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WILKES-BARRE PA - The elimination races for the $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday supercard at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono have been drawn. The elimination races will be conducted this Saturday (June 23), with those advancing to the Championships going for the big money on Saturday, June 30. A tremendous amount of subplots already suggest themselves from the elimination draws: the undefeated filly Manchego taking on the boys in the Beal Trot; arguably the three best colts drawing posts 6-7-8 in the same elimination of the Hempt Pace; Filibuster Hanover again testing older stock as he looks to keep his seasonal tally unbeaten in the Franklin Pace. Here is a brief preview of the four major races, with a listing of the field containing horse, post position, trainer, and probable driver at the end of each section. EARL BEAL 3YO OPEN TROT (this Saturday $25,000 eliminations in races 3, 5, 11; top three advance to June 30's $500,000 Championship) Manchego, perfect in 14 starts thus far in her career, with both her starts in 2018 winning ones at Pocono, will test the boys in this important stepping stone towards the Hambletonian and the rest of the sophomore riches. Manchego has done well in the barrier draw, getting post five, by far the winningest starting slot at Pocono, for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras. (It was that team that tried the filly Ariana G in the Beal last year, and she gave a great race but wound up third over an off track in the Championship.) Manchego will have to face champion colts at two from both sides of the border, and here the gate, in this race 11 elim: Alarm Detector, 7 for 9 last year and coming off a third in the Goodtimes Final for trainer Benoit Baillargeon and driver Trevor Henry. He has the inside post; stuck with the outside post eight is Fourth Dimension (trainer Marcus Melander, driver Brian Sears), 8 for 11 in 2017 and second in his recent seasonal bow. New York star Six Pack, undefeated in three seasonal outings including the Empire Breeders Classic final, will go in race 5 from post six in a field of seven for trainer/driver Ã…ke Svanstedt. Two top Pennsylvania horses going against him are Moosonee (post two, trainer Chris Beaver, driver Aaron Merriman), a double stakes winner this year, and Fashionwoodchopper (post five, trainer Jim Campbell, driver David Miller), the 2017 Sire Stakes Champion. The Beal action starts from race 3, with Patent Leather (post one, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick) back on the track after winning a Pennsylvania All-Stars race in 1:52.3 yesterday (Sunday), just six nights before the Beal elims. Sire Stakes winners in Ohio (Mission Accepted, post four, trainer Jeff Conger, driver Ryan Stahl) and New York (Voss Volo, post seven, trainer John Butenschoen, driver Corey Callahan) certainly figure as contenders. BEAL ELIMINATION RACE 3 - 1, Patent Leather, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick; 2, Tito, Erv Miller, Marcus Miller; 3, Lawmaker, Andrew Harris, Anthony MacDonald; 4, Mission Accepted, Jeff Conger, Ryan Stahl; 5, Winning Shadow, Jake Huff, Corey Callahan; 6, Whats The Word, trainer Rene Allard, Callahan also listed; 7, Voss Volo, John Butenschoen, Callahan also listed. (A release with late driver changes and morning line odds will be sent out Tuesday afternoon.) BEAL ELIMINATION RACE 5 - 1, Missle Hill, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair; 2, Moosonee, Chris Beaver, Aaron Merriman; 3, Evaluate, Marcus Melander, Tim Tetrick; 4, Rich And Miserable, Todd Buter, Tyler Buter; 5, Fashionwoodchopper, Jim Campbell, David Miller; 6, Six Pack, trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt; 7, Scirocco Rob, John Butenschoen, Corey Callahan. BEAM ELIMINATION RACE 11 - 1, Alarm Detector, Benoit Baillargeon, Trevor Henry; 2, Gemologist; trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt; 3, Crystal Fashion, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 4, Mississippi Storm, Tom Fanning, David Miller; 5, Manchego, Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras; 6, Fashion Forever, Jim Campbell, Corey Callahan; 7, Fiftydallarbill, Bill Crone, Trace Tetrick; 8, Fourth Dimension, Marcus Melander, Brian Sears. MAX C. HEMPT 3YO COLT PACE (this Saturday $25,000 eliminations in races 6, 9, 12; top three advance to June 30's $500,000 Championship) The racing gods left no margin for error in the 12th race elimination of the Hempt. Only the top three horses in the eight-horse elim will advance, and the threesome many would rate as the top trio in the land drew the three outermost slots: Done Well (post six, trainer Brian Brown, driver Tim Tetrick), Lather Up (post seven, trainer Clyde Francis, driver Montrell Teague), and Courtly Choice (post eight, trainer Blake MacIntosh, driver Mark MacDonald). Lather Up, a perfect 6-for-6 this year, will likely emerge as the chalk off his easy win last Saturday in the North America Cup final; a win might not come so easily in this collection. In the race six elim, New York Sire Stakes winners Keystone Tenacious (post four, trainer Paul Kelley, driver Mark MacDonald) and Springsteen (post six, trainer Rene Allard, driver David Miller) will be challenged by fast Ohio Sires winner Cinnamack (post three, trainer Brian Brown, David Miller also listed) and Dorsoduro Hanover (post seven, five, trainer Ron Burke, driver Matt Kakaley), who was the early leader pro tem in this division until getting a horrible trip in his NA Cup elim and not making the final. Race nine sees Stay Hungry trying to rebound from a fourth-place finish in the NA Cup Final after getting a golden second-over trip. To come back to winning ways, he'll have to overcome the outside post eight for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Doug McNair, along with foes such as I'm A Big Deal (post five, trainer Chris Ryder, driver George Napolitano Jr.), an impressive Sire Stakes winner here a couple of starts back. HEMPT ELIM RACE 6 - 1, This Is The Plan, Chris Ryder, Tim Tetrick; 2, Daddyofemall, Dan Altmeyer, Mike Wilder; 3, Cinnamack, Brian Brown, David Miller; 4, Keystone Tenacious, Paul Kelley, Mark MacDonald; 5, Dorsoduro Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 6, Springsteen, Rene Allard, David Miller also listed; 7, Stendahl Hanover, Eddie Sager, Marcus Miller; 8, Decoy, Jimmy Takter, David Miller also listed; 9, Closing Statement, Joe Holloway, Brian Sears. HEMPT ELIM RACE 9 - 1, Whos Better, Brian Brown, Tim Tetrick; 2, Sometimesawinner, Rene Allard, Simon Allard; 3, Shnitzledosomethin, Dylan Davis, David Miller; 4, Hitman Hill, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller; 5, I'm A Big Deal, Chris Ryder, George Napolitano Jr.; 6, Points North, Nifty Norman, Andrew McCarthy; 7, Grand Teton, Jimmy Takter, Scott Zeron; 8, Stay Hungry, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair. HEMPT ELIM RACE 12 - 1, Rock Lights, Katricia Adams, George Napolitano Jr.; 2, Babes Dig Me, Tony Alagna, Brett Miller; 3, Heavenly Sound, Bruce Saunders, Andrew McCarthy; 4, Nutcracker Sweet, Jimmy Takter, David Miller; 5, Wes Delight, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan; 6. Done Well, Brian Brown, Tim Tetrick; 7, Lather Up, Clyde Francis, Montrell Teague; 8, Courtly Choice, Blake MacIntosh, Mark MacDonald. BEN FRANKLIN FFA PACE (this Saturday $35,000 eliminations in races 2, 4, 10; top three advance to June 30's $500,000 Championship) Filibuster Hanover, who has handled the often-difficult stepup from age three to age four quite well so far, will try to run his seasonal undefeated string to six as he starts from post six in the 10th race Franklin elim for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Filibuster has already shown he could handle older company with a win in the Commodore Barry Pace at Philly at the end of May. Sure to attract support is Sintra (post one, trainer David Menary, driver Jody Jamieson) off