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Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman had a monster night on Saturday (May 4) at Northfield Park by posting eight wins on the 16-race program. Merriman's triumphs were with Island Of Rock ($3.40) in race two, Mildred's Button ($14.80) in race three, Sweet To See ($3.40) in race five, Touchamatic ($2.40) in race nine, Love Forbidden ($2.40) in race 10, Wendy's Girl ($4.40) in race 13, The Lion Sleeps ($3.80) in race 14 and My Caroline ($2.60) in race 15. Merriman was the leading driver in North America in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and is leading by over 50 wins so far this year. Merriman has been driving since 1997 and has since posted 11,266 career wins and is approaching $75 million in purse earnings. Success over the Flying Turns is nothing new to Merriman. He has more wins than any other driver in Northfield's history. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick-6) has accumulated a $20,232 carryover into Monday’s (May 6) program.  The Single Six offers a low 14 percent takeout rate and is offered nightly in race nine. The 20¢ wager is designed to offer handicappers large jackpots by carrying over 50 percent of its nightly pool until it is solved by a unique single ticket. Ayers Ratliff

Loyalty could cost Natalie Rasmussen another TAB Inter Dominion pacing title at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. But it could hand her partner Mark Purdon a unique piece of Inter Dominion history. Rasmussen and Purdon train two of the Inter Dominion favourites in Spankem and Cruz Bromac, who after heading the points table went into yesterday’s barrier draw as the two favourites for the $500,000 pacing final on Saturday. But while Spankem has emerged as the TAB bookies elect after drawing barrier five, Rasmussen has decided to stick with Cruz Bromac, on who she is unbeaten in five starts together. “To be honest Spankem might be the better of our chances because I can’t believe how well he has come through the series,” says Rasmussen. “But I feel committed to Cruz. He has also been great through the series and being an older horse this might be his big chance to win an Inter. So I’d be happy driving either but I will stick with Cruz.” Rasmussen is already the queen of the Inter Dominion, having trained and driven Blacks A Fake to win the series a record four times and she can still win again this Saturday but Cruz Bromac’s second line draw suggests he will need mid-race pressure. Spankem has the front line draw to keep rolling forward and at least stay handy if he can’t find the lead, which looks very much on the cards. That provides champion NZ trainer Purdon with a shot at a feat that may never be repeated again: winning three consecutive Inter Dominion pacing finals on three different horses. Purdon co-trained and drove Smolda (2016) and Lazarus last year to win the pacing finals when they were held in Perth and if he wins on Saturday night he will join Rasmussen with four pacing final wins each, having won his first with Mark Hanover in 1991. Spankem is now the $2.90 TAB favourite for the final ahead of Im Pats Delight and Cruz Bromac at $4.50 each and the big winner in the draw, Galactic Star (ace) at $6.50.   Michael Guerin

Columbus, OH --- Applications for harness racing driver's and trainer's licenses can now be completed and submitted online through a USTA Online Account. After logging into the My Account Services page and selecting the license, then Driver/Trainer options, all of the necessary tools to apply for a license online are available. In addition, My Account allows the applicant to see the status of the licensing process, including whether references have been completed and exam grades, at any time. Typically, through the paper application method, it takes between two and six months for applications to be processed and written and practical exams to be successfully completed. However, the online application process, by utilizing referencing through My Account, can potentially reduce the processing time by weeks, if not months. As in the paper application, an applicant is required to provide at least six references, of which four who must indicate a positive response when their reference form is submitted. References must have a current USTA Membership/License in good standing and for drivers must hold an "A" Full Driver License, for trainers, an "A" Full Driver License or a "G" General Trainer License. The online process begins with an acceptance of terms and instructions prior to completing an application questionnaire and the submission of references, who will each receive an email notification or a form that will need to be returned to the USTA. Once the referencing requirement is met, the applicant is contacted by the USTA with a list of test administrators for the written exam. Once a passing grade on the written test is achieved, the USTA will send the practical exam, which also must be passed, and any other requirements, i.e. a vision exam, necessary to obtain a license. Upon completion of all licensing requirements, My Account will indicate the newly issued license with immediate access to the USTA Online Entry system for those who have obtained a trainer's license. To watch an instructional video on the license application process, click here. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

