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ANDERSON, Ind.-September 26, 2015 - Although all harness racing fans, participants and bettors were still assessing the impact of Wiggle It Jiggleit's sensational triumph in Thursday's (Sept. 24) rendition of the Little Brown Jug, the anticipation for Wakizashi Hanover's trip to Hoosier Park on Saturday (Sept. 26) to take on local hero Freaky Feet Pete in the $110,250 Jenna's Beach Boy was at fever pitch. It was a contest of brother versus brother, one of two horses to defeat Wiggle It Jiggleit and the measuring stick for just how talented 'Pete' truly is. Unfortunately, despite being valiant in defeat, Pete hit the wire second while Wakizashi Hanover took home the trophy, purse and blanket by a quarter of a length in 1:48.4. "If I would have had the nine hole and Trace and his horse would have six the hole, the result could very well have been much different," said winning driver, Tim Tetrick, in the winners' circle. "Pete is a very talented horse and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I also know my brother's driving capabilities. I know if I had the nine I would have to gun right out there just like he did. You aren't left with any other option. This horse, though, has little bit of everything. He has enough gate speed to leave to put himself in a good position and then has high speed when called upon to supply it. He paced the fastest last quarter of the night to win this. I'm very happy with his effort." There was certainly no drama, as the showdown in the 12th race commenced right when the field took their noses off the gate. Trace Tetrick drove right to the lead and dared Wakizashi Hanover and his sibling to go with them. Freaky Feet Pete traveled his first panel in 26.2 with is rival sitting in the garden spot directly behind him. After a half in 54.2 and three quarters in 1:22, Freaky Feet Pete was pulling away from Wakizashi Hanover at the top of the lane, but his competitor had plenty more to give. The North American Cup victor wore down the leader late in the homestretch for a score in his first appearance over the Anderson oval. "He's a wonderful horse," said conditioner Joanne Looney-King, of the son of Dragon Again and Western Gesture. "He just is the horse of a lifetime. I cannot say enough good things about him on the racetrack or in the barn." His share of the purse money boosted Wakizashi Hanover to millionaire status during a sophomore campaign that included wins in the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, a $35,000 division of the Liberty Bell, a second in the $500,000 Battle of Brandywine, a third in the $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial and another third in the $706,000 Meadowlands Pace final. Wakizashi Hanover, who is owned by Tri County Stable, paid $3.80 for those who backed him, while Freaky Feet Pete offered $2.10 and third place finisher Vague Traces paid $5.60. The winner's record now stands at 15-9-3-2 for the season and 21-11-6-2 for his career. He has banked more than $1.1 million. The competition between Wakizashi Hanover and Freaky Feet Pete was merely one component of an outstanding 14 race card with plenty of Grand Circuit action, such as Hoosier Park's most lucrative event for the diagonally gaited in the $210,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $207,000 Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes, and the $150,250 Elevation Pace. It was a short field comprised of only five 2-year-old trotting fillies, but Sunset Glider swiftly disposed of her rivals in the first division of the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes (race 2). In rein to Yannick Gingras, the daughter of Cantab Hall and the Yankee Glide mare Highland Glider, who is conditioned by Jimmy Takter and owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Liebfied, hit the finish line a head in front for her second win in five career parimutual trips. Her record now stands at 6-2-2-2 and the win lifted her earnings to more than $100,000 while tripping the timer in 1:56.1. She paid $7.20 to win with Woman's Will ($2.10) and Wildflower ($3.20) rounded out the trifecta. Topville Cadillac illustrated she is a force to be reckoned with beyond the Indiana Sire Stakes program, as Hoosier State's champion daughter of Rockin Image and the Electric Yankee mare Topville Cyberwave, went to the front and held off all challenges to lower her own track record and lifetime mark to 1:52 in her $125,900 division of the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes. Piloted by Tyler Smith for her co-owner and trainer Alvin Miller, the most expensive yearling purchase ($95,000) at last year's Hoosier Classic Sale is a half-sister to fellow Indiana champs Radar Contact, Always About Katey and Sapphire Martini. Also owned by Ted Comerford and Twila Hart, Smith placed this 2-year-old pacing filly right on the lead in the evening's 7th race where she led the field through fractions of 27.3, 55.4, 1:24.3 prior to entering the winners' circle. Although she was finishing swiftly at the end, Darlinonthebeach could not reel in Topville Cadillac who paid $5.60 to win and had to settle for second place. She paid $3.20 and third place finisher Lyons River Pride provided $2.10 to bettors. "I hope I didn't sound silly when I said earlier she was still green and there is still so much more for her to give," Smith said. "She really is still learning though and it seems like there is no bottom to her. I did drive her one sister, Always About Katey and you would have to push on her to do her work, but mentally she was sharper. This filly is very professional, she just needs to learn more. I think she is a very exciting horse and I'm thrilled to be driving her." Next up was Call Me Queen Be in her $127,150 division of the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere and the Western Terror mare Preppy Party Girl was sent off the post time favorite at 9-2 in the ninth race. Steered by Scott Zeron and trained by Ross Crogan, the filly, who is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham, was content to allow the other members of the field to do the heavy lifting as Can't Touch This led the way with fractions of 27.1, 56.4 and 1:26.3 before Call Me Queen Be exploded in mid-stretch along the pylons to win by a length in 1:54.4. She paid $3.00 for the victory, while Yankee Moonshine provided $3.00 for her second place finish and JK Fannie yielded $4.40 for her third. "Not many 2-year-olds would come up on the inside the way she did when they only have a few races under their belt," Zeron said. "She is just absolutely push button to drive though and two fingers. She does get worked up for the races, as she just about flipped over the in paddock before coming out on the track and she won't stand in the winners' circle, but she has a lot of ability. I think she will only improve with time." He was sent off the 3-1 selection in the $150,150 Elevation (Race 11), and American Passport illustrated why he finished second in his Metro Pace elimination earlier this season. The Tony Alagna pupil, who was driven by Scott Zeron, races as a homebred for Brittany Farms and is also owned by Alagna as well as Riverview Racing. It was 81-1 outsider Allie's Cruiser who established all the early splits of 27.2, 56.2 and 1:52.2. Just when it appeared to be bombs away, the faltering leader was overwhelmed by first Manhattan Beach, then Mindtrip and ultimately American Passport. The son of American Ideal and the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star Of The Show, tripped the timer in 1:52.2 for his maiden breaking victory. His resume now stands at 7-1-3-0 and he has collected $107,546. The colt was headed to Lexington after cooling out from tonight's performance and paid $8.00 to win. He was followed home by Mindtrip ($9.40) and Big Top Hanover ($6.00). "We always knew this colt had a tremendous amount of ability," Alagna said. "He trained down excellent and we were not surprised he was second in the Metro elim. Then he drew the 10 hole for the final and he has experienced some other things that are part of bad racing luck. But he also wanted to always go fast and kind of do what he wanted to do out there. He has really started to understand what is job is and you can rate him now so he can carry that speed. We are very excited about this win and look forward to racing him in Lexington. We are not sure whether he will race once or twice, that depends on how he does, but then it's the Breeders Crown after Kentucky." Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, September 29 with a 14-race card that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. Following a Tuesday through Saturday schedule, live racing will be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit By Kimberly French

