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Besides the Little Brown Jug races for three-year-old harness racing pacers, the undercard offered a variety of stakes action. The stakes will include divisions of the Standardbred for two-year-olds, multiple splits of the Ohio Breeders Championships, the Old Oaken Bucket for three-year-old trotting colts, and the $100,000 final of the Miss Versatility for female trotters. PLUNGE BLUE CHIP PREVAILS IN MISS VERSATILITY Favoured Plunge Blue Chip made every call a winning one in capturing the $100,000 final of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Leaving from post three in the field of seven, trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt floated Plunge Blue Chip beside Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) before clearing to the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter. Plunge Blue Chip backed down the tempo and stole a 29-second quarter to reach the half in :56.2 before facing the stout challenge of Custom Cantab (Aaron Merriman). The intensity picked up to start the second lap as Plunge Blue Chip and Custom Cantab raced almost as a tandem down the backstretch. With a 1:23.4 third station, those two trotting titans would not give in until the final turn when Custom Cantab lost a few strides on the leader. Plunge Blue Chip looked to have put the first-over challenger away but then faced a threat to her inside with Emoticon Hanover. Dube tried to angle Emoticon Hanover up the inside but two things prevented a late surge to the wire: a lack of room, and the will of Plunge Blue Chip, who hit the wire a neck the best in 1:52.1. Custom Cantab came back on in the stretch and was just nosed out by Emoticon Hanover to finish third. "She was great today, it was a big mile, :52 here on the half-mile track," said Svanstedt. "Her last three races, she feels good and I hope she can still race good this year." Svanstedt, who wasn't worried when Custom Cantab came to challenge, said that Plunge Blue Chip's next start would come at The Red Mile in Lexington. Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass - Dunk The Donato) is owned Ake Svanstedt Inc. of Wrightstown, N.J., Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. of Wallkill, N.Y. and Tomas Andersson of Nossebro, Sweden. The win was just the second of the year for the world champion trotter but her 19th lifetime, and it lifted her purse earnings to $1,175,784. WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT RETURNS! After having not participated in a pari-mutuel race in three years, 2015 Little Brown Jug winner Wiggle It Jiggle It returned to the scene of what was arguably his greatest triumph. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who thrilled the North America harness racing industry for 51 starts, 38 of which resulted in wins, was front and centre on Thursday, September 19, Little Brown Jug Day 2019 at Ohio’s Delaware County Fair. It had been announced earlier in the week that Wiggle It Jiggleit would be racing in an overnight race (Race 12) on Jug Day – a tilt for colts and geldings that were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019. Wiggle It Jiggleit had been prepping for a return to the races with qualifying efforts in recent weeks (he had participated in four qualifying races since August 20). The $4-million-earning son of Mr Wiggles lined up in Post 3 for his conditioned race and was ready to get it on early. The bay left well from the gate and was second into the first turn, as he chased Night Pro into the backstretch. Teague called on Wiggle It Jiggleit early in the backstretch and cleared to the lead in the vicinity of the :27.4 quarter pole. He raced on the engine through to the :56.4 half, at which point the Brian Sears-driven Celestial Arden N was calling first-up from the backfield. Wiggle It Jiggleit went on to race on the point through the 1:24.2 three quarters, with Sears and Celestial Arden N on his outside and looming large as the homestretch neared. Celestial Arden N still had a lot of pace in reserve as Wiggle It Jiggleit was starting to feel the effects of his return trip. Celestial Arden N went on to score in 1:51.2 for Sears and trainer Ned Hodkinson and returned an $8.20 win mutuel. Although defeated in the lane, Wiggle It Jiggleit fought all the way home and didn’t embarrass himself in any way. He held off the late bid of Born To Be Bad and was second under the wire. The performance proved to be a mark-lowering mile for Celestial Arden N, a seven-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding that recorded his 16th career win in the process. Hodkinson, of Blacklick, Ohio, is also the owner of Celestial Arden N. OSTERC OUTLASTS FOES IN THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET After having inherited the lead in the opening quarter of the Old Oaken Bucket (Race 8), the Per Engblom-trained and Yannick Gingras-driven Osterc ($3.60) refused to give up the point, as he went on to post a narrow victory in 1:54.4 in the $95,425 clash for three-year-old male trotters. Osterc, a son of Cantab Hall, was in the two-hole early, but he was given the lead when Union Forces made a break while on the point. After inheriting the top spot, Osterc went on to cut the fractions (:28.4, :58.3, 1:26) and hold on for a neck win. Mass Fortune K, who had taken a ground-saving trip trough the fractions, tried to sneak up the pylons late, but just ran out of real estate. Summit In Sight, who had raced first-up on the way home, was a close third when all was said and done. Osterc, a bay colt, has now won four of his 13 seasonal starts and nine of his 20 career races. Osterc races for the ownership connections of Christina Takter (East Windsor, NJ) and Goran Falk (Allentown, NJ). WORTHY OF HONOUR WIRES UP STANDARDBRED FOES The second of the program’s Standardbred splits for two-year-olds took to the track for Race 4, and it was the Julie Miller-trained and Andy Miller-driven Worthy Of Honor ($6.60) that captured the $47,100 contest for freshman trotting colts and geldings. The bay colt by Cantab Hall—Honorable Daughter started from Post 5, made every call a winning one (:28.2, :58, 1:27), and went on to stop the clock in 1:56.4. The $90,000 Lexington Selected yearling caught a bit of a break in the third quarter when the first-up Emma Town Bud ran during his move for the lead. Worthy Of Honor was followed home by Moveoutofmyway K and Altus Hanover, who finished second and third, respectively. Worthy Of Honor, who has now won two of his nine career starts, is owned by Andy Miller Stable Inc. (Millstone Township, NJ), Jean Goehlen (Aurora, I), and Louis Willinger (Louisville, KY). BIG BRUSH BY TRU LOU IN THE STANDARDBRED Stakes action kicked off in Race 1, as the Ron Burke-trained and Matt Kakaley-driven Tru Lou ($6.80) utilized a big brush in the third quarter to soar to a 1:55.2 victory in the $48,100 Standardbred for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The gelded son of Sweet Lou—Real Touch sat third through the quarter (:28.1) and opening half (:57.3) before showing his class to the field. Kakaley sent Tru Lou first-up after the half and acquired the lead just before the 1:26.2 three quarter flashed to life. The bay cruised to victory from there on out and nailed the wire in 1:55.2. Complete Kaos, who had cut the opening half, finished five lengths back in second, while Caviart Revere finished third. Tru Lou has now won two of his seven career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC (Fredericktown, PA), Knox Services Inc. (Mt Vernon, OH), Slaughter Racing Stb LLC (Prospect, KY) and Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA). From the Little Brown Jug

Custom Cantab (Aaron Merriman) captures the $40,000 fourth leg of the Miss Versatility at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 6). Emoticon Hanover (Aaron Byron) led the first quarter in :26.4. She continued to lead to the half in :56.3. Ice Attraction (Mike Merton) was the first to challenge as Emoticon Hanover led to three-quarters in 1:24.3. Custom Cantab ($4.00), who is owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and RBH Ventures, was fourth after three-quarters. She would go four wide down the stretch to win in 1:53.0. Dream Together (Wally Hennessey) finished second with Emoticon Hanover settling for third. Custom Cantab is a 4-year-old mare by Mr Cantab. It was her third win this season. She now owns 18 career victories. Gigi From Fiji (Wally Hennessey) takes the $11,000 fillies & mares open 1. Gigi From Fiji ($8.30) went to the front and controlled all the fractions (:27.2, :55.3, 1:23.0, 1:52.0). She got challenged by second place finisher Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons). Gigi From Fiji, who is owned by trainer Mike Deters, L Barnett, and J Spindler, was not to be denied and held on for the win. Northern Dali (Fern Paquet Jr.) finished third best. Gigi From Fiji is a 5-year-old mare by Ponder. She won for the ninth time this year. She now has 18 career victories. Mike Merton drove five winners on the night. He won with Blurred Lines ($3.80), Choochoocharlie ($6.00), Roaring Rei ($6.50), Runhappy Ten ($9.00), and R M Blackhawk ($9.40) Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 7) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs will play host to the $40,000 fourth leg of the Miss Versatility on Friday (September 6). It features the last three harness racing winners of the Joie De Vie. The entry of Emoticon Hanover (Aaron Byron) and Dream Together (Wally Hennessey) are the 8-5 morning line favorites. Both entries are owned by Determination and trained by Luc Blais. Emotican Hanover is a 6-year-old mare by Kadabra, She won the 2017 Joie De Vie in a track record as well as a world record time of 1:50.2. She still owns the world record for 4-year-old mares on a five-eighths mile track. The mare has 24 victories and has won more than $1,500,000 in her career. Dream Together (Muscle Hill) has 14 career victories She captured the 2018 Joie De Vie and was second in the 2019 Joie De Vie. The 5-year-old mare has won over $750,000 in her career. The toughest competition comes from the 9-5 second morning line choice Custom Cantab (Aaron Merriman). The 4-year-old mare by Mr Cantab won the 2019 version of the Joie De Vie. Included in her 17 career victories is a win in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final as a sophomore. The mare has won over $900,000 lifetime.. The 12 race card at Tioga Downs starts at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs        

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs has an action packed harness racing day set for Sunday with the Grand Circuit stakes Roll With Joe FFA pace, Artiscape FFA pace for mares, Miss Versatility for trotting mares and the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for New York sired 3-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Stakes purses on the day total more than $800,000. The $170,000 Roll With Joe (race 7) features 2018 Horse Of The Year McWicked who when he look down the starting gate from post six will be pleased not to see this season's division leader Lather Up among the competition. McWicked at the ripe old age of eight can still make his own luck, remains a formidable opponent for anyone and will likely be the public's choice here. Brian Sears has the drive for trainer Casie Coleman and owner Ed James as SSG Stables. The $137,000 Artiscape (race 5) saw only four rivals