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London, May 29, 2014 -- A familiar face, and former leading driver at The Raceway at Western Fair District, is coming back to London for the Molson Pace. Mark MacDonald has been one of North America's top pilots for many years, but this is one race he has yet to win. "I've been in The Pace with some very nice horses," he said. "Tigerama set the track record there (1:50.4 in 2008) in his elimination, but he drew the outside post in the Final and things didn't work out." "I finished second with Dr No to Our Lucky Killean (2006) and I've been there with Sand Olls Dexter (2004) and others... Having lived in London and driven there lots - it's just one of those marquee events that a guy like me would love to win." There's a 'tank' of a horse from south of the border that goes by the name of Bandolito, co-owned, trained and driven, for the most part, by Daryl Bier. He's a son of Ponder and MacDonald has yet to sit behind this 'tank', but he's very familiar with the Ponder family. "I know them well," he stated. "I've driven Ponder and I've driven his stakes champ son's Thinking Out Loud and Bolt The Duer - they're both world class and I think Bandolito is ready for his coming out party too. He hasn't beaten the big boys yet, but The Pace would be a nice spot to start." Bandolito is a lightly raced 4-year-old with just 19 career starts, but he has 13 wins, a mark of 1:48 F and he's banked over $250,000. Charles Dombeck, Dave Bier and brother Daryl all share in ownership and they've recruited MacDonald to pilot this speed demon is this year's edition of the $150,000 Molson Pace taking place Friday, May 30. "I was at Yonkers watching a race from Dover Downs, in April, and I was like 'Who is this pacing out of his harness?'" Turns out it was Bandolito, with Daryl Bier in the bike, cruising to a gate-to-wire 1:48.2 win - his 3rd quarter in 26.2 and final quarter in 25.4 - that's a final half in 52.1 after cutting it! So it is evident that Bandolito has tremendous speed over the five-eighths ovals, but how will he respond to his first test over the half-miler? "He's a very slick pacer and he doesn't wear a boot," said MacDonald. "His speed is just crazy... The half mile track should be just fine for this guy." Some say Bandolito rolls along on the lead like the late Riyadh. A front-end, half-mile track specialist who took on the best there was back in the early to mid 90's. "We'll see how he draws and go from there," added MacDonald. "I know he'll be a serious contender... I know he's ready for the big boys in London... They'll need their 'A+ Game' to beat him!" A confident Mark MacDonald will join London track announcer Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle on Friday's Molson Pace pre-game show to discuss his return to the London oval and offer more insights into this year's Molson 'Dark Horse'. First post on Friday night is 7:05 p.m. and fans will receive a commemorative Foiled Again post card with program purchase. There will also be contests, giveaways, the Molson 'Party on the Patio' and much more happening throughout the night. Full-card coverage will be available on HPItv. On the Wagering side, the early Super Hi-5 will offer an 'Instant Guarantee' of $15,000 while the late Super Hi-5 (Molson Pace) has a $10,000 guaranteed pool. Both Pick-4 wagers offer guaranteed pools - the early at $7,500 and late at $10,000. For more information, including free programs and live streaming video, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. by Greg Blanchard, for The Raceway                                  

Harness racing fans could witness the first sub-1:50 trotting race on a mile track Saturday at the Meadowlands, but if not then, it is probably just a matter of time. Saturday's $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for older trotters features a speedy group of 10 horses, including newly minted world champion Sebastian K. The former Swedish star won his Cutler elimination last week, which was his North American debut, in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1. But the field also includes two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, who captured his Cutler elimination in 1:50.3, and Arch Madness, who holds the world record of 1:50.2 for an older gelding trotter on a mile oval. All totaled, the Cutler Memorial features six trotters to win in 1:51 or less at some point in their careers. Sevruga has a lifetime-best mark of 1:50.3, which he accomplished on a five-eighths-mile track while setting a world record. Intimidate and Modern Family each has a career-best time of 1:51. "It's going to be a good race," said Tim Tetrick, who drives Market Share for trainer Linda Toscano. "If it sets up right, someone could set the world record. There's got to be some speed up front; I don't think one horse can do it by himself. It will be a chess match in the middle of the race, but people will be putting horses in play. "These horses are fresh and happy and sprinting home good. There are five or six that can trot a quarter in 26 (seconds) on the end of it. Who knows how fast we can go." Elimination winners Sebastian K, who was Sweden's Horse of the Year in 2012, and Market Share have attracted much of the pre-race attention and were essentially made co-favorites for the Cutler. Market Share is 8-5 on the morning line; Sebastian K is 9-5. But any number of horses is capable of winning the Cutler. Sevruga won last year's race and Arch Madness, a 10-year-old who has earned $4.15 million in his career, captured the 2010 edition. Intimidate has a Breeders Crown triumph to his credit, Archangel won the 2012 Yonkers Trot, and Modern Family won last year's Meadowlands Maturity. "Everybody makes it seem like it's a two-horse race, but I think it's far from a two-horse race," said Yannick Gingras, who drives Archangel for trainer Ron Burke. "You have a lot of depth in this field. Sebastian K is definitely very fast, but the trip did set up for him (in his elimination). We Will See what he can do this week. "They have to go fast, but (Sebastian K and Market Share) might hook up, too. There are 10 horses in the race and I think they can do 1:51 or better. A lot of these horses are super sharp and my horse is only going to keep improving. We need a little luck at this point, but I don't think it's impossible." The top five finishers in Sebastian K's Cutler elim all trotted 1:51 or less, marking the second time in history that five trotters went that fast in the same race. The other occurrence came in Arch Madness' 1:50.2 win at Lexington's Red Mile in September. "If the fractions are right (they could go faster than 1:50)," said Bernie Noren, the assistant to Sebastian K's trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "Of course it's a harder competition; you've got 10 good horses. It's all about the fractions; somebody has to put up the fractions to the half. "With this group (of older trotters) I'm a hundred percent sure we're going to see not one, but maybe a couple, under (1):50 this year." John Campbell, who drives Possessed Fashion for trainer Tom Fanning, was not surprised by the 8-year-old Sebastian K's performance in his debut. "I knew going in to the race that he was an excellent horse," said Campbell, who won the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden with Mack Lobell in 1988. "When you have a horse that races at that top level over in Europe like he has for the last couple years, they're excellent horses. I wasn't that surprised that he won or was that impressive because I have so much respect for what those top free-for-allers do over in Europe and how grueling it is over there. "(Sebastian K) is definitely the horse to beat, but he's going to have to be at his best or somebody will beat him. At this level, if you're not at your very best, you're not going to win. "I think we're going to see someone trot under 1:50 in the very near future, whether it's Saturday or shortly after that. I think it will happen this year, and I think there's a good chance it will happen more than once." Following is the field in post order for the Cutler Memorial with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 9-5; 2. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 8-5; 3. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 8-1; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 15-1; 5. Intimidate, Vincent Ginsburg, Luc Blais, 10-1; 6. Undercover Strike, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson, 30-1; 7. Arch Madness, George Brennan, Trond Smedshammer, 8-1; 8. Possessed Fashion, John Campbell, Tom Fanning, 50-1; 9. Modern Family, David Miller, Daryl Bier, 6-1; 10. DW's NY Yank, Mike Lachance, Ron Burke, 30-1. by Ken Weingardner, for Harness Racing Communications

