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Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship day, which this year focused on the harness racing two-year-olds, was held at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this past Monday. A lot of times you'll hear people say that these freshmen horses are stars of the future. But considering these horses were racing for purses of $252,000 for each of the four finals, which culminate the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes series, it's much more accurate to say that the 32 competitors in the four separate divisions were taking the track for what would likely be, for each, one of the most important races of its career. Monday's championships brought some of the finest two-year-old pacing and trotting talent in the country to Pocono in attempt to claim the title of best in the state. The races featured a little bit of everything, including dominant favorites, smart tactical driving, and a stunning long shot. Let's take a look at how the two-year-old Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships played out. TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTERS This shaped up to be the biggest mismatch of the afternoon, and that's exactly how it played. Manchego, trained by Jimmy Takter, came into Monday's final with five wins in five career races. The highlight of that stretch came in an easy win in the $330,800 Doherty at The Meadowlands. Leaving as the #1-9 favorite from the #5 hole in the field of eight in the championship, she made the lead as they rounded the first turn by clearing S M S Princess. From there she opened up an insurmountable lead with driver Yannick Gingras never having to lift a finger to ask her for more. Manchego strolled home a winner in an effortless 1:54:2, beating her closest foe Hey Blondie by 4¼ lengths and leaving no doubt about who is the class of the freshmen distaff trotters. TWO-YEAR-OLD COLTS AND GELDINGS PACERS Pedro Hanover went off as the even-money favorite in the final. The colt trained by Andrew Harris had won his previous two races with a late-kicking style, sitting back in the pack early only to uncork just as other horses were tiring. But the Pocono track was severely favoring horses who left early for the engine on Monday night. So driver Andrew McCarthy decided that Pedro Hanover, who left from post position #7, would follow suit. The colt took the lead away from Dorsoduro Hanover with a move around the first turn and dared everyone else to come and get him. Although the fractions seemed a little steep, Pedro Hanover looked no worse for wear in the lane, holding off fast-closing Hayden Hanover to win it by a length in 1:51, which matched his career-best time. TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACERS In their previous start, Rainbow Room had nipped Come See The Show by controlling matters on the front end. Rainbow Room enjoyed the inside post in that victory at Harrah's, but, in Monday's final, she was in the #7 post while Come See The Show was a spot to her inside. But driver David Miller didn't make any changes with Rainbow Room, sending her to the front as the 4-5 favorite. Sure enough, Come See The Show blasted at her on the back stretch, but Rainbow Room rebuffed the challenge. In the home stretch, the filly from the Joe Holloway barn held together, holding off long shot Scuola Hanover to win by a length-and-a-half in 1:52:2. That gave Rainbow Room four victories in a row and five in her six career starts to date. TWO-YEAR-OLD COLTS AND GELDINGS TROTTERS After three straight favorites won on the front end, it seemed like that was the order of the evening for the Pennsylvania championships. But that trend ended with a thud in the male trotting division when the 9-5 favorite Whats The Word broke stride at the start. Scirocco Rob set the pace instead, but started to wither under pressure applied by Toast Of Lindy. As Toast Of Lindy took over, Fashionwoodchopper, who had won his previous Sire Stakes race at 15-1 and went off at 38-1 on Monday from an outside post, was following stealthily behind. In the stretch, David Miller spun Fashionwoodchopper off the cover and rallied him for the victory by a length over closing Lawmaker in 1:57. The huge underdog was the second longest shot on the board. With that big upset, so ended the championships and the Sire Stakes portion of the 2017 schedule at Pocono. After that fantastic finish, we can't wait for it to get started all over again next season. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at Jim Beviglia               As per the established contractual relationship between Downs Racing LP dba Mohegan Sun Pocono ("MSP") and any third party conducting business with MSP, the information contained in this message may be privileged, proprietary and/or confidential and protected from disclosure. Any information cannot be reproduced and/or shared with anyone outside of the intended recipient(s) without the expressed written consent by MSP. If the reader of this message and associated attachments is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copy of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer.

WILKES-BARRE PA – Three front-end harness racing favorites joined with a $78.20 closer to take the four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships on a Labor Day Monday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Here are recaps of each Championship and their divisional consolation event: 2YO PACING FILLY CHAMPIONSHIP & CONSOLATION Pacesetting Rainbow Room had archrival Come See The Show look her right in the eye nearing the ¾ pole of her $252,000 Championship, and the outside horse of the two brilliantly-bred fillies even got a short brief lead, but Rainbow Room shook off her uncovered opponent and went on to a 1½ length victory over pocketsitting Scuola Hanover, with Come See The Show falling back in the stretch. David Miller hustled the Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue daughter of Horses of the Year to the lead early, with Come See The Show tucking fourth. The latter filly moved uncovered past the 3/8 to challenge, and down the backstretch the, well, “Show” was on until late on the far turn, where Rainbow Room asserted herself. Asked if he thought his filly would have enough to hold off the bold challenger, Miller in response paused just a second (which you will do with a $550,000 yearling putting you under the gun), then said, “I knew I still had a lot of horse,” and he was proven correct. The winner is now five for six lifetime, including three PA Sire Stake legs and now the Championship, putting her earnings at $211,199 for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Crawford Farms Racing, Val D’Or Farms, and Ted Gewertz. Alexa’s Power, a royally-bred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the millionaire mare Michelle’s Power, looks like she could be a major factor in the later stakes action after lowering her mark to 1:53.4 in winning her $50,000 consolation for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Jim Campbell, and owner/breeder Jeffrey Snyder. Alexa’s Power started to bloom a bit late for the PaSS, as her two photo losses were not enough to get her into the Championship, but she now sports a lifetime record of 5-3-2-0 and gives every indication that she is coming into her prime now. 2YO TROTTING FILLY CHAMPIONSHIP & CONSOLATION “My main job was just to stay in the sulky behind her.” So (modestly) said driver Yannick Gingras after guiding the undefeated Muscle Hill-Secret Magic filly Manchego to her sixth straight victory, a win in her $252,000 Sire Stakes Championship that stopped the clock in 1:54.2, tying the stake record of Wild Honey, and lowering her own season’s record (set at Pocono) by 2/5 of a second. Gingras did not rush Manchego away, settling in third early, then moved her in front of the stands and went up to the lead easily despite some stretch headwind. The filly appeared to draw off at will the last 3/8, stepping home in 56.1 despite not having raced since her win in the Doherty Final 30 days before. Her margin at the wire was 4¼ lengths over Hey Blondie, who gapped second-over then found a higher gear late and was along by ¾ length for second over Tiffany’s Flash, first to the lead and saving ground thereafter. Manchego now has a bankroll of $335,898 after only a half-dozen starts for trainer Jimmy Takter and the ownership of Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. And that earnings pile only figures to grow larger, with the many season’s-end stakes looming just ahead. Since we gave Gingras the first word, we’ll let him have the last one – a scary ones for her competition: “She had two more gears left in her.” The Donato Hanover-Streak filly Follow Streak overcame a first-over journey to break her maiden in the $50,000 consolation, crossing the wire in 1:56.3 for driver Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller, and the ownership of the Millers’ Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. Four horses were involved in a duel the last half of the stretch, but Follow Streak proved most photogenic by a nose over Megadolce – who was a nose ahead of third-place favorite Bill’s Lady, who was a nose ahead of fourth-place Air Quotes Hanover. 