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MANALAPAN, NJ -- July 25, 2016 -- This years Caretaker of the harness racing Meet at the Meadowlands is Natalie Svensson. Natalie was nominated by her employer Henrik Lundell. Henrik's reason for nominating her were simple "She's worked for me for five years and never missed a day. She's always reliable and gives 100% to each horse, we couldn't do it without her." As this years Caretaker of the Meet Natalie will receive the following: a $200 visa gift card, a $150 Joe’s Kitchen gift card, dinner at Pink for her and her family, and a plaque of recognition at the Meadowlands on August 5th. Courtney Stafford Publicity Consultant SBOANJ  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 11, 2014 -- Ballare Hanover garnered her first harness rcing career stake victory by following cover and brushing through the slop late to score in 1:58.1, fastest division in Monday's $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with Mariah De Vie and Silent Opera K taking the other splits. Tony Hall enjoyed a stake double behind Ballare Hanover and Silent Opera K among his five wins on the 16-race card. Although Ballare Hanover had won four of 11 previous starts, she had come up short in stakes. That ended Monday when she used the first-over cover of Czech It Out to get into striking position, then erased a 2-length deficit in the lane to overtake the leader, Steppin Out, and down her by a neck. Donato's Dream was third. "If you can get her through the first quarter, she's pretty versatile; she can take the air," Hall said. "Adios Day, I got her to the gate a step too quick, and she ran, so I really had to feed her in. She started to shorten up late -- I was worried halfway down the stretch -- but it all worked out." Marcus Marashian trains Ballare Hanover, a daughter of Broadway Hall-Box Of Dreams, and owns with Michelle Amric, and Lou DiPaolo. Mariah De Vie's cover wasn't quite so accommodating. She and Dave Palone were following Nitro Nittany when the 1-5 favorite tired suddenly into the final turn, forcing Mariah De Vie wide prematurely. "I thought, 'I can't screw up this game plan -- just follow Nitro Nittany because she looks to be the best,'" Palone said. "I loved the game plan at the quarter, I loved it at the half. When my cover stalled, I didn't know if my filly could handle it. But she gave me a good fight, and I was happy with her." The daughter of Cantab Hall-Nordicdish persevered and prevailed in 1:58.4 for trainer Henrik Lundell and owner Joie de Vie farm. The pocket-sitting Westfiftyfirst was second, 2-1/2 lengths back, while Passing Jetta earned show. Silent Opera K wore down Outsourced Hanover in a stretch-long duel and edged her rival by a nose in 1:58.2. Super Swifty rallied for show. "We were racing her in bigger races, and she needed a little class relief," said Rich Gillock, who conditions the homebred daughter of Broadway Hall-American Frost for Bob Key. "Fortunately today, the mile was to her liking, and everything worked out. We'll try to pick some spots and do some good with her." Dan Rawlings and Palone each fashioned a three-bagger on the program. Tuesday's card features a $199,994 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters headlined by the stablemates Lifetime Pursuit, upset winner of the Hambletonian Oaks, and Shake It Cerry, last year's Dan Patch Award winner who has banked more than $1 million in her career. First post  is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

Driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller dominated the Bobby Weiss Series on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as Take The Money and Perfect Alliance each stayed unbeated in 2014 with victories. Overall there were three Weiss divisions held at Pocono for three and four-year-old trotting fillies and mares, with each of those races carrying a purse of $15,000. Take The Money (Donato Hanover-Repetitions), won for the third time in three starts this year by taking the first division by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:56:1. Perfect Alliance then made it six-for-six with a victory in the final division (Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover) with a win by 6 ½ lengths in 1:54. In the remaining Weiss division Laureen (Donato Hanover-Clareen), driven by Jim Meittinis and trained by Henrik Lundell, denied the Millers a complete sweep with a victory in 1:57:1. Week in Review at Pocono Downs The 2014 season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs began under sunny skies and comfortable temperatures last Saturday night, a nice break from the bitter cold that has enveloped the area for so long. Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday got downright frigid once again, but nothing dampened the enthusiasm for the start of the campaign. As we will all season long in this space, let’s take some time to honor the best performances by horses, drivers, and trainers in the past seven days by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: EIGHTEEN Although there weren’t any Open paces on the card this week at Pocono, there were several top-flight condition paces which produced seriously rapid times, especially on Saturday night when the weather cooperated. Still, times under 1:50 in the month of March are rare, especially for horses who go into a race at odds of 12-1. That’s exactly what the 6-year-old stallion Eighteen was facing as he stared down a condition field of non-winners of $30,000 in the last four starts on Saturday night. Trained by Mark Ford, Eighteen had been testing himself against some of the tougher condition pacers at the half-mile oval at Yonkers prior to his arrival at Pocono. He was certainly ready to pounce from behind when the fractions got hot and heavy. In the stretch, driver Mark MacDonald called on Eighteen for a rally, and he responded with some major late kick. When the dust cleared, the son of Cam’s Card Shark blew by all of the horses who got more attention at the windows with little problem, tripping the timer at a stunning 1:49:3. It was a new career mark for Eighteen, and an early, imposing standard for the rest of the pacers on the grounds to try and match. Other top pacers this week include: Blatantly Good (Brett Miller, PJ Fraley), who controlled a condition field on Saturday night for a victory in 1:49:4; He’s A Beachboy (George Napolitano Jr., Gilbert Garcia-Herrera), who followed up back-to-back wins at Freehold with a win over a claiming handicap field on Saturday night in 1:52; and Shark Fantasy (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), whose win Saturday night in 1:52:3 against other three and four-year-old pacers in the Bobby Weiss series was his third straight overall. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MODERN FAMILY While the pacing side had no invitation/open-style races on tap this week, we were fortunate enough to witness a $25,000 Preferred Handicap on the trotting side on Saturday night. As expected, it was a stellar field drawn to the big purse, led by Modern Family, the 5-year-old stallion who is the pride of the Daryl Bier barn. Bier also drives Modern Family and has led his horse through a gauntlet early in the season, taking on the very best trotters at the Meadowlands and Dover Downs. Yet he hasn’t been the least bit intimidated; in six starts this year he had been in the money every time, including a pair of wins. With that kind of track record, it was no surprise he was made the 4-5 favorite on Saturday night in a rugged field of nine. Bier worked out a pocket trip behind pacesetting Daylon Magician, setting it up for a stretch battle. That’s when Modern Family delivered the winning blow, wheeling on by for a one-length victory in a time of 1:52:1 that would have been worthy of praise in the middle of summer, let alone on March 22. It made for a great start to the trotting season, which, based on this early evidence, should be quite captivating in 2014. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: First Aqua (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who dominated a field of claiming handicap trotters on Tuesday night to the tune of a career-best time of 1:53:3; Ray Hall (Tim Tetrick, Mark Harder), who won Sunday night in the first leg of the Bobby Weiss series for young trotting colts, stallions, and geldings in 1:55:3, the fastest time of the three divisions held that night; and Perfect Alliance (Andy Miller, Julie Miller), a mare whose romping win in the Weiss series on Wednesday night in 1:54 was her sixth in six tries this season. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: APPLEY EVER AFTER This pacer rallied late in Saturday night’s final race with Aaron Byron driving to send the fans home stunned, since he was a 25-1 long shot and paid off $52 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY In an ever-growing driving community, one of our regulars stood out right off the bat. Kakaley became the first driver to chalk up a five-win night in the 2014 season, achieving the feat on Tuesday night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: GILBERTO GARCIA-HERRERA Garcia-Herrera ended last year on a tear at Pocono, and he picked it up quickly, nabbing two wins on Saturday night on his way to four for the week. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at .by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs      

