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Harness racing is typically a sport that has rural roots and its participants are usually males carrying on a family tradition that was started before they were even born. Most trainers and drivers had someone in their family or a close friend that took them under their wing, showed them the ropes and helped them get a start in the business. However, trainer Kim Sloan had a much different entry into harness racing. She was born into a Cleveland, Ohio urban family that had never owned or cared for a horse. Although knowing virtually nothing about horses, Kim's father and grandparents were fans of the sport and were often rooting for their picks on the grandstand apron of Northfield Park. As a child Kim was at Northfield many times but never on the backstretch. "I was usually running around the grandstand with the other kids picking up losing tickets off the ground," remembers Sloan. Being present in the excitement of a racetrack fostered an affection for horses that has grown throughout Kim's life. Sloan entered the workforce immediately after graduating in 1981 from the Cleveland City School System. She secured employment at a title insurance company in downtown Cleveland. However searching titles was not her passion, so Kim went to a horse auction at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 1992 and purchased two yearling fillies, Aint That A Dame and Takin Chances. "Everyone I talked to told me to get a horse that was already racing and not to buy yearlings. But I wanted to learn how to train a horse from the start," said Sloan. "I thought that buying a horse that was already racing would be like sitting down in a theatre in the middle of a movie. I bought yearlings because I wanted to learn from the ground up." Kim feels fortunate to have been initially stabled next to Dan Kirkwood at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio. "I tried to be observant and ask a lot of questions," explained Sloan. "Dan was always willing to guide me." Even though Kim asked questions and tried to learn from fellow trainers, "My biggest tool was the book Care & Training of the Trotter & Pacer. I read it religiously, especially the chapter written by Stanley Dancer. That book was like my Bible." Kim's first race was in October, 1995 with Aint That A Dame. It resulted in a seventh place finish, beaten 25½ lengths for a 1,600 purse at Northfield Park. Her first win was the following August at the Cuyahoga County Fair with a pacing mare named Botton Line in 2:05.3. Since the beginning Kim has kept a small stable. Her starters have posted 233 wins and have earnings approaching $1 million. However, in January she joined forces with Fred Peters, owner of Pod Stable LLC. She now trains six for her new owner, as well as two others, and for the first time is truly looking to grow the stable. "You have to keep going one race at a time and continuously evaluate where you are going and what you need to do," said Sloan. "In this business, many changes need to be made along the way." Her most recent victory came with Pod Stable owned Fluff Me Up at Northfield Park on Monday (August 24) in the $13,000 Open Trot where Sloan's four year-old gelding won by seven ½-lengths in 1:54.2. The clocking was not only a track record, but it equaled the world's record for his age, sex and gate on a half-mile track. "It was his first start without trotting hopples," said Sloan. "I have wanted to take the hopples off for quite a while but to do so you have to miss a week of racing to requalify. Timing worked out to take them off because he was not going to race for a week. I could not be happier with him. I have never had a win like this before." Ayers Ratliff          

Three new track records were set at Northfield Park on Friday night, August 21 in Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) competition. Fifteen, $40,000 divisions featuring Buckeye-bred 2-year-old colts and fillies of both gaits were contested. Standout trotting colt Kanthaka made it five for five en route to a track record clocking for 2-year-old trotting colts of 1:57.1--lowering his own standard that he set on July 24 in the second leg of this series. Were Gone (Dan Noble) was second, with Fantasy League (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was third. "He's a perfect horse to drive and has done everything right since day one," said winning driver Dave Palone. "It's nice to see the offspring of Triumphant Caviar doing so well here in Ohio." Trainer and co-owner Chris Beaver harnessed the Triumphant Caviar colt, who now has $85,250 in his career coffers for partner Wilbur Lang, who also bred the youngster. Kanthaka won his previous OSS tests on July 4 at Scioto Downs by nearly eight lengths in 1:58.3 and on July 24 at Northfield in 1:58 triumph.   Save My Tootsie, a daughter of Big Bad John-Save My Life-Life Sign, set a new track record of 1:54.4 for pacing fillies--besting the previous record of 1:55.2 set by CC Spice in 2002. Trained by Ron Potter for owner Clyde Perfect of Lawrenceburg, IN, Save My Tootsie was bred by Spring Haven Farm.   Driven by Aaron Merriman, the black filly pushed her lifetime earnings to $35,935 in her first career victory in five starts. John's Sunny Girl (Greg Grismore) finished second while Upfortydevensgirl (Brady Galliers) nailed down show honors.   Friskie Cruiser notched his third career triumph in a track record clocking of 1:54 for a freshman pacing gelding, with driver Ryan Stahl at the lines. This son of Feelin Friskie is owned and was bred by Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH and pushed his lifetime earnings to $64,398 with the win, the third of his career in four starts.   "This is an exceptionally nice colt," Stahl noted. "There doesn't seem to be an end to his speed."   Friskie Cruiser finished well within himself for trainer Brian Brown, besting rivals Gotmoneyinmypocket (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Mr Wiggle Patns (Kayne Kauffman). Kestrel and driver Aaron Merriman didn't disappoint their backers, going wire to wire I 1:58.2. Trained, co-owned by Chris Beaver for breeder and partner Wilbur Lang, the daughter of Triumphant Caviar-Blackrock-Credit Winner scored her fourth win in as many tries in easy fashion. "She's been amazing and has done everything we've asked of her," Merriman stressed. "She zipped home in :28, and there's no bottom to her. Chris (trainer Beaver) just has so many nice horses right now." Kestrel upped her career earnings to $90,000, with Oneeyedmomma (Kurt Sugg) second and A TC Queenie (Ken Holiday) in third. The trotting filly Consolidator made her third pari-mutuel start a winning one--stopping the clock in 1:58.3 for driver Chris Page. The daughter of Triumphant Caviar-Muscle Toy-Muscles Yankee was bred by Rose Run Farm and is owned by John Green of Canfield, OH. "She's definitely one of the best Ohio-breds I've ever owned," remarked Green. "I've been with Jim (trainer Arledge) now for nine years, and it's been a good deal, we've had a lot of success."   Green--who has been an owner for more than three decades--also owns Thoroughbred racehorses and steeplechasers as well. Consolidator now has $30,616 after beating rivals Count On Kami (Kurt Sugg) and Belle'svictoryring (John Konesky III) for the top prize money.   Breeder-owner Sandra Burnett was overjoyed when her 2-year-old trotting filly Evanora bested eight rivals handily in 1:59.2. Steered by Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., the daughter of Pilgrims Taj-Nessa Rose-Chip Chip Hooray nailed down career victory three in five starts for her 81-year-old, Wilmington, OH resident.   "This filly has been through a lot lately," Burnett said. "She was in a paddock and stepped on a hornet's nest which really messed her up for a while. She's had her share of troubles since then and this is the first time she's been back to her old self."   Trained by Chris Beaver, Evanora now has $41,550 I career earnings. Taj For All (Peter Wrenn) was second in this event, while Emotional Blast (Ammon Hershberger) got up for third. As expected, MJB Got Faith left little doubt to his dominance, as he scored his third career win in as many starts. Peter Wrenn drove the youngster to a 2:00 career best clocking for trainer Steve Carter. The Next Triumph (Ken Holiday) was second with Deep Question (Chris Page) finishing third. A winner of $60,000 lifetime, MJB Got Faith was bred by the GBW Breeding Farms, Inc., of Findlay, OH and is owned by Breana Carsey of Connersville, IN.   Miss Me Yet got up in the final strides to nail down career win two for driver Montrell Teague and trainer Brenda Teague. The daughter of I'm Gorgeous-Live Inspired-Western Hanover was timed in 1:56.2, besting Kacy's Coop (Josh Sutton) and It's Your Fantasy (Dan Noble).   Miss Me Yet is owned by George Teague, Jr. of Harrington, DE and was bred by George and partner Fanning Racing. She now has $48,800 in career earnings.   Lionbacker Kidd, a Lionhunter gelding, went wire-to-wire for driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and trainer Joseph Kramp, timed in 2:00.3. Bred by John Miller of Wooster, OH, Lionbacker Kidds is owned by Jeffrey Kidd of Hartville, OH, and has $54,873 in career earnings. Chip OR Don (Tye Loy) was second while Emerald Chip (Josh Sutton) finished third.   Primo Giovanni and driver Chris Page made it five for five with a resounding, come-from-behind, 1:55.1 victory against eight pacing rivals. The son of Big Bad John-JK Reunited-Bettor's Delight was bred and is owned by Carl T. Howard of Powell, OH and hails from the powerful Virgil Morgan, Jr. stable. He now has $87,575 in career earnings. This was Primo Giovanni's third OSS win. He has back-to-back OSS wins--on July 24 at Northfield (12:55.2) and on July 4 at Scioto (1:56.2). Nothin Fancy (Kyle Ater) was second, with World Of Gaming (Dan Noble) third. My Tweed Heart, a daughter of Manhardt-Tweedle D-Towner's Big Guy won her OSS division easily in 1:55.1 for driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. The bay filly was harnessed by Jim Daily for owners Carl Atley of Xenia, OH, My Tweed Heart was bred by Stanley Swango, III of Florida.   Mickey Moose prevailed easily in 1:57.3 with his trainer, Kurt Sugg in the sulky   This son of Triumphant Caviar-Chippedinstrawberry-Chip Chip Hooray nailed down career win four (from eight tries). Bred by Richard Mairs and Shari Starner,   Mickey Moose now has $37,554 in his career coffers. She is owned by Dean Davis of Wooster, OH and Ashley Dunn of Polk, OH. D Count (Greg Grismore) finished second with Another Breath (Hugh Beatty) in third.   Rocknroll Wildcats and Aaron Meriman bested a field of nine pacers to win in 1:54.1. The son of World Of Rocknroll was harnessed by George Anthrop for Toman Enterprises of Battle Creek, MI and was bred by Mark Marroletti of FL. Prince Giovanni (Josh Sutton) was second, while UF Whosurdarlinboy (Brady Galliers) finished third. He now has $31,475 in career earnings. Queen Ann M captured her division in 1:55.2 for driver Chris Page and trainer Mike Roth. This daughter of Big Bad John-Full Fledged-Grinfromeartoear pushed her career earnings to $71,125 with the win, the third of her career in four starts for Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH. Jay Mossbarger bred Queen Ann M, who bested Feelin Lilly (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and NPR Nine (Aaron Merriman). Longshot Whataboy and driver Chris Page won the final OSS division of the night, scoring in 1:54.3. The son of Big Bad John is trained by Virgil Morgan for Majs Ny Inc., Gerrie S Tucker and RBH Ventures, and pushed his career earnings to $37,113 en route to his first lifetime victory. Whataboy--who was bred by the Dm Stables LLC of Florida, saw Whiskey Friskie (Aaron Merriman) finish second, while Standing Proud (Kayen Kauffman) got up for third. Kimberly A. Rinker

