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This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series second legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 28) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 29) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the second round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Trainer Ron Burke and driver George Brennan were the stars in the opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series last weekend at Yonkers. For the weekend, Burke earned a total of 70.5 Grand Circuit training points and Brennan posted 48.5 driving points. Burke and Brennan kicked things off on March 21 by teaming up to capture a Blue Chip Matchmaker division with Summertime Lea. Brennan also won another Matchmaker split with Angels Delight for trainer Kevin Carr. Then on March 22 in the George Morton Levy series, the Burke/Brennan duo won a pair of divisions with Bettor's Edge and Easy Again. Burke added two other Levy winners with Foiled Again and Itrustyou, both piloted by Yannick Gingras. Foiled Again opened up his 2014 campaign with a 1:52.1 score in the first round of the Levy Series. Foiled Again, the three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner as the sport's top older pacing male, began his season and a quest for a third Levy title by throwing down the gauntlet with a wire-to-wire win in the last of this past Saturday's five $50,000 divisions. In play early from post position No. 6, career win No. 77 couldn't have been less stressful for Foiled Again. A Westchester waltz through fractions of :27.4, 57.1, 1:24.4 and 1:52.1 had him 2-3/4 lengths to the good at the wire. Apprentice Hanover caught Hillbilly Hanover in a dead-heat for second. Start No. 199 for the Dragon Again-In A Safe Place gelding increased his lifetime bankroll to $6,055,968. Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the opening weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. George Brennan - 48.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 32; 3. Tim Tetrick - 19; 4. Brian Sears - 17; 5. Daniel Dube - 10. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 70.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 21; 3. Rene Allard - 15; 4t. Joe Holloway - 10; 4t. Kevin Carr - 10. Owners: 1t. Burke Racing -19.3; 1t. Weaver Bruscemi - 19.3; 3. Bamond Racing - 18.5; 4. Joe Pennacchio - 10; and 5. M1 Stable - 5.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next four weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 26. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 2, 2014...Angels Delight, given a brilliantly rated drive by Jason Dillander, took top honors in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap on Sunday night. The four year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, trained by Jim Mc Donald for owner Joe Pennacchio, pinned a wire-to-wire half length defeat on De Vins Girl, driven by Rick Plano, with the even money toteboard favorite, Arodasi, third, a length and a quarter away, in 1:52.4. Fiesta Camcun and Fashion Ruffles rounded out the quintette. Angels Delight showed her usual early speed from post four and Dillander had her on the lead a few steps out of the gate with De Vins Girl, leaving from the outside post, settling in the garden spot through an opener of :27.4. It was right then, with all parties content in their places, that Dillander rated Angels Delight and lolly-gagged through a :29.3 second panel, reaching the half in :57.2 with a comfortable length and a half lead. On the backside, Arodasi charged from fifth up to second during the official :28.2 quarter--hers being :27.2--but Angels Delight sprinted home in :27, holding off the late charging De Vins Girl with Arodasi next after pacing her final half mile in :54.2. In a post race interview, driver Dillander summed up the event with one single word, "Perfect!" Trainer Mc Donald had high praise for both the mare and the pilot saying, "She's been very solid her last nine starts..either first or second in all of them--and I felt confident that, if she could get a good rated trip, she's be tough. Jason did a magnificent job tonight. So, we'll split the kudos 50-50!" Angels Delight now has a 3-4-0 scorecard in her seven starts this year and $25,000 in bounty. She's banked $89,486 lifetime. As third choice in the betting, Angels Delight paid $7.40 to win. RANGER MOVES ON IN DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP Pompano Park's $20,000 Driver's Challenge continued on Sunday night with the first of three semi-finals and Bruce Ranger emerged victorious over Rick Plano on the strength of two wins, a second and a fifth in the four race competition. The final tally was 28 to 8. Ranger now moves to the March 15 finals and will face the winner of the Simon Allard-Kevin Wallis match-up on Monday and the winner of the Jason Dillander-Mickey McNichol pairing on March 10. The Monday festivities include an additional perk with a second straight carryover in Pompano Park's popular Pick 5 wager. Post time for tomorrow night's card is 7:05 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...January 26, 2014...Angels Delight, handled by Jason Dillander, took top honors in the Mares Open at Pompano Park on Sunday night but had to survive a bad step or two turning for home, an onslaught at the end of the mile and a judges inquiry before the "official" sign was posted.   The four year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, trained by Jim Mc Donald for owner Joe Pennacchio, earned her initial victory of the year in 1:53.1, winning by a neck over the late surging Excelerated Speed (Wally Hennessey) with De Vins Girl (Rick Plano) also in the win photo.   Express Jet, prominent early on, finished fourth, a length away while Southwind Trini was just a nose back of Express Jet in picking up the final award in the field of seven.   At the outset, Express Jet showed her usual early speed from post six but Angels Delight, leaving from post three, battled early and stuffed Express Jet In The Pocket through an opening panel in :27.3. Dillander then grabbed a hold of his mare and rated her through a second quarter of :29.2, reaching the half in :57.   On the backside, three-eighths out, the pace began to quicken as Southwind Trini brushed up from fifth to reach second, just a length away, with the 3/4s timed in 1:25.4. At the top of the lane, Angels Delight took a couple of bad steps but quickly regained her composure, sprinting home in :27.2 to earn the close decision.   In a post race interview, Dillander said, "...yeah, she took a couple of bad steps--I don't know why--but she's a pro and got right back on track and was very strong to the wire. She needed it, too, because those other two (Excelerated Speed and De Vins Girl) were really flying."   Indeed she did. Excelerated Speed paced her final quarter in :26.3 and just did miss the winner's circle by, what the charts showed, a "nk."   