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WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 1, 2015 -- Love Matters remained undefeated in three career starts when she captured a division of Friday's Edward M. Ryan, a $60,000 Arden Downs stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, at The Meadows. The harness racing stake was contested over three divisions, with Major Matter and Truemass Volo taking the other splits. Love Matters was looped while working for the early lead, but winning driver Marcus Miller indicated that was part of the plan. "Unless somebody was really honking, I was planning on cutting it," Miller said. "I planned to take my time getting to the front if I had to. If he just goes a little bit faster, he's the best 2-year-old I've sat behind. He does it so easily. He seems like a superstar." Once on the point, Love Matters drew off to prevail by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:57.2, matching his career best. Raisethejollyroger and Breedlove completed the ticket. Robin Cruise trains the son of Explosive Matter-Lotsa Love for Ervin Miller Stable, Paymaq Racing and Harvey Eisman. Major Matter, who prepped for the stake with a victory on the PA Fairs circuit, made it look easy on the front end, scoring in 1:57.2 for trainer/driver Rick Beinhauer. Treasure Keys K was 1-3/4 lengths back in second, with Meadowbranch Memo third. "He's getting better and better," said Beinhauer, who bred and owns the Explosive Matter-Tahiti Springs gelding with Regina Beinhauer. "He has a really big heart, and he's good gaited and quick as a cat. He didn't have a race, and I had to train him, so I figured, might as well go to the fairs." A winner in a PA Sites Stake last time out, Truemass Volo was too much for his rivals, hustling to the early lead from post 7 for Eric Goodell and rolling home in 1:58.3, 1-1/2 lengths better than Hillman. Moneycounts De Vie earned show. Doug Hamilton conditions the son of Muscle Massive-Tresbien Volo for John Erdner and Martin Garey. "(Doug told me) he's a little touchy with a real quick response, so kind of go slow with him," Goodell said. "I know I got to the front from the 7 hole, but I eased him out there. I went on his terms." $60,000 Arden Downs Stake - 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters Friday's card also featured the $60,000 Judge Joe McGraw, an Arden Downs stake for freshman filly trotters, with I Luv Blackhawkred, Maker A Yankee and Side Bet Hanover capturing the divisions. I Luv Blackhawkred provided the evening's tote board fireworks when she zipped to the lead from post 9 for Dan Rawlings, settled into the pocket and shot the Lightning Lane to upset at 20-1. The daughter of Yankee Glide-Sarafina Hall triumphed in 1:59.1, 1-3/4 lengths ahead of Lookin Sharp, with Sand Grenade third. "I knew we had some gate speed, but from post 9, I thought we could use that speed to get a check," said Dirk Simpson, who conditions the $17,000 yearling acquisition for James Bafia and Amy Quint. "I never dreamed we'd land in the two hole -- gutsy move on Dan's part. We have some points in the stallion series, so we'll probably shoot for that this year. Hammered down to 1-5, Side Bet Hanover justified the bettors' confidence when she retook the lead at the three-eighths and blew them away, breaking her maiden by 7 lengths for Dave Palone in 1:56.3. Lady Athens was second, while My Pink Bike rallied for show. "She's a beautiful filly to drive," Palone said. "She has a big future. I believe that by season's end, she'll be one of the top fillies in PA." Jonas Czernyson trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Sea Level Hanover for SRF Stable. Maker A Yankee tracked down the first-over Moots in the stretch and downed her by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:58 for Miller. Ballerina Volo earned show. "After we qualified her a couple times, she got a little nervous," Miller said. "So we're trying to get her over that. She was making breaks. But if she stays calm, she's as good gaited as any horse." Cruise conditions the daughter of Yankee Glide-Maker A Laker, who enjoyed her first career victory, for Ervin Miller Stable, Paymaq Racing and Andy Miller Stable. Saturday is Adios Day at The Meadows, highlighted by the $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light. The power-packed card also features five other Grand Circuit stakes, the $50,000 Adios Consolation, the $50,000 Roy D. Davis Invitational and four multirace wagers with a combined $45,000 in total-pool guarantees. First post is 12:20, with the Adios set for approximately 4 PM. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WILKES-BARRE PA -- With other drivers named "Miller" campaigning in the sulky regularly in eastern Pennsylvania, such as Hall of Famer David, Andy, and Brett (combined lifetime win total = 26,618), it might be easy to overlook 26-year-old Marcus Miller as a talented driver who brings in more than his share of longshots, as he proved again Friday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as he rallied Envious Hanover ($68.40) from last to take the $30,000 mares open handicap pace.   