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The mutuel payouts may have been small, but the purses were spread around in the 3-year-old filly pacing division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2). A different sire, driver and trainer won each leg of the series as they represented the best New York State has to offer for this sex and gait. In the first $39,200 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) left the gate and took a methodic path to the front in 27.4. Leading the single-file group and still unchallenged to the half, Morrill kept a tight grip on the filly with an eye on closing out the deal. When they rolled towards three-quarters, Morrill popped the plugs and Mosquito Blue Chip responded in kind, quickly pulling away to a four-length advantage. With Morrill stretched out like he was in a recliner, the pair scurried home in 28.2 with no one even close, to win in 1:54.2. "She felt like her old self today." "She was on cruise control the entire mile" said driver Jim Morrill Jr. of the filly who is now two-for-two lifetime at Batavia Downs. Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) was sent off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and paid $2.30 for the win. Paul Jessop trains and co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio. As most expected in the second $39,900 leg, Band Of Angels (Matt Kakaley) and Moremercy Bluechip (Andy Miller) left from post three and four respectively and got away 1-2 before sauntering to a pedestrian 29-second first quarter. With the rest of the field still in post-position order behind the two favorites, Kakaley continued to grab leather in an even slower 29.4 second panel. From there it was all Band Of Angels who was given her head and quickly opened up a five-length lead before Kakaley lowered the lines and stored the whip. Band Of Angels ($2.50) paced the back half in 56.2, winning in 1:55.1 with Moremercy Bluechip closing ground on the wrapped-up winner to finish second. After the race, winning driver Matt Kakaley pointed out "She did it as easily as a horse could do it and had plenty left coming down the stretch". Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) is conditioned by North America's leading trainer, Ron Burke for owner W.J. Donovan. The final $39,900 split featured a speed duel between two unrelenting contestants and it started as soon as the gate pulled away. As the field headed into the first turn, they were spread three-wide across the track; Jag Out (Andy Miller) on the pylons, Nippy W Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the middle and Artiawitchtoyou (Doug McNair) out widest of all. Off the turn, Nippy W Hanover settled in second but Artiawitchtoyou opted to go on. As she drew next to Jag Out at the quarter in 27.1, it was clear the leader had no intentions of giving up that spot. As they contentiously passed the half in 55 flat, Jag Out and Artiawitchtoyou were seemingly pacing in tandem heading into the third turn, but then Artiawitchtoyou had taken all the air she could and by the 1:24.3 three-quarter split, started to show the effects. As she started to fade off, Jag Out continued to drive on to an impressive two-length victory in the fastest time of the day (1:53.4). The winner paid $8.00. "She was awesome! I know we went fast early but she's that good" said driver Andy Miller about the speed duel between his charge and Artiawitchtoyou. Jag Out (American Ideal-Impertinent) is trained by Erv Miller, who co-owns her with Paymaq Racing and Mystical Marker Farms LLC. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card for $30,000 in purses. The first went to Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) went gate to wire in 1:56.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Heidi Rohr. Yes You Can, who paid $2.40 is owned by the Holland Racing Stable. The second division was won by Hey Kobe (Bettor's Delight-American West) who also led the entire mile for driver Mark Macdonald and trainer Marthe Drolet. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider and William Siegel. The winner returned $4.00. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. notched four victories on the card with Kevin Cummings adding two more wins to his meet-leading total. Racing resumes on Wednesday at Batavia Downs when two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings go postward for a total of $110,000 in purses. Post time is set for 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

Young Ladies on Parade" was the theme at the harness racing meeting on Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $147,723 New York Sire Stakes Clyde Hirt Pace for 2-year-old fillies. Three divisions, at $48,941 per, comprised the event. Soft Ideal (Jim Morrill Jr.) couldn't even wait for the wagering to begin, winning both the draw and the non-betting event. The daughter of American Ideal sat patiently pocketed, then ducked inside. She whipped pace-setting American Ivy (Brian Sears) by a length-and-three-quarters in a life-best 1:56.2. Dime a Dance (George Brennan) was third. For Soft Ideal, trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners The Bay's Stable, Radio Racing Stable (a Harvey Nagler production), Little E LLC and South Mountain Stables, it was her second (NYSS) win in three tries. The second sire stakes event saw odds-on Vino and