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Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (October 3) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by owner/trainer, Nancy Johansson; Joe Faraldo, from the SOA of NY; and Kurt Becker, from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Owner/Trainer Johansson, joins the program this week to talk about the recent purchases from the Lexington Selected Sale. She will talk about what went into the decision to purchase the horses, and some of the things that she looks for when at the yearling sales. Faraldo, from the SOA of NY, will discuss the upcoming 2018 International Trot. Faraldo will discuss what goes into selecting and getting the horses to the United States for the big race. Post Time will be live from Yonkers Raceway next Saturday to cover the $1 million dollar race.   Becker, an announcer at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, discusses what goes into being the announcer at such a big event. He will talk about what kind of research goes into the position and what he looks forward to each year. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. By Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 23, 2018 -- With her victories in the Lynch final and the Mistletoe Shalee, Kissin In The Sand soared to the top of the 3-year-old filly pacing division. On Friday at The Meadows, she'll try to lock up a berth in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship set for Sept. 2 at Pocono. In Friday's PASS, a $160,238 stake known as the Romola Hanover, she'll go from post 6 in race 8, with Dave Palone driving for trainer Nancy Johansson and owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. Special post time for the twilight card is 5:30 PM. Kissin In The sand has finished first or second in all eight starts this year, lifting her career bankroll to $634,997. She's tied for fourth in PASS standings; with nine of the Top 10 in PASS points competing in the Romola Hanover, it might not be a day at the beach for the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate. Speaking of days at the beach, that's pretty much how she's been prepping for the stake. Johansson is a proponent of interval training, which involves brief, intense bursts of speed followed by long, slow jogs. The workouts take place on the straight, in deep sand, and can last an hour. Trainers who use interval training say it builds foundation while increasing the capacity for quicker, faster brushes. "About 95 percent of European trainers use it," Johansson says. "Speed is tough on the joints, and this allows you to work the heart without having to go very quickly. We're very diligent about checking heart rates after training, and she always has a very low heart rate." Johansson believes Kissin In The Sand is well positioned to finish the season strongly and win the divisional Dan Patch award. "I think that's everybody's goal, although now that she's at the top, everybody's coming after her," she says. "I see no reason why she couldn't do it. She's been super all year, and she's gad good breaks between her tough races." Johansson indicated she's had preliminary discussions with Katz about the direction for Kissin In The Sand once this season ends. "Marvin is a successful breeder, and she would do great in the breeding shed. But if she can make money on the track, that option is still there. She'd be competitive with aged mares. A lot of them will be bred, so there may be fewer of them next year." The card also features a $40,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly pacers and many fan-centric activities. As part of the "Corks and Kegs Weekend," fans may enjoy a variety of specialties from food trucks on the apron. Nearby, fans 12 and older can participate in a virtual reality exhibit that will give them the experience of driving a Standardbred. Radio station 93.7 FM The Fan will broadcast live from the track and kick off the program with a match race between on-air personalities Joe Starkey and Chris Mueller. The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will offer "Family Fun Night" festivities that include a bounce house, a stilt walker, a face painter and a balloon artist. In addition, the MSOA will invite fans to play Plinko, and eight of the track's regular drivers will compete in a "Pony Hop Charity Challenge," with all prize money donated to the drivers' designated charities. For more information or to participate, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. Drivers and their charities include: Mike Wilder -- Pacing for the Cure Dave Palone -- Standardbred Retirement Foundation Jeremy Indof -- American Cancer Society Dan Rawlings-- Asperger and Autism Network Jim Pantaleano -- Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center Brady Brown -- St Jude Hospital Shawn Johnston -- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Western Pennsylvania Wilbur Yoder -- New Vocations by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Hightstown, NJ ---Given her background, it is no surprise L A Delight is something of a professional. And that delights her new harness racing trainer, Nancy Johansson. Johansson began working with the 5-year-old female pacer following her private purchase last month by Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek Racing. She was trained previously by Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh, earning $1.32 million and capturing divisional O’Brien Award honors in Canada at ages 2 and 3. “She’s a lovely mare to be around,” Johansson said. “She does her work. There’s nothing really out of the ordinary about her, which is extraordinary, I guess, in some kind of way. She knows exactly what she’s supposed to do.” L A Delight is a daughter of Bettor’s Delight out of stakes-winner West Of L A. She was bred by McIntosh, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., and