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Centurion ATM will try to build on his best start of the season, a harness racing victory last weekend in a consolation division of the Colonial Stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, when he heads to Yonkers Raceway for Saturday's eliminations for the Yonkers Trot. And it was the colt's best start in more ways than one. A notorious slow starter, Centurion ATM moved quickly from the gate in his race last weekend, charging from post nine to land in second place after the opening quarter-mile. It was only the second time in 14 lifetime races that Centurion ATM was better than third at the first call. The other time came in the colt's career debut in July 2014. Centurion ATM posted a 1:53.3 win in his Colonial consolation for his first triumph of the season. Ake Svanstedt, who trains and drives Centurion ATM, credited the early speed to a change in equipment. "We took off the blind and he is a new horse," Svanstedt said. "Before he was a slow starter, now he can leave faster. He was good." Centurion ATM was among 11 horses entered for the Yonkers Trot, which is for 3-year-old trotters and is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who won the first jewel -- the Hambletonian -- on Aug. 8, also was among the horses entered. It is the first time the Hambletonian winner will compete in the race since Glidemaster capped a Triple Crown sweep and Horse of the Year season by winning the Yonkers Trot in 2006. Hambletonian champ Market Share competed in the 2012 Yonkers Trot, but the race preceded the Hambletonian that year. Two $40,000 eliminations will be contested Saturday, with the top four finishers from each division advancing to the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final on Sept. 5. Centurion ATM is in the second elim, along with stablemate Southwind Mozart, Billy Flynn, Massive Lightning, Habitat, and French Laundry. Pinkman is in the opening division, with Buen Camino, Crazy Wow, Workout Wonder, and Wings Of Royalty. Centurion ATM has won four of 14 lifetime races and earned $429,742 for owners Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting. He won last year's Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes with a world-record-equaling 1:53.2 performance. Prior to winning last weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Centurion ATM finished eighth in his Hambletonian elimination and failed to advance to the final. "He was good before the Hambletonian elimination, but in the elimination he was bad, just bad," Svanstedt said. "I don't know why. But now he was good again." Centurion ATM's appearance at Yonkers will mark his first time on a half-mile track, but Svanstedt is unconcerned. "He is a good trotter so he should be OK," Svanstedt said. "I hope he will get to the final, that is the important thing. He is a good horse." Svanstedt's other Yonkers Trot hopefuls are Workout Wonder and Southwind Mozart. Workout Wonder has two wins this season, both on half-mile tracks in New York Sire Stakes action, including a 1:56.3 triumph ahead of Buen Camino and Wings Of Royalty at Yonkers on May 21. Crazy Wow, who won last year's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at Yonkers, heads to the Yonkers Trot off a win in the Colonial Stakes main event. He is one of two Ron Burke-trained horses in the field, along with fellow multiple-stakes-winner Habitat. Buen Camino, from the stable of trainer Trond Smedshammer, enters his Yonkers Trot elim off three consecutive victories on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. Smedshammer captured the 2004 Trotting Triple Crown with Windsong's Legacy. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $149,240 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old female trotters and the $116,430 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers. Below are the fields for the Yonkers Trot eliminations, with listed drivers and trainers. Race 4-First Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Buen Camino-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer 2-Crazy Wow-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke 3-Pinkman-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 4-Workout Wonder-Daniel Dube-Ake Svanstedt 5-Wings Of Royalty-Brian Sears-George Ducharme Race 5-Second Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Southwind Mozart-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Centurion ATM-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Billy Flynn-Jason Bartlett-Staffan Lind 4-Massive Lightning-Tyler Buter-Steve Elliott 5-Habitat-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 6-French Laundry-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA    

Freehold, NJ --- Wiggle It Jiggleit returned to the No. 1 spot in harness racing's  Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll following last Saturday’s world-record-equaling 1:48 win in the Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Pinkman, who went off stride in the Colonial Trot, dropped to No. 2 while Mission Brief, who won the Moni Maker Stakes at The Meadows on Friday, jumped from fifth to third. JL Cruze, who saw a 12-race win streak ended in the Sebastian K Invitational, fell to fourth in the rankings. State Treasurer advanced a spot to fifth thanks to his track-record performance in Sunday’s Roll With Joe. Newcomers to the Top 10 are Swedish invader D’One, who made it 2-for-2 in the U.S. with a victory in the Muscle Hill Stakes on Friday at Vernon Downs, and Reynolds Stakes division winner Southwind Frank. 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 15 – 8/25/2015  Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (34) 3pg 18-16-1-0 $1,439,144 349 2 2 Pinkman 3tg 10-8-1-0 $1,170,965 280 1 3 Mission Brief (1) 3tf 7-5-2-0 $562,347 245 5 4 JL Cruze 4tg 19-16-2-0 $620,788 226 3 5 State Treasurer 6ph 12-6-1-3 $489,482 208 6 6 Bee A Magician 5tm 11-8-3-0 $517,645 191 4 7 Wakizashi Hanover 3pg 12-6-3-2 $813,502 110 7 8 D’One 5tm 6-4-0-1 $217,586 61 -- 9 Southwind Frank 2tc 6-5-0-0 $253,302 36 -- 10 Doo Wop Hanover 4ph 14-6-3-1 $334,522 35 8   Also: Freaky Feet Pete (29); Broadway Donna (25); Dude's The Man (15); Anndrovette (14); JK Endofanera, Wild Honey (13); Barn Doll (12); E L Titan, Obrigado (8); Bettor Be Steppin, Crazy Wow (7); Moonlit Dance (6); In The Arsenal (5); Shake It Cerry (4); Centurion ATM, Flanagan Memory, Shamballa (3); Always At My Place, Pure Country, Venus Delight (2); All Bets Off, Caprice Hill, Control The Moment (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications       

Wiggle It Jiggleit made it look easy, capturing Saturday's (Aug. 22) $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old male pacers by three lengths over Wakizashi Hanover in 1:48 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Dude's The Man finished third and Artspeak was fourth. The winning time equaled Lucan Hanover's world record for a 3-year-old gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 16 of 18 races this year and pushed his seasonal earnings to $1.43 million. His previous stakes victories this season included the Hempt Memorial, also at Pocono, Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial. For his career, the son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover has won 17 of 19 starts. "You're going to see a smile on my face for the rest of the year with this horse," said Montrell Teague, who drove Wiggle It Jiggleit for his father, owner George Teague Jr., and trainer Clyde Francis. "He's got 19 races under his belt and I can't pick one that makes me more happy." "He never has thrown out a bad mile." "You've got to be happy with that." Artspeak, who started from post eight, went to the early lead with Wakizashi Hanover, who started from