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The Meadowlands - The trail to the August 5 Hambletonian continues on Saturday with the Arthur Tompkins Memorial Grand Circuit stakes for harness racing  sophomore square-gaiters at The Meadowlands.   Ladies first in race four where a field of seven shall go forth in quest of the big share of the $49,870 purse. Overdraft Volo (PP #7) is a logical choice and the 2-1 morning line favorite. The Yankee Glide filly has been a model of consistency for the husband and wife team of Julie (trainer) and Andy (driver) Miller with six wins among a dozen board placings over her fourteen start career.   This season Overdraft Volo is near the top of her class, having won three of four starts including her division of last week's Del Miller Memorial, an important Hambletonian Oaks prep. Owners Pinske Stable and Kentuckiana Farms would like to have a barn full just like her, a $50,000 yearling with career earnings of $268,737 and a bright future.   Ten colts will battle for $59,370 in the seventh race with an eye on the $1 million Hambletonian, now a mere fortnight hence. With the division leaders taking a week off, we are left with a really competitive group of horses who are on the bubble for the Hambo. Two talented sons of Andover Hall, Dover Dan and Perfect Spirit, are such colts.   Dover Dan is a star on the PA Sires Stakes circuit whose resume includes a Grand Circuit win last fall at The Red Mile and a few tries against the best this season with limited success. He'll have to turn it up a notch for trainer John Butenschoen to get to the promised land. Vic Kirby will drive Dover Dan (PP #4) for the first time on Saturday for owners Wiswall, Goehlen and Shick.   Perfect Spirit has matured into a nice horse for Ake Svanstedt with a surprise win in the Earl Beal Memorial eliminations and a solid fourth in the final against the top colts. He's had a few weeks freshening and has a good starting point, leaving from post three for Svanstedt in the Tompkins. Lennart Agren's SRF Stable owns Perfect Spirit.   Aside from the stakes there are Open races for both three-year-old colts and fillies on the card where connections are hoping to separate the prospects from the suspects.   Corntastic weekend continues while the Roosevelt Raceway Reunion brings back the stars of yesteryear to entertain fans who remember New York racing of a generation ago. The late Herve Filion will also be memorialized on Saturday.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi      

As harness racing trainer Frank Antonacci says, the best way to make plans for horses is to plan to make new plans on a regular basis. George Ducharme would agree. Both trainers had plans in place for Hambletonian hopefuls in their stables only to see those plans require unexpected alterations. Antonacci's stakes-winning International Moni suffered a bout of colic and was scratched from a July 8 prep for last weekend's Stanley Dancer Memorial, which he also missed as a result of the health scare. Ducharme, on the other hand, got his hopeful --- Muscles Jared --- to the Dancer only to watch the gelding go off stride prior to the start and never get back to proper form. Ducharme had hoped to use the Dancer as a gauge whether to enter the horse in the Hambletonian. International Moni and Muscles Jared will be back in action Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack, competing in a $15,000 trot for 3-year-olds. Seven of the eight horses in the race are eligible to the Hambletonian: International Moni, Muscles Jared, Thisguyisonfire, Giveitgasandgo, Sir John F, Di Oggi, and Enterprise. The $1 million Hambletonian, the sport's premier event for 3-year-old trotters, is Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands. International Moni, who is 2-for-2 this year and won the Goodtimes Stakes at Mohawk on June 17, qualified last weekend in 1:53.3 at the Meadowlands. The colt is a son of French sire Love You out of two-time Horse of the Year Moni Maker. He was bred by the Moni Maker Stable, which retains ownership. "Knock on wood, crossed fingers, whatever you want to say, he's doing very well," Antonacci said. "He was going into that qualifier with no work of any real substance since the Goodtimes. I was very happy with how he performed that day. It seems like he recovered fully." International Moni's bout of colic passed without the need for surgery. "Fortunately we didn't have to intervene and everything rectified itself," Antonacci said. "It was one of those oddball, unexplainable kinds of incidents. For him to recover the way he did and a week later go out there and qualify the way he did I think is indicative of what a good horse he really is." So is the way International Moni raced in his Goodtimes elimination and the final. In the elim, the colt came from eight-lengths back at three-quarters to win by a neck in 1:54. In the final, he rallied from fifth at the half to win in 1:52.4. "Horses don't come from last and swoop the field to win anywhere, let alone at Mohawk," Antonacci said, referring to the elimination. "He's just a really, really good horse." The "plan" for International Moni is to race Saturday and then get a week off before the Hambletonian. "That would be the most logical plan at this point, but like I've said, plans change every day," Antonacci said. "There's no such thing as plans with live animals. You make plans and then you adjust every day." Muscles Jared won multiple state-restricted stakes last year including the Massachusetts Sire Stakes championship. This year he suffered a setback because of sickness after returning north from winter training in Florida. He was edged out for a spot in the final of the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial and finished second by a nose in the consolation on July 1. Ducharme was at loss to explain Muscle Jared's performance in the Dancer. "I wish I had an explanation, but I don't," Ducharme said. "He's never done that before. I guess we'll just say he had one of those nights. That's why we put him right back in (to race)." Muscles Jared is owned by Al Ross, who bred 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life and was among the horse's owners. Ducharme trained Royalty For Life. Ducharme said Muscles Jared's Hambletonian future rested in his performance Saturday. The son of Muscle Massive-Tetiana has won six of 17 races, finished second on five occasions, and earned $191,765 in his career. "He's going to have to trot and show us something," Ducharme said. Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes the Tompkins-Geers Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters, which also features a number of Hambletonian-eligible horses. They are Wutan, Perfect Spirit, Dover Dan, Southwind Cobra, Southwind Woody, Earl Variera, Fly On, Southwind Hydro, and Catch The Game. ROAD TO THE HAMBLETONIAN A look at open stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles Date - Track - Event - First - Second - Third May 6 - Freehold - Dexter Cup - Lord Cromwell - Gustavo Fring - Southwind Cobra May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - Long Tom - Yes Mickey - Deacon Tony May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - What The Hill - Southwind Cobra - New Jersey Viking May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Sortie - Giveitgasandgo - High Glider May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Andy M - Gustavo Fring - Stealth Hanover May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Common Parlance - Brown Bear - Brand New Key May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Stick With Me Kid - Bill's Man - Top Flight Angel May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Devious Man - Lord Cromwell - Aces And Eights May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Enterprise - Swell Chap - Meetmeinthemiddle June 2 - Meadowlands - NJSS Final - Long Tom - King On The Hill - What The Hill June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Fraser Ridge - Meme Hanover - Muay Hanover June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Moonshiner Hanover - Giveitgasandgo - Lars Perry June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Sortie - Dover Dan - Always A Good Time June 9 - Mohawk - Goodtimes Elim - International Moni - Guardian Angel As - Jake June 9 - Mohawk - Goodtimes Elim - Enterprise - AWOL Hanover - Shake It Off Lindy June 9 - Vernon - EBC Elim - Bill's Man - Such An Angel - Stick With Me Kid June 9 - Vernon - EBC Elim - Devious Man - Swell Chap - Lord Cromwell June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Rubio - Muscles Jared - Di Oggi June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Dover Dan - Moonshiner Hanover - Sir John F June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Giveitgasandgo - President Lindy - Andy M June 17 - Mohawk - Goodtimes - International Moni - Mass Production - Seven And Seven June 18 - Vernon - Empire Breeders Classic - Devious Man - Bill's Man - Stick With Me Kid June 24 - Pocono - Beal Elimination - Long Tom - Sortie - Lucky Matter June 24 - Pocono - Beal Elimination - Perfect Spirit - Devious Man - Dover Dan June 24 - Pocono - Beal Elimination - Ariana G* - Bill's Man - Moonshiner Hanover July 1 - Pocono - Earl Beal Jr. Memorial - Devious Man - Long Tom - Ariana G* July 9 - Pocono - PA All Stars - Two AM - Moonshiner Hanover - Di Oggi July 9 - Pocono - PA All Stars - Dover Dan - Andy M - Shake It Off Lindy July 9 - Pocono - PA All Stars - Giveitgasandgo - Explosive Ridge - Common Parlance July 9 - Pocono - PA All Stars - Thisguyisonfire - Sir John F - Ataboy Hanover July 15 - Meadowlands - Stanley Dancer Memorial - Walner - Devious Man - Bill's Man July 15 - Meadowlands - Stanley Dancer Memorial - Long Tom - What The Hill - Meteoric July 22 - Meadowlands - Tompkins-Geers - July 29 - Meadowlands - Reynolds - Aug. 5 - Meadowlands - Hambletonian - Hambletonian eligible in bold *Filly; also eligible to Hambletonian Oaks Ken Weingartner

