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East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace day edition began at 10am on a prefect morning with a fast harness racing track, minimal wind and the temperature at 75f. Crucial opened the day with another win, her second in as many attempts in 1:57.3 / 28.2 in hand to Yannick Gingras. The Father Patrick filly took over as the approached the half in a minute, rated the turn then sprinted home to score over I'm Really Special (Tim Tetrick) and Hot Springs Volo (Brian Sears). Ronnie Burke trains the $200,000 Lexington purchase for his interests as Burke Racing, Bill Donovan, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva and Purnell & Libby. Steve Stewart and Maumee River Stables, Black Creek Farm and Martin Schmucker bred the impressive filly. Paul Kelley sent out a winner this morning in Cover Girl (Scott Zeron), a Muscle Hill from the Grand Circuit stakes winning To Dream On. Zeron moved her to the lead past the quarter, rated fairly and held off the challenges of Fashion Charmer (Dexter Dunn) to the outside and Winter Olympics (Ake Svanstedt) to the inside for the 1:59.1 win. Cover Girl is owned by the trainer along with TLP Stable, SRF Stable and L. Thomases and was bred by Katz Libfeld & Goldband who sold her in Lexington for $70,000. Ready For Moni (Gingras) won right back in 1:57.2 / 29 from off the rated pace. Placed second over, the Ready Cash colt fanned off cover and went by willingly to pick up mile cutter Stay Close (David Miller). Platoon System (Corey Callahan) rallied for third. Fielding, Lindy Farms, Liverman & Hatfield gave $220,000 for him at Lexington. Moni Market Breeders bred the colt. Trond Smedshammer drove Bluffinner, a Credit Winner from Bluff with the grand dam being the million dollar winning Blur, both trained by Trond, to an easy forwardly placed 1:58.2 / 28.3 romp over Merger Hanover (Tetrick) and Rock Party (Callahan). Purple Haze Stable gave $40,000 for the colt at Harrisburg and the breeder is Fair Winds Farm. Papi Rob Hanover (David Miller) was a winner in 1:55.2 for trainer Brett Pelling and owner Dave McDuffee, a pair that have enjoyed great success together over the years. Papi Rob took over past the half then won as he pleased over a charging What The Luck (Matt Kreuger). The Hanover bred Somebeachsomewhere colt brought $130,000 at Harrisburg last fall. Caviart Jane (Zeron) won the last of the baby races in 1:53.3. A sick scratch from a Kindergarten last week, the Captaintreacherous filly was again in hand while scoring her third baby win in as many tries for trainer Nancy Johansson. Caviart Farms and Christina Takter (looking forward to a big night as partners on Pace favorite Captain Crunch) gave $100,000 for her in Lexington last fall, White Birch Farms bred and consigned the filly. The Greatest Night in Harness Racing, Meadowlands Pace night is on tap this evening with $2.5 million in stakes led by the track's signature race the $682,650 Meadowlands Pace begins at 7:15 with post time for the Pace set at 10:10 pm. Free Pace programs are available on the web. Compliments of The Meadowlands and Trackmaster. Nick Salvi        

East Rutherford, NJ - Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace harness racing elimination day Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm took place on another muggy Saturday morning at The Meadowlands. The track was fast, temperature in the 80's with a slight crosswind when the trotting fillies stepped onto the track to contest the first race at 9:00am. Colt pacer Tall Dark Stranger demanded a bid of $330,000 at last fall's Lexington sale and his first foray into racing indicated the money was well spent. Yannick Gingras bided his time along the rail early with the son of Bettors Delight as Just Say Joe (Matt Kreuger) rolled along on the lead through a 1:28.3 six panels. When the field turned home, Gingras fanned Tall Dark Stranger wide off his cover and he roared by the field with strong and sure strides through a 26.1 last quarter for the 1:55.2 win over the closing Force N Fury (Dexter Dunn) and Sea Of Life (Andy McCarthy). Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and HA Taylor own the winner trained in the Nancy Johansson stable. James Avritt bred the colt. She's Speechless (Marcus Miller) converted a pocket trip into a 1:54.4 / 27.2 win in a tight photo over Caviart Heather and late charging Annabella Hanover (Dexter Dunn) in the lone filly pace. The Artspeak filly is trained by Chris Freck for owner Anthony Olswfski who bought her at the Harrisburg sale for $17,000form the Hanover consignment. The day's opener was won by the Diamond Creek homebred Father Patrick trotting filly Bayou (Tim Tetrick) in a 1:57.1 / 28 front stepping masterpiece over Contepartiro Deo (Andy Miller) and Questichap (Trond Smedshammer). Linda Toscano, on the threshold of her induction into the Living Hall of Fame on Sunday, is the trainer. Crucial (Yannick Gingras) was a very impressive winner in her debut for the Ron Burke barn. Falling into the pocket as Wine Rack Hanover (Dexter Dunn) set easy fractions; Crucial tipped out in the stretch went zooming by through a 27.1 final quarter. The royally bred Father Patrick filly, first foal from Jolene Jolene. Crucial required a $200,000 final bid at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS) from Burke Racing, Bill Donovan, J&T Silva, Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. Steve Stewart, Maumee River Stable, Black Creek Farm and Martin Schmucker are the breeders. Harry Landy drove his Father Patrick colt Father Figure to a 1:58.2 / 28.2 win in the front, holding off Light Blue Movers (Ake Svanstedt) and Zacapa (Jimmy Takter) under minimal urging. Father Figure was a $20,000 bargain purchase at the Lexington sale last fall from breeder Marvin Katz. A pair of really sharp lookin' colts battled to the wire in race 4 with Primo Padre (Andy McCarthy) holding off the charging Chestnut Hill (David Miller) through a 27.2 end to a 1:58.1 mile. Rose Run Voyage (Svanstedt) stayed for third. The winner is trained by Tony Alagna for Kelly Walker who bred and owns the son of