Day At The Track
Search Results
33 to 48 of 52

We are visiting today with harness racing trainer Julie Miller.   Julie Miller is one of harness racing's racing leading trainers. She is currently ranked sixth in trainer earnings for the year with close to a million dollar in earnings, $975,100. Her stable of trotters is one of harness racing's best, if not the best. She has an amazing UTRS rating of 0.404. Julie could be on her way to her best year of training ever.   Perfect Alliance trained by Julie Miller, set a world record trotting a mile at Woodbine in 151.2 last week. Perfect Alliance is now the fastest older mare in harness racing history. She defeated last year's Horse Of The Year, Bee A Magician, who tasted defeat for the first time in more than a year.   Perfect Alliance is currently unbeaten in ten starts and is ranked second in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Miller has a stable of outstanding stakes trotters in Cee Bee Yes, Take The Money, Designed To Be, Bambino Glide, Green Hornet, and Sevruga. Her distinguished filly pacer, Katie Said, recently won a division of the Historic Series-Ladyship Stakes at Pocono Downs in 151.2.   One-On-One is done exclusively for Harnesslink.com by Brian McEvoy   HLINK: You have an outstanding stable of horses this year. Is this your best crop of horses ever?   JM: Everything is going great so far. I am really please by the ones who came back from two to three. Designed To Be won a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Servuga was third in the Cutler Stakes to Sebastian K. I thought that was excellent by him. He has had his aches and pains. I am really proud of him.   HLINK: Let's start with new world record holder Perfect Alliance. How did she come out of the race? What did you think of her world record performance?   JM: She came out of the race really well. She is home all tucked away in her stall. We are tickled to death. What else can you expect from a horse. She had a first quarter in 26.3 and came home in 27. You can't ask anymore from a trotter. It was her first step up to the big ranks. She responded incredibly.   Hlink: Your next race is the Armbro Flight at Mohawk. She will be facing a tough task in facing Maven, Bee A Magician and Classic Martine.   JM: It always surprises me that when I am interviewed that they mention only one horse I will be facing. There are five or six outstanding horses in these races. It is going to be in the draw or the trip who wins. It is going to be an outstanding race for the fans. She might get a qualifier before the Armbro Flight or just go up there to race.   Hlink: What are the plans for the rest of the year with Perfect Alliance?   JM: I don't plan that far ahead. I race from race to race. I just look at the next target. I don't put the cart before the horse.   Hlink: You have a full stable of outstanding trotters this year. I am going to name them and maybe you can tell me a little about each one. The first one is Cee Bee Yes.   JM: She was in a short field of horses in her last start. She had the five hole and there was a horrible wind up the backside. She was at the mercy of a thirty two second quarter. She was gapped out turning for home but came home in 26.4. It is a full field this week. I hope we get good positioning. I have high hope for her. She won in the New Jersey Sire Stakes last year.   Hlink: Let's talk about Take The Money. She finished second to Shake It Cerry in her last start.   JM: She was super with a great effort. There was some slow fractions. We sprinted home and we couldn't get the momentum. Shake It Cerry is the number one horse that everyone is talking about. Finishing second to her says it all.   Hlink: What about Designed To Be?   JM: She is awesome. She has her own world record from last year. She is healthy and i am pointing her toward her next start in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Pocono Downs.   Hlink: Tell us about Bambino Glide.   JM: He is coming off a great second in the SOA Final at Yonkers. He is in this Friday at Yonkers. He needs a race. I could have qualified him but decided to put him in. He is a nice four year trotter and I expect big things from him.   Hlink: What is happening with the lightly raced trotter Green Hornut?   JM: He is what Andy and I call our project horse. He was sent to me because he was not minding his manners. He is still on the fence.I hope I got him straightend out. He had a good qualifier. His last race was in the rain and it got congested. He made a break. I hope I have him on his way to success in the New York Sire Stakes.   Hlink: Sevruga was nice third to Sebastian K in the Cutler.   JM: How can you complain when you are third to Sebastian K and Modern Family. He is just a nice war horse. How can you complain about a horse who trots in 1:51 and a piece.   Hlink: I know you also have pacers in your stable, but you seem to specialize in training trotters. What do you attribute that to?   JM: I don't think I specialize in trotters. We just had Katie Said who paced in 151.2 at Pocono. It is just that my clientele want trotters. I get what they want. If someone comes along and says they wanted me to buy a pacer I would do that too (laughter). It just that I am stocked up on trotters now.   Hlink: Let's talk about Katie Said. I had talked to Andy about Katie Said about a month ago. He said that she had some issues. Marcus said he drove her like a trotter the other night. What is the story about Katie Said?   JM: Andy knows my horses inside and out. This is a new challenge for me and my stable. I have to rely 100% on catch drivers. It's hard getting your message across on how you want your horse driven. Marcus was able to qualifier her and get a feel for her. He did what I exactly said in driving her like she is a trotter. She responded and it worked out. She might race next in non-winners of three and then go in the next Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race. She is staked pretty good this year.   Hlink: The trotters this year are going at incredible fast times. Records are dropping left and right. What do you attribute these amazing fast times to?   JM: The Standardbred is getting better all the time. The conformation, breeding and pedigree is better. Our training methods are better. I am just so proud that our sport is evolving. The other breeds are pretty stagnant, Quarter horses and Thoroughbreds. It is nice that we are getting better all the time.   Hlink: How fast do you think the trotters will go this year?   JM: I don't like that kind of question. I just want to go fast enough to win. I don't care if it is 1:49 or 1:52. I just want to be in the hunt and be successful.   Hlink: Ake Svanstedt has burst upon the training scene from Sweden. He seems to have some unique training methods. What do you think of this?   JM: I am not really familiar with him yet. I have not met him. I do not know his training methods. I really don't have a comment about that. His horse Sebastian K was brilliant the other night. I don't know his background. I guess he has a private farm out here and stays pretty secluded. It is great for racing as we have more competition and more races.   Hlink: Can you tell us about the unfortunate accident that Andy had? Where were you and how did you find out about it?   JM: I was actually on spring break with my two kids. I was out at dinner with the kids. I said to my son that Bambino Glide is about to race and would you put it on the ipad so we can watch it. I saw a ton of messages on my phone. I knew something happened as there were a ton of messages from people at Yonkers. I immediately called and that is how I found out. I got a flight the next morning and was on my way back home.   Hlink: I am sure you are being asked a million times, but how is he doing now?   JM: it is just a long road to recovery. We are lucky he was 100% healthy and athletic before the accident. On May 28th, he goes for his next appointment. We are hoping for good news. It is a six month process. His mental state has just been amazing. He had to go from going 100 miles an hour to just laying in bed to stabilize his back. I am very proud of him. The other great thing is he comes out and watches the horse train and gives me suggestions. He is still right here helping me do everything. I am really lucky.   Hlink: How are your two-year-olds coming along in their training so far? What can we look forward to this year?   JM: I like to keep my cards close to my vest. There are some I have high hopes for. When you are training out here all by yourself they all look amazing. We will know more when they go to the first qualifiers and face competition. I am very optimistic.   Hlink: I am sure there are a couple that look like they will be very good. I am sure one has caught a twinkle in you eye. Can you give me a couple of names.   JM: No I can't (laughter). I am going to keep everything under wraps. We will have them in the baby races soon at Gaitway. You will have to come out and see them.   Hlink: Was Lucky Jim the best horse you ever had?   JM: Yes he was. We had him for two seasons, 2009 and 2010. He won 1.5 million and every major stake race except the Maple Leaf Trot.   Hlink: How is it training for Jason Settlemoir and Jeff Gural?   JM: Oh my gosh, they are amazing. They pay their bills on time. I call and text them a couple times a month. They let me do my job. This is why they are so successful.   Hlink: Your racing is all based around New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and their sire stakes programs. With the expansion of slots in Ohio is there any chance you will pick up some Ohio bred horses?   JM: I like being based in New Jersey. My kids are still in school. I have got plenty to do here. It is great for our Standardbred economy. I don't have any plans for Ohio or Indiana bred horses.   HLINK: Drugs are always a hot topic in the harness racing business. What can harness racing do better. How can we make the bettor feel safer when betting on the horses?   JM: It is disappointing that this is one of the major things talked about in our sport. People have to have integrity and do the right thing. We need regulations and guidelines. Trainers need to be aware of what is black and white and is allowed and what is not. There is always one bad apple. People generally do the right thing. I think most trainers medicate their horses right and follow the guidelines. It is unfortunate that the one eyesore gets the headlines. The racing commissions have to do the right thing and govern the sport.   By Brian McEvoy for Harnesslink.com

