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YONKERS, N.Y. – When harness racing trainer Kevin Lare purchased Freedom Warrior off trainer Jimmy Nickerson in mid-June, the freshman gelding came with a warning. Although he already qualified twice with Tim Tetrick in the sulky, including a 1:52.4 second-place finish with a :26.4 final quarter, the American Ideal son had yet to race and was still green. “When I bought him, I had been told by Timmy Tetrick and the gentleman I bought him from that he’s just a 2-year-old, that he hadn’t learned yet and it didn’t take much for him to get really hot-headed, run away, stuff like that,” Lare said. However, to Lare’s surprise, he experienced no issues with Freedom Warrior leading up to the gelding’s first start in the eliminations of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace last Saturday (July 6) at Yonkers. Freedom Warrior was two fingers when training with cotton-stuffed ears and an ear hood. However, for his first race, Lare opted for pop-out ear plugs. “The other night, I warmed him up, he was fine,” Lare said. “I passed somebody warming up, somebody passed me. I actually had to tap him with the whip because I wanted to go a good last quarter warming him up to make sure he was OK to get around that track. “I made an equipment change,” the trainer continued. “Now I’m in a race going for money, I go to the pop-out earplugs. I know he can hear through the ear plugs some from putting them in him at the farm; they’re not completely soundproof.” Just before the start of Freedom Warrior’s elimination, the last of three that evening, fireworks went off near the racetrack. Freedom Warrior heard them and became a runaway with Jordan Stratton in the sulky. As the race began, the fireworks went off again, and Freedom Warrior took off. “They set off some fireworks about 30 seconds before he went to go to the gate and Jordan said he lost his mind when he heard that,” Lare explained. “Jordan put him to the gate, and as the gate folded, Jordan said they set some more fireworks off as they hit the first turn, and he lost his mind again and Jordan was just a passenger.” Freedom Warrior pulled Stratton along, unratable and barely controllable. He was 3 lengths clear of the field past a quarter of :27.1 and after a half-mile in :54.4, the first-time starter was 10 lengths ahead of his nearest rival. Lare watched from the paddock, bracing for the worst. “I knew he was going to stop and that he was getting ready to come home in 40 seconds if he doesn’t fall. I’m thinking that he’s going to fall because he’s going to choke him off,” Lare recounted. “I thought he was going to choke, flip a palate, hopefully he doesn’t fall, but I just know he’s coming home in :35 tops. I just know he’s getting ready to pull up to a walk.” However, Freedom Warrior stayed on top by 7 lengths through three-quarters in 1:23.4. But fatigue soon began to set in. Waiting in the wings, a trio of rivals – Columbo, Hunter Hill, and Roll With JR – took their aim. Columbo took the first shot, edging to the outside at the top of the stretch as he appeared poised to go past the tiring leader. Meanwhile, Hunter Hill and Roll With JR loomed close behind. With only the top two finishers guaranteed to advance to the final, Lare was ready to pack his bags. “I know at that point in time the best he’s going to be is fourth, that these three are going right by him,” Lare said. “But when the first one got to him, he took back off and raced that horse. That was awfully impressive to me. I couldn’t believe it and Jordan couldn’t believe it either.” Freedom Warrior dug in, only letting Columbo past in the final sixteenth. The others never got to him and Freedom Warrior finished second by 1 ¼ lengths to earn a place in the $120,250 Sheppard Final this Saturday (July 13).  “Is he fast? Yeah, he’s fast. We saw that the other night. Without a doubt, he is a nice horse, but he doesn’t need many trips like that, for sure,” Lare said. “Jordan never did pull the plugs on him or touch him with the whip. He felt bad for the horse, as I did. I definitely was not coming back for the final at the half. I thought he was getting ready to walk across the wire. I did not see that coming at all. “I hope it’s that easy of a fix, that I can just go back and put the cotton in his ears. I can only hope,” Lare said. “You jog him without the cotton, the stone hits the wheels, here where we’re at, trains hook up right behind us and he does freak out. But when he’s got his ear hood on and the cotton in his ears, I can send my 12-year-old kid out to jog him and he wouldn’t be a problem.” Bred by Curran Racing, Adam Michael, and Heidi Rohr and trained down by Rohr’s husband, Freedom Warrior came onto Lare’s radar after being contacted by an agent. Lare and owner Forrest Bartlett have been searching for a talented 2-year-old for several years, and the pair felt Freedom Warrior was that horse. “I’ve been telling an agent for the last couple years that I’ve been looking for a top-notch 2-year-old if they could find one. The owner, Forrest Bartlett, we’ve actually tried to buy a few in the last couple years here,” Lare said. “He was always willing to step up to the plate. Forrest wasn’t interested in one that just looked OK, he wanted one that had a chance of being a top-ten horse. (The agent) called me and that was it, we got the job done from there.” Although one might pass Freedom Warrior by on looks alone, Lare was immediately impressed by the gelding’s gait and his ease of motion. “He’s not a big, strappy-looking horse or anything like that. He’s a gelding, so he’s not built like a stud horse or anything,” Lare said. “He’s not a looker, he’s not one that you’re going to turn your head and say, ‘wow, look at that horse.’  “But on the racetrack, he covers so much ground,” Lare continued. “When I sat behind him and trained him, I was impressed because he covers the ground so easy and he covers so much of it. When he picks them up and puts them down, horses that wear a longer hopple than he does, he’s covering more ground than they are every stride. He does it very easily and effortlessly. I really like that about him.” After purchasing Freedom Warrior, Lare took the gelding to Ocean Downs to qualify June 27. Although the heavy half-mile track was not ideal for the 2-year-old, it was the trainer’s last chance to get a trial in before the Sheppard. Lare expected a slow mile, but got more than he bargained for when finishing second a half-length behind Breeze Away B in a 1:56.2 mile. “The track was really deep. Jonathan said that was a 54-and-a-piece mile at Yonkers. So, I was very impressed with him that day,” Lare recalled. “I did have to make a couple equipment changes after qualifying that day, but that’s why I went down there, to find out exactly what I needed to do.” Freedom Warrior drew post six in the Sheppard Final and will again have Stratton in the sulky. Elimination winners American Rebel, Columbo, and Save Me A Dance drew posts two, four, and five, respectively while elimination runner ups Han Solo and Manticore will start from post one and post eight, respectively. Hunter Hill and Level Up, the two fastest third-place finishers in last week’s eliminations, drew posts three and seven, respectively.  “Of course, I would have liked to draw the rail in the final too. After what happened last week, I think he would have gained a lot of respect leaving the gate. I’m sure he’s going to be headed in the same direction anyway, we just hope it isn’t as fast fractions,” Lare said. “Of course, the six hole is no advantage there, but with his gate speed, it’s not going to hinder him that much. He is quick off the wings, but we just want to be able to settle him back down. “I think he’s got a huge chance. Personally, I think he’s the best, I really do,” Lare continued. “They’ve got him to beat in my opinion. All he’s got to do is get some honest fractions. He can pace as fast home as he was leaving the gate last week, he just can’t do it off those fractions.” For Lare, a victory in the Sheppard Final, the first open Grand Circuit stakes final for 2-year-olds this year, would be especially meaningful. The trainer hopes to see owner Bartlett rewarded for his purchase. “It would be great for Forrest Bartlett. He stepped up to the plate, he spent money buying this horse. He’s been a great owner for me,” Lare said. “I’ve had great horses before; he’s not the first one, nor do I hope he’s the last one, nor do I hope he’s the last one that Forrest buys. It would be great to win the first major stakes race the horse is in. That would be great for Forrest and great for me.” Saturday night’s card also features the weekly $46,000 Open Handicap Trot and Open Pace, along with the $37,000 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 6:50 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, N.Y. – The harness racing team of trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick have a good history with broodmare Lionness Hanover. The pair bought the Western Ideal mare’s second foal, Well Lets See, for $4,500 at the Harrisburg Sale in 2014. Despite being an undersized gelding, Well Lets See won 15 races at 2 and 3 while racing primarily on the Pennsylvania fair circuit.  Off Well Lets See’s success, Lare and Chick purchased Lionness Hanover’s next foal, Roaring To Go, a year later at Goshen for $16,000. The filly became a force on the New York Sire Stakes circuit at 2, finishing first in the NYSS Final before being disqualified for a pylon violation. She also had Grand Circuit success, winning divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile and a Breeders Crown elimination at 2, but was only fourth as the 1-2 favorite in the final after coming down sick. Roaring To Go went 9-for-28 and earned $431,999 in her career, prompting Lare and Chick to tap the well one more time. The Delaware-based connections traveled to the Ohio Select Sale in 2017 with their sights set on buying Queen Of The Pride, the fourth foal out of Lionness Hanover. “We wouldn’t have gone to the Ohio Sale if it wasn’t for her being in there,” Lare recalled. “We’ve had other ones in her family that had done us well, and we were just going back to the same well again.” Although they came specifically to purchase Queen Of The Pride, the McArdle daughter quickly climbed beyond Chick’s budget. But Lare managed to squeeze one more bid out of Chick, convincing the owner to offer $62,000 for the filly. The hammer fell and Lare was thrilled. “That was his last bid. If there had been another one, I don’t think he’d have won,” Lare said. “I was standing next to him and I was like, ‘come on Frank, one more time.’ He hit it one more time and I wouldn’t have gotten him to go again.That was it. If it wasn’t for the history with the family, we definitely wouldn’t have been there, but we went there for the purpose of trying to buy her and it worked out.” Queen Of The Pride hasn’t disappointed. She won her first four starts as a 2-year-old, including three Ohio Sire Stakes splits, and went on to score a wire-to-wire victory in the $275,000 OSS Final at Scioto Downs last September.  “As a 2-year-old. When she got down in the 2:15 range, she showed that she had talent,” Lare remembered. “Frank loved her from the word ‘go’ and he paid her into all the big stakes races and he just kept on paying. He had faith in her, and she kept going. “It was very sweet winning the Ohio Sire Stakes Final,” Lare said. “We had a lot of fun racing out in Ohio, the people treated us great. Winning the final was a nice race win for Frank.” After graduating from state-bred competition, Queen Of the Pride moved to the Grand Circuit. She finished fourth in the She’s A Great Lady Final at Mohawk September 22 and posted two runner-up finishes in the Bluegrass and ISS at the Red Mile. However, after qualifying for the Breeders Crown with a third in the elimination, she finished eighth in the final, suffering the same fate as Roaring To Go. “Bad luck for the family there,” Lare said. “Roaring To Go went of favored in the Final at the Meadowlands and she got sick that week after not being sick all year. Queen Of The Pride wasn’t sick all year long and she got sick that week in the Breeders Crown. We’ve had bad luck as far as the Breeders Crown.” Queen Of The Pride bounced back with a second in the Matron at Dover to cap her freshman year and has returned strong in 2019. She won an elimination of the Hackett Memorial at Miami Valley on debut April 12 and was second in the final a week later. Queen Of The Pride won the $50,000 Scarlett & Gray Invitational in 1:51.2 April 26 and doubled up with a 1:51.4 score in OSS in her latest start May 3. She’s 8-for-18 with $421,454 earned. “She’s come back very sharp from the qualifier to all her races,” Lare said. “She was a little off form there the one week when she got beat in the final of the Hackett. It really wasn’t her fault, I’m going to take the blame for that. She rebounded from it very well in her next two starts. She set the season’s record out there, she’s doing everything that’s being asked of her.” Queen Of The Pride will make her Yonkers Raceway debut Saturday, May 11 when she starts in a $22,050 division of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old fillies. Lare is using the start as a test drive for the Lismore Pace eliminations May 18. It will be Queen Of The Pride’s second start on the half-mile track after she won an OSS division at Northfield Park last year. “If everything goes well this week, we’re coming back next week for the Lismore,” Lare said. “This will be the second start I’ve ever raced her on a half-mile racetrack. I’ve trained her on a half. She trained a very good mile on a half this week and I don’t see that being a problem. I really don’t.” Queen Of The Pride will start from post three and is the 7-5 morning line favorite with Jordan Stratton in the sulky. Her rivals include Abigail Dawn, who is 3-for-3 this season and posted a 1:51.2 win at Harrah’s Philadelphia last time out.  “She’s won three races this year, all from the three hole,” Lare said. “We got the three hole this week and I said, ‘maybe that’s a good sign. Maybe that’s an omen.’ There’s a nice group of fillies in there all around. Chris Ryder’s filly looks like she’s come back very well this year. It looks like she’s come back really strong with the mile she put in at Chester in her last start. “Queen Of The Pride is very manageable. She’s all racehorse,” Lare continued. “She has gate speed, but that doesn’t mean she can’t race from off the pace. Tony (Hall) raced her in a hole two starts ago. She doesn’t have to have the front-end; actually, I like her better out of a hole. But I’ll leave that up to Jordan. He knows everything about Yonkers Raceway, I have all the faith in Jordan.” On Accident Vies for Stakes Win in Last Start for Lare and Chick In addition to Queen Of the Pride, Lare and Chick will start On Accident in a division of the Reynolds for sophomore colts and geldings. Chick’s purchase of the Well Said gelding for $20,000 at Harrisburg was an unintended one.  “Frank buys the horses, we go and look at them and pretty much figure that some of them are going to be out of his price range,” Lare explained, remembering Chick pointing out a horse in the catalog. “He asked me, ‘did you look at this horse? He’s got to be worth that, isn’t he?’ He turned around and he bid. I said, ‘Frank, that’s not him in the ring, that’s the horse before him.’ Then the hammer went down and we bought him. We got him home and he was training pretty good, so we changed his name to On Accident. The horse that he wanted to buy brought over $100,000, I think.” On Accident went 0-for-5 at 2, but is 2-for-13 this year with another eight placings. After being placed first in a leg of the Sagamore and finishing third in the Final and placing in three legs of the Weiss Series at Pocono this spring, the gelding’s earnings swelled to $54,084.  The Reynolds will be On Accident’s last start for Lare and Chick as he is entered in the Blooded Horse Spring Mixed Sale May 14. He enters the Reynolds off a fourth-place finish in a $16,000 overnight at Yonkers April 29.  “He’s done OK. He was an OK 2-year-old. He’ll follow a horse, he’s not big on cutting a mile at all,” Lare said. “He’s progressed a lot from his 2-year-old to his 3-year-old season. “He was actually eligible for the Weiss Final at Pocono, but we elected not to race him and took him to Yonkers instead to take him back there before this race and we got blessed with the eight hole,” Lare continued. “He finished fourth out of the eight hole in a respectable mile. He’s in with some nice horses, but he’ll be close, I’m sure.” Saturday night’s card features two divisions of the Reynolds for fillies and two divisions for colts and geldings, along with the regular $44,000 pacing and trotting co-features.  First post time is 6:50 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

HARRINGTON, DE - Frank Chick's Majestic Mistress ($4.80, Mike Cole) improved to 3-for-3 locally with a 1:56.1 triumph in the $17,500 Open Trot at Harrington Raceway. Despite having the outside post, she was able to quickly negate the disadvantage from the outer rail with a swift move to the lead where she would coast to an easy win over Murmur Hanover and Celebrity Pegasus. Trained by Kevin Lare, it was her third straight win. On the undercard, William Moffett's Gillie The Kid ($4, Art Stafford Jr.) prevailed in 1:57.3 over Spunky Jack and Whitesville Dixon. The 5-year-old Northern Kid gelding notched his fifth win of the season for his owner/trainer. Ross Wolfenden had four wins on the card. Monday September 17 with feature the marquee event of the season at Harrington Raceway, the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial, featuring some of the sport's top aged pacers, in conjunction with five $20,000 Delaware Standardberd Breeders Fund (DSBF) divisions for 2-year-old pacers. Live racing continues Monday through Wednesday. Post time is 5 p.m. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

HARRINGTON, DE - Frank Chick's Majestic Mistress ($3, Mike Cole) was a repeat winner in the $16,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway with a 1:55.2 triumph. Majestic Mistress left alertly from post position five as the public's (1-to-2) betting choice and marched through fractions of 28.3, 58.4 and 1:27.3 before drawing away by multiple lengths at the top of the stretch and to the wire. Mr. Right was second with Battle Mage third. Trained by Kevin Lare, it was the 10th career win for the 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Son, who debuted in Delaware impressively on August 28 with a 1:54.3 win. Bill Sartin's A Nashty Business ($5.40, Ross Wolfenden) prevailed in 1:56 in the $11,000 Open II trot for trainer Joe Hunderptfund Jr. All Shoes On Deck was second with Uwantapieceofme third. Live racing continues on a Monday through Wednesday schedule. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Frank Chick's Awsome Valley ($13.40, Russell Foster) was a 1:55.4 harness racing winner in the $16,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. Awsome Valley took the lead at the opening quarter mile in 28.1 seconds as I Like My Boss relinquished in second. The 1-to-5 favorite, Wind Of The North, got in gear in second over position behind Theresademoninme while the leader marched to the half-mile in 58 seconds and three-quarters in 1:26.4. Awsome Valley drew away from his rivals in the stretch for a dominant win over Theresademoninme and I Like My Boss. Wind Of The North was fourth. It was the 39th career win for Awsome Valley, a son of Valley Victor who is trained by Kevin Lare. Foster drove three winners on the program. In the sub-featured $11,000 Open II trot, Jonathan Newman's Here's The Magic ($6.60, Allan Davis) was a 1:56.4 winner for trainer Josh Green in his first Harrington start after competing most of the summer in New York. Davis joined Foster with a driving triple. On the undercard ($10,000 trot), Louis Catana and Vincent Bradley's Sunset Mike ($11, Tyler Davis) had an auspicious local debut with a 1:57.3 triumph for co-owner/trainer Bradley, who recently acquired the 4-year-old trotter from the Indiana racing circuit. Matthew Sparacino  

