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YONKERS, NY, Thursday, June 20, 2019-New York Sire Stakes returned downstate Thursday night (June 20th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the moist $155,300 Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old harness racing colts and geldings. Three divisions-at $38,650 each-and a finale-at $39,350-comprised the event, which once again honored the memory of the Raceway's long-tome corporate controller and which saw all frosh making their purse debuts. The first raced served as the first division, and odds-on Cake Daddy (Brent Holland, $3.70) served notice. He went the distance (:29.1, :59.1, 1:28.4, 1:56.3), using that :27.4 kicker to spurt away from an early pocket pull of Hurrikanekingjames (Dan Dube). The latter faltered late, as Always on the Hunt (Mark MacDonald) closed for second...beaten 4¾ lengths. Hurrikanekingjames, Tomas (Jason Bartlett) and Major on the Beach (Matt Kakaley) grabbed the minors. Cake Daddy is an American Ideal colt co-owned by (trainer) Homer & Connie Hochstetler and Dan Plesac. The exacta paid $21.60, the triple returned $133.50 and the superfecta paid $385. Without question, the happiest person in the joint was Plesac, the former standout big-league pitcher who said Cake Daddy "is the first horse I've owned in forever, at least 10 or 11 years." Plesac, who at one time had a stable of about 25 on both sides of the border, "took a trip to Pinehurst (NC) and the itch came back. I've known the Hochstetlers and their son, Jay, for about 25 years, and decided to get back in. I'd resettled in New Jersey, and the timing was right. "Jay said the family had one they thought would be perfect." The $30,000 yearling "is staked to everything. I was so nervous before the race, and you do not want to be disappointed. Tonight, he proved everything we thought about him." The second division saw second choice Sandy's Bolt (Bartlett, $8.20) as the first one to the lead and the first one to the wire. From post position No. 4, he watched as 3-10 fave Splash Brother (MacDonald)-gingerly-handled at the start-move to the lead Splash Brother led the gang though intervals of :28.3, :59.2 and 1:28.4, taking a length-and-a-half into the lane. Sandy's Bolt then found a path inside, ducking left with the aptitude of a pro. He edged away, whipping Splash Brother by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Level Up (Jordan Stratton), So So De Vie (Kakaley) and a recovering Darby's Ideal (Tyler Buter) picked off the remainder. Sandy's Bolt, a son of Bolt the Duer co-owned by Blindswitch Racing Stable, Doine Farm Services, Gary Axelrod & Denise Dennis and trained by Jose Godinez. The exacta paid $15.80, the triple returned $55 and the superfecta paid $235. The evening's third grouping had short-priced number Cigars and Port (MacDonald, $2.80) fool very few. From post No. 5, he had nary an anxious moment (:29.1, :59.4, 1:28.3, 1:56.3). The margin, a length-and-a-half in and out of the final turn, was 3¼ lengths at the wire. Second went to a first-over Oreo Dream Xtreme (Corey Callahan), with Come on Raags (Scott Zeron) a loose-pocket third. Ideal Artillery (Holland) and American Rebel (Stratton) came away with the minors. Cigars and Port is a So Surreal lad co-owned by (trainer) Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, Ted Gewertz and Steven Arnold. The exacta paid $9, the triple returned $13, and the superfecta paid $79.50. "Young, but a smart horse," MacDonald said. The final statebred event had third choice Groovy Joe (Callahan, $12.60) defeat a drifting Save Me a Dance (Bartlett) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:56. After Steuben Moose (Mike Merton) looped a few making the lead, Groovy Joe-from post No. 2-took over and finished it off (:28.2, :59.1, 1:27, 1:56). Steuben Moose, Teton Sunset (Stratton) and R Maddy Blue Chip (Kakaley) settled for the small change. "I took advantage of (The Mystic) making a break, but my horse was good," Callahan said. The Mystic (MacDonald), part of a 3-5 favored entry, made a nasty, first-turn fumble and wound up a 'distanced' last. Groovy Joe is a homebred Roll with Joe colt owned by Winbak Farm and trained by Blake MacIntosh. The exacta paid $108, the triple paid $666 and the superfeccta paid $1,877 New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Tuesday night (June 25th), with the $165,499 Dick McGuire for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com.   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers, NY 10704

Quite often the headliners of the Vicbred Super Series the three-year-olds didn’t fail to live up to that top billing in tonight’s eight-heat hit-out at Kilmore. While Kualoa reminded all of her standing with a blistering run among the fillies, the night will be best remembered for the showdown between Emma Stewart’s trio Demon Delight, Hurricane Harley and Centenario, who served up an enthralling match-race that will leave trots fans eagerly anticipating return bouts as the series progresses. It was another remarkable night for Stewart’s stable, capturing five heats to add to Tuesday night’s clean sweep of seven two-year-old wins, but there was also delight in the Jess Tubbs, Matt Craven and Leroy and Danny O’Brien camps as their chargers also tasted success.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings first heat: He may not yet have earned the chops of some of his stablemates but Fourbigmen should be considered a potential Vicbred Super Series winner, says reinsman Chris Alford. Speaking to TrotsVision immediately after the Emma Stewart runner won the night’s first heat by proving himself the best horse in the race in a testing run, Alford said Fourbigmen could make plenty of noise over the next couple of weeks. “He’s probably, on ability, right up with them, he just hasn’t had the luck in the better races and he had a few little quirks, where he could make a mistake now and then,” Alford said. “But he’s putting it all together now and if he had a good run in the final and things went his way he’d be hard to beat.” Owned by a syndicate featuring the Stokie Racing Group, Sue Murray, Fred Crews, Willow and Peter Tonkin, Fourbigmen was bred by Wayne Schulz and Dale Eastman who serviced their mare, Aleppo Heiress, with late Alabar stallion Mach Three. Gifted the widest back row draw, Fourbigmen advanced to the breeze outside Nancys Boy and while Jeff and Tim McLean’s entrant put up plenty of fight the favourite ultimately nudged clear for a 2.3-metre win. “The leader ran a good race at Horsham last time, he’s given him something to chase,” Alford said. “(Fourbigmen) just knocked off a little bit when he went to the front, so I just pulled the plugs out to keep his mind on the job without having to smack him. He ran to the line really well.” Hes An Artist ran third and Titan Bromac fourth to also advance to the June 29 semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, with Major Delico fifth and his qualification to depend on time. And for the Emma Stewart stable, taking into account Tuesday night’s clean sweep, that’s eight on the trot in this year’s Vicbred Super Series. “They seem to have them spot on on these nights and this one was no different,” Alford said.