is a half-sister to millionaire Somewhere In L A. Her family also includes 2012 North America Cup champion Thinking Out Loud and stakes-winning You See L A. She enters 2018 with 23 wins and 36 total top-three finishes in 47 career starts. Her victories include the 2015 She’s A Great Lady Stakes, the 2016 Jugette, and two Ontario Sire Stakes championships. “It’s a tough act to follow,” Johansson said with a laugh. L A Delight, who has won two qualifiers this month for Johansson, is being prepped for the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, which begins March 16, at Yonkers Raceway. The six-week event concludes April 21 with a $125,000-added final. “She’s a little hard to gauge, because she’s one of those horses that does enough to win,” Johansson said. “But she was well in hand and not stressed at all by either qualifier. “The Matchmaker is a tough series. It’s a lot of weeks in a row and I want her peaking for the legs and final there, not for qualifiers. Hopefully with a little bit of racing she’ll find her form.” Johansson, a previous winner of the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s Rising Star Award, has enjoyed success with female pacers, most notably with 2014 Horse of the Year JK She’salady. Last year, Johansson set career highs for wins, with 36, and trainer’s rating, with a .310 mark. Among her top returnees from 2017 is 3-year-old filly pacer Kissin In The Sand, who won seven of 14 races last season including the Kindergarten Series championship and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. “She’s coming back nicely,” Johansson said. “She’s just training on the straight track right now, getting some conditioning into her. She’s always been a good-sized filly and she filled out a little bit during turnout. The time off was good for her. “She’s probably the fastest filly I’ve ever trained, like quick speed. She’s got high speed to her. If she could put it all together and mature a little bit and grow a little bit from last year, I think her speed can take her a long way this year.” Johansson’s stable also includes 17 2-year-olds. “I’d say overall that this is the best group I’ve ever had,” Johansson said. “We’ve had one or two standouts every year, but this year as a whole group, I’d say it’s probably the best. We have some nice trotters. We have a couple really nice Father Patrick-(sired) fillies that I like a lot and two Cantab Hall-(sired) fillies that are very nice.  “Hopefully they can do some damage on the track.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Trenton, NJ --- Darlinonthebeach can end a lot of frustration and take care of some unfinished family business with a good trip this Friday (Oct. 27). Harness racing trainer Nancy Johansson’s horse is 3-1 on the morning line for the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace at Hoosier Park. Darlinonthebeach won the first of two eliminations this past Friday in 1:49.3, while race favorite Nike Franco N (2-1) won the second elimination in 1:51.2. With four wins, a place and a show in 12 starts, it has been an inconsistent year for Darlinonthebeach for the most part. But Johansson is hoping her time could be arriving. “She’s coming into form,” the trainer said. “She’s one of the best mares, it’s just that her season got messed up (dealing with an infection during the summer). It’s probably been frustrating for her, too, because horses like her, good horses, know what it means to win and they know what it means to lose. It’s frustrating for them, too, when it doesn’t go their way. “But she’s tough. She bounces back. She’s got grit. She’s a tough girl.” She’s a lot like her mom, Darlin’s Delight, according to Johansson. “Her momma was tough too,” she said. “Her mom never won a Breeders Crown, so hopefully she can do it. She won a lot of races, but she never won a Breeders Crown.” Darlin's Delight raced in five Breeders Crown finals in her career, posting three second-place finishes, one third and one fifth. Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, the 4-year-old Darlinonthebeach has $61,205 in earnings this year and sprinted past Lady Shadow around the turn and into the stretch to win her Breeders Crown elimination with Brett Miller in the sulky. “Brett drove her perfectly, he drove her with confidence,” Johansson said. “He left with her and let her do her thing the last part of the race. He never pulled the earplugs on her so I think we’re in good shape. “She (had) been around this track once (prior to her elimination). I don’t know if that helped her, but she saw this long stretch once before." Darlinonthebeach hopes to challenge favorite Nike Franco N, who was driven to an easy elimination win in 1:51.2 by Tim Tetrick. “It was everything we expected,” trainer Jim King Jr. said after the victory. “She was much sharper tonight than she was even at Lexington. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t raining here. “She acts like she feels pretty good. As of today, we’re looking forward to (the final).” The 7-year-old has hit the board 12 times in 15 starts this year, including seven victories. Out of Nearea Franco and sired by McArdle, Nike Franco N has won $357,337 in 2017 for owner Richard Poillucci. “She’s had a really good year,” King said. “I don’t think we’ve seen the end of her. She really likes what she does. We’ve kind of got her figured out as far as what kind of schedule she likes to keep. She doesn’t need to get as many starts a year as a lot of horses. She just appreciates things getting done her way. We’re just really pleased with her.” Another horse to watch is Blue Moon Stride, who is 8-1 after finishing fifth in her elimination. “I think I’m initially disappointed (with the elimination),” trainer Mark Harder said. “But it’s probably not her game to go back to last and then sprint home. She’s a good, tough mare and she’s