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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was another typical victory for Lutetium as the 9-year-old gelding went wire-to-wire in a harness racing seasonal best 1:57.0 to post an easy 3-3/4 length decision over J A T O in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (July 22).   Zooming off the gate from the five post, driver Todd Cummings, who finished the night with four victories, put Lutetium ($6.20) in his customary spot on the front end and it was clear sailing from there.   With fractions of 28.2, 58.1 and 1:27.1, Lutetium had a comfortable two length edge with a quarter mile to trot and enjoyed the uneventful journey to the finish line. J A T O (Mike Caprio) was second with Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) third.   Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby) has won five times in 21 starts this season, pushing his earnings to $41,980 and $398,597 lifetime.   It was a great night for the long shots as the average win price on the 10-race program was $17.50. Scarlet Starlet lit up the tote board with a $53.50 victory while Jann Down ($32.60) and Livefreeordiehard ($31.20) were other big priced winners.   Kevin Cummings and Ray Fisher Jr. each had a driving double and Angelo Nappo had a pair of training victories.   Racing will resume on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. The program will feature six finals of the Championship Claiming Series.   For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results, simulcast schedule and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

With just a week before the eliminations for the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, Broadway Donna and All The Time have emerged as the top contenders to capture one of the most treasured prizes in harness racing for 3-year-old fillies, but there is a lass in the Empire State that might very well travel to New Jersey to stake her claim to divisional honors. She is Fad Finance. “She is eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks,” said Trond Smedshammer, her conditioner. “But she would have to win the Zweig (this Sunday) impressively for me to think about entering her. Vernon Downs is a nice track and it looks like we will have nice weather for the race this weekend, so they should be able to go in 1:54 to win. She would need to trot in the area of 1:53 for me to send her there so it is up to her.” A daughter of Credit Winner and the Sierra Kosmos mare Armbro Vanity, Fad Finance was purchased for $60,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg by Purple Haze Stables, Marc Goldberg and Rojan Stables. The filly, who sports a career record of 14-7-3-1 and has quietly amassed $129,988 in purse money, will face eight rivals in the $140,000 Zweig Memorial Filly Trot at Vernon Downs on Sunday (July 24). Fad Finance will leave from post position two with Jim Morrill Jr. holding the lines. She is the 7-2 second selection on the morning line behind Julie Miller’s charge Womans Will (5-2) and will face stiff opposition from Paul Kelley’s Straight A Student (8-1), as well as Paul Reid’s Flowers N Songs (9-2), and George Ducharme’s Swinging Royalty (5-1). Fad Finance has won three of her six starts this year, with earnings of $83,038. She defeated 2015 New York Sire Stakes champion Non Stick in their $12,500 Empire Breeders Classic elimination on June 10 at Vernon Downs. Non Stick returned to dominate the $225.000 final the following week, but Fad Finance got the measure of her again on July 10 at Tioga Downs in a $40,600 New York Sire Stakes contest. Fad Finance followed that performance with a track-record-equaling 1:58.2 spin around Buffalo Raceway’s oval on July 17 in a $60,200 sire stakes split. It was a gritty effort, as the filly was locked in for most of the stretch and was able to put her nose down on the wire for her third win of the season. “I raced her in the Excelsior Series last year so she would learn some manners,” Smedshammer said. “She was on the line of being hot and I would try to keep her in the pocket to teach her some lessons. If you look at her lines you can see where she was on the front because she was aggressive and then would tire in the last quarter coming home. I think she is a better horse off the helmet and this year she is minding her manners. The only race we were not pleased with was the Empire Breeders Classic final (fifth). She was on the lead and went some fairly fast