Search Results
1 to 16 of 1219
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

"I felt good in January, and that part hasn't changed," Teague said with a grin Saturday (July 4) after watching Wiggle It Jiggleit capture the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono by 1-1/2 lengths over Artspeak in 1:48.2. "He doesn't disappoint. Even in his loss, I wasn't jumping off the bandwagon. He's a good horse. I still think he's one of the best 3-year-olds I've ever had." Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 13 of 14 career races for owner Teague, trainer Clyde Francis and driver Montrell Teague. His only loss came June 20 in the North America Cup, where he was defeated by Wakizashi Hanover by three-quarters of a length. On Saturday in the Hempt, Wiggle It Jiggleit took the lead following a :26 opening quarter-mile, fought off a first-over challenge from Pierce Hanover on the backstretch, and then pulled away down the stretch. Artspeak finished second, followed by In The Arsenal and Wakizashi Hanover. "When he cleared to the front I knew he had a pretty good shot at it," Francis said. "Wakizashi has a big kick on the end of it but he wasn't making up much ground. Halfway down the lane nobody got close to him and I knew they weren't going to catch him then." Montrell Teague, who won the Hempt in 2011 with Custard The Dragon, was taking nothing for granted. "I was looking everywhere; I was looking for anybody," he said. "I saw Timmy (Tetrick with Wakizashi Hanover) pull three wide and that's when I popped the earplugs and stepped on the gas because I know how good his horse is coming off cover." Wiggle It Jiggleit, a son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover, gave George Teague Jr. his fourth Hempt trophy. He trained Custard The Dragon as well as 2009 winner Johnny Z and 2008 champ Badlands Nitro. The gelding's next assignment will be the Meadowlands Pace. With the triumph, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $607,242. But the most important thing for Teague was the two people with whom he is sharing the ride. "Montrell and Clyde Francis are the best part for me," Teague said, adding about Francis, "We're like brothers. He works his (butt) off." Wiggle It Jiggleit  Luck Be Withyou overcomes post nine in Franklin triumph                               The $500,000 Ben Franklin free for all pace turned out to be as thrilling as a front-end win can be as Luck Be Withyou held on by the shortest of noses over Domethatagain in 1:49 on Saturday (July 4) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Domethatagain, driven by Simon Allard, left from the rail off the gate, but Luck Be Withyou and George Napolitano Jr. took command before the turn from post nine. Luck Be Withyou led through a quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55, which were favorable fractions in the eyes of the 4-year-old horse's owner, John Craig. "I didn't think it was so bad when it was :26.2, because he got the lead in :26 last week in the slop, with a half in :53 and change," he said. "When I saw :55 at the half, I said 'There are good horses back there like Foiled Again and State Treasurer and they are going to come at him. I hope he has enough.'" Luck Be Withyou kept on chugging through three-quarters in 1:21.4. He was a length clear at the top of the stretch, with only Domethatagain coming at him up the rail. It took a long look at the photo before Luck Be Withyou was declared the winner, with favored State Treasurer third. Luck Be Withyou paid $10 to win as the public's second choice. "He had just enough," Craig said with a grin. "It's hard to explain to people the adrenaline rush you get when you see a race like that." Luck Be Withyou, by Western Ideal-Trim Hanover, is trained by Chris Oakes, who got some credit from his owner. "All the credit goes to those who work on the horse," he said. "I just watch and pay the bills." Luck Be Withyou Pinkman bounces back to win Beal in world record score                                           Pinkman rebounded from his first loss of the year by posting a gate-to-wire win in Saturday's (July 4) $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, holding off stablemate Uncle Lasse by a head in a world-record 1:51.3 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Pinkman, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, and driver Yannick Gingras got the lead with a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and then controlled the race from there, going to the half in :56.2. Centurion ATM made a first-over bid on the backstretch, getting within a head of the leader, but was unable to get to the front. In the stretch, the Jimmy Takter-trained Pinkman held off Uncle Lasse to his inside to post his fourth victory in five starts this season. Pinkman's time was the fastest-ever mile by a 3-year-old gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. Crazy Wow finished third followed by Centurion ATM. Last week, Pinkman finished second to Wicker Hanover in his Beal elimination and was found to be sick. "I can't complain about the trip, the fractions, everything went his way," Gingras said about Pinkman's performance in the Beal final. "He's got that intimidating speed; he can leave the gate so good. Last week leaving the gate I knew he wasn't quite right because he didn't leave the gate like he did today. Usually the first couple steps he just snaps right out. "Today he was back to himself and I don't even think he's a hundred percent. I'd say last week he was 50 or 60 percent and he was probably like 90 today. I think Jimmy can get him even better than this." For his career, Pinkman has won 10 of 13 races and earned $924,300 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. "I saw him open up at like 5-1 (odds) tonight and Crazy Wow was 3-5 or something," Gingras said. "They've got to start giving him credit. He doesn't do it flashy, he does it the way he did it today, but he gets it done. He's a winner." Pinkman  Bettor Be Steppin wins wild Lynch Memorial  What was a wide-open race on paper became a wide-open finish as Bettor Be Steppin and Corey Callahan got up to win the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night (July 4) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:50.4. The race was heated from the start as The Show Returns gunned to the lead from post nine for driver Tim Tetrick. Favored Stacia Hanover (Scott Zeron) cleared to the lead in a first quarter in :26, with the outer flow setting up going to the half. Bettor Be Steppin wasn't a part of that forward flow, however, as she was shuffled back to last. According to her connections, stablemate Divine Caroline (David Miller) was getting the better trip "At the half I thought we were dead," said trainer Joe Holloway. "She was fourth on the rail, fourth or fifth, just totally boxed. Divine Caroline was on the outside, loaded with pace, so I was hoping to see her go. I was trying to watch them both and at the half I thought the only shot I had was Divine Caroline." Wicked Little Minx (Brett Miller), a 50-1 longshot, came first-over with Sassa Hanover (Yannick Gingras) third-over through a half in a swift :54.1. They paced through three-quarters in 1:21.4 before the leaders began to struggle and the closers came closing. Momas Got A Gun (Jim Morrill Jr.) was sitting third on the rail and somehow found room inside. She stuck a head in front before Single Me (Brian Sears) and Bettor Be Steppin came from way out. From the far outside, Bettor Be Steppin stuck a nose in front of Single Me at the wire. Momas Got A Gun finished third by a neck. The win was the fourth in seven starts this year for Bettor Be Steppin. She paid $33.60 to win. The 1-7 exacta paid $895.60 and the 1-7-6 trifecta paid $10,958.10. "This was a good horse last year," said Ted Gewertz, who co-owns the Bettor's Delight-Two Steppin' Sally filly with Val D'Or Farms and Rojan Stables. "She was having a little trouble earlier in the year. [2014 Horse of the Year] JK She'salady didn't make the final, so that helped." Bettor Be Steppin T.J. Burkett and Ken Weingartner / U.S. Trotting Association  