Formaggio (Jason Bartlett) stuff Killing 'Em Softly (Brennan, $6.40) in behind early, only to watch her ease past late. The second choice, from post position No.4 after an inside scratch, whipped the favorite by a length in 1:57.3. Rockin' Date (Matt Kakaley) was third. For Killing 'Em Softly, an American Ideal miss trained by Casie Coleman for co-owners Andrew Harris and West Wins Stable, it was her second (NYSS) win in as many starts. The exacta paid $11.60, with triple wagering cancelled due a short (five-horse) field. The evening's final statebred event saw No Clouds Bluechip (Sears, $12.60) try to leave, take back, then go first-up to first home in maiden-breaking/night's-fastest 1:56. From post No. 3, she went over a tiring Wishy Washy Girl (Bartlett), then widen to win by 2¼ lengths. Mother of Art (Kakaley) was second, with Penpal (Pat Lachance) third. Wishy Washy Girl tired to fourth, while 9-10 favorite Freeze Out (Marcus Miller) was a non-factor sixth. For fourth choice "No Clouds," a daughter of Roll With Joe trained by John Berger for co-owners Barbara Berger and Richard & Farrell Carney, she's now 1-for-4 to begin her career. The exacta paid $71, with the triple returning $361. The Raceway's live season continues Tuesday afternoon (first post 1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (post time 7:10 PM) Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Time On My Hands (American Ideal) broke the track record for two year old filly pacers on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. There were three divisions of the $49,000+ New York Sire Stakes for freshman fillies and the Chris Ryder-trained Time On My Hands was the star of the show. Jim Morrill Jr. guided the youngster to the early lead before being met with the late challenge of Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe) and driver Billy Dobson. Time On My Hands powered away in the stretch to stop the timer in 1:54.2, two fifths of a second better than the previous track record that belonged to four different fillies, most recently Band Of Angels when the two year olds came to town to compete in NYSS action last year. Morrill also piloted freshman American Ivy (American Ideal) to victory in her $49,841 division of the stakes for trainer Joe Holloway. American Ivy stopped the clock in 1:56.1 in her first Sire Stakes try. The third division was won by Gotmyreddressontnit (Roll With Joe) who moved her record to two-for-two following a front running win with Wally Hennessey in the sulky. The Janice Connor owned and trained filly won her debut last week at Buffalo and on Friday stayed undefeated behind an impressive score in 1:54.4. Morrill piloted five winners on the night. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Gotmyredressontnit put up the fastest mile while Soft Idea and Encore Deo also found the winner's circle in their first career starts to highlight the action in the three $36,566 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers at the harness racing meeting at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 1).   The track record at Buffalo Raceway of 1:56.3 set by Silk Purse in 2011 and tied by Summertime Lea in 2012 will remain safe for another season.   The first division was the quickest as Gotmyredressontnit just missed the track record with a 1:56.4 clocking while Soft Idea and Encore Deo each went the mile in 1:57.3 over the fast track.   The favored Gotmyredressontnit ($4.10) toyed with the field in the first division.   Sitting third at the quarter pole, driver Jason Bartlett said it was time to go with Gotmyredressontnit and took command.   She was on cruise control from there, going 58.1 in the second half mile, including a 28.2 last panel to pull away from runner up Wishy Washy Girl (Jordan Stratton) by 2-3/4 lengths while Another Look (Tom Jackson) finished in third..   Bartlett said after the race, "This filly is really fast. She's high speed and has a great gait."   He added that he was confident when they passed the half-mile pole.   "The way she's been qualifiying, I knew we had it won at the half mile.   I still haven't pulled the plugs on her." Gotmyredressontnit won her two non-betting prep races by 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 lengths.   Owned and trained by Janice Connor, Gotmyredressontnit (Roll With Joe-Western Top Cat) is now a perfect 1-for-1 in her young career.   In the second division, a gutsy drive by Scott Zeron in the passing lane allowed Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) to score a narrow victory over Vino And Formaggio and Angels Rockn Pink in an exciting blanket finish that was decided by a mere head.   Angels Rockn Pink (John MacDonald) set the fractions of 29.1, 59.0 and 1:28.1. They looked home free at the top of the stretch but things started to fall apart. The leg-weary Angels Rockn Pink was begging for the finish line but Soft Idea and Vino And Formaggio (Kevin Cummings) were pacing strong to the finish.   Soft Idea ($13.60) went as far down the passing lane as possible and managed to nose past the game Vino And Formaggio at the wire while Angels Rockn Pink was a head back.   Zeron admitted it was a tight squeeze down the stretch. He then added, "She was loaded the entire mile. I backed her off around the turns but down the stretch, I had a ton of horse."   