Walner is ready to start on an abbreviated road to the Hambletonian. The returning Dan Patch Award winning trotter makes his delayed 2017 debut Saturday in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands, where he and regular harness racing driver Tim Tetrick will face seven rivals. Walner won seven of eight races last year and finished the season with a five-race victory streak that included triumphs in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters, Kindergarten Classic Series championship, and a division of the International Stallion Stakes in a world-record 1:51.3. His return to action this year was hampered by a now-resolved issue with genital discomfort. He qualified twice last month, winning in 1:51.2 in the rain on June 17 and winning in 1:53 on June 24. His time of 1:51.2 is the fastest of the season for a 3-year-old male trotter and second to only filly Ariana G's 1:51.1 clocking on June 2 in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old female trotters at the Meadowlands. Following Saturday's race, Walner's schedule has the colt heading to the Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters on July 15 at the Meadowlands and then the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes for 3-year-old trotters on Aug. 5 at the Big M. "He needs the race," said trainer Linda Toscano, adding with a laugh, "I thought at first he might have too many starts going to the Hambo and now I'm worried there may be not enough. "I remember being told a long time ago, man plans and God laughs." Toscano contemplated sending Walner to the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, which was won by Devious Man last weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but did not want to push her colt into a difficult spot right off the bat. Walner's seven foes Saturday are two 5-year-old females, three 4-year-old males, one 3-year-old colt and one 3-year-old filly. The colt, Fly On, is also eligible to the Hambletonian while the filly, Ice Attraction, is eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks. "I did not want to go to the Beal because I thought it was asking a lot of him because those horses have been seasoned at this point," Toscano said. "I don't like racing him against aged horses, but so be it." Walner is a son of stallion Chapter Seven, the 2012 Horse of the Year, out of the O'Brien Award winning mare Random Destiny. He is owned by Ken Jacobs. "He has a real good foundation under him," Toscano said. "He seems to have been well in hand every time he goes. It's not the same as racing, so we'll get a much better read on how fit he is on Saturday night." Ken Weingartner  

