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June 7, 2015 - Today’s starting position draw yielded pp6 for US entrant Wind Of The North in the Oslo Grand Prix, that will be driven by harness racing trainer Daryl Bier.  The well-matched field of ten could have the winner come from anywhere including the three-way group from France (Univers de Pan, Vincennes and Ustinof du Vivier). Norway is represented by three starters and Sweden with two. Spain sends its first starter to a Gr. I event, with the entrant being ultra-consistent Trebol and trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou. OSLO GRAND PRIX 2015 Gr. I International UET Masters Series Grand Slam, 2100 meters autostart, First money 1,538.100 kronor 1. Trebol - Gabriel Angel Pou Pou - Spain 2. Vincennes – Ørjan Kihlstrøm -  FR 3. Oasis Bi – Bjørn Goop - SWE 4. B.B.S. Sugarlight – Peter Untersteiner - NO 5. Support Justice – Geir Vegard Gundersen - NO 6. Wind Of The North – Daryl Bier - USA 7. Ustinof du Vivier – Eric Raffin - FR 8. Univers de Pan – Philippe Daugeard - FR 9. Papagayo E. – Vidar Hop - NO 10. Mosaique Face – Adrian Kolgjini - SWE Bjerke Travbane files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing drivers George Napolitano Jr., solidifying his leader atop the drivers standings at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, took both $25,000 features this Saturday night, with pacer Bandolito and trotter Frau Blucher justifying their odds-on status by scoring over a track rerated to "sloppy" after midcard rains.   Bandolito was moved to the front by "George Nap" after the 26.4 opener in his contest, put up a midway split of 54.1, and saw first-over Scott Rocks coming to him towards the 1:21.1 3/4s. In the stretch Scott Rocks was gaining throughout, but Bandolito, a son of Ponder, was kept alive to win by a head in 1:49.2 in the off going. Trainer/owner Daryl Bier will be happy to receive the news as he probably did not watch the race live, since post time was at 3:20 a.m. in Sweden, where Bier is preparing Wind Of The North for Sunday's Elitloppet.   Napolitano completed the chalk feature double by guiding the world champion Broadway Hall mare Frau Blucher to a 1:55 win in the off going. Frau Blucher let the field settle, was moved by Napolitano to the lead after the first turn, "stole" a 58 first half, and then powered home in 57 to tally easily for trainer Chris Oakes and the ownership combine of Susan Oakes and Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC.   Any potential the features had to produce a really fast mile was washed out by the midevening rain, but to show the speed potential the track had at card's start: three of the first six races featured an opening quarter of less than 26 seconds, and one of 26 flat.   PHHA / Pocono Downs

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter knows the thrill of winning the Elitlopp. To this day the trainer still gets goosebumps when retelling the story of Moni Maker’s victory in the 1998 edition of Sweden’s elite invitational for older trotters. He hopes to experience the excitement again with Maven on Sunday. Maven is one of the 16 trotters invited to the Elitlopp, which is held at Solvalla Raceway near Stockholm. The field was divided into two eight-horse eliminations, with Maven drawing post four in the second division. The 6-year-old mare will be driven by Takter’s brother, Johnny, and is the morning line second choice in her race. B B S Sugarlight is the morning line favorite in Maven’s elimination and will start from post one. Mosaique Face is the choice in the first elim, which also includes another U.S. representative, Daryl Bier’s Wind Of The North, as well as former North American star Nuncio, who is owned and trained by Sweden’s Stefan Melander. The top four finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the final. “If you don’t get emotional, you’re not human,” Takter said when recounting Moni Maker’s triumph. “This is what we work for. It’s always exciting when you get in there. You put your game face on and feel the excitement all around you.” It is one of the reasons Takter is looking forward to this year’s race. Takter is starting a horse in the Elitlopp for only the second time since Moni Maker’s victory; he also started Uncle Peter last year. But it is not the only reason Takter is making the trip to Solvalla. He will spend four days in Sweden despite a busy schedule at home and hopes in the future races like the Elitlopp will be made the focal point of the racing calendar, thereby eliminating conflicts for trainers and drivers who want to participate in the event or simply travel to watch. “There are three events in this sport -- the Hambletonian, Elitlopp, and Prix d’Amerique -- and I feel we are obligated to be there,” Takter said. “There aren’t that many fans left in this sport and the Elitlopp is by far the biggest one when it comes to fans and what they’re doing. People that haven’t been there can’t even imagine. “The world is so small now. We have to start thinking about going together instead of going against each other. I spoke to (Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman) Jeff Gural and asked that next year there are no big conflicts, like the (New Jersey) sire stakes finals, the same weekend as the Elitlopp. “If we don’t take care of those three events, they’re going to die out too. You see a lot of Europeans coming over here for the Hambletonian as a spectator, even trainers and people like that. The Elitlopp has unbelievable fan support. I have to be there.” Moni Maker was the last U.S.