Don Irvine Jr. and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. each won six times throughout Northfield Park's 15-race harness racing program on Wednesday (August 19). Irvine's triumphs were aboard Un Poco De Loco ($4.40) in race one, Cautious Optimism ($9.80) in race three, Happy To Scoot ($7.20) in race seven, Endless Desire ($7.60) in race nine, Star Studded Gun ($8.00) in race 11 and A Million Thanks ($3.80) in race 14. Wrenn posted wins with Let Loose Hanover ($6.40) in race two, Iwilldowhatido ($2.20) in race four, Bonnie's Beach ($2.40) in race eight, Y Mach Me ($2.40) in race 10, Roca Rei ($6.20) in race 13 and Charlie B ($2.10) in race 15. Irvine, 64, has been a fan favorite at Northfield for decades. He has 6,985 career wins and is approaching $35 million in total purse earnings. He currently sets ninth in Northfield's local driving ranks with 71 wins so far this year. Throughout his long and successful career Irvine has competed in nearly 40,000 races and has six local dash titles to his credit. He was the leading driver over the Flying Turns in 1975, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984. Don Irvine Jr.'s success gained him the honor of being a Northfield Park Wall of Fame inductee in 1991. Wrenn, 28, began driving in 2008 and has since garnered 2,679 career victories and is approaching $12 million in total purse earnings. Ronnie leads Northfield's local driving ranks with 390 wins posted so far this year. Aaron Merriman (327), Jason Merriman (167), Ryan Stahl (126) and Kurt Sugg (114) complete the top-five drivers over the Flying Turns so far in 2015. Wrenn holds the 2013 and 2014 National Dash titles for posting more wins than any other driver in North America in each of the last two years. He is currently second in 2015. Wrenn has won 507 races so far this year, trailing Aaron Merriman by 31. George Napolitano Jr. (470), Corey Callahan (449) and Bruce Aldrich Jr. (442) complete the top-five winningest drivers in North America so far this season. Ayres Ratliff