drop in to take on the current "Queen of the Course", Shartin N. While her story may by now be familiar to racing fans, Shartin's ability is clearly extraordinary. She became the fastest female Standardbred ever via her 1:46.4 win at The Meadowlands in the Lady Liberty, the 12th success in 13 tries this season for Shartin N and owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and driver Tim Tetrick. Jim King, Jr is the trainer. The $40,000 third of four Miss Versatility legs (race 4) offers eight solid mare trotters with last week's Joie De Vie stakes winner Custom Cantab right back at Tioga to take on seven worthy rivals. Custom Cantab overcame a bad post, slight interference early on and a first over move into Atlanta to win impressively at long odds last Sunday. She will not offer that type of value this time around as she begins from the rail for Dave Miller and trainer Chris Beaver who owns her in partnership with Don Robinson and RBH Ventures. Zero Tolerance (Dave Miller) is clearly the girl to beat in the $232,700 EBC filly final (race 8). She has ruled the NYSS scene all season and raced competitively in Grand Circuit stakes as well. Joe Holloway trains Zero Tolerance for Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. The $238,200 EBC colt final (race 9) could be a showcase for a small town colt with big talent to shine. There may be no defense strong enough to thwart Hickfromfrenchlick who starts from post 1 for Matt Kakaley. Since paired with Kakaley, the "Hick" is shooting 100% from the field while needing no assists or picks as he's taken it right down the floor from the word go each time. The money is on the line here and it's a chance to show just how clutch the Ray Schnittker trained colt is under pressure. Nolamaura Racing, LLC and TC Spatorico share ownership with Schnittker. First post on the Sunday card is 1:00pm. More information may be found on the web. by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs

East Rutherford, NJ -- Hannelore Hanover, the 2017 harness racing Horse of the Year, proved to be too much in the second leg of the $40,000 Miss Versatility on Saturday (June 13) at The Meadowlands.   A surprising 9-5 second choice, Hannelore Hanover held off a late charge by even-money favorite Darling Mearas S to capture her second straight victory by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2.   Both mares went head-to-head at the top of the stretch, but Hannelore Hanover, driven by Yannick Gingras, dug in and had an extra gear. It was her third win of the year and it raised her total to 45 victories in 76 lifetime starts.   "She was very good tonight and hopefully she can build from here," said Gingras. "When she got alongside me, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but when he did get there, my horse was digging and the last 10 to 15 strides I knew I was home free."   The Swedish-owned and bred Darling Mearas S, driven by up-and-coming star Dexter Dunn, joined J L Cruze (2015) and Plunge Blue Chip (2018) just last Saturday as the only 1:49.4 performers in the history of the Big M.   Hannelore Hanover paid $5.80 to win for her efforts in the eight-horse field.   Satin Dancer finished third at 99-1, and Ice Attraction finished fourth at 44-1.   Shartin N wins ninth straight in Golden Girls   Shartin N, the 1-5 favorite driven by Tim Tetrick, took command early and held off a charging Caviart Ally and Andy McCarthy by three-quarters of a length to win the $179,550 Golden Girls TVG for pacing mares, covering a mile and an eighth in 2:02.1.   Shartin N, who paid $2.40 to win, recorded her ninth straight victory and her 10th of 11 starts this season, and she captured career win number 36 in 48 lifetime starts.   "My trainer (Jim King, Jr.) told me that we were good to go off the layoff and that's who I believe," said owner JoAnn Looney-King. "She is so easy and is such a happy horse. I'm so blessed to have this mare."   Apple Bottom Jeans took third at 19-1, and 15-1 Seaswift Joy N finished fourth.   Shartin N   by Lou Monaco, Meadowlands Media  

Dream Together came flying down the stretch to capture the fourth leg of the Miss Versatility ($40,000) on (Friday September 7). NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) passed Pink Pistol (Aaron Byron) just before hitting the first quarter in :27.0. then took the pack to the half in in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.1, Dream Together ($9.70) went three-wide around the last turn. Looking like she was shot out of a cannon she blew right by second place finisher NF Happenstance to win going away in 1:52.3. Caprice Hill (Mike Simons) was third best. Dream Together is a 4-year-old mare by Muscle Hill. Owned by Determination and trained by Luc Blais, she captured her third win in a row and fourth of the season. It was her 12th career victory. Warrawee Preferred (Jim Taggart Jr.) wins the Open Trot Handicap ($13,000). Warrawee Preferred ($16.00) charged right to the front and never looked back covering all of the fractions (:28.2, :58.0, 1:27.0, 1:56.1). Owned by Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, as he reached the top of the stretch the only race left was for second. That went to Zoraze (Mike Simons). Finishing third was Oh No Three O (Jeff Long). Warrrawee Preferred is a 7-year-old gelding by Federal Flex. It was his sixth win this season and career victory number 37. Culinary Delight N (Larry Stalbaum) takes the Fillies and Mares Open Pace ($13,000). Heavenly Bet (Tom Jackson) took the lead just before the first quarter. She controlled all the early fractions (:26.3, :56.1, 1:23.1). Culinary Delight N ($7.30) followed patiently in the pocket. Owned and trained by Stalbaum, she popped out of the pocket in the stretch and zoomed by to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.0.. Heavenly Bet held on for second. Truth And Liberty (Mike SImons) charged late to finish third. Culinary Delight N is an 8-year-old mare by Lis Mara. It was her fifth win this season and her 19th career victory. Leading driver Mike Merton added three wins to his total on the night. He got his wins with Addie Rose ($11.60), Carson Hill ($6.20), and Lo Hold A Moonbean ($4.10) Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 8) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

