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WILKES-BARRE PA - After a recent bout of "seconditis," Aggressive showed himself back in winning harness racing form Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking the $18,000 featured trot while posting a new mark of 1:52.4.   George Napolitano Jr. got away third with the gelded son of Kadabra as ABC Muscles Boy tripped the timer in 27.2 before yielding to favored B Yoyo, and that one put up middle splits of 56.2 and 1:24.1. Aggressive started his first-over move in the backstretch, and when turned loose just exploded, going by at the 3/4s, taking a 4-length lead by the stretch call, then winning safely by 3¼ lengths over ABC Muscles Boy, with second-over Tymal Signature along for third.   Aggressive had posted four seconds in his last five starts, but tonight he turned a corner, as have many members of the suddenly-hot stable of trainer Gil Garcia-Herrera, who trains the new member of the $150,000+ Club for owner Gil Garcia-Owen.   From the PHHA

Boli (Kadabra) came north to Saratoga Casino Hotel after enjoying a big couple of months at the Pompano Park this spring. The Dan Hennessey-trained trotter finished second in last week's Open Trot while making his local debut. On Sunday afternoon, the four year old Boli went last to first to secure his first local victory in the $15,000 Open. Wally Hennessey sat patiently with the race's 8-5 second choice before making his move in the final quarter. Slugfest, the 3-5 betting favorite in the feature, was first over and took over the lead at the head of the stretch before Boli trotted past to win in 1:54.4. The win time serves as a new lifetime mark for the up-and-coming trotter and was the fastest time of the year for a trotter at the Spa, that was until it was bested the following race when Flyhawk Thriller (Cash Hall) cruised to victory in 1:54.2. Slugfest continued his sensational streak of hitting the board every week in the local Open as he was the runner up on Sunday. Cashahallic (Austin Siegelman) earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Monday afternoon with a Memorial Day matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Michael Casalino and harness racing trainer Dylan Davis' Theresademoninme ($6, Jim Morand was victorious in the $17,500 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:54.2. The 5-year-old Kadabra gelding emerged with the lead at the top of the stretch after clearing pacesetter Somebody As, who was third. Take My Picture closed ground late to acquire second. The win established a new lifetime mark for the winner and arrived at an opportune time as trainer and co-owner Davis was celebrating his birthday. Callam Racing's Spunky Jack ($3, Roger Plante Jr.) was a 1:55 winner in the $12,500 Open II sub-featured event on the program. Trained by Steve Leblanc, it was the 21st career win for the 7-year-old Super Punk gelding, who also notched his first win of the season. Victor Kirby had three wins, while Plante Jr. had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The first Tuesday night live race program of the 2016 season at the Hippodrome 3R provided race fans with plenty of excitement, especially in the $120,000C opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. While the older horse division may not have featured pari-mutuel wagering with just a three-horse field, it ended up being the best race of the season at the Hippodrome 3R. Heading the field was three-time series champion, Maximuscle, taking on series champion and track record holder, Seeyou Men with Promesses Imperial rounding out the field. Held between the 5th and 6th races on the program, the race began as a near disaster for driver Mario Charron and Maximuscle, as the five-year-old son of Angus Hall went off-stride after the start. That gave way for Seeyou Men and driver Robert Shepherd to have things their own way on the lead with Promesses Imperial (Jerome Lombart) sitting in the pocket-trip. They went to the opening quarter in :29.3 and then to the half mile in 1:00.3, but when Shepherd looked over his shoulder, there was Charron and Maximuscle back on stride and coming after the race leader. By the three-quarter mile marker in 1:30.2, Maximuscle had not only collared Seeyou Men, but had the lead by a neck. Then at the top of the stretch, Seeyou Men was back in the lead by a slim head and in a dramatic stretch drive to the finish, Maximuscle came on in the final strides to the wire to win by a neck over Seeyou Men in 1:59.4 with Promesses Imperial the obvious third place finisher. It was the first start of the season for Maximuscle, who is trained by Maxime Velaye and was bred and is owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. "I thought after driving this horse for most of his career he would be OK behind the starting gate tonight." Said Mario Charron of Maximuscle. "But even at age five I still must treat him like a two-year-old and talk to him and make sure he is clam getting out of the starting gate. He has done this every year of his career