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For the next two weeks Jay Wolf, Little Brown Jug Publicity Director, will rank the top 10 eligibles for the Little Brown Jug presented by Fazolis. Week #5 September 2, 2014 1. McWicked (1:47.3f; $957,883) Owner: SSG Stables (NY) Trainer: Casie Coleman Driver: David Miller Won a $99,990 leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows (8/29) in 1:48.3. 2. He's Watching (1:46.4; $1,093,300) Owner: Menary Racing (ONT), Brad Gray (ONT), Michael Guerriero (ONT) & Muscara Racing (PA) Trainer: David Menary  Driver: Tim Tetrick He was upset by Lyonssomewhere by a half length in the $437,325 Can Pace Final (9/1). 3. Somewhere In LA (1:50f; $342,133) Owner: J & T Silva Stables (NY), Deo Volente Farms (NJ) & TLP Stable (NJ) Trainer: Robert McIntosh and Jimmy Takter Driver: Brett Miller/Tim Tetrick Finished second to McWicked by a nose in the leg of the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 4. Sometimes Said (1:50.0f; $433,390) Owner: Fashion Farms (PA) Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: John Campbell/David Miller The son of Well Said won a $99,990 leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows (8/29) in 1:50. 5. Lyonssomewhere (1:49.4f; $386,812) Owners: Geoffrey Lyons Mound (ONT) Trainer: Jimmy Takter  Driver: Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter He now becomes Jug eligible with his win in the $427,325 Cane Pace Final. His owner must now commit to the $45,000 supplemental entry fee. 6. Limelight Beach (1:49.4; $297,950) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), M1 Stable (PA) and Wingfield Brothers (OH) Trainer: Ron Burke Drivers: Yannick Gingras and Matt Kakaley He finished third by a neck to McWicked in the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 7. At Press Time (1:48.2f; $330,902) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA) and Weaver Bruscemi (PA) Trainer: Ron Burke  Driver: Matt Kakaley and Yannick Gingras Finished fifth to McWicked in the PASS at the Meadows (8/29). 8. Cammikey (1:49.4f; $217,788) Owner: Cam Land LLC (PA) Trainer: William Zendt Driver: Brian Zendt The son of Somebeachsomewhere was fourth to Sometimes Said in the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 9. On Golden Ponder (1:52.2h; $177,465) Owners: Robert McIntosh Stable (ONT), CSX Stable (OH) and Michael Kohler (MI) Trainer: Robert McIntosh Driver: John Campbell The world record holder as a freshman last season sweep the legs and $175,000 final of the Kentucky Sire Stakes at the Red Mile (8/31). 10. Beat The Drum (1:49.2f; $290,274) Owner: Bender Sweden Inc. (FL) Trainer: Staffan Lind Driver: Ron Pierce He was parked the entire mile in the Cane Pace Final (9/1) fading to seventh. This weeks expert ranking is courtesy of Hall of Fame track announcer Roger Huston. The Voice has called every LBJ since 1967. 1. McWicked 2. Hes Watching 3. Lyonssomewhere 4. Somewhere In LA 5. Limelight Beach 6. Sometimes Said 7. Lets Drink On It 8. Cammikey 9. At Press Time 10. Mattamerican  

CHARMED LIFE UPSETS IN MISS VERSATILITY

With race favorites winning most of the stakes races at Mohawk Raceway Saturday night, Modern Legend was the shocker of the evening as he won the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 66-1 Saturday and paid $135.70 to win. The 1/5 betting favorite, Sweet Lou, saw his ten-race winning streak come to an abrupt halt in the race as he was on the lead coming down the stretch but faded to sixth place at the finish. The race began with Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) beating out Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) to the early lead but once they reached the opening quarter mile in :26, Gingras came right out with Foiled Again and took command. Then by the half mile in :53, Ron Pierce came charging up first-over with Sweet Lou and cleared with ease to control the pace. And just as Sweet Lou was on the lead, up came Clear Vision (Brett Miller) to challenge first-over and following their cover was the long shot Modern Legend and driver David Miller. Past the three-quarters in a blazing 1:20.1, Clear Vision was about to collar Sweet Lou as they started down the stretch and Foiled Again and Gingras were already trying to squeeze by on the inside as everyone sensed that Sweet Lou had had enough. But it was David Miller and Modern Legend who proved to be much the best as they tipped three-wide on the final turn and mowed everybody by, pulling away for a three and one-half length triumph in 1:47.2. Foiled Again was second with Clear Vision third. The time of the race tied the track, stakes and Canadian record with A Rocknroll Dance in 2013. It was a lifetime mark and the fourth win this year for Modern Legend. The six-year-old gelding by Modern Art was bred and is owned and trained by Dave Drew of Catharines, Ontario. “This is the only horse I have right now,” said Dave Drew, “I had as many as five this year but now down to just this one. This is a horse of a lifetime for me and this was a race of a lifetime. He has been racing for me on the Grand Circuit the last couple of years and always coming close and never really putting it all together. But tonight David Miller gave him a perfect drive and he was on his game. Just a super night for him. “He has always raced well but has had some outside posts earlier this season,” Drew said. “Had some tough trips, was interfered with but he has been racing well and it was just a matter of putting it all together at the right time and in the right race and he did that tonight. It was just a superb night for me and my family.” “It worked out great tonight,” said winning driver David Miller, “I know the horse Clear Vision and I figured if I can get on his back and follow him and he would take us to where we needed to be in the race. I was real surprised around the last turn as I still had a lot of horse coming to the stretch so I fanned him out and he did the rest. He raced tremendous. He beat some great horses tonight. Hats off to the horse. He’s been racing against them the past couple of years and it was great to see him get the job done.