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WILKES-BARRE, PA - In the three divisions of the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakesfor three-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winners Kissin In The Sand, Sansovina Hanover, and Alexa's Power all greatly helped their chances of reaching their divisional Championship, to take place on September 2 at Pocono. Kissin In The Sand, of course, has battled with Youaremycandygirl for divisional bragging rights for the last several weeks, and many Pocono fans thought her very hard journey on the rim in winning the Lynch Championship during Sun Stakes Saturday on June 30 to be the outstanding performance of that evening.  The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere had it much easier on Saturday, as driver Scott Zeron tucked her third early, then moved to the lead in front of the stands, with the pair pacing home in 54.4 - 27 to be three lengths clear at the end of a 1:50.3 mile. The Nancy Johansson trainee, owned by Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables, now has earnings of $403,822 with an 8-5-3-0 scorecard this year and a lifetime tally of 12 wins and $634,997 in winnings. When Youaremycandygirl nosed out Kissin In The Sand in the Shady Daisy at The Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day, just a neck back in third, with the same 1:48.2 clocking as the first two, was another daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa's Power, so it seems appropriate that that filly could dominate her Sire Stakes field, winning in 1:50.4.  Tim Tetrick set sail with his filly early and the pair went right down the pike, blitzing to the wire in 54.3 - 27.1 to check home four lengths to the good of previous double Sire Stake winner Sidewalk Dancer. Jim Campbell trains the winner of $319,776, who took a new mark, for Jeffrey and Michael Snyder. While the other two winners had had a second in their only Sire Stakes showing prior to tonight, Sansovina Hanover raced in both prior legs and finished third. But Sansovina Hanover and driver Andrew McCarthy brought their "A" game to Pocono, going first-over against the other previous Sire Stakes two-time winner, Serene Stride, and then leaving her behind the last 1/8 to be 3¼ lengths in front at the finish. Completing a sweep for sire Somebeachsomewhere, Sansovina Hanover recorded both her first win of the year and a new personal best, raising her earnings to $175,160 for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Michelle Yanek; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The veteran Bettor's Delight gelding Bettor's Edge raised his career earnings to $2,161,456 as he won the $21,500 top conditioned pace, holding off the stretch surge of Music Is Art by a half-length in 1:50.3. Jim Morrill Jr. guided the pacer to Victory Lane for the 43rd time as he won for trainer Jennifer Lappe, who is also co-owner with Robert Santagata. Tomorrow night at Pocono, the fillies' Stallion Series counterparts go to the gate in three divisions. In their previous two preliminaries, there have been 10 divisions and 10 different winners; eight of those winners will be in Sunday's contest, hoping to solidify themselves slots in their Championship event. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 11, 2018 -- Thanks to the luck of the draw, Prospect Hill and Demon Onthe Hill never have met in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes competition. Now, with one preliminary leg remaining, the two are on the road to a heavyweight clash in the championship, as each won his third straight PASS split Saturday at The Meadows. The $181,388 event for freshman colt and gelding trotters, known as the Florida Pro, was contested over three divisions, with Osterc taking the other split. Yannick Gingras enjoyed a PASS double behind Demon Onthe hill and Osterc. The $252,000 final is set for Sept. 1 at The Meadows. Hammered down to 1-5, Prospect Hill had to duel for the early lead harder than winning driver Andy Miller might have liked, reaching the point in 28.4. But the son of Muscle Hill-Louise Kemp was unchallenged thereafter, drawing off to down Flippen Creek by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:56.2. White Tiger rallied following a poor start for show. "Most of his races, he's been on the front -- not that he has to be," Miller said. "I'm sure somewhere along the line, he'll have to follow and come off cover, which is fine for him. He's pretty sharp right now, and for where he's at, where pretty happy with him." Julie Miller trains Prospect Hill, a $130,000 yearling acquisition who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, for Stroy Inc. Also a 1-5 favorite, Demon Onthe Hill let the air out of the balloon early, waltzing to the half in 59 before coasting home in 1:56.3. The pocket-sitting Klutzy was second, 3/4 lengths back, while Fashion Possessed completed the ticket. "My approach was like it is for every other race," said Gingras, who was driving Demon Onthe Hill for the first time. "I just wanted to see how the race would go. He got to the front easy and won from there. They didn't challenge him early, but he's a nice horse and would have won either way." Marcus Melander trains the son of Muscle Hill-Sabrina Hall, a $125,000 yearling purchase, for Vicky Trotting Inc. At the top of the lane, Gingras was beginning to regret his decision to stay inside with Osterc. "I thought it was too late. I thought I got beat actually," he said. "There was plenty of opportunity to pull, but I thought I was following a good horse." But the son of Cantab Hall Oh Oh Hereshecomes roared through the Lightning Lane to edge the first-over Stonebridge Symba by a head in 1:57.4, with early leader Mass Fortune K third. Jimmy Takter conditions Osterc for Christina Takter and Goran Falk. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Glidinthruparadise, the longest shot on the board at 15-1, moved relentlessly without cover to pull off the upset in 1:55.3 for Brian Zendt, trainer Ed Zubkoff, Jr. and owner Brookside Stables. The 5-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide-Chowda now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $207,123. Aaron Merriman piloted three winners on the 13-race program. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Top three-year-old pacing filly Kissin In The Sand is the early favorite in one of three divisions of the group's third preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, trained by Nancy Johansson for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, provided one of the greatest thrills of the 2018 Pocono season when she overcame being parked virtually every step in the mile to win the $300,000 Lynch Championship here on June 30, Sun Stakes Saturday. She has also won the Mistletoe Shalee and not been worse than second in seven seasonal starts, and she will start from post six Saturday in the third race division, where her main competition figures to come from Reign On Me, among the top three in her last four against solid competition. The two horses who have won their first two preliminary Sire Stakes legs each top one of the other divisions. The race four cut has Serene Stride as the early pick as she starts from post five for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Mark Harder, and owners Emilio and Maria Rosati. The six-time seasonal winner will square off against Pearl Blue Chip, a recent 1:51 winner at Mohawk. The other double winner is Sidewalk Dancer, a daughter of A Rocknroll Dance to be guided by Brett Miller for trainer Chris Oakes and the ownership of Northfork Racing Stable, Omar Beiler and Dennis Coons. Sidewalk Dancer must try to overcome the outside post seven in the fifth race division, and in fact is the early second choice to Alexa's Power, a winner in the Lismore and Adioo Volo stakes. Three divisions of Stallion Series misses will go postward at Pocono on Sunday. There were ten divisions in the first two Stallion Series prelims, with ten different winners; eight of them will be at Pocono on Sunday, including joint-fastest StS winners Miss Hill and Zuluwarriorhanover at 1:52.2. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 9, 2018 -- After an inauspicious career debut -- he broke stride as the 1-2 favorite in a PA All-Stars split -- Demon Onthe Hill has righted the ship, winning two straight PA Sires Stakes divisions. On Saturday at The Meadows, he'll try to extend that streak to three in the Florida Pro, a $181,388 PASS that goes as races 1, 3 and 4. Demon Onthe Hill leaves from post 3 in the first race with Yannick Gingras in the sulky. Post time is 1:05 PM. Vicky Trotting, Inc. gave $125,000 at auction for the son of Muscle Hill-Sabrina Hall, a price that the colt's trainer, Marcus Melander, indicates was not unexpected. "He was a good-looking horse with a great video," Melander says. "The only disadvantage: he was pretty small then and still is. When it says Muscle Hill, they always get a little more expensive." Melander absolves Demon Onthe Hill of blame for that break in his career opener. "He would have won, but he got stuck in a knee boot and almost fell." His initial PASS victory was a ground-saving affair at The Meadows, but his win in the following leg at Harrah's Philadelphia was impressive. He wore down the leaders on the outside and drew off late, scoring in 1:55.4. That earned him a share of the national season's record for freshman trotters on a five-eighths-mile track. "It looked like he had something left in the tank," says Melander, who notes that Demon Onthe Hill is eligible to most of the important late-season stakes. "His size doesn't seem to matter. He grows on the track. I think he's the real deal." Melander also sends out Expedition (race 4, post 4, Dave Palone), who, at $230,000, was an even more expensive Muscle Hill yearling than Demon Onthe Hill. He's earned checks but no wins in his two PASS outings. "He's still a little green and doesn't know what's happening out there," Melander says. "Demon Onthe Hill might be a little better, but once he starts to understand what racing's all about, he'll be a nice horse, too." AMG Stable campaigns Expedition. Saturday's card also features a number of attractive wagering opportunities, including a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 9-13) -- and a $1,073.80 jackpot in the Super Hi-5 (race 13). The series of "Rockiin' on the Rail" live concerts continues, with The Stickers performing on the apron at the conclusion of the races. In addition, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will offer paddock tours, stating gate rides and a "Pick the Winners" contest, with a $50 voucher up for grabs. For more information or to register, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 7, 2018 -- Trailing previously unbeaten Sonnet Grace by a length turning for home, Antonia found another gear and upset the 2-5 favorite in Tuesday's $185,836 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over four divisions, with Ma Was Right, Magical Beliefs and Nomo Volo taking the other splits. It was a big day for David Miller, who won three PASS divisions and finished second in the fourth, beaten by Nomo Volo. Sonnet Grace captured the first four starts of her career, and the granddaughter of Hall of Famer CR Kay Suzie appeared well on the way to number five. But the determined Antonia gobbled up ground and finally prevailed at the wire by a head in a career-best 1:56.4. Sky Is Mine was a ground-saving third. "I wasn't sure we would get by," Miller said. "My filly was running in and lost a little ground in the last turn. You have to be careful with her at the start, but she usually gets home pretty good. She held the gate real good today, and she put her head in front late. Gotta give her credit for that." Nifty Norman conditions the daughter of Donato Hanover-Tactical Caviar for Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and