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ first heat: She was challenged in every possible way but patience from reinswoman Kate Gath would see Two Times Bettor eventually grab control and salute in the first of the three-year-old fillies’ heats. Plenty of money had come for David Miles’ polemarker Enchanted Stride in the lead-up but she was tested from the outset with Chooz Reactor (Brian Gath) and Divine Diva (Gavin Lang) out quickly and not only stretching the gate one horse but making Gath bide her time in moving forward on Two Times Bettor from gate five. “The best way to get beat is if you burn too hard too early and get nowhere, so I grabbed hold pretty quick and I was just out there but cruising,” Gath told TrotsVision post-race. “I wasn’t pushing her, then once I moved to the death I thought I’ll have a look for the front and thought she’d probably get it and she did.” As the dust settled Gath rolled to the top with Miles happy to defer and give his filly a final crack in the straight, but Two Times Bettor would prove too strong, winning by 1.7 metres. “She’s really done a terrific job,” Gath said. “The lead time was quite quick and luckily in the middle I could give her a little breather, but she was really good on the line. “She’s such a nice filly to drive and she relaxes really good, she’s got all the attributes there and she’s just getting better at the right time. Her last start before tonight was terrific and she was very good tonight as well.” It would have been a pleasing result for owners and breeders Leslie, Ian and Gary Johnson, whose Bettor’s Delight filly was out of Twice As Hot, who was also the dam of dual Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter ($789,015). With the top eight advancing to the fillies’ semi-finals Two Times Bettor and second-placed Enchanted Stride will be joined by Bettor Robyn, Celerina, Millah Joy, Chezmac, Divine Diva and Edwina Express.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ second heat: This heat win had to mean plenty for co-owner, co-breeder and trainer Jess Tubbs with the filly that carries her farm’s name, Larajay Macray, saluting in fine style for husband and reinsman Greg Sugars. Tubbs shared breeding rights and ownership with long-time family friend Ian Kitchin, who Sugars lauded when speaking to TrotsVision post-race. “Kitch has just been a fantastic supporter of mainly the Tubbs family over many years,” Sugars said. “He’s done the hard yards, been through all the ups and downs, reached pretty high levels but quite a few lows along the way as well. Being a breeder, it probably is the toughest thing you can do in harness racing. “He’s been around a long time and deserves every winner he’s got. This one was bred in partnership with my wife Jess and was the first one they bred in partnership, and she’s turned out to be all right. We are very happy to have her in the stable.” That feeling will only be heightened after Larajay Macray impressed in her Vicbred Super Series heat, finding the front before handing it over to favourite Vena May and then showing plenty of fight in the final quarter. “She gets out of the gate pretty good this one and she has led and won a couple of races and she’s taken a sit and won as well,” Sugars. “She’s starting to strengthen up as she gets a little older too and I took the other one’s back, who was kicking the wheels when it came around and looked pretty keen, so I played the safe option to follow it and thankfully we were able to just grab it up the straight, but it did a very good job and didn’t lay down.” A Sportswriter filly out of Wya Wya Macray, the half-sister to Tee Cee Bee Macray advances to the June 29 semi-finals with Vena May (second), Mona Mia (third), Izzy Jolie, Mornings, Galactic Gal, Speed Dating and Tarzali.   Vincent Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies’ third heat: Chris Alford’s best laid plans to sit quiet on Kualoa were rewritten by the two-year-old champ who was keen to kick-start her Vincent Vicbred Super Series campaign. Starting from the widest gate, Alford put on the brakes and eased into the running line before putting Kualoa in the race – at her own demand – with over a lap to go. “There was good speed early and I was quite happy just to try and sit back and come with one run, but she just got touching the wheel a little bit and got a bit keen,” he said. “I didn’t want to fight her and just let her stride up and once she rolled to the front she was always in control.” Having emerged three-wide at the top of the straight for the second last time she had found the lead by the bell and was in a class of her own from there, stretching out with 29.4 and 29.6 third and fourth quarters to register a 20-metre win. It was a second Vicbred heat success this season for owner-breeders Bruce and Val Edward, with Kualoa’s (by Art Major) little half-sister Jemstone (by Bettor’s Delight) winning her Vicbred two-year-old heat only two nights prior at Bendigo. And it was also a continuation of the winning ways for trainer Emma Stewart. “As horses you couldn’t ask for better horses to drive, that’s for sure,” Alford said. “(Kualoa) has met some good three-year-olds this year, but she looks the benchmark and hopefully she can have a bit of luck when it comes to the final.” With the top eight advancing to the semi-finals, Kualoa will be joined by stablemate Looking Fabulous (second), Soundslikeart (third), Causing Strife, Fiscal Fantasy, Tryna Portray, Single Tree Road and Headline Act in moving on.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ second heat: Brevity looked like his race was shot to bits in the very early stages but the brave Bettor’s Delight three-year-old just kept giving for reinsman Chris Alford. Having run the quickest lead time of the boys’ heats by 1.5 seconds and followed with the quickest first quarter of the night (28.5 seconds), Brevity looked ripe for the picking for favourite Malcolms Rhythm with the latter’s reinswoman Kima Frenning watching it all unfold from one-out one-back behind Catch A Moment. “His hocks were coming back and hitting the footrest and he was hitting the wheel a bit with his foot and got pretty keen,” Alford said. “He did a really good job just to finish he had gone that hard.” The challengers loomed at the bend but the leader refused to wilt, winning by a neck from Malcolms Rhythm with stablemate Out To Play 1.5m back in third. “He was pretty aggressive that first lap so he did a great job to hang on,” Alford said. “He just puts his head down. He’s never really raced the best ones before but he’s going to measure up.” It was a delightful sight for owner-breeders Russell Maisner, Karen Dunwoodie, Apri and John Chase, with the latter on-course to watch the colt out of Abbreviated for the first time. Major Exclusive ran into fourth for Darby McGuigan and Ted Caruana to book his semi-final spot, with fifth-placed Catch A Moment’s advancement to be determined on time.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ third heat: It was billed as the night’s heavyweight bout and boy did it live up to expectations with Emma Stewart’s star-studded trio Hurricane Harley, Demon Delight and two-year-old Vicbred champion Centenario leaving it all on the Kilmore track. And, remarkably, it was the contender who arguably had it the toughest who emerged triumphant in Demon Delight, who reinswoman Kate Gath placed in the breeze for the last mile – sitting outside leader Centenario and directly in front of Hurricane Harley. “I thought he was tough, he’s always gave me that feel that he had super high speed, but he’s a little machine and I’m just really happy to get the chance to drive him,” Gath said. After first and second quarters that were a tick over 30 seconds, Alford broke open the field with a 26.9 third quarter aboard Centenario but couldn’t shake his stablemates. Demon Delight kept surging out wide and David Moran cut the corner on Hurricane Harley to challenge along the pegs, with the 27.4 last quarter seeing Demon Delight finish 1.6m clear of Hurricane Harley with Centenario 4.9m back in third. “He’s just a consummate racehorse where he relaxes, drops the bit and then goes when you ask him, gets the job done and gets past one and then goes again if another one comes,” Gath said. “I’m not surprised with what he did tonight because he always felt like he was a pretty strong horse.” The delight would have been shared by owners Pam and Russell Hockham who snapped up the Bettor’s Delight colt out of Ghadas Koala for $30,000 at the 2017 Australian Pacing Gold sale. Bred by David Pefferini, Salen Fatrouni and Freddy Taiba, Demon Delight has since banked almost $75,000 in stakes win and is likely the new series favourite. Joining the top three in advancing to the series’ semi-finals was Keith Cotchin’s Betternbetter, while Cee Cee In America ran into fifth and his advancement will be determined by time.