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With just a week before the eliminations for the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, Broadway Donna and All The Time have emerged as the top contenders to capture one of the most treasured prizes in harness racing for 3-year-old fillies, but there is a lass in the Empire State that might very well travel to New Jersey to stake her claim to divisional honors. She is Fad Finance. “She is eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks,” said Trond Smedshammer, her conditioner. “But she would have to win the Zweig (this Sunday) impressively for me to think about entering her. Vernon Downs is a nice track and it looks like we will have nice weather for the race this weekend, so they should be able to go in 1:54 to win. She would need to trot in the area of 1:53 for me to send her there so it is up to her.” A daughter of Credit Winner and the Sierra Kosmos mare Armbro Vanity, Fad Finance was purchased for $60,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg by Purple Haze Stables, Marc Goldberg and Rojan Stables. The filly, who sports a career record of 14-7-3-1 and has quietly amassed $129,988 in purse money, will face eight rivals in the $140,000 Zweig Memorial Filly Trot at Vernon Downs on Sunday (July 24). Fad Finance will leave from post position two with Jim Morrill Jr. holding the lines. She is the 7-2 second selection on the morning line behind Julie Miller’s charge Womans Will (5-2) and will face stiff opposition from Paul Kelley’s Straight A Student (8-1), as well as Paul Reid’s Flowers N Songs (9-2), and George Ducharme’s Swinging Royalty (5-1). Fad Finance has won three of her six starts this year, with earnings of $83,038. She defeated 2015 New York Sire Stakes champion Non Stick in their $12,500 Empire Breeders Classic elimination on June 10 at Vernon Downs. Non Stick returned to dominate the $225.000 final the following week, but Fad Finance got the measure of her again on July 10 at Tioga Downs in a $40,600 New York Sire Stakes contest. Fad Finance followed that performance with a track-record-equaling 1:58.2 spin around Buffalo Raceway’s oval on July 17 in a $60,200 sire stakes split. It was a gritty effort, as the filly was locked in for most of the stretch and was able to put her nose down on the wire for her third win of the season. “I raced her in the Excelsior Series last year so she would learn some manners,” Smedshammer said. “She was on the line of being hot and I would try to keep her in the pocket to teach her some lessons. If you look at her lines you can see where she was on the front because she was aggressive and then would tire in the last quarter coming home. I think she is a better horse off the helmet and this year she is minding her manners. The only race we were not pleased with was the Empire Breeders Classic final (fifth). She was on the lead and went some fairly fast fractions before getting tired late. That’s when the other fillies passed her.” Despite Smedshammer’s admission that Fad Finance could be a bit headstrong, as many fillies can be, he was drawn to her because of his affiliation with her pedigree, which is excellent. This filly is a half-sister to Vanity Plates (Conway Hall, $164,878), who competed in the 2007 Matron final (sixth) and was eighth in that year’s eliminations for the Breeders Crown. Another half-sibling, Monkey Man (Glidemaster, $92,220) was talented enough to finish second to world champion Muscle Network in an $86,500 division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile in 2013 and was the runner-up to the very talented Rose Run Parker in a $45,250 division of the Madison County Stake at Hoosier Park 22 days later. “I trained her mother,” Smedshammer said. “I actually picked her out as a yearling and bought her, then sold her to her current owners. She had ability and was very well-mannered, unlike many Sierra Kosmos horses. Unfortunately she had some soundness issues, but I knew she had some foals that had done well. I think Chris Ryder did well with one of her first fillies (Vanity Plates) so when this one was available (Fad Finance) I was looking forward to the opportunity to train one of her foals. The pedigree on her female side is very good.” Although Armbro Vanity only earned $63,365 on the racetrack and her dam, Armbro Haughty, collected $375 in her racing career, these mares hail from the tremendous Armbro Flight. In fact, Armbro Haughty was that Canadian superstar’s final foal. That blood courses through Fad Finance’s veins and demonstrates she may just very well belong with the elite in her division as 2016 draws to a close. “We will see what happens with her,” Smedshammer said. “She is eligible to things outside of New York, such as the Breeders Crown, and if she shows us she can mind her manners, we will allow her the opportunity to take on those kinds of fillies. She has improved this year and we hope she will continue to improve.” Below is the field for the $140,000 Zweig Memorial Filly Trot, in post position order, with listed drivers and trainers. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Earn Your Wings-Jason Bartlett-Anette Lorentzon-8/1  2. Fad Finance-Jim Morrill Jr-Trond Smedshammer-7/2  3. Lindylicious-Chris Lems-Gilbert Garcia-Herrera-8/1  4. Straight A Student-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-8/1  5. Open Access-Matt Kakaley-Robert Baggitt Jr.-6/1  6. Womans Will-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-5/2  7. Spicedbourbongirl-Jeff Gregory-Jeff Gregory-10/1  8. Flowers N Songs-Yannick Gingras-Paul Reid-9-2  9. Swinging Royalty-Tim Tetrick-George Ducharme-5/1 Earn Your Wings and Straight A Student will race as an ownership entry. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Straight A Student ($3.10) and Fad Finance ($3.50) took their respective $60,200 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes and tied the Buffalo Raceway track record for 3-year-old filly trotters in doing so with times of 1:58.2 over the fast track on Sunday afternoon (July 17).   The clocking equaled the mark of 1:58.2 established in 2015 by High Rise.   In the opening leg, Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) got a perfect trip and won the cavalry charge down the stretch to register a head victory over Lindylicious (Kevin Cummings). Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the show position.   At the start, Straight A Student parked Goosebump Hanover to the quarter pole before finally relinquishing the lead. From there, Goosebump Hanover was in command until the top of the stretch when Straight A Student came charging down the passing lane and Lindylicious attacked from the outside.   It was a blanket finish with Straight A Student getting the head win over Lindylicious while Goosebump Hanover was just a neck back.   "I just wanted to make it around the first turn," MacDonald said in getting Straight A Student to the winner's circle. "I knew if I followed Goosebump Hanover around the track, I'd be where I wanted to be in the end."   Straight A Student (Credit Winner-Smarter Than Smart) as been playing second fiddle for much of the season as she has had five runner up finishes in her seven starts. "She's trotted some big miles this season and finally got the win," MacDonald added.   Trained by Paul Kelley, Straight A Student pushed her seasonal earnings to $71,885 and $93,675 lifetime.   In the second division, Fad Finance was ready to roll midway down the backstretch the final time but had to wait for racing room before rallying late to nip Monarchs Sequel (MacDonald) by a nose. Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) secured the show position.   Fad Finance had nowhere to go heading to the three-quarter marker as the pace-setting Swinging Royalty and the first-over Monarchs Sequel had her boxed in along the pylons.   In the race for the wire, Fad Finance found some wiggle room and just got up in time to take the nose victory.   "I did all I could do to keep her in the two hole," Morrill Jr. said of Fad Finance's journey. "If I could have gotten her free down the backstretch, we probably would have won by five lengths."   Trained by Trond Smedshammer, it was the third victory of the year for Fad Finance (Credit Winner-Armbro Vanity). The win pushed her seasonal bankroll to $83,038 and $129,988 in her career.   Fruition ($5.10) was the fastest in the $15,000 Excelsior A Series with a 2:00.0 victory which gave MacDonald a double while Kevin Cummings drove Outside Court ($7.30) to a 2:00.4 win.   Shawn McDonough swept both of the $6,600 Excelsior B Series as he was aboard Catalina Cash ($6.60) and Barn Diva ($10.40). Catalina Cash covered the mile in 2:02.0 while Barn Diva toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 2:03.1.   Morrill Jr. took top honors on the day in the bike as he posted five wins.   The final week of the 2016 season at Buffalo Raceway will start on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will kick off closing week as the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers will be in action.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Whosurpal was claimed two weeks ago for $15,000 by Tessa Roland and Thomas Mazzone and the 6-year-old gelding is sure making a great impression with his new connections.   After rolling to an 8-3/4 length victory last week in 1:53.3 in a $7,400 conditioned pace in his debut in the JD Perrin barn, Whosurpal stepped up in class and found the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway a breeze as well by coasting to an easy 2-1/4 length victory over China Dream in 1:54.4 on Saturday night (July 16).   