Columbus, OH --- Despite not growing taller over her winter vacation, Roaring To Go certainly transitioned from an awkward teenager to a young lady after her third birthday. In fact, her harness racing conditioner Kevin Lare compares her much more mature appearance and potential to perform to the sculpted physique and celebrity status of none other than superstar Jennifer Lopez. The now 3-year-old filly, who was in the hunt for divisional honors last year as a freshman prior to her fourth place finish in the Breeders Crown, will attempt to snare the spotlight once again when her considerable talents will be on display in the first of two C$35,000 eliminations for the Fan Hanover at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday (June 10). “I tell everyone she looks just like JLo,” said Lare. “She has all the curves in the right places as she really filled out her frame. She has that nice big chest now and that well-rounded butt. She just looks great and she has always had such a terrific attitude. She is not a horse that is loving, but is just grumpy enough for a mare or filly to be very good. “She is also right where we want her to be right now as she had that really nice qualifier at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:53.1 (May 23, defeating Prairie Sweetheart). All I wanted was to not draw the eight-hole or have to face Tequila Monday in her first start (in a New York Sire stakes leg on June 2) and one of those wishes was granted, but I was very happy with her race (second to Tequila Monday). “She has trained enough to be fit and the last race and this race this weekend should have her race-tight to fire her best in the Fan Hanover final. I couldn’t ask for anything more from her.” Owned by Frank Chick, Roaring To Go will have the services of regular pilot Brett Miller when she commences her mile from post two in the evening’s fifth contest. She is the second selection on the morning line (4-1) behind Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner Idyllic Beach (6-5, Yannick Gingras), recent Ontario Sire Stakes Gold winner Soiree Seelster (6-1, Sylvain Filion) and a filly that looks to be improving in Jaye’s A Lady (8-1, Louis-Philippe Roy). “All I know is there are eight other very talented fillies in there,” Lare said. “There is no Tequila Monday in this one, who I think is the one to beat right now after that mile she went to win the Lismore Pace, but all these fillies are so good. That’s why we race them; anything can happen and any one of them can win. I’m just thrilled we have a horse with enough ability to be in there with them.” Roaring To Go, a daughter of Art Major-Lionness Hanover, was purchased for $16,000 at the 2015 Goshen Yearling Sale and her dam is a half-sibling to Lookout Hanover (The Panderosa, $405,774), Long Fight Hanover (Allamerican Native, $162,337) and Lonewolf Currier (The Panderosa, $483,601). The filly has collected $307,079 from a record of 15-7-4-0 and established the track record for her age, sex and gender at Saratoga (1:54) last July. Roaring To Go has also defeated Idyllic Beach in a 1:50.4 mile in a $73,000 division of the Bluegrass Stake at Red Mile and hit the wire before New York Sire Stakes and Lismore Pace champion Tequila Monday in the $225,000 Sire Stakes final, only to be placed second for a brief venture inside the pylons. After her success in Kentucky, the filly scored a powerful triumph in her $20,000 Breeders Crown elimination while leaving Lismore Pace runner-up Agent Q and the aforementioned Idyllic Beach in her wake. Lare, who has a Breeders Crown trophy for guiding the career of the late, great Snow White, was understandably very confident Roaring To Go had a strong opportunity to bring home the hardware for his close friend and long-time colleague Chick. After decades in the industry, Chick still does not possess a Breeders Crown championship and Lare felt this was an excellent opportunity to remedy that situation. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as the filly was fourth after setting the middle fractions and tired in the lane to finish behind winner Someomensomewhere, Agent Q and Idyllic Beach. She did, however, have an extremely excellent reason for not visiting the winner’s circle that evening. “We didn’t know if we were going to even race her right up until we were warming her up that night,” Lare said. “We changed barns and she was really sick. She even went off her feed, which isn’t like her, and was filled up with mucus. About two days before the final she started feeling better, but we still thought we were going to have to scratch her right up until we were getting her ready to go to the gate and she was very responsive, so we decided to keep her in. She raced so well considering the week she had and it’s just like us when we get sick. It takes us some time to rebound even though you feel better and I think that’s what happened with her. The sickness zapped her ability to pace home strongly, but we were really proud of her. “But we were also really disappointed, because we had hoped to supplement her to the Matron, as it’s Frank’s home track and then finish the year in Canada. Frank asked me what I thought and I told him to just shut her down to concentrate on this year, so that’s what we did.” Roaring To Go opened her 2017 season with a second in a qualifying race at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 16. Although she did not win, she paced her final quarter-mile in :26.2, then won her second qualifying contest prior to her second place finish in her pari-mutuel debut on June 2 in New York Sire Stakes competition at Saratoga. If all continues to go according to plan, the filly will have numerous opportunities to demonstrate abilities that could propel her to the very top of her division. “The idea was to bring her back a little later because it is a long season,” Lare said. “She has 23 or 24 starts this year including the Sire Stakes and all her stakes races. After the Fan Hanover, she will head back to the States to be in the James Lynch at Pocono, then go to Yonkers and Batavia for some Sire Stakes races. “She will need to give her very best in every race. All these fillies are fast and they can all win every time out. While we are looking forward to the whole season with her, we also want to focus on those races in the fall; especially after what happened last year.” Lare definitely is excited about what will transpire with Roaring To Go’s season and future, as she was a surprise to her connections, who felt she was a nice horse, but did not realize just how fast she was until she proved herself as her 2-year-old campaign progressed. The filly, however, has some company in the shedrow which also has Lare and Chick eagerly anticipating the fruits of their labors in 2017. “We have definitely put in some work over the winter and now it’s time to see what we have,” Lare said. “We have 12 2-year-olds we are very happy with, including a full brother to Wakizashi Hanover and a half-sister to Yankee Bounty, who Frank owned and then sold. “I had to talk Frank into going to Kentucky with Roaring To Go last year and he had never been. Of course it is always better when you win your first time there like he did, but I kept trying to tell him how Lexington is; the horsemen all come together