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SMYRNA, Del. -- The Extra Mile, a new biweekly news-magazine podcast centered around harness racing, debuts with a Pepsi North America Cup preview which was released this morning (Friday, Aug. 28).   James Witherite, who has served as a race caller, oddsmaker, handicapper, publicist and columnist in his 15 years in harness racing, presents this new podcast to share the stories of harness racing's events, participants and challenges on a familiar and sophisticated -- yet accessible -- platform.   The debut episode features an in-depth look at a top contender on Saturday's North America Cup program at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as well an inside perspective at Clinton Raceway's unique and innovative approach to weathering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.   Listeners can access the debut of The Extra Mile at this link, and can follow The Extra Mile on Twitter at @DHNExtraMile.    

Chester, PA -- Leading harness racing trainer Ron Burke padded his lead in the standings at Harrah's Philadelphia with three wins on Sunday afternoon's (Aug. 23) program. Wins with Twin B Tuffenuff ($3.20), Mr D's Dragon ($3.40) and Braley Hanover ($6.20) enabled Burke to extend his lead over Gilbert Garcia-Owen to 34-28 in the local standings with just over one-third of the 2020 season complete. Twin B Tuffenuff overcame significant traffic and rallied to a 1:51.4 score in a $10,000 fourth-level pace to kick off Burke's training treble. George Brennan secured the pocket with the 5-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding through a :26.4 quarter before being shuffled behind a tiring Incredible Shark up the backstretch. Brennan was able to escape traffic nearing the far turn, angling Twin B Tuffenuff into a live outer flow and ultimately fanning to the grandstand side in the stretch. In the final strides, Twin B Tuffenuff reached for a narrow win over Italian Delight N (Tony Morgan) and Peace Out Posse (Victor Kirby). Twin B Tuffenuff Brennan and Burke also teamed up with Braley Hanover for a 1:50.2 score, while Simon Allard drove Burke's other winner -- Mr D's Dragon -- to a 1:54 victory. A pair of $11,600 fifth-level conditioned events served as co-featured races on the program, with Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher's Ana Afreet N ($4.80) earning top honors by way of a 1:49.3 victory. In line to Simon Allard, the 5-year-old son of Bettor's Delight stalked in the clear from third through splits of :27.3, :55 and 1:21.4 before taking aim up the open stretch to collar Rockapelo (Brennan) by a neck in 1:49.3. Alluneedisfaith N (George Napolitano Jr.) finished third from the pocket. Ana Afreet N Ana Afreet N rallied up the open stretch for a 1:49.3 score, the fastest mile on the Sunday card at Harrah's Philadelphia The other co-feature saw Kinnder Jackson ($4.60) and Brennan dictate all the terms and evade the first-over Lying In Cash (Allard) and pocket rival Statement Made A (Tim Tetrick) by two lengths in 1:51. Jake Huff trains the 5-year-old Allamerican Native gelding for the Our Three Sons Stable and Rosalia Huff. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 14-race card on Wednesday (Aug. 26), which features a $1,792.65 carryover in the Jackpot Hi-5. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia    

Chester, PA -- Despite a relatively pressure-free journey and soft fractions, 2019 Breeders Crown champion Amigo Volo was narrowly upset at 1-5 odds in the first $94,967 division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Sunday (Aug. 16) at Harrah's Philadelphia -- with Maesteraemon ($8.60) and El Ideal ($4.00) sharing the honors in a 1:53.3 dead heat. After riding the pocket behind Amigo Volo (George Napolitano Jr.) through splits of :28, :56.2 and 1:25.1, El Ideal and Trond Smedshammer wedged out to attack with just over an eighth of a mile to go -- enabling Maesteraemon and Tony Morgan to find a clear path to the open stretch. Amigo Volo was fully extended off the home turn, and ultimately gave way to the tandem of El Ideal in the two-path and the surging Maesteraemon up the open stretch with 40 yards to go. The shared victory was Maesteraemon's first of the season and fifth of his career. Marcus Melander trains the son of Andover Hall for the SRF Stable. El Ideal, a son of Muscle Hill who ended his rookie season with a decisive score in the Valley Victory, earned his second win as a 3-year-old and the sixth of his career for EMP-Invest Oy of Finland and trainer Ãke Svanstedt. Smedshammer won the second Sire Stakes division as well, doing so in decisive fashion with his trainee Hillexotic ($5.80). The son of Muscle Hill worked clear of Beyond Kronos (Napolitano) through a :28.3 quarter before evading an outside challenge from Gangster Hanover (Svanstedt) by 7-1/4 widening lengths in 1:53.4. Gangster