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In many cases, winning seven harness races in a row would be the most notable achievement of any harness racing driver's day. But for Yannick Gingras, such a streak got him to an even more noteworthy accomplishment --- career victory No. 6,000. On Sunday, the 36-year-old Gingras won his final four drives at Harrah's Philadelphia before heading north to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where he had three drives in Pennsylvania All-Stars action. Gingras won all three, finishing the day with 6,000 lifetime triumphs. Gingras notched his milestone win with Ron Burke-trained 2-year-old male pacer Normandy Beach in the seventh race at Pocono. "That's just neat that it worked out that way," Gingras said. "Someone mentioned to me yesterday that I was getting close, but I wasn't sure how close I was. "At this stage, it's a good number --- it's always nice to get these milestones --- but at this point we race so many horses they come quite often, honestly. But it's definitely nice. I'm sure it's something that later on it will be nice to talk about these numbers. Hopefully, I'll have made it higher than 6,000." Gingras was harness racing's Driver of the Year in 2014 and has led the sport in purses each of the past two seasons. This year, Gingras has won 164 races and $3.12 million, which ranks fifth in North America. His top wins this season include the Pennsylvania Classic with Check Six, Roses Are Red with Lady Shadow, Armbro Flight with Hannelore Hanover, Confederation Cup with Rockin Ron, New Jersey Sire Stakes championship with Southwind Frank, and a Group 2 race in Sweden with Pinkman. Other stars driven by Gingras during his career include Foiled Again, Mission Brief, Father Patrick, JK She'salady, Maven, Pastor Stephen, and Darlin's Delight. This weekend, Gingras will turn his attention to Pocono's Sun Stakes Saturday card, where his drives include Southwind Frank in the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Southwind Frank, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, saw a 12-race win streak halted by Bar Hopping last Saturday in their Beal elimination. Bar Hopping won by a neck in 1:52.1. "He's good," Gingras said about Southwind Frank, who has won 13 of 15 career races and is the early Hambletonian Stakes favorite. "He wasn't a hundred percent on Saturday. That's pretty scary to get beat a neck when he's not at his best. I think he'll be ready to rock on Saturday night." Gingras also is anticipating the $500,000 Ben Franklin, where older male pacing stars Always B Miki, Freaky Feet Pete, and Wiggle It Jiggleit all head to the final off impressive elimination victories. "That's going to be an unbelievable race," said Gingras, who is listed on Burke trainees Rock N' Roll World and Always At My Place. "I'm looking forward to, not only being a part of it, but seeing who is the king of the division now. I hope it's everything we hope it's going to be. "There will be a lot of good racing there at Pocono on Saturday night. I have some good ones, so I'm definitely looking forward to it." Ken Weingartner

Although Southwind Frank sports the divisional crown and rightfully so, he is surrounded by harness racing rivals seeking to snatch that glistening accessory on every occasion he places a hoof upon the track. In this Saturday's (June 25) $25,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Trolley tosses himself into the fray, to not only derail the champion's journey to the Hambletonian, but to launch his own bid to sport the crown. "He already thinks he is the king of the barn," said Erv Miller, the colt's conditioner. "I'm standing in front of his stall right now (Thursday, June 23) and I already had to put three or four boards higher on it than what is normal for the other horses because he always tries to jump over it to get out. He is trying to talk and play with everyone else in the barn to let them know he's there." A son of Donato Hanover and the Duke Of York mare Lakeside Bride, who is a half-sister to stakes-winner King Conch, Trolley was purchased for $30,000 by Paymaq Racing, Leland Mathias, Greg Gillis and Louis Willinger at the 2014 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The royally bred colt, whose granddam, Conch, is a daughter of the legendary Bonefish, may not have acquired a legion of devoted followers due to his brief career (3-2-0-0, $43,501), however, his connections are confident he will stake his claim for the throne when he begins trotting from post position three in Saturday's ninth race with Marcus Miller guiding him. Trolley, despite being lightly raced, is 6-1 on the morning line, but will have to face stiff opposition in Southwind Frank (post position eight, 5-2), Love Matters (post position two, 3-1), Bar Hopping (post position six, 4-1) and Lagerfeld (post position four, 5-1) to advance to the $500,000 final on July 2. The colt certainly merits attention as he defeated 2015 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Lagerfeld in his only performance this season at Pocono and also outlasted Earn And Burn, who is out of a full sister to millionaire Dejarmbro, for his maiden breaking score last year at the same venue. "He has done everything we have asked of him," Miller said. "We also have very high hopes for him. After that race last year, he came out of it with what we thought was a foot abscess. When it did not come out, we found a small spot on his coffin bone that we thought might have been bothering him so we just gave him time. He's a big, strong horse and has came back very well. We have a schedule planned for him, but he will tell us where to go whenever he is ready." Trolley is short on experience but Miller feels his natural ability and mind will allow him to ascend to the elite ranks of his division. His trainer's only question is if he can manage the horse appropriately. That speaks volumes coming from a trainer with Miller's resume. "Our concern is keeping him sound," Miller said. "He's a healthy horse so that's not the issue, but he is just such a good-feeling animal. We worry he is going to tear himself up in the barn with all the energy he has. "The other day he was out running in the paddock and just enjoying what he was doing so much I had to go out there and stop him. He is a well-mannered horse, but he just puts everything into anything that he does. Once he actually starts racing more, rather than take that kind of activity down a notch, I'm wondering if he will go the other way and think even more of himself." The colt is staked to all the engagements his colleagues will be contesting throughout the year, but Miller will be cautious regarding in which spots Trolley performs. "He is eligible to everything," Miller said. "We do believe in him because he is a very nice horse. We put him on the lead in his first (stakes) race and he did it, then finished. In his second race, he sat right in the pocket for us without being asked and made his move on his own. Not many horses, especially trotters, with limited experience have enough of a mind to do that for you. "We are very pleased with him and are very excited for not only this race, but the rest of the season. It's all up to him. We just have to listen to what he says and keep him happy." Below are the fields for the two Earl Beal Jr. Memorial eliminations on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. $25,000 7TH RACE ELIMINATION:   1, Brooklyn Hill by Muscle Hill,  David Miller, Jonas Czernyson;   2, Dayson by Conway Hall,  Jim Morrill Jr., Ron Burke;   3, Milligan's School by Yankee Glide,  Andy Miller, Julie Miller;   4, Jimmy William by Cantab Hall, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;   5, Jack Vernon by Muscle Hill, Tim Tetrick, Randy Beeckman;   6, Dupree by Andover Hall, Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt;   7, Reigning Moni by Donato Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter;   8, Truemass Volo by Muscle Massive, Eric Goodell, Doug Hamilton;   9, Hollywood Highway by Muscle Massive, John Campbell, Staffan Lind.   $25,000 9TH RACE ELIMINATION:   1, Dice Man by SJ's Caviar,  Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt;   2, Love Matters by Explosive Matter,  Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;   3, Trolley by Donato Hanover, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller;   4, Lagerfeld by Yankee Glide, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter;   5, Iron Mine Bucky by Explosive Matter, George Dennis, Greg Haverstick;   6, Bar Hopping by Muscle Hill, Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter;   7, Promise Delivered by Muscle Hill,  Andrew McCarthy, Staffan Lind;   8, Southwind Frank by Muscle Hill, Gingras also listed, Ron Burke;   9, Leggs Matter by Explosive Matter,  David Miller, Robert W. Clark.   Ken Weingartner  

