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JK Panache ($9.60) took full advantage of a pocket trip on the far turn of Saturday (April 23) evening's $8,500 Open Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs, finding a seam up the pegs in the final eighth and kicking clear to a 1:50.4 victory in the night's harness racing featured race.   Chris Lems vaulted clear with the 7-year-old Art Major gelding at race's outset, setting demanding early splits of :26.2 and :54.2 before ceding command to 1-5 favorite Ashley's Husband (Fern Paquet, Jr.) on approach to the far turn. As Ashley's Husband worked to stave off pressure from an uncovered Titus Seelster (Jimmy Whittemore) off the far turn, JK Panache was able to draft along behind their :27 third-quarter duel before finding a seam up the inside in mid-stretch and bursting through. JK Panache ultimately put 3-1/2 lengths on his competition, earning his 37th career win and his fourth on the year. Ashley's Husband held second, while Titus Seelster barely saved third from a late-rallying Ilikethemtrashy.   Trainer Dave Dewhurst shares ownership of JK Panache with Philip Hale.   In the first round of the Anthony Farina late-closing series for pacers, JDs Brent N Sheree ($2.40, Truman Gale, 1:53.3) and Galows Nightmare ($7.60, Chris Lems, 1:53) proved dominant in their respective $4,000 first-round divisions.   Truman Gale and John MacDonald each drove three winners on the 13-race card. Of note, Gale also recorded a training hat trick and an owning double.   The evening's 50¢ Pick 5 paid $420.00, with mid-price winners All Stienam ($11.60) and I'm a Pop Star ($14.00) heading the sequence.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (April 29) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

VERNON, N.Y. -- After a quick pace did him in the week prior at Saratoga, Stirling Cadet ($4.90) found a change in venue and the cut back to a mile welcome, as he turned in a dominating 1:53.2 effort in Friday (April 22) evening's featured $9,000 Open Trot on Vernon Downs's inaugural program of 2016.   Jimmy Whittemore wasted no time with the 5-year-old Conway Hall gelding, seizing command from Pocket Trip (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :28.1 initial quarter. After a :56.3 middle half, Stirling Cadet edged clear of his five rivals while in hand, amassing 6-1/2 lengths of separation before he reached the winning post. Pocket Trip held sway for second, while A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) made a mild bid off the far turn to capture third.   Jackie Rousse trains 22-time winner Stirling Cadet for the Kellogg Racing Stables, LLC and Janie Martin.   The featured win capped a treble for Whittemore on the 12-race card. Chris Lems also recorded three driving wins on the evening. Angus MacDonald led all trainers with two wins.   Total betting turnover on the Opening Night card--both on-track and off-track--rose significantly compared to the first program of 2015. As no one had all five winners in the inaugural Pick 5, Saturday's Pick 5 (starting in race nine) will sport a $413 carryover.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (April 23) evening, with the first of 13 races due off at 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

VERNON, N.Y. -- The opening round of the Catherine Burton late-closing series share center stage with a $9000 Open Trot on opening night at Vernon Downs, and the Miracle Mile unveils its new 50¢ Pick 5 wager in the last five races of Friday (April 22) evening's program.   Twenty-two trotters contest a trio of Catherine Burton divisions on Friday night, each one for a $4,000 purse. Among the standouts are Pompano invader Ado Duharas (race 3, John Cummings, Jr.), who enters off back-to-back wins, stakes-placed Love Crazy Love (race 5, Gaetan Brunet), who took second in her New York Sire Stakes consolation as a 2-year-old, and Royal Right (race 11, Chris Lems), a stakes winner in Massachusetts during her freshman campaign.   The evening's top event is the $9000 Open Trot, carded as race 9 on the 12-race program. P L Houdini (post 3) has been installed the 2-1 morning line favorite after three wins in his last five races, including a 1:55.4 triumph in an upper-level event at Pocono on April 9. John Cummings, Jr. drives the 5-year-old Kadabra gelding for trainer Mike Sinclair. Among his six rivals are Pounce K (Billy Davis, Jr., post 6), who returns to Vernon for defending training champion Dave Dewhurst, and 26-time winner A Penny Earned (Lems, post 5), who proved a consistent contender in the local Open ranks throughout the past two seasons.   The 2016 season at Vernon Downs features a brand new wager to Central New York: the 50¢ Pick 5. The wager will take place on the last five races of each program, with a carryover provision should no bettor correctly select all five winners. Additionally, a mid-card double has been slated for races five and six on a nightly basis.   Post time for the first of 84 programs this season at Vernon Downs is 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite,  for Vernon Downs

