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Freehold, NJ --- Long Tom might be short on experience, but trainer Marcus Melander believes the 2-year-old male trotter can stand tall when it comes to harness racing on the Grand Circuit. The colt, who spent time in Sweden after being purchased for $60,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale, competes Thursday (Sept. 29) in the first of six Bluegrass Stakes divisions at Red Mile. “He feels like the right horse, but there are some good horses out there as well, so it’s not so easy,” Melander said about Long Tom, who heads to Lexington with two wins and a second in three career races. “He started out good and we’ll see how he does against the best ones out here. I definitely think he can be on the Grand Circuit. “He feels like a good horse and I think he’ll get better and better with every race he can have. We’ll see after Lexington how we do. But so far he’s been very good.” Long Tom is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Ilia. He is a half-brother to Tight Lines, who last week finished third in the Old Oaken Bucket at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Signed for by Swedish trainer Reijo Liljendahl, the horse is owned by the Finland-based AMG Stable Oy. Following the Harrisburg sale, Long Tom traveled to Sweden, where he was in Liljendahl’s stable. “We talked in February and Reijo told me he had a good horse he wanted to send over,” Melander said. “I liked him already at the sale, so when Reijo told me the name of the horse I was happy. He was a good-looking horse. He came to me at the end of March.” Because of his travels, Long Tom wasn’t ready to see action when qualifiers for 2-year-olds began in mid-June at the Meadowlands. But when Melander brought the colt to qualifiers a month later, he was pleased. On Aug. 9, Long Tom made his racing debut in a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:59.1. Four weeks later, he finished second to New Jersey Viking in the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey-sponsored Harold Dancer Memorial Trot and followed that effort with a 1:56.1 victory in a conditioned race for 2- and 3-year-olds at the Meadowlands. “He’s been racing very well,” Melander said. “In the qualifiers I took it very easy with him and I felt he was a good horse. In his first lifetime start, he won very easy at Pocono even if it was just in (1):59.1. He did it so easy. “After that, he had some problems getting into races when the Meadowlands closed. But he raced very well at Freehold after some time off and when he won at the Meadowlands he raced great again.” Long Tom is a horse that tends to get complacent when he reaches the front, but Melander is impressed with the colt’s desire to win. “He’s not like a monster in training; he’s very lazy,” Melander said. “He’s like an older horse that’s been doing this for a while. He’s never grabby. He’s almost too lazy sometimes. Last week when he won at the Meadowlands he had plenty left. He’s just so lazy you need to get him going to hold his speed otherwise he waits for the other horses. “But you can feel in a horse when they want to be first. He’s nice gaited, but what I like most is his head. He wants to be a racehorse; he wants to win.” At Lexington, Melander is anxious to see if Long Tom has the speed to be a top colt. “That’s the thing, he’s never been coming home faster than :29 (seconds),” Melander said. “But he’s so lazy. When he’s first, he doesn’t go much faster. He knows he’s first and he knows he’s going to win. I think he’s got the speed. I’m not saying he’s going to go :26 quarters down here, but I think he can go faster than :29, that’s for sure.” Long Tom, who has earned $19,250 this season, is 9-2 on the morning line in his six-horse Bluegrass division, where he will start from post one with driver Tim Tetrick. Bill’s Man, from the stable of trainer John Butenschoen, is the 2-1 favorite from post two with driver Corey Callahan. The morning line favorites in the remaining divisions, in race order, are Tony Alagna’s stakes-winner Signal Hill, Frank Antonacci’s International Moni, Julie Miller’s stakes-winner Fly On, Ron Burke’s Peter Haughton Memorial champ What The Hill, and Jimmy Takter’s King On The Hill. For the complete card, click here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

