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She might be best known for once bursting through a gaggle of geese on her way to victory at The Meadows, but co-owner Howard Taylor hopes that by the end of the season people recognize Southwind Roulette for her talent. Southwind Roulette, who has won five of seven starts this year, races in the third of three Historic-Debutante Stakes divisions at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday. Her victories include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and her $284,448 in purses rank No. 2 to undefeated JK She'salady among 2-year-old female pacers. "She's a really nice filly," said Taylor, who owns Southwind Roulette with Brad Grant. "She's real long gaited. If you watch her stride, she really reaches out. "And she wins," he added with a laugh. "And she wins a lot of money. There's nothing not to like about her." The first division of the Historic-Debutante Stakes includes stakes-winner Ideal Nuggets. Southwind Roulette's split also includes New York Sire Stakes championship runner-up Bossers Joy. Southwind Roulette is a daughter of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere out of the stakes-winning mare Southwind Rio. She was purchased as a yearling for $30,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. She started the year with trainer Doug Lewis before moving to the barn of Ron Burke in July. "I have a friend who has a real good eye for yearlings, Mike Hall," Taylor said. "Mike picked her out. He always finds holes in the sale, cheap horses for the breeding. He found her and told me I should buy her." Southwind Roulette began her career by winning a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars and then finished third in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. In her next start at The Meadows, in another PaSS division, she and driver Yannick Gingras won despite having to go through a gaggle of geese on the track just prior to the final turn. "I talked to Doug afterward and told him I didn't believe what I saw there," Taylor said. "He told me that the farm they're on has geese. She'd seen that before and gone through them before, so she didn't think anything of it. Of all the horses in the race, she's probably the only one that would have done that. Yannick said she didn't even bat an eye. He was worried, but she wasn't." Southwind Roulette followed that win with two more victories in the preliminary rounds of the sire stakes before capturing the championship on Sept. 6 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She enters the Historic-Debutante after a seventh-place finish in a division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes at Hoosier Park, where she got parked in an opening :25.3 quarter-mile. "Other than that, she's been super," Taylor said. "We have hopes for the Breeders Crown. That's all you can ask for at this point in the year, that you're still going strong and you've got a shot to get the brass ring." GOLD CORA HOPES TO GLITTER IN ACORN After finishing second to Jolene Jolene and Mission Brief in back-to-back world-record miles, Gold Cora's connections might wonder: Who will it be this time? "I hope if anybody it would be us," trainer Rich Gillock said with a laugh. "It seems we're getting good at getting into those kinds of races. That's pretty tough sledding. "But I'm not complaining. I'm happy to be second in those kinds of races." Gold Cora races Thursday in the second of four Historic-Acorn Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia. She will start from post No. 1 with driver Tim Tetrick and is the 8-5 morning line favorite. A daughter of stallion Encore Encore out of the mare Striking Gold K, Gold Cora has won three of 11 races and $94,098 for breeder/owner Bob Key. Gillock trained both of Gold Cora's parents and Tetrick drove Encore Encore, who won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and finished second to Federal Flex in the 2008 Valley Victory. "This filly has come along and she's been improving as the year progresses," Gillock said. "Hopefully we can get a piece of the pie every time and it will add up." Gold Cora went off stride in consecutive starts in August, but since then has been a steady performer. "I had to regroup with her and rig her a little differently," Gillock said. "She had a few little issues going on, just little things that were factors, and we got them squared away." Gold Cora has two wins, two seconds and a third in her last five races. Her victories came in divisions of the Reynolds Stakes at Tioga Downs and the Kindergarten Series at The Red Mile. Her remaining three on-the-board finishes during that span came in record-setting races. She finished third in a division the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes at Hoosier Park, where Speak To Me established the track mark for 2-year-old female trotters with a 1:55.2 victory. Next, at The Red Mile, Gold Cora finished second to Jolene Jolene in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes in a 1:52.1 mile that equaled the world record. A week later, she was second to Mission Brief in a division of the International Stallion Stakes in the fastest-ever mile by a 2-year-old trotter, 1:50.3. "We stayed up tight (in the Kentuckiana) and she hadn't gone those kinds of fractions before and she just didn't get home any," Gillock said. "It was just the way that race went; it took a toll on the majority of them except the horse that won. But I think that stretched her out a little and I hope she'll keep going forward." Following the Historic-Acorn Stakes, Gold Cora could go to Canada for the Goldsmith Maid or to Vernon Downs for the final preliminary round of the Kindergarten Series. "We'll see how we do at (Philly) and go from there," Gillock said. Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Wild Honey is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first division of the Historic-Acorn Stakes. The Jimmy Takter-trainee has won seven consecutive starts since losing her debut by a head to Gatka Hanover. In September, she trotted the fastest mile in history by a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile racetrack, winning in 1:55.2 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Takter's Shaqline, who is coming off second-place finishes in divisions of the International Stallion and Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes, is the 8-5 choice in the third division. Jersey Strong, trained by Mark Harder, is the 8-5 favorite in the fourth and final division. She finished second to Wild Honey in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Trainer Tony Alagna hopes Rare Gift delivered a special present in the form of 2-year-old colt trotter Gifted Way. Gifted Way, a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Rare Gift, was purchased for $170,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. Gifted Way makes his third start Friday in the single elimination for the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. The colt is owned by Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco, Little E LLC, and Deo Volente Farms. Gifted Way is part of a four-horse entry in the Haughton elim, along with Jimmy Takter-trained Special Action, The Bank, and Uncle Lasse. The group is 3-5 on the morning line. Rounding out the horses in the elim, from which the top seven finishers advance to the $280,000 estimated final on Aug. 2, Hambletonian Day, are Ake Svanstedt's Centurion ATM and Amicus, Ray Schnittker's Broken Record, Erv Miller's SS Poseidon, Nancy Johansson's Cruzado Dela Noche, and Mark Harder's True Blue Stride. Three horses received byes to the final: Takter's Canepa Hanover, Nik Drennan's Guess Whos Back, and Jim Campbell's Honor And Serve. Gifted Way won his debut, a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars, on July 4 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He went off stride at the start in his second race, which was won by Canepa Hanover, on July 18 at the Meadowlands. "He's a nice colt," Alagna said. "When the gate left the other night, he just got off on the wrong foot and made a break, which he hadn't done before. He trotted good after making the break, came out of the race fine, and trained back good [Tuesday]. I think we're set for the elimination on Friday night." Gifted Way is Rare Gift's fourth foal, and first by Cantab Hall, who was the sport's leading trotting sire in 2012 and 2013. Rare Gift is a full sister to stakes-winner Stand Strong and a three-quarter-sister to 1996 Horse of the Year Continentalvictory and stakes-winner Victory Abroad. "The family has been a little stagnant, but this was by far the best colt the mare had thrown," Alagna said. "He's very correct. He was very athletic in the paddock. He just had everything going for him. "Cantab Hall has just been red hot the last couple years, so we thought we would take a shot. We're glad we did. I think he was the right horse." Gifted Way is not the only horse in the Haughton elim with well-known relatives. Uncle Lasse is a full brother to Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly trotter and a top contender in the upcoming Hambletonian Oaks, and Broken Record is a half-brother to 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo. Special Action's family includes 2006 Hambletonian winner Glidemaster and The Bank's dam is millionaire Lantern Kronos. Friday's card also features two eliminations for the Merrie Annabelle Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters and the second round of the Ima Lula Series for 4-year-old female trotters. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

After watching Bee A Magician put together an 18-race win streak that began at age 2 and covered her entire 3-year-old season, harness racing fans wanted to know what was wrong with the 2013 Horse of the Year as she went winless in her first four starts this season. Not much, says trainer Nifty Norman, other than the fact that winning is difficult. "Lots of people have said to me that she's been no good, but only once really," Norman said. "Her first start was a great run, [second in 1:51.3] right off the bat and she had trot finishing. We kind of raced her easy in her second start and she was second; she was a little bit flat. Then she was sick, but she's been good again ever since. "People just expect her to win," he added with a chuckle. "It's not that easy; I wish it was. But I think she's been pretty solid." Bee A Magician, owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, returned to her winning ways with a world-record 1:51.1 triumph July 12 in the third round of the Miss Versatility Series at Meadowlands Racetrack. She now holds the records for fastest 3-year-old (1:51) and 4-year-old female trotters in history. She will try to make it two victories in a row when she meets six rivals in Friday's second leg of the Ima Lula Series for 4-year-old female trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Bee A Magician and regular driver Brian Sears will start from post one. The rest of the field in post order is Handover Belle, Rockin With Dewey, NF Happenstance, Ma Chere Hall, Mistery Woman, and Classic Martine. Handover Belle won the Ima Lula's first round on July 18 by a half-length over Ma Chere Hall in 1:51.4. The $55,000 estimated final is Aug. 2, Hambletonian Day. Bee A Magician -- who has won 28 of 35 career races, finished second on four occasions, and earned $2.45 million -- was eligible to the John Cashman Jr. Memorial, but the mare's connections decided against facing the boys. She raced against her male counterparts in the Hambletonian Maturity on July 5, finishing second to Your So Vain. "I want to race her as easy as I can," Norman said. "I'll consider racing those horses again later in the year maybe, but not right now. You can't be too tough on them. You see some of the other 4-year-olds that have come back and are not what they were. It's a tough thing to do because most of them have laid it all on the line last year." As it is, racing against the mares is difficult enough. "It's a tough division; very solid," Norman said, adding about her 1:51.1 win in the most recent Miss Versatility round, "It was a good race. She didn't jog, it was a good race." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race.   $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel   Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous   If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored)   Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1   "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi   THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary   Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso.   Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale)   NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five.   ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th   Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same   Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace.   WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace)   Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki   IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger.   Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership.   "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer.   Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn   If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction.   Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton  Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry.   "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final.   Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second.   He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle)   SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace)   The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005)   Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera.   The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58   Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD!   OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro...   15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders)   Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd   Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992   Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779   Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden

WASHINGTON, PA, July 7, 2014 -- Royaltyhasarrived converted a relentless uncovered move to victory in 1:55.4, fastest split of Monday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers at The Meadows. The event was contested over five divisions, with Sammy Said, Hall Of Terror, Smiling Terror and Cartel taking the other splits. Dave Palone, who piloted six winners on the 16-race card, enjoyed a stake double behind Sammy Said and Cartel. Royaltyhasarrived was coming off a trip both disastrous and promising in the PA All Stars; he was parked every step but was making up ground late while individually timed in 1:54.4. Winning driver Dan Rawlings, who was aboard that day as well, figured that made his horse the best -- particularly with Monday's addition of earplugs. "Last week I couldn't get him in a hole, I couldn't hold him," Rawlings said. "It was kind of embarrassing; it took a little pride out of me. But he definitely was fast enough. Being honest, I didn't think I would lose this race today. If he learns a little more to go with his natural ability, he might be able to go with the sires stakes horses later on." The Western Terror-Her Mattjesty gelding defeated Hillbillyrootdiggr by 4-1/2 lengths, with Caserati Hanover third. Steve Schoeffel trains Royaltyhasarrived for Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Jerry Dedoszak and Michael Munn. Sammy Said vaulted to the early lead for trainer Mark Harder and owner Fox Hollow Farm, the held off B Well by a head to triumph in a maiden-breaking 1: 56.2. UF Larry Alltheway earned show. After Sammy Said trailed throughout in his PA All Stars split, Harder was looking to shake up the youngster. "Mark said to put him in the hunt," Palone said. "He thought the horse was a little better than he showed the first start. We didn't plan on getting stuck on the lead. I was impressed with the little guy. He gives you a good try." Smiling Terror began his career with two front-end victories in qualifiers, but in Monday's stake, he angled off the cones from fourth for Mike Wilder and scored at first asking in 1:56.3. Given Up Terror raced well uncovered for second, 2-1/2 lengths in arrears, with Battle Cruiser third. "He got to move a little bit in both qualifiers, so we knew he was capable of making moves," said Steve Owens, who conditions the Western Terror-ASAP Or Sooner gelding for Last Laugh LLC. "He had to back out around them in the last turn; that's a hard move for young horses. Elsewhere on the program, Nice Party won her seventh consecutive race in a conditioned Fillies & Mares event -- a remarkable turnaround from her sophomore campaign in 2013, when she lost all five outings. Tony Hall drove the daughter of Party At Artsplace-Nice'n Big for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns with Tom Pollack. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Albatross, a $236.060 PA Sites Stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. By Evan Pattak

Driver Andrew McCarthy scored a victory about Iaintnomomaluke in the sixth race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Wednesday night for the 1,000th victory of his career. McCarthy, who has been a regular at Pocono for the past several years, had moved to 999 with a triple on Tuesday night before toppling the mark on Wednesday night. In other action on Wednesday night at Pocono, there were seven $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All Stars races held for 2-year-old trotting fillies. The winners were: Wouldn't Itbesweet (Cantab Hall - U S Victory), driven by Howard Parker and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:57; Fashion Voyager (Broadway Hall - BWT Maija), driven by John Campbell and trained by Jim Campbell, in 1:57:4; Gatka Hanover (Muscle Massive - Girlie Tough), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, in 1:56; Onda Di Mare (Yankee Glide - Upfront Ob's Janet, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Jim Campbell, in 1:56:3; Speak To Me (Muscle Massive - Ms Naughty), driven by Yannick Gingras and trained by Jimmy Takter, in 1:57; Jersey Strong (Muscle Massive - Vacation's Over), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Mark Harder, in 1:56:4; and Matter Of Days (Explosive Matter - Drinking Days), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Todd Schadel. Jim Beviglia      

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 25, 2014 - Hope springs eternal as two-year-old New Jersey-sired pacers and trotters make their first career starts on Friday night, June 27, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Eight trotting colts - five sons of Muscles Yankee and three by Muscle Hill - will make their debuts in the second race, the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, vying for a purse of $39,000. Seven trotting fillies, all by Muscle Hill, will go postward in the $38,500 fifth race. Two divisions of pacing colts and geldings, each worth $27,000, are carded as the ninth and 12th races on the 14-race card. In the first split, there are six sons of Rocknroll Hanover, two by Cam's Card Shark and one by Western Ideal. In the second division, five are by Rocknroll Hanover, and two each by Cam's Card Shark and Western Ideal. Two-year-old pacing fillies are competing in a pair of $25,500 divisions, races three and 11, and include seven by Rocknroll Hanover and five by Western Ideal. Yearling prices do not guarantee great racehorses but expectations will be high for the six entrants who cost $100,000 or more as yearlings. Among the trotters, they are French Laundry, a $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase trained by Jimmy Takter and winner in both of his baby races, including a 1:57.3 clocking on June 14. The son of Muscles Yankee is out of the $927,169-earner and Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi, who