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The 2014 Hambletonian Monte lineup is set for the Friday evening Meadowlands finale. Ten competitive trotters and riders will face the starter for $27,500 with a 7:35 estimated off-time. Winners in 2014 under saddle include Truth In Action, Tymal Oh So Nice, O U Gus, Take My Picture and Flowing James. Here is the field in post position order: 1. Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer/Brett Biddle 2. Truth In Action, Karen Isbell/also trainer 3. Bambino Hall, Stephanie Jacobs/Julie Miller 4. Tymal Oh So Nice, Jenny Melander/Ronald MacDonald 5. A Penny Earned, Michelle Crawford/George Ducharme 6. O U Gus, Stephanie Werder/Whitney Richards 7. Take My Picture, Therese Lindgren/Nikolas Drennan 8. Flowing James, Tara Hynes/also trainer 9.Master Pine, Helene Gregory/Julie Miller 10. Blue Boy Yankee, Kristina Smith/Randal Smith Earlier in the week the Morris, NY Fair hosted the fourth leg of the RUS NY Series. Vassar Hall (10m Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall) took this test in 2:13.4h for Michelle Crawford, trainer and co-owner Brett Crawford along with Len Woydyla. Kash Now (Michelle Miller) and Striking Mystery (Jennifer Lowry) chased the winner home by Thomas H. Hicks, for Monte America

Three trotters from the sophomore class of 2010 have come online with their initial crops this year; Muscle Massive is standing at Hanover, Lucky Chucky at Winbak in New York and Holiday Road in Ontario. Pilgrim’s Taj is a fourth, but he only spent one year in Canada, after which he was relocated to Ohio and ultimately exported to Finland. That being the case, we’ll look at the first three. To this point restricted races have provided the only basis for judging them, but the open portion of the season commences this week with elimination rounds for the Peter Haughton and Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands as well as several splits of the Arden at The Meadows. Much of the focus has been on Muscle Massive and Lucky Chucky, beneficiaries of generous state bred programs who finished one-two in the Hambletonion. The former was a $450,000 yearling who was lightly raced at two but managed to win the Hambletonion as well as the Dancer at three, while Chucky was a precocious freshman, showing wins in the Valley Victory, Matron, ISS and Bluegrass. He was the 3/2 favorite in the Hambletonion and appeared on his way to victory when 6/1 Muscle Massive, piloted by Ron Pierce, ruined his day. Regardless, Chucky did win the Canadian Trotting Classic and Colonial at three, and he earned more money than Muscle Massive both years. Both sold close to seventy yearlings last year, with Chucky’s brood averaging quite a bit more. Both have seen their stud fees fluctuate before their first crops hit the track. Muscle Massive started at $10,000, only to have his fee cut to $7,500 and $6,000 in successive years. Cantab Hall, Donato Hanover, Andover Hall and Explosive Matter all command higher fees than their younger stablemate at Hanover. Chucky, on the other hand, started at $7,500 in New York, was dropped to $5,000 during a year spent in Pennsylvania, and came back up to $7,500 when he returned to Winbak, where nineteen-year-old Muscles Yankee stands for $2,500 more. Muscle Massive has benefited from the success of his older brother, Muscle Mass, sire of O’Brien winner Riveting Rosie and the successful OSS colt Muscle Matters. Thus far Muscle Massive has given us some outstanding fillies. Gatka Hanover, a big rugged gal out of the Conway Hall mare Girlie Tough, from the Ron Burke barn, has left many wondering where her ceiling is. Gatka rolled through a couple of baby races and has now chalked up three wins in the PA Sire Stakes, one each at The Meadows, Pocono and Harrah’s. Matt Kakaley steered her to an effortless four length win in 1:57 in her latest. She leaves from the five for Matt K in Friday’s first Merrie Annabelle elimination. Gatka takes on Lucky Chucky’s daughter, Lock Down Lindy, who drew plenty of attention with a very strong first over win in a Merrie Annabelle Prep at the Meadowlands Friday for Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna. Another Muscle Massive star in the making is Jimmy Takter’s Speak To Me, an $80,000 Harness Breeders purchase by Myron Bell. She is also three-for three in the PA Sire Stakes and has trotted in 1:55. Last time out, in a $57,000 sire stakes division at Harrah’s, Speak To Me gapped the field by ten on her way to an easy win at a stingy 1/5 price. Unfortunately this filly was not staked to the Merrie Annabelle and will be missing from the fray on Friday night. Blessings Counted is another talented filly by Muscle Massive. She was second to Speak To Me in a PASS race at The Meadows a couple of weeks ago and won a $57,000 race at Harrah’s in her latest start. She is not eligible to the Merrie Annabelle but is entered in a split of the Arden at The Meadows on Friday. Missive and Youth Gone Wild, both winners in the Stallion Series, will also race in the Arden. Jersey Strong, a talented filly with a win in the PA All Stars and a second in the PASS, isn’t entered at The Meadowlands or The Meadows on Friday. The top colt by Muscle Massive is Ake Svanstedt’s Lima Pride, who beat Jimmy Takter’s 1/9 favorite The Bank in a split of the Hickory Pride when The Bank went on a run at the three-quarters. Lima Pride, a $25,000 yearling purchase, was not nominated to the Peter Haughton. The priciest freshman trotter by any first crop stallion is Mr Lucky Luke, a $450,000 Lucky Chucky half- brother to Muscle Massive, Muscle Mass and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner, Thatsnotmyname. The Cancelliere brothers, of Detour Hanover fame, purchased him at Lexington in the fall. He has yet to make a pari-mutuel start; let’s hope he generates a better ROI than Detour has. As for the Lucky Chucky colts and fillies that have raced, there is no eye popping Gatka Hanover out there, but there are plenty of good ones. I already mentioned Merrie Annabelle candidate Lock Down Lindy, who possesses the same rugged demeanor as Gatka. She is a half-sister to 2006 HOY in Canada, Majestic Son. He has sired Harper Blue Chip, Murmur Hanover and Charmed Life. Ray Schnittker has Gabe The Bear Dean, a $105,000 Harness Breeders buy, who has an impressive wire-to wire five length win in the NYSS at Buffalo. Jonas Czernyson has a few Lucky Chucky youngsters in his barn and he’s high on all of them. At the end of June Hot Start, a half-sister to Religulous, won a $27,000 NYSS split at Vernon Downs for Corey Callahan. Next time out, at Tioga, she cut most of the mile from the outside post only to lose to paternal sister My Twisted Sister, from the Paul Kelley barn. Hot Start is entered in the second Merrie Annabelle elimination on Friday. Nunkeri is another very promising Lucky Chucky filly from the Czernyson barn. She finished second to the Muscle Hill filly Josie’s Joy at the Meadowlands the other night, race timed in 1:57.2 as the second choice. Nunkeri won her start previous to that one, a $28,000 NYSS division at Tioga. George Ducharme’s sharp looking Conway Hall filly, Concentration, pressured her all the way home in a 1:59.3 mile. On the male side Mal and Janet Burroughs’ Mambo Blue Chip, a $40,000 Harness Breeders buy, won a $28,000 split of the NYSS in 1:57.2 at Tioga last time out. Holiday Road, a $115,000 yearling who is a full brother to Ken Warkentin, was lightly raced, making only ten lifetime stars. While staying on the track was an issue, speed wasn’t; he won the Peter Haughton at two and a split of the Dancer at three. He opened his stallion career for $4,500 at Seelster Farms and now stands for $3,500. This week the Holiday Roads started to turn heads and earn respect at Mohawk as they performed admirably on the various OSS platforms. John Bax’s Hemi Seelster was long and tough winning a Grassroots division in 1:58.4 at 2/1. It was noteworthy that the gelding engaged in a head to head battle the length of the stretch with Pilgrim’s Joy, a son of first crop stallion Pilgrim’s Taj. Tony Alagna’s filly Gee O’Keeffe logged a very strong second in a $53,000 OSS Gold leg at Mohawk for Jody Jamieson, losing a length to the highly regarded Kadabra filly Juanita’s Fury. And Keith Jones’ gelding, It’s Huw You Know, was an upset Grassroots winner in 2:00.3 on Monday at 75/1, paying $159.60. And Ontheroad De Vie made a very impressive brush on the back as he came from the 10 post to finish second for Rick Zeron in a Grassroots leg. The Holiday Roads are looking good. Rock N Roll Heaven and Sportswriter are lighting it up in the freshman pacing division, but it’s expected that the trotters will take a little longer to get their bearings and hit their stride. Muscle Massive, Lucky Chucky and Holiday Road will all be prospering when they do. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

