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Sire Donato Hanover was the biggest All-Star on a night when state-sired two-year-old trotting fillies raced for $210,000 in Pennsylvania All-Stars competition, as he sired five of the seven winners during the Wednesday night action at  the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   The quickest of the seven winners could have been predicted by pedigree students: it was Broadway Donna, a Donato Hanover out of Broadway Schooner, a full sister to world champion Cooler Schooner, who had the harness world buzzing when she set a 1:51.3 world standard here as a 2YO.   Broadway Donna, now undefeated in three outings and two pari-mutuel starts, quarter-moved to command and won by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:55.3 for driver David Miller, trainer Jim Campbell ("Cooler"'s conditioner), and owner/breeder Fashion Farms LLC.   Of all the winning trainers and drivers in the seven All-Star events, only trainer John Butenschoen tallied twice, once with a Donato Hanover   His was Twill Be Done, who took the lead past the quarter and went on to a 1:58.4 triumph for driver Mike Simons, the local "Trot Man," who is also co-owner with Christopher Giaccio and Albert Abdala III.   Rounding out the Donato Fivesome, in order of faster clockings, were Woman's Will in 1:56.4 for driver Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller, and owner/breeders Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz; Windowshopper, who made every pole a winning one in 1:57 for trainer-driver Ray Schnittker, also co-owner with Charles Iannazzo; and Grand Canyon, home in 1:58.1 for driver John Campbell, trainer Nancy Johansson, and owner/breeder Diamond Creek.   Butenschoen's other winner was Lookin Hanover, a daughter of Andover Hall who personally came home in 28.2 despite a first-over trip to tally in 1:58.1 for driver Corey Callahan and owners William Wiswell and M And L Of Delaware Inc.   The night's other stakes winner posted the second-fastest time among the fillies: Whitelake Hanover, a daughter of Explosive Matter who opened up an insurmountable lead down the backstretch and stopped the timer at 1:56.3 for driver Joe Pavia Jr., trainer Chris Oakes, and owners Omar Beiler, Dennis Coons, and Susan Oakes.                                                                  * * * * * * *   Late driver changes and top three morning line choices for the big four Championship races and the Sun Invitational Trot to be held on Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono, plus the first three choice in the morning line:   $75,000 SUN INVITATIONAL TROT No late driver changes Top three choices: JL Cruze, Sebastian K S, Classic Martine   $300,000 JAMES LYNCH 3PF CHAMPIONSHIP Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Momas Got A Gun; Brett Miller, originally listed, will stay with Wicked Little Minx Top three choices: Sassa Hanover, Stacia Hanover, Momas Got A Gun   $500,000 MAX C. HEMPT 3PC CHAMPIONSHIP No late driver changes Top three choices: Wiggle It Jiggleit, Wakizashi Hanover, Artspeak   $500,000 BEN FRANKLIN FFAP CHAMPIONSHIP Simon Allard will drive Domethatagain; Tim Tetrick, originally listed, will stick with Mach It So Top three choices: State Treasurer, Vegas Vacation, Luck Be Withyou   $500,000 EARL BEAL JR. 3TC CHAMPIONSHIP Brian Sears will drive Crazy Wow; Yannick Gingras, originally listed, will stick with Pinkman Top three choices: Uncle Lasse, Pinkman, Cruzado Dela Noche   Jerry Connors

Harness racing driver Corey Callahan got the jump on Driver of the Week honors, finding the winner's circle five times on Friday night at The Meadowlands. Callahan didn't waste any time, winning the first two year old event of the season at The Meadowlands, with the John Butenschoen trained Ideal Rocky, a Rocknroll Hanover colt that cost $47,000 at the Harrisburg yearling sale. Callahan and Butenschoen would team up again later on the night, winning a condition trotting event with the Currier and Ives winner, Suit and Tie (Andover Hall). The Captain would also go on to score with B Stern (Bettor's Delight) in wire to wire fashion in a condition pacing event for fillies and mares at 13-1. He also guided Beach Story (Somebeachsomewhere) to a strong win in a very tough upper-level condition pacing event for mares and steered Tirade Hanover (Crazed) to a well-meant win in a competitive middle level condition trotting event. With the five wins, Callahan moved into the top-five in the Meadowlands drivers standings. The feature race of the night was the $50,000 TVG Free For All Trot, the third leg in the $1.2 Million series. Obrigado made his debut in the series and he made it a winning one, scoring in impressive fashion in 1:51.3, a lifetime best performance. Last week, Obrigado found himself locked in throughout the mile while crying out for racing room in the stretch, Mark Macdonald made sure that wouldn't happen this time, putting his gelding in the game early. But Obrigado had to work hard early on, parked out by DW's NY Yank, the 9/5 favorite and the two raced in tandem past the quarter in 26.3. Shortly after the trotters turned into the backstretch, Obrigado cleared the lead and it was a lead he would not relinquish. MacDonald effectively backed his trotter down to a 55.3 half mile before reaching three-quarters in 1:25.1, completely a tepid 58.3 middle half-mile. In the stretch, the Boy Band gelding  simply out-sprinted the field, kicking home in 26.2 to complete the triumph. Flanagan Memory rallied to finish second with Melady's Monet overcoming traffic trouble in the stretch to finish third. Obrigado is co-owned by his trainer Paul Kelley, L. Higgins and W. Weaver III. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 survived another night, despite a 15-1 upset and that carryover will be $168,564 into the Saturday program. The last race carryover swelled to $149,836 as well. Racing resumes on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

