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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Always A Virgin gelding Sweet Talkin Satin (Jim Pantaleano), racing for a $10,000 base tag in the Game Of Claims Pacing Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, became the only horse in the Game Of Claims' four levels to win all three of his preliminary legs while succeeding during the Sunday twilight card. The 11-year-old, with a $629,284 career bankroll, posted a 1:53.2 victory over sloppy going, smashing his field by 10¼ lengths.   And if he is to have success in next Sunday $20,000 series Championship, he'll have to do it for yet another new barn - because Sweet Talkin Satin has now been claimed out of all three of those prelim victories. Big Game Hunter (George Napolitano Jr.) posted his second series triumph in another division at this level, joining Myidealson N in having two prelim round successes. The unofficial top nine point winners who appear to have earned their way into their Championship are in order Sweet Talkin Satin, Big Game Hunter, My Idealson N, Better B Rolling, Little Admiral, P-Drive Hanover, Canbec Kingkazimir, Bamski, and Love The Action (who didn't race in leg three after a second and a first earlier, and scraped in by one point); My Alpha Rock N and Spicebomb are the AEs. Horsemen should check with the Pocono Race Office to verify these totals, and to see if anyone is affected by the "no more than two horses for a trainer or owner" rule, especially with horses being claimed. The fastest clocking of the entire twilight card came in the final prelim for $7500-priced horses, when the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Dontcallmefrancis posted a 4¾ length victory in 1:53 for hot-driving Anthony Napolitano, who tied with Matt Kakaley with three sulky successes on the night. Trainer David Russo and owner Santo Farina still have the horse, as he attracted no claims from anybody in all three prelims, two of which he won.   Don'tcallmefrancis was joined in becoming a two-time prelim winner Sunday by the 12-year-old Modern Art gelding R Gauwitz Hanover (Matt Kakaley), a career winner of $478,255, who became the leading pointwinner while winning his section at this level in 1:55 - and who will be changing hands before his $15,000 Championship. The top nine in the quick unofficial calculations were R Gauwitz Hanover, then a tie between Don'tcallmefrancis and Rojan's Way (an earlier two-time winner), Grits N Gravy and Lucky Levis (tie), Luziana and Needless To Say (tie), and Onlythetuffsurvive and Stick With Cramer (tie). Heez Orl Black N is first "on the bubble"; tied for the second "bubble" spot are Durant and Pop Icon. Even these lower-tagged horses attracted eight claimers for $104,000 with a chance at going for "big money" for this type a week hence. The claiming totals for the week were 28 horses changing hands for $641,500; for the six-day meet, "series fever" has prompted 125 moves in the claiming box, to the tune of $2,324,375. Pocono will be hosting its first Monday program of the season at 12:30 p.m.; free program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From PHHA/Pocono Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 17, 2021 -- Challenged inside and out, Hereslooknatyou N dug in late and scored a narrow harness racing victory in Wednesday's co-feature at The Meadows, a $9,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Hereslooknatyou N made an opportunistic quarter-pole move to the front when the break of All Day Sunshine opened a path. But her work wasn't finished, as Amelia's Courage A shot the Lightning Lane and Circle The Page loomed large outside off the final turn. The 5-year-old daughter of He's Watching-May Fly found more for Jim Pantaleano and edged Amelia's Courage A by a head over a sloppy surface. Circle The Page was a close-up third.   Jason Robinson trains the winner for Kimberly Zabielski. In Monday's co-feature, a $9,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot, Mary Mag Delene made a successful local debut, rolling to a facile 1:56.4 victory, just a tick off her lifetime best. Dave Palone piloted the 6-year-old daughter of Dejarmbro-Marigot Express for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Pantaleano and Palone each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Thursday when the 13-race program features a $12,229.75 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. For full race results, click here. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA                                                    

