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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

DOVER, Del--- Tim Tetrick recorded his 9,998th career victory guiding Christen Me N to a 1:51 triumph in a $30,000 Preferred pace to cap an outstanding Thursday harness racing program at Dover Downs on Nov. 2. Poisonous scored the fastest win taking the $25,000 Open in 1:50.3 while Bettor Memories notched a 1:51.4 victory in the $21,000 3 & 4-Year-Old Open pace. Jim King trains Christen Me N for Richard Pollucci who purchased the nine-year-old altered son of Christian Cullen-Splendid Dreams early this year after banking $2-million racing Down Under. Sunfire Blue Chip and Corey Callahan cut out most of the mile before Christen Me N following cover moved three-wide on the final turn and rolled home followed by Sweet Rock with Vic Kirby finishing second. Soto came on third for Art Stafford Jr. Tetrick enjoyed a similar come-from-behind trip steering Poisonous to a 1:50.3 performance in the $25,000 Open pace for owner-trainer Josh Green. The win was the sixth of the season for the Art Major-She's Poison horse who now has won $113,628 this year. Sicili (Montrell Teague) was runner-up. Kid PK (Tony Morgan) was the show horse. An inside post was all that Gus Dovi's Bettor Memories needed as Andrew McCarthy fashioned a 1:51.4 conquest in the $21,000 3&4-Year-Old Open. Nifty Norman conditions the 4-Year-Old Bettor's Delight-Allamerican Memoir gelding to his seventh win off the campaign raising his seasonal earnings to $125,110. Delaware champion Bag To Riches (Tetrick) was a strong second with JJ Flynn (Ross Wolfenden) third. Robert Ginsburg's Sawbuck Hanover won the $35,000 Claiming pace with meet defending driver champion Corey Callahan in the bike winning the $22,000 purse event. Play The Field (McCarthy) and Reggiano (Morgan) were second and third respectively. On the undercard, Tetrick annexed a 1:52.3 victory with Baileys Rock N, the second win of the night for owner Rich Pollucci and trainer Jim King. The New Zealand-bred gelding is a four-year old Bettor's Delight-Baileys Pearl, now two-for-two in the USA. Howard Taylor's bred and owned Mentira, trained by Curtis Daniels and piloted by Ross Wolfenden were winners in $18,000 paces. As the horses lined up for the first race, Makenzie MC went down tossing driver Roger Plante to the ground and dragged him a short distance. The hurting driver was tended-to by the track medical crew and Plante was taken by ambulance to Kent General Hospital in Dover. He sustained cuts, scrapes and bruises and a hair line fracture. Tim Tetrick had a diving triple, Jim King won two training races. Enjoy live racing and good food at the Dover Downs Winners Circle Restaurant Buffet, each race day. General parking and admission is free. Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Marv Bachrad  

ANDERSON, Ind. - Nike Franco N cruised to victory in the second $25,000 elimination of the Breeders Crown Mares Pace Friday night at Hoosier Park. Tim Tetrick guided the 2-5 harness racing favorite to a 1:51.2 score. Call Me Queen Be took the lead early but Nike Franco N was able to regain command past the :26.2 opening quarter and then set even fractions of :55.3 and 1:24 with Medusa offering token pressure. In the stretch, Nike Franco N cruised to a handy victory with her :27.2 final quarter putting her 2¼ lengths ahead of runner up Bedroomconfessions at the wire. Owned by Richard Poillucci of North Easton, Massachusetts, the 7-year-old by McArdle mare was a winner for the 29th time in her 52-race career. Jim King Jr. trains Nike Franco N. "She's just a sweetheart," said Tetrick. "She's just as good on or off the pace. When they let her go 1:24 to the three quarters, she likes that, too." Nike Franco N returned $2.80 to win. Joining the top pair in the October 27 Breeders Crown finale will be L A Delight, Seventimesavirgin and Sassa Hanover. Post positions for the final: 1. L A Delight 2. Pure Country 3. Nike Franco N* 4. Darlinonthebeach* 5. Windsun Glory 6. Bedroomconfessions 7. Sassa Hanover 8. Lady Shadow 9. Seventimesavirgin 10. Blue Moon Stride AE1. Medusa AE2. Wrangler Magic   *Elimination winners draw from posts one through five. Nike Franco N By Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown    