The 3/10 favorite Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle) took todays Gr. I UET Masters Finale (purse €399,908, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) by two lengths clocked in 1.10.66kr. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the Stefan Melander trained and owned harness racing champion. 9/1 Oasis Bi (8m Toss Out-Up Front JM) took second for Erik Adielsson, trainer Stefan Pettersson and Ecurie Frackstad Lantbruks AB. Third was 16/1 Mosaique Face (7m Classic Photo-Iona LB) with Adrian Kolgjini up for Tommy Nilsson Holding AB and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Spring Erom and Explosive De Vie were fourth and fifth. Nuncio (Ö.Kihlström/S.Melander) G1 UET Masters Final 18/09/2016 Finale U.E.T Trotting Masters NUNCIO On the Bjerke program was also the VG Norsk Derby (purse €226,922, 2600 meters autostart, 12 starters) with victory to 1.9/1 El Diablo BR (4m Muscle Hill-Fiery Chip) for trainer/driver Frode Hamre. The winner was clocked in 1.13.42kr and is owned by Brinvest Danmark APS. 5/1 Cash Okay (4m Ready Cash-Tresokay) was second for G.V. Gundersen with third earned by 5/1 Ultimate Photo (4m SJ’s Photo-Madam Lavec) and Bjorn Goop. Fourth was the Jeppe Juel driven and trained Akermann (4g Crazed-Ta Ta Hall). The Finn Tack Norsk Criterium (purse €175,325, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) produced a 1.12.71kr timed winner in 14.3/1 Shocking Superman (3m Orlando Vici-Bernadette’s Cat). Bjorn Goop is trainer/driver of this Tar Stable KB owned performer. 19.5/1 Mini Viking (3m Maharajah-Jeunesse Defee) was second for trainer/driver Frode Hamre and third was 15/1 Evil Enok ME (3m Magnetic Power-Topaz Dragon) for trainer/driver N.P. Braekken. Thomas H. Hicks

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 17 - Bar Hopping charged home to win the harness racing $687,000 Canadian Trotting Classic by three and half a lengths Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Jimmy Takter trained colt was able to convert off a perfect second-over steer from driver Tim Tetrick to win Canada's biggest race for three-year-old trotters. A trio of longshots fired out for the front, while Marion Marauder, the 3/5 favourite, was unhurried and got away fourth ahead of main rivals Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping. Scott Zeron sent Marion Marauder to the front in the second-quarter and took the lead at the half in :55.4. Southwind Frank was pushed first up, which allowed Tetrick to put Bar Hopping in a perfect second over position. Marion Marauder led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Marion Marauder created a little separation on his rivals, but that was quickly erased by Bar Hopping. The Takter trainee fired off cover and powered by in the final-eighth for a 1:53.1 victory. "There was enough speed in there and I was trying to find a good horse to follow," said Tetrick following his second Trotting Classic victory. "I seen Yannick not getting away as good as I think he wanted and I got a good trip following him all the way to the promise land." "Scotty's (Zeron) horse was putting up decent enough fractions and my horse got to track him all the way to the top of the lane and he did the rest from there." Marion Marauder held on for second, while Bee In Charge finished third ahead of Winter Harbor. A son of Muscle Hill, Bar Hopping captured his elimination last week in 1:52.4 and was sent off at odds of 4-1 in Saturday's rich final. The sophomore trotting colt has had a strong season, but has been slightly overshadowed by rivals Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank, who had captured the classic three-year-old events before the Canadian Trotting Classic. "Well he's been really close, but he just hasn't got it done," Tetrick said. "It's not lack of trying. He put it all together tonight and there is still a lot of money to go for the rest of the year." Owned by Christina Takter, Hatfeld Stables, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Bar Hopping is now a five-time from 13 starts this season for nearly $800,000 in earnings. His career totals are now improved to six victories and $901,048 earned. The Muscle Hill colt's triumph Saturday gives trainer Jimmy Takter three consecutive victories in the Canadian Trotting Classic and five overall. "We've got a lot of partners and great partners, so I'm so happy for this win," said Takter in the winner's circle. "I was due to win a big race with this horse because he is a very nice horse." Takter noted that Bar Hopping will now head to The Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky for Grand Circuit action. Bar Hopping paid $10.10, $3.70 and $3.00. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 17 - Resolve turned in a game harness racing effort to come away with 1:51.4 victory in the $632,000 Maple Leaf Trot Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The five-year-old stallion was went toe-to-toe with standout mare Hannelore Hanover for the final-half and ultimately wore down the powerhouse to score a length and a half victory for Swedish native and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Resolve, who finished second in last year's Maple Leaf Trot, left from the rail and got away third, while Hannelore Hanover released Musical Rhythm to the lead at the opening-quarter in :26.4. Driver Yannick Gingras wasted little time circling Hannelore Hanover back around to the front in the second-quarter and the trotting mare led the field by the half in :55.3. Svanstedt started up Resolve nearing the half and immediately confronted the leader moving into the final turn. Hannelore Hanover and Resolve dueled to three-quarters in 1:23 and continued their battle into the lane. The Svanstedt trainee had no quit and finally edged by the gutsy mare in deep stretch for the win. "He's a really great horse and it was difficult today," said Svanstedt following Resolve's triumph. "He (left) very fast and then he was first over the second-half, so he did a very good job." A son of Muscle Hill, Resolve was last year's O'Brien Award winner for top older trotter in Canada. The Svanstedt trainee is well traveled this season, as he raced in Sweden's biggest race, the Elitlopp, back in May and finished second. Owned by Hans Enggren of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, Resolve now has 14 career victories and over $1.7 million earned. The five-year-old stallion scored his fourth victory of the season Saturday to bring his seasonal earnings to over $700,000. Hannelore Hanover, a four-year-old mare, was a $45,000 supplemental entry to the Maple Leaf Trot. The Ron Burke trainee entered Saturday's rich final off an impressive elimination victory and had only one loss in 15 prior starts this season. "She raced very good," acknowledged Svanstedt. "She's just a four-year-old and a mare. She's very good." Saturday's clash was the first meeting between Resolve and Hannelore Hanover. Although there is no upcoming meeting scheduled between the two star trotters, racing fans will certainly be hoping to see a rematch sooner rather than later. Svanstedt noted that he isn't sure what is next for Resolve, but has an idea of where he hopes to race. "We hope he'll be invited to the International Trot (at Yonkers Raceway)." Five-year-old mare Shake It Cerry finished third in Saturday's event, while locally trained trotters Flanagan Memory and Lookslikeachpndale rounded out the top five finishers. Swedish trotter Nahar, who is owned by Daniel and Henrik Sedin of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks, broke stride on the final turn and finished tenth. The wagering public was split between Resolve and Hannelore Hanover, as they went off as even-money co-favourites. Resolve returned $4.30, $2.50 and $2.20, while the $2 Exactor paid $8.40.   Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON- Securing the lead after the half, Ariana G advanced towards a 1:54 harness racing victory in the $363,000 Peaceful Way Final on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Ariana G sat off a :27.3 opening quarter while Pure Kemp took the lead, parking Dream Together. Thats All Moni began her brush to the lead, getting away third behind Stuck In My Spanks. Clearing into the backstretch, Thats All Moni was challenged by Ariana G, who edged to control after a :56.1 half. Gaining the lead around the far turn, Ariana G started to kick away from Thats All Moni sitting second. Stuck In My Spanks, Dream Together, and Southwind Avanti all lost stride, leaving Pure Kemp trotting in third and Winter Sweet Frost inheriting fourth. Leading by two lengths, Ariana G trotted to three-quarters in 1:25.1 before pulling away for a 3¼ lengths victory over Thats All Moni and Magic Presto, who trotted down the center of the track to take third. A two-year-old filly trotter by Muscle Hill out of the Cantab Hall mare Cantab It All, Ariana G is a homebred for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Undefeated in seven starts, she has earned $467,370. She is trained by Jimmy Takter and was driven by Yannick Gingras. "She's just incredible," Gingras said. "From the first time I trained her, she's just a pure professional. She feels like a three-year-old filly and you can do whatever you want with her. Seemed like the move to make today was to the front, and it cost us a little bit but I felt I was the one to beat and I would take my chances from there." Asked if Ariana G is the best two-year-old filly he has driven, Gingras said "She's pretty close to it, there's no doubt about that. She's very natural and can be driven with two fingers. There's nothing wrong with her; she has the whole package." "We'll see how she comes out of this," Marvin Katz said about Ariana G's next race. "We'd go to Lexington, all things being equal." Takter now holds the record for most Peaceful Way victories by a trainer with his fourth title courtesy of Ariana G. The daughter of Muscle Hill paid $2.10 to win. Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

