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Vernon, N.Y. -- In a scratch-reduced field of five, A Penny Earned ($7.40) seized command early and never looked back, staving off a late challenge from pocket rival Waiting On a Woman for a 1:54.2 score in Saturday (July 11) evening's $10,000 Open Trot at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems sent the 6-year-old Conway Hall gelding immediately to the lead, clearing his four rivals through a :27.3 first quarter before rating a comfortable :58.2 middle half. At the top of the stretch, Waiting On a Woman (Claude Huckabone, III) attacked from the pocket, but A Penny Earned responded immediately, holding sway for a half-length victory. War Hero (Jimmy Whittemore) rallied from last to take third.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   Lems, who was honored before the card with the distribution of replicas of his black and silver colors to fans on course, earned five wins on the evening's 11-race card.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (July 12) afternoon, with first post slated for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, NY -- Just a week off his 1:52.1 track record outing, Bourbon Bay ($3.10) delivered yet another scintillating harness racing performance, bottoming out his six rivals with a 1:52.2 triumph in Saturday (May 9) evening's featured $14,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Sand Vic gelding wasted no time, establishing the early lead sharply and setting a torrid pace--one he would sustain for much of the mile. After cutting a pair of identical :27.2 quarter-miles, John Cummings, Jr. called upon Bourbon Bay to accelerate up the backstretch, opening up seven lengths on Detroit Rapper (Jim Meittinis) through three-quarter split of 1:21.3. While the :26.4 third quarter proved more taxing on his six pursuers, Bourbon Bay eventually tired in mid-stretch, trotting home in a :30.4 final quarter while still 7-3/4 lengths clear of his nearest rival. Wisenheimer (Tom Jackson) rallied wide of tiring foes in the final stages to take second, while Detroit Rapper tired to third after chasing throughout.   Bourbon Bay is under lease to his driver, while Megan Wilson handles the training duties of the 15-time winner.   Cummings scored a driving triple on the night, prevailing as well with Island Charm ($19.20, 1:59.3) and Hold On Tightly ($15.80, 1:56.4). Dan Clements recorded a hat trick as well, victorious aboard Typical Newyorker ($11.20, 1:58.4), Oho Diamond ($2.70, 1:58.1), and Write That Down ($5.80, 1:55.1).   A Penny Earned caps Lems grand slam at Vernon   Vernon, NY -- Driver Chris Lems had the hot hand at Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 9) evening, with a victory from A Penny Earned ($3.50) in the evening's $10,000 Open Trot headlining his driving grand slam.   After earning decisive open-length victories earlier in the evening with odds-on favorites High Rise ($2.40, 1:57.4), Silver Fox J ($3.80, 1:54.1), and Sweet Thing ($3.30, 1:55.3), Lems secured the pocket with A Penny Earned in the featured finale, drafting behind Lutetium (Jimmy Whittemore) through a sensibly measured pace of :27.4, :57.4, and 1:26.2. In mid-stretch, Lems vacated the pocket with A Penny Earned, pouncing in the final yards to prevail by a length in 1:54.1 over Lutetium. War Hero (Howard Okusko, Jr.) tracked the top pair throughout, staying on to hold third.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   Live racing returns to both Tioga and Vernon Downs tomorrow (Sunday, May 10), with afternoon cards at both locations. Vernon kicks off their 10-race Mother's Day program at 1:15 p.m., while the first of 12 races at Tioga is slated for a 1:30 p.m. departure.   by James Witherite, Tioga/Vernon Downs  

Vernon Downs hosted a pair of $10,000 Open events on their Friday (May 1) night 13-race harness racing card, with distaff pacer Purity ($6.00) and trotter A Penny Earned ($3.60) taking top honors for the night.   Five pacing mares contested the $10,000 Mares Open Pace in race two, with two of the five entering off wins in their most recent outings. Those two--Purity (Claude Huckabone, III) and Seascape Hanover (Jimmy Whittemore) ultimately squared off on the far turn, well after Purity was used hard in establishing the lead through a :54.3 first half mile. With three-eighths to go, Whittemore moved 3-5 favorite Seascape Hanover first-over out of third, sustaining an extended press but proving unable to collar Purity through the stretch. The four-year-old Always a Virgin mare prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:52 over Seascape Hanover, while Kardashian (Truman Gale) stayed on for third after pressing the pace early.   Kevin Hough trains Purity for owner Michael Casalino, Jr.   While the favorite could not quite prevail in the Mares Open Pace, the $10,000 Open Trot saw A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) wear down Lutetium (Jimmy Whittemore) for a scant 1:54 victory in the evening's eighth race. A Penny Earned secured the pocket early, outsprinted by Lutetium through a :26.3 initial quarter. Lutetium would race uncontested through an easy 58.4 middle half, but found himself bracing for the oncoming threat of A Penny Earned at the top of the stretch--and the threat of Big Chocolate (Homer Hochstetler), who drafted behind the top pair throughout before fanning three-wide off the far turn. Battling gamely through the stretch, A Penny Earned took the lead from Lutetium 70 yards from the winning post, subsequently withstanding a stand-side charge from Big Chocolate, who missed by a scant neck.   Winning trainer George Ducharme co-owns the six-year-old Conway Hall gelding with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   In addition to the evening's pair of Open events, four $4,000 divisions of the second round of the Catherine Burton trotting series were held. Only Hollywood Jess ($5.50, Chris Lems) swept her preliminary legs, battling stoutly with Write That Down (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through quite literally every step of a 1:57 mile before holding clear of a late-closing Azucar (Gaetan Brunet). Blue Skies Craze ($18.40, Truman Gale, 1:56.2), Tango Pirate ($15.20, Gale, 1:57.1), and Act of Valor ($3.30, Claude Huckabone, III, 1:58.4) also were triumphant in their splits. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 2), with first post slated for 5:10 p.m. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs 