As the even money tote-board favorite, Angels Delight paid $4.20 to win to her $2 backers and half of the $10,000 purse to the connections of Angels Delight, sending her lifetime bankroll to $74,486--$10,000 of that this year in three starts.   The $8,000 co-feature for the mares went to Bombilla Hanover, scoring her 23rd lifetime victory to send her career earnings to $171,393.   The six year-old daughter of The Panderosa, co-owned by trainer Peter Blood along with Rick Berks and Lew Whitaker, was driven by Bruce Ranger, who sent the mare on a speed binge from fifth just short of the :27.2 quarter and into the lead, clocking subsequent panels of :55.2 and 1:24.2 before romping home in :28.2 for the one length score over Diamond Amber (Simon Allard) with Head First (Ed Hensley) third. Asset Management and Darlington Stripe also picked up awards in the field of nine.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...November 30, 2013...Pompano Park was host for the $427,300 F.S.B.O.A. Championship Series for Florida Bred two and three year-olds on Saturday night (Nov. 30). Here is a recap of those events. TOUGH ISSUE TAKES $50,300 2YO COLT PACE Tough Issue, driven by Bruce Ranger, took top honors in the (non-wagering) $50,300 Florida Breeders Stake for two year-old pacing colts and geldings by scoring a handy victory measuring 3 ¼ lengths in1:56.3. Owned by Brenda Komers along and the Verderame Stable and trained by Mike Deters, the gelded son of Tough Sir registered his fifth win of the year in 12 starts by wiring together panels of :28, :58.3 and 1:28.3 before sealing the issue with a final quarter in :28. Goldstar Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) was second with Warlock (Wally Hennessey), expected to be the chief competition to the winner, third in the trio after making a miscue leaving. The victory pushed Tough Issue's earnings to $55,745. SHOWING OFF REDEEMS HIMSELF IN JUVENILE COLT TROT Showing Off and driver Wally Hennessey teamed up to win the $51,600 Breeders Stake for two year-old trotting colts and geldings with a sharp 2:01.3 win in the second of two non-wagering events at Pompano Park. The son of Wewering, owned by Richard and Sandra Dunmire along with Jay Sears, still hospitalized but recuperating from a training mishap a few weeks back, was away cautiously as Gator On Patrol (Tom Sells) carved up early panels of :31 and 1:01.1 with Geronimo Fame (Bruce Ranger) in pursuit. On the backside, Hennessey asked the gelding to roll and roll he did, brushing up from third and using a :29.2 third panel to take command with authority before easily striding home a 2 ½ length winner of Geronimo Fame. Gator On Patrol did finish third while Midnight Michael picked up the minors in the quartet. Showing Off now has a 5-3-0 scorecard in 11 starts, good for earnings of $46,382. After the race, Hennessey said, " know, these two year-olds are still learning and haven't become the 'push-button' racehorses yet--you know, he made a break leaving in his last start. So, I let this one settle in early before 'pushing the button' on the backside. He responded great." MARKIE TAKES $55,200 2YO FILLY TROT Jay Sears' filly Markie, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears, captured the $55,200 Breeders Stake Final by romping home a winner by over Trotting JC Poss (Andy Santeramo) in 2:02. The daughter of Proud Bushy--3 to 5 on the tote-board--was away gingerly avoiding trouble early as two combatants went off stride leaving. Fifth at the opening :30.2 quarter, Markie was out and going three-eighths into the mile, reaching fourth half way through the mile timed in 1:02.1. On the backside, Markie surged from five lengths out of it to a commanding lead of 3 ½ by the third station in 1:31.1. From there, it was a cakewalk as the filly crossed the line 3 ¼ to the good of Trotting JC Poss with Famous Halle (Bruce Ranger) third. Blame Bushy recovered from an early miscue to finish fourth while Goldstar Ginger picked up the nickel in the septet. For Markie, it was her seventh win of the year in 11 starts and pushed her bounty to $57,700. She paid $3.20 to win. TASHIA A PHOTO FINISH WINNER IN $55,400 3YO FILLY PACE Jay Sears picked up yet another Breeders Stake crown when his free-legged filly Tashia, driven by Stephane Lareau, eked out a photo finish victory--a literal whisker--over the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Don't Spank Me (Bruce Ranger) in the $55,400 Breeders Stakes Final in 1:54.1. Full of Fame (Joe Pavia, Jr.) finished third after making a bold first-over bid around the final turn. Delray Princess and Track Girl pick up the final awards. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds was last in her field after opening fractions of :27.1 and :57 half way through the mile, wended her way into contention on the backside, fanned four wide turning for home after 3/4s in 1:25.3 and just did nail the pacesetting Don't Spank me in the final stride. After the race, driver Stephane Lareau said, ...this filly is as tough a filly as you'll find on the racetrack. After they took the pants (hobbles) off of her, she became a racehorse and I think the difference tonight was Kim (trainer Sears) giving her a qualifying start a week ago just to keep her tight. The other filly (Don't Spank Me) hadn't been out since early in the month and that just may have been the difference." For Tashia, it was her 11th win of the year, pushing her seasonal bounty to $67,351. As third choice in the betting pool, Tashia paid $14.20 to win. TYREE'S TREASURE TAKES 3YO FILLY TROT The lightly raced Tyree's Treasure, a bridesmaid in her last two outings, finally became the "bride" in winning her $52,800 Breeders Stake for three year-old trotting fillies in a lifetime best performance 1:59.3. The daughter of Famously, off as the 8 to 5 second choice, led every step of her mile for Bruce Ranger, pinning a 2 ½ length defeat on the 2 to 5 favorite Tea Party Express (Rick Plano). Hollys Diamond was third--18 ¼ lengths away--while Piper Pfeiffer and Sweet Loreley completed the quintet. "It was a pretty handy win for her this time around," said Bruce Ranger. "She always has good gate speed but tonight she had a very good kick coming home. Mark (trainer Friedman) did a great job getting her ready for this and a whole bunch of credit goes to him." Friedman, indeed, made a few rigging changes to the filly to make her more comfortable and she responded bravely late in her mile to insure the win--her eight lifetime in only 13 starts. She's banked $94,554 lifetime--$39,729 this year for owners the Polo Stable and Hollie Proesel. Tyree's Treasure paid $5.40 to her $2 backers. HILLYBILLY CAPTURES 3YO CROWN Amante Standardbreds' Hillybilly claimed the Breeders Stake crown for three year-old pacing colts and geldings by scoring a convincing 1:53.4 three length win in the $53,800 final. The son of N Aboriginal, handled by Bruce