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Freehold, NJ --- The New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund (NJSS-SDF) series has been going on for more than a month at Freehold Raceway, but 3-year-old harness racing pacers will get their moment in the sun on Saturday. Prince of Tides, the impressive winner of the Homegrown Pace over this track on September 21, is the clear headliner of the colts & geldings division. He won that race by 2 1/2 lengths, going a mile in an impressive 1:52.3. Earlier in the season, he was second in the Adios, behind eventual Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi. So far in his sophomore year, he's won eight races, while earning more than $237,000. He's likely to be the big favorite from post position five, for trainer Ross Croghan and driver George Brennan. Trainers Nick Surick and Tom Fanning will do their best to conquer the favorite, as they'll send out five horses between the two of them. Surick trains Trente Deo, who has post position one, Black Dan, who leaves from post position two, and Thelinestartshere, who drew post position four. Fanning has Homegrown runner-up Just Plain Loco, along with Cool Your Heels. They have post positions three and eight, respectively. Mark witha K, Admiral Ballsy, and Reigning Deo round out the field. The race is scheduled as the fourth race, with a post time of 1:30 PM EDT. The division for fillies attracted a field of seven, and is scheduled as the sixth race. The field features three of the four horses who contested the Homegrown for fillies on September 21. Stood Up finished second in that race, and rebounded with a solid win at Harrah's Philadelphia on September 27. She has post position four for trainer Michael Hall. Fear No Evil finished third in that race, for owners James Craparotta and Pat Berry, and trainer Traci Berry. She began her career with two wins in a row at Dover Downs, but has yet to find her winning form since then. She has post position two in this spot. Hurrikane Loriann was fourth in the Homegrown, after making a break after the start. She won a leg of the NJSS at the Meadowlands in May, and won the Landmark at Goshen back in July. She'll try to get the job done from post position three. Hurrikanesky, the winner of the NJSS Final at the Meadowlands, will make her first start since June 17 in this spot. She qualified at Freehold twice in anticipation of this spot, most recently going the mile in 1:59. The Patrick Hlubik owned and trained filly will have the outside post, and will be driven by Jim Marohn Jr. Surreality, the winner of the 2-year-old filly NJSS Final last year, Ponder the Odds, a winner of two races in a row at Yonkers Raceway and Pocono Downs, and Love Love Me Too complete the ensemble. The first of twelve races at Freehold on Saturday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EDT. From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

HARRINGTON, Del. - Louis Willinger, William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic and JL Benson Stable's Ella Christina ($8.80, Tony Morgan) was a 1:54 harness racing winner Tuesday at Harrington Raceway in the $18,500 Mares Open. The Nick Surick-trainee notched her 22nd career win and 7th win of the year with a game first over effort over Moments Of Joy and Artrageous. Ella Christina, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal, has banked more than $325,000 in her career. It was one of three driving wins on the card for Morgan. Russell Foster and Allan Davis each had a driving double. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

CHESTER, PA - A pair of $16,000 races shared the harness racing spotlight with trainer Nick Surick on a dank Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. In the featured event for female pacers, the sophomore Captaintreacherous filly Tarryn A Strip had no difficulties in taking her first U.S. start, negotiating the course rated "good" in 1:54.1. Joe Bongiorno, holding hot driving hands as of late, let the import take her time before making the lead in front of the stands, and no one would get close enough to her to threaten as she recorded her fifth triumph in nine starts this year. Joe's sister Jennifer Bongiorno trains the promising sophomore for Glenview Livestock LTD and Cheryl Cherry. In the trotting headliner, the Yankee Glide gelding Amador got an early forward position, was reserved off a contested pace, then came up the inside under the guidance of Jeff Gregory to post a 1:58 victory, his fifth of the campaign. Joseph King is the winning owner and trainer. Among the horsemen, trainer Nick Surick was the biggest winner of the day, harnessing four successful charges. Each of them used the front end - often considered a good place to be on an off track - and each of them was driven by a horseman with the initials "A. M.": Andrew McCarthy (twice), Anthony Morgan, and Andy Miller. Surick is currently second in the trainers' standings at Harrah's Philadelphia behind Gilbert Garcia-Owen. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania harness racing fair circuit split up into opposite corners of the state this week, with two-year-old action on Tuesday and three-year-old racing on Wednesday at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg PA and - 347 miles to the northeast - the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale PA. The fastest mile of the week came from the star attraction of the week, as trainer/driver Nick Surick brought the Invitational ranks standout The Wall, winner of the Camluck Classic in 1:52h in Ontario earlier this year, to Honesdale to race in a division of the FFA pace. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding responded with a 1:59.3 mile for Surick and J L Benson Stables Inc. with the photo finish revealing a winning margin of 20½ lengths. Surick recorded a sweep of the FFA pace divisions when he won with the mare Wynnfrith in 2:02.2. Although his father Todd and his uncle Tony each won five races during the two-day session (shortened by three races on Tuesday due to rain) to share top driver honors, the sulky star was 17-year-old Cody Schadel, who joined the exclusive club of drivers who won with their first steer when he piloted Shady Grey to victory in 2:06.2. Later on the Wednesday card, his father recorded the fastest mile of the fair week with Way To Close in 2:01.1, the Western Terror gelding which he trains and also co-owns with wife Christine. Way To Close paced the York oval in 1:57.4 for the fastest mile at the PA fairs so far this year. On the trot, there were a pair of 2:04.4 winners: the filly Bumper Hanover, driven by Roger Hammer for his co-owner on Vivid Photo and trainer, Todd Schadel, and the gelding Andovers Asset, who now sports a record of 5-4-1-0 at the fairs for driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel. The freshman "A" Sire Stakes colts races were among those washed out on Tuesday, so speed honors went to the ladies: the Well Said filly Search Light in 2:06.4, and the Father Patrick miss Cocktails N Dreams, undefeated in two fair outings after a 2:08.2 mile. At Waynesburg, a trio of horses tied for fastest winners at 2:02.2 - the two sophomores were the A Rocknroll Dance colt Under Paid, whom Chris Shaw handled in a rare fair start for the Burke Brigade, and the Delmarvalous filly April Ava, who stunned with a 1:59 mile in her fair debut in "B" SS company, and here won in "A" for driver Eric Neal, owner Wayne Glessner, and trainer Scott Betts. If miles equally timed were decided for honors by the youth of the performer, then the meet's outstanding mile was the Ponder - Odds On Affair colt Champ Charbel's 2:02.2 win Tuesday for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joe Karrat. The baby won twice in "B"s, and since coming to "A" he has gone second, first, and first in impressive fashion. Quickest trot of the two days was the 2:06.2 time turned in by RT Gloria De Dios for driver Kyle Bolon and trainer Bob Rougeaux III. Her fellow 2018 Fair Championship-winning filly, Sure R Lookin Good, also visited the winners circle during the meet. Fastest clocking for freshmen trotters went to two fillies who won in 2:07.3, Furious Fast and Siouxpergirl. Just as Schadels tied for most driving victories at Honesdale, so did Johnstons, Shawn and Aaron, deadheat for those meet honors at Waynesburg, also at five each. There was certainly no domination of the winners circle by any trainer at Waynesburg on Wednesday - there were fourteen heats, and fourteen different winning conditioners. Next week the fair circuit will make two stops, but back-to-back instead of side-by-side. Arden Downs, a former home of the Grand Circuit operating as the Washington County Fair, races on Monday and Tuesday at 10 a.m., while on Wednesday and Thursday there will be racing at the Dayton Fair starting at high noon; at both meets, the freshmen will precede the sophomores. From the PHHA, MSOA and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

When eight horses from the barn of harness racing trainer Nick Surick were scratched starting on December 20 at The Meadowlands and Dover Downs, a report came out on Harnesslink.com stating that the trainer was suspended indefinitely by the New Jersey Racing Commission. To read the full article written by Derick Giwner on The Daily Race Form click on this link.