This Week: Jim Ewart Memorial and Jug Preview, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; Champlain Stakes, Simcoe Stakes and William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Sept. 7) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a trio of divisions in the C$210,321 Champlain Stakes for freshman pacing males and a pair of races in the C$191,476 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. The Saturday (Sept. 8) card is highlighted by two divisions in the C$166,684 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old pacing males, a single split in the C$150,996 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers, two C$30,000 eliminations in the William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Peaceful Way for 2-year-old filly trotters. Grand Circuit racing at Tioga Downs will also be held on Friday (Sept. 7) with a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares. On Saturday (Sept. 8), Scioto Downs will host the $225,000 (est.) Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the $125,000 (est.) Jug Preview for 3-year-old colt pacers. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Last time: Stay Hungry moved one step nearer the Pacing Triple Crown with a win in Saturday's Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway while trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt enjoyed a record-setting night in trotting stakes action for 3-year-olds by capturing the Yonkers Trot with Six Pack and Hudson Filly Trot with Plunge Blue Chip. Plunge Blue Chip won the $129,014 Hudson in 1:53.1, the fastest trotting mile in Yonkers history and equaling Frau Blucher's world record for a 3-year-old female trotter on a half-mile track, set in 2013 at the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio. Six Pack won the $500,000 Yonkers Trot in 1:54, the fastest Yonkers Trot ever at Yonkers. Stay Hungry won the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers by a neck over favorite Jimmy Freight in 1:52.1. Stay Hungry won the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers by a neck over favorite Jimmy Freight in 1:52.1. Topville Olympian was third. The Messenger Stakes is the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. Stay Hungry won the first, the Cane Pace, on Aug. 4 at the Meadowlands and can complete the sweep of the Crown races with a win in the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 20 at the Delaware County Fair. Stay Hungry, driven by Doug McNair for trainer Tony Alagna, was among four horses racing for the early lead in the Messenger, with Winston, Babes Dig Me, and Jimmy Freight. Stay Hungry, who started from post six, got to the front as the field reached the opening quarter-mile in :27.1 and remained in front from there, but not without a fight. Jimmy Freight, who started from post eight, came after Stay Hungry as the horses made their way around the second turn and headed to the half-mile point. The two raced together to the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23 and continued to battle down the stretch and to the wire. Stay Hungry has won four of 10 races this year and 10 of 19 in his career, good for $1.15 million in purses. The colt, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of My Little Dragon, is owned by Brad Grant and the Irwin Samelman Estate. In the Yonkers Trot, Six Pack took the lead from Lindsey's Pride prior to the quarter-mile point and was never threatened the rest of the way. He won by 7-3/4 lengths over Helpisontheway, with Lindsey's Pride finishing third. The Yonkers Trot is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Atlanta won the first, the Hambletonian, but was not eligible to the Yonkers Trot. The third jewel is the Kentucky Futurity, Oct. 7 at Lexington's Red Mile. A son of Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady, Six Pack has won six of nine races this year and 10 of 17 lifetime. He has earned $849,840 for owners Svanstedt, Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. In the Hudson, Plunge Blue Chip led from start to finish, but had to hold off Supergirl Riley by a nose at the wire. Lucky Ava finished third. A daughter of Muscle Mass out of Dunk The Donato, Plunge Blue Chip has won four of nine races this year and 13 of 19 in her career. She has earned $732,316. Svanstedt, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Tomas Andersson, and Rick Zeron Stables own the filly. Another 1-5 favorite, Alexis Faith, won the $112,904 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers by a half-length over Solitary in 1:53.4. Jewels Forreal finished third. Alexis Faith is a daughter of American Ideal out of Cannae Cammie. She has won four of 11 races this season and 10 of 20 in her career, with purses totaling $455,198. Alexis Faith was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Casie Coleman. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 798.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 780.5; 3. David Miller - 509.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 370; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 687.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 609; 3. Tony Alagna - 383; 4. Jim Campbell - 256; 5. Erv Miller - 245. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 169; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 153; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 148; 4. Brittany Farms - 132.4; 5. Robert Key - 120. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Tioga Downs. Woodbine Mohawk will host finals in the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial, as well as eliminations in the Milton, Metro Pace, and She's A Great Lady. Tioga Downs will card the third leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters and pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for Grand Circuit