After finishing second in the Elitlopp on May 29 at Sweden's Solvalla Raceway, Resolve is back on familiar ground and ready for his next challenge in Friday's $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for harness racing older trotters at the Meadowlands. Resolve faces six rivals in the Cutler. He will start from post seven, with trainer Ake Svanstedt also driving, and is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Obrigado, whose wins this season include the Charlie Hill Memorial and Maxie Lee Memorial, is 5-2 and 2015 Dan Patch Award divisional champion JL Cruze is 7-2. "He was a little skinny when he came home, but he's eaten well and in a week or two he was normal again," said Svanstedt, who conditions the 5-year-old Resolve for owner Hans Enggren. "He trained good. Everything is normal. I like the way he feels." Resolve finished second to former U.S.-based star Nuncio in the Elitlopp. It has been 18 years since Moni Maker was the last U.S.-owned horse to win the Elitlopp, although Resolve joined Arch Madness and Mr Muscleman as recent U.S. runners-up in the prestigious invitational event. Arch Madness had back-to-back second-place finishes in 2012 and 2013 and Mr Muscleman was second in 2007. Svanstedt is in his third year of competing in North America. He was Sweden's Trainer of the Year five times and Driver of the Year on three occasions prior to moving his stable to the U.S. in the winter of 2013. During his career overseas, Svanstedt won many of the top races in Europe, including the Elitlopp twice. "It was fun to go back for the Elitlopp," Svanstedt said. "It was very nice. It seems a lot of people in America looked at the race too. That's good. A lot of people have given us congratulations." Resolve's earnings in the Elitlopp pushed his lifetime total to more than $1 million. The son of Muscle Hill-Anikawiesahalee has won 10 of 43 career starts and banked $1.07 million. Last year, Resolve won four of 13 races and hit the board a total of 12 times on his way to $700,938. His wins included the TVG Free For All Series championship and an elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot. He finished second in the Maple Leaf Trot final, as well as the Breeders Crown Open Trot and Hambletonian Maturity. Resolve received the 2015 O'Brien Award for the best older male trotter to compete in Canada. The Cutler is Resolve's only stakes-level engagement until the John Cashman Jr. Memorial on Aug. 6 --- Hambletonian Day --- at the Meadowlands. In the meantime, Svanstedt will try to race Resolve at Yonkers Raceway in the hopes the horse receives an invitation to October's International Trot at The Hilltop. Svanstedt often races Resolve without shoes, but on Friday the stallion will race with shoes on his hind feet. "He can go fast with shoes too," Svanstedt said. Following is the field for the Cutler Memorial. Wind Of The North is the only one of the seven horses who competed in last year's Cutler, which was won by Bee A Magician. Wind Of The North finished second, two lengths back. Svanstedt won the 2014 Cutler with Sebastian K. The Cutler is race No. 7 on the Meadowlands' card, with a 9:15 p.m. approximate post time. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1 - Crazy Wow - by Crazed - Tim Tetrick - Ron Burke - 6/1 2 - Gural Hanover - by Crazed -  Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 12/1 3 - JL Cruze - by Crazed - John Campbell - Eric Ell - 7/2 4 - Obrigado - by Boy Band - Mark MacDonald - Paul Kelley - 5/2 5 - Flanagan Memory - by Kadabra -  Brett Miller - Rene Dion - 8/1 6 - Wind Of The North - by Cantab Hall -  David Miller - Daryl Bier - 10/1 7 - Resolve -  by Muscle Hill - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 2/1 by Ken Weingartner

Manalapan, NJ --- There were a number of stirring performances Monday when Gaitway Farm held its final round of June harness racing qualifiers, but the most inspiring had nothing to do with any of the horses that went onto the racetrack. The day belonged to Layla Mosley. Layla, the 5-year-old granddaughter of Delaware-based trainer Joe Hundertpfund Jr., is battling a rare type of bone cancer, Ewing's Sarcoma. But she was on hand Monday at Gaitway, handing out lemonade to fans on a warm morning, to help raise money for the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and childhood cancer research. In addition, Monday was the final day of a 50-50 raffle at Gaitway to benefit Layla and her parents, Brenda and Keith. The fundraiser netted more than $2,600. "The help of all the horsemen has been unbelievable," Hundertpfund said. "Everywhere. All the horsemen have been so good to us. It's been helping because my son-in-law has been out of work (taking unpaid leave to be with Layla) and this is going to be an ongoing battle." Layla was diagnosed with her cancer in early February and underwent months of chemotherapy before having surgery just several weeks ago at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to remove a tumor and parts of three ribs. "The tumor started in her ribs and metastasized to her lungs and eventually worked its way out of her back," Hundertpfund said. "The chemo made the tumor shrink to the point where they were able to take it out. Fortunately the chemo worked so well there was no sign of any tumors in her lungs; they did a biopsy and it came back cancer free. "Now it's three more months of chemotherapy, a little bit of radiation, and then just hope for the best." Layla's attitude during her fight has inspired all those around her. Layla's favorite response whenever anyone asks about her condition is, "No biggie." Following her recent surgery, she called Hundertpfund and his wife Doreen via FaceTime and sang a song about "kicking cancer's butt." "She's so resilient," Hundertpfund said. "She always has a positive outlook. She doesn't feel sorry for herself one bit, which I think really helps." To visit Layla's Facebook page, click here. To make a donation, click here for her YouCaring page (which also features a short video about Layla) and here for her GoFundMe page. by Ken Weingartner    

