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Three trotters from the sophomore class of 2010 have come online with their initial crops this year; Muscle Massive is standing at Hanover, Lucky Chucky at Winbak in New York and Holiday Road in Ontario. Pilgrim’s Taj is a fourth, but he only spent one year in Canada, after which he was relocated to Ohio and ultimately exported to Finland. That being the case, we’ll look at the first three. To this point restricted races have provided the only basis for judging them, but the open portion of the season commences this week with elimination rounds for the Peter Haughton and Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands as well as several splits of the Arden at The Meadows. Much of the focus has been on Muscle Massive and Lucky Chucky, beneficiaries of generous state bred programs who finished one-two in the Hambletonion. The former was a $450,000 yearling who was lightly raced at two but managed to win the Hambletonion as well as the Dancer at three, while Chucky was a precocious freshman, showing wins in the Valley Victory, Matron, ISS and Bluegrass. He was the 3/2 favorite in the Hambletonion and appeared on his way to victory when 6/1 Muscle Massive, piloted by Ron Pierce, ruined his day. Regardless, Chucky did win the Canadian Trotting Classic and Colonial at three, and he earned more money than Muscle Massive both years. Both sold close to seventy yearlings last year, with Chucky’s brood averaging quite a bit more. Both have seen their stud fees fluctuate before their first crops hit the track. Muscle Massive started at $10,000, only to have his fee cut to $7,500 and $6,000 in successive years. Cantab Hall, Donato Hanover, Andover Hall and Explosive Matter all command higher fees than their younger stablemate at Hanover. Chucky, on the other hand, started at $7,500 in New York, was dropped to $5,000 during a year spent in Pennsylvania, and came back up to $7,500 when he returned to Winbak, where nineteen-year-old Muscles Yankee stands for $2,500 more. Muscle Massive has benefited from the success of his older brother, Muscle Mass, sire of O’Brien winner Riveting Rosie and the successful OSS colt Muscle Matters. Thus far Muscle Massive has given us some outstanding fillies. Gatka Hanover, a big rugged gal out of the Conway Hall mare Girlie Tough, from the Ron Burke barn, has left many wondering where her ceiling is. Gatka rolled through a couple of baby races and has now chalked up three wins in the PA Sire Stakes, one each at The Meadows, Pocono and Harrah’s. Matt Kakaley steered her to an effortless four length win in 1:57 in her latest. She leaves from the five for Matt K in Friday’s first Merrie Annabelle elimination. Gatka takes on Lucky Chucky’s daughter, Lock Down Lindy, who drew plenty of attention with a very strong first over win in a Merrie Annabelle Prep at the Meadowlands Friday for Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna. Another Muscle Massive star in the making is Jimmy Takter’s Speak To Me, an $80,000 Harness Breeders purchase by Myron Bell. She is also three-for three in the PA Sire Stakes and has trotted in 1:55. Last time out, in a $57,000 sire stakes division at Harrah’s, Speak To Me gapped the field by ten on her way to an easy win at a stingy 1/5 price. Unfortunately this filly was not staked to the Merrie Annabelle and will be missing from the fray on Friday night. Blessings Counted is another talented filly by Muscle Massive. She was second to Speak To Me in a PASS race at The Meadows a couple of weeks ago and won a $57,000 race at Harrah’s in her latest start. She is not eligible to the Merrie Annabelle but is entered in a split of the Arden at The Meadows on Friday. Missive and Youth Gone Wild, both winners in the Stallion Series, will also race in the Arden. Jersey Strong, a talented filly with a win in the PA All Stars and a second in the PASS, isn’t entered at The Meadowlands or The Meadows on Friday. The top colt by Muscle Massive is Ake Svanstedt’s Lima Pride, who beat Jimmy Takter’s 1/9 favorite The Bank in a split of the Hickory Pride when The Bank went on a run at the three-quarters. Lima Pride, a $25,000 yearling purchase, was not nominated to the Peter Haughton. The priciest freshman trotter by any first crop stallion is Mr Lucky Luke, a $450,000 Lucky Chucky half- brother to Muscle Massive, Muscle Mass and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner, Thatsnotmyname. The Cancelliere brothers, of Detour Hanover fame, purchased him at Lexington in the fall. He has yet to make a pari-mutuel start; let’s hope he generates a better ROI than Detour has. As for the Lucky Chucky colts and fillies