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Prairie Panther (Tyler Buter) takes the featured Open Handicap Pace ($12,000) at Tioga Downs harness racing on Sunday (May 5). Americanprimetime (Greg Merton) went to the lead from his outside post and put up all the early fractions (:27.1, :56.3, 1:24.0). Prairie Panther ($5.70), who is owned bu Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters) road in the pocket seat the whole way.  He went first-over at the top of the stretch and wore down second place finisher Americanprimetime to win in 1:51.1. Finishing third was Owosso Flash (Fern Paquet Jr.) Priarie Panther is a 5-year-old gelding by Royal Millennium.  He is now four for seven in 2019.  It was career victory number 25. Buter had a driving triple on the day.  His other wins came with Seel The Deal N ($8.40) and Race Me Villa ($5.80). Father and son, Mike Simons and Shawn Simons each had a win on the card.  Mike took All About Rusty ($13.40) to the winner's circle.  Shawn got his win with Wildcat Hilton ($3.40). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (May 11) with a post time at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Pompano Beach, Florida...November 26, 2018...Pompano Park hosted the 2018 edition of Super Night on Sunday with eight championship events with more than $415,000 in purses on the line. The stables of Kim Sears and Mike Deters dominated the events with the Sears contingency winning five championship events, Deters taking two and the Hennessey Stable taking the remaining piece of pie. Driver Wally Hennessey annexed six winning drives in the events with drivers Jim Meittinis and Mike Simons taking one each. Here is a recap of the Breeders Stake festivities in South Florida. $49,200 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (non-betting) Kerry B, a slick looking daughter of Muscle Mass, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner-husband Jay, took command early on from post one and wired together panels of :30, 1:01.1 and 1:31.3 before sealing the issue with a :30 finale to hit the wire in 2:01.3, scoring by three-parts-of-a-length over another Sears trainee, Proud Sophie. Crown Bushy suffered from a miscue early and finished third in the trio. The win was number five on the season for Kerry B and pushed her seasonal bounty to $49,447 to go along with her Vernon Downs mark of 2:00.4. $52,500 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS (non-betting) Prairie Gem, a sharp looking gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover, took this event in a lifetime best 1:59.2 for Jim Meittinis, who was in the bike for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Fritz Racing, Laurie Poulin and Fred Morosini. Prairie Gem was away alertly from his post two and led every step of the event through fractions of :29.2, :59.2 and 1:28.3, hitting the line three-parts-of-a-length to the good of another Deters trainee--Prairie Shibby. Yet another entrant on the Deters roster was third, that being Prairie Arrow. Damian Hall and Savin Park completed the roster. The winner now sports a scorecard of 4-1-0 in his five career starts, good for $49,150. $51,500 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (non-betting) Jennifer, driven by Mike Simons, used her rail post position to perfection, out-rushing arch-rival I Rhoda Daley at the start to prevail by a length over that opponent in 2:00.1, off panels of :29.4, 1:00.1 and 1:29.3. The daughter of Proud Bushy, trained by Kim Sears, who co-owns with Jay Sears, earned her second win of the year in only five starts. Ms Katie B and Cookie were next in this quartet of fillies. For Jennifer, who was second to I Rhoda Daley in the 2017 edition of Super Night, it pushed her career bankroll to $83,928 on the strength of a scorecard reading 4-7-2 in 14 lifetime starts. $49,750 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS (non-betting) Captain Thomas, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Dan Hennessey and owner John Campagnuolo, got a picture perfect journey by staking Dangerous Mood through panels of 29.1, :59.2 and 1:28.4 before leaving his cozy pocket to waltz by in the lane and on to a seven length score in a lifetime best 1:58.3 performance. Dangerous Mood did finish second over Brian, who completed the order of finish. The altered son of Proud Bushy, last year's Super Night Champion in his two year-old class, defended his crown this year for his sixth win of the year in nine starts, good for $53,187 this year and $86,063 lifetime. $53,100 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (non-betting) Krinda, with Wally Hennessey in her sulky, pushed the wings of the starting gate out of her way at the start and carded panels of :27.3, :57.4 and 1:26 before pulling away from her foes turning for home, scoring by 3 1/4 lengths in a lifetime best performance of 1:54.2.. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds, trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, left Prairie Easter in her wake with Starcasim next after her backside binge brought her close to the saddle pad of the winner around the final bend. Diamond Eyes and Prairie Foolish were next in this quintet. The win--Krinda's ninth lifetime in only 15 starts--pushed her career bankroll over the $100,000 mark--$104,186, to be precise. $53,900 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS Gold Star Diablo, with Wally Hennessey handling the lines for trainer Mike Deters and owner Dan Clements, lived up to his 1 to 20 betting popularity by scoring a handy 1:55.1 win over Jay Jay with Mister Special T third. Gold Star Flick and Silver Wings also earned minor awards in this sextet of sophomores. Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism, made a quarter move (:28.2) to the front and wired together subsequent panels of :58.2 and 1:26.3 before an effortless :28.3 finale sealed the issue in this Super Night win--his sixth straight this fall season at Pompano Park. In defending the crown he won as a Super Night champion last year, Gold Star Diablo sent his 2018 bounty to $120,426--$58,396 this semester. He paid $2.10 to his multitude of backers. $53,700 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS Mister Marvalous, a gelded juvenile son of Delmarvalous, gamely held off the serious late charge of longshot (44 to 1) JB's Boomerang, to score by a neck in 1:55.4. Driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Mr. Marvalous took charge early and posted fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26.4 before his :29 finale was just good enough to hold off JB's Boomerang, who, himself blazed a final panel in :28. Prairie Midnight, in the cozy pocked all the way, finished third over Gold Star Yoder, who made a serious bid around the final bend, and Zaza Boy. In stretching his winning skein to six in an unscathed fall season in South Florida, Mister Marvalous sent his earnings vaulting over the $50,000 mark by $657. He, too, paid $2.10 to win. $55,500 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES Natasha, a brilliant looking daughter of Six Of Diamonds, survived being roughed up during a bang-bang opening quarter--:27.1--and went on to score 4 3/4 length win for Wally Hennessey in 1:54.1, a lifetime best performance. Given all she could handle in an early three-wide tussle for the front, Natasha went on to card fractions of :57 and 1:25.3 before a :28.3 final locked up her championship performance. Prairie Westerngal was second with Caleb's Diamond T third. Prairie Cougar finished fourth over Rockin Ellie, who paced a middle half in :56.4 to draw within a length of the leader around the final turn. For Natasha, trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears, it was her seventh straight win during this fall stakes season, sending her bounty to $67,875 to go along with her new lifetime mark. Off at a dime-to-a-dollar, Natasha paid $2.20 to win. Reflecting on his big night, a humble Walter Hennessey remarked, "Credit should go to the people behind the scenes that make this possible--the caretakers, trainers--you know, they are the one's who work from the darkness before the sun comes up to the darkness at midnight. All I do is try and do the best with the talent they have given me...and I've only got a couple of minutes to do it!" In other pari-mutuel action, with Rick Plano in the bike for trainer Mike Deters, stayed off the hot early pace set by, first, Panocchio (:26.) and, then, by Uncmprmising Z Tam, (:55 and 1:22.4) before unleashing a huge rally late to collar Panocchio (Hennessey) and Dakota Jack (Simons) to score in 1:51.1 in the $10,000 Open I Pace. The four year-old gelded son of Royal Millennium, co-owned by Deters along with Laurie Poulin, won for the seventh time this year to send his bounty to $68,500. Lifetime, Prairie Panther has 21 wins in 41 starts, good for 186,007. Uncmprmising Z Tam did finish fourth while Here Comes William completed the two million dollar field. The winner, off as fourth choice at 7 to 1, paid $17.60 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with a Super Hi-5 Jackpot Carryover of $27,904 awaiting. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...November 19, 2018...Pompano Park's "Send It In" Sunday featured several stakes events, an upset win in the Open Handicap Pace and Florida Hall of Fame horseman Mike Deters achieving two milestones. Deters, who has overcome a mountain of health issues, reached the top of the mountain on Sunday Night, reaching, for the first time, 100 training wins for the year and $1,000,000 in purse earnings. Deters milestones came in the same race--the fifth--as Gold Star Diablo, trained by Deters for owner Dan Clements took the Tom Audley Memorial Pace for three year-olds, scoring in 1:54.1. The victory, Gold Star Diablo's fifth straight, was the 100th training success for Deters in a career stretching back to the early 1980's and, ironically, vaulted him over the $1,000,000 for the first time in his career. Deters reflected on the double milestone saying, "I'm not really one for words, you know, but I couldn't and wouldn't have achieved these milestones without great owners and outstanding help. That's why we call ourselves 'Team Deters.' "And, of course, I am lucky enough to have a wonderful wife and son, who put up with me having to be away for six months of the year. Without their support, I certainly would not have achieved these milestones. "I always try and get the most out of the potential given me and, this year, that potential of our stables came through. There is a lot of luck in this business--both good and bad--and the good luck certainly outweighed the bad luck this season. I am truly blessed." Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism, used a :28.1 closing panel to score over another Deters trainee, Prairie Easter, with Mike, himself, in the bike. Starcasim. handled by Joe Sanzeri, finished third with Jay Jay and Prairie Foolish next in the field of six. Gold Star Diablo paid $3.20 to win. The Tom Audley Memorial for sophomore trotters went to Captain Thomas, driven by Wally Hennessey, in 1:59.1. The gelded son of Proud Bushy, trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, trounced his rivals by 11 1/2 lengths in scoring his fifth win in seven starts. I Rhoda Daley (Walter Ross, Jr.) was second over Jennifer (Mike Simons). Ms. Katie B and Brian completed the roster in that event. The Melvyn Aylor Memorial Events for two year-olds were also held on Sunday night with Proud Sophie, Prairie Gem, Mister Marvalous and Natasha all getting pictures taken in the winner's circle. Proud Sophie, driven by Jay Sears, took her $14,000 division for fillies, scoring in 2:06.3 over Crown Bushy (Walter Ross, Jr.) and Kerry B (Wally Hennessey), sending her earnings over the $40,000 in this non-wagering event. Prairie Gem, handled by Jim Meittinis, used a :59.1 final half to easily handle Prairie Shibby (Hennessey) and Savin Park (John Campagnuolo) in 2:02.3. Prairie Arrow and McGoldrick were next in that quintet. Prairie Gem, a gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover owned by Laurie Poulin, along with Fred Morosini, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters, led gate-to-wire for his third win in four career starts. Mister Marvalous, a gelded son of Delmarvalous, justified his 1 to 2 tote-board odds with a seemingly effortless win in a lifetime best 1:55.3 for Wally Hennessey, his margin 3 3/4 lengths over Zaza Boy (John MacDonald) and Prairie Midnight (Jim Meittinis) with Gold Star Yoder and JB's Boomerang also fetting checks in this $16,000 event. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Mister Marvalous won his fifth straight at Pompano Park to send his earnings to$23,807. Natasha, the gifted daughter of Six Of Diamonds driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and Jay Sears, made a sharp quarter move to the top after a :27.1 opener by Prairie Westerngal (Jim Meittinis) and proceeded through panels of :56.4 and 1:26.1 before a :28.1 finale sealed the issue. Rockin Ellie (Dave Ingraham) was next, followed ny Priaire Cougar and Caleb's Diamond T in the field of six. Natasha paid $2.20 to win. Finally, in a highly anticipated duel between track record holder Panocchio and arch-rival Rebellious, neither wound up in the winner's circle as Dakota Jack, smartly handled by Mike Simons, out-sprinted both of them to the wire with a :26.4 closing kick to score by a half-length in 1:52. Panocchio (Hennessey) did finish second over Rebellious (Meittinis). Here Comes William was fourth with Prairie Panther fifth in this classy sextet. The five year-old son of Duneside Perch, trained by Jim Brinson for A Piece Of The Action stable, found a seam turning for home, swept widest of all and mowed down his rivals in deep stretch for the win. After the event, driver Simons said, "when you are in with great horses like that (Panocchio and Rebellious, among others), you just hope for the best. I tried to save ground throughout with my post position (1) and just hoped for the best. When we turned for home, we found a little room and he really was full of pace in the late stages of the mile. Trey (trainer Jim Brinson) said he was very sharp last week when he won but, against these, I was a bit surprised. Off as fourth choice at 15 to 1, Dakota Jack paid $33.40 to win. Racing continues Monday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover which has ballooned to $20,896. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...November 12, 2018...Rebellious, drive by Jim Meittinis for co-owner and trainer Mike Deters, used one of his patented closing kicks to take the $10,000 Open Handicap at Pompano Park on Sunday night (November 11). Deters, who co-owns with Joel Warner, edged closer to two career milestones with the win--the first being his first 100 win training season and the second edging ever-so-close to his first million dollar season as a trainer. Rebellious stopped the timer in 1:51.4, sailing by pacesetter Lucan Hanover (Greg Merton) at mid-stretch with a :27 closer, leaving Lucan Hanover two lengths away at the wire. Here Comes William (Donald Dupont) was third, another length away, with Speed Trap and Caviart Reagan also picking up so bounty in the classy field of six. When the wings folded, Here Comes William and Lucan Hanover got into an early way with the latter squeaking by right at the speedy opener timed in :27. After a half in :56, Speed Trap left his cozy spot in third with Rebellious following his live cover. After the third station timed in 1:24.2, Rebellious fanned widest of all turning for home and vaulted to the front at mid-stretch with winning driver Jim Meittinis lamenting, "This horse has some kinda motor. I mean his brush is devastating when he gets into gear. I love him. I love his attitude--he has a winning attitude." The four year-old gelded son of Mach Three now has 15 wins in 30 starts this year, good for $120,056, to go along with his 1:50.3 Tioga mark. Off at 3 to 5 on the board, Rebellious paid >3.40 to his multitude of faithful. Racing continues Monday with post-time set for 7:20 p.m. The Super Hi-5 finale has ballooned to $13,347 for the Monday card. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 6, 2018...Gold Star Diablo, driven by Wally Hennessey, extended his Pompano Park winning streak to four on Monday night with a handy 1:55.1 in one of the four FSBOA sponsored Stallion Stakes for harness racing three year-olds. The gifted son of Mysticism was used early and then pressured until the top of the stretch before striding away from his rivals to a 2 3/4 length victory over s game Mister Special T, handled by Mike Simons. Jay Jay, with Dave Ingraham in his sulky, rallied for third ahead of Silver Wings, who pressed the pace early, and Gold Star Flick, who picked up the minor award. Trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, Gold Star Diablo's share of the $31,000 purse spiked his career bounty to $90,476--$28,446 this semester. It was a bang-bang start in the event with Silver Wings leaving with alacrity then quickly joined by Gold Star Diablo with Mister Special T three wide. At the opening station in :28.2, Gold Star Diablo assumed command from Silver Wings with Mister Special T still on the attack and Silver Wings pressing the pace along the inside. Gold Star Diablo and MIster Special T raced toe-to-toe past the half in :56.4 with the pace non-relenting by the thiord station in 1:26. In the lane, Gold Star Diablo edged away from Mister Special T to record the win--his 11th lifetime in only 20 starts. Said Hennessey after the event, "Sometimes you just have to trust your horse that he can take a punch and Gold Star Diablo took a few of them on Monday night. He raced giant--a credit to trainer Mike Deters and his staff." Off as the 1 to 20 favorite, Gold Star Diablo returned $2.10 to win. Other Stallion Stake winners were Krinda, Jennifer and Dangerous Mood. Krinda, a splendid daughter of Six Of Diamonds, led gate-to-wire in scoring a 1:56.1 win for Wally Hennessey in the $30,650 event for sophomore pacing fillies. Justifying her 3 to 5 tote-board status, Krinda led at every pole, carding panels of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:28.3 before a :27.3 finale sealed the deal