post seven, following behind. After reaching the quarter in :25.4, Teague began to move Wiggle It Jiggleit from fourth place to the front. When Artspeak hit the half in :54.4, Wiggle It Jiggleit was 1-1/4 lengths behind, but gaining ground with every stride. By the time he reached three-quarters in 1:21.1, Wiggle It Jiggleit was in front by a length. "I looked over (at the start) and saw a couple of them leaving on the outside; I wasn't right up on them, so I wasn't going to try to retake," Teague said. "He's good from off the pace too, so I try to do that once in a while too. "I was happy. We weren't going enormous fractions. Once I got beside the other horse, he just swelled up. When he looked him in the eye he was determined to go by." George Teague Jr. was unconcerned about Wiggle It Jiggleit's early position and need to make a first-over charge to the front. "I liked his spot there," he said. "We always trained him off the pace and he's got a great set of lungs. If he's on his game, I don't care where he's at. He could be parked the whole mile and I think he could go a great mile from even out there." Wiggle It Jiggleit's schedule includes the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 24 at the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio. His connections could supplement to the Messenger Pace (eliminations Aug. 29 and final Sept. 5) at Yonkers, but Teague Jr. said he was not inclined to go to that race. "But I reserve the right to change my mind," he said with a laugh. Battle Consolations The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Blood Brother swung wide in the stretch after a cutthroat early duel involving four horses, sprinting clear late to take the $200,000 Consolation I in a personal best of 1:50. David Miller raced the normally-forwardly-inclined sophomore from behind tonight, and the change to second-over tactics worked perfectly as Blood Brother got the decision by a length for trainer Jimmy Takter (yes, this was a pace) and owners Diamond Creek Racing and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Rollin Ring Afire, left uncovered as Rufo ducked into the pocket at the three-quarters, closed strongly to defeat that rival, who had gotten to the lead using the Pocono Pike passing lane, by a half-length while reducing his mark to 1:50.1 in Consolation II. The son of Rocknroll Hanover gave driver Tim Tetrick half of the first four races on the card while winning for trainer Charlie Norris and owners Leonard Buckner and Rebecca Ewing. (By the way, the phrase "rollin ring afire" does not appear in the famous song by Johnny and June Carter Cash -- but the check for the winner's share of the $100,000 purse will cash very nicely, thank you.) Ken Weingartner

Bettor Be Steppin earned her second stakes win of the season at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, capturing Saturday's (Aug. 22) $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers in a lifetime-best 1:50. Momas Got A Gun was second, beaten by three-quarters of a length, while Sassa Hanover finished third and Totally Rusty was fourth. In July, Bettor Be Steppin and driver Corey Callahan won the Lynch Memorial at Pocono. She won that night at odds of 15-1, but was the even-money favorite Saturday in the Valley Forge. Bettor Be Steppin, who started from post four, went to the front at the start and never looked back. She led the field through fractions of :26.3, :55.4, and 1:22.4. She held off a first-over attack from Sassa Hanover on the backstretch and Momas Got A Gun in the stretch. Morning line favorite Moonlit Dance was scratched. "I drew in a good spot and with Moonlit Dance not being in the race I was hoping I would be able to control it," Callahan said. "She likes to leave and everything worked out perfectly. "I figured if I could get a little breather in there anywhere she would be ready to take on all challengers." "So it worked out. She's been battling it out with Sassa (Hanover) for the last two years." "I figured I had her put away up the backside so the only horse I was worried about at that point was the horse on my back (Momas Got A Gun)." Bettor Be Steppin, trained by Joe Holloway, has won five of 11 races this year and earned $419,150. She has won nine of 23 races lifetime for owners Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz. She pushed her career earnings to $717,793. Valley Forge Consolations Single Me, who missed just a nose in the Lynch final here earlier this year, came out of the pocket at headstretch and drew off in the lane for a 1-3/4 length victory in the $150,000 Consolation I in 1:51, a career mark. But it was a move that driver Andy Miller didn't make -- a threatened quarter-move -- that caused Ideal Nuggets to park Seeking Nirvana in a brutal fight through fast numbers, easing the way for the late winning move of the Bettor's Delight filly, trained by Ross Croghan for Dana Parham and the Let It Ride Stables Inc. The Art Major filly Invest In Art was the fourth -- and final -- lead change in the $75,000 Consolation II, and despite the hard usage in the furious :53.4 first half, driver Tim Tetrick kept her alive in the lane to withstand Strut My Stuff (leader one) and Southwind Roulette (leader three) while taking a 1:49.3 new speed badge, which also rewrote the national season's mark. The Ontario-based team of trainer Mark Steacy and owners Stan Klemencic, David Reid, David McDonald, and Landmark 7 Racing Stable saw their filly win her stateside debut. Ken Weingartner

El Titan and driver Tim Tetrick made a three-wide move from fifth place on the final turn and overtook JL Cruze and Resolve in the stretch to win Saturday's (Aug. 22) $100,000 Sebastian K Invitational for older trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. E L Titan won in a lifetime-best 1:51.2, beating Resolve by a head. Daylon Miracle finished third and JL Cruze was fourth, snapping the 4-year-old's 12-race win streak. JL Cruze was making his first start since the Hambletonian Maturity on July 18. The Sebastian K Invitational honored recently retired Sebastian K, who in 2014 trotted the fastest mile in harness racing history at Pocono, winning in 1:49. A retirement ceremony, with Sebastian K in attendance along with co-owner Michael Knutsson of Knutsson Trotting Inc., was held in the winner's circle prior to the race. Early leader Resolve led the field to the quarter in :27. JL Cruze took the top spot prior to the half, reached in :55.3, while Natural Herbie made a first-over challenge and moved into third place. E L Titan, who started from post eight, followed Natural Herbie in the outer flow before making his bid for the front as the group hit three-quarters in 1:23.2. Resolve moved to the inside in the stretch and was the first to overtake JL Cruze, but was unable to hold off E L Titan on the outside. "I was hoping it would go like that," winning trainer Riina Rekila said about E L Titan's trip. "The eight hole, I don't like." "He can leave, but in these kinds of races you can't leave like crazy from the eight hole." "I was hoping for something like that and it went exactly like I was hoping. It was perfect." Rekila, who is based in Canada, was listed to drive E L Titan, but was planning to find another driver for the race. "I don't drive Pocono too often and in big races I think it's good that you know the track and you know the other drivers," Rekila said. "I can drive him in some of the smaller races." E L Titan, a 4-year-old sent off at odds of 9-1, won for the first time in three races this year. He was slow to return to action this season because of doing stallion duty. "He was breeding until July," Rekila said. "It's very stressful for the horses so I didn't want to bother him too much. And he had a little allergies too so I didn't want to stress him too