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Chester, PA — Scott DiDomenico captured top billing on Sunday afternoon's (Sept. 20) 14-race card at Harrah's Philadelphia, winning with three of his harness racing trainees at the riverside oval. DiDomenico, whose Triple D Stables Inc. registered an owning treble as well, sent Sweet Beach ($4.60, 1:53) to victory in a first-level conditioned pace before also haltering Numbered Account ($10.60, 1:51.4) and Jack's Shadow N ($2.40, 1:51.3), who proved best in their respective third-level pacing events. Tim Tetrick drove all three of DiDomenico's winners, and he also drove Chris Temming's Barbados ($2.80, 1:52.3) to victory in a $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap. Tetrick's grand slam was matched by George Napolitano Jr. and Simon Allard. In the afternoon's featured event, a fifth-level conditioned pace with an $11,600 purse, Jenn Bongiorno trainee Vettel N ($43.20) secured the pocket and drafted comfortably behind Alluneedisfaith N before reaching up the open stretch to just nose out the late-rallying Casual Cool in 1:51.3. Tony Morgan drove the 7-year-old American Ideal gelding for the Jenn Bongiorno Stable LLC, Joe Bongiorno, Brent Hershberger and Robert Devine.   Live racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 15-race card on Wednesday (Sept. 23), with Liberty Bell stakes for Pennsylvania-sired 2-year-old fillies taking center stage. Post time is 12:25 p.m. EDT.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

WILKES-BARRE PA – Juxta Cowgirl shot up the famed Pocono Pike and won a blanket finish in 1:51.2 to take the $14,000 feature for distaff pacers during the Sunday twilight harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The $334,648-winning daughter of Relentless Yankee, handled by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Mike Watson and Glasser Racing LLC, surrendered the lead to Eclipse Me N and sat perfectly-placed as that one and favored Its Mesmerise N dueled from late backstretch into the lane. The mare then dipped inside and made a strong move late to win by a length over Vorst, who was further inside the Pike. The entire field of six was separated by only 2¼ lengths at the finish (and the last-placed finisher, Rock Star Melinda, had absolutely no room in the stretch, or the total grouping may have been even tighter). Most impressive in the three $12,000 co-featured events Sunday was the Rock N Roll Heaven sophomore colt Rock Me Hard, whose final time of 1:52 was just a tick off his lifetime best. 22-year-old provisional driver Barton Dalious drove his charge with confidence, making two moves with him to secure the lead nearing the :54.4 half, and then still having enough to keep Trevor One at bay by a half length for trainer/father W. Bart Dalious and the Whiz Kids Stable LLC. A very small group of drivers won a very large percentage of the Sunday races at Pocono: Kevin Wallis and Tyler Buter both won three times (Buter for the second straight night), while Matt Kakaley, Marcus Miller, and Anthony Napolitano all doubled. Racing resumes at Pocono tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., with a Rainbow Pick 5 carryover of $209,471.72 (have a unique winning ticket containing the winners of the last five races).   PHHA / Pocono

GRATZ PA – The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Fair Circuit checked in for the first of two weeks of racing over the fast half-mile oval in the eastcentral Pennsylvania town. This “2-day Sire Stakes meet” featured freshmen on Saturday and sophomores on Sunday, the same routine that will be used during the “fair meet” this coming Saturday and Sunday. The Betting Line – Lazan Hanover two-year-old pacing filly Lazy Day Hanover, who had won her first eleven starts at the fairs before tasting defeat last week, rebounded to winning form with a 2:02 mile, with her 12th victory of the year putting her again in a tie for most wins in 2020 by a North American harness horse of any age or either sex and gait. Four others have twelve wins, but nobody else in this quintet is a two-year-old, and Lazy Day Hanover has the fewest starts in the group at fifteen. Her barnmate in the Team Dave Brickell (driver) / Mitchell York (trainer) partnership, the A Rocknroll Dance – Tiamo miss Tiamogonedancen, also regained her winning form and raised her record in her first campaign at the fairs to 8 for 9 with a 2:00.1 triumph. (The third top-notch pacing filly for York/Brickell, the 2019 Fair Sire Stakes Champion Dream Dancing, also came back to a winning mile on Sunday in 1:59.4, the 11th win of the year for the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance and her 9th in ten fair starts.) Somehow Brickell and York also found time to post the fastest two-year-old mile of the meet with the Artspeak – Subtle Charm gelding Seth Hanover, winning by open lengths in 1:57.4. Honors for baby trotters went to the Sebastian K S – Ruffleshaveridges filly R Speed Of Light, who hung up a 2:01.2 fair season’s record for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with his wife Christine and with Rick and Regina Beinhauer. Sunday’s card was led off by the fastest mile of the two-day stand, a 1:55.4 victory by the Artspeak gelding Bipbopnallie over stubborn challenger Nome Hanover for trainer/driver Roger Hammer and owners Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable, and William Lutz Jr. Bipbopnallie also raised his 2020 victory total to eleven, just one from the North America top (as is Dream Dancing). Among the conquered was Full