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ fourth heat: The Vicbred Super Series has long been the home of a fairytale story or two and this year’s Disney movie applicant may well be Leroy and Danny O’Brien and their entrant Im Sir Blake. Having produced one of the finds of the season in 2017 when Im Princess Gemma won the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic, the pair have plucked another pearler from the Shepparton Mixed Sale in Im Sir Blake. While the latter’s $4000 price was four times that paid for Im Princess Gemma, it’s certainly looking similarly bargain basement after the Rob Watson-bred Alta Christiano gelding blew away his rivals in an eventful front-running performance. Advancing to the breeze from gate four outside leader and co-favourite Perfect Major, Im Sir Blake was a handful for reinswoman Kerryn Manning for much of the running, overracing and continually pressing until finding the front the last time down the back straight. By that stage he’d broken up the field and kept coming, clearing out with a 27.8 third quarter and winning by 12.6m to Perfect Major and 29.9m to Explicit Castle despite closing in his slowest quarter (30.3 seconds) of the race. “The further he goes the keener he gets,” Manning said. “Since he choked down in Adelaide he’s probably drawn the back (row) most of the time and he’s settled pretty good off the back, it’s only when he gets out in the open that he tends to say ‘let’s go’. And when he gets on the chewy he really can get on it quite hard. “I didn’t ask him out of the gate, I really wanted to let him settle the best that I could. He sat up there until probably turning into the back straight for the first time, just started to get a bit keen and the further the race went the keener he got. He had the speed to get across down the back and he knocked off a little bit once he found the front.” There’s room for improvement, but it was a big win on a big stage and much to be satisfied about for co-trainer and co-owner Leroy O’Brien. “He just loves his racing, he’s a little racehorse and at home he’s a kids’ pony, walks around with the grandkids. He’s amazing, he really is.” Joining the first three in the semi-finals was fourth-placed Messerati, with fifth-placed Foolish Pleasure’s advancement time dependent.   Betterthancheddar Vicbred Super Series three-year-old colts and geldings’ fifth heat: Crime Writer looked ripe for the picking at the final turn as Emma Stewart’s Always Fast loomed large in reinswoman Kima Frenning’s hands, but the Sportswriter gelding put his head down and punched on to record a satisfying victory for trainer-driver Matt Craven. “It wasn’t anything sensational but he was headed on the corner into the straight, he fought back and on the line he was going as good as he was at the top of the lane, so that was very pleasing,” Craven told TrotsVision post-race. A fourth victory in his 20 starts, which also brought up Craven’s 50th driving win of the season, came by a neck over Always Fast for owner-breeders Tony and Pamela Coniglia, who bred their mare Our Crime Of Passion to Sportswriter to produce the winner. “Hopefully he will continue to improve off the back of that run,” Craven said. “We left a little bit in the locker, so hopefully as things progress, and we’ve still got to progress through next week to the final which is never easy, but the first step’s there and we’ll see how we go.” A good performance in the June 29 semi-final and potentially July 6 final to follow could convince the stable to take the three-year-old north for the Queensland Derby. “You ask a lot of them as a three-year-old, especially if you think they go OK and you chase the big money. We’ve got in the back of our mind that, if he comes through this series well, we could head to Queensland. The good part about this fella is not much worries him wherever he’s been and even at home, he’s pretty much a cruiser and he settles in pretty well.” In addition to Always Fast, third-placed Rossini – who was beaten only 2.5m having boxed on well from leader’s back – and fourth-placed Firestorm Red will also advance to the semi-finals, while fifth-placed Belittled’s progression is time dependent.   Michael Howard  for Trots Media

On Thursday afternoon June 20, Jim Taggart Jr. put on a harness racing driving clinic and won 5 races on the card, Taggart didn't get hot until race 5 where he drove TKR'S Metro Specs to victory in 1:58.2 and returned a $8.70-win pari mutuel. Next up was College Hanover ($2.40) who scored a 5-length wire to wire win in 1:57 for trainer Richard Dunn. Cheyenne Danny won from the 8 hole in 1:56.2 - $3.20, the son of Cheyenne Rei is trained by Dan Gill. Taggart's fourth trip to the winner's circle came aboard the Bob Loundsbury trained Persist Blue Chip (1:57 - $3.50) Needles and Pins ($2.80 - 1:57.4) would account for the 5th winner of the afternoon, it was the third win of the season for Needles and Pins, the 11 year old gelding is trained by Anthony Regina. Taggart currently is in third place (109) for leading dash winning drivers at Monticello Raceway, behind Austin Siegelman (143) and Michael Merton (131) $736,029 was wagered on the 12-race card, New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-Old Pacing Colts is on tap for Monday afternoon June 24, post time is 12:50 for the 9-race card.   By: Shawn Wiles

CHESTER PA – On “Trottin’ Thursday” at Harrah’s Philadelphia, the Swan For All gelding Gold Medal Swan extended his harness racing winning streak to three races, closing for a 1:54.1 victory before a storm hit the area. Driver David Miller got the winner of $180,446 fourth as 72-1 shot Tough Mac bolted from post eight to the quarter in :26.3; by the time that one had moderated the half to :56.2, Cash For Gold was out from third to go first-over, with Gold Medal Swan right on his back. Cash For Gold cleared to the lead towards the 1:24.2 three-quarters, leaving the favorite uncovered on the far turn, Cash For Gold battled on in the lane, but Gold Medal Swan kept gaining on his hard-used foe, and in the end he could dash clear by 1¾ lengths. Mark Silva owns and trains Gold Medal Swan, who has now won half of his six 2019 starts. Two-year-old trotters, all making their purse debuts, contested two $13,000 races, one each for both sexes. In the filly race, held early before the storm arrived, the Muscle Hill – Viva Las Lindy miss Hannah vacated the three-hole at the three-quarters, went to the lead in the stretch, then withstood closing favorite Sherry Lyns Lady by ¾ of a length in 1:57.2, which was a North American divisional season’s record in addition to her first winning outing.  