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CHESTER, PA - At Harrah's Philadelphia, "Trix" isn't for kids - but she might be for the Open mares class soon, as the Bettor's Delight mare Bettor Trix N remained undefeated in four North American starts after a 1:53.2 triumph in the $17,000 distaff featured pace Wednesday. Driver Tim Tetrick, a three-time winner on the day, sent Bettor Trix N to the lead just past the 27.4 quarter, then got a rest of 57.2 to the half before the sophomore miss Mink Pink ranged alongside to challenge. Mink Pink got by Bettor Trix N before the 1:24.3 3/4s, but Tetrick kept the Kiwi import's mind on her game, and she rallied in the stretch to catch Mink Pink for a 1½ length victory. Tetrick, trainer Jim King Jr., and owners Donna Pollucci and Jo Ann Looney King do know a thing or two about imported New Zealand mares, as they are all part of Team Shartin N as well. There were three $16,000 co-featured events on the card - one for male pacers, and two for trotters. In the pace, Macadoodledoo, who has been performing well against stakes company, quarter-moved to command and posted a 1:52.4 victory for driver George Napolitano Jr. (coming off 15 wins in four cards at Pocono), trainer Mark Silva, and owner Jeffrey Snyder. He's Electric was second behind the winning son of Somebeachsomewhere, two lengths back; another neck behind was Talbotcreekwhiskey, who is in a Breeders Crown elimination in the 3PC category on Saturday. Talbotcreekwhiskey's shedrow neighbor in the barn of trainer Luc Blais, the Cantab Hall filly Ex Hanover, had more success over the Philly oval, taking the first division of the trot co-feature while lowering her mark to 1:55.3. Daniel Dube had to go first-over with the sophomore, but she was determined in the stretch and defeated Armageddon Seelster by a half-length for the Determination ownership entity. In the second trot, the Muscle Massive three-year-old gelding Meadowbranch Ricky made the lead at the quarter for driver Tony Morgan, then withstood a long first-over bid from Fashion Forever to be a 2¼ length winner, lowering his lifetime mark by a fifth by hitting the wire in 1:54.3. Jenny Melander conditions the winenr for owner Hans Enggren. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

LEXINGTON, KY--Advancing uncovered into quick fractions set by pacesetter Caviart Ally, Shartin N powered to the front into the stretch and finished under wraps to take the $98,500 Fear The Dragon Allerage Farms Mare Pace, sponsored by Midland Acres, on Sunday, Oct. 7 at The Red Mile. Caviart Ally left for the top with Pure Country tucking into the pocket ahead of Inverse Hanover yielding for third. Past the quarter in :26.3, Caviart Ally continued unchallenged to the half in :54.3 while Shartin N, positioned fifth, began her charge first over. Matching strides past three-quarters in 1:21.3, Shartin N edged past Caviart Ally into the stretch and maintained a length advantage to the line while Caviart Ally gave pursuit to hold second. Pure Country finished third ahead of Blue Moon Stride rallying from last for fourth. "She's got big lungs," driver Tim Tetrick said after the race. "We got her off the gate good today but then going into the backside she kind of jammed up and I had to move her. She's used to sitting on the outside so I wasn't too worried especially when I could head Andrew's mare [Caviart Ally]; I knew my mare was going to give me a good run." Winning her 16th race in 21 starts since shipping from New Zealand and her 23rd from 34 overall, Shartin N has earned $623,978 for owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. Jim King Jr. conditions the five-year-old mare by Tintin In America and paid $4.80 to win. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

After a long and successful stint in the rough and rugged Filly and Mare Open class at Yonkers Raceway, the sport's newest millionaire, Newborn Sassy, has her eyes set on one of the sport's biggest harness racing 'crowns'. She surpassed the million dollar mark in career earnings earlier in the month when she picked up her 32nd career triumph for owners CC Racing LLC and Jo Ann Looney-King. "We call her our overachiever", Looney-King said. "When I watch her race on Friday nights, I can hardly believe that the long legged filly we bought as a yearling has become the darling of the mares open at Yonkers." Bred by Winbak Farm, Newborn Sassy (Western Ideal-Sass Newton) was purchased by her current owners for $38,000 at the Lexington Select Yearling Sale. Normally staying in the $15 - $20,000 range for yearlings, Team King extended their budget a bit to bring Sassy aboard. "We really liked her family," Looney-King said. "She was long legged and otherwise fairly average looking, but we were crazy about the family." She proved her worth right from the start, as she reeled off 8 straight wins in her freshman season, which included the prestigious Matron Stakes at Dover. Team King was thrilled with her performances, but were anxious to get her stronger and sounder for her 3-year-old season. "When she came back as a 3-year-old, she was still a shrinking violet," said Looney-KIng. "She still had the same 'Why do you think she looks like that' jogging issue." After a series of near-misses to begin her sophomore season, she