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WILKES-BARRE, PA - Show Me The Magic blew up the tote board - again - at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday afternoon, coming from the back of the harness racing field to sweep by everybody late and return $159.00 for a $2 win ticket. As often happens in this type of situation, a hot early pace was involved, with a host of horses being involved in a :26.4 opening quarter - in a race for $12,500 claiming trotters. Show Me The Magic and driver Kevin Wallis advanced up the inside down the backstretch, then slipped out on the final turn as horses involved earlier began to gap and fall back. Kinetic King, out every call and the stretch leader, held well, but Show Me The Magic went right on by late to win by 1¼ lengths in 1:57.1.   This is the second time that Show Me The Magic has paid $50+ at the meet - ironically, he went wire-to-wire when tallying for the meet's leading $50+ driver, Anthony Napolitano, on July 20, when he paid $52.40. The free-legged pacer Bay Meadows has also lit up the board twice here in 2020, returning $51.40 on July 4 and $62.80 on July 25. Bay Meadows' trainer Tom Wine II and Show Me The Magic's conditioner Jim Ray join Steven Brabrook as the three trainers who have sent out two bombers during the 2020 Pocono meet. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 22, 2014 -- Staring at a 4-1/2-length deficit behind the loose leader, Kelsey's Keepsake launched a determined first-over move that carried her to the upset victory in the fastest division of Monday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The $118,200 stake for 2-year-old filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with Blessings Counted and Wouldn't Itbesweet also capturing splits. Winning driver Marcus Miller thought he had a shot to catch the 1-5 favorite, Jersey Strong, when his filly got away flat. "The one thing I was worried about -- my filly doesn't get off the car very well from the rail," Miller said. "I was worried first about her trotting, and she took care of the rest. She was very good today, very solid, the best she's been for me." Sent off at 5-1, the daughter of Yankee Glide-Distaff relentlessly tracked Jersey Strong and defeated her by a neck in 1:57.3, with Product Placement third. Julie Miller trains Kelsey's Keepsake for Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Peggy Hood. In the final start of her freshman campaign, Blessings Counted was determined to take the lead, and winning driver Dan Rawlings didn't think it wise to dissuade her. "She's been getting pretty grabby, so she was going to the front today," Rawlings said. "I thought I was the best in here, so I wanted to dictate fractions. She has a lot of potential, but they'll have their work cut out for them this winter trying to keep her manners under control. If they do that, she'll come back as a nice filly. She's going away sound and healthy." Even under Rawlings' restraint, Blessings Counted won handily in 1:58, 1-3/4 lengths better than Matter Hatter. The first-over Sweet Shurga completed the ticket. Rick Beinhauer trains the homebred daughter of Muscle Massive-Winner Springs and owns with Regina Beinhauer. Wouldn't Itbesweet also prevailed easily on the front end, although winning trainer/driver Jim Raymer wasn't completely satisfied with the way she finished. "She's so quick off the gate -- that first eighth, she can beat anybody -- that I can get her in a bad spot," Raymer said of the $30,000 yearling purchase. "She's a little filly, and I think she's telling me she's had enough. For the fractions she had, I thought she'd be a little better on the end of it." Nevertheless, she downed Cantabulous Julie by 2-1/2 lengths in 2:00.2. Trustworthy Gal earned show. Harbor Racing Stable campaigns the daughter of Cantab Hall-US Victory, who is eligible for the Circle City at Hoosier Park. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Rescue Team turned back several challenges and scored in 1:52.4 on the front end for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Metro Ville was second, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears, with Do Me Honor third. The 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Tended Rose extended her career bankroll to $136,175. Palone, Burke and Eric Ledford each fashioned a three-bagger on the 16-race card. The Keystone Classics continue Tuesday at The Meadows with an $88,600 stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. by Nick Salvi, for the Red Mile

Donatomite rolled to the fastest winning time in Stallion Series action on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion series held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. Donatomite (Donato Hanover-Malvictorian), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, stayed unbeaten after three career races by winning his division by 6 ¼ lengths in an impressive 1:54:4. Other Stallion Series winners on the night: Tommy Bar (Cantab Hall-Spellyuptothebar), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Bill Popfinger, in 1:58:2; Handover The Money (Andover Hall-CR Sister Suzie), driven and trained by Francisco Del Cid, in 1:59:1; Don't Mind Me (Andover Hall-Peace Of Mind), driven and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:56:2; Wimborne Hanover (Muscle Massive-Wherley), driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by William Daugherty Jr., in 1:57:1; and Finish Line (Yankee Glide-Calchips Finisher), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, in 1:57:4. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 9, 2014 -- Hammered down to 1-5 off his surprising fourth in the Hambletonian, Il Sogno Dream lived up to expectations Friday at The Meadows when he dominated his Currier & Ives division and scored in a stake-record 1:53.2. Wheelsandthelegman took the other split in the $120,000 stake for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Il Sogno Dream caught the public's attention with his Hambletonian rally at 90-1, and they deemed him much the best. So did winning driver David Miller, who moved the son of Cantab Hall-Le Reve to the front at the quarter. He jogged from there, lowering the previous Currier & Ives record of 1:54.1 established by Vivid Photo in 2005. "I was very impressed with him," Miller said. "He was very easy to get along with and just raced super. He felt strong in the stretch. He felt like he had enough to finish it off." Chris Beaver trains Il Sogno Dream, who vaulted over $300,000 in career earnings, for Bill Manes, Dan Manes. Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. Wheelsandthelegman had to work much harder for his victory, first repelling Amped Up Hanover and forcing him back to the pylons past the quarter, then thwarting him again when he challenged anew near the three-quarters. The Donato Hanover-Carmita gelding triumphed for Dick Stillings in 1:55.1, a neck better than the game Amped Up Hanover, with Frost Free Hanover third. It was the seventh win for Wheelsandthelegman in nine career outings. "He's a real tough guy, but there's something not quite right about him," said Walt Carroll, who trains Wheelsandthelegman for Beth Carroll. "He got bit by a spider or something after he raced here Adios Day. There's just something missing. But he's a real competitor. I thought he was beat a couple times today, and he hung in there and did what he had to do." He attributed much of the youngster's success to trainer/driver Jim Raymer, who helped develop him. Carroll said Wheelsandthelegman likely will remain in Pennsylvania stakes for the balance of the season. $231,260 PA Sires Stake, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Yankee Bounty stretched his career unbeaten streak to five with his most impressive performance yet, a 1:50.4 mile that erased the stake record of Johns Polyview and is the fastest mile this year by a freshman pacing gelding on a five-eighths-mile track. Lyons Again was second, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Lost For Words earned show. Blood Brother and Tomy Terror captured the other splits in the event known as the Tyler B. Yannick Gingras enjoyed a PASS double behind Yankee Bounty and Blood Brother. Making his initial start in the Ron Burke stable, Yankee Bounty was under wraps late, making Gingras wonder how fast the son of Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee ultimately can go. "He can go faster than 1:50.4, that's for sure. He had plenty left," Gingras said. "He certainly is impressive. He's the best 2-year-old I've driven so far this year, probably the best 2-year-old in the country." Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick campaign Yankee Bounty, who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. A three-race maiden entering the race, Blood Brother was dismissed at 18-1 but found the Lightning Lane in time to score in 1:51.3. Wakizashi Hanover, the 3-5 favorite, was second by a nose, while Dragon Eddy completed the ticket. "He always could go, but he shakes his head the whole race," Gingras said. "He has the ability, but he just doesn't pay attention. Today he was a little bit better as far as that goes, and he got a good trip and got it done. We're working with different bits, and hopefully someday we'll find one he likes." Jimmy Takter trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Blood Diamond for Diamond Creek Racing and J&T Silva Stables. Tomy Terror snapped his bridesmaid streak of three consecutive seconds by shooting the Lightning Lane to down Cooperstown by 1/2 length in 1:52.2, with Badiou Hanover third. Mike Simons drove the Western Terror-Mib Hanover gelding for trainer John Butenschoen and owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, Eugene Schick and VIP Internet Stable. "He's been on the front the last two times and just got caught, but we always thought he would be better off a helmet," said assistant trainer Tyler Butenschoen. "He got the cover he needed and exploded through there real good." The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