Soft Idea is trained by Linda Toscano and is co-owned by the South Mountain Stable, the Bay's Stable, Radio Racing Stable and Little E LLC.   After losing a narrow decision in the second leg of the Sire Stakes, Cummings got his revenge in the third and final division aboard Encore Deo ($10.80).   Blasting to the top from the five post, Encore Deo, a $100,000 Lexington Sales purchase, played a game of catch me if you can and ended up wiring the field of seven. Putting up fractions of 30.1, 59.4 and 1:28.4, a 28.4 last quarter panel was enough to hold off any late threat. No Clouds Bluechip (Bartlett) finished 3/4 lengths back while Dime A Dance (Stratton) took the show spot.   "She handled the track really well," Cummings said of Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven -Docdor Cameo). "I was a hair worried around the last turn, but once she straightened out in the stretch, she had a a lot left."   Encore Deo is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by the Burke Stable, Weaver Buscemi, Jason Melillo and Lawrence Karr.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, it was a clean sweep for Jim Morrill Jr. as he guided Amazon Ideal ($3.40) to a 2:00.3 win and was in the sulky with Roll Of Dreams ($4.00) who turned in a 2:00.1 time.   The $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series went to Milky Way Rae ($4.20) who toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 2:00.4 with Bartlett in the bike.   BZ Glide (Morrill Jr.) was victorious in the $10,500 Open Trot in 1:57.2 and returned $2.70 for the win. Morrill Jr. finished the night with four victories.   Country Delight ($4.00) went coast-to-coast in notching a 1:57.3 win in the $9,500 Open pace for the filly and mares. John Cummings Jr. handled the driving duties.   Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 11 races scheduled to go to the post at 6:35 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian J. Mazurek

It should come as no surprise that Jim Morrill Jr. continues to dominate the NYSS, much like Wally Hennessy and Jeff Gregory have done on the past. This afternoon at Monticello Raceway, Jim Morrill Jr won 5 of the 8 New York Sire Stakes Races. Blue Chip Farms Stallion, Roll With Joe had 4 sons enter the winners circle for the afternoon. In the first race, local favorite KJ Erich was well in hand for driver Jim Taggart Jr. as he won by 6 lengths in 1:59:1 for co-owner and trainer Gary Messenger. In the 2nd Division of the Excelsior's A's, is was the grey son of Roll With Joe, White Rolls scoring a wire to wire victory for Tracy Brainard, giving Morrill his first win of the afternoon Race 4 was the 1st division of Sire Stakes and this race had 3 lead changes before the half mile mark.  Roll With Fred had the lead going to the ¼ pole before the antsy Fine Diamond made his move to take the lead, Jim Morrill Jr was wrangling with Carlos Danger trying to keep him in the hole. Roll with Fred came right back to retake the lead and folllowing with live cover was Carlos Danger. Carlos Danger cleared and stayed there the rest of the way, taking them past the ¾ in 1:29:0. Fine Diamond made a weak attempt to challenge the leaders but his challenge stalled in the paddock turn. It appeared that Morrill was home free, but Brett Miller had Roll With Fred in high gear in deep stretch, to nip Carlos Danger by a head in 1:58:3 Tim Lanpher's One Summer Chance was the winner of race 5 Excelsior B in 2:01:3. In the other Excelsior B action in the 8th race. Zac and Forth broke his maiden in impressive fashion for trainer Thomas Merton and owner Gary Haas, winning in 1:59:4. The 2nd division of the NYSS, saw the heavy favorite Autotune Hanover work hard for the lead, only to go off stride coming out of the 1st turn. Skip Jive was in the 2 hole when the favorite broke and inherited the lead. He stayed there and won by 3 in 1:57:1 for trainer Paul Kelly and driver Mark McDonald. The most impressive individual performance of the day came in Race 13, last heat of the NYSS. Joe Larry N Curly shot out of the gate and carried the field thru fractions of 28:, 59:0 & 1:28:3. In the paddock turn HudsonandBernard made his move but was quickly dispatched as Morrill let his mount out a notch and quickly dispatched his competition. Joe Larry N Curly was too smart and went on to win to win by 3 lengths in 1:56:3, the fastest race of the day, last ¼ in 28.0. Joe Larry N Curly, a colt by Roll With Joe is trained by Mark Harder. In the winner's circle Jim Morrill Jnr, a man of few words, said "He is the real deal" This win gave Jim Morrill Jnr his 5th win on the afternoon. Total handle for the 13 race card was $602,921. Monticello Raceway is racing Mon - Fri this week, with a special Fireworks night card on Friday July 3, featuring more Sire Stake action when 2 Year Old Trotting Colts come to town. Shawn Wiles    