Delaware, OH --- There was no denying harness racing's newest super star Wiggle It Jiggleit. Seemingly beaten in mid-stretch, Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague fought back in the final strides to win Thursday’s (Sept. 24) $677,000 Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers by a nose over Lost For Words in 1:49.3 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The closing moments of the Jug capped an epic duel between the event’s first-heat winners. Lost For Words, who got a quick lead and inside position in the decisive second heat, and Wiggle It Jiggleit raced side-by-side for nearly five-eighths of a mile in the one-mile race. Lost For Words appeared to be on his way to victory as the horses came off the final turn, opening up by more than one length on Wiggle It Jiggleit, but Wiggle It Jiggleit dug in and nipped Lost For Words at the wire. My Hero Ron finished third and Arque Hanover was fourth. It was the first Little Brown Jug victory for “Team Teague,” which is owner George Teague Jr., his son Montrell, and trainer Clyde Francis. The 24-year-old Montrell became the second-youngest driver in history to win the Jug. "I'm not nervous anymore, that's for sure," said Montrell Teague. "I don't know how he came back and beat the other horse. He raced so well, but like I said he is a tremendous animal. He's just special and does not want to lose. He just digs down deep within himself and always finds something more." Wiggle It Jiggleit is a son of stallion Mr Wiggles out of the mare Mozzi Hanover. George Teague owns both horses and raced both horses during their careers on the track. Mr Wiggles won the 2009 Hoosier Cup and finished second in the Breeders Crown and Adios. He finished sixth in the 2009 Little Brown Jug. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing’s weekly poll, has won 18 of 20 races this year and pushed his seasonal earnings to $1.76 million with his victory in the Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli’s. Wiggle It Jiggleit's other victories this year include the Meadowlands Pace, Hempt Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, and Milstein Memorial. He was not staked to the Little Brown Jug, but his victory in the Meadowlands Pace permitted his connections to pay $45,000 to supplement to the event. He became the first of five supplemental entries to win the Little Brown Jug since supplements were introduced in 1999. Earlier in the day, Wiggle It Jiggleit defeated Artspeak with a sustained first-over battle in his first heat, stopping the clock in a track-record 1:49.2 for a 3-year-old gelding pacer. In the second heat, Lost For Words and driver David Miller went to the front and led the field to the quarter in :27. My Hero Ron was second, followed by Wiggle It Jiggleit, but Montrell Teague made his move with Wiggle It Jiggleit as Lost For Words brought the group around the second turn. From there, the race was on. Lost For Words and Wiggle It Jiggleit were matching strides when they hit the half in :54.1 and three-quarters in 1:21.1. The battle continued around the final turn, setting the stage for the dramatic finish." "I thought he was beat," said George Teague. "I even dropped my eyes down because I didn't want to watch anymore, but then I was told he was coming back. I still cannot believe he won today. "I've trained a lot of horses but I have never seen one like him. He is actually much better with a target and why we have always wanted to race him from off the pace. It's like he thrives on it. "We will take him to Hoosier next. They actually wanted us to come there this weekend but this was the one I really wanted to win. He's an Indiana bred and they have been so nice about wanting us to come there. Now that he has done this it's time to go back." Only seven horses participated in the Little Brown Jug second heat after Split The House, who finished fourth in his first-round elimination, was scratched. -- Kimberly French contributed to this report by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Delaware, OH --- Wiggle It Jiggleit and Artspeak went toe-to-toe for much of the final half-mile of Thursday’s second $108,320 opening-round elimination of the Little Brown Jug for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and in the end Wiggle It Jiggleit pulled away for a track-record 1:49.2 victory. Artspeak finished second followed by My Hero Ron and Arque Hanover as the top four finishers advanced to the Jug’s second heat later this afternoon. Lost For Words won the first opening-round elimination and was joined by Yankee Bounty, Rockin In Heaven and Split The House in reaching the second heat. If the winner of one of the first eliminations is also victorious in the second heat, he is the Little Brown Jug champion. If a non-elimination winner captures the second heat, there is a three-horse race-off. Artspeak was able to take advantage of his inside starting spot, post one, to get the lead going into the first turn. Wiggle It Jiggle and driver Montrell Teague were content to sit in third place behind My Hero Ron as the field made its way up the backstretch for the first time on the half-mile oval, but began a first-over march prior to the half. Scott Zeron and Artspeak remained in front at the midway point, reached in :54.3, but the battle was just beginning. Wiggle It Jiggleit was able to pull in front by the time the leaders hit three-quarters in 1:21, but Artspeak fought back on the final turn to draw on even terms with his rival. Wiggle It Jiggleit pulled away in the stretch, though, to win by 1-1/4 lengths and equal Rock N Roll Heaven's stakes record of 1:49.2. The time set the track record for a gelding pacer, erasing Lucan Hanover’s mark of 1:49.4 set in 2013. Wiggle It Jiggleit is owned by George Teague Jr. and trained by Clyde Francis. The son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover has won 17 of 19 races this year. "This horse has an incredible amount of spunk," said driver Montrell Teague. "To have a homebred be this kind of horse is something you never could imagine. "I don't think there is another horse that could come first over like that on a half-mile track in 1:49.2. I did not know how fast I was going and was just worried about not hooking wheels. I'm still shaking but I don't have time to be nervous because I have to do it once more." Lost For Words won the first of Thursday’s two $108,320 opening-round eliminations of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers, defeating Yankee Bounty by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:50.2 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Rockin In Heaven finished third and Split The House was fourth as the top four finishers advance to the second heat later this afternoon. Lost For Words, the 1-2 favorite, went to the front from post one, but yielded the lead to Yankee Bounty as the field made its way through the first turn. Driver David Miller, though, fired Lost For Words back to the top prior to reaching the quarter in :27. He received pressure from Dude’s The Man on the outside at the half, timed in :55.3, but rebuffed the challenge and was unthreatened the rest of the way. A son of 2009 Little Brown Jug winner Well Said out of the mare Thou Shalt Not, Lost For Words is trained by Brian Brown and owned by Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and Strollin Stable. Lost For Words’ first-heat victory gave the colt five wins in 12 races this year. "He was just so good last week and has been so good since the Adios," said Brown. "The only thing I was worried about were the fractions because I did not want him to have to go as fast as he did last week. "But you have to give David so much credit. He was so patient and was cool as a cucumber out there. He allowed Yannick (Gingras with Yankee Bounty) to go and let him cross over and then just waited and waited to make his move. He gets along so well with this horse. I just can't say it enough." The draw for the Little Brown Jug's $324,960 second heat was conducted after. 1 – Wiggle It Jiggleit – Montrell Teague 2 – Lost For Words – David Miller 3 – Artspeak – Scott Zeron 4 – Yankee Bounty – Matt Kakaley 5 – Rockin N Heaven – Trevor Henry 6 – My Hero Ron – Yannick Gingras 7 – Split The House – Tim Tetrick (scratched) 8 – Arque Hanover – Corey Callahan -- Kimberly French contributed to this report by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  Lost For Words Wiggle It Jiggleit 

Delaware, OH --- French Laundry cleaned up in Thursday’s (Sept. 24) $126,000 Old Oaken Bucket for harness racing 3-year-old male trotters at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, winning by 2-3/4 lengths over Andy Ray in a track-record 1:53.4. When the starting gate opened, Mesmerized went to the early lead from post five, leaving French Laundry and driver Yannick Gingras in second place around the first turn. Gingras moved French Laundry to the front quickly, though, clearing to the lead before reaching the quarter in :28. From there, it was all French Laundry. The colt reached the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.1. His winning time lowered the Delaware County Fairgrounds track record for a 3-year-old colt trotter, previously 1:54.2 by Triumphant Caviar in 2009, and was one-fifth of a second off the stakes record of 1:53.3 established by gelding Dennis in 2008. Andy Ray, named in honor of driver Andy Ray Miller, finished strong to edge Mesmerized, driven by Miller, for second place. Walter White finished fourth. French Laundry, sent off as the 4-5 favorite, is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld. A son of Muscles Yankee out of the mare Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won four of 14 races this year and earned $212,038. For his career, the colt has won 11 of 26 starts, including the 2014 Kindergarten Classic championship, and earned $525,157. "This colt is definitely not as temperamental as (his dam) Creamy Mimi," said co-owner Marvin Katz. "She could be cantankerous and be a handful. This colt is not like that, but he does have her ability. He has showed that just by making half a million dollars. "This year he has just had some bad luck. That includes racing luck and some bad draws. Like the outside in the Hambletonian for instance. But we always knew he was talented and are very pleased with his win here today." by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  -- Kimberly French also contributed to this report