fractions before getting tired late. That’s when the other fillies passed her.” Despite Smedshammer’s admission that Fad Finance could be a bit headstrong, as many fillies can be, he was drawn to her because of his affiliation with her pedigree, which is excellent. This filly is a half-sister to Vanity Plates (Conway Hall, $164,878), who competed in the 2007 Matron final (sixth) and was eighth in that year’s eliminations for the Breeders Crown. Another half-sibling, Monkey Man (Glidemaster, $92,220) was talented enough to finish second to world champion Muscle Network in an $86,500 division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile in 2013 and was the runner-up to the very talented Rose Run Parker in a $45,250 division of the Madison County Stake at Hoosier Park 22 days later. “I trained her mother,” Smedshammer said. “I actually picked her out as a yearling and bought her, then sold her to her current owners. She had ability and was very well-mannered, unlike many Sierra Kosmos horses. Unfortunately she had some soundness issues, but I knew she had some foals that had done well. I think Chris Ryder did well with one of her first fillies (Vanity Plates) so when this one was available (Fad Finance) I was looking forward to the opportunity to train one of her foals. The pedigree on her female side is very good.” Although Armbro Vanity only earned $63,365 on the racetrack and her dam, Armbro Haughty, collected $375 in her racing career, these mares hail from the tremendous Armbro Flight. In fact, Armbro Haughty was that Canadian superstar’s final foal. That blood courses through Fad Finance’s veins and demonstrates she may just very well belong with the elite in her division as 2016 draws to a close. “We will see what happens with her,” Smedshammer said. “She is eligible to things outside of New York, such as the Breeders Crown, and if she shows us she can mind her manners, we will allow her the opportunity to take on those kinds of fillies. She has improved this year and we hope she will continue to improve.” Below is the field for the $140,000 Zweig Memorial Filly Trot, in post position order, with listed drivers and trainers. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Earn Your Wings-Jason Bartlett-Anette Lorentzon-8/1  2. Fad Finance-Jim Morrill Jr-Trond Smedshammer-7/2  3. Lindylicious-Chris Lems-Gilbert Garcia-Herrera-8/1  4. Straight A Student-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-8/1  5. Open Access-Matt Kakaley-Robert Baggitt Jr.-6/1  6. Womans Will-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-5/2  7. Spicedbourbongirl-Jeff Gregory-Jeff Gregory-10/1  8. Flowers N Songs-Yannick Gingras-Paul Reid-9-2  9. Swinging Royalty-Tim Tetrick-George Ducharme-5/1 Earn Your Wings and Straight A Student will race as an ownership entry. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Straight A Student ($3.10) and Fad Finance ($3.50) took their respective $60,200 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes and tied the Buffalo Raceway track record for 3-year-old filly trotters in doing so with times of 1:58.2 over the fast track on Sunday afternoon (July 17).   The clocking equaled the mark of 1:58.2 established in 2015 by High Rise.   In the opening leg, Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) got a perfect trip and won the cavalry charge down the stretch to register a head victory over Lindylicious (Kevin Cummings). Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the show position.   At the start, Straight A Student parked Goosebump Hanover to the quarter pole before finally relinquishing the lead. From there, Goosebump Hanover was in command until the top of the stretch when Straight A Student came charging down the passing lane and Lindylicious attacked from the outside.   It was a blanket finish with Straight A Student getting the head win over Lindylicious while Goosebump Hanover was just a neck back.   "I just wanted to make it around the first turn," MacDonald said in getting Straight A Student to the winner's circle. "I knew if I followed Goosebump Hanover around the track, I'd be where I wanted to be in the end."   Straight A Student (Credit Winner-Smarter Than Smart) as been playing second fiddle for much of the season as she has had five runner up finishes in her seven starts. "She's trotted some big miles this season and finally got the win," MacDonald added.   Trained by Paul Kelley, Straight A Student pushed her seasonal earnings to $71,885 and $93,675 lifetime.   