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It was Friday, August 19, 1960. Six starters lined up behind the starting gate for the once two dash event. Dee's Boy picked up the first dash victory in 2:06 for driver Lloyd MacAuley. Newport Frisco picked up the second dash victory in 2:06.3 but despite having the better summary (2-1), Dee's Boy and MacAuley were declared the first ever winner of the Gold Cup and Saucer. The first ever Gold Cup was contested for a purse of $2, 500, now in 2014, the 55th edition of the Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer will race for the largest purse in the race's history $75, 000. The prestigious race isn't about the money. It's about the show. It's about the people. It's about Prince Edward Island. When the horses hit the track for post parade and they walk in front of the grandstand, the lights go dark and Kerri Wynn MacLeod sings the Island Hymn as thousands of people in attendance stand for this Island tradition. The only thing in site is the Farris Wheel from the carnival lit up in the background. The rail horse parades down the track, whether it be Eighteen, R Js Dexter. Winner's Accolade or Kilkerran Ingle, as soon as that spot light from above picks up the first horse and the sound of track announcer's voice booms over the crowd, chills instantly spill down a person's spine. During those 54 years of bone chilling action, there have not only been some great races but some memorable race calls as well. In 1968 Miramichi Post became the first Maritime-bred to ever win the Gold Cup. Ten-years later two-time winner Ventall Rainbow was the first horse to make Four appearances in the Cup and Saucer. That very same year Eric and Harry Webby of Dartmouth won a record fifth Gold Cup. In 1980, The Gold Cup trials were first introduced as well the Gold Cup and Saucer consolation debuted. Who can forget 1986 when Phil Pinkney flipped Rev Your Engine out three wide from last just past the 5/8's hooking up with fraction setter Angels Shadow past the three quarters and they battled the whole way down the lane before Rev Your Engine landed on the line a nose in front. How about 1993, When Little Black Book started to open up on the field up the back stretch, "Little Black Book is turning it on, look at her go! Little Black Book has them by four and she's looking for more," said track announcer Kevin 'Boomer' Gallant. She jogged in 1:54.1 just missing her own Canadian record for aged mares on a half mile track of 1:54 that she set in her Gold Cup trial. The record stood for 15 years. 1995, Mike MacDonald aboard Sandy Hanover converted off a three-wide move past the three quarters to become the winningest driver in Gold Cup and Saucer history with five victories. ( Ventall Rainbow twice, Pearl's Falcon, Winner's Accolade were his others). In 1993, Native Born and driver Brett Robinson moved out of the two-hole approaching three quarters, drawing away from the field winning by 12 lengths in 1:53.1 closing it out in :27 flat, setting a new Canadian record for aged stallions on a half mile track at the time. MacDonald almost had number six in 2003, Harmony P, raced in the Consolation the night before, and drew into the final after a scratch. It was a young protege of MacDonald's that nailed his on the line. Mark MacDonald had Sand Olls Dexter coming from the clouds just at wire to nail his old teacher by a nose. Sand Olls Dexter would then win it the following year in the slop giving Mark MacDonald his second of three career Cup victories. Hall-of-Famer Wally Hennessey picked up his second victory in 2005 aboard Driven To Win, establishing a new track record of 1:51.2. Long-time Island horsemen Earl Smith made history in 2008 aboard the longest shot on the board Pownal Bay Matt, leaving from post 8, Smith laid parked the entire mile before getting up in the final strides to become the oldest driver at 59 years of age to ever win the big event. That was also a special day as the Cup and Saucer was raced on Sunday afternoon due to the cancellation of the races on Saturday night. Over its 54 years of winners, The Gold Cup and Saucer has played host to many 'Boom, Just like that!" calls from track announce Vance Cameron. The island would become a buzz wondering who Mike MacDonald would have coming to the big race over the years, but over the last five years the race has grown to see trainers such as Mark Ford, Jeff Gillis and the top trainer in North America make his first trip to the Gold Cup and Saucer last year, Ron Burke. Who can forget last year's Gold Cup and Saucer. In a race full of Cameron's famous race calls, it was arguably one of his most entertaining Gold Cup's to date. As Up The Credit and Carl Jamieson parked out R Caan and Jason Ryan, Cameron voice started to electrify. "There's a brouhaha in the Cup and Saucer, opening quarter, Boom just like that! :26.2." Up The Credit and R Caan slugged it out to the half before R Caan cleared around the 5/8's turn. "Making the front now is R Caan, Up The Credit is second, WOW! :53.2," boomed Cameron. R Caan started to draw away from Up The Credit up the back stretch before the Burke Brigade of Hillbilly Hanover (Gilles Barrieau) and Escape The News (Marc Campbell) started to eat up race track. As they move three-wide past the three quarters with Escape The News the furthest one out, the track record was in clear sight. "Three quarters, amazing. 1:21.4, they got a shot at the track record, they got a shot at the Canadian record," said Cameron as every member in the crowd was now cheering for the record. As they hit the head of the lane it was a battle of the Burke Brigade. The two top drivers in the Maritimes, Campbell and Barrieau dueling it out, both with a pair of Burke horses, Escape The News paced onto the lead by the tote board. "Marc Campbell has won the Gold Cup and Saucer, Escape The News, a driving quadruple. Hillbilly Hanover is second, R Caan is third. 1:50.4, that's a new track record for the Charlottetown Driving Park, and that is, Marc Campbell's biggest lifetime win." So much history, so much class and so much excitement all build into one race. The Gold Cup and Saucer. This year, the 55th running will carry it's highest purse ever of $ 75,000. Rumours are starting to float on what trainers are coming and what horses they will be bringing. One thing that can be guaranteed, No matter who comes, the Gold Cup and Saucer will still be one of the greatest shows in North American racing. Nominations for this year's Gold Cup and Saucer are due Monday, August 4. The post position draw for the trials will be held on Tuesday, August 5, with Trial 1 scheduled to go post ward on August 9. The final for the Gold Cup and Saucer, presented by Sobeys, is held on Saturday, August 16. by Bo Ford, for Red Shores

