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BLOOMSBURG, PA - The 2019 Pennsylvania fair harness racing season ended this Friday and Saturday in this northeastern Pennsylvania town with two days of Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing, with the male trotters taking the spotlight. The two-year-old raced on Friday, and the Father Patrick - Yankee Etta gelding Penance posted a 20¼ length victory (after being behind at the three-quarters) for driver Kyle Bolon in 2:00.3 - just a tick behind the all-time state record at the fairs for the division, posted by Vulcan Hanover in an earlier stop at Bloomsburg this year. Penance also earned the honor of having the most wins in the "A" class of Sire Stakes, posting a remarkable record of 12-9-3-0 for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the ownership of the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. On Saturday, the Andover Hall sophomore gelding Andovers Asset capped a fine season at the fairs with his eighth win over the twicearounds, in 2:00.2 - tying Vulcan Hanover for honors as being the fastest trotter on the local fair circuit this year. Linda Schadel, who trains one of the fairs' top stables which is usually driven by husband Tony, took a turn in the sulky here and doubled her lifetime total of wins, having won the other time in a race for women at Pocono in 2007 (she has driven fewer than five times in every year since 2006). Tony and Linda own the consistent three-year-old. There were two other eight-time winners in the "A" Sire Stakes in 2019 - one who did not race this weekend, defending champion trotting filly RT Gloria De Dios, and one who did, the A Rocknroll Dance - Clearly Foxy baby pacing filly Dream Dancing, who became the only circuit freshman to post two 2:00 miles this year when she won on Friday in 2:00 flat. Trainer Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York, was in the sulky behind the steady filly. The leading 2:00 mile producer at the fairs with four was Find One More, even though he was edged by ¾ of a length in Saturday's final fair divisional outing by his stablemate in the Todd Schadel barn, the Well Said gelding Motive Hanover, who himself turned in three "magic mile" clockings during the summer. Aaron Johnson handled the driving in this event behind the 2:00 winner for owners Todd and Cody Schadel. Crew Sock Hanover, the sophomore pacing filly who had two 2:00 miles, the only all-age track record of the year (2:00.1 at Butler), and the fastest mile of the year's twicearound traveling show (1:56.1 at Gratz last week), set the pace in her event on Saturday, but was caught out of the pocket by a head by the Somebeachsomewhere miss Queen Bee Hanover in 1:59, fastest mile of the two-day stand. Todd Schadel trains and drove the winner for owners George and Rose Bonomo. The other magic miler of the session was the Ponder - Odds On Affair freshman colt Champ Charbel, who recorded his fifth fair win with a 1:59.4 victory over chief nemesis Life's Marvalous for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joseph Karrat. Todd Schadel and Aaron Johnston tied for the top in Bloomsburg Fair driving victories with four, while Todd sent out five winning charges to be #1 among trainers. For the season, Todd Schadel led both categories with 55 driving wins and 62 training triumphs. The Harness Bureau of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission will total up the final points accumulations for the fair year early this coming week, determining the ranking of eligibility for each division's $25,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadows on Saturday, October 5. From the PHHA, MSOA, and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

STONEBORO, PA -- Horsemen are reminded that the draw for the Thursday and Friday races at the Stoneboro (PA) Fair will be held on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., and that entries should be made prior to that time.   Phone numbers are 610 874 5200 and 610 513 7957.   Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes will be featured for two-year-olds on Thursday and for three-year-olds on Friday.   From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association      