Sebastian K will return to the races a little quicker than usual, but doing things quickly might be the trotter's style. A week after winning his North American debut in 1:50.1 to equal history's fastest trotting race on a one-mile track, Sebastian K will start from post No. 1 in Saturday's $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. "Sebastian K never raced back-to-back weeks, he always had like two weeks between the races, so that's the only question mark," said Bjorn "Bernie" Noren, assistant to Sebastian K's trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, about the Swedish-born star's previous schedule in Europe. "But when we trained him (Wednesday) he was very smooth and Ake is very happy with how he came out of the race. He'll get two days off in the paddock and we'll race him Saturday." Sebastian K, an 8-year-old sent off at 5-1 odds, won his Cutler elim by 1-1/4 lengths over Modern Family, who set the early fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.1. Sebastian K trotted his final quarter-mile in :27 to lead Modern Family, Intimidate, Archangel, and DW's NY Yank to the wire and advance to the Cutler final. Market Share, who was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter, won the other Cutler elim in 1:50.3. Market Share, who also was making his seasonal debut, trotted his final quarter-mile in :26.4 to overcome runner-up Arch Madness by one length. Undercover Strike, Sevruga, and Possessed Fashion also reached the final. "We knew our horse was ready to race," Noren said. "Ake had him qualify very good and he knew he was going to do a good race, but he was surprised by the time too. He didn't expect him to go that fast right off the bat. He won and he won with some power left in the lines. He was not all out in that mile. "Of course (the final is) a harder competition; you've got 10 good horses. You've got Market Share and he's a tough horse, a game horse. You've got Arch Madness and I think he did a tremendous race too. It will be a good race." Sebastian K, by the stallion Korean out of the mare Gabriella K, has won 27 of 64 career races and $2.31 million for owner Knutsson Trotting. He raced last weekend without shoes, which is more common in Europe, as he equaled a world record already shared by Donato Hanover, Muscle Hill, Giant Diablo, Lucky Jim and Chapter Seven. "He always raced without shoes in Sweden," Noren said. "He's a different horse without shoes. Of course, you have to look at the racetrack; the racetrack cannot be hard. You cannot race on a hard racetrack without shoes. Ake warmed the horse up and felt the track was very good, the track crew did a very good job to get a nice cushion, so he decided to race him without shoes. "If the track is OK, every time he races he's going to race barefoot." Sebastian K will get time off following the Cutler as he will not compete in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 25 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "The schedule we have planned out, we plan to race him at the Meadowlands," Noren said. "We like to support (New Meadowlands Racing Chairman) Jeff Gural and all they do for the harness racing and the racetrack at the Meadowlands is probably the best too with the kind of speed they have up there." Following is the field in post order for the Cutler Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 2. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 3. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 5. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais; 6. Undercover Strike, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson; 7. Arch Madness, George Brennan, Trond Smedshammer; 8. Possessed Fashion, John Campbell, Tom Fanning; 9. Modern Family, David Miller, Daryl Bier; 10. DW's NY Yank, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

It was not a big surprise that Dancin Yankee won the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational Pace at Pocono Downs on Saturday, it was the way he did it. The six-year-old stallion by Yankee Cruiser overpowered a field featuring many of the best older pacers in the sport and blew they away for driver Brett Miller. The Van Rose started out with Abelard Hanover and driver Jonathan Roberts outgunning Golden Receiver (George Napolitano, Jr.) to the early lead with Golden Receiver making the quarter move to take command at the opening quarter mile in :26.2. Then at the half mile marker in :54, Miller moved Dancin Yankee first-over and they began to grind it out and take the lead away from Golden Receiver before the three-quarters in 1:26.2. Dynamic Youth (Andrew McCarthy) was then first-over but not gaining ground and that was too slow for Ron Piece as he sent Dovuto Hanover three-wide going into the final turn and following their outside cover was Bandolito and driver Daryl Bier. But it was too little too late as Brett Miller had Dancin Yankee in high gear and they held the field at bay down the stretch, winning by three and one-half lengths in 1:49. Bandolito closed well to be second with a late charge by Sweet Lou (Matt Kakaley) to be third. Trained by Josh Green and owned by Baron Racing Stable, Horsham, PA and Richard Lombardo of Solon, Ohio, it was a lifetime mark for Dancin Yankee and his 7th win in 13 starts this year. Sent off at odds of 3-1, he paid $8.40 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Based on overall career accomplishment, on quantity of sheer speed and quality of competitive racing, the toughest field of horses gathered anywhere this weekend will be at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs this Saturday night, contesting the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial, named after the late colorful/controversial local racing writer. Here's the stellar cast of nine in post position order: GOLDEN RECEIVER (post one, river George Napolitano Jr., 3-1) - The defending Rose champion after a 1:50 score last year, the 9YO has the highest career bankroll ($2.14M) and will be gunning for his 61st career victory, likely using early speed that no other harness horse can show consistently. DANCIN YANKEE (post two, Brett Miller, 4-1) - Has already banked over $155,000 this year, showing consistently strong form at Yonkers Raceway. Has the "slowest" lifetime mark of 1:49.4, one of four entrants to earn his speed badge at Pocono (the average career record the field is 1:48.1!). DOVUTO HANOVER (post three, Ron Pierce, 5-2 favorite) - Hinted at greatness at two (national season's champion for 2PGs on both mile and 5/8-mile tracks), he fizzled at three, but has sizzled this year. Won at Pocono three starts back. In each of his last two races, he shows a personal final quarter of 25.2! DYNAMIC YOUTH (post four, Andrew McCarthy, 15-1) - Equaled the 4PG world mark of 1:48.1f here last year, a time he exceeded only by a tick in winning two starts back. Second to Bandolito here last Saturday after showing great resiliency. ABELARD HANOVER (post five, Jonathan Roberts, 6-1) - Equaled the OPG world mark of 1:48f here last year in a driving rainstorm. Won his last two starts in a photo racing at Pocono, but the big question mark is being scratched-sick last week. BANDOLITO (post six, Daryl Bier, 12-1) - The shortest horse in Stature and experience (only 17 lifetime starts), but not the shortest in speed. Equaled Dover's all-time record with a 1:48f win, then the next week he triumphed at DD in 1:48.2-52.1-25.4. Overcame a hard trip to win here last Saturday. EMERITUS MAXIMUS (post seven, Jim Morrill Jr., 20-1) - A recent winner of three straight at Dover, he finished second to Dovuto Hanover in the feature at The Meadowlands