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JULY 8, 2017 - Driver Stephen Byron and trainer John Bax teamed up for one win and one second in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots opener for the two-year-old trotting colts at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening. The pair captured the second $18,450 Grassroots division with Delcrest Holiday, who toured the Innisfil oval in 2:03.1. Starting from Post 4 Byron eased the novice trotter off the gate and settled in fourth as Smart Pick took the field to a :31 quarter. Heading for the 1:03.2 half Delcrest Holiday was challenging for the lead and once he reached the front Byron was able to set the cruise control, reaching the three-quarters in 1:33.3 and sailing home a three and one-half length winner. Smart Pick settled for second and Audacious closed to be third. "It was his first start," said Byron of Delcrest Holiday. "They really like the colt, he'd qualified real well, and he did everything right again tonight, so hopefully he keeps going. "He's got some natural speed, he should get better," the Thornton, ON resident added. Trainer Bax shares ownership of Delcrest Holiday with Gaelic Stable of Sharon and Ken Bax of Cavan Monaghan, ON. The trio acquired the son of Holiday Road and Northern Kitti from the 2016 Canadian Yearling Sale for a modest $9,000 after the colt impressed Bax in the paddock at breeder Doug Delaney's Acton, ON farm last summer. "I went out to Doug Delaney's farm and he turned him out - and Doug's on a pretty hilly property - and he just trotted up and down the hill and I said, wow I've got to have him," recalled Bax. "And I actually, I raced the second dam (Northern Fuchsia). Anyway, I didn't mind the family, I knew the family, and I don't mind Holiday Road, I've had a little success with them, and I just liked the way he carried himself. I was shocked that I got him for $9,000. "Doug was here tonight too," Bax continued. "It was really good to see him, his wife (Betty) just passed away a few weeks ago, and so it was a nice thing for him." Both breeder and owners will be hoping Delcrest Holiday can replicate Saturday's solid effort when the two-year-old trotting colts head to Mohawk Racetrack for their second Grassroots event on July 18. Bax and Byron will also be hoping for another solid effort from Chief Justice, who stayed on task as two-thirds of the first division field self-destructed and trotted home to the runner-up's share of the $18,100 purse. Jula Downton took the victor's spoils, reaching the wire 10 lengths ahead of Chief Justice in 2:02.4. Spin the Vinyl recovered from a break near the mid-way point to finish third. "He stayed trotting so he picked up a second. It was a good night," said Campbellville, ON resident Bax about Chief Justice, who is owned by Midnight Sun Partners Inc. of Delray Beach, FL. Like Delcrest Holiday, Jula Downton was making his first lifetime start after a single qualifier and the son of Kadabra and $225,757 winner Abbey Craig was flawless for trainer-driver Per Henriksen of Norwood, ON. Henriksen conditions the colt for Jula Racing Inc. of Delray Beach, FL, who offered up $30,000 for the trotter at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Georgian Downs on Sunday, July 9 as the Innisfil oval hosts the Gold Series debut for both the two-year-old trotting colts and the two-year-old pacing fillies. The trotting colts will test their skills in Races 5 and 9, while the fillies compete in Race 7. Post time for Sunday's program is 6 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Boli (Kadabra) was one of the trotting stars at the Isle of Pompano Park in Florida this season for harness racing trainer Dan Hennessey. The five year old trotter returned to Saratoga earlier this month and finished second and third in his two tries in the local Open Trot but was a beaten favorite both times. On Sunday afternoon, Boli was once again the public's top choice and driver Wally Hennessey wasted little time moving the talented high-stepper to the outside in the early going. The 6-5 favorite toughed it out first over, grinding the leader into submission before drawing away late to prevail in 1:56. The victory was the seventh in thirteen seasonal tries for Boli who scored ten wins in 2016. Black Broadway (Chris Long) followed the winner's cover and wound up winning a photo for place with Twisted Pretzel (Jim Devaux) who earned the show spot. The exacta and triple in the $17,120 Open paid $22.40 and $96, respectively. The feature victory was one of two on the card for conditioner Dan Hennessey and one of three driving scores on the day for Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Cincinnati Miss (Kadabra) gave harness racing trainer Jackie Greene and driver Frank Coppola Jr. another feature win on Sunday afternoon as the mare prevailed in the $14,500 Open Trot. On Saturday night, Greene and Coppola teamed up for a win in the Open Pace with Artful Way (Artistic Fella). Cincinnati Miss was the lone lady among the group of featured trotters on Sunday and moved out to the early lead. The five year old highstepper never faced a legitimate challenge before stopping the timer in 1:56.2 for her sixth victory of the season but first while in Open company. Just Make Believe (Mark Beckwith) sat the pocket to the winner and came up second best while Lucid Thoughts (John Macdonald) kept his incredible "on the board" streak alive by finishing third. The race's favorite Cash Me Out (Jim Devaux) was never much of a factor before settling for a fourth place finish. Cincinnati Miss returned $9.00 to win in the mild Sunday upset and led an exacta and triple that paid $71.50 and $300.