but towards the end of last season at age four he was much better, but not tonight. "Once I had him back on-stride I saw that Robert (Shepherd) was going to back down the pace even more after the half mile," Charron explained, "and my horse wanted to go so I let him move to the outside and he was just great. By the three-quarters I knew we had him but what a great finish for just a three-horse race. Robert's horse was game down the stretch but Maximuscle was the better horse tonight. Because Maximuscle broke stride off a qualifying race, he must qualify again before the judges in order to enter next week's second round of the series and with no opportunity to do so, it is likely that Maximuscle will not be able to race until the third round. For Charron, it was his first win after four race cards held at 3R this season. That is uncharacteristic for Charron, who last year was second by one win to Denis St-Pierre for the driving title. "That's Mario Charron," Charron laughed. "With so many new drivers at 3R this year, I really do not get that much opportunity nor some of the better horses to drive early in the season. But now that the stakes season is underway I will do better as many trainers are just getting their young horses to the races. But I am glad to get that first win finally." There were two mare divisions of the opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series Tuesday. The third race first division saw SOS Revange and driver Gaetan Lamy sit patiently in fourth place as Beauty Road (Guy Gagnon) parked out race favorite Viva Bayama (Carl Duguay) for most of the mile race. Then with a strong move on the final turn, Lamy was able to turn SOS Revange loose and the mare kicked in a :29.3 last quarter mile to win going away by two and one-quarter lengths in 2:01.4. Viva Bayama was second with the pocket-sitting National Trace (Stephane Brosseau) third. Now undefeated in two starts this year for trainer Francine Merrissettel and owner/breeder Monalisa Pagliericci of Stanbridge Station, QC, SOS Revange, a four-year-old mare by Kadabra, scored a lifetime mark and paid $6.60C to win. In the 6th race second division, Mario Charron made it a driving double on the night with SOS Striking Monte. Kim Sorel (Martin Gringas) left sharply from post six to take the early lead and gave way to SOS Harddrive (Pascal Berube) after the opening quarter mile in :29.1. SOS Harddrive then led to the half mile in :59.1 and it was then that Charron made his winning move with SOS Striking Monte, brushing to the lead and in command at the three-quarters in 1:29 and then holding on through the finish to win by one and one-half lengths in 1:59.4. Bamie Benjo (Louis-Philippe Roy) closed well from fifth place to be second with Kim Sorel third. A five-year-old mare by Striking Sahbra, it was the first win in two starts on the year for trainer Guy Roy. SOS Strking Sahbra is owned by Francis Prouix of Saint-Pie-De-Guire, QC and paid $6.10 to win. "This is a very nice mare," Charron said. "I think she will do very well in this series." Live racing resumes Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The Hippodrome 3R kicks off night racing at the half mile oval Tuesday and featured on the program will be three opening round divisions of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting horses and mares. Post time is 7:00 pm. "We have had a good start to the beginning of our season despite some rainy days," said 3R general manager Vincent Trudel. "The forecast is good for Tuesday evening, we have a strong ten-race program and fans can look forward to an improved lighting system for better viewing both live and on simulcasting." Perhaps the best match-up on the program is not even a wagering event. Between the 5th and 6th races on the card will be a non-wagering division of the Quebec-Bred Series with just three horses entered. But considering two of the three trotters entered are series champions and track record holders, the match-up will be of great interest. Featured is the 2016 debut of Maximuscle, who starts from post three for driver Mario Charron. The son of Angus Hall is seeking to become the first four-time Quebec-Bred Series champion, having won that title at age 2, 3 and 4 for the combo of trainer Maxime Velaye and Charron. Bred and owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC, Maximuscle recently qualified at Rideau Carlton in 2:00.1 and last year took his lifetime mark of 1:54.2. Starting on the rail is track record holder, Seeyou Men for driver Robert Shepherd and trainer Isabelle Darveau. This gelded son of Muscle Mass took 3R by storm last year, sweeping the Quebec-Bred Series for three-year-olds and setting a track record in the final with his 1:58.4 lifetime mark. Seeyou Men looks primed for his 2016 3R debut, was raced time in his last start at Flamboro Downs in 1:57.4 and two starts back won at Flamboro in 1:59.1. Rounding out the three-horse field is Promesses Imperial for driver Jerome Lombart. The mares do battle in two divisions, carded as the 3rd and 6th races