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The marquee event at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 3) was the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. But harness racing history and outstanding performances in other races combined to provided a show that those in attendance won't soon forget. In the main event, Atta Boy Dan led at every post en route to a three-length victory in the 13th annual Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. Off the gate, Atta Boy Dan (Jim Morrill Jr.) rebuffed early challenges from Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) and Doctor Butch (Jim Marohn Jr.) and seated them both past the eighth pole. Then after the field followed in single file to a :27.4 quarter, Morrill backed off the half to :56.3 and took full control of the race. Royal Heart (Drew Monti) started an outer flow into the clubhouse turn and had Aslan (Sean McDonough) in tow, but no one got closer than two-lengths before they hit the head of the stretch. From there, Fireyourguns pulled the pocket for one last shot but Atta Boy Dan, pacing his last quarter in :27.4, was just too good and pulled away to an easy win in 1:52.1. Fireyourguns hung on to be second and Aslan came up to be third. "I had a smooth journey to the half and as soon as I called on him, he was on cruise right to the wire. That was a good horse (Fireyourguns) sitting on my back and I was a little worried about him, but mine felt pretty good too. I wish I could have a Burke horse off the rail every year in this race" said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr. It was the sixteenth victory of the year for Atta Boy Dan ($2.30) and the winner's share boosted his earning to $222,757 in 2015 for owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Atta Boy Dan was just part of the story for Jim Morrill Jr. on Saturday night as he won seven races out of the 11 he had on the card. Combine those with a second and third he also had and Morrill posted an amazing .717 UDR for the evening. The all-time pacing track record of 1:51.1 was not broken in the race; however trotting history was made instead. Lutetium got back to his front-running comfort zone and destroyed the field in the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot. In a late driver change, John Cummings Jr. was tapped to steer Lutetium and wasted no time earning his keep. When prohibitive betting favorite, Tall Cotton made a break in the first turn, Cummings rushed Lutetium away and opened up a gap of as much as 15 lengths between himself and the rest of the field through fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:25.1 before scooting home to a six-length victory in 1:55.2. The winning time broke the existing track record of 1:56 for aged trotting geldings that was co-held by Lutetium and Second Hand News, both who set that mark in 2014. "They said he hasn't been leaving well lately, so I scored him down fast. Once he got the front in the race; the more I grabbed him, the more he went on. I was a passenger" said Cummings Jr. It was the ninth win of the year for Lutetium and it pushed his bank account to $68,886 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw. Overlooked at 10-1, Lutetium returned $22.60. This was just one of three wins for John Cummings Jr., who scored the hat trick on the night. There were also two, $50,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation events on the card for 2-year-old colts and geldings and also fillies. The boy's division was won by Southern Palms (RC Royalty-Pacific Elegance) in 1:59.2. The post-time favorite went wire to wire and won by four-lengths. It was the first career win for Southern Palms ($4.40) who is trained by Erv Miller for owners Ronald Michelon and Anthony Lombardi. After the race, winning driver Jim Marohn Jr. said "Erv (Miller) tipped me off that he was a handful tonight; and he was!" The distaff leg went to Royal Surprise (RC Royalty-Miss Conway), also in 1:59.2. After getting away fourth, the filly tipped three-deep at three-quarters and pulled away to a two-length win. It was also the first career win for Royal Surprise ($6.50) who is trained by Dan Daley for owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, Richard Lombardo and Michael White. "She was good the whole mile and when I asked her, she just trotted away. She was good tonight" said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr. There was a huge crowd on hand Saturday night and the fans both in the stands and watching remotely, were putting some money through the windows. The total handle was up 15% this year, versus Kane night of 2014. The Paddock Room and enclosed grandstand were very crowded and the clubhouse was sold out once again. There were so many people in line to receive their free Kane Pace t-shirt, it took over two races to distribute the goods. Racing will reconvene at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) for a 12-race program that will commence at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Artmagic (Art Major) set a track record for two year old gelding pacers on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as