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Four divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for freshman trotters were contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (August 14), each going for a purse of over $65,000. In the first division, the wagering public backed Tick Tok Tag (Broadway Hall-Tags Schooner) who was coming off two narrow defeats against similar at The Meadows. Off the gate, it was the Erv Miller trainee Ralph R (Muscle Massive-Aiken For Clay) going for the lead, but he quickly yielded to the favorite at the quarter, which went in :29 seconds flat. There was no change in position until the top of the stretch, when Ralph R emerged out of the pocket, and was able to out duel Tick Tok Tag in the late stages, winning by a nose, in a time of 1:57.2. Divisionist (Andover Hall-Only Lonely) finished third. Ralph R is owned by The Ervin Miller Stables and Paymaq Racing, trained by Erv Miller, and was driven by Marcus Miller. In Division two, undefeated Piercewave Hanover (Donato Hanover-Passionate Glide) was the one to beat, sent off as the public choice. As the wings closed, the favorite sprinted right out for the lead, with the Ake Svanstedt charge Colbert (Cantab Hall-Domestic Diva) securing the pocket spot, by the quarter in :28 seconds. After rating a :31 second quarter, Piercewave Hanover felt pressure from a first-over Honor And Serve (Donato Hanover-Honorable Daughter). As they turned for home, the two were on even terms, with Honor And Serve grinding to victory, stopping the clock in 1:57. Piercewave Hanover finished second, while Explosive Drama (Explosive Matter-Phillycityhall) rallied for third. In the third division, it was James Bafia and Eugene White's Shoot The Thrill (Explosive Matter-Fancy N Diamonds) picking up the victory. At the start, it was Special Action (Yankee Glide-Special Appeal) moving out for the lead, with Lima Pride (Muscle Massive-Pacific Legacy) In The Pocket, by a quarter in :29.1. The leader rated a :32.1 second quarter, before Ake Svanstedt vacated the pocket with Lima Pride. They battled for the lead until the top of the stretch, where Special Action made a break, allowing driver Tony Hall to split foes with Shoot The Thrill, springing the mild upset in 1:59.1. Lima Pride was second, while Chef Lee (Cantab Hall-Summer Savory) finished third. Shoot The Thrill is trained by Dirk Simpson. In the fourth and final division, the wagering was evenly split between unbeaten Billy Flynn (Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones) and Walter White (Cantab Hall-Muscaloosa). At the start, Billy Flynn and Walter White left in tandem for the lead, with Billy Flynn eventually re-taking after a quarter in 28.3. After a rated :30.2 second quarter, the leader faced a first-over challenge from Vintage Hall (Cantab Hall-Sweet Vintage) but was able to put him away just past three-quarters. Into the stretch, Billy Flynn squared off with Walter White, who attacked up the open stretch. They hit the line together, with the narrow win going to Billy Flynn in 1:57.4. Billy Flynn is owned by Bender Sweden Inc, trained by Steffan Lind, and was driven by Brett Miller. Wicker Hanover (Explosive Matter-Won An Done) finished third. Mike Bozich

Gatka Hanover defeated previously unbeaten Speak To Me to highlight Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were four $67,347 Sire Stakes divisions held for two-year-old trotting fillies. Speak To Me came into her division having won her first four races in convincing fashion. But on Wednesday night, it was Gatka Hanover (Muscle Massive-Girlie Tough), trained by Ron Burke and driven by Matt Kakaley, who pounced from the pocket to defeat Speak To Me by 1 ½ lengths in 1:56:1. Gatka Hanover now has four wins in six lifetime starts, including three Sire Stakes victories without a loss. The other Sire Stakes winners on Wednesday night at Pocono: Wild Honey (Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy), driven by Yannick Gingras and trained by Jimmy Takter, who won her third straight Sire Stakes race in 1:55, fastest Stakes time of the night; Jersey Strong (Muscle Massive-Vacation’s Over), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Mark Harder, whose convincing win in 1:56:2 was her third in as many tries at the Pocono oval; and Sweet Thing (Chocolatier-Berdine Hanover), driven by Charlie Norris and trained by Homer Hochstetler, who worked hard on the front end to keep off all comers for her second Sire Stakes win in 1:56. Pocono Downs Week In Review It's always difficult to pick the best horses in a particular week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs due to the extreme competitiveness of the harness racing action. This week has proved more of a pickle than most because there are a lot of horses on hot streaks who deserve consideration. On Saturday night, for example, six of the thirteen winners picked up at least their second win in a row. I'm not sure if there's a specific reason for this glut of winning streaks, but I am sure that this is a fine edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: SANDBETWEENURTOES In Saturday night's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies, all eyes were on this powerhouse from the barn of trainer Larry Remmen. It's been an incredible sophomore season for this filly, especially considering she raced just once as a 2-year-old and finished out of the money. Instead of taking time to get her racing feet wet, she's come out of the box with seven wins in seven races this year, including a couple Sire Stakes wins and a victory in the $212,500 Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands. While the field on Saturday was solid, many were fillies who had already come up short behind Sandbetweenurtoes in races this season. Included among those was Allstar Rating, who finished behind the unbeaten filly three times this year. But in her last start, Allstar Rating dominated in the Adioo Volo at The Meadows, giving her the confidence that things might be different this time around when she faced her arch rival. Sure enough, Allstar Rating made the lead while Sandbetweenurtoes fell much further behind the pace than is her custom. Once she started making her move for her regular driver Brett Miller though, there was no chance of stopping her. She hustled past Allstar Rating to win by a half-length in 1:50, making her eight-for-eight and also solidifying her status as the dominant force in the age group. Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who continues to dominate the lower claiming ranks, winning his fourth straight on Sunday night in 1:52; Speed Again (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who burned up the track in a condition win on Saturday in 1:48:2, fastest time of the week at Pocono; and Crimson Cruiser (Jim Morrill Jr., Douglas Hamilton), who overcame an outside post on Friday night and picked up a claiming win in 1:52:1, his third victory in a row. TROTTER AND LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: WESTERN CREDIT It's rare that our categories overlap and one horse can claim two Weekly Awards in one shot. Yet Western Credit's recent run has been as unlikely as it has been impressive, more than meriting the embarrassment of riches. This gelding came into his race on August 3 without a win in 21 races in 2014, yet trainer Eric Mollor, who also did the driving that night, had the six-year-old rolling late for an upset win in 1:55:4 at 14-1. On Tuesday night, Western Credit was at it again, this time with Brett Miller in the bike and stepping up the condition ladder to face the non-winners of $10,000 in the last five races. The fans gave him even less of a chance this time around, putting him at 37-1. Miller sent him first-over early in the mile, which