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Freehold, NJ --- A big first-over move paid off for Clarebear at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 10), as she won the fillies & mares Preferred harness racing pace by 1 3/4 lengths.   Sent off as the 8/5 favorite from the outside post position eight, she dropped into fifth place in the early stages. Approaching the half-mile pole, driver Vinny Ginsburg sent her to the outside, leading the first-over charge to challenge early leader Shecouldbegood. Heading around the final turn, Clarebear cleared to the front and kicked away from her rivals.   She had a 4 1/2 length lead entering the stretch, and although her rivals cut into the margin late, she had more than enough to hold on for the win. The final time was 1:54.3 for the mile, including a final quarter in 28.4 seconds.     The seven-year-old mare is owned by Cavalli Veloci Stables and trained by Mike Russo. She finished third by a neck last week, after getting parked out almost the whole way. For her career, she's earned more than $317,000, while winning 23 races.   Petal to the Metal closed well to get second at 11/1, while Cruisinwithmybaby was third at 12/1. She's a Billionair, Stonebridge Honey, Unspoken Promise, I Wish You Well, and Shecouldbegood completed the order of finish.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, starting at 12:30 PM EST. The 11-race card features two carryovers: the early pick 4, beginning in race 2, has a carryover of $881.11. The pick 5, starting in race 5, has a carryover of $718.39.   From Freehold Raceway  

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Another step up, another convincing win. Betty Tauber's Elrama N ($3.20) rose to the occasion in Friday (December 23) evening's harness racing featured $15,500 top-level conditioned pace at The Meadowlands, using a strong first-over push through the far turn to reel off his third win in a row.   Brett Miller was unhurried early on with the 7-year-old Elsu gelding, settling in fourth as Alberto Contador N (Jim Marohn, Jr.) and Rufo (Drew Monti) alternated on the lead through early splits of :27.2 and :55.4. At race's midpoint, Elrama N began his first-over ascent, charging boldly after Rufo, forcing a :28.3 third quarter, and pushing to the fore at head-stretch. After putting away Rufo, Elrama N edged clear of a brief bid from the second-over Windsun Stetson (Joe Bongiorno) and ultimately held sway by three-quarters of a length for a 1:51.4 score. El Bloombito (John Campbell) rallied down the grandstand side off third-over cover to narrowly take second over Alberto Contador N, who held third from his pocket trip.   Michael Russo trains Elrama N, now a 23-time winner. For Miller, the driving win was one of five on the program.   The early 20¢ Jackpot High Five was captured again in the night's fifth race, as 130-1 shot Miramontman (Steve Smith) sustained late gains to take fourth behind the favored trio of Toatsmygoats ($10.60, Andy Miller), Pansformative (2-1, Bongiorno), and Hugh Hefner N (2-1, Marohn) to spur a $5,834.08 score. UF Larry Alltheway (9-1, Tyler Smith) rounded out the 8-7-2-10-9 combination. The late Jackpot High Five will see $10,891.52 carry over to Thursday's card.   Total handle for the 13-race program was $2,868,800.   Live racing returns to the Big M with a 10-race card on Thursday (December 29), and programs on Friday (December 30) and Saturday (December 31) evenings to round out the 2016 season. Post time each night is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands

East Rutherford, N.J. - Inittowinafortune ($5.00) seized command early and never looked back in Friday (November 25) evening's top distaff pace at The Meadowlands, using a powerful :54.2 back half to evade her eight harness racing rivals in the $17,500 feature by 2-3/4 lengths. Corey Callahan wasted no time with the 6-year-old daughter of Cam's Fortune, putting her in play and clearing the lead just upon entering the first turn. Inittowinafortune made every call a winning one, facing no pressure at all through sectionals of :27 and :55.3 before edging away from a mild first-over challenge from Windsun Glory (Joe Bongiorno) in the final five-sixteenths of the mile. Inittowinafortune sprinted off at first asking, and she maintained clearance on the field while taken in hand for the last sixteenth of her 1:50 triumph. Windsun Glory dueled down pocket rival Better Said (Brett Miller) in upper stretch to secure a clear runner-up spot, while Shutthefrontdoor (Scott Zeron) charged down the grandstand side from the tail of the field to just nab Delightful Dragon (David Miller) for third. Michael Russo trains 34-time winner Inittowinafortune for Michael Pagonas. The win was her second of the season, and just two-fifths of a second shy of her lifetime best. Pick 5 yields hefty payday While two of five favorites prevailed in the night's 50¢ Pick 5 sequence, mid-price winners Big Expense ($25.80, Kyle Husted) and Young American ($15.00, Kyle DiBenedetto) in the third and fourth races respectively set up for a carryover situation should any horse save odds-on favorite Opulent Yankee prevail in the closing leg. As Opulent Yankee ($3.40, Andy Miller) indeed converted in a dominant 1:54 performance, successful players ultimately earned $8,870.20 on the wager which attracted a total pool of $41,754. Total handle for the 12-race card was $2,179,769. First post for Saturday (November 26) evening's 13-race program at the Big M is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Eastern, and the closing race 20¢ Jackpot Super High Five carryover mounts to $44,213.23. by James Witherite, Meadowlands

