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CHESTER, PA - The John Simpson Sr. stakes series, honoring the late Hall of Fame horseman and executive, got underway at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon with two-year-old harness racing filly action, with over $190,000 in combined purses for three divisions of pacers and two of trotters. In the first pace, the Well Said- Lady's Portrait filly Renaissance Lady K was sent to the front by driver George Napolitano Jr. before the 27.3 quarter, then the pair got to the half in 56.3. Favored Philly Hanover launched uncovered from fourth at that point, and made some headway before the leader got to the ¾ in 1:24.1; the chalk then continued to reduce the margin through the stretch, but Renaissance Lady K held gamely to post a neck decision while lowering her mark four seconds to 1:52.1. Norm Parker trains the winner for veteran owner Robert Key. In the other sidewheeling division, Rockn Philly, who did not have a good outing upon returning to her "home track" for a Liberty Bell contest last week, definitely brought her "A" game today while winning in 1:53.4. Victor Kirby sent the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance - Philadelphia to the lead after the 27.4, rested to the half in 57.2, and then powered home in 56.2 - 27.4 while unthreatened, boosting her earnings to $118.038 for trainer Jim King Jr. and the ownership of CC Racing LLC and Jo Ann Looney-King. Turning to the trotters: The "Trot Man," driver Mike Simons, showed he knows 5/8-mile track geometry in the first section, going out from the rail with Pilgrims Lass against two outside leavers, forcing one to tuck before letting favored Navarone Hanover go past the 28.2 quarter, and then racing in the golden seat through middle splits of 58.3 and 1:27.4. As first-over Big Weezy grinded to a short lead headstretch, Simons ducked to the inside, and gradually his Muscle Mass - Goodtimesstarthere filly erased Big Weezy's narrow advantage and got to the wire a neck to the good in a personal best of 1:57.1. Pilgrims Lass has now won two straight for trainer Scott Andrews and owner Edward Andrews. The Donato Hanover - Glide About miss American Kosmos, 3-for-4 lifetime and the 1-9 favorite of the crowd, found herself having to take a two-hole trip behind determined 38-1 shot Sigilwig, who set fractions of 28.4, 58.3, and 1:27.3 in their cut. At the ¾ pole driver George Brennan eased American Kosmos to the outside, and she trotted nicely down the center of the track to win in 1:57.1, at the wire a length ahead of Meadowbranch Vicki, with the gallant Sigilwig holding for third. Julie Miller trains the quick filly, whose only loss came when she made a break, for owners Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Dr. David Goodrow. Stella Jane, looped early and out well past the 28.2 quarter before getting the lead, went on with fractions of 58.4 and 1:27.3, then had enough to withstand the horse that parked her early, Southwind Percy, by a neck in 1:57 after a stretch battle in the last division. George Napolitano Jr., getting a stakes win on both gaits, guided the daughter of Crazed - Naughty Nana for trainer John Butenschoen and owners Crawford Farms Racing. FINISHING LINES - With a carryover from yesterday in the Pick 4 pool, this afternoon's quad-win bet drew a lot of attention, with its 50-cent minimum and 15% takeout. Horses paying $7.60, $13.00, and $2.20 in the first three legs didn't really hint at a mega-payoff, but when $64.60 winner Inner Peace nosed out favorite He's Gone in the bet's final contest, a 50-cent ticket was worth $7441.90. (Had the favorite held, the payoff still would have been a generous $676.50.) From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Trotter Century Empress and pacer Uffizi emerged victorious in the $16,000 featured events on the Wednesday afternoon harness racing card at Harrah's Philadelphia and New Zealander Dexter Dunn had the hots hands with four driving winners. The Donato Hanover sophomore filly Century Empress took a new mark of 1:55.4 in the spotlight trotting event. Trainer/driver Jeff Gregory had her in perfect stalking position behind the first-over Muscle Fashion, then caught that foe by a half-length for the ownership of Jeff Gregory Inc., Dumain Haven Farm, and Carlo Lattinelli. Uffizi, a son of American Ideal, opened up a big lead down the backstretch and through the far turn in the pacing contest, and although favored Torrin Hanover methodically reduced the margin in the stretch, Uffizi was still clear by 1 3/4 lengths at the finish in 1:51.2 for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Robert Mondillo and Craig Henderson. Uffizi was guided by New Zealand sensation Dexter Dunn, who wound up his afternoon with four driving triumphs. Dunn has already worked his way up to 14th in wins for the yearlong driving statistics at Philly, and his local UDR is hovering in the .300 range - and may go even higher as local trainers grow to appreciative his aggressive style and impressive results. The next two days, Harrah's Philadelphia welcomes two-year-olds contesting their action in the John Simpson Sr. stakes series, honoring the late Hall of Fame horseman and Hanover Shoe Farms executive. Fillies will be in the spotlight on Thursday, with colts featured on Friday; both days will have action on both gaits. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Mach Three mare Monica Gallagher, who was away from the races for three months in spring and early summer, has worked her way back to top form, as she showed on Tuesday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono by winning the $17,500 featured distaff pace, her first visit to Victory Lane since April 26. Matt Kakaley got Monica Gallagher away quickly, making the lead after the quick 26.2 opener on a "good +1" track, then yielded to race favorite Skippin By near the 55.2 half to sit a pocket journey. Truth And Liberty, second-over past the 1:22.4 ¾ pole, made it a three-horse chase to the finish, with Monica Gallagher having the most late to win in 1:51.3 by a head, with the same margin separating Truth And Liberty in second and Skippin By in third. Monica Gallagher has shown herself to be usually right around the big money in her brief career: in 16 starts this year she has a 7-5-0 record, and in double the starts lifetime she has a 12-9-3 scorecard, good for $124,631. Ron Burke conditions the four-year-old for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Earlier, some confusion around the far turn led to a longshot bonanza. 3-1 third choice Lounatic pulled the pocket from behind pacesetting Michelle's Pride late in the backstretch, but then went erratically around the far turn, first squeezing Actress Hanover inside, then, while trying to correct, bearing out into the path of the second- and third-over, Linda Lace Hanover (8-5 favorite) and Under The Hood (9-5) respectively, shoving them wide and effectively taking them out of contention. Actress Hanover, at 69-1, went up into the pocket, then to the Pocono Pike and charged to the lead - returning a $140.20 win mutuel. Pacesetting Michelle's Pride was 42-1, and she was just edged for second by an unaffected horse, 10-1 Typhoon, resulting in $2-equivalent gimmick payoffs of $1219.20 for the 4-7 Exacta, $2111.40 for a 4-7-ALL Trifecta, and a 4-7-ALL-ALL Superfecta of $18281.60 - on which there were two fortunate 10-cent ticketholders. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Mach Three mare Intoview recorded her third straight victory for owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen while winning the $14,000 distaff claiming handicap pacing feature in 1:52.4 on Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. On a night where nine of fourteen chalks prevailed, Intoview and driver George Napolitano Jr. were not the crowd's favorite - at 9-5, they were held slightly behind 7-5 LK's Nancy Lee, handled by George's brother Anthony. LK's Nancy Lee challenged early leader Rosy Outlook after the 27.2 quarter, reaching the half in 56.2 and then bracing for the first-over move from Intoview. Intoview got to within a head of the leader by the 1:24.1 clocking with a quarter to go, then continued the attack through the lane, with pocketsitting Rosy Outlook making it a three-horse contest to the wire. Intoview proved most photogenic, a head ahead of LK's Nancy Lee, who held that same margin over Rosy Outlook. The victorious sharp mare now has earnings of $150,301. In a $13,000 co-feature, the Well Said gelding Well Played Out followed advancing cover, then paced his own last quarter in 27.2 to catch that cover, Bag Pipe Major, by ¾ of a length while lowering his mark a full second to 1:53.1. Tyler Buter guided the winner, whose $15.40 mutuel was the longest of the night, for trainer Alex Kavoleff and owners Douglas Alexander and Bruce Areman. George Napolitano Jr. won five races on the Tuesday card, including four of the final five, giving him 70 victories to date in the month of May: 47 of them at Pocono and the other 23 at Philly. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - In a six-horse featured trot where four of the contestants were with a head at the wire, the Donato Hall gelding Boffin proved most photogenic to take the $21,500 Sunday headliner at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:53.4. Anthony Napolitano sent Crazshana around Elysium Lindy and driver Matt Kakaley before the 26.4 quarter, then got a breather to the 56.3 as Anthony's brother George started up uncovered with Boffin. Boffin and Crazshana, both 7-5 choices under the guidance of the Napolitanos, were virtually inseparable from the 5/8 on, through and past the 1:24.2 ¾ into the stretch, where they were joined by Elysium Lindy and third-in ABC Muscles Boy, both hustling up the inside. At the finish Boffin got a head up on the next