seemed like a tough journey for any horse, let along one with such long odds. It turned out to be strategic brilliance on Miller's part, since the sloppy track that night seemed to favor on trip on the outside. Western Credit did the rest, working hard to pick off everyone in front of him before holding off JC's Jake in the lane to win it in 1:55:1. At those towering odds of 37-1, the gelding paid off $77.80 on a $2 win ticket. Suddenly, that 0-for-21 to start the year is a distant memory. Western Credit is two for his last two and ready to take on all comers. Other top trotters this week include: Whata Donato (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), a mare whose winning time in a condition on Tuesday night of 1:53:3 was the fastest trot of the week at Pocono despite sloppy conditions; Well Built (Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder), a 3-year-old who knocked off mostly older horses in a condition victory on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:1 in the slop; and Gematria (Tom Jackson, Fred Grant), who picked up her second consecutive win, this one in Stallion Series action on Wednesday night in 1:58:3. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: David Miller Miller always steps up his game for stakes or series action and Tuesday night he was at his best, winning three times, including a pair of victories in the Stallion Series. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Mark Ford Ford always seems to manage great efficiency with however many horses he enters at Pocono, as he showed on Friday night by picking up a pair of training victories. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

For over a hundred years, standardbred breeders in North America have heavily patronized the Hanover Shoe Farms harness racing breeding operation. It has long had a reputation for quality and excellence and it is a reputation that they continue to build on to this day. To reach the summit in anything in life is the easier part of the equation. To stay there over a long period is the difficult thing to achieve which is why the longevity and strength of the “Hanover” brand is something to be marveled at. Every year pundits wonder aloud if this might just be the year that Hanover Shoe Farms slips from atop its pedestal in the North American breeding scene. Every year they are disappointed as the Hanover juggernaut rolls on. As is the norm every year, several two year olds with the Hanover name have been starring in some of the early stakes action. Three of those two year old horses have really taken our eye over the last few weeks and appear poised to bring further success to the Hanover brand. First up is the two year old gelding Piercewave Hanover who was sold at Harrisburg last year for $57,000. A son of Donato Hanover from the brilliant racemare Passionate Glide 1:52.2 ($2,131,377), he races out of the barn of Christopher Oakes. So far this season Piercewave Hanover is two for two and has banked $52,577 to date. His latest win at the Meadows on August 5th in a  $58,152 division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in 1:56.1 was very impressive and would suggest we are going to hear a lot more of Piercewave Hanover. The second two year old to have  impressed us this season is Aria Hanover who was sold at Harrisburg last year for $ 80,000. A daughter of Well Said from a half sister to All Speed Hanover 1:49.4 ($830,738), she races out of the Jimmy Takter barn. So far this season Aria Hanover has had four starts for three wins and a second and has banked $114,115 in stakes to date. Her recent win at Pocono Downs on August 6th in a $75,720 division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes in 1:53.1 was full of merit and signaled a big future for this freshman filly. The third two year old to have taken our eye is Sassa Hanover who was sold at the Lexington Select Sale last year for $50,000. A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven from a half sister to Shadyshark Hanover 1:47.4 ($771,172), she races out of the Ron Burke barn. So far this season Sassa Hanover is four from four and has banked $83,933 in stakes. Her recent win at Vernon Downs on August 7th in a $36,556 division of the New York Sires Stakes in 1:52.2 with a last quarter in 26.4 shows Sassa Hanover will be a major player when some of the bigger stakes race roll around. That is just three of the multitude of Hanover bred two year olds strutting their stuff all over North America this season. At the same time as the two year olds have been burning up the tracks, the Hanover based stallions have been having an outstanding year in all the age group divisions of the North American siring tables as the analysis below shows. In the two year old trotting division, first season Hanover based sire Muscle Massive is currently lying second on the North American sires table while Donato Hanover, Explosive Matter and Cantab Hall all sit within the first seven places on the sires table. In the three year old trotting division Cantab Hall leads the sires table from Donato Hall with Andover Hall at fifth and Explosive Matter at sixth which is a fantastic result for Hanover Shoe Farms. In the two year old pacing division, Well Said is currently lying second on the sires table with Somebeachsomewhere back in seventh due to a small third crop of just 67. In the three year old pacing division, Somebeachsomewhere has distanced the competition with Well Said just as clearly second on the sires table. As of today August 9th, horses bred by Hanover Shoe Farms have won 1498 races this season in North America for stakes totaling $15,456,084. The “Hanover” brand has always been synonymous with quality and this years results on both the track and in the stallion barn just add further kudos to the most successful breeding operation in North America.    Harnesslink media  

WILKES-BARRE PA - No winner had a particularly easy time of it in their respective divisions of the $225,049 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes fourth and final preliminary leg for harness racing three-year-old filly pacers Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, but Katie Said, Sandbetweenurtoes, and Cinamony all had enough within them to make it back to the Pocono winners circle. Katie Said posted the fastest clocking of the three divisions, a new lifetime mark of 1:49.4, and she also had the shortest win margin, a nose, and the least amount of time spent in the lead, about 10 feet. Katie Said, a daughter of Well Said trained by Julie Miller for the Andy Miller Stable Inc and Black Horse Racing, rode the wave off cover provided by the "Beach"s - first-over Beach Story and second-over Beach Gal -- to get into the race after being last at the quarter. The raw Beach Story struck the lead into the final turn, was ground down by Beach Gal in midstretch, but then she in turn was just nipped in the last two strides by the game Katie Said and driver Marcus Miller. Not all that many horses rally from behind at the speed-favoring Pocono track, but nationally-ranked Sandbetweenurtoes made it two straight winning closers on the night when she won the second section in 1:50. The Larry Remmen-conditioned Sandbetweenurtoes was put on her toes by driver Brett Miller swinging wide off the last bend, and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere outrushed passing lane shooter Allstar Rating to get the decision by a half-length. The Mistletoe Shalee winner remains perfect after eight seasonal starts for owner Bradley Grant. The Pocono faithful thought that it would again be "Miller time" in the third cut, hoping driver David Miller could follow Marcus and Brett to Victory Lane with the 2013 Breeders Crown winner (at this track) Uffizi Hanover, but Uffizi's late rally was 1 ¾ lengths short of Cinamony and driver Corey Callahan at the wire in 1:50.2. The phrase "speed-favoring Pocono track" normally is not complemented by the phrase "parked to the half for the lead," but that's the 26.3 / 53.3 fate that befall the victorious daughter of Art Official, making her victory even more notable. Trainer Alexander Rice Jr. and the owning partnership of Alexander Rice Sr . and Michael Horn saw their $3500 Harrisburg yearling purchase also lower her mark a tick with the triumph. With the four preliminary legs of the Sire Stakes completed, the points (earned on a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1 finish basis) were *unofficially* added up, and came out this way: 1. (tie) Cinamony and Sandbetweenurtoes, 105 points each (ties in the top eight don't matter because you get in if you declare); 3. (tie) Allstar Rating and Also Encouraging, 90; 5. Beach Gal, 85; 6. Weeper, 70; 7. Someislandsomwhere, 64; 8. Southwind Silence, 52. Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship rules call for eight starters, so AE1 would be Katie Said, raising her total to 48 with the win tonight, and AE2 would be Tyra at 43. The PA Sire Stakes Championship for this group will be held Sunday afternoon, September 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. *Official pointtotals will be calculated by the Harrisburg Office of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission.* Pennsylvania Harness Horsemans Association    

Louisville, KY --- Even before they purchased him for $13,000 at this past January's Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale, the 3-year-old trotting gelding Wheelsandthelegman had made quite an impression on Beth and Walter Carroll. Unraced at 2, Wheelesandthelegman jumped it off at the top of the stretch in his first qualifier as a 3-year-old on Jan. 10 at the Meadowlands, but still managed to come home third ahead of trainer Walter Carroll’s horse Spectator K. Carroll took note of that performance and although Wheelsandthelegman broke behind the gate in his second qualifier the following week, he and his wife, Beth, still thought enough of the gelding to purchase him at the Sale last January. “Walter had his eye on him ever since he qualified and when we saw him at the sale, we both liked him,” Beth Carroll said. “We didn’t know why he had not raced last year but he had absolutely no issues.” The Carrolls did not have super high expectations for the son of Donato Hanoverand the Malabar Man mare Carmita, but after two qualifying contents at Spring Garden Ranch in March and April, they brought him back to Pennsylvania to get his career started. That was when the couple began to realize their horse possessed some serious ability. “The winter was horrible here (in New Holland, Pa.) so we missed a lot of time with him,” Carroll said. “So we sent him down to our good friend Jim Raymer at Spring Garden Ranch for five weeks. Then when he won his first race we started to get really excited about him.” With Raymer in the irons, Wheelsandthelegman, named after the alter ego crime fighting duo from American Dad, captured his first three races, all non-winners events, before triumphing in a $74,900 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes contest at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 15. His next engagement, a third to Hambletonian second place finisher Nuncio in another Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race on May 30, would be his first time tasting defeat. After a little time off, Wheelsandthelegman got back to the winners’ circle on July 17 in a $13,000 non-winners race at Harrah’s Philadelphia prior to another victory in a $32,855 division of the Arden Downs stake at The Meadows on July 26, where he defeated Il Sogno Dream, the fourth place finisher in the Hambletonian, in 1.54.1. Although he did not compete in the Hambletonian, the gelding did make an appearance on that day in a $50,000 Townsend Ackerman division where he finished off the board for the only time in his short career. Wheelsandthelegman was sixth but placed 11th after leaving from the nine hole and he seemingly was not particularly fond of the Meadowlands oval. “It was a tough trip for him against some really nice horses and that fast first quarter (:27.1) certainly did not help him, but he does have really good gate speed,” Carroll said. “He also didn’t seem to be getting over the track very well and he had been sick the week before. He got stung by something and we don’t know how or by what, but he was all swollen. That might have still been affecting him a little bit.” The gelding, however, will attempt to return to his winning ways when he leaves from post position two in a $60,000 division of the Currier and Ives Stake on Friday (Aug. 8) at the Meadows. Dick Stillings will be holding the lines rather than Raymer for the card’s eighth race. Wheelsandthelegman is the 3-1 morning line second choice. His lifetime mark of 1:53.4 and bankroll of just over $88,000 is tops in the field of six. “We are very good friends with Jim Raymer,” Carroll said. “He and his wife Terry are wonderful people and we are very grateful every time Jim drives him for us. We also feel lucky for all they have done for us. Jim really likes this horse and I think he likes driving him more than some of his own horses.” Named for a television character, Wheelsandthelegman definitely has some personality to him. “He’s bossy,” Carroll said. “But he’s not mean at all. He’s really just a very busy horse and is always in motion. He’s always doing something and is never still for a second.” After the Currier & Ives is in the books, the Carrolls will keep Wheelsandthelegman in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year and then shut him down in the fall. “He has the PA Sire Stakes and hopefully he makes the final,” Carroll said. “Then he has the Keystone Classic. After that we are just going to give him a nice, long break over the winter and take it from there. “We were really surprised by him and are just thrilled. Although we didn’t name him, it is something to have a horse that even has his own ringtone.” Below are the fields for Friday's Currier & Ives divisions. $60,000 Currier & Ives First Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Amped Up Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5-2  2-Wheelsandthelegman-Richard Stillings-Walter Carroll-3-1  3-Jett Star-Dan Rawlings-Steve Owens-5-1  4-Choco Sun-David Miller-Orjan Torstensson-6-1  5-Frost Free Hanover-Brian Zendt-Leslie Zendt-7-2  6-Axios-Dave Palone-Rich Gillock-4-1 $60,000 Currier & Ives Second Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Tea Party Politics-Brian Zendt-William Zendt-5-1  2-Skates N Plates-Yannick Gingras-Trond Smedshammer-4-1  3-Sarcastic Man-Tony Hall-Rich Gillock-8-1  4-Il Sogno Dream-David Miller-Christopher Beaver-2-1  5-Southwind Spirit-Dave Palone-Ron Burke-7-2  6-Andover The Gold-Brett Miller-J C Miller Jr.