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Hightstown, NJ --- Hannelore Hanover finds herself in a familiar spot in the year’s first Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. The female trotter, now age 6, ended 2017 at No. 1 and opens this season at the top again. The defending Horse of the Year is 2-for-2 this year, with victories in the Cutler Memorial and a leg of the Great Northeast Open Series for trotters. Shartin N, a 5-year-old female pacer who leads harness racing in purses, is No. 2. She counts the Blue Chip Matchmaker championship, Betsy Ross Invitational, and Sam “Chip” Noble Memorial among her 10 wins in 12 races. Rounding out the top five are 4-year-old male pacer Filibuster Hanover, 5-year-old male trotter Will Take Charge, and 10-year-old male pacer Keystone Velocity. Filibuster Hanover, unbeaten in four starts this year, won Sunday’s Commodore Barry while Will Take Charge captured the Maxie Lee Memorial with a world-record-equaling performance. The remainder of the Top 10 finds 3-year-old female trotter Atlanta at No. 6 followed by 6-year-old male pacer Rockin Ron, 3-year-old female trotter Manchego, 4-year-old female trotter Ariana G, and 3-year-old male pacer Trump Nation. Atlanta won Monday’s Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs with a track-record 1:50.3 mile. Rockin Ron and Trump Nation also were winners over the Memorial Day weekend, with Rockin Ron winning the inaugural Camluck Classic (formerly Molson Pace) and Trump Nation victorious in the Art Rooney Pace. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. From Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Chester, PA --- Will Take Charge used a sustained first-over drive to overtake leader Crazy Wow around the final turn and held off favorite Marion Marauder in the stretch to win Sunday’s (May 27) $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters in a world-record-equaling 1:50.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Marion Marauder finished second, one length back. Crazy Wow, the event’s defending champion, was third. The winning time equaled the world record for a gelded older trotter on a five-eighths-mile oval, set by Sevruga in 2013. Will Take Charge, driven by Tim Tetrick, was in fourth place behind Crazy Wow, Tuonoblu Rex and I Know My Chip when the field hit the opening quarter in :26.4. Tetrick moved Will Take Charge to the outside prior to the halfway point, leading the outside flow with Warrawee Roo, Marion Marauder and Broadway Donna following his cover. Crazy Wow remained in front at the half, in :54.4, and three-quarters, in 1:22.4, before yielding to Will Take Charge. “I got away in a tough spot where I knew I was going to be first up,” Tetrick said. “If I’d just pushed a little harder I might have been in the two or three hole and then maybe moved back to the front. But my horse raced really good. When (Warrawee Roo) left I had to come kind of early, but I knew I’d kept Marion Marauder one horse back from me. My horse raced first up from the quarter-pole on in a record time, so it was pretty special.” Will Take Charge, a son of Kadabra out of Celebrity Angel, is a 5-year-old gelding owned by Mac Nichol and trained by Jeff Gillis. The horse has won six of 11 races this year and earned $205,268. Nichol purchased the horse in November. The gelding was previously trained by John Bax and was runner-up in the Ontario Sire Stakes championships at ages 2 and 3. For his career, Will Take Charge has won 18 of 61 races, going 9-for-15 with Gillis, and earned $636,169. “My horse coming into (the Maxie Lee) in his last two was awesome,” Tetrick said. “His last race at Pocono, horses just don’t do that. He did it with the ear plugs in, so I knew he was going to give me a good race today.”Will Take Charge made a splash with his seasonal stakes debut on May 5 by finishing second to defending Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover in the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. In his start prior to the Maxie Lee, the gelding made a four-wide move around the final turn at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono to complete a last-to-first rally after a few missteps at the beginning of the race. Tetrick has won the Maxie Lee on five occasions. Will Take Charge paid $7.40 to win as the 5-2 second choice. FILIBUSTER HANOVER TAKES COMMODORE BARRY Filibuster Hanover continued his season-opening win streak Sunday (May 27), capturing the $150,000 Commodore Barry Invitational for older male pacers by one length over Heaven Rocks A in 1:48.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Rodeo Romeo finished third. It was the fourth victory in as many races this year for Filibuster Hanover, who in his previous start won the Confederation Cup. Filibuster Hanover got away second as Mach It So charged from post eight to get the lead in a :26 opening quarter-mile. Mach It So remained on top through a half in :53.3 and three-quarters in 1:20.4 before dropping back and finishing eighth. Filibuster Hanover grabbed the lead prior to the stretch and paced to victory as the 6-5 favorite on an unseasonable cool, damp, windy day.“He’s always had the speed, but his brain was a little bit the problem,” winning driver Yannick Gingras said. “It took him a little while to figure things out, but now he’s really figuring out what racing is all about. He was great again today.” “It worked out great,” Gingras said. “I didn’t want to have him on the front today on this track, so I was looking to follow maybe (Heaven Rocks A) and be second-over or something like that. When we left, it looked like I was going to get away sixth if I took back. I thought (Mach It So) would be a good one to follow.” Filibuster Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Fashion Ecstasy, topped the million-dollar level in career earnings with his victory Sunday. The 4-year-old gelding has won 11 of 37 lifetime races and banked $1.01 million. He is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership. Last year, Filibuster Hanover won five of 20 races. His triumphs included the Little Brown Jug and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. He finished second in the Monument Circle, Matron, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Filibuster Hanover paid $4.40 to win Sunday BETSY ROSS INVITATIONAL TO SHARTIN N n the $150,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers, 6-5 favorite Shartin N dueled with leader Pure Country before getting to the front prior to the three-quarter mark and winning by a half-length over Blue   Moon Stride in 1:49.3. Divas Image was third. “That’s quite a good trip she went; she was pressed for a long ways,” winning trainer Jim King Jr. said. “Any time a horse races for five-eighths of a mile (first-over) like she did, that’s a long ways.” Shartin N, owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King, has won 10 of 12 races this year and earned $418,975. Her victories this season include the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship, as well as three preliminary divisions of the event, and the Sam “Chip” Noble Memorial. For her career, the 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin has won 17 of 25 starts and $495,092. “I don’t think I’ve had one like her before, that’s for sure,” King said. “At the moment, I don’t see an end. I’m sure there is one, and it’s closer than I want it to be. But she’s a good girl. She’s had a hard year already. We’ll get her rested up a little for the next venture up in Canada in the Roses Are Red.” Shartin N paid $4.40 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for USTA SUMMARY OF  "SUPER SUNDAY" UNDERCARD   The big card included three $30,000 divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series, for horses not racing in the Invitational features. One may wonder how the defending Horse of the Year didn't get in the Invitational, but there is a simple explanation: trainer Ron Burke already had a Maxie Lee Trot horse in the veteran Crazy Wow, so Hannelore Hanover went in the Great Northeast race for trotters. And Hannelore was sharp off a 22-day layoff in her second start of the year, going for the lead for Yannick Gingras, backing off the half to 57,then sprinting home in 55.2-27.2 with minimal urging, with her 1:52.2 final clocking equaling the track record for older trotting mares first established ten years and two days earlier, by Buck I St Pat in winning the inaugural Maxie Lee Trot! Hannelore Hanover now has 38 lifetime victories in 60 trips behind the gate, with her earnings now at $2,573,677 for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables LLC. In the Open pace, the Bettor's Delight gelding Bettor's Edge was hustled away from the gate by driver Scott Zeron, then yielded to Check Six and sat in the golden chair until headstretch. When Bettor's Edge was called on in the lane, he muscled right by with minimum urging to win in 1:49.3, raising his career earnings to $2,109,982 for trainer Jennifer Lappe, co-owner of the rugged 9YO with Robert Santagata. L A Delight surmounted the difficult first-over journey to be a drawing-clear winner in the mares Open pace, tripping the timer in 1:50.2 and giving driver Yannick Gingras a pair of Great Northeast victories, both with mares. The daughter of Bettor's Delight raced her career earnings to $1,391,574 for trainer Nancy Johansson and owners Diamond Creek Racing. There were two divisions of the $159,440 first preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. In one division, Sidewalk Dancer looked pacesetting favorite Kissin In The Sand, making her seasonal bow, in the eye around the far turn, then paced away late to lower her mark by two seconds to 1:50.3. The daughter of A Rocknroll Dance was guided by Brett Miller for trainer Chris Oakes and the partnership of Northfork Racing Stable, Omar Beiler, and Dennis Collins. In the other section, the Somebeachsomewhere filly Serene Stride posted her fifth victory in an undefeated 2018 campaign, roaring uncovered down the backstretch to the lead at the ¾ en route to a 3½ length victory while taking a new mark of 1:51.3. Eric Carlson was in the sulky behind the trainee of red-hot Mark Harder, with owners Emilio and Maria Rosetti possibly watching their filly extending her form streak - at 3:30 a.m. Monday in New South Wales, Australia. Finally, a world record was set for a 5/8-mile pace on a 5/8-mile track, as the Relentless Yankee gelding Toastmygoats bulleted out of the outside post eight to sit the pocket behind 25-1 polesitter Perseverant's take-no-prisoners fractions of 25.4 and 53.3, then came out in the lane and overhauled the pacesetter by a neck in 1:07.1 at the sprint distance for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Nick Surick, and the ownership of Engel Stable of IL LLC and J L Benson Stables Inc. The clocking erased the former standard of 1:08 set by Winyard Hanover at Pompano near the end of 2017.  