-owned horse to win the Elitlopp. She also was the last female trotter to win the race. Maven -- who is owned by John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Joyce McClelland -- will try to end both droughts. She heads to the Elitlopp off a second-place finish in the Copenhagen Cup, which was contested at 1-1/4 miles. Last year, Maven finished third in her Elitlopp elimination and sixth in the final while in the stable of Jonas Czernyson. This year, she prepped for the Elitlopp by racing exclusively in Europe, where despite poor race luck and draws she has a win and three second-place finishes from nine starts. Maven, who was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older female trotter, has won 29 of 52 North American races in her career, good for $1.74 million in purses. “I think she’s ready,” Takter said. “I really think so. I think we have a heck of a shot. She’s probably much better prepared now than she was last year. She got adapted to the European system a little bit. Now she even handles a mile and a quarter better. I don’t think I could have her better than I have her right now. “She can win it if the race goes her way. But it’s a wide open race. I would say out of 16 horses, 10 or 12 of them could be the winner.” If Maven is unable to win, Takter would enjoy seeing Nuncio take the honor. Takter trained Nuncio last season and saw the horse win the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot and finish second in the Hambletonian. Nuncio is 2-for-2 this year, but will have to overcome post seven in his elimination. “I’m sure Stefan wishes he had another start in him, but you can never rule that horse out,” Takter said. “The race is going to be high pace and if he’s sitting third over I could see him coming very good in the last quarter (of a mile). He never gives up. I really hope that he’s going to race good. He deserves that, to show he’s a top horse, which he is. “He’s a winner. If I don’t win the race, I would be very happy for him to win. They’re great people that own the horse and I’d have a little part of that Elitlopp too because I developed him as a 3-year-old.” World champion Wind Of The North drew post eight in his elimination. Dave Palone -- the winningest driver in harness racing history -- will drive the 5-year-old gelding for Bier, who owns the horse with Joann Dombeck. Wind Of The North is coming off a second-place finish to Bee A Magician in the Cutler Memorial on May 16 at the Meadowlands. He has won three of 10 races this year and 16 of 61 in his career, earning $322,848. Five horses have odds in single digits to be the overall Elitlopp champion: B B S Sugarlight, Mosaique Face, Nuncio, Timoko, and Maven. Timoko, who drew post seven in the second elimination, is the defending champion. Here are the fields: 1st elimination: 1. Univers de Pan 2. Support Justice 3. Vincennes  4. Mosaique Face 5. Ustinof du Vivier 6. Royal Fighter 7. Nuncio 8. Wind Of The North 2nd elimination: 1. B B S Sugarlight 2. Nahar 3. Brett Boko  4. Maven 5. Magic Tonight 6. On Track Piraten 7. Timoko 8. Voltigeur de Myrt by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

HARRINGTON, Del. - Daryl Bier's Bandolito ($3, Bier) won the opening day feature at Harrington Raceway Monday with a national season's mark on a half-mile track of 1:51. The fastest horse so far in North America in 2015, Bandolito, notched his fifth win of the year. Trainer/driver/owner Bier left alertly from his rail post position and was a decisive winner over Jebswesternshake and Believe This Bob. Bandolito, a 5-year-old Ponder stallion, became the sport's fastest horse this year with a dazzling 1:48.1 win at Dover Downs on March 26. Despite having limited activity over the half-mile racetrack over the past few months, Harrington's track seemed to be in mid-season form as five races were timed in 1:53 or less. Drivers George Dennis and Jon Roberts each had three winners on the card. Allan Davis and Victor Kirby each had a driving double. Live racing continues on a Monday through Thursday schedule. Matthew Sparacino  

EAST RUTHERFORD, (April 17, 2015) - Whom Shall I Fear, the full-brother to Father Patrick and a $475,000 yearling, served notice that he is a three year old trotter to watch in 2015 with a compelling harness racing performance in his 2015 debut at The Meadowlands. Released from the gate as the 1/5 prohibitive favorite, Yannick Gingras guided Whom Shall I Fear towards the rear of the field while following what would turn out to be a live outer flow. Danish Durango would establish the early lead through a 28.2 opening quarter, but quickly felt a challenge from Clifton Beach who he released going past the three-eighths marker. But, Whom Shall I Fear was tracking that trotter every step of the early stages and Gingras guided his three year old to the lead past the half-mile in 57.3. From there, the race was over as Whom Shall I Fear created separation on Clifton Beach and all the rest, gliding past three quarters in 1:26.2. The lead would expand from that point with the final margin listed as 10 lengths in the end. The final time was an impressive 1:53.3, including a 27.1 final quarter under no pressure. Starzinner was a distant second with Madman Hall third. Whom Shall I Fear is trained by Jimmy Takter for Whom Shall I Fear Stable. He is eligible to both The Hambletonian and The Stanley Dancer Memorial at The Meadowlands. There is a new kid on the block when it comes to the open trotters at The Meadowlands and his name is Wind Of The North.  