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As the races for divisional honors head toward the finish line, trainer Ron Burke is hoping for continued strong performances from his horses down the stretch. Burke sends 18 horses into Friday's stakes action at Hoosier Park, not to mention five more to Vernon Downs for stakes engagements on Saturday. Among Burke's top contenders at Hoosier are 3-year-old male pacers JK Endofanera and Limelight Beach in the $275,000 Monument Circle, older male pacers Clear Vision, Foiled Again and Sweet Lou in the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, and 3-year-old female trotter Market Rally in the $193,000 Moni Maker Stakes. "There is still money left out there, so you want to finish up strong with some of these," Burke said. "We usually tend to do good in races at the end of the year. We've always done that. It's been more of a tradition that we tend to start poorly and do better late. Hopefully it will continue." Burke's stable already has earned a record $23.75 million this year and is nearing 1,000 wins for the second consecutive season. His earnings are the most for any trainer in horse racing, more than $3.70 million ahead of Thoroughbred leader Todd Pletcher. Last year, Burke's horses won 262 races over the final three months of the campaign. Only three other trainers won more races - in the entire year. This season, Burke has 109 victories in October, including 25 in stakes events. JK Endofanera is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Monument Circle, a race won by Burke two of the past three years. JK Endofanera brings a four-race win streak to the race, including victories in the American-National Stakes and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. Last week he won a division of the Circle City at Hoosier. For the year, the son of Art Major-Presidential Lady has won 10 of 15 races and $936,145 for breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables. Joe Holloway-trained Always B Miki, who also won a Tattersalls division and has captured seven of his last eight starts, is the 5-2 second choice, followed by Limelight Beach at 3-1. Limelight Beach has won four of his last five races, including the Little Brown Jug. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear has banked $539,118 this season. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable, and Wingfield Brothers. "All my 3-year-olds have been real good recently," said Burke, who also has At Press Time, Forty Five Red, and Big Boy Dreams entered in the Monument Circle. "They're finishing up the year strong. I'm glad about that. "The Monument Circle is our best two shots (Friday) with JK (Endofanera) and Limelight Beach. We'll see how that works. They've got to beat Always B Miki." McWicked leads all 3-year-old male pacers in purses, with $1.01 million, followed by JK Endofanera, All Bets Off, He's Watching, Always B Miki, and Limelight Beach. "There are three or four horses (that could win divisional honors); whoever wins the Breeders Crown is probably the 3-year-old of the year," Burke said. "It's going to be exciting. It's not like last year, where it already was all decided (with Captaintreacherous). Coming into the Breeders Crown this year, there's still a lot up for grabs." Clear Vision is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, followed by Foiled Again at 5-2 and Sweet Lou at 7-2. Burke-trained Bettor's Edge and Easy Again also are part of the 10-horse field. Foiled Again won the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby - then named the Indiana Pacing Derby and raced at Indiana Downs - in 2011 and 2012. Clear Vision is coming off a win last week in the Dayton Pacing Derby, where he edged Foiled Again by a nose. Sweet Lou won 10 consecutive races during the summer, and has earned $958,558 this year, but heads to the Pacing Derby trying to snap a three-race losing streak. "Lou trained great this week," Burke said. "I went out and trained him myself on Tuesday and I was very happy with him. I think he'll be back to himself. "Bettor's Edge and Clear Vision drew great spots and Foiled is still Foiled. Hopefully we should do alright. They've stayed sound all year, all of them, and raced great. I could see them finishing up the year great too." Burke's Rose Run Parker is the 4-1 second choice in the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Multiple-stakes-winner Father Patrick, from the stable of Jimmy Takter, is the 3-5 morning line favorite. Takter also has the top choices in the Moni Maker - Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit - followed by Burke's Market Rally, who is a two-time New York Sire Stakes champion trying open stakes company for only the third time in her career. "She's in very tough, against very good horses," Burke said. "But I've always wanted to see what Market Rally would do against top horses, so I'm excited to see what she'll do there." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Harness racing's richest horse this year, Father Patrick, will look to add to his bankroll when he visits Indiana's Hoosier Park for Friday's $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-olds. Father Patrick, who on Tuesday ascended to the No. 1 spot in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, knocking Sebastian K from the position he held each of the previous 23 weeks of the rankings, drew post one for the Erskine with regular driver Yannick Gingras. Father Patrick has earned $1.38 million this year. The Erskine is part of a stakes-filled card at Hoosier, along with the $275,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, $193,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old female trotters, and $176,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old female pacers. Father Patrick hails from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, who conditions the five richest trotters in North America this season: 3-year-old colts Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton, followed by 3-year-old fillies Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit. Nuncio, who last weekend won the Yonkers Trot, has earned $1.29 million. It marks the first time in harness racing history that one trainer has produced two million-dollar trotters in the same division. Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit will square off in the Moni Maker Stakes. Father Patrick is coming off a three-length victory in the American-National Stakes at Chicago's Balmoral Park on Oct. 11. He has won 11 of 14 starts this year, including the Canadian Trotting Classic, Beal Memorial, Zweig Memorial, and Stanley Dancer Memorial. He has five wins in his most recent six races, with his only setback being a second-place finish to Nuncio in the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 5. "He got a nice little break after the American-National," Takter said. "He had a little foot issue (in the Futurity). He wasn't happy about that. In his start in Chicago, I saw right away he was on the right foot there. "It's got to be perfect for these horses, that's the way it is." Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream owned by the Christina Takter-led Father Patrick Stable ownership group, has won 21 of 25 career races and $2.12 million. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. Takter also sends Odds On Amethyst to the Erskine. Odds On Amethyst has won three of 10 races this season, but gone off stride in five losses. "He's fast enough, but whether he's going to manner himself, that's another thing," Takter said. The race also includes home-track star Rose Run Parker, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. Rose Run Parker, who has never raced anywhere but Hoosier Park, has won 13 of 15 races this year and $324,700. He will start from post three with regular driver Ricky Macomber Jr. Shake It Cerry has won 12 of 14 races this year and $803,436 while Lifetime Pursuit has won eight of 15 starts and $706,729. Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, leaves from post six with driver Ron Pierce while Lifetime Pursuit has post two with Gingras. Last time out, Shake It Cerry beat Lifetime Pursuit by three-quarters of a length in the American-National for 3-year-old female trotters. "Both of them raced very good in Chicago," Takter said. "They're going to meet again in Indiana. They're both very, very nice fillies. They've been able to stay sound." Takter's Somewhere In L A, who bumped the starting gate and suffered a nosebleed in the American-National for 3-year-old male pacers and struggled to a seventh-place finish, takes on the Burke Stable's JK Endofanera, Limelight Beach, Big Boy Dreams, At Press Time, and Forty Five Red in the Monument Circle. "He's such a good horse," Takter said about Somewhere In L A. "I love that horse. He's as good as any 3-year-old pacing colt out there. He's very, very tough. I trained him back twice now, and no bleeding. I talked to (Dr.) Patty Hogan and she thought he's going to be fine." The Monument Circle also includes Joe Holloway's Always B Miki, Joe Seekman's Let's Drink On It, and Erv Miller's Jet Airway. Takter's Uffizi Hanover is among the nine 3-year-old filly pacers in the Nadia Lobell, which also includes Jugette winner Color's A Virgin from the stable of Brian Brown. "Uffizi trained so good," Takter said. "She's been having so much problems in the turns, but she was fantastic today. Uffizi, when she has the right day, she's good." The Burke Stable is also well represented in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, sending out Sweet Lou, Foiled Again, Bettor's Edge, Clear Vision, and Easy Again. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 16 races and $958,558 this year, will try to snap a three-race losing streak. Foiled Again has won six of 23 starts and $701,643 this season, pushing his North American record for career purses to $6.73 million. To view the full card, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Freehold, NJ --- For the first time this year, Sebastian K is not on top of the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Father Patrick, who did not race last week, moved up to No. 1 following Sebastian K’s loss in the International Trot Preview Invitational at Yonkers Raceway. Sebastian K, who went off stride and finished eighth, held the top position for 23 weeks. The biggest upward moves, though, belonged to JK She’salady, who remained undefeated with a win in the Three Diamonds Stakes at Woodbine, and Nuncio, who won the Yonkers Trot at Yonkers. JK She’salady added four first-place votes, giving her a poll-best 12, and closed within 12 points of the No. 1 spot. Nuncio received two first-place votes and vaulted over Shake It Cerry and Sweet Lou to land in fourth place in the weekly rankings. Other winners in the poll were Artspeak, who captured the Governor’s Cup at Woodbine, and JK Endofanera, who won a division of the Circle City at Hoosier Park. Mission Brief went off stride in the Goldsmith Maid at Woodbine and finished ninth. There were no newcomers to the Top 10. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 24 – 10/28/2014 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Father Patrick (10) 3tc 14-11-2-0 $1,385,581 302 2 2 JK She’salady (12) 2pf 10-10-0-0 $620,830 290 3 3 Sebastian K (11) 8th 12-8-2-0 $663,853 283 1 4 Nuncio (2) 3tc 15-10-5-0 $1,297,896 217 6 5 Shake It Cerry 3tf 14-12-0-1 $803,436 200 4 6 Sweet Lou 5ph 16-10-1-1 $958,558 160 5 7 Artspeak 2pc 10-8-0-2 $742,185 129 8 8 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 97 7 9 JK Endofanera 3pc 15-10-2-1 $936,145 72 10 10 Mission Brief 2tf 11-7-0-0 $328,570 39 9 Also: Always B Miki (27), Lifetime Pursuit (26), He’s Watching (14), Natural Herbie (12), Limelight Beach, McWicked (8), Act Now (6), Clear Vision, In The Arsenal, Market Share (5), Modern Family, Yankee Bounty (4), All Bets Off, Billy Flynn (3), Dancin Yankee, Foiled Again (2), Freaky Feet Pete, Harper Blue Chip (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Highest Peak took advantage of both parts of the 1-5 favored entry of Market Rally and Avalicious going off stride to capture Saturday's $124,590 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old fillies at Yonkers Raceway in a time of 1:58.2. Sent off at odds of 8-1, Highest Peak and driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt saw Market Rally make a break on the first turn and Avalicious go off stride on the second turn. Market Rally fought back to take the lead from Highest Peak at the halfway point, reached in 1:00, but was unable to sustain the effort. Highest Peak reclaimed the lead in the stretch and held off Mistresswithmuscle by 1-1/2 lengths. Bambino Supreme finished third. Highest Peak (Andover Hall-Highland Glider) has won five of 14 races this year and $133,850. Svanstedt owns the filly, which he purchased in August. "She minded her manners," said Bjorn "Bernie" Noren, Svanstedt's assistant trainer. "We were attracted to her because she's a nice bred filly and she was good on her manners for (former trainer) Noel Daley. "She had been training good and I thought she would have a good chance tonight." Act Now, the 1-5 favorite, took the lead from Tyra in the early moments of the race and cruised to a 1:53 win in Saturday's $150,854 Lady Maud Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. Fancy Desire, who was parked for much of the mile, finished second and Beautiful Lady was third. George Brennan drove Act Now (Western Ideal-CPA) for trainer Nik Drennan and owners Joe Davino and Patrick O'Brien. She has won five of 12 races this year and $307,444. "She was really good," Brennan said. "She was a little hotter than I wanted, she was hitting my bike a little, that's why I got down there a little quicker in three-quarters (in 1:24.3) but she was well in hand. She was good." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Baseball fans in New York are familiar with the "Le Grand Orange," the nickname of popular former Mets star Rusty Staub. Now, nearly 30 years after Staub's retirement, racing fans in New York will get their first in-person look at "Le Grand Blonde," globe-trotting trotter Commander Crowe. Commander Crowe races Saturday night in the $250,000 International Trot Preview Invitational at Yonkers Raceway. It will be Commander Crowe's first start on American soil. He has raced twice previously in North America, both in the Breeders Crown Open Trot at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, finishing third each time. An 11-year-old Swedish-born gelding, Commander Crowe has won 60 of 104 career races, earning $4.78 million. His earnings rank No. 5 among all trotters in history and his triumphs include the prestigious Elitlopp Invitational, which he captured in 2012. The International Trot Preview, to be contested at 1-1/4 miles with a field of eight horses, is the precursor to the return of the International Trot next year at Yonkers after a two-decade hiatus. Joining Commander Crowe in this season's event are Sebastian K, another star from Europe who this year became history's fastest trotter, and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, the lone female in the field. Also in the race are Arch Madness, a multiple-stakes-winner of $4.25 million lifetime who finished second to Commander Crowe in the 2012 Elitlopp, and 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel. Rounding out the group are Obrigado, Natural Herbie, and Not Afraid. Commander Crowe will start the International Trot Preview from post No. 1 with Orjan Kihlstrom at the lines for trainer Fabrice Souloy. He enters the race off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Gran Premio Turilli in Rome on Oct. 5. In August, he raced three heats to win the Grade 1 Aby Stora Pris in Sweden. "We hope for the best," Souloy said. "For us, in Europe we know the track, we know what to do. But in America, we don't know so much. We don't know the track, we don't know which (post) is the best; it's a little new to us. If it's a race in France or Scandinavia, I could say, yes, that's good. We'll see." Souloy expects Commander Crowe to have no trouble negotiating the turns on Yonkers' half-mile oval. "The turns are not a problem for him," Souloy said. "He will not care about it." Commander Crowe arrived in central New Jersey on Saturday, following two days in quarantine, and will remain there in preparation for November's Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. Souloy hopes the extra time will help Commander Crowe get acclimated to racing in North America. In his previous trips to the Breeders Crown, the horse arrived just prior to the event. "We were disappointed, yes and no," Souloy said about Commander Crowe's previous Breeders Crown starts. "The season was so long for him; he started to race in March and he went all the season, so many transports, and I think when he got here he was a little down. I think in 2012 if he had come in June or July, he would have been much better than that. The trip was really tough. "In 2012, he had raced 14 times. He went to Norway, he went to Denmark, he went to Sweden; he went everywhere. It was a tough season. It is so difficult to keep him on the top until November." Commander Crowe, a chestnut gelding who didn't begin racing until late in his 3-year-old season and won the first 23 starts of his career, moved to Souloy's stable in 2010. He is owned by the Snogarps Gard ownership group of Barbro Wihlborg, Ulf Wihlborg and Joakim Wihlborg. He is a son of Juliano Star, out of the Mack Lobell-sired mare Somack. "For me, in 2012, the horse was fantastic," Souloy said. "He won everything in Europe. In 2013, he had so many problems, (including) an infection in the leg. This year, he has been really good. It is nice to be asked to come back here again because we feel the horse has come back really good." On Saturday, Commander Crowe will renew his rivalry with Sebastian K, who followed trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt to the U.S. last winter and has won eight of 11 races and $663,853 this season. On June 28, he won in 1:49 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to become the fastest trotter in history. "I am not surprised because he was so fast in Sweden," Souloy said. "Long distance, I think he is not his best. He is a real miler, really fast. It's not the same style (of racing here). In Europe, you get many attacks and you need to be really strong. For me, it is a horse for a mile. I am not surprised by his success." Souloy, like many fans, is looking forward to Commander Crowe's starts in the States. "It's nice for the sport," he said. "It's nice to have many good horses." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