From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Will Take Charge charges into Sunday's $150,000 Maxie Lee Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphi off a win in a leg of the Great Northeast Open Series for trotters; a victory that saw the 5-year-old gelding make a four-wide move around the final turn to complete a last-to-first rally after a few missteps at the start of the race. "He can trot the turns as fast as any horse I've ever had," trainer Jeff Gillis said. "He's like a hobbled pacer almost. You can move him anywhere; he's very handy. He's just got a lot of good qualities that make him very versatile." Will Take Charge joined Gillis' stable after owner Mac Nichol purchased the horse in November. The gelding was previously trained by John Bax and was runner-up in the Ontario Sire Stakes championships at ages 2 and 3. For his career, Will Take Charge has won 17 of 60 races, going 8-for-14 with Gillis, and earned $561,169. He made a splash with his seasonal stakes debut on May 5 by finishing second to defending Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover in the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. His Great Northeast Open win at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono followed on May 13. "There were a couple issues with his blood that we got corrected and he's just been a nice horse for us," Gillis said. "There were a lot of things that I liked about him. Obviously, his gate speed, and he looked like a really sound horse that carried good flesh. He was the kind you like to try to buy. "The other thing was I knew Bax had kept him through his 4-year-old year because he really liked him. Sometimes horses get stale and need a change. To say that he would be this good, no I didn't really expect that. But I thought he could be a nice horse." Will Take Charge is a son of Kadabra out of Celebrity Angel, who is a half-sister to Dan Patch Award-winner Almost An Angel. He is fully staked this year. "We'll let him tell us," Gillis said. "We intend to race him in all of those (stakes) if he's healthy and sound. Of course the big ones for us are the Maple Leaf Trot and the Breeders Crown. Hopefully he will be good for those." The Maxie Lee is part of an invitational tripleheader at Philly with the Commodore Barry for older male pacers and Betsy Ross for older female pacers. In addition, the card includes a Great Northeast Open Series event for trotters -- featuring 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover -- and Great Northeast Open Series races for male and female pacers. There also will be two divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Action begins at 12:40 p.m. (EDT). Will Take Charge will face a deep field in the Maxie Lee, where two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Marion Marauder is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Will Take Charge is the 3-1 second choice, followed by the event's defending champion, Crazy Wow, at 7-2. Broadway Donna, another multiple Dan Patch Award-winner and the only mare in the race, is 6-1. "I think we drew well," Gillis said, referring to Will Take Charge's post four starting spot with driver Tim Tetrick. "I think it's a good spot. I'm pretty confident in him based on what he's done the last couple times on a small track. He's shown the ability to race on or near the lead as well as off the pace. I feel confident in whatever Timmy decides." Broadway Donna will try to join Buck I St Pat as the only female winners of the Maxie Lee Invitational, which debuted in 2008. Buck I St Pat, herself a multiple Dan Patch Award-winner, was a two-time champ. Other Dan Patch Award-honorees to capture the event were Obrigado, Father Patrick, Market Share, Chapter Seven, and Lucky Jim. "I was very happy with the way she got started," trainer Jim Campbell said about 5-year-old Broadway Donna, who won her seasonal debut in 1:51.4 at the Meadowlands on May 12. "There are no easy spots for her. No matter where she goes it's going to be tough racing. That's the way it is and you just have to adapt to it." The Maxie Lee is named after longtime horsemen Maxie Lee. A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. In 1990, Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton Memorial winner Backstreet Guy. Following is the field for the Maxie Lee Invitational with drivers, trainers, and morning-line odds. 1. Marion Marauder, Scott Zeron, Paula Wellwood, 5-2; 2. Rubber Duck, Joe Bongiorno, Jennifer Bongiorno, 15-1; 3. I Know My Chip, Victor Kirby, Walter Haynes Jr., 12-1; 4. Will Take Charge, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Gillis, 3-1; 5. Crazy Wow, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2; 6. Warrawee Roo, Dan Dube, Luc Blais, 9-1; 7. Broadway Donna, David Miller, Jim Campbell, 6-1; 8. Tuonoblu Rex, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 8-1. Caviart Ally looks to step up in Betsy Ross Friday, May 25, 2018 - by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent Trainer Noel Daley does not seem too concerned about Caviart Ally making the jump to racing older horses, and feels his confidence will be proven as the year goes on. "People say sometimes it's a little harder for the 4-year-olds to actually go against the older mares," Daley said. "Physically and mentally I think she'll do the job. I don't think she's going to out-muscle them straight away. She's going to have to have a bit of luck the way the races go and all that. But I think as the season goes on especially, I really think she'll match it up with them. "She's a very hearty mare. If anything, she always looks too big. She's not one you have to worry about eating and things like that. You've got to worry about her being too big, actually." Caviart Ally is coming off an outstanding 3-year-old season in which she was the straight-heat winner of the Jugette, and also captured a division of the Bluegrass Stakes along with two legs and the final of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. She won seven of 20 races and finished second in the Breeders Crown, Lynch Memorial, Glen Garnsey and Shady Daisy. For her career, Caviart Ally has won 11 of 36 races and earned $828,510. After winning her first two starts this year, she faces the first stakes-level race of her 4-year-old season Sunday in the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia. The Betsy Ross is part of an invitational tripleheader at Philly with the Commodore Barry for older male pacers and Maxie Lee for older trotters. In addition, the card includes a Great Northeast Open Series event for trotters -- featuring 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover -- and Great Northeast Open Series races for male and female pacers. There also will be two divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Action begins at 12:40 p.m. (EDT). Caviart Ally will get a stern test as the Betsy Ross field includes three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pure Country, Blue Chip Matchmaker Series champion Shartin N, and stakes-winners Agent Q, Darlinonthebeach, and Blue Moon Stride. Caviart Ally will start from post No. 2 with Andy McCarthy in the sulky. "It's a very competitive race which makes it good," Daley said. "No one's going to be able to waltz around and do their own thing. There's too many in there that can win. There's very few in there that can't win it; in my estimation anyhow. Whoever has a good trip and has a good day. It's a deep field, there's no dominant one there, I don't think." Owned by Caviart Farms, Caviart Ally was sired by Bettor's Delight. She was purchased at Harrisburg -- at Daley's recommendation -- for $35,000 by Buck and Judy Chaffee, who were looking for a broodmare but figured they would race the horse if she showed potential. In her two wins this year, Daley liked her in the first at Philly on May 9, but was not thrilled with her second race at the same track on May 18. She won her seasonal debut in 1:50.4 and her second start in 1:52. "She was very good the first start; she bounced a bit the second start and was just OK," he said. "She switched off the last little bit but she can do that. I think we'll be fine on Sunday." Her opening races this year sound a little