A source at The Meadowlands has told Harnesslink that harness racing trainer Nick Surick has been suspended indefintly by the New Jersey Racing Commission from the Meadowlands and Feehold Raceway.   Seven of his horses were just scratched from tonights racecard at The Meadowlands. They were;   Race 1 - Idle Bones N Race 4 - Mac's Secure Race 5 - Hepburn Hanover Race 5 - Livingthedream Race 6 - JK Parlay Race 9 - American Image Race 10 - Abbeylara   More news will be coming out in the following days.    Harnesslink Media

CHESTER, PA - Heavily-favored Skippin By, intimidating the field by virtue of her 1:50.1 victory last week, was the only major leaver and stole a 1:53 victory in the $18,000 featured pace for mares at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday. True, it was a cool 62 degrees at the riverside oval Friday - but in 67-degree weather last Friday, Skippin By went fractions of 27, 55.3, and 1:23, adding on a 27.1 last quarter in a blowout victory, In this event, George Napolitano Jr, sent the daughter of Shadow Play to early command and set slightly-more pedestrian fractions of 28, 56, and 1:24 - and then had to chase her the length of the stretch to maintain a healthy margin, which at the wire was 1 1/2 lengths over the noted closer Penpal. Skippin By has had a giant 2018 already, with seven wins and seven seconds in 26 starts, with earnings of $110,900 for trainer Nick Surick and the ownership of Cornerstone Stock Farm. Lifetime, Skippin By has 33 victories and a bankroll of $877,409. In the $14,500 cofeatured mares pace, the Ashlee's Big Guy mare Royal Knockout joined a dynamic outer tier from last, then swept by in the lane to record a $91.00 upset in 1:53.2. Tony Morgan, second on the alltime winningest North American drivers list, timed his late charge well to raise the mare's earnings to $466,073 for trainer Michael Posner and owners Michael and Adrienne Selis. Western Canada's top pacing filly of 2016-2017, with 16 wins in 18 starts and earnings over $250,000, was an unlucky 0-for-13 at four after coming south of the border - but all it took was a California trainer and a New Zealand driver to get her home first at Philly on Friday. Yoga Pants, a daughter of Sportswriter, finally found the U.S. winners circle in her 14th start of the year for trainer Lou Pena, driver Dexter Dunn, and the Wish Me Luck Stables LLC of Gap PA - which is 42 miles from Harrah's in Chester PA, slightly closer than the 2950 miles from Vancouver, the distaff's base when north of the border. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - On a special Friday night card of racing at Harrah's Philadelphia, the Shadow Play mare Skippin By was used hard to get the early lead, but she showed in the last quarter she had ample energy in reserve, taking the $18,000 featured pace for distaffs in 1:50.1. Skippin By was hustled out of the gate by driver George Napolitano Jr., as both Monica Gallagher and Hold It Hanover also left the switch with alacrity. After "Hold It" backed off to a 3-tuck at the 1/8, Skippin By pressed her case and got the lead after working to the quarter in 27. But after midsplits of 55.3 and 1:23, Skippin By powered off from her rivals with a 27.1 kicker, winning by 2 3/4 lengths over Monica Gallagher and raising her lifetime tally to $868,409 for trainer Nick Surick and Cornerstone Stock Farm. The eight-year-old mare Regil Elektra recorded her 48th lifetime victory, sending her earnings to $1,073,923, with a victory in 1:52.1, last half 55.3, in the $14,500 distaff pace co-feature. Driver Tony Morgan moved from the pocket with the victorious daughter of Mach Three in front of the stands, getting around early leader Future Headlines easily, then dashed home from there to be a 1 1/2 length winner over that rival for trainer Keith Armer and the Fred Monteleone Estate. Regil Elektra was also the fifth in a consecutive line of horses who paid $6.00 or less - without being the favorite! Harrah's will pick up the action again on Sunday at 2:05 p.m., with a $25,000 winners-over pace for females heading a strong card (that might complement the Futurity Day card at Lexington nicely for simulcast fans). There will also be a special live offering of racing on Columbus Day Monday at 12:25 p.m., with over $200,000 on the line for John Simpson Sr. stakes series three-year-old colts of both gaits. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Julio's Girl, reserved by driver Eric Carlson off a spirited pace, passed half her race opposition from midstretch to score in Monday's $14,000 distaff claiming handicap pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:53.1 on a sloppy track while paying $60.00 to win. Unbeamlieveable, not worse than second in this class since joining it on June 11, customarily dashed to the front, and after the 26.4 quarter she was joined by an uncovered Sea's Ideal, who pushed the leader and the fractions through middle splits of 55 and 1:23.1. Carlson had Julio's Girl in third-over position, followed second-over Rosy's Outlook three-wide on the far turn, then tipped wider in the stretch. Those four were the major players in the drive the wire, with the reserved energy of Julio's Girl unleashed late to put her a neck up on the game Unbeamlieveable at the finish, with first-over Sea's Ideal also courageous to take third and Rosy Outlook completing the Superfecta. Julio's Girl is trained by Nick Surick for owner Cliff Grundy, and that duo will have the winner for her next start, something that can't be said for three others in the race including Unbeamlieveable, with that trio combining in claiming price for a $66,000 turnover in the feature. A member of the "French Foreign Legion," a group of French trotters recently sold to a North American conglomerate of trainers and their interests, was victorious at Pocono on Monday. The Sam Bourbon seven-year-old gelding Bioness, on his lines showing being accustomed to races from 3000 meters (about 1 7/8 miles) to 3900 meters (c. 2 7/16 miles), must think the 1609 meters (1 mile) of U.S. racing is just a dash in the park, as he went to the quarter in 26.4 over the sloppy going en route to a 1:54.3 victory in his second Stateside start. Kevin Wallis, seventh among active North American drivers with 10,166 wins, handled sulky duties for trainer Chris Oakes and the Northfork Racing Stable, whose trotter boosted his life earnings to $152,510. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER PA - Skippin By drew clear of a tough field for the second straight week, winning the $14,500 distaff pacing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday afternoon in 1:51.2. Brett Miller, a winner in four of the card's first eight races, made the early lead with the daughter of Shadow Play, then yielded to Juslikeaqueen and was content to draft in behind through fractions of 26.3, 55.4, and 1:23.1. Turning for home driver Miller tugged on the left line, and Skippin By went to the passing lane and powered by easily for a two length tally over the pacesetter. Nick Surick conditions the winner of $813,784 for Cornerstock Stock Farm. A horse named after a phrase in the famous soliloquy of Shakespeare's Hamlet (III, i, 3) made more than a few Philly bettors melancholy as Outrageous Fortune, with only one third in 15 previous career starts, came up the inside for Eric Carlson to generate a $102.80 win payoff in the fourth race. Among the beaten field was Quantum Kemp, the full brother to Hambletonian winner Trixton who got going belatedly and finished fourth though beaten only a half-length. Philly has now had seven horses pay $50 or more at the meet - but four of that seven have rung up the mutuels to the tune of $100 or more. Brett Miller ended the day with five winners to Corey Callahan's four triumphs. FINISHING LINES - Harrah's Philadelphia will have a special live card on Belmont Saturday at 12:40, and while much of the racing world awaits whether Justify can stretch out over that race's demanding 1½ miles, the emphasis at Philly will go in the other direction - there is a 5/8 mile dash for trotters carded, with an eye towards the 1:09 world record for the short distance set at Pompano. From the PHHA/Chester's Philadelphia

FREEHOLD, NJ -- December 1, 2017 -- Nick Surick notched his 1,000th training win on Friday November 24th at Freehold Raceway. The 29 year old harness racing conditioner sent out six winners Friday afternoon. Uppercutz’s fifth race victory gave Surick his 1,000th career training victory. Surick has been a regular at Freehold Raceway since starting his training career in 2009.  Just eight years later, with virtually no racing background the Freehold native, is on the verge of capturing his second training title at Freehold Raceway.  The young trainer is dominating the Freehold racing scene. He is currently the leading trainer with 181 wins, 101 seconds and 65 thirds in just 487 starts. This season, he has already matched his career-best seasonal earnings of $1.7 million with a month left to go. His career earning total currently sits at just under $10 million lifetime. The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey would like to congratulate Nick Surick on his milestone. Courtney Stafford 

