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FREEHOLD, NJ -- October 8, 2016 -- Freehold Raceway hosted two New Jersey Sire Stakes Standardbred Development Fund Finals for harness racing two year old pacers, on Saturday October 8. The $35,000 final in the colt division was won by Every Way Out. The Dylan Davis trainee made up for his miscue last week in the second leg of the series winning in 1:56.2. Driven by Joe Bongiorno the If I Can Dream colt notched his eighth win on the season. Bred by Bulletproof Enterprise of Pennsylvania, Every Way Out has boosted his earnings to $171,655. Deo Galileo just nosed out Sir Pugsley for second place. The one to five favorite Misqued dominated the $35,000 final in the filly division stopping the clock in 1:56.3. The If I Can Dream filly trained by John Balzer won both legs and the final of the NJSS Standardbred Development Fund series. This makes win number three of five starts for Misqued, bred by Steve Stewart of Kentucky. Rita Maid driven by Joe Bongiorno finished second, while Jordan Stratton and Designated Drinker took third. Freehold resumes racing Thursday October 13, 2016 with more New Jersey Sire Stakes action. Courtney Stafford 

FREEHOLD, NJ – October 6, 2016 – On Top Of the Rock and Steve Smith rally to take the featured event of the afternoon, the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Green Acres final for three-year-old filly pacers, at Freehold Raceway on Thursday (Oct. 6). The Karen Garland trained filly left from post position two to wire the field in 1:58.3.  The Rocknroll Hanover filly, bred by Goldfinger Enterprises of NY, dominated the field to push her earnings to $69,801. Eric Abbatiello and Heart of Gold held off a late charge from Chase Vendervort with Heatherjean to finish second. The feature trot race on the card was the $10,000 NJSS Standardbred Development Fund for two-year-old colts.  Kevin McDermott sent the favorite Backstage Pass to the track hoping for a repeat of the first leg, and the Donato Hanover colt did just that.  Jim Marshall called on Backstage Pass when the gate closed and never looked back winning by three lengths in 2:01.3.  This gives the colt; bred by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ, win number seven of nine lifetime starts.  Chili finished second while He’s In The Game followed in third. Freehold Raceway resumes racing on Friday October 7 with a post time of 12:30 pm. Courtney Stafford

Freehold Raceway was back in action with New Jersey Sire Stakes on Saturday afternoon. The $25,000 NJSS Green Acres Final for three-year-old colt pacers was held as a non-wagering race before the harness racing card. Two divisions of the newest NJSS races were held during the card, the second leg of the $10,000 Standardbred Development Fund for two-year-old pacers. Austin Rocks with driver Eric Abbatiello left the gate from the rail position and held off a quarter move from Perchance To Dream to get the win in 1:59.1. Rock N Roll Style was second while Perchance To Dream held on for third. The Rocknroll Hanover colt picked up his first lifetime win in the $25,000 final. Kerry Feyker-Weed and M Kenneth Weed of Egg Harbor Township, NJ bred the Stacy Chiodo trainee. The third race was the NJSS Standardbred Development Fund for two-year-old colt pacers; Deo Galileo, trained by Rick McNair, upset the 1-9 favorite Everyway Out. Driver Jeff Gregory avoided two breakers to brush to the lead just before the quarter. Down the stretch Deo Galileo held off a late surge by Sir Pugsley stopping the clock in 1:57.4, Firefox Hanover finished the trifecta. The If I Can Dream colt notched win number two in eight starts for the season, bred by MJG Racing Stables Inc and Louis A Willinger. The filly division of the Standardbred Development Fund had another upset. Steve Smith guided Misqued to take the lead from the 2-5 favorite Designated Drinker just before the half. Drawing away from the field the John Balzer trainee cruised to a four-length win in 1:57.3. Designated Drinker and Rita Maid rounded out the trifecta for the eighth race. The If I Can Dream filly remains undefeated in both legs of the Standardbred Development Fund stakes, bred by Steve Stewart. Live racing a Freehold will resume on Thursday October 6th with a post time of 12:30 pm. Courtney Stafford 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On a harness racing program that saw four $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for 2-year-olds, Every Way Out and Ariana G stood out as the dominant winners at the Meadowlands Friday night. Every Way Out won the colt and gelding pace by 4¾ lengths over Deo Galileo. Firefox Hanover was third. The son of If I Can Dream led at every call, cutting out fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:24.4, before sprinting home in :27.4 to record an easy 1:52.3 score