is also the dam of The Franchise and King City. French Laundry races for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and co-breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. True Blue Stride, a Muscle Hill son of Sabrina Hall, cost $160,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. He is the three-quarter brother of He's A Demon, who banked more than $300,000. Mark Harder trains for Australians Emilio and Maria Rosati. The filly Mission Brief, trained by Ron Burke, was a $150,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The daughter of Muscle Hill is out of Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena and won her last baby race by 23 lengths in 1:57.4. On the pacing side, Richard and Joanne Young have invested $180,000 [Lexington Selected Sale] in The Show Returns by Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place and turned her over to trainer Chris Ryder. The Youngs campaigned her $2.4 million earning full sister Put On A Show. Tony Alagna is training Cashaway for Brittany Farms [co-breeder] and Marvin Katz, after the Western Ideal -CPA filly passed through the Lexington Selected sales ring for $105,000. She is the full sister to two who have won in excess of $250,000 each, Authorize and Act Now, and has won a baby race in 1:55.4. The Rocknroll Hanover colt Sid Rock is the first foal of My Fantasy, who earned nearly $345,000. He was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase for William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick and is trained by John Butenschoen. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

We are in the thick of the most exciting time of the season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Over the next few weekends we'll be seeing some of the finest standardbreds in the world competing for some huge stakes. We've also been blessed with Sire Stakes and Stallion Series races just about every night of late. Through all of that, our overnight races continue to produce outstanding performances. It's not easy to choose the very best out of such a wealth of talent, but that's what we'll try to do as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: FATEFUL CHOICE When a horse is a part of a barn as successful as that of trainer Chris Oakes and it isn't winning with regularity, it can almost seem like an underachiever. In the case of 4-year-old gelding Fateful Choice, it may just have been a case early this year of running up against top competition while not quite on his best game. The result was just a single win in ten races to start the 2014 season. A drop down in class on June 3 to the non-winners of $7,000 in the last five starts did the trick though, as Fateful Choice found his confidence and his stride in a big way, blowing the field away by 4 ¼ lengths in 1:49:2, a new career-best. Bouyed by the victory, he moved up to take on a tougher group of non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts on Saturday night. Driver Anthony Napolitano stayed aggressive with Fateful Choice, sending him to the front end, then rated him very well to the half. At that point, the gelding was a powerhouse and scorched the dirt on his way to his second sub-1:50 victory, this one coming in 1:49:4. All of a sudden, Fateful Choice has the look of so many other of his stablemates. In other words, he looks awful tough to beat. Other top pacers this week include: Bushwacker (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Ryder), who moved to two-for-two on the season with another impressive condition win on Sunday night, this one coming in 1:51; Colossal Cruiser (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who took a huge step up in class Saturday night to the $20,000 claimers and still picked up his second straight victory, doing so in a career-best 1:50; and Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley), who tuned up in anticipation of the Ben Franklin pace at Pocono by dominating a Preferred group on Saturday night in the week's fastest time of 1:48:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: IL MAGO This 5-year-old stallion from the Mark Harder barn has been exceptional since arriving at Pocono for a condition trot on June 4. That was just his second start following a layoff of two months, but there was no rust evident whatsoever as he took the lead on the front stretch and then gutted out a tough stretch drive to win by a neck in 1:53:3. On Tuesday night, Il Mago was back at it against the non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts once again, albeit this time in a slightly tougher post on the outer half of the field. Andrew McCarthy was still able to fire the stallion out of the gate and reach the front end before the quarter-pole. He was also able to slow the pace down with fractions almost identical to Il Mago's previous win. In the stretch, a couple horses drew to within striking distance, but McCarthy called on the afterburners and Il Mago responded. The result was a second straight victory with the same time of 1:53:3 from the previous week. That kind of consistent excellence is the stuff of long winning streaks, so watch out for this talented trotted in the weeks to come even if he moves up in class. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Not Afraid (Jim Morrill Jr., Jimmy Takter), who followed up a win at the Meadowlands with a Preferred win on Saturday night at Pocono in a new career mark of 1:51:4, which was also fastest trotting time of the week at MSPD; Bikini So Teeny (Charlie Norris trainer and driver, who won her second straight on Wednesday night, this one coming in Stallion Series company in a career-best 1:55; and Designed To Be (Brian Sears, Julie Miller), whose Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night matched a world record for 3-year-old trotting fillies on a 5/8-mile oval with a winning time of 1:51:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT Despite being laid off since a May 2nd victory in California, this mare with Andrew McCarthy in the bike rallied for a claiming pacing win on Sunday night at 23-1 for a $48.40 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO A-Nap looks poised for his best season ever at Pocono, especially after a week in which he had mutilple wins in three of the four racing nights. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JULIE MILLER Miller had a wonderful night at the Sire Stakes on Wednesday, sweeping both divisions of the 3-year-old trotting fillies with her trainees Take The Money and Designed To Be. 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 Mike Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