Driven for the second straight week by Jim Morrill Jr., Whosurpal sat fourth behind the pace-setting He's Got It (Ron Beback Jr.) to the half in 57.1.   But down the backside the final time, Whosurpal was first over and brushed to the lead without any trouble, opening up a commanding six length advantage at the top of the lane. Midway through the stretch, Morrill Jr. throttled down Whosurpal and beat the non-threatening China Dream while Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) was third.   It was the third victory in 25 starts this season for Whosurpal (Whosurboy-Galyn Seelster), a winner of $31,112 this season and $115,308 lifetime.   Morrill Jr. finished the card with five victories while Todd Cummings had a double. Perrin had a training four-bagger and Roland had four trips to the winner's circle as an owner.   There's an 11-race card set for Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will be in town with the 3-year-old filly trotters to square off in a pair of $60,200 events. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B Series.   For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, July 11, 2016-It was the second downstate go-round for the state's glamour division Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $166,374 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of consecutive divisions, worth $82,437 and $83,937, respectively, comprised the event. Slight 2-1 favorite Roll Away Joe (Jim Morrill Jr., $6.30) had enough things go right for him in the opening division, which he won in a life-best 1:53. Starting outside his six rivals, he left into a chasmic three-hole as Stolen Glimpse (Matt Kakaley) was stung early by pole-sitting Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter). A :26.2 opening quarter-mile gave way to a more sensible :55.3 intermission. Roll Away Joe was out and moving toward a 1:24.1 three-quarters, ducking inside when "Autotune" phoned it in. Stolen Glimpse held a tenuous, half-length lead into the lane, but was about to get swallowed up. Roll Away Joe slide inside, then whipped a second-over Craftship (Scott Zeron) by a length-and-a-half. Artmagic (George Brennan) was third, while Stolen Glimpse faded to fourth. "The fast early fractions helped, but at the finish he was so good that he wanted to go around again," Morrill said. For "Joe," a Roll With Joe gelding co-owned by Stephen Demeter, Howard Taylor and Thomas Lazzaro and trained by Tracy Brainard, it was his second win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $65, with the triple returning $228.50. Odds-on Missile J (Tim Tetrick, $2.10), surprised very few in the second sire stakes grouping, prevailing in 1:53.2. Looped leaving from post No. 4 by Fine Diamond (Kakaley), the people's preference made the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter, Subsequent fractions of 57-seconds flat and 1:25.2 gave Missile J a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn. Fine Diamond chased from the pocket, beaten a non-threatening three-quarters of a length. Ideal Son (Morrill Jr.) was a three-hole third. For Missile J, the Art Rooney Pace-winning American Ideal gelding, he's now 8-for-13 this season resume ($312,902). Linda Toscano trains the winner for co-owning stables KJ and Purple Haze. "He rated well and paced home really strong," Tetrick said. Sire stakes continue here Thursday night, with the $163,374 Michael Sorentino Trot (3-year-old colts and geldings). Friday night, it's the $167,974 Art Watson Pace (3-year-old fillies). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Nichols, N.Y. -- Empire Breeders Classic winner Non Stick was handed a harness racing defeat for the second time of her career in a $40,600 New York Sire Stakes event on Sunday (July 10) afternoon at Tioga Downs, unable to make any impact behind Fad Finance ($7.20), the very filly who evaded Non Stick at Vernon last month.   Fad Finance made an early push to the fore, clearing Earn Your Wings (Jason Bartlett) upon straightening after a :27.4 first quarter. The 3-year-old Credit Winner filly faced no pressure to speak of through the final circuit, edging away after rating a :57.1 middle half. Fad Finance evaded her six foes en route to a 1:54.3 mile, keeping two lengths clearance on Earn Your Wings up to the winning post. Gin and Lindy (Scott Zeron) rallied off cover to take third in the last yards, while Non Stick failed to make any impact from first-over, finishing fourth.   Jim Morrill Jr. drove Trond Smedshammer trainee Fad Finance, now a 6-time winner, for the Purple Haze Stables, Marc Goldberg, and the Rojan Stables.   In the other $40,600 Sire Stakes events, odds-on favorites prevailed. Swinging Royalty ($3.20, Chris Lems) made all the pace en route to an easy 1:56.2 win, and Open Access ($3.40, Matt Kakaley) dueled clear of Goosebump Hanover (Morrill) before holding off a belated three-wide bid from Monarchs Sequel (Mark MacDonald) to prevail in 1:56.   