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HARRINGTON, Del. - Three $20,000 divisions of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) first leg for sophomore pacing fillies were contested Monday at Harrington Raceway. The fastest division was the third as The Wiz Kids Stable's Jonigold ($2.40, Corey Callahan) registered a 1:54.1 triumph over Dover Downs champ Fashion Guru and Our Angel Hayleigh. The Headmaster-sired filly, Jonigold, never had an anxious moment in her open length front end win for trainer Bart Dalious. Dalious recently returned from Canada with his 3-year-old filly Table Talk, who won an elimination of the Fan Hanover at Mohawk Raceway on June 7 before finishing sixth in the final on June 14. I'm Won Rum Wiser ($8.20, George Dennis), owned by George and Tina Dennis with The Wiz Kids Stable, recorded a wire-to-wire win over Seboomook Fool Yah and Treasure Valley in the first elimination in 1:54.2. Sired by Headmaster, 'Wiser' held a game first-over Seboomook Fool Yah safe at the wire for a narrow win. Trained by his Dennis, I'm Won Rum Wiser recorded her seventh win in 14 career starts. The final division was won by Jeff Bartels' Crushed Again ($4, Victor Kirby) in 1:55.3. The Eli Scott-trainee sat behind pacesetter Megginspin throughout before surging by in the stretch for her first win of the year. Megginspin held second while Hen's Playmate finished third. It was one of four driving wins on the program for Kirby, who had a five win evening last week at Harrington. Kirby recorded another win in the overnight feature with John Dayton's Just A Jolt ($3.60) in the $17,000 Open Pace in 1:52.1. The 4-year-old Village Jolt gelding and track record holder recorded his 10th win of the year after following live cover in People Are Crazy who collared pacesetter Shopping With Art past the three-quarter mark. People Are Crazy was a game second with Teresa's Beach third. Trained by Jim King Jr., Just A Jolt has earned more than $114,000 in 2014. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway          

June 15, 2014 - Thanks to a $100 exacta box wager on the Meadowlands Maturity, 2012 Pen vs. Chip Handicapping Champion, Mark McKelvie, surged to the lead in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest. The $100 exacta box of Captaintreacherous and Odds On Equuleus gave McKelvie a $1,200 profit for Friday evening on the way to a net profit of $1,065 for the weekend. As a result, McKelvie through 13 legs has a net profit of $1,518, leading former leader Brandon Valvo by $214.50. Of course, McKelvie was not the only handicapper to have a profitable weekend. With Dennis O'Hara's profit of $813.60, he moves from 14th place to 11th. Three other handicappers ended up in the black for the weekend. In addition to McKelvie's $1,400 (gross) hit on Friday night, there were other key wagers made on Friday evening. Ray Garnett had a $10 exacta ($90 in total exacta wagers) which paid $140; Derick Giwner's $200 win wager on Captaintreacherous paid $380; Dennis O'Hara's $2 trifecta box ($120) paid $253.60, $5 trifecta ($80) paid $634, $10 exacta part wheel ($40) paid $140. Saturday's big wagers were Ray Garnett's $1 trifecta box ($60) in the North America Cup which paid $328.75; Derick Giwner's $40 exacta in the Goodtimes paid $204; Sally Hinckley's $20 exacta box ($40) paid $160 and $2 trifecta box ($48) paid $255 in the Roses Are Red; Mark McKelvie's $100 win wager in the Fan Hanover paid $265; Josi Verlingieri's $50 win/pace wager in the Armbro Flight paid $387.50; Gordon Waterstone's $10 trifecta key ($60) in the Goodtimes paid $197.50. As of June 14, 2014 - Leg 13 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Mark McKelvie $1,065.00 $1,518.00   2nd Brandon Valvo ($430.00) $1,303.50 $214.50 3rd Derick Giwner $11.20 $735.00 $783.00 4th Earl Paulson ($171.00) $69.50 $1,448.50 5th Bob Zanakis ($420.00) ($59.50) $1,577.50 6th Brian McEvoy ($145.00) ($315.00) $1,833.00 7th Josi Verlingieri ($201.50) ($433.45) $1,951.45 8th Sally Hinckley $11.50 ($489.80) $2,007.80 9th Ray Garnett ($86.75) ($608.45) $2,126.45 10th Gordon Waterstone $6.30 ($853.20) $2,371.20 11th Dennis O'Hara $813.60 ($937.60) $2,455.60 12th Garnet Barnsdale ($650.00) ($1,288.00) $2,806.00 13th Ann Stepien ($263.00) ($1,328.10) $2,846.10 14th Rusty Nash ($639.20) ($1,642.40) $3,160.40 15th Ray Cotolo ($490.00) ($2,472.00) $3,990.00 This week, the handicapping Shoot-Out has one race on tab; Friday night at the Meadowlands is the second round of TVG FFA Trot.  Results and handicapper selections may be found on the contest websitehttp://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HAHA

Uffizi Hanover provided trainer Jimmy Takter with his second stakes victory on North America Cup Night as she captured the C$457,500 Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont. Driven by David Miller, Uffizi Hanover swept her elimination and the final as the 8-5 favorite for Al Libfeld of Pickering and Toronto partners Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband. Take That Hanover (Mike Saftic) out-sprinted Bahama Blue (Mario Baillargeon) off the gate from mid-pack and put up a :26-second opening quarter before Miller sent last year's Breeders Crown champion Uffizi Hanover after the lead from third into the backstretch with Nat A Virgin (Rick Zeron) hot on her heels and sweeping up three-wide to take over command. Nat A Virgin hit the half in :54.4 and opened up a couple of lengths on top en route to three-quarters in 1:23.2. Meanwhile, Major Dancer (Brian Sears) was advancing with Beach Gal (Tim Tetrick) stalking her cover. Nat A Virgin was still clear on top entering the stretch, but Uffizi Hanover closed late to nab the victory in 1:50.4. Nat A Virgin settled for second and Take That Hanover finished third. Uffizi Hanover paid $5.30 to win. The Well Said-Up Front Dragonfly filly now has four wins in 15 career starts and earnings totaling C$609,375. Courtesy of http://www.standardbredcanada.ca

This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Meadowlands Maturity, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 14) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$457,500 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$330,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$272,100 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$266,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters. Friday night (June 13) will see Meadowlands Racetrack host the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity or 4-year-old pacers. Two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous makes his seasonal debut in that race. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Meadowlands entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs and second choice Modern Family prevailed in an all-age track record-equaling clocking of 1:52.2. Modern Family left alertly and took the front end from Creatine at the opening quarter in :27. The order remained intact with a very soft half-mile time in :56.4. At that point Arch Madness began to turn up the heat with a first-over move and gave the winner all he had to offer down the backstretch. He was followed on the rim by DW's NY Yank and favored Market Share. Driver Dave Palone asked Modern Family to trot in the third quarter and he responded with a :27.3 panel to gain some separation. From there the Daryl Bier trainee trotted away and won in 1:52.2 by 1-3/4 lengths over longshot Archangel and Creatine. Market Share finished a disappointing sixth. Five sets of eliminations for this weekend's Mohawk stakes finals were also part of last week's Grand Circuit action. Leading the way were the finest 3-year-old pacing colts on the continent facing off in three Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Lyonssomewhere, McWicked and Tellitlikeitis all turned in impressive victories heading into this weekend's C$1 million final. Lyonssomewhere and driver Corey Callahan shot through an opening in deep stretch to take the first of three C$50,000 eliminations June 7 at Mohawk. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of champion Somebeachsomewhere kept his racing record perfect, now five-for-five, as he scored by 1-3/4 lengths in a career best 1:50.1. Beat the Drum wound up second, with JK Endofanera fading to third. McWicked and driver David Miller rallied from third in mid-stretch to haul down Sometimes Said and take the second C$50,000 Pepsi North America Cup elimination by two lengths in 1:48.3. Sometimes Said, with driver John Campbell, appeared headed to victory but Miller eased McWicked out from third and blew by the pair for the win. Sometimes Said wound up second, Let's Drink On It was third and Ideal Cowboy was fourth and also advanced to the final. The third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination looked to be the toughest on paper, with He's Watching, Luck Be Withyou, Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover all highly-regarded contenders. But at the finish, it was the Jimmy Takter-trained, Brett Miller-driven Tellitlikeitis who rolled by the odds-on choice, He's Watching, to win by a comfortable 2-1/4 lengths in 1:48.4, just a tick slower than McWicked's time in the second elim. He's Watching, the 3-5 favorite, took over from Luck Be Withyou before the half was reached in :54.2, while Tellitlikeitis was tucked in third along the rail. He's Watching hit the three-quarters in 1:21.4 and appeared capable of holding off a bid from Luck Be Withyou in mid-stretch. But Miller moved out from third with Tellitlikeitis and came motoring home for the emphatic win over He's Watching, with Luck Be Withyou third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 313; 2. Tim Tetrick - 276; 3. Ron Pierce - 205; 4. George Brennan - 164.5; 5. Brian Sears - 135. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 502.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 175; 3. PJ Fraley - 169; 4. Joe Holloway - 122; 5. Julie Miller- 100. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 136.5; 2. Burke Racing - 112.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.8; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 62; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at Meadowlands Racetrack and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Meadowlands will host a leg of the TVG Free For All series for older trotters on Friday (June 20), while Pocono will have eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 21). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Campbellville, ON --- Last weekend’s elimination winners McWicked, Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere head an extremely competitive field of 10 for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup harness race, this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The 31st edition of the world’s richest pacing event, showcasing the finest 3-year-olds on the continent, will go postward at 10:14 p.m. and will be shown live on TSN. A half-hour preview of the race will air on TSN GO from 9:30-10:00 p.m., with the race set for TSN from 9:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. The winner will earn C$500,000. Post positions were drawn today at Mohawk, with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland as the guest drawmaster. Last Saturday, three Cup eliminations were held to determine the field for the final. The three winners earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn. Seventeen of the past 30 Cup winners also won their elimination. Trainer Casie Coleman, who won the 2010 Cup with Sportswriter, sends out McWicked, who recorded the fastest elim, winning by two lengths in 1:48.3, from post two. Owned by SSG Stables, McWicked, a son of 2002 Cup third place finisher Mcardle, is a five time winner in 14 outings with career earnings of $244,707. Driver David Miller has yet to win the Cup in 13 tries, but has twice been second, including last year with a 96-1 shot Twilight Bonfire. Trainer Jimmy Takter, more renowned as a trotting conditioner for such stars as Moni Maker, Kadabra and Malabar Man, but who also directed filly pacer See You At Peelers to championship seasons, will have two Cup entrants, Tellitlikeitis (post three) and Lyonssomewhere (post four), who both won their elims in ultra-impressive fashion and who both will be solidly backed on Saturday night. Tellitlikeitis, bred and owned by Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Ontario, took his elim in a career best 1:48.4, blowing by heavily-favored He's Watching to win by 2-1/4 lengths in only his second start of the year. The regally bred son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said out of champion Kikikatie also won his season opener, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake, at Pocono Downs in May. Lothlorien has shared ownership of three previous Cup winners -- Well Said (2009), Rocknroll Hanover (2005) and Red River Hanover (2002). Takter has only started two previous Cup entrants, both in 2012, and finished second with Time To Roll. Driver Brett Miller has two previous Cup drives, finishing second in 2010 with We Will See. Lyonssomewhere, owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford, Ontario is undefeated in five starts. The son of 2008 Cup winner and Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere took his elim comfortably in 1:50.1 by 1-3/4 lengths in his first stakes appearance. He’ll be driven by Corey Callahan, making only his second Cup drive after finishing fourth with Mr Wiggles in 2009. He's Watching (post seven), co-owned and trained by David Menary of Rockton, Ontario, finished second to Tellitlikeitis in his elim, but last year won all eight starts en route to a Dan Patch Award as the United States’ top 2-year-old colt pacer. Winner of a Somebeachsomewhere division on May 31 in a career best 1:49.3, the son of American Ideal will be driven by the continent’s perennial leader, Tim Tetrick, who steered champion Captaintreacherous to an authoritative score in last year’s Cup. JK Endofanera (post nine), trained by Ron Burke for owner-breeder 3 Brothers Stables of New York City, had a five-race win streak broken in his elim when finishing third as the 1-2 choice to Lyonssomewhere, while drifting out in the stretch. The son of Art Major is the field’s leading money winner with $453,517, topped by his win last year in the Governor’s Cup at the Meadowlands. He’ll be driven by Brian Sears, who steered Rocknroll Hanover to victory in the 2005 Cup. Last year’s Breeders Crown champion, Luck Be Withyou (post eight), was third to Tellitlikeitis in his elim, after finishing second to JK Endofanera in a Somebeachsomewhere division the week before in his seasonal debut. Trained by Bill Cass for owner John Craig of North York, the son of Western Ideal will be driven by Ron Pierce, who has won two Cups, with Total Truth in 2006 and Well Said in 2009. Let's Drink On It (post five), trained by Joe Seekman, is a seven-time winner in 16 starts and was third to McWicked in his elim. A son of Art Official, the only horse to defeat Somebeachsomewhere, he’ll be piloted by 21-year-old Tyler Smith, who would become the youngest driver to win the Pepsi North America Cup. Sometimes Said (post 10), another son of 2009 Cup winner Well Said, finished second to McWicked last Saturday, the ninth time in 14 outings he’s been the runner-up. Trained by Jim Campbell for owner Fashion Farms and driven by his Hall of Fame brother and record six-time Cup winner John Campbell, Sometimes Said was also second to Luck Be Withyou in last year’s Breeders Crown. Beat The Drum (post one), a son of 2007 Cup winner Tell All, finished second as a 27-1 shot to Lyonssomewhere in his elim for trainer Staffan Lind. Yannick Gingras drives the three-time winner in 17 starts, the most outings by any Cup entrant this year. Completing the field is Ideal Cowboy (post six), who finished fourth to McWicked in his elim but drew into the final. Trained by PJ Fraley, the son of American Ideal has banked $48,684 in 10 career starts. Scott Zeron will drive. In 2012, Thinking Out Loud set the stakes record of 1:47.4 at Mohawk, eclipsing the former mark of 1:48.1 established by Well Said in 2009 while Hall of Famer Bettor's Delight has won the race by the largest margin, 4-1/2 lengths, in 2001. Other winners of the Cup, which began in 1984 at Greenwood Raceway, include such champions as Jate Lobell (1987), Precious Bunny (1991), Presidential Ball (1993), Cam's Card Shark (1994), Gallo Blue Chip (2000), Rocknroll Hanover (2005), Somebeachsomewhere (2008) and Captaintreacherous (2013). The Cup was raced at Greenwood from 1984-93, followed by Woodbine from 1994-2006. It was held at Mohawk Racetrack for the first time in 2007. The shortest-priced winners, at $2.70, are Jate Lobell and Presidential Ball, while Goalie Jeff, in 1989, provided the highest win payoff, $93.60. Horseplayers will get an added bonus on Pepsi North America Cup night when Mohawk will offer three Pick-4 wagers including an “All Stakes Pick-4.” The All Stakes Pick-4, with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, will run from race seven to 10 and will feature the Roses Are Red, Mohawk Gold Cup, Fan Hanover and conclude in race 10 with the 31st Pepsi North America Cup. $1 million Pepsi North America Cup Post–Horse–Driver-Trainer-Line 1–Beat The Drum–Yannick Gingras-Staffan Lind-20-1 2–McWicked–David Miller-Casie Coleman-7-2 3–Tellitlikeitis–Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-3-1 4–Lyonssomewhere–Corey Callahan-Jimmy Takter-4-1 5–Let's Drink On It–Tyler Smith-Joe Seekman-6-1 6–Ideal Cowboy–Scott Zeron-PJ Fraley-15-1 7–He's Watching–Tim Tetrick-David Menary-5-1 8–Luck Be Withyou–Ron Pierce-William Cass-12-1 9–JK Endofanera–Brian Sears-Ron Burke-10-1 10–Sometimes Said–John Campbell-Jim Campbell-20-1 AE–Jet Airway–Scott Zeron-Erv Miller From the Publicity Department at WEG

