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The veteran pacer Lennox Blue Chip is less than two months away from turning 11 but is still going strong and is closing in on $400,000 in career earnings for Connecticut owner James Behrandt. The Mike Brown trainee looks well placed Friday night in Maywood Park’scgo-featured ninth race. a conditioned pace for non-winners of $9,500 in the last five starts. Lennox Blue Chip went unplaced in last Saturday’s Invite at Balmoral won by his stable-mate Ice Scraper. Lennox Blue Chip sped to a lifetime best 1:50.3 victory this past summer at the age of 10. I asked his trainer what makes the horse so good despite his age. “He has a big heart,” replied Brown. “The horse has the biggest heart in my batn. I wish I had a barn full of Lennox Blue Chip’s. He loves to race.” Mike then went on and explained that the horse doesn’t need a good trip to get the job done. “He loves being first over,” continued the 48-year-old Balmoral Park based trainer. “Don’t rush him. Just bring him up and put along the inside horse. He likes to look another horse in the eye and then he'll grind it out and put him away. He’s a racehorse.” Lennox Blue Chip is also a pacer who can get the job done on any size oval, a huge plus for a trainer on the Chicago circuit. Last year Lennox Blue Chip quite frankly was too good to race at Maywood Park. He raced once on the half-miler and won in comfortable fashion on what I like to call his “fallback track.” I’ll have more about that later in this story. Instead Lennox Blue Chip was a mainstay in the Balmoral Invite ranks, starting in it in 20 of his 37 starts in 2015. The gelding came away a trio of Invite victories and missed a check in them only twice while to banking almost $84,000 for his owner. Lennox Blue Chip joined Brown’s stable in late 2011, making only a couple of local starts after competed mostly in Delaware.in 2010 and 2011. Since then he’s been a busy and very productive pacer under Brown’s care, earning over $180,000 and winning 18 races, mostly against upper echelon horses. In 2012 he went postward a total of 37 times. Of those 20 were at either Balmoral or Hoosier. However he went winless that year on those two tracks. In fact the best he could manage was a trio of third place finishes. At Maywood Park it was a complete different story for Lennox Blue Chip. On his “fallback” track the pacer had incredible numbers. In 17 starts he won 10 times, with 4 seconds and 1 third, missing only one check on the half-miler. The horse made $66,982 that year and all but $6,810 of that amount came at Maywood Park. No wonder he’s the 9-5 morning line favorite in the ninth race when he leaves from post 5 with regular driver Ridge Warren in the 7-horse field. He’ll be challenged by Goose On The Rocks, Montero Blue Chip, Fox Valley Norman, C’est La Vie, Kansas Wildcat and Crankin’ It Up. Picking Pick Six Cold: My seven top selection consecutive winners last night at Maywood started in race two and ended with race eight, covering the Pick Six races and its $341 payoff. Four of those seven winners were not the betting favorites. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

There’s an old one-time popular love song entitled “Reunited And It Feels So Good” that pretty much conveys the feelings of trainer Donna Lee Ozment for the horse Auniqueaquistion, the 2013 Illinois 3-Year-old Filly Pacer of the Year, now that she is back in her barn.   Towards the end of the filly’s very success sophomore season where Auniqueaquistion won every major stake in her division for Donna and almost $250,000 in purse earnings she got a much unexpected phone call that stunned the veteran trainer. “I was on my way to Maywood Park when I got a call and asked me “When can they come and pick up the mare.” I asked ‘what mare?’ “Auniqueaquistion, they answered. She’s been sold.” “I was stunned. I had no idea of the sale or that her owner (John Carver) was even thinking of selling her. The filly was like a close pet to me and she was doing so well for us. “I had her for her first two years and she made her owner a lot of money (over $350,000). She won everything as a 3-year-old, the Maywood (Filly) Pace, the Ann Vonian, the Grandma Ann on Super Night from the 10-hole and a Hanover. I was shocked and I was in tears when she left.” Carver sold half of the filly to Dandy Farms of Glenview, Illinois last November. Almost a year to the sale day she was reacquired by Carver and sent back to Ozment after winning only 2 of 20 starts while banking just $18,000, “I’m so happy to have Auniqueaquistion back,” continued the native of Fairfield, Illinois. “She’s happy to be back, too. “I tend to get very close to my horses and she was the closest I’ve been to one. I train all my horses but she was one that I actually rubbed and took care of. I bathe her. I did her up every day and she lived with my little mini (horse). “Auniqueaquistion was very attached to her mini. When she came back to our barn and saw her mini she came over and started licking her back. Everybody in the barn was getting watery eyes. It was very touching. “She was not a happy-camper when she was gone. While she’s much happier now she’s still not the same animal she was when she left. She’s a kicker now and she never kicked before. Her personality did change while she was gone but she is coming around and I think she’ll get better and better. It’s just going to take time. “She remembered me when she came back and she remembered that I had always given her a snack after she jogged. The first time back after I jogged her I put her in the stall and started to walk away she started nickering as if to say: “Hey, where’s my snack.” Auniqueaquistion (Dale Hiteman) will open at program odds of 6-1 in Friday’s eighth race conditioned pace. It’ll be the 4-year-old mare’s third start back for Ozment. The daughter of Cole Muffler raced an improved third last week, ending up less than 1 length short of the winner. In the meantime Auniqueaquistion is back enjoying her snacks and the company of her mini friend while Donna has her favorite pet back in her barn along with some drier eyes, so as they say: “All’s well that ends well.” by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

