Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 87
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

YONKERS, N.Y. – Multiple stakes winner Obrigado made his last harness racing start in the $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Sept. 21, 2018. Despite finishing fourth beaten just 1 3/4 lengths by Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder and trotting his final quarter in :27.0, Obrigado did not emerge from the race well. Trainer Paul Kelley faced the reality that the career of his $1.8 million earner was over. “He had a little bit of a suspensory issue going around there, which was something we had never experienced with him before. "He’s had other aches and pains for sure. It wasn’t really looking too good. We scanned it a few times and pretty much the prognosis looked like retirement was probably the right thing to do,” Kelley said. “Wintertime was coming on and you want to find any horse a good, permanent home,” Kelley continued. “I was kind of scrambling; I didn’t really have any options. I figured the best scenario would be to get him someplace where he could be turned out for the winter and let him heal up naturally on his own.” Kelley sent Obrigado to Chris Coyle's Olive Branch Farm in North Carolina, where the 9-year-old son of Boy Band wintered and recuperated. Come April, Kelley still didn’t have a forever home lined up for the Boy Band son, so the trainer brought him to his racing stable at Congress Hill Farm in Monroe, N.J. “He’s one of those horses that you don’t really want to part with,” Kelley said. “At one point, I was thinking maybe I’ll be the permanent home.” However, Obrigado didn’t find retired life of daily paddock turnouts interesting enough, especially when forced to watch the other Standardbreds going to the track every morning. Kelley recognized the horse needed work. “We were putting him out in the paddock every day, but you could tell he was a little bored just doing that; that wasn’t enough, especially being in the barn with all the other horses that were getting tacked up and going to the track every day. He’s an intelligent horse and he wanted to do that too,” Kelley explained. Kelley had Obrigado’s leg scanned again, and with a green light from the vet, began light jogging on the track, swimming sessions, and under saddle riding. Obrigado took to his work and started to rebuild his foundation. With routine scans coming back clean, Kelley started to step on the gas over the summer. “The horse loves being on the track. He loves being out there with other horses. That was really the easy part of it all,” Kelley said. “It wasn’t like we had to push him along. He’s always been a happy horse, likes work, likes the competition and all that. “We just gradually increased the workload to the point where we got to August and we felt like he’d had enough groundwork, maybe we can start some more speed work with him. We did that and I held my breath for a long time thinking, ‘Is he going to be OK? Is he going to come out of it OK?’ So far, he’s been remarkable, he’s been just fine.” A 45-time winner in 92 starts, Obrigado’s accomplishments include a pair of Maine Sire Stakes championships in 2012 and 2013 and the Crawford Farms Open Trot in 2015. Obrigado’s biggest season came in 2016, when he captured the Maxie Lee, Charlie Hill Memorial, Cleveland Trotting Classic, Cashman Memorial, repeated in the Crawford Farms Open Trot, won the Dayton Trotting Derby, and competed in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot before closing the year with a victory in the $400,000 TVG FFA Trot. Obrigado remained competitive on the Grand Circuit in 2017 and 2018 before going on the shelf. “Mentally, that horse has never changed. That’s what’s remarkable about him,” Kelley said. “You see people sometimes; your attitudes go up and down throughout a racing season. You see that with horses; horses have lulls where they just don’t seem to be too keen. He’s never ever been that way. He’s always just been real bright-eyed, real keen, head out over the gate, and ears are always forward. That’s just the kind of horse he is. He’s a happy fella and he really loves being out on the track and he loves being out with other horses all the time.” Obrigado will make his comeback Saturday night (Dec. 7) in the $42,000 Open Handicap Trot at Yonkers Raceway. Dan Dube will drive the 8-1 morning line shot from an assigned inside post position for owners Paul Kelley Racing Stable, S R F Stable, and Linwood Higgins. Obrigado prepared for his return with three qualifiers at Freehold. Rene Sejthen drove Obrigado to a second-place finish in 2:01.1 over a good track with a minus two variant Nov. 1 and again took the lines in a 13 1/4-length qualifying win on a fast track in 2:00.0 with a minus one variant Nov. 8. Kelley brought in Dube for Obrigado’s final trial Nov. 22, in which the gelding posted a 1:59.2 win. “My second trainer Rene took him the first two times and he was doing the right thing with the horse and being cautious and letting the horse do it on his own,” Kelley said. “I know from talking to Rene the weather conditions on those days weren’t particularly good. According to Rene, they were both really good miles for Obrigado considering the conditions and the horse did everything on his own and real easy. “I skipped a week and then I had Dan Dube take him the last time and I just told him, ‘Make sure he does a little work the last half of the mile. He’s got to go a little bit.’ It was kind of a funny qualifier because he got caught in and a couple of pacers were battling things out up front. When Dan finally got him out and got rolling, I think he trotted his back-half in about :57.2 and he came a good last quarter, so that was good. It gives him a little bit of speedwork.” Obrigado will face a difficult field in his return, including the first four finishers from the $35,000 Preferred Handicap Nov. 23: Stormy Kromer, Will Take Charge, Lean Hanover, and Swansea. Sumatra and Winning Shadow step up off overnight wins Nov. 22 to complete the lineup. “I suspect it’s going to take him a couple of races to get up to speed with the rest of the horses he’s got to race against, but everything has gone very well,” Kelley said. “He’s come back very well, so it will really be interesting to see what happens over the course of the winter. “He’s coming off the bench and he’s been on the bench for 14 months, so I can’t expect him to be tip-top, but maybe by having the inside, he can save some ground,” Kelley continued. “I know the horse is going to be competitive from his own standpoint, but maybe he’s not physically ready quite yet. I would expect it’s going to take two races for him to get up to speed. I think that’s realistic.” Although he will take things on a start-by-start basis, Kelley hopes to race Obrigado at Yonkers throughout the winter. Obrigado sports a 7-for-19 record at the Hilltop with seven additional placings, all at the Open level or higher. Kelley will also look for options during Yonkers’ hiatus beginning Dec. 18 and continuing into early Jan. 2020. “We’ll get a couple of starts in at Yonkers and then they go on break,” Kelley said. “Maybe with Yonkers down, (Freehold) will be able to fill an Open. That’s a possibility if I can do that for a race or two until Yonkers comes back, but I think Yonkers is where I’d like to race him the most over the course of the winter. I think he could be a real good winter horse for Yonkers.” Kelley also hopes to reunite Obrigado with Mark MacDonald, who’s last driving start came with Kelley’s The Veteran at Saratoga July 20. MacDonald suffered a fractured shoulder joint, among other injuries, in a pre-race spill later that night, but is approaching a return to the sulky. “(Obrigado) definitely likes this track, he knows his way around that track for sure, so it makes sense,” Kelley said. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I’m hoping around the first of February, Mark MacDonald should be back and it would be great if I have the horse coming off the shelf and Mark coming off the shelf and we can reunite the two of them. “The partners are all excited. They’re all amazed just like I am that he’s back. Horses like that, they’re once-in-a-lifetime horses,” Kelley said. “They’re remarkable in their own way. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and they find a way to get back in the game. I’m just hoping we can go week to week, he can stay sound and we can manage him properly and it can be a fun 2020.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through December 17.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 19, 2018-Favored Obrigado (Mark MacDonald, $4.20) pounced from the pocket Sunday afternoon (Aug. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,000 off-going Open Handicap Trot. The weekly trotting feature went at the flat mile, the 11th of 12 races and well after the four added-distance 'French' races. Generously assigned post position No. 2, Obrigado worked around polester Dewycolorintheline (Ray Schnittker) as outside number In Secret (George Brennan) hurdled his six foes and made the lead. After early intervals of :27.1 and :56.1, Such an Angel (Brent Holland) tried it first-up from fourth. The bid was both brief and poor with In Secret finding a 1:24.3 three-quarters. He took a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but Obrigado was lurking. That one edged out and edged away, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:55. Charmed Life (Steve Smith) overcame a weak tow to grab second, with In Secret, Andy Ray (Jason Bartlett) and Dewycolorintheline rounding out the payees. For Obrigado, an 8-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, Linwood Higgins, S R F Stable & Stable 45, it was his second win in five seasonal starts (career 44-for-90, earnings over $1.76 million). The exacta paid $38, the triple returned $244 and the superfecta paid $542. Sunday's verse of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 1-Glory to Kitten (part of entry, Saratoga's 1st race) and 7-Deo (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $7.70 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $6,992. The next Sunday matinee is Aug. 26th (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – Paul Kelley will send out the favorite Akhenaton in the second division of the French American Trotting Club first leg Sunday afternoon at Yonkers. The 8-year-old drew post three off a convincing win at Saratoga July 25, making him the 5-2 choice in $35,000 split. Kelley’s stable was well prepared to accept Akhenaton in June. Several of Kelley’s staff and assistants previously worked in Sweden and France and knew what to expect from the French-bred and raced gelding. Kelley also consulted with Alexandre Dessartre, a monte rider in France who worked with Kelley earlier this year before shifting his tack to thoroughbred trainer Jeremiah Englehart’s barn.  “Something that helps me, I have some Scandinavians that work in my stable that have spent time in France racing over there,” Kelley said. “For a while, I had a guy named Alexandre Dessartre. He was able to give us a little insight into what to expect in these French horses in terms of temperament and things like that.” Despite all the homework and foreign influence in Kelley’s stable, when Akhenaton arrived, Kelley found him to be straightforward. Soon, the son of Nice Love out of the Corot mare Iena de Mosta settled into his new home in Kelley’s Vernon Downs barn. “We turn horses out a lot. He’s got a paddock buddy, he’s got a horse he goes out with, so he’s happy about that,” Kelley said. “He’s really made a real easy transition. His appetite’s been great. If you didn’t know he was from France, you might think he just came over from New Jersey or Pennsylvania or something.” Although Akhenaton is new to the American style of racing and training, he has plenty of experience racing in France. He won five races and placed in 13 others from 62 foreign starts, earning 96,300€ in the stable of Colette Chassagne. Forty-eight of his starts, and all of his wins, came in monte, or under saddle, races. “The horses that we’re dealing with now coming from France, they’ve been around a little bit. From my perspective, it’s about trying to figure out what makes that horse happy, find that common ground where we can have the horse so he steers right, he’s comfortable to drive, but at the same time, the horse himself is also comfortable with the equipment that you’re put on him,” Kelley said. “You just have to find that common ground. He’s been racing monte and he’s been pulling a sulky. I don’t believe I can really teach him any new speed, it’s more about finding a happy accord between the two of us and hope by doing that, we can bring out the best in him.” Akhenaton made his debut for Kelley in a qualifier at Vernon Downs July 13. With his trainer in the sulky, Akhenaton took his place behind the starting gate, but soon after the wings folded, the trotter made a break in stride. Far behind the field, he broke again late in the mile and failed to qualify. Kelley made minor adjustments to get the trotter back on track for the start of the series. “I trained him a couple times prior to that unchecked; no overcheck, let him go with his head low and I thought he was really good gaited and pretty comfortable,” Kelley said. “When I qualified him the first time at Vernon, I did have an overcheck on him, but it was flopping pretty good, I let him go with a real low head. He was really good behind the gate, but when the gate released, he took about three steps off the car and he just dropped his head and went into a break. “I knew then that he needed something, that the overcheck was too long because he was a very good-gaited horse, I didn’t think there was any kind of gait issues to be concerned with, just a matter of getting his bridle right,” the trainer continued. “The first qualifier was a little disheartening, but we kind of figured that it was easily rectified because he didn’t seem like a tricky horse at all.” Kelley qualified Akhenaton at Vernon Downs seven days later. With assistant trainer Rene Sejthen in the bike and with his new overcheck in place, Akhenaton completed the mile in 1:57.2 and posted a final quarter of :28.  