Marcus was actually in the pocket the first quarter with the daughter of Western Ideal, as inside-to-out Twin B Elite, Gianna's Delight, and Request For Parole were three-across arguing the 26.1 opener. Request For Parole finally made the front and put down a "moderate for Pocono" 56 middle half, with Miller and Envious Hanover first staying in and then backing out to follow first-up Scandalicious.   Sixth and last, four lengths back, swinging for home, Envious Hanover improved her position wide, but was still fourth with 100 feet to go; however, her late jet carried her to a nose decision over Gianna's Delight, rallying from the pocket, with Scandalicious holding gamely for third in the 1:50.1 mile. Brandon Todd trains the winner for A Piece Of The Action LLC.   The victory was the fourth of the meet with a horse paying $50 or more for Marcus Miller; no other driver has more than two. In 2014, he was the only driver to have two horses pay $100 or more at Pocono, and at Philly he had the longest-priced winner of the meet in $158.60 Boozy Suzy.   The fans should be catching on to Marcus Miller soon.   PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The father/son team of harness racing driver Marcus Miller and trainer Erv Miller accounted for half of the six divisions of a $180,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars event for state-sired two-year-old pacing colts on the first Friday card of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while driver Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke bookended the action for babies.   The fastest of the three wins for Team Miller was the 1:53.3 triumph of He's Marvalous, a son of Delmarvalous (hence the spelling: remember the Del(aware)-Mar(yland)-V(irgini)a peninsula). He's Marvalous made every pole a winning one while closing in 56 - 27.1 for the combine of Badlands Racing LLC and L. A. Express Stable LLC.   Also flying the Miller colors in Victory Lane were the McArdle colt McDave, longest price of the six at 7-1, as he rallied from the pocket into back splits of 55.1 - 27.2 to score in 1:53.4 for owners Ronald Michelon and David & John Prushnok, along with Ideal Jimmy, an altered son of Western Ideal who was a "pocket rocket," gaining into a 27.4 kicker to stop the clock in 1:54 for owner D R Van Witzenburg.   Palone/Burke got the evening's stakes action underway with a victory with the Well Said colt Genovese, who made a backstretch brush of 26.4 in going from fifth to the lead and then on to victory in 1:53.2. Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III, and The Panhellenic Stable Corporation own Genovese; the first two share ownership with the JJK Stables LLC and Lawrence Karr of the other Palone/Burke winner, the Yankee Cruiser colt Allie's Cruiser, who made a quarter-move and then sped home in 27.1 to complete a 1:53 victory,.   The 1:53 time of Allie's Cruiser equaled the fastest clocking of the stakes sextet, which was earlier put up by a colt sired by The Panderosa, Bank Shot Hanover, in familiar style for driver George Napolitano Jr. - on the engine - trainer Daniel Renaud and owner Robert DiNozzi.   Saturday night is of course the $2.2M Sun Stakes Saturday supercard, with the $500,000 Championship of the Ben Franklin FFAP, the Max C. Hempt 3CP, and the Earl Beal Jr. 3CT, along with the $300,000 Championship of the James Lunch 3FP. Also sure to attract a lot of interest is the $75,000 Sun Invitational Trot, marking the Pocono and 2015 return of Sebastian K S, who recorded the fastest trotting mile in history, 1:49, here last year. The first post for Sun Stakes Saturday is set for 6:30 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono

Linda Toscano trainee El Bloombito (Marcus Miller) picked up his third straight win in the featured harness racing event at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday (June 21). It was a pace for non-winners of $20,000 in their last five starts or non-winners of 9 pari-mutuel races or $90,000 lifetime. The 4-year-old son of American Ideal got away sixth off a fast first-quarter (:26.1) set by lukewarm favorite Mr Husani N (Jim Pantaleano). The pace remained contested, as Ron Coyne trainee National Debt (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) brushed up to clear by the half, which was timed in :54.2. That's when El Bloombito made his move. He used a quick burst to take the lead at the three-quarter pole (1:21.3). He maintained a two length lead to the finish, equaling a lifetime's best performance of 1:50. Bettor's Glass (Andrew McCarthy) rallied for place, while Grab Your Keys closed for the show spot. It was the 9th career win for El Bloombito ($7.00), who is owned by Stake Your Claim Stables, the Camelot Stables, and Fred Wallace. Winning driver Marcus Miller had three wins on the card. George Napolitano Jr. and Andrew McCarthy each had four wins on the Father's Day program. Michael Bozich