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Unbeaten two-year-old pacing colt, Artspeak, stamped himself as the top freshman colt in harness racing as he strolled to a five length triumph in capturing the $667,000 final of the Metro Pace at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. The race began with Lone Survivor (David Miller) left from post nine and was able to get to the lead with Lyons Again (Yannick Gingras) also leaving from post eight and getting the two-hole trip as they went to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. They raced that way to the half mile marker in :55.3 and that was when the action began to heat up as John Campbell came first-over with Go Daddy Go and following their outside cover was the 1/9 race favorite Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron. To the three-quarters in 1:23.3 Lone Survivor was still in command but coming off the final turn, Zeron tipped three-wide with Artspeak and without raising his whip nor lifting his lines for encouragement, Artspeak took off and left the field in his wake, winning in a romp in 1:50.2. Lyons Levi Lewis (Sylvain Filion) was second with Lyons Again third. “When we had Captaintreacherous and his career and he was such an amazing horse and to come back right after that with this colt is amazing,” said winning trainer Tony Alagna. “I talked to Scott (Zeron) last fall and talked with him about making the change and coming to the United States to drive. I told him if he was willing to come down and drive that I was willing to give him a shot. He’s made the commitment. He comes to the farm to train, baby racing and training before qualifiers and he deserved this win.” Sired by Western Ideal, bred and co-owned by Brittany Farms with Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and The Gym Partners, it was the sixth straight win for Artspeak. He paid $2.30 to win. “The primary ownership group for this horse is the same as Captaintreacherous,” said co-owner Marvin Katz, who has won the Metro final three times now, “Tony had trained the mare (The Art Museum, dam of Artspeak) and he loved the family and thought the mare would throw a good one. He selected the colt in Lexington and we put together the same partnership as Captaintreacherous. This never gets old I was telling Tony (Alagna). When you can win these types of races, this is a thrill and to be enjoyed.” “I really stuck my neck out going all by myself to New Jersey,” said winning driver Scott Zeron, “I worked as hard as I could this year. It’s Tony Alagna and Myron Bell. The two of them together made it happen. They helped me with the move. And this is reason I did it. To come back home and win a race like this with a great horse like this. This is once in a lifetime. “To be second over was a perfect trip for this horse,” Zeron said. “He follows horses so well. I have always had to put him on the front because he is 1/9. Today I was able to trip him out behind this really good horse of John’s (Campbell) and coming down the lane he was game. He is a freak of nature. He probably came home in :26.2 and I didn’t even chirp to him.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The 3 Brothers Stable of New York and trainer Nancy Johansson have plenty to cheer about as their unbeaten harness racing homebred filly, JK Shesalady scored a romp in capturing the $480,000 final of the She’s A Great Lady Stakes final at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. Driven by Yannick Gingras, JK Shesalady’s time for the one mile race of 1:50.1 tied the world record for two-year-old fillies and rewrote the stakes record. The race started off with Happy Becky (David Miller) shooting to the early lead with Band Of Angels (Ron Pierce) sitting on their back and Bettor Be Steppin (Corey Callahan) trapped first-over. To the opening quarter mile in :26.4, Callahan went on with Bettor Be Steppin and took over the lead from Happy Becky. Right away Pierce pulled with Band Of Angels and they took the lead away from Bettor Be Steppin. They went to the half mile in :55 and John Campbell coming first-over with Divine Caroline were able to flush Yannick Gingras with race favorite JK Shesalady, who not only started up first-over but kept right on going and blew by Band Of Angels to take command before the three-quarters in 1:22.1. Campbell was able to continue to gain ground first-over with Divine Caroline but once the field reached the top of the stretch Gingras and JK Shesalady were up by two lengths and then never stopped going to the wire to win by four and one-half lengths. Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) was able to close for second place with Shakai Hanover (Jody Jamieson) grabbing third place. Her time of 1:50.1 tied the world record that is now co-held with I Luv The Nitelife (2013) and Precocious Beauty (2013). Sired by Art Major, JK Shesalady is a full sister to the top three-year-old colt and million dollar winner, JK Endofanera. She is undefeated in six career starts and paid $2.90 to win. “When I baby raced this filly I liked her,” Gingras said. “I didn’t think at that time she was this kind of filly but every start she just got better and better. Last week she really impressed me. It was a big mile last week and that’s when she really stamped herself as the best. She has a great move for 3/8th of a mile and puts me in a good position. I didn’t think the front was that good tonight but you have to close at all times. I didn’t want to get myself caught second or third over. I wanted to be first up. I then thought that Ronnie’s horse was not that strong so I made my move. “Selecting which horse I would drive in this race,” Gingras said, “Was the toughest decision I have ever had to make in harness racing. I drive for Ronnie Burke and I drive Maven for Mr. Donovan. Filly wise I knew JK is the better of the two but both Ron Burke and Mr. Donovan has been so great to me. It was so tough to pick as far as connections go. I am sorry but I had to pick one and I went for the win. But I am sure I will pay it back to Ronnie real soon.