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Vernon, N.Y. -- Trainers Jimmy Takter and Julie Miller each captured two $10,000 Kindergarten Classic preliminary events on Thursday (August 18) evening's 13-race harness racing card at Vernon Downs.   Takter's King On the Hill ($3.00) took full advantage of a cozy tracking trip, closing the pocket on the far turn and hooking three-wide off the far turn to eclipse Sweet Perks (David Miller) and early pacesetter Catch the Game (Yannick Gingras) in the evening's second event. The son of Muscle Hill and Lantern Kronos posted a 1-3/4 length win in 1:56, with Tim Tetrick driving for Christina Takter, Göran Falk, Göran Anderberg, and the Hatfield Stables.   Takter completed his stakes double in the tenth with Mellby Gard, Inc.'s Feed Your Head ($5.20), a pillar-to-post winner in rein to Yannick Gingras. The daughter of Muscle Hill and Flawless Bluestone seized command of the terms early and held clear of pocket rival Spending Spree (John Campbell) by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:57. No Bus For Us (Andy Miller) recovered from an early break to save third.   Julie Miller trainees captured races four and six, both in pacesetting fashion. Fly On ($4.40) proved the fastest of the ten 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings to compete on the card, using a :56.3 closing half to just evade pocket rival International Moni (Tetrick) for a 1:55.3 triumph in the fourth. Driver Andy Miller co-owns the son of Muscle Hill and Calchips Finisher with the Arden Homestead Stable and the GTY Stable.   Overdraft Volo ($11.20) circled three-wide on the clubhouse turn to secure the lead after yielding early in the sixth. The daughter of Yankee Glide and Bank of Newport controlled tepid middle splits of 1:00.3 and 1:30 before leading a :27.2 sprint home and holding 4-5 foavorite Glitzey Gal (David Miller) 1-1/2 lengths at bay in 1:57.2. The Pinske Stables and the Kentuckiana Racing Stable own Overdraft Volo.   The remaining Kindergarten division saw Crann Tara ($3.60) equal the fastest stakes time of the evening, wiring her four eighth-race foes in 1:55.3 with the aid of David Miller. Linda Toscano trains the daughter of Donato Hanover and Shan Riches for owner William Donovan.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (August 19) evening, with three pacing divisions of the Kindergarten Classic series headlining the 11-race card. Post time is slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 16, 2016 -- The potent harness racing team of Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter flexed its muscles Tuesday at The Meadows, sweeping three divisions of the Hickory Smoke, a $163,309 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. The pair triumphed with Love Matters, Jimmy William and Reigning Moni. The victory by Love Matters probably was the most significant as he's headed for Saturday's Colonial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and will enter that $500,000 event off a sharp performance. Love Matters and Gingras were on top at the quarter when they released Cufflink Hanover and settled into the pocket behind him. "I thought it was a two-horse race," Gingras said. "There was no point getting into each other (at that point)." Love Matters kicked by Cufflink Hanover in the Lightning Lane and downed him by 2-1/4 lengths, with Mac Deeno third. Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, John Fielding and Herb Liverman campaign Love Matters, who soared over $300,000 in career earnings. Gingras said racing in the Colonial off three days' rest shouldn't be a problem for Love Matters. "He got a good trip and was full of trot in the stretch drive," he reported. "I certainly don't think this afternoon hurt him." Racing backsides team with superstitions. Among the hoariest is that you never name a horse for yourself because the Racing Gods, angered by your hubris, will lay you and your unfortunate animal low. Jimmy William Takter defied that old wives' tale -- "I named him for a very nice guy," he deadpanned -- with Jimmy William, a son of Cantab Hall-Solveig. The colt's credentials are impeccable. He's a full brother to Dontyouforgetit, a half to Shake It Cerry and Uncle Lasse. Together, those three siblings have earned more than $4.1 million -- and still counting, in the cases of Shake It Cerry and Uncle Lasse. For quite a while, though, it appeared that Takter had indeed visited a curse upon his namesake. "He was my most promising colt last year," Takter said, "but he got sick seven times. Every time I pushed him, he got a fever. He's been better this year but not perfect." But Jimmy William began to live up to his pedigree in the Hickory Smoke when he erased a 3-1/2-length deficit in the stretch and captured his first career stake in 1:55.2. Hititoutofthepark, who's also ticketed for the Colonial, was 3/4 lengths back in second, while Alexander Hanover completed the ticket. Solveig's Racing Partners own Jimmy William. Reigning Moni had little trouble fashioning a front-end victory, defeating the rallying Truemass Volo by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:55. Bucketlist Hanover earned show. "He had issues with his knees last year -- he needed surgery on them," Takter said. "He's a good colt. He has very good speed. He was interfered with in his Hambletonian elimination; otherwise he would have made the final." The partnership of KR Breeding, Brixton Medical, Preferred Equine Marketing and Christina Takter owns Reigning Moni, a son of Donato Hanover-All Our Moni. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