Father Patrick. Hambo Prep Qualifier Several serious Hambletonian candidates lined up for the 7th race qualifier as a prep for next week's Stanley Dancer Memorial with Pilot Discretion (Andy McCarthy) continuing his unbeaten streak but he had to trot a 1:51.4 / 26.4 to hold off the late charging Don't Let'em (Gingras) who went a remarkable final half and 26 flat last quarter. These two trotted strong right through the wire, leaving the crowd to ruminate over the possibilities regarding the forecast dominance of the great Greenshoe heading into the August 3 Hambletonian. Kissin In The Sand (Scott Zeron) qualified on Lasix for trainer Nancy Johansson this morning and looked strong after a few sub-par efforts, leading all the way and sprinting home in 25.4 to close out the 1:51.2 mile under wraps. Soho Chelsea A (McCarthy) was a restrained second and Odds On Lauderdale (Kreuger) third. Nancy Johansson trains the champion filly. Live racing resumes with eliminations for the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, $250,000 Graduate Series finals, Fan Appreciation night and post-race firecrackers at the early post time of 6:30 this evening. Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - Horsemen should take note that this week's harness racing Breakfast With The Babies (sponsored by Fashion Farms) qualifying & Baby races at The Meadowlands will begin at 9:00am on Saturday, July 6. There are 9 races with a training break after race 3.   Program pages are available on the Meadowlands website and you may watch live from this link.     Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - The Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace has drawn 15 harness racing entries that will result in a pair of $50,000 elimination races on Saturday, July 6.   NA Cup winner Captain Crunch leads the talented group of sophomore pacing colts. The 2018 Dan Patch award winning freshman went over $1,000,000 in his career when he won the Cup for trainer Nancy Johansson and owners 3 Brothers, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Scott Zeron has been the colt's driver throughout and is listed for the Pace elims.   Cup place and show finishers Bettor's Wish and Workin' On A Mystery are in the field and trainer Tony Alagna has entered four in the big dance, three of his colts represent half of the six entered sired by Captaintreacherous.   Also on the Saturday card are the $250,000 Graduate finals featuring the finest 4-year-old pacers and trotters in the land.   Post time on Saturday is 6:30pm with Fan Appreciation night and the promise of fireworks after the races also holding allure for the Meadowlands faithful.   The entrants are listed below:   BEST IN SHOW - By Bettor's Delight BETTOR'S WISH - By Bettor's Delight CAPTAIN AHAB - By Captaintreacherous CAPTAIN CRUNCH - By Captaintreacherous CAPTAIN TREVOR - By Captaintreacherous   CAVIART ROCKLAND - By Sportswriter DE LOS CIELOS DEO - By Captaintreacherous ESCAPETOTHEBEACH - By Somebeachsomewhere HURRIKANE EMPEROR - By Hurrikane Kingcole LOVE ME SOME LOU - By Sweet Lou MAC'S POWER - By Somebeachsomewhere MANGOGH - By Western Ideal REIGNING DEO - By Rock N Roll Heaven U S CAPTAIN - By Captaintreacherous WORKIN ONA MYSTERY - By Captaintreacherous     Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) took place on a muggy Saturday morning at The Meadowlands. The harness racing track was fast, flags limp and temperature in the 80's when the trotting fillies stepped onto the track to contest the first race at 10:00am. Pacing colt Capt Midnight (Andy McCarthy) was an impressive 1:53 winner in the last baby race of the morning, leading all the way then sprinting home in 27 flat to hold off the well intentioned bid of pocket sitter Bombshell Hanover (Andy Miller) and an up the rail threat from Captain Nemo (Tim Tetrick). The Captaintreacherous colt was following up his 1:52.3 win of June 15 and looked like there was plenty left in the tank today. Tony Alagna trains the Captaintreacherous colt, a $350,000 Hanover bred Harrisburg yearling for the partnership of Marvin Katz, Ken Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing. Jula Champagne opened the card a winner for the potent combo of Yannick Gingras and Per Engbloom as driver and trainer respectively. The Trixton filly set even fractions then finished the 1:58.2 mile with a 28.4 final quarter in hand over Questichap (Trond Smedshammer) and Sashay Kemp (Marcus Melander). Jula Racing, Inc owns the $85,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, bred by Windsong Stable. Adriano Sorella, in town to see his Jimmy Freight finish a very game second in the Graduate last night was present, bagel in hand, this morning to watch his namesake (though he has no ownership interest) the Muscle Hill filly Sorella (Christian Lind) win from the pocket in 1:59. She tracked Eye On The Hill (Andy McCarthy) through reasonable numbers then tipped off that rival in the stretch and went by willingly. Gertrude Hanover (Steve Smith) was third. The winner is conditioned by Steffan Lind for breeders Elmer Fanin and his partner on the filly Crawford Farms. Give Adriano a call if you're lookin' for a partner. The Muscle Hill filly Ramona Hill (McCarthy) looked great this morning, trotting confidently by rivals the widest of all, her final quarter in 27.4 to end the 1:57.1 mile to pick up Jula Beauty AM (Gingras) at the wire. Never Content (Andy Miller) was third. Tony Alagna trains the winner for owners Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners, she was a $70,000 Lexington yearling bred by Crawford Farms. Ramona Hill Around a million dollars worth of trotting fillies comprised race 4 with Synergy (Gingras) clearly the best of the lot scoring a front end 1:56.3 / 28.2 with something left. EL Ideal (Ake Svanstedt) followed along to be second while Beyond Kronos (Tim Tetrick) closed nicely in hand to get third. Synergy was a $275,000 Lexington sale buy, bred by Southwind Farms and trained by Per Engbloom for Brittany Farms, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and David Anderson. Ready For Moni (Gingras) made an impression on the bagel and lox crowd