Nichols, N.Y. -- After a relaxed midpack start, Bourbon Bay ($7.70) sustained a push to the fore en route to a 1:54.2 victory in Saturday (June 13) evening's $14,000 harness racing open trot at Tioga Downs.   The 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding was away slowly, settling into the fourth spot after Tag Up and Go (Kyle DiBenedetto) and Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) both broke stride in the early stages. After Awsome Valley (Aaron Byron) crossed and cleared from the extreme outside to establish the lead through a :28.1 first quarter, lessee-driver John Cummings, Jr. strode to the top spot with Bourbon Bay, brushing with a circuit to go before reaching race's midpoint in :57.2. Heading to the far turn, Awsome Valley edged out of the pocket to give chase, but Bourbon Bay held sway under a drive, prevailing by a length in 1:54.2. Tag Up and Go recovered from his early break, closing second-over on the backstretch and holding third.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who scored his fourth local win in as many starts on the season.   The sub-featured $10,000 Open II Trot saw Valley of Sin ($9.50) kick cover on the far turn, drawing clear of Twin B Spike Man (Aaron Byron) for a 1:54.3 triumph. Jim Meittinis drove the 5-year-old Yankee Glide entire for trainer John Butenschoen. For Valley of Sin, it was his second victory in as many starts since coming back off a 22-month layoff.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (June 14) afternoon, with a 12-race program kicking off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

WASHINGTON PA, June 6, 2015 -- Suit And Tie was dressed for success in Saturday's Currier & Ives open division at The Meadows, promenading through the Lightning Lane to earn a narrow harness racing victory in the $119,565 stake for 3-year-old trotters. Suit And Tie had won only two of his previous 21 starts and was somewhat overshadowed by his stablemate, Boots N Chains, who also started in the Currier & Ives. But John Butenschoen, who trains Suit And Tie for William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware, said the rangy son of Andover Hall-Warrawee Krisp came back a stronger horse at 3. "Last year, he had as much talent as Boots N Chains," he said. "Mentally, he just wasn't there. At the end of the year, he started to come around. He filled out and developed mentally and physically. Today, he pretty well exploded. I was happy to see that." In the Currier & Ives, Boots N Chains had to work hard for the lead, securing it at the three-eighths, and was pressured by the first-over Chef Lee. That set the stage for Suit And Tie's rally, as he poured through for Aaron Merriman and scored in a career-best 1:54.1. Shoot The Thrill, who was pushed four wide through the final turn, trotted wide gamely but came up a nose short while Boots N Chains saved show. Butenschoen said his $30,000 yearling acquisition will remain in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and also is eligible for the Hambletonian, the Earl Beal, Jr. and the Colonial, among other stakes. $181,766 PASS, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers In the companion feature on Saturday's special Belmont Day card, a $181,766 PASS for sophomore colt and gelding pacers known as the Bye Bye Byrd, Lost For Words made it three straight in PASS action -- and four in a row overall -- when he overcame post 9 to prevail in 1:50.1 Winning driver David Miller had Lost For Words outside for the entire 27 first quarter, but Miller said he wasn't unduly concerned. "Had there been a spot, I would have taken it," Miller indicated. "They weren't going really big. He can leave much faster. He's one of the better ones in the sires stakes, that's for sure." Lost For Words cruised home without a serious challenge, defeating Blood Brother by 2-3/4 lengths, with Rufo third. Brian Brown, who conditions the son of Well Said-Thou Shalt Not for County Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo and Strollin Stables, said he's unable to pinpoint the exact reason for Lost For Words' impeccable start to the year. "Maybe he's a touch sounder -- not that he was bad last year," Brown said of his $50,000 yearling purchase. "I really can't explain it. He's not a great, big strong horse who's just coming to his own. He's just a good little horse. But if Brown is at a loss for words about Lost For Words, that's about the only thing he's lost at The Meadows in 2015. In 15 starts at the track this year, Brown is 10-3-1 for an eye-popping .800 UTR. He said he didn't pay Lost For Words into the North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace lest those tough tests wear him down. Instead, he's pointing his colt to the Max Hempt. In the other division, My Hero Ron was making his first start for his new connections -- trainer Ron Burke, owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and Frank Baldachino -- who purchased him for $130,000 at the recent Meadowlands sale. He returned immediate dividends, shooting the Lightning Lane for Matt Kakaley to triumph in 1:50.4. PV Coming Home was second, 1/2 length back, while Rise Up Now completed the ticket. Still, it was no slam dunk, as PV Coming Home and Merriman grabbed a daylight lead with a backside burst that left My Hero Ron 2-1/2 lengths behind at the top of the stretch. "My horse actually was loaded," Kakaley said. "Aaron's horse looked like he was getting a little weak, so I thought I could reel him in. Marcus Miller, who had been driving this horse, told me the horse is lazy. So I figured, a barn change to Ronnie, and he might wake up a little bit. And he did. Like Ronnie said last year about a filly I drove for him, 'It's penthouse or outhouse.'" Tony Hall piloted five winners on the 13-race program. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Louisville, KY --- When harness racing trainer John Butenschoen selected Boots N Chains and Suit And Tie from the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale, obviously each yearling possessed their individual appeal, but both colts also satisfied another essential criteria: they were Pennsylvania Sire Stakes eligible. “We focus on the Pennsylvania program and anything else is an additional perk,” said the 52-year-old Illinois native. “Suit And Tie was the first surviving foal out of a Yankee Glide mare (and he is) by Andover Hall. Of course we go with a budget and a list of things we are looking for. He fit perfectly ($30,000 sales price). “Boots N Chains, however, was a bit of a different story. We gave $75,000 for him, which is quite high for us and he was on the smallish side, but we were familiar with the family. The Pinskes had his full older brother (Leave Your Mark 4,1:55.4f, $123,360) down in Florida a couple years ago and we trained him. He was a very nice horse and I really like this family.” Each colt will look to improve upon their career and seasonal records when they leave the gate side-by-side in the $119,565 Currier and Ives Trot for 3-year-old males at The Meadows on Saturday (June 6). In what is carded as the 10th race, Suit And Tie commences his mile from post position four, while his stablemate starts trotting from post position five. Boots N Chains is the 3-1 morning line choice and Suit And Tie is 5-1. “It may not be the biggest of stages, but I’m happy with the opportunity to go for a purse of more than $100,000 if other people decide to take their horses elsewhere,” Butenschoen said. “It’s not like it used to be where if you had a nice horse you knew where to race them. Now it is about managing them correctly and placing them in the right spots so the owners can make some money with them. “It may not sound as exciting as being in some of the big stake races, but if you can stay right in Pennsylvania and race for money like this, why wouldn’t you? I did that with Allstar Partner a couple years back and he made over $200,000 just racing in the sire stakes by winning the final.” As 2-year-olds, Suit And Tie, co-owned by William Wiswell and M and L of Delaware, and Boots N Chains, co-owned by Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, earned what was proffered for them and more. Suit And Tie collected just shy of $50,000 from 17 performances. He was third in his Breeders Crown elimination, but ninth in the $500,000 final and set his 2-year-old mark of 1.58.1f in his sole victory at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Aug. 13, 2014. “The only thing that held this horse back was his mentality,” Butenschoen said. “He finished out the year very nicely as he was trotting home very strongly in the Kindergarten and I was very pleased with him in the Breeders Crown. He really lost all chance in the final, but still did his best.” Boots N Chains also gave a good account of himself in his first year of competition as he trotted in 1:54.4 and amassed just under $120,000 in purse money with only one triumph from 12 starts. He was, however, second to French Laundry in the $240,500 Kindergarten final and to Muscle Diamond in a $77,120 division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile with a last panel in :27.4. Although their year has just begun, both colts have been promising. Boots N Chains has compiled a record of 4-2-0-1 and $35,767. Suit And Tie has collected $20,080 and possesses a resume of 4-1-1-0. Despite the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit being the primary focus, if either colt should prove they are prepared for another stage, Butenschoen has them staked in order to do so. “They are both Hambletonian eligible,” he said. “They are paid into other races, too and I wouldn’t say they are heavily staked, but they have the opportunity to compete in those races should the case arise. “How I look at it is if they have the ability to go to the Hambo, great, it’s what we all dream of in this business, but if not, I just hope I can spot them correctly in these stakes with good purses to do the right thing by my owners. All of us horsemen are always perpetually reaching for that ring, but we also have to make the appropriate decisions for our businesses so we can afford to continue to do that.” By Kimberly French 

East Rutherford, NJ - The 2015 Grand Circuit harness racing season at The Meadowlands begins on Saturday night with the $47,306 Tar Heel, the three-year-old pacing colt division of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial stake.   Trainer John Butenschoen holds a strong hand in the Tar Heel with a pair of multiple PA Sires Stakes winners in Tomy Terror and Dragon Eddy.   Tomy Terror was precocious right from the start as a freshman, finishing no worse than second in each of his first ten outings. He fell but a nose short of being the PASS champ for his division, dropping the photo in a snappy 1:50.3 at Pocono last September. At season's end, Tomy Terror has banked in excess of $200,000 and lowered the Vernon Downs track record for two-year-gelding pacers to 1:50.2 in the John F. Simpson Memorial stake. He is owned by the partnership of William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, Eugene Shick and The Vip Internet Stable, LLC.   Dragon Eddy was also a model of consistency for Butenschoen last season, boasting five wins among eight on-the-board finishes in nine starts at two. He rattled off three state restricted stakes wins at the start and also made the PASS final, finishing fourth. Among his wins was a score at Tioga in a freshman division of the Reynolds. His earnings at year end stood at $143,607 for the same ownership group.   Both are making their seasonal bow in the Reynolds stake, which opens the card as the first half of the Daily Double at 7:15pm.   Later in the evening the second leg of the Whata Baron series offers a very competitive, bulky field of twelve in a single division contested at the rout distance of a mile and one eighth. Leg one winners Bettorever and Rediscovery return with the latter faced with a second tier start from post twelve.   Also on Saturday are a three Spring Preview events which are filled with sophomore pacers embarking on their promise-filled seasons and a solid 4&5 year-old Open pace.   The $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Contest will take place at The Meadowlands on Saturday and there is still time to enter this lucrative test of skill. The fun starts at 7:15, don't miss it!   From Meadowlands Media Relations  