A Penny Earned (Conway Hall-Penny Dream) scored a win in the $10,000 featured trot on Saturday night at Vernon Downs. However, the harness racing gelding certainly did not have an easy time of it.   A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) sat just behind the leader, Mr. Web Page (Roman Lopez), through the opening quarter of 28.3. Just past the quarter mile mark, A Penny Earned rolled right past that leader and assumed control himself. He continued to lead through a half mile in 58.2 and three quarters in 1:27. Once the field made the stretch, though, there were plenty of challengers for A Penny Earned to hold off. My Revenuer (Truman Gale) had the benefit of a first-over trip up the backstretch, but was never able to surpass the leader in the stretch and had to settle for second. War Hero (Howard Okusko Jr.) followed the cover of My Revenuer to get up into contention, but the best he could do was a third place finish. A Penny Earned finished the mile in 1:55.1 for the win. He is owned by Alfred Ross, George Ducharme and Natalia Oliva of Massachusetts and Paul Fontaine of Rhode Island. George Ducharme is also the trainer of A Penny Earned, who earned his third win of the season at Vernon Downs.    The complete order of finish was: A Penny Earned, My Revenuer, War Hero, Mr. Web Page, Naughty Not Nice, Pollux Blue Chip, and Evil Urges.   Live racing will resume on Sunday at Vernon Downs with a special 11-race program. The featured event on Sunday is the $8,000 eighth race, with Tell Us More installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. He comes to Vernon Downs after winning twice in seven starts at The Meadowlands since the beginning of May. Post time on Sunday afternoon is 1:15pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday night brings one of the most anticipated Grand Circuit cards of the season to The Meadowlands. The racing centers around a pair of $50,000 eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace and the inaugural $484,500 Hambletonian Maturity four year old trot. The Pace elims are carded as races six and seven with the top five finishers from each to return for the $776,000 final next Saturday. North America Cup winner JK Endofanera is the 6/5 choice in the first elim for Meadowlands leading trainer Ron Burke for owners the 3 Brothers Stable. NA Cup second place finisher Tellitlikeitis, trained by Jimmy Takter for the Lothlorien stable, and He's Watching, third in the 'Cup, lead the charge in the seventh. He's Watching was last year's divisional Dan Patch champ and is looking for his best form for trainer David Menary who owns him in partnership with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. The Hambletonian Maturity, raced at a mile and one eighth, is a new concept designed to provide a stake restricted to four year olds as they transition into the aged ranks. The race has attracted both 2013 Hambletonian and Oaks winners Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician. It will be the first foray for 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician against males, a task made more difficult by the fact that she drew post 13 in the bulky fourteen horse field. Brian Sears, who drove both last season, has opted for "Queen Bee", conditioned by Nifty Norman for Hartman, Liverman and Mc Duffee. Royalty For Life races out of the George Ducharme barn and will be making his first seasonal start from post six with new driver David Miller (who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday). His ownership consists of New Englanders Alfred Ross, Ray Campbell, Jr and Paul Fontaine. Rounding out the stakes is a single $25,000 elimination for the $212,000 Mistletoe Shalee three year old filly pace where ten fillies race to eliminate three. Those seven will meet the three fillies (Rock N Roll Xample Uffizi Hanover and Weeper) that were granted a bye into next Saturday's final. The WR Haughton Memorial FFA pace required no eliminations and the ten high powered pacers entered will go right through to next Saturday's $463,000 final. Also on the program is the second leg of the two year New Jersey Sires Stakes with the pacing fillies going as a single ten and the colt pacers split into a pair of eights. There is a special post time of 6:30pm on Saturday with a stunning fireworks display set to thrill onlookers after the races are completed. Reservations may be made for both this Saturday and next week's star studded extravaganza by calling 201-THE-BIGM. Further information is available by visiting The Meadowlands website. From Meadowlands Media Relations  

Bee A Magician will try to return to her winning ways when she faces 13 male rivals - including last year's Hambletonian Stakes winner Royalty For Life - in Saturday's $484,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Last year, Bee A Magician won all 17 of her starts and was named Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada. This season, the mare is winless in three races and coming off a ninth-place finish in the Armbro Flight Stakes on June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. It was her first off-the-board finish since going off stride in her second lifetime start in July 2012. Trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman said Bee A Magician scoped sick following the Armbro Flight. Bee A Magician, who has won 27 of 33 career starts and $2.33 million, prepped for the Hambletonian Maturity with a 1:53.1 qualifier win on June 27, trotting her final quarter-mile in :26.3. She will start the Hambletonian Maturity, to be contested at 1-1/8 mile, from post No. 13 with regular driver Brian Sears. "She qualified really good and she's acting fine, so it looks good now," said Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. "I was really happy with her qualifier and Brian thought she was back to her old self, so hopefully we're good. "It was a bit of a shock," he added about Bee A Magician's finish in the Armbro Flight. "I've never seen her stop before. But these things happen. She's never really had any setbacks before, so we weren't used to it. But she got over it, so we're OK. At least we knew there was something wrong." Joining Bee A Magician in the Hambletonian Maturity field are Your So Vain, Sweet Justice, Bambino Glide, Fico, Wheeling N Dealin, Royalty For Life, Flanagan Memory, Spider Blue Chip, High Bridge, Master Of Law, Major Athens, Possessed Fashion, and Creatine. Conditions for the Hambletonian Maturity allowed for up to 16 starters rather than the traditional 10. Royalty For Life, who is making his 2014 debut, won last year's Hambletonian Stakes while Spider Blue Chip was the Breeders Crown champion and Creatine captured the Kentucky Futurity. Wheeling N Dealin was the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "I think it will be OK; I think we'll be alright," Norman said about facing the boys. "We'll see how some of those colts are." Also on Saturday's card at the Meadowlands are two eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace and one elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee. The first elimination for the Meadowlands Pace features North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. The second division includes He's Watching, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer, and last year's Breeders Crown champion Luck Be Withyou. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the July 12 final. As for Bee A Magician's future schedule, she is being pointed to the Ima Lula Series at the Meadowlands, which is for trotting mares, following the Hambletonian Maturity. "I think I'll try to keep her at home as much as possible, race her close to home," Norman said. "It's a long year and I don't want to over-race her. We'll see how it goes. If we can do some good on Saturday and get some money there, that's a big purse, it would make the rest of the year a lot nicer." Following is the field in post order for the Hambletonian Maturity with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Your So Vain, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 2. Sweet Justice, Corey Callahan, Bruce Saunders; 3. Bambino Glide, Marcus Miller, Julie Miller; 4. Fico, Tyler Smith, Staffan Lind; 5. Wheeling N Dealin, Jody Jamieson, Luc Blais; 6. Royalty For Life, David Miller, George Ducharme; 7. Flanagan Memory, Ron Pierce, Rene Dion; 8. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 9. High Bridge, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 10. Master Of Law, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci; 11. Major Athens, John Campbell, Rich Gillock; 12. Possessed Fashion, Tim Tetrick, Tom Fanning; 13. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman; 14. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart. by Ken Weingarter, for Harness Racing Communications