ANDERSON, Ind. - The Western Ideal filly Ella Christina, who had demonstrated her disregard for the tote board when she won a division of the Adioo Volo at the Meadows at $114.80, again pulled a big harness racing upset, this time in the Breeders Crown 3-year-old Filly Pace elimination Friday night at Hoosier Park, storming home from seventh at the top of the stretch to post a 1:51 victory and return $72.00 to her scattered backers. The favorites were all in the early mix, as Caviart Ally left from the rail, putting Agent Q in behind her, then let Idyllic Beach go near the :26.2 quarter, only to retake in early backstretch. Nearing the :55.2 half, even-money favorite Blazin Britches came with a big burst but could not clear the leader on the turn, and started to back off past the 1:23 three-quarters. Caviart Ally had the lead into the stretch, with Idyllic Beach going to the passing lane and Agent Q swinging wide to challenge. But this group was joined late by Ella Christina, who was angled progressively wider by driver Tim Tetrick and went around Agent Q, storming down the center of the track to edge Idyllic Beach by a head, with Agent Q another length back. This division drew 11 entrants, and under the Breeders Crown rules at Hoosier, which starts nine across and a trailing 10 horse, the top two horses accepting byes automatically got into next week's final. The remaining nine raced Friday to eliminate one horse. Tequila Monday and Obvious Blue Chip were the two fillies getting byes into the championship event. Ella Christina will draw a post between one and five as a result of her victory, while the rest go into an open draw. Behind Idyllic Beach and Agent Q in order were Carol's Z Tam, Caviart Ally, Inverse Hanover, Blazin Britches, Jaye's A Lady, and Terrortina, the last-named the unfortunate "odd filly out". The winner tallied for the seventh time this season for trainer Nick Surick, whose Nick Surick Stable LLC co-owns the winner with J. L. Benson Stables Inc., William Daggett Jr. and Lawrence Vukovic. Surick noted that the Hanover Shoe Farms-bred filly had not been at her best in her previous start, the Courageous Lady at Northfield where she finished sixth, but he was all smiles after this event. By Gerry Connors, for Breeders Crown

YONKERS, N.Y. - When Ella Christina prepared to make her first start for new trainer Nick Surick in a split of the Adioo Volo Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old pacing fillies at The Meadows July 29, Surick was home feeling sick as a dog. He wasn’t worried about missing the race. He didn’t think his filly had a shot anyway and the public agreed, sending her off at odds of 56-1. Surick propped one eye open and watched the race in bed. Ella Christina started from post seven and raced 7 lengths off the pace past the half. Heading up the backstretch, driver Jim Pantaleano kept her along the pylons in seventh. Ella Christina advanced within 4 1/2 lengths of the leader at the three-quarters and passed four tiring rivals to her outside. “I just saw everybody coming off the rail and she’s coming up the inside around the last turn,” Surick remembered. “I was like, ‘we’ll get a fifth or a fourth out of this. Hey, we’ve got a shot, we’ll be third.’ ” Ella Christina raced into the passing lane off the turn and Pantaleano put her to a right-handed drive. Inside the final sixteenth, she extended and sprinted past Colorful Jasmine. Ella Christina’s :27.0 final quarter propelled her to a half-length victory in 1:52.2 in the $62,475 stakes. It was Surick’s second win in the Adioo Volo Stakes. He also conditioned 2011 division winner Whats New Pussycat. “I jumped up out of bed and halfway down the lane I said, ‘I got a shot to win this,’” Surick said. “I didn’t feel sick for the next hour or two, but then it caught up with me again that night. But it was ok. It was quite a thrill and that was the second time I’ve raced one in the Adioo Volo and I’ve won it both times.” Surick’s first start with Ella Christina was a long time in the making. Surick had been trying to purchase the daughter of Western Ideal since he watched her win a $49,200 division of the Standardbred at the Delaware County Fair last September for Nancy Johansson. Surick and Johansson finally came to a deal about a week before the Adioo Volo. “I watched her race in last year as a 2-year-old in Delaware, Ohio and she won that stakes down there. She won in 54-and-a-piece and I thought that was pretty good for a 2-year-old,” Surick explained. “I think Nancy is one of the more honest trainers in the business and I just think it’s a good place to shop. You get a horse with a good foundation and I think you get an honest purchase when you buy from them.” Although he was happy to finally bring Ella Christina into his stable, Surick’s first impression of her wasn’t