In the afternoon's sub-featured $11,000 Open Pace, Believe This Bob ($9.50, Mike Simons) held sway of Clear Vision's late push for a narrow 1:50.2 triumph, while Its Payday Friday ($3.90, Dan Clements) outlasted a late bid from Prairie Fortune in the $11,000 Open Trot.   Racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 15) afternoon, with first post slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jim Morrill Jr. has been what could be best described as a 'part-time' harness racing driver at Buffalo Raceway this season but incredibly he took a giant step toward winning the 2016 driving championship after posting a six-bagger on Saturday night (July 9).   Morrill Jr. moved his win total to 117 at Buffalo Raceway in just 293 attempts and leads runner up Todd Cummings who has 96 victories in 612 races with nine racing dates left on the season.   And while Morrill Jr. dominated the night in the sulky, the heavily-favored Southwind Whiski ($3.10) was the dominate force in the featured $9,000 pace by trouncing his six rivals in 1:55.3.   Scoring from the rail, Southwind Whiski (Ray Fisher Jr.) played give-and-go with Bad Fox to the opening quarter mark. With fractions of 28.4, 58.1 and 1:27.3, Southwind Whiski exploded on the final turn and smartly paced away from the field with the help of a 28.0 final panel. Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) was second 2-3/4 lengths back while American Bull (Kevin Cummings) was third.   Co-owned by John Mungillo and Thatsideofthefence LLC, the 8-year-old gelded Southwind Whiski (Bettor's Delight-Winona Hanover) now has four victories in 23 starts this season, earning $27,094 and $149,066 lifetime.   It was also a big milestone for trainer JD Perrin as he tripled and moved his seasonal win total at Buffalo Raceway to 100.   Racing will resume on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.   For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

Jim Morrill, Jr, driving Milky Way Rae, set a new track record of 1:53.4 for three year old pacing fillies at Goshen Historic Track on July 1, 2016. The prior record was set in 2014 record of 1:54.1 and was held held by Spreester.   The daughter of American Ideal actually broke before the start of the $15,000 division of the NY Excelsior race, but regrouped and was still able wire the field, winning by three and one-half lengths. She is owned and bred by the Fortunate One Stable of New York and is trained by Tracy Brainard.    The victory was one of four winners on the program for driver Jim Morrill, Jr.    by Geri Schwarz, for Historic Track      

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A pair of track records, seven victories and a New York Sire Stakes win. It was just another day at the office for harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (June 15).   Morrill Jr. captured a $58,000 division of the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacers as to guided Missile J to a neck victory over Manny in a track record of 1:53.1 which eclipsed the gelding mark of 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014.   Earlier in the program, Morrill Jr. and Terrorcam set a new track standard for the 4-year-old pacing mares with a 1:54.1 time in a filly and mare optional claiming race. It crushed the old time of 1:55.0 established by Bet The Ranch in 2009 and Skyway Tia in 2015.   It was the fourth time this season Morrill Jr. has posted seven wins on a program at Buffalo Raceway as he accomplished the feat on March 3, March 25 and April 15. Kevin Cummings still hold the Buffalo Raceway mark with eight wins back on June 2011, 2005.   Fine Diamond and driver Joe Bongiorno won the $59,100 first division of New York Sire Stakes with a half-length decision over Craftship in 1:56.0.   Missile J ($2.20), the winner of the $300,0000 Art Rooney Stakes at Yonkers earlier this season, opened up a six-length edge with a quarter mile to pace, but just had enough left to beat the hard-charging Manny (Chris Lems) by a diminishing neck in 1:53.1.   A blistering 26.2 second panel which set up a 54.0 half for Missile J wasn't was Morrill Jr. was hoping for, stating, "He was all wound up. He just wanted to go."   And go he did. Missile J tipped the timer in 1:23.1 to three quarters and but was begging for the finish line. "He was certainly tired at the end, especially with those fractions," Morrill Jr. said after the race. Manny finished in second with JK Heaven Sent (Bongiorno) taking third.   Owned by Kj Stables LLC and the Purple Haze Stables and conditioned by Linda Toscano, it was the sixth win in 10 starts this season for Missile J (American Ideal-Cantor's Daughter). It increased his season earnings to $232,675. Missile J was unraced in 2015.   