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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The beat goes on for Itsonlyrocknroll A at Buffalo Raceway as the 6-year-old harness racing gelding took the featured $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 4) in a seasonal best time of 1:55.0 over the good track.   It was the third straight victory for Itsonlyrocknroll A ($4.60) and the second consecutive night the combination of owner/driver Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher have captured the featured event. Friday night in the $10,000 Open Trot, Perfect Rendition found the winner's circle for the Stalbaum/Asher connection.   At the start, Moonwards Hanover took the early lead but Itsonlyrocknroll A was able to grab the top before the quarter pole and went into cruise mode.   After putting up fractions of 28.2, 57.2 and 1:26.2, Itsonlyrocknroll A appeared home free at the top of the stretch with a seemingly comfortable two length advantage. But things got a little scary near the wire as a fast closing Knocking Around (David McNeight III) made a valiant attempt to collar Itsonlyrocknroll A but came up just a neck short. Major Trick (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) finished in third.   Itsonlyrocknroll A (Million Dollar Cam-Boldandbeautiful) has now earned $14,500 in 2017, thanks to a perfect 3-for-3 record, and upped his lifetime earnings to $184.720.   Ray Fisher Jr. led the way in the sulky with five victories while Stalbaum, Shawn Gray and Bruce Aldrich Jr. each doubled.   David Russo and Sabrina Clevenger had training doubles.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Things continue to be perfect for Perfect Rendition at Buffalo Raceway as he got a great trip to register a come-from-behind neck victory over Noble Legend in the featured harness racing $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (Feb. 3).   With the trip to the winner's circle, Perfect Rendition is now 3-for-3 at Buffalo Raceway this season.   Noble Legend, Buffalo Raceway's 2016 Trotter of the Year, and the front-running Lutetium fought to the opening quarter in a snappy 28.4 over the good track. Watching the slug fest on the front end, Perfect Rendition ($10.60) and driver Larry Stalbaum started their march toward the top despite being nine lengths back at the half. They eventually got into contention with a final panel to race.   In the stretch, Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) and Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) battled but Perfect Rendition gobbled up ground on the outside and managed to pull out the victory. Noble Legend held on for second place while Lutetium finished in third.   Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 11-year-old gelded Perfect Rendition (Perfectly-Ella Go Go) has now won $13,200 this season and $290,035 in his career.   Gray finished the evening with four victories, Ray Fisher Jr. tripled while Bruce Aldrich Jr. posted a double.   Joe Skowyra, Bo Sowers, Gerry Sarama and David Russo had two training victories apiece.   Racing resumes on Saturday night with a 12-race program set for 6 p.m.   For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Itsonlyrocknroll continued his winning wins taking the Saturday harness racing feature at Buffalo Raceway. After winning the Open II last week Itsonlyrocknroll finished with a 3 length victory in the Open Pace.   Shawn Gray put Southwind Torque on the early led but was overtaken by Major Trick (Bruce Aldrich Jr) before the half. As the field entered the final turn they were three wide. Leading driver Larry Stalbaum got Itsonlyrocknroll to the lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away to the 3 length win.   A trio of drivers each had three wins on the night Ray Fisher Jr, Bruce Aldrich Jr, and Shawn Gray.   Racing will resume at the Hamburg Fairgrounds on Wednesday with a 5:00 first post.    

