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Freehiold, NJ --- On Friday (April 2) at Freehold Raceway, Obrigado avenged last week's Preferred Handicap trot defeat with an emphatic 4 3/4 length win. It was his third harness racing victory in the Freehold Preferred handicap this season.   Driver Dan Dube sent Obrigado to the lead from post five, but immediately received a challenge on the outside from last week's Preferred Handicap winner, Smalltownthrowdown. That rival made his way to the front just before the opening quarter, but Dube elected not to retake, instead waiting patiently in the pocket.   As they rounded the far turn, Dube decided that the moment was right, and he pulled Obrigado out of the pocket and challenged Smalltownthrowdown for the lead. Without much resistance from the leader, Obrigado took off and drew away, winning as the 11-10 favorite. The final time over a fast track with a one-second variant was 1:56.1.   OBRIGADO REPLAY       All three of Obrigado's wins this year have come at Freehold Raceway. This was his first victory since January 8, when he won the Preferred Handicap by three lengths. Lifetime, he's earned more than $1.9 million, with 55 victories from 124 starts. He's owned by Paul Kelley Racing Stable, SRF Stable, and Linwood Higgins, and trained by Paul Kelley.   Smalltownthrowdown held on for second, while Allindotime got up for third. Drazzmatazz, Sumatra, and Goes Down Smooth completed the order of finish.   Live racing at Freehold continues on Saturday (April 3), with a 12-race card starting at 12:30 PM.   For full race results, click here.   From Freehold Raceway    

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing bettors were stumped by the Pick 5 at Freehold Raceway last Saturday (March 20), a sequence that included just one winning favorite.   As a result, there will be a double carryover into the card this Friday (March 26), worth $1,940.02. The sequence starts in race 5, starting at 1:50 PM.   The wager will include this week's edition of the Preferred Handicap trot, a race that includes the return of Obrigado. The Paul Kelley-trained veteran won the Preferred Handicap twice earlier in the Freehold season, and is making his first start since February 19. In his illustrious career, Obrigado has won 54 races, including numerous stakes races, while earning more than $1.9 million. He was assigned the outside post position in the field of six. Dan Dube will be in the sulky.   Obrigado is the 5/2 second choice on the morning line, behind 9/5 favorite Smalltownthrowdown, a recent two-time winner at Yonkers Raceway for trainer Mike Terpolilli. Chaptiama, for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer, finished second in the New York Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old trotters last year, and will leave from post position four. Casino Cutie It won the Preferred Handicap at Freehold two weeks ago, and was assigned post position three, for trainer Tom Fanning.   King Cast, trained by Mike Posner, and Bill MacKenzie trainee Allindotime complete the field. That race will go as the sixth race, with a scheduled post time of 2:10 PM.   Approximate post time for the first of ten races at Freehold on Friday is 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway      

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Bill MacKenzie and driver Dan Dube are no strangers to success together at Freehold Raceway. They teamed up for a win in the Saturday (January 2) feature, as No Easy Day won the Preferred Handicap pace.   Sent off as the second choice at 2.40/1, Dube took back at the start and put his charge in fourth early on. Around the half-mile, after waiting behind a quarter in 28 2/5 seconds and a half in 58 seconds, Dube elected to make his move first-over.   As they moved up the backstretch the final time, No Easy Day began breathing down the neck of early leader Drinkin Again. Just after passing that point in 1:26 2/5, Dube seized command with No Easy Day. He then fended off a challenge from Mohawk Warrior for the 1 1/4 length victory. The final time was 1:54 3/5.   No Easy Day is co-owned by Vincent Ali and Alma Iafelice.   He's won sixteen times from 74 starts, earning more than $217,000 in the process.   No Easy Day   Dube won four races in total on Saturday. He teamed up with MacKenzie in race 3 as well, scoring with Lettuceriprita A. He got the double with Shneonucrzydiamnd in the 7th race, for owner/trainer Michael Hall. No Easy Day was his third win of the afternoon; the grand slam was completed in race 12 on Izzy Estrada trainee Na Na Na Baatman.   Freehold had a strong business day on Saturday, as the 13-race card handled $701,670. The first two days of the 2021 racing season have handled more than $1.3 million.   Live racing resumes on Thursday (January 7), with a 10-race card beginning at 12:30 PM. There will be a carryover in the pick 5, worth $1,355.51.   Freehold Publicity  