The New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies highlighted a 13-race program on Thursday night at Vernon Downs with four separate divisions being the focus of the night.   The $27,750 first division (Race 5) went to Frou Frou (Conway Hall-Nowerland Hana) in 1:58.1. Frou Frou (Brett Miller) followed live cover from Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) and just blasted on by in the stretch to win going away. Northern Obsession ended up third after getting passed by My Lucky Word (Corey Callahan), who enjoyed the third-over trip, and ended up wearing down her rival for the second spot. Frou Frou is owned by Leigh Raymer of Magnolia, Delaware, James A. Crawford IV of Manilus, New York, and Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, New York. Leigh Raymer is also the trainer of Frou Frou.   The $27,750 second division (Race 7) was a gate-to-wire victory for Concentration (Conway Hall-Super Starlet). Concentration (Chris Lems) took control as soon as the gate opened and never looked back, staying in front all the way to win in 1:58.2. Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) had the first-over trip up the backstretch and ended up finishing second, with Lock Down Lindy (Scott Zeron) finishing third. Concentration is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell Jr. of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme. She had won two 2-year-old qualifiers at Vernon Downs earlier in June before this first pari-mutuel score.   The $27,750 third division (Race 9) was won by Zanna Blu (RC Royalty-Zann's Fan) after she set the early pace of 29.1 for the quarter and 1:00.3 for the half. Zanna Blu (Gates Brunet) was then passed on the backstretch after a strong charge from Spell That (John Stark Jr.), who led into the stretch. Zanna Blu re-rallied to pass Spell That for the victory in the late stages of the race in 1:59.1. Up Chuckie (Rick Zeron) finished third. Zanna Blu is owned by Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, New York and James A. Crawford of Manilus, New York. Driver Gates Brunet doubles as the trainer.   The $27,250 fourth division (Race 11) might have provided the most exciting finish of the night with Hot Start (Lucky Chucky-Mallelujah) getting the win in 1:59.1. Hot Start (Corey Callahan) appeared hopelessly bottled up at the pylons in the stretch, but managed to work free in the last eighth of a mile and get up in time for the victory over Photo Message (Robert Shepherd) and the longtime leader, Cherry Crown Jewel (Dan Daley). Photo Message, in fact, also got past Cherry Crown Jewel in the shadow of the wire after being parked outside at the top of the stretch. Hot Start is owned by Green Acquisition Corporation of Canfield, Ohio and trained by Jonas Czernyson.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a 10-race program. The 6th race is the featured event of the evening with a purse of $8,000. It is an Open II Trot for Fillies and Mares. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Long Island Tea, who has won two of her last three starts. Post time on Friday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs 

On a rainy and nasty night at Vernon Downs, A Penny Earned (Conway Hall-Penny Dream) shone bright through the storm in the $10,000 featured 7th race.   A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) sat the pocket trip for a good chunk of the mile, as the favorite, Lutetium (John Macdonald) set the early pace of :27 for the quarter and :56 for the half. My Revenuer (Truman Gale) actually made the first move at the leader as the field entered the far turn, surging on the outside to grab the lead past three-quarters in 1:24.4.   However, My Revenuer could not secure inside position in the stretch. This allowed A Penny Earned to rally up the inside after moving out to split horses, passing the tiring Lutetium. Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore), who followed the cover of My Revenuer entering the stretch, finished third. A Penny Earned finished the mile in 1:54.1.   He is owned by Alfred Ross, George Ducharme, and Nicola Oliva of Massachusetts and Paul Fontaine of Rhode Island. Ducharme doubles as the trainer. The win was the second of the season at Vernon Downs for A Penny Earned. The complete order of finish was A Penny Earned, My Revenuer, Evil Urges, Mr. Web Page, Naughty Not Nice, Lutetium, Flashbacks. War Hero was a scratch (sick).   Racing continues at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 10-race program. The 9th race, an Open Pace, is the featured event with a purse of $8,000. I Do Hanover is listed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Chris Lems is scheduled to have the drive. Post time on Saturday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs   

The popular Hambletonian Monte (racing under saddle) a late-closing series for trotters will feature a $25,000 final on Hambletonian Eve, Fri., Aug. 1 at the Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ.   The inaugural Hambletonian Monte final was won by 2008 Hambletonian winning driver Ray Schnittker, who rode Flex The Muscle to victory in the $32,800 final. (attached)   Monte racing, a hybrid of harness and thoroughbred racing is a popular pari-mutuel sport in Europe, especially in France where many top trotters and drivers compete in both top-tier sulky and saddle races. It's also a rising trend in North America, as last year saw nine tracks host events worth more than $90,000 in purse money put up by industry sponsors. A celebrity appearance by star thoroughbred jockey Chantal Sutherland aboard DW NY's Yank resulted in a new under saddle world record at The Meadows in Pennsylvania.   The Hambletonian under saddle event has shown rapid growth under the direction of Helene Gregory, who won a U.S. Harness Writers Presidents Award for her efforts to bring the discipline to prominence. The organization Monte America put together the series for trotters comprising two legs worth $10,000 on July 18 and July 25 respectively and a $25,000 final showcased on the eve of harness racing's richest and most prestigious day - a night dedicated to females, fun and fashion at the New Meadowlands Racetrack.   There will be RUS qualifiers and practical tests for RUS licenses held at Gaitway Farms in Manalapan, NJ on three consecutive Mondays - June 9, 16 and 23.   "The Racing Under Saddle program has proved to be an interesting twist for harness racing," said Gregory. "The support from trainers, owners and most of all racetracks has been incredible. The Meadowlands has taken the lead with Jeff Gural personally having a big impact with his support and sponsorship. The RUS riders bring a whole new stream of fans, as families, friends and barn mates come along to cheer on these new races."   Hambletonian Monte sponsors for 2014 include Allerage Farms, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Arden Homestead Stable, Ron Burke Stable, Paul Kelley Stable, White Birch Farm, Winners Circle Blueberries and 2013 Hambletonian winning trainer George Ducharme. Sponsorships are still available by contacting Gregory at kickan@comcast.net for more information.   There are currently more than 60 licensed RUS riders in North America. Jennifer Connor who competed on the circuit last year sees the event as a real positive for harness racing.   "I like that Monte has opened a door for more women to participate competitively in harness racing and I think that it has the ability to attract fans from other equestrian disciplines. I also believe it helps these horses have a life after racing, as they are going to be trained to also race under saddle," said Connor.   A $200 nomination fee is due June 15 for those wishing to compete. Conditions, nomination blanks and more information can be found on the Monte America website http://www.monteamerica.com/ or on the Hambletonian Society website http://www.hambletonian.org/resources/RUSSeries20143.pdf. by Moira Fanning, for Monte America

