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CHESTER, PA - Three-year-old fillies were spotlighted in $150,000 worth of Liberty Bell stakes series action during the Friday afternoon harness racing card at Harrah's Philadelphia, with two divisions for pacers and three for trotters. The first pace saw the ultraconsistent Rocknificent, competitive not only within the state but with the North American elite, handle a late pocket charge from Drama Act to win in 1:51.3. Scott Zeron sent the daughter of Captaintreacherous out of the $2M+-winning Rocklamation, who was second choice at 3-2 to Drama Act's 1-2, to the lead from post six, with Drama Act from the rail maintaining the pocket through pedestrian fractions of :27.1, :56.4, and 1:24.3.   When both the fillies' pedals were pushed to the metal, however, they dueled home in :27, with Rocknificent holding off her rival by a neck to run her seasonal record to 10-5-2-3-$242,530 and her lifetime tally to 23-10-4-7-$524,036 for trainer Linda Toscano and the partnership of Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables, and Little E LLC. The second pacing section also saw the second choice win, though the positional tables were turned, as the A Rocknroll Dance miss Dance Club made Going Gone Hanover, favored at 4-5 to Dance Club's 7-5, work through early numbers of :26.4 and :54.4, and then sat watching the 1:22.4 battle to the three-quarters between the favorite and first-over Wayside. George Brennan then steered the Ron Burke trainee up the inside, and Dance Club, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc. and David Wills, went past by a length and a half , with Going Gone Hanover beating Wayside by a half length for second. Turning to the trotters: Next Level Stuff raised her lifetime win record to 10 triumphs in 19 starts by posting a 1:55 victory in her division. With main foe Fifty Cent Piece eliminating herself early, the daughter of Sebastian K S quarter-moved after a :27.3 opener, got a breather to the half in :58.1, then tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.4 and held safe Electrapedia by 1¾ lengths. Todd McCarthy, quickly adapting to top-level North American competition, drove the winner of $328,816 for trainer Jim Campbell and Runthetable Stables. A similar scenario developed in another Liberty Bell trot, as Dune Hill made an early misstep, leaving the path clear for the Muscle Massive miss Miss McKee to head down the road for driver George Napolitano Jr., with fractions of :28.1, :58.1, and 1:26 leading to an open length triumph in 1:54.2. The Jack Baggitt Jr.-trained filly now has seven wins in twelve seasonal starts and over $110,000 on her card this year for J L Sadowsky LLC. The Hall of Fame is not likely to be calling for a copy of the third division. After the Andover Hall filly SVF Blushingbride made the lead in :27.4 and got to the half in :58.1 ahead of her five opponents, the following happened in this order: 1) first-over Impressive Fashion made a break just past the midway point, leaving Cover Girl uncovered; 2) pocketsitter Aldebaran Revani made a miscue off turn two, causing 3) I'm Winin Hanover right behind her to suffer an "ix," which let Cover Girl take the pocket and left favored Molto Bene uncovered; 4) the "first-up" horse broke at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, leaving a two-horse breakaway until 5) Cover Girl misbehaved past midturn. That left driver Simon Allard and the Lou Pena-trained filly all alone to trot out in 1:57, with SVF Blushingbride's margin over the recovering Cover Girl 9 1/2 lengths. The subsequent inquiries into the breaks caused the red lighting on the tote board to use more electricity than a Christmas display, but only Aldebaran Revani, for causing interference, was placed lower. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Cantab Hall gelding Mississippi Storm was given a top trip from post seven by harness racing driver Pat Berry and went on to win the $14,400 featured harness racing trot at Harrah's Philadelphia Thursday afternoon in 1:53.4. Figuring his odds would not be good in sitting next-to-last in the eight-horse field early, Berry got some early speed out of the Tom Fanning trainee and tucked in fifth as Vic's Winner went to the lead before the :28.1 quarter, only to be replaced on top by the favored Max, who got the field to the half in :56.4. Berry's early decision came sharply into focus when Tight Lines went up first-over from fourth off the second turn, as Mississippi Storm could ride his cover as Max and Tight Lines battled to and past the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Tight Lines grinded past the favorite in the lane, but Mississippi Storm had the freshest legs late and finished strongly to take a neck decision, with Max another half length back, while raising his earnings to $348,268 for owner Joseph Smith.   