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This week's edition of the Week in Review focuses on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships which took place at Pocono Downs this past Saturday. Four championship races for two-year-olds were held, each carrying a purse of $253,000. Let's take a look at all the actiom. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS Captain Corey, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, came into the race as the one everybody had to beat. He had won the first three races of his career, all in Sire Stakes action in convincing fashion. The colt was part of an entry (along with Fly Light) that went off as the 1-9 favorite in the race. In previous races, Captain Corey had controlled the action on the front end. But in this one, he was forced to grind first-over as his stablemate Johan Palema set the pace. But Svanstedt was able to coax Captain Corey past in the stretch, as the colt came home a length-and-a-half in front in a career-best 1:53:4, which was also a Pennsylvania Championships record for the group. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS In a group that seemed a bit wide-open coming into the final, Southwind Gendry was bet down to a 4-5 favorite as he left from the #2 post. Trained by Ron Burke and driven by David Miller, the colt came into the race with wins in three of five starts. He stayed back early as Always A Miki set the pace. Miller found cover for Southwind Gendry on the back stretch behind the first-over move of Chase H Hanover. In the stretch, the favorite was able to move to the outside of that over and power past Chase H Hanover for the victory. The winning time for Southwind Gendry was 1:51:3. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Ake Svanstedt was at it again with this group, sending out the 9-5 favorite Flawless Country from post position #4 in a field of nine. This filly followed up seconds in his first two career races with three consecutive victories. In the championship, she settled third in early, with Svanstedt patiently waiting as he watched the outer flow materialize. Luckily, the outer flow started to drop back. When the pocket horse moved to the outside, Flawless Country had the room that she needed. Full of trot, she zipped past the tiring leaders and held off fellow closer You Ato Dream to get the victory by a head in 1:54:3. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES After three straight favorites had won the first three championships, Grace Hill looked to make it four-for-four in this race after wins in three of four starts. She went off at 6-5. Meanwhile, Blue Diamond Eyes, again courtesy of David Miller in the bike and Ron Burke as trainer, was let go as the 4-1 third choce. Returning to Pennsylvania after a solid stint in Kentucky at the Red Mile, Blue Diamond Eyes settled quietly in the third-in spot. Grace Hill was able to briefly take the lead with her first-over jaunt, but Miller found room deep at the pylons in the stretch for his filly to close. Blue Diamond Eyes rallied for the tight victory as the favorite, getting it done in a career-best 1:51, which matched the Championship record for that grouping. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs          

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The best of the Pennsylvania-sired babies came in for their closeup on Saturday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing in four $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships, with a $50,000 consolation event also for the two-year-olds in each harness racing division of sex and gait. And after studying the sterling forms of the entrants, it turned out that all you needed to know about the Championships was this: bet Ãke Svanstedt in the trots, and bet the team of driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke in the paces. Here is a summary of how all of the action went: TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS Svanstedt pupils were 1-2-3 early in this Championship, with Johan Palema (driver Dexter Dunn; not coupled with the other two because Ãke owns no part of him) on the lead, Fly Light (Andy Miller) second, and Captain Corey third under Svanstedt's control. They sat that way through fractions of :27.1 and :57, then Svanstedt pulled Captain Corey (a Googoo Gaagaa - Luv U All colt) out raw at the 5/8 to challenge, with second choice (and leading prelim pointwinner) In Range advancing to second-over. Past the 1:25 three-quarters Fly Light made a break in the two-hole, bothering several other horses; by this time Captain Corey had moved to within a head of his frontstepping stablemate, with In Range right behind. Through the stretch Captain Corey maintained his long and powerful strides, reaching the wire two lengths ahead of In Range in 1:53.3, with Johan Palema another length back in third. An inquiry was posted to look into the incident on the far turn, but Captain Corey was not affected.   The time eclipsed by a fifth of a second the record set by Real Cool Sam last year, and lowered his own season's record. Captain Corey is now undefeated in four lifetime starts, three PaSS elims and this Championship, and he boosted his earnings to $264,563. Svanstedt (as Ãke Svanstedt Inc.) co-owns the winner with S R F Stable, Knutsson Trotting Inc., and Midnight Sun Partners Inc. It would be surprising if more is not heard from this colt. Consolation: The Cantab Hall - Jolie De Vie gelding Jack Fire had bad luck in the first half, three-wide much of the first quarter, then going first-over, but then he had good luck when he was trying to clear favored pacesetter Bacardi and that one broke, letting him go to an easy lead and winning in a lifetime best 1:56.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Nifty Norman, and the ownership of Pinske Stables and Curly Tall Curly Small. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Like her stablemate Captain Corey, the Southwind Frank - Aleah Hanover filly Flawless Country found herself third early in the backstretch - but she took a very different route home, though producing the same result. Flawless Country actually had the lead at the ¼ in :27.3, but the second quarter saw first Gimme Shelter and then Anoka Hanover make their way to the top, the latter in front at the :56.1 half. Svanstedt kept Flawless Country inside as You Ato Dream, the leading prelim pointwinner with four PaSS seconds, attacked towards the 1:25.1 three-quarters, with pocketsitter Gimme Shelter following the first-over outside as she gained a small advantage nearing headstretch. This move gave Svanstedt room to maneuver Flawless Country to the Pocono Pike, and the baby filly responded to the challenge like a seasoned pro, quickly kicking in gear to beat out the unfortunate You Ato Dream (if a maiden with earnings of $157,556 can be considered "unfortunate") by a neck, with Anoka Hanover another 2½ lengths back in third.   Flawless Country started her career finishing second in photo decisions, and since has won four in a row, swelling her earnings to $263,496 for Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc., Wolfgang A Table inc., and Borje Nasstrom. Consolation: The Cantab Hall - Evermore filly May Karp was moved to the lead in front of the stands by driver Dexter Dunn and left her field far in arrears while taking a new mark of 1:55.4. Third in her only Sire Stakes start and coming off two Stallion Series victories, May Karp is at the peak form of her young career for trainer Lucas Wallin and Shermay Stables. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS Both of the Svanstedt winners were crowd favorites, as was the colt winner in the Miller/Burke sweep, the Always B Miki - Gambler's Passion gelding Southwind Gendry, who won in off-the-pace fashion in 1:51.3. Bayfield Beach led the field to the quarter in a sharp :26, with Always A Miki, the top pointwinner and second betting choice, going to the lead in front of the stands and slowing the half to :55.3. Chase H Hanover, who tucked fourth early from the outside post nine, came up to pressure the leader, passing the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and carrying the fight around the turn - until Always A Miki made a break nearing headstretch, briefly bothering Bayfield Beach. Chase H Hanover continued on after his rival's misfortune, but Southwind Gendry, who had been on his back most of the way, went wide and was the fresh horse late. Chase H Hanover was 1½ lengths behind the winner and a length ahead of a recovering Bayfield Beach.   So far Southwind Gendry's scorecard shows four wins, two breaks, and $217,144 in earnings for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, Knox Services Inc., and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, with a lot of the stakes trail still to go. Consolation: Favored Whichwaytothebeach, setting the pace, looked like he might be under siege by a sweeping Sweet Angel Boy at headstretch, but that one ran in in early stretch and lost momentum straightening away, leaving the Somebeachsomewhere - Swinging Beauty colt able to retain his lead to the wire, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. Marcus Miller drove the winner for trainer Roland Mallar and owners Alan Johnston and John Craig. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES The Captaintreacherous - Aria Hanover filly Blue Diamond Eyes was the only non-favorite to win a two-year-old Championship, but at 4-1 she was hardly overlooked, and she opened some eyes with a victory in 1:51, equaling the stakes record of Pure Country and also the national season's record. As was the case in the other filly Championship, there was plenty of early activity, with Blue Diamond Eyes on top at the :27.3 quarter, but then having pointleader Marsala Hanover and then favored Grace Hill go by her before a :55.1 half. Continualou, one of four Burke entrants in the race went first-over and was within a length of the leader at the 1:23.1 three-quarters; after she backed off, Marsala Hanover moved outside, giving the room for Blue Diamond Eyes to go to the Pocono Pike. Blue Diamond Eyes took full advantage of the inner route, going past Grace Hill by ¾ of a length, with Thebeachiscalling gaining inside the winner in the Pike to take third ahead of Marsala Hanover.   Blue Diamond Eyes now has three wins and a second in six starts, a new record, and earnings of $191,542 for Thomas and Scott Dillon. Consolation: Trainer Nifty Norman, driver Dexter Dunn, and the Pinske Stables collected a second consolation victory when the Somebeachsomewhere - Fit To Frame filly Fire Start Hanover forced favorite Mackie Hanover to work hard to clear for the lead at the half, then came back in the lane to pass that rival and win while taking a new speed badge of 1:52.3. The Pinske Stables' partners in this filly are David Hoese and Lawrence Means. The three-year-old Pennsylvania-sired stars will be at Harrah's Philadelphia Sunday afternoon for their Championships and consolations. On Monday The Meadows will host the Stallion Series Championships, as Labor Day Monday afternoon will find no fewer than four Pennsylvania tracks in operation during the afternoon: pari-mutuel tracks Pocono, Philly, and The Meadows, and also the Bloomsburg Fair. From the PHHA/The Downs  

As trainer Marcus Melander prepared In Range for his rookie season, he was uncertain what he had in the 2-year-old trotter. The colt was a good-looking $185,000 yearling buy from a successful harness racing family but did not stand out among Melander's other horses. But when it came time to race, In Range went from indifferent to inspired. He has four wins and a second in five starts as he heads to Saturday's (Sept. 5) $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In Range and driver Tim Tetrick are 3-1 on the morning line, the second choice behind the Ake Svanstedt-trained entry of Captain Corey and Fly Light at 2-1. Captain Corey, undefeated in three races this season, and In Range will be meeting for the first time. "It's not going to be easy to beat Captain Corey, but I don't feel defeated before the race," Melander said. "I'm very confident in my horse and hope he can step up a little more. But it's a good field, it's not just Captain Corey in there. Captain Corey is going to be the favorite but they're 2-year-olds, you never know. It will be an interesting race." Pocono hosts the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships and consolations for 2-year-olds, with a first-race post time of 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. Harrah's Philadelphia hosts the finals and consolations for 3-year-olds on Sunday, with first post at 12:40 p.m. (EDT). In Range is a son of Bar Hopping out of Ilia. He was purchased at last November's Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes Grand Circuit stakes winner Long Tom, who was trained by Melander, and state-bred stakes winner Tight Lines. "It's a good family and he's a good-looking horse," said Melander, who trains In Range for owners AMG Stable Inc., Kenneth Kjellgren, Tomas Hans Asell, and Rick Wahlstedt. "We really liked him." In Range started his career with a win in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars before back-to-back scores in preliminary legs of the sire stakes. He finished second to Fly Light in a sire stakes division at The Meadows, where he was third in a 1:00.1 half and unable to overtake the winner despite a :27.1 final quarter, but bounced back to defeat Fly Light in a sire stakes split at Pocono. "Honestly, he didn't feel like a horse that would win four out of five," Melander said. "He never had a bad training day, he did exactly what he was supposed to do, but he's a really laidback and lazy horse. I didn't really know what to expect. He never did anything wrong at home, there were just a couple other ones that shined more than he did. "He didn't really step up until we brought him to The Meadowlands to qualify. Since then, he's been completely different on the racetrack. He's still lazy at home but on the racetrack he's all business." In Range, whose laidback demeanor is the only trait he shares with three-quarter brother Long Tom, won his most recent outing in gate-to-wire fashion after racing from primarily off the pace in his earlier starts. All four of his victories have come by a minimum of one length. "He's so handy," Melander said. "He doesn't waste energy on other stuff. He knows what he's doing and he's perfect in hand for Tim. He's very easy to work with and be around. "Tim has been doing a good job with him, letting him come from off the pace and teaching him. The last time, it was time for him to try to leave, and he was really good out there. He's definitely been learning. Tim has been prepping him good. "He's a really nice horse. I can't say one bad thing about him." The favorites in the remaining Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 2-year-olds are male pacer Southwind Gendry, female trotter Flawless Country, and female pacer Grace Hill. For Saturday's complete Pocono entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

