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WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer John Butenschoen took the first three of five divisions of the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for harness racing two-year-old trotting colts on a "sloppy" track Sunday at Mohegan Sun Pocono - but he lost his streak in the fourth, ironically with the only baby who had a win in each of the first two legs.   But success comes first, and a Butenschoen trainee was the fastest of the five winners: Giveitgasandgo, a Yankee Glide colt who has now won three in a row, the last two Sires events, Sunday overcoming the outermost post seven by making every pole a winning one in 1:57.1. Corey Callahan, who has been a red-hot teammate of Butenschoen's in stakes events lately, guided the odds-on winner for the ownership of Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc., David Miller, Lawrence Means, and VIP Internet Stable LLC.   Callahan also sulkysat behind one of Butenschoen's two other Sire Stakes winners, both of whom had been Stallion Series winners that have now made the successful stepup to Sire Stakes competition. Corey was handling the Crazed gelding Simply Volo, second choice of the crowd, who parlayed a second-over trip into a new mark of 1:58.4 for owners Miller and Means, giving them a stakes double along with Giveitgasandgo, and their partners in Simply Volo, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eugene Schick.   Mike Simons, Pocono's "Trot Man," drove the third Butenschoen winner, the Andover Hall gelding Wiagram Hanover, and for very good reason - he is a co-owner of the rookie, along with Christopher Giaccio and Albert Abdala III. Simons moved Wiagram Hanover from fifth to first during the second quarter and put a new lifetime mark of 1:58 on the 3-1 third choice.   The stage was thus set when Butenschoen sent out Dover Dan, as noted the only double winner in the Sires to date, but a glance at the tote board which held him as 8 to 5 second choice augured anything but a waltz here. The 1 to 2 favorite was the Muscle Massive gelding Muscles Jared, coming off successive 1:56.1 scores, and the powerful trotter rolled to his third straight win in 1:58, by open lengths over Andy M, with Dover Dan tiring after a first-over trip and finishing third. Trainer George Ducharme and owner Al Ross, part of Team Royalty For Life a couple of years back, look to have a fine one in the making here - and they did well in picking John Campbell as the driver, as not too far back in Muscles Jared's pedigree you'll find Armbro Keepsake, a champion mare whom Campbell guided to a Breeders Crown victory.   Muscle Massive garnered a siring double in the other division, which looked the most competitive having gathered four previous Sires winner, but the chalk prevailed in Snowstorm Hanover, a colt who was on the lead at the ¾ in the Peter Haughton Final before making a miscue. Snowstorm's demeanor was perfect tonight despite the off going, powering home from second-over for a 1:57.3 victory for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Ron Burke (back in the same winners circle where he stood 24 hours earlier with Southwind Frank after winning the Colonial), and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Frank Baldachino, Phillip Collura, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   As this group of trotters heads to Harrah's Philadelphia for its final preliminary on September 1 (their Championship and Consolation races are also at the Philadelphia oval on September 11), to call the pointstandings "crowded" would be an understatement. With a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1 point system based on finish (and an *asterisk indicating two-time winners below), the unofficial standings after three legs are *Dover Dan, 85; *Giveitgasandgo, 80 (giving Butenschoen the top two spots); You Cant Habit, 75; *Muscles Jared, 72; Moonshiner Hanover and *Snowstorm Hanover, tied with 70; Affair Of Honor, 60 (also a Butenschoen); and Box Of Luck, 58. The top eight get into the Championship event; two AEs also are programmed and can draw into the race until 6 p.m. the night before; those two spots right now are occupied by Andy M and Phi Alpha, tied at 55. And with ten horses "on the bubble" at less than 20 points behind the top eight, the action at Harrah's should be fierce the first day of September.   They'll be catching on soon, Marcus.   Marcus Miller, "Mr. Longshot" at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono over the last two years, won the eleventh and twelfth races at the mountain oval Sunday night and rocked the toteboard with a 1-2 punch -- first he guided Soda Pump to an $83.80 victory, and then he followed up in the very next race with $71.20 stunner Goldin Parachute.   For Miller, the "twin bombers" were his seventh and eighth at the 2016 meet -- last year he led Pocono for the entire year's racing with five winners of $50 or more. Since July 1, he's had six of the twelve horses in this price category, two of them coming within three races on Super Stakes Saturday on July 2, giving him two cards with two $50+ winners in 2016. Tom Jackson is his nearest rival at the current Pocono meet with four longshot triumphs.   It should be noted that the trainer of Soda Pump is Clifton Green, who's getting to be the "Mr. Longshot" of the training set. This $83.80 winner gives him three on the meet, tying him at the top of the Pocono conditioners' list with a person that will surprise some -- Ron Burke. On July 26, Miller and Green hooked up to produce $154.20 winner Larson Hanover at Pocono.   PHHA / Pocono  