What a great weekend of racing we have in store with major events world-wide. This weekend we will be at Sovalla, Sweden for the Elitloppet, and Harrah’s Philadelphia for the Maxi Lee and Betsy Ross all on Sunday, then Saturday night it’s the Meadowlands, Yonkers, Pocono Downs and the opening of Mohawk Raceway! Good Luck! $36,162 Pace Historic Series 3YO Colts Pocono Downs 5th race SATURDAY – With just eight lifetime starts in two years, JK Endofanera is making up for lost time with five wins. He returned for 2014 with a 1:59.4 debut mile last out and a repeat of that effort will make him a winner in here for sure. Use Mattamerican and Bakersfield in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace TVG Free-For-All Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – Well matched field is overshadowed by Ron Burke’s three-horse entry. But once again I am going back with Bolt The Duer. He may have needed his first start and world champion and redeem himself with his first win of the year. Use the entry of Clear Vision/Bettor’s Edge/Sweet Lou and Warrawee Needy in exotic plays. $38,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 7th race SATURDAY – With a change of venue to a half mile track and a new driver to shake things up, Dynamic Youth put in a strong first-over effort last week and came away with a good victory. I think off that effort he can handle hike in class and win again and pay another good price (8-1 last week). Use Easy Again and Digital Z Tam in exotic plays. $36,912 Pace Historic Series 3YO Colts Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – For the first time in his career, Fire In The Belly did not hit the board last week in rough go in PASS. Now he draws the rail, still in tough but I feel he will rebound with a strong effort and surprise this field. Use Capital Account and Seventh Secret in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Art Rooney 3YO Prelim Yonkers Raceway  9th race SATURDAY – It’s the long awaited 2014 debut of He’s Watching, the Dan Patch 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year last year. Undefeated and looking pretty sharp in his two qualifying races, He’s Watching zoomed around Yonkers oval last year and looks primed to take this one for fun. Use Forty Five Red and Unlocked in exotic plays. $34,000 Pace Preferred Mohawk Raceway 10th race SATURDAY – I am always hunting for a good priced horse to score with and I think I found one here. Resistance Futile was pretty good last year and trainer Blair Burgess usually has them ready to cut loose right out of the box. Off last qualifier this one has every chance to upset the field with expected live cover. Use Captive Audience and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Art Rooney 3YO Prelim Yonkers Raceway  11th race SATURDAY – With Gingras away in Sweden, Matt Kakaley has been enjoying great success driving for the Ron Burke Stable and should fair very well in here with All Bets Off. In short field of just five starters and has the ability to win either from on or off the pace. Use Maxi Bon and Thereisapaceforus in exotic plays. $600,000 Trot Elitloppet, Solvalla Racetrack, Sweden SUNDAY MORNING (USA 8:50 AM) The Elitloppet is Europe’s equivalent of the Hambletonian for older horses. The race features two elimination rounds with the first four official finishers returning for the final. There are two USA horses entered and I think both of them have a great shot at winning. They are, of course, Maven and Uncle Peter. Maven was a superior mare and has the speed and ability to beat her male rivals. Uncle Peter is also a high class trotter and being that this race is a European sprint at just one mile distance, I think both horses will do extremely well and one of them will even come back and win the final in the second heat! $30,000 Pace Winners Over $25,000 Harrah’s Philadelphia 8th race SUNDAY – Good competitive group will make this a great race. I look for an upset in here as the Burke Stable is razor sharp and Matt Kakaley enjoying all the big drives he is getting with Yannick Gingras in Sweden. Dedi’s Dragon is coming a big win last start and is in perfect spot to steak another one. Last week he scored at nearly 6-1. Use Abelard Hanover and Emeritus Maximus in exotic plays. $250,000 Trot Maxie Lee Memorial Harrah’s Philadelphia  10th race SUNDAY – Super strong field despite no Sebastian K or Modern Family. Going to have to give Market Share his due in hoping the breaking problem is taken care of and he returns to his former self. $3 million plus winner has a great season ahead of him starting here. Use DW’s NY Yank and Sevruga in exotic plays. $250,000 Pace Betsy Ross Mares Invitational Harrah’s  12th race SUNDAY – With her great gate speed and ability to grind it out first over if necessary, Shebestingin should be the best in here. She can overcome starting from post eight and once in command should hold off everyone else. Use Drop The Ball and Yagonnakissmeornot in exotic plays.