and everyone is so kind and congratulatory. Now he wants to go again, which we are with her and those two 2-year-olds, but he was asking me about staking each one down there this year; he has never done that before. It’s just great to see him this way about it as he breaks each horse himself before they ever change addresses to come to me. Hopefully all that hard work pays off again and there will be many more trips for him to Kentucky in the future.” Fan Hanover - Elimination #1 (Race 5) 1. Al Mar Got A Fever - Third Straight - (Brian Sears - Mike Weller) 2. Roaring To Go - Art Major - (Brett Miller - Kevin Lare) 3. Soiree Seelster - Big Jim - (Sylvain Filion - Tony O'Sullivan) 4. Jayes A Lady - McArdle - (Brett Miller - Nancy Johansson) 5. Dancing Shadows K - Shadow Play - (Yannick Gingras - Rod Boyd) 6. Future Headlines - Sportswriter - (Jonathan Drury - Colin Johnson) 7. Idyllic Beach - Somebeachsomewhere - (Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter) 8. Blameitonthenight  - Mach Three - (Jonathan Drury - Tony Alagna) 9. Roselily - Big Jim - (Travis Cullen - Richard Moreau)   Fan Hanover - Elimination #2 (Race 7) 1. Agent Q - Western Terror - (David Miller - Aaron Lambert) 2. Obvious Blue Chip - Roll With Joe - (James MacDonald - Mark Steacy) 3. Action Majesty - Royal Mattjesty - (Brian Sears - Gregg McNair) 4. Dudesalady - Shadow Play - (TBA - Howard Okusko Jr) 5. American Sara - American Ideal - (Sylvain Filion - Murray Brethour) 6. Tequila Monday - American Ideal - (Brian Sears - Chris Oakes) 7. Shes Watching - Rocknroll Hanover - (Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna) 8. Bettors Up - Bettor's Delight - (Doug McNair - Scott McEneny) 9. Someomensomewhere - Somebeachsomewhere - (Tim Tetrick - Jimmy Takter) 10. Aint Three Ok - Mach Three - (Trevor Henry - Mike Weller) For entries for the full card, which includes North America Cup and Roses Are Red eliminations, please click here.   by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

HARRINGTON, Del - Frank Chick's Awsome Valley ($14.60, Tony Morgan) notched his 35th harness racing career win in upset fashion Wednesday at Harrington Raceway with a 1:54.1 victory in the $16,000 Open Trot. Awsome Valley led the field of seven through an opening quarter mile of 28 seconds. The 8-year-old trotter marched to the half-mile unchallenged to a half-mile in 57 seconds before Celebrity Pegasus gathered momentum around a tiring Theresdemoninme and got within two lengths to three-quarters in 1:25.3. Awsome Valley drew away with ease in the stretch as Celebrity Pegasus went off stride and Wind Of the North, last week's winner, rallied into second. Five Towns was third. Awsome Valley, a son of Valley Victor trained by Kevin Lare, surpassed the $500,000 mark in career earnings. Matthew Sparacino      

Columbus, OH --- With less than 72 hours to tick off prior to her appearance in a $20,000 elimination for the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace on Saturday (Oct. 22) at the Meadowlands Racetrack, harness racing trainer Kevin Lare thinks owner Frank Chick may be a bit weary of his weekly training updates in regards to Roaring To Go. “I know I sound like a broken record,” he said. “But I keep telling Frank the same thing every time she has trained all year; she only gets better each trip and she is ready. This week though I do think she is really on her "A" game and she will have to be in order, God willing, to race again next week.” A daughter of Art Major and the Western Ideal mare Lionness Hanover, Roaring To Go has quietly compiled a record of 12-6-3-0, banked $242,636 and set a track record of 1:54 at Saratoga in New York Sire Stakes action on July 27. She also hit the line first in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final on Sept. 24 at Yonkers Raceway, but was placed second for taking an inopportune foray inside the pylons. Despite her sterling resume, Roaring To Go was not a name on everyone’s list to vie for divisional honors prior to Grand Circuit action at Lexington's Red Mile. Her upset, however, of heavily favored Idyllic Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Idyllic) at that facility in a $73,000 division of the Bluegrass Stakes, illustrated this filly, who was purchased for $16,000 at the Goshen Yearling Sale, is certainly able to pace with the best. “I thought at the beginning of the year she was a filly we would have some fun with in the New York Sire Stakes program,” Lare said. “Did I think she would go in 1:50.4 at Lexington and beat the best filly out there? No. Then she came right back and won her division of the International Stallion Stake. It was really fun to get our picture taken twice in Kentucky, but she is not getting a break here. She will have to race very well against Idyllic Beach and all these other nice fillies in the Breeders Crown now. “I knew a bigger track would move her up, because she gets steppy on the turns on a half-mile track and has a tendency to run in. Brett Miller (her regular pilot) has done a terrific job with getting her through that and I’m hoping it is something we will no longer have to be concerned with next year.” Roaring To Go will have the opportunity for a rematch against Idyllic Beach as the fillies commence their quest for participation in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final on Saturday (Oct. 29) in the fourth race on this Saturday's card from post positions seven and eight, respectively. Roaring To Go will have the services of Brett Miller in the bike and Idyllic Beach will be driven by Yannick Gingras. Only Idyllic Beach has won in a swifter time (1:50.3) than Roaring To Go among all freshman pacing fillies in North America this year. “I have definitely been fortunate enough to train horses like Ginger And Fred, Snow White and Southwind Tempo,” Lare said. “But I have never had a horse that went :25.3 in her last quarter-mile in her first race, which this filly did. Like I said, I knew she had some speed, but that trip really grabbed my attention.” While her immediate pedigree may not seem quite as impressive as Idyllic Beach’s, as that young lady hails from a Horse of the Year sire and O'Brien Award-winning dam, Roaring To Go’s family tree is quite solid and does not lack quality. Her dam's two previous foals are both winners -- Well Excuuuse Me (Well Said, $68,295) and Well Lets See (Well Said, $52,945) -- and she is a half-sibling to Lookout Hanover (The Panderosa, $405,774), Long Fight Hanover (Allamerican Native, $162,137) and Lonewolf Currier (The Panderosa, $453,695). Roaring To Go’s granddam, Ladyking (Cam’s Card Shark) is a half-sister to Cancun Hanover (Jenna’s Beach Boy, $194,335), Cinch Hanover (Life Sign, $170,810), Runover Again (The Panderosa, $194,614), Current Hanover (Western Ideal, $380,248) and Courser Hanover (Astreos, $236,416). Chick has been a staunch supporter of harness racing for decades