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Plainville, MA---Class relief was the difference for Just Make Believe, who stepped down from last week's Open to take this week's $10,000 feature race for harness racing conditional trotters at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 27). Just Make Believe (Eddie Davis Jr.) out-charged Old Oak (Steve Nason) off the gate for the lead before settling into that position by the eighth pole. The remainder of the field followed in post-position order to the quarter in :27.4. Approaching the half, One Swan For All (Wally Watson) pulled first over in the outer flow but broke shortly after that move. This left Keystone Ace (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) next in line to pressure the leader. As the race proceeded up the backside, Keystone Ace drew within a half-length of Just Make Believe and the two trotted in step by three-quarters in 1:26.1. But the battle was just beginning. With less than a length advantage, Just Make Believe was trotting strong near the pylons with Keystone Ace closing incrementally outside. With the wire closing in, It looked as if the leader was in reach but just Make Believe held sway and hung on to a neck victory in 1:56. It was the second win in eight starts this year for Just Make Believe ($6.20) and the winning time was a new seasonal mark. The 7-year-old gelded son of Kadabra is owned by Linda Kenney and Di Stefano and Son Stable and is trained by John Di Stefano. It was payoffs-a-plenty again at Plainridge Park on Thursday, led off by the first winning ticket on the new Wicked Hi-5 wager in the sixth race. The owner of the 20-cent straight ticket on the combination of 5-1-7-9-6 was rewarded with a $7,996 payout. In the fifth race, What A Hooligan (Michael Stevenson) paid $37.80 for the win and in the ninth race Southwind Inferno (Matthew Athearn) rewarded his backers with a $52.60 mutual. The $2 superfecta combination of 4-3-7-8 in that race returned an instant jackpot of $9,039.80. Greg Merton had a driving hat-trick and Elisha Lafreniere scored a conditioning double. With three weeks of the meet in the books, Bruce Aldrich Jr. maintains the dash driving lead with 22 victories and has Greg Merton right behind him with 20. After Thursday's action, Elisha Lafreniere took over the training lead with eight wins, one ahead of Heidi Gibbs with seven. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 1) at 4 p.m. Please note that starting next week; Plainridge will now race four-days a week (Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday) with post time all four days at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Pompano Beach, FL...April 17, 2017...Boli, perfectly handled by harness racing driver  Wally Hennessey, captured Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Trot on Monday night, covering the mile in 1:54.4. The five year-old gelded son of Kadabra stalked Tater Twister, with Jim Meittinis handling his lines, through fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:26 before leaving the coziness of his pocket turning for home and using a :28.3 finale to score by three-parts-of-a-length over the late charging Prairie Fortune, driven by Mike Deters, making his first appearance in the sulky since November 27, 2016 after battling serious health issues. Tater Twister did finish third while Sailer Eddie finished fourth after a mild backside bid. Commentary finished fifth in the quintet. After the race, Hennessey had high praise for his trotter saying, "Sometimes, Boli can be a real handful to drive but, tonight, he was a perfect gentleman every step of the way. He seemed relaxed throughout the mile and, when I showed him the open road turning for home, he responded beautifully. "Even going back to the winner's circle, he seemed nice and relaxed for a change." Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Boli won for the third time this semester to vault his 2017 earnings to $20,280. Lifetime, Boli has 18 wins in 55 starts with bounty of $157,474 to go along with a Pompano mark of 1:54.2 earned in his last win two starts back. Off as the 1 to 5 favorite, Boli returned $2.40 to his multitude of followers. The $8,000 Open 2 Trot went to Diamond Dagger, expertly driven by Walter Ross, Jr. The five year-old daughter of ABC Garland took command a right at the :28 opener and went on to post panels of :56.3 and 1:24.4 before strolling home in :29.2 to score a handy win in 1:54.4--her margin 1 ¼ lengths over the late charging Keystone Bodacious (Kevin Wallis) with Dog Gone Lucky (Mickey McNichol) next, a half-length further back. My Revenuer finished fourth while McKenzie's Star picked up the nickel in the septet. The always subdued Ross, Jr., summed up the win succinctly by saying, "She went a nice mile. That's about it!" Trained by Mark O'Mara, who co-owns with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker, Diamond Dagger won for the third straight week while earning her fifth win of the year in 14 starts, sending her seasonal bankroll to $29,735. Career-wise, Diamond Dagger has an 18-8-22 scorecard in 88 starts with earnings at $175,907. As third choice in the betting, Diamond Dagger paid $11.20 to win. The Florida Amateur Driving Club was in action on Monday night in two events, padding their total contributions to charity, now close to $185,000, and Dein Spriggs took both, not