Here is the first week of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Top Ten Poll of the best trotters and pacers in North America. Usually the first week is a very questionable collection of selections and this year is no different, the people who are invited to submit their Top Ten Poll are supposed to be extremely knowledgeable and follow the sport week after week throughout North America. In some cases they vote from their hearts and not from their knowledge. Thus you will see 1st place votes for Somwheroverarainbow and Maven, which is, in my opinion only, is totally ridiculous. That Yagonnakissmeornot and DW's NY Yank are not in the top ten are also a sin, that Modern Family is in 9th is ludicrous, but it's the first week and things will settle down in the coming weeks and the list will properly straighten out. Kudos to Ken Weingartner for compiling the Top Ten Poll, it is a lot of work and he does a fabulous job at it since its inception! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 1 – 5/20/2014                                                Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (28) 8th 2-2-0-0 $107,500 334 -- 2 Perfect Alliance (5) 4tm 10-10-0-0 $106,650 201 -- 3 Foiled Again 10pg 7-4-1-1 $180,540 190 -- 4 Somwherovrarainbow (1) 4pm 7-5-1-1 $266,750 164 -- 5 Dancin Yankee 6ph 14-8-3-1 $193,100 141 -- 6 P H Supercam 7pg 14-4-3-6 $397,620 128 -- 7 Trixton 3tc 3-2-1-0 $40,896 109 -- 8 Modern Family 5th 11-5-5-1 $141,150 98 -- 9 Maven (1) 5tm 1-1-0-0 $30,000 78 -- 10 Apprentice Hanover 4ph 11-6-4-1 $279,160 66 -- Also: Bee A Magician (60), Shake It Cerry (49), Market Share (43), Yagonnakissmeornot (37), Sweet Lou (24), Wake Up Peter (22), Shebestingin (17), DW’s NY Yank, Western Vintage (14), JK Endofanera (12), Classic Martine (11), Bandolito (10), Easy Again, Let’s Drink On It, Sumatra (9), Dovuto Hanover, Nuncio (8), JK Letitgo, Nitro Nittany, Sevruga (6), American In Paris, Captive Audience, Clear Vision, Rock N Roll Xample (5), Bettor’s Edge, Eighteen, Mach It So, State Treasurer, Tellitlikeitis, Uncle Peter (3), Cammikey, I Like My Boss, Sam Hill, Weeper (1). Compliled by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications

This Week: Historic Series, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; TVG FFA Pace, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Art Rooney and Lismore eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Betsy Ross and Maxie Lee Memorial, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Tuesday (May 20) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with two $34,712 divisions in the Historic-Ladyship for 3-year-old pacing fillies. The Wednesday (May 21) Pocono card features a pair of divisions in the $73,774 Historic-Dickerson Cup for 3-year-old male trotters. Pocono will also host Grand Circuit events on the weekend, with the $46,000 (est.) Historic-Pocono Cup for 3-year-old male pacers set for Saturday (May 24) and the $55,000 (est.) Historic-Coaching Club Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters on the Sunday (May 25) program. Meadowlands Racetrack will host some of the top free for all pacers in the sport on Saturday (May 24) in a $50,000 leg of the TVG FFA Pace, while on that same night Yonkers Raceway will hold $40,000 eliminations in the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old males and $20,000 eliminations in the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Sunday afternoon (May 25), Harrah's Philadelphia will host the $250,000 (est.) Betsy Ross for older female pacers and the $250,000 (est.) Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Swedish champion Sebastian K added to his lore with another convincing win, this one the $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial final at The Meadowlands on May 17 in 1:50.2. Sebastian K was a 1:50.2 winner in the Cutler Memorial final. The Cutler was the first major test of the season for the Free For All trotters, promising a battle royal between last week's elimination winners Sebastian K and Market Share and record speed possibilities. However, that went awry when Market Share made an uncharacteristic break in the first turn. As the race began Modern Family was put into play early by David Miller, using his keen gate speed to clear to the front before the turn with Sebastian K protecting the rail for Ake Svanstedt and securing the pocket through the :27.1 opener. With Market Share out of contention, there was little movement as the field passed the half in :55.2. Approaching the final bend Sebastian K was flushed out, trotting alongside Modern Family and they raced as a team past the 1:22.4 three-quarters. By mid-stretch Sebastian K was edging by that rival on his way to a 1-1/2 length win in a stakes record 1:50.2. Modern Family held well to be second while Sevruga followed up close throughout and was third. The winner is raced by Swedish interests, trained by his driver Ake Svanstedt and owned by Knutsson Trotting. The Woodbine winter/spring meet came to an end on Monday evening (May 19), but not before the Toronto oval hosted the Miss Versatility Series for the continent's top older trotting mares. Perfect Alliance established a new world record for a 4-year-old mare as she got under the wire first in 1:51.2. Perfect Alliance, driven by Yannick Gingras, established a new world record for a 4-year-old mare as the trotting miss got under the wire first in 1:51.2. In doing so, the daughter of Credit Winner also set a new Canadian and track record in the process. Sent off as the 6-5 second choice, Gingras and Perfect Alliance led from start to finish through panels of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:23.4 en route to victory. Bee A Magician (Brian Sears), Horse of the Year in Canada and the U.S. last season, finished second as the 2-5 favorite. After going undefeated in 17 starts last season, the daughter of Kadabra tasted defeat for the first time since Oct. 12, 2012. D'Orsay (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Owned by Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger, Perfect Alliance increased her career earnings to $178,801. She remains a perfect 10-for-10 this season. Fresh off her world record performance at Pocono, 3-5 favorite Classic Martine and Tim Tetrick found the wire first in 1:52.2 in the other division. Tetrick guided the daughter of Classic Photo to command well before the opening station in :27.1. Heading towards the half, second-choice Charmed Life (Jody Jamieson) brushed to the front to lead past the midway point in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25. Turning for home, Charmed Life began to tire as Classic Martine angled to the outside and exploded to the lead en route to a comfortable score. Rockin With Dewey came on for second, over Upfrontluckycarol. Chris Oakes trains the 4-year-old old lass for his wife, Susan, along with co-owners Edwin Gold, Hauser Bros Racing Entertainment LLC and Conrad Zurich. Classic Martine remains a perfect three-for-three this season and has banked $580,024 in career earnings. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 246; 2. Tim Tetrick - 155; 3. George Brennan - 129.5; 4. Brian Sears - 87; 5. Jason Bartlett - 79. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 340.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 135; 3. Joe Holloway - 92; 4. Rene Allard - 70; 5. Jimmy Takter - 40. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 118.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 86.4; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 86.4; 4. Ted Gewertz - 34.75; 5. Brad Grant - 34.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at four different racetracks next weekend. The Raceway at Western Fair District will host the Molson Pace on Friday (May 30); Yonkers Raceway offers the Art Rooney and Lismore finals on Saturday (May 31); Mohawk Racetrack hosts the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old male pacers on Saturday (May 31); and Tioga Downs will offer the Roll With Joe for open pacers on Sunday (June 1). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

