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CHESTER, PA - All Champy, who usually uses off-the-pace tactics, and driver Dexter Dunn adjusted well to a speed-favoring bias at Harrah's Philadelphia, ranging up to the lead off the first turn and going on to a 1:54.1 triumph in the $18,000 "Trottin' Thursday" feature at the southeastern Pennsylvania oval. Despite a sick scratch and 21 days away from the races, All Champy was in top racing shape for trainer William Wyatt and owners Howard and Joshua Kaufman, fending off a long uncovered bid down the backstretch from Majestic Marvel then staying strong to withstand pocketsitting Shivered by 3½ lengths. The Explosive Matter gelding has been in explosive form all year, with eight wins and $127,915 amassed already this year, raising his lifetime total to $200,672. In a $14,500 co-featured trotting contest, the Credit Winner gelding Ooh Rah had to go first-over, not the preferred tactic at Harrah's this week, but he finished powerfully to win by two lengths over Spee Club in 1:54.2. Pat Lachance drove the winner of $174,210 for trainer Kathleen La Montagne, co-owner with Donald La Montagne. The hot-driving Tim Tetrick added four victories on the Thursday card to the five wins he had here yesterday. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - On Sunday night The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will host the second preliminary round of Pennsylvania-sired stakes competition for two-year-old pacing fillies, with three divisions of a Sire Stakes event worth $184,240, and five divisions of Stallion Series action worth $20,000 each. In the tenth race Sire Stakes division, Sweet Ace, the fastest two-year-old of 2019 regardless of gender or size of track, will start from post six for driver Dexter Dunn, trainer Ron Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Jason Melillo. At The Meadows last Saturday afternoon on the big Adios card, the daughter of Sweet Lou - One Ace Too Many laid off of spirited fractions, then came on in the stretch to stop the timer in 1:50.4 in an Arden Downs division, her second straight victory after triumphing in the first round of the Sire Stakes. And showing how tough competition in Pennsylvania is, Sweet Ace is not even the morning line favorite in her race. That honor was given to JK First Lady, a daughter of Western Ideal out of 2014 Horse of the Year JK She'salady, who also was trained by "First Lady"'s trainer Nancy Johansson. Starting from the rail for driver Yannick Gingras, Johansson and 3 Brothers Stables, JK First Lady comes off two straight victories in the Kindergarten Series at the Meadowlands, the latter in 1:51.3 - :26.2. The other two first round Sire Stakes winners start side-by-side in the fifth race PaSS division. Shouldabeenatd (Sweet Lou - Breakheart Pass), who set most of the pace in the Sweet Ace race and had taken her Sire Stakes start in 1:52.2, begins from post two for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke, while post three finds Lyons Sentinel (Captaintreacherous - Tulu Hanover) going for driver David Miller and trainer Jim King Jr. after a Sires triumph in 1:53. The Stallion Series action sees all four first round winners returning for the Pocono contest. Two of them will meet each other in the ninth race StS section: Aplomp Hanover (post one, driver David Miller), who followed up her Stallion Series win with a triumph in an Arden Downs division, and The Party's Rockin (post six, driver Tyler Buter), who scored a 14-1 upset in the first round. The other winners both begin from post position five for trainer Jim King Jr.: Lyons Sweetjen in race four and Shotgun Persuasion in race eight. First of the fourteen races set for Pocono on Sunday evening is scheduled for 7 p.m. From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association

CHESTER, PA - The Muscle Hill sophomore colt Demon Onthe Hill trotted to a new mark of 1:54.3 victory in the $16,000 featured event at Harrah's Philadelphia, perhaps a good sign for trainer Marcus Melander as he heads into the Hambletonian on Saturday. Tim Tetrick, posting another five winners on the day, settled the winner of $155,405 in third as Klutzy set the pace, with favored Nextroundsonme in the pocket. Demon Onthe Hill was sent outside late on the backstretch to go after the leader after Nextroundsonme started to gap (he eventually broke), and the "Demon" finished briskly to leave Klutzy 3 3/4 lengths behind him late. Vicky Trotting Inc. may find themselves with a promising trotter finally headed in the right direction. The imperially-bred son of Muscle