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Chillaxin Away is the defending champion on Delaware's harness racing circuit for state-bred male pacers, but Goldberg is ready to try to wrestle the title from him. The two horses meet in Thursday's (April 4) $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final for 3-year-old colts and geldings at Dover Downs, with "Chilly" a slight 8-5 favorite on the morning line. Last season, Chillaxin Away won both DSBF championships for 2-year-old male pacers, in October at Harrington Raceway and November at Dover, and was two neck defeats from being unbeaten in six races in the series. Goldberg did not race in Delaware last year as he was instead pointed to the Grand Circuit. The colt was limited to only four starts because of a virus but hit the board three times in open stakes action. Chillaxin Away enters Thursday's final off a half-length win over Goldberg in 1:51.2 in the second preliminary round of the DSBF. Both horses were winners in their first-round races. Chillaxin Away starts the final from post four with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Jim King Jr. while Goldberg, who is 9-5 on the morning line, leaves from post three with Montrell Teague at the lines for trainer Brenda Teague. "We think we've got a pretty good chance," King said about Chillaxin Away, a gelding known as "Chilly" around the barn. "We have to deal with Goldberg. They were extremely high on him. They had some issues, but now they seem to have him squared away. I'm concerned about him. We were able to handle him last week but he out-drew us and is definitely a concern." Chillaxin Away is by Roddy's Bags Again out of Shake Away, a mare who raced at the top levels of the Delaware circuit for King in the mid-2000s. Chillaxin Away was bred by King's wife, Jo Ann Looney-King, who remains the owner of the horse. For his career, Chillaxin Away has won eight of 15 races and earned $170,600. His past five starts away from the DSBF series have all come against fields with older horses. "All of (Shake Away's) male babies have been pretty good horses and this one is as good as any of them," trainer King said. "He's stepped up pretty good. Like all of them, he's got little quirks and little issues here and there but nothing we haven't been able to correct by the next start and go again. "He's a fun little horse. He's got plenty of ability and I like his determination. His raw speed is really good; he can really sprint. For where he's got to go, I don't think there are any that can pace a quarter faster than him or anything like that. Barring anything really silly, I think he's going to be OK in the final. He gets home in 26 and a piece after being first over, that's pretty good anywhere you go let alone for a Delaware-bred." Chillaxin Away will not be doing a lot of traveling, though. He is not staked outside of Delaware. "I'm a little bit stingy," King said with a laugh. "I still don't think he's one of those. He's just a really nice little horse. He doesn't have the size to him, that was the biggest thing. He just didn't appear to be stout enough. I've been close enough to it to know that it's not very likely we're going to bring one out of our backyard to (compete on the Grand Circuit)." Montrell Teague hopes he can eventually return to the Grand Circuit with Goldberg. Teague bred and owns the colt, who is a son of Mr Wiggles out of Chausettes Blanche. The colt has won two of seven career races and earned $47,070. Last year, Goldberg finished second to eventual Dan Patch Award-winner Captain Crunch in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes and was third behind Captain Ahab and De Los Cielos Deo in his elimination of the Metro Pace. A virus knocked the colt out of the Metro final and sidelined him the remainder of the year. "I just turned him out because I didn't want to ruin him," Teague said. "He showed a lot of promise last year. I was very big on him, but you never know how they're going to come back after catching a virus like that. I'm just happy he came back. "(The timing of the DSBF) is kind of a gift and a curse. I wanted to give him a little more time in the field, but at least I can see what I've got. I staked him up pretty good to give myself options. The main thing is to see how he comes out of Thursday's final." Teague is happy with Goldberg's return so far. "He's a little bigger, stronger," Teague said. "He's a lot smarter, he's quieted down a lot. Last year he was pretty rank and this year I've opened him up a little bit and it's worked pretty good so far. He's letting me drive him; last year he was a little more aggressive and didn't really know what he was doing." The DSBF championship is race 10 on Dover's card. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). For Thursday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com      

Tim Torbert got to race New Zealand-bred harness racing mare Terro Franco only a handful of times, but he has enjoyed a good deal of success with her offspring. The most recent of the group, filly pacer Roddys At It Again, was a Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund champion last year at age 2 and will try to add another title Wednesday (April 3) at Dover Downs. Roddys At It Again, co-bred by Torbert and owned by his fiance Katie Killen, is by stakes-winning stallion Roddy's Bags Again. Torbert trained Roddy's Bags Again for much of his career for then-owner Robert Messick. He also trained the stallion's mom, Get The Bags, so he's well connected to Roddys At It Again's family. "Roddy's mother was the first horse I bought for Mr. Messick," said Torbert, a 43-year-old resident of Harrington, Del. "With me training Roddy and all, it all works out nice. "If she has any qualities from either one (of her parents) it's her versatility. I could leave and put her on the front or she's just as happy to race from off the pace. I'd have no problem with her getting away in the middle of the field and pulling early. She's pretty good either way." Roddys At It Again is the sixth foal out of