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It was the 2015 debut for multi-stakes winner McWicked in the featured event at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (July 26), an open pace going for a purse of $30,000. After back-to-back qualifiers at The Meadowlands, the now 4-year-old son of McArdle was coming off of a memorable 3-year-old campaign, including capturing the Breeder's Crown in late November. The favorite coming in however was The Jerry Taylor Invitational winner Great Vintage. The 30-time winner took 2 of his last 3 coming in, with the latest victory overcoming the 8 hole against open company at Yonkers. Great Vintage (Scott Zeron) wasted no time getting into gear, leaving aggressively from post 4 securing the front end. The 7-year-old son of American Ideal set fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:22.1. McWicked (Dave Miller) took back at the start from post 7, taking up third over position. In the stretch, Great Vintage was able to get away, building an insurmountable lead, holding off the fast closing McWicked by two lengths in the end. The final time was 1:50.1. Great Vintage is now 5 for 8 in the win column this season, for the owning group of Takter, Fielding, Anderberg, and Falk. In other news, millionaire trotter Sevruga (Andy Miller) overcame a second tier starting spot to prevail in a winner's over $25,000 lifetime trot going for a purse of $24,000. The 7-year-old son of SJ's Caviar was able to grind first over to narrowly defeat the front stepping My Love Bi (George Napolitano Jr.), winning by a head in 1:54.3. Favorite DW's NY Yank (Matt Kakaley) overcame an early break to finish third. It was the 35th career win for Sevruga, who is owned by Joe P Racing and trained by Julie Miller. Michael Bozich

Smokinmombo and Bright Baby Blues each captured a division of Tuesday's Meadow Bright, a $188,066 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows, and each did it handily on the front end. Already a winner in PASS action this year, Smokinmombo pocketed Sarcy, the 4-5 favorite, and had plenty left in the lane after a comfortable 58 half to defeat her by 2 lengths in 1:54.3, with Speak To Me third. Winning driver Aaron Merriman indicated that taking the point with the daughter of Explosive Matter-Horizontal Mombo wasn't necessarily his game plan. "I do believe she's better out of a hole because she's smaller," Merriman said. "When you move her out of a hole, she just sprints." "She has a great attitude." "But she was absolutely in hand." "She's just getting better and better." Chris Beaver trains Smokinmombo, who extended her career bankroll to $195,558, and owns with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. Bright Baby Blues had endured a frustrating season -- no wins in six starts despite performing well -- but her disappointment ended when she trotted strongly through a brief downpour and scored in 1:56 for David Miller, trainer Bob Stewart and owners Bluestone Farms and Fredericka Caldwell. Meadowbranch Wendy was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Lilu Hanover earned show. "It's a tough division anymore," Stewart said of the daughter of Andover Hall-Bar Slide, who is eligible for the Hambletonian Oaks. "She trotted in 1:53 at the Meadowlands, and that wasn't enough." "But she's a very nice filly." "I don't think she's reached her potential yet." "It was good to get an easy race into her." "I don't know if we'll go to the Oaks or not." "The owners will make that decision." In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Kandian Klub pulled off a 9-1 upset for Mike Wilder when she rallied to nail Cowgirl Hall in the stretch and down her by 3/4 lengths in 1:54.3. Bessie completed the ticket. Ron Burke conditions Kandian Klub, a 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-KT Dee Dee who now boasts $219.266 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four wins for Burke on the 15-race program. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features two events for sophomore colt and gelding trotters -- The Hickory Smoke, a $189,616 PASS stake, and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

There were eight divisions of the $160,000 first leg Pennsylvania Stallion Series event Tuesday night at  the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and -- with one small exception -- they saved the best for last.   The Dragon Again-Guthrie Hanover baby Griffon Hanover worked hard for the early lead, saw two brush by him in the second quarter, then got a clear shot in the famed Pocono Pike and rallied for the tally in 1:54, fastest of the octet of races.   David Miller guided the speedy freshman to the win for trainer Tom Fanning and owners Robert Dathe and Donovan Spamer while completing a siring triple for Dragon Again.   The one dark spot? Griffon Hanover, much to the lament of improvers of the breed everywhere, was the only gelding among the eight winners.   David Miller bookended the Stallion Series action when he took the opening section with the Yankee Cruiser-Ma Foi colt Ginger Tree Cash in 1:55.4.   Also with a driving double was Tom Jackson, first with the Well Said-Yankee Scramble colt Yolo Hanover in 1:55.3, then, in the most exciting of the eight stretch drives, picking up the field on the far outside with another son of Dragon Again (out of Western Powerful), Art's Dragon, in 1:54.4. Dragon Again's third winner, out of I'm Sassy, was Innit Hanover, first home in 1:55 with Scott Zeron at the lines.   Also with a multiple sire credit was Somebeachsomewhere; his two winners were I'm Some Graduate (out of the $1.3M-winning mare Western Graduate), guided by John Campbell to victory in 1:56, and Beach Ogre (out of Donkeys Can Talk), whose 1:54.4 win for Ray Schnittker was the only non-lifetime best in the competition, as the youngster had previously qualified at The Downs in 1:54.1.   Rounding out the action was Star Of Terror, by Western Terror-Game Bunny, a winner in 1:55.2 for driver Tim Tetrick.   The $268,940 Sire Stakes event for the two-year-old pacing colts will be featured on Wednesday's card, with five divisions of freshmen going postward.   Jerry Connors  

