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Pompano Beach, FL...March 19, 2017...First Of Itskind, driven by Mike Simons, scored a three-peat victory in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night, stopping the tele-timer in 1:51.2. The six year-old gelded son of Western Terror used a :27.2 finale to nail Drachan Hanover, handled by Wally Hennessey, in the final 16th of the mile to score by a length. Sing For Me George, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, finished third after enjoying a garden journey while Rockntouch finished fourth. Fritzie Pick Up Man picked up the nickel in the sextet, despite a miscue at the start while King Of The Crop completed the order of finish in the classy sextet. At the outset, both Sing For Me George and Drachan Hanover went in search of the lead with the latter taking command around the opening turn and then churning through an opening panel in a snappy :26.3. With no threats developing on the way to the half, Drachan Hanover was able to gain a breather during that second panel with the half clocked in :56 as King Of The Crop marched up first over into third with First Of Itskind following live cover fourth. With the pace quickening on the backside, there were, still, no serious threats coming into play with Drachan Hanover reaching the third station in 1:23.2 and protecting a 1 ½ length lead, which held steady as the field turned for home. In the lane, Drachan Hanover looked comfortable on the lead but, quite simply, couldn't contain First Of Itskind, who used that explosive :27.2 closing kick to sprint by in the final 16th of the mile. After the event, Mike Simons had nothing but praise for his charge relating, "once we straightened away for the drive, I really wasn't too sure we could get there, but this horse really revved up his motor at mid-stretch. He was very sharp tonight--I mean VERY sharp!" Trained by Jason Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind earned his fourth win of the year in eight starts, good for $28,140 in 2017 earnings. Career-wise, First Of Itskind now has 20 wins in 99 starts and $194,991 on the books. As the 1 to 2 betting favorite, First Of Itskind returned $3.00 to his multitude of followers. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Pointsman, driven by Rick Plano, in 1:52.3. The seven year-old gelded son of Royal Mattjesty, won the early battle as four horses went in pursuit of the lead and carded panels of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:23.3 before a :29 finale was good enough to hold off the late surging Panchester United (Wally Hennessey) by one length. Rock N Row (Mike Simons) finished third while Buddha Blue Chip and Grande Seelster picked up the final awards in the field shortened to six with a scratch. Trained by Joe Pavia, Jr. for Lon Frocione, Pointsman earned his second win of the year and 17th lifetime to send his career bounty to $274,135. As the slight favorite in his field at 6 to 5, Pointsman paid $4.60 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with Sooo Handsome and Prairie Fortune mixing it up again in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot. Sooo Handsome will have owner-trainer Rick Plano back in the bike while Prairie Fortune will have the driving services of John MacDonald. So Handsome was up in the final stride last week to pin a photo finish defeat on Prairie Fortune but, despite that, Prairie Fortune has been made the 8 to 5 morning line favorite for their encounter on Monday night. Sooo Handsome has been tabbed at 6 to 1. Explosive Muscles (10 to 1), Dog Gone Lucky (5 to 1), Massive Lightning (6 to 1) and Boli (5 to 2) complete the field. The Pick-4 will offer a $10,000 guaranteed purse on Monday night--that offering conducted on races 6 through 9. First post is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...March 12, 2017...First Of Itskind, handled by Mike Simons, took full advantage of a sizzling :25.4 opening panel by the favored Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis) and wore that one down in the final stages to score a repeat harness racing  win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (March 12.) The winner's margin was 1¼ lengths at the end of the 1:50.4 mile with Rockntouch (Mickey McNichol) third, 3¾ lengths away. Bluehourpower was fourth while Buddha Blue Chip picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. At the outset, Sing For Me George, off as 3 to 5, zipped off the wings and blazed through the first quarter in that aforementioned :25.4. While a :29.3 breather left Sing For Me George in front half way through the mile in :55.2, First Of Itskind, away fourth, was on the move and able to sprint to within 2½ lengths of the leader. On the backside, First Of Itskind kept grinding forward, denting a :27.2 third panel and moving within 1½ lengths of the leader turning for home. In the lane, First Of Itskind, kept gnawing away, finally getting to the front a sixteenth from home and widening the margin to the line. After the race, driver Mike Simons related, "I remember driving this horse a couple of years ago and, if I recall, the track was very heavy that day and he had an outside post, so he didn't do too well. "Jason (trainer Robinson) said he was very strong in winning his last start and can brush pretty good. "He certainly did that tonight because he just had real good determination and didn't give up, even though he was out pretty much the entire last lap. "He went a very courageous mile." Trained by Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind, a six year-old gelded son of Western Terror, pushed his 2017 scorecard to 3-1-2 in seven starts, good for $22,140. Lifetime, First