CHESTER, PA - Top-level Pennsylvania-sired three-year-olds will be gathering at Harrah's Philadelphia this Sunday afternoon to contest their respective $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships and $50,000 consolation races, divided by sex and gait. The fields of eight horses won their way into the series finales by accumulating points in four preliminary rounds of the Sire Stakes at the Pennsylvania harness racing ovals Pocono, The Meadows, and Harrah's Philadelphia. Here is a summary of the major contenders in each division: THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (race nine; consolation in race five) The early morning line favorite among the "glamour division" horses is the Sweet Lou gelding No Lou Zing, who has four wins and three seconds in eight seasonal starts for trainer Nancy Takter, including a 1:49.3 - :26.4 victory at The Meadows in his last outing. Dexter Dunn will drive the improved sophomore as they start from post six. Major contenders are Allywag Hanover, a Brett Pelling-trained colt by Captaintreacherous who has been among the North American division leaders all year, and who has a positional advantage in that he starts from post two for driver Tim Tetrick; and the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Sandbetweenmytoes, the #1 preliminary pointwinner who has really come to hand in his last two starts for trainer Jim Campbell with Sire Stakes victories at Pocono and The Meadows. However, he will have to solve the difficult seven post for driver Andrew McCarthy. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (race ten, consolation in race six) The Father Patrick gelding Amigo Volo, who set four world records as a two-year-old and who won a Sire Stake prelim at Pocono in 1:52, has been picked as the morning line favorite, beginning from post three for trainer Nifty Norman and driver Dexter Dunn. The fast sophomore made the lead from post ten in the Hambletonian, had road trouble, and still was a very good fourth in that premier event; he is likely to have better racing luck here. The three-ply coupled entry from trainer Ãke Svanstedt - Swiss House Onfire (post one, driver George Napolitano Jr.), Gangster Hanover (post seven, Svanstedt up) and EL Ideal (post eight, Andy Miller) - will attract a great deal of attention, as will the preliminary pointleader Hillexotic, who will be beginning from post two for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (race eleven, consolation race four) Only two horses in the history of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes have been the leading prelim pointwinner and then Championship winner of their division at both two and three (pointstanding records date back only to 2002) - and they have both been trotting fillies, Coulatine (2003-2004) and Frau Blucher (2012-2013, the latter a Championship winner in a memorable dead-heat with archrival Classic Martine). Now another trotting filly is in position to join them - the Father Patrick miss Sister Sledge, beginning from post six for trainer Ron Burke and driver Brian Sears. Sister Sledge has won 13 of 20 lifetime starts and $728,849, and she had two wins and a second in the three Sire Stakes events she entered this season, including a 1:52 season's record at her "home track," The Meadows. Given the best chance to upset Sister Sledge is the Sebastian K S filly Next Level Stuff (post one, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick), who had a win and two seconds in her three PaSS outings this season, and who also has the winning habit (9 for 17 lifetime.) THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (race twelve; consolation post three) Most eyes will tend to focus on the unbeaten Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous who was unraced at two but has made up for lost time by going undefeated in eight starts in 2020, including the Fan Hanover Final in her last race and the three Sire Stakes events she contested. She holds the season's record of 1:49, not far off the 1:48.3 (Kissmeonthebeach) world record for the division, and she will start from post one for trainer Chris Ruder and driver Dexter Dunn, who could be completing a big afternoon. But the race is not a mere walkover; look at the credentials of some of her opponents: --Lyons Sentinel (by Captaintreacherous, post seven, trainer Jim King Jr., driver Tim Tetrick) is the 2019 defending Sire Stakes champion, has a lifetime record of 20-10-9-1, and will go over $1 million lifetime with a high finish; --Rocknificent (by Captaintreacherous, post five, trainer Linda Toscano, driver Scott Zeron) was the #1 pointearner with three prelim wins and a third, and is always in the mix of races of this type; --JK First Lady (by Western Ideal, post six), trainer Nancy Takter, driver Andrew McCarthy) set the track record of 1:49.2 here in winning a Sire Stakes race two starts ago, and was victorious in a PA All-Stars race last time out. Post time for the Sunday Harrah's Philadelphia card is 12:40 p.m. Pennsylvania Championship Weekend will close out Monday afternoon with eight $40,000 Stallion Series Championships at The Meadows. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The best of the Keystone State-sired two-year-olds, beginning to establish themselves as among the North American leaders in their crops of 2020, will at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Saturday afternoon to contest their respective $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships and $50,000 consolation races, divided by sex and gait. The fields of nine horses earned their way into their races by accumulating points in four preliminary rounds of the Sire Stakes at the state's three ovals - Pocono, Harrah's Philadelphia, and The Meadows. Here's a summary of the major contenders in each division: TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (race nine; consolation race three) A coupled entry co-owned by trainer Ãke Svanstedt, Captain Corey and Fly Light, have been made the early favorite. (Svanstedt has no ownership in a third of his trainees in the race, Johan Palema, so that horse is not part of the coupled entry). Captain Corey, a Googoo Gaagaa - Luv U All colt, appears to be the stronger half of this duo, as he is undefeated in three lifetime starts, and the youngster has impressed many with his powerful yet effortless way of racing. He'll start from post three. His main rival appears to be In Range, the leading pointwinner, who won three Sire Stakes preliminaries and was second, beaten only a length by Fly Light, in the other (interestingly, no Sire Stakes horse, two or three, was able to post a win in all four prelims). Trainer Marcus Melander, whose stable has been so dominant over the last couple of years, has asked Tim Tetrick to drive the Bar Hopping - Ilia colt, who will begin just outside of Captain Corey Saturday. Those two were the only three-time Sire Stakes prelims winners in this section; indeed, no one else in this division took more than one. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (race ten; consolation race eight) In a very competitive division, the top winners in the prelims took two events, and they are the morning line favorites. Southwind Gentry (an Always B Miki - Gambler's Passion gelding) is the early choice for trainer Ron Burke, with David Miller driving the freshman from post two. Southwind Gentry won his two preliminaries at The Meadows, but in his only other Sires start, at Pocono, he made a break in stride, and will be looking to atone for that miscue. Second choice, quite possibly because of the difficult post eight, is the Always B Miki - Beach Gal colt Always A Miki, trained by Nancy Takter and to be driven by Dexter Dunn. Always A Miki was the leading pointearner in the SS prelims with two wins, a second, and a third, and he has won over the Pocono oval in both the Sire Stakes and in an All-Stars division. Another Ron Burke trainee, the Sweet Lou - Lucy's Pearl colt Lou's Pearlman, was tabbed as a close third choice, based on his two Sires winners and also victories in the All-Stars and in an Arden Downs division. Matt Kakaley is slated to guide Lou's Pearlman as they start from post four. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (race eleven; consolation race six) Ãke Svanstedt may be looking for a sweep of the baby trotting Championships when the trainer-driver sends out the Southwind Frank - Aleah Hanover miss Flawless Country from post four. Flawless Country started her career with a pair of seconds in photo decisions, then has won her last three, including a Sire Stake prelim here at Pocono in her last start. Insta Glam (Father Patrick - Hollywood Hill) is the second choice on the morning line from post six, sporting two PaSS wins and the hot team of trainer Nancy Takter and driver Tim Tetrick. Interestingly, the #1 pointearner in this division, the Donato Hanover - Dream Child filly You Ato Dream, earned that distinction without a prelim win, but after four seconds in the four preliminaries she may pick a propitious time to break her maiden as she starts from post two for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (race twelve; consolation race five) Grace Hill, a daughter of Always B Miki - Western Silk, was ranked as the early favorite in this event off the strength of winning all three of the PA Sire Stakes events she contested, including a start at Pocono. One liability may be the fact that the Pocono race, on August 10, was the filly's last start, but trainer Nifty Norman will work hard to have the filly in Championship form as she starts from post four for driver Dexter Dunn. Divisional pointleader Marsala Hanover won at Pocono and also was victorious in the last PaSS prelim at The Meadows, giving her a consistent 4-2-1-1 record against this group, and has won her last three races overall. The daughter of Captaintreacherous - Marinade Hanover will begin from post two for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron. Post time for the Saturday Pocono card is set for 12:30 p.m. The Pennsylvania Championship weekend continues the next afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia with the four finales for Sire Stakes three-year-olds, and concludes on Monday afternoon at The Meadows, with eight Stallion Series Championships. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 31, 2020 -- Amigo Volo and Big Oil have sharpened their games by taking on their division's best all season. That preparation showed Monday at The Meadows when each captured a division of the $188,732 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. A respectable fourth from post 10 in the Hambletonian final, Amigo Volo had the easier time of it in the event known as the Super Bowl, zipping to the front for Dexter Dunn and winning pretty much as he pleased in 1:53.3. Hillexotic was a non-threatening second, 2-1/4 lengths back, with Patriarch Hanover third.   "He might have been a little flat last week, the week after the Hambo, but he was very sharp today," Dunn said. Nifty Norman trains the Father Patrick-Margarita Momma gelding, who now boasts a career bankroll of $820,719, for Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Big Oil also reached the Hambo final but lost all chance with early breaks. Although he's been similarly frustrated in most of his biggest engagements this year, Andy Miller, who pilots him for trainer Julie Miller, maintains his confidence in the son of Father Patrick Cee Bee Yes.   "He's got the ability if we can get him right; he showed that last year, and he showed a couple flashes this year," he said. "Hopefully, he's on the upswing. He has a lot of big races left." In the Super Bowl, Big Oil opened a sizable late lead, then held on to edge Chestnut Hill by a nose in 1:53, with Hell Patrol third. Big Oil races for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Jason Allen, Douglas Allen and Ronald Allen Both winners apparently advanced to the $260,000 PASS Championship on Sept. 6 at Harrah's Philadelphia, although that won't be confirmed until point totals are formally tallied. $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Town Victor earned stake honors with a 1:54.2 triumph, Overserved won his third consecutive stallion series split and Shadrack Hanover took the third division of Monday's subfeature. Trainer Rich Gillock indicated Town Victor was trained up and geared up when the COVID-19 shutdown hit and has been struggling to regain his best stride since. "We sent him to Florida for the winter, and he was ready to roll," Gillock said of the Winning Mister-P Town Girl gelding that he owns with Barbara Richardson. "But then everything hit, and he got hurt -- it was a combination of things. After the stallion series final, he has some stakes in Pennsylvania, and we paid him into the Matron Stake." Town Victor was sharp Monday, hustling to the lead for Mike Wilder and defeating the pocket-sitting Kyrie Deo by 1-1/2 lengths. Bargain Bob completed the ticket. The Meadows will host all eight $40,000 stallion series championships on Monday, Sept. 7. Wilder and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a four-bagger on the 15-race card while Matt Kakaley fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $4,665 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 29, 2020 -- Chase H Hanover and Southwind Gendry each captured a division of Saturday's Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at The Meadows, giving David Miller a sweep of the $213,858 event for freshman colt and gelding pacers. Miller's big day didn't end there, as he also won two PA Stallion Series splits and an overnight race to give him five harness racing victories on the 15-race card. The winners had vastly different paths to victory in the PASS known as the Tyler B. Chase H Hanover quarter-poled to the top and simply was the best from there, scoring in a career-fastest 1:51.1. Crunch Hanover was 1/2 length back in second while Lou's Pearlman rallied for show.   "We made a couple changes -- we opened him up and put cups on him," said winning trainer Scott Cox, who owns the $30,000 yearling purchase with Jason Ash. "I hope he still had something at the wire; it looked like he was getting a little lackadaisical. He's kind of easy on himself." The Captaintreacherous-Calgary Hanover gelding soared over $100,000 in earnings. Southwind Gendry faced perhaps a sterner challenge, trailing favorite Always A Miki by 6 at the half -- and with no cover in sight. When Miller sent the Always B Miki-Gambler's Passion gelding first up, he responded and proved the more determined horse in the lane, defeating Always A Miki by 1/2 length in 1:51.3. Whichwaytothebeach completed the ticket.   "I actually liked the trip because he wasn't going to have to be three wide," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "I knew once he got wheel to wheel with the other horse, he would make that colt race. This horse doesn't get tired, and he tries." Southwind Gendry races for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, Knox Services and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby. While both Chase H Hanover and Southwind Gendry apparently have qualified for the $260,000 PASS championship Sept. 5 at Harrah's Pocono, that won't be confirmed until the points are officially tallied. $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Miller powered to the point from the rail with Bettor Not Talk and refused to release the two other horses vying for the front. The Hall of Famer knew what he was doing, as Bettor Not Talk never did surrender the lead, blazing to a stake record 1:51.2. Sweet Angel Boy was second, beaten 3 lengths, with Amazing Bet third. The time shaved two ticks from Biggie's previous stake mark. "I would've turned somebody loose, but there were two of them out there, and I didn't want to get away third," Miller said. "He did it pretty easily. I've thought all along he was a pretty nice horse." Robert Cleary trains the Betting Line-Talk Time gelding for Allen Wenc. Somewhereinverona and Twin B Edge took the other stallion series splits. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 15-race program features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters -- a $188,732 PASS and a $60,000 stallion series event -- as well as a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $3,058.87 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