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the newly-announced official name of the northeast Pennsylvania oval known in the industry as Pocono Downs, kicked off its 50th anniversary year of harness racing on Saturday night, with three $15,000 divisions of the Bobby Weiss Series for developing male pacers all going against the form as far as the race winners.   The biggest upset was produced in the first division, with Shadow Margeaux (Larry Stalbaum), who had three third-place finishes in this series last year, benefitting from an overcooked pace over the "good" surface to rally from last at the stretch call and tally in 1:52.4. The Shadow Play gelding, trained by many-time Downs champion Steve Salerno for himself, Bruce Potter, and Edward Bardowski, paid $77.00 to win as the longest shot on the board - with second-longest shot Kolt Power second and third-longest shot Red Pine third.   The second Weiss cut saw the second choice win, but it was a $15.60 second choice, as the Well Said gelding Mojito Hanover (Marcus Miller) was a pocket rocket in a 1:53.1 tally, with the 2-5 Burke Stable entry settling for a 3-5 finish. Jim Campbell harnesses "Mojito" for Fred and Shirley Schwartz, Onda Racing Stable LLC, and Shore Thing Stables LLC.   A two-ply Burke force got some measure of revenge in the third division, but Victory At Last (Matt Kakaley), who held off the first-over YS Lotus in 1:52.4, was in an entry that was not the favorite - he paid $4.00 to win, while YS Lotus was 3-5. Victory At Last, an altered son of Quik Pulse Mindale, is owned by the leading combine in the sport, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   The Weiss Series will feature pacing females and trotting males in first division action on Tuesday, while trotting fillies will be in the spotlight Wednesday, as Pocono opens on a three-night-a-week schedule. The top competitors after four preliminary legs come back for a $30,000 divisional Championship.   The feature for overnight horses, a $22,000 pace, rang true to form as the Cambest gelding Blatantly Best (Jim Morrill Jr., $3.80) rallied from second-over to be clear late in 1:51.3. Larry Remmen trains the winner for owner Bradley Grant.   However, Shadow Margeaux was the first of many longshots to report home first on Saturday - races 11-13 consecutively saw One More Miracle ($41.40), Salevster Stallion ($34.40) and Feels Like Magic N ($48.40) handsomely reward their scattered backers.   George Napolitano Jr., going for his fourth straight dash driving title and record ninth local crown, guided home four winners on the opener, with Matt Kakaley, the last horseman other than "George Nap" to be on top here (2011), had three. Two-time defending North American dash champion Ron Wrenn Jr., in his first-ever night of racing at Pocono, had a respectable 10-1-3-1-.300 sulky tally, despite being named on only one horse at the time of the draw.   Jerry Connors

DOVER, Del. --- Mach A Wish, who earlier this meet had a four-race win streak, got back to the winner's circle disposing of six foes in 1:53.2 to take the Dr. M.L. King Jr. $18,000 Mare Open/Handicap, Monday, Jan. 19, at Dover Downs. It was the third win on the harness racing card for meet leading driver Corey Callahan. Starting from the outside in a field of seven distaffs, Mach A Wish followed race-favorite front-pacing Handsoffmycookie (Trace Tetrick) who took her challengers until the final turn before they converged on the leader in the stretch. Mach A Wish was fastest down the lane to score her first win of 2015. She had two seconds preceded by two thirds in her previous four starts. Fox Valley Hermia, came on to finish second for Marcus Miller while Flick A Fly with Allan Davis was the show horse. CTC Stable and trainer Doug Lewis own Mach A Wish, a six-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Belinda Hanover. The win, her 20th lifetime lifted career earnings to $534,685. It was Lewis second training win. Marcus Miller piloted Twin B Heartland to victory in the $14,500 female sub-feature for 4&5-year-old winners-over pacers. McArma (Ross Wolfenden) was runner-up. Romanascape (Jim Morand) was third. Harvey Eisman, Bert Hochprung and Ervin Miller Stable own the Bettor's Delight-Twin B Intimate five -year-old winner. Callahan and Ross Wolfenden had three wins each. Allan Davis won two. Touchdown Mindale and Thisdeuceiswild, fresh from wins last week, meet in the $20,000-$25,000 Claiming pace on Tuesday at Dover Downs. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are "dark days.' Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