YONKERS, N.Y. - Christen Me, the multiple grouped harness racing stakes winner and earner of more than $2 million, will make his first start at Yonkers Raceway in Saturday night’s Open Handicap Pace. The veteran New Zealand-bred was assigned the coveted inside post position in the field that includes The Real One, who seeks his third straight Open victory from post eight, millionaire Sunfire Blue Chip, and YS Lotus, who seeks his fifth straight win. After amassing 10 Group 1 victories in Australia and New Zealand, including the Miracle Mile and Victoria Cup, and earning $1.9 million for trainer Cran Dalgety, United States-based owners Rich and Donna Poillucci bought 9-year-old Christen Me earlier this year. The purchase came to the surprise of trainer Jim King, Jr. “He just called one day and said, ‘how about this horse?’ He said, ‘well, I bought him.’ They pick out their own and basically, they just send them.” Although King didn’t know much about Christen Me when he arrived, he soon learned from his fellow trainers and the public that he was involved with something special. “Whenever anything is done, social media, they just respond to him like crazy. He was pretty famous down there,” King said. “I have a lot of friends and associates that are from down there that are here now. They all said, ‘you’re getting who? What?’ ” Christen Me finished fourth in the Group 3 The Founders 1700 Pace in his final New Zealand start March 3. Christen Me recorded his first victory since May 2016 in his debut for King in an overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia May 14. Christen Me then finished third in a preferred at The Meadowlands May 21, pacing a final quarter of : 25.2. “We were quite impressed with him,” King said. “He’s still got the talent, that’s for sure, even though he’s got a little age. He’s still got the talent and the desire.” Christen Me continued to race well, finishing third in the $150,000 Stafford Invitational at Harrah’s. He paced 1:48.2 with a :25.3 final quarter in a preferred at the same venue next out before finishing eighth in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup June 17. After that race, King felt Christen Me wasn’t healthy and gave the gelding a break. “Instead of going excessive with antibiotics and stuff, we give him time,” he explained. “That seems to be what he’s had a lot of during his life because he came here 9 years old with 68 lifetime starts. That’s not many for a horse of that age. I think they had some issues down there with him. He wouldn’t stay healthy because he would bleed and they don’t have the use of lasix down there. That helped make the decision to bring him here.” Although he wasn’t racing, Christen Me didn’t spend much time away from the track. King, who trains with wife Joann, kept Christen Me in light training throughout the summer. That’s the way the “old pro” likes it, said King, who added that Christen Me is good-headed and nice to work around for caretaker Kate Moore. “It’s not like he’s just out in the field and stays there. He’s not that comfortable out by himself for one thing, but we turn horses out real early in the morning before the sun comes up,” he said. “He always stays busy. Even his down time, he’s still in training. We tow him some. Put the lead shank on him and when you’re jogging another one, take him with you. When we back off on him, that’s all we do is back off, we don’t stop.” Christen Me resurfaced in a qualifier at Harrah’s August 1. He won in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:54.0 and returned the following week to win another trial the same way in 1:52.4. King qualified Christen Me a final time at Harrah’s September 12. With Tim Tetrick in the bike, Christen Me won in 1:53.4 with a :26.3 final quarter. “We were just trying to get him back ready. When he goes, of course he’s got to go with the best and a horse like him, you can’t really race into shape. There’s a lot that’s expected of him. First start out of the box, they’re expected to be ready to go,” King said. “We were satisfied with his first qualifier, but his second qualifier was just much, much better. Tim got off and said, ‘this horse needs to go somewhere. He wants to race.’ His determination is just crazy good.” King chose the Open Handicap at Harrington Raceway September 18 for Christen Me’s return. With Tim Tetrick unavailable, King turned to Jordan Stratton, who was in town for the Quillen Memorial. “I texted (Jordan) and told him to give me a call when he had a chance. No quicker than I pushed the button did he answer me back,” King said. “I said, ‘would you mind driving that horse for me?’ ‘For sure,’ he said, ‘I’d love to go with that horse.’ ” After rating in fifth early, Stratton guided Christen Me first-over past the half. Christen Me advanced willingly from 6 1/4 lengths out of it around the third turn, but when Stratton gave a few whip taps approaching the three-quarters, Christen Me accelerated like a wound-up toy car released from a child’s hands. He made short work of a 2 1/2-length deficit and struck the lead on the far turn. Under a hand drive, Christen Me maintained a 1 1/2-length advantage in the stretch to win in 1:53.0. “He raced him very good, like he should,” King said. “He let him slide away a little bit, settled in, set up first-over and when he gave him his cue, he just started marching. He was really, really impressive.” Although Christen Me raced from off the pace in each of his six North American starts to date, King expects the son of Christian Cullen to show speed in Saturday’s Open. Stratton will drive again. “I don’t think he’ll have any problem showing speed. He’ll get started on his way and he does have a start under him. I don’t feel that’s an issue,” King said. “He’ll definitely sit close, I’m sure of it. Jordan has raced him once now and it doesn’t take a guy like Jordan long to get their own opinion of a horse like that and the horse will be ready to go when he gets there, if I’ve done my job, and I think I have. Those guys that race there, they always have respect for good horses that race from the rail. They know they’re going to really get tortured if they overdo it, so I look for him to get away in a good spot.” In addition to the Open Handicap Pace, Saturday’s card also features a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot and a $30,000 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 7:10 p.m. For entries for Saturday’s races, click here. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 29, 2017 - Favored Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $4.30) stalked, then starred, from second-over Friday night (Sept. 29th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried early form post position No. 6 (in one notch after a defection), Newborn Sassy saw Betabcool N (Eric Goodell) through down a reasonable early gauntlet (:27.2, :56.2). Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) then moved from fourth going toward a 1:24.2 three-quarters. Betbacool N had a length-and-a-half to play with in and out of the final turn, but playtime was about to end. Newborn Sassy launched around her stagnant tow, then mowed down the leader. The margin was three-quarters of a length in a flat 1:53. Betabcool N held second over a pocketed Dewar N Soda (Eric Abbatiello), with Lispatty (George Brennan) and a returning Diva's Image (Pat Lachance) rounding out the payees. For 'Sassy,' a 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Jim King Jr and CC Racing, it was her seventh win in a dozen seasonal starts (career earnings in excess of $700,000). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $12.60, with the triple returning $98 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday September 8, 2017- Odds-on Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3.70) overcame seven harness racing rivals and a scattering Friday night (Sept. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 5, 'Sassy' watched as Jag Out (George Brennan) leave around Lovineveryminute (Brent Holland), paying a :26.4, first-quarter privilege for the lead. In the second turn, the latter was attempting to leapfrog past the former when the pair locked wheels. That unscheduled bit of loveliness caused all the ladies in behind to alter their routes, with any number either breaking and/or going wide and 59-1 longshot trailer Betabcool N (Greg Merton) leaving the course. After the discourse, Newborn Sassy-one of the those breakers-righted the ship and moved to the lead, with Betabcool N taking the very abbreviated way back to the oval