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Harness racing trainers Ron Burke and Julie Miller have three of the four richest 2-year-olds in Friday's Breeders Crown eliminations at Harrah's Hoosier Park - Venerate, Southwind Gendry, and Blue Diamond Eyes - and both trainers feel good about their entries overall as they prepare for the night. Hoosier hosts $25,000 eliminations for 2-year-olds and 3-year-old fillies Friday. The 3-year-old fillies include returning Breeders Crown champions Ramona Hill and Reflect With Me. The top-five finishers from each elimination advance to next week's finals. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through five for the finals. Eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers, 3-year-old male trotters, and older female pacers will be held Saturday at Hoosier. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Open Pace, Open Trot, and Mare Trot. Burke, who ranks No. 2 among all trainers in Breeders Crown history with 17 trophies, will send out 12 horses in Friday's elims, including male pacer Southwind Gendry and female pacer Blue Diamond Eyes. "I think they're all going to be competitive," Burke said. "I'm happy with where most of them drew. We're just going to try to get as many in (to the finals) as we can and then get ready for next week." Southwind Gendry has won eight of 10 races this year and earned $409,269, tops among 2-year-old male pacers. He brings a six-race win streak to his elimination. His triumphs include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and three Grand Circuit stakes (Elevation and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion). The gelding competes in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male pacers and will start from post two with driver Yannick Gingras. "He's super sharp and drew a good spot," Burke said. "I can't be happier. He has a real good attitude about winning. That's what most impresses me. He seems to want to win." The first elimination also includes Metro Pace winner Exploit and Indiana Sire Stakes champion JK Going West. The second elimination features undefeated Perfect Sting (8-for-8) as well as Metro runner-up Bayfield Beach and the season's fastest male pacer, Lou's Pearlman, who won a division of the Bluegrass in 1:49.1. Burke also trains Lou's Pearlman, the winner of five of 10 starts this year. "He started out great, then hit a little dry patch, but his last couple have been excellent," Burke said. "He's another one that's really coming in sharp and ready to go." Blue Diamond Eyes races in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers. She has won four of nine starts, finished second three times, and earned $383,417. Her victories include sire stakes championships in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Her foes in the elimination include stablemate Scarlett Hanover, the Ontario Sire Stakes champion who finished first in the She's A Great Lady Stakes but was disqualified for causing interference in the stretch. "I can't be happier with (Blue Diamond Eyes); she's become one of the better fillies of the class," Burke said. "I'm thrilled with her. We thought she was our best filly and then she went the wrong way for a little bit. When she went to Lexington (for the recent Grand Circuit meet) she turned everything around. It all came together. "Whatever was wrong, she fixed it on her own, basically. Since then, she's been very good." The first elimination for 2-year-old filly pacers includes She's A Great Lady winner Caviart Audrey, Indiana Sire Stakes champion Somethingbeautiful, and Fire Start Hanover, who is on a five-race win streak. Miller-trained Venerate leads all 2-year-olds in purses with $690,614. The trotting colt won the Mohawk Million and Kentucky Sire Stakes final in September. He went off stride in his most recent start, a division of the International Stallion at Lexington's Red Mile. He is in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters. "He can be his own worst enemy," Miller said. "He has to mind his manners, that's his biggest thing. He's kind of immature mentally and is still trying to figure out what we're asking of him. He wants to do the right thing, he's trying to figure it out. But he trained very well and I think he's on his game right now. I think he's peaking." Venerate's rivals in his elimination include undefeated Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Captain Corey (5-for-5) and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Zenith Stride. The first elim includes William Wellwood Memorial winner On A Streak and Grand Circuit stakes winner Cuatro De Julio, whose 1:51.3 mile in a division of the International Stallion makes him the fastest of the Breeders Crown hopefuls. In the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters, Peaceful Way winner Donna Soprano headlines a group of eight in the first elimination. The Luc Blais-trained filly has won five of six starts, including a division of the Champlain Stakes, and finished second to colt Venerate in the Mohawk Million. She leads 2-year-old filly trotters in purses with $433,570. The first elimination also includes New York Sire Stakes and Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes winner Iteration as well as recent Grand Circuit stakes winner Beautiful Game. In the second elimination, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Flawless Country, Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Lady Chaos, and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Swift Swanda are among the hopefuls in a field of nine. Among the 3-year-old fillies, Tony Alagna's Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill competes in the second of two eliminations for 3-year-old female trotters. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly trotter to repeat at age 3 was Ariana G in 2016 and 2017. Her foes in her elimination include Love A Good Story, who earlier this month won the Kentucky Filly Futurity for trainer Miller. "We just tried to nurse her this summer in the New York (Sire Stakes) program and then target the Futurity and Breeders Crown," Miller said. "She's an easy keeper and loves her job and is full of energy. She's been a consistent, honest filly for us." Burke sends out Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Moni Maker Stakes winner Crucial in the second elimination and Sister Sledge, last year's Breeders Crown runner-up, in the first. Neither hit the board in their two most recent starts, but Burke said they were suffering from stomach issues. "We worked on them and they look better, and they trained great," Burke said. "I'm hoping we're going to turn them back around." The first elimination for 3-year-old filly trotters also includes New York and Kentucky sire stakes champ Hypnotic AM and Indiana Sire Stakes champ May Baby. Reflect With Me, another Alagna trainee, is in the first of two eliminations for 3-year-old filly pacers. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly pacer to repeat at age 3 was Warrawee Ubeaut, just last year. Her elimination includes undefeated (13-for-13) Party Girl Hill, who beat male rivals in her most recent start in the Tattersalls Pace. Her wins also include the Jugette and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. The second elimination includes last year's Dan Patch Award winner, Lyons Sentinel, along with New York Sire Stakes champion Hen Party and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Priceless. Priceless is a newer addition to Miller's stable. She will be making her third start for Miller in the Breeders Crown elim. "We kind of did a test run the first time with her so we could figure out how we wanted her to be and she really raced well," Miller said. "She really likes that Hoosier track. There are a lot of nice horses in there, but she deserves it and it's her home turf. Hopefully, she'll have a little advantage there. "Things seems to be going our way right now," she added. "We're very thankful and fortunate. I hope it continues." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