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 30, 2014 -- Trailing by 5 lengths at the three-quarters and with his cover stalling, Adios champion McWicked showed his speed and determination Friday at The Meadows when he roared wide down the lane to score in a harness racing stake-record 1:48.3 in a $199,980 Pennsylvania Sires Stake. Sometimes Said captured the other division of the event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers known as the Tarport Effrat, giving David Miller a sweep. McWicked saw his five-race winning streak snapped in the Carl Milstein, and it appeared certain that his losing skein would grow when he was third over and treading water. But Somewhere In L A had taken the field through a hot three-quarters in 1:20.4, a wicked pace that gave Miller confidence. "They were going pretty hard there, but I did start getting worried in the last turn when they stalled out," Miller said. "But the leader wasn't getting away, and I was within range enough to catch him. I was happy with him. He got beat on the front last week, so I wanted to change it up. He doesn't have to be on the lead to win." The son of McArdle-Western Sahara had just enough track to down the game Somewhere in L A by a nose, with the pocket-sitting Limelight Beach third. Casie Coleman trains McWicked, who boosted his career bankroll to $957,883, for SSG Stables. The time shattered the previous stake mark of 1:49.2 shared by Big Bad John and Resistance Futile. Coleman previously indicated that McWicked will be pointed to the PASS championship and the Little Brown Jug. With the victory, McWicked became only the third Adios winner to score in the Tarport Effrat, joining Armbro Ranger (1976) and May June Character (2007). Fashion Farms' Sometimes Said entered the Tarport Effrat on a two-race winning streak, and he had little trouble extending that streak, following the first-over cover of Let's Drink On It and prevailing in 1:50. Somesizesomestyle rallied for second, 1/2 length back, while Let's Drink On It saved show. "I was impressed with him," said Miller, who was piloting Sometimes Said for the first time. "He raced as good as I expected him to." Jim Campbell conditions Sometimes Said, who soared over $400,000 in lifetime earnings. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, converted claimer Colby Jate shot the Lightning Lane to triumph in 1:50.3 and notch his fourth straight victory. Aaron Merriman drove the 7-year-old Jate Lobell-Cam Press Shania gelding for trainer Mike Watson and owner Friendship Stables. Tony Hall drove four winners and Dave Palone three on the 15-race card. Following a brief holiday hiatus, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 12:55 PM. Even Pattak

Freehold, NJ --- Only once during his current 10-race win streak has Sweet Lou trailed other horses at the halfway point, but trainer Ron Burke wouldn’t mind seeing it happen again in Saturday’s C$634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (CPD) at Mohawk Racetrack. Sweet Lou won his CPD elimination last week by a length over stablemate Foiled Again in 1:48.1, ending a record streak of six consecutive victories in less than 1:48, but still good enough to give his connections the opportunity to pick his starting spot for the final. Sweet Lou, with regular driver Ron Pierce, will leave from post three and is the 4-5 morning line favorite. In his last six races, Sweet Lou has reached the half-mile point no slower than :53.3. The only time he trailed during that span came in the William R. Haughton Memorial final, when he followed Thinking Out Loud in the outer flow and got by earlier leaders Bettor’s Edge and Captaintreacherous in the stretch to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:47.1. “I wouldn’t mind seeing that trip in the Canadian Pacing Derby,” Burke said. “I’ve got a feeling you’re getting to the point now where people are trying to leave real hard with the intention that if they make the front they know they’re not going to have to cut it because (Sweet Lou) is coming. “In a way, I’d like to see him race off the back a couple more times because he seems to race that way just as well. It’s tough going these halves in 53 (seconds) every week. “This race really concerns me in that everybody now is trying to race the same way and all of these horses, one of these days, will end up stringing a half in 51-and-a-piece. I have all the faith in the world in Ronnie that he’ll get us in the right spot, but the right spot, I’ve got a feeling, might not be on the front this week.” Sweet Lou has won 10 of 13 races and $934,700 this year for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. For his career, the 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future has won 32 of 68 races and $3.05 million. “I was a little bit worried last week because he was bearing out a little bit late in the mile, but Pierce didn’t seem to be too concerned,” Burke said. “He said he kind of let him drift and he was fine, so we’ll see.” Foiled Again, who won the Canadian Pacing Derby in 2012 to become the richest pacer in harness racing history, is the 6-1 second choice in this year’s final and will start from post seven with driver Yannick Gingras. Foiled Again, a 10-year-old gelding who now is the richest harness racing horse in North American history, with $6.37 million, has won 80 times in his career. “He was vicious in his elimination, 25-(seconds)-and-a-piece out and 25-and-a-piece home,” Burke said. “He couldn’t have been any better. I think he’s as sharp as he’s ever been. He keeps drawing bad in the (finals) because he can’t beat Lou in the eliminations. That really hurt him a lot. “Now from the seven hole he’s got to go out and earn it. But Yannick always seems to get you in the right position, no matter what.” Burke also sends out elimination winner Clear Vision and Bettor’s Edge in the CPD. Clear Vision and driver Brett Miller will start from post two and are 8-1 on the morning line while Bettor’s Edge and driver Matt Kakaley will leave from post eight and are 7-1. Following is the field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Modern Legend, David Miller, David Drew, 20-1; 2. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 8-1; 3. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 4-5; 4. Domethatagain, Tim Tetrick, Rene Allard, 10-1; 5. Captive Audience, James MacDonald, Corey Johnson; 6. State Treasurer, Chris Christoforou, Ian Moore, 9-1; 7. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 8. Bettor’s Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 7-1; 9. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 20-1; 10. Ellis Park, Steve Condren, Brad Maxwell, 20-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- The Pacing Triple Crown begins Monday (Sept. 1) at Tioga Downs in upstate New York, where eight 3-year-old pacers meet in the $437,325 Cane Pace. He’s Watching brings a four-race win streak into the Cane Pace and is undefeated in three lifetime starts at Tioga Downs. Last season, he won a division of the New York Sire Stakes in 1:50, which established the track record for a 2-year-old. And in his most recent race, a 1:49.1 triumph in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs on Aug. 10, he missed the track standard for 3-year-olds by two-fifths of a second. or the year, He’s Watching has won five of eight races, including the Meadowlands Pace in a world-record-equaling 1:46.4, and earned $692,247. He’s Watching was not eligible to the Cane Pace, but his connections paid $35,000 to supplement to the race. “He likes Tioga,” said Ontario-based trainer Dave Menary, who owns He’s Watching with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. “Hopefully we’ll keep our Tioga streak alive. “I’m really happy with him. This is the third time he’s had three weeks off between starts and he’s liked it so far. He raced well last time and seems to be in top shape right now. I had him to Mohawk (Racetrack) on Monday and went a good mile with him. “We’ve just kind of followed the same routine every time he’s had three weeks off and it’s working so far. I think we’re ready for Monday.” First race post time is 1:30 p.m. Monday, with the Cane Pace slated for approximately 3:46 p.m. The card also includes the fourth leg of the Miss Versatility Series for older female trotters, featuring world champions Classic Martine, Maven, and Frau Blucher. No horse has won the Pacing Triple Crown since No Pan Intended in 2003. The second jewel in the Triple Crown is the Little Brown Jug, to be held Sept. 18 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, and the third is the Messenger Stakes, slated for Oct. 25 at Yonkers Raceway. He’s Watching, who will be driven by two-time Cane Pace winner Tim Tetrick, will start from post six. “At Tioga, the six hole is fine,” Menary said. “I was hoping not to get the very inside or the very outside. I think from the six hole, it gives Tim a lot of options. I leave (what to do) up to him.” JK Endofanera, who in June won the North America Cup, enters the Cane Pace off a win in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes on Aug. 17 at Tioga Downs. In his previous two starts -- his elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic and the EBC final -- he finished second to He’s Watching. For the year, JK Endofanera has won six of 10 races and earned $660,709 for trainer Ron Burke and owner 3 Brothers Stables. He starts the Cane Pace from post five with driver Brian Sears. He’s Watching is one of three $35,000 supplemental entries to the Cane Pace, along with Luck Be Withyou and Lyonssomewhere. Luck Be Withyou, who won last season’s Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers, saw a three-race win streak snapped when he finished in a dead-heat second to All Bets Off in the Carl Milstein Memorial on Aug. 15 at Northfield Park. “There are a lot of horses in there, not just JK,” Menary said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start (in the Triple Crown). I’ve been able to keep him really fresh and he’s been sharp. Hopefully I can keep him sharp. “I’m trying to take it week by week, but he’s still got a lot left on his plate. I think he’s in good form right now and hopefully he can stay that way until the end of the year.” Following is the Cane Pace field with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Luck Be Withyou, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Bushwacker, David Miller, Chris Ryder; 3. Doo Wop Hanover, Corey Callahan, Steve Elliott; 4. Stevensville, Mark MacDonald, Ray Schnittker; 5. JK Endofanera, Brian Sears, Ron Burke; 6. He’s Watching, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary; 7. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 8. Beat The Drum, Brett Miller, Staffan Lind. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - Grand Circuit week got underway with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies Thursday night at Mohawk. 26 freshman fillies were split into three divisions worth more than $83,000. Stubborn Belle captured the first division in style with a 1:54.2 stakes record performance. A daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover, Paul Macdonell sent the filly to the lead and posted an opening quarter of :27.3 and a half mile time of :57.1. As the field made their way to the half, Speak To Me, the second choice at odds of 7/5, made a break while racing along in fifth. In the third quarter, Spirit To Win, the even money favourite, was sent first up to challenge Stubborn Belle and the fillies went toe-to-toe as they reached the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. In the stretch, Stubborn Belle turned aside the favourite and trotted away by two lengths to win the first division in a stakes and career best 1:54.2. Spirit To Win held on for second, while Summer Jewel took the show spot. Speak To Me recovered to finish up her mile strong and pick up a fourth place cheque. Trained by John Bax for owners Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm, Stubborn Belle was bought as a yearling at Harrisburg for $85,000. Stubborn Belle has had success on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has now won three times in six career starts for earnings of over $108,000. She paid $9.70 to win. Stubborn Belle In the second division, Danielle Hall cut the mile and showed a lot of heart to win in 1:55.1. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall was sent to the lead by driver Jody Jamieson, while Lock Down Lindy, the 1/2 favourite, got away in seventh. As the field reached the half, Southwind Champane was brought off the pylons from fourth allowing Lock Down Lindy to pick up cover second over. In the third-quarter, Southwind Champane challenged Danielle Hall, while Smexi sat in the two-hole and Lock Down Lindy gapped her cover a bit. In the stretch, Danielle Hall put away Southwind Champane, allowing Smexi to come out of the two-hole to take a challenge at the leader. Lock Down Lindy made a bid on the far outside, while Smokinmombo came up the rail to make it a close four horse finish. At the wire, Danielle Hall held off Smexi by a neck in 1:55.1, while Lock Down Lindy and Smokinmombo finished third and fourth respectively by three-quarters of a length. Carl Jamieson trains and co-owns Danielle Hall with Winnipeg Racing. Danielle Hall sold for $21,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and has now won five times in six career starts. Three of her five victories have been in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events. The winner's share of the $84,871 purse increases Danielle Hall's earnings to over $179,000. The clocking of 1:55.1 was also a new career mark. She paid $9.80 to win. Danielle Hall The final division went to Jolene Jolene and David Miller. A daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie, Jolene Jolene, the 1/2 favourite, got away third and made a quick move to the lead in the second quarter. After posting a half-mile time of :58.1 and a three-quarter time of 1:27., the two-year-old filly trotted strong down the lane under a hand drive from Miller to win by three lengths in 1:55.1. Juanitas Fury finished second, while Dynamite Dame was third. Trained by Jonas Czernyson for owner William Joseph Donovan, Jolene Jolene was entering the Champlain Stakes off a victory in the Tompkins Stakes at Tioga. Jolene Jolene was purchased for $87,000 last fall at Harrisburg and has now won two times in five career starts. She has never finished off the board and has earnings of over $151,000. She paid $3.10 to win. Jolene Jolene Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow night at Mohawk with two divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters and two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

This Week: Canadian Pacing Derby final, Metro final, She's A Great Lady final, Champlain Stakes and Simcoe Stakes, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Zweig Memorial, Zweig Memorial Filly and Crawford Farms Trot, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; and Cane Pace, Shady Daisy and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Aug. 28) at Mohawk Racetrack with three divisions in the C$253,114 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Aug. 29) card at Mohawk features two divisions in the C$249,242 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the C$209,189 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The big Saturday (Aug. 30) program is highlighted by the C$667,000 Metro final for 2-year-old colt pacers, the C$634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final for open pacers, the C$480,000 She's A Great Lady final for 2-year-old filly pacers, the C$218,076 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$207,689 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action will take place at Vernon Downs on Friday night (Aug. 29) with the $340,000 Zweig Memorial main event and $60,000 consolation for 3-year-old male trotters, the $150,000 Zweig Memorial Filly for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot for older open trotters. On Monday (Sept. 1), Tioga Downs will host a trio of Grand Circuit events, led by the $437,325 Cane Pace, the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Tioga will also feature the $125,000 (est.) Shady Daisy for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $40,000 (est.) fourth leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday night with eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Metro Pace and the She's A Great Lady. Sweet Lou was a 1:48.1 winner in his Canadian Pacing Derby elimination. Leaving no doubt as to his current superiority, Sweet Lou powered his way to victory in the first Canadian Pacing Derby elimination in preparation for this week's Canadian Pacing Derby final. With Ron Pierce simply a passenger, Sweet Lou, the prohibitive 1-9 choice, was initially tucked in third as Thinking Out Loud clocked the first quarter in a blistering :25, before blowing by the leader and taking the field to the half in :53.3. After opening a couple of lengths on his pursuers while reaching three-quarters in 1:22, Sweet Lou easily prevailed by one length in a stretch drive over the determined veteran Foiled Again, the world's richest pacer, and Domethatagain in 1:48.1. It was Sweet Lou's 10th consecutive win of the year on a 2014 resume which includes victories in the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park, U.S. Pacing Championship and William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and the Ben Franklin at Pocono Downs. Trained by Ron Burke, Sweet Lou, a 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, has banked more than $3 million, but has enjoyed more success this year than in past seasons, including his 2-year-old campaign in 2011 when he won 10 of 12 starts, capped by the Breeders Crown, and was named divisional champion. Clear Vision, with Brett Miller, nailed stablemate Bettor's Edge at the wire to take the second elimination. The top two finishers are both trained by Ron Burke. Bettor's Edge, the even money choice, had things all his own way for all but the final strides, cutting out leisurely fractions of :26.3, :56.2 and 1:24.3. But somehow Clear Vision, who finished second by a nose to A Rocknroll Dance in last year's Canadian Pacing Derby, came flying late from last for the nose win in a three-horse photo in 1:50.3. State Treasurer finished a neck behind the winner in third. It was only the fourth win in 19 starts this year for the 8-year-old gelded son of Western Hanover, but by doing so, he went over the $2 million mark in career earnings with his 27th lifetime victory. 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 - 826; 2. Tim Tetrick - 514; 3. Ron Pierce - 396.5; 4. David Miller - 369.5; 5. Brian Sears - 245. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,171.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 569; 3. PJ Fraley - 204; 4. Ray Schnittker - 199; 5. Julie Miller - 180. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 258.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 231.1; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 162; 4. Bamond Racing - 156.5; 5. Robert Key - 125. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Tioga Downs and Mohawk Racetrack. Tioga will host the Reynolds Memorial events for 2-year-old trotters. Mohawk will offer the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers, Champlain Stakes races for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage for 3-year-olds and William Wellwood and Peaceful Way for 2-year-olds. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