In the second division, Fad Finance was ready to roll midway down the backstretch the final time but had to wait for racing room before rallying late to nip Monarchs Sequel (MacDonald) by a nose. Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) secured the show position.   Fad Finance had nowhere to go heading to the three-quarter marker as the pace-setting Swinging Royalty and the first-over Monarchs Sequel had her boxed in along the pylons.   In the race for the wire, Fad Finance found some wiggle room and just got up in time to take the nose victory.   "I did all I could do to keep her in the two hole," Morrill Jr. said of Fad Finance's journey. "If I could have gotten her free down the backstretch, we probably would have won by five lengths."   Trained by Trond Smedshammer, it was the third victory of the year for Fad Finance (Credit Winner-Armbro Vanity). The win pushed her seasonal bankroll to $83,038 and $129,988 in her career.   Fruition ($5.10) was the fastest in the $15,000 Excelsior A Series with a 2:00.0 victory which gave MacDonald a double while Kevin Cummings drove Outside Court ($7.30) to a 2:00.4 win.   Shawn McDonough swept both of the $6,600 Excelsior B Series as he was aboard Catalina Cash ($6.60) and Barn Diva ($10.40). Catalina Cash covered the mile in 2:02.0 while Barn Diva toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 2:03.1.   Morrill Jr. took top honors on the day in the bike as he posted five wins.   The final week of the 2016 season at Buffalo Raceway will start on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will kick off closing week as the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers will be in action.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 14, 2016-They won the draws as well as and the hearts and minds of the electorate Thursday night. Short-priced pole-sitters Dayson (Yannick Gingras, $2.60) and Dante (Ake Svanstedt, $2.80) delivered in Yonkers Raceway $163,374 New York Sire Stakes Michael Sorentino Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Dayson, racing in a money start for the first time since adding trotting hopples, allowed Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) the initial lead in the opening ($80,937) division. Dayson then retook right before a :29.4 opening quarter-mile, with none of his five rivals electing to press the issue. After a :59.2 intermission and 1:27.3 intermission, Smalltownthrowdown pulled an early pocket in the final turn. Dayson met that challenge and widened, open to 2½ lengths in 1:56.1. Royson (Jim Marohn Jr.) skimmed the cones to grab second, with "Throwndown" third. For Dayson, a Conway Hall gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables and Rossi Smith, it was his fifth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $35.40. "It was nice and easy," Gingras said. "The straps definitely helped him keep his mind on business." As for Dante in the $82,437 second division, he was content to sit pocketed to uncoupled stablemate The Royal Harry (Mark MacDonald) though intervals of :28.0, :58.2 and 1:28.1. That one had a length-and-quarter lead entering the lane, but Dante edged out and edged by. He beat his barn neighbor by a length in 1:57.2, with Credevie (George Brennan) third. For Dante, a son of Credit Winner trained by his driver for owner Courant A B, he's 4-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $7.60, with the triple returning $105.50. "He doesn't pull as much as he did (at 2)," Svanstedt said. "He's a better horse to drive now." Stakes action continues here this weekend. Friday night, the $167,874 New York Sire Stakes Art Watson Pace (3-year-old fillies). Saturday night, it's the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard (2-year-old colts/geldings). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Nichols, N.Y. -- Empire Breeders Classic winner Non Stick was handed a harness racing defeat for the second time of her career in a $40,600 New York Sire Stakes event on Sunday (July 10) afternoon at Tioga Downs, unable to make any impact behind Fad Finance ($7.20), the very filly who evaded Non Stick at Vernon last month.   Fad Finance made an early push to the fore, clearing Earn Your Wings (Jason Bartlett) upon straightening after a :27.4 first quarter. The 3-year-old Credit Winner filly faced no pressure to speak of through the final circuit, edging away after rating a :57.1 middle half. Fad Finance evaded her six foes en route to a 1:54.3 mile, keeping two lengths clearance on Earn Your Wings up to the winning post. Gin and Lindy (Scott Zeron) rallied off cover to take third in the last yards, while Non Stick failed to make any impact from first-over, finishing fourth.   