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CAMPBELLVILLE, September 16... Ariana G lowered the harness racing stakes, track and Canadian record with a flashy 1:51.4 score in the $385,000 Elegantimage Final for three-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday evening at Mohawk, part of the Canadian Trotting Classic and Maple Leaf Trot undercard. The 1-9 heavy favourite and driver Yannick Gingras got away third as Sweet of My Heart and Dream Together took turns leading the field into the backstretch. Sweet of My Heart was the earlier leader past the :26.4 opening panel. Dream Together was then pulled from the pocket and marched to the front. Before the mid-way point, Ariana G was on the move from third then past the :55.3 half she brushed to the lead and that is where she remained. The homebred filly breezed by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.3 as Dream Together was pulled from the pocket. The 8-1 second choice couldn't catch Ariana G as she opened up by four and one-quarter lengths before crossing the wire. Dream Together stayed for second and Magic Presto was third. When it comes time for Ariana G to retire and become a broodmare, Gingras notes that he will always remember the Jimmy Takter trained trotting miss for her versatility. "She can do anything you want her to do and she is so smart," said he reinsman. "It also makes my job real easy. She has high speed like the top fillies I have driven. She is so easy to drive. Every time I get on the race track I know I'll see how the race plays out." Ariana G, who has finished top three in all but one of her 22 lifetime starts, notched her ninth victory of the season and 18th lifetime. With the win, the daughter Muscle Hill and Cantab It All lifts her career earnings to $1,641,772 for owners/breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who following the race were presented with a Breeder of the Year Award from Equestrian Canada. Ariana G paid $2.10 and 2.10, combining with Dream Together ($3.40) for a $4.40 (4-3) exacta. A 4-3-7 (Magic Presto) trifecta was worth $7.60, while a $1 superfecta [4-3-7-9 (Dream Baby Dream)] returned $18.70. There was no show wagering. Mark McKelvie

It did not take long for harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter to fall in love with Pasithea Face. "It was the first time I trained her," Takter said about the 5-year-old Swedish-born mare, who arrived in his stable on June 19 and two months later trotted one of the fastest miles in history by a female trotter. "She came here and she looked fantastic and she adapted very easily to my way of training. "I drove her in her first qualifier and I thought, wow, what a nice filly. She is a fantastic horse." Pasithea Face has won two of four races since arriving in North America, including a 1:50.4 triumph in a division of the Miss Versatility Series on Aug. 20 at Tioga Downs. At the time, it was the sixth-fastest winning mile by a trotting mare in history and only three-fifths of a second off Giant Diablo's world record. On Friday, Pasithea Face will compete in the first of two eliminations of the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. It will be her first try against male rivals since arriving from Europe, although the 5-2 morning-line favorite in her race is another mare, Hannelore Hanover. She finished second in last year's Maple Leaf Trot. Pasithea Face is the 7-2 third choice and will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky. The favorite in the second elimination is defending champion Resolve, who is 9-5 on the morning line. The top-five finishers from each C$40,000 elimination return Sept. 16 for the C$593,000 final. Pasithea Face, owned by Courant Inc. and trained previously by Lutfi Kolgjini, is a daughter of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the French mare Jovelinotte. Courant Inc.'s Anders Strom found Pasithea Face as a yearling while looking at several other horses. "I was in the paddock to see some yearling fillies by Muscle Hill that I was interested in on the recommendation of Thomas Moberg, primarily Princess Face and Pandora Face," Strom said via email. "One more horse caught my eyes and that was Pasithea Face, so I basically told Kolgjini I wanted to buy her in the package as well. "It was her fantastic conformation and Muscle Hill on a brilliant French maternal line that attracted me most. I already owned her big brother Opitergium (by Pine Chip) at the time, a really strong horse that did well in Group races. I now also own a half-sister, Lovelinotte (by Toss Out), who is a broodmare with Am Bloodstock (our breeding operation). She has already started to produce nice young horses." Pasithea Face enjoyed a strong career in Europe, winning nine of 31 starts and earning $301,199, but Strom and Kolgjini thought the mare's racing style might be better suited for North America. "Lutfi and I discussed this at length and decided the mile tracks in the U.S. would be ideal for her, and also that she might be a good mare to breed in Kentucky for the future," said Strom, who can be followed on Twitter at @Courant_AB. "A broodmare that could show 1:50 capacity with some French outcross will obviously yield attractive offspring for the U.S. yearling market in the future." Pasithea Face finished second in her U.S. debut, but found the winner's circle on her second try, capturing the Dr. John R. Steele Memorial on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 5) at the Meadowlands in 1:51.2. Next was her 1:50.4 victory at Tioga, where a week later she finished fourth in Emoticon Hanover's 1:50.2 mile in the Joie De Vie Stakes. "She raced well," Takter said. "They went (1):50.2, how are you going to make up ground in that kind of mile? Those (mares) are very good. It was a tough race." Takter expects the ladies to give the gentlemen a battle in the Maple Leaf Trot. "I think both Hannelore and Pasithea are competitive with those horses," Takter said. "We'll see; maybe I'm wrong. I'm not going to say (Pasithea Face) is going to go out and win, but I think she will be good. "She's a sweetheart. Kolgjini did a good job developing her. He always has his horses looking great. A horse like that makes me look good. I don't take much credit. But I'm the babysitter and I make sure she's happy." Pasithea Face's future will be determined by how she handles the remainder of the campaign. "We will race her the rest of the season and then listen to the horse; if she is sound, we might do another year of racing," Strom said. "There is even an option to try the big races in France with her if Jimmy Takter thinks she can do it. He should know having had Moni Maker racing the long-distance races in Paris before." For now, Strom is simply happy to watch Pasithea Face compete in her new environment. "She seems to enjoy racing the way races are run in the U.S.," Strom said. "Besides that, she goes along well with Tim Tetrick. I do as well. I really enjoy seeing Timmy driving my best horses over there. He is a class act." Following are the fields in post order for the two Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, with drivers, trainers and morning line. Elimination One: 1. Homicide Hunter by Mr Cantab -Brett Miller-Chris Oakes-3/1; 2. Il Sogno Dream by Cantab Hall -Trevor Henry-Victor Puddy-10/1; 3. Hannelore Hanover by Swan For All -Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/2; 4. Lookslikeachpndale by Muscle Hill -Dan Dube-Luc Blais-9/2; 5. Odds On Amethyst by Muscle Hill -Patrick Hudon-Patrick Hudon-12/1; 6. JL Cruze by Crazed -David Miller-Eric Ell-6/1; 7. Pasithea Face by Muscle Hill -Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-7/2. Elimination Two: 1. Crazy Wow by Crazed -Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/1; 2. Marion Marauder by Muscle Hill -Scott Zeron-Mike Keeling-3/1; 3. Gural Hanover by Crazed -David Miller-Ron Burke-8/1; 4. Mambo Lindy by Donato Hanover -Tim Tetrick-Frank Antonacci-10/1; 5. Musical Rhythm by Cantab Hall -Mario Baillargeon-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1; 6. Warrawee Roo by Majestic Son -Sylvain Filion-Luc Blais-12/1; 7. Resolve by Muscle Hill -Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-9/5; 8. Windsun Revenge  by Kadabra -Rick Zeron-Jeff Durham-6/1. Ken Weingartner

TROIS RIVIERES, QUEBEC - Trevor Henry is a quick study, and that fact was the primary reason why he and the Western Ideal stallion Western Fame emerged victorious in the $200,000 Prix d'Ete for four-year-old pacers, the signature race at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres (3R) in Quebec on Sunday. Henry said during the card that he had driven at 3R "only once before, years and years ago," but after the race he noted "I had been watching the starts here today, and the way the car goes it looked like a good spot for me to be leaving, from post five (the stats back his thinking up - 3R is a half-mile track, but posts four and five account for 39% of the winners). So I was thinking about leaving fast from the very start." Western Fame was of the same mind, and he and Henry made the lead before getting into the first turn. Awesomeness defended the pocket, so Roll Away Joe, looped leaving, was stuck outside nearing the 1/4, with Jody Jamieson, behind 1-5 favorite Sintra and starting from the rail (10% winners at 3R), doing his best to extricate himself from a tough situation by giving a tuck to "Joe," then backing out behind the still-parked-from-PP8 Dr J Hanover, just ahead of Lyons Snyder, just past the 27.1 quarter. Since a parked horse was "leading" the outer tier and not belligerently battling for command, Western Fame got a breather on the lead, reaching the half in a very pedestrian 56.3. With Sintra moving three-wide but failing to gain quickly, and Awesomeness in the pocket doing all he could to stay close, Western Fame was required to pace only a pair of 28.2 quarters home to stop the timer in 1:53.2, leaving Awesomeness 1 1/4 lengths behind and Roll Away Joe a further ¾ of a length back in third. Lyons Snyder had to rally four-deep to be along for fifth, ahead of final checkgetter Sintra, who just did not have his "A" game today. Western Fame, who has been there or thereabouts in many of the top races of his division at both three and four, is owned and was bred by the legendary Brittany Farms LLC, and is trained by Jimmy Takter, allowing Takter to combine with Ron Burke for a stranglehold on the Prix d'Ete trophy - Takter won the race that marked the revival of the stake in 2014, and Burke then took it the next two years. (More on this idea at the bottom.) "I wasn't sure how good a spot I was in coming off the third turn, because I knew Sintra would be coming up three-wide to challenge," Henry recounted. "But when we were heading towards the last turn and he was still out three-wide, I started to feel better about my chances." And Trevor Henry and Western Fame felt better and better about those chances the nearer they got to the wire. ****** There were $7500 divisions of Quebec-bred "Coupe de l'Avenir" contests for two-year-old pacers, colts and fillies each going in two sections - the babies' last chance to qualify for September 3's $480,000 day of Q-bred Championships for the eight divisions of two- and three-year-olds. The "Stock market" is certainly bullish at 3R right now, as the Sportsmaker colt Stock again turned in a dominant performance while winning in 1:55.4 as a shower started to pass quickly through. Stock opened his career with an Ontario Roots win, took a division of the opening leg of the Q series, then tried his luck at the Battle Of Waterloo, where he won an elimination before being undone by PP8 in the final. But he certainly bounced back with authority on Sunday, with only G A Speed Sammy able to stay anywhere close to the talented winner, who carried 77% of the win pool and 96% of the place pool. Stock is trained by Dany Fontaine for owner Sotirios Anastaspoulos and Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. and 3R's leading driver, Stephane Brosseau. Driver Louis Philippe Roy can seemingly do no wrong at 3R - even when it looks like he may have, as it did at the half in the other colt section. Roy kept the pocket shut early with El Muchacho behind a speed duel, then was locked in when the outer tier formed nearing the half, with odds-on favorite Power Fog second-over and looking like a possible sweeper. But the horse who had been two-wide in the speed duel, Determinant, bore out going to the third turn and severely cramped the chances of the outer tier while also giving a clear road to El Muchacho and Louis Phillippe. The Goliath Bayama colt, given this second life, moved to the lead before the ¾ and won nicely for trainer Maguire and the owning partnership of the driver and Ecuries Maguire Inc. Their main concern, in relation to the Championship, was framed by the timer, which stopped at 2:01.1 - a new mark for El Muchacho, now a two-time series winner, but five seconds slower than the clocking posted by Stock. Hall of Famer Mike Lachance was the grand marshal for Prix d'Ete Day, so it seemed appropriate that his buddy from the "French Connection" days of success in the mid-Atlantic area in the 70s, Yves Filion, would be a winners circle visitor in a division of the filly competition, as he overcame post eight with Katniss S BG to win handily in 2:03.2. The daughter of Mach Three, out of a full sister to Wakizashi Hanover, certainly looked like a warrior leader on Sunday, limbed out to a 29.4 quarter on a wet track before taking the lead, rating the middle half as she pleased and then striding home much the best. Filion is the trainer/driver of the two-time series winner for owners Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau. (This race lost some luster when DGs Shadowbell, the only baby of either sex going 2 for 2 to start the series, was scratched; she now has two weeks to get back to her best for the Championship.) In the second cut for the misses, first-time Q-Series winner Lit De Rose thrust herself squarely into the main frame of Championship possibles with a victory in 1:59.1, a personal best. The daughter of Leader Bayama paid a very high price