Perfect Rendition set all the fractions in the Friday harness racing feature at Buffalo Raceway for the second week in a row. Going off as the 1-5 favorite Perfect Rendition battled with Northern Matador and City Kid through the first quarter and tripped the timer in :29.1. Driver Larry Stalbaum and Perfect Rendition cleared and set the marks the remainder of the race. At the top of the stretch City Kid who was sitting in the pocket broke stride and Perfect Rendition finished with 2 1/2 length victory over Love You Forever (Ray Fisher Jr) and Chelseas Chance (Kevin Cummings). Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night with the first post scheduled for 6 p.m.   Brian J. Mazurek

In the Wednesday (January 25) harness racing feature race Kaitlyn Rae used a late rush to capture the Fillies and Mare Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway. The first half mile was uneventful as the horses stayed in post position order with favorite Artzia Hanover on the lead in :59.3. By the time the horses reached the back stretch the second time around they were three wide. Ben McNeil kept Artizia Hanover on the lead til the top of the stretch before the top three finishers rushed by her. Driver Larry Stalbaum used the center of the track to put the 8 year old bay mare in the winner's circle, just ahead of The Filly Princess and My Talia Ideal. Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher teamed to win four races on the night. Brian Mazurek (Buffalo Raceway)

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After posting seven victories on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway, harness racing driver Larry Stalbaum picked up right where he left off by guiding Perfect Rendition to an easy gate-to-wire victory in the featured $8,200 trot on Friday night (Jan. 20).   Stalbaum ended up sweeping the early daily double and finished the night with three wins.   Taking the lead after a brief battle into the first turn, Perfect Rendition enjoyed a uncontested journey over the sloppy Hamburg half-mile oval. The 11-year-old gelding (Perfectly-Ella Go Go) put up fractions of 29.4, 1:00.1 and 1:31.0 before tripping the beam at the wire in 2:00.4.   Dirty Secret (David McNeight III) was parked the entire mile and finished a well-deserved second, 2-3/4 lengths behind the winner. Chelseas Chance (Kevin Cummings) took third.   Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, it was the first victory of the season in two starts for Perfect Rendition. The win moved his 2017 earnings to $4,100 and $280,835 lifetime.   Driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. tripled and Ray Fisher Jr. doubled on the program while David Russo had a pair of training victories.   Action will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card. The 75th Commemorative Coin giveaway will be held after being postponed last week.   Each coin has an exacta combination on the back. Fans having the correct exacta in any race from the second through tenth will spin the wheel for free wagers in the 12th race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may have been damp and dreary night at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday (Jan. 18) but Wanna Rock N Roll, driver Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher sure did brightened the night with some superb harness racing efforts.   After going wire-to-wire last week, Wanna Rock N Roll ($2.80) and driver Drew Monti used the same tactic to discard her five rivals in 1:59.0 over the sloppy track to take the $10,000 open pace for the mares.   The victory was the fifth consecutive for Wanna Rock N Roll. The 6-year-old mare (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady) closed the 2016 campaign with three in a row at Batavia Downs and now is a perfect 2-for-2 to start the year at Buffalo Raceway.   Stalbaum, in the meantime, is getting to know track photographer Steve Roth very well as he found the winner's circle seven times on Wednesday night while Asher enjoyed five victories.   In what looked like an instant replay of last week's victory, Wanna Rock N Roll fired off the starting gate and was in command by the time the field reached the backstretch the first time. Setting the splits of 29.3, 59.0 and 1:29.2, Wanna Rock N Roll received minor encouragement from Monti in the stretch and held off runner up Aritzia Hanover (Ben McNeil) by a non-threatening half length. Who Says That (Shawn Gray) took the show spot.   Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steven Kiblin, Wanna Rock N Roll now has $10,000 in the bank this year and $242,477 lifetime.   Also during the 11-race program, David McNeight III scored a pair of victories in the bike while trainer David Russo had a double.   Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night with the first post scheduled for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Shady City stuck to script with a strong come from behind effort to win the $9,500 Open pacing harness racing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 17). Foreign Officer (Shawn Gray) shot out for the lead quickly and gained that position without any opposition. Once there, he led the group in single file to the half in :57.2. When the race advanced past five-eighths, Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) pulled first up and brought Warrawee Qually (Kevin Cummings) with him as they proceeded to advance toward the leader. Those positions remained unchanged around the far turn, but at the head of the stretch, Shady City put on another of his furious closing brushes. He went by the fading Foreign Officer, as well as Western Expression (Mike Whelan) who had tripped-out and snuck up the rail, to win by a head in 1:54.4. It was the sixth win of the year for Shady City ($4.10) who has now earned $68,332 for 2016. The 6-year-old gelded son of Metropolitan is owned by his driver, Larry Stalbaum and is trained by Kim Asher. In the $9,000 co-featured Open II pace, Rock The Dream (Ray Fisher Jr.) came from last at the half to go three-wide at three-quarters and win a narrow decision over Private Equity (Todd Cummings) in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win in five starts for Rock The Dream ($7.90) who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by the Downs leading trainer, JD Perrin. Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving grand slam while Larry Stalbaum got the hat trick and Shawn Gray doubled up. Trainer Kim Asher also had three wins on the night followed by JD Perrin with two. As the 2016 meet came to a close, the leading driver and trainer were welcomed in front of the grandstand and presented with their winning hardware. Drew Monti was the leading dash driver with 116 wins and trainer JD Perrin was the top conditioner for the third straight year at the Batavia summer/fall meet with 47 wins.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The public was heavily backing Thunderbolt Jaxon after he won the top class the last three weeks, but Shady City ($9.40) had other ideas as he fired late to a photo win in the $9,500 Open pacing harness racing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 10). Three horses bolted from the gate and argued for the front before Thunderbolt Jaxon (Ray Fisher Jr.) took control as they passed the quarter pole. Things settled down until the half when Brees Creek (Drew Monti) pulled first over bringing an outer flow that had the race in two rows; three in and three out. Heading towards three-quarters, Thunderbolt Jaxon had gapped Brees Creek and he went back to the pylons. This left China Dream (Shawn Gray) and Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) outside on the chase around the last turn. China Dream and Thunderbolt Jaxon then went stride for stride to the top of the lane and it looked like it was one of theirs for the taking. But three-lengths behind them, Stalbaum cranked up Shady City who then paced furiously down the lane. He gobbled up ground all the way to the wire and headed China Dream for the win in 1:55. Thunderbolt Jaxon hung on for third. It was Shady City's second win at Batavia Downs and fifth overall for the year and it increased his earnings to $63,582. Larry Stalbaum owns the 6-year-old son of Metropolitan who is trained by Kimberly Asher. The Stalbaum-Asher combination also took the co-featured $8,600 Open II-III pace when Itsonlyrocknroll A went wire to wire in 1:54.1 to score his third win in his last four starts and ninth win of the year. Stalbaum also owns Itsonlyrocknroll A who now has earned $49,454 in 2016. Several horse people had multiple win performances on Saturday night. Drew Monti and Larry Stalbaum both had the driving hat trick while Shawn Gray scored a double. Trainer Kim Asher sent three winners to post and JD Perrin sent two. With two nights of racing left in the 2016 meet, Drew Monti is the dash driving leader with 114 wins and trainer JD Perrin leads in his category with 44 wins. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 16) with post time for the first race at 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Larry Stalbaum has been a regular competitor at Yonkers Raceway and Pocono Downs for many years now. But much like Jim Morrill Jr. before him, the small-town feel of western New York has drawn Stalbaum from the major harness racing circuits and he couldn't be happier about the move to Batavia Downs. Stalbaum made his first start of the year at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 5) and has since been one of the hottest drivers at the track. In only 10 nights of racing his own stable of 16 along with catch drives, Stalbaum has had 79 starts with 20 wins, 12 seconds and 10 thirds. That amounts to a 22% win and 54% in the money percentage, a .329 UDR and $100,570 in purse earnings in very short order. Stalbaum was born in Valparaiso, Indiana and started racing ponies at age seven. He went to work with standardbreds after graduating from high school and has been doing it ever since. Through his early years he worked for many horsemen, but credits Frank O'Mara for teaching him all he knows about harness racing. "I started grooming in Louisville at Latonia and eventually made my first career driving start at Brandywine Raceway in 1986" said Stalbaum. "Since them I have raced just about everywhere, even tracks that most people have never heard of." Racing