For his first 10 starts, 2-year-old male pacer Tomy Terror was a model of harness racing consistency, posting four wins and six second-place finishes. Trainer John Butenschoen would rather forget race No. 11. Tomy Terror finished eighth in last week’s Matron Stakes, which was won by In The Arsenal over a “good” track at Dover Downs. Tomy Terror was at the front of the outer flow at the half and second on the outside to In The Arsenal at the three-quarters mark before dropping back in the stretch. Butenschoen is looking for the gelding to bounce back Saturday when he competes in the second of two eliminations of the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands. Tomy Terror drew post seven and is 9-2 on the morning line. In The Arsenal, who got post 10, is the 8-5 favorite. “The Matron was very disappointing,” Butenschoen said. “We’re just going to throw out that race. It was a bad night weather-wise. I’m not so sure he didn’t displace and get his air shut off. Anything that was first up didn’t seem to play well on that track that night. “But he came out of it great. The next day he was bucking and playing out in the field. We brought him in and jogged him a little bit and his blood work was normal. I trained him (Monday) before the (entry) box closed and decided to put him in. Hopefully he’ll go back to the form he showed us all year long.” Tomy Terror is a son of Western Terror-Mib Hanover owned by William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, Eugene Schick and VIP Internet Stable. His wins include divisions of the Pennsylvania All Stars, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Simpson Stakes, the latter in a track-record 1:50.2 at Vernon Downs. He finished second by a nose to Yankee Bounty in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. “Yankee Bounty was no slouch,” Butenschoen said. “Just going off the competition that we faced in Pennsylvania and what they’ve done when they stepped out of the state, I think we’ve got a good shot. As long as he comes back to where he was, I think we’ll be OK.” Multiple-stakes-winner Lost For Words is the 5-2 favorite in the first Breeders Crown elimination. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $500,000 final on Nov. 22. Elim winners will draw for posts one through five for the final. Butenschoen also sends Suit And Tie into the second of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters Saturday at the Meadowlands. Suit And Tie, who has one win in 15 starts for owners Wiswell and M And L Of Delaware Inc., is 20-1 on the morning line. He is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Kindergarten Classic Series championship, beaten only 2-1/2 lengths, and was third in his two previous starts. “The Kindergarten final was what got us to put him in,” Butenschoen said. “He finished fifth, but he was just loaded with trot. Every week we raced him (recently) he just got better and better, so we decided to give him a try. The owners are game for it. They enjoy the business and the horse is ready. We’ll give it a go.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

For John Butenschoen, happiness is seeing Happiness in action. A 2-year-old female pacer, Happiness faces seven foes in the second of two Breeders Crown eliminations Friday night at the Meadowlands. Butenschoen trains the filly, which he co-owns with breeder Dr. John Egloff’s Vieux Carre Farms. Happiness drew post eight in her Breeders Crown elim and is 20-1 on the morning line. She has won three of five races, including a division of the Historic-Debutante Stakes, and earned $31,483. Her career got off to a late start because of a hairline fracture in a rear pastern bone, but Butenschoen has held the filly in high regard. “She’s a real big, strong-looking mare,” Butenschoen said. “We liked her a lot (in the winter). It was disheartening when she came up sore on us. I dropped all of her early stakes races. I swam her for six or seven weeks and started bringing her back slowly. “I figured if we got her there, OK, we could kind of see what we had for next year.” A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Panevolence, Happiness won her first three starts, including the 1:53.1 victory over stakes-winner (and Breeders Crown rival) Ideal Nuggets in the Historic at Harrah’s Philadelphia, before going off stride in her next race at Vernon Downs. Last week, she faced mostly 3-year-old female pacers and finished fourth after leading to the opening quarter in :26.4. “Her second lifetime start at (Philly) was kind of a big eye-opener,” Butenschoen said. “For a 2-year-old filly to do what she did (winning in 1:52.4) was pretty good. “We got in a bad spot up in Vernon. I don’t know what happened, but she ended up running over a wheel or something and got an interference break. She raced back last week and put in a decent effort. She stepped out of their pretty hard and just got caught late.” Divine Caroline, a stakes-winning daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Loving Caroline from the stable of trainer Joe Holloway, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in Happiness’ elimination. She is owned by Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables and Michael Ouriel. Undefeated JK She’salady is the 4-5 choice in the first elim, followed by Sassa Hanover at 2-1. JK She’salady, a daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady, is unbeaten in 10 starts for trainer Nancy Johansson and breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables. Sassa Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover) has won nine of 11 races for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing, The Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Larry Karr. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $500,000 final on Nov. 22. “We’re kind of seeing what we got,” Butenschoen said. “I think she can step up and go with these horses. I don’t know if she can compete with the likes of JK She’salady, but that’s why we put her in, to find that out.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Three divisions of the Debutante Stakes (part of the Historic Series) were contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon (Oct. 10). The harness racing events were for 2-year-old filly pacers, each going for a purse of approximately $35,000.   In the first division, it was the John Butenschoen trainee Happiness (Mike Simons) going gate-to-wire to remain undefeated. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover was able to rate a 29.4 second quarter, before going on to pace a strong back half in 55.4 to secure the victory. Bob and Lauren Tucker's Ideal Nuggets (David Miller) provided a strong first over challenge, but came up a neck short in an exciting stretch duel. The mile was completed in 1:53.1. Happiness ($4.80 to win) is owned by breeders Vieux Carre Farms and trainer John Butenschoen. Cover Model (Corey Callahan) finished third.   In division two, Better Said (Tim Tetrick) made it two in a row. The daughter of Well Said battled for the lead for much of the opening quarter (27.4) before going on to a strong front end victory. She won by two lengths, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. Rock Me Gently (Yannick Gingras) sat in the Pocket seat throughout to finish second, while My Little Delight (Andrew McCarthy) closed mildly up the inside to finish third. Better Said is owned by Brittany Farms, and is trained by Linda Toscano. She paid $4.60 to win.   In the third and final division, Southwind Roulette (Yannick Gingras) came into the event as the heavy favorite, but Seeking Nirvana (David Miller) had other ideas. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere left aggressively from the far outside to sit pocket behind the favorite. After patiently drafting for much of the mile, she was given her cue, vacating the pocket just beyond three-quarters. In the stretch, Seeking Nirvana was able to survive a passing lane surge from Alexa Said (Brett Miller) to win by a quarter of a length, stopping the time in 1:52.3. She paid $17.60 to win. Seeking Nirvana is owned by Patricia Stable and Barb Matthews, and is trained by Noel Daley.   In overnight action, Bamond Racing's Venus Delight (Tim Terick) scored in a winners over $25,000 lifetime event for filly and mare pacers. The 4-year-old picked up her sixteenth victory out of just forty starts in come-from-behind fashion, stopping the clock in 1:51 flat. Ms Caila J Fra (Ron Pierce) raced a big first-over effort to be second, while Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) cleared late to finish third. Venus Delight is trained by P J Fraley, and paid $4.20 to win.   Michael Bozich    

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 26, 2014 -- Although he was pressed in the stretch, Yankee Bounty extended his harness racing career unbeaten streak to eight by capturing a division of Friday's $91,998 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Mike Simons and trainer John Butenschoen teamed to take the other two splits, with Dragon Eddy and Tomy Terror, in the event for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Yankee Bounty quarter-poled to the lead for Eric Ledford, who stepped up when transportation problems prevented regular driver Yannick Gingras from reaching The Meadows. The pocket-sitting Chaching Hanover, who had only a maiden victory to his credit, kept close to his undefeated rival until Yankee Bounty drew off late under mild urging to triumph by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. Wild Again was third. Yankee Bounty won his two most recent starts, including the Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship, by a nose and a neck, narrow escapes that may lead some to consider him vulnerable. Don't count Ledford among them. "He was on the right line just a touch, but there was never any doubt," Ledford said. "They haven't beaten him yet, and I don't foresee them beating him in the near future. You'll be reading a lot about him next year as a 3-year-old." Ron Burke trains the Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee gelding, who soared over $300,000 in lifetime earnings, for Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick. Yankee Bounty will dominate the headlines, as well he should, but Dragon Eddy emerged from the Keystone Classic with one laurel Yankee Bounty didn't get -- the stake record. He earned it with a front-end score in 1:51.1. UF Larry Alltheway was second, 3 lengths back, while Parklane Eagle rallied for show. "He's a real quick, real handy horse," said assistant trainer Tyler Butenschoen. "He comes off the car really well. He's been able to get in spots where he could put himself in the race. When he's got to the front, he's been able to control it. He's quick enough that he can accelerate away from them on the end." William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, Eugene Schick and Edward Bardowski campaign Dragon Eddy, a Dragon Again-Jaska Hanover gelding who now has banked $139,512. Tomy Terror hadn't been worse than second in eight career outings, a streak that appeared in jeopardy when he was attacked inside and outside while leading through the lane. The Western Terror-Mib Hanover gelding dug in and held off Reggiano by a nose in a career-best 1:52, with McArdles Lightning third. "He's such a good-feeling horse," Tyler Butenschoen said. "He has a great attitude, and he loves his work. He can get a little lost on the lead, but he'll explode off a helmet." Wiswell, Goehlen, Schick and VIP Internet Stable own Tomy Terror, who is eligible for such late-season stakes as the Breeders Crown and the Matron. In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Southern Allie made the lead first over and held off the rallying Shock It To 'Em by a head to prevail in 1:51. Camcruiser Hanover completed the ticket. Randy Bendis conditions the 7-year-old