A half-length loss in the Hambletonian Stakes prevents Nuncio from a chance at history, but the 3-year-old male trotter can add to his credentials with a win in Saturday's $500,000 Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway. The Yonkers Trot is the third jewel in harness racing's Trotting Triple Crown. Nuncio finished second to stablemate Trixton in the first leg, the Hambletonian, and defeated stablemate Father Patrick by 1-1/4 lengths in the second leg, the Kentucky Futurity. Nuncio, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by John Campbell, will start the eight-horse Yonkers Trot from post No. 2. The colt has won nine of 14 races this year, including his Yonkers Trot elimination last week, and earned $1.04 million for owner Stefan Melander's Stall TZ Inc. The most recent horse to win the Trotting Triple Crown was Glidemaster in 2006. The last horse to capture two jewels and finish second in the remaining leg was Mack Lobell in 1987. Takter has won the Yonkers Trot three times; Campbell has won twice. "John was very pleased with him (last week)," Takter said about Nuncio, who brings a three-race win streak to Yonkers. "He was very strong in the stretch. He's in great form. The horse is sharp." Nuncio has never finished worse than second in any of his 24 career starts, posting 14 victories while earning $1.50 million. Eight of Nuncio's 10 lifetime second-place finishes have come behind Father Patrick, who leads all harness racing horses in purses this season with $1.38 million. Takter did not enter Father Patrick in the Yonkers Trot. "That's very difficult, especially racing in all the major stakes," Takter said, referring to Nuncio finishing first or second in all his starts. "He's got a fantastic resume. He's a really hard worker. "Father Patrick, he's (Wayne) Gretzky or Michael Jordan. There's no effort. Nuncio really has to work at it to be what he is. The other one, he's just got it. But Nuncio has got a hell of an attitude; a great attitude." New York Sire Stakes champion Gural Hanover, who won the other Yonkers Trot elimination, starts from post No. 1 with Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer Ron Burke. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers and the $250,000 International Trot Preview Invitational, along with the $150,854 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers and $124,590 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old female trotters. The Messenger is the third leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Takter's Lyonssomewhere won the first jewel, the Cane Pace, and starts the Messenger from post No. 3. Limelight Beach, who won the second leg of the Crown, the Little Brown Jug, did not enter the Messenger. Lyonssomewhere went off stride while leading his elimination in the Little Brown Jug and failed to advance to the second heat. "He could have won the Jug if he didn't do whatever he did in the last turn," Takter said. "It was like the biggest shock of the year. If he won his elimination, he would have had a hell of a shot at it. It's the small details. You've got to click. That's why it's tough to win it." Luck Be Withyou, who won the Messenger elimination last week, starts from post five with Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Chris Oakes. The field also includes multiple-stakes-winners McWicked and All Bets Off. The last horse to win the Pacing Triple Crown was No Pan Intended in 2003. Sebastian K, history's fastest trotter with a mark of 1:49, headlines the International Trot Preview, which also features European star Commander Crowe and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, who is the only female trotter in the eight-horse event. Commander Crowe is making his first start in North America since the 2012 Breeders Crown. He will stay in the U.S. to compete in this year's Breeders Crown in November at the Meadowlands. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- The top five in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll were unchanged from a week ago, although No. 3 JK She’salady added one first-place vote to her total following a win in her elimination for Saturday’s Three Diamonds. In the only other movement, Yonkers Trot elim winner Nuncio moved from seventh place to sixth, swapping places with Trixton. Sebastian K, who returns to action in Saturday’s International Trot Preview, remained No. 1, followed by Father Patrick, JK She’salady, Shake It Cerry, and Sweet Lou. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 23 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (22) 8th 11-8-2-0 $663,853 324 1 2 Father Patrick (5) 3tc 14-11-2-0 $1,385,581 303 2 3 JK She’salady (8) 2pf 9-9-0-0 $432,150 255 3 4 Shake It Cerry 3tf 14-12-0-1 $803,436 210 4 5 Sweet Lou 5ph 16-10-1-1 $958,558 179 5 6 Nuncio 3tc 14-9-5-0 $1,047,896 144 7 7 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 120 6 8 Artspeak 2pc 9-7-0-2 $490,760 86 8 9 Mission Brief 2tf 10-7-0-0 $324,440 82 9 10 JK Endofanera 3pc 14-9-2-1 $921,145 63 10 Also: Always B Miki (35), Lifetime Pursuit (29), He’s Watching (24), McWicked (22), Limelight Beach (9), Dancin Yankee, Yankee Bounty (8), In The Arsenal, Modern Family (5), Billy Flynn, Market Share (3), Act Now, Arch Madness (2), All Bets Off, Creatine, Freaky Feet Pete, Harper Blue Chip (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

If her recent results are any indication, The Show Returns has arrived. But harness racing owner Richard Young says the reason the filly was slow to find the spotlight had more to do with unfortunate luck than lack of performance. The Show Returns heads into Saturday's $424,000 Three Diamonds Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Woodbine off a neck win over Band Of Angels in 1:53.1 in their elimination division, giving the Chris Ryder-trainee three victories in a row. She will start the Three Diamonds from post No. 2, with Scott Zeron listed to drive. A daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place, The Show Returns is a full sister to previous Young female pacing star Put On A Show, who earned $2.4 million in her career and was the 2010 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old female pacer. The Show Returns, who was purchased for $180,000 under the name Hey There Delilah, at last year's Lexington Selected Sale, has won four of nine races and earned $98,738 for Richard and Joanne Young.  "We thought she was quite good from the get-go, so to speak, but she just had unfortunate situations," Richard Young said. "People are saying she kind of tailed off in the middle (of the year) but she didn't really tail off. Some things happened. It wasn't that she got bad; if she had gotten bad, I'd have turned her out." The Show Returns finished second by a half-length to Stacia Hanover in her debut in a preliminary round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, then finished a troubled-trip fifth in the final. She bounced back to win a round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series at Mohawk Racetrack, then finished fifth-placed-fourth in the final.  After the race, The Show Returns was diagnosed with synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; spasms of the diaphragm in synchronization with the heartbeat more commonly called "the thumps."  The Show Returns was off-the-board in her next two races, but has been unbeaten since. Among her wins were the She's A Great Lady Consolation and a division of the Champlain Stakes, both in 1:52.  "She's a nice filly," said Young, who in addition to Put On A Show owned I Luv The Nitelife, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer. "I don't know if she'll ever be as good as the other two; I think that's asking a lot. But she's competitive and she has good speed. "Anytime you have speed, you can get position. And when you get position, something (good) can happen. I like her." The Show Returns is Young's only racehorse at the current time. "If you look at her on the track, she's a peanut," Young said, laughing. "I don't generally buy peanuts, I like the bigger horse. But she was a June foal, so I thought she might grow. I don't think she's grown an inch. But she has speed, she has an ability to get position, and it looks like she will fight. I can always hope."  The Show Returns will face - for the first time - undefeated JK She'salady in the Three Diamonds. JK She'salady won her elimination on Saturday by one length over Solar Sister in 1:53.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson. The filly, who in August won the She's A Great Lady Stakes by four lengths in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1, is 9-for-9 this year.  "I've been touting 'Lady' for Pacer of the Year, and I think if she stays undefeated, she should be," Young said. "I don't know if very many people are going along with me, but the fact is she does have the best record out there. She's undefeated and she's won them all easily.  "Of course, I want to beat her and prove me wrong. I wouldn't bet my horse with your money, but that doesn't mean I can't hope that we beat her. I think she's untouchable right now, but I'm hoping that she's not. "I'm a little spoiled. In the last six years or so, I had the horse that was supposed to win. I have to get used to not being the best one. But she could in fact be the second-best one. That's OK, too." The Show Returns in her Three Diamonds Elimination The full field in post order for the Three Diamonds is 1  Happy Becky 2  The Show Returns 3  JK She'salady 4  Float On By 5  Solar Sister 6  Ideal Nuggets 7  Rock Her World 8  Band Of Angels 9  Zip Code Envy 10 Shakai Hanover. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

For much of his career, trotter Way Outta Here has driven trainer Noel Daley way outta his mind. But a strong performance in the Yonkers Trot could go a long way to smoothing things over. Way Outta Here competes in the first of two $40,000 Yonkers Trot eliminations Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. He is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line in his division, which features Kentucky Futurity winner and Hambletonian Stakes runner-up Nuncio. The Ron Burke-trained entry of New York Sire Stakes champion Gural Hanover and Hillustrious is the morning line choice in the second division. The top four finishers from each elimination advance to the $500,000 final Oct. 25. Since the beginning of August, Way Outta Here has been mostly on his best behavior, winning four consecutive starts and five of his last six. His only loss came when he went off stride, which probably tips one off to Daley's frustration. All of Way Outta Here's defeats in 10 lifetime starts have come when the horse made a break. In fact, Way Outta Here has spent more time qualifying (11 times) than racing. "It's been very frustrating," Daley said, laughing. "But if he can get a piece of (the Yonkers Trot), I'll forgive him a few of his past indiscretions. If he gets a good piece of it, we'll call it square." Daley bred Way Outta Here, who is a son of stallion Broadway Hall out of the mare I'm A Pearl. Daley bought I'm A Pearl, who is from the same family as past-Daley star Mr Muscleman, with the intention of breeding her to another of the stable's former standouts, stallion Explosive Matter. Explosive Matter's book was already full the first year Daley owned I'm A Pearl, so he bred the mare to Broadway Hall. The following year, he was able to breed I'm A Pearl to Explosive Matter, but the mare passed away before giving birth. Although Daley's plan failed to produce an offspring of Explosive Matter, he ended up with a talented horse in Way Outta Here. The struggle has been finding a way to get Way Outta Here to focus, an issue that failed to improve even with gelding the horse. "He's always had ability, even at 2," Daley said. "He's a perfect gaited horse. It's a concentration thing with him. I had him paid up to a lot of (stakes) but he drove me nuts. He kept disappointing me." Daley was ready to throw in the towel when Tom Hampton, a blacksmith who also works for Daley, and caretaker Emma Pettersson asked to have a chance with Way Outta Here. Daley credits the duo for the horse's improvement. "Tom and Emma have actually taken over with him," Daley said. "They do everything with him. Emma has been riding him and that seems to have been the key." Way Outta Here, owned by Blair Blanchet-Hampton since the end of June, got his first win in decisive fashion on Aug. 1 in a maiden race at Harrah's Philadelphia. He won by 15-3/4 lengths in 1:56.1 with driver David Miller. He made a misstep in his next start, but won his next three races, all in conditioned classes, by a total of 11-1/4 lengths, including a career-best 1:53.3 victory at Philly. He heads to the Yonkers Trot elims off a 2-1/4 length win in a division of the Keystone Classic on Sept. 30 at The Meadows. "I was a little pie-in-the-sky putting him in (the Yonkers Trot), but that was the last thing we had left," Daley said. "Dave said he had more in the tank. It was worth a shot. "If he wants to do it, he's got enough talent. He's not going to beat Nuncio, but if he picks up a piece in there we'll be happy. If we can't get through (the elimination) then we don't belong in the final. But he has enough ability to go with everyone other than Nuncio." As for Way Outta Here's future, Daley is optimistic. "He might just get better, it's not like he's been raced a lot," Daley said. "He's basically a racehorse now. If he keeps behaving himself, he could whack away a living." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Trainer Brian Brown has no problem articulating his feelings about Lost For Words. "As a racehorse, he just does everything the way you want it done," said Brown, who is preparing the 2-year-old male pacer for the Governor's Cup eliminations at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday. "He's just a nice little horse that never disappoints you. "Those kinds are nice to have, but hard to get." Lost For Words brings a three-race win streak to his Governor's Cup elim. He competes in the first of the two divisions, starting from post six with driver Doug McNair. The elim also includes stakes-winners Lyons Levi Lewis, Go Daddy Go, and Traceur Hanover. Another Brown trainee, Talking Points, is in the second elim, where the spotlight will be on Metro Pace champion Artspeak. Talking Points is winless in nine races, but has earned $72,811. Woodbine also hosts two eliminations for the Valley Victory Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters on Saturday. The top five finishers in all the elims advance to the finals of the Fall Four Stakes on Oct. 25. For the year, Lost For Words has won five of nine starts and earned $186,337 for owners Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and Strollin Stable. His most recent three races were victories in the Standardbred Stakes and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. "That little guy has raced good almost every start, he just had a couple tough trips here and there," Brown said. "Otherwise that colt has raced perfect every week." Lost For Words has finished off the board only twice. The first time came in his debut, from post eight at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The second also was at Pocono Downs, when he was stuck on the outside the entire mile from post seven in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He has not lost since. "I think it says a lot about the horse's courage and his desire to be a racehorse, to get roughed up and come right back and race as good as he can," Brown said. "And he wasn't all out in any of those (most recent) races. He just has a great attitude. You can do whatever you want with him." Lost For Words is a son of stallion Well Said out of the stakes-winning mare Thou Shalt Not. He was purchased for $50,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 1998 Breeders Crown champion Juliet's Fate. "I generally look at every Pennsylvania horse in the book and pick out the ones I want to look at," Brown said. "His pedigree looked fine and when I went and looked at him, I just fell in love with him. He wasn't a tall horse, but he had an extra little bit of length to him. At that time, when he was a yearling, he was a nice, thick, stout horse. He's just a good looking horse with a good pedigree. "The best thing about him is that he's either improved as the year went on, or he hasn't lost anything where some of the others are starting to tail off. But he's been great the last month. He still feels good, he's still out there playing when he jogs. I trained him (Tuesday) and he was great. I expect him to be OK." Talking Points finished third in the Standardbred Stakes and earned checks in divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. Another son of Well Said, out of the mare Bikini Bottom, he is owned by Country Club Acres, AWS Stables, William Robinson and Milton Leeman. "He's banged around and gotten checks in most of his starts," Brown said. "He's just a nice horse. He's getting to be a little bit of a bully. He probably needs to be a gelding. He gets a little too grabby and a little hard to handle, so he does wind up on the front some. "We're going to try to rig him so they can handle him and come from behind hopefully. Get him to calm down a little bit." Lost For Words and Talking Points both are eligible to the Breeders Crown in November. "As long as Lost races well, he will go," Brown said. "Talking Points would probably have to be really good the next two weeks for him to go." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communciations  

Ron Burke believes Sayitall BB is his best 3-year-old female pacer, which is why he kept her off the racetrack for more than three months during the summer. Sayitall BB, who has won 11 of 16 races and finished worse than third only once in her career, was lightly staked this season. Rather than race the filly against older horses, Burke decided to wait for better opportunities in the fall. Last week, Sayitall BB returned from hiatus to win the $28,000 American-National Stakes Consolation by 2-1/2 lengths over stablemate Southwind Silence in 1:51.3 at Balmoral Park. It was her first appearance since being supplemented to the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial and finishing second by a head to Fancy Desire on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. On Friday night, Sayitall BB competes in the first of two $37,600 divisions of the Cinderella Stakes at Maywood Park. She will start from post five with Tim Tetrick at the lines. "There was no reason for me to race a 3-year-old against open mares," said Burke, who owns Sayitall BB with Weaver Bruscemi LLC. "She had these last couple stakes at the end (of the year) here so I gave her a break and just came back. She's my best 3-year-old filly hands down. I'm hoping she can finish up the year strong now. "She's my best chance at having a real top 4- or 5-year-old." Burke purchased Sayitall BB last October after the filly won her debut by 4-1/2 lengths in 2:00.4 at Lebanon Raceway. She went 4-for-4 the rest of the year in conditioned races at The Meadows. She continued racing into 2014, winning a leg of January's Blizzard Series at Woodbine and finishing sixth in the final. She enjoyed a rest until April, then went back to work, winning a preliminary leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and finishing second to Act Now in the championship. Sayitall BB won a conditioned race at Harrah's Philadelphia before heading to the Lynch, where she finished third in her elimination and second in the final. A daughter of stallion Tell All and mare Challo B B, Sayitall BB is a half-sister to million-dollar-earner Go On BB, who also raced for the Burke Stable. Burke on Sunday broke his own record for purses in a season, now at $22.25 million, and the depth of his stable helped make it easier to be patient with Sayitall BB. Stakes-winner Allstar Rating has earned $179,160 and Southwind Silence $128,915 this year to go with Sayitall BB's $167,660. "It is a luxury that we have here," Burke said. "We can do the right thing by them and not worry about it because somebody else will usually pick up the pace. We can be patient with them." Sayitall BB's stakes schedule still includes the upcoming Circle City and, if all goes well, she could be supplemented to the Breeders Crown in November. Burke's night at Maywood isn't limited to Sayitall BB. He also sends out Big Boy Dreams