for the lead, being parked in 28.1 before getting the top, then had to keep the speed going - middle fractions of 57.1 and 1:27.1 were required to keep favored La Balafre hung out to dry, driver Dan Dube (a four-time winner on the day) determining that he wanted the front end with his filly. His strategy worked as the hot fractions burned everybody else out, and his filly could coast home well ahead of the opposition for trainer Maxime Velaye and breeder/owner Guy Corbeil. A pair of $8000 Invitationals was also scheduled on the big card, with the trot reuniting driver Louis Philippe Roy, trainer Kevin Maguire, and the winners circle via the twelve-year-old Conway Hall gelding Four Starz Speed, who was parked to a 28.2 quarter to get the lead but turned back all challenges from there in his 1:59 victory. The win was the 52nd of Four Starz Speed's career, which has seen him run up winnings of $831,887. Ecuries Maguire Inc. own the spry graybeard, who is indeed the horse who won his New York Sire Stakes final - in 2008, when he was three. On the pacing side, the day's popular theme of "take the punishment you must to the quarter, as long as you then can control the pace" (see d'Ete, Prix) was again played out, as Louis Philippe Roy reported home first for the fourth time on the day after he and Ufdragons Rocket came home all alone in 1:54.1. The favored Dragon Again gelding was out to a 27.3 quarter, then parked major danger Bali through middle splits of 56.3 and 1:25.2; from there, he could pull away for his 11th victory of the campaign. The winner of $336,513 is trained by Yves Tessier for owner Francois Morin. FINISHING LINES - The sire of Roll Away Joe, third in the Prix d'Ete, is Roll With Joe, whose name is on a FFA pace held annually at New York's Tioga Downs. This race was held a few hours before the Prix, and was won by Dealt A Winner - the only reason we mention it here is that the 2-3-4 finishers in the race were Rockin Ron, Sunfire Blue Chip, and All Bets Off, who won the 2016, 2014, and 2015 Prix d'Etes, respectively! ... Also, because Dealt A Winner, the longest shot on the board at Tioga, paid $72.50 - and it took Hippodrome 3R, with 11 favorites successful on its 15-race card, until the very last race to have its win mutuels combined reach that figure! (The biggest contributor? Western Fame at $14.80.) From the Quebec Jockey Club

Lexington KY - The Red Mile hosted the first leg of the Kentucky Sire Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old pacers with two divisions of both colts and fillies racing for a purse of $30,000 and Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter came to play.   The first colt division was the evening's fourth race and Grand Teton lived up to his advance billing by steamrolling the field in the stretch for the Takter - Brett Miller combo to win going away in 1:52.4. Away mid-pack, Miller followed up third over with the 1-9 favorite as You Said It took the field into the final bend where Trajectory loomed up to challenge as they passed the three quarters in 1:25.4. When shown racetrack, Grand Teton found a faster gear and was by the field in a blink. Gone Again (Tyler Smith) rallied for second and Whos Better (Don Harmon) was a good third. The winner is a Diamond Creek homebred by first crop sire A Rocknroll Dance from their prolific producer Western Montana.   Fillies came up next in the fifth and Santa Rosa converted a ground saving trip by Brett Miller (his third consecutive win), closing up the inside for the win in 1:52.4. Post time favorite Let's Fall In Love set the fractions with token pressure from the parked out Angelou past a 56 half and 1:25.1 three panels before giving way to the closing wave. Fine Art (Tyler Smith) followed in second and Tipp City Hugh Beatty) rallied for third. Santa Rosa is a Brittany Farms homebred on both sides by Western Ideal from Art's Vintage and was winning for the first time in her fourth try. She is also a product of the Takter barn.   Brett Miller made it four and Takter three consecutive wins with heavy favorite Decoy lasting over the furious late rally of Key Advisor (Joe Bongiorno) in 1:52.4. Miller settled Decoy in fourth early as Key Advisor left to the top from post 7 then brushed the colt up to take over as they passed the half in 55.4. A 29.4 third quarter breather under token pressure was just what Decoy needed as he opened up three quick lengths off the turn and held safe to the wire. Tiffany Marie (Dan Shetler) was third. The winner is a son of top sire Somebeachsomewhere and was a $110,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase by Brixton Medical, RAW Equine and Joe Sbrocco.   Band Stand was a 1:51.4 winner in the final of the evening's stakes for driver Joe Bongiorno who was making his first foray to the Bluegrass. Joe pulled the filly first over against Dance Blue who took over going to the half in an attempt to complete the KYSS sweep for the Takter/Miller duo and Band Stand gradually ground that rival into submission through a testing 1:23.2 three quarters. Moving to a clear lead in the stretch Band Stand held safe right to the wire for the speedy record. Shakewhatmamagaveu (Tharps) was second just holding off the close of Pure Paradise and Tyler Smith. The winner is trained by Tony Alagna for owner Brad Grant who gave $40,000 for the A Rocknroll Dance filly in Lexington last fall.   Band Stand     Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. with the Kentucky Sires Stakes for 3-year-olds.   Nick Salvi  

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - Eight top four-year-old pacers in North America have entered the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete that will take place this Sunday, August 20, at the Hippodrome 3R. The post-position draw for the big race will be done live at H3R tonight (Wednesday)to in the winner's circle after the fourth race on the program. H3R is hosting tonight, the fourth leg of the World Driving Championship in races 5, 6, 7 & 8. Heading the Prix D'Ete horses is Sintra from the Dave Menary Barn. The son of Mach Three has won $222,000 this year and in his last start won at Mohawk Raceway in 1:48.4. The fastest of the horses entered is Dr J Hanover from the barn of Tony Alagna. Earlier this season he became the fastest Canadian winner of all-time with his 1:46.4 triumph at Mohawk Raceway. Michael Vanderkept's Awesomeness comes into the race off a lifetime best 1:50 victory at Mohawk. Also entered off a lifetime best mile is local favorite Sports Authority in 1:52.4 at Rideau Carlton this past weekend. And the Jimmy Takter Stable has two top horses entered, Western Fame and Roll Away Joe. "What a great field we have for our Prix D'Ete race," said Claude Vevesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "Top drivers and top horses will make for a superb race on Sunday." Here are the horses entered in alphabetical order: Awesomeness (TBA) Dr J Hanover (Doug McNair) Lyons Synder (Daniel Dube) Roll Away Joe (Louis-Philippe Roy) Sintra (Jody Jamieson) Sports Authority (Pierre Luc Roy) Stonebridge Beach (Stephane Bouliot) Western Fame (Trevor Henry) The entry box for the remainder of the 15-race card Sunday will be closed Thursday morning at 11:00 am. There will also be the third leg of the C$220,000 Future Star Series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. There is a special first race post time Sunday of 2:30 pm and the Prix D'Ete is scheduled to be raced at 7 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Vernon , NY - Top filly trotter Ariana G has been entered to race against harness racing colts in the Open Main Event of the $320,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial (race 10) on Friday night at Vernon Downs.   