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 24, 2014-Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted the $217,000 New York Sire Stakes $217,000 Michael Sorentino Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A total of 11 entered a pair of six-figure divisions. The first ($107,500) grouping saw last season's frosh statebred champion Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald, $6.30) finish what he started (:28.1, :57.4, 1:26.3, 1:55.3). What started out of as a quintet quickly become a foursome when 7-5 favorite Expressive Action (Mike Simons) broke leaving in the first turn. Later on, a three-hole-sitting Lukas Hall (Jason Bartlett) also danced. "El Durado," meanwhile, could not shake a pesky Zoey De Vie (Jim Morrill Jr.), though he did eventually whip that one by a length-and-a-half. Daley Lovin (Dan Daley) was third. For third choice Flyhawk El Durado, a son of Conway Hall trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf, it was his third win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15, and there was no triple wagering. "He can leave the gate and just about always trots four turns," MacDonald said. "Last week (NYSS at Monticello), he did make a break but I think it was some sort of an equipment malfunction. "Tonight, he was on his game. Obviously, the other horse (Expressive Action) was one of the ones to beat, and when he made a break, it made my job easier...but (Flyhawk El Durado) went a real good mile and beat another good horse (Zoey De Vie)." The second ($109,500) sire stakes event saw odds-on choice Gural Hanover (Morrill Jr., $2.30) put up cheapy intervals of :28.1, :58.1, 1:27.3 and 1:56.1 en route to a length-and-a-quarter victory. Leaving outside his five foes, he worked around second choice Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern), then watched as that one tested him early from the pocket. Royal Max (Bartlett) was third. For Gural Hanover, a Crazed gelding co-owner (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Little E and Panhellenic Stables, it was his fifth win (fourth consecutive) in seven '14 tries. The exacta paid $3.30, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $11.20. "He's just two fingers (to drive). You can do anything you want," Morrill-his escort over the past four races-said. New York Sire Stakes continue Friday night, with the $197,500 Milt Taylor Trot for 2-year-old colts/geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, July 22, 2014--Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night hosted the $200,200 New York Sire Stakes Clyde Hirt Pace. The event--for 2-year-oled fillies--was contested in nearly-quartered, $50,050 divisions. The dance team of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras combined in three of the events...and won each of those. The first grouping was, as advertised, a Westchester waltz for odds-on Sassa Hanover ($2.10). In play from post position No. 5, she pocketed Bin N Heaven (Dough McNair), then strolled through relaxed rest stops of :29.1, :59 and 1:28. A :27.4 final quarter (life-best 1:55.4) saw her end up 2¾ lengths better than "Bin," who herself raced very well from an outside post. Third went to Vraka Hanover (Tim Tetrick). "Sassa," a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Larry Karr, is 2-for-2 (both in NYSS). The exacta paid $6.80, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returned $12.80. With no show wagering, more than $19,000 of the $20,000-plus in the place pool was in support of Sassa Hanover. "I've been impressed since I baby-raced her," Gingras said. "Tonight was basically a training mile. You want to see manners and guts when they're just beginning, and she showed both." Trainer/driver also took down the third and fourth sub-sections with faves Band of Angels ($5) in a night's-fastest/life-best 1:54.4, and Bettor N Better ($2.70) in 1:56. "(Band of Angels) was able to rate (:29, :58.2, 1:27.4), but a '27' last quarter here for a 2-year-old is something," Gingras said. The daughter of Rock N' Roll Heaven defeated One Hot Majorette (Mark MacDonald) by a half-length, with Ameritime (Brent Holland) third. "I thought Bettor N Better may have a behind the other two (Sassa Hannover and Band of Angels) early, but she's catching up fast. I would have been just as happy sitting behind Timmy (Tetrick, driving Zip Code Envy), but it worked out with me cutting the mile. Bettor N Better, a Bettor's Delight lass, was a length better than a first-up Heavenly Bride (Brian Sears) in life-best effort, with Zip Code Envy third. All three of the Burke/Gingras winners are 2-for-2 to begin their careers, with NYSS wins here and Monticello. Newly-minted Harness Hall of Famer Dave Miller and an off-the-pace Bettor Be Steppin' ($16.80) won the second NYSS event in a maiden-breaking 1:56.4. Starting from post No. 6, she held off 58-1 My Little Delight (Jason Bartlett) by a neck in battle of closers, with Bullville Maggie (Gingras) third. Even-money choice She's Heavenly (Mike Lachance) brushed to the lead, met pressure from Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore), then faded to last. "She was zigging and zagging a bit late," Miller said of Bettor B Steppin'. "It was her first start on a half, and the last turn may have come up a bit quicker than she was ready for." The daughter of Bettor's Delight, trained by Joe Holloway, New York Sire Stakes continue Thursday night, with the $217,000 Michael Sorentino Trot for 3-year-old colts/geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, July 22, 2014--McWicked, projected as the favorite for Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite at The Meadows, didn't hurt his chances when he pulled post position 2 in Tuesday's draw. Somewhere