Pinske Stables. Ma Was Right followed cover beautifully before roaring through the stretch and scoring in a stake-fastest 1:56.3, downing the first-over Matter Of Fact by a length. Early leader Personal Paradise completed the ticket. "That's the third time I've raced her, and her trips have been pretty much the same," Miller said. "She's usually trotting pretty good at the wire. She didn't get away well from the rail today, but she's pretty strong on the end of it." Noel Daley conditions the daughter of Muscle Hill-It's Alright Ma, who has finished first or second in all five career starts, for All Laid Out Stable. Magical Beliefs and Miller were stalking Ladylilli when they pulled the pocket before the three-quarters and rolled to a comfortable 2-length victory in 1:57.1 for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables and R-And-I Farms. Windy Corner was third-placed-second and Lady Builder fourth-placed-third while Ladylilli, who finished second, was disqualified and placed last for leaving the course. "With that half in 57.3, I didn't know how far that horse in front of me would take me," Miller said. "So I thought I would take a shot rather than sit in and get shuffled. She was tired at the end, but she held up." Tuesday's card also featured a pair of Preferred Handicap races. In the $20,000 event for filly and mare pacers, the pocket-sitting Medusa kicked by Lakeisha Hall late and triumphed in 1:51.3 for Tony Hall and trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical with Tom Pollack. Medusa now boasts $773,553 in career earnings. Call For Justice and Dave Palone took the $18,000 trot by slipping past Wind Of The North in the Lightning Lane, snapping that rival's three-race winning streak. The 6-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika's Mazurka, who prevailed in 1:53.4, extended his lifetime bankroll to $516,067 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the card features a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 6, 2018 -- Freshman filly trotter Sonnet Grace has won all four starts -- each of them a stake -- in her promising career. On Tuesday, she'll try to stay perfect in a $185,836 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event will cover the first four races, with Sonnet Grace leaving from post 5 in race 1 with owner/trainer/breeder Rod Allen in the sulky. First post is 1:05 PM. Allen had every reason to expect good things from Sonnet Grace, a daughter of Muscle Massive-I Believe; she's a granddaughter of CR Kay Suzie, a Hall of Famer who won more than $1.6 million for Rod Allen and his late father, Carl Allen, also a Hall of Famer. As a broodmare, CR Kay Suzie produced such top performers as CR Excalibur ($463,412) "Right now, she's behaving herself well for a 2-year-old," Allen says. "She has size and acceleration. I've not had too many big horses that have acceleration like hers. She has a good enough set of lungs so that road traffic shouldn't be an issue." Allen acknowledges that a lot of things have gone her way -- particularly draws. Because her stakes have been split into multiple divisions with relatively small fields, she's never had to leave from a post deeper than 5. "She's meeting every challenge," he says, "but things will get tougher. These babies have just so many starts in them, so I've been limiting her training miles. We're in good shape right now." As for comparisons to CR Kay Suzie, those may wait until later in the season, when Sonnet Grace is scheduled to face the best in her division in rich stakes. "She doesn't have the same qualities as 'Suzie,' but she's more level headed. It's nice to have a 2-year-old that's well behaved. It makes my job a lot easier." Also set for the PASS is Scirocco Donnahill, who, but for a tough 1/2-length beat in a PA All-Stars division, would be a perfect 4-4 as well. The daughter of Muscle Hill-UF Tadys Donato has exceeded the expectations of trainer John Butenschoen, who cautioned owners Lewis Whitaker and Kathleen Whitaker that they might be overpaying when they gave $115,000 for her at auction. "She's from the really good Tadys Comer family in Ohio, which has produced solid horses for a long time," Butenschoen says. "I had her pegged for $75,000-to-$80,000, but the owners wanted her and kept on going. "She's the first Muscle Hill filly I've trained. She's smart, good gaited and takes care of herself. She's staked to everything, but we don't want to over-race her. We'll figure out a game plan for her to make sure she stays healthy and sound." Scirocco Donnahill goes from post 6 in race 2 with Dave Palone driving. Butenschoen will send out two other fillies: Ladylilli (race 3, post 6, Charlie Norris) and Sabrina Deo (race 4, post 7, David Miller). Both will be newly rigged with hopples. "They've made some miscues, and I haven't been able to pinpoint any cause," Butenschoen says. "So we'll go with hopples to give them and their drivers confidence." Freshman filly trotters also are featured Monday at The Meadows in a $100,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The cream of the State-sired two-year-old pacing crop contested three divisions of the second preliminary of their division's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In the first division Stonebridge Soul went to the top, but she was passed first by Treacherous Reign near the 27.4 quarter, then by Sylph Hannover, who went a big second quarter to grab the lead well before the 55.1 half. Sylph Hanover continued on a tear to the 1:22.3 3/4s - a 54.4 middle half, but in the stretch the Captaintreacherous-Scandalous Hanover miss Treacherous Reign was able to pass the pacesetter to stop the clock in 1:51.1, a half-length better than Sylph Hanover, with a flying Sweeter Lulu another 1¼ lengths back in third. That 1:51.1 was significant in several respects. It was a lifetime mark for the winner, now 2-for-3 in her career; it set a season's record for the division on 5/8-mile tracks; and it tied her