The fleet filly had personal back fractions of :57.4 - :28.4 in winning for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller, and the ownership of Andy Miller Stable Inc., Lawrence Dumain, and Little E LLC. In the race for males, the Trixton – Lima Playmate colt Play Trix On Me came to his contest with a 2:00 qualifying win at Pocono, and he came out of it with a mark of 1:58.1 despite the arriving rain for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Gareth Dowse, and owner Matthew Dugan. The chalk winner made a quarter-move and controlled the pace, showing fine end speed of :58 - :28.3 to win by 5¾ lengths.         Another freshman winner was the pacing filly Shotgun Persuasion, dropped in against one other baby and six older foes in a “nw 1” event, and again Tim Tetrick had the winning drive. The daughter of Western Ideal – Merculese spotted midpack early, went out then back in down the backstretch to avoid gapping cover, then got clearance up the inside in the stretch. Though the first-time purse starter appeared to be attracted by the tote board in late stretch, Shotgun Persuasion still had enough late kick to get her cocked-left head to the wire first by a nose in 1:57.1 (track still “fast”) for trainer Jim King Jr. and owner Jo Ann Looney-King.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Two years after travelling to Clinton Raceway to see harness racing driver John Campbell’s last race, Trevor Ritchie will be going behind the starting gate in the Legends Day Trot. Two years ago, driver Trevor Ritchie came to Legends Day at Clinton Raceway as a fan. On June 23, he suited up in his black and white colours as the newest addition to the Legends Day line-up. In 2017, Ritchie and his wife, Gemma, sat in lawn chairs near Clinton Raceway’s quarter pole and reveled in the atmosphere surrounding local legend John Campbell’s last career drive. “I’m a huge fan of John Campbell’s and have been forever, so I wanted to see him and say hello to him and see his last drive,” Ritchie said. “I decided to walk down to the tent and say hello to the guys and they were busy signing autographs, of course, but the activity going on down there – it was packed and pretty impressive to watch. “There’s no better place to be on a beautiful sunny afternoon than at a fair track at Clinton. The atmosphere is just great.” Ritchie will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on Aug. 7, an honour that earned him inclusion in the Legends Day line-up and a spot on the starting gate for the $15,000 Legends Day Trot that will also featured Hall of Famers David Miller, Steve Condren, Dave Wall, Ron Waples, Doug Brown and Wally Hennessey. Joining those legends for an autograph session was retired drivers Campbell, Keith Waples and Bill O’Donnell. Ritchie hasn’t driven a horse in a race in almost five years, but said he’s not nervous about going behind the gate again. “I think it’s like riding a bike, once you’ve ridden it you know how to ride it again. Racing, in my opinion, is pretty much the same,” he said. “Every winter when I’m in Florida, the last few years, I’ve been helping (Somebeachsomewhere’s trainer) Brent MacGrath train and he’s usually got two babies down at Sunshine Meadows, so I go down and sometimes I’ll go with one and he’ll go with the other… So it’s not like I haven’t been on a jogger or a race bike in five years. I just haven’t been in behind the gate.” The 63-year-old London native and Acton resident retired due to injury in July 2014, but not before competing in some 25,000 races over nearly 40 years. Ritchie drove the winners of more than $70 million on the track, much of it on Canada’s top circuit that includes Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville. He won 3,710 races, none bigger than when he drove Yankee Paco to victory in the 2000 Hambletonian in New Jersey for trainer Doug McIntosh. The victory, which came the same year the Hambletonian celebrated its 75th anniversary, marked the first time a Canadian-bred horse won harness racing’s premier event, making Ritchie the commander of a moon shot for the Canadian breed. Ritchie calls winning the Hambletonian with Yankee Paco the highlight of a career that also included driving Hall of Fame filly Peaceful Way to victory over the boys in the 2006 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk just three weeks before Ritchie won the $1-million Canadian Trotting Classic, also at Mohawk, with Majestic Son, who went on to be named Canada’s Horse of the Year. Ritchie also won seven Breeders Crowns; a $1 million Meadowlands Pace with Frugal Gourmet for trainer Blair Burgess of Milton in 1987; the 1986 North America Cup with Quite A Sensation; stakes races driving hockey Hall of Famer Mats Sundin’s trotter, Rotation, and even had the opportunity to drive in Sweden and Norway. Ritchie said he was excited for Legends Day and the opportunity to see old friends and faces and connect with fans. He saluted the work of Clinton general manager Ian Fleming, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame this year as a builder. “Obviously, Ian does just a fantastic job. It’s great to see crowds at a harness racing track. You just don’t see that all that often, unfortunately, anymore outside of big nights.” Legends Day raised money for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. Previous editions of Legends Day have raised more than $210,000 for the foundation. In 2017, Legends Day raised a record $60,000 and Fleming said he is hoping to break that record this year. By Postmedia Staff Reprinted with permission of The Clinton News Record

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Friday evening the Quebec Jockey Club plays host to the second round of the $276,000 Quebec-Bred Series for older harness racing trotters at the Hippodrome 3R. The main event takes place in the eighth race co-feature, where the storyline is "A Tale of two brothers" as Seeyou Men and Wildwild Men, both full brothers, will race against each other. Last week in the opening round of the series, there were enough entrants to have two divisions, so the two brothers did not have to face each. Such is not the case this Friday as only ten horses were entered and thus one division. Both Seeyou Men and Wildwild Men are sired by Muscle Mass from the Angus Hall mare, Seeyouinthecircle. Seeyou Men is age 7 and Wildwild Men is the younger brother at age 6. They were both bred by Chantal Gravel of St-Cryrille-De-Wendover, who co-owns the two with Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel. While as youngsters, both horses were raced from the same stable of Isabelle Darveau and were driven by Robert Shepherd, now they are in different stables yet will race as an overwhelming entry on Friday. Both horses are prior Quebec-Bred Champions and Wildwild Men still holds the track record he set at age two. Seeyou Men has drawn post one and Wildwild Men drew post seven. Last week Seeyou Men was the fastest of the Quebec-Bred Series winners, trotting his mile in 1:59 after getting perfect live cover from Kinnder Dangerous. It was his second win this season for trainer Daniel Martin and driver Stephane Brosseau. Wildwild Men last week was able to leave from post six and never look back, winning with ease for trainer/driver Guy Gagnon by two and one quarter lengths in 2:00.1. That was his third triumph of the season. Other contenders in the race include Kinnder Dangerous (post 5), who two starts back won in 1:58.4, Holiday Party (post 6), Caroluzzo (post 9) and Maximuscle (post 3), who just qualified at H3R with a victory in 2:00. The older mares do battle in the third race where last week's opening round winner, Eau