CHESTER, PA -- Aided by a drop in class to the easiest field he has faced since his 2-year-old campaign, 2019 Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi ($3.60) broke a five-race losing skid with a scintillating 1:48.4 mile on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 8) at Harrah's Philadelphia. Southwind Ozzi wasted no time establishing command of the terms in the $10,000 fourth-level conditioned pace and was guided by Daniel Dube through sectionals of :27, :54.4 and 1:21.4. After dictating that fast pace while under no opposition, the 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere and Southwind Solara drew clear through the final turn and homestretch, amassing a 7-length margin of victory over Billy Badger (Dexter Dunn) and Put To Right (Andy McCarthy).     Bill MacKenzie trains Southwind Ozzi, whose 13th career win propelled his career earnings over the $900,000 plateau, for Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice. In the afternoon's featured event, a fifth-level conditioned pace worth $11,600, Bettor Memories ($4.00) used a :54.2 closing half mile to stave off a late charge from pocket rival Vapour N by a half length in 1:51.2. Dexter Dunn drove the 7-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding to the 33rd win of his career for owner Gus Dovi and trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 11); the first of 12 races is scheduled for 12:25 p.m. EST. by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Freehold, NJ --- Saturday afternoon (October 17) was a big day for harness racing driver Dan Dube, as he won both 2-year-old pacing stakes on the Freehold Raceway card.   The big one came in the $56,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund Final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. He guided the Bill MacKenzie-trained Captain Fancy to a 3 1/2 length win as the favorite. He had it rough early on, battling for the early lead with a host of rivals and getting double-parked. After the quarter, he dropped into the pocket, then made a bold first-over move to the lead after the half. From there, he drew off to a handy win.   He paced the mile in 1:56, for owners Vincent ali, Alma Iafelice, and Theodore Gewertz. In his career, Captain Fancy has now earned more than $70,000, with three wins from seven races.       Dube then won the second leg of the NJSS-SDF for 2-year-old filly pacers, with In High Cotton. He retook the lead with his filly after the quarter, and never gave up the lead thereafter, winning by 2 1/2 lengths. In High Cotton paced the mile in 1:56.4, for owners Kelly Hoerdt and Blair and Erna Corbeil, and trainer Ron Coyne.   Dube also won the eighth race on Drinkin Again, for owner/trainer Phil Jasper.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday, starting at 12:30 PM. There will be a double pick 5 carryover, starting in race 5, worth $2,025.   From Freehold Raceway    

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway drew a field of eight for their weekly harness racing renewal of the Preferred Handicap pace this Saturday (February 23).   An Australian invader, Major Pocket A, was assigned the outside post position for trainer Chris Scicluna and driver Dan Dube. He qualified for the first time stateside on February 8, finishing second by a neck to the excellent pacing mare Imprincessgemma A in 1:55.4. Last year in Australia, he finished in the top two fifteen times in 22 starts, while earning almost $62,000.   Ozone Blue Chip will seek a breakthrough in the Preferred after numerous tries at the level, leaving from post position seven for Pat Berry and Ron Coyne. Last week, he finished second at 30/1 behind Lyons Steel. He hasn't won yet this year, but has finished second three times, while earning over $9,500.   The rest of the field consists of, from the inside out: Texican, Newbie, Rancousy, Bronskimackenzie, Art Scene, and Winning Linc. The race is scheduled as the eighth on the twelve-race program, with a listed post time of 3:10 PM EST.   