over Prairie Easter, handled by Mike Deters, with Priaire Foolish, with Jim Meittinis handling the lines, next. Starcasim and Diamond Eyes completed the roster. Hennessey remarked after the event, "We were fortunate to get a very nice second quarter breather. When we got to the half, I was pretty confident we could get home. She didn't disappoint me." Trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, Krinda earned her third win of the year in five starts, good for $25,637 this year and $76,976 career-wise. Krinda paid $3.40 to win. Jennifer, a daughter of Proud Bushy, earned her first win of the year in three starts in the non-wagering $28,500 Stallion Stake for trotting fillies, hitting the wire in a lifetime best 1:59.2, annihilating her former mark of 2:03.4. Driven by Mike Simons for owners Kim and Jay Sears, Jennifer burst off the wins at the start and carded panels of :30.3, 1:00 and 1:29.3 before hitting the line 3 1/2 lengths ahead of I Rhoda Daley, driven by Hennessey. I Rhoda Daley, looking to extend her winning skein at Pompano Park to five, made a slight miscue leaving but made a recovery to earn the place honors. Cookie, with Jay Sears in her sulky, finished third over Ms Katie B. Finally, Dangerous Mood, trained by Jim McDonald for the Smiley Farm, wired his foes a lifetime best 1:58.2.in the $27,000 Stallion Stake for colts and geldings, scoring by 3 3/4 lengths for Dave Ingraham. Captain Thomas, threatened the eventual winner at mid-stretch but made a miscue to lose all change at victory. Brian was a distant third for Mike Deters. The gelded son of Proud Bushy, who took a 2:01.1 mark last year at Pompano, scored his first win of the year in five starts with his win and sent his earnings this year to $20,550. That event, too, was a non-wagering event. In the $10,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares, the invader Bucklegirl Bobette, driven by Wally Hennessey, made her first start in six weeks a winning one, scurrying around the Pompano oval in 1:53.3. Taking the lead off the wings before yielding, the five year-old daughter of Duneside Perch made a second bold move heading into the second turn and went on to pin a 1 1/4 length defeat on Northern Dali, driven by Mike Simons. Watts Was I Drinkin, handled by Dave Ingraham, finished third while Galarine finished fourth. Little Joke was next in the classy sextet. Trained by Rob Rittof for owner Hart Walker, Bucklegirl Bobette score her 10th win of the year in 23 starts, good for $67,338. She's banked 180,348 career-wise. Off at 2 to 5, Bucklegirl Bobette returned $2.80 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with first post set at 7:20 p.m. and a carry-over in the Super Hi-5 of $8,819.32. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, Florida...November 5, 2018...Pompano Park's Sunday night racing program was filled with several highlights with a rare walkover in one of the four FSBOA sponsored Stallion Stakes and Lucan Hanover scoring a sharp win in the Open Handicap pacing feature. Kicking off the festivities, Proud Sophie, the only entrant in the $24,425 Stallion Stake for two year-old trotting fillies, toured the Pompano Park oval in a lifetime best 2:03.3 for Jay Sears. Trained by Kim Sears for Dr. David Fishman, who co-owns with Jay, the daughter of Proud Bushy carded panels of :31, 1:02.2 and 1:33.3 along the way with the walkover win sending her earnings to $32,980. In the 28,800 Stallion Stake for two year-old trotting colts and geldings, Prairie Shibby, a gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover, used a rousing rally in deep stretch to get up for the win in 2:01.1 for Wally Hennessey--a maiden victory for the Mike Deters trainee. Owned by Deters along with Laurie Poulin, the youngster defeated stable-mate Prairie Gem, handled by Jim Meittinis, by a half length. Prairie Arrow, yet another stable-mate of the top two finishers, finished third with Mike in the bike. Coming in with $2,735 in his two previous lifetime starts, Prairie Shibby went back to his stall in the Deters Stable with earnings of $18,575. The $28,750 Stallion Stake for two year-old pacing colts and geldings went to Zaza Boy, an altered son of Rockingcam. Trained by Michile Lorenzo for Souren Hovsepian and Rod Lorenzo, Zaza Boy also picked up his maiden win timed in 1:57.3. Mike Simons handled the lines back of the winner, scoring by 2 1/4 lengths over the pace-setter JB's Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) with Gold Star Yoder (James Yoder) third. Zaza Boy now has $18,492 in his four career starts. On the betting card, Natasha, the brilliant Six Of Diamonds filly trained by Kim Sears for husband-owner Jay, justified her 1 to 10 backing with a handy win--6 3/4 lengths--in 1:54.4, just one tick off her Vernon Downs mark. Wally Hennessey was in her sulky for the decisive win, keeping her scorecard unblemished in five starts at Pompano Park. Rockin Ellie (Dave Ingraham) was second while Lime Twist (Mike Simons) finished third. With this Stallion Stake worth $32,000, Natasha now has 6-0-1 scorecard in eight starts, with the win more than doubling her earnings coming in and now standing at $31,725. She paid $2.20 to win. In the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace, Lucan Hanover, the game eight year-old gelded son of Western Ideal, used a :27.3 finale to hit the wire in 1:51.2 for Greg Merton, two-and-a-half lengths better this night than track record holder Panocchio, with Wally Hennessey in the bike. Speed Trap (MIke Simons) won a three horse photo for show honors over Pan Street USA and A Cool Card. Owned by Vogel&Wags Nags Stable along with Pine Hill Racing and trainer Jack Rice, Lucan Hanover vaulted his career earnings to $1,157,471--$66,075 this year. Off at 11 to 10, Lucan Hanover paid $4.20 to win. Two other miles of note were the performances of Mc Mach and Windsun Gotham. Mc Mach, handled by trainer Rick Plano for Maryann Plano and Jan and Mindy Findling Repko, wired his foes in a lifetime best 1:50.4, sawing off panels of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:23.1 along the way. The four year-old son of Mach Three knocked off two-fifth off his previous mark at Hoosier Park. Windsun Gotham, driven by Wally Hennessey, got up in the final stride to nail Casimir Quasimodo (Andy Shetler) in 1:51.1, also a new lifetime mark. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 has a carryover of$7,610.58 going into Monday's racing program. Post time is set for 7:20 P.M.  by John Berry, for Pompano Park