PLAINVILLE, MA: Royalty For Life, the colt who cruised to victory in last August's Hambletonian, the harness racing equivalent of the Kentucky Derby, returned to Plainridge Racecourse this weekend to prepare and train for the 2014 racing season. Trainer George Ducharme said he was "thrilled to have the horse back home to prepare him for the start of his four-year-old season which is just around the corner."   "We are honored that Royalty For Life will be getting ready for his 2014 campaign here at Plainridge Racecourse," said Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming, parent company of Plainridge Racecourse. "His string of victories last year are a remarkable testament to the potential that exists in the Massachusetts harness racing industry which is why we are so happy to have him back and also why we are so happy to be moving forward on our exciting plans here in Plainville," McErlean added.   Just a week before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) awarded the Commonwealth's sole Category Two expanded gaming license to Penn National's Plainridge Park Casino project, Royalty For Life was named the 2013 Three Year Old Trotter of the Year by the United States Harness Writer's Association. The colt, owned by Al Ross of Dartmouth, was born in Belchertown at the farm of breeder Raymond "Chip" Campbell and trained by Norfolk resident George Ducharme in Plainville. After winning the Hambletonian last year, Royalty for Life also won the Canadian Trotting Classic, Canada's premier harness racing event.   "Thanks to the MGC, Royalty For Life's return to Plainridge Racecourse will be just one of many new good news stories that the future holds for harness racing here in the Commonwealth," stated McErlean. "It's been a long, cold and snowy winter but the racing industry in Massachusetts has brighter days ahead with a lot more victories, and so does Royalty for Life," said McErlean.   Submitted by Plainrdige Racecourse Publicity  

Portland, ME --- The Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association will be holding their annual awards banquet on Saturday (Feb. 15) at the Italian Heritage Center located at 40 Westland Avenue in Portland. The day starts off at 2:30 p.m. with the business meeting where old and new business is discussed and the election of officers will take place. The festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. with a social hour that will run in unison with the silent stallion auction. Many top breeders in the state donate the services of their stallions with the proceeds of the silent stallion auction benefitting the MSBOA Scholarship Fund. There will also be an additional auction of harness racing related items that will take place shortly before the awards banquet kicks off at 6 p.m. The awards banquet will recognize those who have excelled in the state’s sire stakes racing program in 2013. There are various awards based on age, gait, sire and broodmare that will receive acknowledgement for success in their respective categories. Awards will also be presented to the people of the sport who have contributed and succeeded in the Maine breeders program that represents many jobs and open land opportunities in the Pine Tree State. One such recipient is Mike Andrews of Gorham who will be receiving the top breeder in the trotting category as his 3-year-old trotting colt Obrigado went undefeated in his 2013 racing campaign as he notched 13 victories with earnings of more than $100,000. MSBOA president James Kelly will speak and introduce a trio of owners who have found success in harness racing’s ultimate trotting prize. Chip Campbell, Al Ross and Paul Fontaine co-own the 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life. This 3-year-old colt is trained by George Ducharme, who has been voted the Good Guy Award by the United States Harness Writers' Association. Ducharme, along with Campbell, Ross and Fontaine are New England residents with strong ties in Massachusetts harness racing as well as racing on the national scene. The story of Royalty For Life is one where Chip Campbell owned the stallion (RC Royalty) and Al Ross owned the mare (Bourbon N Grits). The connection of the two brought about a trotter that to date has earned more than $1.6 million in just two years of racing. The night will also raffles and door prizes. More information may be obtained from the following: www.mainehha.com and www.meharness.com. by Bill Ellis, for the MSBOA

Monticello, NY - The much anticipated winner of the E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year trophy will be announced live on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at Dover Downs, Dover Delaware. Tickets for this gala event, the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Night of Champions, are now available. In addition to equine divisional honors, a host of the industry's biggest and brightest will be feted at the annual awards ceremony, including this year's inductees to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, David Miller and Bill Weaver; and Communicators Hall of Fame, Carol Cramer and John Pawlak. The U. S. Harness Writers list of human awards also includes the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award winner, Joe Thomson, as well as the Owner, Trainer, Driver, and Breeder of the Year, Rising Star, Breakthrough, Good Guy and a host of others, which are listed below and available on the USHWA.org website. Adding to the festivities will be the popular souvenir red carpet photo shoot during the cocktail hour followed by a main course dinner of lobster surf and turf. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet can be reserved via telephone or Email by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson (302.359.3630), zoe8874@aol.com or Scott Warren (302.222.1222), voiceofrcr@aol.com Substantial savings on hotel rooms can be attained for this event, which is being held at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, on US Rte. 13 (DuPont Hwy.) in Dover, Delaware. A special rate of $149 can be reserved by calling 866.473.7378 BEFORE January 22, 2014, and mentioning code: GHWA. The deadline for the Dan Patch Awards journal is Monday, January 27. To advertise in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully by calling 845.807.7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com All of this information and applicable advertising forms can be accessed via internet link: USHWA.org Dan Patch Horse Awards - 2013 Champions and Finalists* 2-Year-Old Trotting filly: Shake It Cerry 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly: Precocious Beauty 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt: Father Patrick 2-Year-Old Pacing Colts* -- He's Watching, Luck Be With You 3-Year-Old Trotting Colts* -- Royalty For Life, Spider Blue Chip 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly: Bee A Magician 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly: I Luv The Nitelife 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt: Captaintreacherous Trotting Mare: Maven Trotting Horse: Market Share Pacing Mares* -- Anndrovette, Rocklamation Pacing Horse: Foiled Again *Finalists, *Trotter of the Year, *Pacer of the Year, and the E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year* to be announced live Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014   United States Harness Writers Association - Awards and Honorees Harness Racing Hall of Fame: David Miller & William Weaver Communicators Hall of Fame: Carol Cramer & John Pawlak Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award: Joe Thomson Norman Woolworth Owner: Burke Racing & Weaver Bruscemi Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year: Ron Burke Driver of the Year: Tim Tetrick Breeder of the Year: White Birch Farm Lew Barasch Breakthrough: Heather Wilder Rising Star: Corey Callahan President's Award: Mary Lou Dondarski W. R. Haughton Good Guy: George Ducharme USHWAn of the Year: Judy Davis-Wilson Unsung Hero: Sam Landy & Open Space Amateur Driver of the Year: Steve Oldford Trotting Broodmare of the Year: Beehive Pacing Broodmare of the Year: Worldly Treasure January Davies Humanitarian Award: Donna Marshall HHYF Service to Youth Award: Janet Stevenson Davis Grand Circuit Awards: Owner, Burke Racing; Trainer, Ron Burke; Driver, Yannick Gingras USTA & USHWA Railbird Recognition Awards TBA Hervey & Smallsreed Awards TBA by Chris Tully for United States Harness Writers Association   