finally hit the winner's circle in an elimination of the James Lynch at Pocono. She went on to enjoy a solid stakes season, including wins in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event, the Adioo Volo, The Lady Maud, The John Simpson, and a Breeders Crown elimination win to cap off her sophomore campaign. "There were times where she raced in some of the major stakes and we felt that maybe we were playing ball in the wrong park," said Looney-King. "But she always came through no matter what. Making money, paying bills, and doing her job." Since the start of her 4-year-old season until now, she has mainly faced open female foes. She has won 15 times against open horses since mid-May of 2017. Although her performances on the track speak for themselves, her pre-race score downs leave a little to be desired. "Sassy has a very sloppy way of scoring down," said Looney-King. "We always tell the drivers 'you won't like her scoring down but you'll love her in the race'. I think all the drivers respect Miss Sassy. Every 2.5 times she goes to the track, she comes home a winner." Back on the farm, Newborn Sassy has the luxury of having the same caretaker since she was 2-years old. Kate Moore has been with team King for 15 years. "Kate is the best but she has spoiled Sassy to death," Looney-King jokes. "Sassy's stall is right by the wash stall so she watches all the action going on. She has her head over the gate all day begging for carrots. She is so kind and wonderful to be around." As for what's ahead for Team King's talented mare, it looks like another race season is in the works, but Looney-King insists the horse will call the shots. They are in no hurry to change her status to a broodmare. "It's been one helluva Sassy year," Looney-King said. "And as we know, Newborn Sassys are hard to come by." By Mike Bozich for Post Time with Mike and Mike  

Chester, PA --- Cutting back to a flat mile after a failed three-wide push in the ten-furlong Great Northeast Series final on Sept. 2, Shartin N ($3.80) reasserted herself as one of the top harness racing pacing mares in the continent with an easy 1:51.2 score over sloppy going in Sunday's (Sept. 23) featured $25,000 winners-over distaff at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Despite being assigned the outside post 7, the 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America had no trouble getting involved from the start, floating into third on the first turn under Tim Tetrick handling before brushing clear of Bettorhaveanother (Tony Morgan) just beyond a :27.4 first quarter. Shartin N continued on to control middle splits of :56.1 and 1:23.3 before accelerating away from first-over challenger Delishka N (Art Stafford Jr.) off the home turn.   In the end, Shartin N worked 3-3/4 lengths clear of her six foes in earning her 22nd career tally. Bettorhaveanother dug in from the pocket to hold second over Delishka N.   Shartin N, whose wins in the Betsy Ross, Roses Are Red, Lady Liberty and Artiscape are among the highlights of her illustrious 2018 campaign, is trained by Jim King Jr. for owners Richard Poillucci and JoAnn Looney-King.   Multiple players correctly selected the top five finishers in the fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5, resulting in a $2,027.19 carryover to Wednesday's (Sept. 26) program. The 20-cent wager occurs in the fifth race on each card at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Post time Wednesday is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia

HARRINGTON, DE - Q's Cruise ($4.80, Ross Wolfenden) captured the Monday harness racing feature at Harrington Raceway with a 1:51:3 triumph in an $11,000 Open II for pacers. Owned by Jo Ann Looney-King, it was the second win of the season for the 4-year-old Yankee Cruiser gelding. "Cruise" set all the fractions from post position three and held off a fierce charge from Hi Sir for the win, the 11th in his career for trainer Jim King Jr. Trainer Clyde Francis teamed with driver Montrell Teague and owner George Teague Jr. with three wins on the card as GWT ($3.40), Transitioning Joy ($4) and Daiymir ($2.20) were all victorious as popular public betting choices. Live racing continues on a Monday through Wednesday schedule until October 24. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway    

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 7, 2018-As was written seven short nights ago, Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $6.10) is just better these right now. She proved it again Friday night (Sept. 7th), easily winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace while becoming the sport's newest millionairess. Not even an assigned eight-bole hindrance could deter her appointed rounds here. Strung out early by Medusa (Brian Sears). Newborn Sassy made the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. After a rated :29.1 next station (:56.3 intermission), 6-5 favorite Magic Forces (George Brennan) tried it first-up from fifth. However, a :27.4 third quarter (1:24.2) dismissed that one as Newborn Sassy owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Medusa edged out, but wasn't close to reaching, the final margin a length in 1:52. Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett), Angel's Pride (Brent Holland) and Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) settled for the minors. Magic Forces retreated to seventh. For second choice Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her ninth win in 27 seasonal starts (fifth in last seven tries, career 32-for-76, earnings $1,007,445). The exacta paid $21.80, the triple returned $99 and the superfecta paid $470. "She can race either way," Stratton said. "This week, some of the better mares she's been facing weren't here, but she beat a good group and the eight-hole is never an easy job." Walkover race makes news on Yahoo.sports The story of Windsun Magnolia has apparently found its way into the nation’s consciousness…to some degree. The good folks at Yahoo sports wrote about the WCBS-TV (Ch. 2) feature (see below) regarding her Yonkers Raceway walkover/maiden-breaking win, certifiably extending her 15 minutes of fame.     Yahoo’s story can be view here… https://sports.yahoo.com/winless-racehorse-gets-first-ever-win-one-horse-race-164400666.html?hl=1&noRedirect=1 by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 31, 2018-Favored Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $4.10) is just better than these right now. She proved it again Friday night (Aug. 31st), handily winning Yonkers Raceway's last-of-the-month $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. She now is less than $15,000 from becoming a millionairess.  Remanded outside her six rivals, Newborn Sassy was caught wide early, eventually settling in fourth. While this was transpiring, Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) worked around Frost Damage Blues (Brian Sears) before a :26.4 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.1 intermission, 'Sassy" was moving again, engaging Lispatty in and out of a 1:24.1 three-quarters. She finished off that foe early in the lane, then widened. Frost Damage Blues did slip out behind the eventual winner, with she and a bottled-up-till-late Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) cosmetically closing the margin. Newborn Sass defeated Frost Damage Blues by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:53.1, with Mach it a Par, Lispatty and Angel's Pride (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her eighth win in 26 seasonal starts (fourth in last six tries, career earnings over $985,000). The exacta paid $18.40, the triple returned $69.50 and the superfecta paid $175. Saturday night (Sept. 1st) is Triple Crown Night, with the Raceway offering the $500,000 Yonkers Trot and $500,000 Messenger Stakes, along with companion events, the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot & $112,904 Lady Maud Pace. There's a gimmick Trot/Messenger Double (races 6 and 7) as well. First post the dozen-race card is the usual evening 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 17, 2018-Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $14.60) rolled over favored Tequila Monday (Eric Goodell) late Friday night (Aug. 17th), winning Yonkers Raceway's moist $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Neither lass was visible to the naked eye early as Caviart Cherie (Mark MacDonald) led through a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Magic Forces (George Brennan), perturbed in the pocket, took over before a :55.1 intermission. Vorst (Brent Holland) slipped out from third, but she wasn't the problem as Magic Forces maintained her lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters. Wide came 6-5 choice Tequila Monday and even wider-from post position No. 7-was Newborn Sassy. Tequila Monday quickly opened a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but her rival was in hot pursuit. Newborn Sassy collared the people's preference in the final yards, edging away by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.3...a tick off her season's-best effort. It was about seventh lengths back to Magic Forces in third, with Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) and Vorst rounding out the payees. For third choice Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her seventh win in 24 seasonal starts (third in last four tries). The exacta paid $49.40, the triple returned $148.50 and the superfecta paid $1,187. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway 

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 3, 2018-Favored Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $4) rated her rivals into submission Friday night (Aug. 3rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away alertly from assigned post position No. 5, Newborn Sassy worked around Caviart Cherie, making the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. She then pilfered a :29.2 second quarter (:57.1 intermission), effectively ending the melodrama. Agent Q (birthday boy [45] Eric Goodell) tried it first-up third from third, speeding up the sojourn but never getting close in and out of a 1:24.3 three-quarters. With that foe dispensed, Newborn Sassy opened a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. She then beat the other ladies up, widening to 3¾ lengths at the 1:52.3 wire. Second went to Caviart Cherie, with a third-over Magic Forces (George Brennan) third. Bronze Over N (Dan Dube) and Made of Jewel AS (Joe Bongiorno) settled for the minors. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her sixth win in in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.20, the triple returned $122.50 and the superfecta paid $657. Note the Raceway shall open earlier (11:30 AM) for Saturday (Aug. 4th) simulcasting in advance of early post times from the Meadowlands (Hambletonian), the Meadows and Gulfstream. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