Vernon, N.Y. -- Fresh off a track-record performance at Tioga Downs in last week's Geers Stakes, Cougar Bait ($5.00, part of entry) proved dominant in Friday (August 19) evening's lone $10,000 Kindergarten Classic preliminary for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, carded as race two at Vernon Downs   Marcus Miller brushed the Western Terror-No One Is Alone gelding to the fore after a :27.2 first quarter before rating a :57.3 middle half. Upon turning for home, Cougar Bait felt mild pressure from 3-5 favorite Lindythefourteenth (Scott Zeron), edging clear easily off the corner--Lindythefourteenth broke stride only after he began to regress. Meanwhile, Cougar Bait drew off by 4-3/4 lengths over his stablemate Harry Terror (Andy McCarthy), who rallied belatedly to take second from Manattack (Chris Lems). The 1:51.4 mile time gave Cougar Bait a new lifetime mark in his third consecutive win.   John Butenschoen trains Cougar Bait for the Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Inc., Jeremey Day, Tangie Massey, and the VIP Internet Stable, LLC.   Miller scored a stakes double at the Miracle Mile, making gradual gains with Ameraway ($3.90, part of entry) through the stretch en route to a 1:53 win over Well What's New (Zeron) and V String (McCarthy) in the tenth event, a Kindergarten preliminary for pacing fillies. Trainer Erv Miller co-owns the daughter of American Ideal and Shyaway with Paymaq Racing, the aforementioned Tangie Massey, and Neil Cumsky.   The earlier Kindergarten split for fillies, carded as race six, saw Caviart Ally ($3.80, part of entry) make all the pace and accelerate through the far turn for a 1:53.2 score over pocket rival Someonesomewhere (Miller) and the belatedly-gaining Jenny's Terror (Fern Paquet, Jr.). Andy McCarthy drove the daughter of Bettor's Delight and Allamerican Cool for trainer Noel Daley and owner Caviart Farms.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 20) evening; post time is set for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Pocono "King Of The Longshots" struck again in the last race of July, and paid $95.40 to win. Harness racing driver Marcus Miller had five winners pay $50 or more to win during the course of the 139-card 2015 meet at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono to top all other members of the local driving colony.   In Sunday's 14th race at the mountain oval, Miller rallied Savannah Sunset out of the pocket for a half-length 1:57.4 maiden victory, with the $95.40 winner his sixth bomber of the meet, in only 74 cards - he already has more longshot victories this year over last, in about half the number of cards!   In July there were seven horses who paid more than $50 at Pocono - Miller had four of them, including two within three races on July 2, which was only Sun Stakes Saturday Championship Night, one of harness racing's best cards of 2016. And just as he got the first two of the month, Marcus also won with the last two bombers: prior to this "mere" $95.40 winner, last Tuesday Miller clicked with Larson Hanover to the tune of $154.20.   One can understand a possible reluctance to wager on Savannah Sunset - the sophomore trotting filly only had one second and one third to her credit in 14 career outings. But area fans had been tipped on July 12 to the magic that Marcus Miller can create when matched with a Neal Ehrhart-trained trotter: that night Sheza Tim Too, who had one win and no seconds in 62 prior career starts, visited Victory Lane to raise her lifetime win ratio from 1.6% to 3.2%, paying "only" $37.40.   The win was the fourth of the Sunday night card at Pocono for Marcus Miller, who has just cracked the top five in meet victories. None of his quartet of Sunday winners was favored; in fact, they grew in price over the evening: $6.00 in the fourth and $12.40 in the ninth, and then a $33.80 shot in the thirteen before combining with Savannah Sunset in the fourteenth - for a $2,445.00 Marcus Miller Late Double, on which a total of $2 was wagered.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing driver Marcus Miller, eastern Pennsylvania's "King Of The Longshots" for the last couple of years, had had four $50+ winners at the current meet at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and he was in sole possession of the lead in that category until Tom Jackson drove a pair of longshots back to Victory Lane last night to equal Miller for the meet high at four.   It didn't take Marcus long to reclaim the top - and in a spectacular way.   Mille reined Larson Hanover to a $154.20 victory in Tuesday's third race at The Downs, sitting a pocket trip behind favored Fashion Winner and catching that one to win by a head and return the boxcar mutuel. For lessee/trainer Clifton Green, the bomber was his second such conditioning success at the mountain oval this season, tying him with Steve Salerno for second, one behind a person who can win with favorites or longshots - Ron Burke, who has three $50+ horses at the meet despite being second in the training standings.   It's not that the two-year-old Larson Hanover hadn't shown some talent while taking a grand tour of Pennsylvania: he debuted at Philly, where he closed for second but was placed fourth for a pylon violation; at Gratz Fair he was second early after five of his eight opponents made breaks before the ¼, but he too then lapsed from trotting; that misbehavior was repeated in his last start at The Meadows, though he was in against Sire Stakes company. Perhaps the red clay surface was just what Larson Hanover needed to win - and light up the tote board.   The longshot triumph came in the middle of a consecutive triple for Marcus Miller, with bookend mutuels of $10.40 and $34.40. The five $50+ triumphs at Pocono now matches Miller's entire output here in 2015, where he led the track in such victories.   After Miller's triple, Andrew McCarthy won the next three races in a row, though with better-regarded horses: $4.40, $8.00, and $8.20.   PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Summer Wind made a big first-over move into the far turn and blew away her competition in the $15,500 mares featured pace Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning by 6½ lengths in 1:51.1.   Driver Jim Marohn Jr. kept the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover off a three-ply duel to the 26 quarter, then sent her up raw after favored leader Request For Parole before the 55 half.   The chalk still clung to a nose lead at the 1:23.2 3/4s, but the momentum was all behind the winner as she cruised away from the field, with Envious Hanover and Tataria claiming the minor honors. The $5.80 second choice of the Tuesday Pocono bettors, The Summer Wind is trained by Greg White for owners Charles Rowe and Lewis Whitaker Jr.   Marcus Miller continued to burnish his credentials as a master handler of longshots, as he got the most out of Energizer Ivy ($28.60) and Sheza Tim Too ($37.40), the latter a trotter with one win and no seconds in 65 previous career starts, but here a wire-to-wire winner while lowering her mark 2 3/5 seconds to 1:57.1 with Miller in the sulky.   Marcus is the leading producer of $50+ winners at the current Pocono meet with four, including two within three races on Sun Stakes Saturday Championship Night - which puts him in good position to defend his 2015 Pocono "title" in this category, having had five such bombers last year.   From the PHHA Media Department