that have raced, there is no eye popping Gatka Hanover out there, but there are plenty of good ones. I already mentioned Merrie Annabelle candidate Lock Down Lindy, who possesses the same rugged demeanor as Gatka. She is a half-sister to 2006 HOY in Canada, Majestic Son. He has sired Harper Blue Chip, Murmur Hanover and Charmed Life. Ray Schnittker has Gabe The Bear Dean, a $105,000 Harness Breeders buy, who has an impressive wire-to wire five length win in the NYSS at Buffalo. Jonas Czernyson has a few Lucky Chucky youngsters in his barn and he’s high on all of them. At the end of June Hot Start, a half-sister to Religulous, won a $27,000 NYSS split at Vernon Downs for Corey Callahan. Next time out, at Tioga, she cut most of the mile from the outside post only to lose to paternal sister My Twisted Sister, from the Paul Kelley barn. Hot Start is entered in the second Merrie Annabelle elimination on Friday. Nunkeri is another very promising Lucky Chucky filly from the Czernyson barn. She finished second to the Muscle Hill filly Josie’s Joy at the Meadowlands the other night, race timed in 1:57.2 as the second choice. Nunkeri won her start previous to that one, a $28,000 NYSS division at Tioga. George Ducharme’s sharp looking Conway Hall filly, Concentration, pressured her all the way home in a 1:59.3 mile. On the male side Mal and Janet Burroughs’ Mambo Blue Chip, a $40,000 Harness Breeders buy, won a $28,000 split of the NYSS in 1:57.2 at Tioga last time out. Holiday Road, a $115,000 yearling who is a full brother to Ken Warkentin, was lightly raced, making only ten lifetime stars. While staying on the track was an issue, speed wasn’t; he won the Peter Haughton at two and a split of the Dancer at three. He opened his stallion career for $4,500 at Seelster Farms and now stands for $3,500. This week the Holiday Roads started to turn heads and earn respect at Mohawk as they performed admirably on the various OSS platforms. John Bax’s Hemi Seelster was long and tough winning a Grassroots division in 1:58.4 at 2/1. It was noteworthy that the gelding engaged in a head to head battle the length of the stretch with Pilgrim’s Joy, a son of first crop stallion Pilgrim’s Taj. Tony Alagna’s filly Gee O’Keeffe logged a very strong second in a $53,000 OSS Gold leg at Mohawk for Jody Jamieson, losing a length to the highly regarded Kadabra filly Juanita’s Fury. And Keith Jones’ gelding, It’s Huw You Know, was an upset Grassroots winner in 2:00.3 on Monday at 75/1, paying $159.60. And Ontheroad De Vie made a very impressive brush on the back as he came from the 10 post to finish second for Rick Zeron in a Grassroots leg. The Holiday Roads are looking good. Rock N Roll Heaven and Sportswriter are lighting it up in the freshman pacing division, but it’s expected that the trotters will take a little longer to get their bearings and hit their stride. Muscle Massive, Lucky Chucky and Holiday Road will all be prospering when they do. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

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

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

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

Matt Kakaley earned his 3,000th career driving victory aboard trotter Commander K on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Kakaley achieves the mark at age 26. He moved to 2,999 with a win aboard 25-1 shot McArdles Lightning in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action earlier in the night, and then sealed the deal with Commander K, a fitting horse to do it considering Matt’s surname. Kakaley has been one of Pocono’s leading drivers for several seasons and is a past seasonal driving champ at the track. Wakizashi Hanover picked up a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victory in track-record fashion on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were four Sire Stakes divisions held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace, with purses ranging from $59,566 to $59,966. Wakizashi Hanover (Dragon Again-Western Gesture), made a late first-over move with Corey Callahan in the bike for trainer Jim King Jr. and scored in 1:51. That winning time broke the Pocono track record for 2-year-old geldings on the pace of 1:51:3, which was set by Dovuto Hanover in 2012. Other Sire Stakes winners on the night: McArdles Lightning (McArdle-Winning Venture), who rallied at 25-1 with Matt Kakaley in the bike for trainer Steve Elliott to win in 1:51; Yankee Bounty (Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee), who made it three for-three to start his career with a victory in 1:51:3 with Corey Callahan aboard for trainer Kevin Lare; and Dragon Eddy (Dragon Again-Jeska Hanover), also three-for-three in his young career as Mike Simons guided him for trainer John Butenschoen to a victory in 1:51:1. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week In Review July 11-17, 2014 We are coming out of a particularly busy stretch of stakes races at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and, as those races dominated the conversation, it necessitated the Weekly Awards taking a bit of a hiatus for the past three weeks. The good news is that the Awards are back, and there is a pile of worthy candidates lining up to make their cases. Let’s see who gets the nods. PACER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ROCKS The barn of trainer Chris Oakes is so full of top performers that it’s easy for an individual horse to get a little bit lost in the shuffle if it isn’t churning out wins with regularity. Such was the case with Scott Rocks, a big earner as a 3-year-old who won just one of his first eight starts in 2014 at age four. The turnaround began with a win in a condition pace on June 3 in 1:50. After a fourth-place finish in his following start, the hot streak really began. On June 28, Scott Rocks took down the non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts group in 1:49. The next week, it was the non-winners of $17,500 in the last five starts that felt his wrath, as he rolled home in 1:50:2. On Saturday night, he stepped up into the highest condition group at Pocono, the non-winners of $25,000 in the last five starts, and he made it look easy. Once again with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, Scott Rocks made a huge first-over move on the back stretch to pounce on a hot early pace. From there, he poured it on for a three-length victory over the field in a career-best 1:48:3, which was also the fastest pacing time posted at Pocono this past week. With performances like that, Scott Rocks need not be concerned about being overshadowed. Other top pacers this week include: Quincy (Simon Allard, Marty Fine), who rolled to his third straight victory in the rugged $27,500 claiming pacing group on Saturday night, this time in 1:50:1; Mickey Hanover (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who rumbled to his second straight condition win on Saturday night, scoring in 1:49:4; and Wakizashi Hanover (Corey Callahan, Jim King Jr.), whose Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night in 1:51 set a new track record for 2-year-old geldings on the pace. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: IBANEZ Baseball fans will recognize that name as being the same as the longtime slugger Raul Ibanez. His trotting namesake has been a pretty powerful slugger at the track the past few weeks. He joined the Rene Allard barn following a claim in June, then found his stride and his confidence with a solid condition victory on July 8 in 1:53:4. On Tuesday night, Ibanez heading back into Pocono’s toughest claiming group for the trotters, the $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicappers, and, to make matters worse, was hamstrung with the outside post in a field of seven. As a fast pace materialized on the front end, driver Corey Callahan patiently kept the 5-year-old gelding near the back of the pack. Around the final turn, while the leaders started to feel the burden of the pace, Ibanez was just gearing up. Callahan spun him out wide and he went charging by in the final strides for the win in a new career-best time of 1:53:4. You could even say that it was the harness-racing equivalent of a game-winning, pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth, so that name is pretty fitting after all. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Swiss Lightning (Brett Miller-Bill Mullin), whose victory over the $7,500 claimers on Friday night in 1:55, a new career mark, was his second straight win; Harbor Point (Tyler Buter-Mark Ford), who handled a condition field on Saturday night in 1:52:4, which was not only a career-best but also the fastest trotting time at MSPD this week; and Commander K (Matt Kakaley-Douglas Berkeley), who picked up his second straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MCARDLES LIGHTNING Even with a Sire Stakes race in his last start at the Meadows, this 2-year-old pacer shad 25-1 odds for his come-from-behind win in a Sire Stakes at Pocono on Wednesday to pay off $52.20 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY Kakaley has been one of Pocono’s leading lights for several seasons now, so it was only fitting that he picked up his milestone 3,000th victory at the track on Wednesday night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MARTY FINE With one of the best percentages at the track in terms of training winners, Fine continued his excellent season with three more victories, including a double on Saturday night. 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