I assumed I would be writing about one, or both, of Friday’s ICF 3-year-old stakes at Maywood Park however each of the scheduled $10,000 events were cancelled by the track’s Race Office because of insufficient entries. Four male pacers—Fox Valley Cupid, Fox Valley Deuce, Little Hank and Sleazeburgernfries—entered the Betzotic while three fillies—Fox Valley Amanda, Fox Valley Shiver and My Little Bit—were submitted to compete in the Giggles The Clown. Apparently not enough numbers for a pari-mutuel race on the Friday program but they certainly could and should have been positioned as non-wagering events before start of the regular card.  Next week’s conditioned sheet shows that both of Friday’s scheduled 3-year-old stakes were not written back, they were just discarded. Likewise there was no attempt to re-schedule the $25,000 McKeever/Associates stake for older state-bred pacers when that came up short on Windy City Night. That long-time popular Maywood Pacing Series race wasn’t written back the following weekend either. The hours by trainers and their help preparing these horses for these scheduled stakes and the anticipation of their owners to watch them compete evidently doesn’t get much consideration by those who seemingly have complete control of the horsemen purse money. The continuation of the local racetracks to scrap these ICF stakes and put their revenue pots into the general purse fund for non-ICF horses to acquire doesn’t  “(e) Encourage the breeding of thoroughbred and standardbred horses in this State” as specified in the Illinois Racing Act of 1975. At a time in our history when the Illinois breeding industry needs all the help it can get the local racetracks instead are discouraging people to own and race ICF horses in our state by the persistent dumping of ICF stake races for any excuse they see fit. Through the years the backbone of harness racing success in our state has always been a strong ICF program. Let’s do what we can to build it back up . . . not break it down. No Contest: Bailey’s Wish was much the best in Thursday night’s $10,100 Speed N The Tunnel stake, drawing off by four lengths with Dave Magee in a snappy 1:58.3 mile Bailey’s Wish had a six length lead in the stretch before she was taken up by her National Hall of Fame driver and hand-driven to the finish wire. The victory was the 3-year-old ICF filly’s sixth in 16 starts for trainer Dirk Simpson and his Illinois owners Jim Bafia (Minooka) and Gene White (Chicago). Earlier Bailey’s Wish captured the Lady Lincoln Land and the Springfield titles giving her a two-season record of 10 wins in 30 starts and over $258,000 in purse earnings. Notable Numbers: Casey Leonard went over the 300 mark in dash winners for this season earlier this week and he also topped the $2 million plateau in money won for the second consecutive year. The 37-year-old Harvard Illinois native leads the Maywood Park driver’s race by 30 winners and is 50-plus ahead at Balmoral Park. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

When I watched Big Boy Dreams cross the finish wire last night to win the Windy City Pace,  I couldn’t help wonder if I would be able to see the 33rd consecutive edition of Maywood Park’s annual showcase event next year. While the local 2015 harness racing season is etched in stone for 2015 from January through the end of June, the schedule is probably written in pencil with an eraser for the last half of the year. The racetracks wanted no racing at Maywood for the last six months of next year and two days a week at Balmoral during that same period. The IHHA asked to IRB to have Maywood race at least one day per week for the last half of the year if positive legislation passes. The IRB ended up ruling that Maywood should race two days a week for the second half of the year if legislation passes. However if no legislative help came to the industry then they would give strong consideration to allowing Maywood to vacate those two days for the final six months. So what happens to Windy City Pace Night for 2015? Do you take nominations for these open stakes that may or may not be contested next October or November? A solution for next year is to card the Windy City Pace in the spring where the 3-year-old pace was successful for eight years from its inauguration in 1983 through 1990. It would be temporary solution, at least for now. The Cinderella 3-year-old pace and the 3-year-old Galt Trot could also be shifted to the same mid or late May date. While Spring would be too early for the Abe Lincoln and its 2-year-old colts that stake could as usual be carded on the Friday after American National Night with a stipulation on its entry nomination form “may be moved to Balmoral Park for 2015.” While the Windy City Pace flourished for many years when it was moved from the Spring to the Fall that was in another time, in another century, when the gaming playing field both locally and nationally was close to being level. Those days are gone but that doesn’t mean the Windy City Pace, at one-time the circuit’s richest harness race, has to also disappear. The Windy City Pace can and should be saved. . It’s Back: The circuit’s $15,000 Invitational returns after a two-week absence with ICF king-pin Al’s Hammered (programmed 5-2, Bobby Smolin) assigned the outside seven-slot and state-bred rival Fort Silky (4-1, Casey Leonard)  allocated the six in the ni9nth race headliner. The 10-1 longshot Park Lane Deputy (Matt Krueger) was given the pole position. The two through five slots were drawn by (In Over My Head (8-1, Kyle Wilfong), Best Man Hanover (6-1, Todd Warren), Time To Roll (3-1, Da. Magee) and Ice Scraper (9-2, Brian Carpenter)/ Follow The Money: Driver John De Long, behind only Casey Leonard in 2014 circuit victories, is at Hoosier Park tonight to handle the Curt Grummel trainee Homicide Hunter in the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stake 2-Year-Old Colt Trot. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Big Boy Dreams won the $180,000 Windy City Pace in wire-to-wire fashion for harness racing driver Tim Tetrick in 1:51. The Ron Burke-trainee and New York Sire Stake competitor notched his fourth win of the year in ten starts. "I got the front the way I wanted and my horse was big and strong and carried me all the way to the wire," Tetrick stressed. "I wanted to make the other horses have to catch me. He's been racing tough on the New York circuit." Big Boy Dreams took the field to a brutal :25.4 first quarter and a :54.1 half, with Let's Drink On It (Travis Seekman) challenging the leader going to the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but Big Boy Dreams just continued to draw away in the stretch to win by two and a half lengths. He now has $168,495 in seasonal earnings for owner Dominic Rosato of Utica, New York. "It's good to get back home," said Tetrick. "I cut my teeth there and it's always good to be here." Let's Drink On It finished second, while Three Of clubs (Doug McNair) was third and Kingofthejumgle (Brian Carpenter) got up for fourth. The son of If I Can Dream-Stefani Blue Chip-Art Major has $340,533 in career earnings from six wins in 11 starts for these connections. He was a $9,000 yearling purchase from the 2012 Morrisville, NY College Sale. By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park Racetrack

