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An overall increase in handle (total money wagered) and seven track record performances marked a successful 2014 season at Tioga Downs, which concluded on Saturday, September 13.   Overall handle on the 61-day meet was considerably improved in comparison to the 2013 season, with all-sources handle showing a 5.4% increase. This increase was largely due to a more involved simulcast audience, whose handle was 13.4% higher than in the previous season.   "We thank our customers and horsemen for their support of our 2014 racing season," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "We are proud of the great competitive racing on our 5/8 mile track, and that it continues to be well received across the North American harness racing audience."   With respect to the record books, four-year-old distaff trotter Charmed Life and driver Jody Jamieson established a new overall record for trotters on New York State's only 5/8-mile track, winning their Miss Versatility preliminary in 1:52.2 as part of the Cane Pace undercard on Monday, September 1.   Trotting geldings Datsyuk (three-year-old, Charlie Norris), Obrigado (four-year-old, Aaron Byron), and Traverse Seelster (older, Brandon Simpson) also turned in track-record performances through the season, scoring in 1:53.1, 1:52.3, and 1:52.4 respectively. Two-year-old trotting filly Jolene Jolene (David Miller) equalled You Want Me's mark of 1:55.2 as well, completing the quintet of record established on the trotting side of the ledger.   Additionally, a pair of pacers entered the Tioga record books, with Sweet Lou's 1:48.3 triumph in the Roll With Joe on Sunday, June 1 (Ron Pierce aboard) equalling Shark Gesture's past mark for older pacing entires. Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill, Jr.) set a new record outright for two-year-old pacing fillies, proving victorious in 1:52.1.   Jim Marohn, Jr. claimed his third consecutive driving title with 91 wins on the meet, 13 more than runner-up Aaron Byron. Top training honors went to Mike Deters, who took his second training title and first outright with 33 wins. Normand Fluet and Gail Wrubel finished in a dead heat for second with 20 wins apiece.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Repelling a late challenge from Spice It Up Lindy, Twin B Spike Man ($3.10) proved a gutsy 1:54.4 winner in Saturday (August 30) evening's $15,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs, giving Mike Simons one of his four driving wins on the evening.   The seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding wasted no time achieving the lead, brushing clear of Spice It Up Lindy (Jim Meittinis) after a soft :29.2 first quarter and immediately accelerating through a :57 middle half. Now with Spice It Up Lindy in a tracking position, Twin B Spike Man entered the far turn with a 1-1/2 length advantage. Despite a late challenge in the final yards, Twin B Spike Man held sway for a one-length victory. Stitch in Time (Jim Taggart, Jr.) tracked the top pair the entire mile, checking in a non-threatening third.   Donald Eccleston and Albert Abdala, III co-own Twin B Spike Man with Simons. Gail Wrubel handles the training duties.   Simons was victorious on three other occasions through the evening, teaming up with Brookside Lily ($37.60, 1:58.2), Rock Star ($3.10, 1:53.2), and Current Image ($7.90, 1:58.2) to complete his grand slam.   Live racing returns on Monday (September 1) afternoon, with the 11-race card set for a 1:30 p.m. EDT start. The blockbuster Labor Day program features the 60th Cane Pace, the Shady Daisy, a preliminary Miss Versatility event, and the second half of the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs 

Sustaining a first-over push to wear down odds-on favorite Money On My Mind, Twin B Spike Man ($30.20) proved an upset winner in Saturday (August 16) evening's $15,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs.   As expected, Jim Marohn, Jr. sent 1-5 favorite Money On My Mind to the fore, controlling a :56.4 first half mile before facing pressure into the far turn. After reaching three-quarters in 1:25.2, Money On My Mind found himself bracing for the oncoming onslaught of the first-over Twin B Spike Man, who pushed to the fore at head-stretch. With the favorite fading at the pegs, Twin B Spike Man was left to contend with a chasing Spice It Up Lindy (Jim Meittinis) in the final yards, holding sway for a half-length victory in 1:54.2. Stitch in Time (Brandon Simpson) stayed on well for third off a pocket trip.   Co-owner Mike Simons drove the seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding for trainer Gail Wrubel. Donald Eccleston and Albert Abdala, III also share ownership of Twin B Spike Man. The win was one of three on the night for Simons, who also teamed up with Highland Yankee (1:56.3) and Magglio (1:56.3).   Racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (August 17) afternoon, with non-wagering Tompkins-Geers action scheduled for 1:10 p.m. EDT. The eleven-race pari-mutuel card kicks off at 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Well Built looks to bounce back from going off stride in the Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold on April 26 when he faces 10 rivals in Friday's $51,543 John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Part of a Chris Ryder-trained entry with Walk The Walk, Well Built is 7-2 on the morning line and will start from post No. 1 with driver John Campbell. The field also includes, in post order, Sarcastic Man, It Really Matters, Lukas Hall, Deweykeepumnwhy, Keystone Wasabi, Who Wants Soup, Hot Type, Flyhawk El Durado, Trixton, and (from the second tier) Walk The Walk. Trixton is the 5-2 morning line favorite from post 10. Last year, Well Built won a division of the Simpson and his elimination for the Matron Stakes. He is a son of stallion Muscle Hill, who was the 2009 Horse of the Year, and his dam is Working Girl, who is a half-sister to stakes-winner Poster Pin Up. "He got jammed up in the Dexter," said Ryder, who owns Well Built with Robert Mondillo. "I was mortified about that. But he's fine; he's training fine. "I like the horse. He's got good speed. He doesn't usually make a break. I'm not going to say he's reliable - he was just unreliable - but he shouldn't have made a break. He had a horse alongside him and got a little anxious." Walk The Walk, owned by Ryder, Mondillo, Sidney Korn and Max Wernick, was unraced as a 2-year-old. The son of Muscle Hill-Letsjustalkaboutme has won two of four starts and $13,500 this season. "He's coming out of weaker company, but I like him," Ryder said. "He just didn't make it last year. He was ouchy last year, a big growthy horse. But here he is. I like the horse. He's