a 1:48 victory in the Mohawk Gold Cup last week. The horse who finished second to Sintra, McWicked, just might be the most intriguing horse in all of these Franklin elims. Last week he was sixteen lengths out at the quarter, yet rallied to be beaten only 2 3/4 lengths, which calculates to a last 3/4s in 1:18.4 - and three-wide on the far turn! The career winner of more than $2M starts from post four for trainer Casey Coleman and driver Brian Sears in the race 4 elimination. Heaven Rocks A, a champion in Australasia who was second to Filibuster Hanover in the Commodore Barry and then came back to win in 1:50 at Philly, may be getting better and better with each start; in his race 2 elimination, he'll try to sustain his improvement from post four for trainer Ross Croghan and driver David Miller. Western Fame (post five, trainer Jimmy Takter, driver Andrew McCarthy) will draw respect off a 1:49.1 - 26.1 win last week at The Meadowlands. FRANKLIN ELIM RACE 2 - 1, Easy Lover Hanover, Ben Wallace, driver TBA; 2, Check Six, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 3, Missile J, Scott Di Domenico, Tim Tetrick; 4, Heaven Rocks A, Ross Croghan, David Miller; 5, Western Fame, Jimmy Takter, Andrew McCarthy; 6, Split The House, Chris Oakes, George Napolitano Jr.; 7, Donttellmeagain, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick also listed. FRANKLIN ELIM RACE 4 - 1, Rockin Ron, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 2, Scott Rocks, Hunter Oakes, George Napolitano Jr.; 3, Waikiki Beach A, Ross Croghan, Scott Zeron; 4, McWicked, Casey Coleman, Brian Sears; 5, Mach It So, Jeff Bamond Jr., Tim Tetrick; 6, Mac's Jackpot, Jeffrey Smith, Andy Miller. FRANKLIN RACE 10 - 1, Sintra, David Menary, Jody Jamieson; 2, Boogie Shuffle, Mark Harder, David Miller; 3, Christen Me N, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick; 4, All Bets Off, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 5, Dealt A Winner, Mark Silva, Brett Miller; 6, Filibuster Hanover, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 7, Funknwaffles, John Butenschoen, Corey Callahan. JAMES LYNCH 3YO FILLY PACE (this Saturday $20,000 eliminations in races 7 and 8; top four and the faster fifth-place finisher advance to June 30's $300,000 Championship) The main question to be asked ahead of the Lynch is "Which Youaremycandygirl will show up this week?" The one who won 9 of 11 at two and was divisional champion, or the one who has won only one of three seasonal starts? Trainer Ron Burke has been diligently working to get the most successful answer to that question, as the filly starts in the race 7 elimination from post two for driver Yannick Gingras. Lismore champion Alexa's Power (post three, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick) and New Jersey Sires final winner Hypnotic Tale (post five, trainer Linda Toscano, driver David Miller) will be among the many seeking out the answer to that puzzle. In the race 8 elim, Kissin In The Sand (post three, trainer Nancy Johansson, driver Scott Zeron) may become the public's choice after a very good second in the Fan Hanover final last Saturday. Two of Pennsylvania's best had the misfortune to draw outside posts in the eight-horse field: Serene Stride (post seven, trainer Mark Harder, driver Tony Hall) and Sidewalk Dancer (post eight, trainer Chris Oakes, driver Brett Miller. LYNCH ELIM RACE 7 - 1, Carlo's Superstar, Rene Allard, Simon Allard; 2, Youaremycandygirl, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 3, Alexa's Power, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 4, Double A Mint, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 5, Hypnotic Tale, Linda Toscano, David Miller; 6, Pass Line Bluechip, Wayne Givens, driver TBA; 7, Majorsspeciallady, Ron Burke, Brett Miller; 8, Ideal Talker, Noel Daley, Andrew McCarthy. LYNCH ELIM RACE 8 - 1, Python Blue Chip, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 2, I'm Trigger Happy, Tony Osullivan, David Miller; 3, Kissin In The Sand, Nancy Johansson, Scott Zeron; 4, Solitary, Nick Surick, Tim Tetrick; 5, Cuts Like A Knife, Bruce Saunders, Tim Tetrick also listed; 6, Sansovia Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 7, Serene Stride, Mark Harder, Tony Hall; 8, Sidewalk Dancer, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller. One final note - you won't want to miss the first race, a $30,000 open pace in the Great Northeast Open Series, with two $2M+ winners: Bettors Edge (post one, trainer Jennifer Lappe, driver Scott Zeron), and another Takterite taking on "the boys," Pure Country (post three, driver Yannick Gingras). Add Rockeyed Optimist, Rodeo Romeo and others to the mix, and you have a field with 151 lifetime wins and a combined bankroll of $6.3M, with an average mark of 1:48.4. This curtainraiser at Pocono on Saturday is slated for 7 p.m. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs                

East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast With The Babies sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms took place at The Meadowlands on a grand Saturday morning with clear skies, little breeze and temps in the mid-70's at 10am.   It turned out to be Father Patrick day as that first crop sire had five winners in the seven trotting races. an impressive showing indeed.   Trotting fillies opened the card with Whispering Oaks a 1:57.3 win, the second in a many appearances for the imposing $100,000 (LEX Select) Father Patrick filly. Yannick Gingras sat chilly with Whispering Oaks tight on the back of Frauline Blucher (Marcus Johansson) as that rival set moderate fractions, then tipped his charge as they turned home and she exploded by with a 28 flat final quarter.   Jimmy Takter trains the winner for Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and RAW Equine. Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband are the breeders.   Father Patrick got another credit when Devilish Delight won the second race in 1:58 / 28.4 for Andy McCarthy. She did it all on her own, setting comfortable fractions then sprinted home to easily hold Caviart Jenny (Johansson) and the rest of the field at bay. Tom Dillion paid $80,000 for Devilish Delight in Lexington last fall, buying from breeder Kentuckiana Farms. Jonas Czernyson trains.   Special Honor by, guess who, Father Patrick took the third for Andy Miller in 1:58.1 / 27.4. She converted a perfect trip, tracking Given (Gingras) until headstretch then ground past that stubborn rival as they neared the wire. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld bred and own Special Honor.   The fourth race this morning saw two talented, well-bred filly trotters square-off and it went as if scripted. The Muscle Hill x Sina lass Beautiful Sin (Gingras) wore down French Café (Andy Miller), another Father Patrick this one from Creamy Mimi, through a stretch-long battle to win in 1:56.4 / 28.1.   While Isolde (Dave Miller) was rank on the lead early through fast fractions, French Café followed in the pocket before gliding by that rival around the final bend with Beautiful Sin in close pursuit. In the stretch both fillies dug in gamely and it did take a photo to determine Beautiful Sin as the winner. Lennart Agrin paid $480,000 for Beautiful Sin at the Lexington sale last fall and she races under his SRF Stable banner for trainer Jimmy Takter. Jeff Gural and the Moon Goddesses bred and raised the winner.   Colt trotters came around in the 5th and Kredit Karma (David Miller) led all the way to win in 1:58.2 / 27.4 over Amico Mio B (Jordan Stratton). The winner was a $110,000 (LEX Select) Credit Winner bred by Steve Jones and Fair Winds Farm and now owned by Our Horse Cents Stable. Marcus Melander is the trainer.   Hudson River became yet another credit for Father Patrick when he won in 1:58.2 with trainer Jimmy Takter at the lines. Hudson River took the field by the 1:00.3 half, yielded to stablemate and eventual second place finisher Gerris Trix (Gingras) then trotted by that one in deep stretch for the score. Hudson River is a homebred racing for Christina Takter and Goran Falk.   