Terro Franco, who saw her career ended by injury after only five starts for Torbert, and the fourth to reach six figures in purses. Two of Roddys At It Again's siblings, Roddy's Girl and Fran Luck, were runners-up in DSBF finals for Torbert. Last year, Roddys At It Again won four of nine races and earned $94,500. She was third in the DSBF final for 2-year-old filly pacers at Harrington in October and captured the DSBF championship at Dover Downs in November. "It was about what I expected," Torbert said of the filly's 2018 campaign. "I think I got a little lucky winning the final last year. It seems like all the better ones got sick and I got over it a little sooner than they did. In my opinion, there are like four of us in there that are very equal. It's just going to depend on the trip." This season, Roddys At It Again has started twice and finished second both times. She enters the $100,000 DSBF final for 3-year-old filly pacers off a neck setback to The Lady Sheriff in 1:54. She will start Wednesday from post four with driver Art Stafford Jr. and is 9-2 on the morning line. In And Out Again, a winner in both her DSBF eliminations, is the 5-2 favorite for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jason Skinner. "I had some issues with (Roddys At It Again) early but I've got that all straightened out," Torbert said. "I was tickled with her mile last week and I think she's heading into the final the best she can be. I expect a little better effort. If we get beat, we get beat. But they're going to know we're there." The DSBF championship is race eight on Wednesday's card. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). For Wednesday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com  

Fifty years ago this month, private citizen David Penrose Buckson greeted some 8,000 curious patrons to his creation, Dover Downs, and thoroughbred racing. They bet over $500,000. Fifty years ago this year, Attorney General David Penrose Buckson headed up the First State’s newly created Department of Justice, effectively ending Delaware’s commission form of government. Buckson had laid the groundwork by placing the AG’s offices in all counties rather than only in Wilmington. The affable Buckson bought some 200 acres of prime land just outside Dover from businessman Tom Murray, whose property previously was owned by our great, great grandfather. In Dover Downs, Buckson envisioned a year-round facility of harness racing, thoroughbred racing, auto racing, and more. Buckson built a 5/8-mile horse racing track surrounded by a mile auto racing track. He flew to Charlotte N.C. and brought the France family and NASCAR to Dover with Richard Petty, the Allision’s, and Yarborough’s tagging along. Buckson drove to Nazareth PA and brought Mario Andretti to drive his Indy car in a short-run series (because the banking was too steep for Indy cars). Dave got his harness racing friends to compete: future Hall of Famers Stanley Dancer, Billy Haughton, Herve Filion, et al. Local standout, Eddie Davis displayed his talents here. He brought in a major Philadelphia concessionaire to run his restaurant — all first class! With the introduction of gambling in Atlantic City, Dover Downs experienced financial problems as did all neighboring facilities such as Brandywine, Liberty Bell and Garden State Park. Wilmington entrepreneur, John Rollins, who was Buckson’s partner in Purple and Red Racing Stables, came to the rescue. When the Horse Racing Redevelopment Act of 1994 passed the State Legislature, slots and harness racing once again flourished in Dover. Although Dover Downs management honored him in death as his ashes were spread around the track he built and where he raced his national season champion trotter Ms Becky Pick, and his pacer Jefferic Adios (named for Rollins’ son, Jeff, and Buckson’s son, Eric), Buckson is mainly long forgotten. Dover Downs hosts two of harness racing’s oldest stakes events in late fall: the Matron and the Progress — eliminations and finals. One was recently named after a former Rollins Brandywine official and later Dover Downs president. Hopefully, new owner, Twin River, will remember Dover Downs founder David P Buckson by honoring him this same way. Perhaps, Dover Motorsports CEO, Denis McGlynn, who has been at Dover for most of the 50 years might find something in the two NASCAR events televised around the world. We would be remiss if we did not mention that David has been consistently controversial over the years. Buckson is a name remembered by thousands of children he helped and families he kept together in his 20 years as judge in Kent County’s Family Court. He is remembered in Columbus, Ohio by the United States Trotting Association where he was elected as a district director; at the Harness Racing Hall of Fame for Goshen, N.Y. where he had been proclaimed Amateur Diver of the Year; in Charlotte N.C., home of NASCAR, at Harness Horse International, a horseman’s organization he co-founded; at Cloverleaf Owner’s Association, a horseman’s organization where he served as president. Celia Cohen did not forget him in her book, “Only in Delaware”. Tom Carper did not forget Buckson as he was a regular birthday greeter and visitor. But, at the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame, where he has been nominated half a dozen times, at the Delaware Department of Justice, and at Dover Downs, he is totally forgotten. Just think of all the people employed at Dover Downs over the years, think of all the taxes paid; think of all the purses paid in horse racing; think of all the prize money in auto racing; think of all the tourism; think of all the worldwide TV enjoyment from NASCAR and simulcasting; think of all the DOJ decisions and effects; think of all the Deputy AG’s who started there. Dammit, think of Dave Buckson as George Bernard Shaw stated so eloquently “. . . some people see things as they are and say. Why?; I dream things that never were and say, Why not?” Dave Buckson personifies the “Why Not?” Daniel M Wilson, a resident of Cleveland, formerly lived in Dover and Dewey Beach. Reprinted with permission of the Delaware State News    