much. "I think he's much better when it gets cold. I try to give him time to recover after every race. It's hard to go (1):51." "You have to give him time to rest, especially in the summertime." I don't think in the winter he cares. He really likes the winter." E L Titan has won seven of 16 races in his career and earned $644,526. Invitational Paces Always At My Place made an early move to the lead after the :26.1 quarter and blasted middle fractions of :53 and 1:20 before freezing the timer in 1:47.2 in the $50,000 USTA Invitational Pace -- a clocking beaten only by Sweet Lou (1:47 at Pocono) in five-eighth-mile track history. The 4-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin rewrote Mach It So's divisional world record (1:48, also set here) under hustling by driver Matt Kakaley in notching his sixth straight victory and achieving the amazing clocking for trainer Ron Burke (winning both pacing Invitationals) and the partnership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr, and Phil Collura. The $3,500 yearling purchase Cinamony, a Lynch elimination winner here last year and prospering even more this season since being acquired by top trainer Ron Burke, won the night's opener, the $50,000 Hanover Shoe Farms Invitational mare pace, in a personal best and national season's record of 1:49.3. The 4-year-old daughter of Art Official moved to the lead in front of the stands for driver Yannick Gingras and held sway from there, stepping home in :27 to win by 1-3/4 lengths for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. Ken Weingartner

Harness racing caretakers Malin Boman-Friberg and Viktor Flink-Ideborn enjoy special connections with their horses, D'One and Magic Tonight. It goes beyond simply sharing winning moments. Boman-Friberg was the caretaker of retired Swedish star Giant Diablo, who is the mother of D'One. Giant Diablo is history's fastest female trotter thanks to her 1:50.1 win in the 2007 Allerage Farms Open Trot at Lexington's Red Mile. Boman-Friberg's return to the U.S. with D'One is her first trip back to the States since a second brief visit with Giant Diablo in 2008. "It's a very emotional trip for me," said Boman-Friberg, who looks after the 5-year-old mare D'One for trainer Roger Walmann and ownership group Stall Kenny 23. "Who on earth would believe that I'm first going to go with the mom to America and race and then take her first-born daughter to come here. It's a super privilege." Flink-Ideborn is making his first trip to the States, with the Walmann-trained Magic Tonight. It is a return for the 6-year-old trotter, however, as Magic Tonight was born in Pennsylvania and was a multiple-stakes-winner in North America before being exported to Sweden in 2013. In May, Magic Tonight won the prestigious Elitlopp Invitational at Solvalla Raceway. "It means a lot to me to be here with him," said a smiling Flink-Ideborn, who has been Magic Tonight's caretaker since the horse arrived in Sweden two years ago. "I had to show him Sweden, now he is going to show me America." Magic Tonight and D'One both race Friday at Vernon Downs in New York. Magic Tonight is the 9-2 third choice on the morning line in the $200,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot while D'One is the 7-2 second choice in the $177,000 Muscle Hill Mare Trot. Orjan Kihlstrom will drive both horses. Bee A Magician is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Muscle Hill and Market Share is the 5-2 pick in the Crawford Farms. The card also includes the $194,000 Artiscape for older female pacers, where the entry of Anndrovette and Venus Delight is the 5-2 favorite. D'One, a daughter of stallion Donato Hanover whose victories overseas include the Group 1 Swedish Trotting Oaks in 2013, has won 16 of 29 career races and earned $975,375. She heads to the Muscle Hill off a winning North American debut on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands, where she captured the Fresh Yankee by one length over Bee A Magician in 2:05 for the distance of 1-1/8 miles. The time was only three-fifths of a second off JL Cruze's world record for the distance. "We are super happy," Boman-Friberg said. "It was a little unexpected. I didn't think she would be that good directly. She was in quarantine a little more than four weeks, so it's been a long ride, but it turned out really good." The Muscle Hill field includes 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and Dan Patch Award winning divisional champion Classic Martine in addition to 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. "It's a really tough race, but that is why we are doing this," Boman-Friberg said. "We want to race good races. We are in a good race. She drew bad again (with post seven), but we're going to give it a shot for sure." Another reason for D'One's trip to North America is to take a crack at breaking her mom's world record time of 1:50.1. "It would be really awesome if she could beat her mom's record, for sure," Boman-Friberg said. "It's going to be super tough, but I think (Walmann) has a goal on this journey and that is to beat her record." Boman-Friberg said there are few similarities between D'One and Giant Diablo. "The only things like her mom, in my opinion, are her ears and eyes," Boman-Friberg said. "She is very nice; Giant Diablo was very tough to take care of. She could bite, kick, she was strong. This one is friendly and loves people." Magic Tonight is a son of stallion Andover Hall out of the mare Miss Possessed. He has won 20 of 56 career races and earned $1.34 million. He is owned by Lennart Agren's SRF Stable. After his own lengthy layoff because of travel and spending time in quarantine, Magic Tonight finished 11th in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. "He's fine," Flink-Ideborn said. "He has been good since the race. He hadn't raced for like two months and he usually needs a race. It probably looks worse than it was. He needs time to come here and get settled. Now he's got that time. I hope he is good." The highlight of Flink-Ideborn's time with Magic Tonight has been the Elitlopp victory, but he feels a bond with the trotter regardless. "Just saying Elitlopp winner gives me goosebumps," Flink-Ideborn said. "It's awesome. "He's a really nice horse. He's a good friend. He's the best friend you can have." Following are the fields for the Muscle Hill, Artiscape, and Crawford Farms. Note that post 10 starts from the second row. Muscle Hill - Race 7 1. Rockin With Dewey, Scott Zeron, Benoit Baillargeon, 8-1 2. Handover Belle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1 3. Allie Labrook, Andy Miller, Kristin Shetler, 5-1 4. Charmed Life, Brett Miller, Mark Cecile, 10-1 5. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman, 5-2 6. Shake It Cerry, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 9-2 7. D'One, Orjan Kihlstrom, Roger Walmann, 7-2 8. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Steve Elliott, 8-1 9. Harley Momma, Jim Morrill Jr., Noel Daley, 10-1 Artiscape - Race 8 1. Skippin By, Jim Morrill Jr., Virgil Morgan Jr., 6-1 2. Radar Contact, Scott Zeron, Noel Daley, 9-2 3. Precocious Beauty, Brian Sears, Gregg McNair, 10-1 4. Table Talk, Andy Miller, W. Bart Dalious, 8-1 5. Lady Shadow, Doug McNair, Ronald Adams, 5-1 6. Sandbetweenurtoes, Brett Miller, Larry Remmen, 10-1 7. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr., 5-2 8. Venus Delight, Jason Bartlett, Jeff Bamond Jr., 5-2 9. Fancy Desire, Mark MacDonald, Daniel Renaud, 8-1 10. Color's A Virgin, David Miller, Tony O'Sullivan, 7-2 Crawford Farms - Race 9 1. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 8-1 2. Rossini, Doug McNair, Noel Daley, 10-1 3. Flanagan Memory, Brian Sears, Rene Dion, 7-2 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 5-2 5. Magic Tonight, Orjan Kihlstrom, Roger Walmann, 9-2 6. Melady's Monet, Jason Bartlett, Kevin McDermott, 6-1 7. Obrigado, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley, 5-1 8. DW's NY Yank, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1 9. Master Of Law, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 10. Intimidate, Scott Zeron, Luc Blais, 10-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Harness racing's super star driver John Campbell is ready to get back to action and so is JL Cruze. Campbell and JL Cruze, who have teamed for a series of world-record wins this year, are part of Saturday's "Super Stakes" card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Campbell will be driving competitively for the first time since suffering a broken left wrist in an accident on July 31. JL Cruze will be racing for the first time since winning the Hambletonian Maturity on July 18. The Pocono card, part of the track's 50th anniversary celebration, features a total of 12 stakes and invitationals including the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old male pacers, $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old male trotters, and $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers. JL Cruze, who has won 16 of 18 races this year, will face eight rivals in the $100,000 Sebastian K Invitational for older trotters. The race honors recently retired Sebastian K, who in 2014 trotted the fastest mile in harness racing history at Pocono, winning in 1:49. Post time is 5:35 p.m. for the first race. Fireworks will follow the card. Campbell will drive with a modified cast on his wrist. He trained several horses last weekend and expects to qualify horses on Thursday at Pocono before going behind the starting gate Saturday. "I feel really good," said Campbell, who will have the cast removed on Aug. 26. "I trained a couple last Saturday and was really happy with how that went. Other than the broken wrist I've got no issues at all. "It's such a great time of year. It's really tough to be on the sidelines." As of now, Campbell is listed to drive in six races Saturday. In addition to JL Cruze, he is listed to drive Split The House in the Battle of the Brandywine, Canepa Hanover in The Colonial, The Show Returns in the Valley Forge, Muscle Diamond in a consolation division of The Colonial, and Deli Beach in a conditioned race. "I've got some chances, put it that way," Campbell said. "I've certainly got some good horses to drive." JL Cruze brings a 12-race win streak to Pocono and is the No. 3 ranked horse in this week's Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. In fact, the top three horses in the ratings are racing at Pocono on Saturday, with No. 1 Pinkman competing in The Colonial and No. 2 Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Battle of the Brandywine. Trained by Eric Ell, JL Cruze is the fastest trotter ever on a mile racetrack thanks to his 1:49.4 win in the Graduate Series final on July 11 at the Meadowlands. JL Cruze also shares the world record of 1:51 for a 4-year-old gelding on a five-eighths-mile track, a mark he set in winning the Sun Invitational by a nose over Sebastian K on July 4 at Pocono. JL Cruze, who has earned $612,788 this season, won the Hambletonian Maturity in a world-record 2:04.2 for the distance of 1-1/8 miles. He is owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta. "I don't think the layoff is going to be a factor," Campbell said about JL Cruze, who earlier this year won off a nearly seven-week respite. "Some horses need more work than others, that's an individual thing, but he's shown in the past to be one of those horses that doesn't need to race every week to be at his best." Split The House drew post four for the Battle of the Brandywine, where multiple stakes-winner Wiggle It Jiggleit will start from post one. Split The House, who has won seven of nine races and $162,158 this year for co-owner/trainer James "Friday" Dean, enters the Battle off a 1:48.3 triumph in the New Jersey Classic on July 25. Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 15 of 17 races this year including the Hempt Memorial at Pocono, Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial. He has earned $1.19 million lifetime for owner George Teague Jr. The Battle of the Brandywine also includes North America Cup winner Wakizashi Hanover, Adios winner Dude's The Man, Cane Pace winner Dealt A Winner, and New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Artspeak. "(Split The House) is a really good colt," Campbell said. "I think he's shown how much he can step up by winning the New Jersey Classic. That was a really good field and they went (1):48 and a piece. He's in the mix. He beat Artspeak in the New Jersey Classic, so he's at that level I believe." Campbell will be driving Split The House for the first time, as is also the case with Canepa Hanover in The Colonial. The field also includes Canepa Hanover's stablemates Pinkman, Uncle Lasse, The Bank, and French Laundry - all trained by Jimmy Takter. Pinkman is making his first start since winning the Hambletonian on Aug. 8. He has won eight of nine races this year and earned $1.17 million. For his career, he has captured 14 of 17 starts and banked $1.73 million for owners Christina Takter, brothers John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. Canepa Hanover has won two of nine races and earned $189,257. He won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:51.1, which is tied for the third-fastest winning mile by a 3-year-old trotter this season. He also won his elimination for the Goodtimes Stakes by 11-1/2 lengths in a Canadian-record-equaling 1:51.3 at Mohawk. Unfortunately for his connections and backers, he went off stride in the final. "He's shown tremendous ability," Campbell said. "Maybe the best race any 3-year-old has gone this year was his elimination of the Goodtimes. Hopefully he's going to be back to that kind of form. He's just got to be a little more consistent." New Jersey Sire Stakes champion 3-year-old female pacer The Show Returns is part of a Valley Forge field that features no horse with fewer than $123,911 in the bank this year and no more than $244,150. The top money-earner is Bettor Be Steppin, from the stable of trainer Joe Holloway, who won the Lynch Memorial at Pocono on July 4. She is owned by Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz. The Show Returns, trained by Chris Ryder, has earned $184,419 for owners Richard Young and Joanne Young. "She hasn't had much luck her last couple races," Campbell said. "She showed really good form earlier in the year and she's won at Pocono, so those are all pluses. There's been no dominant 3-year-old filly as of yet. They've kind of taken turns beating one another." Following are the fields for the Valley Forge, Colonial and Battle of the Brandywine. $350,000 Valley Forge, Race 10 1. Momas Got A Gun, Jim Morrill Jr., Virgil Morgan Jr., 9-2 2. Totally Rusty, Corey Callahan, Ross Croghan, 10-1 3. Safe From Terror, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1 4. Bettor Be Steppin, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway, 4-1 5. The Show Returns, John Campbell, Chris Ryder, 15-1 6. Moonlit Dance, David Miller, Tony O'Sullivan, 3-1 7. Sassa Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 8-1 8. Stacia Hanover, Scott Zeron, Steve Elliott, 7-2 9. Imagine Dragon, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci, 20-1 $500,000 The Colonial, Race 11 1. Crazy Wow, Tim Tetrick, Ron Burke, 7-2 2. Pinkman, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 3. Uncle Lasse, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 4-1 4. Suit And Tie, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 20-1 5. Wicker Hanover, Corey Callahan, Noel Daley, 15-1 6. The Bank, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 