2YO PACING COLT CHAMPIONSHIP & CONSOLATION Pedro Hanover, who had developed a reputation as a big closer in his five pari-mutuel starts, switched tactics in his $252,000 Championship, partially necessitated by his drawing post seven, grinded to the lead at the 3/8, opened up a bit on a turn, then was put under a drive to withstand a charging late group to win his final in 1:51, equaling his personal best. Driver Andrew McCarthy, who had broken his “PA Sire Stakes maiden” just the previous day with sophomore Caviart Ally, quickly graduated from “nw2” standings – but he knew he wasn’t likely to do it from his outer starting berth. “You can’t get away seventh in this field,” he said afterward. So he guided Pedro Hanover to gradually advance on the first turn, “and then, when the speed had slowed a little, I went for the top,” following that 26.2 opener with grabbing the lead 3/8 and going middle fractions of 55 and 1:22.4. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Paula’s Best opened up a bit turning into the stretch, but McCarthy kept the horse to urging, withstanding the closer Hayden Hanover by a length; Wes Hanover parlayed an inside trip to a third, just a neck behind Hayden Hanover. Andrew Harris, who has had charge of the horse for two months after he got his early lessons in Canada, is the trainer of Pedro Hanover, who now sports two PA Sire Stakes prelim wins and a Championship, a win in a division of the Nassagaweya, and earnings of $229,404 for owners Brad Gray and Denise Guerriero. In this group’s $50,000 consolation, Closing Statement made a big brush into a stretch headwind to control the pace before the half, opened a large lead down the back, and stayed clear through the lane in taking a new speed badge of 1:51.4. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ideal Newton, a winner early in the Sires prelims but unable to follow up on that success, was victorious in this consolation for driver David Miller, trainer Joe Holloway, and the ownership of Val D’Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz. 2YO TROTTING COLT CHAMPIONSHIP & CONSOLATION This is “prime time” for Jules Siegel. The squire of Fashion Farms LLC is on the ballot for election to the Hall of Fame, with results to be announced within the month, and he is the owner of $78.20 PA Sire Stakes freshman trotting colt champion Fashionwoodchopper – and still feels the thrill of victory like a first-time owner, excited as a teenager in the winner’s circle. David Miller, driving his second PA Sire Stakes champion of the night, got away “disadvantageously” in seventh with the son of Muscle Hill-Impressive Kemp, “but it just worked out for us,” Miller said afterwards, as “we were able to go up second-over” behind Toast Of Lindy as that one speed-grinded uncovered to challenge the pacesetter Scirocco Rob, getting closer and closer from the 5/8 onwards. Fashionwoodchopper swung three-wide headstretch, but looked like he was going to lose his momentum as he lugged in a little early in the lane. But trainer Jim Campbell knew enough about his colt to equip him with a sliding gaiting pole to get him back straight, Mille used it, and after that the driver never had to lift a line as the colt won in 1:57.1 by a length over the unlucky Lawmaker, who had the lead, yielded it to Scirocco Rob, and then was shuffled some as the pacesetter tired; Lawmaker did win the photo for second over Toast Of Lindy, who put in an excellent grinding effort. Fashionwoodchopper had not raced since August 12 – but that was a Sire Stakes victory. Campbell had him ready, Miller gave him a great trip – and Siegel was the happiest man in Wilkes-Barre PA in his walk to the winners circle. Met’s Hall sat a pocket trip behind his “Orange Crush” stablemate Max’s Beast, then pulled out early stretch, went right on by, and won coasting in 1:56.1 in his $50,000 trotting colt consolation. The Cantab Hall-Met’s Inn colt is now three-for-five  careerwise, including a win in his only Sire Stakes start (he chose to take “the Haughton route,” then had a small vacation before this start), and he gave the Andy Miller Stable Inc. a consolation double, this winner in partnership with the increasingly-famous Stroy Inc. of New Jersey and Moscow. PHHA / Pocono

Some of harness racing best 3-year-old pacers and trotters on the globe competed in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Finals on Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $252,000.   In the male trotting final, John Butenschoen trainee Dover Dan (Tim Tetrick) erupted off cover in the final eighth of a mile to win under confident Tim Tetrick handling in 1:53.3. The son of Andover Hall sat patient as stable mate Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan) and Muscles Jared (Chris Lems) exchanged leads. Wagering favorite Sortie (Dave Miller) was put into play past the half, and pressed the leader beyond three-quarters. She broke in the stretch. After fractions of :27.2, :56, and 1:24.2, Winner Dover Dan reeled in the speed to go on to a decisive 3 length win. "I had never driven him before, but I've raced a lot against him and followed him," said Tetrick. "We got him in good position and he was rolling on the far turn - I don't think it mattered much when the last horse (Sortie, the last of three breakers which included the two favorites) broke. He was trotting good and strong, and the time (1:53.3) is a good one." "We repeated (having won the 2TC last year with Giveitgasandgo), but you can't say this wasn't the right one or that it was an upset, " Trainer John Butenschoen explained. "This colt had had a lot of bad luck, with post positions and trips and the like; it went his way today." Dover Dan is owned by Bill Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick.   Dover Dan     The female trotting division was also won by driver Tim Tetrick, this time behind Jimmy Takter trainee That's All Moni. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Mom's Millionaire worked out a perfect second-over trip behind race-favorite Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan) to score in 1:53.3, just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Cool Cates finished second, while Fine Tuned Lady was third. "She was good early, then she was sick and had a subpar race", Trainer Jimmy Takter explained. "On Hambletonian Oaks elimination week, she had a temperature of 104 (she was scratched), and it took almost a week to get her back to normal. After the sickness, she needed the race last time, and today she showed that she was a good filly." That's All Moni is owned by Brittany Farms,Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld.   That's All Moni     It was upset time in the female pacing finals, as Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy) was unrelenting on the front end en-route to a 3 length victory in 1:50.2, just one-fifth of a second off of a track record. The big favorite Agent Q (Dave Miller) settled into a hole early, but came up empty as she edged to the outside with 5/8ths to go. "She's been good for the last few months now," said Driver Andy McCarthy. "She's been a little bit under the radar. But she was very strong today. It was first-time Lasix for her, as well. The challengers came, but she still stayed strong." It was McCarthy's first PASS win. Caviart Ally is by Bettor's Delight.   Caviart Ally       Another upset ensued in the male pacing finals as Boogie Shuffle (Scott Zeron) used the pocket-trip to win in a track record (3-year-old geldings) 1:48.2 performance. The time also equaled the fastest mile ever in PASS competition set by Wakizashi Hanover in 2015. The gelded son of Well Said-Ciela Hanover drafted behind the deliberate speed of Filibuster Hanover (Matt Kakaley) before taking aim at the 1/8th poll, finishing 1/2 of a length better. "He was a good 2YO, and he came back well early at three, but then he started to go bad miles - in the Hempt Final, I was getting a good trip, and then all of a sudden he was close to the judges list (for time)", explained Driver Scott Zeron. "When he had a few more races, (trainer) Mark (Harder) didn't know what to do. He got his vet to do a deep stomach scan, and they found he had deep ulcers in his stomach. Normally with ulcers a horse is sluggish and doesn't eat, but this horse was acting fine. He just didn't have any lick at the end of his miles with his problem. After they treated him, he's come back strong - and it's a good time, with the Jug coming up." Earlier in the day, probable race-favorite Fear The Dragon scratched sick, opening the door for chief rival Huntsville to take the lions share. After tucking, Huntsville attempted to grind first-over, but labored the final quarter of a mile to finish a well-beaten third. Boogie Shuffle is owned by Fox Hollow Farms.   