Drivers Marcus Miller and Tim Tetrick both won three $20,000 first round divisions of Pennsylvania Stallion Series action for harness racing two-year-old pacing colts Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but it was a member of that dying-off “breed,” the trainer/driver – Pat Lachance – who guided the fastest freshman, Fullback, a 1:53.2 winner. Lachance had the early lead with the winning Bettor’s Delight colt, then yielded to favored Jo Pa’s Somebeach. In the stretch, Fullback came home like Jim Brown bulling his way to the end zone, closing into a 27.2 last quarter to beat out the pacesetter by a length and (like all the Stallion Series winners) taking a new mark for Lachance and the ownership of Down Easters Alroy Chow, Stanley Sclar, and “transplant” Del Cote. Fullback returned 8-1 at the mutuel wickets; there was one other non-favorite among the septet of winners, and if given a choice of that horse’s handler between Miller and Tetrick, one would logically go for Miller, who guided two $50+ horses home the previous night. And indeed it was Marcus Miller beating out the chalk Artist’s Ruffles with the Dragon Again gelding Epic Union, also an 8-1 proposition, coming from second-over to win in 1:55.3 for trainer Erv Miller (at Goshen with daughter Hannah as she was honored as Amateur Driver of the Year) and owners David and John Prushnok, Ervin Miller Stable Inc., and Paymaq Racing. Father/trainer Erv Miller and driver/son Marcus also clicked with another son of Dragon Again, the colt Maconupwiththedragon, who led coast-to-coast in 1:53.4, with back fractions of 56.1 – 27.4 for owner Ronald Michelon. Marcus’s third Stallion Series winner was behind the Les Givens-trained Ponder colt Ponderingjacksfame, another who led at every call, coming home in 27.3 to complete a 1:53.3 package fort Nanticoke Racing Inc., Jim Magno, and Joe Fonte. Tetrick’s Stallion Series triple, all behind favorites as the paragraphs above imply, included back-to-back wins for trainer Jo Ann Looney-King and owner Paton Racing Stable Inc., with both timed in 1:54.2. First up was the Well Said gelding Hulk Hanover, who marched to the front in front of the stands en route to victory; the other gave Dragon Again his third siring credit as the gelding Donttellmeagain became the only winner to run his record to two-for-two with an early move en route to the biggest victory margin, six lengths. Tetrick’s third triumph in the stake was behind Outcry, a colt who gave Well Said two winners in the first round action when he went to the lead early, backed off the half, then blitzed home clear in 1:57.3 for conditioner Mark Harder and owners Rick Phillips, Peter Venturini, and Deena Frost. Miller and Tetrick made the Pocono winners circle their own gladiator ring on Sunday, each winning five times in the first 12 races, with one-race visits from Lachance and Andrew McCarthy. Both were on the track trying to score the knockout blow in the 13th and final race, and both were at their “preferred” odds – Tetrick as second choice, Upset King Marcus at 24-1 – but David Miller ruined this showdown by checking home first, with Tetrick and Miller at honors-even with their quintuples. PHHA / POCONO

Although Southwind Frank sports the divisional crown and rightfully so, he is surrounded by harness racing rivals seeking to snatch that glistening accessory on every occasion he places a hoof upon the track. In this Saturday's (June 25) $25,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Trolley tosses himself into the fray, to not only derail the champion's journey to the Hambletonian, but to launch his own bid to sport the crown. "He already thinks he is the king of the barn," said Erv Miller, the colt's conditioner. "I'm standing in front of his stall right now (Thursday, June 23) and I already had to put three or four boards higher on it than what is normal for the other horses because he always tries to jump over it to get out. He is trying to talk and play with everyone else in the barn to let them know he's there." A son of Donato Hanover and the Duke Of York mare Lakeside Bride, who is a half-sister to stakes-winner King Conch, Trolley was purchased for $30,000 by Paymaq Racing, Leland Mathias, Greg Gillis and Louis Willinger at the 2014 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The royally bred colt, whose granddam, Conch, is a daughter of the legendary Bonefish, may not have acquired a legion of devoted followers due to his brief career (3-2-0-0, $43,501), however, his connections are confident he will stake his claim for the throne when he begins trotting from post position three in Saturday's ninth race with Marcus Miller guiding him. Trolley, despite being lightly raced, is 6-1 on the morning line, but will have to face stiff opposition in Southwind Frank (post position eight, 5-2), Love Matters (post position two, 3-1), Bar Hopping (post position six, 4-1) and Lagerfeld (post position four, 5-1) to advance to the $500,000 final on July 2. The colt certainly merits attention as he defeated 2015 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Lagerfeld in his only performance this season at Pocono and also outlasted Earn And Burn, who is out of a full sister to millionaire Dejarmbro, for his maiden breaking score last year at the same venue. "He has done everything we have asked of him," Miller said. "We also have very high hopes for him. After that race last