The Daryl Bier trainee has gone back to back at the top trotting level after his win Friday night. Surprisingly dismissed at 5-1, Wind Of The North left for position and sat third on the pylons early in the mile as Lindy’s Tru Grit, the overwhelming 1/5 favorite (coupled with Master Of Law) established a rapid 26.2 opening quarter.  The favorite would continue to dictate the tempo through fractions of 55.4 and 1:24.3 while turning for home with a diminishing lead.  Appomattox mounted a challenge from out of the pocket while Master Of Law ranged up off a live cover trip.  As Lindy’s Tru Grit tired, Wind Of The North quietly began to rally up the pylons and he powered through the stretch to grab the victory in the final strides in 1:52.  Appomattox finished second with Master Of Law third. Wind Of The North was driven to victory again by Dave Miller for Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck. There was no single winner in the fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5, that carryover has grown to $83,210.  The last race Jackpot Hi-5 also went unclaimed and that carryover will be $52,142 into the last race on Saturday. The 13-race Saturday program will feature the opening round of the Whata Baron series.  In addition the Spring Preview debuts for the pacing colts and fillies.  Post time is 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali

DOVER, Del. ---- The highly thought-of Wind Of The North makes his seasonal debut meeting the razor-sharp Tough Mac and Tirade Hanover in the $18,000 Open/Handicap trot on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. After a successful 2014 season, Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck purchased Wind Of The North. Bier has given the Cantab Hall gelding plenty of time and after three qualifying races is ready to go. Mike Casalino's Tough Mac has been near perfect since the start of the New Year, winning four and finishing second following a pared out mile with Corey Callahan at the controls. Hard hitting Tirade Hanover and Vic Kirby have also been right there for owners Steve Moss, the Solomons and trainer Leigh Raymer. Six Gun Hal, a two time winner with two seconds this meet for owners Don marvel and trainer Bob Shahan drew the rail with George Dennis in the bike. Tina and Joe Clark's Baximum handled by Allan Davis has been a fast finishing factor in each of his local starts. Eddie Dennis will drive consistent I'm So Striking owned by E&K Stable and Lois and Earl Walters. Mystical Dew, a new acquisition for Niel Gargiulo and veteran trainer-driver Donald Dancer, has strong Ohio successes to his credit. Hey Pancho (Tim Tetrick), whose four race win streak was marred breaking stride last time out, leaves from the rail in a $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. His biggest threat should come from Rosemary Smutz's Man Of Muscle (Davis) riding a two-straight win streak. In another $14,000 division, Gregg and Tom Morris' Juanna Be The Man (Roger Plante) has a two-race win streak. Everyone's Talkin (Tetrick) has won two of his last three while Tina and Joe Clark's Derby (Davis) cannot be overlooked. A strong supporting card featuring several other wide-open trotting events on the Wednesday card. Just Bettor got better Just Bettor, who had started from the outside in eight straight starts, scored a 1:54 victory in a $20,000-$25,000 4&5-Year-Old Claiming/Handicap on a chilly and windy Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Dover Downs. Vic Kirby left fast with Just Bettor to get the early lead before relenting the front. The Bettor's Delight - Just Great five-year-old gelding closed strongly for his second win of the year to go with four seconds and a third in seven races. Ken Wood and Minisink Farms own the winner of $26,625 in 2015 and $178,011 lifetime. UF Dragons Cruiser (Allan Davis) edged fast finishing Swift As A Shadow (George Dennis) for second. Kirby led all drivers with three wins. Corey Callahan drove both ends of the daily double. Allan Davis and George Dennis had two wins each. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.