Sebastian K is ready to begin his final season of harness racing and is returning to where he made history. The award-winning 9-year-old trotter will make his 2015 debut in Saturday's $75,000 Sun Invitational at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the same track where he won in 1:49 last season to establish the record for harness racing's fastest-ever trotting mile. Sebastian K and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt will start from post No. 3 in the seven-horse Sun Invitational field and are 3-1 on the morning line. JL Cruze, who has won 13 of 15 races this year, is the 5-2 favorite. He will start from post five with John Campbell driving for trainer Eric Ell. The remainder of the field is My Love Bi, Hot Shot Blue Chip, Daylon Miracle, Gural Hanover, and Classic Martine. Sebastian K, owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., won eight of 13 races last year and received the Dan Patch Award as the sport's best older male trotter. He arrived in the U.S. last year after a record-setting career in Europe. The Swedish-born stallion trotted a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 in his debut at the Meadowlands and capped a record streak of four consecutive victories in 1:50.3 or faster with his world-record 1:49 triumph at Pocono. "It was a wonderful year and it was so pleasing to see how well Sebastian K adapted to the North American tracks and conditions," said Tristan Sjoberg, who with his brother Michael Knutsson makes up Knutsson Trotting Inc. "It was fantastic. We always thought it would suit him, but to see him come flying out of the blocks in (his 2014 debut) and win so convincingly was just great." Sebastian K had eight wins and one second-place finish (by a nose) in his first nine races last year. But prior to competing in North America, the horse never raced on consecutive weekends, which he did through last July and into August. Following that stretch, he had only one win and a total of two on-the-board finishes in five starts. "He is like a Thoroughbred and does not like to race too often, so I wished we would have closed out the season earlier than we did as he was showing signs of fatigue towards October and November," Sjoberg said. "For us and Ake it will be very beneficial to have that freshman year under our belts. We have learned a lot and have adapted to how things are done in the U.S. in comparison to over in Europe. "We will shorten the season for Sebastian and only really race him (July) to October as opposed to May to November last year." Sebastian K handled stud duty during his offseason, which he had done previously in 2012 but not in 2013 or 2014. "We decided to breed him this year for the European market as breeders had contacted us since he broke the world record last year," Sjoberg said. "We are delighted by the demand from Europe and we hope that North American breeders will be as enthusiastic when he retires at the end of this season." Sebastian K, who saw his 2015 campaign delayed because of ulcers, prepped for Saturday's debut with a 1:53.4 win in a qualifier on June 20 at the Meadowlands. "My expectations are modest as this is very much seen as a 'bonus' year for us," Sjoberg said. "This will be his last year of racing and while he is training very well and actually feels smoother and stronger in training, he is 9 years old and should not be at his peak. But he is in great condition and just look what (Breeders Crown champion) Commander Crowe did last year when he was 11 years old. "I am sure Sebastian K will be as competitive this year as last year. The competition has totally changed with many of last year's aged trotters retiring or shipped to Europe so he will face a new group of horses and that will be exciting for fans." One of the new faces Sebastian K will see is JL Cruze, who enters the Sun Invitational off two victories over Dan Patch Award-winner Father Patrick in the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands. His most recent triumph, on June 19, came in a career-best 1:50.4. Daylon Miracle, one of three female trotters in the field, along with Dan Patch Award-winner Classic Martine and My Love Bi, heads to the Sun Invitational with three wins in her most recent four starts while Gural Hanover arrives fresh off a 1:53 victory at Harrah's Philadelphia. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Freehold, NJ --- Cruzado Dela Noche is not afraid to announce his arrival when he enters a barn. He is making his presence known on the harness racing track as well. The Nancy Johansson-trained Cruzado Dela Noche, known around the stable as “Nacho,” was among last week’s three elimination winners for Saturday’s $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. He won by 2-1/4 lengths over Southwind Mozart in 1:53.3, which was the fastest of the divisions, over a sloppy track. Cruzado Dela Noche and driver David Miller will start the final from post No. 2 and are 4-1 on the morning line. Uncle Lasse, who won his elimination by a head over Crazy Wow in 1:54 and is unbeaten in four races this season, is the 5-2 favorite. He will start from post four with Brett Miller driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. Wicker Hanover, who captured the remaining elimination by a half-length over Pinkman in 1:54.1, is 6-1 from post six with Andy McCarthy driving for trainer Noel Daley. Pinkman, who was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and was undefeated in three starts this season prior to his Beal elim, is the 3-1 second choice from post one. Yannick Gingras will drive the Takter trainee. Cruzado Dela Noche has won two of five races this year and finished off the board only once. For his career, he has won five of 16 starts and earned $219,122 for owner Anders Strom’s Courant A B. “You can’t help but like him,” Johansson said. “He’s got the best personality, best attitude. You bring him in the barn and he lets you know he’s there. He screams at the top of his lungs. If you’ve got your back to him and hear him coming you’d think it’s a 17-hand big stallion walking in the barn, and you turn around and it’s little Nacho. But he’s a really happy good feeling colt.” Last year, Cruzado Dela Noche won a division of the International Stallion Stakes in 1:53.4 at Lexington’s Red Mile. He finished third in the Peter Haughton Memorial, behind fellow Beal finalists Centurion ATM and Uncle Lasse, and also in the Matron Stakes. “You couldn’t ask for a more honest little horse,” Johansson said. “He puts his heart out on the track every time; he just tries so hard. But saying that, he does have some ability too. He might be the quickest one of the horses in the race. Some might be a little stronger and can carry their speed longer, but as far as quickness goes, he’s got extreme quick raw speed. “He trotted in (1):51.4 this year at The Meadows (finishing second to Uncle Lasse in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division) so he’s no slouch.” In his Beal elimination, Cruzado Dela Noche sat in fourth place until the field was midway up the backstretch, at which point a first-over attack carried the colt to the lead on the final turn. From there, he drew clear to win by 2-1/4 lengths. “I think he raced extremely well last week,” Johansson said. “He got away a little bit back and came first up and put the leader away and was well in hand. David never pulled his earplugs or really asked him to go. I think he’s coming into this race as sharp as he could be for it. “And he drew well, which always helps too. Maybe he can get away a little closer than what he has in his other races this year. Maybe if he can sit a little closer it will help. It’s a speed track so it’s hard to make up any ground if you’re sitting too far back anyhow.” Cruzado Dela Noche is eligible to the Stanley Dancer Memorial (July 18) and Zweig Memorial (July 26) leading up to the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. “I think he’s one of the players,” Johansson said. “Obviously my dad (Takter) has a very nice group of 3-year-olds. I thought Wicker Hanover raced very well last week and he’s a nice horse too. It’s maybe more of an even year than what we’ve had in the past. There isn’t really one standout. I don’t think there’s one that we want to make the division leader yet because I think anybody could kind of be that right now.” Saturday’s card at Pocono also includes the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $75,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Following is the Beal Memorial field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Pinkman by Ezplosive Matter -  Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter - 3-1 2. Cruzado Dela Noche by Muscle Massive -  David Miller, Nancy Johansson - 4-1 3. Centurion ATM by Sjs Caviar -  Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt - 10-1 4. Uncle Lasse by Donato Hanover -  Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter - 5-2 5. Crazy Wow by Crazed -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke - 5-1 6. Wicker Hanover by Explosive Matter - Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley - 6-1 7. Shoot The Thrill by Explosive Matter -  Tim Tetrick, Dirk Simpson - 12-1 8. Boots N Chains by Yankee Glide -  Andy Miller, John Butenschoen - 20-1 9. Southwind Mozart by Muscle Hill - John Campbell, Ake Svanstedt - 15-1 by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Duane and Connie Roland hope to rock the Meadowlands Pace later this month, but first they will prep their 3-year-old pacer for the big harness racing event by competing in one of the 10 Landmark Stakes on Saturday at Historic Track in Goshen. The Rolands' horse, Roland N Rock, is undefeated in 17 career races, with most of his victories coming on the Iowa fair circuit. It is an unlikely starting point for a Meadowlands Pace hopeful, but one the Rolands decided was worth following after watching the gelding dominate his competition to date. "It's very exciting," said Duane Roland, a corn and soybean farmer from Grinnell, Iowa, who trains and usually drives Roland N Rock. "Whatever happens, this is like an experience no one that I know ever gets to do. Who gets to train their own horse and go to New Jersey and race in the Meadowlands Pace? "Back home almost everybody sells their horse when it gets good. Most of the horses that are really good get sold between $50,000 and $75,000. My wife Connie and I are in the position that we don't have to sell him. We figured, let's just keep him and go have fun." Roland N Rock will face four rivals in Saturday's $17,470 Landmark Stakes at Historic Track, which also is an unlikely