Louisville, KY --- Even before they purchased him for $13,000 at this past January's Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale, the 3-year-old trotting gelding Wheelsandthelegman had made quite an impression on Beth and Walter Carroll. Unraced at 2, Wheelesandthelegman jumped it off at the top of the stretch in his first qualifier as a 3-year-old on Jan. 10 at the Meadowlands, but still managed to come home third ahead of trainer Walter Carroll’s horse Spectator K. Carroll took note of that performance and although Wheelsandthelegman broke behind the gate in his second qualifier the following week, he and his wife, Beth, still thought enough of the gelding to purchase him at the Sale last January. “Walter had his eye on him ever since he qualified and when we saw him at the sale, we both liked him,” Beth Carroll said. “We didn’t know why he had not raced last year but he had absolutely no issues.” The Carrolls did not have super high expectations for the son of Donato Hanoverand the Malabar Man mare Carmita, but after two qualifying contents at Spring Garden Ranch in March and April, they brought him back to Pennsylvania to get his career started. That was when the couple began to realize their horse possessed some serious ability. “The winter was horrible here (in New Holland, Pa.) so we missed a lot of time with him,” Carroll said. “So we sent him down to our good friend Jim Raymer at Spring Garden Ranch for five weeks. Then when he won his first race we started to get really excited about him.” With Raymer in the irons, Wheelsandthelegman, named after the alter ego crime fighting duo from American Dad, captured his first three races, all non-winners events, before triumphing in a $74,900 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes contest at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 15. His next engagement, a third to Hambletonian second place finisher Nuncio in another Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race on May 30, would be his first time tasting defeat. After a little time off, Wheelsandthelegman got back to the winners’ circle on July 17 in a $13,000 non-winners race at Harrah’s Philadelphia prior to another victory in a $32,855 division of the Arden Downs stake at The Meadows on July 26, where he defeated Il Sogno Dream, the fourth place finisher in the Hambletonian, in 1.54.1. Although he did not compete in the Hambletonian, the gelding did make an appearance on that day in a $50,000 Townsend Ackerman division where he finished off the board for the only time in his short career. Wheelsandthelegman was sixth but placed 11th after leaving from the nine hole and he seemingly was not particularly fond of the Meadowlands oval. “It was a tough trip for him against some really nice horses and that fast first quarter (:27.1) certainly did not help him, but he does have really good gate speed,” Carroll said. “He also didn’t seem to be getting over the track very well and he had been sick the week before. He got stung by something and we don’t know how or by what, but he was all swollen. That might have still been affecting him a little bit.” The gelding, however, will attempt to return to his winning ways when he leaves from post position two in a $60,000 division of the Currier and Ives Stake on Friday (Aug. 8) at the Meadows. Dick Stillings will be holding the lines rather than Raymer for the card’s eighth race. Wheelsandthelegman is the 3-1 morning line second choice. His lifetime mark of 1:53.4 and bankroll of just over $88,000 is tops in the field of six. “We are very good friends with Jim Raymer,” Carroll said. “He and his wife Terry are wonderful people and we are very grateful every time Jim drives him for us. We also feel lucky for all they have done for us. Jim really likes this horse and I think he likes driving him more than some of his own horses.” Named for a television character, Wheelsandthelegman definitely has some personality to him. “He’s bossy,” Carroll said. “But he’s not mean at all. He’s really just a very busy horse and is always in motion. He’s always doing something and is never still for a second.” After the Currier & Ives is in the books, the Carrolls will keep Wheelsandthelegman in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year and then shut him down in the fall. “He has the PA Sire Stakes and hopefully he makes the final,” Carroll said. “Then he has the Keystone Classic. After that we are just going to give him a nice, long break over the winter and take it from there. “We were really surprised by him and are just thrilled. Although we didn’t name him, it is something to have a horse that even has his own ringtone.” Below are the fields for Friday's Currier & Ives divisions. $60,000 Currier & Ives First Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Amped Up Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5-2  2-Wheelsandthelegman-Richard Stillings-Walter Carroll-3-1  3-Jett Star-Dan Rawlings-Steve Owens-5-1  4-Choco Sun-David Miller-Orjan Torstensson-6-1  5-Frost Free Hanover-Brian Zendt-Leslie Zendt-7-2  6-Axios-Dave Palone-Rich Gillock-4-1 $60,000 Currier & Ives Second Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Tea Party Politics-Brian Zendt-William Zendt-5-1  2-Skates N Plates-Yannick Gingras-Trond Smedshammer-4-1  3-Sarcastic Man-Tony Hall-Rich Gillock-8-1  4-Il Sogno Dream-David Miller-Christopher Beaver-2-1  5-Southwind Spirit-Dave Palone-Ron Burke-7-2  6-Andover The Gold-Brett Miller-J C Miller Jr.-10-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia          