--- Bandolito followed a strong closing Nova Artist and went by in the closing strides for a 1:50.1 harness racing victory in the $25,000 Delaware Special on Thursday, Jan. 22, at Dover Downs. While Don't Ya Know, with Corey Callahan, and Mustang Art, driven by Ron Pierce slugged it out during a :25.4 opening panel and 53.4 half, Daryl Bier was content to race Bandolito far back in fifth before Allan Davis pulled Nova Artist out to challenge the leaders heading into a 1:21.4 three-quarters. Nova Artist moved three wide to take the lead around the final turn. Bandolito was in high gear reaching Nova Artist by mid-stretch and then made it to the finish line by a neck in 1:50.1. Bier is owner, trainer, and driver of the Ponder-Home Brew five-year-old, who won for the second straight time and 16th in his career while piling up earnings of $300,085. Nova Artist is his best showing of the meet was second with Don't Ya Know (Corey Callahan) putting in a gritty effort to finish third. Program favorite Just A Jolt was scratched. Art Stafford Jr. and Framed Art made a winning move on the backstretch to roll past the leaders on the way to a 1:51 triumph in the $16,000 4&5-Year-Old Open pace. Shark Fantasy (Jonathan Roberts) finished well for second in front of early leader Four Staces (Callahan). The five year-old son of Artiscape-LaGophobia is owned by Art and trainer Andrew Stafford and recorded his 12th lifetime win to go with a $382,526 bankroll. Maddysonofagun used the passing lane for Trace Tetrick to edge leader Shanzhai (Callahan) in one of three $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Male paces. Mary Alice and Tom Tetrick own the Modern Art-Maddy Girl grey gelding trained by Jim King. Ballinrobe (Allan Davis) was third. Ross Wolfenden and Rural Art were strongest in the lane to score a 1:53.4 victory in another $14,000 event for young males. Ray and Eva LaBonte own the Major In Art-WC Betina gelding trained by Joe Hundertpfund. Jet Blue Miracle (Sean Bier) was a close second. Maximum Terror (Ben Stafford Jr.), the show horse. Dan Keeler's Mr. Truth extended his win streak to three-in-a-row winning the third $14,000 section with a 1:52.1 triumph handled by Eddie Davis Jr. The Total Truth-Miss AJ Ponda gelding, trained by Vic Keeler II, was chased home by Go Big Spinder (Pierce) and Fancy Colt (Tony Morgan). Ron Pierce, Art Stafford Jr. and trainer Eric Ell had two wins apiece. Friday and Saturday are "dark days.' Racing resumes Sunday with post time 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del --- Sharp Just A Jolt and Bandolito lead a strong field of eight to post in this week's top harness racing pace, the $25,000 Delaware Special on Jan. 22 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Last week, Janet Hudson's Just A Jolt and Vic Kirby, led until the final strides before a second-place finish in the feature. Bandolito, holder of the track record of 1:48 set last Spring, returned to the winner's circle last week with a 1:51.1 mile with owner, trainer, driver Daryl Bier at the controls Arty Foster Jr.'s Bettor's Arena with Trace Tetrick had to settle for a third for the third straight time. The rest of the well-balanced field is made up by Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob, handled by Ross Wolfenden, Mustang Art, owned by Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, with Corey Callahan driving, both previous Del. Special winners, the defending Horse of the Meet with Allan Davis driving Nova Artist from the rail for Eddie and Kathy Davis, Joan Dalphon and Elanor Laws' Don't Ya Know reined by Ron Pierce and Ringler Stable's Simon's Artist with Jonathan Roberts. A $16,000 Open pace heads a strong undercard. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting opens daily at 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del. --- Tough Mac lived up to his name romping to a 1:53.4 victory in the feature $13,000 Winners-Over trot while Fitness Craze and Classical Belisima picked up third consecutive victories in $14,500 and $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners- Over divisions on Wednesday, Jan.14 at Dover Downs. With Corey Callahan driving from post 1, Tough Mac controlled the fractions on the way to his second straight impressive victory for owner Mike Casalino. The win was the 12 lifetime for the Lockkeeper-Traditional Lady gelding now a $138,144 career winner. Baximum (Allan Davis) was runner-up. Prayer Session (Jonathan Roberts) was the show horse. Fitness Craze turned in his third consecutive success for trainer Bob Bresnahan and owners Howard Taylor and Rich Lombardo cruising to victory for Daryl Bier in a $14,500 Winners-Over for young horses. The altered son of Crazed-Aerobics has won four of his last six races. Deacons Valley (Callahan) closed well for second in front of Please Okay (Vic Kirby). Callahan rang up his fourth win on the card steering Bill Cantrell's Classic Belisima to her third consecutive triump in a $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. Jilted Bride (Ron Pierce) and HS Merlin (Eddie Davis Jr.) finished second and third respectively. John Cabot conditions the Crazed-Classic Yankee four-year-old. Ron Pierce joined Corey Callahan with four winning drives. Trace Tetrick had two wins and Jim King and John Cabot had trainer doubles. Razor sharp Believe This Bob, a three-time winner this meet, is program favorite this week in the $25,000 Delaware Special on Jan. 15 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Ross Wolfenden guided Mary Ann Larrimore’s Believe This Bob from fifth after three-quarters to a driving 1:51 triumph in last week’s feature. Mustang Art, with