Send, the fastest horse at the PA fairs with a 1:55.3 mile, who finally did not get the first check in his sixth circuit appearance. Full Send and Bipbopnallie now both have four 2:00 victories on the circuit. Tying them at four magic miles is the Sweet Lou filly Ginger Tree Carey, who won in 1:59.1 and who has posted her fast clockings in her last four starts. Sam Beegle is the trainer and driver of the swift miss, whom he co-owns with Ginger Tree Ventures, Henlopen Stable, and Neil Chesen. (Dream Dancing, as noted above, won the other division of this “A” event.) Among sophomore trotters, the Muscle Massive gelding Focus Pocus earned the fastest clocking with a 2:00.3 victory for his co-owners, driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel. The meet’s winningest driver was Dave Brickell with five successes; his partner Mitchell York matched Todd Schadel’s four training triumphs as they tied for that Gratz prize.   Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association, Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association partnership

Chester, PA — After being outmatched by the likes of Filibuster Hanover at Pocono, Southwind Ozzi ($4.80) returned to the site of his only prior harness racing win to date this year — Harrah's Philadelphia — and delivered a decisive 1:51 score in Sunday afternoon's (Sept. 13) $14,400 top-level pacing feature. The 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere entire landed in midfield in the early stages while Joesstar Of Mia A (Simon Allard) strode clear to control soft early fractions of :28 and :57.2. Before the midway stage, Daniel Dubé angled Southwind Ozzi off the pegs from fourth to gain ground, and gain ground he did. Southwind Ozzi attacked Joesstar Of Mia A up the backstretch and used a :25.4 individually-timed third quarter to seize command. After hitting the three-quarter mark in 1:23.3, Southwind Ozzi opened up a 3-1/2 length lead through the final turn, three of which he maintained at the winning post. Joesstar Of Mia A narrowly held second over Jack's Legend (Pat Berry), who sustained his pursuit after losing cover up the far side. Bill MacKenzie trains 12-time winner Southwind Ozzi for Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice. In the sub-featured $11,600 pace, Rock The Devil ($3.80) rode the pocket en route to a 1:49.2 victory — the day's fastest mile — over pacesetter Imarocnrollegend N. Todd McCarthy drove the 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding for trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman. Tim Tetrick led all drivers with five wins on the program, winning with Barbados ($3.60, 1:51.3), Rockabilly Charm ($28.60, 1:52.1), Rock The Town ($8.40, 1:51.1), Daddyofemall ($3.20, 1:52.2) and Melanie's Tedy ($6.40, 1:53.1). Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 14-race program on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 16). Post time is 12:25 p.m. EDT.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA – The American Ideal mare Its Mesmerise N has really taken to harness racing in the U.S. in her short stay here – she ran her American record to 7-4-3-0-$32,900 and took a new mark of 1:50.2 in the $14,000 distaff pacing feature during the twilight Sunday card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Queen Of The Pride left fastest of all from the outside post in the field of six, with Topville Angelina going up to challenge the pacesetter after the :26.2 quarter to reach the lead at the 3/8, hitting the half in :55. Annie Hill launched a big attack on the pacesetter down the backstretch, with Its Mesmerise N right on her back through the 1:22.2 three-quarters. The winner tipped wide at headstretch, went up to Annie Hill, who had taken the lead, went by her, then held off a charging Attention Hanover by three-quarters of a length, with Queen Of The Hill coming up the rail to photo Annie Hill for third. The winner now has lifetime earnings of $83,686, and more seems likely to come in her present form for trainer Darran Cassar and Windemere Stable LLC. Anthony Napolitano had four wins on the card to lead the Sunday drivers colony; he is currently second to brother George in the seasonal Pocono standings. FINISHING LINES – Between the two-year-old Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships here on Saturday and the contests for three-year-olds Sunday, only three drivers were victorious – Dexter Dunn and David Miller each guided three winners, and Åke Svanstedt had two. Svanstedt tasted PaSS championship victory for the first time; Dunn had posted a win last year; and Miller now is third in the alltime standings with 17 wins, one behind Yannick Gingras, with Dave Palone a speck off in the distance with his 39 Pennsylvania crowns. … None of the eight divisional preliminary pointleaders was able to win their Championship.   PHHA / Pocono

