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East Rutherford, N.J. -- Walner (Tim Tetrick) was the easiest kind of winner of the $600,000 Breeders Crown for harness racing 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings in a track and stakes record 1:53 by 4½ lengths on Saturday at The Meadowlands. The record had been 1:53.2, shared by Pinkman (2014) and Manofmanymissions (2010). Walner is trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Ken Jacobs. Moonshiner Hanover (Scott Zeron) was second and Sortie (Andy McCarthy) was third. The early pace was set by Moonshiner Hanover who got to the :28 first quarter alone at the lead, after an early break by Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan) left the second spot temporarily empty. Walner was up front to take away the lead at the three eighths, and he was in front at the :57 half. Jake (Sylvain Filion) tried to overtake the lead from fifth and got up to third at the 1:26 three quarters, with Moosnhiner Hanover second inside him along the rail. When the field straightened for home, the son of Chapter Seven got mild urging from Tetrick and the two put distance between them and the field for an unpressured win in record time. "He can do it either way," said Tetrick. "He's got a ton of ability and he's very special. I just wanted to get around there safe and make sure I didn't mess it up. I knew I had a good horse, so if I got him in there with decent fractions I knew he would be hard to catch." "I was nervous this time because I expect big things from this colt, said trainer Linda Toscano. "He's a good colt, he has a great attitude. He loves his job." by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On a night that saw 10 trotting events on a 13-race harness racing program, two performances stood out at the Meadowlands Friday night. In a division of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot, Walner rebounded to dominate in his second career Big M start. The Linda Toscano-trained colt brushed to command at the three-eighths before romping his way to a 6½ length win in 1:53.4 with Tim Tetrick doing the driving. A week ago in a similar spot, Walner went off stride as the 2-5 favorite, suffering the only loss of his brief four-race career, but the bettors forgave that outing, sending him to the gate as the 4-5 choice. The Kenneth Jacobs-owned son of Chapter Seven returned $3.60 to win. In the overnight feature for non-winners of $15,000 in their last five starts, Sutton ($8.80), who finished third in the Hambletonian last month, sat a perfect pocket trip and vacated the rail at the eighth pole to grab the top before holding off the late-charging Cash Me Out to record a neck win in 1:51.4 for the husband and wife team of driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller. Canepa Hanover, the 4-5 favorite after facing the likes of Obrigado and Resolve in his last two starts, moved to the lead at the three-eighths and led to the stretch before weakening to third. FOUR PAIR: Joe Bongiorno, Andy Miller, Ake Svanstedt and Yannick Gingras all recorded driving doubles on the program. ... Over the first three cards of the abbreviated four-program September meeting, Miller has driven nine winners. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Nichols, N.Y. - Just over a month removed from her 5-1/2 length win in the Geers Stakes, harness racing owner Kenneth Jacobs's Planet Rock ($13.80) proved victorious again at Tioga Downs, sustaining first-over progress and parrying two late-charging 2-year-old pacing fillies in a $110,200 New York Sire Stakes event on Friday (September 16) evening. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover was forced to abort a leave attempt as Artrageous (Jim Morrill, Jr.) led a :26.2 stampede through the first quarter. John Campbell would put Planet Rock in play with a circuit to go, advancing first-over to the clubhouse turn while 3-10 favorite Tequila Monday (David Miller) slipstreamed live cover through middle splits of :57 and 1:24.3. Planet Rock would succeed in dueling down Artrageous off the far turn, but she wasn't home free upon cornering. Tequila Monday--who drifted to the four-path after fanning off cover--quickly righted the ship and charged boldly, as did Robin J (Mike Simons) after finding room to vacate the pocket. Still, Planet Rock ultimately prevailed, driven out to hold sway by a neck in 1:52.3. Tequila Monday and Robin J finished second and third respectively, while Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) stayed on for fourth. Linda Toscano trains Planet Rock, who earned her seventh career win in just eight starts. In the sub-featured $13,500 Open 1 Trot, Dragin the Wagon ($8.10) made every yard a winning one en route to a 1:53.3 triumph. The 6-year-old Angus Hall gelding sprinted to the fore to evade a host of leavers to the first turn, and held clear of a belated rally from Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis), who emerged off third-over cover to take second. Aaron Byron drove the 31-time winner for owner James Cantelon and trainer Jeff Byron. An 11-race Closing Night card awaits on Saturday (September 17); first post is slated for 6:30 p.m., with full coverage on the Tioga Downs Racing Network to commence at 6:05 p.m. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Owner Ken Jacobs and harness racing trainer Linda Toscano came to Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon with a full quiver. On the programs first race of the day, the regular Sires Stake for 2 year Old Pacing Fillies, racing for a purse of $52,500 showcased Planet Rock. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Villa Hanover filly wasted no time leaving from post position 4, in the 5 horse field to show the field thru fractions of 28.2, 58:0, 1:27:1 to win well in hand in 1:55, pacing her last ¼ in 27.4, setting a new track record for 2 Year Old Pacing Fillies. Breaking the previous record of 1:55.2 set by Freetime in 2012, Planet Rock remain flawless, with 6 wins in as many starts with lifetime earnings of $123,000. The combination of Toscano/ Trick swept both ends of the early daily double, the second race was first 1st split of the Excelsior A's Tim Tetrick went down the road with Yourlipstogodsears (Art Major-Role Reversal) score in 1:57.3 for owners South Street Farm & George & Theresa Rath. The Jacobs/Toscano/ Tetrick combo struck again with yet another impressive filly, Robin J, the daughter of Roll With Joe - Mommy Robin Q, was stellar as she scored wire to wire in 1:56.2 by 3 lengths. The filly now sports a bank roll of $158,000 thus far in her brilliant freshman career. The win gave Tim Tetrick a hat trick for the day. By Shawn Wiles

On Monday August 29, 2 Year Old Pacing Fillies will be featured on the afternoon's harness racing card. The card has 2 heats of elite Sire Stake vying for a purse of $52,500 each, 4 heats of the Excelsior A's, with a purse of $15,000 and 3 splits of the Excelsior B, with a purse of $6,600. Ken Jacobs brings a strong duo of Planet Rock and Robin J to the fray, Planet Rock is the fastest filly of the bunch, and Robin J being the richest. Planet Rock will start from post position 4 for trainer Linda Toscano in the 1st race of the day, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven has been flawless in pari mutuel competition thus far in her brief career. She has reeled off 5 consecutive wins in this company, with earning s of $97,665 with a speed badge of 1:52 taken at Vernon Downs for owner Kenneth Jacobs of Baldwinsville NY. Tim Tetrick will drive the filly in the 5 horse field. Roaring To Go, who has been unlucky at drawing inside post positions, will take advantage of the best post of her career, will start from post 3 for trainer Kevin Lare of Snow White fame. Team Miller brings the respectable Pleasant Roll, the son of Rock With Joe, will start from PP 5. In the second division, race 8, another 5 horse field, Ken Jacobs brings another outstanding filly, Robin J. The Roll With Joe lass has shown brilliant closing speed, she comes into the race with respectable credentials, 5 wins in 6 lifetime starts, and $131,605 in the bank. She is also trained by Linda Toscano, and will be driven by Tim Tetrick. Local horsemen Gary Messenger brings Delilah De Vie in race 5, a division of the Excelsior B. The son of Art Major has drawn post 5 in the 5 horse field. His looking for his 3rd win a row in the company. He is owned by Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger. By Shawn Wiles

Batavia, NY---A heavy early rain dampened the track, but not the enthusiasm shown by the eight harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies competing for one of the largest single purses ever offered at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20). And when the all the moves were made, Robin J (Roll With Joe-Mommy Robin Q) saved her best one for last and captured the victory in the New York Sire Stake event. Artrageous (Jim Morrill Jr.) left sharply for the lead and Robin J (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled in behind her as the field moved to the quarter in :28.3. Shortly after they passed that marker the outer flow set up with American Cheer (Billy Davis Jr.) coming first over and Pleasant Roll (Chris Lems) and Roaring To go (Kevin Cummings) following right behind. At the three-quarter pole they fanned four across the track when Pleasant Roll tipped three wide and Roaring To Go went four abreast. Pleasant Roll took the lead from Artrageous by a half-length in the last turn, but Artrageous dug in and took it back before they hit the stretch. As they headed down the lane Artrageous was in the middle of the track trying to fight off Pleasant Roll when Marohn moved Robin J into the passing lane and powered by them both to take the win in 1:56. "She was real good tonight, but I couldn't have asked for a better trip. The way it set up and the way the race went; it was all about the trip" said Marohn after the race. It was the fifth win in six lifetime starts for Robin J ($4.50) and the purse enhance her lifetime total to $131,605 for owner Ken Jacobs. Robin J is trained by Linda Toscano. There were also four $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the program. The first division was won by Megyn K (American Ideal-Fantasy Jet) in 1:58 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Jean Drolet. Megyn K ($2.90) is owned by Stephen Schneider, William Siegel, Jay Lieberman and Karen Munk. The second division went to Bullvillestephanie (Roll With Joe-Bullville Ana) in 1:57.4 for driver Ray Schnittker and trainer Steve Crevani. Bullvillestephanie ($11.40) is owned by Crevani Farms. The third leg was won by Ann Hill (Rock N Roll Heaven-Taxi Fare Hanover) in 1:57.1 for driver Chris Lems and trainer Tony Alagna. Ann Hill ($3.30) is owned by Tom Hill. The final split was taken by Pirinea's Princess (Roll With Joe-Chant-a-nuka) in 1:59.1 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Dennis Laterza. Pirinea's Princess ($3.00) is owned by Latz A Luck Stable. Jim Morrill Jr. scored four driving wins on the card that included three in stake action and one in the overnight featured $10,500 Open pace with Ron Burke's multi-million dollar winner, Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) in 1:53.4, wire to wire. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 21) with post time set at 1:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Tim Tetrick and Linda Toscano teamed up to capture all three divisions of the Geers Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies on Friday (August 12) night at Tioga Downs, while Cougar Bait ($6.10) led 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings with a track-record performance in his Geers split.   Tetrick and Toscano wasted no time finding the winner's enclosure, teaming up with Robin J ($2.10) in the $26,356 third event. The daughter of Roll With Joe and Mommy Robin Q worked clear of Haviture Way Honey (Marcus Miller) with a circuit to go and used a :26.3 last quarter to repel a first-over push from runner-up Touchamatic (Mike Simons) by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:54.   They teamed up again with Planet Rock ($2.10), who kept her undefeated record intact in the $26,856 fifth race. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover settled off a contested pace, brushed out of midfield, and sprinted off to a 5-1/2 length margin of victory over Kiss Kiss (John Cummings, Jr.) in 1:53.1 for her fifth triumph in as many career starts. Robin J and Planet Rock also would give owner Kenneth Jacobs a stakes double on the night.   World Apart ($2.60) completed the sweep of the filly divisions for Tetrick and Toscano in the $26,856 ninth, chasing live cover provided by Pleasant Roll (Marcus Miller) on the backstretch before continuing to the fore in upper stretch after losing cover. The daughter of Art Major and Polar Opposition posted a 1:53 win for the South Mountain Stables, The Bay's Stable, LLC, Little E, LLC, and the Radio Racing Stable.   Of the three Geers divisions for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Cougar Bait stole the show with his 1:52.2 track-record performance in the $24,640 fourth race. Mike Simons slid the Western Terror-No One Is Alone gelding second-over to track favorite Epic Union through the middle stages of the race, but lost cover on approach to the far turn as Epic Union cleared. Cougar Bait ultimately dueled to the fore at head-stretch, drawing off by 2-1/2 lengths over Beyond Delight (Jim Marohn, Jr.), who rallied to save second. John Butenschoen trains Cougar Bait for the Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Jeremey Day, Tangie Massey, and the VIP Internet Stable, LLC.   Ocean Colony ($23.60) prevailed in the $24,640 sixth, dueling clear of R J P (Marcus Miller) in 1:53.3 after being left uncovered on the far turn. Brett Miller drove the son of Somebeachsomewhere and Amora Hanover for trainer Jimmy Takter and the partnership of Takter, Fielding, Katz, Libfeld, Goldband, and the Hatfield Stables.   In the $24,640 eighth race, Every Way Out ($2.50) accounted for his fifth career win in as many starts, and Tetrick accounted for the third leg of a stakes grand slam. The If I Can Dream-Every Play colt responded to a late push from Bettor's Western (Brett Miller), holding sway by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.1 for the fastest mile on the night. Dylan Davis trains Every Way Out for Howard Taylor, Abraham Basen, Edwin Gold, and Thomas Lazzaro.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 14) afternoon, with post time at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Planet Rock ($7.90) remained undefeated through four career starts via a sparkling 1:52 mile in her $55,500 New York Sire Stakes event for harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday (August 6) night at Vernon Downs.   Planet Rock enjoyed a cozy midpack stalking spot early on, perching just off the top trio as 48-1 outsider Takeyourbreathaway (Billy Davis, Jr.) worked to command before rating a :56.1 half-mile. With seven-sixteenths of the mile to go, Planet Rock slid second-over to draft behind a strong middle move from even-money favorite World Apart (Tim Tetrick), only to be left uncovered on entry to the far turn. Jim Marohn, Jr. continued to progress with the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover, achieving the lead midway on the far turn.   Planet Rock would face stern resistance from World Apart off the corner, but she started to edge away at the eighth pole just as World Apart stumbled. Planet Rock ultimately drew off to win by 2-3/4 lengths, missing See You At Peelers's track record for freshman pacing fillies by two-fifths of a second. That's the Ticket (Marcus Miller) worked into second off live cover, while Artrageous (Jim Morrill, Jr.) emerged from traffic to save third.   Planet Rock gave owner Kenneth Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano a sweep of the jointly-favored New York Sire Stakes events, as their Robin J ($5.10) vaulted off second-over cover to capture the earlier co-feature in 1:54.3. Tim Tetrick was aboard the daughter of Roll With Joe and Mommy Robin Q for the half-length triumph over American Cheer (John MacDonald) and That's How We Roll (Ray Schnittker).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Wednesday (August 10), with a special nine-race twilight card due to commence at 5:10 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

