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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 27, 2015--If your favorite harness racing driver is Dan Dube and your favorite number is four, congratulations and go collect. Dube went "four-th" Saturday night, winning both halves of Yonkers Raceway's soggy $42,000 co-featured Open Handicaps. Great Vintage ($6.20) had nary an anxious moment in the weekly pacing feature, working around a returning P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) and strolling through fractions of :27.4, :57.1, 1:25.2 and 1:53.2. Great Vintage whipped 19-10 choice P H Supercam--out four weeks prior to this start--by a couple of lengths. Texican N (Eric Carlson) was a three-hole third, with Rock on Moe (Jordan Stratton) and a tough-trip All Bets Off (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. For second choice Great Vintage, a 7-year-old son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding and a pair of Gorans (Anderberg and Falk) it was his third win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $19, with the triple returning $62.50. The week's marquee trot saw 11-10 choice Daylon Miracle--in one notch after an inside scratch--duplicate the down-the-road (:28.3, :58.2, 1:27, 1:56.4) MO of Great Vintage. Daylon Miracle held off a second move of outside assignee Luminosity (Brennan) by a length-and-a-half, with Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter), Rock of Cashel (Eric Goodell) and Lorenzo Dream (Carlson) rounding out the payees. For Daylon Miracle, a 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur owned (as Allard Racing) and trained by Rene Allard, it was her eighth win in 14 '15 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11.20, the triple returned $47.80 and the superfecta paid $165.50. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (7:10 PM), Tuesday matinee (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Jimmy Takter trainee Katie Said (Brett Miller) took the harness racing featured pace on Friday afternoon from Harrah's Philadelphia. It was an open affair for fillies and mares going for a purse of $30,000. Starting from post two, Katie Said was taken off the early pace, settling down into sixth as Gallie Bythe Beach (Tim Tetrick) and race favorite Inittowinafortune (Scott Zeron) battled through a :26.3 opening quarter. As the pace settled down up top at the half (:54.4), long shot Rockaround Sue (Dave Miller) emerged first-over, with Katie Said establishing second-over position. After three-quarters (122.4), Katie Said circled around cover to challenge for the lead. She went on to win by a head, holding off the late surge of Ooh Bad Shark (Allan Davis) who settled for second. Request For Parole (Yannick Gingras) finished third. It was the second win for the daughter of Well Said ($12.20) for her new connections, as she completed the mile in 1:51.2. It was her twelfth career win in twenty-eight starts. Michael Bozich

The biggest day on the harness racing calendar every year in North America is Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands. With just eight weeks to go until the big day, the contenders are all stepping out and as has become the norm, Jimmy Takter trainees are at the forefront of many of the discussions concerning potential winners. Jimmy Takter needs no introduction to harness racing fans with a record of success with the straight out trotter that is second to none. A Hall Of Fame inductee in 2012 and a four time trainer of the year, Jimmy has already won three Hambletonians and last year was very special when he drove the winner of the Hambletonian and trained the winner of the Hambletonian Oaks. With over $13,000,000 in seasonal earnings in 2014, Jimmy shows no sign of slowing up and has several leading candidates for this years edition of the Hambletonian. They are headed by last seasons two year old Breeders Crown winner in Pinkman 1:52.2 ($696,925) who is three from three this season. Uncle Lasse 1:51.4 ($467,359) is another Takter trainee to start the season in the right fashion with a three from three record as well. Throw in the rapidly improving Canepa Hanover 1:51.1 ($112,150) and Jimmy will once again hold a strong hand in this years race. Recently Jimmy sat down on In The Sulky to give his thoughts on his runners this year. View here Harnesslink Media  

During the winter, harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter said 3-year-old trotter Canepa Hanover could be "a Trixton kind of horse." As summer approaches, Canepa Hanover is doing his best to prove Takter correct. Canepa Hanover is the 2-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$233,000 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. Last week, the colt won his Goodtimes elimination by 11-1/2 lengths over Iron in 1:51.3. The time equaled Trixton's track record set in last year's Goodtimes final. But the similarities don't end there. Both Trixton and Canepa Hanover are sons of stallion Muscle Hill, the 2009 Horse of the Year, and hail from highly regarded families. Trixton is out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994 and sister to stars Conway Hall, Angus Hall and Andover Hall. Canepa Hanover is out of the mare Cressida Hanover, who also produced 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. Trixton sold as a yearling for $360,000; Canepa Hanover for $300,000. Both trotters were limited by growing pains at age 2 and were overshadowed by some of their stablemates heading into their 3-year-old seasons. Trixton emerged early in his 3-year-old campaign and went on to capture the Hambletonian Stakes; now it is up to Canepa Hanover to write the rest of his story. "He's going the same path," Takter said about Canepa Hanover, who has won two of five races this year and hit the board in every start. "A lot of these Muscle Hills, they have tons of ability, but it just takes time sometimes. "Both Trixton and Canepa were among the better horses early (at age 2) but both are very big horses and they couldn't hold the speed together. They just weren't ready for it. You have to have a little patience with them." Canepa Hanover won one of six races last year. His victory came in a Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes prep race in 1:58.1 at the Meadowlands and he finished second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. He went off stride in three races, including the Haughton final. This year, the colt posted two second-place finishes and a third in his first three starts, then captured the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands and his Goodtimes elim in 1:51.3. Those are the two fastest win times of any 3-year-old trotter this season. "He's definitely a fantastic horse," said Takter, who trains Canepa Hanover for owners Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter, and the partnership of Sam Goldband, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. "His ability is unbelievable, as good as I ever saw. "You always worry when you have horses climbing this kind of speed staying sound. He already has two (1):51 miles and a couple (1):52 miles. It's tough racing. But he's a beautiful horse." Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start the Goodtimes final from post four. He's not Takter's only hope in the Goodtimes, either. French Laundry won the other Goodtimes elimination, beating stablemate The Bank by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:53.3. He will start from post three in the final with driver Brett Miller and is 2-1 on the morning line. French Laundry, a son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi, has won nine of 15 career races and earned $360,269 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Katz, and Libfeld. "He's not the best gaited horse, but he never gives up," Takter said. "He's a warrior. I like him." Following is the Goodtimes field in post order with sires, drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Hemi Seelster by Holiday Road, Stephen Byron, John Bax, 30-1 2. Caulfield by Kadabra, Trevor Henry, Chris Beaver, 30-1 3. French Laundry by Muscles Yankee, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 2-1 4. Canepa Hanover by Muscle Hill, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 2-5 5. Covert Operative by Deweycheatumhowe, Randy Waples, Per Henriksen, 30-1 6. Rubber Duck by Muscle Mass, Sylvain Filion, Julie Walker, 20-1 7. The Bank by Donato Hanover, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 10-1 8. Win The Day by Deweycheatumhowe, Chris Christoforou, Paul Reid, 20-1 9. Olympic Son by Majestic Son, John Campbell, Paul Reid, 30-1 10. Iron by Cantab Hall, Tim Tetrick, Frank Antonacci, 12-1 11. AE - Infiniti AS by Infiniti, Richard Zeron, Anette K Lorentzon by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Some trainers, like Jimmy Takter and Casie Coleman, fill their piggy banks during the second half of the year, when stakes racing opportunities are plentiful, while others grind out the wins and money from January to December. As a result, in checking how various trainers are faring this year, I’ll compare them to themselves; I’ll look at where they were on this date last year and see how far ahead, or behind, their mid-June of 2014 numbers they are. It’s no surprise that Ron Burke currently—and always--leads both the trainer’s money and dash lists, however, he is chasing last year’s pace. His veterans Foiled Again, Clear Vision, Bettor’s Edge and Rocklamation, are off to slow starts, for one thing. Burke has made more than 200 fewer starts than he made by mid-June a year ago, leading to more than 85 fewer wins and a shortfall of $1.2 million on the money line. He’ll have to hustle to surpass last year’s world record performance. PJ Fraley, who was handling the Bamond Racing stock, was second a year ago, and finished 2014 in the five slot. This year he disappeared from the planet, leaving the stable to Jeff Bamond Jr, and he hasn’t missed a beat. He’s currently number three on the list. Bamond has Matchmaker winner Venus Delight, as well as Anndrovette, Krispy Apple and Bettorever. Rene Allard, who was third at this juncture a year ago, and finished 2014 in eighth, has married success with aged money makers like Domethatagain and Yagonnakissmeornot, and good fortune with fresh stock like import Crombie A. Allard isn’t welcome at The Meadowlands, Tioga or Vernon Downs, but seems to be none the worse for it. Allard is almost $400,000 ahead of last year’s pace. The Grand Circuit isn’t his strength, so he will probably fall behind stakes trainers like Takter, Alagna and Coleman once again. Gilberto Garcia-Hererra, who was in the six slot in June of last year, has stepped up to number four. His stable has made 240 more starts, but he has only three more wins. However, he’s $300,000 ahead of his 2014 pace. Better stock accounts for this uptick. Julie Miller’s stable was hot during the winter and spring of 2014, with trotter Perfect Alliance winning eleven races. This led to her ascension to the five slot one year ago today. She drops to number nine, with 25 fewer wins and more than $370,000 less in earnings. Her top shelf Donato fillies, Livininthefastlane and Sky Hanover, may help turn that around. Carmen Auciello, who practices his trade on both sides of the border, is consistent; he was number seven in mid-June of last year, and is currently in the number eight spot. The same can be said of Ontario based trainer Richard Moreau, who was at eighth a year ago and is now at seventh. Mark Ford, who was ninth this time last year and is now tenth, also fits this template. Auciello, Moreau and Ford finished last year at the twelve, thirteen and fourteen spots. Irv Miller has taken a major nosedive, from the tenth spot a year ago to number 46 today. Miller, who finished 2014 third behind Burke and Takter, has made 92 fewer starts, has 21 fewer wins and is more than $490,000 short of what his stable had bankrolled this time last year. Josh Green experienced a similar drop-off, but the lengthy suspension he served helps explain that. He went from eleventh to forty-third. Green is off more than 200 starts and $457,000. The fact that Dancin Yankee, who was a beast out of the gate last year, started out like a lamb in 2015, hasn’t helped. Thirty-two-year-old Jose Godinez has rocketed up the charts. He went from the number 44 slot this time last year to number twelve right now. As recently as 2011 he only had 11 starters; he has 329 thus far in 2014. Godinez is up more than 30 wins and $415,000. He’s the number eight trainer at Yonkers Raceway. Virgil Morgan, who was tenth overall on the money list at the close of 2014, has benefitted greatly from the infusion of casino dollars into the Ohio purse account. He was twelfth at this time last year, but is now sixth. Veteran trainer Steve Elliott, who conditioned Donato Hanover and Well Said, wasn’t in the top 50 last June, but a star studded cast that includes Art History, Rockeyed Optimist and Doo Wop Hanover, have him at number 16, and that’s off of fewer starts than any of the trainers in front of him except for Jimmy Takter. Jim King Jr wasn’t in the top 50 a year ago, but he’s at number 27 today, with 55 wins and $611,952 in the bank. Cup contender Wakizashi Hanover, Lismore winner Purrfect Bags and Star Keeper are three of the reasons. Tony O’Sullivan, who finished 2014 at number 18, went from 23 in June of 2014 to number 13 today. His Art Major filly, Moonlit Dance, just won a Fan Hanover elimination. Scott Di Dominico jumped three spots to number 11, while Daran Casar, Heidi Rohr, Mark Harder, Joe Holloway, Amber Buter, Lou Pena and Kevin Carr all fell back. As was stated earlier, some of these trainers will automatically pick up steam when the Grand Circuit gets into full swing, while others will continue to mine the overnight sector, and in most cases drop to one degree or another. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century.  He writes a weekly blog for  http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/.  Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