5-1 7. Jacksons Minion, Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson, 12-1 8. Canepa Hanover, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 9. French Laundry, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine, Race 12 1. Wiggle It Jiggleit, Montrell Teague, Clyde Francis, 5-2 2. Dude's The Man, Corey Callahan, Jessica Okusko, 7-2 3. My Hero Ron, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 15-1 4. Split The House, John Campbell, James Dean, 4-1 5. Cooperstown, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 20-1 6. Yankee Bounty, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 12-1 7. Wakizashi Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Joann Looney-King, 6-1 8. Artspeak, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 8-1 9. Dealt A Winner, David Miller, Mark Silva, 5-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Only two of the horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll were in harness racing action last weekend, both in the Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park. Then-No. 3 Wiggle It Jiggleit finished first and No. 7 Wakizashi Hanover finished third. As a result of his track-record performance in the Milstein, Wiggle It Jiggleit moved up one notch in this week’s rankings while idle JL Cruze dropped to third. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 14 – 8/18/2015  Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Pinkman (16) 3tg 9-8-1-0 $1,170,965 307 1 2 Wiggle It Jiggleit (9) 3pg 17-15-1-0 $1,189,144 303 3 3 JL Cruze (9) 4tg 18-16-2-0 $612,788 282 2 4 Bee A Magician (1) 5tm 10-8-2-0 $475,165 237 4 5 Mission Brief 3tf 6-4-2-0 $475,347 198 5 6 State Treasurer 6ph 11-5-1-3 $414,482 152 6 7 Wakizashi Hanover 3pg 11-6-2-2 $688,502 87 7 8 Doo Wop Hanover 4ph 13-6-3-1 $322,522 49 8 9 Wild Honey 3tf 7-3-3-0 $398,785 42 10 10 Anndrovette 8pm 13-3-2-5 $315,612 40 9 Also: Freaky Feet Pete (36); Broadway Donna (33); Southwind Frank (24); JK Endofanera (21); Dude's The Man (17); In The Arsenal, Shake It Cerry (16); Flanagan Memory (11); Barn Doll (10); Moonlit Dance (9); Shamballa (8); Jack Vernon (6); Betting Line, Divine Caroline (4); D'One, Luminosity (3); Heavenly Hill, Uncle Lasse (2); Artspeak, Domethatagain, Dunvegan Don (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications       

With Father Patrick's racing career now completed, breeder and co-owner Adam Bowden is looking forward to the next phase of the trotter's career as a fulltime stallion. The 4-year-old Father Patrick did double duty this season as a race horse and stallion. Diamond Creek Farm, owned by Bowden and his father Chris, is managing the multiple Dan Patch Award honoree's breeding career. Bowden said he learned earlier this week that Father Patrick would be retired because of a lung infection. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Father Patrick won 23 of 33 lifetime races, finished second on six occasions, and earned $2.55 million. He is owned by the Father Patrick Stable, a group made up of Brixton Medical Inc., Diamond Creek Farm LLC, John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, and the partnership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. Father Patrick is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to Dan Patch Award winner Pastor Stephen as well as stakes-winner Whom Shall I Fear. His mother, Gala Dream, is a half-sister to Dan Patch Award winner Chocolatier and stakes-winner Sugar Trader. "Pedigree, looks, race record - he checks all the boxes," Bowden said. "It doesn't hurt that Jimmy said he's the best horse he ever trained. He had class and charisma on the track and he exhibited the same qualities in the breeding shed this year. He took to his job easily. He was able to differentiate between breeding and racing. We were happy." Bowden said Father Patrick bred 73 mares this year and 58 are in foal. "That was sort of a trial run and now we're ready for the big leagues," Bowden said. "We were very happy, considering there were weeks where he only bred twice because of a race. He had an intermittent schedule throughout the year between qualifying and racing. But everybody was flexible with us and he got a great group of mares." Father Patrick's wins included the Breeders Crown at ages 2 and 3 plus last year's Canadian Trotting Classic, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial, Stanley Dancer Memorial, and American-National Stakes. In 2013, his victories also included the William Wellwood Memorial and Peter Haughton Memorial. His 1:50.2 win in the Beal at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track. He also holds the world record for a 2-year-old colt on the same sized oval, with a mark of 1:52.1. This year, Father Patrick won one of five starts - capturing the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational by two lengths over Bee A Magician on May 24 at Harrah's Philadelphia - finished second twice and earned $120,995. He finished sixth in his final two races, the most recent on July 18 in the Hambletonian Maturity. His runner-up efforts came to JL Cruze in preliminary rounds of the Graduate Series. "Even though he lost to JL Cruze, he lost by a neck and a half-length in 1:51 and 1:50.4," Bowden said. "You can't complain about those two efforts. Clearly in his last two races something wasn't right. "But Father Patrick is a great horse and we expect great things from his foals." Two-year-old Breeder's Crown Final Three-year-old Breeder's Crown Father Patrick in a world record 1:50.2 Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

It is early in his career, but harness racing trainer Erv Miller sees lots to love so far about trotter Love Matters. Love Matters, a son of Explosive Matter out of the mare Lotsa Love, is undefeated in three starts. On Sunday, the colt is the 8-5 favorite in the third of six divisions of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters at Tioga Downs in New York. Marcus Miller, Erv's son, will drive Love Matters. Tioga Downs' Sunday card features entirely stakes events. In addition to the six Tompkins-Geers divisions for the 2-year-old male trotters there are two divisions each for the 2- and 3-year-old female trotters and one division for 3-year-old male trotters. There also are three eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old female pacers and two elims for the EBC for 3-year-old male pacers. Love Matters heads to the Tompkins-Geers off a 3-3/4 length win over Raisethejollyroger in 1:57.2 in a division of the Arden Downs at The Meadows on July 31. He also has a win in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, from post eight at Harrah's Philadelphia, in 1:59. "Knock on wood, he's been good so far," said Miller, who owns Love Matters with Michael Anderson's Paymaq Racing and Harvey Eisman. "You can't brag too much, you'll get in trouble, but he's really a nice colt. He's done everything we've asked of him." Miller purchased Love Matters for $21,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. His mother is a half-sister to Malabar Man, who was the 1997 Horse of the Year. Mal Burroughs, who drove Malabar Man to victory in the Hambletonian and Breeders Crown, is co-breeder of Love Matters. "I just thought he was a really good-looking horse," Miller said. "He had some length to him; I liked that about him. He's a long, good conformation horse. "He had one break in his first (qualifier) at Pocono, but I don't think he was shod quite right for that. Once we got him shod right, he's been good since then. He's not a hard horse to be around." Love Matters is eligible to a number of open stakes including the International Stallion, Breeders Crown, and Matron. "He's a (Pennsylvania) bred so we don't go too much out of Pennsylvania until the