East Rutherford, NJ --- All The Time (Yannick Gingras) emerged from the pack at the head of the stretch to pull away from the field to win the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Meadowlands in 1:52.1 by 3-3/4 lengths. Side Bet Hanover (Corey Callahan) was first to the lead at the quarter-mile pole in :28.1 before being overtaken by Caprice Hill, who put Side Bet Hanover behind her and led the field through the :55.4 half-mile. Celebrity Eventsy (John Campbell) was out to challenge past the half-mile marker but could not get past the leader, who got to the three quarters in 1:24 before the field straightened for home. A trio of fillies were ahead of All The Time with about an eighth of a mile to go were left in her wake as she overhauled them handily in an all-out sprint to the wire. “I was hoping to follow Brian (Sears with Windowshopper),” said Gingras. “I thought his filly was one of the fillies to beat, and they had a little bobble on the backstretch. She felt so strong, she was able to catch the gap really quickly. I was just hoping not to be first-up around the last turn. I figured John would come (with Celebrity Eventsy) and when he did it made my job really easy.” Caprice Hill (Tim Tetrick) was second and Celebrity Eventsy (John Campbell) was third. Broadway Donna (David Miller) was fourth and Side Bet Hanover fifth. All The Time is a daughter of Muscle Hill, trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. It was the sixth Hambletonian Oaks win for Takter and his third in a row. He ties Jan Johnson for the most Oaks wins ever as a trainer. “She was really sharp today,” said Takter. “She had a good week. The timing had to be perfect. I knew I had a ticket that was very strong with a couple good fillies. We pulled the front shoes on her, which I think might have kicked her up a little bit. It was the first time she ever did that. There were three horses in the race that I had tremendous respect for. We were the lucky ones.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ ---- Bar Hopping and harness racing driver Tim Tetrick won the first of two $70,000 elimination races by open lengths in 1:51.4 to advance to the final of the $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, on Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Meadowlands. Milligan’s School (Andy Miller) was second and Lagerfeld (Yannick Gingras) was third. Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) was fourth and Mavens Way (John Campbell) was fifth and got the final spot in the Hambletonian final. The time was Bar Hopping’s lifetime best. The son of Muscle Hill is trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marin Katz and Al Libfeld. Brooklyn Hill (David Miller) was first to the lead in :27.2, but Bar Hopping was out past that mark to challenge and grabbed the lead before hitting the half in :55.4. Milligan's School was out to challenge at the five-eighths-mile marker but could not get past the leader at the 1:24 third quarter. Bar Hopping pulled away from the field for the win. “He was super. He was even better than he was the last couple weeks,” said Tim Tetrick. “Jimmy’s good at those big days and he’s got him right where he wants him. I didn’t know (about multiple horses making breaks past the three-quarters). But when Andy (driving Milligan's School) was first up and he started growling at his, mine took right off. I wasn’t worried from there. I think he’s ready for the final.” Bar Hopping Marion Marauder stormed through the stretch and overtook leader Southwind Frank in the final strides to win the second of Saturday’s two eliminations for the Hambletonian. The time for the mile was 1:51.3, a lifetime best for Marion Marauder, who was sent off at odds of 3-1. Joining Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank in the $1 million final were Waitlifter K, Sutton, and The Royal Harry. Southwind Frank, the 1-5 favorite, got the lead in a :26.4 opening quarter-mile and led through fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.2. Scott Zeron drove Marion Marauder for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. It was the colt’s fifth win in six races this year. “If I had a helmet cam on, it would have been pretty interesting to watch,” said Scott Zeron, competing in his first Hambletonian. “There were some people in front of me and I was hoping that things would work out a little bit differently but it didn’t and he ended up overcoming the distance we had to make up at the three-quarter pole. We were trying to mow down a horse that I thought was the best horse, I felt, to get to the final (Southwind Frank) and he did it. And he did it impressively.” Below is the draw for the Hambletonian final. 1 – Southwind Frank 2 – The Royal Harry 3 – Bar Hopping 4 – Waitlifter K 5 – Marion Marauder 6 – Sutton 7 – Milligan’s School 8 – Iron Mine Bucky 9 – Mavens Way 10 – Lagerfeld by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ --- Ariana G was the most dangerous woman in Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $306,500 Jim Doherty Memorial for harness racing 2-year-old female trotters, rallying in the stretch to beat Chezatter by one length in 1:53.1 at the Meadowlands. That’s All Moni finished third. Ariana G, a daughter of  Muscle Hill - Cantab It All and a full sister to multiple-stakes-winner All The Time, is 4-for-4 this year. She is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who also bred the filly. Takter also trains That’s All Moni, who is co-owned by Katz and Libfeld with Brittany Farms. Waffle Cone was the race’s early leader, hitting the opening quarter-mile in :28.1, before briefly yielding the top spot to That’s All Moni. Waffle Cone retook the lead by the half, reached in :56.1, before facing pressure from Broadway Idole entering the final turn. Chezatter made a three-wide move coming off the turn and Ariana G, who was fifth in the early goings, followed her before fanning four-wide in the stretch to begin her march through the lane. “I was sweating in the first turn, actually,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. “I got myself in a bad spot, well, I had the rail so I didn’t have much of a choice with (horses) outside of me there but I was able to get out. After that, I felt I was following the filly to beat, so I was confident from there.” Ariana G, the 3-5 favorite, pushed her career earnings to $215,587 with the victory. She paid $3.20 to win. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Bud Hatfield fell in love with Bar Hopping the moment he saw the colt as a yearling at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. His affection for the horse remains high, and why not? For the first time in four decades in harness racing, Hatfield is sending a horse to the Hambletonian. And the horse is Bar Hopping. Bar Hopping is the 9-5 favorite in the first of two nine-horse eliminations of the Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $1 million final later in the day. CBS Sports Network will air live coverage of the event beginning at 4 p.m. "It's a thrill," said Hatfield, a 67-year-old Columbus, Ohio, resident who has enjoyed success in racing both as an owner and amateur driver. "My wife (Kelli) and I are so excited. I've been in big races before, but nothing like the Hambletonian. That's the big one. There's nothing that compares to this." Bar Hopping is trained by Jimmy Takter, who is going for an unprecedented third consecutive Hambletonian victory and record-tying fifth triumph overall. Hatfield owns the colt with Christina Takter, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. "We were at the sale in Harrisburg and they told me they had three or four trotters they liked," Hatfield said. "I went and looked at Bar Hopping and I fell in love with him. I just kept going back and looking at him. We kind of zeroed in on him, and it was a good thing. It's paid off." Hatfield, who is a two-time champion on the Billings amateur driving circuit, where he is known as "Trader Bud" because of his career as a car dealer, owns several horses with Takter. In addition to Bar Hopping, he is among the owners of Peter Haughton Memorial finalist King On The Hill. Bar Hopping has won three of 17 career races and hit the board a total of 12 times, earning $391,728. He heads to the Hambletonian off a win in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial on July 24 at Vernon Downs. Southwind Frank is the 4-5 favorite in the second Hambletonian elimination. The Ron Burke-trained colt has won 16 of 18 career races, but both defeats came in races won by Bar Hopping. "I think Bar Hopping has got a chance," Hatfield said. "Southwind Frank is some kind of horse; he's phenomenal. We've got our work cut out for us, but hopefully we'll be right there and be competitive. "I love the sport and owning good horses is fun. Jimmy told me at the beginning just to be patient with Bar Hopping and he's going to be a good one. It looks like that patience has paid off." Hambletonian Day first race post time is noon. Below are the fields for the two Hambletonian eliminations: $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 1 Race 8 - Post time 2:58 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Bar Hopping - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-9/5 2. Lagerfeld - Yankee Glide - Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-12/1 3. Make Or Miss - Donato Hanover - Joe Bongiorno-Ron Burke-20/1 4. Milligan's School - Yankee Glide - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 5. Brooklyn Hill - Muscle Hill - David Miller-Jonas Czernyson-3/1 6. Mavens Way - Muscle Hill - John Campbell-Ake Svanstedt-6/1 7. Tight Lines - Yankee Glide - Jeff Gregory-Jeff Gregory-25/1 8. Iron Mine Bucky - Explosive Matter - George Dennis-Greg Haverstick-15/1 9. Reigning Moni - Donato Hanover - David Miller-Jimmy Takter-4/1   $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 2 Race 9 - Post time 3:25 p.m. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Jimmy William - Cantab Hall - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-20/1 2. The Royal Harry - RC Royalty - Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 3. Sutton - Donato Hanover - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-6/1 4. Marion Marauder - Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 5. Southwind Frank - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-4/5 6. Hollywood Highway - Muscle Massive - John Campbell-Staffan Lind-30/1 7. Dominion Beach - Muscle Hill - Bjorn Goop-Nancy Johansson-30/1 8. Love Matters - Explosive Matters - Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-12/1 9. Waitlifter K - Muscles Yankee - David Miller-Andrew Harris-10/1 Ken Weingartner

It is no secret that harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter has enjoyed great success in the Hambletonian Stakes.  