Ranger, was sent off as the 3 to 5 public choice and defeated Quincy (Bryce Fenn) with 31 to 1 outsider Jose Lightning (Kevin Wallis) third. Goldstar Thumper finished fourth after cutting panels of :28.1, :56.3 and 1:26.2. Wingull picked up the final award in the field of six. Hillybilly left alertly, taking a garden seat back of Goldstar Thumper, and left the cozy pocket around the final turn and easily took command at the head of the stretch and drew off in the lane for his ninth win of the year in 22 starts. After the race, Ranger said, "...he's such a handy horse. He can leave...he can close...he's just a pleasure to handle. Last week, when he made a rare break, he just kind of outpaced himself. Tonight, he was well within himself all the way. The victory pushed Hillybilly's lifetime bankroll over the $100,000 mark--$104,434--and enriched his $2 backers to the tune of $3.20. GOLDSTAR JESSICA TAKES 2YO FINAL Goldstar Jessica, handled by Kevin Wallis, proved her maiden win of a week ago was no fluke as she waltzed off with the top prize in the $53,700 Breeders Stake Final for juvenile pacing fillies in 1:56.1. This daughter of Rock On left alertly and was away third as Sandalonia (Mickey McNichol) and Voluminous (Mel Turcotte) battled violently through panels of :28.3 and :57.4. On the backside, J D Eleven Bell's (Rick Plano) surged from fourth into the lead past 3/4s in 1:27.2. All the while, "Jessica" was searching for room and, at the top of the lane, found some and roared on by on the strength of her :28.2 finale. Sandalonia gamely held on for second over the late charging Limelight (Ed Hensley). J D Eleven Bells (Rick Plano). Heather picked up the final award in the field of nine. Owned and trained by Tom Audley, Goldstar Jessica was the 7 to 5 public choice and returned $4.80 to win. For Mr. Audley, though, the win was worth $26,850 and vaulted the filly's earnings from $14,735 to $41,585. RAILEE KWIK TAKES 3YO TROT FOR THE COLTS Railee Kwik, trained by Jim McDonald for owner Joe Pennacchio, got a picture perfect drive from Bruce Ranger to win the $54,800 Breeders Stake final. The son of Basil, in the garden spot from the word "go," picked up the pieces after Sky Crest (Stephane Lareau) set hot fractions of :27.2 and :57.2 and held off the late surging Goucher (Bryce Fenn) to win by a neck in 1:59.3. Tim T (Tom Sells) was third with Sky Crest fourth. Proud Expression recovered from an early miscue to pick up the final award. After the race, driver Ranger said, "They were going hot the first part--hotter than normal for these--and I thought I'd better try and get a jump on them turning for home. Bryce's horse (Goucher) was flying late so I had to get into my guy a little bit at the end...but he held on." The win nearly doubled Railee Kwik's earnings for the year--$28,483 coming in and $55,883 going out. It was Ranger's third Breeders Stake win of the night. CRUIZIN K C TAKES OPEN IN 1:50.1. Mark O'Mara's Cruizin K C earned a hard fought 1:50.1 victory in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open 1 Pace on Saturday night. The five year-old eked out a narrow decision over Lyon's Johnny (Wally Hennessey) and took a new lifetime mark in the process. The son of Mach Three earned his ninth win of the year and sent his seasonal bounty to $83,933. Red Hot Yankee was third for Ed Hensley while Panocchio, who took the lead after a :26.4 quarter and proceeded to put up number of :54 and 1:21.4 finished fourth. B N Bad picked up the nickel. Cruizin K C, second choice in the betting, paid $7.40 to win. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...November 29, 2013...Pompano Park plays host to F.S.B.O.A.'s Super Night this Saturday night with over $425,000 up for grabs in the eight race championship series. The festivities kick off with two non-betting events beginning with the $50,300 Breeders Stake Final for the two year-old pacing colts and geldings. Tough Issue and Warlock will be among the combatants locking horns in their see-saw battle for supremacy--each having won three bouts in their last six head-to-head confrontations. Owned by Brenda Komers along with the Verderame Stable, Tough Issue is trained by Mike Deters and will have the driving services of Bruce Ranger. Warlock is trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay Sears and will have Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey in the bike. The $51,600 Breeders Stake for juvenile trotting colts and geldings is next with Geronimo Fame and Showing Off among the starters. Geronimo Fame, sporting a 3-1-2 scorecard in eight lifetime starts is owned by Amante Standardbreds and will have Bruce Ranger in the sulky. Showing Off, with four wins in his 10 starts is owned by Richard and Sandra Dunmire along with Jay Sears. Wally Hennessey is also expected to drive for trainer Kim Sears. The pari-mutuel program begins with the $55,200 final for two year-old trotting fillies and finds Markie in the favorite role, also owned by Jay Sears with Hennessey at the controls. This daughter of Proud Bushy in on a bit of a roll having won the Stallion Stake and The Melvyn Aylor Memorial in her last two starts. Her main competition may be the Mather's Lavec lass Trotting J C Poss, with Andy Santeramo driving for trainer Steve Stabile. The filly has a 2-3-2 scorecard in her seven lifetime starts and has been the bridesmaid to Markie in her last two starts. Three year-old fillies take the spotlight next in the $55,400 final with Don't Spank Me and Tashia locking horns once again. Don't Spank Me, a daughter of Capital Request has won all three of her "PPk" starts, the fastest in a lifetime best 1:53.4 in her last start on November 6. She's owned by Wayne and Jean Carter and will be driven by Bruce Ranger. Tashia, the free-legged filly owned by Jay Sears, was winless last year as a two year-old but has 10 wins this season, including a 1:55 performance in late July. Stephane Lareau will handle the filly's lines. Tea Party Express and Tyree's Treasure are the logical favorites in the $52,800 final for sophomore trotting fillies. Tea Party Express is the 9 to 5 morning line favorite off of two straight wins for Rick Plano, who has been in the bike for trainer Mel Turcotte. She's owned by the consortium of Barbara Turcotte, Vickie Howard and Pete Roccasano. Tyree's Treasure, with a 12-7-3-0 history in her career, has been second to Tea Party in her last two events for owners Hollie Proesel and the Polo Stable. Trainer Mark Friedman has hired Bruce Ranger for the Super Night drive. The $53,800 finale for the three year-old pacing colts and geldings is next with Goldstar Thumper, Hillybilly and Quincy all vying for favoritism. Hillybilly, owned by Amante Standardbreds, is trained by Stewart Nemiro and is listed as a narrow 8 to 5 morning line favorite with Bruce Ranger driving over Goldstar Thumper, the latter a new arrival in the Burke Racing/Weaver Bruscemi Stable and 9 to 5 on the