glowing. Although she had a good attitude, she was on the small side. Surick wasn’t thinking about stakes, but an overnight at Yonkers, for her first start. “There’s not really much to her, she’s kind of a smaller horse and just a lovely horse to be around. She’s got a great personality, she’s a cool little filly. I never thought for her to be this much,” Surick said. “I dropped her in at Yonkers and she didn’t get in. By chance, I just dropped her in the Adioo Volo because last year it was a five horse field. I thought maybe that might be the case again this year and then it ended up being two fields of eight or nine and I drew the seven hole and I said, ‘well, my plan backfired,’ going into it. I thought I had no shot.” After Ella Christina’s Adioo Volo upset, Surick got on the phone and staked the filly to everything he could, including a supplement to the $113,950 Shady Daisy Stakes on Hambletonian Day. She finished fifth beaten 10 lengths in that race, sending Surick back to the drawing board with Ella Christina’s training. “The first week I had her, I didn’t do anything with her. I literally just jogged her a few miles a day, sent her to the Meadows, raced her, and she came up super,” he said. “After that win, I couldn’t help myself and I knew I was going in for big money next week and I trained her real hard two trips in between the Adioo Volo and the Shady Daisy. She kind of came up a little flat on me there. I didn’t think she could win, but I thought she’d be closer and she just flattened out a little bit and I wasn’t happy with her performance. “I thought back to what I changed from week one to week two and the difference was the hard work in between starts. She doubled jogs every day. I jog all my horses 6 miles, but instead of jogging her a straight 6 miles, she’ll go out and jog 2 miles, come back in, sit in the stall for a half-hour, go back out and jog her next 4. It just seems to break up her routine a little bit and she enjoys it. Since I’ve done that, she’s really turned the corner.” Under her light training regime, Ella Christina enters Saturday’s $113,880 Lady Maud Pace at Yonkers Raceway off a second and a win in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series in her last two starts, respectively. Her last win came in 1:53.1 with a :27.3 final quarter. Although Tim Tetrick drove Ella Christina in her last three races, George Brennan will get the call for the first time Saturday night as Tetrick will be driving in Canada. “My filly, she’s a small filly, she’s put together nice. I think the smaller the track, the better her game,” Surick said. “I’m not happy that I lost Tetrick. I’m one that likes to stick with a driver. He’s really gotten a lot out of her, but I’ve won some good races with George Brennan, he knows his way around the track, so by no means am I downgrading in a driver, but I just like to have a driver that knows my filly. When I’m forced to make a driver change, I’m never going to be upset with George Brennan.” Ella Christina will face six rivals in the Lady Maud, including Scott Di Domenico’s Angel’s Pride, who won the Empire Breeders’ Classic Consolation at Tioga Downs in her last start August 20 and will start along the pylons. Linda Toscano’s World Apart finished second against older competition in an overnight at Philadelphia August 18 and won the Thompson Geers at Tioga in July. She drew post seven. Tony Alanga will send out the double threat of Tori Hanover and Awash. Gurl Band K and Robin J complete the field. If Ella Christina can beat her rivals in the Lady Maud, Surick will be dreaming big with his new filly. “I have big ambitions for her down the road this year and going into those races, I just want her to feel like she’s somebody. I want her to beat up on horses right now and I just want to keep her confidence up right now,” he said. “Now the Lady Maud and then she’s got Liberty Bell, Jugette, and then she’s off to Lexington for two weeks. She’s got Courageous Lady and Matron at the end of the year.” The Lady Maud Pace is one of four stakes on the card Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway. The card also features the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, and the $119,010 Hudson Trot. First post time is 7:10 p.m. For entries for the card, click here. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 11, 2017 - A pocketed Jag Out (Brent Holland, $18.60) proved best Friday night (Aug. 11th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $55,000 filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Away alertly from post position No. 4, Jag Out made the first lead, then gave it up to HP Sissy (Dan Dube) before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. It was a :56.3 intermission before Freeze Out (Joe Bongiorno) moved first, from sixth. He then was relegated to a poor tow from just-over-even-money favorite Darlinonthebeach (Brian Sears). That one did nothing for the back markers as HP Sissy found a 1:24.4 three-quarters. 