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WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 7, 2018 -- Trailing previously unbeaten Sonnet Grace by a length turning for home, Antonia found another gear and upset the 2-5 favorite in Tuesday's $185,836 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over four divisions, with Ma Was Right, Magical Beliefs and Nomo Volo taking the other splits. It was a big day for David Miller, who won three PASS divisions and finished second in the fourth, beaten by Nomo Volo. Sonnet Grace captured the first four starts of her career, and the granddaughter of Hall of Famer CR Kay Suzie appeared well on the way to number five. But the determined Antonia gobbled up ground and finally prevailed at the wire by a head in a career-best 1:56.4. Sky Is Mine was a ground-saving third. "I wasn't sure we would get by," Miller said. "My filly was running in and lost a little ground in the last turn. You have to be careful with her at the start, but she usually gets home pretty good. She held the gate real good today, and she put her head in front late. Gotta give her credit for that." Nifty Norman conditions the daughter of Donato Hanover-Tactical Caviar for Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and Pinske Stables. Ma Was Right followed cover beautifully before roaring through the stretch and scoring in a stake-fastest 1:56.3, downing the first-over Matter Of Fact by a length. Early leader Personal Paradise completed the ticket. "That's the third time I've raced her, and her trips have been pretty much the same," Miller said. "She's usually trotting pretty good at the wire. She didn't get away well from the rail today, but she's pretty strong on the end of it." Noel Daley conditions the daughter of Muscle Hill-It's Alright Ma, who has finished first or second in all five career starts, for All Laid Out Stable. Magical Beliefs and Miller were stalking Ladylilli when they pulled the pocket before the three-quarters and rolled to a comfortable 2-length victory in 1:57.1 for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables and R-And-I Farms. Windy Corner was third-placed-second and Lady Builder fourth-placed-third while Ladylilli, who finished second, was disqualified and placed last for leaving the course. "With that half in 57.3, I didn't know how far that horse in front of me would take me," Miller said. "So I thought I would take a shot rather than sit in and get shuffled. She was tired at the end, but she held up." Tuesday's card also featured a pair of Preferred Handicap races. In the $20,000 event for filly and mare pacers, the pocket-sitting Medusa kicked by Lakeisha Hall late and triumphed in 1:51.3 for Tony Hall and trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical with Tom Pollack. Medusa now boasts $773,553 in career earnings. Call For Justice and Dave Palone took the $18,000 trot by slipping past Wind Of The North in the Lightning Lane, snapping that rival's three-race winning streak. The 6-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika's Mazurka, who prevailed in 1:53.4, extended his lifetime bankroll to $516,067 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the card features a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Six divisions of two-year-old pacing fillies went to the post in the second leg of their Pennsylvania Stallion Series competition Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with some of the winners showing talent that may stand them in good stead should they choose to upgrade to the Sire Stakes level. David Miller guided the last three winners in the Stallion Series competition, including the only winner in the first two legs and the fastest winner of the night. The leader of this grouping right now, at least on Championship points, is the Somebeachsomewhere - Sarandon Blue Chip filly Margret Hill, who took a new mark of 1:53.3. Despite a 26-day layoff, Miller brushed his pacer to the lead past the 3/8, and she then showed her gameness in the back fractions of 56.3 - 28, holding off Rock N Mcroll to her right by a half-length, with Unspoken Promise to her left another neck back in third. Brian Brown conditions the 3-for-3 filly for owner Tom Hill, and that braintrust have an interesting position to mull over - stay in the Stallion Series, do well, and be one of the favorites for the Championship, or make a late start to the Sire stakes and try to get enough points to make that much-more-lucrative Championship, with the possible peril of losing the Stallion Series place. Fastest of the StS winners was the Captaintreacherous - Musicale Hanover baby May Bride Hanover, who froze the timer in 1:52.3 while taking her first win. May Bride Hanover had shown fast last quarters from far-back positioning in all her lines before this event, but she was much more involved in the forward proceedings here, making the lead, yielding, coming out at the 5/8 and dashing right on by to the ¾, and enjoying a 4¼ length gap over her nearest opposition at the finish. The Nifty Norman-trained freshman filly is owned by the Pinske Stables and David Hoese. The other winner for David Miller was the Sweet Lou - Ram Rocker distaff Skater Chick, who overcame the tough tuck-then-first-over trip, grinding down favored Sweet Cherry in back fractions of 56.2 - 28 to be 1¼ lengths separated from that foe at the end of the mile in 1:53.3, a new mark. Mark Harder trains the winner of two straight for Donald Lindsey, Paul Kleinpaste, and Garth Bechtel. If you looked up quickly at the wire of the first two StS races, you might think the same driver won both, but it was the drivers with the similar colors, Corey Callahan and Tim Tetrick, visiting Victory Lane. Callahan was first with the Somebeachsomewhere - Limestone Cowgirl miss A Beach Cowgirl, who went right out to the lead and came home in 28.1 to win by 1¾ lengths while taking a maiden mark of 1:54.3. Trainer Brett Bittle is the co-owner of the winner with E. Dan Bittle and the Charles Kellers III and IV. Another daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, out of the mare Tulu Hanover, the Tetrick-guided Trillions Hanover, yielded to sit a pocket trip to the 10-cent favorite Darn Tootn Hanover, then outrushed that rival home into a 27.3 last quarter to post a 1¼ length upset in a new best of 1:54.1. A 1:55 winner against elder stock at Philly, Trillions Hanover is trained by Tom Fanning for Fanning Racing LLC, VIP Internet Stable LLC, and J L Benson Stables Inc. Simon Allard has shown a flair for the dramatic when guiding stakes fillies - he was behind Highland Dynamite when that sophomore trotter paid $250.80, top price at Pocono this year, in an All-Stars event in June - and here he lit up the board with 16-1 shot Sweet Sissy Lou, a Sweet Lou - Hard To Desire filly, with whom he sat in the pocket then brushed late to post a 2¾ length victory for her first win in 1:55.3. Trainer Steve Salerno is co-owner of the winner with Bruce Potter, Nicholas Tallarico, and Tom Vassiliou. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