Clear and chilly and the last Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund race for 2018 started out with a repeat from Harrington even though the harness racing driver was a bit late getting in for Florida. Disco Soliel (CR Commando-CR Penney Lane) pulled first over at the quarter and kept going to win by 6T in 2:01.4f under the steady rein of owner/driver Rod Allen. It was her 6th lifetime start and raised her bank account up to to $120,800. The place filly was sentimental choice, Star Time (Anders Bluestone-Political Starlet) owned by Shirley Shanda of Pennsgrove,NJ, trained by her daughter Tui Stone, and bred by Marv Bachrad’s Serendipity Stable. The colt and gelding trotters were up next and the .20 favorite Embrace The Grind (Keystone Activator-My Embrace) was double wide to the quarter and never looked back to win by 6Q in 2:00.2 to equal his record. The colt is trained by his owner, Bobby Glassmeyer and driven by Jonathan Roberts. The breeders are Leigh and Tyler Raymer of Smyrna, DE. The place colt was Gettinziggywitit (Musclelaneous-Staminetta) driven by Corey Callahan, trained by his dad, Nick Callahan, and owned by Breakaway Racing of Greenwood. The first DSBF pace final was the fillies and won by the one horse stable of trainer Tim Torbert, Roddys At It Again (Roddy’s Bags Again-Terro Franco ) by a nose in 1:56. She is the first horse of new owner, Katie Killen, Tim’s fiancée. Longshot, Golden Wigglet (Mr Wiggles-Golden Delicious) got up for second for Frank Deliberti’s Wiz Kid Stable. Final DSBF race for 2018 was won by breeder and owner Jo Ann Looney-King’s Chillaxin Away (Roddy’s Bags Again-Shake Away) from gate to wire in 1:54.2 pushing his season’s earnings to over $135K in 9 starts. He is trained by her husband, Jim King,Jr. and skillfully driven by leading reinsman Tim Tetrick. Dashiki (Barber Pole-Enniskerry) sat the two hole for the mile and finished there for driver, Montrell Teague. Judy Davis-Wilson Executive Director Delaware Standardbred Breeders' Fund

Harness racing this week: Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 29) for the $260,000 final in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. Elimination winner Jimmy Freight heads a field of eight in the Hap Hansen, the final stake of the 2018 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Captain Crunch and driver Scott Zeron tipped three wide coming off the final turn and powered through the stretch to win the $469,300 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers by 3-3/4 lengths over Mac's Power in 1:50.3 on a wet Saturday night (Nov. 24) at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Blood Money finished third. The Governor's Cup was one of the Fall Final Four events for 2-year-old pacers and trotters at the Big M. Southwind Avenger won the $435,900 Valley Victory for male trotters while Sonnet Grace captured the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid for female trotters and Prescient Beauty claimed the $391,250 Three Diamonds for female pacers. All of the races were contested over a sloppy track as the result of persistent rain. In the Governor's Cup, Captain Crunch was fifth through the first half of the race as Escapetothebeach and Mangogh each took a turn on the lead. Captain Crunch followed the cover of Semi Tough around the final turn before moving to the front in the stretch and cruising to victory. Captain Crunch, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika, has won six of 10 races this year and earned $616,113 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. The colt, who last month won the Breeders Crown, is trained by Nancy Johansson. He was bred by Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs. "We really took our time with him," Johansson said. "He's a big growthy colt and there is a lot of money to be made toward the end of the season. We just figured we would take our time and let him come into his own." Johansson purchased Captain Crunch, then known as Captain Bean, for $85,000 at the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale at the urging of her then 12-year-old daughter, Ella. "She said, 'Whatever you do, you have to buy Captain Bean,'" Johansson said, adding with a laugh, "Great. No pressure. "Luckily I have a good group of owners behind me and we were able to put together a group and purchase the colt and it's been a fairy tale story ever since." Captain Crunch, the 9-5 favorite, paid $5.80 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,525; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,509.5; 3. David Miller - 1,254.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 754; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 668.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,446.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,200; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 449. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 304.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 300; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 278.5; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2. Looking ahead: The 2018 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2019 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Hightstown, NJ — Dorsoduro Hanover began his season with a win and will try to go out the same way in Thursday’s $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace for harness racing 3-year-old pacers at Dover Downs. It will not be easy. In addition to facing seven talented rivals, Dorsoduro Hanover will begin the race from post No. 8, the least favorable starting spot on the gate at the track. “I’m not too happy about that,” said driver Matt Kakaley, who will try to guide Dorsoduro Hanover to victory from a post that has produced only four winners from 100 starts during the current Dover Downs meet. “The eight hole is going to be tough. But it should be a good race for everybody to watch. There is a lot of speed in there.” Dorsoduro Hanover, the sport’s