Chester, PA — Party Girl Hill ($2.40) looked every bit the part of a divisional harness racing champion on Sunday (Sept. 6) at Harrah's Philadelphia, keeping her undefeated record intact with a decisive 1:48.4 score in the $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for sophomore pacing fillies. Just eight days removed from her 1:49.2 victory in the Fan Hanover at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the daughter of Captaintreacherous once again asserted her superiority — and in almost identical fashion to her recent Grand Circuit triumph. Dexter Dunn floated Party Girl Hill forward from her pole position, but allowed Rocknificent (Scott Zeron) and New Year (George Napolitano Jr.) to dispute a :26.4 first quarter before brushing from third to clear command with just over a lap to go. After rating a :55.1 half, Party Girl Hill braced for a first-over challenge from JK First Lady (Andy McCarthy), who steadily advanced from fourth up the far side to force a :26.4 third sectional. Party Girl Hill's lead slipped to a length off the home turn, but she responded with a :26.4 quarter of her own, sprinting off at first asking before being taken in hand in the final yards of her 2-1/2 length victory. JK First Lady was a clear second, 2-1/4 lengths ahead of tiring pocket rival Rocknificent. Chris Ryder trains Party Girl Hill, whose 1:48.4 mile broke the existing track and stakes records for 3-year-old pacing fillies, for owner-breeder Tom Hill. She has won all nine of her career starts and amassed $482,181 in purses. Party Girl Hill completed a sire stakes hat trick for Dunn, who also captured the $252,000 finals for 3-year-old colts and geldings aboard pacer No Lou Zing ($6.60) and trotter Amigo Volo ($2.80). No Lou Zing, who only broke maiden on June 20, has since vaulted into the upper echelon of sophomore pacers and proved his place among them with a sharp 1:49.3 effort. Dunn was reserved early on with the Sweet Lou gelding and remained in midfield while 3-5 favorite Allywag Hanover (Tim Tetrick) brushed from fourth after stalking a :25.4 quarter. Allywag Hanover maintained a spritely pace through middle splits of :53.4 and 1:21.1 and was forced to exert even more into the far turn while Sandbetweenmytoes (Andy McCarthy) encroached on the outside and No Lou Zing stalked from second-over. With just over a furlong remaining, Dunn flipped No Lou Zing three-wide, and he vaulted to the lead in upper stretch before striding two lengths clear. The Greek Freak (Matt Kakaley) saved second from a hard-earned pocket, while Cattlewash (David Miller) narrowly upended Allwag Hanover for third. No Lou Zing rallied off cover to upend Allywag Hanover in the PASS 3-year-old colt pace final.  -- Grace Zimmers photo Nancy Takter trains five-time winner No Lou Zing for the 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Amigo Volo lived up to odds-on billing in the 3-year-old male trot, scooting away from EL Ideal's stern head-stretch challenge by 2-3/4 lengths and delivering a 1:52.3 victory. Amigo Volo yielded to early speedster EL Ideal (Andy Miller) on the first turn, only for Dunn to angle him out and claim control just beyond a :27.3 first quarter. After stealing a :57.2 half-mile split, the Father Patrick gelding accelerated up the far side, reaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 before EL Ideal again emerged from the pocket. Amigo Volo made easy work of his challenger, sprinting off in upper stretch to record the 10th win of his career. EL Ideal was an isolated second, 5-1/2 lengths better than Patriarch Hanover (Kakaley). Odds-on favorite Amigo Volo kicked clear in upper stretch to win the PASS 3-year-old colt trot final. -- Grace Zimmers photo Richard 'Nifty' Norman trains Amigo Volo, whose career earnings now stand at $946,719, for the Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Dunn's lone sire stakes defeat came in the $252,000 final for 3-year-old trotting fillies, which saw Ron Burke trainee Crucial ($42.80) and David Miller spring a massive upset in a race that figured to be a showdown between Sister Sledge and Next Level Stuff. Predictably, Next Level Stuff (Tetrick) assumed early control, but kept early challenger Queen Of The Hill — and Dunn — parked through early splits of :27 and :56 while Crucial established the pocket and 2-5 favorite Sister Sledge (Brian Sears) assumed second-over position. As Queen Of The Hill worsened in the breeze nearing three-quarters in 1:24, Sister Sledge angled three-wide but failed to fire, but Next Level Stuff wasn't home free. Crucial angled out of the pocket turning for home and lifted clear by 1-1/2 lengths to win in 1:52.4. Sweet Shirley Mae (Andy Miller) and Dip Me Hanover (Scott Zeron) emerged to take second and third respectively over an engulfed Next Level Stuff. Crucial rode the pocket en route to a 20-1 upset in the PASS 3-year-old filly trot final.   -- Grace Zimmers photo It was the seventh career win for Crucial, who campaigns for the Burke Racing Stable, Bill Donovan, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. In addition to his win with Amigo Volo, Norman captured two of the four $50,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolations on the card: Annabelle Hanover ($9.40, Dunn) took the 3-year-old filly pace in 1:50.3, and Chestnut Hill ($8.20, David Miller) won the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot in 1:53.2.   Sherry Lyns Lady ($10.60, Tetrick) wired her foes in the 3-year-old filly trot in 1:54.4 for trainer Jim Campbell, and Manticore ($2.80, Jordan Stratton) delivered a dynamite 1:49.2 mile in the 3-year-old colt pace consolation for trainer Bruce Saunders.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