The 55-year-old Hall of Famer has won the race four times, including each of the past two years, and would become the first trainer in history to three-peat with a win on Saturday. A victory would also give Takter a record-tying fifth triumph, putting him in the company of Stanley Dancer, Billy Haughton and Ben White in that elite club. But what is the secret to his success? "The secret, I think, is to stick with what you normally do," Takter said. "Most trainers, including me when I was younger, start thinking about it and changing stuff and doing things differently. People start over-doing things, train the horses maybe a little harder, or whatever. I don't think that's smart. I think that's where experience comes in. "The horse has no clue it's the Hambletonian. The driver and trainer, yes. But the horse has no clue." Takter will send five horses into Saturday's $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack: Bar Hopping, Lagerfeld, Love Matters, Jimmy William, and Reigning Moni. The Hambletonian format calls for any eliminations to be contested the same day as the final. A total of 18 horses entered this year's event, requiring two eliminations from which the top five finishers in each division advance to the final. The winner of the final is the Hambletonian champion. Bar Hopping is regarded as Takter's top contender and holds the distinction of being the only horse to win a race in which Southwind Frank competed. Bar Hopping won a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes last year when Southwind Frank went off stride and in June defeated Southwind Frank by a neck in their elimination for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Southwind Frank, who has won 16 of 18 lifetime starts and earned $1.20 million for trainer Ron Burke, is the expected Hambletonian favorite. Bar Hopping, who missed nearly two months of action last year because of sickness, has won three of 17 career races and hit the board a total of 12 times. He heads to the Hambletonian off a win in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial Main Event on July 24 at Vernon Downs. "At least we know he's challenged (Southwind) Frank," Takter said. "He beat him fair and square earlier this year. Maybe (Southwind) Frank wasn't at his best. Last year I thought he was very outstanding. But Ronnie is a professional and knows what he is doing. I'm sure he is going to have his horse ready as a contender." Lagerfeld was last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion. Jimmy William was limited to one start last season and Love Matters joined Takter's stable late in 2015. Reigning Moni punched his ticket to the Hambletonian with a 7-3/4 length win in 1:52.4 last Friday in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands. "This year I had a bunch of 3-year-olds that I liked early as 2-year-olds, but every single one of them got sick," Takter said. "It was a disaster year with the 2-year-olds. I never had a 2-year-old group get sick so much." Takter won his first Hambletonian with Malabar Man in 1997. He won again with Muscle Massive in 2010, then Trixton in 2014 and Pinkman in 2015. He also was the driver of Trixton. Malabar Man Muscle Massive Trixton "The Hambletonian is the biggest race we have," Takter said. "No matter how many times you win it, you get that kick out of it. I love to win the big races. Those are my moments. "But it's also a heck of a race for a horse's resume. Pinkman was a gelding, but it was huge for Trixton and Malabar Man and Muscle Massive. You're set as a stallion if you win that race." The $225,550 U.S. Pacing Championshjp, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $1 million Hambletonian will be featured during a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday. Hambletonian Day post time is noon. Below are the fields for the two Hambletonian eliminations: $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 1 Race 8 - Post time 2:58 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Bar Hopping - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-9/5 2. Lagerfeld - Yankee Glide - Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-12/1 3. Make Or Miss - Donato Hanover - Joe Bongiorno-Ron Burke-20/1 4. Milligan's School - Yankee Glide - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 5. Brooklyn Hill - Muscle Hill - David Miller-Jonas Czernyson-3/1 6. Mavens Way - Muscle Hill - John Campbell-Ake Svanstedt-6/1 7. Tight Lines - Yankee Glide - Jeff Gregory-Jeff Gregory-25/1 8. Iron Mine Bucky - Explosive Matter - George Dennis-Greg Haverstick-15/1 9. Reigning Moni - Donato Hanover - David Miller-Jimmy Takter-4/1   $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 2 Race 9 - Post time 3:25 p.m. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Jimmy William - Cantab Hall - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-20/1 2. The Royal Harry - RC Royalty - Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 3. Sutton - Donato Hanover - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-6/1 4. Marion Marauder - Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 5. Southwind Frank - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-4/5 6. Hollywood Highway - Muscle Massive - John Campbell-Staffan Lind-30/1 7. Dominion Beach - Muscle Hill - Bjorn Goop-Nancy Johansson-30/1 8. Love Matters - Explosive Matters - Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-12/1 9. Waitlifter K - Muscles Yankee - David Miller-Andrew Harris-10/1   Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2016 -- Pure Country continued her relentless march to a second straight harness racing divisional title, capturing her fifth consecutive victory in Saturday's Pennsylvania Sires Stake action at The Meadows, part of the Adios eliminations card. Shesasmokinlady took the other division in the $159,350 event for 3-year-old filly pacers known as the Romola Hanover. Pure Country won all 10 starts at 2 en route to her Dan Patch Award. While she's lost three of nine outings this year, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana appears to have elevated her game to a new level, with victories in the finals of the Fan Hanover and the Lynch and two straight PASS splits. "I've never driven a filly like her," winning driver Brett Miller said. "I don't know if I've ever driven a colt like her. She might be the best horse I've ever driven. To race at the top level like this every week and be that good -- it's amazing. She's one of the smartest fillies I've ever sat behind, and she