LAZARUS VS BIT OF A LEGEND

Christen Me N, Nike Franco N, Kept Under Wraps A, Anythingforlove A, Sky Major N, Lazarus N, among many other champions who raced in Australia and or New Zealand before making their way to North America. Aside from their gifts of gait speed and racing racing ability they also brought with them an incredible power,  they united two harness racing industries in two hemispheres. I am have been fortunate to see some of these now North American harness racing champions and sit along the rail to watch them race. I am always captivated by their racing ability. I have even had the chance to meet a few of them up and I am always a little star-struck when I do. I find it inspiring how people have been brought together because of these horses. I wonder if in adjusting to a new climate, new people and new routines if these champions realize how they have positively impacted the global harness racing industry? Personally, I have made new friends and made existing friendships stronger because of these champions. Here are my stories on some of the former  “Down Under” champions, racing in North America and the amazing friendships I made because of them. He was known as the “the Prince” when he faced Terror To Love, at tracks across his native New Zealand. Chances are you do not who I am talking about, unless you are involved in New Zealand racing or are like me and follow it. But, in the barn and with those that knew him best, he was “CC”. When the news broke that Christen Me N would be coming to race in the United States, I have to admit I was both thrilled and disappointed.  I have a soft spot for Christen Me N because he was the first New Zealand bred horse I took an interest in after I met his former driver Dexter Dunn in Ireland in 2016. I was thrilled because this meant I would have the opportunity to watch him race, but I also knew that he would be greatly missed by many in New Zealand. Then, I remembered that him coming to the North America meant friendships would be created and that was a good thing. He would be showcasing the very best of New Zealand racing talent, in the place some argue is the pinnacle of harness racing- the United States of America. Upon arrival in the United States, Christen Me N was placed in the care of Jim King Jr. and Joann Looney -King. I looked forward to the day that I would get to meet the famous “C.C”. One day in early summer of 2017, I got my opportunity because he was entered to race at what was at that time Mohawk Racetrack .That afternoon, I stopped by the farm where the King’s were stabling to see him in addition to some other horses they had racing in Ontario. As I arrived, Christen Me N was coming in from the paddock. He was so regal, standing there in the warmth of the sunshine while I admired him. I was at a loss for words and he looked like he knew what I was feeling. I got a little closer and he bowed his head, allowing me to stroke his face, and give him a kiss. Meeting him is an experience I will remember and cherish. That night he raced at what is now Woodbine- Mohawk Park, and of course I cheered. However, I was cheering him on for his fans in the southern hemisphere too. He unfortunately did not win that night, but just to be able watch him race live was a thrill for me.  When I posted the pictures from our visit and of him racing the following day; my social media buzzed. I received comments about how he was doing and how his race went and a few friend requests from people in New Zealand. The photos were also shared by people in New Zealand. Knowing that the small gesture of posting a few pictures meant a great deal to so many people warmed my heart. Next is my story of the horse who inspired this story- Nike Franco N. Nike Franco N is also is the care of Joann and Jim King Jr. I first met her on that same visit that I met ¨C.C” and she also raced on that same night. When she began racing in North America, a person by the name of Amanda Grieve was always tagged in many posts on Twitter (tweets) about Nike Franco N. So, after I met Nike Franco and posted the pictures of us, I decided to send her a message and find out she loved this mare. It turned that when Nike Franco N raced in Australia, Amanda was the caretaker for top mare and trained her for a period of time too.  Now Amanda and I talk every couple of weeks.Our friendship is all thanks to Nike Franco N. If it was not Nike Franco N being sold to American interests there is a very good chance that Amanda and I never would have met.  Earlier this season, when Nike Franco N raced in Canada in the Roses Are Red elimination and final, I video chatted with Amanda from the rail at Woodbine- Mohawk Park and I turned the camera so she could see the race, even though she lives on the other side of the world we were both cheering on Nike Franco N who she affectionately calls “Darling”.  