This year's harness racing season has been hard on so many but not so much for Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven), the sophomore trotting filly trained by Julie Miller. Dominating a small but fierce division, she's swept all five legs in convincing fashion and now boasts over a half million dollars in career earnings. Miller, who is currently second in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) trainer standings, has her eyes set beyond this weekend's $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway. "We have the option to go onto Lexington as long as she maintains being happy and healthy," said Miller. "We hope to bring her back next year." Andy Miller pilots the 3-year-old for his wife and owners Daniel Plouffe, Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. "She and Andy have a great connection you just dream about," said Miller. "Real fortunate, she's dominating that level of competition and things have really worked out for her." In 2019, Love A Good Story, demonstrated her promise, winning six legs and finishing fifth in the NYSS Final on her way to more than $230,000 in seasonal earnings. Miller's plan for the 2-year-old at the time seemed to pay off. "We gave her a lot of time, raced at Lexington and then we elected to put her away and give her green grass, some vacation time and then picked up training back in Florida," said Miller. "When back in Jersey, she matured. She filled out and she knows her job and what she is supposed to do." Miller will look to finish the season with a perfect NYSS record. With so many changes to this year's schedule due to COVID-19, Miller reflected on her preparation for this weekend's finals. "There was a little bit of time in between the races - a longer time frame. I was able to train her easy last week - I'll train her up," said Miller. "New York Sire Stakes is the toughest spot to race in. To be a part of the race and be successful, it's all you want." Love A Good Story heads into the Night of Champions as the top overall earner in NYSS purses this season and will look to boost her already impressive $226,850 bankroll in the final for 3-year-old filly trotters, which goes off as race two. She drew post five in the seven-horse field, but will have to contend with top filly Hypnotic AM, who drew inside her in post three. New York's richest night of harness racing returns to Yonkers Raceway this Saturday. Eight final events featuring the best state-bred 2- and 3-year-olds will be contested for $225,000 purses each. Post time is 7:12 p.m. A full list of entries can be found here. By Eliza Bianco, for the New York Sire Stakes  

On Saturday,harness racing trainer Julie Miller will experience her Hambletonian present. One night earlier, maybe she will get a glimpse at her Hambletonian future. Miller sends out Big Oil in the first of Saturday's two $50,000 Hambletonian eliminations at The Meadowlands. The top-five finishers from each elim advance to the $1 million final for 3-year-old trotters Aug. 8 at The Big M. On Friday, she will watch Venerate in the lone $20,000 elimination of the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at The Meadowlands. The top-seven finishers will join bye recipients Locatelli, Spy Booth, and Type A in the final, also Aug. 8. Big Oil is 10-1 on the morning line in his Hambletonian elimination. Andy Miller will drive the colt, who starts from post four. Back Of The Neck is the 2-1 favorite, followed by Amigo Volo at 7-2, Beads at 9-2, and Dan Patch Award winning filly Ramona Hill at 5-1. Ready For Moni is the 5-2 favorite in the second elimination. "I'm proud just to be in the race, first of all," Miller said. "I think that's a really deep group. I think it's the tougher (elimination) but it's going to be even tougher next week, so we might as well get it figured out this Saturday. I just hope we have a little luck. Actually, a lot of luck." Big Oil, a son of Father Patrick out of former Miller standout and world-record-setter Cee Bee Yes, won two of eight races last year and hit the board a total of six times. He finished in a dead-heat for win with Real Cool Sam in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile in 1:52.1, a clocking that was the second fastest of the year for a 2-year-old male trotter. This season, Big Oil opened with wins in a conditioned race and division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars before finishing third behind Back Of The Neck and Third Shift in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. "I've been trying to manage him and get ready for this race," Miller said. "I just hope I've got my I's dotted and my T's crossed. I think he's special, but of course because he's mine, I think that way. I just hope I've got him the best he can be and he can leave it all on the racetrack. "When Andy gets behind him and they start to go, he gives 110 percent. He's handy, it's not like he's got to be raced from behind or he's got to be up front or he's got to have this or that. He has a good relationship with Andy and when Andy asks, he's going to deliver." Big Oil, a homebred owned by Jason Allen, Doug Allen, and Ron Allen, also owns a big personality. "No matter what is going on, he never loses his zest for life," Miller said. "He has this whinny where he doesn't open his mouth, it's like an internal one; it's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. He's got such a personality. Anybody that comes in the barn, everybody knows him. He makes sure his presence is felt. He's just a fun horse in that respect." Prior to last year, Miller posted three consecutive top-three finishes in Hambletonian finals. In 2018, Met's Hall finished second to Atlanta. In 2017, Devious Man was third-placed-second and a year earlier Sutton was a fast-closing third, beaten only a neck, in the race won by Marion Marauder. As for the Haughton elim, Venerate won his only start this year, a 1:55.1 triumph in a conditioned race at The Meadowlands on July 17. The colt is 7-2 on the morning line, second choice behind 3-1 Caruso from Hall of Famer Joe Holloway's stable. "He's just been a pleasure," Miller said. "He doesn't realize what he's doing yet and it's fun to see his development. He's a big good-looking colt. People always ask me, 'Who is that?' He's eye-catching on the track." Venerate is a son of standout French sire Love You out of Peaceful Kemp. He sold for $90,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton as well as Dan Patch Award winners Andover Hall and Conway Hall. He is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc. Carter Pinske had the colt in Florida for the winter before sending him north to Miller's stable in New Jersey. "We went down a couple times to train with Carter and we were really impressed with him," Miller said. "As luck would have it, he is Kentucky sired, which starts (its sire stakes series) after this race, so we really just babied him along. I was happy with his race, for him to get stretched out a little to see what we've got. I think he deserves a chance in (the Haughton)." In addition to the Haughton elimination on Friday, there are two $20,000 elims of the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters. Insta Glam, 2-for-2 on the Pennsylvania stakes circuit for trainer Nancy Takter, is the 7-5 favorite in the first; New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Altar, from trainer Per Engblom's stable, is the 8-5 choice in the second. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Friday and Saturday at The Meadowlands. For Friday's complete entries, click here. For Saturday, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Top Flight Angel, the winner of the 2017 Yonkers Trot, is ready to return to the races this week and his connections hope he will be continuing his ascent to the million-dollar level. A 6-year-old stallion, Top Flight Angel has won 14 of 65 career races and $902,820 for breeder/owner Alan Hainsworth, a New Yorker who races under the name Legendary Standardbred Farm. Hainsworth has a special bond with the horse because he owns Top Flight Angel's sire, the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, and dam, Top Photo. "It's fantastic," Hainsworth said. "He's grown up into a beautiful horse, so perfectly gaited, and he's very easy to drive. He's got a lot of brains. I want to race him until he makes a million dollars, then we'll see where we are with him. He's been a great horse." Top Flight Angel is beginning his fourth season in the barn of trainer Julie Miller. He battled sickness last year, limiting him to three victories, but after a nearly two-month respite won a qualifier last Friday at The Meadowlands in 1:54.2 and has been entered to race this weekend. "We gave him a lot of TLC and time to get over (his illness)," Miller said. "I thought that was a pretty decent qualifier the other day up there at The Meadowlands. "He's always been a pleasure to be around. He's a beautiful horse and he loves his job. You're not supposed to fall in love with them, but he would definitely be on my list of favorites. When he goes on the track, you know that no matter what, he's going to give it his all." Winning the Yonkers Trot with Archangel provided Hainsworth with a great memory. Capturing the Trotting Triple Crown event a second time with Top Flight Angel might even have topped the first. "Winning it once is like a miracle, and then to win it twice with the father and son and same owner, that was big," Hainsworth said. "To win it twice, there are hardly any words. If I ever got there again, I would probably be crying. I haven't given that thought up, either." Eleven days after Top Flight Angel won the Yonkers Trot, he rolled into Batavia Downs for a division of the New York Sire Stakes. He won in 1:54.3, equaling the track record set five years earlier by his father, Archangel. "That was another unbelievable night," Hainsworth said. "I was impressed with how he got around all those tracks in New York," Miller said. "You could send him anywhere and I knew he could handle those half-mile tracks and handle that grind. He was just that class of horse." Top Flight Angel, who finished second in the 2018 Breeders Crown Open Trot and was runner-up in the Harry Harvey Invitational the same year, will likely spend a good amount of time this season competing at The Meadowlands and Yonkers. "Hopefully he can make a couple hundred thousand this year," Hainsworth said. "I'd like to get him to the million-dollar mark," Miller said. "That's always a nice accomplishment for any horse to make it to that point." If Top Flight Angel reaches that level, he would join his father in the million-dollar club (Archangel banked $1.14 million) and become his father's second offspring to surpass the barrier (joining Guardian Angel AS). And while Hainsworth will be watching Top Flight Angel, he will also be keeping tabs on Archangel-sired newcomers heading to the races later this season. Hainsworth's own Angel Nation, purchased under the name Stable Genius for $60,000 at the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale, is among them. He did not race last year as a 2-year-old. "He's a beautifully gaited horse, that's what is so nice about him, and he looks terrific," Hainsworth said. "It's exciting to have the stallion and watch these owners that have their new Archangel babies come on board. I spend quite a lot of time in Canada (where Archangel stands) watching these new ones come up. I get a big kick out of it. That's pretty exciting to me." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

French Cafe and Sexy Wow traded wins in the first two legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Standardbred Development Fund for three-year-old filly trotters. French Cafe was the 1/2 choice to win the NJSS-SDF Final on Friday afternoon (Oct. 18) at Freehold Raceway, and lived up to the hype. Driver Andy Miller put his filly right on the lead early, letting her cruise through a half-mile in a meandering 1:00. George Brennan made a menacing first-over move with Sexy Wow nearing the three-quarter point, but French Cafe brushed her off and drew off to victory by 3-1/2 lengths. Marveloustrix got up for second, edging out Sexy Wow. French Cafe has now won eight races from 21 career starts, including two legs of the Kentucky Sire Stakes earlier in the year. She's trained by Julie Miller and owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Her victory was one of four for Andy Miller on the Friday card, as he swept the early pick 4. Miller also won with Deep Dreamer in Race 2, Rockn Legend in Race 4, and Real World Goal in Race 5. He teamed up with leading trainer Nick Surick on all three of those wins. That makes 116 wins for Miller at Freehold this calendar year, good for first place by more than 50 victories. Live harness racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a scheduled first post time of 12:30 p.m. From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

Freehold, NJ  --- Trainer Tom Fanning elected to bypass the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund (NJSS-SDF) with his trotter, No Drama Please, hoping to keep him fresh for the later legs in the series. The strategy worked like a charm, as No Drama Please won the second leg of the series for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters on Friday afternoon at Freehold Raceway. One of Lucas Wallin's two trotters in the field, Sovereign Deo, went out and set a loose early lead. Aided by some breaks to his chief rivals, he was in front by six lengths heading up the backstretch the final time. Nearing three-quarters, Austin Siegelman launched his rally with No Drama Please, advancing him up the pylons with dead aim on the leader. Turning for home, Sovereign Deo was still in front, but No Drama Please had all the momentum, and he coasted on by for a 1 1/2 length victory. No Drama Please showed promise as a 2-year-old, including a victory in the NJSS-SDF Final over this track. However, while he's picked up $106,000 worth of paychecks, this was his first win of his sophomore campaign, from seventeen starts. He's owned by Joseph Smith, and was bred by TLP Stable of New Jersey. He went the mile in 1:58.1. The second leg of the NJSS-SDF for 3-year-old filly trotters drew a field of four, and was contested as a non-wagering race. French Cafe was sent right to the lead by driver Troy Beyer, and held steady for a 1 1/4 length victory. She went the mile in 2:00.1 for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfield, and trainer Julie Miller. That was her fourth win of her 3-year-old year, including two victories in Kentucky Sire Stakes action at the Red Mile. She's earned almost $106,000 this year. Live racing continues on Saturday at Freehold, with a 12-race program beginning at 12:30 PM EDT. From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