in L A and Let's Drink On it, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations last Saturday, drew post positions 5 and 7, respectively. The draw was a mixed bag for horses with local connections. The Meadows-based trainer Ron Burke drew 3 and 9 for his Adios pair, At Press Time and Carracci Hanover, while Cammikey, campaigned by Cam Land Inc. of Washington County, will leave from the rail. No. 1 is the fifth-winningest post position this year at The Meadows. McWicked has won four of his last five starts--including the $500,000 final of the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs--faltering only in the final of the North America Cup. The son of McArdle-Western Sahara is owned by SSG Stables and conditioned by Casie Coleman, who is bidding to become the first female trainer to win an Adios final. Several others have a chance to write their way into Meadows history. A win by Somewhere in L A would give trainer Jimmy Takter his third blanket of orchids in the last six years--he won with Vintage Master in 2009 and Sunfire Blue Chip last year--while a victory by Let's Drink On It would make 21-year-old Tyler Smith the youngest final heat winning driver in the 48-year history of the race. The Pace for the Orchids will go as race 12 with an approximate post time of 4 PM. It anchors a powerhouse 16-race card that features a total of six Grand Circuit stakes. The Adios field from the rail out, with drivers and trainers: 1. Cammikey Brian Zendt Bill Zendt 8-1 2. McWicked David Miller Casie Coleman 7-5 3. At Press Time Matt Kakaley Ron Burke 6-1 4. Beat The Drum Tim Tetrick Staffan Lind 20-1 5. Somewhere In L A Brett Miller Jimmy Takter 5-1 6. Stevensville Mark MacDonald Ray Schnittker 20-1 7. Let's Drink On It Tyler Smith Joe Seekman 7-2 8. Bushwacker Dave Palone Chris Ryder 10-1 9. Carracci Hanover Yannick Gingras Ron Burke 15-1 by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

Freedomformysoul established a new Monticello Raceway track record for freshmen pacing colts when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. drove the son of If I Can Dream to a 1:55.2 triumph in their division of the $110,000 NY Sire Stakes. The victory erased the former standard of 1:55.3 set by Share The Delight during 2007. Coming into the race off a stunning 1:53.3 track record last week at Saratoga Raceway Freedomformysoul was understandably the overwhelming betting favorite and Morrill used the front-end route for an easy victory over Rockntouch and driver Yannick Gingras. After getting looped on the first turn by Mikado Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) Morrill wheeled his colt back to the lead and they passed the first stanza in a stiff :28.0 and then paced the second quarter in :28.2 reaching the halfway point in :56.2. From there it was catch me if you can, and no one could. "I got to the half faster than I wanted to, so I didn't even pull the (ear) plugs." Morrill admitted after the race. "He's one of the best 2 year olds I've ever driven. He's the real deal." Owned by the Freedomformysoul Stable and trained by Nancy Johansson the son of If I Ca Dream paid $2.30 for win. Southwind Masimo won a division of the NYSS in 1:55.4 for Patrick Lachance. That final time was abetted by speed duel for the lead between We Think Alike (Ray Schnittker) and Old Man Cleary (Yannick Gingras) with early fractions of :27.1, :56.2. Lachance had Southwind Masimo out after the half and they swept to the front up the backside and were all by themselves at the wire some 11-lengths ahead of K Ryan Blue Chip and driver Joe Pavia, Jr. "They were playing hardball up front which worked out good for me," Lachance said in the winners circle when he stopped for a photograph. Southwind Masimo is owned in Canada by Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber and trained by Lachance. The winner paid $27.60 for win. In yet another NYSS split Americanprimetime, sent off at odds of over 78-1, lit up the tote board and paid $161.50 for win when Tyler Buter drove him to victory in a time of 1:57. They rallied from five lengths back at the top of the lane to collar Ultimate G, driven by Jason Bartlett. Americanprime time is owned by the Rock N Roll Stable and trained by Rick Dane, Jr. Jason Bartlett won a pair of $110,000 NYSS splits. His first was with Twin B Stingray in 1:56.4 pacing a :28- second final stanza en route to victory. And they needed every bit of that to hold-off Bet You and driver Yannick Gingras by a head. Twin B Stingray is owned by J & T Silva Racing Stable and C C Stables and trained by Aaron Lambert. He paid $20.20 for win Bartlett's other sire stakes victory came with My Spirit Soars in1:57.2 for owner Daniel Van Wart. After putting My Spirit Soars on the lead, Corey Braden made a quarter pole move with odds-on favorite JD He's Da Bomb and Bartlett let them take command before the half. From there Bartlett bided his time and in the lane rallied My Spirit Soars to a head victory over Berkley and Scott Zeron. "I didn't want to go with him (Corey Braden) when he came at me near the half so I let him go. If I didn't my colt would probably not have gotten a check (piece of the purse)," Bartlett admitted. Trained by Tom Fanning, My Spirit Soars paid $5.90 for win. Excelsior Series winners and their drivers included: Can't It Be Me (2:00-Bruce Aldrich, Jr.); Southwind Rex (1:58.4-Jeff Gregory); Spiritintheclouds (2:00.3-Mickey McGivern); Artistic Major (1:59.2-Brent Holland) and Hayden's Little Man (1:59.3- Phil Fluet) by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