has the heart of a champion. The couple times I got beat with her, it was probably my fault." In the Romola Hanover, Pure Country grabbed the lead with a quarter-pole move, easily thwarted the first-over challenge of I Said Diamonds and defeated the pocket-sitting Darlinonthebeach by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:50. Shezarealdeal earned show. Jimmy Takter trains Pure Country, who now boasts $1,276,610 in career earnings, for Diamond Creek Racing. Shesasmokinlady also made the front past the quarter for trainer/driver Ray Paver and owner/breeder Iris Horowitz and had just enough in the tank to hold off Newborn Sassy by a nose in 1:50.4. Call Me Queen Be completed the ticket. "I figured if I got away third today, I wasn't sitting," said Paver of Shesasmokinlady, who now has $144,795 in her bankroll. "She usually doesn't get tired, but she looks for a horse to race. A horse never really got to her until late." Although she may reach the PASS final or consolation leg, Paver said a stakes payments snafu has left Shesasmokinlady with only one definite stake engagement -- the Keystone Classic at The Meadows. $100,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Saturday's program also featured five divisions of this event; as with the other stakes on the card, this one became "Miller Time." Miller won two splits, giving him four stakes victories on the day, while trainer Michael Hall enjoyed a stake double. The highlight for Miller and Hall was the 1:51.1 win by Dismissal, which lowered the stake record of 1:51.3 previously held by Icommandmyspirt and matched earlier in the day by A List Hanover. Hall owns Dismissal, a daughter of Western Terror-Her Mattjesty. The other three splits went to Terror at Night, Kryptos and Square Dancer. A List Hanover saw her stake record fall, but she turned in a huge performance, challenging first over for longer that winning driver Dan Rawlings intended. "The more I grabbed her, the more her gait became less than perfect," Rawlings said. "So I let her go as fast and as far as she could." Gingertreescarlett finished second, 3 lengths back, with Nip's Beach Girl third. Hall trains and leases A List Hanover, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Nadia. Terror At Night also converted a first-over trip to victory, edging by early leader Hug A Dragoness by 1/2 length in 1:51.4, a lifetime mark. Donna's Beach completed the ticket. "She's one of the laziest fillies I've ever driven," Miller said. "You have to make her do her work. When she made the front, she thought the race was over. If you're on the front, it's not as bad, but if you're passing somebody, she pulls up as soon as she gets by." The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Vernon, N.Y. -- Bar Hopping and Trolley, the respective runners-up in the Stanley Dancer and Earl Beal Memorial events, are set to square off in the $300,000 main harness racing event of Sunday (July 24) evening's Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs.   Bar Hopping, one of three Jimmy Takter trainees to make the ninth-race main event, arrives at the Miracle Mile after chasing Marion Marauder to take second in a $153,250 Dancer Memorial split at the Meadowlands on the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace undercard. While just a 2-time winner in 16 career tries, the son of Muscle Hill has amassed nearly a quarter million dollars in career earnings and top-four placings in the Beal and Goodtimes stakes as well. Tim Tetrick is nominated to drive Bar Hopping once again for the partnership of Christina Takter, the Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld.   Among the eight 3-year-old colts and geldings Bar Hopping will square off against is the lightly raced but mighty impressive Trolley, a son of Donato Hanover from the Erv Miller stable. Prior to a respectable effort to make belated gains from last behind divisional standout Southwind Frank in his Dancer split, he sustained pursuit of that same rival in the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial at Pocono on July 2. In just six starts, Trolley has amassed over $173,000 in career earnings. Marcus Miller once again drives Trolley for Paymaq Racing, Mathias, Gillis, and Willinger.   Pennsylvania Sire Stakes standouts Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan nominated) and Love Matters (Brett Miller), Ontario invader Blenheim (Chris Christoforou), and New York Sire Stakes contender Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) are other notable entrants.   Trotting fillies contest a $140,000 main event in race seven, with six of the nine entered mainly campaigning on the New York Sire Stakes circuit thus far this season--including Empire Breeders Classic runner-up Swinging Royalty. The marquee filly of the group is 7-time winner Womans Will (Andy Miller nominated), a dead-heat winner in the $95,250 Delvin Miller Memorial at the Meadowlands last week, sharing victory in 1:54.2 after making all the pace. Julie Miller trains the Donato Hanover filly for Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz.   In addition to the Zweig events, 14 New York-sired 3-year-old pacing fillies will vie for a combined $120,400 in twin Sire Stakes events. Multiple stakes winners American Ivy (Andy Miller) and Soft Idea (Jason Bartlett) square off in race 5, while Time On My Hands (Bartlett) headlines the seventh race.   Post time for the 14-race Zweig card on Sunday evening is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - Five divisions of the harness racing Pennsylvania Sire Stakes two-year-old trotting fillies were featured in their second preliminary round Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with all five cuts producing new lifetime marks, and the division pitting three of the first round winners providing the fastest victory, a 1:54.4 by That's All Moni.   