CHESTER PA - A pair of second choices upended the harness racing favorites in the $204,634 fourth and final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, including 1:54 track record performance by Insta Glam. Insta Glam's driver Tim Tetrick yielded the lead to Evening Stroll before the :27.3 first station, but had regained the top with his filly during the moderate second quarter to get to the half in :57.1. Favored Anoka Hanover came up with a vengeance after the leader, trotting her own third split raw in :26.4 to poke a nose in front at the 1:25 three-quarters. But Tetrick kept his filly on the bit and battling, and in the end the big raw move wore down "Anoka," with Insta Glam winning by 2½ lengths, with Anoka Hanover saving the place by a neck over Evening Stroll. The 1:54 track record clocking took three ticks off the old standard of Cooler Schooner, set seven years minus four days earlier. The Father Patrick - Hollywood Hill miss Insta Glam notched her standard-setting triumph while recording her second PaSS win and her third overall in a brief career that has seen her earn $113,349 for trainer Nancy Takter and owners Goran Falk and Christina Takter. In the second division, You Ato Dream was made the chalk despite being a maiden, mainly because of three seconds in previous Sire Stakes legs. But the Father Patrick - Skara Brae baby Gimme Shelter went to the lead for Dexter Dunn (a five-time winner on the day), got it in :27.3, yielded to the favorite and stalked her through mid-race splits of :57.3 and 1:26.1, then came out of the two-hole and trotted by for a length victory while setting a lifetime best of 1:55.1. Mike Palone trains the five-time winner, who now has two Sire Stakes and an Arden Downs split to her credit, and she has bankrolled $134,730 for Lone Wolf Stable and Nicholas Catalano. Without a Sire Stakes win, You Ato Dream still came out as #1 in these unofficial prelim pointstandings (contact the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission for the official totals): You Ato Dream, Flawless Country, Gimme Shelter, Insta Glam and Pub Crawl (tie), Anoka Hanover, Gold Stones, Evening Stroll, DD's Diamond, Lady Chaos. There were also four $20,000 last prelim Stallion Series divisions for this group, all won by the heavy favorites. The Andover Hall - Pine Yankee filly Love Muffin became the only three-time prelim winner, as she held off Trend by a half length in 1:58. Love Muffin, who was driven by Corey Callahan, is now 6-4-1-0 for trainer Dave Wiest, also co-owner with Ed Kimmel. Trainer Lucas Wallin harnessed two StS winners, including the fastest of the four victresses in the Cantab Hall - Evermore filly May Karp, who now has won two Stallion Series races in a row. She equaled her lifetime mark of 1:56.3 in winning here by a rapidly-diminishing ¾ of a length over a flying Wixx Hanover for driver Dexter Dunn and the Shermay Stables. Wallin also trains the Father Patrick - Miss Steele baby Miss Cleopatrick, who set most of the pace for driver Andrew McCarthy, then held off pocketsitter Myreanna by the barest of margins while breaking her maiden in 1:57.1 for the partnership of the trainer, Mazza Racing Stables LLC, Deo Volente Farms LLC and JAF Racing LLC. In the other division Pantera broke her maiden by 2½ lengths - double the win margin of the closest of the other stakes Thursday -- while winning in 1:57.2.The daughter of Cantab Hall - Expect A Lot was guided by Tim Tetrick for trainer Per Engblom and the ownership of Diamond Creek Racing, Crossover Racing, Joyce McClelland, and R A W Equine Inc. Three of the top ten pointleaders in this category going into the race are now on the outside looking in after not racing Thursday. The unofficial Top Ten are: Love Muffin, Myreanna, Midpoint, Alpine / May Karp/ Miss Cleopatrick (all tied), Cheesy Hanover and Trend (tied), Pantera, and Kayla's Playmate. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is proud to feature "the harness racing glamour division," the three-year-old pacers, in the last two Pennsylvania All-Stars races of the year, with fillies going postward Saturday afternoon and colts taking to the track for the Sunday twilight card. There will be two $35,000 divisions of stakes performers in both contests. The most hotly-anticipated of the races will be Saturday's tenth race, which will feature two superstar fillies, Rocknificent and JK First Lady, in a head-to-head challenge. These two were winners in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition at Philly nine days ago, with JK First Lady, to be driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer Nancy Takter, rewriting the divisional track record to 1:49.2 with a powerful late kick, while Rocknificent, driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Linda Toscano, edging out 2019 divisional champ Lyons Sentinel in a stretchlong thriller, with the 1:50.2 mile featuring blistering back fractions of :53.2 - :26.1. Rocknificent has the post edge here, starting from the rail to JK First Lady's post six in a seven-horse field. In the eleventh race division, no fewer than five of the seven entrants are coming off recent victories in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series - the fastest of those wins belonged to Marloe Hanover, who won in 1:50.4, a fifth of a second off the lifetime record she took at Pocono earlier this summer. Sunday's action for colts and geldings finds Cattlewash starting from the rail in the tenth race section. The winner of $300,000+ at two seems to be coming into top form now, with a 1:50.1 Sire Stakes win here two back followed up by a good second to the developing No Lou Zing. David Miller, the Hall of Famer who recently became the fifth North American driver to notch 13,000 career victories, is scheduled to pilot Cattlewash for Pocono's leading trainer, Ron Burke. Drawing the rail in the fifth race All-Stars division is Barrage Hanover, who was second to Cattlewash in the recent Sire Stakes race and who also shows a Stallion Series win to his credit. Corey Callahan is down to drive the late-developing Barrage Hanover for trainer Chris Ryder. Tru Lou and Manticore also figure to have some say in this division. The Saturday race card begins at 12:30 p.m.; Sunday's card has a 5 p.m. first post. PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Both Captain Corey and In Range added a third Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victory to their credits in the $206,722 fourth and final preliminary leg of their two-year-old division on the Sunday harness racing twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, leaving fans with anticipation about the group's Championship event, which will be held here on Saturday afternoon, September 5. Captain Corey, a son of Googoo Gaagaa - Luv U All, remained undefeated in three lifetime starts with a 7¼ length victory in 1:55. Trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt could control the pace with easy early fractions of :28.4 and :59.2, and then the big no-nonsense colt strode home in :55.3 - :27.3 and looking every bit of a national-level contender. The winner, who has earned $138,063 in just his three PASS starts, is co-owned by Ãke Svanstedt Inc., SRF Stable, Knutsson Trotting Inc., and Midnight Sun Partners Inc. Captain Corey The Bar Hopping -Ilia colt In Range used the same blueprint in taking his PaSS cut: backing off the half to :58.3 after a :27.3 opener under Tim Tetrick's guidance, then sprint to the wire in :56.3 - :28 while 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Fly Light. In Range won three of his four Sire Stakes starts (he got revenge on sole conqueror Fly Light tonight) and also has a Pennsylvania All-Stars win to his credit; he now has earned $178,653 for trainer Marcus Melander and the partnership of AMG Stable Inc., Kenneth Kjellgren, Tomas Hans Asell, and Rick Wahlstedt. In Range The unofficial pointstandings (contact the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission for the official compilation) contains, in this order: In Range, Captain Corey, Fly Light, Take All Comers, Type A, Ethan T Hanover, Johan Palema, Tart Tongue, Arnold N Dicky, and Bacardi. In four $20,000 final-round Stallion Series divisions, trainer/driver Svanstedt also had the fastest winner, the Bar Hopping - Woman Of