Sayitall BB captured the first $37,600 Cinderella Stake division for 3-year-old pacing fillies handily in 1:52.2 with Tim Tetrick at the lines for harness racing trainer Ronnie Burke. "When she cleared and made the top, the rest was easy," Tetrick said. "She's a very nice mare with a lot of talent and she did everything right. I never even pulled the plugs either. She'll go with all of the better mares I'm sure, and if I'm not driving her in the future, I'll sure be watching out for her." Sayitall BB accomplished this latest triumph impressively in wire-to-wire fashion, through splits of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:24.4, with Mamas Fallen Angel (Doug McNair) second and Somethinincredible (Dave Magee) third. Sayitall BB is owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, and now has $186,660 in seasonal earnings from seven wins in 12 starts. She has $208,310 in career earnings from 12 wins in 17 lifetime trips postward. The daughter of Tell All is the 11th foal out of the Nobleland Sam mare Challo BB. Sayitall BB Lady Shadow (Gregg McNair) held on to win the second $37,600 Cinderella Division in 1:53.2 over rival Major Dancer (Brett Miller). McNair also conditions the daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella-Camluck for owners Lindsey & Connie L Rankin of Lexington, MI. Lady Shadow grabbed the lead easily and never looked back through a very soft opening first quarter and half in :27.3 and :57. "I knew there was another horse getting close to me at the wire and so did she," said McNair. "This is her last race of the season and she deserves a break now as she's raced tough all season." Lady Shadow continued to have an easy lead over her six rivals, clocked in 1:25.3 at the three-quarter marker with Kayla Grace (Todd Warren) and Rocknroll Meg (Tim Tetrick) both throwing late challenges at her, but to no avail. At the last moment, Major Dancer, who had been riding the rail in the two-hole, snuck up the rail and narrowly missed besting the winner. Rocknroll Meg held on for third, with Kayla Grace grabbing fourth. Lady Shadow now has $259,635 in seasonal earnings from six wins in 13 starts, and $449,527 in career earnings from 11 wins in 21 starts. She is the ninth foal out of her dam and was a $19,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Forest City Sale. Lady Shadow By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park

E L Titan captured the $92,300 Galt Stake for sophomore trotters in 1:56 with trainer Riina Rekila at the lines. It was the first time this stake has been won by a female driver. The son of Muscle Hill-Courtney Hill is owned by Erkki Laakonen of Nastola, Florida and added the winner's share of $46,150 to his bankroll of $295,201. It was colt's fifth lifetime win in 11 career starts. E L Titan grabbed the lead at the start and led the field through fractions of :28.4, :58.2 and 1:27.1. Rompaway Galaxay (Dave Magee) was the only challenger to take a try at E L Titan, and ended up being first over for the entire mile. "My plan was to go out of there as hard as I needed to, to get to the front," said Rekila. "He was way more aggressive than normal tonight. When the other horse challenged me, I knew that he was having a tough trip and my horse still felt good." E L Titan won by 1¼ lengths over the tenacious Rompaway Galaxy, with Dony Andreas (Tim Tetrick) getting up for third and Madewell Hanover (Chris Ryder) notching fourth place money. "I think this horse will be a very nice 4-year-old, and that's the reason for his limited number of starts," she added. "By skipping the Yonkers Trot, this will allow him to get into some other races." E L Titan is the fourth foal out of his Garland Lobell dam Courtney Hall and is half-brother to Appomattox (by Yankee Glide) 3, 1:52.2M ($424,448); E L Rock (by Yankee Glide) 4, 1:53.4f ($294,280) and E L Rocket (by Credit Winner) 3, 1:53.1s ($233,935). E L Titan Earndawg takes Abe Lincoln Stake Earndawg took advantage of a perfect steer to capture the $57,100 Abe Lincoln Stake in 1:55.1.   The son of Sportsmaster-Pacific Sister K-Western Hanover notched his sixth career victory against six rivals in the evening’s Fourth Race.   Roger Welch trains Earndawg for owners William C DeLong of Clinton, WI and Pat DeLong of South Beloit, IL and J Miller of Mount Horeb, WI.   Earndawg nabbed the lead easily, with Lucpark (Dave Magee) right on his heels and King Of The Swamp (Ridge Warren) sitting third.    “I didn’t think I was going to be able to cross over that easily, but I got the rail pretty well,”winning driver Todd Warren said.   Positions remained unchanged to the opening panel of :28.1 and to the :57.2 half, before Dupage’s Z Tam (Casey Leonard) moved  hard agains t the leader.  However, Earndawg had plenty left in the tank, sprinting to a 1:25.4 three-quarter clocking while the hard-trying Angelo J Fra (Tim Tetrick) went three-wide around the final turn.    “I didn’t want to get run down that much on the backside, but we were racing for good money, so that was okay. I think this horse races best from off the pace.  If I would have gotten torched a little more going to the half, they would have had a better shot to beat me.”   Earndawg still had plenty left in the tank as he brushed to a three-quarter length victory with Lucpark finishing second and Angelo J Fra nabbing third.   Earndawg’s stablemate, King Of The Swamp was fourth, followed by DuPage’s Z Tam, Shadow’s Image and JK Allnitelong.   Earndawg pushed his career earnings to $189,265.  He finished second at Balmoral last Saturday night to Roland N Rock in the $86,000 American National and has also won the $186,000 Orange & Blue at Balmoral and the $43,350 Cardinal at Maywood.   Earndawg, a $35,000 yearling purchase from the 2013 Walker Standardbred Sale, is out of the Western Hanover mare Pacific Sister K 4,1:54 ($107,550) and is a full brother to Mystical MJ p,1:51.1 ($275,219) and a half-brother to Doubleshotascotch p,4,1:51f ($692,491).   Earndawg   by Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park