As trainer Mike Deters prepares for his first start in the Breeders Crown, he's got a good feeling about Ideal Feeling. Deters sends out Ideal Feeling in Saturday's first of three $25,000 eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The colt is out of the family of Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue and a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Zero Tolerance, who races Friday in an elimination of the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace. Ideal Feeling and driver Tim Tetrick start their elimination Saturday from post two in a field of seven. The field also includes Adios winner Dorsoduro Hanover, Max C. Hempt Memorial champ Springsteen, and Carl Milstein Memorial winner Thinkbig Dreambig. The top-three finishers from each elim for the 3-year-old male pacers return Saturday (Oct. 27) for the $527,500 final. "I'm pretty excited," said Deters, a Florida resident who is in the state's harness racing Hall of Fame and also operates a stable in upstate New York during the summers. "I think he will put in a very good effort. I think he can go with them. Is he an absolute contender? I think he has to have a trip to do it. I don't think he can do the heavy lifting, but he's shown where he can be highly competitive with them." Ideal Feeling, by American Ideal out of Feelinglikeastar, has won six of 18 races in 2018 and hit the board a total of 12 times for Deters and owner Rick Berks. His most recent five starts featured a three-race win streak, which included the consolation final of the New York Sire Stakes, before finishing fifth in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and sixth in a division of the Tattersalls. In the Bluegrass he finished 1-3/4 lengths behind winner Stay Hungry. In the Tattersalls, he was a parked-out first in an opening quarter-mile of :26 and second through three-quarters in 1:20.1. "He'd never been three-quarters in 1:20 before and I think it was a little more than he could handle," Deters said. "Hopefully he'll come off of that with a good effort (Saturday). "He's only gone a couple shaky races all summer," Deters added about Ideal Feeling, who in his five most lucrative races this year never started inside of post six. "I would say post position had a lot to do with it. It wasn't really that he raced bad, he just really didn't have any luck. This is the first time we've had a favorable post position when we've had a chance to go for money, so hopefully it pays dividends." Ideal Feeling got a late start last year at age 2, debuting with a third-place finish at Vernon Downs in mid-October. He only raced three times last season, capping his brief campaign with a win in a conditioned class at The Meadowlands. "He had some issues early where we didn't know if he was even going to make the races," Deters said. "I got him straightened out and he qualified real well here at Pocono. At Vernon, he paced the back half in like 54 seconds and just raced tremendous. Right then we knew he was a pretty nice horse." Deters, who is stabled at Tioga Downs during the summer, is more than pleased with Ideal Feeling's development. "There is nothing not to like about him," said Deters, who has won four training titles at Tioga. "He's a big, good-looking, great gaited colt. He's got gate speed, he doesn't mind coming first up, he's great off a helmet, he's a perfect gentleman; he has no faults." The second elimination for 3-year-old male pacers includes Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug winner Courtly Choice as well as Tattersalls division winner American History. The third elim finds returning Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry, whose victories this season include the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes, plus North America Cup winner Lather Up (a supplemental entry for $62,500) and Tattersalls division winner Grand Teton. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer Mike Deters and driver Anthony Napolitano combined successfully for the second time on a dank (55 degrees, "sloppy +1" surface) Sunday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono when Prairie Fortune won the $17,500 featured trot in 1:53.4. "Ant'ny Nap" used the rail to advantage and worked out a good two-hole trip behind pacesetter Crazshana with the victorious altered son of Arapa Victory, then pulled away in the lane to be 3½ lengths clear of that rival at the finish, coming his own last half in 56.3. Trainer Deters co-owns the winner of $398,495 with Laurie Lee Poulin. Earlier, the backers in the crowd were few but were loud, as 99-1 shot College Hanover overcame a first-over trip for driver Drew Chellis to hold off 85-1 shot Takethemoneyandrun by a head in 1:55, returning $336.40 for a $2 ticket. That number was the biggest win mutuel at Pocono since November 17, 2015, when Lady Of The Lake and driver Joe Antonelli returned $400.60 to win after a nose victory. College Hanover, trainer by Richard Dunn for the MBC Stables LLC, did have some license in his pedigree - he is a Well Said out of the $590G winner Castanet Hall, and his ¾ brother Cashendash Hanover pushed his earnings over $575G when he won at Philly last Sunday. But the crowd was discouraged by College Hanover's 0-for-32 lifetime record - not knowing that the 33rd time would be the charm for the sophomore. Pocono is scheduled for a "dark night" tomorrow, as the scheduled annual local golfing tournament is as rabidly followed and enjoyed as much as a Super Bowl or a Wrestlemania card. The weather gods just may smile on the golfers, although rain is the 2-5 favorite at the moment (but if a horse can pay $336.60, ...).   Jerry Connors Jr.