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Hannelore Hanover and Broadway Donna each won a $30,000 division of the Miss Versatility Series for older female trotters Saturday night at the Meadowlands, with Hannelore's 1:50.2 score coming up just one-fifth of a second off the year's fastest trotting mile. Hannelore Hanover, the defending Horse of the Year, was sent off at 1-9 and led from start to finish for driver Yannick Gingras. Ice Attraction, who tried to reel in Hannelore Hanover along the inside in the stretch, finished second while Celebrity Ruth, who tried to challenge for the lead on the final turn, was third. The margin of victory was a half-length. "I was just measuring it in the stretch," Gingras said. "I don't want to go more than I have to. She was really good." Hannelore Hanover, a daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety, has won all six of her starts this year and has earned $233,338. For her career, she has won 42 of 64 races and $2.7 million. The 6-year-old mare is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables. Hannelore Hanover paid $2.10 to win. Broadway Donna won her Miss Versatility division in 1:51.1, equaling her career mark. The 5-year-old mare took the lead from Emoticon Hanover on the backstretch and never looked back on her way to victory by 1½ lengths over Caprice Hill. Emoticon Hanover, the 1-2 favorite, finished third. "I expected a little more speed early in the race," winning driver David Miller said. "When I saw (the opening quarter) in :28, I thought I better make a move. I had to go a good second quarter, but she relaxed and had plenty left on the end of it. She seems really good right now. She's getting pretty wise to racing, she knows what it's all about." Broadway Donna has won three of five races this year and earned $43,750 for owner Fashion Farms and trainer Jim Campbell. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Broadway Schooner has won 20 of 37 career races and $1.32 million. Sent off at odds of 2-1, Broadway Donna paid $6.60 to win as the second choice in the wagering. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

MILTON, May 21, 2018 - The Miss Versatility Series kicked off Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a familiar face visiting the harness racing winner's circle. Emoticon Hanover, a winner of more than $1.2 million, unleashed a strong :27 final-quarter to capture the $50,000 first leg of the annual series for older trotting mares. The Luc Blais trainee got the best of eight other mares to win the first Grand Circuit event of the season at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The early-stages of the race saw P L Jill fire out to post a :27.2 opening-quarter. Caprice Hill made a second-quarter move from fourth to first and led the mares by the half in :56.2. The final-turn saw things shake up, as Caprice Hill was rough gaited throughout and eventually went off-stride while leading at three-quarters in 1:25.3. P L Jill escaped the two-hole around the off-stride leader, while Blais trainee Dream Together was moving first-up with Emoticon Hanover on her back. P L Jill would hold the lead for nearly the entire stretch, but Emoticon Hanover tracked her down with powerful strides to win by a neck in 1:53.2. Dream Together finished third, while Southwind Tesla was fourth. Emoticon Hanover was making her season debut after three qualifiers that could be described as average by her standards. James MacDonald was in the sulky for the first-time behind the five-year-old and the duo went off at odds of 9/2. First impressions are everything and the superstar trotting mare wowed MacDonald. "She's pretty nice. Beautiful gait and she's just an absolute professional to sit behind," said MacDonald post-race. "I knew she was coming off a couple of qualifiers and Luc (Blais) always has them ready, so I figured if I could get her in a good spot then she would give me a good run." A five-year-old daughter of Kadabra, Emoticon Hanover won five of 13 starts and made $446,008 last season for owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. The star trotting mare now has 17 career victories. Emoticon Hanover is looking to defend her Miss Versatility crown after winning last year's final by five-lengths. A $2 win ticket on the Blais trainee returned $11.30. The next leg of the Miss Versatility will take place on July 14 at The Meadowlands. Mark McKelvie