threesome, who were noses apart and gave the judges some work before declaring Elysium Lindy second, Crazshana third, and ABC Muscles Boy fourth. For Boffin, the win drove his victory rate to 50% for 12 starts this year and gave him his 46th lifetime victory, with career earnings of $532,237. Anette Lorentzon conditions the game trotter, and she co-owns him with ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. (And the other two starters? Tyson was second-over, gapped his cover a bit, then closed to be a half-length off at the wire for fifth; Deep Impact, who got away sixth from the outside post and was last at every call, was beaten two lengths, timed in 1:54.1 - and despite that was no richer re-entering the paddock than when he left it.) From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Pembroke Wildcat, who was second to Ideal Kiss last week in his return to owner/trainer Brittany Robertson after a $30,000 claim, turned the tables on his rival in the $20,000 claiming handicap pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking advantage of a perfect trip to tally in 1:50. Ideal Kiss, going for his fifth straight victory in this company, made the lead despite the outside post nine in 28.1, but then had to post identical middle splits of 27 to keep out challenger Pickled Preacher, himself a winner of four of his last six vs. lesser and stepping up off a claim. While those two argued that wicked 54 middle half, Pembroke Wildcat was tagging along in the pocket for driver Anthony Napolitano, and in the stretch the victorious altered son of Western Maverick proved the strongest by 1¼ lengths. Pembroke Wildcat now sports career earnings of $336,227, and the 1:50 time gave the six-year-old a new mark. In the $17,500 conditioned pace co-feature, the pocket also proved to provide the winning journey, as Sir Pugsley made it two of his last three by coming on late to post a 1:50.3 victory. Driver Pat Berry hustled the son of American Ideal to command before the 27.1 quarter, but Feeling Cam Lucky was out and clambering for the front by that point, and Berry let him go to sit behind midrace fractions of 55.2 and 1:22.4. In the stretch, Sir Pugsley had more pace left than the pacesetter, going by by a neck for trainer Ron Burke and the team of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER PA - The Liberty Bell stakes series continued on Friday at Harrah's Philadelphia with harness racing action for two-year-old colts, with each gait contesting three $30,000 divisions. Among the pacing set, it was the Western Ideal - My Little Artist colt Mangogh who first visited Victory Lane, working out a pocket trip for driver Eric Carlson behind favored Sugar Factory, then rallying up the inside to catch that rival by a length while equaling his lifetime mark of 1:53.4. Bruce Saunders trains the winner of three of his last five starts for M And L Of Delaware LLC and M & M Harness Racing LLC. Southwind Ozzi got the other kind of perfect trip - second-over - in taking a maiden mark of 1:53.2 for driver Mike Simons and trainer Bill MacKenzie in his Liberty Bell section. It was obvious on the far turn that the son of Somebeachsomewhere - Southwind Solara was right up on the bit and ready to go, and indeed he stormed home in 56 to be four lengths clear at the finish for owners Vincent Ali and Alma Iafelice. The Sweet Lou - Shark Lightning colt Love Me Some Lou, still the fastest juvenile of the year on a 5/8-mile track at 1:50.4, charged uncovered before and around the far turn to get a stretch advantage, then withstood favored Captain Victorious rallying up the inside to take down a ¾ length victory in 1:53. Corey Callahan, who drove him in that season's record mile, also guided "Lou" today for trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere. Among the trotters, the Donato Hanover - Lady Holiday colt Holiday Hanover was kept out of trouble by driver Jordan Stratton, then kicked home first 1½ lengths clear while going in 1:58 for his first lifetime victory. D.R. Ackerman owns and trains the youngster, who had had trouble in his previous starts but today eluded racing misfortune and proved the strongest late. The Cantab Hall - Upside Hanover colt Klutzy had to mount a first-over challenge from last in his division, but he proved equal to the challenge, grinding down favored pacesetter Stonebridge Symba and then fending off the late rush of Ginger Tree Skyr by 1½ lengths in 1:57.4. Corey Callahan, notching a win on each gait, handled the catch-driving assignment behind Klutzy and made the most of it for trainer Julie Miller and Stroy Inc. In the third section, sent off at 7-5 were both the Explosive Matter - Phaeton gelding Explosivebreakaway, a full brother to top sophomore filly Phaetosive, and the Muscle Hill - Bluff colt Summit In Sight, a $300,000 yearling making his career debut. The pedigrees showed on the racetrack, as early leader Explosivebreakaway left Summit In Sight go to the lead at the 3/8 and set soft fractions, then rallied inside in a 28.4 kicker to just get by his main foe by half a length in 1:59. Tom Jackson guided the winner, now 5-3-2-0 for his brief career, for trainer Fred Grant, who is also co-owner with Janice Rubin, Steve Katz, and Murray Brown. Top pacing mare Shartin N, who is 14-for-19 this season but comes off an off-the-board finish in the Great Northeast Series Championship in her last start, has not lost two consecutive races in her hugely successful 2018 campaign, and she'll look to keep that statement true here on Sunday in a $25,000 winners-over mares pace, but if she is to do so she'll have to overcome the outside post seven starting slot. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Two-year-old fillies on both gaits contested three $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the favorites winning all of the trots and none of the paces. George Brennan guided two of the trio of trotting winners. First up was the Donato Hanover- Glide About miss American Kosmos, who raised her career record to three-for-four while reducing her mark to 1:55.3. The winner, sent off the 6-5 chalk, sat far off the runaway pacesetter Scirocco Donnahill, then gradually reeled that one in for a 3¾ length tally for trainer Julie Miller and the ownership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and David Goodrow. The other two triumphant trotters proved worthy of 1-5 favoritism, including Brennan's second winner Magical Beliefs, who lowered her mark to 1:56.4. The daughter of Cantab Hall - Frisky Magic trotted past the leading Sigilwig past the half, opened a big lead, then maintained a 2½ length margin on the shuffled closer Mimi'spearloflindy, giving her four wins and four seconds in eight career starts, with earnings of $166,686 (she was second in the PA Sires final). Linda Toscano conditioned the consistent miss for Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables, and R-And-I Farms LLC. First visitor to the Harrah's winners circle on Thursday was the six-time winner Sonnet Grace, whom owner/trainer/driver Rod Allen sent to the front and improved on her position from there, winning by 4½ lengths in 1:55.1, last half 57.1, for a personal best. The impeccably-bred daughter of Muscle Massive - I Believe, a granddaughter of synonymous-with-baby-trot-speed CR Kay Suzie, now has earnings totaling $125,397. Form took a holiday of the pacing side, with the biggest upset A Beach Cowgirl, whom Corey Callahan piloted to a 1:53.4 lifetime best while paying $83.20. The Somebeachsomewhere - Limestone Cowgirl miss took advantage of a pocket journey, withstanding closing Renaissance Lady K by ¾ of a length for trainer Brett Bittle, co-owner with Dan Bittle and the Charles Kellers, III and IV. Somebeachsomewhere sired a second surprise winner - a surprise to most everyone but the morning linemaker, who had tabbed Stonebridge Soul, whose dam is Rock N Soul, as the one to beat, then saw her generate a $13.40 win payoff after a two length wire-to-wire win while taking a new mark of 1:52.2. If ever an early favorite were to be overlooked, it might have been this race at this track, as Philly Hanover and Rockin Philly wound up the first two choices, but Stonebridge Soul proved the best for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Chris Ryder, and the ownership of Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo. Down Under wonder Dexter Dunn, fitting very nicely in the tough local driving colony, was behind the third pacing winner, the Captaintreacherous - Musicale Hanover filly May Bride Hanover, who won in 1:53.1. Dunn let the winner roll on the engine in quick numbers, then kept her together in the lane to win by a neck over What A Fox in a finish that saw all six fillies within two lengths of each other at the wire (Trillions Hanover, the big favorite, broke early but recovered for fourth). Nifty Norman trains the winner of four-of-seven for the Pinske Stables and David Hoese. Liberty Bell series two-year-old action continues tomorrow at Philly, with the colts turning out in the same proportions as their filly counterparts, with three divisions of each gait going gateward. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Real Desire mare Eclipse Me N continued to show that she has the winning knack as she was victorious in the $17,500 mares pacing harness racing feature on Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Driver Simon Allard, sulkysitting for trainer/brother Rene, worked out a fine second-over trip with Eclipse Me N, coming her own last half in 54.4 to be a length clear of pocketsitter Monica Gallagher at the end of the 1:51 journey. A winner of four of her last seven starts and an eight-time winner in 2018 for owners Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae, Eclipse Me N now has earnings of $84,460 for the season and $167,619 lifetime. George Napolitano Jr. guided home six winners on the Tuesday card at Pocono, giving him 18 for the four-day racing week here (4 1/2 a night average). Combining his Pocono wins with a five-bagger at Philly Friday and a triple there Sunday, Napolitano had 26 victories over a five-day period, which now puts him ahead of Dan Noble for third place in North America behind Aaron Merriman and Ron Wrenn Jr. His sixth winner on Tuesday, Critical Mass in the last race, was a pari-mutuel shocker, returning $50.00 for a $2 ticket; earlier George had guided Colorful Jamie to a $25.80 tally. If a fan had bet $2 to win on each  of "George Nap"'s fourteen Tuesday drives, the fan would have received a $90.00 return -- a profit of 221%. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The harness racing meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., was named on four horses on the overnight sheet for the $14,000 distaff claiming handicap pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday night. They were the 5-2 early choice, and a 4-1 shot, a 5-1 shot, and a 6-1 shot on the morning line. He took the longest shot of the four at 6-1, Intoview, then swept from seventh down the backstretch to reach the wire first in 1:53, a length to the good of Tataria. Sea's Ideal and Unbeamlieveable fought for the early lead well past the 26.3 marker on a track rated "sloppy," with the former finally able to clear to the lead, only to have favored LK's Nancy Lee start up uncovered at her by the 55.3 half. "George Nap" swung Intoview three-wide from fourth-over late on the backstretch, got cover from Tataria in the three-path on the far turn, then swung even wider and, after Tataria had made the stretch lead, was able to get by the gritty rival for the decision. A daughter of Mach Three, Intoview won her second straight race for owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen. Napolitano continued his recent hot form with three winners, giving him 20 visits to Victory Lane since last Friday, racing Saturday-Sunday-Monday at Pocono and Friday-Sunday at Harrah's Philly. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Muscle Diamond launched three-wide down the backstretch and trotted a 27.3 third quarter to clear to the lead before the ¾, going on to win in 1:52.2 to take the $21,500 feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night. Tyler Buter kept the son of Muscle Hill off of hotly-contested fractions, then launched him midbackstretch and had no further problems in the three length victory. Brett Bittle conditions the winner of $734,449 lifetime, and he is also a co-owner along with the Charles Kellers III and IV and also Dan Bittle. In the $17,500 the Crazed gelding Crazshana made the top handily, rated the half to 57, then sprinted home in 55.3 to be clear of his field at the end of the 1:52.3 mile. The Jeff Bamond Jr.-trained horse, who boosted his earnings to $101,450 this season and $437,849 lifetime, is owned by Bamond Racing LLC, and he also was part of a 17-winner weekend (Friday-Saturday-Sunday, including Philly) for driver George Napolitano Jr. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Stars Align A was able to steal off to a big lead by going in 26.4 down the backstretch in the $21,500 pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then held together to fend off the late-charging Music Is Art to win by ¾ of a length in a personal best 1:50.4 The victorious son of Art Major took advantage of post two in the field of seven and went to the front, where he was joined by his fellow 8-5 shot Bettor's Edge nearing the 26.3 quarter. Bettor's Edge went on to work up to command in front of the stands, but he took the second turn badly and slowed drastically, forcing the entire field around him just past the 55.4 half. Driver Simon Allard got Stars Align A in high gear quickly past the trouble and to the lead, then tried to put as much distance as possible between his horse and the field, and had an advantage of four lengths at the 1:22.3 3/4s. That lead shrunk on the far turn and through the stretch, with Music Is Art leading the charge, but Stars Align A had enough left to raise his U.S. win percentage to 50% after a pair of starts after going 15-for-29 (52%) before his recent importation. Simon's brother Rene conditions the winner of $152,313 for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, Bruce Soulsby, and Alan Weisenberg. Rene Allard is Pocono's leading trainer; his driving counterpart, George Napolitano Jr., continued his incredible form on Saturday nights with eight victories on the card, including one with the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss in 1:50 to take the $20,000 claiming handicap pace co-feature. "George Nap" pointed Ideal Kiss towards the top, as he has in all of his four starts for trainer Hunter Oakes and the Northfork Racing Stable, and the pacer again showed "1"s all the way across his charted line, winning by 2¾ lengths. Since being claimed by Oakes/Northfolk on August 11, Ideal Kiss has earned $40,000 by winning the high-level Pocono claim four starts in a row. He now has overall yearly earnings of $90,930, garnered mostly in his nine seasonal victories, and a $175,630 career bankroll. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

