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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

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A world record for 1¼ miles on a 5/8-mile track was broken in last year's inaugural edition of the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) Championships, and this coming Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the world record at both gaits for the elongated distance, twice around the Pocono 5/8-mile oval, may be in jeopardy in this season's three $100,000 Championships. It was Homicide Hunter who lowered the record on the trot to 2:22.2 in winning his GNOS Championship, and the World's Fastest Trotter returns to Pocono Monday for trainer Ron Burke and Crawford Farms Racing. The gelded son of Mr Cantab starts from post six in a field of seven in the eleventh race, with David Miller driving. 2019 has not been as kind to the Homicide Hunter as last year, when he went 1:48.4 at Lexington to become the fastest-ever at his gait, but the veteran does have a GNOS victory and looked good against lesser foes last time out, so he may be on a bounceback. The horse to beat in the GNOS starts just outside of him, and is a stablemate - 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover, owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables, and to be driven by Yannick Gingras. The daughter of Swan For All has won half of her eight seasonal starts, has beaten 1:51 twice, and was undefeated in two GNOS starts, including setting a Philly track record of 1:52 in winning the final prelim. The pacing record for 1¼ miles is 2:19.4 (it is not kept separate by sex), and it appears to be under greater threat from the open pacers division, race twelve. The field is replete with high-percentage winners, one being Highalator (post seven, trainer Jenny Bier, driver Richard Still), 11-for-23 in 2019, who won three GNOS prelims, including last week's, and is the year's co-fastest horse on a 5/8-mile track over the mile in 1:48. A fellow three-time GNOS winner is None Bettor A (post eight, trainer Andrew Harris, driver George Napolitano Jr. listed), who is 10-for-14 this season, won nine in a row earlier in the year, and controlled a good Open field at Yonkers last time out. Add in Backstreet Hanover, who lost a five-race winning streak last time out, and Prairie Panther, each of them a winner in half of their twenty seasonal starts, and you have many fast horses who know the way to get to the winners circle - it should be fascinating to see which one in the full field of nine will be able to work out the winning trip. The #1-ranked harness horse, pacing mare Shartin N, is sticking to her intermittent racing pattern, so she is not in the mare pacing Championship (a race where she had a rough trip and faded last year). One distaff who will not regret her absence is the Bettor's Delight mare Caviart Ally, who is having an excellent season in the shadow of the superstar - in fact, Caviart Ally has not lost a race that Shartin N did not win since "Ally"'s seasonal debut on April 30. She has given Shartin N some notable battles, and she may be in controlling position from post two in the tenth race field of seven for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Brett Pelling, and Caviart Farms. Eclipse Me N, the horse who beat Caviart Ally in her 2019 bow, is still going strong over four months later, and she'll have the "home field advantage" Monday in that she is trained by Rene Allard, leading trainer at Pocono; Rene's brother Simon will be driving from post three. In addition to these three outstanding races for the more seasoned performers, the Monday card will also feature eight $40,000 Championship events for Pennsylvania Stallion Series high preliminary pointwinners. Those races will be featured in a separate release. Post time for the first of fourteen races at Pocono on Monday is 4 p.m. From the PHHA, in conjunction with The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia racetracks

Custom Cantab (David Miller) steals the $132,000 Joie De Vie open mare trot at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 11). At the start of the race Darling Mearas S (Brian Sears) went on a break and caused Manchego (Dexter Dunn) to go on a break as well. The big favorite Atlanta then got to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.0. Emoticon Hanover (Bob McClure) went in the pocket and followed Atlanta to a :55.0 half and a 1:23.1 third-quarter. Custom Cantab ($65.00), who is owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and RBH Ventures Inc., went first over just before three-quarters. She then would blow right by the tiring Atlanta to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Dream Together (Scott Zeron) finished second with Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) getting third money. Atlanta finished a disappointing sixth. Custom Cantab is a 4-year-old mare by Mr Cantab. She won for the second time this season and now owns 17 career victories. Speeding Spur N (Brian Sears) charges late to capture the $148,000 Crawford Farms open trot. Mission Accepted (Yannick Gingras) led to the first quarter in :27.4. Speeding Spur N ($18.60) went to the lead as they headed for the stands for the first time. Mission Accepted reclaimed the lead with five-eighths of a mile to go and led to the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Speeding Spur N, who is owned by Woodlands Stud NZ Inc. and trained by Linda Toscano, popped out of the pocket as they reached the stretch. He looked like a rocket coming down the stretch and just squeaked by second place finisher Mission Accepted to win in a track record time for aged trotting horses of 1:52.4. Run Director (Sylvain Filion) was third best. Speeding Spur N is an 8-year-old horse by Pegasus Spur. It was win number two of the season and his 28th career victory. It was his first win in the United States. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) wins the $12,500 first elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) featuring 3-year-old colts & geldings. Rollwithpapajoe (Dexter Dunn) got to the first quarter first in :27.0 and led to the half in :55.0. Major Blake (Jason Bartlett) went first-over on the back stretch and stuck a nose in front hitting three-quarters first in 1:22.1. Rollwithpapajoe reclaimed the lead as they reached the top of the stretch. Artie's Ideal ($24.80), who is owned by Bay Pond Racing and trained by Erv Miller, followed in the pocket and came out to go first-over. Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) then made a three-wide move. Artie's Ideal was too strong in deep stretch and held off second place finisher Buddy Hill to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.3. Covered Bridge (Wally Hennessey) finished third as World On Edge (Matt Kakaley) took fourth. All four qualified for the EBC final next Sunday (August 18). Rollwithpapajoe finished fifth and is the also eligible for the final. Artie's Ideal is 3-year-old colt by American Ideal. It was his first win this season. He now owns three career victories. Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley) holds on to win the $12,500 second division. Hickfromfrenchlick ($4.30) charged to the front and led to a first quarter of :28.0. He controlled the pace hitting the half in :56.3. Major March (Jason Bartlett) went first-over just before Hickfromfrenchlick hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. Hickfromfrenchlick, who is owned by trainer Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, and Thomas Spatorico, battled with Major March as they made the turn for home. Shake That House (Brian Sears) then found an opening on the inside but fell just short as Hickfromfrenchlick won in 1:51.4. Shake That House settled for second best. Major March held on for third. Respect Our Flag (Dexter Dunn) finished fourth with Chatelroll getting fifth place. All five qualified for the EBC Final. Hickfromfrenchlick is a 3-year-old colt by So Surreal. It was win number five this season and career victory number nine. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 16) with a 10 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs      

Custom Cantab brings a career-long streak of 28 on-the-board finishes to Thursday's $183,900 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Dover Downs, which will be the filly's first start at a harness racing track other than Hoosier Park. Custom Cantab, who is 6-1 on the morning line, heads to the event off a win in the Crossroads of America on Nov. 2. The triumph was her 12th in 16 races this season. Trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver, Custom Cantab has 14 wins, 10 seconds and four thirds in her career and earnings of $643,936. In addition to the Crossroads, her victories this year include a division of the Pegasus Stakes and the Indiana Sire Stakes championship. She finished second to Manchego in the Moni Maker Stakes and has not finished worse than second in 13 races since surgery to correct an entrapped epiglottis. Custom Cantab will start the Matron from post six with regular driver Peter Wrenn. Breeders Crown champion Lily Stride is the 2-1 morning-line favorite from post three, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Mark Harder. Plunge Blue Chip is the 5-2 second choice from post one with trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "We were up in the air whether to start her again, but everything checked out on her and I'd been anxious to see how she would race against a top field to get some perspective," Beaver said. "We plan on racing her next year. She's probably not as valuable as a broodmare as some of those fillies are, but she's a really nice racehorse. "I think she will be staked to some of the mare races and maybe some of the 4-year-old races. I wouldn't be staking to everything. I'd like to space out her starts. Maybe she won't be good enough, but the way she acts, she's never let a horse get away from her. She's always been competitive." Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 3-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST). Six Pack is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the $210,150 colt and gelding trot, followed by Met's Hall at 8-5. Dorsoduro Hanover is the 2-1 choice in the $193,750 colt and gelding pace, which also includes Jimmy Freight (5-2) and Lather Up (7-2). Youaremycandygirl is the 5-2 favorite in the $159,350 filly pace, where she will see familiar rivals Alexa's Power (7-2) and Percy Bluechip (9-2). Custom Cantab is a daughter of Mr Cantab out of Custom Model. Beaver bought Custom Model's first foal, the Chocolatier-sired My Ghost Bi, for $3,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale and the gelding made $75,852 lifetime. Beaver bought Custom Cantab, the mare's third foal, for $6,000 at the 2016 Hoosier Sale. "I knew the family and thought she was something nicer than what the mare had thrown before," Beaver said. "I kind of studied crosses and I thought the mare would cross with Mr Cantab, but I can't say I had any idea she would turn out as good as this. I was just hoping to get a horse that was competitive in the sire stakes." Beaver, who owns Custom Cantab with Donald Robinson and R.B.H. Ventures, is not concerned about the filly going on the road for the first time and racing on a five-eighths-mile oval compared to Hoosier Park's seven-eighths track. "She trains on a little farm track, so she should be all right," Beaver said. "I think she would be good on any size track because even if she was struggling in the turns she would let you help her. She knows what she's supposed to be doing. "She's smart. She can leave all you want and let a horse go, settle in a hole, and follow without using any more energy than necessary. She's been racing on the front a lot lately because she's been the favorite, but she is great off a helmet. She knows how to take care of herself and put herself in position to stay close. She is an extremely professional horse." For Thursday's complete Dover Downs entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

