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Racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has geared down somewhat in terms of quantity, as the schedule now features three live nights per week. But the quality hasn't let down a bit, as evidenced by a Saturday night card that included no pacing miles slower than 1:50:2 and no trotting miles slower than 1:54. We even had a world-record performance, which, of course, stands out among this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BIGTOWN HERO This 6-year-old gelding was struggling with the upper reaches of the pacing ranks when he was last here in June, but he's been performing well since then at other tracks, winning three of his last five races. The last four of those races came after he switched barns to be trained by Rene Allard, Pocono's leading trainer, including a come-from-behind win in an Open Handicap in his last race at Yonkers as a 7-1 shot. His confidence sufficiently boosted, he returned to Pocono to compete on Saturday night in a Preferred Handicap pace for a purse of $25,000. It was a stacked field, including star veteran Golden Receiver and Dancin Yankee, who had owned the oval at Pocono in his previous appearances in 2014. But driver Ron Pierce drove Bigtown Hero as if there were no other horses on the track, sending him to the front for a huge lead as each fraction ticked off proved more impressive than the one before. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero began to slow ever so slightly. It was a good thing the lead he built up was so substantial, because Dancin Yankee and Aslan came closing at him fast. Pierce urged him home for a half-length victory in a stunning time of 1:47:3. That broke the world record for aged gelding pacers on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set last June at Pocono by Foiled Again and then matched by Abelard Hanover. Other top pacers this week include: Ring Warrior (Matt Kakaley, Brewer Adams), a colt who followed up four consecutive wins at Ocean Downs with a victory at Pocono in a condition pace on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54; Cherokee Hunter (Simon Allard, Rene Allard) whose condition win on Tuesday night was his second straight and came in a career-best time of 1:52:1; and Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who scorched a condition pacing group on Saturday night in 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SEVRUGA Not all slumps are created equal. To wit, consider the struggles Sevruga had been having in the summer months. Last year he earned nearly $500,000 facing the best trotters around, and the highlight of his season was a world-record performance at Pocono with a win in 1:50:3. But he had come up empty for three months straight in terms of wins heading into Saturday night's $25,000 Preferred trot. In his last three races at Pocono, all against the most rugged trotters on the grounds, Sevruga, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Kevin Carr, had hit the board every time and had lost by just a neck in the last two. On Saturday night, he enjoyed his first quality post position in more than a month and took advantage of it, breezing to the front early with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike. Things were by no means easy from that point, as Wind Of The North put up a sustained first-over challenge to the lead. But Sevruga had been rated well enough early in the race that he was able to dig deep in the final strides and win by a nose in a rapid 1:52:1. Maybe it wasn't fair to say that Sevruga was in a slump considering the quality of his competition and the multiple near-misses, but it is fair to say that his losing streak is history and a lengthy winning streak might just be in the offing. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tui (Anthony Napolitan, Don Wiest), a Pocono fan-favorite mare who scored her first win of the season on Saturday night in a tough condition group in 1:53:1; A Cool Million (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who moved up her claiming price and won her second straight race on Tuesday night, doing so in a career-best 1:54; and Fortunista (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who beat the boys in a tough condition group on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: TRANSCENDING An outside post and long odds didn't bother this veteran pacer as he came from out of the clouds late to shock a condition field on Saturday night at 49-1, paying off an even $100 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Ron Pierce Pierce had it grooving on Saturday night, winning four consecutive races on the card, all in gate-to-wire fashion, a streak that culminated with the world-record win by Bigtown Hero. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Joe Pavia Jr. Joe still does such a great job as a catch driver that his training abilities can sometimes be taken for granted, but a training double on Wednesday night put them front and center. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Bigtown Hero set a new world record for aged harness racing geldings on the pace in a Preferred Handicap victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven as the 8-5 second choice, Bigtown Hero (American Ideal-Art Account), a 6-year-old gelding from the Rene Allard barn, burned his way to the early lead. Driver Ron Pierce decided to cut the gelding loose, creating unforgiving fractions of 26:3, 53:3, and 1:19:4 and a huge lead. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero started to slow slightly, allowing for wild closing rallies by second-place Aslan and third-place Dancin Yankee, the 4-5 favorite, that came up a half-length short of the winner. The winning time of 1:47:3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set by Foiled Again in June of 2013 at Pocono and then matched a week later at the track by Abelard Hanover. Bigtown Hero, owned by Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Yonkers and now has 9 wins in 27 2014 races. It was his 24th career victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $187,823. Earlier in the night at Pocono in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Sevruga (S J's Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 6-year-old gelding from the Kevin Carr, scored his first win since the spring by flashing early speed that held up in the final strides. The 3-5 favorite in a field of six, Sevruga, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led at every pole and dug deep late to hold off Wind Of The North by a nose in 1:52:1. Not Afraid finished third. Jim Beviglia

Eight top three-year-old pacers will contest the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown, the 60th Cane Pace, and nine top drivers will contest the second half of the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship on a blockbuster Labor Day (Monday, September 1) card at Tioga Downs.   He's Watching brings a four-race win streak into the $437,325 Cane Pace, carded as Monday's ninth race. Since fading to third in the North America Cup, the son of American Ideal proved a powerful 1:46.4 winner in the Meadowlands Pace and an equally dominant 1:49.1 winner in the Empire Breeders Classic, taking the eliminations for each respective event as well. Usual driver Tim Tetrick has once again been listed by trainer David Menary. He's Watching is one of three $35,000 supplemental entries, along with Luck Be Withyou and Lyons Somewhere.   Among those looking to deny He's Watching the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown are Milstein runner-up Luck Be Withyou and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera.   Luck Be Withyou, the Chris Oakes-trained son of Western Ideal, chased McWicked in the $400,000 Milstein at Northfield two weeks ago, finishing in a dead heat for second with McWicked, just three-quarters of a length behind eventual winner All Bets Off, who pounced up the open stretch. Ron Pierce is listed to drive the nine-time winner.   JK Endofanera, the lone millionaire in the field, rebounded well from a sixth-place finish in the Meadowlnads, taking second in the Empire Breeders Classic before scoring a 1:50.1 Geers Stake win locally. Ron Burke has listed Brian Sears to handle the driving duties.   