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East Rutherford, NJ – Three $70,000 Hambletonian elimination heats and three winners that led from start to finish as Spider Blue Chip and driver Ron Pierce led from the start and won by a half of a length off of the pocket-sitting Corky in 1:53.4. Flying out of the starting gate, Spider Blue Chip cut easy fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25.2 before starting down the stretch. Corky could not find clearance until mid stretch but it was too late. Lauderdale (Corey Callahan) was third with Possessed Fashion (John Campbell) fourth. Dontyouforgetit, with $575,000 in career earning, will also race in the finish as the fastest money earner of the three fourth place finishers.  It was the fourth win in the last five starts for Spider Blue Chip, who has five wins this year for trainer Chuck Sylvester and owner Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ontario. He paid $3.80 to win. “I just put him on the lead and he did the work,” Pierce said. “Once we got to the half mile he relaxed and I just let him do it.” “I asked Ronnie to just bring me back a horse with something left,” Sylvester said. “And he did for sure. Now we will work on him (Spider Blue Chip), make some changes and have him ready for the final heat.” Post Position Draw for Hambo Final 1. Royalty For Life (Brian Sears) 2. Spider Blue Chip (Ron Pierce) 3. Corky (Dave Miller) 4. Creatine (Mike Lachance) 5. Dontyourforgetit (Johnny Takter) 6. High Bridge (Yannick Gingras) 7. Aperfectyankee (Jim Oscarsson) 8. Lauderdale (Corey Callahan) 9. Smilin Eli (Tim Tetrick) 10. Wheelng N Dealin (Sylvian Filion) by Steve Wolf  

East Rutherford, NJ – Creatine, a 5-1 mild long shot, was given an alert drive by Mike Lachance and easily captured the 8th race $70,000 second elimination division of the Hambletonian with a 1:52.4 victory. He paid $13.80 to win. Leaving strong from post eight, Creatine and Lachance went right out and took the early lead away from Wheeling N Dealin (Sylvain Filion) and then got down to business of cutting the mile with quarters in :27, :55 and 1:23.4. Wheeling N Dealin stayed right on their back as Aperfectyankee (Jim Oscarsson) came first over late but could not catch up to the race leader.  Lachance had no trouble coming down the stretch Creatine went on to win by two open lengths. Wheeling N Dealin was second with Aperfectyankee third and also having a chance to make the final was fourth place finisher Dontyouforgetit (Yannick Gingras). Trained by Bob Stewart, it was the third win this year Creatine, a son of Andover Hall, who is owned by Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Pa.  “ I know my horse,” Lachance said, “And he can be good and has been good, but not perfect. His last two starts have been good but he was at his best today.” by Steve Wolf  

East Rutherford, NJ – Lady Broadway and Cupcake, both driven to victory by Ron Pierce, showed they are faster than the colts in winning their respective $30,000 divisions of the Duenna Trot at the Meadowlands Friday, both fillies winning in lifetime best identical times of 1:53.4 The sixth race first Duenna division saw True Valentine (Yannick Gingras) led the field through the opening panels of :28 and :56.1 and then True Day Dream and driver Mike Lachance came first over and took command at the three-quarters in 1:25 but also had given good live cover to Lady Broadway and Pierce. As they came down the stretch, True Day Dream seemed to be the strong horse but not for long as Pierce was able to get Lady Broadway into high gear and she mowed down True Day Dream and won going away by three-quarters of a length in a lifetime best 1:53.4. It was the sixth win this year for Lady Broadway, who is trained by Chris Oakes and is owned by Susan Oakes, Hauser Bros Racing and Conrad Zurich. She paid $10.80 to win. True Day Dream was second with Curtsy Hanover (Corey Callahan) third. Then in the 10th race second Duenna division, John Campbell sent the gray filly, Silver Credit, right to the lead with Cupcake and Piece gapping in second as Silver Credit cut fractions of :27.4, :55.2 and 1:24.2. But Cupcake slowly had gained on the pacesetter and by the top of the stretch pulled to the outside and collared Silver Credit. Those two then raced neck and neck down the stretch but Silver Credit began to wire before the wire as Cupcake went on to win by two lengths. Déjà vu Too (Corey Callahan) was third. It was the second win this year for Cupcake, who is sired by Glidemaster and is trained by Don Swick and is owned by the Royal Wire Products of Ohio. She paid $9.80 to win. The fastest of the two $50,000 divisions of the Townsend Ackerman Trot went to Exemplar and driver John Campbell in the 8th race second division. The race was marred by numerous breaking horses early in the race as Bloodstockshalltab (Yannick Gingras) took the early lead in :28.2 with Exemplar on their back. But Campbell moved right out after the first quarter and took command for good, cutting the mile to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.4 before going on to win by one and one-half lengths in 1:54.3. Deadliest Catch (John Duer) has come first-over on the final turn and was second with Bloodstockshalltab third. Sired by Andover Hall, Exemplar posted his third win this year and tied his lifetime mark for trainer Per Henriksen and the Andrea Lea Racing Stable and Asa Farm of Canada. In the sixth race first division of the Townsend Ackerman, Valley Of Sin, who was eighth on the outside at the three-quarter mile marker, was able to swing three-wide on the final into second place at the top of the stretch and then surge on to the wire to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:55.1. Driven by Corey Callahan, Valley Of Sin had followed the outside flow of Amalfi Coast (Dewayne Minor) who ended up third. Second place went to Smoother Ride (John Campbell), who has cut the mile early and was shuffled back to sixth at the three-quarters but rallied again to be second. For Valley Of Sin, who is sired by Yankee Glide, it was his fifth victory on the year. He is trained by John Butenschoen and is owned by the VIP Internet Stable and the Harmony Oaks Racing Stable. By Steve Wolf  