Betting Line, a 3-year-old male pacer who won last weekend’s Pepsi North America Cup with a stakes-record-equaling 1:47.4, vaults from ninth to No. 2 in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, falling behind only Wiggle It Jiggleit in the harness racing rankings. Four-year-old male pacer Wiggle It Jiggleit, who was idle last week, remains solidly in the top spot, but is no longer unanimous. Always B Miki, who won last Saturday’s Mohawk Gold Cup with the fastest mile in Canadian history (1:47.1) received three first-place votes and moves from eighth to fourth in the poll. Hannelore Hanover, a 4-year-old female trotter, enters the rankings at No. 7 off her world-record-equaling performance in the Armbro Flight Stakes. Pure Country, a 3-year-old female pacer, is also a newcomer, landing at No. 10 following her triumph in the Fan Hanover Stakes. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all 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 5 – 6/21/2016 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (32) 4pg 10-7-3-0 $427,265 347 1 2 Betting Line 3pc 5-4-1-0 $451,605 225 9 3 Southwind Frank 3tc 2-2-0-0 $62,500 216 3 4 Always B Miki (3) 5ph 5-3-2-0 $76,500 192 8 5 Bit Of A Legend N 7ph 13-9-2-0 $473,750 161 2 6 Freaky Feet Pete 4ph 5-4-0-1 $93,326 144 4 7 Hannelore Hanover 4tm 8-7-1-0 $212,955 92 -- 8 Maestro Blue Chip 4th 12-11-0-1 $191,500 90 7 9 Bee A Magician 6tm 3-3-0-0 $107,000 87 5 10 Pure Country 3pf 5-2-1-2 $346,762 86 -- Also: Rockin Ron (71); Rockeyed Optimist (45); Mel Mara (37); Resolve (21); Lady Shadow (19); Obrigado (17); Darlinonthebeach (12); Check Six (10); Marion Marauder (9); Missile J (8); Control The Moment, Pinkman (5); Dante (4); All Bets Off, Caprice Hill, I Said Diamonds, Krispy Apple, Yagonnakissmeornot (3); Homicide Hunter, JL Cruze, Sunfire Blue Chip (2); Racing Hill (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Manalapan, NJ --- Harness racing driver Daniel Dube liked his homebred 2-year-old female pacer Queen Elsa when he arrived at Monday's qualifiers at Gaitway Farm. Afterward, he really liked her. Queen Elsa made her first visit to the races a winning one, sitting a pocket trip behind Sweet Rockin Gia before passing her rival in the stretch and drawing off for a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:57.1. Queen Elsa is a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, who Dube helped guide to Horse of the Year honors in 2010, and Dube's mare Ladies Life. "It was her first time with a lot of horses; she always trains by herself or with one other one," Dube said. "She did it easy today. I didn't know how she would do against other horses, but it was good. Now I know she is all right. The way she went today, I really like her." Queen Elsa's potential schedule includes the New York Sire Stakes and Matron. Her family includes Nova Award-winner Sportsmaster, although Dube didn't delve deeply into family ties when he decided to breed Ladies Life, who had her career cut short by injury, with Rock N Roll Heaven. "She was big and he was small," Dube said, laughing. "I just took a chance. I don't look at the pedigree." Gaitway hosted its third and final Monday of qualifiers, with 14 races dedicated to 2-year-olds. Trainer Ron Burke won eight of the events, with his colt Miso Fast posting the fastest time for pacers (1:55) and filly Sianna Hanover notching the quickest clocking for trotters (1:56.2). Yannick Gingras drove all eight Burke winners. Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) was purchased for $125,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. He is a half-brother to stakes-winners Thirty Two Red and Forty Five Red and his family also includes O'Brien Award winner Glowing Report. Miso Fast won by 7-1/2 lengths over stablemate Rock It Scott (Roll With Joe-Vanite Semalu). Sianna Hanover (Donato Hanover-Simplicity) won by 3-1/4 lengths over Julie Miller-trained Wide Load (Cantab Hall-Hips Don't Lie). Sianna Hanover was purchased for $115,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is also owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. Her family includes Dan Patch Award winner Winky's Goal and stakes-winner Southwind Wasabi. "We'll see as they progress, but she seems pretty special," Burke said. "Anything you ask her to do, she just does it. We're excited. I told Yannick that maybe we better start mapping out a schedule and not just play it as we go with her. It looks like she's more than just average. "And to do it today wrapped up too. Yannick never spoke to her, so that was impressive." Burke's other winners were: Filly pacer Gypsy Rose (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover), who won by 4-1/2 lengths over Joe Holloway-trained Rockinsangria (Rock N Roll Heaven-Song In A Major) in 1:56.2. Gypsy Rose was purchased for $30,000 at the Goshen Yearling Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. She is a full sister to world champion Dime A Dance and her family also includes world champion Holborn Hanover and millionaire Hyperion Hanover. Make Mine Mocha (Bettor's Delight-Allamerican Mocha), a filly pacer who won by one length over stablemate Dancing In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Dashboard Dancer) in 1:57.3. Make Mine Mocha was purchased for $37,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Phil Collura, Michelle Yanek, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. Colt pacer Filibuster Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Fashion Ecstasy), who won by five lengths over Miller's Dances Cruiser in 1:55.3. Filibuster Hanover was purchased for $90,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, JT 45, Joseph DiScala Jr., and Weaver-Bruscemi. He is a half-brother to stakes-winner Fernando Hanover and his family also includes world champion Gallie Bythe Beach and stakes-winner Western Gallie. Bill Donovan's Normandy Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Symphony In Motion) won by 2-1/2 lengths over Tom Fanning-trained Timcat Hanover (Art Major-Taxi Hanover) in 1:56.1. Normandy Beach was purchased for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. His dam won $1.06 million in her career. Filly trotter Waffle Cone (Muscle Hill-Sugar Cone) won by a half-length over Miller's Overdraft Volo (Yankee Glide-Bank Of Newport) in 1:58. Waffle Cone was purchased for $50,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, Earl Smith, and Collura. Her family includes Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce. And filly trotter Senia Hanover (Crazed-Slow Dance Hanover), who won by a half-length over Trond Smedshammer's Lexi Marie (Lucky Chucky-Sari Maki Hanover) in 1:58.3. Senia Hanover was purchased for $35,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Kemppi Stables Oy Inc. and Suojalampi Stable. Trainer Tony Alagna had two winners, with filly pacer Preakness and colt trotter Kai Hanover. Preakness (Somebeachsomewhere-Sombodythatiustono) won by three-quarters of a length over Ross Croghan-trained Kiss Kiss (American Ideal-Btwnyurheartnmine) in 1:57.2 with Andy McCarthy in the sulky. Preakness was purchased for $35,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Alagna Racing and Crawford Partners. Kai Hanover (Cantab Hall-Kimberidge Hanover), driven by Scott Zeron, won by a half-length over Smedshammer's Dejarover (Dejarmbro-Whisk Hanover) in 2:00.3. Kai Hanover was purchased for $42,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Alagna and Massey Stable, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Adriano Sorella. Holloway-trained Thefoolalwaysrocks (Always A Virgin-This Fool Rocks) won by 1-3/4 lengths over Robbie Siegelman-trained Gimme Some Lovin' (Bettor's Delight-Torrid Affair) in 1:56.4 with Tim Tetrick driving. Thefoolalwaysrocks is a homebred filly pacer owned by Roll The Dice Stable. Miller's colt trotter Southwind Cruze (Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe) won by 4-1/4 lengths over Burke's Southwind Cobra (Muscle Hill-Caerphilly) in 1:58 with Andy Miller in the bike. Southwind Cruze was purchased for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Vincent Laurenzo, and Robert Laurenzo. Fanning had a winner with colt pacer Photobombr Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Pilgrims Witchie), who won by 4-1/4 lengths over Larry Remmen-trained Cash Your Dreams (Always A Virgin-Chotat Milk) in 1:58.3 with Matt Kakaley at the lines. Photobombr Hanover was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. "I was standing in front of my barn, which is around the eighth pole, when (Kakaley) pulled him and he was on top in three or four strides; so he's OK," Fanning said. "The last six or seven weeks he's trained more like a horse, which is nice. He was a little tough to break and handle, but he's getting it now. "He looks the part too. If you watch him go he's pretty impressive. He's staked, but we'll see how he does. One step at a time." by Ken Weingartner