YONKERS, NY, Monday, July 18, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $150,425 New York Sire Stakes Clyde Hirt Pace for harness racing 2-year-old fillies. Five divisions went at it, with a 'dead-heat' for fastest femme. Odds-on numbers Planet Rock ($2.90) and Robin J ($2.10) both owned by Ken Jacobs, trained by Linda Toscano and driven by Tim Tetrick, won in life-bests 1:56. The first two events went for $29,725 and $30,325, respectively. The former is a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, while the latter is a Roll with Joe lass. The ma'ams have each won two races in as many tries begin their careers. Toscano and Tetrick did it a tick slower in the fourth ($30,325) event as pole-sitting Worlds Apart ($2.20) opened through the lane in win her purse debut by 8¼ lengths. The daughter of Art Major, 2-for-2 to begin her career, is co-owned by the stable quartet of Radio Racing, Bay's, South Mountain and Little E. The fourth puny parimutuel of the sire stakes evening was a final-gathering ($29,725) Roaring to Go (Brett Miller, $2.70). She matched World Apart's 1:56.1 effort with a snappy, uncovered :27.4 third quarter. The margin was 4¾ lengths for "Roaring'. The daughter of Art Major, owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, is now 2-for-3 in her early going. Jordan Stratton had his sire stakes moment in the sun (it was night racing, but play along) with a first-up That's How We Roll ($19.20), taking the third ($30,325) event in a maiden-busting 1:56.4. Trainer Ray Schnittker co-owns the Art Major miss with Mary Kinsey and Steven Arnold. Frank Drucker

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- She's A Billionair's front-running style paid big dividends in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly pacers on Wednesday night (June 6) at Buffalo Raceway as she set a new track record for that classification with an easy three-length win over Artrageous in 1:56.2.   The time erased the old mark of 1:56.3 established in 2011 by Silky Purse and tied by Summertime Lea in 2012.   It was also great night for driver Tim Tetrick, owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano as the trio teamed up to win two Sire Stake divisions. Robin J was the fastest winner for the connections with a gate-to-wire victory in 1:57.2 while stablemate Planet Rock covered the fast Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:58.0.   Okidoki Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the final $27,750 leg by rolling to a 1:59.0 triumph over Rollingndiamonds (Brett Miller).   She's A Billionair ($10.20) was in command the entire mile as she stepped off panels of 29.0, 58.4 and 1:28.1. There was little doubt was the winner was going to be in the stretch as Brett Miller was in a prone position under the wire with She's A Billionair in 1:56.2. Artrageous (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second best while Yourlipstogodsears (Tetrick) took third.   "She's a small filly who is built for this kind of track," Miller said She's A Billionair. "She felt really good, is good gaited, and can scoot around these tight turns on a half-mile track."   The Winbak Farm-bred She's A Billionair (Artiscape-She's Game) is owned by Frank Chick and trained by Dylan Davis.   Robin J had little problem in disposing of her field as she went wire-to-wire to defeat That's How We Roll by 2-1/4 lengths while Lady Of Heaven (Brett Miller) took the show spot.   Setting fractions of 29.2, 59.2 and 1:29.3, Robin J (Roll With Joe-Mommy Robin Q) was never threatened along the way in posting her first pari mutuel win.   Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Villa Hanover) let Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) do all the dirty work on the front end and then rolled on by late to capture the opening division in 1:58.0.   Roaring To Go zoomed out to the lead off the gate and set splits of 29.2, 59.3 and 1:29.4 but had no answer in deep stretch as the pocket-sitting Planet Rock ($7.10) uncorked a 27.4 final panel to key the half length victory. Rockinsangria (Morrill Jr.) took the show position.   Okidoki Blue Chip took the last division that was scratched down to a field of five as Roll With Faith, Twin B Onaroll and Under The Bus were all under the weather.   The front end was the place to be as Okidoki Hanover had no problem in getting the advantage and never looked back in posting the solid 3-1/2 length score over Rollingndiamonds while Donato's Artist (Chris Lems) finished in third.   Okidoki Hanover (Roll With Joe-Mattaroni) is trained by Tracy Brainard and co-owned by Brainard, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Howard Taylor and Charles Iannazzo.   In the $15,000 Excelsior Series A races, Funkymonkeysunshine (Yannick Gingras) covered the mile in 2:02.0 and paid $4.90 in the opening leg.   