Harness racing trainer Frank Antonacci is excited about hitting the Hambletonian trail with two horses this weekend, but he figures he won't be alone in feeling enthused. "There are a lot of good horses out there," said Antonacci, the trainer of International Moni and Shake It Off Lindy in Friday's eliminations of the Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Ontario's Mohawk Racetrack. "Everybody only talked about (returning Dan Patch Award winner) Walner, but there are a lot of nice horses. This is a nice field. "It'll be a fun year to be a racing fan." The Goodtimes attracted 17 horses, which were split into two divisions. Last year's Wellwood Memorial winner, Seven And Seven, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the first division and lightly raced but undefeated Enterprise is the 5-2 choice in the second. The top five finishers from each division will return June 17 for the C$251,000 final. Ten horses in the Goodtimes are eligible to the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, which is Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian hopefuls in the first elimination are Jake, Snowstorm Hanover, Seven And Seven, Guardian Angel As, Southwind Woody, and International Moni. In the second they are Shake It Off Lindy, Enterprise, AWOL Hanover, and Southwind Cobra. Friday's card also includes two eliminations of the Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters. Returning Dan Patch Award winner Hannelore Hanover is the 1-2 morning line favorite in the first division followed by Emoticon Hanover at 4-1. The second group finds Broadway Donna at 8-5, Caprice Hill at 9-5 and Charmed Life at 2-1. The top five finishers advance to the C$253,000 Armbro Flight final June 17. The June 17 card at Mohawk also will feature finals of the Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers, Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers, and Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Eliminations for those events are Saturday. Antonacci's International Moni and Shake It Off Lindy were stakes-winners last season. International Moni won a division of the International Stallion Stakes in 1:53.1 at Lexington's Red Mile and Shake It Off Lindy captured a division of the Bluegrass Stakes in 1:55 over the same track. International Moni's win time was tied for fourth best by a 2-year-old trotter while Shake It Off Lindy's was tied for 21st. International Moni won one of 12 races last year, but earned a check 11 times on his way to $154,387. He finished second in the Valley Victory Stakes and was third in the Wellwood. The colt is a son of successful French stallion Love You out of two-time U.S. Horse of the Year Moni Maker, who was a star for the Antonacci family and owned by its Moni Maker Stable until her passing in 2014. "He was a very good horse last year and he's an even bigger, stronger, better version of that," Antonacci said about International Moni, who remains with the Moni Maker Stable, an amalgamation of members of the Antonacci family and David Reid. "He's come back very good. We're looking forward to a really good year with him." Moni Maker, trained much of her career by Jimmy Takter, was Horse of the Year in 1998 and 1999 and Trotter of the Year in 2000. She was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2006. Love You is the sire of 2013 Elitlopp winner Nahar. "(International Moni) is by far Moni Maker's best offspring; I think that's exciting to see. I think he poses one of the most interesting breeding and racing prospects we've seen in a long time. The horse is really 20 years in the making. He's all class. He never had a bad race last year and gives you everything he's got every time he's out there. He's a gentleman. He's a professional. He's just an absolute pleasure." Shake It Off Lindy is a son of stallion Crazed out of the Love You-sired mare Nashville Lindy. Crazed was co-owned by the Antonacci family's Lindy Racing Stable and trained by Antonacci. A multiple-stakes-winner, he finished second to Deweycheatumnhowe in the 2008 Hambletonian. Last year, Shake It Off Lindy won two of nine races and earned $53,976. "He reminds me a tremendous amount of his dad," Antonacci said about Shake It Off Lindy, bred and owned by the Antonaccis' K R Breeding LLC. "He's got incredible quick speed. For a sixteenth of a mile he could skip off faster than most pacers. That's an exciting burst of speed he's got. He's got a lot of upside." International Moni and Shake It Off Lindy both enter the Goodtimes off two qualifiers. In their most recent efforts, Shake It Off Lindy finished second by a head to older Dan Patch Award winner Obrigado in 1:54.1 while International Moni was fourth. "They both qualified twice and both qualified really well," Antonacci said. "It's hard to game plan for these kinds of races this early in the year. You just have your horses ready to go and let the races come to them and don't force it. I think our horses, based on last year's performances and how they've qualified and trained going into the race, are good for this time of year. "It's just hard to tell where everybody else is on their readiness scale. The only horses we can control are the ones in our shed row. They shipped up and should be there in good order. As long as they're healthy we're ready." Post time is 7:30 for Friday's first race. Below are the fields for the Armbro Flight and Goodtimes eliminations. Armbro Flight - Elimination 1 (Race 3) Post position-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Hannelore Hanover - Swan For All -Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-1/2 2. Emoticon Hanover - Kadabra - Sylvain Filion-Luc Blais-4/1 3. Non Stick - Lucky Chucky - Brett Miller-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 4. Oho Diamond - Ken Warkentin - Chris Christoforou-Renaldo Morales III-15/1 5. Ready Any Time - Kadabra - Jack Moiseyev-Dagfin Henriksen-20/1 6. Kestrel - Triumphant Caviar - Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-6/1 7. Renegade Magic - Kadabra - Trevor Henry-Jeffrey Thomson-5/1   Armbro Flight - Elimination 2 (Race 6) Post position-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Broadway Donna - Donato Hanover -David Miller-Jim Campbell-8/5 2. Caprice Hill - Kadabra - Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-9/5 3. Lady Ping - Muscle Mass - Jack Moiseyev-Dagfin Henriksen-15/1 4. Flowers N Songs - Deweycheatumnhowe - Randy Waples-Paul Reid-12/1 5. Charmed Life - Majestic Son - Louis Philippe Roy-Rene Allard-2/1 6. Pink Pistol - Cantab Hall - Tim Tetrick-Peter Shody-20/1 7. Majestic Presence - Majestic Son - Chris Christoforou-Dagfin Henriksen-15/1   Goodtimes - Elimination 1 (Race 5) Post position-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Ice Hockey Hanover - Donato Hanover - Paul MacDonell-Mike Keeling-12/1 2. Jake - Muscle Hill - Sylvain Filion-Luc Blais-3/1 3. Snowstorm Hanover - Muscle Massive - Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-8/1 4. Seven And Seven - Chapter Seven - David Miller-Tom Durand-5/2 5. Guardian Angel As - Archangel - Tim Tetrick-Anette Lorentzon-6/1 6. Scene A Magician - Daylon Magician - Jack Moiseyev-Jennifer Pinkerton-10/1 7. Southwind Woody - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-12/1 8. Dunbar Hall - Deweycheatumnhowe - Jody Jamieson-Carl Jamieson-8/1 9. International Moni - Love You - Scott Zeron-Frank Antonacci-8/1   Goodtimes - Elimination 2 (Race 8) Post position-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Shake It Off Lindy - Crazed - Brett Miller-Frank Antonacci-6/1 2. Manssive - Muscle Mass - Jody Jamieson-Howard Okusko Jr.-15/1 3. Mass Production - Muscle Mass - Rick Zeron-Rick Zeron-4/1 4. Resita - Manofmannymissions - Randy Waples-Per Henriksen-15/1 5. Enterprise - Chapter Seven - Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander-5/2 6. AWOL Hanover - Donato Hanover - James MacDonald-Luc Blais-7/2 7. Dancer Hall - Deweycheatumnhowe - Sylvain Filion-Paul Reid-3/1 8. Southwind Cobra - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-10/1 Ken Weingartner

It will be a busy weekend for Hambletonian-eligible horses, with a total of 31 in harness racing action at three different North American racetracks. The $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, for 3-year-old trotters, is Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. Ten horses in Friday's Goodtimes Stakes Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack are eligible to Hambletonian. The Hambletonian hopefuls in the first elimination are Jake, Snowstorm Hanover, Seven And Seven, Guardian Angel As, Southwind Woody, and International Moni. In the second they are Shake It Off Lindy, Enterprise, AWOL Hanover, and Southwind Cobra. Seven horses in Friday's eliminations of Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs are eligible. They are Bill's Man, Money Macintosh, Top Flight Angel, Such An Angel, and Another Chapter in the first division and Devious Man and Shivered in the second. Bill's Man is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the first group while Devious Man is the 9-5 choice in the second. On Saturday, three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters will be contested at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with a total of 14 Hambletonian eligibles going behind the starting gate. They are Sortie, Di Oggi, Muscles Jared, Lucky Matter, and Rubio in the first; Thisguyisonfire, Dover Dan, Moonshiner Hanover, Meme Hanover, and Sir John F in the second; and President Lindy, Perfect Spirit, Giveitgasandgo, and Don Dream in the third. Sortie (2-1) and President Lindy (5-2) are the morning line favorites in their divisions. Dover Dan is the 7-2 third choice in the remaining division, behind Meteoric (5-2) and Common Parlance (3-1). ROAD TO THE HAMBLETONIAN A look at open stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles Date - Track - Event - First - Second - Third May 6 - Freehold - Dexter Cup - Lord Cromwell - Gustavo Fring - Southwind Cobra May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - Long Tom - Yes Mickey - Deacon Tony May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - What The Hill - Southwind Cobra - New Jersey Viking May 20 - The Meadows - PASS - Sortie - Giveitgasandgo - High Glider May 20 - The Meadows - PASS - Andy M - Gustavo Fring - Stealth Hanover May 20 - The Meadows - PASS - Common Parlance - Brown Bear - Brand New Key May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Stick With Me Kid - Bill's Man - Top Flight Angel May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Devious Man - Lord Cromwell - Aces And Eights May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Enterprise - Swell Chap - Meetmeinthemiddle June 2 - Meadowlands - NJSS Final - Long Tom - King On The Hill - What The Hill June 3 - The Meadows - Currier & Ives - Fraser Ridge - Meme Hanover - Muay Hanover June 3 - The Meadows - Currier & Ives - Moonshiner Hanover - Giveitgasandgo - Lars Perry June 3 - The Meadows - Currier & Ives - Sortie - Dover Dan - Always A Good Time Ken Weingartner