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 4, 2014 -- Don't Mind Me thwarted the same rival twice en route to victory in 1:57.1, fastest split in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows. KY Lucky, Master The Past and Plump Jack took the other divisions in the event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Don't Mind Me and trainer/driver Jim Raymer had the lead at the quarter when Longcat Hanover and Dan Rawlings ranged up on the outside. When Don't Mind Me refused to release him, Longcat Hanover retreated to the pocket, only to try again near the three-quarters. The result was the same, as Don't Mind Me defeated his persistent challenger by a length, with Up Front Murray third. The time was a tick off the stake record. "He's a lazy sort of thing -- he hasn't even learned to be a racehorse," Raymer said of the son of Andover Hall-Peace Of Mind, a $50,000 yearling acquisition for Harbor Racing Stable. "If I let Danny go, chances are my horse would've just backed up and not had any interest in racing at all. So I took a shot. "Physically, he's ready; mentally, he's not. He's like a 5-year-old. He loves to be out there, his manners are super. It's just that I want him to be a little bit of a racehorse." A three-race maiden entering the stake, Master The Past erased a 4-1/2-length deficit with an uncovered backside burst that carried him to victory in 1:58.4 for Mike Wilder. Wimborne Hanover, who was on the lead when Master The Past blew by, was second, 4-3/4 lengths back, with Marion Coca a rallying third. "I totally was expecting (a big race from him)," said Clinton Guitard, who conditions the Glidemaster-So Fine Kash gelding, a $15,000 yearling purchase, for Michael Guitard. "He looked like he would win his last race, but he got a little tired. I figured he could go in the stallion series." KY Lucky made it two wins in three career starts when he quarter-poled to the lead for Eric Ledford and comfortably held off Cue Hall by a length to score in 1:59. Craig Grummel, Curt Grummel and Chili Day Stables campaign the Illinois-based youngster and sent him to The Meadows to trainer Tim Twaddle. Although he's had the Malabar Millennium-Rosalita gelding for only a week, Twaddle likes what he sees. "He's a great little guy -- I can't say anything bad about him," Twaddle said. "He's honest and game." In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, early leader Do Me Honor was shuffled to fourth but shot the Lightning Lane to notch her second straight victory for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury The time of 1:51.2 matched the career best for the 6-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-Do Me Right, who pushed her lifetime bankroll to $487,858. Rescue Team was a head back in second while Novascotia Hanover earned show. Merriman won five races and Wilder three on the 15-race card. On Tuesday, Aug. 5, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $10,000-guaranteed pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Monday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a two-day carryover of $2,985.10. In addition, The Meadows will offer a $5,000-guaranteed pool for the Pick 4, a regular feature of the track’s Monday and Tuesday cards. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) and Pick 5 (Races 12-16) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Tuesday’s program, which features a $233,008 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Trainer Jim Raymer hasn't gotten where he is today in the Standardbred sport by not understanding the competition. For Raymer, who entered two in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on August 2 at the Meadowlands, it's been a long and well thought out process. Raymer's Harley Momma and Nitro Nittany are not exactly household names in a field that includes world champions Designed To Be, Shake It Cerry and Cooler Schooner, but he's been planning this destination for a long time and believes he's got a chance. "I think my fillies are capable of trotting in 1:52 or a little better," said Raymer. "I think it was a good thing that Harley Momma has been sidelined because she didn't have to run into those 1:52 miles in Pennsylvania." The trainer is hopeful that in the long run his fillies will prosper, not necessarily because they are faster than the competition, but because they will hold up better late in the year with less wear and tear. "I don't think there are more than one or two 1:52 miles in these fillies," Raymer said, referring to the competition. "At least I'm hoping there aren't." Raymer's long term outlook could be as a direct result of circumstances that befell his filly Harley Momma, who suffered quarter cracks on both of her front feet in mid-May of this season. Raymer had her slated to race in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event but reconsidered. "I probably could have raced her but I thought it would be better if I gave her time to heal," he said. Harley Momma had just captured a $74,132 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:54.2, defeating the very good Take The Money, but Raymer thought about the future of his filly and deferred. Unfortunately it took a little longer than desired for Harley Momma to recover. That left the trainer with less time to prepare her for the Hambletonian Oaks, the biggest race of the year for 3-year-old trotting fillies. "I was hoping there would be eliminations. That qualifier (last Saturday at the Meadowlands) against Cooler Schooner wasn't what I wanted. My filly was so far behind that filly that she didn't know what to do," Raymer said of the daughter of SJ's Caviar, a $30,000 purchase by the Harbor Racing Stable. Harley Momma was beaten nearly a dozen lengths by Cooler Schooner in the qualifier, timed in 1:55.2. While Harley Momma was sidelined, the Raymer stable enjoyed success with Nitro Nittany. The $22,000 yearling purchase has seen her career bankroll swell this season thanks to some careful strategic planning. "I took