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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Trump Nation may have looked a bit class-challenged in the past performance lines, but harness racing driver Yannick Gingras and the betting public showed confidence and they were rewarded with an impressive victory in the Saturday night featured Preferred for pacers at the Meadowlands. The Ron Burke trainee was facing a strong field - including Geez Joe, who won the Preferred last week in 1:50 as the 8-5 favorite - but the parimutuel players sent him to the gate as the 6-5 choice despite the fact that he had beaten a far weaker conditioned field in his last start. As for Gingras, he had choice of Trump Nation and another Burke trainee, Wheels On Fire (who would finish last in the field of eight), and as it turned out, he backed the right candidate. Yonkers shipper Saying Grace N left hard to grab the early lead and hit the quarter in :27.3. Gingras then called on Trump Nation to move to the top, and the pair reached the lead before the half. Lyons Steel was now moving toward the leader from first-over, almost getting on even terms with Trump Nation as three-quarters went in 1:23.2. Geez Joe, the 5-2 second choice, gapped third-over cover down the backside before rallying well through the stretch, only to be outkicked for the place spot by Franco Totem N, who finished 1 length behind the winner. Lyons Steel hung in there for fourth. The time for the mile was 1:51.1. "He was very good again," said Gingras of Trump Nation. "I wasn't too worried (when Lyons Steel challenged) but you still have to respect the competition." Trump Nation, a 4-year-old gelded son of Betterthancheddar-Late Flyin N who is owned by Burke Racing, E Katz, Weaver Bruscemi and Purnel & Libby, returned $4.60 to his backers. He now has 13 wins in 35 career starts and earnings of $383,796. Trump Nation A LITTLE MORE: The amazing Dexter Dunn keeps on winning races in bunches. On Friday, he scored five times and added four more on Saturday to run his meet-leading win total to 41. Gingras, who had two on Friday and three more Saturday, is next with 27. ... Fueled by horses who went off at 26-1 and 36-1, the 50-cent Pick-5 returned $33,873. ... At the opposite end of the spectrum was the 50-cent Pick-4, which came back $68.95 after two favorites, a 5-2 and a 9-2 shot won during the sequence. ... All-source handle totaled $2,222,157. ... Racing resumes Thursday at 7:15 p.m. "Borrowing Ken's Binoculars" that night will be the USTA's Michael Carter.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing driver Pat Berry reached a milestone victory plateau and one of the Meadowlands' more popular wagers resulted in a giant payoff in action at the mile oval Saturday night. Berry, 43, who has $39 million in career earnings, won the 4,000th race of his career in the third race behind 26-1 shot Revelry. The best year of the former Chicagoland horseman's career came in 2007, when he won 508 races, good for earnings of $4.7 million. Revelry and another longshot, 36-1 chance Mindtrip, won legs three and four, respectively, of the 50-cent Pick-5, which resulted in a one-ticket winner cashing in for $33,873. The winning combination was 5-7-7-7-1. Revelry By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Southwind Chrome shrugged off a late challenger once again on the way to winning a second straight Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, the Preferred for trotters. Last week, the Jeff Cullipher trainee had to deal with Muscle M Up from the far turn to the finish but dug in determinedly to win in a snappy 1:51.4. On Friday night, the 4-year-old son of Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe had to deal with Melady's Monet in the latter stages, but once again proved up to the challenge. Southwind Chrome was asked for speed from the gate from driver Dexter Dunn and provided it, racing wide around the first turn before tucking into the three-hole as JL Cruze hit the quarter in :27. Shortly thereafter, Southwind Chrome was back on the outside moving toward the leader, clearing the top just after the three-eighths and leading at the half in :55.1. Melady's Monet, the 9-5 favorite, was activated first-over at this point and gradually made up ground on the leader but was still 1½ lengths behind when they turned for home. Through the stretch, Southwind Chrome maintained his edge in a thoroughly dominant performance, hitting the wire 1¼ lengths in front of Melady's Monet. JL Cruze held on for third.   