Can a third female driver add their name to either the Bathurst Gold Crown or Tiara winners list when the harness racing carnival gets underway in less than two months? To this day with 60 Crown and Tiaras decided, there have been only two female drivers to bathe in the glory of the victory – Julie Weidemann in 1997 and Amanda Turnbull in 2015. In March 1997 a tough little filly, bred in Rockhampton, with the unlikely name of Sheza Fake, gave Queensland-based driver Weidemann one of her biggest thrills in harness racing. Sheza Fake was broken in by her breeder Tony Burgoyne, who then sent her to the Weidemann sisters Julie and Lola to qualify her and get her started on a racing career. She was paid up for the Bathurst series, so Tony’s instructions were “you’ve got to be in it to win it”. It is over 850 kilometres from Clifton in Queensland to Bathurst so Julie took on the task of being the first Queenslander to conquer Bathurst. “No-one in our family were keen about a trip to Bathurst so I put my hand up,” Weidemann said. “We finished second to Sanctum in our heat and then won a semi-final so just needed a good draw for the final.” Well history shows that the marble in the draw wasn’t kind to Sheza Fake – the dreaded number six, which meant starting from the outside of the front line. “I let the dust settle after the start,” said Weidemann, “Then took off around the field to sit in the breeze position.” That was the winning move with the tough little filly sired by the record breaking stallion Fake Left. In becoming the first female to win the Gold Tiara, Julie left in her wake legendary reins-men Brian Hancock and Steve Turnbull. Today Weidemann is the most successful female trainer in Australian harness racing, having now trained around 2,300 winners.  That’s not bad for a young girl who started out in the equine Industry taking ponies to shows around Queensland. “The judges didn’t seem to like us Weidemann girls, so we tried our hand at Harness Racing,” said Wediemann jokingly.  The rest, as they say, is history. Lola Weidemann has left her mark as well, having now driven more than 2,800 winners – second only to Kerryn Manning amongst Australia’s gifted female drivers. Sheza Fake is now in foal to Art Major for the Weidemann sisters, but she could have been lost to the Industry a couple of years ago. The Rockhampton floods of 2013 washed away the fences of the paddock in which Sheza Fake was grazing and she went missing for two weeks. Fortunately her owner Tony Burgoyne located and rescued her. Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Duc Dorleans, smartly handled by Wally Hennessey, won Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Pace on Sunday night (December 4), stopping the timer in a season's best 1:50.1. (He also had a 1:50.1 win over the larger Mohawk seven-eighths oval.) The six year-old son of Shanghai Phil scored by 1 1/4 lengths over the late charging Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis) with Rockntouch (Mickey McNichol) third, 2 1/4 lengths away. Abreathofreshart was fourth while Pop Cop, prominent much of the way, earned the minor award in the septet. At the outset, Pop Cop, leaving from the rail, and Here Come William, post five, got into a very heated war ear;y with Pop Cop refusing to yield through an opener in :25.4. At this stage, Duc Dorleans (post six) was also on the prowl as the Hummer Starting Gate sped away but smartly took a seat in third, three lengths off the sizzling pace. With a half in :53.4, positions remained unchanged but, on the backside, Hennessey sent Duc Dorleans sprinting forward and to a short lead around the final turn and past the third station in 1:21.3. In the lane, Duc Dorleans edged past the stubborn Pop Cop, drew clear at mid-stretch and then held off the five wide surge of Sing For Me George, who was dead last turning for home. In the winner's circle, Hennessey said, "being outside of those two that were in a dig-fight early was a blessing because they opened up some daylight, allowing me to tuck in third. "Yes, he does like the front end, but I wasn't about to get into a war that I wasn't going to be able to win. When I asked him on the backstretch, he responded like the good horse he is. It was a good team effort this time around." Trained by Jacques Dupont for Gestion Levesque 2005, Inc. and Les Ecuries Dorleans, Duc Dorleans now boasts $616,270 in career earnings--$66,168 this year. As the even money proposition on the tote-board, Duc Dorleans returned a mutuel of $4.00. In the $10,000 Open 2 Pace, Whogoesfirst, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, survived some early sizzling fraction on the front end--:26.1, :54.2 and 1:23--to take top honors in 1:51.2, holding off the late surge along the pylons by Legal Spike (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) to hit the line a half-length to the good. No Bad Dreams (Dave Ingraham) used a menacing brush on the backside during the third quarter--moving from seventh to second--to finish third, a length away. Major Deagan, far back early, paced the fastest final panel of all--:27.2--to finish a fast closing fourth while Winyard Hanover, prominent most of the way, picked up the nickel in the field of nine. In a post-race interview, Hennessey said, "I really didn't want to go :54 and a piece to the half...but the horse sure did. Then I thought that he might not have that much left in the tank late, so this was a surprisingly good mile." Whogoesfirst, an eight year-old gelded son of Cambest, won for the third time this year and 27th time career-wise to send his lifetime bounty to $446,478--$56,458 this year. The winner, owned by the S&P Racing Stable along with trainer Luanne Case, was second choice on the tote-board and returned $9.20 to win. In the $8,500 Condition/Claiming ($20,000) pace, Blue Hour Power, driven by Ricky Macomber, survived a rugged beginning before taking command after a :27.2 opener, and posted subsequent panels of :55.4 and 1:23.4 before sealing the issue with a :27.2 sprint home to score in 1:51.1. Trained by Jamie Macomber for Wilber Eash, Blue Hour Power, a five year-old son of Sand Shooter, pinned a 3½ length defeat on Respectable Dream (John Mac Donald) with The Best of Joel (Kevin Wallis) a ground saving third, 5¼ lengths away. Grande Seelster, prominent early while looping the field for the early lead form post nine, was fourth while Owosso Flash finished fifth in the field of nine. Blue Hour Power won for the 10th time this semester, pushing his seasonal bounty to $94,980 and $606,111 lifetime. Off as the 2 to 5 favorite on a drop down in class, Blue Hour Power paid $2.80 to win. In the better for the bettor department, one fortunate player cashed in on a 20 cent Pentafecta ticket worth $6,303.92 when amateur driver Billy Muggleston steered B Cor Thomas ($18.80) to upset victory in the second of two events for the Florida Amateur Driving Club. The nine year-old altered son of Mutineer scored in a lifetime best 1:56.2 for his fourth win of the year. Rush N Supreme (Mitchell Walker), off at 5 to 1, finished second, favored Czech It Out (Fred Cohen) 3 to 2 on the tote-board, was third and JLs Too Hot Taj, 64 to 1, was fourth and Holiday Spirit, 19 to 1, completed the Pentafecta bonanza order of finish. The winner is owned and trained by Fannie Saul-Beaulieu and the win pushed his seasonal bounty to $23,219, his best season ever. The other amateur event went to Total Freedom with Dein Spriggs in the bike. This six year-old daughter of Crazed, owned and trained by Leopold Sawyers, used a :28.2 kick home to get by a stubborn Global Power (Mitchell Walker) by three-parts-of-a-length in 2:00 for her fourth win of the year. New Scent (Dennis Whittemore) overcame the outside nine post to finish third while Blueridge Empire and Act Of Valor picked up the final two awards. Pompano Park's leading driver, Wally Hennessey, had another huge night, scoring five wins on the 10 race program. Racing continues of Monday night with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 12, 2016 - Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $13.80) couldn't possibly have had an eight-hole trip than he did Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $45,000 Open Handicap Pace. In play from behind the eight-ball, the Levy Series winner found a gaping three-hole for a brief respite, then marching toward the lead. He made it around pole-sitting, 9-5 choice Rock N' Roll World (George Brennan) before a pokey 28-second opening quarter-mile. Then came a plodding, 29-second next station (57-second half), effectively ending the suspense. First Class Horse (Jason Bartlett), gapping his rivals earlier, moved first-up from fourth, but never threatened. Bit of a Legend N found a 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. He whipped Rock N' Roll World by that same margin in 1:52.3, with First Class Horse, a way-after-the-fact The Real One (Pat Lachance) and Santa Fe Beachboy (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For fourth choice Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his 13th win in 27 seasonal starts ($718,450). The exacta paid $42, the triple returned $197.50 and the superfecta paid $829. Stratton's four-win night moved him within nine of 3,000 career victories Frank Drucker