alright. He might be a little understaked for what I think he might be, but we'll see. He's still immature. He'll be a good 4-year-old, I think." Ryder's Odds On Amethyst, owned by Diamond Creek Racing, is not eligible to the Simpson and is preparing for the start of the New Jersey Sire Stakes on May 16 at the Meadowlands. The gelding is a son of Muscle Hill out of the standout mare Mystical Sunshine, who was trained by Ryder during her racing career. "I'm really looking at the Hambletonian with that horse," Ryder said about stakes-winning Odds On Amethyst, who made his 2014 debut on May 2 by winning in 1:53.2. "I'm not going to say he's a top one, but he's got a shot. I think he's going to improve on his (1):53. I know he's going to have to, but I think he will. If he gets much better he's right there. "He's been a bit of a problem child. He's his own worst enemy," Ryder added. "The last two or three weeks he's improved. He's starting to realize he's a racehorse." Trixton, the Simpson favorite, finished second to Odds On Amethyst on May 2, also in his seasonal debut. Trixton is a son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994. Trixton's family also includes past stars Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall. Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf, was the New York Sire Stakes champion last season and also captured a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. He finished third in the May 2 race that included Odds On Amethyst and Trixton. Sarcastic Man, bred and owned by Bob Key, won the Dexter Cup elimination on April 26 at Freehold Raceway. He finished fifth in the final after getting stuck outside for the entire mile from post eight. Ron Pierce will drive for trainer Gail Wrubel. Sarcastic Man is 4-1. Lukas Hall is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural and former New York Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet. His second dam is stakes-winner Mars Bar, who is a half-sister to Dan Patch Award winner Pizza Dolce. Trained by Kevin McDermott, he won twice on the New York Sire Stakes circuit last season. Keystone Wasabi, owned by Peter Gerry's Kitefield Stable, last year won a Landmark Stakes for trainer Janice Connor and won twice on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit. * * * Dexter Cup winner Sumatra will get the weekend off and then head to the New Jersey Sire Stakes. "It's early in the year and I just thought we'd point him toward the sire stakes," trainer Tom Fanning said. "Really, the Simpson was going to be my starting point with him, but when he was ready early, we put him in the Dexter; I thought that was a good start. He did well and we just want to keep him fresh and be good all year. "We're just looking long term." Sumatra fits a similar profile as Possessed Fashion, a now 4-year-old trotter for the Fanning Stable and owned by Joseph Smith, as is Sumatra. Possessed Fashion was an $87,000 purchase late in his 2-year-old season who made $230,780 as a 3-year-old. Fanning cited the success of keeping that horse calm and relaxed by frequent turnout with another gelding from his stable. He's not quite ready to try that strategy with Sumatra, who has won six of 13 races and $169,095 lifetime. "We just gelded (Sumatra) in December and he's really still kind of a tough guy," Fanning said. "He's not quite as ready to get along with others yet." He then laughed and joked, "If I could have a nice, big Belgian draft horse that could just put a thumping on him one day, then he'd be OK after that. That's what he needs." * * * Rockingcam Park is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Friday's Reynolds Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers at the Meadowlands. She starts from post No. 6 for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick. Starting inside of Rockingcam Park will be, from post one, McVita Bella, Blixtra, A La Notte Hanover, Gettingreadytoroll, and Fanticipation. To her outside are I Need Hotstuff, JK Molly, and Table Talk. Rockingcam Park won last week's four-horse Simpson Stakes, beating Ken Doll J by a nose in 1:53.2. It was her first start of 2014 after winning three of 10 races and $67,378 last year. "That was a nice win," Coyne said. "Last year was kind of a mixed bag. It's nice when you have a filly that you have a lot of hopes for, but she found herself in some unlucky spots and things didn't turn out the way we dreamed." Rockingcam Park finished second to Precocious Beauty in a division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and was second in a division of the Reynolds. She went off stride in the She's A Great Lady Stakes and drew post nine in the Breeders Crown, where she finished seventh. She also made a break in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. "She's got big ability and a lot of upside," Coyne said. "She's a nervous filly, but if she gets herself where she's squared away, she has a lot of talent. A lot of it is just mental maturity." The filly is owned by Rockingcam Park Stable, Blair Corbeil, Erna Corbeil, and J&T Silva Stables. She is a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, the 2005 Horse of the Year, out of the Camluck-sired mare Cameron D Art. She is a full sister to recent Clyde Hirt Series winner Avatartist. Her family also includes 2005 She's A Great Lady Stakes winner Little Miss K. "Blair has a passion for Camluck broodmares," Coyne said. "That's the reason we looked at her. She was nice sized and stood correct; I couldn't fault her. We liked what we saw and took a shot." * * * The $33,516 Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters attracted a field of three horses and will be contested as a non-wagering event at 6:50 p.m. Friday at the Meadowlands. Annies List makes her 2014 debut, racing this season out of the stable of trainer Amber Buter after spending last year with Julie Miller. Annies List, who starts from post two, was purchased for $2,500 as a yearling and earned $92,969 for then-owner Andy Miller Stable. She is now owned by Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter. In 2013, Annies List won four of nine starts, including the $50,000 Fall Harvest for 2-year-old filly trotters at Yonkers Raceway and two legs of the New York Sire Stakes. Sweetie Hearts, owned by Bob Key, starts from post one for trainer Paul Reid. Sweetie Hearts, a homebred daughter of Angus Hall-Sweetheart K, has won four of 11 races and $56,505 in her career. Her family includes Key's 1993 Hambletonian winner American Winner. Thisgirlisonfire leaves from post three with driver/co-owner Jeff Gregory at the lines for trainer Linda Toscano. Gregory owns the filly with William Richardson. A daughter of Angus Hall-Back On Track, she will be looking for her first career win in her 10th start. She finished second in a division of the Reynolds last year. By Ken Weingartner and Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications/USTA