early line. "Thumper" is trained by Jamie Rucker and will have the services of Ricky Macomber, Jr. Not to be ignored is Quincy, who has 12 wins this year for the Marc Aubin Stable. Bryce Fenn is expected to drive the youngster from the rail. The $53,700 for the two year-old pacing fillies is a wide open affair with at least a half dozen viable contenders going to the Hummer Starting Gate. Goldstar Jessica, who picked a great time to break her maiden last week in the Aylor Memorial, is the 5 to 2 early choice for owner-trainer Tom Audley, who has passed along the driving assignment again to Kevin Wallis. J D Eleven Bell's has been ultra-consistent in her first season of racing wars showing a 4-2-4 record in 10 starts for owner Joe Martinelli, Sr. Rick Plano will be in the bike for trainer Paul Bernardo. Heather, Limelight, Voluminous and Sandalonia will all get their share of backers, as well. Tim T looks to rebound in the $54,800 Breeders Stake Final for three year-old trotting colts and geldings. The altered son of Basil has been a disappointment in his last two outings but sports the fastest lifetime mark of all entrants--1:56.3. Tom Sells will drive for trainer Mike Deters and the consortium of owners inclusing Fred Morosini, Ken Fritz and Mike Prendergast. The main competition may come from Joe Pennacchio's Railee Kwik who has been no worse than second in his last seven starts for trainer Jim McDonald. Railee Kwik will have Bruce Ranger handling his lines. Post time for the non-wagering early events is 6:35 with a 7:05 post intact for the 12 race pari-mutuel card. Free T-Shirts will be distributed while supplies last. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL…November 23, 2013…The Melvyn Aylor Memorial for two year-olds was contested at Pompano Park on Saturday night with Tough Issue, Geronimo Fame, Gold Star Jessica and Markie taking the top prize in their respective divisions. Tough Issue, driven by Bruce Ranger, took the $18,400 non-betting opener for the pacing colts and geldings in a lifetime best 1:56.2, knocking almost three seconds off his previous best winning time. Trained by Mike Deters for Brenda Komers and the Verderame Stable, Tough Issue, a gelded son of Tough Sir, took the lead immediately in his trio and clocked an opening panel in a sharp :27.2, thwarting any early challengers, before reaching the half in :57. Heading into the final turn, Warlock (Wally Hennessey) left the pocket and began his bid which brought him alongside the leader turning for home…but a costly miscue at that point left him a baker's dozen lengths behind at the wire. Goldstar Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) was prominent early but finished well back--29 1/2 lengths--at the end of the mile. For Tough Issue, it was a bit of revenge after having finished second to his chief nemesis--Warlock--in three of his last four starts. His scorecard now reads 4-3-1 in 11 starts, good for earnings of $25,565 heading into Super Night next Saturday. In the $19,050 juvenile event for the trotting colts and geldings, Geronimo Fame, handled by Bruce Ranger for Amante Standardbreds, wore down a stubborn Gator On Patrol (Tom Sells) in deep stretch to score a half length triumph in a lifetime best 2:01.3. Midnight Michael (Rob Hoffman) and Showing Off (Wally Hennessey) both made early miscues and were never in the hunt in the quartet. The "Famously" bred colt (yes, he is by Famously), was away in good order from his outside four post and let Gator On Patrol carve out panels of :31.3, 1:01.4 and 1:31.4 before using his :29.2 finale to earn his third lifetime win in eight starts. He's banked a tad over $21,000 thus far. The two year-old filly events were contested on the pari-mutuel card with Gold Star Jessica and Markie taking the top prizes. Gold Star Jessica, a daughter of Rock On, took the $21,300 pace for Kevin Wallis, breaking her maiden with a splendid 1:55.4 three length win over Heather (Wally Hennessey) with J D Eleven Bells (Rick Plano) next. Voluminous and Sandalonia picked up the final two awards in the field of nine. Owned and trained by Tom Audley, Gold Star Jessica left alertly before allowing Heather to take the lead at the quarter timed in :28. The latter was forced to carve subsequent panels of :56.3 and 1:26.3 as Voluminous kept the pressure on throughout. Turning for home, Jessica found some room and easily romped by the leader and drew off at the end of the mile. The win was worth $10,650 to owner Audley--pushing her 2013 bounty to $14,735--and $10.20 to those who had a $2 ticket on the tote's fourth choice on the board. In a post race interview, driver Kevin Wallis kept it short and sweet. "We had a great trip…and it was a great time for her to break her maiden!" In the filly trot, Markie, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner-husband Jay Sears, used a :29.3 finale to wear down the pace-setting Trotting J C Poss to score by 1 1/4 lengths. This daughter of Proud Bushy, starting from the outside seven post, avoided trouble leaving and settled into third early as Trotting J C Poss and Famous Halle were one-two through fractions of :292, 1:00.4 and 1:31.3. Less than three-eighths out, Hennessey left the pocket and began to wear down the leaders, collaring Trotting J C Poss a sixteenth out and drawing clear late. Gold Star Ginger and Blame Bushy picked up minor awards in the septet. Garnering her sixth win of the year in 10 starts, Markie sent her 2013 earnings to $30,100. As the 8 to 5 choice on the board, she paid $5.20 to win. In other action, Thebestofjoel, owned, trained and driven by Ed Hensley, grabbed command of the racetrack from his first stride out of the gate and wired together panels of :27.2, :28.2, :27.2 and 27.2 to score in a brilliant 1:50.3--his margin of victory over Northern Companion (Rob Hoffman) 1 3/4 lengths with Cruizin K C (Mark O'Mara) third. Yankees In Six finished fourth while Rocknroll Special picked up the "nickel." For this five year-old son of Cammibest, it was his fourth win of the year, pushing his seasonal bounty to $57,262 and $206,107 lifetime. In a post-race interview, driver Ed Hensley said, "This horse is very adaptable. He can race anyway and, when I didn't see too much throttling early, I decided to give it a go. I was kind of surprised that he was up to this kind of effort because he'd been off a couple of weeks…but he just kept on going!" Finally, The Florida Amateur Driver's Club made a sizable donation to Club 101, an organization that helps the needy in numerous ways. After Joe Pennacchio won the Amateur event with JP Houle Stables Miss Janine, Bruce Ranger and Dein Spriggs joined many of the amateur drivers in the winner's circle to help make the presentation. The Club is expected to feed more than 300 people over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Florida Amateur Drivers Club has donated over $125,000 to charitable causes over their existence. John Berry  

