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A monstrous :25.4 closing quarter propelled William J. Donovan's Ashley's Husband ($14.60) to the fore in the closing strides of Saturday (Feb. 6) evening's featured $17,000 harness racing top-level conditioned pace at The Meadowlands. Brett Miller settled well off the pace with the 6-year-old Henry Clay gelding, second from last through a :55.1 half with a contested pace in front of him.  Just after 8-5 favorite Kingofthejungle (John Campbell) wrested command from Jet Airway (Marcus Miller) upon reaching the backstretch, Ashley's Husband slid second-over to follow the cover of Rockeyed Optimist (Tim Tetrick) en route to the far turn.  Ashley's Husband would ultimately be carried to the five-path, as Jet Airway and Class Six (Joe Bongiorno) were produced from just off the pacesetter after a :28.2 third split. Despite Class Six making a three-wide push to the lead at the eighth pole, Ashley's Husband descended late, vaulting past the gaining Rockeyed Optimist and Jet Airway for a 1:50.3 score. Pacesetter Kingofthejungle was engulfed in upper stretch, fading to finish seventh of the octet. Kyle Spagnola trains Ashley's Husband, now a 24-time winner.  For Miller, the win was the middle of a natural hat trick, as he also partnered with Shooter's Dream ($17.40, 1:50) and All Week ($17.20, 1:50.4) in the preceding and following races. The evening's sub-featured event, a $15,000 trot for non-winners of six races or $100,000, saw Magenta Man ($8.20) handle a significant class hike with aplomb, holding sway from Hot Summer Knight to prevail in 1:55. Early breaks from Axios and Its Huw You Know enabled the 4-year-old Muscles Yankee Gelding to set a leisurely and uncontested pace before edging to a 1-3/4 length pillar-to-post victory in rein to Andy Miller. Julie Miller trains Magenta Man, now a winner of four straight, for Little E, LLC and RBH Ventures, Inc. Total handle for the 14-race card was $3,162,502, marking a fourth consecutive program at The Meadowlands with at least $3 million wagered. Neither 20¢ Jackpot High 5 was taken down by a single punter, so next Friday's (Feb. 12) program will see carryovers of $22,115 and $92,662 in the seventh and final races respectively. First post for the Friday card is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Meadowlands media relations

East Rutherford, NJ---Just as an impending snowstorm closing in on the New York City metropolitan area did not interrupt Friday (January 22) evening's 14-race harness racing program at The Meadowlands, eight rivals closed in--but failed to engulf--Opulent Yankee ($4.60, part of entry) in the featured $25,000 Open Handicap Trot, carded as race two. Andy Miller floated forward with the 5-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding at race's outset, working clear of Massacaia (Brett Miller) well after a :27 initial quarter mile. Once assuming command, Opulent Yankee kept at a sprightly tempo, reeling off intermediate splits of :55 and 1:23.3 while his stablemate Allerage Star (Scott Zeron) gradually gained into a joint second with a boxed Massacaia. Off the far turn, Opulent Yankee kicked clear at will, extending his lead to three lengths in mid-stretch before taken in hand late for a 1:52.1 win, his first of 2016 and his ninth career triumph. Detroit Rapper (Jim Marohn, Jr.) negotiated heavy traffic through the stretch, splitting foes in the final sixteenth to just take second, while 65-1 longshot A Little More Love (Joe Bongiorno) made a late push off stalled cover to take third. Julie Miller trains Opulent Yankee for the partnership of Little E, Geiger, Settlemoir, and Stolz. Later in the card, a pair of $15,000 sub-featured events were contested, one for top-level conditioned distaff pacers and the other for trotters which have not won six races. The distaff pace saw Ron Burke trainee Tessa Seelster ($3.60) capture a second consecutive win, crossing and clearing from her outside post 8, rating an uncontested lead, and holding clear of a mildly chasing Not Before Eight (Anthony Napolitano) for a 1:51.2 victory. Yannick Gingras drove the 4-year-old Shadow Play mare. While another Burke trainee in Its Huw You Know (Gingras) set the pace in the sub-featured trotting event, he was collared in the final yards by Paris Princess N ($8.80), who enjoyed a pocket trip throughout before pouncing late to prevail in 1:54.3. Forever As (Tim Tetrick) rallied from off the pace to take second, just half a length from the victorious 7-year-old Diedre Don mare. Scott Zeron drove Paris Princess N for trainer Paul Blumenfeld. The evening's card amassed $2,636,111 in total handle, up $96,749 from the corresponding Friday night card in 2015. As Saturday's races have been abandoned and re-carded as drawn for next Saturday (January 30), racing will return to The Meadowlands next Friday (January 29). Both Jackpot High 5 pools carry over to next week, with the seventh-race version of the 20-cent wager now boasting $11,602 in added money and the finale carrying $64,800 extra should one punter take down the entire pool. Post time will be 6:35 p.m. Eastern time. For more information on racing, dining, and entertainment at The Meadowlands, visit playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Trainer Julie Miller's stable accounts for the morning-line favourites of both Open Trots on Friday (December 18) evening's 14-race harness racing card at The Meadowlands, and over $150,000 in guaranteed pools and carryovers await punters on a card that boasts 10- and 11-horse fields all round.   The featured $25,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot is carded as the evening's eighth race, coinciding with the start of a $50,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4. Julie Miller sends out 5-2 morning line favourite Opulent Yankee from post 7 for the partnership of Little E, Geiger, Settlemoir, and Stolz. The 4-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding is rounding into form, most recently chasing Handover Belle in last week's Open after emerging out of traffic a quarter mile from the winning post. Andy Miller will once again drive the 8-time winner. Among Opulent Yankee's toughest competition are Waiting On a Woman (post 5, Corey Callahan), a winner of two straight upper-level events for trainer Kyle Spagnola before a game defeat at this level last week; top-level Philadelphia shipper and Ron Burke trainee Appomattox (post 6, Yannick Gingras); and Crosbys Clam Bake (post 9, Scott Zeron), who sprung a 29-1 upset over Open foes for the Andy Federico stable a fortnight ago.   