Convinced the trotter was ready to race, Kelley entered him in a $7,250 overnight at Saratoga July 25. The start would be a test of how well Akhenaton could handle the half-mile racetrack he’ll face at Yonkers. In addition, the Saratoga start meant Kelley could name Wally Hennessey to drive. Kelley craved the Hall of Fame driver’s wisdom. “When you can take a horse to Saratoga and have someone like Wally Hennessey take them, you’re going to learn a lot more because you’re going to get great feedback from Wally,” Kelley said. “There’s not too many guys in the business that can sit behind a horse and give you the real insight you might need to let you know that you’re on the right track.” Bet down to the race’s 7-5 favorite, Hennessey put Akhenaton in the race. He cleared the lead past the opening quarter and extended his advantage to 3 ¼ at the end of the mile, earning his first win in a sulky in 1:57.2. Although Hennessey was pleased overall, the 61-year-old offered plenty of advice to Kelley. Akhenaton drives on the left line, meaning he has a propensity to bear out the whole mile. While Kelley believes this is preferable to a horse who bears in, which makes it harder for the driver to negotiate the horse and to get him out and around the horses that he’s following. Kelley raced Akhenaton with a line pole and Murphy blind to try to keep the trotter straight. Hennessey felt the line pole was enough. “A line pole isn’t very restrictive at all. It allows a horse to still kind of cock his head into that line pole a little bit, but there’s enough there to keep him a little honest so he doesn’t get too crooked,” Kelley said. “Wally thought once the horse trotted off the car, the horse straightened up naturally on his own and he thought the line pole would be enough. With the Murphy blind, he can hear the competition coming, but he can’t really see it. Sometimes, the horses can relax a little more when they can see what’s going on. Wally just thought take the Murphy blind off and he’ll be nice and straight without it.” Hennessey also recommended that Kelley remove Akhenaton’s knee boots. Although knee boots help protect a horse’s legs during a race, they also make the leg thicker and can make it easier for a horse to grab himself, Kelley explains. As Akhenaton also wears wraps, Hennessey felt the boots weren’t needed. “Not that he couldn’t maybe touch a knee, but sometimes the knee boots stick out just enough where they can kind of trip a horse up, too,” Kelley said. “Even though you’re putting them on for protective purposes, they stick out just enough where a horse might touch it and it upsets his gait a little bit. Wally is a big proponent of trying to go with as little equipment as possible, which is something I like.” Off his successful U.S. debut and with the equipment changes made, Akhenaton will take on eight French-bred rivals in his division of the French American Trotting Club first leg in race three Sunday afternoon. Mark MacDonald will drive in the 10-furlong race. Ursis Des Caillons will start from post six for Jenn and Joe Bongiorno off two impressive qualifiers; he won a 1 1/4-mile trial in 2:30.4 at Yonkers July 13 and qualified again at the Meadowlands July 21, finishing second to Hambletonian entrant Fourth Dimension. He was individually timed in 1:53 with a :26.4 final quarter. Very Very Fast drew just inside Akhenaton for Bob Bresnahan and enters of a 2:29.4 qualifying win going 10 furlongs at Yonkers July 13. Ray Schnittker’s Aladin Du Dollar finished second in two qualifiers at Yonkers July 7 and July 20 and drew post one. Chaperon Felin, Vas Y Seul, Verdi D Em, Bamako Du Bocage, and Undici complete the field. Sunday’s card also features a $54,800 Open Handicap Trot in the first race and another division of the French American Trotting Club in race two. First post time for the all-trot card is 12:30 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. The second and third legs of the French American Trotting Club series will be held August 19 and 26, respectively and the $100,000 final is set for September 2. For more information, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Obrigado (Rene Sejthen) looked in prime form beating the best trotters at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 21). Obrigado ($5.20) was bet as the second choice to Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone). Obrigado controlled all the fractions (:27.3, :56.3, 1:25.0, 1:53.3). He went to the lead and never gave it up even as he was pressured all the way down the backstretch and the final turn by the betting favorite, Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone Jr.). Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) took a run at him in the stretch but settled for second best. Barn Bella gutted it out to finish third. Obrigado is an 8-year-old gelding by Boy Band. Owned by trainer Paul Kelley as well as SRF Stable, L Higgins and Stable 45. It was his first win in two years and career victory number 43. He has won almost 1.8 million dollars in his career. Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) fires late to capture Fillies and Mares Open Handicap ($12,000). Roll With Sparky led the group to the first quarter in :27.1 and the half in :56.1. K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) then took a short lead before hitting three-quarters in 1:23.4. Truth And Liberty ($5.20), who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, went three wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in 1:52.3. MC Attagirl (Fern Paquet Jr.) came up late to finish second. K J's Caroline settled for third. Truth And Liberty is a 6-year-old mare by Total Truth. It was her third win in 2018. She now has 31 lifetime victories. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 22) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Trainer Paul Kelley unveiled a trio of young filly trotters on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The top flight conditioner focuses mainly on young horses and thus hadn't had any of his trainees compete at the Spa thus far this season before Thursday's matinee card. Kelley's Byway (Muscle Mass) got his day started win a victory when the three year old filly went coast to coast in 1:59.3 to break her maiden with Billy Dobson in the sulky. The meet's leading driver also piloted Kelley's Fast Love (Chapter Seven) to a wire-to-wire win when she cruised to a 1:59.4 score to break her maiden. Kelley looked for the Thursday hat trick when his The Russian Spy (Credit Winner) competed in a $7,500 non-winners of two race lifetime or $25,000 lifetime trot. The Kelley stable moved to three-for-three on the day when The Russian Spy jogged by open lengths in 1:57.3. Kelley has his group of young trotters prepped and ready for New York Sire Stakes season which has just gotten underway. The first NY Sire Stakes to be contested at Saratoga will be on Sunday afternoon (May 27th) when three year old pacing fillies are featured on the fifteen-race program. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Friday night with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Columbus, OH --- While his harness racing rivals continued their journey through 2017, there was a name that was conspicuously missing from the programs of the sport’s marquee older trotting events as the march to divisional honors transpired. That horse, the 2016 Dan Patch Award winner, is none other than Obrigado and if all goes according to plan, the 8-year-old world champion will return to work next week to resume his quest for another title. “After his last start (a ninth place finish in the $303,050 Cashman Memorial on Aug. 5) we just knew he was not himself,” said co-owner and conditioner Paul Kelley. “That is why we started a little later with him last year because we knew something was bothering him; we just couldn’t figure out what it was. Finally Dr. Stewart pinpointed that it was something in his right stifle, so we took him to Cornell where he had arthroscopic surgery in November. Dr. Nixon went in and just cleaned it up for him. Everything looks great and we hope to start jogging him the third week in January down