as fastest baby filly overall with three fillies who went that fast on bigger tracks (Tellitsassymae, Key West, and Glorious Virgin). Andrew McCarthy handled the speedy miss for trainer Tony Alagna and the ownership of Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stable, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Dana Parham. The second division featured She's Allright, who won a Sire Stakes at the start of her 3-for-3 beginning to her career, but her fortune did not carry on this night despite 1-5 favoritism. She's Allright moved to the lead in front of the stands after a 27.3 quarter and was able to stroll to the half in 58.1, but then she really had to turn on the jets as Blue Ivy made a big move in the 27.1 backside (1:25.2 3/4s) and into the turn, and when dueling with Blue Ivy She's Allright made a midturn break. Blue Ivy thus had a two-length lead headstretch, but the A Rocknroll Dance - Philadelphia miss Rockin Philly, who was used in tucking third early, moved outside nearing the top of the lane and had a huge late kick, winning in 1:53.2, 4¼ lengths ahead of railshooting 60-1 shot Sweet Lucy Lou, with Blue Ivy third. Driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr., who had teamed at Philly earlier in the day to take a 2PC Sire Stakes division with Crimson And Chrome, were the guiding forces behind the winner, who took a new mark for owners CC Racing LLC and Jo-Ann Looney-King. The third section was a showdown of unbeatens and previous PaSS winners, Warrawee Ubeaut (2-for-2) and Bestseller Hanover (3-for-3). Bestseller Hanover made the lead at the 3/16 en route to a 27 opener, but Warrawee Ubeaut was underway soon after that point to command just past the 3/8, getting the middle clockings in 56.2 and 1:24.3. Bestseller Hanover had stayed tight in the pocket, came out in the lane, and paced home well, but Warrawee Ubeaut had a 27.3 last quarter in her to equal her lifetime mark of 1:52.1, with Bestseller Hanover second, a length back, and Izzy Hanover another ¾ lengths back in third. Yannick Gingras and Ron Burke are the team behind Warrawee Ubeaut, and a comparison between this filly and a colt counterpart from the same two horsemen, De Los Cielos Deo (also a Philly winner in the afternoon), is apt in that both horses look like they haven't shown their best yet, that although undefeated, they haven't been fully extended. This is a thought certainly cheering to the ownership of the victorious Sweet Lou - Great Memories filly: Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Six divisions of Stallion Series baby pacing fillies will be the highlight events on the Monday card at The Downs. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Pennsylvania-sired two-year-old pacing fillies take over the spotlight at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday and Monday, with three divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action the first day and six sections of the PA Stallion Series the second. The Keystone-sired fillies will be contesting their second round action. The shadow of trainer Ron Burke would loom large over anything, since he's 6'5", but it looms even larger over the Sire Stakes competition, as he has two entries in each division, including two fillies who won in the first PaSS leg. The faster was Warrawee Ubeaut, a daughter of Sweet Lou - Great Memories who won a Sire Stakes event in 1:52.4, last quarter 26.4 at The Meadows, then came here for Pennsylvania All-Stars competition and established the national season's record at press time, 1:52.1. She's drawn the rail, and is scheduled to again have Yannick Gingras in the sulky. Her main opposition in the race ten contest will likely come from another PaSS winner, the Somebeachsomewhere - Bittorsweet Terror miss Bestseller Hanover, who will start from post four for Ontario-based trainer Eric Adams. Bestseller Hanover sandwiched her Sire Stakes win between two overnight victories at Mohawk, so she'll be looking to run her record to 4-for-4. The other Burke PaSS winner, She's Allright, will look to push her lifetime record to unbeaten status in four starts as she tops the fifth race division from post four, with Gingras also slated for sulky duty. She's Allright was given a bit of a scare in her last start at The Meadows, where Darn Tootn Hanover got to within a head at the finish, but the Sweet Lou - Atsallright Hanover filly had enough in the 55.4 last half to save her undefeated status. The fourth race division feature several horses who have already recorded success in stakes company, including Sylph Hanover, another Burke pupil who will start from post six for driver Matt Kakaley. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere - She's A Fan comes off a win in an Arden Downs stakes on Adios Day at The Meadows, and she was second behind Warrawee Ubeaut in her initial Sire Stakes start. In the Stallion Series action on Monday, all three first leg winners will be in to go - two of them, Margret Hill and Another Beach Day, face off in race ten, while Michelon's Filly will face the starter in race four. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