There were two mares against the boys in the $10,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 19) and girl-power prevailed as Serendipitous, who was overlooked at 9-1, pulled out a wire to wire harness racing victory in a lifetime best time of 1:57.1. Weekly leaver Lutetium (Todd Cummings) made a break off the gate which handed Serendipitous (Ray Fisher Jr.) the lead and with it, the mare took the field in post-position order to the half in :57.3. At the five-eighths, Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) pulled first over and brought heavily favored J A T O (Mike Caprio) in tow and the pair motored up towards the front. That outer flow chased the leader to the three-quarter station in 1:27.1 without gaining much ground when J A T O pulled three wide in the last turn and started his solo assault. But when he actually drifted five-wide in the move, Serendipitous was able to maintain her lead in mid-stretch and fend off the pocket-sitting Winky's Pride as well as the late rush by J A T O to win by a neck. Winky's Pride (Drew Monti), who was the other mare in the race, finished second and J A T O settled for third. It was the sixth victory of the year for Serendipitous ($21.80) and the winner's share of the purse padded her bank account to the tune of $33,267 for Guy Polillo Est. and trainer John Mungillo. The secondary feature carded as the $8,500 Open II saw Kahoku ($7.70) avoid some early road trouble and go wire to wire in a fast 1:56.3 for driver Ron Beback Jr. The 8-year-old gelded son of SJ's Caviar is trained by Mark Laidlaw for owners Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner. Batavia Downs leading dash driver Kevin Cummings had a driving triple on the night while Drew Monti doubled up. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m. Saturday's card features the NYSS 2-year-old pacing fillies going for $110,200 in race four on the card.   Tim Bojarski