here in Florida.” Also owned by SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, Obrigado is also a two-time Maine champion and burst onto the national scene in 2014 after winning 21 consecutive contests in his home state. Kelley and his partners purchased him for $53,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Mixed Sale and since then the gelding has collected more than $1.5 million for his connections. A model of consistency, Obrigado has earned $405,535, $873,300 and $109,265 in his last three seasonal campaigns. Although he did bank more than $100,000 last year, that obviously was unusual from one of the best older trotters on the planet. Even at less than his best he still managed to accrue that amount from a record of 6-0-2-2. “We just could not find out what was wrong with him,” Kelley said. “We took him all over to have him looked at. Even when he had a bone scan nothing came up that was not normal. I’m just so grateful to Dr. Stewart and Dr. Nixon for finding the problem; they deserve all the credit.” Since his time on the surgical table, Obrigado has been engaged in light exercise in preparation for his return. “He’s just been doing some groundwork after he had some rest,” Kelley said. “He looks great and his recovery seems to be coming along perfectly. Of course it always helps he is such a good patient. I would expect he is ready to begin doing just a little more though as he does really enjoy racing.” With the advances in veterinary medicine, removing bone chips, draining fluid or simply “cleaning up” a joint or two is now quite standard and the prognosis for a full recovery from most horses is excellent. Therefore, there is no reason to not expect Obrigado to return to his exceptional self this season. “We will start jogging him in January but he will not race again until very late spring or early summer,” Kelley said. “It is such a long season with so many good races late in the summer and fall that you really just want to have him ready for those. It’s a lot of travel and with so much racing it can be hard on them. We just want to do what’s best for the horse and he pretty much tells us what to do for him. “Of course we were disappointed with what happened last year, but most of that came from him not being himself, so we knew our job was to find out what was bugging him. Hopefully we will pick up right where he left off and have another great season this year. In this business you never know anything and have to see what happens. We are, however, very excited to have repaired the issue and have him back. “We are also really looking forward to this year with him. He really is such a great horse to simply be around and watching him race has brought us so much joy. We hope it is more of the same this year.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor   

Plainville, MA---They're a wicked-awesome harness racing pair; uniquely New England. That's the only way you can describe Maine-bred Obrigado and Massachusetts raised Paul Kelley and they will both be at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 28) competing in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot. Kelley lived in Maine but grew up in Walpole, Massachusetts just minutes from Foxboro Park. His father Jack Kelley and Bill Bauer raced ponies together at the New England fairs over the summer each year and from there, got interested in trotters at Bay State Raceway (aka Foxboro Park). And that's how the younger Kelley got involved in the sport. "As a kid I used to go over there on summer nights and just sit on the knocker's bench to see guys like Bucky Day, Al Langille, Bob Tisbert and a whole slew of guys that I started watching and that got me interested in the sport" said Paul Kelley. After having gotten his career started at New England tracks, Kelley has since moved his base of operation from Massachusetts to New York State near Saratoga and now races at every track on the Grand Circuit. However occasionally he has returned to his Massachusetts roots and really likes what he sees at Plainridge. "I have raced at Plainridge intermittently over the past four or five years so I have a pretty good feel for the place and the track itself. Last year I thought the surface was tremendous. It had a nice bounce to it and I thought it was something the horses would like so I think it is going to play out to be a great race on Friday" said Kelley. "I think they are going to go a heck of a mile over there because all the horses will like the surface." Kelley will start his millionaire gelding Obrigado and will certainly have his share of fans in the stands rooting for them. Obrigado is winless this year in four starts but it's certainly not from lack of effort. In the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs he sat in behind fast fractions set by Crazy Wow and just couldn't catch the leader coming for home and finished second by one and a half lengths. In the $185,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic at Northfield Park, Obrigado led the whole mile and battled Resolve giving Crazy Wow the trip along the way. He then watched that one go by him in the stretch to win and tie the all-age trotting mark of 1:52.3 at Northfield. Obrigado hung on for third just one length behind. And in his last start at Yonkers he left from post seven in a 12-horse, mile and a quarter contest and led the entire race before just getting caught at the wire by Hemi Seelster and Homicide Hunter to finish third again by a neck. "Obrigado got started a little late so he may still be playing catch-up this year. Some of the horses he raced against may have more of a foundation under them right now, but he has raced very well and like himself in most of those starts. He came out of his last race at Yonkers in great shape and I think it's going to set him up really well for this race on Friday" said Kelley. "I tried to shorten the season up a bit because last year it went right to the end of November and that makes it a long, drawn-out year. Plus he's a year older so I just want to pick my spots. And the fact that this race came up on the calendar this year where it hadn't been before, made my decision easier to not start so early with him." Last year Obrigado won eight starts, earned $873,300 and took a mark of 1:50.3. All that earned him the 2016 Dan Patch aged male Trotter of the Year award. For his career, Obrigado has won 42 of 83 starts and has banked $1.7 million in purses. His lifetime mark of 1:50.3 was taken at the Meadowlands last year in the $273,600 Cashman Memorial where he defeated JL Cruze, Crazy Wow and Resolve. "It's going to be an exciting race for the locals to see the best trotters in North America at Plainridge Park on Friday." said Kelley. "They are all just fantastic horses and they are all capable of putting forth tremendous effort. It's going to be exciting." Obrigado will ship in Thursday night and will probably jog a few miles on Friday morning to loosen up before he goes to the paddock later in the day. Kelley pointed out "NHL players do a morning skate; I see no reason why these horses shouldn't get out and stretch their legs a little bit. It's good for them." There will be some special promotions on tap for fans who attend the Spirit of Massachusetts day card. Plainridge Park will be giving away inaugural edition Spirit of Massachusetts Trot baseball caps starting at 3:30 p.m. in the grandstand. They are limited to one per customer and will be available while supplies last. Live racing fans will also have the opportunity to win tickets to the Super Bowl rematch between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons to be played at Gillette Stadium on Sunday (Oct. 22). In order to win, customers must place losing Plainridge pari-mutuel tickets with their name and telephone number printed on the back in boxes numbered 1-9, corresponding with the nine horses in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot. After that race, a winner will be drawn from the corresponding numbered box as the winner of the race. Only losing Plainridge tickets can be used for entry. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. The Spirit of Massachusetts Trot is race nine on the card and is slated to go off at 6:40 p.m. For more information about the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot log onto the Plainridge Park website at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com and click the "Live Racing" tab. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park