In the other NYSS division, Fine Diamond and Bongiorno sat back and watched the front end battle between Craftship (Morrill Jr.) and Bottom Deals (Lems). The speed duel did the pair in as Fine Diamond scooted down the passing lane to register the half length decision. Craftship took the place position and Autotune Hanover (Dobson) was third.   "With Bottom Deals and Craftship pushing the fractions, it set it up pretty well for me," said Bongiorno. "Fine Diamond was excellent."   A Meadowlands, the 22-year-old Bongiorno said, "It's my first time here (at Buffalo Raceway) and it was a great experience."   It was the fourth win in six starts for Fine Diamond (Rock N Roll Hanover-Yellow Diamond). The decision pushed his seasonal bankroll to $63,635 and $209,145 lifetime. He is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Buscemi and the Panhellenic Stable.   In the Excelsior A Series with each leg carrying a purse of $15,000, the winners were Hash-Tag Chrome (Sam Schillaci), Readysetletsroll (Billy Dobson) and Here's The Scoop (Morrill Jr.).   The non-betting Excelsior B Series race worth $6,200 went to Americanation (Dobson).   Wanna Rock N Roll (Lems) captured the $9,500 Open Pace for the filly and mares in 1:56.1 and returned $4.20.   Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Missile J, the winner of the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace in late May at Yonkers Raceway, headlines one of the two $58,000 (est.) divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers that arrive at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday evening (June 15).   Co-owned by Kj Stables and the Purple Haze Stables, Missile J (American Ideal-Cantor's Delight) went unraced as a 2-year-old but he's sure making up for the lost season now.   In just nine career starts, Missile J has five wins, two seconds and a third for $198,675 in earnings. He's won six of his last eight tries and finished in second twice, losing by just a length each time.   Missile J's win in the Rooney on May 28 at Yonkers was impressive to say the least as he started from the dreaded eight post, but driver Brian Sears managed to work out a perfect trip with him. They stopped the timer in 1:53, beating Tailgunner Hanover by 2-1/4 lengths.   Last week however in a $39,900 division of the Sire Stakes at Monticello, Missile J (Tim Tetrick) tried the cut the mile from the seven post but couldn't hang on late as Talk Show got up in time for the victory in 1:53.4.   Jim Morrill Jr. gets the call aboard Missile J who is the 7-5 morning line choice that is trained by Linda Toscano.   The main threat in the race could come from Manny who scored from the rail last week in the Sire Stakes at Monticello in 1:54.2 for Chris Lems.   Others in the five-horse field, set for the ninth, are Nox Vegas Bluechip (Kevin Cummings), JK Heaven Sent (Joe Bongiorno) and Carlos Danger (Billy Dobson).   In the opening division, set for the eighth race, Fine Diamond looks to sparkle as he takes on five other rivals. A winner three times in five attempts this season, Fine Diamond draws the two post with Bongiorno in the sulky, finished second to Manny last week in the Sire Stakes at Monticello. Fine Diamond failed to win a race in 2011 but put $145,114 in the bank in just 11 starts.   The favorite at 2-1 is Craftship (Morrill Jr.) who drew the rail. He took a $39,900 leg last week at Monticello over Artmagic by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.2.   The remainder of the field includes Roll Away Joe (Kevin Cummings), Bottom Deals (Lems), Autotune Hanover (Dobson) and Cenovis (Ray Fisher Jr.).   With perfect weather expected along with a fast race track which has produced three track records already in 2016, the 1:52.3 colt mark set by Steelhead Hanover in 2012 could be in jeopardy along with the gelding standard of 1:53.4 established by Murder He Wrote in 2014.   There will also be three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A Series and one non-betting race for the Excelsior B Series.   Racing will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday with a 11-race card set. There's a $487 carryover in the Pick-5 as well which begins in the fifth race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to http://www.buffaloraceway.com/   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