Corey Callahan racing for Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, also closed strongly to finish second beaten by only one-half length. Meanwhile Reg Hazzard II and Legacy Racing’s Papa Ray, put in a strong effort for Eddie Davis Jr., racing outside from before the half to challenge for the lead but had to settle for third, one-and-a-half lengths back. Nova Artist drew the rail. Eddie and Kathy Davis own last season’s Horse of the Meet who will be handled by Allan Davis. Joan Dalphon and Elanor Laws’ Don’t Ya Know and Ron Pierce steps back up after a near-miss last week in an Open. Ringler Stable’s Simon’s Artist gets a big change in post positions and should be a factor with Trace Tetrick. Not to be overlooked is Janet Hudson’s Just A Jolt and Vic Kirby, last week’s race favorite. Art and Andrew Stafford’s Framed Art (Art Stafford Jr.)  gets a big post change in the sub-feature $16,000 4&5-Year-Old Open pace. Chief challengers should come from among Wilbur Eash’s Bluehorsepower (Allan Davis), Tom Lazzaro’s Contraband Hanover (Trace Tetrick) and Dedi’s Dragon (Corey Callahan) in thr nine-horse line-up. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DOVER, Del. --- Corey Callahan pulled Tirade Hanover out from fourth place at the opening quarter mile and then wore down The Triple Lindy in the stretch for a 1:54.3 victory in the cold and windy Wednesday, Jan. 7, $18,000 Open/Handicap trot at Dover Downs. Once again the race favorite for his third straight outing, Tirade Hanover delivered with his first win of the new season after two consecutive seconds. In a three horse battle down the lane, Tirade Hanover zipped past The Triple Lindy, winner of the last two Open trots with Vic Kirby driving the front trotting leader, and Awsome Valley, handled by Ross Wolfenden, sitting second until the passing lane opened, and then came storming through the stretch to finish a close-up third. Corey Callahan made the win his third on the card. Owned by Steve Moss, the Solomons and trainer Leigh Raymer, Tirade Hanover won for the 20th time and now has won $621,990 lifetime. Howard Taylor and Rich Lombardo's Fitness Craze made it two in-a-row as Daryl Bier piloted the Crazed-Aerobics gelding to victory in 1:56 to win the $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot sub-feature. Sentry (Callahan) was runner-up. Futuristic Bride (Jonathan Roberts) finished second. The win was the second for driver Bier, who drove 70-1 shot Ooh Dear Sam to a 1:54.4 upset in a $15,000 Claiming pace. Owners Tim Mumford and trainer Shane Long collaborated on two longshot winners. Jake Of Hearts and Allan Davis, at 37-1, took the first of two Delaware $5,000 Claiming pace, and later 18-1 Annie's Shooter with Ross Wolfenden in the bike. Christmas season is over but Jingle Bell Rocker is still at it winning for the fifth consecutive time. Trace Tetrick drove the Rocknroll Hanover-Blissard Of Oz gelding conditioned by Les Givens to a 1:54 victory in a Delaware $7,500 claimer. Tina Clark posted her second owner victory on the card. Callahan led all with five winners. Ron Pierce drove three wins, trainer Eric Ell, trainer-owner Shane Long and owners Tim Mumford, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta also won two races. Papa Ray seeks repeat score at Dover Thursday Papa Ray, a winner of two of the last three $25,000 Delaware Special events, seeks a repeat of last week’s come-from-behind victory in this week’s feature pace on Jan. 8 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Reg Hazzard II and Legacy Racing own Papa Ray, a winner of four feature races already this meet. Eddie Davis Jr. is his regular driver. A week ago Mary Ann Larrimore’s Believe This Bob stormed down the lane for Ross Wolfenden to finish second, beaten only three-quarters-of-a-length. Ringler Stable’s hard-hitting Simon’s Artist with Trace Tetrick was third. Not to be overlooked Janet Hudson’s Just A Jolt, handled by Vic Kirby, should improve with an inside post. Another sharp contender is Max Walton and Greg Papaleo’s Mustang Art, reined by meet-leading driver Corey Callahan. Stacie Billings’ SB Mikes Hot Beach and Sean Bier drew the rail with last season’s Horse of the Meet, Eddie and Kathy Davis’ Nova Artist with Allan Davis, is alongside. Nine start in the sub-feature $16,000 Open pace. Bandolito, who set the track record 1:48 late last meet,  qualified last week and returns to the races dropping down from the Del. Special. Daryl Bier, owns, trains and drives the five-year-old. Wade Wyatt’s Flying Cowboy (Ron Pierce) has won his last two and Dedi’s Dragon (Corey Callahan) in from the Meadowlands, head the starting line-up. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are 'dark day.' Racing resumes on Sunday with post time at 5:30 p.m. 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  