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

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2014 -- McWicked, the winner of the Hempt final, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite to win his division in Saturday's eliminations for the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Also favored in the morning line to win their eliminations are Limelight Beach and Cammikey, each at 2-1. First post Saturday evening is 6:55 PM. The top three finishers in each elimination return for the final the afternoon of Saturday, July 26. The elimination fields, in post position order, with trainers, tentative driver assignments and morning line odds: Race 3 1. Bushwacker Chris Ryder Brett Miller 10-1 2. Journeyman Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 5-1 3. Limelight Beach Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 2-1 4. Somewhere In LA Jimmy Takter Brett Miller 7-2 5. Carracci Hanover Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 4-1 6. Kingofthejungle Dirk Simpson Tony Hall 8-1 Race 4 1. Maxi Bon Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 5-1 2. Somesizesomestyle Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 8-1 3. Let's Drink On It Joe Seekman Tyler Smith 7-2 4. Cammikey Bill Zendt Brian Zendt 2-1 5. Mattamerican Norm Parker Dave Palone 4-1 6. Beat The Drum Staffan Lind Brett Miller 10-1 Race 5 1. McWicked Casie Coleman David Miller 8-5 2. Stevensville Ray Schnittker TBA 10-1 3. At Press Time Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5-2 4. Some Playa Jennifer Sabot Jim Pantaleone 12-1 5. Brioni Robin Cruise Andrew McCarthy 3-1 6. Bondi Hanover Tony Alagna Aaron Merriman 5-1 by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2014--Hempt winner McWicked and a quartet from the powerful Ron Burke stable will lead a competitive field of 18 sophomore colt and gelding pacers into the 48th edition of the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Three $50,000 eliminations are set for the evening of Saturday, July 19 and will go as Races 3-5. The top three finishers in each split return for the final the following Saturday afternoon. Trained by Casie Coleman for SSG Stables, McWicked cruised home by 2-1/4 lengths in the final of the $500,000 Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, taking his lifetime mark of 1:47.3 and extending his career bankroll to $573,447. He also took one of the North America Cup eliminations, finishing fourth in the final. Off since the Hempt, the son of McCardle-Western Sahara goes from the rail in the third elimination, with David Miller driving. As might be expected, Burke, harness racing's leading conditioner, is well represented in the signature race of his home track. Perhaps the sharpest of Burke's four-pack is At Press Time, who chased McWicked home in the Hempt and came back with a facile score--at 1-9--in the PA All Stars at Pocono. Matt Kakaley will pilot the son of Western Terror-So Right from post 3 in the third elim for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Also part of the Burke quartet are Carracci Hanover, whose victory in a non-winners of 2 event is his only start this year; Somesizesomestyle, beaten a length while finishing fifth in the PA All Stars, and Limelight Beach, in whom Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and M1 Stable recently purchased an interest. Trainer Tony Alagna will send out a trio of Adios contenders--Journeyman, Maxi Bon, Bondi Hanover--while conditioner Jimmy Takter is seeking his third blanket of orchids in the last five years with Somewhere in LA. In addition to the Burke quartet, the banners of local owners will be carried by Cammikey, campaigned by Cam Land LLC, whose farm lies just down the road from The Meadows, and Mattamerican, owned by Bob Key. First post this Saturday is 6:55 PM. The elimination fields, in post position order, with trainers and tentative driver assignments: Race 3 1. Bushwacker Chris Ryder Brett Miller 2. Journeyman Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 3. Limelight Beach Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 4. Somewhere In LA Jimmy Takter Brett Miller 5. Carracci Hanover Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 6. Kingofthejungle Dirk Simpson Tony Hall Race 4 1. Maxi Bon Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 2. Somesizesomestyle Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 