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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  

Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by Bet America has a power packed program lined up for Thursday (June 28) at 7:00 PM Eastern. In what has the potential to be one of the greatest races in harness racing history (the Ben Franklin Final at Pocono), the four top contenders will have the opportunity to make their case as to why their charge will get the job done. Trainers George Teague, Jimmy Takter, Larry Rheinheimer, and owner Robert Cooper will discuss their charge's prospects in the $500,000 final this Saturday for aged pacers. Pocono Racing Marketing Director Jennifer Starr will also join the program to talk about what racing fans can expect attending the races live this Saturday. Not only will all eyes be focused on the Pocono Mountains Saturday, but some of the finest aged trotters on the planet will square off in Ohio this weekend. Northfield Park Track Announcer Ayers Ratliff will join the program to preview The Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park. Our ongoing series with Running Aces Casino and Racetrack continues, as Track Announcer Darin Gagne sits down with talented Trainer/Driver Rick Magee to talk about his career in harness racing. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by Bet America can be heard each Thursday at 7:00 PM Eastern live on their website at posttimewithmikeandmike.com, or on-demand at https://extra.betamerica.com/betamerica-radio-network/ From the Mike & Mike Show

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18... Pure Country, driven by Brett Miller, showed she has off-the-pace power when she captured the $438,000 Fan Hanover final for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, part of the Pepsi North America Cup undercard. The Jimmy Takter pupil followed mid-pack as elimination winner Good Will Hanover laid down fractions of :26.1, :54.3 for the half and 1:22.2 for three-quarters. Into the final turn, a first-up Lindwood Beachgirl put pressure on the tempo-setter as Newborn Sassy followed second-over. Pure Country, the 2-1 favourite, found live third-over flow after being shuffled back to seventh. Pure Country angled off cover at the head of the lane, and once the pacing miss was fed open racetrack, she marched past her foes to capture the rich final in a new lifetime mark of 1:49.3. Darlinonthebeach finished second, one length behind the victress. L A Delight got up for third. "There is nothing better than owning and breeding, and then ending up winning one of these races like this," said Diamond Creek Racing's Adam Bowden. "He [Brett Miller] was third-over coming off the final turn. She looked like she was full of pace and I was confident." Pure Country notched her second victory of the season and 12th lifetime. With the win, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere and Western Montana earns millionaire status, lifting her career earnings to $1,178,953 for owner/breeder Diamond Creek Racing. Pure Country paid $6.10 to win. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18 - Always B Miki became the fastest horse in Canadian harness racing history with a 1:47.1 winning mile in the Mohawk Gold Cup Saturday night. The $100,000 Invitational event for pacers was one of the highlights of the Pepsi North America Cup undercard. Always B Miki, the 1-5 favourite, got away sixth for driver David Miller. Nirvana Seelster was blasted to the front and posted hot fractions of :25.2 and :53.2. Nirvana Seelster continued to roll around the final turn posting a three-quarter time of 1:20.2, while Always B Miki got into the outer flow and was spotted fifth and less than four-lengths from the front at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Always B Miki rocketed by his opponents to grab the lead with powerful strides at the eighth pole. The Jimmy Takter trainee cruised home impressively in :26.1 to win by 3½ lengths in 1:47.1. The clocking of 1:47.1 is the fastest mile in Canadian harness racing, breaking the former mark of 1:47.2. A five-year-old son of Always A Virgin, Always B Miki is owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter. The Takter trainee now has three wins in five starts this season after going undefeated in four starts last season. Always B Miki has an impressive career earnings total of over $1.3 million. The mile of 1:47.1 is a Track, Canadian and Stakes Record. It also lowers Always B Miki's previous career mark by three-fifths of a second. Shamballa finished second, while Evenin Of Pleasure for third. Always B Miki paid $2.50 to win. Mark McKelvie