CHESTER, PA - A pair of sons of Muscle Hill, Prospect Hill and Demon Onthe Hill, became the fastest freshmen trotters of 2018 on a 5/8-mile track with 1:55.4 clockings while running their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes records to two-for-two in winning Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Their clocking was then equaled in the third Sires division by the Cantab Hall colt Osterc, with all three victors taking lifetime bests. The Muscle Hill - Louise Kemp colt Prospect Hill established himself on the lead at the 3/8 after a 27.3 opener, then got a breather to a 57.3 half. Down the backstretch up came first-over Ginger Tree Skyr, and those two had quite a tussle before, during, and especially after the 1:26.1 3/4s, with Prospect Hill finally closing out the decision in deep stretch, a length better than his tough rival, for Team Orange Crush - trainer/wife Julie and driver/husband Andy Miller - and owners Stroy Inc. Thursday's triumph was the third in succession for Prospect Hill. Demon Onthe Hill, a son of Muscle Hill - Sabrina Hall, came first-up off the second turn after early fractions of 27.3 and 57.2, and trotted strongly right by to the lead at the 1:26 ¾. Fashion Possessed, who had been racing in the pocket, came out in the winner's wake mid-far turn, but he could get no closer than 1¾ lengths as Demon On the Hill was victorious for driver Brian Sears, trainer Marcus Melander, and Vicky Trotting Inc. The Cantab Hall - Oh Oh Hereshecomes colt Osterc was three-deep much of the 28.2 first panel in his section, but driver Yannick Gingras kept him going forward to 3/8 command, posting middle splits of 58.1 and 1:27. Favored Flippen Creek loomed as a potential pocket rocket, but Osterc was having none of that, staying clear by 2½ lengths while running his record to 2-for-3 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk. The parade of top PA-sired two-year-old colts continues in the next two cards with pacers featured, as Friday finds seven divisions of Stallion Series action slated, while on Sunday four divisions of the Sire Stakes hardhitters will highlight the action. Moonshiner Hanover overcame the tuck-then-grind trip to post a victory in 1:52.3, a new mark, in winning the $18,000 feature for older stock over a late-charging Tyson. David Miller guided the son of Andover Hall, now a winner of $544,457, for trainer Chris Beaver, who is the co-owner with Synerco Ventures Inc. and Bill Manes. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2018 -- Saturday's Adios eliminations card at The Meadows also featured 66 freshman colt and gelding pacers vying for total purses of $312,112 -- and to demonstrate they have what it takes to be champions. Indeed, several of them showed just that. Here are the highlights of the two stakes for 2-year-olds: $190,112 Pennsylvania Sires Stake (The Albatross) De Los Cielos Deo extended his career unbeaten streak to three -- all stake victories --while Semi Tough earned Albatross honors by scoring in 1:51.1, fastest this year by a freshman on a five-eighths-mile track. Yannick Gingras drove both promising youngsters for trainer Ron Burke. Other Albatross splits went to Sugar Factory and Ehrmantraut. A son of Captain Treacherous-Lisjune, De Los Cielos Deo quarter-poled to the front and never allowed the pocket-sitting Love Me Some Lou to get close, downing him by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3. Captain Victorious finished third. "From the first time I drove him in Florida, he was my favorite," said Gingras of the winner, who is campaigned by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. "He's never disappointed. He's been there from the start, and he's showing it now. What we like best about him is that he's so smart. You want to pull, he goes. You want to go back in the hole, he goes back in the hole. He's like a 6-year-old who knows what to do." At times in the past, owner John Cancelliere and trainer Tom Cancelliere have launched the careers of their brightest 2-year-olds in relatively soft spots, allowing them to gain their sea legs and develop confidence before facing the pressures of bigger stakes. That approach paid off for Sugar Factory, who debuted with a stallion series win and had little trouble stepping up to the Albatross for a facile victory in 1:52.1, 2-3/4 lengths better than Cruise Captain, with No Mas Amor third. "We'll see how far up he can go without torturing him," Tom Cancelliere said of his $65,000 yearling acquisition. "His upside? We don't know yet. He hasn't faltered yet. He hasn't told us, that's enough. I want to race him only 10 or 12 times this year." Ehrmantraut allowed 4-5 favorite Bring The Thunder to do the heavy lifting, then blew by him in the Lightning Lane to triumph in 1:52.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Lou Pena and owners Lawrence Keethe and John Darrah. Branquinho was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while Bring The Thunder saved show. "There are three or four colts today, you'd lick your chops to have one," Palone said. "I think he's in that group. I don't know what more you could ask from him." $120,000 PA Stallion Series Latissimus Hanover made it two straight in the stallion series in a stake-fastest 1:52.4. Prince Of Tides, Highlandbeachlover, Do Ya Think, Just Plain Loco and Captain Hill captured the other divisions. Palone fashioned a stake double behind Highlandbeachlover and Do Ya Think. Latissimus Hanover, a son of Captaaintreacherous-Ladyking, quarter-poled to the top for Tim Tetrick and made short work of the field, defeating Roar Of Approval by 2-1/2 lengths. Early leader Yacht Week completed the ticket. "We'll keep him right in the stallion series and, hopefully, keep making the money," said Ray Schnittker, who trains the $75,000 yearling purchase and owns with Mary Arnold and Ted Gewertz. "We have him staked pretty good for the end of the year, so hopefully he can get through this gauntlet and get the job done." Prince Of Tides was caught outside for most of the opening panel, but he was still tons the best, scoring for Corey Callahan in 1:54.1. Doc's Hooligan was second, beaten 6-1/4 lengths, while Cool Your Heels earned show. "The field didn't really look that tough time-wise, and he had been in a lot more than the other colts," Callahan said. "I figured I'd give him a chance to strut his stuff and take matters into our own hands. He's a little bit immature and a little better following, but I kept him to task, and he was good." Ross Croghan conditions the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Tug River Princess for Let It Ride Stables, Dana Parham and Howard Taylor. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