Harness racing trainer Jake Huff got quite a surprise last Sunday morning for Father’s Day. It’s wasn’t a special tie or breakfast in bed from his two sons. This Sunday it was a phone call he received telling him that he was going to have two new additions to his stable by the names of Golden Receiver and Statesman N. “It was Father’s Day when I got the phone call from Gene Kurzrok (Our Horse Cents Stable),” Jake Huff said. “It came as quite a surprise and a heck of a Father’s Day gift of sorts. I’ve known the owners for many years and they said they would like to send me a couple of horses. Then when they said it was Golden Receiver and Statesman, my eyes really lit-up.” What people did not know is that Jake Huff has been working with Nina Simmons, co-owner and breeder of Golden Receiver for many years and also has had many horses for Gene Kurzrok. But because Jake races all winter in Florida at Pompano Park, the purses are not as great for top horses to race, but now that Huff is stabled for the summer at Tioga Downs, they felt a change in trainers was needed for their two horses. “I actually had Golden Receiver before Mark Harder,” Jake explained, “I had him a short time when he was a three-year-old and then they turned him over to Mark. Mark has done a superb job with him over the years. There is no animosity between us. Many trainers when they have issues with horses will turn them over to another trainer and hope they can freshen them up. “If I am successful with these two,” Jake said, “They won’t come back with me to Florida come September or October. In all likelihood they will go back to Mark. I am just grateful for the opportunity. I know the horse is getting a little long in the tooth, but he is just a couple of steps away from being with the top horses in the nation at the finish.” Now age 9, Golden Receiver is a gelded son of Village Jove and sports 60 career wins and lifetime earnings of $2,144,036 with a race record of 1:48 at age 7. Stateman N is now age 7, also a gelding by Christian Cullen, who raced most of his career down under and has 21 wins, $351,000 in earnings and a record of 1:50.3f. “It was quite a pick me up getting that call on Father’s Day,” Jake Huff said. “Hopefully this will work out well for everyone involved.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Bandolito might not be the biggest of horses, but Daryl Bier expects him to stand tall when he takes on some of the best older pacers in the world in Saturday night's $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The 4-year-old sensation, who owns the fastest mile of any pacer so far this season, faces eight rivals in the third edition of the Van Rose Memorial. Bandolito's foes include 2013 Van Rose winner Golden Receiver, who has earned $2.13 million during his career, as well as Sweet Lou, Dynamic Youth, and Warrawee Needy. Unraced at age 2, Bandolito has won 13 of 17 career races and $241,315. Last year, he captured the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, but it was earlier this month that he really turned heads thanks to a 1:48 win at Dover Downs. His time equaled the fastest mile ever by a horse of any age at five-eighths-mile Dover Downs and is the fastest mile of this year. He followed that victory with a 1:48.2 triumph on April 10 at Dover Downs in which he covered the final half-mile in :52.1, with a :25.4 last quarter. On Saturday at Pocono Downs, he raced first over to win the preferred handicap by a neck over Dynamic Youth in 1:50.2. "I think he will be better than he was last week," said Bier, who trains and drives Bandolito. "He was coming off a 16-day layoff and I thought he might be a little short. I was thrilled with his race. I think the field last week was a step up from what he had been facing. I expect him to race very well (in the Van Rose)." Bier, who won the inaugural Van Rose in 2012 with Special T Rocks in a world-record-equaling performance, owns Bandolito with his brother Tommy and Charles Dombeck. Tommy Bier was listed as the sole owner when the horse was purchased privately from breeder/trainer Warren Harp last May after the colt won a qualifier in 1:56 at Spring Garden Ranch. With Daryl Bier handling the training and most of the driving, Bandolito won nine of 11 races last season. He was given time off following his Kentucky Sire Stakes victory in September and returned to action in December, but Bier thought the horse was not himself in three starts that culminated with a third-place finish in an open for 5-year-olds and younger on Jan. 9 at Dover Downs. Bier discovered Bandolito was suffering from a foot abscess, which kept the horse out of action until late March. "He's been awesome since he came back," Bier said. "I've never had a horse like him. He can go a quarter in 26 (seconds) and still have another gear. He's got gears I've never seen." Bandolito is a son of the stallion Ponder out of the mare Sody's Home Brew. Bier has been impressed particularly with two Ponder offspring - millionaires Bolt The Duer and Thinking Out Loud - which contributed to his interest in Bandolito. "I really like Ponder; I bought (Bandolito) because he was a Ponder," Bier said. "He was kind of small, but I really like when a horse doesn't race at (age) 2. I think they make better racehorses; I think there's a lot more left in there." Bandolito will start the Van Rose from post six in a race that should offer no shortage of speed, or talent. Warrawee Needy won in 1:46.4 last year, which equaled the fastest race mile in harness racing history. Golden Receiver, Sweet Lou, Dynamic Youth, and Dovuto Hanover all are open stakes winners. "Everything is going to be a test," Bier said. "These are the best horses in the world. But I don't think we're in a bad spot. I'm excited about it. I'm thrilled with him, no matter what. I just hope I can get a clear shot. I don't know how fast he can go." The field in post order for the Van Rose Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Golden Receiver, George Napolitano Jr., Mark Harder; 2. Dancin Yankee, Ron Pierce, Josh Green; 3. Dovuto Hanover, Ron Pierce, Darran Cassar; 4. Dynamic Youth, Andrew McCarthy, Carl Cito Jr.; 5. Abelard Hanover, Jonathan Roberts, Donald Billings; 6. Bandolito, Daryl Bier, Daryl Bier; 7. Emeritus Maximus, Ron Pierce, Tom Cancelliere; 8. Sweet Lou, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Warrawee Needy, Mark MacDonald, Mark Ford. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Ray Hall completed his harness racing sweep of the Bobby Weiss series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for three and four-year-old colts, stallions, and geldings on the trot by dominating in the $30,000 final on Tuesday night. Leaving from post position #4 in a field of eight as a 1-5 favorite, Ray Hall (Justice Hall-Comebyrail), a four-year-old gelding trained by Mark Harder who had won all four preliminary legs of the Weiss, made the lead entering the first turn. From there, driver Tim Tetrick expertly rated the speed. Ray Hall trotted away from his foes in the stretch to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:53:2, which set a new career mark. Sarcastic Man finished second while Sixteen Mikes picked up the show. In another $30,000 Weiss final on Tuesday, Prima Dragon (Dragon Again-Zacharysprimadonna) parlayed a pocket trip into a rallying win in the three and four-year-old fillies and mares pacing group. Brett Miller did the driving for trainer Michael Dowdall, as Prima Dragon, the 9-5 second choice, utilized the inside passing lane in the stretch to get by 3-2 favorite Envious Hanover by a length in 1:52:1, which matched a career-best. Cinnamony finished 3rd. It was Prima Dragon's third consecutive victory. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs      