Of Itskind won for the 19th time in 98 starts and now shows a career bankroll of $188,941. Off as the 8 to 5 second choice, First Of Itskind paid $5.20 to his faithful. In other action, Northern Companion, a winning fixture here at Pompano Park over the past several seasons, reached a milestone on Sunday night by winning for the 50th time during his brilliant career. The now nine year-old gelded son of Cambest, purchased for $8,500 from an Ohio sale back in 2011, Northern Companion has been a resident of the Howard Klohr Stable since then and has 40 of his 50 wins at Pompano Park. Sunday night's win, in a conditioned event was his first of the year in two starts and pushed his career bounty to $327,238. He raced this night under the banner of the Delray Duo Stable and returned $19.80 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with a Sunday Pick-5 carryover of $5,264 spawning a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The Monday Pick-5 kicks off with race one. The track is also offering a $10,000 guarantee on the Pick-4, conducted on races 5 through 8. Pompano Park's Pick-6 also went unscathed on Sunday night and has a carryover of $3,661 going into the Monday program. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...February 26, 2017...First Of Itskind, giving a strong hint last week by closing fastest of all in the Open Pace, used a backstretch blitz from fifth into the lead on Sunday night (February 26) and went on to post a 10 to 1 harness racing upset in the $12,000 Open 1 Handicap, stopping the timer in 1:51.2. Handled by Tom Jackson, the six year-old gelded son of Western Terror pinned a 1½ defeat on Uncmprmising Z Tam (Mike Simons) with Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis), making his 2017 debut, third, 5¾ lengths away. The 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Drachan Hanover, prominent early, finished fourth while Rockntouch picked up the minor award in the field scratched down to six. At the outset, Rocky's Z Tam, leaving from the outside, zipped up early to take the lead and sizzled an opening panel of :26.1 before reaching the half in :55.3. That is when First Of Itskind began his brush from fifth and, by the time they reached the third station in 1:24, he poked his head in front and then widened his margin thereafter, sprinting home in :27.2 to seal the deal. After the race, driver Tom Jackson briefly said, "This horse was very good last week and just needed some more racetrack at the end. "Tonight, I thought I would give him the opportunity by starting him a bit earlier. "In other words, I asked and he answered. That was quite a brush and he probably paced his last half under :55." He did! In fact, he paced his third quarter in :27.2 and came home in that identical time, too. Trained by Jason Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind pushed his 2017 scorecard to 2-1-2 in six starts, good for $16,140. He's banked $182,941 career-wise to go along with his Pocono Downs mark of 1:49.4. First Of Itskind paid $23.80 to his faithful. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Fritzie Pic Up Man, handled by Kevin Wallis. This six year-old altered son of Always A Virgin left the gate with alacrity and took command an eighth into the mile and then went on to post fractions of :26.1, :54.4 and 1:23.2 before a :28.1 sprint home sealed the issue over the fast closing Pointsman, driven by Rick Plano. Heart Felt finished third after a backside brush left him a half-length back of the leader around the final bend while Whogoesfirst was fourth. Cadillac Phil managed to pick up the nickel in the classy sextet. Trained by Richard Lareau for the JP Houle Stables, Fritzie Pic Up Man won for the second time this semester in eight starts, sending his 2017 bankroll to $19,700. As the 3 to 2 favorite, Fritzie Pic Up Man paid $5.00 to his multitude of backers. Catching up on the other weekend action, the Florida Amateur Driving Club continued their generosity in assisting worthy goodwill and charitable causes with yet another contribution to Bit-By-Bit, the organization that promotes independence for at-risk youth, persons with special needs and disabled veterans. Two F.A.D.C. events were held on Saturday night and both proved to be milestones for the winning drivers, Ron Cusimano and Troy Basista. Cusimano scored with the 14 to 1 outsider Garlandsandpearls in 1:59.1 and, in doing so, won his first race since last century--his last win coming on April 9, 1999 with Strong Vincent at Pompano Park. Cusimano, who has seen very limited action in the sulky since then--only 11 starts coming into the weekend--proved he hasn't lost the winning touch by leaving, yielding and sitting chilly before easing out turning for home and edging by at the wire for his 236th career win. Basista earned his first win in exactly five years by guiding Without Me As ($15.80) to a 1:57.4 win in the Super Hi-5 finale. Troy's last win was with Cracker Justine at Pompano Park as a member of the Florida Amateur Driving Club. His weekend success was his eighth career win. Racing continues on Monday night with the headliner being the $12,000 Open Trot. Prairie Fortune returns to the racing wars after a very sharp qualifying win in 1:54.3. Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Fortune will have the driving services of John MacDonald and is listed as the 2 to 1 favorite on the morning line. Explosive Muscles, Massacaia, Boli, Sooo Handsome, Diamond Dagger and Swan Handicap complete the talented field. Monday's card features a Pick-6 carryover, as well as a $10,000 Guaranteed Pool on the Pick-4, contested on races six through nine. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