It almost seems too easy for Sebastian K as the world champion trotter once again was able to grind his way to the lead and hold off all competitors as he captured the $175,000 final of the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands Saturday. Trained and driven to victory by Sweden’s Ake Svanstedt, it was nearly a complete repeat of his world record tying performance last week. The only difference was the time of the 1:50.2, one-fifth of a second slower than last week’s triumph. The seventh race feature got underway on a sour note as the 7/5 second choice in the race, Market Share, made a rare and very costly break at the start of the race for driver Tim Tetrick and was out of the event. The race had been built up as the “Clash of the Titans” between Sebastian K and Market Share but that match-up never emerged and will now be put off for a while until they meet up again. Sebastian K left from his rail position but it was a very quick Modern Family and driver David Miller at 14-1 odds that left from outside post nine and took command by the opening turn. They led the field to the first quarter in :27.1 and then to the half mile in :55.2 before the action began to heat up. It was at the half mile marker that Svanstedt pulled the ear plugs on Sebastian K and then moved his horse to the outside and started to grind their way first-over to challenge Modern Family. But Miller had his horse in high gear and he still led the field past the three-quarters in 1:22.4. Then as they started down the home stretch, Sebastian K proved to be too much for Modern Family and without using his whip, Ake Svanstedt just line drove his trotter to victory by one and one-half lengths. Modern Family held for second with Sevruga (Ron Pierce) third. It was a stakes record for Sebastian K who remains undefeated in 2014 with two straight wins. The Swedish born eight-year-old stallion by Korean had not raced prior to the past two weeks for eight months. A career winner of $2.4 million was bred and is owned by Knutsson Trotting of Vero Beach, FL. And once again, Sebastian K raced without any horse shoes. He likes to race barefoot and no one can argue with this performance. “He was fine racing barefoot again,” said second trainer Bijorn “Bernie” Noren. “He (Ake) has plenty of horse left at the end of the race. He just showed him the whip and he wanted to take off. He (Sabastian K) has a lot more races this year so we will give him a couple of weeks off and then come back to the Meadowlands. Then we may go to Canada with him and then come back to the Meadowlands.” Owner/breeder Michael Knutsson also commented on owning Sebastian K. “He is just awesome,” Knutsson said. “It is just fantastic to own a horse like this. Being our first time at the Meadowlands it is amazing. I think that he (Sebastian K) had more in him. He had a shot at the world record today but it didn’t work. But the time today is fantastic. I don’t think he has been better in his career then he is right now. He is in perfect form. Yannick Gingras was the driving star of the night, winning 7 of the 14 races contested, including the $30,000 Free For All Handicap Pace with Allstar Legend in a lifetime best effort of 1:48 for Ron Burke and owners Brittany Farms and John Cherveny. Total Handle on the 14-race program was $3,399,248, a 10-percent increase over the previous year. Additionally, on-track handle yielded a 26-percent increase. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

We have a great weekend of stakes and overnight action throughout North America. Saturday is chock full of top events that will take us to the Meadowlands for the $175,000 Cutler Memorial Final at the Meadowlands, plus NJSS action and a great FFA Pace. Earlier in the day it’s the debut of Shake It Cerry in the PASS at the Meadows and there is PASS 3YO Colt Pace action at Pocono Downs. Good Luck! $99,000 Trot PA Sire Stakes 3YO Filly The Meadows 8th race SATURDAY AFTERNOON – Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year, Shake It Cerry, makes her 2014 debut in a tough situation going against a few decent other fillies, but she is in a total class class above this group and figures just float on out to the lead and wire the field. Use Take The Money and Harley Momma in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace The Laverne Hill Memorial Mares FFA Scioto Downs 7th race SATURDAY – This is not the field they were hoping for as it seems somewhat weak for such a nice purse this time of year yet most of those from the Matchmaker Series at Yonkers didn’t want to make the trip out west. Camille can outshine this group as she is the lone mare to come west after the Matchmaker Series. Only millionaires in the field, she can take the goose egg off the win column this year by laying over this group. Use Igottafeelinfran and Radar Contact in exotic plays. $38,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY – If not for P H Supercam being so razor sharp this season this would be a very competitive field. P H Supercam is on a three-race win streak and does not look like anyone can stop him now. Gets tested with first start from bad post in nearly two months. Use Heston Blue Chip and Statesman N in exotic plays. $175,000 Trot Arthur J. Cutler Memorial FFA Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY – What a great lineup for this rich final. Every horse in this field has a legit shot at winning. But after his ultra impressive grind it out world record tying 1:50.1 mile last week you just gotta love Sebastian K. If driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt has gotten after his horse last week they would have shattered the world mark and maybe they will do it in here. Sebastian K is the real deal. Use Market Share and Modern Family in exotic plays. $66,763 Pace PA Sire Stakes 3YO Colts Pocono Downs 8th race SATURDAY – There are four great divisions today but I think this is the toughest of them all. Four standouts that can win it. I’m going with Let’s Drink On It who was a stakes winner last season and he just romped by five at Hoosier Park in 1:50.1 last quarter mile in :26.3. That’s impressive. Use McWicked and Allstar Partner in exotic plays. $34,000 Pace Preferred Woodbine 10th  race SATURDAY – Strong field of top pacers do battle here and I like Apprentice Hanover. Has returned to stomping grounds from the Levy Series where he just got nipped at the wire in the S567,000 final. Rested and will make the most of starting from the rail. Use Lucan Hanover and Captive Audience in exotic play. $30,000 Pace FFA Handicap Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY – This will be a great race with plenty of action. Rockin Amadeus is on a roll, Allstar Legend is hot, Golden Receiver is the class of the field but Bandolito get a slim call in here off super strong miles at Pocono and Dover Downs. With any cover or first-over he can grind it out against these. Use Golden Receiver and Warrawee Needy in exotic plays. $50,500 Pace NJSS 3YO Colts Meadowlands 12th race SATURDAY – Big field with some top horses in it. The big question is which Western Vintage will show up. The one that can win going away or the one that will break stride and be distanced as we saw last week. I’m betting what ever happened last week was a fluke and he will rebound and make amends. Has too much class to lose in here. Use Doo Wop Hanover and Rock Out in exotic plays.