FREEHOLD, NJ -- September 16, 2016 -- The third race today at Freehold was the $42,000 Charles Smith Final for the harness racing three year old colt trotters. Dominion Beach driven by Marcus Johansson took the lead from Inukchuck Chuck before the quarter. Dan Dube and Steed put the pressure on just past the half, Dominion Beach was able to hold him off for the win in 1:57.3. Southwind Flash driven by Joe Bongiorno finished second while Steed was able to hold on to third place. This makes win number 4 for on the season for the three year old son of Muscle Hill, Dominion Beach trained by Nancy Johansson. The favorite Southwind Flash finished second, while Steed took third place, both Muscle Hill sired colts. Courtney Stafford

FREEHOLD, NJ September 2, 2016 -- New Jersey trotters shine at Freehold Raceway. Two SBOANJ sponsored races were held today at Freehold Raceway, the Helen Smith Final for harness racing three-year-old filly trotters and the Harold Dancer Final for two-year-old colts. The Helen Smith was the eighth race on the card this afternoon with a purse of $30,000. The Julie Miller trainee Southwind Hope left from the rail position to wire the field in 1:58.3. This was her fifth win for the season and boosted her lifetime earnings to $178,973. The Muscle Hill filly was bred by Southwind Farms, New Jersey. Unica Steed finished second for trainer Jimmy Takter while Southwind Venus completed the trifecta for Marcus Melander. The ninth race was the Harold Dancer with a purse of $29,000. New Jersey Viking dominated the field winning by nine lengths in 1:57.3. Steve Smith drove the Muscle Hill colt to victory for trainer Ake Svanstedt. Bred by Winbak Farm, New Jersey Viking has three wins in six lifetime starts. The second and third place finishers were Long Tom and Fly On both Muscle sired colts. Courtney Stafford

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 1 - Ariana G and Dream Together picked up harness racing 'Grand Circuit' victories Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 20 rookie trotting fillies were split into two $110,566 Champlain Stakes division. Ariana G has quickly stamped herself as arguably the top two-year-old trotter in the sport and Thursday night she continued her winning ways in her Mohawk debut. The Jimmy Takter trained filly left from post five with driver Yannick Gingras and after avoiding several early breakers, the daughter of Muscle Hill cleared to the front at the opening-quarter in :29.4. Ariana G coasted through the middle-half by posting fractions of :59.1 and 1:27.4. In the stretch, the daughter of Muscle Hill glided home effortlessly in :28 for a 1:55.4 victory. Takter's other starter, That's All Moni, finished 2¼ lengths back in second, while Stuck In My Spanks edged out Magic Presto for third. Owned and bred by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Ariana G is now a perfect five for five following her Champlain victory. "This is really a special filly, but watching her makes me nervous because I know how talented she is," said Katz following his filly's victory. "It's a thrill and a pleasure to be able to say we bred her and we own her and she is part of our program and system." Thursday's start was the first for Ariana G since capturing the Doherty Memorial on August 6 at The Meadowlands in a stunning 1:53.1. "The first time I saw her she was about three months old and she was a weanling out in the fields of Kentucky," noted Katz. "We saw her periodically as she grew up. "She looked like she was talented as she was developing and growing and of course last year her full-sister, All The Time, was a top performer and won the Breeders Crown as a two-year-old, so we knew that we had terrific pedigrees to go with a top individual." Ariana G has now earned $270,870 through just five starts for Katz and Libfeld. The Takter trainee paid $2.20 to win. Katz noted that if Ariana G comes out of the Champlain well, she will be back at Mohawk next week for the Peaceful Way eliminations. Ariana G Dream Together extended her win streak to four with a 1:56.2 triumph in the first division. The daughter of Muscle Hill was sent to the front by driver Sylvain Filion and posted an opening-quarter of :28.4. Sianna Hanover, the 4/5 favourite, made a second-quarter move to the front from third and led the field through middle-half fractions of :58.2 and 1:28. In the stretch, Dream Together converted off the perfect two-hole trip by edging off the back of Sianna Hanover and rocketing by. The Luc Blais trainee stormed home in :28.1 to win by 1¼ lengths over Winter Sweet Frost. Sianna Hanover didn't have much trot in the lane and faded back to finish third. A $240,000 purchase at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Dream Together now has four wins in five starts, with her only loss coming in her career debut on July 26. Following Thursday's race, Filion noted that Dream Together didn't exactly bring her 'A' game to the Champlain. "She was very powerful tonight, but my only concern was for some reason she wasn't trotting the turns very good," said Filion. "That's the first tonight that she kind of struggled in the turns, but Luc (Blais) will solve the puzzle." Dream Together swept the Pure Ivory Series before picking up a Grand Circuit victory Thursday. The daughter of Muscle Hill now has $89,463 earned for owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec and is eligible to next week's Peaceful Way eliminations. "I'm looking forward to the next start," said Filion. "She makes me very happy and excited to be driving her." Dream Together paid $5.30 to win. Dream Together Grand Circuit action continues Friday night at Mohawk with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