CHESTER, PA - Trainer Jim Campbell showed he has two honed Hambletonian-caliber horses for new Hall of Famer Jules Siegel and his Fashion Farms LLC in Patent Leather and Crystal Fashion, as they posted identical 1:53.3 clockings in winning divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes third preliminary leg for three-year-old colt trotters Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. And the Campbell duo defied a trend that manifested itself - Patent Leather was the second choice in his race and Crystal Fashion the favorite in his, and they were the only two of the six 1-2 choices in the three divisions who did not make a break. Crystal Fashion, unraced since winning the Beal Championship on June 30 and starting from the outside post seven, was away quickly, but backed off to a tuck fourth as Hill Street set the early pace of 28.2 and 57.4, with second choice Lindy's Big Bang in the pocket. Tim Tetrick, continuing in outstanding driving form, had his Cantab Hall gelding on the move past the half, and he had reached Hill Street before the 1:25.2 ¾ pole. It was just past that point that Lindy's Big Bang ran in the pocket, and Crystal Fashion had it fairly easy from there, going past the pacesetter at headstretch and winning by ¾ of a length over Mississippi Storm, who closed well but wasn't a gasp!-hold-your-breath threat nearing the wire. But Crystal Fashion certainly could be a threat in that big race in Jersey in 15 days time. Campbell had a good idea that Tetrick would likely stick with Crystal Fashion in future outings, so he engaged Andrew McCarthy to drive Patent Leather in his division, and the two teamed like old friends. Favored Hat Trick Habit yielded to Gemologist before the 26.4 quarter, then broke soon off the first turn to take herself out of contention. McCarthy waited in fourth with his Broadway Hall colt as Gemologist got a breather to the half in 57.1, then took up chase at the 5/8, reaching the leader by the 1:25.1 3/4s and then drawing off at will, ahead of second-place Exarch by 3 1/2 lengths on the money. The other division proved to be the fastest. The 1-2 choices, Lawmaker and Whats The Word, were both offstride before the 5/16, leaving the path clear for pacesetting Scirocco Rob to post a 1:53.1 victory, a tick short of his career best posted here last week, after commanding through fractions of 27, 55.3, and 1:24.1. Make It A Double inherited the pocket, drafted behind the leader, and made a good race of it in the stretch, but the victorious altered son of Explosive Matter, stakes-placed in several recent races, had enough to hold on by a neck for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, July 20, 2018 -- Eliminations for the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids highlight Saturday's card at The Meadows, but fans of 2-year-old racing will enjoy an additional treat: 66 freshman colt and gelding pacers will compete in a pair of stakes spread over 10 divisions worth a total of $312,112. The stakes include the Albatross, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake, and a PA Stallion Series event. While most of the youngsters appear promising, two boast pedigrees that fairly jump off the page. Branquinho, a Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show full brother to 2016 Dan Patch Award winner Huntsville, leaves from post 4 in race 11 with Tim Tetrick driving. Proof, an undefeated son of A Rocknroll Dance-Ginger And Fred -- who banked more than $1.9 million on the track -- goes from post 4 in race 14 for David Miller. The $50,000 Adios eliminations are set for races 12 and 13. The first four finishers in each elimination, plus the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings, return for the July 28 final. The eliminations card also includes a number of "big score" wagering opportunities: a $7,500-guaranteed Pick 4 (races 4-7), a $5,000-guaranteed Pick 5 (races 11-15) and a $2,748.90 jackpot in the Super High 5 (race 15). First post is 1:05 PM. Huntsville, whose 1:50 mile remains the fastest ever by a freshman at The Meadows, was the top 2-year-old in the sport and earned over $1.7 million before retiring to stud. Ray Schnittker, who trained, co-bred and co-owned Huntsville, also trains, owns and co-bred Branquinho. In his first two starts, Branquinho finished third and fourth in a PA All-Stars split and a PASS leg, results Schnittker predicts will improve. "Both those starts were okay," Schnittker says. "He's been a little bit slow coming; he hasn't been focused. But he's figured it out over the last couple weeks. He has a way to go, but I like him a lot. He's getting more aggressive now, starting to pick up the bit, although I don't think he'll ever reach the stage where he's as aggressive as Huntsville." Schnittker named his colt for Luke Branquinho, a five-time world champion on the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association circuit. The human Branquinho boasts more than $2.4 million in tour earnings, a total that Schnittker probably would consider just dandy for the equine Branquinho. Proof is the second offspring of Ginger And Fred, who now is part of the Diamond Creek Farm broodmare band -- and in foal to Always B Miki. Diamond Creek retained Proof rather than consign him, a decision that already is paying off. Trained by Brian Brown, Proof won his PA All-Stars and PASS splits, the latter in 1:52.2, and Brown thinks he may improve Saturday. "He had a pretty good test last week because he wound up first over," Brown says. "There was never any doubt that he would win, but I thought he should have won it easier. When we scoped him, he was full of mucous. He should be better when we get him cleaned up." Brown has two others in the Albatross: Jessica's Beach Boy (race 9, post 1) and Air Force Hanover (race 10, post 5), both with Miller aboard. He's especially high on Air Force Hanover, a Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Cognac colt -- campaigned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and William Donovan -- who captured a PASS division off a pocket