Harness racing will soon return to Central New York's "Miracle Mile", as Vernon Downs readies for an 84-date season slated to begin on Friday, April 22, 2016. As in seasons past, top trotters from across North America will visit Vernon Downs through the summer of 2016, as the Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotters comes back in July. Likewise, the Crawford Farms and Muscle Hill trotting events for top older trotters are slated for August. In addition to the top-tier Grand Circuit stakes, New York-sired 2- and 3-year-olds will visit the Miracle Mile for a full slate of New York Sire Stakes events through the summer, including Empire Breeders Classic events for 3-year-old trotters. Locally-based young horses are availed a pair of late-closing events in the opening weeks of the season, as well. The 2016 meet will carry a standard post time of 6:45 p.m., and returns to a Thursday-through-Saturday schedule (along the lines of the 2014 meet) due to run through Saturday, November 5. As in seasons past, fans on-track will be greeted by a wide variety of promotions, including the always popular Change Your Luck drawings and Horseplay Car Giveaway. The Vernon Downs Simulcast Network has undergone a winter makeover, and will seek to prove more bettor-friendly for players on- and off-track alike. Horsemen are reminded that nomination blanks for the Catherine Burton and Anthony Farina late closing series are due Friday, April 1. Further information about the 2016 season at Vernon Downs is available at by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

William Donovan's 6-year-old pacing gelding Ashley's Husband ($16.60) sustained a first-over grind into a :54.4 last half to take Saturday (March 26) evening's harness racing featured $16,000 top-level conditioned event at The Meadowlands. Vinny Ginsburg wanted no part of the early pace, rating Ashley's Husband off dueling leaders Dynamic Youth (Joe Bongiorno) and Real Nice (Andy McCarthy) through a :27.1 quarter before tightening in on the backstretch as the pace slowed. After a :56.1 half, Ginsburg edged Ashley's Husband first-over, pushing Dynamic Youth to a :28.2 third quarter before wearing him down at the eighth pole. Ashley's Husband accelerated to the winning post for a 1:51 triumph, evading both Real Nice, who chased up the pegs, and the second-over Jacksrluckytoo (Jim Marohn, Jr.). Favorite Mel Mara (Scott Zeron) kept even off third-over cover, but posed no threat in the accelerating late pace, finishing fifth. The Kyle Spagnola trainee earned his 25th career win, and his second of the year in nine tries. Scott Zeron led all drivers with three wins on the night, teaming up with Watkins ($7.20, 1:55), Bettor Memories ($15.20, 1:52), and McArdles Lightning ($2.60, 1:51.2). A carryover in excess of $31,000 spurred $151,096 of new money in the 50¢ Pick 5, which returned $2252.30 to correct backers. As races 9 through 12 were cancelled due to a lighting malfunction on the clubhouse turn, the Late Pick 4 paid on all tickets with Ashley's Husband in race 7, McArdles Lightning in race 8, and any horses in races 9 and 10. The 1-4-all-all late Pick 4 returns $4.75 on every 50¢ wagered. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday, April 1, with post time at 7:15 p.m. EDT. The fifth race Jackpot High 5 carryover has grown to $12,633, while the same wager in the final race boasts $154,428 in added money. MEADOWLANDS FORCED TO CANCEL REMAINDER OF SATURDAY PROGRAM DUE TO POWER OUTAGE Due to a power outage that affected the track lights around the first turn and paddock area, the Meadowlands was forced to cancel the remainder of Saturday night’s racing card. Eight of the 12 scheduled races were completed before the outage. The outage only affected lights in those areas. The rest of the facility has power and continued to operate normally. The Meadowlands was already scheduled to be closed Sunday in observance of Easter. Daytime simulcasting will be conducted at Winners Bayonne Off-Track Wagering. For more information, visit by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