Ariana G was considered for the Open division of the Hambletonian but her connections chose instead to race her in an elimination and final format against fillies in the Hambletonian Oaks.   Her competition will indeed be stout in the Zweig Memorial. Among the chief contenders are Devious Man coming in off a valiant second place effort in the Hambletonian final, Bill's Man who wound up fourth in that race, Hambo first heat winner International Moni and Stanley Dancer Memorial (div) winner Long Tom.   Ariana G's win in the Oaks pushed her career earning past the $1 million mark for breeder/owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The Muscle Hill filly has won fifteen of eighteen career starts and six of seven this season, her only defeat coming in a third place finish against colts in June's Earl Beal Memorial at Pocono. Jimmy Takter trains and Yannick Gingras will drive from post position five.   Devious Man (PP #7) has been a model of consistency throughout his career for owners Stroy, Inc. and Andy Miller Stable. The best in New York last season, he has taken on both state-bred and Grand Circuit assignments with equal success with four wins and four seconds in as many starts this year. He also edged past $1 million in career earnings with his Hambo Day proceeds. Andy Miller will drive the Julie Miller trainee in the Zweig.   With Ariana G out of the mix, everybody in the $135,000 Zweig Filly trot (race 9) moves up one position.   Celebrity Ruth is the top money winner having collected more than $200,000 this season, largely in the NYSS program for owner White Birch Farm. Trond Smedshammer is the trainer and Jason Bartlett will drive starting from post position two.   Competition will come from a pair of Ake Svanstedt fillies who each won a division of the Duenna stake at The Meadowlands. Evelyn (PP #3) will get Andy Miller who drove her to the Duenna success back in the sulky for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc, Little E LLC, Borje Nasstrom and Silva Stable 45 while Ice Attraction leaves from post 7 for the trainer and his partners Doug Sipple Mal & Janet Borroughs and Little E.   There are also consolations for both the colt and filly Zweig and three divisions of New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for freshman pacing colts along with the accompanying Excel A & B races on an all-stakes card.   The races begin at 6:45 p.m. More information is available at the Vernon Downs website.   Nick Salvi    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – August 5, 2017 – Arianna G cemented her dominance of the trotting filly division. The 1-5 harness racing favorite Ariana G, with Yannick Gingras driving, cruised to a four and three quarters length victory over Magic Presto to capture the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the 12th race on Saturday at the Meadowlands. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Ariana G was moved  to the lead at the half-mile mark at 54.4 and then cruised to victory, the fourth time for the team of Takter and Gingras in the Oaks.  The mile was time in 1:51.2. Gingras was holding up four fingers to celebrate the win after crossing the finish line. It was Gingras’ fourth win on the card. “I was really concerned about Magic Presto and obviously you have to respect the competition,” said Gingras.  “When she got away on the first turn and I really didn’t want to be first over that long of the way, so I decided to do whatever I needed to do to get her to the front. It wasn’t the best move I think, but she is just a great horse and a great horse can overcome anything.” Arianna G’s full sister, All The Time, won the Oaks last year with a time of 1:52.1. The 2016 Dan Patch Award winner as Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year, the Muscle Hill filly has won 15-of-18 lifetime starts and this year has clocked sub 1:52 on four separate occasions. The Gingras/Takter combo has won four straight Hambletonian Oaks and Takter notched his seventh overall, which makes him the winningest trainer in Oaks history. “She did a tremendous mile. It was a tough opening, because she cut all the way to the front due to the high pace,” said Takter. “She is just in a class of her own.” Arianna G paid a modest $2.40, $2.10, and $2.10 . Magic Presto with Brain Sears finished second paying $3.00 and $2.40, and Dream Together with Daniel Dube finished third paying $2.60. Dream Baby Dream finished fourth. by Lou Monaco

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -August 5, 2017 - The 1-2 favorite Manchego added another win to her harness racing resume, winning by two and a quarter over a closing Phaetosive, to capture the 35th edition of the $330,800 Jim Doherty Memorial Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, the fifth race on Saturday at the Meadowlands. It was trainer Jimmy Takter's third win on the day and Manchego, driven by Yannick Gingras, improved her lifetime record to five straight wins in as many starts. It was Gingras' second straight win on the card and second Doherty win of his career, having won his first with Mission Brief in 2014. Manchego, the daughter of Muscle Hill, took control just prior to the half-mile mark and came home with a lifetime-best time of 1:52.4. She paid $3.00, $2.10, and $2.10 to her backers. Phaetosive, trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer, paid $2,60 and $2.20 for second. Lily Stride with Tim Tetrick at the lines, was third by six and a half lengths, paying $3.00. Vivacious Allie with David Miller driving finished fourth. "She is a really special girl. We liked her from the get go and she keeps developing and certainly has a very effective way of going and has a tremendous inner-strength that few horses have," said Takter, who recorded his fifth win in the Doherty, formerly named the Merrie Annabelle. Manchego by Lou Monaco