and into the pocket. The half was a an incident-slowed :58.1, after which 'Sassy' finished it off (1:26.1, 1:54.3). The margin was a length-and-a-half into the lane and a length-and-three-quarters at the wire. Betabcool N was second, with Princess Fabulosa (Eric Goodell), HP Sissy (Brian Sears) and Acefourtyfour Alex (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the remainder. After a lengthy inquiry, the judges made no placements, deeming Betabcool N should not be penalized for shortening her trip to avoid the impediments in front of her. For Newborn Sassy, a 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Jim King Jr. CC Racing LLC, it was her sixth win in 10 seasonal starts (career 4-for-5 here, including last season's Lady Maud). The exacta paid $199, the triple returned $807 and the superfecta paid $17,433 (base $2 payout). Frank Drucker

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harness racing owner Jo Ann Looney-King, trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Victor Kirby swept all three $20,000 divisions of the second leg of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) stakes Tuesday at Harrington Raceway. King's Lillisbagsrpacked ($3, Victor Kirby) prevailed in the first split in 1:55.1 over Giga Spin and A Lady Sizzling. Trained by Jim King Jr., the daughter of Roddy's Bags Again notched her third career win. The same connections prevailed in the second division with Logan's Girl ($2.40, Kirby) who was a 1:55 winner over Lunar Phase and Diva Demands. The Roddy's Bags Again filly completed a sweep of her elimination divisions, as she did at Dover Downs before finishing second in the $100,000 final on April 11. The King connection struck again in the final division with a 1:55.1 win with Spanish Dream ($11.40), who narrowly defeated Free Flight Fran, who had won five straight, and Westwind Roddylee. The $100,000 DSBF finals will be contested on July 27 during the Delaware State Fair. Allan Davis and Tony Morgan joined Kirby with a driving triple. Roberts had a double. One of the races not won by King, Kirby, Morgan or Davis was the overnight feature, in which Mike Hall's St Kitts ($38, Jon Roberts) won the $16,000 Mares Open in 1:53.1 for trainer Doug Lewis. Four divisions of DSBF 3-year-old trotters will headline the Wednesday program. Matthew Sparacino

Columbus, OH --- She and her husband already have Delaware champion Logan’s Girl, stand-out Newborn Sassy, the top-class Purrfect Bags, the 2015 North America Cup winner in Wakizashi Hanover and a former New Zealand Horse of the Year in Christen Me, but there is one other horse in the care of Jo Ann Looney-King and Jim King Jr. who is intent on accumulating her own accolades rather than linger in the shadows of her harness racing barnmates and that is Nike Franco N. The New Zealand-bred, who competed in Australia, collected $321,393 from 33 trips to the post, with 18 victories, established several track records and has defeated males on multiple occasions. She has yet, however, to capture her first stakes final on her new continent and will seek to accomplish that task on Saturday (June 17) in the C$365,000 Roses Are Red final at Mohawk Racetrack. “She is just her own woman,” said Looney-King. “That is about the best way to size her up and she knows she is her own woman. She just takes everything as it comes and goes about her business.” Like Christen Me, Nike Franco is owned by Richard Poillucci and will be steered by her regular reinsman, Tim Tetrick, on Saturday. The duo will leave from post position three in the field of 10. Although the formidable Lady Shadow is the morning line favorite at 6-5, Nike Franco is the second selection at 2-1 off her powerful 1:49.2 performance in her elimination last week. “We knew she would race well like she always does, but we did not expect that,” said Looney-King. “Just watching her was impressive and Timmy always puts her, like he does with all the horses he drives, in the right spot to win. She certainly was ready last week and we hope to see that again from her, but this is a tough group of mares, especially with Lady Shadow in there, so she will need to be at her best. Nike raced great at Chester against her (second in the Betsy Ross Invitational) but she just could not catch her.” In fact, one