this past week, personally posting a 25.4 final quarter clocking. SWEET LOU (post eight, Matt Kakaley, 10-1) - The fastest-ever 2YO after winning that year's Breeders Crown event in 1:49, he's just a shade below Golden Receiver in lifetime earnings with a bankroll of $2.13M. Trainer Ron Burke and driver Kakaley currently lead the Pocono standings. WARRAWEE NEEDY (post nine, Mark MacDonald, 5-1) - Unofficially the world's "Worst-Drawing Post Position Horse," and his "luck" held out for his seasonal debut. But his 1:46.4 win last year at The Meadowlands stands tied as the fastest mile ever in a harness race. Debuts off three qualifiers. DOWNS DOINGS - The Van Rose will be the tenth event on Pocono's 14-race card Saturday night, which will begin shortly after they hang the "OFFICIAL" sign on those offstride three-year-olds in the Bluegrass State....Pocono is also offering a special "morning card" beginning at 11 a.m., with ten races for early Derby Day fans and simulcast wagerers, and the plant will then transmit all of the color and majesty of the Triple Crown event between cards through its closed-circuit system....The record for the Van Rose is the 1:48.2 posted in the inaugural event by Special T Rocks, driven by Daryl Bier, who handles Bandolito tonight. At the time the 1:48.2 earned a line in the world record books. From PHHA, for Pocono Downs  

The final racing nights in April at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs were marked by cold, windy, and rainy conditions that tested the grit and determination of our horses and drivers. We can only hope that the weather is going to turn for the better, but it's a testament to the caliber of racing at our track that the competition was as electric as it was despite such adverse conditions. Here is a look back at the past four racing nights as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: UP FRONT TIM T Most of the time the horses that win these Weekly Awards come from the upper classes and are often the favorites or close to it in their respective groups. Yet the recent achievements of Up Front Tim T, a 7-year-old stallion trained by Bruce Lundstrom, have maybe been more impressive than most if only because he has been so unheralded on his hot streak against the $5,000 claimers. It started on April 13, when Up Front Tim T rallied from far back early to win by a head as a 16-1 shot. He followed that up on May 22 with another late-kicking win, this time a bit more moderately priced but still a mild surprise at 4-1. On Tuesday night, his biggest obstacle was a #6 post position, which meant that he might be shuffled too far back for his late move if he stayed on the inside. Driver Tyler Buter, who was aboard for the previous three wins, sent Up Front Tim T on the outside on the back stretch, taking on some extra distance but giving his horse a chance to uncork his late move. In the stretch, the stallion blew by the leaders and came home a winner going away in 1:55:3, a time skewed by sloppy conditions. This time he was a 6-1 shot, meaning that he's picked up three wins in a row without being the favorite once. Unheralded, yes, but, of late, also unstoppable. Other top pacers this week include: American Shuttle (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), a mare who ripped off her Third Straight win over the $15,000 claimers on Sunday night in a career best 1:51:3; Schoolkids (Brett Miller, Tracy Brainard), whose condition win on Saturday night came in 1:50, the fastest pacing time of the week; and Bestnotlie Hanover (Anthony Napolitano, Douglas Berkeley), who won his second straight and third in his last four with a claiming victory on Saturday night in 1:51:1. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: A CROWN FOR LINDY Anyone who knows anything about the trotting game knows that the constant possibility that even the very best of them might go off-stride makes every trot a bit of a nail-biter. As a result, sometimes it's not the flashiest or even the fastest of trotters who gets to the winner's circle with regularity, it's the one who's steady, consistent, and gives itself a chance week in and week out. A Crown For Lindy has found that consistency in his last couple starts. On April 13, he overcame a tough outside post to find the pocket and upset a $7,500 claiming group in a career-best 1:55:4. On Sunday night, the 8-year-old gelding from the Brad Irvine barn had a better post but also moved up into the more rugged $10,000 claiming group, which seemed like a tough test. One by one, horses made their play for the front end in the race, only to break stride. Meanwhile A Crown For Lindy, with Don Irvine Jr. in the bike, stayed flat and strong, eventually making his way to the front for the victory in 1:57. That makes two in a row for the veteran trotter, who has demonstrated in this mini-streak that, for the trotters, steadiness is sometimes as important as speed. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: War Cry Hall (Howard Parker, Jim Raymer), who won a condition trot on Wednesday night against a tough group in 1:56 in the slop; Wind Of The North (Mike Simons, Clifton Green) who posted the best trotting time of the week by a wide margin with a condition in on Saturday night in 1:54:1; and Majestic Stone (Scott Zeron, Bucky Angle Jr.), who followed up a win at Harrah's with a condition victory in the slop on Wednesday night in 1:56:2. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: EMBASSY SEELSTER Off-tracks often lead to long shot winners, and that was the case on Wednesday night, when Brett Miller rallied this mare to a claiming handicap pacing win at 22-1, paying off $46.80 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Simon Allard Simon really caught fire in the second half of 2013 at Pocono, and he has continued that hot streak this year. He picked up five wins this week, including a triple on Sunday night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Daryl Bier Bier, who is also known as an excellent driver, came up with three training wins this week, including a double on Tuesday and a win with Bandolito on Saturday in the featured Preferred pace. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

Bandolito might not be the biggest of horses, but Daryl Bier expects him to stand tall when he takes on some of the best older pacers in the world in Saturday night's $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The 4-year-old sensation, who owns the fastest mile of any pacer so far this season, faces eight rivals in the third edition of the Van Rose Memorial. Bandolito's foes include 2013 Van Rose winner Golden Receiver, who has earned $2.13 million during his career, as well as Sweet Lou, Dynamic Youth, and Warrawee Needy. Unraced at age 2, Bandolito has won 13 of 17 career races and $241,315. Last year, he captured the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, but it was earlier this month that he really turned heads thanks to a 1:48 win at Dover Downs. His time equaled the fastest mile ever by a horse of any age at five-eighths-mile Dover Downs and is the fastest mile of this year. He followed that victory with a 1:48.2 triumph on April 10 at Dover Downs in which he covered the final half-mile in :52.1, with a :25.4 last quarter. On Saturday at Pocono Downs, he raced first over to win the preferred handicap by a neck over Dynamic Youth in 1:50.2. "I think he will be better than he was last week," said Bier, who trains and drives Bandolito. "He was coming off a 16-day layoff and I thought he might be a little short. I was thrilled with his race. I think the field last week was a step up from what he had been facing. I expect him to race very well (in the Van Rose)." Bier, who won the inaugural Van Rose in 2012 with Special T Rocks in a world-record-equaling performance, owns Bandolito with his brother Tommy and Charles Dombeck. Tommy Bier was listed as the sole owner when the horse was purchased privately from breeder/trainer Warren Harp last May after the colt won a qualifier in 1:56 at Spring Garden Ranch. With Daryl Bier handling the training and most of the driving, Bandolito won nine of 11 races last season. He was given time off following his Kentucky Sire Stakes victory