like a microcosm of her career. "She's a funny mare," Daley said. "She can have an average day here and there, she's been disappointing a couple times and then obviously she can be very good. The first part of the year she was solid last year. I think she really stepped out there when she won the Sire Stakes final, she was just super that day. "She was very good in the Breeders Crown, she got outdrawn there and had to come first over and stuck in very well. She went fifth in the last one of the year in the Matron. If she had won the Matron, I think she would have probably got the (3-year-old filly pacer) of the year. To me it was a three-way battle between Agent Q and (divisional award-winner) Blazin Britches." And although she was not an award-winner last year, Caviart Ally showed enough to get heavily staked in her first year with the older horses. "We have her in everything," Daley said. "If you're going to bring them back and try to race them...she's in a lot, she's in every race an older mare could be in. She's paid up. I'll be shocked if she doesn't come back very good. She's a beautiful type of mare, she's just a big strong mare; has a great temperament." And Daley is excited for the upcoming big races, as the only people he would rather be other than himself are the Chaffees. "I'm happy to have her," he said, adding with a laugh, "I wish I owned her." Following is the field for the Betsy Ross with drivers, trainers, and morning-line odds. 1. Pure Country, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-1; 2. Caviart Ally, Andy McCarthy, Noel Daley, 12-1; 3. Divas Image, Joe Bongiorno, Jennifer Bongiorno, 15-1; 4. Shartin N, Tim Tetrick, Jim King Jr., 9-5; 5. Agent Q, Brett Miller, Chris Oakes, 7-2; 6. Apple Bottom Jeans, Victor Kirby, Kevin Switzer, 20-1; 7. Darlinonthebeach, David Miller, R. Nifty Norman, 9-2; 8. Blue Moon Stride, Corey Callahan, Mark Harder, 8-1. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Chester, PA - The $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia is one of the main pitstops of talented older trotters, and this year is certainly no exception. This year's race is highlighted by Triple Crown Winner and 2017 Aged Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder. The 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill was impressive on seasonl debut over the suburban Philly oval, stopping the clock in 1:52.1 in a Great Northeast Series Event. The Paula Wellwood trainee is up to $2.5 million plus in career earnings, with 15 wins in 39 career starts. Top contenders include twice millionaire and defending Maxie Lee Champion Crazy Wow, and Mac Nichol's Will Take Charge. Crazy Wow, 6-year-old son of Crazed, is looking for his second win of the season after coming off of a disappointing 5th place finish last week in a Great Northeast Series Event. He did battle to a :54.1 half mile, before ceding ground the final quarter of a mile. The Ron Burke trainee has 21 wins in 62 career starts. The Jeff Gillis trained Will Take Charge has been solid in 10 starts this season, with 5 resulting in wins, and a near-miss second to Harness Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover in the Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands. He won last week in a Great Northeast Series event despite breaking at the start. Two-time Dan Patch Award winner Broadway Donna took care of business in her seasonal debut. The 5-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover came off of a pair of good qualifiers against Hannelore Hanover, winning her debut in 1:51.4 in a Preferred Handicap at The Meadowlands. The Jim Campbell trainee is hoping to rebound after a one win season as a 4-year-old. Other contenders include Blair and Erna Corbeil's Rubber Duck, star Indiana trotter I Know My Chip, Canadian invader Warrawee Roo, and the Andy Miller charge Tuonoblu Rex. Post Time on Sunday, May 27th at Harrah's Philadelphia is 12:40 PM Eastern. Patrons are encouraged to bring the family for a fun filled afternoon which will include clowns, face painters, balloon animals, and much more. There will be food and beverage specials on the patio. ACTION AT HARRAH'S TODAY Dr J’s Kiss, knocking on the door with seconds in her last two starts, sprung an 11-1 upset in the $17,000 featured pace for mares Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, stopping the timer in 1:52.3. David Miller locked to have the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere in good position, second-over behind favored Obvious Blue Chip, but by mid-backstretch it was apparent that the chalk would not have enough in her seasonal bow, forcing Miller to send his filly three-wide to reach two-wide uncovered status by the far turn. Through the stretch Dr J’s Kiss proved the strongest, winning by ¾ of a length over pocketsitting Windy Sport, a 66-1 proposition who came up the inside to nip pacesetting Moments Of Joy for the deuce. A five-time winner in thirteen seasonal starts last year, Dr J’s Kiss needed until this, her tenth start of 2018, to finally break through to Victory Lane. Trainer Joe Pavia Jr. co-owns the winner with Steven Held and the namesake inspiration of the horse, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. David Miller had four wins on the Wednesday card; the father-son/trainer-driver combination of Erv and Marcus Miller teamed for three victories. by Michael Bozich, for Harrah's Chester

Mossdale Conner, Lady Shadow win Invites

After beginning his career in Europe, trotter Tuonoblu Rex has made himself at home in North America. The 5-year-old harness racing stallion is 3-for-3 since his arrival in the U.S. and will try to extend his win streak in Sunday's $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia. The Maxie Lee is one of three stakes-level invitational events at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday, along with the $150,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers and the $150,000 Ben Stafford Jr. for older male pacers. The day's first race is 12:40 p.m. and the invites are races 10 through 12 on the 14-race card. Tuonoblu Rex leads a strong contingent of foreign-born newcomers in the featured races. New Zealand-bred Nike Franco is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind favorite Lady Shadow in the Betsy Ross and New Zealand-bred stablemate Christen Me is the 7-2 second choice behind Somewhere In LA in the Stafford. The third choice in the Stafford is another New Zealand-bred newcomer, Mossdale Conner, who is unbeaten in three U.S. starts. The Betsy Ross also features the first meeting between Dan Patch Award winners Lady Shadow and Pure Country. Tuonoblu Rex, owned by Holland's Cees Faber under Stable Why Not, was a Group 3 winner in Europe at age 3 and came to the States with six wins in 14 races and $189,918 in purses. He joined the stable of trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller at the end of November and won his North American debut by a half-length over Crazy Wow in 1:52.1 on April 21 in the Preferred at the Meadowlands. After failing to make the field for the Cutler Memorial because of earnings, Tuonoblu Rex won two conditioned races by a total of nine lengths. His most recent victory was a 1:53 score at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 18. He will start the Maxie Lee from post seven and is 7-2 on the morning line. Crazy Wow, from post five, is the 2-1 favorite and JL Cruze, from post one, is the 3-1 second choice. "I'm excited that they think enough of the horse to invite him," Julie Miller said. "It's a little disappointing with the seven hole, but it is what it is. Andy says the horse is versatile, so I just hope he can figure out a nice trip with him and do some good. "I'd hate to see where the race unfolds and we're locked in or we're too far back; those scenarios can happen easily on a five-eighths-mile track (such as Harrah's Philadelphia). I just would like to see him get a chance to race. Hopefully he's as good as he's shown us in his first few starts." Tuonoblu Rex, born in Italy, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the Lindy Lane mare Eternity Rex. His second dam, CR Kay Suzie, was 1995 Horse of the Year and is in the Hall of Fame as a racehorse. His third dam, Country Kay Sue, is in the Hall of Fame as a broodmare. His connections have staked Tuonoblu Rex to a number of top events including the Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot, John Cashman Memorial, and TVG Series. "The whole purpose of sending him to the USA was to see what he is, so we put him in everything," Miller said. "He's going to decide his fate. The worst scenario is that he's an open (level) trotter. That's not a bad gig. But if he can step up and go with the top horses in the U.S., that would be fantastic." While races in the U.S. are normally a mile in distance and speed oriented, races in Europe are often at distances greater than a mile with the focus more on endurance. So while Team Miller has learned a lot about Tuonoblu Rex, there is still more to discover about his potential in racing in North America. "That's the biggest thing; not knowing what you have because of the difference in racing," Miller said. "He's used to grinding it out, but slower quarters. This is a different ballgame. But he's flashed 0:27 quarters so I'm hoping he can do that a couple times in a mile, not just once. "When Andy and I train him here, you're dictating what happens; you're taking a lot of variables out. But I'm impressed with his manners. He keeps a professional demeanor about himself. He knows the difference between