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 4, 2017) - Harness racing duo Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras will team up to go for their unprecedented fourth straight Hambletonian Oaks on Saturday with morning line favorite Ariana G. The duo tuned up Friday night at The Meadowlands by partnering to win the $50,000 Townsend Ackerman with 7/5 wagering choice Sir John F in a lifetime-best 1:53.4. Gingras, who won four races on the card, steered the Donato Hanover colt to a textbook second-over trip while Snowstorm Hanover cut out the fractions of :27.1, :56.3, and 1:25.3. In deep stretch, Sir John F struck the front while longshots Simply Volo and Thisguyisonfire gave chase. Sir John F hung on with a :28.1 final quarter mile to score his fourth lifetime victory and raised his career bankroll to $108,242 for owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, R A W Equine, and Kevin McKinlay. Sir John F In the $30,000 Duenna, Evelyn was aggressively moved to the front by Andy Miller. The Muscle Hill filly, who finished sixth in her Oaks elimination last week, held off the pocket-sitting Decadence (Corey Callahan) to win in 1:52.3. It was her first win of 2017 in eight starts and third lifetime. She has earned $124,666 for trainer Ake Svanstedt who shares ownership with Little E LLC, B Nasstrom, and Silva Stable 45. The ladies starred in two divisions of the Hambletonian Amateur Drivers as Sarah Svanstedt and Hannah Miller score wins with Real DJ Hanover and Danish Durango, respectively. Evelyn Total handle on the 12-race card was $2,629,799 Hambletonian Day is Saturday with a 16-race stakes-filled card beginning at 12:00 p.m. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. The Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, and Sam McKee Memorial will be broadcast during a 90-minute live telecast on CBS Sports Network beginning at 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

East Rutherford, NJ – Breakfast With The Babies, final edition of 2017, began at 9:30 a.m. on a cool, overcast morning with the temperature at 66 degrees. Gabe Prewitt was there to paint a picture of the races with words.   Strawberry Hanover won the opener for Andy Miller, moving from the pocket around the second turn to take over from Padua Hanover and sprinting off as she pleased in 1:58.4/28.1. Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld were the successful bidders at $95,000 for Strawberry Hanover at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg last fall and Julie Miller is the trainer. Julie drove another from the Miller barn, Final Lady, to be second.   Wolfgang returned from an unsuccessful visit to Ohio for a Sires Stake to win for Jimmy Takter in 1:57.4 / 28.1. Takter took him back early, marched up uncovered past the half to engage Hat Trick Habit (Domenico Cecere) just past the 59.3 half then wore that stubborn rival down late in the stretch for the win. Wolfgang was a $60,000 Lexington Select but for Brixton Medical, Goran Falk, Hatfield Stable and his breeder Fair Island Farm. Hat Trick Habit went a brave trip to be second.   Andy Miller doubled up with his Make It A Double in the third. The pair sat just behind leader Go To Hill (Takter) past the 1:28.2 three panels and when shown racetrack Make It A Double forged by lets in the stretch for the 1:58 flat win. Go To Hill gave way grudgingly in a good effort. The winner was an $80,000 Lexington buy for Andy Miller Stable, Jason & Doug Allen and Julie Miller is the trainer.   Takter came back to take the fourth for pacing fillies with the homebred Betterthanbrie in 1:55.1. The pair sat just off the pace of Balestra Hanover (A. Miller) through three quarters in 1:27.1 then pushed past late for the win. Christina Takter and John Fielding share ownership of the Betterthancheddar first cropper.   The baby race season came to an end with a whimper as only two made their way out to the track and the gelding Ideal Deal outpaced the filly Miss Hill in 1:57.2. It was the Milers again as Andy drove and Julie trains Ideal Deal who is owned by Andy Miler Stable, Nick Surick and Harvey Eisman.   Live racing tonight is highlighted by the eliminations for the August 5 $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and a mandatory payout for the Super Hi 5 Jackpot in the last race where the pool is more than $68,000 and likely to reach a solid six figure total by off time.   First race post time is 7:15 p.m.   Reminder about OOC requirements   A reminder The Meadowlands is requiring that all horses entered in the stakes listed below be stabled at an approved training facility within a 150 mile radius (as the crow flies) of The Meadowlands or in the stable area at Vernon Downs by 8 p.m. (EDT) on Monday (July 31) and be made available for out of competition testing as requested.   The stakes are all part of the Saturday (Aug. 5) race card: the Cane Pace, Sam McKee Memorial (US Pacing Championship) Lady Liberty, John Cashman Memorial, and Dr. John Steele Memorial (Fresh Yankee). There will be no charge for the stabling at Vernon and a discounted hotel rate of $20 per night will again be offered to those with these stakes horses.   Trainers for all of the horses entered in those stakes are responsible for informing The Meadowlands Racing Office at 877.782.5130 of where each horse will be stabled from July 31 until the stakes have been raced. Questions should be directed to Brice Cote at 609.558.5062.   From the Meadowlands Media Department  

Pinkman returns to harness racing action for the first time in nearly 10 months on Friday, facing five foes in the preferred handicap at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The 5-year-old gelding, whose last visit to the winner's circle at the Big M followed his victory in the 2015 Hambletonian, was absent because of surgery to correct chronic throat issues. "I'm excited to have him back," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "He's probably the most low-profile top horse I've ever had. I think if he gets back to what he's supposed to be, everyone knows he's a heck of a tough horse. He's got it. "It's great to have him racing again." Pinkman, a son of Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster, received divisional Dan Patch awards at ages 2 and 3 and also was 2015 Trotter of the Year. He won 17 of 25 races and earned $2.45 million during his first two seasons, highlighted by his 3-year-old campaign in 2015 that produced victories in the Hambletonian, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity, and Beal and Zweig memorials. Last year Pinkman won a Group 2 race for 4-year-olds in Sweden, but was winless in six U.S. starts. He last raced in early October. "He basically missed all his 4-year-old season," Takter said. "It is what it is. But his throat looks better now. Knock on wood, so far it seems like everything is working. We took our time with him. There's no rush. I want to be careful. No matter where you go, these races are hard." Pinkman is 5-1 on the morning line for Friday's race at the Meadowlands. Tuonoblu Rex, who has won four of six races in the U.S. since arriving from Europe, is the 2-1 favorite. Flanagan Memory, the 2016 Breeders Crown Open Trot winner, is the 5-2 second choice. Completing the field are Dayson, Muscle Diamond, and Lookslikeachpndale. "He's a big track horse so we're going to try to find the right races for him," said Takter, who trains Pinkman for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. "If he is good enough by October, he could go to the Breeders Crown. That's the goal, but that's a long way down the road. We'll see how he does Friday." Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, July 27, 2017 -- As a Hall of Fame, high-profile harness racing trainer, it's hard for Jimmy Takter to fly under the radar. Yet that's exactly what he's done with Blood Line, who'll compete in Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. Blood Line goes from post 8 with Mark MacDonald at the helm. The final anchors a blockbuster Adios Day Card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. First post is noon while the Adios goes as race 11 at approximately 4 PM. Takter won the Adios with Vintage Master (2009) and again with Sunfire Blue Chip (2013). For all that, Blood Line, a homebred son of Somebeachsomewhere-Blood Diamond for Diamond Creek Racing, was dismissed at 13-1 in his Adios elimination. After leaving for early position, he shot the Lightning Lane and missed upsetting heavily favored Huntsville by a neck. Blood Line has won only once this year -- a Pennsylvania Sires Stake split at Harrah's Philadelphia -- but finished second to Huntsville in a Meadowlands Pace elimination before breaking stride in the final. "I don't know what happened that day, but he wasn't far off there," Takter said. "He's a good horse, and if he steps up, he'll be a pretty solid horse." Takter knows that Blood Line, 12-1 in the morning line, must step it up now if he's to defeat Fear The Dragon and Huntsville, the No. 1- and No. 2-rated Standardbreds in North America. "If those two horses are in 100 percent form, without a doubt, they're a little better," he acknowledged. "But horses are flesh and blood. They can take so much and after a while, some of them go a little backwards." He also knows that Blood Line's upset chances took a blow when he drew outside. "If you have to have post 8, The Meadows is probably the best place to draw it because of the slanted starting gate," he said. "This horse has tremendous gate speed; I'm sure Mark will give him a try and leave with him. But if he goes a 26 quarter, he'll pay for it at the end of the mile." Takter indicated Blood Line is eligible for most of the late-season stakes, including the Little Brown Jug. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ariana G rebounded from her only loss of the season - a tough-trip third against harness racing colts in the Beal - with a typically powerful performance in winning the first of two $125,250 divisions of the Del Miller Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies at the Meadowlands Saturday night. The daughter of Muscle Hill brushed to command at the three-eighths and appeared on her way to an easy win until a first-over challenge from Dream Baby Dream came as the field made its way around the far turn. Dream Baby Dream was right at the 1-9 favorite's throat at the eighth pole when Ariana G then found more and went on to a 1½-length score in 1:51.4. Magic Presto outkicked Dream Baby Dream for second. "She was excellent," said Marvin Katz, who owns the filly along with Al Libfeld. "I spoke to (winning driver) Yannick (Gingras) and he didn't even pop the ear plugs. She was strong all the way to the wire and we are just thrilled with her." Does this filly have another date with the boys in the Aug. 5 Hambletonian? "I don't know," said Katz. "Historically, it's not a good thing to do for fillies. I will say this: I'm not being overconfident, but I'm certain she can race with them." Ariana G, who is trained by Jimmy Takter, upped her lifetime mark to 13 wins in 16 starts, and returned $2.20 to win to her backers. Ariana G In the other Miller division, Overdraft Volo sat a perfect pocket trip and rolled by the pace-setting Feed Your Head to record a three quarters of a length win in a lifetime-best 1:52.2 for Team Miller, driver Andy and trainer Julie. "I got away from the gate good and slid out (of the pocket) halfway down the lane and she did the rest," said Andy Miller of the daughter of Yankee Glide, who won for the sixth time in 13 lifetime starts for owners the Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. That's All Moni (the slight favorite) and Glitzey Gal, both sent to the gate at even-money, were too far back to menace after racing third- and fourth-over, respectively, as Feed Your Head was setting fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24. Glitzey Gal broke at the head of the stretch. Checkmate Time finished third. Overdraft Volo returned $16.20 to win as the 7-1 third choice in the wagering. Overdraft Volo By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

Adam Bowden is never quite sure what to expect from Blood Line. Last weekend, the colt finished second to award-winning Huntsville in the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace elimination, completing the mile in 1:49.1 with a :26.3 last quarter. In his previous start, Blood Line went off stride at odds of 2-1 in his elimination of the Hempt Memorial and failed to advance to the final. Needless to say, Bowden is hoping for more of the former than the latter in Saturday's $738,550 Meadowlands Pace final for 3-year-old pacers at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. Blood Line, co-bred by Bowden's Diamond Creek Farm and owned by Bowden's Diamond Creek Racing, will start from post No. 1 with Mark MacDonald driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. Blood Line is 5-1 on the morning line, third choice behind even-money favorite Huntsville and 4-1 Downbytheseaside. "If he puts it all together, you get a mile like the other night," Bowden said about Blood Line. "If not, then you get a horse that makes a break in an elimination that he's got a chance to win. He's frustrating in that sense, but he's clearly got high speed and if he's in the right spot he's going to challenge (Saturday). "He's kind of shown the ability to go with the top horses. I'm not sure he's in the same league as Huntsville, Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside, but I think that next group of horses is wide open and on any given day he's as good as they are. I was happy with the way Mark raced him in the elimination and put him in a good spot and kind of followed Huntsville all along. He gave himself a chance and then drew well for the final. I think we're in a good spot." The Meadowlands Pace is part of a stakes-packed card at the Meadowlands on Saturday, with an earlier-than-usual 6:30 p.m. post time for the first race. The Meadowlands Pace will air live on cable's SNY from 9-10 p.m., with the Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters also part of the broadcast. Blood Line is a son of stallion Somebeachsomewhere out of the lightly-raced mare Blood Diamond. He is a full brother to Blood Brother, who has earned $613,613 in four seasons of racing, and his second dam is Hall of Fame broodmare Arterra, the mother of millionaires If I Can Dream and Western Terror. Third dam Delinquent Account was a Dan Patch and O'Brien award winner and the mother of similarly awarded Artiscape. "(Blood Diamond) got injured before she could really show anything, but she comes from one of those top-class families and the intention always was to keep everything out of