The past week's racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was highlighted by a mandatory Rainbow Pick 5 payout, which awarded winning tickets at over $1,200 a pop Sunday night. It will be fun to see how high the Rainbow rises as it starts up again and rolls through the rest of the season at Pocono. As usual, we saw some outstanding performances over the past four racing programs, and we highlight the best of those now by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: TEXICAN N This 11-year-old gelding has been a stalwart performer throughout his career. In fact, he's not that far off from having a million dollars in purse money. Where once he was a top Open and condition performer, these days he plies his trade in the claiming ranks and recently has found the old fastball for trainer Brittany Robertson. After a few near-misses, Texican N scored a win in a $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap on August 17, utilizing a pocket trip for the 1:51:2 score. On Saturday night, Texican N was back at it against the same claiming class, this time leaving from post position #3 and doing so as the 2-1 favorite. Texican N left early for the lead, but then watched as Beach Memories moved past him on the first turn. In the previous start, the gelding sat in the pocket behind Beach Memories and prevailed late. But this time around, driver Matt Kakaley urged the veteran on for a quick retake of the lead on the front stretch. The move seemed to take the stuffing out of Beach Memories, who wasn't a threat from there. Texican N had to deal with other horses in the field making a late play, but he was up to the challenge. He ended up coming home a winner by 1 ¾ lengths over King Harvest in a sharp winning time of 1:50:4. And, with the win on Saturday night, he proved that he could still dominate the proceedings rather than just relying on a trip to win. Other top pacers this week include: Torrid Bromac N (Pat Berry, Traci Berry), who won his second straight $15,000 claimer on Saturday night and fourth out of five overall in 1:51; Daamericansky (Marcus Miller, Mark Silva), who rolled to his second condition win in his last three races on Sunday and did so in a new career-best time of 1:49:3; and Lady Dela Renta A (Anthony Napolitano, Jose Godinez), who moved up in class for her second straight win at Pocono on Tuesday night, this time capturing the night's featured condition pace for mares in a new career-best time of 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SATIN DANCER Winning a Sunday night featured trot at Pocono these days is quite an accomplishment. It doesn't seem to matter the condition or the purse; the field always seemed to be stacked from inside to outside with top competitors, making it like a gauntlet for anyone brave enough to tackle it. This past Sunday night's edition, a condition with a purse of $17,500, was no different. Moving up in class to face a group like that is a tough task, but that's just what Satin Dancer was undertaking. The five-year-old mare trained by Travis Alexander was coming off a victory in her previous start at Pocono at the $14,000 level in 1:54:3. In the Sunday night tilt she was the 4-1 fourth choice on the board, leaving from post position #4 in a field of eight. And, as in her previous start, she left in a hurry, grabbing the lead after a brief speed duel with 2-1 favorite Two AM. From there, driver Dexter Dunn was able to rate the pace favorably because no first-over challenger came along to speed his horse up. As they hit the top of the stretch, only Two AM was still hanging around with a chance to derail the mare. But she closed out the mile as powerfully as she began it, keeping Two AM at bay to win it by a length as the only distaff horse in the entire field. Not only did Satin Dancer conquer the feature with her second straight win, but she also did it in 1:53, which matched her career-best mile in the process. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Lionbacker Kidd (Marcus Miller, Bucky Angle Jr.), who picked up his second straight condition win on Sunday night, scoring in 1:55:3; Broadway Mojo (George Napolitano Jr., Brandon Presto), who followed up a win at the Meadows with a claiming handicap victory at Pocono on Sunday night in 1:55:1; and Amador (Marcus Miller, Joseph King), whose upset win at Pocono in a condition trot on Sunday night in 1:54:2 gave him two straight victories, with the previous one coming at Harrah's at Philadelphia. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MACH WEST Despite a romping win at Tioga in his previous start, this pacer driven by Anthony Napolitano got away at 33-1 in a condition on Sunday night and won it to pay off $68.80 on a $2-win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANDY MILLER Miller had a blast on the Labor Day card, coming up with winners in four of the day's dozen races, cashing in with a favorite every time. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JULIE MILLER You might have guessed from above that Monday was also a big day for Julie, as she went a perfect four-for-four on the day with her trainees. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

WILKES-BARRE, PA - There was one sure way - and it was the only way - to cash a ticket on a favorite during the Labor Day Monday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. You bet on a Julie Miller-trained harness racing horse. Julie combined with driver/husband Andy to send out four horses on the twelve-race Pocono card. All were favorites; all won and took lifetime marks; and none of the other eight favorites could get home first. Two of Team Orange Crush's winning quartet were two-year-olds: the Father Patrick - Bell Power trotting filly Becky Kronos, who broke her maiden in 1:57.4 for Bruni Racing Team AB; and the Sombeachsomewhere - Pleasure Beach pacing filly The Bethinator, an import from Hawthorne who ran her lifetime mark to 4-for-5 with a 1:53.4 victory for the Megan Rogers Racing Stable. The sophomore Donato Hanover filly American Kronos, last seen in an Hambletonian Oaks elimination, found Tuesday's easier company to her liking as she tallied in 1:53.3 for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Dr. David Goodrow. And then there was the Muscle Hill four-year-old American Moni, the last foal out of the champion mare Moni Maker. He hadn't won at two and three in limited attempts; in 2019 before Tuesday's race he had a first and two seconds before eliminating himself with a break over sloppy going. Here American Moni put it all together as the Pocono players' heavy chalk, stepping to a 1:53.3 best clocking for the Moni Maker Stable. The two younger performers won by 1¾ lengths and ¾ of a length, respectively; the latter two won by 8½ and 7¾ lengths, respectively. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

