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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

WASHINGTON, PA, June 11, 2018 — Sidewalk Dancer peeled off cover past the three-quarters, turned on the jets in the lane and rolled to her third straight victory in Monday’s $159,868 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old filly pacers, known as the Adios Betty, was contested over two divisions, with Serene Stride taking the other split. All the victories in Sidewalk Dancer’s current streak, including a PASS leg at Harrah’s Philadelphia, have come since trainer Chris Oakes began treating her with Lasix. Winning driver Brett Miller believes the medication is making a difference. “I think it’s played a big part,” Miller said. “Last year, she was real high strung, so I’m sure Lasix is really helping her. She’s amazing. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope she stays sound.” In the Adios Betty, Sidewalk Dancer followed the live cover of Cult Icon before exploding late to triumph in 1:52, 2 lengths better than the rallying Alexa’s Power. Early leader Sansovina Hanover completed the ticket. Northfork Racing, Omar Beiler and Dennis Coons campaign the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-Road Sign, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $157,779. Serene Stride had a more anxious journey, stalking Double A Mint from the pocket and hoping to find the Lightning Lane before the closers brushed by. “I was a little bit worried about that,” said winning driver Tony Hall. “Once I got down in there and she cleared the horse on the lead, she kind of sat down on me the last 50 feet. She just kind of coasted through. The track’s a little heavy today on the inside, and I’m thinking that might have played a part.” Serene Stride held off Aldine Hanover, who found a late seam, by a head in 1:53.3, with Ideal Talker third. Mark Harder conditions Serene Stride, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Siren who won for the sixth time in seven 2018 starts and now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $126.678, for Emilio and Maria Rosati. Dave Palone collected three wins, including a pair for trainer Kevin Johnson, on the 13-race card. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for sophomore filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, June 10, 2018 -- Action in the 3-year-old pacing fillies division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes shifts to The Meadows on Monday, where trainer Ron Burke will send out a quality quartet that already has combined for nearly $800,000 in career earnings. The $159,838 stake, known as the Adios Betty, features two divisions, races 8 and 9. First post is 1:05 PM. All four of Burke's fillies competed in the May 27 PASS opening leg at Harrah's Philadelphia. While none was a winner, they look formidable in Monday's alignments. Here's a snapshot of each, including Burke's comments and projections. Double A Mint (race 8, post 1, Matt Kakaley) The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Double Creme, a $95,000 yearling acquisition, finished fourth to Rainbow Room in last year's PASS championship and took her 1:52.4 mark in a Keystone Classic split. In her opener, she endured a brutal 26.2 opening panel and finished a good second. She races for Burke Racing Stable; Dandy Farms, Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. "She kind of fell off at the end of last year but came back strong -- probably the sharpest of them all. She comes from a really good family; it was her pedigree more than anything else that attracted us." Strong Opinion (race 8, post 3, Dave Palone) Campaigned by Burke Racing Stable; Jack Piatt II; Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi, Strong Opinion finished second last year in both the Matron Stakes and a Three Diamonds elimination. At Harrah's Philadelphia, the daughter of Well Said-Rough Sketch backed through the field and finished 21-1/2 lengths behind, but she had a valid excuse. "She was good her first couple efforts this year, but her last start was a debacle. She choked, so it was back to the drawing board. We made some bridle and overcheck changes, and I look for her to return to form. I would think we would be a little more cautious leaving and go from there." Sansovina Hanover (race 9, post 5, Aaron Merriman) A $70,000 yearling purchase, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Shacked Up won a Bluegrass division last year for Burke Racing Stable; Silver, Purnel & Libby, Michelle Yanek and Weaver Bruscemi. At Harrah's Philadelphia, she closed from mid-pack to be third. "We thought she was the best of our fillies, but she's underachieved a little bit. We're maybe a little disappointed with her. But she's trending upward, and I think we're heading in the right direction. Majorsspeciallady (race 9, post 6, Kakaley) She earned $331,888 at 2, a big chunk of it in the Breeders Crown final where she outperformed her 52-1 odds and finished second to her stablemate and Dan Patch Award winner Youaremycandygirl. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and J&T Silva Stables gave $35,000 for the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-See Major as a yearling. "We had let her hopples out, and she struggled in the turns last week. So I tightened them back up. Look for her to be steered more aggressively this week. She'll probably be a lot better." Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday with an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for sophomore filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WILKES-BARRE PA - If you're looking to evaluate the quality of the three-year-old trotting colts competing in three divisions of the $171,290 second preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, you can look at what the timer showed at the end of the first division - 1:51.4, the fastest trotting mile of the year in North America on a 5/8-mile track, posted by the Andover Hall colt Evaluate to lower his mark by over three seconds. Driver Corey Callahan kept Evaluate in third behind a contested pace (27.3, 55.4), then moved him uncovered 5/8 to challenge favored Captain Morgan, who had finished ahead of Evaluate in the first round of the Sire Stakes. But Evaluate proved strong in the stretch despite the raw overland journey, going by by 1 /4 lengths as he ran his lifetime record to 6-3-3-0 for trainer Marcus Melander and Stall TZ Inc. Callahan won a second Sire Stakes division as Whats The Word ran his record to 3-for-3 with trotting hopples and 2-for-2 in 2018 Sire Stakes races while recording a personal best of 1:53.2. The Cantab Hall gelding brushed to command in front of the stands, then came home in 56.1-27.4 to be well clear at the wire for trainer Janice