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 12, 2021 -- Tricky Nick, who upset last week at 15-1, delivered again at a price -- this time 8-1 -- in Friday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,000 Conditioned Trot. Tricky Nick was fourth near the three-quarters when he launched the decisive, uncovered move for Jim Pantaleano, gobbling up the leader, Rainbowinthewest, and prevailing in 1:55.1 over a "good" surface. Rainbowinthewest gamely held place, beaten 3-3/4 lengths, with Tequila Talkin third.   Richard Perfido trains Tricky Nick, a 9-year-old Bands Gold Chip-Broader Ambition gelding who lifted his career bankroll to $361,188, for Win Rhythm Stables. Dave Palone, Dan Rawlings and trainer Jason Shaw each enjoyed a three-bagger on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday when the program features a $10,406.52 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. For full results, click here. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 11, 2021 -- Harness racing driver Jim Pantaleano notched career win 8,000 Thursday at The Meadows when he drove Caviart Rockland to victory in the sixth race. A total of 8,000 victories would be impressive for any driver, but it's especially remarkable for Pantaleano, whose driving career began in the most unconventional of ways. The Cleveland native, who grew up in the shadow of Northfield Park, was working as a busboy at Northfield's clubhouse, watching races through the window, and thought he'd like to try that. "I love competing, whether it's playing a board game with family or wrestling in high school," Pantaleano says. "Imagining a career where I got to compete every day was my dream."   Even when he studied for two years at Muskingum College, the dream wouldn't die. "I never even declared a major. I just wasn't finding my way." Instead of returning to school, he went from barn to barn at Northfield, soliciting drives. It was, to say the least, an uncertain path to success, but it worked. Pantaleano drove his first winner in 1985 and enjoyed perhaps his finest season in 2010 when he logged 436 wins, more than $5.4 million in purses and a UDR of .296. Overall, his horses have earned over $58.5 million. Those who've become Pantaleano fans only in recent years may not be aware that he's an accomplished trainer as well, with 1,543 wins and earnings of nearly $6.2 million since 1991 when the USTA began tracking trainer statistics. But he hasn't sent out a horse since 2009. "When I went to the East Coast to drive," he recalls, "I found that catch driving there was a full-time job. You can't really train a stable and catch drive there. You can't be in five places at once." These days, Pantaleano leaves the training to his wife Christen. "She lets me help her, mostly with the grunt work," he jokes. For the future, Pantaleano indicated he doesn't plan any major changes. "My goals are to stay healthy and keep winning races. As long as I'm able to compete at a high level, I'll just keep doing it. I'd rather race for a $4,000 purse with a horse that's competitive than drive in a $400,000 race with an also-ran." Macadoodledoo stung The Wall to the quarter, then powered by him in the Lightning Lane to capture Thursday’s $16,200 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. The Wall was forced to a 26.4 opening panel over a sloppy surface before Macadoodledoo released him to the pocket. That was just the edge the 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Pirouette Hanover gelding needed, as he brushed for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and defeated The Wall by 1/2 length in 1:52. Rock Candy found late room for third. Ron Burke trains Macadoodledoo, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $221,425, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. Aaron Merriman piloted four winners on the 13-race card while Wrenn and Burke teamed for three victories. Dave Palone also enjoyed a productive Thursday with three wins. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 4, 2021 -- It took him two moves to do it, but All About Heaven pulled off a 9-1 upset in Thursday's harness racing co-feature at The Meadows, a $9,800 Claiming Handicap Pace. All About Heaven left from post 9 and was able to find a seat fifth. But the 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven-Ain't That Funny was out before the half for driver Jim Pantaleano with an extended uncovered move that carried him to the top. He thwarted the late charge of Winning Is Sweet to down him by a head in 1:51.4, matching his career best. Whos Better completed the ticket.   Neil Balcerak trains the winner for Matthew Morrison, who realized immediate dividends after claiming the horse for $15,000 last week. In Thursday's co-feature, a $9,800 Conditioned Pace, East Beach rallied from well back to score for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. Aaron Merriman collected four wins and Burke three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday when the 13-race program features a $2,767.09 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 4, 2020 -- Sansovina Hanover left the field gasping with a 27.1 third quarter and rolled home in a career-best 1:50.3 in Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $10,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Sansovina Hanover quarter-poled to the lead for Jim Pantaleano, but it was only when she threw down her sizzling third panel that she wrapped up the race. The 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Shacked Up defeated early leader Amasa Arion by 5-1/4 lengths while the first-over Laughing Emoji N completed the ticket.   Doug Snyder trains Sansovina Hanover, who now boasts a career bankroll of $350,697, for Frank Poerio, Jr. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the 13-race program features a $107,976.30 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA                                                                    

