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The Howard Taylor-owned harness racing gelding has won six of 11 races this year, good for $75,475 in purses, and heads into Saturday's $30,000 Bobby Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers off victories in his two preliminary rounds of the event at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Major Uptrend, a 4-year-old, won both of his starts in the series by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51.3. His first triumph came over YS Lotus, who has posted two wins in the series to go with two second-place finishes, and his most recent score came over Victory At Last, who was unbeaten in three previous series starts. Trained by Ron Burke and driven by Matt Kakaley, Major Uptrend will start Saturday's Weiss final from post two. "He's just blazing fast," said Taylor, who purchased Major Uptrend in December. "I don't know how good he is class-wise, but he's got great speed. He's far exceeded what I thought I was getting. "What I'm looking forward to is when he gets to where he has to go with horses that can go with him how much guts he's got. I don't know. We'll find out." Major Uptrend is a son of stallion Somebeachsomewhere out of the million-dollar-earning mare Tricky Tooshie. He sold for $177,000 as a yearling, under the name Toronto Hanover, and won six of 19 starts and $26,352 prior to Taylor purchasing the horse on the recommendation of Doug Lewis. Taylor was interested in Major Uptrend because the gelding fit the conditions of a number of winter series. "That's what I always look to, what I can do with them -- not what they've done," Taylor said. "What they've done wasn't for me and doesn't help me any, but it's where I can go from here. This horse had all kinds of late-closers he was eligible to, so I thought it was a no-brainer." After finishing second by a neck for Taylor in his first start, Major Uptrend closed 2014 with a win in which he rallied from the back of the pack with a :25.3 last quarter-mile. This year, Major Uptrend has finished no worse than second in any race in which he remained pacing. He went off stride once in a preliminary round of the Escort Series at the Meadowlands and twice in the Sagamore Hill Series at Yonkers Raceway. "I don't think he's a real big fan of a half-mile track," Taylor said, referring to Yonkers. "He's a funny horse. I've seen him enough and I think I've learned a lot about him. He's one of these horses that if you're going to do something, you've got to do it. You can't start and then change your mind. If you change your mind he just gets mad and jumps." Major Uptrend finished second to Company Man in the final of the Escort Series and finished second to Rockeyed Optimist in the final of the Sonsam Series. He handed Rockeyed Optimist his only loss of 2015 in a preliminary round of the Sonsam. Following the Weiss Series, Major Uptrend is eligible to the Whata Baron Series at the Meadowlands. The Whata Baron begins with two divisions Saturday and concludes May 2. "I still don't know what I have," Taylor said. "I know I have a horse that's as good as anything in these series. We'll probably give him some time off after these series - he's been going hard every week - and then bring him back and find out what we have in open company. "But it's been a fun ride so far." YS Lotus, trained by Rene Allard, drew post No. 1 for the Weiss Series final and will have Simon Allard at the lines. Shadow Margeaux, who has a win and three second-place finishes in the event, got post five for trainer Steve Salerno and driver Larry Stalbaum. Victory At Last, also from the Burke stable, got post eight with George Napolitano Jr. listed to drive. Napolitano also is listed on Burke-trainee Coaster, who drew post seven. By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

WILKES-BARRE PA - Major Uptrend overcame post eight and snapped the harness racing streak of Victory At Last, who had won in the first three legs of the Bobby Weiss Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, by posting a 1:51.3 triumph in one of two $15,000 cuts of the fourth and final preliminary for male pacers Saturday. In the other division, YS Lotus posted the fastest Weiss clocking all year, 1:50.2, to stamp himself as a major danger in next Saturday's $30,000 Championship.   Major Uptrend went up to challenge his barnmate in the Ron Burke stable, Victory At Last, past the 27 opener, and from there the altered son of Somebeachsomewhere was in control, stopping the timer in 1:51.3 while 1¾ lengths to the good of Victory At Last, for owner Howard Taylor. It is interesting that driver Matt Kakaley, who had driven Victory At Last to his three previous Weiss wins, choose to go with Major Uptrend, whom he had also won with last week, and the decision proved to be a Weiss wise one.   YS Lotus, whose last six races had taken place in an 18-day span (competing in both Yonkers Sagamore Hill Series and the Weiss), seemed to like this week's having seven days between starts, as he made an early move to the top and stayed in front, defeating Shadow Margeaux by ¾ of a length. The If I Can Dream gelding earned a new speed badge with the 1:50.2 clocking while winning for driver Simon Allard, trainer/brother Rene, and owner Yves Sarrazin. In all, the Brothers Allard had an extraordinary night at Pocono, teaming up for victory seven times on the 14-race card.   In $22,000 overnight events, the Classic Photo gelding Zooming zoomed home from next-to-last at the half to handle the trotters in 1:52.4 for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Amber Buter, and owners Steve Oldford, Oldford Farms LLC, and Tyler Buter. On the pacing side driver Jim Morrill Jr. rallied Mustang Art out of the pocket to hang a nose defeat on frontstepping Somethinginthewind in 1:50 (the new "even time" at Pocono?), the Artiscape gelding parading back to Victory Lane for trainer Jim McGuire and owners Max Walton and Greg Papaleo.   