Hanover dueled down pocket rival Beyond Kronos for runner-up honors. Hillexotic, who did not race at 2, earned his second win in five starts for Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. Overserved ($4.80) took top honors across four $20,000 Stallion Series divisions with a 1:55.1 mile in line to Victor Kirby. Bargain Bob ($4.80, Simon Allard, 1:57.3), Meanttobe De Vie ($29.00, George Brennan, 1:58) and Scirocco Patrick ($80.00, Daniel Dube, 1:56.3) won their splits as well. In the sub-featured $20,000 winners-over pace, Southwind Ozzi ($26.60) won for the first time since he captured the 2019 Little Brown Jug, grinding down Turbo Hill for a 1:52 score over Jack's Legend N and Highalator. Daniel Dube drove the 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere for trainer Bill MacKenzie and owners Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (Aug. 19) with a pair of carryovers on the 14-race card: a $23,916.26 carryover in the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 in race five, and $4,795.40 in free money on the table in the 50-cent Pick-4, which begins in race seven. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Chester, PA -- On Friday afternoon (Aug. 14), harness racing driver Simon Allard recorded the 4,000th driving win of his career, doing so with Anythingforlove A ($2.10) in the ninth race at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Allard yielded for the pocket with the 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, and the pair drafted Skip To My Lou before reclaiming the lead on the backstretch and holding off a late charge from 23-1 outsider Mr Profeta to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:51. Allard also won with Rock The Town ($23.20) and Diamond Head ($11.20), and his hat trick gave him top honors among all drivers on the 14-race program. The 38-year-old Quebec native has driven almost exclusively in the United States since 2016 and has earned over $39 million in purses. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 16), with a 14-race card featuring two $94,967 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings, as well as a $22,990.90 carryover in the fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5. Post time is 12:40 p.m. by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Chester, PA -- Fresh off a pair of wins at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Respect Our Flag ($4.80) made it three in a row with a sharp 1:50 score in Sunday's (Aug. 9) featured $14,400 top-level harness racing pacing event at Harrah's Philadelphia. Driver Joe Bongiorno hustled Respect Our Flag to the early lead through a :27 first quarter before yielding to Lyons Steel (George Napolitano Jr.), who handled the bulk of the pacesetting duties. While Lyons Steel controlled a :55.3 half and faced mild outside pressure from Rock The Devil (Victor Kirby) past three-quarters in 1:22.3, Respect Our Flag drafted comfortably in the pocket and awaited clearance. Once the field turned for home, Bongiorno ducked Respect Our Flag to the open stretch, and the 4-year-old Roll With Joe gelding powered clear by 1-3/4 lengths under vigorous encouragement. Rock The Devil lasted for second; Lyons Steel finished third after giving way in the final sixteenth. Breeder Barbara Bongiorno co-owns 9-time winner Respect Our Flag with Bill Lambos and Dionisios Liberatos. Jenn Bongiorno handles the training duties. Joe Bongiorno and George Napolitano Jr. led all drivers on the card with three wins apiece. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover continues to grow, now standing at $20,677.97 in advance of Wednesday's (Aug. 12) card. The Jackpot Hi-5 is a 20-cent base wager available in the fifth race each day, with the carryover only paying out in the event of one unique winning ticket. Post time for Wednesday's 14-race card is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The sensational filly Ramona Hill took a well-deserved gulp from the Hambletonian trophy after beating the boys on Saturday (Aug. 8) in the $1 million harness racing trotting classic at the Meadowlands Racetrack.   It was the latest chapter in the developing saga of harness racing's newest superstar.   The victory, the 15th by a filly in the race's illustrious history, was hardly a surprise. She was the 2-5 favorite following the previous week's jaw-dropping win from an impossible spot, kicking home with a :25.4 final quarter in the Hambletonian eliminations.   She was just as good in the final. Andy McCarthy turned Ramona Hill loose down the backside and she easily surged past Threefiftytwo to take command for good.   "When I came out early there, I sensed I could find the front," McCarthy said. "I went for it, and she knows her job."   As Ramona Hill made the lead, main rivals Ready For Moni -- the other elimination winner -- and Back Of The Neck took up the chase.   