Gingras made it two straight in the A division as he guided Bullvillestephanie to a $19.20 upset in 2:00.1.   Haviture Way Honey ($3.70) went coast-to-coast and just held on by a nose to tip Megyn K in 2:00.2 with Andy Miller in the sulky in the third bracket.   Hayleigh's Hat (Kevin Cummings) pulled a $23.00 surprise in the final division with a 2:01.4 time.   In the $6,700 Excelsior B Series event, Island Adventure had a trouble-free 2:02.1 journey for Morrill Jr. and posted the popular $4.10 victory.   Mach This Way (Brett Miller) rallied in the passing lane and took the $9,000 feature for the filly and mares pace in 1:56.4 and returned $8.90.   Morrill Jr. finished the night with a triple while Gingras, Brett Miller and Tetrick all doubled. JD Perrin, Brainard and Toscano all had a pair of training victories.   Racing will return on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Nichols, N.Y. -- Harness racing driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano swept the 3-year-old Geers Stakes divisions at Tioga Downs on Monday (July 4) afternoon, with both Missile J ($3.80) and Cut and Paste ($3.60) prevailing in convincing fashion.   In the $66,375 Geers for pacing colts and geldings, Missile J pushed clear of Mr D's Dragon (Jim Meittinis) midway on the first turn, controlling a :57.1 first half before accelerating clear on the backstretch. The 3-year-old American Ideal gelding used a :26.3 third quarter to get the jump on his eight rivals, ultimately besting pocket foe Mr D's Dragon by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:51.2. Fine Diamond (Matt Kakaley) circled belatedly to save third while detached from the top pair.   Missile J, a 7-time winner, is owned by the KJ Stables, LLC and the Purple Haze Stables, LLC.   Cut and Paste took advantage of a pocket trip through the first eleven-sixteenths of the $53,375 filly division, tracking Mother of Art (Mark MacDonald) before vaulting clear on approach to the far turn. As soon as Tetrick vacated the pocket with the Well Said filly, she sprinted clear with authority. The 6-time winner mounted a six-length margin over eventual runner-up Encore Deo (Mike Simons) before Tetrick geared her down in the last 70 yards to a 1:53 triumph. Ghose Runner (Tom Jackson) used a third-over trip to take third, just missing Encore Deo for the place spot. Early pacesetter Mother of Art faded on the far turn, finishing last of the seven fillies.   Cut and Paste is owned by the Stake Your Claim Stable, the Camelot Stable, and Fred Wallace.   Tetrick completed a driving hat trick on the nine-race card with Nitro Seelster ($3.60) in the $11,000 Open Pace, fanning three-wide off the far turn and out-sprinting Andreos Kardia (Aaron Byron), who found a seam up the pegs in the last sixteenth with an abundance of pace, in 1:51.2.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 8), with first post slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

It was as uneventful an eight-hole trip as Missile J and harness racing driver Brian Sears, (part of entry) could possibly have wished for Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. A week after winning the lone, $40,000 elim for the 26th Rooney, Missile J was blind-drawed behind the eight-ball in a field of two 3-year-old colts and six geldings. He was in play early over a track that was moisturized by a fair amount of pre-card rain. Missile J fell into an open three-hole behind pole-sitting entrymate Artmagic (George Brennan) and Rodeo Rock (Dan Dube), who left a bit wide from post position No. 2 to make sure Missile J couldn't get around him early. Artmagic had things his own way over the "good" surface, getting a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and :56.1 intermission. The leader then lost his closest pursuer, as Rodeo Rock gave up the ghost chasing a :27.2 third quarter (1:23.3). Missile J had taken out of third by then, getting into second and picking up the scent of the leader. Artmagic owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but his night was about to end. Missile J and a handful of closers rolled by, with Missile J drawing out to win by 2¼ lengths in 1:53. Second-at 37-1-went to a much-improved Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker), with Yankee Artillery (Jordan Stratton), Artmagic and Manny (Brent Holland) settling for the smaller remainder. No Shame Blue Chip (Tyler Buter), Rodeo Rock and a breaking Tap into Power (Jason Bartlett) completed the order. For Missile J, an unraced-at-2, $100,000 American Ideal gelding co-owned by Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables and trained by Linda Toscano, it was his fifth (consecutive) win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $51.50, with the triple returning $194.50. "Last week was his first (half-mile) start and he was a bit aggressive," Sears said. "Tonight, he was more relaxed and the trip, from an eight-hole, certainly worked out. I was happy with him in the elimination and happier tonight." "He just wasn't ready (last season)," Toscano said. "We had to take our time with him, and it's begun to pay off. The Rooney was always where we wanted to try him. He has (New York) sire stakes and open stakes on the schedule, and tonight was a good first step." Sears won the Rooney for a fourth time (Badlands Hanover-2008, Pet Rock-2012, In the Arsenal-2015), matching the number of one John Campbell. The race began in 1989, one year after the death of Art Rooney Sr. Frank Drucker