Harness racing fans could witness the first sub-1:50 trotting race on a mile track Saturday at the Meadowlands, but if not then, it is probably just a matter of time. Saturday's $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for older trotters features a speedy group of 10 horses, including newly minted world champion Sebastian K. The former Swedish star won his Cutler elimination last week, which was his North American debut, in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1. But the field also includes two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, who captured his Cutler elimination in 1:50.3, and Arch Madness, who holds the world record of 1:50.2 for an older gelding trotter on a mile oval. All totaled, the Cutler Memorial features six trotters to win in 1:51 or less at some point in their careers. Sevruga has a lifetime-best mark of 1:50.3, which he accomplished on a five-eighths-mile track while setting a world record. Intimidate and Modern Family each has a career-best time of 1:51. "It's going to be a good race," said Tim Tetrick, who drives Market Share for trainer Linda Toscano. "If it sets up right, someone could set the world record. There's got to be some speed up front; I don't think one horse can do it by himself. It will be a chess match in the middle of the race, but people will be putting horses in play. "These horses are fresh and happy and sprinting home good. There are five or six that can trot a quarter in 26 (seconds) on the end of it. Who knows how fast we can go." Elimination winners Sebastian K, who was Sweden's Horse of the Year in 2012, and Market Share have attracted much of the pre-race attention and were essentially made co-favorites for the Cutler. Market Share is 8-5 on the morning line; Sebastian K is 9-5. But any number of horses is capable of winning the Cutler. Sevruga won last year's race and Arch Madness, a 10-year-old who has earned $4.15 million in his career, captured the 2010 edition. Intimidate has a Breeders Crown triumph to his credit, Archangel won the 2012 Yonkers Trot, and Modern Family won last year's Meadowlands Maturity. "Everybody makes it seem like it's a two-horse race, but I think it's far from a two-horse race," said Yannick Gingras, who drives Archangel for trainer Ron Burke. "You have a lot of depth in this field. Sebastian K is definitely very fast, but the trip did set up for him (in his elimination). We Will See what he can do this week. "They have to go fast, but (Sebastian K and Market Share) might hook up, too. There are 10 horses in the race and I think they can do 1:51 or better. A lot of these horses are super sharp and my horse is only going to keep improving. We need a little luck at this point, but I don't think it's impossible." The top five finishers in Sebastian K's Cutler elim all trotted 1:51 or less, marking the second time in history that five trotters went that fast in the same race. The other occurrence came in Arch Madness' 1:50.2 win at Lexington's Red Mile in September. "If the fractions are right (they could go faster than 1:50)," said Bernie Noren, the assistant to Sebastian K's trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "Of course it's a harder competition; you've got 10 good horses. It's all about the fractions; somebody has to put up the fractions to the half. "With this group (of older trotters) I'm a hundred percent sure we're going to see not one, but maybe a couple, under (1):50 this year." John Campbell, who drives Possessed Fashion for trainer Tom Fanning, was not surprised by the 8-year-old Sebastian K's performance in his debut. "I knew going in to the race that he was an excellent horse," said Campbell, who won the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden with Mack Lobell in 1988. "When you have a horse that races at that top level over in Europe like he has for the last couple years, they're excellent horses. I wasn't that surprised that he won or was that impressive because I have so much respect for what those top free-for-allers do over in Europe and how grueling it is over there. "(Sebastian K) is definitely the horse to beat, but he's going to have to be at his best or somebody will beat him. At this level, if you're not at your very best, you're not going to win. "I think we're going to see someone trot under 1:50 in the very near future, whether it's Saturday or shortly after that. I think it will happen this year, and I think there's a good chance it will happen more than once." Following is the field in post order for the Cutler Memorial with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 9-5; 2. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 8-5; 3. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 8-1; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 15-1; 5. Intimidate, Vincent Ginsburg, Luc Blais, 10-1; 6. Undercover Strike, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson, 30-1; 7. Arch Madness, George Brennan, Trond Smedshammer, 8-1; 8. Possessed Fashion, John Campbell, Tom Fanning, 50-1; 9. Modern Family, David Miller, Daryl Bier, 6-1; 10. DW's NY Yank, Mike Lachance, Ron Burke, 30-1. by Ken Weingardner, for Harness Racing Communications

Sebastian K will return to the races a little quicker than usual, but doing things quickly might be the trotter's style. A week after winning his North American debut in 1:50.1 to equal history's fastest trotting race on a one-mile track, Sebastian K will start from post No. 1 in Saturday's $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. "Sebastian K never raced back-to-back weeks, he always had like two weeks between the races, so that's the only question mark," said Bjorn "Bernie" Noren, assistant to Sebastian K's trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, about the Swedish-born star's previous schedule in Europe. "But when we trained him (Wednesday) he was very smooth and Ake is very happy with how he came out of the race. He'll get two days off in the paddock and we'll race him Saturday." Sebastian K, an 8-year-old sent off at 5-1 odds, won his Cutler elim by 1-1/4 lengths over Modern Family, who set the early fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.1. Sebastian K trotted his final quarter-mile in :27 to lead Modern Family, Intimidate, Archangel, and DW's NY Yank to the wire and advance to the Cutler final. Market Share, who was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter, won the other Cutler elim in 1:50.3. Market Share, who also was making his seasonal debut, trotted his final quarter-mile in :26.4 to overcome runner-up Arch Madness by one length. Undercover Strike, Sevruga, and Possessed Fashion also reached the final. "We knew our horse was ready to race," Noren said. "Ake had him qualify very good and he knew he was going to do a good race, but he was surprised by the time too. He didn't expect him to go that fast right off the bat. He won and he won with some power left in the lines. He was not all out in that mile. "Of course (the final is) a harder competition; you've got 10 good horses. You've got Market Share and he's a tough horse, a game horse. You've got Arch Madness and I think he did a tremendous race too. It will be a good race." Sebastian K, by the stallion Korean out of the mare Gabriella K, has won 27 of 64 career races and $2.31 million for owner Knutsson Trotting. He raced last weekend without shoes, which is more common in Europe, as he equaled a world record already shared by Donato Hanover, Muscle Hill, Giant Diablo, Lucky Jim and Chapter Seven. "He always raced without shoes in Sweden," Noren said. "He's a different horse without shoes. Of course, you have to look at the racetrack; the racetrack cannot be hard. You cannot race on a hard racetrack without shoes. Ake warmed the horse up and felt the track was very good, the track crew did a very good job to get a nice cushion, so he decided to race him without shoes. "If the track is OK, every time he races he's going to race barefoot." Sebastian K will get time off following the Cutler as he will not compete in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 25 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "The schedule we have planned out, we plan to race him at the Meadowlands," Noren said. "We like to support (New Meadowlands Racing Chairman) Jeff Gural and all they do for the harness racing and the racetrack at the Meadowlands is probably the best too with the kind of speed they have up there." Following is the field in post order for the Cutler Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 2. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 3. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 5. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais; 6. Undercover Strike, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson; 7. Arch Madness, George Brennan, Trond Smedshammer; 8. Possessed Fashion, John Campbell, Tom Fanning; 9. Modern Family, David Miller, Daryl Bier; 10. DW's NY Yank, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

CUTLER MEMORIAL TROT, LAVERNE HILL PACE & MORE!