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 19, 2015 - In a turn of events that left those in the winners' circle as well as the stands simply staring at the tote board and wondering what just transpired in the evening's 8th race, Fawn De Savage hit the wire at 65-1 without feeling even a whisper from the whip to triumph in the $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes 2-Year-Old Filly trot. Fired out from post nine by her harness racing pilot Dan Shetler, the daughter of Keystone Savage and the Master Lavec mare Ms Mastercraft went straight to the lead and never looked back. As she cruised around the Anderson oval, the Kristin Shetler trainee, established splits of :29, 59.1, 1:29.3 and stopped the clock in 1:57.3, a new lifetime mark. In what was the second victory of career, Fawn De Savage, who is owned by Jacob Hartline, now sports a resume of 10-2-0-1 and has a bankroll of $56,100. Despite trotting a 26.1 last panel, post time favorite Miss Tootsie Hall had to settle for second, with the public's third choice Nothing But Nice rounding out the trifecta. Fawn De Savage rewarded her backers with a $132.80 payoff, with the exacta paying $862 and the trifecta $2,401.40. "She has always had good manners," Shetler said. "But she has been very immature. She needed to grow into herself and we knew she had the ability. It was just always tough to keep her straight, but that certainly was not a problem tonight." Just when the Hoosier betters were ready to reject the chalk, Bridge To Jesse's illustrated why he is a force to be reckoned with anytime his nose is on the gate. Sent to the front in the $75,000 2-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot (Race 11) by reinsman John De Long just before the half mile marker, the 1-2 favorite took over the lead from Jinah Bluegrass to set fractions of :58.2, 1:28.3 and ended the mile in 1:56.2. Owned by William De Long, William Patrick De Long, Roger Welch and Ray De Long, the son of Jailhouse Jesse and the Angus Hall mare Bridge to nowhere, Bridge To Jesse's was never asked for his best and was just off his lifetime speed badge of 1:56. Conditioned by Roger Welch, the gelding has now captured nine straight races, has a record of 10-9-0-0 and has amassed $205,500 in his young career. The only time he has not had his picture taken was his first start. Although he is accustomed to the winners' circle, Bridge To Jesse's, doesn't seem to enjoy his time there, as he has developed a habit of bucking while his blanket is being put on. He paid $3.00 to win with Late Bid Tom and Milford's Z Tam chasing him to the finish line. The exacta paid $13.40 and the trifecta $60.80. "He is a push button horse and never does anything wrong," Welch said. "The only time he does is in the winners' circle and it seems like every time he comes back to it he just gets worse. We have not staked him to anything else and will continue to race here in Indiana." Welch collected his second $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final (Race 12) right after he brought Bridge To Jesse's back to the barn with the 2-year-old pacing lass Can't Touch This. With Dan Shetler holding the lines, the daughter of Rockin Image and the Incredible Finale mare Fox Valley Monica, who is owned by William De Long, William Patrick De Long and Douglas Riccolo, wrested the lead from Diamondtequilashot after a first quarter in :27.1, then fended off a first over bid from post time favorite Seventimesavirgin before repelling that rival heading to the top of the stretch with a half mile of :55.4 and a three quarter time of 1:24.2. As Can't Touch This continued to the wire, Diamondtequilashot took another shot at her, but again the 2-1 second choice put her away and hit the wire in 1:53.2, which was just shy of her career best. Her record now stands at 12-5-1-1 with three of her last four races resulting in her posing for pictures. Her bankroll now stands at $86,760. Can't Touch This paid $6.40 to win with Diamondtequilashot nailing down the show spot and Shady Stella closing late to finish third. The exacta was $164.40 and the trifecta $1,859.40. "She is coming into herself right now and exhibited her mental toughness tonight by not allowing those other fillies to go by," Welch said. In the fourteenth and final race on the Hoosier Park card, Downthehighway outlasted Tough Mudder by a neck and Legere by a head to capture the $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for 2-Year-Old Pacing colts and geldings. The son of Dontgetinmyway and the Dr Drew mare Happy Tears is trained by Robert Taylor and was steered by Jason Dillander. Racing as a homebred for Mack Racing Stables, the colt led the field through a first quarter in :27 before 3-5 favorite Matrix Of Luck took control to set fractions of :55.2, 1:25.2. Downthehighway bided his time in third position before he, Tough Mudder and Legere, inhaled Matrix Of Luck in deep stretch with all three horses right together on the wire. With the triumph, Downthehighway upped the purse money he has earned to $132,225 and his record to 11-3-4-2. His time of 1:53 is the swiftest of his young career and he paid a respectable $7.80 to win off his 5-2 odds. Tough Mudder and Legere were second and third with the exacta paying $82.20 and the trifecta paying $236. "He's a nice horse that has been right there and has been competitive for all of his races," Dillander said. "He raced as well as I thought he would tonight and we are very happy with him." By: Kimberly French

Louisville, KY --- For a horse that has yet to taste defeat this season Homicide Hunter sure has not received his fair share of ink. The gelded son from the first crop of Mr Cantab and the Like A Prayer mare Evening Prayer has mowed down his harness racing rivals with pinpoint accuracy on 12 occasions this season and seeks to extend his victorious ways on Saturday (Sept. 19) in the $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final at Hoosier Park after one of the most grueling contests he has performed in. “He fought back in that race,” said Curt Grummel, the horse’s conditioner, of his win in the Sept. 11 Indiana Sire Stakes elimination. “The transformation this horse has made since last year is unbelievable. He showed how much courage he has by coming back on after he was passed. He really wants to win.” Homicide Hunter has constructed a season any trainer or owner would dream of. Owned and bred by Patrick Graham, the handsome gelding has morphed from a boy into a man after chasing Airman Batten around the Anderson, Ind., oval as a freshman. That campaign netted him $86,736 with a record of 10-3-2-3, which is certainly not shabby for a horse that needed to grow into himself, but in 2015 he has pushed his rival to the side and exceeded any expectations that were ever associated with him. The gelding is a perfect 12 for 12 this year, has earned just under $220,000, tied the track record at Hoosier Park for his age, sex and gait (1.53.4) and flown under the radar due to the presence of pacing sensation Freaky Feet Pete. Churita is another undefeated colleague Homicide Hunter must share the spotlight with, so only the Hoosier Park faithful may really know what this trotter has accomplished. In Saturday’s contest, Homicide Hunter is handicapped with the nine hole in the 13th race on the card, but is the 9-5 favorite on the morning line after defeating the talented Hominy Hill by a half-length on Sept. 11 in a $24,000 Indiana Sire Stakes elimination. He will have the services of his regular pilot, John DeLong, for his mile. “Other trainers probably would not agree with me,” Grummel said. “But I just jog the heck out of him all the time between races and it seems to work for him. I have not changed a thing since the season started. All I do is listen to what John tells me and as long as he is happy with the horse, there is no reason to change anything we do with him.” Besides being a state champion and gliding through a season that will forever be memorable, Homicide Hunter is an absolute pet. He was a barn favorite long before he commenced this season’s campaign and everyone associated with him could not be more pleased with the world seeing what kind of horse they care for on a daily basis. “He was tough last year training,” Sis Arnold, Grummel’s assistant trainer, said. “He would jump at anything when you hooked him up to the jog cart and just do the opposite of everything you wanted him to do. But he has always been the teddy bear of the barn. You can do anything you want with him and he loves attention. I don’t harness him and take care of him all the time like Francie (his caretaker) does, and she does a tremendous job, but he has always been a favorite of mine. “I’m not ashamed to say I cried all over his face holding him in the winner’s circle after his last race. For him to win parked like that and to come back after he was beaten, showed why we love him so much. There are just some horses you get attached to and he is it.” It seems natural to feel a connection with Homicide Hunter. His coat glistens, his stride is near perfection and he would snuggle up to anyone that has a cookie. This boy loves his food, his time in the field and his contact with his caretakers. He is the epitome of what transpires when you have a happy horse, with ability and the perfect conditions. “He possibly has five more starts for the year,” Grummel said. “I’m based at Balmoral Park so we will take him back home, as I’m from Illinois, for the winter and turn him out and then plan for next year depending on what he tells us.” Although it was never discussed how his connections would feel should Homicide Hunter not be in the winner’s circle on any of these five ensuing engagements, Arnold summed it up succinctly. “Every horse gets beat,” she said. “If he loses it does not matter. Look at what he has already done. He looks like a million bucks, he contends with whatever he has to deal with and you know he is always going to do the best he can. He’s Hunter and no one can take away the money he has earned or his record or who he is to be around. He has earned it and his personality is just who he is.