Pocono hosts its first Sunday card of the year tonight/(tomorrow night), with the first race set for a 6:30 start. The mountain track now will have live racing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Dress For Success remained undefeated in Bobby Weiss Series competition with an easy harness racing victory in one of two $15,000 divisions of the third leg for trotting females Wednesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono; in the other cut, Passing Jetta finds herself moving in the right direction after posting successive third, second, and now first-place finishes in her Weiss outings.   The Infinitif mare Dress For Success had little trouble taking her third straight Weiss win, leading at every call while tying her lifetime mark of 1:55.1, first set last week. The heaviest of favorites at 1-20* odds, the Christopher Freck-trained mare was driven by Matt Kakaley for owners Stacey Ruddick and Denis Dennis.   The chalk also held sway in Wednesday's other Weiss action, but just barely, as the Lear Jetta mare Passing Jetta rallied out of the pocket to hang a head defeat on pacesetter Fashion Zoomalot in 1:57.1.   Jim Morrill Jr. handled sulky duties for Passing Jetta, trainer Robert Bresnahan Jr., and owner J L Sadowsky LLC.   The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will be adding Sunday racing to its 2015 regular menu beginning this Sunday, April 12. The trotters and pacers will be going to the gate weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the first race each night scheduled for 6:30 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono

Harness racing owners Stacey Ruddick and Denise Dennis said yes to the dress and ended up with a horse. It happened in 2012. Ruddick and Dennis were interested in buying a yearling trotter named Panthere Dream at the Lexington Selected Sale, but worried the filly might not fall in their price range. A friend asked if they saw a dress they really liked, would they look at the price tag or simply buy the dress. Ruddick said she was unsure while Dennis said without hesitation that she would buy the dress. Their friend responded, referring to the yearling auction, "When you get in there, go buy your dress." Ruddick and Dennis came away with Panthere Dream for $18,000 and renamed the filly Dress For Success. "I wanted a Kentucky (Sire Stakes eligible) horse, but I didn't know if she would fall into my price range," said Ruddick, who operates a farm in Indiana that breeds, boards, trains and races Standardbreds. "I ran into my friend Denise and she was interested in buying the horse too. We loved her. There was something about the look in her eye that Denise really liked and we loved her video." Dress For Success, now a 4-year-old mare, has won six of 38 career races and earned $96,254. She has captured back-to-back starts in the Bobby Weiss Series for 3- and 4-year-old female trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and is the 8-5 morning line favorite in Wednesday's second of two third-round divisions. A daughter of stallion Infinitif out of the mare Padme Hanover, Dress For Success was winless at age 2, but finished third in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship and second in the Kentucky Fair Stakes final. Last year, she won a preliminary round of the Kentucky Sire Stakes series, but went off stride in the championship. She again finished second in the Kentucky Fair Stakes final and earned checks in the Buckette and a division of the Circle City Stakes. Ruddick, who trained Dress For Success at ages 2 and 3, decided to send the trotter to New Jersey at the end of last season and put the horse in the stable of trainer Chris Freck. Since arriving on the East Coast, Dress For Success has won four of 10 starts and hit the board a total of six times. "She was very athletic from the beginning," Ruddick said. "She never did anything wrong. She was really more laidback than any good trotting filly that I've ever had; she took everything in stride. She never had been on the track with another horse until her first county fair. And she was like 'whatever.' Usually they're scared. "She wastes no motion when she trots. When you sit behind her you don't feel you're going nearly as fast as you are because she covers so much ground. Chris says she's gotten a little bit more fired up on the track since she's been going faster out there, but at the barn she's an absolute sweetheart." Dress For Success finished second in an opening-round division of January's Super Bowl Series at the Meadowlands, defeated by a half-length by Blocking The Way in 1:54.1, before going off stride in the second round and turning up sick in the final. She followed with two conditioned wins at the Big M and got her first chance this season against female-only competition when she headed to the Weiss Series at the end of March. "She won a couple races at the Meadowlands, and that was exciting," Ruddick said. "A lot of people think she's surprised us, but she really hasn't surprised me and my dad (Harold) because I knew what she was. She always had bad luck last year. Stupid things would happen that weren't her fault. "Chris found (the Weiss) series for us and it's worked out nice. She was super in the first leg of the Super Bowl and then in the second leg she had some problems and she was sick in the final. She fizzled out in that series, but we always thought she was nice so we wanted to give her a chance in this series." Dress For Success and driver Matt Kakaley won their opener in the Weiss Series by a half-length in 1:57.1 over a "good" track and won last week by 5-1/2 lengths in 1:55.1. "I think Matt Kakaley has been a really nice fit for her," said Ruddick, who might keep Dress For Success on the East Coast for some overnight races before bringing her home for a layoff and then a trip to Lexington's Red Mile followed by a return to New Jersey. "He has a lot of confidence in the horse. A lot of people would have questioned whether she belonged, but he has confidence in her and drives her with confidence, which is really nice." Passing Jetta is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first division of Wednesday's Weiss Series. Two-time series winner Classic Belisima, who won her second-round start in 1:53.3, is off this week. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley swept both $15,000 divisions of the third leg of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacing males Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Victory At Last now 3-for-3 in the series and Major Uptrend making his initial Weiss start a winning one.   After winning by a head in the first two legs, the Quik Pulse Mindale gelding Victory At Last had it relatively easy in the third, coming out of the pocket and gaining into a 55.4 final half to defeat Shadow Margeaux, the only other previous Weiss winner in his division, by ¾ of a length while taking a new mark of 1:52.1 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   Major Uptrend, a big factor in the winter series at The Meadowlands, had made breaks in his last two outings, in the Sagamore Hill Series at Yonkers, and the switch to the more spacious oval proved a good tonic for the altered son of Somebeachsomewhere and Tricky Tooshie, who won over $1M on the racetrack. The Major marched to the lead past the ¼, then threw twin 27.4 splits on the end of his mile to complete the handy triumph in 1:51.3 for owner Howard Taylor, defeating four previous Weiss division winners, including second-place YS Lotus, making his sixth start in 18 days (racing in the Sagamore and Weiss three straight weeks).   One other interesting note: both winners sold at Harrisburg as yearlings - Major Uptrend for $177,000, Victory At Last for $7500.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Quik Pulse Mindale gelding Victory At Last became the first two-time winner in his section of the Bobby Weiss Series for late-developing pacing males, winning one of the three $15,000 second round Weiss events Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Last week Victory At Last led at every call and lasted over the late charge of a Rene Allard-trained horse, YS Lotus, by a head; this week the winner sat the pocket behind another Allard trainee, Vance Bayama, and rallied in the Pocono Pike to win in 1:54.2, last quarter 27.3, with the victory margin a head this week as well. Matt Kakaley again handled Victory At Last for trainer Ron Burke and the powerful combine of Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. Rene Allard, the leading trainer at Pocono last year, sent out the fastest winner in the two rounds of competition when YS Lotus, mentioned above, made a sweeping move around tired foes to the 3/4s and won by five lengths in a personal best 1:52 (on a 26 degree night). Rene's brother Simon was in the sulky behind the altered son of If I Can Dream, an "iron horse" racing for the fourth time in 11 days, for owner Yves Sarrazin. Both Victory At Last and YS Lotus were the crowd choices; such was not the case in the third Weiss event, as 13-1 shot Weapons Dealer angled wide in the stretch and caught Shadow Margeaux, a $77 win bomber last week, by a neck, taking a new speed badge of 1:54.1. Anthony Napolitano handled sulky duties behind the Western Ideal gelding for trainer Daniel Renaud and owner Robert Di Mozzi. Jerry Connors for PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Trotting males and pacing females were featured in first leg harness racing action of their divisions of the Bobby Weiss Series Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with two $15,000 sections for each group contested. In the first trotting cut Two Hip Dip set the pace, then blasted home in 1:55.4 - 56.2 - 27.1 for driver David Miller and trainer/owner Nick Salenetri. The son of Glidemaster was the slight favorite in a race where two horses were sent off at 4-5 - his co-"odds-on" rival Bourbon Bay was outfooted late for second by Raise The Curtain. The other diamondgaited division also went to driver David Miller, again on the engine, this time with Walk The Walk. Walk The Walk trotted the trot about five lengths better than anyone else in the field until the shadow of the wire, where he ran the run, but was not in violation of the breaking rules. The son of Muscle Hill, owned by trainer Chris Ryder in partnership with Sidney Korn, Robert Mondillo, and Max Wernick, posted a new personal speed badge of 1:55.1 despite the bobble, with back timings of 56.3 - 28. Miller and Ryder again teamed in a division of the female Weiss action, using "pocket rocket" tactics into a 28 kicker with the Rocknroll Hanover filly Crescent City to get a nose up in a new mark of 1:54 for Diamond Creek Racing. This event also featured an unusual betting pattern, with three horses at less than 2-1 - the winner was 7-5, place horse Hollyrocker was 9-5, and first-over Caviart Shelly (fourth) was 3-2. The other distaff division also saw a nose separate the top two, as a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Life Is A Beach, maintained an early brush to command to the wire over The Beach Nextdoor in a personal best 1:53.1, with twin 28.1s the last half. Matt Kakaley had sulky duty for trainer Ron Burke and the omnipresent Burke Racing / Weaver Bruscemi partnership. David Miller and Kakaley had three wins on the card; doubles were recorded by George Napolitano Jr. and, on his birthday, Mike Simons, with the latter win for "The Trot Man" the appropriately-gaited Magnum Kosmos. As opposed to opening night this past Saturday, where the average win mutuel was over $21, 7 of 13 chalks clicked this evening. Jerry Connors for PHHA/Pocono             Spam Not spam Forget previous vote