Southwind Chrome paid $7.40 to win as the second choice in the wagering after completing the mile in 1:52.1. He now has 11 wins from 31 lifetime starts and earnings of $196,085 for owners Pollack Racing and Cullipher. "I would say he was better tonight than last week," said Cullipher. "When he broke three starts ago, we'll just leave it as a driver's error. He's a little funny with his mouth. He can't stand to be pulled on too much." As for Southwind Chrome's future, Cullipher has high hopes. "(Owner) Tom (Pollack) and I are going to sit down at the beginning of the year and discuss what we are going to do. I think we are going to try many of the older trotting events, races like the Graduate, during 2020." A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Dunn upped his win total at the meeting to 37 after winning five times on the program. ... The Ettore Annunziata-trained Mister Truth pulled off a 78-1 shocker in the eighth race with Vinny Ginsburg driving, keying a 50-cent Pick-4 that came back $3,528.40 in the first of two Toys For Tots Finals (this one for a TrackMaster rating 74.5 or less on the pace) on the program. Piercewave Hanover took the other (for non-winners of $6,500 on the trot). ... All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,210,198. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Preppy Art had been a harness racing machine of late, winning six in a row heading into the Toys For Tots Final for $7,500 claiming pacers at the Meadowlands Thursday night. It appears Forevernalways didn't read the press clippings. The 5-year-old Forevernalways, a gelded son of Always A Virgin-Jnb N Me, rushed up to challenge Preppy Art on the far turn before cruising by on the way to a 4¼-length win in a lifetime-best 1:51. It was apparent during the wagering that Preppy Art, who was making his sixth straight start in a different barn, would not be the post-time favorite, but as the 2-1 second choice, he fired away from the gate to the lead and cut out a :27.3 quarter before a :55.2 half.   Forevernalways vacated the three-hole approaching the far turn after Preppy Art hit three-quarters in 1:24 and made a bold move to poke a head in front with three-sixteenths of a mile to go. From there, the Kenneth Tisa trainee drew off with Dave Miller doing the driving during an explosive final quarter of :26.4 to win for fun. Walks Of Life was second, with Preppy Art third. Forevernalways, who paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite, was claimed for a third consecutive start, this time by Izzy Estrada. Preppy Art, who was claimed for a sixth consecutive outing, left the track on Bruce Lauer's trailer. There were two other Toys For Tots Finals on the program. JB's Shooting Star (Yannick Gingras driving) ran her win streak to three by taking the Fillies and Mares TrackMaster 77 or less Pace in 1:53 as the 4-5 public choice while Broadway Promise (Dave Miller) hit the wire first in 1:54.3 in the Non-Winners of $3,500 Pace at odds of 8-1. LARRY THE LIP: The always entertaining Larry Lederman called the Thursday night races, and as usual he provided some quips that are rarely heard: "Feel The Muscle is coming and so is Christmas." "This could be long-term parking, just like at the airport." "And the car leaves at 40 miles an hour, and there's R M Blackhawk going about 38." A LITTLE MORE: Dave Miller and Andy Miller were the driving stars of the night with three winners each while Andy McCarthy had two. Those three drivers accounted for eight of the 10 winners on the card. ... One player - wagering into the Midlantic hub - had the lone ticket to last all eight legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-8 and collected $6,183. ... Favorites won seven times on the program. ... All-source handle totaled $956,383. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Geez Joe was in tough in his last two races and did not fare well, but the veteran returned to his winning ways Saturday night at one of his favorite harness racing tracks, taking the $30,000 Preferred for pacers at the Meadowlands. The 5-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe-Beach Bretta finished eighth in the Nov. 23 TVG Open Pace (won by Always A Prince) and 10th in the Oct. 26 Breeders Crown (American History), but he got back to the winner's circle Saturday by wiring a short - but talented - field of six in 1:50. Geez Joe was the 8-5 post-time favorite and driver Marcus Miller sent him to the top in :27.2. There wasn't much movement in the six-horse field and Miller was able to rate the second fraction to :28.1. The flow began to form