Search Results
1 to 16 of 116
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; John Cashman Jr. Memorial, Lady Liberty, Peter Haughton Memorial and Merrie Annabelle eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit actions kicks off this Friday (July 25) at The Meadows with four divisions in the $80,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (July 26) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final and $30,000 Adios consolation for 3-year-old colt pacers, a single division in the $114,175 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $65,310 Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $54,952 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer four sets of elimination races this week, with all the finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 2). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host two $20,000 eliminations in the Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters and a single $40,000 elimination in the Lady Liberty for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Intimidate, trained by Luc Blais and driven by Sylvain Filion, pulled off a 45-1 upset over the heavily favored Sebastian K in the $560,790 Maple Leaf Trot this past Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Intimidate won the Maple Leaf Trot by a nose over Sebastian K. Sent postward as the 1-5 favorite, Sebastian K got away in second behind post ten starter Modern Family who was sent hard to the lead over the 'sloppy' track to post an opening quarter of :26.4. In the second quarter, trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt sent Sebastian K to the lead and controlled the race through the middle half with fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.4. Intimidate got away in sixth and picked up cover in the second quarter behind Flanagan Memory and was towed around the final turn second-over and just a few lengths away from Sebastian K. In the stretch, Sebastian K continued to dig in and tried to hold off his challengers, but Intimidate in the final stride nailed the heavy favorite to win the 63rd edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in 1:54.2. Market Share, the 2013 Maple Leaf Trot winner, came off the rail and made a late charge on the far outside to finish third. The Maple Leaf Trot victory was the third win in seven starts this season for Intimidate, a 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Fabulous Tag, owned by Determination and Judith Farrow. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, Clear Vision broke the Northfield Park track record for older pacing geldings, posting a 1:49.3 win in the 29th edition of the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie. Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, The Panhellenic Stable and James Koran. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Brett Miller to drive. Clear Vision started from post four and immediately advanced a position when Bolt The Duer made an uncharacteristic break to his inside. He was still sitting third at the :26.2 opening quarter. Miller pulled Clear Vision in the second panel and he remained first-over through times of :54.2 and 1:22. Clear Vision locked horns with pacesetter Night Pro in the last turn and bested him by two lengths in the stretch, stopping the timer at 1:49.3. Foiled Again finished third. In The Arsenal (Eric Goodell) never had an anxious moment this past Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace in 1:56.4. In the Arsenal opened 2-3/4 lengths on the field in and out of the final turn. A pocketed Rock N' Roll World cosmetically cut the final margin down to three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Third went to a stubborn Parklane Eagle. Second choice In the Arsenal, a White Birch Farm homebred son of American Ideal-Ladyotra trained by Kelvin Harrison, returned $6.30 for his second win in three seasonal/career starts. Complete recaps of all 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 - 437; 2. Tim Tetrick - 434; 3. Ron Pierce - 292; 4. Brian Sears - 205; 5. George Brennan - 174.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 767.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 397; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Ray Schnittker - 184; 5. Joe Holloway - 152. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 177.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 160.3; 3. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. Brad Grant - 79.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Tioga Downs. Meadowlands Racetrack will host nine Grand Circuit events, led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Balmoral Park will contest Hanover Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Tioga Downs will race Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit        

Batavia, NY - As the 68th season of live harness racing gets underway at Batavia Downs this Wednesday evening (July 23), fans will be welcomed back with an aggressive schedule of racing and promotions that will run through December 6. Racing will be conducted on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule from opening night through Labor Day, when the racing schedule changes to a Tuesday Wednesday, Friday, Saturday format. Post time is 6:35 except for Sundays, which will convene at 1:15. There are also two special matinee cards slated for Labor Day (Sept. 1) and Columbus Day (Oct. 13) that will also have a 1:15 post. Todd Haight, Batavia Downs Director/Manager of live racing said "We're extremely happy to begin the new meet with increased purses as this year we'll payout an additional $200,000. Although our main lobby entrance is still under construction, many other areas of our remodel are complete. Customers will find the new Paddock Room betting area a great place to spend the night as it features new flat screen TV's." A plentitude of wagers that carry low minimum investments are available this year. There are four $1 Daily Double wagers; early (races1-2), mid (races 4-5), late (races 8-9) and late-late (races 11-12). A $1 exacta and 50-cent trifecta is offered in every race as well as a 10-cent superfecta in all races except races one and seven. Lastly there is a 50-cent pick-4 in race 3, a 50-cent pick-5 in race 5, a $2 pick-6 in race 7 and a $.50 pick-3 in race 10. Every Wednesday beginning July 30, Batavia Downs racing will be broadcast live on Time-Warner cable channel 98 in Rochester. Tuesdays will be added after Labor Day. Race analyst Ashley Holliday will return as host and be seen in seven western and central New York counties throughout the meet. This year's racing schedule will be highlighted by eight divisions of the lucrative New York Sire Stake (NYSS) series that will bring with it some of the finest standardbreds in North America. Both the NYSS and Excelsior series will be contested on July 27, August 1-13-17-20-27-31 and September 6. Then on October 18, the tracks' signature event, the12th annual (est. $50,000) Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace will attract some of the best Open class pacers from the U.S. and Canada to vie for the top prize. This race has featured top horses like Foiled Again over the years and was responsible for lowering the all-time track record in 2011 when Aracache Hanover blistered the course in 1:51.1. Last year's leading driver Shawn McDonough and top trainer John Mungillo will both be back to defend their titles. But there will be stiff competition from their local peers and some new stables taking up residency on the grounds. Race secretary Joe Zambito commented "We have a few new trainers shipping in including Leonard Segall from Florida and Dave Wackford from Iowa. We will also have several stables shipping in to race from other tracks and have already received entries from them." "This year we added a new fillies and mares Open trot to the condition sheet and it has been well received by the horsemen. That race, along with the regular Open trot, will be written on Sunday for the duration of those afternoon dates" Zambito also noted. Fans will be treated to a seemingly endless list of events and giveaways throughout the meet. A total of 23 special promotions are slated for the 72 date meet, starting with opening night when free racing programs and magnet racing schedules will be distributed. July 27 is Thurman Thomas bobble-head night. The former Buffalo Bill great and NFL Hall of Famer is the official spokesman for Batavia Downs Gaming. Thomas will be at Batavia Downs in person on July 30 as a guest bartender for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester benefit night at the races. He will be in the clubhouse and that presents a great opportunity to get your bobble-head signed by the man himself. In conjunction with the United States Trotting Association, the "Back to the Track" 2014 tour makes a stop at the Genesee County oval on August 2 and brings with it a list of activities. Harness racing bingo will provide 5 full card bingo winners that will receive a $100 betting voucher each. Other giveaways will include Back to the Track T-shirts and assorted driver bobble-heads. August 24 is the most popular all-age race day of the year. The wiener dog races will highlight Family Fun Day at the Downs. Ten heats of eight wiener dogs each will go postward to compete for cash prizes and bragging rights. Family events will start during the live harness races and include free pony rides, face painting, and a clown and caricature artist. With the New York Sire Stake in town on August 31, there will be a free NYSS baseball cap giveaway. Fans will receive a ticket throughout the course of the day that can be redeemed as long as supplies last. And Labor Day features the annual driver's bike race. Local reinsmen show they are comfortable in more than one kind of "bike" as they tour the Downs oval on ten-speeds. After the winner is crowned, the eight bikes will be given away to fans in random drawings. For more information on all the events at Batavia Downs this year, logon to www.bataviadownsgaming.com . There you can get full race schedules, entries, results and you can watch all the race replays immediately after every race has been declared official. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