Connor, also co-owner with the Arden Homestead Stable. The third winner in Sires competition is probably the best-known of the three, the Muscle Hill colt and 2017 Peter Haughton winner You Know You Do, who also posted a lifetime record of 1:53.2. The $350,000 yearling, making his seasonal debut after earning almost $375G at two, brushed to the lead under the wire the first time for driver Yannick Gingras, then stepped home in 56.2 on his own, hinting at being on the edge of another fine season for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Howard Taylor, the Order By Stable, Bud Hatfield, and Mkatz Alibfeld Sgoldband. In the featured pace for older horses, worth $21,500, Lawrencetown Beach was involved in a searing half, yet still had enough to rally out of the pocket to nose out closing Maxdaddy Blue Chip in 1:49 - a new mark which also equals the fastest mile of the year in North America on a 5/8-mile track (a great night for the speedy Pocono surface). After leaving in a 26.2 quarter then pushing a foe to a 53.2 half, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding sat patiently in the pocket past the 1:20.4 ¾ pole, came out at headstretch and paced to the lead, then just photoed the charging Maxdaddy Blue Chip for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Ron Burke, and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable LLC, and Phil Collura. And it wouldn't be Saturday night without a mention of Walks Of Life, who reclaimed the clear title as winningest harness horse in North America this year with his 13th triumph of 2018 (coming clear of the remarkable 14YO mare Quicksilvercandy A, who had tied him with her twelfth win on the year Wednesday at Buffalo). The fast and game Walks Of Life, an altered son of Western Ideal, took a new mark of 1:50.4 as he ran his 2018 scorecard to 19-13-5-1-$79,222, and changed hands for the tenth straight start via claim. Driver George Napolitano Jr. (a six-time winner on the night) and trainer Hunter Oakes, the hottest team at Pocono, along with owner Northfork Racing Stable, were the winning connections behind the durable sidewheeler Saturday - in his next start, he'll have his third segment with Team Allard during this session of "roller-coaster claimer." From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - The racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will be brimming over with quality stakes events throughout the Memorial Day weekend, with three-year-old trotting colts racing in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Saturday and the Stallion Series on Sunday, and three-year-old pacing colts contesting the first Pennsylvania All-Stars event of the year on Monday. Saturday's Sire Stakes contains two of the top five horses listed in The Meadowlands' Countdown to the Hambletonian - You Know You Do and Fashionwoodchopper. You Know You Do, a winner of almost $375G at age two, makes his seasonal debut in the tenth race division; Fashionwoodchopper, the 2017 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion by winning over this very oval, goes one race later. Also in entered are Hockey Hanover, who achieved an unprecedented "double" last year when he won the PA Fair Championship and the PA Stallion Series Championship, and the four winners in the Sire Stakes' first leg: Capt Morgan, Donatover, Moosonee, and Whats The Word. All four winners in the Stallion Series' first leg will face the starting gate on Sunday: I Know My Rights, Joey, Lindy's Big Bang, and Rich And Miserable. A very interesting "new shooter" to this Stallion Series crew will be Brothers N Arms, a full brother to Father Patrick and Brother Stephen who is trained by Jimmy Takter. With the pacers taking over Monday, the PA All-Stars event may well be the best "value" based on a "quality relative to total purse ($90,000)" that you will find anywhere in North America. Dorsoduro Hanover, already a double Sire Stakes winner and just elevated to the #1 spot in the Road to the Meadowlands Pace evaluation, goes in the twelfth race division. In the contest just before that will come the long-awaited return of Done Well, who won all of his four starts in 2017 while looking the early cream of the crop, making his first start since an injury ended his freshman campaign almost ten months ago. Entered in race five is Wes Delight, who spoiled the early-season showdown between divisional "big guns" Lost For Words and Stay Hungry here last Saturday by winning a photo in a Sires cut. The top stakes cards, each with fourteen races going to post, are all listed to be starting at 7 p.m. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - Three-year-old trotting filly. 2018 debut. Trained by Jimmy Takter. Dominant. But this one isn't named Manchego - that was last night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, in the Sire Stakes. On Tuesday the filly with that description was Bella Glos, a daughter of Cantab Hall, whom Takter guided to a new mark of 1:54.2 in her seasonal bow in one of six $20,000 divisions of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for her division. Takter tucked early, then made the start of the winning move mid-backstretch, brushing right to the lead past the ¾ and then storming home in 27.4 to be 9¾ lengths clear at the wire. Bella Glos looks like a much-improved filly from two to three for Takter and Black Horse Racing. Tim Tetrick had a driving double in the Stallion Series, with the faster winner Muscle Playmate, who went coast-to-coast in her division, winning by 2 ¾ lengths while posting a personal best of 1:56.1. Marcus Melander handling the training duties for the daughter of Muscle Hill for Our Horse Cents Stable. Tetrick also won with the Explosive Matter filly Pembroke Mystery, who grinded to a half-length success while taking a new speed badge of 1:56.4 for trainer Randy Bendis and owner William Varney. The only winning favorite in the sextet of races was the Donato Hanover miss Follow Streak, who now has a winning streak of two after ruling her group by 7¾ lengths in a personal best 1:55.1. Follow Streak, who won her Sire Stakes consolation in 2017, was driven by Andy Miller and is trained by Julie Miller for the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. In the closest StS finish, Perfect Image generated a second siring credit for Muscle Hill when she held off the late charge of Century Express by a head in a new mark of 1:56. Charlie Norris handled sulky duties for trainer Doug Snyder and owner Frank Poerio. In the other Stallion Series division, the Muscle Massive miss Hey Judy Judy rushed to command down the back and kept a 2¾ length margin to the wire, her 1:57.1 clocking tying the mark she took in a qualifier at two, with Marcus Miller driving for father/trainer Erv Miller and Paymaq Racing. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Some of the harness racing world’s biggest stars as 2-year-olds a year ago came out to play at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Competition last week and there were also two more thrillers held on Saturday night in the Great Northeast Open pacing series. These have been detailled for you by Jerry Connors. Connors’ Comments on all races at POCONO DOWNS -- SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018 FIRST RACE – Stretch headbreeze to start, intensifying a bit at times … I’M A BIG DEAL stepped right to command, yielded 5/16 but was quickly on the retake, and was a runaway train in the last 3/8. GRAND TETON was caught in, dropped to the deep Pocono Pike and was along for the distant second over WHOS BETTER. The latter filled a hole early, gapped the pocket horse a bit from the 5/8 to the 7/8, to the Pocono Pike, caught to his inside for second. POINTS NORTH left and gradually worked forward past the quarter to the lead 5/16, relinquished for the pocket, couldn’t keep up from before the 5/8. SOMETIMESAWINNER was outside with cover early then dropped in fourth, came uncovered at the half but raced alongside the pocket horse, not near the leader, most of the rest of the way. STARVIN MARVIN was very rough early, suffered “b.e.” ALEPPO HANOVER moved second-over but couldn’t go with these. SECOND RACE – LEGION OF BOOM was three-wide to the 1/8 then two-wide past a taxing quarter for the top, yielded to sit in the golden seat behind two duelers, to the Pocono Pike, gradually worked by the game WALKS OF LIFE in a slowing last ¼. The latter left, forced the big opener, yielded but retook, was joined by the first-over not much past the half and saw that one have a slight advantage the third quarter but wouldn’t cede the rail, fought back to the lead, outpaced late after a hard mile; claimed for the ninth straight race. MR FANTASY had some speed, slipped out second-over at the half, three-wide midturn, not far off at all. VERDAD left between horses and tucked, stayed in, went deep in the Pike, had some pace while possibly in tight quarters. DRUNKEN TERROR came out early but gapped, wound up third-over, three-wide with cover while blindswitched on the far turn, not all that much late. JK HEAVEN SENT was last, tried to rally four-wide but had too far to come. CORNER CON ARTIST brushed uncovered from before the 3/8 and applied high heat to the winner while having a short lead most of the third quarter, couldn’t sustain in the lane. KINGSLEY B never got a call. THIRD RACE – ROCKIN RON left sharply and got command 3/16, rated the half, looked like he had shaken off the first-over and opened a couple of lengths, but may have been a little tired at the end and was glad the wire came when it did, giving Matt Kakaley his first victory since his March mishap. ROCKEYED OPTIMIST started uncovered 3/8 and went up on the grind, fell back a little late turn, but then showed renewed vigor and lost by the smallest of margins. MAXDADDY BLUE CHIP was last when moving outside 11/16 and soon was three-wide, gained three-wide on the turn, finished with abandon but came up just a hair shy. BETTOR MEMORIES left enough to protect the pocket, not quite enough at crunch time. CHRISTEN ME N sat in, not prominent. FEELING CAM LUCKY was outleft and stuck outside the mile, gained cover 3/8 and stayed right with it, blindswitched late turn, stayed in the hunt until late. AWESOMENESS was third-over, also blindswitched, not a late factor. FOURTH RACE – DORSODURO HANOVER was three-wide leaving, then two-deep until getting the lead just past the 1/8, yielded to sit the pocket, to the Pocono Pike, surged midstretch and got past THIS IS THE PLAN. The latter pushed the leader early, yielded, came just before the ¼ to take charge of the throttle, raced well but got caught. PRO BEACH spotted third, couldn’t go with the top two in the stretch but stayed on with pace. PEDRO HANOVER was second-over, three-wide headstretch, finished well. CAPTAIN DEO tucked, started the outer tier towards the half, never got closer than the leader’s wheel, fell back some. RECORD MACHINE (off the gate) and CLOSING STATEMENT couldn’t go with these tonight. FIFTH RACE – MACH IT SO yielded the early lead then quarter-moved to command, had an open lead from the 5/8, when the pocket horse started to gap, until midstretch, then may have tired and that, along with the bigtime speed of the closers, saw the open margin shrink considerably late. BETTOR’S EDGE was third-over, swung four-wide in the stretch and finished in overdrive, impressive. CHECK SIX was second-over, three-wide midturn, also moving well late. BOSTON RED ROCKS was last, came up the inside for the next check. DR J HANOVER made the lead 3/16 in a 26 opener then yielded to the winner to sit the two-hole, unplugged 5/8. BARIMAH A was outleft and settled third 3/16, moved raw at the half but couldn’t get close to the winner. MEL MARA showed little. SIXTH RACE – I LIKE DREAMIN used the pole to maximum advantage, forced tucks and set his own pace, stayed safe late. TWOMACSONESHADOW settled into the pocket early, came out headstretch, gained a little but was not really threatening. BETTOR’S WESTERN spotted, then backed out midturn, sent four-wide into the stretch and was moving very well at the wire. FOX VALLEY HERBIE kept a hole closed early, evenly late. CONCUR was parked with cover early then dropped back into the 4-hole, Pocono Pike, evenly. SUNSHINE WEST backed out to second-over just past the half, went three-wide on the far turn but couldn’t gain enough. KING OF THE CROP started uncovered from next-to-last 3/8, didn’t reach the winner before fading. GIVEN UP TERROR was off of the first turn, left a big gap down the back, caught the tail end of the field widest. SEVENTH RACE – RONNY BUGATTI decided to move after the ¼ after a foe broke 3/16, was kept out almost to the second turn until making the front, created small gaps throughout the field with a 27.2 third quarter, then kept RUFO at bay. The latter left strongly for the lead, tussled with WAR-N-MUNN until that one broke 3/8, then pushed the winner some before yielding, sat the pocket, outside early stretch, performed very well. SOME PLAYA came uncovered off the second turn then picked up cover 5/8, three-wide swinging into the stretch, won a photo for show over LONE WOLF TERROR. The latter stayed inside, went to the Pocono Pike, fair. NOX VEGAS BLUECHIP briefly inherited the pocket 3/16 after a foe broke, moved up raw 5/8 to challenge, faded. ONEISALONELYNUMBER was not prominent. MUSTANG ART was no factor from third-over. WAR-N-MUNN left very quickly and was head-to-head with RUFO 3/16 when making a break. EIGHTH RACE -- RUB OF THE GREEN N got in the flow third-over, three-wide much of the far turn, gradually