In past years, when Robert LeBlanc went to The Meadowlands to watch the Hambletonian, he always thought how cool it would be to have a horse in the race. This year, he finds out. LeBlanc, a retired vice president at IBM who has partnered on horses in trainer Tony Alagna's stable for three years, is among the owners of Pilot Discretion. The colt competes in the second of Saturday's (Aug. 3) two $70,000 Hambletonian Stakes eliminations at the Big M, where the top-five finishers from each division return for the $1 million final later in the day. Pilot Discretion will start from post three with Andy McCarthy in the sulky. He is 10-1 on the morning line. Greenshoe is the 4-5 favorite in the division. The Hambletonian Day card begins at noon. The Hambletonian, the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters, and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, restricted to 3-year-old female trotters, will be featured during a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). "As an owner, this is our race," said LeBlanc, a Canadian who now resides in Austin, Texas. "Everybody wants to be in the Hambletonian. Having a horse that's good enough, it may never happen again. But I'm enjoying the ride. Tony and the team have done an amazing job with him. Tony has managed him very well and he just keeps getting better and better." Pilot Discretion has won six of eight career races and never finished worse than third, earning $174,029. He was 2-for-2 in 2018 but saw his season end because of sickness. The son of Muscle Hill-Self Indulgent won his first four races this season, including the Goodtimes Stakes, before finishing second to Greenshoe in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial and third in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "We raced him in the Tompkins-Geers just to get him another race because he'd had a month break between the Goodtimes and the Dancer," Alagna said. "We wanted to race him and give him last week off. We raced him off the pace; we didn't want to put him on the front again in his last start since we put him on the front in the Dancer. He closed very well, :26.3. "He seems great. He's very fresh. Even the night I warmed him up his last start at the Meadowlands, he was bucking and playing and kicking just going his first trip. He hasn't done that in the last couple starts. So, I think he's as fresh as a horse could be going into it." For LeBlanc, who owns Pilot Discretion with Dave Anderson and John Fodera, it's been difficult to wait for Hambletonian time to arrive. "I've got no more fingernails, I've bitten them off," LeBlanc said. "It's been a buildup every week. I'll be pretty wound up by Saturday. I'll be super excited. I've already told my wife that I have to watch the race outside (the grandstand) because I'll be the one screaming the loudest. "If you see a lunatic screaming if he's coming down the stretch with a shot (to win) you know it will be me. Every owner will be a lunatic, absolutely. That's the fun of it. This is what makes this game so much fun." Can Ake Svanstedt win another Hambletonian? Ake Svanstedt, who won the 2017 Hambletonian through disqualification with Perfect Spirit, will send two horses into Saturday's event. Marseille is 5-1 in the second elimination, where Greenshoe is the 4-5 favorite, and Soul Strong is 8-1 in the first elim, where Gimpanzee is the 2-1 choice. Svanstedt trains both horses and will drive Marseille, who is owned by Svanstedt, Stefan Balazsi's Order By Stable, and Howard Taylor. Dexter Dunn is listed to drive Soul Strong, who is owned by Cees Faber's Stable Why Not. Marseille upset Greenshoe to win the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial on June 29. For the year, he has won three of five races and never been worse than third. The son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish heads to the Hambletonian off a career-best 1:51.4 victory in a division of the Tompkins-Geers on July 20. "He raced good the last time and he is training normal," Svanstedt said. Marseille was limited to four races last year because of soreness. When he returned this year, his behavior left much to be desired. The connections considered gelding Marseille but decided to hold off and gave the colt another opportunity to show improvement. He finished second in a qualifier and then won his seasonal debut, which ended the discussion. "Maybe he heard what we were talking about," Svanstedt said, smiling. "After he qualified and started racing, his head changed totally. He is not a stud when he comes to race. He has focus. He is a real racehorse and he wants to race. He is all business." Soul Strong was winless in eight races last year but has won three of six starts in 2019. He finished second to Marseille in the Tompkins-Geers. "He was not so good gaited when we started but his gait is better and better," Svanstedt said. "He was always a little sore and it was a balance how much we could train and race. But he has a good heart and has gotten stronger and stronger. We gelded him over the winter, and he is better now. He is older and stronger. He is going to be faster and faster." Svanstedt, like many others, considers Greenshoe the horse to beat. "Greenshoe is No. 1 but behind him it's wide open," Svanstedt said. "In the Hambletonian, there is good money behind the winner also. Of course, I want to win. But I must be realistic. "It's tough to be (in the Hambletonian). Everything must be a hundred percent perfect that day. When all the horses are on the same level, it can be the post position and the horse must be a hundred percent that day. Everything must be good." Andy & Julie Miller hoping for Summitt In Sight Team Miller - the wife-husband duo of trainer Julie and driver Andy - has hit the board in the past three Hambletonians and is hoping for more of the same on Saturday with Summit In Sight. The colt is 20-1 on the morning line in the first elimination, where Gimpanzee is the 2-1 favorite. "He is a longshot for the race but we're going to give him a chance," Julie Miller said. "We think we've got him sharp and ready. Basically, we need a lot of luck and hopefully he puts his best foot forward." Summit In Sight, owned by Natalia Stroy's Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable, was limited to two races in 2018 after suffering a bout of colic in the spring. He began this year with a sixth-place finish before putting together a streak of six starts where he finished either first (four times) or second. The string was broken when he went off stride and finished eighth in the Beal Memorial final. He heads to the Hambletonian off a fifth-place finish in a division of the Dancer. "We shut him down thinking he could be a nice 3-year-old," Julie Miller said about the son of Muscle Hill-Bluff. "We got him ready early and he flashed some talent. He had some unfortunate luck in the Beal with how the fractions of the race went; we really thought we had a good chance in there. "I trained him at the Meadowlands on Saturday just to get a good mile in him. I'm hoping I've got it all into place. He really developed from (age) 2 to 3 maturity wise. His gait got more extended and he grew up mentally as well. He's a more manageable horse, so however Andy chooses to drive him, suits him." Team Miller's past three finishes in the Hambletonian were a second by Met's Hall in 2018, third-placed second by Devious Man in 2017, and fast-closing third by Sutton in 2016. "Hopefully we can keep that momentum going," Julie Miller said. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Cantab Fashion-Dexter Dunn-Jim Campbell-6/1 2-Summit In Sight-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-20/1 3-Swandre The Giant-David Miller-Ron Burke-7/2 4-Soul Strong-Dexter Dunn-Ake Svanstedt-8/1 5-Mr Vicktor-Tyler Buter-Jennifer Lappe-15/1 6-Osterc-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom-15/1 7-Gimpanzee-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-2/1 8-Green Manalishi S-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander-5/2 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Forbidden Trade-Bob McClure-Luc Blais-12/1 2-Gerry-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-20/1 3-Pilot Discretion-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-10/1 4-Reign Of Honor-David Miller-R. Nifty Norman-20/1 5-Greenshoe-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-4/5 6-Don't Let'em-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson-4/1 7-Super Schissel-Scott Zeron-Per Engblom-10/1 8-Marseille-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-5/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Whenever Harvey Eisman is given the opportunity to name a racehorse, he keeps it all in the family. It has nothing to do with harness racing pedigrees, but everything to do with his grandchildren. "It's a fun tradition they've done," said trainer Julie Miller, who trains Jason's Camden, a horse co-owned by Eisman that is named after his son-in-law and year-and-a-half-old grandson. "They get a little kick out of it." Jason's Camden can provide some more thrills in the weeks ahead. On Saturday (April 27), the 3-year-old colt trotter will compete in the $39,650 Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold Raceway. The top-seven finishers from the eight-horse field advance to the $118,950 final on May 4, where they will be joined by bye-recipient Osterc. The Dexter Cup is the traditional first stakes race on the road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters. Jason's Camden is among the Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the Dexter Cup, along with Cavill Hanover, Whirl Winds K, HL Revadon, and Osterc. Eisman co-owns Jason's Camden with the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, which bred the colt. Jason's Camden, a son of Muscle Mass out of Palm Beach Chic, was purchased for $48,000 at the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale, at which time he was named Palm Beach Muscle. "I'm only a part owner in these horses, but I do get to name quite a few and that's nice," said Eisman, a Michigan resident who has been involved in harness racing since 1977. "All the grandkids go in order naming the horses every year. It was Camden's choice since he was just born and his mother (Julie) came up with Jason's Camden." Some other current horses co-owned by Eisman include Alana's Brilliance, Ev's Girl, Zack's Got The W, and Luv U Bye Click, which is a reference to the way one of Eisman's young granddaughters gets off the phone with him. Jason's Camden won five of nine races last year, finished second on three occasions, and earned $67,750. All his victories came in preliminary rounds of the New York-sired Excelsior "A" Series and he finished second in the final. He also finished second in a division of the Simpson Stakes at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He was a pretty nice horse in New York for us, but one of those slow learners and kind of went through the motions to start," Miller said. "I feel like at the end of the year he kind of understood the program and wanted to do his job. "He handled the half-mile track really well (last year) so we thought the Dexter Cup would be a good opening race for him. He showed a lot of consistency last year. He's a nice big horse, an honest horse, very willing. Hopefully we make it to the final and get a good draw there." Jason's Camden, who is making his season's debut in the Dexter Cup, will start Saturday's elimination from post seven with Andy Miller in the sulky. He is 5-1 on the morning line. "He's pretty docile," Julie Miller said. "He just goes about his day and doesn't need constant attention like some of the others. But when you put the race bike on him and get him behind the gate he's all business. "He's primarily staked in New York but we threw in the Hambo. He would be a longshot for that race, but in case he ends up peaking at that time he'd be in there." Cavill Hanover, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, is the 5-2 Dexter Cup elimination favorite from post one. Cavill Hanover, also making his seasonal debut, won three of seven races and $67,193 last year. All three victories came on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. Osterc, who received the bye based on earnings, was last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion. He won five of seven races in 2018 and earned $226,401. He is trained by Per Engblom. For Saturday's complete entries at Freehold, click here. Racing begins at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) and the Dexter Cup elimination is race 10.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - With arch-rival Trolley opting to take the week off, Sutton had little trouble winning the Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, the $30,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters. Andy Miller had the gas pedal down from the start as the 6-year-old son of Donato Hanover-I Wanted Wings swooped past the field from post seven in the eight-horse field and made the lead at the quarter in a brisk :27.1. Sutton raced on an open lead from there all the way to the wire, as the pocket-sitting Pinkman, making his 2019 debut, offered little in the way of a threat. Sutton was 2½ lengths clear of Pinkman at the wire, with Golden Son finishing third. The Julie Miller-trained Sutton, who finished third in the 2016 Hambletonian, has now won half of his four 2019 starts after completing the mile in 1:52.3. He paid $4.80 to win as the 7-5 public choice. Lifetime, he's amassed 12 wins from 39 outings and earned $542,288 for owners Andy Miller Stable and Jason and Douglas Allen. BURKE DOUBLES IN SERIES ACTION: A pair of series for 3-year-old colts and geldings got underway on the Friday card and trainer Ron Burke had one winner in each. In the Walner Series for trotters, Burke scored with the Joe Bongiorno-driven Final Claim in 1:55.2. Final Claim, now two-for-two this year, scored as the 7-5 second choice as Burke's other trainee, even-money choice Goes Down Smooth, went off stride at the start and finished last. Final Claim                        -Lisa photo The Ray Schnittker-trained and driven Full Rights took the other division in 1:55.4 as the longest shot on