A Penny Earned triumphs in Open trot, hat tricks for Lems and Dewhurst. After only mustering a fourth-place finish in his harness racing seasonal debut last week, A Penny Earned ($4.10) was quick to right the ship, taking Friday (April 24) evening's $10,000 Open Trot at Vernon Downs in 1:56.2.   The six-year-old Conway Hall gelding secured the pocket early behind Grey Ice (Jimmy Whittemore), brushing to a clear lead just upon entering the clubhouse turn. After exerting himself a bit to assume command through a :28.2 first quarter, he faced no pressure through a :31 stroll through the second. He was forced to pick up the pace on the far turn, as defending Open winner War Hero (Howard Okusko, Jr.) offered up mild first-over pressure. A Penny Earned would not be denied tonight, kept to task by Chris Lems to hold clear of War Hero by 1-1/4 lengths. Jaipur (Fern Paquet, Jr.) was urged to take third in deep stretch after loosely tracking War Hero's cover on the far turn.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns the 22-time winner A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   The win was one of three on the night for Lems, who was also victorious aboard David Dewhurst trainees Hollywood Jess ($9.00, 1:59.4) and Kyler's Valentine ($5.10, 1:55.3) earlier on the card. Dewhurst's training hat trick was completed by The African ($14.00, 2:00), who was driven to victory by John MacDonald in the opener.   The African and Hollywood Jess earned their respective victories in two of four first-round divisions of the Catherine Burton Trotting Series, with each split carrying a $4,000 purse. The other two division winners were Deadhead Royalty ($6.20), driven by Howard Okusko, Jr. for a late-rallying 1:59.2 score, and Julmyra ($16.20), who pounced up the inside from a pocket trip in rein to trainer-driver Brett Crawford.   Live racing returns on Saturday evening, with a 13-race card slated to kick off at 6:45 p.m. EDT. A $10,000 Open Pace takes top billing, along with the first round of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, NY - Trotters and distaffers headline Friday (April 17) evening's Opening Night harness racing program at Vernon Downs, with 21-time winner A Penny Earned making his return to the Miracle Mile in the featured $10,000 Open Trot.   The six-year-old Conway Hall gelding proved victorious in 7 of 26 races last year, staying close to trainer George Ducharme's central New York home base throughout. He took a seasonal mark of 1:53.3 while earning just over $60,000, and he's reunited with his regular driver from last season, defending Vernon Downs driving champion Chris Lems.   Lems has nine drives on the ten-race card, with three of them for last season's top trainer David Dewhurst. The pair will look to establish themselves atop their respective leader boards with Kyler's Valentine (race 1, 7-2 morning line), Ziegler Hanover (race 2, 5-2 ML), and Pounce K (race 6, 6-1 ML).   Fans are encouraged to arrive well before first post time of 6:45 p.m. EDT, as racing calendar magnets and T-shirts will be distributed starting one hour before the first race (while supplies last). Arriving fans can also meet their favorite drivers prior to the races, and all are welcome to remain for the post-racing fireworks display.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

LEXINGTON, KY-- Despite an hour-and-a-half delay provoked by a blown transformer near the first turn, the $336,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters was contested in four divisions on Thursday, September 25. The wait was worth it as a world record was tied. Jolene Jolene, sent off the 8/5-second choice, equaled the world record for freshmen filly trotters of 1:52.1 in division two of Bluegrass action.   Classical Annie circled around Scented Roses to secure command through a :28.2 first quarter. Passing three-eighths, Jolene Jolene made a furious bid from fourth to commandeer the field. Clearing in a :56.3 (:28.1) half-mile, her lead began to grow into the far turn.   Leading by 5 lengths through a 1:24 (:27.2) third quarter, driver David Miller kept Jolene Jolene to task while Lock Down Lindy tried to close, as well as Gold Cora and Sweet Thing. As Lock Down Lindy broke, Gold Cora and Sweet Thing took over second and third while Jolene Jolene was striding to an 8-length victory in 1:52.1 (:28.1).   Returning $5.40 to win, the Muscle Hill-Celebrity Speedie-Malabar Man daughter is owned by William Donovan and trained by Jonas Czernyson. The 1:52.1 effort is a lifetime mark for the filly trotter, and this win puts her season's earnings at $207,527. Scratched down to a field of four in the pari-mutual spectrum, Wild Honey, off a world-record 1:55.2 mile at Delaware, Ohio, coasted around the Lexington oval to win in 1:55.2, with a :26.3 final quarter.   Able to put up fractions of :29.2, :59.3 (:30.1), and 1:28.4 (:29.1), Wild Honey led foes Onda Di Mare, Love Me Madly, Shafina Hanover, and Hot Stuff, respectively, in her gate-to-wire performance. They remained in that order as Wild Honey sprinted to the wire in :26.3 to win in 1:55.2.   Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman, the Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy-S J's Photo daughter paid $2.10 to win. She's trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras. Winning seven of eight starts, the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion has now amassed $312,656 in earnings.   Fresh off a victory in the Kindergarten Series, Lilu Hanover claimed victory in the third division of the Bluegrass in 1:54.2.   Getting away on the lead, Lilu Hanover led Armatrading, That's So Ironic, and Annaliina as she marched to the quarter. Passing that station in :29, Annaliina was sent two wide and began to brush by her competition. She took the lead from Lilu Hanover through a half of :57.2 (:28.2).   Around into the far turn, Armatrading pulled first over to challenge Annaliina for control. Lilu Hanover sat steady In The Pocket through a 1:27.1 (:29.4) third-quarter. Midway into the stretch, Lilu Hanover pulled the pocket and managed to split Annaliina and Armatrading to get a nose in front and extend to a length in 1:54.2 (:27.1). Annaliina was second, Concentration was third and Armatrading was fourth.   A daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail, she is owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, trained by Jimmy Takter and Scott Zeron guided her to victory. Paying $5.20 to win, the 1:54.2 mile is a lifetime mark for Lilu Hanover.   Bee The Queen capped the stakes action with a 1:54.1 victory over   Allerage Star and Crunchess Finale dueled for control through a :27.3 first quarter. Clearing the front into the backstretch, Allerage Star maintained her lead past the half in :55.2 (:27.4). Driver Brian Sears gave Bee The Queen the cue to go entering the far turn, flushed from fourth by Sarcy.   Within a matter of strides, Bee The Queen secured control. Sarcy stalked uncovered while Allerage Star was to her inside In The Pocket. Bee The Queen trotted by three-quarters in 1:24.3 (:29.1).   Sarcy broke turning for home, and Allerage Star swung out of the pocket, but failed to rally by Bee The Queen. Wiclet Hanover from the back closed into second, as well as Kirsi Hanover into third as Bee The Queen was victorious in 1:54.1 (:29.3).   Owned by Alfred Ross and trained by George Ducharme, the Donato Hanover-Bee Line-Self Possessed filly paid $5.40 to win. Her 1:54.1 victory is a lifetime best, and her season's earnings are now at $63,392.   Live racing resumes Friday, September 26 with the $287,600 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly pacers and the $393,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old colt trotters. With three divisions for the fillies and four for the colts, post time is set at 7:00pmEDT.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Mistresswithmuscle (Muscle Hill-Nicole's Promise) was sent off at less than even-money in the $5,100 harness racing featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday night and she rewarded the faith of the betting public with a three-length victory in 1:55.4.   Mistresswithmuscle (Chris Lems) languished in mid-pack throughout the opening quarter of :27.1 while Laettner (Fern Paquet Jr.) led the way. She then moved aggressively once the field moved past the half-mile mark in :57.3 and took the lead on the far turn. From there, she led past three-quarters in 1:26.1 and went on to an easy victory.   Laettner actually rallied nicely after falling back through the field after holding the early lead to get second. Winbak Meadow (Roman Lopez) finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Mistresswithmuscle, Laettner, Winbak Meadow, Ilari, North Bay Hanover, Ski To The Max, Eightyfive Pop, and Makes Me Crazy.   Mistresswithmuscle is owned by Stephen Farrell of Ocala, Florida and trained by George Ducharme.   It proved to be an interesting evening of racing at Vernon Downs on Friday in one respect. Through the first eleven races on the 13-race card, there were eleven different winning drivers. The only repeat winner of the evening ended up being Dan Daley, who won the eighth race with No Bad Dreams after being caught three-wide on the far turn and the twelfth race with Daley Lovin by a three-length margin. When Jimmy Whittemore won the last race with Steuben Rudy, it meant that there were twelve different winning drivers in thirteen races.   Live racing resumes on Saturday night with a 13-race program that includes eight New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series races with purses totaling $360,000. First post time on Saturday at Vernon Downs is 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen filly trotters gathered for four divisions of the Kindergarten Classic Series at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18. The fourth preliminary of the harness racing series attracted 38 contestants for purses totaling to $40,000. Allerage Star, despite galloping at the start, recovered nearly 13 lengths to weave past rivals and get a nose in front of Saturday Mornings and Cocoacabana in 1:56.2.   Cocoacabana was the pacesetter with Sweet Thing and Fly Angel Fly sitting behind. She set fractions of :29.1 and :57.4 (:28.3). Challenged around the far turn by Sweet Thing, Cocoacabana remained in control as the backfield approached. Fanning three wide came Fly Angel Fly, with Lady Winona four wide and Saturday Mornings five wide.   After a 1:27.3 (:29.4) third-quarter, Saturday Mornings rallied down the center of the course, while Allerage Star strolled onto the scene from in-between horses. Cocoacabana battled Allerage Star and Saturday Mornings up to the finish, where Allerage Star got a nose in front, going a mile in 1:56.2 (:28.4).   Returning $3.20 to win, the daughter of Angus Hall-Starry Eyed-Muscles Yankee is owned by Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, A. Geiger and D. Stolz, trained by Jessica Okusko and Corey Callahan was aboard.   Lilu Hanover rebounded after failing as the favorite in last week's prelim with a 1:55.3 victory over 24-1 Annaliina.   Scott Zeron piloted Lilu Hanover to the front, while Aarena Hanover gunned for the pocket from post 10. Lilu Hanover set a opening quarter of :27.4. She remained uncontested through a :57.3 (:29.4) half.   Rules Of The Road was flushed first over entering the far turn, with Annaliina drafting 2 ¾ lengths off the lead. Rules Of The Road remained at Lilu Hanover's throat through a 1:27 (:28.2) third-quarter.   Kicking to a 2-length lead into the stretch, Lilu Hanover kept to her task as Annaliina gradually progressed towards the leader. Starting her bid a few yards too late, Lilu Hanover had a neck advantage at the wire over Annaliina, with Waiting Room and Lady Clarabella rounding out the top four respectively.   Owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, the daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail paid $5.00 to win.   Sarcy, upon brushing to the top after the first quarter, led the field to the finish in 1:55.3.   Bright Baby Blues swept across the track to claim command around the first turn, while Josie's Joy sat the pocket and Sarcy trotted third. After a :28.2 quarter, Jimmy Takter pulled Sarcy two wide to claim command before three-eighths. She was uncontested at the half, timed in :57.1 (:28.4).   