Saving perhaps the best for last and making five winners on the day for Father Patrick was the highly regarded colt Greenshoe. He turned heads when he won in 1:55 with the greatest of ease two weeks ago and returned with another impressive win this morning, albeit a bit slower in 1:56.1 / 28.1 with Brian Sears driving for trainer Marcus Melander.   Greenshoe was pretty fresh scoring and anxious behind the gate but Sears was able to soothe him away with the good colt Don't Let'em (Gingras) landing on his back. Moderate fractions ensued with no real trotting done until midway through the stretch when Gingras moved Don't Let'em out to challenge and made a bit ground but couldn't threaten the winner. Anders Strom using his nom d'course of Courant, Inc bought the Greenshoe in Lexington last fall for $330,000 from breeders Libfeld and Katz.   JK American Beauty took the first pacing race in 1:56.1 for Tim Tetrick. She was just up over Wicked N Wonderful (Gingras) with Mollydooker going off stride when pacing fast at the wire. Nancy Johansson trains the American Ideal filly for owner/breeder 3 Brothers Stable.   Hurrikane Norakane (Dan Dube) was a 1:56.3 winner for trainer John Mc Dermott, Jr. Trapped until very late, when a seam appeared the Art Major filly shot through to nip Odds On Clearwater (Scott Zeron). Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investments and George Vierno own the $24,000 Harrisburg purchase who was bred by Twinbrook LTD.   Blood Money (Gingras), representing the first crop by Sweet Lou, took the 10th in 1:54.2 / 27 just holding off the furious late rally of Hurrikane Emperor (Dube). The homebred is now two for two for Takter and Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Racing.   The exact same connections came right back to win the last of the 2-year-old races with Blacklight in 1:56 / 27.2. Yannick held the Somebeachsomewhere colt from champion mare I Luv The Nitelife well back early then unleashed him in deep stretch to nail Waterway (Brett Miller) in the last step. Another good Diamond Creek homebred prospect in the Takter barn.   Hey Blondie took a handy qualifier in 1:53.2 for Andy McCarthy in a race where Tactical Landing set brisk fractions before rolling off stride as they turned home.   Live racing tonight at The Meadowlands highlighting the annual appearance by the Camel and Ostriches.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands    

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands resumes live racing on Friday with a nine race card beginning at 7:15 pm.   The overnight mix is highlighted by a few Hambletonian eligibles sprinkled over the program, including a very interesting Jimmy Takter pupil. Takter has a barn load of Hambo horses including a few intriguing prospects that have kept a very low profile, Zephyr Kronos among those.   By International classic winning sire Ready Cash, Orange Kronos raced but twice at age 2 but Takter and company recognized the talent enough to put the colt away early and count on time to season him.   The early returns would lean toward that being time well spent, though Zephyr Kronos still requires careful handling and has been driven by the trainer in all starts this season, the speed is evident. He has exhibited a wicked turn of foot on several occasions with sub 27 second final quarters a regular occurrence on his past performance lines.   The pair will leave from post two in a short field of six in the second race where he'll find a pair of potential Hambo rivals in Dawson Springs and U Need Stones.   With the Hambletonian now just seven weeks hence, Takter will have to ask the hard questions soon to determine whether Zephyr Kronos is indeed worthy of owners Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz, Perry Soderberg and Jimmy's wife Christina's patience and investment.   The last race Jackpot Hi-5 carryover pool is now in excess of $250,000. You can find free past performances for that and the Pick 4 on the web.   by Nick Saliv, for the Meadowlands  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Manchego kept her place in the spotlight intact Tuesday night in one of four $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting fillies at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, overcoming the tuck-then-first-over trip to post a 1:52.4 victory. The undefeated daughter of Muscle Hill found herself in the middle of a quintet of strong leavers, and Yannick Gingras backed the winner of $917,188 into a midpack tuck, then started first-over on the second turn after Nixie Volo, who had been responsible for the early numbers of 27.1 and 56.3. Manchego started to gain the advantage at the 1:24.4 3/4s, but for a second the upset-minded had a thrill as Nixie Volo kept the champion out on the turn. But Manchego simply increased her distance consumption in her effortless way, coming home two lengths to the good of late-closing Top Expectations, with Nixie Volo another 1¼ lengths back in third. Manchego's 1:52.4 equaled her personal mark, achieved last year at both Mohawk and Lexington. Jimmy Takter had the filly in top shape after a 22-day racetrack layoff, getting her 14th win in succession without much of a sweat for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Manchego commanded so much of the crowd's respect, she drew almost $19,000 of the $22,000+ win/place/show pool, and the Exacta she headed with 43-1 Top Expectations second returned only $15.20 (the second choice was 23-1 behind the 1-9 shot). Then, the most marked of mutuel contrasts followed 18 minutes later, as the Explosive Matter filly Highland Dynamite made the most of a pocket trip behind pacesetter Bill's Lady, going up the Pocono Pike to catch that foe in 1:53.1 while returning $250.80 to win and combining with Bill's Lady, the 5-2 second choice, for a $4878.80 exacta. Simon Allard guided the Pierre Paradis-trained shocker, who reduced her mark 5 2/5 seconds while gaining into a 55.2 back half for the Highland Thoroughbred Farm. (The other galloping reference of the night came in race four, where the winner was named Justified.) Southwind Angelica came out before the ¾ to challenge pacesetting favorite Basquiat and wore her down late in their division, posting a neck victory while taking a new mark of 1:54.2. Another daughter of Muscle Hill, the winner stepped her own back fractions in 55.4 - 27.4 in taking the decision for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Jonas Czernyson, and owner Thomas Dillon. The final All-Stars contest was taken by the Donato Hanover filly Live Laugh Love, who gained solidly from third midrace to take the lead in early stretch and win by herself in 1:54.3. The Nifty Norman trainee, a Sire Stakes winner and then second to Manchego in her two previous starts, ran her record to 4-for-5 in 2018, with earnings of $117,227 lifetime for Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. *************** In other important news, George Napolitano Jr., the all-time leading horseman in Pocono Downs history, goes so fast that a mere pencil cannot stay with him - it took a check of the USTA computer to show that in Monday's 12th race, his victory with Myidealson N was the 9000th of his top-notch career. "George Nap" becomes the 21st North American-based driver to get to 9000 wins, and ranks #12 among active drivers. The leading driver in North America in 2010 with 753 visits to Victory Lane, Napolitano has won a mind-boggling 29 titles at Pocono - 11 driving win titles (including the last six, and he leads the colony right now), 9 UDR championships (including the last five), and five training win titles. He has also won nine titles "down the Turnpike" at Harrah's Philadelphia - six for sulky victories and three for UDR. George will have his entire family to the track on Saturday night, where he will join with them to be honored in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winners Circle for this milestone triumph. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Wolfgang will try to continue his rise among Hambletonian Stakes contenders when he faces nine rivals in Saturday's C$266,000 Goodtimes Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Goodtimes is one of the stakes stops on the road to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian, which is the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters. Two of the past four winners of the Goodtimes have gone on to capture the Hambletonian, Marion Marauder in 2016 and Trixton in 2014. In addition, last year's winner International Moni won an elimination of the Hambletonian. Saturday's Goodtimes is part of a stakes-filled card at Woodbine Mohawk Park, headlined by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers. The night also includes the Armbro Flight for older female trotters, Roses Are Red for older female pacers, and Fan Hanover for 3-year-old female pacers. Wolfgang, who was ranked No. 9 in last week's Road to the Hambletonian, compiled by Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and analyst Ken Warkentin, is among seven Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the Goodtimes. The others are Alarm Detector, Cruising In Style, Hat Trick Habit, Hill Street, Lawmaker, and Missle Hill. Alarm Detector, who was No. 3 in last week's Hambletonian rankings, and Wolfgang each won his Goodtimes elimination. Wolfgang, making his first start of the season, captured his division by 2-3/4 lengths over Lawmaker in a career-best 1:52.2. "I'm very happy with the way he went last week," said Yannick Gingras, who drives Wolfgang for trainer Jimmy Takter. "It was his first time out and he was loaded with trot. I think he did it the right way and I think he's got a big chance." Last year, Wolfgang won three of 10 races and earned $316,275, which ranked fifth among 2-year-old male trotters. The colt's victories included the Matron Stakes and he finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship and season-ending Valley Victory Stakes. Fourth Dimension, who was last year's Dan Patch Award winner for 2-year-old male trotters and was No. 1 in last week's Road to the Hambletonian, won the Valley Victory. Fourth Dimension is yet to race this year. "I think if I got loose a little earlier in the Valley Victory I could have given Fourth Dimension all he wanted," said Gingras, who has driven Wolfgang in his past four starts. "Even before that, I watched him race and he looked like a horse that could go a long ways. "I thought coming into the year he was probably the best trotter I had to drive for the Hambletonian. Jimmy said all along he was coming back strong. We couldn't be any happier with where he's at right now." Wolfgang, who hails from a family with chef-inspired names, is a son of My MVP out of Summer Savory. He was purchased for $60,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Brixton Medical Inc., Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables, and breeder Fair Island Farm. Alarm Detector, who was the O'Brien Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter in Canada, won his Goodtimes elimination by three-quarters of a length over Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill in 1:53.1. Alarm Detector also was making his seasonal debut. "I was okay with it, mile in (1):53, it's getting a little cooler right now at this time and you can train them as much as you want, but it's not like racing," trainer Ben Baillargeon said after the win. "He was ready and up to the task." Alarm Detector, a son of Chapter Seven out of Final Countdown, has won seven of eight career races and earned $237,032. His victories last year included the William Wellwood Memorial at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He was purchased for $110,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes Dan Patch and O'Brien awards winner Ken Warkentin, who was named in honor of the Meadowlands' announcer. The colt is owned by Thomas Rankin, Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel, and Santo Vena. Following is the field for the Goodtimes Stakes. The connections of Wolfgang and Alarm Detector, as elimination winners, selected their respective post positions. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Stormont Ventnor-Phil Hudon-Kevin Benn 2-Hill Street-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter 3-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon 4-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 5-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Jason McGinnis 6-Hat Trick Habit-David Miller-Domenico Cecere 7-Fiftydallarbill-Trace Tetrick-William Crone 8-Run Director-Sylvain Filion-Benoit Baillargeon 9-Missle Hill-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna 10-Cruising In Style-James MacDonald-Kevin McMaster by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

CHESTER PA - A two-time divisional champion mare and a driver who is undefeated in his entire racing career dead-heated for the win in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, and came very close to the divisional world record for a trotting tie. Broadway Donna, tops in her class at two and three, was driven aggressively by Tyler Buter, spotting early then making a move after the 28 quarter to follow Lagerfeld, driven by Josert Fonseca, who had cleared to the lead in front of the stands. Broadway Donna went on to the lead before the half in 56.2, shook off the first-over bid of Fashion Creditor near the 1:25 ¾ pole, then braced for a stretch battle as Fonseca moved Lagerfeld outside for the dash to the wire. Broadway Donna held her ground staunchly even as the margin of advantage was eaten into by Lagerfeld with every step, and on the wire the pair could not be separated in 1:53.2. A check of what materials are available on this phenomenon showed a 2014 trotting dead heat in 1:53 between Crosbys Clam Bake and World Cup - also at Harrah's. Broadway Donna, a daughter of Donato Hanover, is now 19 for 35 in her career, with earnings of $1,297,823 for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC. Josert Foseca, now 3-for-3 lifetime, guided Lagerfeld, a son of Yankee Pride, as he equaled his mark and brought his bankroll to $718,400 for trainer Jimmy Takter and the ownership of Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. The $17,000 pacing co-feature saw Last Gunfighter circle wide off of cover on the far turn, then stride away in the lane to record a victory in 1:52 over a track that had been downgraded to "sloppy." Vinnie Ginsburg handled the son of Rocknroll Hanover as he won impressively for trainer Jake Leamon and owners David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio. From the PHHA/Chester's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - Undefeated trotting filly sensation Manchego returns to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this coming Tuesday night (June 12), racing in one of four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars series event. Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, went 12-for-12 during her freshman campaign, of course earning divisional honors and bankrolling $873,948. Manchego made her 2018 bow at Pocono on May 21, winning a division of a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes contest in hand, and she is again expected to be the overwhelming favorite from post seven for driver Yannick Gingras. Nixie Volo, recent winner of a Currier and Ives Filly division and a PA Sires contest on the same card as Manchego, draws in against her here, but is stuck with the outside post nine for driver Corey Callahan. The filly who gave Manchego her hardest battle in 2017, the Explosive Matter miss Phaetosive, may be the choice in another division despite also having to overcome the outside nine-hole. Trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer for Purple Haze Stables LLC, Phaetosive was second, beaten only ¾ of a length in the Peaceful Way final last year at Mohawk, and in her 2018 bow she came her back fractions in 54.1 - 26.2 while coming from eighth to miss only two lengths at The Meadowlands. Two Pennsylvania Sires winners, What A Knockout (post one, driver Tim Tetrick) and Piranha Fury (post two, David Miller) will square off in another All-Stars section against Bill's Lady (post six, Corey Callahan), coming off a win in a Currier and Ives Filly division. The other division of Tuesday's stake is headlined by two recent PA Stallion Series winners, Perfect Image (post five, Charlie Norris) and Pembroke Mystery (post seven, Tim Tetrick). From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Trois-Rivieres, QC - A near record number of 27 four-year-old harness racing pacers have made the final nomination payment to the $200,000 fifth renewal of the Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R in Quebec on Sunday, August 19. The 27 remaining is just one-horse shy of the record of 28 set last year. Headlining the list of nominees is the unbeaten Filibuster Hanover, who is now four for four in 2018 for the Ron Burke Stable. Burke and company will be seeking their third Prix D'Ete victory in 2018. Of the top ten money winning three-year-old colts and geldings from 2017 that are returning to race in 2018, eight of the ten are nominated to the Prix D'Ete including the first six money winners. The final eight that will race for the $200,000 purse will be the top money earners in 2018 at time of entry. The Prix D'Ete was the most prestigious race in all of Canada from 1966 through 1992. World champions Bret Hanover, Albatross, Niatross, Hot Hitter, Cam Fella, On The Road Again, Ralph Hanover, Matt's Scooter and a host of other top pacers have won the Prix D'Ete. In the past four editions of the Prix D'Ete at H3R, the all-age track record was set and then tied as both Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015) both won in 1:50.3. Then in 2016, Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, came to 3R for the Prix D'Ete and after a dramatic neck and neck battle the final half mile of the race, was second in an upset by Rockin Ron (1:52) over a sloppy track. Rockin Ron made it two straight Prix D'Ete victories for the Ron Burke Stable. Last year's Prix D'Ete saw the Jimmy Takter Stable win for the second time (Sunfire Blue Chip was the first), with Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wiring the field in 1:53.2. "We are very pleased with the quality of the horses that have nominated to this year's Prix D'Ete," said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "The revival of this Grand Circuit event has developed to the great race it was before." This year, Filibuster Hanover, a gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, has been on fire. In his last start, the $150,000 Commodore Barry, he won in a lifetime mark of 1:48.3. That victory sent Filibuster Hanover over the one million dollar mark in career earnings at $1,016,000. Last year he won the Little Brown Jug, The Bluegrass Stakes and the Pegasus Pace while racing against the best three-year-old's in the country all season long. Miso Fast got back to his winning way for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. last week at Mohawk Raceway, winning a division of the Graduate Pace in 1:50.2. He is a son of Roll With Joe, a career winner of $685,000 and a record taken last year of 1:49.2. Western Joe had gotten off to a strong start early this season and already has seven wins for trainer Christopher Choate. This son of Western Ideal has earned $110,000 this year with a record of 1:49.3 taken last season. Other contenders that are eligible include Art Scene, Beckhams Z Tam, Blood Line, Eddard Hanover, Funknwaffles and Photobomber Hanover. Quebec-owned nominees include Quebec-bred Sire Stakes champion Wildriverbumblebee, plus Art Scene, Histoire Enchantee, American Wiggle and Tymal Peacemaker. "I want to invite everyone to come to Trois-Rivieres the weekend of August 19," Levesque added, "as we want everyone to come out and enjoy our great racing and Quebecoise hospitality." For more information visit http://www.quebecjockeyclub.com/. 2018 Prix D'Ete Nominees AMERICAN WIGGLE ART SCENE BAGS TO RICHES BEACH BOOGIE BECKHAMS Z TAM BEYOND DELIGHT BLOOD LINE CALVIN K CLASSIC PRO DREAMFAIR B J EDDARD HANOVER FILIBUSTER HANOVER FUNKNWAFFLES HISTOIRE ENCHANTEE HURRICANE BEACH MISO FAST MODERN REFLECTION NORMANDY BEACH ODDS ON DELRAY PHOTOBOMBR HANOVER ROCK N TONY STEALTH BOMBER SUMMER SIDE TYMAL PEACEMAKER WESTERN HILL WESTERN JOE WILDRIVERBUMBLEBEE From the Quebec Jockey Club  

For the elite horse trainers race day might as well be renamed text day. For some the phone never stops, whether it is mates looking for a winner, owners wanting last minute updates, staff asking questions or even the pesky media. It would be no different, probably worse, for Mark Purdon, whose phone sometimes sits ignored for hours so he can actually get some work done. But one text on Saturday morning, as he was preparing for his six-win domination at the Harness Jewels at Cambridge, brought a wry smile to Purdon's face. It was from North American trainer Jimmy Takter, the new trainer of Purdon's champion pacer Lazarus. Takter is a harness racing legend. His horses have won more than US$120 million. He wanted to chat to Purdon. "Jimmy texted saying he had got my number off somebody and he wanted me to know that Laz has arrived safe and sound and looked great," said Purdon. "And then he asked me if we could talk sometimes because he had some questions about Laz. "I was stoked to get the text and am looking forward to talking to him because he is obviously one of the leading trainers in the world and I am really hoping Laz will do a great job up there so I am happy to help," said Purdon yesterday. "To be honest, if Laz was going really well and was set for a decent race or two in September, I'd love to go up there and watch him race and even ask Jimmy if I could spend some time at his stables. "I think that would be a really good experience." That Purdon still has that thirst for knowledge after a season in which he has won $4.4m in New Zealand alone, and it's is one of the best indicators as to why he is such a phenomenon. Then again, Takter did win US$2.7m at just one Breeders Crown meeting in 2015 so he might know a new trick or two. If Lazarus can race up to anything like his best Australasian form in North America, he could help the New Zealand punting public re-engage with harness racing in that part of the world, a relationship largely dormant for the last decade. Decades ago the performances of Cardigan Bay and Young Quinn meant US harness racing was newsworthy here and when Lyell Creek raced regularly, and with some serious success, in the early 2000s punters and harness fans watched. But the last time US harness racing captured the imagination even briefly was when Auckland Reactor headed there and bombed, turning people off very quickly. US harness racing continues to be broadcast during slow times on Trackside but the pools are very small and even with a regular smattering of former Kiwi pacers it is little more than a minor fascination for a small sector of the industry. But with Heaven Rocks and Bit Of A Legend impressive winners there over the weekend and Dexter Dunn set to start driving there soon, US harness racing could be in for a resurgence in interest, especially if Lazarus wins a major race. Whether that translates to any significant boost in turnover remains to be seen. Although Purdon could head Stateside for a Lazarus-inspired working holiday, he and training partner Natalie Rasmussen won't have anything like their usual Victorian winter team. They have only four likely Breeders Crown starters, with Shez All Rock now staying with them rather than returning to former trainer Mark Pitt and she will be set for the August series providing she passes an extensive veterinary examination. "I am a little worried she might have something bothering her and the same for Enhance Your Calm so they will both undergo scintigraphy in Matamata this week to make sure they are 100 per cent. "If they are, they will press on to the Crown with Princess Tiffany and Cheerful (two-year-old trot) but the rest of the horses who raced at the Jewels are heading to the paddock." Stateside • Lazarus has joined leading US trainer Jimmy Takter. • Soon Dexter Dunn will resume his North American driving career. • Former Kiwi stars Heaven Rocks and Bit Of A Legend were feature race winners there over the weekend. • All of them racing in the next few months could boost stagnant local interest in US harness racing. By: Michael Guerin