Matt Kakaley knows there are harness racing fans that respect and appreciate All Bets Off and what the pacer has accomplished in his career. Still, he would like to see that group grow in numbers. He hopes to create some new followers on Sunday when he drives All Bets Off in the $179,000 Roll With Joe Stakes at Tioga Downs. All Bets Off, a multiple-stakes-winner of $1.86 million in lifetime purses, will start the Roll With Joe from post No. 1 as part of a four-horse entry from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. "I love that horse," Kakaley said. "You hear about all the big horses that they talk about in the older division this year, and how great it's going to be, and his name never gets brought up. I don't think that's fair to the horse because he deserves it. He's raced good every start this year. I think everyone kind of figures he's a little track horse, but I think he deserves a mention with those top free-for-allers. "There are some people that give him some recognition, but I think he'll win a couple big ones this year and set the record straight." Kakaley has driven All Bets Off for the majority of his career and won a number of top stakes with the now 5-year-old stallion. All Bets Off's list of victories include the 2013 Matron, 2014 Messenger, Milstein Memorial, and Art Rooney, and the 2015 Confederation Cup and Prix d'Ete. This year, All Bets Off has won three of 11 races and hit the board a total of nine times. He finished second from post eight in the Battle of Lake Erie, losing to 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit, and second in the Levy Series championship to New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend. Wiggle It Jiggleit and Bit Of A Legend are the two top-ranked horses in the most recent Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. In addition, All Bets Off was a troubled-trip fourth in the Molson Pace, where he was beaten by 1-1/2 lengths despite a :26.3 last quarter-mile. "He's been big for me," Kakaley said. "I've won a lot of big races with him and he's put me in the national spotlight. He's given me some thrills, that's for sure. He's special to me." One of All Bets Off's best efforts this season came over a sloppy track in an upper-level conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. All Bets Off was last at the halfway point before launching a three-wide move on the final turn and getting to the front by mid-stretch. He won by 2-1/4 lengths over Bigtown Hero in 1:50.2 on May 14. "Just the way he did it and the way he felt that night, I knew he was getting sharp," Kakaley said. "You don't win from fourth over at Pocono, three wide on the last turn, against those horses. It just doesn't happen. "I think he's in career form right now and that start kind of proved it to me, how good he is. He was ready to get going and take on the big dogs, I think. He's just a handy little horse and I can do anything I want with him." All Bets Off and entry mates Take It Back Terry, Limelight Beach, and Always At My Place are 8-5 on the morning line for the Roll With Joe. The field also includes Rockeyed Optimist, State Treasurer, and McWicked. A son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope, All Bets Off is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. "He's been super," Kakaley said about All Bets Off. "I'm looking forward to him being good again Sunday." by Ken Weingartner

In 2014, Michael Pozefsky watched a horse he bred --- Resolve --- race in the Hambletonian Stakes. This year, he hopes to watch a horse he bred and owns compete in the $1 million harness racing event. Pozefsky and Edward Wilson bred The Royal Harry, who on Sunday races in the $222,975 Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old male trotters at Vernon Downs in upstate New York. The colt, whose family includes two Hambletonian winners and a Hambletonian Oaks champion, is now owned by Pozefsky and his brother, William. The Royal Harry has won two of six career races and hit the board a total of five times, earning $32,030. He has a win and a second-place finish this season, with his victory coming in 1:55.1 in a conditioned race June 10 at Vernon Downs. He was second to Sir Royson in his first start, which came in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs. Sir Royson, the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Empire Breeders Classic, won by a half-length in 1:54. "He won against a lesser crew at Vernon last week, but we just needed another race to try to be ready for this week," Pozefsky said. "His first start, it was a good line, but he got a good trip and he got a good drive. I wasn't expecting to go that much, but he did, which was terrific." The Royal Harry, trained by Ake Svanstedt, raced only four times last season. He had a win and two second-place finishes, but was shut down in early October to prepare for this year. "He was a big colt," Pozefsky said. "Instead of rushing him into it, the Svanstedt Stable decided to bring him along at a slower pace, which was fine with us. We had higher hopes, but he got to a point where he was going about the same and we decided to bring him back as a 3-year-old and hope that he improved substantially. It appears he has, but we'll know a lot more about that after the Breeders Classic." Wilson and Pozefsky bred and raced The Royal Harry's dam, Wilsonator, who enjoyed success on the Ontario circuit and finished fourth in the 2010 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters. The family also includes Hambletonian winners Emily's Pride and Spencer Scott and Hambletonian Oaks champion Keystone Pioneer. Pozefsky and Wilson also shared the breeding credit for Resolve, who finished fifth in the 2014 Hambletonian. The two breeders take turns naming their horses and Wilson named The Royal Harry, a son of RC Royalty, after Pozefsky's son Harry, who is now 29. The Royal Harry was put through the Standardbred Horse Sale in 2014, where the Pozefskys bought back the yearling for $100,000. "He's just part of the family," Pozefsky said. "We liked him a lot. It was kind of an easy decision. The dam was a fine mare and this is her second foal. Her first foal (Muscle Hill-sired Hillsonator) is racing well in Canada." The Royal Harry is one of two Hambletonian eligible horses in the Empire Breeders Classic, along with George Ducharme-trained Reve Royale. Pozefsky hopes The Royal Harry can continue to make strides and find himself at the Meadowlands on Aug. 6 for the Hambletonian. "He's got to find some real additional time," Pozefsky said, "but surely that's the dream." The Royal Harry will start the Empire Breeders Classic from post No. 1 with Mark MacDonald in the sulky. He is 5-1 on the morning line. Svanstedt will drive Dexter Cup winner Dante, who is 9-2 from post nine. Sir Royson will start from post seven with Jim Marohn Jr. driving for trainer Linda Toscano and owner R-And-I Farms. A homebred son of Crazed-Leibovitz Hanover, Sir Royson has won five of nine career races and earned $84,722. Sunday's card at Vernon Downs also features the $234,375 Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old female trotters. The entry of Earn Your Wings and Straight A Student is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Earn Your Wings, from the stable of trainer Anette Lorentzon, and Straight A Student, from the stable of trainer Paul Kelley, are coupled because of common ownership. by Ken Weingartner