YONKERS, NY, Monday, July 29, 2018--One odds-on choice sizzled and one odds-on choice fizzled Monday night (July 30th) during Yonkers Raceway's $172,000 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The event once again honored the memory one of the state's true get-it-done gentlemen, whose contributions to the industry were way too numerous to mention here. The Monday sizzling was done by Springsteen (Dave Miller, $2.50), who sat a loose, second-over trip before closing ranks and powering away in the $85,250 first division. Away fourth from post position No. 2, Springsteen saw revved up polester Lyons Steel (Scott Zeron) set early fractions of :26.4 and :55.1. Topville Olympian (Brian Sears) then made his second move, prompted in and out of a 1:23.1 three quarters. Meanwhile, Springsteen was meandering behind Topville Olympian, taking his time to tag him before going wide in the final turn. He did take over, opening a length in and out of the final turn before widening to 2¾ lengths at the spiffy 1:51.1 wire. Rootin' Tootin' (Mark MacDonald) was behind the winner and chased him home, with Topville Olympian, Twin B Tuffenuff (George Brennan) and Lyons Steel coming away with the minors. For Springsteen, a Hempt-winning son of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg and Kapildeo Singh, it was his third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.20, the triple returned $19.80 and the superfecta paid $69. "He's at his best in the back end of the race," Miller said. "I really thought they'd go (fractions of) :27 and :57, so when saw the first half, I figured we were in good shape. "I'm just the passenger when he's as good as he was tonight." Monday night's second ($86,750) and final division, alas, didn't charm the chalk players. Art Rooney Pace winner Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), at 35-cent-on-the-dollar this evening, was ground into submission...as in last among the octet. Sitting third early behind My Delight (Brent Holland) and Ghost Dance (Zeron), Trump Nation moved to the lead between a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and :56.3 intermission. That didn't impress Ghost Dance, who took out of third to go after the people's preference. Pole-sitting Heavenly Sound (Jim Marohn Jr.) was able to work from second-over. Ghost Dance draw even at the 1:24.1 three-quarters, sticking his nose out entering the lane. Meanwhile, that duel just empowered Heavenly Sound ($14.80), who whipped a third-over Ostro Hanover (Miller) by a length in 1:52.4. My Delight crossed the line third, but was set down to fifth for lane interference. That lifted Stendahl Hanover (Marcus Miller) and Rockapelo (Sears) to third and fourth, respectively. For third choice Heavenly Sound, a Rock N Roll Heaven colt owned by M&M Harness Racing and trained by Bruce Saunders, it was his fifth win in 15 '18 tries. The exacta paid $92, the triple returned $970 and the superfecta paid $5,380. "He negotiated the turns better here than his last start (Saratoga)," Saunders said. "We made a few equipment changes and the trip certainly didn't hurt." Bruce Hamilton's brothers, Scott (with daughter Faith) and Keith, joined in the winner's circle presentations. New York Sire Stakes continue here Tuesday night (Aug. 7th), with the Mike Cipriani Trot (3-year-old fillies). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

David Miller has made countless trips to the Meadowlands Racetrack winner's circle during his Hall of Fame driving career, but when he returned to that spot following Saturday's Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, none counted more. Miller guided favorite Courtly Choice to victory in the $701,830 event for 3-year-old pacers, a race he dreamed of winning since arriving at the Meadowlands in the late 1990s. It took 19 tries, but as Miller soaked up the triumph following the trophy presentation and posing for photos, it was worth the wait. "It's a bit emotional," Miller said as his eyes misted with tears of joy. "I was all but thinking I was never going to get this race. I finally got it. It was cool. As a kid growing up, you watch these races and dream about being out here and winning them. It's a great feeling. I'm sure I'll enjoy it for a while." Prior to the race, Meadowlands Racetrack analyst/historian Bob "Hollywood" Heyden pointed out that Miller was the youngest driver, at age 30, in his first Meadowlands Pace drive, which came behind Cinder Lane Sam in 1995 and resulted in a fifth-place finish. Now 53, Miller was the oldest driver in the race on Saturday. "I guess patience is a virtue," Miller said, laughing. Miller's drive with Courtly Choice was his first in the Meadowlands Pace with a favorite. Prior to driving Courtly Choice, the nearest Miller came to a favorite in the race was Always B Miki, who finished second to He's Watching in 2014 at odds of 7-1 from post nine. Miller had driven only one other horse in the event at less than double-digit odds, No Pan Intended at 8-1 in 2003. "I've never had a favorite, but I've had horses that I thought I had shots with and left here with a lot of fourths and fifths," Miller said. "I was driving here and trying not to be too exciting. I kept telling myself, we haven't had much luck in it. "I just tried to play it low key and go into it as just another race and not do something like over-drive my horse or under-drive him. I was hoping things would work out for us, which they did." Miller and Courtly Choice were in sixth place for the first half of the mile race, but moved to the outside to follow Dorsoduro Hanover as the field made its way around the final turn. Dorsoduro Hanover steamed past leader American History as they straightened for home, but Courtly Choice was able to get by Dorsoduro Hanover in the stretch and win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:47.1. "I