for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Dylan Davis and owners Taylor, Basen, Gold and Lazzaro. As the 1-9 public choice, Every Way Out returned $2.10 to win and stayed perfect in three starts. "He's got a pretty big motor," said Tetrick. "Every time I asked him, there was plenty left." There was plenty left in Ariana G's tank as well, as the daughter of Muscle Hill rolled by 7 lengths over Evelyn in 1:53.4 for her second win in as many starts in the filly trot. Feed Your Head was third. The daughter of Muscle Hill, driven by Yannick Gingras and trained by Jimmy Takter, came uncovered around the far turn and blew her foes away as the 3-2 second choice, returning $5.00 to win for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfield. Checkmate Time, the 6-5 favorite, got jammed up at the three-eighths and went off stride, finishing far back. In the colt and gelding trot, What The Hill ($17.80) emerged victorious along the rail in deep stretch for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Ron Burke, scoring by a head over King On The Hill in 1:55.2. Fly On was third. Designated Drinker blew up the tote board in the filly pace, gunning down 1-5 favorite Livinginthedream in 1:55.2 to record a neck win for owner-trainer-driver Chris Lems at odds of 40-1, paying $82.40 to win. Wonderful World was third. Lems picked a great time to record his first career driving win at the Big M. "It could not have come at a better time," said Lems LITTLE EXTRAS: Jeff Gural's Little E LLC owned a half-dozen of the trotters in the NJSS finals. ... The fifth race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not have a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover for the next program to $35,773.41. ... All-source wagering on the 14-race program totaled $2,590,736, which represents an increase of $193,482 over the corresponding card from last year, which had 13 races. ... Saturday night's huge Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Night program has an early post time of 6:30 p.m. In addition to a star-studded stakes slate, the card also features a mandatory payout of the late Jackpot Super High FIve, which has a carryover of $267,769. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations    

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands features a quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) freshman finals among fourteen live races on Friday, July 15.   The pacing colts come up first in race two and the road to the title goes through Every Way Out. An easy winner in both preliminary legs including a sharp 1:55 effort in his last, Every Way Out faces just five rivals for new connections this week.   Previous owner Aaron Lambert sold the colt between starts to the partnership of Howard Taylor, Abe Basen, Ed Gold and Tom Lazzaro and Dylan Davis takes over the conditioning. Tim Tetrick is the one constant, back in the bike from post six in the final.   The fourth race is composed of ten colt trotting prodigies seeking the state crown. Of the three prelim winners, both Hammer Time and Fly On paired a win with a third place finish for their dual efforts while New Jersey Viking had the week off after his leg one success.   Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt had New Jersey Viking ready to win in the first leg off a single qualifier. After letting the dust settle around the first turn, Svanstedt moved his charge to the front on the backstretch and the colt responded with a 27.2 end to a 1:55.4 mile. With his final berth secure, the son of Muscle Hill from Hall Of Wishes was held out of leg two.   New Jersey Viking has drawn post three on Friday. He carries the hopes of Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural via his nom de course Little E, LLC and his partners Knutsson Racing, familiar as the owners of the great Sebastian K.   The trotting fillies are a dynamic group of ten that will settle the issue of who's the fairest of them all, Garden State style, in the sixth race.   Checkmate Time is a slight favorite over Ariana G, based on her pair of leg wins over the latter's single successful appearance in the stakes.   Checkmate Time has been impressive right from the start and showed some grit last week battling her way past a stubborn Waffle Cone to get the 1:55 win. She seems to do her best work following and Scott Zeron has been assigned to sort out a winning trip by trainer Dennis Laterza for owner/breeder Roy Dobbins.   Ariana G is also a homebred, racing for the interests of Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. By Muscle Hill from Cantab It All, she's a sister and barn mate in the Jimmy Takter stable to Hambletonian Oaks contender All The Time who won this race last year. Ariana G was rated kindly in her leg one win by Yannick Gingras before sprinting home in 28 flat for the 1:58.2 record.   Pacing fillies will wrap the NJSS races in the eleventh race where Livingthedream will command respect from her eight female rivals. She won both legs at a jog, forwardly placed in each by driver Marcus Miller and has drawn the rail for Friday's race. Trainer Erv Miller bred and owns the If I Can Dream lass with partner Ron Michelon.   Post time on Friday is 7:15 p.m.   From the Meadowlands Media Department