Freehold, NJ --- Obrigado might have a little Alfred E. Neuman in him. One gets the feeling after talking with the 7-year-old trotter’s regular driver, Mark MacDonald, that an appropriate caption under the horse’s photo would be “What -- me worry?” just the same as the cartooned Neuman on the cover of MAD magazine. Going back to July 2014, Obrigado has won 18 races. Excluding one victory in which he was second-placed-first, the gelding has won 11 of the remaining 17 by a half-length or less. And the vast majority of those triumphs, nine to be exact, were by a neck or less. Those 17 wins, by the way, were worth nearly $1 million. “He never overdoes it,” MacDonald said with a laugh. “He takes care of himself. He makes you kind of sweat it out a little bit. Me, not so much now, because I know him and I’m confident he’s always going to give you that last little lunge at the end. But I’m sure for Paul and the other owners watching it probably makes them a little nervous.” Paul is trainer Paul Kelley, who owns Obrigado with Lennart Agren’s SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, and the multi-partner Stable 45. The group is preparing for more edge-of-your-seat excitement as Obrigado makes his seasonal debut in Saturday’s $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot at Eldorado Scioto Downs in central Ohio. Hill was the founder of Scioto Downs and president of the track from 1959-1989. Obrigado, who received the 2016 Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter, is the 5-2 morning line favorite and will start from post one with MacDonald in the sulky. Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational winner Crazy Wow, starting from post eight with Chris Page at the lines for trainer Ron Burke, is the 4-1 second choice while 2015 Dan Patch Award honoree JL Cruze is 9-2 from post five with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. driving for Eric Ell. “That’s a pretty good group,” MacDonald said. “It should be a good race.” Last year, Obrigado won eight of 17 races and earned $873,300. He hit the board a total of 13 times and his victories included the Hill Memorial, TVG Free For All Series championship, Dayton Trotting Derby, Crawford Farms Trot, John Cashman Memorial, Cleveland Trotting Classic, and Maxie Lee Memorial. For MacDonald, the win in the Crawford Farms Trot exemplified Obrigado’s toughness and determination. Obrigado was in the outer flow in an opening quarter-mile of :26, cleared to the lead at the halfway point and then battled stride-for-stride with Resolve for nearly the final three-eighths of a mile before winning by a quarter-length in 1:51.2. “I think that was the best race last year, maybe the best race of his life since I’ve been driving him,” said MacDonald, who took over the driving duties behind Obrigado at the beginning of the horse’s 5-year-old season. “Man, that was a great race. They fought all the way down the stretch. Getting down by the wire Obi came back on and won. That was just a crazy mile. “He brings his lunch pail every night and goes to work. He’s tough. He’s got no quit in him. It’s kind of hard to give him a bad trip; I’ve been parked with him, I’ve been in bad spots with him, but he always gives 120 percent. He’s just a good horse. You look forward to his races. He’s always made a good account of himself.” MacDonald was happy to see Obrigado honored with a Dan Patch Award last year. Obrigado, who has won 42 of 79 career races and earned $1.62 million, was a star in Maine at ages 2 and 3 before being sold to the New York-based Kelley and partners in November 2013. “That was cool,” MacDonald said. “I was really happy for Paul and the owners. He was so good all year. I think maybe winning the TVG at the end of the year put him over the top, but to me he had such a great year. He won so many big races and he showed up to work every night. “You have to give Paul credit. I think he protected (Obrigado) a lot as a 4-year-old. He kept him out of the spotlight, away from the Grand Circuit horses. He kind of aimed for him to peak as an older horse and the patience paid off. He let him mature and grow into his own and he turned into a great aged racehorse.” Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. at Scioto Downs and the Hill Memorial is race eight, with an 8:50 p.m. estimated post time. Following is the field for the Hill Memorial. Post-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1 - Obrigado - Boy Band - Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-5/2  2 - Natural Herbie - Here Comes Herbie - Verlin Yoder-Verlin Yoder-8/1 3 - Musical Rhythm - Cantab Hall - Peter Wrenn-Benoit Baillargeon-15/1   4 - Hemi Seelster - Holiday Road - Brent Holland-Richard Banca-10/1   5 - JL Cruze - Crazed - Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-Eric Ell-9/2   6 - Centurion ATM - SJ's Caviar - Aaron Merriman-Ake Svanstedt-10/1   7 - Muscle Diamond - Muscle Hill - John Campbell-Brett Bittle-15/1   8 - Crazy Wow - Crazed - Chris Page-Ron Burke-4/1   9 - Homicide Hunter - Mr Cantab - Tyler Smith-Chris Oakes-12/1   10 - Major Athens - Andover Hall - Jody Jamieson-Jeffrey Gillis-6/1  Major Athens starts in the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Columbus, OH --- When he first became acquainted with the then yearling colt, Paul Kelley definitely wanted to bring him home. Yet he swiftly banished such reveries from his mind, for he knew Such An Angel was a harness racing horse with a price tag that would bust his budget. After all the son of Credit Winner-Michelle’s Angel was a full brother to world champion and Yonkers Trot winner Archangel and last year’s Empire Breeders Classic victor Dante. He simply could not afford him, but on this occasion, Kelley’s dream became a reality. “I was talking with Sam Caruso, the horse’s co-owner, and he asked me if I liked this colt,” said Kelley. “Of course I told him yes. I thought he was an extremely nice horse, but I knew he would go far too high for me to ever get him. That’s when Sam said he wanted him and I told him there was no way that colt would go for under $200,000 at the Lexington Sale. Well, he bid on him and got him for $110,000. I don’t know how it happened, but it sure was a bargain. Then after Sam bought him Wanda Polisseni came in on him too.” Such An Angel will attempt to make his sophomore debut a victorious one, when he and Brian Sears leave from post six in a field of seven at Vernon Downs on Monday (May 29) in a $39,900 New York Sire Stakes engagement. His task, however, will not be a simple one as the field includes Dexter Cup winner Lord Cromwell (Jason Bartlett, post three), last year's NYSS freshman champion Devious Man (Andy Miller, post four) and the talented Another Chapter (Scott Zeron, post one). “I really like how he came back from the winter,” Kelley said. “He looks great and we are really looking forward to this season with him.” Purchased from the aforementioned 2015 edition of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Such An Angel is the fourth foal from his prolific dam, who collected $436,921 from her racing career. Her dam is 1991 Dan Patch Award winner Almost An Angel. With that type of heritage, the colt obviously had some significant expectations to live up to, which Kelley feels he has done exceedingly well as he banked $145,695 as a freshman, equaled Saratoga’s track record of 1:57.4 in only his fourth start and was third in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final. “Unfortunately he should have more money on his card, but around the end of August and beginning of September we started having some problems with him, as he was battling allergies,” Kelley said. “He was not sick, but after he came out of the Sire Stakes final and the race down in Lexington (fifth place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes) he did not scope clean. “We were working on him, but it’s hard to fight allergies because it has so much to do with environmental conditions and the weather. He was never completely sick, but it limited his ability to have that final kick at the end of his races. In both the final and in Lexington he had to come first-over and he just did not have that extra push to get him by.” Steered in eight of his trips to the post by John Campbell and the other two contests by his co-owner Caruso, Such An Angel compiled a record of 10-4-1-1 and captured four of his first five races. With the exception of his appearance in the Bluegrass State, the colt competed exclusively in New York Sire Stakes company. The plan for the colt this year is to send him to other events than those within the confines of the Empire State. “He is Hambletonian eligible, but we have two more months before we can think about that,” Kelley said. “He is eligible to all the big stakes races and I think he deserves a chance to prove himself on the Grand Circuit. He’s really big-gaited and although he can get around very well over a half-mile track, I think he will love the bigger tracks. We would love to be at The Meadowlands with him on Aug. 5, but we will just let the horse tell us what he wants to do. He will have the opportunities to do and we are very excited about him.” There is another horse in Kelley’s barn that he is quite enthused to return to racing in defending Dan Patch Award and world champion Obrigado. The 7-year-old trotting superstar will make his second qualifying appearance on Saturday at The Meadowlands. He won his first qualifier at Vernon Downs on May 19 in 1:58.1. “We missed the Cutler and will be missing the Maxie Lee with him, but that was by design,” Kelley said. “We were taking our time with him and would have had to rush him to get him ready. It wasn’t that he needed extra time as he came back looking great and looks great now. In fact, he seems like he’s more than ready to get himself back in the game, but it’s a long year and last year he seemed to get a little tired in the fall, although he did come back and win the TVG final. “What also helped was that other race being added in Massachusetts at Plainridge that gave us one more thing to point towards a bit later on so we can take our time with him and pick and choose our spots. We are bringing him to Scioto again for the Charlie Hill on June 10 and I am really looking forward to racing him again this year. He seems ready to go and as good as ever.” ROAD TO THE HAMBLETONIAN A look at open stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles Date – Track – Event – First – Second – Third May 6 – Freehold – Dexter Cup – Lord Cromwell – Gustavo Fring – Southwind Cobra May 19 – Meadowlands – NJSS – Long Tom – Yes Mickey – Deacon Tony May 19 – Meadowlands – NJSS – What The Hill – Southwind Cobra – New Jersey Viking May 20 – The Meadows – PASS – Sortie – Giveitgasandgo – High Glider May 20 – The Meadows – PASS – Andy M – Gustavo Fring – Stealth Hanover May 20 – The Meadows – PASS – Common Parlance – Brown Bear – Brand New Key Hambletonian eligible in bold by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Prominent America harness racing trainer Paul Kelley has joined Anthony and Amy MacDonald in their growing thestable.ca fractional ownership partnership. "Paul Kelley is a trainer with years of experience who shares the vision of thestable.ca and what fractional ownership can do for horse racing," MacDonald said. The Saratoga, New York-based Kelley has operated a harness racing barn since the mid-90s and has enjoyed success with such stellar harness horses as New York Sire Stakes champion, the two-year-old filly trotter You Want Me, and top trotter Obrigado, who has bankrolled $532,070 in 12 starts this year. Also joining thestable.ca yearling training cooperative along with Kelley, are Andrew Harris and Kyle Fellows. Harris is having a banner year in 2016, with his Wailtlifter K finishing fourth to Marion Marauder in the Hambletonian. An Ontario native, Harris ran Casie Coleman's barn in New Jersey, where he handled Sportswriter and Betterthancheddar. Fellows has operated his own Ontario-based stable for almost four years. Kelley, Harris and Fellows join top conditioner Tony O'Sullivan and the MacDonalds in  thestable.ca. All four trainers will continue operating their own barns, but are joining thestable.ca as part of a yearling training cooperative that over time will bring more trainers, owners and youngsters into the thestable.ca's unique, single share fractional ownership program. Thestable.ca was created last year by MacDonald as an affordable way to bring new owners into the exciting sport of harness racing through fractional ownership. Fractional ownership with thestable.ca allows owners to purchase as little as one share in a promising yearling, an industry first. For a yearling valued at $10,000, this means an initial investment of just $100 plus the monthly training fee of $20 to purchase a share in a promising yearling. The single share concept has already brought dozens of new owners into harness racing with thestable.ca, attracted by its affordability and entertainment value, something MacDonald says can't help but revive a flagging industry. Thestable.ca will be out in force at this fall's yearling sales in Ontario and throughout the US, scooping up good deals to pass along to their quickly growing group of owners. Breeders attracted to the program are also placing their yearlings with thestable.ca for training and sale. In 2015, thestable.ca's first year in business, all available shares in the initial offering of 25 yearlings were sold. The class of 2015, now two-year-olds, has graduated from the program with some notable successes, including Rose Run Speedster, who has three wins, including two OSS Gold Series races and close to $90,000 in just five races. The colt by Windsong Espoir was bought for $14,000 and is now valued at $200,000. Anthony MacDonald: (email) Anthony@thestable.ca; (cell) 519-400-4263; (website) thestable.ca; (twitter) @thestablecanada; Facebook.   