If recent form is any indication, Magnum J will be flying through the stretch in Saturday's C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. He will try to make harness racing history and land in the winner's circle. Magnum J, last year's Battle of Waterloo champion, will try to become the first horse to win the North America Cup from post 10 since the event moved from Greenwood Raceway to Woodbine in 1994 and then to Mohawk in 2007, a span of 22 races. He enters the Cup off a fourth-place finish in his elimination, where he started from post nine and rallied from last place with a :26.2 final quarter-mile to end up 1-1/4 lengths shy of winner Boston Red Rocks. His final quarter was four-fifths of a second better than any other horse in the field. A week earlier in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes at Mohawk, Magnum J started from post 10 and rallied from last place in the final quarter-mile, this time in :25.4, to finish fourth. He paced his back half in :53. Magnum J is 15-1 on the North America Cup morning line. Betting Line, who won the first of last week's two Cup eliminations in a career-best 1:49.1, is the 5-2 favorite for trainer Casie Coleman and driver David Miller. Boston Red Rocks, who won his elim in 1:50.3, is the 3-1 second choice, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Steve Elliott. "It would be good if he could be a little closer to the front end; I think he would still close good," said trainer Gregg McNair, who owns Magnum J with Tony Lawrence and William Brown. "He's not likely going to get that chance Saturday, so we'll probably have to race him the same way as the last two starts. "We'll just hope they go big fractions and something opens up and he maybe gets good money somehow. We'll see how things go." Magnum J won two of four races last year, with his final start coming in the Battle of Waterloo on Aug. 3 at Grand River Raceway. Soreness issues forced McNair to quit with the horse for the season, but the son of Big Jim-Jamirotoy trained back well this year. He finished seventh in his seasonal debut because of a breathing issue, but bounced back to win a division of the Ontario Sire Stakes in 1:53.2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. That victory was followed by his two starts from the outside posts in the Somebeachsomewhere and North America Cup elimination. McNair selected Magnum J, a $10,000 yearling purchase, at the 2014 Forest City Sale. The gelding has earned $132,476 in his career. "I wanted to try a Big Jim because he was a heck of a speed horse himself," McNair said. "Magnum J, he kind of caught my eye a little bit. He's been a good buy. It's too bad that we had to shut him down last year, and when he's real good this year he's not drawn good. "I really don't know how good he is. But he's a fast horse. Doug McNair, Gregg's son, is the regular driver of Magnum J. The McNairs will try to join the father-son team of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Carl Jamieson to win the North America Cup. The Jamiesons accomplished the feat in 2011 with Up The Credit. "It's not impossible," Gregg McNair said. "It seems like that right now, but that's why they have the race. "He's got some other stakes this year," the trainer added, "but none for a million dollars." Following is the complete field for the Pepsi North America Cup in post order. Post time for the first of 15 races on the Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m.   Here is the field for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup   1. Big Top Hanover by Western Ideal (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 6-1   2. Lyons Snyder by Well Said  (Yannick Gingras - Mark Silva) 4-1   3. Betting Line by Bettor's Delight (David Miller - Casie Coleman) 5-2   4. Boston Red Rocks by Rocknroll Hanover (Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott) 3-1   5. Michaels Victory by Rocknroll Hanover (Scott Zeron - Mark Silva) 12-1   6. Racing Hill by Roll With Joe (Brett Miller - Tony Alagna) 10-1   7. Beast Mode by Rock N Roll Heaven (Trevor Henry - Christopher Nicol) 20-1   8. Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere  (Corey Callahan - Ron Burke) 15-1   9. Control The Moment by Well Said (Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell) 8-1   10. Magnum J  by Big Jim (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) 15-1   AE: American Passport by American Ideal (Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna)   By Ken Weingartner  

The name Hannelore Hanover can be added to the growing list of horses that got his or her start on the Indiana harness racing circuit and advanced to take on top horses in open stakes across North America. A 4-year-old female trotter, Hannelore Hanover is the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$267,000 Armbro Flight Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Hannelore Hanover, who was the 2015 Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final champion, has won six of seven races this season and captured her Armbro Flight elimination last Friday by 4-3/4 lengths over Rockin With Dewey in 1:52.2. Shake It Cerry, the 2014 Trotter of the Year, finished third. For her career, Hannelore Hanover has won 15 of 28 races and earned $414,399. She has finished outside the top three only twice. She joins the likes of 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Breeders Crown champs Always B Miki, Color's A Virgin, and Freaky Feet Pete as Indiana-sired horses attracting national attention. "Hannelore is a very, very good horse," trainer Ron Burke said about the daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety, who was purchased as a yearling for $32,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and whose family includes two-time Horse of the Year Mack Lobell. "She's showed that she belongs with probably any of them right now. She's just gotten better and better. She's got plenty of go." The Burke Racing Stable owns Hannelore Hanover, along with the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino. The mare's wins this season include the Miami Valley Distaff and her only setback was a second-place finish in a parked-out mile from post eight in an Invitational Handicap at Hoosier Park. Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start from post No. 4 in the Armbro Flight, which is for female trotters ages 3 and older. Four-year-old Rules Of The Road, the 2015 Hambletonian Oaks runner-up to Wild Honey, won the second of the two Armbro Flight eliminations last week, beating Elegant Serenity by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.1. Stormont Kate finished third. Rules Of The Road has won three of seven races this season and nine of 39 lifetime. Her victories last year included divisions of the Simpson and Tompkins-Geers stakes. She has earned $274,860 for owners Arden Homestead Stable and Janice Connor, who trains the mare with her husband Chuck Connor Jr. "She's going to have to be better this week," Janice Connor said about the daughter of Muscle Hill-Right On Renee, who was a $12,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. "Even though she was great last week, don't get me wrong, she's going to have to step it up a little bit more to beat Hannelore Hanover and Shake It Cerry. But we have faith." Rules Of The Road and driver Corey Callahan will start the Armbro Flight from post three. Rules Of The Road is 6-1 on the morning line. Shake It Cerry is the 4-1 second choice behind Hannelore Hanover. "She's much better than at the beginning of the year," Connor said about Rules Of The Road, who brings a three-race win streak to Saturday's final. "But she was slow to start last year too. Her first few starts last year were not stellar. She was making some breaks and not finishing her miles. But now we're very happy with her. She trained (Wednesday) morning and trained super. Hopefully we can get a good chunk of it." Added Connor Jr., "She's kind of an overachiever anyway. She can leave (the starting gate) pretty hard and get to where she needs to go. She's been a pretty good horse." Following is the field for the Armbro Flight in post order. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Morning Line $267,000 Armbro Flight Final 1. Missys GaGa by Kadabra (Sylvain Filion) 20-1 2. Rockin With Dewey by Deweycheatumnhowe (Mario Baillargeon) 12-1 3. Rules Of The Road by Muscle Hill (TBA) 6-1 4. Hannelore Hanover by Swan For All (Yannick Gingras) 6-5 5. Charmed Life by Majestic Son (Jody Jamieson) 8-1 6. Stormont Kate by Kadabra (Trevor Henry) 15-1 7. Shake It Cerry by Donato Hanover (David Miller) 4-1 8. Elegant Serenity by Kadabra (Roger Mayotte) 8-1 9. Barn Doll by Conway Hall (Jeff Gregory) 12-1 10. White Becomes Her by Angus Hall (Mario Baillargeon) 20-1 AE: My Happiness E P by Credit Winner by Ken Weingartner