Naturelle and trainer/driver Simon Delisle, drew the far outside and will have to start from post eight. Last week the six-year-old daughter of Windsong Espoir started from post three and led from start to finish in 2:00.2 for her first win on the year for co-owners Chantal Auger-Maxime Dubuc of Portneuf, Raymond Bouffard of Quebec and Anne Delisle of Deschambault. Her main rival will be Lucky Promesses, who drew the rail for driver Steeve Genois and trainer Francis Richard. Last week she was able to get the live cover from Eau Naturelle, but was unable to close the deal in the stretch and finished second. Ben Hur Cup II Sunday: The Ben Hur Cup II takes place Sunday at H3R with Ontario's Doug McNair taking on Quebec's Louis-Philippe Roy. There are 10 races on the program and races 3 to 10 will be the Ben Hur Cup II plus a winner-take-all cash prize of $3,000C. The point system for the competition is (8 for a 1st, 7 for a 2nd, 6 for 3rd, etc.). There will be a special meet and greet with McNair and Roy starting at 12:00 noon and then a welcome presentation after the 2nd race. If you go by the morning line odds, McNair has a slight edge over Roy, but as everyone knows you never know what will happen on the track. Post time Friday is 7:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

With a returning Dan Patch Award winner (Six Pack) and multiple world-record-holder (Plunge Blue Chip) among his 4-year-old trotters, it's no surprise to find harness racing trainer Ake Svanstedt with a horse tied for the points lead after three rounds of the Graduate Series. Except for the surprise. The horse is Muscle M Up. "He's a surprise. He's surprised me," Svanstedt said with a laugh about the 4-year-old stallion, who has a win and a second in his two Graduate starts. "When he came to me, he did not train so good before he qualified. But when he qualified, he was a different horse. He was a real racehorse. He wants to race. He has a good heart, very good heart." Muscle M Up has won three of four races overall this season, earning $54,000. The stallion was purchased by Knutsson Trotting Inc. at last fall's Standardbred Mixed Sale for $65,000 after campaigning for breeder-owner Fashion Farms and trainer Jim Campbell. As a 2-year-old, Muscle M Up won two of three races including a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. He was limited to eight starts, winning two, at age 3. "I talked with Jim Campbell and he said he had a lot of problems when he was young," Svanstedt said. "Maybe he is older now and stronger. I think the time has helped. He feels like a good horse." Muscle M Up, a son of Muscle Hill out of stakes-winner Fashion Athena, won his first Graduate start in a career-best 1:51.2 on May 18 at The Meadowlands. On June 9, he finished second to mare Custom Cantab in a Graduate division at Tioga Downs. Custom Cantab and gelding Crystal Fashion are tied with Muscle M Up with 60 points apiece in the series. On Friday, Muscle M Up competes in the first of two $50,000 final preliminary rounds of the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands. He faces a challenging task, meeting a field that includes newly minted Canadian record holder Atlanta, Crystal Fashion, Custom Cantab, Plunge Blue Chip, and 2017 Dan Patch Award winner Manchego. Atlanta, the 2018 Trotter of the Year, is unbeaten in four races this season and heads to Friday's start off a 1:50.2 win in the Armbro Flight Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Ron Burke-trained mare is the even-money favorite on the morning line. "This is a tougher race for him, but I think he can do a good race," Svanstedt said about Muscle M Up, who will have Andy Miller in the sulky because Svanstedt will drive mare Plunge Blue Chip. "I think he is going to race good." Plunge Blue Chip finished second to Atlanta in her elimination for the Armbro Flight Stakes but got sick the day after the race and was scratched from the final. She shares the world records for 3-year-old filly trotters on a half-mile track (1:53.1) and mile track (1:49.4). Plunge Blue Chip (Curtis Salonick Photo) "She grew a lot during the winter," Svanstedt said about the mare, who has won 17 of 27 career races and earned $1.01 million. "She is bigger and taller. She is a bigger horse. She did not grow so much between (ages) 2 and 3, but this winter she grew a lot. I'm excited to see what she can do this summer. "There are some tough horses, but she raced (1):49.4 two times last year, so she's not so bad either. She trained a lot of miles but not so fast before she qualified, so every race is going to move her forward." Svanstedt expects the same from Six Pack, improvement in every start. Six Pack, who last season became the fastest 3-year-old trotter in history (1:49.1) on his way to Dan Patch honors, is in the second Graduate division, where he is the 2-1 morning-line favorite over Fiftydallarbill (5-2) and Phaetosive (4-1). Six Pack, a stallion who has won 16 of 25 career starts and $1.38 million, captured his Graduate debut at the Big M before finishing third behind Crystal Fashion and Fiftydallarbill at Tioga. The $250,000 Graduate Series finals for trotters and pacers are July 6 at The Meadowlands. Friday's card at the Big M also includes the third round of the Rainbow Blue Series for female pacers. Caviart Ally is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in a field of six going for a purse of $40,000. Caviart Ally won the May 18 leg of the Rainbow Blue and enters Friday's race off a third-place finish in the Roses Are Red Stakes. Kissin In The Sand, the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer, is the 2-1 second choice. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Friday. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

ANDERSON, Ind.--June 19, 2019--Indiana Sires Stakes action returned to Harrah's Hoosier Racing & Casino on Wednesday, June 19 as they play host to the second round of the stakes action for the three-year-old harness racing competitors throughout the week. Indiana-sired sophomore trotting fillies were the featured attraction on the evening's 14-race card with two $47,500 divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. In just her second start of the season, Grand Swan continued her winning ways to capture the opening division of the stakes action and deliver as the heavy betting favorite for driver, trainer LeWayne Miller. Stopping the timer in 1:54 over a track rated good, Grand Swan recorded her second win from two starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. Leaving from post eight, Miller took no chances and his sent his filly straight to the front. Grand Swan would have to work for position as Kota's Swan and Sam Widger also left alertly to grab the lead through the opening quarter in :27.4 before relinquishing command just before the half. Grand Swan dictated fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.1 before being joined on the outside by Morairtime and John DeLong. Employing a :27.4 final panel, Grand Swan was able to hold off Morairtime and also a late rally by Haylie Ivy and Ricky Macomber Jr. As the 3-5 favorite, Grand Swan returned $3.40 to her backers at the betting window. "I thought she might be a little short given the time off because I wasn't able to train her as fast as I would have liked but she raced tough tonight," Miller noted after the win. "It wasn't her ideal trip but she raced tough." "She likes to work and likes to train so I think with a few more starts she will be even better," he continued. "If she comes out of the race okay and everything checks out, we will probably