Pompano Beach, FL…Nov. 4, 2013…The Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association showcased four Stallion Stake trotting events at Pompano Park on Monday night with Showing Off and Markie capturing the juvenile fisticuffs while Tea Party Express and Railee Kwik proved best in the races for the sophomores. Showing Off, catch driven by Wally Hennessey for the hospitalized Jay Sears--he suffered a training accident with a yearling on Sunday--captured the $22,500 non-wagering division for the colts and geldings with an astounding victory measuring 19 1/4 lengths in a lifetime best 2:01.3. Gator On Patrol (Tom Sells) was second while the highly regarded Geronimo Fame (Bruce Ranger) made a miscue turning for home while second and finished third, almost 30 lengths away. Midnight Michael and Swamp Gator completed the field of five. For Showing Off, an altered son of Wewering trained by Kim Sears and owned by Richard and Sandra Dunmire along with Jay Sears, it was his fourth win in nine career starts, good for $16,478 so far. Markie, also trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears, took home the major prize in the division for the two year-old fillies as driver Wally Hennessey sent the daughter of Proud Bushy to the top past the :30 opener and led the rest of way after clocking fractions of :59 and 1:30.2 en route to a 2:01.3 win measuring a length over Trotting JC Poss (Andy Santeramo). Heavily backed Prairie Sunrise (Tom Sells)--4 to 5 on the tote-board was on the move turning for home but made a lengthy miscue down the lane, she finishing third but placed sixth after the judges review. Blame Bushy (Mickey McNichol) was elevated to third, 15 1/2 lengths back, while Faous Halle was placed fourth with Gold Star Ginger moved up a notch to catch the nickel. Markie's scorecard now reads 5-2-0 in nine starts with $19,325 in bounty. As second choice in the betting, Markie returned $7.60 to win. In the non-betting $26,500 race for the three year-old colts and geldings, Railee Kwik, perfectly handled by Bruce Ranger, topped his quintette with a sharp 1:59.2 win for Bruce Ranger. The gelded son of Basil, trained by Jim McDonald for owner Joe Pennacchio, left from his outside post and followed pacesetting Tim T (Tom Sells) through fractions of :29.2, :59 and 1:29.4 before leaving his cozy pocked turning for home , collaring Tim T a few steps later and then holding off the belated late surge of Goucher (Bryce Fenn) to score by 1 1/4 lengths. Sky Crest (Rick Plano) finished third while Tim T was fourth. Without Hesitation picked up the minors. The victory was Railee Kwik's fourth this year in 12 starts and this win--the biggest of his career--sent his lifetime bankroll to $37,283. In the companion $24,000 event for the sophomore fillies, Tea Party Express, again catch driven by Rick Plano for trainer Mel Turcotte, proved her win of last week was no fluke as she rolled by Tyree's Treasure on the final turn on her way to a five length win in 2:00.1. This daughter of Feel Like A Winner, owned by Barbara Turcotte, Victoria Howard and Pete Roccasano, was away in good order and followed Tyree's Treasure (Bruce Ranger) through opening panels of :29.2 and :59.2 before brushing to the lead at the 1:30.1 third station and coasting home unchallenged. Tyree's Treasure did finish second while Holly's Diamond (Wally Hennessey) rallied for third. Sweet Loreley and Piper Pfeiffer completed the field. The victory for Tea Party Express was her third this year in 16 starts--sixth lifetime--and sent her career earnings to $55,291. She paid $3.20 as the solid public choice. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 18, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all up to snuff--were won by a down-the-road Rock N Soul (George Brennan, $7.20) and a first-up Super Manning (Brian Sears, $8.40). In the game early from post position No.4--the field reduced to a half-dozen after a pair of defections (ill)--Rock N Soul worked around longshot polester Mibestkeptsecret (Mark MacDonald). From there, equal 57-second halves made her job that much easier. (:27.3 quarter, 1:25.1 three-quarters). Rock N Soul kept a first-up Rock N Load (Dan Dube) at bay, while 9-10 favorite Royal Cee Cee N (Sears) received her get-involved memo too late. Rock N Soul took a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then held off a from-last public choice by three-quarters of a length. Campanile (Brandon Simpson), Hula's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) and Rock N Load came away with the minor moolah. Mibestkeptsecret was outrun. For second choice Rock N Soul, a 6-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Frank Baladachino and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her eighth win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.80, with the triple returning $94.50. The evening's featured trot saw 3-year-old Crazy About Pat (Eric Goodell), last seen winning the final of the New York Sire Stakes here, try his elders. Making the lead from Somebody AS (Jason Bartlett) after a :27.4 opening quarter, "Pat" found a :57.4 intermission. Super Manning--away fifth from post No. 3--then began his road show. He went up and over the leader soon after a 1:26.4 three-quarters, widening to a length turning for home. A second-over Sand Wyndham (Jordan Stratton) couldn't match strides with Super Manning, while a third-up Likeabatoutahell (Brennan) angled in with a crisp finish. However, Super Manning, unlike his namesake this season, came home a winner. The margin over Likeabatoutahell was a half-length in 1:56, with Can I Say (Dube) and Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. For tepid favorite Super Manning, a 5-year-old statebred Diamond Goal gelding trained by Kevin Carr for owner-breeder Joe Pennacchio, he's now 5-for-22 this season. The exacta paid $41.80, the triple returned $187 and the superfecta paid $1,573.50. Saturday features the fifth annual Fall Harvest Festival, a free, family-fun event on the track apron from 5-9 PM. It showcases the thriving relationship between horse racing and agriculture all across New York State. The Fall Harvest Festival includes pony rides, face painting, pumpkin patch and musical entertainment, along with New York wine and beer product sampling. A favorite among the Fall Harvest Festival highlights is the Legislators' Challenge, in which elected officials from across the state compete in four non-wagering harness races (with occasional help from professional harness drivers). Post time for the first of three Legislators non-bettors is 5:30 PM. Another highlight of the Fall Harvest Festival is a Racing Under Saddle exhibition, with seven talented women competing in a mile-and-and-a-sixteenth event between the first and second races on the wagering card. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. by frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway  