LEXINGTON, KY -- With fast fractions set before him, Homicide Hunter ranged towards the center of the track into the stretch and slingshot past tiring trotters to become the fastest trotter in harness racing history with a 1:48.4 victory in the $145,000 Allerage Farms Open Trot, sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural, at The Red Mile on Saturday, Oct. 6. Homicide Hunter's 1:48.4 mile lowered the all-time trotting mark previously set by Hannelore Hanover, who beat the boys in the Allerage Farms Trot last year with a 1:49.2 mile. The time also lowers the record for gelding trotters of 1:49.4, set by Jl Cruze at the Meadowlands in 2015. Guardian Angel As took the lead from Pinkman firing at the rail while Lindy The Great floated for position into third. Lindy The Great brushed to the lead by the quarter in :26.2 as Will Take Charge, away fourth, angled off the rail and began his move for the lead, clearing before a :53.2 half. Will Take Charge faced first-over pressure from Guardian Angel As around the far turn with Pinkman positioned second over and Homicide Hunter third over. Guardian Angel As inched to the lead past three-quarters in 1:22 and fought for command into the eighth pole. However Homicide Hunter, poised from his setup, accelerated past the field with ease and trotted to the wire going away from Guardian Angel As holding second. Pinkman finished third while Lindy The Great weaved into fourth. A six-year-old gelding by Mr Cantab out of the Like A Prayer mare Evening Prayer, Homicide Hunter won his eighth race in 13 starts and his 38th in 75 overall, surpassing $1.4 million in earnings. The Chris Oakes-trainee, returning $5.20 to win, races for Crawford Farms Racing and had Brian Sears in the bike. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

ANDERSON, IN -September 12, 2018-Indiana Sires Stakes action continued at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, September 12 as two $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals highlighted the evening's 14-race card. They used two different routes to get it done but the post time favorites each found their way to the winner's circle to continue their divisional dominance in the co-featured events. Divisional leader Custom Cantab and driver Peter Wrenn set the early tone and delivered as the even money favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting fillies. After a record win in her elimination last week, Custom Cantab converted a pocket trip into a 1:54 score this week. Leaving from post three, Wrenn sent Custom Cantab away from the gate firing to grab the early lead through the opening panel in :27.1 before yielding to O So Easy and James Yoder just before the half. O So Easy led the field through fractions of :55.3 and 1:25.2 while Custom Cantab waited patiently in the pocket. Wrenn tipped Custom Cantab and she used a :28.2 final panel to surge past O So Easy while holding off a hard-charging Red Rose Swan and LeWayne Miller. Meadowbrook Grace and Trace Tetrick staged a big rally late in the lane but were forced to settle for third place honors. Custom Cantab returned $4.20 to her backers at the betting windows. The Chris Beaver trainee made a clean sweep of the fifth and final round of the stakes action to record her second consecutive Hoosier Park victory and ninth seasonal win from 11 outings. The daughter of Mr Cantab-Custom Model has now bankrolled $412,036 in lifetime purse earnings for owners Christopher Beaver, Donald E. Robinson, and RBH Ventures Inc. Custom Cantab will be pointed next to the $150,000 Moni Maker Stakes for three-year-old filly trotters at Hoosier Park slated for September 21. In the two-year-old pacing filly ranks, Glorious Virgin and Trace Tetrick continued their winning ways to capture the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies. With a final time of 1:51.4, Glorious Virgin came charging late to get the win by a neck and with it, record her sixth consecutive Hoosier Park victory. John DeLong had Lady Capulet pointed to the front from post four and she would grab command through the opening panel in :26.3. Sam Widger had Tellitsassymae on a mission to the front and she would call the shots through the middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:24. Tetrick gave Glorious Virgin the green light approaching the final turn and the filly ranged up and was quickly matching strides with the leader turning for home. Glorious Virgin reached the lead and was able to hold-off a late surge from her pocket-sitting, stablemate Lady Capulet who rallied well for second. Pure Maid and Ricky Macomber Jr. also rallied well late and utilized a second-over trip to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Glorious Virgin returned $3.20 to her backers at the betting windows. Trained by Shane Bowermaster, the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Bound For Glory has now won seven of eight lifetime starts while pushing her lifetime bankroll to $161,500 for Bruce Trogdon's Emerald Highlands Farm. Emerald Highland's contingent of fillies took home the lion's share of the $75,000 purse as they finished first, second, third and fifth in the field of ten. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, September 13 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The evening's 14-race card will also feature a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 in races 3-6. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono featured the fireworks a day before the Labor Day holiday, as over $1.5M was up for grab in the Championship and consolation events of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-olds and the Great Northeast Open Series Championships, the latter conducted at 1¼ miles.   GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS ($100,000 purses; all at 1¼ miles)   OPEN TROT To see a trotter come home in 54.1 - 26.4 under any circumstances is mighty impressive; to see it come in a 1¼ mile race (on a 5/8-mile track) is overwhelming - which is just how the foes chasing Homicide Hunter home must have felt.   The distance of a race must not matter to driver George Napolitano Jr.--he likes to make a move around the quarter and control the pace, and so things proceeded here, with very pedestrian fractions of 28.4, 58, and 1:28.1. Then they reached the backstretch the second time, and "George Nap" gave the word to the Chris Oakes trainee. Homicide Hunter took it from there, coming home in supersonic time to complete the distance in a world record 2:22.2, well ahead of the 2:24.1 produced by Magician in 2001, with Tight Lines 8½ lengths back.   The Mr Cantab gelding Homicide Hunter, posting his third world record (4TG and OTG at a mile, all three on 5/8-mile tracks), has now won seven of ten seasonal starts and 37 of 72 lifetime trips to the gate, with a career bankroll of $1,355,427.  Crawford Farms Racing owns a trotter who looks like right now he can go with any trotter in North America, if not beyond. MARE PACE   The first horse to the lead in the GNOS mares pace was also the first horse under the wire, but in between there was a ton of movement before the Bettor's Delight mare Bettorhaveanother came up the far inside to catch Caviart Ally by a neck, covering the 1¼ miles in 2:21.3, just shy of the divisional world record of 2:21 set by Marnie Hall in 2006.   Bettorhaveanother was circled off the first turn by Caviart Ally, who in turn ceded the lead to Tequila Monday. That mare was under attack the last of the two circuits, from in front of the stands to almost the mile marker by L A Delight, with favored Shartin N circling up in her bid and Agent Q on her three-wide bumper.   The inside turned out to be the place to be, as Caviart Ally collared the pacesetter in midstretch, only to see Bettorhaveanother rally from the third-in position up the deep Pocono Pike for driver Matt Kakaley to get the decision; those in the two- and three-wide paths couldn't sustain their gain.    That set the stage for Bettorhaveanother, a winner of $430,977 who is trained by Ron Burke for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   OPEN PACE Western Joe yielded to the early brushing favorite Donttellmeagain to sit the two-hole, then was sent up the famed Pocono Pike by driver Scott Zeron and caught the pacesetter by a neck in 2:20.2, just shy of the 2:19.4 set by Boulder Creek in 2006. The son of American Ideal was out around the first turn to gain command, then yielded to Donttellmeagain after the 27.4 quarter and was content behind the next two splits of 56.1 and 1:52.4. When the pace quickened to get to the mile point in 1:52.4 and the outer tiers stalled on the far turn, it looked like a stretch battle between the 1-2 finishers, and indeed Western Joe rallied to the lead in deep stretch over the game pacesetter.   Western Joe had already shown a liking for added distance by taking the McKee Memorial on Hambletonian Day, and here he again showed the endurance to get the big money for trainer Chris Choate and owners Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies. An extra tip of the cap to Choate, who entered the winner of $503,551 despite being 26th in the standings - no one below #10 (ironically, Donttellmeagain) put in the box, so Western Joe drew in, and made the most of the opportunity. PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS ($252,000 for Championships -- $50,000 for consolations [3PC consolation did not fill])   -- 25th anniversary year of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (started in 1994)   TROTTING FILLIES Consolation -- Trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt wasted no time hustling the Cantab Hall filly S M S Princess to the lead, and that filly had a clear margin almost all the way through fractions of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25 en route to a new mark of 1:52.3. No one could make up ground in the back numbers of 55.4 - 27.3 thrown by the $162,453 winner S M S Princess, 5½ lengths clear for owners by Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc. and Stall Musse Inc.   PACING FILLIES Consolation - The Well Said filly Strong Opinion got a big breather while setting the pace in her event, getting to the half in 57.2, then sprinted home in 55.1, and needed all of it to hold off what looked like The Charge of the Light Brigade behind her late, winning by a half- length in 1:52.3 in a race where the top five were within a length of each other under the wire. Yannick Gingras guided the victorious Ron Burke pupil, who raised her earnings to $244,448 for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Jack Piatt II; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   TROTTING COLTS Consolation - All three consolations wound up going in 1:52.3, two of the quick clockings by trotters, and both handled by trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt while winging on the front end. The male was the Cantab Hall gelding Gemologist, who never looked back from the rail in posting fractions of 27, 56, and 1:24, then finishing out to take a new mark while four lengths clear at the finish. The winner is owned by the S R F Stable. (Second was the 2YO Stallion Series and Fair Sire Stakes champion Hockey Hanover; last year's Sire Stake champion Fashionwoodchopper had to settle for fourth in this consolation.)   