probably better off being involved a little bit. She can do a bit of work on both ends. She’s not one that’s going to sprint home in 25 seconds.” The 4-year-old has four wins, four places and two shows in 16 starts, having won $265,754. David Miller will drive her in the final. “The last couple of months have been really good,” Harder said. “The transition from (age) 3 to 4 is tough and her, Pure Country, Darlinonthebeach, they all struggled a little early. And it looks like they’re all getting a little bit better later.” Other horses of interest are Lady Shadow, who won last year’s Breeders Crown Mare Pace, and Pure Country, who won a Breeders Crown as a 2-year-old in 2015. Following is the field for Friday’s $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1- L A Delight by Bettor's Delight - Corey Callahan - Robert McIntosh - 20/1  2 - Pure Country by Somebeachsomewhere - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter - 15/1  3 - Nike Franco N by McArdle - Tim Tetrick - Jim King Jr. - 2/1  4 - Darlinonthebeach by Somebeachsomewhere - Brett Miller - Nancy Johansson - 3/1  5 - Windsun Glory by Mach Three - Trace Tetrick - Ron Burke - 15/1  6 - Bedroomconfessions by American Ideal - Yannick Gingras - Tony Alagna - 10/1  7 - Sassa Hanover by Rock N Roll Heaven - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 30/1  8 - Lady Shadow by Shadow Play - Yannick Gingras - Ronald Adams - 7/2  9 - Seventimesavirgin by Always A Virgin  - John De Long - John De Long - 30/1  10 - Blue Moon Stride by Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Mark Harder - 8/1 by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

ANDERSON, Ind. - Darlinonthebeach, with Brett Miller in the sulky, won the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for harness racing mare pacers in 1:49.3 at Hoosier Park Friday night. The winner is trained by Nancy Johansson for owner-breeder White Birch Farm. Darlinonthebeach left alertly, with Lady Shadow by her side, letting that one get the lead in a first quarter of :26. Lady Shadow cut the half in :54.4 as Pure Country went first over to chase the top two. Three-quarters went in 1:22.4. Darlinonthebeach (Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin's Delight) was game around the turn and into the stretch and sprinted by Lady Shadow, who held the second spot. Windsun Glory closed late to get the show dough with Pure Country finishing fourth. Assistant trainer Marcus Johansson said he was "happy here with her effort" though he said she had a slow start this season. Darlinonthebeach, who went off at 5-1 and paid $13.80 to win, lifted her lifetime earnings to just under $950,000. By Frank Cotolo, for Breeders Crown  

Ella Christina (Marcus Johansson) sneaks through on the inside to capture the Filly and Mares harness racing feature ($5,000) on Thursday night at Vernon Downs (July 6). Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) would jump out to the lead right out of the gate. The 7 year-old would put up the early fractions of :27.2, :56.1, 1:24.1. Love You Bye (Jimmy Wittemore) would hold the pocket trip going for most of the circuit coming out of the pocket to lead at the top of the stretch. That is when Ella Christina (Western Ideal), who is owned and trained by Nancy Johansson, would make her move sneaking by on the pylons while slipping by to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.2. Love you by would take second with Tiger Boudoir holding on for third. Barn Sis (Cole Wimmer) would be a winner in her second career start. The 2 year-old by Credit Winner - Baby I'm Bad, would use a late move to nip first time starter Stella Agnes (Deweycheatumnhowe-Stella Hall) in 2:02. Barn Sis ($7.10) is owned by Morrisville Col Fdn Inc. and trained by Keith Cluff. Stella Agnes would finish second and Poe Epic (Joe Nassimos) would get second. Four division of the New York SIre Stakes for 2 year-old pacing fillies will be on center stage when Vernon Downs returns for live racing on Friday (July 7). The 10 race card will begin at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to ww.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs

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

Darlinonthebeach took the lead after the opening quarter-mile and set all the fractions from there, winning Saturday's $350,000 Valley Forge for harness racing 3-year-old female pacers by 4-1/4 lengths over Call Me Queen Be in 1:49.3. Blue Moon Stride finished third, followed by Pure Country. Blue Moon Stride went to the front at the start, with Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller settling in third as the field paced around the first turn and reached the quarter in :26.1. Darlinonthebeach, the 6-5 second choice behind Pure Country, was on the move coming off the turn and reached the lead on her way to the half in :54.4. From there, Darlinonthebeach reached three-quarters in 1:21.4 and came home a convincing winner for trainer Nancy Johansson and breeder/owner White Birch Farm. Pure Country, a slight even-money favorite over Darlinonthebeach, was parked outside from post nine and unable to gain ground in the stretch. "I was going to wait and see what happened off the gate," Miller said. "Really, only a couple of them left and I figured I could get the lead pretty easily so I went ahead and moved her right away. She's settled down quite a bit and lets me do what I need to do with her. She's been racing great doing that." Darlinonthebeach won for the third consecutive time and has finished no worse than second in four races since suffering from atrial fibrillation in the Lynch Memorial on July 2 at Pocono. "She's just been very sharp the last three starts and she's holding her form really good," Miller said. "I've always had a lot of confidence in her. She just ran into a few hiccups there, but she's stuck with it, she's getting through it, and