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HARRINGTON, Del. - There isn't much Joann Looney-King's Purrfect Bags hasn't accomplished this harness racing season. On Tuesday night at Harrington Raceway the accomplished 3-year-old filly pacer continued her stellar 2015 campaign with a 1:52.4 win versus older mares in the $16,000 Fillies and Mares Open. The Roddy's Bags Again filly was sent for the lead approaching the quarter-mile as the 1-to-5 favorite and never relented with a widening four length lead at the wire over her closest pursuer Matinee Dragon and A La Notte Hanover. Trained by Jim King Jr., Purrfect Bags ($2.60, Victor Kirby), a former $2,000 yearling purchase, has won 16 of 19 lifetime starts, and prevailed with grand circuit company in the Lismore and Lady Maud races at Yonkers Raceway in addition to a victory in a Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) final event at Harrington. Purrfect Bags has reeled in more than $225,000 in purses this season. Kirby has been aboard the filly in most of her starts this season. While most of her wins have come against 3-year-olds, Tuesday's win was her second versus older mares - whom she also defeated at Northfield Park on August 14. Matthew Sparacino  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Jim King Jr. and Tim Tetrick's Powerful Charger ($4, Victor Kirby) notched his ninth win of the year Wednesday with a 1:55.2 triumph in the $16,000 Open Trot at Harrington Raceway. The 7-year-old Powerful Emotion gelding assumed command approaching the quarter mile from Chinese Cuisine and never relented with an open length win for trainer/co-owner King Jr. Chinese Cuisine held second while Wingus finished third. The win pushed Powerful Charger just shy of the $100,000 seasonal earnings mark. Veteran pacer Jingle Bell Rocker won his seventh race in a row in the seventh race. The 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding has been dominant at the $7,500 claiming level and recorded his 12th win of the year for owner Tina Clark in 1:54.1. Driven by Ross Wolfenden, Jingle Bell Rocker is trained by Bobby Clark. Wolfenden, Kirby and Tony Morgan each had driving doubles on the program. Matthew Sparacino  

Janet Hudson's Just a Jolt ($3.20, Victor Kirby) notched his second straight $40,000 Governor's Cup Thursday at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway with a 1:51.2 triumph as part of the annual Governor's Day program during the Delaware State Fair. As the richest program of the year for Delaware harness racing, $610,000 in total purses was up for grabs for exclusively Delaware owned and/or bred horses. The popular local event puts bragging rights at stake as a focal point for many Delaware horsemen on the annual day that is laden with legislators, dignitaries and memorial races. Just A Jolt, a Jim King Jr.-trainee was sent immediately for the lead and never relented as he held off a game Bandolito, who was second and Papa Ray who was a solid third. Just A Jolt recorded his sixth win of the season as his earnings ballooned to more than $112,000 in 2015. The Honorable Governor Jack Markell was on hand to present the trophy to the winning connections. Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) final events were contested for 3-year-olds. The first featured a track record for another King Jr. trainee, as Purrfect Bags ($4.80, Kirby) cruised to a decisive 1:51.2 victory, a new track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Purrfect Bags held off Gigi Deo and Love Forbidden, who rounded out the trifecta. Owned by Joann Looney-King, the Roddy's Bags Again filly, Purrfect Bags, reset the track record formerly co-held by Seboomook Fool Yah and Totally Rusty (1:52.1). The filly trotting final was the next DSBF event as Callmemza ($17.60, Jon Roberts) pulled off a minor upset over Cuddle Punk and My Fire Cloud Too in 1:57.4. A daughter of Great George Two, Callmemza notched her eighth career win for co-owner/trainer Bib Roberts, and co-owners Graham Grace Stables and M&W Stables. In the colt and gelding trotting final, 1-to-9 favorite Go Byem broke stride and changed the complexion of the race as Ed Kimmel's and Don and David Lee Wiest's Perfect Vangogh ($116.60, Tony Morgan) ended up loose on the lead and prevailed over Political Foe in 1:57.4. Go Byem made a dramatic recovery to finish third. A son of JM Vangogh, Perfect Vangogh earned his third career win. The winner was trained by Don Wiest. The pacing colt and geldings final went to Sharon Wyatt, Robin West and Ron Benton's Remember Me VK ($3.20, Montrell Teague) who dazzled with a 1:51.2 score over Roddy's Hot Again and Quick Art. Trained by Bob Wyatt, the Art Director gelding recorded his ninth career win in 12 starts. In the $30,000 Legislator's Cup, featuring the state's top pacing mares, Jason and Susan Skinner's BJ's Sweetheart ($4.20, Morgan) scored in 1:53. The $30,000 Charles Murphy Jr. Memorial Trot went to Gary Evans and Foulk Stables Prayer Session (Corey Callahan, $2.60) in 1:55. Matt Sparacino