A sub-featured $20,000 Open 2 Handicap Trot is scheduled two races earlier, and Miller trainee Lindy's Tru Grit was assigned post position 10 after a lengthy stakes campaign through the summer and fall months. The 5-year-old Cantab Hall entire qualified sharply last week after a two-month layoff, sprinting off to defeat Crazshana by over 11 lengths in a 1:54.4 mile. Andy Miller handles the driving duties of the 2-1 morning line favourite for the Lindy Racing Stable and Robert Rudolph. Like his stablemate later in the evening, Lindy's Tru Grit will have to tackle a fit Burke trainee invading from Harrah's Philadelphia in March Awareness (post 7, Gingras).   In addition to the standard $105,000 in guaranteed pools throughout the evening's Pick 5 and twin Pick 4s, both Jackpot High-5 wagers bring carryovers into Friday's card. In the fifth race, the 20-cent wager carries a $7,181.28 progressive jackpot, while $34,296.44 will be added to the 14th race pool should a lone winner emerge.   Post time for Friday's program at The Meadowlands is 7:00 p.m. EST. For more information on racing, dining, and entertainment at The Meadowlands, visit playmeadowlands.com.   Darin Zoccali

Harness racing trainer Julie Miller likens Opulent Yankee's return from a nearly five-month layoff to compete in Friday's Open Handicap for trotters at the Meadowlands to "jumping off the high dive a little bit." But it might help the trainer determine whether the 4-year-old gelding can make a big splash in 2016. Opulent Yankee has won six of 18 races this year and finished second on nine occasions en route to $141,881 in purses. He finished no worse than second in any of his first 15 starts of the season and eight of his second-place finishes came to world champion JL Cruze. In fact, overall, JL Cruze won 11 of the 12 races Opulent Yankee failed to win. A son of stallion Muscles Yankee out of the mare Opulent Bluestone, Opulent Yankee finished second in the Super Bowl, Singer Memorial, Shiaway St Pat, and Weiss series finals. He won two preliminary legs of the Super Bowl as well as one preliminary round of each the Singer, Shiaway St Pat, Weiss and Graduate series. Opulent Yankee will start Friday's nine-horse $25,000 Open Handicap from post three with driver Andy Miller. He is 5-1 on the morning line, which is the third choice behind 5-2 favorite Handover Belle and 3-1 Master Of Law. "He's had a great season," said Julie Miller, who trains Opulent Yankee for Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Arthur Geiger, Jason Settlemoir and David Stolz. "He was finishing second to JL Cruze, which wasn't a bad thing. This summer we decided to give him a little time off and he's come back nicely. "I think we're jumping off the high dive a little bit starting right out in the Open, but that's where he fits and where he has to race. It's kind of a step up from just series, but hopefully he'll be able to do OK." As a 3-year-old, Opulent Yankee trotted the fifth-fastest winning mile by a sophomore male trotter, 1:51.4, despite racing only five times. This season, he has a mark of 1:52.3, which is among the top 40 by an older trotter, and was timed as fast as 1:51.3 in a fourth-place Graduate Series finish behind stakes-winners JL Cruze, Father Patrick, and Resolve. Opulent Yankee finished eighth in the Graduate Series final on July 11, despite a 1:51.4 effort, and was given time to refresh. He had raced at least twice in each of the first six months of the year. "He had enough starts," Miller said. "He just needed a little vacation time. I wanted to get him fresh and back at it for the winter meet. A well-deserved break was needed, rather than tackling the TVG (Free For All Series). Opulent Yankee enters this weekend's Open Handicap off two qualifiers. He finished second in the first qualifier, timed in 1:56, and won the second qualifier in 1:53.1. "He's got those two nice qualifiers, but as a trainer I'd like to see him in an easier spot and give him a chance to get his legs underneath of him," Miller said. "It is what it is. Hopefully he can compete at this level. He loves the Meadowlands, he loves a mile track, and I think Andy gets along with him excellent. I'm optimistic about it, but at the same time they're going to race and they're going to go fast. I don't want to over-extend him his first start, but we go to the races to do our best and to win." As for Opulent Yankee's future, Miller's plan at the moment is to have no plan. "I'm going to play it by ear," Miller said. "I don't see him as of right now being a top stakes horse going against the best of the best. But I'd like to eat my words and see that happen. "He can prove to me what he wants to be as a 5-year-old." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

VERNON, NY (October 15, 2015) - When hip number 410, a Conway Hall filly out of the mare Classic Yankee, walked into the sales ring at last week's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the expected sets of eyes watched with anticipation as the bidding began. Harness racing breeder Crawford Farms was hoping for a profitable sales price and interested buyers watched as the price inched upwards. Perhaps not surprisingly, the filly, already named Vernondownthehouse, was purchased by Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural for $65,000. But another interested party located in Central New York has plenty riding on the horse as well, even if that person was not watching at the time the horse sold. Stacey Michaud, a racing fan at Vernon Downs, is the one responsible for the filly's name, having submitted it during a Crawford Farms sponsored Name That Foal contest in August 2014 at the racetrack. Besides seeing her creative selection picked as the winning name, she is also in line to earn a potentially nice payday. As part of winning the contest, Michaud is entitled to one-percent of the filly's earnings during her two and three-year-old racing seasons. "Any time you purchase a yearling you always dream of having the next champion," said the filly's owner, Jeff Gural. "But in this case, I am really hoping to help a loyal Vernon Downs fan make some extra money through this promotion we did with our partners at Crawford Farms. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best." The filly will be sent to trainer Julie Miller to be prepared for a racing career that will hopefully begin next season and include many trips to the winner's circle. For complete racing and promotional information, visit www.vernondowns.com. #410 VERNONDOWNTHEHOUSE from Michelle Crawford on Vimeo.   Justin Horowitz