place to find a Meadowlands Pace hopeful. The only other horse since 1992 to prep for the Meadowlands Pace eliminations by racing at Historic Track was Exporter, who in 2001 won a New York Sire Stakes division in Goshen six days prior to finishing ninth in his Pace elim. Since 1992, four Meadowlands Pace finalists competed at Historic Track the year prior to racing in the Pace, most notably 2000 Pace winner and Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip. John Campbell is listed to drive Roland N Rock on Saturday at Historic Track. Post time is 1 p.m. for the first race on the card, which also includes three divisions of the Billings amateur drivers' series. The Grand Circuit weekend at Historic Track concludes Sunday with Hall of Fame Day. The Rolands decided to stake Roland N Rock to several of this year's top races after the horse won the $86,000 American-National Stakes by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52.2 at Balmoral Park in October. The American-National was one of only two stakes engagements for Roland N Rock last year; the other was the $21,450 Review Stakes at Springfield, Ill., where the gelding romped by 13-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. "He's never been tested in any of his races," Roland said. "We thought we would test him last year when we went to Springfield and he just took off and won in (1):51.2. Then at Balmoral he was an easy winner too. We decided this was our opportunity, so we took all the money from the American-National and staked him to a bunch of races. We figured we'd just go for it." This year, Roland N Rock is 3-for-3, with his most recent victory coming in 1:55.4 at Wapello County Regional Fair in Eldon, Iowa on June 18. The time shattered the previous track record by 2-2/5 seconds. "It's a car racing track, so the turns are banked pretty good," Roland said. "We talked about it and thought he needed to go in 1:56 there for us to make the decision to come out here. And he did that. He still had more left, so that was good. "I'm still trying to get him to peak. He just needs one more good workout and he should be ready to go. Almost everybody else was ready to race in May and was prepping for the North America Cup (in June). They're going to have raced four to six weeks as hard as they can go leading up to this, so I'm thinking I have a fresh horse, at least that's in my favor." Roland N Rock is a son of the mare Hank's Chip, who the Rolands purchased in foal to stallion Rocknroll Hanover for $6,000 at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale, when Perretti Farms dispersed its broodmare band. The resulting foal was Roland N Rock. And what did Duane Roland like about Hank's Chip? "The price," he said with a laugh. "We'd gotten about $15,000 in breeders awards and I said let's go spend that and try to buy two mares in foal to Rocknroll Hanover. We had $15,000 to spend. We bought two. This happened to be the good one." The Rolands soon will find out how good. In addition to the Meadowlands Pace, Roland N Rock's stake schedule includes the Carl Milstein Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, Circle City, Jenna's Beach Boy, Messenger, Matron, and Progress Pace. "We've got to give it a shot," said Roland, who has never raced a horse at the Meadowlands. "We paid him in to all these races, so we're just like let's go do it. If we're eliminated (in the Meadowlands Pace eliminations) and we're in the consolation, we're still happy because we got to go." Roland said the emergence of his horse continues the feel-good storylines surrounding the top 3-year-old pacers so far this season: Wakizashi Hanover ($23,000 yearling with three newcomers in ownership group), In The Arsenal ($7,500 buy back) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (privately purchased as a weanling). "Now you've got this farmer from Iowa bringing this Rocknroll Hanover to the Meadowlands," Roland said. "It's all good for harness racing just to say that anybody can get the good horse. You've got four different stories there all going against the great horse Artspeak. So you never know how it's going to turn out. "We just hope that (Roland N Rock) does well, makes some money, and we have some fun." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Ed Hart grew up near Goshen, N.Y., and as a teenager got his start in harness racing at the town’s racetracks, so it is no surprise he looks forward to returning with horses to Historic Track during the annual Grand Circuit meet. “I always enjoy racing at Goshen,” said Hart, who was born in Warwick, N.Y., and now lives in Middletown. “I usually race at least one horse there every year. It’s a lot of fun. A lot of people show up there and there’s a lot of excitement.” On Friday (July 3), Hart will send out Brickman in the first of two $15,000 New York Excelsior Series “A” divisions for 3-year-old male pacers at Historic Track. There are seven Excelsior events on the day’s card, with post time at 1 p.m. for the first race. The Grand Circuit weekend at Historic Track begins Thursday with New York Fair Stakes. There will be Landmark Stakes on Saturday followed by Hall of Fame Day on Sunday. Brickman was bred locally by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Herbert Burns III and Stephen Demeter. That group along with Scott Lipps continues to own the gelding. Brickman is a son of Art Major out of the mare Regal Wish, and is a full brother to Just Add Vodka, a winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. The family also includes Dan Patch Award winners Bettor’s Delight, No Pan Intended, and Roll With Joe. “He’s a nice horse,” Hart said about Brickman, who has one win in 10 career races and a mark of 1:51.3. “He’s just had a few issues, mostly breathing, allergy issues. I think he’ll turn into a real nice race horse. He’s been a little slow in coming, but he seems to be getting better now.” Of course, an appreciation for Goshen and Historic Track is not limited to those who grew up in the area. Joann Perry -- who about seven years ago began splitting her year between her home in Hawkinsville, Ga., (winter) and upstate New York (summer) -- enjoys the atmosphere there as much as anyone. “I love it,” said Perry, who will send out Haydens Little Man in the same Excelsior division as Brickman. “We always enjoy ourselves. It’s a beautiful place and I love the town. It’s gorgeous.” The homebred Haydens Little Man, named after one of Perry’s grandsons, has won two of 19 career races. His father is American Ideal and his mother, Shady Matilda, was a world champion mare who in 2005 finished second in a Landmark Stakes at Historic Track for the Perry family. Haydens Little Man has two second-place finishes and one third in his four most recent starts. “I love the horses,” Perry said. “They end up being more family than they are an animal. We always name horses we’ve bred after family members. Hayden is 9 now, but he was the newest member of our family at the time.” She added about Haydens Little Man, “He’s done well usually on the half-mile tracks around New York, so I hope he’s his normal self.” For more about Historic Track, visit its website here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Goshen (NY) Historic Track will feature a power-packed field of drivers, all members of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, in the annual $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot, to be held July 5. Post time is 1 p.m. The slate for that race brings together a "Who's Who" of harness racing talent. John Campbell, David Miller, Bill O'Donnell, Dick Stillings, Jimmy Takter and Wally Hennessey will all compete that day. Ron Pierce, recovering from neck and back surgery this spring, is a possibility as he is nearing the end of his rehabilitation. His participation, and the addition of one other driver, will be confirmed as the date draws closer. Collectively, the confirmed participants have won 11 Little Brown Jugs and 10 Hambletonians as trainers or drivers, along with nearly 45,000 races and $800 million in purse earnings. The race honors the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry; their sons Elbridge and Peter will be on hand to present the trophy. After the race, the drivers will meet fans and autograph photos. Goshen Historic Track is located at 44 Park Place in Goshen; admission is $5 for adults (includes program) and children are free. For more information, go to www.goshenhistorictrack.com or call 845-294-5333. Ken Weingartner