with a come from behind 1:56.1, trotting home in 27.2 to track down Back Of The Neck (Brian Sears) and mile cutter Gangster Hanover (Svanstedt). Ready For Moni is by the International star Ready Cash from daughter of the great Moni Maker, bred by Moni Maker Stable and bought in Lexington by John Fielding, Lindy Farms, Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield. Per Engbloom trains. Ready For Moni Ake Svanstedt unleashed his Muscle Hill colt King Alphonso with a front end tour de force 1:58.1 mile, trotting home in 28 flat by as many as he pleased. Stable mate Words Matter (A. Miller) stayed for second while Platoon System (Tetrick) rallied a bit late to get third. Ake owns King Alphonso with Bender Sweden, Little E, LLC and Doug Sipple. The $110,000 Harrisburg yearling was bred by Order By Stable. Beads (Andy Miller) inherited the lead on the backstretch when Cantab Cadet went erratically for a bit, then bore wide himself off the final bend yet held sway over the fast finish of Chestnut Hill (D. Miller) to get the 1:59.2 win. Beads is an Archangel colt bred by Atlantic Trot and Steve Stewart then purchased by Renee Spahr. He comes from the Svanstedt barn. The pacers started with race 8 where Brad Grant's Sweet Lou filly Lady Lou (McCarthy) won right back for trainer Tony Alagna in 1:54.1 after a 1:54 score two weeks ago. Andy put her on the lead past the quarter then moved away willingly through the 28.1 last quarter. Stable mate Watchful Eye (Dexter Dunn) was second. Lady Lou was a $55,000 Harrisburg yearling bred by Robert Hamather. Reflect With Me made it two straight for McCarthy, Alagna and Grant (this time in partnership with breeder Brittany Farms) when she flew home to get up very late over Shebesailin (Dunn) in 1:55 / 27.3. It was the third morning trial for the daughter of Captaintreacherous who went through the Lexington ring for $120,000. Seriously Hanover (Tetrick) was powerful in a 1:54.1 front end performance with a 26.4 kicker to hold off Choir Master (Dunn) and Rockin The Gates (D. Miller). Aggressive throughout, Seriously Hanover went under the wire in the grips for Tetrick and trainer Mark Harder. Cimaglio, Demeter and Giagni own the Western Ideal colt, a Hanover bred $92,000 Harrisburg yearling. Manchego (Dexter Dunn) was out for her first go on Lasix this morning and she looked fantastic. Restrained right to the wire, she floated along through the three quarters in 1:24.2 the ripped off a 26.3 quarter to finish it off well within herself. Bettors Wish and Dexter Dunn wrapped it up with an ultra-impressive 1:51.3 prep for the upcoming Meadowlands Pace storming home in 26.3 under a Dunn double arm lock. Mac's Power cut it and held second in only his second seasonal appearance while Captain Ahab went an encouraging race, all three with an eye on the Pace. Live racing resumes at 7:15 this evening with the WineFest leading the promotions. Nick Salvi

Nicholas, NY - Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs will both celebrate America's Independence with live harness racing on Thursday, July 4.   Tioga will race a matinee card beginning at 1:00 pm. A New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters is the day's highlight along with Filly & Mare pacing races. The condition sheet is posted on the internet and the box closes at 9:00 am on Sunday, June 30. The Race Office may be reached at (607) 699-7688. There will be no Friday live card at Tioga this week, racing will resume on Saturday and Sunday.   Vernon will race an evening overnight card that begins at the standard post time of 6:10 pm. The box for this card will close at 9am on Saturday, June 29. The condition sheet is available here. Vernon will have racing on Friday and Saturday, constituting a 3 da live racing week. The Race Office number is (315) 829-6825.   Electronic entry is encouraged at both tracks.     Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast With The Babies took place on a perfect Saturday morning at The Meadowlands. The sky was clear, breeze light, harness racing track fast and temperature in the 70's when the trotting fillies stepped onto the track to contest the first race at 10:00am. Panem (Andy Mc Carthy) took the opener in 158.2, 29.1 after taking control from eventual third place finisher Winnerano (Trond Smedshammer) on the way to the 1:00.3 half then opening up a long lead before coasting in. Spoiled Princess (Brian Sears) closed to be second. The winner, a daughter of Father Patrick, is an Adam Bowden homebred via his Diamond Creek moniker and is trained by Nancy and Marcus Johansson. Race two was inherited by Violet Stride (Tim Tetrick) who was sitting a nice pocket to Jula Champagne (Yannick Gingras) when that rival jumped off stride just into the home stretch. Violet Stride never lifted her nose then trotted straight and true to a 1:59 record over Woodside Datendiva (Marcus Miller) and a strong stretch trotting Centa Hanover (Ake Svanstedt). Violet Stride is owned by Emilio and Maria Rosati of Australia who paid $280,000 at the Lexington Selected yearling Sale (LSYS) for the Trixton lass, bred by Kentuckiana Farms and Jorgen Jahare, Jr. Mark Harder is the trainer. Al Libfeld's impressive Muscle Hill homebred filly Ms Savannah Belle (Gingras) rolled by the filed from far back to get up in the shadow of the wire in 1:57 / 29.3 in the third. Bank Wise AS IT (Tetrick) set honest fractions throughout, faced a stretch challenge from Solsbury Hill (Scott Zeron) then succumbed to both rivals grudgingly. Per Engbloom trains the winner. Julia C (David Miller), a full sister to 2018 Goodtimes winner Wolfgang, led all the way and took a 1:58.1 record in this morning's 4th race. She faced no pressure and trotted home in 29 flat to seal the deal over the closing pair of Munster (Tetrick) and Creature Of Habit. Bred by Art & Leah Zubrod's Fair Island Farm who retain a share of the ownership with partners Brixton Medical Inc and Hatfield Stables, Julia C is trained by Engbloom. Hypnotic AM (Sears) and Hello Tomorrow (Gingras) threw down in a stretch battle in race five. After taking over early, Yannick relinquished the lead to Sears just before the 59.2 half