The Miss Versatility series for harness racing older mare trotters begins on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park as the eighth race. The first leg drew a field of nine racing for a purse of $50,000 (CAD).   Making her seasonal debut is Emoticon Hanover, who had a remarkable season in 2017 while winning the Miss Versatility final, the Breeders Crown and the Joie De Vie in world record time of 1:50.2 for owner Serge Godin's Determination Stable and trainer Luc Blais. She's had three conditioning qualifiers, the most recent a 1:56.1 win over the Campbellville oval. James MacDonald will drive the career winner of over $1.25 million from post position #7 on Monday.   The main rival in Monday's race is a familiar one in the venerable Caprice Hill (PP#2 Doug McNair). The two mares battled on several occasions last year, in fact Caprice was at the flank of Emoticon while beaten less than a length in the Breeders Crown. She's earned nearly $1.5 million in her career for owner Tom Hill while residing in the Tony Alagna barn.   Here's the field and a program is available on the web.   8 -- Trot, purse $50,000 MISS VERSATILITY - 1ST LEG - FILLIES & MARES. Post time: 09:50 P.M. 1 Highland Top Hill by Muscle Hill 2 Caprice Hill by Kadabra 3 Dream Together by Muscle Hill 4 Pink Pistol by Cantab Hall 5 Its Hallright by Cantab Hall 6 P L Jill by Kadabra 7 Emoticon Hanover by Kadabra 8 Southwind Tesla by Chapter Seven 9 The Erm by Cantab Hall   Nick Salvi

In a 1:51 world-record performance for a 4-year-old mare, Emoticon Hanover and Daniel Dube made light work of the field to win their division of the $30,000 Miss Versatility for harness racing open trotting mares by a length and a half on Saturday at the Meadowlands. Dube got the daughter of Kadabra off the gate and to the lead first before the :28.3 first quarter and held Broadway Donna and David Miller behind them to the :56 half mile maker. They were in the same order at the 1:24.2 three quarters, after Broadway Donna came off the rail briefly and then retreated. In deep stretch, Emoticon Hanover ($9.80 to win) trotted away from the field as Pasithea Face S slipped up the rail to be second and Broadway Donna was third, three-quarters of a length behind her on the outside. "She went around the track nice and easy," said Dube. "I just let her trot at the end and she did it very easy. I saw (Broadway Donna) coming and my mare responded really good." Emoticon Hanover is owned by Determination Stable of Montreal and trained by Luc Blais. Emoticon Hanover In the other division, Hannelore Hanover ($2.10) and driver Yannick Gingras never had an anxious moment, winning the first of the two divisions by five lengths in 1:50.3, a new career mark. Side Bet Hanover (Corey Callahan) was first off the starting gate, getting to the lead before the :27.3 first quarter. Hannelore Hanover was out and on the move just past that point and crossed over to the lead along the rail by the :55 half, with Side Bet Hanover tucked in behind her. Hannelore led the way to the 1:23.1 three-quarters with Side Bet Hanover behind her and Sweet Thing (Tim Tetrick) making a play for the lead on the outside. As the field turned for home, Hannelore Hanover trotted away from the field, leaving Caprice Hill in second and Oho Diamond a half-length behind her in third. Hannelore Hanover is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Jerry and Teresa Silver. "She's definitely sounder (than last year) so it makes it easier," said Gingras. "At times last year she was a little sore, but now she's really sound. That was a really good mile tonight and now she's ready to rock. (Racing against the male trotters) is definitely on the horizon. We've got them on the radar for the big purses and also against the girls, but we're going to face them soon," he said. Hannelore Hanover By Ellen Harvey

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 22 - Hannelore Hanover returned to Mohawk Racetrack for the first time this season Monday and turned in a dominating 1:52.4 harness racing victory in the first leg of the Miss Versatility. A field of eight older trotting mares clashed in the $53,200 Grand Circuit event. Hannelore Hanover was sent off as the 1/5 favourite and made a winning performance look like a walk in the park. Driver Yannick Gingras let the big mare stride out early, but yielded for a four-hole spot and allowed Emoticon Hanover and Side Bet Hanover to play musical chairs with the lead. As Emoticon Hanover reclaimed the lead for the second-time at the half in :56.3, Hannelore Hanover was sent first-up by Gingras and the heavy-favourite claimed the top spot swinging into the turn. The superstar trotting mare proceeded to post a :27.2 third-quarter followed by a :28.1 kicker to secure a 5¼ lengths victory. Emoticon Hanover held her position to finish second, while Barn Girl won a Show photo over Oho Diamond. Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover came into her second start of the season Monday off a second-place finish at Miami Valley on May 7th. "They all get beat some point and for her it was her first start," said Gingras. "She's not going to go undefeated this year, but I'm not so worried about that, I'll worry about the big money races." The regular driver behind Hannelore Hanover also pointed out that he was hoping to give the sensational trotting mare an easy trip on Monday. "I was trying to take it easy on her as much as I could. They were battling a little bit early on so (I) just sat there," said Gingras. "She can race any which way. She loves tracking down horses, she's game on the front, so she makes my job really easy." A five-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino & J And T Silva Stables LLC. Last season, 'Hannelore' won 17 of 20 starts and earned nearly $1.2 million. Her victory Monday gives her 27 career wins and an additional $26,600 to her bankroll of over $1.5 million. She paid $2.40 to win. Hannelore Hanover The Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares has three preliminary legs before a rich final at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Little Brown Jug Day. The series visits Mohawk, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs. Monday evening's card also saw a record payout for a $2 Exacta. Driver Paul MacDonell steered three-year-old pacer Dubious Claim to a 103-1 shocker in the evening's fifth-race. The triple-digit longshot was followed across the finish line by Jaydens Place and driver Phil Hudon at odds of 82-1. The $2 Exacta in the fifth-race paid $3,896.50, eclipsing the old Mohawk Racetrack record of $2,515.80 set on May 21, 1984. The horses that combined for the previous record were Rock N Chris, driven by Steve Condren, and Foolish Ward, driven by Roger Mayotte. Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