wasn't sure what Doug McNair was going to do (driving second-choice Stay Hungry)," Miller said. "I saw off the gate he was going to get me in front of him and track me. That was all right because two from the outside left and I didn't want to be, like, third over trying to run them down. "The trip actually worked out perfect, as I was hoping it would. The horse did the rest." Blake MacIntosh, who trains and co-owns Courtly Choice (as Mac And Heim Stables) with Hutt Racing Stable, Daniel Plouffe, and Touch Stone Farms, won the Meadowlands Pace in his first attempt, but was no less thrilled than Miller. The owners supplemented Courtly Choice to the race for $61,690 because the horse was not originally staked to the event. "You dream about winning the Meadowlands Pace when you're jogging every morning; I've won it 30 times jogging," MacIntosh said with a big smile. "It's just amazing, just amazing. I thought if we were ever going to win it, we were going to win it (Saturday) because Dave gave him the most unbelievable drive." MacIntosh bought Courtly Choice, a son of Art Major out of Lady Ashlee Ann, for $60,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. The colt is a half-brother to O'Brien Award-winner Betterthancheddar, a horse with which MacIntosh was associated while working with trainer Casie Coleman. "I looked at him at the sale and he was a twin to (Betterthancheddar)," MacIntosh said. "I fell in love with him. I don't spend big money at the sales. I got him at 60 and after the hammer fell I've never been so sick in my entire life. I was nervous as could be. But it paid off. It's unreal how it paid off for us." Miller would be the first to agree. "He's just an incredible horse," Miller said. After a pause, he laughed, and added, "He got me to win the Meadowlands Pace, so how good is he." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - David Miller flashed a wide smile as he guided Courtly Choice to the winner's circle after winning the $701,830 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. The monkey was off the Hall of Famer's back. After 19 failed efforts, Miller finally owned a harness racing victory in the Meadowlands Racetrack's signature event for 3-year-olds. Courtly Choice rallied to win the Pace by 1¼ lengths on Saturday night. "That was sweet," Miller said. "Really sweet." The Pace was an obvious omission on Miller's glittering resume. "The Buckeye" is second on the sport's all-time money list with $222 million in the bank. His best previous Pace finish was a second with Always B Miki in 2014. The sweetness of the moment spread in many directions, including trainer Blake MacIntosh, who also savored the victory in his Pace debut. "I believed in this horse," said McIntosh, the former assistant to Casie Coleman. "He just had some back luck earlier in the year." And it was a winning gamble for the ownership group that ponied up $61,690 to enter last week's eliminations. The faith of Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touch Stone Farms was rewarded with the $350,915 first-prize check. Most importantly, it was moment of redemption for Courtly Choice, who failed to make the finals in the North America Cup and the Hempt. The colt served notice his moment was at hand with a sharp first-up victory in last week's Pace elimination. And then he finally put it all together for the richest victory of his career. The race seemed primed for a 57-1 upset when a dead-game Dorsoduro Hanover, handled by Matt Kakaley, battled his way to the front at the top of the lane. But Courtly Choice was tracking his every move and angled wide under Miller's urging to score the victory. "The trip worked out good," Miller said. "The couple of horses I thought would leave from the outside left. I was able to get Matt in front of me and nobody else moved. On the last turn, I was real happy with my spot." The time was 1:47 1/5 on the warm evening. Courtly Choice paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.80 as the 6-5 favorite. Dorsoduro Hanover returned $28.20 and $8.80. Stay Hungry paid $3.20 to show as the best finisher among trainer Tony Alagna's trio in the race. Jimmy Freight, the other supplement, was fourth followed by Thinkbig Dreambig, Nutcracker Sweet, This Is The Plan, Babes Dig Me, Hayden Hanover and American History. by Mike Farrell, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Hannelore Hanover and Broadway Donna each won a $30,000 division of the Miss Versatility Series for older female trotters Saturday night at the Meadowlands, with Hannelore's 1:50.2 score coming up just one-fifth of a second off the year's fastest trotting mile. Hannelore Hanover, the defending Horse of the Year, was sent off at 1-9 and led from start to finish for driver Yannick Gingras. Ice Attraction, who tried to reel in Hannelore Hanover along the inside in the stretch, finished second while Celebrity Ruth, who tried to challenge for the lead on the final turn, was third. The margin of victory was a half-length. "I was just measuring it in the stretch," Gingras said. "I don't want to go more than I have to. She was really good." Hannelore Hanover, a daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety, has won all six of her starts this year and has earned $233,338. For her career, she has won 42 of 64 races and $2.7 million. The 6-year-old mare is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables. Hannelore Hanover paid $2.10 to win. Broadway Donna won her Miss Versatility division in 1:51.1, equaling her career mark. The 5-year-old mare took the lead from Emoticon Hanover on the backstretch and never looked back on her way to victory by 1½ lengths over Caprice Hill. Emoticon Hanover, the 1-2 favorite, finished third. "I expected a little more speed early in the race," winning driver David Miller said. "When I saw (the opening quarter) in :28, I thought I better make a move. I had to go a good second quarter, but she relaxed and had plenty left on the end of it. She seems really good right now. She's getting pretty wise to racing, she knows what it's all about." Broadway Donna has won three of five races this year and earned $43,750 for owner Fashion Farms and trainer Jim Campbell. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Broadway Schooner has won 20 of 37 career races and $1.32 million. Sent off at odds of 2-1, Broadway Donna paid $6.60 to win as the second choice in the wagering. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Stay Hungry and Courtly Choice were the harness racing winners of the $50,000 eliminations for next week's Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Saturday night at the Meadowlands. "(The trip) worked out great and he got the job done," said Doug McNair, who guided Stay Hungry to victory in the first elim. "The trips have not worked out 100 percent for him." Until Saturday night, that is. McNair was content to race Stay Hungry from off the pace, sitting fifth at the quarter before picking up live cover from 37-1 shot Ideal Feeling after the half, where even-money favorite Nutcracker Sweet had the lead in :55.1. Ideal Feeling continued to make progress on the rim passing three-quarters. After the field straightened away in the stretch, McNair tipped the son of Somebeachsomewhere off his cover, and Stay Hungry did the rest. He cruised to the wire, a three-quarter length winner over the pocket-sitting Hayden Hanover. Thinkbig Dreambig closed well for third, while Nutcracker Sweet and This Is The Plan finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to qualify for next week's $701,830 final. "He's come back well," said trainer Tony Alagna of Stay Hungry. "The five-eighths mile racing is really not his forte (he finished fourth at Pocono in the Hempt). Everything came together tonight." As the 2-1 second choice, Stay Hungry paid $6.40 to win. He competed the mile in a lifetime-best 1:49. Two races later, Courtly Choice, supplemented to the event by his connections for $61,690, sat third as 4-5 favorite Jimmy Freight (the other supplemental entrant) cut out fractions of :27, :54.2 and 1:22.2. David Miller moved his horse off the rail at the five-eighths and inched closer to the leader around the far turn and still had work to do at the head of the stretch. But he was up to the task. Courtly Choice eased past Jimmy Freight in deep stretch and had more than enough to hold off the late rally of the pocket-sitting American History, who finished three-quarters of a length back in second. Jimmy Freight and Dorsoduro Hanover finished in a dead-heat for third while Babes Dig Me claimed the last spot in the final by finishing fifth. "I actually got away where I expected to," said David Miller. "He felt really strong. I asked him and he paced really hard. He's got big lungs and can carry his speed." "From last year to this year, he's really matured," said winning trainer Blake MacIntosh. "He loves to race now." As the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Courtly Choice returned $6.00 to his backers. The son of Art Major hit the wire in a lifetime-best 1:48.2. A LITTLE MORE:  No one hit the 50-Cent Pick-5, meaning that for the first time since January, the wager will have a carryover. The last time there was a Pick-5 carryover, the pool total exceeded $250,000. … Speaking of carryovers, the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $276,939. This Friday, July 13, the JSH5 will have a mandatory payout, meaning that to cash, one does not have to hold the only ticket with the winning combination. … For the second consecutive race card after a nearly two-month drought, the 50-Cent Pick-4 pool went past the $100,000 mark, as a total of $108,123 was poured into the pot. … The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 was tough, with three early races going to a pair of 16-1 shots and a 26-1 chance. In the end, only one player survived six legs, and he or she cashed in for $12,491. … All-source wagering on the 12-race card totaled $2,513,366. … Racing resumes Friday at the Big M at 7:15 p.m. … Next Saturday has an early post time of 6:35 p.m. The featured event is the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. That morning, at 11 a.m., a new era in Big M history will be ushered in as sports betting will be available. The field for the $701,830 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, an open event for 3-year-olds, with post position, horse (driver, trainer) and morning-line odds. The Pace takes place on Saturday, July 14 and has an approximate post time of 9:45 p.m. PP HORSE (DRIVER, TRAINER), ODDS 1. Stay Hungry by Somebeachsomewhere - (Doug McNair, Tony Alagna), 3-1 2. This Is The Plan by Somebeachsomewhere - (Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder), 15-1 3. American History by American Ideal (Yannick Gingras, Tony Alagna), 5-1 4. Jimmy Freight by Sportswriter - (Louis-Philippe Roy, Andrew Harris), 9-2 5. Courtly Choice by Art Major - (David Miller, Blake MacIntosh), 5-2 6. Nutcracker Sweet by Bettor's Delight - (No Driver, Jimmy Takter), 15-1 7. Hayden Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere - (Andy Miller, Julie Miller), 8-1 8. Thinkbig Dreambig by Bettor's Delight - (Jordan Stratton, Jimmy Takter), 12-1 9. Babes Dig Me by Somebeachsomewhere - (Brett Miller, Tony Alagna), 30-1 10. Dorsoduro Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere - (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), 15-1 by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands    

CHESTER, PA - A pair of daughters of Donato Hanover, Seviyorum and Live Laugh Love, both trotted the Harrah's Philadelphia oval in 1:53.1 during Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on the pre-holiday Tuesday card at the riverside oval, and coming away co-holders of the divisional track record for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies. Andy Miller moved Seviyorum, a winner of $325,526, out raw at the half and quickly got her in gear, clearing with a 27.4 brush down the backstretch and then duplicating the clocking the remainder of the journey to lower by a tick the local divisional standard first set by Behindclosedoors in 2010 and tied by Superstar Hanover in 2012. Julie Miller trains the member of Team Orange Crush, who also established a personal best, for Story Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable Inc. Then it was David Miller and Live Laugh Love's turn in the spotlight, as she brushed to the lead in front of the grandstand, went on at a quick clip, and maintained control from there. The Nifty Norman trainee, with two Sire Stakes wins and a second to Manchego in her 2018 state campaign, took a new speed badge and boosted her bankroll to $145,467 for Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. Phaetosive, the Explosive Matter filly who gave 2017 champion Manchego some of her strongest challenges last year, won easily in her second start of the year in 1:53.2 - a time which would have equaled the track record had not Seviyorum raced earlier (and, as it turned out, Live Laugh Love later). Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and his filly both kept their heads while there were several breakers around them in the last quarter, going on true to the wire to raise her earnings to $281,393 for Purple Haze Stables LLC. (Smedshammer/Purple Haze may have given a preview of "the next generation" earlier in the card, as the freshman Explosive Matter - Hawaiian Lea filly Matterlei was successful in her purse debut in 1:58.4.) There were also five divisions of the parallel Stallion Series competition on the only Tuesday card of the year at Philly. The winners were: Mission Revealed, a Donato Hanover filly driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Bill "Moon" Mullin, also co-owner with Howard Taylor, well clear in lowering her mark over seven seconds to 1:54.3. Follow Streak, who looked like a rerun of Sire Stakes winner Seviyorum from 16 minutes earlier, with sire Donato Hanover, driver Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller, and a backstretch brush to the lead en route to a new mark of 1:54.3 and her second Stallion Series win of the year for the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. Bella Glos, a Cantab Hall filly who had to dig in to defeat Mighty Macko to her left and Pembroke Mystery to her right in 1:56.3, taking her second Stallion Series victory for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter and Black Horse Racing. Bandol Rose, another daughter of Cantab Hall, who worked hard to get the early lead, then rolled on to a new mark of 1:55 for driver David Miller, trainer Charlie Norris, and the M T Pockets Stables. Perfect Image, a Muscle Hill distaff who provided a second Stallion Series success for the team of David Miller and Charlie Norris while lowering her mark to 1:55.1 for owner Frank Poerio Jr., racing unchallenged the last 5/8. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA – A “Who’s Who” of the free-for-all pacers, three-year-old trotters, and three-year-old pacers both male and female were gathered together at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, trying to perform well in harness racing elimination races and qualify for next Saturday’s $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Championships race card. There was a frontstretch headwind. FRANKLIN PACE (FFA p) Heaven Rocks A proved best in a cavalry charge to the wire, sweeping off cover to reduce his Stateside mark to 1:49.3 in the first $30,000 Franklin elim. Check Six moved to the lead after the 26.1 opener, got to the midpoint in 54.1, then was challenged by first-over Western Fame to the 1:22 ¾ pole. Heaven Rocks A tipped three-wide midturn, was (as has been his norm) a bit hard to keep on a maximum course late on the turn, but then showed determination to withstand late-charging Donttellmeagain by a neck, with Western Fame holding stoutly for third and a Franklin final spot. Ross Croghan trains the winner of $414,145, and driver David Miller co-owns him with the Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham. McWicked made winning look McEasy despite a first-over journey, winning handily for driver Brian Sears in 1:48.3. Mach It So set the early pace of 26 and 54.2, then had to contend with the inexorable McGrind of the winner. McWicked took the lead shortly after the 1:21.2 ¾, then finished out in 27.1, 2¾ lengths   ahead of Rockin Ron, who split horses late to just get second over longshot Mac’s Jackpot, who photoed Mach It So for advancement to next week’s Championship. Casie Coleman conditions the veteran son of McArdle, who now is at $2,394,362 in career earnings, for S S G Stables. BEAL TROT (3YO Open trot) Ohio champion Mission Accepted proved he was the real deal against Grand Circuit stock by taking the first of the $25,000 Beal eliminations in 1:53.2. Those who had backed the Manofmanymissions colt to 4-5 had a few anxious moments down the back as their choice significantly gapped the cover of Patent Leather, who went his third split in 26.4 to clear pacesetter Whats The Word. But driver Ryan Stahl got more out of Mission Accepted and gained on the turn, then dove down into an open Pocono Pike, trotting away late for a 1¼ length tally over Patent Leather, with Lawmaker, forwardly-placed throughout, taking third. The winner, perfect in four starts this year and the OhSS Final victor at two, now has a bankroll of $268,300 for trainer Jeff Conger, who is also the co-owner with  Knox Services Inc. and David Wills. Six Pack started from post six in his Beal elim, then recorded all “1”s across his charted line, withstanding a late Pocono Pike rush from Evaluate by ¾ of a length to win in 1:53.3. Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt put the New York star right on the lead, and after a 29.3 second quarter breather the son of Muscle Mass flew home in 56 – 27.4. Evaluate (at .90 odds to Six Pack’s .80*), in the pocket, raced strongly in the lane to maintain second, with Fashionwoodchopper showing grit to hold on for third and advancement after having to go first-over. Six Pack now shows earnings of $345,055 for Åke Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and Stall Kalmar FF. HEMPT PACE (3YO c/g pace) Dorsoduro Hanover made a swift move to the lead before the 5/8 in the first of the $25,000 Hempt elims, then held on gamely over the late charge of Springsteen by a neck, with forwardly-placed This Is The Plan, looped for the lead down the back, came back to be another neck off the 1:49.4 winner to complete the trio to advance. The victorious Somebeachsomewhere gelding took a new lifetime mark and set a season’s record, running his 2018 record to 4-for-5 this season while taking his earnings to $172,668. Matt Kakaley handled sulky duties for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stables LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and the Wingfield Five. LYNCH PACE (3YO filly pace) Youaremycandygirl, looking more like her 2017 championship self, took the first $20,000 Lynch elimination on the engine in 1:51.3. Yannick Gingras was out to the 27.1 quarter to make the lead behind the daughter of American Ideal, then tripped the timer at the half in 56.2 before Alexa’s Power moved up to challenge. The 6-5 second choice pacesetter (the first non-favorite to win in the eliminations after five straight chalk) and the 1-2* first-over battled to and past the 1:23.2 3/4s, with Alexa’s Power dropping in the pocket at headstretch and second-over Double A Mint coming quickly in the lane. The “Candygirl” (named after a line in a song by the “group” The Archies) held off Double A Mint by a neck, with Alexa’s Power and Hypnotic Tale next in line. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $925,915, 2-for-4 this year and 11-for-15 lifetime, for owner W. J. Donovan. Kissin In The Sand left to the early lead, let Sidewalk Dancer go by at the half, then surged in the Pocono Pike midstretch to catch that rival in 1:51.1 in the other Lynch elim. Sidewalk Dancer was out the whole way in the 26.4 quarter and almost to the half in 55 before clearing the winning favorite, went to the ¾ in 1:23.1, but succumbed to the pocket rocket late, with I’m Trigger Happy, Sansovina Hanover, and Serene Stride (the faster 5th-place finisher) going on to the Championship. Kissin In The Sand was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Nancy Johansson, and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has earnings of $345,545 for owners Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables. GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES (top older pacers) Why did he include a $30,000 race, the Great Northeast event, in this wrapup? How about because the winner, Bettor’s Edge, equaled the fastest mile of the year on a 5/8-mile track in North America by winning in 1:48.2? How about because the fractions were 25.1, 53.3, and 1:20, and the nine-year-old winner set most of the pace? Rodeo Romeo got past Bettor’s Edge after the astounding quarter, but then the winner of $2,133,382 was out and retaking for Scott Zeron in front of the stands and “got a rest” to the half. Then Highalator came first-over and got a small advantage late backstretch through the smoking 3/4s, but the winner held him off, then withstood the Pocono Pike late move of Rodeo Romeo to tally by a ½ length for trainer Jennifer Lappe, also the co-owner with Robert Santagata; Highalator was only a neck further back in third. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Not many male pacers have won Dan Patch awards at ages 2 or 3 and returned to capture another trophy against older horses. The list since 1990 features Artsplace, Jenna's Beach Boy, Gallo Blue Chip, Art Major, and Sweet Lou. All with the exception of Sweet Lou were 4-year-olds when they received their honor as an older horse; Sweet Lou was 5. McWicked, who earned a Dan Patch Award at age 3 in 2014, is hoping to add his name to the list -- at the age of 7. And trainer Casie Coleman says the stallion has never been better. "To see him still going, and going as hard as he is, is awesome; normally right now they're getting a little tired and tailing off," Coleman said. "I honestly think this horse seems stronger than he's ever been yet, which I don't even know how is possible, but he seems like a stronger horse right now." The winner of two of four races this year, McWicked on Saturday heads to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono for the eliminations of the Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers. McWicked is in the second of three eliminations on the card, which also features eliminations for the Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, and James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. McWicked is coming off a second-place finish to Sintra in the Gold Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park. McWicked got away eighth, 16 lengths off the lead at the quarter-mile point, before pacing his final three-quarters of a mile in 1:18.4 to rally for the runner-up spot. "It was insane the back half he had, but he was just too far back," Coleman said. "He couldn't have raced any better, he was just far out of the race. "Every time we've put him on the track he's raced great." McWicked, owned by Ed James' S S G Stables, won 12 of 23 races at age 3 including the Breeders Crown, Hempt Memorial, Adios, and Progress Pace on his way to $1.47 million in purses. He hit the board a total of 21 times that season and got checks in the North America Cup, Little Brown Jug, Messenger, Milstein Memorial, and Matron. He was winless in a combined 14 races at ages 4 and 5 because of breathing issues and multiple throat surgeries, but bounced back last year with seven victories in 27 races and $560,025. McWicked finished the campaign with four consecutive second-place finishes, including the TVG Series championship, Breeders Crown and Allerage Farms Open Pace and might have been in the mix for his second Dan Patch Award with a win or two in any of them. "He kept being the bridesmaid," Coleman said. "He just had a lot of bad luck with traffic. He was pacing harder than any of them at the wire, he just had some bad luck. But saying that, the horse has made over $2 million, so I guess you can't say it's too bad of luck." For his career, the son of McArdle-Western Sahara has won 24 of 78 starts and $2.37 million. "It's not often that he's off the board," Coleman said. "He usually gives you all he's got and he's usually right there. He's had a lot of first-over journeys where he still gets the job done. He can take any trip you give him. "He's staked in everything all summer long. As long as he's sound and healthy he'll be in all the events and hopefully he can win a couple of them." Coleman credited an offseason layoff in Kentucky, the work of trainer Jim McDonald in preparing McWicked in Florida, and the decision to bypass the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series in March/April as reasons for her horse's early-season success. "Hopefully it pays off for us," Coleman said. "He's been sharp, sound, and healthy. We just hope for a little bit of luck on the weekend." For Saturday's complete Pocono entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Elkton, MD – Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (June 7) at 10:30 a.m.  They will be joined by Dave Miller, the regular driver of Heaven Rocks A; Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager; Julie Miller, regular Meadowlands trainer; and Gaitway Farms Announcer and Harrah’s Philadelphia Timer, Rich Mattei. Hall of Fame driver David Miller will join this week to talk about Heaven Rocks A who recently came to the United States.  In his most recent effort at Harrah’s Philadelphia, he won decisively against a very competitive field after finishing a close second in the Commodore Barry on May 27.  