in the $180,000 Windy City Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. The colt starts from post three with Tetrick driving. To his inside are American-National Stakes runner-up Somewhere In L A and Let's Drink On It, who in September won a heat of the Little Brown Jug. "Even though he's a real big horse, I think he's more of a half-mile (racetrack) horse," Burke said. "Timmy's driven him before and done well with him, so I like this spot here. The three that look like the better horses all drew 1-2-3, so how they get shuffled out leaving is going to be a big thing on how we end up finishing." Big Boy Dreams, who is making his third start for Burke after spending the early part of the season in New York in the stable of Tracy Brainard, has won three of nine races this year and earned $78,495. Last year, the son of If I Can Dream-Stefani Blue Chip won five of 10 starts and finished second to He's Watching in the New York Sire Stakes championship. He is owned by Dominick Rosato. In his first start with Burke, Big Boy Dreams finished third behind Burke's Limelight Beach and He's Watching in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. Last week, he won the $25,000 American-National Consolation by four lengths in 1:50.1. Burke-trainee JK Endofanera, whose wins include the North America Cup and American-National Stakes, is the second-richest 3-year-old pacer this year, with $921,145. Limelight Beach, whose wins include the Little Brown Jug, has banked $524,118, good for sixth place in the division. "I don't know if (Big Boy Dreams) can go with the top four or five, but he's getting better, so we'll see," Burke said. "We've had Limelight and JK for a while, so we know what they are. With him, we don't really have a great idea what his top level is." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

With the record for purses in the bank and 11 weeks remaining on the calendar, trainer Ron Burke is now left to contemplate how much his stable can increase its earnings before the end of the year. Burke, who in 2013 became the first trainer to eclipse $20 million in a season -- finishing the campaign with $22.23 million, moved $9,333 beyond that figure this year thanks to earning $11,750 at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night. His stable broke last year's mark when pacer Rockstar Temper won the sixth race. "It's neat because coming into this year I thought we might not be able to reach that," Burke said. "Now to reach it this early, you wonder how far you can go. The next mark is 25 (million dollars). There's not a ton of stakes races left, but there's enough that if we can put together a run, maybe we could do 25." Last year, Burke's horses won 25 races worth at least $100,000. This season, the "Burke Brigade" has captured 38 races worth at least $100,000. Among those victories were 3-year-old pacer JK Endofanera in the North America Cup, 5-year-old pacer Sweet Lou in the Ben Franklin Pace and William R. Haughton Memorial, 3-year-old pacer Limelight Beach in the Little Brown Jug, and 2-year-old trotter Mission Brief in the Merrie Annabelle. He also won four New York Sire Stakes championships, plus two sire stakes crowns each in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and one in New Jersey. "Ohio is probably some of the reason, there's been a rebirth there and that gave us a chance to race a little bit more, and the Meadowlands was stronger this year, so that probably helps a little bit," Burke said. "And we have way more stakes horses than we've had in the past. We went with a lot more young horses. That's one area where I thought we were set up better because we had more young horses to start with. "But it gets to the point where we're racing against ourselves a lot of times. It's the law of diminishing returns. Sometimes we have four in a race; we can only win that race once. That's one thing we're trying to get away from and spread out to different areas a little more. We want to try to get away from racing so many times against ourselves." Burke, who leads the purse standings for trainers by more than $12 million, has won 887 of 4,164 races this year. Last season, Burke started 4,494 horses and won a record 1,090 races. "That's another thing, I didn't think we could ever start 5,000 horses, and we're going to be close," Burke said. "That's incredible when you figure it's like 13 a day, every day. That means if you start none today, you've got to start 26 tomorrow. But that's just how big it's gotten." Burke, who turns 45 on Thursday, has won a record 5,482 races and $117 million in his career. He took over the Burke Stable from his father, Mickey, on a fulltime basis in 2009 and was named Trainer of the Year in 2011 and 2013 by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. His Burke Racing Stable also was honored, with its partners, as Owner of the Year in 2013. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Freehold, NJ --- Ron Burke brings 16 horses to Balmoral Park for Saturday’s (Oct. 11) American-National Stakes card and could leave with the most single-year purse earnings of any harness racing trainer in history. Burke established the record of $22.2 million last year and entered Friday with $21.6 million. Saturday’s card at Balmoral features eight American-National Stakes for trotters and pacers and purses in excess of $1.3 million. “I really thought [breaking the earnings record] would be the hardest thing for us to do,” said Burke, who last year became the first trainer to win 1,000 races in a season and has 872 victories this year. “But we got off to such a good strong start this year, better than even normal, and that made a lot of difference. “If everything keeps going like its going we should be alright.” Leading the “Burke Brigade” Saturday is Foiled Again, who is the morning line favorite in the $179,000 American-National for older pacers. The 10-year-old Foiled Again is the richest horse in North American harness racing history, with $6.6 million in purses. Foiled Again is one of four Burke horses in the field, along with Bettor’s Edge, Clear Vision and Ultimate Beachboy. Burke’s JK Endofanera, who in June won the North America Cup, is the favorite in the $227,000 American-National for 3-year-old male pacers. Burke also has four horses in this race, with Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach, At Press Time and Somesizesomestyle joining JK Endofanera. Other top contenders for Burke are Wishing Stone and Archangel in the $166,300 American-National for older trotters and Well Hello There in the $61,150 American-National for 2-year-old female pacers. Trainer Jimmy Takter, who is second to Burke with $9.83 million in purses this year, has the favorite in the $203,000 American-National for 3-year-old male trotters, Father Patrick, as well as the $150,000 division for 3-year-old female trotters, Shake It Cerry. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Freehold, NJ --- In The Arsenal was away from the races for seven weeks this summer because of illness, but the layoff might have turned into a blessing in disguise. During the recently completed Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile in Lexington, In The Arsenal won divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He won his Bluegrass split in a national season’s best 1:49.4 for a 2-year-old pacer and captured his International Stallion division by a length over Cartoon Daddy as previously unbeaten Artspeak went off stride in the stretch and finished third. On Sunday (Oct. 12), In The Arsenal faces another undefeated colt – Yankee Bounty – in the first of three Historic-Goshen Cup divisions at Harrah’s Philadelphia. In The Arsenal, who has won four of seven races, starts from post No. 2 with driver Brian Sears at the lines for trainer Kelvin Harrison. He is 8-5 on the morning line. Yankee Bounty, who is 8-for-8 this year, leaves from post four with Yannick Gingras driving for Ron Burke. He is 9-5. “I’ve never seen one get a nice break during their 2-year-old year where it doesn’t help,” Harrison said about In The Arsenal being sidelined. “He was really sick and missed quite a bit of time before we got him back nice and healthy. His first race at Lexington was a huge mile because he really hadn’t had a good run in him in a couple of months. It was a really good race.”  In The Arsenal is a son of American Ideal out of the mare Ladyotra. He was bred by White Birch Farm, who bought back the colt for $7,500 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. Harrison attributed the price to In The Arsenal’s then-smallish size, as well as the fact he was the 14th foal out of the then-21-year-old Ladyotra. “I think that kind of determined his price at Harrisburg, because he was really small,” Harrison said. “But he had great conformation, he was well put together.” And during this summer’s respite, he matured physically. “He did grow a lot, no question,” Harrison said. “I was looking at him in the paddock the other day and thought he measured up pretty good to those other horses now. He’s a big-gaited horse too. Even if they’re a small horse, when they’re big gaited they always look bigger on the track.” Prior to his illness, In The Arsenal won two of four races, including the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace at Yonkers Raceway. One of his setbacks came when he started from post eight at Yonkers in a division of the New York Sire Stakes. Upon returning from his layoff, the colt started from post seven and went off-stride in the Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, but since then has been perfect.  “The post position kind of sets it for you at Delaware,” Harrison said. “If you’re inside, you can kind of roll, but if you’re outside you’re kind of at the mercy of it. He was just a little fired up there.” In The Arsenal is eligible to the Matron Stakes and Breeders Crown in November. Harrison thinks the colt has all the tools to remain a top performer in the 2-year-old ranks. “He’s got a good shot at it,” Harrison said. “He’s nice and sound and he’s doing everything well. He’s a good colt.” In the second Historic-Goshen Cup division, International Stallion Stakes division winner Hall Of Terror is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Reynolds Stakes division winner Dragon Eddy is the 8-5 choice in the third division. There also will be two divisions of the Historic-Harriman Cup for 2-year-old male trotters on Sunday at Philly. Don’t Mind Me is the 9-5 favorite in the first division and Ralph R is the 8-5 favorite in the second split. In The Arsenal by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

The 56th annual awards banquet of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) will be on Sunday, November 16 at the Fountains at the Wallkill Golf Club on Sands Road in Circleville, NY. A social hour begins at 5:30 p.m with dinner to follow. Honorees are Ted Gewertz, Crawford Farms, Ken Weingartner, Jason Settlemoir, George Casale and Geri Schwarz. The evening will break from the usual format of presenting awards early, to a friendly roast of longtime master of ceremonies and banquet chairman John Manzi. Manzi also has been the eyes of the Monticello Raceway, heading the public relations team for so many years that his name is synonymous with the track. The roast should be quite a lot of fun. (He also is host of the Bop Shop Radio Show that coincidentally is celebrating its 31st anniversary today, October 10. Tune in from 8 p.m. to midnight on WVOS-FM.) Manzi is co-chairing the banquet this year with Chris Tully, president of the national USHWA, and Shawn Wiles, second vice president. The banquet will continue the tradition of donating the profits from the printed journal with congratulatory ads and messages. Recipients are the Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, two separate entities although next door to each other in Goshen. Tickets are $65 per person and to place a congratulatory ad in the awards journal please call the raceway at 794-4100, ext. 455. From the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA

Freehold, NJ --- White Bliss, the rare all-white Standardbred in the stable of trainer Ake Svanstedt, made his first trip to the track Thursday (Oct. 9), finishing fourth in a qualifier at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The 2-year-old colt pacer was timed in 1:58.1 with Svanstedt driving. White Bliss is a son of stallion Art Major out of the mare Coochie Mama, both bays. The last time two bays produced a white Standardbred in North America was in 1998. The colt was purchased for $240,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., which is brothers Michael Knutsson and Tristan Sjoberg of trotter Sebastian K fame, along with Asa Sjoberg. Following the qualifier, Tristan Sjoberg said via his Twitter account that it was “a good experience” for White Bliss. He said the horse will qualify again next week at Pocono Downs and “hopefully start one or two weeks later.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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