Boogie Shuffle       There were also four consolation races, each going for a purse of $50,000. Q's Cruise was sent away from the gate strongly, reached the lead before the 26.2 opening pole, then put up middle splits of 55.4 and 1:23.2 en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Candell in 1:51 in the $50,000 PaSS consolation for three-year-old colt pacers. The Yankee Cruiser gelding was not quite ready for the big cats in the early Sires events, but a third in the last Sires prelim two weeks ago showed him to be a force to be reckoned with as he won here for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer/owner Jim King Jr. (the same driver/trainer team who had won this same division in the Stallion Series Championships yesterday at The Meadows with Donttellmeagain). Leet Hanover made a second move to command early in the backstretch in the $50,000 sophomore trotting fillies consolation in the PaSS, then held off a late cavalry charge to by a half-length in a new mark of 1:55.1. Hot Mess Hanover came from last to be second, photoing out another late charger, Crann Tara. The victorious Cantab Hall filly now has two-thirds of her lifetime victories in her last two outings for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, whose Ake Svanstedt Inc. is co-owner with Little E LLC and Mal&Janet Burroughs. The Bettor's Delight filly Bettor's Up quarter-moved from third, then sprinted home in 55 to finish off a 1:52.1 victory in the three-year-old pacing fillies PaSS competition, three lengths to the good of Way Bettor. There or thereabouts in many of the Grand Circuit stakes but winless since taking the Fan Hanover final at Mohawk in mid-June, Bettor's Up recaptured her winning ways here while raising her bankroll to $467,966 for driver Brett Miller, trainer Scott Mceneny, and owners Bradley Grant, Teresa Davidson, and Michelle Mceneny. Shake It Off Lindy yielded to favored Two AM off the first turn and enjoyed the pocket trip behind him, then moved to the inside under driver Scott Zeron's direction and ran down the leader in a 56.1 back half to win the sophomore colt trot PaSS consolation event in 1:54.1. The victorious son of Crazed took a new mark with the ¾-length victory and raised his bankroll to $151,542 for trainer Frank Antonacci and K R Breeding LLC, whose colt has now won two in a row.  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The best and brightest of the Pennsylvania-sired harness racing two-year-olds will be on full display at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this coming Monday, Labor Day, contesting their four respective $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships. (There will also be a $50,000 consolation event, for the horses whose competition pointlevels fell just outside the top bracket, in each of the four divisions on Monday, which will usher in The Downs' fall Monday post time of 4:30 p.m.) Last year the freshman Championships were held at Harrah's Philadelphia, where no favorite won, but Pocono-based trainer John Butenschoen captured both of the trotting events with horses driven for him by Corey Callahan. That pairing again figures prominently in Monday's action. Here's a short preview of each division, followed by the fields (post, horse, driver, trainer, morning line odds): $252,000 2YO TROTTING FILLY CHAMPIONSHIP (race 9; consolation in race 3), stakes record 1:54.2, Wild Honey, 2013 The leadoff Championship is the one most likely to break that "0-fer" from the chalk in 2016, as it features the Muscle Hill-Secret Magic filly Manchego as the 8-5 favorite. The Jimmy Takter-trained miss, owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, is undefeated in five purse starts, one of which was in a Sire Stakes event here on July 18, and the richest of which was the $330,800 Doherty Memorial Final on August 5 at The Meadowlands, where she took her mark of 1:52.4. Manchego, starting from post five for driver Yannick Gingras, does have one obvious obstacle - she hasn't started in 30 days, since the triumph in the Doherty Final. Seviyorum, a Donato Hanover filly, has won two of her last three starts, all in Sire Stakes company, and from post two looks to have the best chance of an upset for driver Andy Miller. PP1, S M S Princess by Cantab Hall, Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt, 6-1 PP2, Seviyorum by Donato Hanover, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 7-2 PP3, Hey Blondie by Cantab Hall, Andrew McCarthy, Chuck Sylvester, 12-1 PP4, Strawberry Hanover by Donato Hanover, Marcus Miller, Julie Miller, 9-2 PP5, Manchego by Muscle Hill, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-5 PP6, Live Laugh Love by Donato Hanover, David Miller, Nifty Norman, 10-1 PP7, Tiffany's Flash by Cantab Hall, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 8-1 PP8, Front Circle by Muscle Hill, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 15-1 $252,000 2YO PACING COLT CHAMPIONSHIP (race 10, consolation in race 2), stakes record 1:50.2, One More Laugh, 2009 Done Well, the early leader in this section with three Sires victories, has gone to the sidelines for the year, leaving a wide-open event in his wake. Very impressive as of late has been Pedro Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Paula's Best) named as the slight 3-1 favorite despite post seven for "Team Andrew" - trainer Andrew Harris and driver Andrew McCarthy. This late-closing specialist won two Sire Stakes prelims and also was victorious in a division of the Nassagaweya Stake at Mohawk in his last outing for his ownership of Brad Gray and Denise Guerriero. Other than the favorite, no entrant was triumphant in more than one Sire Stakes event. A youngster who is very familiar with winning, however, and the "underdog story" of the contest, is the Well Said gelding Venier Hanover, who has ten victories, second-most in North America for a freshman. Eight of them have come on the PA fair circuit, where he has set five track records under the guidance of Dave Brickell; he also was third in his last p/m Sires start after having the lead in the stretch. PP1, Venier Hanover by Well Said, Dave Brickell, Dave Brickell, 12-1 PP2, Hayden Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 8-1 PP3, This Is The Plan by Somebeachsomewhere, Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder, 5-1 PP4, Wes Delight by Bettor's Delight, Yannick Gingras, Mark Harder, 4-1 PP5, Karpathian Kid by Somebeachsomewhere, David Miller, Erv Miller, 7-2 PP6, Dorsoduro Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 9-2 PP7, Pedro Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, Andrew McCarthy, Andrew Harris, 3-1 PP8, Kwik Talkin by Well Said, Scott Zeron, Rob Harmon, 10-1 $252,000 PACING FILLY CHAMPIONSHIP (race 11, consolation in race 4), stakes record 1:51, Pure Country, 2015 This race on paper is the "highlight" of the freshman Sire Stakes Championships, pitting as it does two Somebeachsomewhere fillies out of top-of-the-line mares: Come See The Show, whose dam is champion millionaire Put On A Show, and Rainbow Room, a daughter of former Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue. These two fillies are so sharp and so well-matched now that in their last start, on August 24 at Philly, they both went off at odds-on - both were 90 cents to the dollar to win! In that event, Rainbow Room brushed around Come See The Show in the second quarter and went on to win by a neck in 1:51.2. For the Championship, Come See The Show, to be driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Joanne and Richard Young, drew post six to Rainbow Room's post seven and was made the slight 5-2 favorite; Rainbow Room was held at 3-1 for driver David Miller, trainer Joe Holloway, and Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms, and Ted Gewertz. PP1, Cuts Like A Knife by A Rocknroll Dance, Brett Miller, Bruce Saunders, 9-2 PP2, Majorsspeciallady by Somebeachsomewhere, Andrew McCarthy, Ron Burke, 12-1 PP3, Double A Mint by Bettor's Delight, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1 PP4, Strong Opinion by Well Said, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1 PP5, Scuola Hanover by A Rocknroll Dance, Andy Miller, Andrew Stafford, 10-1 PP6, Come See The Show by Somebeachsomewhere, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 5-2 PP7, Rainbow Room by Somebeachsomewhere, David Miller, Joe Holloway, 3-1 PP8, Bye Hanover by Well Said, Scott Zeron, Brian Brown, 15-1 $252,000 TROTTING COLT CHAMPIONSHIP (race 12, consolation race 3), stake record 1:54.3, Stormin Normand, 2011 Giveitgasandgo joined stablemate filly Fine Tuned Lady to give trainer John Butenschoen and driver Corey Callahan both 2016 Sires freshman crowns on the diagonal gait (and both are in their 3YO PaSS Championships on Sunday at Harrah's Philly). Butenschoen and Callahan here look to "double up" with the Explosive Matter-Fun At Parties gelding Scirocco Rob, given the morning line nod as 3-1 favorite from the rail. Owned by Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker, Scirocco Rob took his last two starts in Sires competition, and in his last race he overcame a tough trip to be second in a Tioga stake. Three other horses besides Scirocco Rob were victorious in their Sires prelims - Crystal Fashion, Lawmaker, and Toast Of Lindy - and the morning line holds all of them in high regard. PP1, Scirocco Rob by Explosive Matter, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 3-1 PP2, Maxus by Muscle Hill, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 4-1 PP3, Toast Of Lindy by Cantab Hall, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 5-1 PP4, Final Dream by Cantab Hall, Ãke Svanstedt, Ãke Svanstedt, 12-1 PP5, Whats The Word by Donato Hanover, Brett Miller, Janice Connor, 8-1 PP6, Crystal Fashion by Cantab Hall, Tim Tetrick, Jin Campbell, 9-2 PP7, Lawmaker by Muscle Massive, Anthony MacDonald, Andrew Harris, 7-2 PP8, Fashionwoodchopper by Donato Hanover, David Miller, Jim Campbell, 12-1 PHHA / Pocono    