and he still owns Roaring To Go's older brother, Well Lets See. When Roaring To Go became available, he took advantage of a golden opportunity to bring her home. “Frank definitely kind of back-doored into this filly because he did already have the experience with the other horse,” Lare said. “The first foal (Well Excuuuse Me) did sell for a decent price at Harrisburg ($30,000) but Frank bought the second one (Well Lets See) for $4,500. That one could pace, but was one of the smallest Standardbreds I’ve ever seen. He was like a pony and you could saw the seat off the jog cart to fit him. “When Frank saw this filly had a little size to her, he jumped right in, but now like I said to him recently, if he wants to keep dipping in to this family, from now on he better be prepared to open his wallet. They won’t be selling for those kinds of prices anymore after what she has accomplished.” Although Lare has already enjoyed a Breeders Crown triumph with Snow White, a victory by Roaring To Go would hold a special place in his heart, because it would provide Chick, with whom he has a close bond, with his first Breeders Crown trophy. “Frank did retain a piece of Yankee Bounty (10 percent) after he was sold midway through his 2-year-old season,” Lare said. “I can’t remember how he performed in the Breeders Crown (sixth in his elimination in the 2015 3-year-old colt pace), but it would be so special for this filly to win this race with Frank. Not only to give him something he has never experienced before after all he has done with the sport, but because of all he has done for me. “He always believed in me and when I was down he provided me with horses so I could work my way back up. Having a filly like this with and for him, is a treat. That is why it was so enjoyable to have our pictures taken in Kentucky. Frank buys maybe one or two yearlings every year and he doesn’t spend a lot of money, so he does not normally get to be in a winner’s circle somewhere like there. “I’m so glad he did not sell this filly and we are exactly where we are right now. I told him these kind of horses don’t come along very often. If she does well in this race, she is not staked to anything else, but it’s possible we will supplement her to the Matron. It would mean so much to Frank to have her in there as Delaware is home and all, but we will see how we do here first. “A filly like this is always special, but this does take on even more meaning because of how far back I go with Frank and everything he has done for me, as well as the sport.” For entries for Saturday’s complete card, click here. For more information go to www.Hambletonian.com or www.playmeadowlands.com. Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BCrown16 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BreedersCrown. Fans can also go tohttp://harnessracingfanzone.com/, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Frank Chick's Strong Hope ($10.20, Montrell Teague) was a 1:55 aptly named winner Wednesday at Harrington Raceway in the $15,000 featured race that was named for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In attendance was 5-year-old Layla Mosley, who has been courageously battling stage four Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Mosley distributed ribbons throughout the evening, which were aimed at increasing awareness for childhood cancer. Strong Hope, a 9-year-old CR Excalibur stallion, assumed the lead at the top of the stretch and drew clear for his 36th career win. The Kevin Lare-trainee has earned more than $566,000 lifetime. Royal Becca J was second, while I Like My Boss was third. Delaware-sired 2-year-olds have been making their final preparations for next week's Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) races. George Teague Jr.'s Daylen ($4.40, Montrell Teague, 1:55) and Richard Banca's Dreams To Go ($9.20, Jon Roberts, 1:57) each were victorious on the pacing side. Ben Brooks' Master Clave ($16.60, Ross Wolfenden, 2:03) was the lone 2-year-old trotting winner. Teague had four wins on the program for the second time in the last week. For more information on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month or to make a donation, please visit www.childhoodcancer.org.   Matt Sparacino

Roaring To Go (Art Major) set a new track record for harness racing freshman fillies in the New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday night. Drawing the outside post in her $54,500 division of the NYSS, Roaring To Go sat last in the early going as first half fractions of 27.2 and 56.4 were set by dueling rivals. Driver Brett Miller moved the Kevin Lare-trained filly to the outside at the half and got the jump on the race's odds-on favorite World Apart (Art Major). Once Roaring To Go cleared the lead, World Apart's impressive final quarter surge was not enough for her to get to her major danger in a mile paced in 1:54, a new track record for two year old pacing fillies. The Linda Toscano-trained Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven) moved her career record to three-for-three with Tim Tetrick in the bike behind a front-running score in her $55,500 division of the NYSS while Artrageous (Art Major) and Jim Morrill Jr. went coast to coast in the other $54,500 division of the freshman filly stakes on the night. New York Sire Stakes action returns to Saratoga next Tuesday August 2nd when two year old trotting colts come to town. Live racing continues at the Spa on Thursday night with first post time set for 7:05pm.   Mike Sardella

WATTSBURG PA - Major Matter, driven by harness racing trainer Rick Beinhauer, equaled the all-age track trotting record at the Erie County Fairgrounds in this northwest Pennsylvania town on Sunday, with the sophomore Explosive Matter gelding covering the mile in 2:04 to tie the 28-year-old local standard of Smokey Crown on the second day of the two-day meet kicking off the 2016 Pennsylvania fair racing season.   Major Matter took to the track in the very first race on Sunday, just as sunny as the day before but cooler and with a quartering wind, and got the track buzzing right way on this day of PA Fair Sire Stakes for three-year-olds, going around the half-mile oval, which was in great shape, in fractions of 30.3, 1:01.4, and 1:32.3 before trotting home to the historic 2:04 clocking, first set, and in this division, by Smokey Crown and driver David Brocklehurst in 1988. Trainer/driver Beinhauer has literally every right to be proud of his horse, winner of his PA Fair Championship at The Meadows last year, as he is also co-owner and co-breeder of the new track recordholder with his wife Regina.   After the record trotting mile, the major news headline of the day would seem to rest on Team Shaw, trainer Jason Shaw and brother/driver Chris Shaw, as they combined to win three of the four divisions of the sophomore filly pace Sire Stakes. Jason's young son Mason Shaw added to his already-bulging college fund when his Unbeamlievable, last year's North American leader in divisional victories with 13, quickly showed her fair-loving form, the daughter of Moon Beam the fastest winner in his section with a 2:04.1 - 29.2 triumph.   