Ten three-year-old pacing fillies entered the Shady Daisy, which will be raced as a single $124,325 dash in the afternoon's seventh race. Fancy Desire, a $7,500 supplemental entry, leads the full field, having won the $300,000 James Lynch at Pocono in 1:49.3 among seven other career wins. Mark MacDonald has been nominated by trainer Kevin Carr to drive the Real Desire filly. Geers winner Katie Said (Marcus Miller), Pennsylvania standout Tyra (Tim Tetrick nominated), and stakes-placed Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell nominated) are also among the Shady Daisy entrants.   Eight distaff trotters will vie for their share of $40,000 in a Miss Versatility preliminary event, carded as the third race. Divisional standout Maven returned to her winning ways in a Preferred event at Pocono last week, struggling in prior events since returning to the States after a sixth-place finish in the Elitloppet. The Jonas Czernyson trainee will be reunited with regular driver Yannick Gingras, and will race as part of a three-mare entry with stablemates D'Orsay (Corey Callahan) and Ma Chere Hall (David Miller). Classic Martine, who has found her way into the spotlight as of late with wins in the Armbro Flight and Ima Lula events, also draws into the star-studded event, with Tim Tetrick listed to drive the Chris Oakes-trained daughter of Classic Photo.   In addition to the high-profile stakes action, nine of the premier drivers in the sport complete the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship, with the first round taking place on Friday (August 29) at Vernon Downs. As in years past, the overall winner of the nine-race tournament takes home a $25,000 first prize--the equivalent of the commission for winning a $1,000,000 race. All nine drivers additionally will donate their commissions to charity.   Tioga Downs honors last year's Driver's Championship winner Jim Marohn, Jr. with a bobblehead giveaway. Fans can receive their bobblehead, as well as a Drivers' Championship t-shirt (while supplies last) at the promotions table on the tarmac prior to and during the races. Post time for the 11-race card is 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Archangel's world-record 1:50 performance in last week's John Cashman Jr. Memorial eliminations might have surprised some observers, but not his driver, Yannick Gingras. "I kind of thought it was coming," Gingras said. "He's had a couple miles where he's shown that kind of brilliance, but he was unlucky." The 5-year-old trotter, who sat out last season because of stallion duty, is the 4-1 second choice in Saturday's $300,650 Cashman Memorial final. The Cashman, formerly called the Nat Ray, is for older trotters and has attracted a star-studded field that includes world champion Sebastian K, two-time Dan Patch Award winner Market Share, and numerous other stakes winners. Sebastian K, who won his Cashman elim in 1:51, is the 3-5 morning line favorite for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Sebastian K, an 8-year-old standout from Sweden who is in his first season of racing in North America, holds the record for history's fastest mile thanks to his 1:49 victory in June at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Archangel's 1:50 mile is the fastest ever on a one-mile oval, breaking the record of 1:50.1 that was shared by Donato Hanover, Muscle Hill, Chapter Seven, Giant Diablo, Lucky Jim, and Sebastian K. The 1:49 mile by Sebastian K in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs came on a five-eighths-mile track. Archangel was second to Sebastian K on the final turn of that race, but went off stride and finished seventh. "He was going to trot 1:49 a few weeks ago at Pocono if he didn't make a break," Gingras said. "Around the last turn he just overtrotted a little bit, but I still had the earplugs in. Ake was already driving on his and I had trot behind him. Whether I would have gone by or not, we'll never know, and the record is his. But my horse was going to trot 1:49 too." Archangel entered his Cashman elimination off a 10th-place finish in the Maple Leaf Trot, where he went off stride early in the race. Gingras was not the driver in Canada because he was racing Foiled Again at Northfield in the Battle of Lake Erie. "He's a little bit of a tricky horse, you need to know him, and unfortunately he made a break," Gingras said. "He's a little bit grabby. You've got to know him a little bit. Sometimes he'll throw in a funny step, he's got those little quirks about him, but once you know him he's pretty good." Archangel, trained by Ron Burke for owners Alan Hainsworth's Legendary Standardbred Farm and Clare Semer, has won two of 10 races this year and 16 of 41 in his career while earning $1.02 million. His top win came in the 2012 Yonkers Trot. He has two wins, two seconds and a third in his last seven starts. "He's a horse that didn't race for a full year, so you know it's going to take him six, seven, eight, nine starts to get going," Gingras said. "He was trotting a little further in the stretch each week, so I thought he was going in the right direction. Hopefully he keeps going forward from here on out. I don't think you've seen the bottom of him yet." The Cashman Memorial is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday, which also includes the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. The Cashman, Oaks, and Hambletonian will air during Saturday's national telecast, which begins at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Following is the Cashman field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 3-5; 2. Your So Vain, Mike Lachance, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1; 3. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 20-1; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 5. Uncle Peter, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 15-1; 6. Appomattox, Brett Miller, Liisa Vatanen, 50-1; 7. Mister Herbie, John Campbell, Mark Ford, 20-1; 8. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais, 8-1; 9. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 9-2; 10. Sevruga, George Brennan, Kevin Carr, 50-1. HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK John Campbell will try to extend his record for Hambletonian wins to seven when he drives Nuncio in Saturday's 89th edition of the trotting classic. The Hall of Famer has a legitimate chance to win the race, even with prohibitive favorite Father Patrick in the field, but that's not what makes Campbell most happy. "I'm just so happy anytime I get the chance to be part of the Hambletonian," said Campbell, who has raced in every Hambletonian final but two since 1983. "When you have a horse that figures in it, that makes it more special, no question about it, but it's the best we have to offer and I never take it for granted." Nuncio is the only horse to beat Father Patrick, on July 12, 2013. Father Patrick has won 15 consecutive races since then, but drew the unenviable No. 10 post for Saturday's Hambletonian. No horse has ever won a Hambletonian final from post 10. "I'm happy with the draw; it gives me options going out of the gate," Campbell said. "I'm going to be forwardly placed, or try to be, there's no question about that. I think the unknown is how many underneath me and on the outside are going to leave. I think there's going to be a lot of action in the first quarter of the mile, it just depends how hot that is and how many are involved." Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle owned by Stefan Melander's Stall TZ stable, has won 10 of 17 career races and never finished worse than second. The colt is trained by Jimmy Takter, who also is the trainer of Father Patrick and Hambletonian contender Trixton. Six of Nuncio's seven runner-up finishes have come against Father Patrick. "I know Nuncio is going into the race in good shape," Campbell said. "He's raced well every start of his life and I don't expect that to change. Father Patrick, believe me, he's earned all the accolades he's gotten. His 15-race win streak is incredible. But at the same time, I'm going to try to upset him on Saturday. "You have to race against the competition, whatever it is that year. [Nuncio] ran into a horse that has a chance to be one of the all-time greats. But I'm hoping he doesn't add the Hambletonian to his resume." Nuncio will try to give Melander his second Hambletonian victory. He was the owner, trainer and driver of 2001 winner Scarlet Knight. Part of Nuncio's success this year is because the horse has been able to relax in races. Last season, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of 10 starts. This year, it's only happened once in seven races. "He wouldn't be in the Hambletonian if it wasn't for the job that Jimmy did over the winter," Campbell said. "When he came back, we made a special effort to keep him quiet and race him from off the pace and make sure he didn't get into the same mode as last year. "Last year was just him being very talented and he got so exuberant that I couldn't rate him during the middle part of the mile and it cost him a couple of races. Now he's to the point where I can leave hard with him and still control him, and that's vital. If he wasn't that way going into the Hambletonian, it would compromise his chances dramatically." Aaron Merriman will get his first drive in the Hambletonian on Saturday. He is North America's leading driver in wins, with 452. Over the past 55 years, these are the drivers who ended the season No. 1 in wins and also drove in the Hambletonian final that same year: Dave Palone (2012, Stormin Normand, and 1999, Cherry Hills), Jody Jamieson (2009, Federal Flex), Tim Tetrick (2007, Pampered Princess), and Jack Moiseyev (1991, Giant Victory). Moiseyev is the only driver to win the Hambletonian in the same year he was No. 1. Merriman, a 36-year-old Ohio native with nearly 6,600 lifetime wins, will drive 50-1 longshot Il Sogno Dream in the Hambletonian. The horse is owned by Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. He is trained by Chris Beaver. "It doesn't matter what my odds are, it's an unbelievable opportunity and I'm just really excited," Merriman said. "I feel blessed I'm even involved in the race day. Even if I was the presenter of a trophy, I'd be happy. It's the premier event in harness racing and I'm very excited." Of the 11 drivers in this year's Hambletonian, four have won the race at least once previously. John Campbell (Nuncio) holds the record with six triumphs, followed by Ron Pierce (Royal Ice) with three, Brian Sears (Harper Blue Chip) two, and Tim Tetrick (Don Dorado) one. Sears won last year's Hambletonian with Royalty For Life. If he wins again this season, he will be the first driver to win the Hambletonian in back-to-back years since John Campbell in 1987-88. Jimmy Takter and Trond Smedshammer are the only trainers in this year's Hambletonian with previous victories. Takter - who sends out favorites Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton - won in 2010 with Muscle Massive and 1997 with Malabar Man. Smedshammer, who trains Royal Ice, won in 2004 with Windsong's Legacy. Trainer Nancy Johansson is making her first start in the Hambletonian, with Resolve, but she is no stranger to the race. She is the daughter of two-time winning trainer Jimmy Takter and was the caretaker of the 2010 Hambletonian winner, Muscle Massive. "That helps me tons," Johansson said. "I don't really feel stressed out. I think a lot of people in my situation would be a little more stressed out, but I kind of expect to be here because we were always there working for my dad. And most of the times, I took care of those horses. "There's a lot of pressure to take care of a good horse. I always say caretakers are so underrated because every day that horse is their charge. It's your job to make sure they don't get hurt, or if they're sick you need to notice in time so something can be done. I feel like I've had that pressure a lot before. I've seen my dad deal with the pressure. It doesn't really bother me because I'm used to it." Howard Taylor, who is among the owners of 20-1 Hambletonian longshot Doncango, never expected to have a starter in this year's race. Doncango has raced only once this year, winning on July 25. "I have tickets for the Billy Joel concert Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center, so I had to scramble to rearrange my plans," Taylor said with a laugh. "In about February or so, [Doncango] got injured. We have just been rehabbing him and bringing him back slowly and he got a late start. "We have a lot of year left and [trainer Ake Svanstedt] thinks he'll be heard from for the rest of the year. But I was a little surprised that he entered the horse in the Hambletonian." Taylor has had two previous starters in the Hambletonian. He is looking for his first win. "It would be a dream," Taylor said about Doncango winning. "It would be a shock, but it would be a dream." Ron Pierce can tie Berndt Lindstedt for most Hambletonian Oaks wins by a driver, with four, if he guides Shake It Cerry to victory Saturday. She is trained by Jimmy Takter, who with a triumph would move into sole possession of second place in trainer wins. Takter is tied with Glen Garnsey with three Oaks titles. Jan Johnson leads the way with six. Shake It Cerry, who has won six of seven races this year and was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. "She's good," Takter said earlier in the week. "It was good we didn't have to extend her too much [in the Oaks prep, a 1:54.4 win]. The Hambletonian Oaks won't go like that. The race next week, they're going to mix it up a little bit. "I think she's the best one. The only time she got defeated, she had a bad trip. She's sound, everything is good with her. She is ready to go a big mile. She'll take [Pierce] home. She's not known to give up in the stretch." Prior to this Saturday, trainer Julie Miller's only Hambletonian Oaks starter was 90-1 longshot Timelesswinner Two in 2009. Timelesswinner Two finished eighth. This year, she is sending out three fillies in the Oaks including morning line favorite Designed To Be. Starting from post one with driver Brian Sears, Designed To Be has won two of four starts this year. She was second to Shake It Cerry, who drew post 11 in the Oaks, in last week's prep. "She's had a little bit of traffic trouble her last two starts," Miller said. "I give a lot of credit to Brian. He knows my filly and he's been able to control her during the pedestrian second quarters we've been going. I'm excited for [the final]. Obviously, I'd like to see them go a little more [early fractions] in the race. We'll see how it plays out. I have all the confidence in the world in Brian and Designed To Be." Miller's other starters in the Oaks are 12-1 Take The Money and 20-1 Cee Bee Yes. "Take The Money had a nice win in the Reynolds [on July 19]," Miller said. "She proved to me that she should be in here. She seems to be a horse that's better with a week off in between starts. So that's why we [skipped the Oaks prep and] gave her the week off rather than go three weeks in a row. "[Cee Bee Yes] is my sleeper. She does her job, she's a sweetheart, and Marcus [Miller] gets along with her well. If they mix it up, I think she can pick up the pieces." Saturday's card, which begins at noon, features the Hambletonian Day returns of 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share and 2013 Hambletonian Oaks winner Bee A Magician. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, is the 4-5 favorite in the $52,000 Ima Lula Series final for 4-year-old female trotters. Market Share is the 9-2 third choice in the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters. Here is a look at the morning line choices for Hambletonian Day's top races. $52,000 Ima Lula: Bee A Magician 4-5, Classic Martine 7-5, Handover Belle 8-1. $100,000 Miss New Jersey: Gettingreadytoroll 2-1, Act Now 3-1, Blixtra 9-2. $225,000 New Jersey Classic: Doo Wop Hanover 9-5, Western Vintage 5-2, Bushwacker 9-2. $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship: Sweet Lou 4-5, Captaintreacherous 7-2, Thinking Out Loud 6-1. $352,050 Merrie Annabelle: Mission Brief 4-5, Lock Down Lindy 3-1, Gatka Hanover 5-1. $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial: Guess Whos Back 2-1, Canepa Hanover 5-2, Centurion ATM 3-1. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Amped Up Hanover 8-5, Southwind Poseidon 7-2, Marathon Man 9-2. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Outburst 3-1, Sumatra 7-2, Hillustrious 9-2. $75,000 Vincennes: Master Of Law 3-1, Southwind Pepino 7-2, D'Orsay 9-2. $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial: Sebastian K 3-5, Archangel 4-1, Market Share 9-2. $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks: Designed To Be 2-1, Shake It Cerry 5-2, Heaven's Door 9-2. $1 million Hambletonian: Father Patrick 4-5, Trixton 7-2, Nuncio 9-2. $177,750 Lady Liberty: Rocklamation 5-2, Drop The Ball 3-1, Somwherovrarainbow 7-2. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  