East Rutherford, NJ - The final Thursday night racing program of the 2015 meet featured the $25,000 filly & mare "Dash for the G-Note" series final and Black Magic Eyes took home the big slice off a perfect Brett Miller steer. She flashed off cover to a new career record of 1:52 for harness racing trainer Jason Robinson and his main owner Bob Main.   Also on the bill was a short $10,000 claiming series that offers a $20,000 bonanza for those making it through to next week. Bestnotlie Hanover, Western Tsunami and Keeping Optomistic won those races and will return next week with their eye on the big prize.   On the wagering front, the payoffs were generous with the fifth race Hi-5 Jackpot pool eclipsing $35,000 and the giant last race Jackpot now at $137,815 going into Friday's program. Find more details at www.playmeadowlands.com.   Nick Salvi  

Batavia, NY---Hopefully they looked at her face before the race because that's all they saw was tail once she set sail. Distaff pacing invader Mc Taylor (Ray Fisher Jr.) made quick and easy work of the local gals as she convincingly led from gate to wire in the mares Open pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 17). As soon as the gate drove away, Ray Fisher Jr. made a bee-line for the front and opened up a gapped three-length lead at the quarter. He then set a blistering pace that took the mare to the three-quarters pole in 1:24 flat, on the lead by ten lengths. At that point the rest of the field became mere spectators relegated to arguing for minor spoils. Mc Taylor cruised home to a shut-down seven-length victory in 1:53.2, which was only two-fifths of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares set by Xenia Hanover (1:53) in 2013. Sent off as the third betting choice, the 7-year-old Camluck mare returned $11.40 for the win. Dontch Remember (Shawn McDonough) finished second and Dirty Girty (Jim McNeight) was third.   This was the fifth win in 26 starts for Mc Taylor who is owned by Robert Main and trained by Jason Robinson. The winner's share of the purse boosted here lifetime earnings to an impressive $328,050. Drivers Ray Fisher Jr. and Ron Beback Jr. both scored driving triples on the card and Jack Flanigen chimed in with a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 19) with post time set for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Bruce Aldrich, Jr. had the hot hands at Saratoga Raceway Sunday, scoring five winners on the afternoon card. In the $17,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace it was Mc Taylor, who was claimed two weeks ago by trainer Jason Robinson who won his first start with the mare before stepping her up into the Open on Sunday. Driver Billy Dobson situated Mc Taylor second over and utilized the cover until the head of the stretch when they fanned three wide. Mc Taylor stopped the timer in 1:57.1 to secure the score in the feature. Lexus Artist (Jim Devaux) was second while Stage It Right (Dan Cappello Jr) held on for third. The pick five, which had a carryover of more than $3,000 was hit and returned $2,901 for a $1 bet. Live racing resumes on Thursday evening with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Sand Summerfield didn't mind the rainy, raw and sloppy conditions at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (Feb.1) as he splashed and dashed his way to victory over Stonebridge Rocket in the $10,500 Open Pace.   The win completed the sweep in Open competition for owner Robert Main and trainer Jason Robinson at Buffalo Raceway as Ellisarro Hanover took the $10,500 Open Trot on Friday night.   Sand Summerfield set the fractions to the half with a 1:00.3 time but found himself in second place as Stonebridge Rocket blasted his way to the top just past the midway point.   Driver Dan Rawlings then showed plenty of patience as he sat the garden spot with Sand Summerfield ($5.50) until deep stretch where they were able to overtake Stonebridge Rocket and score the half-length victory in 1:57.2. OK Braveheart (Billy Dobson) took the show position.   It was the first win of the season in five attempts for Sand Summerfield (Mantacular-Ribbons And Bows) and the 26th of his career. The 7-year-old gelding has now won $10,530 in 2014 and $322,170 lifetime.   Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday evening with a 12-race card set to begin at 5 p.m. The $5,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 will start in the fifth race on Wednesday.   For more information including race replays, results, promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ellisarro Hanover used a big brush down the backstretch to the three-quarter pole and took off from there to notch an impressive 6-3/4 length victory in the $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (Jan. 31)   Fiorentina (Aaron Byron) had laid down a 58.4 opening half mile over the fast track but Ellisarro Hanover (Peter Wrenn) went first over at that point and were out and moving as the field of seven went down the backstretch the final time.   After hitting the three-quarter marker in 1:28.2, Ellisarro Hanover ran away from the field, stopping the clock in 1:57.1, the fastest mile of 2014 for the trotters at Buffalo Raceway. He was also helped as RA's Shakenbake broke at the top of the stretch which crippled the hopes of anyone catching Ellisarro Hanover.   Studio City (Billy Dobson) took the place position while Lutetium (Jim McNeight) finished in third.   Owned by Robert Main and trained by Jason Robinson, the 7-year-old Ellisarro Hanover (PJ's Photo-Esmeralda Hanover) won for the first time in five starts this season but increased his bankroll to $12,040 and $318,930 lifetime.   The action will continue on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race card slated for 6:40 p.m. The feature is the $10,500 Open Pace which is slated for the seventh race.   For more information including race results, replays, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

