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Bob Aerenson and his father Buddy have owned racehorse for 15 years, but Bob's interest in harness racing goes back to his childhood. Before he was old enough to drive, the Wilmington, Del., resident would ride his bike to nearby Brandywine Raceway and offer to jog horses in the morning before returning later to watch the races. He also would hitch rides to area tracks with childhood friend Doug Paul and his family, whose participation in harness racing stretches more than four decades. In recent years, the Aerensons, who race under the name Rojan Stables (an acronym made up of family member's names), have been among the owners of Dan Patch Award winners Captain Crunch and Divine Caroline as well as Grand Circuit stakes winners Closing Statement, Bettor Be Steppin, and Lady Rainbow. This past Saturday, 2-year-old male pacer Always A Miki added his name to the list with a victory in the Governor's Cup. And on Wednesday, 3-year-old male pacer No Lou Zing will attempt to add a second Grand Circuit triumph to his credentials when he competes in the $325,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs. "We've been very fortunate," Bob Aerenson said. "It's been a fun ride. My father just turned 90 and is in great health. He gets very excited about the horses. It's a great thing that we do together. Fortunately, we've had some success, and that makes it even more fun." No Lou Zing heads to the Progress Pace off a win in the event's single elimination last week. The gelding won by a half-length over favorite Cattlewash in 1:49.1, with Dexter Dunn driving for trainer Nancy Takter. On Wednesday, No Lou Zing starts from post seven and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Cattlewash, from post eight, is the 2-1 favorite. For the year, No Lou Zing has won seven of 15 races, hit the board a total of 14 times, and earned $442,308 for owners Rojan Stables, 3 Brothers Stables, and Caviart Farms. His victories include the Jenna's Beach Boy Stakes and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was second in the Matron and third in the Adios and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. His only off-the-board result was a fifth in the Breeders Crown, where he was beaten only three-quarters of a length in a six-horse blanket finish. "We had a little bit of bad luck at the Breeders Crown, but we've gone against some great horses," Aerenson said. "The fact that we're in the same conversation with some of these great horses just makes it even more exciting." No Lou Zing, by Sweet Lou out of Terroronthebeach, was winless in three starts at age 2. He went off stride in all three of those races but got off on a good foot this year with three victories and a second in his first four starts. Takter assistant Josert Fonseca drove the gelding in his first six races this season before handing the lines to Dunn. "He didn't have much of a 2-year-old season, but, obviously, Josert and Nancy are a great team because they got him figured out and he's peaking right now," Aerenson said. "Last week was very impressive." No Lou Zing ranks fifth among all 3-year-old male pacers in purses this season. "My expectations were for him to be a good sire stakes horse, not at the level he's at right now," Aerenson said. "The horse started out the year nicely, but they still were not against the top caliber. I did not expect to be where we are right now. This is very exciting. "Nancy has done a fantastic job keeping this horse in the right place." Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday at Dover Downs. The card also includes $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships for 2-year-old male and female pacers. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Hightstown, NJ — There were no newcomers in this week’s harness racing Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown top 10 but TVG Series championship winners Kissin In The Sand, Bettor’s Wish, and Manchego all improved their positions. Kissin In The Sand swapped places with idle Perfect Sting in spots four and five. Bettor’s Wish moved from ninth to sixth and Manchego went from 10th to eighth. All three horses were retired following their TVG triumphs. The top three in the poll remained unchanged, with Tall Dark Stranger at No. 1 followed by Party Girl Hill and Gimpanzee. Next week will be the final Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll of 2020. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. 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 20 – 11/24/2020 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Tall Dark Stranger (23) 3pc 13-11-1-0 $1,302,681 322 1 2 Party Girl Hill (9) 3pf 16-15-0-1 $880,345 295 2 3 Gimpanzee (1) 4th 11-8-1-1 $980,964 249 3 4 Kissin In The Sand 5pm 12-8-1-0 $491,984 215 5 5 Perfect Sting (1) 2pc 10-10-0-0 $534,300 209 4 6 Bettor’s Wish 4ph 13-6-3-2 $685,432 126 9 7 Amigo Volo 3tg 15-9-1-2 $939,498 123 7 8 Manchego (1) 5tm 13-6-2-2 $599,451 115 10 9 Atlanta 5tm 12-5-4-1 $749,014 100 6 10 Ramona Hill 3tf 10-6-1-1 $915,615 94 8 ALSO: Anoka Hanover 24; Test Of Faith 12; Shartin N 11; Cattlewash 6; Sorella 5; Leonidas A, Plunge Blue Chip, Venerate 3; Action Uncle, Lindy The Great 2; Charlie May, On A Streak, Peaky Sneaky, Pemberton, Ready For Moni, Yall Beneath Me 1. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