The other two filly winners are owned by Jason, Quick Hot Passion (a maiden win in 2:04.3) and Singalongwithbing (2:05.3, lowering her mark by almost four seconds). The trio of triumphs gave the brothers four wins each in their respective categories for their weekend's work and thus a share of meet honors with the redoubtable Roger Hammer on the sulky side and with Bob Rougeaux III on the training end of things. Hammer and Rougeaux each scored three wins on Saturday and one on Sunday, with the Shaws and their fillies reversing those days' achievements in earning their statistical ties.   Well Lets See, an 11-time winner while proving a tough hombre in the two-year-old pacing colt fair ranks in 2015, was ready for fair season right away, posting a 2:03.4 triumph for owner Frank Chick and trainer Kevin Lare. Lare also took a rare turn in the sulky in guiding the Well Said gelding to the winners circle - in fact, Kevin achieved his only driving triumph in 2015 (on a severely-limited sulky schedule, to be fair) behind Well Lets See, at Butler on July 2, and to go back into history he has paraded no other horse back to Victory Lane since handing Political Terror in winning at Dover Downs on January 9, 2013, as he continues his own stirring story on the comeback trail.   That 2:03.4 by Well Lets See would prove to be a tick short of the fastest pacing mile of the Sire Stakes division, the day, and the meet, as a race earlier the Art's Card Trick gelding Wont Be Nothing continued to escape scorn for his bad grammar with good racing, lowering his mark to 2:03.3 for owner/trainer/driver Cory Kreiser.   The Pennsylvania fair season will next gather at Butler PA on the last day of the first half of the calendar year (Wednesday, June 30) and the first day of the second half of the calendar year (Thursday, July 1).   Publicity Office, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

HARRINGTON, DE. - Frank Chick's Awsome Valley ($17.80, Ross Wolfenden) overcame post position eight to prevail in 1:56 in the $17,500 Open Handicap Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. The 7-year-old Valley Victor gelding assumed command near the opening quarter mile from Spunky Jack and never relented en route to an open length win over a fast closing I'm So Striking. Spunky Jack finished third. Trained by Kevin Lare, it was the third win of the season for Awsome Valley, who had raced at Dover Downs much of the year prior. Bob Shahan and Don Marine's Six Gun Hall ($3.60, Allan Davis) was a dominant winner on the undercard with a 1:57.1 victory in a $10,000 conditioned trot. Trained by co-owner Shahan, it was the first win of the season for Six Gun Hall who was returning home after a three start stint at the Meadowlands (N.J.). Victor Kirby had three winners on the program. George Dennis and Ross Wolfenden each had a double. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

DOVER, Del.--- Jebswesternshark, last week's 10-1 up setter, made believers of doubters by not only winning the week's top pace, the $26,000 Delaware Special, but did it from outside post 8 racing without cover to score a 1:52.4 on a windy and raw Thursday, Feb. 19 at Dover Downs. Harness racing driver Corey Callahan continues his strong driving with five winners. George Dennis drove the 8-1 Western Hanover - Shake Away 10-year-old gelding, trained by Kevin Lare for owner Frank Chick, to his fifth consecutive victory. The streak began at the $15,000 claiming level through a $25,000 tag prior to last week's come-from-behind win. Just A Jolt with Vic Kirby came on in the stretch to finish second in front of Mustang Art and Art Stafford Jr. Jebswesternshark is now fived for six this year earning $40,350 with his 43rd lifetime win while banking $256,279 in his career. Delaware Special made it two-in-a-row winning one of two Open/Handicap paces for young horses. Corey Callahan chalked up his fifth of six winning drives taking the Dragon Again-Dashaway Hanover gelding to the top en route to a 1:54.4 triumph in the $15,500 event. Doug Lewis trains the winner for owner Howard Taylor. It was his second win in three starts while accruing second-place finishes in four other starts this meet. Major Bucks (Toby Lynch) was runner-up with Elite Awards (Eddie Davis Jr.) the third horse. In a $16,000 edition, Invictus Hanover, a Yankee Cruiser - I Sparkle gelding handled by Trace Tetrick, recorded his first win of the year notching a 1:54.4 decision in the second race for 4&5-Year-Olds. Scalped (Montrell Teague) was a close second. Four Staces (Callahan) never saw the rail and still finished third. Callahan got One Stop Deal up in to win one of two $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Male paces for Kapildeo Singh and Yves Sarrazin. Dylan Davis conditions the Western Ideal - Artstopper gelding who posted his second straight win. Fancy Colt (Tony Morgan) and Fire In The Belly (Kirby) were second and third respectively. The photo finish camera was necessary to determine the winner of the other $14,000 section. Maximum Terror had his nose on the line from among a blanket four-horse finish in 1:55.4. Owned and trained by Ben Stafford, the gelding was driven by Ben Stafford Jr. to his second win in his last three races. The Western Terror-HTF Cocoa four-year-old bested 40-1 Alexis Style (Russ Foster), second, and Mister Truth (Tony Morgan), third, with Panic Disorder (Callahan) accepting fourth. Callahan, with five winners, now has won 20 races in the last three days. Allan Davis, George Dennis and Trace Tetrick won two races each. Friday and Saturday are "dark" days. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.--- Jebswesternshake stepped out of the claimers for a 10-1 upset victory in the $25,000 Delaware Special on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Dover Downs. After impressive wins at the $15,000 and last week $25,000 claiming level, Jebswesternshake flashed past tiring leaders to post a 1:52.1 upset in the week’s top pace.  