A strong field of eight winner's over $25,000 lifetime trotters lined up for action at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (August 28). The wagering public put their support into millionaire trotter Uncle Peter, despite post eight. At the start, it was the outside horses, NF Happenstance (Andrew McCarthy) and Uncle Peter (David Miller) leaving the gate well, with Uncle Peter clearing the lead just after the quarter in 27.2. The leader was able to rate the second quarter in :29, before facing a challenge from the first-over Opening Night (Tim Tetrick). These two battled to the head of the lane, and that's when the closers started to take aim. They lined up five across the track in an exciting stretch drive. In the end, it was the Randy Bendis trainee Crosbys Clam Bake (Ron Pierce) closing fastest of all, stopping the clock in 1:54.3, for his third straight win. Wind of the North closed up the inside for second, while NF Happenstance finished third. Crosbys Clam Bake is owned by Jack Piatt II, Tom Pollack, and trainer Randy Bendis. He rewarded his backers with a handsome $40.60 mutuel, which produced a $516.80 exacta. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Eight top three-year-old pacers will contest the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown, the 60th Cane Pace, and nine top drivers will contest the second half of the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship on a blockbuster Labor Day (Monday, September 1) card at Tioga Downs.   He's Watching brings a four-race win streak into the $437,325 Cane Pace, carded as Monday's ninth race. Since fading to third in the North America Cup, the son of American Ideal proved a powerful 1:46.4 winner in the Meadowlands Pace and an equally dominant 1:49.1 winner in the Empire Breeders Classic, taking the eliminations for each respective event as well. Usual driver Tim Tetrick has once again been listed by trainer David Menary. He's Watching is one of three $35,000 supplemental entries, along with Luck Be Withyou and Lyons Somewhere.   Among those looking to deny He's Watching the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown are Milstein runner-up Luck Be Withyou and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera.   Luck Be Withyou, the Chris Oakes-trained son of Western Ideal, chased McWicked in the $400,000 Milstein at Northfield two weeks ago, finishing in a dead heat for second with McWicked, just three-quarters of a length behind eventual winner All Bets Off, who pounced up the open stretch. Ron Pierce is listed to drive the nine-time winner.   JK Endofanera, the lone millionaire in the field, rebounded well from a sixth-place finish in the Meadowlnads, taking second in the Empire Breeders Classic before scoring a 1:50.1 Geers Stake win locally. Ron Burke has listed Brian Sears to handle the driving duties.   Ten three-year-old pacing fillies entered the Shady Daisy, which will be raced as a single $124,325 dash in the afternoon's seventh race. Fancy Desire, a $7,500 supplemental entry, leads the full field, having won the $300,000 James Lynch at Pocono in 1:49.3 among seven other career wins. Mark MacDonald has been nominated by trainer Kevin Carr to drive the Real Desire filly. Geers winner Katie Said (Marcus Miller), Pennsylvania standout Tyra (Tim Tetrick nominated), and stakes-placed Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell nominated) are also among the Shady Daisy entrants.   Eight distaff trotters will vie for their share of $40,000 in a Miss Versatility preliminary event, carded as the third race. Divisional standout Maven returned to her winning ways in a Preferred event at Pocono last week, struggling in prior events since returning to the States after a sixth-place finish in the Elitloppet. The Jonas Czernyson trainee will be reunited with regular driver Yannick Gingras, and will race as part of a three-mare entry with stablemates D'Orsay (Corey Callahan) and Ma Chere Hall (David Miller). Classic Martine, who has found her way into the spotlight as of late with wins in the Armbro Flight and Ima Lula events, also draws into the star-studded event, with Tim Tetrick listed to drive the Chris Oakes-trained daughter of Classic Photo.   In addition to the high-profile stakes action, nine of the premier drivers in the sport complete the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship, with the first round taking place on Friday (August 29) at Vernon Downs. As in years past, the overall winner of the nine-race tournament takes home a $25,000 first prize--the equivalent of the commission for winning a $1,000,000 race. All nine drivers additionally will donate their commissions to charity.   Tioga Downs honors last year's Driver's Championship winner Jim Marohn, Jr. with a bobblehead giveaway. Fans can receive their bobblehead, as well as a Drivers' Championship t-shirt (while supplies last) at the promotions table on the tarmac prior to and during the races. Post time for the 11-race card is 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 28, 2014 -- When The Meadows hosts Friday's final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing colt and gelding pacers, it may seem like Act 2 of the 2014 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light. That's because the $199,980 stake has attracted Adios champion McWicked as well as Somewhere In L A and Let's Drink On It, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations. First post Friday is 6:55 PM. Following the Adios, McWicked easily captured a PASS division but saw his five-race winning streak snapped in the $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield Park, where he dead-heated for second. "He raced great, but I thought he could have been a little better than what he was," said Casie Coleman, who trains the son of McArdle-Western Sahara for SSG Stables. "He came out of it quite good. He's had a real good week training, and I've been