Chester, PA — Backstreet Shadow ($3.40) led a training triple for Ron Burke on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 30) at Harrah's Philadelphia with a sharp 1:48.4 score in the featured $20,000 winners-over harness racing pacing event. Tim Tetrick angled the 5-year-old Shadow Play gelding out from midfield as Jack's Legend N (Pat Berry) worked to clear the lead from Respect Our Flag (Joe Bongiorno) at the end of a :26.4 first quarter. Just as Jack's Legend N took control, Backstreet Shadow surged forward outside of rivals and worked to the top just before reaching the half in :54.3. Up the backstretch, Backstreet Shadow was forced to pick up the pace by Western Joe (George Napolitano Jr.), who advanced first-over to apply mild pressure through a :27 third sectional. Backstreet Shadow responded in kind, edging clear to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:48.4. Western Joe dug deep to protect second from Jack's Legend N, who was a one-paced third from the pocket. Burke trains 23-time winner Backstreet Shadow, who captured the Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs earlier this summer, for the partnership of the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. Burke also teamed up with driver Joe Bongiorno for a pair of wins on the card, combining with Jahan Hanover ($2.20), a 13-1/2-length, 1:51.2 winner over Ginger Tree Pete in an entry-level conditioned event; and Twin B Tuffenuff ($4.00), who just collared Statement Made A in 1:51.3 in a $11,600 upper-level conditioned pace. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 2), with a $2,241.53 carryover in the Jackpot Hi-5. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

WILKES-BARRE PA – Upsets were the rule (until the last few races) during a Sunday harness racing twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the trend featuring in two $35,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars contest for three-year-old pacing colts, taken by Enough Sun ($29.00) and Tell Them Lou ($45.20). Both winners found success in sitting third-inside for most of the mile. The Somebeachsomewhere colt Enough Sun was content to stay behind favored Manticore and Tru Lou most of the way, then backed out late turn to swing wide and passed four horses in the lane to be along by a half length over Manticore in a lifetime best 1:50. David Miller drove the winner, unraced at two and now winner of half his eight starts, for trainer Brian Brown and owner Alan Keith. Driver Scott Zeron won three races earlier on the card as pacesetter, pocketsitter, and first-over, and then he added a third-in / Pocono Pike victory to his resume with the Sweet Lou gelding Tell Them Lou, a 1:50.2 winner. Favored Cattlewash got to the half in :56 and looked like he could be tough to overhaul, but Zeron and Tell Them Lou got clearance along the inside and overpowered the chalk, coming their own last half in :54 for a one length victory. Jim Campbell trains the winner for Fashion Farms LLC and Judith Peres. In the $14,000 conditioned distaff pacing feature, the veteran Lispatty sat behind favored Alexa’s Power most of the mile, then overpowered the pacesetter by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2. Marcus Miller drove the McArdle mare, who has now won $959,799 and 37 races, for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner/son Gilbert Garcia-Owen.   PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 26, 2020 — In a lively affair full of movement, Marsala Hanover made the best move last en route to harness racing victory in Wednesday’s Meadow Cheer, a $206,133 Pennsylvania Sire Stake for freshman filly pacers, at The Meadows. Marsala Hanover zipped to the lead from post 7 for Scott Zeron only to see the three-wide Continualou overtake her before the quarter. That was the signal for Uptown Hanover to seize the point from fourth. Continualou attacked again with Marsala Hanover in tow — and all this before the half. When Marsala Hanover passed the hard-used Continualou, she was in front to stay, defeating Thebeachiscalling by 1/2 length in a career-best 1:52. Mackie Hanover rallied for show. Winning trainer Linda Toscano indicated that Marsala Hanover’s demanding trip concerned her at first. “That’s the first time we’ve really called on her,” Toscano said. “We’ve tried to protect her a little bit, and she’s been the beneficiary of great trips. Today she had to make her own trip. Scott used her hard, and she fought hard to the wire.” Zeron, however, said he never doubted the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Marinade Hanover would have enough in the tank. “She’s really a professional horse,” Zeron said. “I knew that I could leave with her and she would relax for me. I would have been content to sit behind Continualou, but the brigade kept coming. The way mine felt up the backstretch, I thought I would let her go her own speed and try to get command of the race. I didn’t think she’d give up, and she didn’t.” Marsala Hanover, who wrapped up a berth in the $260,000 PASS championship Sept. 5 at Pocono, now has earned $192,435 for owners Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables, Little E LLC and Westminster Road LLC. $60,000 PA Stallion Series — 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers When Odds On Whitney’s big brother appeared at The Meadows July 25, all he did was fly to a world-record 1:47.1 in an elimination of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. Alas, it was the final race in the career of Papi Rob Hanover, as a fractured coffin bone forced his retirement. But little sister upheld the family honor big time in Wednesday’s subfeature, as Odds On Whitney rolled home in a stake-record 1:51.3, shattering Brazuca’s former mark of 1:52.2. Fighting Evil was second, 5 lengths back, with Podium Girl third. Odds On Whitney                                                               --Chris Gooden photo Tim Tetrick had an opportunity to drop in third early with the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Panera Hanover, but he abandoned the cones after a few steps. “She