Fifteen divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) for 2-year-old colts and fillies of both gaits will be contested on Friday night, August 21 at Northfield Park.  Post time is 6 pm, ET. A total of 125 freshmen Standardbreds—58 trotters and 67 pacers—passed the Northfield Park entry box to vie for $40,000 each division.  Seven races of diagonally-gaited 2-year-olds (four colt and three filly heats) are set, while eight events were drawn for the side-wheelers (four colt and four filly heats). Pacing Colts Amongst the pacing colts, Primo Giovanni, Nothing Fancy, Mr Wiggle Pants, Trayvon, Big Bad Cam and Whiskey Friskie all appear poised for triumphs. Primo Giovanni will be trying for his fourth consecutive pari-mutuel victory in the first OSS division (Race 6) for driver Chris Page.  The son of Big Bad John-JK Reunited-Bettor’s Delight was bred and is owned by Carl T. Howard of Powell, OH and hails from the powerful Virgil Morgan, Jr. stable. Primo Giovanni won an $18,500 Ohio Breeders Stake (OBS) on Aug. 13 at Scioto Downs in a career best 1:54.2 and before that captured an Ohio Fair Stake (OFS) on Aug. 6 at Scioto, timed in 1:55.1. He has back-to-back victories in OSS competition—on July 24 at Northfield (12:55.2) and on July 4 at Scioto (1:56.2). Nothin Fancy is in this same division, with Kyle Ater driving for trainer Fred Huff, Jr, who owns the black gelding in partnership with John Fairchild of Portsmouth, OH.  Nothin Fancy has a quarter of victories to his credit in his last four starts as well, with wins coming in an Aug. 6 OFS at Scioto (1:53.3); in an OSS at Northfield on July 24 (1:55.1); in an Ohio Fair Stake (OHFS) on July 17 at Welston (2:05.1); and at Scioto Downs on July 4 in an OSS (1:56).  The son of Metropolitan-JL Cruise The Nite-Yankee Cruiser was bred by Reeves Barnhouse of Pennsylvania and has $60,009 in his bankroll.  Owner-breeder-trainer Brenda Teague’s Trayvon will also vie in this division, with her nephew Montrell Teague in the sulky. The son of I’m Gorgeous-Sheisaknockout-Badland’s Hanover has $39,162 in his career coffers and won his OSS division on July 24 at Northfield Park in near wire-to-wire fashion commandingly in 1:56. Mr Wiggle Pants looks formidable in the second division of pacing colts (Race 11).  Trained by Jim Mulinix and driven by Kayne Kauffman, this son of Mr Wiggles—Shani Pants—On The Attack has two wins and four seconds in six career starts, with earnings of $39,220. He has an OHFS victory to his credit from Aug. 1 at Northfield, when he posted a 1:57 clocking and finished a strong second to the aforementioned Nothin Fancy in that OSS on July 24 at Northfield. Big Bad Cam—the fastest of any Ohio-bred youngsters to date with a 1:53.2 clocking in his OSS and career debut on July 4, will be trying for a repeat performance in the third division (Race 13) of pacing youngsters.  Peter Wrenn will be in the sulky behind the bay gelding who is conditioned by his wife, trainer Melanie Wrenn, for Dorothy Miller of Delphos, OH.  Big Bad Cam was bred by Dan & Robert Kuhns of Kentucky and is by Big Bad John, out of the Aturo mare Camturo. The fourth and final pacing division (Race 15) for OSS youngsters features nine rivals going up against Whiskey Friskie, who will be looking for a repeat of his July 4, Scioto Downs score in 1:57.1.  The son of Feelin Friskie—a John Melsheimer trainee—has $29,080 in career earnings and will have Aaron Merriman in the sulky.  Midland Acres bred Whiskey Friskie, who is owned by Karen McGraw of Pickerington, OH. Pacing Fillies Four divisions of pacing fillies will vie, beginning with Race 2.  Miss Me Yet, another Brenda Teague trainee is looking for her second career victory.  The daughter of I’m Gorgeous-Live Inspired-Western Hanover hasn’t missed the board in three career starts, with earnings of $28,800 for owner George Teague of Harrington, DE.  This speedy filly captured her previous OSS test on July 25 at Scioto Downs in 1:53.4. John’s Sunny Girl, a daughter of Big Bad John-Sunshine State-Dragon Again hails from post six in the second OSS division (Race 4) for driver Greg Grismore.  Owned by the Parent Racing Stable of Holland, OH, John’s Sunny Girl has amassed $44,625 in her brief career via three triumphs.  She last won an OBS on Aug. 12 at Scioto Downs in a lifetime best 1:55, and had previous won the first leg of this series on July 3 at Scioto Downs in 1:55.4.  Doug Hinklin trains the filly, who was bred by Midland Acres. Awakening headlines the third division (Race 8) of OSS freshman fillies.  Trained by Mike Polhamus and owned and bred by Marjorie Polhamus of Fletcher, OH, this daughter of Feelin Friskie-Sidewalk Sleeper-Jate Lobell romped to a 1:57 wire-to-wire victory at Northfield on July 3 in the first leg of this series, and last won an OHFS on Aug. 11 at Urbana in 2:04.  She also has a pair of OFS victories on her resume, having won at Paulding on June 9 and at Ottawa on July 23. Kayne Kauffman will be in the sulky for this winner of $24,786 lifetime. My Tweed Heart, a winner of $42,250 also vies in this division, with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., in the sulky. This daughter of Manhardt-Tweedle D-Towner’s Big Guy captured her first OSS leg handily in 1:59.1 at Northfield on July 3, and most recently won an OSF in 1:54 on Aug. 5 at Scioto Downs.  Owned by Carl Atley of Xenia, OH, My Tweed Heart was bred by Stanley Swango, III of Florida. Queen Ann M, who was bred by Jay Mossbarger of Bloomington, OH, starts from post one for driver Chris Page and trainer Mike Roth in the fourth pacing filly contest (Race 14).  This daughter of Big Bad John-Full Fledged-Grinfromeartoear stopped the clock in 1:56.4 in a come-from-behind effort with Page at the lines on July 3 at Northfield in OSS leg one.  Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH owns the speedy bay filly who has $51,125 in her coffers. Trotting Colts Thirty-one trotting colts and geldings will battle in four OSS divisions Friday night, including the standout colt Kanthaka in the fourth division (Race 12).  Trainer Chris Beaver harnesses the Triumphant Caviar colt, who will be steered by Dave Palone.  A winner of $65,250in his brief career, Kanthaka won his OSS test on July 4 at Scioto Downs by nearly eight lengths in 1:58.3,  and followed that up with a 1:58 triumph in his second OSS test on July 24 at Northfield.  His last win was in an Aug. 6 OSF at Scioto Downs, when he tripped the timer in 1:58.1. Nearly all of his four career wins in as many starts have come in wire-to-wire fashion.  He was bred by Wilbur Stoll of Jamestown, OH and is co-owned by Stoll and Beaver. MJB Got Faith will also be trying for his third career win in division one (Race 1).  Peter Wrenn drives for trainer Steve Carter, and won his OSS division in 2:00.4 at Scioto Downs on July 4, before taking his second OSS on July 24 at Northfield in 2:01.3.  A winner of $40,000 lifetime, MJB Got Faith was bred by the GBW Breeding Farms, Inc., of Findlay, OH and is owned by Breana Carsey of Connersville, IN. Lionbacker Kidd, a Lionhunter gelding, vies for trainer Joseph Kramp in the second division (Race 3).  This youngster finished second in the first leg of this series at Scioto Downs on July 4, timed in 2:00.1.  He was bred by John Miller of Wooster, OH, is owned by Jeffrey Kidd of Hartville, OH, and has $34,873 in career earnings. Mickey Moose will have trainer Kurt Sugg in the bike in the third division (Race 10).  This daughter of Triumphant Caviar-Chippedinstrawberry-Chip Chip Hooray is looking for her third straight victory.  Bred by Richard Mairs and Shari Starner, the winner of $17,544 lifetime captured an OHFS on Aug. 11 in 2:09.1, then posted a 1:58.2 clocking at Scioto Downs on Aug. 13 in a $14,700 OBS.  She is owned by Dean Davis of Wooster, OH and Ashley Dunn of Polk, OH. Trotting Fillies A trio of divisions for trotting fillies sees $70,900 winner Kestrel marching forward in Race 5.  The daughter of Triumphant Caviar—who was bred and is co-owned by Wilbur Stoll and trainer Chris Beaver—is three for three in her brief career.  Aaron Merriman drives this solidly-gaited distaff from post seven, who has won both of her previous OSS legs—with a lifetime best 1:57.3 clocking at Scioto Downs on July 25. Merriman and Beaver return with the fast but erratic Kerfuffle Cookie in the second division (Race 7).  A winner of $40,000 this daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Minor Skirmish-Conway Hall won her OSS on July 25 in a lifetime best 1:58 after scoring in 2:00.1 in the first OSS leg on July 3, but has been plagued with breaking issues since.  Bred by Lmn Bred Stables Inc., Kerfuffle Cookie is owned the Toronto-based Synerco Ventures, Inc. Beaver will also harness Evanora in the final trotting division for fillies (Race 9).  This Pilgrim’s Taj lass has two wins in four career starts and $21,550 for owner –breeder Sandra Burnette of Wilmington, OH.  She has yet to show her previous winning form after capturing her OSS on July 3 at Northfield in 2:01. Kimberly A. Rinker