year, he came out of it with what we thought was a foot abscess. When it did not come out, we found a small spot on his coffin bone that we thought might have been bothering him so we just gave him time. He's a big, strong horse and has came back very well. We have a schedule planned for him, but he will tell us where to go whenever he is ready." Trolley is short on experience but Miller feels his natural ability and mind will allow him to ascend to the elite ranks of his division. His trainer's only question is if he can manage the horse appropriately. That speaks volumes coming from a trainer with Miller's resume. "Our concern is keeping him sound," Miller said. "He's a healthy horse so that's not the issue, but he is just such a good-feeling animal. We worry he is going to tear himself up in the barn with all the energy he has. "The other day he was out running in the paddock and just enjoying what he was doing so much I had to go out there and stop him. He is a well-mannered horse, but he just puts everything into anything that he does. Once he actually starts racing more, rather than take that kind of activity down a notch, I'm wondering if he will go the other way and think even more of himself." The colt is staked to all the engagements his colleagues will be contesting throughout the year, but Miller will be cautious regarding in which spots Trolley performs. "He is eligible to everything," Miller said. "We do believe in him because he is a very nice horse. We put him on the lead in his first (stakes) race and he did it, then finished. In his second race, he sat right in the pocket for us without being asked and made his move on his own. Not many horses, especially trotters, with limited experience have enough of a mind to do that for you. "We are very pleased with him and are very excited for not only this race, but the rest of the season. It's all up to him. We just have to listen to what he says and keep him happy." Below are the fields for the two Earl Beal Jr. Memorial eliminations on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. $25,000 7TH RACE ELIMINATION:   1, Brooklyn Hill by Muscle Hill,  David Miller, Jonas Czernyson;   2, Dayson by Conway Hall,  Jim Morrill Jr., Ron Burke;   3, Milligan's School by Yankee Glide,  Andy Miller, Julie Miller;   4, Jimmy William by Cantab Hall, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;   5, Jack Vernon by Muscle Hill, Tim Tetrick, Randy Beeckman;   6, Dupree by Andover Hall, Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt;   7, Reigning Moni by Donato Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter;   8, Truemass Volo by Muscle Massive, Eric Goodell, Doug Hamilton;   9, Hollywood Highway by Muscle Massive, John Campbell, Staffan Lind.   $25,000 9TH RACE ELIMINATION:   1, Dice Man by SJ's Caviar,  Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt;   2, Love Matters by Explosive Matter,  Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;   3, Trolley by Donato Hanover, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller;   4, Lagerfeld by Yankee Glide, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter;   5, Iron Mine Bucky by Explosive Matter, George Dennis, Greg Haverstick;   6, Bar Hopping by Muscle Hill, Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter;   7, Promise Delivered by Muscle Hill,  Andrew McCarthy, Staffan Lind;   8, Southwind Frank by Muscle Hill, Gingras also listed, Ron Burke;   9, Leggs Matter by Explosive Matter,  David Miller, Robert W. Clark.   Ken Weingartner  

Stirling Debutant, 1-for-25 in two seasons of harness racing entering the 2016 campaign, completed a clean sweep of the Bobby Weiss Trotting Series for distaffs at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking all four preliminary legs and then romping to a 1:57.3 victory over sloppy going in the $30,000 series Championship on Tuesday night to keep her seasonal record unblemished after those five starts.   Stirling Debutant tucked third late on the first turn, then was moved uncovered by red-hot driver Anthony Napolitano before the half to gain on runaway leader Coherent, a maiden who had had gaiting problems but showed no misbehavior and much speed while posting an astounding 27.1 opening quarter over the offtrack, carrying on to the half in 56.4. But reality in the form of the 1-9 favorite set in late on the backstretch as Stirling Debutant cleared to the lead well before the 1:26.2 3/4s, coasting home to win by 12½ lengths over Squeals Of Delight, with Amorous Flirt, Coherent, and Baba Daba Do picking up the other checks in that order.   The chalkplayers, who had wagered $5165 of a $6708 win pool and $6139 of a $6861 show pool on the favorite, had a few anxious moments after the race, as driver Marcus Miller made an objection against Anthony Napolitano and Stirling Debutant, claiming that they had caused his charge Grandma Jan's Gems, who finished sixth, to go offstride around turn one. If the objection had been allowed, the maintenance department may not have had enough light bulbs for the increased demand from the tote board (Squeals Of Delight 39-1, Amorous Flirt 41-1, Coherent 40-1, Baba Daba Do 60-1), but after reviewing replays the judges let the finish under the wire stand as official.   A four-year-old daughter of Credit Winner, Stirling Debutant had been trained by Christie Collins for owners J M F Racing LLC in the four prelims, but in the week before the final she was purchased by the combine of Randy Bendis, Thomas Pollack, Jack Piatt II, and R. Lewis Hauber, and transferred to the barn of former Downs training leader Steve Salerno. And whatever technique the old team found to turn around Stirling Debutant, it continued in the Weiss Final for her new connections.   Finishing seventh and last in the Weiss Final was 7-1 second choice Ready Any Time, who made a break before the first turn. Her driver was David Miller, and the incident was about the only false step put in by a Miller-driven horse on Tuesday. David entered the night with $199,964,811 in career driving earnings, and was looking to join his fellow Hall of Famers John Campbell ($295.9M) and Ron Pierce ($215.3M) as the only members of the $200 Million Drivers Club.   