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Somwherovrarainbow made her five year old debut a winning one as she triumphed in the harness racing $30,000 Free-For-All Handicap at The Meadowlands on Friday Night. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was sent hard off the gate by Dave Miller and cleared the lead heading toward the opening quarter without any urging. Essentially, that was the end of the race as the World Champion and millionaire would coast through fractions of 27, 55.2 and 1:23.1 before turning for home with an ever-expanding lead. Breeders Crown winner, Monkey On My Wheel, made a brief bid, but tired first over. Southwind Serentity offered minimal response off cover. The only horse to make any noise in the stretch was For The Ladies N, who rallied from last to finish second with Icommandmyspirit getting up to be third. The final clocking was 1:50.4. For Somwherovrarainbow, the win marked the 20th time the magnificent mare has made the trip to the winners circle from 45 starts, sending her earnings past $1.34 Million. Somwhereovrarainbow is trained by Joe Holloway for owners Theodore Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing. On the wagering front, there will be a Pick 5 carryover of $22,616 into The Saturday card at The Meadowlands. Post Time and the start of the Pick 5 which begins in the first race is 7:15 P.M. Hill I Am got back to his winning ways in the fifth race, a $17,050 non-winners of three trot. Sent off as the 9/2 third choice in the wagering, Hill I Am was aggressively moved to the lead heading to the half-mile pole and proceeded to lead the charge around the far turn. Candy Stash made a first over move after the leader, but Corey Callahan could be seen looking over his right shoulder as the field approached the top of the stretch, seemingly looking around for competition. As the field straightened up, Callahan called to his trotter and the response was instant as Hill I Am powered away to win impressively by nearly five lengths in 2:10.2 for the 1 1/8th miles. Hill I Am was an undefeated New Jersey Sire Stakes Champion as a two year old for Dennis Laterza and Roy Dobbins who were the winning connections tonight. Tim Tetrick was the driving star on the night, winning four races. The fifth race jackpot super hi-five was hit tonight and returned $47,172.50 for $.20 cents. That pool will start fresh on Saturday night. The last race jackpot super hi-five went unclaimed and will feature a carryover into the 13th race on Saturday of $61,470. The win by Hill I Am sparked a Pick 5 carryover of $22,616 into The Saturday card at The Meadowlands. Post Time and the start of the Pick 5 which begins in the first race is 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali    

It was a double dose of Miller at The Meadowlands on Thursday night with Dave and Brett Miller combining to win six races on the harness racing program, with the Buckeye crossing the finish first on four occasions and Brett scoring a driving double. Dave Miller scored wins with Alhambra in a C-2 trot, Colossal and Rocnrolwilneverdie in a pair of C-2 pacing events and My QP Doll in the nightcap, a C-2 Filly and Mare pace. Not to be out-done, Brett earned victories with Explodent in the $10,000 claiming pace and Casanova Lindy in a $12,500 claiming trot. Mike Simons turned the Late Pick 4 on its end with a 45-1 upset in the eighth race with Spectator K, resulting in a payoff of over $1,000 for just $.50 cents. The fifth race jackpot super hi-five went unclaimed, resulting in a carryover of $35,863 into the Friday program. The last race jackpot super hi-five also carried over, with $56,093 heading to the last race pool on Friday. Post time for the Friday card is 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

From where trainer harness racing Linda Toscano sits, JK Patriot looks like his mom. More importantly, the 4-year-old pacer acts like her too. Toscano trained JK Patriot's dam, JK Majorette, a stakes-winning three-quarter sister to millionaire Yankee Cruiser, in 2007 and 2008. Now she conditions JK Patriot for owners Matt Bencic and Sam Schillaci, and is preparing the gelding for Saturday's $56,000 Escort Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands. "They have a similar gait," Toscano said about JK Patriot and JK Majorette. "Sitting behind them, his rear end is the exact same as hers was. "She was a good race mare for me, so to get to race him is kind of a cool thing. He's got a really good desire and she was the same way too. She wanted to win." JK Patriot will start Saturday's nine-horse Escort final from post eight with driver David Miller. JK Patriot, who had a win and a second-place finish in the two preliminary rounds of the series, is 6-1 on the morning line. Toscano also will send Khan Blue Chip into the final. Khan Blue Chip, who had a dead-heat win and second-place finish in his preliminary rounds, is 4-1 from post three with driver Andy Miller. The entry of Major Uptrend and Brick Bazooka is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by What I Believe at 2-1. JK Patriot and Khan Blue Chip both were trained by Schillaci before being sent to Toscano for the Escort. JK Patriot has won seven of 24 career races and $59,709. In his last nine starts, dating back to early November, he has five victories and four second-place finishes. Khan Blue Chip, owned by William Heinz and Jack Heinz, has won six of 16 lifetime races and $38,739. "They both came from Jodi and Sammy Schillaci; I babysit for them in the wintertime, and I'm happy to do it," Toscano said. "They're good horsemen and they always send horses that look great and are ready to do exactly what they tell me they're ready to do. "(JK Patriot) was good every start before I got him and he's been holding his form. He's been very sharp. (Khan Blue Chip) is a fast horse. He was unlucky in his first start -- he got caught in -- but finished up good. Last week he raced great." Last week, JK Patriot won his Escort division - which was contested at 1-1/8 miles - by two lengths over Major Uptrend, who was eventually disqualified and placed 11th. Toscano believes the extra distance might help the horse in this week's traditional mile race. "It can't hurt," Toscano said. "I don't think (the horses) notice a difference unless they're on the lead or on the outside. But there's no question it will leg one up. When I'm trying to leg one up training, it's not uncommon for me to go a mile-and-a-half, so why wouldn't it help." Major Uptrend, Company Man and What I Believe each won a first-round Escort division. JK Patriot was joined by Khan Blue Chip and What I Believe, who finished in a dead heat, with victories in round two. What I Believe will start from post four with Ron Pierce driving for trainer Ron Burke. Major Uptrend, who went off stride last week in the race won by JK Patriot, leaves from post five with Corey Callahan at the lines, also for Burke. Major Uptrend is coupled with Brick Bazooka, trained by Larry Remmen, because of common ownership. Company Man, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., drew post one and is 6-1 with driver Tim Tetrick. "It's a good group," Toscano said. "I think the trip will win it. That's what I like about the (JK) Patriot horse; he doesn't seem to need one. The outside hasn't hurt him too much and he's been first up for a long ways. He kind of does what he needs to do. "But there are some really nice horses in there and I think whoever gets the best trip is probably going to be the victor." By Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications / USTA