It was truly a special opportunity for me and one I will cherish forever. In a recent conversation with Amanda,  she said something that tugged at my heartstrings and I felt was fitting for the sentiment of this very story. She said, “You get very attached to them. Especially working with them every day. And travelling with them too. Yes, I do miss her. But, I am still watching her race now.”  I can sympathize with how she feels, I would feel the same it was a horse I cared about. But, that is the great thing about social media. Nike Franco N may be across the Pacific [ocean], but the two of them are still connected through people in North America. Amanda is able to stay updated on Nike Franco N’s racing career and receive pictures is because of the friendships that Nike Franco N racing in North America has prompted. The horses that have crossed the Equator that I have also made friendships that I had before their move much stronger. Sired by Bettors Delight and foaled in 2011, Kept Under Wraps A was voted the two-year-old of the year for the state of Victoria. My friend Marcus Kirkwood owned a part of him, before Kept Under Wraps A was sold to North American interests.  I became friends with Marcus through Twitter, and when I went to Australia in February of 2017, we met in person. So, now that Kept Under Wraps A in racing in the United States, I periodically check the entries and results pages on the United States Trotting Association website to see how he is doing and then I send Marcus a message with an update. Anythingforlove A (spelled Anything For Love when racing in Australia) was bred by my friend Paul Humphreys. We became friends through social media and I also met him when I went to Australia in 2017.  When the horse had his first couple of starts in the United States, Paul and I messaged back and forth. I remember watching the race on my laptop. It was neat to be able to say “I know who bred that horse”. Anythingforlove gave us one more thing to talk about.  The story of how I got to meet Sky Major N is unique. My dad was talking with the trainer of Sky Major N, Duane Marfisi, and he it came up in conversation where he happened to be stabled, turns out we were at the same training center. When my dad told me I was elated. My filly, a future champion, was stabled steps away from a former New Zealand champion. Trevor Casey owns Sky Major N. I talk with his partner Kate Marriott often. I truly consider her a friend. During my visits with Sky Major N I gave him treats and kisses and my mom would take pictures. When I returned home I always sent Kate the pictures as soon as I could and told all about our visit.  Similarly, Trevor Casey also owned a share of the world-renowned champion, Lazarus N. Now that Lazarus N is in the United States being trained by Jimmy Takter, I send Kate all of the news and pictures I see of Lazarus. It always makes my day to send her updates of both of these champions. Every time the name of an overseas champion is printed in a North American [racing] program or their name graces a headline an “N” or an “A” is placed after their name to symbolize to everyone reading the program or the article they mentions them,  this horse is from Australia or New Zealand. I think of it as a symbol of pride.That extra letter also symbolizes the countless hours of care, hard work and dedication that the team of people looked after them in Australia or New Zealand put in that made them into the champion that now races in North America. I will forever be grateful for the friendships I have gained because of these horses. They have added so much joy to my life. I also look forward to creating many more friendships through these horses in the future. To everyone who has ever loved, taken care of, trained, owned or driven one of these now North American champions, thank you. Thank you for making these champions who they are. Without you they would not have broken the records they did, had the jaw-dropping victories they did. In addition, thank you for sharing your your champions with us here in North America. You will always be a part of who they are, no matter where in the world they race. To everyone in North America who has a horse who previously raced in Australia and New Zealand, know that these horses are extra special. I encourage you to find out who the connections were when the horse raced in Australia and or New Zealand and connect with them, if you have not already. I hope through these dual hemisphere champions you will make friendships like I have. These champions that have etched their names into greatness in both hemispheres make the big world seem a little smaller by bringing people together who are passionate about the same sport, but are oceans apart that is the power of these dual hemisphere champions. Sydney Weaver is 18 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, groom's horses, jogs them on the track, owns both a Standardbred and a Thoroughbred racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals. She will be attending Carleton University this fall in their Communications and Media Studies Honors Program. Footnote: Since I began writing this piece, Christen Me N, “C.C.” is no longer in the care of the Jim King Jr. and Joann Looney-King, he is now with other caring connections.