with Hypnotic AM then sprinting to an open lead through a 27.4 third panel. Once straightened up, Gingras flipped Hello Tomorrow out for the drive and the fillies traded blows right to the wire with Hypnotic AM prevailing under careful Sears handling in 1:55.4. Marcus Melander trains the winner, A Courant, Inc. (Anders Strom) homebred. Word Of Honor took a 1:57.2 record for Team Miller (trainer Julie and driver Andy) when she sat quietly behind Sequin (Zeron) as that rival sailed along on the lead, then slid up the inside for the win. Thankful For You (Corey Callahan) got up over Sequin for the place. Word Of Honor is a daughter of Father Patrick, bred and owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Trotting colt races commenced with the seventh where Fire N Fury (Tetrick) was a front stepping 2:01.1 winner over pocket rider Startrick (Josert Fonseca) and Ballcapsnbluejeans (Callahan). Marcus Melander trains the Explosive Matter colt, a $22,000 LSYS buy for Stall TZ. Celebrity Farms is the breeder. The Melander barn came right back with Rome Pays Off (Mattias Melander) who led at every call and won easily in 1:59 /29.1. Beyond Kronos (Tetrick) made a good impression in his maiden voyage to be second for trainer Jim Campbell and El Ideal (Svanstedt) took third. This Muscle Hill colt was a $155,000 Harrisburg sale purchase by Lennart Agren as SRF Stable. Brian Sears tamed Hayek this morning, holding the EL Titan snugly in the pocket behind even fractions set by Hennessey AM (Christian Lind), then easing past that rival through a 28.4 end to the 1:56.2 mile with something left. Big Oil (Andy Miller) raced well to get up for the place over Hennessey AM. Another Melander pupil, Hayek is owned by Courant, Inc who paid breeder Kostas Diakoloukas $70,000 for the colt in Lexington. Melander made four straight when Fly Eagle Fly (Sears) led all the way for a 1:59.1 win over Saxon (Tetrick) and Fear The Tiger (Marcus Miller). Fly Eagle Fly is a son of International star Bold Eagle bred in Italy and bought from the Lexington sale by Pontone, Gutnick, Lozito and Deo Volente Farms for $145,000. Sermon scored for Gingras and Engbloom in 1:58 under confident handling. Yannick mover the Muscle Hill colt to the top at the 59.2 half then held sway under no urging over Sheena Soldier (Zeron) and Kasha V (Dan Dube).Sermon is a Diamond Creek Farm/ Mel Hartman bred sold in Lexington for $115,000 to Consus Racing Inc and Longbridge Trotting. Ake Svanstedt won with the sharp EL Titan colt Moon Bridge with a late rally to get up over King Slayer (Gingras) in 1:58 / 29. I Have A Dream (C. Lind) was third. The winner is a homebred for Overseas Farm and Janne Korpi.' The pacing fillies got underway after the break with a pair by Captaintreacherous hitting the wire together in 1:54.3. After Never Ever Forget and Dexter Dunn sailed along on a clear lead past the 1:25.3 three quarters, Tim Tetrick got Rocknificent into gear and made a strong wide rally in the stretch to just miss. Tony Alagna trains the winner for AlagnaInTheGym, VJ Stable, Bill Donovan and Joe Sbrocco who gave $85,000 at Lexington. AM Bloodstock is the breeder. Three six figure yearling fillies by "The Captain" finished across the track the 14th with Caviart Jane (Zeron) holding Shebesailin (Gingras) and Baby Your the Best (D. Miller) at bay in 1:53.1 / 27.2 after setting all the fractions. The winner is a White Birch bred sold in Lexington to Cavirat Farms for $100,000, trained in the Johansson barn. Real Long Hanover (Dunn) took the same route to victory as her stable mate and continued the Captaintreacherous reign of terror as she led by many throughout then held on for the 1:54.3 / 28.4 win over JK Finendandy (Zeron). Alagna owns the filly with Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing who paid $50,000 at Harrisburg for the Hanover bred. Lottery Winner (Zeron) set all the fractions before facing a stern challenge from Chief Mate (Andy McCarthy) and dug in tenaciously to hold that rival off in stretch scrap for the 1:53.2 / 27.2 win. This $185,000 LSYS Bettor's Delight colt comes from the Johansson barn where he is trained for owners Joyce McClelland, Hatfield Stable, R A W Equine and the Ric Flair Stable. Kentuckiana Farms is the breeder. Territory (Gingras) took the 17th in 1:53.2 / 28.4, benefitting greatly when It's Showtime rolled off stride while on the lead as the field turned into the stretch. Territory took the baton then held on grimly for the win over Captain Groovy (Mark MacDonald). Per Engbloom trains the Diamond Creek homebred Sweet Lou half-brother to the great Pure Country. The last of the 18 baby races went to the Well Said colt Lake Charles (MacDonald) in 1:54.3 over Captain Barbosa (McCarthy). Lake Charles sat up close through even fractions before tipping out in the stretch to take the lead then dug in to hold rivals on both sides at bay. Ray Schnittker trains and owns the $35,000 Harrisburg yearling with Egloff, Hempt and Arnold. Vieux Carre is the breeder. Today's results are available on The Meadowlands website. Racing starts at 7:15 tonight highlighted by the "Wiener Dog" races in between the live races. Nick Salvi  

East Rutherford, NJ - The North America Cup day edition of Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB), sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms, came an hour early at 9:00am on a beeeyooteefull, windless Saturday morning with the temperature at 70 degrees and the harness racing track fast. Trainer Marcus Melander flaunted his imposing freshman trotting power this morning, winning five of the six colt races while finishing 1-2 in races eight through eleven. Trotting colts got underway in the seventh race where the camera could not separate a closing Hellbent For AM (Sears) and mile cutter Legion Of Honor (Andy McCarthy) as they crossed the wire, resulting in a dead heat in 1:56 / 27.3. Hellbent For AM is a Anders Strom via Courant Inc homebred trained in the Melander barn while Legion Of Honor was a $150,000 LSYS purchase by Mario Mazza from breeders Steve Stewart and John Carver with Lucas Wallin doing the training. Just as impressive as the top two was