CHESTER, PA - Two natives of New Zealand, born just 300 miles apart but who have spent most of the last decade 6000 miles apart, combined for a visit to the winner's circle in the Harrah's Philadelphia winners circle Friday, as the Roll With Joe sophomore filly Believe In Me, trained by Brett Pelling and driven by Dexter Dunn, won the $16,000 feature distaff pace in a career best 1:51.2. Dunn spotted third early with Believe In Me, but past the 27.1 quarter he was out and rolling with his filly, making the lead well before the 55 half. Race favorite Special Kay Deo, who defeated Believe In Me two weeks ago, came first-over down the back, but her bid stalled before the 1:22.4 3/4s, and Dunn kept the winner rolling through the lane to win by 2¾ lengths. She is owned by the Bay Pond Racing Stable of Paoli PA, only 20 miles away from Harrah's. Driver Dunn and trainer Pelling have a more interesting - and spread-out -- geographical "relationship." Both were born on the south island of New Zealand - Dunn is from Christchurch, centrally-located on the east coast of the island, while Pelling was born in Mataura at the southern tip, but only 320 miles apart. When Pelling was enjoying his success in North America and was based in New Jersey, they were separated by 8936 miles; when just over a dozen years ago Pelling "retired" to Australia, the country "next door" to New Zealand, they were still separated by over 3000 miles, as Pelling lived in Perth, on the West Coast of Aussieland. But on Friday the pair of native Kiwis were back together winning the feature in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. In the $14,500 co-feature for pacing distaffs, Diamondtoothgertie posted her third win in four starts since going to the care of trainer Richard Johnson, taking a new mark of 1:51.3. Tony Morgan, who went over $130 million in career earnings earlier on the card and who is now about 650 races behind Heinz Wewering for second place on the all-time world list for driving victories with 16,863 (Dave Palone has 18,471), guided the victorious daughter of Sportswriter for D'Elegance Stable IX, Joseph Gandolfo, NR Holdings LLC, and Anthony Fiscetti. At press time (after the 11th race), driver George Napolitano Jr. had five winners, for five different trainers. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia      

CHESTER, PA - The Deweycheatumnhowe gelding In Secret, glad to be away from the likes of Homicide Hunter, Guardian Angel AS, and Marion Marauder and in the $18,000 featured trot on Thursday at Harrah's Philadelphia, showed his appreciation by taking a new mark of 1:52.3. Yannick Gingras let Gold Medal Swan and Tyson argue through and past the 27.3 opening quarter, then moved quickly to gain the lead at the 3/8 and went on to the half in 55.4. There was not a serious outer flow to the 1:24.1 3/4s, and In Secret was able to open up some space into the stretch, then stayed clear of a resurgent Gold Medal Swan by 2¼ lengths, with Tyson holding for third. The six-year-old Ron Burke trainee continues to work on his second straight $200,000+ season: he now has a bankroll of $222,001 this year and $594,882 lifetime for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables Inc., and Lawrence Karr. The $14,500 co-featured trot was taken in strong wire-to-wire fashion by the Chapter Seven mare Chapter Too, who reduced her lifetime best to 1:53.4. George Napolitano Jr. had Chapter Too on the point before the 27.4 opener, rated the half to 57.1, then came home unthreatened in 56.3 - 28 for her eighth seasonal victory, raising her 2018 earnings to $107,925 and her lifetime accumulation to $253,333. Jenny Melander trains the winner for Belmar Racing & Breeding LLC. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA – Three-year-old fillies were featured in $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, with three divisions for trotters and two for pacers. 