sire stakes are over," Miller said. In addition to Love Matters, Miller sends Southern Palms into the sixth division of the Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-old male trotters. Southern Palms is 8-1 on the morning line. Southern Palms, a gelded son of RC Royalty-Pacific Elegance, finished second in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers Raceway in his debut and then finished third in a division of the Kindergarten Series at the Meadowlands. He went off stride in his most recent start in a division of the NYSS at Batavia Downs. Purchased for $60,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale, Southern Palms is owned by Ronald Michelon and Anthony Lombardi. "Southern Palms is a real nice horse," Miller said. "He's sort of a late-bloomer. He's a little aggressive, stays a little too aggressive all the time. That's why we've been kind of taking our time with him. That's why we had the problem at Batavia. "I really like him. He's a great gaited horse. But he's not mature. His mind is a little short of where it needs to be." ... Trainer Ron Burke has the morning line favorites in the Tompkins-Geers Stakes for 3-year-old trotters. Habitat, who finished seventh in last weekend's Hambletonian, is the 6-5 favorite in the race for male trotters while I'm So Fancy is the 2-1 choice in the division for female trotters on the betting card. A second division for the 3-year-old filly trotters will be raced as a non-wagering event after the first race on the program. * * * Kelvin Harrison's In The Arsenal is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first of the two Empire Breeders Classic eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers and Tom Fanning's Betting Exchange is the 5-2 choice in the second. The top four finishers from each elimination plus a fifth-place finisher drawn by lot advance to the final. Elimination winners select post positions for the final. The favorites in the elims for 3-year-old female pacers are Julie Miller's Moremercy Bluechip (2-1) and two fillies from the Burke stable, Band Of Angels (7-5) and Sassa Hanover (8-5). The top three finishers from each elimination advance to the final. Elimination winners select post positions for the final. To view Sunday's entire Tioga Downs card, click here. Post time is 1:30 p.m. for the first race. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

After a lifetime in harness racing, trainer Joann Looney-King is enjoying her horse of a lifetime. And the horse, Wakizashi Hanover, is enjoying all the attention. Wakizashi Hanover, who in June won Canada's million-dollar North America Cup, returns from a nearly month-long layoff Friday in the $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers at Northfield Park in Ohio. Wakizashi Hanover, known around the stable as the more-easily pronounced "Waki," drew post eight in the eight-horse field and is the 9-2 third choice on the morning line. Regular driver Tim Tetrick is listed to go with the gelding. For the year, Wakizashi Hanover has won six of 10 races, hit the board a total of nine times, and earned $639,902 for the ownership group Tri County Stable, based in Nova Scotia. Lifetime, the son of Dragon Again-Western Gesture has won eight of 16 starts, missed the top three only twice, and earned $743,991. "It's just such a wonderful thing at this point in my life to have a horse like this," said Looney-King, a 69-year-old Delaware native whose career in harness racing has included driving, training and co-hosting the early editions of the show "Racing from the Meadowlands." "I've done it for so many years and to have this happen, my husband (trainer Jim King Jr.) and I think we've died and gone to heaven. We've made our living through the years with claimers and condition horses. Claimers have been good to me, and I still have claimers. We've worked hard, and we still do. You don't get anywhere until you work hard. You've got to really get with it and stick with the program for years and go through heartaches. "To make it all worth it, wow. One horse can bring you to life. After all these years, one horse." Wakizashi Hanover is a horse who enjoys his routine, from an early breakfast followed by several hours of fresh air in the paddock, to being the center of attention. "He has a big personality," Looney-King said. "He's the first horse I go to in the barn every day. He's there with head over the door swinging it around and around and around, demanding that you come over and pet him on the head and talk to him and be his friend. "He's a kind horse; a good-feeling horse. He just has a good personality. He's a wonderful horse to be around, and makes his presence known all the time. When he gets to the (race) paddock he's all business. He does anything you ask him to do. He's just a nice boy." Wakizashi Hanover was purchased for $23,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale by Bruce Kennedy, who heads the Tri County Stable. The group consists of three veteran horse owners, including the 74-year-old Kennedy, and three newcomers. "In Nova Scotia, people are just crazy for this horse," Looney-King said. "It's fun to see other people enjoy it too. It's amazing. "Bruce is such a good guy. Of course we always want to win, but he's always happy for somebody else when they win. The whole group, you're just always happy for people that get a good horse." Wakizashi Hanover's recent respite followed six consecutive weeks of racing. After winning the North America Cup he finished fourth from post seven in the Max C. Hempt Memorial and third from post nine in the Meadowlands Pace. He prepped for the Milstein by winning a qualifier in 1:53.1 on Aug. 4 at Harrah's Philadelphia. His connections had considered spending $35,000 to supplement to the Cane Pace, which was held Aug. 8, but decided to stick to the horse's schedule. Dealt A Winner won the Cane Pace at 26-1 odds, upsetting Meadowlands Pace and Hempt winner Wiggle It Jiggleit and Adios winner Dude's The Man in the process. "We figured we would skip the Cane and as it turned out we probably should have showed up," Looney-King said. "It turned out there were no eliminations and only a nine-horse field for the final. But that's water under the bridge. "It's such a hard schedule. We're a little fussy about racing too much, even though we know the big money is as a 3-year-old." Following the Milstein, Wakizashi Hanover's schedule includes the Battle of the Brandywine, Keystone Classic, Breeders Crown, Matron Stakes, and Progress Pace. "It's a pretty heavy schedule," Looney-King said. "Things change weekly. (The result of the Cane Pace), that's just horse racing. I think a lot of times we think these things are machines and they're just horses. You never know. They're always capable of surprising you. And that's a great thing. "It is a nice bunch of horses in this (3-year-old pacing) division. You've got to be looking out for all those guys. I don't discount any one of them. It's exciting. It's fun. And to be part of it is really fun too." Looney-King would have preferred a better draw for the Milstein, but she is always happy with her horse. "It's always nice when a horse gives a hundred percent all the time, and that's what he does," she said. "When Tim goes out there with him I always have a good feeling. The two of them are a top-notched duo. In my mind, you can't get any better than those two. "I just always know when he goes out there that I'm going to get everything he's got. That's a good feeling. That's a real good feeling." $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial 1 - Go Daddy Go by Ponder - Peter Wrenn-Robert McIntosh-15-1 2 - Lyons Levi Lewis by Well Said -Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-Ron Burke-10-1 3 - Lost For Words by Well Said -David Miller-Brian Brown-4-1 4 - Wiggle It Jiggleit by Mr Wiggles -Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis-3-5 5 - Allbeef N Nobull by McArdle -Chris Page-Ron Burke-12-1 6 - Rock N' Roll World by Rocknroll Hanover -Aaron Merriman-Mark Silva-20-1 7 - The Wayfaring Man by Dragon Again -Aaron Merriman-Nicky Comegna-25-1 8 - Wakizashi Hanover by Dragon Again -Tim Tetrick-Joann Looney-King-9-2 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Hambletonian champion Pinkman is the new No. 1 in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Pinkman, a 3-year-old gelded trotter, moved up from fourth in the rankings after capturing his Hambletonian elimination in a world-record-equaling 1:51.2 and winning the $1 million final in a world-record-lowering 1:51 on Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack. Four-year-old trotter JL Cruze, who did not race last week, remained second in the poll followed by former No. 