3. Let's Drink On It Joe Seekman Tyler Smith 4. Cammikey Bill Zendt Brian Zendt 5. Mattamerican Norm Parker Dave Palone 6. Beat The Drum Staffan Lind Brett Miller Race 5 1. McWicked Casie Coleman David Miller 2. Stevensville Ray Schnittker TBA 3. At Press Time Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 4. Some Playa Jennifer Sabot Jim Pantaleone 5. Brioni Robin Cruise Andrew McCarthy 6. Bondi Hanover Tony Alagna Aaron Merriman by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 13, 2014-Statebred as well are open stakes are in Yonkers Raceway's display window the week. Monday night, the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot finds a pair of rich divisions ($111,500 and $113,500, respectively) for 3-year-old fillies going as races 5 and 6. The first event sees defending NYSS champ Market Rally (Jim Morrill Jr., post 4) as a very probable short-priced number. The daughter of Cash Hall is 2-for-2 since adding Lasix, sire stakes wins at Buffalo at Vernon. The lass, purchased after her frosh season, is co-owned by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable. Glownngold (Brian Sears, post 3), unraced at 2, has hit the board in eight of her 12 tries this season. Gammy's Girl (Dave Miller, post 1) is looking to regain her six-figure form of a season ago. The second Cipriani event figures the more competitive, with last-out NYSS winner Avalicious (Yannick Gingras, post 2) and Empire Breeders Classic victress Crediama (Trond Smedshammer) among the leading lasses. Thursday night, the $221,000 NYSS Armand Palatucci Pace brings the 3-year-old colts and geldings back downstate. A trio of groupings-purses of $72,800, $74,100 and $74,100-goes as races 1,4 and 9. The second event is the one above the marquee. It offer the local return of Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, post 5), part of the a Burke co-owned/trained entry. The Bettor's Delight colt is 5-for-7 this season ($273,050). Saturday night, it's the $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Leading the octet into are this past weekend's elimination winners In the Arsenal (Eric Goodell, 1:56.2) and Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan, 1:56.1). The winners, trained by Kelvin Harrison and Burke, respectively, are joined by Byby Landon, Mystical Pacer, Rock N' Roll World, Lone Survivor, Perfect Eagle and Parklane Eagle. The open draw for the Sheppard is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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

WASHINGTON, PA, July 11, 2014 -- Freshman trotting fillies got their first taste of Pennsylvania Sires Stakes action Friday at The Meadows, and that taste was sweetest of all for Livininthefastlane, who triumphed in a stake-fastest 1:56.1. The $xxx event known as the Meadow Gladys was contested over seven divisions, with Kelsey's Keepsake, Gatka Hanover, Iluvmyjimmychoos, Sweet Thing, Wild Honey and Speak To Me taking the other splits. Brian Sears and trainer Julie Miller teamed for a pair of Meadow Gladys wins (Livininthefastlane, Kelsey's Keepsake), as did Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter (Wild Honey, Speak To Me). Livininthefastlane broke stride at the gate in the PA All Stars -- her career debut -- so Sears let her settle before moving her first over. "She raced really big last week but was a little hesitant at the gate and made a break," Sears said. "But I had a lot of confidence in her, and she was pretty handy tonight. She's what I thought she is." She downed Jersey Strong by 1-1/2 lengths, with Annalina third. Marvin Katz, Al Libfield and Sam Goldband campaign the daughter of Donato Hanover-Nicole's Promise. Iluvmyjimmychoos provided the most dramatic Meadow Gladys victory, charging through the Lightning Lane for Dave Palone to make up 2 lengths and score in 1:57 at first asking. April Rose was 3/4 lengths back in second while Byfleet Hanover completed the ticket. "You don't want to hit the gas with these things too quick -- they're just babies," Palone said. "She felt good in the lines, but you never know how they'll react when you head them into the passing lane. She was a real professional -- hit a big gear finishing." Nancy Johansson trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-Yankee Valentine for Crawford Partners and James Crawford. Gatka Hanover captured her career debut in the PA All Stars and made it look even easier in the Meadow Gladys, scoring on the front end in 1:57.1 for Matt Kakaley, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stable, Tracy Hendler and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Matter Hatter was second, 2-1/2 lengths in arrears, with Bright