When harness racing owner Bob Key was informed that Sarcastic Man drew post No. 8 for Saturday's $115,370 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old trotters at Freehold Raceway, a starting spot from which horses have won just 3.4 percent of 378 races at the half-mile oval, his reaction was as expected. "That's what you can call bad luck," Key said, laughing. Yet Key can look back through his own history in racing to find a reason for hope. In 1993, Key's American Winner started the Dexter Cup from post eight at Freehold and pulled out a neck win over Armbro Lexicon at odds of 51-1. American Winner went onto capture the million-dollar Hambletonian Stakes less than three months later. American Winner was driven by Ron Pierce. Sarcastic Man, who last weekend won the Dexter Cup elimination, will have Pierce in the sulky on Saturday. "Let's see if we can repeat it," Key said. "I like the way Ron is driving this horse, but he's going to have a tough time from (post eight). He's going to have to be Superman to win from there. "I just want to see him get a chance," he added. "I don't mind being first over and coming in last." Sarcastic Man, trained by Gail Wrubel, was bred by Key. The colt is a son of stallion Tom Ridge out of Key's mare Sass Away K. He has won three of 12 races this year and $46,926. He won the Dexter elim, from post seven, by 1-1/4 lengths over King City in 1:59.2. The Dexter Cup is the first major stakes test on the road to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. If Sarcastic Man competes in the Hambletonian, he would be something of an oddity because of the number of starts he has made already. Last year, no horse entered the Hambletonian with more than 11 starts during his 3-year-old season; winner Royalty For Life entered with five. "Everyone now wants to point to the big race, but my attitude is that if a horse is ready, race him," Key said. "You never know what is going to happen (in the future)." Sarcastic Man is not Key's only Hambletonian hopeful. Key likes Skates N Plates, who last year won a division of the Simpson Stakes and finished second to Nuncio in the Matron Stakes, as well as Mister B's Way, who was unraced last year because of a fracture but qualified in 1:55.3 on April 15 at Spring Garden Ranch. Mister B's Way is a full brother to Key's female trotting star Win Missy B and half-brother to millionaire Winning Mister. "It would be unusual for a horse that never raced at (age) 2 to have a chance in the Hambo, but with his breeding I think we have a shot at it," Key said. As for now, though, Key is focused on Sarcastic Man. "I think we could have some fun with him this year," Key said. "He's a nice colt; I like him. It's going to be an interesting year." Following is the field in post order for the Dexter Cup, with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Sumatra, Brian Sears, Tom Fanning; 2. Derby, Jordan Stratton, Ray Schnittker; 3. Donato's Wish, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 4. King City, George Brennan, Jonas Czernyson; 5. Sheer Action, Jeff Gregory, Ray Schnittker; 6. Dave Briggs, Johnny Takter, Jimmy Takter; 7. Consumer Rate, Daniel Dube, Rob Harmon; 8. Sarcastic Man, Ron Pierce, Gail Wrubel. Hambletonian eligible: Sumatra, King City, Dave Briggs, Sarcastic Man. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications  

An early dogfight between Sheer Action and Sumatra proved to be a major benefit for Sarcastic Man as he pulled up an upset victory at odds of 12-1 in capturing the $38,460 Dexter Cup Trot elimination at Freehold Raceway Saturday. The first harness racing Grand Circuit test for three-year-old colts saw nine starters go to post to eliminate just one horse from next week’s final. And right from the start you knew the winner was going to pay a price as the even money favorite, Well Built, was off-stride right at the start. The action was fast and furious early on as Sumatra (Brian Sears) went to the early lead but was immediately challenged on the outside by Sheer Action (Jeff Gregory) and those two went head and head to the opening quarter mile in :29.3. Sarcastic Man, driven by Ron Pierce, had left from post seven and tucked away in fourth position and King City (David Miller) was in the garden spot behind Sumatra. To the half mile in :59.3,  Sheer Action continued to race first-over against Sumatra and eventually cleared to the lead in the backstretch and held the lead at the three-quarter mile marker in 1:59.2 as Pierce came first-over with Sarcastic Man with King City following them second-over. Then as they came down the stretch, Sheer Action faded as Sarcastic Man had the race in hand and went on to win by one and one-quarter lengths with King City second and Sumatra third. Everyone in the race except for Well Built returns for the $115,370 final next Saturday. For Sarcastic Man, a homebred son of Tom Ridge, it was his third win this year after twelve starts for trainer Gail Wrubel and owner/breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. His time of 1:59.2 was a lifetime mark. Sarcastic Man paid $26.40 to win. By Steve Wolf, for harnesslink.com

Trainer Tom Fanning and owner Joe Smith did pretty well for themselves when they bought then-2-year-old trotter Possessed Fashion at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale and hope the same game plan produces winning results this year with Sumatra. Sumatra was purchased at the 2013 mixed sale in Harrisburg for $100,000 out of the stable of trainer Julie Miller. Last season, he won five of 11 starts - including the Standardbred Stakes and divisions of the Historic-Harriman Cup and Arden Downs - and earned $108,334. On Saturday, the colt trotter makes his debut for the Fanning Stable when he races in the $38,460 elimination for the Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway. The $115,370 Dexter Cup final, the first major stakes test on the road to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, is May 3. The top eight finishers from Saturday's nine-horse elimination advance to the Dexter Cup final. Sumatra, with Brian Sears listed to drive, will start the elim from post No. 3 and is 7-2 on the morning line. Well Built, from the stable of trainer Chris Ryder, is the 5-2 choice from post two with driver John Campbell. "We were looking for another trotter and we felt he was the best one," Fanning said about buying Sumatra. "I saw him every day here at Gaitway (Farm training center); I had watched him and watched him race and saw him a lot in the mornings. We put a price on him and we got him for what we expected." Possessed