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Louisville, KY --- Harness racing trainer Brian Brown and his ownership group had their eye on Spider Man Hanover long before he went through the ring at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale, so they were thrilled to purchase him. Especially for the price. “We all really liked him and he was one of the top ones we wanted to bring home,” said Brown. “We loved his pedigree and then we were even more sold on him when we went to see him. We were prepared to go much higher for him as we thought he would go for at least $60,000, so we were very pleased we paid $40,000 for him. Actually we were in shock that’s all we had to give. The only reason I can think of that he didn’t go for more was he was on the smaller side, but he was very well built.” The son of Western Ideal and the Art Major mare Stolly Up Bluechip will seek to become a state champion when he competes on Friday (Sept. 11) in the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. He will have the services of regular pilot David Miller in the ninth race on the card at The Meadows and will begin his mile from post position four. Owned by Country Club Acres, Kenneth Vaupel, Mike Mallett and Milton Leeman, Spider Man Hanover is the fourth choice on the morning line at 5-1 behind Check Six (3-1), Big Top Hanover (7-2) and Ideal Jimmy (9-2). There certainly is a lot to like about this colt’s family tree as his dam earned just shy of $200,000 during her racing career. His granddam, the Presidential Ball mare Stasia’s Girl amassed $142,774 on the track and she foaled another $100,000 winner in Cascata by American Ideal, p,1:51.2s, $145,414). Spider Man Hanover is also a full brother to Stacia Hanover p,3,1:49.2 ($238,746), who was last year’s New Jersey Sire Stakes final winner and this year’s Shady Daisy champion. He is also a half-brother to Seashell Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, p,3,1:51.4f, $99,245) and an unnamed American Ideal weanling colt. “His family was what initially attracted our attention and then of course seeing how well his sister raced at two,” Brown said. “We knew he had ability right off and had high hopes for him right away.” Spider Man Hanover certainly has illustrated his potential. He won his first qualifying race at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on June 10 and was second in his second trip to the gate over the same oval on June 19. The colt made his career debut in a $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars contest at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on July 3 and was just out-finished for the triumph by the heavy favorite Allie’s Cruiser. He broke his maiden on July 15 at the same facility with David Miller at the lines for the first time in a $53,548 Sire Stakes event. Then it was on to The Meadows on July 25 where Spider Man Hanover collected his second career win in a $43,548 Sire Stake. He followed that up by coming home eighth and last in an $81,113 Sire Stakes race at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Aug. 20. The colt rebounded, however, with his third career triumph on Sept. 1 at The Meadows in a $70,714 Sire Stakes race. To date, he has banked $91,405, has a resume of 5-3-1-0 and a mark of 1:51.3f. “You can just throw that one race out,” Brown said. “He did not race well at all and David suggested some things after he came back with him, so we put a jaw cord on him and it was very helpful. Right from the start he tended to get a little aggressive when it was time to race and we have tried different things to help calm him down as well as focused on what he was doing. But with the jaw cord and him beginning to learn his job, we think he is headed in the right direction. He could tend to be pretty grabby and the equipment change helps David control him a bit better. We anticipate that he will race well on Friday.” After Spider Man Hanover’s championship engagement, he’ll begin his travels outside the Keystone State with Kentucky, Ontario and New Jersey on his itinerary. “We would like to race him twice in Lexington and then we plan on taking him to the Breeders Crown,” Brown said. “His last race will hopefully be the Governor’s Cup. We like that it’s at the Meadowlands and think that will be a great spot to end his season. “We really think a lot of him and are looking forward to how the rest of the year unfolds. He is not tremendously big, but he is well made and has the talent to be a very nice horse for us. We have high expectations for him and we think he will fulfill them.” Below is the field for the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for freshman pacing males, with drivers, trainers and morning line. 1 - Check Six by Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-3-1  2 - Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-8-1  3 - Big Top Hanover by Western Ideal  - Dave Palone-Ron Burke-7-2  4 - Spider Man Hanover by Western Ideal - David Miller-Brian Brown-5-1  5 - Yankee Artillery by Somebeachsomewhere -Corey Callahan-Aaron Lambert-6-1  6 - McDave by McArdle  -Andy Miller-Robin Cruise-10-1  7 - Ideal Jimmy by Western Ideal -Marcus Miller-Robin Cruise-9-2  8 - JK Will Power by Somebeachsomewhere  -Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-10-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- She may not possess the height, girth or breadth of some of her colleagues or capture any awards for her breathtaking beauty, but Armatrading has what it takes to be a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion. Her pilot and conditioner, Mark O’Mara, actually has a specific phrase for her personality and feels this particular trait sets her up perfectly to repeat that feat on Sunday (Aug. 30) at The Red Mile in the $175,000 final for 3-year-old filly trotters. “She has the “little man’s syndrome,” said the Florida Hall of Fame member. “She is not very big or flashy, but when it is time to go on the track she puffs up because all she wants to do is win. I think she wants to prove size doesn’t matter and with her it doesn’t. She always tries so hard.” A daughter of Groton Hall and the Dream Vacation mare Silver Thatch, Armatrading is co-owned by her breeder Atlantic Trot Inc. and Oscarsson Racing Stable. Although Silver Thatch was unraced and is not as prolific as Wonderbolt, the dam of Kentucky Sire Stakes champions Bolt The Duer (Ponder, p,3,1:47.4f, $1,828,995), Blue Claw (Jenna’s Beach Boy, p,4,1:49.4, $576,635) and Shanghai Lil (Jenna’s Beach Boy, p,2,1:51.2, $1,070,251), she has produced three Sire Stakes finals starters and one champion. Armatrading, the fifth of six foals from her dam, is the only one of her siblings to bring home the title, as she was the 2014 2-year-old trotting filly winner. Her half-brother Banco Solo (Master Glide, 4,1:53.4f, $264,852) was fifth as the second choice in 2012 as a freshman and his connections thought enough of him to race him in the Hambletonian, Stanley Dancer Memorial and the American-National as a 3-year-old. Her other half-brother Scacco Matto (Master Glide, 4,1:55.4f, $121,434) was third in his edition of the 2013 2-year-old final as the favorite and second as the public’s second selection in his 2014 contest as a sophomore. This filly’s record may not be to the same level as her older brothers, but give it time. Last year as a freshman, Armatrading was 9-2-0-2, earned $111,184 and trotted in 1:57.4, which may not immediately grab peoples’ attention, but she was in top form throughout the summer and fall months. Previously trained by the now deceased Kenneth Oscarsson, Armatrading was brought along slowly by design to be in peak fitness for the Kentucky competition in both the Sire Stakes series and for the Grand Circuit at Lexington. The filly ended her campaign with fourth place finishes in an $84,250 division of the Bluegrass Stake and an $80,550 division of the International Stallion Stake. O’Mara is following the same program as Oscarsson, who thought highly of her last year, when Armatrading was a freshman. She has only gone to the gate on five occasions this year as a 3-year-old with two wins, a second place finish and $12,750 in the bank, but she has lowered her mark to 1:55.4. She also enters the final off a very sharp triumph in her $15,000 Sire Stakes leg on Aug. 20. This was when she set her new speed badge and it was a strong rebound from a costly break when she finished sixth in the same company on Aug. 9. “She came to my barn in April,” O’Mara said. “The Kentucky Sire Stakes final was the goal for her all along so I brought her along slowly. She raced at Hoosier but that was to prepare her for this very race. She has a very smooth stride and does not normally break. That night (Aug. 9), however, she was actually a little too fresh. She was full of herself and wanted to go right then, but she got right back on stride. In her last race she was so ready to trot I had trouble keeping her settled in the post parade. Hopefully, I have done my job and she will be prepared to race well on Sunday night.” Armatrading is unlike many of the other members of her age, gender and gait group, in that she has absolutely perfect manners and is very calm. “She is so quiet,” O’Mara said. “When she is in the stall it is like she is not even in the barn. We train at a fair track and the fair recently ended, but we had a lot of visitors come to our barn. They would go right up to her stall, because she is the one they were attracted to because of her demeanor and manners. She got all the attention.” After her campaign to capture her second Kentucky Sire Stakes title has been satisfied, Armatrading will follow the same schedule that was employed last year. “I am not sure if she is quite good enough to beat some of the best 3-year-old trotting fillies out there,” O’Mara said. “But she has the heart and wants to win so badly. She proved herself last year at The Red Mile meet so she is eligible to those races again this year and to the American-National. I am very much looking forward to Sunday night and to the rest of the fall with her to see if we did our job right.” $175,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Final-3-year-old Filly Trot PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1 - Jane Eyre by Groton Hall -Tom Jackson-Fred Grant      2 - Mama's Brokn Heart by Tsunami Ranger -TBA-John Duer      3 - Skeeter P by Master Glide  -Josh Sutton-Eric Patalan      4 - Wildcat Spirit by Groton Hall -Joe Putnam-Frank O'Mara     5 - Crime Wave Hall by Groton Hall -Luke Ebersole-Renee Houska     6 - Armatrading by Groton Hall -Mark O'Mara-Mark O'Mara by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent   