trip. "He was a June foal," Brown says, "but if you watch him now, you'd say he looks like a 'Somebeach.' He's getting a little more grabby, a little racier each time. He also scoped horrible. I hope I have them both healthy." by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 16, 2018 -- Twenty-eight freshman colt and gelding trotters will face a major test in Tuesday's $184,588 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. While most of the youngsters are impeccably bred and well connected, two from trainer Julie Miller's stable -- Prospect Hill and Klutzy -- appear particularly promising. The stake, known as the Hickory Pride, spans races 1-4, with Andy Miller driving both Prospect Hill (race 3, post 4) and Klutzy (race 2, post 3). First post is 1:05 PM. Also on Tuesday, The Meadows will announce the field for the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Pace for the Orchids. Adios eliminations are set for Saturday, July 21, with the final the following Saturday. Prospect Hill passed his initial stake challenge with flying colors with a 9-1/4-length romp in 1:56.4 in a PA All-Stars split. The son of Muscle Hill-Louise Kemp earned back a big chunk of the $130,000 he cost as a yearling. "The Muscle Hill colts are high priced, so we had to spend a little bit more for him," Andy Miller says. "He's done everything we've asked of him. He's very playful but versatile. He doesn't have to be on the front or come from behind. In the All-Stars, he trotted home in 28 handily. Before that at the Meadowlands, he followed a couple good colts and finished right close to them." Klutzy, of course, is derived from the Yiddish word for clumsy, and although the name doesn't suggest the grace and power you'd like to see in a young horse, Miller indicates the connections never considered changing it. "I don't put a whole lot into names," he says. ""That's what his name was, so we left it at that." Sure enough, after winning at first asking, the son of Cantab Hall-Upside Hanover -- a $55,000 yearling acquisition -- had a close encounter with a pylon in an All-Stars division and broke stride. His driver, however, exonerates him. "A pylon was leaning out onto the track," Miller says. "He got a little close to it, jumped away from it and made a break. It wasn't really his fault." However they fare Tuesday, the two youngsters are extending the extraordinary relationship between the Millers and the colts' owner, Stroy Inc., the nom de course of Natalia Stroy. A resident of Russia, Stroy visits the U.S. several times each year to touch base with the Millers and review her American operations. It's a warming note in this era of strained Russo-American relations that has injected an international flavor into the sport. The partnership now races a horse with a Yiddish-influenced name as well as the 3-year-old trotter Seviyorum, a Turkish expression that translates as "I love" or "I like." They also campaigned the top trotter Devious Man, who earned nearly $1.4 million for them. Nothing klutzy about that. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 7, 2018 -- Bestseller Hanover and Warrawee Ubeaut each stopped the timer in 1:52.4 -- fastest miles this year by harness racing freshman filly pacers on a five-eighths-mile track -- to highlight Saturday's $182,962 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event, known as the Sand Tart, was contested over three divisions, with She's Allright taking the other split. Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke teamed for a Sand Tart double with Warrawee Ubeaut and She's Allright. A $130,000 yearling acquisition, Bestseller Hanover launched her career with a front-end 1:53.1 victory at Woodbine Mohawk, but that was only a warm-up for Saturday's performance. She vaulted to the lead from post 7 for Dave Palone and jogged home, defeating Art Lecture by 2-1/4 lengths. Louphoria earned show. "She's done everything right from the start," said Eric Adams, who trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Bittorsweet Terror for Miller Farms. "She was a little quirky at first, throwing her head a lot. She was a little bit hesitant when we started with her, but once she got the hang of it, it was two fingers all the time. She has all the big stake races in Canada and whatever we can get to down here." Warrawee Ubeaut was just as impressive, quarter-poling to the lead in her career debut and downing her stablemate, Sylph Hanover, by 3 lengths. Philly Hanover rallied for show. "She can get a little warm here and there, so we just wanted to make sure she'd keep her head on straight," Gingras said. "She was perfectly behaved today. She has a wealth of ability. She could be a real top horse." Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva, Purnell&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC campaign Warrawee Ubeaut, a daughter of Sweet Lou-Great Memories. She's Allright was more than all right in her initial career start, scoring on the front end in 1:53. Rockn Philly was second, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Sweet Chrome completed the ticket. "She's out of a very good family," Burke said of the homebred daughter of Sweet Lou-Atsallrite Hanover. "Those are the kind that you expect sometimes will step it up. She's good gaited and an honest little horse." She's Allright races for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Michelle Yanek and Collura. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Phoenix Warrior N made it two straight with a facile front-end triumph in 1:50.1 for Jim Pantaleano, trainer Scott Betts and owners Timothy Betts, Nicholas Catalano and Stephen Moss. The first-over Reggiano was second, beaten 2 lengths, with Stride Of Pride third. The 8-year-old Jereme's Jet-Never Walk Alone gelding lifted his lifetime bankroll to $298,913. Aaron Merriman and Palone each collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows        