Hill and Moni Maker (her last foal), the four-year-old American Moni, finally gained his maiden victory with a 1:55.4 effort. A winner in a Lexington qualifier in 1:54.2 last season, American Moni was put on the lead by driver Andy Miller, stringing the field out, looked in a bit of peril around the far turn when the freshman Yankee Glide colt Hell Patrol tightened in then moved out to challenge, but then regained full control when the baby jumped it off turning for home. This was the first start for American Moni since teaming with trainer Julie Miller for Moni Maker Stable. Another well-bred winner was the Somebeachsomewhere freshman pacing gelding Super Mac, who overcame the outside post eight with an engine victory in 1:53.2, last half :56.1, for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim Campbell. Super Mac is out of Michelle's Power, a talented continuation in a long string of racing/breeding champions for this freshman's owner, Jeffrey Snyder. From the PHHA/Harrah's Racetrack

CLEARFIELD, PA - The Tuesday and Wednesday cards at the Clearfield (PA) County Fair were devoted to Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing for three-year-olds. The pacers, on Wednesday, produced three sub-2:00 miles - with the fastest coming in an unlikely circumstance. The Delmarvalous filly April Ava, winless in 2019 and entered in the "B" division of the Sire Stakes, won off by nine lengths fordriver Eric Neal, stopping the timing watch in 1:59, almost five seconds better than her previous career best. Owned and trained by Wayne Glessner, April Ava had been consistently pacing in the 1:56 range at The Meadows without success, but she obviously enjoyed the move to the twicearound oval, and in the process lowered the circuit's divisional season's record. Fastest of the "A" filly pacers was the Sweet Lou miss Sweet Tea Baby, who came first-over in a 2:00.3 triumph for owner/trainer/driver Stephen White. Colts generated the other 2:00 recordings, with the fastest time for the "boys," 1:59.3, turned in by Motive Hanover, who became the first horse to post two 2:00 victories at the fairs this year. The Well Said colt opened his fair campaign with three wins at the "B" level (including a 1:59.4 triumph at York), was second to stablemate Way To Close in his first "A" start, and here won by 2¾ lengths for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, also co-owner with his son Cody. Yet another Todd Schadel pupil, the Western Terror gelding Find One More, dropped down to the "B" level and promptly won by five lengths in 1:59.4. Christine Schadel owns this three-year-old with her trainer/driver/husband. On the diagonal gait, it was Todd's brother Tony who produced the fastest mile of the Tuesday card, a 2:02.4 victory with Andovers Asset, his third win in four fair starts and a time which equaled the trotting colts' fastest win at the fairs. Tony's wife Linda is the trainer of the Andover Hall gelding, and they share ownership in him. Among the trotting fillies, there were two miles in 2:03.2, and one of the winners was no surprise - since the Muscle Massive miss Touch Of Dough already held the mark for fastest fair trotting mile of the year with a 2:01 at Silver Springs Ranch. Touch of Dough now sports a 3-2-1-0 seasonal scorecard at the fairs for driver Eric Neal, trainer/father Randal Neal, and Neal Racing Stable LLC. The other 2:03.2 sophomore filly trot was produced by a first-time winner in 2019, Miss Right Now, another daughter of Muscle Massive - also in a "B" event, for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, co-owner with Vicki Fair. Eric Neal had four driving victories during both the two-year-old and three-year-old sessions, with his eight total sulky successes earning him the Buster DiSalvo trophy, annually given at Clearfield to the winningest driver. Eric's father Randal is a former DiSalvo trophy winner, and a search was started to see if a father and son had ever both been DiSalvo champions. August is the busiest month on the Pennsylvania fair circuit, starting Tuesday and Wednesday (the 6th and 7th), when there will be racing at both the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale PA and at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg PA - 348 miles to the southwest. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association, PHHA, and Meadows Standardbred Owners Association partnership