Baby Blues third. "I didn't want to rush her," Kakaley said of the daughter of Muscle Massive-Girlie Tough. "If anybody left, I would've just left them go and moved her to the front easy without getting her too worked up. Once she gets there, she's relaxed. She trotted 57 the back half easy as any horse can do it." In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Pop Cop shot the Lightning Lane to score in 1:51.1 for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury. D Mac was second, 1/2 length back, with the pace-setting Windsong Jack third. The 5-year-old Bettor's Delight-Pop Queen gelding extended his career bankroll to $221,627. Dan Rawlings drove three winners on the 15-race program. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features an $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Four Divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers were contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday Afternoon (July 10), each going for a purse of just over $60,000. In the first division, it was Well Hello There (Well Said-Helen of Leda) leaving fast off the wings, and making every call a winning one. Favorite Triple V Hanover sat the pocket, but came up empty and finished off the board. After fighting off a first over bid from Deli Beach, Well Hello There kicked away to a two length victory, pacing the mile in 1:53 flat. Ianthe Hanover finished second, while Arts Jem rallied for third. Well Hello There is owned by Burke Racing, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Our Horse Cents Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi, trained by Ron Burke, and was driven by Matt Kakaley. In division two, it was the Jimmy Takter trainee Aria Hanover (Well Said-Allamerican Cognac) gamely gunning down the leaders. Race favorite and eventual third place finisher Arielle Lynn was the pacesetter, while Kays Dragon Lady applied first over pressure. Those two tired however, leaving pocket sitter Macarena Mama and Aria Hanover in a furious stretch duel that saw the latter narrowly prevailing. Aria Hanover is owned by the Brittany Farms, and was driven by Yannick Gingras. In the third division, it was Ginger Tree Alexis (Dragon Again-Open Forum) overcoming post seven for the victory. The Steve Cook trainee left fast off the wings and led the entire opening quarter, but was eventually overtaken by the eventual third place finisher Southwind Roulette. Ginger Tree Alexis vacated the pocket spot at three quarters, and kicked away to win by one length in the end, stopping the clock in 1:53.1. The drafting Special Package rallied up for place. Ginger Tree Alexis is owned by Ginger Tree Stables, and Beverly and Daryl Breniser, and was driven by Yannick Gingras. In the final division, it was upsetter Doctor Terror (Western Terror-Doctor Seth) grinding first over to win. The Blake Macintosh trainee was able to outlast race favorite and second place finisher Eloquently Stated in the final strides, stopping the clock in 1:54.4. Morning line favorite Melanies Sharkette finished third. Doctor Terror is owned by Stuart and trainer Blake Macintosh, and was driven by Mark MacDonald. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Bettor's Edge is not the highest profile pacer in the Ron Burke Stable, but he is holding his own against the best in the sport. It's something he has done pretty much throughout his million-dollar-earning career. The 5-year-old gelding heads into Saturday's $463,300 William R. Haughton Memorial for older pacers at the Meadowlands off a second-place finish in the Ben Franklin Pace on June 28. He finished between stablemates Sweet Lou, who edged him by a neck, and Foiled Again. Sweet Lou and Foiled Again also are entered in the Haughton, as well as Burke-trained Clear Vision. Sweet Lou, who has a five-race win streak, is the 8-5 morning line favorite. Bettor's Edge is fourth choice at 6-1, behind Captaintreacherous (3-1) and State Treasurer (9-2). Foiled Again, who with $6.31 million in career purses is the richest harness racing horse in North American history, starts from the outside in post No. 10 and is 12-1. The Haughton and $776,000 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-old pacers will be shown live starting at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Saturday's card also includes the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial, $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial, $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee, $178,450 Golden Girls, and a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series. Bettor's Edge, who joined the Burke Brigade in November 2013 after a successful