-10-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers were on tap on a beautiful Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of just over $70,000. The first division featured Adios runner-up Somewhere In L A (Somebeachsomewhere) and Hempt runner-up At Press Time (Western Terror). As the wings closed, At Press Time made his way to the top, while Somewhere In L A tucked in third, off a 27.2 first quarter. At the half, Somewhere In L A floated to the outside, and was on even terms with the leader just past the three-quarter pole. The stage was set for a stretch duel between the race favorites, but Somewhere In L A powerfully pulled away to win by 3 lengths, in a time of 1:50. At Press Time held second, while Adios Consolation winner Mattamerican (Allamerican Native) finished third. Somewhere in L A is owned by J&T Silva Stables, Deo Volente Farms, and TLP Stables, trained by Jimmy Takter, and was driven by Brett Miller. In the second division, the wagering public put their hopes behind North American Cup runner-up Tellitlikeitis. The son of Well Said was coming off of a third in the Meadowlands Pace. However, the Jim Campbell trainee Sometimes Said had other ideas. The son of Well Said came away fourth off the wings, and maintained that position until the half. Driver Tim Tetrick then gave him his cue, as he grinded first-over to be within a length of the lead at three quarters. He went on to kick clear, putting away the pace-setter and eventual second place finisher Limelight Beach, to win in a time of 1:50.1. Tellitlikeitis, who elected to save ground, rallied up the cones for third. Sometimes Said is owned by Fashion Farms LLC. The third and final division was stacked full of equine talent, led by Adios winner McWicked (McCardle). As the wings closed, driver Dave Miller sent the race favorite immediately to the top, with Lyonssomewhere (Somebeachsomewhere) securing the pocket spot. After a quarter in 26, McWicked rated the second split in 28.3, before stepping on the gas petal. He faced mild first-over pressure from Toms Titan (Nuclear Breeze) at three-quarters. At the top of the stretch, pocket sitting Lyonssomewhere lost all chance by making a break. McWicked went on to win by open lengths, stopping the clock in 1:48.4. He is owned by SSG Stables, and is trained by Casie Coleman. Mike Bozich

40-1 long shot Rumor Mill pulled off a stunning upset to highlight Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were three Sire Stakes divisions held with purses ranging from $75,320 to $75,720 for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Rumor Mill (The Panderosa-Chippie Gabby), trained by Jim King Jr., hadn't finished higher than fourth in her previous three starts coming into Wednesday night, but Tim Tetrick guided her from last early to rally in the stretch for the win by a length in 1:53:1. Macarena Mama finished second and Safe From Terror picked up the show. Form held in the remaining two Sire Stakes divisions, as a pair of favorites driven by Yannick Gingras delivered. Southwind Roulette (Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Rio), trained by Ron Burke, won a hard-fought split in 1:51 for her second straight Sire Stakes victory. Aria Hanover (Well Said-Allamerican Cognac), trained by Jimmy Takter, battled to her Third Straight Sire Stakes victory with a winning time of 1:53:3 in her division. Jim Beviglia

There were five divisions of Stallion Series action for harnss racing  3-year-old colt and gelding pacers contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, each carrying a purse of $20,000. In the first division, it was Winchester Baye Acres' Spaghetti Eddie utilizing a well-timed move to score the victory. The son of The Panderosa was guided to the outside by hall of famer Dave Miller just beyond three-quarters, and went on to win by one length, for his third career victory, in 1:51.3. Hemingway finished second, while race favorite Brioni finished third. In the second division, it was Sean Liam Q scoring the victory. The son of McCardle seized command quickly after the quarter, and never looked back, stopping the clock in 1:52.2. Long shot Workandplayhard was second, while Jins Shark finished third. Sean Liam Q is owned by Steve Stewart, Don & Michael Robinson, and the Bourbon Creek Stables, trained by Ross Croghan, and was driven by George Napolitano Jr. In Division three, it was The Lunch Pail living up to favorite status. The son of Yankee Cruiser brushed to the lead passed the quarter, and was strong on the lead, finishing the mile in an in-hand 1:53.1. He is owned by Michael Ouriel, trained by Joe Holloway, and was driven by Dave Miller. Bristol Bay finished second, while A Plus Hanover was third. In the fourth division, it was the Chris Oakes trainee War Front going on to an easy victory. The son of Somebeachsomewhere went right to the front end, making every call a winning one, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. Long shot Sweet Beach rallied well for place, while Dragon Tattooteen overcame an early break to be third. War Front is owned by Hauser Bros. Racing, C. Pompey, and S. Oakes, and was driven by George Napolitano Jr. In the final division, it was Stevensville scoring an impressive win. The Ray Schnittker trainee quarter-moved to the top, and went on to a sharp victory, stopping the clock in 1:50.1, the fastest time of the day. Invictus Hanover was second, while Verbal Assault was third. Stevensville is owned by Paul Bordogna, Ryan Miller, and trainer Ray Schnittker, and was driven by Tim Tetrick. Three divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers will headline the Thursday afternoon card, each going for approximately $70,000. 2014 Adios champion McWicked will be in action along with several other talented PA sired pacers. First Post is scheduled for 12:40 PM. Harrah's Philadelphia

HONESDALE PA, Wed., Aug. 6 - Come tomorrow morning, Jeff Firmstone, racing secretary at the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale PA, may have a painting chore to perform - but it'll be one he'd be happy to do. Today is the first day of the Honesdale Fair's racing program under the "Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes 2-Day Meet" banner, sponsored by the local Jaycees, and Firmstone has two fields set to go in a $2200 free-for-all pace. With good weather and good luck, Jeff thinks his fields have a chance to rewrite the all-time local pacing record of 1:56.2, set by Alastor Hanover in 2010 - and if that happens, on Thursday Firmstone and buckets and brushes will be whitewashing and then repainting, and happily. One of the horses who seems to have a good chance is trained and will be driven by the man who holds the current Honesdale standards on both the trot and the pace - Roger Hammer (who set the track trot mark of 2:02 with the renown Vivid Photo during the same week as "Alastor"'s pacing record). He'll be guiding Rockabella, who will start from post two in the second division. Rockabella won over the Philadelphia oval in 1:52f two starts ago, and he has a positional edge on his main paper foe, Only The Lonely (outside post four, driver Hannah Miller, trainer Nick Surick), who has also won in 1:52 this year, was racetimed in 1:50.4 at The Meadowlands in his last start, and shows half-mile track ability with a win at Monticello earlier this campaign. The Miller/Surick team will also start Esprit De Kayjay A from post three in the first FFA division - this one has a lifetime mark of 1:51.3, and in 2014 won a qualifier over the half-mile track at Freehold in 1:55.4h. Just to "Esprit"'s outside is the ageless Tarver Hanover - perhaps not quite the 1:49.2 pacer of yesteryear, nor the 1:52.3h winner at Harrington a couple of campaigns back, but the 13YO from the Dinges barn has been consistently pacing sub-1:55 miles at Pocono and Tioga in recent starts. FINISHING LINES - Hannah Miller, from the Erv/Marcus line of Millers (not the David/Brett line), has a lifetime UDR of .556 in the first eight driving starts of her career. She may improve on that figure with some luck today, when racing begins at Honesdale at 4 p.m. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