Jim Morrill Jr. drove Trond Smedshammer trainee Fad Finance, now a 6-time winner, for the Purple Haze Stables, Marc Goldberg, and the Rojan Stables.   In the other $40,600 Sire Stakes events, odds-on favorites prevailed. Swinging Royalty ($3.20, Chris Lems) made all the pace en route to an easy 1:56.2 win, and Open Access ($3.40, Matt Kakaley) dueled clear of Goosebump Hanover (Morrill) before holding off a belated three-wide bid from Monarchs Sequel (Mark MacDonald) to prevail in 1:56.   In the afternoon's sub-featured $11,000 Open Pace, Believe This Bob ($9.50, Mike Simons) held sway of Clear Vision's late push for a narrow 1:50.2 triumph, while Its Payday Friday ($3.90, Dan Clements) outlasted a late bid from Prairie Fortune in the $11,000 Open Trot.   Racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 15) afternoon, with first post slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Straight A Student (Credit Winner) cruised to a harness racing victory on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The three year old trotting filly was making her first start since competing in the $225,000 Empire Breeders Classic Final at Vernon Downs last month. The Paul Kelley-trained sophomore came into the race with four second place finishes in five starts in 2016 but shook her bridesmaid status on Monday as she dominated with Wally Hennessey in the sulky. Straight A Student, who secured two of her second place finishes this year while competing in New York Sire Stakes races, was the public's 1-9 betting favorite on Monday and marched out to the early lead in the $8,000 race for New York Sired trotters. Straight A Student scampered away from her rivals for a dominant win in 1:58. It served as one of two victories on the day for Hennessey on an afternoon when Frank Coppola Jr. was the sulky star. Coppola piloted four winners on the holiday matinee card. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with live racing starting at 4:00pm. Mike Sardella

Vernon, N.Y. -- Harness racing trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt swept Sunday (June 19) evening's Empire Breeders Classic finals at Vernon Downs, as Non Stick ($7.50) and Dante ($11.60) both took full advantage of pocket trips en route to victory.   In the $234,375 Filly Classic, Non Stick avenged defeat in her elimination, but was anything but conservative in the early stages. The 3-year-old daughter of Lucky Chucky circled three other leavers en route to a :26.1 first quarter before yielding to Fad Finance (Trond Smedshammer) on the backstretch. Non Stick never lacked for racing room, drafting behind middle splits of :54.3 and 1:24.2 before vacating the pocket at head-stretch to avoid being boxed by the gradually-gaining Swinging Royalty (Brian Sears). Non Stick vaulted to the lead upon cornering and subsequently parried Swinging Royalty's stout late bid, prevailing by a head in 1:54. Earn Your Wings (Jason Bartlett) stalked live cover and rallied belatedly for third.   Svanstedt co-owns Non Stick with Little E, LLC.   The $222,975 Classic for colts and geldings likewise saw the victor sprint clear, yield, and retake off the far turn, as Svanstedt sent Dexter Cup winner Dante to the fore from post 9 through a :26.2 initial quarter before stablemate The Royal Harry (Mark MacDonald) charged up from third to control the terms with five-eighths of the mile remaining. Dante angled off the pegs after a :57 middle half to once again take charge from his stablemate, vaulting clear by three in head-stretch. Just For Today (Bartlett) mounted good belated gains from the second flight, working into a clear second but missing Dante's 1:52.3 mile by 1-1/2 lengths. Thats a Bad Boy (Tyler Freese) likewise emerged from off the pace to claim third.   Courant AB owns Dante, a 3-year-old son of Credit Winner.   A sizable on-track crowd enjoyed camel and ostrich races as part of the Father's Day festivities at the Miracle Mile.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (June 23), with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs   ATTACHED: Non Stick (#6, foreground) and Dante (#9, alone) gave trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt a sweep of the Empire Breeders Classic trotting events on Sunday night at Vernon Downs. Fotowon photos.