stint with trainer Linda Toscano, has won six of 17 races this year, including three divisions of the spring Levy Series, and earned $285,340. "We're high on him," said Mark Weaver, who owns Bettor's Edge with Burke Racing, Mike Bruscemi, and M1 Stable. "In the Franklin, it looked like he was going to get by [Sweet] Lou and beat the best horses around. He's solid. A lot of people that follow him really like him. His lines are better than they look. He's been in against tough horses in tough spots." As a 3-year-old, Bettor's Edge won six of 25 races, including the Monument Circle, and had on-the-board finishes in the Breeders Crown, Tattersalls Pace, Little Brown Jug, Cane Pace, and Progress Pace on his way to $573,797 in season's earnings. "We always liked the horse," Weaver said, adding about Bettor's Edge's foaling year of 2009, "That year, [Sweet] Lou's crop, I love those horses. I don't think people realized how good they were. I think last year they started to realize, with Pet Rock and A Rocknroll Dance and some of the others and the way they raced in the aged pacing division. "We're trying to look at the immediate future as well as down the road. Foiled [Again] can't last forever; [Sweet] Lou eventually will be in the breeding shed. We like to buy horses we think can help fill voids when they happen. We thought he could do that. So far it's worked out. I wouldn't be surprised if he does some bigger and better things." If nothing else, Bettor's Edge has proved to be a durable money-earner. When he starts in the Haughton it will give him at least one race in 14 of the last 15 months. "A lot of these horses, you map out every start," Weaver said. "With him, we've been kind of winging it. He's had 38 starts since he's had a real break. Believe me, he's not getting one soon as well as he's racing. At some point he'll get the break he deserves and maybe he'll come back even better next year." Following is the Haughton field in post order with listed drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 8-1; 2. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 3. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 8-5; 4. State Treasurer, David Miller, Ian Moore, 9-2; 5. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 30-1; 6. Bettor's Edge, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 7. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Pete Foley, 12-1; 8. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 20-1; 9. Clear Vision, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 15-1; 10. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

WILKES-BARRE PA -- $330,800 worth of Pennsylvania All-Stars action for locally-sired harness racing three-year-olds highlighted the holiday weekend action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday, with pacers of both sexes contesting four divisions and the trotting colts matched up for three splits four weeks before the Hambletonian. TROTTING COLTS Il Sogno’s Dream had a chartline with more bubbles than a kid’s bathtub, but he nevertheless overcame the brutal trip to win by 7¾ lengths in the fastest division for the diamondgaiters, 1:54.1.The son of Cantab Hall was handled by North America’s leading driver, Aaron Merriman, and the performance of the Chris Beaver-trained 3YO showed why he ventured east from his Meadows-Northfield base by winning impressively for a pair of Manes (Bill and Dan) and a pair of Christophers  (Leonard and Randy; well, three if you count trainer Beaver). Madewell Hanover seems to be peaking at an opportune time for owner/trainer/driver Chris Ryder, as the Yankee Glide gelding moved to the lead in front of the stands and never looked back, holding early leader Amped Up Hanover safe by half a length in 1:55.1, with successive back splits of 28.2. The Explosive Matter gelding Outburst burst to the lead past the quarter and never looked back again in winning his division in 1:54.4, sporting identical 57.2 halves. The Noel Daley-trained sophomore was 5½ lengths ahead at the finish for driver Andrew McCarthy, coming off his 1000th career win earlier in the week, and owners Daley, Adam Victor & Son Stable LLC, Kemppi Stables Ov Inc., and Mirva Bogucki. PACING COLTS Local sulky speed specialist George Napolitano Jr. got the Allamerican Native colt Mattamerican to the front past the quarter despite the outside post seven in his cut, and then threw a 26.2 third quarter to open up a lead he would never surrender in a 1:49.4 victory. Norm Parker conditions Mattamerican for owner/breeder Robert Key. The McArdle colt Sean Liam Q saw eight months pass between his first and second racetrack victory, but he accomplished his