Harness driver David Miller was taking no chances with his top pacer, McWicked, sending the son of McArdle to the lead over At Press Time and never easing up as they won the $400,000 Adios Pace for three-year-olds at the Meadows Saturday afternoon. Trained by Casie Coleman, the first woman trainer to win the Adios, and owned by the SSG Stables of North Boston, New York, it was the fourth straight win for McWicked, who covered the one mile race in 1:49.1. Leading to the first quarter in :26.3, Miller kept McWicked in front to the half mile marker in :55.4 and then the action got underway as driver Brett Miller came first-over with Somewhere In L A, giving second-over cover to Beat The Drum (Ron Pierce) with Let’s Drink On It (Tyler Smith) third-over. Brett Miller kept Somewhere In L A well rated on the outside as the field past the three-quarters in 1:22.3 and then started to get after his colt as they were able to collar McWicked as they rounded the final turn. But once he was looked in the eye, McWicked dug in again for driver David Miller and held Somewhere In L A at bay as they went on to win by one and one-quarter lengths. Somewhere In L A was second with Cammikey (Brian Zendt) closing strongly for third place. “I was really anticipating a lot more leavers,” said David Miller. “Only the one horse pushed off and I got in front of him and pretty much just loafed around the track. I really did not have any pressure at all. I was kinda shocked that everyone grabbed up after the start of the race. “I was really surprised when I saw how cheap we got to the half mile,” Miller said. “I saw Brett (Miller) was riding alongside us but I knew my colt would be fine. Once we got around the final turn I knew we were home. My horse was ready for him. My colt is very manageable. He would go a lot slower if I let him. But when I called on him he kicked it into gear and got the job done.” “He ranks right up there with some of the best colts I have driven,” Miller said. “He keeps winning these big races. I really like him a lot.” “It really worked out well,” Casie Coleman said. “We got to the front pretty cheap and he was great. We will give him around ten days off now and then go in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes legs and final and then get him ready for the Little Brown Jug. “So far every start I put this horse behind the gate,” Coleman said. “He gives everything he’s got, 110%. He is an iron tough horse, wicked fast and a pleasure to have in the barn. He does nothing wrong and is just a sweetheart of a horse.” It was the sixth win in just nine starts this year for McWicked. Bred by Andray Farms of PA, McWicked now sports career earnings of $798,447. He was sent off as the 1/5 betting favorite and paid $2.40 to win. Mattamerican took the $30,000 Adios Consolation for Dave Palone, trainer Norm Parker and owner/breeder Bob Key. The race was opened to PA-sired colts and geldings who did not compete in Adios eliminations . . . In a conditioned pace, David Miller piloted Santa Fe Beachboy to victory in 1:49.1, a track record for 4-year-old horses. That erased the mark of 1:49.3 established by Trick Man in 2011. Brian Brown trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Santa Fe Yankee for Santa Fe Stable By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Trainer Jim Raymer hasn't gotten where he is today in the Standardbred sport by not understanding the competition. For Raymer, who entered two in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on August 2 at the Meadowlands, it's been a long and well thought out process. Raymer's Harley Momma and Nitro Nittany are not exactly household names in a field that includes world champions Designed To Be, Shake It Cerry and Cooler Schooner, but he's been planning this destination for a long time and believes he's got a chance. "I think my fillies are capable of trotting in 1:52 or a little better," said Raymer. "I think it was a good thing that Harley Momma has been sidelined because she didn't have to run into those 1:52 miles in Pennsylvania." The trainer is hopeful that in the long run his fillies will prosper, not necessarily because they are faster than the competition, but because they will hold up better late in the year with less wear and tear. "I don't think there are more than one or two 1:52 miles in these fillies," Raymer said, referring to the competition. "At least I'm hoping there aren't." Raymer's long term outlook could be as a direct result of circumstances that befell his filly Harley Momma, who suffered quarter cracks on both of her front feet in mid-May of this season. Raymer had her slated to race in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event but reconsidered. "I probably could have raced her but I thought it would be better if I gave her time to heal," he said. Harley Momma had just captured a $74,132 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:54.2, defeating the very good Take The Money, but Raymer thought about the future of his filly and deferred. Unfortunately it took a little longer than desired for Harley Momma to recover. That left the trainer with less time to prepare her for the Hambletonian Oaks, the biggest race of the year for 3-year-old trotting fillies. "I was hoping there would be eliminations. That qualifier (last Saturday at the Meadowlands) against Cooler Schooner wasn't what I wanted. My filly was so far behind that filly that she didn't know what to do," Raymer said of the daughter of SJ's Caviar, a $30,000 purchase by the Harbor Racing Stable. Harley Momma was beaten nearly a dozen lengths by Cooler Schooner in the qualifier, timed in 1:55.2. While Harley Momma was sidelined, the Raymer stable enjoyed success with Nitro Nittany. The $22,000 yearling purchase has seen her career bankroll swell this season thanks to some careful strategic planning. "I took her out of the sire stakes and raced in the stallion stakes," Raymer offered. "I didn't want to go up against those good fillies. Nitro Nittany won a $99,900 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on May 17 at the Meadows before a sabbatical, finishing on the board in six of her eight starts while racing at Tioga, The Meadowlands and Pocono, avoiding the top class fillies. She has career earnings of $154,490. What concerns Raymer now is whether his fillies have the mile-track conditioning required to be at their best on Hambletonian Oaks Saturday. "The Meadowlands is different," he said, "They have to get acclimated to the speed they go at least one start." With his fillies racing primarily on five-eighths mile tracks with stops and starts, while the pace of races at the Meadowlands is constant. Fortunately for Raymer, although eliminations weren't necessary for the Oaks with just 11 fillies entered, a prep race was carded on Saturday at the Meadowlands. This will afford both his fillies the opportunity to get acclimated to the speed required. For Harley Momma it will be her first competitive start in more than 10 weeks. Prior to her absence she had captured three of her four races as a sophomore with earnings of $51,066 this season. "I was impressed with her last two starts," Raymer said. Harley Momma scored back-to-back victories in 1:54.2 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono in late April and at Harrah's Philadelphia in early May. For some it's all about winning the Hambletonian Oaks, for Raymer and his solid fillies, the outlook is a bit longer. "I think we'll be competitive," he said. "Both fillies are eligible to the Breeders Crown (at the Meadowlands, November 21 and 22) and we'd like to make that." by Hambletonian Society Notes Team  