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A passing storm cell which twice delayed the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono resulted in a sloppy track by the time the card's features, a pair of $15,000 trots, went to post. In one trot headliner, the Cantab Hall four-year-old stallion Captain Morgan fulfilled the intermittent promise he had shown in just eleven starts at two and three combined, winning wire-to-wire in 1:54.1 in the muck for a lifetime best. Christian Lind and Captain Morgan sped to the quarter in 26.4, rebuffed midrace challenges from first the second choice Fraulein Blucher and then the favored Spectre, and finally held off inside-charging 107-1 shot P L Ketchup by half a length. A stakes winner at two and three despite his paucity of races, Captain Morgan may be one to keep an eye on as he continues for trainer Staffan Lind and the ownership of Lind Racing Stable LLC, Bender Sweden Inc., Roy Holth, and KemppiSuojalampiStable. Trixar, who is still the highest-priced winner of the meet with a $166.80 victory way back on March 26, took a new lifetime mark of 1:55.1 despite the off going in the other co-feature. Marcus Miller moved the Trixton sophomore gelding to the lead early on the backstretch and maintained control from there, thwarting an inside rally by Run Lindy Run by 1¼ lengths for trainer Bill "Moon" Mullin, who is also co-owner with Howard Taylor. Top pace was a $14,000 contest for females, which produced a three-way photo won by Empress Deo in 1:52.1. Marcus Miller yielded early with the 9-5 victorious daughter of Rocknroll Hanover to 6-5 favorite Queen Lostris N, then sat behind her to headstretch, when she moved out. Last Flight In N, third on the rail throughout, went to the Pocono Pike and joined the two favorites in a furious battle to the wire, which went to Empress Deo by a nose over the "Queen," with Last Flight In N just a neck back in third. Empress Deo, a winner of $648,265, is trained by Wayne Givens for Legacy Racing Of DE Inc. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WATTSBURG PA – The 2019 Pennsylvania fair circuit got underway this weekend in this northwest Pennsylvania town just outside Erie, with harness racing two-year-olds taking to the track in Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes action Saturday. Unfortunately, the rain that started at the end of Saturday’s card kept coming, and the Sunday action for three-year-olds was cancelled. Star of the show among the debutantes was no one horse, but a driver – 47-year-old Mitchell York, partners with trainer/driver “Smilin’” Dave Brickell on recent outstanding Keystone fillies Camera Lady and Crew Sock Hanover. York decided to go for his driving license for this season, and on his first day of purse competition he not only posted the fastest mile of the day, but emerged with an overall scorecard of 5-1-2-1-.489, fine numbers for a driver who had had but a handful of qualifying starts beforehand. York drove yet another Brickell-York two-year-old pacing filly, Dream Dancing, and emerged with the fastest time on the cool and overcast day, 2:07.4, with the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, who had qualified at The Meadows with a 2:00.2 win. At Wattsburg, York kept Dream Dancing off of giant early fractions for the day -- :29.4 and 1:01 – moved to second-over before the 1:34.1 three-quarters, then won a stretch battle with Chatty Devon and Its Bin Said for his first driving win in only his second purse start. Roger Hammer, the “King of the Pennsylvania Fairs,” had four winners on the day as owner/trainer/driver, three of them with homebreds. Life’s Marvalous, a Delmarvalous gelding who had been second in a 1:58.2 Meadows qualifier, stepped home in 2:08.1 to be the fastest of the quartet. Quickest freshman trotter was the Possess The Will filly Peachy Georgia, who won by a head over Lindy Pretty Lady in 2:12.4. The winner, owned by Dr. William Solomon, was one of two on the day for the team of trainer Gary Johnston and driver Shawn Johnston. The Sunday card that was washed out had three 2018 Fair Sire Stake Championship winners programmed – trotting filly RT Gloria De Dios, pacing filly Sure R Lookin Good, and trotting colt Watch Me Hanover. The fourth 2018 champion did get to race this weekend – and Aflame Hanover won $80,000 by finishing fourth in the $1,000,000 North America Cup final at Woodbine Mohawk on Saturday. Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association