jogging, training, and racing. He's manageable. He's really mature mentally. He definitely knows he's a stud and he likes to nicker and be vocal, but when it's business time he puts on his game face." Regardless of Sunday's outcome, Miller is looking forward to watching Tuonoblu Rex's attempt to make his mark in North America. "The owners are flying over here from Holland. It's an exciting time," Miller said. "I'm just appreciative that they thought enough of Andy and I to give us a chance to race the horse this summer." Following is the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - JL Cruze - Crazed - David Miller - Eric Ell - 3/1 2 - Taco Tuesday - Cantab Hall - Jason Bartlett - Andrew Harris - 6/1 3 - Charmed Life - Majestic Son - Simon Allard - Rene Allard - 12/1 4 - Springbank Sam N - Sundon - Jordan Stratton - Peter Tritton - 15/1 5 - Crazy Wow - Crazed - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 2/1 6 - Odds On Amethyst - Muscle Hill - Patrick Hudon - Patrick Hudon - 20/1 7 - Tuonoblu Rex - Cantab Hall - Andy Miller - Julie Miller - 7/2 8 - Melady's Monet - Revenue S - Brett Miller - Kevin McDermott - 12/1   Following is the Betsy Ross Mares Invitational field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Sassa Hanover - Rock N Roll Heaven - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 15/1 2 - Pure Country - Somebeachsomewhere - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter - 7/2 3 - Nike Franco N - McArdle - Tim Tetrick - Jo Ann Looney - King - 3/1 4 - Mackenzie A - Rock N Roll Heaven - Jordan Stratton - Peter Tritton - 6/1 5 - Medusa - Bettor's Delight - Tony Hall - Randy Bendis - 20/1 6 - Lady Shadow - Shadow Play - Yannick Gingras - Ronald Adams - 2/1 7 - Blue Moon Stride - Rocknroll Hanover - Andy McCarthy - Mark Harder - 20/1 8 - Cousin Mary - Camluck - David Miller - Andrew Harris - 7/1   Following is the Ben Stafford Jr. Invitational field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Missile J - American Ideal - Jonathan Roberts - Scott DiDomenico - 6/1 2 - Rock N' Roll World - Rocknroll Hanover - John DeLong - Jeff Cullipher - 7/1 3 - Christen Me N - Christian Cullen - Tim Tetrick - Jo Ann Looney-King - 7/2 4 - Mossdale Conner N - Bettor's Delight - Jordan Stratton - Peter Tritton - 9/2 5 - Jins Shark - Four Starzzz Shark - Brett Miller - Isaac Waxman - 15/1 6 - All Bets Off - Bettor's Delight - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 7/1 7 - Somewhere In LA - Somebeachsomewhere - Jason Bartlett - Richard Banca - 5/2 8 - Great Vintage - American Ideal - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 12/1 Ken Weingartner

Three millionaires, one soon-to-be millionaire, and a quartet of sharp harness racing upstarts comprise the 2017 Maxie Lee field for Aged Trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday, May 28th. It is one of three invitationals on the day's program, each going for a purse of $150,000. The leading money earner in the field is the 5-year-old Crazy Wow. The son of Crazed-Topcat Hall won over $1 million dollars as a 3-year-old, which included wins in The Colonial at Pocono and The Bluegrass at The Red Mile. Although the Ron Burke trainee had only one win as a 4-year-old, he finished the campaign strong with a narrow defeat in the TVG Free For All at The Meadowlands. So far this season, he has a pair of second place finishes, with his most recent being in The Arthur Cutler Memorial. The Cutler winner (Resolve), will compete in the Elitloppet at Solvalla Raceway in Sweden. Rene Allard trainee Charmed Life and Kevin Mc Dermott pupil Melady's Monet are also a part of harness racing's millionaire club. Charmed Life is riding a wave of sharp form. Her most recent start was a win in the Miami Valley Distaff, which spoiled the debut of 2016 Dan Patch/O'Brien Award winner Hannelore Hanover. Melady's Monet has also had a sharp beginning to his campaign. The 8-year-old gelded son of Revenue S-Keystone Melady has four wins in seven starts this season, only being worse than second once. Melady's Monet leads the potential Maxie Lee field in career wins with 44. 2015 Dan Patch winner JL Cruze will also be a part of the star-studded lineup. JL Cruze was the first trotter to clock a 1:49.4 over a mile track. Part owner Ken Wood, who owns a drilling company, began drilling in Africa 11 years ago with the hopes of getting people clean drinking water in impoverished areas. Much of JL Cruze's 2015 earnings were used for the cause. The 6-year-old gelded son of Crazed-Topcat Hall is less than $84,000 from the $1 million mark in career earnings. His most recent effort was a third place finish in The Cutler at The Big M. Canadian invader Odds On Amethyst will bring his sharp form to the Chester oval for the Maxie Lee. The 6-year-old gelded son of Muscle Hill-Mystical Sunshine has won 7 straight races on the WEG circuit, mainly against preferred types. The Pat Hudon trainee is not the only sporting sharpness however. Peter Tritton student Springback Sam N and Andrew Harris trainee Taco Tuesday fit the bills as well. The former is coming off of three narrow defeats facing the top rank at Yonkers, while the latter has won 4 of his last 6 against Open competition. The wild card is European newcomer Tuonoblu Rex. The America sired, Italian Bred son of Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex won his stateside debut in impressive fashion. He followed that up with an in-hand 1:53.1 win at Pocono, and a similar effort in 1:53 at Harrah's Philly. The Julie Miller trainee, who won a Grade 3 race at Paris's Vincennes Racecourse as a 3-year-old, has 9 wins in 17 career starts. The Maxie Lee Memorial Trot is named after long-time horsemen Maxie Lee. A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. In 1990, Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton winner Backstreet Guy. Michael Bozich

The twelfth race on a power-packed harness racing program at Harrah's Philadelphia this Sunday (May 29) is named after long time horsemen Maxie Lee.   A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. Maxie Lee died in 2001 at the age of 70. Maxie's son Greg Lee makes the trip every year from North Carolina to present the trophy to the Maxie Lee Memorial winner, and this year will be no different.   In 1990, Maxie Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton winner Backstreet Guy. One of Greg's finest moments with his father was at the Little Brown Jug in 1991, when Maxie's charge Nuke Skywalker was runner-up to Precious Bunny in the finals. "My father said, come September, they will know who this horse is". In the Little Brown Jug, we're going to give them a fit."   The 2016 edition of the Maxie Lee Memorial features a very deep, talented field, led by Bee A Magician. The Nifty Norman trainee has won just about every award imaginable, as she continues on her trek to the $4 million mark in career earnings. She is making her fourth start of the year, and is coming off of an impressive tune-up at Yonkers, winning in 1:54.1 from Post 7 vs. open company.   The second-leading money earner in the field is Solveig's Racing Partner's Shake It Cerry. A Dan Patch award winner at ages 2 and 3, the now 5-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover comes into this event off of a sharp qualifier at The Meadowlands in 1:52.4 (last qtr :26.3). "I was really happy with the way she qualified," said regular Driver Dave Miller. "She didn't race good in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff," Miller continued. "They looked at her and she was sick with an infection. They gave her some time." When asked about the her chances in the Maxie Lee, Miller responded "I like her spot. I think the race will set up good for her."   The race also includes 2015 older trotter of the year J L Cruze. The 5-year-old son of Crazed rebounded well from a disappointing effort in the Elitlopp Playoff at The Big M with an easy win over the Harrah's oval last start. The complete field is listed below.   $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Obrigado-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-5-1 2-Wind Of The North-George Napolitano Jr.-Daryl Bier-12-1 3-Gural Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20-1 4-JL Cruze-Corey Callahan-Eric Ell-7-2 5-Il Sogno Dream-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-7-1 6-Shake It Cerry-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-5-1 7-Bee A Magician-Brian Sears-R. Nifty Norman-5-2 8-Maestro Blue Chip-Tim Tetrick-Jo Ann Looney-King-8-1   There is a six-hour detention for the three big races (Maxie Lee, Betsy Ross, and The Dorothy Mullin). The Riverview Terrace will be open for lunch from 12-4 p.m. For reservations, call 484.490.2222 or 610.874.5200. It will be Family Fun Day , with face painters, balloon artists, and many more activities for the kids. There will also be a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool, which will encompass races nine-12 and include the invitational races. Mike Bozich