Aaron Byron brought five horses to the winner's circle at Tioga Downs on Saturday Night (August 11). Byron led Barrys Gift (Northern Kid) to his sixth consecutive win. Owned by Exceed Stables and trained by Tony Dinges. The 5-year-old mare went gate-to-wire in 1:56.1 paying $5.70 for the win. Byron also had wins with Bashful Strike ($4.60), Pink Lady ($4.50), Chapter Too ($2.40), and Angel Cindy ($61.00). Prairie Diamond (Jim Meittinis) charges late to win Tioga Downs featured trot ($9,000). Rose Run Rudy (Aaron Byron) controlled all the early fractions (:27.4, :57.1, 1:25.4). Prairie Diamonds ($10.00) was sixth after three-quarters. Owned by Laurie Poulin, F. Morosini, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters, she flew in the stretch beating all the boys in 1:55.1. Freddie Mac (Mike Merton) was second best with Rose Run Rudi settling for third money. Prairie Diamonds is a 4-year-old mare by Diamond Goal. It was win number four in 2018. It was her 13th career victory. Peach The Great wins Wiener Trot. A large crowd was on hand to watch the first ever wiener dog races at Tioga Downs. There were three heats with three dogs qualifying from each heat for the final. Peach The Great, who is owned by Jess Stanley, won easily winning a $500 wagering voucher. Lennie, who is owned by Zanetta Foster, finished second winning a $200 wagering voucher. Hershey, who is owned by Rianne Collson, finished third best winning a $100 wagering voucher. Tioga Downs returns to live action on Sunday (August 12) with their biggest races of the season so far. On the card is the Empire Breeders Classic elimination for 3-year-old pacers, Joie De Vie (Open Mare Trot) and The Crawford Farms Open Trot. There will also be a long sleeve t-shirt giveaway while supply lasts. The 13 race card starts at 1:00 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

Dee's Rocketman (Andy Santeramo) takes the Open Pace ($11,000) at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 5). Dee's Rocketman ($9.70) went right to the front and hit the first quarter in :28.3. Dreams Beachboy (Gates Brunet) took over as they went by the stands the first time. He led to the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. Dee's Rocketman was patient in the loose pocket. Owned by Joe Martinelli Sr. and trained by Mickey Mc Nichol, he flew down the stretch to win in 1:50.4, equaling his lifetime best. Dreams Beachboy held for second with Dash Of Danger (Corey Braden) getting third money. Dee's Rocketman is a 6-year-old ridgling by Rock N Roll Heaven. It was his 10th win this season and career victory number 21. Trainer Mike Deters wins four races on the day Deters got three wins with driver Jim Meittinis, Ideal Feeling ($3.60), Doo Wop Hanover ($6.00), and Winyard Hanover ($4.20). His fourth win was with Hurricane Howard ($25.00) and driver Mike Merton. The drivers win title continues to be wide open. Jim Meittinis leads all driver with 44 wins this season. Mike Merton is second with 42 wins. Aaron Byron is third with 40 wins. Jim Taggart Jr. is fourth with 39 wins. Andy Santeramo occupies the fifth spot with 33 wins. Gary Messenger leads all trainers with 28 wins so far this season. His top rival is defending champion Mike Deters with 26 victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 10) featuring the Tompkins Geers racing series for freshman trotters and pacers. Post time is 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Harness Driver Jim Meittinis captured his 2000th career victory with Rebellious, in the Open Pace ($11,000) at Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 22). Bettorsluckystreak (Jim Taggart Jr.) took them to the first quarter in :27.4. Rebellious ($2.90) went first over from third as they went by the stands for the first time. Owned by Joel Warner and trainer Mike Deters, he controlled the rest of the fractions (:56.3, 1:24.1, 1:51.2). Once they reached the top of the stretch, win 2000 was in the bag. Rebellious found another gear and left second place finisher Believe This Bob (Aaron Byron) in his dust. Bettorsluckstreak settled for third. Rebellious is a 4-year-old gelding by Mach Three. It was his 10th win this season and career victory number 14. Meittinis got his very first win in 1987. He now leads all drivers in wins at Tioga Downs this season with 36. He has one more win than Aaron Byron. Driver Mike Merton and trainer Patti Harmon combined for two wins on the day. They won with Mister Special T ($5.10) and R M Backhawk ($5.60). Andy Santeramo had a driving double as well, with You Said It ($16.00) and Team Captain ($7.00). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 27) at 6:15 p.m. There will be no racing on Saturday (July 28) because of the Wynonna and The Big Noise concert. For more information go to www.tiogsdowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs cancelled the Saturday (July 14) race card after five races due to inclement weather.   Driver Jim Meittinis and trainer Mike Deters combined for two wins on the evening.   Their first win was with Doo Wop Hanover ($2.50), he charged late to win in 1:54.2. The 7-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Peter Blood and Rick Berks. It was his fourth win of 2018 and it was career victory number 18.   Their second win came with Ideal Feeling ($2.30) winning in 1:55.3. The 3-year-old colt by American Ideal is owned by Rick Berks. He won for the second time this season and for the third time in his career.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 15) with a 13 race card starting at 1 p.m. Three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) will take center stage.   For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Harness racing pacer Rebellious (Jim Meittinis) takes the Tioga Downs Open ($12,000) on Sunday (July 1). Time Out I'm Tired (Mike Merton) went to the front and carried them to the half (:28.2, :57.3). Sir Ziggy's Z Tam would have a slight lead after hitting three-quarters in 1:25.3. Time Out I'm Tired reclaimed the lead by two lengths at the top of the stretch.   Rebellious ($6.00) was sixth at the top of the stretch but faster than a speeding bullet. he flew by to win in 1:52.2. Time Out I'm Tired settled for second best with Caviart Reagan finishing third.   Rebellious is a 4-year-old gelding by Mach Three. Owned by Joel Warner and trainer Mike Deters, he won for the eighth time this season. It was career win number 12. After the first day of July, the drivers win title remains wide open. Aaron Byron and Jim Meittinis are tied for first with 29 wins each. Jim Taggart Jr is third with 27 wins just one ahead of Mike Merton's 26 wins. Defending Champion Mike Simons and Andy Santeramo are tied for fifth with 18 wins a piece. Gary Messenger leads all trainers with 21 wins. Defending Champion Mike Deters is second with 17 victories. Joe Skowyra is third with 13 trips to the winner's circle. Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a special eight race card on Wednesday (July 4) starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Prairie Fortune (Mike Deters) wins the harness racing featured Open Trot ($9,000) at Vernon Downs on Friday (June 22). Icanflylikeanangel (Roman Lopez) took them to a first quarter of :26.3. Foundonabeach (John MacDonald) then took the field to the half in :55.3. Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone Jr.) came first-over from fourth to take over before hitting three-quarters in 1:24.4. She looked like she had it wrapped up with a two-length lead in the stretch. Prairie Fortune ($10.60) was seventh after the half and sixth after three-quarters. Owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, he flew by like he was shot out of a cannon to edge Barn Bella (Second) by a head to win in 1:53.2. Muscles Jared (Howard Okusko Jr.) finished third. Prairie Fortune is a 6-year-old gelding by Arapa Victory. It was his eight win of the season and fourth in a row. He now has 45 career victories. John MacDonald won four on the night. He got his wins with Alex The Great ($3.60), Hammer Time ($9.70), Quick Trot ($7.90), and Expo ($12.20). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (June 23) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

The heart of a horse is approximately eight pounds. The heart of a racehorse can nearly double or triple that with a range of 18 to 22 pounds. A Standardbred harness racing horse trots at just about or over 30 miles an hour. They can pace at about 35 to 40 miles an hour. Every bit of the horse is being used to break barriers of distance over less times. The muscles of the legs are a driven power that pull the horse forward with every thump to the ground. The ears, the eyes, the nose guiding the horse towards the direction of the finish line. The mouth controlled by driver on board to steer to victory. Air is circulated through the nostrils and into the respiratory system, into the lungs. The lungs have a capacity of about 55 liters, which is the equivalent of approximately three water buckets. People naturally have a lung capacity of about 6 liters. These differences are what make a racehorse unique and powerful. Horses have nearly the same anatomical and physiological make-up; yet, one horse paces wire-to-wire in 49.1 while the horse in the same race finishes up the track in over two minutes. The great natural set apart is the heart. Not just the anatomy or conditioning of the heart, but the heart of the horse that drives its behavior – their inner motivation. Horsemen recognize the power and potential of their horses. They can give a biography and stats book for each horse in their barn. There are, too, people who have this power and potential. Strength and resilience that may seem to go unnoticed. However, the success in the end is not, in fact, unnoticed. Horsemen harness this power to share their success and share their hard work by just sending a horse to the track. Thus, this story is about one of those people who possesses that strength and resilience and his name is Mike Deters. “I can go on and on about what a good person and great horseman Mike is. His stats tell it all!” owner, breeder and driver Laurie Poulin said. Mike Deters was born in Ohio and raised in Florida, when his family moved to race at Pompano Park in 1966. In 1975, he moved again to Michigan where he attended high school and college. Ten years later in 1985, Mike moved back down to Florida, where he considers home to be. He was born and raised in the horse business. His father, Bill, was a driver-trainer. “I have known Mike Deters since I was seven years old,” trainer Jake Huff said. “His father did blacksmith work in my father’s stable. They moved to my town. His father became a trainer at our stable and I have been around Mike for most of my life. He is a good worker and a good friend with high principles.” When his dad died in 1985 from cancer, Mike went into the business full time. Deters has been training his own stable since 1985. He has been a driver, trainer, and owner from the beginning. He was involved in the FSBOA for approximately 15 years, being president of the association for around five to six years. Mike used to drive, but decided he was a much better trainer than driver. Today, he drives occasionally with the “problem children” as he puts it. When asked who he looked up to in the harness business, Deters describes his father. “My dad was a great horseman. He could do it all – drive, train, and was one of the best blacksmiths I have ever seen. “He thought to be nice to people and instilled in me a great work ethic. He said, ‘if you are not afraid to work, you will never go hungry’”. Deters says his mother, Marilyn, has been a tremendous supporter of his forever. His wife, Shelly, has been his backbone forever. His son, Michael, has been a huge help both in and out of the horse game. He also has two sisters, Melanie and Liz. Melanie is married to trainer-driver Peter Wrenn and Liz lives in North Carolina and is outside of the racing business, living the “normal life”. Recently, Mike had been diagnosed with cancer. “I went through a pretty brutal bout of stage 4 cancer in the head and neck. I went through eight chemo treatments and 33 radiation sessions and have a clean bill of health now,” Deters said. The sport of harness racing is much more than just that. It is comparable to life. It is the lives of many, if not all, horsemen. As with the races, there are ups and downs in life. One week a stable can hit the board with every horse and the next, not make a dime. It is the long run that counts. The long hours in the barn – early in the morning, first one to show and late at night, last one to leave. Being a part of this business means inviting the horses and the owners into your family. It isn’t just about winning, it is about the relationships you form – with horses and with other horsemen. “I would like to thank my wife, son, family, and all my owners for sticking with me through treatment and hope for continued success. I would also like to thank a couple people for helping along the way. John Spindler, my mentor and a father-like figure to me growing up after my dad died. I couldn’t have done it without him. And Joe Kunkel and his daughter, Betty, who I am still partners with. They both helped my wife and I tremendously along the way.” – Mike Deters Mike would also like to pay tribute to his late father-in-law, Tom Sells. Mike has had a partnership with Laurie Poulin for about eleven years. “The first few years were pretty lean, but she has upgraded her broodmare band and the last few years have been very successful,” said Mike.  “Laurie manages a breeding farm and I just try to make the babies she has go, hopefully fast.” “Mike and I have a great partnership and our families are very close. We both have been around a long time and we understand about having the good and the bad,” said Poulin. “We agree on just about everything, the only difference we have is that I want to keep them ALL,” she laughed. The two have known each other for about twenty years or more. They met through Terry Kerr, still a great friend to both Laurie and Mike to this day. Mike started driving a mare, Lobro Zepher, for Laurie in the open mares whenever Terry had his horse in the same race. Later, Mike started turning horses out at Laurie’s farm. At the time, Poulin was breeding a few mares and had some foals that would need to be broke in the near future. So, the two started to barter and that is how “things started to roll” as Laurie put it. “Joe Pennacchio gave me Arapa Victory to start my breeding operation on one condition,” Laurie recalled. “That I would give his favorite horse, Fox Valley Trump, who Mike drove and gave him his lifetime mark, would have a forever home with me.” “Prairie Big John started our partnership about eleven years ago. We have had a few that didn’t make it but we have had a lot that did and it have been quite a ride!” Laurie said. “Mike is as honest as it gets and cares so much for the well-being of the horses in his care. Believe me, he’ll tell you in a minute if one is not fast enough and not going to make it.” Working in the harness racing business and working with horses, horsemen begin to form relationships with those horses. People begin to understand the horse’s attitude and quirks, how to handle the horse, or their favorite treat. They accommodate the horse and in the long run, benefit themselves and their stable. This form of time-driven observation happens everywhere. Humans are observational animals that make decisions and judgments based on their current observations connected to past experiences. Yet, the only difference here is that this relationship created is made with a different species with no form of solid communication whatsoever. Still, horsemen acquire this ability to read their horse throughout their ownership. They can assign personalities and emotional qualities to each horse. Ultimately, all of these abilities and observations leads to the picking of a favorite. Of course, all horsemen can love and treat their animals equally. However, there is always one, or perhaps more than one, particular horse that stands out among the rest in a ranking of favorites. There are many reasons for choosing this particular horse. Maybe it was a world champion or maybe it was a calm horse with a sensible attitude. Maybe the personality of the horse matched or maybe there was a great length of time of ownership. No matter what – there is always at least one, especially if time working in the business is a great length of time. Mike Deters was readily able to list seven of his favorite horses: Prairie Fortune, Prairie Sweetheart, Prairie Jaguar, Motor City Madman, Jersey Gigilo, Summer Class, and Nononsenseyankee. According to Deters, Summer Class was Mike’s first really good horse that he has ever had. Nononsenseyankee was very fast, Mike’s first 1:50 horse, and bought his wife a new kitchen. Prairie Jaguar was Mike’s first 1:49 horse. Mike says his best horse he has ever had was Prairie Sweetheart. “She was a natural, a freak. Her motor was unbelievable,” he said. “Also, Prairie Fortune. He was as honest as the day is long and shows up every week.” While Deters has owned these and many other fast and powerful racehorses, he says his greatest accomplishment is finding his wife, Shelly, and having a son, Michael. “They are my biggest supporters. Shelly is my rock. She keeps me grounded and my head on straight.” His greatest harness racing related accomplishment is being able to make a living, according to Mike. It is developing young horses and having success. Besides following his lifetime passion of harness racing, Mike says he likes to golf and to bowl. “I am not very good at either, but I really enjoy both,” said Mike. Laurie Poulin recalls three specific moments to be her best moments with the Deters Stable. The first is getting her picture taken eleven times in a row with Prairie Sweetheart. The second, having their first undefeated two-year-old, Owosso Flash, that was undefeated at two and three with Mike doing all the driving. He was big brother to Prairie Sweetheart. “I cannot forget my gentle giant, Prairie Jaguar,” Laurie said. The third best moment so far in their journey and partnership is this horse having the record at Pompano for the most wins of 1:50 or better in a row. “I think it was five!” He is currently training around 30 head at Tioga Downs this summer. “When I was asked to write something down about Mike Deters, I came up with a lot to say, but I will be brief. He is a very good man to work for. He works alongside of us all. He gives 110% all the time. He would make a good role model to all,” Debbie Gagnon, a dedicated groom for Deters Stable, said. Mike Deters is a true horseman for life. He was raised into the business and has worked his way to the top. He has the heart and strength of a racehorse as he has fought off cancer, is now is remission and still goes to the stable every morning. By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink

Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) took the Open Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs for the third time in a row on Saturday (June 9). Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) controlled all the early fractions (:26.4, :56.1, 124.4). Prairie Fortune ($4.20) went first-over from last just before the half and took over after the three quarter pole. Owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, he cruised to an easy victory in 1:54.2. Golden Son (Mike SImons came up to get second place. Dragin The Wagon settled for third. The two time defending Tioga Downs trotter of the year is a 6-year-old gelding by Arapa Victory. He now has won seven races in 2018. It was his 44th trip to the winner's circle in his career. Meittinis had two more wins on the night. He also won with Fox Valley Leo ($48.80) and Sports Authority ($7.10). Jim Taggart Jr. won three races as well. He got wins with Rolling Sea ($6.30), Brown Titan ($10.40). His third win came with KJ Owen ($8.40) who was part of a dead heat with Tymal Vortex (Corey Braden. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 10) with a special 15 race card starting at 1:00p.m. The Grand Circuit comes to Tioga Downs with a leg of the Graduate Series for both pacers and trotters. There is two divisions of trotters and three division for pacers. All with a purse of $50,000 each. Also on hand is three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

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