ALLENTOWN, NJ - September 1, 2016 - A beautiful bay colt bred by Millstream Farm and Michael Taranto needs a name. The harness racing seventh episode of "Fika with Jonas," which airs on YouTube, starting on September 1, 2016, introduces the son of Muscle Hill - Mistery Woman and takes viewers to Millstream Farm in Allentown, NJ and Southwind Farm in Pennington, NJ to meet Muscle Hill and stallion manager Charlie Williams. "We need a name for Mistery Woman's first foal," said Jonas Czernyson, who trained the $480,360 earner. The multiple stakes winning Mistery Woman raced from 2012 to 2015, posting 11 wins, two seconds and 10 thirds in 39 starts and trotted to her 1:51 world record for four-year-olds in the Allerage at Kentucky's Red Mile. She was mated to 2009 Horse of the Year and Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill. "In addition to our racing operation, we have two breeding farms," Czernyson explained. "My mother-in-law, Claudean Cone, oversees Millstream Farm in Georgetown, KY, and my wife, Christine, manages the 76-acre Millstream Farm here in Allentown, NJ." The Czernysons and Mistery Woman's co-owner, Michael Taranto, will select a winning name, inviting submissions to the comments option on YouTube, or the Facebook and Twitter pages for Team JC. The deadline is September 22, 2016, and the winner will be announced on the October episode of Fika with Jonas. Prizes will be awarded, too. Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, is the star of the monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net. The video From Carol Hodes for Team JC

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Pole-sitting and pocketed, 14-1 Wildflower (Dan Dube, $31) picked off a drifting, odds-on Celebrity Eventsy (John Campbell) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $118,574 Hudson Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. The 1-4 choice had no visible excuse, waltzing around the oval (:28.2, 58.2; 1:27.3) with minimal first-up pressure from Windowshopper (Ake Svanstedt). The people's preference owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but tired late. Even with high-line urging from her chauffeur, she bore out more than enough to give her pursuer a shot. Wildflower ducked inside and stuck her tongue out a the wire, winning the Kodak moment in 1:56.1. Southwind Hope (Andy Miler), who slipped out in front of a gapper down the backside, offered good late foot to grab third while beaten a half-length. Dream Child (Jason Bartlett) and Windowshopper grabbed the final pay envelopes, while Hillosophical (Scott Zeron) was outrun and Dancing in Thehall (Mack MacDonald) broke. For Wildflower, one of three trained by Svanstedt here (Dancing in Thehall and Windowshopper, all racing separately), the daughter of Muscle Hill is co-owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple and Mal & Janet Burroughs, it was her third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $60.50, with the triple returning $119. "It's the first time I've driven her," Dube said. "I looked at the program and saw she doesn't make breaks, and thought she'd be a good horse for this track. "I saw John's filly (Celebrity Eventsy) starting to drift and thought I had a chance. When she made that last lunge, I thought I won it." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder and harness racing driver Scott Zeron made short work of his small-track debut, winning Saturday night's lone $40,000 elimination for the 62nd Yonkers Trot. "Marion," starting from post position No. 3 in a Yonkers Raceway game of musical chairs (nine to eliminate one), took things in his own hooves early. The 3-10 choice moved past first leader Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), then had few issues (:29.2, :58.4, 1:28.1, 1:56.2). The margin was a length-and-quarter over "Smalltown," with Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) a drifting, three-hole third. The real fun came in the back of the bus, when the second-tier Gleaming Memory (Ake Svanstedt) made an ugly break that directly wiped out Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald), while any number of the trailers also broke, were impeded or were just plain outrun. Steed (Brian Sears) was a best-of-the-rest