now she's getting what she deserves." Darlinonthebeach has won eight of 13 races this year and earned $447,881. For her career, the homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin's Delight has won 10 of 23 starts and banked $663,272. Darlinonthebeach Graceful Vision took the lead after the opening quarter, fended off a backstretch challenge from favorite Skinny Dipper, and cruised to a 5-1/4 length win in 1:50.3 in the $150,000 Valley Forge Consolation I. Heels On The Beach was second and Marty Party Two was third. Marcus Miller drove Graceful Vision for his father, trainer and co-owner Erv Miller. The daughter of Yankee Cruiser-Vision Of Grace is also owned by John Koliopoulos. She has won four of 12 races this season and five of 16 lifetime, pushing her career earnings to $114,330. Graceful Vision was sent off at odds of 7-2. The top four finishers were driven by Millers -- with Brett Miller behind Heels On The Beach, David Miller with Marty Party Two, and Andy Miller with Arrow Hanover. PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner

East Rutherford, NJ --- Darlinonthebeach took care of business in Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $94,675 Shady Daisy for harness racing 3-year-old filly pacers on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands. Darlinonthebeach defeated fast-closing Call Me Queen Be by a head in a stakes-record 1:49.1. Blue Moon Stride was third. Darlinonthebeach, a Nancy Johansson trainee and Somebeachsomewhere - Darlin's Delight filly, got away third off the gate, but took command after a strong brush past the half, which was rated in :53.3. Darlinonthebeach continued to lead into the stretch and fought off Blue Moon Stride before holding off Call Me Queen Be at the wire. Driver David Miller drove the filly to a new lifetime mark in addition to the stakes-record. “I had to go pretty hard to get around (Blue Moon Stride) but I got a breather, the third quarter was only :28, and she swelled up and did the rest finishing,” said Miller. “I was a little surprised that (Call Me Queen Be) had as much pop as she did. But my mare fought game and kept her head in front.” Darlinonthebeach paid $4.80 to win as she went off the 7-5 second choice on the board behind the 3-5 favorite, Blue Moon Stride. The filly is owned by breeder White Birch Farm of Allentown, N.J. She has won six times this year with earnings of $232,941. by Hunter Holton, for the Clyde Hirt Workshop  Courtesy of The United States Trotting Association

Darlinonthebeach survived a wicked 25.4 first quarter and rolled home for harness racing driver David Miller in a stake-record 1:49.4 in Friday's Adios Betty, a $161,760 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly pacers at The Meadows. I Said Diamonds, who had lowered the stake mark to 1:50 moments before Darlinonthebeach stepped on the track, captured the other division. In the May 7 final of the Miss Pennsylvania, Darlinonthebeach was parked out in 25.2 and was out of gas late, finishing seventh. When she witnessed the brutal opening panel in the Adios Betty, trainer Nancy Johansson had the sinking feeling that history was repeating itself. "When I saw the first quarter in 25.4, I said to the girl who takes care of her, 'Oh no, not again,'" she said. "The difference today was that David was able to back her off the second quarter, so she had a little bit left in the tank when they came at her. She raced super." White Birch Farm's homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin's Delight easily thwarted the first-over challenge of Shesasmokinlady and defeated the pocket-sitting Lispatty, an 86-1 long shot, by 3/4 lengths. Pure Country, the 1-2 favorite, rallied but could manage only show. Marty Party held the previous stake record of 1:51.3. Johansson said Darlinonthebeach, who now boasts $287,981 in career earnings, would be pointed to the Fan Hanover. I Said Diamonds also endured a rough start when, as the 1-5 favorite, she was looped while on the outside and finally made the point in 26.1 "I was just waiting for the dust to settle," said winning driver Jim Pantaleano. "I saw the outside horses leaving really hard, and I did not want to get into a speed duel. She was really relaxed on the lead, which obviously is a good attribute in a racehorse." I Said Diamonds defeated Call Me Queen Be by 1-1/4 lengths, with Newborn Sassy third. Matias Ruiz conditions the daughter of Well Said-Silksndiamonds, who extended her lifetime bankroll to $286,060, for Little Bapa LLC. $80,000 PA Stallion Series - 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers In Friday's co-feature, Keystone Riptide matched the stake record of 1:52, established in 2013 by Icommandmyspirit.  Also taking $20,000 splits were Albany Girl, Terror At Night and Corona Again. Brett Miller enjoyed a stake double with Albany Girl and Terror Again. Keystone Riptide quarter-poled to the lead and scored handily for David Miller, trainer Nikolas Drennan and owners Joseph Davino, Patrick O'Brien and Brad Shackman. Nip's Beach Girl was 3 lengths back in second while End To End Hanover closed well for third. "Last week, she got loose late, and she was coming really hard on the end of it," said David Miller of the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Keystone Rebecca. "I thought tonight would be a good time to put her back on the lead. She's a nice filly, a borderline sires stake type." Terror at Night brushed to the front before the quarter and widened her lead from there, scoring her first stake win of the season in a career-fastest 1:52.2. Drag N Sand was second, 6-3/4 lengths in arrears, while Triple Charm completed the ticket. "I didn't think she was up to stake company until now," said Les Givens, who conditions the daughter of Western Terror-Enhance The Night -- a $20,000 yearling acquisition -- for Nanticoke Racing, Edward Maas III and Arlene Paisley. "Down the road, who knows? I want to keep her happy." Corona Again used an extended uncovered move to open up a daylight lead for Tim Tetrick, trainer Douglas Lewis and owner LA Express Stable. The daughter of Dragon Again-Exotic Location defeated Hooves On First by 5-1/4 lengths in 1:53. Marty Party Two completed the ticket. "She's a great big, growthy filly," Tetrick said. "She has a lot to learn yet. She's still like a little kid out there -- looks at everything, tries to jump shadows. She has a lot of talent, but she has to get her mind on right." Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday with a special Memorial Day card beginning at 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The beaten favorite in the recent Miss Pennsylvania Final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Darlinonthebeach, got some measure of revenge by winning one of three $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars divisions for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies at The Downs Monday, not letting an unusually-patterned race keep her from a 1:51.3 victory. The other two divisions saw their victresses, I Said Diamonds and Shesasmokinlady, both take new lifetime marks of 1:50.4 in capturing their sections.   Princess Fabulosa outgunned everybody out of the gate in the first division, with 4-5 favorite Darlinonthebeach second but having an early problem, as Newborn Sassy, the 11-10 second choice, and Sail To The Beach were biding their time two-wide just to "Darlin"'s right until the early fireworks settled. Newborn Sassy made the lead at the 27.3 quarter, and here's where the sulky wheels were joined by the drivers' wheels starting to turn.   Sail To The Beach and John Campbell proceeded up towards the lead, but Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller pulled out right behind them. Tim Tetrick, behind Newport Sassy, quickly did the math that "1+1+1=3=first-over," and since he didn't want to be in that position, he urged his filly on to keep the lead, leaving Sail To The Beach stuck two-wide and Darlinonthebeach temporarily three-wide as Miller did not want to lose momentum, thinking Sail To The Beach would go to the top.   Newborn Sassy retained the top at the half in 55 (27.2 second quarter, faster than the first and against the wind) after that mental sulky chess match, with Princess Fabulosa in the pocket and Darlinonthebeach backing off to second-over, and they went down the backstretch that way to a 1:22.4 3/4s. When left-out-first-over Sail To The Beach gave way on the far turn, Miller again had to go three-wide, while Princess Fabulosa (Jim Marohn Jr.) attacking in the stretch to the left of Newport Sassy. Darlinonthebeach showed grittiness, striding on to outfoot Newport Sassy by a neck, while 20-1 Princess Fabulosa another neck back in third.   The winner is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Nancy Johansson for owner White Birch Farm.   The matter was much more tactically simple for second division winner I Said Diamonds. Driver Matt Kakaley fired her up early from the outermost post eight and grabbed the top after the 26.4 opener, posting middle splits of 55.3 and 1:23, then drawing clear on the turn to win by 3¼ lengths over another daughter of Well Said, I Said Please. The winner has never been off the board in nine career starts, and her 2016 record is now 3-2-1-0, the second in finishing behind Pure Country in the Miss Pennsylvania Final, for trainer Matias Ruiz and the ownership of Little Bapa LLC.   Like I Said Diamonds, Shesasmokinlady has now been 1-2-3 in nine career outings, running her record to 2-for-2 this season in taking the third division for trainer/driver Ray Paver (still thought of as "Tommy" or "Junior" to the older among us). The victorious smoke-colored daughter of McArdle was out well past the 26.3 first quarter, made the lead in front of the stands and then yielded to a brushing Eloquent Grace before the 54.2 half. 7-5 chalk Yankee Moonshine attacked first-over to the 1:22.2 3/4s, but when that foe backed off, 8-5 second choice Shesasmokinlady could come to the outside, go past the pacesetter, then hold off the late Pocono Pike thrust of 14-1 early leader Some Fancy Filly by a head. Iris Horowitz owns the late-developing and powerful-looking filly.   Pennsylvania All-Stars action for three-year-olds concludes tomorrow at Pocono, with three $30,000 divisions for trotting fillies the headliners.   PHHA / Pocono

Darlinonthebeach handed Pure Country the first loss of her career in last weekend's eliminations for Saturday night's $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Stakes, but harness racing trainer Nancy Johansson knows her filly faces another challenging task ahead. Johansson trains Darlinonthebeach for breeder/owner White Birch Farm. Darlinonthebeach, who is 2-for-2 this year after hitting the board in nine of 10 races last season, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Miss Pennsylvania, which is restricted to Pennsylvania-sired 3-year-old female pacers. Darlinonthebeach will start the final from post four with David Miller in the sulky. Pure Country, who was unbeaten in 10 starts in 2015 and received the Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old female pacer, will leave from post six with driver Brett Miller and is the 3-1 second choice. She made her seasonal debut in the first of three Miss Pennsylvania eliminations and finished third after getting to the front following a :26.3 opening quarter-mile and leading into the stretch. Newborn Sassy, who finished second to Darlinonthebeach's 1:50.4 mile in that elim, is 5-1 on the morning line and will start from post two with driver Tim Tetrick. Newborn Sassy won eight of 10 races last year, including the Matron Stakes, for training tandem of Jim King Jr. and Jo Ann Looney-King. Call Me Queen Be and I Said