After being involved in a series accident in the seventh race at Pocono Downs Wednesday, harness racing driver George Napolitano, Jr. recovered quickly from his hospital visit to make the journey to Harrah's Philadelphia and win two of the three divisions in the co-feature trots and a total of five races on the program..   The three divisions of the mid-conditioned level trot headlined the card on a rainy Thursday afternoon from Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $17,000.   In the first division, it was 4 Leaf Racing's Smoother Ride (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) with a front-end victory.   The son of Yankee Glide quarter-brushed past early leader (and eventual second place finisher) Muscolo (Tim Tetrick) just after the quarter pole.   From that point, he never looked back, splashing to a two length victory in 1:55.3.   Hoosier Park invader Time Will Tell All (Corey Callahan) emerged first-over from the three-hole past three-quarters, but flattened out to finish third.   Smoother Ride ($2.40) picked up his fifteenth victory of the year for trainer John Mc Dermott.   In the second division, it was Howard Jacobs' Political Desire (Geo Napolitano Jr.) going gate-to-wire for the victory.   The 8-year-old son of Tom Ridge was well-rated the first half (58.1) and had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive.   He went on to win by a length and a quarter, stopping the timer in 1:56.   Wind Neath My Feet (Marcus Miller) finished a game second in his debut for the Jake Huff barn, while Way Outta Here (Andrew McCarthy) rallied for third.   Political Desire ($3.40) was one of three training wins for Kevin Carr.   The gelding is one win away from notching his 40th career victory.   The third and final division went to J&T Silva Stables' Omnipotent (Andrew McCarthy).   The daughter of Donato Hanover laid off the early battle, which saw Il Mago (Daryl Bier) and Bastille (Andy Miller) exchange leads.   Omnipotent (8.40) worked out a solid second-over trip, and was able to out close the leaders in the final steps, winning by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:56.2.   Il Mago had to settle for second, while Bastille faded to third.   Driver George Napolitiano Jr., who was unseated in a drive Wednesday night at Pocono Downs, had five winners on the card, maintaining his lead in the driver standings.   Live racing returns Friday afternoon with a first post of 12:40 PM.   Mike Bozich  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 29, 2014 -- Weeper, Pennsylvania's champion 3-year-old filly pacer, performed like a champion Monday at The Meadows when she rolled to a stake record 1:51 in a division of a $90,000 Keystone Classic. Katie Said and Do Your Job took the event's other divisions, each in 1:51.4 -- the stake record until Weeper smashed it. Weeper was let go at 11-1 in the PA Sires Stake final, but the public displayed no ambivalence about her chances Monday, hammering her down to 1-5. The daughter of Allamerican Native-Pleasant Yet Bad, who extended her career bankroll to $392,888, charged to the front for Dave Palone and defeated Stucklikeglue by 1-1/4 lengths geared down. Fancy Desire was third. Because Weeper is still relatively fresh -- only 11 starts this year -- winning trainer Kelly O'Donnell said her owner, Joe Thomson's Bay Pond Racing Stable, may consider supplementing her to this weekend's Glen Garnsey at The Red Mile. "She's only raced twice in the last 13 weeks," O'Donnell said. "We hit a couple of bumps in the road, and we had to give her a little time. She's not a horse you can race every week, but she doesn't take a whole lot of work either. We'll have to see how she comes out of this." Although Katie Said has won nine of 16 outings this year, she hadn't been in front at the quarter in any of her last six races. She extended that streak Monday, moving to the lead past the quarter for Marcus Miller and downing Lasting Appeal by 2-1/2 lengths. Someislandsomwhere earned show.   "Earlier in the year, she had breaking problems," Marcus Miller said. "Everybody knew it, and she wasn't a pretty breaker, so they were often trying to leave around her. So it just worked out she learned how to race from behind. She absolutely will run down good mares." Julie Miller trains the daughter of Well Said-Katies Lucky Lady, who now has banked $192,926, for Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing. Do Your Job hadn't raced since Aug. 29, but Brian Zendt gave her a ground-saving trip, and she found the Lightning Lane in time to upset 3-5 favorite Also Encouraging by a nose. Early leader Cinamony completed the ticket. Tom Fanning conditions the daughter of Western Terror-Tootsie J for Fly By Night Stables and David Van Wart. "I was a little worried when I saw she'd been off for awhile," said Zendt, who drove three winners on the 16-race card. "Tom called me and said she was ready, give her a shot, so we did. She's a pleasure to drive. She did it easily." $71,200 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-old Filly Trotters The program also featured a $71,200 Keystone Classic for sophomore filly trotters, with Donatella Hanover and Cantabs Fortune capturing the splits. Donatella Hanover was in her customary spot -- fifth down the backside -- when she moved with authority for Brett Miller, gobbling up the leaders and triumphing in 1:55.3, 3/4 lengths better than the fast-closing Steppin Out. Broadway