the board at odds of 32-1. Full Rights                       -Lisa photo Burke hit the winner's circle in the Wiggle It Jiggleit Series for pacers with 9-2 fourth choice World On Edge in 1:54.1 for driver Yannick Gingras. Respect Our Flag took the other division for the trainer-driver, sister-brother team of Jenn and Joe Bongiorno in 1:52.4 as the 6-5 second choice. CAP4 POOL DEEPENS: A total of $65,235 was wagered in the third edition of the Can-Am Pick-4, by far the largest pool yet. Form players cashed in for $48.84 for the bet that has a 20-Cent base wager after a sequence that saw winner's odds of 5-2, 3-5, 9-5 and 9-2. A LITTLE MORE: Those sharp enough to throw Schnittker's Full Rights into their 50-Cent Pick-5 combinations and hit walked away with a handsome payoff of $9,274. ... Burke finished the night with three training wins while Julie Miller had two. ... Andy Miller, Bongiorno, Gingras and Dave Miller all had driving doubles. Dave Miller broke out of a slump, as he had won only once in his first 19 drives since returning from vacation. ... All-source handle totaled $2,626,955 on the 13-race card. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 18, 2018-Dan Dube does not discriminate. He and Jack Vernon ($8.40) went the distance Sunday afternoon (Nov. 18th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $54,800 Open Handicap Trot. The previous evening, Dube and Gokudo Hanover wired 'em in the week's marquee pace. Back to 'Jack,' who won a several-horse harness racing scrum for the early lead, then gave nothing else a shot. The nine-horse feature (one came up ill) served as the opener of seven added-distance 'French' trots. From post position No. 4, Jack Vernon stuffed Gruden (Brian Sears) in behind, setting up shop before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. It was a :57.1 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters before invading 3-2 favorite I Know My Chip (Jim Marohn Jr.) made his second move. Wide early into a four-hole, I Know My Chip came first-up, but the bid was both brief and ineffective. Meanwhile, Jack Vernon was gone, widening past the 1:55.3 milepost and opening four lengths in and out of the final turn. He finished\ it off by 2¼ lengths, getting the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:25. Andy Ray (Jason Bartlett) offered late foot to wind up second, with Gruden, Lean Hanover (Jordan Stratton) and Lord Cromwell (Matt Kakaley) settling for the minors. I Know My Chip backpedaled to last. For second choice Jack Vernon, a 5-year-old Muscle Hill gelding owned by Mr. (Andy) Miller Stable and trained by Mrs. (Julie) Miller, it was his 10th win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $66, the triple returned $466.50 and the superfecta paid $2,828. Technical difficulties resulted in the cancellation of the 'New York, New York Double' for Sunday afternoon. The next Sunday matinee is Nov. 25th (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (November 8th) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by prominent horse owner Myron Bell; trainer and owner Julie Miller; and 2019 hall of fame entrant Linda Toscano. Bell, owner and operator of Riverview Racing LLC, will talk about Harrisburg yearling sale purchases Honorat Hanover ($400K) and In Reality Hanover ($350K). Trainer Linda Toscano will also chime in on the ongoing Harrisburg Sale. Part of the 2019 Hall of Fame class, Toscano will be the trainer of day two sales topper Rodeo Blue Chip, who was purchased for $250,000 by Ken Jacobs. Trainer Julie Miller will also offer her views on her Harrisburg purchases. Along with Brixton Medical, Marvin Katz, and Bud Hatfield; Miller spent $250,000 on a Muscle Hill sired trotting filly Hilly Holbrook. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. By Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike      

CHESTER, PA -Jack Vernon had to overcome the tough first-over journey in the $18,000 featured trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, but the fast Muscle Hill gelding not only did so, but came within a fifth of his lifetime best in stopping the timer in 1:53.2. Race favorite Tyson took command early, then submitted to a brushing move to control the pace by New Jersey Viking past the 27.3 opener. The new leader got a breather to the half in 57, but then Jack Vernon got underway under Andy Miller's handling, getting even with the pacesetter near the 1:24.4 ¾ pole, edging away on the turn, then withstanding the late comeback bid of Tyson by a half length. The victory was the third in a row for the Julie Miller trainee, who now has earnings of $191,248 for the Andy Miller Stable Inc. A pair of $14,500 diamondgaited events were also conducted on the "Trottin' Thursday" card at Philly. In the first, the Andover Hall mare Casa Palmera regained her winning ways, able to outclose Zlatan and Band's Houdini to win in 1:54 for her sixth win in 15 starts during 2018. George Napolitano Jr. handled sulky duties for trainer Ed Lohmeyer, who shares ownership with Dr. Patricia Hogan. Napolitano's trip in the other $14,500 event was much more adventurous -- you don't see a line like this too often: PP2 / x2oo / 3o / 2o / 2|1 / 4|2T. But such was the fate of the Napolitano-driven favorite Yuge, who broke on the lead late on the first turn, then recovered and pressured pacesetting second choice Crazy About Pat, who refused to surrender the lead under Eric Carlson's handling en route to a 1:55.1 triumph. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera trains and owns the veteran Crazed gelding, who in winning for the 36th time in his career boosted his earnings to $818,510. Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the Thursday card, cutting Napolitano's lead to 192-184 at the top of the Harrah's driver standings. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

American Kronos was slowed a bit getting to the harness races, but quick to make a good impression. It might come as little surprise; she was viewed favorably since the time she was born. A 2-year-old female trotter, American Kronos was bred in Italy at Antonio Carraretto's Allevamento Kronos farm. Her sire Donato Hanover was 2007 Horse of the Year and dam Glide About was a New Jersey Sire Stakes champion and three-quarter sister to Dan Patch Award-winner Maven. In addition to American Kronos, Glide About's offspring include Treasure Kronos, a mare who won a Swedish Breeders Crown championship at age 3 and the prestigious Criterium Continental in France at 4. Standardbred bloodstock agent Perry Soderberg saw American Kronos a week after her birth and she was subsequently purchased privately as part of a package with now 3-year-old male trotter Zephyr Kronos by a group that includes Canadian breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The Libfeld/Katz breeding partnership has received three consecutive O'Brien Awards for Breeder of the Year in Canada and a Dan Patch Award as Breeder of the Year in the U.S. in 2016. "For the last two or three years, Perry Soderberg has gone to Europe in the early spring on our behalf looking for mares and families that we thought would be good additions for our breeding program," Katz said. "One of his regular stops is Antonio's farm. He saw (American Kronos) when she was a week old. That's all she was when he saw her and he really liked her. "She