Ron Burke trainees Sayitall BB and Its Huw You Know swept Friday (March 25) evening's co-featured harness racing $15,000 events at The Meadowlands, and the 50¢ Pick 5 went without a five-of-five winner, prompting a carryover in excess of $31,000 to Saturday's card. The featured top-level distaff pace, carded as the sixth event, saw Sayitall BB ($3.80) make good at odds-on, dueling clear and edging away late for a 1:52.4 score. The 5-year-old Tell All mare scored her 20th career win in front-end fashion, turning in a virtual carbon copy to her victory two weeks prior. Joe Bongiorno put Sayitall BB in play from the outset, dueling clear of Clear View Hanover (David Miller) through a :27.2 initial quarter. While Sayitall BB saw no pressure through a :57 middle half, Do Your Job (Jim Marohn, Jr.) sustained a first-over push on the far turn to claim second from a laboring Clear View Hanover. Meanwhile, Sayitall BB was driven clear to a three-length advantage off the corner, kept to task the length of the stretch to hold sway by 1-3/4 lengths. Purity (Vinny Ginsburg), sent off at 16-1, emerged from traffic to just nab the staying Do Your Job for second. Just 20 minutes later, Its Huw You Know ($6.40) emerged late to capture the $15,000 seventh-race trot. David Miller sent the 4-year-old Holiday Road gelding to a clear lead, but yielded to Saratoga invader Newcastle (Brett Miller) after a :28 first quarter. Its Huw You Know would enjoy a cozy pocket ride behind Newcastle, who faced pressure from the first-over B Yoyo (Bongiorno) through middle splits of :56.3 and 1:24.4. Its Huw You Know found a clear lane up the pegs at the eighth pole when Newcastle broke, accelerating to the fore the instant room availed. The 9-time winner held sway by a long half length, staving off a resurgent Scorcher Hall (Marcus Miller)--who gapped the third-quarter duel before finding more--and a late-rallying You're Majestic (Scott Zeron) in 1:54. The Burke Racing Stable, Mark Weaver, and Mike Bruscemi share ownership of Sayitall BB and Its Huw You Know. Brett Miller and Andy McCarthy led all drivers on the night with two wins each. Total handle for the 12-race card was $2,871,616, marking an increase of $262,507 over the corresponding Friday in March of 2015. Saturday (March 26) evening's first of 12 races is due off at 7:15 p.m. EDT. The 50¢ Pick 5 spanning the first five races boasts a $31,206 carryover and a guaranteed pool elevated to $75,000. Both 20¢ Jackpot High 5 wagers carry over as well, with the fifth race bolstered by $11,033 in added money and the finale by $154,428 should either pool be captured by a lone winning ticket. PICK 5 CARRYOVER INTO SATURDAY’S CARD AT THE MEADOWLANDS                                                                                   After a series of longshots to kick off the Friday night card, there were no winning tickets in the Pick Five, creating a carryover of $31,206 heading into Saturday night’s card. The Pick Five pool will be guaranteed at $75,000 providing horse players with even more incentive to take a swing at the wager. The Pick Five begins on Race 1 with a post time of 7:15 p.m. The wager offers a 50-cent base wager. Free program pages will be available on the Meadowlands website courtesy of TrackMaster. The last time the Meadowlands had a Pick Five carryover was on Friday, February 5. A carryover of $18,653 was the catalyst for more than $140,000 in new money wagered. One lucky horse player cashed that night for $109,966. The Meadowlands routinely offers the largest wagering pools in harness racing and will offer a total of $150,000 in guaranteed pools on Saturday. In addition to the $75,000 in the Pick Five, the Early Pick Four (Races 3-6) is guaranteed at $25,000 and the Late Pick Four (Races 7-10) pool is guaranteed at $50,000. For more information, visit by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations  