Socks, who lacked late racing room, finished third. "I think she's better from off the pace; that's why I choose to race her that way," Brett Miller said. "I put her on the front once, and I didn't like her there. She waited on them. She's so well mannered that she never looks like she has a whole lot of trot, but when you pull her, she goes." The daughter of Cantab Hall-On the Glide has earned $143,146 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Christinatakterandthekids. Cantabs Fortune, a smallish filly, raced big after quarter-poling to the front for David Miller, trainer Rick Zeron and owners Rick Zeron Stables, Paul Marion and Ferme Rico Limitee. She prevailed in a career-best 1:54.2, 4-1/2 lengths better than Outsourced Hanover, with Travelin Dream third. "She's real handy, trots all the time," David Miller said. "And she can go some. I figured I could get back to the lead pretty easy. Everything went smooth." Tuesday's card at The Meadows features a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old colts and geldings -- an $83,400 pace and an $81,200 trot. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

A field of eight filly and mares lined up for the Friday featured from Harrah's Philadelphia, a winners over $25,000 lifetime pace.   At the start, it was Dylan Davis trainee On The Cusp (Marcus Miller) getting away for the lead, with longshot Social Scene (Tony Morgan) securing the pocket, in a quarter that went in :26.1.   After a half in :54.1 (:28) pressure came in the form of Ms Caila J Fra (Andrew McCarthy) who rushed up to take the lead, by three-quarters in 1:22 (:27.4).   At the top of the stretch, Ms Caila J Fra was clear by four lengths, but favorite Regil Elektra (Victor Kirby) shook loose from the rear of the field, rallying up to win by a head, stopping the clock in 1:51.1.   Ms Caila J Fra finished second while Rockaround Sue shook loose late to be third. The winner returned $4.80, keying a $48.40 exacta, and a $119.00 trifecta. Regil Elektra is owned by the Fred Monteleone stables, and is trained by Monte Gelrod. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 22, 2014 -- Staring at a 4-1/2-length deficit behind the loose leader, Kelsey's Keepsake launched a determined first-over move that carried her to the upset victory in the fastest division of Monday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The $118,200 stake for 2-year-old filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with Blessings Counted and Wouldn't Itbesweet also capturing splits. Winning driver Marcus Miller thought he had a shot to catch the 1-5 favorite, Jersey Strong, when his filly got away flat. "The one thing I was worried about -- my filly doesn't get off the car very well from the rail," Miller said. "I was worried first about her trotting, and she took care of the rest. She was very good today, very solid, the best she's been for me." Sent off at 5-1, the daughter of Yankee Glide-Distaff relentlessly tracked Jersey Strong and defeated her by a neck in 1:57.3, with Product Placement third. Julie Miller trains Kelsey's Keepsake for Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Peggy Hood. In the final start of her freshman campaign, Blessings Counted was determined to take the lead, and winning driver Dan Rawlings didn't think it wise to dissuade her. "She's been getting pretty grabby, so she was going to the front today," Rawlings said. "I thought I was the best in here, so I wanted to dictate fractions. She has a lot of potential, but they'll have their work cut out for them this winter trying to keep her manners under control. If they do that, she'll come back as a nice filly. She's going away sound and healthy." Even under Rawlings' restraint, Blessings Counted won handily in 1:58, 1-3/4 lengths better than Matter Hatter. The first-over Sweet Shurga completed the ticket. Rick Beinhauer trains the homebred daughter of Muscle Massive-Winner Springs and owns with Regina Beinhauer. Wouldn't Itbesweet also prevailed easily on the front end, although winning trainer/driver Jim Raymer wasn't completely satisfied with the way she finished. "She's so quick off the gate -- that first eighth, she can beat anybody -- that I can get her in a bad spot," Raymer said of the $30,000 yearling purchase. "She's a little filly, and I think she's telling me she's had enough. For the fractions she had, I thought she'd be a little better on the end of it." Nevertheless, she downed Cantabulous Julie by 2-1/2 lengths in 2:00.2. Trustworthy Gal earned show. Harbor Racing Stable campaigns the daughter of Cantab Hall-US Victory, who is eligible for the Circle City at Hoosier Park. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Rescue Team turned back several challenges and scored in 1:52.4 on the front end for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Metro Ville was second, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears, with Do Me Honor third. The 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Tended Rose extended her career bankroll to $136,175. Palone, Burke and Eric Ledford each fashioned a three-bagger on the 16-race card. The Keystone Classics continue Tuesday at The Meadows with an $88,600 stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. by Nick Salvi, for the Red Mile