East Rutherford, NJ  - The 2018 edition of Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB), sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms, kicked off on a perfect Saturday morning at The Meadowlands. The skies were clear, the breeze slight and the temperature a comfortable 75 degrees. As has been the case since BWTB began, Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter sent out the first winner of the season. This year it was the highest priced yearling of the 2017 sales season at $480,000 (Lex Select), Beautiful Sin. In a short field of four, Yannick Gingras settled Beautiful Sin in second early as Isolde (Mattias Melander) took the field by the quarter in 29, then brushed her to the front by the 58.4 half. After a rated 30 second third split Gingras let the filly roll a bit through a 28.3 final quarter and she widened out to win by more than six lengths in 1:57.2. Lennart Agren's SRF Stable owns Beautiful Sin (by Muscle Hill from Sina, bred by The Moon Goddesses, Paula Gural and Monica Bencal) and if this morning's performance is any indication, she was a bargain. The Takter / Gingras duo came right back in race 2 with Whispering Oaks and the filly becomes the very first winner for first crop sire Father Patrick. She led all the way, closing out her 1:58 mile with a 29 flat final quarter and won well within herself over Starita (David Miller), by another eagerly anticipated first crop sire in Trixton, who broke early and recovered nicely to be second. Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and RAW Equine, Inc paid $100,000 (Lex Select) to breeders Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband for Whispering Oaks last fall. When Greenshoe, the $330,000 (Lex Select) Father Patrick colt from world champion Designed To Be, cruised around the oval in 1:55 / 27.3 looking like he was jogging and eliciting "Wows" from the veteran observers and various experts in attendance this morning the young sire's legend was begun. Trainer / driver Marcus Melander let Greenshoe go right to the top from post four though even fractions with Hudson River (another Father Patrick colt driven by Takter) following closely by the 1:27.2 three panels. When Melander gave his colt the "green light" he accelerated while continuing to move easily and put some air between himself and his closest rival. It was a very good 1:55. Anders Strom owns Greenshoe via his nom de course of Courant, Inc and was bred by Katz and Libfeld. This year's freshman trotters are a particularly precocious lot as in the very next race Jimmy Takter exposed a lovely Muscle Hill colt named Don't Let Him with a start to finish 1:55 mile, home in 27.4. He was tracked throughout by Gimpanzee (Melander) who made a menacing move in the stretch but could not head Takter's colt. Don't Let Him is a Brittany bred, was sold for $80,000 (Lex Select) and is owned by that nursery along with Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. The highest priced yearling ever sold in Sweden at $325,000 (USD) is here in the US racing for Courant, Inc and the Muscle Hill colt Green Manalishi S was a winner at first asking for Mattias Melander in 1:57. Taking the lead just past the quarter, Green Manalishi cruised through easy numbers then dug in nicely when Gerris Trix (Takter) ranged up alongside mid-stretch with a28.4 end to the mile. Colt pacers took the stage with the sixth race with first crop sires Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou both represented. Ray Schnittker put his "Captain" colt Latissimus Hanover on the lead and set a fair pace through a 1:26.2 three quarters. Following in the pocket was Jimmy Takter (who else) with his Sweet Lou x Blood Diamond colt Blood Money, fanning out as they straightened up and ground past by a length through the 27.2 end to the 1:53.4 mile. Zero Tolerance (D. Miller) split that pair to be second. Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Farm bred and owns the colt as Diamond Creek Racing. Diamond Creek came right back with another imposing homebred in Blacklight, trained by Takter and driven by Gingras who was a 1:56.2 winner. He's a big colt by Somebeachsomewhere from the champion mare I Luv The Nitelife and handled the assignment like a veteran. Qualifying pacers picked up with the eighth race where a very good older horse, Delta Winner, held off a very good 3 year-old in Stay Hungry. In what amounted to a match race, Brett Miller cut the mile with Delta Winner while Doug McNair sat pocketed with Stay Hungry and when they crossed the wire in 1:49.1 after a 26.3 stretch duel it was Delta the winner. Mark Silva trains for Jeff Snyder. Fourth Dimension is right at the top of the Road To The Hambletonian and he looked the part today, winning a hard fought stretch battle over the good 4 year-old mare Dream Baby Dream (David Miller) in 1:53.3 / 27.1 for Brian Sears. Fourth Dimension closed out a nice day for the Melander barn and moves on to the sophomore classics for owner Courant, Inc. Charts are available on the Meadowlands website. Live racing tonight at The Meadowlands begins at 7:15pm with the Jerseyfest Food Truck Mash-up leading the promotions. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Lazarus, considered the best Down Under harness racing horse since the immortal Cardigan Bay has arrived at the Jimmy Takter stable in East, Windsor, New Jersey to begin preparations for a North American campaign that may include an assault on the 1:46 all time world record for one mile set by Always B Miki in 2014. It is recalled that the same Jimmy Takter was the trainer for Always B Miki during that one’s record season. His Down Under trainer-driver Mark Purdom has been quoted as believing Lazarus will “indeed be up to that task” Lazarus won 35 out of 45 starts in Australia and New Zealand many on half mile tracks at assorted distances in bulky fields. He won 6 of 8 starts at age two setting a hemisphere record of 1:52.9 in which his final quarter was officially clocked in :25.1. Lazarus was undefeated at age three winning al eight of his starts. In all, Lazarus is by far the richest son of his famed “Dual Hemisphere sire Bettor’s Delight with earnings of $3,821,066. by Bob Marks