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

Nichols, N.Y. -- Harness racing reigning Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit ($2.60) proved too much for his ten 4-year-old pacing rivals in Sunday (June 12) afternoon's $75,000 Graduate preliminary at Tioga Downs, drawing clear authoritatively after setting a strong pace.   The 4-year-old Mr Wiggles gelding not only endured early pressure from Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) through a :25.4 first quarter, but also a broken buxton in the initial stages of the race. Nonetheless, he dictate all the terms, rating a :55.3 middle half before edging clear of first-over challenger In the Arsenal (Brett Miller) on the far turn. Now a 30-time winner, Wiggle It Jiggleit amassed 5-1/2 lengths clearance over the others in the end, and his 1:48.1 mile equaled Rockeyed Optimist's track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings.   In the Arsenal held second, Rockin in Heaven (David Miller) rallied mildly to save third off a tracking trip, and Rockin Ron faded to fourth after forcing the early pace.   Clyde Francis trains Wiggle It Jiggleit for owners George Teague, Jr. and the Teague Racing Partnership.   Wiggle It Jiggleit     In the $75,000 Graduate Trot, Maestro Blue Chip ($13.40) lasted on the lead, parrying a stern first-over threat from Musical Rhythm (John Campbell) through the middle half and just holding sway from a surging Whataworkout (Scott Zeron) for a 1:53.4 victory. Tim Tetrick drove the 4-year-old Credit Winner entire for owner Richard Poillucci and trainer JoAnn Looney-King. Pinkman (Gingras), the 2015 Hambletonian winner, could not escape the pocket, narrowly beaten for third by Crazshana (David Miller) while lacking for racing room the entirety of the stretch.   Maestro Blue Chip     The afternoon's two $62,400 New York Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old pacing fillies saw Angels Rockn Pink ($15.20) and Time on My Hands ($4.10) work to the fore early and never look back. Angels Rockin Pink, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Miss Liz, turned aside a first-over push from Dime a Dance for a 1:52.1 win under Mark MacDonald for trainer Chris Oakes.   Time on My Hands also repelled a third-quarter challenge, but later would have to outlast a late push from American Ivy (Andy Miller), who vacated the pocket in upper stretch. Jason Bartlett drove the daughter of American Ideal and Bewitching Jewell to a 1:53.2 victory for trainer Chris Ryder.   The annual Tioga Downs Scholarship Race, a non-wagering exhibition sponsored by the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State and the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association, went to the Tompkins Cortland Community College-bound Alexis Eaton, teaming up with trainer Mike Deters in a two-seated jog cart behind Prairie Jaguar in the 5/8-mile race.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (June 17) evening, with post time slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

It took exactly three decades for Jo Ann Looney-King and her family to discover a horse that would return them to the winner’s circle at the Meadowlands. That feat alone renders Maestro Blue Chip as a special animal to the family, however, they are also extremely attached to the 4-year-old harness racing stallion because they feel he is the most talented trotter ever to grace their shedrow. “My sister (Susan Looney) was the youngest driver to ever win a race at the Meadowlands when she was 16,” said Looney-King. “That was 30 years ago, so you cannot imagine how thrilling it was for us to finally return there when Maestro won the first leg of the Graduate Series. Our entire family was there to enjoy it and it only made it even sweeter that he beat a horse like Pinkman to get us there. That win really was like a dream come true. Any time you win it is so exciting, but when you win like that it makes it an unforgettable evening. Especially when Jim (her husband) thinks this horse is the best trotter we have ever had.” Purchased by Richard Poilluici for $90,000 at this year’s Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale, the son of Credit Winner and the SJ’s Caviar mare Up Front Hotsey will attempt to collect his 11th victory since entering the Kings’ barn on Sunday (June 12) when he competes in the $75,000 third leg of the Graduate Series at Tioga Downs. Maestro Blue Chip will commence his journey from post position eight with Tim Tetrick holding the lines and is the 5-1 third choice on the morning line. He will have to face champion Pinkman (2-1), who will leave from post position six, and one of the hottest horses in harness racing in Musical Rhythm (3-1), who will begin trotting from the rail. Despite amassing the highest seasonal bankroll in the contest ($154,000) and serving notice he is a top contender in his division after holding Pinkman at bay at odds of 30-1 on May 21, Maestro Blue Chip appears