was a touch on the aggressive side,” Tetrick said. “I thought she was the one to beat, so I put her where she could get there easiest. Her breeding says she has a lot of capability. She did it easily today.” Odds On Racing campaigns Odds On Whitney. The other stallion series splits went to Darby Hanover and Atomic Fireball. Darby Hanover began her career in sires stakes, but she has thrived in the stallion series, as she won her third straight leg and nailed down a spot in the $40,000 championship. Winning driver Zeron, who quarter-poled to the top with the daughter of Betting Line-Darena Hanover, said the shift has suited her. “She’s so comfortable in this class,” he said. “She’s been finishing strong, and that’s the thing you want most for a 2-year-old filly. I think the shift was the right move; hopefully it pays off next year.” Darby Hanover races for trainer Julie Miller and owners Andy Miller Stable and Caroll Huffman. The Meadows will host all eight stallion series championships on Monday, Sept. 7. Trainer Tim Twaddle collected three wins on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the 15-race program features a pair of stakes for freshman colt and gelding pacers — a $213,858 PASS and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event — as well as a $2,339.43 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 25, 2020 -- Trailing by 6 lengths at the half, Pace Baby Pace picked up life cover and exploded in the lane to capture Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $10,800 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Things didn't look good for the even-money favorite when she got away towards the rear. But she advanced rapidly behind the liver cover of Summer Char, peeled of that cover through the final turn and scored for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. in 1:50.4. Always Giggling was second, beaten a neck, with Touchamatic third in the Lightning Lane. Ron Burke trains Pace Baby Pace, a 4-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou-Breakheart Pass who lifted her career bankroll to $158,211, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Dave Palone and Burke each collected three wins on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 15-race program features a pair of stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers -- a $206,133 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as an $846.93 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WILKES-BARRE PA – Sister Sledge, last year’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes two-year-old trotting filly champion, became the only horse in the classification to win two 2020 PaSS prelims when she took one of two $92,392 harness racing divisions of the final preliminary for this group in 1:52.4 on Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sin Pocono. The Father Patrick filly let Next Level Stuff force SVF Blushingbride to take the two-hole going to a :27.2 quarter, then moved outside for driver Brian Sears and grabbed command in front of the stands. The pair hung up middle splits of :55.3 and 1:24.1, then coped with the late move of potential pocket rocket Next Level Stuff by a length. Ron Burke trains the winner of $728,849 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. With the victory, Sister Sledge became her division’s final pointleader, and thus is now in a position to accomplish in her Championship (Philly, September 6) what only two other horses in the 27-year history of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes have achieved: be their group’s top pointwinner and Championship winner at both two and three. Unusually, both of these previous two were also trotting fillies: Coulatine in 2004-2005 and Frau Blucher in 2012-2013 (the latter winning her sophomore Championship in a dead-heat with archrival Classic Martine). The Muscle Hill filly Sweet Shirley Mae earned herself a spot in the Championship, being given a skillful drive by driver Andy Miller to work her way from between horses to go from last to first in the lane and take a new mark of 1:54.2. Sweet Shirley Mae, who had been third in her only other Sires appearance this year, won by a neck over first-over Fifty Cent Piece, who in turn photoed second-over Queen Of The Hill, who in turn photoed pocketsitter Sans Default. The Dominico Cecere-trained miss, owned by Moni Market Breeders, picked a good opportunity for her first victory since September 14 of last year at Lexington. The unofficial final pointtotals for this class (contact the PA Horse Racing Commission for the official standings) calculate to: Sister Sledge, Next Level Stuff, Fifty Cent Piece, Sans Defaut, Crucial, Dip Me Hanover, Queen Of The Hill, Sweet Shirley Mae, Solsbury Hanover, and Miss McKee and Whose Blues (tied). There were also three $20,000 divisions for this classification’s Stallion Series horses. Ron Burke will also have the likely favorite for this Championship as well, as his Muscle Hill pupil Dune Hill swept her preliminaries, winning her in 1:55.1 after racing three-wide a long way for driver Matt Kakaley, but nonetheless being handled confidently late. Dune Hill, owned by Joseph Di Scala Jr., will now look to join 2012 freshman trotting colt Smoother Ride and 2013 sophomore pacing colt Shock It To ‘Em (still the fastest StS Championship winner ever in 1:50.1) as the only horses in this competition to sweep their prelims and then take the final. The Muscle Massive filly  Miss McKee is in a unique position: she was 2-for-2 in the Stallion Series, including winning Tuesday