The Explosive Matters gelding Innisfallen and driver Vinnie Ginsburg used aggressive tactics in winning the $12,800 co-feature in 1:54.1. Innisfallen went to the lead, surrendered it briefly to Big Nudge, then reclaimed the top before frontward-bound Sheer Muscle could pin him in. The pacesetter refused to yield to the outside challenger, got a big lead when the first-over broke and the pocket horse gapped going towards the final turn, and won handily for trainer Paul Fusco, who is also co-owner with Bramdeo Singh. Ginsburg and Fusco came back in the very next race for a win with the trotter Zlatan, named after the star football (soccer to "Yanks") player. Fastest diamondgaited winner on the "Trottin' Thursday" card at Harrah's was the Broadway Hall mare Broadway Athena, who lowered her mark to 1:53 in a $10,000 event. "Athena" spent the mile on the outside, much of it uncovered trying to reach runaway pacesetter Sylvesteramericait, but the six-year-old distaff collared the pacesetter turning into the stretch and led him home by 3¾ lengths for driver George Napolitano Jr. (a six-time winner on the card) and trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. $150,000 worth of Liberty Bell stakes series action for three-year-old fillies of both gaits will highlight the Friday racing at Philly, with the likes of Rocknificent and Next Level Stuff among the entrants. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Liberty Bell stakes series commenced its annual fall run at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, with over $160,000 in purses offered to two-year-old fillies on both gaits. There were three divisions for pacers, and the chalk won all three - though the heaviest favorite of all gave the crowd some tension before they could get their nickel profit for every win dollar bet. Grace Hill, second in her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship behind Blue Diamond Eyes (who won the Kentucky program's final this past Sunday) looked to be sailing along for driver Todd McCarthy after setting fractions of :28.2, :56.1, and 1:24.2. However, pocketsitter Natchez Belle kept chopping into the margin - four lengths at the half, two at the three-quarters, 1¼ lengths at the stretch call and narrowing with every step towards the wire. But Grace Hill, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the $1.6M+-winning Western Silk, dug down and won by a head in 1:53.1, running her scorecard to 6-4-2-0-$202,772 for trainer Nifty Norman and owner Tom Hill.   Another filly with a distinguished pedigree as a half-sister to Huntsville, the Betting Line - Wild West Show miss Let 'Er Buck, made two moves to control the throttle through splits of :28, :57.3, and 1:25.3, then turned back first-over Southwind Mina by 1¾ lengths in 1:53.4, a career best, for driver Mark MacDonald and owner/trainer Ray Schnittker. The fastest winner was the Captaintreacherous - Miss Kitty Hanover filly Mackie Hanover, who sped right to the top from the outside post six and hung up numbers of :28, :57.1, and 1:24.3 en route to a three length triumph in a lifetime best 1:52.4. George Brennan, a four-time winner during the card, was in the sulky for trainer Tom Fanning and owners Howard Taylor and Falcon Racing LLC. On the trotting side, it was finally the day for "the world's richest maiden," the Donato Hanover - Dream Child filly You Ato Dream, who had been second in all four of her PA Sire Stakes preliminaries and the Championship while earning $157,556. Here You Ato Dream worked her way to the lead for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory near the :28 quarter, put up midsplits of :57 and 1:25, then was kept to business to withstand potential pocket rocket May Karp in 1:54.2, a maiden mark. Jeff Gregory Inc. owns the talented miss with William Richardson, George Romanoff, and Martin Garey. Donato Hanover earned a siring double when Wixx Hanover (dam: Whispering Wind) reduced her mark to 1:55.3 in the other section. With a filly who had shown both speed and shaky manners, driver George Brennan was in no hurry to rush the baby, letting her follow the early cover of favored Myreanna, who claimed the lead midway between the :28.1 quarter and the :57.2 half, and then claimed the top going to the midrace mark. From there Wixx Hanover had total command, reaching the three-quarters in 1:26 and going off to a three length victory over the chalk for trainer Roland Mallar, co-owner with Patrick Leavitt and William Hartt. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

Chester, PA — Scott DiDomenico captured top billing on Sunday afternoon's (Sept. 20) 14-race card at Harrah's Philadelphia, winning with three of his harness racing trainees at the riverside oval. DiDomenico, whose Triple D Stables Inc. registered an owning treble as well, sent Sweet Beach ($4.60, 1:53) to victory in a first-level conditioned pace before also haltering Numbered Account ($10.60, 1:51.4) and Jack's Shadow N ($2.40, 1:51.3), who proved best in their respective third-level pacing events. Tim Tetrick drove all three of DiDomenico's winners, and he also drove Chris Temming's Barbados ($2.80, 1:52.3) to victory in a $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap. Tetrick's grand slam was matched by George Napolitano Jr. and Simon Allard. In the afternoon's featured event, a fifth-level conditioned pace with an $11,600 purse, Jenn Bongiorno trainee Vettel N ($43.20) secured the pocket and drafted comfortably behind Alluneedisfaith N before reaching up the open stretch to just nose out the late-rallying Casual Cool in 1:51.3. Tony Morgan drove the 7-year-old American Ideal gelding for the Jenn Bongiorno Stable LLC, Joe Bongiorno, Brent Hershberger and Robert Devine.   Live racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 15-race card on Wednesday (Sept. 23), with Liberty Bell stakes for Pennsylvania-sired 2-year-old fillies taking center stage. Post time is 12:25 p.m. EDT.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