East Rutherford, NJ - Kissin In The Sand took the lead at the half, fended off a challenge from Shartin N on the final turn, and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series Mare Pace championship in a stakes-record 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Three-year-old filly Peaky Sneaky was second and Shartin N was third. It was the final start of Kissin In The Sand's career. The 5-year-old mare finished the season with a seven-race win streak and pushed her lifetime victory total to 27 in 58 starts. She earned $1.74 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables and trainer Nancy Takter. "She was outstanding tonight," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "She's had an amazing career, she's an amazing mare, and I was lucky enough to get on for the last four or five starts to enjoy the last run home." Kissin In The Sand left from post nine and settled into third as Peaky Sneaky and Shartin N exchanged the lead in an opening :26.3 quarter. Kissin In The Sand made her move on the backstretch and got to the front just as she hit the half in :53.4. She remained on top to three-quarters in 1:20.3 and came home in :27.2 to win by 2-1/2 lengths over stablemate Peaky Sneaky.   "She kicked in the straight really good," Dunn said. "She knows when it's go time. Once we got the plugs out, she went to another gear and finished off a very strong mile." Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand paid $3.80 to win. Kissin In The Sand, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc., and Concord Stud Farm. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Among her wins to close out this season were her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. "When she was 3, I actually took care of her myself because I had a much smaller stable, so I had a very close relationship with her," trainer Nancy Takter said. "That's why she's so special (to me). "She's matured so much through the years. She was a pain in the butt to break. I remember four years ago when she came into my barn, I called Marvin Katz and said she's either going to be great, or she's going to be terrible. So I'm happy she decided to be great. She was just tough from day one and her performance tonight just shows how tough she really is." Kissin In The Sand will be bred to another of Takter's recently retired stars, Tall Dark Stranger. "Hopefully, they're a match made in heaven," Takter said, adding with a laugh, "I already told Marvin and Bud (Hatfield) that I get to train the first baby." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

East Rutherford, NJ - Manchego made her final career start a winning one, capturing Saturday's (Nov. 21) $320,000 TVG Open Trot championship by 1-1/4 lengths over Atlanta in 1:51.3 at The Meadowlands. Lindy The Great finished third. Manchego, a 5-year-old mare, was retired in a ceremony in the winner's circle following the race. She ended her career with 33 wins in 56 career starts and $2.72 million in purses. Her victories included the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. Manchego is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph last month, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego, by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. She is owned by Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing and was bred by Brittany Farms. "She's just a super mare," Nancy Takter said. "She's been great since the first moment that she ever set foot on the track. "When you get the call that you get to train a horse like Manchego, those calls probably aren't going to come very many times in my life, so I appreciate every moment that I had with her. She's just an unbelievable mare. She makes my job easy, she makes all of us look good around her, because she's just such a professional." On Saturday, Manchego and driver Dexter Dunn watched from fourth as Crystal Fashion led to the quarter in :28 and half in :57. As the field neared the final turn, Dunn moved with Manchego and gained the cover of Atlanta, who had been racing in second. Crystal Fashion remained on top at three-quarters, reached in 1:24.1, but in the stretch it was all Manchego, who came home in :27 for the victory.   "It's fitting that the first time she ever went behind the gate was at The Meadowlands and she gets to finish her career here with a win," Takter said. "She started her career with a win at The Meadowlands and she's going to end it the same way." Said Guariglia, "It feels wonderful. She almost made that look too easy. She's super sharp right now. I was a little nervous when they got to the half in :57; she probably hasn't seen that since she trained back in March. Win or lose, I was ready for the emotions tonight. But, obviously, it's great to win." Manchego, the slight even-money favorite over Atlanta, paid $4.00 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Harness racing driver Todd McCarthy is no fan of the cold, but the Australia native is a big admirer of good horses. And the latter will keep McCarthy in the U.S. through this winter and next year. The 27-year-old McCarthy moved to the U.S. in late August and already counts a handful of Grand Circuit stakes victories among his 80 wins sinceeries cham then. His biggest triumph came earlier this month with Anoka Hanover in the Kindergarten Classic Spionship for 2-year-old female trotters, and McCarthy will be back in action with the filly this weekend. Anoka Hanover is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters at The Meadowlands. She brings a six-race win streak to the event, including divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes. For the year, the Noel Daley-trained filly has won nine of 13 races and $373,153. McCarthy has been in the sulky for her past six starts. "She's been awesome," McCarthy said. "Noel has done a terrific job with her and certainly made my job easier. It's a tough race, but fingers crossed, hopefully everything goes well for us." Anoka Hanover was not eligible to the Breeders Crown last month at Harrah's Hoosier Park. On Saturday, she will face the top-three Breeders Crown