he scored in the $45,000 co-featured New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series Final. The Trond Smedshammer-trained freshman sat the pocket and pounced in the stretch with driver Jim Morrill Jr in the sulky. Morrill piloted Artmagic to his first career victory just two weeks ago at Saratoga and followed it up with a lifetime best and track record-setting performance on Thursday as he stopped the timer in 1:54.1. Morrill drove another track record-setter on Thursday as the veteran reinsman sat behind upset winner Boxall (Credit Winner) in the Excelsior Final for freshman trotting colts. The Jessica Okusko-trained Boxall, dismissed at odds of 15-1, came from off the pace to record his win in 1:58.1, a track record for two year old trotting colts. Outsidecourt (Conway Court) upset the big favorite in the two year old trotting filly division of the Excelsior Finals. The freshman filly charged past the favorite to prevail in 1:58.4 for trainer Gary Messenger and reinsman Bruce Aldrich Jr. Lyra (American Ideal) scored in the Excelsior Final for freshman filly pacers, winning on the front end for driver John Cummings Jr and conditioner Jean Drolet. Lyra's fifth victory of the campaign came in 1:56. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Joe Larry N Curly (Roll With Joe) broke the track record for harness racing two year old pacers on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Mark Harder-trained freshman colt was the public's overwhelming betting favorite in the $73,712 New York Sire Stake race on a beautiful afternoon in the Spa City. Jim Morrill Jr. piloted the two year old pacing star and moved him to the lead going to the opening quarter. Only briefly confronted in the mile, Joe Larry N Curly was confidently piloted and well in hand at the wire while a measured one length winner in 1:53.1. The win time bested the previous mark of 1:53.3 for a freshman pacing colt set by Heston Blue Chip on the Night of Champions at Saratoga in 2011. The victory moved Joe Larry N Curly's record to five for eight in the win column for the breakout freshman star of the NY Sire Stakes who will head into next week's Night of Champions as one ofthe favorites. Harder won the other $73,712 division of the NYSS as well as his Autotune Hanover (Art Major) cruised to victory in 1:54.2 with Tyler Buter at the lines. For Autotune Hanover, it was the fourth win in eight tries on the season. Live racing continues on Friday night with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella    

Linda Toscano trainees Cut and Paste ($2.10) and Soft Idea ($2.40) both achieved early leads and never looked back in their respective $31,894 Reynolds Stake divisions for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Thursday (September 10) evening at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs, while Katies Rocker ($2.20, part of entry) was king among five 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings in their lone $64,788 dash.   The first division for pacing fillies, contested as race 3, saw Cut and Paste work clear of Twice an Angel (Matt Kakaley) in the initial stages, controlling the terms throughout her 1:54.3 triumph.   Jim Marohn, Jr. comfortably rated sectionals of :28.1, :57.4, and 1:26.2 with the daughter of Well Said, and Cut and Paste responded immediately to the late challenge of Twice and Angel to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths.   In the second division, carded as race 5, Soft Idea settled off early pacesetters JK Fannie (Kakaley) and Wine Snob (Mike Simons), drafting through a :28.1 initial quarter before brushing to the fore upon entering the home straight on the first occasion.   Once clear on the lead, Jim Morrill, Jr. rated a :57 middle half with the American Ideal filly.   Off the far turn, Soft Idea dug in to repel dual challengers JK Fannie and Wine Snob, both of which closed in from either side in a dead heat for second, three-quarters of a length behind the odds-on winner.   While pupils of Toscano took both filly divisions of the Reynolds, a Jim Campbell trainee prevailed in the lone split for colts and geldings.   Katies Rocker worked clear of his four rivals with no trouble at all, sprinting off through a :27.3 initial quarter before Simon Allard rated a :31 breather to race's midpoint.   On the backstretch, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding was nudged along by his entrymate Show the Fashion (Kakaley), but Katies Rocker proved far superior in the end.   The Fashion Farms homebred edged clear by 1-1/2 lengths, using a :55.1 back half mile to cap a 1:53.4 victory over Safensound Hanover (Morrill), who gave chase from the pocket once clear in the final sixteenth.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (September 11) evening, with the first of 13 races due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