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 13, 2018-Odds-on Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3.80) was rebuffed early and rallied late Friday night (July 13th), winning Yonkers Raceway's non-superstitious $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Alertly away from post position No. 4, Newborn Sassy sat an early pocket behind Medusa (Dan Dube). The fave tried to move past, but Medusa wasn't up for such largesse. That one laid down the legwork (:26.4, :56) before Magic Forces (George Brennan) made her second move. The rock-solid lass, who made a three-hole from her assigned eight-hole, did not offer her usual oomph and soon backed away. Medusa maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:23.3 three-quarters, owning a length-and-a-half lead in the lane. Newborn Sassy, though, never out of reach, edged out and edged by. She whipped a second-over Tequila Monday (Eric Goodell) by a diminishing head in 1:51.3. Medusa did hold third, with Freakonomics (Mark MacDonald) and Lispatty (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the minors. Magic Forces wound up last among the octet. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by Jo Ann Looney-King & CC Racing and trained by Jim King Jr, it was her fifth win in in 21 seasonal start (career earnings now over $917,000). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $10, the triple returned $36.80 and the superfecta paid $212. Saturday night's (July 14th) feature is the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, the Raceway's premier 'open' event for 2-year-old colts and geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

East Rutherford, NJ --- Donttellmeagain is known as a little horse among his connections but he came up big to win Saturday's $250,000 Graduate Series championship for harness racing 4-year-old pacers by a neck over Miso Fast in a career-best 1:47.2 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Western Joe finished third. Donttellmeagain, sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10, saw Western Joe lead the way to an opening quarter in :26.2 before moving from fourth to the front on the backstretch. Donttellmeagain held the lead only briefly as Miso Fast brushed to the top prior to reaching the half in :53.2. Miso Fast continued to lead, hitting three-quarters in 1:20.2, but was unable to hold off Donttellmeagain in the stretch. It was the 15th career victory in 26 races for Donttellmeagain, who has finished worse than third only twice. "I had to make a decision," winning driver Tim Tetrick said. "I knew (Miso Fast) was going to get an easy lead and if I gave him four or five lengths I wasn't going to be able to beat him. I made a quick decision and got up there quick and got to follow the horse I had to beat, I thought." Donttellmeagain won for the first time since capturing his seasonal debut in a preliminary round of the Graduate at 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands on May 5. He held his own, though, against older horses in the Ben Franklin Pace, finishing second in his elimination and fourth in the final. "He's chased at them and given them a run," Tetrick said. "They knew that he was in the race every time. The little guy is the little engine that could and it fits him pretty good." Added Jo Ann Looney-King, the wife of winning trainer Jim King Jr., "He's just a wonderful little horse. He's the smallest horse in the race, but he's got a lot of grit. It's great." Donttellmeagain, a gelded son of Dragon Again out of Donttellmewhattodo, is owned by Paton Racing Stables. He has won two of six starts this season and pushed his lifetime earnings to $426,460. Donttellmeagain paid $6.20 to win. Ken Weingartner

HARRINGTON, Del. - CC Racing and Jo Ann Looney-King's Newborn Sassy ($3, Tim Tetrick) was a decisive 1:51.2 winner and became the fastest harness racing pacing mare in Harrington Raceway history Tuesday in the $15,000 Mares Open. Newborn Sassy, trained by Jim King Jr., broke the old track record held by Embassy Seelster (1:51.3). Tetrick promptly placed his charge on the front from post five where she led the field of five comfortably in fractions of 27.4, 55.2 and 1:24. Nerida Franco pulled the pocket on the final turn but "Sassy" opened up on the field and kicked home impressively to the wire. Nerida Franco held second narrowly over Fashion Showdown. It was the 25th career win for Newborn Sassy, who has banked more than $814,000 in her career. Art Stafford Jr., Mike Cole and Corey Callahan each had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino

Hightstown, NJ --- He’s known around the barn as E.T., but Evolution Tour is not from outer space --- even if harness racing trainer Jim King Jr. says with a laugh the gelding is “an alien.” This E.T. is quite at home in Delaware, where this week the 3-year-old pacer will try to capture his first DSBF championship after two narrow misses last season. Dover Downs hosts four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals for 3-year-old pacers and trotters as part of Thursday’s 14-race card. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m., with the DSBF championship for female trotters kicking off the action. The remaining finals are races two (male trotters), six (female pacers) and eight (male pacers). Evolution Tour is unbeaten this year in two races, both preliminary rounds of the DSBF, and is the 3-1 third choice on the morning line behind last season’s two-time DSBF champion Slick Tony (2-1) and Transitioning Joy (5-2). Slick Tony, who beat Evolution Tour by a nose in both of last year’s state-bred finals, starts from post No. 1 while Transitioning Joy leaves from post No. 2 and Evolution Tour from post No. 3. Slick Tony, a son of stallion No Spin Zone, is owned and trained by George Leager, who also bred the colt, and will be driven by Russell Foster. He has won 10 of 13 career races and never finished worse than second, earning $166,797 in purses. Transitioning Joy, a son of Barber Pole, is trained by Clyde Francis for owners George Teague Jr. Inc. and Joy Teague. The homebred colt, who has won four of 12 lifetime starts and earned $71,600, will be driven by Montrell Teague. Tim Tetrick will drive Evolution Tour, a son of Roddy’s Bags Again owned by King’s wife Jo Ann. “My job is pretty much done,” King said about the final. “I’m going to leave the rest in the hands of the master. How it’s going to play out, you figure that Slick Tony’s not going to settle for anything less than second and Joy is not going to want to sit third. So chances are I’m going to be third and first over. But Timmy will get it figured out. I think my horse is good enough and I know my driver is.” Evolution Tour, purchased for $15,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale, has won six of 10 career races and never finished worse than second on his way to $111,550 in purses. He defeated Slick Tony and Transitioning Joy in a first-round division of this year’s DSBF series and heads to the final off a 4-1/2 length win over G W T last week. In last year’s championships, Evolution Tour came from off the pace from post No. 8 at Harrington Raceway to miss by a nose in the first final and then got nipped by a nose at Dover Downs after leading from the start from post No. 1 in the second final. “The first time was just a lack of experience,” King said. “He had the ability to go by, he just didn’t. Some horses are more racy than others. That wasn’t on the top of his list. He didn’t put forth his best effort there. But Slick Tony is a really nice horse. The second time, Slick Tony just out-footed him. Timmy elected to cut it and he just got caught. “But they were both good paychecks.” King thinks Evolution Tour better understands the game this year. “That’s the biggest thing right now,” King said. “He’s come into himself and he’s a lot more willing than he was before. He was a bit of a slow learner. He didn’t know he was supposed to excel at times. Now he’s kind of picked that up. Timmy has put him on the front end and he’s stepped off. Timmy’s come first over and he had every reason not to go forward when they turned for home, but he did. “He’s just improved and is getting to be more of a racehorse all the time.” King expects “E.T.” to remain close to home for the rest of the campaign. “He’s going to be really good for the Delaware stakes,” King said. “As far as him being a top contender someplace else, I’m not seeing it. I just think he’s going to be really nice for around here.” In Thursday’s remaining DSBF finals, Deja Vu Blue is the 2-1 morning-line favorite among female trotters, Super Fly is the 3-1 pick among male trotters, and Go Sandy Go is the 5-2 choice among female pacers. For Thursday’s complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