East Rutherford, NJ - While there were many storylines on the racetrack at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment Saturday night, the most important story was in the final numbers. Comparing to the Opening night Saturday of last season, the results could not have been any better. Most notably, the live handle of $360,212 yielded a 56-percent increase over this same day in 2012. The total handle of $3,248,413 was a 12-percent increase over that same card and marked the first time the Meadowlands eclipsed $3 Million in the month of December since December 27, 2008. On the racetrack, it was the 2013 Rising Star Award winner Corey Callahan who led the charge. Callahan scored four wins on the night, and more impressively he did so in his last five drives of the night and came within one length of winning the last five races on the card. The first of his four wins came with a repeat winner in Road Untravelled who took the 9th race B-1 Pace in a 1:50.3 dead heat for trainer Gail Wrubel and owners Mike Simons and Christopher Giaccio. The Captain came right back in the 10th race with A Sweet Ride who scored in the $50,000 Claiming Pacing event in 1:50.3 for trainer Aaron Lambert and C&G Racing Stable. Callahan narrowly missed in the 11th race, but came right back to win the 12th with a rallying Late Night Joke in the C-1 event in 1:51 for P.J. Fraley and Bamond Racing. Callahan put a bow on the night winning the C-1 event to close the card with heavily favored Avenue Hanover in 1:52.1 for owner/trainer Mark Silva. The dead heat on the card not only featured one of Callahan's four wins, but a triumphant ending to a marvelous career. Forest Vic A, having never won a race at the Meadowlands in his 14 years, got his nose on the wire simultaneously with Road Untraveled to dead heat for the win and close out his career on the highest of high notes. Forest Via A was campaigned by Karen Garland for Night Rogue Racing Stable, B. Kay and Steve Smith, who was in the bike for the gelding's last trip around the oval. The featured $30,000 A-1/FFA Handicap was won by Arockin Hanover who rallied from dead last to win in 1:49.2 for Jason Robinson and owner Robert Main. The victory was one of three on the card for John Campbell. Ron Pierce also scored a driving triple on the night. The fastest mile of the night went to Dovuto Hanover, who looked like a powerhouse drawing clear impressively in a 1:48.4 triumph in the B-1/A-2 Handicap for 3 Year Olds. Ron Pierce Drove for trainer Darran Cassar and Marty Scharf. Racing returns as we flip the calendar to 2014 on Thursday night, featuring a 13-race program and the opening round of The Super Bowl Trotting Series containing four divisions. Post Time for the Thursday card is 7:15 P.M. For more information, log onto playmeadowlands.com