The first race on the Saturday card at Freehold will be at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 17, 2020--Itty Bitty (Dan Dube., $8.10) was the best after two moves Friday night (Jan 17th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Away third from assigned post position No. 5, Itty Bitty watched as 3-5 favorite Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan) leapfrogged her quintet of inside rivals. After early intervals of :27 and :57, Itty Bitty was out and moving toward a 1:25.2 three-quarters. She then engaged the leader in and out of the final turn, with the people's preference empty through the lane. Itty Bitty was able to close the sale, the final margin over two-hole Cay's Blessing (Jason Bartlett) a neck in 1:54.2. Made of Jewels AS (Eric Goodell), Renaissance Lady K (Jordan Stratton) and Feelin' Red Hot settling for the minors. Tipp City (Brent Holland) was outrun.   For second choice Itty Bitty, a now-6-year-old daughter of Always a Virgin co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and John Schmucker, it was a successful seasonal debut for a 24th career victory. The exacta paid $51, with the triple returning $181 by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Trois-Rivieres, QC - After a record-breaking Prix d'Ete weekend at the Hippodrome 3R, live harness racing resumes Friday evening with the final preliminary round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotters. Last Sunday, race fans at H3R were witness to the all-age track record being rewritten by This Is The Plan and driver Daniel Dube in the $200,000C Prix d'Ete for four-year-old pacers. Stopping the teletimer in 1:49.1, This Is The Plan shattered the prior track record of 1:50.3 that was co-held by Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015). The time was also the fastest clocking ever on a half mile track in Canada and was just one tick off of the world record. Also, last Sunday, the track record for three-year-old pacers was tied by Ashleysbest and driver Pascal Berube in 1:52.4, equaling the mark first set by Duc D'Orleans in 2013. Friday's card features three division of the Future Stars Series as the young trotter vie for important points to make the $55,000C final on Sunday, September 8. The third race first division for colts features a great match-up between Babidibou (post 4) and Major Bay (post 1). Last week Babidibou crushed the field with a wire-wire 2:02.4 triumph by 12 and one-quarter lengths. It was the first ever win for the son of Royalty For Life, who will be driven again by Stephane Gendron. Major Bay was also a winner last week, also wiring the field in 2:04.1 by one length for driver Jocelyn Gendron. This son of Amigo Hall has won three of his four lifetime starts. The second colt division is the fifth race where Kenogami Coco (post 1) is the overwhelming 4/5 race favorite. Stephane Brosseau will drive the gelded son of Wheeling N Dealin, who was second last week to Major Bay. The fillies do battle in the seventh race with nine starters going for $10,000C. The big favorite is Emotions Durables from post one for driver Tyler Jones. Also sired by Wheeling N Dealin, Emotions Durables is on a three-race winning streak, scoring in identical time of 2:04.2 the last two starts. First race post time on Friday is 7:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Driver Daniel Dube and harness racing assistant trainer Mickey Burke had but one plan going into the $200,000 Prix d'Ete Grand Circuit Stake at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday, go to the front no matter what. And that is exactly what Dube did and This Is The Plan was up to the task as the four-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere wired the field and rewrote the all-age track record with an amazing 1:49.1 triumph. This Is The Plan's only challenge came from rival Jimmy Freight (Louis Philippe Roy), who after a :26.2 first quarter, came first-over and challenged This Is The Plan to the half in :54.4 with The Downtown Bus (Doug McNair) second over and Done Well (Bob McClure) sitting the pocket trip. The tempo quickened going down the backstretch and past the three-quarters in 1:21.2, but This Is The Plan was in full control for Dube. McNair came three-wide on the final turn with The Downtown Bus too little too late as This Is The Plan was the strong horse down the stretch, winning by three lengths. The Downtown Bus was second with Jimmy Freight third. The time of the race, 1:49.1, is the fastest half mile track time ever registered in Canada and was just one-fifth of a second from the World Record (Cam's Valentino, Northfield Park 2018 in 1:49). The previous Canadian record of 1:49.2 was held by This Is The Plan's sire, Somebeachsomewhere in 2008, who set the record 11 years, one day from today. The previous all-age track record at H3R was co-held by Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015) at 