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Despite setting a grueling pace with even-money favorite Fireyourguns tracking from the pocket throughout, Steelhead Hanover ($6.00) had enough left in deep stretch to narrowly prevail in Monday (July 27) evening's $12,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   Mike Simons secured a close tracking spot with the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight entire on the first turn, situated just behind Fireyourguns (Aaron Byron) and Eastend Eddie (Jim Marohn, Jr.) through a :26.3 first quarter.   Upon completing his brush to the lead with a circuit to go, Steelhead Hanover kept at a rapid pace, bracing for a sustained challenge from Fireyourguns on the far turn after a :54.3 middle half.   Driven out through the stretch, Steelhead Hanover prevailed by a neck, holding off Fireyourguns in 1:49.4 over fast going.   Eastend Eddie hooked three-wide in the stretch, sustaining a belated rally to hold third.   Joe Pavia, Jr. trains Steelhead Hanover for Dijo Racing, Joseph Barbera, the AGC Stables, and Pint Size Racing.   While Simons completed a driving double in the sub-featured $10,000 Open II Pace with Electrofire ($3.90, 1:51.4), Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the 10-race card.   The "Mighty Mite Part Two" teamed up with Giddy Up Delight ($6.60, 1:52.4), Flying Cowboy ($15.80, 1:50.3), and Retail ($6.10, 1:53).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 31) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

A field of eight lined up behind the starter for the featured event at Wednesday afternoons harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia, a pace for non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 starts. The favorite at post time was Joe Pavia Jr. trainee Steelhead Hanover. The 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight was looking to rebound after a last place finish from post nine at Pocono in his last start. At the start, the favorite was put into play immediately, settling for pocket position behind the speed of Jodi Siamis' Eighteen (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). They remained first and second past the half (:54.3). Morning line favorite Mcardle's Lightning (Scott Zeron) drove up to challenge for the lead, as they reached three quarters in 1:22.1. Eighteen was able to quiet the bid of the first-over challenger, but was unable to stop the stretch surge of Steelhead Hanover (Tim Tetrick). With a last quarter of :26.3, Steelhead Hanover won by a length, stopping the clock in 1:49.1. Eighteen did finish second, while Mcardles Lightning finished third. It was the 20th career win for Steelhead Hanover ($4.40) in his 80th career start. He is owned by Dijo Racing, Agc Stables, J. Barbera, and Pint Size Racing. Driver Tim Tetrick continued his hot hand with 5 wins in the card. Michael Bozich

Racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has geared down somewhat in terms of quantity, as the schedule now features three live nights per week. But the quality hasn't let down a bit, as evidenced by a Saturday night card that included no pacing miles slower than 1:50:2 and no trotting miles slower than 1:54. We even had a world-record performance, which, of course, stands out among this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BIGTOWN HERO This 6-year-old gelding was struggling with the upper reaches of the pacing ranks when he was last here in June, but he's been performing well since then at other tracks, winning three of his last five races. The last four of those races came after he switched barns to be trained by Rene Allard, Pocono's leading trainer, including a come-from-behind win in an Open Handicap in his last race at Yonkers as a 7-1 shot. His confidence sufficiently boosted, he returned to Pocono to compete on Saturday night in a Preferred Handicap pace for a purse of $25,000. It was a stacked field, including star veteran Golden Receiver and Dancin Yankee, who had owned the oval at Pocono in his previous appearances in 2014. But driver Ron Pierce drove Bigtown Hero as if there were no other horses on the track, sending him to the front for a huge lead as each fraction ticked off proved more impressive than the one before. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero began to slow ever so slightly. It was a good thing the lead he built up was so substantial, because Dancin Yankee and Aslan came closing at him fast. Pierce urged him home for a half-length victory in a stunning time of 1:47:3. That broke the world record for aged gelding pacers on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set last June at Pocono by Foiled Again and then matched by Abelard Hanover. Other top pacers this week include: Ring Warrior (Matt Kakaley, Brewer Adams), a colt who followed up four consecutive wins at Ocean Downs with a victory at Pocono in a condition pace on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54; Cherokee Hunter (Simon Allard, Rene Allard) whose condition win on Tuesday night was his second straight and came in a career-best time of 1:52:1; and Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who scorched a condition pacing group on Saturday night in 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SEVRUGA Not all slumps are created equal. To wit, consider the struggles Sevruga had been having in the summer months. Last year he earned nearly $500,000 facing the best trotters around, and the highlight of his season was a world-record performance at Pocono with a win in 1:50:3. But he had come up empty for three months straight in