WILKES-BARRE PA -- $330,800 worth of Pennsylvania All-Stars action for locally-sired harness racing three-year-olds highlighted the holiday weekend action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday, with pacers of both sexes contesting four divisions and the trotting colts matched up for three splits four weeks before the Hambletonian. TROTTING COLTS Il Sogno’s Dream had a chartline with more bubbles than a kid’s bathtub, but he nevertheless overcame the brutal trip to win by 7¾ lengths in the fastest division for the diamondgaiters, 1:54.1.The son of Cantab Hall was handled by North America’s leading driver, Aaron Merriman, and the performance of the Chris Beaver-trained 3YO showed why he ventured east from his Meadows-Northfield base by winning impressively for a pair of Manes (Bill and Dan) and a pair of Christophers  (Leonard and Randy; well, three if you count trainer Beaver). Madewell Hanover seems to be peaking at an opportune time for owner/trainer/driver Chris Ryder, as the Yankee Glide gelding moved to the lead in front of the stands and never looked back, holding early leader Amped Up Hanover safe by half a length in 1:55.1, with successive back splits of 28.2. The Explosive Matter gelding Outburst burst to the lead past the quarter and never looked back again in winning his division in 1:54.4, sporting identical 57.2 halves. The Noel Daley-trained sophomore was 5½ lengths ahead at the finish for driver Andrew McCarthy, coming off his 1000th career win earlier in the week, and owners Daley, Adam Victor & Son Stable LLC, Kemppi Stables Ov Inc., and Mirva Bogucki. PACING COLTS Local sulky speed specialist George Napolitano Jr. got the Allamerican Native colt Mattamerican to the front past the quarter despite the outside post seven in his cut, and then threw a 26.2 third quarter to open up a lead he would never surrender in a 1:49.4 victory. Norm Parker conditions Mattamerican for owner/breeder Robert Key. The McArdle colt Sean Liam Q saw eight months pass between his first and second racetrack victory, but he accomplished his third just four days later in winning a four-horse blanket finish in 1:50.1. The 16-1 shot had the right local driver for the upset, as “King” George Anthony has dubbed Andrew McCarthy “The King Of The Longshots,” and McCarthy had just the right timing to get Sean Liam Q home first for trainer Ross Croghan and his owners and breeders, Steve Stewart, Alan Quinn, and Frank Cannon. At Press Time was knocked down to the minimum $2.10 win payout and did not disappoint, the Western Terror colt winning by 4 ½ lengths in 1:50.1 for driver Matt Kakaley and some folks you may not have heard from for a while – trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The royally-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-Bunny Lake) colt Bondi Hanover led at every pole, coming home in 27.1 to withstand Lord Of Misrule by a head in 1:50.4. Aaron Merriman added to his win total by guiding the winner for trainer Tony Alagna and the W Springtime Racing Stable, who campaigned Bunny Lake. PACING FILLIES Lynch Pace Final winner Fancy Desire returned to the site of her big stakes victory seven days previous, and the Real Desire filly triumphed again, but Lynch elim winner Cinamony narrowed in on the pacesetting winner late to miss by just a neck in the 1:50.2 mile. Kevin Carr handles the training of the fast-emerging star for owner Robert DiNozzi, with George Napolitano Jr. again in Fancy Desire’s sulky. The Well Said filly Take That Hanover needed very bit of a 27.1 last quarter to ward off first-over Marathon Day by a neck in 1:49.4. Tyler Buter returned to Victory Lane with Take That Hanover for trainer Casie Coleman and the Jack Darling Stables LTD. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. has a special knack for getting horses home first from seemingly-impossible spots, and he rallied Lucy’s Pearl, dead last at the half, to a ¾-length triumph over favored Also Encouraging in 1:50.1. Another daughter of Well Said, Lucy’s Pearl is a rare pacing foray for the “Trotting Guru,” trainer Ron Gurfein, who also shares ownership with Elizabeth Novak.  Stung past a 25.4 opener by main foe Seashell Hanover, the Somebeachsomewhere filly Bahama Blue made the lead and still had enough in the lane to hold off that rival by a length in 1:51. The familiar local team of driver Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes added another victory to their impressive stats column for owners Susan Oakes, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC. ,Jennifer Starr

When we looked forward to Sun Stakes Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the early months of the season, we expected most of the fireworks to come from the four major stakes races being contested on the card. Yet for all of the unforgettable, world-record performances that characterized those giant-purse races, it was an 8-year-old Swedish horse with just three starts in the United States under his belt who stole the show from the undercard. In addition to the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial pace for 3-year-old fillies, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial pace for 3-year-olds, the $500,000 Ben Franklin free-for-all pace, and the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial trot for 3-year-olds, two $100,000 invitationals were added. On the trotting side, Sebastian K, who had swept three starts at the Meadowlands, all in under 1:51, since arriving from Sweden, decided to make the Sun Invitational trot his personal playground. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K, a $2 million earner in his native country before ever setting foot in the U.S., took off from the outside post and just kept firing. In the stretch, his closest competitor went off stride in a vain attempt to keep up with his pace. At that point, Svanstedt decided to see just what his horse had inside of him. When he crossed the line in 1:49, it took me a moment up in the announcer's booth to register what had just happened. While I had anticipated before the race he would give our Pocono track record and the world record for 5/8-mile ovals a run for their money, I did not foresee 1:49, the fastest trot ever. All tracks sizes, all ages, all genders. Nobody ever trotted one mile faster than Sebastian K did on Saturday night. Considering that none of the aforementioned huge stakes had even been held by that point, the rest of the night easily could have been all anticlimactic. Luckily those other races lived up to their billing, producing three world record performances out of the four and uniformly pulse-pounding excitement. In the Lynch, Uffizi Hanover was made the betting favorite based on her excellent record and the fact that her post position improved compared to her loss in the eliminations. Yet Fancy Desire, trained by Kevin Carr, proved her love of the Pocono track once again, powering home on the front end in 1:49:2. Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr. did the driving for his first ever Lynch win. Next up was the Hempt, which started the world records falling once again. The perpetrator this time was McWicked, a powerhouse colt from the Casie Coleman barn who showed no fatigue after a monster effort in last week's eliminations. With David Miller in the bike, McWicked took over the race on the front stretch and stymied the field with incredible speed throughout the second half of the race, coming home a winner in 1:47:3, a new world record for 3-year-old colts on a 5/8-mile oval. No horse has made more of a turnaround in his career of late than Sweet Lou, who seemed to have peaked a few years back but has suddenly caught fire with a vengeance in 2014. Since driver Ron Pierce took over the driving chores, the 5-year-old stallion trained by Ron Burke has been unstoppable with five straight wins, the last of those coming in Saturday night's Ben Franklin final. Ironically, it wasn't 2013's leading lights Captaintreacherous and Folied Again who gave him the biggest problem; it was stablemate Bettor's Edge, who challenged him in a great stretch duel, with Sweet Lou prevailing in 1:47; fastest ever pacing time achieved on a 5/8-mile oval. If there has been once tiny complaint about the impeccable record of Father Patrick, the colt who came into Saturday night's Beal final with wins in 14 of 15 lifetime races, it's that he lacked one of those jaw-dropping wins that some of the other A-list horses have rifled off in the past. Cross that off the checklist now, because Yannick Gingras cut the colt loose on Saturday night, and the pride of the Jimmy Takter barn responded with, you guessed it, a world record performance for 3-year-old colts on the trot on a 5/8-mile oval. Overall, there were five world records on the night; in addition to the ones we've already mentioned, Wind Of The North picked up the mark for 4-year-old geldings earlier in the night in a condition victory in 1:51. While there is no doubt that we'll miss having the Breeders Crown this season at Pocono, those year-end races will have to be special to live up to the drama and excitement of Sun Stakes Saturday 2014. And I'm pretty sure that no night of racing will be able to match Saturday's undercard thanks to Sebastian K. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs            