It was an emotional day at Exhibition Park Raceway on Saturday as a three-horse spill in the fourth event of the afternoon sent two harness racing drivers to hospital.   Going into the first turn, driver Ed Harvey and his pacer Allstar Seelster had obtained a lead from post two and suddenly fell causing Dr. Mitchell Downey to become unseated from his horse Stare Down and also falling hard to track.   Unable to clear the mishap, driver Stephen Trites and Ideal Ticket became involved and Trites was dragged in the sulky until the horse came to a stop at the fence.   Driver Ed Harvey is reported to have a possible broken hand and ribs in the accident and Stephen Trites, a hyper-extended knee injury. Dr. Mitchell Downey walked away from the ordeal and came back to win the final race on the program will Fall Bliss.   Also on the card, pacer Upstairswithron won his first race in over two-years for driver Scott Hubbard and owner/ trainer Bob MacNeil. Horse Racing New Brunswick will provide updates this weekend as the drivers are evaluated further.   All three horses involved walked away from the accident with cuts and bruises and H.R.N.B will report on their condition as soon as news becomes available.   Best wishes from Horse Racing New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Standardbred Owners Association on a speedy recovery to those involved.     Scott Waddell

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association celebrated a special night away from the track on Friday (July 1), visiting nearby CONSOL Energy Park for a minor league baseball game hosted by the Washington Wild Things. After the horsemen enjoyed a buffet dinner, longtime Meadows trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder threw out the ceremonial first pitch (photo).   Bus Lane, a retired Standardbred (shown in photo with owner Alyssa Cummings), greeted baseball fans on their way into the park, and local charity Horses With Hope was on hand to promote their organization as well.   MSOA enjoyed a Wild Things victory, 4-3 over the visiting Florence (KY) Freedom.  