Pompano Beach, FL...October 12, 2013...B N Bad, who was scorched badly last week vying for the lead during a :26.1 opening panel (at 1 to 10 odds), scorched his competition on Saturday night with a gate to wire win for Bruce Ranger in 1:52.3. Trained by Pete Pellegrino for the Baron Racing Stable, the six year-old son of Soho left like a rocket from his mid-pack four post and easily took command around the first turn and proceeded to clock comfortable panels of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.2 before sealing the issue with a :28.1 finale to hit the wire 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Neptune Blue Chip, handled by Andy Santeramo. Quincy, stepping up to the "big time" for the first time, rallied for third for Bryce Fenn while Fine Fine Fine and Oh My Joepa picked up the remaining scraps. Last week's winner, Avantage, never got in the hunt this night and finished sixth with Hyperion Hanover completing the septet. In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Last week, it was his first start back in a month and that first quarter really did him in. Tonight, he was very sharp leaving and the rated second quarter breather really helped him. This horse can easily go opening halves in :55, so when we got half way through in :56 and a piece, I felt very confident he could take it all the way...and he did!" It was the sixth win in 22 starts this year for B N Bad, pushing his 2013 bounty just short of $80,000 and $335,648 lifetime. The Pompano co-feature went to Hillybilly, who brushed home in :28 flat to put his field away with a 1:52.1 mile, equalling his lifetime mark. Driven by Bryce Fenn for trainer Marc Aubin and Amante Standardbreds, the three year-old son of N Aboriginal scored his seventh win of the year in 17 starts, pushing his lifetime earnings past $70,000. Oozie's Bad Boy (Rick Plano) overcame the outside eight post to finish second while Hurricane Howard (Tom Sells) finished third after taking an ever-so-slight lead turning for home. Freeneasy Hanover and Maxine's Menace earned the final two checks in the field of eight. Driver Bruce Ranger had three wins on the card while trainer Pete Pellegrino had three training wins on the program. In other action, the Florida Amateur Driver's Club made a sizable donation to The Charlie House, a safe haven for disadvantaged youths, this after John Campagnuolo snick through the pylons to win the F.A.D.C. Trot with Lucky Hit in 2:00.4 over McKelvie and Joe Pennacchio. BK's Luv, driven by Laurie Poulin, finished third. The Club had donated over $125,000 of charitable causes since its inception. John Berry  

Pompano Beach, FL...Sept. 28, 2013...Tashia, the splendid three year-old Six Of Diamonds filly, extended her winning streak to six on Saturday as the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association hosted the first fall stakes program at Pompano Park. The non-wagering matinee featured two and three year olds in an 11 race extravaganza over the fast five-eighths mile oval under the 86 degree warmth of the fall Florida sunshine. Tashia, handled by Stephane Lareau for owners Jay and Kim Sears, went a brave first up journey to collar the feisty filly Seven Arias, driven by Bruce Ranger, in the final strides of the mile timed in 1:56.1. I Spy A Gator, with Bob Roberts in the bike, was third followed by Tamala and Goldstar Rockette--the latter two switched in the official order of finish when all was said and done. Tashia, winless last year as a two year-old, has now won nine times in 2013, good for $27,000 and change this year and just three dollars short of $40,000 lifetime. The free-legged filly was away fourth as Seven Arias opened the festivities with a :29.2 quarter before dittoing that time during the second panel, reaching the half in :58.4. On the backside, Tashia began to roll and, during a hot third quarter officially times in :28, pulled on even terms with Seven Arias. In the lane, these two fillies battled right sown to the line with Tashia eking by in the final stride or two. The other division for the sophomore pacing fillies went to Hollie Proesel’s Full Of Moxie, driven by Bruce Ranger for trainer Brian Pelling. The Full Of Fun filly went right to the front, was beautifully rated through fractions of :29.4 and :59.3, repelled a serious bid from Dandee Diamond (Walter Ross, Jr.) to score by a half length in 1:58.1 for her maiden win in but four lifetime starts. The latter, incidentally, made a miscue at the start falling several lengths away and raced a courageous journey thereafter in a very game effort. Track Girl was third, followed by One Fine Diamond and I.C.U. Misty. There was an upset of sorts in the Sunshine Stakes for three year-old pacing colts and geldings as Quincy, yet another offspring of Six Of Diamonds, upset his stablemate Hillybilly with driver Bruce Ranger. Both are trained by veteran Marc Aubin. Quincy, owned by the Marc Aubin Stable, assumed control right from the get-go before yielding to Hillybilly through an opening quarter in :28.1. The latter cut sensible fractions of :57.3 and 1:27 (his record is 1:52.1) but Quincy used a :27.2 final to easily go by late to score by a length and a quarter for his 10th win of the year. Wingull and Mickey McNichol teamed up for third with Goldstar Thumper and Jose Lightning getting the final awards in the field of seven. In sophomore trotting action, the fillies were led home by last year’s champion, Tyree’s Treasure, who was an easy winner in a new lifetime best of 2:01.4 for driver Bruce Ranger. The “Famously” bred filly (she IS by Famously) led every step of the mile, sealing the deal with a final panel of :29.3. Mark Friedman trains the filly for the Polo Stables and Hollie Proesel. Joe Pennacchio’s Railee Kwik, a son of Basil, pulled off an upset in the trotting division, going a brave first over journey in taking the measure of another son of Basil, Tim T, handled by Tom Sells, in a lifetime best effort of 1:58.2. Rex finished third in that mile. Proud Expression and Worthy Crown also picked up checks. In the juvenile divisions, Blame Bushy (Mickey McNichol) and Markie (Jay Sears) won in their respective trotting divisions for the fillies while Showing Off gave Jay Sears a driving double with a 2:07 effort. Two slender noses decided the two divisions for the two year-old pacing fillies. In the first, the Six Of Diamonds filly Sandalonia, handled by Mickey McNichol, first, got by the stubborn J D Eleven Bells at mid-stretch and, then, held off the furious late surge of ICU CharlieT to win by a nostril in 2:00.1 for owner Heddy Nelson and trainer Sandy Hollon, who earned her 50th lifetime training success. In the second division, Amante Standardbreds LA Regina, a daughter of N Aboriginal, snuck through along the pylons to score a nose decision over Marion (Sean McAleese) in 2:01.1. It was her maiden success in just two lifetime starts. Heather was a neck away from the winner’s circle in third. Finally, in the two year-old pacing division for the colts and geldings, Tough Issue, an altered son of Tough Sir., led gate to wire in 1:59.3--:28.3 for Tom Sells. Trained by Mike Deters, Tough Issue is owned by Brenda Komers along with the Verderame Stable. John Berry  