MARKET SHARE ALSO WINS IN 1:50.3

Last week we had five chalk winners out of nine races and lost money. Go figure…This week we have high octane trotters and pacers going at it at the Meadowlands Saturday in the eliminations for the Cutler Series FFA Trot and the TVG FFA Pace which headlines the action. Also the Diplomat and Princess Series Finals at Woodbine and even a trip to Ohio for the opening weekend Open Pace. Good Luck! $59,800 Final Diplomat Pacing Series Woodbine 3rd race SATURDAY –Last week in the second preliminary round, National Debt came up short in the stretch but still held for second place. Hopefully whatever was wrong is fixed now and he should return with a vengeance to take the final. Use Somewhere In L A and Silverhill Shadow in exotic plays. $17,500 Open Pace Scioto Downs 6th race SATURDAY – In this race is one of the few horses to have beaten Captaintreacherous last season. Dedi’s Dragon has not really come alive after four this season for the Ron Burke Stable and I expect him to really “wake up” against this field. Use Beach Memories and Twilight Bonfire in exotic plays. $38,000 Open Handicap Pace Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY – This race, despite the short field, could develop into a really good race. P H Supercam has been living up to his name as of late and is coming off winning the $567,000 Levy Final two weeks ago. But I think the call in here goes to Take It Back Terry who has also been sharp but on the front end and in control of the race. I see him coming right back again and wiring the field. Use P H Supercam and Statesman N in exotic plays. $40,000 Arthur Cutler Memorial Trot Prelim Meadowlands 6th race – Everyone in this field is a strong contender except Americash Express (why pay to race her in this series when you have no shot in hell of getting a check?). Have to stick by Modern Family who has done me right for four straight starts. This guy could develop into on the top trotters in racing at the rate he is going, winning first-over, on the lead or racing off the helmet. Use DW’s NY Yank and Sebastian K in exotic plays. $50,000 TVG FFA Championship Pace Meadowlands 7th race – This could well be the top race of the weekend action wise. I hemmed and hawed over the three-horse Burke entry or the return of Bold The Duer. The Burke Stable has Foiled Again, Sweet Lou and Bettor’s Edge. But last season Bolt the Duer was super fast and strong throughout the season and he has three strong qualifying wins to show he is ready to take on anyone and thus I am going with Bolt The Duer. Use the Burke entry and Thinking Out Loud in exotic plays. $59,200 Final Princesses Pacing Series Woodbine 7th race SATURDAY – It looks like the draw for the final really favored the favorites and posts 7 to 10 are all the 15-1 and 20-1 long shots in the race. Rock N Roll Xample has been super with 8 wins in 14 starts already this year. She looms are this field and rightly so. Only question is if she can wire the field one more time and get away with it. Use take That Hanover and Bahama Blue in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Pace Woodbine 10th race SATURDAY --- Half million dollar winner last year, Lucan Hanover, makes his four-year-old debut for trainer Casie  Coleman off of two strong qualifiers and should be ready to take on this local group of pacers. Use State Treasurer and Dapper Dube in exotic plays. $40,000 Cutler Memorial Trot Preliminary Meadowlands 11th race – It’s the debut of world champion and $3 million winner Market Share, who last week won his qualifying race in 1:52.3 and seems to be ready for action. It will not be a cakewalk against some of the best trotters in the country but I think he is primed and ready to get the job done. Use Sevruga and Quick Deal in exotic plays.

Uncle Peter will prep for the Elitlopp, to be held May 25 in Sweden, by facing nine rivals in Sunday's Copenhagen Cup at Charlottenlund Travbane in Denmark. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Uncle Peter will be handled by his regular driver, David Miller, in the 1-1/4 mile race, which has a purse of $140,000 for the winner. Uncle Peter drew post No. 1. Defending Copenhagen Cup champion Mr Picolit will start from post three. The field also includes Kash's Cantab, Solvato, and Magic Tonight - all who began their careers in the U.S. and were stakes winners. Solvato, incidentally, was bred by a group headed by Takter's wife, Christina, and is a full brother to Takter's star filly Shake It Cerry. The 5-year-old Uncle Peter arrived overseas early Wednesday morning. He enters the Copenhagen Cup off a half-length win over Sevruga in 1:52.1 on May 2 at Meadowlands Racetrack. A week earlier, he was second in his seasonal debut, finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind Modern Family in 1:51.1. "Against those horses (in the Copenhagen Cup), I think he's pretty comparable," Takter said about Uncle Peter, who has won 13 of 37 career races and $1.18 million for owners Christina Takter, Brixton Medical AB, John and Jim Fielding, and Goran Falk. "It's probably a softer field than is going to be in the Elitlopp. There also is a big race Saturday in Finland, so some horses will be there." Uncle Peter is the only one of seven confirmed Elitlopp invitees competing in the Copenhagen Cup. Others expected in the Elitlopp, according to its website, are Maven, Pascia 'Lest, Panne de Moteur, Timoko, Reven d'Amour, and Shaq Is Back. The field for the Elitlopp will consist of 16 horses. Takter won the Elitlopp and Copenhagen Cup with Moni Maker in 1998. Moni Maker, a two-time Horse of the Year Award winner, died May 2 at the age of 21. "I haven't been back since Moni Maker won it," Takter said. "It would be exciting to go back and win the race after Moni Maker just passed away. "You've got to take a shot. If you're not in it, you can't win it." Takter was unconcerned about the extra distance in the Copenhagen Cup, but thought Uncle Peter's post could be a disadvantage. "The two horses outside of him (Kash's Cantab and Mr Picolit) are extremely quick; they can leave faster than anyone," Takter said. "You can get into a little trouble there." The style of racing is different in Europe, Takter said, so it was good Miller was going to get a few drives under his belt before the Elitlopp. "It's really tough racing over there," said Takter, a native of Sweden who has lived in the U.S. for more than three decades. "You're getting drivers from a bunch of different countries and the driving is way different from our style. You almost get shocked when you see some of those races. They're parking each other, it's tight, you don't get any position, they keep you out three wide. It's not easy. "It's good for David. He's going to drive Uncle Peter and we got another drive for him Sunday. He can get a little familiar to European driving. David is a professional. I'm sure he will study the races and watch (video) so he is familiar with the style of racing. There is a horse outside all the time over there. It's tactic driven." In addition to Uncle Peter in the Copenhagen Cup, Takter's 4-year-old male trotter Corky will race on the undercard. Corky won last year's Beal Memorial and has earned $897,465 for owners Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding. "He's in a race for 4-year-olds, about $60,000 purse," Takter said. "I figure it's good for him to go over and not have to race against the (older) horses here. He can do three or four starts over there. If I'm going to send one horse over there, I might as well send two." Following is the field in post order for the Copenhagen Cup, with listed drivers: 1. Uncle Peter, David Miller; 2. Kash's Cantab, Erik Adielsson; 3. Mr Picolit, Jorma Kontio; 4. Orali, Jeppe Juel; 5. Solvato, Veijo Heiskanen; 6. Beckman, Franck Nivard; 7. Mosaique Face, Lutfi Kolgjini; 8. Harry Haythrow, Peter Untersteiner; 9. Magic Tonight, Orjan Kihlstrom; 10. Caballion, Bjorn Goop.