Aldebaran Eagle has held his own against some of the best 3-year-old male trotters around and now harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson is hoping the colt is ready to soar as he prepares for Saturday's Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Beal elims are part of a jam-packed card at Pocono, where eliminations for the Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers also will be contested. Aldebaran Eagle, who has won only two of 15 career races but hit the board a total of 11 times, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line in the first of three Beal eliminations. He will start from post No. 1 in the six-horse field with driver Corey Callahan. Dexter Cup winner Habitat, who starts from post three with Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The division also includes Walter White, Cruzado Dela Noche, Southwind Mozart, and Boots N Chains. The top three finishers from each Beal elimination advance to the $500,000 final on July 4 at Pocono. Aldebaran Eagle enters his race off a 1:52.1 victory over older horses in a conditioned race June 12 at the Meadowlands. He also has one second-place finish and two third-place finishes in four starts this season. He finished third in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, behind Canepa Hanover and French Laundry, and was second to Guess Whos Back in a preliminary round of the NJSS. "He's been racing pretty nicely, so we can't complain there," Czernyson said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. Now we're kind of getting to the test to see what we have. He raced in a lot of the big dances (last year). He was always there, but he kind of stayed in the shadows of the best ones. "He was kind of big and growthy as a 2-year-old, but he kept it together pretty good. He spent the whole winter in the (resistance) cart and it muscled him up good. I think that's been paying off on him. So far he's been coming along pretty good." Aldebaran Eagle is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Letsjustalkaboutme. He was purchased under the name Ramblings for $70,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes stakes-winners Ifhallscouldtalk, Armbro Hilary, and Armbro Marshall as well as Dan Patch Award winner Delmegan. Owned by Australian-based Aldebaran Park Inc., Aldebaran Eagle has earned $112,069 in his career. "I liked him from when we bought him at the sale pretty much," Czernyson said. "He was doing everything right. He's got very good owners on him. They're happy to branch out here and so far it's been working for them." Last year, Aldebaran Eagle won a division of the International Stallion Stakes at odds of 106-1. He defeated Whom Shall I Fear by a head and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Centurion ATM by a neck. "You can pretty much do whatever you want with him," Czernyson said. "He can leave pretty good, but he doesn't have to leave. If you don't want to leave with him, you don't have to. So he's pretty versatile that way." The second division of Beal eliminations features the Jimmy Takter-trained entry of Pinkman and Whom Shall I Fear, which is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Pinkman was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and Whom Shall I Fear is a full brother to Dan Patch Award winners Pastor Stephen and Father Patrick. Whom Shall I Fear starts from post four with driver David Miller and Pinkman starts from post five with driver Yannick Gingras. Nik Drennan-trained and Brian Sears-driven Guess Whos Back is the 5-2 second choice in the division, which also includes Donatomite, Honor And Serve, Centurion ATM, and Wicker Hanover. The third Beal elimination is led by Crazy Wow, who captured the Empire Breeders Classic on June 21 at Vernon Downs in a track-record 1:51.1. Crazy Wow is the 2-1 favorite from post two with Gingras driving for trainer Burke. Sharing honors as second choice at 5-2 are Shoot The Thrill and Uncle Lasse. Shoot The Thrill will leave from post one with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Dirk Simpson. Uncle Lasse, who brings a three-race win streak to the Beal and a mark of 1:51.4, starts from post six with Brett Miller at the lines for trainer Takter. Completing the field are Code Ben, Divisionist, and Billy Flynn. "The 3-year-old colts this year, there's one (good one) after another, after another, after another," Czernyson said. "There are tough horses out there. I don't think I can remember seeing so many good 3-year-old colts that have been out this early. They're just taking turns at who wants to be the fastest. It's tough to throw out anyone and say they're not good enough to be here." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Three days after watching Wakizashi Hanover win the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario, harness racing owner Bruce Kennedy was still unsure whether the magnitude of the accomplishment had sunk in completely. "I'm wondering myself," said the 74-year-old Nova Scotia resident, who heads the horse's Tri County Stable ownership group. "It's a lot to take in because it's a brand new level of enjoyment for us." Not that there is a lot of time to sit back and relax. Wakizashi Hanover is getting ready for his next challenge in Saturday's eliminations for the Max C. Hempt Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The 3-year-old gelded pacer competes in the third of three $25,000 Hempt elims; the top three finishers in each division advance to the $500,000 final on July 4. Wakizashi Hanover, trained by Joann Looney-King, will start his elim from post four with driver Tim Tetrick and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Brian Brown's Lost For Words, unbeaten in four races this season, is the 3-1 second choice from post seven with driver David Miller. Also competing in the eliminations are Wiggle It Jiggleit, who is the 5-2 favorite in the second division, and Artspeak, who is the 5-2 choice in the first elim. Wiggle It Jiggleit saw his career unbeaten streak snapped at 11 when he finished second by three-quarters of a length to Wakizashi Hanover in the North America Cup. Artspeak, who received the Dan Patch Award as the sport's best 2-year-old male pacer of 2014, finished fifth in the North America Cup after getting an outside trip from post 10. Betting Exchange, who finished third in the North America Cup, is the 3-1 second choice in the second Hempt elimination, and In The Arsenal, who was fourth in the Cup, is 3-1 in the first division. Wakizashi Hanover, a son of Dragon Again out of the mare Western Gesture, was purchased for $23,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and has won seven of 12 career races and earned $598,507 (U.S.). Kennedy owns Wakizashi Hanover with Percy Bonnell, Wayne Burley, David Bugden, David Chabassol, and Dr. Scott Bowen. Kennedy, who has more than four decades of experience in harness racing ranging from training, driving and working in an administrative capacity, is in the convenience store business in Bible Hill. On Tuesday afternoon he took time to talk about Wakizashi Hanover with Ken Weingartner of the USTA's Harness Racing Communications division. KW: You have several new owners involved with Wakizashi Hanover. Do they think this is easy now? BK: That's a good question. (Laughs.) They're well aware of how long it normally takes to get to sort of the halfway mark in this industry. To get the full distance in one shot, it's like a hole-in-one in golf for these people. KW: It's like a hole-in-one the first time you take the clubs out of the bag. BK: Exactly. KW: Were you getting anxious in the weeks leading up to the North America Cup? BK: He kind of flew under the radar prior to the race, and that suited our demeanor just fine. The people we have associated ourselves with in Jim King Jr., his wife Joann, and Tim Tetrick - those people have been so good to us and so good to our horse. They bonded really well and they know that horse inside out. The caretaker of the horse, Phil Moore, he bonded with the horse. The horse has such a personality that it was kind of an easy matchup. The horse is so well cared for, so healthy and so happy, and we think the key to a good horse is good health and happiness. KW: What's his personality like? BK: This horse wants to be a friend with everybody. He's very easy to be around. He likes to be around people. He's nice to jog on the track. He's so simple. He wears simple clothing; he wears a closed bridle, a pair of hobbles, and just for precautionary measures they wrap a pair of shin boots on him when he races. He's a pretty slick-going character, this guy. KW: As you watched the race unfold, what was going through your mind? BK: I kind of thought I was at the Indy 500; they got off to such a wicked pace in :25.1. Wiggle It Jiggleit is no slouch by any means; he's a speedster. When they got past the eighth pole and he took over, the race was on. Timmy's strategy from where we sat appeared to be to get out early and fend off all comers knowing almost for sure that Wiggle It Jiggleit was going to want to go to the top. We ended up sitting in the pocket and that's exactly where Tim wanted to be. KW: What did you think as you watched that trip? BK: It couldn't have worked out any better. He wasn't sitting back a length; he was sitting on the helmet. It appeared from our perspective that he was ready to strike. He was staying close and looking to tip out when it was the right time and hope he had a little horse to go with. That's when it became really exciting, halfway down the stretch when Tim pulled up beside (Wiggle It Jiggleit) and then was able to overcome the small lead he had on us. KW: What was the party like afterward? BK: I've been to a lot of parties, but none with more enthusiasm than we had with our group. (Laughs.) It was a nice gesture from the Woodbine Entertainment Group for how we were treated and looked after and cared for. The hospitality was second to none. That kind of makes you feel that everyone is just as important as another. It was a great feeling for us. We didn't really call it a party, but we were able to celebrate with some of the connections of the other contenders and it was really great. We found that people were there to win, but