Through the first 32 consecutive editions of Maywood Park’s Windy City Pace several of this prominent 3-year-old stakes have likely been won or lost by the luck of the draw a few days before the race. Drawing outside on a half-miler can be a disaster in a big money event. For that matter a poor post can sometimes have a dramatic effect on a horse’s chances to win on a big track as well. After Somewhere In L A acquired the 10-hole in last week’s $227,000 American National 3-year-old colt pace at Balmoral Park his driver Brett Miller had to be grinning when he learned the Jimmy Takter gelding landed the two-slot for tonight’s $180,000 Windy City Pace. Last week Somewhere In L A came from seventh at the three-quarter pole to finish second best behind JK Endofanera, uncorking a :26.4 last quarter. “Of course drawing the 10-hole hurt my horse’s chances but what hurt us even more was having Limelight Beach and JF Endofanera starting right next to us,: said Brett. “I was kind of forced to do the opposition of what they did. Nevertheless my horse raced really good. “Jimmy Takter has done a great job with the horse. Somewhere In L A is no doubt one of the nicest horses I have ever sat behind,” continued the 41-year--old Ohio native with over 6,700 career driving wins. “Somewhere In L A is a Cadillac to drive. He can do it any way. He can race up-front. He can race off the pace and he can race first-over. There are a lot of horses who can’t race first-over. Unfortunately I’ve been stuck with him first-over quite a bit. “In the Adios I was first over. In the Jug I was first-over, so I’m very happy he got the two-hole in the Windy City. “This horse has made $444,000 this year and honestly, not to be whining, if he had drawn some better post position who knows how much he could have made.” Somewhere In L A will open up as the 2-1 morning line favorite to add the winner’s share of the Windy City purse to his bank account for his east coast owners J&T Silvia, Deo Volente Farms and T L P Stable who acquired the son of Somebeachsomewhere on June 1 of this year. Let’s Drink On It (Travis Seekman), an American National champion at two, is the 5-2 second choice with the one-slot. The Joe Seekman went from 10th to 3rd last week in the final quarter of the mile of the 3-year-old American National pace and was second best to Limelight Beach in the Jug Final on the Delaware, Ohio half-mile oval. Big Boy Dreams (4-1, Tim Tetrick), also figures to get a lot of play after last week’s 1:51.1 romp in a American National Consolation, the Ron Burke trainee’s second start on Lasix. From the four slot out you’ll find Three Of Clubs (6-1, Doug Mc Nair), Kingofthe jungle (20-1, Brian Carpenter), Neat (10-1, Casey Leonard), On Golden Ponder (12-1, Dean Magee) and the Illinois bred champ Unlocked (15-1, Dave Magee). by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Friday's $180,000 Windy City Pace, one of Maywood Park's pinnacle races, is a showcase event on an evening sprinkled with star-studded Standardbreds that have journeyed to Chicago's in-town, half-miler from throughout North America.   The pacer that's traveled the farthest to compete tonight is Kentucky Sire Stakes champion On Golden Ponder. Ontario-based Robert McIntosh, 62, will harness the son of Ponder for just his eighth start this season. The bay 3-year-old, who was foaled May 28, 2011 in Lucan, Ontario, has a trio of wins this year and $120,664 in seasonal earnings.   On Golden Ponder got a late start this season due to an injury sustained during the winter months, and the tenacious McIntosh gave his youngster plenty of time to recouperate. The colt earned $74,965 as a 2-year-old from nine starts with four wins and one second, and holds the record for the fastest 2-year-old ever on a half-mile track, having posted a winning 1:52.2 world-record clocking in the 2013 edition of the $52,544 Standardbred at Delaware, drawing off by 6½ lengths with Hall of Famer John Campbell at the lines.   On Golden Ponder has triumphed in a pair of $15,000 legs and the $175,000 Final of the Kentucky Sire Stakes at Lexington this year: on Aug. 10 (in 1:57.2); Aug. 24 (in 1:54.3); and Aug. 31 (in 1:59.2).   On Golden Ponder is owned by the McIntosh Stables, Inc., of LaSalle, ON; CSX Stables of Liberty Center, OH; and Michael Kohler of Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. He was bred by McIntosh and CSX Stables and is the third foal out of the Intrepid Seelster mare In Trepid Water p,3,1:51.3s ($410,748), with a pair of half-siblings: Great Waters p,2,1:55.1f ($33,281) and Cool Like That p,3, 1:52h ($106,844)--both by The Panderosa.   McIntosh has conditioned 3,299 winners to $81,854,034 in career earnings and was inducted into the Canadian Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2010. He also trained both of On Golden Ponder's parents. In Trepid Water was a top mare on the Ontario Sire Stake circuit as a 3-year-old and Ponder p, 5, 1:48.1m ($1,522, 936), when he retired, was the fastest and richest son of The Panderosa.   Also hailing from our neighbors to the north is Three Of Clubs, the Ontario Sire Stake champion who'll be harnessed by trainer Gregg McNair, who co-owns the Mach Three son with fellow Canadians Keith Waples and Tony Lawrence.   Three Of Clubs comes here tonight fresh off a career best 1:51.1 victory in the $225,500 OSS Final at Mohawk on Oct. 11. He has scored four OSS wins the past two seasons and also captured the $12,125 elim and the $138,720 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway as a freshman.   Three Of Clubs was a $25,000 yearling purchase at the 2011 Forest City Sale and is the first foal out of his dam, the Precious Bunny mare CC Kloe p, 3, 1:57F ($24,076). Lifetime, he's amassed six wins, three seconds and five thirds from 23 starts, with a bankroll of $432,181.   The Jimmy Tatker trained Somewhere In LA, who has been a major player on the Pennsylvania Sire Stake circuit this season, is the richest contender ($516,643) in the field of eight. The son of Somebeachsomewhere finished second in last week's American National at Balmoral to JK Endofanera, and two weeks prior won the $41,700 Keystone Classic at The Meadows in 1:51.2. This Ontario-bred won a $50,000 Adios Elim, the $55,016 Diplomat Final (at Woodbine) and was second in the $400,000 Adios Final this season. He is owned by J&T Silva Stables, NY; Deo Volente Farms and TLP Stable of NJ.   Big Boy Dreams , trained by Ronnie Burke, has been racing in his home state of New York for most of the season, with wins at Saragota and Batavia. He also captured the American National consolation at Balmoral last Saturday in a wire-to-wire, career best 1:50.1 performance for Yannick Gingras.   