in 1:55.1 as the pacesetter for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Jack Baggitt Jr., and J L Sadowsky LLC. But she also made two Sire Stakes starts and earned 35 points, tying her for tenth – you can’t declare for both, so does she take her spot in the Stallion Series final, or declare in the Sire Stakes, hope for good luck and slide into the rich Championship, or if not hope that a Consolation race fills? The other Stallion Series winner, Sweet Tea, broke her maiden in 1:56 with a big stretch rally after an exhausting pace for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Steven Brabrook, and owner Stephen Klunowski, but with only a fifth in her sole other StS appearance, she also is “on the bubble” to get in the Championship only if others go elsewhere. At least she repaid her scattered backers with a $111.20 win mutuel on Tuesday. The unofficial Stallion Series top ten pointearners are: Dune Hill, Alittlebitofsugar, Perth Angel De Vie, Witchey Woman, Margot, Hannah, Miss McKee, Aunt Bee, Syrinx Minx, and Queso Fresco.   PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 24, 2020 —Hillexotic continued to make up for his lost freshman campaign, capturing his third straight race — all stakes — in Monday’s $187,932 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Gangster Hanover took the other harness racing division of the event, known as the Hickory Smoke, for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Winning driver Trond Smedshammer, who trains Hillexotic for Purple Haze Stables, indicated it wasn’t injury or illness that sidelined the son of Muscle Hill-Exotic Destination at 2. “Immature is not the right word, but he was fragile. You couldn’t do much with him,” Smedshammer said. “He just wasn’t ready to be pushed at all. I had him staked to the Hambo, and I thought he could have been that kind of horse, but he caught some kind of bug and wasn’t quite himself. He’s eligible for the Breeders Crown, so we’ll see. He should have some upside.” He looked anything but dainty in the Hickory Smoke, as he endured a parked-out opening panel and still drew off to triumph by 6-1/4 lengths in 1:53.3 Romanee Blue Chip and DD’s Redemption completed the ticket. Although the final preliminary PASS leg is set for next Monday at The Meadows, Smedshammer said Hillexotic, who pushed his career bankroll to $131,299, might skip that and rest for the $260,000 championship Sept. 5 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Gangster Hanover also is on the rebound, coming back from what winning trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt described as a lung infection this past winter that delayed his sophomore debut until July 18. “He wasn’t so sharp his last race, but today he was sharp again,” Svanstedt said. “He’s a very good horse when he’s sound, so I hope he can stay sound now.” In the Hickory Smoke, the son of Father Patrick-Global Desire looked sound, indeed, reaching the point after a contested opening quarter and scoring in 1:54. El Ideal was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Chestnut Hill third. Gangster Hanover now boasts career earnings of $191,113 for Ake Svansted Inc., SRF Stable and Brittany Farms. The Hickory Smoke was something of a showcase for Svanstedt, who conditions five of the 11 sophomores in the field. $80,000 PA Stallion Series — 3-Year-old Colt & Gelding Trotters Shadrack Hanover, Kyrie Deo, Overserved and Saxon took divisions of Monday’s subfeature, with Matt Kakaley fashioning a stake double behind Shadrack Hanover and Saxon. With only two career starts under his belt, Shadrack Hanover might have been expected to object when he was parked out for most of the first three-eighths. But Kakaley said the son of Muscle Hill-Shared Past handled the adversity beautifully. “I drove him last week at Pocono, and he was really good,” Kakaley said. “He has a good attitude for sure. He hasn’t had many starts. I think he’ll keep getting better.” Ron Burke trains Shadrack Hanover for Elite Trotting. Chris Shaw and Kakaley each piloted three winners on the 15-race card. Elsewhere on Monday’s program, one lucky bettor took down the Super Hi-5 — correctly picking the five top finishers in exact order — worth $25,892.32 Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race card features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $1,408.48 carryover in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

MEYERSDALE PA - Harness racing returned to the Somerset County Fairgrounds in this southwest Pennsylvania town for the first time since 1953 (a hurricane destroyed the barns after the '53 season) on Thursday and Friday, with many quick and outstanding performances from both the established and the rising stars of the Pennsylvania Fair circuit, appreciated by many fans who had never seen a harness race. The track surface, rated by many horsemen as potentially one of the fastest at the state's fairs with some work during the offseason, showed its ability to generate record miles on Friday afternoon, when the Better Caviar sophomore trotting filly Plumb tied the 17-year-old all-time standard for trotting at the state's fairs with an "A" level PA Fair Sire Stakes victory in 1:58.2. David Wade drove and trains the powerful filly, who equaled the fair trot mark set by Shark Kosmos at Gratz in 2003, and he co-owns her with Gerald Brittingham and William Peel III. On a card that yielded five 2:00 miles in all, the Captaintreacherous gelding Needham Hanover paced the fastest mile of the season on the local circuit, 1:56.2, in turning