When harness racing  owner Bill Dittmar Jr. visited the winner's circle with Anders Bluestone following the 2011 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational, it seemed like the moment of a lifetime. On Sunday afternoon, he returns to the same event at Harrah's Philadelphia with what seems like the horse of a lifetime. Dittmar is among the owners of JL Cruze, who last year won 16 of 21 races, set numerous world records, and received a Dan Patch Award as harness racing's best older male trotter. JL Cruze is part of a star-packed 2016 edition of the $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters. The field includes 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry. Bee A Magician, unbeaten in three races this year, is the 5-2 morning line favorite. JL Cruze, with four wins in five starts this season, is the 7-2 second choice. "When we won with Anders Bluestone a few years ago that was really a highlight with our horses at that time," Dittmar said. "That was fun. "It would be nice to be competitive again. We've always been a group with (non-stakes) horses. When you get a stakes horse, it's exciting. It really is. We're a small stable and you find the diamond in the rough once in a while and try to have some fun with it." Sunday's Philly card also includes the $200,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers and the $200,000 Dorothy Mullin Invitational for older male pacers. Delaware-based Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Horse of the Year, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Mullin Invitational. He has won five of eight races this year, finishing no worse than second in any start, and heads to Sunday's festivities off a track-record performance in winning the Battle of Lake Erie last weekend at Northfield Park. Rockin Ron, who established a Canadian record in defeating Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Confederation Cup earlier this month, and New Zealand-bred Levy Memorial Pacing Series champion Bit Of A Legend are also among the Mullin's eight starters. Multiple-stakes-winner Devil Child is the 5-2 morning line choice in the Betsy Ross, which also includes 2015 Breeders Crown champion Color's A Virgin and this year's Blue Chip Matchmaker Series winner Yagonnakissmeornot. First race post time is 12:40 p.m. Sunday. The Betsy Ross, scheduled for approximately 3:40 p.m., is the first of the three invitationals, which will be raced consecutively. JL Cruze is owned by Dittmar, Stephen Iaquinta and Ken Wood. Some of JL Cruze's $627,456 in earnings last year went to help dig wells in Ghana and Tanzania and bring clean drinking water to 50,000 people as part of a longtime humanitarian effort spearheaded by Wood. A 5-year-old gelding, JL Cruze was purchased by his current owners for $37,000 in November 2014. They hoped he would be a nice fit at Dover Downs, where the group races frequently, but the horse blossomed with trainer Eric Ell last winter and then stormed to three consecutive stakes-level world-record wins during the summer before being sidelined by a virus. JL Cruze returned this season with three consecutive victories in open handicaps, but then finished off the board in the $150,000 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff on May 8 at the Meadowlands. He bounced back with a non-stakes win at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 19 in his first-ever race at the track. "We were disappointed with his performance in the Elitlopp Playoff," Dittmar said. "He just wasn't feeling right. I hate making excuses for horses, but things happen. We all thought he was sitting on a good race going into it. It just wasn't his day. "Coming off his performance there and then racing for the first time at Philly, it was good to see him get around the turns there and come out of it in good shape. It should be fun Sunday." $200,000 Betsy Ross Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Yagonnakissmeornot-Daniel Dube-Rene Allard-7-1 2-Sassa Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-10-1 3-Venus Delight-Tim Tetrick-Jeffrey Bamond Jr.-7-2 4-Devil Child-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes-5-2 5-Katie Said-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-6-1 6-Waasmula-Trevor Henry-Bruce Goit-20-1 7-Sell A Bit N-Jordan Stratton-Peter Tritton-15-1 8-Color's A Virgin-David Miller-Brian Brown-4-1 $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Obrigado-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-5-1 2-Wind Of The North-George Napolitano Jr.-Daryl Bier-12-1 3-Gural Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20-1 4-JL Cruze-Corey Callahan-Eric Ell-7-2 5-Il Sogno Dream-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-7-1 6-Shake It Cerry-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-5-1 7-Bee A Magician-Brian Sears-R. Nifty Norman-5-2 8-Maestro Blue Chip-Tim Tetrick-JoAnn Looney-King-8-1 $200,000 Dorothy Mullin Invitational PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-JK Endofanera-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-20-1 2-Wiggle It Jiggleit-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis-2-1 3-Rockin Ron-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-6-1 4-Rockeyed Optimist-Brett Miller-Steve Elliott-12-1 5-Mach It So-Tim Tetrick-Jeffrey Bamond Jr.-9-2 6-Mel Mara-Corey Callahan-Dylan Davis-10-1 7-Luck Be Withyou-George Napolitano Jr.-Chris Oakes-9-2 8-Bit Of A Legend N-Jordan Stratton-Peter Tritton-6-1 Ken Weingartner

Chester, PA --- Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter has seen his share of great trotters over the years and he thinks Father Patrick is among them. The 4-year-old Father Patrick, who was a division champion at ages 2 and 3, made his 4-year-old debut a winning one by capturing Sunday's $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters by two lengths over Bee A Magician in 1:52.1 at Harrah's Philadelphia. Lindy's Tru Grit finished third. Father Patrick's time equaled the track record for a 4-year-old male trotter. "If everything stays perfect I think he's going to be very dominant," said Takter, whose past stars include Horse of the Year Award winners Moni Maker and Malabar Man. "I really do. I've been around greatness, and I think he's going to be a horse people talk about for many, many years." Father Patrick has won 23 of 29 career races and earned $2.51 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group. Takter also visited the winner's circle following the inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational for older male pacers, which was won by his Great Vintage by three-quarters of a length over Dancin Yankee in 1:50.2. Mach It So finished third. Radar Contact won the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers by a neck over Anndrovette, who won last year's race. Ooh Bad Shark was third. The Maxie Lee field featured a deep group of trotters, including 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician as well as division champions Classic Martine and Market Share, who won last year's edition of the event. Father Patrick and Bee A Magician were among four horses to go for the lead on the first turn and Father Patrick got to the front before the group neared the second turn. The opening quarter was :27.1, followed by a half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Bee A Magician tried to launch a challenge coming off the final turn, but Father Patrick yielded no ground. "He did it so easy too," winning driver Yannick Gingras said. "The earplugs are still in; I never really called on him. I let him trot the last eighth (of a mile). "Bee A Magician got the right trip, but with those kinds of fractions maybe I got a little bit of a jump on her. But she's a great horse and I was definitely worried around the turn when Brian (Sears) pulled because I knew she would give me a run. But he just showed what kind of horse he is." A son of Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream, Father Patrick prepped for his seasonal debut by qualifying three times, with his final effort being a 1:52 victory at the Meadowlands on May 16. "Last week we wanted to get him a race but weren't able to, so I treated that (qualifier) as a race," Gingras said. "We went decent fractions and he stretched his legs out a little. I knew he was about as ready as he could be. He's not in peak, peak form yet, but he was good enough to win today." In addition to preparing for his racing campaign, Father Patrick has been doing stud duty. He made three trips to the breeding farm in the week leading up to the Maxie Lee. "It's individual," Takter said about whether breeding and racing could work for all horses. "I know horses that won't go at all; when you start breeding them they lose total interest in racing. In his case, it hasn't been negative. So far so good." Great Vintage also has done stud duty, but after he bred just a handful of mares this year Takter decided it was better to give him a chance again on the racetrack. Great Vintage had been "retired" after suffering a ligament injury last August. A 7-year-old son of American Ideal out of the mare Art's Vintage, Great Vintage is 2-for-2 this season. He has won 28 of 95 career races and earned $793,108. "He came back very happy," Takter said. "He got hurt in the fall last year, so I thought he was done. But he came back sounder and better. He was a really good 2-year-old, but he got hurt in the paddock when he was turned out so he didn't come back good as a 3-year-old. He had a bad injury on the knee. "He raced good (in the two years) after that. He's a good horse. He's a brother to ($2.1-million-earner) Vintage Master, so he's got a license to play. He's a tough horse." Takter trains Great Vintage for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk. In the Betsy Ross, Radar Contact went to the front in the opening quarter-mile and never looked back, holding off multiple Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette at the wire. A 7-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway out of the mare Topville Cyberwave, Radar Contact has won six of 16 races this year and finished worse than second only twice. For her career, she has 31 victories in 97 starts and $877,006 in purses. Radar Contact is trained by Noel Daley for owners Charles Stillings and Dean Ehrgott. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter looks at Sunday's $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia and can't help but be impressed. "It's like a mini Elitloppet," Takter said, referring to the famed invitational in Sweden that brings together an international field of 16 trotters. "This would have been a top field in Elitloppet elimination, anyway. It's going to be a great race." Takter's Father Patrick - who on Sunday makes his debut as a 4-year-old - is among four trotters entered in the Maxie Lee with Dan Patch Awards on their resumes. The others are Bee A Magician, who was harness racing's 2013 Horse of the Year, Market Share, and Classic Martine. The race is part of a star-studded card that also features the $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational for older male pacers and the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers. Father Patrick, who received Dan Patch Awards at both ages 2 and 3 and was the sport's top money-winner last season, drew post five with driver Yannick Gingras and is 7-2 on the morning line. He has won 22 of 28 career starts and earned $2.43 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group. A son of Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream, Father Patrick prepped for his seasonal bow with three qualifiers. He was second to Melady's Monet in the first in 1:55, then won in 1:53.3 and 1:52. "Everything is much better than I expected," Takter said. "The horse had three qualifiers and he was stronger in every one of them. The last one was in (1):52 with the plugs left in; (Gingras) never really asked him anything. The horse is ready." In addition to getting ready for the racing campaign, Father Patrick has been doing stud duty. "It hasn't hurt him," Takter said. "He's going to breed three times this week. He's got a busy schedule, this guy. He doesn't seem to mind it. We've been fortunate that it hasn't been that hot. Sometimes when they've got to ship back and forth and breed, you just want to make sure their weight stays right." Bee A Magician, who on Saturday became the first female trotter to win the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial and is No. 1 in the first Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, drew post three and is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The 5-year-old mare is 3-for-3 this season, defeating male rivals in all of her starts. She won the Cutler in 1:51.2, which is the season's best time for any trotter. Her trainer, Nifty Norman, also is impressed with the Maxie Lee lineup. "I would say that's the best field she's met - maybe in her life," Norman said. "That's a really, really good field. I think we got probably the best draw out of that crew so we'll see how it shakes out. "You couldn't be more pleased with her," he added. "She's been fantastic every start and maybe got better each start. I'm thrilled." Classic Martine, who received last year's Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter, got post seven and is 5-2. She has won two of three races this season, including the Miami Valley Distaff at Miami Valley Raceway in a track-record 1:52.2. Market Share, a Dan Patch Award honoree in 2012 and 2013, drew post four and is 8-1. "This is (Father Patrick's) first time racing against aged horses," Takter said. "Bee A Magician has really impressed me this year. She's a horse that's going to be tough to beat. But I feel optimistic. I think he can give her a run for the money. Classic Martine has been racing really good and you can't rule out Market Share with the class he has." Following is the field for the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 20-1 2. DW's NY Yank, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 9-1 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman, 2-1 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 8-1 5. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 7-2 6. Melady's Monet, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott, 12-1 7. Classic Martine, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes, 5-2 8. Bourbon Bay, John Cummings Jr., Megan Wilson, 15-1 Following is the field for the Jerry Taylor Invitational in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Doctor Butch, John Campbell, Linda Toscano, 6-1 2. Sapphire City, Mark MacDonald, Paul Blumenfeld, 20-1 3. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 2-1 4. Great Vintage, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 10-1 5. Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr., 5-2 6. Dancin Yankee, Brett Miller, Josh Green, 15-1 7. Clear Vision, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1 8. Modern Legend, James MacDonald, David Drew, 6-1 Following is the field for the Betsy Ross Mare Invitational in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-1 2. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr., 7-1 3. Radar Contact, John Campbell, Noel Daley, 9-2 4. Jerseylicious, David Miller, Wayne Givens, 9-1 5. Table Talk, Andy Miller, Bart Dalious, 20-1 6. Yagonnakissmeornot, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 9-5 7. Ooh Bad Shark, Allan Davis, William Wiggins, 12-1 8. For The Ladies N, Brian Sears, Peter Tritton, 20-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA      

Dave Drew enjoyed his biggest thrill in harness racing last year when Modern Legend won the Canadian Pacing Derby. He hopes the horse can add to his legend with another strong campaign this season. Modern Legend - the only horse Drew owns - races in Sunday's inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational for older pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia, where he will face a group that includes Levy Pacing Series champion Domethatagain and millionaires Clear Vision and Dancin Yankee. Modern Legend and driver James MacDonald will start from post eight. The race is part of a star-studded card that also features the $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters - where Dan Patch Award-winners Bee A Magician, Father Patrick, Classic Martine and Market Share make up half the field - and the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers. Seven-year-old Modern Legend heads to the Jerry Taylor Invitational off a second-place finish by a nose to JK Endofanera in last Saturday's opening round of the TVG Free For All Pacing Series at the Meadowlands. For the year, Modern Legend has posted two wins, a second and a third in four starts. He has won 21 of 67 career races and earned $916,192 for Drew, who also bred and trains the gelding. "I feel very good about him," said Drew, a 63-year-old from Ontario. "We'll do our best with (the post position). He's raced very well so far this year, so I'm certainly hoping for the best on Sunday in the Jerry Taylor. "Having a horse like him, it's something that's beyond anything I could have expected in racing," he added. "It's just been a real thrill to have this horse." Drew owned horses while working fulltime at General Motors in Ontario for 33 years. He began training after he retired from GM a dozen years ago. Modern Legend is a son of Modern Art out of the mare Ruby Cam. Drew and his brother, Greg, raced Ruby Cam, winning six of 11 races including the Middlesex County Pacing Series championship in 2003. Last season, Modern Legend and driver David Miller captured the $583,280 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 66-1, winning by three lengths over Foiled Again. "That's absolutely the highlight of racing for me," Drew said. "To have this horse and win the Canadian Pacing Derby was just outstanding. To be a part of this horse, he's just a fantastic animal. He did a great job. I couldn't be prouder of him." Drew is not alone. His wife Nancy and daughters Lisa and Stephanie are the horse's biggest fans. "They probably cheer the loudest of anyone when he's racing," Drew said. "They're avid fans. And they're very supportive of what I'm doing." Modern Legend, who was unraced at age 2 by design, put together an eight-race win streak bridging his 3- and 4-year-old seasons during which he swept the Autumn, Snowshoe and Cam Fella series. He was injured as the result of interference in the Cam Fella final and sidelined nine months, but returned to earn $229,469 at age 5. Last year, he banked a career-best $405,514, with five wins in 23 starts, and established his career mark of 1:47.2. He won four of his final 11 races and in the seven remaining starts lost only once by more than 1-3/4 lengths. "He closed out last year very well," Drew said. "I took it easy with him over the winter, kept him jogging and swimming. Swimming is part of his regular routine. I was hopeful coming into this year. He's probably started out at least as well as I would have expected for this season. I'm very happy with that. "He's staked somewhat comparable to last year. His next stakes engagement is the Ben Franklin at Pocono. Hopefully he'll fit in there and be ready to go for that." Following is the field for the Jerry Taylor Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Doctor Butch, John Campbell, Linda Toscano 2. Sapphire City, Mark MacDonald, Paul Blumenfeld 3. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard 4. Great Vintage, David Miller, Jimmy Takter 5. Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 6. Dancin Yankee, Brett Miller, Josh Green 7. Clear Vision, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 8. Modern Legend, James MacDonald, David Drew Following is the field for the Betsy Ross Mare Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 2. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 3. Radar Contact, John Campbell, Noel Daley 4. Jerseylicious, David Miller, Wayne Givens 5. Table Talk, Andy Miller, Bart Dalious 6. Yagonnakissmeornot, Simon Allard, Rene Allard 7. Ooh Bad Shark, Allan Davis, William Wiggins 8. For The Ladies N, Brian Sears, Peter Tritton Following is the field for the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller 2. DW's NY Yank, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano 5. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter 6. Melady's Monet, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott 7. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick/George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes 8. Bourbon Bay, John Cummings Jr., Megan Wilson by Ken Weingartne Harness Racing Communications USTA