and featured are two 3R track record holders and series champions in Meganou and Viva Bayama. Meganou starts from post six for driver Jocelyn Gendron. Now age 4, the daughter of Kadabra won the Quebec-Bred Series Championship at age 2 and 3. After refusing to go behind the starting gate in her pari-mutuel debut at 3R, trainer Daniel Martin seems to have the kinks worked out as Meganou recently won her qualifying race at 3R in 2:01.2, by a half-length over rival Viva Bayama. Until her qualifier last week, Viva Bayama had been off to a terrible beginning in 2016, going 0 for 7 so far this season. She will start from post three for trainer/driver Carl Duguay. A four-year-old mare by Muscle Mass, Viva Bayama also won the Quebec-Bred Series at age 2 and 3 and last year set the track record for sophomore trotting fillies at 3R in 1:59.2. The 6th race second division features SOS Harddrive from post five for driver Pascale Berube. This four-year-old daughter of Taurus Dream is off to a strong start in 2016 for trainer Isabelle Binet with two wins in three starts at 3R, the fastest in 1:59.4. After four weeks of preliminary competition in the series, the top eight point earners return on Sunday, June 26 for their respective $30,000 finals. TRACK NOTES: After the first four weeks of the race meet, the Hippodrome 3R is doing very well both on-track and with simulcasting against prior year. Total handle is up 68.71%, on-track handle is up 33.71% and simulcasting is up an astonishing 220.46% against 2015. For a free race program and free live video feed for Tuesday's race card, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night $45,000 co-featured harness racing Open Handicaps were brought to us by the letter B. Ladies First, with Bee a Magician (Brian Sears, $3.50), who took a overnight rest stop and toyed with her six marquee trot rivals. From post No. 6 (in one notch after the inside number was scratched-sick), Bee a Magician paid a :27.4 price to secure the lead. One she paid that toll, the rest of the road was essentially a freebie (:57.4; 1:26.4; 1:54.1). Major Athens (Tyler Buter) pulled pocket early against the Queen, and all that did was cost him second. That went to Allerage Star (Dan Dube), with Major Athens, Luminosity (George Brennan) and Crazy About Pat (Jordan Stratton) grabbing the minor awards. Buen Camino (Jason Bartlett) was outrun in a mile that ended up being a track record for aged mares. For $3.8 million ma'am Bee a Magician, a 6-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (lifetime 44-for-68) The exacta paid $19.80, with the triple returning $64.50. Bee a Magician Then, there was Bit of a Legend N (Stratton, $3.50), who prevailed from an impossible locale in the weekly pacing feature. Last among the seven in a pokey race, he saw Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) seemingly dawdle (:27, :56.2, 1:24.4) with Outrageous Art (Bartlett) engaging first-up. Great Vintage owned a length lead into the lane, then began to get steppy and tire. In the interim, Bit of a Legend N was winding up front last and rallying down the middle of the oval. Sixth turning for home, he was a going-away winner, defeating Outrageous Art by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.1. Take it Back Terry (Brennan), Great Vintage and Moonliteonthebeach (Brent Holland) earned the smaller portions. For Levy champ Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, he's now 9-for-12 this season. The exacta paid $26.80, with the triple returning $84. Saturday's card also included a $40,000 elimination for the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds. Missile J (Sears, $2.10, part of entry) won the game of musical chairs--nine to eliminate one--in 1:53.2. The American Ideal gelding defeated Rodeo Rock (Dube) by a length-and-three-quarters, with the winner's entrymate, Artmagic (Brennan) third. Joining those three in next week's $300,000 final of the 26th Rooney are Manny, Yankee Artillery, No Shame Blue Chip, Tailgunner Hanover and Tap into Power. Autotune Hanover, last season's winner of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here, was devoid of pace this night and finished ninth. Next Saturday's Rooney is accompanied by the $100,000 Lismore Pace, which attracted six 3-year-old fillies. Both open draws take place Tuesday morning. Frank Drucker