Straight A Student (Credit Winner) cruised to a harness racing victory on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The three year old trotting filly was making her first start since competing in the $225,000 Empire Breeders Classic Final at Vernon Downs last month. The Paul Kelley-trained sophomore came into the race with four second place finishes in five starts in 2016 but shook her bridesmaid status on Monday as she dominated with Wally Hennessey in the sulky. Straight A Student, who secured two of her second place finishes this year while competing in New York Sire Stakes races, was the public's 1-9 betting favorite on Monday and marched out to the early lead in the $8,000 race for New York Sired trotters. Straight A Student scampered away from her rivals for a dominant win in 1:58. It served as one of two victories on the day for Hennessey on an afternoon when Frank Coppola Jr. was the sulky star. Coppola piloted four winners on the holiday matinee card. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with live racing starting at 4:00pm. Mike Sardella

Obrigado avenged last year's Cleveland Trotting Classic defeat with an impressive track record victory on Saturday (July 2). Last year's runner-up trotted like he had something to prove and bested his competition by 5 ¾-lengths. Obrigado ($3.40) started from the rail. He floated off the gate and two rivals were ahead of him at the 1/8-pole. Once the field was set, driver Mark MacDonald quarter-moved Obrigado. He took the lead just past the :27.2 opening quarter and never experienced an anxious moment the rest of the mile. He led his rivals through times of :56, 1:25 and 1:53.2. "He (Obrigado) is really sharp right now. I got him to the front and let things play out from there," said MacDonald. "Once this horse is near the lead, he does the rest." The 1:53.2 clocking replaces the 1:54.1 time of Kirty Dream (Aaron Merriman) as the fastest trotting mile ever on the Flying Turns for a five year-old and up gelded trotter. Kirty Dream's mark has held since 2014. Saturday's win is Obrigado's fourth win this year and 38th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $1,109,749 for owners Paul Kelley Racing Stable, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45. Completing the $180,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic were Muscle Up The Goal, Shake It Cerry, Il Sogno Dream, Maestro Blue Chip, Homicide Hunter and Like Old Times. "This is a great horse to drive. I love driving for Paul Kelley, and his owners are extremely patient," explained Mac Donald. "It is very meaningful to win races for guys like them." by Ayres Ratliff, for Northfield Park

East Rutherford, NJ - The $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial will see seven of the top harness racing older trotters currently racing convene at The Meadowlands to contest the 19th renewal of the Grand Circuit stake on Friday, June 24.   Mr. Cutler was a popular and successful Manhattan restaurateur. His empire of restaurants began in 1990 with Carmines (still a popular Italian family style venue) and grew to embrace several cuisines such as Ollie's Noodle Shop, Gabriela's Mexican and Virgil's BBQ. A Virgil's location is set to be opened soon by Mr. Cutler's longtime friend Jeff Gural as part of the renovations at Tioga Downs.   On the track (race 7) it's a quality over quantity field that includes Obrigado, who will seek to make it three consecutive memorial trots having annexed the Charlie Hill and Maxie Lee in his last two starts. A winner 37 times in 67 career starts, Obrigado is now less than $4,000 from the coveted million dollar mark in career earnings. Trainer Paul Kelley shares ownership of the classy veteran with the SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45 and Mark MacDonald will be in to drive.   Resolve is making his first start back state-side for Ake Svanstedt after an impressive showing in the Elitlopp last month where he finished second in that final to Nuncio.   JL Cruze will return to his favorite track as he searches for the form that made him virtually invincible in his award winning season of one year ago.   The Burke Stable has drawn posts one and two with Crazy Wow and Gural Hanover. Wind Of The North and Flanagan Memory are both accomplished trotters who add class and form to the contentious field.   Post time on Friday is 7:15 p.m.   Meadowlands Media Relations  

On a steamy Saturday (June 11) evening at Scioto Downs, Obrigado fended off the late charge of track record holder and harness racing world champion Natural Herbie to claim the trophy for the $210,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. The 6-year-old gelding, piloted by regular reinsman Mark MacDonald, was the beneficiary of a perfect pocket trip, which the duo parlayed into a powerful 1:53.3 score. “He is just such a great horse,” said MacDonald. “You can do anything you want with him and all he wants to do is win. For some reason, I’m not sure why, we just get along. Tonight you could not have asked for a better position and then he did all the rest.” Leaving from post six, the gelded son of Boy Band and the Malabar Man mare Malimony, settled into second behind the leader and recent world champion Muscle Up The Goal. Content to allow the hometown favorite and the public’s selection at 4-5 to set the pace, Obrigado simply followed that rival around the Columbus oval behind fractions of :27.1, 57.3 and 1:25.3 before he was pulled out of the pocket at the top of the stretch to commence his drive to the wire with a :27.4 final panel. Obrigado glided by Muscle Up The Goal and completed his victorious journey to the wire seemingly well in hand. Natural Herbie placed pressure on the property of conditioner Paul Kelley, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, and Stable 45, however, his first over bid rendered him unable to match strides with the victor. Flanagan Memory, the 2013 O’Brien Award winner, closed from eighth to nab the show spot. Sent off at odds of 3-1, Obrigado paid his supporters $8.20. Natural Herbie, dismissed at 22-1, provided $14.40 to place and Flanagan Memory at 9-1 offered $7.40 to show. The exacta was $68 and the trifecta a generous $475.80. “I could not have asked for a trip around this track that was any better,” MacDonald said. “It was like a dream and honestly, I was shocked it worked out that well for us. I knew Natural Herbie was coming down on us and I respect him because he is such a nice horse, but my horse had the advantage off how this race set up. This was a very strong group of horses and it is a great win for us.” A Maine champion as a freshman and sophomore, Obrigado is the pride of Kelley’s stable and rightfully so, as the horse has now banked enough from his career record of 67-37-14-6, including this evening’s purse, to be roughly $4,000 shy of millionaire