her out of the sire stakes and raced in the stallion stakes," Raymer offered. "I didn't want to go up against those good fillies. Nitro Nittany won a $99,900 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on May 17 at the Meadows before a sabbatical, finishing on the board in six of her eight starts while racing at Tioga, The Meadowlands and Pocono, avoiding the top class fillies. She has career earnings of $154,490. What concerns Raymer now is whether his fillies have the mile-track conditioning required to be at their best on Hambletonian Oaks Saturday. "The Meadowlands is different," he said, "They have to get acclimated to the speed they go at least one start." With his fillies racing primarily on five-eighths mile tracks with stops and starts, while the pace of races at the Meadowlands is constant. Fortunately for Raymer, although eliminations weren't necessary for the Oaks with just 11 fillies entered, a prep race was carded on Saturday at the Meadowlands. This will afford both his fillies the opportunity to get acclimated to the speed required. For Harley Momma it will be her first competitive start in more than 10 weeks. Prior to her absence she had captured three of her four races as a sophomore with earnings of $51,066 this season. "I was impressed with her last two starts," Raymer said. Harley Momma scored back-to-back victories in 1:54.2 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono in late April and at Harrah's Philadelphia in early May. For some it's all about winning the Hambletonian Oaks, for Raymer and his solid fillies, the outlook is a bit longer. "I think we'll be competitive," he said. "Both fillies are eligible to the Breeders Crown (at the Meadowlands, November 21 and 22) and we'd like to make that." by Hambletonian Society Notes Team  

BEDFORD PA - There is a white wall against the outside backstretch fence at the half-mile oval in Bedford PA, and it says "Bedford Speedway" - appropriate, because much of the year the facility is used for auto racing. But the term "Speedway" certainly was also appropriate this past Monday and Tuesday, when horsepower of a different type - Pennsylvania trotters and pacers racing over the Bedford oval - was featured: --The all-time track trotting mark of 2:00.4 was set by the 3YO Faust, and a 2PG named Gordo was shocking in authoring a 1:57 win, only 2/5 off both the national season's record and the all-time Bedford pace standard; --Nine divisional track records were written - three of which not lasting two hours before being eclipsed; --Seven of the eight PA Fair Season's Leaders resulted from the two-day session, as did the first six 2:00 miles of the year on the twicearound circuit. Tuesday's highlight was the recordsetting 2:00.4 effort of the Glidemaster gelding Faust in the final division of the 3TC Fair Sires event for trainer Jim Raymer and the Harbor Racing Stable LLC of the noted harness racing hotbed of Texas. In that race, Fly Past Hanover and the fair season's leading driver Steve Schoeffel had carved splits of 29.2, 1:01.2, and 1:30.3, but in the stretch Faust "used the passing lane," squeezing through inside of the frontstepper to render a nose decision Ironically, Fly Past Hanover's stablemate in the Bill Daugherty Jr. barn, Broadway Charm, had lowered the local all-time trot standard to 2:01.2 30 minutes earlier, beating by a tick the old mark of Super Fellow, in a 3TC Fair Sire Stakes division a half-hour earlier. The track standard for 3TF was also rewritten twice on Tuesday, and for both fillies, it was their second rewriting of a divisional standard this summer. First up was The Yankees Win, who took a Quaker State event in 2:03 for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer, knocking a full second off the record set last year by Homepage and Chrissie O. But later Bessie, in rein to owner/trainer Dave Brickell, would do even better, winning in the Sire Stakes in 2:02.3. Fastest of the three-year-old pacers was gelding Spot Lauxmont, who even trainer Ted Williams thought would not have been among the favorites were there pari-mutuel wagering. But "Spot" teamed with 21-year-old driver Shawn Johnston, himself eligible for the "nw 12 races lifetime" class, to get a 1:57.3 victory in a Sire Stakes heat. FINISHING LINES - Following up on Gordo, the 2YO who paced Bedford in 1:57 on Monday: he is a gelding, something not clear in all editions of yesterday's story; and his time made him co-equal fastest 2YO ever at a Pennsylvania fair, with Dixie Pride and Shu Hanover (both on the same 2003 day at Bloomsburg) and Evening Shadows (2010 at Port Royal) ... There are now two ways for fans to see Gordo - he'll be in the race right after The Adios this Saturday, in an Arden Downs stake ... ...and you can see his 1:57 mile on YouTube, as the crack Zidek videography crew was at the Bedford fairgrounds for this week's action.  The fair circuit now sets up shop at the Clearfield Fair for four days of action starting at noon each day. Clearfield is trying a Sunday through Wednesday schedule for its harness program this year ... and if you're going to the Adios, Clearfield is only 138 miles away ... From the PA Harness Horsemen's Association