Vernon Downs held harness racing Finals in eight divisions of the New York Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night with purses totaling $360,000.   The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings were first up and provided an 11-1 upset with Commissioner Daley (Conway Hall-Irish Washerwoman) storming through the stretch once he got into the clear and rolling right past Genius At Work late to win in a final time of 1:55.2.   Commissioner Daley is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Michael White of Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Dan Daley is the trainer-driver.   2-year-old trotting fillies were up next and, as opposed to the first of the eight Finals, this one went according to form as 3-5 favorite Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a strong closing kick from Morcredit Bluechip to score a victory in 1:57.   Barn Girl is owned by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, New York. The trainer is Howard Okusko and she was driven to victory by Jeff Gregory on Saturday night.   Freshman trotting colts & geldings provided the most exciting stretch drive of the night as part of a 5-1 entry, Progression (Credit Winner-Ens Curious), came through an opening on the inside left when the favored Crazshana drifted out in the lane. Progression's final time was 1:57.4.   Progression is owned by Leigh Raymer, who also trains, of Delaware, Stephen Moss of Pennsylvania, Harold and Helane Solomon of New York. Mark MacDonald was the driver on Saturday night.   The sophomore pacing filly race was won in gate-to-wire fashion by Expose (Artiscape-Good News Lady). She took the lead immediately and never was headed again as she triumphed in 1:52.4   Expose is owned by Linwood Higgins of Scarborough, Maine and Stake Your Claim Stable of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Linda Toscano trains and Jim Morrill Jr. was the winning driver.   Archetto Hanover (Bettor's Delight-Arts Masterpiece) took the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace after rallying past the favored Murder He Wrote at the top of the stretch. He went on to win by a length in a final time of 1:51.4   Archetto Hanover is owned by Paymaq Racing of Illinois, Greg Gillis of Ontario, Canada, and Louis Willinger of Kentucky. The trainer is Erv Miller and the winning driver was Marcus Miller.   2-year-old pacing colts and geldings might have provided one of the more impressive wins of the night from Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer). Artistic Major (Brent Holland) made the lead at the top of the stretch and powered away to win by four lengths in a time of 1:52.4.   Artistic Major is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio and Steve Elliott of New Jersey. Steve Elliott doubles as the trainer.   Freshman pacing fillies followed that and Rock Me Gently (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cam Swifty) prevailed in what turned into a clustered finish with multiple horses ending up close together. The final time was 1:55.   Rock Me Gently is owned by Old Block Stables Inc. and Kenneth Klein of New York and The Fra Stable LLC of New Jersey. The trainer is Steve Elliott.   The final Final of the Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night was 3-year-old trotting fillies and the winner was Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) with Jim Morrill Jr. driving. She took the lead right away and cruised to an easy victory by nine lengths in a final time of 1:56.3   Dreamsteeler is owned by Andrew Herzog of Monticello, New York and Tracy Brainard is the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with an 11-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

As it has done on four other occasions the $118,000 Lorna Propes Championship for filly and mare pacers 3yo & up produced yet another repeat harness racing champion as the Jesse De Long owned Let's Go Higher held on to win by a length in 1:52.0 with John De Long at the controls. Last year's winner of this event left hard from post five but was quickly covered up as Dune In Red (Dave Magee) and Party Hangover (Todd Warren) battled through a tough opening quarter of 27.1. Moving first over as the field raced by the half-mile mark in 55.0 the Heidi Rohr trained six-year-old swallowed up Party Hangover as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.3. "I wasn't surprised that we had to do as much work as we did because they're not going to be able to beat her if they just leave her alone on the front end," said a confident De Long. Through the stretch the daughter of Cole Muffler--Ten Speed held sway as Dune In Red came charging at her along the inside while No Respect (Marcus Miller) was closing on the