One of New Zealand's better performed harness racing exports to North America in the last few years is finally starting to turn his form around in his new homeland. Mah Sish had a stellar career down under and was closing in on a million dollar in stake earnings when he was exported to North America last May. A free going son of Mach Three, Mah Sish looked perfectly suited to mile racing and big things were expected of him in North America. However all that came to nothing when in his first qualifying race in June last year he was very scratchy in his action and that would be his only look at a race track for nearly twelve months. His Kiwi born mentor, "Nifty" Norman has nursed him back to the track and he is slowly starting to show the kind of form that he showed in the Southern Hemisphere. Although it is still early days there are signs that the old Mah Sish is back and several of his recent runs have been more like his old self. Mah Sish had a nice win on the half mile Freehold track in early May in 1:55.2 before a couple of placings at the Meadowlands in good time hinted he was on his way back. He then had three runs at the leading track in Canada at Mohawk Raceway and although not winning efforts he did break 1:50 in one of those runs and was a certainty beaten at his third start there. Therefore when he lined up at The Meadowlands last Saturday, Mah Sish was well supported on the tote to win his second race of the year. Driver David Miller settled him fourth early as the first quarter went by in 26.2 and the half in 54. Passing the half Mah Sish was flushed out and from there David Miller just let him run and Mah Sish grabbed the lead before the corner and shot away and hid from the opposition in a very smart performance. Mah Sish stopped the timer in 1:49.2 and seemed to do it with a fair bit in reserve. There are plenty of options for Mah Sish race wise over the next few months but the pleasing thing is he finally got to show the North Americans a little bit of his class. Harnesslink Media  

Pennsylvania sired 2-year-old filly pacers took center stage at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (July 9) competing in five divisions worth just over $53,000 each. The highly regarded Pure Country (Brett Miller) looked every bit the part in the first division. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere rated smartly off the speed duel which developed shortly after the half between second favorite Heels On The Beach (John Campbell) and Ron Burke trainee Eloquent Grace (Yannick Gingras). Pure Country ($2.40) edged off the cones from the pocket spot at the top of the stretch, sweeping up three wide for an in-hand one length victory, stopping the clock in 1:53.2. She is owned by Diamond Creek Farms, and is trained by Jimmy Takter. Gerard Malanga trainee Sail To The Beach (Daniel Dube) was equally as impressive in her divisional win. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere sat off the pace until the half, when she uncorked a strong brush that pushed her well clear by the three-quarter pole. Her margin of victory was two lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:53.1. Danika P (Matt Kakaley) was a clear second, while My Lady Love (Brett Miller) overcame a severe shuffle to close for third. Sail To The Beach ($4.00) remained undefeated for owners Chester Orzell and Michael Talapa. Another Somebeachsomewhere filly proved prominent in division three, as Darlinonthebeach (Yannick Gingras) scored in front stepping style. The Nancy Johansson trainee faced a minor challenge up the backstretch from Sayulita (Brett Miller) before relegating her to the pocket by the three quarter pole. Darlinonthebeach ($3.40) won by an increasing four length margin in the end, stopping the clock in 1:53.1 for her first pair-mutuel win. Division four was home to an impressive performance by I Said Diamonds (Dave Miller). The daughter of Well Said benefitted when her main competition Shezarealdeal (Marcus Miller) made a break in the first turn, thus eliminating herself. I Said Diamonds ($3.00) then pounced on the leaders just after the quarter, never ceding command after completing the clearing move. She went on to win by a length, stopping the clock in 1:53 to remain undefeated in two starts. She is owned by Omar Beiler, Dennis Coons, and Susan Oakes, with Chris Oakes doing the training. The final division was taken by the front end stepping Peachy (Yannick Gingras). The daughter of Western Terror was able to rate back to back :29 quarters before facing a challenge from race favorite Skinny Dipper (Andrew McCarthy). Peachy ($9.80) was able to extend her lead off the soft fractions at three quarters, with plenty left to fend off the pocket sitting Corona Again in the stretch. She won by a little less than a length, stopping the timer at 1:54.1. It was the first career win for the Ron Burke trainee, who is owned by W J Donovan. Yannick Gingras lead all drivers with four wins on the day, while Corey Callahan, Scott Zeron, and Dave Miller each had three. Live racing resumes Friday at Harrah's Philadelphia with a first post of 12:40 PM. Michael Bozich

Cufflink Hanover enjoyed a dream career debut Monday at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows. Not only did he capture a division of a $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event, but he also trotted to a stake record 1:57. The stake for 2-year-old colts and geldings was contested over five divisions, with TNT Rusty, Soda Pump, Love To Glide and Will Self taking the other splits. Cufflink Hanover had a pair of qualifiers to prepare for his debut, but in neither was he asked to take air. Winning driver David Miller, who co-owns the Nifty Norman trainee with Enzed Racing Stable, required just that of him, sending him first over from third down the backside. The youngster responded beautifully, wearing down Mr Right and defeating him by 1-1/4 lengths. Meadowbranch Memo finished third. "He felt real good or I wouldn't have moved him," Miller said of the $30,000 yearling acquisition, an Andover Hall-CR Savoire Faire gelding." "But he felt like he was ready to go." "He tried to come out of a hole on his own down the backstretch." The second time he did it, I just pulled his earplugs." "We kept him eligible to a couple nice races next year, but this year he'll stay in Pennsylvania." The time eclipsed the old mark of 1:57.2 established by Pekoe Fashion in 2011. Speaking of moving first over to win at first asking, TNT Rusty duplicated that feat when he erased an 8-1/2-length deficit to down the rallying Petrossian AS by a neck for Dave Palone in 1:58.1. Early leader Fiji saved show. It was one of three wins on the 15-race card for Palone. "I was looking to go out of there with him, but there were a couple guys inside me leaving," Palone said. "I just wanted to give him a good experience most of all. It couldn't have worked out any better." "He fired home pretty good. He's a real likeable colt." George Ducharme conditions the Explosive Matter-Rusty's Twizzted T gelding and owns with Paul Fontaine and Alfred Ross. Soda Pump didn't have to tough out an uncovered move, as he dominated on the front, triumphing convincingly in 1:57.4 for Aaron Merriman and lessee/trainer Clifton Green. Muscle City was second, 5-1/4 lengths back, with Simplyamonster AS third. "He's been a natural from Day 1," said Green of the son of Cantab Hall-Alot Of Pump. "He's like a spoiled brat kid -- just plays all the time." "He probably needs to be castrated, but we'll decide that later." "I don't know where his end is. He doesn't pay attention, but he keeps going. We'll see how far he goes." In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Tamarind made it four straight with a persuasive victory in 1:52.2, matching Sharp Edge's track record for older horses. The first-over Major Athens was second, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears, while Tall Cotton completed the ticket. Merriman piloted the 7-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos, who now boasts $674,044 in lifetime earnings, for owner/trainer Bill Bercury. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features six divisions of the Hickory Pride, a $216,980 PA Sires Stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM: Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Freehold, NJ --- Cruzado Dela Noche is not afraid to announce his arrival when he enters a barn. He is making his presence known on the harness racing track as well. The Nancy Johansson-trained Cruzado Dela Noche, known around the stable as “Nacho,” was among last week’s three elimination winners for Saturday’s $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. He won by 2-1/4 lengths over Southwind Mozart in 1:53.3, which was the fastest of the divisions, over a sloppy track. Cruzado Dela Noche and driver David Miller will start the final from post No. 2 and are 4-1 on the morning line. Uncle Lasse, who won his elimination by a head over Crazy Wow in 1:54 and is unbeaten in four races this season, is the 5-2 favorite. He will start from post four with Brett Miller driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. Wicker Hanover, who captured the remaining elimination by a half-length over Pinkman in 1:54.1, is 6-1 from post six with Andy McCarthy driving for trainer Noel Daley. Pinkman, who was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and was undefeated in three starts this season prior to his Beal elim, is the 3-1 second choice from post one. Yannick Gingras will drive the Takter trainee. Cruzado Dela Noche has won two of five races this year and finished off the board only once. For his career, he has won five of 16 starts and earned $219,122 for owner Anders Strom’s Courant A B. “You can’t help but like him,” Johansson said. “He’s got the best personality, best attitude. You bring him in the barn and he lets you know he’s there. He screams at the top of his lungs. If you’ve got your back to him and hear him coming you’d think it’s a 17-hand big stallion walking in the barn, and you turn around and it’s little Nacho. But he’s a really happy good feeling colt.” Last year, Cruzado Dela Noche won a division of the International Stallion Stakes in 1:53.4 at Lexington’s Red Mile. He finished third in the Peter Haughton Memorial, behind fellow Beal finalists Centurion ATM and Uncle Lasse, and also in the Matron Stakes. “You couldn’t ask for a more honest little horse,” Johansson said. “He puts his heart out on the track every time; he just tries so hard. But saying that, he does have some ability too. He might be the quickest one of the horses in the race. Some might be a little stronger and can carry their speed longer, but as far as quickness goes, he’s got extreme quick raw speed. “He trotted in (1):51.4 this year at The Meadows (finishing second to Uncle Lasse in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division) so he’s no slouch.” In his Beal elimination, Cruzado Dela Noche sat in fourth place until the field was midway up the backstretch, at which point a first-over attack carried the colt to the lead on the final turn. From there, he drew clear to win by 2-1/4 lengths. “I think he raced extremely well last week,” Johansson said. “He got away a little bit back and came first up and put the leader away and was well in hand. David never pulled his earplugs or really asked him to go. I think he’s coming into this race as sharp as he could be for it. “And he drew well, which always helps too. Maybe he can get away a little closer than what he has in his other races this year. Maybe if he can sit a little closer it will help. It’s a speed track so it’s hard to make up any ground if you’re sitting too far back anyhow.” Cruzado Dela Noche is eligible to the Stanley Dancer Memorial (July 18) and Zweig Memorial (July 26) leading up to the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. “I think he’s one of the players,” Johansson said. “Obviously my dad (Takter) has a very nice group of 3-year-olds. I thought Wicker Hanover raced very well last week and he’s a nice horse too. It’s maybe more of an even year than what we’ve had in the past. There isn’t really one standout. I don’t think there’s one that we want to make the division leader yet because I think anybody could kind of be that right now.” Saturday’s card at Pocono also includes the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $75,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Following is the Beal Memorial field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Pinkman by Ezplosive Matter -  Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter - 3-1 2. Cruzado Dela Noche by Muscle Massive -  David Miller, Nancy Johansson - 4-1 3. Centurion ATM by Sjs Caviar -  Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt - 10-1 4. Uncle Lasse by Donato Hanover -  Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter - 5-2 5. Crazy Wow by Crazed -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke - 5-1 6. Wicker Hanover by Explosive Matter - Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley - 6-1 7. Shoot The Thrill by Explosive Matter -  Tim Tetrick, Dirk Simpson - 12-1 8. Boots N Chains by Yankee Glide -  Andy Miller, John Butenschoen - 20-1 9. Southwind Mozart by Muscle Hill - John Campbell, Ake Svanstedt - 15-1 by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Sire Donato Hanover was the biggest All-Star on a night when state-sired two-year-old trotting fillies raced for $210,000 in Pennsylvania All-Stars competition, as he sired five of the seven winners during the Wednesday night action at  the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   The quickest of the seven winners could have been predicted by pedigree students: it was Broadway Donna, a Donato Hanover out of Broadway Schooner, a full sister to world champion Cooler Schooner, who had the harness world buzzing when she set a 1:51.3 world standard here as a 2YO.   Broadway Donna, now undefeated in three outings and two pari-mutuel starts, quarter-moved to command and won by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:55.3 for driver David Miller, trainer Jim Campbell ("Cooler"'s conditioner), and owner/breeder Fashion Farms LLC.   Of all the winning trainers and drivers in the seven All-Star events, only trainer John Butenschoen tallied twice, once with a Donato Hanover   His was Twill Be Done, who took the lead past the quarter and went on to a 1:58.4 triumph for driver Mike Simons, the local "Trot Man," who is also co-owner with Christopher Giaccio and Albert Abdala III.   Rounding out the Donato Fivesome, in order of faster clockings, were Woman's Will in 1:56.4 for driver Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller, and owner/breeders Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz; Windowshopper, who made every pole a winning one in 1:57 for trainer-driver Ray Schnittker, also co-owner with Charles Iannazzo; and Grand Canyon, home in 1:58.1 for driver John Campbell, trainer Nancy Johansson, and owner/breeder Diamond Creek.   Butenschoen's other winner was Lookin Hanover, a daughter of Andover Hall who personally came home in 28.2 despite a first-over trip to tally in 1:58.1 for driver Corey Callahan and owners William Wiswell and M And L Of Delaware Inc.   