When the best Empire State harness racing 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits convene at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 12) for the first edition of the 2015 Night of Champions, some of the best sophomores in North American harness racing will be competing for the $900,000 in purses. In fact, it will include four of the top 20 colt and filly pacers and four of the top 15 colt and filly trotters currently in the sport. That gaudy list is definitely led by Habitat 3, 1:53 ($1,104,841) by Conway Hall-Habit's Best, whose $570,434 in 2015 ranks him fourth in North America among trotters of all ages behind Hambletonian winner Pinkman, Open sensation JL Cruze and Hambletonian Oaks winner Wild Honey. Habitat has been made the morning line choice in the 3-year-old trotting colt and gelding division by the track handicapper and is listed at 1-1. After completing an outstanding freshman campaign that saw him earn in excess of $500,000, Habitat began this year in quick fashion by winning the $133,170 Dexter Cup at Freehold in his very first start. He then won two out of three early NYSS events before hitting the Grand Circuit. Habitat trotted his fastest mile of the year in his Hambletonian elimination heat where he finished fourth to eventual stake winner, Pinkman, in 1:51.2. Unfortunately he drew post 10 in the final and was only able to watch his stablemate, Mission Brief, finish second from nine lengths behind. But since that time, the Conway Hall colt has been red hot; stringing together three consecutive victories in what could only be described as dominating fashion. He won the $58,662 Tompkins Memorial at Tioga Downs in a lifetime best-tying time of 1:53. Then two weeks later it was wire to wire in the $40,000 Yonkers Trot elimination. And he followed that up with a three and one-half length romp in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final. The NYSS final will be the third straight start at Yonkers Raceway for Habitat, who has already shown a propensity to perform well on that surface. The sports leading trainer, Ron Burke, will send Habitat postward with the leading NYSS driver, Jim Morrill Jr. in tow for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The 3-year-old distaff trotting division features Barn Doll who has been installed as the 9-5 choice. Barn Doll 3, 1:52.1 ($560,650) by Conway Hall-Headintheclouds, seemingly does nothing but win. She is 17 out of 21 lifetime and 10 out of 12 this year. Her lifetime mark of 1:52.1 occurred two weeks in a row at Vernon Downs in June when she won the elimination and final of the $248,275 Empire Breeders Classic in identical times. Barn Doll has only been beaten twice this year, finishing second both times. And as this filly likes to come at the three-eighths, it took a :56 back half at Tioga and a :57 last-lap at Yonkers to take her down. Given the convincing manner she won her most recent two starts it would appear she comes into this race razor sharp. Steve Pratt trains Barn Doll and co-owns the filly with Nancy Pratt and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable. Jeff Gregory will once again be at the lines as he has for eight of her wins this year Jewels In Hock 3, 1:53.3 ($254,496) by Credit Winner-Jewels Galore, should pose the major threat to Barn Doll in this race as she comes into the contest winning three out of her last four starts. She is eight out of 16 in the winner's circle this year and that $241,496 has accounted for the bulk of her lifetime income. The filly likes the front end and will get the opportunity to cut the race in here for driver Jim Morrill Jr. Linda Toscano trains Jewels In Hock for Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables LLC. In the 3-year-old pacing filly division, Mosquito Blue Chip is rated the 5-2 morning line choice but comes into the race as bit of an enigma. Mosquito Blue Chip 3, 1:49.3 ($477,511) by Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover, had been rolling right along; winning three out of four races including a lifetime best 1:49.3 in winning the $269,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs on August 23. But the very next week after a raucous spell behind the gate, going into the first turn she made the only break of her career; and it was a bad one. So how does that affect her chances 12 days later over the same track? Aside from that line, Mosquito Blue Chip has been a model of consistency since the beginning of June. She is eight out of 12 in the money, including five wins. And she was the third leading point getter and second highest money-earner in the series for her division this year. Jim Morrill Jr. will steer Mosquito Blue Chip for trainer Paul Jessop, who co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable LLC and Donato Falcicchio. Finally, in the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings split, Betting Exchange is the prohibitive 7-5 choice coming off a very convincing outing his last start. Betting Exchange 3, 1:51.2 ($401,663) by Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover, is having an outstanding year. He finished third behind Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit (who are currently first and third in North America for 2015 earnings) in the $810,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway in 1:48 flat, beaten only three lengths. Then he finished fourth in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. Yannick Gingras took the colt to the front from post seven in 26.2 before getting a two-hole trip for the race. After shaking loose in the stretch, he finished fourth in 1:50, beaten only three lengths. Betting Exchange followed that up with a devastating nine-length victory seven days later at Batavia Downs, going the mile in 1:51.2 and just missing the all-time track record by one fifth of a second. Jason Bartlett was up for that win and returns to try and repeat the effort for trainer Tom Fanning. Betting Exchange is owned by his trainer along with Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. By Tim Bojarski, for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York        