1:50.3, both taking place in the Prix d'Ete. Trois-Rivieres native, Daniel Dube, was very pleased with the race. "I am so happy to have won today," Dube said. "And to have all my family and friends here makes it extra special. That was a big mile today, 1:49.1 for my horse. He was so good. My plan was to get to the lead right away and he responded so well." Trained by Ron Burke, it was the third Prix d'Ete that his stable has won (All Bets Off 2015) and (Rockin Ron 2016). This Is The Plan is co-owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, J and T Silva, Purnel & Libb and Larry Karr. It was his second win this year and he paid $4.60 to win as the betting favorite. "We have been very fortunate over the years that the miles have gone our way in the Prix d'Ete," said Mickey Burke. It was our plan all along to go to the front and see what happens and it worked out for us. I thought we looked really good at the start, getting one-two on the rail. "Today's mile really shocked me," Burke said. "I looked at the program last night and saw 1:50.3 and thought that record may stick around for a while. I was pretty wrong. I can't say enough how great this horse is." Driver Louis Philippe Roy was red-hot in the sulky Sunday as he won five of the first six races on the program. There were also seven lifetime marks taken on the 12-race card. The Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacers was also on the program and the colts battled in the 9th race for a purse of $10,000 and it sorta was over after the start. Driver Pascal Berube and race favorite Ashleysbest shot out to the early lead and they never looked back, holding the field at bay as they cut fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.3 as Ashelysbest and Berube scored by four and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.4, tying the track record for three-year-olds. Angers Bayama (Sylvain Filion) was second with GA Speed Gaby (Bob McClure) third. It was a lifetime mark for the son of Shanghai Phil, tying the record of Duc D'Orleans set in 2013. Ashleysbest is trained by Sylvain Cote and owned and bred by Marc Hebert of Masham. He paid $5.00 to win in scoring his seventh win in eleven lifetime starts. The first of two $7,500 division of the Breeders Cup Series Friday for three-year-old pacing fillies saw the closest finish of the afternoon as 20-1 long shot Olis Spirit and driver Louis Philippe Roy closed well from the back of the back to nip HP Xandau (Stephane Brosseau) by a long nose in 1:58.3. Akita Bayama (Justin Filion) was also in the photo, third by only a head. It was the maiden victory thus a lifetime mark for Olis Spirit, a daughter of Power Park, trained and owned by Lois Russell of Crabtree. She paid $42.80 to win. Then in the second filly division, the seventh race, it was a real dogfight early on between Espirit Dequipe (Tyler Jones) on the inside and Better Now (LPR) parked on the outside and they fought that way to the quarter in :27.3 and the half in :56. Then in the backstretch, Daniel Dube making a bold three-wide move with Moneymakehersmile and cleared to the lead by the three-quarters in 1:25.1. Meanwhile, Sylvain Filion with Audi Bayama was closing in on the leader and was four-wide at the three-quarters, cleared to be first-over by the top of the stretch, and collared Moneymakehersmile in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.2. D Gs Airystars (Jonathan Lachance) made a break at the start and rebounded to finish third. It was a lifetime mark for Audi Bayama and the second win in just three starts this season for the filly by Sportswriter. Her time was just one-fifth of a second from the track record of 1:55.1. She is trained by Yves Filion and owned by Bayama Farms, Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil. Audi Bayama paid $6.90 to win. Track Notes: Live racing will resume at the Hippodrome 3R on Friday with first race post time at 7:00 pm. For more information go to www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Wins have been hard to come by, but that hasn't diminished This Is The Plan's performances in the eyes of his owners. After all, if not for history's co-fastest horse Lather Up and defending Horse of the Year McWicked, the 4-year-old gelding would have plenty more to show for his efforts. This Is The Plan has won one of 12 races this year, with his triumph coming in the Ben Franklin Pace on June 29. Since then, he has been runner-up to Lather Up three times (Graduate championship, William R. Haughton Memorial, Sam McKee Memorial) and McWicked once (Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial). Overall, This Is The Plan has six second-place finishes in his past seven starts. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding will try to get back to the winner's circle Sunday (Aug. 18) in the C$200,000 Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers at Hippodrome 3R in Quebec. There is no Lather Up, but plenty of competition, including O'Brien Award winner Jimmy Freight and Confederation Cup champ Done Well. This Is The Plan will start from post four with driver Dan Dube at the lines for trainer Ron Burke. He is 5-2 on the morning line, part of the favored entry with stablemate Done Well. "We can't complain, he's been super," said Mark Weaver, who is a member of This Is The Plan's ownership group. "Ronnie has thought all along he would be a good fit for us just because he is so handy. He's been able to leave (the starting gate) and put himself in a good position. Unfortunately, when Lather Up comes moving to the front there's not much you can do except try to hold on for second. That's what he's been able to do, which is fine." This Is The Plan has won eight of 45 career races and earned $1.19 million. He was purchased by the Burke Brigade last September and paid immediate dividends with wins in the Matron Stakes (in a dead heat) and Progress Pace. He also finished third in the Breeders Crown. This season, he is No. 2 in purses among older male pacers, with $551,618. Only Lather Up is richer, with $677,448. "Nowadays, especially for the 4-year-olds, so much money is on the smaller tracks," said Weaver, who shares ownership of This Is The Plan with Mike Bruscemi (as Weaver Bruscemi LLC), Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. "We try to acquire horses that we think can get around the turns. He can leave and get around smaller tracks so well. That was one of the reasons we were interested in him last year." Done Well joined the Burke stable at the same time as This Is The Plan. He began this season well, with a second in a preliminary round of the Graduate Series and wins in his Confederation Cup elimination and the final. He was found to be sick following a fourth-place finish in the Camluck Classic and has been off the board in his past six starts. During that stretch, he has started from post eight twice, post nine twice and post 11 once. For his career, Done Well has won nine of 32 races and $533,245. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Wingfield Brothers. Done Well will start the Prix d'Ete from post three with driver Bob McClure. "To start the year, Done Well was super and This Is The Plan was drawing bad and having bad racing luck," Weaver said. "Now the last month and a half, it's kind of flip-flopped. (Done Well) has been racing against the best and has gone through a couple little ups and downs. But he's certainly a factor. "We like our horses, we like our posts, we like our drivers, so we'll take our chances from there." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Hippodrome 3R. The Prix d'Ete is race 11 on the card. Following is the field. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-M/L 1-Hitman Hill-Eric Goodell-Hunter Oakes-7/2 2-Pretty Handsome-Trevor Henry-Andrew McCabe-6/1 3-Done Well-Bob McClure-Ron Burke-5/2 4-This Is The Plan-Dan Dube-Ron Burke-5/2 5-The Downtown Bus-Doug McNair-Jeff Gillis-4/1 6-Jimmy Freight-Louis Roy-Richard Moreau-3/1 7-Turbo Hill-Hunter Oakes-Hunter Oakes-7/2 8-Casimir Richie P-Sylvain Filion-Dr. Ian Moore-5/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Chester, PA — Fresh off back-to-back harness racing wins, Decoy ($4.20) proved much the best in Sunday afternoon's (June 9) $18,000 featured top-level pace at Harrah's Philadelphia, sprinting off late in a dominant pillar-to-post 1:49.4 win. Daniel Dubé put the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere entire in play from the outset, and the pair seated Machiavelli (George Napolitano Jr.) in the pocket through a :26.4 first quarter before enjoying a :28.1 second-quarter breather. Up the backstretch, Decoy began to leave his seven rivals in his wake, extending his lead gradually to 2-1/2 lengths through three-quarters in 1:22 while facing nary a challenger. Decoy continued to draw away in the homestretch, posting a six-length win while hand-driven to the line. Machiavelli was a no-match second, and the stalking Sweet Beach (Pat Berry) narrowly took third over Billy Badger N (Corey Callahan), whose mild first-over bid into third ended at the top of the stretch. Gary Candell trains 10-time winner Decoy for Brixton Medical Inc., R A W Equine Inc., and Joe Sbrocco. George Napolitano Jr. led all drivers with five wins on the 14-race program, among them a 1:49.4 mile with stakes winner Lyons Johnnyjnr ($7.40) in a $14,000 conditioned pace. Gareth Dowse trains the 3-year-old Well Said colt for Geoffrey Lyons Mound. Live racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (June 12), with a 14-race card slated to begin at 12:25 p.m. Eastern. The fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5 boasts a carryover of $3,724.29. by James Witherite Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