Miller will talk about how the horse seems to be adjusting to racing in the United States. Weingartner, the USTA Media Relations Manager, has been attending the USTA Driving School in Goshen, New York this week.  He joins the program this week to discuss the sights and sounds of the school and what people seem to be enjoying the most. Miller, a regular trainer at The Meadowlands, will make her first appearance on Mike and Mike on Thursday.  The pair will talk to her about her career in horses and discuss how the family is involved in the sport of harness racing.  Miller will also discuss the freshman horses that began racing at Gaitway Farm this week. Mattei, Gaitway Farm Announcer, and Harrah’s Philadelphia Timer will talk about the babies that have begun racing this week and some of his impressions about them.  Mattei will let the listeners know of any shining stars that he may have seen while at the facility on Monday and Tuesday. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their websitewww.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. By Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike

CHESTER, PA - Following a pair of runner-up efforts since arriving in North America, the third time was a charm for Heaven Rocks A ($2.60), who stubbornly held his ground to parry Bettors Edge a quarter mile from home en route to a 1:50 score in a $30,000 Great Northeast Series event on Sunday afternoon (June 3) at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding began his brush from midfield, as Sicily (driven by Montrell Teague) completed a :27 first quarter, put in motion by David Miller to slipstream the cover of Bettor Memories (Tim Tetrick) off the first turn before pushing clear with a circuit to go. After maintaining a stout pace through a :54.3 half, Heaven Rocks A faced a stern first-over challenge from Bettors Edge (Andy Miller) up the far side. Bettors Edge — a winner last week — worked to within a head of the leader, but was sternly rebuffed at the conclusion of a :28.1 third quarter. Heaven Rocks A powered clear off the far turn and handily maintained three and a half lengths of clearance over Always At My Place (Corey Callahan), who circled three-wide off cover to just nab Bettors Edge for second. Heaven Rocks A, who defeated Australian sensation Lennytheshark earlier this year, increased his career record to 13 wins from 30 starts.Ross Croghan trains Heaven Rocks A for Let It Ride Stables Inc., Dana Parham, and Misty Miller. by Michael Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Highalator and Great Vintage battled from start to finish in the Saturday night feature at the Meadowlands, and when the dust cleared, Highalator emerged victorious in a national season's-best equaling 1:48.1. Highalator, the 2-1 second choice, and Great Vintage, the 6-5 favorite, were both away from the gate quickly in the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers, with Great Vintage hitting the quarter on the point in :26.3. David Miller moved Highalator to the lead just before the half in a snappy :53.4 as 39-1 longshot All Down The Line was making progress racing on the rim. Andrew McCarthy decided getting trapped in the pocket was not for him, so he moved Great Vintage back to the top with a quick burst of speed at the five-eighths. After three-quarters was reached in 1:21.4, the pair went toe to toe through the stretch. Highalator vacated the pocket with more than an eighth to go, but could not wear down a game Great Vintage until the pair reached the sixteenth pole, at which point Highalator surged to a 1¼-length win. Emeritus Maximus rallied for third. The 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere paid $6.20 to win for owners Jenny Bier (who also trains) and Joann Dombeck while establishing his lifetime best in winning for the 17th time in 35 career starts. On May 5, Easy Lover Hanover was the first to go 1:48.1 in 2018, at Woodbine Mohawk Park. CAPTAIN CRUSH: Meadowlands Pace hopeful Captain Deo gave trainer Tony Alagna and his people plenty to think about after the 3-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere destroyed an overmatched group of conditioned pacers by 9¼ lengths in a lifetime-best 1:50.2 earlier on the Big M card. "I'm going to talk to my partners and we can make a decision Monday," said Alagna, as to whether Captain Deo will head to Toronto next week for the North America Cup eliminations. "I was very pleased with his effort. I believe he wins in 1:49 easily if they don't slow the pace so terribly during the second quarter." A LITTLE MORE: Harness racing's pot of gold got a bit bigger after the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner. The carryover now stands at $247,880. ... Brett Miller drove four winners on the card, Eric Abbatiello and David Miller had three apiece while Andy McCarthy had two as the foursome accounted for all of the winners on the card. ... Total wagering on the 12-race program was $2,229,706, with an average number of starters per race of 8.41. Both numbers were down when compared to the comparable program from a year ago when $2,995,671 was bet on a card that saw an average of 9.08 starters per race. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

CHESTER, PA - The only mare in the field, the four-year-old Archangel distaff Celebrity Ruth, showed her heels to the field in the $18,000 feature on "Trottin' Thursday" at Harrah's Philadelphia, taking a new lifetime best of 1:53.3. David Miller sent Celebrity Ruth charging after the lead first-over down the backstretch, and the mare responded with a 26.4 individual back split to clear before the ¾ and open a sizable lead on the far turn. She maintained a 1 ¾ length margin at the wire over Watkins, who escaped a shuffle and came back on. Celebrity Ruth, unraced at two, now has a career record of 17-8-8-0-$427,613 for trainer Trond Smedshammer and White Birch Farm. Another four-year-old trotter went even faster, 1:53.1, in the $17,000 co-featured event, as Top Flight Angel made a successful 2018 bow, leading every pole to tally by 3 ¼ lengths. The product of Team Orange Crush - trainer Julie Miller and husband-driver Andy - equaled the lifetime mark he set in a preparatory qualifier here at Philly for the Legendary Standardbred Farm. On a day where favorites won the first six races (though one was a dead-heat), Izoh sent the chalkplayers scrambling for cover with a pocket rocket rally over pacesetter Classic Belisima in 1:54.2, the Crazed gelding's fastest ever, while returning $104.60 for a $2 ticket. Another wife-and-husband team, driver Jackie and trainer Frank Ingrassia, got the job done with Izoh, whom Jackie co-owns with the Arden Homestead Stable, Donna Franchetti, and Thomas Doran.