Columbus, OH --- Bee A Magician, Father Patrick, and Maven were unanimous 2013 Dan Patch Award selections as the best harness racing horses in their respective divisions, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Thursday. A total of 131 ballots were returned. Three-year-old filly trotter Bee A Magician and older female trotter Maven were named on all 131 while 2-year-old male trotter Father Patrick was named on 130 with one abstention. Six other year-end champions were named Thursday in divisions that saw only one horse receive at least 10 percent of the vote. Three-year-old male pacer Captaintreacherous and older male trotter Market Share both received 130 votes and were declared winners in their divisions. Also being named winners were 2-year-old filly pacer Precocious Beauty, 2-year-old filly trotter Shake It Cerry, 3-year-old filly pacer I Luv The Nitelife, and older male pacer Foiled Again. Winners in the three remaining divisions - 2-year-old male pacer, 3-year-old male trotter, and older female pacer - will be announced at the Dan Patch Awards banquet on Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, and Horse of the Year also will be revealed at that time. Finalists for best 2-year-old male pacer are He's Watching and Luck Be Withyou, with the 3-year-old male trotter race coming down to Royalty For Life and Spider Blue Chip and older female pacer a battle between Anndrovette and Rocklamation. Bee A Magician was undefeated in 17 starts this year and joined Muscle Hill and Syrinx Hanover as the only trotters to go unbeaten at age 3 and receive Dan Patch divisional honors dating back to 1975. Trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician won the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial on her way to $1.54 million in purses. Her earnings are 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. Father Patrick, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group, won 10 of 11 races and $744,057. His victories included the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters, the William Wellwood Memorial, and the Peter Haughton Memorial. He finished the campaign with a nine-race winning streak and was unbeaten in stakes competition. He set the world record of 1:52.1 for a 2-year-old male trotter on a five-eighths-mile track in winning his Breeders Crown elimination at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Maven won 10 of 14 races and earned $509,220 for trainer Jonas Czernyson, driver Gingras and owner Bill Donovan. Her wins included the Breeders Crown for older female trotters, Armbro Flight Stakes, and Miss Versatility Series championship. She trotted the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track in winning the Miss Versatility in 1:51.4 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Captaintreacherous, Foiled Again, and Market Share are repeat winners. Last year, Captaintreacherous claimed Dan Patch Awards as best 2-year-old male pacer and Pacer of the Year. This season at age 3, he won 13 of 16 races and $2.05 million for trainer Tony Alagna, driver Tim Tetrick and the Captaintreacherous Racing ownership group. He joined Rocknroll Hanover and Gallo Blue Chip as the only 3-year-old male pacers to win a Breeders Crown, the North America Cup, and Meadowlands Pace in the same season. The 9-year-old Foiled Again, who this season became the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown and the richest North American harness racing horse in history, was named the sport's best older male pacer for the third consecutive year. He joins Rambling Willie (1975-77) as the only horses to win the division's top honor three straight seasons. Foiled Again, trained by Ron Burke and driven primarily by Gingras for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables, won 11 of 29 races in 2013 and earned $1.40 million. He is the oldest horse to ever have a million-dollar season. Market Share, a 4-year-old, also took divisional honors last season at age 3. This year, he won six of 14 races and earned $1.07 million for trainer Linda Toscano, driver Tetrick and owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stables, and William Augustine. He finished the season by winning the Breeders Crown Open Trot, American-National Stakes, and TVG Free For All Series Championship. I Luv The Nitelife won 13 of 15 races and $1.25 million for trainer Chris Ryder, driver Tetrick and owners Richard and Joanne Young. Her victories included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly pacers, Fan Hanover Stakes and Valley Forge (in a world-record 1:48.4 mile). Shake It Cerry, trained by Takter and driven by Ron Pierce for the Solveig's Racing Partners ownership group, captured eight of 11 starts and earned $827,769. Her triumphs included the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters, Goldsmith Maid, and Merrie Annabelle. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, including the She's A Great Lady Stakes, and $446,692 for trainer Gregg McNair, driver Doug McNair and owner Jim Avritt Sr. The competition for 3-year-old male trotter features Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life against Breeders Crown champion Spider Blue Chip. The race for older female pacer is between two-time defending division champ Anndrovette, who won the Roses Are Red Stakes, and Milton Stakes winner Rocklamation. Two-year-old male pacer honors come down to New York Sire Stakes champion He's Watching, undefeated in eight races, and Breeders Crown winner Luck Be Withyou, who won five of 11 starts. DAN PATCH AWARD WINNERS These divisions saw only one horse receive at least 10 percent of the vote. 2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Father Patrick (130 votes, 1 abstention) Cantab Hall - Gala Dream - Enjoy Lavec Breeder: Brittany Farms. Owner: Father Patrick Stable. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 11-10-1-0. Purses: $744,057. Mark: 1:52.1 at Pocono Downs (world record). Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $354,050 Wellwood Memorial; $280,500 Haughton Memorial. 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Shake It Cerry (124 votes) Donato Hanover - Solveig - Yankee Glide Breeder: Solveig's Breeders. Owner: Solveig's Racing Partners. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Ron Pierce. Races: 11-8-2-0. Purses: $827,769. Mark: 1:53.3 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $456,150 Goldsmith Maid; $321,700 Merrie Annabelle. 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER Precocious Beauty (117 votes) Art Major - Precious Beauty - Jate Lobell Breeder: James Avritt Sr. Owner: James Avritt Sr. Trainer: Gregg McNair. Driver: Doug McNair. Races: 11-7-3-0. Purses: $446,692. Mark: 1:50.1 at Red Mile (world record). Top win: $428,450 She's A Great Lady. 3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER Captaintreacherous (130 votes) Somebeachsomewhere - Worldly Treasure - Artsplace Breeder: White Birch Farm. Owner: Captaintreacherous Racing. Trainer: Tony Alagna. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 16-13-2-0. Purses: $2.05 million. Mark: 1:47.1 at Red Mile. Top wins: $980,000 North America Cup; $635,750 Meadowlands Pace; $500,000 Breeders Crown. 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER I Luv The Nitelife (123 votes) Rocknroll Hanover - Lisjune - Camluck Breeders: MJG Racing Stables, Louis "Andy" Willinger. Owners: Richard and Joanne Young. Trainer: Chris Ryder. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 15-13-1-1. Purses: $1.25 million. Mark: 1:48.4 at Pocono Downs (world record). Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $384,044 Fan Hanover; $350,000 Valley Forge. 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Bee A Magician (131 votes) Kadabra - Beehive - Balanced Image Breeder: White Birch Farm. Owners: Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee. Trainer: Richard "Nifty" Norman. Drivers: Rick Zeron, Brian Sears. Races: 17-17-0-0. Purses: $1.54 million. Mark: 1:51 at Meadowlands (world record). Top wins: $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks; $500,000 Breeders Crown; $356,981 Elegantimage. OLDER MALE PACER Foiled Again (125 votes) Dragon Again - In A Safe Place - Artsplace Breeder: Barbara Matthews. Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables. Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 29-11-6-7. Purses: $1.40 million. Mark: 1:48 at Pocono Downs (world record). Top wins: $512,000 TVG Free For All Championship; $500,000 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Ben Franklin. OLDER MALE TROTTER Market Share (130 votes) Revenue S - Classical Flirt - Yankee Glide Breeder: Hayley Moore. Owners: Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable, William Augustine. Trainer: Linda Toscano. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 14-6-1-5. Purses: $1.07 million. Mark: Q1:50.3 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $526,710 Maple Leaf; $500,000 TVG Free For All Championship. OLDER FEMALE TROTTER Maven (131 votes) Glidemaster - M Stewart - American Winner Breeder: All La Nuova Sbarra Srl. Owner: Bill Donovan. Trainer: Jonas Czernyson. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 14-10-2-0. Purses: $509,220. Mark: 1:51.4 at Delaware County Fairgrounds (world record). Top wins: $266,041 Armbro Flight; $250,000 Breeders Crown. DAN PATCH AWARD FINALISTS Top two vote-getters in these divisions were named finalists, with the winner to be announced at the Dan Patch Awards banquet Feb. 23 at Dover Downs 2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER He's Watching American Ideal - Baberhood - Real Desire Breeders: Brittany Farms, Robert Burgess, Karin Olsson Burgess. Owners: David Menary, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero. Trainer: David Menary. Driver: Jim Morrill Jr. Races: 8-8-0-0. Purses: $291,722. Mark: 1:50 at Tioga Downs. Top win: $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final. Luck Be Withyou Western Ideal - Trim Hanover - Camluck Breeder: Brittany Farms. Owner: John Craig. Trainers: Bill Cass, Chris Oakes. Drivers: Phil Hudon, Ron Pierce. Races: 11-5-1-0. Purses: $359,417. Mark: 1:50 at Pocono Downs. Top win: $500,000 Breeders Crown. 3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Royalty For Life RC Royalty - Bourbon 'N Grits - Donerail Breeder: Al Ross. Owners: Al Ross, Ray "Chip" Campbell Jr., Paul Fontaine. Trainer: George Ducharme. Driver: Brian Sears. Races: 14-7-2-0. Purses: $1.27 million. Mark: Q1:51.3 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $1 million Hambletonian; $665,420 Canadian Trotting Classic; $294,000 Dancer Memorial. Spider Blue Chip Andover Hall - Southwind Catlin - Muscles Yankee Breeder: McLain Ward. Owners: David McDuffee, Mel Hartman. Trainer: Chuck Sylvester. Driver: Ron Pierce. Races: 20-10-3-2. Purses: $1.08 million. Mark: 1:51.3 at Red Mile. Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Colonial; $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. OLDER FEMALE PACER Anndrovette Riverboat King - Easy Miss - Big Towner Breeder: Golden Touch Stable. Owner: Bamond Racing, Joseph Davino. Trainer: P.J. Fraley. Driver: Tim Tetrick. Races: 21-7-7-4. Purses: $558,201. Mark: 1:48 at Mohawk. Top win: $313,795 Roses Are Red. Rocklamation Rocknroll Hanover - Art Sale - Artsplace Breeder: Perretti Farms. Owners: Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, J&T Silva Stables. Trainer: Ron Burke. Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Brett Miller. Races: 21-5-7-6. Purses: $540,358. Mark: 1:49.3 at Meadowlands. Top win: $275,480 Milton. by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications    