Brian Brown's stable is home to three of the top 10 horses in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, which is a feat the harness racing trainer never considered likely. "It's not something you ever think is going to happen, that you're going to have that many in a year," Brown said. "It's something I've never experienced, so I don't really know how to take it. But it's a good thing to have." Brown's top-rated star, No.1-ranked Fear The Dragon, headlines the lineup for Sunday's four $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 3-year-old pacers and trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia. Fear The Dragon has won 10 of 12 races this year and earned $1.03 million. He finished second in both his losses. The colt, owned by Emerald Highlands Farm, enters the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old male pacers off a win Aug. 18 at The Meadows in the final of four preliminary rounds of the series. He competed in all four rounds, winning each of his divisions. In addition, Fear The Dragon's wins this season include the North America Cup, Hempt Memorial, and Adios. He finished second to stablemate Downbytheseaside (ranked No. 4 in the Top 10 and the 9-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $500,000 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers) in the Milstein Memorial. Four of Fear The Dragon's victories have come in races with Huntsville, last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion and the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. The Ray Schnittker-trained Huntsville, who this year has won seven of 11 races and finished worse than second only once, is ranked third in the Top 10. "I'm surprised (Fear The Dragon) has beaten them as much as he has, but this horse was a nice horse last year," Brown said about his colt, who won five of 11 races last season and hit the board a total of 10 times. "He got an eye infection (in late September) and he wasn't as good down in Lexington. It was his last races, so we quit at the right time." Fear The Dragon and regular driver David Miller will start the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship from post seven in the eight-horse field. Huntsville and regular driver Tim Tetrick will leave from post six. Fear The Dragon is the 8-5 favorite on the morning line; Huntsville is 2-1. "I'd like to have had a better draw, but it is what it is," said Brown, who saw Fear The Dragon finish third in last year's championship. "We may not get a pretty good trip here; it depends on what Huntsville does. It will be David and Dragon's job to figure that out. That's worked out OK so far." Huntsville is one of the four returning champions who will be in action Sunday, along with male trotter Giveitgasandgo, female trotter Fine Tuned Lady, and female pacer Agent Q. Agent Q, trained by Aaron Lambert and driven by Miller, brings a five-race win streak to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly pacers. She has won seven of 10 races this year, finished worse than second only once, and is ranked No. 9 in the sport's Top 10. Her victories include the Lynch Memorial and Mistletoe Shalee and she was undefeated in three preliminary rounds of the sire stakes series. She is the 8-5 favorite in her division, with Idyllic Beach second choice at 9-5. Fine Tuned Lady and Giveitgasandgo both come from the stable of trainer John Butenschoen. Corey Callahan will drive both horses as they attempt to defend their titles. Fine Tuned Lady is the 5-2 favorite in her final while Giveitgasandgo is the 3-1 second choice behind Muscles Jared at 5-2. First race post time is 12:40 p.m., with the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships carded as races 9-12. For the Sunday's complete entries at Harrah's Philadelphia, click here. The four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 2-year-old pacers and trotters are Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 26, 2017 -- Agent Q extended her winning streak and Idyllic Beach snapped her losing streak, as two of the harness racing glamor girls in the 3-year-old filly pacers division each won a Pennsylvania Sire Stake split in Saturday's $142,404 Romola Hanover at The Meadows. Agent Q entered the Romola Hanover off four straight wins, including the Mistletoe Shalee and a sweep of her Lynch elimination and the final. Her rivals weren't beating the daughter of Western Terror-Teenage Paige, but would post 9 do her in Saturday? It turned out to be no problem as she dropped in fourth for David Miller, moved to the lead first over down the backside and held off Caviart Ally by 1/2 length in 1:51.1. Early leader Way Bettor earned show. Agent Q, who has missed the ticket only once in 20 career outings, extended her lifetime bankroll to $889,530 for Martin Scharf, Rochetti Cassar Racing and Robert Muscara. "You never like to draw 9, but we still thought we had a good shot," said winning trainer Aaron Lambert. "She's right on her game now. She's been good for a long time. Hopefully she can stay that way." Agent Q The Dan Patch Award winner at 2, Idyllic Beach hadn't been performing badly, yet she had managed to lose six straight races, albeit to top competition. Adding Lasix for the Romola Hanover, she stalked Bettor's Up from the pocket, then blew by in the lane to score by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3. A pair of long shots -- Risky Romance and Terrortina -- completed the ticket. "Bleeding definitely didn't help her, although I'm not sure it was the only thing," said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "It's a tough group of fillies -- that's probably part of the reason, too. She raced really good today, and hopefully she moves forward from here." Jimmy Takter conditions Idyllic Beach, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Idyllic who vaulted over $800,000 in career earnings, for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc. and Marvin Katz. Idyllic Beach The PASS championships for 3-year-olds are set for Sept. 3 at Harrah's Philadelphia. $60,000 PA Stallion Series, 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Freakonomics starred in Saturday's co-feature when she triumphed in 1:51.1, matching Dismissal's stake record. Miss Jones and Ella Christina took the other splits, with Tim Tetrick enjoying a stake double behind Freakonomics and Ella Christina. Freakonomics dueled for the early lead in a demanding 26.4, but she drew off to down Perplexed by 4-1/2 lengths. Someomensomewhere completed the ticket. "I got an okay second-quarter breather," Tetrick said. "From there on, it was her race to win or lose, and she responded well. She locked up on a line in the Adioo Volo here; today, she was straight as a string." Ross Croghan trains the daughter of Western Terror-Mind Boggling, who pushed her career bankroll to $120,298, for Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham. Ella Christina pulled off a 56-1 shocker in the Adioo Volo, and she showed her fondness for The Meadows again when she swung wide through the stretch and prevailed in 1:53.1 for trainer Nick Surick and owners Nick Surick Stable, J.L. Benson Stables, William Daggett, Jr. and Lawrence Vukovic. Beach Club shot the Lightning Lane for second, 3/4 lengths back, with the first-up Traceuse Hanover third. "I was in a pretty good spot at the quarter, but by the five-eighths, I was in a bad spot again," Tetrick said. "I got to slide out, come around, and she got it done." Miss Jones, who was highly regarded by trainer Joe Holloway and owners Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz, missed nearly two months when veterinarians discovered a problem with the middle joint of her right hind hock. "We sent her to the University of Pennsylvania for a bone scan, and they picked it up," Holloway said. "She was still a little bit off today but not horribly gaited. Maybe we can salvage a little bit of the year." In her comeback race Saturday, the daughter of Bettor's Delight-Dreams Are Great edged the pocket-sitting Bridge To Tomorrow by a nose to lift her career bankroll to $110,453. Emily R Hanover was third. The Meadows will host all eight stallion series championships, each with a purse of $40,000, on Saturday, Sept. 2. Elsewhere on the card, Mr Wiggle Pants was a powerful 4-3/4-length victor in 1:50.2 for Aaron Merriman in the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace. The 4-year-old son of Mr Wiggles-Shani Pants now has earned $353,156 for trainer Scott McEneny and owner Bradley Grant. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