richest 3-year-old with $1.25 million in purses this year, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Jimmy Freight, who defeated Dorsoduro Hanover by a neck in last week’s Progress Pace elimination, is the 2-1 favorite. He will start from post No. 7 with driver Scott Zeron. This Is The Plan and driver Tim Tetrick are 9-2 and will leave from post three. “This Is The Plan will be pushing for sure; I know Scotty will be leaving and I’m not taking back, so there’s going to be some action,” Kakaley said. “I don’t know how it will all shake out in the first turn, but there will be enough guys leaving, that’s for sure.” The Ron Burke-trained Dorsoduro Hanover has won 10 of 21 races this year, finished second on six occasions and third once. His wins include the Breeders Crown, Adios, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and an elimination of the Little Brown Jug. He finished second in the Little Brown Jug final and also was runner-up in the Meadowlands Pace and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. The gelding has finished off the board only once in his past 10 starts, a fourth in the Nov. 15 Matron Stakes at Dover, where he was beaten by a neck. He is owned by Burke Racing, the group of Silva, Purnel & Libby, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Wingfield Five. “He’s had a long year and he’s still racing good,” Kakaley said about Dorsoduro Hanover, who made his seasonal debut on May 5. “Ronnie has done an amazing job keeping him sharp like this. He raced great last week, another first-over trip and he dug in hard all the way to the wire. You can’t really fault him. He usually gives you what he’s got. “He’s had a tremendous year, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got the most money made, he’s been knocking on the door the whole year, racing hard the whole year, and he’s always right there. A couple of the other ones were good early and not so good late, or vice versa, but he’s been pretty consistent the whole year.” In addition to the Progress Pace, Dover on Thursday hosts Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. The Progress Pace was renamed in 2015 to honor the late W.E. “Hap” Hansen, a Dover Downs and Brandywine Raceway executive who passed away the previous year. Following is the field for the Hap Hansen Progress Pace in post-position order. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1 - Shnitzledosomethin - Fred And Ginger - David Miller - Dylan Davis - 15/1 2 - Heavenly Sound - Rock N Roll Heaven - Victor Kirby - Bruce Saunders - 12/1 3 - This Is The Plan - Somebeachsomewhere - Tim Tetrick - Ron Burke - 9/2 4 - Thinkbig Dreambig - Bettors Delight - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 8/1 5 - Done Well - Well Said - Corey Callahan - Ron Burke -10/1 6 - I’m A Big Deal - Somebeachsomewhere - Eric Carlson - Chris Ryder - 12/1 7 - Jimmy Freight - Sportswriter - Scott Zeron - Andrew Harris -2/1 8 - Dorsoduro Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 5/2 by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) collected his 11th victory of the season on Wednesday evening (Nov. 21) in the $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs by besting Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) in 1:49.2. This Is The Plan (Tim Tetrick) was third. Leaving from post position five, Jimmy Freight and his pilot were content to allow Thinkbig Dreambig to establish the pace with fractions of :26.1, :54.4 and 1:22.2 while biding their time in second place. Dorsoduro Hanover, however, employed an overland journey to capture the lead in the push to the wire. After enjoying primarily a pocket trip, Zeron pushed the gas pedal to send Jimmy Freight past his rival with a :26.4 final quarter-mile to assure the win by a neck. Trained by Andrew Harris, Jimmy Freight is owned by Adriano Sorella and paid $6 to win as the public’s second selection (2-1). The final field for the $260,000 Progress Pace final on Nov. 29 is: Jimmy Freight Dorsoduro Hanover This Is The Plan Done Well Thinkbig Dreambig Shnitizledosomethin I’m A Big Deal Heavenly Sound From the USTA Media Department

Dover, DE - The final leg of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund stakes for 2-year old trotting fillies went to post early at 4:10 in non-wagering events at Dover Downs on Wednesday. COMMAND THE DAY (CR Commando-Deanna Troy) did command the way as last week’s winner went off stride at the ¾ pole. This was her first win for trainer Syl King,Jr and driver Victor Kirby. DARK DUTCHESS (He’s Spooky-Designable) got up for second and the time of the mile was 2:02. The second non-wagering race for the fillies was certainly a sentimental favorite at Dover Downs. STAR TIME (Anders Bluestone-Political Starlet) crossed the wire in 2:02.4 for her Maiden win. Trained by Tui Stone and now owned by her mother, Shirley Shand, the filly was bred by Marv Bachrad’s Serendipity Stable. She was driven by Kim Vincent. ROYAL LOCKET (Yankee Royalty-Sprocket Hanover) was second. The colt and gelding trotters made the wagering card beginning with the first half of the daily double.where the 1-5 shot EMBRACE THE GRIND (Keystone Activator-My Embrace) scratched, the field was wide open. At the wire it was GO JETEM (He’s Spooky-Special Mist) in 2:04.1 lowering his lifetime record for driver Art Stafford,Jr. He is owned the Mist Stable of Hartly which is the family of long time Delmarva horseman Carl Thompson and trained by his son, Jim Thompson. Last week’s winner, RICH N ROYAL (Yankee Royalty-Adore Eleanor) got up for the place. The second half of the Daily Double went to DR GRINCH (Giant Hit-Runaway Madonna) in 2:03.2 earning his maiden win for trainer/driver, Jeff Fout and Joe and Joann Thomson’s Bay Pond Racing. JUST AS STRIKING (Anders Bluestone-Ringside Katie) got up for second for trainer/driver/owner Eddie Dennis. The $100K finals will be contested on Thursday, November 29th in conjunction with the Dover Signature event, the “Hap Hansen Progress Pace” named for the late Brandywine Raceway President. Top eight point getters advance to the final. by Judy Davis-Wilson, for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund  