terms of wins heading into Saturday night's $25,000 Preferred trot. In his last three races at Pocono, all against the most rugged trotters on the grounds, Sevruga, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Kevin Carr, had hit the board every time and had lost by just a neck in the last two. On Saturday night, he enjoyed his first quality post position in more than a month and took advantage of it, breezing to the front early with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike. Things were by no means easy from that point, as Wind Of The North put up a sustained first-over challenge to the lead. But Sevruga had been rated well enough early in the race that he was able to dig deep in the final strides and win by a nose in a rapid 1:52:1. Maybe it wasn't fair to say that Sevruga was in a slump considering the quality of his competition and the multiple near-misses, but it is fair to say that his losing streak is history and a lengthy winning streak might just be in the offing. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tui (Anthony Napolitan, Don Wiest), a Pocono fan-favorite mare who scored her first win of the season on Saturday night in a tough condition group in 1:53:1; A Cool Million (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who moved up her claiming price and won her second straight race on Tuesday night, doing so in a career-best 1:54; and Fortunista (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who beat the boys in a tough condition group on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: TRANSCENDING An outside post and long odds didn't bother this veteran pacer as he came from out of the clouds late to shock a condition field on Saturday night at 49-1, paying off an even $100 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Ron Pierce Pierce had it grooving on Saturday night, winning four consecutive races on the card, all in gate-to-wire fashion, a streak that culminated with the world-record win by Bigtown Hero. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Joe Pavia Jr. Joe still does such a great job as a catch driver that his training abilities can sometimes be taken for granted, but a training double on Wednesday night put them front and center. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Arodasi (Western Terror-Do Me Justice) rallied in the stretch to score a victory in the feature $10,000 Open Preferred Pace at Vernon Downs on Thursday night. Park N Orchard (Claude Huckabone III) actually stormed to the lead when the gate opened and dictated the pace of 28 seconds for the quarter, 56 seconds for the half, and 1:24.1 for three-quarters.   Arodasi (Joe Pavia Jr.), who had been in fourth place in the field of five throughout the early stages, moved to the outside at the top of the stretch and steadily wore down the leader to prevail in a final time of 1:52.3. Park N Orchard was able to hold on to second and Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Arodasi, Park N Orchard, Love You Bye, Air Miles Hanover, and Asset Management.   Arodasi is owned by Peter Shank and AGC Stables of Florida, Joseph Barbera of New York, and Joe Pavia Jr. Stables of Pennsylvania. Driver Joe Pavia Jr. doubles as the trainer.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs with a 13-race program on Friday night. First post time is 6:45pm.    by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Batavia, NY---Betting Exchange and Berkley were on the outside looking in at the $1.8 million Night of Champions at Yonkers coming into tonight's final leg of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding division. But winning heals all and that's exactly what they both did to advance to the final next Saturday. In the first $54,500 contest, Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) scored his second win in a row to move from ninth to sixth overall in the standings and lock up a spot in the $225,000 final. Betting Exchange came off the wings for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and went right to the front to cut the mile. After briefly settling in fourth, Americanprimetime and Mark MacDonald pulled and came up to challenge the leader. That move found the colt getting parked through fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:25.2 before packing it in around the last turn. From that point on Betting Exchange ran away and hid, winning the race by three lengths in 1:55.1. The winner paid $5.70. Play The Field (Kevin Cummings) was second and K Ryan Bluechip (Joe Pavia Jr.) was third. It was the second win in five starts for Betting Exchange and boosted his earnings to $66,125 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also trains the horse. After the race Morrill said "I didn't really want to get into a speed duel but he felt real good tonight so I let him roll. After he fought off Americanprimetime he paced very strong to the wire." In the second $54,500 split, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) caught his competitors and the betting public asleep as he upset both with a strong stretch-drive victory at 17-1. The win boosted him from tenth to seventh in the standings and also qualified him for the lucrative NYSS final. Mark MacDonald sent Bet You out like a rocket and paced strongly on the lead to an uncontested :58.1 half when Southwind Masimo and Mike Lachance came first-over to challenge. That encounter was short lived when the pack straightened out up the backside and Bet You shifted gears to hold the group at bay. To this point, Joe Pavia Jr. had Berkley sitting comfortably In The Pocket behind the leader, just