East Rutherford, NJ - Friday night's racing at The Meadowlands centers on the second preliminary leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for freshmen pacers and trotters. There is a single $25,000 division for each group in advance of next week's $100,000 finals.   Colt trotters open the card and Hammer Time returns after having won a division of the first leg while the other winner, New Jersey Viking, sits this one out with his slot in the final secure. Hammer Time rolled up uncovered on favored What The Hill setting up a stretch-long battle that resulted in a 26.4 final quarter from Hammer Time for the 1:58.1 win. Dave Miller has the drive back on the Muscle Hill colt from post eight of ten this week for trainer Andrew Harris and owner Glat Kosher Racing.   The pacing colts number seven in the second race. Every Way Out was a convincing winner in leg one for owner-trainer Aaron Lambert who has enlisted Tim Tetrick to drive from the rail. Lambert did the driving last week from just off the pace and when asked for speed, Every Way Out tacked a 26.1 close on to his 1:55.4 score with something left.   Eleven freshman trotting fillies populate race three with one of last week's winners, Checkmate Time, returning while the other, Ariana G, stays home. Checkmate Time (Muscle Hill) was nothing short of sensational in the first leg rallying from well back with a 26.1 final quarter to nail a game Southwind Avanti on the wire for the 1:58.1 win. She'll begin from post nine on Friday with Scott Zeron back in the bike for owner Roy Dobbins and trainer Dennis Laterza.   One must wait until race eleven for the filly pacers where Livingthedream (If I Can Dream) will defend her turf, having won the first leg impressively in 1:54.4 for Marcus Miller. Marcus put the filly into play from post ten last week dropping in third after a leave, moving to the front by the half and finishing the mile with a shut-down 27.2 final quarter. Erv Miller trains the homebred for his interests as Erv Miller Racing along with long time patron Ron Michelon.   GSY Amateurs Racing Friday   After a week's absence, the GSY Amateur Driving Club returns with a competitive field set to go in race four. Keenan and owner-trainer-driver John Calabrese have met with great success in the series as the royally-bred veteran with career earnings of more than a half million dollars has won all three GSY races in which he's participated.   Feisty Love (David Glasser) will contest the issue from the inside while Spectator K (Hannah Miller) and Keystone Thomas (Bob Hechkoff) will engage from outside posts.   Enjoy Air-Conditioned Dining   The forecast is hot for the coming weekend, all the more reason to watch the action from one of The Meadowlands grandstand dining options. Post time is 7:15 p.m.   From the Meadowlands Media Relations Department    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - All The Time went first over for the final seven-sixteenths of a mile and had little trouble prevailing by 1½ lengths over Dog Gone Lucky in a matchup of top harness racing 3-year-olds in the $17,500 featured conditioned trot at the Meadowlands Friday night. All The Time, a sophomore filly trained by Jimmy Takter, won despite being away from the races for four weeks. When last seen, she was being upset as the 1-5 public choice in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final. Dog Gone Lucky, a Hambletonian-eligible colt conditioned by Mike Stoltzfus, rallied well for the place spot in his 2016 debut. Possessed Fashion was third. As the 4-5 favorite, All The Time returned $3.60 to win for driver Yannick Gingras and owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld and trotted the mile in a lifetime-best 1:52.3. WHAT A MUDDER: Of the six New Jersey Sire Stakes events on the program, none of the winners were more dominant than Ariana G, a 2-year-old trotting filly by Muscle Hill trained by Takter and driven by Gingras. Coming back after bad weather caused a delay, Ariana G romped in the slop by 4¼ lengths and completed the mile in 1:58.2. ALMOST 30 GRAND: The 5th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not have a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover for the next program to $29,364.87. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday with a special early post time of 6:30 p.m. At the conclusion of the card, there will be a fabulous fireworks show. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