Ken Jacobs has enjoyed his share of success in harness racing, both on the national stage and at home in New York. He has campaigned horses such as Dan Patch Award winner Heston Blue Chip and stakes-winners Kenneth J, He's Gorgeous, Doctor Butch, Jewels In Hock, and Becca J, not to mention many other successful horses. He hopes he can add Missile J to the list in the future. Unraced at age 2, Missile J has won four of seven races this year and brings a four-race victory streak to Saturday's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old male pacers at Yonkers Raceway. The Linda Toscano-trained Missile J and driver Brian Sears won the single Rooney elimination last weekend at The Hilltop, but will need to fire like a rocket this weekend after drawing post No. 8 for the final. "On a half-mile track, it's very tough," Jacobs said about leaving from the outermost spot on the starting gate, which wins at a rate of 3.6 percent at Yonkers. "You need some luck. "He's a pretty fast horse and has a good attitude. He just has to stay sound. I've got the best trainer, so I'm very lucky. Very lucky. Linda and I have been together for 10 years, maybe longer, and she is very honest and loyal. I really like that. It's been a good partnership and we really enjoy each other." Missile J is a son of stallion American Ideal out of the mare Cantor's Daughter. Missile J was purchased for $100,000 under the name Newsmaker Bluechip at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. Missile J is a full brother to stakes-winner Brownsville Bomber and his family includes millionaire Cam Swifty and stakes-winner Lonesome Day. "I picked them all the same way," Jacobs said. "I have my own criteria that I go on. Once they fall into that, I look at their conformation and family. That's how I do it. If the conformation is there, that's the one I try to get. I really liked this horse. "He trained down real good last year, but he got sore so we just quit with him. He's a pretty nice horse." Jacobs owns Missile J with Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. "She said that every year I pick out winners, so could she have a piece of this one," Jacobs said, laughing. "She's such a wonderful person; she really is. She's good for the sport. She just loves the business. We're pretty good friends, so it was no problem. I'm happy Wanda is in on this horse." Missile J debuted with a ninth-place finish on Jan. 2, but since then hasn't been off the board in six races. His first win came in 1:51.1 on Feb. 20 in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands and he lowered his career mark to 1:51 with a victory at the Big M a week prior to the Rooney elimination. The triumph followed a respite of more than two months away from the races. "I gave him time off because I want him fresh for the rest of the year; we've got races all the way into November," Jacobs said. "That kind of helps him I think, giving him a little rest in between." Missile J is staked to the top races on the New York circuit and also has the Progress Pace on his schedule. "I didn't put him in the Breeders Crown or Meadowlands Pace because I wasn't sure how he was going to come back," said Jacobs, who owns a company with multiple locations in upstate New York that distributes electric motors, drives, controls, motor parts and power transmission products. "I thought he was going to be OK, but winning a couple non-winners of two (conditions) you don't know if you can go with the big guys. "He's got the Empire Breeders Classic and the New York Sire Stakes, races that I enjoy. I'm a New York kind of guy. (Driver) John Campbell calls me 'Billy Joel.' That's my nickname to him. He says I'm just a New York kind of guy. I just enjoy the racing. I have to go against the big guys; little old me, I (own) five or six horses. People think I buy 50 horses every year, but I really don't. I usually get two colts and two fillies. But I'm very passionate about it." In the Rooney final, elimination runner-up Rodeo Rock will start from post two for driver Daniel Dube and trainer Don Swick. He finished 1-3/4 lengths behind Missile J, who paced 1:53.2 for the win. Elimination third-place finisher Artmagic, owned by Purple Haze Stables and coupled with Missile J in the wagering, will start the final from post No. 1. George Brennan is listed to drive for trainer Trond Smedshammer. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $100,000 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old female pacers. For more, click here. Ken Weingartner