If you look in the dictionary for harness racing lingo, there will be a photograph of Clear Vision under the expression, “grind it out”, as the tough and gritty pacer was able to come first-over on Northfield Park’s half mile oval and grind out an impressive win in the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie Saturday. Not only did the horse have to race overland to victory but his clocking of 1:49.3 surpassed the previous track mark of 1:49.4 for older geldings that was held by Maltese Falcon Driven by Brett Miller (who also had driven Maltese Falcon), Clear Vision waited as Night Pro (Peter Wrenn) outgunned Beach Memories (Josh Sutton) and forced them to take a backseat in second place as Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald) made a speed break trying for the lead. Going to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26.2, Night Pro set up command but before the half mile marker in :54.2, there was Brett Miller and Clear Vision coming first-over and giving stable mate Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) great second-over cover. Past the three-quarters in 1:22, Clear Vision was able to collar Night Pro and then as they started down the stretch, Clear Vision found another gear and pulled away from Night Pro to win by two open lengths. Night Pro held for second with Foiled Again third. “I drove this horse a lot last year,” Brett Miller said. “In my opinion his best racing is first over and when I got to be first over tonight I was lovin it because this horse is so game. He can go on the outside for so long and he showed it again tonight. “He is as good as any of them,” Miller said. “When Bolt The Duer made a break that changed the whole race. I felt that he was going to cut the mile and I was going to get away in fourth. His misfortune was my fortune because that left me first over the way he likes it.” Trained by Ron Burke, it was the third win this year for Clear Vision. The eight-year-old gelded son of Western Hanover is owned by the Burk Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, the Panhellenic Stable Group and Jim Koran. He paid $10.80 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie has drawn an impressive field of eight horses [field summary below] and goes postward this Saturday evening, July 19 as Northfield Park's twelfth race. Approximate post time for this event is 11:00 p.m. The Battle is a contest for North America's top open pacers. Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday's twelfth race, the Battle feature. Saturday's first race post time is 6:00 p.m. Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip and Maltese Artist. Foiled Again has drawn post 7 in Saturday's feature and has been named the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Foiled Again will appear in the Battle an unprecedented six times, and Saturday will reveal if he is successful in becoming the first horse in Northfield Park history to win this event three times. The 10 year-old son of Dragon Again (2000 Battle Champion) won in 2009 and 2011, joining Jaguar Spur (winner in 1988-89), Peruvian Hanover (winner in 2002-03) and Maltese Artist (winner in 2005 and 2007) as the only four horses to win the Battle of Lake Erie twice. Age does not seem to be slowing Foiled Again. He has paced his last four races in under 1:50. Foiled Again is trained by Ronald Burke and has garnered 80 career victories and sports earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in the history of harness racing. The 2014 $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie Field: #1 - Night Pro enters this race with a six-race win streak, the last four all being paced sub-1:50, and earnings of $308,929. He is the son of Pro Bono Bests (Sire of Bono Bests, 2008 Battle of Lake Erie champion). His dam, Midnight Jewel was a standout race mare at Northfield Park and throughout the Midwest. This four year-old has won 21 of 28 career starts and is 9 of 11 this year. He makes his second local appearance. He won his career debut here in a $2,000 NW1 in 1:57.4 in March of last year. Dale Decker of Temperance, Michigan owns and trains this horse, who has been terrorizing his competition in Michigan and Indiana. He has a career best of 1:49 (HoP 7/8) and Peter Wrenn, who won the Battle with Dare You To in 1991, has been given the driving assignment with a morning line of 4-1. #2 - Beach Memories is one of two sons of Somebeachsomewhere in this year's edition of the Battle of Lake Erie. He has won 11 of 39 career races, taking a 1:48.3 (ScD 5/8) mark and bankrolling $450,214. This four year-old is owned by the partnership of Strollin Stables of Marion, Ohio, AWS Stables of Lima, Ohio, King McNamara of Naples, Florida and Country Club Acres of Findlay, Ohio. Beach Memories is the winner of last year's $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final. He is conditioned in Delaware, Ohio by Brian Brown and was victorious in his most recent effort in the Buckeye State in a $20,000 Open at Scioto Downs in June. Brown has enlisted Northfield Park's leading driver, Josh Sutton, to drive this 15-1 morning line contender. #3 - Bolt The Duer sports career earnings of $1,770,095 and is one of three millionaires in this year's Battle of Lake Erie field. He has 54 lifetime starts and 20 career victories. He is a five year-old son of Ponder with a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 (Mea 5/8). Bolt The Duer is owned by All Star Racing, Inc. of Towaco, New Jersey and is trained by Peter Foley. This is the second local appearance for Bolt The Duer, who won the $130,000 Cleveland Classic here is 2012. His richest win came in the $500,000 Adios Final at The Meadows in 2012. He has been assigned a morning line of 7-2 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Canadian Mark Mac Donald. #4 - Clear Vision is one of two starters from the powerful barn of Ron Burke. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. of Oyster Bay, New York. He has won 25 and has been on the board in 80 of 151 career races, taking a 1:48.2 (TgDn 5/8) mark and bankrolling $1,912,868. 2014 marks Clear Vision's second Battle of Lake Erie appearance, finishing third in last year's edition. His richest victory was in the $223,500 Bobby Quillen Memorial Harrington Raceway in 2013. Burke has named Ohio-native Brett Miller to drive this 9-2 morning line competitor. #5 - Fool Me Once will start for Canadian owners Mark Austin Stables of Fergus, Ontario and Daniel Smith of London, Ontario. He has 16 career victories in 32 lifetime starts. This four year-old son of Art Major has career earnings of $654,371 and enters this race off of two straight wins at Mohawk, where he took his 1:48.1 lifetime mark. Fool Me Once is last year's New York Sires Stake Champion, winning the $225,000 final at Yonkers Raceway. This 6-1 morning line selection is trained by Mark Austin and is scheduled to be driven by North American leading driver, Aaron Merriman. #6 - Twilight Bonfire is owned by Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. This four year-old has 49 career starts, winning 10 races. He has earned a 1:50.1 (Mea 5/8) lifetime mark and has career earnings of $965,140. Twilight Bonfire makes his second local appearance. He started as the favorite, but ended as the runner-up in last year's $126,000 Cleveland Classic. This Richard Gillock trainee's biggest win was at Dover Downs in the $165,975 Matron Stakes in 2012. Buckeye-native Tony Hall has been called upon to drive this 12-1 morning line starter #7 - Foiled Again is attempting to become the first horse to win this even three times and makes his sixth Battle of Lake Erie appearance. He won this event in 2009 and 2011, finished third in the 2010 and was second in this event in 2012. Ron Burke trains foiled Again for owners Burke Racing Stable of Fredricktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA and JJK Stables of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Foiled Again has garnered 80 career victories and has been in the money 161 times in 210 career starts, earning a mark of 1:48 (PcD 5/8) and earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in history. Yannick Gingras is scheduled to pilot this 3-1 slight morning line favorite. #8 - Apprentice Hanover is the 2013 Cleveland Classic Champion and makes his second local appearance. The $126,000 Classic also represents his richest triumph. He has 43 lifetime starts and 17 career victories. He is a four year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere with a lifetime mark of 149.4 (Mea 5/8) and career earnings of $824,675. Apprentice Hanover is owned by Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario, Canada and is trained by Benjamin Wallace. He has been assigned a morning line of 10-1 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Dan Noble. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