Owned by Dominic Rosato of Utica, NY, Big Boy Dreams won multiple New York Sire Stake tests at two and to date has eight wins, three seconds and six thirds in 19 lifetime starts. A $9,000 yearling at the Morrisville, NY Sale, Big Boy Dreams is the third foal out of the unraced Art Major mare Stefani Blue Chip, and is a half-brother to Sebring Blue Chip (by Western Terror) p,3,1:55.3f ($40,891) and to Mo Molly Blue Chip (by Rock N Roll Heaven) p,2,1:58h ($34,569).   Neat is another New York-bred who comes into the Windy City fresh off four victories at Yonkers Raceway. Owned by Illinoisans Paymaq Racing and Tim Towne and trained by Erv Miller, the gelded son of Art Major has amassed $155,366 lifetime competing in the Empire State. He was $30,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg and is the second foal out of his Island Fantasy dam Stonebridge Luau p, 3, 1:53S ($172,623). Neat is a full brother to Scirocco Billy p,3,1:56.1f ($34,653) and has a half-sibling in the 2-year-old gelding Surf Report p,2,Q1:58.4h, by Sportswriter.   By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park    

Last week we came up short on the win bets at $-2.90 for the weekend but more than made up for it in some decent exotic scores that totaled more than $350.00. This week there are tons of racing action Friday and Saturday with the Windy City Pace Friday at Maywood Park, the Indiana Sire Stakes finals at Hoosier Park Saturday, Woodbine is back in action with the elims Friday and Saturday for the top freshman stakes, Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds & Goldsmith Maid, Yonkers has the eliminations for the Messenger Pace and Yonkers Trot and we even stop at Batavia Downs for the Robert Kane Memorial Pace. Good Luck! $25,000 Pace Three Diamonds 2yo Filly elim Woodbine 1st race FRIDAY - She is the "little darling" of harness racing. Unbeaten JK She'salady is a perfect 8 for 8 going into her elimination division. She has beaten everyone in this field already this season and continues her domination of the freshman pacing filly ranks. Use Happy Becky and Solar Sister in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Goldsmith Maid 2yo Filly elim Woodbine 3rd race FRIDAY - World record holder Mission Brief either wires the field or runs like a deer. Temperamental filly is super-fast and should be able to win in here. Use Danielle Hall and Stubborn Belle in exotic plays. $37,600 Pace Cinderella Stake 3yo Fillies Maywood Park 8th race FRIDAY - Last week this filly was gutted trying to get to the front and never making it. Lady Shadow has been great for most of the season and has the speed and ability to get the jump on the field and return to winning ways. Use Major Dancer and Kayla Grace in exotic plays. $180,000 Windy City Pace 3yo Colts Maywood Park 9th race FRIDAY - Top stakes race has drawn a very competitive field. After last week's great closing effort in American-National from post 10, I have to go with Somewhere In L A. He is never out of the money and from good inside post he is due to get some great cover to score from. Use Big Boy Dreams and Let's Drink On It in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Messenger Stake 3yo Colts elim Yonkers 2nd race SATURDAY - This is the prelude to next week's finale as only one will be eliminated from this race. I think the Ron Burke entry of All Bets Off/Forty Five Red will be very tough to beat. All Bets Off has been awesome all season with ten wins. He draws inside and is on a five-race win streak. Use McWicked and National Debt in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Valley Victory 3yo Colt elim Woodbine 3rd race SATURDAY - Having won five of his last six starts makes Habitat the big favorite in here and rightly so. Has beaten almost everyone he has faced this year on the front end and can overcome outside post to do it again. Use Whom Shall I Fear and Noble Power in exotic plays. $40,000 Yonkers Trot 3yo colt elim Yonkers Raceway 4th race SATURDAY - Being the class of the field does not hurt Nuncio's chances in here, but having only once qualified on a half mile track (won in 1:58.4) at age two makes this a tough start. Draws into easier of two divisions but questionable if can take the turns but Jimmy Takter would not have entered him if he can't handle it. Use Way Outta Here and Don Dorado in exotic plays. $40,000 Yonkers Trot 3yo colt elim Yonkers Raceway 5th race SATURDAY - The Ron Burke entry of Gural Hanover/Hillustrious looms very tough in here with their 1-2 post positions. Well matched field has to be dwindled down to just four to advance to the final so the action will be fast and furious. Use Flyhawk El Durado and Datsyuk in exotic plays. $200,000 Trot Indiana Sire Stakes 2yo Colt Final Hoosier Park 7th race SATURDAY - This race should belong to Airman Batten as he has won ten of his twelve starts this year and had beaten everyone in the field this season and has done it from on and off the pace. Use Steal N Gas and Homicide Hunter in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Robert Kane Memorial Invit Batavia Downs 7th race SATURDAY - Changed my mind a couple of times on this race which only shows how competitive the field is. I decided to go with Aracache Hanover off his two straight wins at Yonkers, wiring the field in extra distance races. Use Easy Again and Apprentice Hanover in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Governors Cup 2yo Colt elim Woodbine 8th race SATURDAY - We Will See tonight if the break by Artspeak was a fluke two weeks ago or if he is getting tired from the tough season. Outside post not much help but with a week's rest if he is fit he will work his magic, get to the front and return to winning ways. Use Dudes The Man and Pierce Hanover in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Indiana Sire Stakes Final 3yo Fillies Hoosier 11th race SATURDAY - Winner of the Jugette has not missed a beat since her impressive victories in Delaware. Color's A Virgin has won 10 of 14 starts this year and is on a four-race win streak that she should be able to add another triumph to. Use Candy's A Virgin and Always Wearable in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Indiana Sire Stakes Final 3yo Colts Hoosier 13th race SATURDAY - Having ruled in the Indiana Sire Stakes this season, Always B Miki returns for the rich final for Joe Holloway Stable. Has won five of last six starts, rested a week and should be primed to lay over this field. Use Bluehourpower and If I Lose in exotic plays.  