finishers: winner Lady Chaos, runner-up Mazzarati, and Splash Blue Chip. Lady Chaos and Splash Blue Chip have not raced since the Crown. Mazzarati finished third in the Kindergarten two weeks ago, when Anoka Hanover won in a career-best 1:52.3. "Going to the Breeders Crown would have been cool but she might not have been the same horse going into the Kindergarten and the race this week," McCarthy said about Anoka Hanover, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Aunt Mel. "I'm a big believer that sometimes everything happens for a reason and that fortnight ago was perfect. "She's got such a good attitude for such a young filly; she handles herself so well. She's just a lovely little horse to drive. She's so honest. She's out there to do her best every time, you don't have to ask her too much; she's trying as hard as you can. When you come across a horse like that, it doesn't matter what age group, you just really appreciate them." McCarthy is the younger brother of top drivers Luke and Andy McCarthy and son of highly regarded trainer John McCarthy. His accomplishments Down Under included winning the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers Championship and multiple New South Wales state and metropolitan premiership driving titles. He represented Australia at the 2019 World Driving Championship and counts the Inter Dominion as his top victory. "I have to thank Noel for all he's done," McCarthy said. "He helped me come over here and got me going. He couldn't have been more helpful since I've come to the States, putting me down to drive. I can't thank him enough." McCarthy's original plan was to return to Australia during the U.S. winter and return next spring or summer. But with his newfound success in the States, he decided there was no reason to leave. McCarthy entered Friday with 80 wins in 565 drives, a 14-percent win rate, and $1.17 million in purses. "To be honest, I never thought I would stay this busy when I came over; I thought I'd be pretty quiet," McCarthy said. "But everyone has been so welcoming, and I've been getting a lot of great opportunities. I'm really enjoying it. "I don't like the cold too much, but I'm happy to stick it out and I'll do my best to enjoy the winter. I don't want to go home. I'm having too much fun." The Goldsmith Maid is part of the Fall Four events for 2-year-olds Saturday at The Big M. Breeders Crown champion On A Streak is the 3-1 favorite in the $398,650 Valley Victory for male trotters and Summa Cum Laude, who captured a Breeders Crown in a dead heat with Perfect Sting, is the 9-5 choice in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for male pacers. Fire Start Hanover, also a Crown winner, is the 2-1 favorite in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for female pacers. In addition to the Fall Four, the Saturday card includes TVG Series championships for trotters and pacers. Those races will feature the final career starts for Dan Patch Award winners Bettor's Wish, Kissin In The Sand, and Manchego. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Harness racing will say goodbye to three Dan Patch Award winners following Saturday's TVG Series championships at The Meadowlands. Bettor's Wish, Kissin In The Sand, and Manchego will be retired to breeding duties after their careers conclude this weekend and each will be honored in ceremonies following their respective races at The Big M. Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion, received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer in 2019 and was second to mare Shartin N in voting for both Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. He led the sport with $1.64 million in purses last year and has earned $2.43 million lifetime. The son of Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star heads to Saturday's $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship the winner of 23 of 43 lifetime starts. He has failed to finish among the top three only three times in his career. "I'm going to miss him," said trainer Chris Ryder, who owns Bettor's Wish with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. "He's going to be near impossible to replace. It's hard to find a horse that can do what he's done, and he just takes it all in stride. When you look back, it's been a terrific run. You really appreciate having a horse that can do all he did." Victories this year for Bettor's Wish include the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. "Winning the McKee was very special to me," said Ryder, who noted at the time, "It's hard to describe. It's an honor to win it for Sam. I hope he's looking down on us today." Bettor's Wish bred 58 mares in New Jersey this year before beginning his 4-year-old campaign. He will stand at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania in 2021. Ryder gave credit to caretaker Alonso Martinez, second trainer Peter Trebotica, and his son Patrick Ryder, for playing key roles in the horse's success. He also thanked his ownership partners and regular driver Dexter Dunn as well as trainer Chantal Mitchell and driver Paul MacDonell, who campaigned the horse for him in Canada at 2. "Most of all, thank you Bettor's Wish," Ryder said. "He was such an exciting and tough racehorse for all of us to enjoy, consistently giving 100 percent on the track. We will all miss this amazing horse." Kissin In The Sand was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. The now 5-year-old mare enters Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series championship for female pacers with 26 career wins in 57 starts and $1.66 million in purses. A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate, she has been trained throughout her career by Nancy Takter and owned by Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield. "It's been exciting," Hatfield said. "We all have had so much fun with this horse, it's unbelievable. But it's time to start another chapter in her life. It's time for the breeding shed, and I think she'll be a good mom." Kissin In The Sand brings a six-race win streak to her career finale. Among those victories was her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. Hatfield said Kissin In The Sand's determination was what he most admired about the horse. That grit was perhaps most famously on display in the 2018 James M. Lynch Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where she won by a neck over Youaremycandygirl after being parked out from post nine for most of the mile. "Even if she had a bad post, she would come out of there rolling, get parked, and keep digging in," Hatfield said. "She showed so much heart and grit. "Nancy has done a heck of a job with her. They have a special bond, they really do. She loves that horse. She's a special horse and I think she will be a special broodmare." Manchego, a 5-year-old female trotter, competes in Saturday's $320,000 TVG Series Open Trot, facing a field that includes fellow mare Atlanta as well as male rivals Crystal Fashion, Lindy The Great, and Mission Accepted. A daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic, Manchego has won 32 of 55 lifetime races and earned $2.56 million. Her victories include the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. She is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years and has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. Manchego went undefeated in 12 races at age 2 and received divisional Dan Patch honors. She was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3 and by Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. "For me, that (TVG) will be a rough one because it's been so wonderful, and I do like to race," owner Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing said. "It'll be a rough one, but the start of a new chapter for her. "She seems to be in good form, so hopefully we've got one more (win) in us." The Meadowlands hosts four TVG Series championships Saturday as well as the Fall Four for 2-year-olds. Four Breeders Crown winners will be in action in the Fall Four: Lady Chaos in the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, On A Streak in the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, Summa Cum Laude in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, and Fire Start Hanover in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Harness racing trainer Nancy Takter will watch trotting mare Manchego and pacing mare Kissin In The Sand compete for the final time Saturday at The Meadowlands, but also will get another look at two 3-year-olds that will attempt to follow in their award-winning stablemates' hoof prints next season. Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella will face five older foes in the $140,000 TVG Series championship for female trotters while 3-year-old filly Breeders Crown winner Peaky Sneaky will meet eight older rivals in the $150,000 TVG Series championship for female pacers. "They're both coming back next year, and they're both really sharp at the moment," Takter said. "I think they both deserve a chance." It is the second time 3-year-old fillies will take on mares in the TVG Series championships, which debuted in 2013. Last year, Warrawee Ubeaut finished fourth in the Mare Pace final and Beautiful Sin was fourth in the Mare Trot. Sorella's foes in the Mare Trot include 5-year-old Plunge Blue Chip, a world-record-holder and multiple Grand Circuit winner, and 4-year-old When Dovescry, who captured the 2019 Hambletonian Oaks and Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old filly trotter. She will not face Manchego or Atlanta, who will both race in Saturday's $320,000 TVG Open Trot final. Peaky Sneaky's rivals in the Mare Pace include 5-year-old Kissin In The Sand as well as 7-year-old Shartin N, who was the 2019 Horse of the Year; 6-year-old Caviart Ally, who is the event's defending champion, and 4-year-old Warrawee Ubeaut. The four TVG Series championships are among eight Grand Circuit stakes on Saturday's Big M card, along with the Fall Four for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). Sorella heads to the TVG Mare Trot off a win in last week's Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. She has won eight of 14 races this season, hit the board a total of 12 times, and earned $713,049. In addition to winning the Oaks, she won a division of the Casual Breeze Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park in a Canadian-record 1:51.3 and the Reynolds Memorial in 1:50.2, which is tied for the season's second-fastest mile by a 3-year-old trotter. "The only way I was putting Sorella in was if Manchego ended up in the (TVG) Open," Takter said. "I knew it was going to be a little bit of a short field, and I think she belongs in there. I don't think she gets enough credit for what she's done this year. She's raced from the first weekend of June all the way through November. She broke a Canadian record, she won the Oaks; she's had a tremendous year." Peaky Sneaky won the Breeders Crown last month at Harrah's Hoosier Park, where she handed Party Girl Hill her only loss of the season. For the year, Peaky Sneaky has won six of 15 races, hit the board 12 times, and earned $482,622. Her 1:48 win in a division of the Glen Garnsey makes her the third-fastest female pacer of the season, behind only Party Girl Hill and Kissin In The Sand. "She's tough and gritty," Takter said. "I don't think she knows any different if they're aged mares or 3-year-olds." Kissin In The Sand heads to the TVG final with a