Sarcy remained unchallenged around the far turn. Bright Baby Blues, stalking from the pocket, tipped first over at three-quarters, with Josie's Joy and Armatrading tracking her move. Timed in 1:26.1 (:29), Sarcy remained in control. Despite bids from Bright Baby Blues, Josie's Joy, Armatrading and Fashion Lover in the late stages of the mile, Sarcy held command and sailed to a 1:55.3 (:29.2) victory; Fashion Lover finished second, Armatrading was third and Josie's Joy was fourth. Sarcy, sent off the second choice, is owned by Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding and trained by Jimmy Takter. The Donato Hanover-Southwind Allaire-Valley Victory daughter paid $7.20 to win. Bee The Queen, entering off a 30-1 upset in the Kindergarten last week, was victorious at odds of 1/5 in 1:56.1. Catherine's Melody showed early speed, while Bee The Queen floated towards the front, and Bright Eyes sat behind in third. The opening quarter was timed in :29.3. Bee The Queen made her move before the half, trying to sweep around Catherine's Melody as Bright Eyes, Flirting Filly and Shafina Hanover began their bids. Bee The Queen had a head in front through a :58.3 (:29) half. Although Flirting Filly broke traveling first over, Shafina Hanover made her way to Bee The Queen's wheel through a 1:26.1 (:27.3) third-quarter. Corey Callahan pulled the plugs on Bee The Queen and she kicked 3 lengths clear of Shafina Hanover, Bright Eyes and Catherine's Melody, and eventually winning by 3 ½ lengths in 1:56.1 (:30). A daughter of Donato Hanover-Bee Line-Self Possessed, Bee The Queen is owned by Alfred Ross and is trained by George Ducharme. She returned $2.60 to win. Bee The Queen extended her lead on the Kindergarten leaderboard with 158 points, with Allerage Star second with 125 points and Lady Clarabella in third with 111 points. Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY— A trio of Kindergarten divisions highlighted the latter part of the Thursday night card at The Red Mile, with round three of the freshmen trotting series attracting 29 colts.   Indiana-native Airman Batten bested series-leader French Laundry as the 1-2 favorite in 1:57.1.   Driver Lewayne Miller protected the pylons with Airman Batten as French Laundry was in pursuit of the front. After tucking into the pocket, Airman Batten passed the quarter in :30. Slowing the tempo to the half, Boots N Chains brushed to the lead from sixth. Airman Batten yielded to the 22-1 shot in 1:01.2 (:31.2).   Airman Batten was patient around the far turn, pulling out of the pocket once passed three-quarters, which was timed in 1:30.2 (:29). Airman Batten slowly made his way passed Boots N Chains, who was drifting far off the pylons. French Laundry attempted to close at the inside, but settled for third as Airman Batten was a length winner over Boots N Chains in 1:57.1 (:26.4).   A colt by Swan For All, out of the mare Ladylike Volo by Yankee Glide, Airman Batten is owned by Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and Greg Gillis and is trained by Erv Miller. He paid $3.00 to win.   Wicker Hanover sat patiently in the mid-pack and swept by his competition in the stretch to win in 1:57.   P Mac Attack took command, with True Blue Stride tucking into the pocket and Ferragamo progressing first over. Past a quarter in :28.2, Ferragamo went on to take control. P Mac Attack sat behind as Ferragamo passed the half in :57.4 (:29.2).   Into the far turn, True Blue Stride broke from third as P Mac Attack angled to the outside with Wicker Hanover on his tail. Ferragamo was starting to lose his stride at three-quarters in 1:27.3 (:29.4).   P Mac Attack inherited the front upon Ferragamo’s break in the stretch. Wicker Hanover fanned three wide and trotted by for driver Andrew McCarthy and won by 2 lengths at the finish over Cinnabar Hall, Ss Poseidon, and P Mac Attack in 1:57 (:29.2).   Wicker Hanover is by Explosive Matter, out of the Conway Hall mare Won An Done. Owned by Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable Inc. and trained by Noel Daley, he paid $9.40 to win. This was the first win of his career.   In the final division, Musical Rhythm sat at the pylons for the whole mile and found room in the final eighth to score in 1:56.4.   First-time starter Iron showed speed, with Bighandsbiggloves getting away second and Musical Rhythm in third. Iron passed the quarter in :28.4. He was uncontested up to the half, timed in :59 (:30.1).   Suit And Tie pulled first over from fourth around the far turn and was stride-for-stride with Iron heading to three-quarters. Iron had a slight advantage through three-quarters in 1:28.4 (:29.4).   Suit And Tie had a nose in front at the top of the lane, while Iron fought on towards the inside. Musical Rhythm slowly eased his way up the inside and took control approaching the finish. He won by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:56.4 (:28) over Suit And Tie, Iron and Bighandsbiggloves.   Musical Rhythm is by Cantab Hall, out of the Valley Victory mare Musical Victory. Owned by Mystical Marker Farms, In The Gym Parnters, Joe Sbrocco and T. Massey, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, he paid $13.80 to win. The 1:56.4 mile is a lifetime mark for Musical Rhythm.   French Laundry remains on top of the standings with 112 points, while Wheels Ah Smokin maintains second at 58 points and P Mac Attack is third with 55 points. Airman Batten, making his Kindergarten debut, is tied for fifth between Suit And Tie and Habitat at 50 points. Four divisions for filly trotters Round three of the Kindergarten series was contested on Thursday, September 11 at The Red Mile, with four divisions, compiled of forty freshmen filly trotters in all, carded for the weeknight action.   The opening division was taken by 30-1 shot Bee The Queen, doing so in a career best 1:56 over a good track.   Leaving the gate, Bee The Queen secured forward position as Sweet Thing, from post 7, began to make a move to the front. Clearing past a quarter of :28.3, public-choice Allerage Star then made her move towards the front, taking control at three-eighths.   Bee The Queen was shuffled to third and sat 2 ¾ lengths off the leader, Allerage Star, through a :57.4 (:29.1) half-mile.   