Jim King Jr. and Tim Tetrick's Powerful Charger ($8.40, Victor Kirby) notched his seventh win of the year Wednesday in his 1:54.1 triumph in the $16,000 Open Trot at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway. The 7-year-old Powerful Emotion gelding stalked pacesetter Tough Mac throughout the mile before edging clear of that rival in the final strides. Rolls Blue Chip finished third. Trained by co-owner King Jr., it was the 29th career win for Powerful Charger. It is sure to be an eventful week for trainer King Jr., who trains Wakizashi Hanover (5/2, Tim Tetrick), a North American Cup elimination winner who will compete in the $1 million final at Mohawk Racetrack (Ontario, Canada) on Saturday June 20. The North American Cup Final is slated as the 12th race on the Mohawk program with an estimated post time of 10:40 p.m. Kirby had three driving wins on the program. Art Stafford Jr. had two wins. Matt Sparacino

HARRINGTON, Del. - John McGill's Star Keeper with harness racing driver Jim Morand) capitalized on a perfect trip to score her 27th career win Tuesday in 1:54.4 in the $16,000 Mares Open at Harrington Raceway. Morand, winner of more than 9,100 races in his career, positioned the 8-year-old Four Starzzz Shark mare behind pacesetter Jeremes Sweetheart, who led throughout. Star Keeper found daylight in the stretch and responded with a strong surge to clear the leader and held off a fast closing Embassy Seelster, who was second, for the win. Trained by Jim King Jr., it was the fifth win of the year for Star Keeper. Morand and George Dennis each had three wins on the card. Victor Kirby. Allan Davis and Ross Wolfenden each had a driving double. Trainer Eli Scott Jr. had a training double. Matthew Sparacino  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 30, 2015 - After a $7,500 farm buyback (In the Arsenal) won the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace Saturday night, the harness racing bargain-basement theme continued. Purrfect Bags (Vic Kirby, $24.60), who sold for all of $2,000, rolling through the lane, winning Yonkers Raceway's $117,724 Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Unraced parimtuelly for 52 days and with three qualifiers lead into her local debut, Purrfect Bags-from post No. 5-watched as Totally Rusty (Jason Bartlett), the only $15,000 supplemental entrant into this race, made the lead before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. That one's wagering partner, Strut My Stuff (Jordan Stratton) was settled, as Sassa Hanover (George Brennan), the 2-5 choice, received her marching orders. "Sass" found the front, setting a spiffy :55.3 half when Bedroomconfessions (Brian Sears) moved from fourth. Purrfect Bags-from post No. 5-was behind her in and out of a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Sassa Hanover had a couple of lengths turning for home, but Purrfect Bags was launched. She went up and over the leader, widening to win by two lengths in a season's-best 1:52.3. Sassa Hanover was second, with Bedroomconfessions third. Strut My Stuff and Totally Rusty settled for the minor moolah, while Special Package (Dave Miller) was outrun. For third choice Purrfect Bags, a daughter of Roddy's Bags Again owned by JoAnn Looney-King and trained her husband, Jim King Jr., it was her third win in four '15 tries (career 10-for-12, earnings of $205,612). The exacta paid $48.80, with no triple wagering due to the abbreviated number (five) of wagering interests. "(Trainer) Jim) (King Jr.) had her very sharp," Kirby said. "She really only had to pace about an eighth of a mile, and when I asked her, she just put her butt down and took off. "Her last race (statebred final at Dover) was all my fault. I drove her very badly. She has a burst of speed, I'm just glad to have a chance to drive her and tonight was definitely worth the trip." "When I bought her (for $2,000), my husband wasn't very pleased, Ms. King-who won this race a season ago as trainer of Tyra--said. "She the same as Tyra. Both are very fast and both try very hard." Frank Drucker