CHESTER, PA - A quartet of $11,200 contests for developing younger horses, two races on each gait, were the features Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the most impressive winner the Western Ideal sophomore colt Buy In, who brought immediate returns for his new connections with a 1:51 victory, lowering his mark by almost five seconds. Acquired by Triple D Stables Inc. and Tim Tetrick LLC after his last start and entrusted to trainer Scott Di Domenico, Buy In certainly did not have an easy route to victory. Tetrick kept him outside early, then let him gradually go up, and it took him to nearing the half to clear to the lead in a demanding :54.4. But after that point the only battle was for the minor honors, as Buy In powered off to win by 5¾ lengths, hinting that better things might be right around the corner for him.   In the other featured pace, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Diamondbeach reclaimed the throttle for driver George Napolitano Jr. past the quarter, set his own tempo while rebuffing a challenge from favored Southwind Dredge, then was 1¼ lengths ahead of 43-1 pocketsitter Ginger Tree Pete at the end of a 1:54.1 mile. Jim Campbell trains the winner for Frederick and Shirley Schwartz and Onda Racing Stable LLC. Both of the trotting headliners were timed in 1:57.3. In one, pocketsitting favorite Baldaquin looked like he had lost all chance when Scirocco Patrick cleared on his first-over challenge and opened up 2½ lengths by the three-quarters, with horses trailing two-wide in his wake. But the new leader made a break into the final turn, and Baldaquin, given a second life like the rest of the inner tier, came back on nicely late to claim victory by 2¼ lengths. The Marcus Miller-driven Explosive Matter four-year-old gelding, trained by Louise Pepin for owner Steven Bryden, triumphed for the third time in only seven lifetime starts. In the other top trot, the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Willing Hanover is beginning to like winning - after seven seconds and seven thirds but no firsts in his first 21 starts, "Willing" has now won two in a row, as trainer/driver Tim Lancaster rallied him from far back for a half-length verdict over Test My Naughty B while establishing a new mark. Tim Lancaster is also co-owner with Mark and Meghan Lancaster. George Napolitano Jr. took Friday driving honors with three victories, the second day in a row he has led the Philly sulky colony, and he has nine wins during the three days of racing here so far this week. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Explosive Matter gelding Scirocco Rob, who last week lost to the first-over Arabella's Cadet in a track record 1:52 for trotting mares at Harrah's Philadelphia, this week became the irresistible grinding force, making two moves en route to a 1:53.1 victory in Thursday's $14,400 top-level harness racing trot on an overcast day at the riverside oval. Leaving from post six in a field of seven, Scirocco Rob tucked third early as Mississippi Storm pushed favored Southwind Avenger most of a :26.3 quarter before ceding the lead. The "Avenger" got a breather to the :56 half, but Scirocco Rob was out and rolling down the back for driver George Napolitano Jr., going right at the leader to the 1:24.2 three-quarters and beyond, making the lead at headstretch. Scirocco Rob kept to his task to the wire, winning by a half length over Mississippi Storm, who came up the passing lane, while second-over Goes Down Smooth was third ahead of a tiring Southwind Avenger. Scirocco Rob has now won three of his last four starts for trainer Mark Silva and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr., with his career bankroll now at $452,753.   The Andover Hall gelding Grapple Hanover went to the lead in the $13,600 co-featured trot, yielded to favored Macmorris Hanover and then sat perfectly-placed as that one wrestled with first-over Hatikvah the last half, going up the inside to gain a final half-length margin over the game Hatikvah in 1:55.2. David Miller drove the consistent winner of $167,359 to the triumph for trainer Bucky Angle and owners Howard and Josh Kauffman. George Napolitano Jr. won four races on the card for Thursday honors; Dexter Dunn was next in line with three victories. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Delishka N made a pace-controlling move in front of the stands the first time, then held off a wall of harness racing challengers the second time around to win the $14,400 featured distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon in 1:51. Dexter Dunn sent Delishka N out to early command, yielded to Bettor Joy N, then went onward again when favorite Machnhope made a move just past the :26.1 quarter. Delishka N went back to the lead around Bettor Joy N, with Machnhope, seeing a likely battle for pace control developing, got in a vacant three-hole before the :54.3 half. The winner did not receive a strong challenge past the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but as they neared headstretch, there seemed to be "live" horses everywhere. Delishka N was most "live" of all, holding off inside rallier Machnhope by a half-length, with first-over Shezallapples A showing good determination late to gain third, a photo away from second. Bettors Joy N was beaten less than two lengths and still did not get a check from finishing sixth.   