Chester, PA --- Sam Beegle, president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, today announced major additions to the 2015 stakes schedule at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack. On Sunday (May 24), a new Open Pace for colts and geldings, named in honor of Jerry Taylor, will join the Maxie Lee Open Trot and Betsy Ross Open Mares Pace to round out a trio of invitationals. The purse for each race is $150,000. Also new is the Liberty Bell series of early closers scheduled for September. Each of the eight races for Pennsylvania sired horses carries an estimated purse of $75,000. The schedule is as follows: 9/13--3-year-old colt and gelding pace  9/16--3-year-old filly pace  9/17--3-year-old filly trot  9/18--3-year-old colt and gelding trot  9/20--2-year-old filly pace  9/23--2-year-old filly trot  9/24--2-year-old colt and gelding pace  9/25--2-year-old colt and gelding trot  "With the addition of the Liberty Bell series, we hope to extend the excitement of prime summer racing well into September and provide new opportunities for Pennsylvania sired horses,” said Beegle. “We’re also pleased to honor the memory of Jerry Taylor by adding his name to our May invitationals." Taylor, who passed away in 2013, was a Philadelphia attorney who raced at Liberty Bell Park and Brandywine Raceway for years. Among the many horses he owned was New Jersey Sire Stakes and Grand Circuit champion Devil’s Adversary. He is the father of prominent Standardbred owner Howard Taylor. Complete information will be available on the PHHA’s website, www.pahha.com. by Ed Kobesky, for the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association 

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 15 - A stellar 13-race card featuring the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot has been assembled for Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk Racetrack. Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), highlights the field of ten for the 63rd edition of Canada's most storied trotting event, the Maple Leaf Trot (Race 9). The eight-year-old "Scandinavian Powerhouse" won his elimination last Friday (July 11) for trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt in 1:52.2. Upon earning the right to select his post position for the final, Svandstedt selected the rail as the starting spot for his prized trotter. Svandstedt, a top horseman in his native Sweden for many years, relocated his stable to North America this season and is in the midst of a successful campaign, thanks in large part to Sebastian K who is a perfect five for five on North American soil. The high point of the season thus far for Sebastian K was a seven-length victory in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs on June 28, in which he became the fastest trotter in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping mile time of 1:49. Before coming to North America, Sebastian K had victories in top events such as the 2013 Oslo Grand Prix, a heat of the 2013 Elitlopp and the 2012 UET Trotting Masters. The nine rivals who will look to knock Sebastian K off the top of the mountain, include the last two Maple Leaf Trot winners, Mister Herbie ('12) and Market Share ('13). Market Share won the second elimination last week in 1:53 with a last quarter of :26.4 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano. His connections selected post position two for the final. The five-year-son of Revenue - Classical Flirt is the richest horse in the field with over $3.2 million in career earnings. Market Share followed up his Maple Leaf Trot victory last year with a triumph in the Breeders Crown. His career highlights also include two million-dollar race victories in 2012 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk. Leading the charge for the local horses will be Mister Herbie, who finished runner-up to Market Share in not only his elimination last week, but also in last year's final. The Jeff Gillis trainee won the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4 and was last year's O'Brien Award winner as top older trotter in Canada. Mister Herbie will start from post six and will be driven by Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image. The seven other challengers in the field are a group of well accomplished standardbreds. Intimidate, a past Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winner, will start from post three for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. Ron Burke, North America's leading trainer, will send out two starters. Archangel, post four, was the 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, while Wishing Stone, post five, has had success in both North America and Europe with victories in the 2012 Copenhagen Cup in Denmark and the 2013 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia. Creatine, last year's Kentucky Futurity winner, will start from post seven for the duo of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance and trotting conditioner Bob Stewart. Undercover Strike will leave from post eight and is a Preferred winner at both Mohawk and the Meadows. He is sent out by trainer Tony O'Sullivan and will be driven by Doug McNair. Flanagan Memory, who won last year's Goodtimes, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and an O'Brien Award, starts from post nine for trainer Rene Dion and Woodbine/Mohawk's leading driver Chris Christoforou. Modern Family, a multiple stakes winner, will start from post ten for trainer Daryl Bier and will have Ron Pierce, a two-time Maple Leaf Trot winner, in the sulky. The field of ten for the Maple Leaf Trot has combined for 188 career victories and career earnings of $13,837,506. The Maple Leaf Trot undercard will feature four Canadian Breeders Championships (Races 2,3,7,10) for three-year-olds. Trevor Ritchie, a three-time Maple Leaf Trot winning driver ('03 Rotation, '06 Peaceful Way, '07 Equinox Bi), recently announced his retirement from driving. Ritchie will be on hand Saturday night to present the trophy to this year's winner and will be a special guest on Mohawk Racing Live's pre-game show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Post time for Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot card is 7:25 p.m, with the Maple Leaf Trot expected to go behind the gate at 10:05 p.m. Here is the field for the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Race 9 - Maple Leaf Trot - Purse: $603,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line 1. Sebastian K - Ake Svandstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 2/5 2. Market Share - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 6-1 3. Intimidate - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais - 12-1 4. Archangel - Jody Jamieson - Ron Burke - 10-1 5. Wishing Stone - Randall Waples - Ron Burke - 20-1 6. Mister Herbie - Steve Condren - Jeff Gillis - 15-1 7. Creatine - Mike Lachance - Bob Stewart - 15-1 8. Undercover Strike - Doug McNair - Tony O'Sullivan - 25-1 9. Flanagan Memory - Chris Christoforou - Rene Dion - 25-1 10. Modern Family - Ron Pierce - Daryl Bier - 20-1 AE: Wheeling N Dealin - Jody Jamieson - Luc Blais - N/A by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