DOVER, Del --- Papa Ray, winner of last Thursday's $25,000 Delaware Special drew outside post 8 in this week's top pace on, Dec. 18 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Reg Hazzard II and Legacy Racing's Papa Ray moves from post 1 to the outside for driver Eddie Davis Jr. Frank Chick's So Take That, handled by Montrell Teague, closed strongly last week to miss by only a neck. Hard-hitting Mustang Art, owned by Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, came on for Corey Callahan to finish third, a half-length from first. Bandolino, owned, trained and driven by Daryl Bier's Bandolino, should profit by an inside post as he returns to top form. Nova Artist reversed his regular racing style by cutting out the early pace with Allan Davis driving, last week. Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob seeks to recapture his 19-1 upset performance two weeks ago. Ringler Stable's Simon's Artist with Trace Tetrick in the bike, leaves from the rail with Joan Dalphon and Elanor Laws' Don't Ya Know and George Dennis, starts alongside. A $16,000 Open and three Winners-Over paces are among the strong 15-race program events. The Triple Lindy, second last week, turned it on in the stretch, to score a 1:53 victory in the $18,000 Open trot on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at Dover Downs. Last Wednesday, trainer-driver Vic Kirby couldn’t get clear early enough before closing fast. There was no road trouble this time as the Credit Winning-Measure Up gelding got there first in a lifetime best 1:53 clocking. C&G Racing own the winner of six races this season and $132,480 in purse money. He has earned $267,951in his career. Race favorite Tirade Hanover (Corey Callahan), finished second while Martz Time (Andy Miller), who was riding a two-straight win streak, was third. Ideal Revue became the longest shot of the early meet when George Dennis drove the 70-1 outsider to a 1:56.3 upset in a $14,000 3,4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. Carol and trainer Jim Atkinson own the Revenue S-New Ideal gelding who paid $143.60 for a $2-dollar ticket. It was the fifth win of the year for the five-year-old, now a winner of $61,995 in 2014. My Heidi (Callahan) was second with Maiden Knight third for the third straight time. Payson Racing’s Joyeux Dream with Andy Miller overtook Classic Filly (Trace Tetrick) in deep stetch for a 1:56.2 triumph in a $14,500 trot for young horses. Futuristic Bride (Jonathan Miller) was third.  The win was the sixth of the season for Joyeau Dream, an Infinitif-Jolie Reve gelding. Tony Morgan pulled Barbara Boese’s Awsome Valley, a Valley Victor-Nannina Ambrosio gelding, from second at the top of the stretch to catch front-trotting Powerful Charger (Trace Tetrick) for a 1:54.4 victory. Oh No Three O (Sean Bier) collected third money in the $13,000 Winners-Over trot... Prayer Session paid off for his fifth consecutive victory in a $12,000 trot with Corey Callahan driving the second of three winners. Brit Evans and Foulk Stable’s own the altered son of Like A Prayer-ENS Tag Session, trained by Trish Foulk. Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) was runner-up. Jacks To Open (Andy Miller).was the show horse. Callahan and Morgan drove three winners apiece. George Dennis and Jim Morand had doubles. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

After being involved in a series accident in the seventh race at Pocono Downs Wednesday, harness racing driver George Napolitano, Jr. recovered quickly from his hospital visit to make the journey to Harrah's Philadelphia and win two of the three divisions in the co-feature trots and a total of five races on the program..   The three divisions of the mid-conditioned level trot headlined the card on a rainy Thursday afternoon from Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $17,000.   In the first division, it was 4 Leaf Racing's Smoother Ride (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) with a front-end victory.   The son of Yankee Glide quarter-brushed past early leader (and eventual second place finisher) Muscolo (Tim Tetrick) just after the quarter pole.   From that point, he never looked back, splashing to a two length victory in 1:55.3.   Hoosier Park invader Time Will Tell All (Corey Callahan) emerged first-over from the three-hole past three-quarters, but flattened out to finish third.   Smoother Ride ($2.40) picked up his fifteenth victory of the year for trainer John Mc Dermott.   In the second division, it was Howard Jacobs' Political Desire (Geo Napolitano Jr.) going gate-to-wire for the victory.   The 8-year-old son of Tom Ridge was well-rated the first half (58.1) and had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive.   He went on to win by a length and a quarter, stopping the timer in 1:56.   Wind Neath My Feet (Marcus Miller) finished a game second in his debut for the Jake Huff barn, while Way Outta Here (Andrew McCarthy) rallied for third.   Political Desire ($3.40) was one of three training wins for Kevin Carr.   The gelding is one win away from notching his 40th career victory.   The third and final division went to J&T Silva Stables' Omnipotent (Andrew McCarthy).   The daughter of Donato Hanover laid off the early battle, which saw Il Mago (Daryl Bier) and Bastille (Andy Miller) exchange leads.   Omnipotent (8.40) worked out a solid second-over trip, and was able to out close the leaders in the final steps, winning by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:56.2.   Il Mago had to settle for second, while Bastille faded to third.   Driver George Napolitiano Jr., who was unseated in a drive Wednesday night at Pocono Downs, had five winners on the card, maintaining his lead in the driver standings.   Live racing returns Friday afternoon with a first post of 12:40 PM.   Mike Bozich  