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 2, 2015-Second choice Inittowinafortune (Dan Dube) held off 7-5 Skippin' By (George Brennan) in two-speed number Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's soggy, $48,000 harness racing Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Involved early from post position No. 6, Inittowinafortune left around the people's preference, then went the distance (:27.2, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:55.3). "Init" prevailed by a neck, with Envious Hanover (Jason Bartlett)-last the three-quarters-rallying for third. Carobbean Pacetry (Brent Holland) and Strings (Eric Carlson) rounded out the payees. For Inittotinafortune, a 5-year-old daughter of Cam's Fortune trained by Michael Russo for owner Michael Pagonas, it was her 11th win in 30 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $23, with the triple returning $316. Frank Drucker

Mission Brief returned to the races at Friday nights harness racing meeting at The Meadowlands where we expected to see her, in the winners circle. The fastest two year old trotter of all time made short work of her Sire Stakes competition in the lone $25,000 division for the filly trotters, winning in 1:53.4. The World Champion took off the speed early in the mile, but made a controlled move to the lead and cleared before the half-mile pole through fractions of 27.3 and 56.2. She led the field past three quarters in 1:25.3 and turned for home with a two length lead. Mission Brief drifted a touch in the stretch, but finished the mile well within herself while never being asked by her driver Yannick Gingras. It is worth noting that shortly after the finish, Mission Brief appeared to bobble and went off-stride, but she remained on-stride until the teletimer stopped. Her driver Yannick Gingras was pleased with her effort. "She had a ton of trot," said Gingras. "She went in 1:53.4 and it was a walk in the park for her. We still have some work to do before the second Saturday in August but she is on the right track." Mission Brief became the fastest two year old trotter of all time when she romped to a 1:50.3 performance at The Red Mile last year. She is conditioned by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J & T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. With the victory, Mission Brief's career earnings surpassed $600,000. On the colt-side of the Sire Stakes action, Guess Whos Back put forth a performance worth of his name, with a dominant 1:54 score in the first of two New Jersey Sire Stakes divisions for the three year old trotting colts. Sent off as the slight favorite over Canepa Hanover (both were 4/5), Guess Whos Back settled off the speed through the first quarter of a mile, before making a power move to the lead down the backstretch for Brian Sears. The Muscles Yankee colt would clear the top with ease, hitting the half-mile in just 58.1. He would face no pressure from that point of the mile all the way to the wire, sailing past three-quarters in 1:27, before leveling out in the stretch and drawing clear to a convincing 1:54 triumph. As a two year old, Guess Whos Back won the New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadowlands en route to earning $92,350 for Nikolas Drennan. Drennan expressed delight with how his Hambletonian hopeful performed. "Overall I was very happy with him," said Drennan. "It looked like he got a little steppy on the first turn, so we may make a few small changes going forward. But I was happy with him." Guess Whos Back sent his earnings past $100,000 with the winners share of $20,000 purse. He is owned by Davino, Shackman, T L P Stable and J&T Silva Stables. The other division for the sophomore colts pitted an intriguing matchup of Muscle Diamond and French Laundry. That pair finished second and third respectively in the Breeders Crown last year. Muscle Diamond was sent off as the 4/5 favorite with French Laundry the 3/2 second choice. The latter established the lead early on and took the Sire Stakes field through fractions of 28, 57.3 and 1:26.2. Muscle Diamond sat along the pylons in third, tracking the early speed and was guided off the pylons in the stretch and showed dramatic acceleration. However, nearing the wire, Muscle Diamond lost his momentum while getting a little steppy, seemingly because he was trotting so fast in the stretch and French Laundry was able to hold on for the win in 1:53.1. Both colts were very imopressive in their three year old debuts. French Laundry added to his lifetime earnings, which now stand at $323,119 for Jimmy Takter. Brett Miller drove the talented colt for Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding Al Libfield and Marvin Katz. There were some new faces that comprised the talented field in the $30,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace, but the result was one that we have come to know well. Radar Contact, who has not been worse than second since February 6th, was the 6/5 favorite and she would dictate the terms after wrestling the lead away from Inittowinafortune, who reached the opening quarter in a sharp 26.2. From there, Radar Contact would clear the lead and reached the half-mile in 55.2 with Inittowinafortune close behind in the pocket, a scenario we have seen week in and week out at The Meadowlands. These two mares remained that way through three quarters in 1:23.1 and the two sprinted away from the field, but this time Inittowinafortune was able to chase down Radar Contact to score in 1:49.4, a lifetime best effort. Radar Contact was a clear second with Jerseylicious third. The winner was one of two on the card for trainer Michael Russo, who conditioned the mare for Michael Pagonas. Scott Zeron was in the sulky. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed and the Jackpot swelled to $118,474 for the Saturday program. The last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 also carried over again, with that carryover pool now standing at $91,803. Total handle for the 12-race Friday card was $2,773,591. That marked a 15-percent increase from the same day in 2014 despite one less race. The on-track handle yielded a 20-percent gain as well. Saturday night features the $183,650 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, where Bee A Magician will attempt to become the first mare in the 17-year history of the race to emerge victorious. Also on the program is New Jersey Sire Stakes action for the three year old pacers, both colts and fillies. Last year's two year old pacing champion Artspeak will headline one of two divisions for the colts and geldings. There is a $50,000 TVG Invitational on the program as well. Post time for the Saturday program is 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali  