Wil DuBois is the kind of kid you want to see succeed in harness racing, if only because he loves it so much. A third generation horseman along with his brother, Thomas, and sister, Samantha, Wil proudly states that the sport is in his blood. For any doubters, consider two stories to prove the point. The first came during Wil’s junior year of playing football for Biddeford High School in Maine. At the time, he was also helping out his dad, Todd, at their stable and was unable to make football weightlifting sessions. He still lifted on his own, but the coach wasn’t buying it. “He said football comes before family and stuff,” DuBois said. “I said ‘You know what, I’d rather be with the horses anyway.’” He continued to play lacrosse that year and, after early graduation in February 2015, Wil and Thomas went to New Jersey so Wil could work with trainer Linda Toscano. That’s where the second story comes in. Thomas took a job and Wil worked with Linda while both lived in a hotel room. Because Wil didn’t have a car, Thomas eventually quit his job so Wil could get to the stables every day. It was a sacrifice in the name of Standardbreds, but it eventually cost the brothers. “It was pretty cool,” said DuBois, who turns 20 in August. “But I really wasn’t making enough money to support both of us. He couldn’t find another job, so we came back up this way. I lived with my uncle (Billy DuBois) and started working for him.” That wasn’t really a problem, since Wil considers working with horses about the greatest thing on earth. He earned his first driving win last October and since getting his trainer’s license, has garnered four training victories since April. Wil’s fraternal grandparents, Gordon and Jane DuBois, and maternal grandfather, the late Raymond Sawyer, are all Standardbred veterans. Todd and his wife, Donna, fell right in line, and their kids are keeping the tradition alive. Samantha works with Todd in his barn and will attend Morrisville for horsemanship, and 23-year-old Thomas is in his fourth year at Scarborough as the youngest paddock judge in the U.S. For good measure, their cousin Jordan Derue is one of the leading drivers at Saratoga in New York. “They all seemed to gravitate toward the horses,” Todd said. “It’s almost like they’re born into it; like there was never going to be a question for any of the kids.” There’s a reason for that. “The biggest thing is they actually love the animals,” Todd said. “Even if there’s not a lot of money, if you wake up and can be around horses and enjoy your day that’s all the money you need in the world. I think they see that. “Not that you don’t need to make money and pay your bills and eat; because you do. But Wil’s out hustling. He jogs horses; he does what he needs to do. He’s not sitting around doing nothing. He helps his grandfather, he helps his uncle.” He is literally living the dream, except for the part where he has to work part-time at a bakery to pay his bills. “When I was younger I got interested in different stuff but I’ve always wanted to train horses,” he said. “Train and drive, that’s always been my dream. I’m up every day at the barn. I’d rather be there than at the bakery.” You know it’s serious. Who doesn’t want to be at a bakery? Actually, Wil would rather still be in New Jersey, which was the original hope when Todd hooked him up with Toscano. “I’d like to see him get out of Maine, and I got him the job with Linda and thought maybe he could launch from there, but it was tough with the two guys down there and just one job between them,” Todd said. “But he definitely learned some stuff with Linda. “They’ve got a higher class animal. They’re in a different league. It’s more condensed. I have 15 horses, and two or three of us take care of them. Down there, you’re only going to take care of three or four. It’s more polished.” Wil found it to be a great experience. “It was really cool,” he said. “I got to see (2012 Hambletonian winner) Market Share, ($1 million-earner) Doctor Butch. I got to see how differently New Jersey is from Maine. It’s a lot more business, where up here it’s more of a family thing. I loved every minute of it. Hard work every day. Seven days a week -- no time to get in trouble.” Asked if he tends to get in trouble, Wil laughed and said “Oh yeah, once in a while.” Fortunately, he has put trouble on the backburner, getting his provisional driving license and trainer’s license within the last seven months. At 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, DuBois’ frame is not conducive to driving. But on Oct. 3 at the Cumberland Fair he drove Real Yankee to get his first win. “It was surreal, it was the best feeling I ever had in my life,” Wil said. “It was pretty cool, too, because I was working for my uncle Billy. That day we had three in and we won all three races.” His first training win came in April, and he has amassed three more since. “That was a little different than the driving win,” DuBois said. “The horse I won with last year was my own. My uncle was the trainer, my grandfather was the owner, I didn’t have any of those licenses yet. These horses I don’t own so it’s kind of different.” Wil enjoys climbing in the sulky, but realizes his size limits what he can do. “I like messing around in the amateurs and stuff,” he said. “If I ever get down (in weight) to drive later, I’d love to drive.” “I think he’s good at both driving and training,” Todd said. “It’s his dream to be a driver, but there’s not many 6-2 guys out there. Jason Bartlett is 6-2 but he’s a beanpole. Wil’s quite capable for being a driver, not just because he’s my son, but he’s got a good set of hands and gets along with the horses. He makes good moves.” DuBois’ immediate plans are to stay in Maine for the summer, work with his family and check out the racing in Maine and Massachusetts. He feels “the fair season up here is always the best. It’s peaceful, everybody knows each other. It’s a fun atmosphere.” He and Todd also know that for Wil to advance, he will need to move elsewhere. In the winter, he will see where things stand and is hoping to go to Florida “and learn some things.” Where he ends up depends on what kind of position he gets. “It depends if I get a job offer or if we can find somebody who wants to race down there,” Wil said. “If we can find someone who wants to race I would love to go to Pompano. If not, I wouldn’t mind breaking babies somewhere.” He has at least one guy in his corner who feels he can make it. “I think that he’s going to have a good career,” Todd said. “He’s a good horseman, he’s got a good set of hands. He gets along with them. He knows what he needs to do.” More importantly, he knows what he wants to do. “It’s all about keeping the horses happy,” he said. “This has been in my blood. I don’t focus on anything else.” A high school football coach and an older brother willing to give up his job and car can both vouch for that. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (January 8, 2016) - The $25,000 Open I Handicap Trot was the featured event on the Friday night harness racing program at The Meadowlands. A highly competitive field of nine went to the gate, with Lindy's Tru Grit a slight 2-1 favorite at post time. There was plenty of speed off the gate as Uva Hanover, Opulent Yankee and Somebody As all left for position. Only two of those remained trotting after the first quarter as Opulent Yankee went off-stride on the first turn. Somebody As grabbed the racetrack through a 26.4 sharp opening quarter. Uva Hanover was content to sit the pocket behind the leader through a 55.2 half mile. On the far turn, Lindy's Tru Grit, who was stalking the leaders made his move for the lead, which he reached past three-quarters in 1:24. It was his race to lose in the stretch, but Uva Hanover was guided off the pylons and began to reel in the favorite. Uva Hanover took over in mid-stretch and powered away to a sharp two length score in a lifetime best 1:52.2. Lindy's Tru Grit remained second with Can Do rallying well to finish third. The win was the 14th for Uva Hanover, whose earnings are approaching $350,000 lifetime. He is trained by Linda Toscano for Stake Your Claim Stable and Martin Sternberg. Fresh from his trip to Australia, Tim Tetrick guided the five year old gelded son of Cantab Hall to the victory. March Awareness Upsets Open II Trot A tepid pace and a pocket trip resulted in a 9-1 upset for March Awareness in the supporting feature on Friday night at The Meadowlands. Allowed to sit behind the lone-leader. Lauderdale who wheeled off fractions of 28.1, 57.3 and 1.26.4, March Awareness slingshot by in deep stretch to score in 1:55 for Yannick Gingras. The win was the 19th in the career of March Awareness with earnings of $219,740. He is trained by Ron Burke, who co-owns the six year old gelded son of Ken Warkentin with Weaver Bruscemi L.L.C. Team Orange Crush Pairs Up Andy and Julie Miller teamed up to score a pair of trotting wins early on the card at The Meadowlands on Friday night with Magenta Man and Allerage Star. Magenta Man scored in a non-winners of two condition event in a lifetime best 1:55.4, while Allerage Star did not disappoint as the 2-1 favorite from post 10 in a non-winners of six trotting event. Both trotters are owned in part by Jeff Gural’s Little E L.L.C. After sweeping the late daily double, Yannick Gingras bagged four winners on the card. Jim Marohn Jr., Andy Miller and Trond Smedshammer each won a pair. Total handle on the 14-race program was $2,879,881. Racing returns on Saturday, with first post time at 6:35 P.M. Darin Zoccali

A rare Monday card (Sept. 28) from Harrah's Philly featured two divisions of The Liberty Bell for 3-year-old filly pacers and a pair of upper-conditioned level events on the pace as well. Linda Toscano trainee Better Said (S. Zeron) took the first division of The Liberty Bell. The daughter of Well Said was leading the compact field of five when top contender Well Hello There (Gingras) broke at the quarter pole. Better Said led every step of the way in 1:53.1. It was her fifth victory of the year, her first since a mid July overnight win here at Harrah's Philly. She is owned by Brittany Farms. Steve Elliott charge Bodacious (S. Allard) continued her winning ways in division two. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere took off the early pace, settling in fifth from post one. She was able to grind into striking position, holding off the upset minded Deli Beach (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) to win by a head in 1:52.2. She is owned by Conrad Zurich and Hauser Bros. Racing. In other news, aged pacer Sky Is The Limit (S. Allard) was game in victory in a non-winners of $20,000 in the last 5 starts or non-winners of 9 races or $90,000. The 5-year-old son of Western Ideal drafted behind cover until three-quarters, edging wide to defeat pace-setter Bettors Glass in 1:51.3. It was career win 16 for the Shaun Vallee trainee, starting for the ninetieth time. Owned by Darius Oshidar, he paid $7.00 to win. Richard and Dale Julich's Badix Hanover won his third straight on Monday. The 3-year-old gelded son of Western Ideal led at every quarter, completing the mile in a lifetime's best 1:50.3. The race was for non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 or non-winners of 7 races or $70,000 lifetime. The Kevin Mc Dermott trainee was heavily favored in the event. Michael Bozich

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