With 104 horses in the main catalog set to sell, and another 41 entered in the sale supplement, the Meadowlands Summer Mixed Sale is primed to get underway this Sunday at noon in the track’s race paddock. The supplement catalog and updated past performances, which includes horses in both the main catalog and supplement, are available on the Tattersalls website (tattersallsredmile.com) and on the Equineline sale catalog app for iPad users. The racelines have been updated with performances through July 20. “I had expected a large number of late arrivals for this sale, and the supplement bore that out,” said sale manager David Reid. “What’s so satisfying is not only the overall quality, but the fact that so many horses are racing with success right this very minute, at all levels and at so many tracks,” he added. Reid said that more than 100 of the horses in the sale have raced in just the past week, or are in-to-go this weekend. The supplement includes a reduction from Erv Miller & Partners and eight 2-year-olds from Fashion Farms, with a pair of those already placed in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action. “In fact, we have 54 2-year-olds in the sale, and there are a number of them that are stakes winners or have been competitive in stakes action,” Reid said. In addition to being on the Tattersalls website, the printed supplement catalog and updated past performances booklet will be shipped to major tracks before the weekend. From Tattersalls Sales

Five divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for 2-year-old filly trotters were contested Friday, each carrying a purse of just over $57,000.   In the first division, it was Speak To Me (Muscle Massive) remaining undefeated, going on to an easy victory in a time of 1:55. It was the first of three training wins for Jimmy Takter, and one of four driving wins for Yannick Gingras. That's So Ironic finished second, while Matter Hatter was third. Speak To Me is owned by Brittany Farms.   In Division two, it was Smexi (Explosive Matter) closing fast up the passing lane for the win. The Takter trainee drafted behind the speed of eventual third place finisher Kirsi Hanover, and won the sprint home in a time of 1:57. Favorite Kelsey's Keepsake was second. Smexi is owned by the Fieldings, Christina Takter, and Herb Liverman, and was driven by Yannick Gingras.   In the third division, it was Wild Honey (Cantab Hall) picking up her second career win. She was fast off the gate and never looked back, stopping the clock in 1:57. Love Me Madly finished second, while longshot Mercer County was third. Wild Honey is owned by the previous winners connections, and was also piloted by Yannick Gingras.   Division four went to Blessings Counted (Muscle Massive). The Beinhauer trainee brushed to the lead just shy of the half, and went on to a convincing win in a time of 1:57. She is owned by Regina and trainer Rick Beinhauer, and was driven by Dan Rawlings. Bright Baby Blues finished second, while Avalon Hall was third.   In the fifth division, it was heavily favored Gatka Hanover (Muscle Massive) scoring an impressive victory. The Ron Burke trainee remains a perfect three for three, stopping the timer in 1:57. She is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, Hendler and Bruscemi, and was driven by Matt Kakaley.   by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia 

Former world champion Perfect Alliance, who was victorious in her first 11 races this year before suffering back-to-back setbacks, will try to get another win streak started when she faces five harness racing foes in Friday's $20,000 first round of the Ima Lula Series for 4-year-old female trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Perfect Alliance finished seventh in the third round of the Miss Versatility Series on July 12 at the Meadowlands. The race was won by Bee A Magician in a world-record 1:51.1, with Perfect Alliance 4-1/4 lengths back. Afterward, Perfect Alliance was found to have bled, in addition to scoping sick, and will compete with Lasix on Friday. In her previous start on June 14, Perfect Alliance finished second to Classic Martine in the Armbro Flight Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. Perfect Alliance starts Friday's Ima Lula from post six, with Corey Callahan driving for trainer Julie Miller, and is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The remainder of the field is Ma Chere Hall, Mistery Woman, Handover Belle, Rockin With Dewey, and NF Happenstance. "I was pretty surprised because she had a layoff and trained good during the week," Miller said about Perfect Alliance's performance last week. "This time of year, we do have a little bit of sickness in the barn with the young horses. She still went in (1):52 with a last quarter in :27, it's still an impressive mile, but I didn't like how she did it. "After scoping her and pulling the bloodwork, we elected to put her on Lasix and treat her for being sick. She seems really good. We took the necessary steps to get her better for this week. I'm just hoping for a nice bounce-back race. I'll let Corey decide behind the gate what he wants to do, if he wants to leave or race from behind. I just want to see her finish strong at the wire." Perfect Alliance -- owned by Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz, and Arthur Geiger -- won the Singer Memorial Series and the Bobby Weiss Series during the winter and equaled the then-fastest mile ever by a 4-year-old female trotter when she won a division of the Miss Versatility in 1:51.2 at Woodbine Racetrack. She also set a track record at Mohawk, winning in 1:51.4. "You always want more, and we're the same way," Miller said. "She started luckily in good spots [earlier in the year] where she seemed to be the prohibitive favorite all the time, to where she did prove herself in those races in Canada. "You're going to have a clunker every now and then. They're living animals; they're going to have an off day. You just need to listen to your horse and let them decide their schedule. I'm still proud to train her and I'm sure the owners are still proud to own her." The second round of the Ima Lula is July 25 and the $55,000 estimated final is Hambletonian Day, Aug. 2, at the Meadowlands. Reynolds Memorial Stakes divisions for 3-year-old trotters are on Saturday's Meadowlands card. Only four fillies entered, so that race will be a non-betting event prior to the regular 7:15 p.m. post time for the night's first race. One of those fillies is Julie Miller-trainee Take The Money, who is auditioning for the chance to race in the upcoming Hambletonian Oaks. Eliminations for the Oaks are July 26 and the $500,000 final is Aug. 2 at the Big M. Take The Money, owned by Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing, has won six of 10 races this year, primarily in Pennsylvania. She has twice finished second to top Hambletonian Oaks contender Shake It Cerry. She will be driven Saturday by Marcus Miller and faces Bikini So Teeny, Silent Opera K, and Mity's Winner. "She's been a nice [Pennsylvania] Sire Stakes horse, in my opinion," Miller said. "We're using this race to decide whether if we're a Hambletonian Oaks contender or not. She's had a little bit of a layoff, but I want to see a nice race, finishing with trot. With a four-horse field, it's usually just a race home. That's what I want to do. "If Marcus hops off the bike and says 'She was vicious, she was super,' then you go in the Oaks. If he says she didn't seem strong, then we have to have a discussion. She trained really good. I know by program she seems to be the best, but that's why they still race. I'm just hoping for a strong race." On the boys' side, there are two 11-horse divisions worth $32,207 each. Jimmy Taker-trained Nuncio, who has won four of six races this year and twice finished second to nemesis, and stablemate, Father Patrick, is part of the 3-5 favored entry with Amped Up Hanover in the first division. Nuncio and Amped Up Hanover are eligible to the $1.2 million Hambletonian on Aug. 2. The rest of the field is Uva Hanover, Another Deposition, Sarcastic Man, Southwind Poseidon, Revrac Harbour, Resolve, Home Front, Dony Andreas, and Montalbano Bi. All are eligible to the Hambletonian except Another Deposition, Dony Andreas, and Montalbano Bi. Takter's Trixton is the 3-5 choice in the second division. The split also includes Mister B's Way, Skates N Plates, Another Transcript, Truxton, Well Built, Speak The Truth, Scacco Matto, Lightning Force, Muscle Midas, and Datsyuk. All are eligible to the Hambletonian. * * * The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters on Friday visits Harrah's Philadelphia, where several horses with famous siblings will go behind the gate. Kolachke (Donato Hanover-La Riviera Lindy) is a half-sister to 2012 Horse of the Year Chapter Seven and Sistas (Andover Hall-Honorable Mother) is a half-sister to Honorable Daughter, the 2008 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter. Inch By Inch (Yankee Glide-Armbro Niagara) is a full sister to millionaire Falls For You, Lilu Hanover (Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover) is a full sister to stakes-winner Luckycharm Hanover, and Gatka Hanover (Muscle Massive-Girlie Tough) is a three-quarter-sister to 2014 New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Heaven's Door. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications  