The Escort Series resumed on Saturday at The Meadowlands and was split into two divisions. The first division was contested at one mile and one eighth due to the 11-horse field with one trailer. Longshot Rockstar Stride showed unsual speed and made the lead through a 26.2 opening quarter before yielding the lead to JK Patriot who made a brush early on the backstretch. Heavy-favorite and round one winner Major Uptrend was right on that rivals back and moved three-wide to the half mile pole, but broke stride nearing the far turn, causing several horses to scatter throughout the field. JK Patriot settled into a rhythm through a 54.4 half-mile and rolled through the far turn, taking the lead past the three-quarter mark of the race. Major Uptrend re-rallied following the miscue and rallied down the center of the racetrack, but couldn't get to the JK Patriot who paced powerfully through the mile in 1:50.4 and completing the mile and one-eighth in 2:04.2. Major Uptrend finished second, but was disqualified and placed last int he field of 11, moving Company Man to second with Blacktree third. Dave Miller drove the winner for Linda Toscano and owners Matthew Bencic and Sam Schillaci. The second division looked like a showdown between round one winner What I Believe and Khan Blue Chip on paper and it played out that way on the racetrack. In fact, a photo finish could not decided the winner as both horses got their nose on the wire simultaneously resulting in a dead heat. What I Believe cut the mile, establishing a 27.4, 57.1 and 1:26 tempo for the mile event, with Khan Blue Chip right on his back throughout the mile. Brick Bazooka flipped out three wide for the stretch drive and threatened the two favorites, but Khan Blue Chip promptly split horses decisively charging after What I Believe who was reaching for the wire, which they both hit together. What I Believe was driven by Yannick Gingras for Ron Burke, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, while Khan Blue Chip was driven by Tim Tetrick for Linda Toscano and owners William and Jack Heinz. Brick Bazooka was third. Scratched down to a field of five, the $27,500 Free For All Pace turned into a showdown between the 3/5 favorite Wake Up Peter and the recent back to back winner at the top level, Doctor Butch. The two favorites got away fourth and fifth, while the chestnut and recent private purchase Dapper Dude, dictated the terms early, through fractions of 26.4, 56.2 and 1:24.3. Turning for home, Dapper Dude was bracing for the challenge of Wake Up Peter who rolled up first over and paced by the once-leader, while out-sprinting Doctor Butch, who had been riding his cover throughout. Wake Up Peter tripped the timer in 1:51, pacing a powerful final quarter in 26.1 for Brett Miller. The winner is trained by Larry Remmen for owner Bradley Grant. The fifth race $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed, in fact there were no winning tickets, resulting in a $34,076.55 carryover into Thursday's program. The last race $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 paid out to multiple winning tickets and will feature a carryover into the Thursday program of $52,684.69. Post Time for the Thursday card is 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

Three second-round $15,000 divisions of the Super Bowl headlined an 11-race Thursday program at The Meadowlands. Each of the three divisions featured at least one first round winner. The first division featured first round winner Blocking The Way, who ironically was not sent off as the favorite. That honor went to Two Hip Dip at 4/5, who broke in round one but rallied impressively to get back into the race at the end of the mile. The early speed came from Bad I Am who got to the opening quarter in 28 seconds flat. He quickly yielded to the pocket behind Blocking The Way and Andy Miller who would dictate the terms through a 56.4 half-mile and a 1:25.4 third quarter. But trouble was lurking in the form of Two Hip Dip who was following dull-cover but that didn't stop him from exploding through the stretch to win going away by three-plus lengths in 1:54.1 Dave Miller was the pilot for trainer/owner Nick Salenetri. Propulsion was the headliner in the second division, and he certainly did not disappoint. A compelling winner as a prohibitive favorite in round one, Propulsion once again took all the tote action as the 1/9 favorite and while he had to work harder on this night, he still emerged victorious. Electing to sit just off the speed, set by Annapolis, Propulsion trotted along from third position through fractions of 28.4 and 58.1, before pulling first over towards three-quarters in 1:27.1 and then fighting gamely to fend over Passing Jetta to win in 1:55 flat. Propulsion was driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Brittany Farms, Katz, Libfeld, Goldband, Sbrocco and Little E L.L.C. The third division featured a showdown between a pair of round one winners in Opulent Yankee and JL Cruze. In their previous meeting, JL Cruze soundly defeated his rival, but the story played out differently Thursday night. JL Cruze was asked for speed right off the gate and made the lead through fractions of 28.2, 56.4 and 1:25.3. All the while Opulent Yankee was sitting the pocket just behind JL Cruze. Into the stretch, a first over Cue Hall was keeping Opulent Yankee pinned at the pylons, but when that trotter backed away a touch, Opulent Yankee had dead aim on the leader and came charging out of the pocket to nail JL Cruze in the final strides. The wins now stand at one-a-piece going into the rubber match in the $50,000 Final on Saturday, January 24th. Opulent Yankee is trained by Julie Miller for Little E LLC, Geiger, Settlemoir and Stolz. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 pools carried over again. The fifth race carryover now stands at $19,726.07 while the thirteenth race carryover is $42,474.52. Racing resumes on Friday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. That program features the second round of the Wordly Beauty series for the pacing fillies and mares. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

JK She’salady and Mission Brief turned heads in 2014. Will one or both prove to be an all-time great? Will the former win HOY honors again? Will Mission Brief take on the boys and win the Hambletonian and outshine her pacing counterpart? Will the surgical repair of a fractured pastern that followed Always B Miki’s late scratch from the Breeders Crown be successful? David Miller chose the Always A Virgin colt over eventual division winner McWicked in that race. Will Miller be proven correct if he stays with Miki as the pair, along with JK Endofanera, All Bets Off and Limelight Beach move into the aged ranks? What about He’s Watching? In contrast to his undefeated freshman campaign in the NYSS, he won just five of 13 starts at three, accomplishing little during the second half of the season. Will David Menary get him back to the record breaking speed delivered in the Meadowlands Pace? Sweet Lou has been retired and Foiled is now eleven years old. There should be ample opportunities for the four-year-old group to step up. Last year they fell on their faces. Will Nuncio turn the tables on stablemate Father Patrick and dominate the four year old set? There was quite a drop off