 A pair of $15,000 co-featured events quite literally serve as the centerpiece of a 12-race Friday (March 25) evening harness racing program at The Meadowlands, and leading trainer Ron Burke starts a top contender in each.   In the sixth event, a top-level conditioned pace for fillies and mares, the Burke stable's 19-time winner Sayitall BB will once again battle with Clear View Hanover, among eight others. Sayitall BB rises off a pillar-to-post 1:51.2 victory in which she held clear of pocket rival Clear View Hanover via a sharp :27.2 closing split. Joe Bongiorno once again handles the driving duties of the 5-year-old Tell All mare, and they will start from post 3 as the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite. Clear View Hanover--a winner at this level twice in her last five races--drew one position to her inside as the 9-2 second choice, and Hall of Fame driver David Miller will take the lines of the Henrik Lundell trainee.   The night's top distaff serves as the payoff leg of the Early Pick 4, which carries a $25,000 guaranteed pool.   Just twenty minutes later, the $50,000 Late Pick 4 commences in the seventh event, a top-level conditioned trot with no shortage of talent. Burke trainee Its Huw You Know enters this race off back-to-back wins, most recently making much of the pace in a 1:55.2 Pocono triumph. David Miller is slated to the 8-time winner from post 6 as the 7-2 second choice.   Among those to square off against Its Huw You Know is B Yoyo (3-1 morning line favorite), who won at this level in mid-February before a pair of unsuccessful efforts in Open events. Bongiorno drives the 17-time winner for trainer Richard Johnson from post 4.   Of note, four of the other six in the featured trot enter this race off winning efforts, including Mr Lover (Andy McCarthy, post 1), Dreams of Thunder (John Campbell, post 3), Scorcher Hall (Marcus Miller, post 5), and Saratoga invader Newcastle (Brett Miller, post 7).   In addition to the two Pick 4s, the Pick 5 (composed of the first five races on the card) carries a $30,000 guaranteed pool. A pair of 20¢ Jackpot High 5 wagers in races 5 and 12 boast carryovers of $9210 and $148,441 respectively. Fans on-track can enter to win a Florida vacation in Friday's Spring Break Sweepstakes, as well.   Post time for Friday's first of 12 races is 7:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

Art History ($3.60) has been on a tear of late, reeling off three straight wins over increasingly difficult competition. His most recent triumph came on Saturday (March 19) evening's featured $20,000 top-level pace at The Meadowlands, giving harness racing driver Scott Zeron one of his four wins on the 12-race program.   Art History controlled most of the terms in the featured sixth event and held sway from a hard-closing K-Lees Shakenbake, employing a :26.1 last quarter to prevail over top-level company in 1:51.2 over fast going. Scott Zeron used the 5-year-old Western Ideal gelding to seize the lead after a :27.4 first quarter, working clear of Sweet Rock (Corey Callahan) upon reaching the backstretch.   Following a well-rated :57.2 middle half, Art History accelerated clear of his eight foes in mid-stretch--but remained under pursuit from the first-over Ashley's Husband (Vinny Ginsburg) and K-Lees Shakenbake (Brett Miller), who vaulted off cover to chase via a :25.3 closing split. Art History had just enough to prevail, a neck better than K-Lees Shakenbake in the end. Ashley's Husband stayed on for third, while Sweet Rock tired a bit amid his chase, finishing fourth.   Steve Elliott trains 13-time winner Art History for Kenneth Klein and the Old Block Stables.   For Zeron, the win with Art History began a natural hat trick, and was one of his four on the night. The 26-year-old driver also teamed up with Mel Mara ($7.40, 1:49.1) in race 7, McArdles Lightning ($3.40, 1:50.4) in race 8, and Hope for Badlands ($3.80, 1:52.4) in race 11.   Total handle for the 12-race program was $2,926,995, marking an increase of $324,605 over the corresponding Saturday night program in 2015.   Live racing returns to the Meadowlands on Friday, March 25, with first post at 7:15 p.m. EDT. Over a quarter million dollars will await punters in the form of carryovers and guaranteed pools, as carryovers of $9210 and $148,441 await 20¢ Jackpot High 5 players in the fifth and final races respectively, and the evening's Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers offer $105,000 in combined guaranteed pools.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