after the half with Bettor Memories leading the train at the five-eighths, but none of the horses racing on the rim would go on to hit the board. Wheels On Fire sat the pocket throughout with Windsong Leo in the three-hole, and in deep stretch, Wheels On Fire was moving to the eventual winner along the inside while Windsong Leo rallied between rivals. At the wire, it was Geez Joe by a hard-fought neck over Wheels On Fire with Windsong Leo third. "He was super game," said Miller. Geez Joe, whose last win came at the Meadowlands on Oct. 12, returned $5.40 to his backers. The Erv Miller trainee now has 21 wins from 65 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $281,520 for owners Bay Pond Racing Stable. Three of his five wins in 2019 have come at the Big M. A LITTLE MORE: The driver colony had a pair of stars: Tim Tetrick, who won four races, and Dave Miller, who recorded a natural hat trick after taking the ninth, 10th and 11th races ... A pair of winning tickets were sold in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10, with each being worth $4,678 for lasting six legs. Of those six, four were the post-time favorite. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,180,523. ... Racing resumes Thursday at 7:15 p.m. "Borrowing Ken's Binoculars" and calling the races that night will be the always entertaining Larry Lederman. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - After going off stride just after the half a week ago as the 4-5 harness racing favorite on the way to a ninth-place finish, Southwind Chrome rebounded in a big way Friday night, taking the featured $30,000 Preferred for trotters at the Meadowlands. Sent off this time as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, Southwind Chrome raced with cover past the quarter behind 9-5 public choice Muscle M Up and ending up clearing the top before the half, which was timed in a quick :54.4 with strong winds at their backs. Midway around the far turn, Ake Svanstedt directed Muscle M Up to vacate the pocket and the duo then dueled all the way to the wire from there. Muscle M Up was determined, but Southwind Chrome was just a bit better, hanging on to win by a neck in 1:51.4 after a contentious stretch battle. JL Cruze finished third. "He was super," said winning driver Tim Tetrick of Southwind Chrome. "We went a very fast middle half with a nice horse following us. My horse showed a lot of toughness to hold off Muscle M Up. My horse went a big mile. I'm very happy with his effort." Southwind Chrome, a 4-year-old son of Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe who is trained by Jeff Cullipher and owned by Pollack Racing and Cullipher, returned $7.20 to his backers. He's won 10 of his 30 lifetime starts and earned $181,085. A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Dexter Dunn, fresh off a month of November that saw him win 23 Big M races, had three winners on the card. ... Dunn and trainer Harry Landy teamed up to take the 11th and 12th races. ... One shrewd handicapper betting into the Oregon hub was the only player to last six legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and cashed in for $7,480. ... All-source handle totaled $2,252,358 on the 13-race program. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The remarkable Preppy Art did it again. At this time, it would be hard to find a better inexpensive claimer than this harness racing veteran, who won his sixth consecutive race at the $7,500 claiming level for pacers at the Meadowlands Thursday night as the Big M hosted its first of four Thursday night cards during December. Racing out of the Nick Surick barn - his fourth different stable in four starts - Preppy Art was sent to the gate as the 1-5 public choice and driver Andy Miller rolled him immediately to the top and stopped the clock at the quarter in :27.3. A tepid second fraction of :29 followed, and even though Luck N Roll K moved boldly three-wide on the far turn to get into contention, he could not threaten the eventual winner, who hit the wire 3½ lengths in front of Luck N Roll K in 1:52.1, a season's best for the 7-year-old gelded son of Art Colony-Electric Smile. For Preppy Art - who paid $2.40 to win - his winning streak is even more amazing when you consider how he'd been doing before his winning ways began. At the end of 2017, he lost his last eight starts. During 2018, he had zero wins in 30 starts. In 2019, he was winless in his first 21 outings. Thus, he has won a half-dozen straight after losing 59 in a row. His streak created quite a stir at the claiming box, as 