six-race win streak. Her victories include the Breeders Crown, Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. For her career, she has won 26 of 57 races and $1.66 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at 3. Manchego, coming off the third Breeders Crown title of her career, and 5-year-old mare Atlanta both take on the males in the TVG Open Trot. Manchego has won 32 of 55 lifetime races and $2.56 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at 2. In the TVG Open Pace championship, Bettor's Wish will make his final career start against a field that includes Breeders Crown winner Century Farroh. Four Breeders Crown winners also will be in action in the Fall Four: Lady Chaos in the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, On A Streak in the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, Summa Cum Laude in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, and Fire Start Hanover in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Hightstown, NJ — The top five spots in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll remained unchanged, but there was a shift in positions in the bottom five. Ramona Hill, who went off stride in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters last week, dropped from sixth to eighth in the rankings. Moving up were idle Atlanta and Matron Stakes 3-year-old male trot winner Amigo Volo. Tall Dark Stranger, Party Girl Hill, Gimpanzee, Perfect Sting, and Kissin In The Sand held firm in spots one through five. All were idle except Party Girl Hill, who won the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. Party Girl Hill gained four first-place votes this week, increasing her total to eight. Tall Dark Stranger received 24 first-place nods while Perfect Sting (two) and Gimpanzee (one) got the remaining first-place tallies. There will be two more Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown polls this season, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. 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 19 – 11/17/2020 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Tall Dark Stranger (24) 3pc 13-11-1-0 $1,302,681 332 1 2 Party Girl Hill (8) 3pf 16-15-0-1 $880,345 311 2 3 Gimpanzee (1) 4th 11-8-1-1 $980,964 263 3 4 Perfect Sting (2) 2pc 10-10-0-0 $534,300 228 4 5 Kissin In The Sand 5pm 11-7-1-0 $419,984 196 5 6 Atlanta 5tm 11-5-3-1 $669,014 130 7 7 Amigo Volo 3tg 15-9-1-2 $939,498 127 8 8 Ramona Hill 3tf 10-6-1-1 $915,615 126 6 9 Bettor’s Wish 4ph 12-5-3-2 $522,232 55 9 10 Manchego 5tm 12-5-2-2 $439,451 49 10 ALSO: Shartin N 22; Test Of Faith 16; Cattlewash 11; Century Farroh, Fire Start Hanover, Sorella 10; Action Uncle 6; Anoka Hanover 4; Leonides A, Peaky Sneaky, Venerate 3; Charlie May, Lindy The Great, On A Streak, Ready For Moni 2; Pemberton, Yall Beneath Me 1. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

After suffering respiratory issues earlier this season, Cattlewash is healthy and hitting his best stride. The 3-year-old harness racing pacing colt has won three of his last four races and finished off the board only once in his last seven starts as he heads to Wednesday's single $35,000 Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs, where he is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Cattlewash enters the elim off victories in the Matron Stakes last week at Dover and the Monument Circle Stakes on Nov. 6 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. His stretch of improved form began at the Little Brown Jug in September, where he finished second in the final from post seven, and continued with a world-record-equaling 1:46.4 victory in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last month at Red Mile. He also won an elimination of the Breeders Crown and was third in the final, beaten by only a quarter length in a race that saw the top-eight finishers separated by two lengths. For the season, the Ron Burke-trained Cattlewash has won six of 15 starts and $487,986 for breeder/owner Bill Donovan. David Miller has driven the horse since July. "He fits 2020 perfectly because it's been a challenge with him for most of the year," Donovan said. "He kept getting respiratory infections that were affecting his breathing. Apparently, by the time the Jug came, they got it under control. He's now showing us what he can do when he can breathe properly. He's been a real pleasure since the Jug." Last year, Cattlewash won four of 13 races and $311,791. He was second to Papi Rob Hanover in the Matron for 2-year-old male pacers and third behind Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover in both the Breeders Crown elimination and final. Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover finished 1-2, respectively, in voting for the division's Dan Patch Award. "There was no question that (Cattlewash) had talent," Donovan said. "Coming into this year, he was in the shadow of Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover, obviously, but I had faith in him all along that he could nip at their heels anyway. With Papi Rob Hanover and Tall Dark Stranger retired, he's moving toward the head of the class. "He's becoming a different horse. I think because his maladies are behind him, hopefully, and he's racing better, he's developed a degree of confidence. He's a handsome individual. He's got brains; he stays pretty cool, calm, and collected around the track. Not too much flusters him. On the track now, he's all business." Cattlewash is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Bettor's Delight mare Road Bet. Donovan bought Road Bet at the end of her 3-year-old season and raced her for two years before breeding her to Somebeachsomewhere with the hopes of getting a colt. After Cattlewash was born, he sold the