In the words of Hall of Fame racecaller Sam McKee on Friday (March 18) night at The Meadowlands, "you can only hope to contain him." McKee was speaking of driver Scott Zeron, who captured four races on the 12-race harness racing card.   Total betting turnover on the program exceeded $3 million for the fourth consecutive live racing night, and for the 13th time in the last 14 cards.   Despite two fewer races in comparison to many of the February cards, total handle for the night's program was $3,059,381, averaging out to be just over a quarter million dollars per race. On- and off-track handle alike showed significant increases over those of a snow-laden card on the corresponding Friday of March 2015.   The 26-year-old Zeron wasted no time in registering his grand slam, teaming up with the yet-undefeated Ava N Ella ($2.10) in the evening's second race for a 1:53.2 going-away win, the fourth in the Tony O'Sullivan trainee's career. The Montreal native continued with a 1:54 triumph aboard Jonas Czernyson trainee Lauderdale ($6.00) in the sixth event before wins with Not Before Eight ($4.80) and Exquisite Glide ($7.60) in the eighth and tenth races, respectively.   The featured $12,500 fourth-level trot saw World Cup ($3.80) take full advantage of a third-over trip, rallying off cover to just prevail while odds-on. Joe Bongiorno pointed the 7-year-old Yankee Glide entire into the outer flow as Magenta Man (Andy Miller) engaged Its Payday Friday (John Campbell) in a middle-half duel. The two battled through a three-quarter split of 1:25.3, and after cornering 29-1 longshot Watkins (Jim Marohn, Jr.) tipped off cover to take the lead from a breaking Magenta Man in mid-stretch. Despite Watkins's best efforts, World Cup was just a bit quicker one path wider, prevailing in 1:54.3 by a scant head in the last yards. Its Payday Friday, worn down by heavy mid-race pressure, held third.   Richard Johnson trains World Cup for Carly Roman.   The evening's top distaff pace, a $12,000 fourth-level event, went to Purity ($4.40), a pillar-to-post winner in rein to Vinny Ginsburg. The 5-year-old Always a Virgin mare controlled the terms throughout her 1:52.2 mile, sprinting off in upper stretch to evade Do Your Job (Marcus Miller) and Mystical Treasure (Zeron) for her 16th career win. Joint favorite Mandy's Mattjesty (Bongiorno) failed to finish the race, having been eased on the backstretch with a broken hopple.   Vinny Fusco, Jr. trains Purity for Michael Casalino, Jr.   A pair of GSY Amateur Series races took place early on the card, with Tropical Storm Bi ($14.00, Tony Ciuffetelli) and Keystone Thomas ($3.80, Bob Hechkoff) both proving victorious.   Tomorrow evening's 12-race card has a 7:15 p.m. EDT first post, and the usual $105,000 in guaranteed Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools. The closing-race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 pool will be buoyed by a $143,778 carryover should one punter capture the entire pool.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

A 12-race harness racing card featuring trotters and distaff pacers awaits punters on Friday (March 18) at The Meadowlands, with nearly a quarter million dollars in carryovers and guaranteed pools on the line as well.   Co-featured third-level events share the spotlight on the track, with a full field of ten trotters competing in the evening's seventh event and a septet of distaff pacers squaring off in the night's 11th race. The $12,500 seventh features Julie Miller trainee Magenta Man, who seeks his seventh win in nine starts on the year. Just last week, the 4-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding kept on for a 1:53.4 triumph over World Cup after making two early moves to protect the lead. Usual driver Andy Miller will team up with Magenta Man from post 4. To Magenta Man's immediate outside will be World Cup, who swung four-wide off the far turn and just missed Magenta Man by half a length last week. Joe Bongiorno once again will drive the Richard Johnson-trained 7-year-old.   A pair of solid invaders are in the offing, with Can Do (Anthony Napolitano) returning from Saratoga after enjoying some success in the Open ranks earlier this meet, and Workout Wonder (Andy McCarthy) commencing his 4-year-old season following mild success on the New York Sire Stakes circuit last year.   The evening's featured $12,00 distaff features the invading Mandy's Mattjesty, who swept a late closing series at The Meadows in February. Ron Burke entered the 6-year-old His Mattjesty mare for the optional $20,000 claiming price, and Joe Bongiorno will drive her from post 1 in the field of seven. Among her top rivals are Tom Fanning trainee Do Your Job (Marcus Miller), who emerged through traffic to save second in her seasonal debut last week, and Mischief Maker N (Steven Nason), who makes her first Stateside start for new trainer Kelvin Harrison after winning her last two races in New Zealand at distances of 1-3/16 miles and 1-9/16 miles, respectively.   Earlier in the night, Tony O'Sullivan trainee Ava and Ella will look to extend her career record to four wins in as many starts, as she lines up as the 8/5 morning line favorite in the second event. Her local debut last week was most decisive, as she cleared similar rivals from post 10 before opening up in hand to a 1:53.2 score.   Nearly a quarter million dollars await punters in the form of guaranteed pools and carryovers, including $135,000 carrying over to the final race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 pool and $105,000 in guaranteed Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools throughout the evening. Fans can also pad their bankrolls through the "Go Green for Greenbacks" drawings throughout the evening, and meet their favorite Meadowlands drivers in a pre-race autograph session.   Post time for Friday's 12-race card is 7:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