WASHINGTON, PA  -- Racing confidently down in class, Sansovina Hanover made the lead early and made it stick late in Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $10,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Jim Pantaleano didn't rush Sansovina Hanover from the gate, but when the 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Shacked Up quarter-poled to the point, she had plenty in reserve to hold off Always Giggling by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.2 in the slop. Dancing Lisa finished third.   Doug Snyder trains Sansovina Hanover, who pushed her career bankroll to $345,497, for Frank Poerio, Jr. Mike Wilder, who collected four wins on Monday's card, added three more Tuesday while trainer Dirk Simpson also enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 13-race program features a $79,836.62 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $973.80 carryover in the Pick 5 (race 8). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 9, 2020 -- Sansovina Hanover blistered the back half in 54.4, a wicked two panels that kept her harness racing challengers at bay and facilitated an easy victory in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $10,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Jim Pantaleano sent Sansovina Hanover to the point with a quarter-pole move, then threw on the brakes in a 29 second quarter. Once the 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Shacked Up turned on the juice, no one could gain ground, including the pocket-sitting Amelia's Courage A, who finished second by a length. Sanna Cruza A completed the ticket in the 1:51.1 mile.   Doug Snyder trains Sansovina Hanover, who now boasts $338,325 in career earnings, for Frank Poerio, Jr. Dave Palone collected four wins, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke, on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the 13-race program features a $16,368.04 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA      

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 19, 2020 -- It took Whats The Word more than a quarter to reach the front post 8, but he was unassailable once there, drawing off to capture Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $10,800 Conditioned Trot. Once Whats The Word crossed over, he discouraged the formation of an effective outside flow and scored handily in 1:53.3. Just Maybe The One rallied for second, beaten 3-3/4 lengths, while Rainbowinthewest earned show.   Scott Betts trains the winner, a 5-year-old son of Donato Hanover-Your Word Is Good who pushed his career bankroll to $365,005, for Tim Betts, Nick Catalano, Stephen Moss and Keith Pippi. Mike Wilder piloted four winners and Tony Hall three n the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the 15-race program features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers --a $188,756 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as an $18,225.31 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 29, 2020 -- Dancin Dragon sat comfortably in the pocket behind the dueling harness racing leaders, then blew by in the lane to capture Monday's $17,900 Open Handicap Pace in a career-best clocking of 1:49.3 for the one mile race at The Meadows. While the first-over Rock Candy threw down a protracted challenge to Windsong Leo on the point, Dancin Dragon and Jim Pantaleano were saving ground in the pocket. When Rock Candy finally backed off at the top of the lane, Dancin Dragon wheeled by Windsong Leo and downed him by 3/4 lengths. Major Nemesis came from far back for show.   Randy Bendis conditions Dancin Dragon, a 5-year-old Dragon Again-McDance Desire gelding who lifted his bankroll to $271,625, and owns with Pollack Racing LLC. Dave Palone and Mike Wilder each collected three wins on the 14-race card. Tuesday's 15-race program at The Meadows features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $5,014.15 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5; a $5,000 total pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3); a $2,025.10 carryover in the early Pick 5 (race 2). First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 19, 2020 -- Tamar belatedly found the wide-open Lightning Lane, barreled through and captured Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot. When driver Jim Pantaleano and Tamar found themselves blocked behind dueling leaders out of the final turn, they initially abandoned the cones to look for a seam. But when the Lightning Lane beckoned, the duo gladly accepted the offer and scored in 1:56.2, 1/2 length better than Bessie. Long shot Cincinnati Miss completed the ticket.   Carl Cocciolone train Tamar, a 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-High Gear Sahbra who boosted her career bankroll to $115,309, and owns with Mark Sosovicka. Mike Wilder and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features a $6,020.53 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 18, 2019 -- Dave Palone drove a single winner Monday at The Meadows to lift his career total to 18,998. He'll have plenty of chances to reach the 19,000 milestone Tuesday, with 12 assignments scheduled on the 13-race card. Meanwhile, the jackpot for the Super Hi-5 grew to $40,921.13. The wager is offered on the final race of each live card. Tuesday's program also features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 3-6). Nearly lost in the excitement over Palone's quest and the Super Hi-5 was the big day achieved by Jim Pantaleano, who collected five wins on the program. In Monday's feature, a $20,000 Open Handicap Trot, Final Breath attacked the leader, Donatover, down the backside and passed him into the final turn, downing him by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:53.4. Early leader Supergirl Riley finished third. Tony Hall piloted Final Breath, a 9-year-old Victory Sam-First Breath gelding who now boasts $569,098 in career earnings, for trainer Norm Parker and owner Duane Lowe. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 15, 2019 -- When You Dance relentlessly wore down the harness racing leader, Bettor Than Spring, and edged him at the wire to pull off an 11-1 upset in Friday's $18,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. When You Dance was fourth down the backside when Jim Pantaleano sent him first over. When You Dance and Bettor Than Spring dueled through the stretch before When You Dance surged late to score the head victory in 1:52.2. Real Peace shot the Lightning Lane for show. Christen Pantaleano owns and trains the winner, a 4-year-old Mach Three-Armbro Dancer gelding who pushed his career bankroll to $172,047. Dave Palone collected four wins on the 13-race card while Jim Pantaleano, Mike Wilder and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a triple. With his haul, Palone lifted his career victory total to 18,997. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a $37,849.43 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 23, 2019 -- I Want Kandy vaulted to the lead from post 3 and never let a harness racing rival within striking distance, springing an 11-1 upset in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned Trot. I Want Kandy foiled the uncovered bid of Perseverance and triumphed for Jim Pantaleano in 1:55, A length better than You're Majestic in the Lightning Lane. Trixie Dust rallied for show. Scott Betts trains the 6-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Celebrity Kandy, who extended her lifetime bankroll to $209,318, for Brookside Stables and Keith Gravis. Pantaleano collected four wins on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer J.L. Adams. After a brief hiatus, live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a pair of rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6) and a $9,292.79 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 14, 2019 -- Whats The Word confidently pulled the pocket down the backside and rolled to an easy harness racing victory in Monday's $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Whats The Word was stalking Donatover, who had a rough journey to the front. When driver Jim Pantaleano sensed that the leader was weakening, he moved outside and asked Whats The Word for trot. The 4-year-old son of Donato Hanover-Your Word Is Good drew off and defeated Final Breath by a length in 1:54. Barn Girl, hard used from post 8, finished third. Scott Betts trains Whats The Word, who vaulted over $300,000 in career earnings, for Go Fast Stable, Kapideo Singh and Earl Hill, Jr. Mike Wilder piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6); a $3,216.53 double carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6); a $1,548.56 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association    

STICKNEY, IL - The summer harness racing season at Hawthorne Race Course culminates this weekend as eleven stakes finals will compromise Night of Champions on Saturday night. Four legs of preliminary events have led to the finals for two and three-year olds while eliminations were contested last weekend for the aged divisions. With a 7:20 PM post time Saturday, events will begin earlier in the night, including a driver autograph session at 6:30 PM and the ability to meet past Illinois Champion horse Mini Me on the Hawthorne apron. The $45,000 Robert S. Molaro Handicap kicks off the stakes evening as reigning Illinois-bred Horse of the Year Fox Valley Gemini leads the field of six. A winner of 29 of 38 lifetime starts, the Terry Leonard trainee has won 10 times this year, including last week's preview. Owned by Jim Ballinger, Casey Leonard will be in the bike. Unlocked returns to Hawthorne as he recently surpassed $600,000 in lifetime earnings. A winner at Hawthorne last year, he races for trainer Nelson Willis with Jim Pantaleano driving. Two-year-old filly trotters follow in the $82,000 Fox Valley Flan Championship. The full field of ten is led by of pair of Steve Searle trainees in Bee See and Lous Abigail. Bee See draws post position two and she enters the race a winner of five of nine starts on the year. Regular driver Kyle Husted will be in the bike. The second Searle trainee, Lous Abigail, isn't helped by her post draw as she will start from the outside of the field of ten. Leading driver Casey Leonard gets the call as Lous Abigail has finished first of second in all nine of her starts. Juvenile filly pacers are next up with a wide open field of ten in the $115,000 Incredible Tillie Championship. Different horses have won legs in this series as Fox Valley Exploit leads the way from the inside. Trained and driven by Kyle Husted, Fox Valley Exploit has won half of her eight starts on the year, including the Directors Award two