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Yonkers, NY-- Post positions have been drawn for the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace and $111,444 Lismore Pace set for Yonkers Raceway this Saturday night, May 26th.   The 28th edition of the Rooney, one of Yonkers' premier event's for the sport's glamour division, offers six 3-year-old colts and two geldings. Inaugurated 1989, the Rooney pays homage to the Hall of Fame founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers and patriarch of the Rooney Family.   Elimination winners Trump Nation with "Maine Man" Jason Bartlett in the bike drew post position four, while Decoy, Dave Miller handling the reins, is saddled with the outside eight hole.   Miller, who has won this race three times, including last season with Downbytheseaside will have his work cut out for him behind the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jimmy Takter trains for Brixton Medical, R A W Equine and Joe Sbrocco. Decoy won his elim going away, by 8½ lengths in a 'good' 1:54.   Bartlett, the perennial leading driver at Empire City Casino's historic half mile oval, has never won the Rooney. Trump Nation took over early a week ago, making the lead from an eventual breaker and holding sway. He won by a head in 1:53.3. his fastest purse mile of the season.   The Betterthancheddar colt enters the final with new co-ownership (Evan Katz and Crawford Racing) and a new trainer in Chris Oakes.   The field, with declared drivers is as follows: 1-Minnie Vinnie (Tim Tetrick), 2-Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton listed), 3-Springsteen (Brian Sears), 4-Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), 5-Jimtastic (Eric Goodell), 6-Major Authority (Yannick Gingras), 7-Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller), 8-Decoy (Dave Miller).   The 14th Lismore, companion event to the Rooney, was carded as the fifth race. Lone elimination winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) landed in post No. 2 among the octet of 3-year-old pacing.   The field, with declared drivers...1-Solitary (Brent Holland), 2-Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube), 3-Believe in Me (Brian Sears), 4-Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett), 5-Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) 6-Alexa's Power (Tim Tetrick), 7-Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), 8-Reign on Me (Brett Miler).   First post for the 12-race card is the usual 6:50 PM.   by John Cirillo, for Yonkers Raceway  

Drawing post six at Yonkers Raceway may not qualify as relief in many instances, but trainer Jim Campbell was at least a bit thankful to see Alexa's Power receive that starting spot for Saturday's $111,444 Lismore Pace final. "At least she didn't draw the eight-hole again," Campbell said with a laugh. "She moved in a couple spots." Alexa's Power has made two previous starts at Yonkers Raceway this month and started from post No. 8 both times. She won the first, a division of the Reynolds Memorial, and finished fifth in last week's elimination for the Lismore. Each time, Alexa's Power had the fastest last quarter-mile in the race. She closed with a :27.3 panel in the elimination to make up more than seven lengths and finish 1-3/4 lengths behind winner Jewels Forreal. Post No. 8 at Yonkers produces winners at a 3.8-percent rate while post six is at 7.8 percent. Post one leads the way, at 18.6 percent. "She raced really good last week and had a lot of pace finishing," Campbell said. "She's been finishing with a good kick. Over there (at Yonkers) you just have to hope for a good trip because it is such a trip-biased track." Alexa's Power, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the O'Brien Award-winning mare Michelle's Power, is owned by breeder Jeff Snyder and his son Michael. She is a full sister to stakes-winner Mac's Jackpot and her family also includes Canada's 2012 Horse of the Year Michael's Power as well as Hall of Famer Cam's Card Shark. The filly won three of 13 races last year and earned $90,654 despite battling some health issues midway through her campaign. She is 2-for-3 this season with $19,783 in purses. "She was good last year, but she ran into some good fillies and a little bad luck," Campbell said. "I'm happy she's gotten off to a good start because she trained back really good this year. Hopefully she can keep it going." Alexa's Power is the 5-1 third choice on the morning line in the Lismore, which is for 3-year-old female pacers. Pass Line Bluechip, the winner of five of nine races this year and second by a head to Jewels Forreal in the elimination, is the 8-5 favorite. Jewels Forreal is the 9-2 second choice. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. Springsteen is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT). The Lismore is race five on the 12-race card and the Rooney is race six. Following is the field for the Lismore Pace, with drivers, trainers, and morning-line odds. 1. Solitary, Brent Holland, Nick Surick, 12-1; 2. Jewels Forreal, Dan Dube, Ron Burke, 9-2; 3. Believe In Me, Brian Sears, Brett Pelling, 9-1; 4. Pass Line Bluechip, Jason Bartlett, Wayne Givens, 8-5; 5. Python Blue Chip, George Brennan, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Alexa's Power, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell, 5-1; 7. Checkered Past, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 20-1; 8. Reign On Me, Brett Miller, R. Nifty Norman, 7-1. Following is the field for the Art Rooney Pace, with drivers, trainers, and morning-line odds. 1. Minnie Vinnie, Tim Tetrick, Gareth Dowse, 6-1; 2. Kwik Talkin, George Brennan, Rob Harmon, 5-1; 3. Springsteen, Brian Sears, Rene Allard, 9-5; 4. Trump Nation, Jason Bartlett, Chris Oakes, 3-1; 5. Jimtastic, Eric Goodell, Andrew Harris, 20-1; 6. Major Authority, Mark MacDonald, Andrew Harris, 20-1; 7. Babes Dig Me, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna, 10-1; 8. Decoy, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 7-1. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations

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