Richard Johnson trains the winner of $387,864 for D'Elegance Stable IX. Still among the older females, the Well Said mare Caviart Cherie made it 3-for-3 since teaming with trainer Darren Taneyhill and the Wildcard Stables Inc., during that time going from the second-lowest condition at Pocono to the second-highest for mares here today, a $11,200 contest in which she posted a 13-1 upset in a new mark of 1:50.4. Joe Bongiorno rallied the winner of $399,947 from the pocket to overhaul pacesetting favorite Anytime N by a length. The $12,800 co-featured fillies and mares pace for the classclimbing crowd saw New Year, who was 7-5 in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake against JK First Lady at Philly recently, enjoy the drop in company here en route to a 1:51.4 triumph as a heavy favorite. George Napolitano Jr. drove the sophomore Somebeachsomewhere filly, who has now amassed $197,415, for trainer Chris Ryder and the partnership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC. Tim Tetrick won four races on the day, including with Iaquinta, who broke a 51-race losing streak dating back to June 29, 2018. She came from an unusual spot for winners at Philly, too - fourth-over, with Tetrick keeping her off an overheated pace and then rallying her for the 12-1 victory.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA -- 2019 Harness Horse of the Year Shartin N qualified in 1:52.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia on Tuesday morning, with a :26.4 back quarter that showed her readiness for the rich season-ending harness racing events upcoming.   With the mare's regular driver Tim Tetrick at The Meadows for Keystone Classics stakes competition, trainer Jim King Jr., who himself has 3369 career sulky victories, guided the seven-year-old daughter of Tintin In America right to the front and rattled off fractions of :28.2, :57.3, and 1:25.3. He then let her speed on home in her first racetrack outing after winning the Artiscape Pace on August 16 at Tioga Downs..   King noted that the possibilities on the schedule of his mare, who is owned by his wife Jo Ann Looney-King, Richard Poillucci, and Tim Tetrick LLC, include the Dayton Distaff Derby, the Breeders Crown, and the TVG series.   Shartin N's entrymate in the high mares class, Soho Burning Love A, was also successful in a Philly qualifier, coming home in :27 in a 1:54.1 mile.   From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia        

Chester, PA — After being outmatched by the likes of Filibuster Hanover at Pocono, Southwind Ozzi ($4.80) returned to the site of his only prior harness racing win to date this year — Harrah's Philadelphia — and delivered a decisive 1:51 score in Sunday afternoon's (Sept. 13) $14,400 top-level pacing feature. The 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere entire landed in midfield in the early stages while Joesstar Of Mia A (Simon Allard) strode clear to control soft early fractions of :28 and :57.2. Before the midway stage, Daniel Dubé angled Southwind Ozzi off the pegs from fourth to gain ground, and gain ground he did. Southwind Ozzi attacked Joesstar Of Mia A up the backstretch and used a :25.4 individually-timed third quarter to seize command. After hitting the three-quarter mark in 1:23.3, Southwind Ozzi opened up a 3-1/2 length lead through the final turn, three of which he maintained at the winning post. Joesstar Of Mia A narrowly held second over Jack's Legend (Pat Berry), who sustained his pursuit after losing cover up the far side. Bill MacKenzie trains 12-time winner Southwind Ozzi for Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice. In the sub-featured $11,600 pace, Rock The Devil ($3.80) rode the pocket en route to a 1:49.2 victory — the day's fastest mile — over pacesetter Imarocnrollegend N. Todd McCarthy drove the 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding for trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman. Tim Tetrick led all drivers with five wins on the program, winning with Barbados ($3.60, 1:51.3), Rockabilly Charm ($28.60, 1:52.1), Rock The Town ($8.40, 1:51.1), Daddyofemall ($3.20, 1:52.2) and Melanie's Tedy ($6.40, 1:53.1). Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 14-race program on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 16). Post time is 12:25 p.m. EDT.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - A trio of $11,200 features highlighted the Friday harness racing at Harrah's Philadelphia, along with the debut of a spectacularly-bred two-year-old. The pacing tri-feature led off the card, and it went to the Sweet Lou sophomore gelding Win Not Lou, who took a new mark of 1:53.1 after moving to the lead early and then coming home in :56.2 - :28 to win easily. The winner is owned by Paton Racing Inc., trained by Jim King Jr., and was driven by Tim Tetrick.   