Freehold, NJ --- Julie Miller does not have morning line favorites in Friday’s Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male and female trotters at Woodbine Racetrack, but the harness racing trainer is happy with the way her Milligan’s School and Womans Will are heading into their respective events. Milligan’s School has won five of 11 races this year and is coming off victories in divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes at the recently-concluded Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile in Lexington. He is the 6-1 second choice on the morning line behind 2-5 favorite Southwind Frank in the single elimination for the $600,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters. A son of Yankee Glide out of the mare Tori Ann, Milligan’s School has earned $159,094 for Russia-based owner Natalia Stroy’s Stroy Inc. Womans Will has won four of nine races and earned $216,381 for breeders/owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz. She has hit the board a total of eight times and heads to Toronto’s Woodbine off second-place finishes in the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes at Hoosier Park and a division of the International Stallion. She finished third in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. A daughter of Breeders Crown winner Donato Hanover out of the mare Will Of A Woman, she is 8-1 on the morning line in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old female trotters. Undefeated Broadway Donna is the 2-1 favorite, followed by stakes-winners Haughty (5-2) and Celebrity Eventsy (3-1). Andy Miller, Julie’s husband, will drive Milligan’s School and Womans Will. “They both had excellent Lexington meets,” said Julie Miller, who has won one Breeders Crown title in her career. “They’re healthy, they’re happy, they’re doing their jobs. I’m really optimistic. I’m pretty excited about them.” The Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters attracted 12 horses, resulting in a single elimination from which the top eight finishers will join Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Lagerfeld and Ontario Sire Stakes champion Tony Soprano in the final. The connections of those horses accepted byes to the final based on seasonal earnings. Southwind Frank, trained by Ron Burke, brings an eight-race win streak to the elimination. He is coming off a world-record 1:52.2 performance in his division of the International Stallion Stakes and earlier this year won the William Wellwood Memorial and Peter Haughton Memorial stakes. He is the season’s top money-winning 2-year-old male trotter, but his connections, led by co-owner/trainer Ron Burke, turned down the bye and will race in the elim. “Burke has a standout in there, but we’re going there to do our best too,” Miller said. “I’m happy with (Milligan’s School) coming off two wins at Lexington. Andy said he was good down there and he seemed strong. Those are two good races under his belt. I’m pretty confident he should be a major contender in there. “He’s been pretty steady and pretty honest. He’s a smart colt and I think he’ll be OK. He’s just a nice horse. He’s a pleasure to be around. He does everything you ask. Andy can spin him out of there, he can duck him; he’s handy and he’s honest and that goes a long way with a trotter.” Milligan’s School was bred by Richard and Joyce McClelland, who also bred two-time Breeders Crown winner Call For Rain. Womans Will’s family includes 1991 Breeders Crown champion King Conch and 1985 Hambletonian Oaks winner Conch. Libfeld has bred three Breeders Crown champions, including one with Katz -- Martiniontherocks. “She’s been a model of consistency,” Miller said about Womans Will. “I have nothing but good things to say about her because she’s always right there. I have high hopes for her. It’s going to depend how the race shakes out, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she’s right there. “There are about five or six good 2-year-old trotting fillies,” she added. “They’re just powerhouses. For the boys, beside Southwind Frank, there’s not really a dominant one in my opinion.” Breeders Crown elimination winners draw for inside post positions 1-5 for their respective finals. All 2-year-old finals will go for $600,000 on Oct. 24 at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. for Friday’s first race at Woodbine. For Friday’s complete card, click here. On Saturday, Woodbine will host Breeders Crown eliminations for the Open Pace, 3-year-old colt pace, and 3-year-old filly pace. The top five finishers from each elimination return for their respective final. Saturday's post time is 7:25 p.m. and once again the elimination winners draw for inside post positions 1-5 for the finals. Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BreedersCrown15 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BreedersCrown. Fans can also go to http://harnessracingfanzone.com, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications   

LEXINGTON, KY-- Night two of the Grand Circuit meeting at The Red Mile was highlighted by four divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old colt trotters, which were contested on Thursday, Oct. 1.   Milligan's School sat a pocket trip after failing to clear the lead into the first turn, and slid up a seam in the stretch to draw off to a 2-length win in 1:56.3 in the opening Bluegrass round. Holding the top spot through fractions of :29.3, :58.3, and 1:28 was Dominion Beach. Into the far turn, Waitlifter K supplied a challenge from first over, while Metatron had an opportunity to fan off the cones and prepare for a wide stretch drive. While in control, Dominion Beach drifted slightly off the pylons, which prompted Milligan's School to trot by to his inside. Metatron was the fiercest closer down the center of the track, but could not out-sprint Milligan's School and Andy Miller at the finish. Waitlifter K held on for third, while Make Or Miss got fourth.   Sent off the 6-5 favorite, Milligan's School, a $4.40 winner, is owned by Stroy Inc. and trained by Julie Miller. The earner of $128,494 in 10 starts this season was bred by Richard and Joyce McClelland.   "That's still pretty fresh on my mind, what happened the other night [his break on Sept. 11 at The Meadows]," Julie Miller said. "When we were sitting in the two hole here I said 'Come on, let's make sure we take advantage of this big opportunity.' It was a misfortune [the break], but we bounced back tonight. That's all you can do."   "I've been really pleased with this horse," Miller also said. "From the word go, he's just done everything I've asked. Andy [Miller] gets along with him great, and I expect a lot of good things from him."   