fourth, with Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan), Cuffllink Hanover (Jason Bartlett), Celebrity Express (John Campbell) and Lagerfeld also earning berth into next Saturday's $500,000 final (open draw for second jewel of Trotting Triple Crown is Tuesday morning). For Marion Marauder, a 3-year-old son of Muscle Hill trained by Paula Wellwood, who kept in the family for co-owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, it was his seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.80, with the triple returning $22.60. "I couldn't have been more pleased with the way he trotted the half tonight," Zeron said. "I'm confident in his abilities to get the job done in the final." "We just wanted him to get off the gate clean and command a race on a half-mile, Mike Keeling, husband of the winning trainer, said. "I think he showed everybody that he can do that. He steered great and he trotted well." Saturday's card also featured a pair of events for 3-year-old fillies, the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace (3YO fillies). The report will be through soon. Frank Drucker

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 15 - The combination of harness racing driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais has been red hot lately at Mohawk Racetrack and Monday night was no different, as they teamed up to capture the Pure Ivory Series final and Preferred Trot. A field of seven two-year-old trotting fillies competed in the $37,000 Pure Ivory Series finale. Blais trainee Dream Together entered the final off a pair of victories in the preliminary legs. A daughter of Muscle Hill, Dream Together lived up to her 1/5 billing and went gate to wire for a 1:56.1 victory. The rookie trotting filly and driver Filion set fractions of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:28.2. Pure Kemp and trainer/driver Rick Zeron made a move to confront the heavy favourite heading to the three-quarter pole. The two fillies battled it out down the lane, but ultimately Dream Together pulled away in deep stretch to win by 2¾ lengths. Pure Kemp held on for second, while Southwind Tesla finished third. Dream Together now has three wins in four starts to begin her career. Owned by Determination of Montreal, Quebec, the Muscle Hill filly was purchased for $240,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She now has $34,180 earned in four outings. Dream Together is eligible to the upcoming Champlain and Peaceful Way Stakes. A $2 win ticket on Dream Together returned $2.70. Dream Together Also on Monday, Lookslikechpndale came through with his third win of the season in the $34,000 Preferred Trot for Filion and Blais. The four-year-old son of Muscle Hill posted a big opening-quarter of :26.4, before surrendering the lead to Musical Rhythm, the 2/5 favourite, heading to the half. Lookslikeachpndale and Filion sat the two-hole behind Musical Rhythm through middle fractions of :55.4 and 1:25.1. In the stretch, Musical Rhythm tried to sprint away, but Lookslikeachpndale angled off his back and surged by in deep stretch for the 1:52.4 victory. Owned by Determination, Lookslikeachpndale now has three wins in nine starts this season and nine victories overall. The four-year-old has banked $79,582 this season to bring his career earnings to over $200,000. The clocking of 1:52.4 slashed almost a full-second off the Blais trainee's previous career-best. Lookslikeachpndale paid $9.50 to win. Lookslikechpndale Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

Nichols, N.Y. -- A pair of 2-year-old trotters from the Ron Burke stable proved victorious in their respective Arthur Tompkins Memorial divisions on a rainy Thursday (August 11) evening at Tioga Downs, both upending heavy harness racing favorites in the last yards.   Southwind Cobra ($11.60) dueled gamely to a 1:56.4 victory in his $28,585 split for colts and geldings (race 4), pulling the pocket on approach to the far turn to engage 3-2 favorite Bill's Man (Andy Miller) after yielding with a circuit to go. While Bill's Man battled to a narrow lead off the far turn, the son of Muscle Hill and Caerphilly fought back stoutly at the pegs to prevail by half a length over sloppy going. Cagey (Mike Simons) chased well through the far turn to finish a clear third off his clear tracking trip. John Cummings, Jr. drove Southwind Cobra to his maiden-breaking victory for the Burke Racing Stable, Jack Piatt, II, Larry Karr, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership.   Burke's other winner came in a $28,410 division for fillies (race 5), as Romancing Rachel ($25.80) prevailed as the second-longest shot on the board. Mike Simons angled the daughter of Muscle Hill and Tady's Comer off the pegs with three-eighths to go, catching the cover of odds-on favorite Southwind Prius (Andy Miller) on approach to the far turn. At head-stretch, Romancing Rachel angled three-wide and swept clear to a two-length victory in 2:00.2 as Southwind Prius and Morning Glow (Jimmy Takter)--second and third respectively--dueled into defeat. The Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi share ownership of Romancing Rachel with Howard Taylor.   