of the reasons Tetrick is so enamored with this mare is directly related to the determination she demonstrated in that event to finish a swiftly-charging second. “I love Nike Franco,” he said. “I think she’s a great mare. I don’t think people in America have seen what she can do yet. I’m a very firm believer in her and I don’t think anybody knows (how good she can be). All I know is when I ask her to do something, she does it. Even at Chester when I was in a terrible spot she kept digging. She made up five lengths at Chester in a (1):49 mile being three-wide around the last turn. I race there all the time and horses do not do that.” Since her intercontinental transition, Nike Franco has compiled a record of 10-7-2-0 and earned $131,625. The only time she has failed to hit the board was a seventh place finish in the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on March 17, but she certainly had an excuse. “We were really looking forward to racing her in that series, but she ended up being pretty sick and we just weren’t going to push her,” Looney-King said. “It’s a long season and that’s what we try to do is keep the horses happy and healthy as they go through it.” Nike Franco also has regal blood flowing through her veins as the daughter of McArdle's dam, Nearea Franco, was a New Zealand champion and her granddam No Paba, is a half-sibling to 1990 Horse of the Year Beach Towel. King claims the 7-year-old mare even has her own fan club. “She attracts attention wherever she goes,” Looney-King said. “In fact, there are still people in Australia that are watching her over here and the girl who used to take care of her, Amanda Grieve, makes sure she is plugged in to her every move. She’s just a bay mare with her own way about her. Jim and I are just very lucky to have horses like her and all our horses this year. We remind ourselves every day how fortunate we are with them and for our family.” As her fans prepare to witness Nike Franco's second performance North of the Border, her driver is counting on her to illustrate just why those that come in contact with her become so attached. “Last week she won in (1):49 just as easy as you would want a horse to win,” Tetrick said. “It’s a very tough group. Lady Shadow is the horse to beat, but in my heart, if I can keep close to her, I think mine (this mare) can out-kick her; if I can just stay close to her.” * * * * * * Two-time defending champion Lady Shadow heads to this year’s Roses Are Red final off a 1:50.2 victory in her elimination last week, pushing her win streak to six races dating back to last year. She has won 14 of her last 16 races, a stretch that began with her triumph in her Roses Are Red elim last June. She won last year’s final in 1:48.1, just one-fifth of a second off Anndrovette’s stakes record. With a victory Saturday, Lady Shadow would join Anndrovette as the only three-time winners of the Roses Are Red. Anndrovette accomplished the feat from 2012-14. “She’s vicious,” said Lady Shadow’s driver Yannick Gingras. “I think she’s the one to beat. I’m very confident in her. She’s got big lungs. She can go those :27 quarters all day long. She’s got six of them in her. She never gets tired.” Lady Shadow was fifth at the opening quarter of her elimination before embarking on a first-over march to victory. “Sometimes you over-think stuff,” Gingras said. “I was trying to race her easy and get her a covered-up trip and it kind of worked against me. She had to work harder coming first up than if I’d just put her on the front. She was really good.” Lady Shadow, a 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella, has won 31 of 58 career races and earned $1.72 million. She is owned by David Kryway, Carl Atley, Ed Gold, and BFJ Stable and trained by Ron Adams. “Let’s face it, Lady Shadow has been tremendous,” said Tom Fanning, who trains Frost Damage Blues, the winner of the first of last week’s three eliminations. “Nike Franco is really good. I think there are a couple other ones, us included, that if things work right can be very competitive in there. It’s a competitive bunch this year.” Frost Damage Blues, owned by blueberry magnate Bill Augustine, won her elimination in 1:50.1 with a rally from mid-pack at the race’s midpoint. James MacDonald handled the driving and will be back in the sulky for the final. “She got a great trip,” Fanning said. “She likes those trips; she’ll fire off of that for sure.” A 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Art Matters, Frost Damage Blues has won 14 of 28 career races and earned $180,938. She finished third in last year’s Breeders Crown Mare Pace. “She’s been good,” Fanning said. “She’s filled out. I’m happy with how she is. The best thing about her is she just tries hard. Most of them don’t try as hard as they can. She is one of the few that does.” Following is the field for the Roses Are Red. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Bernadette-David Miller-Ron Adams-20/1  2-Frost Damage Blues-James MacDonald-Tom Fanning-6/1  3-Nike Franco N-Tim Tetrick- Jo Ann Looney King-2/1  4-Lady Shadow-Yannick Gingras-Ron Adams-6/5  5-Wrangler Magic-Louis-Philippe Roy-Rene Allard-8/1  6-Call Me Queen Be-Scott Zeron-Tony O'Sullivan-10/1  7-Witch Dali-Doug McNair-Richard Moreau-20/1  8-Penpal-Patrick Lachance-Patrick Lachance-15/1  9-Pure Country-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-8/1  10-Prairie Sweetheart-Matt Kakaley-Tony O'Sullivan-20/1 by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor  Ken Weingartner also contributed to this report

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harness racing owner Jo Ann Looney-King's Purrfect Bags ($9.80, Ross Wolfenden) recorded her 27th career win Tuesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:53 in the $15,000 Mares Open. Arts Jem assumed the early lead in a contested opening quarter in 27.2 seconds while Purrfect Bags (Roddy's Bags Again) challenged and eventually cleared the former as the field of six reached the half-mile mark in 55.2 seconds. Through three-quarters in 1:24.3, Hostess Lisa maintained a fierce first over charge but was unable to get to Purrfect Bags who was a half-length winner. Hostess Lisa was second with Arts Jem third. A former Harrington horse of the meet, Purrfect Bags is trained by Jim King Jr. It was one of three wins on the program for Wolfenden. On the undercard, Louis Catana and Vince Bradley's Matinee Dragon ($19, Allan Davis) prevailed in a $10,000 conditioned pace for mare pacers in 1:52.4. It was the 24th career win for the 7-year-old daughter of the late stallion Dragon Again. Bradley had an owner/trainer double. Matthew Sparacino    

Jim King Jr. and Tim Tetrick's Powerful Charger ($22, Montrell Teague) was an upset harness racing winner in the $17,500 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:57.2 over a sloppy racetrack. In the top weekly overnight event for trotters on the circuit, Spunky Jack made the early lead before Awsome Valley went back to the front at the quarter mile in 29 seconds. The 7-year-old 6-to-5 favorite Awsome Valley then marched through remaining fractions of 58.2 and 1:27.4 with Hemi Seelster applying heavy pressure. Powerful Charger followed that live cover and surged in deep stretch for a narrow win. Hemi Seelster was second. Awsome Valley finished third. It was the 36th career win for Powerful Charger who was a former Harrington horse of the meet. Victor Kirby had three winners on the program. Teague had a driving double. Meanwhile, once again the pick five (50-cent based wager, races 7-11) went unsolved and now has a carryover of $10,023.26 heading into the Thursday program. Track officials have guaranteed a $25,000 pool for Thursday. Matthew Sparacino

Janet Hudson's Just A Jolt with harness racing driver Victor Kirby at the controls returned to his winning ways with a wire-to-wire 1:53 score in the $15,000 Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway. Trained by Jim King Jr., the 6-year-old Village Jolt notched his fourth win of the year and 34th lifetime with a front stepping triumph over Sparky Mark and Special T Rocks. The win gave Kirby a driving double. Ross Wolfenden had three driving wins. Doug Lewis and Al Carter's Captive Audience ($6.80, George Dennis), notched his second sub-1:52 win at the current meet with a 1:51.2 score in the $12,500 Open II for trainer Lewis. The 6-year-old Art Major stallion took no prisoners in his front end sprint over Vapour N, who was a game second and show dough acquiring Bandolito. Trainer William Bright and Carlo Poliseno each had a double.  