Nike Franco’s position among Australia’s elite harness racing mares has been further entrenched with a powerful $100,000 Benstud Queen of the Pacific win at Tabcorp Park Melton. The five-year-old mare (by McArdle out of Nearea Franco) from Dean Braun’s Lara stables upstaged a quality line-up in the Group 1 mares’ classic, including former race winner Gumdrops and millionaire earner Frith. Nike Franco led for the majority of Saturday night’s 2760-metre journey and rated 1:56.5, finishing 1.9m clear of runner-up Milly Perez with third placegetter and race favourite Cyclone Kate 3.1m off the winner. RE-LIVE NIKE FRANCO’S QUEEN OF THE PACIFIC TRIUMPH “This mare’s so exciting,” an elated Braun said. “I’ve had some really good racehorses but this mare’s very special. “I said to Greg Sugars (Driver) that I thought I had her pretty right tonight … he drove her really well.” Nike Franco has won feature races in four Australian states, with two Oaks successes in Queensland – the Gold Coast and the Qld, the Raith Memorial in New South Wales, the rich Mares Classic in Western Australia, and this season’s Warragul Cup and now the Queen of the Pacific in Victoria. “To do what she did tonight was pretty special,” Braun said.   The victory capped a great night for Greg Sugars, who drove a winning treble and dual Group 1 successes after earlier securing the win in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final for 2YO Trotting Fillies aboard Illawong Shimmer, trained by Greg’s father Ross. Illawong Shimmer (by Muscle Mass out of Shining Sun) is, as her name suggests, a member of trots owner Dr Martin Hartnett’s clan. “They deserve every win they get for what they put in,” Sugars said post-race of Hartnett and wife Kaye. Illawong Shimmer rated 2:01.2 for the 1720m trip to defeat Yankee Redback (Kerryn Manning) with Sval Queen (Anthony Butt) third. Deltasun won the night’s other Group 1, the colts and geldings’ trotters Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic. Trained by former jockey Terry Young at Ararat, Deltasun (by Tennotrump out of Deltasu) handled the final corner better than race favourite Illawong Byron (Jodi Quinlan) and held a half-neck advantage over that horse on the line in a rate of 2:01.6, with Kheiron (Peter Lane) third. Sugars and Lang shared driving honours at Melton, each grabbing a treble. In addition to the abovementioned victories Sugars steered Anton Golino-trained Val Gardena (by Kadabra out of Lets Be Happy) to victory in the Haras Des Trotteurs Sweetheart Trot Final, while Lang guided former New South Wales Derby winner Major Secret (Art Major/Secret Life) home in the Best In Town Concreting Pace for Emma Stewart, and Hectorjayjay (Dream Away/Sheer Finesse) to victory in the Group 2 University Meat 4YO and 5YO Championship over 2240m. CHECK OUT ALL THE RESULTS & VIDEO REPLAYS FROM MELTON Other Melton winners were Little Lyn (by Jeremes Jet out of Rappa Scooter), a homebred mare raced and trained by Barry Dunn at Horsham and driven by son Aaron Dunn in the Service Sphere Pace, popular It Is Billy (by It Is I out of Glenlyon Glad) in the Crown Coffee International Golden Reign Free-for-All for trainer Michael Barby and driver Anne-Maree Conroy, Stoned I Am (by Sundon out of Stoned At Midnight) in the Seelite Windows and Doors Coulter Crown for trainer/driver Simone Walker, and in-form eight-year-old Might Be Luck (by Northern Luck out of Marilyns Might) in the Riddell Umpires Association Claiming Pace for trainer Beau Tindale and reinsman Michael Bellman. Victorians shine interstate Another week, another domination from the Emma Stewart stable – this time at Globe Derby, South Australia. The Smythes Creek trainer secured a winning treble on Saturday night at the SA home of metro trots racing, with unbeaten two-year-old filly Our Celebrity (by Mach Three out of Celebrity Ball) winning the Alabar/SA Botra 2YO Fillies Golden Nursery Final, impressive three-year-old Rocknroll Magic (by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic) taking out the Home Loans-Providing Solutions SA Botra 3YO Fillies Final, and Metro Mike (by Metropolitan out of Tuscan Skies) saluting in the Carbine Chemicals Pacers Dash over 1385m. CHECK OUT ALL THE RESULTS FROM GLOBE DERBY, SA All Stewart’s winners were driven by Mark Billinger, who picked up five winners for the night overall. Meanwhile, at Menangle in New South Wales, classy five-year-old trotting mare Claudys Princess (by Bacardi Lindy out of All Finesse) took out the Rio Meteor Race Sulky La Coocaracha (Group 3) with Darren Hancock in the cart for Kyabram trainer Mick Blackmore, and Golino-trained Pizza Queen (by Credit Winner out of Armbro Domino) won the Garrards Horse and Hound NSW Trotters Oaks for reinsman David Morris, upstaging race favourite High Gait in a thrilling finish. WATCH PIZZA QUEEN'S NSW TROTTERS OAKS SUCCESS Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)  

Boli, the four year-old talented son of Kadabra, stepped up to Open company on Tuesday night (April 26) at Pompano Park and scored his fifth consecutive harness racing victory, this one in a seasonal best clocking of 1:55.1. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Boli was driven by Wally Hennessey and pinned a half-length defeat on the late charging Cashahallic, with Matt Romano in the bike. Sailer Eddie finished third for Kevin Wallis after cutting much of the mile while Nothinbutanallstar and Majestic Won earned the minors in the field of six. Using his usual tactics, Boli lolly-gagged a length off the gate at the start but wended his way into fourth by the time Sailer Eddie hit the opener in a sharp :27.1 with Cashahallic second and Nothinbutanallstar, showing a bit of early foot from the outside post, landing in third. Positions remained stagnant through the half in a well rated :57.2 with Boli now out and churning forward on the backside, reaching within a neck of Sailer Eddie through a "picked-up" three-quarters in 1:26.1. In the lane, Boli muscled his way to the front and, given just a couple of reminders late, held off Cashahallic in the drive to the finish. After the race, Hennessey said, "After that unbelievable performance last week, I didn't know what really to expect tonight but he seemed very relaxed leaving and so I went looking for a spot seeing that the inside horses didn't seem all that interested early. "I found that good spot in fourth and sensed a slower pace going over to the half and that's why I pulled around that second turn. "On the backside, the pace 'picked-up' but my horse likes that sort of thing and likes to dig in, so that didn't bother him at all. "In the lane, I just gave him a couple of subtle reminders and that was that. It was another good performance for him." In winning his fifth straight, Boli sent his seasonal bankroll to $19,762 and $79,314 on the strength of his 10th win in only 30 career starts. Off at 2 to 5 on the tote-board, Boli returned $2.80 to win. The $9,500 Open 2 for pacing mares went to Goldstar Rockette, handled by Corey Braden for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi. This Florida bred six year-old daughter of Rock On blasted out from the Hummer Starting Gate into a quick early lead, yielded to Cheap N Easy, driven by John MacDonald, short of the blistering :26.4 opener, reclaimed three-eighths into the mile, and went on to post subsequent panels of :56.3 and 1:24.1 before striding home in :28.1 to record a lifetime best clocking of 1:52.2-her margin just short of three lengths over Cheap N Easy. Artful Impulse was third for Wally Hennessey while De Valeria finished fourth. Limelight picked up the nickel in the septet. Goldstar Rockette won for the fifth time in 16 starts this semester to send her 2016 bounty to $24,187. She now has 17 lifetime wins and career earnings of $88,038. Though her recent miles don't indicate early speed, Goldstar Rockette has won 13 of her 17 lifetime wins on the engine. As the even money favorite, Goldstar Rockette returned $4.00 to win. Racing continues on a two night-a-week schedule-Sundays and Tuesdays-throughout the month on May with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

VERNON, N.Y. -- The opening round of the Catherine Burton late-closing series share center stage with a $9000 Open Trot on opening night at Vernon Downs, and the Miracle Mile unveils its new 50¢ Pick 5 wager in the last five races of Friday (April 22) evening's program.   Twenty-two trotters contest a trio of Catherine Burton divisions on Friday night, each one for a $4,000 purse. Among the standouts are Pompano invader Ado Duharas (race 3, John Cummings, Jr.), who enters off back-to-back wins, stakes-placed Love Crazy Love (race 5, Gaetan Brunet), who took second in her New York Sire Stakes consolation as a 2-year-old, and Royal Right (race 11, Chris Lems), a stakes winner in Massachusetts during her freshman campaign.   The evening's top event is the $9000 Open Trot, carded as race 9 on the 12-race program. P L Houdini (post 3) has been installed the 2-1 morning line favorite after three wins in his last five races, including a 1:55.4 triumph in an upper-level event at Pocono on April 9. John Cummings, Jr. drives the 5-year-old Kadabra gelding for trainer Mike Sinclair. Among his six rivals are Pounce K (Billy Davis, Jr., post 6), who returns to Vernon for defending training champion Dave Dewhurst, and 26-time winner A Penny Earned (Lems, post 5), who proved a consistent contender in the local Open ranks throughout the past two seasons.   The 2016 season at Vernon Downs features a brand new wager to Central New York: the 50¢ Pick 5. The wager will take place on the last five races of each program, with a carryover provision should no bettor correctly select all five winners. Additionally, a mid-card double has been slated for races five and six on a nightly basis.   Post time for the first of 84 programs this season at Vernon Downs is 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite,  for Vernon Downs

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 15, 2016) - Trainer Nifty Norman hesitated before answering the question. "To be honest and maybe I shouldn't be saying this, but she physically looks even bigger and stronger this year. It is actually quite fascinating." It is hard to imagine how Bee A Magician could be even better as a six-year-old than she has been throughout her sure-to-be Hall of Fame career. The daughter of Kadabra - Beehive, by Balanced Image has earned more than $3.7 million during her four years on the racetrack and holds the unique accomplishment of winning at least one race worth $250,000 or more at ages two, three, four, and five. Bee A Magician is one of 15 horses, and one of only two mares, nominated to the inaugural $150,000 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff at the Meadowlands on May 8. The winner receives an invitation to the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden on May 29. "How many horses have raced five years and been a major stakes winner every year?" asked Norman. "It's not often you get one in your barn that you get to see develop and grow for six years. She still changes and matures and it has just been such a pleasure to be around her." Bee A Magician kicked off her 2016 season with a fast-closing third place finish in a Meadowlands qualifier last Saturday morning behind major stakes winners Shake It Cerry and Crazy Wow, both of whom are also pointing to the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff. Bee A Magician will qualify again this Saturday then likely race once before the Playoff, according to Norman. The Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff is shaping up to be a must-see early-season showdown featuring a "who's who" of the sport's premier older trotter. Dan Patch champion trotters JL Cruze and Shake It Cerry face off Friday at the Meadowlands while Breeders Crown winner Creatine and TVG Free For All champion Resolve are among the horses that face Bee A Magician in Saturday morning's qualifier. European import and Playoff nominee Perfectly Enough is also in that same qualifying heat. "This looks like a really strong race with all of those horses pointing towards it and it should be really intriguing with the possibility of going to the Elitlopp in Sweden," said Norman. "I am very interested to see how it plays out." Fans that wish to follow along the road to the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff may visit a special website that will provide the latest news and profiles of all nominated horses at www.elitloppplayoff.com/ and follow along on social media using #ElitloppPlayoff. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 14 - Hills Angel, Wanaka and Windsong Magic scored first leg victories in Thursday night's Celias Counsel Series at Mohawk Racetrack. A total of 24 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into three $16,000 divisions for the first leg of the three-week event. Hills Angel made a second-quarter move to the lead and never looked back en route to a 2:01.3 victory in the first division. The John Bax trainee got away fourth heading into the first turn for driver Paul MacDonell. Trotting into a stiff backstretch wind, Hills Angel moved from fourth to first to lead by the half in 1:02.3. After a third-quarter of :31, Hills Angel was able to sprint home and hold off her rivals to win by half a length in 2:01.3. True Muscle finished second, while Dottie was third. A daughter of Muscle Hill, Hills Angel was making her 2016 debut after winning once in 10 starts as a rookie. She is owned by Bax Stable-Glengate Farms. Hills Angel increased her career earnings to $32,820 with the victory. She paid $3.80. The second division was a showdown between Flowers N Song, the 3/5 favourite, and Wanaka, the 3/2 second-choice. Wanaka got away second, but was quickly circled to the lead at the opening-quarter by driver Trevor Henry. The public's second-choice took the field by the half in :59.3, while Flowers N Song began to charge up from fourth for driver Doug McNair. Flowers N Song surged up to overtake the lead from Wanaka and post a three-quarter time of 1:28.1. In the stretch, Henry angled his charge off the back of Flowers N Songs and Wanaka sprinted by to win by 4 ½ lengths in 1:56.4. Flowers N Song had to settle for second, while P L Jill was third. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Wanaka now has four wins in nine starts this season for trainer Shannon Henry. The sophomore trotting filly is owned by Trevor Henry Stables Inc. and 1035840 Ontario Inc. Wanaka surpassed $50,000 in career earnings with Thursday's victory. She paid $5 to win. In the third division, Bax trainees were front and centre again with a one-two finish. Bax pupil Miami Magic was put on the front by driver Steve Byron, while stablemate Windsong Magic and driver MacDonell followed closely behind in second. The Bax trainees switched positions heading to the half and that would be the final front-end move. Windsong Magic put up middle-fractions of :59 and 1:29.3, before trotting home in :28.2 to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:58. Miami Magic finished second, while Smash Hit was third. A daughter of Kadabra, Windsong Magic improved her 2016 record to four wins in seven starts with Thursday's victory. The sophomore trotting filly, who was unraced at two, is owned by Kristine Green and Paulette Loyens. Windsong Magic lowered her career-mark by two-fifths of a second with the victory and pushed her bankroll to $29,240. She paid $3.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Celias Counsel, the three-year-old trotting fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. The second leg will take place next Thursday (April 21). Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Pompano Beach, FL...April 11, 2016...Despite "missing the train as it left the station," Boli, driven by Wally Hennessey, erupted with a huge rally in the final half mile to score a photo finish victory in Pompano Park's $9,400 feature trot on Monday night, covering the distance in 1:55.3. The four year-old son of Kadabra, stepping up to Open company for the initial time this season, put in a memorable performance in pinning a defeat measuring a neck over Sailer Eddie (Kevin Wallis) with Bambino Hall (Aaron Byron) just another nose away in third. My Revenuer, spotting the field some 10 lengths at the start from the second tier post, rallied for fourth, just a length back of the winner, while Midnite Craze picked up the nickel after being prominent most of the way. At the outset, it was Sailer Eddie on the bullet train early in the bulky field with Midnite Craze protecting his rail position and Bambino Hall finding a spot in third and Count Speed wending his way into fourth. Meanwhile, Boli was dead last and more than 15 lengths out of through an opening panel in :27.3. With Sailer Eddie appearing to get somewhat of a breather during the second panel, positions remained virtually stagnant with only Tater Twister-moving from sixth to fifth-and My Revenuer were out and attempting to close the gap on the leader, who reached the half in :56.4. On the backstretch, Midnite Craze left the coziness of the pocket to engage the Sailer Eddie with Bambino Hall edging a tad closer along with Tater Twister. Meanwhile, Boli, who moved three wide just past the half, was gobbling up ground and, by the time Sailer Eddie reached the third station in 1:26, Boli was then four wide, now sixth, and less five lengths off the lead. His rally continued all the way home, with his :28.3 finale just enough to hit the line first. After the event, Hennessey said, "I still can't believe what just happened. Horses just don't do what he just did. "I've been in this business for 45 years and I've have seen it all-until just now. "This was the most unbelievable mile in my lifetime. I mean it! "He (Boli) got a bit tangled up in the hobbles early and made a slight skip and wasn't really focused on business and, gee, we must've been close to 20 lengths out of it when we started. In other words, the train left the station without me!" "I just can't believe it. Again, horses just don't do what he did tonight!" For Boli, trained by Dan Hennessey for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, it was the gelding's fourth consecutive win and ninth win lifetime sending his career bounty to $74,664--$15,012 this semester. AS the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Boli returned $3.80 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Godiva Seelster seeking her second straight win in the $12,100 Open Pace for Mares. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

A pair of the meet's top trotters matched strides down the Miami Valley Raceway stretch again Sunday afternoon (April 3) with Il Mago (Trace Tetrick) turning the tables on Martz Time (John DeLong) in the $20,000 Open Trot. These two seven-year-olds, along with Penn-who was absent this week, have dominated the open trotting ranks for three months while producing some very entertaining finishing duels. In fact, horses have been lapped on each other at the wire in each of the last six weekly trot features. In the latest clash, Martz Time was assigned the outside post position off two straight triumphs and was forced to work very hard to attain the front end just past the :27.1 first quarter. At that point Il Mago turned him loose in order to secure the pocket ride through middle fractions of :56.4 and 1:24.4. With Revenue Agent (Josh Sutton), who finished third, lurking within striking distance, Il Mago angled out from the pocket with a little more than a sixteenth of a mile to go and eventually wore down Martz Time in the 1:54 mile. It was the fourth win of the year for Il Mago, who was purchased at the January Meadowlands Select Sale by CC Racing LLC, and pushed his seasonal bounty to $43,636-well above his purchase price less than three months ago. Tyler George has been training the son of Kadabra since his emergence on the Midwest trotting scene. Business has been brisk at Miami Valley in its third season. Average nightly mutuel handle is up 34% over 2015 figures and 73% higher than the inaugural 2014 season. Purse payments have also soared with winnings to horse owners approximately $5 million in 2014, over $8 million in 2015, and expected to exceed $12 million when the 2016 meet ends on May 8. Gregg Keidel

