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Darlinonthebeach survived a wicked 25.4 first quarter and rolled home for harness racing driver David Miller in a stake-record 1:49.4 in Friday's Adios Betty, a $161,760 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly pacers at The Meadows. I Said Diamonds, who had lowered the stake mark to 1:50 moments before Darlinonthebeach stepped on the track, captured the other division. In the May 7 final of the Miss Pennsylvania, Darlinonthebeach was parked out in 25.2 and was out of gas late, finishing seventh. When she witnessed the brutal opening panel in the Adios Betty, trainer Nancy Johansson had the sinking feeling that history was repeating itself. "When I saw the first quarter in 25.4, I said to the girl who takes care of her, 'Oh no, not again,'" she said. "The difference today was that David was able to back her off the second quarter, so she had a little bit left in the tank when they came at her. She raced super." White Birch Farm's homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin's Delight easily thwarted the first-over challenge of Shesasmokinlady and defeated the pocket-sitting Lispatty, an 86-1 long shot, by 3/4 lengths. Pure Country, the 1-2 favorite, rallied but could manage only show. Marty Party held the previous stake record of 1:51.3. Johansson said Darlinonthebeach, who now boasts $287,981 in career earnings, would be pointed to the Fan Hanover. I Said Diamonds also endured a rough start when, as the 1-5 favorite, she was looped while on the outside and finally made the point in 26.1 "I was just waiting for the dust to settle," said winning driver Jim Pantaleano. "I saw the outside horses leaving really hard, and I did not want to get into a speed duel. She was really relaxed on the lead, which obviously is a good attribute in a racehorse." I Said Diamonds defeated Call Me Queen Be by 1-1/4 lengths, with Newborn Sassy third. Matias Ruiz conditions the daughter of Well Said-Silksndiamonds, who extended her lifetime bankroll to $286,060, for Little Bapa LLC. $80,000 PA Stallion Series - 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers In Friday's co-feature, Keystone Riptide matched the stake record of 1:52, established in 2013 by Icommandmyspirit.  Also taking $20,000 splits were Albany Girl, Terror At Night and Corona Again. Brett Miller enjoyed a stake double with Albany Girl and Terror Again. Keystone Riptide quarter-poled to the lead and scored handily for David Miller, trainer Nikolas Drennan and owners Joseph Davino, Patrick O'Brien and Brad Shackman. Nip's Beach Girl was 3 lengths back in second while End To End Hanover closed well for third. "Last week, she got loose late, and she was coming really hard on the end of it," said David Miller of the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Keystone Rebecca. "I thought tonight would be a good time to put her back on the lead. She's a nice filly, a borderline sires stake type." Terror at Night brushed to the front before the quarter and widened her lead from there, scoring her first stake win of the season in a career-fastest 1:52.2. Drag N Sand was second, 6-3/4 lengths in arrears, while Triple Charm completed the ticket. "I didn't think she was up to stake company until now," said Les Givens, who conditions the daughter of Western Terror-Enhance The Night -- a $20,000 yearling acquisition -- for Nanticoke Racing, Edward Maas III and Arlene Paisley. "Down the road, who knows? I want to keep her happy." Corona Again used an extended uncovered move to open up a daylight lead for Tim Tetrick, trainer Douglas Lewis and owner LA Express Stable. The daughter of Dragon Again-Exotic Location defeated Hooves On First by 5-1/4 lengths in 1:53. Marty Party Two completed the ticket. "She's a great big, growthy filly," Tetrick said. "She has a lot to learn yet. She's still like a little kid out there -- looks at everything, tries to jump shadows. She has a lot of talent, but she has to get her mind on right." Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday with a special Memorial Day card beginning at 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes have provided many highlights over the years at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, so it's always exciting when they make their first appearance of the season. The Sire Stakes host the finest harness racing two and three-year-old pacers and trotters in the Keystone State. Purses are high even in the races that take place all summer long, but they really skyrocket for the finals at the end of the season. What's interesting about this year's first edition of the Sire Stakes at Pocono, which took place last Saturday night, is the fact that the races were contested by 3-year-old colts and geldings on the pace. Normally we see a lot of new faces for Sire Stakes action, but, in this case, several of the horses had been over the Pocono oval a couple times or more over the past month or so, either for the Pennsylvania Classic or the Pennsylvania All Stars. So it's been to fun to watch these young racing stars, still at an early stage in their development. Saturday night provided another chapter in that development and some exciting, surprising racing to boot. Each Sire Stakes division carried a hefty purse of $54,787. In the opening split, Big Top Hanover, one of several outstanding three-year-olds from the Ron Burke barn, went off as 1-2 favorite. A big earner as a 2-year-old, Big Top Hanover had suffered near-misses in each of his three starts this season. He seemed poised to bust out on Saturday night as he sat behind Another Daily Copy, who set a pressured pace. As the race unfolded, Fernando Hanover, another member of the Burke barn, sat quietly on the inside a few lengths off the lead. The 3-year-old gelding had won two of his previous three starts, and his patience in this one paid off when some room opened up on his outside as they rounded the final turn. Driver Matt Kakaley called for some late kick and Fernando Hanover responded, hustling by his more acclaimed stablemate Big Top Hanover for the win in 1:51:2, a new career-best. It was a rewarding win for his backers as well, considering he went off at 11-1. The second split brought an interesting case of fickle betting. Lyons Snyder was the 2-1 favorite in his previous race, the $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic final on May 7, but he had struggled with an outside journey to 5th. Meanwhile JK Will Power went off at 11-1 in that same race and nearly missed in 2nd. So when the two horses were matched up on Saturday night, JK Will Power went off as the favorite, while Lyons Snyder received tepid support at 7-2. On this night, we found out why Lyons Snyder had been so heavily backed in that Classic final. With Scott Zeron in the bike, the colt hustled to the lead on the front stretch. Forced to set a quick pace, he was vulnerable in the home stretch to pocket horse Adrian Hanover, who actually took a brief led as the line approached. But Lyons Snyder found a way to fight back and prevailed by a nose over Adrian Hanover in the night's fastest Sire Stakes time of 1:49:4, which was also a career mark. JK Will Power could only make it to fourth. In the night's final split, we got a chance to see the return to the track of Check Six. Trained by Ron Burke, the 3-year-old colt was a solid freshman in 2015, earning over six figures with four wins in nine races. But that didn't prepare anyone for how sharp he's been so far this year. After starting his year off with a condition win at Harrah's at Philadelphia from an outside post, he promptly went out and swept both the elimination and the final for The Pennsylvania Classic at Pocono. He was stellar on the night of the Final with a thrilling win over JK Will Power by a neck in 1:50:3. On Saturday night, Check Six put in a more workmanlike effort to secure his fourth straight win to start the season. With only four other horses in the field, driver Yannick Gingras didn't see the need to push him too hard, instead allowing him to settle in for a pocket trip. It turns out that was the place to be, as Check Six steadily advanced past the pacesetter late and held off closing long shot Arthur Pendragon to win by 1¾ lengths. He needed only a relatively modest winning time of 1:52:3 to get the job done, but the bottom line is four starts, four wins, and already over $443,000 in the bank in the 2016 season. It's been a lot of fun getting to know some of these talented three-year-old pacers in the past few weeks of stakes races. And with the Max Hempt pace coming up in June for the same age group and sporting a huge purse, chances are we'll get to see many of them again very soon. 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. Jim Beviglia