the 27 flat closing kick displayed by third place finisher Real Cool Sam (D. Miller), a Fashion Farm homebred. Hellbent For AM (Sears) and mile cutter Legion Of Honor (Andy McCarthy) The Melander stable began the 1-2 binge in race 8 when Maesteraemon (Sears) out kicked Speed Ball Swagger (Mattias Melander) for a 2:01.1 / 28 win. Mahomes (Tetrick) scrambled up for third. The winner is another SRF Stable colt, this one an Andover Hall that cost $170,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale (SHS) and is a Hanover bred. Melander came right back with Capricornus (Tetrick) to win in 1:58.2, taking over from stable-mate Hollywood Story (Sears) on the way to the 1:00.3 half then moved away from his chief rival under his own power with a 27.3 final quarter. The $110,000 Cantab Hall scion was a Harrisburg yearling purchase is a Windsong Stable bred now owned by JJ Stable. Sears drove Expectations to a 1:57.2 / 27.3 score next, taking over early and finishing in hand over Hell Patrol (Tetrick) and Chaptiama (Trond Smedshammer). Expectations is another son of Muscle Hill, bred by Dunroven Stud and sold in Lexington for $110,000 to Vicky Trotting. The domination continued with Back Of The Neck (Mattias Melander) leading all the way to an easy 1:58 / 28.2 win over Hopeyousteponalego (Marcus Schoen) and Swiss House On Fire (Svanstedt). Back Of The Neck is a son of Ready Cash, bred by Order By Stable and still shows Order By as owner despite having sold for $150,000 last fall at Harrisburg. Ake Svanstedt finally put the Melander reign of terror to rest by winning the last of the trotting colt races with the very sharp looking Chapter Seven colt Third Shift. They tracked Melander trainee Gerard (M. Schoen) throughout slow fractions before blasting by in a 27.4 end to the 2:01 mile. Jula Trix Treasure (Gingras) closed it up to be second. The winner was a $235,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase by Melby Gard Inc from breeder Winbak Farms. The day's opener featured several top bred filly trotters and a pair of expensive, impressive Muscle Hills finished one-two. Bellareina Dolce (Brian Sears) took over past the quarter, rated the middle half then dug in when challenged by Impressive Fashion (Dave Miller) as they sprinted home in lock-step through a 27.4 end to the 2:00 mile. Oblivion (Tim Tetrick) was a handy third. Lennart Agren owns the winner via his SRF Stable, a $400,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS) buy from breeder David McDuffee and she is trained by Marcus Melander. Yannick Gingras saved ground all the way then found room at the rail late for Queen Of The Hill to eke out a narrow 1:58.4 / 27.1 win over a wide and charging Dramatra (Scoot Zeron). Dip Me Hanover (Tetrick) was a good third. Queen Of The Hill is an Explosive Matter filly that Al Libfeld paid $110,000 (LSYS) for to secure from breeders Paymaq Racing, Lou Willinger and JC Bafia. She is trained in the Per Engbloom stable. Yannick took the exact same path to victory in the next race, guiding Becky Lindy to a ground saving 1:59.3 / 28.2 score, making it two straight for the driver/trainer duo of Gingras and Engbloom. They sat tight in the pocket behind the fractions set by Context (Jan Johnson) before wearing that game rival down very late to get up. Beautiful Mrs A (Marcus Miller) was third in a purposeful trip. Lindy Farms bred the winner, a $35,000 LSYS purchase by Christina Takter and John Fielding. Jula Beauty AM made it a hat trick for Per and Yannick, coming wide from well back to track down the leaders late in the stretch and get a narrow win over Common Sense S (Svanstedt) in 2:00.2 with her final quarter in 27.3. Musclesandmascara (Dexter Dunn) rallied late for third. Jula Racing owns the Muscle Hill filly, an $85,000 LSYS yearling bred by AM Bloodstock. Senorita Rita (Zeron) gave the crowd a thrill with an impressive gate to wire 1:57.4 win, trotting home in 27.1 under no urging. Shishito (Tetrick) actually gained in the stretch to get up for the place over Seventimesalady (Ake Svanstedt). Ken Jacobs paid $285,000 (LSYS) for Senorita Rita, a Chapter Seven lass bred by Our Horse Cents Stable and Hall of Famer Linda Toscano is the trainer. Caviart Ava was a winner for Andy McCarthy in a front end effort this morning, finishing her 1:58.4 mile with a 28.1 last quarter with something left. Electrapedia (Svanstedt) got up to be second over Mission US (Mattias Melander). The Trixton filly is a Caviart Farms homebred, trained by Nancy Johansson. The pacers came around after a training break and Tony Alagna fillies finished 1-2 in 1:57.2 / 27.3 with Never Ever Forget (Dex Dunn) closing to get up over the inside horses and holding off Reflect With Me (McCarthy) who lost ground early, breaking while leading before the 59.2 before making a nice recovery. Both fillies are by Captaintreacherous, the winner an $85,000 Lexington purchase by Alagna & In The Gym, VJ Stable, Donovan and Sbrocco from AM Bloodstock. Alagna sent out Lady Lou (McCarthy) to win the fourteenth after leading all the way in 1:54 with a 27 end to hold Baby You're the Best (D. Miller) and Rocknificient (Tetrick) at bay while becoming the fastest freshman filly pacer of 2019. The daughter of Sweet Lou was bred by Robert Hamather and went through the Harrisburg sale for $55,000 to Brad Grant. Capt Midnight (McCarthy) became the fastest freshman pacing colt of the season for Tony Alagna when he won the 15th race in 1:52.3 / 26.3 from the pocket over a stubborn Freedom Warrior (Tetrick) with Captain Nemo (Dunn) third. The Captaintreacherous colt is a Hanover bred and was a $350,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase by Marvin Katz, Ken Jacobs, Brad Grant and Captain Midnight Racing.  Capt Midnight Genius Man (Marcus Miller) took the last baby race of the day with an impressive gate to wire 1:54.4 / 26.4 win, holding sway over Force N Fury (Dunn) and He Refuses To Lose (Matt Kreuger). The winner is an Art Major colt was an $87,000 Lexington purchase by Ron Michelon and Daniel Plouffe from breeder Winbak Farms. Today's results are available on The Meadowlands website. Live racing tonight at 7:15. Nick Salvi          