third just four days later in winning a four-horse blanket finish in 1:50.1. The 16-1 shot had the right local driver for the upset, as “King” George Anthony has dubbed Andrew McCarthy “The King Of The Longshots,” and McCarthy had just the right timing to get Sean Liam Q home first for trainer Ross Croghan and his owners and breeders, Steve Stewart, Alan Quinn, and Frank Cannon. At Press Time was knocked down to the minimum $2.10 win payout and did not disappoint, the Western Terror colt winning by 4 ½ lengths in 1:50.1 for driver Matt Kakaley and some folks you may not have heard from for a while – trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The royally-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-Bunny Lake) colt Bondi Hanover led at every pole, coming home in 27.1 to withstand Lord Of Misrule by a head in 1:50.4. Aaron Merriman added to his win total by guiding the winner for trainer Tony Alagna and the W Springtime Racing Stable, who campaigned Bunny Lake. PACING FILLIES Lynch Pace Final winner Fancy Desire returned to the site of her big stakes victory seven days previous, and the Real Desire filly triumphed again, but Lynch elim winner Cinamony narrowed in on the pacesetting winner late to miss by just a neck in the 1:50.2 mile. Kevin Carr handles the training of the fast-emerging star for owner Robert DiNozzi, with George Napolitano Jr. again in Fancy Desire’s sulky. The Well Said filly Take That Hanover needed very bit of a 27.1 last quarter to ward off first-over Marathon Day by a neck in 1:49.4. Tyler Buter returned to Victory Lane with Take That Hanover for trainer Casie Coleman and the Jack Darling Stables LTD. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. has a special knack for getting horses home first from seemingly-impossible spots, and he rallied Lucy’s Pearl, dead last at the half, to a ¾-length triumph over favored Also Encouraging in 1:50.1. Another daughter of Well Said, Lucy’s Pearl is a rare pacing foray for the “Trotting Guru,” trainer Ron Gurfein, who also shares ownership with Elizabeth Novak.  Stung past a 25.4 opener by main foe Seashell Hanover, the Somebeachsomewhere filly Bahama Blue made the lead and still had enough in the lane to hold off that rival by a length in 1:51. The familiar local team of driver Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes added another victory to their impressive stats column for owners Susan Oakes, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC. ,Jennifer Starr

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      

The S & P Racing Stable's Jets Are On ($4.90) completed a series sweep in the $38,000 M&J Oil and Lube final for distaffers, while Sandbur Farms and Valarie Sutton's Nitro Seelster ($10.40) outsprinted a trio of Ron Burke trainees in the $46,000 Nichols True Value final on Sunday (June 29) afternoon's Tioga Downs program.   The two late closing series finals served as co-features on the 13-race card, with the M&J Oil and Lube final looking to be a showdown between preliminary winners Jets Are On and Godiva Seelster. Neither mare was prominent early, as Happy Apples (Matt Kakaley) and Evil Fight (Jeffrey Long) were embroiled in a cutthroat duel to a :54.4 half mile.   On the backstretch, Jets Are On swept three-wide, pushing to the lead into the far turn and drawing clear by five lengths at head-stretch. Godiva Seelster (Fern Paquet, Jr.) sustained a late bid from farther back in the field, rallying well to take second, reducing Jets Are On's winning margin to two lengths in a 1:53.0 effort. Always Flash-n (Aaron Byron), who stalked from the pocket, was able to shake free from the fading pacesetters to save third.   Corey Braden drove Jets Are On for trainer Luanne Case.   In the Nichols True Value final for male pacers, Nitro Seelster sustained a bid off the live cover of Real Illusion (Brandon Simpson), edging clear of Ron Burke trainees Pappy's Pal (Matt Kakaley) and Shark Fantasy (Dan Charlino) while holding off a strong late charge from Agood Time to Rock (Dan Rawlings) en route to a 1:52.3 victory. Sean Bier tipped the four-year-old Camluck gelding off cover at head-stretch, pulling clear late for a two-length triumph.   Agood Time to Rock chased late after suffering an awkward start, re-rallying to just take second from his stablemates, the pocket-sitting Shark Fantasy and the pacesetting Pappy's Pal (third and fourth, respectively).   Doug Hamilton trains Nitro Seelster.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday evening, with the Independence Day card set to begin at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

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