Nichols, N.Y. -- While a power outage forced the abandonment of the last eight races on Sunday (June 28) afternoon's 12-race harness racing program at Tioga Downs, the Purple Haze Stables, LLC's Buen Camino ($3.60, part of entry) was able to capture his $61,300 New York Sire Stakes event in advance of the mid-afternoon electrical issues.   The 3-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall and Baby Bella had no trouble clearing the front, passing Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) and Credit Creation (David Miller) to achieve the lead through a :27 initial quarter. After driver Jim Morrill, Jr. rated a :30.1 second quarter with the Trond Smedshammer trainee, Buen Camino responded to mild first-over pressure from Credit Creation, edging clear off the far turn and drawing off for a 2-1/2 length win over Wings of Royalty. The Physician (Daniel Dube) swung three-wide off stalling cover at the top of the stretch, rallying to take third.   Morrill won the previous race as well, taking a $12,000 Open Pace with Believe This Bob ($6.00) in 1:51.3.   Earlier in the card, War Hero ($12.80) sustained a middle move, holding off a late charge from Oh No Three O to take the $20,000 Normand Fluet Memorial Invitational Trot. Chris Lems settled the 7-year-old Ken Warkentin just off the pacesetters before brushing to the fore with just under a circuit to go, working clear of Spice It Up Lindy through a :57.3 first half. On the backstretch, War Hero braced for a first-over challenge from Oh No Three O, accelerating to three-quarters in 1:26.1 and ultimately holding sway by a length for a 1:56.1 triumph. Oh No Three O narrowly held second over Spice It Up Lindy, who was hard pressed for racing room through the final three-eighths of the mile.   Jessica Okusko trains War Hero for owner/breeder Howard Gill.   With respect to the abandoned races (5 through 12), all New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series events will result in an equal split of purse money and standings points among all entrants in each race. The Nichols True Value pacing series final (race 7) will carry over as already drawn to next Sunday (July 5) afternoon's card, but trainers are advised to contact the racing office with respect to driver nominations.   For punters who were live in the early pick three (ending in race 5), the 2-1-all combination (Believe This Bob in race 3, Buen Camino in race 4, and "all" in the canceled fifth race) returns $3.60 on the 50¢ base wager.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 3) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Not a stranger to multiple wins on a harness racing card Jimmy Morrill Jr. owned the afternoon at Monticello Raceway after posting 4 wins on the card, 3 of which were New York Sire Stakes events. In the first Sire Stakes division of the day, Race 1, worth $29,850, last year's Night of Champions 2 Year Old Colt Pace winner Cartoon Daddy left strong for the lead, he relinquished the front past the ¼ in 28:3 to A Bettor Hat, who took them past the half in 57:2. The eventual winner was sitting 3rd, at the 5/8 marker Jason Bartlett Jr. and Americanprimetime were on the move and charging, a spirited stretch drive ensued as Americanprimetime edged A Bettor Hat in 1:54.2 by a scant neck. The son of American Ideal is trained by Rick Dane Jr. for owners Rock & Roll Stables. 2nd Division (Race 5) J Eagle Feather scored a wire to win over the pocket sitting SOTO, giving Morrill his second win of the young afternoon in 1:54:3. The son of Bettor's Delight is trained by Linda Toscano. His win was his 2nd consecutive win in Sire Stake Company. Finishing 3rd was Lone Survivor. Race 8 was the 3rd division, K Ryan Bluechip started from the rail, after an impressive win last week at Pocono Downs in 1:50:3, Kid Rock and National Seelster blasted off the gate, National Seelster wrestled control at the ¼ mile and led the rest of the way, King of Delight driven by Scot Zeron mounted a threat in the paddock turn. K-Rock sat in the Garden spot the entire mile, in perfect striking distance heading in the stretch he dived into the passing lane, but to no avail as he was unable to catch National Seelster who won by a neck in 1:54:4. The son of Bettor's Delight was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Chris Ryder. Race 13, the seven horse field raced in post-position order until just past the half when the outer tier started to unfold, Scott Zeron pulled Artistic Major first over and was at the back of My Spirit Soars (Bettor's Delight) but was never able to make up any ground as Jimmy Morrill Jr. won his 4th race of the afternoon in 1:54:1. After the race in the winner's circle when congratulated on his fourth win of the afternoon, Jimmy said "I should have won the other Sire Stakes event also, I just got beat!"; The most impressive race of the day came in the last race, an Excelsior A division. John Butenschoen's son of Art Major, Gold Coast Muscle went down the road, he put the sleeper move on the field with a pair of middle quarters of 28.0, he took them past the ¾ in 1:24:1 to win easy in the days fastest mile 1:53 by open lengths. Longtime NY owner and patron of the sport Ken Jacobs, has 2 winners on the day. In other action, Division A winners were Major Camby - James Marohn Jr. - 1:56:1, 1:56, American Cross Road - Matt Kakaley - 1:56:1 by 8 lengths, , Nobettorplacetobe John Cummings Jr. 1:54:4. The Excelsior B series winners were Simon Said - Jim Morrill Jr. - Tarport Andy - Jim Devaux - 1:57:2. Monticello Raceway continues to have strong support from the betting public as $761,000 was wagered on the card for a $53,357 average per race. By Shawn F. Wiles