EAST RUTHERFORD, April 24, 2015 - For the past two weeks, Inittowinafortune has chased Radar Contact from the pocket and each time she came up short. That changed Friday night at The Meadowlands as the five year old mare earned a hard-fought harness racing victory by a flared nostril in the featured $27,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap. Inittowinafortune was released as the 4-1 third choice behind Radar Contact (3/5) and Rocklamation (2-1). Radar Contact was sent immediately to the lead from her assigned outside post and she would remain on the point through strong fractions of 26.2, 54 and 1:22.1 before turning for home with Inittowinafortune right on her tail. As the open mares straighted away, Corey Callahan guided Inittowinafortune to the outside and mounted their bid for the lead. Callahan's mare put a head in front in mid-stretch, but Radar Contact dug back in and the two talented mares paced all the way to the wire together. Only a nose separated the pair, with Inittowinafortune earning a well-deserved victory over Radar Contact. Rocklamation was three lengths back in third in the 1:50.2 mile. Inittowinafortune is trained by Michael Russo for owner Michael Pagonas. Whom Shall I Fear was the easiest of winners again Friday night at The Meadowlands, as he coasted to a dominant wire to wire performance in his division of the Spring Preview for the three year old trotters. It appeared as though the $475,000 yearling never took a deep breadth as he coasted to a 1:54.4 triumph. The brother of Father Patrick, controlled the tempo through fractions of 28.4, 58 and 1:26.2 while never facing a challenge. Whom Shall I Fear is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Whom Shall I Fear Stable. For the second consecutive week, social media went abuzz as Whom Shall I Fear crossed the finish line Friday night. Many were asking the question as to if this is the three year old colt to watch leading up to The Hambletonian and if this is the horse that can push Mission Brief? The most interesting aspect of that question is that Yannick Gingras drives both horses. Muscle Network, the 2013 Valley Victory made his four year old debut a winning one, by taking a condition trotting event in 1:54.3. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee was last early in the mile and was allowed to find his stride through fractions of 28 and 56.4 before being guided to the outside by Dave Miller. Muscle Network found a live outer flow where he positioned himself third over and followed live cover past three-quarters in 1:25 where he set up his late rally as the field turned for home. From there, the classy four year old closed in on Quick Deal and reeled him in just before the wire to earn the comeback victory. Muscle Network is staked well, including the TVG Trotting Championship, and the upcoming Graduate series which begins one month from now at Tioga Downs. He is owned by Frank Bellino & Sons L.L.C. Stacia Hanover also returned a winner in a condition event for filly and mare pacers. The 2014 New Jersey Sire Stakes champion was relegated to last early in the mile through rather tepid fractions of 28.2 and 57.1. Shortly past the half-mile pole, Stacia Hanover was guided outside and tracked live cover from a third over position where she would remain past three quarters in 1:26.1. From there, Scott Zeron would show his filly racetrack and she responded rallying home well to score in 1:55 over an equally fast-closing Strut My Stuff. American Truth saw her three race win streak come to an end, cutting the mile and finishing third. Stacia Hanover is trained by Steve Elliot for David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio. In amateur racing news, Hannah Miller continues to ride her amazing hot streak. Miller won the first race on the evening, the French-American Friendship Amateur event with Jacks To Open. Her record this season now stands at 6 wins from 21 starts with 12 of those 21 races resulting in an in-the-money finish. For her career, Miller has won 15 of 41 starts. The other amateur event went to Mr Ridgetaker and Alan Charles who took the field wire to wire. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers saw their carryovers continue. The 5th race carryover has grown to $91,918, while the last race carryover now stands at $62,450. Total handle for the 13-race program of $2,649,116 was an eight-percent (8%) increase over the same Friday one year ago. Racing resumes on Saturday, featuring the second round of the Whata Baron series, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Meadowlands To Open For Two Year Old Training on April 30th Two Year Olds Welcome To Train at The Meadowlands through the end of May Beginning Thursday, April 30th, two year olds will be able to train at The Meadowlands on Thursday mornings throughout the month of May. Horsemen can supply The Meadowlands with $1,000 for an unlimited number of two year olds to train or can pay $50 per horse.  All payments made will be added to The Meadowlands purse account, less expenses. Horsemen must submit payment along with a list of horses that will be training to the Meadowlands Race Office on Tuesday of each week, with training hours taking place on Thursday morning. Any horsemen with questions should contact The Meadowlands Race Office. In addition, please note that qualifiers next week will take place on Friday, May 1st at 9:30 A.M.  Qualifiers will return to Saturdays the following week. Darin Zoccali