'Sissy' owned a length-and-a-half lead in the lane, but Jag Out moved out and moved by. The margin was a neck in a season's-best 1:53.2. Betabcool (George Brennan) offered good pace on both ends of the mile to grab second, with HP Sissy, Arielle Lynn (Eric Goodell) and Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton) settled for the remainder. Darlinonthebeach wound up sixth. For sixth choice Jag Out, a 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal co-owned owned by (trainer) Nick Surick, J L Benson Stable and Bert Hochsprung, it was her fourth win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $85.50, the triple returned $601 and the superfecta paid a palindromic $2,552. Jag Out A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Aug. 12th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,485.47.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

WASHINGTON, PA, July 29, 2017 -- Dismissed at 56-1, Ella Christina poured through the Lightning Lane to pull off a harness racing shocker in Saturday's $125,950 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo at The Meadows. Blazin Britches captured the other division of the Adioo Volo, a Grand Circuit stake for 3-year-old filly pacers that was part of the Adios Card. Ella Christina hadn't won a stake this year, and driver Jim Pantaleano had little chance to get her into the cover flow. "Going down the backstretch, I thought I might follow one of the favorites, but that spot disappeared and kind of made my decision for me," he said. "They weren't going much on the lead, so I figured they'd be getting home pretty good. I was surprised my filly had as much pace as she did. They were honking home pretty good." The daughter of Western Ideal-Arthroscopic was fourth and apparently going nowhere when the horse immediately in front of her, Glassine Hanover, tipped off the cones for the drive. That was the opportunity Ella Christina needed, and she took full advantage of it, downing Colorful Jasmine by 1/2 length in 1:52.2, matching her career best. Rosemary Rose was third. Nick Surick trains Ella Christina for Nick Surick Stable, J.L. Benson Stables, William Daggett, Jr. and Lawrence Vukovic. Ella Christina The freshman campaign of Blazin Britches was aborted after a single race due to soreness, but she won six of her first seven starts this year, racing primarily at Hoosier Park. Then, trainer Brian Brown thought he noticed something amiss in her recent outings. "We figure she bled her last three starts; luckily, we found it in time," Brown said. "She looked like she would win in 1:50, and she got halfway up the stretch and started to let up. As you saw today, she didn't give up." With the addition of Lasix for the Adioo Volo, Blazin Britches gobbled up the leader, Bettor's Up, with a backside burst and went on to defeat her by 2 lengths in 1:50.1, a career best. Brazuca earned show. Emerald Highlands Farm bred and owns Blazin Britches, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Soggy Britches who is eligible for most of the rich year-end stakes. Blazin Britches Other races on Adios day at the Meadows; Whatstroublnurocky by A Rocknroll Dance - Arden Downs 2yo C&G Pacers Broadway Concert by Broadway Hall - Arden Downs 3yo Filly Trotters Disorder by Somebeachsomewhere - Arden Downs 2yo C&G Pacers Snowstorm Hanover by Muscle Massive - Arden Downs 3yo C&G Trotters Reign On Me by Well Said - Arden Downs 2yo Filly Pacers Cult Icon by Bettor's Delight - Arden Downs 2yo Filly Pacers Crann Tara by Donato Hanover - Arden Downs 3yo Filly Trotters Dapper Dude by Ponder - The Meadows Preferred Hcp Pace The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