Lyons Snyder, beaten favorite in the recent rich Pennsylvania Classic Final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, showed his bounceback abilities on Sunday night at The Downs, taking his $54,787 division of the first leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts and geldings in an impressive 1:49.4 over "sloppy" going while taking a new mark.   Scott Zeron, handling the son of Well Said for trainer Mark Silva, sent his colt to the front past the 27 quarter and past early pacesetter Adrian Hanover. Zeron and "Snyder" then carried on to middle splits of 55.2 and 1:22.3, then got a major passing late foe late in the upstart Adrian Hanover, who only five days ago had triumphed in a "nw3" pace locally. Adrian Hanover even put a nose to a head up approaching deep stretch, but Lyons Snyder dug deep and found more to give, taking back a nose advantage on the money, with Settlemoir third just ahead of favored JK Will Power, second in the Classic Final. Lyons Snyder is now 3 for 5 on the season for owners Jeffrey Snyder and Geoffrey Lyons Mound.   The Ron Burke stable, which had finished 1-2-3 in the Pennsylvania Classic Final, won the other two divisions, including a $54,387 cut with Classic winner Check Six in 1:52.3. Check Six, a Somewheresomebeach colt driven by Yannick Gingras, went around early leader Sapient Hanover before a 28 quarter, then saw his Burkemate Manhattan Beach brush to the lead in front of the stands and hit the middle poles in a relatively soft 56.3 and 1:24.1. Check Six vacated the pocket on the far turn, and then sailed by in the stretch, with a four-way battle for second showing Arthur Pendragon, the longest shot in the race, ahead of Manahttan Beach for the place. But Check Six retained his spot in the sophomore spotlight, undefeated in four 2016 starts and now a winner of $328,443 this year and $443,332 lifetime for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, William Switala and James Martin.   Burke charges were 1-2 in the other $54,787 Sires cut, but it was the lesser-fancied one who wound up in Victory Lane, as Fernando Hanover nipped his favored stablemate Big Top Hanover by a head while taking a new personal best of 1:51.2 despite the slop. Matt Kakaley positioned the Dragon Again gelding, directly behind Big Top Hanover, and the pair swung wide in the lane to try to catch pacesetting Another Daily Copy, doing so only in the last few strides, with Big Top Hanover never in front as Fernando Hanover had the strongest steps late. The famous Burke / Weaver-Bruscemi team owns this new member of the $100,000 Club with Frank Baldachino and the JJK Stables LLC. For the night, Team Burke went 6-2-1-1-1-$81,929 in the Sire Stakes Sunday.   In a $18,000 supporting trot, Armor Hanover overcame post nine to win his fourth starts in five outings since being claimed by trainer Doug and co-owner Leslie Berkeley, winning easily in 1:54.3. His driver was not one you normally link with $97.60 win prices - Yannick Gingras, although remember Gingras is a primary driver for Ron Burke, who currently leads the Pocono training colony in $50+ scores this year.   FINISHING LINES - After four scores at Philly and five at Pocono Saturday, George Napolitano Jr. took those nine victories and added six more on Sunday, equally split between the two eastern Pennsylvania tracks....Five $20,000 divisions of the PA Stallion Series event for the sophomore colt pacers will be featured on the Monday night card.   PHHA / Pocono

Milligan’s School thwarted the sustained bid of Hititoutofthepark and went on to score in 1:55.3 in the slop, fastest division of Saturday’s $167,303 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows. The event for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, known as the Super Bowl, was contested over four divisions, with Cufflink Hanover, Truemass Volo and Lagerfeld taking the other splits. Milligan’s School earned $302,560 at 2 but didn’t reach the lead at any point in his final five starts of the year. But in his seasonal debut, that’s where Andy Miller put him. “I would just have soon sat in the pocket or up close somewhere and follow somebody, but that’s where he ended up,” Miller said. “The fractions weren’t that tough, so he responded well. He’s always been a very smart colt. Hopefully, he’s on to bigger and better.” Hititoutofthepark, fresh off a PA All Stars victory, drew even down the backside, but the son of Yankee Glide-Tori Ann was up to the challenge, downing his rival by 3/4 lengths. Desert Runner rallied for show. July Miller trains Milligan’s School for Stroy Inc. Second in the Dexter Cup final a week ago, Cufflink Hanover found late racing room and kicked by early leader Love Matters to defeat him by 1/2 length in 1:56, with Southern Cross third. “I was hoping we would get room,” said winning driver David Miller, for owns the Andover Hall-CR Savoire Faire gelding with the Enzed Racing Stable of the colt’s trainer, Nifty Norman. “I thought the horse on the front end would take us where we had to go. So I took a shot and sat in. I didn’t know about coming first over with my horse.” He said Cufflink Hanover is ticketed for next week’s Currier & Ives at The Meadows and remains eligible for the Yonkers Trot later this season. Truemass Volo zipped to the front in his seasonal debut and had little trouble prevailing in 1:56 for Eric Goodell, trainer Doug Hamilton and owners Jon Erdner and Martin Garey. Marion Gondolier finished second, 4-3/4 lengths back, while Hanks Tank completed the ticket. “He’s come back good for us, pretty fit.” Hamilton said of the son of Muscle Massive-Tresbien Volo. “Last year, he was a little bit of a bully in letting horses go and getting a little temperamental. So we castrated him. Now he can do his bully stuff and get away with it. He’ll go to some of the bigger races if everything’s okay. There’s a feeling-out process before you take on the big boys.” $100,000 PA Stallion Series, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Saturday’s card also featured a $100,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. The event provided a showcase for Elysium Lindy, who collected his fourth consecutive victory. That streak includes the $30,000 final of the Weiss series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Also capturing $20,000 splits were Will Self, Dominus Hanover, Meadowbranch Memo and Mr Right. As is his custom, Elysium Lindy rushed to the front from post 8 for Jim Pantaleano and held off Multitaskr Hanover by 1/2 length in 1:57.2. Love To Glide was third. “I kept everything the same because he’s been racing very well,” said Kelly Stackowicz, who trains the Cantab Hall-Olympic Lindy gelding locally for his regular conditioner, Donna Marshall. “You don’t want to fix things that aren’t broken.” Dominus Hanover vacated the pocket at the three-quarters, put away Mosconi Hanover and triumphed in 1:56.2, 1/2 length better than Iholdon. Mac Deeno finished third. “I thought I’d got him far enough with some cover, with some help,” said winning driver Dave Palone. “I was watching Andrew (McCarthy) intently, and when he chased Mosconi Hanover, I thought, better to give him a shot outside than try the Lightning Lane in these conditions.” Amber Buter trains the son of Muscle Massive-Dornello, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, for Lawrence Crawford. Will Self endured a wide opening panel before reaching the point but had enough left late to hold off Moneycounts De Vie, who was challenging in the Lightning Lane, by a neck in 1:58.2. Chip’s Halloffame finished third. “He’s been getting safer,” said winning driver Ray Schnittker, who trains and owns the son of Donato Hanover-Falls For You with Ted Gewertz, Arden Homestead Stable and Bordogna Stable. “He’s always put some steps in, but he warmed up very well, so I thought he’d be okay. He had a chance to get beat, and he hung tough.” Evan Pattak