Fifteen 2-year-old pacers--ten fillies, five colts and geldings--will vie for over $128,000 in purses as they contest their Reynolds Stake divisions on Thursday (September 10) evening at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   New York Sire Stakes standout Soft Idea has been installed the 4-5 morning line favourite in the $31,894 second division for pacing fillies, carded as the fifth race on the 11-dash program.   The daughter of American Ideal and Walk Softly has amassed over $128,000 so far in her career, winning five of seven races on the Sire Stakes circuit.   Jim Morrill, Jr. handles the driving duties for trainer Linda Toscano.   Another Toscano trainee has been made the morning line choice in the earlier $31,894 split for fillies (race 3), with Cut and Paste installed at 7-5 off her 1:53.3 maiden-breaking win at Pocono.   Jim Marohn, Jr. will drive the daughter of Well Said and On the Arm.   Of the quintet of pacing colts and geldings to contest their lone $64,788 Reynolds event (race 7), the Jim Campbell-trained entry of Show the Fashion and Katies Rocker have been made the 6-5 morning line favourite.   Katies Rocker, a two-time winner, comes off a 1:53.1 victory at Pocono after earning minor checks in the New Jersey Sire Stakes and the Geers Stake   Simon Allard is slated to drive the son of Rocknroll Hanover and Just Wait Kate.   Show the Fashion likewise ships in from Pocono, breaking maiden in 1:54.3 in his most recent effort.   Matt Kakaley will handle the lines of the son of Well Said and Show and Tell.   The first of 11 races on the season's antepenultimate program is due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

"She's very talented, but sometimes I wonder where to put the 50 cents in because the ride can get bouncy." Such was the post-race postulate Thursday night from driver Jim Morrill Jr. after he-with some able assistance from odds-on favorite Soft Idea ($3.10)-set a track record during Yonkers Raceway hosting of the $147,723 New York Sire Stakes Frank Becerra Pace for 2-year-old fillies. Soft Idea, this summer's division dominatrix, threw down a 1:53.4 gauntlet in the final ($48,941) division. Leaving from post position No. 3, she took over from second choice American Ivy (Brian Sears), then held that one at bay by a determined neck. It was more than three lengths back to Lyra (George Brennan) in third. The time matched Soft Idea's life-best, taken at Vernon. Morrill Jr., ironically, drove Summertime Lea to the previous local frosh filly track record (1:54.1) three Septembers ago. For Soft Idea, a daughter of American Ideal trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Bay's Stable, Radio Racing Stable, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC, it was her fifth (NYSS) win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.50, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $18.80. "We're looking forward to the (Sept. 26) sire stakes final," co-owner Harvey Nagler said. Morrill Jr. also won Thursday's second opening ($49,841) Becerra division, as Time on My Hands ($7.70) overcame her outside post No. 7 and avoided the first-tune happenstance to widen out in 1:55. Second went to Killing 'Em Softly (Brennan), with Art Critic (Matt Kakaley third). The "Sommelier Special" hunch play went in the spit bucket early, as Wine Snob (Ray Schnittker) made a first-turn break, badly impeding 7-5 choice Vino and Formaggio (Sears). For second choice Time on My Hands, a daughter of American Ideal co-owned by Robert Mondillo, Michael Robinson, Steve Cheatham & BFJ Stables and trained by Chris Ryder, she's now 3-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $47.60, the triple returning $190. The opening ($48,941) sire stakes event saw Dime a Dance (Kakaley, $6.10)-pocketed from post No. 5-whizz by 7-10 fave Noclouds Bluechip (Sears) by a length in 1:55.4. Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) was third. For second choice (coupled with fourth-place finisher Encore Deo [Brennan]) Dime a Dance, a Roll with Joe miss trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables and Blue Chip Bloodstock, it was her second (consecutive) win in seven tries this season. The exacta paid $6.30, with no triple wagering to the limited number (five) of wagering interests). "She just exploded when I asked her in the lane," Kakaley said. "As good as she was winning at Vernon (13 nights ago), she was better here."                                                                                                                         Frank Drucker