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 15, 2015 - Not to be outdone by their female counterparts in their respective $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes finals at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on the evening of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes, 3-year-old harness racing geldings Homicide Hunter and Freaky Feet Pete demonstrated their superiority over overmatched rivals as the 1-5 and 1-9 wagering selections. Homicide Hunter, from the first crop of Mr Cantab and out of the Like A Prayer mare Evening Prayer, was content to allow 53-1 shot Jumpinthejailhouse to set the early pace and was trotting comfortably in fifth position throughout the first quarter mile which was clocked in :27.2. As the leader advanced to the half, however, in :56.1, the Curt Grummel conditioned gelding was given the green light by driver John DeLong to commence his advance. Responding with ease, Homicide Hunter cleared the field and headed to the top of the stretch with a length and a half advantage. After hitting the three quarter mark in 1:25.1, DeLong shook the reins at the gelding and the race for second was on. As the trotted to the wire, Homicide Hunter distanced himself from his pursuers and stopped the clock in 1:53.4, five lengths ahead of second place finisher Bluebird Reverend with Rockin Stein holding on gamely for third. The gelding, who is owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, now shares the track record for 3-year-old colts and geldings with Rose Run Parker, and when bettors cashed their tickets he provided $2.40. With the triumph Homicide Hunter increases his win streak to 10 for 10 in 2015. His career resume is 20-13-2-3 and he has amassed more than $300,000 in earnings. "Last year we had some problems with him trotting to the wire," DeLong said. "This year there is absolutely no problem with anything he does. Not only is his record perfect, he is perfect. There is not one thing you can say about him that is not praise. He is a very nice horse to drive because his manners are the best you could ask for. It's really a very special thing to be able to drive him and to see how he has matured from last year to this year." Once Homicide Hunter devastated his opponents with pinpoint accuracy, it was Freaky Feet Pete's turn to take aim on his next Indiana championship. The crowd at the Anderson facility was pressed up against the fence anxiously awaiting his performance and the energy was electric as regular pilot Trace Tetrick moved him toward the gate. Larry Rheinheimer's pupil left well, settled in third and allowed Vague Traces set a torrid pace of :25.4 in the first panel. At the same time the tote board lit up with a stiff time of :53.3 for the half, Tetrick simply moved his hands and in a flash the gelding had cleared Vague Traces. By the time Freaky Feet Pete hit the lane, he had placed three and a half lengths between him and his colleagues and paced three quarters in 1:21.0. From there on in it was simply the Freaky Feet Pete show. As he moved down the lane effortlessly, widening his advantage with every stride, the apron erupted with a loud round of applause for Indiana's champion. Freaky Feet Pete crossed the finish line in 1:48.2 and second place finisher Skim The Top was seven lengths in arrears, with Swing City just behind. The patrons in attendance this evening were awed by the performance because Tetrick never even popped the plugs and had a strong hold on him midway through the stretch. This horse, owned and raised by Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer, could have went much, much faster if ever was ever asked. The evenings are few and far between when a track record, which is what this time was is established with such sheer, breathtaking ease. Freaky Feet Pete paid $2.10 to his loyal backers and with this triumph improved his record to 8-7-1 for 2015 with just under $190,000 in purse money. For his career, the gelding has a record of 17-15-1-0, with his only loss coming at the hooves of Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial victor Wiggle It Jiggleit. He has now collected nearly $450,000 during his two years of competition. Larry Rheinheimer confirmed to Peter Lurie of HRTV the gelding would be a Breeders Crown participant. "Driving him is something unreal," said Trace Tetrick with a huge smile on his face. "He just does everything so easy and he comes from a great family as his dam is a 100 percent producer. He paces so well that it seems like he's going in 1:58 when he's going in 1:50 and it's like he has no idea he's going that fast himself. You never even have to ask him. I knew at the top of the stretch I would never even have to pop his plugs out, so I wrapped him and just sat there on the way home. He is a very, very special horse and having the opportunity to sit behind him is an indescribable feeling." Kimberly French  

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 14, 2015 - In an action-packed harness racing undercard leading up to the 22nd edition of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes presented by Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the fillies were the first to strut their stuff in the first two editions of the four $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Finals on Friday, August 14 and each post time favorite certainly relished the spotlight. Nora Rockwell, whose owner and trainer, Marlin Fry was a bundle of nerves prior to the contest for 3-year-old pacing fillies, proved the public was spot on and Fry had no cause for concern as she would let no other rival put their nose down first on the wire. She captured her event in 1:51.0, which ties her lifetime mark and was the public's overwhelming choice at 4-5. White Metro, the second selection at 2-1 came away on top and led the field through the first quarter in :26.4, but Yannick Gingras, who picked up the drive this evening, confidently sent Nora Rockwell straight to the lead. She paced a half in a strong :54.3, with Rockin Good breathing down her neck and hit the three quarter pole in 1.21.3. At the top of the lane the favorite dispensed of that lass, but faced another challenge in Mystical Treasure. Throughout the length of the strength Mystical Treasure attempted with every stride to overhaul the leader, but Nora Rockwell refused to be denied as she tripped the timer by a very long head, with Mystical Treasure annexing second place and White Metro in the show slot. The daughter of Palone Ranger and the V P Finance mare, Norma Rockwell, paid $2.40 to win, now sports a resume of 31-13-9-2 and has collected purse money collected of nearly $250,000. "I knew there was no way I wanted to behind that horse and although I have not driven her before I was confident from the program lines, as well as how she felt, I had the horse to do it," Gingras said. "She paced through some fast fractions, but she felt great right until the finish line. I am very thankful for the drive. I'm not here at Hoosier Park very often, but whenever you get the opportunity to drive a horse like this in a $75,000 race you are thrilled to have it. She definitely is a very nice filly and it was a pleasure to drive her." After the scratch earlier in the day of what would have been the heavy favorite in Churita, the 3-year-old final for trotting fillies definitely left the door wide open for any member in nine horse field to rise to claim the crown. The wagering public decided to cast their lot with the Ron Burke conditioned Hannelore Hanover who was sent to the gate as the 1-5 favorite. It was Diamond Dagger, however, at 10-1 that took the field through the first panel in :28.0 and the half in :57.0. Midway to the three quarter pole the rest of the fillies decided to give chase with Jesse's Promise the biggest threat. After three quarters in 1:26.0, Hannelore Hanover made her bid and it was a demolishing one. The filly, steered by Hoosier Park's all-time leading driver in Ricky Macomber, trotted by the rest of her colleagues like they were standing still and continued to pour it on all through the homestretch. The duo stopped the clock in 1:55.0, which is a new lifetime standard for the daughter of Swan For All and the Dream Vacation mare All Society. Jesse's Promise and Diamond Dagger were second and third. Hannelore Hanover paid $2.40 to win and is the property of Burke Stable, Weaver and Bruscemi, William Haas Jr. and Frank Baldachino. With her third victory of the season, the filly now possesses a career record of 16-4-8-2 and a bankroll of roughly $165,000. "We only started her twice as a 2-year-old because she was sore and we think she had a cranky attitude because of it," Jamie Rucker, Burke's assistant trainer, said. "Also, we knew she was a nice filly and we would just bring her back this year. You have to be patient with her and let her do what she wants to do out there. Did she see how she totally changes her stride while she's racing? For the first half (mile) she is kind of choppy but she knows when it is time to go and she shifts into gear. Then she adjusts and is perfectly gaited. We are very pleased with her and think she is improving at the right time." Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, August 15. With an adjusted post time of 4:00 p.m., Saturday's 14-race card will feature the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the two-year-old divisions. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit Kimberly French