George Dennis was content to sit back as Just A Jolt (Vic Kirby), Feel Like A Fool (Ron Pierce) and then Nova Artist (Allan Davis) took turns leading the eight-horse field through its early stages. Dennis then attacked four-wide and zipped past the other combatants in the stretch to secure his fourth consecutive triumph. Kevin Lare conditions the winner for Frank Chick. The 10-year-old gelding has a strong license to win. Jebswesternshake is sired by Western Hanover from the one-time track record holding mare Shake Away, an early 20th century standout female pacer. Believe This Bob turned in his usual strong finish for Ross Wolfenden to finish second. Nova Artist showed flashes of his 2014 form to hold on for third. An all-Delaware bred four-year-old Elite Awards, the two-and-three-year-old DSBF champion, took the lead at the start and rolled to a 1:53.3 victory in the first of two  $15,500 4&5-Year-Old Opens. Eddie Davis Jr. was at the controls of the Powerful Toy-Silk Slip pacer for trainer Ed Walls and owner Karen Walls. Regal Mac (Dennis) closed well to finish second with Maddysonofagun (Trace Tetrick) third. In similar style, Corey Callahan and Howard Taylor’s Delaware Hanover overpowered his $15,500 contestants for a 1:52.2 conquest. Doug Lewis trains the altered son of Dragon Again  - Dashaway Hanover who won for the second time in five outings this year and 18th time in his career. He has earned $248,960 lifetime. Contraband Hanover (Pierce) had a two-hole trip with Shark Fantasy (Jonathan Roberts) the show horse. Pierce secured his third win of the day piloting Virginia Louthan’s No Spin Zone-David’s Art homebred home in 1:53 to win one of two $14,500 4&5-Year-Old Male pace. Mister Truth (Eddie Davis Jr.) was second for the second straight time. Preparty (Dennis) took third money. Callahan driving Panic Disorder made it three in-a-row in the other $14,500 section. Trainer Sheila and Steve Daugherty five-year-old gelding by Western Terror-Jate’s Joy won for the third straight time. Shanzhai (Allan Davis) and First Of Itskind (Pierce) were second and third respectively. Lindwood Player, also driven by Pierce, overcame starting from the outside to notch a 1:52.4 win in a $13,000 Male Winners-Over pace. The Panderosa-Direct Player horse is owned by Mike Casalino and Dylan Davis. Adventure Bound (Art Stafford Jr.) was second with Sunshine Superman (Toby Lynch), next. Meet leading driver Corey Callahan had another four-bagger. Ron Pierce won three. George Dennis and trainer Dylan Davis won two races each.   Friday and Saturday are “dark” days. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

This week's racing was filled with the thrilling action we've come to expect of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. And, to spice things up even further, the Pocono faithful witnessed the matching of a track and world record this week. That record-setting performance kicks off our attempt to sum up all of the action at Pocono this week by handing out the Weekly Awards. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FRAU BLUCHER This four-year-old mare named after Cloris Leachman's character in Young Frankenstein had scared up a lot of success in the first two years, earning over $900,000 combined in her two and three-year-old seasons. Yet this standout from the Chris Oakes barn went winless in her first five starts this year, including a second against the non-winners of over $10,000 in the last five starts condition at Pocono on August 12 when she was heavily favored. On Tuesday night, she went up against that same condition group, once again as a solid favorite at 4-5. Only this time around, the mare was ready to show her class and then some. Driver George Napolitano Jr. sent her to the lead with a brush on the front stretch. From there, Frau Blucher kept extending her lead until the rest of the field was a distant memory. She was 8 ¼ lengths in front at the line, with the only suspense at that point being how fast she actually went in the victory. The timer showed a ridiculous 1:51:2, which matched the world record on a 5/8-mile oval for four-year-old trotting mares. The horse who set that record back in May at Pocono, Classic Martine, is also trained by Chris Oakes. So that proves that the Oakes barn has a whole lot of talent. But it also proves that Frau Blucher is back on top of her game, so elite trotters all over the country best take heed. Other top trotters this week include: Mistery Woman (Ron Pierce, Jonas Czernyson), a Meadowlands shipper who captured Saturday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:52; DC's Piggy Bank (Matt Kakaley, Peter Pellegrino), who picked up his second straight claiming win on Sunday night in 1:56:2; and Inside Broadway (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who powered his way to his second straight claiming victory on Wednesday night, this one in a career-best 1:54:2. PACER OF THE WEEK: LYONS JOHNNY While there were no track records coming from this 6-year-old gelding, he certainly has impressed since August dawned. Considering that he had slumped to back-to-back seventh-place finishes in his last two starts of July, such rejuvenation seemed extremely unlikely at the time. It took a drop down the condition ladder and a barn change to get him in gear again. On August 3, his first start in the Amber Buter barn, Lyons Johnny dominated that lower condition group by 4 ¼ lengths in a career-best 1:50:1. Buoyed by that fine effort, he moved back up in class to face the non-winners of $7,000 in the last five races on Tuesday night. Faced with the prospect of an outside post and a tougher field with several horses sporting solid back class, it seemed like a tough test. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, Lyons Johnny aggressively took over the lead with a front stretch move. Although the fractions were quick, he stayed strong up front and sped clear of some late pressure for his second straight win, this one coming in 1:50:3. Another move up in class could be in the near future for this suddenly red-hot pacer. Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Victorydazewillwin (Simon Allard, Daniel Munson), who notched his second straight win over the $15,000 claimers on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50:4; It's That Time (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), whose victory in a claiming handicap on Saturday night came in 1:49:2, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at MSPD; and All Fired Up (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who sprung from the pocket for his second straight claiming handicap victory on Wednesday night, doing it in a career-best time of 1:51:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: GUANTANAMO BAY 2-year-olds are some of the most unpredictable horses, as this freshman pacer with Kevin Wallis in the bike showed on Sunday, winning at 30-1 for a $62.80 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Kevin Wallis The veteran driver has been finding his rhythm of late at Pocono, as evidenced by four wins this week, two of which came with horses at odds of longer than 15-1. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Tony Alagna Alagna has won a high percentage of his races this season at Pocono, and Sunday night he picked up wins with two of the three horses he sent to the gate. 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        

August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia          

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