Wiggle It Jiggleit went to post in Friday's (August 14) $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park as the overwhelming 1-9 favorite. His stellar performance did not disappoint a packed apron full of harness racing fans, who showed their appreciation with loud cheers as he returned to the Winners Circle. Montrell Teague was in the sulky for his father, George Teague Jr., who owns Wiggle It Jiggleit, and trainer Clyde Francis. Friday's victory represents the popular gelding's 16th win in 18 career starts, while his share of the purse took his earnings to $1,195,644. Staring from post position four, Wiggle It Jiggleit let his rivals get position off the gate before brushing to the front nearing the quarter pole. After clocking a :26.1 opening fraction, Teague was able to rate the second panel and slowed the pace to a :55.3 half. "That was the plan," said Montrell Teague in a post-race interview. "I wanted to take care of him tonight after the hard race he had last week." Wakizashi Hanover (Tim Tetrick) made a first-over challenge in the second half and pushed Wiggle It Jiggleit to a 1:22.4 three-quarter time. Wakizashi Hanover flattened in the final quarter while Lost For Words (David Miller), who sat the pocket throughout, also could not gain on Wiggle It Jiggleit, who posted a 1 ½-length victory in 1:49.3. Lost For Words finished second and Wakizashi Hanover was third. The mile lowered Northfield's track record for three year-old geldings. The prior 1:52 record was held by both Gryffindor (Ray Fisher Jr.) in 2005 and Hare Craft (Aaron Byron) in 2011. "I am glad he bounced back like he did. He was very strong tonight," offered Montrell, referring to his most recent disappointing fourth place finish in the Cane Pace. "I am glad to quiet the doubters." Ayers Ratliff

Like Old Times notched the first of four $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) divisions for harness racing 3-year-old fillies on Friday night, August 14 at Northfield Park. The Don McKirgan-trained daughter of Chip Chip Hooray bested seven trotting rivals to win in a front-stepping 1:57 with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr, at the lines.   Owned and bred by Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio, Like Old Times pushed her seasonal earnings to $108,512 in her ninth triumph of the year in 12 starts. She won the second leg of this series on June 12 at this same venue. Student Of Life (Kurt Sugg) was second, while I'd Rather Walk (Aaron Merriman) grabbed third. Trainer Marty Wollam harnessed Dark Roast to a wire-to-wire 1:57.1 victory in the second OSS division for sophomore trotting fillies. Kurt Sugg was in the sulky behind the daughter of Full Count, who was bred by Marvin Raber. Dark Roast pushed her career earnings to $118,288 with the win, her third in OSS competition this season. Owned by Acadia Farms, Inc. and G&B Racing, the venerable filly won the first OSS leg on May 1 at Miami Valley in 1:58 and the second at Northfield on June 12 in 1:57.3. Lisa Jane (Ryan Stahl) finished second, while I'm Chiptastic was third for Aaron Merriman. Sophomore pacing filly Karlee Sue grabbed the lead at the quarter and never looked back, taking the OSS pacing division easily in 1:55.1. Reined by Tim Tetrick for trainer and co-owner Al Tomlinson for partners Daniel Mitchell, Novi MI and Dennis Stolz, Midland, MI, the daughter of Feelin Friskie pushed her career bankroll to $99,227 in her fourth win in 11 starts this year. Bred by Midland Acres, Karlee Sue won a second leg of this series on June 12 at Northfield in 1:54.2. E Ticket Ride (Aaron Merriman) finished second and Sectionlinefriskie (Chris Page) nabbed show honors.   Crosswinds Cupcake, a David Elliott trainee, captured the second OSS pacing division in a demanding, wire-to-wire effort in 1:54.1 with Dan Noble at the controls, besting her rivals by four lengths. Bred by and co-owned by Crosswinds Farm, Waynesville, OH and Stephen Sexton, Xenia, this daughter of Stand Forever-Keystone Mulberry-Artsplace notched her third consecutive victory and her eighth lifetime win, pushing her career earnings to $124,254. Feeling Outrageous (Ken Holiday) finished second, while Bell Flower (Chris Page) got up for third.   Leg four of Ohio Sires Stakes action for 3-year-old trotting and pacing fillies will be contested Friday, Aug. 28 at Scioto Downs, while the $225,000 Championships for all 2- and 3-year-old divisions of trotters and pacers, colts and fillies, will take place on Sept. 12 at Scioto Downs. Kimberly Rinker

Harrington-based horses drew the spotlight in Friday headliners at Northfield Park, near Cleveland, Ohio. Wiggle It Jiggleit set a track record in the tracks signature event, the $405,000 Milstein Memorial. Earlier Purrfect Bags took on older female pacers to set a new track record for her gender, to win a $20,000 Filly and Mare Open pace. Wiggle It Jiggleit fought off a sustained challenge from another Harrington-conditioned three-year-old, the Tim Tetrick driven Wakizashi Hanover, saddled with post 8 on the half-mile track, to battle from the half until Wiggle It Jiggleit for Montrell Teague on the final turn to pull away to a 1:49.3 track record. Wakizashi Hanover held on to finish third. The impressive triumph raised Wiggle It Jiggleit's career bankroll to more than $1-million winning for the 16th time in 18 lifetime starts. Ironically, Wiggle It Jiggleit broke the former Northfield track record for a gelding pacers of 1:52 set by Chuck Crissman-trained Gryffindor in 2005. George Teague Jr. owns Wiggle It Juggleit, trained by longtime assistant Clyde Francis. The entire Teague family were in the winner's circle photo. Earlier in the program, Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund champion Purrfect Bags, owned by JoAnn Looney King, who also trains Wakizashi Hanover, received a picture perfect drive from Tim Tetrick en route to a track record 1:52.2 victory for a three-year-old mare pacer beating older females in another of the top events on Northfield's biggest program of the year. A $2,000 yearling purchase at a Frank Chick's sale by long-time Harrington-horsewoman Mrs. King, the Delaware-bred daughter of Roddy's Bags Again, became an outstanding juvenile at age two and three. Prior to winning the recent $100,000 DSBF sophomore filly final at Harrington Raceway on the Governor's day card, Purrfect Bags won the prestigious Lismore Pace for filly pacers at Yonkers Raceway. Marv Bachrad  