Pink Pistol rocketed through the lane to pull off a 10-1 upset in the fastest division of Saturday's $161,047 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for harness racing 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. The event, known as the Stenographer, was contested over three divisions, with Ginny Weasley (13-1) and Spicedbourbongirl (9-1) completing the long shot parade in the PASS opener. Jeff Gregory enjoyed a stake double behind Pink Pistol and Spicedbourbongirl. Pink Pistol hadn't raced in a month, as Rob Harmon, who trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-August Revenue for Harmon Racing Stable, Knightstalker Stable and Lynne Mondrick, gave her an extended break to help cure her gaiting problems. "She needed to go home and not ship so much," Harmon said. "She has a little tying-up issue, and shipping is not her best thing. She'll stay right here in the sires stakes. She's eligible for a couple in Canada, but she has to show us that she's back to herself before we start going up there." In the Stenographer, she got away third, saved ground and brushed through the stretch to triumph in 1:55, 1-1/2 lengths better than Sunset Glider, with Candy Lane third. It was the fifth win for Pink Pistol in eight lifetime outings. Ginny Weasley never had won a stake, but Lucas Wallin nevertheless used her twice -- once for early position from post 8, once to pursue the leader second over. She avoided the breaking Moots out of the final turn and scored in 1:55.1, a career best. Miss Tezsla was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Black Broadway earned show. "She showed a lot of speed last year, and I won at the Meadowlands with her earlier this year," Wallin said. "So we told the owner to give her a little break and aim for the stake races. The trip went great today, but she won pretty easy." Ake Svanstedt trains the daughter of Andover Hall-Donepunk for Torp Trotting, Inc. Spicedbourbongirl also collected her first stake victory when she zipped past the 1-5 favorite, Womans Will, in the lane and prevailed in 1:55.4 for owner William B. Weaver III. Womans Will saved place, 1/2 length in arrears, while Kathy Parker completed the ticket. "She won pretty handy at Pocono in an overnight, so we thought we might as well give her a shot against the better girls," said Gregory, who also conditions the daughter of Cantab Hall-All In The Muscles. "It was only her second start of the year, so I didn't want to abuse her. I was hoping I could get lucky and save some ground." $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Saturday's card also featured a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly trotters -- yet another showcase for Goodtogo Hanover, who won her seventh consecutive race. Witnesstheprincess and Shelovesumore also took $20,000 splits. As Goodtogo Hanover zipped to the top from post 7, driver Brian Zendt, noticed an unusual problem. A GoPro camera attached to her sulky to capture live images had loosened and flipped. The images transmitted may have been upside down, but the daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall stayed atop her game, winning in 1:56.2 "I don't know if it (the GoPro) bothered her, but it was rubbing her," Zendt said. "She was a little extra hot today. I thought she was a little quieter last time. I didn't plan on being at the quarter in 27.2, but as you could see, I was a passenger." Keystone Taylor finished 3-1/4 lengths back in second, with Best Of Dreams third. Bill Zendt trains Goodtogo Hanover and owns with Gary Saul. Witnesstheprincess rebounded from a pair of break-marred outings to collect a front-end victory for Aaron Merriman and trainer Chris Beaver, who owns the daughter of Andover Hall-Mystical Moonlight with Synerco Ventures and Michael Robinson. Mystical Power earned place, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Glidinthruparadise finished third. "She had a couple good starts here earlier this year, but we had some issues with her shoeing and her feet," Merriman said. "She wasn't getting over the track. Chris made some adjustments and thought she would be better. She really showed it today." Shelovesumore emerged from several months of vexing medical issues to rally for a 1/2-length victory -- at 20-1 -- over Summer Moonshine in 1:57.1. Explosive High finished third. Tony Hall drove for trainer Sharon Donella, who owns the homebred daughter of War Paint-Wasador with Kathleen Quinn-Hodel. "It's been a torturous three months," Donella said. "She had some problems with her cycle. Then she got a real bad sinus infection. We finally got the hormones worked out, the sinuses cleared up, and we got us a horse." In the $22,500 Winners Over 10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Unlocked powered to a front-end victory in 1:49, fastest ever at The Meadows by an older pacer. Fred And Ginger held the previous mark of 1:49.2 Jim Pantaleano piloted the 5-year-old son of Duneside Perch-Miss Major Power, who boosted his career bankroll to $417,244, for trainer Norm Parker and owner Megan Rogers Racing Stables. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino    

He is the 12th foal out of a 100 percent producer, but his harness racing owner and conditioner feel that Armbro Nectarine might very well have saved her best genetic contribution for last when it comes to 2015 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Ideal Jimmy. “Every foal she had was a winner,” said D R Van Witzenburg, the 3-year-old gelding’s owner/breeder. “They all could pace and this one is an absolute runt. He’s the smallest foal from her, but he has the heart. You can’t breed or train that into them. He is all desire and he just wants to win.” The son of Western Ideal is a full sibling to Enhance The Night ($561,117), Ideal Nectarine ($607,445), Ideal Danny ($424,998), Ideal Ike ($129,143), Ideal Ginny ($135,809) and Ideal Helen ($194,060). He is also a half-brother to Tommy’s Luck (Camluck, $200,125). Conditioned by Erv Miller, who also trained his older sisters Ideal Nectarine, Ideal Ginny and Ideal Helen, Ideal Jimmy demonstrated he was just as talented as the rest of the family by capturing his debut in a $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars contest at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on July 3. In his next two events, which were in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes company, the gelding came home fourth, before the hitting the winner’s circle in a $23,990 division of the Arden Downs on Aug. 1 at The Meadows and in a $28,942 division of the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs on Aug. 9. Ideal Jimmy was second at Harrah’s Philadelphia in PASS company on Aug. 20 and had his picture taken in a $71,114 Sire Stake at The Meadows on Sept. 1. That race proved to be the perfect prep for the $350,000 final which the gelding annexed very impressively on Sept. 11. After a trip where regular pilot Marcus Miller encountered all kinds of traffic, Ideal Jimmy looked to have no chance at the top of the lane, but with a very powerful turn of foot he reeled in world champion Spider Man Hanover with the greatest of ease. “He’s so little that when he won that $71,000 Sire Stake at the Meadows I thought he had broke,” Van Witzenburg said. “We took the hood on and off him throughout the season and there were times we did that and that was the result. I thought since I couldn’t see him coming around the last turn he was far back, but then all of a sudden I saw him spurt out to the lead and he just kept going. I thought to myself, ‘That little horse just went and won himself a nice race.’” Miller had his doubts about how Ideal Jimmy would perform while he was training down. “He really does not have much size to him at all,” he said. “He just looked so different from the rest of them, as this mare always had foals with some scope and range. When we got him down to about 2:01 though we knew we had one on our hands with ability. He’s tiny but he has a long, gliding, beautiful stride to him and he has so much heart. He’s so willing and you can