Dover, DE - On a chilly moonlit night the girls went to post with the first harness racing division of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund being won gate to wire in 1:56.2 by THE LADY SHERIFF (Southwind Lynx-Sheriff Sale). She is trained by Clyde Francis and handily driven by part owner Montrell Teague for his father, George and the Fry brothers of Houston. The place filly, ANNEKE (Southwind Lynx-Whirl The Girl) is trained and owned by Montrell’s Aunt Brenda and steered tonight by Jim Morand. The second division ended up with only 3 fillies going to the gate because of sick scratches. VISTAMISTA(Powerful Mist-Yankee Vista) repeated last week’s performance for driver Victor Kirby in 1:56. Trained by Wayne Givens and owned by Legacy Racing of DE,Inc. and Sharon White of Smyrna this was the tenth lifetime start and pushed her earnings over $65K. Winner from last week, RODDYS AT IT AGAIN (Roddy’s Bags Again-Terro Franco N) earned the place spot. The final will be contested on Thursday, November 29th in conjunction with the Dover Signature event, the “Hap Hansen Progress Pace” named for the late Brandywine Raceway President. Top eight point getters advance to the final. The pacing filly division will be the only division to field a consolation of $15,000 whicundFh will be contested on Wednesday, November 28th. by Judy Davis-Wilson, for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund

Dover, DE - On a very nice November night, the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund held the second lef of their series at Dover Downs. Montrell Teague drove first leg winner, KEEPMYWIGLEGAMETYT, (Mr. Wiggles-Airtight) gate to wire in 1:56 over runner up JET BAGS JIM in an early non-wagering event. In Race 1 on the betting card Montrell Teague repeated the first race and steered DASHIKI (Barber Pole-Enniskerry) to a neck win over last week’s winner, CHILLAXIN AWAY in 1:53.3 which equaled his lifetime record. Both winners are trained by Clyde Francis and owned by George Teague, Jr. Teague Racing Partnership LLC of Florida is co-owner on DASHIKI. The final will be contested on Thursday, November 29th in conjunction with the Dover Signature event, the “Hap Hansen Progress Pace” named for the late Brandywine Raceway President. Top eight point getters advance to the final. by Judy Davis-Wilson, for the DSBF

Dover, DE — A pair of long shots in This Is The Plan and The Downtown Bus stole the show in the $193,750 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 15) at Dover Downs, tag-teaming in deep stretch to nose out Jimmy Freight in a 1:49.1 dead heat. While Jimmy Freight and local favorite Lather Up tasted defeat in their Matron split, divisional standouts Six Pack and Youaremycandygirl refused to disappoint in their respective events. $210,150 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot (race four) In a meeting of the millionaires, dual classic winner Six Pack ($3.00) made easy work of the first-over Met’s Hall en route to a 1:54.1 score over sloppy going in his Matron Stakes division. Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt sent the son of Muscle Mass to the front immediately from post five, and the pair floated clear of Fashionwoodchopper (Yannick Gingras) midway on the first turn before rating early splits of :28.1 and :57.3. Up the backstretch, Met’s Hall (Andy Miller) sustained a first-over ascent out of third to within half a length of the lead, but Six Pack shrugged off his rival under minimal hand urging through the final turn. With Met’s Hall no longer a threat past three-quarters in 1:26, Six Pack accelerated away from Fashionwoodchopper to take his 15th career win by four lengths. Mississippi Storm (Andy McCarthy) saved ground after gapping cover to just collar the weakening Met’s Hall for third. Svanstedt co-owns Six Pack with Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. $183,900 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (race six) Indiana standout Custom Cantab ($17.80) had something left in the stretch after winning a cutthroat first-quarter duel, as she was able to turn aside Plunge Blue Chip not once, but twice en route to a 1:53.1 Matron score. David Miller put the Mr Cantab filly in play from the outset, but the pair faced immediate resistance from Supergirl Riley (Tony Morgan) on approach to the first turn. After pressing in the two-path through a :26.4 first quarter, Custom Cantab accelerated to the fore with a circuit to go, but shortly thereafter faced pressure from the emerging Plunge Blue Chip (Åke Svanstedt) nearing a :55.2 half. Custom Cantab asserted up the backstretch, but had to dig in again a quarter from home to fend off the resurgent Plunge Blue Chip a second time on the final turn. Not only did she have enough to parry her outside rival, but she also kept a second push from Supergirl Riley — who emerged up the open stretch in the final sixteenth — a head short. Plunge Blue Chip’s third-place finish, 1-3/4 lengths behind, was enough to push her past the million-dollar mark in career earnings, while Breeders Crown winner Lily Stride (Tim Tetrick) failed to threaten from second-over and finished last. Trainer Chris Beaver co-owns 15-time winner Custom Cantab with Donald Robinson and RBH Ventures Inc. $159,350 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (race 10) Youaremycandygirl ($2.40) strode strongly to the front and never looked back, avenging Breeders Crown defeat to stablemate Percy Bluechip with a 1:51.3 win in their Matron event. Entering off a resounding 9-3/4 length win in the $113,000 USS Indy at Hoosier Park, Youaremycandygirl and driver Yannick Gingras out-sprinted Percy Bluechip (Matt Kakaley) and Solitary (Andy Miller) through a :27.2 first quarter before pulling the pace back. With a circuit to go, Dance Blue (Andy McCarthy) commenced a first-over bid from fifth and advanced steadily as the pace slackened through a :56.2 half. Up the backstretch, Youaremycandygirl’s lead