Eight divisions of The Stallion Series for two-year old filly trotters dominated the Thursday program at Harrah's Philadelphia.   The first division went to Bob Key's Gold Cora (Encore Encore). She brushed powerfully to the lead just after the quarter, going on to win in a time of 1:57.3. Stealthestarlight was second, while favorite Joy Gliding finished third. The Rich Gillock trainee picks up her first career victory in her second lifetime start.   The second division was dominated by Wouldn't Itbesweet (Cantab Hall). She was fast off the wings from post three, making every call a winning one in an impressive ten length win in 1:57.2. Christine Sixteen was second, while Jailhouse Heart finished third. Wouldn't Itbesweet is owned by Harbor Racing Stables, and is trained and driven by Jim Raymer.   Division three went to Osteo Blast (Explosive Matter). The Noel Daily trainee brushed to the lead just beyond the quarter, and gamely held off favorite Alpha Alpha to notch her first pari-mutuel win in a time of 1:58.2. Gematria raced gamely to finish third. Osteo Blast is owned by the Mama Bones Racing Stables and Adam Victor & Son Stables, and was driven by Andrew McCarthy.   The fourth division saw Whitney Hanover (Donato Hanover) overcome an early break to win. The Ray Shnittker trainee closed up the inside for her second straight win, stopping the clock in 2:00. Global Ice finished second, while Tuscanellie came in third. Whitney Hanover is owned by Ed Pachuta, Ted Gewertz, and trainer Ray Schnittker, and was driven by Tim Tetrick.   The fifth division went to the grinding Shafina Hanover (Explosive Matter). Leaping Lady was the leader turning for home, but made a break at the top of the stretch. Shafina Hanover held off the upset minded Cocoacabana in the final stages, stopping the clock in 1:58.3. Fudge As raced well to be third. Shafina Hanover is owned by Adam Victor & Son Stables and Barb Matthews, trained by Noel Daley, and was driven by Andrew McCarthy.   Division six went to the fast leaving Peoplesayimnogood (Lear Jetta). The Roger Hammer trainee led every step of the way, winning by 5 lengths in the end, and completing the mile in 2:00.1. Shewontkissandtell rallied for second, while Veggie Hanover finished third. Favorite Spice Girl made a break past the half. Peoplesayimnogood is owned by her trainer, and was driven by Yannick Gingras.   The seventh division went to heavily favored Day Lily (Andover Hall). She seized command after the quarter and never looked back, finishing the mile in 1:58.4. Barbara Brooks finished second, while Miss Flora was third. Day Lily is owned by Hauser Bros Racing and Conrad Zurich, trained by Chris Oakes, and was driven by Ron Pierce.   The eighth and final division went to the upsetting Fog Warning (Andover Hall). She initially made the front, but yielded to eventual second place finisher Sand C-Four. The Nifty Norman trainee vacated the pocket at the top of the stretch to win by a length in a time of 2:00. Explosive Jet finished a distant third. Fog Warning is owned by Melvin Hartman and Enzed Racing Stables, and was driven by David Miller.   by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

After controlling the terms throughout, War Cry Hall ($3.80) gave everything he had in the final hundred yards to prevail in Sunday (July 6) afternoon's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall wasted no time achieving the lead, sprinting clear of Marion Mayflower (Aaron Byron) and maintaining a steady yet strong pace through a :56.3 half mile. On the backstretch, In Your Room (Mike Simons) commenced a first-over rally, pushing War Cry Hall to his limit on the far turn. Through the stretch, Howard Parker called upon War Cry Hall for every last ounce of energy, and the favorite did not disappoint, digging in to stave off not only the persistent In Your Room, but a belated stand-side charge from Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter), who rallied strongly to take second.   Jim Raymer trains War Cry Hall for the Harbor Racing Stable, LLC.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (July 7), with the first of 11 races on the special weeknight card scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media  

Driver Andrew McCarthy scored a victory about Iaintnomomaluke in the sixth race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Wednesday night for the 1,000th victory of his career. McCarthy, who has been a regular at Pocono for the past several years, had moved to 999 with a triple on Tuesday night before toppling the mark on Wednesday night. In other action on Wednesday night at Pocono, there were seven $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All Stars races held for 2-year-old trotting fillies. The winners were: Wouldn't Itbesweet (Cantab Hall - U S Victory), driven by Howard Parker and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:57; Fashion Voyager (Broadway Hall - BWT Maija), driven by John Campbell and trained by Jim Campbell, in 1:57:4; Gatka Hanover (Muscle Massive - Girlie Tough), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, in 1:56; Onda Di Mare (Yankee Glide - Upfront Ob's Janet, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Jim Campbell, in 1:56:3; Speak To Me (Muscle Massive - Ms Naughty), driven by Yannick Gingras and trained by Jimmy Takter, in 1:57; Jersey Strong (Muscle Massive - Vacation's Over), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Mark Harder, in 1:56:4; and Matter Of Days (Explosive Matter - Drinking Days), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Todd Schadel. Jim Beviglia      