The final two legs in the harness racing Drivers Cup take place Friday and Sunday at Paris-Vincennes. Friday’s test is the Prix Mara (purse €36,000, 2100 meters autostart, ten starters). Team America earned 85 points in earlier races at Yonkers Raceway versus 47 for Team France. Cracks 10 drivers compete to represent the two nations:  The Team #France with captain Pierre Vercruysse, Franck Ouvrie, Nicolas Ensch, Matthew Abrivard, Pierre Levesque  The Team #America with captain Jason Bartlett, Pat Lachance, Daniel Dube, Jordan Stratton, Tyler Buter The field is shown below: Azaro du Caux, Jason Bartlett Bambou de Calvi, Nicolas Ensch Bois le Roi, Tyler Buter Bettina d’Avril, Pierre Vercruysse Bettina, Jordan Stratton Attention Devant, Daniel Dube Alibi de Folie, Pierre Levesque Amadeo, Pat Lachance Bolide du Guet, Matthew Abrivard Be Love Desbois, Franck Ouvrie Sunday at Vincennes finalizes the Cup with the sixth race Prix du Bergerac (purse €36,000, 2100 meters autostart). Thomas H. Hicks

Marie Bacsich teamed the Franck Leblanc trainee Be Mine de Houelle to victory in the harness racing Monte Elite at Solvalla (May 29) for 150,000SEK first money. The veteran FR monte campaigner was timed in 1.10.2kr (mile rate 1:52.95f) over the mile (1609 meters autostart) distance, the second fastest timed victory over that course. The mile race record was set a year ago in the same event on Elitloppet Day by Torre Crepin, timed in 1.10kr (1:52.63), handled by Adrian Lamy. Be Mine de Houelle is co-owned by Pauline Corty and trainer Leblanc. The five year-old daughter of Scipion du Goutier-Olita de Kettauso-Full Account posted her sixth career victory in 37 starts, now for 2,812,120SEK earned (US$341,138). Nantucket was second for Sofia Adolfsson with another Leblanc trainee Tsar de Houelle home third with Sofia Aronsson aboard. Thomas H. Hicks

Rocker Band’s greatest performance may have been her last. The dazzling Jewels winner came from a seemingly hopeless position on Saturday to give harness racing driver Samantha Ottley her first group one victory and kick off a day of drama for some of those who got locked up on the markers.   Favourites like Dream About Me and Pacing Major were luckless and stormed into minor placings after being locked away, but Lady Luck smiled on Ottley and Rocker Band after they were pushed to four back on the inside.   She unwound in a style her NZ Cup-winning dam Mainland Banner would have been proud of but trainer Mark Jones fears he now has nowhere to go with the mare.   “She comes back a class eight mare next season and there are really only three major races for her to be aimed at, and even they mean taking on The Orange Agent and Dream About Me,” says Jones.   “There just aren’t enough mares races for the best mares and most of them aren’t good enough to race the male cup horses.   “So she might be better off in the broodmare paddock, with her record and breeding.”
 Jones owns Rocker Band, a Rocknroll Hanover mare, but leases her racing right to Greg Brodie of Courage Under Fire fame.   “I am thrilled she won for Greg because he has been with me all the way along and also for Sam.   “Some people ask me why I don’t drive her myself but if I did I would have been worrying all week about what she needed in the race, instead of just training her.   “And I have been given plenty of opportunities so it is nice to give them to somebody else.”   While Jones is a former World Driver’s Champ, current title holder Dexter Dunn was also a winner on Saturday with both Donegal Bettorgretch and Field Marshal.   Field Marshall was typical Dunn, off the gate fast then controlling the tempo of the race, easing to his third group one on end for trainer Tim Butt.   Butt will bring him back next season for the Cup meeting but he may not be an ideal New Zealand Cup horse, with the plethora of mobile races in Australia appealing more.   Dunn’s drive on Donegal Bettorgretch was aggressive and broke the heart of leader Missandei before hot favourite Marcoola galloped when challenging her in the home straight.   His trainer Clint Ford said his case wasn’t helped by Marcoola having no lead up races and being too fresh, the problem causes by him winning his way through to class six in late April, making suitable races hard to find.   Donegal Bettorgretch has strengthened into a good filly and is a rarity on two counts --- being by champion pacing sire Bettors Delight and one of the few squaregaiters trained by Cran Dalgety. MIchael Guerin