It's only been two weeks since Wanna Rock N Roll arrived in Western New York from Yonkers Raceway but she has learned quickly that harness racing on the front end is the right thing for her to do.   In her second start of the season at the Buffalo Raceway, Wanna Rock N Roll ($3.60) again made every step a winning one in taking the featured $9,000 pace for the mares on Wednesday night (May 25).   In her seasonal debut last week at Buffalo Raceway, Wanna Rock N Roll went wire-to-wire in 1:56.1 in scoring a 1-1/4 length victory. She went even faster this start over the fast track with a 1:55.2 time in easily winning by 4-1/4 for catch driver Jim Morrill Jr.   Blasting from the five hole off the gate, Wanna Rock N Roll had no trouble in reaching the lead and posting splits of 28.1, 56.3 and 1:26.3. In the stretch, the race was all but over as Wanna Rock N Roll went uncontested to the finish line. Who Says That (Drew Monti) won the battle for second place while Passion R Virginie (Shawn McDonough) took third.   Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Mike Carrubba, Wanna Rock N Roll (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady) is a 5-year-old mare that now has won six times in 16 appearances this season. The victory upped her earnings to $45,475 in 2016 and $205,732 lifetime.   Kevin Cummings had a four-bagger while Todd Cummings, Jim McNeight and Morrill Jr. all had two wins in the sulky. Trainers JD Perrin, Carl Surdyk and John Mungillo each doubled.   Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card set.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

The Catamount Kid and Another Daily Copy tied for speed honors in capturing their respective $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for state-sired harness racing three-year-old pacing colts Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with both tripping the timer in 1:51.2, while in the third division Voltaire scored a 14-1 upset and like the other two victors took a personal mark with his 1:52.2 clocking.   The Catamount Kid was second in his elimination for the Pennsylvania Classic and then fourth in the Classic Final the last two weeks at Pocono, finishing behind only Ron Burke trainees, but Sunday nothing got in the way of the Well Said colt en route to the winners circle. The Catamount Kid sat a pocket trip until the ¾, moved out to challenge and grab the lead into the stretch, then held off Bully Pulpit from off his back for a neck decision. Simon Allard handled sulky duties for the winner, whom trainer Carl Jamieson co-owns with Thomas Kyron, George Harrison, and Brian Paquet.   Driver Jim Morrill Jr., who held the hot hand at Pocono on Sunday, posted his fourth victory of the night when he guided Another Daily Copy home first. Morrill rated a 29.2 second quarter, getting to the half in 56, then sprinted off to a big lead on the far turn, with the final 1¼ length margin of victory over pocketsitting Fernando Hanover a bit deceptive. Nicholas Devita trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere, who doubled his lifetime victory total with the All-Stars triumph, for owner Carl Sackheim.   It's usually not a benefit to gap two-wide cover, but driver Tim Tetrick made it work for him and Voltaire in the other division. The Western Terror gelding was originally second-over but couldn't stay with his cover, letting More Dragon out - whom Voltaire and Tetrick prompted followed three-wide on the far turn, then swung wider in the stretch. Settlemoir was closing in the Pocono Pike, pacesetter JJ Flynn was trying to maintain his advantage, and More Dragon continued his wide gain - but in the last 50 yards Voltaire found his best strides and was along to win by a head over Settlemoir, who was a neck ahead of More Dragon, with JJ Flynn settling for fourth. Brian Malone conditions the winner for owners Peter Paul Venturini and Peter Venturini III.   Pennsylvania All-Stars action continues in the second half of the Pocono race week, Monday and Tuesday, with three $30,000 divisions for distaffs each night: the pacers in the spotlight Monday, and then the trotters headlining on Tuesday.   PHHA / Pocono

Leave Your Mark made it three in a row at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (April 29), hanging on by a diminishing head over Strong Hope in the harness racing featured $9,000 trot. The winning time was 2:01.2 over the good track.   There were several win streaks on the line as Strong Hope came into the race with three straight while Leave York Mark and Red Clay each had two. While Red Clay finished fifth, Leave Your Mark and Strong Hope were determined to keep their streaks alive and battled right to the finish line.   Driver Jim Morrill Jr. settled into third place with Leave Your Mark at the start but fired out and took the lead away from Lenny Mac just before the quarter pole. Putting up fractions of 31.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.4, Leave Your Mark ($6.40) knew there would be challenges coming in the stretch.   Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) was first over and was in perfect striking position in the drive to the wire. Leave Your Mark didn't give in and was strong enough to hold off the hard-charging runner up Strong Hope. Ali De Vie (Todd Cummings) finished in third.   