Stablemates Earndawg and King Of The Swamp head up a field of seven freshman pacing colts and geldings in Friday's $57,100 Abe Lincoln Stake, and these two have a lot in common. Both are trained by Roger Welch and both are by top Illinois sire Sportsmaster. As well, both are owned by William C (Bo) Delong and William (Pat) Delong of Wisconsin and Illinois, with Earndawg also being co-owned by EJ Miller of Mount Horeb, WI. Both were purchased by Bo and Pat and taken to their Wisconsin farm to be broken and trained over the winter, before bringing them to Welch to prepare for their freshman summer contests. Both have started 13 times in 2014 and both have competed against one another in eight contests, with Earndawg finishing higher than Kind Of The Swamp on six occasions. And, Earndawg has clearly surpassed King Of The Swamp in regards to earnings ($160,715 vs $65,653) and wins (5 vs 3). Last week the both competed in the $86,000 American National 2-Year-Old Colt Pace, with Earndawg second and King Of The Swamp fifth. The week before they finished one-two (Earndawg-King Of The Swamp) in the $43,350 Cardinal Stake at Maywood. Earndawg captured the $186,000 Orange & Blue Colt Pace on Super Night in a career best 1:52.4, with King Of The Swamp fifth in that event. But despite their racing abilities, both of these youngsters are equally important in the eyes of their trainer, Roger Welch, and both have very different personalities. "Earndawg initially was very spooky--he was scared to death of everything and it took a lot of work to get him to go around the track and pace a flat mile," Roger said. Purchased for $35,000 at the 2013 Walker Sale, Earndawg wears a blind bridle with an elaborately-designed fly screen to help keep him calm. Welch jogged and trained the nervous gelding behind another horse every time he went to the track in the beginning, to get him used to sounds and dirt thrown up in his face. Earndawg is out of the Western Hanover mare Pacific Sister K 4, 1:54M ($107,550) and is a full brother to Mystical MJ p,1:51.1 ($275,219) and a half-brother to Doubleshotascotch p, 4, 1:51F ($692,491). King Of The Swamp, an $85,000 yearling from the 2013 Walker Sale, is out of the Broadway Express mare She's Redhot and won both his $10,000 Mini Me Elim and the $48,000 Final in 1:55 on July 26. "King is easy going in the barn and that's his attitude on the track, too," Roger stressed. "He's a very handy horse. He can leave like a rocket and then set in a hole with just two fingers." King Of The Swamp's dam, She's Redhot, finished on the board in Super Night Championships at both 2 and 3. His granddam, Fox Valley Redhot, won the 1989 Orange & Blue Filly Pace. His full brother, Hot N Sporty p, 2, 1:50.2, a 34-race winner of $519,769, won an Orange & Blue elim; his half-sister She's So Hot earned $238,501 with a 2-year-old mark of 1:51.1m, and was third in both her Orange & Blue elim and final. By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park  

Rompaway Galaxy, the 2013 Ohio 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year and a winner of $376,132 lifetime, headlines a field of nine in Friday's $92,300 Galt Stake for sophomore trotting colts and geldings.   Carefully managed throughout his career by trainer Krista Harmon, the son of Rompaway Wally was bred and is owned by Tom Smith's Rompaway Farms, Inc. of Battle Creek, Michigan. Smith is the former racing secretary at Michigan's old Jackson Raceway.   "Tom sent Galaxy to us in the fall of 2012," Krista recalled. "He was kind of on the small side, but then his parents aren't real big horses. Rompaway Wally is an averaged-sized horse and Rompaway Wynona was about the same. Tom had purchased both of those horses' dams one year at the Delaware Sale."   Despite his Stature, Krista said that Rompaway Galaxy didn't act the part.   "He was a handful," she confirmed. "He was just so full of himself every day. He wasn't mean, he was just out to show how good he felt. But it didn't make for a productive training career, so we gelded him. Then, he went through a growth spurt, and matured physically.   "We came home the first of May and our intentions were to qualify him and go to a fair, but after his first qualifier he trotted home strong and indicated he was much better than we originally thought," Krista continued.   As a freshman, Rompaway Galaxy had eight starts, with seven wins and one second in 2013, earning $161,550.   "As immature as he was mentally early on, it was amazing how quickly he figured things out," Krista assessed. "It was like a switch was turned on in his head, and all of a sudden he was focused and on his game. He had an outstanding freshman campaign and won one at Hoosier and the rest were Ohio Sires and Breeders Stakes.   Krista and her husband Don winter train at Gilcrest Training Center in Bell, FL and took the colt there to mature between his 2- and 3-year-old seasons.   "He grew up a little bit and is still full of himself but isn't unruly," she acknowledged. "As a 2-year-old he would make u-turns from time to time. He still looks for things, just to play. He's got a lot of playful personality. This year he's a little more attuned to what's going on around him and when he gets on the track, he's ready to go and pays more attention to business."   This season Rompaway Galaxy has amassed $214,582 from 12 starts, with six wins, two seconds and three thirds. He recorded a career mark of 1:55.3f en route to a $22,800 Ohio Breeders Stake victory on Aug. 9 at Scioto Downs. Last Saturday he finished a strong third to Father Patrick in the $203,000 American National Sophomore Trot, timed in 1:53.4, at Balmoral.   "I was very happy with him and even with the outside post I thought he'd hold his own and would definitely get us a check," Krista said. "What really impresses me is he's shown a lot of versatility on different sized tracks.   "He's been healthy all year which has been a blessing and doesn't have any real lameness issues," she continued. "He's had to ship all year from our base at Hoosier Park, and we've been forced to qualify him a lot because of his schedule in order to keep him tight."   Krista said she's confident Rompaway Galaxy can handle Maywood's half-mile turns just fine.   "He gets around a half-mile really well--he's versatile, just like his father," she stressed. "After the Galt, he's got two more starts: the Circle City and the Erskin at Hoosier. We'll give him a break after that and then start him back up for next year."   Foaled on April 18, 2011, Rompaway Galaxy is the fourth of five foals out of the Mr Vic mare Rompaway Wynona 2, 2:00m ($63,665) and is a half-brother to the gelding Patches Five Six 4, 1:59.f ($42,298). His sire, Rompaway Wally 6, 1:53.4z ($291,351), is a hardy son of Conway Hall 3, 1:53.4m ($818,884).   By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park