only as the driver, but as the owner, as well. Dein took the first with A Crown For Lindy--the 11 year-old warrior winning for the 55th time during his career spanning 208 starts. The gelded son of Cantab Hall won for the fifth time this semester, pushing his seasonal earnings to $16,579 and $419,438 lifetime. Spriggs completed his double by scoring with his Garlandsandpearls in a lifetime best 1:56.3. The six year-old altered son of Futile Qwest wired his foes for his sixth win of the year in 14 starts to send his 2017 earnings to $18,755 and $59,501 lifetime. While both were 2 to 1 favorites in the morning line, neither went off as the favorite in their respective races--A Crown For Lindy paying $7.60 as the second choice on the board and Garlandsandpearls returning $6.20 as second choice, as well. Veteran Allen Saul trained both of the trotters for Spriggs. After each event, members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club, along with several other "professional" drivers at the track, made charitable gifts to two organizations--"A Second Go" and "Go For The Greens." "A Second Go" was established to raise money for services provided to have a second go at life through therapy and nutritional support, among other things, for cancer patients transitioning from "fighter to survivor." "A Second Go" was represented by founder Kelly Sudell, on the road to recovery after a successful bone marrow transplant to stop her leukemia in its tracks. Melinda West represented "Go For The Greens," an organization that fosters, among other things, a healthier planet with a business strategy through the sport of golf. Racing continues on Tuesday night with mares in the spotlight as the Florida bred Goldstar Rockette, a 10 time winner last semester, looks for her first win of the year in the $8,500 Open 2 Pace. Alabama Shakey, Miss Dollar Mam, Metro Glide, Machin Marley, Jets Are On and Sue's Night Out complete the nifty and well-matched septet. In the "better for the bettor" department, Pompano Park will offer a $10,000 guaranteed pool in the Pick-4, conducted on races 6 through 9, in cooperation with the USTA Strategic Wagering Program. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Columbus, OH --- Although she certainly enjoyed her recent vacation, harness racing's  Donna Lee was also anxious to return home, for a young lady she dotes on was sure to be exhibiting signs of separation anxiety. “I’ve never been away from Caprice this long,” she said in reference to two-time O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill. “The only time we have been apart is when she went to Tony (Alagna) after she was broken as a yearling for a couple months, but I got her right back.” Purchased by Tom Hill for $55,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale, Caprice Hill is a daughter of Kadabra and stakes winner Bramasole. Conditioned by Lee’s son, Tony Alagna, the now 4-year-old mare has amassed $992,401 in purse money from a record of 25-15-7-1. Her resume includes victories in the 2015 edition of the $311,600 Peaceful Way, the $192,500 Ontario Sire Stakes Super final that same year and the $149,000 Matron Stake in 2016. Caprice Hill, who is a half-sibling to Bramalea Hanover (Windsong’s Legacy, $288,512), was also second in last year’s $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and has been incredibly consistent throughout her career. “She is just perfect,” said Lee, who oversees the mare's day-to-day care for her son. “She never does anything wrong. She has been like that from the first day I had her. We just show her what she needs to do and it immediately clicks; she knows right away what her job is and she loves her job.” Caprice Hill has definitely been the perfect student as not once has she ever went off stride, even as a youngster. “I tell people all the time and they don’t believe me,” Lee said. “One of the first times I was jogging her, another horse was out there and the driver was playing around. She decided she wanted to go with them and she did, but she did it all on the trot. Right after that is when I called Tony and told him we had something special on her hands. “He didn’t believe me either and was kind of like ‘Don’t fall in love’ but when he trained her down in 2:02, he asked me if I wanted to see my filly train and of course she was just perfect. I think that’s when he started to agree I was right about her.” Performing almost solely in Canada, Caprice Hill has not received anywhere near the attention her former stablemate Racing Hill has, but then again, that stallion did capture the $500,000 Breeders Crown final, the $500,000 Messenger, the $400,000 Adios final and the $500,000 Hempt Memorial final. Now standing at Hickory Lane Farm in Ohio, Racing Hill is also owned by Hill. “Tom was so lucky to have Caprice and Racing Hill in the same year,” Lee said. “Caprice is the first horse he bought and to have that kind of success with not just her, but Racing Hill, is a blessing. “I think Caprice would have been talked about more if she had raced outside of Canada more often, but she loves it up there and the air is good for her.” Lee is referring to the allergies Caprice Hill has battled throughout her career. “She is allergic to oats first of all,” she said. “We had a veterinarian make a serum for her that she has done quite well on, but it was a problem for her. It is something she had to overcome and she has.” One of the reasons Lee feels Caprice Hill is so successful is her attitude and how much she enjoys competition. “She loads