When she is scoring down or on her way to the gate, Churita's adoring harness racing fans line up on the fence at Hoosier Park nudging one another with their elbows and talking softly amongst themselves about how fabulous she looks. It's as if the Anderson oval is her very own personal runway and all in attendance are only there to witness her. "You really can just see it in her eyes," said her owner Jack Porter. "It is also in the way she carries herself and holds her head." The 'it' Porter is referring to is star power and this Indiana champion possesses it in spades. The 3-year-old daughter of Airzoom Lindy and the Yankee Paco mare Stonebridge Volare may not be an international superstar, but she is certainly a local celebrity. The reasons for this deep reverence are well-deserved as Matt Rheinheimer's charge has cruised to a career record of 18-16-1-1, collected $422,050 and established a track record of 1:53.4s, which is her swiftest mile to date. She is perfect in eight trips to the gate this season and will seek to add luster to her already sparkling resume on Friday (August 14) when she takes on nine rivals in her $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Final. It is the seventh race on the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes card with an approximate post time of 7:31 p.m. and regular reinsman Trace Tetrick will be holding the lines. She will commence her journey to the wire from the rail. "My job is just to keep her happy," Rheinheimer said. "She has already more than exceeded my expectations so anything she does makes me happy." "The minute she steps on the track she is all business and you could never ask anything more from her than that." Churita has been defying the odds since Porter purchased her as a yearling for a fair racing prospect. She was not even his or Rheinheimer's first choice, but she went for the right price and is only competing in the Sire Stakes program because that is what she was eligible to. In fact, she is the only horse Porter has owned after several decades in the business that has competed at this level. "When other trainers come up to you and say if they had to lose to anyone they are glad it was her because we deserve it is an indescribable feeling," Porter said. "And to be honest, I never anticipated she would be undefeated at this point of the season." "I really thought Golden Big Stick was going to give her some competition and would improve from two to three, but even when she has someone look her in the eye she just digs in." "She doesn't want to let another horse go by." Most trotting fillies do have a bit of an attitude and Churita, while not quite a diva, does have her own air about her. "She is terrific to be around and always takes care of herself," Rheinheimer said. "But there are times when you just need to leave her alone." "She needs to do her own thing and she lets you know that." Despite her devoted minions and her domination of the local competition, this young lady will remain at her home base until the end of the season. "We have her nominated to a couple stakes like the Circle City," Porter said. "But it all depends on her." "She doesn't owe us a thing and anything else she does is like icing on the cake." "If she is sound and healthy we will go, but if not that is perfectly fine too." Rheinheimer admitted he was always nervous during the filly's campaign last year as he was astonished at how talented she was, but this year it's different. Not that he still isn't on edge about her at times, but he now can enjoy her a bit more. "I am in awe of her," he said. "Not that I don't get anxious at times, but I just am astonished how good she really is." "She is by far the best horse I have trained and I feel so very fortunate to have her." "You always wish for a horse like this to come along and when they finally do it's something very special." Churita's $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final will be part of the star studded card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 14 that features the 2015 installment of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes. The entire racing card will be part of a special weekend tagged as the "Dan Patch Festival Weekend" and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The thrill-themed weekend will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. First post is 5:15 p.m. For more information, please visit . Kimberly French

Louisville, KY --- It wasn’t exactly how harness racing trainer Aaron Lambert hoped to have Dynamic Youth break the million dollar barrier, but he feels the 6-year-old pacing gelding will still have plenty of opportunities to hit the winner’s circle throughout the year. “It was not the set of circumstances I wanted for him when he accomplished that achievement,” he said. “With a fifth place finish in the (Ben) Franklin final (July 4); but the way the race set up for him I was not displeased with his effort. He always gives everything he’s got in every race and you can never ask for anything more than that.” Dynamic Youth has been a substantial presence in Lambert’s barn since he selected him from the 2010 Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg. The son of Bettor's Delight and the Western Hanover mare Always True was an $85,000 yearling purchase and went through the ring named Altdelete Hanover. He is the first of six foals from his dam and the only one of her progeny to earn more than $100,000. Currently owned by J&T Silva Stables, Kenneth Tucci and C&G Racing Stable, the gelding has been a model of consistency throughout his career and has taken on the best in the sport in most of his trips to the post. In fact, he was the winner of the 2012 Cane Pace, equaled a world record of 1:48.1f on a five-eighths-mile track at age four, which remains his lifetime mark, and was the 2013 Pennsylvania Horse of the Year for his performances in overnight events at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. “He is just such a pleasure to be around,” Lambert said. “He’s an easy keeper around the barn and we really do not have to do much with him except turn him out with his chums. I’m just very glad to have him back because I was not sure if we would be able to return him to the races after last year. He got sore behind, so I just stopped on him and gave him all the time he needed. He’s actually come back even better than he was before and seems to be doing very well.” As a 2-year-old Dynamic Youth started 12 times with a record of 3-1-3 and a bankroll of just under $77,000. He competed primarily on the New York circuit and closed his year out with an eighth place finish in the $510,000 Governor’s Cup final at Harrah’s Philadelphia. As a 3-year-old the gelding collected nearly $600,000 from 18 trips to the gate. Although he was sixth in the $306,204 Art Rooney Pace, he was second in the $587,315 Confederation Cup final, won the Cane after a sixth in the elimination and closed out his season by finishing second in the $250,000 Monument Circle, the $260,000 American-National Stake and the $215,000 Windy City Pace. The gelding returned at age four to make $179,900 from 23 races. He was third in the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and fourth in the $223,500 Quillen Memorial, while also competing in the Ben Franklin, William Haughton Memorial and US Pacing Championship. Keep in mind he was facing the likes of Sweet Lou, Bolt The Duer, A Rocknroll Dance, Foiled Again, Thinking Out Loud, and Pet Rock every week. Those horses were certainly not an easy group to contend with week in and week out. In 2014, Dynamic Youth made 14 appearances on the track with a record of 4-3-1 and just missed breaking the $100,000 mark for the year in earnings with $90,375. After Lambert determined the horse just wasn’t himself and discovered he was off behind, he was placed on an extended vacation. He did not compete from August of last year until he qualified this year on March 10. With plenty of racing still remaining for the season, Dynamic Youth has already collected $83,075 with his record standing at 11-4-2-2. He’s won in 1:49f and appears poised for yet another successful year. His career statistics are 78-24-14-10 with purse money of $1,022,907. “We did not stake him to much this year because we really were not sure if he would race for us again,” Lambert said. “Since he seems to like a five-eighths track we are going to keep him up here in the overnights at Pocono and just race him on that schedule. “I’ve always said about him, that if he is within two lengths at the top of the stretch he always has the chance. He’s such an honest horse, with the best manners and is easy on himself. He really is a class act and definitely deserves some attention for what he has done throughout his career. Not many come around like him and he has proven the $85,000 that was spent on him was worth every penny, as in this business you never know what is going to happen or if the horse will work out. He certainly has done much more than that and in a very good way.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- Like most of us, he has a very specific outlook on life and throughout the duration of Stacia Hanover’s career harness racing trainer Steve Elliott has adhered to his primary philosophy. “It’s the same whether it walks on two legs or four,” he said. “The colts you can bull them down a little bit, but not the fillies. You need to let them do what they want to do, because if you don’t they will make you pay for it. There’s just no sense in fighting with any woman. All you can do is say, ‘Thank you honey’ then try again the next day.” That’s why if Stacia Hanover decides to buck and generally just be high maintenance while being harnessed for her $20,000 James Lynch Memorial elimination at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday (June 27) the filly will most certainly have her way. Once she is prepared for her mile, Scott Zeron will guide her to the sixth spot on the gate in the evening’s fourth race where she is the 7-2 morning line third selection behind Nancy Johansson's Wicked Little Minx (5-2) and Joe Holloway’s Bettor Be Steppin (3-1). “It’s been a battle with her, but Scott has done a great job with teaching her how to race,” Elliott said. “She just wanted to go 100 mph and would not relax in a hole, but now she is much more comfortable racing that way. We’ll see what we have this weekend. The goal is to have a nice, consistent horse that goes on next year. I think she has the ability to do just that.” Stacia Hanover is a daughter of Western Ideal and the Art