The Carl Milstein Memorial, Northeast Ohio's premier harness racing event, will go to post Friday (August 14) at Northfield Park. The Milstein's $405,000 purse is the largest ever in Northfield's 58-year history and has attracted the best three year-old colt pacers in North America. The Grand Circuit race is the featured event of a stakes-laden program that offers total purses of $663,500. Here is a runner by runner preview of this years field   1 - Go Daddy Go Draws the rail for trainer Robert McIntosh and owners Robert McIntosh Stables, Inc. and Diamond Creek Racing. With five wins to his credit and finishing in the top three in 13 of 21 starts, this colt has $438,646 in earnings and a career best of 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands. The son of Ponder has a victory in a $56,000 leg of the Ontario Sires Stakes this year. He won last year's $199,769 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway, the $26,400 Metro at Mohawk Raceway and a $25,000 Breeders Crown Elimination at the Meadowlands. Peter Wrenn, who won the Battle of Lake Erie with Dare You To in 1991, has been given the driving assignment with a morning line of 15-1.   2 - Lyons Levi Lewis Is one of two sons of Well Said in this year's edition of the Carl Milstein Memorial. He has won three and finished in the top three in 12 of 19 career races, taking a 1:50.4 mark at the Meadowlands and bankrolling $390,026. This colt is owned by Joseph Lyond-Mound and trained by Ron Burke, who won last year's inaugural edition of this event with All Bets Off. Lyons Levi Lewis is the winner of last year's $113,270 Champlain Stakes at Mohawk Raceway and was victorious in his most recent effort in a conditioned race at Harrah's Philadelphia on August 2. Burke has enlisted Northfield Park's leading driver, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., to drive this 10-1 morning line contender. Wrenn was the North American Dash winner for both 2013 and 2014.   3 - Lost For Words Sports career earnings of $378,642. He has 21 lifetime starts with nine wins and 16 top-three finishes. This colt is a son of Well Said with a lifetime mark of 1:49.3 at Harrah's Philadelphia. Lost For Words is Buckeye-owned by the partnership of Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo and Strollin Stables. He is trained at the historic Delaware County Fairgrounds by Brian Brown. Last year Lost For Words won two divisions of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, the $58,045 Standardbred at the Delaware County Fair, the $72,000 International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile and the $82,250 Bluegrass Stakes at the Red Mile. This year he has won three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. He has been assigned a morning line of 4-1 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Ohio native and Hall of Famer David Miller.   4 - Wiggle It Jiggleit Has been named the 3-5 morning line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. He is the richest horse in this event with $993,144 in earnings. Wiggle It Jiggleit's 1:47.4 mark at the Meadowlands is the fastest in this field. This gelded son of Mr Wiggles has 15 wins to his credit in 17 starts. He was victorious this year in the $47,124 John Simpson Memorial at the Meadowlands, the $58,000 "Buddy" Gilmour at the Meadowlands, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final at Hoosier Park, the $500,000 Hempt at Pocono Downs and the $706,000 Meadowlands Pace at the Meadowlands. Wiggle It Jiggleit is trained by Clyde Francis for owner George Teague Jr., Inc. Montrell Teague has been named to drive.   5 - Allbeef N Nobull Is one of two horses in this race for Ron Burke, the leader of all North American trainers in both wins and earnings. This son of McArdle is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Donald Emond, Howard Taylor and Weaver Bruscemi. Allbeef N Nobull was undefeated in four starts last year and has posted three wins in 11 starts this year, including a victory in a leg of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, where he took his 1:51 mark at Harrah's Philadelphia. He has $119,470 in earnings and enters the Milstein off a 1:54.1 win at Yonkers Raceway. This 12-1 morning line selection is scheduled to be driven by Chris Page.   6 - Rock N' Roll World Is owned by the partnership of Jeffrey Snyder and Three Decades Racing, LLC. This colt has 23 career starts, winning three races and finishing in the top three 15 times. His 1:50.3 lifetime mark at the Meadows came on August 1 in the $50,000 Adios Consolation. Rock N' Roll World is a son of Rocknroll Hanover and has career earnings of $219,518. Trainer Mark Silva has listed current North American leading driver, Aaron Merriman, to drive this 20-1 morning line contender. Merriman, the youngest inductee ever enshrined in Northfield Park's Wall of Fame at age 36, has won more races than any other driver in the track's 58-year history.   7 - The Wayfaring Man Enters this event off two straight wins at Mohawk Raceway, taking his 1:51 lifetime mark in his most recent race on August 8. His victories include a win in last year's $39,744 Dream Maker Stakes at Mohawk Raceway. He is one of two horses in this event by Dragon Again, the 2000 Battle of Lake Erie Champion. The Wayfaring Man has six wins in 19 starts, earning $96,233. Bruno Comegna owns this colt and Nicky Comegna is his conditioner. Dan Noble is scheduled to pilot the 25-1 morning line contender.   8 - Wakizashi Hanover Enters this event for owner Tri County Stable and trainer Joann Looney-King. This son of Dragon Again has eight wins and 14 top-three finishes in 16 starts. His victories this year include the $32,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars at Pocono Downs, a $58,842 division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at Pocono Downs and the $810,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway. This gelding has a 1:48 lifetime mark at Mohawk Raceway and earnings of $743,991. National driving star Tim Tetrick is coming in to drive this 9-2 contender.   The race is named in honor of Carl Milstein, who owned and operated Northfield Park from 1984 until his death in 1999. His son, Brock Milstein, immediately took over as Chairman of Northfield Park and is now also the Chairman of Milstein Entertainment, LLC, majority owner of the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. In 1972, the senior Milstein, a Cleveland builder and real estate developer, headed a group of several partners, including George Steinbrenner, who purchased Northfield Park. They leased the facility to other operators through the early 1980s. The track lost significant amounts of money during that period before Milstein took full ownership and control. In late 1984 he successfully applied to the Ohio State Racing Commission for the necessary licenses and, beginning in January 1985, conducted permanent race meetings at Northfield of between 212 and 238 days every year. Milstein was the driving force behind a resurgence of the beleaguered track, which ascended to among harness racing's top tracks in attendance and handle. He was an innovator in promotions and advertising and successfully led the track into the era of simulcast racing. Another added attraction on the track will be the "Legends Driver Challenge," featuring Northfield's leading drivers of days gone by. Last year's winner, Dan Ross, will try to defend his title against Gerry Bookmyer, William Irvine, Keith Kash and Don McKirgan, as well as newcomers Jeff Fout, Del S. Miller and William Popio. The eight veteran reinsmen have all won driving titles at Northfield during a span that covered the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The Milstein crowd will enjoy food trucks on the outdoor apron from 6-10 p.m. and Northfield Park dice games and the Majic 105.7 prize wheel with Chip Kullik from 7-9 p.m. Classic rock band Unknown Reason will be performing on the trackside apron from 6 to 10 p.m. ESPN Cleveland WKNR's Bruce Hooley will be broadcasting live from 5-7 p.m. Lady Luck's Clubhouse Restaurant will be offering a $19.95 signature buffet, inspired by Hard Rock Rocksino Executive Chef Chris Poplin. Due to the expected large crowd reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 330.467.4101. First race post time for the Carl Milstein Memorial card is 6 p.m. Parking and admission are always free at Northfield Park. Ayers Ratliff  