East Rutherford, NJ - The holiday weekend at The Meadowlands offers a look into racing's future with two-year-old stakes on Friday, July 1 then celebrates America's Independence on Saturday with a special 6:30 p.m. post time and a grand fireworks display immediately following the races.   The New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for two-year-olds gets underway on Friday with six divisions of Garden State bred trotting and pacing hopefuls.   It's been said that it takes a Muscle Hill to beat a Muscle Hill. That claim becomes fact in the four divisions of freshman trots as all of the twenty five participants are the progeny of that top trotting sire.   A dozen colts were split into two $20,000 divisions carded as races three and four.   The $280,000 Lexington sale purchase Mountain Of Love has had a pair of Meadowlands baby races in preparation for his pari-mutuel debut in the third race. He's trotted in the 1:59 range with solid final fractions in each and leaves from post position four with driver Scott Zeron. Tony Alagna conditions the colt for his own interests as Alagna Racing with partners Crawford Racing, Mystical Marker Farms and In The Gym Partners.   The second division of colts finds Fly On also situated in post four. He has been successful in both of his preps, most recently streaking home in 27.3 for driver Andy Miller to finish out a 1:59.4 mile. Fly On was a $55,000 Lexington purchase by trainer Julie Miller on behalf of the Andy Miller Stable, Arden Homestead Stable and GTY Stable.   Trotting fillies open the Friday card with a field of six chasing the winner's share of the $20,000 purse. Checkmate Time (post four) has been very impressive in her morning trials, trotting sub 28 final quarters in each resulting in a pair of closing seconds before winning her most recent effort in 1:59.2. She is a homebred racing for the interests of Roy Dobbins, is trained by Dennis Laterza and Scott Zeron has the call on her as well.   Seven precocious trotting fillies will contest division two of the stake (race six). Ariana G has won both of her schooling races, trotting home in 27 and change in each the latest a 1:58.2 tally out of the pocket for Yannick Gingras. She's a Marvin Katz & Al Libfeld homebred trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter.   The pacing fillies and colts will race for a purse of $25,000 being just a single division for each. If I Can Dream boasts a like distinction to Muscle Hill on this gait as all of the pacers are by that Breeders Crown winning sire.   The colts number seven in race two with Aaron Lambert going old school as the owner, trainer and driver on his $12,000 Harrisburg bargain colt Every Way Out. He was an easy 1:59.2 winner at Gaitway Farms in his first outing, followed up by a useful fourth in preparation for Friday's stake.   Ten of the fairer sex throw down in race ten where trainer Erv Miller and Ron Michelon's homebred Livinginthedream has the most impressive credentials but must overcome the far outside post ten. She's paced home hard in each of her three prior efforts and has the talent, it's left to driver Marcus Miller to fashion the winning trip.   Last year's Cane Pace champ Dealt A Winner makes his seasonal debut on Saturday, facing a field of high-end condition types in the sixth race.   Saturday's early post time will result in the live races being concluded by around 10:15 p.m. with the Ben Franklin and Earl Beal finals shown on the giant infield screen before the fireworks begin at 10:30.   With Saturday's earlier-than-normal post time, the track's Pick Five guarantee will not be offered on the sequence which covers Races 1 - 5. In addition, the Late Pick Four wager's guarantee will be $40,000. The Late Pick Four covers Races 7 - 10. The Early Pick Four (Races 3 - 6) will continue to offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool. These changes will only be in effect on Saturday, July 2. From the Meadowlands Media Relations Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Heavy harness racing favorites were sent to the gate in four $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals Saturday night at the Meadowlands, and when the dust cleared, the results for chalk players were clearly mixed. Southwind Frank continued his march toward the Hambletonian with an easy win in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot. The son of Muscle Hill went the mile in 1:52.3 for trainer Ron Burke, upping his lifetime record to 13 wins in 14 starts. As the 2-5 favorite, Southwind Frank returned $2.80 to win for driver Yannick Gingras and finished 2 lengths in front of Brooklyn Hill. Mavens Way was third. "Frank's pretty good right now," understated Burke in the winner's circle. Blue Moon Stride crushed her 3-year-old filly pacing foes for a third straight week, winning in 1:51.2 