mare. "I wanted to breed a daughter of Bettor's Delight to Somebeachsomewhere because I thought that was a really good cross," Donovan said. Donovan is exploring opportunities to stand Cattlewash in New Jersey to service a limited book of mares while continuing the horse's racing career at age 4, following the path of pacer Bettor's Wish this year and trotter Father Patrick in 2015. "We're going to see if we can put it together in the next couple weeks," Donovan said. "Kind of get a jump start on the interest that's there. "But Ronnie is pretty adamant that we haven't seen the best of him. He's excited to train him next year, so how could I go against that? Some of the miles he's gone this year have been pretty eye opening. If we were able to equal or exceed that next year, it would be pretty awesome." The top-eight finishers from the Progress Pace elimination will advance to the $325,000 final Nov. 25 at Dover Downs. In addition to Cattlewash, the field includes Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa and Adios winner Catch The Fire as well as Grand Circuit stakes winners Tattoo Artist, No Lou Zing, Fortify, and Captain Kirk. Post time for Dover Downs is 4:30 p.m. (EST). Click here for complete entries. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA         

The record-setting career of Manchego will come to an end Nov. 21 at The Meadowlands. Barry Guariglia, who owns the 5-year-old trotting mare, said her final start will be in the TVG Series championship, either in the Mare Trot or Open Trot. Manchego has won 32 of 55 lifetime races and earned $2.56 million. Her victories include the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. She is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph two weeks ago, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. Guariglia will keep Manchego, who is by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, as a broodmare. "For me, that (TVG) will be a rough one because it's been so wonderful, and I do like to race," Guariglia said. "It'll be a rough one, but the start of a new chapter for her. "She seems to be in good form, so hopefully we've got one more (win) in us." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Hightstown, NJ — None of the horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown top 10 raced last week. As a result, there were no changes in the harness racing rankings. Several horses are in action Thursday in Matron Stakes events at Dover Downs: No. 2 Party Girl Hill, No. 6 Ramona Hill, and No. 8 Amigo Volo. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. 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 18 – 11/10/2020 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Tall Dark Stranger (23) 3pc 13-11-1-0 $1,302,681 330 1 2 Party Girl Hill (4) 3pf 15-14-0-1 $803,120 295 2 3 Gimpanzee (5) 4th 11-8-1-1 $980,964 272 3 4 Perfect Sting (3) 2pc 10-10-0-0 $534,300 243 4 5 Kissin In The Sand 5pm 11-7-1-0 $419,984 195 5 6 Ramona Hill 3tf 9-6-1-1 $915,615 155 6 7 Atlanta 5tm 11-5-3-1 $669,014 129 7 8 Amigo Volo 3tg 14-8-1-2 $858,323 89 8 9 Bettor’s Wish 4ph 11-5-2-2 $497,232 63 9 10 Manchego 5tm 12-5-2-2 $439,451 53 10 ALSO: Shartin N 28; Test Of Faith 20; Century Farroh 14; Fire Start Hanover 7; Action Uncle, Sorella, Venerate 6; Peaky Sneaky 3; Cattlewash, Charlie May, On A Streak, Ready For Moni 2; Pemberton, Southwind Gendry, Yall Beneath Me 1. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Timonium, MD – Harness racing pacing broodmare Somwherovrarainbow, a Dan Patch Award winner at age 2, was purchased in foal to stallion Always B Miki for $240,000 by Crawford Farms to lead Friday’s (Nov. 6) first session of the Standardbred Horse Sale’s mixed sale at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. The 10-year-old Somwherovrarainbow is the offspring of two Horse of the Year winners, Somebeachsomewhere and Rainbow Blue. On the track, she won 20 of 46 races and $1.34 million. She was consigned by Diamond Creek Farm. Next on the list of top sellers was the trotting broodmare Live Laugh Love, who was purchased for $150,000 by Robert Lindstrom. The 5-year-old is by Donato Hanover out of Shes Gone Again. Her family includes Dan Patch Award winner Poof She’s Gone. On the track, Live Laugh Love won eight of 25 starts and $281,718. She also was consigned by Diamond Creek Farm. A total of 275 horses sold Friday for a gross of $6.56 million and average of $23,880. The final day of the mixed sale is Saturday (Nov. 6). For complete results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Timonium, MD — The harness racing pacing colt Shadowmoon Rising led Thursday’s (Nov. 5) final yearling session of the Standardbred Horse Sale, purchased for $115,000 by Dr. Ian Moore at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. A son of Shadow Play out of Lofty Yankee, the colt is a full brother to Shadow Moon, who was a Grand Circuit stakes winner for Moore. Shadowmoon Rising was bred and consigned by Spring Haven Farm. “Shadow Moon was a real nice 2-year-old and then didn’t quite come back as a 3-year-old,” Moore said. “He was a real gritty individual. But this guy is totally different than him. Shadow Moon was small, and this guy is a much stronger, bigger looking, individual. “I didn’t want to pay that much, we had kind of talked around $80,000, but it was an Internet bidder and me from $75,000 on. That Internet bidder was probably Jack Darling, because he didn’t make it here. I think he wanted him pretty good, too. We had to pay more, but I’m glad we got him.” The three-day yearling portion of the auction concluded with 773 horses selling for a total of $29.5 million and average of $38,215. The average declined following two record-setting sales. The average in 2019 was $48,903, which