Smokinmombo - especially her nose - foiled a Team Takter "sweep" of the three divisions of the $222,867 second leg Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event held Wednesday at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   When the early smoke cleared, Smokinmombo found herself sitting second behind Wild Honey, the 1-10* Takterite who had won a division of the Sires first leg.   Wild Honey maintained the lead to approaching deep stretch, but the Explosive Matter filly Smokinmombo had an explosive last 50 yards to hang the smallest margin of victory on the chalk in 1:53.4, completing one sweep in this, the night's third division -- all Wednesday's winners took lifetime marks.   Aaron Merriman handled Smokinmombo, now a winner of three straight, for trainer Chris Beaver, who is also co-owner with Synerco Ventures Inc and James Gallagher.   Sire Explosive Matter had a double Sires credit Wednesday, as his daughter Smexi overcame the outside post nine to post the biggest Sires victory margin, 1¼ lengths, while stopping the clock in 1:53.3.   Corey Callahan handled the filly, who won her second consecutive race, for Jimmy Takter and her ownership of Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding.   The Donato Hanover filly Sarcy emerged as the only repeat Sires winner as she warded off the late charge of Day Lily to win by a neck in 1:53.1.   Yannick Gingras had sulky duties for Takter, with wife Christina and the Fieldings in the ownership combine of Sarcy, now with a winning string of three, along with Oakwood Farms.   Jerry Connors

This was a particularly fun week of harness racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono because each of the four nights hosted either the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes or the Stallion Series. Since we had that unique phenomenon occur, I thought I'd give the Weekly Awards a break and simply focus on the races that went down in those two unique series. For those who are unaware, the Sire Stakes pit the best 2 and 3-year-olds in the state of Pennsylvania against each other through the spring and summer months with big stakes on the line, eventually wrapping up in finals which carry purses in the six figures. The Stallion Series also feature the freshmen and sophomores of the racing world, and although the horses that compete here are usually a notch below the Sire Stakes competitors and the purses are a bit lower, the winnings a horse can accumulate through the preliminary legs and the finals can be quite substantial. This week we got a look at the cream of the crop of three-year-old trotters of both the male and female gender. Here are some of the highlights: 3-YEAR-OLD COLTS AND GELDINGS SIRE STAKES TROT (Saturday night) The sport of harness racing's most prestigious race is the Hambletonian, and the way it appears now, we at Pocono witnessed the favorite for that race on Saturday night. Pinkman, from the barn of Jimmy Takter, won the 2-year-old Breeders Crown championship to end 2014 and started his 3-year-old campaign off with back-to-back dominant Sire Stakes wins. He didn't disappoint at Pocono on Saturday night, handling a tough field on the front end in a rapid 1:53 with Brett Miller in the bike. Oddly enough, the horse that could challenge Pinkman for 3-year-old honors is his stablemate Uncle Lasse, who cruised to his third straight Sire Stakes win in 1:52:2, the fastest time of the three divisions held on Saturday night. Brett Miller once again drove for Takter. The lone close Sire Stakes battle came when Wicker Hanover, with Andrew McCarthy in the bike for Noel Daley, won a wild stretch battle by a nose over Walter White in 1:53 for his second straight Sire Stakes win. 3-YEAR-OLD COLTS AND GELDINGS STALLION SERIES TROT (Sunday night) Just as the Sire Stakes held form, the Stallion Series races the following night blew that form up. Not one of the favorites in the five divisions came home a winner, as several broke stride early to end their chances. Give credit to those horses who came up big while the favorites faltered, such as Pierre and Colbert, who each picked up their maiden victories, and Paging Doctorlindy, who was racing for just the third time in his career. Mesmerized posted the night's fastest time in the Stallion Series with a seven-length romp in 1:53:4. Joe Pavia Jr. did the driving for trainer Frank Antonacci, who later scored a second win with Paging Doctorlindy. Meanwhile it was an up-and-down night for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. He had two heavy favorites come up empty, but got a boost when Colbert knocked off odds-on favorite Hurrikane Jonny K in his split. 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES STALLION SERIES TROT (Tuesday night) Once again it was a Jimmy Takter trainee who stole the spotlight. Lilu Hanover, a filly who's had problems staying flat in the past, shook all that off in her division. With Takter doing the driving as well, she rolled to a four-length win and posted Tuesday night's fastest Stallion Series time of 1:54:1 in the process. Favorites Seduce A Stranger and Manhattan Miss also delivered on their odds-on promise to win splits. There were some mild surprises though. Wouldn't Itbesweet, with McCarthy aboard for trainer Jenny Melander, knocked off favorite Fashion Voyager in a fierce stretch duel. And Sistas, a 9-2 shot just joining the Chris Oakes barn, uncorked a late move from the pocket with George Napolitano driving to upend 3-5 Takter trainee Speak To Me in the night's biggest upset. 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES SIRE STAKES TROT (Wednesday night) It looked for all the world like we were headed to a Jimmy Takter sweep of the three Sire Stakes divisions on Wednesday night. First Smexi, with Corey Callahan in the bike, overcame a #9 post to win her split as a 3-5 shot in 1:53:3. Then Sarcy, benefitting from the late scratch of likely favorite Livininthefastlane, controlled matters on the front end with Yannick Gingras driving to win her division in 1:53:1. In the night's final division, Wild Honey, another Takter horse and winner of 11 of 13 lifetime starts, was a 1-9 favorite and appeared to be on her way to victory on the front end. But Smokinmombo, trained by Chris Beaver, pounced from the pocket late and outfinished the heavy favorite to win by a nose in 1:53:4, providing a thrilling exclamation point for this exciting collection of stakes races. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia, 