PACING COLTS As noted earlier, a consolation event for this division did not fill.   From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 22, 2018-Odds-on Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears, $3.10) overcame the impost Sunday afternoon (July 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $54,800 Open Handicap Trot. The weekly trotting feature went as the late-morning opener, the first of four, mile-and-a-quarter, bigger-field 'French' forays. Away sixth from his eight-ball incarceration in the field of 10, Homicide Hunter saw Madhatter Bluechip (Brent Holland) make the first lead. Gural Hanover (George Brennan) and lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) found seats directly in behind. After early subsections off :28, :57.2 and 1:25.4, there was a second helping of 'Happenstance,' as the mare was first-up. While she began the outer tier, Gural Hanover broke in the pocket. Meanwhile, Madhatter Bluechip was continuing to fight the good fight, with the lead the 1:55.1 milepost. N F Happenstance had backed out, with Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Dube) going wide, Homicide Hunter wider and 34-1 shot Mostinterestingman (Jordan Stratton) even farther out. Smalltownthrowdown took a short lead into the lane, but couldn't sustain it. Homicide Hunter rolled off his rival, then held off a diving-inside Mosinterestingman by a neck in 2:24.2 for the added distance. Buen Camino (Jim Marohn Jr.) was s ground-saving third, with a solidly-closing Bluebird Jesse (Mark MacDonald) and a flattening Smalltownthrowdown settling for the minors. For Homicide Hunter, a 6-year-old Mr. Cantab owned by Crawford Racing trained by Chris Oakes, it was his fifth (consecutive) win in six seasonal starts (career earnings now over $1.28 million). The exacta paid $47.60, the triple returned $511 and the superfecta paid $3,625. Sunday's incarnation of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 1-La Moneda (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 2-Coach Cummings (Yonkers' 5th race) and returning $11.50 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $5,488. The next Sunday matinee is July 29th (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

ANDERSON, IN -  Custom Cantab used an impressive gate to wire effort to capture the featured event of the evening, the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 4, and lower the track record in the process. With Peter Wrenn at the lines, the pair trotted in 1:53, taking one fifth of a second off the previous track record for three-year-old fillies on the trot, a record previously held by Muscle Baby Doll, Sunshine Delight, and Meadowbrook Grace. The 1:53 victory marks the fifth track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval in 2018. Leaving from post eight in the talented field of ten, Wrenn wasted no time and sent Custom Cantab to the front through an opening panel in :27.3. Red Rose Swan and LeWayne Miller grabbed a pocket seat while Southerntucky and Dale Hiteman followed along intently in third. Custom Cantab lead the field through splits of :56.3 and 1:25.2 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Trace Tetrick had the post time favorite Meadowbrook Grace applying pressure first-over as the field rounded the final turn. Custom Cantab utilized a :27.3 closing quarter to put away Meadowbrook Grace and hold off all other challengers. Red Rose Swan used a ground saving trip to finish second while Meadowbrook Grace had to settle for third place honors. As the publics' second choice, Custom Cantab returned $7.40 to her backers at the betting windows. "She's a perfect filly to drive," Wrenn noted after the victory. "She seems to be getting stronger with every start and really just a pleasure to drive-she does everything you ask of her." After a win in the elimination last week, the Chris Beaver trainee made a clean sweep of the second round of the stakes to record her second consecutive Hoosier Park victory and fourth seasonal win from five outings. The daughter of Mr Cantab-Custom Model established a new lifetime best with the win and recorded her sixth lifetime win from 17 starts. Custom Cantab has now bankrolled $288,286 in lifetime purse earnings for owners Christopher Beaver, Donald E. Robinson, and RBH Ventures Inc. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues on Thursday, July 5 with a stakes filled 14-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 13, 2017 - It's a Homicidal hat trick. Odds-on favorite Homicide Hunter (Brent Holland, $3.70) made it three consecutive harness racing victories Sunday afternoon (Aug. 13th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. Away fourth from behind the eight-ball among the dozen, Homicide Hunter saw Smalltownthrowdown (Greg Merton) and Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett) takes turns fronting the field (:28.1, :57.2, 1:27.2). Homicide Hunter was then out and moving, setting his sights upon the leader. He dove into a rest stop past the 1:55.1 milepost when Smalltownthrowdown backed away. 'Hunter' then became the hunted in the final turn, finding himself with a three-length lead after Hemi Seelster made a wild break and a hard right turn, back down into the paddock before completing his appointed rounds. Homicide Hunter won it easily, defeating Dewycolorintheline (Dan Dube) by 4¼ lengths in 2:26 for the mile-and-a-quarter. Last week's upsetter, Taco Tuesday (Steve Smith), was third, with Sumatra (Eric Goodell) and Theraputic (George Brennan) picked up the remainder.. For Homicide Hunter, a 5-year-old Mr. Cantab gelding owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his sixth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $51, the triple returned $389.50 and the superfecta paid $2,118. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 2-Kelsocait (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 11-Awsome Valley (Yonkers' 5th race) paid $44 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,623. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Aug. 20th) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