Vernon, N.Y. -- Pantheon Hanover ($4.50) lived up to his billing as the 5-4 favorite in the featured $7,500 Miracle Mile Pace at Vernon Downs, stalking live cover on the far turn and vaulting clear to a 3-1/2 length harness racing triumph. The 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding was no part of a :25.4 first quarter duel between Sassy Hanover (Claude Huckabone, III) and All Stienam (John MacDonald), settling second from last in the select field of six. As Panpero Firpo (Brett Derue) emerged from midpack to head outer flow at race's midpoint, Chris Lems angled Pantheon Hanover second-over to stalk steadily improving cover through middle splits of :53.4 and 1:21.3. As the pacesetters began to toil, Pantheon Hanover swung three-wide, pushing to the fore at head-stretch and drawing clear at will. Behind Pantheon Hanover's 1:50 mile, the first-over Panpero Firpo continued his rally to take second, while All Stienam saved third from the pocket.   Trainer Dave Dewhurst co-owns Pantheon Hanover with Philip Hale. For Lems, the featured win was one of three on the night. John MacDonald also recorded a driving hat trick on the nine-race program.   As no one hit the 50¢ Pick 5, a carryover of $256.53 will head to Thursday (June 9) night's card. Post time for the 10-race program is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vastly-experienced trainer Ross Olivieri is confident that a gear change will get promising six-year-old Our Jericho back to the winning list at Gloucester Park on Friday night after the New Zealand-bred gelding’s shock defeat at odds-on last Friday night. “I have added a head check to his gear and I think that will make all the difference,” Olivieri said. Chris Lewis will drive Our Jericho from the outside (barrier four) of the front line and will be anxious for a speedy getaway in a bid to set the pace in the Del Basso Salami Handicap, a stand over 2503m. Our Jericho blotted his copybook when he galloped at the start in a stand last Friday night and lost seven lengths. He was ninth after a lap before Lewis started a three-wide move 1050m from home. Our Jericho sustained his strong burst to take a narrow lead from the pacemaker Machs A Pearler 380m from home. The two horses then raced stride for stride in the home straight, with Machs A Pearler prevailing by a nose. The final quarters were run in 27.7sec. and 29sec. “It was a good run and I think he can make amends this week,” said Olivieri who has a good second string in the consistent mare Lady Willoughby in Friday night’s race. Lady Willoughby, a winner at 14 of her 40 starts, will start from the inside of the 10m line.       Our Jericho has raced eight times in WA for four wins and three seconds and Olivieri has high hopes for the gelding who is still an M0-class performer. “We’re just seeing where he goes,” Olivieri said. “I hope he can prove to be up there with the best of them and I’d like to think that he can be up to running in feature events at the Christmas carnival. He’s on the way up. He came back from the paddock for this preparation very fat and he’ll get better. He’s taken a few runs to get somewhere near his best.” Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. refused to concede victory to Our Jericho and is confident that Twoandahalf Tigers can record his ninth win from 14 starts this season. Twoandahalf Tigers will start from barrier three off the front. “If he gets away and I lob in front of Our Jericho I don’t think Our Jericho will be able to beat me,” Hall said. Ken Casellas