Leave York Mark (Yankee Glide-Celebrity Liza) is a 7-year-old gelding who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. It was the fourth win of the season for Leave Your Mark, now a winner of $21,514 in 2016 and $179,232 lifetime.   Morrill Jr. finished the night with three victories with Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Jim McNeight each registering doubles. Perrin and Kirk Desmond each had two training wins.   Racing will resume at 6 p.m. on Saturday night with another 11-race card set. There will be a $982 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Sooner or later, Strong Hope is going to make believers out of the betting public. And after setting a new track record Friday night (April 22) in the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway, at last he might get the well earned respect.   For the third straight race, Strong Hope was shunned at the betting windows and proved his doubters wrong once again with an impressive victory in 1:57.1 over the fast track. The time shattered the old standard of 1:58.1 for aged trotting colts (5+) set in 2014 by Armed Dangerously.   It was the third straight double digit win for Strong Hope who returned $11.80 for the comfortable 1-1/4 length victory over Northern Bullet. Strong Hope now has $17.40 and $53.50 win prices to his credit during his current streak.   And while Strong Hope continued his winning ways, so did driver Jim Morrill Jr.   He recorded another seven-bagger including a stretch of five in a row. Morrill Jr. now has posted 59 victories at Buffalo Raceway in 119 starts. It was the fourth time this season he has had seven wins on a card at the Hamburg half-mile oval. While flirting with the record, Kevin Cummings' mark of eight wins set on June 11, 2005 still stands.   In the feature, Lutetium set some wicked fractions of 28.1, 57.1 and 1:27.1 which was a perfect set up for the hard-charging Strong Hope.   Going first over past the half, Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) made steady progress toward the top and was in command at the top of the lane. Northern Bullet (Morrill Jr.) finished a non-threatening second while Lutetium (Todd Cummings) held on for third.   Owned and trained by Joe Agostino, it was the fourth win in 14 starts this season for the 9-year-old Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie). The victory upped his 2016 winnings to $25,941 and $526,824 lifetime.   Trainer JD Perrin had three wins and Agostino two on the card. Ray Fisher Jr. doubled in the sulky.   Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jim Morrill Jr. has been dominating Friday nights at Buffalo Raceway the past few weeks with seven wins on a card becoming a regular occurrence. Driver Billy Davis Jr. wanted to get in on the act and has taken over Wednesday evenings.   Making the weekly trip from Flamboro Downs, Davis Jr. is sure liking the Hamburg half-mile oval as he posted a seven-bagger, the first of his career, to highlight the Wednesday night action (April 20). He has now won 25 times in just 77 starts.   It's the fourth time in 2016 that a driver has seven wins on a program at Buffalo with Morrill Jr. doing it three times and Davis Jr. once. Kevin Cummings' record of eight still stands from June 11, 2005.   For Morrill Jr., he made the most of his one drive of the night as he drove the heavily-favored Dontch Remember ($4.80) to a nose victory over Fashion Katie in the $9,000 featured pace for the mares.   By guiding Dontch Remember to her third win of the campaign in a seasonal best 1:57.0, Morrill Jr. took over sole possession of first place in the driver's standings with 52 victories in just 108 starts. He'll have plenty of opportunity on Friday night to increase his margin as he is scheduled to drive in all 11 races.   It was a three-way battle to the top as Nutmegs Yankee, Mach This Way and Memumsnotnice all wanted command at the quarter pole. When the dust settled, Memumsnotnice came away with the lead and put of fractions of 28..0, 57.0 and 1:26.4. Those hot fractions proved to be costly in the end.   Dontch Remember, who wanted no part of the lead, and sat back in fourth. Going first over at the half and methodically cutting into the lead of Memumsnotnice, Dontch Remember finally gained control midway down the stretch.   It wasn't clear sailing, however, as Dontch Remember had to hold off the late rally of Fashion Katie (Drew Monti) and Nutmegs Yankee (Truman Gale) who finished second and third respectively.   Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, Dontch Remember (Western Terror-Dreamsicle) is a 6-year-old mare that has earned $15,300 this season and $144,413 lifetime.   