outside. Unfortunately time ran out for that pair as Let's Go Higher dug in gamely to post her 23rd victory in the past two seasons. Dune In Red was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while No Respect was third. After the victory a beaming De Long was more than happy to sing the praises of his charge. "Halfway down the lane I was nervous," he said. "But she fought off the outside horse then nearing the wire she caught the inside horse out of the corner of her eye and she just dug in again. I really believe this is the toughest mare I've ever driven and her will to win is just second to none." The 1-2 choice after a strong elimination win the previous week Let's Go Higher continued the parade of favorites paying $3.00, $2.20 & $2.10 while moving her career bankroll to a gaudy $460,435. Tom Kelley

Continuing his "dream season" while overcoming what could have been a harness racing career ending injury the Robert Phillips owned and trainer Al's Hammered posted his second career Super Night title taking the $112,000 Tony Maurello Championship by two-lengths in 1:49.2. That time equaled the stakes record for this 3yo & up event. .   With his owner-trainer choosing post position five for this event the trip worked out perfectly for the big late rusher as he sat mid-pack while Fort Silky (Casey Leonard) and Iam Bonasera (Marcus Miller) battled through blistering fractions of 26.3, 54.4 & 1:21.4.   Moving first over on the final turn driver Robert Smolin put Al's Hammered into contention alongside the pace setting Iam Bonasera as the field turned for the money.   "When I saw those fractions up front I really thought I was going to be home free," said Smolin. "He's got no problem going first over so I really was where I wanted to be."   As he's done so often this season, the five-year-old son of Droppin'thehammer seemed to find another gear as he eyed the finish line, putting away the leader and then drawing clear in the final 100 yards for his 14th win of the year. Iam Bonasera held on gamely to finish second while FortSilky was third.   The 2012 Langley Memorial champion boosted his career bankroll to $476,497 with his second Super Night championship while returning $3.40, $2.40 & $2.10 to his legion of backers.   Al's Hammered and Bobby Smolin equaled the stakes record of 1:49.2 while capturing the $112,000 Tony Maurello Championship on Super Night.   Tom Kelley  

In what turned into a replay of last year's Filly Orange & Blue on harness racing "Super Night" at Balmoral Park, Engel Stable of Illinois' Thesleazyprincess became a two-time Super Night victress, this time capturing the $142,000 Grandma Ann for three-year-old pacing fillies by a nose over My Little Bit in 1:53.1 Hustled off the wings of the gate by Marcus Miller, the homebred daughter of Sagebrush--Da Sleazy One landed In The Pocket spot right behind My Little Bit as she led the field through splits of 27.3, 56.1 & 1:24.2.   "I wanted to get out of there quickly and get around the two fillies inside of me," explained Miller. When we wound up right on the back of my dad's (Erv Miller) other horse (My Little Bit) I knew we were going to be in pretty good shape."   Continuing to sit right on the leaders helmet until the passing lane, Miller ducked the bay filly inside where she gradually wore down the pace setter, finally getting up in the last stride after a thrilling duel. As was the case last year, My Little Bit (Casey Leonard) was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Party Hangover Two (John De Long) rallied late to get the show dough.   After the race Marcus seemed a bit stunned by it all.   "It's always great to come home and always great to be a part of Super Night," he exclaimed. "At the top of the lane I thought my filly was going to be an easy winner but My Little Bit showed how tough she is tonight as well. I didn't know if I got there or not until the numbers came up. Last year "Sleazy beat me when I was driving My Little Bit so I guess I got a little revenge tonight."   A recent addition to the barn of Erv Miller Thesleazyprincess who returned $8.60, $4.00 & $4.00 now boasts $243,831 in earnings on the strength of a 4-4-7 record in 30 career starts.   Thesleazyprincess (inside) nosed out My Little Bit to win the $142,000 Grandma Ann for driver Marcus Miller. Tom Kelley