Richard Gutnick looked at the field for the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack and reached a conclusion that might be bad for an owner, but good for a harness racing fan. Gutnick, fortunately, is both. "It's not going to be an easy race, but it's going to be a good race," said Gutnick, who co-owns two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share. "It's like a who's who of harness racing. To me, these are the (races) you're waiting for. Races like this where you're racing against the best, you can't take anything for granted. "I'm excited about the year. There are a lot of tough horses out there, especially when you add in the 4-year-olds that are coming back, and it's going to be a tough year. But that's what racing is all about. I like when we go against the best. It's how you find out how good you are." Market Share was among 15 horses entered in the Cutler, so two $40,000 eliminations will be held Saturday night at the Big M. The top five finishers from each division will return for the $180,000 estimated final on May 17. The first elim in post order is Sebastian K, Sweet Justice, DW's NY Yank, Intimidate, Archangel, Modern Family, Americash Express, and Upfront Billy. The second elim in post order is Sevruga, Market Share, Daylon Magician, Possessed Fashion, Quick Deal, Undercover Strike, and Arch Madness. Market Share, a 5-year-old who has won 21 of 39 career races and $3.11 million, is making his 2014 debut. Trained by Linda Toscano and driven by Tim Tetrick, Market Share's top wins include the 2012 Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic and the 2013 Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot, and TVG Free For All Series Championship. He received the 2012 Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male trotter and the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. Market Share prepped for the Cutler with two qualifiers at the Meadowlands, winning the second on May 3 in 1:52.4 with a :54.4 final half-mile. "I was very happy with his qualifiers," said Gutnick, who owns Market Share with TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. "Last week he did the second half under a hold, at least toward the end he was not being asked (to go). It's nice when you have a horse that can leave fast and close fast. He can do both." Sebastian K, an 8-year-old, will be making his North American debut with trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Sebastian K, who was Sweden's Horse of the Year in 2012, has won 26 of 63 career races and the equivalent of $2.29 million in U.S. dollars. He finished last season by winning the Group 1 Aby Stora Pris for the second consecutive year. Intimidate won the 2012 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters and has captured 21 of 30 career starts and $605,293. Archangel was the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner and spent 2013 in the stallion shed. He has won 14 of 32 races and $906,579 lifetime. Modern Family and Sweet Justice are among three trotters sharing this season's fastest mile to date, 1:51.1. Sevruga is the defending Cutler champion and has won 28 of 64 races and $913,566 in his career. Arch Madness, who won the Cutler in 2010, has won 34 of 108 starts and $4.14 million lifetime. Other top wins for Arch Madness include the 2007 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old males, the 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, and 2011 Oslo Grand Prix. Saturday's card also features the opening round of the TVG Free For All Series for older male pacers. The field in post order is Modern Legend, Thinking Out Loud, Foiled Again, Word Power, Sweet Lou, Bolt The Duer, Warrawee Needy, Dovuto Hanover, Bettor's Edge, and Golden Receiver. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Last week was OK but nothing to write home about with some chalk coming in and the big guns in the Levy not being able to hold up. But this is a new week and plenty of racing action across North America with “Roarin” Grand Circuit action featuring the Dexter Cup Trot, Miami Valley, Meadowlands and a superb Van Rose Memorial Pace at Pocono Downs. The action takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Good Luck! $33,075 3YO Filly Trot The Lady Suffolk Freehold Raceway 3rd race FRIDAY – It may be a short field of just five fillies but they all show good trotting lines. I am going with Fastdowntheghill. This daughter of Muscle Hill is making her pari-mutuel debut, qualified with a win at age 2 and was turned out, and in her two recent qualifiers showed great speed and comes into this race off an impressive 1:58 score. Use Bella’s Spunkin and Suegrabbitnrun in exotice plays. $33,075 3YO Filly Trot The Lady Suffolk Freehold Raceway 9th race FRIDAY – Provided that Cee Bee Yes can handle a half mile track this filly showed great speed in her two qualifying races, the fastest a 1:56.2 win at the Meadowlands. Super well bred she won $198,000 last year and looms over this field as the class of the race. Use Mistresswithmuscle and Glams K in exotic plays. $30,000 FFA Trot Meadowlands 11th race FRIDAY – What a great matchup with only Modern Family missing from the lineup. I am going to take a shot with the old man of the race, Arch Madness. He made me look good twice last year, is coming off strong qualifying wins and in short field may work it out late to steal the show against some great competition. Use Servuga and the entry of Not Afraid/Uncle Peter in exotic plays. $115,370 3YO Trot The Dexter Cup Freehold Raceway 10th race SATURDAY – It’s the start of season leading towards the Hambletonian. Last week Sarcastic Man was able to overcome outside post at 12-1 and upset the field so what’s stopping them from doing it again. Owner Robert Key and driver Ron Pierce have won this race before from this far out and can do it again. Use Sumatra and King City in exotic plays. $47,253 Pace John Simpson Memorial Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – In his last start of the 2013 season, JK Endofanera won the $534,000 Governor Cup in impressive fashion and off his two very strong qualifying wins I think he is ready to cut loose for Ron Burke Stable. Use entry of Ideal Cowboy/Moliere Hanover and Allstar Partner in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Pace Woodbine 8th race SATURDAY – After two very sharp qualifying wins, State Treasurer returns for 2014 looking to be in prime shape. He closed out 2013 with a win before being turned out and can surprise this field despite having to make his seasonal debut from an outside post. Use Thinking Out Loud and In Commando in exotic plays. $50,000 Trot Van Rose Memorial Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – This is the class race of the weekend. Every single horse in this field could be made a case for if they win. Last year this division was the most exciting throughout the year and it is shaping up that way once again. I am going to go with Bandolito as last week he came first over after a slow half and was able to grind it out in a dramatic stretch drive finish. If he can get any live cover he has the ability to score once again. Dovuto Hanover and Dancin Yankee in exotic plays. $50,300 Pace Sam “Chip” Noble, III Memorial Miami Valley 8th race SUNDAY – What a befitting match-up in the inaugural honoring the great horsemen Chip Noble. Yagonnakissmeornot comes in as the top pacing mare in the country right now but I think that title will be short lived as I am going with Shebigstingin. World class mare is ready for action of her recent qualifiers and I am looking for her to cut loose with a big score. Use Yagonnakissmeornot and Jerseylicious in exotic plays. $60,000 Trot Miami Valley Distaff Miami Valley Raceway 9th race SUNDAY – It’s the 2014 debut of world champion trotting mare Maven and she looks prime and ready for action. She only beat Market Share in her last qualifier and looked good doing it. Class of the field will prevail once again. Use D’Orsay and Mistery Woman in exotic plays.