Vernon, N.Y. -- Trainer Ron Burke and driver Jim Morrill, Jr. teamed up to sweep a pair of $61,300 New York Sire Stakes events for harness racing 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday (June 6) evening at Vernon Downs.   In the first division, Habitat ($3.00) brushed from the pocket through a :57.1 initial half, clearing early pacesetter Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) before facing first-over pressure on the far turn from Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer). The son of Conway Hall and Habit's Best dug in at head-stretch, turning aside Buen Camino and holding clear of Wings of Royalty by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:53.4. The Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC own Habitat.   The other division saw Crazy Wow ($2.10) mount a monstrous recovery to overcome an interference break he suffered at the start. An early break by Royal Deceptor (Michael McGivern) seemingly took Crazy Wow out of contention at the completion of a :27.2 first quarter, but the son of Crazed and No Pan No Gain worked to catch the field on the far turn, storming through up the pegs to collar pacesetter Mythology Bluechip (Aaron Byron) in the final yards of a 1:55.2 mile. The Our Horse Cents Stables shares ownership of Crazy Wow with the JT 45 group and the J. & T. Silva Stables, LLC.   A trio of $10,000 Open events headlined the undercard, with Keene Olivia ($2.90, Morrill, 1:50.4) rallying to win the Mares Pace, Modest Prince ($7.90, Morrill, 1:53.1) pouncing from the pocket to beat the favored Bourbon Bay in the Trot, and Big Jer ($5.60, Greg Merton, 1:49.2) also striking from the pocket to upend JK Panache in the Pace.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 7) afternoon, with first post slated for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "She's back!" Those were the first two words out of the mouth of a relieved harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. after he drove Mosquito Blue Chip ($3.70) to an impressive 1-1/2 victory over She's Heavenly in a track record time of 1:53.3 in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old filly pacers at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 3). The time broke the old standard of 1:54.1 established in 2014 by Sweetnsinful.   Band Of Angels and Bettorhaveanother also scored victories in their respective $39,900 divisions, but neither could top the performance turned in by Mosquito Blue Chip.   The 2014 New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old filly pacing champion, Mosquito Blue Chip started the season with three rather mundane tries, finishing no better than fourth. But Morrill Jr. knew her fortunes were ready to change.   "I thought she was a little better last week but didn't give her the best trip. But I knew she was coming around," Morrill Jr. said.   Mosquito Blue Chip was sent right to the lead from the five post and set reasonable fractions of 28.2, 57.2 and 1:26.1. But it was all over from there as Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Vanite Semalu) cruised to a 27.2 to final panel to keep any threats from developing.   "She needed no urging," Morrill Jr. said of the last quarter mile.   She's Heavenly (Kevin Cummings) took the place position while Bettor N Better (Matt Kakaley) finished in third.   With her first victory in four starts this year, the Paul Jessop-trained filly by Bettor's Delight now has earned $23,938 in 2015 and $264,501 lifetime.   Morrill Jr. got his second Sire Stakes win of the evening aboard Bettorhaveanother. A gutsy move by Morrill Jr. early in the race set up Bettorhaveanother for the victory.   Watching a battle for the lead in the early going, Morrill Jr. found a tiny hole to drop Bettorhaveanother in the fifth position. That maneuver proved to be a good one as the tandem was able to pull out, pass traffic, and move into the pocket behind the pace-setting My Little Delight.   In the stretch, Bettorhaveanother used the 'lightning lane' and collared My Little Delight (Cummings) by a neck in 1:55.4 while Heaven On Earth (John MacDonald) took third.   "She took a couple of bad steps in the beginning so I wanted to drop her in to relax her. They were going kind of slow so I had to pull her out," Morrill Jr. said of the second move. He added about the stretch drive, "I had to steady her a bit but she was good."   Trained by Jackie Rousse and co-owned by Janie Martin and Kellogg Racing Stable, Bettorhaveanother (Bettor's Delight-Katie My Girl) has now won four straight, earning $59,440 in five seasonal starts. She has now bankrolled $69,517 lifetime.   Band Of Angels had the easiest time of all three divisions as she romped to a 4-3/4 win over Hipnumberone in 1:54.2. Gweneeee J (John Cummings Jr.) took the show spot.   Winning driver Matt Kakaley said of Band Of Angels, "She was very good. I really wasn't worried about anyone."   Taking the lead just past the opening marker, Band Of Angels ($5.10) went 58.0 to the half and never looked back thanks to a 27.2 last stanza.   Trained by Ron Burke and owned by W.J. Donovan, it was the first victory in three appearances this season for Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Hanover-Time N Again). It pushed her career earnings to $126,351.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Hot Lemonade ($9.40) took the first division in 1:55.4 while Jag Out ($5.30) captured the second leg in 1:56.0.   In the non-betting $6,400 Excelsior 'B' Series event, Kaitlyn Akeeper jogged to a 2:02.2 victory with Morrill Jr. in the sulky.   It was also a record-tying night in the 12th race as Skyway Tia (Cummings) tied the track record for 4-year-old filly/mare pacers with a 1:55 clocking. It tied the mark set in 2009 by Bet The Ranch.   Racing returns on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