Through the lane, Ramona Hill remained solidly in command, beating Ready For Moni by a length with Back Of The Neck third.       "She was starting to work a little bit towards the wire, but she finished it off," McCarthy said.   The time for the mile only confirmed what observers already knew: Ramona Hill is the real deal. The 1:50.1 clocking equaled the stakes mark set by her sire Muscle Hill in 2009.   It was a muted winner's circle celebration with access limited and everyone masked to ward off the coronavirus.   John Campbell, president of the Hambletonian Society, summed up the day and the performance eloquently.   "What a great performance by a tremendous filly," Campbell said. "Throughout history, society has dealt with crises and troubles, but great horses and great horse racing have found a way to bring people together to forget about what's going on in their everyday lives. I think that's what's happened here today."   It was the first Hambletonian victory for McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna, who took a very patient approach with his talented filly. The race was only her fourth of the year and 11th of her career.   "People talked earlier about how COVID affected this filly's schedule," Alagna said. "Honestly, this was our schedule from the beginning, with or without COVID. She's very much like a Thoroughbred. She doesn't need the starts to be at her best."   Of course, the Hambletonian Oaks for fillies earlier in the day was a possible target. But after Ramona Hill cruised to a convincing win in the Del Miller on July 18, Alagna set his sights on the bigger goal.   "We always had it (the Hambletonian) in the back of our minds, but nobody wanted to be the first one to say it," Alagna said. "After the Del Miller, it became a reality."   It had already been a great afternoon for McCarthy with four victories. Number five, the Hambletonian, will be the one he'll always remember.   "It was a very good start to the day and I was trying to keep my cool, and I was trying to let it sink in too much because I still had a lot of work to do," McCarthy said.   The driver and the filly completed the mission in style.   "The adrenalin you get from winning a race like this, words can't explain it," the Australian reinsman said. "It's an amazing event and a privilege to be involved."   With the victory, Ramona Hill improved her record to 9-0-2 in 11 starts for Bradley Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners. The 2019 Breeders Crown and Dan Patch Award winner is the second filly to capture the Hambletonian in the last three renewals, joining Atlanta (2018).     by Mike Farrell, for the Hambletonian Society

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Gimpanzee ($3.20) kept his undefeated 4-year-old harness racing season intact with a stunning 1:50 score in the $291,350 John Cashman Memorial Trot on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands, cascading off third-over cover to strike the front in the final yards.   Brian Sears patiently kept Gimpanzee off the pace in the early stages while double millionaire mare Atlanta brushed clear of Guardian Angel As beyond a :26.3 first quarter. Atlanta maintained a quick tempo through a :54.1 half and braced for a stern challenge from Lindy The Great on the far turn, while Gimpanzee slipstreamed live cover from third-over.   Off the home corner, Lindy The Great began to wear on Atlanta, and Sears fanned Gimpanzee four-wide upon straightening for home -- but he didn't accelerate at first asking. As Lindy The Great gathered Atlanta in with 150 yards to go, Gimpanzee found his best stride and stormed home to win by the better part of a widening length in the final strides in a career best 1:50. Lindy The Great finished second, and Soul Strong emerged out of traffic to finish third.       Marcus Melander trains 22-time winner and double millionaire Gimpanzee, a son of Chapter Seven, for Courant Inc. and the SRF Stable.   by James Witherite, for the Hambletonian Society    

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Trainer Nancy Takter continued something of a family tradition Saturday (Aug. 8), winning the $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies with Sorella at The Meadowlands.   Takter, whose father Jimmy won a record eight editions of the Oaks, became the first female trainer to ever win the race, which began in 1971.   Sorella and driver Yannick Gingras rolled to the front in the first turn and cruised to victory by 1-3/4 lengths over Hypnotic AM in 1:51. Panem, also trained by Takter, finished third. Hypnotic AM and Panem both started from the second tier, with Hypnotic AM in post 12 and Panem in post 11.   It is the sixth time in seven years the Oaks was won by a Takter and Gingras, who extended his record for wins by a driver to six.       “It certainly doesn’t get old,” Gingras said. “With any of these big races, you win them once and you want to win them again. I think it’s a pretty good accomplishment to have six of them. Definitely I’m proud of it.”   Gingras and Sorella started from post seven and saw Whose Blues leave for the front from post six. Whose Blues settled in the top spot, but only briefly, as Gingras pushed forward to claim the lead in a :26.1 opening quarter. From there, Sorella hit the half in :54.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.3.   “I thought there were three horses in the race that really stood out and the other two had posts 11 and 12,” Gingras said. “When I left the gate, I saw they were going to get away somewhere in mid-pack. They weren’t going to get away too close, so I was taking no prisoners from there. I figured she was the one to beat at that point and took no chances.”   Said Takter, “I thought my horses both raced super. I wish Panem would have gotten up a little bit more, but they were both really good. It kind of worked out the way I expected, so that’s good when things go that way.”   She added that Sorella’s next start would most likely come in the Zweig Memorial on Aug. 21 at Vernon Downs.   Sorella, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Kadealia, has won four of five races this year and six of 14 lifetime with earnings of $503,376. She is owned by breeder Elmer Fannin, Crawford Farms Racing and Brent Fannin. Elmer Fannin named the filly after a bottle of wine.   “We’re very excited about Sorella,” said Brent Fannin, Elmer’s son. “We knew one day (Kadealia) was going to throw a good one, and we just kept being patient and bred her to one of the better sires we could. And along comes Sorella and we’re real excited. We lost her mom earlier this year, who was in foal to Father Patrick, and hopefully Sorella can carry the torch from here.”   by Ken Weingartner with Derwick Giwner

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When Dovescry ($11.20) sustained a first-over strike on the far turn, dueled down champion mare Manchego. and became harness racing's newest millionaire by way of a 9-2 upset in the $166,550 Dr. John R. Steele Memorial for harness racing trotting mares on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands.   The 4-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill challenged Plunge Blue Chip for the early lead before retreating to the pocket on the first turn. After drafting closely behind a :26.4 quarter, When Dovescry was relegated to third up the backstretch when Dexter Dunn brushed 1-9 favorite Manchego out from fourth to clear the lead at a :54.3 midway split.   Driver David Miller angled When Dovescry off the pegs with three-eighths to go, and she quickly made up 2-1/2 lengths before engaging Manchego past three-quarters in 1:23 and setting the stage for a stretch duel -- but Manchego offered little resistance to When Dovescry's advance into the lead an eighth from home. From there, Miller kept When Dovescry to task, and they defeated Plunge Blue Chip -- who rallied up the pegs in deep stretch -- by a half length while driven out in 1:50.3. Manchego could only muster third, another three-quarters of a length in arrears.       When Dovescry, whose 11 career wins include the 2019 Hambletonian Oaks, is trained by Brett Pelling for Yves Sarrazin, Dumain Haven Farm, Singh and Soulsby, and John Lengacher.   by James Witherite, for the Hambletonian Society .

Chester, PA -- Harrah's Philadelphia has canceled the qualifying races scheduled for Tuesday morning (Aug. 4) due to inclement weather forecast for greater Philadelphia.   Horsemen are advised that the draw for Friday's (Aug. 7) will occur as scheduled, with entries due to the race office no later than 9 a.m. Tuesday.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Chester, PA — Warrawee Ubeaut ($17.00) asserted herself against some of the heavy hitters in the distaff pacing division and This Is The Plan ($4.20) held his ground amid late pressure, giving harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras a sweep of the twin $20,000 winners-over pacing features on Sunday (Aug. 2) at Harrah's Philadelphia. After making her presence felt but ultimately struggling on two occasions against male competition in the Graduate Series, Warrawee Ubeaut sprang back to life with a sharp 1:49.2 win in the distaff split. Gingras sent the 4-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou to the lead from post four, and the pair travelled uncontested through splits of :26, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before opening up her lead on the final turn. Despite late pursuit from 3-10 favorite Soho Burning Love A (Tim Tetrick) — the highly-regarded stablemate of champion Shartin N — Warrawee Ubeaut maintained her clearance up to the winning post, sprinting home in :27.1 with much in reserve to win by 1-1/2 lengths. Soho Burning Love A reached second over Machnhope (Pat Berry), who