bettered the previous record of $42,675 set in 2018. The average in 2017 was $39,675. Second among Thursday’s top sellers was Thx Again Bluechip, a pacing colt by Huntsville out of Exclamation, who sold for $105,000 to Steve Elliott. The colt is from the family of Dan Patch Award winning mare Rocklamation. He was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock and Our Horse Cents Stables and consigned by Blue Chip Farms, agent, for Blue Chip Bloodstock. Rounding out the trio of six-figure sellers was Alehouse Hanover, a trotting colt by Bar Hopping out of Aspidistra Hanover, who sold for $100,000 to Paul Kelley. His family includes Grand Circuit winner Spicy Wings while third dam Almost An Angel was a Dan Patch Award winner and producer of multiple stakes winners. Alehouse Hanover was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. The first session of the Standardbred Horse Sale’s two-day mixed sale begins at 10 a.m. (EST) Friday. For complete sale results, click here. By Ken Weingartner, for the USTA with Chris Tully

Timonium, MD — Anyone who missed the first harness racing yearling pass through the auction ring at Wednesday’s (Nov. 4) second session of the Standardbred Horse Sale also missed the day’s top seller. Nautical Hanover, a pacing colt by Captaintreacherous out of Naughty Marietta, was purchased by Tony Alagna for $180,000 to lead a group of 14 horses that reached six figures. He is Naughty Marietta’s third foal, but first by Captaintreacherous and from the family of Grand Circuit stakes winner Shezarealdeal. He was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. “I saw this colt at the farm,” Alagna said. “I turned him out, he was great in the paddock. He had a great video. He was a very kind horse, great look to him. First Captain. The first great individual the mare had. This colt was phenomenal. “We wanted to take a good run at him. We knew we were going to have to spend more than normally would, but the way the pacing colts were selling yesterday, it was crazy the numbers. We were actually happy to get him for ($180,000). Our number was 175 and I had to go one over, and we got him.” Through two yearling sessions at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, a total of 445 horses sold for nearly $23.2 million and average of $52,133. The average is lower than each of the past two years, both of which established records, but nearly identical to the average of $52,847 through two sessions in 2017. The average was $69,769 in 2019 and $59,182 in 2018. Second on the list of Wednesday’s top sellers was Ivory Hanover, a pacing filly by Bettor’s Delight out of I’m Sassy, who sold for $170,000 to John Floren. She is from the family of Grand Circuit stakes winners Newborn Sassy and Ideal Newton. Next was trotting filly Peerless Hanover, by Cantab Hall out of Perfect Chance, who was purchased for $150,000 by Trond Smedshammer. Peerless Hanover, by Cantab Hall out of Perfect Chance, was purchased for $150,000 by Trond Smedshammer.   -Chris Tully photo. Both horses were bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. Rounding out the top five were trotting colt Heroic Story and trotting filly Champagne Hanover. Heroic Story, by Chapter Seven out of Bankette, was purchased for $145,000 by Reijo Liljendahl. He is the first foal for Bankette, whose dam is Grand Circuit stakes winner Bruschette. Heroic Story was bred by Caroline Gerry and consigned by Blue Chip Farms. Champagne Hanover, by Bar Hopping out of Chez Lucie, sold for $140,000 to Lynn Curry. Champagne Hanover is a half-sister to stakes winner Chezatter. She was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. The three-day yearling portion of the Standardbred Horse Sale concludes Thursday, followed by a two-day mixed sale. For complete Standardbred Horse Sale results, click here. — Chris Tully also contributed to this report   by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Timonium, MD — David McDuffee purchased two of the five highest priced yearlings during Tuesday’s (Nov. 3) opening session of the Standardbred Horse Sale at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, including sales topper Delilah Hanover for $440,000. Delilah Hanover, a trotting filly by Muscle Hill out of Danielle Hanover, is from the family of Donato Hanover, the 2007 Horse of the Year, and a half-sister to Darlene Hanover, this year’s Jim Doherty Memorial winner. Delilah Hanover was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. Nifty Norman will train the filly. “I thought she was just an absolute outstanding individual,” McDuffee said. “That’s my pick of the litter, so we had to stretch a little longer than we wanted to, but she’s pretty good.” In addition, McDuffee purchased Energetic Hanover, a pacing colt by Captaintreacherous out of Eloquent Grace, for $325,000. He is Eloquent Grace’s first foal and from the family of millionaires Ginger And Fred and Fred And Ginger. Energetic Hanover also was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. Tippet, a trotting filly by Muscle Hill out of Ilia, sold for $400,000 to Nancy Takter as agent. She is a full sister to Grand Circuit stakes winner Long Tom and a three-quarter sister to last week’s Breeders Crown runner-up In Range. Tippet was bred by Windsong Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. “She’s a really nice filly, looks really athletic,” Takter said. “I like her size. She’s not too big, she’s like racy kind of size. She moves well and stands well, so hopefully she races well.” Also selling for $400,000 was Peyton Hanover, a trotting filly by Muscle Hill out of Pennies From Above, to Jeff Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable. She is from the family of Dan Patch and O’Brien awards winner