by 2¾ lengths over JK Fannie. Rocknroll Vision was third. Sent off at 1-9, Blue Moon Stride paid $2.20 for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Mark Harder. She's now seven-for-17 lifetime. Unfortunately, things did not go as well for Boston Red Rocks and All The Time. Boston Red Rocks had the lead turning for home in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace but could not hold off a determined Katies Rocker, who prevailed by a neck over the 1-9 favorite despite racing first-over for the final three-eighths of a mile. Ideal Rocky was third. Katies Rocker paced the mile in 1:50.3 and returned $12.60 to win for driver David Miller and trainer Jim Campbell. In the 3-year-old filly trot, 1-5 choice All The Time provided live cover for eventual winner Southwind Hope, who stormed home to win by 1¼ lengths in 1:54.2. All The Time held second while Jazebel De Vie was third. Southwind Hope paid $25.40 to win for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller. Mel Mara was sensational winning in 1:47 flat beating Always Be Miki to equal the world record for a four-year-old stallion. MARVELOUS MEL Mel Mara bullied a talented field of open handicap pacers, and in the process, missed the all-time race-mile record by just a fifth of a second when the son of Lis Mara stopped the clock in 1:47, equaling State Treasurer's world-record for an older pacing stallion on a mile track. Always B Miki, the 3-5 favorite, was no match for the winner after racing first-over most of the way. Mel Mara returned $6.80 to win for driver Corey Callahan and trainer Dylan Davis. CARRRYING ON The two Jackpot Super High Five wagers offered at the Big M have carryovers that are, in one case, good, and in the other, incredible. The 5th race JSH5 carryover now stands at $12,789.86, while the 12th race version of the wager now has $246,843.80 waiting in the pool for the next program. BIG TURNOUT FOR JERSEY FEST  The return of the Big M's Jersey Fest Food Truck Mash-Up brought a crowd of 14,101 out to the track. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,883,028. ... The Meadowlands returns with live racing Friday at 7:15 p.m. Dave Little  

Something strange happened to 1-9 favorite Boston Red Rocks in Saturday night's second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers at the Meadowlands: Victory. More specifically, Michael's Victory. Sent off at 32-1 in the field of five, Michael's Victory worked out a perfect pocket trip and scored by a half-length over the pace-setting Katies Rocker in a lifetime-best 1:49.1. Boston Red Rocks was third, followed by Don'tcallmefrancis and Ideal Rocky. All The Cookies was scratched. Things could not have gone worse for the early Meadowlands Pace favorite. As Boston Red Rocks was making his way around the first turn, 9-2 second choice Ideal Rocky broke stride right in front of him, forcing him to take back. Boston Red Rocks caught the top pair by the half, and had every chance in the stretch, but was outsprinted to the wire. Michael's Victory paid $66.80 for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Mark Silva and owner Jeffrey Snyder. In the second leg of the NJSS for sophomore filly pacers Blue Moon Stride was dominant for a second straight week. The Mark Harder trainee grabbed the top at the three-eighths and sailed down the road for driver Andrew McCarthy, winning by 2¾ lengths in a lifetime-best 1:50.2 as the 1-9 public choice ($2.20) for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati. Show Time Hill was second with JK Fannie third. CARRYOVER CONTINUES: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five, which has not had a single-ticket winner since the start of the current meeting, now has a carryover of $237,882.33 heading into the next program. ... Brett Miller led the driver colony with four winners on the night. ... On Sunday, the Meadowlands will offer on-site wagering on races nine through 15 from Solvalla, Sweden. The ninth race is the first of two Elitlopp eliminations and has an estimated post time of 9:22 a.m. Doors open at 9 a.m. ... The Meadowlands returns with live racing Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

