had a good year last year with Jimmy and I knew he was well conditioned and he looks great. He is well put together. Jimmy doesn't keep the older horses unless they're top-notch and Apostles Creed isn't going to be top-notch, but he can be good enough for us to make some money with." Apostles Creed has won once in eight races this year, hit the board a total of five times, and earned $17,770. Melander gelded the son of Credit Winner-Religulous in the hopes it would help the trotter keep his mind on his work. "There were a few races last year where he might not have tried his hardest," Melander said. "It's the same now, which I was hoping was going to be better after he was gelded. He's definitely not a front-end horse, he totally loses focus, but somehow he seems to end up on the front end anyways. If he's not on the front end, he's good enough. He's definitely speedy enough. The race has to kind of set up for him in order to be good." Of his 13 career top-three finishes, Apostles Creed led at the halfway marker only three times. In his last four races in which he was on top at the midpoint, he failed to hit the board. Apostles Creed is 4-1 on the morning line in the second of four $15,000 opening-round Weiss divisions for 3- and 4-year-old male trotters Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Amber Buter's Dominus Hanover is the 5-2 choice. The five-week event finishes May 9 with a $30,000 final. "He's beautifully gaited," Melander said. "He goes effortlessly. I think that's his best part. He can leave with anyone, pretty much, but the problem with that is if you leave you may end up on the front end because he's been second or third choice every time. But he can close pretty good too. He goes around any track and doesn't hit anywhere." Melander gives Apostles Creed a variety of work in preparation for his races, including riding, swimming, and jogging. "I try to keep him happy," said Melander, an accomplished rider who has won three racing-under-saddle events in her career. "I'm a firm believer in keeping the older horses happy and doing the cross-training. The younger horses, I keep them on the track, but once they get older they've seen that round track enough. To me, it's been very helpful. Everyone is different, but it seems to work for me." And if it works for Apostles Creed, it could help lead Melander to another career year. Story by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

There’s a harness racing broodmare at Joanne Colville’s High Stakes Farm, Emprize Hanover, who will be receiving extra presents on Mother’s Day next month due to her loving welcome of an orphan foal despite already having a newborn of her own. Her wonderful, feel good story has become an Internet sensation over the past few weeks since Joanne shared it on her Facebook page. The story began on March 4 when Emprize Hanover delivered a filly by EL Titan. It was the fourth foal for the Credit Winner mare owned by Chris Christoforou Sr., the grandfather of Joanne’s daughter Emma. Eleven days later Emprize Hanover’s friend and pasture buddy Noble Flirt foaled a good sized Holiday Road colt. Unfortunately Noble Flirt died during the delivery leaving Joanne scrambling to find colostrum for the youngster. “As soon as it happened we were able to get milk from Emprize for him as she was the only mare at that time with a foal,” explained Joanne. “I started phoning around looking for a nurse mare and drove to Darlene Hayes’ place nearby for the colostrum and went to the feed store for milk replacement. “We got a couple of bottles into him and I’m thinking ‘what are we going to do? This is a nightmare.’ Then the foal started to call and Emprize Hanover called back to him. So my ingenious daughter comes up with the idea of putting him in with Emprize and her foal. “Emma and her friend put the foal on a cooler and carried him into her stall,” related Joanne. “The mare sniffed him and licked him so they gently lowered him on the cooler into the straw. The colt still hadn’t been up at this point.” Joanne and Emma kept a close eye on the situation but Emprize Hanover made it easy as she quickly accepted the newcomer and didn’t bat an eye when he was standing and starting to nurse. “The only issue we had was with the filly who thought he was a new playmate, she was 12 days older and he was newborn. But as soon as he was able he gave her the ‘leave me alone’ message and she got it and they’ve been best buddies since then,” noted Joanne who is the administrative coordinator for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, Chair of Standardbred Canada and outrider on the WEG tracks as well as operating a breeding farm. “Emprize Hanover has been an absolute godsend, she’s worth her weight in gold. I sent Murray Brown (the PR Director at Hanover Shoe Farms, which bred Emprize Hanover) a private message the other day and said ‘you raised her right.’ "I’ve had countless people tell me they’ve never heard of a situation like this before, where a mare with a foal that old would accept a newborn. We call the colt the brother from another mother. “What’s really nice as well is it’s proven to be a feel good story for a lot of people who follow my Facebook page. They send all kinds of messages about how it makes their day and when I haven’t posted photos of the pair for a couple of days, I hear about it.” For her trouble, Emprize Hanover gets a couple of extra meals a day and the foals, who are known around the stable as Junior and Elena, have their own creep feeder for themselves to start to learn to eat on their own. “She gets an extra lunch, all the hay she wants and I feed her again just before midnight,” noted Joanne. “She’s earned every bite.” Anyone interested in meeting the trio are welcome to the Open House at High Stakes Stables near Moffat, Ontario, on Mother’s Day next month in the afternoon. Kawartha Downs

Harness racing trainer/driver Todd Schadel, a regular at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, entered five horses in the $15,000 first preliminary round of the Bobby Weiss Series for developing younger females on Tuesday night, and he overcame the outside post eight twice to post identical times of 1:56.4 in taking the two quickest divisions.   First up was the sophomore Southside Hanover, who is also owned by Schadel in partnership with Roger Hammer - the team that brought you Vivid Photo. Certainly gifted with the pedigree for speed (Cantab Hall out of 2000 O'Brien 2TF Sharise Seelster), "South Side" had the fastest 2016 race win time of all of tonight's starters, a 1:57.1 win here last week, but the crowd still let her escape at 7-1, and she never looked back in coming home in 57.4 and lowering her new race mark.   Next up was the SJ's Caviar filly Real Caviar, who lowered her mark, taken in a recent qualifier, by a full second. Out of a half-sister to champion Housethatruthbuilt, Real Caviar came home in 57.2 and held off a serious late backstretch challenge by Grand Canyon in winning for owners Schadel and breeder Dr. John Egloff.   Finally breaking up the run of Team Schadel was the Credit Winner four-year-old mare Stirling Debutant, who lived up to her name in her 2016 bow with a 1:57 win, also overcoming post eight. Anthony Napolitano handled sulky duties for the winner, who made the lead past the quarter and led at the rest of the calls, for trainer Christie Collins and owners J M F Racing LLC.   Team Allard - driver Simon and trainer Rene -- posted overnight triumphs with a pair of classy mares. The Pegasus Spur mare Daylon Miracle passed $600,000 in career winnings when she won a $12,500 trot in 1:53 for the partnership of Allard Racing, Giselle Hebert, Earl Hall Jr., and the ubiquitous Howard Taylor, while Fancy Desire, who won the 2014 Lynch Championship right here at The Downs, pushed her lifetime bankroll over $470,000 as the Real Desire mare took an $11,000 pace for Allard Racing, Yves Sarrazin, and Kapildeo Singh.   The night started off with a mutuel buzz as Rockinthepipes trotted from seventh at the stretch call to win in 1:57.3 and return $71.60 to win. The victory gave Marcus Miller half of the four $50+ winners at The Downs so far this year, and it was the second bomber in five days for trainer Clifton Green, who won with longshot Dark Pool opening day at Harrah's.   PHHA / Pocono  

It is too soon to proclaim Maestro Blue Chip the next Modern Family, but the 4-year-old male trotter is following a similar ascent to success. Harness racing owner Richard Poillucci bought Maestro Blue Chip at this year’s Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale for $90,000. Since then, Maestro Blue Chip has gone 4-for-4 at Dover Downs and worked his way up the conditions ladder as he prepares for April’s Yonkers Raceway/SOA of New York Bonus Trotting Series. Three years ago, Poillucci was among the owners of Modern Family, who was purchased as a 4-year-old for $110,000 at the January Select Mixed Sale. Modern Family, who also was owned by trainer Daryl Bier and Charles Dombeck, won his first four starts following the sale and eventually became a stakes-level performer. Modern Family won the 2013 Hambletonian Maturity and the 2014 Charlie Hill Memorial in addition to finishing second in the 2014 Cutler Memorial. Sadly, Modern Family passed away following a fourth-place finish in the 2014 Maple Leaf Trot. “Maestro Blue Chip has really shown some