At this point many two-year-olds have a couple of starts in them, so it’s time to marry personal observations with wild speculation and project which ones will be stepping up to win the Cup, Jug and Hambletonion next year. This is by no means a definitive list of the best of the best; as a matter of fact I’m going out of my way to include some by off-brand stallions. That being said, here are a few early standouts. Artspeak is a Western ideal colt out of the Artsplace mare, The Art Museum. The Western Ideals have fallen on hard times at the sales of late, relatively speaking, but Brittany threw $100,000 at this guy, which matched the top price for any of his paternal brothers in North America. He has won both of his NJSS starts for Scott Zeron and trainer Tony Alagna, in dominant fashion. On Pace Day he came first over to win in 1:52.3 at odds of 3/5 at the Meadowlands. Western Ideal has given us the outstanding performers and game changing sires Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal, as well as Always A Virgin and Big Jim. His 2013 crop moves on to the slugfest that is the PASS next year. Stacia Hanover, the winner of the $100,000 NJSS final for freshman pacing fillies, is also by Western Ideal. The $35,000 Harness Breeders purchase is trained by veteran Steve Elliott and, like Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron. She has two other wins in the restricted class, aside from the high-dollar final which she won in 1:53.4 at odds of 3/5. Yankee Bounty is a two-year-old gelding by the enigmatic Artiscape stallion, Yankee Cruiser. His dam is the Allamerican Native mare Yankee Bootleg. This isn’t a combination that screams early speed. Yes, Yankee Cruiser did give is the current king of the pacing ranks, Sweet Lou, who held world records at two and three, as well as the rejuvenated speed demon Dancin Yankee, but for the most part this stallion was up against it in Pennsylvania. Yankee Bounty, a $21,000 Harness Breeders purchase, has won both of his starts in impressive fashion. He won splits of the Pennsylvania All Stars and the Albatross for Corey Callahan and trainer Kevin Lane. Yankee Cruiser stands his first year in Ohio in 2014. Bob Ben And John is one of the wave of impressive colts from the first crop of 2009 two-year-old division champ Sportswriter. Casie Coleman, who trained the son of Artsplace, and has been the leading cheerleader for his initial offering, plucked him from the Lexington sale for a modest $17,000. His dam is the Cambest mare, My Best Girl. This colt made his first pari-mutuel start last week in a $70,000 OSS-Gold leg at Mohawk. He was an easy winner by three in 1:53 at odds of 2/1 for Chris Christoforou. Sportswriter is absolutely killing it in the freshman pacing division of the Ontario Sire Stakes; he’s taking all the air; none of the others are on the same planet. SBSW shook the Pennsylvania program to its foundation with his first crop, but what’s happening with Sportswriter in his restricted program may be more dramatic. Shadow Play impressed us last year with his first crop, but he hasn’t gone on to be a factor in the open realm with his sophomores. We’ll wait and see if Sporty, a key player from the stressed Adios line, makes his presence felt outside of Ontario. Sassa Hanover is a filly from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven. Ron Burke bought her at Lexington for $50,000. Sassa’s dam, Sayo Hanover, is half to the very fast Shadyshark Hanover. Jim Morrill drover her to an easy two length win in a NYSS race at Monticello on the July 4. She won in 1:56.3 with plenty to spare. And two of her paternal sisters—She’s Heavenly and Band Of Angels—also won top dollar splits of the sire stakes that day. Heaven was held in high esteem at the sales, and thus far he is fulfilling his promise.   Dragon Eddy is a two-year-old gelding—aren’t they all—by Dragon Again, a stallion known more for throwing rugged long lasting types like Foiled Again, Atochia and Aracache Hanover than he is as a sire of early speed. My Little Dragon won her division at two, but she was an exception. Well, Eddy is something of an outlier himself. He brought $42,000 at Lexington, which is on the pricey side for Dragon Again, who now stands in Ohio. John Buttenschoen trains and Mike Simons drives. At the end of June Eddy won a split of the Pennsylvania All Starts in 1:54.3 at Pocono, and he went on to win a division of the Albatross in an eye opening 1:52.4 at odds of 2/5 at the Meadows on July 8. Mission Brief is a brown Muscle Hill filly who opened a lot of eyes when she took her $100,000 final of the NJSS by 13 lengths in 1:53.3 for Yanick Gingras and Ron Burke. This was an improvement on her previous start, where she only won by ten. Her dam Southwind Serena is by the great trotter Varenne. Mission Brief was a $150,000 Lexington purchase. Look out! The Bank is a Donato Hanover colt out of 2008 three-year-old division winner, Lantern Kronos. He won a split of the Pennsylvania All Stars for Jimmy Takter on July 4th and broke stride while leading on the last turn as the 1/9 favorite in a division of the Hickory Pride at The Meadows this week. Again, Takter drove. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry and Solvato, is another very promising Donato colt in the Takter Barn. He also won on July 4. Yesterday he was beaten in a quick 1:56.3 split of the Hickory Pride by the Cantab Hall colt Billy Flynn, driven to perfection by Brett Miller. Possess The Will and Your So Vain notwithstanding, Donato has pretty much been all filly no colt to this point. If this pair is turned over to Gingras or Pierce they could change that in a hurry. Honor And Serve, a Donato colt out of 2008 freshman division winner and world record holder Honorable Daughter, is another who might turn the tide. He just took a split of the Hickory Pride for Dave Palone and Jim Campbell. Royal Deceptor is one of numerous offspring of the New York stallion RC Royalty that sold at the Morrisville sale. The success of last year’s Hambletonion winner, Royalty For Life, inspired many to look favorably upon the eleven-year-old siring son of Credit Winner. Cheryl and Michael McGivern took this brown colt home for $11,000. Royal Deceptor won all three of his qualifiers, then went out and won a split of the NYSS in a track record 1:59.3 at Buffalo Raceway for Michael McGivern. Gatka is a big, rugged filly from the first crop of seven-year-old Hambletonion winner Muscle Massive, whose big brother Muscle Mass met with success in Ontario and has since been relocated to New York. Gatka is a sister to Ake Svanstedt’s Muscle Hill filly Heaven’s Door, who won the $100,000 NJSS sophomore final and finished second behind Shake It Cerry in the Del Miller. She won a division of the PA All Stars at The Meadows in 1:56 at 2/5 and last week she took a split of the Meadow Gladys with ease in 1:57.1 at 1/5.  Billy Flynn, a $120,000 Lexington purchase by Steffan Lind, is by Cantab Hall, arguably the best trotting stallion in North America. Another brown colt—there seems to be a run on them—he is out of the Enjoy Lavec mare Zeta Jones and was bred by Brittany farms. Billy took a split of the PA All Stars by six lengths in 1:57.2 at Pocono earlier this month and he beat the highly regarded Centurion ATM and Uncle Lasse in a division of the Hickory Pride. Brett Miller drives. Wild Honey is proving to be a $35,000 bargain for Jimmy Takter. The daughter of Cantab Hall was a close second to Gatka Hanover in that one’s first start and, like Gatka, won a split of the Meadow Gladys at The Meadows, for Yanick Gingras. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Night Pro won the first race of his career at Northfield Park, but the stakes will be a little higher when the pacer returns to the Cleveland-area oval for the first time since his March 2013 debut. The purse for Night Pro's first victory was $2,000. On Saturday night, the 4-year-old competes in the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park against some of the best older pacers in harness racing. The field also includes Foiled Again, who is a two-time winner of the race and the richest pacer in North American history, plus stakes-winners Apprentice Hanover, Beach Memories, Bolt The Duer, Clear Vision, Fool Me Once, and Twilight Bonfire. Night Pro, an Indiana Sire Stakes champion and winner of six consecutive starts heading into the Battle of Lake Erie, will start from post one with driver Peter Wrenn and is 4-1 on the morning line. Foiled Again, who will leave from post seven with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Ron Burke, is the 3-1 favorite. "I'm excited, to say the least," said Dale Decker, a Michigan resident who owns and trains Night Pro. "It's nice to let the rest of the country see him. I know people will be watching because of Foiled Again and the rest of them. "I think he can go with them. I just have to make sure he's healthy going in. That's the important part." Night Pro has won 21 of 28 lifetime races and $308,929. Decker, who attended the U.S. Trotting Association's