Columbus, OH --- Although the surface was less than spectacular due to inclement weather, Homicide Hunter, who established a new world record three weeks ago at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, garnered another harness racing accolade for his already sterling resume with a 1:52.1 triumph in the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial at Eldorado Scioto Downs on Saturday (Sept. 10). The final clocking is a new track record for 4-year-old trotting geldings. The altered son of  Mr Cantab and Evening Prayer was placed on the lead by his pilot, Eric Goodell, shortly after the field of seven was rounding the first turn at the Columbus oval. Once the Indiana champion placed race leader Muscle Up The Goal (Aaron Merriman) in his rearview mirror, the 4-5 favorite effortlessly clicked off fractions of :27.1, 55.3, 1:23.2 and hit the wire 4-1/4 lengths to the good of Muscle Up The Goal and third place finisher Wind Of The North (Chris Page), who closed very well in the stretch to finish behind the top two. Conditioned by Chris Oakes and owned by Crawford Farms, Homicide Hunter glided over a track that had been soaked by powerful early precipitation which had begun to taper off prior to the horses placing their noses on the gate. Goodell steered the horse with the greatest of confidence, and Homicide Hunter responded in kind. He never appeared under any serious pressure or any urging to produce his second record-breaking victory from his last three trips to the post. With his latest triumph, Homicide Hunter is now 41-23-4-6 lifetime and boosted his bank account to $715,263. Prior to his being sold privately last winter, Homicide Hunter resided in the barn of Curt Grummel, who had his doubts the gelding would ever develop into a high quality racehorse when he was a youngster because he had a tendency to not finish strongly to the wire. Homicide Hunter received top billing at Hoosier Park with hometown hero Freaky Feet Pete in Anderson, as he captured 16 consecutive races in 2015 before finishing second to Crazy Wow in the $270,000 Carl Erskine Memorial. Since joining Oakes’ barn, the gelding has compiled a record of 13-4-1-2, but appears to be rounding into prime form as summer transitions into fall. For those that supported him at the windows, Homicide Hunter paid $3.60, with Muscle Up The Goal offering $6.00 to place and Wind Of The North providing $5.20 to his backers. The exacta was $13.60 and the trifecta was $68.80. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

The Mr Cantab gelding Homicide Hunter smashed the world record for harness racing four-year-old trotting geldings with a 1:50.1 victory in the $50,000 Sebastian K Invitational Trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In fact, the only divisional world standard for 5/8-mile track that’s faster is the 1:49 all-time record, set in the older stallion division – by Sebastian K.   The most potent teaming at Pocono – driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes – were the sponsorship behind Homicide Hunter, who spotted third as Wings Of Royalty took the field to the lead in 26.3, then brushed to the top and reached the half after a slight breather in 55.3. After that, it was the rest of the field that was left gasping, as Homicide Hunter went to the ¾ in 1:22.4 and stayed strong to the finish, winning by four lengths while lowering the former divisional standard, co-held by 2015 divisional champ JL Cruze and Wind Of The North, both here at Pocono. Il Sogno Dream rallied for second up the inside to hit the wire a neck ahead of strong-closing Rose Run Parker behind Homicide Hunter, who also posted the fastest trotting mile of 2016 on all sizes of tracks, 1/5 faster than Resolve posted in a Meadowlands victory.   Homicide Hunter, who dominated the Indiana landscape in 2015 while winning 16 of 18 races and over $475,000, was purchased on July 1 by Crawford Farms Racing, and that purchase looks very astute right now, as Homicide Hunter boosted his bankroll to $655,999, with the prospects of more to come. (Hmmmm … Indiana … Wiggle It Jiggleit, Always B Miki, Freaky Feet Pete … Homicide Hunter?)   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Homicide Hunter went to the lead past the quarter, then trotted successive 27.3 panels home to hold off first-over Crazshana by a half-length in the $25,000 winners-over handicap trot Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the final clocking of 1:51.1 missing the divisional world record for harness racing four-year-old trotting geldings by a single tick.   And with Pocono being Pocono in the five-eighth mile track category, especially on the trot, Homicide Hunter didn't even get a track record out of the brave effort. The 1:51 standard was achieved by Wind Of The North here in 2014, and then JL Cruze in a mountain stop last season. The altered son of Mr Cantab, owned by Crawford Farms Racing, did lower his mark from the 1:51.4 he posted in winning the Meadows Maturity on June 18, and raised his bankroll to $622,013.   