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Sassa Hanover showed her versatility in winning the 45th Jugette in Wednesday action at the the harness racing meeting at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. In the $151,350 second heat, Matt Kakaley sent Sassa Hanover after the lead from the rail position. Southwind Roulette (Corey Callahan) improved from her third starting position to sit behind the leader. The first elimination winner Bettor N Better (Yannick Gingras) was the first to challenge but could not get past the eventual winner. Sassa Hanover drew clear of the field and scored a two length victory over Southwind Roulette and Somewhere Sweet (Jim Morrill, Jr.) in 1:51 1/5. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, winner of the 2010 Little Brown Jug, is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Lawrence Karr. The win was trainer Ron Burke’s second Jugette crown and Kakaley’s first.   “I was second the past two years, so this feels good,” noted Kakaley. The two heat time of 3:42 established a new two-heat world record. In the second elimination, Sassa Hanover came from off the pace and went from last to first to score in a stakes record equaling 1:50 4/5. Momas Got A Gun (David Miller) was hustled off the gates wings to take early command of the field of six. Kakaley dropped Sassa Hanover to the back of the pack and was content to sit there until midway down the backstretch. Sassa Hanover swooped past the field and beat Somewhere Sweet by ¾ of a length. Bedroomconfessions (Tim Tetrick) and Serious Filly (Scott Zeron) advanced to the final. In the first elimination Bettor N Better came from off the pace to score in 1:51 1/5. David Miller and Triple V Hanover protected his rail position and led the field through the first three-quarters of a mile. Yannick Gingras eased Bettor N Better off the rail going down the backstretch and drew off by 2 ¼ lengths over the pocket sitting Southwind Roulette (Matt Kakaley) and Moremercy Bluechip (Andy Miller) in 1:51 1/5. Wicked Little Minx (Brett Miller) also advanced to the final. Two Divisions of the Buckette Held Classical Annie and Aaron Merriman took the faster of the two divisions in the $109,200 (div.) Buckette for three-year-old distaff trotters. The field of six raced in post-position order through the first three-quarters of the mile. The leader Katniss (Yannick Gingras) made a break in stride and was taken into the safety lane handing the lead over to the pocket sitting Classical Annie. The daughter of Andover Hall held off a late rally by Smexi (Corey Callahan) by a neck in a lifetime best 1:54 1/5. Jim Arledge, Jr. conditions the filly for Laura Baker, John Schmucker and Thomas York, Jr. The second $54,600 division was won by a fast closing Speak To Me (Brett Miller) who swooped past four rivals in the deep stretch to win in 1:55 1/5. Jimmy Takter trains the Muscle Massive lass, who has earned $324,418, for Brittany Farms.   Tipton Teeez Survives Tough Trip to Win the $44,200 Standardbred (2FP) Tipton Teeez and Yannick Gingras never saw the rail, but still had enough in the tank to win the Standardbred for freshmen filly pacers. When the gates wings folded, Montrell Teague hustled Miss Me Yet after the early lead, forcing the eventual winner to race on the outside. As the field of nine rounded the final turn five fillies were within two lengths of the pacesetting Miss Me Yet. Tipton Teeez gutted out a 3/4 length victory over Rockin Rum Springa (David Miller) and Hug A Dragoness (Matt Kakaley). Miss Me Yet hung on for fourth. Brian Brown trains the Wester Terror filly for Jennifer Brown and Richard Lombardo.   Beaver Trainees Sweep OBC Two-Year Filly Trot Trainer Chris Beaver won both divisions of the $98,000 Ohio Breeders Championship. Kestrel (Aaron Merriman) rebounded from a narrow defeat in the recent Ohio Sires Stake Championship to score a decisive nine length victory over Bellesvictoryring (John Konesky III) in 1:58, shattering the stakes record. The daughter of Triumphant Caviar is owned by Wilbur Stoll Lang and Beaver.   Beaver was back in the Delaware winner’s circle a few races later with Evanora (Ryan Stahl). The daughter of Pilgrims Taj scored in 1:58 4/5 over the pacesetting Count On Cami (Kurt Sugg). Evanora is owned by Sandra Burnett.   Neely’s Messenger, David Miller Score in OBC Neely’s Messenger scored a mild upset over I Know My Chip (Chris Page) in the final strides to win the $75,000 Ohio Breeders Championship for sophomore colt trotters in 1:57. Miller is the winningest driver in the history of the Delaware County Fair with 206 victories. Neely’s Messenger is conditioned by Marty Wollam for Dale and Julie Ann Sweet. Jay Wolf  

Batavia, NY---A lightning-fast track and 80 degree temperatures greeted the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing fillies at Batavia Downs where two divisions offering a total of $109,000 in purses, along with important points needed to make the NYSS final, were up for grabs on Wednesday night (Sept. 16). Prohibitive 2-5 favorite Dime A Dance didn't dissapoint her backers as she put on a show in her $54,500 division, winning in definitive style and resetting the world's record for a 2-year-old pacing filly over a half-mile track. Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) took off the pace fourth and watched as No Clouds Bluechip (Kevin Cummings) and American Ivy (Mark Macdonald) duked it out for the lead in a fast :26.4 quarter. From there, the field remained stagnant until the half when Mother Of Art (John Cummings Jr.) pulled first over from third and Dime A Dance (Matt Kakaley) took cover second-over behind her. The group picked up the pace with a :28.4 third panel but that wasn't fast enough for the eventual winner. Dime A Dance swung three-deep at that station and circled the field to clear and pull away by three-lengths in an impressive and uncontested victory in 1:52.4. The time was a new world's record for 2-year-old pacing fillies, besting that of Isabella Blue Chip's 1:53.1 at Delaware, Ohio in 2006. It was also a new track record for Batavia Downs, smashing the old standard of 1:54.2 set by Sassa Hanover just last year. "She's definitely one of the better fillies this year. She was just awesome tonight; she could have paced faster" said driver Matt Kakaley. It was the third win in eight starts for Dime A Dance ($2.90) and it pushed her earnings to $101,513 for owners Our Horse Cents Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock and J&T Silva Stables. The filly is trained by Ron Burke. In the first $54,500 division, Encore