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - What The Hill reinforced his standing as a big-time Hambletonian contender, reporting home a dominant harness racing winner as the New Jersey Sire Stakes took center stage with four second-leg events Friday night at the Meadowlands. The son of 2009 Hambo champ Muscle Hill won his NJSS dash for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot with ease to stay unbeaten in three starts this year. The Ron Burke trainee exploded clear of the field at the five-eighths and went on to a 4¾-length win in 1:53. King On The Hill was second with New Jersey Viking third. As the 1-9 public choice, he returned $2.20 to win. "He was a little bit rambunctious," said Burke. "He took off (at the five-eighths) on his own. He needs to do a little bit less of that. He needs to relax a little bit more. We're going to open his bridle up and (driver) David (Miller) will make more of a conscious effort (to calm him down)." Burke is upbeat about what he is seeing with the Hambletonian a little more than two months away. "This horse, he seems to get better and better every time he gets behind the gate." What The Hill In other NJSS action, Every Way Out ($2.10 to win) scored in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace by 7¾ lengths in 1:52.3 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Dylan Davis; Colorful Jasmine ($2.60) took the 3-year-old filly pace by 3 lengths in 1:52.3 for Corey Callahan and Thomas Cancelliere while Ice Attraction ($17.20) was the only non-favorite to win a NJSS event on the card as she scored by 1½ lengths in 1:54.2 in the 3-year-old filly trot for Andrew McCarthy and Ake Svanstedt. Winter Harbor By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

Sortie, Noel Daley's Hambletonian Stakes hopeful, begins his 3-year-old harness racing campaign Saturday by competing in the first of three Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions at The Meadows, near Pittsburgh. Sortie is among 18 Hambletonian eligible trotters entered in the three divisions, with each race featuring six. Last year, Sortie won his elimination for the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. He also finished second in the Matron Stakes, but Daley believes the colt wasn't at his best because of trouble breathing. Daley has made an equipment addition in the hopes of correcting the issue. "He didn't finish off the race properly in the Breeders Crown; I know he was third, but he wasn't any good," said Daley, who trains and co-owns Sortie. "He should have jogged in the Matron and he wasn't any good. This year he came back and I've put a Cornell Collar on him, because mechanically they said his throat was fine. "He's been real good so far. I've been very happy with him." Sortie is a son of former Daley star Explosive Matter out of the stakes-winning mare Win B. Daley was interested in Sortie because of his familiarity with the colt's family and purchased the horse for $65,000 at the 2015 Lexington Selected Sale. The colt is owned by Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Mario Mazza, and Daley's Sortie Stable. Last year, Sortie went off stride in three of his first four starts (he won the only race in which he did not) before starting to put it all together. He finished fourth in a division of the International Stallion and then hit the board in his final three races of the campaign. For the year, he finished with $122,055 in purses from eight starts. "He always showed talent, but he would throw his head or when you pulled him off a horse he just wanted to go a hundred (miles per hour)," Daley said about last year's breaks. "We've been concentrating on that. When we qualified him, (driver Andy McCarthy) pulled him out, put him back, pulled him out, put him back, a couple of times. He seems better. You just have to watch that he doesn't want to spin his wheels too quickly. He's a good gaited horse. He just wanted to get going." Sortie prepped for his seasonal debut by winning two qualifiers, one at the Meadowlands and the other at Harrah's Philadelphia. Daley said the horse will stay near his base in central New Jersey as he works toward the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands. "We'll try not to overdo it," Daley said. "It's a heavy schedule; I don't want him to be in everything. I'd rather keep him here. He can go (to Canada) later. If he's good enough, he's got everything late. I don't want to have too many tough trips when we're just trying to get him set up." The early favorite for the Hambletonian is Linda Toscano-trained New York-bred Walner, who won seven of eight starts last year and received the Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter. Walner won each of his races by at least 1-3/4 lengths, including a 4-1/2 length triumph in the Breeders Crown. Linda's horse is obviously the horse to beat, but I legitimately think that if (Sortie) can breathe he's a top five horse, definitely," Daley said. "After Linda's horse, there's no one else I'd swap him for. We'll see. It depends who steps up. He's got to step up and do it now." Following are the fields for Saturday's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions in post order with Hambletonian eligible horses in bold. Division 1: Perfect Spirit, Di Oggi, Meteoric, Gee Wizz George, Sortie, High Glider, Giveitgasandgo, Coogan, Dover Dan. Division 2: What A Cantab, Stealth Hanover, Monteverdi, Simply Volo, Andy M, Gustavo Fring, Snowstorm Hanover, Media Buzz, Don Dream. Division 3: Brown Bear, Limerence, Brand New Key, Meme Hanover, Common Parlance, Affair Of Honor, Iron Mine Johnny, Explosive Ridge, Backstage Pass. Giveitgasandgo, from the stable of John Butenschoen, was last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion. Snowstorm Hanover, trained by Ron Burke, won the Matron Stakes and Valley Victory. Ken Weingartner