has a great pedigree. She has a license to be a top individual. I think you see Europeans coming here and buying our bloodstock and there is no reason why we can't go over there and buy some of their bloodstock and bring it over here. I think it's clearly becoming a two-way street. And it's productive going both ways." American Kronos' development was hindered by transportation issues, but the Julie Miller-trained filly has won three of four races since debuting in August. Each of her victories was by a minimum of 2-1/4 lengths and her mark of 1:55.3 is among the season's best by a 2-year-old filly trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. On Thursday, American Kronos is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the second of three Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia. She will be driven by George Brennan, who guided American Kronos to her 1:55.3 victory in a division of the Liberty Bell Series on Sept. 20 at Philly. "Julie has kept her on a slower program, but she has certainly developed into a very, very nice filly," said Katz, who owns American Kronos with Libfeld and David Goodrow. "Julie has done a terrific job mapping out her program to make her life as easy as possible and let her continue developing. "She's performing very nicely and hopefully she will finish out the year that way and make a nice 3-year-old. That was the game plan all along and Julie has executed the plan perfectly. She deserves all the credit in the world." American Kronos' wins in addition to the Liberty Bell came in a conditioned race in her career debut and in a division of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series. Her only loss came when she went off stride in a division of the Keystone Classic. "She just didn't handle the track that day at all," Katz said of the lone miscue. "Otherwise, she's done everything very nicely." Said Miller, "We just took our time training her down. She has really developed and matured these last few months. We're very pleased with her progress." American Kronos is eligible to next month's International Stallion Stakes and Breeders Crown. She also is eligible to the Kindergarten Series. Katz said the connections are taking a wait-and-see approach to the filly's schedule. "We've tried to avoid mixing it up with the big girls to this point," Katz said. "We'll take it step by step. All the options are on the table, but we'll just go race by race and make our decisions as we go." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Julie Miller endured some difficult moments with trotters Met's Hall and Prospect Hill during the winter and spring, but in the past two months the trainer's trepidation has turned to jubilation. Met's Hall, who struggled with health woes, heads to Saturday's C$169,183 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park off a win in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial Open Trot and a second-place finish in the Hambletonian. Unraced prior to mid-July, the colt's $456,773 in purses rank 10th among all horses in North America despite tying for the second-fewest starts (six) of any horse in the top 50. "He was a bit of a challenge," Miller said. "We had to iron out some kinks on his road back. He's a little bit behind the curve, not starting as early as most of the others, but I couldn't be any happier with how he is racing. We just have to hope it continues. He's just fought through his issues and he loves to race." Prospect Hill, who battled maturity issues, heads to Saturday's $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at The Meadows with a five-race win streak since a third-place debut. He is the sport's fourth-richest 2-year-old male trotter, with $130,167, and tied for the fifth fastest, with a mark of 1:55. Coupled with stablemate Klutzy in the PaSS final, Prospect Hill is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. "He's been a pleasant surprise," Miller said. "He always had talent and ability, but would kind of lose focus and act like a typical juvenile out there on the track. He's got a refined body and nice gait, but he wasn't always thinking about trotting; he was all boy out there. But he's blossomed into a nice horse and done well." Met's Hall, owned by Stroy Inc. and Andy Miller Stable, came into 2018 with high expectations after winning five of 11 races last year and finishing second in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters, but was plagued by soundness issues. Miller consulted with numerous veterinarians and revamped the colt's training program to get him back on track. "I'm very fortunate," Miller said. "I had three or four of the top vets in the country give me guidance. Andy and I kept talking about his training regimen. We put him in the (swimming) pool and changed up how we do things with a trotter. We had to try other things and it seemed to work." Met's Hall, with Andy Miller in the sulky, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday's Simcoe Stakes, which is the final prep for the Canadian Trotting Classic (eliminations Sept. 8; final Sept. 15). The 11-horse field also includes You Know You Do (7-2), Lawmaker (9-2) and Alarm Detector (5-1). The race is part of a Woodbine Mohawk Park card that includes the Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot. For his career, Met's Hall has won seven of 17 races and earned $723,908. The son of Cantab Hall-Met's Inn finished second to Atlanta in the Hambletonian before winning in a career-best 1:52 in the Zweig, where he led gate-to-wire and fought off a challenge from Six Pack before holding off Manchego by a nose. "We really targeted the Hambletonian with him," Miller said. "To get second, we were very pleased. And to race in the Zweig and hold off Six Pack and Manchego that last quarter, I was really proud of him. I don't think he prefers to race on the front, but he can. I think he's more of a grinder. But it's however the race unfolds." Prospect Hill, a son of Muscle Hill-Louise Kemp, was purchased for $130,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Stroy Inc. He finished third to Peter Haughton Memorial winner Don't Let'em in his debut, but has since won five in a row -- a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars followed by four divisions of the sire stakes. His most recent victory was by a neck, but the rest were by at least one length. "He leaves the gate so effortlessly," Miller said. "Andy said he's really comfortable on the front. I'm just happy he doesn't seem to have to exert a lot so far to race at this level. "And when a horse has come at him, he's responded well. Twice he's done that. I'm glad that he's game and gutsy. Instead of throwing in the towel, he wanted to put his head back in front and win. You like to think you teach them that, but I think it's all on their own. They have to want it and he wants it." The Meadows hosts all four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-olds. On Sunday, the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosts the four PaSS finals for 3-year-olds. Morning-line favorites at Pocono are Phaetosive in the female trot, Kissin In The Sand in the female pace, Crystal Fashion in the male trot, and Dorsoduro Hanover in the male pace. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

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