The New York Sires Stake two year old filly trotters bring their act to Vernon for Thursday's races. Two full fields of nine face the starter with the purse for each at $54,562. Race six is the first division and features a pair of fillies from the Dan Daley barn racing as a coupled entriy. Exotic Form is by Malabar Man and trained by Dan for Winbak Farms. She is twice a winner in NYSS action from six starts with impressive 2:00.3 wins at Batavia and Saratoga on her resume. Claude Huckabone III will drive her, while Daley has the mount on her entry mate.    Flyhawk Falina (Cash Hall) has also won twice and picked up more than $75,000 on the year for owners Joe Pennacchio, Ann-Mari Daley and Mike White.     Maud Blue Chip leads the second split for Hall Of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester. This Credit Winner lass has more than $87,000 in the bank for Mel Hartman, David Mc Duffee and Little E, LLC on the season on the strength of three wins in NYSS competition. Tyler Buter is listed to drive on Thursday. Three divisions of Excelsior events for the same division support the Sires Stakes races. With the NYSS finals now just a few weeks away, the points may be viewed by following this link.     Post time at Vernon on Thursday is 6:45pm.       by Nick Salvi for Vernon Downs  

This past weekend  a contingent of  Billings amateur  drivers made their annual trek to Prince Edward Island  in the Canadian Maritimes to compete  at  Charlottetown Driving Park  on Saturday, (Sept 7)  and at Summerside Raceway on Sunday. Two races were afforded the visitors at both venues. At Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday (Sept. 7),  “Joltin’ Joe” Pennacchio and Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford emerged victorious  and the following day at Summerside Raceway, Kelly “Sky” Walker and   “Racin’ Jason” Sgrignouli  finished in a dead heat for win in their split  while Sherwin ”Smiley” Edwards scored  a victory in the other Billings contest. Pennacchio, fresh off a driving victory Friday at Monticello Raceway on All Amateur Day, wasted little time sending his pacer, Caughtfoolinaround , to the lead from the five hole and  they had command after a :29.1 first quarter. Pennacchio kept the medal to the metal and  in doing so  no one got close to his pacer. At the third stanza in 1:29.1 they still had two lengths on the field and they cruised home an easy winner over Miramonttogo and  “Tiny Todd” Walsh in a 1:58.4 clocking.  “Big Thane” Arsenault was third best with PH Littlecam. Sent off the favorite Caughtfoolinaround, owned by Maggie McCarthy, paid $5.10 for win. In the second event Steve Oldford’s Dreaming got caught on the limb but it didn’t seem to  matter, when Oldford pulled the pacer three- deep on the final turn they finally cleared and drew off the a two length  triumph in 1:59.2. Sherwin “Smiley” Edwards, cut the mile with Muzzy Mud Puddle but had to settle for second when Oldford and his charge blew  by them in the lane. “Racin’ Jason” Sgrignuoli, who was parked with Fitelle, which gave Oldford’s pacer cover while on the limb, tired and finished third. Owned by Norman Meyers and Jason  Dreaming paid $10.30 for win The next day at Summerside Raceway, the same eight drivers competed  but with different results. The first split saw  “Sky” Walker  and Smart Barney rally late to finish simultaneously with Carsimir Lucian with  Jason  Sgrignuoli at the controls. The dead-heat victory marked the first one this season in Billings competition. Third place  went to Ultimate Success driven by “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello. After Steve Oldford led his peers  to the top of the lane with Woodmere Rose ,” Smiley” Edwards, whop had been biding his time, made a  move on the final turn and rallied OK Chivas to a length victory over Oldford’s pacer. Third place went to  Elm Grove Future with Joe Pennacchio aboard. In spite of driving pacers, which really doesn’t matter to the Battlin’ Billings Boys, the PEI trip is always a big favorite with them. “We love coming here  not only  because they to go out of their way to make us comfortable  but they treat us like royalty,”  said Steve Oldford.  “When we’re here it seems like they can’t do enough for us.” by John Manzi                 

Monticello Raceway presented its third annual All-Amateur Day on September 6 with all the participating drivers on the 10 race card carring amateur status. But by no means were they novices. And to say it was a success would be an understatement. Nineteen of the country’s top amateurs came from far and wide and convened at the Mighty M just to participate in what was billed a special “Veterans Day at the Races’. Each participating amateur driver paid $500 to be part of the day and monies were raised for the Sullivan County Veteran’s Food Pantry. Attending fans were asked to donate non-perishable goods and clothing for the less fortunate and at day’s end a pick-up truck was needed bring the goods to the Federation for the Homeless, of which the Veteran’s Food Pantry is a component. Co-sponsored by the North America Amateur Drivers Association and Monticello Raceway nearly $10,000 was raised along with the food and clothing. It turned out to be a day enjoyed by everyone who shared in the festivities. Every race presentation was done by a armed forces veteran and visiting veterans were afforded 50 percent off the dinner in the casino’s Winners Circle Buffet and over $420,000 was wagered on the 10-race card on the added race date to just accommodate the all-amateur program. “It’s getting bigger each year,” noted Alan Schwartz, a former Marine Corporal and Vietnam veteran, who is also the president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association. “It has taken a while but officials and racing fans alike are beginning to realize and understand what amateur racing brings a lot to the game. Nearly every amateur driver owns horses, employs a trainer, and continually invests in the sport. And over the years the betting public is cognizant of their drivers talents and considering the wagering numbers today most enjoy betting on the amateur races.” On the 10- race card three different amateur drivers each won two races. Dein Spriggs, a real estate magnate who traveled infrom Jupiter Fla. just to participate, scored a seven- length triumph with Beal Hanover in time of 1:58.1 and he also won with Multiple Cash in 1:58.4. Dr. Scott Woogen, a gastroenterologist up from Richmond VA., also had a driving double. He won with Windsmith Molly in 2:01.1 and with Paulimony in 1:59, two pacers he co-owns with Brenda Messenger, the wife of his trainer Gary