There were three divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for harness racing 2-year-old filly pacers contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (Aug.24), each going for a purse of just over $52,000.   In the first division, it was Ron Burke trainee Double A Mint (Yannick Gingras) completing a long-uncovered grind for the win. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Double Creme was put into play just after the half, moving up to challenge leader Scuola Hanover (Dave Miller) with 3/8ths to go. It was a thrilling finish, with Double A Mint ($6.20) getting up in time over longshot pocket-sitter Yankee Will Dance (Brett Miller), while Apple Hanover (Tim Tetrick) finished third. The final time was 1:53.2. It was her third career win in five starts. The freshman filly is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Dandy Farms, and Silva, Purnel & Libby.   In division two, trainer Ron Burke did it again with Strong Opinion (Matt Kakaley). The daughter of Well Said-Rough Sketch got to the top before yielding to eventual second place finisher Alexa's Power (Scott Zeron). After patiently drafting, Strong Opinion took aim at the leader at the 1/8th poll, winning a thrilling stretch drive in 1:53.3. Sarpa Hanover (Andy McCarthy) finished third. Strong Opinion ($3.60) is owned by Burke Racing, Jack Piatt II, Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi.   The third and final division was the fastest of the afternoon, as the highly touted Rainbow Room (Dave Miller) had to dig in late to win. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue brushed powerfully shy of the half, and held off 4-5 co-favorite Come See The Show (Tim Tetrick) by a nose to win in 1:51.2. Majorsspeciallady (Matt Kakaley) finished third. It was the fourth career win in five starts for the talented filly, who is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms, and Ted Gewertz. She is trained by Joe Holloway.   Michael Bozich  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 23, 2017 -- Two AM won for the fifth time in seven 2017 starts when he captured a division of Wednesday's $141,428 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Shake It Off Lindy took the other split in the harness racing event for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters known as the Hickory Smoke. Two AM began the year conservatively for trainer Todd Buter and owners Lynette Buter, Gene Oldford Farms, William Fuhs and Carol Fuhs, winning a PA Stallion Series split at The Meadows. Since then, he's faced increasingly tougher competition, sprinting away from a talented field in a Townsend Ackerman division at the Meadowlands. In the Hickory Smoke, he powered to the lead past the quarter for Tyler Buter and easily held off the pocket-sitting Muscles Jared by 2 lengths in 1:53.3. Sortie recovered from an early break to earn show. "He's one of the most willing trotters I've ever driven," Tyler Buter said of Two AM, a Muscle Massive-Slightly Tipsy gelding who extended his lifetime bankroll to $155,293. "You just show him the direction, he goes. He's not staked too heavy, but I'm sure Dad (Todd Buter) will pay him in to whatever he thinks he needs to." Shake It Off Lindy hadn't won in seven tries this year, but he stubbornly insisted on the early lead for Scott Zeron before yielding to the pocket and poured through the Lightning Lane, prevailing in 1:55 to vault over $100,000 in career earnings. Andy M split horses for second, 2-1/4 lengths back, with 34-1 long shot Gustavo Fring third. " It was nice to finally get him a win today," Zeron said. "I'd never sat behind him before, but they told me he's quick off the gate. He timed into it very nicely and got out of there great. The favorite came at me, we let him go, and he took us the distance." Frank Antonacci trains Shake It Off Lindy, a son of Crazed-Nashville Lindy, for owner/breeder KR Breeding LLC. $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Much like Shake It Off Lindy, Wiagram Hanover was without a win in eight starts this season. But he followed cover willingly in Wednesday's co-feature and got that elusive victory -- at 15-1. Soho Hanover and Perseverance captured the other splits. Trainer/driver Mike Simons, who owns Wiagram Hanover with Christopher Giaccio and Albert Abdalla III, said he purchased the Andover Hall-Wishful Me gelding for $12,000 as a yearling, knowing his returns might be down the road. "He's had physical problems, and he's also still immature upstairs," Simons said. "When I bought him, I had long-term plans. His family gets better with age. He has a few stakes left this year, but he'll fill out and make a nice horse." Wiagram Hanover defeated Media Buzz by 3/4 lengths, with the first-over DD's Comet third. Soho Hanover, who had demonstrated an apparent preference for the front end, gave the Buters -- father and son -- a second stake victory when he brushed late to triumph in 1:57.1, 3/4 lengths better than the front-ending Lars Perry. Frankie Mullins completed the ticket. "We've had to put him on the front because he's kind of hard headed," Tyler Buter said of Jarold Hawks' Soho Hanover, a Cantab Hall-Star Hanover gelding. "I've been wanting to get him a trip, and it worked out today. He responded well to that." Soho Hanover's 2-year-old half sister, Strawberry Hanover, won a PASS split Tuesday at The Meadows. Perseverance showed that he's appropriately named as he cut the fractions and held off Monteverdi by a head in 1:55.3 for Dave Palone. Scirocco Imsosmart finished third. "He was good his last race, when he was used a couple times," Palone said. "I thought I could control the race, get my own numbers, and that's exactly what happened. It was a good mile, as windy as it is." Jenny Melander trains the Cantab Hall-Caviar Forthe Lady gelding for Noonan Harness Racing and Melander Racing Inc. Mike Wilder piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers: a $143,414 PA Sires Stake known as the Romola Hanover and an $80,000 stallion series event. Special post time Saturday is 11:25 AM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 22, 2017 -- Seviyorum wrapped up a berth in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship with a crisp harness racing victory in Tuesday's $162,615 final preliminary leg at The Meadows. The event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over three divisions, with Strawberry Hanover and Hey Blondie taking the other splits. Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller teamed for a PASS double with Seviyorum and Strawberry Hanover. The PASS championships for 2-year-olds are set for Monday, Sept. 4 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Seviyorum was third down the backside when Miller sent her after the leader, Southwind Angelica. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Armbro Domino gobbled up that rival and drew off to score in 1:56.4. The pocket-sitting SMS Princess was second, 2-3/4 lengths back, while Southwind Angelica saved show. "I raced her on the front end last time, and she kind of pulled up on me in the lane," Miller said. "So I just wanted her to follow horses for a while. When I asked her to go, she responded." Stroy Inc. and Andy Miller Stable campaign the homebred Seviyorum. Seviyorum After three horses in the field of six broke stride early, Hey Blondie and Andrew McCarthy found themselves last among the remaining contenders. McCarthy urged Hey Blondie to the front past the quarter, and the daughter of Cantab Hall-Winbak Blondie made the move stand up, downing Tiffany's Flash by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:57.2. Lindy On Tap earned show. "I usually take it easy with her the first quarter," McCarthy said. "The way it looked, I didn't have to move from too far back, so I thought I'd get her out there and steady the speed a little bit. She had enough trotting home." Hey Blondie Strawberry Hanover earned stake honors in her third career start by rolling to the top and holding off Front Circle by a neck in 1:56.3. Win Treasures completed the ticket. "She was ready to go early in the season, then she had a few issues and mental things we had to get her over," Andy Miller said of the Marvin Katz-Al Libfeld-owned daughter of Donato Hanover-Star Hanover. "She didn't like stuff hitting her on the face. She's better, but she's still better on the front. She's learning to follow, too." Strawberry Hanover Mike Wilder piloted four winners, including two for trainer Tyler Stillings, on the 14-race card. Wednesday's program at The Meadows features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters: a $141,428 PA Sires Stake known as the Hickory Smoke and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Freehold, NJ --- Jim Marshall IV and 2-year-old female trotter Women’s Lib are learning together, with the racetrack serving as classroom. Harness racing driver and horse look to continue their educations Tuesday (Aug. 22) when they compete in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. Marshall, the 32-year-old son of driver Jim Marshall III and trainer Donna Marshall, is a regular on the amateur driving circuits, where he has recorded nine of his 12 lifetime victories. But Marshall’s three most recent starts have been with Women’s Lib, a horse he co-owns with Arden Homestead Stable, and he dreams of graduating to the Grand Circuit winner’s circle in the future. “I feel like I’m learning something every time we race,” said Marshall, who has guided Women’s Lib to one win in three starts. “I know I’m going to make mistakes. It’s