WASHINGTON, PA, July 3, 2018 -- Tuesday's $190,235 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows turned out to be a showcase for first-time starters. All five harness racing divisions in the event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Meadow Gladys, went to youngsters making their career debuts. The talented quintet includes: Fate Smiled, Sonnet Grace, Darla P, Magical Beliefs and Personal Paradise. Ake Svanstedt enjoyed a training/driving double with Darla P and Personal Paradise. Fate Smiled captured stake honors when she fronted the mile and dug in late to hold off Windy Corner by a head in 1:58. The first-over Something Spicy was third. "My main concern was to keep her quiet; with her pedigree, they have a tendency to be hot," said winning driver Dave Palone. "She was a perfect lady. I woke her up at the head of the stretch, but I never really felt any concern." Ron Burke trains the daughter of Muscle Massive-For A Dancer for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva, Purnell & Libby and Michelle Yanek. Sonnet Grace found a seat third after trying for the early lead and had enough in the tank to kick by the leaders with a 28.4 final quarter. She triumphed in 1:58.1, 2-1/2 lengths better than Ladylilli, with early leader Sky Is Mine third. "I was hoping for another qualifier for her, but I ran out of time when I came up from Florida late," said Rod Allen, who trains and drives the daughter of Muscle Massive-I Believe for Rod Allen Inc. "But I schooled her and made the changes I had to make. I think I have her set now. She's a big filly, and I brought her along slow. Hopefully, she'll be a little more developed at the end of the year." Svanstedt said Darla P's talent always has impressed him, but it's something else that sets the daughter of Muscle Hill-Wilsonator apart. "She trained down well, but some horses are nervous about racing," he said. "She's always been focused -- before the race and during the race. " She demonstrated that focus in the Meadow Gladys when she sprang from the pocket at the top of the lane and overpowered Ma Was Right to defeat her by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:58.1. Bushy Tails completed the ticket. The Pozefskys -- Michael, Harry and David -- own Darla P, who likely will race primarily in Pennsylvania but is eligible to some rich year-end stakes. After a holiday break, live racing at The Meadows resumes with a special Thursday card that features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

CHESTER, PA - A pair of daughters of Donato Hanover, Seviyorum and Live Laugh Love, both trotted the Harrah's Philadelphia oval in 1:53.1 during Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on the pre-holiday Tuesday card at the riverside oval, and coming away co-holders of the divisional track record for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies. Andy Miller moved Seviyorum, a winner of $325,526, out raw at the half and quickly got her in gear, clearing with a 27.4 brush down the backstretch and then duplicating the clocking the remainder of the journey to lower by a tick the local divisional standard first set by Behindclosedoors in 2010 and tied by Superstar Hanover in 2012. Julie Miller trains the member of Team Orange Crush, who also established a personal best, for Story Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable Inc. Then it was David Miller and Live Laugh Love's turn in the spotlight, as she brushed to the lead in front of the grandstand, went on at a quick clip, and maintained control from there. The Nifty Norman trainee, with two Sire Stakes wins and a second to Manchego in her 2018 state campaign, took a new speed badge and boosted her bankroll to $145,467 for Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. Phaetosive, the Explosive Matter filly who gave 2017 champion Manchego some of her strongest challenges last year, won easily in her second start of the year in 1:53.2 - a time which would have equaled the track record had not Seviyorum raced earlier (and, as it turned out, Live Laugh Love later). Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and his filly both kept their heads while there were several breakers around them in the last quarter, going on true to the wire to raise her earnings to $281,393 for Purple Haze Stables LLC. (Smedshammer/Purple Haze may have given a preview of "the next generation" earlier in the card, as the freshman Explosive Matter - Hawaiian Lea filly Matterlei was successful in her purse debut in 1:58.4.) There were also five divisions of the parallel Stallion Series competition on the only Tuesday card of the year at Philly. The winners were: Mission Revealed, a Donato Hanover filly driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Bill "Moon" Mullin, also co-owner with Howard Taylor, well clear in lowering her mark over seven seconds to 1:54.3. Follow Streak, who looked like a rerun of Sire Stakes winner Seviyorum from 16 minutes earlier, with sire Donato Hanover, driver Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller, and a backstretch brush to the lead en route to a new mark of 1:54.3 and her second Stallion Series win of the year for the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. Bella Glos, a Cantab Hall filly who had to dig in to defeat Mighty Macko to her left and Pembroke Mystery to her right in 1:56.3, taking her second Stallion Series victory for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter and Black Horse Racing. Bandol Rose, another daughter of Cantab Hall, who worked hard to get the early lead, then rolled on to a new mark of 1:55 for driver David Miller, trainer Charlie Norris, and the M T Pockets Stables. Perfect Image, a Muscle Hill distaff who provided a second Stallion Series success for the team of David Miller and Charlie Norris while lowering her mark to 1:55.1 for owner Frank Poerio Jr., racing unchallenged the last 5/8. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

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