15 claims were entered on the horse. He leaves the Surick barn - where he had been owned by Melvin Fink and Debbie Surick - and now will race out of Traci Berry's barn after being claimed for a fifth straight start, this time by J. Craparotta and Pat Berry Racing. Lifetime, Preppy Art has 17 wins from 116 starts, good for earnings of $117,942. His lifetime best of 1:51.2 came two years ago at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A LITTLE MORE: Yannick Gingras paced the driver colony, scoring four times on the 10-race card. ... Trainers Surick and Trish Adams both had two winner's circle visits. ... Longshots won the first (29-1) and last (32-1) races on the program. Of the eight races in between, six were taken by the favorite. ... All-source handle totaled $1,051,607. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands   

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Tim Tetrick was the hot driver Saturday night at the Meadowlands as he drove the winners of the sixth, seventh and eighth races on the harness racing program. The last of his "natural hat trick" came in the $22,500 featured conditioned pace with San Domino A in 1:50.1. San Domino A picked up cover from 6-5 favorite Harambe Deo as leader Americanprimetime reached the half in :55.1. Harambe Deo and Americanprimetime were on even terms as they passed three-quarters while San Domino A continued along in perfect position second-over. Tetrick tipped San Domino A at just the right time inside the eighth pole as a tired Harambe Deo gave way. A super-game Americanprimetime fought on valiantly along the inside but could not prevent San Domino A from going on to a three-quarter-length win. Declan Seelster rallied for third. Harambe Deo faded to seventh. The winner, a 6-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Reggae Miss, returned $11.80 as the third choice in the wagering. He is owned by Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing, trained by Andrew Harris and now has 18 victories from 62 lifetime starts and earnings of $181,088. Tetrick's other winners came with 4-5 favorite McThriller (in the sixth race) and 1-5 public choice Griffon Hanover (seventh). LIVE RACING THIS THURSDAY: The racing schedule expands from two days a week to three, effective December 5, as live action at the Big M will be conducted on a Thursday-Saturday basis throughout December. Post time is 7:15 p.m. A LITTLE MORE: 50-cent Pick-5 players who had winning tickets cashed in for a handsome $3,476, even though none of the horses in the sequence went off at odds longer than 7-2. ... The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 played out like a jackpot wager once again. One sharp bettor playing into the Portland hub who lasted seven legs walked away with $8,501. ... Andy Miller matched Tetrick by winning three times on the program. ... Tyler Buter drove two to victory lane on the card, giving him five winner's circle visits for the weekend. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,475,703, pushing wagering for the weekend past the $5 million mark.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Driver Joe Bongiorno guided Misslarose to a perfect pocket trip and the veteran harness racing mare found clearance inside the final sixteenth to pull off a 30-1 shocker in the $30,000 featured Preferred for trotters at the Meadowlands Friday night. The 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Marion Chocolata was hustled away from the gate by Bongiorno and raced in the pocket behind JL Cruze at the quarter in :27.1. The action started to heat up at the half as Rich And Miserable vacated the three-hole to come after the leader. The look of the race changed shortly thereafter when 4-5 favorite Southwind Chrome broke as he looked to pick up cover. On the far turn, Rich And Miserable was up to engage JL Cruze as Bongiorno sat patiently just in behind the dueling leaders, waiting for his chance. And his chance would come. Through the stretch, Meladys Monet, who swung three-wide for the drive after going a third-over journey, was putting in his usual late charge while Rich And Miserable clung to a short edge after JL Cruze weakened. Nearing the wire, Bongiorno found a seam between Rich And Miserable (to his inside) and Meladys Monet (to his outside) and got up on the wire to record a neck win over Meladys Monet and Rich And Miserable in 1:53. Even at odds of 30-1, Misslarose's trainer had faith. "If I can be totally honest," said Jenn Bongiorno. "I really did think we had a shot. Granted, this was a big step up and