promise,” Poillucci said. “Everything points toward him being a pretty nice horse. I don’t know if he’s Modern Family yet, but it’s kind of ironic because this is the way that Modern Family started out. The trainer (Jim King Jr.) and driver (Tim Tetrick) are very impressed with him to date.” A son of stallion Credit Winner out of the stakes-winning mare Up Front Hotsey, Maestro Blue Chip won two of 13 races and $78,673 at ages 2 and 3 while in the care of trainer Trond Smedshammer. He won his 2016 debut, also with Smedshammer, in a career-best 1:53.4 at the Meadowlands less than two weeks prior to the mixed sale. “He’s a young, fresh trotter,” Poillucci said at the sale. “Fresh horses are hard to come by. We’ll see how he matures and how he progresses. That was the horse I was looking at. I thought he was the best for what I was looking for.” Maestro Blue Chip romped to wins in his first three starts at Dover Downs, winning by as many as 12 lengths, and captured his most recent victory by a head in a winners-over class. “It’s been wonderful,” Poillucci said. “He wasn’t himself last week, he had some stuff going on with allergies, and he still won. I’m pretty excited. We staked him pretty heavily, and that was based on Jim’s and Tim’s opinions of the horse. He’s got a pretty decent schedule ahead of himself.” In addition to the upcoming series at Yonkers, Maestro Blue Chip is staked to the Graduate Series, Cleveland Trotting Classic, Chip Noble Memorial, Centaur Trotting Classic, and Dayton Trotting Derby. Poillucci lives in Massachusetts, where he runs several businesses, including a luxury auto body center and real estate development company. He first became interested in harness racing while playing hockey in Canada. “I’ve been doing this for about 30 years,” Poillucci said. “I played semi-professional hockey in Canada, and harness racing is big up there. On some of my off days I used to go to the races. I really enjoyed it. I came down to Foxboro and I decided one day to talk to (trainer) Steve Mancini and see if I could buy a horse. The next thing you know, I had 17.” Poillucci and Mancini, who passed away in 1999, won the 1987 Lewiston Pace with Natchez Gambler and Poillucci has enjoyed his share of additional success in the ensuing years. Among his horses today he also owns pacer Dapper Dude, who is competing in the Opens at Dover Downs. “The one I’m most excited about is Maestro Blue Chip,” Poillucci said. “It looks like he can go pretty fast. Where that speed bottoms out, I don’t know. He’s going to have to face some pretty nice trotters that are coming out shortly. We will see. But so far so good.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Gural Hanover, who won only two races last year, turned in his second straight trip to the winner's circle at Dover Downs on Wednesday, May 16 romping to a 1:53 harness racing victory in the $24,000 Open trot. With Andrew McCarthy driving the Crazed-Givemearing gelding, Gural Hanover final took command after a :26.3 opening quarter and proved the best from there. Weaver Bruscemi, Little E, Pahellenic and Burke Racing stables own the classy five-year-old who now has earned $78,124 in his career. War Cry Hall, last weeks winner, charged down the passing lane for Tim Tetrick to edge Somebody AS and Vic Kirby for second money. It ended Somebody AS' two-win streak. In the $18,500 sub-feature, when race-favorite Celebrity Pepgus broke stride early, Jackie Parker took over driving Jim Moore III's Royal Becca J and the four-year-old RC Royalty-Becca J gelding led the rest of a 1:55.3 mile to win for the second time in his last three starts. In fact Royal Becca J has been ultra-consistent in his last six starts with three wins and three seconds. Machuca (Ross Wolfenden) raced on the outside for most of the contest and held on for second. Royal Status (Kirby) was the show horse. Rich Pollucci's Maestro Blue Chip gave Tim Tetrick his second win holding off Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) by a head in 1:54.2 to extend his win streak to five in-a-row in a $17,000 Winners-Over trot. The Credit Winner-Up Front Hotsey four-year-old remains undefeated in 2016 and lifts his season bankroll to $30,750 and $109,173 lifetime. Awsome Valley (Tony Morgan) was third. Steel Reserve got up for his first win of the season, catching Ah Me (Carlo Poliseno) in the final strides for a 1:56 victory in a $14,500 4&5-Year-Old trot. Frank Chick owns the Credit Winner-Iron Lass gelding trained by Kevin Lare. In another $14,500 trot, Bill Cantrell's steady Deacons Valley, off at 8-1, with Ross Wolfenden at the controls scored a 1:54.4 triumph, his second of the year. The six-year-old Valley Victor-Deaconess