Fashion, who was purchased for $82,000 in 2012, has won four of 23 races and $243,030 since joining Fanning's stable. He has earned a check 21 times, including last year in the Matron Stakes, Beal Memorial and his elimination of the Hambletonian. "We had Possessed Fashion the year before; a similar situation, (age) 2 turning 3, and he worked out well," Fanning said. "We've had some luck buying 2-year-olds out of that sale." Sumatra prepped for the Dexter elim by winning two qualifiers at the Meadowlands, the most recent in 1:55 on April 12. "He didn't really impress me until his last qualifier," Fanning said. "He's not a particularly smooth-going horse; he's not a particularly good trainer. He gets a little hot and can be kind of a pain in the neck to be around. But in the race, he trots and he's focused. "His last qualifier he really showed some good speed. He really looked like he was going in the right direction." Andy Miller, who co-owned Sumatra prior to his sale, drove the colt in his qualifiers but was injured April 15 in an accident at Yonkers Raceway and is expected to be sidelined for six months. "That was kind of deflating because I really thought we were a good team; Andy, myself and the horse," Fanning said. "We look forward to seeing Andy back." Sumatra, a son of stallion Muscles Yankee out of the mare Lola Seelster, will have a full stakes schedule ahead of him. Following the Dexter, his slate is expected to include the Simpson Stakes at the Meadowlands, New Jersey Sire Stakes, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Stanley Dancer Memorial, and Hambletonian. He also is eligible to the Breeders Crown and Matron. "I think he's going to be a big-track horse, so I'm looking forward to the Meadowlands races," Fanning said. "The (available purse) money is good. I think if you're smart where you place your horse and manage him right, take a couple of shots, I think we can make some good money with this horse." Following is the field in post position order for the Dexter Cup elimination, with listed drivers, trainers, and odds: 1. King City, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 2. Well Built, John Campbell, Chris Ryder, 5-2; 3. Sumatra, Brian Sears, Tom Fanning, 7-2; 4. Consumer Rate, Daniel Dube, Rob Harmon, 10-1; 5. Sheer Action, Jeff Gregory, Ray Schnittker, 5-1; 6. Dave Briggs, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 9-2; 7. Sarcastic Man, Ron Pierce, Gail Wrubel, 8-1; 8. Derby, Jordan Stratton, Ray Schnittker, 5-1; 9. Donato's Wish, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker, 5-1. *Sheer Action, Derby, and Donato's Wish are a three-horse entry. ** Donato's Wish will start from the second tier. Hambletonian eligible: King City, Well Built, Sumatra, Dave Briggs, Sarcastic Man. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Ray Hall aims to complete a sweep in the five-week Bobby Weiss Series for 3- and 4-year-old male trotters when he faces eight rivals in Tuesday's $30,000 final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. A 4-year-old gelding, Ray Hall has won six of 11 races this year, with four of the victories coming in the Weiss. He starts the final from post four with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer/co-owner Mark Harder. Tuesday's card also features the $30,000 Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old female pacers. "He's just a nice little horse, doing everything right," said Harder, who began training Ray Hall in December and got a share in ownership earlier this month. "He's just hit a nice little groove. He came to me with a couple series in mind out here and it's just worked out. He got happy and a nice little schedule and he's racing good." Ray Hall, who also is owned by Ohio's Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, has won 12 of 28 lifetime starts and earned $91,144. He is a son of stallion Justice Hall out of the mare Comebyrail and his family includes standout female trotter Elaine Rodney, who won the 1960 Kentucky Futurity and later found success abroad. Last weekend, Ray Hall won his Weiss division by a neck over Time To Quit in a career-best 1:53.3. Time To Quit won the Super Bowl Series final in January, with Ray Hall finishing fourth. Ray Hall also finished fourth in the Charles Singer Memorial final in March, which was won by Perfect Alliance. "He raced good against some better horses, Perfect Alliance and a couple of those other ones," Harder said. "I think he's definitely improved since then with racing. He's got a lot of nervous energy, he's a little bit hot, and just with racing he's settled down and become more manageable, more drivable. That's made him a better horse." Sixteen Mikes, who won his first three divisions in the Weiss but was third behind Ray Hall and Time To Quit last weekend, starts the final from post five for driver Mike Simons and trainer Gail Wrubel. Time To Quit, who has one win in the series, leaves from post six with driver Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke. Ray Hall is not staked to any major races, but Harder hopes the trotter can still keep adding to his bankroll. "He's got nothing really, just overnights," Harder said. "We'll probably hang around Yonkers, wherever we can race him. He's not a top, top horse, but he's a nice little horse that can make money knocking around some conditions. A trotter that can trot a small track and tries and stays at it, they can make a lot of money." HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK: THE RETURN OF ARCH MADNESS Renowned pacer Foiled Again is a perfect 10 this season - as in an undefeated 10-year-old - and now trotting star Arch Madness is getting ready to try to join him. The 10-year-old Arch Madness won a qualifier last weekend at the Meadowlands in 1:54.3 and will return to the Big M on Saturday for another prep for the upcoming campaign. Last year, Arch Madness won three of 18 races and earned $425,427 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and owners Willow Pond LLC and Marc Goldberg, who also were among the trotter's breeders. He won the Allerage Farms Open Trot at The Red Mile in Lexington, finished second overseas in Sweden's prestigious Elitlopp, and was third in the Breeders Crown. Arch Madness has won 34 of 107 starts and became the ninth trotter in history to surpass $4 million in career earnings when he won the Allerage. A week earlier, he won the Allerage elimination race with a 1:50.2 mile, a time that equaled his own world record for the fastest ever by a male trotter older than age 4. "He's going to qualify again, but I was happy with the first qualifier," Smedshammer said. "We'll go again on Saturday and then we'll start racing. He's a year older, but it doesn't seem like he's changed at all." Arch Madness' first