after the big three in the sophomore colt division during 2014. Trixton has been retired while Patrick and E L Titan are doing double duty this year and will probably miss the early season Graduate Series for four year olds at the Meadowlands as well as the Hambletonian Maturity? Things seem to be setting up nicely for Nuncio; it would be a shame to see him head for Europe and miss those early season opportunities. Last year most expected Bee A Magician to challenge Maven for division leadership, however, Classic Martine outdid the pair with wins in the Armbro Flight, Miss Versatility and Ima Lula. Where will Shake It Cerry slot into this group? Herb Liverman, who purchased Maven for $750,000, doesn’t want to race her against his other mare, BAM. Aside from Maven remaining in Europe, I don’t see how the two mares can avoid each other. Opportunities for aged trotting mares are scarce. Will her early season European campaign set Maven back again this year? Is Cerry better than BAM? Will Lifetime Pursuit and Designed To Be turn into players? What’s going to happen with Breeders Crown winner Traceur Hanover? Jeff Gural has banned owner Richard Berthiaume from his tracks for not disavowing Corey Johnson earlier. Traceur is staked to the Meadowlands Pace, and if precedent prevails he will be allowed to race. The same would hold true for the Cane Pace, which has been moved to the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day. Corey Johnson won’t be present this year but Traceur will serve as an embarrassing reminder of the Cobalt Crown on the two premier days of racing at the Meadowlands. Artspeak and In The Arsenal are expected to dominate that division, but Traceur may serve as a season long embarrassment, or much worse, the champ. The sophomore filly pacers were a less than impressive group in 2014. In the past we’ve expected the likes of Peelers and Jewel to step up and dominate their elders, but it didn’t happen. Watch, some of the 2014 softies will morph into Amazons. Last year it was Somwherovrarainbow and Shebestingin who failed to take the crown from the co-winners of the Dan Patch, Rocklamation and Anndrovette. Will the likes of Color’s a Virgin, Sayitall BB and Precocious Beauty get it done? Will Pinkman, Habitat, Uncle Lasse, Billy Flynn, Muscle Diamond and other now sophomore trotters assert themselves, or will they be overshadowed by Mission Brief, Wild Honey, Jolene Jolene and the other fillies? Will we get early season record breaking Sebastian or a second half, not so good, Sebastian? Are the connections of TVG winner Intimidate going to toss him into the FFA mix from the get go, or play around with him for much of the season as has been their custom? Will Allerage and American National winner Creatine build on that and become a full time member of the FFA set? What about Natural Herbie? Along the same lines as the Intimidate inquiry, will Verlin Yoder hang around Hoosier Park with Herbie, occasionally joining the FFA fray, or will he join the club full time? Will all those therapy sessions pay off for Master Of Law? Does he finally have his head screwed on straight? Lots of questions in this division. by Joe Fitzgerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Columnist Joe Fitzgerald took a look at how the drivers in this year’s top ten (money earned) fared compared with what they did last year. The figures for 2014 run through Saturday December 27, so they’re not perfect year-end numbers, but close enough. A few end-of-year drives by Corey Callahan at Dover Downs are all that’s missing. Nine drivers repeat from 2013, in a different order, of course. Andy Miller, who missed six months after breaking his back in an accident ay Yonkers Raceway in mid-April is out, replaced by Brett Miller, who had an excellent year, moving up nine spots. Six members of the top ten earned less this year than they did last, and eight of them made fewer starts during 2014. Jason Bartlett, who supplanted Sears as the top dog at Yonkers Raceway, and Brett Miller, who was a poor man’s Yannick Gingras with the Burke and Takter stock, were the only two who won more races this year than last. Yannick Gingras, the unanimous choice for USHWA’s Driver of the Year, had 18 fewer wins through Saturday but his earnings were up 18%, which amounts to more than $3 million. All of this with about 100 fewer starts than he made during 2013. The time spent in Sweden with Maven earlier in the year and the current trip to France with that same mare, would account for some of that. Burke and Takter both had spectacular years and Gingras, having first call for both, benefited greatly. Father Patrick, JK Endofanera, Mission Brief, Sassa Hanover, Limelight Beach, Pinkman, Foiled Again, Cartoon Daddy, Gural Hanover, Band Of Angels, Lifetime Pursuit and Maven were a few of his money makers. Tim Tetrick, who will drop down to second, missed the first five weeks of the year recuperating from hip surgery. He made 266 fewer starts through Saturday and won 63 fewer races. His earnings are down a whopping 26%, or $4.2 million. Captaintreacherous’s earnings dropped from $2 million to $175,000 and Market Share saw his 2014 bankroll cut in half. I Luv The Nitelife failed to rebound from an injury and was retired. He’s Watching won the Pace in record time in mid-July, but only won the EBC after that. Classic Martine was very good and Anndrovette was solid. He won some money with Clear Vision and Sayitall BB, and Horse of the Year JK She’salady fell in his lap late in the year. Still, for the most part, the stock wasn’t competitive with the lightning bolts Yannick was steering around the track. Ron Pierce, who turns 59 in June, jumped up from the fifth spot to number three on the earnings list. He made 442 fewer starts and won 89 fewer races, however, his earnings only dropped by 5%, or $581,000. Gingras’ success took some dough from the pockets of all the top guys, but Pierce, crafty dog that he is, managed to sidle in behind $1.2 million dollar earner Shake It Cerry from the Takter barn and $1.3 million dollar earner Sweet Lou from the Burke Barn. He also drove Uncle Lasse, Wild Honey, Yagonnakissmeornot, Lyons Levi Lewis and E L Titan. David Miller has maintained his hold on the four spot on the 2014 list, however, he took a 20% haircut, earning $2.5 million less than last year on 441 fewer starts. His win total dropped by 41. McWicked was second only to Father Patrick in overall earnings with $1.4 million. And even there Miller chose Always B Miki over that one for the Breeders Crown, which didn’t work out when Miki was injured prior to the race. He did get McWicked back for the Progress though. The Buckeye drove Holloway’s pair Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow, but neither one of them lived up to expectations. Jolene Jolene was good, but like Tetrick, Miller didn’t have the stock to compete with Gingras. Brian Sears, who straddled Yonkers Raceway and the Grand Circuit again, dropped from number three to number five this year. He had 66 fewer wins in 83 fewer starts and finished more than $4 million short of last year’s total—that’s 30% less. In 2013 he had the richest pair of trotters in the sport, Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, who earned $1.5 million, and Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life, who earned $1.2 million. The latter retired early while BAM disappointed; she earned $421,000 this year. Sears drove freshman hotshot In The Arsenal, and he lucked into the drive behind McWicked in the BC when David Miller only had eyes for Miki. As was the case with Tetrick and David Miller, the stock wasn’t there to compete on the Grand Circuit. Additionally, Jason Bartlett rose up at Yonkers. Corey Callahan, who missed time to the Great Southern Star Trotting Series and the Drivers Invitational in Australia in March, found the six spot again this year. He won last year’s USHWA Rising Star Award and hasn’t looked back. Like Ron Pierce, Corey kept his losses to a minimum. He had 40 fewer winners in 189 fewer starts but only backtracked 7%, or $693,000 in purse money. This constitutes an excellent year for any driver not sitting forward on the Burke-Takter Gravy Train. He picked away at it, winning a sixth consecutive driving title at Dover Downs and soaking up that Delaware sire stakes money; he took a $100,000 final with the filly pacer Totally Rusty three weeks ago. Callahan made 28% of his starts at Dover Downs and earned $2 million there.  