The night's other stakes winner posted the second-fastest time among the fillies: Whitelake Hanover, a daughter of Explosive Matter who opened up an insurmountable lead down the backstretch and stopped the timer at 1:56.3 for driver Joe Pavia Jr., trainer Chris Oakes, and owners Omar Beiler, Dennis Coons, and Susan Oakes.                                                                  * * * * * * *   Late driver changes and top three morning line choices for the big four Championship races and the Sun Invitational Trot to be held on Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono, plus the first three choice in the morning line:   $75,000 SUN INVITATIONAL TROT No late driver changes Top three choices: JL Cruze, Sebastian K S, Classic Martine   $300,000 JAMES LYNCH 3PF CHAMPIONSHIP Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Momas Got A Gun; Brett Miller, originally listed, will stay with Wicked Little Minx Top three choices: Sassa Hanover, Stacia Hanover, Momas Got A Gun   $500,000 MAX C. HEMPT 3PC CHAMPIONSHIP No late driver changes Top three choices: Wiggle It Jiggleit, Wakizashi Hanover, Artspeak   $500,000 BEN FRANKLIN FFAP CHAMPIONSHIP Simon Allard will drive Domethatagain; Tim Tetrick, originally listed, will stick with Mach It So Top three choices: State Treasurer, Vegas Vacation, Luck Be Withyou   $500,000 EARL BEAL JR. 3TC CHAMPIONSHIP Brian Sears will drive Crazy Wow; Yannick Gingras, originally listed, will stick with Pinkman Top three choices: Uncle Lasse, Pinkman, Cruzado Dela Noche   Jerry Connors

Trainer Anthony De Francesco III had four training wins on the Wednesday afternoon (July 1) card at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia. The first of which came when Joseph Laino's ER Room (Yannick Gingras) survived a :26.2 opening quarter to get the job done. The 6-year-old son of Cambest won for the thirteenth time in his career. It was his third win of the season, setting a lifetime's best 1:52 in the process. He paid $4.20. Six races later, Louis A. and Louis M. Di Tullio's Red Carpet Dude (Dave Miller) scored the upset victory ($57.20) The six-year-old son of Camluck tracked live cover up the backstretch, establishing prime position for his final push, which ended in a two length victory, and a 1:53.1 clocking. It was his first win for De Francesco III, who is also part owner. Once again the Di Tullio's reached the winner's circle, this time with six-year-old gelded pacer Special Blend (Eric Abbatiello). The son of The Panderosa drafted in the pocket spot after leading the first quarter-mile. He was able to punch through the passing lane for his eleventh career victory out of ninety-nine career starts. It was his first win of the season, paying $33.00 to win. Just two races later, in the live finale, Dante Scattolini Sr.'s Sonny McDreamee overcame post eight to score the upset win. The ten-year-old trotting gelding by Angus Hall went right to the front and made every call a winning one, stopping the timer in 1:57.4. It was his twenty-second win out of one hundred and sixty lifetime starts, and his first win in the De Francesco barn. He paid $21.40 to win. There was no winner in the pick four. The carryover for Thursday afternoon is $1,935.43. Post time is 12:40 PM, with the pick four getting underway in race seven. Mike Bozich

Nobody told Mother Nature that The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was having one of its biggest harness racing cards of the season last Saturday night. Heavy rain pummeled Northeastern Pennsylvania starting in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and it was still going strong by the time the elimination races for Sun Stakes Saturday had come to a completion. As a result, the track was plenty sloppy as some of the world's best horses stopped by in the hopes of making it through to the big-money Sun Stakes finals on the Fourth of July. Elimination races are always a tricky bit of business because, while everybody wants to win, the most important thing is securing that spot in the lineup when those purses go rocketing skyward. So, considering the slop and the strategizing, the results we saw Saturday might not have all that much bearing on what occurs in the Finals. But it still made for a memorable night of racing, one featuring some unexpected outcomes and many stellar performances. Here is a division-by-division look at what went down. JAMES M. LYNCH MEMORIAL PACE (3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES) This felt like the most wide-open field going into the eliminations, and Saturday's races didn't provide a ton of clarity. We do know that JK She'salady, who dominated the division a year ago, won't be around for the finals, as her recent struggles continued with a 5th-place finish in her elimination. Instead. The Show Returns wheeled out 3-wide with John Campbell in the bike to come up for a mild upset win in the division containing JK She'salady. Speaking of mid-priced upsetters, Momas Got A Gun wore down favored Divine Caroline for a win in her split at 6-1. The only favorite to hold form was Stacia Hanover, who controlled matters on the front end to win with Scott Zeron in the bike. As further proof of just how tight these fillies are heading into the finals, all three winners came home in the slop in identical times of 1:51:3.   MAX C. HEMPT MEMORIAL PACE (3-YEAR-OLDS) Most of the top competitors in the eliminations came right from the North American Cup finals held on June 20 at Mohawk. Wakizashi Hanover, who sprung a mild upset to win that race in Canada, used a pocket seat to win his elimination in 1:50:4 with Tim Tetrick in the bike. The horse he surprised at Mohawk, Wiggle It Jiggleit, righted his ship after the first loss of his career, handling his split with ease for driver Montrell Teague in 1:50:1. And Artspeak outdueled In The Arsenal in the final division by a head in 1:50; those two horses finished fifth and fourth in the North American Cup. Certainly everyone will be watching for a rematch between Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit in the final, and the draw for post position will be all-important, since those two appear to be evenly matched.   EARL BEAL JR. MEMORIAL TROT (3-YEAR-OLDS) The night's biggest upset occurred when Pinkman, who was the 2-year-old divisional champ and had won three straight Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races to start 2015, was upended at the line by the late charge of Wicker Hanover, a 16-1 shot with Andrew McCarthy in the bike. In the first Beal split, heavy favorite Habitat made an early break, opening the door for Cruzado Dela Noche to come up first-over and surprise for the win in 1:53:3. Uncle Lasse won a showdown with Crazy Wow in the final division in a battle of odds-on horses. Trainer Jimmy Takter will have Uncle Lasse and an angry Pinkman in the final, so he'll most likely have a big say in the matter. But the preliminaries show that you can't take anything for granted, especially when horses as talented as Wicker Hanover can get away at such long odds.   