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WASHINGTON, PA, July 3, 2020 -- Saturday's Independence Day celebration at The Meadows will be more festive and exciting than originally anticipated. Thanks to a reshuffling of harnss racing stakes due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the July 4 card features both the $102,245 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotters and the $64,594 Currier & Ives filly division. The Currier & Ives goes as race 7 while the fillies will battle in races 9 and 10. The 15-race program also features an $8,080.56 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. In the Currier & Ives, Ron Burke will send out It's Academic (post 6, Yannick Gingras), the 9-5 morning-line favorite who's banked $160,002 and enters the Currier & Ives off two straight place finishes in Ohio Sires Stake legs. But they'll be coming at him in waves. Trainer Ake Svansted has three in the race: Steel Schooner (post 3, Brady Brown); Coventry Hall (post 5, Chris Shaw); Easter King (post 10, Jim Pantaleano). On paper, at least, the trio looks unprepossessing; they're a combined 2-18 with nary a stakes win. More threatening may be the duo representing trainer John Butenschoen. Kyrie Deo, who sprang a 21-1 upset in last year's $70,000 New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund championship, leaves from post 9 for owners Harmony Oaks Stable, David J. Miller and James Crawford. The Donato Hanover-Rare Book gelding will have the services of Dan Rawlings. Swipe Right (post 1, Mike Wilder) is an Explosive Matter-Online Exclusive gelding who races for VIP Internet Stable, Lawrence Vincent and Harmony Oaks. Both Butenschoen charges were inexpensive yearling purchases, and the trainer is realistic about their chances. "They're nice horses, but they're not 'A' Class, top-of-the-sires-stakes types," he says. "They're good, consistent colts; they'll show up, and hopefully they'll be good enough to get some money." Butenschoen indicates he kept both horses in training -- within limits -- throughout the COVID-19 disruption. "We didn't quite know what to do with them," he says. "We kept them in training to see what they could do, but we didn't want to train them up too hard, but we needed them to be ready to go." Burke also figures to have both favorites here. His budding superstar Sister Sledge, last year's Pennsylvania champion and Dan Patch Award runner-up who rolled to victory a week ago at The Meadows in her season's debut, leaves from post 3 in race 10. The Currier & Ives could be a tougher test for her if only because of the presence of her stablemate, Sans Defaut (post 1, Wilder), who kicked off her sophomore campaign with a 1:53.2 win at Pocono. In the other division, Burke sends out Crucial (post 1), a daughter of Father Patrick-Jolene Jolene who boasts a bankroll of $143,439 and a show finish in an International Stallion Series split. Gingras will steer Sister Sledge and Crucial. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

The Meadows Racetrack will be re-scheduling The Currier & Ives 3 YO Filly Trot originally scheduled for May 22, 2020, and the Currier & Ives 3 YO Open Trot originally scheduled for June 20, 2020 to Saturday, July 4, 2020.   Mark Loewe

WASHINGTON, PA, June 1, 2019 -- Pouncing on a late miscue by the leader, Keystone Abbey avoided the breaker and poured through the lane to capture Saturday's $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. It was the fourth straight harness racing victory for the daughter of Cantab Hall-Miss Aultsville, who previously swept three divisions in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series. Keystone Abbey inherited the lead briefly for Aaron Merriman when Nomo Volo powered to the point from post 9 only to jump it off. That was the signal for Dave Palone to quarter-pole to the top with Fade Into You, the 6-5 favorite off several fine performances in PA Sires Stakes. Fade Into You had little trouble thwarting the backside challengers but made an unforced break -- Palone indicated he couldn't pinpoint a reason for it -- as they straightened out from the final turn. Merriman, meanwhile, said the leader's break did him no favor. "I don't know how much trot David had when he ran, but I had a lot of trot left," Merriman said. "The break probably was the worst thing for my horse. I had to jerk her sideways, and she almost took herself up -- she has a little attention issue. I was nervous about it, but she was well in hand before that." Keystone Abbey retained her composure and held off Giant Possession by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56.3, a career best. Rush Lane finished third at a whopping 60-1. It was one of three victories for Merriman on the 13-race card. Chris Beaver trains Keystone Abbey, a $15,000 yearling acquisition who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, and owns with Donald Robinson, Martin Yoder and R.B. H. Ventures. Beaver previously indicated the filly would be pointed to the PA All-Stars at Pocono. Elsewhere on the card, the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace billed as "The Battle of the Millionaires" Dancin Yankee and Dapper Dude, became a TKO early as Dancin Yankee seized control despite a parked-out 26.2 opening panel. He drew off to prevail by 4 lengths in 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owner Burke Racing Stable. The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest now boasts career earnings of $1,930.587. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                            