in September and returned to action in December, but Bier thought the horse was not himself in three starts that culminated with a third-place finish in an open for 5-year-olds and younger on Jan. 9 at Dover Downs. Bier discovered Bandolito was suffering from a foot abscess, which kept the horse out of action until late March. "He's been awesome since he came back," Bier said. "I've never had a horse like him. He can go a quarter in 26 (seconds) and still have another gear. He's got gears I've never seen." Bandolito is a son of the stallion Ponder out of the mare Sody's Home Brew. Bier has been impressed particularly with two Ponder offspring - millionaires Bolt The Duer and Thinking Out Loud - which contributed to his interest in Bandolito. "I really like Ponder; I bought (Bandolito) because he was a Ponder," Bier said. "He was kind of small, but I really like when a horse doesn't race at (age) 2. I think they make better racehorses; I think there's a lot more left in there." Bandolito will start the Van Rose from post six in a race that should offer no shortage of speed, or talent. Warrawee Needy won in 1:46.4 last year, which equaled the fastest race mile in harness racing history. Golden Receiver, Sweet Lou, Dynamic Youth, and Dovuto Hanover all are open stakes winners. "Everything is going to be a test," Bier said. "These are the best horses in the world. But I don't think we're in a bad spot. I'm excited about it. I'm thrilled with him, no matter what. I just hope I can get a clear shot. I don't know how fast he can go." The field in post order for the Van Rose Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Golden Receiver, George Napolitano Jr., Mark Harder; 2. Dancin Yankee, Ron Pierce, Josh Green; 3. Dovuto Hanover, Ron Pierce, Darran Cassar; 4. Dynamic Youth, Andrew McCarthy, Carl Cito Jr.; 5. Abelard Hanover, Jonathan Roberts, Donald Billings; 6. Bandolito, Daryl Bier, Daryl Bier; 7. Emeritus Maximus, Ron Pierce, Tom Cancelliere; 8. Sweet Lou, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Warrawee Needy, Mark MacDonald, Mark Ford. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Bandolito outdueled Dynamic Youth to win the featured Preferred Handicap pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried the night's top purse of $25,000. Dynamic Youth set the early pace and was able to rate the speed well. Yet Bandolito, the 4-5 favorite in the field of six, came ranging up first over on the back stretch for trainer/driver Daryl Bier. The two were hooked up in a close battle for pretty much the entire second half of the mile, with Bandolito finally prevailing by a neck in 1:50:2. Eighteen finished third. Bandolito, a 4-year-old stallion owned by Daryl and David Bier and Charles Dombeck, had won his previous two starts at Dover Downs and now has four wins in six races in 2014. It was his 13th lifetime victory in just 17 starts, pushing his career earnings to $241,415. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

Last week we had only some minor victories, four of ten races in a losing effort financially. Now we really get into the start of the Grand Circuit harness racing stakes season with events around the country.  Yonkers is the main scene with the Levy and Matchmaker Finals but we also travel on Friday to Northfield Park for the Courageous Lady, to Freehold for the Dexter Cup elimination and the Meadowlands for the Reynolds Memorial. Some great racing on tab plus we handicap a few other special events. Good Luck! $110,000 Courageous Lady 3YO Pace Northfield Park  11th race FRIDAY – The little lady from Michigan, Kayla Grace, brings her undefeated 15-race win streak and throws it on the line facing the biggest challenge of her career. If she is the real thing she may just wire the field as she usually does but she will be tested and may prove her mettle by coming from off the pace. Use That Woman Hanover and Sister Stroll in exotic plays. $38,460 Dexter Cup 3YO Trot Elimination Freehold Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – Local trainer Tom Fanning will have the hometown crowd behind him as he sends out Sumatra in this well matched field. Sumatra won $108,000 last year and off his very impressive qualifying wins seems ready for action in here. Use Well Built and Dave Briggs in exotic plays. $49,015 Reynolds Memorial 3YO Pace Meadowlands 3rd race SATURDAY – The class of the field will be the favorite and rightly so. Allstar Partner sports career earnings of $282,000, which is nearly the total earnings of the rest of the field. Is making his debut this season off decent qualifying effort and if class is any indicator he should be primed to win with ease. Use Always B Miki and the entry of Frankandjoanne/Parnu Hanover in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace Diplomat Series preliminary Woodbine 3rd race SATURDAY – It’s the return of early pacing sensation National Debt. Despite being 49 days off since his last start, his connections say he is more than ready to put in a tough mile, but not with my money. This is strictly a watch race as you don’t know how he will race since the layoff but if he is prime he should have it easy in here. Use Somewhere In L A and roger Mach Em in exotic plays. $25,000 Preferred Handicap Pace Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – What a stellar field of good pacers in here. Abelard Hanover is the local favorite and rightly so after his last two tight wins but I have to have faith with Bandolito. He was awesome in his last two starts at Dover, pacing what would have to be :24.4 fractions, some of the fastest ever and he should be primed to steal this one for Daryl Bier after his last two big successes. Use A Stitch In Time and Abelard Hanover in exotic plays. $43,000 Final Don Mills Trotting Series Woodbine 7th race SATURDAY – After scoring a lifetime mark of 1:54 in the preliminary round last week, it is tough to not come right back with West Side Story. Has won four of his last five starts and gets faster with every victory. Use Mego Moss and Hldontghttoyurdrms in exotic plays. $75,000 Pace Matchmaker Series Consolation Yonkers 8th race SATURDAY – The favorite may be Ramalama but I am going with Ideal In Vegas. This one actually won a division of the series and against field of non-winners she has good inside post to get the jump on the field and may never look back. Use Ramalama and the entry of Camille/Charisma Hanover in exotic plays. $371,400 Final Matchmaker Series Yonkers 9th race SATURDAY – Boy oh boy will they be battling it out in here. It will most certainly not be a cakewalk but I have to go with Yagonnakissmeornot as she has been the dominant force throughout this series and has won five of her last six starts. Plus she can do it from either on or off the pace. Use Somwheroverarainbow and the entry of Rocklamation/Summertime Lea in exotic plays. $30,000 A-2/FFA Handicap Pace Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY – This will be a great slugfest between a couple of very promising youngsters against the older world class Golden Receiver. I am going with Golden Receiver to rebound from his past two disappointed fourth place finishers. This guy usually does not put in three clunkers in a row this early in the season. Callahan can fire him out of the gate and not look back. Use Allstar Legend and Dovuto Hanover in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace Levy Series Consolation Yonkers 10th race SATURDAY – Burke Racing Stable is looking to have a great evening and in here they have a powerful entry of Easy Again/Clear Vision. Either one of these can take this field. They have both won prior legs of the series and are razor sharp. Use Word Power and Rock On Moe in exotic plays. $567,000 Final Levy Pacing Series Yonkers 11th race – The first 2,000 fans to come to Yonkers Saturday night get a free Foiled Again t-shirt and I think despite any rumors of his poor finish last year that this game world champion will rebound with good inside post position and wire the field. He has been the fastest and gamest of all in this series plus as an entry with Bettor’s Edge you get an extra bang for your buck. Use Apprentice Hanover and the entry of P H Supercam/Mach It So in exotic plays.