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

As of September 27 the Monte America/RUS category leaders are as follows: Leading Horses by Earnings: Flex The Muscle, $19,740, 3 wins Chinese Cuisine, $12,500, 1 win Muscolo, $5,724 Sundance Bayama, $5,600, 1 win Flowing James, $5,586 Leading Riders by Earnings: Ray Schnittker, $19,750, 3 wins Tina Duer, $12,500, 1 win Jenny Melander, $8,850, 1 win Karen Isbell, $7,250, 1 win Emma Pettersson, $5,586 Leadings Trainers by Earnings: Ray Schnittker, $19,750, 3 wins Brett Bittle, $11,300, 1 win Paul Kelley, $5,724 Henrik Lundell, $5,600, 1 win Mark Harder, $5,586, 1 win Thanks to David Carr (USTA) for data management and to all monteamericaa/RUS participants, sponsors and hosting racetracks for their support and extra effort to make the 2013 racing program happen. Next up is Lexington’s Red Mile on October 6th (Kentucky Futurity Day). Interested sponsors should contact Helene Gregory or Tina Duer ( by Thomas H. Hicks        

The 2013 year-to-date Monte America statistics (as USTA compiled by David Carr) show Ray Schnittker leading in all categories with his veteran $800,000 plus career winning trotter Flex The Muscle. The pair won the Hambletonian Monte event at the Meadowlands to secure the top spots. This team has posted two other victories and a third in five starts. Leading Horses: (earnings, wins) Flex The Muscle, $19,750 (3) Chinese Cuisine, $12,500 (1) Muscolo, $5,724 (0) Sundance Bayama, $5,600 (1) Flowing James, $5,586 (0) Leading Jockeys: (earnings, wins, UDRS) Ray Schnittker, $19,730, 3, .667 Tina Duer, $12,500, 1, .556 Karen Isbell, $7,250, 1, .630 Jenny Melander, $6,020, 0, .093 Emma Pettersson, $5,586, 0, .296 Leading Trainers: (earnings, wins) Ray Schnittker, $19,750, 3 Brett Biddle, $11,300, 1 Paul Kelley, $5,724, 0 Henrik Lundell, $5.600, 1 Mark Harder, $5,586, 0 Congrats to all the leaders and to all participants, owners and sponsors. Best of racing luck to all for the remainder of the2013 monte season. The Canadian monte performers have also posted admirable numbers with veteran Harlequin posting three wins in as many starts. Jockey Riina Rekila has three wins in four starts and trainer Geoff Maltby also has three victories. by Thomas H. Hicks  

The $32,800 Hambletonian Monte Series Final will go postward at the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day between the second and third races. A fine field on 12 qualifying point leaders will face the starter led by six 2013 monte winners, Chinese Cuisine, Motown Dreamgirl, Point of Honour, A Penny Earned, Flex The Muscle and Sundance Bayama. The full field of equine stars, riders and trainers are listed below in post position order: 1. Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer, Brett Bittle 2. Waldorf Hall, Jenny Melander, Jim Raymer 3. Flowing James, Emma Pettersson, Mark Harder 4. Motown Dreamgirl, Jennifer Lowery, Robert Lounsbury 5. Muscolo, Michelle Crawford, Paul Kelley 6. Armbro Doyle, Ashley Eldred, Dawn Anderson 7. Admirable Hanover, Jennifer Connor, Janice Connor 8. Point Of Honour, Tara Hynes, Frank Scamporino Jr. 9. Amoreena, Marielle Enberg, Pat Lachance 10. A Penny Earned, Heather Reese, George Ducharme 11. Flex The Muscle, Ray Schnittker (also trainer) 12. Sundance Bayama, Stephanie Werder, Henrik Lundell Separately, yesterday the New York Fair at Morris, NY conducted a monte race with the win going to Vassar Hall (9f Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall). Michelle Crawford rode the winner for trainer Brett Crawford, covering the mile in 2:13.4h over an off track. Veteran Lemon Pepper was placed second ridden by Jennifer Lowery with First Tail U See second placed third for Ashley Eldred. by Thomas H. Hicks  