YONKERS, N.Y. - Since returning to harness racing at Yonkers April 14 off a September layoff, 5-year-old mare Jag Out is perfect in two starts for trainer Nick Surick. She won her seasonal debut in a $27,000 overnight after racing first-over for the last quarter mile, then returned a wire-to-wire the following week when racing for $35,000. For Surick, seeing Jag Out finally put her best foot forward has been a process months in the making. Surick purchased Jag Out, a daughter of American Ideal out of the Albert Albert mare Impertinent, from the 2015 Harrisburg Mixed Sale for $60,000. The purchase came on the advice of Erv Miller, who trained Jag Out in her 2- and 3-year-old seasons. “He told me this little filly is tough as nails and she has a lot of gate speed if you’re looking for something to race at Yonkers,” Surick recalled. “He kind of pushed me into her and that’s why I bought her.” After a winter freshening, Surick brought Jag Out back as a 4-year-old in April 2016. Surick and his owners hoped she would be a free for all mare from the start and ambitiously spotted her in the top classes at Yonkers in her first three races. By the end of her season however, Jag Out had only two wins in 17 starts, both in non-winners conditions, and had earned just $42,100. “I gave her the winter off and she trained back ok, but she just wasn’t 100 percent for me,” Surick said. “She was still a little immature and she was growing up and she went through a growth spurt. She was a little sore on me. I raced her five months and she just was never 100 percent. She would sit the two hole and wouldn’t win. I thought I could get her sounder and I didn’t.” Surick shut Jag Out down in September 2016 and sent her for a body scan at Mid-Atlantic Equine Center. The results confirmed Jag Out had heat in her joints and was sore from inflammation related to her growth spurts. “We thought it was best to turn her out again and not push her and hurt her,” Surick said. “We stopped with her in September, gave her off through December and brought her back in January this year, not knowing what we were going to have.” Jag Out returned to training a transformed horse. As she trained back, her development became clearer, leading Surick to believe she was finally living up to the potential they saw when they purchased her. “She’s filled out now, she’s got a bigger chest on her, and she’s strong-boned. We let her hobbles out an inch-and-a-half coming back and I just see a real difference in maturity and in her attitude,” Surick detailed. “I think we let her grow up and I’ve seen a big difference just in her first two races and I think we’re going to see a big difference going forward.” Nursing Jag Out through her growth spurts wasn’t the only challenge facing Surick and his team. She can be difficult to handle on a daily basis, forcing Surick to take special precautions to keep her safe and happy. “A lot of my horses go out in pairs and they have friends. She kind of just likes to be left alone,” Surick said. “One thing that she does like, she gets a weekly massage and she gets acupunctured every week. Besides that, the more you leave her alone, the better off she is. “She’s not really a people person. Just myself and the girl that takes care of her, we handle her ourselves and that’s about it.” he continued. “In the barn, she’s a disaster. If you walk past her stall, she kicks the wall. She’s got a matted stall that looks like solitary confinement. Her stall is padded from the floor to the ceiling, all the walls. I couldn’t take a chance at her hurting herself.” Although she’s difficult to handle in the barn, Jag Out is a dream on the racetrack. She’s fast off the gate, her biggest asset according to Surick, and is easy to drive. Those qualities will make Matt Kakaley’s job easier as he will sit behind her for the first time this week. “Some horses, if you fire them up too soon and you get to the front, they become uncontrollable and they’re like a runaway train. Whereas she’s two fingers. You can go, stop, she’s like driving a car. It’s like having a gas and a brake. It’s a huge quality to have when you’re racing on a half-mile track,” Surick explained. Friday night, Jag Out will look to prove she can take on the country’s best mares when she steps up into the $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap at Yonkers. She was assigned post six in an eight horse field that includes two standouts from the recently-concluded Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, Bedroomconfessions and Regil Elektra. They were dealt posts seven and eight, respectively. Surick is counting on a big performance to put his mare in the running for an invitation to the Betsy Ross Mares Invitational Pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia. “Both of them got tortured in the final, so drawing inside them is a good thing,” Surick reasoned. “I have to think those trainers and drivers are going to have to come up with a plan “B” on racing those mares this week. I think those two horses are going to have to get taken off the gate and I don’t think they’re going to be close enough. I think we’ll be up on the lead or near it and I think they’ll be chasing us.” First post time at Yonkers is 7:10 p.m. Click here for entries for Friday’s card. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

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