3YO TROTTING FILLIES Bella Glos, who made a break as the favorite in the recent PA Stallion Series final, recovered in fine fashion Wednesday, taking a new mark of 1:54. Some late first turn confusion caused by a breaker had four horses in a field of six parked at the ¼ and one in the infield, but driver Yannick Gingras kept the Cantab Hall filly out of most of the trouble, made the lead passing the stands the first time, and came home in 56.3 - 27.4 to be four lengths clear at the wire. Jimmy Takter trains the new member of the Six Figure Earnings Club for Black Horse Racing. Follow Streak, who won that Stallion Series finale, made it three straight wins and seven victories in ten seasonal starts as she went wire-to-wire in 1:55.4. The Donato Hanover miss was two lengths clear at the wire as she moved her lifetime bankroll to $142,391 for Team Orange Crush, trainer Julie and driver/husband Andy Miller, and the ownership of the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. A hard rain started to fall as the horses warmed up for the final division, but the moisture didn't seem to bother Hey Blondie, as she gave Cantab Hall a stakes siring double with a win in 1:54.4. Last week Hey Blondie couldn't catch S M S Princess in the PA Sire Stakes consolation, this week she turned the tables by rallying from the pocket for driver Andrew McCarthy into a 56.2 half to go by the pacesetter by a half length, raising her earnings to $439,535. Chuck Sylvester trains the winner for Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Paul Bordogna, and David McDuffee. 3YO PACING FILLIES Alexa's Power and Sidewalk Dancer were the heavy favorites in their sidewheeling stakes division, and they put on a good battle in the last 1/16, with the Somebeachsomewhere filly Alexa's Power able to gain out of the pocket in a 27.2 last quarter to catch the pacesetter by a head while taking a new mark of 1:50.3. The Jim Campbell-trained filly, a winner of $405,195 for Jeffrey and Michael Snyder, was driven by Tim Tetrick - who had gone in 1:50.1 with 3PF Put On A Show in 2010, a clocking Alexa's Power didn't miss by much. The rainstorm mentioned above didn't last long (the sun was out during the next race, but it had dome just enough to turned the track "sloppy" for the second section. In that event Yannick Gingras completed a stakes double as the Well Said filly Strong Opinion, like Follow Streak a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation winner, followed up with another pacesetting effort, then held off the strong-closing Scuola Hanover by a neck in 1:52.3. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $259,448 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Jack Piatt II; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. FINISHING LINES - Veteran horseman Ross Croghan registered his 2000th training win in the USTA computer, which has kept training statistics since 1992, when I'm Trigger Happy won the fourth race here today. Winning at a 17.6% rate over the years, the Croghan barn has produced almost $44 million in racetrack earnings, winning just over $9 million in 2007-2008. Newer fans may not know that Croghan was also quite a driver in his day before he decided to focus on training, and had 1822 sulky successes in a North American career starting in 1977, with his best driving year seeing him win 230 times in 1992. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Driver Matt Kakaley won four races on the Tuesday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, including two of the three $15,000 featured events, one on the trot and two on the pace - with both pacers getting their first victories of the year. Rain came to the mountain oval late on the Tuesday card, with the track downgraded to "good" by the time Kakaley teamed with the trotting gelding Mikey Likes It to take a three-horse photo over Unforgetable and Justlikehim in 1:57, a lifetime mark. The altered son of Mutineer had been second in all three of his recent starts, all at Pocono and all at 2-1 or less, but the crowd kept faith in him by sending him off the favorite, and he kept on grinding gamely late after gaining uncovered to tally for trainer Jean Drolet and owner Nancy Deluca. You don't see many winners of $342,912 in a "nw 4 races or $40,000 lifetime class," but the Somebeachsomewhere filly Majorsspeciallady fit the bill by having previously won only two races - most of her money was earned at two, when she was second to Youaremycandygirl in the Breeders Crown and on the board in 10 of 11 starts. 2018 had been less kind to Majorsspecialaldy as she continued to battle top fillies, but the class drop here was just the tonic for her, winning for the first time in 364 days while taking a new mark of 1:52.1 before the rain came and the track was rated "fast." Kakaley and the winner got parked past the 3/8 for command in the pace for distaffs, but she still had enough to withstand That's Amazing by a head for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Driver Tyler Buter, recently a late-night longshot special, had three $15+ winners in the first four races on the Tuesday card, including a 1:51 victory with Highland Beach Boy in the division of the featured class for male pacers. The sophomore gelding gave sire Somebeachsomewhere a sweep of the pacing features, and he ended a 304-day winless drought by quarter-moving for Buter and holding off potential pocket rocket Spolieronthebeach by a half-length while taking a new mark for trainer Pat Lachance, co-owner with M & M Harness Racing LLC, Royal Flush Stables LLC, and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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