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Could the Jimmy Takter trained and driven colt who won Saturday night's Escort Series Final at the Meadowlands be a player in the Meadowlands Pace? Who could blame his connections if they think big and dream big. Making only the second start of his career, Thinkbig Dreambig took the $47,000 series finale for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the pace, breaking his maiden in spectacular fashion, stopping the teletimer in 1:49.2. "He's a lovely horse, a very good colt," said Takter. "I thought he was very professional." It sure looked that way. Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Thinkbig Dreambig, a son of Bettor's Delight-Extreme Dream, picked up a live tow at the quarter. Takter was in no particular hurry with the inexperienced colt, racing a tad gapped off his cover passing the half and three-quarters. As Legal Power, the longshot who challenged leader Life Happened down the backstretch, weakened around the far turn, Takter hit the gas pedal on his colt as the pair surged three wide coming toward the top of the stretch. It appeared Thinkbig Dreambig would go on to an easy win from there, but with less than an eighth of a mile to go, driver Eric Abbatiello found a seam with Thor De Vie and briefly took the lead away from the favorite. Takter then got after his colt, giving him a few right-handers, and he responded by going on to a half-length win over Thor De Vie. Better Watch Out finished third. "He really doesn't know what racing is yet," said Takter. "He learned quite a bit tonight. For a very green horse, he's a professional." Thinkbig Dreambig, who returned $3.00 to his backers and is owned by Brixton Medical Inc., J. Fielding, G. Anderberg and G. Falk, did not compete during his 2-year-old season due to breathing issues that required surgery. The rehab took time. Hence, the late start. And much catching up to do. Takter also has Lost In Time, one of the early Meadowlands Pace favorites, in his barn. Can Thinkbig Dreambig compete with horses like him? "I made Thinkbig Dreambig eligible (to the Meadowlands Pace) because I know how good a horse he is," said Takter. "I know he can go with those horses. It's just a matter of getting him ready." Takter knows it's a longshot given his horse's inexperience, but when it comes to The Pace and Thinkbig Dreambig, who knows? "It's possible he could be there," said Takter. A LITTLE MORE: K J's Justine ($6.00) won the $42,500 Rainbow Blue Final for 3-year-old pacing fillies for driver Eric Abbatiello and trainer Linda Toscano in a lifetime-best 1:51.4. ... Santiago Style ($4.20) took the $35,200 Hot Lead Final for pacers of any age in 1:49.4 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer Robert Bongiorno. ... One lucky player at the Meadowlands walked away with $13,964 after being the only bettor to survive seven legs of the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 wager. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $240,774. ... All-source wagering on the 10-race program totaled $1,949,217. ... Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

The Betsy Ross Invitational for mares is known for featuring some of the sport's finest distaffers each year, and the 2018 edition coming up Sunday (May 27th) will be no exception. Leading the charge in overall accomplishments is three time Dan Patch Award winner Pure Country. The multiple stakes winner is making her 50th career start, sporting a robust bankroll of over $2.2 million and 25 lifetime wins. The 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is making her third start of the season, and seeking her first win of the campaign. The Jimmy Takter trainee has been competing in the Great Northeast Series as of late, finishing 2nd and third respectively. She draws post number 1 and will be driven by Mark MacDonald. The race features three other millionaire mares, including Agent Q, Darlinonthebeach, and racing's newest seven digit earner Blue Moon Stride. Agent Q comes into it riding a four race win streak that dates back to November 4th of last year in a stakes event at Hoosier Park. Her seasonal debut was sharp, rallying from last at the 1/8th pole to sweep by in a Great Northeast Series race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono two weeks ago. She followed that up with an in-hand win over this oval in a similar event. The 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror has 15 wins out of 29 starts and a mark of 1:48.4 at The Meadowlands. She draws the winningest post at Harrah's Philly, number 5. White Birch Farm's Darlinonthebeach draws post 7 for the second straight week. The 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is making her 4th career start for Trainer Nifty Norman, with a win back on the 5th of May in a Great Northeast Series event at Harrah's Philly in 1:51.1. She has 18 wins out of 48 starts and a 1:48.1 mark at The Red Mile. Harness racing's newest millionaire Blue Moon Stride will have to overcome post 8 to take the lion's share. The 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has won two of her last three, including a win over Darlinonthebeach in her last in 1:49.4 over the Harrah's oval. The Mark Harder trainee has won 16 times in 53 starts with a 1:48.4 mark north of the border at Mohawk. Jim King Jr. Trainee Shartin N has been nearly unbeatable in the late winter early spring. She's posted wins in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Final at Yonkers and the Chip Noble at Miami Valley, earning $343,975 all ready this season. The overseas import will be facing a new and tougher group here in the Betsy Ross, but she does draw the second winningest post at Harrah's Philly, number 4. Little Brown Jugette Champion Caviart Ally has looked impressive so far in her 4-year-old season. The daughter of Bettor's Delight has shown versatility in her two starts this season, winning on the pace on May 9th and in grinding first-over fashion on May 18th. She draws post 2 for owners Caviart Farms and trainer Noel Daley. She has won 11 times in 36 starts, with earnings of $828,510. Trainer Jen Bongiorno will send the game Diva's Image from post 3. The 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight has proven in her last two that she can go with the best mares in the business with a second and a third in her last two against Darlinonthebeach and Blue Moon Stride. KDK Standardbred's Apple Bottom Jeans will start from post position number 6. The 5-year-old daughter of Mr Apples earned her Invite after winning the Burning Point Series at The Meadowlands after sweeping the preliminaries. She has 18 wins out of 45 starts and is trained by Kevin Switzer. The Betsy Ross will be the 11th race on the staked-laden program, going for a purse of $150,000. It is part of a $10,000 guaranteed stakes pick 4 which starts in race number 9. The Pick 4 always has a low 15% takeout. Post Time is 12:40 Eastern. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - Three-year-old trotting filly. 2018 debut. Trained by Jimmy Takter. Dominant. But this one isn't named Manchego - that was last night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, in the Sire Stakes. On Tuesday the filly with that description was Bella Glos, a daughter of Cantab Hall, whom Takter guided to a new mark of 1:54.2 in her seasonal bow in one of six $20,000 divisions of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for her division. Takter tucked early, then made the start of the winning move mid-backstretch, brushing right to the lead past the ¾ and then storming home in 27.4 to be 9¾ lengths clear at the wire. Bella Glos looks like a much-improved filly from two to three for Takter and Black Horse Racing. Tim Tetrick had a driving double in the Stallion Series, with the faster winner Muscle Playmate, who went coast-to-coast in her division, winning by 2 ¾ lengths while posting a personal best of 1:56.1. Marcus Melander handling the training duties for the daughter of Muscle Hill for Our Horse Cents Stable. Tetrick also won with the Explosive Matter filly Pembroke Mystery, who grinded to a half-length success while taking a new speed badge of 1:56.4 for trainer Randy Bendis and owner William Varney. The only winning favorite in the sextet of races was the Donato Hanover miss Follow Streak, who now has a winning streak of two after ruling her group by 7¾ lengths in a personal best 1:55.1. Follow Streak, who won her Sire Stakes consolation in 2017, was driven by Andy Miller and is trained by Julie Miller for the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. In the closest StS finish, Perfect Image generated a second siring credit for Muscle Hill when she held off the late charge of Century Express by a head in a new mark of 1:56. Charlie Norris handled sulky duties for trainer Doug Snyder and owner Frank Poerio. In the other Stallion Series division, the Muscle Massive miss Hey Judy Judy rushed to command down the back and kept a 2¾ length margin to the wire, her 1:57.1 clocking tying the mark she took in a qualifier at two, with Marcus Miller driving for father/trainer Erv Miller and Paymaq Racing. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Josert Fonseca arrived at the Meadowlands Racetrack on a September morning last year and prepared for his first-ever drive in a harness racing qualifier. If he hoped to go unnoticed and work through any jitters, it would be impossible. First, the horse's trainer, Jimmy Takter, pointed out Fonseca to observers. Second, the horse was Pinkman. Not often does a driver get to take his first spin around a racetrack -- even in a qualifier -- with a Hambletonian Stakes champion. But such was Fonseca's opportunity, which speaks volumes about Takter's trust and confidence in the 29-year-old. Fonseca, who was then in his fifth year working at Takter's stable and had no knowledge of harness racing prior to arriving there, guided Pinkman to a win in 1:55.2. Since then, Fonseca has driven in 16 more qualifiers, getting opportunities not only from Takter but trainers Nancy Johansson, Tony Alagna and Trond Smedshammer, and finished worse than second only three times. He recently received his provisional "P" license and hopes to eventually get drives in pari-mutuel races. "If you like the sport, you want to try it at least one time," Fonseca said about driving. "You can train for so long, but you watch them out on the track (in races) and you want to get a chance to try it for yourself. "I never pushed the issue at all, but I think Jimmy saw that I showed a little bit of interest in it and that's kind of what sparked it. It's a lot on the line, so for him to say 'You can take that one,' is a big deal for me. I've been lucky with the ones I've driven so far, they've all performed really good for me." Fonseca's first qualifier with Pinkman, the 2015 Hambletonian winner, was special. "I trained him when he was growing up, so I'm comfortable with him, but it's still a little nerve-wracking," Fonseca said, adding with a laugh, "I just wanted to keep a low profile. "But (Pinkman) went out there and he was really, really good. And I was surprised how comfortable I was once I got out there." Fonseca was born in Costa Rica, where he spent his early childhood before moving to New Jersey at the age of 8. He graduated from a high school located not far from Takter's stable, but spent several years working in a variety of jobs, including a bakery and a fine-dining Italian restaurant, before a friend introduced him to harness racing. "My family had riding horses in Costa Rica and I always loved horses," Fonseca said. "I decided to give this a try for a couple weeks and see if I got the hang of it. I ended up sticking around. There is no better place to start. I've learned a lot in six years. It's like going to college, but you're getting paid to do it." Fonseca worked as a groom for more than two years before getting the chance to join in training. "He has a lot of responsibilities in the stable and he handles things very well," Takter said. "I can see who has the talent to do it out there. Every time he was out there, he got a little better, more comfortable. He handles the horses well; he doesn't fight with them, he sits right in the bike, he's very comfortable and relaxed. "I don't think he knows pressure yet. Of course there is a big difference between qualifiers and races, but he's going to be fine. He has a future, I'm sure about that." A future is Fonseca's dream. "I would love to pursue driving," Fonseca said. "I know it's difficult to get to the level most guys are at, but it's something I love. I feel really comfortable doing it; I don't feel nervous. I hope people see that I try to take good care of the horses out there. "I just need to keep doing what I'm supposed to do. If I get a chance, hopefully I'll take advantage of it. If I get the chance, I'll do my best." Ken Weingartner  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - A record number of 36 four-year-old pacers have been nominated to the $200,000 fifth renewal of the Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R in Quebec on Sunday, August 19. Headlining the list of nominees is Filibuster Hanover, who won $724,000 last year with a record of 1:48.4 for the Ron Burke Stable. Burke and company will be seeking their third Prix D'Ete victory in 2018. Of the top ten money winning three-year-old colts and geldings from 2017 that are returning to race in 2018, eight of the ten are nominated to the Prix D'Ete including the first six money winners. The Prix D'Ete was the most prestigious race in all of Canada from 1966 through 1992. World champions Bret Hanover, Albatross, Niatross, Hot Hitter, Cam Fella, On The Road Again, Ralph Hanover, Matt's Scooter and a host of other top pacers have won the Prix D'Ete. In the past four editions of the Prix D'Ete at H3R, the all-age track record was set and then tied as both Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015) both won in 1:50.3. Then in 2016, Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, came to 3R for the Prix D'Ete and after a dramatic neck and neck battle the final half mile of the race, was second in an upset by Rockin Ron (1:52) over a sloppy track. Rockin Ron made it two straight Prix D'Ete victories for the Ron Burke Stable. Last year's Prix D'Ete saw the Jimmy Takter Stable win for the second time (Sunfire Blue Chip was the first), with Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wiring the field in 1:53.2. "We are very pleased with the quality of the horses that have nominated to this year's Prix D'Ete," said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "The revival of this Grand Circuit event has developed to the great race it was before." Last year, Filibuster Hanover, a gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, won the Little Brown Jug, The Bluegrass Stakes and the Pegasus Pace while racing against the best three-year-old's in the country all season long. Crawford Farms Funknwaffle is the second highest money winner in 2017 to nominate to the Prix D'Ete. Last year the gelded son of American Ideal bankrolled $595,000 for trainer John Butenschoen on the strength of winning the New York Sire Stakes Final, four NYSS divisions and he was second in the final of the Little Brown Jug. Other contenders include last year's Breeders Crown winner, Beckham's Z Tam, a $512,000 winner in 2017 by Always A Virgin for trainer Jamie Rucker, who in addition to winning the Breeders Crown, also won both of the Indiana Sire Stakes Finals and took a lifetime mark of 1:50.1. Miso Fast ($393,000), a 1:49.2 winner, Rock N Tony ($299,000) also hails from the Ron Burke Stable, Art Scene ($290,000) hails from the Rene Allard Stable, Ohio Sire Stakes Champion last year, Drunk On Your Love ($260,000) for trainer Mark Ford and Classic Pro ($250,000) for trainer Dr. Ian Moore, are all major contenders for the race. Quebec-owned nominees include Quebec-bred Sire Stakes champion Wildriverbumblebee, plus Art Scene, Histoire Enchantee, American Wiggle and Tymal Peacemaker. "I want to invite everyone to come to Trois-Rivieres the weekend of August 19," Levesque added, "as we want everyone to come out and enjoy our great racing and Quebecoise hospitality." Last year the previous record of 33 four-year-old pacers were nominated to the Prix D'Ete. The next nomination payment to remain eligible to the Prix D'Ete is April 15, 2018. The Hippodrome 3R is also gearing up for their 2018 opening day on Sunday, April 22. For more information visit http://www.quebecjockeyclub.com/. 2018 Prix D'Ete Nominees (after March 15, 2018 payment) AIR STRIKE AMERICAN WIGGLE ART SCENE BAGS TO RICHES BEACH BOOGIE BECKHAMS Z TAM BET ON BRETT BEYOND DELIGHT BLOOD LINE CLASSIC PRO CLASSY DRAGON DRAGNET ALERT DREAMFAIR B J DRUNK ON YOUR LOVE EDDARD HANOVER FILIBUSTER HANOVER FUNKNWAFFLES HISTOIRE ENCHANTEE HURRICANE BEACH LAWRENCETOWN BEACH MAROMA BEACH MEADOWBROOK TIGER MISO FAST MODERN REFLECTION NORMANDY BEACH ODDS ON DELRAY PHOTOBOMBR HANOVER R J P ROCK N TONY SPORTS COLUMN STEALTH BOMBER SUMMER SIDE TYMAL PEACEMAKER WESTERN HILL WESTERN JOE WILDRIVERBUMBLEBEE From the Quebec Jockey Club

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