Into the far turn, driver James Stiltner II pulled Bee The Queen first over and began to pursuit the lead. Past three-quarters in 1:27.4 (:30), she was up to the throat of Allerage Star. As Sweet Thing faltered behind them, Bee The Queen powered by the 3/5 favorite to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:56 (:28.1) over Allerage Star, Sarcy and Murderers Row.   A filly by Donato Hanover, out of the mare Bee Line by Self Possessed, Bee The Queen paid $62.00 to win, with the exacta returning $127.20 on a $2 investment. She is owned by Alfred Ross and trained by George Ducharme.   The second division saw another long shot, Waiting Room, foil the public choice at odds of 41-1 in 1:56.1.   Waiting Room was among a trio of leavers, with favored Lilu Hanover and Bright Baby Blues, from post 10, also heading to the front. Lilu Hanover was the pacesetter through a quarter in :28.3.   While Waiting Room remained in the pocket, Lady Clarabella traveled first over, with Josie’s Joy drafting behind her. That duo parked as Lilu Hanover remained in control through a :58.3 (:30) half.   Heading to three-quarters, Lilu Hanover was 1 ¾ lengths clear of pocket-sitter Waiting Room as they passed that station in 1:28.1 (:29.3). Encouraged for trot, Lilu Hanover did not respond in the stretch while Waiting Room popped out of the pocket, as well as Bright Baby Blues from third. Waiting Room gained control while Bright Baby Blues stalled to her outside. Waiting Room remained in front at the finish, winning by a half-length over Bright Baby Blues, Lilu Hanover and Bright Eyes in a lifetime-best 1:56.1 (:27.3).   Paying $85.60 to win, Waiting Room is by Credit Winner, out of the mare Wedding Dress by Muscles Yankee. She is owned by Andy Miller Stables Inc., Little E LLC, and Lawrence Dumain, trained by Julie Miller and was driven by Charlie Norris.   Gold Cora ironically defied the odds, winning the third division as the 3/5 favorite in 1:57.   Gold Cora secured command at the inside, but Aarena Hanover brushed by to take the lead heading to the quarter. Classical Annie tucked into third and Morcredit Bluechip was fourth through a :28.4 quarter.   Driver Mike Lachance sent Gold Cora back to the front and cleared the lead with ease approaching the half. He was uncontested through a :58.3 (:29.4) half-mile.   Into the far turn, Morcredit Bluechip took to the outside, but stalled as Gold Cora maintained a 1 ¾ lengths lead passed three-quarters in 1:28.2 (:29.4). Aarena Hanover attempted to slingshot out of the pocket, while Classical Annie was gradually gaining ground three wide. Aarena Hanover dropped out of the battle from in between horses and Gold Cora, despite getting a little rough-gaited in the stretch, held off the bid of Classical Annie to win by 1 length in 1:57 (:28.3).    Rob Key owns the filly by Encore Encore, out of the mare Striking Gold K by Striking Sahbra. Trained by Rich Gillock, she paid $3.20 to win.   With the break of 4/5 favorite Saturday Mornings, Rules Of The Road sat a perfect trip to slide by race leader Pad Princess to win at 19-1 in 1:57.   Rules Of The Road and Pad Princess left the gate well and battled for control through a :29.3 quarter. Approaching three-eighths, Pad Princess cleared the lead while Rules Of The Road drafted in second. Pad Princess led past the half in :57.4 (:28.1).   Wordie Hanover was flushed first over entering the far turn and gradually made his way to Pad Princess. The two were neck-and-neck through a 1:28 (:30.1) third-quarter.   Wordie Hanover stalled first over and Pad Princess began to drift off the pylons, leaving room for Rules Of The Road to squeeze through and win by 1 length in 1:57 over Pad Princess, What Ru Going Todo, and Meadowbranch Lulu.   Owned by Arden Homestead Stable and trainer Janice Connor and driven by Chuck Connor Jr., the daughter of Muscle Hill, out of the mare Right On Renee by Andover Hall, paid $41.00 to win.   Bee The Queen currently leads in the standings with 108 points, while Lady Clarabella sits second with 100 points and Allerage Star is tied for third with 75 points to Josie’s Joy.   The fourth preliminary of the Kindergarten series has been moved from Friday, September 19 to Thursday, September 18. Declaration time is at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, September 15.    by Ray Cotolo, for the Red Mile  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 25, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $197,500 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Four divisions comprised the event. Division leader Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $3.10) did nothing to diminish her standing, winning the $49,150 third division in 1:58.4...by far the night's fastest. Racing second-up from post position No. 4, she went up and over a last-turn bolting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald), beating that one by three-quarters of a length. Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a best-of-the-rest third. The effort was just two ticks off the track record (Some Girls, 2010) for this division. "She's just a professional and she enjoys what she does," Gregory said. "Mark's filly looked like she wanted to go home early, but nothing seems to bother (Barn Doll). For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her sixth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.30, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $12.20. Driver George Brennan doubled his pleasure in the first two ($49,150 each) sire stakes events, with odds-on Pig Hunt ($2.50) in 2:01, and second choice Counsellor AS ($5.80) in 2:00.3 The former, a Conway Hall miss, controlled from the pole, defeated pocket-sitting Zanna Blue (Gates Brunet) by three-quarters of a length. Summer Scent (Dan Daley) was third. For Pig Hunt, co-owned by (trainer) Jennifer and Janice Connor, she's now 4-for-7 this season. The exacta (two wagering faves in order) paid $8.20, with the triple returning $28.40. "The best thing about her? She trots," Brennan said. "I was able to back it down enough (1:31.3 three-quarters) to make sure she had something late." Both Barn Doll and Pig Hunt are 2-for-2 locally in NYSS competition. Counsellor AS, second-up from post No. 4, went right by even-money Miss B'ville J (Morrill Jr.), drawing out to win by a couple of lengths. Make it Blue Chip (Ray Schnittker) was third. For "Counsellor," a Conway Hall homebred miss owned Acl Stuteri Ab and trained by Annette Lorentzon, it was her third win in eight '14 tries. The exacta paid $14.40, with the triple returning $30.40. "She's learning," Brennan said. "I think she'd have won the last time, but I drove her off her feet." The evening's final ($50,050) sire stakes event went to down-the-road favorite Concentration (Sears, $4.30)-from post No. 4--in 1:59.3. The margin was a length-and-three-quarters over, Duolectra (Brennan), who skimmed to cones to grab second at 28-1. Shaqline (Jimmy Takter) was third. For Concentration, a daughter of Conway Hall owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Ducharme, she's 3-for-7 in her first season. The exacta paid $88.50, with the triple returning $332.50. A special Monday shoutout to the veteran Wholly Louy, whose win in the $21,000, 10th-race pace made him harness racing's newest millionaire (66-for-220, $1,000,063). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Jimmy Takter trainee French Laundry ($2.50) proved a convincing winner in his $10,000 Kindergarten Classic preliminary at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 24) afternoon, as did other odds-on favorites Wheels Ah Smokin ($2.10) and Bee the Queen ($3.00) in their respective races.   However, freshman trotting filly Mission Brief, sent off at 1-20 after her dominant Merrie Annabelle win at the Meadowlands three weeks ago, faltered in her Kindergarten Classic event, enabling Lady Clarabella to score a 22-1 upset.   French Laundry, sent off the 1-4 favorite in the sixth race for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, wasted no time asserting himself on the lead. He forced Party on the River (Tyler Buter) into the pocket on the first turn, rated a 1:00.2 half mile, and sprinted clear upon facing late pressure from the first-over SS Poseidon (Marcus Miller). The son of Muscles Yankee kicked clear to a 2-1/2 length win in rein to Yannick Gingras, besting SS Poseidon and RG's Thunderbolt (Jim Marohn, Jr.) in 1:57.1.   The fourth race was the earlier colt division of the Kindergarten, with Chuck Sylvester trainee Wheels Ah Smokin (David Miller) repelling a late challenge from Lucky Ten K (Chris Lems), sprinting clear to a 3-1/2 length win in 1:57.3.   Fillies contested their pair of $10,000 divisions in races eight and ten, with Bee the Queen (Chris Lems) never looking back off an early brush to the fore, edging clear of Fashion Gab Alot (Scott Zeron) by 2-3/4 lengths for a 1:57.3 win in the eight race. George Ducharme trains the Donato Hanover filly.   While three of four odds-on favorites had no trouble in their respective victories, Merrie Annabelle winner Mission Brief (Yannick Gingras) was a victim of multiple breaks in the tenth race, faltering on the first turn after lagging the gate by three lengths.   Josie's Joy (Tyler Buter) assumed the early pacesetting duties, controlling a :58.2 half mile while under no pressure. While eventual winner Lady Clarabella (David Miller) commenced her first-over bid into the far turn, Mission Brief had caught the field, closing ferociously through the middle half.   Unfortunately for those backing the prohibitive favorite, the daughter of Muscle Hill broke again at the top of the stretch while the Randy Beeckman-trained Lady Clarabella pushed clear of Josie's Joy to win by 2-1/4 length in 1:57.3. Josie's Joy held second, while Cocoacabana (Jacqueline Ingrassia) stayed on for third after tracking the winner's cover.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 29) evening, with first post set for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

While North America Cup winner JK Endofanera ($2.50) coasted home in 1:50.1 to win his $54,072 Geers Stake division on Sunday (August 17) at Tioga Downs, the top story of the afternoon saw Father Patrick gamely outkicked by Datsyuk ($52.00) in their $36,036 division of the Arthur Tompkins Memorial.   After an uneventful start, Yannick Gingras sent Father Patrick to the fore, floating clear of Hillustrious (David Miller) with little effort involved through a :57 half mile.   The 16-time winner accelerated up the backstretch through a :27.4 third quarter, but Hillustrious was able to keep with him from the pocket.   Meanwhile Datsyuk, waiting in the wings thus far, commenced a two-wide rally on the far turn, taking a narrow lead in the final 100 yards en route to a hard-fought 1:53.1 victory. Father Patrick, whose next appearance is slated to be the Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs, was a narrowly beaten second, and Hillustrious held even for third off his pocket trip.   Trainer-driver Charlie Norris co-owns Datsyuk with Leonard Buckner. The Explosive Matter gelding's 1:53.1 mile was the fastest ever at Tioga Downs trotted by a three-year-old gelding.     The earlier Tompkins division for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings saw Nancy Johansson trainee Resolve ($4.40, Corey Callahan) elevated to a win after just missing Sumatra (Brett Miller) in a 1:54.1 mile, as Sumatra was found guilty of a pylon violation upon exiting the final turn.   The Tompkins Memorial for three-year-old trotting fillies saw a field of three contest their $46,572 division off the pari-mutuel card, with Stephen Farrell's Mistresswithmuscle pulling clear for an 11-length win in 1:56.1. Yannick Gingras handled the driving duties for trainer George Ducharme.   Additionally, Tompkins divisions were held for two-year-old trotters of each sex, with Jolene Jolene ($2.10, David Miller) taking her $28,571 split in a track record-equaling 1:55.2 mile. The Jonas Czernyson-trained daughter of Muscle Hill angled wide on the approach to the far turn, pulling clear of Crunchess Finale (Dan Rawlings) for a 4-1/2 length victory.   Other two-year-old Tompkins winners included fillies Allerage Star (1:55.4, Corey Callahan) and Dynamite Dame (2:00, David Miller) while trotting colts Muscle Diamond (1:56.2, John Campbell) and Habitat (1:56.4, Yannick Gingras) prevailed in their splits as well.   The Geers Stake for three-year-olds drew a lone division for each sex, with JK Endofanera posting a solid 1:50.1 win in the $54,072 colt division. The son of Art Major controlled the terms throughout, parrying a challenge from the first-over Doo Wop Hanover (Scorr Zeron) before holding off pocket rival Bushwacker (David Miller) by 1-1/2 lengths. Yannick Gingras handled the driving duties for trainer Ron Burke.   The $50,572 filly division went to Katie Said ($6.70), who was sent three-wide on the far turn by Marcus Miller to pass the dueling Uffizi Hanover (David Miller) and 4-5 favorite Precocious Beauty (Doug McNair) for a 1:52.1 victory. Rockingcam Park (John Campbell) chased off cover to take second, while Empire Breeders Classic winner Precocious Beauty faded late to third. Julie Miller trains Katie Said, a three-year-old daughter of Well Said.   Live racing resumes at Tioga with a special Monday (August 18) evening card. First post for the 12-race program is set for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs    