to remain a bit under the radar, not only at the betting windows, but within the industry. In fact, his triumph over Pinkman and Crescent Fashion was shocking to many who follow the sport, but his endeavors and success were not shocking to his connections. “The minute Jim saw him at the sale he wanted him,” Looney-King said. “It is absolutely impossible not to fall in love with him at first sight. He is such a handsome horse and carries himself with such class. When a horse like that becomes available at the sale, you always wonder why, but this horse was co-owned by Michael Andrew and Purple Haze Stables. “I have experience with Michael’s horses and when I talked to him about this one, he said the only reason he was in the sale was because he had 30 babies at home and it cost money to feed them. That made perfect sense to us as we have been there and sold hoses that went on to do well for other people. That is what you want to see and we were just tickled to get the opportunity to have a horse like him.” Prior to his arrival in his new residence, Maestro Blue Chip, the second foal out of his dam who earned $433,643 during her racing career, was trained by Trond Smedshammer. He performed primarily on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and compiled a record of 13-2-2-2 with just over $78,000 in purse money. After joining the Kings’ stable, the stallion won 10 consecutive races, including the $73,500 Yonkers Raceway/SOA of New York Bonus Trotting Series final on April 26. The only blemish on his record in 2016 came when he finished behind his elders Obrigado and Il Sogno Dream in the Maxie Lee Memorial on May 29 at Harrah's Philadelphia in his last start. “We probably should not have skipped the second leg of the Graduate for the Maxie Lee,” Looney-King said. “But when a race goes for $200,000 and it’s close to home with no starting fee, it is difficult to turn down. Also, we always try to help out when the race office needs horses. We were very pleased with how he trotted and are looking forward to bringing him to Tioga. “This is the first time we have ever raced there and I hate to talk about (post) positions, because that is part of the sport, but we are hoping he works out a nice trip for himself from that spot. We are also fortunate to have one of the best drivers in the business that is terrific at always providing horses with the opportunity to win whenever they are on the track in Tim (Tetrick). Our goal is just to make the final and we could not be more pleased with how our horse is right now. We expect him to race very well even though it is a tough field.” Although his presence in the series final at the Meadowlands on July 9 has yet to be determined, the Kings have quite the season planned for Maestro Blue Chip as the horse is staked to contests such as the Cleveland Trotting Classic, Chip Noble Memorial, Centaur Trotting Classic, and Dayton Trotting Derby. “Jim believes in the horse enough to have him eligible to five $250,000 races after this series,” Looney-King said. “We know it’s a long season and Maestro will always tell us where to go. It always depends on the horse and how he is doing, but we are so excited to have him. He really is such a pleasure in every capacity. I can’t explain how enjoyable he is and what he has already accomplished in such a short time has been amazing for us.” Maestro Blue Chip is not the only member of the King stable that will be performing in a stakes event this weekend. The duo also have last year’s Matron victor, Newborn Sassy, in-to-go in a C$35,000 elimination for the Fan Hanover at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday (June 11). The daughter of  Western Ideal and Sass Newton, an accomplished offspring of Storm Compensation, went through the ring at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale for $38,000 as a yearling. The Kings own her in conjunction with CC Racing LLC and the filly has proved to be quite a bargain as she has earned $263,569 with a resume of 14-8-2-2. She has yet to have her picture taken from four trips to the gate this year, but she has placed twice and nabbed the show spot on one occasion. On Saturday evening (June 11), Newborn Sassy will start pacing from post six in the third race on the card. Tetrick is responsible for steering the 5-1 morning line selection when she faces the likes of L A Delight (2-1, post seven), Darlinonthebeach (9-5, post two) and Lindwood Beachgirl (9-2, post three). “We have her because Timmy (Tetrick) was familiar with her dam and just loved her,” Looney-King said. “We were shocked he kept putting up his hand to bid on her at the sale and then he told us she would be a terrific acquisition for us. He really wanted us to have her and it ended up he was 100 percent correct about how good to us she would be. “She got a bit of a late start last year because she had chips removed, but she was rolling at the end of the season. We realize this is a very strong division with fillies