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday night's feature on the racetrack at The Meadowlands is the $20,000 "Dash For The G Notes" final but a little investigation will provide some tasty tidbits that are not on the regular harness racing menu.   The "G Note" field is comprised of horses that competed in a pair of $10,000 claimers last week with the strong (top five from each) surviving to race for the inflated purse. The oddsmaker has designated the improving Steady Pulse as the one to knock off here. Steady Pulse led all the way from post nine last week to be a handy 2 1/4 length winner for owner Nicole Dicostanzo and his trainer, the red-hot Mike Russo.   Scott Zeron had his choice of winners in this one as he also steered longshot Chilli NZ to a $77.60 upset in the other division last week and he chose Steady Pulse. John Campbell will make a nice replacement on Chilli NZ for owner Michael V Gubitoso and trainer Jenny Melander.   Also listed under "Saturday Night Specials" will be the continuing story of the Hi 5 Jackpots and Saturday brings not two but three chances to score. We offer the standard entrée of sizeable Jackpot pools at The Meadowlands which currently stand at $64,065 in race five and $29,735 in the last race.   However, as the pièce de résistance available while supplies last, Woodbine has designated Saturday's eleventh race as the mandatory pay-out vehicle for their Jackpot wager which stands at $847,458. With play on the twelve horse field assembled for the race expected to be in the $2 million range, the payoffs will be huge. This article offers more detail on the bet.   Woodbine offers a free program download for their Saturday card, so get started early on your handicapping.   Off the racetrack and on the hardwood, the NCAA college hoops Final Four will be up on the big screen in Victory Sports Bar with the Duke vs Michigan State game slated to begin at 6:09pm and the highly anticipated match-up of unbeaten Kentucky and Wisconsin up at 8:49pm. The crowd is lively and food & drink specials are available.   First post at The Meadowlands is 7:15pm.   Meadowlands Media Relations Department

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands offered twin $30,000 Open harness racing features on a brisk late February Friday night.   Odds On Amethyst took the top class trot for the second time this season with a start to finish romp in 1:52 for Brett Miller. Miller set his charge away sharply from post eight and crossed over instantly. Odds On Amethyst set honest fractions, fought off a legitimate bid from Melady's Monet through a grueling 27.3 third panel then held sway for the win. B Yoyo sat a tight pocket throughout, menaced the winner late and held well for the place with DW's NY Yank surviving an adventurous trip from the far outside to be third in his first seasonal start. The winner returned $9.20 and the exacta a healthy $122.60. Jimmy Takter trains for Diamond Creek Racing.   The Open Mare Pace went to Inittowinafortune and Corey Callahan in an identical time of 1:52. Callahan fashioned an ideal second-over trip then rallied the mare late from just off the pace to track down Radar Contact after a stretch-long battle and prevail in a photo. Inittowinafortune returned $18.40 while winning her third straight for owner Mike Pagonas and trainer Mike Russo. It was Callahan's third winner of the night.   In wagering news, the Hi 5 Jackpot carried over in the fifth race at $37,167 and the last race Jackpot eclipsed $142,000 going into tomorrow night's program.   The Saturday card features three Winter Series finals among the thirteen races. Post time is 7:15 pm.   From The Meadowlands Media Relations Department  

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