CHESTER, PA - There were six $20,000 divisions of the second preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for two-year-old trotting colts at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday, and in defiance of the usual concept of "avoid first-over," five of the winners went the uncovered route en route to victory. Red-hot driver Tim Tetrick won three of the six Stallion Series divisions en route to racking up seven total victories on the day, and he guided the fastest winner, the Explosive Matter - Afterimage colt Overserved, who lowered his mark to 1:57.1 though first-up. The George Ducharme trainee nevertheless powered off by 2¾ lengths over Swipe Right for owners W J Donovan, Stephen Michaels, Joe Sbrocco, and Jim Winske. Tetrick was also in charge of the next two fastest winners, both of whom were breaking their maidens and both of whom are trained by Jim Campbell. Going 1:57.3 was the Father Patrick - Muscle Amour gelding Saxon, the only non-first-over StS winner as he went on the engine and posted the biggest end margin of the sextet, 4¼ lengths over pocketsitter Kyrie Deo, for the Runthetable Stables; just a tick behind Saxon's time was the Muscle Hill - Oyster Kronos colt Beyond Kronos, coming home 2½ lengths ahead of Don Grigio for his first purse win for owners Jeffrey and Michael Snyder . Hall Of Fame driver David Miller, who would have stolen the show most other days with four sulky successes of his own, was behind the Cantab Hall - Scream And Shout gelding Rock Party, who also broke his maiden in a 1:58.3 triumph, 1¼ lengths ahead of Hopeusteponalego, for trainer John Butenschoen and owners Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Charles Rowe. Another Hall Of Famer, trainer/co-owner Chuck Sylvester, sent out the Andover Hall - Lady Luck Hanover gelding Loyal Fox Hanover, who lowered his mark to 1:58.3 in winning by two lengths over Matter Of Focus under the guidance of Victor Kirby; Sylvester's partners on the baby are Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, and Paul Bordogna. The other StS winner was the longest-priced one at $17.60, the Sebastian K S - Mauresmo gelding Roger Rabbit, who made the stretch lead then held off closer Daytona Dreamin by 1½ lengths while taking a 1:59 maiden mark for trainer Trish Adams and owner John Barnard. The Stallion Series races were a microcosm of the unusual positioning bias at Philly all day Thursday - four winners raced on the engine, and the other ten all came first-over! From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The cream of this year's three-year-old pacing filly crop, including the first six finishers in the Shady Daisy Pace on Hambletonian Day, will gather at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday to battle in three divisions of the $168,480 third preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. There will also be four $20,000 divisions of the group's Stallion Series action. In the sixth race first Sire Stakes division, the Captaintreacherous filly Treacherous Reign will look to rebound off a trio of off-the-board performances as she starts from post six for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Dexter Dunn. Earlier this year, Treacherous Reign won the Fan Hanover final and a division of Pennsylvania All-Stars competition. Also in this division is Sylph Hanover (post four, trainer Ron Burke, driver Matt Kakaley), the 2018 divisional Sire Stakes champion who also was a winner in this year's second prelim of the PaSS. In the eighth race second division, the Sweet Lou filly Warrawee Ubeaut, the 2018 divisional North American champion, goes from post three for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. After starting this year with four wins (including a 1:49.2 first prelim Sire Stakes win) and a second, Warrawee Ubeaut has finished second once and third three times in her last four starts, but she has not had great racing luck as of late and has been in the middle of the action in all of those races. Also in tis division are Trillions Hanover (post four, trainer Tom Fanning, driver David Miller), who missed just a neck in finishing second in the Shady Daisy; Stonebridge Soul (post two, trainer Chris Ryder, driver Tim Tetrick), whose fourth in the Shady Daisy snapped a three-race winning streak which included the Lynch Final here and the Mistletoe Shalee; and Odds On St Lucie (post one, trainer Tony Alagna, driver Corey Callahan), a Sire Stakes winner in the second prelim. In the tenth race third PaSS division, there will be a showdown between the Captaintreacherous miss Tall Drink Hanover (post six, trainer Tony Alagna, driver Andrew McCarthy), the Shady Daisy winner and an Adioo Volo divisional winner in her last two outings, and Philly Hanover (post three, trainer Ron Coyne Jr., driver Brian Sears), the only double winner in the Sire Stakes prelims so far this season. The Captaintreacherous filly Annie Hill has been the only double winner in the Stallion Series in this group, and she will have to show her mettle if she is to make it three straight from the outside post seven for trainer Chris Oakes and driver Tim Tetrick in her StS division. Also in to go are three Stallion Series winners this season: Alkippe, JK Mardi Says, and Blue Ivy. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania harness racing fair circuit split up into opposite corners of the state this week, with two-year-old action on Tuesday and three-year-old racing on Wednesday at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg PA and - 347 miles to the northeast - the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale PA. The fastest mile of the week came from the star attraction of the week, as trainer/driver Nick Surick brought the Invitational ranks standout The Wall, winner of the Camluck Classic in 1:52h in Ontario earlier this year, to Honesdale to race in a division of the FFA pace. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding responded with a 1:59.3 mile for Surick and J L Benson Stables Inc. with the photo finish revealing a winning margin of 20½ lengths. Surick recorded a sweep of the FFA pace divisions when he won with the mare Wynnfrith in 2:02.2. Although his father Todd and his uncle Tony each won five races during the two-day session (shortened by three races on Tuesday due to rain) to share top driver honors, the sulky star was 17-year-old Cody Schadel, who joined the exclusive club of drivers who won with their first steer when he piloted Shady Grey to victory in 2:06.2. Later on the Wednesday card, his father recorded the fastest mile of the fair week with Way To Close in 2:01.1, the Western Terror gelding which he trains and also co-owns with wife Christine. Way To Close paced the York oval in 1:57.4 for the fastest mile at the PA fairs so far this year. On the trot, there were a pair of 2:04.4 winners: the filly Bumper Hanover, driven by Roger Hammer for his co-owner on Vivid Photo and trainer, Todd Schadel, and the gelding Andovers Asset, who now sports a record of 5-4-1-0 at the fairs for driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel. The freshman "A" Sire Stakes colts races were among those washed out on Tuesday, so speed honors went to the ladies: the Well Said filly Search Light in 2:06.4, and the Father Patrick miss Cocktails N Dreams, undefeated in two fair outings after a 2:08.2 mile. At Waynesburg, a trio of horses tied for fastest winners at 2:02.2 - the two sophomores were the A Rocknroll Dance colt Under Paid, whom Chris Shaw handled in a rare fair start for the Burke Brigade, and the Delmarvalous filly April Ava, who stunned with a 1:59 mile in her fair debut in "B" SS company, and here won in "A" for driver Eric Neal, owner Wayne Glessner, and trainer Scott Betts. If miles equally timed were decided for honors by the youth of the performer, then the meet's outstanding mile was the Ponder - Odds On Affair colt Champ Charbel's 2:02.2 win Tuesday for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joe Karrat. The baby won twice in "B"s, and since coming to "A" he has gone second, first, and first in impressive fashion. Quickest trot of the two days was the 2:06.2 time turned in by RT Gloria De Dios for driver Kyle Bolon and trainer Bob Rougeaux III. Her fellow 2018 Fair Championship-winning filly, Sure R Lookin Good, also visited the winners circle during the meet. Fastest clocking for freshmen trotters went to two fillies who won in 2:07.3, Furious Fast and Siouxpergirl. Just as Schadels tied for most driving victories at Honesdale, so did Johnstons, Shawn and Aaron, deadheat for those meet honors at Waynesburg, also at five each. There was certainly no domination of the winners circle by any trainer at Waynesburg on Wednesday - there were fourteen heats, and fourteen different winning conditioners. Next week the fair circuit will make two stops, but back-to-back instead of side-by-side. Arden Downs, a former home of the Grand Circuit operating as the Washington County Fair, races on Monday and Tuesday at 10 a.m., while on Wednesday and Thursday there will be racing at the Dayton Fair starting at high noon; at both meets, the freshmen will precede the sophomores. From the PHHA, MSOA and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

CHESTER, PA - Longshots ruled the roost at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, as three horses paid over $50 on one card for the first time locally in just short of two years. Buy In (Art Stafford Jr.) got the bomber brigade going by winning the seventh race and paying $77.80; second in the race was 70-1 proposition Surf The Web, who returned $146.60 for a $2 place ticket. In the very next race, Hall of Famer David Miller rallied Gambler's Tale from far back to return $70.20 to the horse's scattered backers. The biggest was yet to come, however, as Ginger Tree Carey (Allan Davis) went past the favorites in the eleventh race and returned a $120.60 mutuel. It was the first time since August 16, 2017 that three horses paid $50+ to win during a card; on that day, Allan Davis also drove the third bomber. The victory was Davis's second $100+ horse of the meet, tying him with Anthony Morgan in that category. For David Miller, his third $50+ winner put him level at the top with Morgan and Dexter Dunn at three. The $16,000 featured trot saw the Explosive Matter sophomore gelding Capt Chaps Hanover brush to the lead down the backstretch, then hold off the late charge of favored Biodetti Hanover by a nose in a lifetime best 1:55. Yannick Gingras drove the Ron Burke trainee for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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