only managed a one-paced finish from the pocket. Warrawee Ubeaut recorded the 20th win of her career for the Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. This Is The Plan employed similar front-pacing tactics for a 1:50 score in the male split after an even but traffic-troubled effort two weeks ago in the William Haughton Memorial. The 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding used a :26.3 quarter to clear Turbo Hill (Joe Bongiorno), and Gingras was then able to rate a :56.1 middle half with This Is The Plan before facing a stern threat from Western Joe (George Napolitano Jr.) on the final turn. Not only did This Is The Plan parry the lasting challenge of Western Joe to the line, but he also staved off the inside bid of eventual runner-up Turbo Hill to prevail by a driven neck. This Is The Plan, now an 11-time winner, campaigns for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Larry Karr. Burke and Gingras additionally teamed up with Gingras Beach ($12.40, 1:52), and Burke went on to register his fourth training win on the 14-race program with The First Step ($13.40, 1:50.4), who was driven by George Brennan. Favorites were upended in all four races in the Pick-4 sequence, resulting in a $3,175.65 dividend on a 50-cent base wager. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 15-race card on Wednesday (Aug. 5), featuring two $103,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, as well as a $17,367.57 carryover in the fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

Chester, PA -- Harness racing driver George Napolitano Jr. took six races on the Sunday afternoon (July 26) program at Harrah's Philadelphia, including the $14,400 top-level conditioned pace with Jeffrey Snyder's Dealt A Winner ($2.40). Napolitano pointed the 8-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding directly to the lead from post three, and the pair clicked off ambitious fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:22 before widening their advantage over pocket rival American Boy N (Tony Morgan) through the final turn. On top by 2-1/2 lengths off the corner for home, Dealt A Winner maintained that margin to the end of his 1:49.3 victory while well in hand to the winning post. JJ Flynn (George Brennan) hooked three-wide in upper stretch and lifted late to just collar American Boy N for runner-up honors. Mark Silva trains 24-time Dealt A Winner, whose three wins this season all have come with Napolitano at the helm. Napolitano teamed up with trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen for a double, winning with Better B Rolling ($5.40, 1:51.3) and Feeling Cam Lucky ($7.20, 1:51.3). He also piloted Marc Mosher starter Barbados ($3.00, 1:51.1), Andrew Harris trainee Patriot Nation ($2.80, 1:50.4) and Dennis Watson pupil Lyons Steel ($2.40, 1:50.1) to victory. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (July 29), with a $14,305.50 carryover in the fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA -- Despite being parked for the entire mile, Highalator ($13.80) proved a gutsy 1:49.4 winner in one of two $20,000 harness racing pacing features on the Sunday afternoon (July 19) program at Harrah's Philadelphia, and Turbo Hill ($4.20) lived up to favored billing with a 1:50 score in the other. Highalator and driver Ricky Still gunned for the lead from post seven, only to be out-sprinted through a :26.2 first quarter by Tookadiveoffdipper (George Brennan) and denied the pocket seat by Western Fame (Daniel Dubé). With no choice but to drive on, Highalator toughed out the uncovered journey through a :54 half before grinding down Tookadiveoffdipper and working to the lead on the backstretch -- only to face pressure from a three-wide Shake That House (Joe Bongiorno) nearing three-quarters in 1:21.2. Midway around the final turn, it seemed as though the pressure was too much for Highalator to withstand -- Shake That House worked to a one-length lead at the eighth pole. But Highalator found another gear off the corner and reclaimed the lead, winning by a driven length. Shake That House held second, and Bechers Brook A (Dexter Dunn) rallied belatedly for third. Trainer Jenny Bier co-owns Highalator with Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc. The 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere has won 34 times in his career. Highalator's win capped a Pick-4 sequence in which all four favorites were defeated. The sequence including Fabrice Hanover ($6.60), Bill Haley N ($11.00), Lyons Johnnyjnr ($15.80) and Highalator returned $2,697.80 on a 50-cent ticket. In the other featured event, Turbo Hill and Joe Bongiorno used a :27.1 quarter to clear Somewhere In L A (Tim Tetrick), and maintained a fairly even pace throughout to stave off the first-over Proper One (Andy McCarthy) and the aforementioned Somewhere In L A -- who finished in a dead heat for second -- by a half length. Jenn Bongiorno trains the 5-year-old American Ideal entire for owner-breeder Tom Hill. Joe Bongiorno led all drivers with four wins on the 14-race card, three of them in tandem with his sister, trainer Jenn Bongiorno. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with another 14-race program on Wednesday (July 22), which features an $11,644.77 carryover in the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 in race five. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Neither first-over pressure from Papi Rob Hanover nor nearly a length deficit in upper stretch could deter a resurgent Tall Dark Stranger ($3.00), who gave his all to reclaim the lead in the final yards of the $636,650 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night (July 18) at The Meadowlands.   The 3-year-old son of Bettor's Delight and Precocious Beauty advanced gradually off the first turn, cleared for the lead with five-eighths to go, and he controlled a :53.2 half while in line to Yannick Gingras. On the far turn, Tall Dark Stranger faced a stout challenge from the uncovered Papi Rob Hanover, and the pair threw down nearing three-quarters in 1:20.4.   Papi Rob Hanover wrested command away from Tall Dark Stranger off the home turn, and while Allywag Hanover loomed a major late threat off second-over cover, Tall Dark Stranger proved toughest of all and battled valiantly to prevail by a neck in 1:47.2. Papi Rob Hanover finished second, and Allywag Hanover stayed on for third.       Nancy Takter trains Tall Dark Stranger, an 11-time winner in 12 career starts, for Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The Pace win pushed Tall Dark Stranger's earnings over the $1 million plateau.   by James Witherite, for The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Despite traveling wide for nearly all of a :52.4 opening half mile, Dancin Lou ($6.00) had plenty left in the stretch to cement his place in the top ranks of the free-for-all pacing division with a scintillating 1:47.2 score in the $391,300 William R. Haughton Memorial on Saturday night (July 18) at The Meadowlands.   The winner of last year's Breeders Crown for sophomore pacers, Dancin Lou advanced in the two-path on the first turn to track a three-way battle between Backstreet Shadow, Century Farroh and This Is The Plan through a :26 first quarter. After Backstreet Shadow cleared, Brian Sears gunned the 4-year-old son of Sweet Lou to the fore, but the pair were strung out by Backstreet Shadow before assuming control at race's midpoint.   After being tested through punishing early fractions, Dancin Lou found a breather on approach to the far turn, when he yielded for the pocket as Century Farroh retook and braced for outside pressure from Southwind Ozzi through three-quarters in 1:20.2.   Off the home turn, Southwind Ozzi weakened in the breeze, enabling Dancin Lou to wedge out of the pocket an eighth of a mile from home. He reclaimed the lead from Century Farroh a sixteenth out under Sears urging, and widened to win by the better part of two lengths. Century Farroh held second, and Filibuster Hanover knifed through at the pegs to narrowly claim third.       Tahnee Camilleri trains Dancin Lou, a 15-time winner with $847,559 in career earnings, for David Kryway and 1362313 Ontario Ltd.   by James Witherite, for The Meadowlands

Chester, PA -- Over a year after winning his previous Harrah's Philadelphia appearance, former Indiana harness racing standout Shnitzledosomethin ($4.00) once again proved dominant at the riverside oval by way of a 1:50.4 victory in Sunday afternoon's (July 12) featured $14,400 top-level pace. Corey Callahan sent the 5-year-old son of Fred And Ginger to a clear lead over Ideal Feeling (Tim Tetrick) through a sharp :26.2 first quarter, but was able to pull the pace back to a :55.4 half before facing a stern first-over challenge from Gratian Hanover (George Brennan) up the far side. Shnitzledosomethin responded well to outside pressure, using a :27 third split to dismiss Gratian Hanover and subsequently opening up 4-1/4 lengths of clearance on Ideal Feeling for a facile 1:50.4 win. Bettor Memories (Dexter Dunn) lifted wide off third-over cover to finish third. Dylan Davis trains Shnitzledosomethin for Howard Taylor, Ed Gold, Abe Basen and Richard Lombardo. The 17-time winner now has prevailed in two of his three Harrah's Philadelphia starts to date, with his lone defeat being a third-place finish in an Open event last June. George Brennan and Tim Tetrick led all drivers with four wins on the 14-race card, while Davis' two training wins were matched by Ron Burke and Jim King Jr. The 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 carryover continues to grow, now standing at $8,895.55 when racing returns on Wednesday afternoon (July 15). Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia 

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