It might be a longshot for Holmdel's Tom Pontone and his father Lou to visit the winner's circle again in Saturday's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes, but that is better than no shot. The Pontones' TLP Stable and Mario Zuanetti's Atlantic Trot share ownership of Banco Solo, who is competing in the third of three Hambletonian elims and is 15-1 on the morning line. Jim Morrill Jr. will drive the colt for trainer Ken Oscarsson. Corky (2-1 on the morning line) and Spider Blue Chip (5-2) are the favorites in the elim. In a return to a format last used in the mid-1990s, the Hambletonian will be contested entirely in one day. The top three finishers from each elim plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest lifetime earnings will advance to the Hambletonian final. The final is scheduled for 4:41 p.m. CBS Sports Network will air live coverage of the Hambletonian from 3:30-5 p.m. "Listen, you have to be there to win," Lou Pontone said. "That's what we're doing." Winning the Hambletonian is something that has become familiar to the Pontones. They won in 2009 with Muscle Hill and made another trip to hoist the trophy last year with Market Share. Only nine owners have won the Hambletonian more than twice in the history of the event, which began in 1926. Banco Solo is winless in seven races this year. He finished third in a 3-year-old open for Hambletonian eligible horses on July 27 at the Meadowlands. The race was won by Corky in 1:54.3. Banco Solo was 4-3/4 lengths back, timed in 1:55.3. He was third in a division of the Currier & Ives at The Meadows and fourth in the Reynolds Memorial at the Meadowlands. He was nosed out for a spot in the final of the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs despite trotting a 1:53.1 mile. "He's been OK, he's just had some bad racing luck," said Oscarsson, whose younger brother Jim trains and drives Hambletonian contender Aperfectyankee in the second elim. "He seems like he's good enough (to go in the Hambletonian). He feels good and acts like everything is fine. He feels stronger this year; he really grew up and is more mature. He's got the speed to go with them, but hasn't had the racing luck. It's been frustrating." Last year, Banco Solo closed the campaign by winning seven of his last eight starts, including the $206,000 Kindergarten Classic final at Vernon Downs. He finished the season with seven wins in 10 races and earned $157,481. "We didn't think the (Hambletonian) field this year was that strong, like in some previous years," Tom Pontone said. "Who knows what happens. There's not a horse out there that you could really say is the horse to beat. It's not like there is a Donato Hanover or Deweycheatumnhowe or Muscle Hill. We had the possibility to get in the race, so we said why not try it." Muscle Hill won the Hambletonian in 1:50.1, setting the stakes record and equaling the time for the fastest mile ever trotted on a mile track. He was a perfect 12-for-12 as a 3-year-old and was named Horse of the Year. "When you have a horse like Muscle Hill it spoils you," Tom Pontone said. "We never went to a race expecting to lose; we went to every race wondering by how many lengths we were going to win. "You have to come back to reality and hope you can get another good horse that can maybe win some big races. Maybe he doesn't. But you just accept it and go forward and give that horse the opportunity to do the best he can." The Pontones are hoping Banco Solo's best is Saturday. "He's been gradually improving every week," Tom Pontone said, "so we figured we'd give him a shot." by Ken Weingartner  