Uffizi Hanover won the biggest race of her career so far at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, the 2013 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers, after losing the previous week. Last weekend, Uffizi Hanover finished second to Cinamony in her elimination for Saturday's $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. The filly started from post seven and raced to the front in a :54.4 opening half-mile before losing the lead in the stretch. This weekend, she starts from post No. 1 with driver David Miller at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Horses from post one have a 14.5 win percentage at Pocono Downs, compared to 7.6 percent from post seven. Prior to last weekend's elimination, Uffizi Hanover led at the halfway point in just one of her previous 15 career starts. She also finished second in that race. "I think she will be better this week," Miller said. "She had the outside last week and I decided to leave with her and she got used a little bit early. That's really not her style. "This week, if I can get away close I think I'll be in good shape. She surprises us all the time." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, and the $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Uffizi Hanover has won four of 16 lifetime starts and earned $594,500 for owners Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband. She entered her Lynch elim off a victory in the Fan Hanover Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack on June 14. Fancy Desire and Weeper, who won the other two Lynch eliminations, are 3-1 and 4-1, respectively in the final. Fancy Desire drew post four and Weeper got post eight. Cinamony will leave from post six and is 6-1. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Nuncio spent a lot of this past winter learning to use his natural talent in a more productive way, and it shows. The 3-year-old trotter, who is 3-1 from post two in Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is undefeated in four starts in 2014 after a barn change following his 2-year-old season. New trainer Jimmy Takter concentrated on teaching the son of Andover Hall to conserve and use his speed judiciously and driver John Campbell said he's passing the course so far. Last year, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of his 10 races. This year, he's been no better than third at the halfway point of any race and not seen the lead until the stretch. "I'm very happy with the way he's been coming along," Campbell said. "He just got so aggressive and so wound up at the end of last year that you just couldn't rate him at all. That was to his detriment in a couple races and it cost him winning. Jimmy trained him from behind all winter and we've qualified him that way and raced him that way and he's started to figure it out, so I can be a little more aggressive with him at the gate. "He left a little bit last week and didn't get wound up. I'm very happy with his manners so far. He's been very relaxed and that's important because if they're worked up and you're fighting with them, you just take away energy. He's always been able to go; speed hasn't been an issue ever with him. It's more been just manageability." Nuncio won his Beal elimination last weekend by a half-length over Datsyuk in 1:52.2. His previous three wins this season all came in divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Last year, he won five of 10 races and never finished worse than second on his way to $461,074. His earnings were third most among 2-year-old trotters, behind Takter-trained colt Father Patrick and Takter-trained filly Shake It Cerry. Four of Nuncio's second-place efforts were against Father Patrick, in the eliminations and final of the Peter Haughton Memorial and elims and final of the Breeders Crown. Nuncio won the Matron Stakes and a division of the Reynolds; he also was runner-up to Muscle Network in the Valley Victory. Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, also won his Beal elimination last week. He drew post No. 8 for the final and is the 5-2 morning line favorite with driver Yannick Gingras. "I'd certainly rather have the two hole than outside, that is for sure, but once we get in to the race, everybody will know at the quarter whether it's good or bad," Campbell said. "But going in to the race, I'd rather be down inside." Father Patrick won his Beal elim by 2-1/4 lengths over Harper Blue Chip in 1:52.4. He is 4-for-4 this year and brings a 13-race win streak into the Beal final. Last year, Father Patrick won 10 of 11 races, including the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the Wellwood Memorial and the Peter Haughton Memorial. His only setback came against Nuncio in July. "This is the first time all year that he'll be asked to go," Gingras said. "He's more than ready after four easy starts." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications  

No trotter in history has recorded four winning miles of 1:50.3 or faster, but on Saturday night Sebastian K will try to accomplish the feat in only his fourth start in North America. Sebastian K is among the seven horses in Saturday's $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The field also includes Market Share, who is history's only other trotter with three winning miles of 1:50.3 or faster. Last weekend, Sebastian K and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won for the third time in as many starts since arriving in the U.S. from Sweden. They captured the third round of the TVG Free For All Series for older trotters in 1:50.3 at the Meadowlands, beating Archangel by two lengths and third-place Market Share by 4-3/4. Sebastian K won his U.S. debut in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 on May 10 and followed that performance with a 1:50.2 victory in the $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial final. "It's an amazing story," said Bjorn "Bernie" Noren, who is Svanstedt's assistant. "Of course we were hoping he was going to do great, but this is - I don't want to say a surprise, really - but a good feeling that the horse can do like he's done." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Sebastian K drew post No. 7 in the Sun Invitational, which also includes Arch Madness, Sevruga, Amigo Ranger, Archangel, and Modern Family. Arch Madness, one of the richest trotters in history with more than $4 million in purses, and Sevruga also are among history's 15 trotters to win with at least a 1:50.3 time. Arch Madness, who has won twice in his career with a time of 1:50.2, Market Share, Sebastian K, and the retired Chapter Seven are the only trotters in history to win in 1:50.3 or faster multiple times. One of Market Share's 1:50.3 miles came last year in a qualifier. Earlier this year he trotted 1:50.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia, the fastest time ever on a five-eighths-mile track. Pocono Downs is a five-eighths-mile track known for its speed, so that mark could be in jeopardy Saturday. Depending on how the race unfolds, a sub-1:50 mile might not be out of the question. "It's not out of the possibility," Noren said. "It depends how the race unfolds. If they get to three quarters and everybody still has something in the tank, it could happen. If you go too much in the [first] half, of course you're going to go a little slower the last half. That's the way racing is. But that's a fast track. If the weather is good, they're going to have the track in top shape." In his most recent race, Sebastian K won from gate to wire. He got the lead with a :27.3 opening quarter-mile before relaxing in a :28.2 second quarter. He trotted :54.3 for the second half, including :26.2 for the final quarter-mile. "It was the best I ever felt him," Svanstedt said. "Usually he gets to the front and looks around for other horses, but this time he just kept going." Added Noren, "Ake was just sitting and waiting. He was waiting for somebody to come and then Market Share came first up and the last quarter he let [Sebastian K] go and he was flying home really good. It was his best race so far. He was really sharp. He really wanted to take off. "The horse looks great, he feels great. He should get better the more he's racing." Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Freehold, NJ --- It might run counter to trainer Ron Burke’s intuition, but less appears to be more with Sweet Lou. Burke changed Sweet Lou’s between-race routine and the 5-year-old male pacer has responded with a four-race win streak heading into Saturday’s (June 28) $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It is Sweet Lou’s longest streak since putting together six consecutive victories bridging his 2- and 3-year-old seasons. Sweet Lou was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner as harness racing’s best 2-year-old male pacer and earned more than $1 million at age 3, but endured a stretch of just four wins in 31 starts prior to his recent surge. “We’ve backed off on him and he’s become more like a Thoroughbred,” Burke said. “I can’t ask him to race four weeks in a row; I can’t ask him to train in between when he’s racing. I just give him weeks now where he basically jogs and hangs out in the field. “It kills me, because I’m thinking that he’s getting unfit. But I’ve watched him and he just blows back up and starts to look strong again. Then I’ll give him one hard fast work before he races and he seems to race great.” Saturday’s card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and the $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Sweet Lou, who won his Franklin elimination by four lengths over Bolt The Duer in 1:47.4 last weekend, drew post four in the final. Three other Burke horses -- Bettor’s Edge, Allstar Legend, and Foiled Again -- will all start inside of Sweet Lou while Domethatagain, who edged Captaintreacherous by a nose to win the other Franklin elim in 1:48, got post five. Captaintreacherous, the two-time defending Pacer of the Year, leaves from post eight. “I was very impressed with the way (Sweet Lou) raced the other day,” Burke said. “He’s come back as the horse we always thought he would be.” Sweet Lou’s win streak also coincides with Ron Pierce becoming his driver. “Pierce maybe has a different strategy of how to race him and so far it’s been good,” Burke said. “Everything right now is working good, so we’ll just keep doing it the same way until we need to make a change.” In addition to his quartet in the Franklin, Burke will send At Press Time and All Bets Off into the Hempt, Sayitall BB and Southwind Silence into the Lynch, and Amped Up Hanover into the Beal. All Bets Off, who won the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers in May, and At Press Time captured their respective Hempt eliminations. All Bets Off has won five of six starts this year; At Press Time bounced back from a third-place finish in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes with the addition of Lasix. “I knew At Press Time would be better,” Burke said. “We did some work on him in between (starts) and got him straighter and he bled very badly. It wasn’t a question of whether we should put him on Lasix, he really needed Lasix. I was happy with his performance. “(All Bets Off) is a very good horse. He’s top five; he’s as good as any horse out there, I think. He can go either way. He had to be pulled to a stop at the top of the lane (in his elim) and most of my horses if you pulled them to a stop like that they wouldn’t fire again. And he did.” The Hempt field also includes McWicked, who won the fastest elimination, in 1:48. Jimmy Takter-trained trotters Father Patrick and Nuncio headline the Beal. Both won their eliminations, with Father Patrick extending his win streak to 13 races dating back to last July. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. Nuncio was a stakes winner and four-time runner-up to Father Patrick last season. This is their first meeting as 3-year-olds. Cinamony, Fancy Desire, and Weeper all won Lynch eliminations. Cinamony and Fancy Desire were supplemented to the Lynch for $15,000. The final also includes multiple-stakes-winner Uffizi Hanover. Sebastian K, who is 3-for-3 since arriving in North America from Sweden, headlines the Sun Invitational. The race also includes Market Share, who is a two-time Dan Patch Award winner. Following are the fields in post order with listed drivers and trainers: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational – 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick,Linda Toscano; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial – 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr.; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O’Donnell; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial – 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt; 2. Allstar Partner, Tim Tetrick, John Butenschoen; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 5. At Press Time,Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace – 1. Bettor’s Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial – 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley,Ron Burke; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr.; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Wilkes-Barre, PA – There were two $34,712 divisions of the Historic Series for three-year-old pacing fillies at Pocono Downs Tuesday evening and when they were over, Fancy Desire became the fastest filly currently in North America. The daughter of Real Desire was able to leave well for driver George Napolitano, Jr., then make the most of perfect cover from race favorite Weeper (Dave Palone) before ducking inside the passing lane in the stretch to win by a half length in a lifetime best 1:49.1. The victory brought an end to Weeper’s seven-race winning streak and Fancy Desire’s speedy time makes her the fastest filly in North American harness racing for 2014 on any size oval. She went off at odds of 13-1 and returned $29.20 to win. The fourth race second division started out with Fancy Desire and Uffizi Hanover (David Miller) both leaving for the early lead with Fancy Desire winning out and parking out Weeper until after the opening quarter in a speedy :26.2. Weeper then took command and led past the half mile marker in :54.4. That was when Uffizi Hanover came out from third place first-over with Cinamony (Corey Callahan) following the outside flow. As they came down the stretch was when Napolitano moved Fancy Desire inside and sealed the victory with a last quarter mile in :26.4. I drove her as a two-year-old,” Napolitano said. “And she went in 1:53 and now she has grown up. I did not know how good a filly she was. 1:49 is pretty scary and I was shocked. I wanted to make Dave’s horse work a little bit and then I followed the best horse in the race and then went up the inside.” It was the fifth start and second win this season for fancy Desire, who is trained by Kevin Carr and owned by Howard Jacobs of West Orange, NJ. “I was surprised tonight,” said trainer Kevin Carr, “I knew she was good. She is staked to everything this season, Breeders Crown, the Jugette, Balmoral and on June 7 we go to Mohawk for the Roses Are Red Series.” In the third race first division of the Historic Series, Katie Said and driver Marcus Miller took the tough route but despite having to race first-over from the backstretch, she was able to wear down pacesetter Table Talk (Corey Callahan) and then hold off That Woman Hanover (Mike Wilder) to win with ease in 1:51.2. That Woman Hanover was the first to leave but quickly gave way to the 4/5 favorite, Table Talk, as she cut fractions of :27.3 and :55.4 to the half. That was when Marcus Miller came first-up with Katie Said and the daughter of Well Said was at ease first-over to the three-quarters in 1:24. Then coming down the stretch, Katie Said put away Table Talk as Wilder came back in the passing lane to try and challenge Katie Said but it was too little too late as Katie Said strolled to a two length triumph. Table Talk was third. “She is very very fast,” said Marcus Miller. “With the breaking problems she has had I drove her like a trotter. I figured I would be first-over despite the short field, but I wanted to keep her out of trouble. She kept on coming and I never pulled the plugs.” It was a lifetime mark for Katie Said, who is trained by Julie Miller and her third win in four starts this year for the Andy Miller Stable of Millstone Township, NJ and Black Horse Racing of Lebanon, NJ. She paid $5.20 to win. By Steve Wolf and Brian McEvoy, for Harnesslink.com