June 8, 2014 – The handicappers of HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs were in love with Market Share this week.  As a result, except for two astute handicappers who allowed for the possibility of Market Share laying an egg, the roster of handicappers took it to the chin when the horse finished sixth in the inaugural Charlie Hill Memorial Aged Trot at Scioto Downs.. Of the fifteen handicappers, only Ray Garnett ($776.50) and Derick Giwner ($456.60) showed net profits for the week, leaving Brandon Valvo as the overall leader in the contest through the first eleven legs of the handicapping series.  As a result of their performances, Giwner moved from 5th place into 2nd while Garnett moved from 13th to 9th place overall. There were three key hits this week. Ray Garnett’s $5 Trifecta box of 4 horses, which cost him $120, returned a generous $1016.50.  It should be noted Garnett did not include Market Share in his wager.  As for Derick Giwner, he was spot on with regards to the race winner as his $100 win ticket on Modern Family returned $290 while his $2 trifecta partial wheel ($40) returned $406.60. As of June 7, 2014 - Leg 11 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Brandon Valvo ($250.00) $1,733.50   2nd Derick Giwner $456.60 $723.80 $1,009.70 3rd Mark McKelvie ($220.00) $453.00 $1,280.50 4th Bob Zanakis ($250.00) $360.50 $1,373.00 5th Earl Paulson ($150.00) $240.50 $1,493.00 6th Brian McEvoy ($250.00) ($170.00) $1,903.50 7th Josi Verlingieri ($250.00) ($231.95) $1,965.45 8th Sally Hinckley ($190.00) ($501.30) $2,234.80 9th Ray Garnett $776.50 ($521.70) $2,255.20 10th Garnet Barnsdale ($240.00) ($638.00) $2,371.50 11th Gordon Waterstone ($230.00) ($859.50) $2,593.00 12th Rusty Nash ($198.00) ($1,003.20) $2,736.70 13th Ann Stepien ($250.00) ($1,065.10) $2,768.60 14th Dennis O'Hara ($240.00) ($1,751.20) $3,484.70 15th Ray Cotolo ($221.00) ($1,982.00) $3,715.50 This week, the handicapping Shoot-Out is a double header with the contest beginning Friday night at Meadowlands Racing & Gaming with the TVG FFA Trot and the Meadowlands Maturity for 4yo pacers.  The week’s contest action concludes Saturday evening with a big night of stakes racing at Mohawk Racetrack starting with the Pepsi North America Cup.  In addition to the Cup, Mohawk’s undercard features the Roses Are Red, Fan Hanover, Goodtimes, and Armbro Flight stakes races.  With five stakes races, the handicappers’ bankroll expands to a maximum of $400 and a 13 wager limit.  by Allan Schott, for HANA

Both Uffizi Hanover and Table Talk scored upsets in winning their respective $35,000 divisions of the Fan Hanover Series at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. In the process, the Dan Patch harness racing award winning Precocious Beauty, the 2013 Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year, finished a disappointing seventh in her division and right after the race her driver, Doug McNair, took off the rest of his drives on the program. Uffizi Hanover returned to her winning ways in the $35,000 first elimination division of the Fan Hanover Series  with a tough nose victory in the final strides over Beach Gal and race favorite Nat A Virgin in 1:51.4. It was the 4/5 favorite Nat A Virgin and driver Richard Zeron overpowering Take That Hanover (Michael Saftic) by the opening quarter in a speedy :25.4. Then Zeron was able to back it down to the half mile marker in :55.2. That just about jumbled up the field and forced Wanna Rock N Roll (Brian Sears) to come first-over with Beach Gal (Jody Jamieson) grabbing the second over cover. They raced that way past the three-quarters in 1:25.3 with driver David Miller coming up third over with Uffizi Hanover and everyone fanning out as they started down the stretch. Nat A Virgin was collared late by Beach Gal who looked to have the race in-hand until Miller was able to zip on by in the final strides with a :25.4 last quarter mile to win by a long nose with Beach Gal second by a head to Uffizi Hanover. “She usually has a pretty good kick to her,” Said David Miller. “It actually set up for not too bad. And she had her usual kick in her. I think this is the type of horse that just needs a few starts to get warmed up. I didn’t start driving her until late last year and she was having a kinda so so season. I think she is the type of horse that needs four or five starts to get into form. I she will be good (for the final). She was much better in her last start and tonight she raced real well. I think she will improve off of that.” Trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Al Libfield, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldfarb of Toronto, it was the first win in three starts this year for Uffizi Hanover. She is a daughter of Well Said and paid $14.50 to win. Also making it to the $400,000 Fan Hanover final next week were Fancy Desire (Ron Pierce) and fifth place went to Barefoot Beauty (Doug McNair). In the second Fan Hanover division, Table Talk and driver Jim Marohn, Jr. went from last to finish in the stretch and upset the field as the longest shot on the board, winning in the final strides by a long head at odds of 35-1. It was Bahama Blue (Jody Jamieson) shooting to the early lead from post seven with Precocious Beauty, the 4/5 favorite for McNair, grabbing the two-hole trip. They were quickly challenged on the outside by Lady Shadow and driver Brian Sears by the opening quarter mile in :26.3. As soon as the field got into the backstretch, McNair pulled on the right line and sent Precocious Beauty to the lead with ease and she took the field to the half mile in :55.2. Then as they came to the final turn, Jamieson came first-over with Bahama Blue and Major Dancer (David Miller) grabbed the second-over cover with Momas Fallen Angel (Yannick Gingras) third-over. And sure enough in last place fourth-over was Marohn and Table Talk. Past the three-quarters in 1:24.2, it was everyone that was fanning out to take a shot at Precocious Beauty coming down the stretch and that is exactly what they did. With Precocious Beauty coming up empty down the stretch, a wall of horse was racing to the wire and then on the far outside was Table Talk and Jim Marohn, Jr. flying to the wire to win by a head in 1:51.4. Major Dancer was second with Mamas Fallen Angel third, Rock N Roll Xample (Jim MacDonald) getting fourth place and also making it to the final next week was Bahama Blue. “The trip worked out great,” Jim Marohn, Jr. said. “She was nervous before the start, throwing her head around behind the starting gate. I could not get her off the gate as good as I wanted to. She settled in nice at the quarter and with the fractions up front it helped her in closing. She can carry her speed a lot more this year than last year. She was always quick. She could turn speed on and now she can hold on to the speed a lot longer. She’s real gritty and she likes to pass horses.” Sired by Bettors Delight, Table Talk is trained by William Dalious and is owned by The Wiz Kids Stable of Dover, Delaware. It was her second win in four starts this year and a lifetime mark. She paid $77.80 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Megan Rogers has good reason for exuding nervous energy, after all she’s getting married in two weeks, but the feeling of anticipation goes beyond tying the knot. Rogers, a relative newcomer to owning harness racing horses, has a chance to win two of the sport’s premier stakes – the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers and Fan Hanover for 3-year-old female pacers – on June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. First, though, are elimination races Saturday at Mohawk. Mamas Fallen Angel takes the track first in the second of two Fan Hanover divisions, with the top five advancing to the C$400,000 final one week later. Mamas Fallen Angel, with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Norm Parker, is 8-1 on the morning line. In the next race, Unlocked goes behind the gate in the first of three elims for the North America Cup. The top three finishers from each division and one fourth-place finisher chosen by lot advance to the C$1 million final. Unlocked, with Scott Zeron at the lines for trainer Erv Miller, is 10-1 on the morning line. “It’s unbelievable,” said Rogers, a Chicago resident who bought her first horse in January 