VERNON, NY—Just as he did in last week’s top test for representatives of the lateral gait, the favorite Arockin’ Hanover saved the best for last and secured a 1:51.2 victory in the final $12,000 Open pace of the 60th Anniversary season at Vernon Downs. Truman Gale did the teaming for trainer Jason Robinson in Saturday’s 10th event, as a Arockin’ Hanover laid back in fifth place as the speedy JK Panache paced the solid seven-horse field through splits of :26.1, :55.1 and 1:24.1 through three quarters of the mile.  Taking the overland route from fifth place on the backstretch, Arockin’ Hanover rallied to get the lead at the top of the stretch and then accelerated away from his six speedy foes to defeat Western Tsunami by nearly three lengths. Saturday’s come-from-behind score marked the third win in succession (second at the Downs) , the ninth this season and the 21st all time for the 5-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artaffection, who has rustled up more than $100,200 in 33 starts for owner Robert D. Main.  His career bankroll currently stands at $383,133. John MacDonald delivered four driving victories during Saturday’s 13-race card, while chauffeur Claude Huckabone, III posted a driving triple, and trainer John Mc Neil, III a double. Rick Plano repeated as the winningest driver (130 scores) and trainer (51 tallies) during the 88-program meeting.  Gary Clark emerged as the leading provisional pilot. The trotter Ziegler Hanover was the meet’s winningest equine with 10 triumphs, while the pacer Hot Cowboy led his gait with seven scores. Thirteen track records (seven on the diagonal gait and six on the pace) were re-set or tied during the meet, which began on April 12.  The season’s swiftest pacing mile was a 1:49 performance by Pontiac Luck on Aug. 31, while a brilliant 1:51 effort by Intimidate in the season’s Credit Winner Open on Sept. 6 was the fastest trotting mile in the track’s history. by Jim Moran for Vernon Downs  

VERNON, NY—Newcomer Arockin Hanover captured the $12,000 Open pace; Noble Wabbit lowered his odd-distance record for 7/8ths-of-a-mile in the “Turn Back The Clock Rewind Race,” while drivers John Macdonald and Truman Gale each recorded four victories during Saturday night’s 13-race program at Vernon Downs. The Saratoga-shipper Arockin Hanover went off as the second choice in Saturday’s featured seventh session. As the favorite Sheer Brilliance cut fast fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.4, Arockin Hanover drafted along back in fourth place. Entering the homestretch, Arockin Hanover revved up and closed like a gate in the wind to not only overtake the pace-setter, but draw off to an eye-popping 3-3/4-length tally in 1:51. The fast-closing finish by the speedy 5-year-old gelding resulted in his second win in succession, eighth this season and 20th all time. Gale did the driving for trainer Jason Robinson as the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artaffection raised his career bankroll to more than $377,100 for owner Robert D. Main. Entering Saturday’s $4,500 fourth event as the Vernon record-holder for a 7/8ths-mile clockwise pace off a 1:42.3 effort in 2011, Noble Wabbit rallied overland from fifth in the early going, advanced to third entering the stretch and then powered home to defeat the pocket-sitting Prince Polaris by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:39. It was the first win in 2013 for the 10-year-old bay gelding, but his 37th lifetime score. MacDonald did the teaming for trainer George Ducharme and owner Heather Reese as the productive son of Precious Bunny-Noble Lady Avalon increased his lifetime earnings to $154,487. Gale, for the second time during the 86-card Downs campaign, collected four wins on a single program, while it marked the first occasion for MacDonald, a newcomer to the track this season. Dave Dewhurst, the meet’s second-leading trainer with 37 tallies, also harnessed two first-place finishers during the rainy evening. DOWNS DOINGS Gary P. Clark, the track’s leading provisional pilot at present, recorded his fourth local score after a 1:54.4 trip behind the pacer New York Kitty (owned by he and Fay Clark) in Saturday’s second session… The Kenneth Daniels-owned sophomore trotter Southwind Tule chalked up his first pari-mutuel victory following a 2:02.1 performance for trainer and driver Claude Huckabone, III in Saturday’s $3,400 third event… Only two live racing dates remain during the track’s 88-card campaign that continues through Nov. 9… Vernon’s program for Friday, Nov. 8 will start at 6:45 p.m., but the card for Saturday, Nov. 9, will begin at 6 p.m., and include a coffee mug giveaway, while supplies last, and a spectacular fireworks display to conclude the track’s 60th anniversary season…. A revised 2013, 88-program racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran  