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty) broke the track record for two year old trotting fillies at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Wednesday night. The freshman filly came to town off of back to back victories in the New York Sire Stakes and was the public's even money favorite on Wednesday as she looked to threepeat. Jim Morrill Jr. piloted Goosebump Hanover for trainer Ron Burke and moved the filly out to the early lead. She was met with a host of challengers in the stretch but held on to win in 1:57.2, a new track record for two year old filly trotters. Morrill and Burke teamed up for another NYSS winner on the night as their Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn) scored in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:58.2 in her $48,941 stakes try. Jimmy Takter's Pampered Winner (Credit Winner) prevailed in the evening's third and final of the big stakes races for two year old filly highsteppers as she stopped the timer in 1:59 for her second victory of the season. Live racing continues on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

 The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway  on Monday night hosted the $151,624 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Four divisions, worth $37,556, $37,556, $38,256 and $38,256, comprised the event. Odds-on choice Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., $3.30)-from post position No. 4--slipped out late, went wide and won the opening grouping in 1:59.1. Credit to Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), who actually beat the winner to the outside, settled for second, a half-length behind. Royal Surprise (Dan Daley) was third. For "Goosebump," a daughter of RC Royalty co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Joe DiScala Jr., Crawford Farms and J&T Silva Stables, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $21.20, with the triple returning $78. The evening's second Quaglietta event was strictly a two-lass affair, with pole-sitting Dizzy Broad (Morrill Jr., $6.90) picking off 3-5 favorite Posterity (Charlie Norris) from the pocket in a life-best/night's-fastest 1:58.1. The margin was a length-and-a-half, with Dazzling Dollars (Trond Smedshammer) a best-of-the-rest third. For Dizzy Broad, a daughter of Broad Bahn co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith Jr., she's now 3-for-5 in her first season. The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $34.80. Monday's third sire stakes event was another two-speed number, with short-price miss Non Stick (Dan Dube, $2.80) handily besting Pampered Winner (Jimmy Takter). From post No. 2, the people's preference two-moved and won by 2½ lengths in 1:59.4. Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) was a rallying third. For Non Stick, a daughter of Lucky Chucky co-owned (as Svanstedt Racing) by (trainer) Ake Svanstedt and Little E LLC, she's a perfect 4-for-4 to begin her career. The exacta paid $11, with the triple returning $23.40. The evening's final statebred division was a maiden-breaker for Franniegetyourgun (Takter, $15.60). She sat pocketed from post No. 2, then eased past Lima Playtime (Scott Zeron) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:59.2. Lucky Kristen (Brian Sears) was third. For "Frannie," a Lucky Chucky miss trained by her driver for her driver's wife, Christina, Herbert Holland, Serafino Barone and Steve Bitlisli, is was that first win in four frosh tries. The exacta paid $110.50, with the triple returning $505. The Raceway's live season continues Tuesday with a "French-centric" matinee (first post 1 PM). Frank Drucker

Fresh off his 1:47 win in the U.S. Pacing Championship, State Treasurer ($3.50) maintained his superiority in the older pacing ranks with a 1:47.2 triumph in the $150,000 Roll With Joe, held Sunday (August 23) afternoon at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.    The 6-year-old Real Desire entire tracked early pacesetters Dancin Yankee (Jim Morrill, Jr.) and Doctor Butch (Brian Sears) through the first turn, brushing to the fore just after a :26.3 first quarter.   Assuming control with a circuit to go, State Treasurer rated a :54.3 initial half before David Miller cut him loose on the backstretch.   State Treasurer used a :26 third quarter to evade the first-over challenge of Clear Vision (Brett Miller), in fact drawing clear to a four-length lead on the far turn as pocket rival Dancin Yankee could no longer keep pace.   State Treasurer prevailed by 3-3/4 lengths in the end, well in hand at the winning post with plenty in reserve beyond his 1:47.2 mile clocking.   Clear Vision held second, while Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) stayed on for third off a second-over trip.   Dr. Ian Moore trains State Treasurer for owners Sally and Paul MacDonald.   Mosquito Blue Chip, Rockin in Heaven upset in EBC finals   Earlier in the card, Mosquito Blue Chip ($10.20) mounted a late rally to collar odds-on favorite Divine Caroline in the $269,000 Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired 3-year-old pacing fillies, while Rockin in Heaven ($24.80) sustained a first-over bid before holding off odds-on entrymates Betting Exchange and In the Arsenal--and a few others--in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.   