CHESTER PA – The Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) again has its weekly quota of three $30,000 races for fast-class horses filled for Sunday – the open harness racing pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia in the afternoon, and the open mares pace and open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in the evening. In the open pace, there are few better pacers right now than None Bettor A, who makes his GNOS debut from post two in the seven-horse gathering for the sister/brother team of trainer Jen and driver Joe Bongiorno. The Bettor’s Delight gelding has been racing in this country for less than two months – he opened his North American account with two thirds at Yonkers, then went over the George Washington Bridge to The Meadowlands and has ripped off our straight wins, the latest in 1:48.4. Another newcomer to the GNOS, Duplicated N (post one, driver Tim Tetrick), is not a newcomer to Philly, having posted an impressive two-move 1:49.2 victory here last Sunday. Tiger Thompson N, starting just outside those two for hot driver Dexter Dunn, already has a first and a second in Great Northeast races, and the early fight for positioning among these three should be very interesting. The open mares pace at Pocono is topped by divisional leader Tequila Monday, who had won her first two starts in the GNOS before being beaten only 2½ lengths while timed in 1:49.4 against #1-ranked Shartin N in the Betsy Ross Pace at Philly this past Sunday. The American Ideal mare had opened her season with six straight wins for trainer Hunter Oakes before last week’s setback, and she is the early favorite to regain her winning ways while starting from post four for Tyler Buter, who won with her at Pocono in the GNOS on May 12. Apple Bottom Jeans (post two, driver Corey Callahan) is second in the early GNOS pointstandings after three thirds in GNOS races, and the mare may be able to put her blazing early speed to work after drawing post two in the nine-horse field. A well-regarded newcomer is Alexa’s Power (post five, driver Tim Tetrick), a winner in the Open handicap at Yonkers on May 10. In the GNOS open trot, 2018 Earl Beal Trot winner Crystal Fashion has drawn the rail in a nine-horse c collection for trainer Jim Campbell and driver Tim Tetrick. The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Trotter of the Year last season, Crystal Fashion was a close fourth in his only GNOS start, his first of the year, and the Cantab Hall gelding then was second, only a half-length behind Muscle M Up, in a Graduate leg at The Meadowlands. All Champy (post three, driver Simon Allard) comes off the race of his life, pushing The World’s Fastest Trotter, Homicide Hunter, to go all-out to beat him by a half-length at Philly on May 19. Also highly-regarded is La Grange Å (post two, driver Åke Svanstedt), an Australian import handled by the Swedish master who was second in his only GNOS competition.     Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association in conjunction with The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah’s Philadelphia racetracks

CHESTER, PA (December 21, 2018) -- Seasoned professional Rachel Olszewski will join the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association as Communications and Marketing Manager in mid-January. She will oversee the association's breadth of industry-promoting activities including advertising, marketing strategy, public relations, partnerships and events for The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia. In addition, she will manage member communications, social media and production of the PA HarnessWeek TV show on NBC Sports Philadelphia. She will also serve as the PHHA's representative to the PA Horse Racing Association, a statewide marketing consortium. Before joining the PHHA, Olszewski served as a Strategic Communications Specialist for Penn State University since 2011. Prior to that, she was Regional Marketing Specialist for fast casual restaurant chain Qdoba Mexican Eats. She holds a Master's degree in Organizational Development and Change from Penn State and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Dayton. She currently serves on the board of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, and is heavily involved with local non-profit organizations. She replaces Edward Kobesky, who joined the PHHA in 2008 and will depart at year's end. "We're very pleased to welcome Rachel to the team and look forward to her contribution to growing our sport," said PHHA President Sam Beegle. "Her extensive professional background in high-profile organizations, as well as demonstrated talent for relationship building and strategic planning, will benefit us greatly as we continually expand our efforts. "We also thank Ed for his nearly 11 years of leadership. His work for this organization extended well beyond marketing and has helped