stakes race is slated to be the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Eliminations are scheduled for May 10 and the $180,000 estimated final is May 17. Another trip to the Elitlopp, where Arch Madness has twice been the runner-up, is not in the works. "He's going to need a start before the Cutler, a couple starts maybe, somewhere around here," Smedshammer said. "We have no plans at all (to go to Sweden). But he seems fine." * * * Two other trotting standouts are expected to head to qualifiers in the near future. Market Share, who was voted the sport's top 3-year-old male trotter in 2012 and the best older male trotter in 2013, is anticipated to qualify on April 26 and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician is targeted for the first weekend in May. Bee A Magician was unbeaten in 17 races last season at age 3 and earned a divisional record $1.54 million. She became the first 3-year-old filly trotter to receive the Horse of the Year Award since Continentalvictory in 1996. Trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician's wins included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial. Her $1.54 million in purses were the most ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter, breaking the record of $1.17 million set by Continentalvictory in 1996, and her winning time of 1:51 in the Miller Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter. "She's in good shape," Norman said. "I'm very happy with her." Bee A Magician is expected to qualify twice and then head to Canada for the first round of the Miss Versatility Series in Ontario on May 19. * * * As mentioned earlier, Foiled Again remains unbeaten this year. Last week, he improved to 4-for-4 this season by winning for the fourth time in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The 10-year-old pacer, who has won 80 of 202 career races, had never before started a season with four consecutive wins. Since last fall, Foiled Again has been the richest horse in North American harness racing history, and his $100,000 in purses in 2014 have pushed his career earnings to $6.13 million for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables. Foiled Again leads the Levy series standings, but he will be back in action Saturday night for the last of the five preliminary rounds. He drew post seven in a seven-horse field and is the 3-5 morning line favorite for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. "He's just really getting his legs," Gingras told Yonkers Publicity Director Frank Drucker after his 1:51 win last weekend. "Give the other horses credit, but they're going to have to do better to beat Foiled Again." On Wednesday, co-owner Mark Weaver added, "He's the exception. He really hasn't been pushed that hard yet." Burke's stable has five of the top six horses in the Levy standings and all will be racing Saturday. Mach It So, from the barn of trainer P.J. Fraley, is second in the standings followed by Burke's Bettor's Edge, Itrustyou, Clear Vision, and Easy Again. Hillbilly Hanover, who is No. 11 in the standings, Special Forces (12) and Aracache Hanover (14) also will be competing for Burke in Saturday's three Levy divisions. The conditions for the eight-horse $567,000 final and eight-horse $100,000 consolation, both on April 26, limit Burke to two starters in each. For the full Levy standings, click here. * * * The last preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for older female pacers is Friday at Yonkers. Series leader Yagonnakissmeornot, who has three wins and a second in the event, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first of two divisions. She will be driven by Daniel Dube for trainer Rene Allard. Somwherovrarainbow is the 8-5 choice in the second division for driver Brian Sears and trainer Joe Holloway. She skipped the third round of the series, but has two wins and a second in her Matchmaker starts. She is No. 5 in the standings, behind Angels Delight, Summertime Lea, and Rocklamation. Anndrovette, the three-time pick for harness racing's best older female pacer, is sixth in the standings, with Shelliscape and defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You rounding out the top eight. For the complete series standings, click here. The $371,400 Matchmaker final is April 26, along with the $75,000 Matchmaker consolation. * * * David Miller, who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July, needs 23 wins to reach 11,000 victories for his career. Miller ranks No. 8 in wins among all drivers in North American history and was the sport's Driver of the Year in 2003. He has won at least $10 million in purses in a season a record 12 times and his $178 million in lifetime purses trail only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance. Miller, a 49-year-old native of Ohio, has finished among the top seven drivers in seasonal purses each of the last 15 years. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Dough Dough and Clementine Dream each controlled matters on the front end as heavy favorites to win races in the Bobby Weiss series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Wednesday night. There were two Weiss divisions held for three and four-year-old fillies and mares on the trot, each carrying a purse of $15,000. Dough Dough (CR Excalibur-Rising Dough), trained by Gail Wrubel and driven by Mike Simons, won his second straight Weiss race, this one coming in 1:55:4. Clementine Dream (Infinitif-Catch Fortuna), with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Mark Harder, won his split in 1:55:3. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review Although the weather wasn’t always balmy in the past week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, at least it was dry on live racing nights. That led to our first week of exclusively fast tracks, and, as you might imagine, the action had a little extra spice because of it. There were a lot of thrilling races and some extraordinary performances, the best of which we’ll now honor by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: DOVUTO HANOVER Saturday night marked the first time this season that we’ve had a Preferred race on the pacing side, and the $25,000 purse brought out an excellent field of six. Among those, Sparky Mark and Blatantly Good had already established themselves at Pocono with three condition wins between them in the meet, and, with inside posts, figured to be strong contenders. Add in Dovuto Hanover, who came in with wins in two of his last three against tough company at The Meadowlands, and it figured to be quite the battle. It’s always nice when a race lives up to the expectations. Sparky Mark went out and set the pace, but faced a stiff first-over test from Blatantly Good on the back