herself on the van,” Lee said. “All you need to do is drop the gate and stay out of her way. She knows when it is time to race and can’t wait to get there. If she has a week off and she sees other horses get on the van on a Friday or Saturday night, she gets mad. She starts bucking and kicking because she doesn’t want to stay home; she wants to go.” It has already been determined this will be the last season the mare will appear on-track prior to heading to her second career in the breeding shed. However, the process has already commenced for Caprice Hill to be a mother. “Tom decided he wanted an embryo transfer this year and she was bred to Muscle Hill,” Lee said. “We just checked her and she didn’t take, so she will return to him for another try. “She is used to her big stall with a window and her BFF next to her. When she is bred she might get nervous because she’s not used to the routine and it may throw her off. We’ll see what happens and go from there. “I have to get her ready for stakes season and we are looking towards the second week in June to bring her back.” All the mare’s connections are looking forward to a very exciting 2017 with their charge. Caprice Hill returned from her winter vacation with a terrific coat and put on some weight, which will only aid her in taking on the likes of world champion Hannelore Hanover. “She is just a happy horse,” Lee said. “She is definitely fat, but not in a bad way and she just has a great attitude. This is a tough season to face older horses, but we think she is in a position to show she belongs. Hopefully we can take her to Lexington this year because I think she would love it and literally fly there. “I know this year is it and she will be retired. It will be very hard not to see her every day and she is always paying attention to me, too. She has a stall guard, but is always craning her head out to look in the office and see what I am up to. “She really is just the perfect horse and they so rarely come along. She is a pleasure.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

WILKES-BARRE PA - There were three $15,000 preliminaries for trotters of both sexes in Bobby Weiss Series harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night, and a female posted the fastest time of all - the Kadabra mare Sunrise Avenue, who knocked a second off her winning time in the first round of the Weiss by triumphing Tuesday in 1:55.4.   Sunrise Avenue used tactics similar to last week's win, making the lead in the second quarter and keeping control, and she won by last week's exact margin of 3½ lengths, but she stepped home in 28.1 here to mark her as a serious contender for the Weiss Championship while winning for driver Eric Carlson, trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, and J M F Racing LLC.   Talkin Tootsie stalked Connie Jean through much of their Weiss division, then outbrushed her at the end to take a new mark of 1:56.4, winning by a neck - with those two 20 lengths ahead of the rest of the field, most of whom made breaks. George Napolitano Jr. handled sulky duties behind the Cantab Hall mare for trainer Matias Ruiz and owners Martin Garey and Harvey Wieseneck.   In the third distaff Weiss, trainer Neal Ehrhart, who had started seven trot ladies in their Weiss event last week and got six checks, raced back those same seven horses and again got six checks - but Tuesday he got a winner as well, with the night's only winning Weiss sophomore, Gin's Tonic. The Muscle Massive filly joined her fellow winners in reducing her personal best time, reporting home in 1:56.1 to beat My Cherry Pie by a half-length for driver Marcus Miller and owner Virginia Ehrhart.   In the first round of the Weiss preliminaries for males, the Credit Winner gelding Ooh Rah left his breaking problems behind him in New York State, coming to The Downs and earning a new speed badge of 1:56. Jim Morrill Jr. worked out a second-over trip with Ooh Rah, made the stretch lead, then held off onrushing 84-1 shot Perseverance by a half-length for trainer Kathleen La Montagne, also co-owner with Donald Montagne.   The team behind barely-thwarted longshot Perseverance - driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Jenny Melander - came back later to have a wire-to-wire Weiss winner in the Deweycheatumnhowe gelding Hilarious Hero, as he also took a personal best of 1:56.3. 0-for-24 at two and three, Hilarious Hero is now 2-for-2 at age four, with the crowd catching on to the point that he was "only" an 8-1 shot in winning for Melander Racing Inc and Clark Stables LLC.   Like Ooh Rah, Bend In The River also made the ship from Yonkers to Pocono a worthwhile one in taking another Weiss cut for "the boys," making for a sweep of lifetime records (like the ladies) and four-year-old geldings in the Weiss male cuts. The altered son of Southfork lowered his mark to 1:57.1 in going wire-to-wire and beating out the favored Armbro Hall by a head, with Marcus Miller in the sulky (giving him a Weiss win with both sexes) for trainer Nick Surick and the Second Chance Stable Inc.   18-year-old Hunter Oakes, whose family has been known to have some success at Pocono over the years, joined a very limited harness racing club when he won with his first official starter as a trainer, taking a $15,500 conditioned pace for mares with the $380G+ winner Marlee B in 1:51.4. The Mach Three mare was making her first start of the season, but she had enough to be a pocket rocket in merging victorious for driver George Napolitano Jr. and Synerco Ventures Inc.   PHHA / Pocono