everywhere has taken Stalbaum 29 years and the numbers that he has accrued in that time are pretty impressive to see; 5,378 wins and over $37 million in purses. Stalbaum lives in Matamoris, PA, which is just across the Delaware River from Port Jervis, NY. He races off his 152-acre farm there and makes the 560 mile, 9-hour round trip to Batavia every race night. His whole operation is family based. Stalbaum's wife, Kimberly Asher, is the trainer and his four children Riley, Kiley, Hawk and Sky jog, train and groom the stock. "My four children are all involved in racing and our business. They all do the horses, they all like the horses and they all want to drive eventually" said Stalbaum. "My oldest daughter Riley just passed her test and got her qualifying license and will start driving very soon. And my other kids will follow along one by one as they get old enough. I don't have any help in my stable right now other than my wife and kids. They do it all." With having much success at bigger tracks that were closer to his home, Stalbaum still made the decision to race at Batavia Downs. "I'm getting a little older and I wanted to slow down a bit. That's part of the reason I was racing at Monticello recently; it was close to home" said Stalbaum. "But the money isn't quite as good there as it is here. What I really wanted to do is just get away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger tracks." "I'm tired of shipping three to this track and four to that track and being on the road every night. I would much rather just ship the whole stable over three days and get them all raced and spend more time at home" Stalbaum concluded. After having raced at Batavia for almost a month now, Stalbaum has become quite comfortable in his new environment. The local racing community has embraced him and he is happy to be competing there. "I like western New York. It's got a lot of farm country like where I was raised and many of the people who race there come from families that have been racing locally for generations, and I like that" said Stalbaum. "I tell people all the time about it and when you tell them about being in New York, they think New York City. Because if you're not from upstate New York, you don't know any better." After the Batavia meet ends, the plan is to move the stock to Buffalo Raceway and stable at the track. "When I go to Buffalo, Kim and the kids aren't coming and that's going to be hard for me because I've never been away from them. But because of the winter, I can't ship like I do right now but also can't move the family up here at this point. But that's what we have to do and we'll see how it goes" said Stalbaum. "If everything goes right, we are planning on moving up here permanently. We'll sell the farm in PA and buy some land in western New York and settle down here and race this circuit". With four children aspiring to make harness racing their livelihood, Stalbaum appreciates the atmosphere in western New York for both raising a family and racing for a living. "The future of this sport is young people and all my kids are interested in it now. I let them choose what they want to do with their lives and they all want to race and that makes me happy. I can't make them a doctor or a lawyer, but I can teach them how to be a solid trainer and driver. I just hope the sport is still here for them" Stalbaum said. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- For the second week in a row, Perfect Rendition stalked quick early fractions before gearing up in the payoff half to win the $10,000 Open trotting harness racing feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 25). When the gate released the short but classy field of six trotters, Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) went for the early lead, seating Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) and Perfect Rendition (Larry Stalbaum) in the process. The leader then proceeded to cut quarters of :28.2 and :58 and did it unchallenged as the trailing drivers were content to sit in. The situation remained unchanged until just before three-quarters when Perfect Rendition pulled and started to advance. By the time they hit that panel in 1:27.3, Perfect Rendition was matching strides with Noble Legend and a battle ensued around the final turn. When the pair straightened out at the head of the lane, Perfect Rendition got a slight advantage under Stalbaum's urging and as a result, ended up the best of the bunch as he trotted to victory in 1:57.2 over the rain-soaked track. It was the fourth win of the year for Perfect Rendition ($19.40), half of which were registered at Batavia Downs the last two weeks. The 10-year-old son of Perfectly who is trained by Kimberly Asher has now bankrolled annual earnings to $29,763 for owner-driver Larry Stalbaum. In the co-featured $9,000 filly and mares Open pace, Kruella ($8.60) scored her third win in a row, coming from second-over in the outer flow to tip three-wide at the head of the lane and brush by to a slick 1:56.4 win for driver Shawn McDonough. Kruella is trained by Jineen Simone who co-owns the mare with Bonnie Kowalcyk. Ray Fisher Jr. had a grand slam Friday night, including a natural hat-trick in races four through six. He won with Wicked Elphaba ($6.50), Southern Palms ($11.20), Rock The Dream ($9.60) and Babes Chip ($2.60). Shawn Gray and Larry Stalbaum both registered driving triples on the evening while trainer Kim Asher sent two of her students to the winner's circle. Racing resumes on Saturday night (Nov. 26) with first race post time set at 6:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---After three outside draws in lower class, Perfect Rendition (Larry Stalbaum) moved into the top class and took advantage of post one to rebuff six harness racing challengers in the $10,000 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 18). Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) left and took a hard fought lead at the quarter in :28.1. But as soon as he crossed over, Perfect Rendition pulled and retook the lead. From there he dictated a :58 half and a 1:27.2 third panel. During that stretch, The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) came first over to challenge but never got closer than third. At the head of the stretch The Bronx Bumper challenge had ended, but then Nobel Legend popped the two-hole and drew a bead on the leader. Noble Legend gained ground with every stride but he ran out of stretch before they hit the wire and Perfect Rendition won by a head in 1:57.2. It was the third win of the year for Perfect Rendition ($6.70) and it pushed his earnings to $24,763. Larry Stalbaum owns the 10-year-old gelded son of Perfectly who is trained by Kim Asher. Jim Morrill Jr. won three more races on Friday while Shawn McDonough, Ray Fisher Jr. and Larry Stalbaum each won two. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 19) with post time set at 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Yonkers Raceway invader Shady City got away last before sweeping the field around the last turn to pull away and win the $10,000 harness racing Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 5). Last week's Open pace winner, China Dream (Shawn Gray), tried to repeat his effort by going to the front in a quick :26.4 quarter. After he settled, the field of six rounded the turn before splitting into two-rows as they motored to the half. Thunderbolt Jaxon (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first up in the outer flow with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) and Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) following right behind him. The group remained three in and three out past the five-eighths when Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) swung three-deep as the leader tripped the third panel in 1:25.2 with a two-length lead. Shady City seemed to stall by the head of the stretch and China Dream was looking like a winner. But Stalbaum went to the stick in the lane and with his tail flagging and ears perked, Shady City made up three lengths and strode by China Dream like an easy day at the office to win in 1:54.1. It was the fourth win of 2016 for Shady City ($9.60) and it pushed him to $53,882 in earnings for the year. Stalbaum owns the 6-year-old son of Metropolitan who is trained by Kimberly Asher. In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) took the long way home, coming from seventh and parked out from just past the quarter, to swing five-deep in the stretch and win by one and one-half lengths in 1:56. It was the fifth win of the year for Lucky King who is owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. The grossly overlooked winner returned a healthy $77.00. Drew Monti had a four-win night while visiting reinsman Larry Stalbaum copped three. Shawn Gray and Ron Beback Jr. both took two races apiece. On the conditioning side, Kimberly Asher had the training hat-trick. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 9) with a guaranteed Pick-5 pool of $3,500. Post time is 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Palmers Pride (Monsieur Kan Due) went wire-to-wire in the John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series Final on a harness racing Sunday afternoon at Saratoga.  The five year old trotter is in the midst of his first racing season and has had a breakout campaign in 2016. Larry Stalbaum piloted Palmers Pride for trainer Don Sherman and the up-and-coming trotter had little difficulty going coast to coast in the $28,500 Series Final. The win, which came in 1:59.3 on the cold and windy afternoon, was the fourth in eight tries this year for the trotter who has hit the board in each of his first eight career starts and enjoyed the biggest win of his young career on Sunday. Band Winsome (Billy Dobson) came on to finish second while longshot Mo Titos Blue Chip (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. Palmers Pride was the race's even money favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $22.80 and $242.00, respectively. Palmers Pride adds his name to the list of previous winners of the Mongeon Memorial Trotting Series that includes Quick Feet, Order By Don and Pop I. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of 4:00pm. Mike Sardella