stretch. Dovuto Hanover, the 4-5 favorite from the Darran Cassar barn, followed the cover of Blatantly Good on the outside before kicking out three-wide on the final turn. That meant all three horses were in prime spots at the top of the stretch, setting up a thrilling battle. For a moment, it appeared that Sparky Mark would cling to his lead all the way home, as Dovuto Hanover’s momentum seemed to be stilled. Yet driver Tyler Buter coaxed a sudden burst of energy from the favorite, and the 4-year-old gelding came up in the nick of time by a nose in 1:50:4. Great horse, great finish, and a great representation of how the Preferred pacers will compete at Pocono in the upcoming season. Other top pacers this week include: Drive All Night (Anthony Napolitano, Rene Allard), the veteran pacer who scored his second straight $15,000 claiming victory on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:51:3; Donna Party (Brett Miller-Kent Sherman), a mare who scored her third straight win in a tight claiming handicap battle on Wednesday in 1:53; and Cypress Hill Suds (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who picked up a win against the $10,000 claiming mares on Wednesday, her second straight victory, in a career-best 1:52:3. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FIRST AQUA There hasn’t been a trotter on the Pocono grounds anywhere near as dominant so far in the meet as this seven-year-old gelding. Arriving from Freehold on March 25, he immediately scorched a claiming group by seven lengths in 1:53:3. He followed that up by moving up in class the following week to handle the $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap group, again by a comfortable margin, in 1:54. By that time the secret was out, and First Aqua was claimed from that race. He went from one hot trainer (Gilberto Garcia-Herrera) to another (Rene Allard) in the exchange, but he kept George Napolitano Jr. as his driver to face off with that same top claiming group on Wednesday night as a heavy 1-5 favorite. First Aqua made the same swooping move to take over the lead on the front stretch as he did in his previous two wins. This time out he got a decent challenge from pocket horse Maravich, but he was more than up to that challenge, holding him off to win by a length-and-a-quarter. And although the margin of victory was the smallest of his winning streak, the time of 1:53:2 set a new career mark for First Aqua. That proves he’s still getting better, which is a scary thought for his future competition to entertain. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Smokin Dabra (Brett Miller, Brewer Adams), who rolled on the front end on Tuesday night to his second straight $10,000 claiming victory, this one in 1:54:4; P L Fantastic (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who took a huge step up in class and won his second straight condition trot at Pocono and his third straight overall, posting a winning time of 1:53:1; and My Leap Of Faith (Simon Allard, Brian Seidel), who rallied late for a condition win on Wednesday night in 1:54:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: LATE NIGHT JOKE Driver Andrew McCarthy has a way with the long shots, and he showed it by rallying this claiming pacer to an improbable victory Saturday night at 35-1 for a $73.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MARCUS MILLER Young drivers sometimes struggle to find a place at Pocono, but Miller showed this week that he belongs, scoring driving doubles on Sunday and Tuesday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: BREWER ADAMS He’s been a consistent force for several seasons at Pocono, and Adams scored big this week with five training wins, including doubles on Sunday and Tuesday. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.  by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Sixteen Mikes and Ray Hall completed sweeps of the preliminary legs of the Bobby Weiss series to highlight action on Sunday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were three divisions held of the third leg of the Weiss Series for three and four-year-old colts, stallions, and geldings on the trot, each of which carried a purse of $15,000. Sixteen Mikes (American Mike-Sweetsixteenkarets), driven by Mike Simons and trained by Gail Wrubel, pounced from the pocket in his split to move to three-for-three in the series with a win in a career-best 1:55:1. Ray Hall (Justice Hall-Comebyrail), with Tim Tetrick in the bike for trainer Mark Harder, completed his sweep with a big move on the last turn to set his career mark of 1:54. In the final division, Mustodian (Muscles Yankee-Madison County), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Kent Sherman, rallied in the final strides to score in a career-best 1:55:3. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller continue to dominate the Bobby Weiss series for distaff trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as their mares Take The Money and Perfect Alliance, stayed unbeaten in 2014 with easy victories on Wednesday night. There were three Weiss divisions for three and four-year-old fillies and mares on the trot contested on Wednesday, each carrying a purse of $15,000. Take The Money (Donato Hanover-Repititions) got away with soft fractions on the engine and coasted to the victory in her split by five lengths in 1:56:2, making her four-for-four in 2014. Perfect Alliance (Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover) then moved to seven-for-seven on the year with a romping victory in her division by four lengths in a scorching 1:53. In the other Weiss division, Dough Dough (CR Excalibur-Rising Dough), trained by Gail Wrubel and driven by Mike Simons, cashed in on the front end in 1:56:4. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review March 29-April 4, 2014   We saw a little bit of everything this past week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There was persistent rain on Saturday night, a wintry mix that made a real mess on Sunday night, and then, finally, some springlike weather on Tuesday and Wednesday. The one constant was excellent racing the entire week through, which we’re about to highlight with our Weekly Awards. Pacer of the Week - BLATANTLY GOOD Saturday night marked the beginning of our second week of racing, which meant that horses that won their first time out in the meet would get a chance to establish themselves as more than just one-week wonders. One of those horses was Blatantly Good, a 10-year-old stallion from the barn of trainer PJ Fraley, whose first start of the ’14 campaign at Pocono resulted in a sizzling condition victory in 1:49:4. Coming off that, he moved up a notch in the condition wars on Saturday night to face off with a group of non-winners of $20,000 in the last five starts. As if the tough foes he was facing in the race weren’t enough of a collective obstacle, he also had to deal with seriously sloppy racing conditions that made it a tough night for favorites on the whole. Several horses battled for the early lead, leaving Blatantly Good far back in the back. But driver Brett Miller never panicked and brought him to the outside to begin picking off horses on the back stretch. With one sweeping move around the final turn, the standout stallion blew by his competition on his way to a win going away. The winning time of 1:53:4 was obviously affected by the track condition, but it was nonetheless another impressive victory for this stellar veteran. Other top pacers this week include: Donna Party (Brett Miller, Kent Sherman), who stepped up to a tougher group of claiming handicap mares on Wednesday night and still won her second straight, this one coming in 1:52:3; So Take That (Tyler Buter, William Adamczyk), who moved to two-for-two on the meet with a first-over grind to victory in 1:52:2 on Saturday night against our highest claiming group; and Leaveumlady (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), a mare who won her second straight condition on Wednesday, stepping up in class for the victory in a career-best 1:51:1. Trotter of the Week - DAYLON MIRACLE This 5-year-old mare from the barn of trainer William Bercury had an incredible hot streak earlier this season at The Meadows. In February and March, she rolled to four consecutive victories. Those races were all against her own gender, however, which might have led to some skepticism about her chances when she faced the toughest male trotters at Pocono. On March 22 at MSPD, she took on Modern Family, one of the top older trotters in the country, and battled him all the way before coming up just short in 3rd. Without that star in Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred Handicap field at Pocono, the fans were on board Daylon Miracle, making her the even-money favorite. It was just a matter of going out and delivering. It wasn’t easy, as the mare had to grind it out first-over to get by Tober, the race pacesetter. In the stretch, Coraggioso, who had been placed perfectly in the pocket, closed to try to steal the win. But Daylon Miracle answered the challenge, digging in for the victory by three-quarters of a length. The winning time of 1:56:1, skewed by the sloppy track, doesn’t reflect the outstanding effort of this distinguished distaffer. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Extracurricular (Simon Allard, Marty Fine), who delivered a thrilling condition win on Wednesday night, his second straight, and matched a career-best of 1:54:3 in the process; First Aqua (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who moved up in class to beat the top claiming handicap group on the grounds in 1:54, giving him two straight impressive wins to start the meet; and Wind Of The North (Mike Simons, Clifton Green), who moved to two-for-two on the meet with a condition in on Wednesday night in 1:54:2. Long shot of the Week - CEE PEE PANIC In a $20,000 claimer on Saturday night, this gelding, with Tyler Buter in the bike, came swooping through the slop in the stretch for a win at 30-1, paying off $62.80 on a $2 win ticket. Driver of the Week -  BRETT MILLER Miller is making Pocono his permanent home so far in the meet, and it’s paying off. On Saturday night, he had his best night yet by reeling off four victories. Trainer of the Week -  WILLIAM ADAMCZYK Adamczyk sent out just two horses on Saturday night, but they were both winners, one of whom was out long shot of the week, Cee Pee Panic. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.  by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

Sixteen Mikes, Ray Hall, and Time To Quit picked up wins in the first leg of the Bobby Weiss Series on Sunday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Each of the three divisions of the series, which included three and four-year-old trotting colts, stallions, and geldings, carried a purse of $15,000. Sixteen Mikes, driven by Mike Simons and trained by Gail Wrubel, scored in the first division as the 2-1 second choice in 1:56:3. In the second split, Ray Hall, with Tim Tetrick in the bike for trainer Mark Harder, controlled matters as the 1-5 favorite in 1:55.3. 1-9 favorite Time To Quit, piloted by Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke, rolled in the final division in 1:56:4. by Jim Baviglia, for Pocono Downs    

On a cold and crisp yet windless Friday night at The Meadowlands a couple of new shooters took the $30,000 overnight features, both in front running fashion. The top trot was carded as race two and Twin B Spike Man handled his initial ascension to the Free For All ranks with aplomb. A convincing winner against the B-1 class last week, Twin B Spike Man responded to a confident steer by Mike Simons with a superb 1:51.1 mile, lowering his career best by over two seconds in the process. Sent up hard after by Simons after DW's NY Yank past the 55.1 half, Twin B Spike Man cleared and kept rolling along through the third panel in 27.4 and widened his advantage through the stretch to coast in by a half over Modern Family, who was locked in but finished with very strong trot as the 9-10 favorite. DW's NY Yank checked in third. At age seven Twin B Spike Man has found his best form for the Mike Simons / Gail Wrubel tandem, having eclipsed his 2013 earnings total already this season and is now in excess of $45,000 in just seven starts. Simons owns the stable star in partnership with Daniel Eccleston and Albert Abdella III. The Free For All debut of American In Paris went as well against the finest pacing mares The Meadowlands has to offer. Yannick Gingras wheeled her from an early tuck in third to wrestle the lead from Monkey On My Wheel after a snappy 26.2 opener. From there it was a comfortable pace until very late stretch and the wire arrived just in time to save a 1:50.3 decision over the fast closing Keepers Destiny. Monkey On My Wheel saved third to complete a two / three sweep for trainer Andrew Harris. American In Paris remained unbeaten in 2014 and the win put her over $100,000 in career earnings. She races out of the Burke Stable and is owned in partnership with Weaver Bruscemi. Corey Callahan won three races on the night, while Trace Tetrick, Scott Zeron, Dave Miller and Yannick Gingras shared the wealth, all with driving doubles. Total handle for the Friday card eclipsed $3 Million at $3,181,196 for the 13-race program. Racing resumes Saturday, with a 13-race card featuring Golden Receiver who headlines a Free For All Handicap Pace and the second round of the Buddy Gilmour pacing series. Post time is 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