WILKES-BARRE PA - Daughters of Andover Hall took the two fastest of five harness racing divisions of the $100,000 second leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and two of the three first leg winners entered here repeated.   The intersection of those two statements is Kirsi Hanover, who won her Stallion start at The Meadows despite broken equipment; here she made an early move to command and went on to take a new mark in 1:54.1. Jimmy Takter trains and drove the winner for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.   Sistas rallied in the Pocono Pike to overhaul another first round winner, Speak To Me, posting the second-fastest clocking and also getting a new mark by tripping the timer in 1:54.2. The powerful local pairing of driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes backed the winner for owners Albert and Michelle Crawford.   The other repeat Stallion Series winner was Manhattan Miss, who rallied from second-over for driver Simon Allard in a 1:55.3 triumph. Trainer Marty Wollam also owns the winning daughter of Broadway Hall with Acadia Farms Inc.   The other two winners Tuesday earned new speed badges with their triumphs. The Muscle Massive filly Seduce A Stranger overcame a first-over trip while stopping the clock in 1:56 for driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Dane Snyder, and owners Thomas King III and Danielle Snyder; also victorious was the Cantab Hall miss Wouldn't Itbesweet, who made the most of a sweet pocket trip to win in 1:55.2 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Jenny Melander, and the Harbor Racing Stable LLC.   Wednesday night Pocono features the Sire Stakes 3TFs in three divisions of a $222,687 second round leg, with the first of 14 races Wednesday marked for 6:30 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - 2014 trotting colt champion Pinkman and Jimmy Takter stablemate Uncle Lasse are now perfect in three Pennsylvania Sire Stakes starts this year after capturing their divisions of the $223,617 three-year-old trotting colt third prelim Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In the third section, Wicker Hanover, the only non-Takterite to win in 10 cuts of this harness racing event in 2015, made it two straight wins with a hard-earned nose victory that prevented a Team Takter sweep.   Uncle Lasse was the fastest divisional Sire Stakes winner for the second straight round of prelims, following up on his 1:51.4 win at The Meadows with a 1:52.2 tally Saturday at Pocono. Driver Brett Miller tucked the son of Donato Hanover in fourth, then quarter-moved him to the top, and a 55.4 last half left the rest of the field far in arrears. The brother to 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners.   Pinkman continued to exhibit championship form, as the Explosive Matter gelding went wire-to-wire for Miller/Takter in 1:53. He won by 1¾ lengths over last year's 2YO Sire Stakes champion Billy Flynn, making his seasonal debut, with Jim Morrill Jr. picking up the drive behind Billy Flynn, whom Miller drove regularly last year. Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Joyce McClelland share ownership of the horse many feel to be the Hambletonian favorite (or is that the male Hambletonian favorite?).   Wicker Hanover took a Sire Stakes cut at The Meadows, and he made a return visit to Victory Lane at Pocono, making a sweeping move off cover to the midstretch lead. But anybody who's seen the TV show Breaking Bad knows there's drama afoot whenever Walter White's around, and indeed that Takter-trained colt, on Wicker's back most of the way, came flying late to be just nosed out. Wicker Hanover, who gave Explosive Matter two of the three Sires siring credits, equaled his lifetime best of 1:53 with the tight triumph for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Noel Daley, and the Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable Inc.   On Sunday at Pocono, there will be five divisions of the $100,000 counterpart event for Stallion Series horses, with the first race listed for 6:30 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 12 - Canepa Hanover put the entire three-year-old trotting colt division on notice with another dominant harness racing performance Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 13 sophomore trotting colts and geldings were split into two $30,000 eliminations for the Goodtimes Stakes. The first elimination featured New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Canepa Hanover and the Jimmy Takter trainee more than lived up to the hype. Sent off as the 1/9 choice, Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras trotted out to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :27.1. The middle-half saw the son of Muscle Hill hang up panels of :55.3 and 1:23.2 before trotting home under cruise control to win by an incredible 11½ lengths in 1:51.3. The impressive clocking equaled the track record of set by Trixton, also a Takter trainee, in last year's Goodtimes final. "He's got crazy power," said Gingras following the race. "He was even better tonight than he was in the sires stakes. Tonight he got over this track very good. At the quarter in :27.1 I felt like I was going :30." The Frank Antonacci trainee Iron finished second, while Rubber Duck finished third. Hemi Seelster and Olympic Son finished fourth and fifth to secure spots in next week's final. Canepa Hanover is owned by Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter and the partnership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. He now has two wins this season and has not missed the board in five starts. Canepa Hanover, who was a $300,000 yearling purchase, pushed his career earnings to $112,150 with the victory. He paid $2.10 to win. Canepa Hanover The combination of Gingras and Takter teamed up to also take the second elimination with French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee, French Laundry followed stablemate The Bank in the second-quarter to the front. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1, French Laundry said goodnight to his rivals and trotted away for an easy 3 ½ length victory in 1:53.3. The Bank finished second to make it a Takter exactor. Win The Day, Covert Operative and Caulfield rounded out the top-five to advance to the final. French Laundry is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The sophomore trotting colt now has two wins from three starts this season. Last season, French Laundry had seven wins from 12 starts. The Takter trainee's career earnings now sit at over $368,000. French Laundry paid $2.30 to win. French Laundry The $233,000 Goodtimes final will take place next Saturday (June 20) as part of the Pepsi North America Cup card. The post positions for the final were drawn following the eliminations. Here is how they will lineup. 1. Hemi Seelster 2. Caulfield 3. French Laundry 4. Canepa Hanover 5. Covert Operative 6. Rubber Duck 7. The Bank 8. Win The Day 9. Olympic Son 10. Iron AE: Infiniti As Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 12 - Bee A Magician set a Canadian record in her harness racing return to Mohawk Racetrack Friday night for the Armbro Flight eliminations. A fantastic group of 17 older trotting mares were split into two $35,000 eliminations to qualify for the $272,000 Armbro Flight final. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, headlined the first elimination and continued her impressive five-year-old season with a Canadian and track record performance of 1:51.1. Driven by Brian Sears, Bee A Magician got away in fourth and sat in that spot through the opening-half. Around the final turn, Sears sent the Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee first up to challenge the leader Handover Belle and edged ahead to the lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Bee A Magician trotted home effortlessly in :27.2 to win by four-lengths and establish a new Canadian and track record. Classic Martine finished second, while Allie Labrook was third. "I was really happy with the way things worked out," said Sears following the race. "She was really good tonight scoring down and I think the cool weather might have helped her a little bit too." Bee A Magician has now won five of six starts this year. All six of her starts have been made over the course of the last 41 days, but Sears said that didn't show Friday night. "She was razor-sharp tonight, I was really happy with her." A daughter of Kadabra, Bee A Magician now has 36 career victories and added to her bankroll of over $3 million. The clocking of 1:51.1 erased the former track record of 1:51.4 set by Perfect Alliance in last year's Armbro Flight final. Perfect Alliance also set the former Canadian record of 1:51.2 in May last year at Woodbine. A graduate of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Bee A Magician has now won 15 of 17 career starts at Mohawk. She returned $2.80 to win. Bee A Magician The second elimination saw another heavy favourite visit the winner's circle. Shake It Cerry extended her win streak to three in a row with a 1:52.4 victory. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Shake It Cerry made a second-quarter move from fourth to take the lead at the half in :56.1. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, Shake It Cerry pulled away from her rivals in the lane and trotted home under no urging from Gingras in :28 for a 2 ¾ length victory. Rockin With Dewey finished second, while Bax Of Life got up for third. Charmed Life and Frau Blucher rounded out the top-five to advance to the final. Following the race, Gingras talked about a pending matchup with Bee A Magician. "Bee A Magician is tough and she's a great mare," said Gingras. "She won just as easy as myself, so it's going to be a great matchup." A four-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover, Shake It Cerry is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Solveigs Racing Partners. She now has three wins from six starts this season and 26 in her career. Shake It Cerry's career earnings sit at over $2.1 million. She paid $2.60 to win. Shake It Cerry The Armbro Flight final will take place next Saturday (June 20) as part of the Pepsi North America Cup card. The post positions for the final were drawn following the eliminations. Here is how they will lineup in the $272,000 final. 1. Bax Of Life 2. Classic Martine 3. Shake It Cerry 4. Rockin With Dewey 5. Bee A Magician 6. Charmed Life 7. Frau Blucher 8. Harley Momma 9. Handover Belle 10. Allie Labrook AE: White Becomes Her Mark McKelvie

WILKES-BARRE PA - The third preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for harness racing three-year-old colt and gelding trotters will be the headliner at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday night, with three fields of nine entered in the $223,617 event.   So far this year, "3YO trotting colts in PaSS events" has been almost the same as writing "success for Team Takter," as the barn of the Hall of Fame won six of the seven sections offered at Harrah's Philadelphia and The Meadows. The only winner from the "outside world," Wicker Hanover, has drawn post three in the fourth race first division for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Noel Daley. The son of Explosive Matter followed up a second in the first Sires leg with a 1:53 "pocket rocket" triumph, and he may be a major threat to total Takter dominance.   Walter White will carry the hopes of the Takter barn in this division, although he was off the board in the first two legs. But the son of Cantab Hall refamiliarized himself with trotting hopples in a 1:54.3 Meadowlands qualifying win, and could get going here despite post eight. Brett Miller is listed to drive all four of Takter's entrants throughout the three cuts.   The sixth race second division finds 2014 divisional champion Pinkman looking to run his seasonal tally to 3 for 3, with the altered son of Explosive Matter drawing the midpoint of the starting gate after open-length wins in Sires starts. He will be coupled in the wagering with Whom Shall I Fear, the full brother to Father Patrick, who has drawn post seven.   Making his 2015 seasonal debut in this division is the Cantab Hall colt Billy Flynn, who won all four of his preliminaries and then the Championship in the PA program last year for trainer Staffan Lind. One note of drama - Brett Miller was the regular driver of Billy Flynn last year, and is down on the early sheet to handle him Saturday night. He'll have to get off somebody ...   Miller was behind the Donato Hanover colt Uncle Lasse when that colt exploded to a 1:51.4 win last time out at The Meadows, also making him 2 for 2 in the Sires. The full brother to 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry has drawn post seven; starting one notch inside him is the horse who came within a half-length of beating him at The Meadows, Cruzado Dela Noche (Andrew McCarthy), who is trained by ... Jimmy Takter's daughter, Nancy Johannson!   Any number of scenarios could play out in these interesting Sire Stakes matchups Saturday at Pocono, where the first of 14 races is scheduled to go to the track at 6:30 p.m. The night after, Pocono will host the Stallion Series events for this group.   PHHA / Pocono  

For harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter, one of his favorite days of the year is the first day he brings his 2-year-olds to their first qualifiers. After his stable captured seven of Saturday morning's 11 events for the newcomers at the Meadowlands, it is easy to understand his enthusiasm. Takter won with 2-year-old female trotters Sunset Glider and Twice Is Right, 2-year-old male trotters Earn And Burn and Bar Hopping, 2-year-old female pacers Pure Country and Sonoma Valley, and 2-year-old male pacer Youth. "I love this," Takter said. "When you're sitting all winter and you develop these horses, it's a little bit like a report card when you go out there. I know it doesn't mean anything to win, but I like the horses to go out there and perform. Some horses you have to teach to race from behind, but I want them to go out there and stay on top of their game." Winning qualifiers among the 3-year-olds and older horses were star pacers Foiled Again and JK She'salady. Bar Hopping (Muscle Hill-Cocktail Hour) posted the fastest time among the 2-year-old trotters, winning by a half-length over stablemate Jimmy William (Cantab Hall-Solveig) in 1:58.2 with a :28.3 last quarter. The colt was purchased for $190,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a full brother to 2014 New Jersey Sire Stakes runner-up Martiniwithmuscle and his family includes Dan Patch Award winner Jef's Spice and stakes-winner Cumin. Jimmy William is a homebred half-brother to Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry as well as Uncle Lasse, and full brother to stakes-winner Dontyouforgetit. Sunset Glider (Cantab Hall-Highland Glider) won by a neck over Charlie Norris-trainee Stage Presence (Muscle Massive-Stage Fright) in 2:00.1. Twice Is Right (Donato Hanover-Think Twice) was a neck better than stablemate All The Time (Muscle Hill-Cantab It All), also stopping the timer in 2:00.1. Earn And Burn (Donato Hanover-Borrow And Spend) won by five lengths over stablemate Dominus Hanover (Muscle Massive-Dornello) in 2:01.4. Marcus Melander won two qualifiers for the 2-year-old trotters. Filly Lucky Kristen (Lucky Chucky-Ms Kristin) benefitted when Takter's Kathy Parker went off stride in the stretch. Lucky Kristen won by a half-length over Sharon's Luck (Lucky Chucky-Southwind Flanders) in 2:02. Melander's colt Brownie Hanover (Donato Hanover-Born To Love) needed no help, winning by seven lengths over Takter's Ducci (Cantab Hall-Nothing But Moni) in 1:59. "They both qualified great; I was happy with them," Melander said. "I've got seven babies and the three that I had in here today have been training very good all winter. I think they're pretty good horses. I think they'll make some money this year. "They're staked to a lot of races. I think they'll be there in some big final. The Lucky Chucky filly will be a great New York horse. She can go around half-mile tracks with no problem. The Donato colt just does everything so easy. Of course, there are many good horses, but he's a good horse too." Also winning among the 2-year-old female trotters was Synonymous Hanover (Andover Hall-Sweetr By The Bone) in 1:59.3 for trainer Norris. Takter's female pacer Pure Country posted the fastest time of the day for the pacers, winning in 1:55.4. Pure Country (Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana) won by two lengths over stablemate My Lady Love (Well Said-Trim Hanover). Sonoma Valley (Rocknroll Hanover-Art's Vintage), who was purchased for $325,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, won by a nose over stablemate Ivy League (Somebeachsomewhere-See You At Peelers) in 1:56.3. Sonoma Valley is a three-quarter sister to $2 million-earner Vintage Master. Youth (Western Ideal-Society's Child) captured his qualifier by 1-1/4 lengths over Nancy Johansson's Mac's Star (Somebeachsomewhere-Knock Three Times) in 1:58.3. "I was happy with most of them," Takter said of his 2-year-olds. "All the trotting colts were very, very good; and the pacing fillies. Pure Country is scary. She's a scary horse." Jeff Gregory's colt Fast N Victorious (Art Major-Yankee Luck) wrapped up the day for the 2-year-olds by winning by 1-1/2 lengths over Joe Holloway's Brooklynite (Somebeachsomewhere-Sunone) in 1:56.4. Eleven-year-old male pacer Foiled Again prepped for his return to action by winning his qualifier by 14-1/2 lengths in 1:51. He will go to the Battle of Lake Erie on June 12 at Northfield Park. "I was happy," trainer Ron Burke said. "That's a good mile out there today. Nobody is really pacing home good because of the wind. I think people will see all these qualifiers were better than they originally thought when the horses come back and race. Overall, I was very pleased with Foiled. "On to Northfield." Three-year-old female pacer JK She'salady, the 2014 Horse of the Year, also prepped for a road trip. She won her qualifier by 1-3/4 lengths over Better Said in 1:51.3 and will head to Ontario's Mohawk Racetrack for the Fan Hanover Stakes eliminations on June 13. "Get your passports out," trainer Nancy Johansson said with a laugh. "She's coming into it good. She's not very tired (from the qualifier). She's only raced once, so she needed the work. She was good." In another anticipated qualifier, this one for older trotters, Swedish invader Mr Picolit finished third behind Handover Belle and Aggressive, timed in 1:55, in his first North American appearance. Mr Picolit, an 8-year-old trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, was a stakes-winner overseas, earning $533,949. He will join Sebastian K in Svanstedt's stable. "He's good," Svanstedt said. "The only thing is he's pulling too much. Maybe he was a little nervous; it's his first race in a long time. That was the only thing that was bad; he just never relaxed today. But he feels good and he raced good. I don't