WILKES-BARRE PA - South Side Hanover and Stirling Debutante both took their third victories in as many preliminaries of the Bobby Weiss Series by winning $15,000 divisions of the trotting females competition Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while in the third cut two "logical" horses came home 1-2 - and combined for a $919 Exacta.   South Side Hanover has had the rail in all three of her Weiss starts - the outer one the first week, the inner one the last two - but the result has always been the same, a visit to Victory Lane. Tuesday, the Cantab Hall filly went wire-to-wire in 1:58, with back fractions of 58.2 - 28.3 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel and Schadel's co-owner Roger Hammer, a/k/a "Team Vivid Photo."   Even though she equaled her lifetime mark of 1:55.4 in another Weiss division, the Credit Winner mare Stirling Debutante did not have it easy, pressed hard by first-over Abbie's Celticlass, but she nonetheless held her lead over that rival to the wire by a half-length, with Anthony Napolitano again in the sulky for trainer Christie Collins and owners J M F Racing LLC.   And as for that "logical" $919 exacta? Well, the winner, Squeals Of Delight, had seconds in both her two previous starts in the Weiss, and second-place horse Real Caviar had won a Weiss division in week one, so you think those two would get some respect here, right?   Well, $107.00 winner Squeals Of Delight held off 23-1 place horse Real Credit (another Schadelite) to her left by a length in 1:57.4, lowering the winning Donato Hanover mare's mark by six seconds - but admittedly they did have some assistance from the remainder of the seven-horse field, who all went offstride, including 1-5 favorite Selfie Hanover while on the lead on the far turn. Larry Stalbaum had Squeals Of Delight in the pocket at that point and took over the lead, during the moans of agony of the chalkplayers, and captured the victory for trainer Robert Bath, co-owner with Eldo Leonelli.   Squeals Of Delight was the second $100+ winner at Pocono in three nights, after $197.00 Majo Just Do It won on Sunday, and the timing couldn't have been more curious - because The Downs had just come off a week where the combined win prices of every winner, each night for four straight nights, never topped $100 TOTAL for a single card!   From the PHHA

WILKES-BARRE PA - Bushwacker, under full-out assault by Cooperstown down the backstretch in the $25,000 winners-over pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, turned back that rival on the far turn, then held off second-over Badiou Hanover by a neck in 1:49.3.   Driver Larry Stalbaum had no problem w(h)acking out the pace with the altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, passing the first two striped poles in 26 and 54.3. Shortly after the half Cooperstown, gunning for his fourth straight victory, came roaring up to the leader and got a half-length by before the ¾ but could not clear as the timer read 1:21.1, a 26.3 third quarter into an atypical backstretch headwind at Pocono.   Bushwhacker fought off Cooperstown and regained the lead, then had enough left when Badiou (pronounced ("BAD-I-O-U") Hanover circled wide and menaced nearing the finish. Cooperstown settled for third; favored Bettor's Edge raced in the pocket but may have been bottomed out chasing the whirlwind front end duel, as he faded in the last quarter and finished fifth.   Bushwacker posted his first victory since February 20, but he has been facing some pretty mean hombres in the interim: foe one example, he finished third behind Wiggle It Jiggleit and Rockeyed Optimist, arguably the two best pacers at the races at this moment, on March 28 at Dover. Chris Ryder trains the winner, who raised his bankroll to nearly $460,000 lifetime for Henderson Farms.   The Angus Hall mare Allerage Star went the fastest trotting mile year at Pocono in a $15,500 conditioned event, going right to the top for driver Marcus Miller and steaming home in 56 to complete a 1:52.3 victory, also a lifetime mark. Julie Miller conditions the winner of two straight for Little E LLC (also the breeder), Arthur Geiger, David Stoltz, and Jason Settlemoir.   With a temperature reading of 72 degrees at first post time, speed was the order of the day, as three other miles in 1:50 were paced, with Achilles Blue Chip (Marcus Miller), Simply Business (Anthony Napolitano), and Allbeef N Nobull (Mike Simons) all freezing the timer at exactly the new standard for the "magic mile." The Downs seasonal pacing standard of 1:49.1, set by Eighteen on March 26, did stand up to the speed-producing card (ironically, that win came in "nw9000L5," about four classes below the winners-over level).   The third round of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacers highlights the Sunday card at Pocono, which has a post time of 7:30 p.m. Both the males and females will contest three $15,000 divisions; hoping to making their Weiss records 3-for-3 will be, for the males, Options Are Adream (race 10, looking for his ninth win of an undefeated career) and Midnight Leader (race 11, the fastest Weiss winner in 1:51), and for the females, Candy Corn Hanover (race seven, her two Weiss wins the first two starts of her career.)   From the PHHA

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