try her in the Star Destroyer next week." The $50,000 Star Destroyer Stakes for three-year-old filly trotters is scheduled for June 26 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The daughter of Swan For All-Queen Mum recorded her second win of the season and tenth lifetime victory from 14 trips behind the gate. With the win, Grand Swan pushed her lifetime earnings to $235,625 for owners, Grand Swan Racing, Go Fast Stable, and Never 2 Late Stable. The win was also career driving win number 998 for driver LeWayne Miller who is on the verge of reaching the 1,000 win milestone. The second division saw Summit City Swan and Brandon Bates spring the 13-1 upset and score in 1:55. Trained by Byron Hooley, Summit City Swan recorded her second consecutive win and recorded a new lifetime best. Summit City Swan pulled the 13-1 upset in the second division     --Linscott Photography Bates sent Summit City Swan away from the gate from post six to grab a pocket seat behind Kissesforall and Peter Wrenn who dictated first half fractions of :27.1 and :56.3. Trace Tetrick pointed Woodside Chelsea to the front approaching the third station in 1:26.1 with Summit City Swan tracking intently from the pocket. As the leader began to tire, Bates found late racing room and Summit City Swan did her part, trotting home in :28.3 to get the victory. Sophia Lia and John DeLong rallied gamely for second while Savannah's Lucy and Todd Warren also closed well for third. Summit City Swan returned $29.80 at the betting windows. "She's one of those borderline fillies," Hooley noted after the win. "She's always been a nice filly but I wasn't sure if she was a top stakes filly. I knew she was capable and could be competitive if it worked out for her, I just wasn't sure if she could go with the rest of them." "She's been racing well. She is eating well and looks good so I thought we would give it a shot tonight. She's a really nice filly to be around and very easy to work with." With the win, the daughter of Swan For All-Earls Miss Muffit recorded her fourth win from ten seasonal outings. Summit City Swan now sports a lifetime bankroll of $82,033 for owners Summit Pacing Acres LLC. Indiana Sires Stakes action will return to Harrah's Hoosier Park on Thursday, June 20 with two $48,000 divisions for the three-year-old colt trotters. The evening's 14-race card will also feature a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 pool in races 3-6. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9.For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   Emily Ratcliff Race Marketing Manager and Commentator

What this week's Kick Off Your State Of Origin At Gloucester Park Pace (1730m) lacks in quantity, it certainly makes up for in quality, with some of the state's best mares engaged. Eight runners will line up in the fillies and mares Free-For-All, headlined by the evergreen Maczaffair.  The Mike Reed-trained mare has finished no further back than fifth in each of her four starts back this campaign. After finishing second in against her own sex first-up, Maczaffair then finished fifth behind Chicago Bull on two occasions and third behind Luis Alberto a fortnight ago. Dylan Egerton-Green teams up with the mare for the first time this campaign and will start from barrier six.  Regular reinsman Mark Reed has elected to drive the mare conservatively so far this campaign and similar tactics could be adopted this week.  In-form mare The War Nurse has drawn awkwardly in barrier seven this week and will have her work cut out to cross to the lead.  Lady De La Renta's departure to the United States to race is nearing, but the Annie Belton-trained mare will line up, possibly for the last time in WA, from barrier two this Friday.  Aldo Cortopassi retains the drive on the mare and he looks set to have options from the good barrier. Trainer Ross Olivieri sends his two durable mares Veiled Secret and Madame Meilland around in the event. The pair couldn't have had more contrasting fortunes at the barrier draws in one and eight respectively. Chris Voak has the drive on Veiled Secret from the pole draw, while Gary Hall Jnr teams up with Madame Meilland.  The last time Veiled Secret drew barrier one, she went on and scored a strong win.  Olivieri said Veiled Secret showed signs in her trackwork a win was nearing. "She worked well and I said as I came off the track 'this looks like it's getting towards another win'," he said. "It's a pretty hard race that she's in but she will give it a good shake." Shannon Suvaljko has 99 winners in the sulky for the season and will look to bring up the three figure milestone on She's Turbo Charged in barrier three. Forever Remembered and Come Dance With Me round out the field from barrier four and five respectively. Olivieri will be hoping Veiled Secret can kick start a successful back half of the program for him, with Space Junk poised to strike in the State Of Origin @ The Bridge Bar Standing Start (2096m). Space Junk made his return to racing last month in a mobile start and finished fifth. The talented pacer then had two trials in the build up to a second placing in a Stand last start. In similar circumstances to Veiled Secret, Olivieri said he also felt there was a sense of timing around Space Junk.  "This should be right up his alley," he said. "He got himself beat in that race a couple of weeks ago. "We started him and thought he was ready, but he was way off.' "We took a couple of weeks and gave him a trial and realised the errors of our ways. "He's strutting around like he owns the place so that's a good sign."   Tim Walker

He may be lining up in the Westbred Colts & Geldings Consolation, but it will be anything but a consolation prize if La Sulieman could take out the $20,000 event on Friday night. La Sulieman returned to racing earlier this month, after more than a year off scene with multiple leg injuries. The son of Alta Christiano was successful first-up at Pinjarra, a win that meant so much to trainer Debbie Padberg and connections. He has since been well beaten in two subsequent starts at Pinjarra, but they will matter very little if he can salute in the Consolation. The gelding gets a golden opportunity to start from barrier one for the first time in his career and has shown he's got solid gate speed. Luke Edwards teams up with La Sulieman once more and said he was ready to win again. "He probably went too well first-up," he said. "He probably got the second-up blues and Monday he made a big run from the back of the field. "He's come up with a good draw. "He will run a really good race." Despite never having started from barrier one, Edwards was confident he could hold the lead and was excited about the prospect of seeing La Sulieman in front.  Regardless of how La Sulieman performed tomorrow night, Edwards said he was relieved to see him back racing after a tumultuous run with injury and was hopeful he had a bright future. "He's a bit of green horse and he's still learning what it's all about," he said. "It's good to see him come back from some serious injuries and it's good for the owners." Gold Horseshoe is expected to provide plenty of resistance to La Sulieman, following his stylish win at Pinjarra on June 10. Chris Lewis takes the drive behind the Colin Reeves-trained pacer, who has scored two wins from his four career starts. Our Virtuoso and Bettor Be Oscar were named as the emergencies for the Group 1 final. The pair both look set to play a big part in the Consolation from barrier five and 12 respectively. In the fillies Consolation, a last start win from the Donald Harper-trained and driven Stormy Nights is expected to see her play a big part in the finish. Stormy Nights finished behind the Colin Brown-trained Caruba on debut last month prior to her Bunbury success. Caruba is one of two fillies with solid claims in the race for Brown, with Arma Veyron also engaged. Brown drives Arma Veyron from barrier five, while Dylan Egerton-Green teams up with Caruba from barrier seven. Meanwhile, Aristocratic Star looks set to get his chance to make up for his shock defeat at the hands of Manning in last week's Pearl Classic when he lines up from barrier one in the Westsired colts & geldings Pace.   Tim Walker