Matt Kakaley earned his 3,000th career driving victory aboard trotter Commander K on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Kakaley achieves the mark at age 26. He moved to 2,999 with a win aboard 25-1 shot McArdles Lightning in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action earlier in the night, and then sealed the deal with Commander K, a fitting horse to do it considering Matt’s surname. Kakaley has been one of Pocono’s leading drivers for several seasons and is a past seasonal driving champ at the track. Wakizashi Hanover picked up a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victory in track-record fashion on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were four Sire Stakes divisions held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace, with purses ranging from $59,566 to $59,966. Wakizashi Hanover (Dragon Again-Western Gesture), made a late first-over move with Corey Callahan in the bike for trainer Jim King Jr. and scored in 1:51. That winning time broke the Pocono track record for 2-year-old geldings on the pace of 1:51:3, which was set by Dovuto Hanover in 2012. Other Sire Stakes winners on the night: McArdles Lightning (McArdle-Winning Venture), who rallied at 25-1 with Matt Kakaley in the bike for trainer Steve Elliott to win in 1:51; Yankee Bounty (Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee), who made it three for-three to start his career with a victory in 1:51:3 with Corey Callahan aboard for trainer Kevin Lare; and Dragon Eddy (Dragon Again-Jeska Hanover), also three-for-three in his young career as Mike Simons guided him for trainer John Butenschoen to a victory in 1:51:1. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week In Review July 11-17, 2014 We are coming out of a particularly busy stretch of stakes races at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and, as those races dominated the conversation, it necessitated the Weekly Awards taking a bit of a hiatus for the past three weeks. The good news is that the Awards are back, and there is a pile of worthy candidates lining up to make their cases. Let’s see who gets the nods. PACER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ROCKS The barn of trainer Chris Oakes is so full of top performers that it’s easy for an individual horse to get a little bit lost in the shuffle if it isn’t churning out wins with regularity. Such was the case with Scott Rocks, a big earner as a 3-year-old who won just one of his first eight starts in 2014 at age four. The turnaround began with a win in a condition pace on June 3 in 1:50. After a fourth-place finish in his following start, the hot streak really began. On June 28, Scott Rocks took down the non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts group in 1:49. The next week, it was the non-winners of $17,500 in the last five starts that felt his wrath, as he rolled home in 1:50:2. On Saturday night, he stepped up into the highest condition group at Pocono, the non-winners of $25,000 in the last five starts, and he made it look easy. Once again with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, Scott Rocks made a huge first-over move on the back stretch to pounce on a hot early pace. From there, he poured it on for a three-length victory over the field in a career-best 1:48:3, which was also the fastest pacing time posted at Pocono this past week. With performances like that, Scott Rocks need not be concerned about being overshadowed. Other top pacers this week include: Quincy (Simon Allard, Marty Fine), who rolled to his third straight victory in the rugged $27,500 claiming pacing group on Saturday night, this time in 1:50:1; Mickey Hanover (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who rumbled to his second straight condition win on Saturday night, scoring in 1:49:4; and Wakizashi Hanover (Corey Callahan, Jim King Jr.), whose Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night in 1:51 set a new track record for 2-year-old geldings on the pace. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: IBANEZ Baseball fans will recognize that name as being the same as the longtime slugger Raul Ibanez. His trotting namesake has been a pretty powerful slugger at the track the past few weeks. He joined the Rene Allard barn following a claim in June, then found his stride and his confidence with a solid condition victory on July 8 in 1:53:4. On Tuesday night, Ibanez heading back into Pocono’s toughest claiming group for the trotters, the $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicappers, and, to make matters worse, was hamstrung with the outside post in a field of seven. As a fast pace materialized on the front end, driver Corey Callahan patiently kept the 5-year-old gelding near the back of the pack. Around the final turn, while the leaders started to feel the burden of the pace, Ibanez was just gearing up. Callahan spun him out wide and he went charging by in the final strides for the win in a new career-best time of 1:53:4. You could even say that it was the harness-racing equivalent of a game-winning, pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth, so that name is pretty fitting after all. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Swiss Lightning (Brett Miller-Bill Mullin), whose victory over the $7,500 claimers on Friday night in 1:55, a new career mark, was his second straight win; Harbor Point (Tyler Buter-Mark Ford), who handled a condition field on Saturday night in 1:52:4, which was not only a career-best but also the fastest trotting time at MSPD this week; and Commander K (Matt Kakaley-Douglas Berkeley), who picked up his second straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MCARDLES LIGHTNING Even with a Sire Stakes race in his last start at the Meadows, this 2-year-old pacer shad 25-1 odds for his come-from-behind win in a Sire Stakes at Pocono on Wednesday to pay off $52.20 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY Kakaley has been one of Pocono’s leading lights for several seasons now, so it was only fitting that he picked up his milestone 3,000th victory at the track on Wednesday night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MARTY FINE With one of the best percentages at the track in terms of training winners, Fine continued his excellent season with three more victories, including a double on Saturday night. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Kevin Lare has experienced being on top of the harness racing world and then on the bottom.   He is on his way back again. In 2007 horses trained by Kevin won over $2,500,000 . In 2010 horses trained by Kevin won only $12,000. It has been an up and down career for Kevin. Already this year horses trained by Kevin have won $390.115, sporting an impressive UTRS training record of 0.387. At the present time, his stable contains about twenty horses.   