Jim King Jr. and Tim Tetrick's Powerful Charger (Victor Kirby, $2.60) notched his sixth win of the year Wednesday with a 1:55.3 triumph in the $16,000 Open Trot at Harrington Raceway. The 7-year-old Powerful Emotion gelding grinded away first over on pacesetter Spunky Jack and edged clear at the top of the stretch for a decisive score over I'm So Striking and I Like My Boss. Trained by King Jr., it was the 28th career win for Powerful Charger. Trainer John Wilkerson had a double on the night with trotters Wingus ($5) and Keystone Orion ($8.40). Kirby, Montrell Teague and George Dennis each had a driving double. Matt Sparacino

J&M Racing Stable's Embassy Seelster ($10.80, George Dennis) set a new track record for aged pacing mares with a 1:51.3 triumph in the $12,500 Mares Open II at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway. The Doug Lewis-trainee led most of the way in her half-length victory over San Fran Lady N and Star Keeper. The 5-year-old Modern Art mare reset the track record, formerly held by Ladyfield (1:51.4) set in 2008. It was also a new national season's mark for pacing mares in North America on a half mile racetrack. That mark was formerly held by runner up San Fran Lady N (1:52.1). Harrington currently holds five of the nine national season's marks on half-mile racetracks. Also Encouraging ($2.10, Jim Morand), a top sophomore filly from last year who made $316,761, returned for her first win in her second start of this season for owners Richard Lombardo and David Kryway with a 1:53.3 score for trainer Josh Green in a $10,000 conditioned event. Another talented mare on the comeback trail notched her first 4-year-old win as CC Racing's Tyra ($4.80, Victor Kirby) capitalized on a class drop for a 1:54 win in a $10,000 conditioned pace. Trained by Jim King Jr., the 4-year-old Mcardle mare was a beaten favorite in Open company last week but helped to atone for that defeat with her first win in three starts this year. George Dennis had three driving wins on the program. Matt Sparacino  

HARRINGTON, Del. - A field of six talented trotters with 125 career combined lifetime wins lined up behind the starting gate in Harrington Raceway's $16,000 featured Open Trot Wednesday. When the dust settled it was Jim King Jr., and Tim Tetrick's Powerful Charger ($10.40, Victor Kirby) earning his second straight win in 1:54.3 over Traverse Seelster and Wingus. Powerful Charger received a second over trip behind Traverse Seelster, who catapulted to the front over a tiring Pocket Trip. 'Charger' then assumed pocket position and surged by Traverse Seelster late for his fifth win of the year. Allan Davis had three wins on the program. Crissman Inc.'s trotter Dash for the Cash ($3.40, Tony Morgan) improved to 2-for-2 for his new barn (trainer Tim Crissman) with a 1:56.3 win. Ross Wolfenden had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino    