Four $40,000 divisions of sophomore fillies wage war in Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) contests at the harness racing meeting at Northfield Park Friday night. The events for trotting and pacing Buckeye-breds are part of the strong undercard alongside the featured $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial. In the first of two trotting divisions (Race 2), Like Old Times hails from post five for trainer Don McKirgan. Bred and owned by Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio, the daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two-Royal Troubadour has earned $88,512 this season from 11 starts with eight wins and three seconds. Her top efforts came with a 1:57 victory in the second leg of this series on June 12 at Northfield and in an Ohio Breeders Stake (OBS) on June 19 at Scioto Downs. A winner of $152,617 in her career, Like Old Times will be trying for her 12th lifetime triumph against seven rivals for driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. She is a half-sister to the $236,257 earner and 19-race winner Cool Colby 6, 1:54.1f (by Jailhouse Jesse). Student Of Life, a Marty Wollam-trainee will leave from post two with Kurt Sugg aboard. The Full Count lass has five wins to her credit this season, including victories in her last two starts. She won a $9,900 Ohio Fair Stake (OFS) on Aug. 1 in 1:57.1 at Northfield and followed that up with a 1:57.3 score at Scioto in a $53,150 Ohio State Fair (OHSF) test. Bred by Marvin Raber, Student Of Life has $76,300 in season earnings and $141,406 in her career coffers from seven wins, six seconds and a trio of thirds in 18 trips postward. She is owned by Acadia Farms Inc, Canfield, OH and G&B Racing of New Wilmington, PA. Wollam and Sugg team up again in the second OSS division (Race 7) of diagonally-gaited specialists with another daughter of Full Count-Dark Roast, from post two This winner of $98,288 lifetime has only been off the board once all season in seven starts-in her last when she made an uncharacteristic break in an OFS test at Scioto Downs on Aug. 7. Both of Dark Roast's two wins this year have come in OSS competition-the first on May 1 at Miami Valley, when she was clocked in 1:58 and the second at Northfield on June 12, when she scored in 1:57.3. Owned by Acadia Farms, Inc. and G&B Racing, Dark Roast was bred by Marvin Raber. Lisa Jane, a Neely Dunn-Personal Trainer-Muscles Yankee daughter hails from post eight with Ryan Stahl at the lines for trainer Scott Cox. A winner of $45,205 this season from three wins in eight starts, Lisa Jane won an OSS at Northfield on June 12 in a career best 1:55.4, and one week later captured a $12,500 OBS at Scioto Downs in 1:56.3. Owned by the Parent Racing Stable, Holland, OH and G Peters, Akron, OH, Lisa Jane has $155,330 in career earnings. Lisa Jane was bred by Henry Burkholder and sold for $10,000 at the August 2013 Blooded Horse Sale. Karlee Sue, a winner of $79,227 in her career, headlines the first (Race 8) of two OSS pacing divisions from the rail. Trained by co-owner Al Tomlinson for partners Daniel Mitchell, Novi MI and Dennis Stolz, Midland, MI, Karlee Sue has a trio of wins this season in ten starts. Her last triumph came on June 12 at Northfield, when she paced in 1:54.2 en route to winning the second leg of this series. Bred by Midland Acres, Tim Tetrick will pilot the daughter of Feelin Friskie-Magical Jeanie-Magical Mike, who was a $20,000 yearling purchase at the Nov. 2013 Blooded Horse Sale. Siebert Steele's Tolatetoapologize will leave from post six with trainer Kayne Kauffman in the sulky. This daughter of Feelin' Friskie-Lord I Apologize-On The Attack has a trio of wins and $39,519 in seasonal earnings, including an Aug. 7 triumph in a $51,350 OSF at Scioto Downs, when she was clocked in a career best 1:54.2. Tolatetoapologize also captured a $4,049 OHFS on July 23 at Lebanon by 7½ lengths in 1:59. Bred by Timothy Lane, she was an $11,000 yearling purchase at the Aug. 2013 Blooded Horse Sale. Crosswinds Cupcake, a David Elliott trainee, hails from post two for driver Dan Noble in the second (Race 10) OSS pacing division against seven rival fillies. Bred by and co-owned by Crosswinds Farm, Waynesville, OH and Stephen Sexton, Xenia, this daughter of Stand Forever-Keystone Mulberry-Artsplace will be trying for her third consecutive win. Crosswinds Cupcake comes into this OSS fresh off a $51,350 OSF triumph on Aug. 7 at Scioto Downs, when she was timed in 1:51.4. One week earlier she had scored a 12-length victory at Sidney in a $7,994 OHFS, in 1:58. Crosswinds Cupcake has $104,254 in earnings from seven lifetime victories. Trainer Brian Brown will harness $228,190 winner Friskie Lil Devil from post four. America's leading reinsman, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. will be in the sulky behind the daughter of Feelin Friskie-Devils Desire-Cole Muffler as she looks for her third seasonal win and fifth lifetime victory. Friskie Lil Devil captured a $7,413 OHFS at Marysville on July 25 for the Lil Devil Stable of Findlay, OH. Bred by Midland Acres, Friskie Lil Devil sold for $20,000 at the Nov. 2013 Blooded Horse Sale. Leg four of Ohio Sires Stakes action for 3-year-old trotting and pacing fillies will be contested Friday, Aug. 28 at Scioto Downs, while the $225,000 Championships for all 2- and 3-year-old divisions of trotters and pacers, colts and fillies, will take place on Sept. 12 at Scioto Downs. Kimberly A. Rinker

After a lifetime in harness racing, trainer Joann Looney-King is enjoying her horse of a lifetime. And the horse, Wakizashi Hanover, is enjoying all the attention. Wakizashi Hanover, who in June won Canada's million-dollar North America Cup, returns from a nearly month-long layoff Friday in the $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers at Northfield Park in Ohio. Wakizashi Hanover, known around the stable as the more-easily pronounced "Waki," drew post eight in the eight-horse field and is the 9-2 third choice on the morning line. Regular driver Tim Tetrick is listed to go with the gelding. For the year, Wakizashi Hanover has won six of 10 races, hit the board a total of nine times, and earned $639,902 for the ownership group Tri County Stable, based in Nova Scotia. Lifetime, the son of Dragon Again-Western Gesture has won eight of 16 starts, missed the top three only twice, and earned $743,991. "It's just such a wonderful thing at this point in my life to have a horse like this," said Looney-King, a 69-year-old Delaware native whose career in harness racing has included driving, training and co-hosting the early editions of the show "Racing from the Meadowlands." "I've done it for so many years and to have this happen, my husband (trainer Jim King Jr.) and I think we've died and gone to heaven. We've made our living through the years with claimers and condition horses. Claimers have been good to me, and I still have claimers. We've worked hard, and we still do. You don't get anywhere until you work hard. You've got to really get with it and stick with the program for years and go through heartaches. "To make it all worth it, wow. One horse can bring you to life. After all these years, one horse." Wakizashi Hanover is a horse who enjoys his routine, from an early breakfast followed by several hours of fresh air in the paddock, to being the center of attention. "He has a big personality," Looney-King said. "He's the first horse I go to in the barn every day. He's there with head over the door swinging it around and around and around, demanding that you come over and pet him on the head and talk to him and be his friend. "He's a kind horse; a good-feeling horse. He just has a good personality. He's a wonderful horse to be around, and makes his presence known all the time. When he gets to the (race) paddock he's all business. He does anything you ask him to do. He's just a nice boy." Wakizashi Hanover was purchased for $23,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale by Bruce Kennedy, who heads the Tri County Stable. The group consists of three veteran horse owners, including the 74-year-old Kennedy, and three newcomers. "In Nova Scotia, people are just crazy for this horse," Looney-King said. "It's fun to see other people enjoy it too. It's amazing. "Bruce is such a good guy. Of course we always want to win, but he's always happy for somebody else when they win. The whole group, you're just always happy for people that get a good horse." Wakizashi Hanover's recent respite followed six consecutive weeks of racing. After winning the North America Cup he finished fourth from post seven in the Max C. Hempt Memorial and third from post nine in the Meadowlands Pace. He prepped for the Milstein by winning a qualifier in 1:53.1 on Aug. 4 at Harrah's Philadelphia. His connections had considered spending $35,000 to supplement to the Cane Pace, which was held Aug. 8, but decided to stick to the horse's schedule. Dealt A Winner won the Cane Pace at 26-1 odds, upsetting Meadowlands Pace and Hempt winner Wiggle It Jiggleit and Adios winner Dude's The Man in the process. "We figured we would skip the Cane and as it turned out we probably should have showed up," Looney-King said. "It turned out there were no eliminations and only a nine-horse field for the final. But that's water under the bridge. "It's such a hard schedule. We're a little fussy about racing too much, even though we know the big money is as a 3-year-old." Following the Milstein, Wakizashi Hanover's schedule includes the Battle of the Brandywine, Keystone Classic, Breeders Crown, Matron Stakes, and Progress Pace. "It's a pretty heavy schedule," Looney-King said. "Things change weekly. (The result of the Cane Pace), that's just horse racing. I think a lot of times we think these things are machines and they're just horses. You never know. They're always capable of surprising you. And that's a great thing. "It is a nice bunch of horses in this (3-year-old pacing) division. You've got to be looking out for all those guys. I don't discount any one of them. It's exciting. It's fun. And to be part of it is really fun too." Looney-King would have preferred a better draw for the Milstein, but she is always happy with her horse. "It's always nice when a horse gives a hundred percent all the time, and that's what he does," she said. "When Tim goes out there with him I always have a good feeling. The two of them are a top-notched duo. In my mind, you can't get any better than those two. "I just always know when he goes out there that I'm going to get everything he's got. That's a good feeling. That's a real good feeling." $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial 1 - Go Daddy Go by Ponder - Peter Wrenn-Robert McIntosh-15-1 2 - Lyons Levi Lewis by Well Said -Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-Ron Burke-10-1 3 - Lost For Words by Well Said -David Miller-Brian Brown-4-1 4 - Wiggle It Jiggleit by Mr Wiggles -Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis-3-5 5 - Allbeef N Nobull by McArdle -Chris Page-Ron Burke-12-1 6 - Rock N' Roll World by Rocknroll Hanover -Aaron Merriman-Mark Silva-20-1 7 - The Wayfaring Man by Dragon Again -Aaron Merriman-Nicky Comegna-25-1 8 - Wakizashi Hanover by Dragon Again -Tim Tetrick-Joann Looney-King-9-2 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