East Rutherford, NJ - Harness Racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday (September 9) evening featuring the fifth and last leg of the Miss Versatility series, carded as race six.   With division leader Hannelore Hanover away facing open competition in the Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, a very competitive field of seven trotting mares will vie for the winner's share of the $40,000 purse and a spot in the $120,000 final on Jug Day (September 22) over the half-mile oval at the Delaware County Fair.   Jewels In Hock has raced in every series leg and is atop the leader board on the strength of a pair of wins and two second place finishes in the series. The daughter of Credit Winner excels on all size tracks (hence the "Versatility" in the series title) and is closing in on the half million dollar mark in career earnings. She races out of the Linda Toscano barn for owner Ken Jacobs' KJ Stable and gets Tim Tetrick to drive on Friday.   Also on the bill are five divisions of Kindergarten trotters with the same connections sending out the exciting prospect Walner in race five. From the first crop of Toscano's 2012 Horse of the Year Chapter Seven, Walner was a Meadowlands baby race sensation and has a pair of wins in as many starts on the NYSS circuit. He'll start from the rail on Friday night.   All systems are go for the short September meet, dining options are available and Saturday, September 10 features the Tri-State Food Truck Mash Up.   Post time on Friday and Saturday is 7:15 p.m.     Meadowlands Media Department    

Nichols, N.Y. -- An early-afternoon deluge could not deter Hannelore Hanover ($2.10, part of entry) in Sunday (August 14) afternoon's $40,000 Miss Versatility preliminary at Tioga Downs, as she made easy work of her eight harness racing rivals with plenty in reserve at the end of a 1:52.4 mile.   Fresh off victories in the Armbro Flight, Hambletonian Maturity, and Fresh Yankee, the 4-year-old Swan For All mare floated gently into third on approach to the first turn, allowing White Becomes Her (Scott Coulter) and Rules of the Road (Jim Morrill, Jr.) to dispute the terms through a :27.1 first quarter before making her bid to the fore with nine-sixteenths of the mile remaining. The Ron Burke trainee cleared White Becomes Her easily at the completion of a :56 half, and she subsequently responded to mild first-over pressure from Jewels in Hock (John Campbell) up the far side. After being nudged along through a :28.1 third sectional, Hannelore Hanover drew away gradually while in hand, posting a 3-1/4 length victory over runner-up Jewels in Hock. Third-place finisher Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) slid second-over on approach to the far turn and stayed on through the straight.   Yannick Gingras was once again in the bike behind Hannelore Hanover, who captured her 21st career win. The Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Frank Baldachino own the talented mare, whose career bankroll mounted to $885,763.   A pair of New York Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings shared center stage with the Miss Versatility preliminary, with American Passport ($10.80) and Roll Away Joe ($2.70) the victorious duo.   American Passport used a bold three-wide push on approach to the far turn to collar the dueling Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and Nox Vegas Bluechip (Jim Marohn, Jr.), drawing off at will as the pace collapsed for a six-length, 1:51.4 win over the late-rallying Talk Show (Morrill) in the $60,200 fifth race. Scott Zeron drove the son of American Ideal for trainer Tony Alagna.   In the $59,100 sixth event, Roll Away Joe brushed to the fore with a circuit to go and narrowly held off a four-wide charge from 40-1 outsider Bottom Deals (Tetrick) to prevail by half a length in 1:51.3. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the Roll With Joe gelding for trainer Tracy Brainard.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (August 15) evening, with the first of 11 races due off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

CAMPBELLVILLE, Ontario, June 29 - Fresh off a Canadian record performance in the Armbro Flight, Hannelore Hanover headlines the second leg of the Miss Versatility on Friday's Canada Day card at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 13 older trotting mares have been split into two $30,000 divisions for the second leg of this year's series. The first leg, which was contested on May 23 at Mohawk, saw Jewels In Hock and Rockin With Dewey draw first blood, but this time around the hottest trotter in the division will make an appearance. Ron Burke trainee Hannelore Hanover will start from post five in the six-horse first division Friday. The four-year-old daughter of Swan For All has won seven of eight starts this season, including a Canadian record 1:51 victory in the Armbro Flight Stakes two weeks ago. Hannelore Hanover's six-plus length victory in the Armbro Flight was a loud statement to the older trotting mare division. Racing under the radar in the Indiana Sire Stakes last season, Burke always believed she belonged in the conversation as one of the top trotters in her division. "Ron has been telling me how good she was since last year," said Yannick Gingras after driving 'Hannelore' to victory in the Armbro Flight elimination. "He believed she was the third best trotting filly behind Mission Brief and Wild Honey." With Mission Brief sidelined this season, Hannelore Hanover has stepped into the spotlight and quickly gained elite status. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Frank Baldachino, Hannelore Hanover will team up with driver Sylvain Filion for the first time in Friday's race. The first division also features leg one winner Rockin With Dewey and Rules Of The Road, who finished third in the Armbro Flight after winning an elimination. Jewels In Hock will aim for another Miss Versatility leg victory in Friday's second division. The Linda Toscano trained four-year-old has won two of four starts this season after winning nine races and over $350,000 last season. The daughter of Credit Winner will start from post five in a field of seven with driver Jack Moiseyev. Local trotters Elegant Serenity, Stormont Kate, Bax Of Life and White Becomes Her will look to protect home turf in the second split. Following Friday's leg, the Miss Versatility will make its next stop at The Meadowlands on Saturday, July 16. The second leg divisions have been carded as Races 2 and 6 on Friday's 12-race program. Post time Friday is 7:30 p.m. Here are the fields for the second leg of the Miss Versatility. PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer Race 2: Division 1 - Purse: $30,000 1. Missys GaGa (Trevor Henry - Richard Moreau) 2. Charmed Life (Jody Jamieson - Dave Menary) 3. Harley Momma (Rick Zeron - Ake Svanstedt) 4. Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon - Ben Baillargeon) 5. Hannelore Hanover (Sylvain Filion - Ron Burke) 6. Rules Of The Road (Paul MacDonell - Charles Connor Jr.) Race 6: Division 2 - Purse: $30,000 1. Elegant Serenity (Roger Mayotte - Roger Mayotte) 2. Stormont Kate (Bruce Richardson - Bruce Richardson) 3. Sky Hanover (Rick Zeron - Ake Svanstedt) 4. Classical Annie (Sylvain Filion - Ron Burke) 5. Jewels In Hock (Jack Moiseyev - Linda Toscano) 6. Bax Of Life (Chris Christoforou - Jerry Duford) 7. White Becomes Her (Mario Baillargeon - Ben Baillargeon) by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Grand Circuit harness racing trotting mares capped off an eventful May long weekend Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The first leg of the Miss Versatility Series featured two $30,000 divisions. The series for older trotting mares stops at Mohawk twice, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs before wrapping up with the final on Little Brown Jug Day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. A scratch in each division left fields of seven to battle in first round splits. Four-year-old Jewels In Hock and driver John Campbell took care of business in the first division with a 1:54.2 victory by 4½ lengths. The Linda Toscano trainee took command of the race on the way to the half with a fourth to first move. After posting fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.2, Jewels In Hock kicked clear from her rivals and trotted home comfortably in :28 to win as the public's choice. White Becomes Her, the leader at the opening-quarter, finished second, while MissysGa Ga crossed the wire third. A daughter of Credit Winner, Jewels In Hock won 9 of 17 starts last season and was the New York Sires Stakes champion. She finished her sophomore season with over $353,000 in earnings. The four-year-old trotting mare picked up her first win in her second start of the season Monday. Owned by KJ Stables LLC, Jewels In Hock now has 12 career victories and over $382,000 in career earnings. The Toscano trainee paid $3.80 to win. Jewels In Hock In the second division, Rockin With Dewey just held off a late surge from Charmed Life to win in 1:53.3. The Ben Baillargeon trainee flashed some early speed for driver Mario Baillargeon and got away in the two-hole behind longshot Second Sister. There was little movement throughout the opening-half with Second Sister posting panels of :28.1 and :56.3. Baillargeon angled Rockin With Dewey out of the pocket nearing the three-quarter pole, while Charmed Life was moving up towards the front on the outside. In the stretch, Rockin With Dewey took the lead and was trotting up a storm. Charmed Life was sitting a few lengths back of the leader, but in the final strides closed in to make it a photo finish. At the wire, Rockin With Dewey came out on top by a narrow margin. Charmed Life now has four runner-up finishes in five starts this season. Elegant Serenity finished third. A six-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Rockin With Dewey now has two wins in five starts this season. She is owned by Ben Baillargeon and Diane Ingham. Rockin With Dewey has had success previously in the Miss Versatility. The Baillargeon trainee won two legs of the series last year. The six-year-old trotting mare now has 16 career victories and earnings of over $523,000. Rockin With Dewey paid $5.70 to win. Rockin With Dewey The next leg of the Miss Versatility Series is set for Canada Day (July 1) at Mohawk. Also on Monday, Flanagan Memory was a repeat winner in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory came first up around the final turn to draw even with the leader Rubber Duck turning for home. The Rene Dion trainee marched by to take the lead in the lane and score a length and a half victory in 1:53.3. Intimidate got up to finish second, while Rubber Duck was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory now has two wins in three starts this season after winning two of 15 starts last year and banking $299,769. He paid $3.10 to win Monday evening. Flanagan Memory Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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