they were there for everybody. KW: Does it make it more enjoyable that way? BK: It does, it does. We know that only one (horse) is going to surface as the winner. We trucked from Delaware to Toronto with the Teagues (and Wiggle It Jiggleit) and we're grateful for that. (Trainer) Clyde (Francis) is a super guy. Phil trucked with him, stabled with him; we were stabled across the aisle from each other at the Ideal Training Centre. Everything was just so great about the trip and experience. The camaraderie there, it was great. KW: What was the reaction back home? BK: It was phenomenal. We've been told a lot of stories since we got back, from the grandstand at the racetrack to some very large house parties on race night. There was adrenaline flowing and tears flowing. This is the most excitement we've had since (Nova Scotian-owned 2008 Horse of the Year) Somebeachsomewhere. And the media has been super good. They've covered this story extremely well, from all corners of the continent. We're extremely pleased that TSN carried the race, that Pepsi stepped up to sponsor with Woodbine Entertainment Group, and we'd like to thank those people in a public forum. That's what makes it all worthwhile to stay in the industry and keep trying. KW: You're going to the Hempt elims this weekend. What are your thoughts? Are you sort of playing with house money now? BK: We are. The feeling was that if our horse was fresh and ready to go again, we'd go. If he was showing any fatigue, we would have given him a break before the Meadowlands Pace. We felt with his frolicking in the paddock, with the way he's been acting since they left Toronto, there's not a reason in the world to not go to the Hempt. KW: This division seems like it could be deep and competitive. BK: That's the way our group feels. Our owners are saying this is going to be a pretty nice ride, hopefully it will be smooth, and hopefully the competition will be good and as credible as it's been to this point. And we look forward being part of the level of competition that we're in. KW: When we talked last time, you said you've been doing this for more than 40 years and you had to take one more shot at getting a big-time horse. Was it worth the wait? BK: When you're on the winning end it's always worth it. Actually, it was worth it for us when we bought this horse and he made the races. To be a great horse and be on the Grand Circuit and compete at this level, it's over the top. We're ecstatic. I have to give credit, too, to Gordon Corey and the connections in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where they broke the horse. They were so kind to our horse and took their time with him and brought him along. Then he went to Jimmy and has been a family pet, if you will, at a competitive level. We couldn't be happier. If we'd known this was waiting for us, we would have waited another five years - if we thought we had that in us. (Laughs.) KW: Well, congratulations again and good luck with everything in the future. BK: We feel pretty blessed. When you see horses bought inexpensively and see them compete at a high level, it should give hope to the small buyer and small stables to know they could be part of it at any given time. Hopefully it will encourage people to go to the sale and try to find one that might turn out. By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Sebastian K does not make his 2015 harness racing debut for another 11 days, but trainer Ake Svanstedt has another Swedish-born stakes-winner ready to go Friday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Mr Picolit, an 8-year-old male trotter who won the 2013 Copenhagen Cup, gets his first start in North America on Friday when he faces five rivals in the third round of the TVG Free For All Series for older trotters at the Big M. He will start from post six with Svanstedt at the lines. The remainder of the field, in post order, is DW's NY Yank, Melady's Monet, Master Of Law, Obrigado, and Flanagan Memory. Mr Picolit, who is owned by Hans Gunnar Heed's Stall Musse Inc. and has earned $533,949 (U.S.) in his career, prepped for his debut with a third-place finish in a qualifier on June 6 at the Meadowlands. He was timed in 1:55. He is a son of 2001 Hambletonian winner Scarlet Knight, out of the mare Good Enough. Mr Picolit will become only the second Scarlet Knight-sired horse to ever race in North America, joining mare Oblige As, who won two of five starts in Canada in 2010. "He feels good," Svanstedt said on Tuesday about Mr Picolit. "I think he can do a good race. I think he can race fast." In Europe, Svanstedt said, Mr Picolit was best at distances greater than one mile, particularly 1-1/4 miles, which was the distance of the Copenhagen Cup. Svanstedt drove and trained Mr Picolit prior to moving his family and stable to the U.S. in the winter of 2013. "In Sweden he did the best races at one mile and a quarter," Svanstedt said. "But he's fast too. If they go fast the whole race, it's good for him because he's a strong horse. In Sweden they go fast the first quarter, then (ease) up, and then go fast the last quarter. So at a mile, it was sometimes too fast for him in the last quarter." Svanstedt hopes Mr Picolit has the ability to compete with the top trotters in North America, including his stablemate Sebastian K. "We'll see on Friday," Svanstedt said. "He feels good when I train him so I hope he's going to do a good race. I'm excited." Last year, Sebastian K won eight of 13 races and earned $663,853 on his way to receiving the Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. He trotted the fastest mile in history when he won in 1:49 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, which is where he will make his seasonal debut on July 4. "He feels good; he feels even better than last year," Svanstedt said. "It is so nice to drive him. Everything he does is so easy." For more about Svanstedt and his second year of racing in the U.S., check out Hoof Beats magazine's July issue feature here. Ken Weingartner

Frehold, NJ --- Bee A Magician, a 5-year-old female trotter by Kadabra, reclaimed the No. 1 spot in this week’s harness racing Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll following her stakes-record 1:51.4 win in the Armbro Flight Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. North America Cup winner Wakizashi Hanover, a 3-year-old male pacer, made a big move into the Top 10, adding 209 points to his total from last week to land at No. 4 in the rankings. Wakizashi Hanover defeated previously unbeaten Wiggle It Jiggleit by three-quarters of a length to win the Cup in 1:48, just one-fifth of a second off the stakes record. Wiggle It Jiggleit fell from the top spot to second in the poll. JL Cruze, who won the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters by a half-length over Father Patrick in 1:50.4, moved from fifth to third in this week’s rankings. Father Patrick is fifth. Another newcomer to the Top 10 is Doo Wop Hanover, who won the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers, and joined the group at No. 6. Doo Wop Hanover won by one length over fellow Top 10 member Rockeyed Optimist in 2:02.3, setting the world record for the distance of 1-1/8 miles. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 6 – 6/23/2015                                                           Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Bee A Magician (29) 5tm 7-6-1-0 $395,070 342 2 2 Wiggle It Jiggleit (4) 3pg 11-10-1-0 $338,242 283 1 3 JL Cruze (2) 4tg 15-13-2-0 $233,638 255 5 4 Wakizashi Hanover 3pg 6-5-1-0 $494,418 242 -- 5 Father Patrick 4th 3-1-2-0 $114,062 116 4 6 Doo Wop Hanover 4ph 9-5-1-1 $134,020 114 -- 7 Pinkman 3tg 3-3-0-0 $101,090 109 8 8 Mission Brief 3tf 2-2-0-0 $62,500 96 7 9 Rockeyed Optimist 4pg 11-9-2-0 $178,525 67 9 10 In The Arsenal 3pc 5-4-0-0 $264,095 65 3 Also: Artspeak (49); State Treasurer (44); Lady Shadow (33); Canepa Hanover (18); Crazy Wow, Uncle Lasse (12); Shake It Cerry (11); Wrangler Magic (9); Barn Doll, Habitat, Physicallyinclined (8); Yagonnakissmeornot (7); Foiled Again (6); Lost For Words (4); The Show Returns (3); Venus Delight (2); Fireyourguns, JK She’salady (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Manalapan, NJ --- Training down, 2-year-old harness racing male trotter Southwind Frank didn't act like much of a race horse. But ever since getting a taste of more speed, he's come around. Southwind Frank was one of four Ron Burke-trained 2-year-olds to win qualifiers Monday at Gaitway Farms. A son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, he won in 1:55.3 over a track labeled "good" to lead all trotters. Last week, Southwind Frank finished second by a nose in 2:00.1. "He was very good and he was very good in his first qualifier," Burke said. "He's funny. He was a horrible colt all the way until 2:30, but he's just gotten better and better. The faster you go, the better he gets. He couldn't trot in three minutes to save his life. He was horrible gaited and didn't have a great attitude. But every time we trained him he got a little better and then at like 2:30 it clicked. "He's been a completely different horse since then. Either we were doing a very bad job at first or we're doing a great job now. Horses learn at their own rates. You can push them all you want; some of them are going to do it quick, some you're going to have to wait on." Southwind Frank