A stellar line up of three-year-old colts and geldings are set to do battle in Friday night's Group 1 Westbred Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park. The cream of the three-year-old colts and geldings crop, minus WA Derby placegetters Major Trojan, Franco Edward and Bletchley Park, will contest the $100,000 event.  Trainer Justin Prentice, who took out last week's Group 1 Pearl Classic with Manning, has two runners engaged in the feature in Know When To Run and Back In Twenty.  Veteran trainer-reinsman Colin Brown also has his two stable stars Patrickthepiranha and Its Rock And Roll engaged, while Andrew De Campo also sends two of his stable up-and-comers Walsh and Tellmetoattack around in the event. Theo Aviator, Gee Jay Kay and Shockwave are also among the stellar field, which could unearth WA's next star pacer.  Pierre Whitby has come up with barrier one for the event, while Major Artist has barrier two. Patrickthepiranha looks the major winner from the barrier draw, where he came up with barrier three.  The gelding looks set to get his chance to lead, while Theo Aviator in barrier four could also find himself in the action early. Trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi said he was pleased Theo Aviator would get his chance to be prominent in the opening exchanges of the event from barrier four. "For him it's better than barrier one," he said. "We'll roll the dice early. "Dylan (Egerton-Green) has drawn inside me with Patrickthepiranha and you'd think he'd probably want to hold the front. "I'd be happy to hold the breeze and he can control the race from there because he's a pretty strong horse." Theo Aviator finished third to Know When To Run a fortnight ago, before he bounced back to the winners list in the Westsired Pace last week.  Fortunately for Theo Aviator, he has drawn inside Know When To Run, who has drawn barrier eight. Gary Hall Jnr retains the drive on Know When To Run and will be out to score his second consecutive win in the event, having won it with One Off Delight last year.  Hall Jnr said the gelding was good enough to overcome the barrier, but admitted he would have his work cut out. "He's racing really well, but the draw probably puts us in a position where we need to be conservative and try and earn some good money," he said. "He can still win, but he needs things to really go his way from out there." The Bryan Cousins-trained Galante was a surprise second behind Know When To Run and beat Theo Aviator and Brown's two pacers a fortnight ago. The gelding looms as an outside chance in this week's event, where he will start from barrier 12 and be driven by Kim Prentice. Cousins said Galante would need luck to win, but deserved his place in the field. "It's an interesting race because I think there's a lot of chances," he said. "It might be a really genuinely run race. "If that's the case the backmarkers at Gloucester Park get a chance.  "Galante has raced well during the whole season and I think he's better now than he's ever been." Its Rock And Roll and Tellmetoattack are the other two runners on the back line.   Tim Walker

South Australian harness racing horseman Greg Norman, who is on a sojourn in Victoria for the next few months, has taken no time to hit his straps.  Norman, based at the Charlton harness training centre, got the spoils at Horsham last weekend with four-year-old bay gelding Edwin Bromac. “It was the first meeting I’d raced at since moving a few weeks ago, so I guess it was the perfect way to kick off,” a jubilant Norman said. Nothing much went right for the $1.40 favorite Edwin Bromac (Mister Big USA-Elly Bromac (Badlands Hanover USA) in taking out the $7000 Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association Pace but he couldn’t have been more impressive. After starting from the wide seven alley, reinswoman Kerryn Manning decided to push forward, getting an early three wide trail behind ToTheMoonAndBack (Jayson Finnis). However, when Finnis decided to restrain and head back to the tail of the field, Edwin Bromac was forced to drag back as well, having favorite punters with their hearts in their mouths. With a lap to go, Manning was second last and decided the back straight was the time to hit the “go” button. On the home corner, Edwin Bromac loomed up three wide and packed too many guns for his rivals in the run home. Edwin Bromac, raced by Cormack Racing Pty Ltd, comprising father Terry and sons Adam and Paul, scored by seven metres from Girls In Charge (Michael Bellman). “I certainly was happy with the effort because things didn’t really pan out all that ideally,” Norman said. “But Kerryn summed it up nicely and got the job done.” Norman said he had settled in well at Charlton and was looking forward to the rest of his stay. “The plan is for a three-month trial period, but if things work out the right way and we’re all happy, you never know how long I might stay,” he said. “The Charlton people have been tremendous and the club, headed by President Joey Thompson, have been tremendous in assisting us in every possible way. “We really love the town and the training centre facilities are brilliant – and it’s great to see the centre’s on fire at the moment, because Joey landed a Maryborough winner (on Wednesday) with Gollahgold, driven by Peter Sanderson.” Norman has his team competing at Kilmore and Ballarat over the next two nights. He said Edwina Express and Cee Cee In America would compete in 3yo Vicbred heats at Kilmore, while The Deal, Edwin Bromac and Gozo would go around the next night in the 4yo Vicbred heats at Ballarat. “I’m probably making up numbers a bit because the Emma Stewart-Clayton Tonkin team has runners at both fixtures, and they’re just setting the bar at present,” he said. “Full marks to them. They do a great job and present their horses in magnificent condition – but we’ll be there doing our best.”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- JK American Beauty and So Awesome took the main harness racing events in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old filly pacers on Wednesday night (June 19) at Buffalo Raceway but it was Gia's Surreal in the $15,000 Excelsior Class A Series who stole the show.   Driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and conditioned by local trainer Jim Graham, Gia's Surreal tied the Buffalo Raceway track record with a 1:53.3 time over the fast surface. It equaled the 3-year-old filly pacer standard set in 2015 by Mosquito Blue Chip.   Gaining the top in opening quarter in :28.1, Gia's Surreal ($3.50) saw that advantage quickly evaporate as Chase You (Tyler Buter) used a big brush to take over command. Hitting the three quarter pole in a blistering 1:24.2, Gia's Surreal managed to regain the lead and take the neck victory over Chase You who ended up being a tough luck second. Love Americanstyle (Billy Davis Jr.) finished in third.   Owned by Graham, Lee Winters, Tom Mariano and E. Peron, it was the fourth win in seven tries for Gia's Surreal (So Surreal-Nancy Irene). The victory upped her season earnings to $28,460 and $83,656 lifetime.   