This Week: Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Pepsi North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Graduate Series third leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week began on Tuesday (June 5) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $73,835 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Looking For Zelda rolled home in a stakes record 1:54.1 in her division, while Nixie Volo and Bill's Lady captured the other splits. On Wednesday (June 6) The Meadows will offer two divisions in the $110,260 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old male trotters. Action resumes on Friday (June 8) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 9) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts, two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will also host Grand Circuit racing on Saturday as the central Ohio oval features the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Tioga Downs will round out a busy Grand Circuit week on Sunday (June 10) with $75,000 (est.) third leg contests in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the U.S. races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The road to the Pepsi North America Cup made a final stop on Saturday (June 2) at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. A group of 28 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings competed over three $46,200 divisions with 19 of the 28 competitors eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. Burning Midnight paced home in :27 to hit the wire first in 1:50.4. The first division saw Burning Midnight and driver Trevor Henry pull off a 28-1 stunner in a wild finish that had six horses across the track. Nutcracker Sweet, the 6-5 favorite, cleared early-leader Hidden Delight entering the backstretch and led the field through middle-half fractions of :54.2 and 1 22.1. The speedy Summer Travel left from post 10 and was parked the entire mile, grinding away first-over, while eventual winner Burning Midnight was in that outside flow sitting ninth and fourth-over turning for home. In the stretch, Hidden Delight popped from the two-hole and took the lead, but couldn't hold off rivals on his outside. Simple Kinda Man angled from a buried spot and came flying, but the fastest of them all was Burning Midnight, who paced home in :27 to hit the wire first in 1:50.4. Simple Kinda Man was second, while Grand Teton got third despite a quick mid-stretch break. Hidden Delight settled for fourth. A gelded son of Mach Three, Burning Midnight came into Saturday's contest off a third-place finish in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for his season's debut. The Corey Giles trainee went three-for-eight during his rookie campaign, posting a mark of 1:51.3. The Somebeachsomewhere victory gives Giles his first career Grand Circuit score. Burning Midnight now has $107,292 in career earnings for owners Brad Gray and Denise Guerriero, who will be making the starting fee payment this Saturday to take a shot at the Pepsi North America Cup. Lather Up remained undefeated in 2018 with an easy victory in the second Somebeachsomewhere division. Driven by Montrell Teague, Lather Up got 1-9 favorite respect and called all the shots. The son of I'm Gorgeous posted fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.4, before pacing off on his rivals and winning in 1:50.3. St Lads Neptune delivered a strong final quarter charge to finish second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, while Scouts Report and Stock were six-plus lengths back rounding out the top four. Trained by Clyde Francis, Lather Up is now four-for-four as a 3-year-old and eight-for-11 overall in his career. Saturday's score increased his career earnings to $133,015 for owners Gary and Barbara Iles. The final division was captured by Jimmy Freight. Driven by Louis Philippe Roy, Jimmy Freight was fired out to the lead and never looked back. The Richard Moreau trainee posted fractions of :26, :55.2 and 1:22.4, before pacing home in :27.3 to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:50.2. Metro Pace champion Lost In Time was forced to come first-up and struggled on the far turn. The Jimmy Takter trainee lost significant ground on the leader, but kept battling in the lane and fought off rivals to finish second. When You Dance finished third, Chocolate Swirl was fourth. Owned by Adriano Sorella, Jimmy Freight is now three-for-four this season with all three wins by more than three lengths. The son of Sportswriter was not paid into the Pepsi North America Cup. Jimmy Freight now has 10 wins and a career bankroll of $211,524. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 269; 2. Yannick Gingras - 184; 3. Jordan Stratton - 154; 4. Jason Bartlett - 139; 5. Daniel Dube - 75. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 213; 2. Peter Tritton - 122; 3. Jim King Jr. - 119; 4. Richard Banca - 75; 5t. Jimmy Takter - 70; 5t. Rene Allard - 70. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2. Richard Poillucci - 54; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 52.9; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 52.9; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 50. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at Mohawk next weekend as the track will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 16). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit    

WASHINGTON, PA, June 5, 2018 -- Freshened by a month off, Looking For Zelda grabbed the early lead from post 4 for Tony Hall and rolled home in a stake-record 1:54.1 in Tuesday's $73,835 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. The stake was conducted over three divisions, with Mike Wilder and trainer John Butenschoen teaming to take the other splits with Nixie Volo and Bill's Lady. Looking for Zelda hadn't raced since finishing third in a May 4 Ohio Sires Stake at Miami Valley. Trainer Norm Parker said the vacation just happened to work out that way -- and work for the best -- for the daughter of Break The Bank K -- My Winning Way K. "Any time a filly has to ship down to near Cincinnati to race twice, it's a little bit stressful for her," Parker said. "The break was a good thing. She came back really good." In the Currier & Ives, she thwarted the first-over bid of Msnaughtyashill and held off the Lightning Lane charge of Kenziesky Hanover by 1/2 length. Msnaughtyashill saved show. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake mark established by Smokinmombo in 2015. Parker said Bob Key's homebred, who lifted her career bankroll to $271,902, would next race Monday in an Ohio Sires Stake at Northfield Park. Nixie Volo entered the Currier & Ives off a powerful 1:54.3 triumph in a PA Sires Stake at Pocono, and bettors took note, hammering her down to 1-9. The daughter of Yankee Glide-No I'm Not did not disappoint, seizing the lead from post 6 and coasting to victory in 1:56. Donato's Jewel rallied for place, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Lady Palema completed the ticket. "I talked to John (Butenschoen) about her today, and he really couldn't tell me anything I wouldn't like about her," Wilder said. "I tried to keep her out of harm's way, and she did the rest. I think she has a pretty bright future." Nixie Volo now has earned $127,486 for Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable and 83 Racing. Bill's Lady made it look just as easy, moving to the point past the quarter and opening a 4-length lead at the half. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Homefortheholidays cruised home in 1:56.3, 1-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Andovermizbrenda, with D'Bomb third. "I drove her once last year and got her beat on the lead," Wilder said. "It was late in the season (in the Keystone Classic), so she might have been getting a little tired, but she sure seems good this year. She matured quite a bit." William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware campaign Bill's Lady, who vaulted over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. Wilder finished the 13-race card with four wins while Dave Palone and Hall each fashioned a triple. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features the $110,260 open division of the Currier & Ives, which goes as races 1 and 3. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Jim Kunkel celebrated his 71st birthday on Monday, but that wasn't the day this week he was most looking forward to enjoying. Not when his homebred trotter Moosonee is racing. Moosonee, a 3-year-old gelding bred by Kunkel and his wife Sandra, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first of two Currier & Ives Stakes divisions Wednesday (June 6) at The Meadows. Moosonee, who is eligible to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes, has a win and a second in two starts this season for trainer Chris Beaver. "I just want to get up and enjoy every day at this stage of my life," said Kunkel, who lives in south-central Massachusetts and breeds and races under Winterbeary Farm. "The greatest thrill will be sitting and watching that baby race tomorrow afternoon because if you're into horseracing there's nothing better. This has been such a pleasant surprise that we're numb. I'm just in awe of him. "We're just two average country bumpkins here that probably don't deserve this kind of horse." Moosonee is a son of Explosive Matter out of the Kunkels' stakes-winning mare Lady