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 25, 2014-Super Manning (Matt Kakaley) took advantage of a late-race rest stop Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $38,000 Open Handicap Trot. In no particular hurry from post position No. 5, Super Manning's job became easier when 8-5 choice Coraggioso (Brian Sears) jumped it off leaving and went off the course. That allowed eight-hole assignee DW's NY Yank (George Brennan) to work around 60-1 He'sgotlegs (Larry Stalbaum) before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. The leader, a perfect 6-for-6 here this season entering this race, then rated a :57.4 intermission before Super Manning began his stroll from sixth. He was able to grab a breather when the longshot in the pocket dropped anchor before a 1:26.4 three-quarters. "DW" opened a couple of lengths entering the lane, with Super Manning again taking up the chase. He chased, then caught, the leader, wining by a measured neck in 1:55. Third-4½ lengths away--went to Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter), with Blacktuxwhitesocks (Jordan Stratton) and Fortunista (Eric Carlson) coming away with the lesser pay envelopes. For second choice Super Manning, a 6-year-old Diamond Goal homebred owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, he returned $6.10 for his second win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.40, with the triple returning $63. Saturday night's million-dollar stakes program is led by North America's two richest races of the season to date, the Raceway's $567,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (11th race) and the $371,400 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (9th race). The field for the Levy (approximate post time 10:55 PM).... 1-Sapphire City (Eric Carlson, 15-1), 2-P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett, 5-1), 3-Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras, 3-5), 4-Texican N (Brian Sears, 20-1), 5-Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson, 8-1), 6-Bettor's Edge (George Brennan, 3-5), 7-Dancin' Yankee (Ron Pierce, 5-1), 8-Mach it So (Tim Tetrick, 5-1). Note P H Supercam/Mach it So race as a Bamond Racing owned-P J Fraley trained entry, while Foiled Again/Bettor's Edge race as a Ron Burke owned-trained entry. Foiled Again-subject of the night's T-shirt giveaway--and his $6.1 million career bankroll are going for a Levy title hat trick. The Matchmaker (approximate post 10:05 PM) goes as such...1-Somwherovarainbow (Sears, 9-6), 2-Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, 8-5), 3-Rocklamation (Gingras, 5-1), 4-Anndrovette (Tetrick, 3-1), 5-Krispy Apple (Bartlett, 3-1), 6-Feeling You (Tyler Buter, 10-1), 7-Angel's Delight (Brennan, 15-1), 8-Summertime Lea (Matt Kakaley, 5-1). Note Rocklamation/Summertime Lea race as a Ron Burke owned-trained entry, while Anndrovette/Krispy Apple race as a Bamond Racing/Davino-owned, P J Fraley trained entry. A pair of series consolations, worth $100,000 (Levy) and $75,000 (Matchmaker), go as races 8 and 10, respectively. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features two $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 18) in the fifth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 19) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fifth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: As has been the case throughout the 2014 edition of the George Morton Levy series, Foiled Again was once again at the top of the headlines this past weekend at Yonkers. The 10-year-old sauntered around the half-mile oval in 1:51 this past Saturday night. "That's what he's supposed to do," said driver Yannick Gingras after the gelding's fourth win in as many Levy series/season starts. Foiled Again was a narrow winner in his Levy division on April 12. Leaving from post position No. 3 as the stronger half of a 1-20 entry, Foiled Again had to work to get around P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett). He did so before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and found a :56.3 intermission with Bettor's Edge (George Brennan) away third and A J Corbelli (Tim Tetrick) fourth. It was Dancin Yankee (Ron Pierce) then moving from fifth, engaging Foiled Again toward a 1:24 three-quarters. Soon after, Bettor's Edge -- who, as with Foiled Again, was three-for-three in this series entering the evening -- slipped out to race second-over. However, Bettor's Edge became very rough very quickly, soon jumping it off. Foiled Again owned a half-length lead entering the lane. His pesky rival wouldn't go away, but wouldn't go by, either. Foiled Again won by a head in 1:51, the fastest local mile of the season. Third went to P H Supercam, beaten a half-length. Mach It So (1:52.1) and Clear Vision (1:52.1) won the other two Levy divisions. Last Friday night's fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open mare pacers saw three $40,000 divisions go postward. The first event saw Breeders Crown champ Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick, $7.20) get her first series win with a handy, down-the-road effort (:27.3, :57, 1:24, 1:52). Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) was unable to sustain a first-up bid, while Monkey On My Wheel (Brian Sears) could only match strides from the pocket. Monkey On My Wheel did get second, beaten three-quarters of a length, with Ramalama third. Defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You was also flying under the radar until Friday evening. Leaving from post four with Tyler Buter doing the honors, Feeling You operated from second-over. That didn't seem so opportunistic when pole-sitting Rocklamation (Gingras) rated a cheap half (:28, :57.3). Rocklamation maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters, taking a half-length lead into the lane. Feeling You, left to fend for herself, continued her assault on the leader. She outgamed Rocklamation by a head in 1:53.1. The third and final Matchmaker had Yagonnakissmeornot (Daniel Dube) throw down the gauntlet with the fastest mile of the series to date. Leaving from post five, Yagonnakissmeornot made the first lead before yielding to the 4-5 favorite in Somwherovrarainbow (Sears). After a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and :55.4 intermission, it was Krispy Apple (Tetrick) trying her luck first-up. That one couldn't sniff the leader before a 1:23.4 three-quarters, with Somwherovrarainbow owning a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. However, she was powerless to deny Yagonnakissmeornot, who edged from the pocket and rolled away. That final margin for the second choice was 2-1/2 widening lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 116; 2. George Brennan - 104.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 80; 4. Brian Sears- 41; 5. Daniel Dube - 40. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 210.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 93; 3. Rene Allard - 40; 4. Joe Holloway - 25; 5. Kevin Carr - 20. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 78.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 53.8; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 53.8; 4. Brad Grant - 20.5; 5. Joe Pennacchio - 20. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Northfield Park, Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack and Yonkers Raceway. Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers on Friday (April 25); Freehold has eliminations scheduled for the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old colt trotters on Saturday (April 26); also that day the Meadowlands will feature the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt pacers; and action at Yonkers will continue that Saturday with the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy finals and consolations. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 11) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 12) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The Ron Burke Stable continued to dominate Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series this past Saturday night (April 5). Burke trained the winners in all but one of the evening's four $50,000 divisions. Leading the Burke brigade once again was Foiled Again, who remained unbeaten in three series starts. He and driver Yannick Gingras went the distance, though not without having to work for it. Drawing outside his six rivals, Foiled Again went around pole-sitting P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) before a :27 opening quarter-mile. From there, the match race was on. After a :55.4 half, these two separated themselves from the overmatched quintet. Foiled Again found three-quarters in 1:24, taking a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. Then, P H Supercam took his shot. He dove inside and closed ground, but could not reach. Foiled Again prevailed by a head in 1:52. Rock On Moe (Eric Carlson) was a best-of-the-rest third as the 66-1 rank outsider. For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,105,968 (79-for-201). Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Burke's other Levy winners were Easy Again in 1:53.1 and Bettor's Edge in 1:52.2. Like Foiled Again, Bettor's Edge is also a perfect three-for-three in the series and they share the points lead in the Levy with 225 each. Easy Again has a pair of series scores and is in fourth place with 187 points. Summertime Lea and Yagonnakissmeornot won their respective divisions this past Friday night (April 4) in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for mares, the second score for each in the series. Yagonnakissmeornot moved into a first place tie in the standings with Angel's Delight, each with 200 points. Summertime Lea is third at 187 points. Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, is now five-for-nine this season with career earnings just under $400,000. For Summertime Lea, a 4-year-old daughter of Lislea co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith, it was her second win in three seasonal/series starts. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 96; 2. George Brennan - 94.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 58; 4. Daniel Dube - 30; 5. Brian Sears - 29. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 180.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 69; 3. Rene Allard - 30; 4t. Joe Holloway - 20; 4t. Kevin Carr - 20. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 55.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 46.3; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 46.3; 4. Brad Grant - 20.5; 5. Joe Pennacchio - 20. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final preliminary leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy next weekend. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 26. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series third legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 4) in the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 5) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the third round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: There were four repeat winners in last week's second leg of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. Bettor's Edge, Foiled Again, Itrustyou and Mach It So each made it two-for-two in the series by capturing their respective $50,000 events on the March 29 card at The Hilltop. Foiled Again and Yannick Gingras were easy winners in a time of 1:53.4. Foiled Again's 78th lifetime victory was among his simplest. Leaving from post position No. 4 in the last of the four divisions, Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras), leading a 1-20 Ron Burke-trained troika, had nothing more than a soggy stroll. After fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25.3 and 1:53.4, Foiled Again found himself getting to the finish line 3-1/4 lengths before his competition. In this case, the closest competition was entrymate Aracache Hanover (Daniel Dube), with Texican N (Brian Sears) third. For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 purse check increased his lifetime loot to $6,080,968. Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. There were a pair of repeat winners in the March 28 second leg divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series as Angel's Delight and Somwherovrarainbow vaulted to the top of the series standings with impressive victories. For Angel's Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, it was her sixth win (with four seconds) in 10 seasonal starts. Somwherovrarainbow, a 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Joe Holloway for co-owners Diamond Creek Racing and Ted Gewertz, is now three-for-three this season. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 74; 2. George Brennan - 67.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 41; 4. Brian Sears - 29; 5. Daniel Dube - 20. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 136.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 45; 3t. Rene Allard - 20; 3t. Joe Holloway - 20; 3t. Kevin Carr - 20. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 37.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 33.7; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 33.7; 4. Joe Pennacchio - 20; and 5. M1 Stable - 10.85. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next two weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 26. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 28, 2014-Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, its premier harness racing series for Open Mare pacers. Four, $40,000 divisions went postward. The first event saw pole-sitting Ideal in Vegas (Jordan Stratton, $11.80) retake from Let's Go Higher (Jason Bartlett) before a 28-second opening quarter-mile, then paced away from the premises (:57, 1:25, season's-best 1:53.1). "She's been compromised by bad posts the last couple of starts, so once she drew inside, I was going to take advantage of it I always thought she was a stakes-quality mare, Asked why he seems to get along with "Vegas" better than other drivers, Stratton succinctly summarized that "I'm good with the ladies." For second Ideal in Vegas, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by Shore Thing Stables and trained by Anthony Mannino, it was her third win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.20, with the triple returning $70. Odds-on Somwherovrarainbow (Brian Sears, $3.10) doubled her pleasure in the second division, winning a second consecutive series starts. Leaving from post No. 2, "Rainbow" was an early third as Feeling You (Tyler Buter) worked around Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) after a :27.2 opening interval. Once "Yagonna" reclaimed, Somwherovrarainbow was also moving, making the lead before a 56-second intermission. From there, a no-sweat 1:24.4 three-quarters and 1:53 mile gave her a length's victory over Yagonnakissmeornot. Summertime Lea (George Brennan) tried it first-up and held third. For "Rainbow," a 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Joe Holloway for co-owners Diamond Creek Racing and Ted Gewertz, she's now 3-for-3 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $3.90, with the triple returning $10.60. "I didn't want to have to be first-up with her again (as was the case last week)," Sears said. "She's just very talented and you can race her any way you have to." The ensuing rain did not deter third-division victress Angel's Delight (Brennan, $17.80) from her appointed rounds-a second consecutive series win and third win in succession. Away fourth from post No. 6, she watched as 3-10 choice Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) have things seemingly under control ( :28, :56.1, 1:25). However, the wheels came off the bandwagon in mid-stretch, as the people's preference was passed on both fronts. Pocket-sitting Anndrovette (Tetrick) beat her to the inside, but a first-up Angel's Delight beat 'em both to the outside. "Angel" whipped Anndrovette by a half-length in 1:53.2, with "Charisma" a fading third, beaten a length-and-a-quarter. For third choice Angel's Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, it was her sixth win (with four seconds) in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $61.50, with the triple returning $106.50. The final event was won by 2012 champ Rocklamation (Gingras, $2.20), who outdid her stablemate Camille (Kakaley) by a half-length in 1:53.1, with Shelliscape (Terick) third. The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with four, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5,9 and 11 on the 12-race card). Frank Drucker

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