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host the third leg of the Grand Circuit Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on Sunday afternoon. Both the pace and trot split into two divisions, each for a purse of $50,000.   Lather Up and Courtly Choice will hook up in the first of two seven horse pacing divisions in race six. This pair split the first leg of Graduate divisions at The Meadowlands back on May 4 with Lather Up taking the single division of the second leg at WMP last Saturday. Lather Up is a slight favorite in the field of seven with Montrell Teague back aboard for trainer Clyde Francis and owners Gary & Barbara Iles.   Division two (race 9) features Done Well and Thinkbig Dreambig who are both off to strong starts on the season. Thinkbig Dreambig is the 2-1 choice in this division off losing a photo to Lather Up in last week's race. Scott Zeron has the drive for trainer Nancy Johansson and owners Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk.   The first trotting division (race seven) sees leg one winner Muscle M Up (Ake Svanstedt) look to double up in the series from post 2 in the abbreviated five horse field. He has won all three starts this year for owner Knutsson Trotting but has been on the bench since his May 18 Graduate success.   Division two (race 10) features plenty of horsepower with a pair of million dollar winning sophomores from last year, Six Pack and Crystal Fashion, meeting up for the first time this season. Six Pack became the fastest 3-year-old colt trotter ever twice last year by winning in 1:50 at The Meadowlands then taking the Kentucky Futurity in a sizzling 1:49.1. Six Pack captured his division of the first Graduate leg then skipped leg two in Canada and will make his second seasonal start on Sunday. Ake Svanstedt drives and trains for his own interests along with partners Little E, LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmer and L. Berg.   Post time for the 13 race card is 1:00 pm.     Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will get an early 6:35 PM start to the live racing on Saturday, July 6 for Fan Appreciation Day as we recognize our legion of faithful followers of Harness Racing with reduced concessions and a spine-tingling fireworks display after the live card is completed.   Eliminations for The Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace will be held on that evening along with the $250,000 finals of the Graduate Series.   Details are available on the web.       Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - The season opener of the popular Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms kicked off the 2-year-old harness racing season at The Meadowlands this morning under perfect conditions. The track was fast, the temperature in the 70s and no discernible wind when they began at 10:00 A.M. Trainer Marcus Melander and crew were back at it early after a big night with Greenshoe winning the NJSS final with eleven freshman trotting colts and fillies spread over the five races. Marcus' brother Mattias drove Bellarina Dolce to a front end 2:00.1 / 28.1 win over closing stable mate Queen Of The Hill (Casper Foget) and pocket sitter I'm Really Special (Tim Tetrick). The Muscle Hill filly from Bella Dolce was a $400,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS) purchase by Lennart Agren as SRF Stable from breeder David McDuffee. She's off to a good start. Marcus spoke to the talented lass, "She's been good all year. She's been a sweetheart, perfect to drive, steers well; nice horse. She has the gait and wants to do it. She has good manner, is very professional. She feels like an aged horse, really. (This qualifier) was perfect. We've been here two times training with her before this, so they're well prepared when they start baby racing. But it was a nice first one for her. It looked she was in hand. We're happy with her." Shishito gave her sire Father Patrick a winner when she came wide into a 28.3 end to a 2:01.3 mile for Tim Tetrick to out close Oblivion (Mattias Melander) and mile cutter Queso Fresco (Andy McCarthy). Per Engbloom trains Shishito for Black Horse Racing and John Fielding who paid breeder Diamond Creek Farms $50,000 at the Lexington sale last fall. "They were very good, I'm happy with them. They all did what we expected. They all behaved and we babied them around a little bit and they all trotted home good," said trainer Per Engbloom of his five freshmen. "Shishito finished really good from her spot, so that was great, and I also was very happy with Queen Of The Hill. She finished good. It was nice." Marcus Melander drove the $200,000 Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) filly to a 2:02.2 / 28 win, up on the wire to nip Torrent (Dexter Dunn) with Becky Lindy (Foget) third. The top two are by Father Patrick, the winner a Hanover bred, now owned by Al Libfeld. Melander colts went under the wire together in the fourth with Hellbent For AM (Mattias Melander) picking up barn mate Maesteraemon (Brian Sears) in the last step of the 2:00.4 mile, while closing into a 27.3 final quarter. Legion Of Honor (McCarthy) made a sharp late gain to be third. The winner is a Swedish bred son of Muscle Hill from a Supergill dam, bred by AM Bloodstock and owned by Anders Strom as Courant Inc. Melander made it four of five when Expectations (Sears) took over near the 59.3 half, rated a 31.2 third panel then sprinted home in 28.1 for a narrow 1:59.1 score over the closing Take Shape (Tetrick) who was gaining with each stride to just miss. Capricornus (Mattias Melander) was a solid third. Expectations is a Dunroven Farm bred Muscle Hill half-brother to My MVP and was a $60,000 Lexington buy now owned by Vicky Trotting. Ray Schnittker is back at it, sending a pair of So Surreal colts right on down the road to impressive wins. Ray steered The Mystic to a front running 1:54.2 / 28 flat win over Come On Rags (Scott Zeron) and General Idea (Jason Bartlett). Schnittker, Paul Bordogna and HA Taylor paid $40,000 for The Mystic at Harrisburg last fall. Fair Winds Farm and Steve Jones bred the colt. Schnittker came right back with