Harnes racing trainer driver Ake Svandstedt sent three horses to the post Friday night at The Meadowlands. His trio won all three of their starts. First, the second race, a trot carrying a non-winners of 2 condition went to Annapolis. Allowed to sit a pocket trip through fractions of 28, 56.4 and 1:26, Tim Tetrick guided his three year old filly up the pylons in the stretch where she sprinted past pace-setter Maximus Deo, who would fade to third, to score a decisive victory in 1:55 at odds of 6-1. Oneida rallied for the runner-up spot. It was the first of two victories on the card for driver Tim Tetrick. Annapolis is owned by Green Acquisition Corporation. On the heels of Annapolis was Dreams Of Thunder, sent to the post at 4-1 with Matt Kakaley in the third race C-2 Trot for Svanstedt. Just like Annapolis before him, he turned a perfect pocket trip into an easy victory in 1:55.1. The win also sparked a daily double for owners Green Acquisition Corporation. Svanstedt had to wait until the 11th race for his third start of the night, but Blixtra was worth the wait. Leaving hard from post 10 with Tim Tetrick, Blixtra made the lead through fractions of 27.2, 56 and 1:24.1 with Empress Deo in hot pursuit right behind her in the pocket. Turning for home, the even money favorite and the second choice, Empress Deo kicked away from the field and hooked up in a stretch duel where Empress Deo just could not get her nose in front of a game Blixtra as the favorite hung on in a lifetime best 1:51.3. Blixtra is owned by Courant A B and gave Tim Tetrick his third winner of the night. The dice came up 10 early and often at The Meadowlands on Friday evening. In fact, four of the first six winners donned the number 10 saddle pad and five overall. One of which came in the sixth race, $16,000 B-2 Trot with Lindy's Tru Grit who graduated from his C-1 victory in style with a repeat win at the B-2 level at 8-1. The race was hotly-contested with a speed duel through opening fractions of 26.4 and 55.2 with Here Comes Numbers and Cocotier battling on the lead. Modest Prince was launched three-wide on the far turn, with War Cry Hall just off his helmet. But, it was Lindy's Tru Grit, stacked up fourth over through three-quarters of 1:24.1 who accelerated dramatically in the stretch and mowed down the field, drawing clear to win in a lifetime mark of 1:52.2. The winner was driven by Andy Miller for his wife Julie Miller and owned by Lindy Racing Stable and Robert Rudolph. The other $16,000 B-2 Trot belonged to a drop and pop winner, named Il Mago. Asserting himself early in the mile, Il Mago established fractions of 28, 57 and 1:26.1 before powering away in the stretch to win impressively in 1:54.1. The class drop paid dividends for the 2-1 favorite and driver Scott Zeron. Il Mago is trained by Mark Harder who co-owns the five year old son of Kadabra along with Chris Alexander Stables Inc. Dave Miller also had a big night, winning five races on the Friday card, including four of the last seven races. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 was hit for $12,101. That pool will start fresh on Saturday. The 13th race Jackpot Super Hi-5 will carry over into the Saturday program. That carryover now stands at $17,867. The 13-race Friday program sported a handle of $2,737,008. Racing resumes on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, December 7, 2014-The penultimate performance of Yonkers Raceway's "Matinee Mambo" went postward Sunday. As previously scheduled, this was the only one of the six day cards not simulcast overseas to a French-hubbed audience. Thus, the 12-race card went with traditional distances (mile) and starters (eight, before scratches). The featured $46,000 Open Handicap Trot turned out to be a formful, three-speed number, with favorites DW's NY Yank (Matt Kakaley, $3.90), Somebody AS (Andy Miller) and Dancehall Mistress (Brian Sears) justifying their support. It was DW's NY Yank, from post position No. 6, working around Somebody AS, then leading through intervals of :27.3, :57.4, 1:26.1 and 1:55.1. The final margin was a neck over second-choice Somebody AS, with third choice "Mistress" a best-of-the-rest third. For "DW," a 5-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Howard Taylor, it was his 12th win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.20, with the triple returning $37.60. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule continues through next Sunday. Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the last of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) set for just after 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Nuncio and driver John Campbell ended up being just a half-length off of sweeping the harness racing Trotting Triple Crown as Nuncio captured the third jewel, the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final, at Yonkers Raceway Saturday. It seemed nearly an effortless effort for the three-year-old son of Andover Hall, who got away in second place early as Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick) shot to the early lead from post seven. Once they reached the opening quarter mile in an easy :29 second, Campbell moved Nuncio to the front and it was pretty much a cake-walk from that point on. Nuncio led the field to the half mile in a leisurely :58.4 with no one coming up to challenge. In the backstretch Journey (Daniel Dube) was able to flush Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) to come first-over as they passed the three-quarters in 1:27.3. Then on the final turn the pocket-sitting Don Dorado went off-stride and it became a two-horse race to the wire. Nuncio went wide coming down the stretch but Datsyuk was unable to gain ground as Nuncio went on to win by two and one-quarter open lengths in 1:56. Datsyuk held for second place with Resolve (David Miller) finishing third. “Father Patrick has gotten a lot of accolades,” said John Campbell, “And Trixton deservingly so too. But this horse (Nuncio) is just so consistent. I have so much admiration and think so highly of this horse because he always gives me