Friday nights at The Meadowlands customarily feature the top class mare pacers and the cream of the trotting crop. This was the course of events for the April 25 harness racing card with the mares up first in the second half of the Daily Double. The Sweetheart stakes winner from 2012, Jerseylicious opened her four year old season in style with a 1:51.2 win in a $22,500 B-1/A-2 on Friday night at The Meadowlands. A nine time winner while amassing nearly $300,000 as a sophomore, the Western Ideal mare cashed in on a perfect steer from Corey Callahan to score over Scandalous Hanover and Marty Party. Jerseylicious began her three year old season a perfect eight for eight and so far she is one for one in 2014. Wayne Givens trains Jerseylicious for Legacy Racing of Delaware and Pamela Curran. A strong field of trotters took the track for the $30,000 eleventh race feature. Modern Family came in with credentials that drew play enough from the punters to go off as the short 3-5 favorite and he did not disappoint. Tim Tetrick was designated to drive the Cantab Hall horse by trainer and part owner Daryl Bier and Tim landed a pocket trip behind Daylon Magician that proved to be the path to victory. Drafting along behind honest fractions led to a near track record 1:51.1 mile. Uncle Peter was a brave second in his first start as a five year old and Daylon Magician held third. Bier's partners are Charles Dombeck and Richard Poillucci. The whole gang is likely looking forward to the Arthur Cutler Memorial two weeks hence and beyond. The $25,000 Dash For The C Notes, a weekly staple during the spring racing season devised by Director of Racing Peter Koch, facilitated the C-2 trotters and March Awareness took home the top prize for Carolyn Brechler and John Rhodes, Jr of Ohio. Driver Scott Zeron put the Ken Warkentin gelding on the lead going to the half and held sway for a comfortable 1:54 win. Brookroad Knight took the place and For You Almost Free held on for the show after a first over trip. The Remmen stable conditions the winner. Racing returns on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M., featuring the first stake of the year as the grand circuit makes a stop at The Meadowlands for the three year old pacers in The Reynolds Stakes. Additionally, Saturdays Revived continues at Victory Nightclub with music from 92.3 Now's D.J. Toro. Doors at Victory open at 10:00 P.M. For more, check out playmeadowlands.com. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

OK, you’re driver Daryl Bier, known from Cal Expo to Dover and Pocono, from Pompano to The Meadowlands. You’ve had experience with really good horses before, as you currently guide the top FFA trotter Modern Family, and have had former world champion Special T Rocks, $900,000+ winner Higher And Higher, and others. You’re sitting behind a four-year-old who only has six months of actual racing experience and you are in the $36,000 Open Handicap feature race at Dover on closing day, April 10, but you know he’s a very fast horse who’s getting better. Your even-money main opposition broke early, so you decided to go to the point with the 6-5 second choice, and you rate the half in 56.1. Then it gets fun. You open him a notch to get away from your remaining rivals, and he responds instantly – he’s not a big horse, but he’s quick as can be. You whiz past the ¾ (“I didn’t think to look at the time; I was thinking about my $18,000 winners share); then, early on the final turn, you kick the earplugs out on your horse, test him a little more. He visibly downshifts on the TV monitors, and Daryl feels it in the bike – we’re going FAST! Through the lane, Bier takes him in hand, but he still destroys his field that has collective earnings of $1.9 million lifetime, by six (or more) lengths. Daryl gets to look at the timer past the finish – it says 1:48.2. Quick math tells him that’s a last half, on a five-eighth-mile track, in 56-degree temperatures, with nobody around him, for a horse in his 16th career start, in 52.1. He gets a chance to look at the ¾ time – it was 1:22.3, which means he paced in 26.2 down the back, and then when he downshifted, his horse came the last quarter (on a 5/8-mile track) in 25.4! Daryl returns to the Dover winners circle with a big smile. His brother Sean, a veteran of the racetrack game, is jumping and hollering – “DID YOU SEE THAT?” (probably not intended at Daryl, who of course did see that). The Dover paddock is abuzz after the race. Oh, did we mention that in his previous start, coming from behind wicked fractions, he had tied the all-time Dover record of 1:48, first set by his year’s 3YO champion, Heston Blue Chip? Meet Bandolito. Unraced at two in  2012, the son of Ponder-Sody’s Home Brew was brought to the races by veteran Florida horseman Warren Harp, and Daryl got a call from an agent he had worked with, Gary Brown. The horse fit a pattern Daryl has used with much success – buy promising horses who didn’t race or didn't race much at two: Modern Family didn’t start as a freshman, and Special T Rocks only raced twice at 2 – and the price was right. So he was brought into the Bier stable, with Daryl’s brother David making the initial purchase while agreeing that if the horse was good enough to make the Kentucky Sire Stakes in the summer, Daryl and longtime stable patron Charles Dombeck would join the ownership. Bandolito came north, where he came under the care of Team Bier, which includes caretaker Brad Sawyer (“He has Modern Family, too, so he’s a top man”) and horseshoer Chuck Crissman Jr., the father-in-law of Daryl’s brother Sean (Crissman comes more into the story later, and then again right at the very end). Third in his first northern start, the unheralded sophomore then rips off six straight between Harrah’s and Pocono, including a 1:51.3f-27 triumph (in his fourth lifetime start). Off to Kentucky under the new Bandolito partnership. The Ponder colt wins his two prelims with ease at the famous Red Mile, both with sub-27 last quarters, and Bandolito is 1-10* in the final. “I decided to use Tim Tetrick that night,” Daryl said, “because Tim obviously knows good horses, and I wanted to see what he thought of the horse, whether he was for real.” 1:49.4 later (26.2 on the end), Tetrick turns to Bier and says, “I like him. He’s a real good horse.” And thus basically ended Bandolito’s first campaign. Oh, the calendar will say he started back in December 2013, but this was really round two for Bandolito. And he didn’t come out of his corner strongly. A hard-closing fifth in a 1:51 mile at Dover just six days before Christmas was a good start, but then Bandolito caused some concern – while winning a race. “He was second-over, but won