The first of the trotting headliners was taken by Andela, a Yankee Glide three-year-old filly whose second dam is the beloved CR Kay Suzie. Trainer/driver Rod Allen, for his Rod Allen Inc., kept the filly rolling after she lost cover, and the pair prevailed by a length over favored My Boy Christian in 1:57.3, with Durhamville, who brushed to the lead down the backstretch and left Andela raw, another half length back in third.   In the other top-drawer trot, SVF Blushingbride, an Andover Hall sophomore filly who recently finished fourth in a Sire Stakes behind Sister Sledge and actually raced in the PaSS consolation for trainer Lou Pena, fronted her field from the quarter in taking her third win in her last five starts for driver Simon Allard, this one in 1:56. It is hard to imagine what a son of two Horses of the Year, Muscle Hill and Bee A Magician, might bring at a yearling auction, but we won't know on their 2018 foal since the breeders, Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, are still the owners. It must have been hard to make the decision to geld such a potentially-lucrative sire, but that process was effected in late summer of this year according to registration records, and after a 2:01.2 qualifying win Bee Forever made his pari-mutuel debut Friday and won from off the pace in 1:59.1, with David Miller measuring his win margin late on the Nifty Norman trainee. It will be interesting to follow the progress of this baby.   With his "hometown fair" of Gratz opening two weeks of racing starting tomorrow, the Russell Hanover four-year-old gelding Aflame Hanover showed his fast winning ways with an engine victory over Somewhere Fancy in 1:51.1 - :55.1 - :27.2 for driver David Miller in the $10,000 top pace for older horses. The Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes champion at two, where he set a 1:51.4 all-age Championship record that still stands, Aflame Hanover had won only once in the 369 days prior to this victory, but he's been racing the best there is (last year fourth in the Hempt Final, fourth in the North America Cup final, third in the Matron final; this year third and fourth in Graduate legs). He enjoyed the drop in company here as he raised his earnings to $367,599 for trainer Linda Schadel, co-owner with her husband Tony. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Deweycheatumnhowe mare Arabella's Cadet equaled the 1:52 Harrah's Philadelphia track record for older harness racing trotting mares established by Hannelore Hanover last year when she defeated the favorite Scirocco Rob in the $14,400 trotting feature on Thursday afternoon at the riverside oval. The top two finishers had shown excellent form recently; Scirocco Rob may have been installed the chalk because he had been able to control the pace in recent victories. It looked like that scenario might play out again as Scirocco Rob set the early fractions of :27 and :56, with Arabella's Cadet launching uncovered for the sixth straight time. Here driver Joe Bongiorno was able to get a giant backstretch burst (her own third split was :26.4) out of the mare that got her by the pacesetter to the 1:23.2 three-quarters, and though Scirocco Rob was rallying back inside in the lane, the "Cadet" withstood his comeback by a neck.   Arabella's Cadet, trained by Joe Bongiorno's sister Jennifer and owner by the partnership of Glenn Goller and Abraham Basen, has now won five times this year and seventeen times in fifty lifetime starts, and she now has a bankroll of $180,248 in addition to a new mark and a track record. Joe and Jennifer Bongiorno would later win with the veteran Muscle Mass gelding Rubber Duck, now with $609,074 in lifetime earnings, in an $11,600 trot. Rubber Duck went to the lead in front of the stands and, despite making his first start in six months, was able to motor home in :56 to complete a 1:53.2 tally for owners Blair and Emma Corbeil. In the $13,600 co-featured trot, Spee Club was able to control the throttle from the rail and go on to a nose victory over favored Grapple Hanover in 1:55.4, with Yankees Beast third and Lucky Mae Hanover fourth, both only a half-length behind the winner. Corey Callahan kept the son of Cantab Hall ahead in the tight fight to notch the triumph for owner/trainer Dawn Erin Neilson. The meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., reported home first four times on the Thursday card. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Veteran trainer Kelvin "Red" Harrison, a native New Zealander, has recently had several horses from his native land join his stable under the Curtin ANZ Stables banner, and has enjoyed great success with them, including with the Bettor's Delight mare She's Nun Bettor N, who won the $12,800 featured distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon. George Napolitano Jr. sent the four-year-old mare right to the lead and rattled off fractions of :27.3, :57.1, and 1:24.2, then stood firm in the face of a late charge from Take Abit Of Life, who was 1½ lengths behind and just edging Wingding Hanover for second in the 1:54.2 mile. She's Nun Bettor N now has a North American record of 6-4-1-1-$27,390, and even better things may await her.   The Mach Three mare Machnhope enjoyed a class drop into the $11,60 cofeatured distaff pace and commanded her field through splits of :27.1, :55.1, and 1:23 en route to a sharp 1:50.1 clocking, a lifetime best. Pat Berry guided the speedy five-year-old, who has a 28% lifetime win ratio (21-for-83) and $285,301 in the bank, for trainer Noel Daley, also co-owner along with Deo Volente Farms LLC, Thomas Pontone, and L A Express Stable LLC. FINISHING LINES - Despite what was originally published, Philly will race this Friday's card, and that of Friday, October 2, at 12:25 instead of at night ... Ãke Svanstedt had a powerhouse trio of trotters win qualifiers at Pocono Wednesday morning. They were the two-year-olds Narzarro (a Trixton gelding out of Gerri's Joy) in 1:58 and the Muscle Hill - Cedar Dove colt Jula Pro Hanover in 1:57.3, along with the Ready Cash sophomore colt Light Blue Movers in 1:54.1. The trio's winning margins were an aggregate 63¼ lengths. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