In the other Tompkins events on the nine-race card, Ice Attraction ($9.40) and Fly On ($2.10) both prevailed. Ice Attraction bested six fillies in 1:57.3 off a pocket trip in the $28,410 second event, angling at head-stretch to collar Southwind Avanti by three-quarters of a length. Oskar Florhed drove the daughter of Muscle Hill and The Ice Queen for trainer Ãke Svanstedt. In the $28,085 sixth for colts and geldings, Fly On posted a pillar-to-post 1:58.2 triumph, drawing clear by 4-1/2 lengths after his first-over rival Deacon Tony (Scott Coulter) broke stride at the top of the stretch. Andy Miller drove the son of Muscle Hill and Calchips Finisher for trainer Julie Miller.   Six divisions of the Geers Stakes for 2-year-old pacers--three for fillies, three for colts and geldings--headline Friday (August 12) evening's 12-race card at Tioga Downs, with first post slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 11 - Harness racing rookies were in the spotlight all-night Thursday at Mohawk Racetrack, including a compact group of six trotting colts competing in the second leg of the Define The World Series. Tom Durand trainee Seven And Seven used an impressive :55.4 back half to win the first leg and promptly was made the heavy 1/5 favourite in Thursday's second leg. However, Luc Blais trainee Jake, who missed the first leg due to sickness, got in the way of another Seven And Seven victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Jake got a two-hole trip behind stablemate Awol Hanover, who cut out fractions of :29, :59 and 1:28.1. Trainer/driver Durand sat fourth throughout the early stages with Seven And Seven, before making a move up to third nearing the three-quarter pole. Turning for home, Seven And Seven was five lengths from the front, while Jake was just a pair behind Awol Hanover. In the stretch, Jake was able to overtake the lead in the final-eighth and went toe-to-toe with Seven And Seven in deep stretch, ultimately holding off the favourite by a head for a 1:56.2 victory. Awol Hanover finished third to give his trainer two-thirds of the top three. A son of Muscle Hill, Jake was purchased for $100,000 at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale by Determination of Montreal, Quebec. The Blais student finished third in his career debut on July 19 and was making his second start on Thursday. Jake is a Full-Brother to four-year-old Lookslikeachpndale, who has earned $189,488 during his career and also is trained by Blais. A $2 win ticket on Jake returned $15.40. The series final of the Define The World will take place next Thursday (August 18). 106-1 shocker shakes things up Also on Thursday, the tote board exploded in the evening's sixth race, as claiming pacer Sports Vision and driver Jason Ryan pulled off an upset victory at 106-1. The Scott Friend trained four-year-old rallied from eighth at the three-quarter pole to get up and win by a nose. Sports Vision paid $214.40 to Win, $52.10 to Place and $26.10 to Show. He was making his first start Thursday on the WEG Circuit since April 21 and sported a 2016 record of two wins from 15 starts. The sixth-race was the third leg of the Early Pick-4. The first leg was captured by the favourite, but the final three legs were won by horses at odds of 9-1, 106-1 and 24-1. A $0.20 winning ticket on the Early Pick-4 paid $3,226.70. The total pool was $52,057. Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk. Post time for the 11-race card is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 8 - Dream Together followed up her 1:58.2 score last week with an impressive 1:57 triumph in the second leg of the harness racing Pure Ivory Series Monday at Mohawk Racetrack. A $240,000 yearling purchase, Dream Together defeated seven rivals in the second leg of the three-week series to set herself up for a potential sweep. The Luc Blais trainee was making her third career start and was made the favourite after her solid victory in the opening leg. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Dream Together got away third from the outside post-eight and made a move towards the front just before the half. A Doozy posted opening fractions of :28.4 and :59.1, but quickly surrendered the lead to the public's choice after the midway point. Dream Together marched the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:28.4 and finished off the mile with a comfortable 28.1 final-quarter to win by 2¼ lengths. Pure Kemp turned in a solid stretch rally to come from fifth to finish second. A Doozy was third. A daughter of Muscle Hill, Dream Together is owned by Determination of Montreal, Quebec. The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale graduate now has two wins in three starts to begin her career. Dream Together is the fifth foal out of 2007 Hambletonian Oaks winner Danae. A $2 win ticket on Dream Together returned $3.50. Dream Together The $37,000 final of the Pure Ivory Series will take place next Monday (August 15). Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