John Campbell put a little more distance between himself and the field Friday night as the leading harness racing driver in Meadowlands history steered four winners on the 11-race card. The Hall of Famer guided Mavens Way to victory in the lone New Jersey Sire Stakes event for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. After racing on the lead - and taking pressure virtually every step down the backside from Southwind Flash - the son of Muscle Hill held off the late-charging 6-5 favorite Jack Vernon to win by a neck in a lifetime-best 1:51.4 for trainer Ake Svanstedt and owners Svanstedt, Burroughs and the T L P Stable. Double L Lindy finished third. Sent to the gate as the second choice in the wagering, Mavens Way returned $9.80 to his backers. Campbell also scored with Batoutahill ($6.20 to win, 1:55.1) in a division of the NJSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies, as well as with pair of conditioned pacers, Gweneeee J ($7.00, 1:50.1) and Danish Durango ($5.20, 1:52). CARRYOVER CONTINUES: The late 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five, which has not once had had a single-ticket winner since the start of the current meeting on November 13 of last year, now has a carryover of $234,671.79 heading into the next program. ... Southwind Hope ($3.40, 1:54.1) won the other division of the NJSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies. ... The Meadowlands is back with live racing Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ... On Sunday morning, the Meadowlands will offer on-site wagering on races nine through 15 from Solvalla, Sweden. The ninth race is the first of two Elitlopp eliminations and has an estimated post time of 9:22 a.m. Doors open at 9 a.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Boston Red Rocks may have been given a bit of a scare at the wire, but ended a trend of high-profile beaten harness racing favorites on Saturday night at the Meadowlands, scoring in his 2016 debut in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The Steve Elliott trainee, who is pointing toward the Meadowlands Pace, was permitted to set tepid fractions of :28, :56.2 and 1:24.1 while unchallenged. Ideal Rocky, who sat the pocket throughout, stayed with the 1-9 favorite and sprinted home during the final sixteenth to come up just a head short of pulling off the upset. Katies Rocker was third. Boston Red Rocks went the mile in a lifetime-best equaling 1:50.3 with Tim Tetrick in the bike and paid $2.20 to win for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Boston Red Rocks Earlier on the card, chalk players took two big punches to the chin. Maestro Blue Chip stayed perfect in 10 starts this season, winning a division of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters in a lifetime-best 1:51.3. Pinkman, the 2015 Hambletonian champion who was upset a week ago in his first start of the year, tasted defeat for a second straight outing as the 3-5 public choice. Like last week, Pinkman had a clear lead at three-quarters but could not maintain his advantage to the wire, settling for third as Crescent Fashion closed to get the place spot, 1½ lengths behind the winner. Facing by far the stiffest task he's had this year, Maestro Blue Chip was sent off at odds of 30-1 and returned $63.20 to his backers. David Miller drove the Jo Ann Looney-King trainee for owner Richard Poillucci. Maestro Blue Chip Crazshana wins the other $50,000 Graduate Division In a division of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers, another short favorite went down as Confederation Cup winner Rockin Ron lost for the first time in 11 starts this year, coming up a half-length short to Artistic Major, who scored for the team of Elliott and Tetrick in 1:48.1, a lifetime best. After grabbing the early lead, 1-5 shot Rockin Ron was shuffled back after several lead changes and had to overcome a three-hole trip. As Artistic Major was tipping off cover and storming home to victory, Rockin Ron was desperately seeking room to race and did not find a clear path until the sixteenth pole. He had explosive pace from there to get second. Split The House was third. Artistic Major returned $20.40 to win for owners Van Dusen, Cimaglio, Elliott and Patel. Artistic Major THE CLIMB CONTINUES: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five once again did not have a single-ticket winner, meaning that the carryover for the next program has now swelled to $231,017.66. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,778,867. ... The Meadowlands is back with live racing Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

All systems appear to be go for early Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank, who marched to an easy 2½-length win in his first start as a 3-year-old in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for harness racing trotting colts and geldings Friday night at the Meadowlands. "He was Frank," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "He couldn't have been any better. It's what we expect from him." The son of Muscle Hill was unhurried early, and made his way to the top shortly after vacating the four hole at the three-eighths after an opening quarter of :27.4. Meeting little in the way of resistance, driver Yannick Gingras was able to relax his colt and cut moderate fractions of :57 and 1:25 before kicking home in :27.1 to win going away in a lifetime-best 1:52.1. Brooklyn Hill was second while Bar Hopping finished third. As the 1-9 public choice, Southwind Frank, who is now 