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is pleased to announce an extensive 2017 stakes program with total purses in the neighborhood of $12 million. Grand Circuit stakes represent the vast majority of that amount featuring the $1.5 million Hambletonian and Oaks, $1.25 million Fall Final Four, $1.2 million TVG Championships, $1 million Graduate Series and $750,000 Meadowlands Pace along with nearly $1 million in New Jersey Sires Stakes purses.   "We are able to maintain the 2017 stakes program with the help of sponsors from within the business and we are grateful for their support. With the Breeders Crown at Hoosier this year we picked up the Fall Final Four to give those races a home and open the Fall Meet in November," said Meadowlands Chairman & CEO Jeff Gural.   The Saturday, August 5 Hambletonian Day program (noon post time) worth over $3.5 million in purses on harness racing's greatest day will include important stakes for every division. The $1 million Hambletonian and $300,000 Cane Pace provide fans the opportunity to see a leg of both the trotting and pacing triple crowns on the same card.   Leading up to the Hambletonian, the Tompkins-Geers stake for three-year-old trotting fillies and colts is coming to The Meadowlands on Saturday, July 22 to avail horsemen prepping for the Hambo and Oaks the option of one more start over the mile oval going into the big race.   Meadowlands Pace night is Saturday, July 15 this year and a full complement of important stakes on the undercard will support that $750,000 race for sophomore pacing colts. The $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity will serve as a co-feature. An early post time of 6:30 is scheduled for Pace night.   The $1.25 million Freshman Fall Final Four returns to the Garden State where they began 27 years ago. The Valley Victory and Goldsmith Maid for trotters and Governor's Cup and Three Diamonds for pacers will join the $1.2 TVG Free For All Championship Finals kicking off the 2017 Fall Meet with all finals scheduled for Saturday, November 25   The $200,000 Arthur Cutler Memorial Open Trot has been moved to Kentucky Derby Day, May 6. The Cutler winner will be awarded an invitation to compete in the 2017 Elitlopp which will be raced on Sunday, May 28, this year. Although the Cutler will have no restrictions regarding the use of trotting hopples and/or Lasix, the their use is prohibited in the Elitlopp and if their invitation to compete is accepted it must be done with that understanding. Swedish racing officials wish to make it known that there will be a direct flight to Solvalla for this year's race as was done in 2017.   The $1 million Graduate Series for 4 year olds also begins on May 6 at the Meadowlands, travels to Mohawk Racetrack for leg two on June 3, then on to Tioga Downs for the June 11 third leg. Each leg of the Graduate will have a purse of $75,000 or $50,000 if raced in divisions. The $250,000 finals will be raced at he Meadowlands on Pace elimination night, July 8.   The 2017 Kindergarten series starts in early July and will again include two legs during the Freshman Festival meet in September at The Meadowlands. The $150,000 finals are scheduled for November 3 and will be raced at Vernon Downs this year.   The Miss Versatility Series will have two legs at The Meadowlands to go along with Mohawk Racetrack and Tioga Downs. The $100,000 final will remain a part of the Little Brown Jug card at Delaware, Ohio.   All of the conditions for Meadowlands administered stakes/finals have been written to award one percent of the final purse to those horses that finish "out of the money".   The NJSS offers $100,000 guaranteed finals to the sophomores in May and freshmen in July with two $20,000 preliminary legs leading up to those events for each group.   The complete Meadowlands 2017 stakes schedule may be viewed here and the live racing/stakes calendar here. The website also provides a "Stakes Application" page where you may download all the information on the 2017 events including nomination forms and conditions for all Meadowlands administered stakes. All purses listed are estimates unless denoted as guaranteed (G).   The Hambletonian and a few other Grand Circuit stakes on the Meadowlands calendar are administered by and the property of the Hambletonian Society. All of the NJSS races are handled by the NJ Sires Stakes offices. Payments on those stakes should be directed to those offices.   Trainers must be approved for nomination to Meadowlands stakes to be accepted. It's suggested that trainers submit a racing application before the February 15 deadline if you are planning to race at The Meadowlands in stakes or overnights in 2017.   Call the Racing Office at (201) 842-5130 with questions.   From the Meadowlands Media Department  

The Meadowlands Racetrack, longest-running host track of the classic Hambletonian race for harness racing 3-year-old trotters, has set a date of Saturday afternoon August 5, 2017 for the 92nd edition of the classic event. The Hambletonian Society, which owns the race, and Jeff Gural, chairman of the New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC, have an existing contract to host the Hambletonian through 2021. The $1 million Hambletonian, and the companion race for 3-year-old fillies, the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, are the richest of their kind currently offered in harness racing, and among the richest worldwide, regardless of breed. There are currently 350 colts and 347 fillies eligible to make sustaining payments in February 2017 to remain eligible to participate in next year's race. "Despite the likelihood that the casino referendum will be defeated, the Meadowlands is fully committed to host the Hambletonian next year on August 5 and continues to expect to fully promote this prestigious race as our signature event," said Jeff Gural. Hambletonian day continues to set North American handle and attendance records in the new Meadowlands grandstand, with more than $6.9 million wagered in 2016. The Hambletonian race is also the longest-running live national TV broadcast in harness racing. For more information contact Moira Fanning at the Hambletonian Society (732-306-6713) or Rachel Ryan at the Meadowlands Racetrack (201) 842-5015. Moira Fanning Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown

The 2016 Hambletonian broadcast which featured harness racing's U.S. Pacing Championship, Hambletonian Oaks and The Hambletonian Final from the Meadowlands on Saturday, Aug. 6, projected an estimated 100,000 viewers combined for two airings. The 90-minute broadcast aired live on CBS Sports Network from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 6, and was re-aired on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 3:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is available across the country in more than 99 million homes nationwide. CBS Sports Network has been the broadcast home of the Hambletonian since 2012. The Hambletonian has been nationally televised for more than 40 years, and is the only harness racing broadcast on national TV this year. The television coverage was made possible by a partnership of the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack and United States Trotting Association. Hambletonian CBS - Part one Hambletonian CBS - Part two Hambletonian CBS - Part three