If you look in the dictionary for harness racing lingo, there will be a photograph of Clear Vision under the expression, “grind it out”, as the tough and gritty pacer was able to come first-over on Northfield Park’s half mile oval and grind out an impressive win in the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie Saturday. Not only did the horse have to race overland to victory but his clocking of 1:49.3 surpassed the previous track mark of 1:49.4 for older geldings that was held by Maltese Falcon Driven by Brett Miller (who also had driven Maltese Falcon), Clear Vision waited as Night Pro (Peter Wrenn) outgunned Beach Memories (Josh Sutton) and forced them to take a backseat in second place as Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald) made a speed break trying for the lead. Going to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26.2, Night Pro set up command but before the half mile marker in :54.2, there was Brett Miller and Clear Vision coming first-over and giving stable mate Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) great second-over cover. Past the three-quarters in 1:22, Clear Vision was able to collar Night Pro and then as they started down the stretch, Clear Vision found another gear and pulled away from Night Pro to win by two open lengths. Night Pro held for second with Foiled Again third. “I drove this horse a lot last year,” Brett Miller said. “In my opinion his best racing is first over and when I got to be first over tonight I was lovin it because this horse is so game. He can go on the outside for so long and he showed it again tonight. “He is as good as any of them,” Miller said. “When Bolt The Duer made a break that changed the whole race. I felt that he was going to cut the mile and I was going to get away in fourth. His misfortune was my fortune because that left me first over the way he likes it.” Trained by Ron Burke, it was the third win this year for Clear Vision. The eight-year-old gelded son of Western Hanover is owned by the Burk Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, the Panhellenic Stable Group and Jim Koran. He paid $10.80 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Not even rainy conditions and a sloppy track could dampen the Adios Pace eliminations for three-year-olds colts at the Meadows Saturday as Somewhere In L A, Let’s Drink On It and McWicked all scored decisive triumphs in their respective divisions. The first three finishers from each $50,000 preliminary round return for the $400,000 final next Saturday afternoon. The first division saw driver Brett Miller give Somewhere In L A ($8.00) a golden second-over trip behind Journeyman (Scott Zeron) and they were able to top three-wide on the final turn and gun down pacesetter Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) to score by an impressive four and one-half lengths in 1:50. His mile was the fastest of the three divisions and a lifetime mark for Somewhere In L A. Second was Bushwacker (Dave Palone) and Carracci Hanover (Matt Kakaley) finished third to make the final. Race favorite Limelight Beach faded to fourth place. It was the fourth win this year for Somewhere In L A. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by J & T Stable, Deo Volente Farms and TL P Stables. Let’s Drink On It ($3.20) and driver Tyler Smith made a quarter move brush to the lead over Mattamerican (Dave Palone) and then held the field at bay to win his division by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:50.2. Beat The Drum (Brett Miller) closed well in the short field to be second and Cammikey (Brian Zendt) was able to grind it out first-over for third place and a spot in the final. “It was a little much going to the three-quarters in 1:21.4,” Said Tyler Smith after the race, “But he was up to it. “My horse is so much better from off the pace. He is wicked off the pace but did not get to do it tonight. But he was good tonight. He can do it either way as long as you don’t rough him up early. He is such a nice horse.” Sired by Art Official, it was the fifth win in nine starts this year for Let’s Drink On It. He is trained by Joe Seekman and co-owned by Tina Seekman, Larry Dond, Hal Hewitt and Vincent Boido, Jr. McWicked ($2.40) and driver David Miller went off as the overwhelming 1/5 betting favorite and did not disappoint his backers as they sped away to an easy three and one-quarter length victory in 1:50.4. Bondi Hanover (Scott Zeron) was the first on the lead, then At Press Time (Matt Kakaley) took command by the opening quarter mile and then they gave way to McWicked before the half mile marker. Brioni (Yannick Gingras) tried a first-over attempt to no avail. At Press Time was able to finish second with Stevensville (Mark MacDonald), who was third-over, closed well enough to finish third. “He was pretty comfortable,” David Miller said. “And he did it pretty easy. “He is an easy horse to rate. I knew Yannkick was just sitting out there so I took advantage of it. I didn’t want to leave real hard. I was waiting to see what would happen. He does not have to be on the lead. He can race just as well from off the pace.” Sired by McArtle and trained by Casie Coleman, it was the fifth win in eight starts this year for McWicked. In his last start he scored in 1:47.3 in winning the $500,000 final of the Max Hempt at Pocono Downs. McWicked is owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

WASHINGTON, PA, July 19, 2014 -- A filly and her driver may be asked to do many things to win a stake race, but finding a path through a flock of truculent geese typically isn't among them. That was the case Friday at The Meadows, however, when Southwind Roulette and Yannick Gingras avoided the geese and captured a division of the Sand Tart, an $227,160 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman filly pacers. The event was contested over three divisions, with Aria Hanover and Shakai Hanover also taking splits. Gingras enjoyed -- if that's the word -- a stake double, as he also piloted Aria Hanover. The geese, perhaps 15 of them, had "honkered" down around the three-quarter pole; as the field approached, they seemed determined to maintain their newfound territory. To complicate matters, a deer outside the fence was trying to match strides with the field. Dave Palone, sitting In The Pocket with Gold Beach behind Southwind Roulette, vacated the two hole and went wide when he noticed the birds. "I don't think Yannick knew they were there at all," Palone said. "I'm following him and I'm like, I better not be dead on his back in case his horse sticks her toes in. So I moved out in the two path. I figured, if he fell inside and mine fell outside, at least we wouldn't trip over them. I think we went right through them." Gingras indicated that by the time he saw the geese, there was no way to change course. "I've never seen geese and a deer at the same time," he said. "David screamed behind me when he saw them, but it was too late to move. My filly