Wheeling N Dealin. Peyton Hanover was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. “We thought she would go for less, but it ended up that we had to pay as much as we did,” Snyder said. “We decided that filly was the one we wanted. We thought because she sold early in the sale (Hip No. 9) she might not go quite that high, but we did the business we had to do, and we’re happy. She’s got residual value and we’re very happy with the purchase.” Completing the top five was Frozen Hanover, a pacing colt from the final crop of Somebeachsomewhere, who sold for $325,000 to Determination. Out of Fashion Ecstasy, Frozen Hanover is a full brother to millionaire Filibuster Hanover. His second dam, Galleria, was a two-time Dan Patch Award winner and her stakes-winning offspring include new Breeders Crown champ Sandbetweenmytoes. Frozen Hanover was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. Determination also had two other purchases in the top 11, trotting colt Capulet (Walner-Tosca) for $235,000 and trotting filly Gyre Hanover (Father Patrick-Global Desire) for $225,000. Capulet’s family includes millionaire Guccio while Gyre Hanover is from the family of Glidemaster, the 2006 Horse of the Year. Capulet was bred by Steve Organ and consigned by Walnridge Farm. Gyre Hanover was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. The opening session of the sale grossed $12.8 million and averaged $83,201 for 154 yearlings. Last year, the sale got off to a record start, grossing $19.2 million and averaging $113,976 for 169 horses. In 2018, the average was $93,541 and in 2017 it was $75,305. A total of 41 horses sold for at least $100,000, with 16 going for at least $200,000. “I think the sale was very strong,” Standardbred Horse Sale President and CEO Pete Spears said. “I think the middle, especially, was encouraging. We didn’t have as much extreme ups and downs. I think the middle was stronger than it’s been for quite a while. “Obviously, there were some big sellers. Determination was especially active and we’re grateful for their participation. Mr. McDuffee as well. I think it’s been great. I should mention Nancy Takter for buying my own filly (Tippet). That was fun. “I think these are pretty good numbers.” Trotting fillies led in average, at $99,553 for 38 yearlings. Trotting colts averaged $60,622 for 37. Pacing fillies and colts were nearly identical, with fillies averaging $85,923 for 39 and colts averaging $85,900 for 40. Among trotting sires, Bar Hopping averaged $125,000 for three yearlings while Muscle Hill averaged $122,800 for 20. Among pacing sires, Bettor’s Delight averaged $152,500 for four while Somebeachsomewhere averaged $118,333 for nine. Captaintreacherous averaged $92,652 for 23, tops among pacing sires with double-digit sellers. The second day of the three-day yearling sale begins at 10 a.m. (EST) Wednesday. For complete results, click here. by Ken Weingartner with Chris Tully

When colt Mysweetboymax races in Thursday's $193,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male harness racing pacers at Dover Downs, he carries not only his owners' hopes for a win but their memories of a dear friend. Bred and owned by the father-and-son team of Robert Horowitz and Brandon Horowitz, Mysweetboymax is named in memory of Max Liroff, the best friend of one of Robert's other sons, Casey. Max died two years ago at the age of 25 following a battle with cancer. "He fought the battle like none other but was just dealt a terrible blow," Robert Horowitz said. "He was the sweetest, nicest kid in the world. I knew him from the day he wore diapers. He was a wonderful person. When it came time to name this horse, this was something we wanted to do." Mysweetboymax, by Sweet Lou out of Faster Faster, has won three of 10 races this season and hit the board a total of six times. In July, he finished in a dead heat for win with eventual undefeated Breeders Crown champion Perfect Sting. In his most recent starts, both at Harrah's Philadelphia, Mysweetboymax won a division of the Liberty Bell and was second in a division of the Simpson Memorial. "He was a little immature and we kind of brought him along slowly," Horowitz said. "He's been getting better every week. We felt like this would be an opportunity for him. You never know. You have to be in it to win it." Mysweetboymax will start Thursday's Matron from post six and is 12-1 on the morning line. The colt is trained by Sam DePinto. "He's very handy, he makes no mistakes, and he loves his job," Horowitz said about Mysweetboymax. "The horse just loves what he does. He shows up and tries every week. He can race any way he has to. He's a pushbutton horse to drive. He can leave, come off the pace; that kind of horse is nice as a 2-year-old. "This is a very competitive race, but we feel like he's in a good spot and will give a good account of himself. He's never disappointed." Southwind Gendry, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who is coming off a third-place finish by a head in the Breeders Crown, is the 5-2 favorite in the Matron for colt-and-gelding pacers. The field also includes Metro Pace winner Exploit and Breeders Crown finalists Bayfield Beach and Literl Lad Hanover. There also are Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters and 2-year-old female pacers and trotters. Massachusetts Sire Stakes champion Incommunicado is the 3-5 favorite in the colt-and-gelding trot, Bluegrass division winner Pub Crawl is the 5-2 choice in the filly trot, and Breeders Crown finalist Continualou is the 2-1 favorite in the filly pace. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST) Thursday at Dover Downs. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

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