was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, which was to the colt's benefit. "He was a $100,000 baby so we didn't just cut him loose," Burke said. "I thought I had to give him a chance and I kept making stakes payments, and worried I was throwing just good money after bad, but for once it worked out." Burke-trained male trotter Southwind Flash (Muscle Hill-Friendly Amigo) followed his stablemate onto the track and won his qualifier in 1:58.4. Burke also won with 2-year-old male pacers Lyons Snyder (Well Said-Armbro Cachet) in 1:55.1 and Viceroy Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Vasmajorty Hanover) in 1:56. Both were winners a week ago, Lyons Snyder by 9-1/2 lengths in 1:56.2. "He's a real horse too I think," Burke said. "He's just got to mind his manners. Today was good. He let somebody go, he came back; he had multiple moves. He did everything you're looking for in a horse." Female pacer Skinny Dipper (Somebeachsomewhere-Xhilaration) posted the day's fastest mile for the 2-year-olds, winning the morning's first qualifier in 1:54.2 with a :56.1 final half-mile. It was her first time qualifying. "I didn't want that kind of mile, but they went those fractions up front and she seems like she did it real easy, and that's the main thing," trainer Ross Croghan said. "All winter she had a beautiful, big, loping gait. She looked like a 4-year-old training down, and sometimes that's what you want to see. "She'll qualify one more time, a little slower I hope." Tony Alagna captured two qualifiers, the first with female pacer Call Me Queen Be (Somebeachsomewhere-Preppy Party Girl) in 1:56.3 and the second with male pacer Craftship (Art Major-Capri Hanover) in 1:56.4. "(Call Me Queen Be) is a really nice filly," Alagna said. "She's been nice all along. She acts like a really nice filly and I'm real happy with her today. "I'm really happy with the group I've got overall. We're having a good day. And we qualified some nice colts (at the Meadowlands) on Saturday and last week here." Alagna also was happy with Dr J Hanover, a colt named in honor of Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, the farm manager at Hanover Shoe Farms. Dr J Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect) was purchased under the name Stepenwolf Hanover for $300,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. His mother was a stakes winner and his family includes stakes-winners Perfectionist, Lifetime Member and Copywriter as well as millionaire Image Of Dawn. Dr J Hanover, making his debut, finished fourth in his qualifier, which was won by Troyce Thomas' Whata Twist (Quik Pulse Mindale-Passage) in 1:56.2. "I was very happy with his first go," Alagna said. "They paced the back half in 55 seconds and he closed into it and was right there at the wire. "He's got a lot of pressure on him with his namesake," he added with a laugh. "She texted me first thing this morning wishing good luck. We're very happy with him." No other trainer sent out more than one winner among the 2-year-olds. Other female pacers posting victories were Gerard Malanga's Sail To The Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Sail Away) in 1:55 and Tom Fanning's Burden Of Proof (Western Terror-Dragonfest) in 1:57.2. Other male pacers winning were Aaron Lambert's Biggie (Somebeachsomewhere-Wenditions) in 1:55.2. Notching triumphs among the female trotters were Chris Ryder's Muffin Hanover (Andover Hall-Mayday Hanover) in 2:01.3 and Jimmy Takter's Keep It Classy (Yankee Glide-Classical Girl) in 2:02.1. For complete charts of all of Monday's qualifiers at Gaitway, click here. Ken Weingartner      

Harness racing tote bags will be given out to the first 250 paid fans at Goshen Historic Track on Thursday, July 2, to celebrate county fair racing day for New York-bred horse, with 10 of the bags containing gift cards for area businesses. The tote bags, produced by the United States Trotting Association (USTA), will be given out at fairs hosting harness racing across the country. Ten of the bags at Historic Track will contain gift cards ranging from $25 to $75 and good at Goshen businesses, Steve's Deli, Delancey's Restaurant, Harness Racing Museum Gift Shop and Kelley Jean's restaurant. The tote bags will be given to the first 250 box seat holders and paid admissions at the track on July 2. Children 12 and younger, who are admitted free, will also be given a tote bag. Admission is $5 and includes a program. The gift cards were purchased with a marketing grant from the USTA. Grand Circuit racing will be held at Historic Track on July 2, 3, 4 and 5 at 1 p.m. each day. For more information, call 845-294-5333 or go to www.goshenhistorictrack.com. Ken Weingartner

East Rutherford, NJ --- World champion Sebastian K, the fastest trotter in harness racing history, made his 2015 debut in Saturday's qualifiers at the Meadowlands Racetrack and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt said the 9-year-old trotter felt good after having the start of his campaign delayed because of ulcers. In fact, the returning Dan Patch Award-winning divisional champion might have felt a little too good. "He was too good; I drove too fast," Svanstedt said after Sebastian K won his qualifier in 1:53.4 with a final quarter-mile in :26.4 in a light rain. "I was hoping to go in (1):55 or (1):56, but he feels so good. It was tough to feel the tempo. I had the (stop)watch, but I missed it. "Now he is healthy again and he feels good. Better than last year. He will start in two weeks at Pocono, on the Fourth of July." Sebastian K, owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., won eight of 13 races last year and was named the sport's best older male trotter. He arrived in the U.S. last year after a record-setting career in Europe. The Swedish-born stallion trotted a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 in his debut at the Meadowlands (off a qualifier in 1:56.2) and capped a record streak of four consecutive victories in 1:50.3 or faster with his world-record 1:49 triumph at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Overcast skies, moderate temperatures and little to no breeze greeted the harness racing enthusiasts that attended the Breakfast with the Babies card to watch 15 races of 2-year-olds in addition to the son of Korean, Sebastian K. Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras started right off with a winner in the first with $102,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS) graduate I'm Outstanding. The Donato Hanover filly was sent up for the lead as the field neared the 1:01.2 half then coasted in for the 2:00.1 score over pocket-sitter Margarita M with Posterity lasting for third after a long uncovered bid. Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman share ownership. Another well-regarded trotting duo hooked up to win the second race. Dave Miller drove Ready Any Time ($62,000 Standardbred Horse Sales) to an impressive 1:58.4 win for trainer "Nifty" Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Dave McDuffee, Little E, LLC and breeder Herb Liverman. Miller settled the Kadabra lass in behind eventual third place finisher Lindy's On Fire through the 1:30.2 three quarters then tipped off that one while closing in 28.2 for the comfortable win. Silent Blessings impressed with good late trot to be second for the Johanssons. Takter took the lines, but no prisoners with the Marvin Katz / Al Libfeld homebred Muscle Hill filly All The Time, leading all the way from post nine to win in 1:58.1 with a 27.3 final quarter under her own power. Encore Gold tracked the winner throughout and held well to be second for Charlie Norris. "All The Time was very good," Takter said. "She was just babied last week; I sat back with her. Today, she flew out of the gate like a rocket. She was strong." Miller and Norman again combined to win race four with Levitator, coming first over in 1:58.4 / 28.1. Nifty has had a remarkable run of success with fillies by Kadabra and by the looks of today's winning pair that run is going to continue. The winner was a $120,000 SHS buy for the same partnership as the above mentioned Ready Any Time. Gifted Lady made a late gain to be second in this one for Takter. "Nifty has got some nice fillies there," Miller said. "They went well last week and they came back and were stronger this week. It looks good for him. Right now their manners and gait is a big thing. So far, both of them have got that; real good manners, real good gait. It's good." More Katz & Libfeld home cookin' in the fifth race with the grand looking Donato Hanover filly Womans Will winning easily after leading all the way for Andy Miller in 1:58 / :28. Trained in the Julie Miller barn, Womans Will had a Gaitway 1:59 romp on her resume and bears watching. Colts came up after the break and Stayin Strong parlayed a pocket trip into a 2:00.1 win for Andy and Julie Miller, holding off the late charge of Boyz N Guitars and Sliding Home through the 28.4 final panel. He is a Muscles Yankee bought by Jason and Doug Allen at SHS last fall for the bargain price of $15,000. "Andy and I have been pretty high on them all winter long training down, but when you finally get to the baby races that kind of separates the men from the boys," Julie Miller said about Womans Will and Stayin Strong. "Andy was real pleased with Womans Will. She's two fingers to drive and a pleasure to be