back Ginger Tree Larue. Shawn Johnston was in the sulky for owner/trainer Rich Gillock. Bipbopnallie remained undefeated in five fair starts with a 2:01.2 mile in heading a 1-2-4 finish in the "A" three-year-old colt pace for trainer Roger Hammer. Chris Shaw drove the Artspeak gelding for Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable, and William Lutz Jr. Thursday's opening card was for freshmen, and a colt by A Rocknroll Dance - Miss Chinno, Rowdy Ryder, set the Somerset standard very high on Thursday when he paced the twicearound in 1:58.2 - becoming the first freshman to break 2:00 at the fairs this year. Roger Hammer is the owner/trainer/driver of the quick baby who won in the sole "A" division. On the pacing filly side, it was again time for an "A" sweep by the team of driver David Brickell and trainer Mitchell York, who co-own the two winners. The Betting Line - Lazan Hanover miss Lazy Day Hanover became the winningest freshman filly in North America when she pushed her fair record to 8-for-8 in a 2:06 mile, while another daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, Tiamogonedancen (dam Tiamo), pushed her fair scorecard to 5-for-5 in 2:01.2. The two-year-old filly trotter section saw an "A" sweep by trainer Rick Beinhauer, co-owner of both with Regina Beinhauer, and sire Explosive Matter: Explosive Flower (dam Seeuinthespring), who tallied for driver Brady Brown in 2:08.2, and From Now On (dam Focus On Me), home in 2:09.2 for driver Shawn Johnston. The Southwind Frank - Wheely Quick trotting gelding Killer Instinct posted his fifth straight win, including a Stallion Series triumph, in a race where no time was recorded. Brian Zendt drove the consistent youngster for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the ownership of Brocious Racing Stable Inc. and Lone Wolf Stable. Shawn Johnston was the leading driver for the meet with a total of six victories; Roger Hammer sent out five victorious pupils to lead his category. The fields are already drawn for PA Fair Sire Stakes racing at Dayton on Sunday and Monday at 1 p.m. Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

CHESTER PA – The leader pro tem of the Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing fillies may not have been in attendance at Harrah’s Philadelphia Friday afternoon, but the two four-horse fields that chased after $93,142 in each division of the Sire Stakes’ fourth and final preliminary leg put on a pair of spectacular  shows for harness racing fans and horsemen alike. The Captaintreacherous filly Rocknificent had been entered to go Saturday at Mohawk in addition to being drawn into the Sire Stakes; she withdrew from the Canadian race Friday morning and turned up at Philly, and then she went an epic mile, defeating Lyons Sentinel by a neck in 1:50.2 after a fierce stretch battle. Rocknificent drew the innermost post and put up soft early fractions of :28 and :57, and then driver Scott Zeron asked her for more as Lyons Sentinel came from last in the short field, reaching the three-quarters in 1:24.1. Through the stretch the two top fillies dueled, with both going their utmost, and Rocknificent having just a little bit more for trainer Linda Toscano and the ownership of Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables, and Little E LLC. Rocknificent blitzed her back half in :53.2 - :26.1; Lyons Sentinel, who would have gone over $1 million in career earnings with a victory, was tremendous in defeat, as she came her back numbers, raw, in :52.3 - :26. How do you follow an act like that? By smashing a 10-year-old (minus two days) divisional track record by 4/5 of a second, and JK First Lady did just that in drawing off to a 2¾ length victory over pacesetting New Year in 1:49.2, lowering the previous 1:50.1 Philly (then Chester) standard of Put On A Show by almost a second. Driver Andrew McCarthy made his move late with the daughter of Western Ideal out of Horse of the Year JK Shesalady, and the “First Lady” went into overdrive when shown racetrack, motoring home in :53.4 - :26.4 while scoring for trainer Nancy Takter and the 3 Brothers Stable.   A quick unofficial calculation of the Sire Stakes pointstandings (contact the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission for all official tallies) gave this listing of the top ten: Rocknificent, Lyons Sentinel, Party Girl Hill, JK First Lady, Alexis’s Beach, Drama Act, Baby You’re the Best, New Year, Dance Club, and Shouldabeenatd (scratched Friday). Eight will face the starter at Philly on Sunday, September 6 in this group’s Sire Stakes Championship, while there will be two programmed also eligibles. There were also five $20,000 Stallion Series divisions for this class, and they were important in determining who will go in the Stallion Series Championship, which will be held at The Meadows the day after the Harrah’s Philadelphia Championships. As in the Sire Stakes, no filly won in all four preliminaries, but Going Gone Hanover and The Bethinator marked themselves as the fillies to beat by notching three wins and a second. Andy McCarthy, a three-time stake winner on the afternoon as he continues an August to remember, made a tough two-move trip work for Going Gone Hanover, with the Captaintreacherous miss stepping her own back half in :53.3 to draw clear and take a new mark of 1:51 for trainer Brett Bittle and Yankeeland Partners LLP. The Somebeachsomewhere filly The Bethinator found a foe to each side of her as she approached the wire, but she maintained an advantage to the line, stopping the timer in 1:52 