In his pre-Weiss drives, Miller posted a 7-3-3-1 tally, good for $29,320, putting him at $199,994,131, and if his filly could have lived up to the morning line (and the tote board) and finish second in the $30,000 Weiss Championship, the $7500 check would have put Miller over his goal. Instead, the break took out his best chance at reaching the magic $200M number this night, and despite a second ($2125) and a third ($1020) in post-Weiss drives, he came up just shy, with Miller's nightly earnings $32,465 (10-3-4-2) and his career tally oh-so-close to getting him the keys to the club at $199,997,276 (in hand-kept records to be verified by the USTA). The native Buckeye will be taking his familiar purple and white colors (garnished with a reddish-brown on this card while racing over the sloppy oval) to Harrah's Philadelphia tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, where the morning line projects him to earn over $8,000 and thus reaching the exclusive $200 Million Club and joining Campbell and Pierce.   **********   Pocono's next racing action will take place on Saturday; while the Thoroughbred world conducts its famous Kentucky Derby, Pocono will feature its only doubleheader program of the year. The first card of ten races is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.; the highlight of the sunshine racing will be three $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars race for state-sired three-year-old trotting colts, headed by last year's two-year-old Sire Stakes champion, Lagerfeld, making his seasonal debut.   After the completion of the early card, the focus will go over to the runners until the Derby is conducted, and then a 14-race evening program will begin soon after the Derby is official, with an anticipated start of 7 p.m. Highlighting the nighttime action will be the inaugural edition of two races for the best Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacers, the $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic for males and the $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania for females.   The fields for these two races were decided by elimination races held last Saturday, with an open post draw for the finals. Driver Yannick Gingras handled both Classic elim winners for trainer Ron Burke, and he chose to go with the faster elimination winner, Check Six (1:50.4, post four, 5-2), with David Miller picked to guide JK Will Power (1:51.1, post three, 3-1).   Also a highlight of the evening card is the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational Pace, named after the late local harness writer, which brings together some of harness's best free-for-all pacers.   With final drivers and morning line odds announced today, here are the fields for the three Saturday night feature races (post - horse (driver) - morning line odds):   Race 6 -- $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational Pace   1 - Take It Back Terry (Matt Kakaley) - 4-1 2 - P H Supercam (David Miller) - 6-1 3 - Hall Bro (Brett Miller) - 20-1 4 - Luck Be Withyou (George Napolitano Jr.) - 10-1 5 - JK Endofanera (Yannick Gingras) - 5-1 6 - Rockeyed Optimist (Tim Tetrick) - 3-1 7 - Cooperstown (Anthony Napolitano) - 12-1 8 - Bushwacker (Jim Morrill Jr.) - 15-1 9 - Bit Of A Legend N (Andrew McCarthy) - 5-2   Race 11 -- $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Pace Final   1 - Ivy League (Yannick Gingras) - 6-1 2 - Newborn Sassy (Tim Tetrick) - 5-1 3 - Sail To The Beach (George Napolitano Jr.) - 12-1 4 - Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) - 5-2 5 - Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) - 4-1 6 - Pure Country (Brett Miller) - 3-1 7 - I Said Please (Anthony Napolitano) - 15-1 8 - Save The Treasure (Jim Morrill Jr.) - 20-1 9 - I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley) - 10-1   Race 12 -- $561,5000 Pennsylvania Classic Pace Final   1 - Big Top Hanover (Matt Kakaley) - 4-1 2 - The Catamount Kid (Jody Jamieson) - 6-1 3 - JK Will Power (David Miller) - 3-1 4 - Check Six (Yannick Gingras) - 5-2 5 - Lyons Snyder (Scott Zeron) - 5-1 6 - Western Dynasty (Tim Tetrick) - 15-1 7 - JJ Flynn (Brett Miller) - 12-1 8 - Duke Of Delray (Andrew McCarthy) - 20-1 9 - Manhattan Beach (Jim Morrill Jr.) - 10-1   PHHA / Pocono

Not only did we have a full schedule of four nights of racing this week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but we also enjoyed gorgeous spring-like racing conditions for the first time all season. That combination practically guaranteed a wild and wonderful week of racing, and our horses delivered on that rock-solid promise with some of our fastest times and finest performances of the young meet. Let's take a look at the best of the best as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: SIMPLY BUSINESS It's easy for a horse to fall into a slump in the racing business, but sometimes it just takes a single win to get it moving in the right direction. Simply Business, a 7-year-old gelding whose career earnings are just shy of a million bucks, fell into just such a slump at the start of this year. Racing at Yonkers, he went in winless in ten starts, with just one place and one show for his efforts. He arrived at Pocono to face our lowest condition group on April 10. Simply Business found his stride in that one against the outclassed competition, going gate-to-wire for a comfortable win in 1:52. On Saturday night he stepped up to face an $11,000 condition class, and he watched as Last Dragon burned out to the lead and set an unconscious pace. Last Dragon kept on answering the challenges of those who tried to take the lead away, at least until the stretch. That's when Anthony Napolitano revved up Simply Business and he sped past to win by a neck. Trained by Bruce Lundstrom, the gelding not only picked up his second straight victory, but he also did it in a new career mark of 1:50. With the streak he's on now, don't look for him to return to our lowest condition class anytime soon. Other top pacers this week include: Bushwacker (Larry Stalbaum, Chris Ryder), who won Saturday night's featured condition pace and did so in 1:49:3, the week's fastest pacing time at Pocono; The Onlyest One (George Napolitano Jr., Dean Eckley), who overcame an outside post to win his second straight claimer, this one coming in a new lifetime mark of 1:51; and McAce Of Arts (Matt Kakaley, Jason Robinson), whose win in a claiming handicap for mares on Monday night in 1:52:1 gave her two straight victories and three in her last four. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: ALLERAGE STAR A 4-year-old mare from the barn of trainer Julie Miller, Allerage Star earned just shy of six figures as a 2-year-old in 2014 but wasn't quite as sharp last season as a sophomore. Her 4-year-old season looks like it might just be her most successful yet. She started the year off with three wins in seven starts while splitting time between tough competition at The Meadowlands and Yonkers. Her last start before arriving at Pocono was especially impressive, as she beat a condition field at Yonkers in gate-to-wire fashion in 1:55, a time which stood out considering it came on a soggy track. At Pocono on Saturday night in pristine conditions against a $15,500 condition group, Allerage Star was sent to the front end early by driver Marcus Miller, and she widened the lead as the race progressed. By the time the field had reached the stretch, the mare, an even-money favorite, was well out in front and Miller could relax. She geared down and still came home 2 ½ lengths in front of her nearest foe in 1:52:3. That time marked a new career-best for Allerage Star and was also the fastest posted by any trotter at Pocono so far in 2016. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Rockin The Pines (Marcus Miller, Clifton Green), who picked up his second win in his last three races with a claiming victory on Monday night in a career-best 1:55; Open Access (Matt Kakaley, Robert Baggitt Jr.) a 3-year-old filly who followed up her maiden victory last week with a condition victory win on Monday night, setting a new lifetime mark of 1:56:2 in the process; and Possessed Fashion (Jim Morrill Jr., Tom Fanning), who arrived from The Meadowlands to win a condition pace on Saturday night in 1:54:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MAJO JUST DO IT After a week or so of mostly chalk racing, this claiming pacer driven by Anthony Napolitano represented the bombers in a big way, winning at a stunning 95 to 1 to pay off $197 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MARCUS MILLER It seems like Marcus is poised for his biggest season yet at Pocono; this past week he had at least one winner each night and a driving triple on Saturday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RENE ALLARD Rene became the youngest trainer to ever win 3,000 races last week at Yonkers, and he added to those totals this past week at Pocono with multiple victories on Saturday and Sunday. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Begivlia, for Pocono Downs

DOVER, Del. --- Marcus Miller and PL Hoofhearted opened up in the stretch to score a 1:53 victory at Dover Downs on Thursday, Dec. 3. Corey Callahan and Ross Wolfenden had three wins each. PL Hoofhearted had been plagued with outside posts recently, and a change to post 5 was a plus, as the four-year-old Mach Three-Finally Focused gelding who picked up his seventh victory of the year winning the $20,000 3,4&5-Year-Old Claiming pace feature. Too Darn Hot (Jason Lynch) nipped Spartacus PV (Ross Wolfenden) for place money. Curran Racing LLC owns the Nick Surick-conditioned winner of $52,170 in 2015. Bret Brittingham, back after shoulder surgery and recovery, made it two in-a-row driving As Bad As Thunder to victory in 1:53.2 in the sub-feature $15,000 Male Claiming Allowance. The family owned-and-raced mainstay is owned by his mother, Elizabeth, and trained by his dad, Don Brittingham. The nine-year-old altered son of Badlands Hanover-Power Of Thunder won for the seventh time this year and 44th in his career. His lifetime earnings are $388,318. Csardas (Pat Berry) was next with Major Tipper (Callahan) a close third. Callahan and Wolfenden, numbers 1 and 3 in the driver win standings, had three wins apiece. Allan Davis, Jonathan Roberts and trainer Josh Green had a double. Marv Bachrad

There were four divisions of the Liberty Bell series at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 24) for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers, each going for a purse of $35,000. In the first division, it was Erv Miller charge McDave (Marcus Miller) with a gate-to-wire score.   The son of McArdle set fractions of :27.1, :56.2, and 1:25.3, before sprinting away to win by a wrapped-up 2 lengths in 1:53.   It was the fourth career win for McDave ($3.20), who is owned by Ron Michelon, and Dave and John Prushnok. Race two featured Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner Ideal Jimmy (Marcus Miller) as the heavy 1-5 race favorite.   An upset was in the cards however, as Joe and Vince Barbera's JJ Flynn (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) used a pocket trip to pick up the win.   The son of Western Ideal won by two lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:52.3.   It was the first career win for JJ Flynn ($13.80) in eight career start. He is trained by Chris Ryder.   Division three saw Tony Alagna trainee Sam McSmith best the field.   The son of McArdle settled in behind the early speed of the outside leavers.   He was able to successfully quarter-brush from that point, holding the lead until the finish, completing the mile in 1:54.1.   It was the third win in four starts for Sam McSmith (Tony Morgan), who is owned by Andray Farms and David J. Miller. He paid $10.80. In the fourth and final division, it was He's Marvalous (Marcus Miller) springing the upset ($29.20).   The son of Delmarvalous settled into the pocket behind the speed of favorite Pretty Boy Hill (George Brennan).   He vacated the pocket at the top of the stretch, going on to a two length win in 1:52.   He is owned by Badlands Racing and The L.A. Express Stable's, and trained by Erv Miller.   It was one of four wins on the day for Marcus Miller. Michael Bozich