I respect the field of horses she was up against immensely - the field was stacked - but at the end of the day, this is a really nice mare that absolutely loves the Big M. "(My brother) Joe couldn't have worked out a better trip and just always seems to get the most out of our horses. Both Joe and Misslarose continue to impress me more and more every day. I couldn't be happier." Misslarose, who paid $62.40 to win, now has four wins in eight Meadowlands starts in 2019 and has 11 Big M victories over the last two years. Her only other start in the Preferred ranks this season came in February when she missed a head to Trolley. Her career stats now stand at 19 wins from 73 starts and earnings of $229,790 for owner Wish Me Luck Stables. A LITTLE MORE: Trainer Justin Sodano, 23, won his first career Meadowlands race when The Lady Sheriff scored in the fifth race. ... One sharp player betting into the Catskills hub walked away with $6,847 after lasting just five legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10. Three of the five races were won by the post-time favorite. ... Tyler Buter had the right stuff, driving three winners on the card. Buter's fans grabbed some Black Friday green as his horses paid off at 2-1, 13-1 and 11-1. ... All-source handle for the 13-race card was $2,622,854, third best at the Fall Meeting. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Shellie De Vie was the recipient of a superb harness racing drive by Vinny Ginsburg, and the result was an easy 3¼-length score in the $25,000 featured conditioned pace for fillies and mares at the Meadowlands Friday night. The 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Beach Girl De Vie was put on the point around the first turn and made the quarter in :27.3. Oceania, the 4-5 favorite, was sitting sixth at this stage before working her way into the outer flow third-over as Shellie De Vie hit the half in :55.3. You Should Be Here came calling first-over to pressure the leader, but Shellie De Vie kept on rolling to three-quarters in 1:23.1 after a middle-half rating of :55.3 by Ginsburg with a strong winds at the horses' backs. Oceania was now three-wide with cover as the field came to the top of the stretch. Through the final three-sixteenths of a mile, Shellie De Vie continued to move well while Oceania could provide no punch after tipping off cover. Trained by Paul Fusco, Shellie De Vie completed the mile in 1:52. Annabeth came from way back to grab second while Renaissance Lady K finished third. Oceania was seventh in the nine-horse field.   As the second choice in the wagering, Shellie De Vie, who's now won 11-of-56 lifetime with earnings of $129,304 for owner Robert Arzano, paid $11.80 to win. THE BIG NIGHT IS HERE: Saturday night, the Meadowlands is hosting its biggest night of the autumn meeting, Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night, with purses totaling just over $2.8 million. A galaxy of harness racing stars will be on the card, including Atlanta, Hannelore Hanover, Papi Rob Hanover, Amigo Volo, Sister Sledge, Senorita Rita, American History, McWicked, Bettor's Wish, Lyons Sentinel, Six Pack, Gimpanzee, Manchego, Warrawee Ubeaut, Caviart Ally, and last but not least, the great Shartin N, who will look to claim the Horse of the Year trophy should she emerge victorious. The star-studded program gets off to an earlier-than-usual start, with the first race going off at 7 p.m. A LITTLE MORE: Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras both drove three winners on the card. Dunn leads the way at the Big M at the current meeting with 24 victories. ... The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 returned $3,147 for those who lasted seven legs. Of the seven winners, four were post-time choices. ... All-source handle totaled $2,193,101 for the 13-race program. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Atlanta tuned up for next week's TVG Mares Trot by winning the Saturday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands in dominant fashion. The fastest trotter in Big M history by virtue of her 1:49.1 clocking on July 6 of this year, Atlanta toyed with a talented field in the mile oval's featured $30,000 Preferred for trotters. Sent to the gate as the 3-5 public choice, driver Yannick Gingras put Atlanta on the early lead, hitting the quarter in :27.3. After a sleepy second fraction of :29.4 followed, it was all but over right then and there. The 4-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip never had an anxious moment, hitting the finish 2¼ lengths in front of the