Deo hung on strong down the lane for a close victory over Art Critic. Wishy Washy Girl (Ray Schnittker) took a quick, early lead before yielding to Encore Deo (Matt Kakaley) before the quarter that went in :28. The field remained single-file to the half before the heavily favored Upside Surprise (Mike Micallef) pulled from fifth to start her outside trek. Upside Surprise got to third and hung and couldn't gain anymore as the leader took the field to three quarters in 1:25.4. Positions stayed the same to the top of the stretch and Encore Deo was riding a short lead when Art Critic (Jim Morrill Jr.) swung inside the fading Wishy Washy Girl and came up the pylons. The two battled in deep stretch with Encore Deo just hanging on by a nose in 1:55.1. "I wanted to try her on the lead tonight. At three-quarters I thought I was going to win but it got a little close there at the end" said Matt Kakaley. It was the second win in eight starts for Encore Deo ($13.40) and the winning time was a new lifetime mark for the filly. The winner's share of the purse pushed her earnings to $56,578 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Jason Melillo and Lawrence Carr. Ron Burke mentors the filly. There were also two divisions of the $15,000 NYSS excelsior series on Wednesday. The first split was won by Major Millie (Art Major-Gravity) in 1:57. The filly is trained by Erv Miller and was driven to the victory by Matt Kakaley. Major Millie ($9.10) is owned by KDM Stables Corp. The second stanza was won by Milky Way Rae (American Ideal-Aurora Borealus) in a swift 1:55.3. She is trained by Tracy Brainard and was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Milky Way Rae ($3.90) is owned by Fortunate One LLC. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 18) at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 16, 2015 -- When Safe From Terror surprised the field and harness racing bettors by winning the Sept. 5 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship at 45-1, some may have dismissed it as a fluke. They likely won't be saying that about her any longer, as she scored her second consecutive upset, this time at 5-1, in Wednesday's $170,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers at The Meadows -- and took the overland route to do it. Sassa Hanover wanted the lead from the rail, but she was pressured early by Divine Caroline and Storm Point, forcing her to step a lively opening half in 26.3/54.4. With all that early speed, winning driver Matt Kakaley knew the front end might collapse but wasn't sure third over was the place to be. "I was a little worried," Kakaley said, "but I wanted to get her out in the flow of the race anyway. It worked out perfect, really, because the front end kind of fell apart off the last turn." Safe From Terror moved four wide through the stretch to down another closer, The Show Returns, by a length in 1:50.4, a career best. Divine Caroline was full of pace but lacked room and had to settle for show. The back-to-back upsets by the daughter of Western Terror-In A Safe Place didn't surprise Kakaley. "I've won a lot of races with this filly, and she's always been very, very good," he said. "There was a point for a few starts where she was just okay, not great, but she was very good today." Ron Burke trains Safe From Terror, who now boasts $449,992 in lifetime earnings, for Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and J&T Silva Stables. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Certified Ideal collected a front-end victory -- her third in the last four starts -- in 1:51.2 for Tony Hall, trainer Randy Bendis and owners Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack, James Walton and Bendis. Do Me Honor was second, 1/2 length back, with Jaded Dream third. The 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last soared over $400,000 in career earnings. It was one of four wins for Hall on the 15-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

It was quite a day at the harness racing meeting at  Harrah's Philadelphia on a beautiful Sunday afternoon (Sept. 13). There were 3 divisions of The Liberty Bell Series for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, as well as a winners over $25,000 lifetime pace which featured two pacers at the doorstep of one million dollars in career earnings. Division 1 of the Liberty Bell went to upsetter Trading Up (Scott Zeron). The son of Somebeachsomewhere was 3 wide much of the first quarter before finally clearing the lead just before the half. He was able to hold off the heavy favorite My Hero Ron (Matt Kakaley) by a length, stopping the clock in 1:51.4. Blood Brother finished third. It was the 5th career win for Trading Up ($15.00), who is owned by Alagna Racing, John Fodera, Alan Alber, and Aaron Waxman. He is trained by Tony Alagna. Tri County Stable's Wakizashi Hanover (Tim Tetrick) was a dominant winner in the second division. The son of Dragon Again battled a game Badiou Hanover (Scott Zeron) the entire mile to secure the win in a time of 1:51.3, while in hand at the finish. It was the eleventh career win for the Joann Looney-King trainee, and his third straight. Jo Pa's Well Said (Dave Miller) was third. It was a lifetime's best performance for Allbeef N Nobull (Matt Kakaley) in division 3 of the Liberty Bell. The son of McArdle sat pocket behind the speed of Rise Up Now (Tim Tetrick), before roaring up the passing lane to win in 1:50.2. Paparazzi Hanover (Dave Miller) rallied for second, while McArdles Lightning (Corey Callahan) was third. It was the 8th career win for the Ron Burke trainee, who is also owned by Emond, Taylor, and Weaver Bruscemi. He paid $4.40. Ken Jacob's Doctor Butch is harness racing newest millionaire. The 5-year-old son of Art Major was victorious in a winner's over $25,000 lifetime pace, which pushed his lifetime earnings over the one million mark in his 94th career start. He now has 26 career wins, 9 on the season. The 8-year-old Nova Artist, who was also in the race (finished 7th) is also nearing the plateau. He has career earning of $961,267. Doctor Butch is trained by Linda Toscano. Michael Bozich