WILKES-BARRE PA - Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs hosts the three remaining $30,000 Championship races in the Bobby Weiss Series this Tuesday and Wednesday, with the late-developing three- and four-year-olds racing for the glory in the male trot and female pace divisions the first day and the lady trotters then closing out the quartet of series finals. It's hard to make a case against a horse who has won all four of his series prelims, each week posting the fastest clocking of all divisions and last week the fastest of all (1:53.3), and no one doubts that the Justice Hall gelding Ray Hall will be the one to beat as he starts from post four Tuesday for trainer Mark Harder and driver Tim Tetrick. His main challengers figure to be You Rock My World (post seven, driver Scott Zeron), who after recording 3-2-2 finishes behind Ray Hall finally got away from him in the post draw and posted his own victory, and Sixteen Mikes (post five, driver Mike Simons), who had won three Weiss prelims before challenging Ray Hall last week and finishing third. Also to get some support will be Time To Quit (post six), who won one series leg, was second to Ray Hall last week, and starts for the powerful Burke/Kakaley team. The filly pace has several intriguing contenders, but based on recent "hotness" one would give the edge to the Dragon Again filly Prima Dragon, who went 2-2-1-1 in her Weiss prelims, including the fastest of all the prelims, 1:52.4, on April 8. She'll begin from post two for trainer Mike Dowdall and hot-driving Brett Miller, who had four wins at The Downs on Saturday. The Burke/Kakaley trainer/driver pairing always seems to have a contender in these series, and they have a good one here in Envious Hanover, who drew just inside Prima Dragon. "Envious" was the only three-time prelim winner, but the one defeat came to Prima Dragon in that April 8 mile, though she was only a head shy at the wire. Wednesday's Weiss Championship for trotting distaffs is thought as a "coronation ceremony" for Perfect Alliance, a daughter of Credit Winner who is eight for eight this year, including the fastest division in all three of the Weiss prelims in which she competed (fastest 1:53). The Julie Miller-trained mare will start from post six for driver Yannick Gingras, who took over her sulky seat last Wednesday after her regular driver (and Julie's husband) Andy Miller was injured in a racing accident the night before at Yonkers. FINISHING LINES - The first Weiss Championship, for male pacers, was held this past Saturday and was won by the Kent's On Nuke gelding A Stitch In Time, overcoming post nine for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Lou Pena in spectacular fashion - making the lead past a 26.1 opener and then posting devastating middle fractions of 53.1 and 1:20.1 en route to a 1:48.3 triumph, only 2/5 off the world record for 4YO pacing geldings on "f"-size tracks (ironically, one of the co-holders of this world mark, Dynamic Youth, won on the Saturday Pocono undercard). From the PHHA at Pocono Downs

Ray Hall aims to complete a sweep in the five-week Bobby Weiss Series for 3- and 4-year-old male trotters when he faces eight rivals in Tuesday's $30,000 final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. A 4-year-old gelding, Ray Hall has won six of 11 races this year, with four of the victories coming in the Weiss. He starts the final from post four with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer/co-owner Mark Harder. Tuesday's card also features the $30,000 Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old female pacers. "He's just a nice little horse, doing everything right," said Harder, who began training Ray Hall in December and got a share in ownership earlier this month. "He's just hit a nice little groove. He came to me with a couple series in mind out here and it's just worked out. He got happy and a nice little schedule and he's racing good." Ray Hall, who also is owned by Ohio's Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, has won 12 of 28 lifetime starts and earned $91,144. He is a son of stallion Justice Hall out of the mare Comebyrail and his family includes standout female trotter Elaine Rodney, who won the 1960 Kentucky Futurity and later found success abroad. Last weekend, Ray Hall won his Weiss division by a neck over Time To Quit in a career-best 1:53.3. Time To Quit won the Super Bowl Series final in January, with Ray Hall finishing fourth. Ray Hall also finished fourth in the Charles Singer Memorial final in March, which was won by Perfect Alliance. "He raced good against some better horses, Perfect Alliance and a couple of those other ones," Harder said. "I think he's definitely improved since then with racing. He's got a lot of nervous energy, he's a little bit hot, and just with racing he's settled down and become more manageable, more drivable. That's made him a better horse." Sixteen Mikes, who won his first three divisions in the Weiss but was third behind Ray Hall and Time To Quit last weekend, starts the final from post five for driver Mike Simons and trainer Gail Wrubel. Time To Quit, who has one win in the series, leaves from post six with driver Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke. Ray Hall is not staked to any major races, but Harder hopes the trotter can still keep adding to his bankroll. "He's got nothing really, just overnights," Harder said. "We'll probably hang around Yonkers, wherever we can race him. He's not a top, top horse, but he's a nice little horse that can make money knocking around some conditions. A trotter that can trot a small track and tries and stays at it, they can make a lot of money." HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK: THE RETURN OF ARCH MADNESS Renowned pacer Foiled Again is a perfect 10 this season - as