Allie's Western-Pershing Angela gelding, who extended his career bankroll to $747,754, and owns with Tom Pollack, Jack Piatt II and R. Lewis Hauber. Dave Palone drove five winners and Simons three on the 16-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the card features a pair of Keystone Classics -- a $90,000 stake for three-year-old filly pacers and a $71,200 test for sophomore filly trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 5, 2014 - A well-balanced field of eight three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, including New Jersey Classic winner Sweet Rock, will face-off in the $42,000 New Jersey Futurity, the ninth race on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Sweet Rock rallied for a nose victory in the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic on August 2 at the Meadowlands in a lifetime best of 1:49.4. In his last start, the $54,072 Geers at Tioga Downs on August 17, he was third. The Wayne Givens trainee, driven by Brett Miller, has been rated 9-2 in the morning line from post eight. This year, he has two wins, four seconds and two thirds from 15 starts, banking $142,133 toward a career total of $167,391 for the Delaware-based ownership of Legacy Racing, RA Hazzard and GP Calloway. Art History [Western Ideal] was given the slight 3-1 morning line nod from the rail with Hall of Famer David Miller driving. Art History, trained by Steve Elliott, has two wins and three thirds in seven starts this year, banking $17,840 for Kenneth Klein of Amonk, NY and the Old Block Stables of New York City. The Tony Alagna-trained Gold Rocks [Rocknroll Hanover] will be paired with driver George Brennan, leaving from post five, and is rated 7-2 in the morning line. The New Jersey Futurity is restricted to New Jersey-sired horses and is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. The field for the $42,000 New Jersey Futurity [3yo open division] with sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: 1-Art History-Western Ideal-David Miller-Steve Elliott-3-1 2-Card Shock-Cam's Card Shark-Daniel Dube-Mark Silva-10-1 3-Earthshaker-Rocknroll Hanover-Eric Abbatiello-James Petruccelli-6-1 4-Nubble Light-Rocknroll Hanover-Steve Smith-Deleston Cote-9-1 5-Gold Rocks-Rocknroll Hanover-George Brennan-Tony Alanga-7-2 6-Cheyenne Seeber-Rocknroll Hanover-Jack Baggitt Jr.-Robert Siegelman-30-1 7-Rocknroll Reality-Rocknroll Hanover-Andrew McCarthy-John Butenschoen-9-2 8-Sweet Rock-Rocknroll Hanmover-Brett Miller-Wayne Givens-9-2. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

Six divisions of Stallion Series action for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters were held at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (August 13) each going for a purse of $20,000. In the first division, it was Susan Daugherty's Wimborne Hanover going coast-to-coast for the victory. The son of Muscle Massive used a rated second quarter to his advantage, going on to win in a time of 1:58.3. Pocket-sitter Trust Fund Baby finished second, while Captian Trotterous was third. Wimborne Hanover is trained by Bill Daugherty Jr, and was driven by Yannick Gingras. In division two, it was Suit and Tie in a gate-to-wire performance, stopping the clock in 1:58.1. The son of Andover Hall set steady fractions, holding off a late challenge from Capt Serious, while favorite Master The Past finished third. Suit and Tie is owned by Bill Wiswell and M&L of Delaware Inc., trained by John Butenschoen, and was driven by Mike Simons. In the third division, Chuck Sylvester Trainee Old Oak came from off the pace to win. The son of Donato Hanover drafted behind the live cover of eventual second place finisher Flying Muscles, out closing him in the stretch, to win in 1:58.3. Favorite KY Lucky finished an even third. Old Oak is owned by Steve Jones, and was driven by John Campbell. Division four went to Longcat Hanover. The son of Muscle Massive drafted behind the speed of Don't Mind Me, and was able to barely get past in the final steps, stopping the clock in 1:57.4. Mercury Fashion was a distant third. Longcat Hanover is owned by the Pinske Stables and Enzed Racing, trained by Nifty Norman, and was held together by David Miller. In the fifth division, it was the Oyvind Hegdal trainee Explosiveday scoring an impressive win. The son of Explosive Matter fired quickly off the wings and never looked back, winning in an in-hand 200.1. Explosiveafternoon was second, while Handover The Money, who raced huge despite a tough trip, finished third. Explosiveday is owned by Camilla Hegdal and Kjell Anderson, and was driven by Oyvind Hegdal. The sixth and final division went to Donatomite. The son of Donato Hanover overpowered long shot leader, and eventual third place finisher Emotion In Motion just beyond the quarter pole, going on to a nine length win, in a time of 1:58.1. Plump Jack closed up for second. Donatomite is owned by Michael Andrew, and is trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 9, 2014 -- Hammered down to 1-5 off his surprising fourth in the Hambletonian, Il Sogno Dream lived up to expectations Friday at The Meadows when he dominated his Currier & Ives division and scored in a stake-record 1:53.2. Wheelsandthelegman took the other split in the $120,000 stake for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Il Sogno Dream caught the public's attention with his Hambletonian rally at 90-1, and they deemed him much the best. So did winning driver David Miller, who moved the son of Cantab Hall-Le Reve to the front at the quarter. He jogged from there, lowering the previous Currier & Ives record of 1:54.1 established by Vivid Photo in 2005. "I was very impressed with him," Miller said. "He was very easy to get along with and just raced super. He felt strong in the stretch. He felt like he had enough to finish it off." Chris Beaver trains Il Sogno Dream, who vaulted over $300,000 in career earnings, for Bill Manes, Dan Manes. Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. Wheelsandthelegman had to work much harder for his victory, first repelling Amped Up Hanover and forcing him back to the pylons past the quarter, then thwarting him again when he challenged anew near the three-quarters. The Donato Hanover-Carmita gelding triumphed for Dick Stillings in 1:55.1, a neck better than the game Amped Up Hanover, with Frost Free Hanover third. It was the seventh win for Wheelsandthelegman in nine career outings. "He's a real tough guy, but there's something not quite right about him," said Walt Carroll, who trains Wheelsandthelegman for Beth Carroll. "He got bit by a spider or something after he raced here Adios Day. There's just something missing. But he's a real competitor. I thought he was beat a couple times today, and he hung in there and did what he had to do." He attributed much of the youngster's success to trainer/driver Jim Raymer, who helped develop him. Carroll said Wheelsandthelegman likely will remain in Pennsylvania stakes for the balance of the season. $231,260 PA Sires Stake, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Yankee Bounty stretched his career unbeaten streak to five with his most impressive performance yet, a 1:50.4 mile that erased the stake record of Johns Polyview and is the fastest mile this year by a freshman pacing gelding on a five-eighths-mile track. Lyons Again was second, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Lost For Words earned show. Blood Brother and Tomy Terror captured the other splits in the event known as the Tyler B. Yannick Gingras enjoyed a PASS double behind Yankee Bounty and Blood Brother. Making his initial start in the Ron Burke stable, Yankee Bounty was under wraps late, making Gingras wonder how fast the son of Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee ultimately can go. "He can go faster than 1:50.4, that's for sure. He had plenty left," Gingras said. "He certainly is impressive. He's the best 2-year-old I've driven so far this year, probably the best 2-year-old in the country." Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick campaign Yankee Bounty, who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. A three-race maiden entering the race, Blood Brother was dismissed at 18-1 but found the Lightning Lane in time to score in 1:51.3. Wakizashi Hanover, the 3-5 favorite, was second by a nose, while Dragon Eddy completed the ticket. "He always could go, but he shakes his head the whole race," Gingras said. "He has the ability, but he just doesn't pay attention. Today he was a little bit better as far as that goes, and he got a good trip and got it done. We're working with different bits, and hopefully someday we'll find one he likes." Jimmy Takter trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Blood Diamond for Diamond Creek Racing and J&T Silva Stables. Tomy Terror snapped his bridesmaid streak of three consecutive seconds by shooting the Lightning Lane to down Cooperstown by 1/2 length in 1:52.2, with Badiou Hanover third. Mike Simons drove the Western Terror-Mib Hanover gelding for trainer John Butenschoen and owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, Eugene Schick and VIP Internet Stable. "He's been on the front the last two times and just got caught, but we always thought he would be better off a helmet," said assistant trainer Tyler Butenschoen. "He got the cover he needed and exploded through there real good." The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 31, 2014 - If the pieces all fall into place, the connections of Western Vintage could be sipping champagne on Saturday. the son of Western Ideal is making his return to the races, after being sidelined since late June, in the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic, the fourth of 15 races on the Hambletonian Day program on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The New Jersey Classic and its filly companion event, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey for fillies, are restricted to New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers. Both events are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. In a well-balanced field, Western Vintage is rated the 5-2 second choice [Doo Wop Hanover is 9-5] and will leave from post two with Brian Sears at the lines. Last season, Western Vintage won five of eight races and earned $316,838. His victories included the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-old pacing colts and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at the Red Mile. He finished second in the $648,850 Metro Pace at Mohawk. This all marked the bargain colt - he cost only $7,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale - as a potential divisional star at three. Health issues, however, detoured Western Vintage after four starts this spring. "We gave him a break after the Hempt [on June 21] for a couple of reasons," said Perry Soderberg, the colt's co-owner. "One, because he had some really tough races up to that point, and two, his blood work wasn't perfect so we needed some time to improve that. It is a long year and another year after this one, so we want to take care of the horse." Western Vintage opened his 2014 campaign with a New Jersey Sire Stakes win in 1:49.4 on May 17 at the Meadowlands and a week later was second to Doo Wop Hanover in the $100,000 final. Then it was on the road to Mohawk Raceway for the North America Cup elims [he finished fourth] and to Pocono for the Hempt [he was eighth]. Trainer Nancy Johansson qualified Western Vintage twice in July, including a 1:50.3 clocking and five and a half length victory on July 19 in the hands of new pilot Brian Sears. "Well, Yannick [Gingras, who previously drove the colt] has been great, but he has [Jimmy] Takter's and [Ron] Burke's horses to choose from down the road, and they have been better than mine so far this year," Soderberg explained. "I know Brian has JK Endofanera and other options as well, but I am thankful that he wants to drive him now. "All in all, I thought it was time to get the horse used to different drivers," he added. "He has been a bit tricky to drive, but he better get used to different drivers; that's how this business works." Swedish-born Soderberg, who has been evaluating horses since 1986, usually picks out yearlings for others, primarily trainer Jimmy Takter and his owners. But when no one wanted Western Vintage, he purchased the colt for himself for $7,000. Marvin Katz of Toronto bought an interest last October. With $53,890 earned this year, Western Vintage now has a bankroll of $370,728. "Western Vintage is coming in to this race in good shape," said Soderberg. "He qualified well, and I think he is the type of horse that can race good after a break." Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1 Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 30, 2014 - Saturday's Hambletonian Day 15-race card at the Meadowlands is loaded with rich stakes worth nearly $3.6 million in purse money, including the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and its filly companion race, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey. The two stakes for New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers are early in the card - the third race for the Miss New Jersey and the fourth race for the New Jersey Classic - and have the possibility of being two of the most contentious and bettor-friendly events, with no prohibitive favorites. Racing conditions for the two stakes were amended to eliminate eliminations. The finals are limited to the 10 highest lifetime money-winning horses in the entry box. To further sweeten the pot, even those who do not share in the top five purse distribution will not go home empty-handed. The connections of the New Jersey Classic colts finishing sixth through 10 will receive $1,500 each while the connections of the Miss New Jersey fillies will receive $1,000 each. "We are very pleased that we have full and competitive fields for both stakes, in fact, 11 entered in each with 10 going postward," said Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey [SBOANJ], which sponsors the two races. "We feel stallions will return to New Jersey once we have casino-infused purses, a likelihood in the next few years, but for now we are trying our best to make it worthwhile for breeders to support our program and owners to buy New Jersey-sired offspring with the opportunity to compete in such events as the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey," Luchento added. Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1   Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

WASHINGTON, PA, July 26, 2014 -- Billy Flynn bore out in the stretch but still had enough forward momentum to equal the stake record in Friday's $80,000 Arden Downs at The Meadows. The Grand Circuit event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, known as the Edward M. Ryan, was contested over four divisions, with Explosive Drama, Shoot The Thrill, Billy Flynn and Canappealformore taking the other splits. Grand Circuit racing at The Meadows continues Saturday with the $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented By Coors Light, which goes as race 12 with an approximate post time of 4 PM. Billy Flynn quarter-poled to the front for Brett Miller and appeared to have the race well in hand when he drifted wide in the lane. That presented an opportunity to Tick Tok Tag, who made up some ground but fell 3/4 lengths short, with Ralph R third. The winning time of 1:56.2 matched the mark set by Federalreservenote in 2009. "He'll do that (bear out) a little bit every time," said Staffan Lind, who trains the son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones for Bender Sweden, Inc. "We've looked at it a number of times. As long as he's in control in the turns, I'm not too worried. We had the head pole pretty tight here, but if I race him on a big track, I'll take off the head pole, and he won't bear out at all." The victory kept Billy Flynn undefeated in his three-race career. Explosive Drama kept his wits about him for Mike Simons when the leader, Ice O Late, broke stride in front of him, and he went on to score in 1:57.3, 2 lengths better than Bighandsbiggloves. Chef Lee completed the ticket. "Mike wanted to give him a little bit of a trip, and things worked out," said Tyler Butenschoen, assistant to winning trainer John Butenschoen. "He was real sharp here tonight. I didn't know what to expect with the step up in class. But he's always had it in him. It's nice to see him put it all together." Give It A Shot Stable and VIP Internet stable campaign the Explosive Matter-Phillycityhall gelding. $60,000 Arden Downs, 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters The Judge Joe McGraw was the Grand Circuit co-feature on Friday's card, with divisions going to Smokinmombo, Matter Hatter and Osteo Blast -- each a daughter of Explosive Matter. Mike Wilder enjoyed a stake double behind Matter Hatter and Osteo Blast. Smokinmombo used a quick backside burst to put away the field and triumph in 1:56.2, a tick off the stake record, for Aaron Merriman. Blessings Counted was second, a length back, while Kirsi Hanover completed the ticket. "She doesn't seem awesome when she's on the front, but when you pull her off another horse, she can really go," said Chris Beaver, who trains Smokinmombo, a $15,000 yearling acquisition, and owns with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. "She has a nice body to her. She's not very big, but she's built nice." Beaver said he'll give the filly some time off before her next engagement, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake. Hammered down to 1-5 in the wagering, Matter Hatter performed like the prohibitive choice, moving to the front at the quarter and dominating the field in 1:58.2. Classical Annie was second, 2-1/4 lengths in arrears, with Sand C-Four third. "She's a dream to drive," Wilder said. "Anything you ask her to do, she does it, and she's very slick gaited. You can wind her right up and in the next step ask her to stop, and she does." Jeff Cox conditions Matter Hatter for Pius Soehnlen. Evan Pattak

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