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - The Ron Burke Stable had a sensational Sunday in Canada as their horses not only finished one-two in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R, but earlier on the afternoon the Burke Stable also finished one-two in the rain-delayed Gold Cup & Saucer Final at Charlottetown Driving Park on PEI. In the Prix D'Ete Grand Circuit race for four-year-old pacers, it was action-packed right out of the starting gate as Limelight Beach (Mark MacDonald) shot like a rocket to the early lead from post six with Somewhere In L A (Daniel Dube) leaving and grabbing the two-hole spot with All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) also on the move on the outside. They flew to the opening quarter mile in :26.2 and Kakaley kept All Bets Off in gear until they finally cleared to the lead. After a short breather going to the half mile marker in :55.2, it was Somewhere In L A and Dube taking up the chase first-over with Winds Of Change (Dustin Jones) grabbing the second-over trip down the backstretch and to the three-quarters in 1:23. Then as they came around the final turn, All Bets Off was still the strong horse, turning back Somewhere In L A and with Kakaley raising his whip in the air and just lifting the line, All Bets Off scooted home an easy winner by three and one-half lengths in 1:50.3. Limelight Beach was second with Somewhere In L A third. "Once I cleared to the lead," Kakaley said. "I was able to back it down a little. Then when Somewhere In L A came first-over I just pulled the plugs and my horse got stronger. I knew at the start I wanted to get to the front and control the pace and everything worked out perfectly." The time of the race tied the all-age track record at the Hippodrome 3R at 1:50.3, set last year in the revival of the Prix D'Ete by Sunfire Blue Chip. It also tied both Sunfire Blue Chip and Crombie A as the fastest Canadian race by a four-year-old on a half mile oval. "What a great day this has been for the Burke Stable," explained second trainer Mickey Burke. "We finish one-two in the Gold Cup & Saucer and then finish one-two in the Prix D'Ete. We have to come back and do this again next year for sure." A stallion by Bettor's Delight, it was the third win this year for All Bets Off. He is owned by the Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver-Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and the Panhelleni Stable. All Bets Off now sports career earnings of $1,505,481. Coupled with Limelight Beach in the wagering, they paid $3.80 to win. The Prix D'Ete program also featured four divisions of second round of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old pacers. YS Artistic Fella made an impressive Quebec debut in the first division, working to the lead at the 1/8 and controlling the pace, then storming home in 28.3 to break his maiden in 1:59, a racing mark. First round prelim winner Sagawi had to settle for second today, 2¾ lengths back, after a pocket trip behind the son of Artistic Fella out of Bolero Tallia (the dam of the 4-5YO pacing mares "Q" Series champion My Tallia Ideal earlier this year). Simon Allard, a provincial native son returning for the day from his base at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, guided YS Artistic Fella for trainer Richard Moreau and owner YvesSarrazin. Mr Mach Jimmy is now 2-for-2 in the Quebec prelims after making every pole a winning one with a 1:59.2 triumph, posting a new mark. However, success did not come easily to driver Pascal Berube and the altered son of Mach Three-Rosebud Stena, as Pudong Phil, in only his second lifetime start, picked a tuck from the outside post eight, then was first-over from the 3/8 and gave the leader all he could handle before "Jimmy" crossed the wire a length to the good for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. HP Sissy and Miss Babe Delight were virtually inseparable the last quarter of the first filly prelim, with "Sissy" proving the more photogenic by a head in a lifetime mark of 1:57.3, just 2/5 of a second short of the divisional track record set by My Fleet Three last year. Miss Babe Delight, coming off a win in an Ontario stake, took advantage of drawing inside her main rival and forced HP Sissy, a daughter of Up The Credit-Monica Blue Chip and a first round winner in Quebec action last week, to sit the pocket through fast numbers for the babies of 28.1, 58.3, and 1:28.4. Driver Guy Gagnon took the winner to the outside at the last-named point and was in a real donnybrook with the pacesetter the rest of the way, and she just got the better of her game rival for trainer Jean Tourigny and owners Claude Hamel and Michel Damphousse. Skyfall Sena, a Goliath Bayama-Bye Bye Pippa N filly who was (a distant) second to HP Sissy in the first round, took advantage of that rival's drawing in the other division by taking the second distaff section on the engine, lowering her mark 7 2/5 seconds to 2:00.3. Skyfall Sena was sent right to the lead by driver Pascal Berube (a Quebec winner with both sexes), put favored Art De Gagnee in behind her, and then held off that rival in the stretch by ¾ of a length (after finishing ½ length ahead of her behind HP Sissy last week) for trainer and owner Serge Nadeau. Prix D'Ete Notes: There are two divisions of the third round of the Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old trotters at the Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday. Featured in the first division are three return winners in track record holder Wildwild Men taking on Panamas Boy and Sass. Post time is 7:00 pm. All Bets Off From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - Harness racing driver Matt Kakaley makes his debut in Quebec this Sunday and it could be a grand appearance as he drives race favorite All Bets Off in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R. The Grand Circuit showcase for four-year-old pacers headlines a superb 12-race program that also has the second round of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old pacers with four divisions. For Matt Kakaley, it will be his first time driving at the Hippodrome 3R. "This will be first time I have been to Quebec," Kakaley said, "but I really look forward to the experience. I also do not speak French at all, but I am sure everything will work out OK." Kakaley has been the steady driver of All Bets Off for the past two seasons. The $1.4 million winning son of Bettor's Delight, trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, LLC and The Panhellenic Stable, has been competing against the best older horses in harness racing this season and doing quite well. All Bets Off starts from post four and is coupled with stablemate Limelight Beach as the 5/2 morning line favorites. "All Bets Off has been the best horse I have driven all year." Kakaley said. "He's my favorite horse and Ronnie (Burke) put me on him all last year. He's pretty much my drive because he is special to me." Kakaley has kept All Bets Off "off" the front end this year