inevitable. The guys I’m racing against drive more races in a month than I’ve driven in my whole life and they still make mistakes, so of course I’m going to make some. “As long as I can learn something from it and be a little more confident going to the next one, then I think it was worth it. That experience out there is priceless, for both of us.” Women’s Lib is a daughter of stallion Muscle Massive out of the mare New Day and her family includes 1997 Hambletonian Oaks winner Must Be Victory. Women’s Lib, bred by Arden Homestead Stable and Vieux Carre Farms, sold for $21,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Marshall, who served in the Navy as an aviation electrician before turning his attention to harness racing, was hoping the filly would be ready to qualify in June at Gaitway Farm, where the Marshall family’s training stable is based, but Women’s Lib suffered a cut to her left hind heel and was out of action for three weeks. She ended up qualifying on July 11 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, where she won in 2:02.1. Six days later, she won her debut in 1:58.4 in a division of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. “I was excited for the (Gaitway) qualifiers to come so we could show her off a little bit,” Marshall said. “It was totally disappointing. You never know what’s going to happen. You have to take it literally one day at a time. “But maybe someone was telling us to check the brakes a little bit. All you can do is look for the silver lining. She was a finicky eater and she was starting to look like she was losing a little bit of weight, so maybe that time off was for the best.” Women’s Lib went off stride in her elimination for the Jim Doherty Memorial Stakes, but following equipment adjustments to help her relax she rebounded with a fifth-place finish in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Aug. 10. She was beaten by only 1-1/4 lengths and timed in 1:55.3. “There are some things that I would have done differently in hindsight,” Marshall said. “But she raced awesome. I was super thrilled with the effort she put in. She definitely did her job.” In addition to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, Women’s Lib is eligible to the Liberty Bell in September at Philly and the Breeders Crown in October at Hoosier Park. “I’m thrilled to have her,” Marshall said. “It couldn’t have worked out any better, especially to have partners like Peter Gerry and his brother (Ebby, the principals of Arden Homestead). “She’s been a pleasure to have.” Marshall and Women’s Lib will start from post No. 3 in the third of three Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions Tuesday at The Meadows. Racing begins at 1:05 p.m. and the complete card can be accessed here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

WILKES-BARRE PA - Hall of Fame harness racing driver David Miller, second on the all-time money list (he passed Ron Pierce on Hall of Fame Day) and the leading active driving earner with John Campbell retired, took all three $54,785 divisions of the fourth and final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, two of them with youngsters garnering their second Sires triumphs, and the other with a maiden who was "graduating" to the Sire Stakes off two Stallion Series seconds. Ironically, the fastest winner was the previous maiden, the Broadway Hall-Designable colt Patent Leather, who gained cover behind Samo Different Day late in the mile, then outrushed his foe at the end to win by a neck in 1:54.2. Patent Leather, atypically purchased as a yearling by Hall of Fame nominee Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms LLC, looks like he might be a good $10,000 purchase (the dam was a $483,000 winner) under the tutelage of trainer Jim Campbell, and here he paid $24.80 to win as by far the longest shot in the field of five. Miller, Campbell, and Fashion Farms doubled up behind 7-1 prospect Crystal Fashion, a son of Cantab Hall (Broadway Hall's sire) who rallied to put the first blot on Cinderella story Hockey Hanover's past performances, taking a nose triumph in a personal best 1:56.4. Hockey Hanover (Explosive Matter-Hotentrot Hanover) is the winningest two-year-old trotter in North America with eight triumphs, and he entered the Sunday contest undefeated (five Fair Sire Stakes and all three of his Stallion Series starts), but the unbeaten designation was just put by the boards as the $100,000 yearling edged the $10,000 yearling, with a $350,000 yearling, 1-10 favorite and Peter Haughton winner You Know You Do, making a break and all but taking him out of Championship competition. (Crystal Fashion's dam, by the way, is Window Willow, a full sister to the millionaire Lolique, who was such a slow learner as a youth that his trainer John Wagner put him in the box as LOLIQUE; in his three-year-old qualifying debut, he beat defending Hambletonian champion Vivid Photo and started getting a lot smarter). Miller other triumph was with 1-10 shot Scirocco Rob in 1:55.3, but even the heavy favorite, by Explosive Matter-Fun At Parties, tried to make heavy work of his victory, losing all but a half-length of a 2 1/4 length stretch lead but persevering on to keep Max's Beast at bay for trainer John Butenschoen and owners Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker. An unofficial tally of this division's top pointwinners at their preliminaries' conclusion reads: Crystal Fashion and Lawmaker (tied for #1), Scirocco Rob and Toast Of Lindy (tied for third), Maxus, What's The Word, and Fashionwoodchooper and Quality Kemp (tied for seventh); Final Dream is "on the bubble" as ninth and AE1 if all of the top eight declare for the Championship, with Max's Beast tenth and AE2. The $252,000 divisional Championship will be held at Pocono on Labor Day, September 4. Monday at Pocono, there will be seven divisions of the final prelim for this two-year-old trotting colt group, and with that many horses in play, the competition for places in their Championship should be quite fierce. PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 19, 2017 -- Perhaps Fear The Dragon heard through the grapevine that Huntsville was poised to avenge his defeat by 'Dragon' in the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. Perhaps he was still miffed by his tough loss last week to his harness racing stablemate, Downbytheseaside, in the Carl Milstein. Or perhaps he's just that good. Harness racing's top-rated horse made a strong case for that theory Friday at The Meadows when he put away Huntsville at the top of the stretch and scored in 1:50 in The Tarport Effrat, a $140,828 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. A "wild" and spent Huntsville faded to fifth, beaten 3 lengths. The stirring Adios duel between Fear The Dragon and Huntsville, at the time the sport's No. 1- and No. 2-ranked horses, produced one of the most memorable renewals in the 51-year history of the classic. The rematch was much anticipated, with some giving the edge to Huntsville, who'd enjoyed a week off following his victory in the Cane Pace. But Huntsville was overanxious and sped through fractions of 26/54.3, resisting Tim Tetrick's efforts to rate him. "He was really wild today," Tetrick said. "I was trying to rate him, and he had different plans. I guess all those fast halves finally caught up to him." Fear The Dragon, meanwhile, was following the so-so first-over cover of long shot Some Attitude, making David Miller wonder if his cover would take him where he wanted to go. "It would have been nicer if he'd taken me a little further," Miller said. "But my horse overcame it. I flipped him three deep into the last turn, and he took off really strong." The son of Dragon Again-Armbro Cinnamon blew by the faltering Huntsville and defeated Perfectly Close by 1-1/2 lengths, with Blood Line third. "He raced great today," said winning trainer Brian Brown of Emerald Highlands Farm's homebred, who now boasts $1,263,201 in career earnings. "You saw him struggling past the quarter, but that's because Timmy was going so much. I think the horse is getting smarter, and he only does what he has to do." Fear The Dragon Both Fear The Dragon and Huntsville will race next in the PASS championship Sept. 3 at Harrah's Philadelphia. Ray Schnittker, Huntsville's trainer and co-owner, indicated the break would allow him to review his colt's rigging. "He looked like he was out of control," Schnittker said. "We'll change his rigging a little bit and see what happens. We have some time to play with it." In the other Tarport Effrat division, Filibuster Hanover served notice that he could be a force in late-season stakes when he roared to an off-the-pace victory in 1:50, 2 lengths better than Boogie Shuffle, with Q's Cruise third. The time was a lifetime best and fastest this year by a sophomore gelding on a five-eighths-mile track. Filibuster Hanover signaled that he might be sitting on a big performance when he closed from 12th to fourth in the Cane Pace. "He got away last in that big Cane field and closed so well," said winning driver Matt Kakaley. "He was awesome today. He did it so easy I never even pulled the plugs. If he can build on his last two starts, he could be one of the big players." Ron