Nichols, N.Y. -- Pushing clear with a circuit to go, Niss Allen, Inc.'s U Belong To Me ($17.20) backed down the second quarter before accelerating clear to a 1:54.3 win in Saturday (June 27) evening's harness racing $10,000 Open II Pace at Tioga Downs. The 6-year-old Misfit gelding was caught wide early as A Weekend (Mike Simons) worked to clear Flying Cowboy (Dan Clements) through a :28 first quarter over sloppy going. Undeterred by the contested early pace, Fern Paquet, Jr. drove on with U Belong To Me, clearing A Weekend in the first pass through the home straight and subsequently slackening through a :30.3 second quarter. After the breather on the clubhouse turn, U Belong To Me accelerated on the backstretch to evade a first-over bid from T's Electric (Aaron Byron) and dismiss pocket rival A Weekend, who tired on the far turn. Turning up the pace through a :27.4 third quarter, U Belong To Me held clear of T's Electric for a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:54.3. No Monkeys Allowed (John Cummings, Jr.) sustained a belated rally to take third. Eric Mollor trains U Belong To Me, who recorded his 12th career win. Mike Simons led all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card, and Dan Clements recorded a driving hat trick. Renaldo Morales, III and Shawn Simons led all trainers with two wins apiece. Live racing returns to Tioga with a 12-race program on Sunday (June 28) afternoon, featuring New York Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings along with the Normand Fluet Memorial Invitational Trot. Post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
Gatka Hanover defeated previously unbeaten Speak To Me to highlight Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were four $67,347 Sire Stakes divisions held for two-year-old trotting fillies. Speak To Me came into her division having won her first four races in convincing fashion. But on Wednesday night, it was Gatka Hanover (Muscle Massive-Girlie Tough), trained by Ron Burke and driven by Matt Kakaley, who pounced from the pocket to defeat Speak To Me by 1 ½ lengths in 1:56:1. Gatka Hanover now has four wins in six lifetime starts, including three Sire Stakes victories without a loss. The other Sire Stakes winners on Wednesday night at Pocono: Wild Honey (Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy), driven by Yannick Gingras and trained by Jimmy Takter, who won her third straight Sire Stakes race in 1:55, fastest Stakes time of the night; Jersey Strong (Muscle Massive-Vacation’s Over), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Mark Harder, whose convincing win in 1:56:2 was her third in as many tries at the Pocono oval; and Sweet Thing (Chocolatier-Berdine Hanover), driven by Charlie Norris and trained by Homer Hochstetler, who worked hard on the front end to keep off all comers for her second Sire Stakes win in 1:56. Pocono Downs Week In Review It's always difficult to pick the best horses in a particular week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs due to the extreme competitiveness of the harness racing action. This week has proved more of a pickle than most because there are a lot of horses on hot streaks who deserve consideration. On Saturday night, for example, six of the thirteen winners picked up at least their second win in a row. I'm not sure if there's a specific reason for this glut of winning streaks, but I am sure that this is a fine edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: SANDBETWEENURTOES In Saturday night's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies, all eyes were on this powerhouse from the barn of trainer Larry Remmen. It's been an incredible sophomore season for this filly, especially considering she raced just once as a 2-year-old and finished out of the money. Instead of taking time to get her racing feet wet, she's come out of the box with seven wins in seven races this year, including a couple Sire Stakes wins and a victory in the $212,500 Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands. While the field on Saturday was solid, many were fillies who had already come up short behind Sandbetweenurtoes in races this season. Included among those was Allstar Rating, who finished behind the unbeaten filly three times this year. But in her last start, Allstar Rating dominated in the Adioo Volo at The Meadows, giving her the confidence that things might be different this time around when she faced her arch rival. Sure enough, Allstar Rating made the lead while Sandbetweenurtoes fell much further behind the pace than is her custom. Once she started making her move for her regular driver Brett Miller though, there was no chance of stopping her. She hustled past Allstar Rating to win by a half-length in 1:50, making her eight-for-eight and also solidifying her status as the dominant force in the age group. Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who continues to dominate the lower claiming ranks, winning his fourth straight on Sunday night in 1:52; Speed Again (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who burned up the track in a condition win on Saturday in 1:48:2, fastest time of the week at Pocono; and Crimson Cruiser (Jim Morrill Jr., Douglas Hamilton), who overcame an outside post on Friday night and picked up a claiming win in 1:52:1, his third victory in a row. TROTTER AND LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: WESTERN CREDIT It's rare that our categories overlap and one horse can claim two Weekly Awards in one shot. Yet Western Credit's recent run has been as unlikely as it has been impressive, more than meriting the embarrassment of riches. This gelding came into his race on August 3 without a win in 21 races in 2014, yet trainer Eric Mollor, who also did the driving that night, had the six-year-old rolling late for an upset win in 1:55:4 at 14-1. On Tuesday night, Western Credit was at it again, this time with Brett Miller in the bike and stepping up the condition ladder to face the non-winners of $10,000 in the last five races. The fans gave him even less of a chance this time around, putting him at 37-1. Miller sent him first-over early in the mile, which seemed like a tough journey for any horse, let along one with such long odds. It turned out to be strategic brilliance on Miller's part, since the sloppy track that night seemed to favor on trip on the outside. Western Credit did the rest, working hard to pick off everyone in front of him before holding off JC's Jake in the lane to win it in 1:55:1. At those towering odds of 37-1, the gelding paid off $77.80 on a $2 win ticket. Suddenly, that 0-for-21 to start the year is a distant memory. Western Credit is two for his last two and ready to take on all comers. Other top trotters this week include: Whata Donato (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), a mare whose winning time in a condition on Tuesday night of 1:53:3 was the fastest trot of the week at Pocono despite sloppy conditions; Well Built (Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder), a 3-year-old who knocked off mostly older horses in a condition victory on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:1 in the slop; and Gematria (Tom Jackson, Fred Grant), who picked up her second consecutive win, this one in Stallion Series action on Wednesday night in 1:58:3. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: David Miller Miller always steps up his game for stakes or series action and Tuesday night he was at his best, winning three times, including a pair of victories in the Stallion Series. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Mark Ford Ford always seems to manage great efficiency with however many horses he enters at Pocono, as he showed on Friday night by picking up a pair of training victories. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs
Not just anyone can come back in 52 days from hip replacement surgery to drive a car, let alone drive a racehorse, but that exactly what The Bionic Man, Tim Tetrick did. Not only did he drive, he won his first race back at The Meadowlands, guiding Eagle Say to a score in the third race Filly & Mare C-2 Trot in 1:58. Tetrick made his move to the half, sensing a soft clip through a 58.3 half-mile and easily launched past a tired Rel Postage Due. It was that middle move that won the race, as Eagle Say (7-2) scored a decisive two length victory over Bluebird Kidsqueen. Tetrick drove the winner for trainer Eric Mollor and winning owner Gary Wolfinger. "It feels good (to get the first win out of the way)," said Tetrick in a paddock interview with Justin Horowitz. "It was a little rougher trip to get back, but I feel good. I'm definitely out of shape a little bit, but hopefully that will all come back." The full interview can be seen on The Meadowlands Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuroSY7Hau0. Yannick Gingras and Dave Miller both dominated the rest of the card, winning six of the remaining nine races, splitting those six at three-a-piece. In fact, Miller put up a natural hat trick, sweeping races five, six and seven on the card. The Pick 5 carryover of $18,083 led to a total pool in the Pick 5 of $137,829. The sequence returned $2,712.30 on the fifty-cent investment, thanks to the win by Casino King and driver/trainer Joe Martin in the 4th race C-2 Pace, who scored at 23-1 in 1:54.4 for owner Beauty Bridle Racing Stable Incorporated. In addition the Winter Survival Online Challenge kicked off Thursday night with 5,393 participants, a 54-percent increase from last year and the most ever seen in the contest, which runs every race night through the end of the Winter/Spring meet on Saturday April 26th. The contest can be found at http://wintersurvivalchallenge.com/. Racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday night with post time of 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands
BATAVIA, N.Y. -- It was a 'Daley Double' in the New York Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies at Batavia Downs Friday night. Trainer/driver Dan Daley registered two victories on the evening, guiding Flyhawk Fallina and Exotic Form to the winner's circle to highlight the Sire Stakes action. In the third and final division, Beauty Of Gray ($3.20) with Jim Meittinis in the bike recorded the popular victory in front of the Batavia Downs fans. In the first division worth $34,577, it was a matter of survival. Flyhawk Fallina ($5.90) shot to the lead off the gate, managing to escape the chaos of four breaking horses. She won going basically unchallenged from gate-to-wire in in 2:01.3. Fashionable Apple (Jim Morrill Jr.), the only other starter not to break, finished 3-1/4 lengths behind in second while the heavily-favored Maud Blue Chip (Cat Manzi) regrouped after the miscue and finished third. Flyhawk Fallina now has two victories, all in Sire Stakes competition, in five career starts for owners J. Pennacchio, A. Daley and M.F. White. It moved her earnings to $53,530 on the season. Flyhawk Fallina is a Cash Hall filly out of Nowerland Nanette, Daley made in two straight Sire Stakes wins in the $35,277 second division as he steered Exotic Form ($13.00) to a head victory over the pace-setting Crediama (Jim Marohn Jr.) in 2:00.3. It was the fastest time of the night in the Sires Stakes. Crediama set the fractions of 30.3, 1:00.3, 1:30.1 over the fast track but couldn't hang on as Exotic Form went to the passing lane and got up just before the wire. Ruby Ruby Who (Jeff Gregory) took the show position. Exotic Form, a Malabar Man filly out of Form Fitting, scored her first victory of her career and increased her bankroll to $28,601 for Winbak Farms. In the final division, worth $35,277, Beauty Of Gray took the lead from Gammy's Girl just before the quarter pole and breezed home from there. Gammy's Girl (Manzi) was two lengths back and took second while Seeyouincourt (Eric Mollor) rallied for show. It was the first career win in two starts for Beauty Of Gray for trainer/owner Tommy Andersson of Sweden. The Conway Hall filly from Armbro Sparkle has made $26,554 in two career appearances. In the $12,800 Excelsior Series, it was bombs away in the first division as Thoughtfilly ($46.40) notched the win for Jim Morrill Jr. in 2:02.1. Sweet Jesse T ($3.20) went the mile in 2:03 for trainer/driver Gates Brunet to take the second division while Emiliana ($4.50) took the final division in 2:03 with Chris Long in the sulky. In overnight action, Cowgirl Hall, currently the Downs track record holder for 3-year-old trotting fillies lowered the aged mark for mares when she went wire-to-wire in 1:57 for trainer/driver Gates Brunet. Racing returns on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. with a 13-race card. The feature is the $8,500 Open Pace with a field of seven set to go to the post. Naked News, last week's winner, will score from the three hole and is the 3-1 morning line favorite with Jim McNeight in the sulky. Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) is the next choice at 5-2 out of the seven spot. For all the latest news, information, promotional schedule and race replays, go to http://bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing . by Brian J. Mazurek
Shadows Dream sustained a powerful first-over bid that carried him to victory in Wednesday's $20,000 harness racing 'Preferred Handicap Pace' at The Meadows.
Vlos captured Monday evening's (August 20) featured $16,500 open pace at Tioga Downs. Starting from post position number six, his harness racing driver, Fern Paquet Jr made and uncharacteristic move with Vlos and took him off the gate to settle in last as the field went by the opening quarter in 27.1.
Vlos, used his early tactical speed to capture Sunday afternoon's $16,500 Open pace with harness racing driver Fern Paquet Jr. at Tioga Downs. Leaving from post position number five in a field of eight, Paquet got away with a soft opening quarter of 27.4 and was uncontested through a half mile in 56.
Cams Art and top harness racing driver David Miller were re-united and the pair made the winners circle after a 1:50.1 triumph in the $30,000 Delaware Special. Vlos won the $23,000 Open pace on a balmy Monday card, Dec. 5 at Dover Downs.
Vlos started his harness racing career later than most, but he has certainly made up for lost time. The 7-year-old is one of the leading candidates in the field for the $127,000 Presidential Final, the first major stake race of the year for older pacers, on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.
The photo finish camera could not separate Alexie Mattosie and Bettor Sweet at the wire in their $50,000 harness racing division of the Presidential Series on Saturday night (Januaruay 22) at Meadowlands Racetrack.The photo finish camera could not separate Alexie Mattosie and Bettor Sweet at the wire in their $50,000 division of the Presidential Series on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.
It was only fitting that Vlos would be winning the $24,000 open handicap pace Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. For the 12th race of the 13-race harness racing card honored Vlos after being named Pacer of the Year along with Golden Receiver. Both pacers have excelled in the $24,000 open handicap pace throughout the season.