very happy with him." She indicated McWicked, whose dominance during his winning streak has made him a legitimate candidate for divisional honors, will be pointed for the PASS championship and the Little Brown Jug, with the balance of his schedule to be determined. McWicked goes from post 4 in the first division, race 8, with David Miller aboard, and he'll renew acquaintances with Somewhere In L A, who finished a length behind McWicked in the Adios final. The Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding leaves from post 7 for Dave Palone, trainer Jimmy Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Since the Adios, Somewhere In L A has won both his starts, including a strong performance in The Meadows' Preferred Pace last week. Let's Drink On It endured a tough trip in the Millstein and had to settle for fifth. In Friday's PASS, he's landed in the wide-open second division (race 10), where he leaves from post 6 for Tyler Smith. "He couldn't get into the race in the Milstein," said Joe Seekman, who conditions the son of Art Official-Letmedowneasy for Tina Seekman, Larry Bond, Hal Hewitt and Vince Boido, Jr. "When you have good horses inside you, it's suicidal to try to leave. I hope he gets away a little closer. He's been training good, and he's healthy. Also in the second division is Bob Key's Mattamerican, winner of the Adios consolation. He'll try to overcome post 8 for Aaron Merriman and trainer Norm Parker. The $260,000 (est.) PASS championship for this division is set for Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. MANDATORY PAYOUTS FRIDAY. Because Friday is the last program of the Mountain Laurel meeting, there can be no carryovers in the Pick 4, the Pick 5 and the last Superfecta on the card. These wagers all are "must pay." In addition, the Pick 5 sports a carryover of $1,660.11. Since the Washington Trotting Association meeting begins Tuesday, Sept. 2, there will be no discontinuity in live racing. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Billy Flynn won his sixth consecutive race to start his career, capturing a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were four divisions of the Sire Stakes held on Wednesday night for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings with purses ranging from $62,653 to $63,053. Billy Flynn (Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones), a two-year-old colt trained by Staffan Lind and driven by Brett Miller, took the lead on the first turn of his split and coasted from there to a win in 1:55:4, a new career-best on a track listed in good condition. In addition to the six-for-six start, Billy Flynn has now swept all four preliminary legs of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Other Sire Stakes winners on Wednesday night: Cruzado Dela Noche (Muscle Massive-Alidade), driven by David Miller and trained by Nancy Johansson, in 1:55:4; Hurrikane Jonny K (Andover Hall-Lavieenrose De Vie), driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by John McDermott, in 1:56:2; and Uncle Lasse (Donato Hanover-Solveig), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Jimmy Takter, in 1:56:4. Week in Review On Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, we were lucky enough to have two $25,000 Preferred races on the card, one each for the trotters and pacers. As if often the case, those Preferred races, gathering such brilliant talent as they tend to do, produced thrilling outcomes and our three major award-winners for the week. That’s right, I said three. Read on and see how this is possible as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACERS OF THE WEEK: MACH IT SO and GOLDEN RECEIVER There are a lot of close finishes in harness racing, but relatively few dead heats. After all, the chances of two horses travelling the distance of a mile and arriving at the finish line at exactly the same time so that they inseparable when the finish line is viewed in a photo, is pretty rare. It’s always a kick when it happens, but, when it happens between two horses the caliber of Mach It So and Golden Receiver, it’s a special treat. On Saturday night, those two star pacers were lined up alongside each other in the Preferred pace. Golden Receiver, a former Pacer of the Year at Pocono, came in slumping a bit, but with career earnings of over $2.1 million, he’s always a major threat. Mach It So came in at the top of his game, having won two straight, including a Preferred at Pocono on August 2. It looked as though it would be the hot horse’s night when Mach It So, driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer PJ Fraley, took over the lead in the stretch with a huge first-over move. But Golden Receiver, with Simon Allard driving for trainer Jake Huff, suddenly surged on the inside. The two hit the line together and the photo couldn’t separate them, so they shared the victory in 1:49:4. In a bizarre twist, two other horses in the race, Word Power and Big Time Promise, finished in their own dead heat for fifth place. Wacky, wonderful stuff in the week’s featured race. Other top pacers this week include: Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley), the standout veteran who won his second straight condition pace on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50; Giveittoemstaight (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who rolled to her second straight condition win on Friday night and matched her career mark of 1:50:4 in the process; and Flying Cowboy (Andrew McCarthy, Matias Ruiz), whose career-best win in 1:50:4 in a claiming handicap on Wednesday night was his third consecutive victory. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MAVEN In the trotting game, fillies of ages two and three usually get the chance to compete against each other a large majority of the time. Once they hit age four though and officially become mares, the opportunities to face their own gender exclusively start to dry out. Some stakes races still dot the schedule, but most tracks don’t offer overnight races for only distaff trotters over age four. That means they have to go up against the boys every once in a while. For a trotter as talented as Maven, a 5-year-old mare from the Jonas Czernyson barn who has pretty much conquered all comers to this point in her career, such a prospect isn’t all that daunting. Even in a race like Saturday night’s Preferred Handicap trot, which featured some tough veteran male trotters like Not Afraid and Sevruga, the mare raced with extreme confidence. With Mark MacDonald in the bike, Maven made a huge move on the outside late to take over the lead, holding off Waiting On A Woman by a length for the win. It was just her second victory of the year, coming in a scorching 1:52:3, but it pushed her career earnings up near $1.5 million. There’s a lot more money to be earned by this standout, probably some of it at the expense of her male counterparts. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Amigo Ranger (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose condition victory on Tuesday night in 1:52:3 was a career-best and matched the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Donatomite (Trond Smedshammer trainer and driver), who stayed unbeaten after three career starts as a 2-year-old with a Stallion Series win on Tuesday night in 1:54:4; and Billy Flynn ( Brett Miller, Staffan Lind), a two-year-old who now has six wins in six tries after a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:55:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: G NOTE This 2-year-old filly made quite an auspicious debut with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, upsetting the field in Tuesday night’s final race at 30-1 to pay off $62.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO With driving doubles on Sunday and Tuesday highlighting another fine week at the races, A-Nap became the latest driver to earn 100 victories in the 2014 meet at Pocono. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: NEAL EHRHART Ehrhart pulled off quite the training double on Tuesday night, scoring first with 14-1 shot Guilford and then adding Fool’s Revenue later in the night at 15-1. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me atjbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Here is Jay Wolf's Road To The Little Brown Jug updates for Week #4   1. He's Watching (1:46.4; $983,969) Owner: Menary Racing (ONT), Brad Gray (ONT), Michael Guerriero (ONT) & Muscara Racing (PA) Trainer: David Menary  Driver: Tim Tetrick He has not raced since winning the $255,525 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs (8/10) in 1:49.1. He should be the betting favorite in the Cane Pace Final at Tioga Downs on Labor Day. 2. McWicked (1:47.3f; $907,888) Owner: SSG Stables (NY) Trainer: Casie Coleman  Driver: David Miller Was tapped as the morning line choice in the first LBJ Future Pool. 3. Somewhere In LA (1:50f; $317,136) Owner: J & T Silva Stables (NY), Deo Volente Farms (NJ) & TLP Stable (NJ) Trainer: Robert McIntosh and Jimmy Takter  Driver: Brett Miller/Tim Tetrick Won the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at the Meadows (8/22) in 1:50. 4. At Press Time (1:48.2f; $325,903) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA) and Weaver Bruscemi (PA) Trainer: Ron Burke  Driver: Matt Kakaley and Yannick Gingras Has not raced since finishing second in the leg of the PASS at Harrah's Philadelphia (8/7). 5. Sometimes Said (1:50.1f; $383,395) Owner: Fashion Farms (PA) Trainer: Jim Campbell  Driver: John Campbell/Tim Tetrick The son of Well Said won a $13,000 Conditioned Pace at Harrah's Philadelphia (8/20) in 1:50.4. 6. Jet Airway (1:50s; $262,159) Owners: Erv Miller Stables (PA), Tangie Massey (FL), Paul Sunderhaus (OH) and Larry Agle (OH) Trainer: Erv Miller and Tony Alagna  Drivers: Marcus Miller and Randy Waples Has not raced since winning a conditioned event for three-year olds at Mohawk Raceway (8/16). 7. Limelight Beach (1:49.4; $285,952) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), M1 Stable (PA) and Wingfield Brothers (OH) Trainer: Ron Burke  Drivers: Yannick Gingras and Matt Kakaley He finished second by a neck in the $100,000 Millstein Consolation (8/15). 8. Cammikey (1:49.4f; $217,788) Owner: Cam Land LLC (PA) Trainer: William Zendt Driver: Brian Zendt He has been racing well in the Keystone State, finishing in the top three in 10 of 11 seasonal starts. He won a qualifier at the Meadows in 1:53.2 (8/14). 9. Let's Drink On It (1:48.3; $331,112) Owners: Tina Seekman (IL), Larry Bond (IN), Hal Hewitt (KY) and Vincent Boido, Jr. (MI) Trainer: Joe Seekman  Driver: Tyler Smith He was forced to race on the outside for almost the entire mile, finishing 5th in the Millstein Memorial. 10. Beat The Drum (1:49.2f; $290,274) Owner: Bender Sweden Inc. (FL) Trainer: Staffan Lind  Driver: Ron Pierce Won a conditioned event at Pocono Downs (8/24) in 1:49.2, establishing a new lifetime mark.   This week's expert ranking is courtesy of Gordon Waterstone. Gordon is the Associate Editor of the Horseman and Fair World and its companion publication Harness Racing Weekend Update.   1. He's Watching 2. McWicked 3. Somewhere In LA 4. Jet Airway 5. Tellitlikeitis 6. Limelight Beach 7. Sometimes Said 8. Cammikey 9. At Press Time 10. Western Vintage by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

Sam "Chip Noble III, one of the top driver/trainers in the sport and a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame, will be honored as the 2013 Joseph Neville Award winner by the Delaware County Fair. Noble is the third leading driver in the history of the Delaware County Fair with 106 victories (behind David Miller and John Campbell). Noble is credited with 5,105 driving victories and 1,002 career training wins. His final career win came behind Contessa Leigh in the 2013 Ohio Breeders Championship three year-old filly trot. He was one of the top percentage drivers in the sport. He won North American UDR crowns in 1978, 1981 and 1983, and he was chosen to represent the United States in the World Driving Championship in both 2001 and 2003. In 2003 he received the Buckeye State's highest honor when he became the 30th inductee into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He was a director of the United States Trotting Association and the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association and a member of the Little Brown Jug Society. Noble was survived by his wife, Debbie; and children, Sam, Dan and Meredith.   by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

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