The second split was claimed by Taco Tuesday, who benefitted from a patient drive and battled home to finish narrowly in front of Hollywood Highway in a 1:58.2 mile. Runner-up Hollywood Highway set the tempo for most the mile, putting up fractions of :30.2, :59.4, and a third-quarter in 1:29.1 thanks to the pressure of first-over Desert Runner. Taco Tuesday tracked Desert Runner two-wide into the far turn, tipping wide into the stretch. Desert Runner held the lead shortly during the stretch, while Hollywood Highway continued to battle for control, and Taco Tuesday edged into a length of the battle. Into the final sixteenth, he got a neck in front of Hollywood Highway to pull off a 12-1 upset. Finishing third was Desert Runner, and fourth was Honor Above All via disqualification of Coughlin for a lapped-on break.   Sired by Cantab Hall, out of the Yankee Glide mare Be My Baby, the James Wilhite-bred colt is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, R. Rudolph, and F. Baldassare, trained by Frank Antonacci, and driven by Andy Miller. Taco Tuesday, in his maiden-breaking score, pushes his seasonal earnings to $39,565 in six starts.   "If you watch how we are with our two-year-olds, we don't race them very early," Frank Antonacci said. "This guy I had staked to the Peter Haughton, so I really thought a lot of him all winter. Then you fall into some bad grooves and make some baby mistakes, and it doesn't take long to be in October and have $7,000 on your card."   "He just got into a couple of bad spots where he got too aggressive," Antonacci said in response to the colt's history of breaking. "When you're trying to race horses and get them back mentally, it's a little challenging sometimes. But it was nice to have Andy [Miller] qualify him last week [at Lexington]. Obviously it paid off tonight."   The pocket trip resulted in victory again in the third division, with Lagerfeld stalking tempo-setter Southwind Flash before pouncing out of the pocket in progress to a 1 1/4 length victory in 1:57.4. Southwind Flash passed the quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:00.4 before being challenged by Mavens Way, who broke into the first turn due to interference by Sutton, also off stride. Mavens Way broke before three-quarters, leaving a gap for Lagerfeld to edge out of the pocket. Timed in 1:29.4, Lagerfeld began his bid in the final quarter of a mile. By the final eighth, his nose emerged in front of Southwind Flash and the margin gradually grew as the 6-5 favorite hit the line in front. Claiming the third and fourth spots were Brownie Hanover and Kanthaka.   Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of Yankee Glide, out of Yankee Paco mare Southern Senorita, paid $4.60 to win. He's owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Lagerfeld has now earned $279,709 in eight starts this season, with this win being his third.   "He got the perfect trip," Jimmy Takter said. "He got a little lucky with a couple of horses breaking in the first turn, but it's a tricky track tonight and last night was the same. It's maybe slightly better today, but it's very sticky at the rail and a lot of horses have a problem to find some legs there."   "It's normally like that when it's a very windy day with two-year-olds," Takter also said in regards to the benefit of coming off the pace. "It's always tough to cut the mile, and on the backside there's a very tough wind. We got a perfect trip, but I don't want to take anything away from this horse. He almost made $300,000 and he's a great potential colt."   In a wire-to-wire performance, 7-2 third choice Dupree was a winner in 1:57.3 over 1-2 favorite Bar Hopping, who began to challenge for the lead heading into the far turn. Dupree set fractions of :29.3 and :59.4 before being confronted by Bar Hopping first over. The two were stride for stride through a 1:30 third quarter before Dupree edged away from Bar Hopping after he drifted off the turn. Bar Hopping could not recuperate the lost ground off that turn and solely chased Dupree to the line while holding off third-place finisher Cloud Nine Hanover and fourth-place finisher Celebrity Pilatus.   Owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Courant A B, the Andover Hall colt out of the Muscles Yankee mare Hustle N Muscle paid $9.40 to win. This was his second win out of seven starts this season, with the victory pushing his seasonal earnings to $114,031. He is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt.   "He's a real nice horse," assistant trainer Bernie Noren said. "We've always had high thoughts for him and today he showed up as the horse we thought he was gonna' be. I think he likes the big track, but he raced really good last time [in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final]. He was sick before that, but he's come back and we gave him two races, and now he's getting back to himself again."   Grand Circuit action resumes tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 2, with three divisions of the $243,000 Bluegrass 2-year-old filly pace and the $292,200 Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace. Post time is 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile    

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 19, 2015 - Sevruga cut all the fractions in the Open Space Pace Day $20,000 preferred trot, setting a harness racing world record for a mile and a half on a half-mile track with a time of three minutes flat on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. The fourth edition of Open Space Pace Day, which begin with a parade down Main Street in Freehold, drew a family-friendly crowd of several thousand who took advantage of live music, petting zoo, exhibitions, displays, food trucks and perfect weather. To the best of anyone's knowledge, this was the first time the distance - three times around the track - was ever offered. Sevruga [$4], a seven-year-old gelding, was sent off as the even-money favorite in the featured seventh race and cruised the three times around the track on the front end. The anticipated challenge from 6-5 Gural Hanover never developed when that horse broke stride at the start. Trained by Julie Miller and driven by Andy Miller, Sevruga won by a length and three-quarters over Pop I with Silver Credit third by two and three-quarters in the field of nine veteran trotters. "He is the same old grinder of races," said Julie Miller, who with Hannah Miller signed autographs before the card began. "I knew if Andy could set the fractions, and with Gural Hanover breaking, it was ours to have. "I couldn't be more pleased with him," the trainer added. "It was a beautiful day, and it was great for the Landy Family and Freehold to host this event. It's very important to New Jersey racing." The previous world record for the distance on a half-mile track was 3:01.3 by Kash Minbar on July 30, 1977 at Roosevelt Raceway. Sevruga, who is owned by Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach, FL, picked up his sixth win in 20 starts this year, and it was his 36th win in 104 career starts. He has earned $1,159,326 lifetime. Sponsors of the preferred trot were New Jersey-based trainers and owners Ross Croghan's Dockside Stables, Joe Holloway. Linda Toscano, Mark Harder, Weaver & Bruscemi Stable. Ron Burke, Tom Fanning, Scott DiDomenico, Julie and Andy Miller, and Tony Alagna. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 11, 2015 - Riley's Dream took advantage of an early miscue by Rules Of The Road to win the $30,000 Helen Smith Trot by half a length on Friday, September 11, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. With only four three-year-old New Jersey-sired trotting fillies entered, the race was contested prior to the betting card. The Helen Smith is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Riley's Dream [Muscle Hill], driven by Steve Smith and trained by Julie Miller, trotted the mile in 2:00.3. Rules Of The Road [Muscle Hill], with earnings over $200,000 and the runner-up in the Hambletonian Oaks, broke stride at the start and spotted the field more than five lengths but closed well for second. It was a length and a half to Blue Muse [Muscles Yankee] in third and four and a half lengths to Southwind Cartier [Muscle Hill] in fourth. Riley's Dream, unraced at two, has two wins, seven seconds and two thirds in 15 starts this year for earnings of $85,151. His owner-breeders are Jason Allen and Douglas Allen of Vincentown, NJ, and Ronald Allen of Southampton, NJ. The Helen Smith stakes record of 1:56.2 is shared by Marla Bar [2002], Silver Credit [2013] and Cee Bee Yes [2014]. The team of driver Steve Smith and trainer Julie Miller were back in the winner's circle in the eighth race as Southwind Hope won a $7,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for two-year-old trotting fillies. Southwind Hope, a daughter of Muscle Hill- Honey Pie, scored a two length victory over Cree [Muscle Hill]. It was 11¼ lengths to Peg O My Heart in third. She trotted the mile in 2:01.2 for her first win with two thirds in five starts. The $52,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase has banked $9,100. Southwind Hope, bred by Southwind Farm of Pennington, NJ, races for the partnership of the Andy Miller Stable of Millstone, NJ; Little E LLC of New York, NY and Lawrence Dumain of Pine Bush, NY. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

Stayin Strong, driven by Eric Abbatiello and trained by Julie Miller, was a length and a quarter winner in the $7,000 opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for two-year-old trotting colts, the third race on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. Stayin Strong, a son of Muscles Yankee, picked up his first win in six starts, covering the mile in 2:00.4. He paid $6.20 to win. Threeupthreedown [Muscle Hill] was second with five and a half lengths to Luv at First Site [Muscle Yankee] in third. Stayin Strong, bred by Lauren and Robert Tucker, campaigns for Jason and Douglas Allen of Vincentown, NJ. Carol Hodes  

Form pretty much ruled the Tuesday afternoon harness racing meeting, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $166,874 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot for 3-year-old fillies. It certainly did in the second ($82,687) division, as Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $2.10) won as she pleased. Near the back off the early bus from position No. 5, she methodically moved to the lead just passing the half, then put the hammer down. The final margin was an unasked 5¼ lengths in 1:55.3. Northern Obsession (Tyler Buter) was a rallying second, with Zanna Blu (George Brennan) third. For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve Pratt & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her 10th win in a dozen seasonal starts (17-for-21 lifetime). The exacta paid $7.20, the triple returning $62 Form was also in play in the opening ($84,187) sire stakes event, as second choice Lady Winona (Miller)-from post No. 3--snapped pace-setting 6-5 choice Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr.) in an 1:55.3, two-speed number (no misprint, the winning times were identical). The margin here was three-quarters of a lengths. Frou Frou (Brennan) "won the bob" for third as the 52-1 rank outsider. For Lady Winona, a Credit Winner miss trained by Julie Miller for owner Stroy Inc. (which includes Ms. Miller), she's now 3-for-15 this season. The exacta paid $17.20, with the triple returning $459. The hard-working lass was second (ironically, beaten from the pocket) in this past Saturday night's final of the Hudson Filly Trot. Tuesday's sire stakes event honored the memory of Yonkers' longtime, award-winning track photographer, whose family-including son, Ralph-made the winner's circle presentations. Special Tuesday props to Grain of Truth (Jordan Stratton, $17.20) as the ageless (actually 14-year-old) gelding won the $19,000, fifth-race trot in 1:56.1 It was the 81st career win in 336 starts for the now-$1.5 million earner, owned by Charles Iannazzo and trained by Ray Schnittker. Frank Drucker

When it came to the draw for last week's Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, Badiou Hanover was more like "Badluck" Hanover, getting stuck with the most outside starting spot - post No. 10. At least as the gelding prepares for Saturday's eliminations for the $525,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace at The Meadows, he is off to a better start. Badiou Hanover will start his elimination, the second of three divisions, from post two with driver Andy Miller. He is 8-1 on the morning line. Badiou Hanover, pronounced "Ba-dew," has won five of 10 races this season and earned $84,705. He should feel at home at The Meadows, having posted a win there in June in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series. In addition, four of his five victories this year have come on five-eighth-mile tracks, such as The Meadows. Meadowlands Pace runner-up Dude's The Man is the 2-1 morning line favorite in Badiou Hanover's elimination, which also includes Lost For Words, Tomy Terror, Rock N' Roll World, and Cooperstown. The top three finishers from each of the three eliminations will advance to the Adios final on Aug. 1 at The Meadows. "It's a nice draw," trainer Julie Miller said. "This is a good group, needless to say. It's going to always depend on who gets the good draw, who is in the best form and who gets the good trip. Those are the three things you need to win the race. "I'm going into it pretty good. I've got a pretty good driver, a pretty good draw, and a fit horse. I'm ready to rock." Badiou Hanover had won four of five races, including the Hempt Memorial Consolation, prior to finishing fourth in his Meadowlands Pace