The road to August's $1 million Hambletonian goes through Ontario on Saturday when 10 harness racing 3-year-old male trotters meet in the C$268,000 Goodtimes Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Jimmy Takter, who has trained the last two Hambletonian winners, believes he's got another contender in Goodtimes finalist Bar Hopping. Bar Hopping finished second to Dayson in his Goodtimes elimination last Friday, losing by 1-3/4 lengths in a 1:53.2 mile. Dayson, who is not eligible to the Hambletonian, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the final; Bar Hopping is the 7-2 second choice. "I like the horse a lot," Takter said. "He's got the right gear. He just has to know that he's a good horse." A son of Muscle Hill out of the stakes-winning mare Cocktail Hour, the colt sold for $190,000 under the name Revenger at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. Bar Hopping's full brother Martiniwithmuscle finished second to Trixton, Takter's 2014 Hambletonian champion, in the 2014 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship and his family also includes Dan Patch Award-winner Jef's Spice. Last year, Bar Hopping won a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and finished second to early-season Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank in the final. He finished second in divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes and was fourth in the Peter Haughton Memorial. Bar Hopping debuted this season with a third-place finish in the first round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, racing on the outside for most of the mile and closing with a :26.3 last quarter-mile. He was fourth in the sire stakes final in his start prior to the Goodtimes eliminations. "He was definitely not as good the last two starts as he was the first start, but something has been going on with him and hopefully we can get him cleared up now," Takter said, adding the colt had scoped with mucous following last week's race. "He was exceptional through the elimination for the sire stakes when he was third after (Southwind) Frank, but he charged like a great horse." Bar Hopping, who has won one of 12 career races and earned $118,163 for owners Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, will start the Goodtimes from post No. 6 with driver Tim Tetrick. Dayson, a son of Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus who will start the Goodtimes from post No. 5 with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke, won seven of eight races last year on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. He became a member of the Burke Brigade in January and has won three of four starts this season. "I think he fits well with that (Goodtimes) group," Burke said about Dayson, who has earned $234,412 in his career. "It's not the best colts out there, but it's an even bunch. He's nice. He's a very good horse. I don't think he's quite as good as (Southwind) Frank, but he's right there behind him. He'll do well in the spots we put him in." Dayson is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and Rossie Smith. Other Hambletonian eligible horses in the Goodtimes are Blenheim, Goin To The Limit, Honor Above All, Marion Marauder, and Tony Soprano. Dia Monde, who won the second of the two Goodtimes eliminations, is the 4-1 third choice in the final. The son of Deweycheatumnhowe-Lady Bar will start from post four with Randy Waples driving for trainer Thomas Durand. Dia Monde, who has won two of six lifetime starts, is owned by Durand, June Durand, and Allan Smith. Following is the field for the Goodtimes in post order. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Blenheim by Yankee Glide - Chris Christoforou - Per Henriksen - 10-1 2. Marion Marauder by Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron - Michael Keeling - 6-1 3. Will Take Charge by Kadabra - Paul MacDonell - John Bax - 5-1 4. Dia Monde by Deweycheatumnhowe - Randy Waples - Thomas Durand - 4-1 5. Dayson - by Conway Hall - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 2-1 6. Bar Hopping by Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick - Jimmy Takter - 7-2 7. Goin To The Limit by Donato Hanover - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna - 20-1 8. Honor Above All by Muscles Yankee - David Miller - Jimmy Takter - 20-1 9. Zagster by Muscle Mass - Trevor Henry - Shannon Henry - 20-1 10. Tony Soprano by Kadabra - John Campbell - Bob McIntosh - 15-1  by Ken Weingartner

Manalapan, NJ --- When male pacer Blood Line kicked off Monday's qualifiers for 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm with a sharp 1:54.2 win on a 60-degree morning with a gusty breeze, it certainly got the attention of his harness racing trainer, Jimmy Takter. "That's a serious mile today," Takter said after watching Yannick Gingras guide Blood Line to victory in his career debut. "I would say that's like a (1):52-and-a-piece mile. You're not going to see too many go faster than him today." As it turned out, no mile went faster among the 2-year-olds in their nine qualifiers and only three older horses posted a quicker clocking in the day's remaining seven qualifiers. Blood Line, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Blood Diamond, was bred by Diamond Creek Farm and J&T Silva Stables and is now owned by Diamond Creek Racing. He is a full brother to stakes-winner Blood Brother and his family includes millionaires Western Terror, If I Can Dream, Artiscape, and Delinquent Account. "He's a little goofy," Takter said. "He's a fast horse and he's got a lot of strength. We have him staked up good so we know he's