for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Brett Pelling, and Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. Caviart Heather went first-over and came out second, a half length behind the winner and winning a photo over inside-charging Martinique Beach. Double StS winners McCarthy and trainer Nifty Norman paired to produce the fastest Stallion Series winner, the Captaintreacherous miss Marloe Hanover, who used track geometry from the rail and fronted her field throughout, winning in 1:50.4 with a back half in :55. Marloe Hanover, now a career winner of $346,259, is owned by Pinske Stables, David Hoese, and Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. Trainer Norman’s other victorious charge was the Somebeachsomewhere miss Annabelle Hanover, who was moved to the lead in front of the stands by driver Dexter Dunn and won unthreatened in 1:52 while boosting her earnings to $159,903, with Lawrence Means and Curly Tall Curly Small partnering with double StS winner Pinske Stables. Hall of Fame driver David Miller got the 12,999th driving win of his career when he guided the Sweet Lou filly Blazin Grace to a new mark of 1:51.4 after racing on the lead throughout for trainer Brian Brown and the ownership of Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Rich Lombardo Racing LLC, and L & H Management Services. Miller will be back in action Friday at Harrah’s Philly, where the milestone #13,000 will hopefully not elude him for very long. The quick unofficial reckoning of the Top Ten in the Stallion Series reads: Going Gone Hanover and The Bethinator (tied), Alexa Skye, Martinique Beach, Dream Dancing and Keystone Eureka (tied), Cowgirl Lilly, Run Deo Run, Wayside, and a three-way tie for tenth among Anthem, Ashtini, and Enduring Hope. (How tight is this division? Three of Friday’s winners, and all five second-place finishers, are NOT in the list above!)   PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - A trio of $14,000 events for fast-class horses highlighted the Saturday afternoon harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In the single trot, Mississippi Storm got some racing luck when, sitting fourth-inside late backstretch, the two- and three-holers moved outside to challenge, allowing him to use the Pocono Pike and power through to a new mark of 1:52, beating out Lord Cromwell by a length. The Cantab Hall gelding, a winner of $331,788, was driven by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Tom Fanning and owner Joseph Smith. The photo finish camera was needed to determine the winner of the two pacing headliners. In the first, the Roll With Joe gelding Joesstar Of Mia A was parked to a hard 3/8 by War-N-Munn before making the lead, then had to be game to repel that one's inside stretch charge, winning by a neck and earning a new speed badge of 1:50; Ohio shipper Our Corelli N, who may have been in the Buckeye State going to the ¾, was in overdrive late to be another neck back in third. A winner of $208,394, Joesstar Of Mia A was handled by the hot-driving Simon Allard for trainer Steven Brabrook and the ownership of Jonathan Lapp Jr. and Wish Me Luck Stables LLC. Perennial Pocono sulkysitting leader George Napolitano Jr. kept the Art Major gelding Alluneedisfaith N rolling on the front end, with Twin B Tuffenuff flying up the Pocono Pike but coming up a head shy at the end of the 1:50.4 mile. Alluneedisfaith N now has banked $307,673, with Nifty Norman training the game winner for the Robert Cooper Stables LLC. FINISHING LINES - Pocono will host Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action (and its companion Stallion Series races) the next three cards: the undefeated Party Girl Hill and 2019 champion Lyons Sentinel top the three-year-old pacing fillies Sunday; Grace Hill, 2-for-2 in the Sire Stakes, heads the two-year-old pacing fillies Monday; and Allywag Hanover has the highest profile among the hardhitters in three-year-old pacing colt action Tuesday. PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Sportswriter mare Kendra N teamed with harness racing driver Jordan Stratton to take advantage of a wild front-end battle in the $17,200 mares harness racing pacing feature on the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, closing the best of all to take a new mark of 1:51. Summer Charm was sent to the lead early and hit the quarter in 26; favored Bettor Joy N attempted to quarter-move but was given the cold shoulder by the pacesetter into a strong wind, and with Shecandance N keeping the pocket tight, the raging duel took the front of the field by the half in a punishing :53.2. Dibaba N, who had gapped behind the fast early fireworks, got in gear down the backstretch and swept the embattled front horses going to the 1:21 three-quarters, with Kendra N hot on her tail. Kendra N was left uncovered on the far turn, but she had by far the most energy left late, winning by 4½ lengths over a resurgent Summer Charm, with Dibaba N third. Kendra N is now 5-3-1-1-$35,997 since being imported from New Zealand by trainer Peter Tritton and the Vonknoblauch Stable LLC, and she may be making her way to even higher company soon. If the feature race was hotly-contested early, the $14,000 distaff co-feature pace was a cavalry charge late, with the first seven separated by less than two lengths at the finish. The American Ideal mare Topville Angelina grinded uncovered into a :56.1 last half to emerge most photogenic in 1:53.1 for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Herrera.   PHHA / Pocono

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