worked his way by HUG THE WIND N. The latter was three-wide 3/16 then was in a vicious duel for the top with TULLOW N resulting in a very fast 1/4 and 1/2, then absorbed pressure from the first-over, held staunchly. THOUGHTYOUDLIKEIT was last most of the way, had to go way wide and finished very strongly. TE KAWAU N followed the cover of the winner, OK but not quite enough. ALL IT TAKES stayed in, to the deep Pocono Pike, not that much. TULLOW N left between horses to 3/16 command, pushed the place horse very hard before yielding 3/8, struggled to stay tight from the 9/16. DERECHO left some, showed little thereafter. ALL WEEK was second-over, badly blindswitched  and shuffled, but little once clear. ARQUE HANOVER came first-over towards turn two, challenged, but faded in the last quarter. NINTH RACE – NOCTURNAL BLUE CHIP made the front 3/16 in a 26 opener, set the pace, was rocked the last 1/8 and never appeared in trouble. DOJEA SOLO was first on the lead then yielded to sit the pocket, gave a good effort in the lane but was second-best. BLOW A CLOUD N had cover leaving, then worked into the 4-hole near the ¼, best of the rest in a photo over URBAN RENEWAL, who avoided sluggish outer tiers. THEREISAPACEFORUS had non-beneficial cover third-over, stacked widest, did get the last check. THE ONLYEST ONE was first-up going to turn two, moved quickly to the leader off that bend, but couldn’t sustain his speed in the last quarter. CHINA KING never got anything going. TEMPSTER HANOVER gapped at the back. SPEED AGAIN was second-over, gapped down the back, three-wide mid-far turn but couldn’t gain. TENTH RACE – WES DELIGHT left the gate with good speed, yielded past the ¼, sat the pocket until coming out headstretch, got the lead deep stretch then held on over LOST IN TIME. The latter tucked fourth 3/16, came out uncovered at the 5/8, never got within two lengths of the leader until into the stretch, but finished with great determination to just miss. STAY HUNGRY was looped out of the gate, worked to the front 5/16, rated Q2 then went faster in Q3, held on until the penultimate pylon. NUTCRACKER SWEET tucked fifth then was second-over, not enough in the lane. HARDEN HANOVER left well, sat third-in, right to the Pocono Pike as the pocketsitter pulled, but couldn’t gain. THE OTHERS did not factor in the major action. ELEVENTH RACE –MAJOR TRICK pushed out very fast from the pole and forced a 25.4 quarter, relinquished but then retook, was challenged by gradually more horses later in the mile but held together very well after the very quick fractions. THAT’S MY OPINION was second-over, gapped a bit down the back but was tighter by the ¾, three-wide midturn, kept coming but just failed to get there. DAVID’S DREAM was last with cover, came widest in the lane and gained well as the pace slowed. COWBOY TERRIER was fourth-over, advanced in a two-wide blindswitch on the turn, never could find full stretch clearance while with horse. ALTA JEROME N was three-wide past the 1/8 and two-wide past a sizzling 25.4 opener for the lead, yielded and sat the pocket, struggled to stay tight down the back and around the turn, but continued on gamely though not gaining late. SPINARAMA left between horses, took third to the 3/16, stayed in, Pocono Pike, not much late response. ROCK ON PRECIOUS was third-over, followed cover two- and three-wide, but couldn’t muster much late. CYCLONE KIWI N left behind a battling threesome for the 4-spot, out 3/8 uncovered, pressed the leader hard in the third quarter, tired some. ARTIE B SPEED sat in, had no clear path in the lane. TWELFTH RACE – CHARMBRO CURIOSITY was looped, three-wide to the 3/16, then two-wide until tucking past the quarter, soon again uncovered, briefly had cover 5/8 then kept going forward raw, grabbed the lead 7/8 and won easily. MAINLAND KEY N outleft everybody from PP9, yielded past the ¼, made a small break in the pocket at the half and was taken inside the pylons, got back on stride, taken back to last and re-entered the course 3/4, came four-wide late turn and made a remarkable comeback to pass everybody but one; however, after an inquiry he was placed last for an extended period inside the pylons. WHO DAT LOVE sat in, eased off the rail into a blindswitch midturn, steadily. A AND C ARTIST came out in a blindswitch on the far turn then angled all the way back down to the Pocono Pike, had some gain. DADDY LET ME DRIVE was in the outer flow but gapped. HRUBYS AND LUCK also was two-wide but couldn’t keep up. JIMMY C R had a forward spot, inherited the pocket at the half, went on with it 5/8 and cleared to the lead, battled with the winner on the turn, then gave way significantly. RUSTY CARTER was four-wide most of the 1/8, pressed forward to 5/16 command, challenged down the back and readily gave way. THIRTEENTH RACE – DYNAMIC EDGE was first to command, yielded, sat in third, got to the Pocono Pike as the pocketsitter went to the lead after the pacesetter bore out, enough up the inside for the victory. ROUNDTOWN ROCKER was outside then gapping a bit, wide in the stretch and gaining rapidly late. SUCH AN ANGEL left between horses to ¼ command, yielded for the two-hole, had a clear path as the leader bore out headstretch and went to the lead, passed on both sides late. CAULFIELD followed the place horse and also came on from way out of it (first half = 56, second half = 59.1). VALLEY OF SIN moved out off the second turn, got cover 5/8, tailed it, pushed wide early stretch, steadily but flattened a little in the last 1/16 after a tough trip. FLEET BUMBLEBEE went uncovered 5/8, gained on the leader, then had to check fairly sharp as that foe bore out and put a wheel under, fell back after that. HEMI SEELSTER was three-wide to the 1/8, had cover to the ¼ hen uncovered again to the lead nearing the 3/8, set the pace after hard usage, tired 7/8 and bore out into the lane. DELCREST MASSY had trouble keeping up. FOURTEENTH RACE – REBELLIOUS was away last, but got into a good flow and went up third-over, four-wide headstretch, had a giant last 1/16 (his own last ¼ = 26.4), much better than most $85 shots, and sailed by late. RIGGLE WEALTH took control past the 1/8, looked in control much of the lane, but couldn’t muster enough sustaining speed despite encouragement. BABY KITTY did well to be second-over from next-to-last and advanced, three-wide, very good but outkicked. HITMAN HILL stayed inside, to the Pocono Pike, good but was outpaced late. IDEAL COWBOY went to the top then yielded for the pocket, couldn’t gain late. JOHNNY Q started the outside flow going to turn two, gained from sixth to second while uncovered in the third quarter, but his gaining halted on the far turn. ASCOT ENCOUNTER A was shuffled back to last, moved out but couldn’t get into the main fight. MIKE’S Z TAM was inside, little late.