Odds-on choice Rockeyed Optimist rolled to the front and never looked back en route to his third consecutive win in Saturday (March 12) night's $25,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadowlands, and handle exceeded $3 million for the 12th time in the last 13 harness racing cards at the North Jersey harness track.   In the featured $25,000 Open Handicap Pace, Rockeyed Optimist ($3.60) sprinted off from his five rivals after using the first three-eighths of the mile to work clear, earning his third consecutive win and second at the Open level. Tim Tetrick spotted the 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding second-over on the first turn, tracking Bettor's Edge (Joe Bongiorno) through a :27.1 quarter before losing cover and subsequently working clear on the backstretch. Once assuming the lead, Rockeyed Optimist faced no pressure, edging clear off the far turn and powering home in 1:49, using a :26 last quarter burst to evade his foes. Rockeyed Optimist ultimately prevailed by two lengths over Bettor's Edge, while Sunfire Blue Chip (John Campbell) stayed on for third from his stalking trip.   Steve Elliott trains the 18-time winner for the partnership of Perretti, Berkner, the A & B Stable, and Battaglia. For Elliott, it was a sweep of the evening's featured events, as another trainee of his--Art History ($8.20)--captured the night's sub-featured $16,000 upper-level conditioned pace earlier in the program. The 5-year-old Western Ideal gelding sustained a first-over push through the far turn, overtaking 2014 Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach in mid-stretch and subsequently staving off a late rally from K-Lees Shakenbake. Scott Zeron drove 12-time winner Art History to his 1:50 triumph.   Anthony Napolitano led all drivers with a grand slam, teaming up with Honey I'm Home ($2.80, 1:51.4), Hoboken Hanover ($7.40, 1:52.2), Last Dragon ($18.00, 1:50.2), and Major War ($4.60, 1:50.3). Tetrick and Bongiorno drove three winners apiece on the 13-race card.   Total betting turnover exceeded $3 million for the 12th time in the last 13 cards at The Meadowlands, with punters wagering $3,088,696 on the Saturday program--$423,919 more than the corresponding Saturday card in 2015.   Racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday (March 18) evening, with post time at 7:15 p.m. EDT, $105,000 in guaranteed Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools, and a last-race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 carryover of $135,800.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

The Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi's Sayitall BB ($5.80) made all the pace in Friday (March 11) evening's featured $13,000 distaff pace at The Meadowlands, earning her first win of 2016 in 1:51.2 over fast going in the night's 11th event. Also, for the 11th time in 12 programs, harness racing punters wagered over $3 million on races contested at the Big M.   Joe Bongiorno sent the 5-year-old Tell All mare to a clear lead, setting uncontested fractions of :27.1, :55.4, and 1:24 with Clear View Hanover (Tim Tetrick) drafting throughout. As the first-over Not Before Eight (Anthony Napolitano) worked into a joint second a quarter from home, Sayitall BB began to edge clear of her rivals, opening up on first asking from Bongiorno. The Ron Burke trainee held clear up to the post, kept to task through all but the last 40 yards for her 19th career win. Clear View Hanover was driven out to hold second from the pocket, while Cherry Bliss (John Campbell) found room up the pegs in mid-stretch to rally for third.   In co-featured $12,500 trotting events, Magenta Man ($6.80) and Mr Lover ($2.60) prevailed, employing different tactics en route to the winner's enclosure.   Magenta Man, now a winner in four of his last six races, made two early moves in the evening's fourth event to protect the lead through a :56.1 initial half, holding off pressure from Detroit Rapper on the far turn before ultimately staving off a late charge from the third-over World Cup in 1:53.4, his fastest career victory. Andy Miller drove the 4-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding for trainer Julie Miller.   In the seventh event, Mr Lover lost early position due to an early break, but made amends off second-over spotting to just collar T Js Mr Lavec. Tim Tetrick angled the 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding second-over behind Jackie Goldstein after a soft :57.3 half, pouncing three-wide at the top of the stretch as pacesetter T Js Mr Lavec worked to fend off Jackie Goldstein. Still, the pressure was enough to soften T Js Mr Lavec, as Mr Lover managed to just prevail in 1:55.2 for trainer Jenny Melander.   In the season's first GSY Amateur event, 2015 Amateur Driver of the Year Hannah Miller prevailed with Jacks to Open ($13.20) in 1:58, sustaining a first-over push to a mid-stretch lead before holding off the late-charging Tropical Storm Bi (Tony Ciuffetelli).   Total handle for the 13-race card was $3,030,537, marking a $424,087 increase over the corresponding Friday program in 2015 and the 11th instance in 12 programs where total betting turnover on Meadowlands races topped $3 million.   Tomorrow evening's 13-race program features $105,000 in guaranteed Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools, and the closing-race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 will boast a carryover of $128,881. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