and it has been working out OK with two wins, five seconds and two third place finishes in just 12 starts. His biggest score of the year came in the Flamboro Downs Confederation Cup where All Bets Off set the all age track record in 1:50.4 in his elimination race, then went on to win the final the following week. Kakaley says that All Bets Off can still leave if they want to. "We've been racing him from off the pace on the big tracks," Kakaley said. "He can still leave if we want to." Who does Kakaley think are the major contenders in the race? "I think my horse is definitely the one to beat," Kakaley said. Big Boy Dreams qualified really well at Pocono Downs for this. Limelight Beach really raced well last week at Hoosier Park. He had a lot of road traffic and still got a check. He has such great gate speed that post six won't stop him from getting the lead easily." All Bets Off is Kakaley's only drive of the day of the 12 races at the Hippodrome 3R. "That does not bother me one bit," Kakaley said. "I can enjoy myself, watch some of the races, get All Bets Off ready and if we can win the Prix D'Ete it will make for a great day." Prix D'Ete Notes: The 13-year-old trotter, Pablo Angus, who trotted in 1:56 on 7-8-08 to set the all-age track trot record which was equaled exactly six years later by Michelangelo last season, is in the 4th race on Sunday -- and recently this amazing old timer has set three all-age track trot records for driver Mario Charron within the last two months, June 27 at Saint Hughes in 2:01, July 11 at Saint Esprit in 2:00 and July 25 at Ormstown in 2:04.1. Post time Sunday is 1:30 pm. Tomorrow afternoon race fans can get the free program for Prix D'Ete card at From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – The Ron Burke Stable entry of All Bets Off and Limelight Beach headline many of the top four-year-olds in harness racing that have entered the $200,000 second annual renewal of the Prix D’Ete Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. Canada’s premier pacing event for many years, the Hippodrome 3R management revived the race last year for four-year-old only as part of the Grand Circuit and in 2014 saw Sunfire Blue Chip erase the prior track record by nearly three seconds with a 1:50.3 triumph. “This year’s field,” said 3R General Manager Vincent Trudel, “could very well break that record. Our forecast is for a beautiful sunny and warm day and our track will be lighting fast Sunday afternoon. Our race secretary has assembled a great program for our fans.” All Bets Off, a career winner of $1.4 million, is the star attraction. He starts from post four for driving sensation Matt Kakaley. The son of Bettors Delight comes into the race off two strong second place finishes and was race timed in 1:49.1 at both Hoosier Park and the Meadowlands. Earlier this season he also won the Confederation Cup final at Flamboro Downs, setting the track record in his elimination race in 1:50.4. The second part of the Burke entry, Limelight Beach, drew post six but has early gate speed as shown three starts back when he won at Yonkers Raceway in 1:51.4 and the Hippodrome 3R has a brand new slanted starting gate. Limelight Beach will be driven by talented Mark MacDonald. Big Boy Dreams starts from post two for driver Simon Allard and was purchased at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands for $265,000 by trainer Rene Allard with the Prix D’Ete their main goal in mind. He comes into the race off an impressive qualifying win at Pocono Downs in 1:50.2. Jimmy Takter was the trainer of Sunfire Blue Chip, last year’s Prix D’Ete winner and he wants to win another one this year with Somewhere In L A. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere has been first or second in his four of his last five starts and has a record this year of 1:50.4. Somewhere In L A drew post three and will be driven by Trois-Rivieres most famous native son, Daniel Dube. Trainer Justin Jones gets back in the race bike and will drive his Winds Of Change from the rail. They will ship in from Ontario where Winds Of Change was third in his last start in 1:50.2. Rounding out the field is the local favorite, Boomboom Ballykeep for trainer Richard Moreau. They start from post five and in the bike will top reinsman Mario Ballargeon. They have had it rough the last few weeks but back on July 25, Boomboom Ballykeel won at Mohawk Raceway in 1:49.3 and the son of Mach Three knows the 3R oval. Prior to the revival of the Prix D’Ete at 3R, the race was initially known as the Prix d’Automne and was won by older horses such as the great Bret Hanover. The marquee event at Blue Bonnets racetrack in Montreal was converted into a race for 3-year-old pacers in 1970 and remained one of the major North American stakes in the division until its last running in 1992. Past winners included Cam Fella, Niatross, Albatross, Strike Out, Abercrombie, Matts Scooter and Beach Towel. Prix D’Ete Notes: There will be four divisions of the second round of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old pacers as part of the 12-race extravaganza race program Sunday. The race program is available free of charge by visiting From the Quebec Jockey Club

In our final week of racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono before our Super Stakes Saturday/50th Anniversary Celebration, we witnessed steamy temperatures, blisteringly fast winning times, and extremely competitive harness racing. There were a lot of possibilities, but here are my choices for the best of the best as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: ALWAYS AT MY PLACE It's always fun to see what kind of talent that our track will attract whenever there's an Open pace on the card. There was just such an event on Saturday night, carrying a purse of $30,000. Most of the competitors in the eight-horse field were Pocono regulars or at least had participated in a few races at the track this season. But there was one newcomer, Always At My Place, and he came into town with an intimidating record. The 4-year-old gelding was a dominant force in Indiana for much of the season, then headed to Yonkers in July to win back to back Open Handicaps against his own age. Overall he entered Saturday night's Open at Pocono with six wins in ten for the year including his last four in a row. He got away a bit slowly in the race and had to make a tough first-over grind, but Matt Kakaley guided his charge steadily to the front end anyway. By the time he reached the top of the stretch, Always At My Place, trained by Ron Burke, had taken over and finished strong despite the long journey. He came home 1 ½ lengths in front of Malak Uswaad N with a winning time of 1:48:1, which was a career-best, just a tick off a world record for his age group and the fastest mile paced at Pocono this season. Always At My Place has a name that is proving to be prophetic, because no matter where he travels, he seems to be feeling right at home. Other top pacers this week include: *China King (Matt Kakaley, Jennifer Sabot), who churned out his second straight condition won on Tuesday night, matching his career mark of 1:50 in the process *Bodacious (Simon Allard, Steve Elliott), a three-year-old filly who picked her his second straight win at Pocono on Friday night, this doing so against Stallion Series competition in a career-best 1:51:1 Perfect Pitch (George Napolitano Jr., Matias Ruiz), a mare whose condition victory on Wednesday night, her second in a row, came in a career-best time of 1:51:3. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: PROUD MOMENT This 10-year-old veteran has always been a consistently solid performer, hitting the board about half the time and usually grabbing a handful of wins each year. And he was going along in that vein for most of 2015 until July 15. Taking advantage of a prime post position and an excellent trip that evening, Proud Moment rallied to win a condition trot in 1:52:3, just shy of his fastest time ever. In his next start he took on a claiming handicap group from an outside post, and this time he earned the victory by winging it on the front end in 1:53. On Saturday night he faced a condition trotting group of non-winners of $17,500 in the last five starts with an optional claiming price of $25,000. It was a classy group, featuring some who were used to Open company and others who had raced in big stakes races this season. But Proud Moment, racing for the first time in the barn of trainer Daniel Maier, isn't racing like a journeyman these days. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, he took over the lead on the front stretch and had no problems from that point, winning by 1¼ lengths in another ripping time of 1:52:3. The career record might tell you that Proud Moment is a solid if unspectacular trotter, but his recent streak tells the tale of one of the best trotters on the grounds. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: *HS Certified (Jim Taggart Jr., Dawn Dellaporte), a mare who moved up in class on Sunday night and scored her second straight upset win, this one in 1:57 *B Yoyo (Joe Bongiorno, Robert Bongiorno), whose condition victory in 1:52:3 on Saturday night not only was a career mark, but it also matched Proud Moment for the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono *Lightning Storm (Andrew McCarthy, Tony Alagna), who followed up a win at Harrah's at Philadelphia with a condition win at Pocono on Tuesday night in 1:53:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MAYTIME TERROR This gelding, driven by Joe Pavia Jr., came from off the pace to upset a claiming handicap field on Saturday night at 27-1, paying off $57.20 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO A win on Sunday night gave A-Nap 100 victories for the meet, making him the fourth Pocono driver to reach mark that this year after his brother George, Simon Allard, and Jim Morrill Jr. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ROSS CROGHAN Croghan is well-stocked with talented young fillies, as he showed when a pair of his 2-year-old distaffers scored maiden victories on Tuesday night. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at Jim Beviglia

The mutuel payouts may have been small, but the purses were spread around in the 3-year-old filly pacing division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2). A different sire, driver and trainer won each leg of the series as they represented the best New York State has to offer for this sex and gait. In the first $39,200 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) left the gate and took a methodic path to the front in 27.4. Leading the single-file group and still unchallenged to the half, Morrill kept a tight grip on the filly with an eye on closing out the deal. When they rolled towards three-quarters, Morrill popped the plugs and Mosquito Blue Chip responded in kind, quickly pulling away to a four-length advantage. With Morrill stretched out like he was in a recliner, the pair scurried home in 28.2 with no one even close, to win in 1:54.2. "She felt like her old self today." "She was on cruise control the entire mile" said driver Jim Morrill Jr. of the filly who is now two-for-two lifetime at Batavia Downs. Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) was sent off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and paid $2.30 for the win. Paul Jessop trains and co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio. As most expected in the second $39,900 leg, Band Of Angels (Matt Kakaley) and Moremercy Bluechip (Andy Miller) left from post three and four respectively and got away 1-2 before sauntering to a pedestrian 29-second first quarter. With the rest of the field still in post-position order behind the two favorites, Kakaley continued to grab leather in an even slower 29.4 second panel. From there it was all Band Of Angels who was given her head and quickly opened up a five-length lead before Kakaley lowered the lines and stored the whip. Band Of Angels ($2.50) paced the back half in 56.2, winning in 1:55.1 with Moremercy Bluechip closing ground on the wrapped-up winner to finish second. After the race, winning driver Matt Kakaley pointed out "She did it as easily as a horse could do it and had plenty left coming down the stretch". Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) is conditioned by North America's leading trainer, Ron Burke for owner W.J. Donovan. The final $39,900 split featured a speed duel between two unrelenting contestants and it started as soon as the gate pulled away. As the field headed into the first turn, they were spread three-wide across the track; Jag Out (Andy Miller) on the pylons, Nippy W Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the middle and Artiawitchtoyou (Doug McNair) out widest of all. Off the turn, Nippy W Hanover settled in second but Artiawitchtoyou opted to go on. As she drew next to Jag Out at the quarter in 27.1, it was clear the leader had no intentions of giving up that spot. As they contentiously passed the half in 55 flat, Jag Out and Artiawitchtoyou were seemingly pacing in tandem heading into the third turn, but then Artiawitchtoyou had taken all the air she could and by the 1:24.3 three-quarter split, started to show the effects. As she started to fade off, Jag Out continued to drive on to an impressive two-length victory in the fastest time of the day (1:53.4). The winner paid $8.00. "She was awesome! I know we went fast early but she's that good" said driver Andy Miller about the speed duel between his charge and Artiawitchtoyou. Jag Out (American Ideal-Impertinent) is trained by Erv Miller, who co-owns her with Paymaq Racing and Mystical Marker Farms LLC. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card for $30,000 in purses. The first went to Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) went gate to wire in 1:56.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Heidi Rohr. Yes You Can, who paid $2.40 is owned by the Holland Racing Stable. The second division was won by Hey Kobe (Bettor's Delight-American West) who also led the entire mile for driver Mark Macdonald and trainer Marthe Drolet. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider and William Siegel. The winner returned $4.00. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. notched four victories on the card with Kevin Cummings adding two more wins to his meet-leading total. Racing resumes on Wednesday at Batavia Downs when two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings go postward for a total of $110,000 in purses. Post time is set for 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

WILKES-BARRE PA - The chalk took it on the chin Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as non-favorites won all five harness racing divisions of a $100,000 Stallion Series third preliminary leg for sophomore trotting colts.   Driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Frank Antonacci teamed to take two of the five divisions, the first one and the last one held, and in the Stallion opener their horse posted the fastest time of the Sunday stakes, with Mesmerized scoring in 1:53.4. The son of Cantab Hall went wire-to-wire in winning by seven lengths and taking a new mark for owners K R Breeding, Robert Rudolph, Gary Hoffman (these three were also the breeders) and Barry Guariglia.   Kakaley also tallied with another Antonacci trainee, the Cantab Hall gelding Paging Doctorlindy, who has now made two house calls to the winners circle in but three starts in 1:57.2, a personal best. The good Doctor was up by a neck after a pocket trip for the Lindy Racing Stable (also the breeder), Elizabeth Caldwell, and repeat winning owner Robert Rudolph.   Two winners took maiden victories in the Sunday Stallion competition. They were the Yankee Glide colt Pierre, making every pole a winning one in 1:55.2 for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Jonas Czernyson, and the Consus Racing Stable Inc., and Colbert, giving Cantab Hall a third siring credit with a 1:55 victory for trainer/driver Ã…ke Svanstedt and owners Courant A B and Knutson Trotting Inc.   The other section went to the Explosive Matter gelding Jacksons Minion, exploding out of the pocket to win by open lengths in a personal best of 1:55.4 for driver/trainer/namesake/part-owner Tom Jackson and fellow owners Howard and Judy Taylor.   PHHA / Pocono

Harness racing's longest shining star, Foiled Again, became the first three-time champion of Northfield Park's Battle of Lake Erie when he crossed the wire a winner on Friday (June 12). Approaching the start the 11 year-old was already the richest Standardbred of all-time and became the first horse to earn in excess of $7 million with his triumph. Foiled Again (Dragon Again-In A Safe Place-Artsplace) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and JJK Stables LLC of Fort Lauterdale, Florida. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Matt Kakaley to drive. Foiled Again started from post five and sat fourth through the :26 opening quarter. Kakaley pulled Foiled Again in the second panel and he remained first over through times of :53.4 and 1:21.3. Foiled again took advantage of his chance when Luck Be Withyou, who had led throughout, went off stride entering the final turn. Foiled Again inherited the lead and fought off his competition in the stretch to win by a neck, stopping the timer at 1:50.3. "I knew if I was close turning for home the he would out grit them," said Kakaley "He is the toughest horse ever in the history of harness racing, for sure." The win pushes Foiled Again's earnings to $7,012,531. Following Foiled Again were Clear Vision, Cammikey, Big Boy Dreams, State Treasurer, Duc Dorleans, Night Pro and Luck Be Withyou. Foiled Again started this year a bit sluggish and many people were calling for Ron Burke to retire the champion pacer. However, Burke discovered that the horse had an entrapped epiglottis and scheduled the minor surgery in early May. Friday's performance was Foiled Again's first start post-operation. "He is as good as ever and still has a lot of racing left in him," said Burke. "He is the horse that has built our barn. I cannot say enough good things about him. I love this horse." Ayers Ratliff

On Monday June 8, the harness racing glamour division of the New York Sire Stakes, 3 Year Old Pacing Colts will be at Monticello Raceway. A total of 10 New York Sire Stake events are on tap for the days 14 race card, 4 divisions of Sire Stakes, 4 divisions of the Excelsior A, and 2 dashes of the Excelsior A series. The Sires Stakes events race for a purse of $30,450 per race, the Excelsior A's purses are $15,000 and the B division purse is $6,000. In the first race, also the 1st division NYSS, showcases Cartoon Daddy, the son of Art Major, who has already won this year in 1:51:4 in a NYSS event at Tioga Downs for trainer Ron Burke. He has 3 pari mutual starts under his belt thus far into the year, he comes back after an impressive 2 year old season, where he earned $282,523, and taking a mark of 1:50:1 at the Red Mile. Matt Kakaley will handle the driving chores for trainer Ron Burke. Bet You will start from PP 6 for trainer Jimmy Takter, the son of Bettors Delight, is out of the great mare Armbro Amoretto. Race 5, 2nd division of NYSS, highlights Lone Survivor and J Eagle Feature. Both were victorious last week at Buffalo in their respective divisions. In the 3rd division, K Ryan Bluechip (PP1) and K-Rock (PP2) are pitted against each other. K Rock easily won his last NYSS race at Buffalo in 1:54, K Ryan Bluechip took his lifetime mark last start in 1:50:3 for trainer driver Joe Pavia Jr. Final NYSS race is carded as race 13, My Spirit Soars, on paper he seems to be much the best, starting from the rail for trainer Tom Fanning, the son of Bettor Delight has been in the money in all 7 starts this year. He comes into the race fresh off a 1:50:4 win at Pocono Downs and a second place finish in Sire Stakes action at Tioga Downs. In the 10 race, the Excelsior A series highlights the much heralded White Bliss, a celebrity from birth, due to him being a rare equine Albino. The son of Art Major was a $240,000 yearling. He is trained and driven by Swedish trotting specialist Ake Svanstedt. The Excelsior A divisions are in races 3, 7, 10, & 14, each race is worth $15,000, The B divisions are in race 2 & 12, for a purse of $6,000. Monticello Raceway continues its Monday - Friday schedule with a 12:50 Post. By Shawn Wiles