Trainer Gregg Mc Nair is making the long 500 mile trek from Ontario, Canada to Melrose Park, Illinois for Windy City Night with a pair of 3-year-olds pacers with the credentials to be a force in their respective stakes.  Both horses will be handled by Gregg’s 25-year-old son Doug who in less than eight years of driving has over 2,000 career victories and is closing in on $30 million in money won. Mc Nair’s two Maywood Park bound pacers—the Cinderella filly Lady Shadow and the Windy City Pace starter Three Of Clubs—have chalked up close to a half-million dollars in purse earnings between them this year and figure to substantially add to their totals Friday night. Lady Shadow has been a terror on the Ontario circuit this year, chalking up wins in 5 of her 12 starts and banking $240,835 with 24-year-old Doug in the bike. However the Shadow Play filly ended up a far back eighth as one of the favorites in the $225,500 Ontario Sire Stake Final at Mohawk last week after being parked out to sizzling fractions of :26.1 and :54.1. “Lady Shadow just didn’t get off the gate really good,” said the younger McNair. “I should have tried to put her in the 3-hole right away but sometimes she’s tough to back off and we ended-up outside to some fast fractions.   “She can be a tricky horse off the gate and was making breaks earlier but she is good on a half. Last year as a 2-year-old she went some big trips at Grand River (a half-mile track).” Lady Shadow went 5-for-8 as a 2-year-old and was 4-for-4 with Doug, including three Ontario Stake victories at Grand River Raceway. On paper Lady Shadow looks like a stick-out in the eighth race first $37,600 Cinderella division. I told Doug: ‘I’m putting pressure on you because I made her 4-5 in my line and the best bet of the night.’  “I like that kind of pressure,” he answered. The morning line has Lady Shadow at 2-1, closely followed by Major Dancer (Brett Miller) at 5-2. Stable-mate Three Of Clubs (programmed 6-1), is in a much more difficult situation in the Windy City with the morning lines favorites Let’s Drink On It (5-2, Travis Seekman) Somewhere In L A (2-1, Brett Miller) and Big Boy Dreams (4-1, Tim Tetrick) starting inside of her with posts 1, 2 and 3, while the Mach Three Colt has slot four.   Three Of Clubs dropped his first 10 decisions as a sophomore before posting back-to-back triumphs in his last two starts, both Ontario Sire Stakes. He appears to be sharp at the right time for the $180,000 Windy City. “He’s been sharp all year but he has been bad-gaited,” replied Doug. “It’s not that he’s been breaking but sometimes in a mile he can get rough. But the horse has got a lot of power. He’s been a lot better in his last couple of starts and his confidence right now has gone through the roof. “The horse does get around a half real well. Last year he was just super-fast and dominated at Grand River.” King Of Clubs won all four of his Ontario Sire Stake starts on Grand River half-miler as a freshman with Doug. The colt later was second in his Breeders Crown elimination and took the fifth place check in the $500,000 championship.   The Windy City Pace will go as the ninth race with a scheduled post of 9:50 pm (Chicago Time) It will be preceded by the $57,100 Abe Lincoln 2-year-old colt pace, the $92,300 Galt Trot for 3-year-old males, and two $37,600 Cinderella divisions for sophomore filly pacers. The $25,000 Associates-McKeever stake, the third leg of the Maywood Pacing Series, was also scheduled but became a “no-go” because of insufficient entries. No word yet from the track’s Race Office if the ICF stake will be re-scheduled or cancelled. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

This Week: Maywood Park Grand Circuit, Maywood Park, Melrose Park, Ill.; Lady Maud, Messenger Stakes and Yonkers Trot eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Fall Four Stakes eliminations, Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto, Ontario; and Kindergarten Classic leg, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday (Oct. 17) at Maywood Park with the $180,000 Windy City Pace for 3-year-old open pacers, the $92,300 Galt for 3-year-old open trotters, two divisions in the $75,200 Cinderella for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $57,100 Abe Lincoln for 2-year-old colt pacers. The fifth and final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Series will be held on Friday night at Vernon Downs, with three $10,000 divisions for the 2-year-old filly trotters and two $10,000 divisions for the 2-year-old colt trotters. Woodbine will offer a pair of C$25,000 eliminations on Friday for the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers and the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (Oct. 18) card at Woodbine will also feature a pair of C$25,000 eliminations in the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers and the Valley Victory for 2-year-old colt trotters. Yonkers Raceway will offer three sets of eliminations on Saturday night, with two Triple Crown events. Sixteen horses have entered the Yonkers Trot for 3-year-olds and a pair of $40,000 eliminations will be held. Only nine entered the Messenger for 3-year-old male pacers and a single $40,000 elimination will be contested, with the top eight horses advancing to next week's final. Also on tap will be a pair of $20,000 eliminations in the Lady Maud for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Woodbine entries can be seen at this link. Last time: Eight American-National stakes were in the Grand Circuit spotlight this past Saturday night (Oct. 11) at Balmoral Park. Creatine trotted the fastest mile ever at Balmoral Park, 1:51.3, in winning the American-National Open Trot. Creatine captured the $166,300 American-National Open Trot in a new Balmoral track record time of 1:51.3 with Dan Noble at the lines. The previous time of 1:51.4 was set by Sand Vic in 2006. In the lane, Creatine (Andover Hall-Berry Nice Muscles) finally shook loose behind Archangel and charged through the inside. Wishing Stone came flying late on the outside to get up for second, while Archangel held on for third. The 4-year-old stallion, trained by Bob Stewart, is owned by Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Pa., and now has $322,571 in seasonal earnings from three wins, three seconds and one third in 13 starts. Lifetime, he's amassed 14 wins, nine seconds and three thirds in 37 trips postward, with $1,189,730. Shake It Cerry trotted to a new stakes and track record clocking of 1:52.2 in the $150,000 American-National 3-year-old filly trot. The previous record was 1:54, set in 2010 by Springtime Volo and in 2000 by Armbro Temple. Turning for home, Shake It Cerry began to open up on her rivals, being challenged only briefly by Lifetime Pursuit, but to no avail as the former brushed in :26.4 to extend her win streak to six. Lifetime Pursuit notched runner-up honors, with the hard-trying Cee Bee Yes grabbing the show money. Reined by Ron Pierce for trainer Jimmy Takter and the Solveig's Racing Partners of East Windsor, N.J., the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig notched her 20th career victory and pushed her career earnings to $1,631,205. Father Patrick added another feather to his illustrious cap by simply cruising to a five length victory in 1:52.2 in the $203,000 American-National for 3-year-old male trotters at Balmoral Park. The son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream led at every post for driver Yannick Gingras, comfortably trotting through fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:24.4. That final time equaled the Balmoral track record for sophomore trotting colts. E L Titan finished in second for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Riina Rekila, while Rompaway Galaxy got up for third with John Campbell in the sulky for trainer Krista Harmon. Trained by Jimmy Takter for the Father Patrick Stable of East Windsor, N.J., Father Patrick upped his seasonal earnings to $1,385,581 and his career earnings to $2,129,638. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,815; 2. Tim Tetrick - 885; 3. David Miller - 835.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 620.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 521. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,840.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,477; 3. Joe Holloway - 349; 4. Erv Miller - 326.5; 5. Tony Alagna - 310. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 405.9; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 363.4; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 267; 4. Brittany Farms - 253.95; 5. Robert Key - 230. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Yonkers Raceway, Woodbine Racetrack, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs. Yonkers will feature the finals of the Messenger, the final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown, and the Yonkers Trot, the final leg of Trotting's Triple Crown, along with the Lady Maud for pacing fillies and the Hudson Filly Trot for trotting fillies; Woodbine will offer four finals for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits (the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for fillies and the Governor's Cup and Valley Victory for colts); Hollywood Dayton will feature the inaugural Dayton Pacing Derby and Trotting Derby for older horses; Hoosier will offer Madison County events for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits and Circle City races for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; and Vernon will offer John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