Messenger. And Dave Yarock, a financial planner from Tenafly, NJ, scored two driving victories on the program when he won with his own Bambina’s Sorella in 1:59.4 and with Game Jocko in 1:58.1. Spriggs now has 375 career wins, Woogen has 119 amateur driving victories and Dave Yarock, who entered the amateur ranks in 2008, has 42 wins. Other amateurs with driving victories that day included; Steve Oldford, an automotive manufacturer’s rep from Croswell, MI; Joe Pennacchio, a retired business executive from Delray Beach, Fla.; Kelly Walker, a nursery owner from Davison, MI; and George Bonomo, a CEO from greater Chicago,(Naperville) Ill. Besides the 10 pari-mutuel races fans were treated to a trotting race under saddle, which is beginning to be more than just a sideshow in the industry. And that nearly all of the participating riders are female it adds another dimension to the sport. That non-wager contest was won by Michelle Crawford when she rode Vassar Hall to a 2:08.3 victory over John-Michael and Jodie Doherty. Third place went to Docdor Chaser with Ruth Calcagni aboard.   by John Manzi  

Ranger and McDonald are leading driver and trainer again

Pompano Beach, FL...July 17, 2013...While thick cloud cover and another deluge of heavy rain prevented the stars from shining brightly over Pompano Park on Wednesday night, trainer Don Glowacki and driver Mickey McNichol provided the star power on the racetrack by teaming up for a “hat trick”--three wins--on the mid-week card. Dutchess Seelster, Brewing Master and Howie’s Heart, all trained by Don and driven by Mickey, reached the winner’s circle, giving trainer Glowacki his very first nightly trifecta of wins. McNichol, with 4,521 lifetime wins, has, of course, had many. John Campagnuolo’s Dutchess Seelster, a seven year-old daughter of Duke Of York and the only lady in the field of trotters, won for the second straight week in the $8,800 feature using gate-to-wire tactics to score a handy win in 1:56.4 over the track labeled “good.” After sprinting to the top and carding an opening round of :28.2 to discourage any threats, the McNichol rated the Dutchess through a second panel of :30.2. She turned on the after-burners on the backside and brushed home a length and a half to the good over the pocket-sitting Tug River Dylan (Walter Ross, Jr.). Celebrity Legacy was third for Bruce Ranger while Sir Tyson and Good Luck Penny took the final two awards in the field of six. The victory was the third this year in 17 starts for the brave mare and 23rd lifetime, sending her career bounty to $237,069. As the overwhelming favorite, Dutchess Seelster paid $2.80 to win. Brewing Master, also owned by Campagnuolo, got things started for team Glowacki by winning under the picture perfect drive by McNichol, leaving from the six post for the lead and then yielding to the 3 to 5 favorite Famous Hall (Ranger) and stalking that one before edging on by inside the sixteenth pole for his very first win of the year in 18 starts. Aqua Lindy (Lou Ginesi) was third. Giving a serious hint in his prior start, Brewing Master was the 3 to 1 second choice and returned $8.00. Howie’s Heart, owned by Don and wife Jeanette, looked hopelessly out of it turning for home but McNichol found a seam in deep stretch to nail that victory in the very last stride in 1:56.4 for his fourth success of the year. Daughtry Hanover (Joe Sanzeri) and Change Your Luck (Gaston Lareau) were next in the photo.   Bruce Ranger also had three wins on the card, scoring with Railee Kwik, Shallow Hal and Allen The Optomist. Railee Kwik, trained by Jim McDonald for owner Joe Pennacchio, used a final half of :59 to score a wire-to-wire win in 1:59.2 in an event for Sunshine Stake eligibles. It was not only his second lifetime win, it lowered his mark by almost eight second, his previous mark being 2:07.1 at age two. Shallow Hal, owned by Marissa Tyler and trained by Frank Petrelli, also earned a new lifetime mark, scoring for Ranger in 1:58 and knocking more than two second off his previous best. Finally, Tom Artandi’s Allen The Optomist gave Bruce win number three on the card holding on to score by a head over a very fast closing Mustabeenadreamer (Tom Sells) in 1:56. Kennairnmachmagic (Greg Luther) was third with Angry Dwarf placed fourth in a superfecta event that paid $1,043.40...for a dime! by John Berry  

The Grand Circuit makes its annual stop at Tioga Downs this week for the $500,000 Tompkins-Geers stakes. On Thursday evening the freshman trotters are featured in three divisions each of fillies and colts. The girls open the card with Andy and Julie Miller sending out the favorites in both ends the Daily Double. L Dees Scripture has made but one start, however that was an impressive 1:58.4 open-length win in a Meadowlands baby race. Lawrence Dumain and Carlo Lattinelli own the daughter of Credit Winner and Graceful Way.   Annie’s List has a more extensive resume, winning all three of her starts and going faster each time. The most recent was a dominant 10 length 1:57.3 win at Harrah’s Philly in an overnight. She is a Conway Hall from Ann’s Promise and is owned by the Millers.   The third $25,257 division is led by Flyhawk Falina, a Cash Hall filly from Nowerland Nanette racing out of the Dan Daley barn. She won a NYSS division in 2:03 at Buffalo in her first money start for owners Joe Pennacchio, Ann-Mari Daley and M F White.   The colts split three ways as well, with each division for a purse in the $23,000 range. They begin in race four where Big Bang Hanover, a Donato Hanover colt out of CR Calendar Girl makes his first start for money after four qualifiers. The most recent of those was his best, a 1:58.2 win for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Shore Thing Stables. Matt Kakaley is in for the drive.   Keystone Wasabi leads the contenders in race five. The Cantab Hall x Womanly Image colt is already a PA Sires Stakes winner, taking his 1:58.2 record at Pocono for the Kitefield Stable and Janice Connor. Jim Morril, Jr will drive.   The Little E, LLC homebred entry of Opulent Yankee and Starsaboveallerage is the oddsmaker’s choice in the last of the colt divisions, race seven. Opulent Yankee, a Muscles Yankee from Opulent Bluestone, has been third in both qualifiers, trotting a 1:59- mile in the more recent of those. He is trained by Bob Bencal and will have the services of Andy Miller on Thursday.   Starsaboveallerage, a son of Angus Hall out of Starry Eyed, acquitted himself very well in his first career start finishing third timed in 1:57.4 in an Ontario Sires event at Mohawk. Howard Okusko, Jr trains this one and Paul Macdonell will drive.   The rare Thursday live race card begins at 6:45pm. Visit the Tioga Downs website for more information.   Sires event at Mohawk. Howard Okusko, Jr trains this one and Paul Macdonell will drive. The rare Thursday live race card begins at 6:45pm. by Nick Salvi  

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