Just last week, Steve Elliott trainee Rockeyed Optimist held off Dovuto Hanover and Take It Back Terry for a 1:50.2 triumph in a $25,000 Open Pace at The Meadowlands. The competition heats up even more for the 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding this Saturday (March 12) night, as he'll not only once again face Dovuto Hanover, but stakes-proven Sunfire Blue Chip and Bettor's Edge as well in the weekly harness racing feature.   Bettor's Edge, unraced since his 19-1 upset in the $400,000 TVG Free-For-All last November, competes for the Ron Burke stable as the 2-1 morning line favorite. The TVG score is one of 26 career wins for the 7-year-old, and he's amassed over $1.7 million in career earnings. Joe Bongiorno, who drove him to a third-place finish in the American-National last fall in Illinois, will be at the lines.   From post 4 will await 19-time winner Sunfire Blue Chip, a career earner of over $950,000. The 6-year-old entire has been racing in upper-level events at Yonkers of late, finishing first or second in four of his last five outings. Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter calls upon Hall of Fame driver John Campbell to team up with the son of American Ideal.   Rockeyed Optimist, meanwhile, will be reunited with Tim Tetrick, who has returned from Florida after last weekend's Pro-Am event at Pompano Park. So far in 2016, Rockeyed Optimist has amassed two wins and a near miss in three starts, just last week brushing to the fore and holding sway from the late-charging Dovuto Hanover while odds-on. The 17-time winner will start from post 7 as the 5-2 morning line second choice.   Punters are reminded that the $30,000 Pick 5 has shifted to begin in race 1, while the pair of Pick 4s--pools guaranteed for $25,000 and $50,000 respectively--now kick off in races 3 and 7. Post time for Saturday's 13-race card is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations  

After Scott Zeron's grand slam on Friday, harness racing driver Anthony Napolitano one-upped his youthful rival on Saturday (March 5) evening at The Meadowlands, winning five of the 13 races. After a pillar-to-post win in the opener with Sweet Justice ($10.80, 1:55.2), the 34-year-old Napolitano prevailed with odds-on favorite Honey I'm Home ($3.40, 1:52) in the third before back-to-back minor upsets in the seventh and eighth with K Slater ($19.80, 1:52.2) and K-Lees Shakenbake ($15.80, 1:50.1) respectively. Napolitano closed the night on a winning note, teaming up with Alex Bullville ($5.20, 1:53.4) in the finale. In the featured $25,000 Open Handicap Pace, Rockeyed Optimist ($3.00) lived up to odds-on billing, holding off a ferocious late rally from Dovuto Hanover for a 1:50.2 triumph. The 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding floated into midfield from his outside post in the sextet, settling four lengths behind early pacesetter Real Nice (Anthony Napolitano) through a :27 first quarter before Andy McCarthy brushed Rockeyed Optimist to the fore up the backstretch. Rockeyed Optimist's lead was never in jeopardy until the final sixteenth, as 3-1 second choice Dovuto Hanover (Scott Zeron) surged off the cover of Take It Back Terry (Joe Bongiorno) to give chase. Rockeyed Optimist had enough left to hold sway, prevailing by a diminishing half length. Take It Back Terry, who flattened off the far turn, found more in the stretch, saving third. Steve Elliott trains 17-time winner Rockeyed Optimist for Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, the A and B Stable, and Joseph Battaglia. For Rockeyed Optimist, it was his second win in three starts this season. Rockeyed Optimist Total handle for the 13-race card was $3,015,013, marking an increase of $41,167 over the corresponding Saturday in 2015 and the tenth program in the last 11 at The Meadowlands with over $3 million in betting turnover. Racing continues to be competitive in northern New Jersey, with 17 of 26 favorites defeated in the first weekend of March. Heading to next Friday's (March 11) program, over $124,500 will carry over into the final-race 20¢ Jackpot High 5. Punters and horsemen alike are reminded that post time at The Meadowlands shifts to 7:15 p.m. Eastern effective next week. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