YONKERS, N.Y. – New Zealand-bred mare Shartin will take her first shot against harness racing stakes competition since arriving in the barn of Jim King, Jr. last fall in the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway Friday night (March 16). Winner of the Group 2 Queensland Oaks at Albion Park last July, the daughter of Tintin In American out of the Live Or Die mare Bagdarin came to the U.S. after Rick Poillucci, who owns Shartin in partnership with Jo Ann King, scouted the mare from the same connections he purchased Nike Franco from in 2016. Although Nike Franco is a multiple Grand Circuit stakes-winning mare and earner of $740,660, Australian trainer Dean Braun made a bold comparison about the two. “When we got her, the guy that trained her over there, he also trained Nike Franco and he said he felt this mare was every bit as good that she was if not more,” King recalled. “I said, ‘that’s a pretty tall order, but we’ll see about that.’ ” Although Shartin arrived in the U.S. at the end of October unraced since winning an overnight at Tabcorp Park Melton August 18, King didn’t have to start fresh with her training. Braun had already begun bringing Shartin back before she shipped across the Pacific. However, because training styles are so different in Australia, King was unsure how far along Shartin would be when she arrived. “When I got her, I couldn’t interpret what he was telling me he’d done with her. I asked him, ‘if you still had her, when would she be ready to qualify?’ He gave me a time that he thought she should be ready to qualify,” King explained. “It’s a little different when he’s telling me she’s been so far in 5 minutes, so far in 4 minutes. That doesn’t compute with me. It’s all different.” King was impressed by how well Shartin handled her transcontinental journey when she arrived at his stable in Delaware. She was in perfect health and showed no signs of stress or excessive fatigue from the trip. “She arrived very healthy, I would say she was more healthy than any other horse I’ve gotten from there,” he said. “Some horses it takes a big toll on, but some horses act like they just came from next door. For her, she took the trip really well.” Once he began working with her, King quickly realized Shartin wasn’t to be toyed with. Although she has a pleasant demeanor in the barn, she becomes pugnacious on the racetrack. Braun even warned King Shartin was “a bit bossy.” “She’s pretty aggressive, she’s pretty eager,” King said. “There’s nothing mean about her, she’s really nice to care for and she tries to do what you ask her to do, but on the track, she gets in a bit of a hurry.” Shartin’s first stateside qualifier came at Dover Downs January 10. She won by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:55.1 before posting three straight sub-1:53 victories at Dover, which culminated in a 1:52.3 score in the Filly and Mare Open Handicap February 7. Shartin tasted her first defeat when finishing second to Monica Gallagher in the Meadowlands’ first race February 17, a card that was cut short due to a blizzard. “At this time, there’s really been no end to her,” King said. “The only time she hasn’t won so far was at the Meadowlands on the snow night when they had to cancel there and at Yonkers. She didn’t know if she won or not, it was snowing so hard she couldn’t see. As far as she knew, she did win. We’re pretty pleased with the return we’ve gotten so far.” Shartin rebounded from her narrow loss to earn a half-length victory in the distaff feature at Dover in her most recent outing February 28. Shartin raced first-over in that start, grinding within 3 lengths of pace-setter Nerida Franco. However, Shartin struggled to advance as the leader posted a :27.1 third quarter and looked to kick away on the final turn. Shartin used a :27.3 final panel to wear down Nerida Franco and post a lifetime best 1:50.2 victory. The win boosted her record to 11-for-18 record with $122,492 earned. “She was out a long way. She came first-over and really looked like at best she was going to be second, but she just kept coming and coming,” King said. “She knows where the wire is and how to get there. She’s pretty tough, she can go a long ways.” Shartin will start from post one in the first division of the Blue Chip Matchmaker first leg Friday night. She is the 7-5 morning line choice with Tim Tetrick in the sulky after her major competition, Mach It A Par and Gina Grace, drew posts seven and eight, respectively. King will leave the decision making to Tetrick, but is bullish about Shartin’s chances in the series. “She’s not one that he needs to baby or trip out, I don’t think,” King said. “I feel pretty good about it. I hate to say I’m confident, but I feel pretty good about it. She’s done everything we’ve asked.” Friday night’s card at Yonkers features four divisions of the Matchmaker Series, spanning races seven through ten. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to Friday’s races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

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