Another pleasant morning at The Meadowlands for the babies with moderate temperatures and puffy clouds. The races got underway at 10am. Love Talk was a winner to open in 2:03.3 with a final quarter of 29.1 for Mike Lachance. The Cantab Hall filly races for the Bob Bencal stable and owned by Jeff Gural's Little E, LLC. Race two saw Cee Bee Yes get a workout in for the Merrie Annabelle final next Saturday with a 2:00.3 / 29.1 prep. As the top money winner among the entrants, she was offered a bye into the final of that stake which was accepted by trainer Julie Miller on behalf of Jason & Douglas Allen, owners of the Muscles Yankee filly. Marcus Miller drove. Master Kemp was a winner in 2:01.1 / 29- for Tetrick and Alagna. He's a Yankee Glide owned by Eagles Soar Partners, Joe Sbrocco, Minisink Farms, and TLP Stable. The Chuck Sylvester owned and trained Andover Hall colt Overgrown won in 2:02- with a 29- kicker with Mike Lachance aboard. Neal Goldman and Pinstripe Stables are partners in the colt. Gural, Bencal and Lachance connected again with Jeff's homebred Muscles Yankee gelding Opulent Yankee, a winner in 1:58.4. Just two pacing races went to post and Mark Capone steered Capozzo home a winner in 1:59.3. Mark trains the Bettors Delight colt for Sal Capone and Thomas Magliozzo. Odds On Rhodonite won for new connections in the last of the baby races. The Western Ideal colt paced in 1:54.3 with Marcus Miller aboard for trainer Jeremey Howard. Mark Winship and Amy Giberson are the newly minted owners. Racing continues tonight at 7:15, highlighted by eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks and US Pacing Championship. A free program for tonight's card is available on The Meadowlands website, compliments of TrackMaster. by Nick Salvi  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 23, 2013 - The Meadowlands has carded prep races on Saturday night for the finalists in the $250,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and the $125,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey. Neither of the two events for New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers, which are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, required elimination races. The New Jersey Classic drew 11 entrants, nine of whom will compete in the $25,000 prep carded as the fourth race on Saturday, July 27, 2013. All seven of the entrants in the filly companion stakes, the Miss New Jersey, will compete in the $20,000 prep, the first race, including 3-5 morning line favorite I Luv The Nitelife, who swept three major stakes - the Fan Hanover, Lynch and Mistletoe Shalee - and has won six of seven starts this year. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Chris Ryder, drew post four in the Miss New Jersey Prep. Lifetime, she has banked $1,191,577 for Richard and Joanne Young of Coconut Creek, FL. The filly has finished in-the-money in 16 of 17 career starts. Ms Caila J Fra, who swept the New Jersey Sire Stakes, including the $150,000 final on June 1, is rated the 3-1 second choice. Simon Allard will drive the Steve Elliott trainee.  A daughter of Western Ideal, Ms Caila J Fra was unraced at two but has accounted for $136,225 in earnings this year, finishing in-the-money in nine of 14 starts for her owner-breeder, The Fra Stable LLC of Upper Saddle River, NJ. Installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the New Jersey Classic Prep, the fourth race, is the Tony Alagna-trained duo of Emeritus Maximus and Wake Up Peter, both sons of Rocknroll Hanover. Tim Tetrick has the call on Emeritus Maximus, post six, who has five wins in nine starts this year, including the Hempt Elim on June 22 at Pocono. He has a career bankroll of $100,908 for the Cheap Speed Stable of Steger, IL, Alan Alber of Ontario and Eagle Soar Partners of Staten Island, NY. Entrymate Wake Up Peter, with Ron Pierce driving, is still looking for hisfirst win of the year but was third in the $980,000 North America Cup. He leaves from post eight. Wake Up Peter races for the Wake Up Peter Partners, Brittany Farms, Lou Willinger and Eagles Soar Partners. He has a career record of two wins, four seconds and three thirds from 16 starts and earnings of $446,453. Rockin Amadeus, who won the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final on June 1, is the 2-1 second choice from post four with Yannick Gingras in the sulky for trainer Jimmy Takter. The son of Rocknroll Hanover has banked $552,390 lifetime for owner-breeder Lothlorien of Ontario. Skipping the prep will be the Casie Coleman-trained Lucan Hanover, who won a Summertime Stakes at Mohawk on July 19, and Word Power, from the Larry  Remmen Stable, who is scheduled to compete in the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios Final on July 27. Stakes records are held by Panther Hanover in the New Jersey Classic [1:47.2 in 2012] and Put On A Show in the Miss New Jersey [1:50 in 2010]. The draws for the preps [in post position order with sire, driver, trainer and morning line]. FIRST RACE -- $20,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey Prep 1-Ideal Ginny, Western Ideal, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller, 12-1 2-Ms Caila J Fra, Western Ideal, Simon Allard, Steve Elliott, 3-1 3-Certified Ideal, Western Ideal, John Campbell, Ross Croghan, 20-1 4-I Luv The Nitelife, Rocknroll Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder, 2-5 5-JK Letitgo, Western Ideal, David Miller, Linda Toscano, 10-1 6-Authorize, Western Ideal, Ron Pierce, Tony Alagna, 30-1 7-Jerseylicious, Western Ideal, Corey Callahan, Wayne Givens, 9-2 FOURTH RACE -- $25,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic Prep 1-Always There, Western Ideal, John Campbell, Nick Surick, 12-1 2-Ideal Carver, Western Ideal, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 10-1 3-Rocks N Bonds, Rocknroll Hanover, Mike Lachance, Joseph Poliseno, 15-1 4-Rockin Amadeus,, Rocknroll Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 2-1 5-Real Rocker, Rocknroll Hanover, Corey Callahan, Trish Foulk, 10-1 6-Emeritus Maximus, Rocknroll Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 9-5 7-Only The Lonely, Western Ideal, Pat Berry, Nick Surick, 12-1 8-Wake Up Peter, Rocknroll Hanover, Ron Pierce, Tony Alagna, 9-5 9-Johny Rock, Rocknroll Hanover, Andy Miller, John Butenschoen, 7-2 Always There and Only The Lonely are coupled as 1 & 1A; Emeritus Maximus and Wake Up Peter are coupled as 2 & 2A. Carol Hodes for SBOANJ  