After more than 40 years of, in his own words, "dabbling" in harness racing, Nova Scotia's Bruce Kennedy figured time was of the essence if he was ever going to find a big-time stakes horse. Kennedy, who is in the convenience store business in Bible Hill, hopes he has finally found one in 3-year-old male pacer Wakizashi Hanover. And he is bringing a group of friends and new owners along for the ride. "I had to get one in a hurry or I wasn't going to get one," the 74-year-old Kennedy said with a laugh. "Maybe this is our lucky strike." Last year, Wakizashi Hanover had two wins and three second-place finishes in six starts, earning $104,089 for the Kennedy-led Tri County Stable. One of his seconds was by a neck and another by a nose, and his only off-the-board effort was a fifth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He set a track record at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with a 1:51 triumph in July. Wakizashi Hanover, trained by Jim King Jr. and Joann Looney-King, won his first start this year in a conditioned race at Harrah's Philadelphia and is now getting ready for a $32,000 division of the Pennsylvania All Stars on Saturday at Pocono Downs. Jim Morrill Jr. will drive the gelding, who is 5-1 on the morning line. The Ron Burke-trained entry of Yankee Bounty, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ, and Rich Wisdom is the 2-1 choice. "We had a great year with him last year," Kennedy said about Wakizashi Hanover. "He was very consistent for us. "He's fully loaded this year (for stakes races). We didn't load him up last year because we didn't have any idea that he would be a good horse. We thought he might be OK, we thought he would make the races, but had no dreams of getting in the top crowd. So we decided to take his (2014) earnings and reinvest in him." Wakizashi Hanover is eligible to a number of major stakes, including the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Battle of the Brandywine, and Max C. Hempt Memorial. A son of Dragon Again out of the mare Western Gesture, Wakizashi Hanover was purchased for $23,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a full brother to female pacer Sand Gesture, who won a Matron Stakes elimination in 2010 and finished second in a number of stakes, and his family also includes stakes-winner Perfect Gesture. "Wakizashi Hanover was one of probably 10 that we shopped down," said Kennedy, who received assistance from Brent MacGrath of Somebeachsomewhere fame in finding the yearling. "We weren't looking for an expensive colt. We had four brand new owners out of our six people who were going to purchase him, so we were looking for something that was going to be reasonable. "We liked a lot of things about him. His gait was good. He wasn't a blocky, bulky horse. He wasn't a flashy really extremely attractive horse, but he seemed to do everything right and he seemed to have his parts all in the right place." Wakizashi Hanover has spent his winters in Pinehurst, N.C., with trainer Gordon Corey. It was during a previous trip to Pinehurst several years ago that Kennedy met Jim King. "We had a horse a few years ago that we sent down to Gordon for the winter," Kennedy said. "We went down there and stayed three months with him and jogged and trained. Gordon always had horses for Jimmy King. When it came time to race, we liked what Jimmy was doing and we pushed that horse over to Jimmy to get ready. So it was an easy decision for us to go to Jimmy when we got Wakizashi Hanover." Kennedy owns Wakizashi Hanover with Percy Bonnell, Wayne Burley, David Bugden, David Chabassol, and Dr. Scott Bowen. Last year, Kennedy and some of his fellow owners made the lengthy trip from Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania on three occasions to watch Wakizashi Hanover race. Once, they flew to Philadelphia and back in the same day. "That's commitment," Kennedy said with a laugh. "But he was good enough for us to want to follow. This doesn't come along every year." As Kennedy, with his four decades of activity in the sport - ranging from training, driving and working in an administrative capacity - is well aware. "It's really nice, for the other owners especially," Kennedy said. "What a nice introduction to the industry when you can have a bit of a winner to start out with. They're very excited and I'm more than pleased with him. We're watching and hoping." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Janet Hudson's Just A Jolt ($2.60, Victor Kirby) notched his second straight win Monday at Harrington Raceway in the featured $16,000 Open Handicap for harness racing pacers in 1:51.2. The 5-year-old Village Jolt gelding successfully mounted his attack second over after leader Elite Awards blazed through fractions of 26.1, 54.3 and 1:22.4. 'Jolt' gathered momentum on the outside following Believe This Bob and surged in the final sixteenth of a mile to hit the wire first. Summer Camp, who sat second behind the pacesetter, closed ground late for second, while Believe This Bob finished third. Elite Awards faded to fourth. It was the 24th career win for Just A Jolt, who is trained by Jim King Jr. Kirby had three winners on the program. Tony Morgan also recorded a hat trick, including both halves of the daily double with Bobbies Powerplay ($7.60) and Bold and Brave ($2.80). Matthew Sparacino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 1, 2015 -- Angel Plus, a standout at Pennsylvania Fairs last year, showed that she's elevated her game Friday at The Meadows by capturing the fastest division of a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for harness racing 3-year-old filly pacers. The event was contested over three divisions, with Mezzanine Fashion and Dobre Povedane also taking $20,000 splits. Aaron Merriman enjoyed a stakes double behind Angel Plus and Mezzanine Fashion. Angel Plus was fourth down the backside when Merriman sent her uncovered after the leader, Somewhere Fameous. She cleared comfortably and downed Somewhere Fameous by 2-3/4 lengths in a career-best 1:54.2, with Hashtag Quick third. "She's really matured; she's a lot better filly." said Sam Beegle, who trains the daughter of Quik Pulse Mindale-Crew Angel for Bay Pond Racing Stable. "If she keeps this up, she might graduate to the next level." He said Angel Plus would be pointed to the PA All-Stars at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Mezzanine Fashion also moved first over for Merriman and persevered through the lane, prevailing in 1:54.4, a lifetime mark. Apricot Sour was second, 1/2 length back, while Mistup Magic earned show. "I didn't have to move that early," Merriman said, "but she's kind of a big filly, and I didn't want to move her in the turn. I wanted to get her set up. When I moved her, she really wanted to go. I drove her confidently, and she responded." Jim King, Jr. conditions Mezzanine Fashion, a daughter of Well Said-Catch The Show, for Thomas Kemp. Dobre Povedane and Eloquently Stated are both by Well Said out of daughters of Dragon's Lair, and for awhile during the back half of their split, they were inseparable. Dobre Povedane found just enough for Mike Wilder to hold off Eloquently Stated by a head in 1:55.3, with Doll Fins completing the ticket. Tim Twaddle, who trained Dobre Povedane during her sojourn at The Meadows, said he tweaked her rigging after she broke in the first leg of a recent series. "Before she came here, she had a problem running in, and she was rigged to prevent that," he said. "For whatever reason, on this track, she was going the opposite way. So I just made her more comfortable. Nothing major, really." David Prushnok and John Prushnok campaign Dobre Povedane, who will return to the John Butenschoen stable for the next pair of stallion series legs. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Phone Terror wore down the leader, Certified Ideal, with a determined uncovered bid for Dan Rawlings and defeated her by a nose in 1:53.2. Do Me Honor finished third. Robert Bernard trains Phone Terror, a 6-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Miss Lex who extended her career bankroll to $346,001, for Lucy Raymond. Saturday's Kentucky Derby Day Card at The Meadows features the $62,100 The Meadows Maturity for 4-and-up stallion and gelding trotters as well as the Adios Betty, a $183,216 PA Sires Stake for sophomore filly pacers. First post is 11:25 AM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