GUELPH, ON -- TheStable.ca, harness racing's fastest-growing fractional ownership operation, will welcome special guest Daniel Dube to its Open House on May 12. Dube will join a collection of top drivers showcasing TheStable.ca's two-year-old hopefuls. The Quebec native celebrated his 9,000th win on March 17 at Yonkers Raceway. Having driven horses to more than $121,000,000 (CDN), Dube is one of the top 20 all-time money winning drivers in harness racing. Among the many standout horses he has steered are Horse Of The Year winners Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). "I've known Anthony for a long time, said Dube. "When he approached me about attending their Open House, I was intrigued. Driving in the stakes program in New York I was impressed with what I saw from TheStable.ca's videos of their New York eligible horses," he said. "Another good friend of mine, Scott Di Domenico, owns a piece of one of them and will be training all four this summer, so I am looking forward to going with the babies. Its going to be a lots of fun," said Dube. Clients of TheStable.ca and newcomers of all ages are welcome to attend the event at Tomiko Training Centre (210 Campbellville Rd., Hamilton) and drop-in any time from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event is free but an RSVP is requested. During the Open House, guests are invited to meet the horses of TheStable.ca and chat with owners Anthony and Amy MacDonald, their staff, clients, and industry professionals. The event will showcase many of the engaging features of TheStable.ca, including its bi-weekly live streaming video broadcasts of TheStable.ca horses in training. The Open House broadcast kicks off at 10:00 a.m., when the horses will train on the racetrack. Dube and fellow drivers will steer the young colts and fillies, while TV commentators preview the horses' pedigrees. The broadcast will include live interviews and video features and be streamed at TheStable.ca starting at 10:00 a.m. EST A catalogue will be available on The Stable.ca on May 10, detailing all horses for which fractions are available for purchase. The catalogue will include a schedule of when each horse will be showcased on the broadcast during the Open House. Several prizes will be awarded throughout the event, including one-percent fractions of the horses. Onsite purchasing will be available for horses and merchandise. Payment can be made with credit card, PayPal, cash, cheque and e-transfer. The facility offers a heated viewing area with limited seating. Hot and cold drinks will be sold as a fundraising effort by Racing Under Saddle Ontario. Lunch is available to purchase from the Gastro Grub Food Truck. Now in its fourth year, TheStable.ca is an award-winning fractional racehorse ownership operation based in Guelph, ON. There are currently 130 Standardbred horses owned by nearly 700 people from 11 countries worldwide. The innovative and engaging model invites people to own a little and love it a lot. Clients can purchase as little as one percent of a horse, making the thrill of harness racing and racehorse ownership easy, accessible and affordable. The MacDonalds built this fractional ownership stable as a bridge -- a way to welcome non-horse-people to racehorse ownership with a very modest investment (as low as $100), low-risk, and completely accessible and transparent operations. Complete Open House event details and the RSVP form are available here. For more information, contact Kelly at kelly@thestable.ca or (519) 465-7908.   Kelly Spencer