With the improvement he showed from age 2 to 3, My MVP proved to be a most valuable trotter. And harness racing trainer Tony Alagna thinks the horse can continue to make strides this season as a 4-year-old.

A 1:49.3 victory by Heston Blue Chip in the 16th Progress Pace Preview and several longshot wins among seven Matron elimination or preview harness racing events marked Veteran's day, Sunday, Nov. 11 at Dover Downs. The first eight finishers in each division return next Sunday for rich finals.

My MVP lived up to his name in the $508,000 Kentucky Futurity for harness racing 3-year-old colt trotters, the featured event on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 7) at The Red Mile.

Me And Cinderella and Smoother Ride each won their fourth consecutive race to highlight Stallion Series harness racing action on Tuesday night (August 14) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six Stallion Series divisions held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot, each carrying a purse of $20,000.

Moonlit Dragon got up in the final strides to win the $50,552 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for harness racing 3-year-old filly pacers on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Driven by Eric Carlson, Moonlit Dragon sat well off the pace and rallied stoutly in the stretch to collar Gottaseeaboutagirl by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2.

The track will be filled with talent when the annual Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot, featuring all harness racing drivers who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, is contested at Goshen Historic Track in upstate New York on Sunday, July 1.

The track will be filled with talent when the annual Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot, featuring all harness racing drivers who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, is contested at Goshen Historic Track in upstate New York on Sunday, July 1.

This year's deep crop of free for all pacers just added another world champion to its ranks. Hypnotic Blue Chip has come out of retirement and will make his 2012 harness racing debut in Saturday's tenth race at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Imagine growing up in the same house as American harness racing Hall-Of-Famer Michel Lachance. His eldest son Martin remembers all the good times vividly, especially his Dad's fourth and last Hambletonian behind Amigo Hall in 2003.

As the son of Hall-Of-Fame driver Mike Lachance, and the cousin of top Canadian reinsman Luc Ouellette, it comes as no surprise that Patrick Lachance is already making a name for himself in harness racing.

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