Burke trains Filibuster Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Fashion Ecstasy who extended his career bankroll to $291,040, for Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala, Jr., J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Filibuster Hanover $60,000 PA Stallion Series Stake -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers In Friday's co-feature, Donttellmeagain remained undefeated in seven stallion series starts over two seasons when he triumphed in 1:50.4, a tick off the stake mark. Hypothetical and Braley Hanover took the other splits. Tetrick enjoyed a stake double behind Donttellmeagain and Hypothetical. At 2, Donttellmeagain swept the four preliminary legs but missed the final due to illness. He skipped one leg this year but won the other three. On Friday, he moved to the front past the quarter pole and downed Jo Pa's Somebeach by 1-1/2 lengths while Mike's Z Tam earned show. The Dragon Again-Donttellmewhattodo gelding extended his lifetime earnings to $189,960 with the win, which came after a month's layoff. "There was no place to race him," said Jim King, who trains the winner for Paton Racing Stables. "He's won too many races so he doesn't fit anything. So I would have had to race him with horses he's probably not competitive with." Donttellmeagain Hypothetical, who added a Cornell collar for the race, moved powerfully first over and won handily in a career-fastest 1:51.1. Southwind Yukon was 1-3/4 lengths back in second while Harry Terror earned show. Tetrick isn't sure the new equipment played a significant role. "I know he's had some times where he breathed differently, but he did pace in 1:49 with me earlier this year," Tetrick said. "He just wore them down pretty good. He has some speed, and he's a big, strong colt who can carry it pretty good." Braley Hanover tracked down the 2-5 Highalator and edged him by a nose in 1:53.4 for Miller and trainer Chris Ryder, who owns the Western Ideal-Brissonte Hanover gelding with Craig Henderson, Oompa's Farm and Robert Mondillo. Cinnabar Dragon was third. The Meadows will host all eight stallion series championships, each with a $40,000 purse, on Sept. 2. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a $100,000 stallion series stake for freshman filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 17, 2017 -- When Fear The Dragon and Huntsville dueled for nearly the entire back half of this year's Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids before Fear The Dragon edged away, it made for one of the most thrilling races in the 51 editions of the harness racing classic. Now, these two stars will renew their rivalry in Friday's $140,828 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows -- and they've drawn into the same division, which goes as race 4. David Miller will drive Fear The Dragon from post 5 while Tim Tetrick guides Huntsville from post 6. The card will have an Adios feel to it; six other participants in this year's Pace for the Orchids -- Blood Line, Boogie Shuffle, Eddard Hanover, Filibuster Hanover, RJP and Western Hill -- will compete in the PASS, while Adios alums Highalator, Independent One and Southwind Yukon have dropped into the PA Stallion Series stake that is Friday's co-feature. Thus, of the 14 colts who started in the Adios, 11 will race Friday at The Meadows. The program gets underway at the special post time of 5 PM. Race 4 pits the top-rated Standardbred in North America (Fear The Dragon) and the third-ranked Huntsville. Their bank accounts also have much in common, as Fear The Dragon now boasts lifetime earnings exceeding $1.22 million for trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm while Huntsville has amassed a bankroll of more than $1.57 million for trainer Ray Schnittker and owners Ted Gewertz, Steven Arnold, Crawford Farms Racing and Schnittker. Fear The Dragon retained his top ranking despite a tough loss in the Carl Milstein at Northfield Park when his stablemate, Downbytheseaside, rallied and got up late. "I thought he was great in the Milstein; I didn't think 'Seaside' would beat him," Brown said. "When you pace the back half in 53.3, you usually don't get beat. He's training very lightly this week -- one easy trip Tuesday, jogging every day." While Fear The Dragon drew inside Huntsville, Brown expects the son of Dragon Again-Armbro Cinnamon to be in pursuit mode again. "I don't see us on the front, but I can't say it won't happen because determining that is David's job." Although Downbytheseaside is Pennsylvania eligible, he's competed in only one PASS leg and couldn't earn enough points to reach the championship. Therefore, Brown said, he's pointing 'Seaside' to The Messenger. Huntsville has enjoyed a week off following his victory in the Cane Pace. Schnittker said he doesn't expect any change in tactics for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show. "I never discuss that with Tim," Schnittker said, "but it sure would be nice to beat this guy sometime."    THE MEADOWS ADDS $15,000 GUARANTEE FOR FRIDAY PICK 5 On Friday, Aug. 18, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $15,000 total-pool guarantee for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Wednesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a two-day carryover of $6,757.59. In addition, Friday’s card includes a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a regular feature of each program at The Meadows. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) and Pick 5 (races 9-13) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. Friday’s card begins at the special post time of 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 16, 2017 -- Vodka N Lindy stalked the 6-5 favorite, Treviso, from the pocket, then shot by her in the Lightning Lane to pull off the 6-1 harness racing upset in Wednesday's $142,654 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Fine Tuned Lady took the other division in the event for 3-year-old filly trotters known as the Meadow Bright. Treviso was looking to complete a sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs and had the lead into mid-stretch. But Vodka N Lindy knifed inside for David Miller and scored in 1:54.3, a length better than the rallying Cool Cates. Treviso saved show. "I planned to stay in the pocket and take our chances from there," Miller said. "She needed to be first or second to make the (PASS) final, and she has gate speed. So I thought if I could leave and follow Treviso, I probably would be first or second." George Ducharme trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-Bellini Lindy for George Ducharme Stable, Paul Fontaine, Jim Winske and Winters Racing Stable. Pennsylvania's freshman champion, Fine Tuned Lady had banked more than $523,000 lifetime entering the Meadow Bright and was expected to enjoy a cakewalk at 2-5. But she couldn't shake the pocket-sitting The Erm and was all out to defeat her by a head in 1:55.2. Crann Tara recovered from an early break to earn show. "She wasn't as good today," said Corey Callahan, who piloted the daughter of Cantab Hall-Poster Princess for trainer John Butenschoen and owners William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware. "She got it done, but she was flat. She's allowed to have that, I guess." $100,000 PA Stallion Series Stake -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Wednesday's card also featured a stallion series event for sophomore filly trotters, and it became a showcase for Itsgoodtobequeen, who scorched her division in a stake-record 1:53.4. The other splits went to Miss Da Line, Dressed To Impress, Mimosa Hanover and Aight Hanover. Mike Wilder fashioned a stake double (Itsgoodtobequeen, Mimosa Hanover) among his four wins on the 13-race card. Itsgoodtobequeen, who added Lasix before an overnight victory in her last outing, gobbled up the leader, Broadway Concert, with an uncovered backside brush and rolled on to defeat Leet Hanover by 2-1/2 lengths, with Broadway Concert third. Although the time erased Choose Happy's previous stake record of 1:54.3, it did not shock Doug Hamilton, who conditions the daughter of Muscle Massive-Ucalthisahoneymoon for Jon Erdner, Martin Garey and Henry Wieseneck. "It really didn't surprise me," Hamilton said. "She's been good since we got her on Lasix. She's eligible to everything in Pennsylvania, plus if she's good enough, she can go to the filly division of the Kentucky Futurity." Miss Da Line had been experiencing breaking problems and had a brief, unhappy fling with hopples. She shed them for Wednesday's stake and took nary a bad step for Tony Hall, powering first up and jogging to a 5-length victory over Princess Aurora in 1:55.2 Temple Ruins completed the ticket. "She was a little warm, but as the gate moved on, she seemed to calm down to where I could put her in a hole," Hall said. "The hopples aggravated her, so they took them off. She was perfect today." Ray Paver trains Miss Da Line, a homebred daughter of Muscle Massive-Sister Kate, for Harry Horowitz and Iris Horowitz. Dressed To Impress hadn't won a stake all year, but the daughter of Andover Hall-Warrawee Krisp moved smartly first over for Miller and prevailed easily in a career-best 1:55.2. EZ Passer, the 4-5 favorite, recovered from a break to finish second, 2-3/4 lengths back, with Vegan Hanover third. "I've had luck with her -- good trips and all," Miller said. "Maybe you have to catch her on the right days. She raced today better than any time I've ever raced her. If you give her a good trip, she'll give you a good effort. You can't get too crazy with her." Tim Lancaster trains Dressed To Impress for Andrea Lee Racing Stables and Lakefield Gore. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, when Fear The Dragon and Huntsville, whose stirring duel last month in the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids created one of the most memorable races in the 51 editions of the classic, lock horns in a $140,828 PA Sires Stake. They've drawn into the same division, which goes as race 4. Special post time Friday is 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