Harness racing driver Daniel Dube is hoping for business as usual when Western Fame competes in Saturday's (April 20) $662,800 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship at Yonkers Raceway, where the 6-year-old stallion has won four of five starts in the event and led nearly every step of the way. He knows it might not be that easy. "I'd like to think I'm going to go around the track like I usually do but for big money somebody is going to take a shot," Dube said. Dube and Western Fame will start the Levy championship from post five. Western Fame has seven wins and two second-places finishes in his past 11 races at Yonkers. He finished seventh in last year's Levy final. For his career, Western Fame has won 20 of 73 starts and earned $1.15 million. He was trained by Jimmy Takter before heading to the stable of Rene Allard at the end of last year. Dube and Allard have teamed to win three of the past four Levy championships. "(Post) five is really good, it's a perfect spot for my horse. I'm happy with that," Dube said, adding about Western Fame's work in the series, "He's been doing it nice and easy. "He's got a lot of good qualities; he's quick off the gate and he's quick turning for home. He's just a nice horse. He's strong. I hope he keeps going that way. If he doesn't get sick or something he should be good." Western Fame finished the Levy's five preliminary rounds with a series-best 350 points. Ideal Jimmy was second with 325 points thanks to three wins and two seconds. But the 6-year-old gelding did not fare well in the draw and will start Saturday from post eight, which has produced only 14 winners in 508 tries (2.8 percent). Last week, Ideal Jimmy and driver Brent Holland started from post six in their preliminary division and led from start to finish. "He's razor sharp, but from (post) eight you've got to have a lot of luck," said Ideal Jimmy's trainer, Erv Miller. "It's pretty hard to get out of there on the lead from the eight hole, but you never know. We'll see what happens. "He's a very handy horse, which he showed the last start. He can do what he needs to do. He's been real good racing from behind too. We'll just have to see how it works out. He's really come into his own. He's really good now. He's real sharp for the final, but the eight hole makes it tough." Of the eight Levy finalists, all but two competed in all five of the prelims. JJ Flynn skipped last week's round and Rodeo Rock sat out April 6. Rodeo Rock, who starts Saturday from post six, returned last week with a second-place finish behind Western Fame. "I would have liked to draw a little bit closer (inside) but it's not a horrible position," said Andy McCarthy, who drives Rodeo Rock. "Hopefully things get mixed up pretty good the first half. I think that's a possibility. I don't know what (Holland) will do with Ideal Jimmy. He leaves the gate so fast, he might take a chance. "It could be a bit of a rush into that first turn. A lot of horses can leave fast and I think they're all going to try to push for a good position there early. I just hope they don't line up. I've got to hope they mix it up pretty good the first three-eighths of a mile and see what happens after that." Rodeo Rock won his first two rounds in the series before a third-place finish on March 30. "He was very good the first two weeks," McCarthy said. "I probably drove him bad that third week. I should have pushed off harder and tried to trip him out a little more, but I came first over. He got just a little tired at the end of the mile. "I thought he raced terrific last week. I had to come first up out of the third turn into a very fast back half and he didn't lose ground. He kept pacing." Racing at Yonkers begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT). The Levy championship is race 11 on the card. The card also includes the $401,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker championship for older female pacers (race nine). For complete Saturday night entries, click here. Following is the field for the $662,800 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing championship. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Anythingforlove A        Joe Bongiorno - Jennifer Bongiorno 2-More The Better N       Scott Zeron - Ross Croghan 3-JJ Flynn                       Tim Tetrick - Josh Green 4-The Downtown Bus -   Tim Tetrick - Jeff Gillis 5-Western Fame             Dan Dube - Rene Allard 6-Rodeo Rock                 Andrew McCarthy-Robert Cleary 7-The Wall                      Andy Miller - Nick Surick 8-Ideal Jimmy                 Brent Holland - Erv Miller Ken Weingartner