Splash Brother who made every call a winning one over Tomas (Bartlett) in 1:54.3 / 27.1 as he pleased. Nolamaura Racing, Steve Arnold and T. Flannery share ownership of Splash Brother with the trainer/driver. Steve Jones bred the $30,000 Goshen yearling. A BWTB aside; escaping notice on Friday evening at Tioga Downs was another So Surreal, the 2-year-old gelding Steuben Moose, who raced in a qualifier against older and paced in 1:54.2 while finishing fourth behind the 3-year-old Live Lucky, a winner in 1:53.1. Roy Marsh, Jr trains and owns Steuben Mouse, an $8,500 Morrisville Yearling Sale purchase from breeder Steuben Farms. After the BWTB show, we watched the great Hannelore Hanover strut her stuff in the fashion of a 1:52.2 / 27 seven length win over Marion Marauder under a Matt Kakaley hold. Matt had this to say on the World Champion trotting mare "She was very good, well in hand. We wanted to get her stretched out. Last week she was just dull the whole way. Dull behind the gate, dull in the mile. Today she was way better, strong the whole way. Maybe she just wasn't feeling herself last week because today she was super." Hannelore Hanover BWTB sponsor Jules Siegel had a winner in his sophomore trotting colt Chapter Fashion who just got up to nail Union Forces in 1:55 for David Miller. Odds On St Lucie (Tetrick) impressed in a 1:50 / 26.4 stretch win over Don't Think Twice in her third qualifier for Tony Alagna and Odds On Racing. De Los Cielos Deo put a wow into today's action with a wicked 1:48.4 win for Miller. He took off fast and just kept going faster, whizzing by the half in 54.4, threw in a 26.3 third then finished it off with a 27.2 kicker to beat up on two others. Burke trains. Finally, the horse of the meet thus far this season, Highalator, got in a 1:50.3 / 26.1 work out for Rich Still and trainer Jenny Bier to close the card. Results may be found on the web. Live racing resumes at 7:15 this evening. Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - Recognizing the snowballing negative public perception surrounding Thoroughbred racing and, ultimately the imminent threat to our own sport, The Meadowlands has taken the following position regarding horse slaughter and "kill pens"; any person connected with Standardbred racing found to be involved in either practice will be barred for life from participation in any form at The Meadowlands Racetrack.    The ban also includes Tioga & Vernon Downs.   The scrutiny of horse racing has not ebbed, if anything the focus on the welfare of the horses has intensified and is not limited to catastrophic breakdown and ethical treatment at the track.    What becomes of horses once their racing career is over is another key component, not only for public perception but because providing a soft landing is the humane thing to do.   It is imperative that we as horse people recognize the seriousness of these situations and don't wait until "the horse is out of the barn" to insure the protection of racing horses both on and off the track.   The movement to abolish racing in California is gaining momentum and racing interests there are in constant damage control, largely because they have been reactive rather than pro-active.   Addressing the current issues surrounding racing at Santa Anita, United States Senator Diane Feinstein has issued the release below that includes the following quote;   "...We need to determine what we’re doing wrong in this country and fix it. If we can’t, we need to consider whether horse racing has a future here.”   US Senator Dianne Feinstein renews call for suspension of Santa Anita races   Here are a few other recent reports in mainstream media that illustrate the level of outrage directed at current practices in horse racing from the perspective of those outside of the industry, including a searing indictment run on the popular HBO Sports just last week. Take the time to watch that and see how horse racing is viewed by the general public.   Paulick Report on HBO Real Sports ‘Very Survival Of The Sport At Risk’: HBO’s ‘Real Sports’ Examines Racing Fatalities     Paulick Report 2 Illinois HBPA Officer Suspended 120 Days After Horse Found In Kill Pen     Louisville Courier Journal Along with racetrack deaths, horse racing now has another fear: slaughterhouses     NBC News Protesters Call for End of Horse Racing After Latest Horse Death at Santa Anita     Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will kick off the 2019 edition of the popular Breakfast With The Babies harness racing program on Saturday, June 1.   Jules Siegel, via his Pennsylvania nursery Fashion Farms, will again generously sponsor the pastry and refreshments provided for the those who enjoy watching the freshman pacers and trotters get their early lessons on the promised path to stakes success.   Breakfast With The Babies is annually a fan highlight with millions of dollars worth of Standardbred royalty paraded over The Meadowlands mile track before their connections who have patiently waited for the hopes and dreams to come to fruition.   Each Saturday morning, Trotters Owners Club will be open to horsemen and the public alike at 9:30 to serve coffee and pastries and the races will get underway at 10:00 with a guest announcer calling the action.   We welcome you to come out and see the stars of tomorrow on June 1.     Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - In light of the recent circumstances in Thoroughbred racing surrounding the welfare of the horses, all of horse racing has come under increased scrutiny. While the rate of catastrophic breakdowns in Standardbred racing is but a fraction of what it is with the Thoroughbred, the public does not make that distinction.   The health and welfare of our harness racing horses has been a top priority throughout President and CEO Jeff Gural's tenure at The Meadowlands and a great deal of time and money has been spent in efforts to eradicate Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) from Standardbred racing.   Over the past few months in response to questions on the use of the diuretic Lasix as a PED, a consortium of Thoroughbred tracks is taking steps to reduce or eliminate the use of Lasix on race day.   