2013 leading Monte America (RUS) performers in the United States (horses, riders and trainers based on earnings) are shown below.  Congratulations to all for making the monte season memorable and for setting the stage for future years. The equine leaders were Flex The Muscle and Vassar Hall with three wins each. Ray Schnittker posted three riding wins versus two each for Michelle Crawford and Helene Gregory. Schnittker and Brett Crawford earned three training victories. Horses: Flex The Muscle led the US equine monte competitors with three wins in five starts earning $19,750. Vassar Hall recorded three wins but did not hit the top five money earnings that also included single dash winners Chinese Cuisine ($14,420), Master Pine ($9.250), A Penney Earned ($6,500) and the consistent non-winner Muscolo ($7,004). Other monte winners during the season included Andover America, Admirable Hanover, John-Michael, Motown Dream Girl, First Tail U See, Pointe Of Honour, Fort Valley As, and Sundance Bayama. Riders: Ray Schnittker earned three wins with his trainee Flex The Muscle for earnings of $19,750. Helene Gregory recorded two wins for $14,250 with the other top five money winners being Tina Duer (one win for $14,420), Jenny Melander (one win for $8,520) and Karen Isbell ($7,250 earned with one victory). Other winners included two-time dash winner Michelle Crawford and single dash winners Heather Reese, Tara Hynes, Jennifer Lowery, Ashley Eldred, Jennifer Connor, Therese Lindgren, Melinda Giroso and Mary Dolce-Conti. Trainers: Schnittker also led the trainer category in 2013 with three wins and $19,750. Brett Bittle’s charges earned $11,300 with one win followed by Julie Miller ($9,250, one win), Paul Kelley ($7.004 without a win) and George Ducharme ($6,500, one victory). Other dash winning monte trainers not in the top five money winners were Brett Crawford (3 wins) and single dash winners Henrik Lundell, Jennifer Sabot, Frank Scamporino Jr., Robert Bresnahan, Robert Lounsbury, Daryl Bier, Janice Connor, Ashley Eldred and James Doherty Jr. Our Canadian monte colleagues are listed below based on wins and all events were exhibitions without purses. Horses: Harlequin led the 2013 equine monte performers with three wins and a second in four starts. Other single dash winners were I’ll Be There, Katla, Lady Is A Pirate, Sixth Man and Speedy Desperado. Riders: Riina Rekila posted a category leading four victories in six starts steering Harlequin and Katla to wins. Evelyn Harms, Maggie Jones, Sharleen MacDonald and Emma Jayne Wilson scored one win each. Trainers: Geoff Maltby led the way with three wins in eight starts for a UTRS of .444. Maggie Jones, Doug McIntosh, Anthony Montini, Riina Rekila and Julie Walker recorded one training win each. Thanks to all participants, owners, sponsors and track operators for making 2013 a successful monte campaign and in heightening interest in racing under saddle in North America. Special thanks to USTA’s David Carr for being the diligent scorekeeper and to racetrack photographers for recording the racing action. www.monteamerica.com by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