elimination and then 10th in the final. Miller, who was making her first appearance in a Meadowlands Pace final, was philosophical about the outcome. "For my Meadowlands Pace debut, that wasn't much of a showing," she said with a laugh. "But he was behind the 8-ball already with the 10 hole. Everything had to go wrong for them and everything had to go right for us." Badiou Hanover is a son of Well Said out of the mare Blind Ambition. He was purchased for $105,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes stakes-winners Cheyenne Rei, Ain't No Stopn Him, Lon Todd Hanover, and Salute Hanover, as well as Artstopper, the dam of Yagonnakissmeornot and Always B Miki. He is owned by Pinkse Stables and Joe P Racing, which this week purchased the ownership share previously held by Jim Simpson. For his career, Badiou Hanover has won seven of 17 races and earned $127,360. "He's powerful and big and has a good gait to him," Miller said. "He was just a little lazy and lost focus at the beginning. But as a 3-year-old he's come into form. He's getting it. Andy says he's a pleasure to drive. That's half the battle, to have a versatile horse. He doesn't mind if he's on the lead or following. With the Meadows, I want to be up close or on the lead with it being a five-eighths (of a mile track) but he's really handy. "He's just a nice horse. As of right now he's no Wiggle It Jiggleit or Wakizashi (Hanover) but he's getting money and we're paying our bills and the owners are happy. I think he's got a career ahead of him. He's a sound horse. I could see him being a nice aged horse." Below are the Adios eliminations fields, in post order with the sire, drivers, trainers and morning line. Post positions for the final will be determined by an open draw. Race 4 1. Chaching Hanover by Yankee Cruiser, Dick Stillings, Jan Fread, 5-1 2. Angelo J Fra by The Panderosa, Tony Hall, Norm Parker, 12-1 3. National Seelster by Bettor's Delight, Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder, 5-2 4. Dreams Beachboy by Somebeachsomewhere, Dave Palone, Tony Alagna, 3-1 5. Rufo by Dragon Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 10-1 6. Dragon Eddy by Dragon Again, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 8-5 Race 5 1. Lost For Words by Well Said, David Miller, Brian Brown, 5-1 2. Badiou Hanover by Well Said, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 8-1 3. Tomy Terror by Western Terror, Mike Wilder, John Butenschoen, 4-1 4. Rock N' Roll World by Rocknroll Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Kelly Stackowicz, 7-2 5. Cooperstown by Four Starzzz Shark, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 10-1 6. Dude's The Man by American Ideal, Corey Callahan, Jessica Okusko, 2-1 Race 6 1. Berkley by Art Major, David Miller, Randy Bendis, 4-1 2. Yankee Bounty by Dragon Again, Corey Callahan, Ron Burke, 6-1 3. Utah Beach by Somebeachsomewhere, Andy Miller, Tim Twaddle, 8-1 4. Trading Up by Somebeachsomewhere, Dave Palone, Tony Alagna, 7-2 5. Jo Pa's Well Said by Well Said, Marcus Miller, Jim Campbell, 8-1 6. My Hero Ron by Well Said, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-2 7. Rise Up Now by Somebeachsomewhere, Tim Tetrick, Brian Brown, 5-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA      

WASHINGTON, PA, July 7, 2015 -- When Milligan's School captured a division of Tuesday's $216,980 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows, he brought joy to Julie and Andy Miller -- and a little slice of Russia. That's because Milligan's School is owned by Stroy Inc. whose Natalia Stroy operates a fair-sized stable from her Moscow base. According to Julie Miller, Stroy wanted to gain access to the American market, so Dr. Paul F. Spears, vice president of Hanover Shoe Farms, introduced her to the Millers. They helped her pick out the son of Yankee Glide-Tori Ann at Harrisburg and signed the ticket for $120,000. "She wanted to race horses here," Julie Miller indicated, "and as Paul Spears said, one of the best places to race in the U.S. is the Pennsylvania circuit. So I'm glad it worked out." Stroy's American adventure nearly turned sour when, in his career debut in a PA All-Stars split, Milligan's School was on the business end of a mishap and nearly knocked off his pins. The youngster showed no ill effects Tuesday when he responded to Andy Miller's urging and blasted past past the leader, Boyz N Guitars, to defeat him by 2 lengths in 1:57. Pastor Dudley finished third. "We didn't make any changes," Julie Miller said. "All we wanted was a trouble-free trip. If we had that, I thought he'd have a go, and he did." The stake, known as the Hickory Pride, was contested over six divisions, with Lagerfeld, Hititoutofthepark, Sliding Home, Dupree and Staying Focused taking the other splits. The Millers teamed for a second stake win with Staying Focused while Corey Callahan enjoyed a stake double (Hititoutofthepark, Sliding Home). Lagerfeld is a full brother to 2012 Hambletonian runner-up Guccio, who was piloted and conditioned by Jimmy Takter. When Takter saw Lagerfeld at auction, he knew he had to have this yearling, so he joined with Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding to purchase the son of Yankee Glide-Southern Senorita for $200,000. In his career debut in the Hickory Pride, Lagerfeld began to pay dividends on that handsome investment, moving twice for Takter and surging late to defeat the game Raisethejollyroger by a neck in 1:58.1. Granite State earned show. "He wanted to win," Takter said. "I had to stabilize him in the last turn, but he raced a good race. He has the pedigree to step it up. I just have to teach him some things. I want him to come here and learn something for his future." Out before the half, Hititoutofthepark moved relentlessly to gobble up the leader and scored in 1:57, matching Milligan's School for stake honors. Brownie Hanover was second, 3 lengths back, while Major Matter completed the ticket. "He's a little quirky," Callahan said. "I kind of have to let him do what he wants to do. He definitely wants to do it. He has a great attitude. He's a little anxious and wants to go a million at the word "go." He has to figure the whole racing thing out." John Butenschoen trains the $18,000 yearling acquisition, a son of Yankee Glide-Celebrity Liza, for Give It A Shot Stable, Kurt Welling and VIP Internet Stable. Dave Palone drove three winners on the 15-race card. Wednesday's program at The Meadows features five divisions of a PA Stallion Series stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Some trainers, like Jimmy Takter and Casie Coleman, fill their piggy banks during the second half of the year, when stakes racing opportunities are plentiful, while others grind out