do anything with him. He is a very good racehorse.” Ideal Jimmy finished his freshman campaign with a second in a $35,000 division of the Liberty Bell at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sept. 24 and a third in a $36,400 division of the Keystone Classic at The Meadows on Oct. 2. He is currently back in training and is being aimed toward another season in Pennsylvania. “We did not really know what to think of him at the beginning of the year, so we really did not stake him to hardly anything,” Miller said. “That’s why we just stopped on him for the rest of the year and gave him some time to grow. He’s training great right now and although he has not grown taller, he has gotten stouter. We are looking forward to racing him this year and seeing how well he does.” Witzenburg has been in the business for five decades and considers himself very fortunate with the horses he has owned. “The first horse I bought in on, Real Speed, won more than $400,000 and we got to travel all over the country with him,” he said. “The next horse I got was Cumberland and he wasn’t a stakes horse, but I felt like a champion just watching him win at the fairs. After those two I was hooked. “I was so lucky to get this mare (Armbro Nectarine). In fact, when I went to pick her up at Hanover Shoe Farm I couldn’t take her because she started foaling right when we were getting ready to load her in the truck. They allowed me to just board her there. “Jimmy has already won (nearly) $300,000 and we think he has more to show us. There’s not a lot of people that have been as lucky as I have.” Despite the goal being to defend his Sire Stakes crown, Miller does not rule out other stakes appearances for Ideal Jimmy. “Pennsylvania is definitely our focus,” he said. “But I would not rule out supplementing him to a race like the Breeders Crown if the horse is doing well and does all season. He will have to earn it, but I think he’s capable of doing that. He is better than his older sisters, not that they were not talented, but he has such a terrific attitude and always has. That is what sets him apart from the rest of the family. He may be small, but that heart makes up for his lack of size.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Harrisburg, PA - Talks between the Governor Wolf administration and leaders of the General Assembly continued to yield progress this week on how to correct a long-standing structural deficit in the State Racing Fund, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said today. As a result of that progress and in light of an expected vote on Senate Bill 352 next week by the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Secretary Redding said the administration has decided to defer any decision on the suspension of live racing in Pennsylvania. Commenting on the state of negotiations, Secretary Redding offered the following statement: "This week's talks continued to produce positive steps forward. I appreciate the commitment by the chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and legislative leaders to schedule a committee vote in the House on Senate Bill 352. We continue to build on the framework agreement reached last week on that bill. No one is getting everything they want in this bill, but it will give us the long-term financial fix we need to maintain the integrity of this industry and the tools we need to modernize it for the first time in decades. "We'll keep working with the General Assembly in the coming days to put the finishing touches on the bill so a long-term solution can be enacted in the very near future. We appreciate the engagement and work of the agriculture committee chairs in both chambers -- Senators Vogel and Schwank and state Representatives Causer and Carroll. "Pennsylvania's equine industry is an important part of the state's agriculture sector. Preserving live horse and harness racing is imperative to keep this industry thriving. That was part of the rationale for legalizing gaming and casinos in Pennsylvania in 2004. We're going to stand behind that commitment." by Brandi Hunter-Davenport, PA Dept. Agriculture  

Harrisburg -- After two weeks of negotiations, the Wolf administration and the four legislative caucuses tonight reached an agreement in concept on how to fix a long-standing structural deficit in the State Racing Fund. The deal reflects significant compromise on the part of all of the parties, as well as the other stakeholders, including horsemen and breeder organizations and race track operators. In recognition of the agreement in concept, the administration said it is postponing any action on the suspension of racing for another week to allow the four chairs of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees to brief their members. Representatives of the five parties -- the administration and the four caucuses -- agreed to meet next week to continue finalizing details of the plan. "This was not an easy process, but in the end, it's been a productive process," said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "Every discussion we have engaged in these last couple of weeks has been worth the effort. Everyone at the table recognizes the importance of racing to Pennsylvania's agriculture industry and the broader economy. "I am grateful to all of the stakeholders - the horsemen's groups; the track operators; and especially, our partners in the General Assembly, particularly the four chairs of the agriculture committees, Senators Vogel and Schwank and Representatives Causer and Carroll - for continuing to come to the table each day, negotiating in good faith, and ultimately, helping us to arrive at this framework for a deal. "We look forward to working with the General Assembly to continue moving Senate Bill 352, which Senator Vogel sponsored, through the legislature and to the Governor's desk." From the PA Department of Agriculture    

Safe From Terror, surprise winner of the Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship at 45-1, abandoned her ambush tactics and made short work of the field in a division of Monday's $69,000 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Somewhere Sweet captured the other division of the stake for harness racing 3-year-old pacing fillies. After her PASS triumph, Safe From Terror scored yet another upset with a late rally in the Nadia Lobell. In the Keystone Classic, however, Matt Kakaley switched gears and sent the daughter of Western Terror-In A Safe Place to the front at the quarter pole. She prevailed in 1:53.3, 1/2 length better than her stablemate, Southwind Roulette, with Dobre Povedane third. "She was the best in there, so I didn't want to take any chances," Kakaley said. "She was very good -- that was easy for her. She's a sweetheart to drive. She'll do whatever you want." Ron Burke trains Safe From Terror, who won for the 11th time this year and pushed her career bankroll to $482,742, for Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and J&T Silva Stables. Somewhere Sweet triumphed in 1:51.1, just a tick off Weeper's stake record, but couldn't separate herself from the stalkers, forcing Aaron Merriman to get after her late. "She paced strong into the stretch," Merriman said, "but when I pulled the plugs, she actually kind of sat down. She maybe didn't want me to pull them." Somewhere Sweet downed Angel Or Terror by a length while Kays Dragon Lady earned show. Brian Brown conditions the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Sweet Work Of Art, who soared over $200,000 in lifetime earnings, for Miller's Stable. $91,800 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Kelsey's Keepsake and Smokinmombo each took a division of Monday's companion feature, a $91,800 Keystone Classic for sophomore filly trotters. Kelsey's Keepsake was fourth down the backside when Joe Bongiorno sent her after the leader, Murderers Row. Despite competing off a sickness scratch, she blew by and drew off to win by 5 lengths in 1:55.2 for trainer Robert Bongiorno and owner Carly Roman. Avalon Hall was second with Kirsi Hanover third. "First over is her best game," Joe Bongiorno said. "We knew she had this race coming up, and once she scoped a little sick after she trained, we wanted to scratch her, get her healthy and get her ready