VERNON, NY—Newcomer Arockin Hanover captured the $12,000 Open pace; Noble Wabbit lowered his odd-distance record for 7/8ths-of-a-mile in the “Turn Back The Clock Rewind Race,” while drivers John Macdonald and Truman Gale each recorded four victories during Saturday night’s 13-race program at Vernon Downs. The Saratoga-shipper Arockin Hanover went off as the second choice in Saturday’s featured seventh session. As the favorite Sheer Brilliance cut fast fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.4, Arockin Hanover drafted along back in fourth place. Entering the homestretch, Arockin Hanover revved up and closed like a gate in the wind to not only overtake the pace-setter, but draw off to an eye-popping 3-3/4-length tally in 1:51. The fast-closing finish by the speedy 5-year-old gelding resulted in his second win in succession, eighth this season and 20th all time. Gale did the driving for trainer Jason Robinson as the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artaffection raised his career bankroll to more than $377,100 for owner Robert D. Main. Entering Saturday’s $4,500 fourth event as the Vernon record-holder for a 7/8ths-mile clockwise pace off a 1:42.3 effort in 2011, Noble Wabbit rallied overland from fifth in the early going, advanced to third entering the stretch and then powered home to defeat the pocket-sitting Prince Polaris by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:39. It was the first win in 2013 for the 10-year-old bay gelding, but his 37th lifetime score. MacDonald did the teaming for trainer George Ducharme and owner Heather Reese as the productive son of Precious Bunny-Noble Lady Avalon increased his lifetime earnings to $154,487. Gale, for the second time during the 86-card Downs campaign, collected four wins on a single program, while it marked the first occasion for MacDonald, a newcomer to the track this season. Dave Dewhurst, the meet’s second-leading trainer with 37 tallies, also harnessed two first-place finishers during the rainy evening. DOWNS DOINGS Gary P. Clark, the track’s leading provisional pilot at present, recorded his fourth local score after a 1:54.4 trip behind the pacer New York Kitty (owned by he and Fay Clark) in Saturday’s second session… The Kenneth Daniels-owned sophomore trotter Southwind Tule chalked up his first pari-mutuel victory following a 2:02.1 performance for trainer and driver Claude Huckabone, III in Saturday’s $3,400 third event… Only two live racing dates remain during the track’s 88-card campaign that continues through Nov. 9… Vernon’s program for Friday, Nov. 8 will start at 6:45 p.m., but the card for Saturday, Nov. 9, will begin at 6 p.m., and include a coffee mug giveaway, while supplies last, and a spectacular fireworks display to conclude the track’s 60th anniversary season…. A revised 2013, 88-program racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran  

Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life, who drew post one in tonight’s $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and was the 5/2 morning line favorite, will scratch from the race, according to trainer George Ducharme. “It’s disappointing,” said Ducharme. “This is not how I wanted to cap the year. He is just not himself and I have to put the interests of the horse first. Nothing specific but he’s been so good to us I don’t want to take the chance of hurting him. I will get him vetted out this week and see if anything is really wrong. “He wasn’t really himself in the second heat of the Futurity and then after the Breeders Crown elim he just didn’t seem like himself. “ Royalty For Life won a heat of the Kentucky Futurity but was fifth in the final heat. In last week’s Breeders Crown elim he finished fourth. Royalty For Life has the most earnings this year of any trotter with $1.2 million. All entrants in the race will move down one slot on the starting gate. The number two, horse All Laid Out, will now start from the rail on through post eight. Head numbers for all horses in the race are unchanged. by Moira Fanning for the Breeders Crown  