In the distaff division, Mosquito Blue Chip found herself locked in just prior to a :54.4 half mile from Divine Caroline (David Miller), just three lengths off the lead but lacking for racing room until the conclusion of the final turn.   Off the corner, Jim Morrill, Jr. was able to find room with the Bettor's Delight filly, mounting a three-wide rally past pocket rival Band of Angels (Gingras) in the final sixteenth--and ultimately to just nab Divine Caroline at the winning post for a 1:49.3 score.   Trainer Paul Jessop shares in ownership of Mosquito Blue Chip with the Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio.   In the male division, Arque Hanover (George Brennan) made an early push to the lead, taking over from Betting Exchange (Gingras) with a circuit to go and controlling a :54.4 half before bracing for the first-over Rockin in Heaven.   After dueling through a :27.2 third quarter, Rockin in Heaven got the better of Arque Hanover, extending his lead to 1-1/2 lengths at the eighth pole while Arque Hanover faded off the corner.   Upon establishing a clear lead, David Miller had to call upon the son of Rock N Roll Heaven for all he had, just staving off a late charge from Artistic Major (Morrill) by a neck in 1:50. A Bettor Hat (Brett Miller) rallied from deeper back, overcoming a fourth-over trip to just miss by half a length, finishing third.   Trainer Dr. Ian Moore co-owns Rockin in Heaven with Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte, and Gordon McComb.   Reynolds Stakes contested   In addition to the Roll With Joe and the Empire Breeders Classic finals, 2-year-old trotters contested a number of Reynolds Stakes divisions on the Sunday program at Tioga.   The most notable victor was Southwind Frank ($2.90), a 2-year-old Muscle Hill colt who earned his fifth career win in 1:54.2 just two weeks after his triumph in the Peter Haughton Memorial.   Yannick Gingras was in the bike for trainer Ron Burke.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (August 28) evening, with post time at 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite

WILKES-BARRE PA - Imagine Dragon and Momas Got A Gun both punched their tickets to the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies on September 5 with strong victories in $191,609 fourth and final round preliminary action Saturday at The Downs.   Imagine Dragon lowered her mark a tick to 1:51.1 for trainer Frank Antonacci and Lindy Farms of Connecticut in taking the first division. Driver Scott Zeron had three pieces of luck with the daughter of Dragon Again, and the first two did not augur well: he had to tuck third early, and he had to rethink a quarter-move when pacesetter Better Said showed no sign of wanting to give up the lead. But his third piece of luck was good - for victory: pocketsitting Triple V Hanover moved outside for the drive, and Zeron was able to guide Imagine Dragon to the famed Pocono Pike, winning easily late with a strong finishing kick. 31-1 Doll Fins, the longest shot on the board, shot through deep in the Pike for second, 1½ lengths behind the winner and a neck ahead of favored Better Said. Safe From Terror, one of two horses with two prelim wins coming to tonight (the other, Serious Filly, was absent here), was photoed out of third, and Triple V Hanover completed the checkgetters.   Momas Got A Gun had not raced at the mountain oval since July 4, where she had a stretch lead and missed just a neck in the $300,000 Lynch Final. Saturday the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was on the right side of a neck decision, as she made two moves to control the pace, coming her last half in 54.2 to stop the timer in 1:50.1, a national season's mark and a personal best. Somewhere Sweet came at the winner late directly to her left, but Jim Morrill Jr. kept his filly going to win by a neck for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and Albertan owner Geoffrey Martin. Slight betting favorite Doctor Terror, first-over here, was 1¼ lengths further back in third; Well Hello There and Southwind Roulette, the defending divisional Champion, getting the last two paydays.   The official pointstandings are tabulated by the PA Harness Racing Commission, with money earned in the prelims used as a tiebreaker if the need arises, but an initial tabulation after tonight's two races showed the following: the eight spots available for the Championship were earned by Safe From Terror (88 points on a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1 basis), Imagine Dragon and Somewhere Sweet (tied at 85), Serious Filly (78), Momas Got A Gun and Storm Point (tied at 73), Arts Jem (60), and Southwind Roulette (58); spots in a 9-horse $60,000 Consolation were earned by Doctor Terror (56), Better Said (48), Triple V Hanover (47), Doll Fins (42), Deli Beach (32), Seeking Nirvana (27), Ginger Tree Alexis and Macarena Mama (tied at 25), and Well Hello There (24).   (Again, these are unofficial numbers; also, the race of participation depends on who drops in: if one declares in for Saturday, one declares for both races as eligible - you can't refuse the Championship for the Consolation, and those with fewer points, if declared, may make the Consolation if horses listed above don't drop in.   In the $30,000 Open pace, the Always A Virgin 4YO gelding Always At My Place came with a 1/5 of a second of the divisional world record when he won in 1:48.1, just off Mach It So's world and track record, stamping himself as a force to be reckoned with on a national level. Winning for the fifth time in succession, Always At My Place did it despite taking the first-over route, pacing his back half in an incredible 53.1 to tally for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Ron Burke, and the owning partnership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura while taking a new mark and equaling Rockeyed Optimist's season's record.   FINISHING LINES - A reminder for those planning to attend or watch the $2M+ Super Stakes Saturday card next week are reminded that the first race is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., as there is a giant fireworks show planned for after the races.   PHHA / Pocono

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night hosted the $168,374 New York Sire Stakes Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The event, honoring the memory of a legendary sports publicist, went in two, $84,187 events. The opening division was won by Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory, $5.60) in a snappy 1:56.4. Unhurried from post position No. 2, she saw pole-sitting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald) contend with a second move from 9-10 choice Lady Winona (Andy Miller). Nunkeri owned a short lead into the lane, but Barn Girl-who had chased Lady Winona before falling into a vacant pocket-ducked inside and went by. She beat "Winona" by a 1¾ lengths, with Nunkeri an easily-better-than-the-rest third. "She was very good in Excelsiors (lower-level statebred races), so they wanted to try her in sire stakes," Gregory said of Barn Girl. "She's turned into one of the better one in this group." For second choice Barn Girl, a daughter of Cash Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Out in the Country Stable, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, with triple returning $28. Thursday night's second sire stakes event saw Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr., $4.60) hold off a troubled-trip, 1-2 favorite in last season's freshman champ Barn Doll (Gregory). The final margin was a length in 1:57.3. First leader Waiting Room (Miller) held third. In play from post No. 4, Jewels in Hock retook from Waiting Room as Barn Doll, in search of a ninth consecutive victory, was caught wide early. She eventually found a five-hole before moving again first-up. For second choice "Jewels," a Credit Winner miss trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables, she's now 7-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $9.50, with the triple returning $45.20. "She's given us a lot of headaches with her equipment," Toscano said. "John (Campbell, who drove her exclusively earlier in the season) wanted her rigged one way, while Jimmy (Morrill Jr.) wanted her another way." We eventually (and lovingly, we'd guess) told Jimmy to shut up and we're leaving her the way she was with John, and it's seemed to work out." The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday (first post both nights 7:10 PM). Frank Drucker

Batavia Downs hosted two divisions of the $108,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday (Aug. 9) and the star of the show was Joe Larry N Curly (Roll With Joe-Lovely Lady) with his overpowering win. With morning line co-favorite Travel Playlist scratched sick, the field was cut down to five pacers. But there was no "stoogery" in Joe Larry N Curly's performance as he was all business, pacing his fastest winning mile ever over a half-mile track. Leading NYSS driver, Jim Morrill Jr., got away third with Joe Larry N Curly as Carlos Danger (Kevin Cummings) cut the quarter in 28.4. But as soon as they passed that station, Morrill pulled the 1-9 favorite and methodically moved to the front by the head of the stretch. The field remained unchanged until Joes On A Roll (John Cummings Jr.) came first over to challenge the leader at the five-eights. But before he could mount any kind of serious threat, Morrill popped the ear-plugs and then held on tight as Joe Larry N Curly switched into overdrive and paced away from everyone. He came home in a brisk 28 flat to stop the timer in 1:56.2 and win by four lengths. After the race, a visibly pleased Jim Morrill Jr. said "I couldn't be happier with the way he raced. I pulled the plugs at the three-quarters and he took off like a rocket. I should have left them in! He won easy; he was simply awesome". It was the third win of the year for Joe Larry N Curly ($2.30) and increased his earnings to $82,794. The colt is trained by Mark Harder, who co-owns him with Joe Jannuzzelli and Dawn Colucci. In the first division, Red Roll (Roll With Joe-Red