Pompano Beach, FL...Monday, April 3, 2017...Boli, driven by Wally Hennessey, stalked the pacesetting Tater Twister, handled by Mike Simons, through fractions of :28, :56.2 and 1:24.4 and edged by that one late to score a half-length harness racing victory in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night, tripping the timer in 1:54.2, a new lifetime mark. Sooo Handsome, with Rick Plano in the sulky, finished third, 3½ lengths away while Sailer Eddie finished fourth. Dog Gone Lucky, sluggish leaving the gate from the rail, picked up the nickel in the sextet after Prairie Fortune made a miscue on the backside. The five year-old altered son of Kadabra, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, earned his second win of the year in five starts and pushed his lifetime bounty over the $150,000 plateau-now $151,674-with his 17th career win in 53 starts. After the race, driver Wally Hennessey related, "He got a very good journey tonight. Mike's trotter (Tater Twister) was a tough opponent and he did most of the work cutting the fractions and my horse just got the better trip here. "Boli is a pretty amazing horse who gives all he's got every start. He's very versatile and that's a great trait in a racehorse because it gives you more options to win." As the 8 to 5 favorite, Boli returned $5.40 to win. Also on Monday night, three divisions of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Challenge were contested, honoring the memory of the noted industrialist and horseman and the owner of the sport's first 2:00 trotter, Lou Dillon, who accomplished that feat in 1903. A Crown For Lindy, driven by Dein Spriggs won the opener, Garlandsandpearls, also teaming up with Spriggs, took round two and Best Dream Seeker, with Joe Pennacchio in the bike won the finale. Spriggs kicked off the festivities with a handy win back of his own A Crown For Lindy, the 11 year-old son of Cantab Hall. Trained by Allen Saul, the classy gelding won for the 54th time in a career stretching 206 starts, stopping the tele-timer in 1:58.1. New Scent, with Joe Faraldo in the sulky, finished second while Flaming Yankee finished third for "Touchdown" Teddy Bowman after taking command early and slicing through panels of :28.2, :58.1 and 1:28 before being confronted around the final turn and succumbing to the winner. Chip Chip Page (Tony Dinges) finished fourth while Frenchmen (Billy Muggleston) picked up the minor award. A Crown For Lindy now has lifetime earnings of $416,834 and enriched his multitude of followers with a $3.00 win payoff as the 1 to 2 favorite. Spriggs doubled his pleasure with Garlandsandpearls, which he also owns, by guiding that six year-old son of Futile Qwest to a gate-to-wire win in 1:57.3, after putting up all the numbers--:28.2, :58.3 and 1:27.4. Garlandsandpearls stretched his lead to 3½ lengths on the line with Irish Scotch (Shane Arsenault) second after a first over backside binge from fifth. JLS Too Hot Taj (Steve Oldford) finished third while Mad Cow Lisa (Hannah Miller) survived a very difficult journey from the outside post nine to finish a very respectable fourth. B Cor Thomas (Billy Muggleston) picked up the final award in the field of nine. Garlandsandpearls won for the fifth time this semester and his 5-2-3 scorecard in 13 starts now shows earnings of $16,005. Also trained by Alan Saul, Garlandsandpearls returned $6.60 as the second choice in the wagering. The driving double for Spriggs sent his career total to 431 wins. The final Billings event-a rare pace-went to Best Dream Seeker for driver Joe Pennacchio. Owned and trained by Stanley Whittemore, this 11 year-old gelded son of Cambest won for the 30th time in a career encompassing 297 starts. Best Dream Seeker was third in the early stages of his mile as A Weekend (Joe Faraldo) cut panels of :27.2, :58 and 1:26.1 as Dr. Flamingo (Hannah Miller) sat in the garden spot through those fractions. Around the final turn. Pennacchio tilted his charge to the outside and began gnawing away at the leader, gaining the lead at mid-stretch and drawing clear late. Dr. Flamingo edged by A Weekend to be second. Hillcrest Bigdaddy (Peter Gerry) finished fourth while P L Dangerous (Bob Davis) finished fifth. For Best Dream Seeker, whose mark is 1:51.4 taken back in 2008 at Lexington's Red Mile, the win pushed his career bounty to $412,621. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Best Dream Seeker paid $3.80 to win. While the win was number 158 in Pennacchio's amateur driving career, it was only win number six back of a pacer, as the vast majority of his drives are with trotters. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a $10,000 guaranteed pool for the Pick-4, contested on races 6 through 9, as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program. Post time is 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, March 19, 2017-Aggressive (Mark MacDonald, $9.80) angled off the cones and was up at the wire Sunday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $68,000 Open Trot. Starting from the pylons in the field of nine (the infamous 10-hole was scratched). Aggressive minded his manners as the lass Allerage Star (Andy Miller) left over Lady's Dude (George Brennan), and wasn't in too much of a hurry (:29.1, :59). Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett), as the slight 7-2 favorite from the second tier, then offered some mild heat. The one came first-up from fifth toward a 1:28.1 three-quarters, but never serious challenged, Allerage Star had the lead at the 1:57 milepost, with a length-and-a-half advantage in and out of the final turn. It was about the juncture when Aggressive extricated himself from the cones. He and Lady's Dude-who appeared to duck into the passing lane a lap earlier-provided Allerage Star with unwanted company from both flanks. Lady's Dude did so again this time, but was outgamed by Aggressive, who earned the schnoz decision in 2:27.1 for the mile-and-one-quarter. Allerage Star was third, beaten a neck, with a traffic-troubled Luck O the Irish (Jordan Stratton) and Hemi Seelster rounding out the payees. The five payees were separated by just a length-and-three-quarters at the wire. For third choice Aggressive, a 6-year-old Kadabra gelding trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera for owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen, it was his third win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $130, the triple returned $510 and the superfecta paid $1,535. This was the final Sunday card until the end of May, and also the last 'New York, New York Double' until then (when Aqueduct becomes Belmont). Sunday's winning combination of 1-Lakeside Sunset (Aqueduct's 3rd race) and 7-Not Afraid (Yonkers' 6th race) paid $20 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $5,745. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Noble Legend and driver Shawn Gray showed plenty of patience in the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (March 10) and it paid off with a strong 1-1/4 length victory over Southern Palms in 1:58.1 over the fast harness racing track.   Noble Legend is the 2016 Trotter of the Year at Buffalo Raceway and also holds the track record for 4-year-old geldings with a 1:56.3 mark set last season.   In the feature, last week's winner Southern Palms set the fractions of 28.3, 48.3 and 1:28.2 but things weren't going to come easy this time around.   Winkys Pride was first over turning for home while Noble Legend sat in the pocket, breathing down the back of the pace-setting Southern Palms.   The waiting game worked out perfectly for Gray and Noble Legend ($4.50) as they cruised to the lead in the passing lane. Southern Palms (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) could do nothing but watch and finished in second and third respectively.   Co-owned by Jack and trainer Maria Rice, it was the second victory in eight tries for the 5-year-old gelded Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It). He is now a winner of $18,980 in 2017 and $114,465 lifetime.   Buffalo Raceway's defending driving champion Jim Morrill Jr. broke into the win column for the first time in 2017 and did so in fine fashion by registering a four-bagger. Gray finished the night with three wins in the bike..   Racing continues on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Just Make Believe (Kadabra) was a nominee for harness racing 'Trotter of the Year' last season at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the John Di Stefano trainee was a force in the local feature in 2016. On Sunday afternoon, the seven year old made his return to the Spa to compete in the $12,000 Open Trot and driver Jim Devaux moved Just Make Believe early. Released at odds of 3-1, Just Make Believe wound up sitting the pocket to the favored On The Podium (Bruce Aldrich Jr) as that one battled last week's Open winner Slugfest (Jay Randall) who was first over. Just Make Believe became a reality in the stretch when he surged by to take over the lead under the shadow of the wire, coming on to win it by a head in 1:57.4 on another cold afternoon in Saratoga. Slugfest came up second best while On The Podium had to settle for the show spot. It was the first victory in two starts in '17 for the Just Make Believe coming off of a year in which he piled up thirteen wins. The winner paid $8.00 and led an exacta and triple that returned $32.40 and $95.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee set to begin at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

East Rutherford, NJ - Crosby's Clam Bake will look to continue his reign at the top of the trotting class when he takes on seven worthy rivals on Friday night at The Meadowlands in the featured sixth race, an $18,000 conditioned event.   A winner now of three straight with the last two right on the lead against many of the same horses Crosby's Clam Bake has been designated as the 2-1 favorite despite being assigned the outside eight post. His keen gate speed and the respect of the competition provide driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr with a few good options to get his charge into the race.   Trainer Andrew Federico, Jr has enjoyed great success with horses sent east by top Pennsylvania conditioner Randy Bendis and clearly has Crosby's Clam Bake as crisp as a Sam Snead drive for the start of the new season. Jack Piatt, II and Tom Pollack share ownership with the trainer on the seven-year-old Kadabra gelding.   It's another pair of thirteen race cards for the weekend with the horse population allowing for big fields and lively competition. Guarantees remain in place for the horizontal wagers and free program pages are yours for a click.   Promotionally the popular 60 second wagering spree returns and the first leg of the World Harness Handicapping Contest is on Saturday night.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.   From the Meadowlands Media Department      