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "I expected him to do this," driver Brett Miller after he guided Lone Survivor to the fastest time in the three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers at the harness racing meeting at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (May 27).   Lone Survivor (Art Major-Wenditone) cruised to an easy six-length victory in 1:53.4 in taking his $39,900 leg.   In other Sire Stakes activity, K-Rock was nearly as impressive after notching a 3-1/4 win in 1:54.0 while J Eagle Feather found the winner's circle for the first time in his brief four-race career by covering the mile in 1:56.0.   Miller took the blame for Lone Survivor's fifth place finish last week in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga Downs and was more than ready for redemption.   "I drove this horse so bad last week," Miller said. "He's a nice colt and I knew he was ready tonight."   Sitting fourth headed down the backstretch, Miller went three-wide and paced away from the field. Quickly opening up a five-length edge at the top of the stretch, Lone Survivor ($5.40) finished with a six length advantage over runner up Artistic Major (Pat Lachance) and Americanprimetime (Rick Dane Jr.) at the wire.   "I wasn't worried at all going up the backstretch," Miller said about the final half-mile. "I was feeling good about him. I just let him go and he did his thing," added Miller about Lone Survivor's big backside move.   Trained by Sam De Pinto, it was the first victory in three seasonal starts for Lone Survivor, now a winner of $21,532 this year and $86,491 lifetime.   K-Rock had to tussle with We Think Alike in the opening panel scrum and that proved to be the right move.   Posting fractions of 27.0, 56.1 and 1:24.2, K-Rock never looked back and disposed of the remaining six entrants easily by 3-1/4 lengths.   "I didn't want to sit third and get caught in traffic," winning driver Matt Kakaley said of the decision to send K-Rock to the top.   Enjoying a four-length advantage at the top of the lane, Kakaley admitted that K-Rock was throttled down in the drive for the wire. "He was kind of spent but still raced good. I think a 1:24.2 mark to the three-quarter pole is a pretty good time for this track."   Southwind Masimo showed some good closing speed to take the place position while Masterson (Jim Morrill Jr.) rallied for the show spot.   K-Rock (Rock N Roll Hanover-Sunduel A) is a 3-year-old gelding that is owned by Eugene Kurzrok and trained by Ron Burke.   It was his second win in four starts in 2015 and pushed his seasonal winnings to $38,862 and $74,688 lifetime.   J Eagle Feather went gate-to-wire and held on to beat the highly-regarded Sicily by a neck in 1:56.0. A final sizzling quarter-mile of 26.4 secured the win for J Eagle Feather.   Using some soft splits of 29.3, 59.2 and 1:29.2, Morrill Jr. said in the winner's circle, "We got away with some cheap fractions. He's never cut the mile before and still is very green. The only time I asked of him was in the last quarter mile and he responded."   Sicily (Kakaley) took the hard-luck second place position while Maurice (Lachance) was third.   Trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Kj Stables LLC, J Eagle Feather (Bettor's Delight-Town Feather) picked up a nice check for $19,600 his first place effort.   He has been in the money three times in four career appearances.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Nobettorplacetobe tripped the timer in a solid 1:54.3 time to register the $7.20 decision for driver John Cummings Jr.   In the other leg, Coaster (Kakaley) posted a popular $2.20 score in 1:58.1.   Tonite We Rock covered the mile in 1:57.4 for driver Jack Flanigen to take the $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series event.   Kakaley and Morrill Jr. each finished the evening with driving triples.   Racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program scheduled for 6:35 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   Brian Mazurek

London, May 25, 2015 --The post position draw for this year’s  harness racing $150,000 Molson Pace was conducted earlier this evening at The Raceway in London during the pre-game show. Local CTV Sports Anchor, Brent Lale, joined the broadcast team in studio to perform the duties. Defending champion State Treasurer will start from the trailing post eight behind recent Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off who drew the coveted rail position. All Bets Off will be handled by Matt Kakaley while Chris Christoforou will once again be up behind State Treasurer. The remaining starters, along with drivers, in position order include; All Bets Off (p.p. 1, Matt Kakaley), Lucan Hanover (p.p. 2, Trevor Henry), P H Super Cam (p.p. 3, Jason Bartlett), Night Pro (p.p. 4, Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), Evenin Of Pleasure (p.p. 5 Sylvain Filion), Duc Dorleans (p.p. 6, Daniel Dube)  Lets Drink On It (p.p. 7, Billy Davis Jr.) State Treasurer (p.p. 8, Chris Christoforou) The Molson Pace will go as the final race on this Friday night’s 12-race program at the London oval. The powerful undercard will feature Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions, a quartet of City of London Series finals and classes for Preferred pacers. For more details on this year’s event, visit  