got the ability. He's a little bit like his brother, though; not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he can go." Blood Line won by 1-3/4 lengths over Ron Burke-trained Major Key (Art Major-Capri Hanover). Gingras drove two more 2-year-old winners, both from Burke's stable. The first was female trotter Waffle Cone and the second was male trotter Deacon Tony. Waffle Cone (Muscle Hill-Sugar Cone) won by four lengths over Takter's Bridal Suite (Cantab Hall-Starlet Rules) in 2:00.3. Waffle Cone was purchased for $50,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Earl Smith, and Phil Collura. Her family includes Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce. Deacon Tony (Muscle Hill-Blue Yonder) was second-placed-first when Trond Smedshammer's Mushana went off stride just prior to the finish line. Deacon Tony, timed in 2:02.1, was purchased for $85,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by JT45, Deo Volente Farms, T L P Stable, and Malvern Burroughs. His family includes 2000 Hambletonian winner and O'Brien Horse of the Year Yankee Paco. The stables of trainers Julie Miller and Aaron Lambert also produced two winners apiece. Miller won with male pacer Dances Cruiser and female pacer Annacloy while Lambert scored with male pacer Outrajus Blue Chip and female pacer Agent Q. Dances Cruiser (Yankee Cruiser-Dances On The Wind) won by three-quarters of a length over Thefoolalwaysrocks (Always A Virgin-This Fool Rocks) in 1:57. He was driven by Fredi Herrera, who notched his first qualifier win after making his debut on the track a week ago. Dances Cruiser was bred by Pinske Stables, who also owns the colt. His family includes stakes-winner Btwnyurheartnmine. "I feel good; very excited," Herrera said. "He's a nice horse. He's just young, but he qualified very good today." Annacloy (Art Major-Lislea Phia) won by 5-1/4 lengths over Takter's St Helena (American Ideal-Art's Vintage) in 1:56.2. Driven by Andy Miller, it was Annacloy's second qualifier win in as many tries. She was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Ervin Miller Stable, and Paymaq Racing. Her dam was a multiple stakes-winner. Lambert-driven Outrajus Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Some Girls Do) won by three-quarters of a length over Miller's Flight Insurance (Art Official-Cruzin Angel) in 1:58.4. He sold for $10,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Ron Coyne Stables, Blair Corbeil, and Lambert. His dam was a stakes-winner and the family also includes Dan Patch Award-winner Central Park West. David Miller-driven Agent Q finished with a :27.2 final quarter-mile, equaling Outrajus Blue Chip's mark for the fastest of the day among the 2-year-olds, to rally from the back of the pack and defeat Tony Alagna's Sweet Rockin Gia (Rockin Image-EJ's Copperstone) by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:58.2. Agent Q (Western Terror-Teenage Paige) sold for $25,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Martin Scharf, William Rochetti Jr., Tanya Rochetti, and Robert Muscara. Agent Q's family includes stakes-winner Paige Nicole Q. Smedshammer won with female trotter Diva Dejarmbro (Dejarmbro-Nordic Nymph), who beat Robert Bresnahan Jr.'s Logans Lady (Explosive Matter-Bancroft Hall) by a neck in 2:01.3. Diva Dejarmbro, driven by Smedshammer, was purchased for $27,000 under the name Impressions First at the Ohio Selected Jug Sale and is owned by Purple Haze Stables. Chris Ryder-trained and driven male pacer Tribal War (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mystical Gypsy) won the remaining qualifier for the 2-year-olds, defeating John Dally (Somebeachsomewhere-Michelle My Gal) by a half-length in 1:55.3. Tribal War, purchased for $10,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and Ryder. His family includes stakes-winners Load The Dice and The Catamount Kid. "I was happy with him," Ryder said. "He's been training pretty decent on the farm. He was a little aggressive today, but that's no big deal. We're going to go to the sire stakes in New York with him. We have him staked. He's also eligible to the Metro Pace, but we'll see. "We like him. He's very nice. He's out of the same family as a horse I had years ago, Load The Dice. He was OK, he just had the distinction of being the same year as (2005 Horse of the Year) Rocknroll Hanover." In action among the older horses, male trotter Crazy Wow won his qualifier in 1:53.2 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Burke while male pacer Dealt A Winner won in 1:53.2 for driver David Miller and trainer Mark Silva. by Ken Weingartner