Bee A Magician, Captaintreacherous and I Luv The Nitelife, who have combined to win 35 of 37 races and $3.67 million this year, lead the list of 156 horses entered Tuesday for the 12 Breeders Crown events at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Eliminations are unnecessary for the 3-year-old filly pacers and Open Trot, which both received nine entries. Eliminations for 2-year-old male and female trotters plus 2-year-old female pacers are Friday at Pocono Downs, with the remaining elims Saturday. Post time is 6:30 p.m. both nights. All 12 finals - with purses totaling $5.6 million - will be Saturday, Oct. 19, at Pocono Downs. Post time is 5 p.m. for the first race. Bee A Magician, a 3-year-old filly trotter, is 13-for-13 this year for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. She enters the Breeders Crown off a win in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship Sept. 28 at Mohawk, which pushed her seasonal earnings to $1.09 million. Other victories this season include the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $356,981 Elegantimage Stakes. A daughter of the stallion Kadabra out of the mare Beehive, Bee A Magician is the fastest 3-year-old trotter this season, with a clocking of 1:51 that came in winning the $265,500 Delvin Miller Memorial on July 13 at the Meadowlands. The time is the fastest ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter. Bee A Magician has won 23 of 26 lifetime starts and earned $1.86 million - the most ever for a filly trotter at ages 2 and 3 combined. She finished third in last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters, which was won by To Dream On. Bee A Magician is the second of two eliminations for the 3-year-old filly trotters, starting from post three. To Dream On, who on Sunday won the $205,100 Kentucky Filly Futurity final, is in the second of the two eliminations. To Dream On is one of 12 previous Breeders Crown champions entered in this year's event. Three-year-old colt pacer Captaintreacherous is a nose from perfect this year, with 10 wins in 11 starts and $1.61 million. He is trained by Tony Alagna for the Captaintreacherous Racing ownership group. He heads to the Breeders Crown following his victory Saturday in a $215,500 division of the Tattersalls Pace at The Red Mile. Other wins this year for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Worldly Treasure include the $980,000 North America Cup, the $635,750 Meadowlands Pace, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial and the $360,211 Cane Pace. His only loss came by a nose to Sunshine Beach in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine in a world-record 1:47.4 mile. Captaintreacherous has won 18 of 21 career races and earned $2.53 million. He finished third in last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers. He is in the second of two eliminations for the 3-year-old male pacers and will leave from post four. I Luv The Nitelife, a 3-year-old filly pacer, has won 12 of 13 races this year and earned $968,337 for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Richard and Joanne Young. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune, she most recently won the $154,650 Jugette final at the Delaware County Fair on Sept. 18 for her 11th consecutive victory. Other triumphs include the $384,044 Fan Hanover Stakes, the $350,000 Valley Forge and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial. For her career, she has won 16 of 23 starts and $1.65 million. She finished second in last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly pacers, which was won by Somwherovrarainbow. Eliminations are unnecessary for the 3-year-old filly pacers, so the final was drawn Tuesday. I Luv The Nitelife will start from post seven; Somwherovrarainbow leaves from post eight. Shebestingin, who on Sunday paced the fastest mile in history by a female pacer when she won a division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial in 1:47, drew post five. The Open Trot, Mare Trot and Mare Pace each have three past Breeders Crown winners. Arch Madness, who makes his record-tying sixth Breeders Crown appearance, Intimidate and Uncle Peter all are previous trophy winners competing in this year's Open Trot. Arch Madness became the ninth trotter in history to surpass $4 million in career earnings when he won the Allerage Farms Open Trot on Sunday at The Red Mile. In the Mare Trot, Cedar Dove, Check Me Out and Maven have won titles, as have Mare Pace contenders Anndrovette, Economy Terror and Monkey On My Wheel. Anndrovette is seeking her third consecutive Breeders Crown, a feat never accomplished in any of the open divisions. Sweet Lou, in the Open Pace, completes the list of previous Breeders Crown champions. The Open Pace also includes Foiled Again, who is the richest pacer in harness racing history, with $5.38 million. Following are the fields with listed drivers and trainers. Elimination purses are $25,000. FRIDAY ELIMINATIONS 2-year-old filly trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Struck By Lindy, David Miller, Nifty Norman; 2. Goddess, John Campbell, Paul Kelley; 3. Designed To Be, Andy Miller, Julie Miller; 4. Shake It Cerry, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter; 5. Lifetime Pursuit, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 6. Cantabs Fortune, Rick Zeron, Rick Zeron; 7. Market Rally, John Cummings Jr., Megan Wilson. Division Two: 1. Cooler Schooner, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 2. Scream And Shout, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 3. Harley Momma, Howard Parker, Jim Raymer; 4. Vanity Matters, Yannick Gingras, Jonas Czernyson; 5. Noon Tea Party, Brian Sears, Paul Fusco; 6. Demanding Sam, Paul Macdonell, Scott McEneny; 7. Ruby, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller. 2-year-old filly pacers (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: She's Da Bomb, Jody Jamieson, Tony O'Sullivan; 2. Rain Cloud Hanover, Brian Sears, David Taff; 3. Put On A Display, Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder; 4. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 5. Bettor Business, Tim Tetrick, Scott DiDomenico; 6. Southwind Silence, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Ali Blue, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 8. Beach Body, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes. Division Two: 1. Precocious Beauty, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair; 2. JK Molly, Tim Tetrick, Ron Burke; 3. Act Now, Ron Pierce, Nikolas Drennan; 4. Quick Thrill, Jim Morrill Jr., Brewer Adams; 5. Allstar Rating, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Rockingcam Park, Brian Sears, Ron Coyne Jr.; 7. Scandalicious, Andy Miller, Scott DiDomenico; 8. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter; 9. Delightful Dragon, Mike Lachance, Noel Daley. 2-year-old male trotters (top seven advance) 1. Southwind Spirit, Brian Sears, Ron Burke; 2. Expressive Action, Brian Sears, John Grasso; 3. Exodus Hanover, Andy Miller, Steve Elliott; 4. Another Transcript, Corey Callahan, Jerry Silverman; 5. Odds On Amethyst, Tim Tetrick, Robin Schadt; 6. Auspicious Hanover, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris; 7. Muscle Network, Jody Jamieson, Tony O'Sullivan; 8. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jim Oscarsson; 9. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter. Byes: Credit Fashion, Don Dorado. SATURDAY ELIMINATIONS 2-year-old male pacers (top three finishers from each elimination advance) Division One: 1. Workandplayhard, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen; 2. Journeyman, Mike Lachance, Tony Alagna; 3. Let's Drink On It, Ron Pierce, Joe Seekman; 4. So Surreal, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 5. Idealbeach Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Mark Ford; 6. Somestarsomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell. Division Two: 1. Beat The Drum, TBA, Staffan Lind; 2. Doo Wop Hanover, Ron Pierce, Steve Elliott; 3. Bakersfield, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 4. Melmerby Beach, Paul Macdonell, Brent MacGrath; 5. Crafty Master, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair; 6. Carracci Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Western Vintage, Yannick Gingras, Nancy Johansson; 8. Some Major Beach, Brian Sears, Tony Alagna. Division Three: 1. Luck Be Withyou, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Smack Talk, Ron Pierce, John Williamson; 3. Three Of Clubs, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair; 4. Fort Knox, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna; 5. Pierce, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 6. Ari Allstar, Brian Sears, Mark Ford; 7. Stevensville, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 8. Arthur Blue Chip, Randy Waples, Ian Moore. 3-year-old filly trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Royal Assets, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 2. Bouncing Bax, Howard Parker, Jim Raymer; 3. Coffeecake Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 4. Thistle Dhu, Brett Miller, Del S. Miller; 5. To Dream On, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 6. Frau Blucher, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes. Division Two: 1. Southwind Cocoa, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 2. Shared Past, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman; 4. Ma Chere Hall, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson; 5. Time To Kill, John Campbell, Ross Croghan; 6. Handover Belle, Mike Lachance, Tony Alagna. Mare trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Bax Of Life, John Campbell, Jerry Duford; 2. Unefoisdansmavie, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 3. Mystical Starlight, Brett Miller, Ross Croghan; 4. D'Orsay, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson; 5. Cowgirl Hall, Brian Sears, Deborah Brunet; 6. Cedar Dove, Ron Pierce, Noel Daley; 7. China Pearls, Paul Macdonell, David Drew. Division Two: 1. Real Babe, David Miller, Mark Harder; 2. Maven, Yannick Gingras, Jonas Czernyson; 3. Check Me Out, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 4. Intense America, Mike Lachance, Susanne Kerwood; 5. Win Missy B, TBA, Rich Gillock; 6. Beatgoeson Hanover, David Miller, Nifty Norman. 3-year-old male pacers (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Lucan Hanover, David Miller, Casie Coleman; 2. Sunshine Beach, John Campbell, Mark Steacy; 3. Wake Up Peter, Rick Zeron, Tony Alagna; 4. Fool Me Once, Brian Sears, Mark Austin; 5. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace; 6. Captive Audience, Randy Waples, Colin Johnson. Division Two: 1. Vegas Vacation, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 2. Urbanite Hanover, Yannick Gingras, John Williamson; 3. Emeritus Maximus, TBA, Tony Alagna; 4. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 5. Sunfire Blue Chip, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 6. Beach Memories, David Miller, Brian Brown. 3-year-old male trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Bluto, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 2. Dewycolorintheline, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 3. Fico, Corey Callahan, Staffan Lind; 4. Deadliest Catch, Ron Pierce, John Duer; 5. Smilin Eli, Tim Tetrick, David Smith; 6. All Laid Out, David Miller, Noel Daley; 7. Possessed Fashion, John Campbell, Tom Fanning. Division Two: 1. Caveat Emptor, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 2. Royalty For Life, Brian Sears, George Ducharme; 3. Hamdalla, Jody Jamieson, Riina Rekila; 4. E L Rocket, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 5. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 6. Aperfectyankee, Jim Oscarsson, Jim Oscarsson; 7. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart. Open Pace (top seven advance) 1. Warrawee Needy, Jody Jamieson, Mark Ford; 2. A Rocknroll Dance, Tim Tetrick, Jim Mulinix; 3. Bettor's Edge, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 4. Modern Legend, John Campbell, David Drew; 5. Sweet Lou, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 6. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Golden Receiver, Corey Callahan, Mark Harder; 8. Michael's Power, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 9. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Pete Foley. Byes: Clear Vision, Pet Rock. Mare Pace (top seven advance) 1. Economy Terror, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Rocklamation, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Swinging Beauty, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 4. Ooh Bad Shark, Howard Parker, William Wiggins; 5. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 6. Monkey On My Wheel, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 7. Krispy Apple, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 8. Camille, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Shelliscape, David Miller, P.J. Fraley. Byes: Drop The Ball, Feeling You. FINALS, ON OCT. 19 (no eliminations necessary) $500,000 3-year-old filly pace: 1. Parlee Beach, 2. Mattie Terror Girl, 3. Carols Desire, 4. Authorize, 5. Shebestingin, 6. Aunt Caroline, 7. I Luv The Nitelife, 8. Somwherovrarainbow, 9. Love Canal. $600,000 Open Trot: 1. Market Share, 2. Wishing Stone, 3. My MVP, 4. Guccio, 5. Intimidate, 6. Mister Herbie, 7. Arch Madness, 8. Uncle Peter, 9. Sevruga. by Ken Weingartner for HRC  

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