After edging clear of her eight rivals in a :27.4 third quarter, Brixton Medical's Shaqline ($5.30) narrowly held off a valiant stand-side charge from Barn Doll to take her $41,300 New York Sire Stakes event at  the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs on Friday (May 15) evening. The fastest of twenty-seven three-year-old trotting fillies split into three divisions, Shaqline protected the early lead from a host of other leavers, including Nunkeri (Jim Meittinis), Northern Obsession (John Cummings, Jr.), and Miss B'ville J (Mike Simons). After establishing the lead through a :28 first quarter, the Credit Winner-Vivica Hall mare managed to keep the first-over Northern Obsession at bay enough to catch a :30.2 second-quarter breather before accelerating clear on the backstretch. While widening her margin to 3-1/2 lengths on the far turn, Jeff Gregory angled Barn Doll three-wide off the cover of a stalled Northern Obsession, charging after Shaqline upon cornering. Despite that late threat, Jim Morrill, Jr. was able to encourage Shaqline to hold sway, prevailing in 1:55.1 by the scantest of margins. Frou Frou (Mark MacDonald) sustained her third-over rally to narrowly take third over Northern Obsession.   Jimmy Takter trains Shaqline, whose career bankroll eclipses the $145,000 mark with her fourth career win.   In earlier New York Sire Stakes action, Magic City ($22.40) rallied from off cover to just defeat 3-5 favorite Allerage Belle in a 1:56.2 score. Co-owner and trainer Jeff Gregory handled the driving duties aboard the Conway Hall-Beach Magic filly. Lindy Land ($20.40) earned a pillar-to-post 1:56.3 victory in rein to Mark MacDonald, holding clear of a chasing Zanna Blu for the entirety of the journey. Frank Antonacci trains the daughter of Crazed-Nana's Best.   Live racing continues at Tioga Downs on Saturday evening (May 16), with post time at 6:15 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes picks up on Sunday afternoon (May 17), with three-year-old pacing colts and geldings headlining the ten-race card. Top pacer In The Arsenal, a six-time winner at two, has been installed the 3-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's fifth race, a $31,050 Sire Stakes division. Brian Sears is slated to drive the Kelvin Harrison trainee.   The week concludes with a special Monday evening (May 18), with post time at 6:15 p.m.   James Witherite

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. took the first two divisions of the $96,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old colt pacers Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, putting new marks on Wakizashi Hanover (1:50.2) and Blood Brother (1:51), before missing the "sweep" by a nose when Rise Up Now (1:50.2, driver Simon Allard) edged Allbeef N Nobull.   Wakizashi Hanover, an altered son of Dragon Again trained by Joanne Looney-King for the Tri County Stable of Nova Scotia, kept his seasonal tally perfect in two starts in winning by 1¼ lengths. Wakizashi took the early lead in 27, saw first 2014 PA Sire Stakes champion Yankee Bounty and then Dragon Eddy brush by him to the 54.3 half, which necessitated his moving first-over ahead of the oncoming Cardiac Fashion, who already had skirted trouble at two points in the mile. The winner took the lead past the 1:22 3/4s, with Yankee Bounty vacating the collapsing pocket when Cardiac Fashion tipped wide, but Wakizashi Hanover already had the jump, with Yankee Bounty able to clear back to the winner's inside to edge Cardiac Fashion by a neck for second.   Blood Brother paced his own last half in 54 flat to be up by a neck over a stubborn Rufo in the second cut. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding was taken off the gate and was rambunctious back in fifth as Joe Hill and Rufo were the prime disputers in the 26.4 opener, and was still seven lengths behind at the 55.3 half. Morrill had to take the uncovered route as Rufo was going unmolested on the lead, and had gained to within three lengths by the 1:23.2 3/4s. Taking the far turn very well, Blood Brother showed great ability to go up by a neck over his rival in early stretch, but Rufo never let the margin get bigger than that as he put up a fierce struggle down the lane. The talented winner still looks like he'll learn from (and improve with) more racing, and with Jimmy Takter training him for Diamond Creek Racing and the J&T Silva Stables LLC, it seems likely he'll build on his 2 for 2 2015 start.   Morrill had Allbeef N Nobull on top twice before the 3/8 in the third cut, but the deck reshuffles more on the Pocono racetrack than it does in the casino, and after the 26.3 quarter Rise Up Now and driver Allard were following their main rival to the top, hitting the half in 55.2 and the 3/4s in 1:23.1. The stretch duel boiled down to these two, with "Allbeef" gaining in the famed Pocono Pike, and might have taken it all were he bigger than the smallish sophomore he is, but Rise Up Now, also an altered son of Somebeachsomewhere, held gamely and won by the smallest margin to give him both a perfect yearly record after four starts and a new mark. Trainer Brian Brown, the defending Jugette champion with Color's A Virgin and who has a Pennsylvania UTR this year of (no typo) .821 at the moment, may find himself with a ticket to the Thursday big race at the Delaware dance for the Strollin Stable, King McNamara (the Floridian is the only non-Buckeye in the ownership group), William Robinson, and Country Club Acres Inc.   '********* "The girls" would have to put on quite a show Sunday to match the colt fireworks tonight, but there's lots of talented in tomorrow night's $128,000 All-Stars sophomore distaff pace, including 2014 PA Sire Stakes champion Southwind Roulette, fellow Breeders Crown finalist Well Hello There, and first-round Sire Stakes winners Safe From Terror and Storm Point - all of whom come from the ubiquitiously-victorious barn of Ron Burke.   Brian Brown? His PASS winner of last week, Serious Filly, is sitting this one out, but he has Somewhere Sweet and Triple V Hanover, both second last week, in Sunday night. Maybe he'll be in both big Delaware dances - and can you think of anything better for a "hometown boy"?   PHHA / Pocono  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kevin Cummings registered four wins and Jim Morrill Jr. posted a driving triple to take the spotlight during the 12-race harness racing program at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (May 8).   Cummings, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, steered Farmerssixfournine ($17.00), Whitesand Noble ($10.60), Bet On Me Hanover ($4.00) and Sleep Talker ($5.00) to victories. Cummings now had 137 wins on the season and leads runner up Shawn Gray by 58 victories. The margin is 137-79.   Morrill Jr. swept the chalky early daily double ($8.10) aboard Historian ($5.00) and The Bronx Bumper ($3.20) then later scored with OK Braveheart ($4.10).   Something has to give on Saturday night when the $25,000 Niatross Series Invitational pace goes off in the ninth race at Buffalo Raceway.   After literally battling in two series over the past three months, the top four qualifiers from each leg return for bragging rights and the lion's share of the $25,000 pot. Dedalos and Jettison, winner's of the 'A' and 'B' Series respectively, hope to be wearing the overall crown when the dust settles. But there are several others lurking who are more than capable of spoiling the dreams of the two division winners.   Dedalos, who won the 'A' Series back on March 7th in 1:57.3, had three wins and a second place finish in the 'B' Series. Unfortunately for her, the lone setback came in the finals where Jettison rallied to take the length victory in 1:56.0.   It won't be easy for Dedalos, however, as the 11-year-old gelding drew the eight post with Jim McNeight in the bike. They are 9-2 on the morning line. The series has been a profitable one thus far for Dedlaos as he's made $33,974 thanks to five wins in 13 attempts.   Jettison and coupled entry-mate Delightful Caitlin (2-2A) are the 5-2 choice on the morning line thanks to the giant comeback win in the 'B' Series finals on April 25th. Sitting seventh at the half, Jettison began to roll three-wide at the three-quarter marker and put up a 28.4 final panel to collar Dedalos.   Owned by Curtis Edholm and the Ultra Racing Stable, Jettison is trained by Darren Taneyhill. Jettison has five victories on the season and $28,310 in the bank.   While Jettison and Dedalos look for another showdown, there are several others that could prove to be flies in the ointment.   Secluded Island is the second choice at 3-1 and drew the rail with driver Jack Flanigen in the sulky. The 11-year-old gelding has four wins and a pair of second place finishes in his last seven starts and has produced over $640,000 in lifetime earnings. Secluded Island set the pace in the 'B' finals on April 25th but flamed out to finish fourth.   Full Circle Spirit had a pair of wins in the 'B' series qualifying rounds but must overcome the seven post with driver Shawn McDonough. He is part of a coupled entry (1-1A) along with the always dangerous It Was An Honor.   Here's the field from inside post outward: Secluded Island (Flanigen), Goddess's Justin (Shawn Gray), It Was An Honor (David McNeight III), Jettison (Kevin Cummings), Delightful Caitlin (Ron Beback Jr.), KC Colt (Drew Monti), Full Circle Spirit (McDonough) and Dedalos (McNeight).   The Niatross Series Invitational tops the great card on tap Saturday night with 12 races going to the post at 6:35 p.m.The $9,500 conditioned pace opens the program with Youwillwishyouhad the early 3-1 choice from the seven post.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race results and replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