War Cry Hall took the lead after the quarter and was on the way to his third win of the year romping to an easy triumph in the $25,000 Open trot on Wednesday, March 9 at Dover Downs. It was one of four wins for harness racing driver Tim Tetrick. Trained by Jim King for RBH Ventures, the winning time of 1:53 equaled the fastest trot at the track in 2016 set earlier by I Like My Boss in early January. Six Gun Hall (George Dennis) got a good spot sitting second behind the leader and finished there. Lucky Ten K (Eddie Dennis) got up for third. In the $18,500 4&5-Year-Old Trot, the only five-year-old, Inner Peace followed front-trotting Royal Becca J (Jack Parker Jr.) until early in the stretch before moving to the outside and finally corralling the leader nearing the finish line for a 1:53.1 lifetime best for owners J.Craparotta & P Berry Racing. Traci Berry trains the Crazed-Peace Of Mind gelding who took a new lifetime mark. Race favorite Celebrity Pegasus (All Davis) had to settle for a third. Tony Morgan posted his third win of the day driving Awsome Valley into a three-wide move approaching the final turn and pulling away to a 1:53.4 score in the $15,000 sub-feature trot. Kevin Lare conditions the veteran Valley Victor-Nannina Ambrosio gelding for owner Frank Chick. Awsome Valley won for the 30th time in his career with lifetime earnings climbing to $$30,908. Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) finished second for the third time this year while Jailhouse Diva (Montrell Teague) came from last in the nine-horse field to take third. In one of two $14,000 4&5-Year-Old trots, Tetrick returned to the winner's circle after piloting My Way The Highway to his second straight victory in 1:55.4 holding off Doc Simon's Dream (Ross Wolfenden). Windsun Cobra (Pat Berry) closed well to take third place. Steve Moss and trainer Leigh Raymer own the winner a four-year-old daughter of Muscle Massive-Emerald Myway. Tetrick also drove Ted Gewertz's Azucar, by Crazed-Lindy Loves Candy, trained by Scott DiDomenico, to his second straight win. In the other division, Paging Doctorlindy got away from the outside to get to the front and then led the rest of the mile for his second victory this meet and third of the year with Allan Davis driving for the JL Cruze ownership, Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta and for Minisink Farms. The Cantab Hall -Lindy's RN four-year-old gelding is trained by Eric Ell. PL Incoming (Tetrick) came home quickly to finish second in front of Lucky Ten K (E.Dennis), third. The almost Summer-like weather set the stage for Chris Sharpe's sharp pacer PT Storm, driven by Art Stafford Jr., to a lifetime record, 1:51 conquest, in a Delaware $5,000 Claiming Allowance. While Tim Tetrick drove four winners, Tony Morgan and Allan Davis were right behind with three. Owner-trainer Kathleen Brewer also had a triple. Jim King had a training double. BLACK AQUILA A, NEW PATROL PUT STREAKS ON LINE THURSDAY Black Aquila A and New Patrol, both win two race win streaks, collide in the Thursday, March 10 feature race at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. New Patrol has used wire-to-wire performances to win his last two starts and three winners in his last five outings for owner Frank Chick and trainer Kevin Lare. Tony Morgan will be his driver this week. Black Aquila A has come into top form for owners Bonuccelli and Breakaway racing. With Corey Callahan competing in the International Driver Challenge in Australia, Nick Callahan will be at the controls this time. Joan Dalphon and Elanor Laws’ Don’t Ya Know, with Sean Bier, heads the list of challengers. Don’t Ya Know drops down in class after racing in the Delaware Special early this meet. Art Stafford Jr. and trainer Andrew Stafford’s Framed Art is another who should enjoy a change in starting positions as will Race Me Villa, owned by Kathleen Mofield, John Dickens and KDK Standardbreds, with Montrell Teague who gets a major change in post position moving from the outside to the middle of the eight starters.   Dave Banks and Layfield Horses’ All Gold, driven by Ross Wolfenden, has been no farther back than three times third with two wins in his last five outings. The two outside starters cannot be ignored. Rock N’Roll Jet with Jonathan Roberts, finished second last week while PT Stable’s classy Summer Camp (Vic Kirby) must overcome starting from the outside. There is no live racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Racing resumes Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. By popular demand the acclaimed Harness Buffet is now back in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant. Call for reservations 302-674-4600. There is no charge for parking and admission at Dover Downs. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Marv Bachrad

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