the wins and money from January to December. As a result, in checking how various trainers are faring this year, I’ll compare them to themselves; I’ll look at where they were on this date last year and see how far ahead, or behind, their mid-June of 2014 numbers they are. It’s no surprise that Ron Burke currently—and always--leads both the trainer’s money and dash lists, however, he is chasing last year’s pace. His veterans Foiled Again, Clear Vision, Bettor’s Edge and Rocklamation, are off to slow starts, for one thing. Burke has made more than 200 fewer starts than he made by mid-June a year ago, leading to more than 85 fewer wins and a shortfall of $1.2 million on the money line. He’ll have to hustle to surpass last year’s world record performance. PJ Fraley, who was handling the Bamond Racing stock, was second a year ago, and finished 2014 in the five slot. This year he disappeared from the planet, leaving the stable to Jeff Bamond Jr, and he hasn’t missed a beat. He’s currently number three on the list. Bamond has Matchmaker winner Venus Delight, as well as Anndrovette, Krispy Apple and Bettorever. Rene Allard, who was third at this juncture a year ago, and finished 2014 in eighth, has married success with aged money makers like Domethatagain and Yagonnakissmeornot, and good fortune with fresh stock like import Crombie A. Allard isn’t welcome at The Meadowlands, Tioga or Vernon Downs, but seems to be none the worse for it. Allard is almost $400,000 ahead of last year’s pace. The Grand Circuit isn’t his strength, so he will probably fall behind stakes trainers like Takter, Alagna and Coleman once again. Gilberto Garcia-Hererra, who was in the six slot in June of last year, has stepped up to number four. His stable has made 240 more starts, but he has only three more wins. However, he’s $300,000 ahead of his 2014 pace. Better stock accounts for this uptick. Julie Miller’s stable was hot during the winter and spring of 2014, with trotter Perfect Alliance winning eleven races. This led to her ascension to the five slot one year ago today. She drops to number nine, with 25 fewer wins and more than $370,000 less in earnings. Her top shelf Donato fillies, Livininthefastlane and Sky Hanover, may help turn that around. Carmen Auciello, who practices his trade on both sides of the border, is consistent; he was number seven in mid-June of last year, and is currently in the number eight spot. The same can be said of Ontario based trainer Richard Moreau, who was at eighth a year ago and is now at seventh. Mark Ford, who was ninth this time last year and is now tenth, also fits this template. Auciello, Moreau and Ford finished last year at the twelve, thirteen and fourteen spots. Irv Miller has taken a major nosedive, from the tenth spot a year ago to number 46 today. Miller, who finished 2014 third behind Burke and Takter, has made 92 fewer starts, has 21 fewer wins and is more than $490,000 short of what his stable had bankrolled this time last year. Josh Green experienced a similar drop-off, but the lengthy suspension he served helps explain that. He went from eleventh to forty-third. Green is off more than 200 starts and $457,000. The fact that Dancin Yankee, who was a beast out of the gate last year, started out like a lamb in 2015, hasn’t helped. Thirty-two-year-old Jose Godinez has rocketed up the charts. He went from the number 44 slot this time last year to number twelve right now. As recently as 2011 he only had 11 starters; he has 329 thus far in 2014. Godinez is up more than 30 wins and $415,000. He’s the number eight trainer at Yonkers Raceway. Virgil Morgan, who was tenth overall on the money list at the close of 2014, has benefitted greatly from the infusion of casino dollars into the Ohio purse account. He was twelfth at this time last year, but is now sixth. Veteran trainer Steve Elliott, who conditioned Donato Hanover and Well Said, wasn’t in the top 50 last June, but a star studded cast that includes Art History, Rockeyed Optimist and Doo Wop Hanover, have him at number 16, and that’s off of fewer starts than any of the trainers in front of him except for Jimmy Takter. Jim King Jr wasn’t in the top 50 a year ago, but he’s at number 27 today, with 55 wins and $611,952 in the bank. Cup contender Wakizashi Hanover, Lismore winner Purrfect Bags and Star Keeper are three of the reasons. Tony O’Sullivan, who finished 2014 at number 18, went from 23 in June of 2014 to number 13 today. His Art Major filly, Moonlit Dance, just won a Fan Hanover elimination. Scott Di Dominico jumped three spots to number 11, while Daran Casar, Heidi Rohr, Mark Harder, Joe Holloway, Amber Buter, Lou Pena and Kevin Carr all fell back. As was stated earlier, some of these trainers will automatically pick up steam when the Grand Circuit gets into full swing, while others will continue to mine the overnight sector, and in most cases drop to one degree or another. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century.  He writes a weekly blog for  http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/.  Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

Last season, Lyonssomewhere won a leg of the harness racing pacing Triple Crown, when he scored in The Cane Pace at Tioga Downs. Amazingly, that was the last time the son of Somebeachsomewhere found the winner's circle. That changed on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. Making his fourth start of his four year old season, Lyonssomewhere was exiting back to back fourth place finishes in The Graduate series against the best colts and geldings from his crop. He was dropping in class to a middle-level condition pacing event and the bettors responded, making him the 1/2 prohibitive betting choice. Off the gate, Andy Miller sent the favorite immediately to the lead, and he would go on to set a demanding pace, reeling off fractions of 26.3, 54.4 and 1:21.4 before turning for home with an ever-expanding lead. JK Patriot was chasing from the pocket, but simply could not keep up in the stretch. Windsong Gorgeous who sat along the pylons the entire mile, rebounded and rallied willingly in the stretch, but Lyonssomewhere was long gone, winning in 1:48.2. Windsong Gorgeous was second and JK Patriot checked in third. For Lyonssomewhere, it was the first victory of his four year old season, his 8th from 20 career starts, with earnings now of over $440,000. He is owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound and trained by Julie Miller. The 1:48.2 clocking was a new lifetime mark. The Caramore series continued Saturday night at The Meadowlands with 26 horses split into three divisions. The first division ended in a mild upset as the overwhelming favorite, Dragon Lore was left with too much to do and