It is the intention of The Meadowlands as the flagship track of the standardbred industry to join that movement and proceed in such a way as to insure the best interests of our equine athletes.   A proposal to address the use of Lasix as a race day medication at The Meadowlands has been submitted to the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC). The submitted proposal states that beginning in 2020, no 2-year-old Standardbred will be permitted to use Lasix when racing at The Meadowlands. Further, in 2021 the track's signature stakes race, The Meadowlands Pace, will become Lasix free. It is noteworthy that the marquee stake in all of Standardbred racing, the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands, has not permitted the use of Lasix throughout its 93 year history. In discussion with several Standardbred trainers, the consensus was that 2-year-old horses should not race with Lasix and should instead be given time away from the track to recover if they are indeed diagnosed with Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). Over the entire 2018 season at The Meadowlands, only seven 2-year-olds raced with Lasix . At the end of the 2021 racing season we will review these changes, consider any revisions to the practice in Thoroughbred racing and adjust as necessary.   While we recognize the therapeutic benefits of Lasix, our concern is with the optics and feel it is important to show that we take the health and safety of our horses very seriously. We believe this is the best approach while we observe how even stricter measures work for the thoroughbred industry.     Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - It was a perfect Saturday morning for qualifiers at The Meadowlands with sunny skies, a slight cross breeze and temperatures in the 70's. The track was rated as fast when the races began at 10am. Hannelore Hanover is back! The 2017 Dan Patch Horse of the Year and career winner of $2.8 million made her 2019 harness racing debut an impressive winning one over current "Road to the Hambletonian" list topper Gimpanzee (Sears). Settled in fifth through the early poles, Hannelore had advanced to third via a few breakers by the 1:25.4 third panel, fanned wide and engaged the leading Gimpanzee then prevailed on the wire in 1:53 flat with a sub 27 final quarter under her own power. Super Schissel (Scott Zeron) was right in between the top pair in third. Ron Burke trains Hannelore Hanover for his interests as Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva and Joe Bongiorno picked up the drive this morning. Beautiful Sin was ultra-impressive this morning, not only beating a field of quality male rivals but doing so authoritatively. Driver Tim Tetrick moved the Muscle Hill lass first over from fourth as they passed the 59.2 half and brushed past the leader Gerry (Marcus Melander) through the 29.1 third panel, leaving the boys behind with a 27 flat close to the 1:55.3 mile. Gerry stayed on for second while White Tiger (Sears) was a rated third. Lennart Agren's S R F Stable owns Beautiful Sin who at $480,000 was the highest priced yearling of 2017 and Per Engbloom trains. Trainer Domenico Cecere brought a string of Lindy Farms 3-year-old trotting colts in for their first foray of the new season and drove the Chapter Seven colt Refi to a front stepping 1:56.2 / 28.2 win under wraps over stable mate Signor Cardin (Brian Sears). Wing Suit (Zeron) was comfortably third. Refi is owned by Lindy Farms and Bob Rudolph. Sophomore pacing colts came around next and a pair of trainer Tony Alagna's Captaintreacherous colts finished 1-2 with Captain McKee (Tetrick) prevailing from the pocket in 1:52.3 / 27.1 over mile cutter Captain Cash (Andy McCarthy) with Magic Joe Lindy (Zeron) third. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing own the winner. Another round of Captains swept the first three spots in the next race with Latissimus Hanover (Tetrick) leading throughout under restraint and holding Captain Ahab (McCarthy) and Shipshape (Matt Krueger) at bay in 1:51.1 / 28.1. Trainer Ray Schnittker owns the speedy colt with Mary Kinsey Arnold and Ted Gewertz. Tall Drink Hanover (McCarthy) completed the "Captain sweep" for the sophomore pacers, winning handily in 1:51.4 / 27.1 under complete wraps. Key West (Tetrick) was a good second. Alagna trains both and owns the winner as Alagna Racing along with Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing (Stephanie & Myron Bell). Western Joe was pacing out of his skin through a 26.1 end to a 1:50.1 mile this morning, looking like he's ready to roll after this, his third qualifier. He tracked Shnitzledosomethin (Tetrick) throughout and roared past that rival under some Zeron rousing in the stretch. Chris Choate trains the 2018 Sam McKee Memorial winner for Anthony Ruggeri and Joe Tosies. It's a huge night at The Meadowlands with Graduate Series trotters on the track and BeerFest in the Back Yard. Live racing gets started at 7:15pm.   Nick Salvi

The Miss Versatility series for trotting mares gets underway on Monday at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a single $52,800 harness racing division of five led by Serge Godin's pair of starlets in Emoticon Hanover and Dream Together racing under his nom de course of Determination.   Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) has won the past two Breeders Crown Open Mare Trot Finals to go with a World Record and nearly $1.5 million on her imposing resume. The Miss Versatility leg will get her 2019 stakes campaign underway after a convincing 1:52.3 win in an overnight.   Dream Together (Randy Waples) burst onto the Grand Circuit scene with a $105 win mutuel in the 2018 Dr John Steele Memorial at The Meadowlands and is but a cheque away from $700,000 in career booty.   Luc Blais has trained both from the first day they had the harness on and continues to have them beautifully prepared for each engagement.   Sorceress Seelster, Pat Matters and The Erm complete the quintet, which is the second race on the Monday night bill.     Nick Salvi

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