BEN FRANKLIN FREE-FOR-ALL PACE (OPEN) The two eliminations provided a fascinating study on how races can be won in a variety of ways. In the first elimination, Luck Be Withyou, who had suffered a disappointing break of stride while leading his previous stakes race at Northfield, decided to give it another go on the engine on Saturday night. With George Napolitano on the bike, the 4-year-old stallion busted to the lead from the #8-hole and never looked back, hustling home to win in 1:50. In the second split, State Treasurer, a 6-year-old stallion who campaigns in Canada, had to deal with the dreaded outside #9 post. Driver David Miller stayed patient, even with his horse sitting last fifth-over at the three-quarter pole. Around the final turn he wheeled State Treasurer to the outside and the stallion blew by everybody for a last-to-first victory in 1:50:3. Most of the top aged pacers are headed to the final, including Foiled Again, the sport's all-time top earner who snuck in based on having the faster fifth-place finishing time of the two divisions. Saturday's final should be a donnybrook for the ages. With the eliminations in our rear-view, all that's left to do is look forward to the Fourth of July finals. Trust me, the on-track action on Sun Stakes Saturday will provide all the fireworks you'll need. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia

The 6-year-old State Treasurer, purchased for a mere $6,500 at the 2010 Standardbred Horse Sale, is a multiple-stakes-winner with more than $1 million in earnings for harness racing owners Sally and Allan MacDonald and Paul and Sophie MacDonald. Earlier this year he won an unprecedented third Molson Pace and last season he captured the Allerage Farms Open Pace at Lexington's Red Mile. He also missed by only a neck in last year's Breeders Crown Open Pace, finishing third. Last weekend, State Treasurer won his elimination for Saturday's $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers from post nine by a neck over Dynamic Youth in 1:50.3 over a sloppy track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. He will start the final from post four with David Miller driving for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "We refer to him as our once-in-a-lifetime horse," said Sally MacDonald, who lives on Prince Edward Island. "When we stop and think about all the people we've met and the traveling we've done, it's basically all because of him. It's been just such an enjoyable time with him." Luck Be Withyou, who won the first of the two Franklin eliminations last weekend, drew post nine for the final. George Napolitano Jr. will drive for trainer Chris Oakes. Saturday's card at Pocono also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $75,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. State Treasurer has won four of seven races this year. The four victories have come in his most recent five outings - despite starting from inside of post seven only once - and include the Molson Pace and Gold Cup Invitational. His setback came in the Battle of Lake Erie, where he was fifth by 1-3/4 lengths from post seven at half-mile Northfield Park. "We're very happy with the way he's been racing of late, that's for sure," said Paul MacDonald, who lives in Toronto and is Allan MacDonald's nephew. "We've been drawing poorly it seems quite a bit lately, but that's horse racing. It's certainly tough with such a strong group of older pacers when you're drawing on the outside. I don't think we'll continue to get the breaks we've been getting in some of these races. You just can't do that all the time against such a good group of horses." State Treasurer is a son of stallion Real Desire out of the mare Ideal Treasure, who is a full sister to stakes-winner Ideal Matters. His third dam is world champion stakes-winner Hit Parade. Allan MacDonald selected State Treasurer as a yearling. It was the first horse ever owned by Sally, Paul and Sophie. "My husband had been involved (with horses previously) but we decided to put this horse in my name," Sally MacDonald said. "He thinks I'm his good-luck charm." Said Paul, with a laugh, "Some people say I'm probably ruined now with him as the first horse. "It's been fantastic. Just to be there and participate against an incredible group of horses has been the highlight. Dr. Moore has said he's never had a bad race and I think what he means by that is the horse always gives 110 percent. He may get a bad trip, or the draw may be terrible, or the flow doesn't work out the way that you hope, but the horse is always giving it his best. "We've just had such a great time with this guy. We owe a lot of it to Dr. Moore. He's been just super with him." State Treasurer, who has been trained by Moore throughout his career, has won 25 of 78 career races and earned $1.08 million. He banked a career-best $464,311 last season. "He's an awesome horse to be around," Sally MacDonald said. "He's got a terrific personality. Everybody that sees him likes him. "It's just been such a good-news story with him." Following is the Ben Franklin field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Domethatagain by Bettor's Delight -  Tim Tetrick, Rene Allard 2. Foiled Again by Dragon Again -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 3. Clear Vision by Western Hanover -  Brett Miller, Ron Burke 4. State Treasurer by Real Desire -  David Miller, Ian Moore 5. Dynamic Youth by Bettor's Delight -  Andrew McCarthy, Aaron Lambert 6. Mach It So by Mach Three -  Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 7. Captive Audience by Art Major -  Jim Morrill Jr., Doug Berkeley 8. Vegas Vacation by Bettor's Delight -  Brian Sears, Casie Coleman 9. Luck Be Withyou by Western Ideal -  George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes   Following is the Hempt Memorial field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Pierce Hanover by Cams Card Shark -  Brett Miller, Ken Sucee 2. Betting Exchange by Bettor's Delight -  Jim Morrill Jr., Tom Fanning 3. Lost For Words by Well Said -  David Miller, Brian Brown 4. Artspeak by Western Ideal -  Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna 5. Wiggle It Jiggleit by Mr Wiggles -  Montrell Teague, Clyde Francis 6. In The Arsenal by American Ideal  -  Brian Sears, Kelvin Harrison 7. Wakizashi Hanover by Dragon Again -  Tim Tetrick, Joann Looney-King 8. A Bettor Hat by Bettor's Delight -  Yannick Gingras, Gilbert Garcia-Herrera 9. National Seelster by Bettor's Delight -  Andy Miller, Chris Ryder   Following is the Beal Memorial field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Pinkman by Ezplosive Matter -  Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter 2. Cruzado Dela Noche by Muscle Massive -  David Miller, Nancy Johansson 3. Centurion ATM by Sjs Caviar -  Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt 4. Uncle Lasse by Donato Hanover -  Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter 5. Crazy Wow by Crazed -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 6. Wicker Hanover by Explosive Matter - Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley 7. Shoot The Thrill by Explosive Matter -  Tim Tetrick, Dirk Simpson 8. Boots N Chains by Yankee Glide -  Andy Miller, John Butenschoen 9. Southwind Mozart by Muscle Hill - John Campbell, Ake Svanstedt   Following is the Lynch Memorial field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Bettor