waiting to take his best shot at the head of the lane. Bet You opened up a two length lead coming for home but the fresh-legged Berkley rolled off the pylons and right by the leader with a furious brush to pull the upset in 1:55.3. The winner returned $36.00. Bet You hung on to be second and Southwind Masimo was third. This was the first win in nine starts this year for Berkley and raised his bank to $58,620 for owners Randy Bendis, Reed Broadway and Thomas Pollack. Berkley is trained by Ed Hart. Pavia had a glowing review saying "I was really impressed how good Ed (trainer Hart) had him tonight. He was much improved and raced super. He got a real good trip and we took advantage of it." There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card, each going for $12,600. The first division was won by Heaven Rocks (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cheerful Outlook) who was driven by Brent Holland in 1:56.1 and returned $4.70. He is owned by Paymag Racing, Greg Gillis, Mystical Marker Farms LLC and Louis Willinger and trained by Erv Miller. The second leg was won by Soto (Rock N Roll Heaven-Incredible Beauty) who was driven by Mark MacDonald in 1:55.2 to pay $4.90. He is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc. and Jim Fielding and is trained by Jimmy Takter. The final split was won by Mystical Pacer (Bettor's Delight-Take My Pulse) who was driven by Brent Holland in 1:56.4 and paid $6.10. He is owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Paymag Racing and Ron Michelon and is trained by Erv Miller. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. scored a driving grand slam while Mark MacDonald and Brent Holland both registered doubles on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Tuesday evening with a 6:35 post time. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

As we roll into the month of September and summer slowly begins to yield to fall, the action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs continues at a fever pitch. Next week in this space we'll be discussing all the exciting action from Pennsylvania Championship Saturday on September 6. This week, as usual, we'll celebrate the best of racing at Pocono by doling out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: I LIKE DREAMIN He may be named after a soft-rock classic by 70's one-hit wonder Kenny Nolan, but this 5-year-old stallion is anything but mellow on the race track. Trained by Pat LaChance, I Like Dreamin arrived from Yonkers at the start of August and started to find his stride almost immediately at Pocono, finishing second in a tough condition his second time out and then posting an impressive condition win on August 23 in a career-best 1:49:2. On Saturday night, he stepped up in class to a condition for non-winners of $17,500 in the last five starts for a purse of $18,000. With a tough #7 post in a field of eight, it figured that I Like Dreamin might have a hard time working his way to the front end with his early speed. But driver Tom Jackson took a chance and sent him first over on the front stretch, even taking some air around the clubhouse turn before making the lead just shy of the half. With fast fractions at every pole, it was distinctly possible that I Like Dreamin might cave. Instead he seemed to freshen up in the home stretch, pacing away from his foes to win by a comfortable 2 ½-length margin in 1:49:3, giving him back-to-back wins in under 1:50 and demonstrating how this pacer has been far more punk rock than easy listening at the track of late. Other top pacers this week include: Anndrovette (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), the superstar veteran mare who earned her second straight Preferred Handicap win on Friday night in 1:50:3; Giddy Up Blackfly (Kevin Wallis, Matias Ruiz), who powered to a claiming win on Saturday night in 1:50:2 for his second straight victory and fourth in his last six races; and Mustang Art (Kevin Wallis, James McGuire), who scorched the track on Saturday night for his second straight condition win, this one coming in 1:49. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MISTERY WOMAN This mare was a standout as a 3-year-old in 2013, earning nearly $300,000 in just 15 starts. Her four-year-old season started with a lot of rugged competition at the Meadowlands, which she couldn't quite overcome, failing to hit the board in her first five races of the year. But her first start at Pocono quickly turned things around, as she took advantage of a good trip to rally for a win in a career-best 1:52. On Saturday night, Mistery Woman, trained by Jonas Czernyson, stepped up into even stiffer competition, taking on the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five starts for a purse of $21,000. With an outside post, it seemed unlikely that the racing luck would fall her way again. Some early speed put her third on the inside early, decent position to strike as long as she didn't get stuck inside of the outer flow of horses. Driver Andrew McCarthy stayed patient, resisting the temptation to join the traffic on the outside of the mare. That strategy paid off in the stretch when the outside opened up for a fresh Mistery Woman. With a blinding rush, she zipped by highly regarded veteran trotters Money On My Mind and Sevruga for her second straight win, this one in 1:52:3 as an 11-1 long shot. This mare has found her form at Pocono, so all her competitors better be on top of their game. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: GOLD DEUCE Despite an outside post in a field of nine, this claiming pacer with Joe Pavia Jr. in the bike uncorked a late move to score on Saturday night at 46-1, paying off $95.20 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Andrew McCarthy A four-win night on Friday started McCarthy off to a big week, culminating with a victory on Wednesday night that gave him 100 wins for the 2014 Pocono meet. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: PJ FRALEY Fraley had two starters on Friday night and made them count, as Anndrovette won the featured pace for mares and Krispy Apple won a condition in 1:48:4, fastest time of the week at Pocono. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