such a big effort. Horses like him are hard to find. “Any horse at this level has to have consistency,” Campbell added, They have to have speed, they have to have heart, but his consistency over two years has just been remarkable. He has never put in a poor performance for me at all.” “It takes a pretty good horse,” Campbell said, “to have never raced on a half mile before and put in two great miles like he has is unbelievable.” It was the 60th edition of the Yonkers Trot and the third time that Campbell has won the Triple Crown jewel. Trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Stall TZ of Vero Beach, FL, it was the tenth win in 15 starts this year for Nuncio. He now sports $1,297,096 in earnings this year. Nuncio paid just $2.10 to win was the 1/9 overwhelming favorite. Nuncio Last week All Bets Off and driver Matt Kakaley barely made it to the final of the $500,000 Messenger Stakes, the third jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown. He tried to wire the field and ended up finishes fourth, beaten just one length. But with the first four official finishers returning for the final, All Bets Off was back in the hunt and drew post six for the final and this time Matt Kakaley made sure no one was able to catch them. Shooting to the early lead with Lyonssomewhere (Brett Miller) fighting off Stevensville (Mark MacDonald) for the two-hole spot, Kakaley made the lead with All Bets Off and cut the mile to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26.3 seconds. Kakaley and All Bets Off were then able to back down the speed slightly, going to the half mile in :55.1 as McWicked and driver David Miller, the 1-2 favorite, made their move first-over from fourth place with Luck Be Withyou (Tim Tetrick) following their outside cover. All Bets Off was in full gear and took the field to the three-quarters in 1:23 and was not letting off the pace. By the top of the stretch, Kakaley and All Bets Off were up by four lengths and then breezed to the wire to win by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:51.1. Luck Be Withyou came on for second with McWicked third. “He wasn’t that good last week,” Matt Kakaley said, “He wasn’t himself. But I had all the faith in the world in Ronnie (Burke) that they would have him ready and they showed up tonight. “I was leaving tonight no matter what,” Kakaley said. “We were not doing to duck’em. He (All Bets Off) can leave so quick. I had him jammed on the car pretty good and he just sprinted right out of there. He was rolling along and had a pretty good hold on me. He was in the bits and felt pretty good and I was pretty confident. “This is huge,” Kakaley said. “This is the biggest win of my career. It’s been a great year for me. And Ronnie has been giving me great opportunities. Things have been going really well thanks to him.” The time of the race for the 50th edition of the Messenger, 1:51.1, was the fastest Messenger Stakes ever held at Yonkers. Sired by Bettor’s Delight, it was the 11th win in 15 starts this year for All Bets Off. Trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell, All Bets Off paid $11.80 to win. All Bets Off By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

ANDERSON, Ind.  - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, October 24 as Grand Circuit racing action made a stop at Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for the third time this season. The 14-race card was highlighted by divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotters and pacers and it was Hoosier Park's leading trainer, Ron Burke who stole the show with five winners on the 14-race card. Teaming up with drivers Matt Kakaley and Ricky Macomber Jr., the Burke stable found the winner's circle four times in stakes action and ended the evening with a victory in the Invitational Pace. Sayitall BB kicked off the stakes action for Burke as she was able to turn a pocket-trip into a 1:51.4 score in her $35,650 split of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. Kakaley sent the sophomore pacing filly away from the gate to grab a pocket seat behind Skippin By and Trace Tetrick who carved out fractions of :26.1, :54.3, and 1:23.4 before ever feeling a threat. Sayitall BB was given the green light around the final turn and the sophomore filly used a :27.4 final panel to finish three-parts of a length in front of Skippin By. Fresh off her win in the Cinderella Stakes at Maywood Park, Sayitall BB has now won eight of 13 seasonal outings. With a seven-race win streak on the line, Rose Run Parker delivered as the heavy betting favorite in his $37,150 division of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings with a final time of 1:53.4. With regular pilot Ricky Macomber Jr. at the lines, Rose Run Parker made his customary move down the backside and was in control around the three-quarter mark. As the field turned for home, Rose Run Parker put his talent on display and he trotted away from the field to win by five lengths. The 1:53.4 mark was a new track record at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for three-year-old trotting geldings and a new lifetime best for Rose Run Parker. JK Endofanera looked every bit the part of a 1-5 favorite as he cruised home a winner in 1:49.4 in the first $30,000 division of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. With driver Matt Kakaley in the sulky, JK Endofanera made his winning move down the backside and never looked back. The son of Art Major-Presidential Lady powered away from the field with a :27.4 final quarter to win by eight lengths over his stablemate At Press Time and Ricky Macomber Jr. JK Endofanera was prepping for the $250,000 Monument Circle Pace slated for Friday, October 31 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Burke team found the winner's circle once again, but this time it was with the 2014 Little Brown Jug winner, Limelight Beach who stopped the timer in 1:50.3 in the third split of the $30,000 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. Kakaley wasted no time as he sent Limelight Beach away from the gate firing from post five. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear rattled off fractions of :26.1, :55.1, and 1:23.3 before using a :27 final panel to coast home a winner by two lengths. Limelight Beach has now won four of 17 seasonal outings and pushed his 2014 bankroll to $539,118. The Burke-Kakaley duo notched their final victory of the night after Bettor's Edge used a near gate-to-wire effort to score in the $22,000 Invitational pace in 1:49.4. The five-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight-Spring Wind was able to hold off a late charge from Mykindachip and Ed Hensley late in the lane to score his seventh of the season. The stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 25 as the 14-race card will feature the Madison County Stakes for two-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Each of the four divisions carries an estimated purse of $75,000. The first race will line-up behind the gate at 5:15 p.m. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

A field of seven open pacers lined up behind the starter in the featured even at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. The wagering public placed their support behind nineteen time winner Speed Again, despite a sixth place finish last time out against similar competition. Speed Again (Matt Kakaley) wasted little time getting in gear, as he used his gate speed to take command by the quarter in :27. After a half in :54.4 (:27.4), Speed Again faced a minor first-over challenge from Sparky Mark (Marcus Miller), but was able to sprint clear at three-quarters, which went in 1:22 (27.1). At the top of the stretch, Dial Or Nodial (David Miller) swung wide off cover, and Wake Up Peter (Brett Miller) closed fast up the inside, but there was no catching Speed Again. He won by two lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:50.4, while paying $5.20. He keyed an exacta that paid $30, and a trifecta that paid $142.40. Speed Again is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and the Rtc Stables, and is trained by Ron Burke. In other news, driver Tim Tetrick had five wins on the afternoon, three of which were for trainer Scott Di Domenico. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Well Hello There and harness racing driver Matt Kakaley led from pillar to post in the $61,150 American National Stake for freshman pacing fillies Saturday night in Balmoral's third race.   Facing just three rivals--after two scratches in the field of six--Well Hello There posted a 1:53.2 clocking for trainer Ronnie Burke, who conditions the daughter of Well Said-Helen Of Leda-Pro Bono Best for Burke Racing Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Our Horse Cents Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.   "I wanted to go the front and get some easily fractions and then just sprint home," said Kakaley. "I was pretty comfortable and didn't realize that other horse had made a break, but when we turned for home, I asked her to pace on, and she responded well and paced strong all the way to the wire."   Kakaley had Well Hello There out quickly from the gate to nail the lead going into the first turn and she comfortably posted splits of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:26, with Angel Demon (Todd Warren), Dunside Splash (Travis Seekman) and Mr Leland's Filly (Casey Leonard) following her in single file fashion. When Leonard asked Mr Leland's Filly to move in the final turn, the daughter of Sportsmaster made an uncharacteristic break, costing her precious lengths. She recovered quickly however, and as Well Hello There drew off by nearly six lengths, Mr Leland's Filly was able to collar Duneside Splash for show honors. Angel Demon held steady in second.   Well Hello There now has three wins in 11 seasonal starts and $188,931 in career earnings. She recoded a mark of 1:53 at Philadelphia earlier in the season. A $50,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Standandbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg, Well Hello there is a half-sister to Natural Leda p,3,1:50.1f ($122,67) and to Ring Leda p,4, 1:51f ($78,495)--both by Bettor's Delight.     By Kimberly Rinker for Balmoral Park  

In the three nights of racing that took place at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs the past week, we witnessed some outstanding performances by experienced veterans. Yet the two victories that stood out among such a distinguished crowd were scored by a pair of three-year-old fillies. We'll take a look at each of those precocious performers as well as the best of the rest in this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC CARPET This filly was unraced as a 2-year-old, which meant she started her racing career this year. She began that career on some small tracks in Canada and started to really find her stride with a romping win on the 5/8-mile oval at Rideau Carlton in August. That's when she shipped into the U.S. and joined the barn of trainer Ron Burke. She immediately paid dividends with a comfortable win at Harrah's at Philadelphia by another big margin. In her first appearance at Pocono on September 30, Classic Carpet faced off against a non-winners of four condition group and dominated as an odds-on favorite in 1:51, a new career-mark. With a three-race winning streak in tow, it was no surprise that she went off against that same condition group on Tuesday night as a 4-5 favorite despite being up against a solid field of young distaff pacers. With Matt Kakaley doing the driving, Classic Carpet once again made her move to the lead on the front stretch at about the 3/8-mile marker of the race. From that point, nobody posed even a modest threat to her dominance in the race. She coasted to the line 3 ¾ lengths in front of her closest foe in a sharp 1:51:4. She may have started a bit later than most, but this filly is making up for lost time in a big way. Other top pacers this week include: Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who powered to a condition win on Saturday night in 1:50, the fastest time of the week at MSPD; Artache Hanover (Anthony Napolitano, James Eaton), who rallied from the pocket on Saturday night for his second straight condition win, this one coming in 1:52:1; and Cameron Lucky (Jim Morrill Jr., Darren Taneyhill), a mare who picked up her second straight claiming handicap win on Wednesday night, this one in 1:52:1. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: STRUCK BY LINDY Unlike Classic Carpet, Struck By Lindy did race as a 2-year-old and she turned in a standout season, churning out four wins in just 12 starts and earning over $300,000 in purse. Her prospects for a great sophomore year seemed excellent, but even though she had several in-the-money finishes against good competition, she entered a condition trot on September 27 winless in eleven 2014 races. On that night, she followed outside cover and rallied for the victory to break the losing streak in a time of 1:54:1. Last Saturday night, the filly from the Nifty Norman barn once again tackled a tough condition group of non-winners of $14,000 in the last five starts. Struck By Lindy doesn't like to fire early, so the inside post she had might have worked against her as she was shuffled back in the pack. Driver Andrew McCarthy had no choice but to send her first-over on the back stretch to try to get the lead. Despite having to do all the work herself, the filly still glided on by the leaders. In the stretch, Struck by Lindy powered home to hold off closing Fools Revenue by 1 ½ lengths for the victory in 1:55. That makes two straight and provides further evidence that this talented trotter is regaining the form that made her such a big winner as a 2-year-old. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Black Caviar (Simon Allard, Clifton Green), a filly who rallied for her second straight condition win on Tuesday night, this one in 1:57:1; Not Afraid (Andrew McCarthy, Jimmy Takter), who scored a win in the week's featured Preferred trot on Saturday night in 1:52:3, easily the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; and Home Front (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), who followed up his maiden win last week with a condition victory on Wednesday night in 1:57:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: BLACK CAVIAR As noted in the honorable mention above, this filly's win with Simon Allard in the bike on Tuesday was her second straight, yet she still got away at 28-1 for a $58 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Andrew McCarthy McCarthy has been on quite a roll in the second half of the season at Pocono, with four wins on Saturday and three more on Tuesday exemplifying his hot streak. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Larry Remmen Remmen had just two starters in on Saturday night but he got his money's worth from them as Wake Up Peter and Word Power each scored impressive condition victories. 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        

Harness racing's top pacer this year -- Sweet Lou -- and the sport's top money-winner of all time -- Foiled Again -- headline Saturday's $200,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational at Scioto Downs. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke, who recently topped $20 million in purses for the year. It is the second consecutive season Burke has eclipsed $20 million, following his record-setting $22.2 million campaign in 2013. Burke broke his own record of $19.6 million established in 2012. Sweet Lou, who is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the field of eight older male pacers, is returning to action for the first time since having his 10-race win streak snapped in the Canadian Pacing Derby on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. During his win streak, the 5-year-old Sweet Lou set a record with six consecutive victories in faster than 1:48. His triumphs this year include the Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Dan Patch Invitational, and Roll With Joe. "Horses get beat," Burke said about Sweet Lou's setback in the Canadian Pacing Derby, where he finished sixth. "They went at it hard. They were 1:20.1 (to three-quarters) and every one of my horses was on his second or third move by the time we hit the top of the lane." Sweet Lou, who is the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10, behind only trotter Sebastian K, got to relax a bit following the CPD. He prepped for the Ewart with a 1:52.1 qualifier on Sept. 18 at The Meadows. "I just kind of let him mess around for two weeks and then we put him back on his normal schedule," Burke said. "He couldn't have been better. As always, the break does him wonders. He really seems sharp. I'm sure he's ready to go." Sweet Lou has won 10 of 14 races this year and 32 of 69 lifetime, good for $3.05 million in purses. He was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. Ron Pierce, who drove Sweet Lou in each of his previous 11 starts, will again be at the lines in the Ewart. Foiled Again, with lifetime earnings of $6.62 million, is still going strong at age 10. He has won back-to-back starts, including the Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in Delaware. For the season, he has won six of 19 races and finished among the top three on 15 occasions. The three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, Foiled Again will start the Ewart from post No. 1 with driver Matt Kakaley and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. "Every time he gets beat, people are saying we should retire him," Burke said. "Then we should retire everybody he beats, too, and there would be about three horses a year left. "I can't be happier with him. He's as good as he's ever been in his career. He ran into Lou when Lou was on probably as good a streak as any horse had seen, in the last decade at least. There's no shame there. A lot of horses were having trouble with him." The remainder of the Ewart field is Kanaris, Night Pro, Bigtown Hero, Bolt The Duer, Beach Memories, and Domethatagain. Now that Burke has surpassed $20 million in purses again, he seems likely to soon break the earnings record he established last year. Burke's earnings have increased every season since taking over the stable fulltime from his father, Mickey, in 2009. "I really thought (breaking the earnings record) would be the hardest thing for us to do," Burke said. "But we got off to such a good strong start this year, better than even normal, and that made a lot of difference. "If everything keeps going like it's going we should be alright." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has geared down somewhat in terms of quantity, as the schedule now features three live nights per week. But the quality hasn't let down a bit, as evidenced by a Saturday night card that included no pacing miles slower than 1:50:2 and no trotting miles slower than 1:54. We even had a world-record performance, which, of course, stands out among this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BIGTOWN HERO This 6-year-old gelding was struggling with the upper reaches of the pacing ranks when he was last here in June, but he's been performing well since then at other tracks, winning three of his last five races. The last four of those races came after he switched barns to be trained by Rene Allard, Pocono's leading trainer, including a come-from-behind win in an Open Handicap in his last race at Yonkers as a 7-1 shot. His confidence sufficiently boosted, he returned to Pocono to compete on Saturday night in a Preferred Handicap pace for a purse of $25,000. It was a stacked field, including star veteran Golden Receiver and Dancin Yankee, who had owned the oval at Pocono in his previous appearances in 2014. But driver Ron Pierce drove Bigtown Hero as if there were no other horses on the track, sending him to the front for a huge lead as each fraction ticked off proved more impressive than the one before. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero began to slow ever so slightly. It was a good thing the lead he built up was so substantial, because Dancin Yankee and Aslan came closing at him fast. Pierce urged him home for a half-length victory in a stunning time of 1:47:3. That broke the world record for aged gelding pacers on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set last June at Pocono by Foiled Again and then matched by Abelard Hanover. Other top pacers this week include: Ring Warrior (Matt Kakaley, Brewer Adams), a colt who followed up four consecutive wins at Ocean Downs with a victory at Pocono in a condition pace on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54; Cherokee Hunter (Simon Allard, Rene Allard) whose condition win on Tuesday night was his second straight and came in a career-best time of 1:52:1; and Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who scorched a condition pacing group on Saturday night in 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SEVRUGA Not all slumps are created equal. To wit, consider the struggles Sevruga had been having in the summer months. Last year he earned nearly $500,000 facing the best trotters around, and the highlight of his season was a world-record performance at Pocono with a win in 1:50:3. But he had come up empty for three months straight in terms of wins heading into Saturday night's $25,000 Preferred trot. In his last three races at Pocono, all against the most rugged trotters on the grounds, Sevruga, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Kevin Carr, had hit the board every time and had lost by just a neck in the last two. On Saturday night, he enjoyed his first quality post position in more than a month and took advantage of it, breezing to the front early with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike. Things were by no means easy from that point, as Wind Of The North put up a sustained first-over challenge to the lead. But Sevruga had been rated well enough early in the race that he was able to dig deep in the final strides and win by a nose in a rapid 1:52:1. Maybe it wasn't fair to say that Sevruga was in a slump considering the quality of his competition and the multiple near-misses, but it is fair to say that his losing streak is history and a lengthy winning streak might just be in the offing. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tui (Anthony Napolitan, Don Wiest), a Pocono fan-favorite mare who scored her first win of the season on Saturday night in a tough condition group in 1:53:1; A Cool Million (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who moved up her claiming price and won her second straight race on Tuesday night, doing so in a career-best 1:54; and Fortunista (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who beat the boys in a tough condition group on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: TRANSCENDING An outside post and long odds didn't bother this veteran pacer as he came from out of the clouds late to shock a condition field on Saturday night at 49-1, paying off an even $100 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Ron Pierce Pierce had it grooving on Saturday night, winning four consecutive races on the card, all in gate-to-wire fashion, a streak that culminated with the world-record win by Bigtown Hero. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Joe Pavia Jr. Joe still does such a great job as a catch driver that his training abilities can sometimes be taken for granted, but a training double on Wednesday night put them front and center. 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

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