Trenton, NJ --- About the only thing that could replace Saturday (Aug. 6) as the most memorable day for accomplishments in harness racing driver Scott Zeron’s life, is if he is ever elected Prime Minister of Canada. And even that might not do the trick, as the 27-year-old Canadian had a Hambletonian Day for the ages at the Meadowlands on Saturday. First, he defeated harness racing’s “Big Three” by driving Shamballa to an upset victory in the $225,550 U.S. Pacing Championship for older pacers. The fact Shamballa is trained and partly owned by Scott’s dad, Rick Zeron, made it even more special. Two races later in the $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, Zeron came from first over to drive Marion Marauder to a photo-finish win over Southwind Frank. It was the second such occurrence of the afternoon as Marion Marauder also defeated Southwind Frank in their Hambletonian elimination. Finally, Zeron capped his day by being recognized as the leading driver at this year’s Meadowlands meet. Zeron’s 82 wins were 12 more than runner-up Tim Tetrick. Zeron, who became the second-youngest driver to ever win the Hambletonian, became the first under-30 driver to win the Big M title since 29-year-old John Campbell led the colony in 1984. Any one of those feats would have made for an awesome day. To gain all three was like reaching into the pocket of a barely used jacket and discovering a crumpled $100 bill; hitting the Powerball later that day; and having the IRS immediately declare there will no longer be income tax on lottery winnings. “I don’t know how I could have a bigger day than I did on Saturday,” said the personable Zeron, who will drive Shamballa in Friday’s (Aug. 12) $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. “It wasn’t just about those two big wins; it was about winning the Hambletonian, an internationally known race, and also winning for my dad. It’s going to be very tough to surpass the emotions I had that day.” The fun started in the second Hambletonian elimination of the day. Marion Marauder was up against Southwind Frank, who had beaten him in all four meetings last year and was a 1-5 favorite. At 3-1 odds, Zeron’s horse trotted a lifetime best mile of 1:51.3 and overtook Southwind Frank in the final strides. “When I was looking on the TV, it doesn’t look as bad, it looks like he had three or four lengths on me, but when I was out there and by the time I had gotten all the way up four wide, it looked like he was a quarter-mile away from me,” Zeron said. “When I moved my horse over and he had that momentum, I thought halfway down the lane maybe I could get him. “I started asking my horse a little bit. I’m getting a little closer and I start pushing him a little more. When I got closer and closer I knew it was going to be huge to win that elimination and head into that final (because of being ensured a starting spot inside post six). It turned out the post position didn’t matter because everybody drew well.” Shortly thereafter, Scott got in the sulky behind Shamballa, who went off at 8-1 in the U.S. Pacing Championship. Rick Zeron’s horse was going against world champions Wiggle It Jiggleit, Always B Miki and Freaky Feet Pete, considered harness racing’s “Big Three” this year. Shamballa promptly made it the “Big Four” by pacing a career-best 1:47.1 to upset 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit by one length. “I went into that race definitely thinking I had a chance to win it,” Zeron said. “If I had the right trip I could beat those horses. He showed in a very vigorous first-up trip (in the William R. Haughton Memorial) when Miki beat me in a mile and an eighth race, that I could stay with those horses (Shamballa was second by three-quarters of a length). If things kind of worked out, I could beat the Big Three. “Not a lot of people believed I could. I was ecstatic with that one, with the family connections. I wish my dad was there to watch that race with me, but it was unbelievable to win that race. I was so excited. Beating those horses is one thing, but to win it for your father is another.” Although not in attendance, Rick felt the emotions and took the humble route when it was over. “The last thing he’ll ever talk about is the horse,” Scott said. “He’ll tell me how proud of me he is, and how much he loves me and he knew we could do this. And then we’ll get to ‘The horse raced great.’ He was all water works when we went across that wire. The fact that both of us believed this horse could do it and to always be the underdog, it felt unbelievable to get that win.” Zeron is looking forward to facing the "Big Three" again in Indiana on Friday, and feels Jimmy Takter’s horse may make a bigger impact after finishing fourth as the favorite in the U.S. Pacing Championship on Saturday. “It’s a great track for Miki and Miki was coming off a three-week layoff,” Zeron said. “I think he would be better up at Hoosier.” After posting two huge wins Saturday, Zeron and Marion Marauder geared for Scott’s first drive in a Hambletonian final. Both driver and horse were feeling good after their earlier victory. “It was huge to mow down Southwind Frank (in the elimination) with the insurmountable lead that he had,” Zeron said. “It was great for my horse to beat him. You just get that momentum, everything has to click on that day and that’s kind of the way it happened. To win from where we were sitting at that three-quarter pole, it just felt like we were going to win that final.” They prevailed in the most gut-wrenching way possible, launching a first-over assault to win a photo finish over Southwind Frank. Marion Marauder was fifth after a half-mile and second behind favorite Bar Hopping after three- quarters, before Bar Hopping dropped back and Marion Marauder charged ahead and ultimately held off Southwind Frank. “I knew I was going to be first up and I was very content with that because I could control my own destiny,” Zeron said. “My horse just slowly, gradually picked up his speed throughout the mile, so first up isn’t a spot that’s too challenging for him. I was happy, though, that when I did move him first up, he grabbed on and he wanted to go. “He knows coming around that turn that soon it’s go time. But when I moved him up to go first up, he wanted to go. It’s an amazing feeling to have that; when it’s the second heat, you already won a big first heat, and to just know that he felt good right there at the half. It was a warm feeling for me to know he wanted to win this race.” Zeron had to keep his joy in check, however, due to the photo finish. Southwind Frank's driver Yannick Gingras glanced over and congratulated Zeron, who remained mellow as he looked over to find Marion Marauder’s connections heading to the winner’s circle. “I’m staring over there and not one of my people are going over to that stand,” he said. “Nobody else was either. I’m thinking this is much closer than I even think. This could really be tight. “When I hit that wire I couldn’t enjoy it because I was so concerned about whether or not I won or not. We’re on CBS, so I’m not going to start fist pumping and going ballistic when there’s a shot I might not have won.” After a few minutes, which seemed like a few hours for Zeron, trainers Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling and owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling, Marion Marauder was declared the winner. “When they put it up on the TV screen all my connections went nuts,” Zeron said. “Then it really started to sink in.” As did the fact he was the track champion in just his third year of driving at the Meadowlands. Zeron had been eyeing the title for the past two months and finished with a 12-win cushion over Tetrick. “I wanted it and Timmy and I would talk about it in the last couple months, how many is he away, how many am I up by,” Zeron said. “For me it meant a lot. I was very focused on it the last few weeks.” Scott admitted things have accelerated in his career much faster than he thought. He has now crossed off two major races on his bucket list -- the Little Brown Jug and the Hambletonian. “They’re the two biggest races, especially for that international presence,” he said. “Everybody watches those races.” His top goal has not been reached, however, as he is still seeking a victory in the North America Cup. “Growing up in Canada, to me that’s the end-all, be-all race,” he said. “The NA Cup is my hometown race, that’s the one I want next year.” After all, it couldn’t hurt if he ever waged a campaign for prime minister. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