Hanover horse was in the money for sixth straight time in 2016. Brew Master (Dennis) and Jailhouse Diva (Montrell Teague) finished second and third respectively. Drivers Tim Tetrick and Tyler Davis, trainer Kevin Lare, owner Frank Chick , all had two wins. NOVA ARTIST, MOVIE IDOL, LEYDEN TOP THURSDAY DOVER CARD Nova Artist, Movie Idol and Leyden head a nine-horse field in Thursday, March 17 St. Patrick’s Day feature race at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. Nova Artist, a two-time Horse of the Meet, owned by Eddie and Kathy Davis and driven by their son Allan Davis, has a win and two seconds in six starts this year. The nine-year-old approaching the $1-million mark lifetime takes on Breakway Stable’s classy Movie Idol, starting from post 9 in the second tier with Frank Milby in the bike and William Moffett’s steady homebred Leyden (Ross Wolfenden) should profit by a much better post position this week, in the $11,000 Male pace feature. They take on Ben Stafford’s Maximum Terror, who also has an inside post this week, leaving from the rail with Ben Stafford Jr. handling the reins. Blake and Bruce Baker’s veteran Native Art and George Dennis is alongside. Other contenders are Robin and Jay Breasure’s People Are Crazy with Vic Kirby, Ed Walls’ Tug River Prince, piloted by Tony Morgan, Hide Me Away, driven by Russ Foster for Arty Foster III and Wanda May Saulsbury and the dangerous Shiretown Pitbull with Season Bier off a strong qualifying victory last week.   There is no live racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Racing resumes Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. By popular demand the acclaimed Harness Buffet is now back in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant. Call for reservations 302-674-4600. There is no charge for parking and admission at Dover Downs. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.--- Corey Callahan and Somebody As made it look easy rolling to a second consecutive victory in the $24,000 Open/Handicap trot on a windy and chilly Wednesday, March 2, at the harness racing meeting at Dover Downs. Somebody As and Callahan got away quickly from the outside to take the early lead and continued to extend the margin until turning for home when War Cry Hall with Tim Tetrick picked up the pace in the stretch to close within a half-length at the wire in 1:54.3. Owned by Kjell Johansson and breeder ACI Stuteri, the seven-year-old altered son of Striking Sahbra-Noblesse AS, conditioned by Anette Lorentzon, recorded his third win in four starts this season and victory number 24 and $475,583 in lifetime earnings. Winemaster Hanover (Toby Lynch) edged Panamanian Hanover (Tony Morgan) for third money. Jack Parker Jr. found room along the passing lane and led a cavalcade of trotters to the finish line in a lifetime record 1:55.4 clocking to win the secondary feature $15,000 4&5-Year-Old event. It was the third win of the year with three seconds in eight starts for the RC Royalty-Becca J gelding, who now has banked $34,700 for owner Jim Moore III. Stirling Diva (Tetrick) closed for second in front of Kolbee's Star (Callahan), third. Ragazzo Dolce. a classically-bred Muscles Yankee-Bella Dolce gelding driven by Jim Morand for owners Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis, returned to the winner's circle for the first time since January when he won eight races in-a-row, poured it on in the stretch on the way to a 1:55.1 triumph in one of three $12,000 trots on the supporting card. Enrico AS (Allan Davis) was next best with Awsome Valley (George Dennis) the third-place finisher. Tim Tetrick drove PL Incoming to a lifetime best 1:57 score in a second $12,000 trot, this one for 4&5-year-olds. Winsun Cobra (Pat Berry) and Dance For Me Sasha (Vic Kirby) were second and third respectively. Rich Lombardo and JJ&M Stable own the Kadabra -Kaparah gelding trained by Josh Green, who won for the first time in 2016. Tetrick returned in the final $12,000 trot, to guide odds-on favorite Maestro Blue Chip to his fourth-straight victory in 1:54.1. The Credit Winner-Up Front Holsey horse is trained by Jim King for Richard Pollucci. A 29-1 shot Brew Master (Allan Davis) was runner-up. Eskimo Joe (Callahan) was the show horse. Tim Tetrick drove three winners and Corey Callahan had a double, Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Dover Downs is dark on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. When at the track, watch live races and enjoy dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant's acclaimed Harness Racing Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Marv Bachrad

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