The victorious daughter of Cantab Hall had to grind uncovered against favored Fine Tuned Lady, but she came her last quarter in 27.4 to overhaul the chalk, who had made the lead in front of the stands, by a neck on the money. Yannick Gingras again successfully teamed with Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter to keep That's All Moni undefeated after a pair of starts for the ownership of Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld.   The other repeat winner was also a daughter of Cantab Hall, Dangle Then Deke, who swung three-wide headstretch under the guidance of Tim Tetrick and stormed her own last split in 28.1 to win by 1¾ lengths over Voxy, who rallied from the pocket. The 6-5 favorite kept her record unblemished after three starts for trainer Dirk Simpson and owner James Bafia.   Sire Explosive Matter also had two progeny among the quintet of Pocono feature winners Tuesday. The first was Chezatter, who was a pocket rocket with a 56.2 last half in her to get a neck up on pacesetting Sienna Hanover in 1:55.2. David Miller handled the winner for trainer Trond Smedshammer and the Purple Haze Stable LLC.   Also an Explosive Matter-sired winner was Yooper, who went her second half in 57 while uncovered to stop the clock in 1:56, 1½ lengths ahead on the horse on her back the last half, Donato Fashion. Matt Kakaley got the driving call from trainer Dean Eckley for owner/breeder Clifford Grundy.   The only other favorite besides Dangle To Deke to win in the event (though's Yooper's $8.20 was the biggest price of the bunch) was the horse to follow "Deke" into the winners circle, the Muscle Massive filly Treviso, who was parked past the ¼ for command, then put in a 28.2 last quarter to win in 1:56.3, extended to win by a nose over the game first-over Princess Aurora. Treviso is trained and driven by Charlie Norris for owners Carrie Norris and Klis Brothers Stable.   FINISHING LINES - Driver Anthony Napolitano, sidelined through injury since a May 31 far turn racing mishap at The Downs, is back and ready for sulky duty, scheduled to drive in qualifiers here tomorrow (Wednesday) and during the next purse card here, scheduled for Saturday. Anthony was second in the Pocono dashwinning derby behind his brother George at the time of the accident, and he was also doing well in expanding his regular sulkysitting to The Meadowlands and Yonkers.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Eight $20,000 divisions of the second preliminary of Pennsylvania Stallion Series action for two-year-old trotting fillies were featured Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the two repeat winners from the six divisions of the first round at The Meadows coming at Pocono in consecutive races for the Hall of Fame harness racing team of David Miller and Jimmy Takter, and all eight winners posting new lifetime marks.   First up for Miller-Takter was the fastest of all eight of Monday's winners, Electric Lemonade, who won in 1:57.2 but needed every bit of it to post the pocket rocket tally over a stubborn pacesetting Hot Mess Hanover by a neck. Electric Lemonade was the first of three siring credits for Cantab Hall on the evening, and the 2-for-2 filly is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman.   The other repeat winner was the Donato Hanover filly Perfect Lady, also making the most of a pocket trip in finishing 1¾ lengths clear of the first-over Lucky Rose in 1:58.4. Team DvMiller/JiTakter were repeat winners as noted, and so was the ownership triumvirate of CTakter/JoFielding/JiFielding, this time pairing with R A W Equine Inc, who saw their filly remain a Perfect Lady in two career starts.   Trainer Takter then went on to post a consecutive triple with a second daughter of Cantab Hall, Bridal Suite, a winner in 1:58 for driver Corey Callahan. For the third straight race pocket tactics worked for a Takter trainee, as Bridal Suite, unusually for a Taker trotter a 10-1 proposition, overhauled frontstepping Blacksirenpedia by a half-length for the partnership who also owns fastest winner Electric Lemonade, Chrstine Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman.   In the last division of the evening, Cantab Hall finished out his siring triple with Can't I, who came her own last quarter in 28.2 despite a first-over trip to win by 5¼ lengths in 1:57.4 for driver John Campbell, trainer Bob Stewart, and breeders/owners Howard Taylor, Ed Gold, Abraham Basen, and R.R. Fuller.   Also with a multiple siring credit was Donato Hanover besides the mentioned-above Perfect Lady, he also fathered All Set Lets Go, who certainly is at the start of her career, as this 1:58.1 triumph was already the third of her baby campaign. All Set Lets Go rallied from the pocket into a 58.4 last half to overhaul pacesetter Trixie Dust by a head for trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder and the McMullen Stable LLC.   Only three of the winners here were the people's choice; joining Electric Lemonade and All Set Lets Go as a winning favorite was the Andover Hall filly Bonnie Lou, who brushed to the top in front of the stands, then held off the determined uncovered bid of EZ Passer by a nose in 1:58.2. Andrew McCarthy performed sulky duties for trainer Donald Wiest, also co-owner and co-breeder with Ed Kimmel.   The father/son team of driver/son Marcus Miller and trainer/father Erv combined to produce a winner in the Yankee Glide miss Youvegotitwhatittakes, who certainly hadwhatittakes in overcoming a first-over journey to get past pacesetter and first-round winner Its Hallright by ¾ of a length in 1:59.2 for owners Ronald Michelon, Paymaq Racing, and Louis Willinger.   The Explosive Matter filly Explosive Legacy pulled from the pocket before the ¾ and outfooted another winner from The Meadows, One Class Act, by 1¼ lengths in 1:58.2. Victor Kirby was at the lines of the winning filly for trainer/breeder Morgan McInnis, co-owner with Brian Kleinberg.   PHHA / Pocono