didn't care one bit. She just went right through them." The birds reluctantly scattered, and there were no injuries to humans or animals. The judges stamped the race official only after speaking with the drivers involved. Southwind Roulette defeated the rallying Kays Dragon Lady by 2 lengths in 1:53.2, with the unlucky Gold Beach third. Ron Burke trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Rio for Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. Gingras' other stake victory was more conventional, as Aria Hanover followed the cover of Doctor Terror and prevailed in 1:53.4 for her second straight PASS win. Doctor Terror fell a head short while Arielle Lynn was fourth-placed-third. "About five horses left inside me," Gingras said. "I figured, if they mix it up enough, I'll be okay. But when I saw the first quarter in 28.2, I was a bit worried and wondered if I should have left harder. But it worked out. If they're good enough, they'll get it done." Jimmy Takter conditions the daughter of Well Said-Allamerican Cognac for Brittany Farms. Shakai Hanover was shuffled to fifth approaching the final turn but found late room outside and stormed through the stretch to score in 1:53.2, a head better than Ginger Tree Alexis. Eloquently Stated completed the ticket. Mark MacDonald drove the daughter of Well Said-She's A Fan, who broke her maiden with the victory, for trainer Carl Jamieson, who owns with Winnipeg Racing and Vira Johnson. "I was a little worried I might be too far back to win," MacDonald said. "She really paced hard when I showed her some racetrack. They're not supposed to win from there -- maybe third. At the wire, she really wanted it. She was sticking her head out and digging hard." Palone drove four winners on the 15-race card. Saturday's program at The Meadows kicks off Adios Week with three $50,000 divisions (races 3-5) of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite. Also featured are two events for sophomore filly pacers -- a $208,846 PA Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 17, 2014-The Empire's best 3-year-old colts and geldings-save for He's Watching-invaded Yonkers Raceway Thursday night for the $221,000 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace. The odds-on gelding Twin B Tenacious (Steve Smith, $3.90) won the first ($72,800) division from second-over. Unhurried from the pole, "Tenacious" chased Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald) through intervals of :27.2, :58 and 1:25.4. "Speedo" swung wide and whipped the leader by a half-length in 1:54. Third went to Keystone Honor (Matt Kakaley). Smith is now 4-for-4 since picking up the drive behind Twin B Tenacious. "To be honest, I had the drive the first time (Meadowlands) when a lot of the guys were out of town," Smith said. "He had some chicken lines (breaks) previously, and has doesn't always relax. "I learned you have to let him settle, but when I've asked him, he's finished very well. Twin B Tenacious, a son of Bettor's Delight trained by Casie Coleman for owner West Wins Stable, is 4-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $12, with the triple returning $114. The second ($74,100) statebred event was supposed to be fairly simple work night for Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off (Kakaley). However, despite a perfect tow from entrymate I'm All Heart (George Brennan), the 1-5 tandem found themselves run over. Capital Account (Yannick Gingras, $35.80), third-over from post position No. 4, snapped All Bets Off by a half-length in 1:52.4. Big Boys Dreams (Jason Bartlett) was third. Fifth choice Capital Account, a Brittany Farms homebred American Ideal colt trained by Jimmy Takter, is now 4-for-11 this season. The exacta paid $76, with the triple returning $336.50. "This was his best race so far," Gingras said. "Sometimes, he's been known to throw in steps, but tonight, this worked out. When I saw Matt (Kakaley) working (on All Bets Off), I knew I had him beat. "The last time he was here (NYSS last month), he was locked in. If I had come first-up, he'd have won but I had to use him leaving. It was a much better trip tonight." Thursday night's final ($74,100) sires soiree saw Forty Five Red (Brennan, $22.60)-last season's winner of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here-make the lead right at the half and hold sway. Forty Five Red, from post No. 4, took over from Sir Jake's Z Tam (Jordan Stratton) after that one's :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.3 intermission, it was a 1:24.1 three-quarters and a season's-best 1:52.3 finale, which found Forty Five Red a length better than Winds of Change (Tim Tetrick). Neat (Marcus Miller) was third, while 1-2 choice Stay Up Late (Brian Sears) was a never-in-it dead-heat for fifth. Forty Five Red, a son of If I Can Dream co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Our Horse Cents Stable, has won his last couple after beginning the season 0-for-6. The exacta paid $133, with the triple returning $379.50. "Last week (overnight here), he was all out to win and just didn't race well," Brennan said. "Tonight, I scored him down much harder he was a totally different horse...on the bit and alert." Forty Five Red's winning time Thursday was more than two seconds faster than his previous effort. After Saturday night's $125,000 final of the Sheppard Pace (2-year-old colts/geldings), New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night, with the $200,200 Clyde Hirt Pace for 2-year-old fillies colts and geldings. Four, $50,050 groupings go as races 2,4,5 and 6. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Night Pro won the first race of his career at Northfield Park, but the stakes will be a little higher when the pacer returns to the Cleveland-area oval for the first time since his March 2013 debut. The purse for Night Pro's first victory was $2,000. On Saturday night, the 4-year-old competes in the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park against some of the best older pacers in harness racing. The field also includes Foiled Again, who is a two-time winner of the race and the richest pacer in North American history, plus stakes-winners Apprentice Hanover, Beach Memories, Bolt The Duer, Clear Vision, Fool Me Once, and Twilight Bonfire. Night Pro, an Indiana Sire Stakes champion and winner of six consecutive starts heading into the Battle of Lake Erie, will start from post one with driver Peter Wrenn and is 4-1 on the morning line. Foiled Again, who will leave from post seven with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Ron Burke, is the 3-1 favorite. "I'm excited, to say the least," said Dale Decker, a Michigan resident who owns and trains Night Pro. "It's nice to let the rest of the country see him. I know people will be watching because of Foiled Again and the rest of them. "I think he can go with them. I just have to make sure he's healthy going in. That's the important part." Night Pro has won 21 of 28 lifetime races and $308,929. Decker, who attended the U.S. Trotting Association's Driving School in 2000 and has won 171 races as a driver and 180 as a trainer, purchased the son of Pro Bono Best-Midnight Jewel for $14,000 as a yearling at the Hoosier Sale, although he had no intention of buying the horse when he attended the sale. Decker, who runs a homebuilding company in addition to training horses, raised Night Pro for breeder Linda Marckel and expected the horse to sell for much more. "I was in a state of shock, so I started bidding," Decker said. "I didn't even have a truck or trailer there. But I had high expectations for the colt and thought he would bring more than that, so I ended up buying him." For a while, it appeared Decker's expectations would be unfulfilled. Night Pro was unraced at age 2 because he had a bone chip removed from his left-hind ankle and did little to encourage Decker until the end of February 2013. "He started back at [age] 3 and I didn't think he would make it to the races because he just couldn't seem to get over that ailment," Decker said. "He was just going through the motions. Then it was like the light switch turned on. It was like overnight he turned into a racehorse. Then, I thought I might have something." Night Pro won his first eight starts and 10 of his first 12 without ever finishing worse than second. His last victory during that span came in the July $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male pacers at Hoosier Park. When the fall championship arrived in September, Night Pro was battling illness and finished sixth. "He was a little sluggish in the last leg [of the sire stakes] and he was just no good in the final," Decker said. "It just took too much out of him. That was his last race of the year and he's come back strong this year." Now Decker will get to see if Night Pro is strong enough to handle the likes of Foiled Again, who has earned $6.31 million in his career, world champion Bolt The Duer, and 2013 Cleveland Classic winner Apprentice Hanover. Night Pro enters the Battle of Lake Erie off four straight wins in the invitational handicap at Hoosier Park, with the last three coming over 2012 American-National Stakes winner Our Lucky Chip. "I've been interested in getting outside of Indiana and seeing if he could compete with the rest of them," Decker said. "This means a lot to me." Following is the field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Night Pro, Peter Wrenn, Dale Decker, 4-1; 2. Beach Memories, Josh Sutton, Brian Brown, 15-1; 3. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 7-2; 4. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 9-2; 5. Fool Me Once, Aaron Merriman, Mark Austin, 6-1; 6. Twilight Bonfire, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock, 12-1; 7. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-1; 8. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace, 10-1. By Ken Weingartner for, Harness Racing Communications    

Gural Hanover's victory in his $59,100 division of the New York Sires Stakes for sophomore colts and geldings on Tuesday afternoon (July 15) was an eye-opening one when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. guided the big altered son of Crazed-Givemearing to a new all age trotting track record of 1:55.2. It was the fastest trotting mile in the 58-year history of the Mighty M and it erased the former standard of 1:55.4 set by Man About Town in 2007. In doing so Gural Hanover set a new standard for 3 year-old trotters expunging the 1:57.1 mark co-held by Green Day (2007) ,Gaelic And Garlic (2012) and Ex King (2013). Morrill also won the second $59,100 NYSS split with Zoey De Vie in 1:57.3 and he was victorious in three Excelsior Stakes which gave him five winners on the card. But Gural Hanover was the overwhelming star of the day. In against his arch rival Expressive Action (Mike Simon) Morrill chose to send Gural Hanover to the lead from the four-hole on the hot and humid afternoon. They gained command on the first turn and cruised by the first quarter in :28.2. From there Morrill let the big fellow ramble past the half in :57.2 two full lengths ahead of Expressive Action and that was as close as Mike Simon's trotter could get to Morrill's. At the third stanza Gural Hanover had a three- length lead which was opened to four at the wire. Expressive Action finished second with Hallanet and Trond Smedshammer another length back in third position. "He's push button," Morrill said of Gural Hanover in the winner's circle after the race. "You can leave with him, put him in a hole or do whatever you want and you can drive him with two fingers. He's a monster and a real pleasure to sit behind real pleasure to sit behind." Lightly raced Gural Hanover only had one start as a freshman and was victorious in 2:00 at Balmoral Park in late September. This far this season the big bold-going gelding now has four wins; one second and one third in six seasonal starts and his bankroll has swelled to over $104,000. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Little E and Panhellenic Stables and trained by Ron Burke the winner returned a $2.30 win mutuel. Morrill, unquestionably the dominant force on the NYSS circuit, also copped the second $59,100 NYSS split with Zoey De Vie, a Conway Hall-Pauls Wink gelding trained by Heidi Rohr. In that contest Flyhawk El Dorado and driver Mark MacDonald seemed to have everything under control as they led Zoey De Vie and odds-on favorite Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern) through fractions of :28.3; :59; and 1:28.4. However, as Flyhawk El Dorado rounded the final turn the trotter went off stride which opened an easy path to the finish for Zoey De Vie who rallied and kept Cash Me Out at bay to score a one length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.3. "He's a good colt who has had some bad luck but we got good luck today." Morrill said referring to Flyhawk El Dorado making a break as the field turned for home. "We were in the right place at the right time but we still trotted a :28.3 last quarter to win it." Owned by Jesse and John De Long, Zoey De Vie paid $8.10 for win. All the 3 year olds in Excelsior Series performed also admirably. Winners -with drivers--were: JL Cruze (1:59.4-Jimmy Marohn, Jr.); Crazzy Crazzy (1:58- Jimmy Morrill, Jr.); Winbak Glory (1:59.2-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.); General Bill Brown (1:57.3-Mark MacDonald); Flyhawk Thriller (1:58.1-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) and Consumer Rate (2:01.1-Mark MacDonald) by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Hall Of Terror posted the fastest winning time among six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion Series on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The races were for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace. Hall Of Terror (Western Terror-Maytime Hall), driven by Mark MacDonald and trained by Erv Miller, won in 1:53:1, his second straight Stallion Series victory. Other Stallion Series winners on the night: R N Nate (Nuclear Breeze-R N Artist), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Roger Hammer, in 1:54; Royaltyhasarrived (Western Terror-Her Mattjesty), driven by Dan Rawlings and trained by Steve Schoeffel, in 1:55:2; Final Gesture (Shark Gesture-Real Girl), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Linda Toscano, in 1:54; My Hero Ron (Well Said-Erma La Em), driven by Mark MacDonald and trained by Erv Miller, in 1:54:4; and Letsmakeawish (Western Terror-Dynamite Donna), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, in 1:53:4. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Foiled Again has drawn post 7 in Saturday's (July 19) $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie and has been named the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Foiled Again will appear in the Battle an unprecedented six times, and Saturday will reveal if he is successful in becoming the first horse in Northfield Park history to win this event three times. The 10 year-old son of Dragon Again (2000 Battle Champion) won in 2009 and 2011, joining Jaguar Spur (winner in 1988-89), Peruvian Hanover (winner in 2002-03) and Maltese Artist (winner in 2005 and 2007) as the only four horses to win the Battle of Lake Erie twice. Age does not seem to be slowing Foiled Again. He has paced his last four races in under 1:50. Foiled Again is trained by Ronald Burke and has garnered 80 career victories and sports earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in the history of harness racing. The 2014 Battle of Lake Erie field: Horse Driver Trainer M/L 1-Night Pro Peter Wrenn Dale Decker 4-1 2-Beach Memories Josh Sutton Brian Brown 15-1 3-Bolt The Duer Mark MacDonald Peter Foley 7-2 4-Clear Vision Brett Miller Ron Burke 9-2 5-Fool Me Once Aaron Merriman Mark Austin 6-1 6-Twilight Bonfire Tony Hall Rich Gillock 12-1 7-Foiled Again Yannick Gingras Ron Burke 3-1 8-Apprentice Hanover Jody Jamieson Benjamin Wallace 10-1 Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip and Maltese Artist. Powerful Undercard This year's Battle of Lake Erie program carries total purses of $554,500. The 15-race program boasts an impressive undercard featuring nine $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for two and three year-old colt pacers and trotters. Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday's twelfth race, the Battle feature. First race post time is 6:00 p.m. In addition to superior racing action, Battle night will also offer guests a sumptuous buffet in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The special priced buffet is just $15.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101. Guests who want to be down close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron to sample several of northeast Ohio's most popular food trucks. Live music by Unknown Reason will be part of the apron scene from 5-10 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

On Tuesday afternoon (July 15 ) Monticello Raceway will host 3 year old trotting colts and geldings in both the New York Sire Stakes and the Excelsior Series. Two NYSS events, along with five Excelsior's, will offer over $163,000 in purse money. The NYSS events mark the third of eight legs for the sophomore trotters at various New York racetracks en route to the $225,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway on September 13. Along the way the competing colts and geldings will earn points in each leg, depending on the placements, with the top eight point recipients earning a berth in the rich finale. Although the Excelsior's outnumber the NYSS, five to two, those competing in the sire stakes events, at least at this time, are the cream of the crop and each division will go for a purse of $59,100. Two of the Division A Excelsior's go for $12,600 purses while the three Division B trotters each race for $6600. The NYSS trots will go as races eight and 12 on Tuesday's 13-race card and both fields contain quality trotters. The first $59,100 split pits Gural Hanover, an altered son of Crazed-Givemearing, against Expressive Action, a Conway Hall-Yetta's Angel colt. Both young trotters have similar credentials with each having three wins, one second and one third in five starts. And both have won on big tracks in 1:54 and a piece although Expressive Action has already earned over $167,000 while Gural Hanover's current bankroll tops $75,000. However the latter has defeated the former in the two previous NYSS events at Saratoga Raceway and at Buffalo Raceway. The odds-maker sets a 4-5 morning line odds on Gural Hanover while Expressive Action has been rated at 2-1. Gural Hanover is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Little E Stable and Panhellenic Stable and will start from the four- hole with