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 16, 2019 -- Say this much for harness racing driver Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's (March 16th) opener of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. His open-length romp with favored Western Ace ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season. From post position No. 4 in the first of a half-dozen, $50,000 divisions, Western Ace gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5¾ lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere in L A avoid the happenstance to end us second, with Mach it So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967. Western Fame The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million. :"He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile," Dube said. "I thought he'd race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn't worried about it. "I'm obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I'd have the success I've had." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, March 14, 2019 - Slowly but surely, harness racing Dan Dube is inching toward his latest milestone. Favored An the Thunderolls ($5.30) was a Yonkers Raceway off-the-pace winner in Thursday night's (March 14th) $10,000, thrd-race pace (1:56.3), giving Dube an 8,998th career driving victory. The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, has career purses in excess of $119 million...not to mention a congratulatory sign waiting for him. For the third consecutive night, the Raceway parachuted past the million-dollar handle plateau, as the dozen races attracted a total of $1,172,527. It was the fifth seven-figure program of the season. A reminder that this Friday and Saturday evenings (March 15th and 16th) begin the Blue Chip Matchmaker (five divisions) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (six divisions), respectively. The lasses go for $40,000 per race, while the lads chase $50,000 each. The finalized program pages for those races accompany this release. Frank Drucker

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - She's done all she can do. Now, she hopes the Horse of the Year voters are in her corner. Shartin N became the first older pacing female to earn $1 million in a single season by taking the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace in 1:50.3 in a dominant performance over a sloppy track at the Meadowlands Saturday night on the biggest night of racing on the fall calendar, as four TVG Finals as well as the Fall Final Four for 2-year-olds were contested. The 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin was used hard into the first turn by driver Tim Tetrick, putting 2-1 second choice Caviart Ally in the pocket. Shartin N was permitted to rate the second fraction in :29.2 as Blue Moon Stride made progress racing first-over, getting within a neck of the eventual winner nearing three-quarters, which was timed in 1:23.2. The 4-5 favorite then turned it on, sprinting clear of Caviart Ally as Blue Moon Stride faded. At the wire, Shartin N was 1¾ lengths clear of a fast-closing Apple Bottom Jeans, who was 55-1 on the tote board. Pure Country was third. "She's been great. It's been a great trip with her," said Richard Poillucci, who owns the horse with Jo Ann Looney-King, wife of trainer Jim King Jr. "It was a little tough in the beginning with (her going off stride) when we got her here but she's just been an incredible mare." "McWicked has been a tremendous horse," said Poillucci when the subject of Horse of the Year was brought up. "I'm just happy that she's done what she's done." Shartin N, who won the Breeders Crown four weeks ago, paid $3.60 as the 4-5 public choice and has won 19-of-24 starts this year, good for earnings of $1,053,236. Earlier in the evening, in the $175,000 TVG Mares Trot, Breeders Crown champion Emoticon Hanover sealed up divisional honors by holding off the late-charging Hannelore Hanover by a neck in 1:52.4. Celebrity Ruth was third. Driver Daniel Dube hustled Emoticon Hanover to the lead in the abbreviated five-horse field with Hannelore Hanover racing right behind. Over a track rated 'good' as heavy rains fell, the moderate fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:25.4 set the stage for a sprint to the wire. "Everything went well with those fractions," said Dube in the winner's circle. "But I was not sure I had it won because (Hannelore Hanover) is a great horse, but my horse was good to the wire." Emoticon Hanover trotted her final quarter in :27, and it was just enough, as Hannelore Hanover - who started the year six-for-six but is now six-for-13 - was in tight quarters in mid stretch. Nearing the wire, Ice Attraction started to flatten a bit after grinding toward the leader during the final half-mile, allowing Hannelore enough room for one final surge. But she would come up just short. Trained by Luc Blais, Emoticon Hanover, a 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Emmylou Who, returned $4.00 as the even-money favorite. She has now won 22-of-53 lifetime starts and earned $1,454,576 for owners Determination of Montreal. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations    

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