her," Bowden said. "She's bound to produce a great one based on her pedigree and the way these horses look. Whether it's Blood Line or the next one or the next one, she's going to do it. "She's produced two talented horses. I don't know where the limit is for this horse, but I guess we'll find out Saturday and the rest of the year." Blood Line has won three of 17 career races and earned $165,119. Last year he won divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. So far this season he posted one win on the sire stakes circuit. MacDonald has driven the horse four times, posting a win among three in-the-money finishes and never being worse than fourth. "Mark seems to be the perfect fit for him, for whatever reason," Bowden said. "His skill set and the horse just seem to mesh well together and they've raced well together. Finger's crossed. I can't imagine that he's not going to drive him aggressively and get him in a good position. If the horse is talented enough he'll be there." Takter has sent seven horses to the Meadowlands Pace final, with his best finish coming in 2009 with runner-up Vintage Master. Blood Brother is not Bowden's only hope to win the Meadowlands Pace. Diamond Creek Racing is among the owners of Downbytheseaside. The remaining owners of the Brian Brown-trained colt are Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Downbytheseaside was among three horses, with Classic Pro and Miso Fast, to receive byes to the Meadowlands Pace final. For the year, the colt has won five of seven races and earned $323,500. He won the Art Rooney Pace and was third in the North America Cup, behind Fear The Dragon and Huntsville, and fifth in the Hempt Memorial. "The Hempt final was a little bit of a disappointment but Brian said he scoped sick, so that sort of explains that," Bowden said about Downbytheseaside, who has won 13 of 20 career races and finished worse than third only once while earning $900,606. "It's kind of nice that he got a bye and I think he's coming into this race as good as he's been all year. I would expect he would be right there at the end. I'd be disappointed if he wasn't." Huntsville, trained by Ray Schnittker and driven by Tim Tetrick, has won four of six races this year and 11 of 17 lifetime. He has never finished worse than second and counts the 2016 Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands among his career victories. He was second in the North America Cup. Schnittker won the 2010 Meadowlands Pace with One More Laugh. Tetrick has won four Paces, tied with Ron Pierce for the second most in history. John Campbell holds the record with seven trophies. Following is the field for the $738,550 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-old pacers in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Blood Line-Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter-5/1 2-Mac's Jackpot-David Miller-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Boogie Shuffle-Scott Zeron-Mark Harder-30/1 4-Huntsville-Tim Tetrick-Ray Schnittker-1/1 5-Downbytheseaside-Brian Sears-Brian Brown-4/1 6-Miso Fast-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-10/1 7-Filibuster Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-10/1 8-Santafe's Coach-Corey Callahan-Leo Iordan-20/1 9-Classic Pro-Trevor Henry-Dr. Ian Moore-15/1 10-Talent Soup-Eric Abbatiello-Bruce Saunders-30/1 by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Ariana G starts Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters from an unfavorable spot, but harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter is confident the filly can step up and defeat eight male rivals in one of the season's few remaining preps for August's Hambletonian Stakes. No female trotter has ever competed in the Beal Memorial final in its seven-year history. Ariana G, who received the 2016 Dan Patch and O'Brien awards for best 2-year-old female trotter in the U.S. and Canada, is this year's fastest 3-year-old trotter, with a mark of 1:51.1. Takter has won the Beal three times. Ariana G was among three elimination winners last weekend - along with Long Tom and Perfect Spirit - and begins Saturday's final with driver Yannick Gingras from post No. 8. Horses win 5.8 percent of their starts from post eight at Pocono, which is second to only post nine's 5 percent victory rate for the lowest at the five-eighths-mile oval. "I really think she can win it anyway. I really do," Takter said. "Of course she's got to work a little harder to get out of there, but if Yannick wants to press it, he can. She could be as good as any horse I ever had. "It looks like there could be a lot of horses leaving (quickly from the gate). The horse to beat is Long Tom; he's the one that looked the best in the eliminations. But it is going to be a really interesting race." Ariana G and Long Tom both enter the Beal final undefeated in three races this season. Ariana G is the 5-2 morning line favorite while Long Tom, who starts from post one, is the 3-1 second choice. Both trotters are New Jersey Sire Stakes champions. The Beal is one of four stakes finals Saturday at Pocono, with the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. North America Cup champion Fear The Dragon and stablemate Downbytheseaside are the top choices in the Hempt while the top four finishers in the Fan Hanover Stakes -- Bettor's Up, Agent Q, Tequila Monday and Idyllic Beach -- are ready for a rematch in the Lynch. Elimination winners Mel Mara and Keystone Velocity lead the Franklin. Ariana G, who has won 12 of 14 career races and earned $816,467 in purses, is owned by breeders Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz. She is a daughter of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Cantab It All and is a full sister to 2016 Hambletonian Oaks winner All The Time. Last week, Ariana G won her Beal elimination in gate-to-wire fashion by 1-1/2 lengths over Bill's Man in 1:53.4. She opened with a :27.3 first quarter-mile and closed with a :27.3 final quarter. The middle half was :58.3. "She had a very nice elimination," Takter said. "I was a little bit concerned bringing in a horse off a three-week layoff; I don't train horses hard between races. I was very happy for her to get a nice mile; she raced for basically a half. She should be sharp. She came out of the race super and felt wonderful here jogging. "She's much more a horse this year," he added. "Last year she was a little awkward looking. She just was fast. Now she is very solid. She grew a good inch and a half and she filled out. She probably weighs 150 pounds more than she did last year. She couldn't be better. She's gorgeous now." Takter is uncertain whether Ariana G will race against the fillies on Aug. 5 in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks at the Meadowlands or challenge the boys in the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes. And he is in no rush to make a decision. "We'll just take one step at a time with her," Takter said. Takter remains hopeful that colt Rubio can find consistent winning form in time for the Hambletonian. Rubio has won six of nine career