like Pure Country and Darlinonthebeach, but we really feel Sassy can not only compete but when she receives the right trip she can win. “We are just hoping for that with her this weekend so we can make the final. Again, it’s a long year with a lot of racing, but we have her staked to nearly all the important races and are anxious to see how her year goes. We are anticipating great things from her. Like Maestro, she is a dream to ship, an absolute pleasure in the barn and will do anything you ask of her on the track. “We just feel so blessed to have the horses we do right now. We are just overwhelmed to have the kind of horses that allow us to be involved in these races and that brings such joy into our lives. How can you ask for anything more? There are times we still cannot comprehend how fortunate we are.” by Kimberly French, USTA Internet News Editor   

Coughlin (Credit Winner–Kelly Hall), a 3-year-old trotting colt, brought the high sale price of $65,000 in the Tattersalls harness racing Spring Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands Sunday (June 5). Purchased by Vito Cucci of Belmar, N.J., Coughlin has amassed a 4-0-1 career record from 12 starts and earned $41,530. In total, 85 horses were sold for $1,621,100 for an average of $19,072. Last year in 2015, 101 horses sold for a total or $2,378,200 ($23,556 average). For complete sales results of the Tattersalls Spring Mixed Sale, click here. USTA Communications Department  

Tonight’s Quinte+ (€4.65 million jackpot) Prix Pythia (purse €72,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) at Paris-Vincennes went to 3/1 Valko Jenilat (7m Kepler-Perle du Roc) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. The quick winner, timed in 1.12.2kr, held off charging 1.9/1 favorite Akido (6g Love You-Isba) with trainer Franck Nivard the pilot for Ecurie Comte P de Montesson. 17/1 Utinka Selloise (8f Ojipey Vinoir-Merce des Tebe) was a fast finishing third for J-M Bazire. The featured Gr.II Prix Chambon P (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 13 entrants) this evening went to 4/5 favorite Amiral Sacha (6m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha). Gabriel Gelormini steered the  impressive winner, timed in 1.12.5kr, for the three length score. Ecurie Sidere is the owner. 11.1/1 Tornado Bello (9m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilade) took second for Pierre Levesque, trainer Thomas Levesque and owner/breeder Remi Boucet. This one is a half-brother to Prix d’Amerique winner Offshore Dream. 30/1 Sierra Leone (10f John Arifant-Une d’Havetrot) landed third with J.Cl. Hallais teaming for trainer J.W. Hallais. 2.9/1 second choice Ustinof du Vivier (8g Look de Star-Melba du Vivier) was fourth for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Sebastien Guarato while 61/1 veteran Olmo Holz (8m Uronometro-Veuve du Kras) took fifth money for Christophe Martens. The monte feature was the Gr. II Prix Lavater (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, nine starters) and rallying 12.2/1 Canadien d’Am (4m Ready Cash-Kanadia) scored for Matthieu Mottier, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Laurent Edin. A game 1.9/1 favorite second was Cyprien des Bordes (4m Ouragon de Celland-Perle des Bordes) with J.L.Cl. Dersoir aboard for Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. 37/1 Candela (4f First de Retz-Ofara) landed the third spot. On June 2 at Cholet the Prix Abrivert Hippomat Petit Pas Laval (purse €28,000, 2800 meters, 18 starters) went to the 1.14.7kr timed and 3.6/1 odds Bingo d’Attaque (5m Pomerol de Laumac-Lady de la Roche) with Gabriel Gelormini aboard for Ecurie Attaque. This one defeated 7.2/1 Azur des Caillons (6m Quaker Jet-Douce Nuit) for owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard with 5/2 Barrio Josselyn (5m Scipion du Goutier-Piker Josselyn) home third with trainer J-M Bazire driving for owner Mme. O Roffi-Urano. On June 1 at Boden the featured Scandal Plays Minne (first prize 100,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart) resulted in a quick 1.11.2kr victory for 3.2/1 Rocky Winner (8m Credit Winner-Level Fortytwo-Arnaquer) with Jorma Kontio driving. Jorgen Westholm is the trainer and Rocky Winner now shows a career slate of 23-11-9 in 74 starts for 4,681,258SEK earned. 28/1 Special Promise (7m Mr. Pine Chip-Jiving Kemp-Napoletano) claimed second for Santtu Raitala with even-money favorite Victory Bonsai (5m Kadabra-Victory Bouquet-Balanced Image) third with Mika Forss driving. 2/1 Cool Keeper (6m Broadway Hall-Missys Go Go-Yankee Glide) took fourth for trainer/driver Leif Witasp ahead of fifth finishing Vasterbo Fantast (6m Mr. Pine Chip-Fassia LB-Supergill) driven by Jimmy H. Andersson. Former US stakes campaigner Corky was unplaced in the field and has only earned 74,400SEK in the last two seasons. Thomas H. Hicks

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

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