Arockin Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover) became the seventeenth different horse to win the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway in the last eighteen weeks with a hard charging victory on Saturday night. Jason Robinson trains the five year old pacer who sat on the rail throughout the race after getting away third before driver Dan Cappello Jr.found racing room late in the mile. Arockin Hanover surged in the stretch, passing several rivals before stopping the timer in 1:53.2 for his first local Open victory. Recent News (Shawn Gray) got reeled in late and wound up as the runner up in the $15,000 Saturday feature while Money Twitch A (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella for Saratoga Raceway  

The month of August started out without the sizzling temperatures that are the norm for this time of year in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It's a good thing then that plenty of heat was generated on the track at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs this past racing week. It's gets harder and harder to narrow down the very best of the outstanding performances we see each and every night at Pocono, but that's what we'll try to do right now by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: MATTADOR D It's not easy to jump even a little bit in class in the harness racing wars at Pocono and have any bit of success. To make a big jump and see immediate results is a rare accomplishment indeed because of the extremely competitiveness of the scene. Yet Mattador D took a pretty daunting leap up the claiming ladder on Saturday night and handled it impressively. It certainly helped that the 5-year-old gelding came into the race on a hot streak. He beat a group of $10,000 claimers on July 20 in 1:52:1, then followed it up the next week with a victory over the $12,500 claimers in 1:51:4. Still, those winning times didn't figure to hack it on Saturday night against the $20,000 claimers. In his first start for trainer Lou Pena, Mattador D would have to step his game. The gelding answered that challenge in sterling fashion. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, he hustled to the front end early and had to face severe pressure throughout the mile. Yet he sustained and came out on top in a career-best 1:50:2. It should be fun to watch Mattador D keep climbing that ladder and see how high he can get before someone slows his rapid ascent. Other top pacers this week include: B N Bad (George Napolitano Jr., Peter Pellegrino), who powered to a condition pacing win on Saturday night in a career-best 1:49:2, which was the fastest time posted all week long at Pocono; Allamerican Daddy (Eric Carlson, Eddie Nickle), who staged a furious rally to win his second straight $10,000 claimer on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:51:4; and Audreys Dream (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who won Saturday night's featured condition pace in 1:50. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: LIGHTNING STORM While Mattador D provided a good example of a horse hot enough to move up in class, our Trotter of the Week this week is one who needed to drop down to find the groove. There's no shame in such a move, since it doesn't make any sense for an owner to keep sending a horse over and over into a class that he can't handle. It's better for the horse to find a group in which he can do damage. Lightning Storm, a 4-year-old stallion from the Lou Pena barn, had success early in the meet in some rugged condition trots and then moved up into the Preferred trots in the month of June, taking on the best trotters on the grounds. He seemed overmatched with that class, finishing way up the track from the winners in three straight races. It was only when he dropped back into the non-winners of $16,000 condition trots on July 19 that he found his stride again, winning that night in a career-best 1:53:2. On Friday night he was back at in the same class, and he once again controlled the action, winning in 1:54:3 this time around with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike. Now that he's built up his confidence again, this might be the right time for Lightning Storm to try it again with some heavier hitters. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: CDs Eldorado (Joe Pavia Jr., Jason Robinson), whose victory over the $10,000 claimers in a career-best 1:55:2 on Tuesday night gave him wins in three straight and four of his last five; Biltmore (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), whose romping victory in a condition trot on Wednesday night in 1:55:1 was his third win in his last four races; and In Your Room (Mike Simons, Gail Wrubel), who rolled to a condition win on Wednesday night in 1:53, the fastest trotting time of the week at MSPD. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: HYANNIS HANOVER This 2-year-old trotter had quite the memorable debut on Wednesday night, rallying from way back for driver Bret Brittingham to score at 90-1, paying off $182.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. It took a little while, but George has ascended to his usual position atop the drivers' standings at Pocono. He was especially lethal last weekend, picking up seven combined wins on Friday and Saturday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: DOUGLAS BERKELEY by Jim Beviglia  

Harness racing trainer Jason Robertson filed an appeal on January 31, 2012, (Ex. 1, tab 19) in accordance with the Rules of Racing in relation to the Notice of Proposed Order (NOP) dated January 19, 2012, wherein the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) refused to grant him a licence (Ex.1, Tab 18).

Now that we've hit the month of October, both the calendar and the cooler temperatures at night remind us that the harness racing season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is now rounding the final turn on its way into the home stretch.

Dismissed at 14-1, JC Mik Mac Jillio rallied in the lane to score a stunning harness racing upset in Wednesday's (May 23) $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows.

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