The teaming of driver Eric Goodell and trainer Chris Oakes was a very fruitful one for both parties this weekend, as Homicide Hunter's win at Pocono added to the three times the two paired successfully on Wiggle It Jiggleit's Gerrity night at Saratoga 24 hours earlier. Even more remarkably, Goodell had a horse he was driving fall down while in contention at The Meadows on Monday, didn't get back into the sulky until Friday - and after this race had posted a 14-6-2-0-.508 tally since coming back!   An altered son of Crazed also accounted for the $18,000 sub-featured trot, as Crazy About Pat led at every pole under the guidance of Andrew McCarthy in recording a new mark of 1:53.1. Paul Kelley conditions the six-year-old earner of $663,899 lifetime for the Patricia Stable.   PHHA / Pocono  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 18, 2016 -- Winless in four previous starts this year, Homicide Hunter regained his touch Saturday at The Meadows when he shot the Lightning Lane to capture the $54,000 Meadows Maturity Trot for harness racing stallions and geldings 4 and up in 1:51.4, fastest ever by a 4-year-old gelding at The Meadows. The time eclipsed the mark of 1:52.2 established by Rembrandt Spur in 2010 and is only a tick off the track's all-age trotting record. Homicide Hunter had a monster year last year at 3, winning 16 of 18 starts and $475,677. In his 2016 outings before Saturday, however, the son of Mr Cantab-Evening Prayer was no better than third. Winning driver Dave Palone, who also was named on Il Sogno Dream and Wind Of The North in the Meadows Maturity, selected Homicide Hunter after consulting with trainer Chris Oakes. "Chris said, 'Before you do anything, you better watch the replay of last week,'" Palone said. "He was super last week and finished up real strong. Chris thought if I got him into the race, he was the best horse, and he was." Homicide Hunter stalked Muscle Up The Goal from the pocket while Il Sogno Dream, stablemate of Muscle Up The Goal, attacked outside. Palone indicated that wrangling the winner into the Lightning Lane wasn't as easy as it looked. "It's tough to get enough momentum, especially with a trotter, and he was running out a little bit," Palone said. "I had to kind of stuff him in there and make him go at the same time. He finished up very strong." Homicide Hunter downed Il Sogno Dream by 1-1/2 lengths while Muscle Up The Goal saved show. Michelle Crawford and Albert Crawford campaign Homicide Hunter, who soared over $600,000 in career earnings. Elsewhere on Saturday's card, the pocket-sitting Lady's Dude, using Lasix for the first time, outkicked the leader, Tamarind, to defeat him by a nose in 1:53.3 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Johnny Yoder. Monte Christo Spur rallied for show. The 5-year-old Victory Sam-Lady's Star gelding extended his lifetime bankroll to $316,533. Tony Hall and Palone each collected four wins on the 13-race program while Brian Zendt and trainer Randy Bendis each enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

If you're keeping track, when Cantoria proved a punctual favorite last week it was the seventh time at this harness racing meeting that the trotting mare has put in a winner's circle appearance. A 4-year-old daughter of Mr Cantab, Cantoria goes about her business for the partnership of Mark Benvenga, Larry Barker, Steve Wiseman and Kathy Plested with Wiseman doing the reining and training. The bay miss has shown a preference for sitting back and playing the role of stalker and doing her best work in the stretch, which was the case in last week's two and a quarter length decision in a lifetime best 1:58 clocking. Nobody is happier about the development of the sidewheeler than co-owner Benvenga. "It's been awesome to see her grow up since we purchased her last summer in Minnesota," he said. "She's filled out nicely, but still has a ways to go and is learning to be a real nice horse." As mentioned earlier, Cantoria hails from the Steve Wiseman shedrow, with that barn currently atop the standings at this meet. "Steve and Kathy have done a wonderful job with her, just as they have with all the horses," Benvenga noted. Cantoria gets a pretty stern test in Sunday's fourth race, as she moves up to the Open III level and is taking on some tough customers in Big Baller, Franks Best, Commandergalleon and Winsome Kelly. ******* A reminder there are two wagers here that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and $25,000 on Sundays. Trotting Sire Stakes lures My Little Susie A $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotters is the main attraction at Cal Expo Sunday night with My Little Susie looking to pick up another trophy. The Sire Stakes will go as the fifth event on a 12-race card under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC. The action is set to get underway at 5:05 p.m. . My Little Susie is a 3-year-old daughter of Claudius Augustus who competes forA Piece Of The Action LLC, takes her lessons from Gene Vallandingham and will once again be guided by Chip Lackey from the cozy rail slot. The promising performer won three of her 10 starts last year, with a 1:59 mark over the Red Mile in Lexington. She made her seasonal debut finishing third here in the Alan Kirschenbaum, had a tough trip at next asking and then accounted for the first Sire Stakes for this group two weeks ago. Sent off the 9-5 second choice in that affair, My Little Susie sat a tracking trip to the stretch, ignited when Lackey asked the question and won going away by two lengths while lowering her lifetime standard to 1:58 1/5 in the process. Kissed the Boys was runner-up that evening after making breaks in her previous two outings. She accounted for the Alan Kirschenbaum Trot at 33-1 in an eye-catching debut back on January 17 for her owner/breeders Team Desomer and Steve Desomer will as usual be in the sulky. Lodi Bank Robber is looking to make amends after settling for third in the February 14 stakes after carving out all the fractions. Mary Harris and Pierre Girard own and bred the New Age Hanover gelding, with Girard training and Luke Plano handling the lines. Completing the field are Sixstringsandapick, Delta Breezeoflodi and CW Raisinette. By Mark Ratzky