Andover. His second dam, Lost Lady One, was a New York Sire Stakes champion and Breeders Crown runner-up. Last year, Moosonee won a division of the Keystone Classic, his only victory in 10 starts, and was second in the Madison County and divisions of the Bluegrass and Arden Downs stakes. The gelding hit the board a total of seven times and earned $64,710. "Chris took him along slowly," Kunkel said. "He always raced good. He didn't have much racing luck, but he was always around the finishing line." This year, Moosonee debuted at The Meadows with a win in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes over returning series champion Fashionwoodchopper and then finished second to You Know You Do, last year's Peter Haughton Memorial winner, in a division of the sire stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In his victory at The Meadows, driver Aaron Merriman made a three-wide move off the final turn to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54 on a sloppy track. "When you're racing against those horses, you're going to find out how good you really are," Kunkel said. "When (Merriman) took that horse off the turn that day and came three wide with him, he just blew by them. I just sat in shock watching it on the computer." Kunkel's uncle Joe and father John were involved in harness racing and Kunkel, who is retired after working in the automobile, school bus, and insurance businesses, has enjoyed horses for as long as he can remember. "I've been around Standardbred racehorses since I was born," Kunkel said. "I worked every summer when I was in high school at the old Foxboro Raceway. I went to college in Boston and spent more time at Suffolk Downs than I did in the classroom. Once you get hooked, you're hooked." Moosonee is one of seven Hambletonian eligible horses in Wednesday's Currier & Ives. The others are Rich And Miserable, Patent Leather, and Banker Twentyfive in the first division and Meadowbranch Ricky, Crystal Fashion, and I Know My Rights in the second division. Kunkel is not thinking about the Hambletonian at this point. "I've been around this long enough to know you don't get too high, you don't get too low," Kunkel said. "I think he can compete. Whether he can dominate, that's a whole different story. But it's been a dream come true for us. It's been nothing but a tremendous thrill. I can't wait for tomorrow when he races again. The best driver, a great racetrack; what more could you ask for." For Wednesday's complete Meadows entries, click here. Racing begins at 1:05 p.m. (EDT). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, June 5, 2018 -- At 2, Donatover was so fractious that he managed only three races and a modest $2,400 bankroll. This year, the young trotter has hit the board in all five starts with a pair of victories, including a convincing win in his PA Sires Stakes opener. Donatover's newfound mannerliness will be tested in Wednesday's $110,260 Currier & Ives open division at The Meadows, where he's been installed as the morning line 7-2 second pick. The Currier & Ives goes as races 1 and 3, with Donatover leaving from the rail with Dave Palone in race 1. First post is 1:05 PM. Trainer Trond Smedshammer purchased the son of Donato Hanover-Anonyme Hanover as a yearling for $30,000 for Purple Haze Stables. A student of pedigree, Smedshammer liked what he saw in the youngster's lineage. "He wasn't an exceptionally good-looking horse, but there was something about his breeding that I liked," Smedshammer says. "If you look carefully at it, you'll see his pedigree doubles up on Amour Angus (dam of the ultra-successful Garland Hall full brothers Andover Hall, Angus Hall and Conway Hall). Sometimes if you do that, you can get something special." He looked anything but special as a freshman, breaking stride in two of his three outings and exhibiting a headstrong approach to his schooling. "He showed some speed, but he was erratic and hot at times," Smedshammer says. "He's definitely stating to mature a little bit mentally, but even this year, he was good one race, and I couldn't hold him back the next. I've had to change bits on him. Right now, it seems we have him halfway figured out. We'll see how long it lasts before he outsmarts us again." Smedshammer knows that the rail can be a tricky starting spot for a green, willful trotter. "I'm hoping that Dave can come first over with him rather than move to the front early," he says. "With aggressive horses, it's better to keep them in a hole as long as you can and make one big, long move with them." Even if his antics are behind him, Donatover has cost himself a shot at most of the richest events for 3-year-olds. "He'll race in Pennsylvania," Smedshammer indicates. "He didn't show me enough last year or this winter to stake him to Grand Circuit races. The way I look at it, I'd rather have a good horse that's under-staked than a bad horse that's over-staked. I can't stand wasting money on stake payments -- even if it's not my money. "A good horse will always make money, even