to substantially grow our reputation and strengthen our overall presence in the industry." About the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association Founded in 1967, the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA) is a trade group that promotes the development of harness racing in Pennsylvania. The organization represents horsemen at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack. Its mission is to provide a stable foundation for horsemen by encouraging competitive racing that increases fan participation and enhances the reputation of Pennsylvania harness racing on the national scene. The PHHA maintains branch offices at the tracks it represents. PHHA

CHESTER, PA - With the "Trottin' Thursday" program usually featured weekly at Harrah's Philadelphia knocked out by the dark racing day on Thanksgiving Thursday, Wednesday became the day that featured several fields of quality trotters at the riverside oval. And the guy who was on fire in the featured trots was driver Andrew McCarthy, who took both top-end purses and guided a freshman in an impressive debut. The driver who was on fire teamed with a son of Yankee Glide named Thisguyisonfire to record his third straight victory while taking the $18,000 top trot in 1:55.1. McCarthy had the winner well-positioned in the two-wide tier behind the game veteran Crosbys Clam Bake, who moved to the lead in the lane, only to be caught in the latter stages by a half-length after a good stretch battle. Chris Lakata conditioned the streaking winner for Fashion Farms LLC. The co-featured $17,000 trot was taken in strong fashion by the Kadabra mare Tymal Reign, who was reined by McCarthy to victory in 1:55.2, just a tick off her lifetime best. The favorite was sent right to the top, coming home in 57.2 to easily withstand pocketsitting Exarch by 1¾ lengths for trainer Noel Daley and Harbor Racing Stable LLC. A pair of Muscle Hill freshman colts costing $530,000 at the Harrisburg sale made their debuts and finished 1-2. The $320,000 purchase Sheer Muscle was limbed out four-wide to the 3/16, but driver McCarthy knew what he had under the hood, and the colt went on to the top and won in 1:58. Sheer Glide, his dam, is a full sister to $950G+ winner Flex The Muscle (and Duchess Faye is back in the pedigree a couple of generations), and trainer Lucas Wallin and owner Mario Mazza have a colt to keep an eye on. Finishing second was the $210,000 purchase Hillofamistery, a son of the $480G+-winning mare Mistery Woman, and he raced steadily in his bow, and should benefit from the start for Team Takter. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Saturday was closing night for the 2018 harness racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with ceremonies honoring some of the top horses and horsemen of the meet sharing the spotlight with the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Eastern Regional Final #2. The Billings purse was $12,000, but you'd have thought they were going for a hundred times that as they were three-deep to a 27.4 quarter. Past that station, Winwood Scout, the favorite, kept On The Podium out in the 38-degree air, and the middle fractions of 57.2 and 1:27.2 were very demanding. With the best seat in the house behind the battle up front was driver David Offenberg and the Cantab Hall gelding Fiji, and when the outside horse melted back on the far turn, Fiji was ready to spring. Offenberg moved his horse outside at headstretch, but Winwood Scout was favored for good reason, and it took until the very last steps before "Dave The Rave" could nudge Fiji past the gallant Winwood Scout and driver Bob Davis, winning by the smallest possible margin in 1:57.1. For being named after a tropical island (which was the homeland of the famous Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka), Fiji is certainly a good cold weather performer - he also accounted for a Billings event in November of last year. The winner of $164,637 is trained by Eric Abbatiello for the Allister Stables LLC of Offenberg, and he may add to that total this year, as by virtue of winning this Billings Regional Final Championship, Offenberg has qualified for the $25,000 Billings Gold Cup at Yonkers on Sunday the 25th - and he may well take along the sharp and proven "winter warrior" Fiji. (Offenberg also looks like a "winter warrior" - he won the NAADA Final in December 2015 and the Silver Cup in November of that year, and he was second in the GSY Fall Final on Friday.) The equine honoree of the evening was Pocono Trotter of the Year Homicide Hunter, who locally won the Breeders