Be Steppin by Bettor's Delight -  Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway 2. Deli Beach by Somebeachsomewhere -  John Campbell, Brett Bittle 3. Stacia Hanover by Western Ideal -  Scott Zeron, Steve Elliott 4. Sassa Hanover by Rock N Roll Heaven -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 5. Divine Caroline by Rock N Roll Heaven -  David Miller, Joe Holloway 6. Momas Got A Gun by Somebeachsomewhere -  Brett Miller, Virgil Morgan Jr. 7. Single Me by Bettor's Delight -  Brian Sears, Ross Croghan 8. Wicked Little Minx by Rocknroll Hanover -  Brett Miller, Nancy Johansson 9. The Show Returns by Rocknroll Hanover -  Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder   Following is the Sun Invitational field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. My Love Bi by Donato Hanover -  George Napolitano Jr., Gilbert Garcia-Herrera 2. Hot Shot Blue Chip by Revenue S -  Joe Pavia Jr., Jonas Czernyson 3. Sebastian K by Korean -  Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt 4. Daylon Miracle by Pegasus Spur -  Simon Allard, Rene Allard 5. JL Cruze by Crazed -  John Campbell, Eric Ell 6. Gural Hanover by Crazed -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 7. Classic Martine by Classic Photo -  Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

There were two opens valued at $30,000 each at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (June 14). The open pace was race six on the fourteen race program. It featured two of the top three finishers from the Jerry Taylor Invitational, including winner Great Vintage (Dave Miller) and third place finisher Mach It So (Jason Bartlett). The race favorite however was Doctor Butch (Scott Zeron). The 5-year-old son of Art Major finished fifth in the Jerry Taylor two starts back, winning his last start in 1:48.2 at the Big M. He was forwardly placed at the start, leading at the quarter-pole (26.4). Mach It So quickly vacated the pocket to take the lead, hitting the half in :55.1. Long shot Big N Bad (Eric Carlson) made mild headway first over, but was unable to gain past three-quarters (1:22.4). In the stretch, Doctor Butch was able to close home in :26.3 to win for the 25th time in his career, stopping the timer in 1:49.2. Mach It So finished second, while Great Vintage closed for third. Doctor Butch is owned by Kenneth Jacobs, and trained by Linda Toscano. He paid $5.00. In the open trot (race 10), Tom Fanning trainee Possessed Fashion (Jason Bartlett) was the lukewarm favorite. The son of Donato Hanover left well for early position from post 3, settling in behind battling leaders at the quarter (:27.3). Linda Toscano trainee Uva Hanover (Dave Miller) and Jimmy Takter trainee Not Afraid (Corey Callahan) battled for the lead with the latter being used hard to clear from post 8. After the tempo settled down at the half (:56.1), Jim Raymer trainee Rossini (Andrew McCarthy) mustered up a first over challenge. They battled to a three-quarter time of 1:24.3. Not Afraid put away the long shot's challenge in the turn, but could not hold off Uva Hanover down the stretch. The 4-year-old won by a little more than a length, stopping the clock in 1:53.2, a lifetime's best. Possessed Fashion got up for second, while Not Again tired to third. Uva Hanover is owned by Stake Your Claim Stables and Martin Sternberg, and paid $8.40 to win. Driver Dave Miller had five wins on the program. Michael Bozich

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – Headed by the 2014 Dan Patch and O’Brien Award winning Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year, McWicked, harness racing’s top crop from last year have made the final nomination payment for the $200,000 Prix D’Ete at the Hippodrome 3R. The rich final, restricted to just 19 four-year-olds in 2015, is set for Sunday, August 23 on 3R’s half mile oval with the top eight money winners this season at time of entry getting their nose on the starting gate. Mr. Consistent of 2014, McWicked, hails from the Casie Coleman Stable and is owned by Ed James SSG Stable of North Boston, NY. The colt won 12 of 23 races and hit the board a total of 21 times.  He finished the season on a three-race win streak, which included the Breeders Crown and a stakes-record triumph in the Progress Pace. His other major victories included the included the Delvin Miller Adios and Max C. Hempt Memorial. His time of 1:47.3f in the Hempt at Pocono Downs is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track. McWicked is just getting geared up for the 2015 season and recently won a qualifying race at Pocono Downs in 1:52.2. Next on the list is All Bets Off. This son of Bettors Delight won $911,000 last year and is already on a roll in 2015. He recently won his elimination division and then the $200,000 final of the Confederation Cup. Big Boy Dreams, winner last year of the Windy City Pace, was purchased during the off season for $265,000, and is now trained by Rene Allard who has set their sights on the Prix D’Ete. Already this season the son of If I Can Dream, has won back to back Open events at both Yonkers and Pocono Downs, the fastest an impressive 1:49.4. Another outstanding four-year-old nominated is He’s Watching, who set the world record last season with his 1:46.4 triumph in the Meadowlands Pace. The list keeps looking stronger with outstanding performers Limelight Beach, Luck Be Withyou and Somewhere In L A also eligible to the Prix D’Ete. “This is a superb list of top horses for this year’s Prix D’Ete,” said Vincent Trudel, general manager at the Hippodrome 3R. “It is safe to say that with this caliber of great horses eligible, the all-age track record of 1:50.3 set last year in the Prix D’Ete by Sunfire Blue Chip, will most certainly be in jeopardy. “We are looking forward to having a great Prix D’Ete weekend August 22 and 23,” Trudel said. “We want to invite everyone to come out to beautiful Trois-Rivieres for our live harness racing and enjoy our wonderful Quebecois hospitality!” From the Quebec Jockey Club Final Nominees 2015 Prix D’Ete All Bets Off Arthur Blue Chip Atomic Million Am Bettorever Big Boy Dreams Boomboom Ballykeel Electric Western He’s Watching Ideal Cowboy Limelight Beach Luck Be Withyou Mattamerican McWicked National Best Somewhere In LA Three Of Clubs Titus Seelster Unlocked Winds Of Change