On what turned into a rainy, sloppy night at Vernon Downs, Royalist was a front-running winner in Leg 2 of the Racing Under Saddle Series. Royalist (RC Royalty-Chocolatto Chip) was sent right to the front from the outside post by Michelle Crawford and the colt never looked back.   He led through fractions of 29.1 for the quarter, 1:02 for the half, and 1:33.1 for three-quarters. A challenge did materialize from Blue Boy Yankee (Kristina Smith), who pestered the leader throughout the final quarter mile, but could never quite get by. The final time for the mile was 2:04.3.   The complete order of finish was: Royalist, Blue Boy Yankee, John-Michael, Vassar Hall, My Irish Molly, and Kash Now. Royalist is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell Jr. of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme.   The top point getters from the first two legs of the Racing Under Saddle Series at Vernon Downs will return for the $5,000 Final on August 29.   The featured pari-mutuel race of the Saturday evening at Vernon Downs was the $6,500 seventh race. The winner was Moonlight Ransom (Artiscape-Windsun Caprice), driven by John Macdonald. This was the second win in a week for Moonlight Ransom. In similar fashion to the win on August 9, Moonlight Ransom was a gate-to-wire winner. He led through snappy fractions over a sloppy track of 26.2 for the quarter, 56 seconds for the half, and 1:25.1 for three-quarters.   The final time was 1:53. Market Force (Jimmy Whittemore) was forced four-wide at the top of the stretch and still managed to charge through the lane and win a close photo for second place. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Moonlight Ransom, Market Force, Oh My Joepa, Whitemountainpower, You Bet Your Glass, A Fool For Mark, Axiom Hanover, and Dutch Richman.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with an 11-race program on Thursday night. Post time will be 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

The Hambletonian Monte Series Final at the new Meadowlands and two Ontario pari-mutuel races at Grand River Raceway showcased North American monte activities this weekend. On Friday evening the $27,500 Hambletonian Monte Final took place (non-wagering) at the new Meadowlands. Sponsors were Jeff Gural, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Ron Burke Stable, Arden Homestead Stable, Crawford Farm, Aldrich Properties, George Ducharme and Winners Circle Blueberries. The final followed two $10,000 legs the previous two weekends. This week, A Penny Earned (5g Conway Hall-Penny Dream-Dream Vacation) scored for Michelle Crawford and trainer George Ducharme in 1:57.2 (last quarter :28.2), just short of the north American speed race record set by Master Pine two years ago in 1:57.1. The winner was second in a July 18 leg behind Take My Picture that was second in the final for Therese Lindgren and trainer Nikolas Drennan. O U Gus (the July 25 winner) ended third for Stephanie Werder and trainer Whitney Richards. Master Pine finished fourth for Helene Gregory and trainer Julie Miller in the competitive (seven starters timed in 2:00.1 or better) ten horse field. In Ontario, Grand River Raceway hosted two pari-mutuel events on August 1st and 4th. The August 4th International Monte was part of the raceway's Industry Day and attracted riders from Canada, Belgium and Finland. The US rider-entrant Jennifer Connor was a scratch due to travel problems. Previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad) made the fast pace, tracked and battled by eventual winner Tragically Shipp (Saara Jalasti aboard), that pulled away late for an comfortable win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Massachaele) in 2:02.4h over a rain soaked surface. Tragically Shipp (8g Shipps Speed-CH On Tour-Armbro Laser) is trained by Lee Watson for owners Lynne and David Magee. Jalasti and Massachaele regularly ride in monte races in Europe, where monte is very popular and part of most pari-mutuel racing cards at French and Scandinavian tracks. Race replay follows: The August 1 race at Grand River was billed as the Canada vs. Norway Challenge and it went to Callie Magoo (5g Magoo-Callie Alyssa-Wesgate Crown) with Norway's G. Berg up for trainer John Braid. This pair scored in 2:04.3h over King Tut (Sarah Town up for Canada) and Charlie Tuna. Both Grand River races were well received in the pari-mutuel wagering, as had been the case in previous Ontario pari-mutuel monte races. Standardbred Canada and Meadowlands files Thomas H. Hicks  

Three separate divisions of the New York Sire Stakes produced plenty of fireworks at Vernon Downs on Saturday night. The biggest performance was a new track record for 2-year-old trotters of 1:54 for Crazy Wow in the third and final division with a purse of $36,566. Crazy Wow (Crazed-No Pan No Gain) went right to the front at the outset and cruised through fractions of 27.2 for a quarter and 58.1 for the half. Crazy Wow (Dan Rawlings) was actually headed by Eskimo Joe (Ray Schnittker) as the field approached the final turn, but quickly dispatched that challenge to retake the lead through three-quarters in 1:25.3. Crazy Wow stormed home to win by nine impressive lengths in that track record final time of 1:54. Drinksforthehouse (Chris Lems) finished second after Pier Ho Exotic (John Cummings Jr.) broke stride in the stretch. Eskimo Joe had to settle for the third spot. Crazy Wow is owned by Joseph Hess of New Milford, New Jersey and trained by Dan O'Mara. The 1:54 final time eclipses the previous mark of 1:54.3 by Nuncio, set in 2013. Nuncio very nearly made his own headlines on Saturday since he ended up as the runner-up in the 2014 Hambletonian Final at The Meadowlands.   