HARRISBURG, PA -- Harrah's Philadelphia and The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the two eastern Pennsylvania harness racing tracks whose backstretches are represented by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, both presented live cards on Labor Day Monday afternoon At Philly, the winner of the first race, the Real Desire gelding Quick Fun N, set the tone for the day in a $12,000 claiming handicap pace, as he let neither being the longest shot on the board nor being last at the half deter him from a big rally that put him home first in 1:53.3 while paying $28.60. Corey Callahan drove the winner of $202,161 to victory in only his second start of 2020 for owner/trainer Pete Vumbaca.   At midcard there were more horses greater than 8-1 visiting Victory Lane than horses less than 8-1, headed by Pepper Guy, who shot the far inside to win while paying $51.80 for driver Victor Kirby. The prices stabilized a bit in the second half of the day, but the card's average winner still totaled out to $18.37. Leading drivers at Philly for the day were three-time winners Simon Allard, George Brennan, and Daniel Dube. At Pocono the chalk was a much more visible presence, with eight of the card's fourteen races won by the favorites. The major exception to the rule was Show Me The Magic, who has now won three of his last seven starts for trainer Jim Ray, while paying $52.40, $159.00, and here $24.00, with Kevin Wallis guiding him home in his last two victories. Anthony Napolitano drove four winners at Pocono for the second straight card; Tyler Buter also checked home first four times on Monday. Perhaps the most impressive winner on the Pocono card was the Muscle Massive sophomore gelding Focus Pocus, who trotted his own third quarter in :27.3 to get to the lead, then held off a late bid by Celebrity Rolex by 1¼ lengths while breaking his maiden in 1:55.2. Focus Pocus, who had been getting some good checks against quality horses at the "A" level of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, is co-owned by driver Tony and trainer/wife Linda Schadel.   Pocono will be back in action Tuesday afternoon, with a $188,882.98 carryover for its Rainbow Pick 5 - have a unique ticket with five winners and you take the big prize. Harrah's Philadelphia resumes its normal schedule on Wednesday afternoon From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association

Chester, PA — Party Girl Hill ($2.40) looked every bit the part of a divisional harness racing champion on Sunday (Sept. 6) at Harrah's Philadelphia, keeping her undefeated record intact with a decisive 1:48.4 score in the $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for sophomore pacing fillies. Just eight days removed from her 1:49.2 victory in the Fan Hanover at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the daughter of Captaintreacherous once again asserted her superiority — and in almost identical fashion to her recent Grand Circuit triumph. Dexter Dunn floated Party Girl Hill forward from her pole position, but allowed Rocknificent (Scott Zeron) and New Year (George Napolitano Jr.) to dispute a :26.4 first quarter before brushing from third to clear command with just over a lap to go. After rating a :55.1 half, Party Girl Hill braced for a first-over challenge from JK First Lady (Andy McCarthy), who steadily advanced from fourth up the far side to force a :26.4 third sectional. Party Girl Hill's lead slipped to a length off the home turn, but she responded with a :26.4 quarter of her own, sprinting off at first asking before being taken in hand in the final yards of her 2-1/2 length victory. JK First Lady was a clear second, 2-1/4 lengths ahead of tiring pocket rival Rocknificent. Chris Ryder trains Party Girl Hill, whose 1:48.4 mile broke the existing track and stakes records for 3-year-old pacing fillies, for owner-breeder Tom Hill. She has won all nine of her career starts and amassed $482,181 in purses. Party Girl Hill completed a sire stakes hat trick for Dunn, who also captured the $252,000 finals for 3-year-old colts and geldings aboard pacer No Lou Zing ($6.60) and trotter Amigo Volo ($2.80). No Lou Zing, who only broke maiden on June 20, has since vaulted into the upper echelon of sophomore pacers and proved his place among them with a sharp 1:49.3 effort. Dunn was reserved early on with the Sweet Lou gelding and remained in midfield while 3-5 favorite Allywag Hanover (Tim Tetrick) brushed from fourth after stalking a :25.4 quarter. Allywag Hanover maintained a spritely pace through middle splits of :53.4 and 1:21.1 and was forced to exert even more into the far turn while Sandbetweenmytoes (Andy McCarthy) encroached on the outside and No Lou Zing stalked from second-over. With just over a furlong remaining, Dunn flipped No Lou Zing three-wide, and he vaulted to the lead in upper stretch before striding two lengths clear. The Greek Freak (Matt Kakaley) saved second from a hard-earned pocket, while Cattlewash (David Miller) narrowly upended Allwag Hanover for third. No Lou Zing rallied off cover to upend Allywag Hanover in the PASS 3-year-old colt pace final.  -- Grace Zimmers photo Nancy Takter trains five-time winner No Lou Zing for the 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Amigo Volo lived up to odds-on billing in the 3-year-old male trot, scooting away from EL Ideal's stern head-stretch challenge by 2-3/4 lengths and delivering a 1:52.3 victory. Amigo Volo yielded to early speedster EL Ideal (Andy Miller) on the first turn, only for Dunn to angle him out and claim control just beyond a :27.3 first quarter. After stealing a :57.2 half-mile split, the Father Patrick gelding accelerated up the far side, reaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 before EL Ideal again emerged from the pocket. Amigo Volo made easy work of his challenger, sprinting off in upper stretch to record the 10th win of his career. EL Ideal was an isolated second, 5-1/2 lengths better than Patriarch Hanover (Kakaley). Odds-on favorite Amigo Volo kicked clear in upper stretch to win the PASS 3-year-old colt trot final. -- Grace Zimmers photo Richard 'Nifty' Norman trains Amigo Volo, whose career earnings now stand at $946,719, for the Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Dunn's lone sire stakes defeat came in the $252,000 final for 3-year-old trotting fillies, which saw Ron Burke trainee Crucial ($42.80) and David Miller spring a massive upset in a race that figured to be a showdown between Sister Sledge and Next Level Stuff. Predictably, Next Level Stuff (Tetrick) assumed early control, but kept early challenger Queen Of The Hill — and Dunn — parked through early splits of :27 and :56 while Crucial established the pocket and 2-5 favorite Sister Sledge (Brian Sears) assumed second-over position. As Queen Of The Hill worsened in the breeze nearing three-quarters in 1:24, Sister Sledge angled three-wide but failed to fire, but Next Level Stuff wasn't home free. Crucial angled out of the pocket turning for home and lifted clear by 1-1/2 lengths to win in 1:52.4. Sweet Shirley Mae (Andy Miller) and Dip Me Hanover (Scott Zeron) emerged to take second and third respectively over an engulfed Next Level Stuff. Crucial rode the pocket en route to a 20-1 upset in the PASS 3-year-old filly trot final.   -- Grace Zimmers photo It was the seventh career win for Crucial, who campaigns for the Burke Racing Stable, Bill Donovan, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. In addition to his win with Amigo Volo, Norman captured two of the four $50,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolations on the card: Annabelle Hanover ($9.40, Dunn) took the 3-year-old filly pace in 1:50.3, and Chestnut Hill ($8.20, David Miller) won the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot in 1:53.2.   Sherry Lyns Lady ($10.60, Tetrick) wired her foes in the 3-year-old filly trot in 1:54.4 for trainer Jim Campbell, and Manticore ($2.80, Jordan Stratton) delivered a dynamite 1:49.2 mile in the 3-year-old colt pace consolation for trainer Bruce Saunders.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

CHESTER, PA - Top-level Pennsylvania-sired three-year-olds will be gathering at Harrah's Philadelphia this Sunday afternoon to contest their respective $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships and $50,000 consolation races, divided by sex and gait. The fields of eight horses won their way into the series finales by accumulating points in four preliminary rounds of the Sire Stakes at the Pennsylvania harness racing ovals Pocono, The Meadows, and Harrah's Philadelphia. Here is a summary of the major contenders in each division: THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (race nine; consolation in race five) The early morning line favorite among the "glamour division" horses is the Sweet Lou gelding No Lou Zing, who has four wins and three seconds in eight seasonal starts for trainer Nancy Takter, including a 1:49.3 - :26.4 victory at The Meadows in his last outing. Dexter Dunn will drive the improved sophomore as they start from post six. Major contenders are Allywag Hanover, a Brett Pelling-trained colt by Captaintreacherous who has been among the North American division leaders all year, and who has a positional advantage in that he starts from post two for driver Tim Tetrick; and the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Sandbetweenmytoes, the #1 preliminary pointwinner who has really come to hand in his last two starts for trainer Jim Campbell with Sire Stakes victories at Pocono and The Meadows. However, he will have to solve the difficult seven post for driver Andrew McCarthy. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (race ten, consolation in race six) The Father Patrick gelding Amigo Volo, who set four world records as a two-year-old and who won a Sire Stake prelim at Pocono in 1:52, has been picked as the morning line favorite, beginning from post three for trainer Nifty Norman and driver Dexter Dunn. The fast sophomore made the lead from post ten in the Hambletonian, had road trouble, and still was a very good fourth in that premier event; he is likely to have better racing luck here. The three-ply coupled entry from trainer Ãke Svanstedt - Swiss House Onfire (post one, driver George Napolitano Jr.), Gangster Hanover (post seven, Svanstedt up) and EL Ideal (post eight, Andy Miller) - will attract a great deal of attention, as will the preliminary pointleader Hillexotic, who will be beginning from post two for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (race eleven, consolation race four) Only two horses in the history of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes have been the leading prelim pointwinner and then Championship winner of their division at both two and three (pointstanding records date back only to 2002) - and they have both been trotting fillies, Coulatine (2003-2004) and Frau Blucher (2012-2013, the latter a Championship winner in a memorable dead-heat with archrival Classic Martine). Now another trotting filly is in position to join them - the Father Patrick miss Sister Sledge, beginning from post six for trainer Ron Burke and driver Brian Sears. Sister Sledge has won 13 of 20 lifetime starts and $728,849, and she had two wins and a second in the three Sire Stakes events she entered this season, including a 1:52 season's record at her "home track," The Meadows. Given the best chance to upset Sister Sledge is the Sebastian K S filly Next Level Stuff (post one, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick), who had a win and two seconds in her three PaSS outings this season, and who also has the winning habit (9 for 17 lifetime.) THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (race twelve; consolation post three) Most eyes will tend to focus on the unbeaten Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous who was unraced at two but has made up for lost time by going undefeated in eight starts in 2020, including the Fan Hanover Final in her last race and the three Sire Stakes events she contested. She holds the season's record of 1:49, not far off the 1:48.3 (Kissmeonthebeach) world record for the division, and she will start from post one for trainer Chris Ruder and driver Dexter Dunn, who could be completing a big afternoon. But the race is not a mere walkover; look at the credentials of some of her opponents: --Lyons Sentinel (by Captaintreacherous, post seven, trainer Jim King Jr., driver Tim Tetrick) is the 2019 defending Sire Stakes champion, has a lifetime record of 20-10-9-1, and will go over $1 million lifetime with a high finish; --Rocknificent (by Captaintreacherous, post five, trainer Linda Toscano, driver Scott Zeron) was the #1 pointearner with three prelim wins and a third, and is always in the mix of races of this type; --JK First Lady (by Western Ideal, post six), trainer Nancy Takter, driver Andrew McCarthy) set the track record of 1:49.2 here in winning a Sire Stakes race two starts ago, and was victorious in a PA All-Stars race last time out. Post time for the Sunday Harrah's Philadelphia card is 12:40 p.m. Pennsylvania Championship Weekend will close out Monday afternoon with eight $40,000 Stallion Series Championships at The Meadows. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Trotter Shinkansen and pacer Bombshell Hanover were the winners of the co-featured $11,200 races on the Friday afternoon harness racing card at Harrah's Philadelphia. Shinkansen was brought to the race in prime form by trainer Kelvin "Red" Harrison despite last having raced 22 days ago. The Sebastian K S sophomore gelding strung out the field through early fractions of :28 and :56.2, then received a big challenge from Heat Wave Hanover to, through, and past a 1:24.1 three-quarter clocking. Shinkansen dug in for more under the urging of Andrew McCarthy and posted a 2¼ length victory over his game rival in 1:53.2, a lifetime best by two seconds, for owners LST Stables and William Devan Jr.   Bombshell Hanover, an altered three-year-old son of Somebachsomewhere, also found the front end conducive to visiting Victory Lane. Andy Miller pulled the winner of three of his last five on the lead in fractions of :27 and :55.4, absorbed hard first-over pressure from Buy In while passing the three-quarters in 1:22.4, then kept to task in defeating pocketsitter Win Not Lou, who came up the inside, by a length in 1:51.1, a lifetime mark. Julie Miller trains the improving sophomore for Pinske Stables, Andy Miller Stables Inc., and Curly Tall Curly Small.   Joe Bongiorno and David Miller each had three winners on the Friday card at Philly. Only two horses, both trotting fillies, have been both preliminary pointleader and divisional Champion in their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes campaigns at both two and three, and on Sunday at Philly Sister Sledge will look to add her name to those of Coulatine and Frau Blucher when she goes to the gate in one of four $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for three-year-olds. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

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