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit, Bee A Magician, and Mission Brief. Wiggle It Jiggleit finished fourth in Saturday’s Cane Pace for 3-year-old male pacers and Bee A Magician finished second in the Fresh Yankee for older female trotters. Mission Brief, who was trying to become the first female winner of the Hambletonian since 1996, won her elimination in 1:51.3 and finished second to Pinkman in the final. Other winners in the Top 10 were No. 6 State Treasurer, who won the U.S. Pacing Championship for older male pacers over No. 8 Doo Wop Hanover; No. 9 Anndrovette, who won the Lady Liberty for older female pacers; and No. 10 Wild Honey, who won the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters. Anndrovette and Wild Honey are newcomers to the Top 10. 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 13 – 8/11/2015 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Pinkman (18) 3tg 9-8-1-0 $1,170,965 316 4 2 JL Cruze (11) 4tg 18-16-2-0 $612,788 280 2 3 Wiggle It Jiggleit (4) 3pg 16-14-1-0 $986,644 279 1 4 Bee A Magician (1) 5tm 10-8-2-0 $475,165 242 3 5 Mission Brief (1) 3tf 6-4-2-0 $475,347 216 6 6 State Treasurer 6ph 11-5-1-3 $414,482 159 7 7 Wakizashi Hanover 3pg 10-6-2-1 $639,902 108 5 8 Doo Wop Hanover 4ph 13-6-3-1 $322,522 46 8 9 Anndrovette 8pm 13-3-2-5 $315,612 41 -- 10 Wild Honey 3tf 7-3-3-0 $398,785 38 -- Also: Broadway Donna, Southwind Frank (33); Shake It Cerry (23); Dude’s The Man (18); Barn Doll (17); Flanagan Memory, Freaky Feet Pete (13); In The Arsenal (10); D’One (9); Moonlit Dance (8); Betting Line, Resolve (5); Uncle Lasse (4); Shamballa (3); P H Supercam, Pure Country (2); Artspeak, Domethatagain (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ --- Pinkman and Brian Sears, who got the drive on the horse less than an hour before the race, took control of the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-olds at the half and never gave it up as they cruised under the wire to be the 90th winners of the trotting classic in a world record time of 1:51 on Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack. Pinkman (Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster) is trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. His winning time was the fastest ever by a sophomore trotting gelding on a mile track. The filly Mission Brief, who Yannick Gingras chose to drive after her win in the second elimination, gave futile chase in deep stretch and made up ground, but not enough to win. Uncle Lasse, also trained by Takter, was third after adding trotting hobbles between the elimination and the final. As the field trotted off the starting gate, it was Uncle Lasse (David Miller) who was first to the lead from post seven, hitting the quarter-mile mark in :27.2, with The Bank (Johnny Takter) outside and behind him and Pinkman in third. The Bank was on the move just past the quarter-mile mark, with Pinkman behind him. By the time they reached the half-mile marker in :55.2, Pinkman had the lead on the outside and The Bank was second. Mission Brief, who had been fourth, a few lengths from the leaders most of the way to the half, hustled to join the crowd and bore down on the leader, Pinkman, around the final turn, getting to his wheel as the field turned for home. She lost contact when they straightened out, but re-engaged under urging from Gingras as the wire drew closer. She got close, but not close enough, three-quarters of a length back. Uncle Lasse was third, The Bank fourth and Jacksons Minion got the final purse check. Trainer Jimmy Takter won both the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks for the second straight year. He won last year with Trixton in the Hambo and Lifetime Pursuit in the Oaks. “I was looking forward to try in the final with a couple that I did have (Habitat and Wings Of Royalty) and I managed to do that,” said winning driver Brian Sears. “But opportunity knocked and it’s just great that they gave me the call. “I didn’t hear much (about the chance to drive Pinkman if necessary). I heard a little bit from Herb (Liverman). I talked to Herb a little bit, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity. He (Pinkman) was pretty much push button and it was a pleasure.” Pinkman has now won eight times in nine season's starts, with earnings of $1,170,965. Lifetime he has been a winner in 14 of 17, with $1,737,925. “It’s very emotional and I just want to thank all the connections that were involved,” said co-owner John Fielding. “Brian Sears stepped in and did a great job and of course, my friend and partner Jimmy Takter and Christina, have done again an amazing job. We’ve been at this for 30 years trying to win this trophy and I’ll tell you, this is the greatest thrill you could ever want in this sport and I’m just blown away, very honored and happy to be in this situation. I’ve got a plane I’ve got to catch to go back to a party in Toronto tonight, but we’re going to have to stop at the windows (to cash bets). “We leave these decisions (about drivers) up to Jimmy and he always seems to make the right decisions. We’ve had Brian Sears, who everybody knows is a fantastic, great driver, one of the best there ever was when the money is on the line, so I wasn’t worried at all, very confident in Jimmy.” Of the filly runner-up Mission Brief, trainer and co-owner Ron Burke said, “She raced really good and I think if things would have shook out a little differently the result would have been different. She was the only one still going forward at the wire. She really gave it her all and at the wire she was still coming. I would never change anything that I did and I don’t regret anything about the conditioning. She’s still a super horse, some day we will be back and we are not going to give up. We are going to win the Hambletonian.” Mission Brief’s driver, Yannick Gingras, who picked her over the eventual race winner, said, “I’m still young and I’m blessed to have two great chances at the Hambo like I’ve had the last few years. I will have plenty more chances I hope. Everyone ignores Pinkman because he isn’t flashy, they want to talk about Uncle Lasse and Canepa Hanover, but Pinkman beats them every week, he was just a flat out winner. You have to give the horse all the credit in the world. “I’m not disappointed in her effort at all. She wasn’t quite as strong as the first heat. She wasn’t quite as good gaited as before, so I couldn’t make the moves I wanted to with her. I knew I didn’t have enough at the top of the stretch. You have to give it to Pinkman. He’s a great horse and he’s a winner. “I was happy with how the race went. Takter’s horses were being used and if she went her A1 effort, she might have won. My son joked with me this week and said don’t make a break (as with Father Patrick in 2014), Well, I got that accomplished at least and it’s still been a great day. Pinkman is Brian’s