The World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) pre-Olympic tour on its "Road To Rio" made stops in both Sweden and Canada over the weekend. The WCRF is dedicated to resurrecting Chariot Racing in the Olympics while revitalization and reshaping the sport of harness racing. WCRF founder, Sam Stathis, was in Stockholm, Sweden Saturday and Sunday for the world renowned Standardbred harness horse race called the Elitloppet, where more than 28,000 fans came out Sunday to see the classic event. "What a tremendous weekend of racing at the Solvalla track," Stathis said. "The crowds were overwhelming, everyone rooting for his or her favorites. It took me more than a half hour to get from the dining room to the winner's circle just in time to see Jimmy Takter's Pinkman win his race." Stathis met with Swedish racing officials over the weekend, setting up WCRF future events for later this summer and for 2017. "I want to thank the AGT for hosting the WCRF at their tremendous VIP party," Stathis said, "My good friends Ann and Johan Lindberg (secretary general of Travsport) introduced us to racing dignitaries from as far south as Australia, Russia to the north and everyone in between. This will help pave the way for the WCRF to do some great things around the globe as I met people who now know about the goals of the WCRF and will join our team." "Pink highlighted the day," Stathis explained, "There were pink hats, shirts, pants and dresses topped off by a "pink horse" Pinkman, who won his race while defeating other US Stars. And what a great ambassador for the USA and WCRF pre-Olympic Tour as world renowned driver, Yannick Gingras joined us and his friends at the VIP party for a pre-race photo shoot and then topping it off by carrying the Olympic and Greece flags in the winner circle after Pinkman won. Stathis said they were also joined at the VIP party by Mr. and Mrs. Karl-Eric Bender, owners of the Palema Trotting Center in Vero Beach, FL along with Jimmy Takter and his wife Christina and renowned Australian breeder Duncan McPherson. "This was an amazing party," Stathis said, "and a superb weekend of racing that I will cherish in my memories the rest of my life. Everyone wanted to take a photo with the Greek and Olympic flags in support of the what the WCRF is doing for the special Olympics." The Pre-Olympic "Road to Rio" tour is being highlighted by the exotic chariots designed by Sam Stathis as the sport that the ancient Olympics were founded on in 776 BC. The tour is winding its way around the world and winding up at the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016. At Mohawk Raceway in Ontario, Canada on Saturday, one of the WCRF exotic chariots was on the track during their stakes race evening, taking children around the main track, showing off the unique two-seater design. World champion harness driver, Jody Jamieson and the trotter, Calamar, took the children for their rides. "This is what the WCRF is all about," Stathis said. "Educating children and adults with hands-on "grass-roots" experience getting to sit behind a racehorse on the track." Stathis's Celebrity Farms top racehorse, Celebrity Eventsy, was also at Mohawk Raceway Saturday, finishing third in the $174,000 final of the SBOA Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. With international support from every equine discipline, the WCRF is leading the effort to return Chariot Racing to the Olympics. Stathis is now on his way to his native country of Greece, where on Sunday, June 5 he will be at the new Olympic Stadium with special Olympic children, attending the National Show Jumping competition. For additional information, visit www.worldchariot.org. From the World Chariot Racing Federation  

Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald calls his time in London, ON racing at The Raceway at The Western Fair District "maybe the best time of my life." MacDonald, who is now based in New York and is one of the top drivers at Yonkers Raceway, will return to Western Fair Friday to drive Sunfire Blue Chip in the $150,000 Molson Pace invitational for trainer Jimmy Takter. "London was the first place I bought a house. It was a condo, but it was like a house. I lived in apartments before that. I actually lived 10 minutes from Western Fair," said the 37-year-old Prince Edward Island native, who first made his name racing in Ontario from 1999 through 2011. "I had some stoplights then, not bridge traffic. It is definitely a different atmosphere (in New York) as opposed to up there, but Western Fair was great. I had a lot of fun there. I won a lot of races. It was the first time I got to race in all the (Ontario) Sires Stakes and was kind of the go-to guy." What hasn't been as much fun has been the Molson Pace. MacDonald has raced in it nine times and never won. "It's been my Achilles Heel. That race just keeps getting me. I almost won it a few times. Dr No, I thought I was home with him and Our Lucky Killean got me right at the wire (in 2006). I think I still have the track record at London with Tigerama (1:50.4 in 2008). He buzzed around there in the elimination and then drew the seven hole and got stung past the quarter. He was kind of a speed horse. The seven hole and a speed horse don't really mix there in London, unless the inside wing falls off or something. Anyway, he got stung and ended up fifth." MacDonald last raced in the Molson Pace in 2014 and was eighth with Bandolito. "Bandolito, I got a horrendous trip with him. I was out early and he didn't fire. He wasn't right then, either. He didn't race for about five or six months after that race," MacDonald said. "I've had some good horses in that race, but I've raced some