WILKES-BARRE PA - Manchego took a successful first step into what could be a year to remember in 2018, making the lead in front of the stands and going on to a commanding harness racing victory without appearing to hit high gear, yet stopping the timer in 1:53, within a fifth of her mark, in her section of the $169,040 second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Yannick Gingras let two outside leavers go to the top early, first Courtney Hanover then Live Laugh Love, then moved Manchego frontward at the 27.3 quarter. Moving to command just under the wire the first time, Manchego hit the half in a "leisurely" 56.3, then went to the ¾ in 1:24.4 with Live Laugh Love, a first leg Sire Stakes winner, looking up on the bit in behind her going around the far turn. But in the stretch Manchego just got more powerful without appearing to downshift, with Gingras sitting chilly behind. She won by 1½ lengths over a very game Live Laugh Love, but the last term that would come to your mind watching her under the wire is "all out." Manchego, now undefeated in 13 career starts and a winner of $902,168, is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter for Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Earlier in the card, Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing joined Team Takter to be presented the 2017 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Horse of the Year by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association; whether the Muscle Hill filly will again race in the 2018 Sire Stakes or follow a different schedule will depend, according to Takter, on how the filly is racing and "what she is showing us." Nixie Volo overcame a tough first-over grind to take her Sire Stakes division in dominant fashion, 1¾ lengths to the good over Winbak Noelle. Corey Callahan sent the daughter of Yankee Glide outside before the half, gradually worked up to the leader, then asserted herself in the lane, winning in 1:54.3 while gaining into a 57 back half. Nixie Volo, who missed a head to Live Laugh Love in the first Sires leg, won for the first time this season for trainer John Butenschoen and the ownership of Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable LLC, 83 Racing, and Eddie Gran. 15-1 shot Piranha Fury came fastest of all late to take her Sires division in 1:54.2. Vivacious Allie refused to surrender the lead when favored Lily Stride came calling, resulting in fast fractions for this type, with Piranha Fury third-over behind advancing cover. Through the last half of the stretch driver David Miller was handling the filly confidently while "measuring" the victory, winning by a length over the game frontstepper Vivacious Allie. The victorious daughter of Donato Hanover now has two wins and two seconds in five seasonal starts for trainer Nifty Norman and the ownership of Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC, and Diamond Creek Racing. PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Wes Delight, who left the gate so quickly he lost his head number a couple of steps in, showed that having a few races under your girth can be an advantage even against the likes of harness racing divisional champion Lost In Time, Stay Hungry, Nutcracker Sweet, and Hayden Hanover, as those top colts making their seasonal bow could not defeat the winner of three of his four seasonal starts, with Wes Delight winning the "feature" division of the $166,015 second preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Corey Callahan had the victorious son of Bettor's Delight away with great jet, getting the lead early, then yielding to the 3-2 favorite Stay Hungry before the 26.4 quarter, with Hayden Hanover, 8-5 Lost In Time, and Nutcracker Spot filling the next three spots. As Stay Hungry got to the half in a moderate 55.4, Lost In Time came first-over, with Nutcracker Suite on his back - and the real race was on. As they passed the 1:23.2 3/4s, Lost In Time fell back a little, and Stay Hungry maintained the advantage, with Wes Delight lurking in the pocket then pulling out for the drive. Halfway through the lane Stay Hungry looked to have a good chance, but he got a bit weary late, and Wes Delight took his measure, then held off the game and resurgent Lost In Time by a nose in 1:50.4 to take a new mark. Stay Hungry was beaten only a neck, with Nutcracker Suite and Hayden Hanover getting the last two checks. This was the biggest win of the young career of Wes Delight, who lowered his mark while boosting his bankroll to $192,573. Mark Harder trains the developing sophomore, and he shares ownership with Rick Phillips and Rachel Frost. The $300,000 yearling I'm A Big Deal, by Somebeachsomewhere out of the world champion Big Mcdeal, got the evening off to a flying start in his Sires section, going to the lead, yielding briefly, then retaking while posting fractions of 26.2, 54.4, and 1:21.3. By the last-named number, he had opened up by a decisive lead, and he finished out his mile in 1:50.2, 6½ lengths ahead, to take a new mark. George Napolitano Jr. had the sulky duty for trainer Chris Ryder, who is also co-owner with Craig Henderson and Robert Mondillo, behind a colt who certainly paced back to his pedigree Saturday. In the other division, the crowd thought the Ryder barn would add a second Sires victory with This Is The Plan, a winner in the first PASS prelim, but it was the other first-round winner, Dorsoduro Hanover, who came on again in the stretch to post a neck victory in a lifetime best 1:50.1, also the fastest clocking of the three divsiions. Matt Kakaley, in his first night back in action after a mid-March racing accident, sent the Ron Burke trainee to the lead before the 27 quarter, then sat behind This Is The Plan through midfractions of 55.3 and 1:22.4. The pacesetter dug in through the lane, but the pocketsitter proved stronger in the Pocono Pike, remaining undefeated in two 2018 starts and raising his bankroll to $145,168 for Burke Racing Stable LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and Wingfield Five LLC. There were also two $30,000 divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series for open pacers. In one, Mach It So equaled the fastest clocking on a 5/8-mile track this year (Major Uptrend at Dover and Nuclear Breeze at Miami Valley) with a 1:49 victory for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Jeff Bamond Jr., and Bamond Racing LLC. Mach It So left side-by-side with Dr J Hanover, let that one take the top before the hot 26 quarter, then removed to the lead, hit the half in 54.1, then opened up a sizable lead with a 26.4 quarter to trip the third timer in 1:21. The Mach Three gelding still had a big lead as far as