Crown and set a world record for 1¼ miles in a year where he also became The World's Fastest Trotter with his 1:48.4 mile at Lexington. Chris Oakes, the horse's trainer and himself the winningest trainer of the year here three times, was on hand, and also took part in the ceremony honoring his 20YO son Hunter Oakes, who took the award for top UTR with a sparkling rating of .556. Rene Allard won his second straight training victory title and fifth in the last six years, finishing with 133 visits to Victory Lane, including on closing night. Allard's "handful" of training title ties him for the all-time lead at Pocono with a horseman whom some may have forgotten once had an active stable - George Napolitano Jr. (2001 and 2003-2006). "George Nap" of course also had his turn in the spotlight, winning the crowns for driving victories (366) and UDR (.374). George has now been the top driving dashwinner at Pocono twelve times, including the last seven consecutive seasons, and he won the last race of the year with Feeling Cam Lucky to finish with the second-most victories at Pocono in a year, behind only his own record of 407 in 2015. George's tenth UDR title at the mountain oval was his fifth in a row. One trophy not given was "Most Driving Wins with $50+ Longshots" - if they did, Jim Taggart Jr. solidified his hold on this honor, guiding home Roll Away Joe to a $51.20 victory for his seventh of the meet, two ahead of Tom Jackson and Anthony Napolitano. FINISHING LINES - It may have been Closing Night, but it appears that not too many stables will be shutting down for the year - there was $163,750 in claiming action on the last card of the meet, with nine horses changing hands. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - Mr Houdini needed little magic to win the $16,000 trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon - he just needed his native ability, which enabled him to come home in 57 over a "sloppy +2" surface to take a new mark of 1:56. Andrew McCarthy quickly had the altered son of Kadabra on the lead, and the winner of three straight rattled off splits of 29.1, 59.1, and 1:27.3 on the engine. Girl Talk had stayed close to the winner throughout and tried to rally from the pocket late, but Mr Houdini saw that one's late bid off by 3/4 for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The top pacing event of the day was an event for distaffs worth $14,500, and heading to the wire three of the four involved in the drive were New Zealanders, with the import Nike Franco N (handled by Flora IL's Tim Tetrick, the lone non-Kiwi) withstood a big late charge from Delightfulmemphisn and the "Down Under Wonder," driver Dexter Dunn, to prevail in 1:52.4 in the off going. Tetrick had moved the victorious daughter of McArdle past early leader Oceania past the 27.1 quarter, put up middle fractions of 56.3 and 1:24.2, and looked free and clear at headstretch. But Delightfulmemphisn angled four-wide and cut into the lead with every stride in the lane, only to come up a half-length short on the money. The winner, trainer by Scott Di Domenico, recorded her second straight win, and now has lifetime earnings of $822,029 while raising her career win ratio to 43% (32 for 75). She is owned by William Hartt, Foulk Stables Inc., JFE Enterprise LLC, and Triple D Stables Inc. From the PHHA/Harrah's Chester

CHESTER, PA -- The 12-race harness racing card scheduled for Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon has been cancelled, as snow started falling in the area midmorning and shows no sign of abating.   Racing is scheduled to return to Harrah's tomorrow (Friday), with a 13-race card starting at 12:25 p.m.   From PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

CHESTER PA - The fifth race at Harrah's Philadelphia Wednesday produced the largest harness racing win price of the season at Philly, as Anthony Morgan, #2 in North American driving victories all-time (this was win #16,251), sent Ideal Magic to the lead early, yielded to favorite Ohio Larry, then came up the inside to best that rival by ¾ of a length while returning $195.40 for a $2 ticket (there was a total of $50 bet on him to win). Ideal Magic's price beat the previous seasonal high, set one month back to the day (October 14), when Always A Diamond fashioned a $117.20 upset. Nice Stuff and Presidente Zette were the trotters home first in a pair of $16,000 features as the racing week opened at Harrah's Philadelphia. Nice Stuff has now won three of her last four starts after taking the first division of the headliner in 1:56.3, missing the personal mark she set last