After securing the pocket on the first turn, Crosbys Clam Bake ($7.80) angled off the pegs in mid-stretch and chased down 8-5 harness racing favorite Opulent Yankee to take Friday (March 4) evening's featured $25,000 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadowlands.   Scott Zeron put the 6-year-old Kadabra gelding in play from the outset, outsprinting Appomattox (Andy McCarthy) to the first turn but in turn beaten to the early lead by Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller) through a :27.1 initial quarter mile. Crosbys Clam Bake enjoyed a cozy pocket trip throughout, only briefly boxed by the first-over DW's NY Yank (Joe Bongiorno)--who failed to sustain his bid--on the far turn.   Off the far turn, Crosbys Clam Bake was once again in the clear after Opulent Yankee rated a :57.3 middle half--but had to make up 2-1/2 lengths in the final eighth of a mile after the pacesetter edged clear off the corner. Just outside the sixteenth pole, Opulent Yankee was asked for all he had, but Crosbys Clam Bake ultimately had his measure, driven to prevail by a head in 1:53.1 over fast going. Appomattox stayed on for third off his stalking trip.   Andy Federico trains Crosbys Clam Bake--now a 23-time winner--for Randy Bendis, Jack Piatt, II, and Tom Pollack. The win was Crosbys Clam Bake's second in his three most recent Open-class events.   Crosbys Clam Bake     Zeron swept the evening's features, also capturing the $15,000 top-level distaff pace with Gweneeee J ($4.60). The 4-year-old American Ideal mare sustained a middle move out of midpack to take charge just after a :55.4 half, ultimately kicking clear to a 5-3/4 length victory over Inittowinafortune (Marcus Miller, elevated to second) and Sayitall BB (Joe Bongiorno, disqualified from second to third for a pylon violation) in 1:51.1.   Linda Toscano trains Gweneeee J for the KJ Stables, LLC.   The featured wins were part of a grand slam for Zeron, who led all drivers on the 13-race card. Andy McCarthy and Marcus Miller registered driving doubles.   Total handle for the evening's card was $2,842,825, an increase of $148,408 over the corresponding Friday card in 2015.   Neither 20¢ Jackpot High 5 went to a single winner, so they both carry over to Saturday (March 5) evening's 13-race card. The seventh-race High 5--just hit last Saturday--will have a newly-established carryover of $1,589, while the closing-race High 5 carryover has built to $120,824. Post time for the Saturday opener at the Big M is slated for 6:35 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

In recent weeks, local standouts Dovuto Hanover and Rockeyed Optimist made their seasonal debuts at The Meadowlands, showing no lack of late staying power in upper-level harness racing events. On Saturday (March 5) night, not only do they both rise to Open company, but they square off against a pair of Ron Burke trainees in Dynamic Youth and Take It Back Terry--both of which come off the bench to kick off their 2016 seasons in the evening's $25,000 feature.   Millionaire Dynamic Youth, a 29-time winner, returns off a lone qualifier after spending last fall racing in Open events throughout the Mid-Atlantic with varying success. Andy Miller drives the 7-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding from post 5. Burke stablemate Take It Back Terry will start right alongside in post 6, likewise coming back off a lone qualifier after winning five of his last seven Open attempts at Yonkers last fall. Joe Bongiorno handles the driving duties on the 7-year-old Western Terror gelding, as he did in last week's qualifier.   The Burke duo are not likely to have an easy time of it on debut, though, as 5/2 morning line favorite Rockeyed Optimist (post 7) rises off a powerful four-length win in an upper-level event two weeks ago. In both his seasonal starts--that win and a near miss on debut two weeks prior--the 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding sprinted home with final quarters faster than :27. Andy McCarthy takes the lines for trainer Steve Elliott. Likewise, Dovuto Hanover (post 2, 5/1) is sharpening up, having made significant ground up the pegs in his seasonal debut last week. Scott Zeron opted to drive the Nifty Norman-trained 6-year-old over two other nominations in the field.   Lucrative opportunities await punters throughout the 13-race card, including the usual Pick 5 (beginning in race 3) and Pick 4s (races 5 and 9) with their combined $105,000 in guaranteed pools. Additionally, two 20¢ Jackpot High 5 wagers await players in the seventh and final races--the latter currently boasting a carryover in excess of $116,000 in advance of Friday's card.   Post time is slated for 6:35 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

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