This Week's Harness Racing: Historic Series, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa., and American-National finals, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Thursday (Oct. 9) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with four divisions in the $100,680 Historic – Acorn for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 10) card at Philadelphia will feature a trio of divisions in the $104,178 Historic – Debutante for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday (Oct. 12) card at Philadelphia offers three divisions in the $102,878 Historic – Goshen Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers and two splits in the $102,380 Historic – Harriman Cup for 2-year-old colt trotters. Balmoral Park will host eight American-National Grand Circuit stakes events on Saturday (Oct. 11). The card will feature the $227,000 3-year-old colt pace, the $203,000 3-year-old colt trot, the $179,000 open pace, the $173,500 3-year-old filly pace, the $166,300 open trot, the $150,000 3-year-old filly trot, the $86,000 2-year-old colt pace and the $61,150 2-year-old filly pace. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, capped off two exciting weeks of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile.   USTA/Mark Hall photo Nuncio and John Campbell captured the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile. Team Takter provided Red Mile fans with a thrilling stretch duel between stablemates Nuncio and Father Patrick who slugged it out to the wire, with Nuncio emerging victorious by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.3 in the 122nd edition of the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotting colts. Hall of Famer John Campbell steered Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, to his eighth win of the season and his 13th career victory for owner Stall TZ, Inc. He now has $1,488,970 in career earnings. Nuncio had the lead from start to finish, trotting through splits of :27.2, :54.1 and 1:22.2 before Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) began to challenge him. It appeared that Father Patrick was going to trot right past Nuncio, but the latter dug in hard and held off his stablemate. Shake It Cerry put forth a dominating performance in the 49th edition of the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, stopping the timer in 1:52.2 for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Takter. The 1-5 public’s choice, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig, pushed her career earnings to $1,562,205 for the Solveig’s Racing Partners. Shake It Cerry took the lead handily in rein to Pierce, trotting comfortably through fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before drawing off in the stretch by 4-1/2 lengths. Vanity Matters (David Miller) made a bid first over going to the three-quarters and held on to be second, while Scream And Shout (Yannick Gingras) got up for third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,685; 2. Tim Tetrick – 850; 3. David Miller – 780.5; 4. Ron Pierce – 565.5; 5. Corey Callahan – 501. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,735.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,367; 3. Joe Holloway – 329; 4. Erv Miller – 311.5; 5. Tony Alagna – 310. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 388.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 346.35; 3. 3 Brothers Stable – 247; 4. Robert Key – 230; 5. Brittany Farms – 223.95. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Maywood Park, Woodbine Racetrack, Vernon Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Maywood Park will feature four races led by the Windy City Pace for 3-year-olds, along with the Cinderella for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Abe Lincoln for 2-year-old colt pacers and the Galt for 3-year-old trotters; Woodbine will offer eliminations in four events for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits (the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for fillies and the Governor’s Cup and Valley Victory for colts); Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; and Yonkers has four sets of eliminations in stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gats, led by the Messenger, the final leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown, and the Yonkers Trot, the final leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, along with the Lady Maud for pacing fillies and the Hudson Filly Trot for trotting fillies. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Illinois conceived and foaled two-year=old pacers shared top billing on the Friday, Oct. 3rd card at Maywood Park as some of the state's top fillies gathered for the $43,600 Violet Stake while their male counterparts battled in the $43,350 Cardinal Stake. Both races left no doubt as to who was best on this night as Jessie De Long & the Hamm Family Trust's Sportsmuffler romped to a 6½ length victory in the Violet while Bo & Pat De Long and Ernest Miller's Earndawg continued his recent dominance of his division with a devastating 4 ½ length romp in the Cardinal. Taking advantage of a perfect pocket sitting journey as Luvniecestopieces (Ryan Anderson) rattled off splits of 28.0 & 57.1 driver John De Long moved Sportsmuffler to the outside as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.1. Fit and fresh as the fillies moved around the final bend the Jessie De Long trained daughter of Sportsmaster--Whatthere'smore overpowered the pace setter as the field turned for home then drew off impressively, tripping the timer in 1:56.3 for her seventh win in 11 lifetime starts. Fox Valley Charm (Kyle Wilfong), who picked up brief cover from the winner turned in a nice effort to be the bridesmaid while Luvniecestopieces held on to be a distant third. A close second choice in the wagering Sportsmuffer returned $5.00, $3.20 & $3.20 while upping her career bankroll to more than $67,000. Using the "give and go" to perfection in the Cardinal Stake driver Todd Warren allowed entrymate King Of The Swamp (Ridge Warren) to grab command through a quick opening split of 27.2. Sweeping back to the top after the opening panel Earndawg proceeded to pace through fractions of 57.2 & 1:26.2 while keeping Lucpark (Dave Magee) hung on the outside. With the difficult trip finally taking a toll on that one, the Roger Welch trained son of Sportsmaster--Pacific Sister K simply sprinted away from the rest of his rivals leaving them in his wake as he cruised under the wire in 1:55.4 for his fifth win in 12 tries this season. King Of The Swamp followed the winner all the way but was simply second best on this night while C Note (Travis Seekman) shook loose late to finish third, 8 ¾ lengths behind the winner. This year's Orange & Blue champion may have put a stamp on divisional honors with Friday's win as he now boasts a record of 5-2-2 in 12 starts with earnings of more than $141,000. Bet as though defeat was out of the question the Welch trained coupling returned $2.20, $2.40 & $2.10. by Tom Kelley, for Maywood Park  

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