pocket-sitting-throughout Guardian Angel As in 1:52.2. Southwind Chrome rallied for third. The winner returned $3.40 to her backers. "I couldn't be happier with her," said Gingras. "She trotted right to the wire better than she has in a little while." "The track wasn't playing super fast," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "There might have been a bias against horses racing on the front end. It's the best performance Atlanta has had on the front this year. We could not have asked for anything more. She was straight all the way to the wire. I can't take anything bad out of the race." Atlanta has now won 20 of her 38 career starts and earned $1,866,889 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. Atlanta's stablemate, Hannelore Hanover, raced first over at the half but never threatened before weakening and finishing last in the field of eight. The lifetime earner of more than $3 million, who will face Atlanta when she makes her final career start in the TVG Mares Trot on Nov. 23, had some problems in her next-to-last race. "She bled again," said Burke of Hannelore Hanover. "It happens intermittently. That's why she's not who she was before. She's not the same because of it. That's why it's time to call it quits. We'll treat her this week and she'll be better on Saturday." A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the card. ... Dexter Dunn stayed hot, as after winning three on the Friday card, he won three more on Saturday. ... Favorites ruled for a second straight night as eight post-time choices won Saturday after a half-dozen scored on Friday. ... The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 paid $4,060.24 to the pair of players who lasted eight legs. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,412,658. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Misslarose is a harness racing veteran who knows what the winner's circle at the Meadowlands looks like, and the 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Marion Chocolata found her way there again Friday night after winning the Big M's featured event, a high-level $20,000 conditioned trot. Gemologist, the longest shot in the field at odds of 79-1, was on the go early and led the field past the quarter before yielding the top to 3-2 favorite Very Very Fast. Misslarose was also in the early scrum and quickly brushed up to the top just before the half, stopping the clock there in :56.2. The Jenn Bongiorno trainee, who won at the Big M seven times a year ago, showed her home-field advantage from there, hitting three-quarters in 1:25 before reporting home an easy winner, 1¼ lengths in front of Very Very Fast, in 1:53.2. Uncle Hanover rallied for third. With Dave Miller doing the driving, Misslarose returned $7.20 to her backers as the second choice in the wagering. She now has three wins in seven Meadowlands starts this year, and over the last 23 months, has won at the Big M 10 times. "What a solid edition to the stable," said Bongiorno of the winner, who was making only her fifth start for the conditioner. "She absolutely loves the Big M. Once she got to the front tonight, I knew it would be tough to catch her. She just loves to do her work. I'm proud she can beat a solid field of aged male trotters." Owned by Wish Me Luck Stables, Misslarose has now amassed 18 wins from 72 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $214,790. CHURN, BABY, CHURN: A formful night of racing led to many tickets cashed on the Big M's popular multi-leg wagers. There were six winning favorites on the program, while nine of the 13 races on the card resulted in win payouts of $7.20 or less. The 50-cent Pick-5 returned $161.20 while the 50-cent Pick-4 came back $67.15. A LITTLE MORE: You can't stop Dexter Dunn, you can only hope to contain him. The 30-year-old New Zealander, who leads the Big M driver's colony with 18 victories, won three on the Friday program. Dunn loves to win in bunches, as in the early stages of the Fall Meeting, he's won four on a card twice and three on three occasions. ... Yannick Gingras also won three on the card. ... All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,314,260. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Dave Little