The Hambletonian Society managed Hambletonian Monte Series Leg #2 takes place Friday at The Meadowlands. The Final, comprised of the top point earners in the two legs, will face the starter on Hambletonian Day for a $25,000 purse. Be there tomorrow night to watch the non-wagering monte action starting at 7:00 pm and wager on an exciting Meadowlands card of pari-mutuel harness racing. Leg #2 entries (horse, rider, trainer) are shown below with the first division slated to go postward at 7:00pm. Monte RUS 1st Division, one mile, $5,000 purse, non-wagering 7:00pm 1. Armbro Doyle, tba, Dawn Anderson 2. Where's Harry, Caroline Green, James Porter 3. Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer, Brett Bittle 4. First Tail U See, Ashley Eldred, John Battiato 5. Admirable Hanover, Jennifer Connor, Janice Connor 6. Amoreena, Marielle Enberg, Pat Lachance 7. Muscolo, Michelle Crawford, Paul Kelley Monte RUS 2nd Division, one mile, $5,000 purse, non-wagering after race 3 1. Sundance Bayama, Stephanie Werder, Henrik Lundell 2. Waldorf Hall, Jenny Melander, Jim Raymer 3. Pointe Of Honour, Tara Hynes, Frank Scamporino Jr. 4. Celebrity Playboy,Maria Andersson, Ron Burke 5. Flowing James, Emma Pettersson, Mark Harder 6. Flex The Muscle, Ray Schnittker (also trainer) 7. Motown Dreamgirl, Jennnifer Lowrey, Robert Lounsbury 2013 monte winners in the fields include First Tail U See, Sundance Bayama, Flex The Muscle and Motown Dreamgirl. by Thomas H. Hicks  

Two divisions of Hambletonian Monte's first leg are set to go Friday at the new Meadowlands. Last year winners Master Pine, Chinese Cuisine and Armbro Doyle will be at the start along with early 2013 winners Flex The Muscle, First Tail U See and Sundance Bayama. Entries are shown below (horse, rider, trainer). Second division entrant Flowing James just qualified under saddle at M1 on July 13, scoring in 2:00 for rider Emma Johansson. Thanks go to the host track, all participants, series manager The Hambletonian Society and sponsors Allerage Farm, William Weaver, White Birch Farm, Back on Track, Blue Chip Farm, Burke Stable and Global Graphics for supporting this exciting series that showcases the leading point winners final on Hambletonian Day for a $25,000 purse. Monte/RUS Division 1 - post time 7:00pm, Purse $5,000, One Mile Master Pine, Helene Gregory/Julie Miller Where's Harry, Caroline Green/James Potter Admirable Hanover, Jennifer Connor/Janice Connor Waldorf Hall, Jenny Melander/Jim Raymer Pointe of Honour, Tara Hynes/Frank Scamporino Jr. A Penny Earned, Heather Reese/George Ducharme' Amoreena, Marielle Enberg/Pat Lachance Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer/Brett Biddle Monte/RUS Division 2 - after race 3 on M1 card, Purse $5,000, One Mile Motown Dreamgirl, Jennifer Lowery/Robert Lounsbury Flowing James, Emma Pettersson/Mark Harder Flex The Muscle, Ray Schnittker (also trainer) Muscolo, Michelle Crawford/Paul Kelley Celebrity Playboy, Maria Andersson/Ron Burke First Tail U See, Ashley Eldred/John Battiato Sundance Bayama, Stephanie Werder/Henrik Lundell Armbro Doyle, tba/Dawn Anderson by Thomas H. Hicks  

Volare De Vie was a harness racing longshot in the first two rounds of the Charles Singer Memorial Series, but probably has shaken dark-horse status heading into Saturday's (Feb. 23) final thanks to his win from post 10 last week.

Henrik Lundell might only be 37 but his love of harness racing has already seen him work with standardbreds in Sweden, France, Italy, Canada and the United States. It's quite ironic considering Jobstown (New Jersey) based Lundell wasn't born into a harness racing family.

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