East Rutherford, NJ ---- It wasn’t the perfect drive. But it was the perfect ending. Marion Marauder won Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, by a nose over Southwind Frank in 1:51.4 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Sutton was third as the top three horses stretched across the finish line separated by only a neck in the 91st edition of the sport’s top race for harness racing 3-year-old trotters. It was Marion Marauder’s second win of the day. Earlier in the afternoon, he won his Hambletonian elimination by a half-length over Southwind Frank in a career-best 1:51.3. Last year, Marion Marauder was winless in races against Southwind Frank, finishing second on four occasions. In the Hambletonian final, Marion Marauder was fifth as Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping traded the lead in the first half of the race. At that point Scott Zeron, driving Marion Marauder for the wife-and-husband training team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, put his horse in gear and launched a first-over attack. Marion Marauder was second behind Bar Hopping at three-quarters, but reached the front at the top of the stretch. As Bar Hopping dropped back, eventually finishing fifth, Marion Marauder held off hard-charging challenges from Southwind Frank to his inside and Sutton on the outside. Waitlifter K was fourth, beaten a length. Zeron, who at age 27 became the second-youngest driver to win the Hambletonian, thought he might have moved too soon with Marion Marauder. “I know better,” Zeron said. “I know that when he clears another horse, he thinks the race is over, and I got a little over anxious. I just tried to get away on Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping and just sprint away from them and my horse just kind of started lollygagging around and not knowing where the wire was but he hung tough to finish. “It is amazing. The Wellwood family has trained trotters their whole lives and everything they’ve done has lead up to this point. The pressure is all on the Hambletonian and we delivered, the horse delivered. It was amazing. I can’t believe it.” Wellwood, who became the second female trainer to win the Hambletonian, along with Linda Toscano, is the daughter of the late Bill Wellwood, a driver/trainer enshrined in both the U.S. and Canadian halls of fame. Marion Marauder is owned by Wellwood’s mother, Marion Jean, and her 19-year-old son, Devin Keeling. Marion Marauder’s name combines the names of Wellwood’s mom and the nickname of Devin’s college mascot at McMaster University, where he will play football. Interestingly, the horse’s original name already had “Marion” in it; he was purchased for $37,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale under the name Marion Monopoly. According to Wellwood, this was the family’s 10th try at winning the Hambletonian. “It means the world; it was my father’s dream,” Wellwood said. “It has been my mother’s and my dream. We’ve tried. When this horse came along, you dare to dream. We started to dream last year. “I was in shock (at the finish) it was so close. I knew where he was, I knew he was first up and had taken over the lead. I guess I was in shock, I couldn’t even scream. I watched and I thought it was too close to call and everyone was saying it was too close to call.” Added a teary-eyed Marion Jean Wellwood, “It feels really good. I’ve been trying for this for a long time and I just want to say I dedicate this to my late husband.” Marion Marauder, a son of 2009 Hambletonian winner  Muscle Hill out of the Nova Award-winning mare Spellbound Hanover, has won six of seven races this year and seven of 20 career starts. He pushed his lifetime earnings to $1.01 million with his Hambletonian triumph. “The difference between last year and this year is that he grew quite a bit,” Paula Wellwood said. “He got bigger and stronger but the real difference is that he learned how to win.” Zeron’s win capped a memorable championship meet at the Meadowlands for the driver, who won the track’s driving title. “I want to thank Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling for bringing me in to drive this horse full time,” said Zeron, who was driving in the Hambletonian for the first time. “Not a lot of people give a young guy a chance to drive a Hambletonian trotter. It’s amazing.” by Ken Weingartner and Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

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