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After two rounds, Always B Miki remains the undisputed champion of the Free-For-All pacers. The 5-year-old again affirmed his standing as the king of what has become harness racing's glamour division, improving to 2-0 in the second high-profile matchup with Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete. Always B Miki took command down the backstretch with a powerful brush past Wiggle It Jiggleit and went on to a three-quarter length victory over 39-1 shot Shamballa in the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial Saturday night at The Meadowlands. And it was another world record--his third straight--pacing the 1 1/8 miles in 2:01.1 as the 2/5 favorite in the 12-horse field. Always B Miki ($2.80) posted a fourth straight win, improving his season mark to 6-2-0 in eight starts for trainer Jimmy Takter and the ownership team of Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. "He's just a fantastic horse to do what he does," Jimmy Takter said. "He's gone through a lot. It takes a special horse to come back from all the injuries he had. It gets me very emotional every time I see him race." The most surprising aspect of the Haughton was the determined showing by Shamballa, who ranged up first-over to challenge Always B Miki and hung in gamely right to the finish. Wiggle It Jiggleit, stung by a :25.3 opening quarter while forced three-wide as he worked his way to the front from post 10, finished third. Freaky Feet Pete was fourth. The stage for the Haughton was set in the Ben Franklin Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on July 2. Always B Miki won that first meeting, a 1:47 mile equaling the world record. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the defending Horse of the Year, bested Freaky Feet Pete last weekend in the Graduate over the sloppy track at Big M, a race restricted to 4-year-olds. Returning after the week off, Always B Miki delivered another dynamite performance as the leader in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll again cemented his grip on the top spot. By Mike Farrell, for the Meadowlands    

There were two divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races on Thursday afternoon (July 14) at Harrah's Philadelphia for 3-year-old filly pacers, each going for a purse of approximately $80,000. The first division saw 2015 Breeder's Crown champion filly Pure Country (Brett Miller) go off as the heavy favorite (1/9) on the tote board. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was undefeated as a 2-year-old, going 10 for 10, winning close to $700,000. After a bit of a slow beginning due to sickness in 2016, she has found her form, with wins in the Fan Hanover and the Lynch in two of her last three starts. She had little difficulty on Thursday, winning under-wraps in a time of 1:51.1. It was her fifth win of the season in eight starts, with career earnings now above $1.2 million. She is owned by Diamond Creek Farms and trained by Jimmy Takter. In the second division, it was Cc Racing and Jo Ann Looney-King's Newborn Sassy (Tim Tetrick) getting the job done. The daughter of Western Ideal was used twice from post 7, brushing to the top after being parked the first quarter. She then yielded the lead to favorite Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron). Newborn Sassy hit the passing line in the stretch, to win by 1/2 length, stopping the clock in 1:51.4. It was her tenth career win, and her second win of the season. She paid $11.40. by Michael Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, July 11, 2016 -- Glitter, who survived a shipping misadventure en route to The Meadows, sparkled in a Pennsylvania Stallion Series event, capturing her division in a stake-fastest 1:57.3. Monday's $120,000 event for freshman filly trotters was contested over six divisions, with Electric Lemonade, Perfect Lady, It's Hallright, One Class Act and Donna Elvira also taking $20,000 splits. Corey Callahan won two divisions (Donna Elvira, It's Hallright) while Dave Palone and trainer Jimmy Takter teamed for another pair (Electric Lemonade, Perfect Lady). Winning driver Aaron Merriman said Glitter managed to climb over a stall partition in the trailer on her trip to The Meadows but emerged from it little worse for wear. "Her legs got a couple scrapes, but the vet checked her and said, go ahead and race her," Merriman indicated. "She won very easy, very professionally. That's as nice a race as you could ask of a 2-year-old." Glitter made it look easy for owner/trainer Steve Bauder, as the daughter of Glidemaster-Luscious Glitter cruised up first over and won handily, defeating Trixie Dust by 4 lengths. Weekend Wit Chucky finished third. Donna Elvira saved ground until the final turn, when Callahan cut her loose. She zipped by the leader, All Set Lets Go, downing her by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:58.3, with Keystone Angel third. "I really liked her the last time I raced her at Pocono," Callahan said. "She was a little bumpy -- she has some lameness issues. But she has a great attitude, and she tries hard." Jenny Melander trains Donna Elvira, a daughter of Yankee Glide-Ashley's Carousel, for Steve Organ. In her career debut, Electric Lemonade had a sizable lead on the field, with only one rival cutting into her margin. But there was a catch. The horse on the move was the first-timer Broadway Photo, a full sister to millionaire Action-Broadway, the 2011 Mare Trotter of the Year. "I was well aware who was chasing me," Palone said. "I knew I had two handfuls of trot. I never really took her plugs out. I just wanted to get her over this racetrack, her first time over it. She was well within herself. Looks like she'll graduate to the sires stakes, I would guess." Electric Lemonade prevailed in 1:59.4, 3/4 lengths better than Broadway Photo. Neptune's Daughter completed the ticket. Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding campaign Electric Lemonade, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Birthright. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Meadow Gladys, a $195,560 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly trotters. First post is 1 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 7, 2016) - Few trainers have dominated the Hambletonian Oaks like Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter. The 55-year-old has won the filly classic five times including the past two editions with Wild Honey and Lifetime Pursuit. Takter will have a contender in both divisions of the $56,486 Reynolds on Saturday night at the Meadowlands, which also features a pair of $250,000 Graduate Series Finals for four-year-olds and a single Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace elimination. Takter's Breeders Crown champion All The Time is the 7/5 morning line favorite in the first Reynolds division which goes as race two on the program. The daughter of Muscle Hill defeated aged horses last week in a conditioned race in a lifetime-best 1:52.3 over a sloppy track. It was a major bounce back effort after a defeat as the 1/5 favorite in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final in early June. "That was really something weird that happened in the Sire Stakes when she was off in her right hind leg," explained Takter. "She basically raced on three legs that night and still finished second. But she has since come back very well and I think is a big contender on Saturday night and in the Oaks." Takter added that she compares very favorably to his two most recent Oaks winners. As accomplished as All The Time is, Takter's other Reynolds starter is a virtual unknown. Unica Steed makes just her second North American start after compiling a perfect three-for-three record racing in Italy for top French trainer Fabrice Souloy. Unica Steed is by 1998 Hambletonian winner Muscles Yankee and the first foal out of the $1.6 million earning mare Premiere Steed, who set a world record on a five-eighths mile track of 1:52 when winning a race in Finland in 2009. "She is a beautiful looking filly and I like her a lot," said Takter. "I got her about six or seven weeks ago and she was really good in her second qualifier with Yannick driving. I thought she was handled too carefully last week in her first race at the Meadowlands. Time will tell how well she fits because it's hard to tell off of her two-minute wins in Italy, but she shows ability." Unica Steed is a homebred owned by Ecurie Ab Trot. Takter explained that the filly really had nowhere to race in Italy and the owners decided to send her to North America to compete. After the Reynolds, she is also eligible to next weekend's Del Miller Memorial ahead of the Hambletonian Oaks on August 6. Saturday's Graduate Pace features a highly-anticipated matchup between Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Indiana sensation Freaky Feet Pete who headline the full field of ten. "Having these two superstars compete in the Graduate Final is exactly the reason I think it is so important to keep our stars racing on the track," said Meadowlands chairman Jeffrey Gural. "Obviously, Wiggle It Jiggleit is a gelding, but both he and Freaky Feet Pete built tremendous fan followings last season and it would have been a major loss for the fans and our sport if they were retired. Now we are treated to matchups like this one and hopefully another showdown with Always B Miki next week in the Haughton." Post time for Saturday's 13-race card is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - All The Time went first over for the final seven-sixteenths of a mile and had little trouble prevailing by 1½ lengths over Dog Gone Lucky in a matchup of top harness racing 3-year-olds in the $17,500 featured conditioned trot at the Meadowlands Friday night. All The Time, a sophomore filly trained by Jimmy Takter, won despite being away from the races for four weeks. When last seen, she was being upset as the 1-5 public choice in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final. Dog Gone Lucky, a Hambletonian-eligible colt conditioned by Mike Stoltzfus, rallied well for the place spot in his 2016 debut. Possessed Fashion was third. As the 4-5 favorite, All The Time returned $3.60 to win for driver Yannick Gingras and owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld and trotted the mile in a lifetime-best 1:52.3. WHAT A MUDDER: Of the six New Jersey Sire Stakes events on the program, none of the winners were more dominant than Ariana G, a 2-year-old trotting filly by Muscle Hill trained by Takter and driven by Gingras. Coming back after bad weather caused a delay, Ariana G romped in the slop by 4¼ lengths and completed the mile in 1:58.2. ALMOST 30 GRAND: The 5th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not have a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover for the next program to $29,364.87. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday with a special early post time of 6:30 p.m. At the conclusion of the card, there will be a fabulous fireworks show. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

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