The best of the best of this year’s Pennsylvania-sired harness racing two-year-old trotters and pacers will gather together this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for their $1,240,000 Championships Night program. The horses, in both the $260,000 finals and the $50,000 consolations, earned their way into these races by having the highest point totals based on finish position in four PA Sire Stakes preliminaries raced at the state’s tracks over the last two months. The four Championship events are slotted for races nine through twelve on Saturday’s 16-race card.  The stellar card also features the $50,000 Modern Family Open Trot, in honor of the late trotter trained by Daryl Bier, and featuring such star-power Wishing Stone; Arch Madness; Market Share; and Sevruga, along with four other heavy-hitters.  The $50,000 Adieu to the Almost Summer Pace will host the millionaire pacers Golden Receiver and Mach It So, who hit the finish line in a brilliant Dead Heat two weeks ago; millionaire Bolt The Duer; and Sunfire Blue Chip, headlining another star-studded field.  To kick off the Sire Stakes Championship Night, a special “Signings and Sightings” event will be held with Hall of Famer and former NY Giants Linebacker Lawrence Taylor on the Sky Bridge from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.  This is a wristband-only event, and fans may obtain their wristband starting at 1:00pm, which will be a limited amount.  Authorized photos only will be signed, and they will distributed at the event. The first 200 fans at 5:00pm can get the 50/50 deal; they pay $50, and receive a total of $100 in live racing vouchers.  Each $10 free voucher is good on a select Sire Stakes race or the Open Trot or Open Pace.  Post Time for the night is 6:30pm.  Racing continues at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday through November 22, and the track is dark the week of September 9-13 for the annual Oktoberfest celebration. JENNIFER STARR

WILKES-BARRE PA -The cream of the crop of this year's Pennsylvania-sired two-year-old trotters and pacers will gather together this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for their $1,240,000 Championships Night program. The horses,in both the $260,000 finals and the $50,000 consolations, earned their way into these races by having the highest pointtotals based on finish position in four PaSS preliminaries raced at the state's tracks over the last two months. The four Championship events are slotted for races nine through twelve on Saturday's 16-race card at Pocono; here's a look at them in the order they will be conducted: TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (stakes record - 1:51.1, Economy Terror, 2007) These fillies have been very competitive among themselves, as this is the only of the four divisions that will find no four-time prelim winner looking for a sweep in the Championship. (In fact, there has never been a "sweeper" in the 2PF class since a record of prelim points was started in 2002, a fact which will obviously stay intact in 2014; what's more, the prelim pointleader has not won the 2PF Championship since Lady Annie in 2007.) Aria Hanover (post two, driver Tim Tetrick listed) and Southwind Roulette (post five, Yannick Gingras) figure to be the focal points of attention after showing three wins and a third in their prelims to be tied for the top in this group. Southwind Roulette was third in her first PaSS start, then has taken her last three; among the conquered in her final prelim was ... Aria Hanover, who had won three straight going into that event. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (stakes record - 1:54.3, Sand Violent Blu, 2011, and Designed To Be, 2013) In contrast to their pacing counterparts, two 2TFs have swept their four prelims and their Championship: Coulantine in 2004, and Fashion Feline in 2009. And the leading pointwinner has won their Championship in each of the last three years (the stake speed setters with Frau Blucher in between). Looking to add herself the "sweeper" ranks is Wild Honey (post seven, Yannick Gingras). In keeping her record unblemished in the prelims last time out, Wild Honey defeated Gatka Hanover (post eight, Ron Pierce), who had also won her three prelims heretofore, by a half-length. Neither filly will particularly benefit from their outside post draw, making this shape up as a very tough affair. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (stakes record - 1:54.3, Stormin Normand, 2011) In setting this division's speed mark, Stormin Normand also completed the "Sire Stakes sweep," the only 2TC to have accomplished the feat. Attempting to emulate the "Storm" will be Billy Flynn (post four, Brett Miller), 6 for 6 in his young career. But there are three two-time Sire Stakes prelim winners in this field - Honor And Serve, Lima Pride, and Piercewave Hanover - plus Walter White, a horse who came within a head of Billy Flynn two starts back, so no one is conceding the honors to the unbeaten horse going in. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (stakes record - 1:50.2, One More Laugh, 2009) Like his colt counterpart on the trotting side, Stormin Normand, One More Laugh became his division's only sweeper when he set the stakes mark five years back. (The leading prelim pointleader has won the 2PC in three of the last five years, including Allstar Partner last year.) Probably set to draw the majority of the focus here is Yankee Bounty (post three, Yannick Gingras), who like Billy Flynn is both 6 for 6 lifetime and unbeaten in the Sires prelims. But also like Billy Flynn, Yankee Bounty had a horse who gave him a scare - Wazikashi Hanover came within a neck of an upset last time -- and again like Billy Flynn, Yankee Bounty faces three opponents with multiple PaSS prelim wins: McArdles Lightning (who had three) along with Dragon Eddy and Lost For Words (two each). THE UNDERCARD There will be $50,000 consolations for each of the four Sire Stakes divisions' horses who came up just shy in trying to earn themselves a place in the final. It does seem strange to call a contest an "undercard" event when the field of eight has combined earnings of $12,112,270, especially when the first three horses in the post parade have bankrolled $9,956,663 among them. But this is a special field, for a special race - the $50,000 Modern Family Trot, honoring the recently-deceased free-for-aller who was based with the Daryl Bier stable right at Pocono, and who was competitive with this national group the last two years. Those "first three horses," by the way, are Wishing Stone, Market Share, and Arch Madness, and when mixed with Sevruga and four other hard-hitters they should give a fit tribute to their fallen fellow competitor. There will also be a $50,000 Invitational Pace, the Adieu to the Almost Summer Pace (no doubt if this race were held in the western part of the state, it would be called the Adios to the Almost Summer Pace, but that's another story). Millionaires Golden Receiver and Bolt The Duer will draw attention here, along with two sharp four-year-olds on three-race winning streaks: Sunfire Blue Chip and Mach It So. The first of Saturday's 16 races is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (And of course on Sunday afternoon, the $1,240,000 PA Sire Stakes 3YO Championships Day will be held at Harrah's Philadelphia, likely to feature a few horse you may have heard of -- Father Patrick and Nuncio, McWicked and Smewhere In L A, Shake It Cerry, Sandbetweenurtoes, horses like that. The draw for those races is tomorrow [Wednesday].) From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association         

Lexington, KY --- Arthur "Artie” Lance Bier, 74, the father of Delaware-based horsemen Daryl and Sean Bier, died Aug. 21, 2014. A top horseman of the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Bier's last drive came in 2002, although he continued to train horses through 2011. One of Mr. Bier's greatest days as a driver came on Valentine's Day 1981 at Northfield Park when scored six wins in six drives, equaling the track mark for single-day wins at the time with Herve Filion and Lew Williams. Because of thawing, the racetrack was listed as "slow” that afternoon, and the times for his wins -- all in pacing events -- ranged between 2:08.3 and 2:21.3. Following his sixth win that day with Labet's Buddy in the $4,500 Open Pace in 2:12, Mr. Bier quipped, "I weigh only 130 pounds and my tires don't sink down as much as some of the other guys'.” To view the rest of this story click here.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is planning a momentous Sire Stakes Championship Night for Saturday, September 6th,  with over $1 million in purses, an Open Trot and an Open Pace to sweeten the night. The $50,000 Modern Family Open Trot will be held in honor of the late trotter, who passed away on July 20th following the Maple Leaf Trot.  Modern Family,a 5-year-old son of Cantab Hall, was trained and co-owned by Daryl Bier, in partnership with Charles Dombeck and Richard Poilucci.  A 19-time winner in 51 career starts, Modern Family had career earnings of more than $550,000.  The connections of the trotter have been invited to take part in the Winner’s Circle presentation following the race.  Also planned for the evening’s card will be a $50,000 Open for the top pacers in harness racing, and anyone interested in entering the Pace or the Trot should contact the Race Office at 570-831-2228. PA Sire Stakes Championship Night will feature the best of the Freshmen PA bred trotting and pacing stars competing in $260,000 finals.  Consolation races will also be held.  Post Time is 6:30pm, and the day will kick off with a Signings and Sightings meet and greet with Hall of Famer and former New York Giants Linebacker Lawrence Taylor from 4:00pm to 5:30pm on the Sky Bridge, conncecting the casino and the racetrack.  Those wishing to meet the football legend should obtain a wristband to secure their spot in line, starting at 1:00pm.  Only authorized photos will be signed, and they will be issued at the signing. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs      

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