if it's as an aged horse. I'm a realist, not an optimist." by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, June 4, 2018 -- Looking For Zelda and Msnaughtyashill, a pair of fillies who already have made an impact in the harness racing 3-year-old trotting division, will try to step it up a notch when they clash in Tuesday's $73,835 Currier & Ives at The Meadows. The three Currier & Ives splits go as races 1, 3 and 4, with 'Zelda' and 'Naughty' squaring off in race 3. The $110,260 Currier & Ives open division is set for Wednesday at The Meadows. First post each day is 1:05 PM. Although she was upset in the championship of the Ohio Sires Stakes, 'Zelda' fashioned a fine freshman season, banking $228,675 while romping to victory in divisions of the Simpson and the International Stallion Series, where she took her mark of 1:54. She was a respectable fifth, beaten only 4-1/2 lengths, when she faced Dan Patch Award winner Manchego in a Breeders Crown elimination. But Bob Key's homebred daughter of Break The Bank K-My Winning Way K showed late signs of wear and tear. "She had an OCD chip in her right hind ankle," says her trainer, Norm Parker. "It wasn't anything extensive, but I do think it bothered her at the end of the year. She had arthroscopic surgery to remove it, and I can tell the difference. I don't see any of the signs that she showed late last year." 'Zelda' opened this year with a win (in track-record time) in the $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational at Miami Valley and a good third, despite an outside post, in the opening leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes. She's been off since that May 4 sires stake. "That layoff is just the way it played out, but I like it," Parker says. "It's allowed me to prep her for the rest of the year." Will that campaign include any of the top stakes? "We have her in Ohio races so that we can get into the sires stake final," Parker indicates, "but she's paid into some of the bigger races. If she steps up to where she looks competitive, we'll probably look at some of the bigger ones." Her main competition likely will come from Msnaughtyashill, who has dominated in her two starts this year -- including a PA Stallion Series event -- by a combined 9 lengths. Perhaps even more impressive in those victories was her versatility; she won once on the front end, once with a relentless uncovered move. "Towards the end of last season she started to grow up a little," says Jeff Edwards, who trains the homebred daughter of Muscle Hill-Msnaughtybutnice -- a Hambletonian Oaks eligible -- for Denise Dennis and Dolne Farm Services. "She's stronger and more mature. I sent her to Kentuckiana Farms for the break. They put them on the wheel and turn them out. That made all the difference. "She has a great mouth, so you're able to drive her however you want to. When you tap her on the tail, she knows it's time to go." 'Naughty' and 'Zelda' have met twice before -- in the International Stallion Series and the Breeders Crown -- with 'Zelda' faring better each time. Yet, though she's locally owned, 'Zelda' may not have a home-track advantage. Both 2018 wins for 'Naughty' have come at The Meadows; although she has baby-raced and qualified here, 'Zelda' will be making her pari-mutuel debut at The Meadows. 'Zelda' goes from post 4 with regular pilot Tony Hall while 'Naughty' and Mike Wilder leave from post 6. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, June 3, 2017 -- Hambletonian hopeful Sortie, reunited with his recently legalized Cornell Collar, made short work of his Currier & Ives division Saturday at The Meadows, winning easily in a stake-fastest 1:54. The $118,424 event for harness racing sophomore colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Moonshiner Hanover and Fraser Ridge taking the other splits -- both for trainer Chris Beaver. One of the most promising freshmen of 2016, Sortie began using a Cornell Collar to help him breathe after an examination revealed he has a short epiglottis. However, minutes before his May 20 seasonal debut in a Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, trainer Noel Daley was informed that Cornell Collars weren't legal in the Keystone State. Stripped of the device, Sortie won his PASS split handily, but his worried connections took their case to the PA Horse Racing Commission. "We got hold of one of the representatives on the board," Daley said. "She said we were lucky, since they were having a meeting in two days. They brought it up, and they were very quick in getting it done. The horse obviously was good last week, but I don't want to be worried about it (his breathing)." Legal at last, Sortie quarter-poled to the front for Andrew McCarthy and won geared down, defeating early leader Dover Dan by 1-3/4 lengths. Always a Good Time completed the ticket. Sortie pushed his lifetime bankroll to $166,397 for Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Mario Mazza and Sortie Stable. Daley indicated the son of Explosive Matter-Win B would