by only a head in 1:52.3, and I was worried,” Bier recalled – his people were considering nominating him for the Levy Series around then, but that kind of mile wouldn’t do. “And then he quarter-moved in his next race, for $18,000, and was caught and beaten almost two lengths.” The answer came quickly. Bandolito was dead lame the next day, one foot obviously distressing him. “But Chuck (Crissman) saved us right then and there. He figured out the foot problem, got him straightened away. He didn’t walk for three weeks after the lameness,” but things progressed well for Bier/Crissman/Sawyer and the other owners, so well that with their careful nurturing Bandolito qualified on March 19. Two weeks later he equaled the all-time Dover record of 1:48 on April 3 – his 15th lifetime start. Came home in 52.1-25.4 a week later – start #16. “We were more excited about that race, because nobody was pushing us and because of the sheer speed.” What’s next for Bandolito? Good question. Perhaps the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial on Kentucky Derby Day (a race in which Bier and Special T Rocks equaled a 1:48.2 world record two years ago) at Pocono, where Bier recently re-established his base, maybe after an overnight start this weekend if Daryl can get one for him. Afterwards? … But they are fun question marks to have! Daryl: “We got a copy of the race, and I watched it with Chuck on his big screen TV. And you can see things pretty good on it, and the eighth, just into the turn, from when I kicked the earplugs, we timed him in 12 seconds. We both timed that, and did it a couple of times. A 12-second eighth … that’s a 24-second quarter…” How good IS Bandolito? By Jerry Connors, for Harnesslink.com    

Finally had a decent week picking some winners. We had Sly McFly pay $10.40 to win in the Dash for the “C” Note final plus a nice $34.40 exacta and then Abrokenart Hanover came through and returned $8.40 in winning his “C” note final. This is the final week of preliminary rounds for both the Matchmaker and Levy Series at Yonkers plus the final of the Whata Baron and Artistic Vision Series at the Meadowlands and the return of San Pail at Woodbine. Plenty of top flight racing action to watch and wager on. Good Luck! $40,000 Pace Matchmaker Series Yonkers Raceway 4th race FRIDAY – Tried to find a way that Yagonnakissmeornot could get beaten in this final leg of the Matchmatcher Series. But I could not. Despite outside post this mare has been super sharp for trainer Rene Allard and can overcome post seven to take another leg before next weeks’ rich final. Use Krispy Apple and Ideal In Vegas in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Matchmaker Series Yonkers Raceway 11th race FRIDAY – This is a great matchup of some real powerhouse mares who will again battle it out next week in the final. I am taking a shot with the P J Fraley Stable entry of Anndrovette/Shelliscape. They both need to be first or second to get into the final and thus need to race their hearts out and off recent weeks they have ability to surprise in here going against some of the best in the series. Use Somwherovrarainbow and Angels Delight in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Preferred Handicap Pocono Downs 3rd race SATURDAY – Right now Modern Family is perhaps one of the best Open trotters in the country. Came back from a brief rest with an amazing 1:53.1 qualifying romp at Rosecroft Raceway and has been super sharp for trainer/driver Daryl Bier. Use Daylon Magician and Wind Of The North in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace Bobby Weiss Final 3 & 4YOs Pocono Downs 8th race SATURDAY – Series saw the best effort of the year for A Stitch In Time last start with an amazing lifetime mark of 1:49.2. Should be able to repeat provided he can overcome having to start from the far outside in post nine. Use Trys Little Prince and UF Rockin Dragon in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Preferred Handicap Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – After having his head handed to him in last two tries in the Levy Series, A J Corbelli smartly left Yonkers and comes to Pocono Downs where he drops and should pop from the rail. He was razor sharp before the series, even finished second in the opening round, but now should be able to handle this group and earn his keep. Use Abelard Hanover and Annieswesterncard in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Levy Series Yonkers Raceway 4th race SATURDAY – With a week’s rest after winning a series leg, Apprentice Hanover draws into a tough but beatable division as he needs the points to insure a spot in the final next week so watch for him to be racing at his best. Use the Burke Stable entry of Clear Vision/Hillbilly Hanover and P H Supercam in exotic plays. $63,000 Pace Whata Baron Series Final Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – Most will side with Captive Audience here and perhaps should as he has been perfect in the series, undefeated in three starts and fresh as a daisy for the upcoming long season. But I am going with Wake Up Peter. Despite outside post he showed last week he can leave well enough to take command and hold on to the lead. In this case he may leave hard and get a two-hole trip where he can also score from. Use Captive Audience and Ontario Success in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Trot Woodbine 9th race SATURDAY – It’s the 2014 debut of world class performer San Pail. $3.1 million career winner returns once again and looks to be back in shape. After two decent qualifying wins under his belt he should be ready for action and show his back class and his heels to his much younger rivals. Use Slip Into Glide and Zeus Lightning in exotic plays. $55,500 Final Artistic Vision Pacing Series Meadowlands  11th race SATURDAY – With a perfect season underway and 6 for 6, American In Paris should be at her best once again seeking to sweep the series in the final. Teamed with stablemate Art Ideal they look to be unbeatable in here. Use JK Letitgo and Road Bet in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Levy Series Yonkers Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – It’s the final preliminary division for the long series and Yonkers always saves the best for last. It’s Team Burke against four other poor souls. It’s the three-horse entry of Foiled Again/Special Forces/Easy Again. Win wagering and exacta only, no trifectas. With the way he has comeback this season Foiled Again should have little trouble remaining unbeaten in five starts. Use Mach It So and Word Power in exotic plays or sit this one out and just watch one of harness racing’s great performers do his thing.