was cut to a length and a quarter by Dance Blue, but was never in jeopardy. The daughter of American Ideal coasted through a :27.1 third quarter to evade Dance Blue and kept the pocket-sitting Percy Bluechip 1-1/4 lengths at bay in 1:51.3. Alexa’s Power (Tim Tetrick) chased evenly for third after being hemmed in until the top of the stretch. Ron Burke trains 18-time winner Youaremycandygirl for William Donovan. $193,750 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace (race 12) After Ontario standout Jimmy Freight was tasked with the heavy lifting through strenuous fractions and sternly dismissed the challenge of 4-5 local favorite Lather Up, This Is The Plan ($17.00, Tim Tetrick) and The Downtown Bus ($20.60, Corey Callahan) emerged in the final stride to simultaneously nose out Jimmy Freight in a dead heat in the glamour boys’ division of the Matron. Jimmy Freight and driver Scott Zeron let This Is The Plan clear before taking charge midway on the first turn and reeling off a :25.3 initial quarter. A determined advance from Lather Up (Montrell Teague) out of fourth with a circuit to go kept the pace hot through a :54.4 half, but Jimmy Freight remained undeterred with three-eighths to go and shrugged off that rival. Meanwhile, This Is The Plan remained close from the pocket and The Downtown Bus followed the three-wide cover of Breeders Crown winner Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) past three-quarters in 1:22.1. Turning for home, Dorsoduro Hanover stalled and Jimmy Freight was driven out to maintain a two-length lead, but it began to shrink in the final sixteenth. This Is The Plan lunged up the open stretch and The Downtown Bus surged widest of all, and they both reached the winning post simultaneously in 1:49.1, a nose better than Jimmy Freight. Ron Burke trains This Is The Plan, a six-time winner by Somebeachsomewhere, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. Trainer Jeff Gillis co-owns 11-time winner The Downtown Bus with Ellen Ott. From the USTA Commincations Department

Winter weather was threatening in the evening sky but the young harness racing trotters didn’t seem to care at Dover Downs on Wednesday. The first filly event was non-wagering. BELLA’S PARTY PUNK (Super Punk-Nubella) driven by Art Stafford, Jr and trained by a jubilant Shae Vandervort ,won by half a length over STAR TIME (bred by Marv Bachrad) in 2:04.2.   Race 1 (2nd division) saw the Harrington winner DISCO SOLIEL (CR Commando-CR Penny Lane) dance from gate to wire for driver Carlo Poliseno and owner Rod Allen. DARK DUTCHESS was a half-length back for the place in 2:03.4. Race 2 was the first division of the colts and geldings and it was RICH N ROYAL (Yankee Royalty-Adore Eleanor) for trainer/driver, Kim Vincent and owner Bart Cavanagh’s Providence West of Media, PA. The time was 2:01.2 and it was the Maiden win for Rich N Royal. A neck back in 2nd was DR GRINCH. Second division of the boys was EMBRACE THE GRIND (Keystone Activator-My Embrace) in 2:03 for driver Jonathan Roberts and owner/trainer Bobby Glassmeyer. It was his 4th victory in five starts. Five lengths back was SAY GESUNDHEIT.    Round 2 will be next Wednesday, November 21th, the night before the Thanksgiving holiday. The final will be contested on Thursday, November 29th in conjunction with Dover Downs Signature event, the “Hap Hansen Progress Pace” named for the late Brandywine Raceway President. by Judy Davis-Wilson, for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders’ Fund

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, DE. and Fall Four eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 15) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $193,750, the 3-year-old colt trotters will race for $210,150, the purse for the 3-year-old filly pace is $159,350 and the 3-year-old filly trotters will race for $183,900. On Saturday night (Nov. 17) Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations in each of the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters. There will be two $20,000 eliminations in the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers. Eliminations were not required in the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters and the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras teamed up for a Grand Circuit double in Thursday evening's (Nov. 8) Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds at Dover Downs, combining with Super Schissel and Blood Money in their respective divisions. Super Schissel made his move from the pocket with five-sixteenths to go en route to an easy 1:56 win in the $158,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, contested as a non-wagering event before the main program. After yielding early control to Lindy's Crazy Hall (David Miller) on approach to the first turn, Yannick Gingras kept Super Schissel close from the pocket through early splits of :28.2 and :58.1. Midway up the backstretch, the son of Uncle Peter and Bavarde angled out and strode to the lead immediately, putting a quarter-length on Lindy's Crazy Hall by three-quarters in 1:27.2 before drawing off handily. Holiday Hangover (Tim Tetrick) rallied belatedly from last to take second, 3-1/2 lengths back, while Union Forces (Scott Zeron) took third over the fading Lindy's Crazy Hall. Super Schissel is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Al Libfeld and Perry Soderberg. Blood Money ($8.00) sustained an uncovered bid out of midfield through the final half-mile of the $213,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding pace and held off a late charge from Sugar Factory to narrowly prevail in 1:51.1. Gingras, wearing the colors of Diamond Creek Racing, floated Blood Money up the pegs to protect a close stalking spot behind dueling leaders Love Me Some Lou (Corey Callahan) and Mangogh (Brett Miller) through a sharp :26.3 quarter, but the pair were relegated to fourth when No Mas Amor (Tim Tetrick) pushed clear with nine-sixteenths to go after losing cover. At the :54.3 half-mile juncture, Gingras angled the Sweet Lou-Blood Diamond colt off the pegs, and he responded immediately to accelerate, press the pace, and take the lead under urging past three-quarters in 1:22.4. No Mas Amor gave way on the far turn, but Sugar Factory (David Miller) loomed off live cover to pose a late threat. Blood Money was driven out off the home turn and all the way to the winning post to keep the lunging Sugar Factory a head at bay. Reigning Deo rallied from last down the grandstand side to take third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,462.