Super Night 2014 at BalmoralPark kicked off with a pair of trotting events for harness racing three-year-olds as the $100,000 Lady Ann Reed Stake and the $100,000 Su Mac Lad started the biggest night of racing for the state-bred set. It was only fitting that Super Night's leading reinsman, Hall of Famer Dave Magee piloted the winner of the opener as he guided James Bafia and Eugene White's Bailey's Wish to a neck victory in the Lady Ann Reed. The final time was 1:58.1.   Given a perfect steer despite leaving from post position nine the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen was able to work her way to the front after being parked through opening splits of 29.1 & 57.2.   "I was a little concerned and a little surprised we had to work that hard to make the front," said a relieved Magee. "Like most any horse she's best off a trip but that wasn't going to happen from the 9-hole tonight."   Continuing to roll along on the front end as the ladies passed the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.3 Bailey's Wish began to brace for the challenge of heavily favored Macie Rae (Ryan Anderson) who was out and rolling from third.   As the two hooked up with just over an eighth of a mile to go disaster struck for the favorite as she made a nasty break leaving Bailey's Wish alone on the front.   The Dirk Simpson miss then dug in gamely as she neared the wire, holding off a late bid in the passing lane from longshot Lora Lee Breeze for her fourth win of the season. Lora Lee Breeze was a hard charging second while Say No Mo (John De Long) was third.   "I knew my horse was going to try all the way down the lane but I really wasn't sure how much she had left when that horse came at her," said Magee. But the other filly made the break and my horse seemed to get more confidence at that point and she just kept going long enough to get there."   The second choice in the wagering, Bailey's Wish returned $8.00, $4.00 & $3.20 while running her career numbers to 9-8-3 in 26 starts with earnings of $238,438.   Magee was right back in the winner's circle in the Su Mac Lad picking up a late drive as Marcus Miller was delayed getting to Balmoral and making the most of it, notching his 31st career Super Night win by steering Donald Emond's Big Bill Breeze to a 2 ¾ length victory in 1:56.1.   Sent right to the front from post position six the gelded son of Southwind Breeze--Big Z Cornsilk proceeded to stroll through splits of 29.0, 58.4 & 1:27.0 while under very little pressure from the rest of the field.   "I was very pleased by the way the opening splits went out there," explained Magee. Once I got control of things I knew I could always let somebody and go and still get the good trip but we never had to."   Easily fending off a first over bid from heavy favorite Fox Valley Veto (John De Long), the Monte Gelrod trainee was pretty much under wraps as he pulled away from his nine rivals for his 12th win in 16 starts this year. Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) parlayed a perfect pocket sitting trip into a second place check while Tour Hall (Mike Brink) rallied to finish third.   After the win Magee was quick to sing the praises of Nick Prather who conditioned Big Bill Breeze up until his recent sale.   "Nick really did a great job with this horse, developing him, teaching him and getting him to race up to his abilities," said Magee. "Now Monte has continued with him and he's really a very nice and solid trotter."   Now sporting an impressive slate of 19-2-5 in 28 career trips postward with earnings of $102,616 Big Bill Breeze returned $8.80, $6.00 & $5.00.   Bailey's Wish and Dave Magee held on gamely to win the Lady Ann Reed.   Magee was right back in the winner's circle with Big Bill Breeze in the Su Mac Lad.   Tom Kelley

Two-year-old pacers took center stage at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 12) evening, contesting their divisions of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial Stake on the penultimate program of the 2014 harness racing season.   And while Hall of Terror (Marcus Miller, $3.50) turned in a mightily impressive :54.4 final half mile in his victory, top honors went to Dealt a Winner ($3.90), who set a new track record for two-year-old pacing geldings.   The son of Cam's Card Shark was well off the pace early in the tenth race, moving second-over behind Shooby Said (Jim Marohn, Jr.) after Gallic Beach (Tim Tetrick) brushed from midpack to the fore in a sensible :56.4 half mile. On the backstretch, David Miller angled Dealt a Winner three-wide, pushing past Shooby Said into a joint lead with Gallic Beach on the far turn. The two dueled through the stretch, with Dealt a Winner taking over outright in the final sixteenth and drawing clear for a one-length win. Sicily (Corey Callahan) tracked live three-wide cover on the backstretch, staying on for third.   Dealt a Winner's 1:52.3 victory took a second off the prior track record for two-year-old pacing geldings. Ed Hart handles the training duties for owner Jeffrey Snyder.   McArdles Lightning (Scott Zeron, 1:53.3) and Dragon Eddy (Mike Simons, 1:53.3) were the other two winners in the Reynolds divisions for two-year-old colts and geldings.   Corey Callahan teamed up with two freshman fillies for Reynolds wins as part of a Friday driving hat trick, holding sway with Divine Caroline (1:53.1) and kicking clear with Bettor B Steppin (1:53.3) in their stakes splits. Deli Beach (John Campbell, 1:55) was the other triumphant filly in the evening's stakes races.   The closing night (Saturday, September 13) program at Tioga features an 11-race card, with post time scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite

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