Diamonds, the remaining two elimination winners, will leave from posts five and nine, respectively. Call Me Queen Be, with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Ross Croghan, is 4-1 on the morning line and I Said Diamonds, with Matt Kakaley in the bike for Matias Ruiz, is 10-1. "I think Pure Country is a great filly," said Johansson, who is the daughter of Pure Country's trainer, Jimmy Takter. "She needed that race. Newborn Sassy needed that race too; it was the first start of the year for them. I'm sure Pure Country and Newborn Sassy are going to be much better this week. They're going to be tighter. It's going to be a good race." Darlinonthebeach is a daughter of stallion Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Darlin's Delight. White Birch Farm also bred, raced and owns Darlin's Delight, who earned $2.90 million in her career and received the 2006 Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old filly pacer. Last year, Darlinonthebeach won two of 10 races, including a division of the International Stallion Stakes, and finished second on five occasions, including the She's A Great Lady Stakes. "It seems like she's matured a little bit from last year," Johansson said about Darlinonthebeach. "She grew up quite a bit; filled out quite a bit from last year. I think that helps. When they get stronger they can carry their speed a little longer. Mentally I think she's a bit more focused than she was last year. It all just needs to come together, which so far it has." Darlinonthebeach's only off-the-board finish came in last October's Breeders Crown final, where she finished sixth after going off stride at the halfway point. But Darlinonthebeach made up ground with a :26.4 last quarter-mile that was nearly one-second quicker than any other horse in the race. "It was unfortunate in the Breeders Crown that she ran into the horse in front of her because I think she would have been right there on the wire with Pure Country in that start," Johansson said. "She made up an enormous amount of ground; she was really sharp that day. But that is what it is; you can't change that now." Because she won only twice last year, Johansson was able to qualify Darlinonthebeach once and then put the filly into a conditioned race for Pennsylvania-preferred female pacers ages 4 and under. Getting a start prior to the Miss Pennsylvania eliminations was an advantage, she said. "Qualifying and racing is a big difference," Johansson said. "But you don't want to race these 3-year-old fillies against open (level) mares. For her, she had the advantage where she was still in non-winners of three and Pennsylvania-bred, so I had an option to race her somewhere. "I think she raced really well (last weekend)," the trainer added. "She went (1:)50.4 under no urging whatsoever. When I watched the replay I realized David didn't even encourage her to go coming down the stretch. He just pulled the earplugs and she was off. So I was happy with it. So far so good." Pocono will conduct two race cards Saturday sandwiching the Kentucky Derby. The first card, with first-race post time of 11 a.m., features three divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars for 3-year-old male trotters. The evening card, in addition to the Miss Pennsylvania, includes the $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic for Pennsylvania-sired 3-year-old male pacers. Ken Weingartner

Saturday April 30th Freehold Raceway set the stage for harness racing three-year-old colt trotters in eliminations of the Dexter Cup. The first elimination was taken by Cufflink Hanover, the son of Andover Hall. He settled in for a two-hole trip behind the favorite Steed. Cufflink Hanover took the lead in the stretch to win in a brisk 1:57.3 for driver David Miller. The three-year old colt trotter is trained by Nifty Norman and has secured a spot in the Dexter final. Dominion Beach was favored to win the second elimination and did just that. Marcus Johansson and Dominion Beach held off a late surge by Sir Royson in the stretch to win in 1:58.0. Trained by Nancy Johansson the Muscle Beach colt looks to repeat in the final. Dante driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt took the lead from the word go and never looked back in the third and final elimination. The son of Credit Winner defeated the favorite Inukchuk Chuck in 1:58.3. The $140,800 final will be held on Derby Day, Saturday May 7th, at Freehold Raceway. The three winners will be accompanied by the three-second place finishers: Steed, Sir Royson and Inukchuk Chuck, and two of the third place finishers. Credevie, Cloud Nine Hanover and Hillman will draw for the two remaining spots in the final, by lot. Courtney Stafford

Three $20,000 eliminations for next Saturday evening's inaugural $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Pace for PA-sired harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies were held Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the pocket the racing position to be in, as all three winners rallied from the two-hole - one outside, the other two inside up the famed "Pocono Pike."   In the first elimination, Pure Country, undefeated in 10 starts at two and national divisional champion, fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, as in a 54.3 sprint home she couldn't go enough in her seasonal bow and had to settle for third, and a position in the Miss Pennsylvania, behind the victorious Darlinonthebeach, a 1:50.4 winner, and Pocono Pike-shooting second-place finisher Newborn Sassy.   Driver David Miller sent the Somebeachsomewhere filly Darlinonthebeach directly to the front, ceding the lead at the 26.3 quarter to the 50-cent favorite Pure Country, with Newport Sassy sitting third. Pure Country got a breather into the second quarter headwind and hit the half in 56.1, picking up the tempo to reach the ¾ pole in 1:23.3.   