midstretch, but both his early exertions and rapid closer Bettor's Edge were catching up to him; however, you don't earn $2,578,675 in your career by succumbing easily, and Mach It So held on by a half-length. In the other Great Northeast cut, Rockin Ron became a two-time Great Northeast winner, holding off the determined Rockeyed Optimist by a nose in 1:50.2. Matt Kakaley put the Real Desire gelding on top and set fractions of 26.3, 55.1, and 1:22.4; in early stretch the pair had opened up two lengths, but Rockeyed Optimist, first-over, came back on with great gameness only to just get photoed out. Maxdaddy Blue Chip came from way out of it to miss it all by a neck behind the $1,151,107 winner, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, RTC Stables Inc., and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Finally, Walks Of Life, the winningest horse in North America this year with 12, could not add a 13th triumph to his 2018 record, but he certainly tried very hard in the $20,000/$25,000 claiming handicap, passing the poles in 26.1, 54.2, and 1:22.2, with Legion Of Boom pressing him early and Corner Con Artist having the lead most of the backstretch first-over. Walks Of Life shook off the first-over, but could not keep pocket rocket Legion Of Boom at bay, dropping a ½ length decision to that one, driven by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Joe Pavia Jr. and the partnership of John Whitig, Michael Rich, Lawrence Chimerine, and Jeffrey Hess. One trend did continue - Walks of Life was claimed, for the ninth straight start, and Legion Of Boom will be changing barns as well. PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, May 19, 2018 -- Moosonee moved three wide into the final turn and roared through the lane to capture the fastest division in Saturday's $174,888 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The event, known as the Super Bowl, was contested over four divisions, with Captain Morgan, Whats The Word and Donatover also taking splits. None of the winners was the betting favorite, suggesting that this division will be wide open throughout the PASS season. Moosonee might more appropriately have been called "Monsoonee" for the Super Bowl after a brief, monsoon-like storm rendered the track sloppy. That didn't deter the Explosive Matter-Lady Andover gelding, who angled off the cones for Aaron Merriman and zipped home in a career-best 1:54 in his sophomore debut. Defending PA champ Fashionwoodchopper was trapped in but was able to shoot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with early leader Gemologist third. "I broke his maiden with him last year, and he showed some potential," Merriman said. "As you can see, he grew up a lot. The way he qualified at Northfield, I was very confident today. He won absolutely in hand." Chris Beaver trains Moosonee for Winterbeary Farm. Captain Morgan won a single race at 2, but he came back more powerful and determined, scoring handily on the front end for Christian Lind, trainer Staffan Lind and owners Lind Racing Stable, Bender Sweden Inc., Roy Holth and Kemppisuojalampistable. Evaluate was second, beaten 2-3/4 lengths, while Im Your Captain completed the ticket. "He was kind of immature last year; he made some stupid breaks," Staffan Lind said of the son of Cantab Hall-Muchness. "This year, he's a completely different horse. We even took off the hopples." Added Christian Lind: "He's always good on the front. As soon as he feels the presence of another horse, he just picks up speed and grabs the bit." Trainer Janice Connor removed the hopples from Whats The Word before his last race; the improvement showed, as he moved confidently first over for Corey Callahan and wore down Hill Street, downing him by 2 lengths in 1:54.1, a life mark. Dawson Springs earned show. "He raced with hopples last year but trained down really well without them this year," said Connor, who owns the son of Donato Hanover-Your Word Is Good with Arden Homestead Stable. "He blew up two starts ago, so we put the hopples back. We also went back to a hood with no earplugs." $80,000 PA Stallion Series Stake -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters The stallion series event, the co-feature on Saturday's Preakness Day card, might have seemed an unlikely spot for Lindy's Big Bang following his May 5 victory in the $133,800 Dexter Cup, but he overcame a tough trip to win. Also collecting victories were I Know My Rights, Joey and Rich And Miserable. Tyler Buter and his father, trainer Todd Buter, enjoyed a stake double with I Know My Rights and Rich And Miserable. Stuck with post 8, Lindy's Big Bang raced outside before getting the lead near the three-eighths. He held off the rallying Meadowbranch Ricky by a length in 1:55.4, with early leader Bautista third. "It was kind of a group decision (to race him in the stallion series)," said winning driver David Miller, who owns the Explosive Matter-Lindy Of My Dreams gelding with Melvin Hartman and David McDuffee. "I don't know if he can trot in 1:53, and the sires stakes are subject to going that fast. We'll keep him brave. Hopefully, he can keep winning. When they get to winning, sometimes it helps their attitude." Nifty Norman conditions Lindy's Big Bang, who lifted his career bankroll to $127,233. Looped from the gate, I Know My Rights powered to the point and was much the best, prevailing by 2-3/4 lengths over Konnichiwa in a career-best 1:56, with Whoucalncrazy third. Tyler Buter, Lynette Buter and Gene Oldford Farms campaign I Know My Rights, who now has banked $140,505. "He definitely wintered well," Tyler Buter said. "He was full of himself. He can be a handful sometimes, but on the track he's a gentleman. Our plan is just to take care of him, and if Dad wants to try him against the tougher ones, then we will." Joey entered the race off two straight impressive wins in overnights, but could he handle stakes company? Trainer Leslie Zendt was confident he could. "He's always shown that he's had a lot of talent," she said of the son of Yankee Glide-Jodi's Jayme she owns with Bill Zendt. "We've had a little trouble with him getting around the turns here. We always thought he'd be better on a bigger track, but you have to start somewhere." Joey moved first up for Dave Palone and triumphed in 1:55.2, 1/2 length ahead of Unforgetable, while Mississippi Storm earned show. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 17, 2018 -- When Fashionwoodchopper won last year's Pennsylvania championship for harness racing 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters at 38-1 -- from post 8, no less -- he surprised everyone but his trainer, Jim Campbell. "We liked him all along, but it took him a little while to get himself set," Campbell says. "I'm really happy with the way he's come back." Fashionwoodchopper leads a trio of talented Campbell-trained 3-year-olds into Saturday's $174,888 PA Sires Stakes opener, known as the Super Bowl, at The Meadows. He'll go in race 9 from post 6, with David Miller up. His stablemates, Crystal Fashion (race 10, post 8) and Patent Leather (race 8, post 1) will have the services of Tim Tetrick. Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms owns all three hopefuls. First post is 1:05 PM Fashionwoodchopper added victories in the International Stallion Series and Bluegrass to his impressive resume, earning $258,449 for the year. He opened his sophomore campaign with a strong show finish in a tough overnight at the Meadowlands, timed in 1:52.2. "He's a really nice horse to be around, a real pleasure to train," Campbell says of the son of Donato Hanover-Woodshopper. "It's early in the season, so my main concern is that he doesn't get roughed up. I want to get a good race into him without too tough a trip." Fourth in last year's PASS final, Crystal Fashion, a Cantab Hall-Window Willow gelding, banked $161,292 at 2 and launched his sophomore season with an impressive victory at Harrah's Philadelphia. "Where Fashionwoodchopper can race either way, Crystal Fashion likes to come from behind," Campbell says. "He's really good if he can sit on the outside and grind horses down. He really seems to thrive on that." Although he's the least heralded of the three, Patent Leather earned $77,992 last year while racing through injuries. "He's a real gutsy horse, "Campbell said. "He forgot all about those injuries when he raced last year. He has quick speed, and he's gritty." The son of Broadway Hall-Designable enters the Super Bowl after a win in a Harrah's Philadelphia overnight. Saturday's action-packed Preakness Day card also features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters and a pair of rich guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 10-15). Fan-centered activities include: A DJ and food and beverage specials at BBQ tents on the apron; Paddock tours and jog cart and starting gate rides, courtesy the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA); "Plinko" games offering such prizes as hats and betting vouchers. To register or for more information, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WILKES-BARRE PA - Undefeated champion filly Manchego makes her 2018 seasonal debut Monday (May 21) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing in the $56,480 tenth race division of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for harness racing three-year-old trotting misses. Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic bred by Brittany Farms LLC and owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, was a winner of each of her twelve trips to the starting gate as a freshman, earning $873,948 and of course taking divisional honors. She finished her first season with a decisive victory over Phaetosive, whom many considered her closest rival, in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final at Hoosier Park, and in preparing for her return she qualified in 1:53.4, turning her last quarter 27.3. Manchego will start from post three in the eight-horse field for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter as she starts what could be a recordbreaking year in any number of ways. By luck of the draw, the two fastest winners in the first Sire Stakes leg, held at The Meadows May 12, will be racing against Manchego. What A Knockout (post two, trainer Marcus Melander, driver David Miller) was victorious in 1:54.4; Live Laugh Love (trainer Nifty Norman, David Miller also listed early) went two ticks faster in keeping her 2018 record perfect after three starts, but here she must contend with drawing post eight. The $56.480 eleventh race division contains the other Meadows Sire Stakes winner, Lily Stride (1:55.3); Tim Tetrick will again be behind the filly for trainer Mark Harder after drawing post four in an eight-horse field. The $56,080 fifth race division is likely to be headed by Nixie Volo, who made two strong moves against Live Laugh Love only to come up a head short; Corey Callahan is scheduled to be driving for trainer John Butenschoen from post five in a field of seven. PHHA / Pocono

Dan Patch Award-winner Lost In Time makes his seasonal debut Saturday (May 19) in the third of three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and there is no shortage of familiar faces joining the colt in the field. Also making their seasonal debuts in the same race are Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry and stakes-winners Hayden Hanover, who was the fastest 2-year-old male pacer of 2017, and Nutcracker Sweet. In addition, stakes-winner Wes Delight is part of the eight-horse field. Stay Hungry, who starts from post No. 3 for driver Doug McNair and trainer Tony Alagna, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Lost In Time, who leaves from post six with Scott Zeron at the lines for Jimmy Takter, is the 3-1 second choice while Hayden Hanover is 4-1 from post one with Andy Miller driving for Julie Miller. "It's a who's who of horses; it's heavy hitters," Zeron said. "It's about as interesting as it gets. There are amazing horses in that race." Last year, Lost In Time won five of nine races including the Metro Pace, Governor's Cup, and a division of the International Stallion Stakes. He earned $608,112, which led all 2-year-old male pacers. The A Rocknroll Dance colt was trained by Jim Mulinix for most of the season before Mulinix turned the horse over to Takter for his final two races of the year. Lost In Time enters Saturday's race off two qualifiers. He finished fourth in the first, timed in 1:53.1 with a :25.4 last quarter-mile. He won the second, timed in 1:51 with a :26.3 final quarter. "Those qualifiers, to me, were exactly what I was looking for," Zeron said. "It's nice to see the way he's started this season. He's come back great. There are a lot of similarities to last year, which is what you kind of want; the same horse with a little progression. That's the way it's felt. "Mentally he's gotten a little sharper. He's always been nice to handle and he's nice on himself. It's like Jimmy has said, he's a horse that likes to win. I don't think he's flashy on a day-to-day basis, but he enjoys racing. He's easy to drive, so that makes it easy for me." Lost In Time is owned by Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva Stables, William Rufenacht, and Scott Robinson's Team S Racing Stable. At February's Dan Patch Award banquet, Robinson's guests included professional