around. That was a nice last quarter and Andy said he didn't even ask her. I think she was well within herself. "If things keep going in the right direction I think she'll be a top filly. Coming up her and being at the Meadowlands, it was a new venue for her and she handled it well. She wasn't stressed out, she remained a professional, and I was real pleased with her." Just For Today took over before the half for Mark MacDonald and led the rest of the way to win the seventh in 1:59.3 with a 28.2 close. He's a Credit Winner trained by Paul Kelley for Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco and Bud Hatfield who paid $85,000 for him at Harrisburg. Dave McDuffee's homebred Donato colt Granite State from his good race mare Bella Dolce closed will into the fast last quarter here. Gingras drove Takter's Muscle Massive colt Dominus Hanover to a 1:59 / 28.3 win, taking over before the half and opening a long lead before coasting in over the late closing Brooklyn Hill and Dominion Beach. He is a SHS graduate at a cost of $60,000 to Christina Takter, Black Horse Racing and RAW Equine. Goin To The Limit left quickly from the outside and set all the numbers, winning in 1:58.3 / 28.1 for Tim Tetrick. This Donato Hanover colt from Azalea Gal was another $15,000 bargain, this time selected from the Lexington sale by trainer Tony Alagna for his interests along with partners Jodi Siamis, John Fodera and Tangie Massey. Jack Vernon showed grit in holding off the determined bid of Brownie Hanover in the stretch for John Campbell in 1:59.3 with a 28 second close. Randy Beeckman selected the Muscle Hill colt from Vernon Blue Chip at the SHS for $50,000 for owners the Miller's Stable of Kentucky. Pacing fillies came up in the eleventh and the Diamond Creek homebred Somebeachsomewhere filly Pure Country dazzled the crowd with a 1:54.4 win, setting all the pace and sprinting home in 26.4 for Brett Miller and Takter. Blue Moon Stride stayed on well for second in this one. "So far she's very special, really good," Takter said. "She's powerful." The $5,500 SHS chestnut Shadow Play filly Miss Read won her third baby race for Tyler and Leigh Raymer with Corey Callahan steering her to a front running 1:56 win with a 27.1 final quarter. She came in with a pair of Pocono scores and answered affirmatively when faced with this royally bred field of competitors in her Meadowlands debut. Bank Shot Hanover made it a consecutive double for chestnuts, winning in 1:55.2 for Scott Zeron. The Panderosa colt set all the fractions and used a 27.2 final quarter to hold Headforthebeach a length. It was the second start for Bob Di Nozzi's freshman who flashed some talent with the owner driving last week. He is trained by Daniel Renaud. Trainer Steve Elliott is on some roll this year and he sent out Boston Red Socks by Rocknroll Hanover, a winner in 1:54.2 this morning for Peter Blood and Rick Berks, the same connections as last night's Graduate leg winner Doo Wop Hanover. John Campbell was the driver in both instances, putting Boston Red Socks into the race from post ten going right to the top, releasing Fast And Victorious for the middle half then powering by in the 27.4 last panel. He was a $50,000 Harrisburg buy. Capital Builder was a good second for Alagna and Zeron. Another winner came from post ten in the very next race in the Rocknroll Hanover colt Ideal Rocky for Callahan. He got a tuck in third early, moved up a spot when Highlandbeachycove broke on the lead by the half then closed inside JJ Flynn through the 27.1 final quarter for the 1:54.4 win. John Butenschoen trains the $47,000 SHS buy for mid-west owners W. Wiswell, J. Goehlen & E. Schick. Other older horses to post qualifier wins Saturday were 3-year-old male trotter Guess Whos Back, who won in 1:54.2 for trainer Nik Drennan and driver Brian Sears, as well as 3-year-old male pacer Lyons Levi Lewis, who won in 1:50.4 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Race 1 - I'm Outstanding by Donato Hanover Race 2 - Ready Any Time by Kadabra Race 3 - All The Time by Muscle Hill Race 4 - Levitator by Kadabra Race 5 - Womans Will by Donato Hanover  Race 6 - Stayin Strong by Muscles Yankee Race 7 - Just For Today by Credit Winner Race 8 - Dominus Hanover by Muscle Massive Race 9 - Goin To The Limit by Donato Hanover Race 10 - Jack Vernon by Muscle Hill Race 11 - Pure Country by Somebeachsomewhere Race 12 - Miss Read by Shadow Play Race 13 - Bank Shot Hanover by The Panderosa Race 14 - Boston Red Rocks by Rocknroll Hanover Race 15 - Ideal Rocky by Rocknroll Hanover Sebastian KS By Nick Salvi and Ken Weingartner

For the first time in 43 years of harness racing, two horses with Trotter of the Year honors to their credit will meet when Bee A Magician and Shake It Cerry clash in Saturday's C$272,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. Both mares were elimination winners last week; 5-year-old Bee A Magician in a Canadian-record 1:51.1 and 4-year-old Shake It Cerry in 1:52.4. It will mark the first time since 1972 that two horses with Trotter of the Year awards already on their resumes face each other in North America. Fresh Yankee, the inaugural Trotter of the Year winner in 1970, and his successor Speedy Crown met six times that season. Bee A Magician, who received the 2013 Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year awards, has won five of six races this year and earned $284,910. She will start the Armbro Flight final from post five with driver Brian Sears and is the 3-5 morning line favorite. Shake It Cerry, the 2014 Trotter of the Year, has won three of six starts this season and earned $68,738. She brings a three-race win streak to the Armbro Flight final, where she will start from post three with driver Yannick Gingras. She is the 5-2 second choice. The field also includes Classic Martine, a Dan Patch Award divisional champion in 2014, who leaves from post two with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. She is third best on the morning line, at 8-1. "It's a great field, a fantastic field," said Richard "Nifty" Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. "You couldn't ask for more. "(Bee A Magician) seems great. She looks good and is nice and relaxed. I'm really happy with her going into the race. She was fantastic last week. If she can repeat that kind of performance this week, she should be in good shape. I think it will be a pretty honest race. We'll see how it shakes out." Earlier this year, Bee A Magician beat the boys to become the first female trotter to win the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Her only loss this year was a second-place finish to Father Patrick in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. She has won three times this year in 1:51.3 or faster -- the three fastest win times of any female trotter this season. Shake It Cerry and Armbro Flight finalist Frau Blucher are not far behind, both with a 1:51.4 victory in the books. Rockin With Dewey and Allie Labrook, two more Armbro Flight contenders, each has a mark of 1:52 this year. "It's going to be a hell of a race," said Jimmy Takter, who trains Shake It Cerry for the Solveig's Racing Partners ownership group. "I don't say I'm going to beat Bee A Magician because she is one of the better mares I've ever seen. But Shake It Cerry is one of the better mares I ever saw too. The trip could work out for her. She can open as fast as you want and maybe if she can get into position behind Bee A Magician it could be a good horse race. "I might try to make (Shake It Cerry) a little faster this week, lighten her up a little bit. We need another second to beat Bee A Magician." Following is the Armbro Flight field in post order with sires, drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Bax Of Life by Windsongs Legacy, Chris Christoforou, Jerry Duford, 20-1 2. Classic Martine by Classic Photo, Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes, 8-1 3. Shake It Cerry by Donato Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 4. Rockin With Dewey by Deweycheatumhowe, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon, 10-1 5. Bee A Magician by Kadabra, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman, 3-5 6. Charmed Life by Majestic Son, Jody Jamieson, Dave Menary, 12-1 7. Frau Blucher by Broadway Hall, Corey Callahan, Chris Oakes, 12-1 8. Harley Momma by Sjs Caviar, Sylvain Filion, Richard Moreau, 30-1 9. Handover Belle by Andover Hall, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 20-1 10. Allie Labrook by Here Comes Herbie, Dan Shetler Jr., Brad Maxwell, 20-1 By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