The $37,266 first division was a story of survival for Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Zs). Insomniac (Mark Macdonald) took the lead immediately from the outside post position and led through a quarter of 28.4, a half of 59.1, and three-quarters in 1:29. The less than even-money favorite, Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory), attacked the longtime leader in the stretch, but could never get by Insomniac, who had plenty left in the tank after those conservative early fractions. Commentary (Mike Simons) rolled up strongly in the final strides to finish third at 32-1. Insomniac is owned by Paul Kelley of Gansevoort, New York and William Weaver III of Freehold, New Jersey. Paul Kelley is also the trainer.   Wings of Royalty (Rc Royalty-Sparkling Cider) was the winner of the $37,266 second division. Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) made a strong close through the stretch while three-wide to pass the pacesetting pair of Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) and Credit Creation (Jim Morrill Jr.) for a victory in 1:56. Credit Creation had taken the lead from the start and led most of the way around the racetrack, only being passed by Gabe The Bear Dean for just a quick moment before reassuming the advantage. His early fractions of 28.1 for the quarter, 58.3 for the half, and 1:27.4 for three-quarters were solid enough. Gabe The Bear Dean did get past Credit Creation for the second placing in the stretch, forcing Credit Creation to settle for third. Wings Of Royalty is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme.   Live racing will return to Vernon Downs with a 14-race program on Thursday night when the 2-year-old pacing fillies take their turn at center stage in the New York Sire Stakes. Post time for the Thursday program is 6:45pm.   Sophie Norton wins HHYF race on Hambletonian Day Sophie Norton of New Hartford, NY won the Harness Horse Youth Foundation race Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ. One kid was selected from Vernon Downs, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and Harrington Raceway to represent each track on Saturday. Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce was the co-pilot in the two seat jog cart with Sophie Norton. It was second consecutive year that the representative from Vernon Downs won the HHYF race at The Meadowlands. This year the HHYF was at Vernon Downs July 14-18. The five day camp gave youngsters hands on experience with horses, opportunity to work with local horsemen at Vernon, and the thrill of a lifetime competing in an actual race. Harness Horse Association of Central New York sponsors each kid that participates in the camp. For more information about HHYF and having your kid participate in the 2015 camp visit www.hhyf.org by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Donatella Hanover and My Inspiration finished in a dead-heat for the win on Friday night in the $30,000 Duenna Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Fittingly, the program on the eve of the Hambletonian was a festival of mostly trotting races. Donatella Hanover surged from seventh to force the deadlock, her fifth win in 15 starts for Christinatakterandthekids. Brett Miller was at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. My Inspiration, who had battled to the front in deep stretch only to get nailed at the wire, improved to 2 for 10 for Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz with Corey Callahan driving for trainer Trond Smedshammer. The time was 1:54. Michelle Crawford pumped her fist in the air as A Penny Earned was an easy winner in the $27,500 racing under saddle competition. The 5-year-old gelding, trained by George Ducharme, who captured last year's Hambletonian with Royalty For Life, posted his second racing-under-saddle win in five tries. The time was 1:57 2/5. There were also eight Grand Circuit divisions of the Kindergarten Stakes for 2-year-old trotters each worth $10,000. In the colt and gelding divisions: French Laundry cruised to a convincing 5 1-4 length win in 1:55 3/5 with Yannick Gingras driving for Takter. They will team up with 4-5 favorite Father Patrick in the Hambletonian. It was the second win in three starts for the $115,000 Lexington purchase for Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The time was 1:55 3/5. Gingras and Habitat held off The Bank for his maiden victory in 1:54 2/5. Ron Burke trains the $50,000 Lexington purchase for Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. P Mac Attack won his debut in 1:57 2/5 in a 12-1 upset. Marcus Johansson drove the Richard & Joyce McClelland homebred for his wife Nancy. In the filly divisions: Speak To Me, the 1-10 favorite, did not disappoint. The $80,000 Harrisburg purchase by Brittany Farms improved to 4 for 4 for Gingras and Takter. The time was 1:53 4/5. The boss's horse, Allerage Star won in 1:57 2/5 for Jeff Gural, chairman of the New Meadowlands Racetrack and his Little E Stable. Corey Callahan was at the lines for trainer Jessica Okusko as the $18,000 Harrisburg purchase got her first win in three starts. Josie's Joy edged Pad Princess by a neck in 1:55 3/5 for the Hall of Fame duo of driver John Campbell and trainer Chuck Sylvester. It was second win in three starts for Nicholas Cimino's homebred. Sistas pulled a 29-1 upset in her second start following a 23-length loss in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. Marcus Johansson drove his wife's trainee for the ownership team of Crawford, Crawford and Crawford. The $17,000 yearling purchase at Lexington trotted the mile in 1:57. Lady Clarabella, Paul Kinnear's homebred, got her maiden win in 1:58 2/5. David Miller drove for trainer Randy Beeckman. Even-money favorite Iluvmyjimmychoos finished second despite jumping off stride at the finish wire. The judges determined she did not violate the breaking rules and left her in the place spot. Saturday is Hambletonian Day. Post time is noon. Gates open at 10 a.m. Post Time for The $1 Million Hambletonian is 5:11 P.M. For all things Hambletonian go to http://www.ustrotting.com/trackside/hambletonian/ and www.playmeadowlands.com. Darin Zoccali

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