There were four divisions of the Liberty Bell for 2-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing meetings at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 23), each going for a purse of $35,000. In the first division, it was Erv Miller & Paymaq Racing's Maker A Yankee (Marcus Miller) scoring the come from behind victory.   The daughter of Yankee Glide sat off the early duel while maintaining striking position throughout the middle half.   She entered the stretch two lengths from a battle between race favorite Maeve Quaider (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) and Lookin Sharp (Mike Simons).   She out closed Lookin Sharp in the final steps winning by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:57 for her second career win. She returned $13.40. The second division saw Candy Lane (Ake Svanstedt) upset favorite Whitelake Hanover (Geo. Napolitano Jr.).   The daughter of Cantab Hall led the first quarter, but yielded to the heavy effort soon after.   They were one-two until the stretch, when Candy Lane drove out of the pocket to win by nearly a length, stopping the clock in 1:58.4.   Twice A Night (Jackie Ingrassia) finished third.   It was the second straight win for Candy Lane ($16.20), who is owned by Melby Gard Inc.   The Melby Gard / Ake Svanstedt connection struck again in division 3, as Gracie Hanover sprung the mild upset.   The daughter of Andover Hall followed the blueprint of the previous winner, leading the opening quarter, and yielding to race favorite Twill Be Done (Mike Simons) shortly after.   Gracie Hanover vacated the pocket, winning the sprint home by 2 lengths in the end, stopping the timer in 1:58.2. She paid $9.20.   The fourth and final division went to Jimmy Takter trainee Kathy Parker (Geo. Napolitano Jr.).   The daughter of Andover Hall drafted behind the determined speed of Windowshopper (Ray Schnittker) until three-quarters. At that point, she engaged the leader, and was able to sprint away to win by 3 lengths in a series fastest 1:56.3.   Hot Curry (George Brennan) rallied up for place, while Windowshopper held third.   Kathy Parker ($2.20) has now won four of her last seven starts for owners Christina Takter, Joyce Mc Clelland, Brixton Medical and R A W Equine. Mike Bozich

Vernon, N.Y. -- An explosive :53.2 final half mile was more than enough for Travel Playlist ($4.40) to take top billing among 16 other 2-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings in Monday (September 7) afternoon's New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs.   Travel Playlist was unhurried early in the $55,500 first division, moving off the pegs from fifth at race's midpoint to chase Talk Show (John Campbell) after a :54.2 initial half mile.   The son of Art Major and Village Madonna steadily progressed through the far turn, taking second from a tiring Fine Diamond (Tyler Buter) through a :27.2 third quarter before subsequently mowing down Talk Show in upper stretch.   By way of a :26.4 final quarter, Travel Playlist turned in a decisive 1:49.2 victory, taking three-fifths of a second off the track record for 2-year-old pacing colts formerly held by He's Watching.   Joe Larry N Curly (Jim Morrill, Jr.) rallied late to take second, 3-1/4 lengths in arrears, while Talk Show checked in a beleaguered third.   Marcus Miller drove Travel Playlist for owner Ronald Michelon and trainer Erv Miller.   In the $56,500 second division, another son of Art Major prevailed. Autotune Hanover ($6.80) floated into midfield from a post 9 dispatch, slid second-over on the far turn to track the cover of Red Roll (John Campbell), kicking off stalled cover at head-stretch before pushing clear of a rapidly fading Skip Jive (Wally Hennessey). Autotune Hanover, by Art Major and out of Anderosa Hanover, kicked forward immediately when Tyler Buter moved him off cover, ultimately staving off the third-over Endeavor (Patrick Lachance) to win in 1:51.2.   Trainer Mark Harder co-owns Autotune Hanover with Rick Phillips, Deena Frost, and Peter Venturini.   Live racing at Vernon Downs shifts to a schedule of Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings for the remainder of September and the entirety of October. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

I'm Some Graduate, who began his career in softer company, took another step upward when he scored the fastest win in Tuesday's $212,142 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at the harness racing meeting at  The Meadows. The event for freshman colt and gelding pacers, known as the Tyler B, was contested over three divisions, with Ideal Jimmy and Spider Man Hanover taking the other splits. Trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere often start their youngsters off slowly, allowing them to gain confidence and experience before testing them. That's the case with I'm Some Graduate, an $80,000 yearling acquisition. "He's on the schedule we wanted for him," said Tom Cancelliere of the son of Somebeachsomewhere and Jugette winner Western Graduate. "I start everything in the stallion series." "If they're good enough, they'll go to the sires stakes." "Then, with a little prayer and a little help, they'll go wherever they can go." In the Tyler B, I'm Some Graduate made the front with a quarter-pole move for Tim Tetrick, was shuffled back to third and roared through the stretch to triumph in 1:51.1, lowering his lifetime mark by 4.3 seconds. Yankee Artillery was second, 2 lengths back, with Big Top Hanover third. "He's real smart and does everything the way you want him to do it," Tom Cancelliere said. "He doesn't look like the rest of the "Beaches," he doesn't act like the rest of the "Beaches." But he races great." Ideal Jimmy has made a living coming from well back, and he was true to form Tuesday, launching a relentless first-over bid that carried him to victory in 1:52.1, 6 lengths better than Sam McSmith. Genovese rallied for show. "He was a little bumpy in the first turn in his early starts," said winning driver Marcus Miller. "But (taking him back) has been working good enough that I've been letting him do it." Robin Cruise conditions Ideal Jimmy, a homebred Western Ideal-Armbro Nectarine gelding who