 Harness racing personalities George and Montrell Teague will be in studio guests on "The Really Big Show" on Cleveland ESPN Radio 850 WKNR on Friday morning, August 14, at 11:45 AM. The father-son team will discuss prized pupil Wiggle It Jiggleit's chances in that night's featured $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park with Really Big Show hosts Tony Rizzo and Jerod Cherry. Live streaming of WKNR can be found on -- www.espncleveland.com Ayers Ratliff  

Harness racing star Wiggle It Jiggleit has been named the overwhelming 3-5 morning-line favorite in Friday’s $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial.  Friday’s featured event, the Milstein is a Grand Circuit race for three year-old colt pacers.   Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 15 of 17 lifetime starts and has already captured the $500,000 Hempt Stakes at Pocono Downs and the $706,000 Meadowlands Pace this year. The Carl Milstein Memorial’s $405,000 purse is the largest ever offered in Northfield’s 58-year history.   The 2015 $405,000 Milstein Memorial field: POST    HORSE        DRIVER        TRAINER            M/L 1    Go Daddy Go        Peter Wrenn        Robert McIntosh        15-1 2    Lyons Levi Lewis    Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.    Ron Burke            10-1 3    Lost For Words    David Miller        Brian Brown            4-1 4    Wiggle It Jiggleit     Montrell Teague    Clyde Francis            3-5 5    Allbeef N Nobull    Chris Page        Ron Burke            12-1 6    Rock N’ Roll World    Aaron Merriman    Mark Silva            20-1 7    The Wayfaring Man    Aaron Merriman    Nicky Comegna        25-1 8    Wakizashi Hanover    Tim Tetrick        Joann Looney-King        9-2 The race is named in honor of Carl Milstein, who owned and operated Northfield Park from 1984 until his death in 1999. His son, Brock Milstein, immediately took over as Chairman of Northfield Park and is now also the Chairman of Milstein Entertainment, LLC, majority owner of the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. In 1972, the senior Milstein, a Cleveland builder and real estate developer, headed a group of several partners, including George Steinbrenner, which purchased Northfield Park. They leased the facility to other operators through the early 1980s. The track lost significant amounts of money during that period before Milstein took full ownership and control. In late 1984 he successfully applied to the Ohio State Racing Commission for the necessary licenses and, beginning in January 1985, conducted permanent race meetings at Northfield of between 212 and 238 days every year. Milstein was the driving force behind a resurgence of the beleaguered track, which ascended to among harness racing’s top tracks in attendance and handle. He was an innovator in promotions and advertising and successfully led the track into the era of simulcast racing. Exciting Undercard This year’s Milstein Memorial program carries total purses of $663,500.  The 15-race program includes four $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races for sophomore filly pacers and trotters and three $20,000 Open events. Another added attraction on the track will be the "Legends Driver Challenge," featuring Northfield leading drivers of days gone by. Last year’s winner, Dan Ross, will try to defend his title against Gerry Bookmyer, William Irvine, Keith Kash and Don McKirgan, as well as newcomers Jeff Fout, Del S. Miller and William Popio. The eight veteran reinsmen have all won driving titles at Northfield during a span that covered the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The Milstein crowd will enjoy food trucks on the outdoor apron from 6 to 10 p.m. and Northfield Park dice games and the Majic 105.7 prize wheel with Chip Kullik from 7 to 9 p.m. Classic rock band Unknown Reason will be performing on the trackside apron from 6 to 10 p.m. ESPN Cleveland WKNR’s Bruce Hooley will be broadcasting live from 5 to 7 p.m.  Lady Luck’s Clubhouse Restaurant will be offering a $19.95 signature buffet, inspired by Hard Rock Rocksino Executive Chef Chris Poplin. Due to the expected large crowd reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 330-467-4101. First race post time for the Carl Milstein Memorial card is 6:00 p.m. Parking and admission are always FREE at Northfield Park. Ayres Ratliff