Driving School in 2000 and has won 171 races as a driver and 180 as a trainer, purchased the son of Pro Bono Best-Midnight Jewel for $14,000 as a yearling at the Hoosier Sale, although he had no intention of buying the horse when he attended the sale. Decker, who runs a homebuilding company in addition to training horses, raised Night Pro for breeder Linda Marckel and expected the horse to sell for much more. "I was in a state of shock, so I started bidding," Decker said. "I didn't even have a truck or trailer there. But I had high expectations for the colt and thought he would bring more than that, so I ended up buying him." For a while, it appeared Decker's expectations would be unfulfilled. Night Pro was unraced at age 2 because he had a bone chip removed from his left-hind ankle and did little to encourage Decker until the end of February 2013. "He started back at [age] 3 and I didn't think he would make it to the races because he just couldn't seem to get over that ailment," Decker said. "He was just going through the motions. Then it was like the light switch turned on. It was like overnight he turned into a racehorse. Then, I thought I might have something." Night Pro won his first eight starts and 10 of his first 12 without ever finishing worse than second. His last victory during that span came in the July $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male pacers at Hoosier Park. When the fall championship arrived in September, Night Pro was battling illness and finished sixth. "He was a little sluggish in the last leg [of the sire stakes] and he was just no good in the final," Decker said. "It just took too much out of him. That was his last race of the year and he's come back strong this year." Now Decker will get to see if Night Pro is strong enough to handle the likes of Foiled Again, who has earned $6.31 million in his career, world champion Bolt The Duer, and 2013 Cleveland Classic winner Apprentice Hanover. Night Pro enters the Battle of Lake Erie off four straight wins in the invitational handicap at Hoosier Park, with the last three coming over 2012 American-National Stakes winner Our Lucky Chip. "I've been interested in getting outside of Indiana and seeing if he could compete with the rest of them," Decker said. "This means a lot to me." Following is the field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Night Pro, Peter Wrenn, Dale Decker, 4-1; 2. Beach Memories, Josh Sutton, Brian Brown, 15-1; 3. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 7-2; 4. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 9-2; 5. Fool Me Once, Aaron Merriman, Mark Austin, 6-1; 6. Twilight Bonfire, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock, 12-1; 7. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-1; 8. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace, 10-1. By Ken Weingartner for, Harness Racing Communications    

Foiled Again has drawn post 7 in Saturday's (July 19) $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie and has been named the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Foiled Again will appear in the Battle an unprecedented six times, and Saturday will reveal if he is successful in becoming the first horse in Northfield Park history to win this event three times. The 10 year-old son of Dragon Again (2000 Battle Champion) won in 2009 and 2011, joining Jaguar Spur (winner in 1988-89), Peruvian Hanover (winner in 2002-03) and Maltese Artist (winner in 2005 and 2007) as the only four horses to win the Battle of Lake Erie twice. Age does not seem to be slowing Foiled Again. He has paced his last four races in under 1:50. Foiled Again is trained by Ronald Burke and has garnered 80 career victories and sports earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in the history of harness racing. The 2014 Battle of Lake Erie field: Horse Driver Trainer M/L 1-Night Pro Peter Wrenn Dale Decker 4-1 2-Beach Memories Josh Sutton Brian Brown 15-1 3-Bolt The Duer Mark MacDonald Peter Foley 7-2 4-Clear Vision Brett Miller Ron Burke 9-2 5-Fool Me Once Aaron Merriman Mark Austin 6-1 6-Twilight Bonfire Tony Hall Rich Gillock 12-1 7-Foiled Again Yannick Gingras Ron Burke 3-1 8-Apprentice Hanover Jody Jamieson Benjamin Wallace 10-1 Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip and Maltese Artist. Powerful Undercard This year's Battle of Lake Erie program carries total purses of $554,500. The 15-race program boasts an impressive undercard featuring nine $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for two and three year-old colt pacers and trotters. Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday's twelfth race, the Battle feature. First race post time is 6:00 p.m. In addition to superior racing action, Battle night will also offer guests a sumptuous buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The special priced buffet is just $15.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101. Guests who want to be down close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron to sample several of northeast Ohio's most popular food trucks. Live music by Unknown Reason will be part of the apron scene from 5-10 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

East Rutherford, NJ - No fewer than seven major Grand Circuit stakes will populate the Saturday night card at The Meadowlands, led by the track's signature race, The Meadowlands Pace.   The all-star lineup begins with a pair of high-stakes preps for trotting's top prizes, the August 2 Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.   Race four is the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial three-year-old colt trot which will be the stage for last year's top freshman Father Patrick to battle Trixton who has emerged as a worthy adversary this season. It is the first time these two have met, the occasion made even more intriguing by the fact that both are trained in the Jimmy Takter stable.   Oddsmaker Darin Zoccali has Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) listed as a strong morning line favorite at 4/5 from post nine, while Trixton is at 3/1 from post twelve in the second tier with trainer Takter aboard.   The $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for sophomore trotting fillies also pits last year's finest against emerging talent. Shake It Cerry was clearly the best of a very talented crop last season, easily winning year end awards for the Takter stable and regular driver Ron Pierce. She has transitioned successfully to sophomore status winning four of five starts this season and is the 9/5 choice from post seven.   Her only loss required the world record 1:51.3 effort by Designed To Be at Pocono last month. It was the second time Designed To Be has assaulted the record books, having taken the two-year-old title with her 1:52.2 mile last fall in Lexington. She will have Brian Sears aboard for trainer Julie Miller on Saturday.   The remarkably fast Cooler Schooner is the fastest freshman trotter ever, regardless of sex by virtue of her amazing 1:51.3 win last summer at Pocono. She is sometimes guilty of self-sabotage but can never be dismissed. The Campbell brothers, John and Jim will conspire to manage that wicked speed toward its best use.   The new shooter in this division is Heaven's Door another who demonstrated great talent at two for Ross Croghan but it took until this year for her mind to catch up to her speed. She was sold over the winter and moved into the Ake Svanstedt barn where she has flourished. She won last month's NJSS final in a stakes record 1:52 with great ease and is facing the division's best now for her new connections and adds another element of suspense.   Next up (race six) will be the $212,500 Mistletoe Shalee for sophomore pacing fillies, another contentious contest. Sandbetweenurtoes raced but once at two for Tony Alagna but showed such promise in her first few starts at three that the brothers Remmen, Ray and Larry, bought her for John Grant and she hasn't lost since. She was the winner of last week's elimination in 1:49.1 with Brett Miller aboard and will likely be the post time fave off a 5/2 morning line.   Precocious Beauty was the divisional leader last year for the McNair barn and has yet to find that form thus far at three, though last week's race was encouraging. Takter's Uffizi Hanover won the 2013 Breeders Crown and the Fan Hanover this year for her regular pilot, newly minted Hall of Famer David Miller.   The older dames race on the pace for $178,450 in the cleverly named Golden Girls stake in the seventh race. Joe Holloway has always had a way with the ladies, training several distaff champions over the years and has a formidable pair in this one. Somwherovarainbow has well over a million in career earnings and has been in deadly form for Joe since early spring with six wins from ten starts, among those the Bluechip Matchmaker final. Brian Sears drives.   Her stable mate Shebestingin is the fastest female Standardbred ever, having seared The Red Mile clay in an eye-popping 1:47 flat last fall. She has yet to beat the best of this division since graduating into the open ranks but her speed make her a danger for David Miller.   The race favorite at 2/1 is the iron-tough race mare Androvette. Her story has been told many times but never gets old, particularly for her connections. She vaults over $3million lifetime with a win in this stake for trainer PJ Fraley and her constant racing companion Tim Tetrick.   