Elimination winners Betting Line and Boston Red Rocks will start from posts No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, when 10 harness racing 3-year-old male pacers go behind the gate for Saturday’s C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. The connections of the elimination winners selected the starting spots for their horses at Tuesday afternoon’s North America Cup draw and press conference. Casie Coleman, who trains Betting Line and co-owns the colt with Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol, won the random draw to pick first. Betting Line and driver David Miller won their elimination last weekend by three-quarters of a length over Lyons Snyder in a career-best 1:49.1. Betting Line has won three of four races this year and finished second once. For his career, he has won nine of 16 starts and earned $473,280. “He came out of the race great last week,” Coleman said. “I trained him this morning and he trained like a bearcat. Jonathan Drury, who is prepping him for this race for me, trained him this morning and told me it’s the best he’s ever been yet. So, he’s very good right now.” Coleman won the 2010 North America Cup with Sportswriter. Boston Red Rocks’ trainer, Steve Elliott, also is seeking a second North America Cup, having won the 2009 event with Well Said. Paul Reid made the post selection today on behalf of Elliott. Last weekend, Boston Red Rocks won his elimination by a half-length over Big Top Hanover in 1:50.3. For the year, the colt has won two of four races and not finished off the board in any start. Boston Red Rocks was the 2015 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. For his career, he has won six of 13 races, including last season’s Breeders Crown, and earned $639,455 for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Below is the compete draw: PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer 1. Big Top Hanover – by Western Ideal - Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke 2. Lyons Snyder – by Well Said - Sylvain Filion – Mark Silva 3. Betting Line –  by Bettor's Delight - David Miller – Casie Coleman 4. Boston Red Rocks – by Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick – Steve Elliott 5. Michael’s Victory –  by Rocknroll Hanover - Sylvain Filion – Mark Silva 6. Racing Hill – by Roll With Joe - Brett Miller – Tony Alagna 7. Beast Mode – by Rock N Roll Heaven - Trevor Henry – Christopher Nicol 8. Manhattan Beach – by Somebeachsomewhere - David Miller – Ron Burke 9. Control The Moment – by Well Said - Randy Waples – Brad Maxwell 10. Magnum J – by Big Jim - Doug McNair – R. Gregg McNair Connections of Betting Line and Boston Red Rocks selected posts as elimination winners. Drivers and trainers listed from eliminations. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Wiggle It Jiggleit won for the third consecutive time last week and remains the unanimous No. 1 in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. The harness racing 4-year-old male pacer won the third leg of the Graduate Series by 5-1/2 lengths in a track-record-equaling 1:48.1 at Tioga Downs on Sunday. Maestro Blue Chip won the Graduate leg for 4-year-old trotters and moves from No. 9 to seventh in the poll. The lone newcomer to the Top 10 is Betting Line, a 3-year-old male pacer who won his elimination for the North America Cup last weekend at Mohawk. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all 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 4 – 6/14/2016 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (35) 4pg 10-7-3-0 $427,265 350 1 2 Bit Of A Legend N 7ph 13-9-2-0 $473,750 196 3 3 Southwind Frank 3tc 2-2-0-0 $62,500 194 5 4 Freaky Feet Pete 4ph 5-4-0-1 $93,326 153 6 5 Bee A Magician 6tm 3-3-0-0 $107,000 152 4 6 Rockin Ron 4pg 13-10-2-0 $263,690 144 2 7 Maestro Blue Chip 4th 12-11-0-1 $191,500 140 9 8 Always B Miki 5ph 4-2-2-0 $37,500 98 7 9 Betting Line 3pc 4-3-1-0 $61,605 65 -- 10 Mel Mara 7ph 11-3-3-0 $57,190 63 10 Also: Obrigado (41); Resolve (40); Darlinonthebeach (35); Pinkman (27); Rockeyed Optimist (25); Check Six (22); Pure Country (21); Boston Red Rocks, Hannelore Hanover (19); All Bets Off (18); Caprice Hill (13); Shamballa (11); JL Cruze (10); Dayson, Missile J, Nickle Bag (9); Blue Moon Stride, Cufflink Hanover, Yagonnakissmeornot (7); Anndrovette (6); I Said Diamonds, Lady Shadow, Lyons Snyder (3); Good Will Hanover, Venus Delight (2); Evenin Of Pleasure, Seventimesavirgin (1).   by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Manalapan, NJ --- When male pacer Blood Line kicked off Monday's qualifiers for 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm with a sharp 1:54.2 win on a 60-degree morning with a gusty breeze, it certainly got the attention of his harness racing trainer, Jimmy Takter. "That's a serious mile today," Takter said after watching Yannick Gingras guide Blood Line to victory in his career debut. "I would say that's like a (1):52-and-a-piece mile. You're not going to see too many go faster than him today." As it turned out, no mile went faster among the 2-year-olds in their nine qualifiers and only three older horses posted a quicker clocking in the day's remaining seven qualifiers. Blood Line, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Blood Diamond, was bred by Diamond Creek Farm and J&T Silva Stables and is now owned by Diamond Creek Racing. He is a full brother to stakes-winner Blood Brother and his family includes millionaires Western Terror, If I Can Dream, Artiscape, and Delinquent Account. "He's a little goofy," Takter said. "He's a fast horse and he's got a lot of strength. We have him staked up good so we know he's got the ability. He's a little bit like his brother, though; not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he can go." Blood Line won by 1-3/4 lengths over Ron Burke-trained Major Key (Art Major-Capri Hanover). Gingras drove two more 2-year-old winners, both from Burke's stable. The first was female trotter Waffle Cone and the second was male trotter Deacon Tony. Waffle Cone (Muscle Hill-Sugar Cone) won by four lengths over Takter's Bridal Suite (Cantab Hall-Starlet Rules) in 2:00.3. Waffle Cone was purchased for $50,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Earl Smith, and Phil Collura. Her family includes Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce. Deacon Tony (Muscle Hill-Blue Yonder) was second-placed-first when Trond Smedshammer's Mushana went off stride just prior to the finish line. Deacon Tony, timed in 2:02.1, was purchased for $85,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by JT45, Deo Volente Farms, T L P Stable, and Malvern Burroughs. His family includes 2000 Hambletonian winner and O'Brien Horse of the Year Yankee Paco. The stables of trainers Julie Miller and Aaron Lambert also produced two winners apiece. Miller won with male pacer Dances Cruiser and female pacer Annacloy while Lambert scored with male pacer Outrajus Blue Chip and female pacer Agent Q. Dances Cruiser (Yankee Cruiser-Dances On The Wind) won by three-quarters of a length over Thefoolalwaysrocks (Always A Virgin-This Fool Rocks) in 1:57. He was driven by Fredi Herrera, who notched his first qualifier win after making his debut on the track a week ago. Dances Cruiser was bred by Pinske Stables, who also owns the colt. His family