WILKES-BARRE PA - Ooh Bad Shark has been nothing but Ooh Good Shark since starting her 2015 harness racing campaign earlier this month, and Wednesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono she went a stunning mile in 1:49.2 to win the $25,000 handicap mares pace.   The seven-year-old daughter of Cam's Card Shark opened her season with a win at Harrah's Philly, then in her last two races had been third and second to the rampaging Show Runner, who entered Wednesday's race with a six-race winning streak. But "The Shark"'s driver Jim Morrill Jr. knew his mare was sharpening, so he made a daring quarter-move from fifth at the noted frontrunner after a 26.4 opener, and paced her own second quarter in 26.3 to go by Show Runner at the 54.2 half.   Down the backstretch Ooh Bad Shark had Show Runner literally breathing down her back, and then Valerya made a huge first-over bid that carried her to within a length of the leader at the 1:21.4 3/4s. Around the final turn, Show Runner finally began to melt a bit, but Valerya actually drew on even terms with the "Shark" as they turned for home.   In the stretch Valerya actually got a head in front, but Morrill kept asking his mare, and she had more to give, fighting back to the top past midstretch to finally eke out a neck decision. Show Runner held for third, another two lengths behind.   Veteran William Wiggins could not have a sharper distaff in his care, and Wiggins is also co-owner of the winner of $394,405 with Donna Fedorak.   '*****   Pocono will be featuring a doubleheader of racing on Saturday, Kentucky Derby Day, with the 11 a.m. card highlighted by four division of a PA All-Stars contest for three-year-old trotting colts, and the 6:30 p.m. evening session topped by the Van Rose Memorial Pace for the free-for-all set.   The northeast PA track ends a racing "holiday weekend" Sunday with three divisions of the PA All-Stars event for the Hambletonian set's filly counterparts (no slight meant, Mission Brief). Such promising sophomore misses as Livininthefastlane, third in her Breeders Crown Final last year, 1:54.2 2YO Lilu Hanover, and Goldsmith Maid elim winner Gatka Hanover will be among the fillies trying to make their marks in the early season.   PHHA / Pocono  

Here Comes Numbers (Here Comes Herbie) prevailed in Sunday’s $17,000 Open Trot at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Jim Morrill Jr piloted the Ron Burke-trained seven year old to a front running score in the matinee’s featured race. Here Comes Numbers stopped the timer in 1:57.3 while scoring by open lengths over Red Hot Herbie (Billy Dobson) who was the runner up. Waiting On A Woman (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot in his return. Here Comes Numbers paid $8.40 to win and led an exacta that returned $63 and a trifecta that came back $227.50. Morrill and Burke also teamed up to win the Saturday night feature with Statesman N. Live racing resumes on Thursday with a 4:00pm first post time for the twilight racing card.  Mike Sardella

Statesman N (Christian Cullen) had to settle for second best as the betting public's favorite in last Saturday night's $17,500 feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway but this week, the Ron Burke-trained eight year old would not be denied. Statesman N, who came from off the pace in last week's 'Winners Over' pacing feature, moved out to the early lead for driver Jim Morrill Jr on the foggy Saturday night in Saratoga. Once he got to the lead, the 1-5 favorite would not be denied and hit the wire first in 1:54.3. Classic Gent (Stephane Bouchard) sat the pocket to the winner and held strong in the stretch to finish second while longshot JK Panache (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. While Statesman N was the feature winner, it was Mickey Hanover (Billy Dobson) who put up the fastest time of the young season at the Spa with a sensational victory that came in 1:52.4. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:45pm. Mike Sardella  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Dontch Remember didn't forget. In just her second race of the harness racing season, Dontch Remember found her way back to the winner's circle as she rolled to an easy 2-1/4 length win over Cameron Lucky in the $8,500 pace for the fillies and mares at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday evening (March 11).   Dontch Remember used a perfect drive by Jim Morrill Jr. to register the victory, the 13th of her career.   Sitting third behind the front-stepping Cameron Lucky (Kevin Cummings), Dontch Remember tipped out and started gobble up ground as the field rolled to the three-quarter marker.   In the lane, Dontch Remember ($6.00) left little doubt of who was the best as the 5-year-old mare was in cruise control, using a 29.4 last panel to post a 1:59.0 time over the good track. Cameron Lucky held on for second while You're Too Funny (Jack Flanigen) finished in third.   Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, the win was the first of the season for Dontch Remember (Western Terror - Dreamsicle), now a winner of $83,619 lifetime.   In the co-featured $8,500 trot, Aruba Vacation (Fern Paquet Jr.) relinquished the lead but never gave up in rallying back for a 1-1/2 decision over Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) in 2:01.3.   Enjoying the lead through the first half mile of action, Aruba Vacation could just watch as Flaming Yankee (Shawn Gray) took command at the three-quarter pole but had some bad luck with broken equipment, fading to sixth.   Aruba Vacation ($14.80) pounced on the opportunity and won the drive to the line, holding off Justgottogetthere while Diamonds For Life (Cummings) was third.   Owned by the Howard Stables and trained by Guy Howard, it was the first win in six tries in 2015 for Aruba Vacation (Dream Vacation - Dixie Hit). The 8-year-old gelding has now won $5,750 this season and $531,788 lifetime.   Racing will resume on Friday night when a 12-race card will be presented at 6:35 p.m.   For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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