races back. Sign Her Up races for trainer Charles Arthur as Juan Franco drives. A winner of three of her last five, Sign Her Up comes in off a victory in the most recent leg of the Incredible Tillie. Sleazy Gal draws the outside for owner Engel Stable of IL, LLC and trainer Erv Miller. A winner from the outside in the final at the Illinois State Fair last month, Kyle Wilfong returns in the bike. Aged trotters take to the track in the $45,000 Plesac Championship. The field of five features top mare Annas Lucky Star as she faces the boys once again. The track record holder is owned by Danny Graham and races for Nelson Willis. A 32-time winner from 56 starts, Annas Lucky Star was impressive in last week's preview victory. Kyle Wilfong returns to drive. Talk About Valor poses the biggest threat to Annas Lucky Star. Casey Leonard drives the Gerald Hansen trainee as he has found the board in all 18 starts this year. The $95,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship for three-year-old filly trotters has a field of ten as the favorite draws the rail. Flacco Family Farms LLC owned Louzotic starts from the inside for trainer Steve Searle and driver Kyle Husted. A winner of 10 of 14 starts on the year, Louzotic rides a four race win streak into this final. Another in fine form is Skippymalou as the second of four starters in the race for Flacco Family Farms. A six time winner on the year, she enters this final a winner of three of her last four starts. Casey Leonard drives Skippymalou. Three-year-old male trotters follow in the $92,000 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Championship. Flacco Family Farms LLC is featured prominently once again with a pair in this race. Lousraptor has six victories on the year and has hit the board in 13 of 16 races. Casey Leonard returns in the bike. Lourhianon pulled off the upset of Lousraptor in the final leg leading into this final for trainer Kennedy Lindsey. He draws the outside in the final for driver Luke Plano as he looks for his seventh victory of the year. The $108,000 Kadabra Championship for two-year-old male trotters is led by the talented Fox Valley Quest from the barn of trainer Tom Simmons. A winner of nine of 11 starts, Fox Valley Quest looks to show his speed and control this field from start to finish for driver Casey Leonard. Crooked Creek has arrived late on the scene, but comes in off an impressive win on the front end in his most recent start for trainer Mike Brink. Ryan Anderson picks up the drive once again. Male juvenile pacers race in the $102,000 Incredible Finale Championship as the top contenders are stuck on the outside of this full field. Megan Rogers Racing Stables Incorporated's Fox Valley Ren is the one to beat for trainer Nelson Willis. A winner of seven of nine starts this year, he has good early speed and has shown past ability to overcome the outside draw. Kyle Wilfong remains in the bike. One slot to Fox Valley Ren's outside is He'zzz A Wise Sky from the barn of Don Filomeno. Getting a later start to his season, He'zzz A Wise Sky has been ultra-impressive, winning four straight races coming into this final. The most competitive race of the evening looks to be the $109,000 Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial Championship. Three horses have traded punches for supremacy at this level led by Maximus, from the barn of Ken Rucker. The seven-time winner on the year was third in the final at the Illinois State Fair and was game in victory in the final leg of the Carey leading into tonight's race. Trainer Erv Miller sends out Meyer on Fire, who got the best of Maximus at the Illinois State Fair. With four wins on the year, Meyer on Fire has hit the board in 10 of 12 starts this season. Fox Valley Triton races for Terry Leonard. The runner-up at the State Fair and in the most recent leg of the Carey, he has hit the board in 12 of 14 this season. $100,000 is on the line in the Plum Peachy Championship for three-year-old filly pacers. A pair that has battled throughout the season meet up again as Fox Valley Torrid and Perch look to settle who is best in this class. Fox Valley Torrid races for Sox Valley Standardbreds and trainer Rodney Freese. A winner of seven of 15 starts on the year, he has won three of his last four entering this final. Casey Leonard drives. Perch has been on the wrong end of the battle with Fox Valley Torrid recently, but did get the best of her in winning the final at the Illinois State Fair in August. She has won six of 15 starts this year for trainer Jay Garrels as regular driver Kyle Wilfong returns to drive. The Night of Champions closes out with a full field of aged female pacers in the $45,000 Tony Maurello Championship. Trainer Dirk Simpson sends out Fox Valley Charm who comes off a victory in the elimination last week. Whiskersonkittens won the second elimination last week as trainer Kim Roth looks to have her in fine form leading into this final. Driver Luke Plano has been a good fit for her in recent starts. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Friday, May 3. The summer harness meet opened on Friday, May 3 and races through September 22. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through December 28. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course

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