WILKES-BARRE PA - The first of four $30,000 Bobby Weiss Series Championships takes place this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, with late-developing three- and four-year-olds who did the best in their four preliminary rounds going behind the gate for the big money. By far the fastest mile of the prelims was the 1:49.3 victory turned in last Saturday by A Stitch In Time, an altered son of Kent's On Nuke. But for the Championship, race eight on Saturday, A Stitch On Time has drawn the very difficult outside nine-hole for driver George Napolitano Jr., and is rated at 3-1, second choice behind the horse who was second to him last week, Trys Little Prince (5-2). The Million Dollar Cam gelding received much better luck at the pill shake by getting barrier two for driver Matt Kakaley, the leading driver over Napolitano early in this Pocono season. Getitoffyourchest had been three for three before last week's final preliminary, but a combination of the outside post eight and a withering 25.3 opening quarter sapped the son of Tell All of his usual stretch strength, although he was beaten only two lengths. He's rated at 4-1 on the early line, starting in the Championship from post seven for driver Mike Simons. Somewhere With You had two Weiss wins before last week's prelim, in which he had bad racing luck although beaten only 1 ¼ lengths; driver Brett Miller will try to get him to bounce back to his winning ways from post six. Also notching a second Weiss prelim victory was UF Rockin Dragon, who last Saturday stayed close to the pace and had the most finishing; Mark MacDonald will try to make it two in a row with this one as the pair start from the inside. Also on the big Saturday night card before a dark day for Easter are two $25,000 Preferred handicaps. The third race trotters find the outside post six assigned to Modern Family (2-1, driver Daryl Bier), who has been 1-2 against this type in his last six starts; in the tenth race pace, Abelard Hanover (5-2, driver George Napolitano Jr.), who set a 1:48 world record on Sun Stakes Saturday here last year, was placed outside in a field of seven after a thrilling 1:48.4 victory last week over a very game Eighteen (3-1 Saturday, post three, driver Mark MacDonald). FINISHING LINES - The other three Weiss Championships will take place early next calendar week. Two are slotted for Tuesday: in the male trot, Ray Hall will try to Run The Table after taking all four of his prelims, while in the female pace a good case could be made for any of a half-dozen top contenders. Such will not be the case in Wednesday's female trot, when Perfect Alliance will be heavily odds-on again to dominate her competition. From PHHA, for Pocono Downs

DOVER, Del.---- Casino Bags Carlo swept to victory in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Three-Year-Old Male pace, the last of four $100,000 DSBF finals this week on the closing day of the 45th harness racing season at Dover Downs, Thursday, April 10 at Dover Downs. Bandolito romps in 1:48 winning $36,000 Preferred pace and Just A Jolt takes $33,000 Delaware Special. When front-pacing favorite Elite Awards suddenly broke stride on the final turn, Vince Copeland, sitting second with Casino Bags Carlo, shot into the lead and rushed home a 1:52.4 winner of the final DSBF three-year-old championships. The win was the third straight victory of an unbeaten campaign for Cavalli Pazzi Stables,. Copeland has trained and driven the Roddy's Bags Again-Casino Bus gelding now a winner of eight of 12 races and only once farther back that third while winning $70,000 this year and $168,911 lifetime. West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) finished second for the third consecutive start. Forced Passage (Ross Wolfenden) was third. Driver George Dennis said he and Elite Awards saw a lose horseshoe shining brightly on the track along a pylon and the pacer was startled and broke stride, finishing out of the money for the first time in 12 races with 10 of them easy wins. Bandolito, a 1:48 winner last week, currently the fastest time of 2014, won even more impressively this week stepping up to the $36,000 Preferred Handicap. Trainer-driver Daryl Bier, co-owner with Charley Dombeck and David Bier, the Ponder-Sody's Home Brew brown four-year-old was never trouble chalking up his third win in four starts this year while winning $48,977 and $228,815 in his 16 race career. Tarpon Hanover (David Miller) ended a two-race win streak finishing second with Take It Back Terry (Ross Wolfenden) the show horse. When Nova Artist (Allan Davis) became involved in trouble in front of the grandstand when he received a broke race wheel, the $33,000 Delaware Special Handicap became a toss up. Feel Like a Fool (Dennis) took over the lead and led into the stretch when Tim Tetrick steered Just A Jolt to the front nearing the wire for a 1:50.2 triumph. Feel Like A Fool and Full Of Sand (Corey Callahan) were second and third respectively. Nova Artist pulled up before the clubhouse turn. Corey Callahan drove Joan Hamstead's homebred Lewiebyalength scooted to a 1:53.2 success in the $20,000 DSBF consolation. A 13-1 shot Three Day Forecast (Jonathan Roberts) was second with By Noggin (Tony Morgan) third. Callahan also guided Gateway Racing's Lollipop Kid to a 1:49.1 conquest in an $18,000 Male Winners-Over pace. The Dylan Davis-trainee is an altered son of Shady Character-Saly Pansen and won for the third time in 10 outings this year. Manhattan Rusty N (Ron Pierce) finished a strong second with Poker Hat (Tetrick) finishing third. In the $17,500 3,4&5-Year-Old Male Winners-Over pace, Troy and Todd Tribbett's Alittleaintenough notched his fourth win of the season with Ron Pierce driving, a 1:51 lifetime mark. The Artiscape-Mayland Beauty gelding trained by Joe Hunterpfund was followed home by Chesapeake Bay (David Miller) and Totally Kissed (Montrell Teague), the only sophomore in the field, who was third. Bret Brittingham drove the other $17,500 division winner, Leslie Betts' Teresa's Beach. The Somebeachsomewhere-GE's Jen four-year-old is trained by Johnny Waite and won #4 this year in 11 starts. Sea Harrier (Tetrick) accepted his first loss after two wins. Varsity Hanover (Kim Vincent) closed strongly to finish third. In between races ceremonies, Corey Callahan was presented the Leading Driver award. Dylan Davis won the Leading Trainer title, while Nova Artist, for the second time in three seasons, won Horse of the Meet honors. Dover Downs says 'so long' to its 45th season and thanks all who participating in making the 2013-14 meet successful. Thanks for being an important part of the banner season. Racing will resume next Fall. In the meantime, harness racing resumes on Monday, April 21 at Harrington Raceway. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) finals highlight the final week of Dover Downs' 45th meet. The top eight point-getters after two weeks of preliminaries vie; on Monday (filly pacers), Tuesday (filly trotters), Wednesday (male trotters) and closing day, Thursday, April 10, (male pacers) race for Delaware-sired three-year-old season honors. ------------------------------------------------ Bandolito, driven by Daryl Biers, scored the fastest mile of 2014 on any size track on Thursday (4/4) while equaling the all-track record of 1:48 set in 2012 by Heston Blue Chip. -------------------------------------------- On Thursday (4/10), the 2013-2014 Dover Downs end-of-season awards will be presented to: the Horse of the Meet; Leading Driver and Leading Trainer. -------------------------------------------------------- Harness Track of America (HTA) College Scholarship Fund offers three $5,000 scholarships for post-secondary education to students actively involved in harness racing or to children of harness racing professionals (living or deceased) including licensed drivers, trainer, caretakers or management officials. For applications e-mail: delight@harnesstrack.com or call HTA at 520-529-2525. ----------------------------------------------------- Horseman and humanitarian Ken Wood is readying for his 33rd trip to Africa after Easter. The three-week long 20,000-mie round-trip is an on-going personal crusade to provide water to Ghana, and has expanded to Tanzania. Wood's acclaimed, 'Wells For Ghana' drilling provides water to inhabitants who previously had to walk five miles to find water that was deemed unsafe. Over the years, Wood has built 1,130 wells in Ghana including Tanzania's 266 new wells. The wells built by Wood serve more than 2-million native Africans, who until now never have had fresh water. Purse monies won by horses Wood races, is the main support of his humanitarian effort. He recently retired his top moneymaker, trotter Anders Bluestone, now a stallion at Merrie Medo Farm in Smyrna, Del. -------------------------------------------------------------- Corey Callahan wrapped up his fifth Dover Downs Leading Driver championship early build a huge lead by mid-meet. Even missed a full week while in Australia, Callahan has 210 wins since meet opening day, Nov. 3, 2013. Ron Pierce has moved into second-place with 127 wins. Allan Davis is now third with 126 wins, Ross Wolfenden is next, and Vic Kirby is fifth, with 105 wins. ------------------------------------ Callahan is on top for wins and money earned for horses he has driven, but Ron Pierce has the best UDRS - equivalent to a batting average - this meet at .351.Callahan is second with a .333 average and Tim Tetrick, third, .324. In the money won category, Callahan has won for the horses he has driven $1.9-million in purses. Pierce is second at nearly $1.5-million, Allan Davis, third, ($1.3), Ross Wolfenden, fourth ($1.2) and Vic Kirby is fifth ($1.1). --------------------------------------------------- After being close in recent meets, which were won by Josh Green, Dylan Davis, with a big March total, clinched Dover Downs Leading Trainer title, breaking Josh Green's eight-meet domination . Davis has haltered with 67 winners. Joe Hundertpfund, with a big end-of-meet, has moved into second place with 53 wins. Wayne Givens has 49 wins for third-place; Trish Foulk is fourth with 46 while defending champion, Josh Green, is fifth with 45 wins. ----------------------------------- Even though Dylan Davis has unseated Josh Green for leading trainer this meet, Green has the top win percentage (435) with Trish Foulk second (.396), Eric Ell is third (.391), Davis is fourth (.385) and Leigh Raymer, fifth O(.383)).Davis leads trainers this meet in money won by horses he has trained (542,190). Wayne Givens is second in money won ($517,752), Eric Ell, third (460,260), and Josh Green fifth ($440,303). by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DOVER, Del.---- Bandolito scored the fastest mile of the year on any size track while equaling the all-track record of 1:48 set in 2012 by Heston Blue Chip, while Casino Bags Carlo was the fastest of three Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $20,000 2nd leg Pace preliminaries and in the $33,000 Delaware Special, Nova Artist won again on a strong Thursday, April 3 program at Dover Downs. Daryl Bier moved Bandolito up on the outside as Lollipop Kid (Corey Callahan) and Fancyfreeshark (Jonathan Roberts) continued to battle on the front end. Bandolito took the lead on the final turn and breezed home in track record equaling and track four-year-old record time of 1:48. Bier trains and co-owns the Ponder-Sody's Home Brew brown horse with Charles Dombeck and David Bier. It was his second win of the year and 11th lifetime and now has won purses of 210,815. Manhattan Rusty N (Ron Pierce) showed late speed to finish second in front of Lollipop Kid, third. . Casino Bags Carlo turned in the fastest of the three DSBF prelims, a 1:53.4 wire-to-wire performance for trainer, driver Vince Copeland and owner Cavalli Pazzi Stables. The Roddy's Bags Again-Casino Bus gelding won his second in two starts in 2014 and seventh, with two second and a third in his 11 career races banking $118,911. Forced Passage (Ross Wolfenden) was runner-up with Lewiebyalength (Corey Callahan) the show horse. In the second $20,000 DSBF pace, Elite Awards came from off-the-pace for driver George Dennis to take the lead from West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) and then led his six rivals home for a 1:54.3 victory, his Third Straight this years and 10th in 11 starts lifetime earning $124,225. David Rearic conditions the Powerful Toy-Silk Slip gelding for owner Karen Walls. The third DSBF division was even more competitive. Tim Tetrick drove Art Retreat to a come-from-behind 1:54 decision. Go Big Spinder (Ron Pierce) closed well to take second while Hawker (David Miller), who vied for the early lead was the show finisher. Vern Cannon and trainer Jeff Clark owned the Artzina-Wild Retreat gelding who won for the first time in 13 starts which include five seconds and two thirds. Nova Artist in his customary style closed from fifth at the half to notch a 1:50.2 triumph in the $33,000 Delaware Special. Allan Davis was at the controls of the seven-year-old son of Real Artist-Avon Lady who recorded his fourth win of the year to go with two seconds and two thirds for owners trainer Eddy and Kathy Davis. The almost black pacer, who was the track's Horse of The Meet two seasons back, has won $85.350 this year and $849,917 in his career. Just A Jolt (Tim Tetrick) also rallied from off-the-pace to finish second in front of Feel Like A Fool (Dennis). Jet Blue Miracle came on strong in one of two $18,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over paces to rack up a 1:52.1 win. Ross Wolfenden teamed with trainer Les Givens to make owners Ed Maas, Arlene Paisley and Nanticoke Racing happy with their fourth win of the year. Major Bucks (Toby Lynch) finished second with Shiretown Pitbull (Sean Bier) third. In the other $18,000 event, Tim Tetrick roared down the lane driving Sea Harrier, a Jereme's Jet-Ingrid Bergrin gelding, to his sixth win of the meet in nine races for Paton Racing and trainer Jim King. Jolt Of Fire (Dennis) and Spinfiniti (Pierce) were second and third respectively. Frank Chick's So Much To Say, driven by Dennis for trainer Kevin Lare, posted a 1:52 victory in a $15,500 4&5-Year-Old pace. Art Of Escape (Pierce) was second followed by Heart Breaking (Davis), third. Morgan and Jeanne McInnis rejuvenated Cams Art in 1:51.2 won a close 1:51.2 decision at 12-1 odds in a $15,000 Male pace with Bret Brittingham driving. SB Mike's Hot Beach (Mike Rossi), off at 71-1, cut out the mile and finished second. Just Bettor (Pierce) came on from far back for third money. George Dennis had three wins while Allan Davis, Tim Tetrick and Bret Brittingham had doubles. A $20,000-$25,000 Claiming pace is the top race on Sunday when racing resumes. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs       There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book.      

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