Benefiting from a pocket trip, the Wiz Kids Stable's Golden Gun ($27.80) took his second consecutive win in Monday (August 18) evening's $15,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Headmaster gelding tracked 1-4 favorite Bet On the Law (Joe Pavia, Jr.) through strong yet controlled fractions of :27.1, :55.3, and 1:22.4 before edging off the pegs midway through the far turn. At the top of the stretch,   Bet On the Law was fully extended, and would be collared by Golden Gun in the final 70 yards of a 1:51 mile. Golden Gun won by just shy of a length over Bet On the Law, while JK Panache (John Macdonald) just missed second off a stand-side charge.   John Cummings, Jr. drove Golden Gun for trainer Jeff Sorenson.   Racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 22) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Enjoying a pocket trip behind May Day, the Wiz Kids Stable's Golden Gun ($42.60) proved an upset winner in Monday (August 11) evening's $15,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs, splitting harness racing foes to prevail by a scant neck in 1:51.1.   After a strong dispatch, the four-year-old Headmaster gelding yielded the lead to a headstrong May Day (Mike Merton), tracking through a :56.2 middle half breather after a harrowing :26.1 initial quarter. With Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) unable to sustain his first-over bid and even-money favorite Bet on the Law (Joe Pavia, Jr.) forced four-wide in his rally on the far turn, John Cummings, Jr. angled Golden Gun out of the pocket off the corner, taking over in deep stretch. While Bet on the Law sustained a strong late kick, the extra ground proved too much, as he just missed with his stand-side charge. Dull Roar (Aaron Byron) stayed on well off a three-wide bid to hold third.   Jeff Sorenson trains Golden Gun, who prevailed at double-digit odds for the second time this season.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 15) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Angel Of Terror posted the fastest winning time among the winners in Stallion Series harness racing action on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion Series held for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Angel Of Terror (Western Terror-Angel Falls), driven by Jason Brewer and trained by Brian Brown, won her split in 1:54:2. Other Stallion Series winners on the night were: Icapella Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-I'm Sassy), driven and trained by Joe Pavia Jr., in 1:55:2. Angel Plus (Quik Pulse Mindale-Crew Angel), driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Steve Cook, in 1:55:3. Terror Ain't A Fool (Western Terror-Aint A Fool OK), driven by Corey Callahan and trained by Douglas Lewis, in 1:55:2 Serious Filly (Somebeachsomewhere-Seriously), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Brian Brown, in 1:55:3. Hillary's Style (Somebeachsomewhere-Style), driven by David Miller and trained by Danny Collins, in 1:54:2. Jim Beviglia    

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review As the month of August dawns, the racing action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has reached a fever pitch. Five nights a week, outstanding trotters and pacers, often at the peak of their powers, are tested by some of the fastest action in the country. Drivers, trainers, and owners are also involved in these daily battles, their fires stoked by both their competitive natures and by the lure of the big purses. All of this combines to make the action at this time of year particularly exhilarating. It also makes choosing the Weekly Awards a difficult task, but here we go. PACER OF THE WEEK: GIANT SCULPTURE Winning streaks are difficult enough to sustain at a single track. Compiling several victories in a row while shipping from track to track is an even tougher task. After all, each track has its own bias that favors a certain style of pacing or trotting, meaning that a horse has to be versatile enough to handle that kind of variety. Giant Sculpture has proven just that kind of versatility in recent weeks. The 6-year-old gelding picked up the first victory in his recent hot streak at Pocono on July 12, beating a field of $20,000 claimers in a career-best 1:49 with a strong first-over effort. He was claimed from that race and joined the barn of Christie Collins, who brought him to Harrah's at Chester to knock off a condition field with a late rally in 1:51:3. On Saturday night, he was back at Pocono facing a $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap group. Despite being saddled with the outside post in a field of eight, Giant Sculpture found some cover on the outside to help him advance through the field. In the stretch, he blew by the tiring leaders with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike to win in 1:50:3. Not only has he achieved this three-race streak on two different tracks, he has managed to do it in three different classes. Versatile, varied, and, most importantly, victorious: That's how Giant Sculpture has been rolling of late. Other top pacers this week include: Fitz's Z Tam (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who overcame an outside post to defeat a claiming handicap field on Sunday in 1:51:2, giving him two in a row; Gold Deuce (Joe Pavia Jr., Lou Pena), who won his second straight claimer on Friday night and did so in a career-best 1:51: and Clint Westwood (Anthony Napolitano, Ron Burke), whose condition victory on Saturday night in 1:49:4 gave him four wins in his last five. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: TEAM SIX This 4-year-old stallion from the Erv Miller barn has been steadily improving throughout the 2014 season, but he has really peaked lately. A conquest of the non-winners of four at Pocono on July 8 gave him his first win of the season. He quickly followed that up with a rallying condition win at Harrah's in 1:54:1. He then moved up the ladder to face the non-winners of $12,500 the last five starts at Pocono on July 22, putting in a good effort to finish third. On Tuesday night, he stayed in the same class but didn't have to face either of the two horses who finished in front of him in the previous start. He did have to face off with Canadian Wildcat, who set the early pace and dug in when Team Six tried to get by on the outside. For two of the three turns, Team Six was parked on the outside, a predicament which usually spells doom for a horse's chances. Driver Marcus Miller never panicked though, keeping Team Six right alongside the leader without taxing him too much. In the stretch, Canadian Wildcat finally wore down a bit and Team Six kicked on past for the victory in 1:53:2. That winning time was a career-best despite the tough trip and extra distance, meaning that this stallion should be primed for even better stuff when the racing breaks do even out and go his way down the road. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Political Desire (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose victory in a condition trot on Saturday night came in a career-best 1:52:4, which was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Whata Donato (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who notched a career-best mile of 1:53:1 in a condition victory on Tuesday; and Overandovervictory (Marcus Miller, Douglas Hamilton), who shipped in from Tioga for a condition victory on Sunday night in a career-best 1:53:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: JACKSONS MINION He broke stride in his debut, but this 2-year-old trotter driven and trained by Tom Jackson atoned for it his second time out Friday night and won at 28-1, paying off $59.60 to win. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Tom Jackson The veteran of the Pocono racing wars had an interesting week, picking up four victories, all of which came aboard horses scoring their maiden victories. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Rene Allard It was a monster week for the meet's leading trainer, as he had two nights of four wins or more and had more victories than all but one driver for the week. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Freedomformysoul established a new Monticello Raceway track record for freshmen pacing colts when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. drove the son of If I Can Dream to a 1:55.2 triumph in their division of the $110,000 NY Sire Stakes. The victory erased the former standard of 1:55.3 set by Share The Delight during 2007. Coming into the race off a stunning 1:53.3 track record last week at Saratoga Raceway Freedomformysoul was understandably the overwhelming betting favorite and Morrill used the front-end route for an easy victory over Rockntouch and driver Yannick Gingras. After getting looped on the first turn by Mikado Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) Morrill wheeled his colt back to the lead and they passed the first stanza in a stiff :28.0 and then paced the second quarter in :28.2 reaching the halfway point in :56.2. From there it was catch me if you can, and no one could. "I got to the half faster than I wanted to, so I didn't even pull the (ear) plugs." Morrill admitted after the race. "He's one of the best 2 year olds I've ever driven. He's the real deal." Owned by the Freedomformysoul Stable and trained by Nancy Johansson the son of If I Ca Dream paid $2.30 for win. Southwind Masimo won a division of the NYSS in 1:55.4 for Patrick Lachance. That final time was abetted by speed duel for the lead between We Think Alike (Ray Schnittker) and Old Man Cleary (Yannick Gingras) with early fractions of :27.1, :56.2. Lachance had Southwind Masimo out after the half and they swept to the front up the backside and were all by themselves at the wire some 11-lengths ahead of K Ryan Blue Chip and driver Joe Pavia, Jr. "They were playing hardball up front which worked out good for me," Lachance said in the winners circle when he stopped for a photograph. Southwind Masimo is owned in Canada by Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber and trained by Lachance. The winner paid $27.60 for win. In yet another NYSS split Americanprimetime, sent off at odds of over 78-1, lit up the tote board and paid $161.50 for win when Tyler Buter drove him to victory in a time of 1:57. They rallied from five lengths back at the top of the lane to collar Ultimate G, driven by Jason Bartlett. Americanprime time is owned by the Rock N Roll Stable and trained by Rick Dane, Jr. Jason Bartlett won a pair of $110,000 NYSS splits. His first was with Twin B Stingray in 1:56.4 pacing a :28- second final stanza en route to victory. And they needed every bit of that to hold-off Bet You and driver Yannick Gingras by a head. Twin B Stingray is owned by J & T Silva Racing Stable and C C Stables and trained by Aaron Lambert. He paid $20.20 for win Bartlett's other sire stakes victory came with My Spirit Soars in1:57.2 for owner Daniel Van Wart. After putting My Spirit Soars on the lead, Corey Braden made a quarter pole move with odds-on favorite JD He's Da Bomb and Bartlett let them take command before the half. From there Bartlett bided his time and in the lane rallied My Spirit Soars to a head victory over Berkley and Scott Zeron. "I didn't want to go with him (Corey Braden) when he came at me near the half so I let him go. If I didn't my colt would probably not have gotten a check (piece of the purse)," Bartlett admitted. Trained by Tom Fanning, My Spirit Soars paid $5.90 for win. Excelsior Series winners and their drivers included: Can't It Be Me (2:00-Bruce Aldrich, Jr.); Southwind Rex (1:58.4-Jeff Gregory); Spiritintheclouds (2:00.3-Mickey McGivern); Artistic Major (1:59.2-Brent Holland) and Hayden's Little Man (1:59.3- Phil Fluet) by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

It'll be a great afternoon of action on Monday, July 21 when Monticello Raceway features New York-bred 2 year old pacing colts and geldings. There will be five divisions of the $110,000 New York Sire Stakes which will be joined by five splits of freshmen colt pacers in the Excelsior Series who'll compete for total purses in excess of $50,000. The day will commence with arguably the best $21,800 NYSS division on the 13 race program when two speedy freshmen, Freedomformysoul and Rockntouch, clash in the first race on the card. Both were NYSS winners at Saratoga Raceway on July 12, and both with eye-opening performances. Freedomformysoul, a son of If I Can Dream-Hello Grin, in only his second lifetime start made a quarter pole move to the front and then bristled to a stunning 1:53.3 victory for driver Jimmy Morrill, Jr. He'll start from the pole position again with Morrill in the bike. In his first lifetime start Rockntouch, sailed wire to wire for a splendid 1:55 triumph also with Morrill at the controls. However, on Monday Yannick Gingras will be in the pilot's seat when this son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Touch Of Bogart leaves from the two-hole Freedomformysoul is trained by Nancy Johansson for the Freedomformysoul Stable while Monte Gelrod conditions Rockntouch for Freddy Monteleone. In another NYSS division, race four on the card, the undefeated Oneisalonelynumber and Aimo Hanover will lock horns. Both pacers won their respective NYSS divisions at Saratoga in identical times of 1:57.3 Oneisaloneynumber, an altered son of Bettor's Delight-No One Is Alone is trained by Casie Coleman for the West Wins Stable and Adriano Sorella while Aimo Hanover, an Artiscape colt out of Allamerican Celeb, is owned by the Doug Ackerman Stable and trained by D.R. Ackerman. Jimmy Morrill, Jr. will drive the former while Jeff Gregory will handle the latter. In a third split, race eight, K Ryan Bluechip gets the nod as the early line favorite. He was a close second to Freedomformysoul at Saratoga officially timed in 1:54.1. The son of Art Major-Fool That I Am won a baby race at Pocono Downs in 1:54.2 on June 20. Joe Pavia, Jr. trains and drives K Ryan Bluechip for Steve Held, Joe Barbera, the AGC Stable, and Harbor Point Hospitality. They will leave from post four on Monday afternoon. Then fourth split, race 10, will feature K-Rock, a Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A colt who was 1:55.1 NYSS winner at Saratoga for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. From the powerful Ron Burke Stable K-rock will be driven by Yannick Gingras when they start from post three. JD He's Da Bomb, who earlier this season won two baby races at Tioga Downs- the fastest in 1:57.1- will be the one to beat in the final NYSS division which will go as race 12. Blocked and beaten just a length in his NYSS split at Saratoga and individually timed in 1:55.4 the Art Major-Cherry Bomb colt will leave from the pole position with Corey Braden at the lines. Paul Bernardo trains JD He's Da Bomb for Joe Martinelli. "These sire stakes races appear to have some of the best pacing colts we've ever seen, especially at this time of the year," noted Eric Warner the track's Sr. Director of Racing. "Fans will be in for a pleasurable afternoon." The undercard also features some nice colts in three Excelsior "A" divisions and two Excelsior "B" divisions. They'll be joined by three overnight events. The 13-race card will get underway at 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Six Divisions of the Stallion Series for 2-year-old filly pacers, going for a purse of $20,000 each, and a Winner's Over $25,000 Lifetime trot headlined the Wednesday afternoon card at Harrah's Philadelphia. Division one went to Icapella Hanover, who closed fast off of cover to spring a 34-1 upset. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is owned by Held, Barbera, Pavia, and the AGC Stables, trained by Joe Pavia Jr, and was driven by Ron Pierce. Another long shot Shark Mate closed for second, while Miss Katie Q, who had the lead in mid-stretch, weakened to third. Division two was dominated by the speed of the Ross Croghan trainee Filly Buster. The daughter of Well Said was never threatened the entire mile, going on to pace in 1:56.3. She is owned by Let it Ride Stables, RBH Ventures, and Howard Taylor, and was driven by Corey Callahan. Mcplay Girl was second, while Vivid Shine rallied well for third. Division three was never in question, as Try N Keep Up took the lead and never looked back. The daughter of Western Terror set pedestrian fractions, and closed home in an effortless 27.3 final quarter. She is owned by Give it a Shot Stables and VIP Internet Stables, trained by John Butenshoen, and was driven by Marcus Miller. TSM Daisy Mae was second, while Dobre Povedane finished third. Division four ended in another major upset, as Hashtag Quick took advantage of breaking horses to wire the field. The daughter of Quik Pulse Mindale was well-rated by driver Brett Miller, and completed the mile in 1:56.3. She is owned by Adams Racing, and is trained by Brewer Adams. My Girl Friend was second, while Scornful Hanover finished third. Division five was won in dominating fashion by Henderson Farm's Fine China. The daughter of Dragon Again sped to the top and made every call a winning one, stopping the clock in 1:55.1, which was a series' fastest for the day. She is trained by Chris Ryder, and was driven by David Miller. Winbak Wiggle fought back for second, while Medoland Jewel finished third. The sixth and final division was taken in gate-to-wire fashion by Official Belle. The daughter of Art Official was well-rated throughout the mile, and had plenty left in the end, stopping the clock in 1:58.2. She is owned by Anatolia Racing, trained by Roland Mallar, and was driven by Brett Miller. The quickly closing She Said was second, while Docudrama Hanover finished third. Also on tap was a Winner's Over $25,000 Lifetime Trot, featuring the heavily favorite Sevruga. Off the gate however, it was Ron Burke trainee Money On My Mind who sped to the opening quarter on top. Sevruga quickly surged pass just after the quarter. After fighting off mild pressure from Opening Night at three quarters, Sevruga ran out of gas. It was the fast closing My Love Bi picking up the pieces in the late stages to score the upset win. Money On My Mind rallied off the pocket trip for second, while Opening Night finished third. My Love Bi is owned by trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, and was driven by George Napolitano Jr. She completed the mile in 1:52.1. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia 

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway's 13-race program Wednesday evening could a box of chocolates...you never know what you are going to get until you taste them.   The same could be said about the 2-year-old colt pacers entered in the New York Sires Stakes and Excelsior A Series. A total of 40 inexperienced colt pacers are set to participate with 32 getting their first taste of their young careers. For some, this will be the start of their sweet careers.   While there are 91 'lines' in the program on the entrants, 83 of them are qualifiers. There are just eight pari-mutual starts amongst the group and combined lifetime earnings of $9,051.   There will be three $37,266 divisions of the Sire Stakes and two legs of the Excelsior A series worth $12,600 apiece. There is also a non-betting $6,600 division of the Excelsior Series B that will go off before the start of the 5 p.m. card.   They'll also be gunning for the track record at Buffalo Raceway for the 2-year-old colts of 1:55.4 set last season by He's Watching.   The 40 colts and geldings involved in the regular card have been sired by either Art Major (12), American Ideal (7), Rock N Roll Heaven (6), Bettor's Delight (6) If I Can Dream (4), Kenneth J (3) and Artiscape (2).   In the first division, set for the third race, Cartoon Daddy paced the mile in a qualifier at Gaitway Farms in New Jersey in 1:55 on June 16th and has been installed as the 5-2 choice with Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike. They will begin from the seven post. Morrill Jr. is fresh off a five-win afternoon Sunday at Buffalo and is currently the leading driver on the Sire Stakes circuit.   K Ryan Bluechip went 1:54.2 in a qualifier at Pocono Downs on June 20th. He'll start from the five post with Joe Pavia Jr. in the sulky as the 3-1 second pick.   Ardie B Speed, who will start from the two post for Jeff Gregory, turned in an eye-popping 19-1/2 qualifiying win on June 20th at Vernon Downs in 1:56.3 and could be a force to be aware of.   The second division, the Ron Burke-trained K-Rock (Morrill Jr) could be very good starting from the two post after going a 1:55.1 qualifier on June16th at Gaitway Farms. He's the 5-2 morning line selection.   His main threat could come from Old Man Cleary (Brent Holland) who had a 1:56 time over the Gaitway Farm track on June 23rd.   The third and final leg goes off in the seventh race with Play The Field (Morrill Jr.) the early 3-1 favorite. They'll be starting from the two post. Play The Field went a 1:57 mile at Gaitway Farm on June16th and should get a perfect trip.   Startznheaven gets local drover Ray Fisher Jr. and they'' score from the rail. Starznheaven had a 1:57 mile at Gaitway on June 23rd.   The Excelsior A series races will be contest in the second and sixth.   For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, news and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