race next in a PASS at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Sortie Moonshiner Hanover also enjoyed a successful freshman campaign, banking $263,101. But after off-season surgery to remove OCDs delayed his return to the track, Beaver opted to ease him back in a soft spot, a PA Stallion Series event. He not only won that race, but the strategy also brought dividends Saturday when the son of Andover Hall-Madam Hootch outduled the 2-5 favorite, Giveitgasandgo, in the lane to prevail by a head in 1:54.3, with Lars Perry third. "What a decision Chris made to put him in the stallion series where he didn't have to go against the big dogs his first race," said winning driver Aaron Merriman. "That was probably what got us the win today. He was even better than last start." Synerco Ventures, Bill Manes and Beaver own the Hambletonian-eligible Moonshiner Hanover, a $27,000 yearling acquisition. Moonshiner Hanover Fraser Ridge's sire, Triumphant Caviar, won a Currier & Ives split in 2009 for Beaver. On Saturday, Fraser Ridge upheld the family honor by pulling the pocket down the backside for Jim Pantaleano, opening a daylight lead and coasting home in 1:55.1. Meme Hanover was second, 4 lengths in arrears, while Muay Hanover rallied for show. "I hoped he could follow cover as much as possible, but I don't think the horse on the front was very good today, and he had to get out," said Beaver, who owns the $29,000 yearling purchase with Donald Robinson, Robert Mondillo and R.B.H. Ventures. "As soon as he's out, he's fighting the driver. He wants to just go. Luckily, he cleared down the backside, and it worked out." He indicated Fraser Ridge would race primarily in Ohio until the fall, when he's eligible to several rich late-season stakes. Fraser Ridge In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Sam Hill, the amazing 11-year-old, pulled off a 27-1 upset for Chris Page, trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger, scoring in 1:50. The Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding now boasts $544,672 in career earnings. Sam Hill The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 26, 2017 -- Caviart Wonder challenged the 1-5 harness racing favorite, Fine Tuned Lady, head on and wore her down to pull off the upset in Friday's $72,000 Currier & Ives Trot at The Meadows. Treviso and Cool Cates took the other divisions in the event for 3-year-old filly trotters. Trainer Noel Daley enjoyed a C&I double with Caviart Wonder and Cool Cates. The open division of the Currier & Ives is set for June 3 at The Meadows. Fine Tuned Lady worked out reasonable opening-half fractions of 27.3/57.1, so when Caviart Wonder pursued her first over, it's likely her driver, Jim Pantaleano, was the only observer who thought the bid would succeed. "She felt very comfortable sitting in," Pantaleano said. "I was very careful going down the backstretch because she made a break there last time she was here. I didn't need to be that careful because she ended up being real handy. I spoke to her when we got in the last turn just to keep her attention, and she was strong all the way through the wire." Caviart Winder downed Fine Tuned Lady by a length in a stake-fastest 1:55, with Sheez On A Cruze third. Caviart Farms campaigns the daughter of Muscle Massive-Won An Done. Caviart Wonder A comfortable first half also was the key to victory for Treviso, who tripped the timer in a leisurely 59.1, Still, Charlie Norris, who trains and drives the daughter of Muscle Massive-Valbonela, for Klis Brothers Stable and Carrie Norris, was taking nothing for granted. "She trained well after her last race, but you're always worried," he said. "She finished in hand again. That makes it a lot easier." Treviso scored in 1:55.1, 2-1/2 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Temple Ruins, with Broadway Idole third. Treviso triumphed for the second time in as many races to start her sophomore campaign and pushed her career bankroll to $186,350. Norris indicated Treviso will be pointed to the Hambletonian Oaks, with a pair of Pennsylvania Sires Stake engagements along the way. Treviso Cool Cates unleashed a powerful first-over move that gave her the jump on the favorite, Sianna Hanover. She downed that rival by a length in 1:55.3, while My Cherry Pie rallied for show. "They said she's a little fussy going to the gate, just be careful there and let her do her thing in the post parade," said winning driver Mike Wilder. "Once we got away from the gate, she was completely professional. She was just like driving a car. Her attitude was tremendous." All Laid Out Stable owns Cool Cates, a daughter of Yankee Glide-Dance To Market. Cool Cates It was one of three wins for Wilder on the 13-race card. Friday's program also featured a pair of Preferred events. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality worked hard for the lead but was untouchable thereafter, prevailing in 1:54.4 for Brian Zendt and owner/trainer Lisa Dunn. The 7-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding now boasts $410,682 in lifetime earnings. Classicality In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Lincolnjames survived a parked-out 26.2 opening panel and scored in an impressive 1:50.4. Dave Palone piloted the 6-year-old Northwest-Winbak Lucy gelding, who stretched his career bankroll to $219,387, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Lincolnjames After a brief break for the holiday, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Fine Tuned Lady was "a model of consistency" last year. Harness racing trainer John Butenschoen is hoping for more of the same this season. Butenschoen sends Fine Tuned Lady, a multiple stakes-winner last year, to Friday's Currier & Ives for 3-year-old female trotters at The Meadows. The event attracted 21 horses, which were divided into three $24,000 divisions. Fine Tuned Lady is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the first division. Sianna Hanover is the 2-1 choice in the second division and Treviso is the 7-5 pick in the third. Last year Fine Tuned Lady won six times and finished second on five occasions in 12 starts. Her victories included the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Matron Stakes, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. She earned $438,340 for owners Bill Wiswell and M And L of Delaware. Fine Tuned Lady began this year by winning a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on May 13 at The Meadows. "You always hold your breath when they're first coming back, but she did what she was supposed to do," Butenschoen said about Fine Tuned Lady's seasonal debut. "I was real pleased and I know that (driver Corey Callahan) was happy with how she raced. She's a nice filly. We'll see how she comes back this year; we'll see if she's improved any. I'm sure there are other ones out there that have improved, or that we didn't hear of, that will pop up. We'll find out. "She had a great year (in 2016). She was just a model of consistency. She did everything you would have hoped for. If she would have earned half the money we would have been tickled to death. As it was, she got lucky in a few races where some favorites or co-favorites made breaks and she was able to take advantage and she put up a good chunk of change on her card." Fine Tuned Lady's only off-the-board finish came in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile, where she was fourth but beaten by only 1-3/4 lengths. "I don't know if she was getting tired at that time of year already, but she wasn't quite as sharp, or didn't stack up as well as those other ones on the bigger track," Butenschoen said. "She's a real good-gaited filly, a real handy filly, and I think she's going to be a lot more suited to the smaller tracks. But it'll be interesting to see what she can do against them with a fresh set of legs under her." Fine Tuned Lady is a daughter of stallion Cantab Hall out of the stakes-winning mare Poster Princess and her second dam is Dan Patch Award-winner Me Maggie. Fine Tuned Lady was purchased for $27,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale. Interestingly, her connections had their eyes on a filly that sold earlier in the auction, but were unsuccessful in acquiring her. If they had, it is unlikely they would have bid on Fine Tuned Lady. "It comes down to luck at the sales," Butenschoen said. "You do your homework and hopefully things fall into place. That's kind of the fun of the game I guess." Fine Tuned Lady is eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks in August at the Meadowlands. Other Oaks eligible horses in the Currier & Ives divisions are Sparkle Plenty, Monee Bank, Sheez On A Cruze, Caviart Wonder, Cool Cates, Sianna Hanover, Dangle Then Deke, Amuse's, Broadway Idole, Treviso, Pennys N Dimes, and Temple Ruins. In addition, Fine Tuned Lady is eligible to the Breeders Crown in late October at Hoosier Park. "We'll keep our fingers crossed," Butenschoen said. "It's a long time between now and the end of October. We'll see if we can do things right." Fine Tuned Lady is not the only highly regarded trotter trained by Butenschoen for Wiswell and M And L of Delaware. Bill's Man, a 3-year-old colt, was last year's third-fastest 2-year-old trotter, posting a mark of 1:52.3, and is eligible to the Hambletonian among other top stakes. Bill's Man is expected to compete in Monday's first round of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs. He has a win and a second in two starts this season. "They've got a nice pair there," Butenschoen said about his owners' trotters. "He's a very fast horse. He was just a big, long, leggy thing as a 2-year-old and a little physically and mentally immature. He had a nice winter in Florida and, knock on wood, so far this year is putting everything down the way he's supposed to and acting right." For Friday's complete Meadows card, click here. First race post time is 5 p.m. and the first Currier & Ives division is race four. Ken Weingartner

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