horse now, of course.” Hambletonian eliminations East Rutherford, NJ --- Pinkman (Yannick Gingras) won the first $100,000 elimination race for the Hambletonian for 3-year-old harness racing  trotters by a half-length in 1:51.2 over The Bank (Johnny Takter) on Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack. Donatomite (Trond Smedhammer) was third. The other two spots for the final went to Habitat (Brian Sears) and Jacksons Minion (Tom Jackson). Pinkman is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. Gingras and Pinkman made it quite clear they wanted the lead from post ten as the two charged off the starting gate and went straight for the front, getting past the rail horse, Donatomite, to get to the lead just past the :26.2 first quarter. The Bank was out and moving at the three-eighths to get the lead and held it to the :54.3 half with Pinkman tucked in behind him. Jacksons Minion was on the move for the top when the field passed the half, while the lead horses remained unchanged at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. With the finish line in sight, Gingras went to work on Pinkman and they passed The Bank for the win and a chance to draw for posts one through five in the final. “I figured (Smedshammer) was going to try to get position and sit behind me,” said winning driver Gingras. “His horse (Donatomite) has got good gate speed. He’s not had much luck with his horse, but he’s a nice horse too. “It kind of worked out. I was hoping to cut it, but The Bank is a very good horse. If I was going to follow anybody, he was the horse to follow. “(Winning) is exactly what he does. In this race I had to get after him pretty hard in the stretch, but that’s Pinkman. All he does is win.” Trainer Ron Burke's filly Mission Brief set up the anticipated Hambletonian showdown against male rival Pinkman, winning her elimination by 4-3/4 lengths over Aldebaran Eagle in 1:51.3. French Laundry, Uncle Lasse and Wings Of Royalty also advanced to the $1 million Hambletonian final. Mission Brief is trying to become the first filly since Continentalvictory in 1996 to win the Hambletonian. Uncle Lasse (David Miller) led to the quarter in :26.3, with Mission Brief in fifth place. Yannick Gingras then moved Mission Brief to the front, hitting the half in :54.2 and three-quarters in 1:23. She drew off in the stretch for the easy win in 1:51.3. Gingras will drive Mission Brief (6-5 morning line) in the final and Brian Sears will take over behind Pinkman (5-2). “In the first turn it got a little crowded, she wasn’t anxious, I was,” Gingras said. “There were a lot of horses around us and she’s not used to that. But she acted very professionally. At the top of the stretch, I could hear Brett (Miller driving French Laundry) on my back and it sounded like he had some trot. I kicked the earplugs but she did it on her own.” Gingras added prior to making his decision, “It’s going to be a tough one. It’s two guys (Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke) that really helped my career, two horses that I started with from the beginning, so it’s very tough.” Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena, is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. Pinkman Mission Brief by Ellen Harvey and Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ --- Wild Honey came up big in the Hambletonian Oaks. Driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter teamed up to win the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for the second consecutive year as Wild Honey captured the race for 3-year-old female trotters by 1-3/4 lengths over Rules Of The Road in 1:52.2 on Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack. Bright Baby Blues finished third and Livininthefastlane was fourth. It was Takter’s fifth Hambletonian Oaks victory. It was Gingras’ fifth win of the day. This duo won the 2014 edition of the Oaks with Lifetime Pursuit. “This is fantastic,” Takter said. “This little filly, she overcomes her size. She’s not a very big filly, but she’s got a big heart and she gives her all every time and I’m just so happy and proud of her. I’m so happy to be here, especially with John Fielding who has been with me so many years.” Rules Of The Road (Corey Callahan) and Sarcy (Johnny Takter) battled for the early lead, with Rules Of The Road emerging on top in an opening quarter-mile of :27. Gingras and Wild Honey then made their move, taking the lead on the backstretch and trotting middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.1 before holding off a first-over challenge from Bright Baby Blues coming off the final turn. Lock Down Lindy, who won her Hambletonian Oaks elimination by two lengths over Wild Honey last weekend, went off stride on the backstretch and was not a factor. Wild Honey, who was the 6-5 favorite, is a daughter of Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy. She has won 13 of 19 career races and earned $838,488. She is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. “Emotion is a huge part of the game, especially when you win a race like this,” John Fielding said. “I just said to Jimmy and my brother Jimmy and my friends here from Toronto, I’ve been trying to win this race for 20 or 25 years. Finally, after a lot of perseverance we got the job done here, so I’m pretty happy and pretty emotional.” Wild Honey by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

East Rutherford, NJ --- Flanagan Memory and driver Brian Sears won Saturday’s (Aug. 8) $301,500 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older harness racing trotters by three lengths over Gural Hanover in 2:05.4 for 1-1/8 miles at Meadowlands Racetrack. Obrigado finished third and Natural Herbie was fourth. There were multiple lead changes in the race’s early goings, with Melady’s Monet, Magic Tonight, Intimidate and Market Share all occupying the top spot as the 12-horse field raced through fractions of :26.1, :55 and 1:23 to three-quarters. Flanagan Memory, who was sent off at 9-1 odds, followed Obrigado in the outside flow around the final turn before trotting through the stretch to victory. It was his second consecutive triumph at the Meadowlands, following his 1:51.4 triumph in the TVG Open last weekend. “I watched him race last year at (age) 4 and he’s a really nice horse and he’s come a long ways,” Sears said. “We got the kind of trip he likes. We got some good flow and it worked out well.” Flanagan Memory (Kadabra-Classy Stacy) has won 13 of 44 career races and earned $808,678. He is trained by Rene Dion, who owns the horse with Liette Flanagan. Flanagan Memory by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ --- Southwind Frank took the lead at the halfway point and was never threatened the rest of the way as he won Saturday’s (Aug. 8) $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands for 2-year-old male trotters by 2-1/4 lengths over Brooklyn Hill in 1:53.4. Earn And Burn (Johnny Takter) charged from post 10 to take the early lead in a :27.2 opening quarter-mile before Brooklyn Hill (David Miller) moved to the front on the backstretch. Yannick Gingras moved Southwind Frank to the top as the field reached the half in :56.2. Milligan’s School (Andy Miller) tried to overtake Southwind Frank with a first-over bid on the final turn, but it was to no avail as Southwind Frank, the 3-5 favorite, trotted to victory. Brooklyn Hill was second, Earn And Burn finished third and Bar Hopping was fourth. “For a colt that started out terrible, he really has blossomed into a very nice horse,” said winning trainer Ron Burke. Southwind Frank, a son of Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy, has won four of five races and earned $244,925. He is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

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