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,450; 3. David Miller - 1,182.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 709; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 653.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,344.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,168; 3. Tony Alagna - 721.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Jim Campbell - 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 294.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 283.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 262; 5. Robert Key - 234. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the finals for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds -- the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid -- along with the TVG finals for older trotters and pacers of both sexes. In addition, Dover Downs will host eliminations for the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Dover, DE — Amid cool and gusty winds, 2-year old harness racing pacing fillies contested the first leg of their Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund series on Tuesday (Nov. 12) at Dover Downs. The first division was all Roddy’s At It Again (Roddy’s Bags Again-Terro Franco N) despite being parked to the quarter in :28.3. After taking command, she never looked back and won by 11 lengths for driver Art Stafford Jr. and trainer Tim Torbert in 1:56.1. It was the first DSBF win for first-time horse owner Katie Killen of Felton. The second division saw the Harrington series winner The Lady Sheriff (Southwind Lynx-Sheriff Sale) get nosed out in 1:55.1 by Legacy Racing of DE Inc. and Sharon White’s homebred Vistamista (Powerful Mist-Yankee Vista). She is trained by Wayne Givens of Seaford and was driven by Milford native Victor Kirby. Round two will take place next Tuesday (Nov. 20). The final will be contested on Nov. 29 in conjunction with Dover’s signature event, the Hap Hansen Progress Pace, named for the late president of Brandywine Raceway. by Judy Davis-Wilson, for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund

Custom Cantab brings a career-long streak of 28 on-the-board finishes to Thursday's $183,900 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Dover Downs, which will be the filly's first start at a harness racing track other than Hoosier Park. Custom Cantab, who is 6-1 on the morning line, heads to the event off a win in the Crossroads of America on Nov. 2. The triumph was her 12th in 16 races this season. Trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver, Custom Cantab has 14 wins, 10 seconds and four thirds in her career and earnings of $643,936. In addition to the Crossroads, her victories this year include a division of the Pegasus Stakes and the Indiana Sire Stakes championship. She finished second to Manchego in the Moni Maker Stakes and has not finished worse than second in 13 races since surgery to correct an entrapped epiglottis. Custom Cantab will start the Matron from post six with regular driver Peter Wrenn. Breeders Crown champion Lily Stride is the 2-1 morning-line favorite from post three, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Mark Harder. Plunge Blue Chip is the 5-2 second choice from post one with trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "We were up in the air whether to start her again, but everything checked out on her and I'd been anxious to see how she would race against a top field to get some perspective," Beaver said. "We plan on racing her next year. She's probably not as valuable as a broodmare as some of those fillies are, but she's a really nice racehorse. "I think she will be staked to some of the mare races and maybe some of the 4-year-old races. I wouldn't be staking to everything. I'd like to space out her starts. Maybe she won't be good enough, but the way she acts, she's never let a horse get away from her. She's always been competitive." Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 3-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST). Six Pack is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the $210,150 colt and gelding trot, followed by Met's Hall at 8-5. Dorsoduro Hanover is the 2-1 choice in the $193,750 colt and gelding pace, which also includes Jimmy Freight (5-2) and Lather Up (7-2). Youaremycandygirl is the 5-2 favorite in the $159,350 filly pace, where she will see familiar rivals Alexa's Power (7-2) and Percy Bluechip (9-2). Custom Cantab is a daughter of Mr Cantab out of Custom Model. Beaver bought Custom Model's first foal, the Chocolatier-sired My Ghost Bi, for $3,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale and the gelding made $75,852 lifetime. Beaver bought Custom Cantab, the mare's third foal, for $6,000 at the 2016 Hoosier Sale. "I knew the family and thought she was something nicer than what the mare had thrown before," Beaver said. "I kind of studied crosses and I thought the mare would cross with Mr Cantab, but I can't say I had any idea she would turn out as good as this. I was just hoping to get a horse that was competitive in the sire stakes." Beaver, who owns Custom Cantab with Donald Robinson and R.B.H. Ventures, is not concerned about the filly going on the road for the first time and racing on a five-eighths-mile oval compared to Hoosier Park's seven-eighths track. "She trains on a little farm track, so she should be all right," Beaver said. "I think she would be good on any size track because even if she was struggling in the turns she would let you help her. She knows what she's supposed to be doing. "She's smart. She can leave all you want and let a horse go, settle in a hole, and follow without using any more energy than necessary. She's been racing on the front a lot lately because she's been the favorite, but she is great off a helmet. She knows how to take care of herself and put herself in position to stay close. She is an extremely professional horse." For Thursday's complete Dover Downs entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 8) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $213,000, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $158,000, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $179,100 and the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $177,800. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Some of the sport’s brightest stars descended upon Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday (Nov. 2) and as predicted, the stakes filled card delivered some outstanding harness racing battles. Met’s Hall captured the $256,000 Carl Erskine Trot and sent his seasonal earnings over the million dollar mark with the win. Dean Gillette photo. After finishing second in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot, Met’s Hall was out for redemption and delivered on his promise in the $256,000 Carl Erksine Trot for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Overcoming a poor position, Met’s Hall turned in a dominant performance to deliver as the even money favorite in 1:53.2 with Andy Miller in the bike. With the win, Met’s Hall sent his seasonal earnings over the $1 million mark. Miller sent Met’s Hall away from the gate firing from post nine but he would have to work for position as Yannick Gingras also sent You Know You Do away from the gate aggressively. Met’s Hall grabbed command just before the quarter in :27.2 and looked relaxed on the front while clicking off fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1. Maxus and Peter Wrenn were the first to apply pressure first-over but would have their work cut out for them as Met’s Hall looked strong on the front. As the field turned for home, Miller asked his mount for more and Met’s Hall dug in gamely to hold off Helpisontheway and Tim Tetrick to get the win by nearly two lengths. Hockey Hanover and Matt Kakaley found late racing room to round out the trifecta. Met’s Hall returned $4.00 at the betting windows. “He can leave the gate as quick as any,” Miller noted after the victory. “I wasn’t sure if we would get to the front but when he did, I figured he would be good. He’s just an amazing animal who loves his work; he works through his issues and shows up every week.” Trained by Julie Miller, the 3-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Met’s Inn recorded his fifth win of the season from 14 starts. Owned by Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable, Met’s Hall has now won 10 of 24 starts while amassing $1,278,494 in lifetime purse earnings. The stakes action kicked-off for the evening with the $137,000 Crossroads of America Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies and it was Custom Cantab and Peter Wrenn who went gate-to-wire to score in 1:54.1. Custom Cantab left alertly from post five and held strong to the wire to hold off a hard-charging Seviyorum and Andy Miller. Looking For Zelda and Matt Kakaley utilized a ground saving trip to get up for third place honors. As the heavy betting favorite, Custom Cantab returned $4.20 to her backers at the betting windows. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old trotting filly recorded her 12th win and has finished no worse than third in 16 starts this season. Owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and R B H Ventures, the daughter of Mr Cantab-Custom Model has now won 14 of 28 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $643,936. Not to be outdone, Youaremycandygirl turned in an impressive performance of her own to dominate her rivals with a 9-3/4 length romp in the $113,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies. With regular pilot Yannick Gingras in the bike, Youaremycandygirl seized the early lead and steadily drew away from the field to stop the timer in 1:50.1. With the win, Youaremycandygirl recorded her eighth win from 16 seasonal outings. The millionaire daughter of American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane pushed her lifetime bankroll to $1,365,973 for trainer Ron Burke and owner W.J. Donovan. The stakes action concluded with the $190,000 Monument Circle Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings and after a disqualification of the first-place finisher Lather Up and Montrell Teague, it was Always A Prince and Trace Tetrick who came out victorious. The time of the mile was 1:49.1. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old pacing colt recorded his seventh consecutive victory and 19th win from 22 lifetime starts. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley and trained by Tyler George, Always A Prince was unraced as a 2-year-old but has amassed $492,875 in lifetime purse earnings. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 1,452.5; 2. Yannick Gingras – 1,400; 3. David Miller – 1,167.5; 4. Scott Zeron – 704; 5. Andrew McCarthy – 648.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,314.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,128; 3. Tony Alagna – 721.5; 4. Julie Miller – 481; 5. Jim Campbell – 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms – 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 278.5; 3. Diamond Creek Racing – 274.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi – 262; 5. Crawford Farms Racing – 229.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs and The Meadowlands. Dover will host the four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds, while The Meadowlands will have eliminations for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds — the Governor’s Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

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