week by a tick. Dexter Dunn had the Yankee Glide mare well-positioned behind lively cover, and her stretch kick enabled her to overhaul the pacesetting favorite Christopher Crazo by a length, with pocketsitting Michando another half-length back in third. Nice Stuff has proven to be a nice acquisition for trainer Bucky Angle and owners Howard and Joshua Kauffman, as she came into their possession early in September and has already bankrolled $24,250 for them. Presidente Zette conserved ground in the other section of the feature, then was able to slip out on the far turn, tip wide, and sail past the field to equal his mark of 1:56.2. The son of Muscle Hill benefited from the well-judged drive by David Miller, coming home two lengths to the good of Campbellini for owner/trainer Cozette McAvoy, The fifth race produced the largest win price of the season at Philly, as Anthony Morgan, #2 in North American driving victories all-time (this was win #16,251), sent Ideal Magic to the lead early, yielded to favorite Ohio Larry, then came up the inside to best that rival by ¾ of a length while returning $195.40 for a $2 ticket (there was a total of $50 bet on him to win). Ideal Magic's price beat the previous seasonal high, set one month back to the day (October 14), when Always A Diamond fashioned a $117.20 upset. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A trio of $15,000 conditioned events were featured on the penultimate card of 2018 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night. The first of two trots resulted in an easy victory for the Kadabra gelding Northern Major in 1:57.3. Matt Kakaley moved the winner to the front past a 29 quarter and put up midsplits of 59 and 1:28.1 before storming off by 5½ lengths over closing Broadway Bruiser. The race favorite, Northern Major is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In the other trotting contest, the Triumphant Caviar sophomore gelding QB Kemp rallied from the pocket to record his second straight triumph, here in 1:57.1. Favored Bautista went to the top in a quick 27.4 on a cool night, rated the middle fractions to 57.1 and 1:27.2, but still could not withstand the rush from the two-hole by QB Kemp, driven by Tyler Buter for trainer Rob Harmon and Harmon Racing Stable LLC. The pacing event was for fillies and mares, with Don't Mach Mia surrendering the early lead to Parkin In Heaven in a 28.1, brushing to the lead and posting middle fractions of 57 and 1:26, then holding off the pocketsitter to notch a neck triumph in 1:55.1. George Napolitano Jr. was sulkysitting for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. Earlier, pacer SB Ideal In Art, driver John Kakaley (Matt's father), and trainer Jim Ray became the first horse-driver-trainer combination to post two $50+ victories in 2018 at Pocono when they teamed up for a $148.80 shocker in race two. The trio had clicked at a $58.00 price on July 31. Tempster Hanover is the only other horse to have two $50+ wins at the meet, but he had changed hands between his May 8 and June 26 upsets. Trainer Ray tied for the top at Pocono with his second training bomber: Judy Welty, Jose Godinez, Alex Kavoleff, Jason Robinson, and Ron Burke also have two upset winners, with the last two joining Ray as both posting their double within the last month and having one of their twosome under question pay $100+. The last card of the 2018 season will take place at The Downs on Saturday night, with the yet-undistributed yearend awards to be given. The world's fastest trotter and "home track" Breeders Crown winner, Homicide Hunter, will receive local Trotter of the Year honors, with the horse's trainer, Chris Oakes, also to be on hand to see his son Hunter Oakes get the award for posting the colony's top UTR. Rene Allard will be feted upon winning his fifth training win title in the last six years, while George Napolitano Jr. will sweep the driving dash title and UDR title for the sixth straight year - "George Nap" has thirteen Pocono dash crowns and eleven UDR championships to his credit, both obviously local records. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Elysium Lindy took control from the pole early for driver Matt Kakaley, rated the half, then sprinted home to keep pocketsitting favorite Gruden at bay while winning the $30,000 Open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Sunday. Kakaley discouraged any outside attempts to fire away hard, going at a 27.1 clip to the quarter, then rated the second quarter to hit the half in 57.1. From that point, nobody had enough speed to overhaul Elysium Lindy on a 32-degree night, with Gruden giving valiant chase up the Pocono Pike from the two-hole but coming up ¾ of a length shy. Elysium Lindy, an altered son of Cantab Hall, raised his earnings to $152,240 for the year and $318,835 lifetime for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership team of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Joseph DiScalia. After the race, driver Matt Kakaley did something that would normally be unusual - he took his helmet off. He gave it to the caretaker of Elysium Lindy, who wore it taking the victorious trotter back to the paddock, and Matt stayed in the winners circle, being joined by important Burke Brigade owner Phil Collura, to accept the honor of 2018 Pocono Pacer of the Year for the sophomore millionaire Dorsoduro Hanover. The Somebeachsomehwere gelding has posted a 19-10-5-1 scorecard so far in 2018 and has bankrolled $1,229,112, with his tally at Pocono alone reading 7-6-0-0-$469,120. Locally, Dorsoduro Hanover won a Pennsylvania All-Stars race, a leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and his divisional Championship, a Hempt elimination, and of course his Breeders Crown elimination and final, in the latter of which he took his lifetime mark of 1:49.4. (His only Pocono setback was a very honorable one, as he put up fractions of 26, 53, and 1:20.3, and then missed only a length in the Hempt Championship.) Kakaley was his regular driver for his trainer Burke and his owners, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and the Wingfield Five LLC. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Onlyest One, a Bettor's Delight gelding racing for the first time for the meet's leading trainer Rene Allard after a claim, overcame a first-over journey to post a 1:52.3 victory in the $18,000 claiming handicap harness racing pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where the mercury was one degree above freezing for the evening's headliners. Now a 13-time winner in 2018 with earnings of $101,450 this year and $347,240 lifetime, The Onlyest One withstood Roll Away Joe by a length for driver Simon Allard while making a successful debut for Allard Racing Inc. Music Is Art may not have been the straightest pacer in the stretch drive of the $17,500 co-featured pace, but he was the fastest under the guidance of Anthony Napolitano to reach the wire first in 1:51.2. The son of Art Major was positioned second-over, swung wide entering the stretch - and kept going wider the closer he got to the line, winding up about 4 ½-wide at the wire but with a half-length lead over pacesetting I'm A Big Deal, a sophomore last seen in his Breeders Crown Final here. Music Is Art, trained by Mark Ford for owner Rick Berks, pushed his earnings to $91,863 this season and $196,790 lifetime. Ford, the Allard brothers, and George Napolitano Jr. each had a triple Saturday. Two horses were honored Saturday in the Hanover Shoe Farms winners circle at Pocono for seasonal accomplishments at the mountain oval. First to be spotlighted was another success story for the brothers Allard, Mare of the Year Eclipse Me N, who won half of her twelve 2018 starts at Pocono at the highest level of the conditioned ranks, including a Tuesday, August 28 victory - right back in two days after she had competed at the top level at Pocono on Sunday. For the year overall, Eclipse Me N, who raced in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers in the winter, has nine wins and $93,210; she took her mark of 1:50.1 on May 15 at Pocono for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Don Mac Lean, who imported her from New Zealand in May 2017. While the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss raced honorably at Pocono from May to November, his selection as Claimer of the Year was hugely based on his stint under the tutelage of Hunter Oakes, after Northfork Racing Stable claimed him for $30,000 on August 11. For Northfork/Oakes and driver George Napolitano Jr., still guiding the horse's fortunes, Ideal Kiss paced to a scorecard of 9-5-1-1 for earnings of $59,020 and a lifetime mark of 1:49.3 earned on September 1 - take that, you who say "Just a claimer" with a sneer. Ideal Kiss has raced this year to a total of 10 wins and $118,030 in earnings; his lifetime accumulation is $202,730. Tomorrow night Pocono Pacer of the Year Dorsoduro Hanover will be feted; on 2018 closing night next Saturday, Trotter of the Year Homicide Hunter will be honored -- quite a pair closing out the season at The Downs. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

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