Freehold, NJ --- Betting Exchange heads to Saturday’s eliminations for the North America Cup looking for his first win of the season, but harness racing trainer Tom Fanning is looking for a strong effort after watching the colt register two near misses in his previous starts at Yonkers Raceway. Three eight-horse C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers will be contested Saturday (June 13) at Mohawk Racetrack. The top-three finishers from each group plus a fourth-place finisher drawn randomly advance to the C$1 million championship on June 20. The connections of elim winners earn the opportunity to select their post position for the final. Betting Exchange and driver David Miller will start from post No. 2 in the third elimination. The race also includes 2014 Dan Patch and O’Brien award-winner Artspeak,  2014 Breeders Crown champ Traceur Hanover, undefeated newcomer Split The House, and Wakizashi Hanover,  who has finished worse than second only once in 10 lifetime starts. “He’ll give a good account of himself,” Fanning said about the son of Bettor's Delight. “He’s a good horse. Dave Miller has a lot of confidence in him. He knows those horses and what they can do and if they can compete at that level. He certainly said bring him on up, so I think he’ll be OK.” Fanning owns Betting Exchange with Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. The colt was purchased as a yearling for $24,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and is a half-brother to 2009 Battle of Waterloo winner Wellthereyougo. For his career, Betting Exchange has won three of 11 races and earned $168,188. His victories include two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes and a division of the Historic-Goshen Cup Stakes. Betting Exchange heads to the North America Cup eliminations off a second-place finish to In The Arsenal in the Art Rooney Pace on May 30. Betting Exchange, who raced on the outside until the middle of the second turn before getting a brief lead that he relinquished to In The Arsenal at the midway point of the race, was beaten by a head. A week earlier in his Rooney elimination, Betting Exchange was beaten by a neck by Sonofa Sizzle. In his two prior starts to the Rooney, he suffered broken equipment in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs and finished eighth against older rivals in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands. In that start, he started from post nine and came home in :26 to lose by 5-1/4 lengths. “With the exception of the Tioga race, he’s been good,” Fanning said. “He was real good in the Rooney; he overcame kind of a tough trip and kept on coming. I like that. “I think the bigger track (at Mohawk) will help him. He can get around any size track but the bigger track will pick him up a little bit.” Artspeak, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, enters the North America Cup elims off a victory in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship on May 30. He has won 10 of 12 lifetime starts, including the Metro Pace at Mohawk last season. Alagna won the 2013 North America Cup with Captaintreacherous. Rooney winner In The Arsenal, from the stable of trainer Kelvin Harrison, races in the second North America Cup elimination while George Teague Jr.’s undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit headlines the first group. Teague won the 2006 North America Cup with Total Truth. Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations card will also feature eliminations for the Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers and the Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. For full information about the 2015 Pepsi North America Cup visit www.NorthAmericaCup.com. Here are the full fields for the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Elimination #1 - Race 2 1. Maxdaddy Blue Chip - by Sportswriter - David Miller 2. Trading Up - by Somebeachsomewhere - Doug McNair 3. Arque Hanover - by Rock N Roll Heaven - Tim Tetrick 4. Hurrikane Ali - by Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras 5. Wiggle It Jiggleit - by Mr Wiggles - Montrell Teague 6. Yankee Bounty - by Dragon Again - Yannick Gingras 7. Drachan Hanover -  by Jeremes Jet - Rick Zeron 8. Physicallyinclined - by Mach Three - Paul MacDonell Elimination #2 - Race 6 1. Go Daddy Go - by Ponder - John Campbell 2. Penji Hanover - by Art Major - Chris Christoforou 3. Good Friday Three - by Mach Three - Chris Christoforou 4. Allbeef N Nobull - by Macardle - David Miller 5. The Wayfaring Man - by Dragon Again - Jack Moiseyev 6. Revenge Shark - by Cams Card Shark - Scott Zeron 7. In The Arsenal - by American Ideal - Brian Sears 8. Dudes The Man - by American Ideal - Corey Callahan Elimination #3 - Race 8 1. Wakizashi Hanover - by Dragon Again - Tim Tetrick 2. Betting Exchange - by Bettor's Delight - David Miller 3. Sicily - by Art Major - Yannick Gingras 4. Rock N Roll World - by Rocknroll Hanover - Sylvain Filion 5. Split The House - by Rocknroll Hanover - Randy Waples 6. Traceur Hanover - by Western Ideal - Randy Waples 7. Artspeak - by Western Ideal - Scott Zeron 8. Pierce Hanover - by Cams Card Shark - Jody Jamieson by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications   

Freehold, NJ --- After dominating winter harness racing events at the Meadowlands and Pocono earlier this year, JL Cruze is ready to face his toughest test of the season. He is heading to Saturday’s (June 6) second round of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters at the Big M, where he will meet a field that includes two-time Dan Patch Award winner Father Patrick. The race is the second of two Graduate divisions for the trotters, with 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry headlining the first group. The card also includes two second-round Graduate divisions for 4-year-old pacers, featuring winter series sensation Rockeyed Optimist meeting stakes stars JK Endofanera, Luck Be Withyou, and Limelight Beach in the first division. JL Cruze brings a seven-race win streak to Saturday’s start. For the year, he has won 11 of 13 races, including the Super Bowl, Singer Memorial, Shiaway St Pat and Weiss series championships. He has won $155,513 for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Stephen Iaquinta, who purchased the horse for $37,000 at November’s Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. The group purchased JL Cruze -- who had three wins in 14 races prior to the sale -- because he fit favorable non-winners conditions at Dover Downs, where the owners race frequently. Now he will get the opportunity to race against world champion Father Patrick, who won the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 24 at Harrah’s Philadelphia in his only start so far this season. “He’s been unbelievable,” trainer Eric Ell said. “We didn’t know what we had bought when we bought him. We just knew we had a young trotter that fit some cheaper classes at Dover. We just popped him in a couple of those (winter) series in case he turned out to be something, and he did. “It’s been a fun ride, that’s for sure. I’m looking forward to racing the big boys. We’re going to see if we can go with them or not.” JL Cruze’s most recent start came April 21 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where he won the Weiss final by a length over Opulent Yankee in 1:52.4. He prepped for his return in the Graduate by finishing second to Gural Hanover in a qualifier on May 30 at the Meadowlands. He was timed in 1:52.1 with a :26.4 last quarter-mile despite being on the mend from a cut he suffered on his right front foot three weeks earlier. “He’s doing good,” Ell said. “He grabbed his quarter on his right front foot and he was really sore. I couldn’t do much with him and couldn’t get him trained. It was a freak thing; he’s never done it before. But he qualified well. It looks like he’s going to be OK for Saturday. “The sky is the limit for him. He just keeps getting better all the time. After the Weiss final I gave him some