2012. “It’s almost serendipitous, just being at the right place at the right time. We’re very excited.” Rogers has been interested in horses since childhood. Her friends had horses, which she got to ride, and she also worked at a summer camp mucking stalls just to be near the horses. Her fiancé, Brian Ogan, is a longtime harness racing fan and introduced Rogers to the sport. “I love it,” Rogers said. “We always wanted to own horses and it was just the right time for us. It’s kind of a joint effort. With my love of horses and his love of racing, it was kind of a no-brainer.” Mamas Fallen Angel is a half-sister to stakes-winner Odds On Equuleus. Rogers bought the daughter of Well Said-Latte Lady in an onGait.com auction last September. She had seen the filly, who was unraced at age 2, while picking up another horse from Odds On Racing a few weeks earlier. “She looked beautiful,” Rogers said. “She didn’t race at 2 because she was green, so Odds On Racing turned her out. But we knew who the brother was and she looked amazing. We thought it was a great opportunity. We made a bid for her and got her.” Mamas Fallen Angel has won four of eight races this year, all at The Meadows, and earned $60,214. She was second in a division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes on May 3, finishing behind Also Encouraging and ahead of recent Lismore Pace winner Tyra. She was put on Lasix following the race and in her most recent start finished second by a nose to 4-year-old Jolt Of Passion in 1:52.3 in a conditioned race. Rogers bought Unlocked privately last June. For the year, the colt won six of 12 starts and finished second on five occasions, including in the season-ending American-National Stakes. This season, the son of Duneside Perch-Miss Major Power has a second-place finish among three starts. He is coming off a fourth-place finish from post seven in the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers on May 31. “He really hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet,” Rogers said. “We saw him race at Balmoral (Park in Chicago) and thought he was special. There was just something about him that we loved. I think he’s got a lot of potential. He’s got a lot of speed and guts; he’s a fighter. “I do get nervous, but Erv is happy with his progress. I hope he’s got a great shot. I think this is a great opportunity for him.” And a great chance for a new owner to burn off some nervous energy. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

This weekend the bulk of the racing action is at Mohawk Raceway both Friday and Saturday as they host the eliminations for five major stakes events headlined by the North America Cup for three-year-olds pacers. The big stakes event of the weekend is Saturday at Scioto Downs with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial FFA Trot plus on Sunday Vernon Downs hosts two rich ($217,000/$215,00) finals of the Empire Breeders Classic. Good Luck! $35,000 Trot Armbro Flight elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 2nd race FRIDAY – Very tough to go against perfection, as in Perfect Alliance, who is perfect this year with ten straight wins. She is the first to have beaten Bee A Magician and should be able to lay over this field with her front end dominance. Use Ma Chere Hall and Rocking With Dewey in exotic plays. $35,000 Trot Armbro Flight elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 3rd race FRIDAY – She may have tasted defeat for the first time in over a year, but Bee A Magician is still the best there is and may not get beat again this year. She was a game second to Perfect Alliance in her first start back and now gets tested again but should prevail. Use Classic Martine and D’Orsay in exotic plays. $30,000 Trot Goodtimes elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 5th race FRIDAY – This is the tougher of the two divisions tonight but I think that Flyhawk El Durado will end up being the best in here. He easily handled his division of the NYSS last week with a sharp 1:55.1 triumph at Tioga Downs and now seems primed to cut loose in here. Use Verdi and Hitchin A Ride in exotic plays. $30,000 Trot Goodtimes elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 8th race FRIDAY – Here comes on of the dynamic Jimmy Taker’s three top Hambletonian prospects. Trixton has been nearly perfect this year with three wins in his four starts this year, including a sizzling 1:51.2 lifetime mark. Once he gets rolling he should not be beat. Use Speak The Truth and Harper Blue Chip in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Fan Hanover elims 3YO Fillies Mohawk Raceway 1st race SATURDAY – With five return winners in this field there is no clear standout so I am going with Nat A Virgin. This filly was decent last year and is coming off a sharp win here last week in 1:50.3 with a final quarter mile in :26.3. All she really needs to do is repeat that effort to win again. Use Beach Gal and Uffizi Hanover in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Fan Hanover elims 3YO Fillies Mohawk Raceway 2nd race SATURDAY – Here comes the Dan Patch winning two-year-old pacing filly of the year in 2013, Precocious Beauty. She started off the season with an easy win in the NYSS at Vernon Downs in 1:52.4 and should be ready to cut loose against this field. Use Lady Shadow and Major Dancer in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway  3rd race SATURDAY – Here is the first of three great preliminary round divisions. JK Endofaneara is undefeated in his three starts this year, can cut the mile of come from off the pace and is super razor sharp. He will be very tough to beat. Use Western Vintage and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 5th race SATURDAY – This is the toughest of the three divisions as a good case can be made for just about everyone in this field. I am going to go with Let’s Drink On It because last week he faced He’’s Watching and went first-over against him in a valiant second place finish. Same effort will make him a winner in here. Use Always B Miki and McWicked in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Rose Are Red elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 8th race SATURDAY – This will be a real slugfest as some top mares will be going to post in this first division. Some are worried that Shebestingin was not at her best in her last start. Well, horses, especially mares, can have off days and I think this was one of them so watch her warm up and then you will see how great she really is. World champion mare will make amends. Use Anndrovette and Drop the Ball in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace N.A. Cup elims 3YO Colts Mohawk Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – Looks like He’s Watching is back into the swing of things after being choked down in first start in the Rooney elims. He came right back last week and smoked’em with a 1:49.3 romp and will most likely repeat that same effort tonight. Use Tellitlikeitis and Doo Wop Hanover in exotic plays. $200,000 Trot Charlie Hill Memorial Older Horses Scioto Downs 10th race SATURDAY – The older trotting ranks this year will be a sensational division. Tonight we have the return of $800,000 winner Creatine to the mix of outstanding squaregaiters but all eyes will be on the continuing world champion Market Share. With Sebastian K not yet in the traveling mood, Market Shares looms the horse to beat and rightly so. He made amends for his costly break two starts back with a world record effort last time out. Use Modern Family and Arch Madness in exotic plays. $35,000 Pace Rose Are Red elims Older F&M Mohawk Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – Another world record holder heads this field as Somwherovrarainbow comes to Mohawk off her amazing 1:48 mile in her last start. She has been tops this year with six wins in eight starts for the Joe Holloway Stable and should be able to continue her winning ways. Use Camille and Moneky On My Wheel in exotic plays. $217,725 Trot Empire Breeders Classic 3YO Fillies Vernon Downs 6th race SUNDAY - Looks like it will pay big time for a couple of horses to be New York sired with these two rich stakes. The filly field is headlined by the Leigh Raymer entry of Avalicious/Winning Pursuit for the Crawford Farms. They have each won recent starts and provided winning Pursuit can mind her manners, can take this field. Use Glowngold and Annies List in exotic plays, $215,125 Trot Empire Breeders Classic 3YO Colts Vernon Downs 9th race SUNDAY - Tough to not like Expressive Action in here. Undefeated early on with two straight wins against this same company. Look for him to either cut the mile or come from off the pace and win once again. Use Karets and Cash For Gold in exotic plays.