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 23, 2015  - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, October 23 as Grand Circuit racing action made a stop at Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for the third time this season. The 13-race harness racing card was highlighted by divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotters and pacers and it was Harness Racing's top ranked horse, Wiggle It Jiggleit who stole the show. After suffering a loss in his last Hoosier Park start, Wiggle It Jiggleit not only made amends but made a statement in his $45,300 split of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings as he coasted to the wire in 1:49.4. Driven by regular pilot Montrell Teague, Wiggle It Jiggle used a gate to wire victory to finish four and a half lengths in front Mohawk Warrior and John DeLong. Teague sent the overwhelming favorite away from the gate firing and he grabbed the first call through an opening panel in :26.4 while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Wiggle It Jiggleit remained uncontested through splits of :55.3 and 1:22.4 before he began to put his talent on display. As the field turned for home, it was all over but the shouting as Wiggle It Jiggleit's lead was ever-increasing. Using a :27 final quarter, the World Champion son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover coasted to the wire under a hand-drive to notch his 19th seasonal victory. "Looking at the program it looked it like I had the best horse so I knew I wanted to be on the front," Teague noted after the win. "They didn't press me too hard and I just let him do it all on his own to the wire. Horses like him don't come around very often; I'm having the time of my life with him. This has all been so rewarding for me." Trained by Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $1,842,170 with the victory. Wiggle It Jiggleit's next engagement will be the $275,000 Monument Circle Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings slated for Friday, October 30 at Hoosier Park. On the trotting side of the stakes action, Homicide Hunter put together his own impressive performance as he took home top honors in the second division of the $43,000 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings to remain undefeated in 16 starts this season. Staging a big rally late in the long Hoosier Park lane, Homicide Hunter and John DeLong used a :27.3 final quarter to surge past Muscle Up The Goal and Aaron Merriman and stop the timer in 1:54.1. DeLong rated Homicide Hunter off the early pace while Classic Venture and Trace Tetrick dictated early fractions of :27 and :57. Homicide Hunter moved to the outer flow down the backside but would have his work cut out for home turning for home. DeLong tipped his mount to outside of tiring cover and Homicide Hunter found another gear late in the lane to get the victory and kept his winning streak in-tact. "He's an amazing animal," trainer Curt Grummel noted in the winner's circle. "I thought they would probably get him tonight after we were so far back at the half but he really impressed me tonight. He's just an amazing horse." Homicide Hunter sent his seasonal earnings to $385,737 with the victory. Owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, the son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer has now won 19 of 26 lifetime starts. The connections of Homicide Hunter said he will most likely be supplemented to the $250,000 Carl Erskine Trot for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Hoosier Park on October 30. Other stakes winners on the evening included Roland N Rock scoring in 1:51.4 in the first division of the stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings for driver Aaron Merriman and trainer Rob Harmon. Chips Starr and Hugh Beatty pulled a $52.60 upset in their division of three-year-old trotting colts and geldings and stopped the timer 1:55.2. Bright Baby Blues delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the first division of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:54.4 to give Aaron Merriman his second win of the night. Muscle Baby Doll and John DeLong took the second division for three-year-old trotting fillies using a near gate to wire victory to score in 1:53.1. Rockin Good and Triple V Hanover took home top honors in their respective divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. Rockin Good and trainer, driver Jared Finn wired the field in 1:51.2 to score their sixth win of the season. Trace Tetrick used the same front-running tactics to get Triple V Hanover home a winner in the final division scoring in 1:52 for trainer Brian Brown. The stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 24 as the 14-race card will feature the Madison County Stakes for two-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The first race will line-up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m. Photos: 1) Wiggle It Jiggleit was a decisive winner in his split of the Circle City Stakes at Hoosier Park. 2) Homicide Hunter remains undefeated in 16 starts this season with Circle City Stakes victory. Photos courtesy of Linscott Photography. Emily Gaskin

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