Carpet Queen) lit up the tote board after the heavily favored Autotune Hanover was unable to overcome an early miscue. Red Roll (Kevin Cummings) shot right to the lead as Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter) had trouble navigating the first turn before making a break. While Cummings piloted the leader to a pedestrian 59.3 half, Buter had settled Autotune Hanover before pulling the colt around gapped horses in an attempt to mount another attack at the front. After looking rough again in the clubhouse turn, Autotune Hanover made quick work of the back stretch and got within a length of the leader. But after tucking to the pylons behind Red Roll in 1:28.4, Cummings started rocking and knocking the leader and got away from the pack by three lengths at the head of the lane before bringing Red Roll home victorious in 1:57.2. "I drove him at Buffalo last month so I knew the horse. I took a shot, went to the front and was able to cut the mile I wanted. He was good the whole race" said Cummings in the winner's circle. Overlooked in the betting, Red Roll returned a healthy $23.00 for the win. It was the first win of the year for Red Roll and thus also his lifetime mark. Despite only one win so far, the horse has not missed a check in NYSS action all year and that has put his earnings at $59,117. Red Roll is trained by Judy Blaun for owner John Sixt. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior "A" series on the card. The first $15,000 division was won by 1-9 favorite, Craftship (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Craftship ($2.20) is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Crawford Partners, J. Fodera N M Frank Stable, Joe Sbrocco and Craig Henderson. The second $15,000 leg was won by KJ Erich (Roll With Joe-Michelle's Scooter) in 1:59.2. The colt was driven by John Cummings Jr. for trainer Gary Messenger. KJ Erich ($7.20) is owned by Scott Woogen, Brenda Messenger and Phillip Shapiro. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. was as hot as the western New York weather Sunday, winning five of the 12 races on the card. He scored with the aforementioned Craftship ($2.20) and Joe Larry N Curly ($2.30) as well as Lucky Pablo ($7.40), If It rains ($2.90) and Zipnthruthehall ($2.60). Morrill is currently the third leading driver in North America for UDR with a .383. only .002 out of the second place George Napolitano Jr. He is fourteenth in North America in earnings with $3,123,201, but number one in NYSS competition with $920,602.59, more than three times more than his nearest competitor. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 12) at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night hosted the $166,874 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The event went in two divisions, worth $84,187 of $82,687, respectively. The first division saw Rock in Heaven (Dave Miller, $5.30) last on the lead and win a three-horse photo. Leaving from post position No. 2, Rock in Heaven worked around 7-5 favorite Betting Exchange (Jim Morrill Jr.), then put up intervals of :28.1, :57.4; 1:26.2 and 1:53.2. He held off a closing Soto (Dan Dube) by a nose, with Betting Exchange beaten in neck from the pocket. For second choice Rockin in Heaven, a Rocknroll Heaven colt co-owned by (trainer) Dr. Ian Moore, Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte and Gordon McComb, it was his sixth win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $56.50, with the triple returning $124.50. "He only does as much as he to," Miller said of the winner, and, for that matter, the author. Thursday night's second Palatucci grouping was not for the squeamish, as the state's glamour division was anything but glamorous. After Cartoon Daddy (Matt Kakaley) broke behind the gate, Penji Hanover (Tim Tetrick) misbehaved in the first turn. That indiscretion impeded Arque Hanover (Brian Sears), while A Bettor Hat (Tyler Buter), not wanting to be left out, also broke. Meanwhile, 17-10 favorite Artistic Major (Morrill Jr.), bothered by all that fun from post No. 5, did gather himself. He slipped in behind pole-sitting My Spirit Soars (Dube) as that one led through early intervals of :28.4 and :57.4. Artistic Hanover thought about pulling pocket, but relented. My Spirit Soars then saw a three-holed Americanprimetime (Jason Bartlett) move to the lead at the 1:26.1 three-quarters, taking a half-length advantage into the lane. Artistic Hanover edged out to chase that one and, despite drifting, went by easily. The final margin was two lengths in 1:54, with Penji Hanover crossing the line third. He was then set down to sixth for his earlier transgression, mobbing My Spirit Soars from fourth to third. For Artistic Major, an Art Major colt owned by (trainer) Steve Elliott, David Van Dusen, Michael Cimiglio, and Gunjan Patel, he's now 3-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $70, with the triple returning $519. The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday nights (post time 7:10 PM) After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

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

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