The story of 4-year-old harness racing female trotter Perfect Alliance, who enters Saturday's $266,000 Armbro Flight Stakes with 11 wins in 11 starts this season after winning a total of just two of 18 races at ages 2 and 3, would seem farfetched if it didn't sound so familiar. Perfect Alliance races out of the stable of Julie and Andy Miller, who five years ago took an unheralded 4-year-old male trotter named Lucky Jim and helped lead him to an award-winning season. Lucky Jim joined Team Miller with a total of just two wins in 20 career races. He won his first eight starts that season, including two winter series at the Meadowlands, before tackling the sport's top older trotters. He didn't slow down, winning seven more races in a row before finishing the campaign with 17 victories in 18 starts. His triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Nat Ray, Maxie Lee Memorial and Cutler Memorial, and he received the 2009 Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. Whether Perfect Alliance can write the same ending as Lucky Jim remains to be seen, but the first few chapters of her story are strikingly similar. She won two winter series - one at the Meadowlands and one at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs - before challenging the top female trotters in the game. In her first try against the big girls, in a division of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine, Perfect Alliance won in 1:51.2, equaling Classic Martine's world record for the fastest mile ever by a 4-year-old female trotter. Incidentally, Lucky Jim shares the world record of 1:50.1 for the fastest mile ever by any trotter on a one-mile racetrack. Last weekend, Perfect Alliance won her elimination for the Armbro Flight by 6-1/2 lengths in a track-record 1:51.4 at Mohawk. She starts the final from post four with Yannick Gingras at the lines and is the 6-5 morning line favorite. "It's hard to believe we could ever do that again - and she hasn't done it yet - but the way she started out is a lot like the way we campaigned [Lucky Jim] because she fit some of the winter series," Andy Miller said. "She got a lot of confidence out of those series and just kept progressing and getting better and better. "Now she's as brave as a horse can be. Now that she's facing the better mares, she thinks she can tackle anything." Miller drove Perfect Alliance in her first seven starts, but has been sidelined since mid-April because of injuries sustained in an accident. In her second race this year, Perfect Alliance won from post 10 at the Meadowlands despite being stuck on the outside for most of the mile and getting a flat tire on the final turn. "She still dug in and won the race," Miller said. "When she did that, I thought it was something special. I didn't know if she would go [onto record-setting performances] but I knew there was a lot there." Perfect Alliance is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Meadowlands Racetrack General Manager Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger. She is a daughter of stallion Credit Winner out of the mare Yalta Hanover and was purchased for $75,000 under the name Perfect Deo at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. Her mother is a half-sister to stakes-winners Yursa Hanover, He's Spooky and Scary Good. She is a three-quarter sister to Thistle Dhu, who ironically edged Perfect Alliance last season by a nose in the $40,000 Zweig Memorial Consolation for 3-year-old filly trotters. "Last year [Perfect Alliance] was hot on the gate and had a few little issues, just immaturity," Miller said. "I think the time off and bringing her back this year she's just matured so much. The second time I qualified her, I covered her up a bit and put some earplugs on her and when I popped them she responded. I knew there was a lot there, but how far it would go, I didn't know. "It's worked out good. With these types of horses, you just hope you don't do anything wrong. She kind of takes care of herself. She does everything we ask and we just try not to mess it up." Following is the field in post order for the Armbro Flight with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Lady Laker, Trevor Ritchie, Al Tomlinson, 20-1; 2. Bax Of Life, Chris Christoforou, Jerry Duford, 15-1; 3. D'Orsay, Sylvain Filion, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 4. Perfect Alliance, Yannick Gingras, Julie Miller, 6-5; 5. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes, 5-1; 6. Upfrontluckycarol, Steve Condren, Clark Beelby, 20-1; 7. Rockin With Dewey, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon, 12-1; 8. Charmed Life, James MacDonald, Dave Menary, 12-1; 9. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman, 4-1; 10. Angies Lucky Star, Trevor Henry, Richard Moreau, 25-1. Andy Miller got a positive report from his doctors recently as he continues his recovery from vertebrae surgery, but still is several months from returning to action. "He said everything looks good," Miller said Monday while watching qualifiers at Gaitway Farm, where he and wife Julie Miller are stabled. "He said in six weeks I can probably get rid of the [back] brace, but as far as doing anything, it'll be a couple months yet. "I was hoping I could do a little bit of work. Hopefully in six weeks I'll get a little more clearance, but I'm sure it will be a couple months before I can really do much." Miller said it was "frustrating" to be on the sidelines, but he is still active in watching horses train and race and providing his input. Miller has won 8,054 races in his driving career and nearly $101 million in purses, with both totals ranking among the top 25 in North American harness racing history. "Eventually, I'll get back out there, but I'll just take my time," Miller said. "I'm so thankful that I can be here and watch them and give my input on them training. "There haven't been any setbacks and if I didn't have the brace on, you wouldn't know anything is wrong with me. I can get around pretty good; I'm not running sprints, but everything is as good as it can be." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Market Share has visited six different states and the Canadian province of Ontario during his award-winning harness racing career, but has never been to Ohio. That will change this weekend. Coming off a world-record performance 10 days ago, Market Share heads to Scioto Downs for Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Market Share drew post four in a field of 10 and will be driven by Jeff Gregory for trainer Linda Toscano. The Charlie Hill Memorial field also features Arch Madness, Archangel, Creatine, Undercover Strike, Modern Family, Fusion Man, Major Athens, Rompaway Beau, and DW's NY Yank. Toscano said she was "on the fence" whether to go to the race, particularly because Market Share's regular driver, Tim Tetrick, would be unavailable due to commitments in Canada, but made the decision after talking with owner Richard Gutnick. "We sat down yesterday and talked about it," Toscano said. "We made a 'pro' and 'con' list and the only thing on the 'con' list was we're not going to have our driver. But we're very fortunate to have Jeff Gregory in the barn and there's a break from Yonkers and the New York Sire Stakes this week, so he can go and drive the horse. "Our next main goal is to have him as good as we can for the Maple Leaf Trot (in mid-July). I think this race fits his schedule nicely and he seems good. I understand the track is great out there, so we're going to take a shot." Gregory drove Market Share to a 5-for-5 season as a 2-year-old in 2011. For his career, the 5-year-old Market Share has won 23 of 42 races and earned $3.26 million. He was named the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter and the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter. He is owned by Gutnick, TLP Stable, and Bill Augustine. Market Share's victories include the 2012 Hambletonian Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic, the 2013 Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot, and this year's Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. In winning the Maxie Lee on May 25 at Harrah's Philadelphia, Market Share trotted history's fastest mile on a five-eighths track, sto "He came out of the Maxie Lee really, really well," Toscano said. "He had a nice easy week last week and should be ready to go." Market Share is not the only star in the Charlie Hill Memorial. Ten-year-old Arch Madness is one of just nine trotters to earn more than $4 million in career purses. He has won 34 of 111 lifetime races, including the 2007 Breeders Crown, 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, and 2011 Oslo Grand Prix. He is a two-time runner-up in the international invitational Elitlopp in Sweden. Archangel and Creatine both won Trotting Triple Crown races at age 3; Archangel capturing the 2012 Yonkers Trot and Creatine the 2013 Kentucky Futurity. Modern Family is coming into the Charlie Hill off a second-place finish in the Cutler Memorial on May 17 and has finished no worse than third in 11 starts this year. He has won five times. DW's NY Yank leads the field in earnings this year, with $171,600, and has exceled on smaller tracks. He has won nine of his last 14 starts around five-eighths-mile ovals and failed to hit the board only once. "It's going to be a good race," Toscano said. "It all goes to promoting the horse and promoting the industry. That's the beauty of the older horses. I think we're going to find that the older horses really develop a following. People really like watching quality horses race. "Years ago, the horse was the star. I'm all about making the horse the star. I believe in it. I love that." Racing in Ohio has enjoyed a resurgence since the introduction of video lottery terminals in 2012 and has attracted some of the sport's best horses for Grand Circuit events. "It's nice to see Ohio is getting back on the map again," Toscano said. "They've always been good fans. Probably the single-biggest turnout every year is the Little Brown Jug, so Ohio has been very good to Standardbred racing. It's kind of fun to be able to pay back a little bit and go out there and race." Here is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Arch Madness, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Trond Smedshammer; 2. Archangel, Chris Page, Ron Burke; 3. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart; 4. Market Share, Jeff Gregory, Linda Toscano; 5. Undercover Strike, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Tony O'Sullivan; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Fusion Man, Dan Noble, Jeff Smith; 8. Major Athens, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock; 9. Rompaway Beau, Don Harmon, Krista Harmon; 10. DW's NY Yank, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Ron Burke. DW's NY Yank will start from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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