JK American Beauty had the fastest time in the two $57,000 (approx.) divisions of the New York Sire Stakes with a 1:54.1 clocking, topping Prescient Beauty by a length. JK American Beauty has fastest time in Sire Stakes.   Tracking Heavens Challenge through three panels, JK American Beauty (Matt Kakaley) found some late kick and held off the charge of Prescient Beauty (Doug McNair) and Crazy Cute (Ray Fisher Jr.) who took second and third respectively.   "This was the first time I drove her," Kakaley said of JK American Beauty ($6.70). "I didn't know what to expect but she did grab the track in the long stretch and got up in time."   Owned by the 3 Brothers Stable and conditioned by Nancy Johansson, it was the second win in six outings for JK American Beauty (American Ideal-Jk Black Beauty). The victory upped her seasonal bankroll to $51,664 and $178,359 in her career.   So Awesome ($8.40) took the second leg with a 1:54.2 trip over the Hamburg half-mile oval, beating DD Delicious by a head. Hurrikane Norakane (McNair) took the show position.   Sitting fourth on the outside with a frame to go, So Awesome (Buter) uncorked a final quarter of :27.4 to get the photo opportunity.   So Awesome goes :27.4 in final panel to collect NYSS win.   Just like Kakaley in the opener, it was the first time Buter got aboard So Awesome. "I was told she was perfect to drive and she was. She took the turns good and did what she was asked to do."   Owned by William Hartt and trained by Scott DiDomenico, So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) got her initial win of the season after five previous attempts. The victory sent her 2019 winnings to $73,681 and $307,121 lifetime.   In the lone $6,600 Excelsior B race, Sulky Queen ($10.60) snagged the victory with a 1:55.1 tour over the Buffalo Raceway strip for Buter.   David McNeight III, Morrill Jr. and Buter each completed the evening with doubles. Milo Zdjelar Jr. had a pair of training wins.   Racing will continue this weekend with a 13-race card set for 6 p.m. on Saturday night then the final matinee of the season comes on Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. post.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcomong promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     By Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, June 19, 2019 -- Miss Stunner and It's Academic, a pair of Uncle Peter freshman trotters making their career debuts for harness racing trainer Ron Burke Wednesday at The Meadows, not only scored handily but also became the season's fastest 2-year-olds in their respective divisions on a five-eighths-mile track. Dave Palone guided both youngsters to victory. Miss Stunner moved powerfully first over from fourth and drew away from the field, triumphing by 6 lengths in 1:59. Saratoga Gia and Alittlebitofsugar completed the ticket. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby campaign the daughter of Pilgrims Stunner. The journey of It's Academic was nearly a carbon copy, as the son of Annapolis moved first over from fourth and blew away the field by 5-3/4 lengths in 1:57.1. Willing Spirit and Town Victor were second and third, respectively. It's Academic competes for Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, Joe Sbrocco and Hatfield Stables. It's Academic Palone garnered five wins, Burke four and Jim Pantaleano three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features a $1,257.68 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

KEVIN Pizzuto’s scaled back his numbers and been unusually quite of late, but all that’s about to change. The colourful trainer’s two stable stars – Inter Dominion hero Tiger Tara and star speedster Majordan – are primed for racetrack returns. Majordan will be first back to the track, being specifically set for a first-up tilt at Sunday week’s $100,000 Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle. And, judging by his Menangle trial last Tuesday, the US-owned pacer is the horse they all have to beat. Majordan put almost 20m on his rivals in a scorching 1min49.5sec mile trial. Clockers can’t recall a faster trial run in Australia. “That’s what I wanted, a really serious hitout because he will be first-up in the big one. But it’s worth noting Todd (McCarthy, driver) said he could’ve gone 1min48sec and he never moved on him. He’s come back really well,” Pizzuto said. Providing he runs as well as expected in Len Smith, Majordan will then head to Brisbane for a winter campaign. Tiger Tara will accompany Majordan up north, but it will Majordan alone who contests the $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint on July 13. “I know my horses and Tiger Tara’s best hope of winning the Blacks A Fake is going into first-up (July 20),” Pizzuto said. Tiger Tara will have his first private trial back this campaign at Bankstown on Tuesday. “He’s working better than Majordan, so all signs are he’s come back at least as well as last time in work,” Pizzuto said. Pizzuto has more time to focus on Tiger Tara and Majordan after dramatically cutting his team from 35 to just 11 horses out of frustration. “It’s just so hard in NSW. You win a couple of races then your horses are racing against each other and given bad barriers under the system up here,” he said. “It became so hard to keep my owners happy. They wanted horses staying in work for too long to earn and, in the end, it was best to cut my numbers and focus on quality,” Pizzuto said. “I got really frustrated and things weren’t changing here, so I had to do something myself.”   Adam Hamilton

Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted three winners on the Wednesday harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Aldrich, who became a Saratoga regular several years back, continues to drive at several tracks but hasn't been in his strongest stretch over the first few months of the racing season in 2019. The track's leading driver in '15, Aldrich has been one of the top catch-drivers in New York State over the past decade and the 51 year old reinsman had a big day on Wednesday at the Spa. Aldrich swept the early double and went on to drive three winners on the matinee program. Two of Aldrich's victories came with Janice Connor trainees as the out-of-town conditioner saw a pair of her trotters score on the afternoon card. Connor's Yonkers Hanover (Credit Winner) and Dew Can Dew (Deweycheatumnhowe) each broke their maiden on Wednesday with Aldrich at the controls. Yonkers Hanover trotted to victory in 2:02 to record his first career win in just his third lifetime start. Dew Can Dew is a bit more of a veteran and though she was a maiden coming into her Wednesday's try did have career earnings of close to $28,000 led by a strong freshman campaign in New York Sire Stakes Excelsior competition. The sophomore filly made a break after the start on Wednesday but her race's odds-on favorite, Dew Can Dew rallied to prevail in 2:00.4 and lose her maiden status while competing for a purse of $7,250. Comprising the third portion of the Aldrich Wednesday hat trick was freshman pacer Han Solo (Mister Big) who scored in his lifetime debut for trainer Monique Cohen. After two winning qualifiers, Han Solo was impressive prevailing in 1:58.2 in his first career start. Despite a bit of a slow couple of months, Aldrich still sits in sixth in the local driver standings in 2019 and may be poised for a hot streak. Live racing continues on Thursday at Saratoga with a 12:00 Noon first post.   Mike Sardella

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