Kevin's stable of quality stakes horses once included Snow White, the Dan Patch 2007 two-year-old filly trotter of the year, Southwind Tempo, and Fred and Ginger. Now he is back with his first stake winning horse in five years with Yankee Bounty.   Yankee Bounty has proved the be one of best two year pacing colts in the early start of this yeawr's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Yankee Bounty sports a two race unblemished winning record in two stakes races this year. His most recent win was at the Meadows scoring impressively in 1:53 over a very deep rain soaked track. Yankee Bounty looks to keep his undefeated record intact Wednesday at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes racing as the 3-1 favorite in the seventh race.   "Yankee Bounty was really impressive in his last race," said Lare. "I was thrilled when the timer showed 1:53. It was a deep and sloppy track. I would like to think he could have gone at least a second faster over a fast track. He will have to go a lot faster very soon.   "Corey (Callahan) called on him when they came out of the turn," said Lare. "Somebody came right up on his back This horse is so professional and relaxed. He can go one quarter in twenty seven seconds and go the next quarter in thirty five seconds. He can go from. zero to one hundred and then from one hundred to zero. He is just so talented. It makes him stand out from the others in how you can control him. Yankee Bounty is the best youngster I have ever had. We will not be shocked to see how fast he paces at Pocono this week.   "He was purchased by Frank Chick because of his brother," added Lare. "Frank had his full brother who was a midget of a horse. He was the smallest standardbred I have ever seen. This small horse paced in fifty-five as a two-year-old. Frank went to the sale and bought Yankee Bounty, figuring if the tiny horse can go that fast the much bigger one will do much better.   "I have another twelve to fifteen horses in my barn for Frank right now," said Lare. "Frank has been unbelievable with helping me in my comeback. I can't thank him enough for what he has done for me. We have become not only business partners but great friends. We are mainly playing the claiming game at Pocono, and it has been successful. I have a couple of Maryland Babies with him who will race in the Maryland Sire Stakes this year. The rest are all overnight horses.   "I have some other horses with Mike Coombs," said Lare. "We have a nice trotter in the name of Boffin. He was one of the first to give me a chance again and I am very grateful.   "I have two Maryland Sire Stake Horses and one Delaware," said Lare. "The one two-year-old filly looks to be outstanding for the Maryland Sire Stakes. She is faster than the rest of them. Her name is Helaine's Firebird. She will have her first race next Sunday."   Kevin Lare went thru a nightmarish 2009 when horse after horse came down with a devastating injury. His great trotter Snow White had to be euthananized following colic surgery. His life went into a downward spiral. His wife divorced him, he lost all his money, and he got caught up in drugs. With the help of his friend, Fern Panquet Jr., he moved to Florida and got his life back on track.   "I took a bad turn in life," added Lare. "I got caught up in the drug activity of life. I had seventy horses in my stable at one time. If you mess with the devil, it does not take long for the devil to take it from you. I lost it all. I went to Florida to live with a friend, Fran Panquet Jr. I didn't even have enough money for a airplane ticket. He bought me the ticket. He told me I could come down there to get away. I went to Florida and worked for Fran. I got my head screwed back on straight and came back here.   "I had an eight day period in 2009 where everything went wrong," said Lare. "During this period, Snow White died, Fred and Ginger could not pick up her feet, and Southwind Tempo pulled a suspensory when she got run into on the racetrack. My phone was ringing off the hook with questions about the horses. I just went into the corner and hid. I did not want to talk to anyone.   "I am hoping when the sales come in September/October that some owners will see what I am doing and pick up the phone and ask if I want to train some babies for them," stated Lare."   Frank Chick has been a mainstay and stalwart supporter of harness racing for years. He has a saddle shop and hosts a horse sale three times a year at the Harrington Racetrack Fairgrounds. He currently owns over a dozen horses in the care of Kevin Lare.   "When Kevin was having his success he would always go out of his way to help me with some of my horses," said Chick. "He never asked for anything and was just happy to do it. There came a time when I was in a position to help him.   "I think Yankee Bounty is the real deal," said Chick. "He has done everything we have asked him to do. When Corey has asked him to pace he has put it into another gear. I think he is an exceptional colt.   "Outside of the Pennsylvania Sire Stake Races, he is staked to Arden Downs, the Matron,and Keystone Classic," added Chick. "Next year he is staked to everything including the Breeders Crown and Little Brown Jug.   "We were cutting a bunch of horses after the Harrisburg Sale," said Chick. "The colts I had from the sale were not very well bred. I got a deal on the fifth one and it was Yankee Bounty. They ended up cutting him for twenty bucks. I really didn't know if I wanted to cut him or not. He's not a fancy bred horse.   "Every horse I have is for up for sale for at the right price," said Chick. "I will sell anything if the right offer comes along. I have had some tire kickers."   Corey Callahan has been the driver on Yankee Bounty for both of his victories this year. His maiden win was an easy several lengths victory at Pocono Downs in the Pennsylvania Allstars on June 29th. The second victory was at the Meadows in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in 1:53 over a deep sloppy track. Yankee Bounty has almost doubled his sale price of $21,000 with bankrolling $39,931 on his card.   "Yankee Bounty has done everything right so far," said Callahan. " I have had several people call me about the horse who want to buy him. I had a really nice colt ( Tomy Terror ) come after him on the backside in the last race. I had just been with that colt last time in 1:53 at Pocono Downs. We went pretty good up the backside in 27:1. I asked him to go a little more at the wire but he still had plenty of horse left.   "He hasn't really been tested yet," added Callahan. "He can go four quarters. He is really good horse. He is in again on Wednesday at Pocono Downs. The Burke's have a nice horse ( Lyons Levi Lewis ) in there that they just bought. I think we have the best horse in there.   "Kevin is the best," said Callahan. "We have been friends going back many years. I am proud and amazed he got himself back so fast. He has been a great trainer all his life. It does not surprise he is all the way back. He is a great guy to work for. He is cut and dry. He tells you if they will be good or if they will not be good."   Yankee Bounty has brought Kevin Lare back into the harness racing world spotlight again. Thanks to the support of owners Frank Chick and Mike Coombs, he has been able to build a foundation for his comeback. Will he be able to attain the greatness he had once before when his stable included Snow White, Fred and Ginger, and Southwind Tempo? That remains to be seen. He has battled his demons and is on his way back.   by Brian McEvoy for Harnesslink.com  

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