East Rutherford, NJ ---- It wasn’t the perfect drive. But it was the perfect ending. Marion Marauder won Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, by a nose over Southwind Frank in 1:51.4 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Sutton was third as the top three horses stretched across the finish line separated by only a neck in the 91st edition of the sport’s top race for harness racing 3-year-old trotters. It was Marion Marauder’s second win of the day. Earlier in the afternoon, he won his Hambletonian elimination by a half-length over Southwind Frank in a career-best 1:51.3. Last year, Marion Marauder was winless in races against Southwind Frank, finishing second on four occasions. In the Hambletonian final, Marion Marauder was fifth as Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping traded the lead in the first half of the race. At that point Scott Zeron, driving Marion Marauder for the wife-and-husband training team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, put his horse in gear and launched a first-over attack. Marion Marauder was second behind Bar Hopping at three-quarters, but reached the front at the top of the stretch. As Bar Hopping dropped back, eventually finishing fifth, Marion Marauder held off hard-charging challenges from Southwind Frank to his inside and Sutton on the outside. Waitlifter K was fourth, beaten a length. Zeron, who at age 27 became the second-youngest driver to win the Hambletonian, thought he might have moved too soon with Marion Marauder. “I know better,” Zeron said. “I know that when he clears another horse, he thinks the race is over, and I got a little over anxious. I just tried to get away on Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping and just sprint away from them and my horse just kind of started lollygagging around and not knowing where the wire was but he hung tough to finish. “It is amazing. The Wellwood family has trained trotters their whole lives and everything they’ve done has lead up to this point. The pressure is all on the Hambletonian and we delivered, the horse delivered. It was amazing. I can’t believe it.” Wellwood, who became the second female trainer to win the Hambletonian, along with Linda Toscano, is the daughter of the late Bill Wellwood, a driver/trainer enshrined in both the U.S. and Canadian halls of fame. Marion Marauder is owned by Wellwood’s mother, Marion Jean, and her 19-year-old son, Devin Keeling. Marion Marauder’s name combines the names of Wellwood’s mom and the nickname of Devin’s college mascot at McMaster University, where he will play football. Interestingly, the horse’s original name already had “Marion” in it; he was purchased for $37,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale under the name Marion Monopoly. According to Wellwood, this was the family’s 10th try at winning the Hambletonian. “It means the world; it was my father’s dream,” Wellwood said. “It has been my mother’s and my dream. We’ve tried. When this horse came along, you dare to dream. We started to dream last year. “I was in shock (at the finish) it was so close. I knew where he was, I knew he was first up and had taken over the lead. I guess I was in shock, I couldn’t even scream. I watched and I thought it was too close to call and everyone was saying it was too close to call.” Added a teary-eyed Marion Jean Wellwood, “It feels really good. I’ve been trying for this for a long time and I just want to say I dedicate this to my late husband.” Marion Marauder, a son of 2009 Hambletonian winner  Muscle Hill out of the Nova Award-winning mare Spellbound Hanover, has won six of seven races this year and seven of 20 career starts. He pushed his lifetime earnings to $1.01 million with his Hambletonian triumph. “The difference between last year and this year is that he grew quite a bit,” Paula Wellwood said. “He got bigger and stronger but the real difference is that he learned how to win.” Zeron’s win capped a memorable championship meet at the Meadowlands for the driver, who won the track’s driving title. “I want to thank Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling for bringing me in to drive this horse full time,” said Zeron, who was driving in the Hambletonian for the first time. “Not a lot of people give a young guy a chance to drive a Hambletonian trotter. It’s amazing.” by Ken Weingartner and Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

East Rutherford, NJ ---- Bar Hopping and harness racing driver Tim Tetrick won the first of two $70,000 elimination races by open lengths in 1:51.4 to advance to the final of the $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, on Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Meadowlands. Milligan’s School (Andy Miller) was second and Lagerfeld (Yannick Gingras) was third. Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) was fourth and Mavens Way (John Campbell) was fifth and got the final spot in the Hambletonian final. The time was Bar Hopping’s lifetime best. The son of Muscle Hill is trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marin Katz and Al Libfeld. Brooklyn Hill (David Miller) was first to the lead in :27.2, but Bar Hopping was out past that mark to challenge and grabbed the lead before hitting the half in :55.4. Milligan's School was out to challenge at the five-eighths-mile marker but could not get past the leader at the 1:24 third quarter. Bar Hopping pulled away from the field for the win. “He was super. He was even better than he was the last couple weeks,” said Tim Tetrick. “Jimmy’s good at those big days and he’s got him right where he wants him. I didn’t know (about multiple horses making breaks past the three-quarters). But when Andy (driving Milligan's School) was first up and he started growling at his, mine took right off. I wasn’t worried from there. I think he’s ready for the final.” Bar Hopping Marion Marauder stormed through the stretch and overtook leader Southwind Frank in the final strides to win the second of Saturday’s two eliminations for the Hambletonian. The time for the mile was 1:51.3, a lifetime best for Marion Marauder, who was sent off at odds of 3-1. Joining Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank in the $1 million final were Waitlifter K, Sutton, and The Royal Harry. Southwind Frank, the 1-5 favorite, got the lead in a :26.4 opening quarter-mile and led through fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.2. Scott Zeron drove Marion Marauder for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. It was the colt’s fifth win in six races this year. “If I had a helmet cam on, it would have been pretty interesting to watch,” said Scott Zeron, competing in his first Hambletonian. “There were some people in front of me and I was hoping that things would work out a little bit differently but it didn’t and he ended up overcoming the distance we had to make up at the three-quarter pole. We were trying to mow down a horse that I thought was the best horse, I felt, to get to the final (Southwind Frank) and he did it. And he did it impressively.” Below is the draw for the Hambletonian final. 1 – Southwind Frank 2 – The Royal Harry 3 – Bar Hopping 4 – Waitlifter K 5 – Marion Marauder 6 – Sutton 7 – Milligan’s School 8 – Iron Mine Bucky 9 – Mavens Way 10 – Lagerfeld by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

The Harness Racing Museum's gift shop staff is again bringing a great selection of harness racing giftwares, books, toys and clothing to the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day. Conveniently located on the first floor just outside the Simulcast Room, be sure to stop by and support the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and pick-up a new souvenir at the same time. Loads of merchandise, both new and old favorites including items for the youngest racing fan to the seasoned horseperson will be available. You will also be able to purchase a brick or paver to celebrate your winning horse or to remember someone special; forms will be available for you to personalize your selection. If you need to renew your museum membership or join for the first time, you can conveniently take care of if while you are at the track. Even if you are not in the mood to shop, please stop by to say hello - we are always happy to see familiar faces and chat with you. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. The history of harness racing lives here. Janet Terhune