Jimmy Morrill, Jr. at the controls. Meanwhile, Expressive Action, trained by John Grasso for the John Grasso Stable, Inc. will have his regular driver, Mike Simons, in the sulky when they start from post position two. Cash Me Out, with three consecutive victories-two in NYSS action-has been rated the 2-1 early line favorite in the second $59,100 division. His last, a 1:56.4 come-from-behind triumph over Expressive Action at Buffalo Raceway was a beaut. The Cash Hall-China Victory colt has four wins and three seconds in eight starts and over $88,000 in earnings. Owned by Traylor Racing, trained by Cheryl Mc Givern, Cash Me Out will start on the far outside from post six with Mickey McGivern at the lines. Flyhawk El Durado, the winner of last year's $225,000 2 year old colt and gelding final, will be the main competition in the six horse field. Trained by Mark Ford for Martin Scharf the Conway Hall-El Paso Gal colt has purses of over $77,000 and a best win time of 1:54.1 taken at Mohawk Racetrack in Canada. Mark MacDonald will be in the pilot's seat when the colt leaves from post four. The five Excelsior Stakes trots make a solid undercard on the Tuesday program. First post will be at 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mother Nature definitely was a major factor in Sunday afternoon's New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers but the heavy rains didn't stop Our Hot Majorette, Bin N Heaven and Bossers Joy from registering victories over the sloppy track.   Bin N Heaven posted the fastest time of the three $36,566 divisions with a 1:59.4 time. Our Hot Majorette and Bossers Joy each lit up the tote board in the other two legs. Mike Saftic managed to hang on at the wire to score a $23.60 win while Bossers Joy and Brent Holland took the final division and returned $80.00 for the victory.   The heavy rain made the track a sloppy mess but Bin N Heaven, entering her race a perfect 2-for-2 in qualifiers including 1:56.3 at Mohawk, found the wet going to her liking. Taking over the lead just before the three-quarter marker, Bin N Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Binions) paced away from the field and beat Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) by 2-1/4 lengths while Fan Mail (Mark MacDonald) finished in third.   "There we no problems at all," McNail said of Bin N Heaven's trip. "She was push button. She went when we needed to go. Those were great fractions considering the weather."   Owned by Frank Bellino and trained by Tony O-Sullivan, it was the first pari-mutuel win in Bin N Heaven's first start.   Our Hot Majorette (Art Major-She's So Hot) showed plenty of heart in the lane and took the opening leg with a head victory over Amertime (MacDonald) in what can only be described as a monsoon rainstorm. Ameritime cut the mile with 31., 1:03 and 1:34.3 but stop Our Hot Majorette in a ding-dong battle down the lane. The heavily-favored Sheeztoughenough (Morrill Jr.) took the show position.   "Wow," was the first comment of driver Mike Saftic when he returned to the winner's circle. "That was a great trip for her in here. I really couldn't see too much though. That was sure an adventurous trip."   Our Hot Majorette is owned Miller Farms and is trained by Eric Adams.   Bossers Joy (Art Major-Esther's Joy) enjoyed the frolic in the wet going and rallied for an impressive head victory over Crucial Moment (Jimmy Whittemore) in the final division. Mydelight Bluechip (Chris Lems) rounded out the top three.   Hitting the half-mile 11-1/4 lengths behind the leaders, Bossers Joy used a slow and steady journey on the outside to snatch the win, getting up in the shadow of the wire for the upset victory.   "She really whipped around the track," Holland said of the last half mile by Bossers Joy. "There were no issues. She raced well." Holland, who tripled on the card, added with a laugh, "We finally got the lead when we wanted it...at the wire."   Bossers Joy is owned by Francis Azur and is conditioned by Kevin McDermott.   In the $12,700 Excelsior A Series, Holland took two divisions with by steering Bugatti Beauty ($24.00) to a 2:03.2 decision and Jag Out ($3.00) to a 2:02.3 win. Hey Kobe ($6.50) won the other leg for driver John Plutino in 2:02.3.   The Excelsior B Series, worth $6,600, went to Delightful Plan ($4.80) with Jeff Gregory in the sulky. They covered the mile in 2:05.2.   The final week of racing for the 2014 season begins on Wednesday night with a 10-race card program set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway      

He is the top pacer in harness racing right now as Sweet Lou rolled to his sixth consecutive victory with a two length triumph in the $463,300 William Haughton Memorial Pace for older horses. Driven by Ron Pierce, Sweet Lou benefited from a perfect second-over trip and used that to his advantage, sweeping by pacesetter Captaintreacherous (Tim Tetrick) and stable mate Bettor’s Edge in the stretch for the victory in 1:47.1. Bettor’s Edge edged Captaintreacherous for second place at the wire. “I am very happy with his win tonight,” said trainer Ron Burke. “He has been brushing to the lead every week and I thought what might happen if was to get a trip for once. What I liked best was that at the end of the mile he was full of speed and that was great.” Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) had left and took early command with Bold The Duer (Mark MacDonald) second to the opening quarter in :25.3. Then Tetrick came at the quarter with Captaintreachous and they took the lead before the half in :53. Then Thinking Out Loud (John Campbell) came first-over and that was the time that Peirce moved Sweet Lou and grabbed the outside over. They went by the three-quarters in 1:21 and as they turned for home was when Pierce came three-wide with Sweet Lou and it took him a few steps to gather up the speed needed to collar the race leaders and pass them by. A five-year-old son of Yankee Cruise, Sweet Lou posted his sixth straight win in nine starts this year for trainer Ron Burke. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and L P Collura. Sweet Lou paid $4.00 to win as the wagering favorite. Sweet Lou By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

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