Major mare Stolly Up Bluechip. She is the second foal out of her dam and a half-sister to Seashell Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere, p,3,1:51.4f, $99,245). Owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio, Stacia Hanover was a $35,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. She definitely showed promise as a 2-year-old as one of her three triumphs was in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final. From five starts she amassed earnings of $94,225 and a mark of 1:53.4. “She is a tiny thing,” Elliott said. “We stopped on her last year because she was sick and then I tried to qualify her when I should not have. She just was not over that illness. That is when I realized my mistake and figured we would just get her ready for this year. She is still very small, but she is much stronger.” The filly returned to work this season with her fourth visit to the winner’s circle after reigning victorious by a head in a $15,500 non-winners contest on April 24 at the Meadowlands. She was then fourth in a $16,000 event under similar conditions, but her last quarter was in :26. Her next three races resulted in second place finishes in a pair of New Jersey Sire Stake legs and the $100,000 final. The Show Returns is the filly who beat Stacia Hanover by a neck in the NJSS final and showed her performance at 40-1 odds that day was no fluke as she finished second in the $387,990 Fan Hanover final on June 20 at Mohawk. “We are just being patient and taking our time with her,” Elliott said about Stacia Hanover. “TheWestern Ideals seem to improve as they get older so that is also what we are keeping in mind. The owners are having fun and bringing people to the races to see her. They are happy and the situation with this filly is what harness racing is really all about as people are enjoying themselves with friends as well as family.” Although, Van Dusen and Cimaglio are reveling in their filly’s accomplishments they were a little shocked at the balance on the stakes sheet after Elliott plotted her course for 2015. “They were like, ‘Geez, when did you get so high on her?’” Elliott said. “Those stakes payments can really put things in perspective, but with each race she improves as she continues to learn. We have to give her the opportunity to prove herself. I think she belongs and that she will be worth the wait. There is an old saying, ‘If you don’t wait on them, they will make you wait.’ I’m just fortunate I have owners like this that allow me to have patience with a horse like her.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- There certainly are not many horses that break a track record in their very first pari-mutuel engagement, but that’s exactly what the trotting colt Royal Deceptor did. That situation, however, is not the only reason he is the best horse Chip Foster has ever owned during his three decades of involvement in the harness racing industry. “This horse has been an absolute thrill for me and my partners Mike Sentiwany and Mike James,” he said. “I’ve bred and bought horses to race for 30 years. We never had one good enough to even start in a New York Sire Stake race, let alone break a track record. I told everyone after he did that it would not matter to me what he did the rest of the year, but he went out and earned more than $70,000 as a 2-year-old. “Now we have the opportunity to compete in the Empire Breeders Classic which has a $250,000 purse. I’m tickled just to be there as this horse only (sold for) $11,000 as a yearling and he will be racing against horses like Crazy Wow and Habitat. He is very special to us in many, many ways.” Foster is referencing the next engagement for the son of RC Royalty and the Malabar Man mare Art Of Deception, which is on Sunday (June 21) at Vernon Downs. Carded as the ninth race, the Empire Breeders Classic sports a purse of $255,325 and has an 11-horse field. Royal Deceptor, who is driven by Mike McGivern and conditioned by his wife, Cheryl, will commence his mile journey from the third post position and will seek to collect his fifth win from seven starts on the season. He possesses a resume of 14-6-2-2 for his career, has earned $113,350 and owns a lifetime mark of 1:58h. “He is very spoiled,” Cheryl McGivern said. “We fell in love with him the day we brought him home and fully expected he would go for a much higher price. He has quite the personality and loves to talk. He really enjoys his turnout time each day in the paddock. We bring him to the track only to race him and then take him right back home. We are just so very pleased to have him.” Royal Deceptor was purchased by his connections at the 2013 Morrisville Sale and has performed only on the New York circuit. His dam was unraced and her first three foals earned just over $60,000 between them. Art Of Deception, however, is a daughter of Keystone Delicious, who herself is a daughter of American Winner with Speedy Crown as her broodmare sire. Keystone Delicious also did not make it to the races, but she produced Marian’s Man (Malabar Man, 4,1:56.3s, $468,060) and Mr Tasty (Malabar Man, 4,1:53.2s, $462,209). “We can’t afford to buy $100,000 yearlings and definitely had a budget going into the sale,” Foster said. “We thought Royal Deceptor would go for more money, as Royalty For Life won the Hambletonian and RC Royalty did not breed many mares. We were prepared to go to $20,000 for him and Mike (McGivern) thought he was the best horse in the sale. Fortunately, he came into the ring right after the sales topper, which I really liked, but he went for $59,000. “The bidding opened on this horse at $10,000 and then we bid $11,000. We sat there waiting for another bid, but there was silence and then he was ours. We were in shock we got him for that price and we were very lucky. We realized his dam hadn’t foaled anything really at that point, but we felt that she would and he had the potential to be a very nice horse.” The McGiverns, who have also been in the business for about 30 years, operate a small stable in Gansevoort, N.Y., and always had faith in Royal Deceptor’s ability. In fact, they talked him up considerably to Foster and his partners. That faith was rewarded when the world witnessed Royal Deceptor’s debut at Buffalo Raceway on July 9, 2014. That was when the colt captured a $27,750 New York Sire Stake contest in a new track standard of 1:59.3 with a last quarter in :28.4. The previous record was 2:01.2, which was established in 2012 and tied in 2013. “Mike James and I drove to Buffalo to watch him, unfortunately my other partner had to care for his ill wife and could not attend,” Foster said. “Mike and Cheryl kept telling us how good this horse was, but having been in the business for awhile I had a wait and see approach. My jaw was on the ground that he broke two minutes for the mile, let alone set a new track record. That’s when I told everyone he didn’t have to win another race all year, because that was enough for me.” But Royal Deceptor did visit the winner’s circle again in his next start and subsequently picked up checks in his next five races before finishing sixth in the $225,000 New York Sire stakes final. This year, the colt won his first three starts, which were all in overnights at Saratoga, prior to a fourth place effort in a NYSS race at Monticello Raceway. He posted another triumph in a NYSS contest at Yonkers Raceway and was fifth placed eighth for breaking at Vernon Downs in his last start, also in NYSS competition. “Mike had to take him up a little bit in that race and he took a step, but he got right back on stride,” Foster said. “I’m very happy with the third post for this upcoming race and I know we have to have the perfect trip. Habitat and Crazy Wow are great horses, but anything can happen in horse racing. We are very fortunate just to be racing for that kind of money and to have a nice chance. “All the credit has to go to Mike and Cheryl. They are very patient and are excellent with trotters. I’m also happy for them they have a horse like this. They have a very small barn and had a horse named Cash Me Out (Cash Hall, 3,1:56.4h) that won more than $350,000 on the New York circuit over the last couple years. To have another horse do the same thing on a relatively small investment is truly an accomplishment for them and they really deserve it.” For the time being, Royal Deceptor will continue to compete in the Empire State and although he is not eligible for the Hambletonian, he is staked to the Yonkers Trot. “We don’t usually stake our horses,” Foster said. “Even with this horse as he only was $11,000, but he deserves the chance to see what he can do against the top horses. I really can’t explain what a thrill it is either to have a horse to enter in a classic race like that. Actually, this race on Sunday is the highest purse we all, including Mike and Cheryl, have ever raced for.” Cheryl also cannot say enough good things about Royal Deceptor. “Our job is simply to keep him happy,” she said. “It is an absolute pleasure to be associated with him and words cannot express how much gratitude we have to just be around him.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent   