races, with two of his losses -- including a seventh-place finish in his Beal elim -- coming in races in which he went off stride. "I'm still very optimistic about Rubio," Takter said. "I know (last week) he was over-trotting himself in the last turn, but Yannick said he had plenty of go. I know he can go with these horses. I don't say he can go with (returning Dan Patch Award winner) Walner, but he's a very good horse. "If Rubio is really good, then I'll probably keep Ariana in the (Hambletonian Oaks). I've been in this game a long time, and you can look like you have five horses going into the Hambletonian and you have none. And it can look like you have no horses going to the Hambletonian and you have five. There is so much going on. It's how these horses handle these tough races. The main thing is don't get panicked. If you know you have a good horse, you can be a little more patient." Racing at Pocono begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The night's stakes finals are races nine through 12. Following is the field for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, which is race 12. For the complete card, click here. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Long Tom-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander-3/1 2-Perfect Spirit-David Miller-Ake Svanstedt-6/1 3-Sortie-Andy McCarthy-Noel Daley-10/1 4-Moonshiner Hanover-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-12/1 5-Bill's Man-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-4/1 6-Lucky Matter-Brian Sears-Chris Beaver-20/1 7-Devious Man-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-5/1 8-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 9-Dover Dan-Brett Miller-John Butenschoen-15/1 ROAD TO THE HAMBLETONIAN A look at open stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles Date - Track - Event - First - Second - Third May 6 - Freehold - Dexter Cup - Lord Cromwell - Gustavo Fring - Southwind Cobra May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - Long Tom - Yes Mickey - Deacon Tony May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - What The Hill - Southwind Cobra - New Jersey Viking May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Sortie - Giveitgasandgo - High Glider May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Andy M - Gustavo Fring - Stealth Hanover May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Common Parlance - Brown Bear - Brand New Key May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Stick With Me Kid - Bill's Man - Top Flight Angel May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Devious Man - Lord Cromwell - Aces And Eights May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Enterprise - Swell Chap - Meetmeinthemiddle June 2 - Meadowlands - NJSS Final - Long Tom - King On The Hill - What The Hill June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Fraser Ridge - Meme Hanover - Muay Hanover June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Moonshiner Hanover - Giveitgasandgo - Lars Perry June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Sortie - Dover Dan - Always A Good Time June 9 - Mohawk - Goodtimes Elim - International Moni - Guardian Angel As - Jake June 9 - Mohawk - Goodtimes Elim - Enterprise - AWOL Hanover - Shake It Off Lindy June 9 - Vernon - EBC Elim - Bill's Man - Such An Angel - Stick With Me Kid June 9 - Vernon - EBC Elim - Devious Man - Swell Chap - Lord Cromwell June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Rubio - Muscles Jared - Di Oggi June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Dover Dan - Moonshiner Hanover - Sir John F June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Giveitgasandgo - President Lindy - Andy M June 17 - Mohawk - Goodtimes - International Moni - Mass Production - Seven And Seven June 18 - Vernon - Empire Breeders Classic - Devious Man - Bill's Man - Stick With Me Kid June 24 - Pocono - Beal Elimination - Long Tom - Sortie - Lucky Matter June 24 - Pocono - Beal Elimination - Perfect Spirit - Devious Man - Dover Dan June 24 - Pocono - Beal Elimination - Ariana G* - Bill's Man - Moonshiner Hanover July 1 - Pocono - Earl Beal Jr. Memorial - July 9 - Pocono - PA All Stars - July 15 - Meadowlands - Stanley Dancer Memorial - July 22 - Meadowlands - Tompkins-Geers - July 29 - Meadowlands - Reynolds - Aug. 5 - Meadowlands - Hambletonian - Hambletonian eligible in bold *Filly; also eligible to Hambletonian Oaks Ken Weingartner  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 2, 2017) - After winning an unprecedented three straight Hambletonian Oaks, how could harness racing Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter possibly top it? Her name is Ariana G. The 3-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill might be even better than those three fillies after she left jaws dropped with a 1:51.1 stroll in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final on Friday night at the Meadowlands. Long Tom, Every Way Out, and Misqued also won their $100,000 Sire Stakes finals on a warm, late spring evening. Yannick Gingras moved Ariana G to the lead past an opening quarter mile in :27.3. From there, Gingras was just a passenger through a Sire Stakes record final time that was just 2/5 of a second off the track record. She's coming back scary good," said Takter in the winner's circle after the race. "We still have 60 days to Hambletonian Day. Yannick said if he let her go she would have gone 49. Hopefully I haven't peaked her too soon. I would say at this point, she could be the most talented one I have developed." Two races later, Long Tom officially threw his hat into the Hambletonian picture with an impressive front-end score in 1:52.2 to win the $100,000 trotting colts division. King On The Hill won the place photo over 3/5 favorite What The Hill. Long Tom was a stakes winner last year at Lexington and is now 2-for-2 as a sophomore. With stablemate Enterprise, who is 3-for-3 in 2017, 25-year-old trainer Marcus Melander has a potent 1-2 punch on the road to the first Saturday in August. "Long Tom got sore after Lexington last year and then grew a lot over the winter," explained Melander, whose uncle Stefan won the Hambletonian in 2001 with Scarlet Knight. "I was only nine years old when Scarlet Knight won so I don't remember much, but hopefully I can get another Hambletonian for the family." Every Way Out completed his sweep of the pacing colts division with a five-length win in 1:52. The If I Can Dream gelding paid $2.10 for the third straight week. Tim Tetrick, who won four of the night's 11 races, piloted the winner for trainer Dylan Davis. The only Sire Stakes upset came in the 3-year-old pacing filly division when 1/5 favorite Colorful Jasmine faded to finish fourth while 7/2 second choice Misqued held off the late charge of Livinginthedream. Misqued was driven by Steve Smith for trainer John Balzer. Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,420.245. Racing resumes Saturday night. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

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