includes stakes-winner Btwnyurheartnmine. "I feel good; very excited," Herrera said. "He's a nice horse. He's just young, but he qualified very good today." Annacloy (Art Major-Lislea Phia) won by 5-1/4 lengths over Takter's St Helena (American Ideal-Art's Vintage) in 1:56.2. Driven by Andy Miller, it was Annacloy's second qualifier win in as many tries. She was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Ervin Miller Stable, and Paymaq Racing. Her dam was a multiple stakes-winner. Lambert-driven Outrajus Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Some Girls Do) won by three-quarters of a length over Miller's Flight Insurance (Art Official-Cruzin Angel) in 1:58.4. He sold for $10,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Ron Coyne Stables, Blair Corbeil, and Lambert. His dam was a stakes-winner and the family also includes Dan Patch Award-winner Central Park West. David Miller-driven Agent Q finished with a :27.2 final quarter-mile, equaling Outrajus Blue Chip's mark for the fastest of the day among the 2-year-olds, to rally from the back of the pack and defeat Tony Alagna's Sweet Rockin Gia (Rockin Image-EJ's Copperstone) by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:58.2. Agent Q (Western Terror-Teenage Paige) sold for $25,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Martin Scharf, William Rochetti Jr., Tanya Rochetti, and Robert Muscara. Agent Q's family includes stakes-winner Paige Nicole Q. Smedshammer won with female trotter Diva Dejarmbro (Dejarmbro-Nordic Nymph), who beat Robert Bresnahan Jr.'s Logans Lady (Explosive Matter-Bancroft Hall) by a neck in 2:01.3. Diva Dejarmbro, driven by Smedshammer, was purchased for $27,000 under the name Impressions First at the Ohio Selected Jug Sale and is owned by Purple Haze Stables. Chris Ryder-trained and driven male pacer Tribal War (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mystical Gypsy) won the remaining qualifier for the 2-year-olds, defeating John Dally (Somebeachsomewhere-Michelle My Gal) by a half-length in 1:55.3. Tribal War, purchased for $10,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and Ryder. His family includes stakes-winners Load The Dice and The Catamount Kid. "I was happy with him," Ryder said. "He's been training pretty decent on the farm. He was a little aggressive today, but that's no big deal. We're going to go to the sire stakes in New York with him. We have him staked. He's also eligible to the Metro Pace, but we'll see. "We like him. He's very nice. He's out of the same family as a horse I had years ago, Load The Dice. He was OK, he just had the distinction of being the same year as (2005 Horse of the Year) Rocknroll Hanover." In action among the older horses, male trotter Crazy Wow won his qualifier in 1:53.2 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Burke while male pacer Dealt A Winner won in 1:53.2 for driver David Miller and trainer Mark Silva. by Ken Weingartner

When Sarah Svanstedt drove in an amateur race last week at the Meadowlands, it had been nearly three years since she competed on the harness racing track. But it seems that winning in a race bike is like riding a bike; one never forgets how it's done. Sarah, the wife of trainer Ake Svanstedt, guided Real DJ Hanover to victory last Friday in a GSY Series trot, rallying from the back of the pack to defeat Windsun Galliano by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.2. Sarah and Real DJ Hanover will be back for another GSY Series event Friday (June 10) at the Big M and the tandem is the 5-2 morning line favorite from post nine in a nine-horse field. A native of Sweden, Sarah drove in nearly 500 races overseas. Her win last week was No. 50 in her career. "When I passed the finish line, I was like, oh my gosh, I won," Sarah said. "I was shocked. It was an amazing feeling." The Svanstedts moved to the U.S. in the winter of 2013. Ake, a five-time Trainer of the Year and three-time Driver of the Year in Sweden, was ready for a new challenge and established a winter base in Florida and racing home at a farm in New Jersey. Sarah had driven on only a limited basis in the several years prior to the move because of the birth of the couple's two young boys, Erik and Jonas, and put off a return to the bike until the family was settled in its new environment. "It is like a fulltime job with the kids, especially when Ake is gone so much," Sarah said. "The first one-and-a-half or two years here, I'd say it was really much work, with the kids, and school, and language, and paperwork. This farm is a lot of work too. It's like starting all over again. "This year it feels really good. Now that everything is settled it is good. And people here were so nice to us, helping us and making us feel welcome. It was nice and helped us feel more at home. "Some people say I don't have a life outside the horses, but it's my life. I travel a lot and get to see so much. You go out and meet many nice people and have fun. I love my life." Sarah grew up in Sweden riding horses. She got her first trip behind a trotter at the age of 13 when her best friend's brother, who was a trainer, told her "it was time to stop the riding." "I didn't know if I wanted to get in the cart," Sarah said, "but I drove a really nice horse and from that moment I was in love with driving." Sarah prepped for her amateur debut by driving in a qualifier on May 21 at the Meadowlands. She finished third with The Royal Harry, from Ake's stable. She received a few words of advice from Ake prior to the start, and discovered that when the gate pulled away, she was ready to go. "When I drove in the qualifying race I felt something coming over me, like the race moment," Sarah said, adding with a laugh, "Ake told me to just drive from the back, but when the gate was leaving, I was like I'm not going to go behind. Why? I could feel something coming to me like I wanted to race again." Sarah's win with Real DJ Hanover was special beyond the obvious reason. She wanted to drive the 4-year-old gelding because the horse is owned by the Svanstedts and Sarah's father, Torbjorn Swahn. "I wanted to go with him first so there was no pressure," Sarah said. "He's a really wonderful horse to work with and such a nice horse to drive. So I felt like that was the horse to start with. When you like the horse so much, I work with him seven days a week, it was a great feeling to win with him." Sarah kept her plans to drive in the amateur ranks quiet until about two hours before her first race, when she sent out a photo of herself with Real DJ Hanover via social media. "So then everyone was like, what, is she going to drive?" Sarah said. "When it ended up with a victory, everyone went crazy. So it was fun." Sarah is uncertain of her future as a driver, but plans to compete in the amateur ranks when she has the opportunity. "I have to start somewhere and I will see where it takes me," Sarah said. "I have been driving the horses here every day, so the horse driving itself is not the thing. It's more like the speed and having to think quickly. I want to keep going in the amateur races, but then I'm not sure if I'll go out with the big boys. I drove with them in Sweden. I'm not sure how different it would be here. "But it's fun to drive again. I'm just taking one step at a time." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Tony Alagna won the Pepsi North America Cup three years ago with Captaintreacherous and the New Jersey-based harness racing trainer is back again this year hoping to advance three horses to the lucrative June 18 final. Alagna's Highlandbeachycove and Racing Hill are in the first of two nine-horse Cup Eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The two will start on opposite ends of the gate, with Highlandbeachycove and driver Scott Zeron leaving from post No. 1 and Racing Hill and driver Brett Miller leaving from post No. 9. American Passport, Alagna's remaining entry, will start from post No. 8 in the second elim, with Zeron at the lines. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the C$1 million final. Racing Hill and American Passport both won divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes last year at Lexington's Red Mile. Both horses have raced twice this year without a win, but Alagna is pleased with the way the two colts are heading to the North America Cup eliminations. American Passport went off stride while battling for the lead in the stretch in his seasonal debut at the Meadowlands on May 21, but rebounded to finish second by a half-length to Casie Coleman-trained Betting Line in 1:50.1 in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes last Saturday at Mohawk. "We thought we had him in good shape going into his first start and it looked like he was going to go a good mile, he just needed a little bit more fine-tuning before the Somebeachsomewhere," Alagna said. "We worked on a couple things, took his hobbles in a little bit, and he trained back good and we expected him to be back on his game in Canada. And he was very good. He was back to his old self." American Passport is owned by Brittany Farms, Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing, and Jodi Siamis. He is a son of American Ideal out of the mare Star Of The Show. He sold for $29,000 under the name Rose Run Rascal at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. His mother is a half-sister to both Ideal Treasure, who is the dam of Canadian Horse of the Year State Treasurer, and stakes-winner Ideal Matters. The family also includes world champion Hit Parade. For his career, American Passport has won three of 13 races and earned $212,534. "He's an extremely high speed horse," Alagna said. "He's showed that he can sprint as hard as anything. It's just a matter of keeping him strong and healthy. I think he'll take care of the rest." Racing Hill, a homebred colt for owner Tom Hill, heads to his North America Cup elimination with two second-place finishes this season. He finished second by three-quarters of a length to War-N-Munn in a conditioned race at Mohawk last Saturday despite a :25.4 final quarter-mile and finished second by a nose to Major War in 1:49.2 in his seasonal debut in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands. "He was very good up there," Alagna said about last week's effort. "We just needed a nice start over the track to make sure we were ready for (this) week. All systems are go. Last year he was a good-sized horse but he's even bigger and more muscular this year. I think he's got a big shot too." Racing Hill, a son of Roll With Joe out of the mare Chasing Ideals, has won five of 12 career races and earned $140,926. Highlandbeachycove was unbeaten in his first two races this year, but finished ninth in his division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes last weekend. Alagna said the horse scoped sick following the race. "He was loaded with mucous, everything down deep coming from his lungs," Alagna said. "He didn't get the best trip, but he still shouldn't have gotten tired like he did. He's a much better horse than that. "We're going to treat him and put him back in and give him a shot. He jogged back good, never missed a meal, had no temperature or anything like that. He just scoped bad. Hopefully we'll get him cleaned up." Highlandbeachycove has won three of eight lifetime starts and earned $40,388. He is owned by Alagna Racing, Eagles Soar Partners, Joe Sbrocco, and Alan Alber. The colt, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Rockn Highland, sold for $100,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale. His dam is a half-sister to millionaire Armbro Animate as well as Artistic Vision, the mother of 2010 Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven and $2-million-earner Clear Vision. Saturday's card at Mohawk also features two eliminations for the Fan Hanover Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers and three eliminations for the Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Here are the full fields for the Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer 1st Elimination 1. Highlandbeachycove by Somebeachsomewhere (Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna) 2. Check Six by Somebeachsomewhere (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 3. Control The Moment by Well Said (Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell) 4. Lyons Snyder by Well Said (Sylvain Filion - Mark Silva) 5. Beast Mode by Rock N Roll Heaven (Sylvain Filion - Robert Reid) 6. Betting Line by Bettor's Delight (David Miller - Casie Coleman) 7. Im Some Graduate by Somebeachsomewhere (John Campbell - Tom Cancelliere) 8. Ideal Rocky by Rocknroll Hanover (Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen) 9. Racing Hill by Roll With Joe (Brett Miller - Tony Alagna) 2nd Elimination 1. Nocturnal Bluechip by Bettor's Delight (Paul MacDonell - Mark Steacy) 2. Boston Red Rocks by Rocknroll Hanover (Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott) 3. Brookdale Sonny by Bettor's Delight (Mike Saftic - Dr. Ian Moore) 4. Nvestment Bluechip by Shadow Play (Jody Jamieson - Dave Menary) 5. Michaels Victory by Rocknroll Hanover (Sylvain Filion - Mark Silva) 6. Big Top Hanover by Western Ideal (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 7. Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere (Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke) 8. American Passport by American Ideal (Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna) 9. Magnum J  by Big Jim (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Manalapan, NJ --- When announcer Larry Lederman went through the driver changes for Monday's eighth-race harness racing qualifier at Gaitway Farm, spectators shared a few puzzled looks when Fredi Herrera was named on the No. 1 horse, Southwind Cruze, from the stable of trainer Julie Miller. As it turned out, Herrera and Southwind Cruze were making their career debuts together. A 33-year-old native of Guatemala, Herrera has spent more than half his life in the U.S. working for harness racing stables in Chicago and New Jersey. He began working as an assistant trainer for Julie and Andy Miller in December. His new employers were impressed with his abilities and encouraged him to get a driver's license. Several weeks ago, Herrera received a license that enables him to drive in qualifiers and fairs. Paul Stafford, another Miller Stable assistant who knew Herrera from his days in Chicago, helped Herrera with the process. "I knew him from Chicago, but when you work with someone you gain respect for their horsemanship," Julie Miller said. "He was really talented and had a good set of hands and willingness to learn under Andy on the driving aspect of it. We wanted to give him a chance with some horses that he's been training down for us. He's been really successful and we're really proud of him." Herrera drove in four qualifiers on Monday. He drove two 2-year-old trotters for Miller and also picked up drives from Tony Alagna and Scott DiDomenico. His best finish came with DiDomenico's 6-year-old trotter Panamanian Hanover, a second, although he missed victory by only 1-1/2 lengths with Southwind Cruze while finishing fifth. "I was a little nervous, but it's good," Herrera said. "I want to start qualifying now and see if I'm good or no good. Maybe I can make it. This is my plan." Herrera came to the U.S. in 1999 and spent 10 years in Chicago before moving to New Jersey. "I've never done anything else but work with horses," said Herrera, who was an assistant trainer at multiple stables before joining Team Miller. "I like it. I'm happy." Miller was happy to see Herrera on the track for his first drives. "We hope he continues to qualify and has success, wherever the journey takes him," she said. Ken Weingartner

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