Perfect Alliance puts her perfect 10-for-10 record this season on the line in the first of two Armbro Flight eliminations for older female trotters Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The 4-year-old Perfect Alliance is coming off a world-record 1:51.2 win over 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician on May 19 in a division of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine. The time is the fastest by a 4-year-old female trotter on a mile racetrack. She is the 3-5 morning line favorite in her elimination, which also includes Upfrontluckycarol, Intense America, Rockin With Dewey, Ma Chere Hall, Bax Of Life, and Lady Laker. Perfect Alliance starts from post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Julie Miller. Perfect Alliance had totaled two wins in 18 starts at ages 2 and 3 before bursting onto the scene this season with wins in the Singer Memorial Series and Bobby Weiss Series. "She couldn't be much better," Gingras said. "She's done everything asked of her and has been very impressive. I couldn't be happier with her." Gingras, who also is the regular driver of 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older female trotter Maven, has been driving Perfect Alliance since Andy Miller was injured in an accident in April. Maven just recently returned from Sweden, where she finished sixth in the international invitational Elitlopp. "I think (Perfect Alliance) fits really well (with the top older female trotters) off that last start," Gingras said. "You really don't know until they go out and do it, but she had raced very well and I felt she had some more. I was very happy to find out she did." Four-year-old Bee A Magician is the 6-5 favorite in the second Armbro Flight elimination, with Classic Martine the second choice at 8-5. It will be Bee A Magician's second start of the campaign after going 17-for-17 last season on her way to Horse of the Year honors in both the U.S. and Canada. She is trained by Nifty Norman and driven by Brian Sears. Chris Oakes' Classic Martine, another 4-year-old, has won all three of her starts this season, including her division of the Miss Versatility in 1:52.2. One race earlier, she won in 1:51.2 at Pocono Downs to become the fastest 4-year-old female trotter on a five-eighths-mile oval. The remainder of the second Armbro Flight elim field is Angies Lucky Star, Charmed Life, Daylon Miracle, and D'Orsay. * * * Trainer Joe Holloway sends out the favorites in each of Saturday's two eliminations for the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk. Shebestingin is the 2-1 morning line pick in the first division and Somwherovrarainbow is the 4-5 selection in the second elim. Somwherovrarainbow has won six of eight races this year, including the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, and was last seen pacing the fastest mile ever by a female pacer on a five-eighths-mile track when she won in 1:48 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She brings a three-race win streak to Mohawk. Shebestingin, who happens to be the fastest female pacer in history thanks to her 1:47 win last year at The Red Mile, is returning to stakes action after being scratched from the Betsy Ross Invitational because of a fever on May 25. She has won two of four races this season, with one second-place finish. She finished fifth in the mares preferred at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 1. "These girls can rock," Holloway tweeted recently. (Follow @joehollowaystab). "Rainbow is feeling very good and trained well," he texted Wednesday. "I hope Sting rebounds; she might still be off her game some from being sick." Anndrovette, the three-time Dan Patch Award winner for best older female pacer, is the 5-2 second choice in the first elimination. She won the Betsy Ross in 1:50.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "Rumors of her demise are premature," co-owner Jeffrey Bamond quipped after Anndrovette picked up her second win in seven starts this season. Also in the first elim are Jerseylicious, Charisma Hanover, Summertime Lea, Shelliscape, and Drop The Ball. Joining Somwherovrarainbow in the second elimination are Krispy Apple, Rocklamation, Monkey On My Wheel, Voelz Hanover, Yagonnakissmeornot, and Camille. * * * Precocious Beauty, who was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female pacer, was among 14 horses entered in the Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. The group was split into two seven-horse eliminations, to be contested Saturday, with the top five finishers from each division advancing to the final. Sent out by the father-and-son team of trainer Gregg McNair and driver Doug McNair, Precocious Beauty is in the second elim. She is coming off a 1:52.4 win in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs last weekend in her seasonal debut. She is owned by breeder Jim Avritt Sr., who was looking forward to her campaign. Precocious Beauty has won eight of 12 lifetime starts and finished worse than second just once. She is unbeaten in four starts at Mohawk, where last year she captured the She's A Great Lady Stakes and divisions of the Champlain and Eternal Camnation stakes. Precocious Beauty is the 2-1 morning line favorite in her elimination. The rest of the second elim is Rock N Roll Xample, Mamas Fallen Angel, Table Talk, Major Dancer, Lady Shadow, and Bahama Blue. Uffizi Hanover, who won the 2013 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers, is in the first elim. She is joined by Take That Hanover, Barefoot Beauty, Nat A Virgin, Beach Gal, Wanna Rock N Roll, and Fancy Desire. Beach Gal, who beat older horses her last time out, is the 5-2 morning line choice. She finished third in last year's She's A Great Lady. * * * There are two eliminations Friday for the Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Elim No. 1 features 2013 New York Sire Stakes champion Flyhawk El Durado, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Trained in the U.S. by Mark Ford, he races out of the stable of Jeff Gillis in Canada. The colt has a win and two third-place finishes in three starts this season. Entranced, trained by co-owner Garth Gordon, is the second choice at 9-2. He is coming off a second-place finish to Massive Talent in a division of the Ontario Sire Stakes. Massive Talent, from the barn of Nifty Norman, is 9-1 in the same Goodtimes elim. Thomas Durand's Hitchin A Ride, another Ontario Sire Stakes winner last week, is 5-1. The rest of the field is Massacaia, Musical Spell, Skates N Plates, Verdi, Il Sogno Dream, and So Not Cool. The second elim features Jimmy Takter's New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Trixton, who has won three in a row since finishing second to Odds On Amethyst in his seasonal debut. Trixton's three wins are by a total of 22 lengths. He is the 3-5 morning line choice. Harper Blue Chip, trained by Mark Steacy, is the second pick at 6-1. Last year, he won a division of the Champlain Stakes and finished second to Father Patrick in the Wellwood Memorial. Pasadena Star, trained by Bob McIntosh, also won a division of the 2013 Champlain and has won six of nine starts in his career. Lightly raced Speak The Truth, from the stable of Linda Toscano, won a leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes in May. The remainder of the field is Adversity, Dontcheatonmenow, Mister B's Way, Sas Warkentin, See The Wind, and Raise The Curtain. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

This Week: Currier & Ives filly division, The Meadows, Washington, Pa; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Hanover Stakes (3-year-old colt and filly trot), Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Wednesday (June 4) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $93,860 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will host Grand Circuit racing on Friday (June 6) with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 7) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will offer its second Grand Circuit stake of the season on Saturday, with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters, while Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Saturday with the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old colt trotters and the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the Meadows, Scioto Downs and Balmoral Park races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Molson Pace for older pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway and the Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer (#1) gets up on the outside to narrowly defeat Apprentice Hanover (#4) and Foiled Again (#7) in the Molson Pace. In one of the most exciting editions of The Raceway at Western Fair District's signature race, the $138,000 Molson Pace, last year's winner State Treasurer defended his title despite a terrible start and an inquiry on May 30 at the London half-mile track. Driver Chris Christoforou had State Treasurer three wide down the backside and picked up the cover of Apprentice Hanover and Jody Jamieson heading into the stretch. It was a great race to the finish with State Treasurer getting up on the outside to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a close second followed by the always game Foiled Again, just a half-length back in third. The winning connections, trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald, had to wait out an inquiry regarding the start before the race was declared official. "I sweated a little bit last year too, but this is a little different this year," noted Moore. "He's a real good little horse, he tries his heart out and he showed that tonight for sure." Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective on May 31, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. All Bets Off was a 1:52.2 winner in the Art Rooney Pace. All Bets Off collared leader Maxi Bon early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third. All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, is now three-for-four this season with earnings of $180,250. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do. Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Maxi Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last. "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile, but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too. Every start (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on June 1, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt The Duer in the early stages, brushing to the front after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half-mile. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter. Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have been too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip found room to chase after being locked in. Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Bolt The Duer stayed on to be third. Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 291; 2. Tim Tetrick - 255; 3. George Brennan - 164.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 143: 5. Brian Sears - 121. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 485.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 117; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller- 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 111.05; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 103.55; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 60; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Mohawk and the Meadowlands next weekend. Mohawk will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 14), while the Meadowlands will card the Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old open pacers and a leg of the TVG Free For All series for open trotters on Friday (June 13). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

A blockbuster weekend of racing is fast approaching at Mohawk Racetrack, and while all eyes will be on Saturday’s trio of eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup – they won’t be the only races worth watching. A stakes-filled weekend will see many of the sport’s brightest stars also be in action in eliminations for the Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Fan Hanover and the Roses Are Red Stakes. Those elimination will take place on the Friday and Saturday cards at Mohawk Racetrack, and we’ve previewed those elims below: Friday – Armbro Flight Elim #1 – Race 2 Perfect Alliance, who was last seen establishing a world record for four-year-old trotting mares when she blazed to a 1:51.2 victory in her division of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine Racetrack, headlines her $35,000 assignment for trainer Julie Miller. The daughter of Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover, who is a perfect 10-for-10 this season, will be handled from Post 7 by Yannick Gingras. Friday – Armbro Flight Elim #2 – Race 3 The multiple award-winning Bee A Magician will take on five other foes in the second elimination for the tandem of driver Brian Sears and trainer Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Beehive finished second to Perfect Alliance in her world record performance in the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine Racetrack on May 19. That was the first start of the season for the 27-time winner who starts from Post 1. One of her biggest challengers figures to be Classic Martine - a recent divisional winner in the Miss Versatility Series. To read the rest of the story click here.

Trainer Dustin Jones' homebred Fan Hanover eligible Nat A Virgin set a new Canadian season's record for three-year-old pacing fillies with a 1:50.3 triumph on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. After breaking stride in her first two starts of the year, Nat A Virgin put the pieces together on Friday and lowered the 2014 national division record by more than one full second in an $18,000 conditioned pace. The time also matched the fastest mile by any female pacer this season, which nine-year-old Voelz Hanover set in a top class Preferred event on May 9 at Woodbine Racetrack. Nat A Virgin, with driver Rick Zeron aboard, was the first to get a call in the evening's fifth race as she sprinted across the track from post seven and cleared to command before the first turn. She race by the quarter pole in :27.1 before 2-5 favourite Major Dancer swept up from fourth to take over during the second panel. The new leader cleared at the half in :55.3 and continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:23.3, but Nat A Virgin blew by in the stretch, kicking home in :26.3. To read the rest of the story click here.

This Week: Molson Pace, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontraio; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Somebeachsomewhere, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Roll With Joe, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 30) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$150,000 Molson Pace for free for all pacers. In addition to the appearance of defending champion, State Treasurer, who will start from the rail, two-time winner Foiled Again drew the outside post seven in the eight-horse field and will be making his sixth appearance in London's signature race. Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $124,744 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies) on Saturday (May 31). Elimination winners Stevensville and All Bets Off lead the field in the Art Rooney Pace, while the Lismore is led by Southwind Silence and Tyra, who captured last weekend's pair of eliminations. Also on Saturday, Mohawk Racetrack will host a trio of C$75,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts. The Grand Circuit action concludes on Sunday (June 1) as Tioga Downs will host the $200,000 (est.) Roll With Joe for free for all pacers. Complete entries for the Yonkers and Tioga races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair and Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Maxie Lee Memorial for trotters and the Betsy Ross for Market Share won the $250,000 Maxie Lee by two lengths over Sevruga in 1:50.2. The time established the record for history's fastest on a five-eighths-mile track, which previously was 1:50.3 and shared by Sevruga and Uncle Peter. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick settled into fourth place behind Sevruga, Arch Madness, and Daylon Magician in the early part of the race. Market Share moved into second place on the backstretch before challenging Sevruga for the top spot on the final turn. Sevruga finished second followed by DW's NY Yank and Arch Maness. "Nowadays, when you win a stakes race it's either a stakes record or a world record," trainer Linda Toscano said. "The horses are faster, the equipment is better; you just have to go (speed wise) where you have to go to win. These are good horses, all of them." Market Share, a 5-year-old who won for the second time in three starts this season, is owned by Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. Gutnick, a Philadelphia native, won the 2012 Maxie Lee with Chapter Seven. Two races later on the card, Anndrovette and Tetrick won the $250,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers by two lengths over Rocklamation in 1:50.2. Anndrovette won the $250,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers by two lengths over Rocklamation in 1:50.2. Anndrovette took the lead from Monkey On My Wheel as the field headed to the halfway point and never looked back. Rocklamation made a late charge from the rear of the pack, but finished second. Jerseylicious was third, followed by Monkey On My Wheel. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Anndrovette paid $13.40 to win. Morning line favorite Shebestingin was scratched. It was Anndrovette's second win in seven starts this season and first since winning a leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on April 4. She was fourth in the Matchmaker final on April 26. Anndrovette, who captured the 2011 Betsy Ross, is owned by Bamond Racing and Joe Davino. The 7-year-old mare, a three-time Dan Patch Award winner, has won 37 of 95 career races and $2.77 million. She is trained by P.J. Fraley. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 286; 2. Tim Tetrick - 225; 3. George Brennan - 144.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 113: 5. Brian Sears - 101. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 410.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 97; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller - 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 96.85; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 94.35; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 40; 5. Brad Grant - 39.