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The original Halley's Comet is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 75-76 years. Good thing for fans of Hallie's Comet the harness racing horse, that he wins with a lot more regularity than that. The Ron Burke-trained Hallie's Comet, a 5-year-old gelded son of Roddy's Bags Again-Joyanna, won his third straight start (the first came at Pocono Downs), scoring Saturday night at the Meadowlands in the track's featured $22,500 conditioned pace. Upon arrival at the Big M on Oct. 26, Hallie's Comet pulled off a gigantic upset at odds of 44-1 facing non-winners of $15,000, this time around, facing better non-winners of $20,000 types, the result was the same, while the payoff was not. Hallie's Comet was away fifth in the field of six as 2-1 second choice New Talent, who made the top just after the quarter, led the way at the half in :55.3. Hallie's Comet was off the rail a tad before the halfway point and was towing even-money favorite Hayden Hanover into the race. 'Comet' continued to gain on the leader and was on even terms with New Talent when they turned for home. That's when Hallie's Comet took off through the stretch, leaving both New Talent and Hayden Hanover in his wake. Hallie's Comet hit the finish 2½-lengths clear of Hayden Hanover with Vega Star N closing for third. The winner was driven by Yannick Gingras and returned $8.00 to his backers as the third choice in the wagering. He's now won 14 of 94 lifetime starts and earned $239,961 for owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick had the hot hands among the drivers, winning four on the card. Dexter Dunn followed up his four-winner Friday with a three-score Saturday. ... Rich Mattei, who did the commentary on TVG for the Big M, gave out the $74.55 Pick-5 cold. ... Chalk players got to have their fun as seven post-time favorites visited the winner's circle. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,157,207. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing fans got a real treat Friday night, getting to see the best horse in training right now - the great mare Manchego - tune up for the Nov. 23 TVG Final by easily defeating four overmatched foes in the featured Preferred Handicap for trotters at the Meadowlands. The 4-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic encountered nothing in the way of trouble, grabbing the lead just before the three-eighths-mile marker, hitting the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.3, before extending her edge through the stretch on the way to a 3¾-length win in 1:52.4. The fastest female trotter (1:49) of all-time paid $2.10 to win with Dexter Dunn in the sulky. Rich And Miserable was second with Pat Matters third. "She was pretty much under wraps," said winning trainer Nancy Johansson. "Dexter told me he wrapped her up at three-quarters. She's just amazing. She's out there playing. She's so happy now. She just goes out there and does her thing." The question now: Which TVG event will Manchego go in? The $175,000 Mare Trot, or take on the boys in the $350,000 Open Trot. Johansson made it clear which one she'd prefer. "I would like for the Meadowlands to let us race the boys in the Open Trot," said Johansson. "I think she deserves a shot at the boys. Arguably, she's the best trotting horse in training. She has earned the invitation." While the entry box has to be emptied before it's a certainty, it is likely Johansson will get what she desires. "There's a pretty good shot she'll get an invite," said Meadowlands' Racing Secretary Scott Warren. "There has to be room to invite her. There are no eliminations and only 10 can go." Whether the invitation is extended or not, Manchego will be at the Big M on the 23rd. "If the invitation is offered, of course we will take it," said Johansson. "Regardless, she will race (in either the Open or Mare Trot)." Manchego has been on a gigantic roll since coming back from an injury. "She injured herself prior to the (Aug. 24) Maple Leaf Trot," said Johansson. "She lost half of her right hind hoof in the trailer on the way to Canada. It took some time for that to heal. But once that was taken care of, she hasn't lost." Among the victories during her current six-race win streak include the Sept. 27 Dayton Derby (where she won in 1:50.1) at Dayton Raceway, Oct. 6 Allerage (1:49) at Lexington's Red Mile and the Oct. 26 Breeders Crown (1:51) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. She's now won 27 of her 42 career starts and earned $2,037,980 for owners Black Horse Racing. A LITTLE MORE: Dunn had the hot hand among the drivers, guiding four winners on the card. Tyler Buter had three, including a sweep of the late double, which paid $99.00. Buter's other score came with Aragorn Hoss Fi in the third race, paying $109.80 to win ... All-source handle on the 13-race program totaled $1,873,140. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Look out below! After being dismissed at odds of 50-1, Buen Camino shocked an abbreviated star-laden harness racing field in the featured $30,000 Preferred for trotters at the Meadowlands Friday night. The Trond Smedshammer trainee was in no hurry in the early stages, sitting fifth past the quarter and the half. Heading to three-quarters, driver Scott Zeron put Buen Camino in a perfect spot second-over, getting towed into the race by 8-5 favorite Cruzado Dela Noche, who earlier this year won the $175,200 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Big M. Leader Muscle M Up opened up some space between himself and the pocket-sitting JL Cruze as he reached three-quarters in 1:23.2 while Cruzado Dela Noche continued to inch his way forward while parked. At the head of the stretch, Muscle M Up was still a length-and-a-half to the good, but his lead was tenuous as he began to tire. Buen Camino swung around a weary Cruzado Dela Noche with a little more than an eighth of a mile to go as even-money favorite Melady's Monet swung to the far outside after going a third-over journey. "He's a classy horse," said Zeron of Buen Camino. "He's a big strong horse and I figured he could go with (this field). He exceeded my expectations." In deep stretch, it appeared Melady's Money would power by to go on to his fourth straight victory, but Buen Camino was strong to the wire, keeping the favorite at bay for a neck win in a lifetime-best equaling 1:52. JL Cruze was third, followed by Trolley, Muscle M Up and Cruzado Dela Noche in the six-horse field. "I did think Melady's Monet was going to go by," said Zeron. "He had been winning the opens at Yonkers, but my horse exploded off cover and I just had to keep him on that tempo." Buen Camino returned $104.40 to his backers for trainer Trond Smedshammer and owners Purple Haze Stables. The 7-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall-Baby Bella now has 18 wins from 88 career starts, good for earnings of $765,071. PICK-5 CARRYOVER: No one selected all of the winners in the 50-cent Pick-5, creating a carryover of $19,326 going into Saturday's card. The last time there was a Pick-5 carryover, the total pool reached $150,000 (on Oct. 18), and wagering could exceed that figure Saturday, given the four Kindergarten Classic Finals that are on the card that have purses totaling almost $900,000. Those who went four-for-five in the Pick-5 collected $495.55. A LITTLE MORE: Dexter Dunn drove three winners on the card. ... All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,423,608, a meet best. ... Simulcasting of the Breeders' Cup from Santa Anita begins Saturday with the first Cup event at 2:55 p.m. The Breeders' Cup Classic has a post time of 8:44 p.m. ... Live harness racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Hallie's Comet used some racing luck and a great steer from driver Eric Abbatiello to pull off a major surprise in the featured $22,500 conditioned pace Saturday night at the Meadowlands. The tote board spoke volumes about how evenly-matched the field was, as the post-time favorite was 3-1 while the fifth choice was 4-1. Americanprimetime moved past early leader Sicily to lead while parked at the quarter, before Sicily retook and led the field past the half in :55 and three-quarters in 1:23.3. As Sicily turned for home on the point, Hallie's Comet was in an extremely tough spot, racing fourth along the rail with no apparent shot. That's when the eventual winner got some luck, in the form of a seam between rivals as the horses up front started to weaken. In midstretch, Abbatiello found enough room with the 5-year-old gelded son of Roddy's Bags Again-Joyanna to swing to the far outside before charging home to score in 1:50.2 at odds of 44-1. The Ron Burke trainee, who is owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, paid $91.60 to win as he scored for the 13th time in 93 lifetime starts. His career earnings stand at $228,711. Hallie's Comet hit the wire a head in front of Another Daily Copy while Americanprimetime finished third. A LITTLE MORE: With Hallie's Comet scoring in leg one of the Pick-4, the return was $5,083. ... Driver Steve Smith scored twice at odds of 17-1 early on the program, helping the Pick-5 return a handsome $6,312. ... Driver Tyler Buter, who had four winners last Saturday, tallied three on the card, as did Vinny Ginsburg. ... All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $1,947,268. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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