in an undefeated 10-year-old - and now trotting star Arch Madness is getting ready to try to join him. The 10-year-old Arch Madness won a qualifier last weekend at the Meadowlands in 1:54.3 and will return to the Big M on Saturday for another prep for the upcoming campaign. Last year, Arch Madness won three of 18 races and earned $425,427 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and owners Willow Pond LLC and Marc Goldberg, who also were among the trotter's breeders. He won the Allerage Farms Open Trot at The Red Mile in Lexington, finished second overseas in Sweden's prestigious Elitlopp, and was third in the Breeders Crown. Arch Madness has won 34 of 107 starts and became the ninth trotter in history to surpass $4 million in career earnings when he won the Allerage. A week earlier, he won the Allerage elimination race with a 1:50.2 mile, a time that equaled his own world record for the fastest ever by a male trotter older than age 4. "He's going to qualify again, but I was happy with the first qualifier," Smedshammer said. "We'll go again on Saturday and then we'll start racing. He's a year older, but it doesn't seem like he's changed at all." Arch Madness' first stakes race is slated to be the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Eliminations are scheduled for May 10 and the $180,000 estimated final is May 17. Another trip to the Elitlopp, where Arch Madness has twice been the runner-up, is not in the works. "He's going to need a start before the Cutler, a couple starts maybe, somewhere around here," Smedshammer said. "We have no plans at all (to go to Sweden). But he seems fine." * * * Two other trotting standouts are expected to head to qualifiers in the near future. Market Share, who was voted the sport's top 3-year-old male trotter in 2012 and the best older male trotter in 2013, is anticipated to qualify on April 26 and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician is targeted for the first weekend in May. Bee A Magician was unbeaten in 17 races last season at age 3 and earned a divisional record $1.54 million. She became the first 3-year-old filly trotter to receive the Horse of the Year Award since Continentalvictory in 1996. Trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician's wins included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial. Her $1.54 million in purses were the most ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter, breaking the record of $1.17 million set by Continentalvictory in 1996, and her winning time of 1:51 in the Miller Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter. "She's in good shape," Norman said. "I'm very happy with her." Bee A Magician is expected to qualify twice and then head to Canada for the first round of the Miss Versatility Series in Ontario on May 19. * * * As mentioned earlier, Foiled Again remains unbeaten this year. Last week, he improved to 4-for-4 this season by winning for the fourth time in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The 10-year-old pacer, who has won 80 of 202 career races, had never before started a season with four consecutive wins. Since last fall, Foiled Again has been the richest horse in North American harness racing history, and his $100,000 in purses in 2014 have pushed his career earnings to $6.13 million for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables. Foiled Again leads the Levy series standings, but he will be back in action Saturday night for the last of the five preliminary rounds. He drew post seven in a seven-horse field and is the 3-5 morning line favorite for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. "He's just really getting his legs," Gingras told Yonkers Publicity Director Frank Drucker after his 1:51 win last weekend. "Give the other horses credit, but they're going to have to do better to beat Foiled Again." On Wednesday, co-owner Mark Weaver added, "He's the exception. He really hasn't been pushed that hard yet." Burke's stable has five of the top six horses in the Levy standings and all will be racing Saturday. Mach It So, from the barn of trainer P.J. Fraley, is second in the standings followed by Burke's Bettor's Edge, Itrustyou, Clear Vision, and Easy Again. Hillbilly Hanover, who is No. 11 in the standings, Special Forces (12) and Aracache Hanover (14) also will be competing for Burke in Saturday's three Levy divisions. The conditions for the eight-horse $567,000 final and eight-horse $100,000 consolation, both on April 26, limit Burke to two starters in each. For the full Levy standings, click here. * * * The last preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for older female pacers is Friday at Yonkers. Series leader Yagonnakissmeornot, who has three wins and a second in the event, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first of two divisions. She will be driven by Daniel Dube for trainer Rene Allard. Somwherovrarainbow is the 8-5 choice in the second division for driver Brian Sears and trainer Joe Holloway. She skipped the third round of the series, but has two wins and a second in her Matchmaker starts. She is No. 5 in the standings, behind Angels Delight, Summertime Lea, and Rocklamation. Anndrovette, the three-time pick for harness racing's best older female pacer, is sixth in the standings, with Shelliscape and defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You rounding out the top eight. For the complete series standings, click here. The $371,400 Matchmaker final is April 26, along with the $75,000 Matchmaker consolation. * * * David Miller, who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July, needs 23 wins to reach 11,000 victories for his career. Miller ranks No. 8 in wins among all drivers in North American history and was the sport's Driver of the Year in 2003. He has won at least $10 million in purses in a season a record 12 times and his $178 million in lifetime purses trail only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance. Miller, a 49-year-old native of Ohio, has finished among the top seven drivers in seasonal purses each of the last 15 years. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Ray Hall and You Rock My World picked up victories Sunday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the Bobby Weiss late closer series. There were two divisions of the Weiss held for three and four-year-old colts, stallions, and geldings on the trot, each carrying a purse of $15,000. Ray Hall (Justice Hall-Comebyrail), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Mark Harder, made it a perfect four-for-four in the Weiss with a win in a career-best 1:53:3. You Rock My World (Muscle Mass-Disco Inferno), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, rallied for a win in 1:55:3, a new career-mark. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Dough Dough and Clementine Dream each controlled matters on the front end as heavy favorites to win races in the Bobby Weiss series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Wednesday night. There were two Weiss divisions held for three and four-year-old fillies and mares on the trot, each carrying a purse of $15,000. Dough Dough (CR Excalibur-Rising Dough), trained by Gail Wrubel and driven by Mike Simons, won his second straight Weiss race, this one coming in 1:55:4. Clementine Dream (Infinitif-Catch Fortuna), with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Mark Harder, won his split in 1:55:3. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review Although the weather wasn’t always balmy in the past week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, at least it was dry on live racing nights. That led to our first week of exclusively fast tracks, and, as you might imagine, the action had a little extra spice because of it. There were a lot of thrilling races and some extraordinary performances, the best of which we’ll now honor by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: DOVUTO HANOVER Saturday night marked the first time this season that we’ve had a Preferred race on the pacing side, and the $25,000 purse brought out an excellent field of six. Among those, Sparky Mark and Blatantly Good had already established themselves at Pocono with three condition wins between them in the meet, and, with inside posts, figured to be strong contenders. Add in Dovuto Hanover, who came in with wins in two of his last three against tough company at The Meadowlands, and it figured to be quite the battle. It’s always nice when a race lives up to the expectations. Sparky Mark went out and set the pace, but faced a stiff first-over test from Blatantly Good on the back stretch. Dovuto Hanover, the 4-5 favorite from the Darran Cassar barn, followed the cover of Blatantly Good on the outside before kicking out three-wide on the final turn. That meant all three horses were in prime spots at the top of the stretch, setting up a thrilling battle. For a moment, it appeared that Sparky Mark would cling to his lead all the way home, as Dovuto Hanover’s momentum seemed to be stilled. Yet driver Tyler Buter coaxed a sudden burst of energy from the favorite, and the 4-year-old gelding came up in the nick of time by a nose in 1:50:4. Great horse, great finish, and a great representation of how the Preferred pacers will compete at Pocono in the upcoming season. Other top pacers this week include: Drive All Night (Anthony Napolitano, Rene Allard), the veteran pacer who scored his second straight $15,000 claiming victory on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:51:3; Donna Party (Brett Miller-Kent Sherman), a mare who scored her third straight win in a tight claiming handicap battle on Wednesday in 1:53; and Cypress Hill Suds (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who picked up a win against the $10,000 claiming mares on Wednesday, her second straight victory, in a career-best 1:52:3. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FIRST AQUA There hasn’t been a trotter on the Pocono grounds anywhere near as dominant so far in the meet as this seven-year-old gelding. Arriving from Freehold on March 25, he immediately scorched a claiming group by seven lengths in 1:53:3. He followed that up by moving up in class the following week to handle the $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap group, again by a comfortable margin, in 1:54. By that time the secret was out, and First Aqua was claimed from that race. He went from one hot trainer (Gilberto Garcia-Herrera) to another (Rene Allard) in the exchange, but he kept George Napolitano Jr. as his driver to face off with that same top claiming group on Wednesday night as a heavy 1-5 favorite. First Aqua made the same swooping move to take over the lead on the front stretch as he did in his previous two wins. This time out he got a decent challenge from pocket horse Maravich, but he was more than up to that challenge, holding him off to win by a length-and-a-quarter. And although the margin of victory was the smallest of his winning streak, the time of 1:53:2 set a new career mark for First Aqua. That proves he’s still getting better, which is a scary thought for his future competition to entertain. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Smokin Dabra (Brett Miller, Brewer Adams), who rolled on the front end on Tuesday night to his second straight $10,000 claiming victory, this one in 1:54:4; P L Fantastic (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who took a huge step up in class and won his second straight condition trot at Pocono and his third straight overall, posting a winning time of 1:53:1; and My Leap Of Faith (Simon Allard, Brian Seidel), who rallied late for a condition win on Wednesday night in 1:54:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: LATE NIGHT JOKE Driver Andrew McCarthy has a way with the long shots, and he showed it by rallying this claiming pacer to an improbable victory Saturday night at 35-1 for a $73.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MARCUS MILLER Young drivers sometimes struggle to find a place at Pocono, but Miller showed this week that he belongs, scoring driving doubles on Sunday and Tuesday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: BREWER ADAMS He’s been a consistent force for several seasons at Pocono, and Adams scored big this week with five training wins, including doubles on Sunday and Tuesday. 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 Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Sixteen Mikes and Ray Hall completed sweeps of the preliminary legs of the Bobby Weiss series to highlight action on Sunday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were three divisions held of the third leg of the Weiss Series for three and four-year-old colts, stallions, and geldings on the trot, each of which carried a purse of $15,000. Sixteen Mikes (American Mike-Sweetsixteenkarets), driven by Mike Simons and trained by Gail Wrubel, pounced from the pocket in his split to move to three-for-three in the series with a win in a career-best 1:55:1. Ray Hall (Justice Hall-Comebyrail), with Tim Tetrick in the bike for trainer Mark Harder, completed his sweep with a big move on the last turn to set his career mark of 1:54. In the final division, Mustodian (Muscles Yankee-Madison County), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Kent Sherman, rallied in the final strides to score in a career-best 1:55:3. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

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