Just when you think, "Well, this just can't get any better," you come to the meat of the card. Race 8 contains the finest Free For All pacers in the land racing for $463,300 in the WR Haughton Memorial, one of the biggest events of their season. The lifetime earnings for these ten horses are just north of the $20 million mark.   Captaintreacherous is the two time defending Pacer of the Year and a winner of over $3million in his racing career for trainer Tony Alagna. He's developed into a fan favorite with his gritty, never give up style and he'll need every bit of that heart, a large dose of speed and another clever steer from Tetrick on Saturday. He's drawn a favorable post starting just inside the 8/5 favorite, Sweet Lou.   Sweet Lou has flashed brilliance from the start for his connections and still holds the freshman pacing world speed record. Now five year of age, he's in the best form of his career and has been invincible since paired with driver Ron Pierce in May. Together they are five for five, all in 1:48.3 or faster culminating with a world record 1:47 the hard way at Pocono in the Franklin, the fastest mile on a five-eighths track in history.   Sweet Lou is one of a formidable four horse armada sent out in the Haughton by Meadowlands and national leading trainer Ron Burke. The four Burke horses alone have amassed a staggering $12million in career earnings led by the richest pacer in history, ageless wonder Foiled Again at $6.3 million. Foiled will have to overcome the extreme outside post for his regular driver Yannick Gingras in this battle.   The $776,000 Meadowlands Pace is race nine on the star studded extravaganza and has been well covered in many arenas, so for our purposes let's just say it shapes up to be a very exciting and contentious race, as is usually the case in the absence of a clear division leader.   Among the deepest and most contentious divisions this season is the older trotting mares. The returning Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, last year's division leader Maven and pair of four year old mares that have blossomed into trotting divas, Perfect Alliance and Classic Martine will all meet among a field of eight in the $40,000 Miss Versatility in race ten.   It's one for the ages this Saturday night at The Meadowlands with over $2.5 million in purses offered over the 13 race card, including four $100,000 finals for state bred freshmen. Post time is 6:30pm and it's going to be well attended, so if you're thinking of coming out make your reservations now. If not, the Haughton and Pace will be carried live on the CBS Sports Network and the TVG Racing network.   From the Meadowlands Media Relations Office

Foiled Again is expected to enter Saturday's (July 19) Battle of Lake Erie and will try to become the first horse in Northfield Park history to win the event three times. The 10 year-old son of Dragon Again (2000 Battle Champion) won in 2009 and 2011, joining Jaguar Spur (winner in 1988-89), Peruvian Hanover (winner in 2002-03) and Maltese Artist (winner in 2005 and 2007) as the only four horses to win the Battle of Lake Erie twice. Age does not seem to be slowing Foiled Again. He has paced all of his last three starts under 1:50. Foiled Again is trained by Ronald Burke and has so far garnered 80 career victories and earned $6,313,068. Those earnings make Foiled Again the richest pacer in the history of harness racing. Other millionaire Battle of Lake Erie nominees include: Horse Owner(s) Trainer Bolt The Duer All Star Racing Inc. Peter Foley Clear Vision Burke Racing, Bruscemi, Panhellenic, Koran Ron Burke Heston Blue Chip Kenneth Jacobs Linda Toscano Michael's Power Jeffrey Snyder Casie Coleman Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip and Maltese Artist. An impressive undercard featuring $40,000 divisions of the Ohio Sires Stakes for two and three year-old colt trotters and pacers will support this year's Battle of Lake Erie. In addition, Battle night will also offer guests a sumptuous buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The special Battle of Lake Erie Buffet is just $15.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330/467-4101. Guests who want to be down close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron to sample some of northeast Ohio's most popular food trucks. Live music by Unknown Reason can also be enjoyed on the apron from 5 to 10 pm. First race post time is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Bettor's Edge is not the highest profile pacer in the Ron Burke Stable, but he is holding his own against the best in the sport. It's something he has done pretty much throughout his million-dollar-earning career. The 5-year-old gelding heads into Saturday's $463,300 William R. Haughton Memorial for older pacers at the Meadowlands off a second-place finish in the Ben Franklin Pace on June 28. He finished between stablemates Sweet Lou, who edged him by a neck, and Foiled Again. Sweet Lou and Foiled Again also are entered in the Haughton, as well as Burke-trained Clear Vision. Sweet Lou, who has a five-race win streak, is the 8-5 morning line favorite. Bettor's Edge is fourth choice at 6-1, behind Captaintreacherous (3-1) and State Treasurer (9-2). Foiled Again, who with $6.31 million in career purses is the richest harness racing horse in North American history, starts from the outside in post No. 10 and is 12-1. The Haughton and $776,000 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-old pacers will be shown live starting at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Saturday's card also includes the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial, $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial, $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee, $178,450 Golden Girls, and a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series. Bettor's Edge, who joined the Burke Brigade in November 2013 after a successful stint with trainer Linda Toscano, has won six of 17 races this year, including three divisions of the spring Levy Series, and earned $285,340. "We're high on him," said Mark Weaver, who owns Bettor's Edge with Burke Racing, Mike Bruscemi, and M1 Stable. "In the Franklin, it looked like he was going to get by [Sweet] Lou and beat the best horses around. He's solid. A lot of people that follow him really like him. His lines are better than they look. He's been in against tough horses in tough spots." As a 3-year-old, Bettor's Edge won six of 25 races, including the Monument Circle, and had on-the-board finishes in the Breeders Crown, Tattersalls Pace, Little Brown Jug, Cane Pace, and Progress Pace on his way to $573,797 in season's earnings. "We always liked the horse," Weaver said, adding about Bettor's Edge's foaling year of 2009, "That year, [Sweet] Lou's crop, I love those horses. I don't think people realized how good they were. I think last year they started to realize, with Pet Rock and A Rocknroll Dance and some of the others and the way they raced in the aged pacing division. "We're trying to look at the immediate future as well as down the road. Foiled [Again] can't last forever; [Sweet] Lou eventually will be in the breeding shed. We like to buy horses we think can help fill voids when they happen. We thought he could do that. So far it's worked out. I wouldn't be surprised if he does some bigger and better things." If nothing else, Bettor's Edge has proved to be a durable money-earner. When he starts in the Haughton it will give him at least one race in 14 of the last 15 months. "A lot of these horses, you map out every start," Weaver said. "With him, we've been kind of winging it. He's had 38 starts since he's had a real break. Believe me, he's not getting one soon as well as he's racing. At some point he'll get the break he deserves and maybe he'll come back even better next year." Following is the Haughton field in post order with listed drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 8-1; 2. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 3. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 8-5; 4. State Treasurer, David Miller, Ian Moore, 9-2; 5. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 30-1; 6. Bettor's Edge, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 7. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Pete Foley, 12-1; 8. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 20-1; 9. Clear Vision, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 15-1; 10. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

There was only slight movement in the Harness Racing Top Ten Poll for week 8. Sebastian K once again remains "undefeated" in the Number 1 spot with all 35 top votes. Dancin Yankee did move into the top ten ranking and is in 10th place while Modern Family moved off the list for the first time in weeks and is at number 11. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 8 – 7/8/2014                                                   Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (35) 8th 4-4-0-0 $182,500 350 1 2 Father Patrick 3tc 5-5-0-0 $352,431 266 2 3 Sweet Lou 5ph 8-5-1-1 $411,000 256 3 4 Trixton 3tc 6-5-1-0 $229,712 240 4 5 Perfect Alliance 4tm 12-11-1-0 $177,637 191 5 6 JK Endofanera 3pc 6-5-0-1 $566,667 178 6 7 McWicked 3pc 7-4-2-0 $393,830 85 8 8 Anndrovette 7pm 10-4-1-2 $366,037 77 7 9 Somwherovrarainbow 4pm 10-6-3-1 $355,523 62 9 10 Dancin Yankee 6ph 18-11-3-1 $277,640 53 -- Also: Modern Family (48), Nuncio (23), Market Share (17), Your So Vain (14), He’s Watching (13), Fancy Desire (11), Classic Martine, Foiled Again, Shake It Cerry (9), Uffizi Hanover (5), Designed To Be, State Treasurer (2), Domethatagain, I Like My Boss, Maven, P H Supercam, Tellitlikeitis (1). Compiled by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications

This Week: Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y.; and Hambletonian Maturity, Meadowlands Pace eliminations and Mistletoe Shalee eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit schedule gets underway on Friday afternoon (July 4) at Historic Track with a total of nine Landmark Stakes events for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. On Saturday (July 5), the Meadowlands has the $484,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, a pair of $50,000 Meadowlands Pace eliminations for 3-year-old pacers and a lone $25,000 elimination in the Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries are available at this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was led by the Sun Stakes Saturday card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Sebastian K opened the featured portion of Sun Stakes Saturday with the fastest trotting mile in history and McWicked, Sweet Lou, and Father Patrick followed by putting their names into the record book with stakes victories. Sebastian K won the Sun Invitational for older trotters in 1:49, setting the tone for a fast night of world-record efforts. McWicked captured the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers in 1:47.3, Sweet Lou won the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers in 1:47 and Father Patrick closed the stakes portion of the card with a 1:50.2 triumph in the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters. Fancy Desire won the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers in 1:49.2, which equaled the stakes record. Sweet Lou captured the Ben Franklin Pace by a neck over stablemate Bettor's Edge in a world record time of 1:47. Sweet Lou extended his win streak to five by capturing the Ben Franklin Pace by a neck over stablemate Bettor's Edge in 1:47, which broke the previous world record of 1:47.2 for the fastest ever by a pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Foiled Again was third as trainer Ron Burke swept the top three spots. Father Patrick made a 1:50.2 mile look easy, as he was all alone at the wire to win the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot. The mile was a world record for 3-year-old trotting colts on a five-eighths-mile track and it was one-fifth of a second off the all size world record. Father Patrick was alone at the wire, finishing the mile in front by 2-3/4 lengths. Nuncio was second and Datsyuk third. McWicked was McBest in winning the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial in 1:47.3, a world record for 3-year-old pacing colts on a five-eighths-mile track. At Press Time made a mild rally in the stretch, but it was not enough to get past McWicked, who won by 2-1/4 lengths. At Press Time was second and All Bets Off was third. Fancy Desire and driver George Napolitano Jr. grabbed the lead early and held off Sayitall BB by a head to win the Lynch Memorial in 1:49.2. Uffizi Hanover finished 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 - 390; 2. Tim Tetrick - 364; 3. Ron Pierce - 250; 4. Brian Sears - 170; 5. George Brennan - 164.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 628.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 285; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Joe Holloway - 137; 5. Julie Miller - 110. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 2. Burke Racing - 145.75; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 134.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 82; 5. Father Patrick Stable - 50. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at the Meadowlands, Mohawk Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Yonkers Raceway. Action begins on Friday at the Meadowlands with the third leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares and at Mohawk with eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for older open class trotters. The power-packed Saturday card at the Meadowlands features the Meadowlands Pace final for 3-year-olds, the William Haughton Memorial for free for all pacers, the Mistletoe Shalee final for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Stanley Dancer for 3-year-old male trotters, the Delvin Miller for 3-year-old filly trotters, the Golden Girls for open pacing mares, and a leg of the TVG Series for open trotters. Also holding Grand Circuit Stakes on Saturday will be Balmoral Park (Hanover events for 3-year-old colt pacers and 3-year-old filly pacers) and Yonkers Raceway (Sheppard eliminations for freshman pacers). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Goshen, NY -- Harness racing enthusiasts have been envisioning sub-1:50 trotting miles for a long time. Prognosticators are somewhat relieved that Sebastian K has finally eclipsed the previously held record by trotting in 1:49 last Saturday night over Pocono Downs' three-turn, five-eighths-mile track.   Immediately following this "monsters" 1:50.1 US debut on May 10, many suggested it was not a question of "if" the Swedish-bred superhorse would break the lofty barrier, but a matter of "when." No one, other than the competition, has been disappointed as Ãke Svanstedt has managed the horse perfectly since crossing the pond. With the help of Bernie Noren and staff, they look to make the Svanstedt Stable a household name in the states, as it is in their native Sweden.   Some have also suggested that the previous plateau-breaking record of 1:49.3 set at Colonial Downs should have an asterisk, as the Virginia oval is a one-turn track. Standardbreds racing over that 1¼-mile track, start from a chute on the backstretch and travel an entire half mile before they enter a turn. The fact that Colonial is the only pari-mutuel track in the United States that still has a hub rail is another anomaly.   Also, Colonial's 11/4 mile track is second only to Belmont in length, which is very telling about the propensity for horses to make speed over this oval. Nonetheless, for Harness Racing aficionados, Pocono Downs is still light years ahead. The last two Saturday nights provided the two fastest race cards in the history of the Standardbred.   Although all eyes were on Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley for Sun Stakes Saturday and the nearly $2.3 million in purses, 18 different US tracks had racing on Friday and Saturday nights. With the Friday night debut of 2-year-olds in New Jersey Sire Stakes competition at the Meadowlands, I found myself surrounded by fans on the apron. However, not all of them had their eyes fixed upon the racetrack.   $7,500 in total prize money was plenty of incentive to attract a couple dozen beautiful women to the Meadowlands for the annual Ms. Hot to Trot contest. Of course, to go along with all those perfectly proportioned gals in string bikinis was several hundred very inquisitive men of all shapes and sizes. Several M1 staffers got the call to perform the duty of judging these bevvy of babes, including Nick Salvi who may have been the most experienced of the panelists. Justin Horowitz, AKA M.C. J-Ho, provided the ladies with thought-provoking questions to ensure that the contestants had beautiful minds to go along with their ample tangible assets.   Even Yonkers Raceway's "The Manager" made a special appearance. More than likely it was to cheer for Brian Sears in the early sire stakes events. Taking the subway from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to Port Authority, and then a bus to the Big M, he arrived early and was doing his iconic dance before each race. His plan was to catch the Route 120 bus after the third and be back to Yonkers by the eighth. Now that is dedication!   In between sessions of judging hotties, some great harness racing took place, with the babies having graduated from breakfast to supper time. Eddie Hart's Cam's Card Shark colt, Dealt A Winner, is now the fastest 2-year-old pacer in the country following a 1:52.4 romp with David Miller at the controls. The Jeffrey Snyner-owned, Hanover-bred lad was a $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase who looks every bit the bargain at this stage.   Wishing Stone, the double-duty sire/racehorse removed any doubt that his particular style of breeding and breezing suits him. Going off at 10-1, the betting public was clearly not anticipating this kind of opening-night performance as the 7-year-old son of Conway Hall cruised wire-to-wire from post 10. Yannick Gingras drove the $2.23 million earner like he was the best in a 1:52.4 rout for the powerful Ron Burke stable.   And when it comes to vintage horse power, Burke Racing may have cornered the market!   Sweet Lou, Bettor's Edge and Foiled Again finished 1-2-3 in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday night. 5-year-old Sweet Lou's 1:47f performance was the fastest pacing mile ever on a 5/8-mile track and only a fifth off the mile-track mark. This was the most exciting horse race of the night, as Sweet Lou appeared headed by stable mate Bettor's Edge down the stretch. Dead game, he fought back like a champion and regained the lead in a mere two steps before the wire. Captaintreacherous finished fifth in that event. Leaving from post 8 he had a rough voyage, parked nearly every step of the way and still paced in 1:47.3.   