Smexi, D’Orsay, Harley Momma, Resolve, Drop The Ball and Tomy Terror were a few of his drives this year. Jason Bartlett stayed close to home, racking up 94% of his more than $8 million in earnings at Yonkers Raceway, where he won a fourth driving title. Busting this year’s pattern, Bartlett made 194 more starts and won 174 more races this year. He earned almost a million dollars more than he did in 2013—that’s a 12% increase over last year. He won 485 times at his Westchester base, that’s 83 and 82 more races than Sears and Brennan won. Matt Kakaley, the only under 30 driver on the list, who handles the Burke horses Yannick passes over, drove in 193 fewer races and won 78 fewer times, but he upped his earnings 7% from 2013, banking an extra $560,000. All Bets Off gave him the biggest win of his career when he took the Messenger. And he won with Cartoon Daddy on the Night of Champions at Yonkers and also drove Bettor’s Edge, Handover Belle, Wishing Stone, Quick Deal, Gatka Hanover and Camille. Brett Miller, who is number nine on the list, had a breakout year in 2014. Like most of the drivers who did well, he was a regular behind Takter and Burke horses. He drove French Laundry, Clear Vision, Donatella Hanover and Krispy Apple, among others. He won eight in a row with Sandbetweenurtoes for Larry Remmen. Wake Up Peter has earned $250,000 this year with Brett driving him. Miller won only 15 more races from almost 400 more drives, but his earnings jumped 35%. He took in $2.7 million more than he did last year. George Brennan has been a regular at Yonkers Raceway since the fall of 2010. In 2011 he won the Hambletonian with Broad Bahn and the Oaks with Bold And Fresh, but over the course of the last three years he has become less inclined to venture out on the Grand Circuit. He gets quite a few drives on Burke’s stock at Yonkers and won the Sheppard with Cartoon Daddy. This year he dropped from number seven to ten. He drove in 44 fewer races, winning 10 fewer times and earning more than $2 million less than he did in 2013—that’s 20% of what he took in last year.  by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

The year 2014, just like every season in the history of harness racing, was jammed packed with special events, major stakes races and other points of interest that made the year super exciting and quite a bit controversial. We have highlighted the “Year In Review” as best possible with the top events and races that took place each month. We apology for any news items that were missed. 2014 got off to a terrible start when on January 10 the starting gate at Freehold Raceway went into a spin after the start of a race and came down upon the field and took out most everyone in the race. While all horses miraculously escaped without major injuries, five drivers, Catello Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg, Chris Scicluna and Jim Pantaleano were taken to the hospital to be checked out. The worst injured were Manzi and Rucker. The new Miami Valley Racetrack in Lebanon, Ohio tried opening up for live racing on Friday, February 9 but the lights failed to work and thus had to wait until the next night to officially get underway. Sydney Weaver was the at the epicenter of the most potent demonstration of social media as a positive force in harness racing in early February  when her beloved mare Sydney Seelster was taken from her in a claiming race at Flamboro Downs. Trainer Guy Gagnon was pilloried on Facebook and Twitter for making the claim and soon cried uncle, agreeing to allow Sydney to claim her mare back. On March 28, two harness racing horses died on impact at Flamboro Downs after they collided head on in a tragic accident. The incident resulted in all tracks in Ontario having to install a siren alarm system by Jan. 1, 2015. April saw horseman Jack Darling take command when he heard that there was no funding to promote some of the sport’s biggest races on television and within a short time and through his own blog, helped raise over $100,000 and thus the Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug were able to be televised. In June a major tiff between harness driver Brian Sears and Meadowlands, Tioga, Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural ended up with Sears being barred from competing in qualifying and overnight race events. After less than a week, Gural rescinded the ban. On June 28, harness racing fans saw the fastest trotting mile ever in history as the amazing European star, Sebastian K, win at Pocono Downs in 1:49, shattering the former record that was set on a larger track. With trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K took harness racing in North America by storm with his amazing speed and racing barefoot with no horse shoes. On July 13, He’s Watching tied the world record on a mile track in winning the Meadowlands Pace in an amazing clocking of 1:46.4. With Father Patrick making a costly break at the start of the race, stable mate Trixton and trainer/driver Jimmy Takter grabbed all the glory in winning the early August Hambletonian Trot. At the Little Brown Jug it was Limelight Beach in straight heats and the same for Color’s A Virgin in the Jugette. Wild Honey became the fastest two-year-old trotter ever on a half mile track with a 1:55.2 triumph. The Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, revived the great Prix D’Ete stakes race with a purse of $200,000 and saw Sunfire Blue Chip and driver Yannick Gingras lower the all-age track record by two seconds with a 1:50.3. October started off with a bang as Mission Brief became the fastest two-year-old trotter in history with her 1:50.3 clocking at the Red Mile for driver Yannick Gingras. On October 4, Dayton Raceway in Dayton, Ohio opened its doors for harness racing with a full house as thousands came out to check the new racetrack. Nuncio and driver John Campbell captured a one-heat $435,000 Kentucky Futurity in 1:51.3, beating stable mate Father Patrick and then went to Yonkers Raceway to take the Yonkers Trot, winning two of the three Triple Crown of Trotting races. Natural Herbie, at odds of 9-1, posted his fourth straight win with a world record performance at Yonkers Raceway Saturday, Oct. 25 in beating many of the best trotters in the world in the $250,000 International Preview. On Halloween, October 31, harness racing’s great second trainer, Quebec’s Ami Choquette, who worked for Delvin Miller for over 50 years, turned 100 years