Turning for home Miller pulled Darlinonthebeach (second choice at 2-1) outside and sailed right on by, with Miller sitting chilly in the bike. Newport Sassy came up the Pike to grab second, a length behind the winner and a neck ahead of Pure Country. Nancy Johansson had the winning filly ready for a 1:51.3 seasonal bow victory here, and now the fast miss is 2 for 2 in 2016 and possessor of a new speed badge for owner/breeder White Birch Farm.   "She was really strong all through the mile," Miller noted after the race; when reminded that a win in the Miss Pennsylvania would put Miller in the $200 Million Club in driving earnings, joining John Campbell and Ron Pierce, Miller gave the thumbs up and said, "Something to aim for!"   The two-hole was again the place to be in the second Miss Pennsylvania elimination, as the Well Said filly I Said Diamonds, parked to the 26.1 quarter for the top then yielding to sit behind Sail To The Beach through 54.2 and 1:22.3 middle splits, used the inside route to get the decision in a personal best of 1:51. I Said Please, uncovered from late backstretch, stayed game for second, a length back and completing the "I Said" Exacta, with Sail To The Beach hanging in for third, another half-length behind the victorious 3-5 favorite.   Matt Kakaley handled the sulky duties for Little Bapa LLC and trainer Matias Ruiz, who got the filly to train in the offseason and enjoyed victory with her at first asking. "She is by far the best horse I have ever trained," noted Ruiz after the race with a smile. "She was good last year, and she's a little bigger, a little stronger this year."   Driver Scott Zeron watched the first two elims and settled on a winning strategy in the third elim, sailing up the Pocono Pike to an easy 2 ¼-length triumph in 1:51.3 with the Somebeachsomewhere filly Call Me Queen Be, an even-money choice in her first start of the year. Zeron and the "Queen" parked main rival Ivy League to a 26.1 opener, and even when the pacesetter got a breather to the 56 half, Zeron was not worried: "This filly has great speed, and can do anything on the racetrack," he said after the race.   And sure enough, after a 1:23.3 ¾, Call Me Queen Be waited for the inside lane to open, then darted through with lightning quickness to go by with ease; Save The Treasure was along from third-inside position to get second, 1½ lengths ahead of Ivy League, who held for third. Ross Croghan trains the winner, who also took a new mark, for the Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham.   These top three fillies for each division will return for the Miss Pennsylvania Championship during the evening card of a Kentucky Derby doubleheader next Saturday at The Downs. David Miller has the only driving decision to make, as he guided Darlinonthebeach and Ivy League; Ivy League's trainer Jimmy Takter, who also handles Pure Country, was the only conditioner to land two in the rich event.   Pocono / PHHA  

Grand Circuit week continued Friday night at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack with the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters A group of 12 three-year-old trotting fillies contested a rich $223,193 division of the Simcoe Stakes. Roger Mayotte trainee Elegant Serenity was sent off as the 3/5 favourite from post six, as she entered Friday's contest on a two-race win streak. Driven by Mayotte, Elegant Serenity and several fillies flashed early speed heading into the first turn. The public's choice was parked around the first turn, but quickly cleared to the front ahead of Danielle Hall in the second-quarter. Lock Down Lindy pressed at Elegant Serenity in the middle-half, but Mayotte put away the challenger in the third-quarter and took his filly by the station in 1:25. In the stretch, Elegant Serenity showed plenty of determination and trotted home in :28.2 to win by a length over a hard-closing Speak To Me. Bee The Queen finished third, while Danielle Hall was fourth. A daughter of Kadabra and out of the great Elegantimage, Elegant Serenity is owned and bred by Doug Millard. Following the race, Millard talked about his homebred star filly. "She's really come on strong the last two or three starts," said Millard. "Middle of winter I was about ready to breed her because she was quite a handful. Sandra (Burns) had to really work at her to get her right. She got her right and we turned her over to Roger and he's done the rest." Elegant Serenity now has five victories from seven starts this season after going winless in seven starts last season. The sophomore trotter increased her bankroll to over $288,000 with the victory. The clocking of 1:53.2 was a new career-best for the Mayotte trainee and she paid $3.20 to win. Elegant Serenity will now head to the race named for her mother, the Elegantimage Stakes. Elegant Serenity A total of 19 two-year-old trotting colts were split into two divisions of the Champlain Stakes Friday. In the $117,406 first division, Southwind Frank continued his dominance of the rookie trotting division with a 1:54.1 victory. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Southwind Frank got away third, but was quickly moved to the front in the second-quarter and reached the half in :57.1. The Ron Burke trainee trotted his third-panel in :29, before drawing away from his rivals with ease in the stretch to score a 4 ¼ length victory. Brooklyn Hill, who got a two-hole trip, held position for second, while Zlatan was third. A son of Muscle Hill, Southwind Frank added the Champlain Stakes to his impressive resume, which includes the Peter Haughton Memorial and the New Jersey Sires Stakes. Southwind Frank is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and J And T Silva Stables LLC. He was purchased for $100,000 at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Southwind Frank's record now sits at five wins from six starts and earnings of over $310,000. The Burke trainee paid $2.50 to win. Southwind Frank Dominion Beach capitalized on breaks by the favourites to win the $118,907 second division. Driven by Brett Miller, Dominion Beach showed good early speed to grab the front heading into the first turn. Tony Soprano, the 3/2 second-choice, got away second, but made a break in the first turn. Deep Impact, the 6/5 favourite, inherited the second spot following the break, but he made a miscue of his own in the second-quarter. Dominion Beach was able to take full advantage of the situation by posting middle-fractions of :59.2 and 1:28, before trotting home in :28 to score a maiden breaking victory by a length and half in 1:56. Lean Hanover finished second, while Dreamliner rounded out the top-three. A son of Muscle Hill, Dominion Beach is trained by Nancy Johansson for owner Courant Ab and was purchased for $90,000 as a yearling at Harrisburg. The rookie trotting colt was making his sixth career start Friday and bumped his earnings to over $86,000 with the victory. Dominion Beach paid $15.50 to win. Dominion Beach The three-year-old trotting fillies and two-year-old trotting colts will return to Mohawk Racetrack next Friday (September 11) for more Grand Circuit action. Up next for the fillies is the Elegantimage Stakes eliminations, while the rookie trotters will contest the eliminations for the William Wellwood Memorial. Grand Circuit action continues Saturday night with over $2.4 million up for grabs. The $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $685,000 Metro Pace headline the rich card. Post time is 7:05 p.m. Mark McKelvie

She might have difficulty equaling the career of her award-winning mother, but Darlinonthebeach will be looking to turn heads in Saturday's C$455,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Mohawk Racetrack. The first daughter of Dan Patch Award-winning mare Darlin's Delight, Darlinonthebeach heads to the She's A Great Lady off a second-place finish to L A Delight in her elimination last weekend. She will start the 10-horse final from post six for trainer Nancy Johansson. For the year, Darlinonthebeach, by stallion Somebeachsomewhere, has won one of five races and finished no worse than third in any start. She has earned $58,785 for breeder/owner White Birch Farm. White Birch Farm, headed by Michael Parisi, also bred, raced and owns Darlin's Delight, who earned $2.90 million in her career and received the 2006 Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old female pacer. "Darlin's Delight was a great mare," Parisi said. "I've kept (Darlinonthebeach) as a future broodmare and I'm just hoping for the best. I think we'll have fun racing her, but I don't think she's her mom. Her mom was probably the best mare my family ever owned. She really was special." That doesn't mean Parisi is unhappy with what he's seen so far from Darlinonthebeach. The filly finished second in her debut and won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes before missing a month because of illness. She returned with two third-place efforts prior to her second-place finish in her She's A Great Lady elim. David Miller drove Darlinonthebeach in the elimination. "I really thought a lot of this filly off her first couple starts," Parisi said. "After the second start she got pretty sick on us and it took a while for her to bounce back. She qualified good off the layoff and now she's starting to come back to her own, I think. "I was really happy with her last start. I think she's going to put in a good mile this week." Darlin's Delight's first two foals were colts, both by Rocknroll Hanover, and were sold at yearling auctions by White Birch. They have combined to win six races and $40,498. "The first two colts didn't pan out like I thought," Parisi said. "This one looked a lot different than the colts. The colts were a little short-legged and she was long-legged. Darlin was a very small mare, so that's why I really liked this filly. L A Delight defeated Darlinonthebeach by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2 in their She's A Great Lady elimination. L A Delight, a daughter of Bettor's Delight-West Of L A, has won seven of eight races this year and earned $136,359 for trainer Bob McIntosh, who owns the filly with C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings. She has won seven consecutive starts, including a division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes, since finishing third in her debut. "That one filly (L A Delight) she's been racing against is going to be the tough one," Parisi said. "I just hope (Darlinonthebeach) gets a good trip and gets a piece of it. I think she's going to race good." Thatsoveryverynice won the remaining She's A Great Lady elimination by 2-1/2 lengths over Upside Surprise in 1:54.2. A daughter of Vintage Master-Fox Valley Zena, Thatsoveryverynice has won four of five starts and earned $109,764 for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Alagna Racing and Marvin Katz. Following is the field for the She's A Great Lady with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Three Dreams by Mach Three, James MacDonald, Jeff Bamond Jr. 2. Albany Girl by Somebeachsomewhere, Doug McNair, Jimmy Takter 3. Thatsoveryverynice by Vintage Master, Jody Jamieson, Tony Alagna 4. L A Delight by Bettor's Delight, Randy Waples, Bob McIntosh 5. Upside Surprise by Art Major, Doug McNair, Tony O'Sullivan 6. Darlinonthebeach by Somebeachsomewhere, Brett Miller, Nancy Johansson 7. Highland Rocksolid by Rocknroll Hanover, Rick Zeron, Marty Fine 8. Ivy League by Somebeachsomewhere, Matt Kakaley, Jimmy Takter 9. JK Fannie by Rocknroll Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Nancy Johansson 10. Blue Moon Stride by Rocknroll Hanover, Scott Zeron, Mark Harder by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

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