The month of June arrived at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and brought with it some of the most competitive racing we've had all year long. We saw a little of everything: Standout performances, stunning long shots, drivers and trainers putting in big efforts, and much, much more. It's never easy to pick out the very best of such a crowded field, but that's what we're here to do by handing out another edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BJ'S RAMEAU Like any other athlete, character is often most clearly revealed in a harness racing horse when adversity strikes. In the case of BJ's Rameau, that adversity came in the midst of an outstanding season as one of the top claiming pacers at Pocono, when, in his first start in the barn of trainer Matias Ruiz on May 17, he finished dead last in a field of nine despite having a lead at the top of the stretch. That rare clunker of a finish was mitigated somewhat by the fact that he started the race from the outside post, meaning that the lead he captured was extremely hard-fought. Still, the bettors were skeptical enough that in his next start, BJ's Rameau went off at a tepid 6-1. He responded with a gutty win from the pocket in 1:50:2. On Saturday night, he was the even-money favorite once again in his usual $25,000-$30,000 claiming handicap group, and he delivered a bravura effort. With Joe Pavia Jr. in the bike, BJ's Rameau made the lead about 3/8 of a mile into the race and poured it on from there, beating the toughest pacers on the grounds by 5 ¾ lengths and doing so in a career-best 1:49:1, which was the fastest pacing time posted this week at Pocono. Like all the finest horses, this 5-year-old gelding bounced back from his brief bout of adversity stronger than ever. Other top pacers this week include: Morgan Shark (Simon Allard, Pierre Paradis), who ripped off his Third Straight claiming win on Saturday night and did so in a career-best 1:50:1; Skitsofrantic (Mark MacDonald, John Barchi), who continues to tear up the lower claiming ranks, winning in 1:53:3 on Sunday night for his fourth consecutive victory; and Stanhope (Anthony Napolitano, Steve Salerno), a three-year-old who won his Third Straight condition race on Sunday, this one in 1:52:4, despite the fact that he wasn't favored in any of those starts. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: JOHNHANNIBALSMITH Fans of 80's television will recognize this name as being the same as the leader of the A-Team, a guy famous for saying, "I love it when a plan comes together" at the end of every episode. For the trotter of the same name, an 11-year-old gelding from the barn of trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, the plan has been pretty simple. He just goes out and beats everybody he faces. Coming into Wednesday night's $12,500 claiming trot, Johnhannibalsmith had made seven starts in 2014 and won six of them. His only loss was by a heartbreaking head to Fortissimo on April 25 at Chester, but he ripped off three more wins in a row following that defeat, two of them coming at Pocono. On Wednesday night, he upped his claiming price from $10,000 to $12,500 for a new challenge, but the race played out the same when the gelding booked to the front end. With his regular driver George Napolitano Jr. in tow, Johnhannibalsmith led all the way even though he was tested at the end of the mile. That extra effort led him to a career-best time of 1:54:3, meaning that this veteran trotter deserves another victory cigar lit in his honor, just like his television namesake liked to do. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tamasin Hall (Bill Mullin driver and trainer), a mare who picked up her second straight condition win on Tuesday night, this one in 1:56:3; Bufalino Hanover (Matt Kakaley, Todd Schadel), whose condition win on Tuesday night came in the week's fastest trotting time of 1:53:3, which was also his career-best; and Truth In Action (Mike Simons, Jenny Melander), who overcame an outside post position to win a claimer on Tuesday night in 1:55:2. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: PSYCHOBABBLE The filly's maiden victory on Tuesday night with Tom Jackson in the bike was probably just as memorable for her bettors as it was for her, as she cashed in at 36-1 for a $74.40 payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Joe Pavia Jr. Joe proved this week that he is still a force in the sulky when he takes on enough drives, posting back-to-back three-win nights on Saturday and Sunday night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: FRED GRANT Grant pulled off a unique training double on Tuesday night, as each of his winners, trotter Psychobabble and pacer Somenicebeach, earned their maiden victories. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs  

Fresh off a front-end win in last week's featured event, Fireyourguns made the winning move on the far turn to prevail in going-away fashion in Sunday (May 11) afternoon's $14,000 Open I Pace at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding was parked on the first turn before settling just behind the pace-setting pair of Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) and Steelhead Hanover (Joe Pavia, Jr.). With Prairie Jaguar clicking off a :54.4 half-mile and a subsequent 1:22.3 three-quarters split, Aaron Byron angled Fireyourguns out, taking second on the far turn and continuing right on to take the lead off the corner, pulling clear through the stretch for a 1:51.4 score.   Prairie Jaguar held second, while Real Flight (Brandon Simpson) made a mild belated rally to take third. Odds-on favorite Steelhead Hanover was devoid of late kick after tracking the fast initial pace, fading to fourth.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   The $11,000 Open II pace saw Western Trademark rally three-wide off the last turn for a 1:54.1 victory in rein to Sean Bier.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (May 16) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

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