Character colt Lepanto, who never looked back from the rail and withstood Sunny Crockett, who was trying for a "sweep" of his StS prelims, by a neck in a lifetime best of 1:55.1, avenging his loss in an earlier Stallion race. Lepanto's ownership is Esa Lahtinen, Jussi Hietalahti, and Arvo Ylitain. Trainer Nancy Takter sent out a pair of winners in Stallion Series action: the Father Patrick - Oh Oh Hereshecomes colt Tremendously, who broke his maiden in 1:58.2 driven by Joe Bongiorno for owners Goran Falk and Christina Takter, and the Cantab Hall - Gala Dream colt Goodashim, who took his first win in 1:57.1 - 28.2 for Dexter Dunn and owning partners Christina Takter, Greathorse, Robert Rudolph, and David Reid. Cantab Hall picked up a second StS siring credit with the gelding Halls Of Valor (dam Goddess Of War), who broke his maiden in 1:57.1 for driver Tyler Buter, trainer John Butenschoen, and owners Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc. and Buter Farm Inc. An unofficial Stallion Series points calculation gives this list in order: Sunny Crockett, Lindys Goin Crazy, Lepanto, Mister Boinga, The Irishman, Mystical King, Halls Of Valor, After Work and Lindys Booze Cruz (tie), and Armani Hanover. This final will be at The Meadows on Monday, September 7. PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 22, 2020 -- Sandbetweenmytoes rolled to an easy harness racing victory in Saturday's $188,756 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, clinching a spot in the $260,000 PASS championship set for Sept. 6 at Harrah's Philadelphia. No Lou Zing captured the other division in the event for 3-year-od colt and gelding pacers, known as the Tarport Effrat, giving driver Dexter Dunn a stake sweep. Dunn quarter-poled to the front from fourth with Sandbetweenmytoes, a move he might have been reluctant to make earlier in the season when the horse was still learning. "He was a green horse for a while," said winning trainer Jim Campbell of the Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria gelding, a Fashion Farms homebred. "But he's really put everything together. He's a big, strong horse, and he's just starting to figure everything out. He has a top mother, and I think his mother's coming out in him." Sandbetweenmytoes scored in 1:49.1, 2-1/4 lengths better than The Greek Freak, who also wrapped up a spot in the championship. Chief Mate completed the ticket. Sandbetweenmytoes, who lifted his career earnings to $160,007 collected three wins and a second in the four PASS preliminary legs while The Greek Freak tallied two victories and as many seconds. Sandbetweenmytoes Sandbetweenmytoes Dunn had a chance for an early tuck with No Lou Zing, but when he saw Cattlewash and David Miller looming up outside, he kept moving between horses until securing the lead and, ultimately, the pocket. "I wanted to follow Dave; I didn't want to come first up with him," Dunn said. "The two-hole was available, and following Dave was the right move. He was a difficult horse earlier, but he's getting better and better." No Lou Zing triumphed in a career-best 1:49.3, 2-1/4 lengths better than Cattlewash, with Manticore third. No Lou Zing contested only three PASS preliminary legs, but with two wins and a second, he's a likely finalist. Nancy Takter trains the Sweet Lou-Terroronthebeach gelding, who pushed his career bankroll to $146,418, for 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. No Lou Zing $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Seeyou At Thebeach and Tru Lou provided trainer Ron Burke with a double in Saturday's subfeature while What The Luck set off tote board fireworks with his 26-1 upset in the third split. Seeyou At Thebeach, who banked more than $136,000 at 2, was without a stake victory this year entering the day. He and Tim Tetrick took care of that when they zipped to the front from post 6 and held off the sustained bid by Ruthless Hanover by a nose in 1:51.2, matching his life mark. Gingras Beach earned show. "I loved him last year, but he had some issues," Tetrick said. "If they get those fixed, I think he's a top horse." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Purnel & Libby and Kitefield Stable campaign the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Persistent. Seeyou At Thebeach Atoning for a break in his last stallion series event, Tru Lou assumed the lead early for Matt Kakaley and denied the Lightning Lane charge of Sunuma Beach by a length in 1:51.1, fastest of his career. Stop Action finished third. "He's been facing a little tougher than he was today -- they put him in the Adios, right?" Kakaley said. "But he's a nice colt, and he was really good today. I wanted to put him on the lead and control things." The Sweet Lou-Real Touch gelding races for Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services, Slaughter Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Tru Lou The Meadows will host all eight $40,000 stallion series championships on Monday, Sept. 7. Dave Palone piloted five winners on the 15-race card while Burke enjoyed a four-bagger. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 15-race program features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $22,647.44 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5; a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3); an $871.50 carryover in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). On the racing front, the highlight is an $80,000 stallion series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - After two $102,117 divisions of the third preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old harness racing trotting fillies at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday afternoon, the group may have found a leader - but Flawless Country's #1 ranking puts her only slightly ahead, just as she was in her 1:54.2 victory, with four other opponents within a length of the wire. The Southwind Frank - Southwind Aleah filly Flawless Country was sent to the lead by trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt before the :28.3 quarter, then yielded the top to the brushing Insta Glam, who went on to take the field to a :57 half. You Ato Dream rushed up and pushed the leader to the three-quarters in 1:25.1, and when the second-over horse did not keep up, Svanstedt moved Flawless Country out behind You Ato Dream. In the stretch, Insta Glam kept going, You Ato Dream didn't give in, Evening Stroll came up the Pocono Pike, and Anoka Hanover (the original second-over gapper) found her best strides again. Any of these five horses looked to have a chance to win, but Flawless Hanover swung wide, dug in and found more, winning by a head over You Ato Dream, with Insta Glam another half-length behind and a neck to the good of Anoka Hanover, who in turn had that margin on Evening Stroll.   Flawless Country is the only double Sire Stakes winner in this group; she also has an Arden Downs win, and was photoed out in her first two starts. She has amassed $136,996 already for Ãke Svanstedt Inc., Wolfgang A Stable Inc., and Borje Nasstrom, and ahead of this group's final prelim at Philly on August 27, she has already all but reserved a spot in her Sire Stakes Championship, which will be held at Pocono on Saturday, September 5. The other Sires winner was the Father Patrick - Skara Brae miss Gimme Shelter, who benefited from a canny drive from Brian Sears while running her record to 4-for-6, including an Arden Downs triumph, with a 1:57 triumph. Sears got the winner to the lead early, backed off the half to a pedestrian :59.2, then could tack on twin :28.4 quarters to the wire, keeping Gold Stones three-quarters of a length behind for trainer Mike Palone and the partnership of Lone Wolf Stable and Nicholas Catalano.   