Heavy pressure from Mel Mara could not faze 2015 Breeders Crown champion Always B Miki ($2.40), as he fought back from being headed in mid-stretch to take Saturday (May 14) evening's $25,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadowlands for a second consecutive harness racing win.   The 5-year-old Always a Virgin entire made his push to the lead just after fellow Jimmy Takter trainee JK Endofanera (Yannick Gingras) worked clear of McWicked (Scott Zeron) in a :27.2 initial quarter. Upon taking command on the backstretch, Hall of Fame driver David Miller managed to slow the pace down enough to give Always B Miki a brief breather on the far turn before Mel Mara (Corey Callahan) mounted a first-over bid out of fifth. Despite Mel Mara's sustained press into the lead at the eighth pole, Always B Miki would not be denied, using a :26 last quarter to repel Mel Mara for a neck victory in 1:48.4. Mel Mara was a game second, while JK Endofanera labored from the pocket yet still held third.   Always B Miki, now a 20-time winner, is owned by the Bluewood Stable, the Roll the Dice Stable, and Christina Takter.   Tim Tetrick led all drivers with three wins on the 12-race card, prevailing with Mindtrip ($2.80, 1:52), Missile J ($3.60, 1:51), and Union Man Hanover ($8.20, 1:50.4). Scott Zeron and Corey Callahan won two races apiece.   Total betting turnover for the 12-race card was $2,559,464. The final race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 carryover continues to climb, mounting to $222,459.18 for Friday (May 20) evening's program.   Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday (May 20), with post time slated for 7:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media

It's official...Jordan Stratton has replaced Jerry Lewis as the new American genius in France. Stratton led Yonkers Raceway's quintet of harness racing drivers Sunday afternoon to a win over their French counterparts in the opening round of the inaugural Drivers' Cup. Round One was contested in two races, each featuring 10 trotters at the mile-and-one-quarter distance and included in the seven events simulcast to a French-hubbed audience. Scoring was compiled using a 17/12/9/7/6/5/4/3/2/1/ points formula (five points in the event of a scratch, an occurrence which did not come into play here). Stratton picked up the gauntlet for the locals, earning a share of a win with 23-1 Lily's Swan Pond ($15.80 dead-heat win mutuel) in the $18,800 first event and easily winning the second event with Cousin Eddie ($7.40) The first event (2:31.2) was a Yonkers' sweep, with captain Jason Bartlett getting the other half of the win pie with 11-10 favorite Hasty Proffitt ($2.80 dead-heat win mutuel). Headsaregonna Turn (Tyler Buter) was an unlucky third. Stratton was not in a sharing mood in the second race (2:29.4) of the competition, isolated for much of the race with "Eddie" as the pair won by 7¼ lengths. Paris Princess N (Pierre Levesque) was a best-of-the-rest second, with Massive Talent (Dan Dube) third. The final team totals were 85 points for Yonkers (45 + 40), and 47 for France (26 + 21). "It was just an honor for me to be asked to participate," Stratton said. The first trotter (Lily's Swan Pond) hung a bit late, but at least was able to get there for the dead-heat. The second one (Cousin Eddie) is just very sharp right now. "The French drivers are all pros, but they don't have the small-track experience." "This is true," French captain Pierre Vercruysse said. "There are some half-mile tracks in Europe and we do watch (Yonkers) races when they are simulcast to France, so we learned from that. Vercruysse, who did have an extended stateside stay earlier in his career, was appreciative of this return visit. "Everyone in our party was very well-received." Pat Lachance was the fifth Beatle for Yonkers, while France's other participants were Matthieu Abrivard, Nicolas Ensch and Franck Ouvrie. The French returning the hosting favor in June, with Yonkers' contingent going to Paris (Vincennes) for a pair of races. Sunday afternoon's $50,000 Open Handicap Trot, also at the added distance, was won by a repeating Major Athens (Brian Sears, $9.80) in 2:26.3. Frank Drucker

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