12-for-13 lifetime, returned $2.20 to win for owners Southwind Frank Partners. Earlier on the card, All The Time ($2.10), a major Hambletonian Oaks contender, crushed seven overmatched foes by 7¼-lengths in a division of the NJSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies in 1:53.2, a lifetime mark. Hillosophical was second with Southwind Pearl third. Once again, it was Gingras calling the shots, but this time it was with a Jimmy Takter trainee. The 2015 Breeders Crown champion has now won eight of 13 lifetime starts for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. STILL GROWING: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five, which has not been hit the entire meeting, failed to have a single-ticket winner again, upping the carryover to $226,527.68 for the next card. ... All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,693,370. ... Rose Run Parker ($10.40) held off 3-5 favorite Obrigado to win the $25,000 open handicap trot in a lifetime-best 1:50.4. ... The Big M is back with live racing Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

The road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes resumes this weekend with a slew of harness racing, including the first appearance of the year by early-season Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank. And trainer Ron Burke, who conditions Southwind Frank, couldn't be happier. "I'm excited," Burke said. "I'm ready to get going. I'm glad he's racing. "You want to start seeing if he's as good as you think he is. If not, you want to know what you need to work on. But I'm hoping that right off the bat it's good and it just stays good. We just need a little luck and I think he'll take care of the rest. He trained down super and seems great." Southwind Frank, who finished his 2015 campaign with 10 consecutive victories, makes his seasonal debut in Friday's opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Southwind Frank and driver Yannick Gingras will start from post four in a 12-horse field and are the 7-5 morning line favorite. Other Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the race are Bar Hopping, Brooklyn Hill, Dominion Beach, Honor Above All, Jack Vernon, Metatron, Promise Delivered, Sigmund, and Southwind Flash. Last year, Southwind Frank won 11 of 12 races and earned $786,419. His wins included the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, and William Wellwood Memorial. In addition, his time of 1:52.2 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes set the world record for a 2-year-old male trotter. He received both the Dan Patch and O'Brien awards for best 2-year-old male trotter. Southwind Frank was owned last year by the Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. This season he races for the Southwind Frank Partners, which includes the previously mentioned owners as well as Diamond Creek Racing. A son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, Southwind Frank was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale. His family includes Dan Patch Award winner Cayster as well as stakes-winners Giant Hit and Program Speed. Southwind Frank heads to the New Jersey Sire Stakes off a 1:54 qualifier win on May 14 at the Meadowlands. He finished second in an earlier qualifier, which came a week after being held out of qualifying because of a quarter crack. "Other than that everything has been picture perfect with him, totally uneventful," Burke said. "The quarter crack could have turned into an issue and it didn't. I think it's no longer a worry." This is the second consecutive year that Burke brings a top contender onto the Hambletonian trail. Last year, it was filly Mission Brief, who battled back woes before challenging the boys in the Hambletonian. She won her Hambletonian elimination and finished second to Pinkman in the final. "He's way more push-button than her," Burke said. "And so far we've had no issues. This colt just gets better and better. But honestly, with (Mission Brief), I was more emotionally involved than I am with him. She's my all-time favorite. The losses with her were horrible, the worst in the world. I like him, but I'm not as attached --- at least at this point --- as I was to her. Certain horses you just dig. You know, that's my horse. She's the one I like the most." During his 10-race win streak, Southwind Frank posted every victory by at least 1-1/4 lengths. Burke said it's hard at this point to determine where the colt's bottom is. "He did everything so easily last year and Yannick did such a nice job protecting him, not showing him off," Burke said. "I think there's a lot more there. He does things once in a while when he's training where you're like, 'What the heck?' You're reading the watch trying to figure out if what he did is possible. He might be something really special this year. "I'm just hoping he stays sound. I think the schedule we have set right now in our minds is perfect for him to be at his best when he hits (Hambletonian Day). If you win that, your whole year is made. That's the ultimate goal. Yannick doesn't have one, I don't have one, so it's very important to both of us." Other races on the road to the Hambletonian are Saturday's two Currier & Ives divisions at The Meadows and one New York Sire Stakes division at Vernon Downs. Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the first Currier & Ives division are Desert Runner, Hititoutofthepark, Iron Mine Bucky, and Steed. Hititoutofthepark is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The second division includes Hambletonian eligible Breedlove, Hollywood Highway, and Leggs Matter. At Vernon Downs, three Hambletonian-eligible trotters compete in the second of two New York Sire Stakes splits. They are Chukkar, Reve Royale, and The Perfect Lindy. For a "Hoof Beats" magazine feature on Southwind Frank, click here. Ken Weingartner      

Important payments are due Monday, May 16 to make and keep horses eligible to the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program and the Standardbred Development Fund. Nominations are due for foals of 2015 that are yearlings in 2016. All horses nominated must be registered with the U. S. Trotting Association (USTA) or Canadian Standardbred Horse Society (CSHS). The fee is $50 for the NJSS Premier Division if a copy of the yearling's registration certificate accompanies the nomination. Without a copy of the certificate, the fee is $75. The Lou Babic Pace nomination fee, which is also due May 15, is an additional $25 for the open division and $15 for the filly division. It is important to note that the yearling nomination fee is $250 if the foal being nominated is the result of the interstate transport of a registered New Jersey stallion's semen to a mare outside the state of New Jersey, provided a copy of the certificate accompanies the fee. Without the certificate, the interstate semen transport nomination fee is $275. Yearling nominations are also due for the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund for horses by non-New Jersey based stallions whose dams have been previously registered for the program. The fee is $50 for the NJSDF if a copy of the yearling's registration certificate accompanies the nomination. Without a copy of the certificate, the fee is $75. Yearlings by sires located in New Jersey do not have to pay a separate fee as nomination to the Sire Stakes automatically results in nomination to the SDF program. All payments should be mailed to NJSS, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. NJSS strongly suggests the use of certified mail to avoid potential problems in mailing or delivery of payments. No late payments will be accepted. ### For further information contact Christopher C. Castens (609) 292-8830

The deadline for the New Jersey Sire Stakes, Green Acres and Standardbred Development Fund's second sustaining payments is rapidly approaching. Owners of horses that are eligible to any of the programs are reminded that payments must be postmarked by April 15. The NJSS Premier Division will be contested exclusively again at The Meadowlands in 2016 starting in May for three-year-olds and in July for two-year-olds. The Green Acres Division, which will only be contested for three-year-olds in 2017, begins August 26 at Freehold Raceway. Once again this year, the NJSS rule is that the Green Acres Program is limited to horses that have earned less than $25,000 in New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Division earnings during the current calendar year. For 2016 two-year-olds the Green Acres Division is being replaced by a new series-the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund. The SDF is open to all horses sired by a New Jersey-based stallion as well as the offspring of mares who have resided in New Jersey for a minimum of 150 days, regardless of where the sire stands. Previous registration of the mare while she is in foal and nomination are required to establish eligibility. The first SDF race will be held on September 23 at Freehold Raceway, the location of all races in the series. The NJSS Premier Division's second sustaining payment remains $500 for both two-year-olds and three-year-olds. The Green Acres Division payment for three-year-olds also remains $150. $150 is also the amount of the second sustaining fee for two-year-olds that are eligible to the Standardbred Development Fund. Owners of yearlings sired by New Jersey based stallions or yearlings of dams who were previously registered with the Standardbred Development Fund must nominate by May 15. Forms for all of these payments may be obtained at the website From the New Jersey Sire Stakes    

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