old. Maven brought $750,000 at the Harrisburg sale and became the highest priced racehorse trotting mare sold at public auction in November. She was purchased by Herb Liverman. Yonkers Raceway and the SOANY broke the simulcasting barrier overseas and began simulcasting five races to France/Europe early Sunday mornings with great success and millions wagered on the USA product. The simulcasts will continue in 2015. Harness driver Dave Palone did the unthinkable years ago and caught Germany’s Heinz Wewering to become the sports winningest driver ever as he recorded his 16,754th career victory. This took place at his home track, The Meadows, on Friday, November 14. Palone has now increased his lead, has no plans of an early retirement and his lead may never be bettered. The Breeders Crown helped seal up a number of Dan Patch divisional awards in late November but perhaps the most impressive was that of world champion Commander Crowe coming over to the USA and stealing the limelight with his stakes record 1:51 triumph. He surpassed the $5 million mark in career earnings at age 11 and gave North American fans a thrill to see this world class performer in action. In late November, early December, just one week after Harnesslink exposed to the harness racing social media fans about the abuse that trainer Monica Thors was inflicting on horses in her stable, all seven horses and one goat was taken away by the NJ SPCA. More than 14,000 people “liked” the Stop Monica Thors” page on Facebook and were relentless in going after state officials to do something. They are also raised money and services to care for the horses once they were taken away. In December Hall of Fame driver David Miller paid a $750 fine for dropping his foot and allowed McWicked to hit it numerous times around the final turn of the $301,000 Progress Pace final at Dover Downs. When asked about the penalty, Miller said he would do it again in trying to win the race. His comments set up major controversy in the harness racing social media venues and prompted Jeff Gural to issue a “no tolerance” rule at the Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon Downs against any driver who drops their foot other than to pop ear plugs. When Appomattox crossed the wire first in the Free For All Handicap Trot on December 12 at the Meadowlands, harness horse trainer Ron Burke's season earnings moved to $28,118,465, surpassing the mark set by Thoroughbred trainer Todd Pletcher seven years ago. By the end of the year, JK She’salady was sensational with her undefeated season and capped it becoming the first two-year-old pacing filly to ever be name Harness Horse of the Year. But her triumph was unique as top older pacer Sweet Lou was voted the Pacer of the Year by one vote over JK She’salady, but the tables were turned in the final voting for Harness Horse of the Year as the filly beat out Sweet Lou by five votes! Both occurrences have never happened in the history of voting. The year sorta ended on a sour note as Balmoral Racing Club, Inc. and Maywood Park Trotting Association, Inc., two of the oldest horse racing venues in the country and the only harness racing tracks in Illinois, announced Christmas Eve that each has voluntarily commenced Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization cases in Chicago. Let’s hope for a bigger and better racing season in 2015. Happy New Year to everyone! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Drop your foot and pay the fine - Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. AU: You're only as good as your last win - We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win." Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true. NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur - One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport. In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special. Stallion Review – YANKEE CRUISER – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Harness racing’s newest Hall of Famer, David Miller, gave a dramatic first-over drive with McWicked at Dover Downs Sunday in capturing the $301,650 final of the Progress Pace. McWicked was parked out for a good part of the mile but still was able to grind it out and pull away in the stretch to win by one and a half lengths in an eye-popping 1:48.4 clocking. With his victory, McWicked may have all but sewed up the Dan Patch Award as the sport’s top three-year-old pacing colt.  He closes out his 2014 race season with superior numbers including 12 wins in 23 starts. The son of McArdle finish in the money (top three positions) in 21 of his 23 starts with earnings of $1,472,000 and an impressive world record  mile of 1:47.3 at Pocono Downs. He raced nearly the entire season against the best in his class, week in week out for most of the entire stakes season. With the winner’s share of the purse in the Progress Pace Final at $150,825 and 5% of that going to David Miller for his driving commission, that comes out to roughly $7,541 for his time in the sulky. Not a bad payday at all for less than two minutes work. But wait, don’t forget to deduct the $750 first offense fine that the Dover Downs judges have imposed on David Miller for “kicking” McWicked coming around the final turn. Now Miller will be getting only $6,791 for the win plus any added bonus from the SSG Stable for the victory. And it wasn’t a simple touch or nudging of McWicked’s hock to excite the horse and get a little extra out of him. And it wasn’t that David’s foot slipped off the narrow foot rest peg and happen to out there for the horse to hit. This was pretty much blatantly placing his foot so that McWicked’s right hind leg had to strike Miller’s foot. Look at the attached video (both live race speed and slow motion) and see how strong McWicked’s leg comes back and slams into David Miller’s foot. Not once or twice but eight or nine times in a row. After the first time you would think Miller would have achieved his goal and put his foot back on the peg, but he left it there to get hit again and again. You could credit David Miller for doing everything he could to get the most out of McWicked and win the race. That’s what the betting public wants to see. We applaud drivers whose goal it is to win every time they get in the sulky, but at what costs? “I take my foot out of the stirrup and he bumps into my foot,” David Miller explained, “I never kick a horse. People have to understand that. His hock comes back and strikes my boot. There is no way in the world that I am hurting a horse or doing any damage to the horse.” The $750 fine is not just a drop in the bucket, even to someone like David Miller and other top drivers. The judges at Dover Downs said that a second offense fine for kicking would be more and after that the driver becomes a habitual offender and that the fines and possible suspension from racing would increase dramatically for a third or fourth offense. “This is ridiculous,” Miller said about the fine. “I realize that people are really down on this idea of “kicking” but it was worth every bit of the $750 fine for letting his hock hit my foot. I was out there to win and that’s what I did, I won. If that is what it took to win the race then that’s what I did. “I will take a fine any time for sticking my foot out,” Miller said. “I don’t want to have to use my whip. I carry a whip to help remind a horse to keep his mind on racing, to pay attention to what I want them to do and to urge them to go