Broadway Socks won a division of the Stallion Series on Tuesday night for her fourth consecutive win overall, highlighting the action for three-year-old trotting fillies at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six Stallion Series divisions held, each with a purse of $20,000. Broadway Socks (Broadway Hall-I Gotta Feelin), driven by Dan Rawlings and trained by David Wade, won her split in 1:55:2 to keep her streak alive. Other Stallion Series winners on the night: Sincerely Yours S (Cantab Hall-Kemp's Emilie), driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Jonas Czernyson, in 1:56:3; Outsourced Hanover (Donato Hanover-Oaklea Opal), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, in 1:55:4; Nitro Nittany (Explosive Matter-Miss Nittany), driven by Howard Parker and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:54:4; Here's Ethel (Equinox Bi-Overtookthem), driven by Brett Miller and trained by Sharlene Dufford, in 1:57:2; and Bikini So Teeny (Yankee Glide-Momsgotitgoinon), driven and trained by Charlie Norris, in 1:55. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Father Patrick, the three-year-old trotting colt who in many people's minds is the early favorite for 2014 Harness Horse of the Year, takes his personal Pennsylvania barnstorming tour to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday night to contest the fifth race, one of three divisions of a $216,900 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event. The son of Cantab Hall, owned by the Father Patrick Stable of New Jersey (and named for a local Catholic priest), won his first two starts of this campaign in Sire Stakes action at tracks near Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and Saturday he will take his overpowering act to northeast Pennsylvania. A pupil of Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, who calls this horse "potentially one of the greatest-ever trotters," Father Patrick has drawn post six in the seven-horse field, and Takter has selected 28-year-old Matt Kakaley, currently battling George Napolitano Jr. for the top rung in the Pocono drivers standings, to handle Father Patrick, as regular driver Yannick Gingras will be in Toronto Saturday, with many mounts on the big North America Cup card. A race earlier, the Takter-Kakaley team will send out Nuncio as the favorite in a Sires division for Stall TZ Inc of Florida. Like his stablemate, Nuncio is two-for-two this year, with wins in Sire Stakes action at The Meadows and Harrah's Philadelphia, and the son of Andover Hall will start from the middle of Saturday's seven-horse field. The third race Sires opener appears to be wide-open, with Wheelsandthelegman accorded a slight edge starting from the rail for trainer Walter Carroll, driver Jim Raymer, and owner Beth Carroll. The Donato Hanover gelding, unraced at two, had won his first four career races before finishing third behind Nuncio at The Meadows. (No, there's no Takter horse in the third race - but worry not for Jimmy, as he has yet another powerhouse sophomore trotting colt, Trixton, heavily favored in the $272,500 Goodtimes Trot on the big Saturday card in Toronto.) Also featured at Pocono Saturday are a pair of $25,000 Preferred events. The tenth race pace marks the return of Bolt The Duer (post three, driver Mark MacDonald), who equaled the then-alltime five-eighth mile track record of 1:47.4 here last year. Trotters grab the spotlight two races later, with Quick Deal, coming off a 1:51.4 tally at The Meadowlands, dealing with the outside post six for Kakaley and Pocono's leading trainer, Ron Burke. FINISHING LINES - It's likely that after this weekend Father Patrick and Nuncio will both be racing at Pocono the following two Saturdays, in the eliminations and (hopefully) final of the $500,000 Earl Beal Trot, the latter part of the $2.3 million Sun Stakes Saturday card June 28. Father’s Day is a great day to spend with your dad, and taking him to the racetrack is a great way to spend the evening!  This Sunday night, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is celebrating dads with a special giveaway.  The first 250 dads in the door, starting at 6:00 pm, will get a $10 live racing voucher, good for Pocono racing that night.  The line may form starting at 5:30 in the Pacers Clubhouse lobby. “We have so many great fans here at Pocono”, said Dale Rapson, Vice President of Racing Operations, “And a good number of them are fathers.  We did something special on Mother’s Day, so we had to make sure that our guests that are fathers get a treat also.” From the PHHA, for Pocono Downs

Father Patrick showed the harness racing world that they better tie a rope to his race bike in order to keep up with him as the three-year-old colt romped by 19 and three-quarter lengths in winning his $70,300 division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Friday at the Meadows. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Father Patrick started from post four in the first race on the program and by the opening quarter mile in :28.2 he was was in fourth place as JJ Alex (Francisco Del Cid) was leading the field with Journey (Dave Palone) moving on the outside into second place. By the half mile marker in :56.1, Amped Up Hanover and driver Mike Wilder came first-over to take command and that was went Gingras started up on the outside with Father Patrick, who was the overwhelming 1/9 betting favorite in the race. Once they reached the three-quarter mile pole in 1:24.3 Father Patrick was surging to the lead and after clearing to the front the duo just pulled away from the rest of the field by 15 lengths at the top of the stretched and poured it on coming home with a :28.3 final quarter mile to stop the teletimer in 1:53.1. Scirocco Jakob (Charlie Norris) was second with Jett Star (Eric Ledford) third. Trained by Jimmy Takter, it was the second straight win for Father Patrick, who is sired by Cantab Hall and is owned by the Father Patrick Stable of NJ. He paid just $2.10 to win and has now won 11 of his 12 lifetime starts. The Takter Stable were back in the winner’s circle after the fourth race as Nuncio won his $70,700 PASS division for driver John Campbell with a 1:53.2 triumph. Nuncio got away in fifth place as Wheelsandthelegman (Jim Raymer) led the field to the opening quarter mile in :27.2, the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.1. It was in the backstretch that Campbell made his move with Nuncio and they cleared to the lead on the final turn and won with ease by two open lengths. Madewell Hanover (Chris Ryder) was second with Wheelsandthelegman third. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Nuncio is sired by Andover Hall and is owned by Stall TZ, Inc. of Florida. He paid $2.20 to win. It was his second start this year. Datsyuk, who is named after the captain of the Detroit Red Wings, and trainer/driver Charlie Norris were able to lead from start to finish in capturing the $70,700 third division of the PASS in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54.1. Leaving from post two, Norris sent Datsyik right to the lead and never looked back. With John Campbell and Uva Hanover right on their backs, Datsyik cut fractions of :28.3 to the opening quarter and :57.2 to the half mile. Then Dave Palone made a valiant first-over move with DD’s Hitman at the three-quarters in 1:26.1 and nearly collard Datsyuk on the final turn but briefly went off-stride. As they started down the stretch, Campbell tried in vain to come after Datsyuk with Uva Hanover but could gain no ground as Norris has his trotter in full control, winning by one and one-quarter lengths. Uva Hanover was second and DD’s Hitman rebounded to finish third. Undefeated in three start this year, Datsyuk is a gelded son of Explosive Matter and is co-owned by Leonard Buckner with Charlie Norris. He paid $3.40 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

WASHINGTON, PA, May 29, 2014 — Juvenile champion Father Patrick brings a 10-race winning streak to the Meadows for Friday’s $211,700 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding trotters, but Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter said the streak is the farthest thing from his mind. “I don’t think like that,” Takter said. “They’re horses. They win, they get beat. I don’t worry about things like that.” Instead, Takter hopes the son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream builds on his facile victory in 1:53.3 in the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, which kicked off his 3-year-old campaign and pushed his career bankroll to $762,688. Father Patrick may not be tested sternly Friday; of the six other contenders in his split, one is a maiden, and two remain eligible for NW2. Amped Up Hanover, perhaps the most accomplished of the rest, stalked Father Patrick from the pocket in the Dickerson Cup and still was beaten 4-1/2 lengths. Nevertheless, Takter has Father Patrick where he wants him on the road to the Hambletonian. “I’m very comfortable with what I’m doing with him,” Takter said. “We haven’t started pushing him, and I’m really happy with how he’s performing. I expect him to win and step forward.” He said Father Patrick likely will follow Friday’s PASS with several starts at Pocono Downs before heading to the Meadowlands. “I love this horse,” Takter said. “He’s a serious, serious animal. I think he’s the horse I’ve been waiting for that’s really, really, special.” Father Patrick goes from post 4 in the first of three PASS divisions, Race 1, with Yannick Gingras piloting. Takter also has the presumptive favorite in the second division (Race 4) with another of his hard-hitting sophomores, Nuncio. Although the son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle has raced in Father Patrick’s shadow, he’s hardly been a slouch, with six victories in 11 starts — he’s never been worse than second — and nearly $500,000 in career earnings. Nuncio faces a potential surprise package in Wheelsandthelegman (Donato Hanover-Carmita), who was unraced at 2 but has captured all four of his 2013 starts, including a PASS victory for trainer Walt Carroll. Nuncio leaves from post 3 for John Campbell while Jim Raymer will guide Wheelsandthelegman from post 2. The third split (Race 9), a wide-open event, features Datsyuk, an Explosive Matter-Pink Ribbons gelding who has won his only two lifetime outings, including a PASS split at Pocono Downs. Charlie Norris trains and drives Datsyuk, who drew post 2. The card kicks off a series of Friday Family Fun Nights, coordinated by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, that will offer a host of family-oriented activities, including a number of contests, jog cart and starting gate rides and “meet and greet” sessions with horsemen. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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