Friday nights at The Meadowlands customarily feature the top class mare pacers and the cream of the trotting crop. This was the course of events for the April 25 harness racing card with the mares up first in the second half of the Daily Double. The Sweetheart stakes winner from 2012, Jerseylicious opened her four year old season in style with a 1:51.2 win in a $22,500 B-1/A-2 on Friday night at The Meadowlands. A nine time winner while amassing nearly $300,000 as a sophomore, the Western Ideal mare cashed in on a perfect steer from Corey Callahan to score over Scandalous Hanover and Marty Party. Jerseylicious began her three year old season a perfect eight for eight and so far she is one for one in 2014. Wayne Givens trains Jerseylicious for Legacy Racing of Delaware and Pamela Curran. A strong field of trotters took the track for the $30,000 eleventh race feature. Modern Family came in with credentials that drew play enough from the punters to go off as the short 3-5 favorite and he did not disappoint. Tim Tetrick was designated to drive the Cantab Hall horse by trainer and part owner Daryl Bier and Tim landed a pocket trip behind Daylon Magician that proved to be the path to victory. Drafting along behind honest fractions led to a near track record 1:51.1 mile. Uncle Peter was a brave second in his first start as a five year old and Daylon Magician held third. Bier's partners are Charles Dombeck and Richard Poillucci. The whole gang is likely looking forward to the Arthur Cutler Memorial two weeks hence and beyond. The $25,000 Dash For The C Notes, a weekly staple during the spring racing season devised by Director of Racing Peter Koch, facilitated the C-2 trotters and March Awareness took home the top prize for Carolyn Brechler and John Rhodes, Jr of Ohio. Driver Scott Zeron put the Ken Warkentin gelding on the lead going to the half and held sway for a comfortable 1:54 win. Brookroad Knight took the place and For You Almost Free held on for the show after a first over trip. The Remmen stable conditions the winner. Racing returns on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M., featuring the first stake of the year as the grand circuit makes a stop at The Meadowlands for the three year old pacers in The Reynolds Stakes. Additionally, Saturdays Revived continues at Victory Nightclub with music from 92.3 Now's D.J. Toro. Doors at Victory open at 10:00 P.M. For more, check out playmeadowlands.com. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

OK, you’re driver Daryl Bier, known from Cal Expo to Dover and Pocono, from Pompano to The Meadowlands. You’ve had experience with really good horses before, as you currently guide the top FFA trotter Modern Family, and have had former world champion Special T Rocks, $900,000+ winner Higher And Higher, and others. You’re sitting behind a four-year-old who only has six months of actual racing experience and you are in the $36,000 Open Handicap feature race at Dover on closing day, April 10, but you know he’s a very fast horse who’s getting better. Your even-money main opposition broke early, so you decided to go to the point with the 6-5 second choice, and you rate the half in 56.1. Then it gets fun. You open him a notch to get away from your remaining rivals, and he responds instantly – he’s not a big horse, but he’s quick as can be. You whiz past the ¾ (“I didn’t think to look at the time; I was thinking about my $18,000 winners share); then, early on the final turn, you kick the earplugs out on your horse, test him a little more. He visibly downshifts on the TV monitors, and Daryl feels it in the bike – we’re going FAST! Through the lane, Bier takes him in hand, but he still destroys his field that has collective earnings of $1.9 million lifetime, by six (or more) lengths. Daryl gets to look at the timer past the finish – it says 1:48.2. Quick math tells him that’s a last half, on a five-eighth-mile track, in 56-degree temperatures, with nobody around him, for a horse in his 16th career start, in 52.1. He gets a chance to look at the ¾ time – it was 1:22.3, which means he paced in 26.2 down the back, and then when he downshifted, his horse came the last quarter (on a 5/8-mile track) in 25.4! Daryl returns to the Dover winners circle with a big smile. His brother Sean, a veteran of the racetrack game, is jumping and hollering – “DID YOU SEE THAT?” (probably not intended at Daryl, who of course did see that). The Dover paddock is abuzz after the race. Oh, did we mention that in his previous start, coming from behind wicked fractions, he had tied the all-time Dover record of 1:48, first set by his year’s 3YO champion, Heston Blue Chip? Meet Bandolito. Unraced at two in  2012, the son of Ponder-Sody’s Home Brew was brought to the races by veteran Florida horseman Warren Harp, and Daryl got a call from an agent he had worked with, Gary Brown. The horse fit a pattern Daryl has used with much success – buy promising horses who didn’t race or didn't race much at two: Modern Family didn’t start as a freshman, and Special T Rocks only raced twice at 2 – and the price was right. So he was brought into the Bier stable, with Daryl’s brother David making the initial purchase while agreeing that if the horse was good enough to make the Kentucky Sire Stakes in the summer, Daryl and longtime stable patron Charles Dombeck would join the ownership. Bandolito came north, where he came under the care of Team Bier, which includes caretaker Brad Sawyer (“He has Modern Family, too, so he’s a top man”) and horseshoer Chuck Crissman Jr., the father-in-law of Daryl’s brother Sean (Crissman comes more into the story later, and then again right at the very end). Third in his first northern start, the unheralded sophomore then rips off six straight between Harrah’s and Pocono, including a 1:51.3f-27 triumph (in his fourth lifetime start). Off to Kentucky under the new Bandolito partnership. The Ponder colt wins his two prelims with ease at the famous Red Mile, both with sub-27 last quarters, and Bandolito is 1-10* in the final. “I decided to use Tim Tetrick that night,” Daryl said, “because Tim obviously knows good horses, and I wanted to see what he thought of the horse, whether he was for real.” 1:49.4 later (26.2 on the end), Tetrick turns to Bier and says, “I like him. He’s a real good horse.” And thus basically ended Bandolito’s first campaign. Oh, the calendar will say he started back in December 2013, but this was really round two for Bandolito. And he didn’t come out of his corner strongly. A hard-closing fifth in a 1:51 mile at Dover just six days before Christmas was a good start, but then Bandolito caused some concern – while winning a race. “He was second-over, but won by only a head in 1:52.3, and I was worried,” Bier recalled – his people were considering nominating him for the Levy Series around then, but that kind of mile wouldn’t do. “And then he quarter-moved in his next race, for $18,000, and was caught and beaten almost two lengths.” The answer came quickly. Bandolito was dead lame the next day, one foot obviously distressing him. “But Chuck (Crissman) saved us right then and there. He figured out the foot problem, got him straightened away. He didn’t walk for three weeks after the lameness,” but things progressed well for Bier/Crissman/Sawyer and the other owners, so well that with their careful nurturing Bandolito qualified on March 19. Two weeks later he equaled the all-time Dover record of 1:48 on April 3 – his 15th lifetime start. Came home in 52.1-25.4 a week later – start #16. “We were more excited about that race, because nobody was pushing us and because of the sheer speed.” What’s next for Bandolito? Good question. Perhaps the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial on Kentucky Derby Day (a race in which Bier and Special T Rocks equaled a 1:48.2 world record two years ago) at Pocono, where Bier recently re-established his base, maybe after an overnight start this weekend if Daryl can get one for him. Afterwards? … But they are fun question marks to have! Daryl: “We got a copy of the race, and I watched it with Chuck on his big screen TV. And you can see things pretty good on it, and the eighth, just into the turn, from when I kicked the earplugs, we timed him in 12 seconds. We both timed that, and did it a couple of times. A 12-second eighth … that’s a 24-second quarter…” How good IS Bandolito? By Jerry Connors, for Harnesslink.com    

33 to 48 of 52