Overall, the Sun Stakes card produced 5 world records and 11 horses set new lifetime marks. Needless to say, the awesome display of horsepower in a span of a just few hours was breathtaking. A horse that we are sure to hear a lot more about is the McArdle colt, McWicked. Trained by Casie Coleman and driven by David Miller, he set a new world mark for 3YO pacers in 1:47.3f and looks to start the "Jug three-peat" dialog.   Max J. Hempt and his wife Amy were on hand to present the Max C. Hempt trophy to the winning connections. A product of the "Keystone" legacy, Max C. runs the family's PA state-wide construction business, is an aspiring pilot, and was recently elected to the Vice President's post of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. One would be hard-pressed to meet nicer people in all of racing.   Although winning the Beal proclaimed Father Patrick as the evening's shining star of the Hambo hopefuls, it seems that his shed row disciples will be in close proximity. Perhaps Jimmy Takter has cornered the market on 3YO trotting colts this year as Trixton and Nuncio (who was second) both seem equally capable of sipping from the Hambletonian challis. Despite el Padre' lowering his seasonal mark by a full two and half seconds to 1:50.2f, it appears that the 'anointed one' has been blessed with enough speed to break the 1:50 barrier at three!   Ready to take on Godzilla himself, Sebastian K had the crowd buzzing all night following his track crushing performance. Now the talk is how fast he may trot on a hot Hambo day at The Meadowlands. Regardless of what transpires in racing between now and then, it will most likely captivate the trotting conversation until the first Saturday in August.   Speaking of New Jersey, Sunday's trek down the NE ext. of the PA pike brought this scribe to Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge for an open house featuring veterinary clinic tours with Dr. Patti Hogan, and another Svanstedt stable favorite, White Bliss. The rare 'white colt' returned to his place of foaling to dash around his paddock, much to the delight of onlookers young and old. It was a fun afternoon under clear blue skies that made the industry proud.   The festivities began with several local leaders addressing the crowd about their intentions to promote and garner support for New Jersey agriculture and the horse business. Assemblyman Ron Dancer has worked tirelessly for years to ensure that Trenton pays attention to harness racing. He plans on putting forth a resolution to bolster agricultural education in the Garden State through the Future Farmers of America.   Former mayor of Millstone Township, Nancy Grgelja, owned no horses when she originally took the oath of office. Subsequently she caught the bug, and ten years later she has had 10 Standardbreds, several of which are still racing. Lillian Burry, whose resume reads like a lady who never stops moving, is now the director of the Monmouth County Freeholders. Of course the always active Dr. Karen Malinowski of the Rutgers Equine Science Center helped coordinate the day's events, along with the gracious hosting of Mark Mullen.   With construction on the NJ Turnpike around exit 8, and Jersey shore traffic reaching epic proportions, it was my intention to complete the final leg of my 539 mile journey and make it back to the Catskills before nightfall.   by Chris Tully for Harnesslink.com

Pocono Downs racetrack outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania lived up to its reputation as the world’s fastest five-eighths mile harness racing track as five world records were set Saturday during their $2 million Sun Stakes. Early on the evening the trotter Sebastian K set up the string of world record performances with his all age trotting mark at a one mile distance in 1:49 and that paved the way for three more world marks to be set. The second most impressive mile was Father Patrick in winning the $500,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial for three-year-old trotting colts. Leaving from post eight, driver Yannick Gingras was parked out early on by stablemate Nuncio (John Campbell), who had beaten out Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) for control of the early lead to the opening quarter mile in a smart :27.1. Gingras took his time and got Father Patrick to the lead before the half mile marker in :56 and then just let his trotter roll. Past the three-quarters in 1:23, Father Patrick began to open up on the field. As they came down the stretch, Father Patrick was at ease as Gingras just line drove him home, but the teletimer said different as the one mile was clocking in an amazing 1:50.2. Nuncio was second with Datsyuk third. His time established Father Patrick as the fastest three-year-old trotter ever on a five-eighths mile track, surpassing Googoo Gaagaa’s 1:50.4 mark in 2012, also set at Pocono Downs. “I was very happy with both my horses,” said trainer Jimmy Takter, who also trains Nuncio. “Like I have been saying, Father Patrick is a very unique horse. We compare him with other horses and I have trained a lot of great horses but this is the best horse I have ever developed. This horse trotter here tonight in 1:50.2. I know this track is fantastic but Yannick he just sat with him and never asked him and he still had his plugs (ear) in him. He was sitting on a good second at least.” Now undefeated in five starts this year and with 15 wins in 16 lifetime starts (his only loss came last year to Nuncio), Father Patrick is sired by Cantab Hall and is owned by the Father Patrick Syndicate of East Windsor, NJ. With his victory he has surpassed the $1 million mark in career earnings at 1,097,288. The $500,000 final of the Max Hempt Memorial for three-year-old pacing colts saw McWicked and driver David Miller beat the world mark for his age and gait with a 1:47.3 victory. The son of McArtle took the early lead away from At Press Time (Yannick Gingras) and never looked back, cruising to the wire in winning by two and one-quarter lengths over At Press Time and All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley), who had tried to go first-over in the race. His time of 1:47.3 surpassed the world record on a five-eighths mile track that was set last year by Sunshine Beach at Pocono Downs in defeating two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous. “He was just awesome,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “I usually like him out of a hole but he can race on the front end. I saw Dave (Miller) tuck his whip away in the stretch so I was pretty happy.” “You know, he felt pretty good down the backstretch and around the final turn,” David Miller said. “He is just unbelievable. I had a lot of confidence in him. I didn’t want to be the last one out of the gate and it worked out pretty well.” Owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY, it was McWicked’s fourth win in seven starts this year. He paid $3.00 to win as the betting favorite. Doo Wop Hanover and driver Corey Callahan swept three-wide in the backstretch from last place and despite being parked out three-wide the entire final turn, was able to close with a burst of speed to win the $75,000 Max Hempt Memorial Consolation Pace for three-year-olds colts. Mattamerica (George Napolitano, Jr.) took the early lead away from Kingofthejungle (Brett Miller) and he set super-fast fractions. Some Playa (Brian Sears) had come first-over to no avail as it was Doo Wop Hanover come on to win by a half length in 1:49. Mattamerican held for second with Kingofthejungle third. It was the third win in six starts this year for Doo Wop Hanover. The son of Rocknroll Hanover is trained by Steve Eliott and it was a lifetime mark for the bay colt who paid $7.00 to win. He is owned by Peter Blood, Rick Berks and Gary Piontkowski. A real slugfest was expected in the $500,000 final of the Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace for older horses and fans were treated by just that. Sweet Lou, the Dan Patch award winning 2011 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year has not been living up to expectations until the last two months and tonight he showed he is the best in the business this year. Driven by Ron Pierce, Sweet Lou was not only able to come on the outside and take away the lead from stablemate Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) after a :25.2 opening quarter mile, but then held him off in a dramatic stretch drive to win by a neck in 1:47, setting a world record in the process. Another stablemate from the Ron Burke Stable, Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) was third. Captaintreacherous could do nothing with a third-over trip and was fifth. His time surpassed the world mark on a five-eighths mile track that was co-held in 1:47.2 by both Pet Rock (2013) and Dancin Yankee earlier this year. It was a lifetime mark for Sweet Lou. “I let him (Bettor’s Edge) come up to me,” said driver Ron Pierce, “and then I chased after my horse. We were never passed. He just dug in a little bit more. I felt by far he was the best horse in the race. I just had to drive him right. The only way he was going to get beat tonight is if I messed up.” A winner in his last five starts, Sweet Lou is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by The Brurke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Peter Collura. The five-year-old stallion by Yankee Cruise paid $3.20 to win. The only big final that did not set a world record was the $300,000 finale of the James Lynch Memorial for three-year-old pacing fillies. Repeating the same effort as last week, Fancy Desire and driver George Napolitano, Jr. were parked out to the opening quarter mile in :26.1 by Sayitall BB (Yannick Gingras) but once she got to the lead, Fancy Desire would not be passed again. Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell) was parked out from the start and started to come after Fancy Desire as they sped to the half in :55.3 and the three-quarters in 1:22.2 but she then began to fade. Then coming down the stretch, Napolitano went to work on Fancy Desire as Sayitall BB came right after them, neck and neck to the wire but Fancy Desire held tough to the finish to win by a head in 1:49.2. Uffizi Hanover (David Miller) was third. “I knew it was going to be a tough race,” Napolitano said. “Once I got to the front I knew Yannick was right behind me and that he had a pretty nice horse. I knew it would be a horse race to the wire. I was really confident coming into the race. She loves her work.” Sired by Real Desire, it was the second straight win and fourth victory of the year for Fancy Desire, who is owned by Robert DiNozzi of Ossining,NY. She paid $5.20 to win. Tyra and driver Tim Tetrick were able to make the most of a two-hole trip behind race favorite Someisleandsomwhere and then pull away in the stretch to win the $50,000 James Lynch Memorial Consolation race for three-year-old pacing fillies. Tyra had shot out to the early lead but a quarter move by Someislesomwhere (David Miller) gave Tyra the perfect two-hole. She moved out of the pocket at the top of the stretch and blasted away from the field to win by three open lengths in a lifetime best 1:50.1. It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) was second with Someislandsomwhere third. Trained by Jim King, Jr. Tyra is sired by McArtle and is owned by CC Racing, LLC. Of Molcena, IL. She paid $6.20 to win and it was her third win in seven starts this year. Sun Stakes Saturday got off to an early fast start at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as 4-year-old trotting gelding Wind Of The North stormed to a 1:51 victory in the second half of the Daily Double, a $21,000 trot. Driver David Miller, to be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame next weekend, left swiftly with the altered son of Cantab Hall to hit the quarter in 26.2, then yielded to Daylon Magician, who got the field to the half in 55.1. Going to the ¾ Daylon Magician made a break and went to the infield, giving Wind Of The North clear sailing and inside positioning to the 1:23.1 ¾, and Wind Of The North stormed home in 27.4 to finish the record mile, which shaded the former standard of Indian Summer, set here 51 weekends ago, by a tick. Clifton Green of Pennsylvania is the trainer/lessee of Wind Of The North, who lowered his personal best by almost three seconds, from 1:53.4. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Uffizi Hanover won the biggest race of her career so far at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, the 2013 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers, after losing the previous week. Last weekend, Uffizi Hanover finished second to Cinamony in her elimination for Saturday's $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. The filly started from post seven and raced to the front in a :54.4 opening half-mile before losing the lead in the stretch. This weekend, she starts from post No. 1 with driver David Miller at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Horses from post one have a 14.5 win percentage at Pocono Downs, compared to 7.6 percent from post seven. Prior to last weekend's elimination, Uffizi Hanover led at the halfway point in just one of her previous 15 career starts. She also finished second in that race. "I think she will be better this week," Miller said. "She had the outside last week and I decided to leave with her and she got used a little bit early. That's really not her style. "This week, if I can get away close I think I'll be in good shape. She surprises us all the time." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, and the $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Uffizi Hanover has won four of 16 lifetime starts and earned $594,500 for owners Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband. She entered her Lynch elim off a victory in the Fan Hanover Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack on June 14. Fancy Desire and Weeper, who won the other two Lynch eliminations, are 3-1 and 4-1, respectively in the final. Fancy Desire drew post four and Weeper got post eight. Cinamony will leave from post six and is 6-1. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

It’s another great weekend of super star racing at Pocono Downs. Four major stakes finals, two $100,000 Invitations plus two big purse consolation races. Let’s just hope the weather is perfect like last week. So the majority of the handicapping this weekend is all at Pocono Downs. We also go to the Meadowlands on Friday night for their $22,500 overnight trot, seems that it’s the debut of world champion Wishing Stone and the debut of $1 million winner last year, Spider Blue Chip and the return of Mistery Woman, the lone mare in the field against nine male rivals. It’s not everyday you have such top quality horses racing in an overnight event AND also in the field are top notch trotters Undercover Strike, Yonkers Trot winner Deweycolorinthelines Il Mago and more. Good Luck! $22,500 Trot B-2/B-1/A-2 Handicap The Meadowlands 6th race FRIDAY – Excellent overnight race with real top class trotters. I think Spider Blue Chip should be in prime shape to cut loose in his debut for trainer Chuck Sylvester and pay a price. He was so good, ten wins last year, going against some very good trotters. Use Mistery Woman and Wishing Stone in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace James Lynch 3Y0 Filly Consolation Pocono Downs 5th race SATURDAY – Despite finishing fourth last week to Weeper in her big mile, Someislandsomewhere looks to stand out again this field. Two starts back she was on a three-race winning streak and now looks ready to win again. Use Tyra and Allstar Rating in exotic plays. $75,000 Pace Max Hempt 3Y0 Colt Consolation Pocono Downs 6th race SATURDAY – Another foal of Somebeachsomewhere heads this consolation race. Somestartsomewhere has not returned to form of last year but now draws into a race where he should be able to dominate like he did back in May when he won a PASS division. He should be primed to dominate in here. Use Some Playa and Doo Wop Hanover in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace Invitational Pocono Downs 7th race SATURDAY – Well matched field here will provide plenty of racing action. I think Dancin Yankee, even for new barn and driver, can lay over this field despite outside post having won four of his last five starts. Use Clear Vision and Meirs Hanover in exotic plays. $100,000 Trot Invitational Pocono Downs 8th race SATURDAY – After last week amazing performance I am convinced that Sebastian K is the second coming of Greyhound. Have not seen a horse with such fire and desire to win he seems to be daring the others to even consider coming after him. Despite being handicapped with post seven, the “Barefoot Wonder” should rewrite Market Share’s world record on a five-eighths mile oval of 1:50.2. Use Modern Family and Market Share in exotic plays. $300,000 Pace James Lynch 3YO Filly Final Pocono Downs 9th race SATURDAY – Although beaten last week as betting favorite, I look for Uffizi Hanover to come back stronger today from the rail. She is the class of the field and does her best racing from off the pace, which she will have to come from in this strong final. Use Weeper and Fancy Desire in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Max Hempt 3YO Colt Final Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – They will be flying in this final as everyone wants the winners share of the rich purse. I see McWicked making his big move after the opening quarter like he did last week and rolling on the rest of the mile. Use All Bets Off and At Press Time in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Ben Franklin Final FFA Pocono Downs 11th race SATURDAY – Beaten by the passing lane last week, I know that Captaintreacherous will come back with a vengeance in here despite having to start from post eight. Figure on him leaving and then getting two-hole trip behind Sweet Lou, which will make for a classic matchup in here. Use Sweet Lou and Foiled Again in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Earl Beal, Jr. 3YO Colt Final Pocono Downs 12th race SATURDAY – This is will be a great showdown between Jimmy Takter’s two top trotters. I have to give the edge to Father Patrick despite his outside post as he is the reigning champion and undefeated this season just as his stablemate Nuncio. Only difference is that Father Patrick has yet to be really tested, which could be tonight and when pushed he should score with ease. Use Nuncio and Datsyuk in exotic plays. 

1 to 16 of 116
1 2 3 4 5 Next »