This past week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono featured either Pennsylvania Sire Stakes or Stallion Series competition every racing night. It's always a lot of fun to see these harness racing two and three-year-olds going at it for big purses as they try to establish themselves among the stars of their age groups. It's also a reminder that Labor Day brings the two-year-old Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships to Pocono. In the meantime, here are the finest performances of the past week via the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: HOLD IT HANOVER In general, Stallion Series races are reserved for two and three-year-olds that are a notch below Sire Stakes level; that's reflected in the lower, but still substantial, purses for the Stallion Series races. But, in some cases, the Stallion Series serves as a great location for horses that may have started a bit later in their career than others but are suddenly demonstrating immense talent. That certainly seems to be the case for Hold It Hanover. This filly didn't race at age two, and made her debut in Canada this season as a sophomore, picking up one win in eight starts. But things started to transform when she arrived in Pennsylvania in July and joined the barn of trainer Michael Hall. After finishing fourth in her first start at Harrah's at Philadelphia, Hold It Hanover promptly ripped off three straight victories against non-winners of three fillies and mares. She then came to Pocono on August 8 and beat that same class from an outside post in a career-best 1:51:2. On Sunday night, she took on the Stallion Series for three-year-old pacing fillies for the first time and the domination continued. As the 2-5 favorite from an outside post in a field of seven, she overwhelmed the field on the front end by 5¾ lengths with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike. The winning time of 1:51 was easily the fastest Stallion series time of the night and was comparable to the times of Saturday night's Sire Stakes winners in the same division. With five wins in a row under her belt, the best way to classify Hold It Hanover is as tough to beat. Other top pacers this week include: Maxdaddy Blue Chip (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who moved up in class and grinded out a first-over mile for his second straight condition victory on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50:1; Scotty Lauxmont (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who scored his second consecutive condition win on Sunday night, moving up in class to win in a career-best 1:52:3; and First Class Horse (George Napolitano Jr. Tracy Brainard), whose condition win on Saturday night in 1:50 marked a career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: RIDGEWAY SPRINGS One can never tell when the light is going to come on for a struggling horse. In the case of Ridgeway Springs, it looked like he might dwell in darkness all year long. When he arrived at Pocono from The Meadowlands for a non-winners of $6,000 in the last five event on August 6, he was winless this season in 19 races. But the change of scenery must have helped, as the four-year-old gelding, who had just joined the Owen Eiler Jr. barn, made a three-wide back stretch move on his way to a win in a career-best 1:55:2 at 11-1. On Sunday night, Ridgeway Springs took on a different challenge, battling the non-winners of five for a purse of $16,000. Those are much bigger stakes than what he's used to seeking, so it was somewhat understandable that he was let go at 13-1 despite the win in his last start. Driver Anthony Napolitano had the gelding ready to roll, however, pushing him to the front early and then settling into the pocket after race favorite Rosesareexplosive grabbed the lead on the front stretch. Some first-over pressure from Centurion Hanover softened up Rosesareexplosive, all while Ridgeway Springs relaxed in the pocket. In the stretch, Ridgeway Springs uncorked his best move and slid past Rosesareexplosive to win by three-parts of a length. In doing so, he matched his career-best 1:55:2 time from the previous week. After two straight victories at double-digit odds, hope springs anew for this suddenly red-hot trotter. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Up Front Billy (Anthony Napolitano, Mark Ford), who scored a condition win on Saturday night in a brisk 1:53:1; Windsongmusclelady (George Napolitano Jr., Hunter Oakes), a mare who followed up a win at Harrah's with a victory in Monday night's featured claiming handicap trot in 1:52:3, a new career-best and the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; and Frac (Anthony Napolitano, Jim Ray), who stepped up the condition ladder to win his second straight on Tuesday night in 1:55. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: CAN I SAY With Anthony Morgan in the bike, this trotting mare beat a field of boys to win a condition event at 29-1 on Saturday night, paying off $60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. On Sunday night's card, which featured some top drivers shipping in for the Stallion Series races, Pocono's top driver asserted his dominance by winning eight of the 14 races on the program. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: NIFTY NORMAN Among Norman's four training victories at Pocono this week were back-to-back Stallion Series wins on Sunday night with sophomore filly pacers Bridge To Tomorrow and Perplexed. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at Jim Beviglia

WILKES-BARRE PA - Scuola Hanover, a daughter of A Rocknroll Dance - So Artsi who cost $12,000 as a yearling, opened a big lead in the stretch, then held off the previously-unbeaten $550,000 yearling Come See The Show (Somebeachsomewhere - Put On A Show) in taking one of three divisions of the third preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stake for harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Double A Mint took the lead away from Come See The Show past a 28 opener, then strolled to a 58.1 half and still had no challengers until past the 5/8. That's when Scuola Hanover (whose dam So Artsi was a winner of $3,67G and who is a half-sister to the well-remembered Grand Circuit champion Dancinwiththestarz) and driver David Miller unleashed a lightning burst, reaching the leader by the 1:26.4 ¾ and then able to go right on by, with Come See The Show, who was a trifle slow in finding high gear when the pace rapidly accelerated on the full turn, stuck in the pocket behind Double A Mint and pinned in by the gapping second-over Elysium Seelster. Once extricated just past headstretch, Come See The Show put on a very good stretch show, but the 17-1 Scuola Hanover had opened just too big a lead, and with a 27 last quarter completing the 1:53.4 mile, held off the chalk by 1¼ lengths, with Double A Mint that same distance behind the place horse in third. Scuola Hanover, who had a second and third in her previous two PaSS starts, stamped herself as a major divisional player while taking a new mark in the big victory for trainer Andrew Stafford, co-owner with Arthur Stafford and Thomas Ireland. Another well-bred filly, the Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue miss Rainbow Room, had been with Come See The Show the only two freshmen to win in the Sires first leg, but she was scratched sick in her division. Cutslikeaknife, out of the mare Whetstone Hanover and giving sire A Rocknroll Dance a Sires siring double, took her second straight PaSS prelim, racing on the lead and coming home in 54.4 - 27 to squelch the pocket rocket bid of Alexa's Power by a nose in a personal best 1:53 for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Bruce Saunders, owners Charles, Julie, and Francene Nash, and fans of Bryan Adams. The Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate filly Kissin In The Sand, making her PA Sires debut after winning two Kindergarten legs, rallied from the pocket to defeat pacesetting Strong Opinion by ¾ of a length, with her time of 1:52.4 the fastest in the three divisions but the only one not a personal mark, "Kissin" having won in 1:51.4 at The Meadowlands. Yannick Gingras had sulky duty for trainer Nancy Johansson and owners Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stable. PHHA / Pocono

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