DOVER, Del.--- Harness racing Tim Tetrick grabbed the early lead behind Il Mago and was never headed for the second consecutive week scoring his fourth victory of the day, Wednesday, Dec. 14, to win the $21,000 Open trot Handicap at Dover Downs. Il Mago won for the eighth time this year for CC Racing bringing his seasonal earnings to $112,296 and $673,268 lifetime. The 7-year-old son of Kadabra-Northern Style is trained by Scott DiDomenico. A 99-1 shot from the rail, Tag Up And Go (Bret Brittingham) enjoyed a 2-hole journey to finish second while Winbak Charles M (Montrell Teague) took show money. Tony Morgan drove his second winner Uva Hanover to a 1:54.1 triumph in the $15,500 Winners Over trot for young horses. The Cantab Hall-Up Front Laura gelding was in charge from the start but had to hold off a strong closing challage from Celebrity Pegasus (Art Stafford Jr.) late in the stretch. Bluebird Reverend (Montrell Teague) was next. Martin Sternberg and Stake Your Claim Stable own the 5-year-old who has earned $91,500 of his lifetime total of $423,284 this year. Go Byem was scratched. Mike Casalino's Tough Mac got back on the winning trail turning back seven rivals for a 1:54.1 victory in A $12,000 sub feature trot. The Dylan Davis-trainee dropped down from the Open ranks to notch his fourth win of the campaign. Corey Callahan was in the bike behind the Lockkeeper-Traditional Lady black gelding now a $316,399 career winner. Lou Man (Tetrick) was second with Uwantapieceofme (George Dennis) third. Tim Tetrick won four races, two owned by trainer Jim King and two by CC Racing. Corey Callahan and Tony Morgan had triples while Yannick Gingras had two winners. $30,000 PREFERRED; $27,500 DEL. SPECIAL THURSDAY BEFORE HOLIDAY BREAK WEEK A powerhouse 15-race card led by the $30,000 Preferred Handicap and $27,500 Delaware Special highlight racing  on Thursday, Dec. 15, the last racing day before the usual weeklong Holiday Break at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Last week’s winner Bamond Racing and J&T Silva Stables’ Ideal Cowboy reined by Tim Tetrick starts from outside post 8 in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap. Weaver Bruscemi, Burke Racing and M1 stables Bettor’s Edge driven by Yannick Gingras finished second with Tom Cancelliere’s Sweet Beach, third with Montrell Teague in the bike. There is plenty of speed in the lineup. Rich Lombardo and L&J Racing’s $1.5-million winner Dancin Yankee driven by track defending champion Corey Callahan,  and back after a short turn-out Henderson Farms’ Bushwacker with Ross Wollfenden, who was an early season standout at Dover. Completing the Preferred roster are the sharp Papa Ray, owned by Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing, Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis’ Jet Airway and Jonathan Roberts with Vapour N and Pat Berry leaving from the rail for J Craparolla & P Berry Racing. In the $27,500 Delaware Special Handicap, Little Ben is the one to beat. Owned by Janet Hudson’s and JoAnn Looney-King, Vic Kirby has driven the gelding to victory in four of his last five starts in the track’s top events. The fast Mustang Art gets the rail this week with driver Sean Bier. The veteran, owned by Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, has been in rare form of late. Alongside is the fast Delaware-bred Remember Me VK with Montrell Teague. Driver George&Tina Dennis Racing’s Seventh Secret was impressive last week in his first local start missing victory by only a nose with George Dennis driving. Hazzard, Calloway and Legacy Racing’s Sweet Rock and Allan Davis and Blazing Bobby Sox racing for trainer-driver Art Stafford Jr. and his dad, Art Stafford, cannot be overlooked.     A strong undercard includes an $18,000 Open, a $15,500 and two $15,000 paces. Racing takes a full-week-off at Dover Downs, next week. Live Racing returns on Monday, Dec. 26. From Dover Downs and its horsemen, have a Merry Christmas.   Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting daily 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Marv Bachrad

Il Mago, who has not missed a check since arriving at Dover Downs, won for the first time in six starts scoring in the $20,000 Open Handicap harness racing trot in 1:52.3 on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Tim Tetrick moved Il Mago out of second on the backstretch and then breezed to victory, his seventh of the year, going into six-figures with $102,046 earned this campaign, to win the Wednesday feature. Scott DiDomenico conditions the seven-year-old son of Kadabra-Northern Style for CC Racing. The $663,018 lifetime winner was followed by Tough Mac (Corey Callahan) with Celebrity Pegagus (Art Stafford Jr) the only four-year-old in the race finishing third. A race earlier, Delaware-bred Go Byem returned to winning form disposing of eight rivals for a 1:54 triumph in a $15,500 3,4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. Jim Morand drove the Les Givens-trained Impel Hanover-Go Sassy Go for breeder Delbert Cain who owns the four-year-old gelding with Nanticoke Racing. Steel Reserve (Vic Kirby) closed quickly to take second with Frost Free Hanover (Tetrick) the show horse. Tim Tetrick had four wins including a 20-1 shot, Royal Lad, in a $7,500 trot; .Yannick Gingras scored three times and owner-trainer Ed Gannon registered two winners, Tetrick and Gingras now are tied for first place in wins this meet with 37 each one more than former leader Vic Kirby. BETTOR’S EDGE IN $30,000 PREFERRED; MUSTANG ART, $27,500 DEL. SPECIAL Bettor’s Edge starts from the outside against three winners last time out in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap at Dover Downs. Mustang Art, who just missed a win twice in-a-row also leaves from post 8 in the $27,500 Delaware Special, the Thursday, Dec. 8 twin feature races. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Papa Ray, Just A Jolt and Sweet Beach with two straight won their previous starts. Yannick Gingras drives Bettor’s Edge for Weaver Bruscemi Burke Racing an M1 stables, finished strongly third, beaten a half-length in last week’s feature. He won three straight early in the Fall. Last Thursday, Lombardo and L&J Racing’s veteran Dancin Yankee led until late in the stretch with Corey Callahan, before retreating to fourth only a length behind at the wire. Bamond and J&T Silva Stables’ Ideal Cowboy, was second beaten by a neck. Tim Tetrick will drive this week. Tom Cancelliere’s Sweet Beach is fresh from two consecutive wins at Pocono Downs. Papa Ray, owned by Reg Hazzard and legacy Racing steps up in company after a two wins in three starts including a come-from off-the-pace success last time from post 7 now has the rail. Killer B Stable’s Abelard Hanover driven by Allan Davis, has won two of his last four outings.  Janet Hudson’s local favorite Just A Jolt reined by Vic Kirby returns to the track after a month hiatus.  In the $27,500 Delaware Special, last week Little Ben (Kirby), after winning  three consecutive features consecutively, did not leave from post 8 and closed well but finished of-the-board for the first time this Fall. This week with Vic Kirby driving for owners Janet Hudson and JoAnn Looney-King, the nine-time winner has post 5.The fast Mustang Art (Sean Bier) just missed for the second straight time  by a head and a neck for owners Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, but must start from the outside in the eight-horse field.  The razor sharp Remember Me VK (Montrell Teague) led until late last week before finishing a close-up third after a second the week before. Jenny Bier’s Im Supersonic A (Tetrick) raced well in his first local start. Art and trainer-driver Art Stafford Jr.’s Blazing Bobby Sox, a standout last season, drew post 1. Other strong contenders are Al Carter and trainer Doug Lewis’ Captive Audience (Gingras) Reg Hazzard, G.P. Calloway and Legacy Racing’s Sweet Rock (Allan Davis) and driver George&Tina Dennis Racing’s Seventh Secret.     Also on the competitive 15-race card are an $18,000 Open featuring Wakizashi Hanover, a $15,500 and two $15,000 paces for younger horses. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark days at Dover Downs. Weekdays - Monday through Thursday – live racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Watch races and enjoy good food in Dover Downs Winner’s Circle Buffet daily. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting daily 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.--- Theresademoninme scored a 1:52.4 lifetime best winning the $20,000 Open Handicap trot Mare giving harness racing trainer Dylan Davis three wins for the day on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at Dover Downs. Jonathan Roberts guided the Kadabra-Tortoni five-year-old gelding to his 10th win of the campaign, his second straight Open for Mike Casalino and co-owner Dylan Davis, his second on the card. Theresademoninme pulled away from race favorite Glenferrie Dreamer (Pat Berry) in the stretch for his third win in his last four outings. He has earned $122,861 this year and $237,253 lifetime. Tag Up And Go (Corey Callahan) overtook Il Mago (Tim Tetrick) to finish third. Celebrity Pegasus notched a 1:54.3 victory in one of two $15,500 4&5-Year-Old Winner-Over trots with Art Stafford in the bike. Ken Wood, Bill Ditmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms own the Andover Hall-Celebrity Athena four-year-old who won for the seventh time this season with $71,605 earnings. Uva Hanover (Tony Morgan), and Frost Free Hanover (Tetrick) were second and third respectively. The other $15,500 section found Gillie The Kid and Tim Tetrick hold off fast finishing Royal Becca J (Jack Parker) by a nose in 1:55.3 to give trainer Scot Domenico a double. Jovannie Vilanova owns the three-year-old gelding by Northern Kid-Campaign Wife.  Another sophomore Cicada’s Song (Carlo Poliseno) was the show finisher. Yannick Gingras, Jonathan Roberts and trainer Dylan Davis had three wins apiece, Corey Callahan and owner Dylan Davis had two wins each.  The week’s top pacers meet on a talented Thursday card led by the $30,000 Preferred and $27,500 Delaware Special. Marv Bachrad

Cincinnati Miss (Kadabra) sprung the upset in the Sunday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. With no Open Trot this week, the $13,000 Winners Over was the harness racing feature on the thirteen race matinee card and it was a longshot bettor's delight. Cincinnati Miss, the race's lone mare, tipped off her cover and charged hard late to win a tight photo with fellow longshot Aventure (Tony Ciuffetelli) as well the favored Twisted Pretzel (Mark Beckwith) in a mile clocked in 1:55.4. It was the eighth victory of the season for the Brett Derue-trained Cincinnati Miss who continued a big weekend for the meet's leading driver Frank Coppola Jr. who is now just a few weeks away from securing his eleventh Saratoga driving title. Cincinnati Miss paid $26.00 to win in the upset and led an exacta with 31-1 shot Aventure that returned $250.50. The triple came back $659. Live racing resumes on Thursday with a first post time of 4:00pm. Mike Sardella

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