for the stake." Smokinmombo hadn't won since Aug. 20, but she quarter-poled to the top for Merriman and scored in 1:55.3, 2 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Matter Hatter. Global Ice completed the ticket. "She got a little rough on me in the Hambletonian Oaks and a few starts after that," said Chris Beaver, who trains the daughter of Explosive Matter-Horizontal Mombo and owns with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. "I think it's straightened out, but she's not great on a big racetrack. She'll go to a couple stakes at Hoosier Park." In the $24,800 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Better Caviar took advantage of a backside shootout between Tamarind and Monte Cristo Spur and zipped by in the stretch to win in 1:55.1 for trainer/driver David Wade. Sixteen Mikes rallied for second, a neck back, while Monte Cristo Spur saved show. Gerald Brittingham, Kelley Rogers, William Peel III and Wade own the 7-year-old son of SJ's Caviar-Better Credit, who now boasts $162,485 in career earnings. The Keystone Classic series concludes Tuesday at The Meadows with a pair of stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings -- a $69,750 pace and an $89,800 trot. Headliner is millionaire Wakazashi Hanover, who currently ranks third among all Standardbreds in seasonal earnings. First post is 12:55 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 16, 2015 -- When Safe From Terror surprised the field and harness racing bettors by winning the Sept. 5 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship at 45-1, some may have dismissed it as a fluke. They likely won't be saying that about her any longer, as she scored her second consecutive upset, this time at 5-1, in Wednesday's $170,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers at The Meadows -- and took the overland route to do it. Sassa Hanover wanted the lead from the rail, but she was pressured early by Divine Caroline and Storm Point, forcing her to step a lively opening half in 26.3/54.4. With all that early speed, winning driver Matt Kakaley knew the front end might collapse but wasn't sure third over was the place to be. "I was a little worried," Kakaley said, "but I wanted to get her out in the flow of the race anyway. It worked out perfect, really, because the front end kind of fell apart off the last turn." Safe From Terror moved four wide through the stretch to down another closer, The Show Returns, by a length in 1:50.4, a career best. Divine Caroline was full of pace but lacked room and had to settle for show. The back-to-back upsets by the daughter of Western Terror-In A Safe Place didn't surprise Kakaley. "I've won a lot of races with this filly, and she's always been very, very good," he said. "There was a point for a few starts where she was just okay, not great, but she was very good today." Ron Burke trains Safe From Terror, who now boasts $449,992 in lifetime earnings, for Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and J&T Silva Stables. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Certified Ideal collected a front-end victory -- her third in the last four starts -- in 1:51.2 for Tony Hall, trainer Randy Bendis and owners Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack, James Walton and Bendis. Do Me Honor was second, 1/2 length back, with Jaded Dream third. The 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last soared over $400,000 in career earnings. It was one of four wins for Hall on the 15-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 11, 2015 -- Pure Country and Broadway Donna, a pair of harness racing's rising stars, remained undefeated Friday at The Meadows when each captured a Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship. Friday's program, which offered more than $1.72 million in purses, included all four $350,000 PASS finals (two actually were worth $351,000 thanks to starting fees for also-eligibles who drew in) for 2-year-olds as well as a $60,000 consolation in each division. Ideal Jimmy and Lagerfeld won the other championships. Trainer Jimmy Takter enjoyed a PASS championship double with Pure Country and Lagerfeld. A recap of the program, one of the richest in track history: $350,000 PASS Championship -- 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Pure Country idled outside until the field settled, then grabbed the lead for Brett Miller past the quarter. "I didn't push her out of the gate -- I wanted to see how things were unfolding," Miller said. "I had so much confidence in her I felt like she could get beat only if I did something really stupid. I pulled her ear plugs in the last turn and hollered at her, and she took off. She's never felt as good as she did today." Diamond Creek Racing's homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana won handily -- as she did in her previous five starts -- in 1:51, a track record for freshman pacing fillies, a stake record and the fastest mile this year by a 2-year-old filly pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Call Me Queen Be was a ground-saving second, 3-3/4 lengths back, with I Said Diamonds third. Takter indicated Pure Country will be pointed to the Breeders Crown with a number of stake engagements before then. "She's as good as they come," Takter said. "I think she's the best. She has the look, and her gait is just fantastic. Do you remember the filly I had a couple years ago, American Jewel? She reminds me of American Jewel." Pure Country soared over $300,000 in career earnings and became the first freshman filly pacer in PASS history to sweep all her preliminary legs and the final. She also boosted her 2015 PASS earnings to $286,918 -- most ever in a single PASS season. $351,000 PASS Championship -- 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters Unbeaten in seven previous starts, Broadway Donna appeared to be in a pickle when she was trapped behind the tiring leader, the previously undefeated Whitelake Hanover, as Kathy Parker wrested away the lead. But neither winning driver David Miller nor the homebred daughter of Donato Hanover-Broadway Schooner panicked. They blew by easily in the Lightning Lane, defeating Kathy Parker by 2 lengths in 1:55.4. Womans Will rallied for show. Broadway Donna, winner of the James Doherty Memorial final, lifted her lifetime bankroll to $466,536. Winning trainer Jim Campbell, who conditions Broadway Donna for Fashion Farms, said he feared she would not find daylight in time. "It was a concern," he said, "but I think, win or lose, David did the right thing. It would have been too early to pull. This filly finds a way to do it, and David did a terrific job with her. She's a professional. It's horses like her that make guys like me look better." Campbell indicated Broadway Donna will next race at the Red Mile. $351.000 PASS Championship -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Love Matters, the 3-5 favorite, opened his career with six straight wins and was purchased by the powerful Takter stable before his last start. He was rolling along to his seventh when he made an inexplicable break around the final turn. Three other contenders also jumped it off at some point in the mile. "He kind of lost his balance and was running in a little bit in the last turn," said his driver, Marcus Miller. "I'm sure Jimmy will figure it out." Takter's disappointment lasted about 25 seconds because it was his colt, Lagerfeld, who picked up the pieces. The son of Yankee Glide-Southern Senorita, dismissed at 11-1 because of a four-race losing streak, triumphed for Yannick Gingras in a career-best 1:55.3. Sliding Home was three-quarter lengths back in second while Dupree, an also-eligible who drew in, earned show. "I'll take it," Takter said of the unexpected victory. "He's been racing good. He got lost on the front last week when I drove him -- he never cut the mile, so he didn't know what to do." Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding campaign Lagerfeld. $350,000 PASS Championship -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers If they compete long enough, horsemen often get a chance to rebound from disappointments. Few, however, get that opportunity as quickly as Marcus Miller did. The very next race after the Love Matters blow-up, Miller guided Ideal Jimmy to victory in 1:51 for trainer Robin Cruise and owner D.R. Van Witzenberg. The first-over Spider Man Hanover was second, 1-1/4 lengths in arrears, with Manhattan Beach third. "You feel like you got kicked in the face and then get the biggest win in your career -- all in about 15 minutes," Miller said. The Western Ideal-Armbro Nectarine gelding erased a 9-length deficit at the half with his customary rally, a style Miller said he is reluctant to change. "It's just kind of the way it's been working out," he said. "I couldn't (leave with him) early because he was steppy, but I think he's over that -- I probably shouldn't say that. He's a little horse and he likes to run them down. I figured I didn't have to change anything today -- they were rocking it out of there." PASS NOTES: The consolations went to Twill Be Done (2ft), Newborn Sassy (2fp), Alexander Hanover (2ct) and I'm Some Graduate (2cp), whose time of 1:50.3 established a track record for freshman pacing colts . . . Newborn Sassy's outing was bittersweet, as she took home $30,000 but lost her stake and track records to Pure Country . . . Despite a demanding opening quarter, Easy Again took the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace for Gingras, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Panhellenic Stable and M1 Stable. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

2-year-old PA Stallion Series Championships were the main attractions on a rainy Thursday afternoon (Sept 10) at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $40,000. The 2-year-old filly trot went to Jimmy Takter trainee Miss Tezsla (Yannick Gingras).   The daughter of Andover Hall wasted little time getting into gear, as she wrestled the lead away from Lady Athens (Andy Miller) at the quarter pole.   She was able to maintain a 1 length advantage until the top of the stretch, when she edged away to win by 4 lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:57.4.   Turn The Paige (Vic Kirby), who was part of a 3 horse entry, rallied for second, while Global Inspiration (Andrew McCarthy) was third.   It was the 4th career win for Miss Tezsla, who is owned by Christina Takter, Jim and John Fielding, Brixton Medical, And Herb Liverman. She paid $3.20 to win. It was a much more contentious affair in the 2-year-old colt trot, as Mr Right (Vic Kirby) needed every last inch of stretch real estate to assure victory.   The son of Donato Hanover had to work hard to secure pocket position, as he brushed past Petrossian As (Andrew McCarthy) at the quarter pole, only to be passed by race favorite Cufflink Hanover (Dave Miller).   It stayed that way until the stretch drive, when Mr Right emerged up the passing lane to win a tight 3 horse finish in 1:57.   Cufflink Hanover held place, while Petrossian As settled for third.   It was career win 4 out of 9 starts for the Leigh Raymer trainee, and his 4th win in 7 starts.   Mr Right is owned by his trainer, Stephen Moss, and Harold and Helene Solomon. He paid $10.40. In the 2-year-old filly pace, it was complete domination for Ron Burke trainee East Side Hanover (Yannick Gingras).   The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere made the top before the quarter, and it was all over from there.   She had a 4 length lead at three quarters, before going into "beast mode", drawing off to a 12 length victory in the end, stopping the clock in 1:54.2.   Burden Of Proof (Tim Tetrick) closed for second, while Foolish Terror (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) was third.   It was the 2nd career win for East Side Hanover, who is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Paul Treiber. She paid $3.20.   Rich Ringler trainee Nimble and Quick (Jim Morand) was dominant in the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace.   The son of Western Ideal brushed at the quarter, and went on to win easily by 4 lengths, stopping the timer in 1:52.1.   Beach Ogre (Andy Miller) rallied up the inside for second, while Owen Hanover (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) finished third.   It was the 5th straight win for Nimble and Quick, who is owned by Pat Lachance and M&M Harness Racing. He returned $2.80 to win.   Mike Bozich

The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes series is one of the highlights of any harness racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, showcasing some of the best young horses not just in the state, but often in the entire country. The preliminary legs are held throughout the spring and summer, and although they boast pretty big purses themselves, the other lure of these prelims is that horses who wish to reach the state championships need to perform well in them. Last Saturday Pocono hosted the 3-year-old championships. Each of the four races held a purse of $350,000, which, in many cases, is the last time these horses will have the chance to go for a score that big. As always seems to be the case on Sire Stakes championships night, we saw a little bit of everything. Here is a look back at the four title races and the horses who can call themselves a state champion. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Despite the fact that she was crowned the Hambletonian Oaks champ just two starts ago, Wild Honey went off as a 5-2 second choice on Saturday night in her final. That was partly due to the fact that she was saddled with the outside post in the race, and partly because she showed a worrisome break of stride in her previous start. Livininthefastlane instead went off as an odds-on favorite. But Wild Honey, trained by Jimmy Takter, fought hard to overcome the outside post, making the lead shy of the half despite getting parked around the first turn. Driver Dave Palone opened up a nice lead from there, and a furious rally from Bright Baby Blues came up a length short of Wild Honey, who trotted the mile in 1:53. Adding the 3-year-old title to the 2-year-old crown she won a year ago, the filly went over $1 million in lifetime earnings and set a record for most money earned in two Pennsylvania Sire Stakes campaigns. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES Momas Got A Gun, a consistent performer from the Virgil Morgan Jr. barn, was the even-money favorite in this field, but there seemed to be solid choices up and down the lineup. One exception appeared to be Safe From Terror, who, despite being the second-biggest earner in the field in 2015, went off as a 45-1 long shot for trainer Ron Burke. She also had an outside post, and, with the exception of back-to-back wins at the Meadows in the middle of the summer, had slumped since a fast start to the year. Imagine Dragon set the pace in the race, Momas Got A Gun was in a prime pocket spot, and Safe From Terror seemed hopelessly buried on the inside at the back of the back. Yet in the stretch, driver Tim Tetrick found some room for her at the very edge of the pylons, and she uncorked some serious late kick to speed by Momas Got A Gun and pull off the stunning upset by a head in 1:51:3. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS It's easy to be overlooked when you're a young trotter in the barn of Jimmy Takter, simply because he always has a bunch of great ones for every division. The Bank faced just such a fate for much of the season, overshadowed by Hambletonian champ Pinkman and even Uncle Lasse, another Takter trainee who went off as the favorite on Saturday. The Bank, with the exception of a win in the Dancer at The Meadowlands, had been stuck with a lot of near-misses in big races. But the colt set out to change that in a big way on Saturday night, moving first-over aggressively with Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike to make a up a ton of ground after starting in the middle of the pack. At the top of the stretch, it seemed like anybody's race, with Uncle Lasse, Wicker Havover, and Honor And Serve all in good position. But it was The Bank who trotted by them all by a length in 1:53:1, earning the signature win of his career. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS Speaking of overshadowed, Wakizashi Hanover knows that feeling well. The gelding from the barn of trainer Joann Looney-King has spent most of the summer battling it out with superstar Wiggle It Jiggleit and often coming up just short. Since his main rival wasn't a part of Saturday night's field, it seemed like it was Wakizashi Hanover's time to shine, and he went off as a 1-9 favorite. Lost For Words set a screaming pace early, trying to pace away and hide from the competition. But driver Tim Tetrick didn't panic, finding a spot in the pocket for the heavy favorite and staying close to the pacesetter. In the stretch, Wakizashi Hanover was ready to pounce on a tiring Lost for Words. He took over the lead and had to withstand a late challenge from closing My Hero Ron, holding on by a half-length. The winning time of 1:48:1 was the fastest ever in Pennsylvania championship history, a fitting way to close out another scintillating Sire Stakes season at Pocono. 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. Jim Beviglia