HARRINGTON, Del. - Janet Hudson's Just A Jolt ($3) was one of five harness racing winners driven by Victor Kirby as the pacer notched his 23rd career win Monday in the $16,000 Open Pace at Harrington Raceway in 1:51.4. The Jim King Jr-trainee left from post position three and never relinquished the lead upon assuming command approaching the opening quarter mile and held pocket sitting Believe This Bob safe throughout. Jebswesternshake was third. A 5-year-old Village Jolt gelding, Just A Jolt earned his third win of the season. Karen Walls' Elite Awards ($5, George Dennis) captured the $12,500 Open II with a 1:54 front-end score for trainer Ed Walls. The 4-year-old Powerful Toy gelding earned his third win of the season and padded his lifetime bankroll of nearly $250,000. Kirby and King teamed up again when Thomas Kemp's Fire In the Belly ($6) made a backside charge to clear the leader and draw clear by open lengths in the fourth race in 1:51.3. The 4-year-old Real Artist gelding notched his 11th career win for conditioner King. Kirby also piloted People Are Crazy ($3.80) to victory for owners Robin and Jay Breasure in 1:53 in the eighth race, a $10,000 conditioned event for pacers. Kirby notched the grand slam with Harvey Eisman's Touchdown Mindale ($4) in the 12th after a 1:53.4 score and reached the fifth with his own In The Clear ($5.20) in 1:55.2 in the program finale. Tony Morgan had three winners on the program. Matthew Sparacino  

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