During the winter, harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter said 3-year-old trotter Canepa Hanover could be "a Trixton kind of horse." As summer approaches, Canepa Hanover is doing his best to prove Takter correct. Canepa Hanover is the 2-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$233,000 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. Last week, the colt won his Goodtimes elimination by 11-1/2 lengths over Iron in 1:51.3. The time equaled Trixton's track record set in last year's Goodtimes final. But the similarities don't end there. Both Trixton and Canepa Hanover are sons of stallion Muscle Hill, the 2009 Horse of the Year, and hail from highly regarded families. Trixton is out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994 and sister to stars Conway Hall, Angus Hall and Andover Hall. Canepa Hanover is out of the mare Cressida Hanover, who also produced 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. Trixton sold as a yearling for $360,000; Canepa Hanover for $300,000. Both trotters were limited by growing pains at age 2 and were overshadowed by some of their stablemates heading into their 3-year-old seasons. Trixton emerged early in his 3-year-old campaign and went on to capture the Hambletonian Stakes; now it is up to Canepa Hanover to write the rest of his story. "He's going the same path," Takter said about Canepa Hanover, who has won two of five races this year and hit the board in every start. "A lot of these Muscle Hills, they have tons of ability, but it just takes time sometimes. "Both Trixton and Canepa were among the better horses early (at age 2) but both are very big horses and they couldn't hold the speed together. They just weren't ready for it. You have to have a little patience with them." Canepa Hanover won one of six races last year. His victory came in a Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes prep race in 1:58.1 at the Meadowlands and he finished second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. He went off stride in three races, including the Haughton final. This year, the colt posted two second-place finishes and a third in his first three starts, then captured the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands and his Goodtimes elim in 1:51.3. Those are the two fastest win times of any 3-year-old trotter this season. "He's definitely a fantastic horse," said Takter, who trains Canepa Hanover for owners Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter, and the partnership of Sam Goldband, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. "His ability is unbelievable, as good as I ever saw. "You always worry when you have horses climbing this kind of speed staying sound. He already has two (1):51 miles and a couple (1):52 miles. It's tough racing. But he's a beautiful horse." Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start the Goodtimes final from post four. He's not Takter's only hope in the Goodtimes, either. French Laundry won the other Goodtimes elimination, beating stablemate The Bank by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:53.3. He will start from post three in the final with driver Brett Miller and is 2-1 on the morning line. French Laundry, a son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi, has won nine of 15 career races and earned $360,269 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Katz, and Libfeld. "He's not the best gaited horse, but he never gives up," Takter said. "He's a warrior. I like him." Following is the Goodtimes field in post order with sires, drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Hemi Seelster by Holiday Road, Stephen Byron, John Bax, 30-1 2. Caulfield by Kadabra, Trevor Henry, Chris Beaver, 30-1 3. French Laundry by Muscles Yankee, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 2-1 4. Canepa Hanover by Muscle Hill, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 2-5 5. Covert Operative by Deweycheatumhowe, Randy Waples, Per Henriksen, 30-1 6. Rubber Duck by Muscle Mass, Sylvain Filion, Julie Walker, 20-1 7. The Bank by Donato Hanover, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 10-1 8. Win The Day by Deweycheatumhowe, Chris Christoforou, Paul Reid, 20-1 9. Olympic Son by Majestic Son, John Campbell, Paul Reid, 30-1 10. Iron by Cantab Hall, Tim Tetrick, Frank Antonacci, 12-1 11. AE - Infiniti AS by Infiniti, Richard Zeron, Anette K Lorentzon by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Sassa Hanover got "a perfect trip" in winning her elimination for Saturday's C$479,000 Fan Hanover for harness racing 3-year-old female pacers and trainer Ron Burke is now hoping for a perfect ending to her stakes trip to Mohawk Racetrack by posting a victory in the final. Last weekend, Sassa Hanover won her elimination by a half-length over Wrangler Magic in 1:49.4 - a time faster than all but two Fan Hanover finals in history. Sassa Hanover was sixth midway through the race, but followed the cover of favorite JK She'salady around the last turn before taking the lead in the stretch. JK She'salady, the 2014 Horse of the Year, finished fourth in suffering the first loss of her 14-race career, but still advanced to the Fan Hanover final. Following the race, trainer Nancy Johansson said the filly scoped sick. Sassa Hanover has won 11 of 16 career races, including last year's Matron Stakes and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion, and finished worse than second only once. She faced JK She'salady twice last season, finishing second in both her elimination for the Breeders Crown and the Breeders Crown final. "I've always had faith in her," said Burke, who owns Sassa Hanover with The Panhellenic Stable Corp., the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Larry Karr. "She's a very good filly. She got the perfect trip and she did what you're supposed to do when you get a perfect trip." Sassa Hanover, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the mare Sayo Hanover, has won two of three races this year. She entered her Fan Hanover elimination off a second-place finish as the favorite in the Lismore Pace on May 30 at Yonkers. "The only backward step was the race at Yonkers and we really don't know why," Burke said about the winner of $544,422 in lifetime purses. "There were bitty reasons, but not big reasons why she should have been just average that day. Not that she was bad, but she wasn't herself. So it was nice to see her come back vicious. "She's had a perfect schedule into this race and it should lead to her being very sharp I think." Sassa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start the Fan Hanover final from post three and are the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. JK She'salady, who starts from post five with driver Tim Tetrick, is the 9-5 favorite. Moonlit Dance, who won the other elimination in 1:50.4, leaves from post two with driver James MacDonald at the lines for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. She is 4-1. "I think (Sassa Hanover) is the favorite now," said Burke, who also sends out 20-1 Storm Point in the Fan Hanover final. "Nancy's filly is a great filly, but it always scares me when one of mine is not perfect to only have seven days to get it perfect. (JK She'salady) is a champion, though, and maybe she can handle it. But I like my position right now a little bit better." Johansson said Tuesday afternoon that JK She'salady's condition was improving. "She seems like she's heading in the right direction," Johansson said. "We had her scoped (Tuesday) and it was day and night better than what it was Saturday. I'm happy about that. She seems much more alert, so that's always a good sign. Hopefully we can keep her that way. So far so good." JK She'salady, a daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady with $901,123 in the bank, was making only her second start of the season in her Fan Hanover elimination. She won a New York Sire Stakes division on May 25 at Tioga Downs and entered last weekend's race off a 1:51.3 qualifier win at the Meadowlands. "It's not really disappointing considering I think she raced a good race," Johansson said. "She paced (1):50.2 first up for a ways. "In some sense, it worked out. If she was in the other division she might have won and we would have been standing around saying how great she was. We might not have realized how sick she was because that race went a full second slower and the stress factor is a lot less. Now you look into it a little more because she was extended. I'm happy to know that she was sick so I could work on it for this week." Whereas the connections of elimination winners earned the right to select their posts, Johansson sweated out the open draw for the remaining spots on the gate. "I was so nervous when they started drawing the race, but it couldn't have worked out any better," said Johansson, who trains JK She'salady for breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables. "From (post five) maybe she can work out a little more of a trip than what she's been able to in the past. I think she's been first up in about 90 percent of her lifetime starts. It's time for her to get a nice trip." Following is the field for the Fan Hanover in post order, by sire, with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Better Said, by Well Said - Scott Zeron, Linda Toscano, 12-1 2. Moonlit Dance, by Art Major - James MacDonald, Tony O'Sullivan, 4-1 3. Sassa Hanover, by Rock N Roll Heaven -  Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2 4. Doctor Terror, by Wester Terror - Corey Callahan, Blake MacIntosh, 10-1 5. JK She'salady,  by Art Major - Tim Tetrick, Nancy Johansson, 9-5 6. Solar Sister, by Mach Three - Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 6-1 7. Wrangler Magic, by Mach Three - Sylvain Filion, Stephane Larocque, 8-1 8. Storm Point, by Somebeachsomewhere - Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 20-1 9. Single Me, by Bettor's Delight - David Miller, Tony O'Sullivan, 20-1 10. The Show Returns, by Rocknroll Hanover - John Campbell, Chris Ryder, 30-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

1 to 16 of 1219
1 2 3 4 5 Next »