could not catch Kings Barns and Andy Miller, who led from just past the quarter pole all the way to the wire, to win in 1:50.4, a lifetime best performance. The second split saw Account Rollover and Vincent Ginsburg make it back to back wins in the series, as he parlayed a perfect pocket trip into another victory, stopping the teletimer in 1:50, establishing a new lifetime mark for the second week in a row. The third and final division saw the second choice in the wagering, Stonehouse Adam, rallying from the pocket up the pylons to grab the victory from heavily favored Long Live Rock to win in 1:51.4 for Joe Bongiorno. In other action, Ontario Success and Mister Virgin put on a good show in an upper-level condition pacing event, battling from just past the half-mile pole all the way down to the wire, with Ontario Success and Joe Bongiorno just getting up in the shadow of the wire over Mister Virgin to score in 1:49.1, which was, once again, a new lifetime mark. Both $.20 Cent Super Hi-5 Jackpots went unclaimed, with the fifth race carryover expanding to $159,224 and the last race carryover growing to $136,155. The total handle was up nearly 25-percent over this same day in 2014, and on track handle was up five-percent as well. Racing returns on Friday evening with the third round of The Graduate series for the four year old pacers and trotters. Post time is 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali

Manalapan, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Ron Burke was happy with all the 2-year-olds he sent out for qualifiers Monday morning at Gaitway Farms, and particularly pleased with Muscle Hill-sired trotters Silvia, Southwind Flash, and Southwind Frank. Burke-trained horses were entered in eight of the qualifiers for 2-year-olds, and won seven. Southwind Frank missed by a nose in the final qualifier for the rookies, preventing a sweep. In the same race, stablemate Edinburgh was leading in the stretch but went off stride when several birds on the track took flight in front of him. Yannick Gingras drove all seven of Burke's winners on a morning that featured early occasional rain, gusty wind and later sunshine. Horses trained by Julie Miller won the two qualifiers for the 2-year-olds that did not go to the Burke Brigade. Southwind Flash (Muscle Hill-Friendly Amigo) won by 1-3/4 lengths over Miller's Stayin Strong (Muscles Yankee-Loch Katrine) in 1:58.1 with a :57.1 final half-mile. Southwind Flash, a colt purchased for $85,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is the first foal out of Friendly Amigo, who was an Ontario standout and captured the 2011 Allerage Farms Mare Trot. Silvia (Muscle Hill-My Favorite Chip) won by 2-1/2 lengths over Miller's Best Of Dreams (Donato Hanover-Lunar Dream Om) in 2:01.4 with a final quarter-mile of :29.1. Silvia, a filly purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is a half-sister to millionaire Adrian Chip, who was second to Donato Hanover in the 2007 Hambletonian. The colt Southwind Frank (Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy) trotted his back half in :57 and missed by a nose to Miller's Staying Focused (Yankee Glide-Raising The Bar), who won in 2:00.1. Southwind Frank was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and comes from a family that includes stakes-winners Cayster, Giant Hit, Program Speed, and Rockaroundtheclock. "All three of the Muscle Hill trotters were very good," Burke said. "I think Muscle Hill is going to change the breed; they're just better than other horses." Burke's pacing winners all were sired by Somebeachsomewhere. The colt Manhattan Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Benear) produced the fastest mile of the day for the 2-year-olds, winning by 15-1/4 lengths over Linda Toscano's Rocket J (Rock N Roll Heaven-Must See) in 1:55.2, back half in :55.4. Manhattan Beach was bought for $100,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is a full brother to 2014 Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach. Rocket J was purchased for $155,000, also at Harrisburg, and is a half-brother to Dan Patch Award winner Well Said. His family also includes $2-million-earner Glowing Report. JK Will Power (Somebeachsomewhere-Whats New Pussycat), another colt, won by 4-3/4 lengths over Nancy Johansson's Marcus N Max (American Ideal-Lady Of Lust) in 1:56.1. JK Will Power, purchased for $110,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is the first foal out of stakes-winner Whats New Pussycat, whose mother was Breeders Crown champion Molly Can Do It. Viceroy Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Vasmajorty Hanover) won by 1-1/4 lengths over Miller's Headforthebeach (Somebeachsomewhere-Head Of The House) in 1:58.3. Viceroy Hanover, a colt bought for $47,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is from the same family as millionaire Voelz Hanover. Burke-trained female pacer Lyons River Pride (Somebeachsomewhere-Mississippi River) won by 3-1/2 lengths over Ivan Llopez's LL Jackpot (Philos Hanover-Wygant Rose) in 1:57.4 and stablemate East Side Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Edra Hanover) won by a half-length over Gerard Malanga's Sail To The Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Sail Away) in 2:01.2, with a :27.1 final quarter-mile. "It's a very good group," Burke said. "Everybody was super. I'm very happy. "We knew they were nice, but it's nice to see them matched up against other people and see that they're at least decent." Miller, in addition to winning with Staying Focused, won with female trotter Womans Will (Donato Hanover-Will Of A Woman). She bested Cozette McAvoy's Zette Starlet (Credit Winner-Scottish Starlet) by 16-1/4 lengths in 1:59, with the final half-mile in :57.1. Staying Focused was purchased for $47,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is a full brother to stakes-winner Raising Rachel. The family also includes Dan Patch Award winner Casual Breeze. "We were happy with all of ours that went today," driver Andy Miller said. "The trotters all stayed at it, that was the main thing, and got some good miles in them. "The trotting filly, Womans Will, I think she could be like a stakes filly. All four of the trotting colts - Open Road Hanover, Staying Focused, Stayin Strong and Milligan's School - all performed really good today and did what we asked." Also in action Monday morning were Joe Holloway's 3-year-old stakes filly pacers Divine Caroline and Bettor Be Steppin. Divine Caroline won her qualifier in 1:53 and Bettor Be Steppin won her qualifier in 1:52.4. For Monday's complete charts from Gaitway, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA      

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