vaulted over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, for D.R. Van Witzenberg. Speaking of coming from well back, Spider Man Hanover was last by 9 lengths at the half before getting into gear third over for David Miller. The son of Western Ideal-Stolly Lip Bluechip was widest and fastest in the lane, tripping the timer in 1:53. McDave was second, 1/2 length back, with early leader JK Will Power third. It was the third PASS win for Spider Man Hanover, and it followed a troubling performance in the most recent leg, when he missed by 45-3/4 lengths. "He raced really, really bad last week," David Miller said. "When you take off the gate, you're taking a chance, but my main concern was trying to make sure he finished with pace." Brian Brown trains Spider Man Hanover for Country Club Acres, Kenneth Vaupel, Mike Mallett and Milton Leeman. Elsewhere on the card, Cowgirl Hall was racing off a layoff of nearly a month, and she was parked twice in the mile. Nevertheless, she dominated the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, scoring in 1:53, 4-1/4 lengths ahead of Kandian Klub. Dough Dough completed the ticket. Dave Palone piloted the 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall, who captured her third straight and boosted her career bankroll to $763,428, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. It was one of three wins on the 15-race program for Palone. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features a $100,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

The undefeated Pure Country completed her sweep of four Pennsylvania Sires Stakes preliminary legs, and Newborn Sassy set track and stake records in Wednesday's PASS action at  the harness racing meeting at The Meadows. The $212,776 event for freshman filly pacers, known as the Meadow Cheer, was contested over four divisions, with Shezarealdeal and Call Me Queen Be taking the other splits. Pure Country was on top early in her split when Skinny Dipper made a nasty break that scattered the back markers and left I Said Diamonds, sitting on Pure Country's bumper, as the only real competition. "I heard the horse in the three hole make a break," said winning driver Brett Miller. "When I looked at the tote board, I saw there was a big gap, so I thought I should take advantage of that and go a slow second quarter." "I think she can go with anybody." "She doesn't have to be on the front." "In my opinion, she can race better off the pace." "I've been putting her on the front to stay out of trouble." Pure Country triumphed in 1:52.3, 3/4 lengths better than I Said Diamonds. Hug A Dragoness earned show. Jimmy Takter trains Pure Country, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana who's now perfect in five starts, for Diamond Creek Racing. After launching her career poorly in a July 9 PASS leg, Newborn Sassy retreated to the PA Stallion Series, where she gained confidence and put her game together. In the Meadow Cheer, she saved ground, then zipped home for Tim Tetrick in 1:51.1, fastest ever for a 2-year-old filly pacer at The Meadows. Weeper held the previous track and stake mark of 1:51.4. Early leader Shesasmokinlady was second, 3-3/4 lengths back, with Peachy third. "We started her out a little steep there -- she wasn't quite as ready as she should have been, perhaps," said Jim King, Jr., who conditions the daughter of Western Ideal-Sass Newton -- a $37,000 yearling acquisition -- and owns with CC Racing. "It was a tough winter in Illinois where she started, so we got a little bit of a late start." "She's developed very well." Shezarealdeal grabbed her second PASS win with an uncovered backside burst that carried her to victory in 1:52, 1-1/2 lengths better than Princess Fabulosa. Yankee Moonshine finished fourth-placed-third. "The horse on the front didn't look that good," winning driver Marcus Miller said, "so I thought if I could keep pacing hard when we hit the turn, I could get by her. "She's really quick, so I wasn't too surprised." "I put her on the front too many times in a row." "Today, just following for a half, she was brave." Robin Cruise conditions the daughter of Western Ideal-Shezarealcaesar for Nick Surick Stable and KDM Stables. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Certified Ideal made it two straight when she found late racing room to score in 1:51, matching her career best. Angels Delight was a nose back in second while Just A Bee completed the ticket. Tony Hall piloted the 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last, who boosted her career bankroll to $391,283, for trainer Randy Bendis and owners Bendis, Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. It was one of three wins for Hall on the 15-race program. Friday's card at The Meadows features the $174,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters, which has drawn Hambletonian runner-up Mission Brief and Hambletonian Oaks winner Wild Honey. The Moni Maker goes as race 3 on the program, which begins at 6:55 PM.                                                          Evan Pattak

Employing a first-over push into the far turn, the Megan Rogers Racing Stables' Unlocked ($15.40) accelerated clear of his four rivals en route to a 1:50 minor upset in Monday (August 17) evening's $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   Marcus Miller settled the 4-year-old Duneside Perch entire just off a pressured early pace, tracking Believe This Bob (Aaron Byron) and Steelhead Hanover (Mike Simons) through a 54.3 initial half mile before making his first-over bid in the final five-sixteenths of the mile   Unlocked worked his way into the lead at the top of the stretch, pushing clear at will.   Steelhead Hanover was able to vacate the pocket to give chase, rallying into second over the tiring Believe This Bob, but still giving up 3-1/2 lengths to Unlocked in the end.   Erv Miller trains Unlocked, now a 15-time winner.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 21) evening, as does the annual Corntastic festival, which lasts all weekend.   Post time is 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite    

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