horses that turned up sick and I've raced some horses that just got beat. I just never get to the wire first." MacDonald, a winner of nearly 5,700 career races and more than $84 million is a two-time O'Brien Award winner as Canada's Driver of the Year. He set a record for driving wins on Canadian soil with 739 in 2006 - since surpassed by Jody Jamieson. MacDonald will be driving against his younger brother, James MacDonald, in this year's Molson Pace. James will pilot P H Supercam from post seven. "James is a good little driver. He's doing a great job. I talk to him all the time and always try to help him as much as I can. But I won't be helping him out on Friday," Mark said, laughing. "Don't eat yellow snow. That's my tip for him." Mark said he likes his chances with Sunfire Blue Chip, especially drawing the inside post three. "He's a really good horse... A good half-mile horse," Mark said of the six-year-old stallion, a son of American Ideal out of Shot Togo Blue Chip who has earned just over $1 million. "He won the Prix d'Ete as a four-year-old at Three Rivers. He's a really fast horse, good gaited. He doesn't wear a boot. He's a typical Takter horse. He's really well-mannered, a nice horse to drive. Everything about him is nice. He just won in 1:51 a couple of weeks ago in Yonkers on kind of a tiring track. It was a good mile that night." Sunfire Blue Chip has a record of 4-3-2 this year in 16 starts and earnings of just over $80,000. "He was sharp in the Levy (Series at Yonkers). He raced in every leg in the Levy and he just had horrible luck with the draw. He was, literally, outside every week... We couldn't get a break with that horse. They actually took him out of the Levy one week and I took him to the front and he won in like :53.3... The Levy wasn't meant to be for him this year, but he always raced well. He showed up every week." Now Mark MacDonald hope Sunfire Blue Chip shows up with his best game on Friday so he can finally claim the Molson Pace in his 10th attempt. Post positions for the Molson Pace field are as follows: 1. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 2. Bettor Rock On N - Jody Jamieson 3. Sunfire Blue Chip - Mark MacDonald 4. Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion 5. Machtu N - Trevor Henry 6. Mcwicked - Randy Waples 7. P H Supercam - James MacDonald 8. All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley The Molson Pace program will also feature the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, a quartet of City of London Series finals, a pair of Alliance Claiming Series finals and an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace as part of the undercard. Total purses for the night will be more than $550,000. There will be a number of promotions on the night, including Scratch and Win program prizes, OSS 'Be A Winner Contest,' Party on the Patio, a Molson VIP infield event and much more. The wagering menu has been bolstered to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick-4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick-4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 - all low 15 per cent takeout wagers. For more information, visit molsonpace.com. Greg Blanchard

Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald was the star of the show Saturday night, sweeping both of Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 co-featured Open Handicaps with favored Great Vintage (Pace, $5.30) and Obrigado (Trot, $8.20). Great Vintage, assigned post position No. 2, two-moved around Texican N (Jordan Stratton), then set sail on his appointed rounds (:27.4, 56.3, 1:24.2, season-matching 1:52). The people's choice eventually disposed of a first-up Bettor Rock On N (Dan Dube), then took a three-quarter length lead into the lane. He fended off an inside bid of Texican N by half-length in 1:52. Artistic Major (Brent Holland) rallied very well for third, with Ideal Cowboy (Jason Bartlett) and Atta Boy Dan (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. For Great Vintage, an 8-year-old son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk, it was his third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.80, with the triple returning $220.50. As for Obrigado, he did his damage-from assigned post No. 5-from first-up. Away six, he saw Luminosity (Brennan) lead through intervals of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.1. It was Luminosity holding a short lead into the lane, but Obrigado was relentless. He keep at it, whipping Luminosity by a length in 1:54.2. Homicide Hunter (Stratton) was third, with tepid 5-2 choice Major Athens (Brian Sears) and Allerage Star (Pat Lachance) earning the minor moolah. For second choice Obrigado, an 6-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, Linwood Higgins, SRF Stable and Stable 45, it was his first win in a pair of '16 tries. The exacta paid $33.60, the triple returned $179 and superfecta paid $579. Saturday's $30,000 Preferred Handicap Pace was won by Machtu N (Steve Smith, $7.70) in a night's-best 1:50.4 for a first North American victory. Frank Drucker  

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