It's a Yannick Gingras World and we're all just living in it. That has been the theme at The Meadowlands for the past two weeks. That theme continued tonight as the leading harness racing driver at the track racked up another six victories on the night. Three of the six wins came teamed up with leading trainer, Ron Burke. That makes it eight wins for Gingras this week and 15 wins over the last five nights. The recent surge has allowed Gingras to extend his lead in the Meadowlands Drivers Standings to 30 wins over Dave Miller who is second in the standings. One race Gingras did not win was the Friday feature $16,000 B-1 trot, which instead went to Mike Simons and Twin B Spike Man, who lowered his career best by a fifth of a second to 1:53.2 in the process. Drafting along behind the favored Coraggioso through demanding fractions of 28 and 55.3, Simons tipped his charge as they straightened up and Twin B Spike Man powered to a two length victory. The Triple Lindy rallied from well back for the place and Coraggioso held third. Twin B Spike Man is trained by Gail Wrubel and owned by his driver, Mike Simons, in partnership with Donald W Eccleston and Albert P Abdala III. Addy's Way moved up to the $14,000 B-2 class for pacing mares off of a win last week and proved to be up to the task, which came as a huge surprise to the horse playing public, returning over $60. She ground up first over, the same course as last week's win for driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr. The win put Addy's Way over the $200,000 mark in lifetime earnings for owners Perkins Racing Stable LLC of Hilliard, Ohio. Danny Gill is the trainer. Addy's Way was part of a string of upsets that sparked a Late Pick 4 payout of $9,788. The Late Pick 4 at The Meadowlands has had an average payout of over $11,000 since the beginning of 2014. Racing returns to the East Rutherford oval, including the first round of the Buddy Gilmour Pacing Series and the return of Golden Receiver on Saturday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali  

The feature race on Saturday night at The Meadowlands lacked a prohibitive favorite, but provided a distinguished and competitive field. The depth and parody of the $30,000 A-2/A-1/FFA Handicap yielded a 19-1 winner in Road Untraveled who used every inch of a perfect trip to pull off the upset. Allowed to settle off the pace by driver Corey Callahan, Road Untraveled found a comfort zone mid-pack through fractions of 26.4 and 54 seconds, before getting situated second over behind Alexie Mattosie through three-quarters of 1:21.4. Road Untraveled turned for home just two lengths off the lead of 2-1 favored pacesetter Emeritus Maximus and wore down that foe through the stretch to triumph in 1:49.3 for trainer Gail Wrubel and owners Mike Simons and Christopher Giaccio. The win was one of four on the evening for the Rising Star Award winner Corey Callahan. PH Supercam came from last at the top of the stretch to get second, while Emeritus Maximus was a game third and Easy Again fourth. The first four finishers were separated by just one-half length at the wire. There were two other sub-1:50 performers on the card as Panesthetic took an $11,000 C-1 event by four lengths in 1:49.3 for new trainer Andrew Harris. The win was one of three on the card for driver Dave Miller, who also was in the sulky behind the other sub-1:50 winner Dial Or Nodial, as that classy gelding got back to his winning ways, scoring in a $16,000 B-1 event by three lengths in 1:49.4, pacing a 26.1 final quarter while turning for home on the lead. Total handle for the Saturday program was a hefty $3,279,981, which included a five percent increase in on-track handle. Racing returns to The Meadowlands on Thursday night featuring the first round of the Charles Singer Memorial trotting series, with post time at 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands    

East Rutherford, NJ - While there were many storylines on the racetrack at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment Saturday night, the most important story was in the final numbers. Comparing to the Opening night Saturday of last season, the results could not have been any better. Most notably, the live handle of $360,212 yielded a 56-percent increase over this same day in 2012. The total handle of $3,248,413 was a 12-percent increase over that same card and marked the first time the Meadowlands eclipsed $3 Million in the month of December since December 27, 2008. On the racetrack, it was the 2013 Rising Star Award winner Corey Callahan who led the charge. Callahan scored four wins on the night, and more impressively he did so in his last five drives of the night and came within one length of winning the last five races on the card. The first of his four wins came with a repeat winner in Road Untravelled who took the 9th race B-1 Pace in a 1:50.3 dead heat for trainer Gail Wrubel and owners Mike Simons and Christopher Giaccio. The Captain came right back in the 10th race with A Sweet Ride who scored in the $50,000 Claiming Pacing event in 1:50.3 for trainer Aaron Lambert and C&G Racing Stable. Callahan narrowly missed in the 11th race, but came right back to win the 12th with a rallying Late Night Joke in the C-1 event in 1:51 for P.J. Fraley and Bamond Racing. Callahan put a bow on the night winning the C-1 event to close the card with heavily favored Avenue Hanover in 1:52.1 for owner/trainer Mark Silva. The dead heat on the card not only featured one of Callahan's four wins, but a triumphant ending to a marvelous career. Forest Vic A, having never won a race at the Meadowlands in his 14 years, got his nose on the wire simultaneously with Road Untraveled to dead heat for the win and close out his career on the highest of high notes. Forest Via A was campaigned by Karen Garland for Night Rogue Racing Stable, B. Kay and Steve Smith, who was in the bike for the gelding's last trip around the oval. The featured $30,000 A-1/FFA Handicap was won by Arockin Hanover who rallied from dead last to win in 1:49.2 for Jason Robinson and owner Robert Main. The victory was one of three on the card for John Campbell. Ron Pierce also scored a driving triple on the night. The fastest mile of the night went to Dovuto Hanover, who looked like a powerhouse drawing clear impressively in a 1:48.4 triumph in the B-1/A-2 Handicap for 3 Year Olds. Ron Pierce Drove for trainer Darran Cassar and Marty Scharf. Racing returns as we flip the calendar to 2014 on Thursday night, featuring a 13-race program and the opening round of The Super Bowl Trotting Series containing four divisions. Post Time for the Thursday card is 7:15 P.M. For more information, log onto playmeadowlands.com

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