Zanesville's Richard and Joyce McClelland have owned harness racing horses for decades and can usually be found at one of the Buckeye State's county fair ovals, or in the Scioto Downs or Northfield Park winner's circle. On August 8 however, the McClellands saw their years of dedication and love for the Standardbred come to fruition when their 3-year-old trotter Pinkman stepped into the winner's circle at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ. The sophomore gelding had just won harness racing's greatest trotting event-the $1 million Hambletonian-with Brian Sears driving for renowned trainer Jimmy Takter. "We've been in the horse business for 35 years and we've never had anything like this," Joyce admitted. "We're just overwhelmed right now." While this is not the McClelland's first foray into the national spotlight-they owned two-time Breeders Crown champion Call For Rain 4, 1:49.3M ($1,065,919) and have a slice of the great trotting mare Maven 4, 1:51.4H ($1,756,996)-the Hambletonian is, in harness racing's circles, the trotting race everyone strives to win. "It hasn't really sunk in yet," acknowledged Richard, Chairman of the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund. "Winning the Hambletonian is great for Ohio people like us who don't have a big stable on a national level." Pinkman's Ohio connections run deep and his story actually began in the fall of 2011, when Midland Acres' Jake Mossbarger was looking for a few, well-bred trotting broodmares. A Capitol University graduate who had spent several years working at Woodland Run Equine Facility in Grove City, Ohio, Jake had a keen eye for horseflesh, and he liked what he saw in the Angus Hall mare Margie Seelster (6, 1:55.1s $247,483). "The fact that she was an Angus Hall meant that you could breed to any Valley Victory line; that was something we were looking for," said Midland's Jay Mossbarger, Jake's father. "There are good horses in her maternal line and she was a mare I thought we could make money with, so we contacted her breeder and bought her for $25,000, in foal, in November 2011." When the bay colt arrived into this world on March 20, 2012, he was the first foal out of his dam. His sire, the Cantab Hall stallion Explosive Matter, earned $1,510,542 with a 3-year-old record of 1:52.3 and had finished second in the 2009 edition of the Hambletonian, which curiously, was won by Muscle Hill with Brian Sears driving. Interestingly, Muscle Hill is by Muscles Yankee, who is also Explosive Matter's maternal grandsire. Pinkman-then known as "Traffic Jam," spent his early days romping through Midland's lush paddocks in Bloomingburg, Ohio. He was definitely a colt with a mind of his own, Jay recalled. "He was a sharp foal and turned into a much better horse as a yearling," Jay stated. "He had certain quirks-if you went to trim his foretop, for instance, he wanted no part of it, and he would rear up and strike at you. "He was a horse who always had his head up and had that look about him," Jay continued. "He could get aggressive, but basically was very laid back until you wanted him to do something he didn't want to do. He always took care of himself, and spent a lot of time relaxing in his stall. He'd lie down, get up to eat and then go lay down again." Ever crafty, Jay never underestimated the youngster's pedigree, which was certainly an indication of Pinkman's hidden talent. Fast forward to October 2, 2013, and the colt-now a sturdy yearling-is purchased by the McClellands and four partners for $77,000 at the famed Lexington Selected Sale in Kentucky, selling as hip number 207. "To sell for $77,000 as a yearling was a big surprise for us," Jay admitted. "I thought he'd bring around $45,000 or $50,000. Having Dick and Joyce McClelland owning part of this horse makes the Hambletonian all that more special." Renamed after a character in the hit TV program Breaking Bad-Pinkman was a bit cantankerous early in his training, but not in a mean way, Richard explained. He simply didn't seem that excited about training or racing. "Jimmy (trainer Takter) only called me twice with, shall we say-not so good-reports about the horse," Richard revealed. "The first time he called me was to tell me he thought it was best we geld him. With these well-bred colts it's not always what you really want to do, but he thought it best, so I said go ahead." Unfortunately for the young Pinkman, the gelding process hit a snag, resulting in an infection that caused him to lose both weight and his fitness level. "He became a horse that wasn't real high on Jimmy's list of those to continue with and he suggested we sell him," Richard noted. "But then he took him to Lexington for one last try, and he raced alright and was second." That was the beginning of a dramatic change in Pinkman's racing style. He went from trotting languid miles in 2:00 or slower to a determined 1:57 clocking in that Red Mile overnight on Sept. 11, 2014. And therein, began a journey for the McClellands and their partners that culminated in last Saturday's stunning victory in harness racing's biggest event. "After that Lexington performance, I asked Jimmy if he'd bring the horse to Delaware during Little Brown Jug week and he did," Richard offered. Pinkman rattled off another 1:57 performance, breaking his maiden in the $59,445 Standardbred Stake for freshman trotters over the Delaware half-miler. "Jimmy laughed after that win and said, 'let's step him up a bit now and race him in a Grand Circuit event at Lexington,'" McClelland recalled. "So we took him to the Red Mile and he won, and then we took him to Canada and he won there too." Pinkman captured a $77,120 International Stallion Stake division on Oct. 3, 2014 in a heart-stopping 1:53.3, then shipped to Woodbine Raceway where he captured the $463,690 Valley Victory Final in 1:55.4 on Oct. 24, 2014. He followed that up with a victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Trot Final, timed in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53.2 at The Meadowlands. For his efforts, the durable gelding was honored with a Dan Patch Award as 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014 after earning $566,960. "He's a very durable horse, easy to get along with and he doesn't win by much but he's always there," Richard said. Pinkman's sophomore campaign began in mid-May of this year, as he began a three-race win streak in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes competition. The only blemish on his otherwise spotless 3-year-old season came in a $25,000 Beal elimination on June 27 when he finished second by half a length to Wicker Hanover at Pocono Downs. "His blood count was a little low after that race," Richard explained. "It wasn't anything serious but enough to take the edge of him." Pinkman rebounded one week later to capture the $500,000 Beal Final in front-stepping style, timed in 1:51.3. He won the $157,250 Dancer Memorial at The Meadowlands in 1:52.2 on July 18, then stormed to a 1:52 triumph in the $370,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs on July 26. Then came August 8 at The Meadowlands and trotting's biggest event of the year. The McClellands, along with Pinkman partners Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John & Jim Fielding of Toronto, ON, and Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL watched the Hambletonian eliminations with nervous excitement, never doubting their trainer's confidence in the young gelding. "We have the majority of our horses with Jimmy or his daughter Nancy," Richard acknowledged. "We've been with them nearly nine years and currently have 12 horses in training with them." The McClellands did have one previous Hambletonian contender-the Cantab Hall colt High Bridge-who finished third in his elimination but a disappointing seventh in the 2013 final to the Brian Sears-driven winner Royalty For Life. Saddled with post ten in his elimination, Pinkman, with Yannick Gingras in the sulky, left hard from the outside, took the lead and then settled into second position behind stablemate The Bank (Johnny Takter), following him through fractional splits of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:23.1 before posting a :28 final brush. The final time of 1:51.3 equaled the world record for a 3-year-old gelding on a mile oval. The second Hambletonian elimination saw Gingras pilot the Ron Burke-conditioned filly Mission Brief to victory in a front-stepping 1:51.3, besting her rivals by nearly five lengths, with apparent ease. That triumph put Gingras in an enviable, yet frustrating position of having to choose between his two elimination winners. When he chose to drive Mission Brief in the final, it opened the door for Brian Sears to climb aboard Pinkman. "I tried to tell Yannick he was making a great mistake," Takter said. "Pinkman is such a fighter. He's not impressive, but he gets the job done every time. And I thought the filly didn't look as strong finishing as my horse did." Takter knows horseflesh and he obviously knew what Pinkman was capable of that steamy afternoon in East Rutherford, as the gelding easily held off the hard-trying Mission Brief in the final by three-quarters of a length-preventing her from becoming the first distaff to win the Hambletonian since Continentalvictory accomplished that feat in 1996. Pinkman's time of 1:51 in the final was also the third fastest clocking in Hambletonian history. The win gave Takter his fourth Hambletonian victory and his second straight-he won this race last year as both the driver and trainer of Trixton. The Hambletonian victory pushed Pinkman's lifetime earnings to $1,737,925 and gave the gelding his eighth win of 2015. He now has 14 wins and two seconds in 17 career trips postward for his Ohio, New Jersey and Canadian connections. "We'll have to wait and see what's next on his plate," Richard said of Pinkman. "The fact that he's a gelding does allow us to contemplate a lot more years of racing than if he was a colt. Right now we're just enjoying the ride." By Kimberly Rinker

Don Irvine Jr. won five races throughout Northfield Park's 15-race harness racing program on Friday (August 7). Irvine's triumphs were aboard Man He Can Skoot ($4.00) in the evening's $13,000 featured event in race three, Jolting Kate ($10.80) in race five, Miss Fineline ($17.00) in race six, Hot Mandy ($20.40) in race 11 and RD Elegant Yankee ($14.00) in race 15. Irvine, 64, has been a fan favorite at Northfield for decades. He has 6,972 career wins and is approaching $35 million in total purse earnings. He currently sets 10th in Northfield's local driving ranks win 60 wins so far this year. Throughout his long and successful career Irvine has competed in nearly 40,000 races and has six local dash titles to his credit. He was the leading driver over the Flying Turns in 1975, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984. Don Irvine Jr.'s success gained him the honor of being a Northfield Park Wall of Fame inductee in 1991. Ayers Ratliff

Harness racing driver Jason Merriman won five races throughout Northfield Park’s 15-race program on Wednesday (August 5).  Merriman’s triumphs included TT’ssizzlinsally ($7.00) in race one, Bold Decision ($17.40) in race four, Dunks Brother ($2.20) in race five, Tiffany Malone ($4.60) in race six and Stone Of Magic ($3.40) in race 15. Merriman, 28, began driving in 2003 and has since garnered 1,764 career victories and is approaching $8 million in total purse earnings. Jason is third in Northfield’s local driving ranks with 161 wins posted so far this year.  Only Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (361) and Aaron Merriman (312) have more victories this year over the Flying Turns than Jason Merriman.  Ryan Stahl (123) and Kurt Sugg (106) complete the top-five local drivers.   Ayers Ratliff  

Eight local legends will do battle in a race that will turn back the clock for many harness racing fans at Northfield Park on Friday, August 14. The "Legends Drivers Challenge" will pit Northfield leading drivers of days gone by in a trotting event that will serve as a warm-up for the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial, a Grand Circuit event for three-year-old colt pacers. Dan Ross, who won last year's inaugural Legends Race, will defend his crown against previous-year competitors Gerry Bookmyer, William Irvine and Don McKirgan, as well as newcomers Jeff Fout, Del S. Miller, William Popio and Craig Stein. The eight veteran reinsmen were talented fan favorites that were leading drivers over the Flying Turns in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Also on Milstein night, sophomore Ohio Sires Stakes pacing and trotting fillies will square off for purses of $40,000 per division. Northfield's Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi, is writing an Open Pace, a Fillies and Mares Open Pace and an Open Trot, each with a $20,000 purse. Entries for all the races to be contested on Friday night, August 14 at Northfield are due by 9 AM (Eastern) on Tuesday morning, August 11. Ayers Ratliff  

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