Louisville, KY --- Harness racing trainer Brian Brown and his ownership group had their eye on Spider Man Hanover long before he went through the ring at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale, so they were thrilled to purchase him. Especially for the price. “We all really liked him and he was one of the top ones we wanted to bring home,” said Brown. “We loved his pedigree and then we were even more sold on him when we went to see him. We were prepared to go much higher for him as we thought he would go for at least $60,000, so we were very pleased we paid $40,000 for him. Actually we were in shock that’s all we had to give. The only reason I can think of that he didn’t go for more was he was on the smaller side, but he was very well built.” The son of Western Ideal and the Art Major mare Stolly Up Bluechip will seek to become a state champion when he competes on Friday (Sept. 11) in the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. He will have the services of regular pilot David Miller in the ninth race on the card at The Meadows and will begin his mile from post position four. Owned by Country Club Acres, Kenneth Vaupel, Mike Mallett and Milton Leeman, Spider Man Hanover is the fourth choice on the morning line at 5-1 behind Check Six (3-1), Big Top Hanover (7-2) and Ideal Jimmy (9-2). There certainly is a lot to like about this colt’s family tree as his dam earned just shy of $200,000 during her racing career. His granddam, the Presidential Ball mare Stasia’s Girl amassed $142,774 on the track and she foaled another $100,000 winner in Cascata by American Ideal, p,1:51.2s, $145,414). Spider Man Hanover is also a full brother to Stacia Hanover p,3,1:49.2 ($238,746), who was last year’s New Jersey Sire Stakes final winner and this year’s Shady Daisy champion. He is also a half-brother to Seashell Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, p,3,1:51.4f, $99,245) and an unnamed American Ideal weanling colt. “His family was what initially attracted our attention and then of course seeing how well his sister raced at two,” Brown said. “We knew he had ability right off and had high hopes for him right away.” Spider Man Hanover certainly has illustrated his potential. He won his first qualifying race at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on June 10 and was second in his second trip to the gate over the same oval on June 19. The colt made his career debut in a $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars contest at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on July 3 and was just out-finished for the triumph by the heavy favorite Allie’s Cruiser. He broke his maiden on July 15 at the same facility with David Miller at the lines for the first time in a $53,548 Sire Stakes event. Then it was on to The Meadows on July 25 where Spider Man Hanover collected his second career win in a $43,548 Sire Stake. He followed that up by coming home eighth and last in an $81,113 Sire Stakes race at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Aug. 20. The colt rebounded, however, with his third career triumph on Sept. 1 at The Meadows in a $70,714 Sire Stakes race. To date, he has banked $91,405, has a resume of 5-3-1-0 and a mark of 1:51.3f. “You can just throw that one race out,” Brown said. “He did not race well at all and David suggested some things after he came back with him, so we put a jaw cord on him and it was very helpful. Right from the start he tended to get a little aggressive when it was time to race and we have tried different things to help calm him down as well as focused on what he was doing. But with the jaw cord and him beginning to learn his job, we think he is headed in the right direction. He could tend to be pretty grabby and the equipment change helps David control him a bit better. We anticipate that he will race well on Friday.” After Spider Man Hanover’s championship engagement, he’ll begin his travels outside the Keystone State with Kentucky, Ontario and New Jersey on his itinerary. “We would like to race him twice in Lexington and then we plan on taking him to the Breeders Crown,” Brown said. “His last race will hopefully be the Governor’s Cup. We like that it’s at the Meadowlands and think that will be a great spot to end his season. “We really think a lot of him and are looking forward to how the rest of the year unfolds. He is not tremendously big, but he is well made and has the talent to be a very nice horse for us. We have high expectations for him and we think he will fulfill them.” Below is the field for the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for freshman pacing males, with drivers, trainers and morning line. 1 - Check Six by Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-3-1  2 - Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-8-1  3 - Big Top Hanover by Western Ideal  - Dave Palone-Ron Burke-7-2  4 - Spider Man Hanover by Western Ideal - David Miller-Brian Brown-5-1  5 - Yankee Artillery by Somebeachsomewhere -Corey Callahan-Aaron Lambert-6-1  6 - McDave by McArdle  -Andy Miller-Robin Cruise-10-1  7 - Ideal Jimmy by Western Ideal -Marcus Miller-Robin Cruise-9-2  8 - JK Will Power by Somebeachsomewhere  -Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-10-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 10, 2015 -- Friday's card at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer more than $1.72 million in purses -- one of the richest harness racing programs in track history -- anchored by four Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championships for 2-year-olds. Each championship carries a purse of $350,000, with a $60,000 consolation also offered in each division. First post Friday is 12:55 PM. Much of the attention will be focused on the trotting finals, as Love Matters and two precocious fillies, Broadway Donna and Whitelake Hanover, look to extend their career unbeaten streaks and stake serious claims to divisional honors. Combined, the trio is 19-19. Love Matters caught the eye of Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, who purchased the colt from the Erv Miller stable before his sixth and most recent victory, a PASS win at The Meadows, for Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. Takter, who has been hands-on with the son of Explosive Matter-Lotsa Love for only a few days, indicated he's made no significant rigging or training changes, and that regular pilot Marcus Miller will retain the mount, guiding the colt from post 6 in the eighth race. "Marcus knows the horse," Takter said. "I don't see any reason to mess around with that." He said he was attracted to Love Matters while racing against him and coming up on the short end. "He looked very classy," Takter said. "I've seen him get better and better every time. I like to see a 2-year-old developing like that." Still, he refused to anoint Love Matters as the top Hambletonian hopeful in his barn. "We're a long, long way from that," Takter said. "We have to take the first steps first." Jim Campbell, who trains the homebred Broadway Donna for Fashion Farms, is similarly cautious about the upside for the daughter of Donato Hanover-Broadway Schooner, even as she seeks her eighth straight win. "I would never predict what a horse can do," Campbell said. "Usually, predictions come back to haunt you. I can only call her professional because she's done everything we've asked of her and more." He said Broadway Donna, winner of the $389,450 James Doherty Memorial final, is eligible for stakes at the Red Mile but that her schedule thereafter is uncertain. Broadway Donna will be meeting a new foe nearly as accomplished as she. Though she's trotted under the radar without a signature win, Whitelake Hanover also is undefeated, having compiled a six-race winning streak for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Omar Beiler, Dennis Coons and Susan Oakes. Through a quirk of the draw, the two didn't meet in PASS preliminary legs. Hall of Famer David Miller, regular pilot for both, has chosen Broadway Donna, who leaves from post 6 in race 10, while Whitelake Hanover (Explosive Matter-Whispering Wind) goes from post 8 for Matt Kakaley. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WILKES-BARRE PA - Wakizashi Hanover became a seasonal and career millionaire while pacing the fastest mile ever in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship history, 1:48.1, while Wild Honey became a repeat harness racing champion, a millionaire, and the richest Sire Stakes career earner in history ($503,260), as the headliners in an outstanding night of racing during the $1.7M Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship Night for 3YOs on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE   Wakizashi Hanover showed a heart a mile wide in rallying for a half-length triumph in his Championship event while stopping the timer in 1:48.1, knocking 3/5 of a second off of McWicked's mark of last year to become the fastest PA Sires champion ever, and coming within a fifth of a second of the 3PG world record on "f"-tracks coheld by his archrival Wiggle It Jiggleit and also Lucan Hanover.   The altered son of Dragon Again was hustled out of the gate by driver Tim Tetrick, making the early lead then making seasonal pointsleader Lost For Words work for the lead to a 25.4 quarter. After a 54.3 half, Lost For Words tried to burn off his competition with a 26.4 panel down the back for a 1:21.2 34/s clocking, but Wakizashi vacated the pocket, grabbed the bit, and just set his mind to first passing Lost For Words and then holding off the Pocono Pikeshooting My Hero Ron, with Lost For Words lasting for third.   Wakizashi Hanover now has earnings of $1,019,238 in 2015 and $1,123,327 lifetime, and his share of the boosted Championship purse gave him PaSS earnings this year of $251,704, breaking the $232,136 mark set by McWicked. Joanne Looney-King trains the winner, who would be the divisional leader in most years not like this "season of the Wiggler," for the Tri County Stable, and "Wakizashi" also showed that "Wiggle" better bring his "A game" to any future matchups. The victory with the 1-9 favorite completed a Sires Championship double - with wildly-varying payoffs - for driver Tetrick (read on).   Cardiac Fashion survived a long first-over grind in the Consolation event, kept alive under the expert guidance of Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr. to prove the best in a five-horse battle to the wire while taking a new mark of 1:50. Napolitano teamed yet again with trainer Gil Garcia-Herrera, second in the Pocono standings and the leader at Harrah's Philly (George Nap is atop the driver ranks at both tracks) and the victorious Well Said gelding for J M F Racing LLC.   THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT   Wild Honey repeated as Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, posted the biggest career Sires earnings figure ever with $503,260 while becoming a career millionaire, and started a Jimmy Takter sweep completed by The Bank in the trotting colt event, taking the divisional Championship in 1:53.   The fans let the Cantab Hall filly go off as the 5-2 second choice primarily because she drew the dreaded post eight, and indeed the trip she got would have defeated many a horse - parked with cover to the quarter, then uncovered the next quarter to make the top, with the favorite (4-5* Livininthefastlane) on her back. But Wild Honey was just too strong, powering off down the backstretch and through the turn, then coasting home late to give driver Dave Palone his 39th Sire Stakes Championship (his nearest rival in that category needs a telescope to see Palone in that regard - Yannick Gingras with 12).   The Hambletonian Oaks winner showed she is still in fine fettle running her lifetime tally to 14 for 21 and her earnings just over seven figures for owner Christina Takter, Herb Liverman, and John and Jim Fielding. She also broke the career Sire Stakes earnings record of $490,495 set by her fellow trotting filly Frau Blucher.   Tim Tetrick added a Consolation victory to his two Championship wins with Muscle Massive miss Gatka Hanover in 1:53.1 - just a tick off Wild Honey's time, and a lifetime mark. "Gatka" had had breaking problems in the Sires prelims, but she looked flawless here in winning for Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stable, Tracy Hendler, and Weaver Bruscemi - one of two collaborations on the night between Tetrick and Burke.   THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT   Only thirteenth in the Sire Stakes standings and thus relying on the generosity of others to make the final, The Bank proved to be money in the bank once on the track, wearing down stablemate Uncle Lasse heading into the stretch and then withstanding three-time prelim winner Wicker Hanover's inside rally to complete a "double-double" for trainer Jimmy Takter, as the combo of Wild Honey and The Bank join the 2014 Sires Championship duo of Father Patrick and Lifetime Pursuit.   Jim Morrill Jr. was tapped to handle the son of Donato Hanover, and he moved from midpack to retuck around a gapper early in the backstretch, then came again uncovered with the winning move to stop the timer in 1:53.1, only 2/5 off of Father Patrick's Championship mark. The Bank, whose deposits now exceed $675,000, is owned by Christina Takter, and the "two Gorans" - Goran Falk and Goran Anderberg.   With his Peter Haughton-winning colt Centurion ATM having to be scratched due to sickness, owner/trainer Ake Svanstedt still made hay in this group's Consolation, as AE scratch-in Ice O Late is also from his barn, and the late-developing Yankee Glide gelding had the necessary late rally to get the tally in a personal best of 1:55.1. Fourth, beaten only ¾ of a length, in his only Sires start, Ice O Late may be a late-season prospect for owner Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting Inc. of Sebastian K S fame.   THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE   Second-leading pointwinner in the four prelims, and one of only two fillies to win two prelims. Driven by Tim Tetrick, and trained by Ron Burke.   Logical conclusion: $92.20 to win. Right?   The Western Terror filly Safe From Terror, stuck behind the 8-ball at the positional draw, rallied from last at the half and the dreaded fourth-inside position at the ¾,coming deep up the Pocono Pike to win her Championship by a head in 1:51.3. Momas Got A Gun, the betting favorite who had raced in the pocket, got a momentary lead past midstretch, but she was outrushed by the winner, with divisional defending champion Southwind Roulette a rallying third, her best race in a while, as the first seven finishers were just a length apart in the wild across-the-track scramble.   Safe From Terror set a new Sire Stakes record for three-year-olds with the triumph, having earned $262,263 solely in the state competition for the our Horse Sense Stables, Stable 45, and the J&T Silva Stables LLC. (And a few of her scattered backers just might retain a $2 win ducat, maybe framing it and ganging it on a wall just to constantly see a Tetrick/Burke horse that generated $92.20 win ticket.)   In the Consolation, the Somebeachsomewhere filly Triple V Hanover quarter-moved for driver David Miller and bottomed out her field with a 54.2 middle half, winning by open lengths in 1:50.4, a tick off her mark and quicker than the Championship, though it came much earlier on the card. Brian Brown conditions the winning miss, who sent her earnings over $120,000 for Donald Robinson, King Mcnamara, and the Strollin Stable.   PHHA / Pocono        

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