Louisville, KY --- Bruce Trogdon and Brian Brown did not anticipate Color’s A Virgin would take home the harness racing hardware in the 2014 edition of the Jugette, but both men hope to return to the Delaware County Fairgrounds winner’s circle on Wednesday (Sept. 23) after this year’s version with Serious Filly. “It’s a tough group with a lot of nice fillies,” said Trogdon. “I don’t think she’s quite ready to beat the likes of JK She’salady, but I’m hoping Serious Filly will provide me with the opportunity to defend our Jugette crown.” By Somebeachsomewhere and out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Seriously, Serious Filly will continue her quest to be ranked in the upper echelon of her division when she leaves from post seven in her C$35,000 elimination of the Fan Hanover Stake on Saturday (June 13) at Mohawk Racetrack. Trace Tetrick will be holding the lines when the filly competes against reigning Horse of the Year JK She’slady, Better Be Steppin, The Show Returns and Bedroomconfessions. “We don’t have her quite where we want her yet,” Brown said. “We are trying some different things with her such as shoeing, because she gets a little rough and likes to toss in some steps during her miles. She has ability though and is like Color in that she is fine with coming first over. “Although she did not win last week in her race at Hoosier Park, I was very encouraged by her performance (second against older females) and am looking forward to racing her in Canada. That race was exactly what I wanted to see before taking her there.” Serious Filly is the first foal out of Seriously, who netted just under $280,000 during her racing career and was third in the 2010 Jugette. Trogdon purchased Seriously’s dam, the Die Laughing mare Serious Smile, in 2002. Seriously is a half-sister to Artbitration (Artiscape p,4,1:52s, $727,129), Blissful Smile (Blissfull Hall p,5,1:50.2s, $$778,734) and Serious Damage (Allamerican Ingot p,1:52.2f, $160,654). Serious Smile is a daughter of the Tyler B mare So Cozy, who earned just under $900,000 on the racetrack and was the 1987 Dan Patch Award winner for 2-year-old pacing fillies. As a broodmare, So Cozy produced six $100,000 earners from 16 foals. “I love this family,” Trogdon said. “Even if Serious Filly does not perform extremely well on the racetrack, she will definitely be an addition to the broodmare band. She really is bred to be any kind of horse. She is a very big filly and we only raced her four times last year because she was pretty rough gaited, so we quit with her in August to give her time to grow into herself.” The filly collected two wins and $14,675 in purse money from her abbreviated freshman campaign, but has really come to hand this year while racing primarily in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program. Serious Filly has compiled a record of 5-4-1-0 this year while amassing $80,522 and established her lifetime mark of 1:53.2f on May 2 in a PaSS race at The Meadows. In her last race at Hoosier Park on June 5, she paced the fastest final panel of all seven horses in the field (:27.2) and stopped the timer in 1:51.4, two lengths behind Stable Eyes. “I really liked how she finished up that race,” Brown said. “I told Trace to just take it easy with her and let her do her thing out there, just like he does with Color. This filly also doesn’t like to be rushed and can really take a lot of air, which is also similar to Color. I was pleased to see her coming at the end of the mile, but again she put in a step in the stretch. The competition in Canada certainly will be quite tough, but I think she will give a good account of herself.” Although Trogdon and Brown are seasoned veterans and realize champions are rare rather than the norm, they do have high hopes for Serious Filly as the year continues. “She is staked to everything and we think she is on the right path to becoming a very nice racehorse,” Trogdon said. “All we can do is provide her with the opportunity and keep working on straightening her gait out.” “She is bred to be an extremely nice horse,” Brown said. “She has the speed and the right attitude, but she is still a little green and that could be why she is still putting steps in her races. I think as the year goes on, she will show she belongs with the best fillies in her group. Canada will be the first step in seeing exactly what we have. She has been able to win while still not being right on gait. She won’t be able to do that against these quality horses on Saturday night.” This filly is not the only horse Trogdon and Brown will be shipping north of the border, as Color’s A Virgin is entered in a C$35,000 elimination for the Roses Are Red final later in the evening. The champion mare captured her first two engagements of 2015 at Hoosier Park, before finishing seventh in her next two starts. She then was second on May 29 in a $21,000 Mares Invitational again at Hoosier Park, before returning to the winner’s circle in the same class at the same facility on June 5. “We think she is 90 percent back to herself,” Brown said. “Trace was much happier with her last week than he has been, as he told me she did feel like the same horse as last year. When we took her up to Miami Valley (for the Chip Noble Memorial), she tied up and came out of the race dehydrated. We’ve been drenching her every day and pumping her full of fluids. She might not win up in Canada, but we think she is on the way back. We were not sure what the problem was, as she never did this last year, but we have a handle on it now. “Candy (Candy’s A Virgin) was eligible for this race too and was doing really well, but she popped a gravel so she is taking some time off.” Trogdon feels he might be to blame for Color’s A Virgin's health situation. “I turn her out and let her eat lots of grass at the farm (Emerald Highlands) between all her races,” he said. “This program worked really well for her last year and I’m thinking I did not give her enough time to do that before we raced her at Miami Valley and then back at Hoosier Park. From now on, I’ll make sure I don’t do that to her again.” Despite his affinity for his female homebreds, Trogdon also has a vested interest in the North America Cup eliminations on the same card. “We bred and raised Hurrikane Ali (Rocknroll Hanover-She's The Greatest),” he said. “We sold him in Lexington as a yearling (2013, $63,000). Even though we do not own him, it would be terrific to see him win the North America Cup since we had him as a baby.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- When harness racing trainer John Butenschoen selected Boots N Chains and Suit And Tie from the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale, obviously each yearling possessed their individual appeal, but both colts also satisfied another essential criteria: they were Pennsylvania Sire Stakes eligible. “We focus on the Pennsylvania program and anything else is an additional perk,” said the 52-year-old Illinois native. “Suit And Tie was the first surviving foal out of a Yankee Glide mare (and he is) by Andover Hall. Of course we go with a budget and a list of things we are looking for. He fit perfectly ($30,000 sales price). “Boots N Chains, however, was a bit of a different story. We gave $75,000 for him, which is quite high for us and he was on the smallish side, but we were familiar with the family. The Pinskes had his full older brother (Leave Your Mark 4,1:55.4f, $123,360) down in Florida a couple years ago and we trained him. He was a very nice horse and I really like this family.” Each colt will look to improve upon their career and seasonal records when they leave the gate side-by-side in the $119,565 Currier and Ives Trot for 3-year-old males at The Meadows on Saturday (June 6). In what is carded as the 10th race, Suit And Tie commences his mile from post position four, while his stablemate starts trotting from post position five. Boots N Chains is the 3-1 morning line choice and Suit And Tie is 5-1. “It may not be the biggest of stages, but I’m happy with the opportunity to go for a purse of more than $100,000 if other people decide to take their horses elsewhere,” Butenschoen said. “It’s not like it used to be where if you had a nice horse you knew where to race them. Now it is about managing them correctly and placing them in the right spots so the owners can make some money with them. “It may not sound as exciting as being in some of the big stake races, but if you can stay right in Pennsylvania and race for money like this, why wouldn’t you? I did that with Allstar Partner a couple years back and he made over $200,000 just racing in the sire stakes by winning the final.” As 2-year-olds, Suit And Tie, co-owned by William Wiswell and M and L of Delaware, and Boots N Chains, co-owned by Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, earned what was proffered for them and more. Suit And Tie collected just shy of $50,000 from 17 performances. He was third in his Breeders Crown elimination, but ninth in the $500,000 final and set his 2-year-old mark of 1.58.1f in his sole victory at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Aug. 13, 2014. “The only thing that held this horse back was his mentality,” Butenschoen said. “He finished out the year very nicely as he was trotting home very strongly in the Kindergarten and I was very pleased with him in the Breeders Crown. He really lost all chance in the final, but still did his best.” Boots N Chains also gave a good account of himself in his first year of competition as he trotted in 1:54.4 and amassed just under $120,000 in purse money with only one triumph from 12 starts. He was, however, second to French Laundry in the $240,500 Kindergarten final and to Muscle Diamond in a $77,120 division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile with a last panel in :27.4. Although their year has just begun, both colts have been promising. Boots N Chains has compiled a record of 4-2-0-1 and $35,767. Suit And Tie has collected $20,080 and possesses a resume of 4-1-1-0. Despite the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit being the primary focus, if either colt should prove they are prepared for another stage, Butenschoen has them staked in order to do so. “They are both Hambletonian eligible,” he said. “They are paid into other races, too and I wouldn’t say they are heavily staked, but they have the opportunity to compete in those races should the case arise. “How I look at it is if they have the ability to go to the Hambo, great, it’s what we all dream of in this business, but if not, I just hope I can spot them correctly in these stakes with good purses to do the right thing by my owners. All of us horsemen are always perpetually reaching for that ring, but we also have to make the appropriate decisions for our businesses so we can afford to continue to do that.” By Kimberly French 

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