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at four different racetracks next weekend. The Meadows will host 3-year-old filly trotters with the Currier & Ives on Wednesday (June 4). Mohawk will feature three sets of eliminations for 3-year-olds, plus the Armbro Flight and Roses Are Red for older mares. The Goodtimes eliminations for colt trotters and the Armbro Flight eliminations for mare trotters will take place on Friday (June 6), while on Saturday (June 7) the track will host elims in the North America Cup (colt pacers), Fan Hanover (filly pacers) and Roses Are Red (mare pacers). Also on Saturday, Scioto Downs will host the Charlie Hill for free for all trotters and Balmoral Park will offer Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2014 inductees. A total of 14 horses and people have been elected to the Hall of Fame.   Wando and Horatio Luro are among the three horses and four people representing Thoroughbreds. Rocknroll Hanover and Wally Hennessey are included on the list of three horses and four people representing Standardbreds. The Thoroughbred Inductees are: Male Horse Category:  Wando - bred and owned by Gustav Schickedanz, Schomberg, Ontario Female Horse Category:  Apelia - bred and owned by Steve Stavros, Knob Hill Stables, Newmarket, Ontario Veteran Horse Category:  Cool Mood – owned by David Wilmot, Kinghaven Farms, King City, Ontario           Veteran People Category:  Horatio Luro – Argentine-born trainer of Northern Dancer           Jockey Category:  Robert Landry - Toronto, Ontario           Builder Category:  William (Bill) Graham - owner of Windhaven Farms, Caledon, Ontario and Lexington, Kentucky           Builder Category:  Arthur Stollery, owner Angus Glen Farms, Unionville, Ontario The    Standardbred Inductees are: Male Horse Category:  Rocknroll Hanover – bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey.            Female Horse Category:  Dreamfair Eternal – bred by Mary and John Lamers, and owned by John Lamers,                 I ngesoll,      Ontario Veteran Horse Category:  Albatross – bred by John E Wilcutts, Aberdeen, North Carolina; Charles A Kenney, Lexington, Kentucky; Elizabeth B Peters, Wilmington Delaware; and Mark Lydon, Abington, Massachusetts.  Owned by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. Hanover, Pennsylvania; George Segal, Versailles; Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky; Hal S Jones, Montgomery, New York           Trainer/Driver Category: Wally Hennessey, Coconut Creek, Florida           Builder Category: Dr. Ted Clarke, Elmira, Ontario           Builder Category:  Robert Murphy, Vancouver, British Columbia           Communicator Category:   Bill Galvin, Mississauga, Ontario    T        The seven Thoroughbred representatives in the 2014 class include: Wando, one of only seven horses to ever win the Canadian Triple Crown was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2003 for breeder owner Gustav Schickedanz, an honoured member of the CHRHF.  Trained by Mike Keogh, with Patrick Husbands as his primary jockey, the Langfuhr son retired from racing with 11 wins, eight of them in stakes, in 23 starts and earnings of $2.5 million.  He began his career as a stallion in 2006, first in Kentucky before returning to his birthplace in 2011. Wando’s progeny have earnings in excess of $5.2 million and include Grade 1 winner Turallure.   Apelia, a very fast filly owned and bred by Steve Stavro's Knob Hill Stable, was named Canada's Sovereign Award champion sprinter in 1993.  Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Phil England, she won half of her 24 career starts and was a stakes winner at the highest level for three consecutive years.   A winner in New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, as well as Ontario, Apelia was ridden by Hall of Fame jockeys Larry Attard and Don Seymour in all her races except one.  Apelia is the dam of champion mare Saoirse. Cool Mood, herself a daughter of Northern Dancer, won the 1969 Canadian Oaks for Hall of Fame Builder D.G. Willmot, and went on to become one of Canada's most influential broodmares. In fact, she produced two fillies who in turn, would both produce Canadian Triple Crown winners. Her daughter Shy Spirit was the dam of Izvestia, and daughter Passing Mood was the dam of With Approval. The latter is an equine member of the Hall of Fame along with his half-brother, Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold. Argentine-born trainer Horatio Luro, nicknamed “El Gran Senor” was hired as a trainer by E.P. Taylor and was best known in Canada for training Northern Dancer in 1964, 50 years ago.  During his career, Luro trained 43 Stakes winners including three Queen’s Plate winners. Named Canada’s outstanding jockey in 1993 and 1994, Robert Landry’s stats over a 29 year riding career include 17,656 mounts with purse earnings of $69.7 million and over 2,000 wins.  Of note was his 1999 Atto Mile win on Quiet Resolve, as well as the 2004 Queen’s Plate aboard Niigon.  He rode five consecutive Canadian Champion two-year-old fillies from 1996-2000.   The 2003 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award winner for lifetime achievement as a jockey, Landry has also made significant contributions to the promotion of racing, including participating as a board member for LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.  W. (Bill) D. Graham has been an integral participant in the horse racing industry for almost half a century as an outstanding breeder, owner and racing executive.  He is the owner of Windhaven Farms which operates in both Caledon, ON and Lexington, KY, and has bred many Sovereign Award-winning horses throughout his career including the 2012 Canadian Horse of the Year Uncaptured.  Graham also bred U.S. Grade I winner Joyful Victory who was victorious in the 2013 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita.  Arthur W. Stollery was the owner and breeder of two of Canada’s most celebrated racing stars, both CHRHF inductees:   Kennedy Road, named after the location of his Unionville based Angus Glen Farms, dominated Canadian racing for three years.  He was named Champion 2-year-old in 1970 and again Champion as a 3 year-old the following year; 1971. This was followed by more accolades including Canadian Horse of the Year in 1973.  Kennedy Road was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000 and has a stakes race, which is contested annually at Woodbine, named after him.  Laurie's Dancer, named after Stollery’s daughter, was an outstanding racing daughter of Northern Dancer. She captured the Canadian Oaks in 1971 on her way to being named Canada's Horse of the Year. During that season, she was also victorious in the very prestigious Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.  Laurie's Dancer was enshrined in to the Hall of Fame in 2006.            Standardbred inductees include: Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his racing career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey.   Career highlights included victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and the North America Cup for three-year-olds  He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013.  To date the son of Western Ideal, out of Hall of Fame mare Rich N Elegant,  has sired winners of $60.7 million including eight million-dollar-plus winners.  Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a seven year career that included 56 victories, and every major stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earnings of over $2.5 million and Horse of the Year honours in Canada in 2010.  During that year she racked up wins in the final of the Masters Series, an elimination of the Roses are Red Stakes, elimination and final of the Milton Stakes, the elimination and final of the Forest City Pace and the Breeders Crown.  The daughter of Camluck was bred by John and Mary Lamers and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario, while Patrick Fletcher trained her for most of her career.    Wally Hennessey, born in Prince Edward Island and now a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, has more than 8,500 victories to his credit and has banked earnings in excess of $57 million.  During the early stages of his career, Hennessey re-wrote the record books setting new standards in both wins and earnings.  In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.   Throughout his career, Hennessey has been remarkably consistent, winning at least 200 races in each of the last 25 years, and driving horses to earnings in excess of $1 million for 24 straight years.  In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry.  Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth.  Prior to Grand River’s opening, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network.  He was honoured for his innovative thinking and leadership with the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award in 1999 from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, and was known by his popular Red Star moniker.  First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners.   He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009.  In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada.  