want to race fast today." For Saturday's complete qualifier charts from the Meadowlands, click here. Synonymous Hanover Lucky Kristen   Sunset Glider Twice Is Right Earn And Burn Bar Hopping  Brownie Hanover  Pure Country  Sonoma Valley Youth Fast N Victorious  by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, June 6, 2015 -- Smokinmombo made the decisive move to the front past the quarter and sped to victory in 1:54.2 -- a stake record -- in Friday's $94,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. Smexi and Matter Hatter took the other splits. The harness racing trio gave their sire, Explosive Matter, a Currier & Ives sweep. Saturday's special Belmont Day card at The Meadows features the $119,565 open division of the Currier & Ives as well as a $181,766 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers. First post is 11:25 AM. Trainer Chris Beaver rigged Smokinmombo with hopples three starts back, and he said the new equipment has helped the daughter of Explosive Matter-Horizontal Mombo. "The hopples have been real important," said Beaver, who owns the filly with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. "She made only one break last year, but she always was kind of out of rhythm when she'd come the last few steps of the mile. She has a humongous stride, and the hopples rein in her gait a little bit." Once on the lead, Smokinmombo drew off for Aaron Merriman and defeated By And By Hanover by 7-1/4 lengths, with Big Barb third. The time erased the old stake mark of 1:54.4 held by Win Missy B. "I staked her well, but not as well as I would have if I'd known how she would come on her first few starts," Beaver said. "But she is staked to the Hambletonian Oaks, the Kentucky Futurity and the Elegant Image. So there's plenty." Smexi also opened a daylight lead before surrendering all but 1/2 length of it, scoring in 1:54.4 Winning driver Dave Palone said the issue never was in doubt. "I let her sprint off at the head of stretch and then never worried," Palone said. "They never were going to get by her. She'll go every time you ask on her." She Wore Red and Classical Annie completed the ticket. Jimmy Takter trains the daughter of Explosive Matter-Sanna Hanover, who pushed her career bankroll to $432,637, for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding. Matter Hatter added a Murphy blind left for the Currier & Ives and had little trouble disposing of the field after a quarter-pole move for Mike Wilder. She prevailed in 1:56, 3-1/4 lengths better than Onda Di Mare. Blue Muse earned show. "The last couple weeks she's been on the right line -- she'd turn her head inside a little bit," said winning trainer Jeff Cox. "She seems better this way. We didn't over-stake her. She'll basically be in Pennsylvania again." Pius Soehnlen campaigns Matter Hatter, a daughter of Explosive Matter-Queen Volo who soared over $100,000 in career earnings. $60,000 PA Stallion Series, 3-Year-old Colt & Gelding Pacers Friday's program also featured three divisions of a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers, which became a showcase for Jo Pa's Well Said, who shattered the stake record when he triumphed in 1:50.3 for Merriman, trainer Jim Campbell and owner Emposimato Stables. Only minutes before, UF Larry Alltheway had matched the stake record of 1:51.2. RN Nate was second, 3 lengths in arrears, with Kwik Mac third. "He's staked right up," Campbell said of the son of Well Said-So Ravishing, "but he's still a green horse. He's not ready to go in 'Grade 1' stakes. We have to pick our spots a little bit." His record may have been fleeting, but trainer Kelly O'Donnell and owner Up Front Racing had to be pleased with UF Larry Alltheway's first victory this year in his fifth try. "I thought a lot of this colt last year," winning driver Palone said of the Dragon Again-Varbo gelding. "He's just now starting to come into his own. It was one thing after another with him. I really think he'll turn the corner now." Chaching Hanover dueled with the winner for the final quarter but missed by a head. Firm It Up rallied for show. Badiou Hanover, a Well Said-Blind Ambition gelding, was hammered down to 1-5 and justified the heavy support when he quarter-poled to the lead and scored in 1:51.3 for Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller and owners Pinske Stables and Jim Simpson. Techtor Hanover's late rally fell a length short while Joe Hill completed the ticket. "He's lazy on the front -- he waits for horses a little bit," Andy Miller said. "But when he turned for home, he just took off. He does what he has to. He'll probably stay in the stallion series, but he is eligible for the Adios." The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

East Rutherford, NJ - When the notion to keep Harness Racing’s brightest stars on the racetrack beyond their three-year-old season was being considered by Jeff Gural as far back as 2010, it was the lure of having a "marquee" horse to promote that fueled his campaign to change the conditions of stakes to that end. Known as the “Gural rule” and currently in place for most of the major stakes, that vision is coming into focus as the 2015 Grand Circuit season gets underway in earnest.   To succeed, this initiative requires that rare equine athlete with talent and charisma enough to hold the attention of existing fans and pique the interest of new ones. Those qualities may well be embodied in the remarkably gifted trotter, Father Patrick. Crowned as the leader in his division at both two and three, Father Patrick has been touted by no less an authority that his Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter as “the best horse I have ever trained”. The career winner of more than $2.5 million boasts a long list of accomplishments and just may possess the necessary "Star Power”.    Father Patrick was bred by George Segal’s Brittany Farms and purchased from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for $100,000 by Jimmy Takter for a group that included Brittany, Brixton Medical, John Fielding, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, Sam Goldband and Christina Takter. Adam Bowden came in after his freshman season to secure the breeding rights for his Diamond Creek Farm.     With his Dan Patch award-winning sophomore season complete and faced with another year on the track, members of the Father Patrick Stable contemplated how they might make the best of it. The group ultimately chose to implement a practice that is commonplace in Europe but heretofore untested in the US. Their decision was to breed Father Patrick to a limited book of top mares while he was being prepared for and embarking upon his four-year-old campaign; a decision that creates a new realm of possibilities if successful and the dual-purpose use of top horses in the US should become a viable option.     