faster. Some horses I know I can never use the whip on because they won’t go any faster.” “I was not able to come up for the race,” Casie Coleman said. “I was in Florida and I did watch it on the computer but did not notice David doing anything to the horse. David would never hurt a horse. The horse won quite easily. He came out of the race just fine and is feeling good this morning.” “When I drove home from Dover last night I was very happy,” Miller said. “The horse raced tremendous. I think a lot of the horse. I think he is the best of all the three-year-olds this season, a top horse. Come this morning I hear from the judges at Dover that I am getting fined $750. “I am so aggravated right now over this whole deal,” Miller explained. “People think I am being cruel to horses. They don’t understand. I am not just a catch driver who shows up to race every night. I get up early every morning. I own horses, train my horses and I treat them like I do any horse I drive. I have never nor will I ever abuse a horse.” What if McWicked said to himself that he did not like this happening to him and stuck his toes in or made a break and took out the field? Of course, McWicked can’t tell us if he minds or doesn’t mind striking David Miller’s boot so many times in a race. “I would never endanger the horse I am driving,” Miller said, “or the other drivers and horses in any race I am in and I most certainly would not endanger myself ever in a race. I have no issues with dropping my foot so his hock comes back and strikes it. I would rather do that anytime then strike a horse with my whip.” This is not a first offense by David Miller for “kicking” McWicked. He was also fined $100 at the Meadows for “kicking” him on August 29. In fact, over his long driving career, David Miller has had many infractions for either “kicking” a horse or taking his foot out of the stirrups that it was hard to keep count of. There were eight offenses in 2014. And the fines he has had to pay over the years could be in the thousands of dollars. “Unless people have gotten in a bike and trained or driven a horse they can’t know what it is like being in my shoes,” Miller explained, “I drive to win and I would never put myself at risk or anyone else in a race, driver or horse. It’s not cruel or inhumane what we do in a race. The people complaining don’t know what they are talking about and most have never sat behind a horse. I was in the barn before I could walk. I have driven in thousands of races and I know what I am doing as do most of the drivers.” Many owners and trainers do not want to see their horses treated or abused when they race. The question is if a driver dropping their foot in a race to “wake up or startle” their horse to get more out of them is that wrong or not? We know excessive use of the whip should be met with the harshest of fines and suspensions. David Miller totally agrees with that, but when it comes to dropping your foot from the stirrup and letting a horse’s hock strike it in a race, David Miller says it is a non-issue and should never be compared to whipping. Usually David Miller is soft spoken and almost shy when asked about his racing career and the many great horses he had driven. He is extremely passionate about the sport that he has made his Hall of Fame career with. But when it comes to this issue of not having his foot in the stirrup, watch out, and don’t ever accuse him of kicking a horse because you will unleash another side of David Miller most of us have never seen. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

DOVER, Del. --- Sunday, Dec. 7 was Miller Time at Dover Downs as harness racing driver  David Miller drove both winners in the six-figure feature races on a chilly and windy early evening in Delaware. The Hall of Famer guided McWicked to a 1:48.4 victory in the track's signature event, the 301,650 Progress Pace after steering Sonofa Sizzle home in 1:52.1 in a mild upset to win the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old Male pace final. Paying a $25,000 supplemental fee paid off for owner Ed James' SSG Stable as McWicked swept both the $35,000 Progress Pace Prevue and $301,650 final in identical clocking of 1:48.4, but the manner of victories varied. After a wire-to-wire success the prior week, this time Miller drove the Mcardle-Western Sahara colt out of third place approaching the half and then sided-up first-over to race leader JK Endofanera, driven by Yannick Gingras, on the backstretch and battled around the final turn before pulling away early in the stretch for his 12th win of the year raising his seasonal bankroll to $1,472,887 and $1,652,504 for his two seasons of racing. JK Endofanera was a length back in second with Tim Tetrick rallying Somewhere In LA for third money. Bib Boy ?Dreams (Ron Pierce) winner of the recent Matron Final at Dover was fourth in front of million-dollar winner All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley), fifth. After a strong summer campaign, McWicked, who was a strong favorite in the Little Brown Jug, but had to settle for a fifth in the final, tailed off slightly until recently when trainer Casie Coleman got the colt back to top form finishing third in the Matron, then second in a Breeders Crown elimination prior to a 1:49 success in the $531,250 final before coming to Dover Downs. Two races earlier, Mike White's Sonofa Sizzle, bred by Delawareans Charles and Diana Coursey, came on strongly for Miller in the $100,000 DSBF final for a 1:52.1 triumph. Remember Me VK with Montrell Teague in the bike, had carved out a 1:51.4 DSBF all-time fastest mile a week ago in a prelim, and this week led from the start with fast fractions until the field turned down the homestretch. Sonofa Sizzle came from way back on the outside to rush to the front and victory. A 54-1 shot, Roddy's Hot Again (George Dennis) came on Second with Smoking Joey (Corey Callahan) third. A son of Life Sizzles-JK Lady Like, Sonofa Sizzle won for the fourth time this season in 10 starts with three seconds and a third. The Gary Green-trainee has now won $115,516 Joining David Miller with two wins were drivers Allan Davis, Tony Morgan and Ross Wolfenden and trainers Buddy Bright and Wayne Givens. . On Monday, the final $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old final of the boasts a strong field of filly pacers led by Totally Rusty and Purrfect Bags. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DOVER, Del. ---- It's D-Day at Dover Downs on Sunday, Dec. 7. On the anniversary date of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a harness battle on the racetrack is led by McWicked and JK Endofanera, headlining the $301,560 Progress Pace. Meanwhile, Remember Me VK is the one to beat in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Male Pace Final. Post time is 5:30 for the 15-race program. Last week, McWicked, with David Miller driving, scored a 1:48.4 victory in a wire-to-wire victory in the Progress Pace Prevue, a week after winning the $531,250 Breeders Crown Final. SSG Stables' McWicked is conditioned by Casie Coleman and leaves from post 4. JK Endofanera and Yannick Gingras driving for the sport's leading trainer, Ron Burke, was third in the Breeders Crown, and finished second last Sunday for owners 3 Brothers Stable. The recent $186,550 Matron Final upset winner at Dover Downs, Dominick Rosato's Big Boy Dreams was a game third in the Prevue. An 11-time winner this year, Baldachino, Shelswell, Panhellenic and Burke Racing stable's $1-million winner ,All Bets Off, who scored impressive victories in the $500,000 Messenger Stake, $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield and the New York Sire Stakes championship, has the services of Matt Kakaley. J&T Silva, TLP stables and Deo Volente Farms' Somewhere In LA, trained by Jimmy Takter with driver Tim Tetrick, should profit moving from outside post 8 to post 5 this time. Completing the select field of six is National Debt, owned by Blair and Emma Corbeil, Kelly Hoerdt and J&T Silva Stables. The Ron Coyne-trainee will be reined by Dover Downs' leading driver Corey Callahan. Remember Me VK (Montrell Teague), after being scratched in the DSBF first leg prelim returned to score a decisive 1:51.4 victory, the all-time fastest win in the DSBF program. Bobby Wyatt trains the gelding for owners Ron Benton and Sharon Wyatt. A week ago, Sonofa Sizzle, owned by Mike White and trained by Gary Green, was a strong second. Hall of Famer David Miller will be in the bike. Howard Taylor's Smoking Joey brings a three-race win streak with Corey Callahan at the controls for meet leading trainer Doug Lewis. Art Stafford Jr. will pilot Scott Woogen's homebred KJ Ben who along with Dashboard racing for trainer Rich Ringler and owners Joann King and Maria Ringler are the only other starters to win prelims. The other contestants are Don Marine's Rigged To Go (Ross Wolfenden) from the rail, Art Season (Allan Davis) for owners S.I. White Nanticoke and Legacy racings and George & Tina Dennis and Ask SW Stables-bred and owned Roddy's Hot Again (George Dennis). Dover Downs races Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and weekdays, Monday through Thursday beginning at 4:30 p.m. It is suggested that those who would enjoy watching races from the Winners Circle restaurant should call for reservations, phone 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

Horse owner Ed James figures it's best to do a lot of listening and limit his talking. So James listened when he was advised that McWicked was the best horse in the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale. And his response was succinct. "I said, OK I'll buy him," James recalled, laughing. "I make it simple." James, who races as S S G Stables, bought McWicked for $210,000. He put the 3-year-old pacer in the care of trainer Casie Coleman and the colt has won 11 of 22 races, hit the board a total of 20 times, and earned $1.32 million. His victories include the Breeders Crown, Max C. Hempt Memorial, Delvin Miller Adios, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. On Sunday, McWicked will start from post four with driver David Miller in the $301,560 Progress Pace at Dover Downs in Delaware. McWicked is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line behind 7-5 favorite JK Endofanera, who drew post two with driver Yannick Gingras. The six-horse Progress Pace field also includes Big Boy Dreams, National Debt, Somewhere In L A, and All Bets Off. McWicked, who was supplemented to the race for $25,000, won this past Sunday's $35,000 Progress Pace Preview by two lengths over JK Endofanera in 1:48.4. The stakes record for the Progress Pace is 1:49, set in 2012 by Heston Blue Chip. "I've been in this business for 58 years and never had a horse this good," the 83-year-old James said about McWicked. "I have no concern at all with him. I trust in the ability he has to be as good as the next best one. I think David gave him a great drive the other night. Hopefully he can do it again." James, who is the president of SSG Gloves, purchased McWicked following a 2-year-old campaign in which the colt won three of 10 starts and $179,617 while in the stable of trainer Julie Miller. He turned over the horse to trainer Jim McDonald, who prepped McWicked for his 3-year-old season, and then to Coleman. "Casie said, 'This is a real good horse. I can make him a great horse.' So she did," James said. "I'm not that smart as far as horses go. But I'm smart as far as people go. And I'm fortunate enough to know good people and I'm fortunate enough that they'll take my horses. I've had very good luck. "I don't say much of anything to my trainers, which they appreciate," he added. "My trainers never hear from me, unless they call me." McWicked leads all 3-year-old pacers in earnings, followed by North America Cup winner JK Endofanera, who has banked $1.02 million. Messenger Stakes winner All Bets Off is third on the list, with $911,425. McWicked's only off-the-board finishes were a fourth in the North America Cup final, after winning his elimination, and a fifth in the Little Brown Jug final. "He had a little bit of road trouble in the North America Cup, but that's OK," James said. "I never did drive, I have no intentions of learning to drive, so I don't tell anybody how to drive." McWicked won seven of eight starts between June 21 and Sept. 7, then was winless in his next seven races before capturing the Breeders Crown on Nov. 22 at the Meadowlands. He has raced on Lasix his three most recent starts, picking up two wins and a second. "The horse came back to where he was and he's doing exactly the same thing he used to," said James, whose other top horses include millionaire Hyperion Hanover. "I thought when we started out the year he'd end up one of the top horses of the year. Now with the slump he had, it may not come out that way. That's up to the judges. "I'll appreciate (divisional honors) if it comes, but mainly for the benefit of the trainers." One more stakes event, the Cleveland Classic on Dec. 12 at Northfield Park, remains on the schedule for the 3-year-old male pacers following the Progress Pace. McWicked is not eligible to the race, but could be supplemented for $15,000. "Casie hasn't decided if he's going to race," James said. "If she wants to race him again after this one, I don't particularly like half-mile tracks, but that doesn't mean she can't race him there if she thinks he's the best." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

This Week: Progress Pace, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will be at Dover Downs this Sunday (Dec. 7) for the $301,560 Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. McWicked, the only supplemental entry, romped to a 1:48.4 victory in the $35,000 Progress Pace Preview, turning back seven rivals for his 11th win of a $1.3 million season, this past Sunday (Nov. 30) at Dover Downs. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: The Meadowlands hosted a pair of $500,000 TVG FFA Series Championships this past Saturday night (Nov. 29). Sweet Lou was all alone at the wire in the $500,000 TVG final for open pacers. Sweet Lou, in the final race of his career, won the $500,000 TVG final for open pacers at the Meadowlands in 1:48 by 3-3/4 lengths. Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce led the field to the 1:21.3 three-quarters and on to the long homestretch. Only 10-year-old Foiled Again parted ways with the pack to muster a challenge for Sweet Lou, but at the wire, it was Sweet Lou first and alone for the last time. Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) was second and Clear Vision (Tim Tetrick) third. The stallion with the distinctive white blaze was soon mobbed by a crowd that included his owners, Phil Collura, Larry Karr, Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing. Ron Burke trains the 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, who is set to stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm in 2015. The win was the 11th in 19 season's starts for Sweet Lou and took his 2014 earnings to $1,361,433. He has banked $3,478,894 lifetime on the strength of 33 victories in 74 starts. Intimidate fanned five wide down the stretch to trot by the field to win the $500,000 TVG final for open trotters at the Meadowlands by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. He was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Luc Blais and owners Determination and Judith Farrow. Intimidate was a 1:51.2 winner in the TVG final for open trotters. There were no surprises as the race left the starting gate, with Ake Svanstedt guiding Sebastian K to the lead by the :26.1 first quarter and Maven (Yannick Gingras) right behind him. Creatine (Ron Pierce) trotted up with a rush to get alongside Sebastian K, where he remained through the :54.1 half and on to the 1:23 three-quarters. As the field turned for home, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick went three wide to press hard on those two leaders and appeared poised to go by before Intimidate emerged five wide to trot by the field for the win. Market Share was second and Creatine third. It was just the fifth win of the year for Intimidate in 14 starts and enough to put him over $1 million lifetime, with career earnings now of $1,224,008. He is a 5-year-old gelding by Justice Hall out of Fabulous Tag. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 2,277; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,177; 3. David Miller - 1,003.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 877.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 647. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,480.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,908; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 411; 5. Julie Miller - 347. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 550.03; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 500.03; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 357; 4. Brittany Farms - 294.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: The final Grand Circuit race of 2014 will take place next week at Northfield Park as the Ohio track will host the Cleveland Classic for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

DOVER, Del. --- McWicked, the only supplemental entry, romped to a 1:48.4 victory in the $35,000 Progress Pace Prevue turning back seven rivals for his 11th win of a $1.3-million season on Sunday, Nov. 30 at Dover Downs. With Hall of Famer David Miller at the controls, McWicked moved up quickly to take the lead from JK Endofanero and Yannick Gingras just past the opening quarter in :26.3. From there it was all McWicked passing the half-mile pole in :54.3. Big Boy Dreams, upset winner of the recent Matron Stake at Dover Downs, was first to take a shot as Ron Pierce pulled out to challenge after the half heading to the three-quarters in 1:22.1. Miller then poured it on rolling home in :26.3 to stop the clock in 1:48.4, the fastest local time of the season, four-fifth-of-a-second from the track record of 1:48, established last Spring by Bandolino. JK Endofanera, raced second behind McWicked for most of the mile and finished second with Big Boy Dreams, third. All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) was fourth in front of Somewhere In LA (Tim Tetrick). McWicked was fresh from victory in the recent Breeders Crown. The ultra-consistent McArdle-Western Sahara colt trained by Casie Coleman for SSG Stables of North Boston, N.Y. has been 1-2-3 in 20 of his 22 races this year. He has banked $1,322,157 in 2014 and $1,491,774 in his career while winning 13 races, 10 seconds and five thirds in only 32 races. All eight starters return next Sunday (Nov. 7) for the $301,000 Progress Pace Final. Fans at the track will receive the handsome 2014 Progress Pace cap. Also on the strong program were three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 2nd leg preliminaries for two-year-old colt pacers. Remember Me VK with a 1:51.4 performance is the fastest ever for a freshman, 1:51.4, with Montrell Teague in the bike for trainer Bobby Wyatt and owners Ron Benton and Sharon Wyatt. Remember Me VK was also winner of last month's $100,000 DSBF Final in Harrington Raceway track record time of 1:52.3. Sonofa Sizzle (Corey Callahan) was an easy second. Seboomook Katahdin (Allan Davis) was third. Corey Callahan teamed with Howard Taylor's Smoking Joey to win the first DSBF prelim fashioning a 1:53.4 score. The Riggins-You Don't Know Me gelding, never out of the money in eight starts, is trained by Doug Lewis. Rigged To Go (Ross Wolfenden) was runner-up with Art Season (Allan Davis) third. Scott Woogen's KJ Ben, handled by Art Stafford Jr. won the third and final $20,000 prelim with a 1:54.1 victory, his fifth in eight lifetime trips. A homebred son of Riggins-Winsmith Karen, Duane Wagner conditions the winner. Dashboard (Trace Tetrick) and Roddy's Hot Again (George Dennis) were second and third respectively. Montrell Teague and Art Stafford Jr. had driving doubles. A pair of $20,000 DSBF Filly paces and an $18,000 Mares Open pace highlight the Monday, Dec. 1 card. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing Friday and Saturday. Sunday racing resumes 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. ---- McWicked, fresh from a 1:49 victory in last week's $531,250 Breeders Crown Final leads a stellar group of seven rivals in a $35,000 prevue of next week's $301,000 Progress Pace on Sunday, Nov.30 at Dover Downs. Post time is 5:30 p.m. David Miller will drive the Casie Coleman trainee owned by SSG Stables from post 1. Ms. Coleman will also start Ontario campaigner, Play It Again Sam, driven by Brett Miller, for Adriano Sorella and West Wins Stable. Big Boy Dreams, a 24-1 upset winner of the recent $186,550 Matron Final at Dover Downs will return with Ron Pierce in the bike, drew post 5. Dominick Rosato owns the five-time winner this season. In addition the Ron Burke Stable will start two others, 3 Brothers Stables' $1-million winner, JK Endofanera, who raced big for Yannick Gingras, third beaten by three-quarter length, as beaten favorite in the Breeders Crown and Baldachino, Shelswell, Panhellenic and another $1-million winning colt, Burke Racing stable's All Bets Off. The Messenger Stake, Milstein Final and New York Sire Stakes winner from among 11 races this season while winning $908,625 will be reined by Matt Kakaley. Tim Tetrick will guide the fast Somewhere In LA for J&T Silva, TLP stables and Deo Volente Farms from outside post 8. The Jimmy Takter gelding has won seven times and been in-the-money 17 of 22 starts earning $481,412 this year. Completing the lineup are Blair and Ema Corbeil, Kelly Hoerdt and J&T Silva Stables' National Debt, trained by Ron Coyne from post 2 and John Cancelliere's Parnu Hanover, a winner of his last two starts. Dover Downs races Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and weekdays, Monday through Thursday beginning at 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Daily simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing daily begins 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. For those planning to watch racing and dine in the Winner's Circle Restaurant, reservations are suggested. Call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs    

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