status. Purchased by Kelley, who was drawn to what an exemplary physical specimen he is, for $53,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Mixed Sale, Obrigado has been a winning machine before and after leaving the confines of his home state. Although Kelley shied away from top competition at age four, he placed the horse with the elite of his division last year as a 5-year-old and he has excelled. In 2015 he earned $405,535 with a record of 4-6-3 from 18 trips to the gate and knocked heads with all the best trotters currently competing in the sport. This year Obrigado has trotted five miles with three victories, one second and one third. Despite it being only June, the gelding has already collected just under $250,000 in purse money. The win in this Grand Circuit event is the second consecutive triumph for Obrigado in 2016 and comes immediately subsequent to his huge victory in the $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 29. “I think he is even better than last year,” MacDonald said. “It is like he is in a zone and in peak form. It was not like he was bad by any means last year. He is a very smart horse that does nothing wrong and I think this season is going to be very fun with him and might be his best yet. “Paul (Kelley) wanted me to drive him as a 4-year-old, but circumstances did not work out to enable me to. Paul protected him and kept him up at Saratoga that year so he did not have to face many of the best trotters. I think that strategy is working out now, as he is so sharp and I know I can count on him for many more appearances in big races this season. Paul has really done a tremendous job with this horse and the horse himself just has all the tools. There is no denying he is right there with the best racing right now and he continues to make me very happy.” by Kimberly French, USTA Internet News Editor

Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald was the star of the show Saturday night, sweeping both of Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 co-featured Open Handicaps with favored Great Vintage (Pace, $5.30) and Obrigado (Trot, $8.20). Great Vintage, assigned post position No. 2, two-moved around Texican N (Jordan Stratton), then set sail on his appointed rounds (:27.4, 56.3, 1:24.2, season-matching 1:52). The people's choice eventually disposed of a first-up Bettor Rock On N (Dan Dube), then took a three-quarter length lead into the lane. He fended off an inside bid of Texican N by half-length in 1:52. Artistic Major (Brent Holland) rallied very well for third, with Ideal Cowboy (Jason Bartlett) and Atta Boy Dan (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. For Great Vintage, an 8-year-old son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk, it was his third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.80, with the triple returning $220.50. As for Obrigado, he did his damage-from assigned post No. 5-from first-up. Away six, he saw Luminosity (Brennan) lead through intervals of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.1. It was Luminosity holding a short lead into the lane, but Obrigado was relentless. He keep at it, whipping Luminosity by a length in 1:54.2. Homicide Hunter (Stratton) was third, with tepid 5-2 choice Major Athens (Brian Sears) and Allerage Star (Pat Lachance) earning the minor moolah. For second choice Obrigado, an 6-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, Linwood Higgins, SRF Stable and Stable 45, it was his first win in a pair of '16 tries. The exacta paid $33.60, the triple returned $179 and superfecta paid $579. Saturday's $30,000 Preferred Handicap Pace was won by Machtu N (Steve Smith, $7.70) in a night's-best 1:50.4 for a first North American victory. Frank Drucker  

Former harness racing Maine champion to make seasonal debut in $150,000 Playoff on Sunday, May 8 at the Meadowlands Trainer Paul Kelley will be the first to admit that his star trotter Obrigado has been "a pleasant surprise." Kelley bought the former Maine-bred champion at the 2013 Harrisburg Sale for $53,000 with the hope that he would develop into a nice open trotter at Saratoga. Instead, the six-year-old gelding by Boy Band - Malimony, by Malabar Man has become a top-class stakes horse who earned $405,535 in 2015 with a signature win in the $200,000 Crawford Farms Trot at Vernon Downs and a runner-up finish to close out the year in the $400,000 TVG Free For All Final. Obrigado is part of an all-star field of nine entered in Sunday's inaugural $150,000 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff at the Meadowlands. The race winner will receive an invitation to the Elitlopp at Solvalla Racecourse in Sweden on May 29. The Playoff is scheduled for Race 1 on Sunday's matinee program with a post time of 12:40 p.m. It will be broadcast live on national television in Sweden and anchors a six-race trotting block that will make up the V64 wager in Sweden. Obrigado spent his winter in Florida with Kelley and posted two winning qualifiers at Pompano Park before shipping north. He qualified last Saturday at the Meadowlands in 1:54.1 with a final quarter in 27.1 in his final tune-up before Sunday. "He had a really good winter and Wally Hennessey was especially happy with his second qualifier," explained Kelley. "He needed a good stiff training mile last weekend because he can tend to be a lazy horse. That effort was good for him to stretch his legs and open his lungs up. I don't know if I have him 100 percent where I want him to be, but if he's up to it, he will be right there on the wire and if not, then he is not quite ready." Kelley shares ownership of Obrigado with Linwood Higgins, Stable 45, and the SRF Stable of Lennart Agren. Agren bought the ownership share previously held by Bill Weaver, the legendary owner and breeder who passed away this past February at the age of 79. Agren is from Sweden and owns 2015 Elitlopp Champion, Magic Tonight. "Mr. Agren is a great sportsman and horseman and I know he would love nothing more than to have Obrigado race over at Solvalla," said Kelley. "I have been fortunate to attend the Elitlopp and it is truly a tremendous event. I am familiar with the whole setup over there and know how difficult it is for an American horse to win, especially this year where Nuncio looks like he will be a big favorite and have the home course advantage." Fans can learn more about each of the horses entered in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff by visiting www.elitloppplayoff.com/ and can join the discussion on social media using #ElitloppPlayoff. Wagering Update With the change to the regular Meadowlands schedule by racing on Sunday afternoon, the regular guarantees in the Pick Five and two Pick Four wagers will not be in place. The jackpot amounts in the Super High Five wagers will remain. Justin Horowitz  

1 to 16 of 87
1 2 3 4 5 Next »