As winter turned to spring, Takter trained Father Patrick at his East Windsor, NJ farm and shipped him to nearby Walnridge Farm a few times each week to be bred. Throughout the course of this "double-duty" Father Patrick responded brilliantly on both fronts. By late April he was ready to race.    After three impressive qualifiers, Father Patrick had his baptism by fire in the $150,000 Maxie Lee facing the best older trotters around. Chief among the competition was 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, a five-year-old mare that was coming into the race off a pair of dominant performances in the Arthur Cutler Memorial.   The match-up of Father Patrick vs Bee A Magician, billed as the “Race of the Year” to that point, could not have been possible without Father Patrick’s return to the track at age four, which would have to be considered unlikely if not for the Gural rule. Father Patrick’s ability to compete with that group was proven out by his effortless 1:52.1 wire-to-wire romp in the Maxie Lee.    Yannick Gingras knows the horse well, having driven Father Patrick in virtually every race since the start of his career and spoke of his impressions on the physical and mental maturation from age three to four.   “I think breeding him has had a positive effect, he’s definitely changed from a boy to a man this year,” was Yannick’s take. “He is a smart horse that allows you to race him any way and the gait and athletic ability were always there for him, but this season he is more aggressive in a good way. I trained him several times this winter and could feel a difference, more power and determination.   “To be honest he was a tired horse by the end of last season. It was a lot of racing and shipping around for him and he won the Breeders Crown pretty much on talent and instinct. Knowing that, I was concerned how he might come back but he’s been so good I’m now wondering what he might be able to do even beyond this year. Granted it is very early but I feel he’s the kind of horse that could compete with the best International horses if the owners were to continue racing him. Personally, I’d love a chance to race him against the Europeans and test them with the very best we have when he's at the top of his game.”   With the world's fastest trotter Sebastian K's return to racing imminent, expatriate Maven rumored to be state-side this fall, TVG champ Intimidate sharpening his game in Canada, Natural Herbie rounding into form in the Midwest, European invader Mr Picolit qualifying tomorrow at The Meadowlands and Elitlopp winner Magic Tonight reportedly headed this way the possibilities for a fantastic trotting season right here in the good old US of A are intriguing, to say the least.    There are many components to advancing the "Gural Rule" and when asked by the industry to provide racing opportunities for the newly minted four-year-olds to gain seasoning as they prepare to compete with the older set, Gural responded by resurrecting the Graduate Series restricted to horses of that age. The four race series will provide over $1 million in total purses for the group with $250,000 Finals for both trotters and pacers set for early July at The Meadowlands.   The second leg of the Graduate comes up this Saturday at The Meadowlands and Father Patrick will participate in the eleventh race, facing six rivals for a purse of $56,250. His presence adds luster to the Belmont Day live program, offering customers a chance to see the best both breeds have to offer in one day.   There are four Graduate races on the Saturday night card, two for pacers with the finest of that group set to slug it out and a pair of trots with 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry headlining the other division.   The Meadowlands offers a terrific venue in which to enjoy American Pharoah’s Triple Crown quest without the throng that will crowd into Belmont Park. Details on what the afternoon/evening at The Meadowlands has to offer including the second annual Seafood Fest are listed on the website. Post time on Saturday is 7:15pm.   Meadowlands Media Relations Department 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 4, 2015) - As a Hall of Fame harness racing trainer best known for his acumen with trotters, even Jimmy Takter is a bit surprised to have not one, but two aged pacing mares in his stable racing at a high level. "I've trained several good three-year-old filly pacers such as American Jewel and See You At Peelers, but I think these would be my first really good four-year-old pacing mares," said Takter. The two mares are Weeper and Katie Said, both of whom will be part of the ultra competitive $28,500 Mares Open Pace, the featured race on Friday's (June 5) twelve-race card at the Meadowlands. Weeper, owned by Joe and Joann Thomson's Bay Pond Racing Stable, earned more than $500,000 in her first two years of racing when trained by Kelly O'Donnell. She scored her biggest wins in the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Final and the Matron Stakes. Takter took over her training this season and she has won her first two starts in the Open ranks at the Meadowlands, winning once in last-to-first fashion and once going gate-to-wire. "Weeper is a very powerful horse," explained Takter, "she's almost built like a stud colt." Katie Said will make her fourth start for Takter on Friday night. The daughter of Well Said was a minor stakes winner while earning more than $200,000 when trained by Julie Miller during her freshman and sophomore seasons. Under Takter's care, she has a win and a second place finish sandwiched around a race in which she made a break. "Katie Said is wicked fast and can absolutely fly home with the right kind of trip," said Takter. "Both are very good mares. Weeper might be a little better at this point, but I really have no idea which one will be better by the end of the season." Friday's race features a field of nine including reigning Dan Patch co-champion pacing mare Rocklamation, recent Betsy Ross winner Radar Contact, and the rock-solid Inittowinafortune. Post time on Friday is 7:15 p.m. There are six-figure carryovers in both of the evening's Jackpot Super High 5 wagers. The race five carryover is $141,174 and the race twelve carryover is $115,348. Justin Horowitz Media Relations Manager Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment

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