DUNDAS, May 17 - All Bets Off lived up to his 3/5 favourite status to win the $226,575 Confederation Cup for harness racing four-year-old pacers Sunday night at Flamboro Downs. Driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke, All Bets Off followed up his track record performance in last week's elimination with a 1:51.3 front-end score in Sunday's rich final. The Burke trainee got away in third and was parked through the opening-quarter, as stablemate Limelight Beach and driver Yannick Gingras were the quickest off the gate to grab the lead. Ideal Cowboy and driver Tim Tetrick, who got away in second, appeared to be tipping out to challenge at Limelight Beach in the opening-quarter, but Tetrick opted to drop back inside and follow Limelight Beach by the first panel in :26.2. In the second-quarter, All Bets Off and Kakaley did not sit on the outside long and powered by the leader to take the lead as they field of nine paced into the stretch and by the half in :54.4. Tetrick tipped out from third with Ideal Cowboy, as the field paced by the grandstand, to challenge first up at the public's choice. However, Tetrick and his charge would only reach the wheel of All Bets Off, who turned up the tempo to post a three-quarter time of 1:22.3. In the final quarter, All Bets Off put aside the first up bid and created separation on Limelight Beach to cruise home and score a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:51.3. Bettorever came from eighth at the three-quarter pole to finish second, while Big Boy Dreams finished third. Limelight Beach and Ideal Cowboy picked up the final two cheques, as they finished fourth and fifth. Following the race, Kakaley talked about the action in the opening three-eighths of the mile. "I just kind of eased back a little bit going into the first turn and let Yannick (Gingras) make front and kind of let the dust settle," said Kakaley. "Then Timmy (Tetrick) popped the two-hole, so Yannick had to drive on a little bit more and it took me obviously a lot farther (to clear to the lead) than I wanted it to, but he's a really good horse and he showed that tonight." A son of Bettors Delight, All Bets Off now has two wins in three starts this season for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Frank Baldachino, The Panhellenic Stb Corp and the Estate of Rosemary J Shelswell. The four-year-old pacer picked up his 17th career win Sunday evening and pushed his bankroll to over $1.2 million. All Bets Off has now been driven by Kakaley to 12 of his career victories, including triumphs in the 2013 Matron Stakes and last year's Art Rooney and Messenger Stakes. "I love driving him and it's been a fun ride," said Kakaley. "He's a good little horse." The biggest victories of his racing career have come on half-mile tracks, but Mickey Burke Jr., the assistant trainer for the Burke stable, believes that All Bets Off has the make up to be a solid racehorse over any track. "I think he'll be fine everywhere we take him," said Burke Jr. "He wants to win. He's got quickness, he carries his speed, he just wins races." A $2 win ticket on All Bets Off returned $3.40. The 2015 Confederation Cup was the 37th edition of Canada's signature half-mile race, but was the first to be contested by four-year-old pacers. Last held in 2012, the Confederation Cup was reintroduced this year with a new format. All Bets Off made history Sunday evening, as he became the first four-year-old Confederation Cup champion and joins an illustrious list of past winners, including On The Road Again, Jate Lobell and Somebeachsomewhere. Mark McKelvie

WASHINGTON, PA, May 2, 2015 -- Melady's Monet bounced back from a 55-length loss to capture the inaugural $62,100 The Meadows Maturity for harness racing stallions and geldings four and up Saturday at The Meadows and reclaim his spot as one of the sport's top older trotters. Melady's Monet was rolling along on a three-race winning streak -- all in the Open Handicap at The Meadowlands -- when things went awry on April 10 and John Campbell was forced to ease him. "He's an incredible animal; he's a weird horse," said Kevin McDermott, who trains the 6-year-old Revenue S-Keystone Melady gelding for Melady Enterprises. "If you take him out of his program, he ties up . . . He could have lost by 10 lengths that night, but John is a pro. He did what was best for the horse." The connections withdrew Melady's Monet from consideration for an Elitlopp invitation because of the long trip. But they risked the journey to the Meadows, and all systems were go. "We shipped him out here yesterday," McDermott said, "and we made sure his tie-up numbers were great." Leaving from post 4, Campbell waited for the field to settle before moving Melady's Monet to the front. He easily deflected the first-over challenge of Rose Run Parker, a 4-year-old conditioned by Ron Burke, and drew off to triumph by 4 lengths in 1:53. Classicality rallied for second while Madewell Hanover earned show. Burke's other contender, the 2014 New York Sires Stakes champion sophomore Gural Hanover, who was making his seasonal debut, never got involved and finished sixth. With the victory, Melady's Money boasts $497,508 in career earnings. $183,216 Adios Betty The Kentucky Derby Day card also featured the Adios Betty, a $183,216 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for sophomore filly pacers, with Safe From Terror, Storm Point and Serious Filly each taking a division. Burke enjoyed a stakes double with Safe From Terror and Storm Point. Safe From Terror clocked the fastest split when she charged from the pocket in the lane for Matt Kakaley to overtake the leader, Triple V Hanover, and defeat her by a neck in 1:52.1, a lifetime mark. Ginger Tree Alexis earned show. Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, and J&T Silva Stables campaign Safe From Terror, a daughter of Western Terror-In A Safe Place who is a half-sister of the venerable Foiled Again. "She has a long way to go before she's like Foiled Again," Kakaley said, "but she's a little sweetheart. With a trip like that, she'll get the job done." Storm Point rated patiently in fourth for Dave Palone and Black Horse Racing, brushing in the stretch to score in 1:52.3, fastest of her career. Somewhere Sweet raced well first over for second, with Seeking Nirvana third. "She has a little bit of greenness," Palone said, "but she's very intelligent in a race." Serious Filly was just that, launching a serious uncovered bid from fifth that carried her to victory for Mike Wilder in 1:53.2. Arts Jem finished second, beaten a head, while Southwind Roulette, Pennsylvania's 2014 freshman champion, paced awkwardly through the Lightning Lane and settled for third. "She can grind for a long way," said winning trainer Brian Brown. "She's better at grinding than sprinting. You saw her put in a few steps today. When I get that straightened out, she'll be a good filly." Emerald Highlands Farm bred and owns the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Seriously. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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