There were four $20,000 divisions of the complementary PA Stallion Series races, and the main lesson learned there is that trainer Nifty Norman is patient and good at helping misbehaving young ladies find their way, all three of whom had made a break in their last purse start but won Monday. Quickest of this trio was the Donato Hanover - Armbro Domino filly Saddet, who took a maiden mark of 1:56.2 after breaking in her first two trips to the gate. The addition of trotting hopples for the second time may have steadied her, as she sat patiently in the pocket, used the Pocono Pike to gain the lead, then withstood closing Pantera by three-quarters of a length for driver Andrew McCarthy and owners Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC, and Enzed Racing Stable Inc. McCarthy was also in the sulky behind the Southwind Frank - Tactical Caviar filly Callas, also a second-time hopple-user, who had to go uncovered yet still finished in :28.1 to overhaul Love Muffin, the group's previous - and still only - double winner by a neck at the end of a 1:56.4 mile. Norman trains this filly for Hartman, Little E, and Patricia Stable. In the third race he won, Norman had the unusual parallel of sending out horses who had made a mistake at odds-on in their only Stallion Series start. They did much better here, with the Cantab Hall filly Rebel Girl, out of the appropriately-named mare Please Beehave, taking a maiden mark of 1:58 in defeating Myreanna by three parts of a length, with Norman stablemate French Souffle (McCarthy) third. George Napolitano Jr., Pocono's leading driver, handled the winner for Melvin Hartman (a three-time StS winner), David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. Trainer Lucas Wallin drove the Cantab Hall - Evermore filly May Karp to a 1:56.3 maiden triumph in the other Stallion Series division, getting a 57 back half out of the Shermay Stables-owned filly despite making a raw challenge to win by three lengths - larger than the other five divisions of baby stakes fillies put together as winning margins combined. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The $215,461 third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts was conducted during the Sunday twilight harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and as far as divisional supremecy is concerned - well, that's nowhere near to being established yet. The Always B Miki - Beach Gal colt Always A Miki now has two Sire Stakes victories, and is 3-for-4 lifetime, after tying for the night's fastest stakes performer at 1:51.1 and earning a new mark. The Nancy Takter trainee was sent to the front near the quarter by driver Dexter Dunn and controlled things from there, seeing off closing pocketsitter Chase H Hanover by three-quarters of a length with back fractions of :55.2 - 27.3 for the ownership of Christina Takter, Goran Anderberg, Herb Liverman, and the Rojan Stables.   Also victorious in 1:51.1 for a lifetime best was the Somebeachsomewhere - Swinging Beauty gelding Whichwaytothebeach, who also took his second stakes win - only his first was in a Stallion Series event in his debut. The rapidly-developing baby, who will probably need a win in the final prelim at The Meadows on August 29 to make his Championship event here on Saturday, September 5, blazed his own back numbers of :54.2 - 26.4 to catch pacesetter The Legend Hanover by a half-length for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Polie Mallar, and owners Alan Johnston and John Craig.   Lou's Pearlman had been undefeated in four lifetime starts including two Sire Stakes wins coming into his section, but after setting the pace he tired, allowing the Betting Line - All Tucked Up colt Abuckabett Hanover to earn a 1:51.2 maiden mark by utilizing the famed Pocono Pike and finishing 1¼ lengths ahead of Capt Jack Hanover. "Team Ramona Hill," driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna, combined with owners Barbera Stable, Jablonsky Held Stable, Joe Deguara, and Alagna And Inthegym for this victory.   At least there is a PA Stallion Series competitor who is 3-for-3 in his series after Sunday's six $20,000 StS cuts for this group. That would be the Captaintreacherous - Bittorsweet Terror colt Bazooka Hanover, who controlled the pace and won in 1:53, a best win time for him. David Miller drove for trainer Blake MacIntosh and owner Steve Heimbecker, who have the unusual distinction of having a horse who has won three times in a series and has paid, in order of victory, $3.60, $119.80, and $4.20. David Miller and MacIntosh had another Stallion Series win with the Somebeachsomewhere - Perfect Carets gelding Perfectboy Hanover, a maiden no longer after a 1:52 victory. Perfectboy Hanover got better as the mile went on, coming home in :54.4 - :27.1 in triumphing for owners Fred Brayford, Ridgeway Racing, Knot Xzachallie Stable, and trainer MacIntosh. Dexter Dunn added two Stallion Series wins to his Sire Stakes triumph, including the fastest StS victory with the Betting Line colt - Thirty X colt Rifleman, who lowered his mark to 1:51.2. The Chris Ryder trainee came off a 25-day layoff to record his second straight win, both in the Stallions, for owners Robert Mondillo and Craig Henderson. Dunn also reteamed with his Sire Stakes "partner," trainer Nancy Takter, to win in the Stallion Series with the first-time starter One Eight Hundred in 1:53.1. A colt by Somebeachsomewhere - Economy Terror (who still holds the Sire Stakes Championship record for sophomore fillies eight years after she set it), One Eight Hundred had to tuck from the outside post eight then come up raw, but still flashed home in :54.3- :26.4 to win by the smallest margin of the stakes events, a head, over Mad Man Hill for co-owners Takter and Brixton Medical Inc. The longest-priced stakes winner won by the biggest margin, as the Betting Line - Ideal Nectarine gelding Bet Ninteen ended his 1:52.3 maiden victory four lengths to the good for driver Marcus Miller, also a Sires winner, trainer/father Erv Miller, and owned D R Van Witzenburg. Numbers geeks buzzed that Bet Ninteen almost exactly matched his name in the wagering, as he went off at 18.90-1. Captaintreacherous joined Somebeachsomewhere and Betting Line with double StS sire credits when Captain Fancy, out of the champion mare Fancy Filly, won his second career start while taking a maiden mark of 1:53.1, his own last quarter in :27.3. Tim Tetrick drove for trainer Bill Mac Kenzie and the ownership of Vincent Ali Jr., Alma Iafelice, and Ted Gewertz. PA-sired stakes action for freshman trotting fillies will be featured on the Monday Pocono card, along with a Rainbow Pick-5 carryover approaching $130,000. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

Chester, PA -- Despite a relatively pressure-free journey and soft fractions, 2019 Breeders Crown champion Amigo Volo was narrowly upset at 1-5 odds in the first $94,967 division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Sunday (Aug. 16) at Harrah's Philadelphia -- with Maesteraemon ($8.60) and El Ideal ($4.00) sharing the honors in a 1:53.3 dead heat. After riding the pocket behind Amigo Volo (George Napolitano Jr.) through splits of :28, :56.2 and 1:25.1, El Ideal and Trond Smedshammer wedged out to attack with just over an eighth of a mile to go -- enabling Maesteraemon and Tony Morgan to find a clear path to the open stretch. Amigo Volo was fully extended off the home turn, and ultimately gave way to the tandem of El Ideal in the two-path and the surging Maesteraemon up the open stretch with 40 yards to go. The shared victory was Maesteraemon's first of the season and fifth of his career. Marcus Melander trains the son of Andover Hall for the SRF Stable. El Ideal, a son of Muscle Hill who ended his rookie season with a decisive score in the Valley Victory, earned his second win as a 3-year-old and the sixth of his career for EMP-Invest Oy of Finland and trainer Ãke Svanstedt. Smedshammer won the second Sire Stakes division as well, doing so in decisive fashion with his trainee Hillexotic ($5.80). The son of Muscle Hill worked clear of Beyond Kronos (Napolitano) through a :28.3 quarter before evading an outside challenge from Gangster Hanover (Svanstedt) by 7-1/4 widening lengths in 1:53.4. Gangster Hanover dueled down pocket rival Beyond Kronos for runner-up honors. Hillexotic, who did not race at 2, earned his second win in five starts for Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. Overserved ($4.80) took top honors across four $20,000 Stallion Series divisions with a 1:55.1 mile in line to Victor Kirby. Bargain Bob ($4.80, Simon Allard, 1:57.3), Meanttobe De Vie ($29.00, George Brennan, 1:58) and Scirocco Patrick ($80.00, Daniel Dube, 1:56.3) won their splits as well. In the sub-featured $20,000 winners-over pace, Southwind Ozzi ($26.60) won for the first time since he captured the 2019 Little Brown Jug, grinding down Turbo Hill for a 1:52 score over Jack's Legend N and Highalator. Daniel Dube drove the 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere for trainer Bill MacKenzie and owners Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (Aug. 19) with a pair of carryovers on the 14-race card: a $23,916.26 carryover in the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 in race five, and $4,795.40 in free money on the table in the 50-cent Pick-4, which begins in race seven. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 15, 2020 -- Rebounding nicely from her Hambletonian horror show, Sister Sledge overpowered her field and trotted to a harness racing stakes record 1:52 -- on a "good" surface -- in Saturday's $186,382 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Crucial rallied furiously through the lane to capture the other division in the event for 3-year-old fillies known as the Stenographer, giving trainer Ron Burke a stake sweep. Sister Sledge was the divisional Dan Patch Award runner-up last year, but she stepped up to face the boys in the Hambletonian. While she made the final, her journey there was forgettable, as she broke stride and finished 8th, beaten 56 lengths. "That was a weird race," said Burke. "She got parked out and tilted around. But I didn't think I had much to worry about today -- and she was back on Lasix." Indeed, the daughter of Father Patrick-Behindclosedoors dispelled any doubts early when she zipped to the front from post 7 for Dave Palone and won as she pleased, defeating the pocket-sitting Dip Me Hanover by 2-1/2 lengths, with Queen Of The Hill third. Her time erased the previous stake record of 1:52.4 established last year by Millies Possession.   Sister Sledge, who is scheduled to race next in another PASS leg, now has banked $682,653 for Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. When Crucial trailed the leader, Next Level Stuff, by 3 lengths at the top of the stretch, even winning driver David Miller figured he was racing for a place check. "The leader kind of opened up on me, and I thought we could be second," Miller said. "But she kept on coming and put her nose in front. I like horses like that." Fifty Cent Piece earned show in the 1:53.1 mile. Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi campaign the daughter of Father Patrick-Jolene Jolene, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $271,577.   $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Fillies In Saturday's subfeature, Dune Hill stretched her winning streak to five -- including three stallion series victories -- with a stake-fastest triumph in 1:55.4. Witchey Woman and Alittlebitofsugar took the other splits. Dune Hill endured a demanding three-wide journey to the point, but she hung tough in the lane for Matt Kakaley, downing Hannah by a neck. Miss Kendra D completed the ticket. Winning trainer Burke indicated he thinks the daughter of Muscle Hill-Quite Possible is well spotted in the stallion series. "I have other top fillies who are maybe a little better than she is," Burke said. "She's found a spot where she's happy and not making mistakes. We're thrilled with her." Dune Hill has banked $121,886 for owner/breeder Joseph DiScala, Jr. All eight $40,000 stallion series championships take place Monday, Sept. 7, at The Meadows. Burke collected five wins on Saturday's 15-race card while Tony Hall and Palone each fashioned a triple. Monday's 15-race program at The Meadows features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $12,691 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5; a $5,000 total pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3); a $1,028,56 carryover in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 12, 2020 -- Arnold N Dicky overcame an awkward first quarter and powered to victory in a stake record 1:54.2 in Wednesday's $204,720 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Fly Light captured the other division, giving Dave Palone a sweep of the stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters known as the Florida Pro. Both splits were conducted as off-the-card, non-wagering events. Arnold N Dicky found himself between horses early and ultimately stranded outside, forcing him to press ahead for the lead. Bu the son of Bar Hopping-Kalibrated, who was named for cousins of his trainer, Chuck Sylvester, swelled up on the front, drawing off to defeat Ethan T Hanover by 5-/2 lengths, with Padre third. The time erased the previous stake mark of 1:54.4 shared by Real Cool Sam and Sutton. "I figured the next time around he'd be in the sires stakes," said Palone, who piloted Arnold N Dicky to a July 20 PA Stallion Series win. "He's just a likeable horse. His little ears were working the whole time he was on the front. There were a couple long shots in there; I wanted to see where they played out. I thought I could let them get around me and work my way back to the front." Sylvester owns the winner with Amy Stoltzfus, Neal Goldman and Gilbert Short. Following a scratch, Fly Light found himself facing only three rivals. Palone said the short field helped dictate his strategy -- get in front, slam on the brakes. "You don't get too many opportunities in a four-horse field," he said. "I thought my best chance to beat the favorite was to walk around there and, soon as I heard him coming, hit the gas. That's what we did. He finished well within himself. He'll make an awfully good colt." In Range, who saw his career unbeaten streak snapped at three, was a length back in second while Tart Tongue completed the ticket. Ake Svansted conditions the son of Father Patrick-Hustle Heart, who broke his maiden in 1:56.3 for Ake Svansted Inc. and Stable Why Not. $100,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Sunny Crockett and Mister Boinga each won his third straight in Wednesday's subfeature while The Irishman, Lindys Booze Cruz and Killer Instinct took the other splits. Tim Tetrick (Mister Boinga, The Irishman) fashioned a stake double. Sunny Crockett was hammered down to 1-5 but had his hands full with the upstart maiden Robert's Hanover. The son of Father Patrick-Moonlight In Miami put his nose in front at the wire to eke out a 1:56 victory, with Father Pats Secret third. "I moved him a little quicker than I should have, and I thought the leader was a little emptier than he was," said Andy Miller, who drove for trainer Julie Miller and owner Willow Oak Ranch. "But my horse dug in. He's been steadily improving." Mister Boinga made the point with a quarter-pole move and scored in a career-best 1:57.1 for trainer Jill Roland and owner Bernard O'Brien. Ginger Tree Knox was 1-3/4 lengths back in second while Massive Matter earned show. "He pretty much did it on his own," Tetrick said. "But he has an ear hood on and a blind bridle so he can't see or hear me, so I just kind of touched him with the whip and moved the lines a little. He got home in 28 -- pretty good for a young trotter." Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the 15-race program features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters -- a $186,382 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as a $10,874.71 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

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