Todd Cummings had a driving double while trainers Jim Graham, John Mungillo and JD Perrin each had two victories.   Racing will resume on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There's a $1,884 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was quite a night once again for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and he brought trainer JD Perrin along for the ride as the pair absolutely dominated the action on Friday night (April 15) at Buffalo Raceway.   Morrill Jr. put up another seven-bagger and amazingly moved into a first place tie in the driver's standings with 51 victories in just 107 starts. He tied the injured Jack Flanigen who also has 51 wins but in 263 tries. Morrill Jr. finished in the money in all 10 drives.   It was the third time this season Morrill Jr. has had a seven-win night at Buffalo Raceway. He accomplished it on March 3 and March 25 and also did it twice before on March 1, 2013 and February 15, 2006.   Kevin Cummings holds the all-time mark at the track with eight victories on June 11, 2005.   And for Perrin, the three-time defending training champion at the Hamburg half-mile oval, he extended his huge advantage in the standings with a five-win night. He holds a 47-26 lead over Maria Rice who conditioned a pair of winners.   The Morrill Jr.-Perrin combination won five times as Precise Accusation ($3.50), Leave Your Mark ($3.90), Aberarder Smitty ($2.60), Bruener ($7.00) and Herbie Is Gone ($7.80) all went to the winner's circle.   In the feature, Noble Legend literally caught a 'good break' and took Buffalo Raceway's $8,200 trot.   Kahoku had an unfortunate miscue which helped Noble Legend take the two-length victory over the favored Ali De Vie in 1:58.3 over the fast track.   The race around the final turn and into the stretch seemed to belong to the front-stepping Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) as he enjoyed a comfortable two-length advantage over Noble Legend. Things changed in a hurry however as Kahoku broke stride, allowing the pocket-sitting Noble Legend to take command and cruise home to the victory. Ali De Vie (Morrill Jr.) took second while Kahoku regrouped in time and managed to roll into the show position.   Owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice, Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) has now earned $17,854 in 2016 thanks to four wins in nine starts. The 4-year-old gelding is trained by Maria Rice.   Racing will continue on Saturday night with an 11-race program set to go to the post at 6 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Incredible! That's probably the best way to describe harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. and his current hot streak at Buffalo Raceway.   Morrill Jr. continued to make the Hamburg half-mile oval his personal playground as he notched a seven-bagger on Friday evening (March 25). It was the second time this season he has had a seven-win night. He accomplished the feat back on March 3. He's also done it at Buffalo Raceway twice before, on March 1, 2013 and February 15, 2006.   Kevin Cummings holds the all-time mark at the track with eight victories on June 11, 2005.   Morrill Jr. lost his chance to tie the record as his final ride of the night, Diditagain Hanover, was a late scratch in the 11th race.   In just 75 starts in 2016 at Buffalo Raceway, Morrill Jr. has 38 wins, putting him second in the driver's standings.   As far as the main event, the toughest part of Ali De Vie's race in the $8,200 trot on was getting the lead and that wasn't difficult. Once he gained control, it was smooth sailing to the finish line, winning his fourth straight race.   Ali De Vie ($3.40) and Morrill Jr. waited patiently for the front end to sort itself out and it proved to be the right strategy. The pair steamrolled to the top just before the opening quarter pole and were never challenged in the 1-3/4 length win over Kahoku in 2:00.1. It was the fourth consecutive week that Ali De Vie and Morrill Jr. have combined for a victory.   Setting fractions of 30.3, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2, Ali De Vie felt only minor pressure from Edom Up Blue Boy at the three-quarter pole but that fire was quickly extinguished. Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) took the second place spot with Im The Cash Man (Drew Monti) third.   Owned and trained by Marc Shuttleworth, Ali De Vie (Conway Hall-Excusez Moi) is a 6-year-old gelding that has now won five times in eight starts in 2016. His seasonal earnings jumped to $17,806 and $110,044 lifetime.   Jack Flanigen, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, doubled and trainer Maria Rice had a pair of victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race card slated for 6 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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