East Rutherford...CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute telecast of the harness racing $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, live from The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ, on Sat., Aug. 6 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (EDT). The Hambletonian is the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. CBS Sports Network, which has been the broadcast home of the Hambletonian since 2012, also will air the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the $233,000 US Pacing Championship and provide coverage of the $285,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown. "Live television of the Hambletonian has always been a top priority of the Hambletonian Society," said Tom Charters, president of the organization which owns and administers 135 of racing's most important events. "The Hambletonian has been televised for over 40 years, and we're proud to continue that tradition on CBS Sports Network, with the support of our host racetrack, The Meadowlands, and the U.S. Trotting Association." The on-air team for the Hambletonian is a stellar trio of award-winning harness racing veterans. Gary Seibel, a former host of racing coverage on ESPN, NBC, CBS and TVG, will anchor the coverage. A member of harness racing's Communicators Hall of Fame, Seibel will be appearing on his 24th straight Hambletonian broadcast. Dave Brower, one of harness racing's sharpest handicappers, will co-anchor. Brower is an alumnus of "Racing from the Meadowlands" television program on SNY, Fox Sports New York, MSG Networks and TVG's "Drive Time". He is the author of the bestseller Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide to Handicapping Harness Races. Justin Horowitz returns for his third year in his role of trackside reporter. Horowitz, a former sports video-journalist in Minnesota and New York, is now the racing and media manager for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in New York and Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Emmy Award winner Mike Trager and the Trager Group have been executive producers of the Hambletonian broadcasts for the past 25 years. The award winning team will be lead by producer Peter Lasser and director David Newman, both Hambletonian and harness racing broadcast veterans. NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. will be at The Meadowlands to present the Hambletonian trophy to the winning connections. Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin will provide his racing expertise and race call. The 91st Hambletonian show will re-air Sunday, Aug. 14 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is available across the country in more than 99 million homes nationwide. CBS Sports Network televises nearly 600 live events and over 3,000 hours of live programming every year including live college football, college basketball, and more from the MW, AAC, Big East, C-USA, A-10, Army, Navy, and the Patriot League. CBSSN is also the home to Professional Bull Riding and Arena Football League. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com. Throughout the year, the network also telecasts a full slate of original programming and studio coverage. It is home to NFL Monday QB featuring Trent Green, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein, We Need To Talk the first-ever all-female sports show, Boomer & Carton, The Doug Gottlieb Show, and That Other Pregame Show which covers Pro, College, and Fantasy Football every Sunday morning. CBSSN has become the extension of CBS Sports sharing talent and graphics as well as providing support coverage of every major event that CBS produces including Super Bowl 50, SEC football, NCAA Tournament, The Masters, and PGA Championship. Ken Weingartner

Bud Hatfield fell in love with Bar Hopping the moment he saw the colt as a yearling at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. His affection for the horse remains high, and why not? For the first time in four decades in harness racing, Hatfield is sending a horse to the Hambletonian. And the horse is Bar Hopping. Bar Hopping is the 9-5 favorite in the first of two nine-horse eliminations of the Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $1 million final later in the day. CBS Sports Network will air live coverage of the event beginning at 4 p.m. "It's a thrill," said Hatfield, a 67-year-old Columbus, Ohio, resident who has enjoyed success in racing both as an owner and amateur driver. "My wife (Kelli) and I are so excited. I've been in big races before, but nothing like the Hambletonian. That's the big one. There's nothing that compares to this." Bar Hopping is trained by Jimmy Takter, who is going for an unprecedented third consecutive Hambletonian victory and record-tying fifth triumph overall. Hatfield owns the colt with Christina Takter, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. "We were at the sale in Harrisburg and they told me they had three or four trotters they liked," Hatfield said. "I went and looked at Bar Hopping and I fell in love with him. I just kept going back and looking at him. We kind of zeroed in on him, and it was a good thing. It's paid off." Hatfield, who is a two-time champion on the Billings amateur driving circuit, where he is known as "Trader Bud" because of his career as a car dealer, owns several horses with Takter. In addition to Bar Hopping, he is among the owners of Peter Haughton Memorial finalist King On The Hill. Bar Hopping has won three of 17 career races and hit the board a total of 12 times, earning $391,728. He heads to the Hambletonian off a win in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial on July 24 at Vernon Downs. Southwind Frank is the 4-5 favorite in the second Hambletonian elimination. The Ron Burke-trained colt has won 16 of 18 career races, but both defeats came in races won by Bar Hopping. "I think Bar Hopping has got a chance," Hatfield said. "Southwind Frank is some kind of horse; he's phenomenal. We've got our work cut out for us, but hopefully we'll be right there and be competitive. "I love the sport and owning good horses is fun. Jimmy told me at the beginning just to be patient with Bar Hopping and he's going to be a good one. It looks like that patience has paid off." Hambletonian Day first race post time is noon. Below are the fields for the two Hambletonian eliminations: $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 1 Race 8 - Post time 2:58 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Bar Hopping - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-9/5 2. Lagerfeld - Yankee Glide - Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-12/1 3. Make Or Miss - Donato Hanover - Joe Bongiorno-Ron Burke-20/1 4. Milligan's School - Yankee Glide - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 5. Brooklyn Hill - Muscle Hill - David Miller-Jonas Czernyson-3/1 6. Mavens Way - Muscle Hill - John Campbell-Ake Svanstedt-6/1 7. Tight Lines - Yankee Glide - Jeff Gregory-Jeff Gregory-25/1 8. Iron Mine Bucky - Explosive Matter - George Dennis-Greg Haverstick-15/1 9. Reigning Moni - Donato Hanover - David Miller-Jimmy Takter-4/1   $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 2 Race 9 - Post time 3:25 p.m. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Jimmy William - Cantab Hall - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-20/1 2. The Royal Harry - RC Royalty - Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 3. Sutton - Donato Hanover - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-6/1 4. Marion Marauder - Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 5. Southwind Frank - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-4/5 6. Hollywood Highway - Muscle Massive - John Campbell-Staffan Lind-30/1 7. Dominion Beach - Muscle Hill - Bjorn Goop-Nancy Johansson-30/1 8. Love Matters - Explosive Matters - Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-12/1 9. Waitlifter K - Muscles Yankee - David Miller-Andrew Harris-10/1 Ken Weingartner

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