time off, which he needed. I gave him two weeks completely off in the field and then I started bringing him back. He really needed the time. He was able to put some weight back on and get freshened up again. We’ll see what happens on Saturday.” John Campbell has been the regular driver of JL Cruze, but on Saturday will be in Canada for stakes races at Mohawk. David Miller will drive JL Cruze, who will start from post three in a seven-horse field. Father Patrick, who has won 23 of 29 career races and earned $2.51 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group, will leave from post five with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. The remainder of the field is Resolve, Rompaway Galaxy, Opulent Yankee, Uva Hanover, and Madewell Hanover. In the first division, Shake It Cerry -- the only female in the field -- will start from post two with Takter driving. Shake It Cerry has won 24 of 32 career races and earned $2.08 million for Solveig’s Racing Partners. The remainder of the field is DD’s Hitman, Muscle Network, Gural Hanover, Datsyuk, and Sumatra. Shake It Cerry and Opulent Yankee, trained by Julie Miller, won first-round Graduate divisions, held May 25 at Tioga Downs. The third round is June 19 and the $250,000 final is July 11. On the pacing side, Rockeyed Optimist and Doo Wop Hanover -- both from the stable of trainer Steve Elliott -- won the first-round divisions at Tioga. Doo Wop Hanover romped by 7-1/2 lengths over stablemate Rock Out in 1:47.4. It was the fastest mile in Tioga Downs’ history. Doo Wop Hanover will start from post No. 1 in the second of the two divisions for pacers Saturday. He is joined by Bushwacker, Somewhere In L A, Lyonssomewhere, All Bets Off, Rock Out, and Mattamerican. Rockeyed Optimist leaves from post four in his division, which includes JK Endofanera, Luck Be Withyou, Caviart Luca, Limelight Beach, and Somesizesomestyle. The third round for pacers is June 19 and the $250,000 final is July 3. “They’re all good, knock on wood,” Elliott said about his three starters. “(Doo Wop) is real good right now. He’s always been good. He was a little unmanageable at times, if you left with him he wouldn’t come back to you. We rigged him a little differently and he seems fine. “I think Rockeyed is better coming from behind, but he’s become more versatile and learned how to race. Rock Out is faster than he shows he is. He’s going to be better as the year goes on.” JK Endofanera, whose stakes victories in 2014 included the North America Cup, is making his second start of the season. He won the first round of the TVG Free For All Series for older pacers on May 16 at the Meadowlands, giving him 15 wins in 28 career starts and earnings of $1.50 million. Limelight Beach won last year’s Little Brown Jug while Luck Be Withyou was the Breeders Crown champion at age 2. All Bets Off won the 2014 Art Rooney Pace and Messenger Stakes. Lyonssomewhere captured the Cane Pace and Mattamerican won the Horseman Stakes. “There are a lot of good 4-year-olds out there,” Elliott said. “It’s a tough transition from (age) 3 to 4. I want to keep (my horses) against 4-year-olds so they mature the right way. Hopefully, anyway. “I don’t know if there are any easy races, they go fast everywhere all the time. But it helps when you have nice horses.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

WASHINGTON, PA, May 30, 2015 -- Dan Patch Award winner Pinkman strolled to a workmanlike win in Friday's Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, but it was his stablemate, Uncle Lasse, who stole the show, blazing to a harness racing track- and stake-record 1:51.4 -- despite losing two shoes in the race. Wicker Hanover captured the other division of the $191,217 event, known as the Super Bowl, for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. Leaving from post 6, Uncle Lasse was three wide through the turn before making the front in 27.2. Winning driver Brett Miller indicated that was not exactly where he wanted the son of Donato Hanover-Solveig, a full brother to 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry. "Three deep around the first turn here -- that's usually disaster," Miller said. "He was a little warm, and I couldn't get him in behind another horse. I kind of had to move him to the front. For that colt to overcome that alone, that just shows you what kind of horse he is." The challenges appeared to mount for Uncle Lasse as he threw the right rear shoe, then the right front shoe. "I was really concerned about it, but he didn't miss a beat," Miller said. "He acted like he still had the shoes on." Uncle Lasse opened a daylight lead and held off Cruzado Dela Noche by 1/2 length, with Soboro Hanover third. Jimmy Takter trains Uncle Lasse, who soared over $400,000 in career earnings, for Solveig's Racing Partners. Uncle Lasse's time eclipsed the stake record of 1:52.4 established by Magic Tonight in 2012. It also is the fastest mile ever trotted at The Meadows by a 3-year-old colt, breaking the previous mark of 1:52.3 set by Valley Of Sin in 2013. Pinkman's win was much less dramatic. In fact, about the only dramatic things about the laid-back Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster gelding are his lifetime statistics -- eight wins in 10 starts, more than $600,000 in the bank. "We always joke around about who's the best one in Jimmy's stable -- he's got a bunch of them," said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "His name doesn't always come up in the conversation. He's not flashy. It's not like he trained back down that great. He just goes about his business. He can get a little bit lazy. I didn't try to get his attention. I knew he would be good enough to win." Pinkman relinquished the early lead to Bobs Hope, reclaimed it, and scored under wraps in 1:53.3. Honor And Serve shot the Lightning Lane for second, 2-3/4 lengths back, while Cue Hall earned show. Takter conditions Pinkman for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. David Miller had Wicker Hanover in the pocket behind Walter White, who had been trying to switch to the pace for Brett Miller for much of the mile. Around the far turn, he got his wish and broke stride, but David Miller already had steered Wicker Hanover clear of trouble. "The other horse was having trouble when he went by me going to the half; he wasn't trotting good," David Miller said. "I could hear Brett trying to talk him out of it. So I just edged over, and Brett's horse finally ran. It worked out well. He felt good and strong tonight." Wicker Hanover went on to prevail in 1:53 for trainer Noel Daley and owner Christer Haggstrom Stable, 2-1/2 lengths better than Chef Lee. Shoot The Thrill completed the ticket. The son of Explosive Matter-Won An Done vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Certified Ideal held off the determined challenge of Sand Tilly Lace to defeat her by a neck in 1:51.4. Early leader Phone Terror was third. David Miller drove Certified Ideal, who now boasts $338,772 in lifetime earnings, for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last with Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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