wrestling legend Ric Flair, who was celebrating his 69th birthday. While accepting Lost In Time's Dan Patch trophy, Robinson announced he was giving Flair an ownership percentage in the horse as a birthday present. "I really hope this horse can deliver and be a real champion because (Flair) was very excited about being brought in on this horse," Zeron said. "And it's exciting to know that somebody that's lived the life he's lived is excited about a horse. It's nice for everybody connected with it." In Saturday's first Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division, Takter's Grand Teton, a half-brother to three-time Dan Patch Award-winning mare Pure Country, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Kindergarten Series champion Points North is the 3-1 second choice. The second division finds Chris Ryder's stakes-winning This Is The Plan, who is 2-for-2 this year, as the 5-2 favorite followed by Dorsoduro Hanover at 3-1. The field also includes defending Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Pedro Hanover, who is 9-2 on the morning line. "Right now, everyone talks about Stay Hungry and Lost In Time, but there are other horses out there that were good last year," Zeron said. "It's the way every year starts out, you see at the beginning who comes to play. Maybe that will stamp your mark on the year. "This Pocono race might be one that puts one ahead of the others, but in my eyes it really won't. It's just a step toward the North America Cup for me." The following Pennsylvania Sire Stakes starters Saturday are eligible to the North America Cup: Captain Deo, Closing Statement, Dorsoduro Hanover, Grand Teton, Hayden Hanover, Lost In Time, Nutcracker Sweet, Pedro Hanover, Points North, Pro Beach, Sometimesawinner, Stay Hungry, Wes Delight, and Whos Better. Saturday's card at Pocono also includes two divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series for older male pacers. In the first, Rockeyed Optimist is the 5-2 morning-line favorite over 3-1 Rockin Ron. In the second, Dr J Hanover is the 5-2 choice over 3-1 Mach It So. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here. Ken Weingartner

WILKES-BARRE PA - Whether or not the Kentucky Derby winner can justify the acclaim he is receiving by also winning the Preakness, harness racing fans gathered at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday will be treated to a spectacular card of racing, featuring three divisions of the $175,000 second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and two $30,000 divisions in the Great Northeast Open Series for older pacers. The marquee matchup in the Sire Stakes will be the tenth race division, as it brings together the two horses generally acclaimed the best two-year-olds: divisional champion Lost In Time and archrival Stay Hungry. Already this year the two colts have traded victories in qualifying races, and both make their seasonal debuts here. Lost In Time is a son of A Rocknroll Dance trained by Jimmy Takter for the combine of Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva Stables Inc., William Rufenacht, and Team S Racing Stable, and he is the horse whose ownership gave a stake in to wrestling legend Ric Flair, who accompanied the group (he is a friend of one of the principals) to the Dan Patch banquet when they received their divisional award. Lost In Time won five of nine and $608,112, and likely clinched the championship with a nose win over Stay Hungry in the Governor's Cup at The Meadowlands. Scott Zeron will be behind the colt from post six for Takter, who has another horse of his, Nutcracker Sweet (a recent qualifying winner in 1:50.2), in this division, but "stuck behind the 8-ball" of PP8. Stay Hungry is a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Tony Alagna for the ownership of Brad Grant and Irwin Samelman. Among his six wins in nine starts and $535,742 was a Breeders Crown victory, and he had a very rough trip in the Governor's Cup and battled to the bitter end. Doug McNair will guide Stay Hungry from post three Saturday. The fourth race division of the Sire Stakes features the two horses who won in the PaSS first prelim at The Meadows on May 5, This Is The Plan (post three, driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Chris Ryder) and Dorsudoro Hanover (post six, driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Ron Burke). Dorsuduro had by far the faster time in his PaSS victory, his first start of the year, brushing to the lead on the far turn and going on to victory in 1:50.3. The first race Sires division (other than the Lost In Time - Stay Hungry matchup, Saturday's Pocono card is frontloaded in the hopes that galloping fans may stay around to see some quality harness horse racing early on) finds Sometimes A Winner drawing the outside post seven for driver Victor Kirby and trainer Kevin Switzer. Sometimes A Winner has been a winner in 4 of 5 starts this season, including in the final of the Sagamore Hills Series - but his only loss came when he drew the outside post at The Meadows. The Great Northeast Open Series has proven a great addition to the Pocono-Philly circuit, giving quality older horses a chance to race for $30,000 every week this summer. The older pacing ranks have drawn two divisions in each of the first three legs, and the events have been very competitive and exciting, with three of the four cuts to date producing victory margins of a head, a head, and a neck. The two-time winner Rodeo Romeo has taken the week off, but the other divisional winners match up in the third race, Rockeyed Optimist (post two, driver Brett Miller) and Rockin Ron (post seven, with Matt Kakaley returning to the sulky scene for the first time since a nasty accident on March 13 put him on the shelf). In the fifth race, the two horses second in the Pocono leg on May 5, Mach It So and Dr J Hanover, will draw their share of attention. The Pocono Saturday card also has the winningest horse in all of North America, Walks Of Life, going for his thirteenth visit to Victory Lane in the second race. With that kind of form, Walks Of Life has been popular not only with the fans, but at the claiming box - in fact, he has been claimed out of last eight races, but with a 8-6-2-0-$42,750 scorecard, you'd be popular, too. Owner Chuck Pompey and trainer Fern Paquet Jr. are using driver George Napolitano Jr. Saturday as the in-form pacer begins from post two. The card at Pocono on Saturday will start after the Preakness festivities are finished, most likely in the vicinity of 7:30 p.m. And as we hope we have shown, you'll want to see all the action from start to finish! PHHA / Pocono

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