World champion and 2013 Dan Patch Award-winning female trotter Maven has been retired, harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter said. The 7-year-old Maven was attempting to return from a suspensory injury, which she suffered in August while in Sweden. "We did a scan on her (right hind) leg and it looked like it's too high risk to get her where she could compete at the level she was," Takter said. "It was tough, but the owners decided to breed her instead." Maven won 29 of 52 races in North America, earning $1.74 million in purses, before spending 2015 in Europe. She won 10 of 14 races in 2013, including a world-record 1:51.4 triumph in the Miss Versatility final at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, on her way to being named the Dan Patch and O'Brien award winner for best older female trotter. Her time in the Miss Versatility is the fastest race mile on a half-mile track in harness racing history. Other top career wins for Maven included the 2012 and 2013 Breeders Crown, the 2013 Armbro Flight, the 2012 Moni Maker, 2014 Muscle Hill, and 2012 American-National. She finished second in the 2012 Elegantimage and 2014 Breeders Crown. Last year, Maven won two of 15 races in Europe and earned $244,465 in U.S. dollars. One of her victories, in a Mares Open at Kalmar, Sweden, was in a track-record performance. She finished second by a neck to Robert Bi in the Group 1 Copenhagen Cup and was second to Timoko in the Group 1 Grand Criterium de Vitesse at Cagnes-sur-Mer. She also finished second in her Elitlopp elimination and seventh in the final. Maven was trained by Jonas Czernyson from age 2 to October of the 5-year-old season and was owned by Bill Donovan until November 2014, when she was sold to Herb Liverman. She is currently owned by Liverman, John Fielding, and Joyce McClelland. Takter took over the training of Maven in November 2014. A daughter of Glidemaster-M Stewart, Maven was purchased as a yearling for $37,000 under the name Bella Topona at the 2010 Lexington Selected Sale. She is a three-quarter sister to 2003 New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Glide About and a half-sister to multiple-stakes-winner Lanson. Her family also includes stakes-winners Furman and Egyptian Gentleman. "She's getting up in age," said Takter, who added the plan is to breed Maven to 2002 Trotter of the Year Kadabra. "We have to give her a chance to show herself as a broodmare now." Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

Cold Certified gave the field in the $9,000 featured trot at Buffalo Raceway the 'cold' shoulder in the stretch on Friday night (March 11) and romped to a convincing 2-3/4 length win over Winkys Pride in 1:59.1 over the good harness racing track.   Jim Morrill Jr., who guided Cold Certified to the victory, put on another driving clinic as he had a five-bagger, his 22nd win of the season at Buffalo Raceway in just 43 starts.   With a five-way battle for the lead right off the gate, Cold Certified managed to find a spot along the pylons and was in fourth while Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) and the parked Lutetium (Truman Gale) duked it out. The fractions were 29.0, 58.3 and 1:29.2 to the three-quarter marker.   Cold Certified swung out three-wide down the backstretch was gobbling up ground just before the final panel and had no issues in overpowering the helpless Winkys Pride in the stretch. Lucky Pablo (Jack Flanigen) managed to gain the third place position.   Co-owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele, Cold Certified (Kadabra-I Like Stephanie) has three victories in seven starts in 2016 and moved his seasonal earnings to $20,080 and $451,087 lifetime. Alex Giuliani trains the 7-year-old gelding.   Ray Fisher Jr. finished with a driving triple while Angelo Nappo had two training wins.   Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 6 p.m. post for the 12-race card.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

The trotting warhorse Il Mago has taken an immediate liking to his new surroundings in the Midwest. The seven-year-old son of Kadabra, purchased for $30,000 by CC Racing LLC of Illinois out of the Meadowlands Select Sale auction in January, captured the $20,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley on Sunday afternoon (March 6) for his third win in four tries for his new harness racing  owners. Trace Tetrick guided Il Mago to the 1:55 tally over Martz Time (John DeLong) and Tag Up And Go (Jeff Nisonger). Tetrick switched tactics and raced Il Mago from behind Sunday following the only blemish on his Midwest report card, when he got stung to a :26.3 first quarter in his first foray into open company last week and faded to fourth in the stretch. After getting away fifth, the odds-on favorite was afforded a second-over trip during the middle half mile, then collared the pacesetters at the top of the stretch before holding off fellow closer Martz Time at the finish. It was his 27th career victory and increased his lifetime earnings to $587,208. "He has one big leg (an old tendon injury), but seems sound as a dollar and is a really classy campaigner," says new trainer Tyler George, who stables at a private training center in central Indiana. "My owner was willing to go to $40,000 to get him at auction, so they were thrilled when the bidding stopped at $30,000. CC Racing wanted to come home from the sale with a nice trotter and a nice pacing mare, and that's exactly what they did." Gregg Keidel    

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