Mr. Murphy had a great impact on harness racing in BC with both his breeding and training centres, but that impact extended across the continent as his horses raced all over North America. A champion on the track and in the breeding shed, Albatross was a major influence on the Standardbred breed.  He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million.  Two of his major stakes wins in Canada included the Prix d’Ete and Canadian Pacing Derby.  He retired as both the fastest and richest horse in the history of the breed.  As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million, including Niatross who is considered by many to be the greatest pacer of the 20th Century, and Fan Hanover who is the only filly to ever win the Little Brown Jug. William (Bill) Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ontario, and now a resident of Mississauga, Ontario,  made a tremendous impact on horse racing in the country as a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist and former Thoroughbred racing official.  Galvin’s promotions transcended racing.  He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans.  He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the well-being of horse racing during his career.   He was also the executive editor of TROT Magazine and a member of the Advisory board for the School of Equine Studies at Toronto’s Humber College of Applied Arts.            The Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 6, 2014             From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Chris Christoforou is one of the premier names in harness racing, and if a fan does not recognize his name it's most likely they are new to the sport. Chris has quite the extensive resume from winning the Little Brown Jug in 2000 with Astreos, to winning the Breeders Crown in 1993 aboard Earl. Chris won the Breeders Crown two more times, in 1999 and 2002. Chris has won pretty much every major stake race between Woodbine Racetrack, (Toronto, ON) and Mohawk Racetrack, (Campbellvile, ON). This includes the Canadian Breeders (twice), the Don Mills (twice), the Oakville Stakes (twice), the Burlington, the Fan Hanover and both the Champlain Pace and Trot which combining both Champlain series wins gives him a lucky seven victories (4 times in the Pace and 3 times in the Trot). Acknowledging these major wins is the tip of the iceberg and there's at least two dozen more stake wins. That's a pretty big iceberg that could take down the Titanic once again. What is left for Chris to win? Pretty much every race where he's driving and despite the success, Chris maintains a strong and focused drive to continuously reach the Winner's Circle. "The Hambletonian..." says Chris, "...is one I would love to win given the opportunity." With the future uncertainty that looms for harness racing in Ontario, (with the Ontario Government cancelling the slot revenue agreement), Chris remains passionate about wanting to stay close to home. "It depends on the future here in Ontario," Chris says, "but I have no plans to leave. I'd really like to stay here, it's my home, it's my family... and hopefully I can. "I enjoy my life, I enjoy my career and we make a living." Chris explained, "It's tough at times but I would never discourage anyone from wanting to get into the (racing) business." Chris is fine with the thought of his children following in his footsteps as well as his father's. Chris won his first race in 1990 at Flamboro Downs driving Delias Star to the Winner's Circle. In all this time, Chris continually keeps it fresh by maintaining a positive attitude and keeping things light whenever possible. "I find if you are enjoying what you are doing, people catch that vibe from you and it rubs off on them." Chris explains, "The guys I drive with, we all get along and it's a good group of guys here (at Woodbine Racetrack). It's not easy when you are competing with guys night in and night out, but I thing we do a really good job of (having fun)." Asking Chris if he had a memory of a special time where the drivers meshed cohesively and were quite successful, he says "It was strong in the WEG circuit (Woodbine Entertainment Group), in the 80's and up til now it's been very strong." "The top 5 or 6 guys here can drive with anyone in the world as far as I'm concerned. From Campbell to Sears to Lachance, just because we drive here (at Woodbine/Mohawk), it doesn't mean we are any less skilled. Put up Jody Jamieson, Randy Waples or Paul MacDonnell and they can drive with anyone and they have proven that in the past." Talking with Chris is quite fulfilling, and not in terms of generic terms or metaphors, but the open honesty of how good his fellow drivers are, no matter where they race. A perfect example is Chris paying respect to Dave Palone who drives predominantly at the Meadows (located in Washington, PA). Yes, it is a different size track than others, it's a 5/8th mile oval but according to Chris regardless of the type of track, Dave Palone can drive with the best no matter where. Chris is quick to point the good and talent in others. With Chris you get the sense that there is always a silver lining. "Take the top 50 drivers in North America and it's a very slim margin as to who is better." Chris looks to the horses that make up the difference, "Give the 50th guy the best horse and the top guy the fifth best horse and I am pretty sure, 90% of the time the guy with the best horse wins. To that point, it's all horse power." When driving any horse, Chris looks at past performance to see how to best deal with the horse during the race. However "...tactics can switch in a split second. If the horse is moving from a low percentage barn to a higher percentage barn, you are more likely to be more aggressive." "An extreme chess match" Chris says, "very very fast chess game." Horse racing has its strains like any other career, and Chris is grateful to his wife, Camilla, for being so supportive. "It's tough when the kids are off for two months in the summer and I'm busy racing." Chris says. How does Chris balance the intensity of work with family, "every now and then in the summer if I'm in a slump, we'll jump in the car for two days and go to Niagara Falls, ON, change things up and get a refresher." It's all about quality time. In any job, business and career one thing that's constant is communication. Flat out, it's a requirement. During a race when fans are standing at the fence, the sound of the horses charging to the wire is intoxicating. Along with the ground vibrating you can hear faint sounds coming from drivers, but not all the discernable. At the start of the race, Chris explains very little, if any is being said. "You hear drivers hollering down the stretch for sure but the only thing a driver hears, and I don't think drivers even realize it, you can hear if a horse is getting rough, or if his gait is changing." Chris explains, "The sound pattern the horses make when their gait is changing, short stepping. A lot does get blocked out, you're in the zone." "At Woodbine, if a driver's horse is getting rough, he starts screaming and it's usually a sound of panic so everybody knows what's coming and tries to avoid that guy. We all know what each other's voice sounds like, so even if you can't see him and he's three or four horses ahead of you, you know who it is." When it comes to pacers or trotters, Chris would have taken the pacer over the trotter in his early days. Now with his experience, Chris will opt for racing a trotter, not only for the strategy but for the technique involved. When it comes to any game outside of horse racing, Chris' favorite sport is soccer and he loves the English Premier League. His team is Manchester United aka the Red Devils. "We're having a tough year, with a new manager and the team wasn't left in the best shape. There's some older players that need to retire, it's been a slow process." Chris thinks Manchester United will give team manager David Moyes a couple of years to figure things out. "Ferguson (Sir Alex Ferguson was the previous manager) has his back and picked him as his replacement. So they will give Moyes time to work things out." If you're planning to come over to his place to watch the Derby where rivals Manchester United and Manchester City square off, you better be wearing the right colors. No City fans allowed. Ok well, Chris being the nice guy he is may let you in but I think that's just the Canadian politeness poking through. Let's just say United fans only. With a laugh Chris says there's a driver/trainer at Flamboro Downs, Anthony Haughan, who gives Chris a hard time as Anthony is a supporter of another Manchester United rival, Liverpool. "He sent me about 5 messages yesterday about how bad my team is. We have a lot of fun with it." Chris says. Being the soccer fan he is Chris is cheering for England in the 2014 World Cup taking place in Brazil. "My mother is English... so I got to cheer for them. I think Germany has the best team this year and are probably the favorites and Brazil to." What's the one sporting event Chris has on his bucket list that he definitely wants to cross off? It's the World Cup. It's tough for him to go, because June is part of the peak season for horse racing, but when he retires, that's one of his first trips. So long as it's taking place somewhere warm! By Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova  

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