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It was a week of extremes in terms of the weather for harness racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. On Saturday night, action was delayed due to the intense heat. On Monday, torrential rains caused a delay. But all 56 races scheduled for the four racing cards were eventually run, and, despite the somewhat erratic conditions, the action was excellent throughout. The outstanding efforts put forward by the winners of our Weekly Awards is proof of that. PACER OF THE WEEK: DIXIE STAR N This mare didn't begin her racing career till this year at age four, starting with a couple races overseas in her native New Zealand at the tail end of winter. When Dixie Star N arrived in the United States for trainer Peter Tritton, she was a beaten favorite in her first start at Yonkers. But coming to Pocono seems to have unlocked her potential. She carved out a win and two places in three starts with the non-winners of four fillies and mares in the months of June and July. On Sunday night, she was back at it against that same class, only this time she would have to deal with a #9 post. She also had to deal with Tequila Party, who was coming off an impressive victory in Canada in her last race and was made the 3-5 favorite. Dixie Star N went off at 18-1, but driver Jim Marohn Jr. made sure she was in the mix by sending her to the early lead. Tequila Party then swooped by to take over around the first turn, leaving Dixie Star N in the pocket. Tequila Party wasn't granted an easy lead, as Carousel pestered her first-over for much of the back stretch. The only question was whether or not Dixie Star N would have a second move in her after exerting effort early in the mile. She answered that question with a resounding yes, thundering past the tiring Tequila Party to pick up the win by a half-length in 1:53. Not only was it impressive because of the difficult post and the long odds, but the win also stands out for this rising mare as a new career-best time. Other top pacers this week include: Western Joe (Pat Berry, Christopher Choate), who captured the featured condition pace on Saturday night in 1:49:2; Hitman Hill (Hunter Oakes, Chris Oakes), who went down the road for a condition win on Saturday night in 1:49, the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono; and Sidewalk Dancer (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), who delivered a win in Tuesday night's featured condition pace for mares in 1:51.   TROTTER OF THE WEEK: ARCH CREDIT The old "fool me once, fool me twice" credo can be applied to this five-year-old gelding trained by Robin DiBenedetto. On July 15, he rallied with Kyle DiBenedetto in the bike to beat an $11,000 condition trotting field at monster odds of 46-1. He was back at it again just five nights later on Saturday, trying to pick up his second victory in the span of a week. Arch Credit left from the #1 post in a field of seven seeking another conquest of the $11,000 condition trotters. And, once again, he was overlooked at the betting window, although this time he was a more modest long shot at 11-1. The favorite in this race was P L Icabod, who went off at 6-5. Meanwhile, second choice Dirty Secret found the pocket seat. Arch Credit, meanwhile, sat third-in. As anyone who has ever watched harness racing on a 5/8-mile oval knows, that trip can either be very, very good or very, very bad, depending on how the outer flow develops and how the inside horses in front hang together. In this case, it couldn't have worked out any better for Arch Credit. He managed to squeeze through a small window on the inside passing lane and rallied under DiBenedetto's urging. As the line approached, he was just able to nose out P L Icabod for the victory in 1:55. After two straight wins at double-digit odds, it's doubtful that Arch Credit will get to fool the bettors a third time. But if he does, you know, based on these past two victories, he'll relish the opportunity. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Say You Do (Tyler Buter, Todd Buter), who came into Pocono on a four-race winning streak and added to it by winning the Sunday night featured condition trot in 1:52:2; Max (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who churned out his second straight condition victory on Sunday night in 1:54; and Alpha D'urzy (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who moved to two-for-two since arriving from Saratoga with a condition win on Sunday night in a career-best 1:54:3.   LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: GRAPPLE HANOVER This gelding driven by Wayne Long overcame a #9 post and a sloppy track to beat a condition trotting field on Monday afternoon at 28-1, paying off $59.20 on a $2-win ticket.   DRIVER OF THE WEEK: KEVIN WALLIS The veteran driver has been picking up the pace in recent weeks at Pocono, and he starred on Monday with a driving double in the sloppy conditions.   TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ERV MILLER Miller was able to train back-to-back winners on the Monday card, with both of the trotters involved, Flippen Creek and Grandma Heidi, getting their maiden victories.   That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at   Jim Beviglia

WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2019 -- Sansovina Hanover stalked Caviart Scarlett from the pocket, then edged by her in the Lightning Lane to capture Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Caviart Scarlett won the early battle for the lead, accelerating through a 26.4 opening quarter that forced Sansovina Hanover and Jim Pantaleano to the pocket. But the 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Shacked Up was the stronger mare late, downing Caviart Scarlett by a head in 1:52, matching her career fastest. Our GG rallied for show. Doug Snyder trains Sansovina Hanover, who lifted her career bankroll to $264,469, for Frank Poerio, Jr. It was one of six wins for Pantaleano on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Scott Betts and one each for Corey Kreiser, Christen Pantaleano Bill Popio and Snyder Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a $5,370.08 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

BEDFORD PA -- The harness racing card scheduled for Tuesday morning at the Bedford (PA) Fair is now announced as cancelled due to the inclement weather in the area.   Earlier, Monday's program had been cancelled; with this announcement, the entirety of the short meet at Bedford has now been lost.   Racing on the Pennsylvania fair circuit is next scheduled for the Clearfield Fair, where a four-day meet is to begin this Sunday.     Jerry Connors Jr

WASHINGTON, PA, July 22, 2019 -- Classic Banker stalked Classicality from the pocket, then knifed through the slop in the lane to pull off the 24-1 harness racing upset in Monday's $20,000 Open I Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Although Classic Banker won last week's featured trot at 22-1, he was given even less respect at the windows Monday. But Brady Brown gave the 9-year-old Classic Photo-Banker's Review gelding the perfect trip, as the pair downed the rallying Barn Girl by a length in 1:54.1. Classicality saved show. Joe Urban owns and trains Classic Banker, who extended his career bankroll to $273,615. Tony Hall collected three wins on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Rich Gillock and owner/breeder Bob Key. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, when the program features a $4,755.48 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. In addition, the draw for post positions for Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids will take place Tuesday. The draw begins at 12:30 PM and can be seen on Meadows Live!   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

CHESTER PA - The harness racing card at Harrah's Philadelphia for Sunday was pushed back a day to Monday because of the high heat index, but Seeing Eye Single didn't let the day's delay bother him at all, closing for a 1:51.1 victory in the $18,000 pacing feature. The Dragon Again gelding tucked in third early for driver Corey Callahan, then was able to get outside again as Statement Made A made a powerful uncovered move to get by pacesetting favorite Mister Ohanzee A, with Winona Sizzler A and Seeing Eye Single in the clearing one's wake. The winner kicked n strongly in the last 1/8 and was along by a half-length over Statement Made A, with Winona Sizzler A another neck back in third. Ron Burke trains the winner of $391,096 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva - Purnel & Libby, and Lawrence Karr. There were also a pair of $15,000 claiming handicap paces. In the first, Rockin Rio and driver Joe Bongiorno sat a pocket trip behind favored Catch My Shadow, then overpowered that one in the lane to win by 4¾ lengths in 1:51.3. The Rockin Image gelding is now three for four since hooking up with trainer Darren Taneyhill and owner Tessa Roland. In the other split, Bobbies Power Play moved outside from the two-hole and was able to overhaul favored Palomar by 1¼ lengths in a 1:52.1 clocking. The Rustler Hanover gelding, a career earner of $230,737, was making his debut after a claim for owner/trainer Mark Kesmodel, who has more UTR titles at Philly all-time than any other conditioner with three. Blood Line paced a second consecutive 1:50 mile at Philly in taking a $12,500 pace for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Per Engblom, and Diamond Creek Racing. The son of Somebeachsomewhere streaked a :26.2 third quarter to open up a huge lead and won for fun while raising his earnings to $413,508. Driver Pat Lachance scored the 2000th win of his sulky career in the second race, going wire-to-wire from post eight with Mike's Z Tam in 1:50.2. The 44-year-old Lachance, son of Hall of Famer Mike Lachance, is one of the thinning breed known as "trainer/drivers," as he also has over 1500 victories as a conditioner; he trains Mike's Z Tam as well. Pat is also one of the few drivers to win his very first purse start, with Running Horse at Windsor in October of 1995.   PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - They were three-wide to the quarter in the $21,500 trotting feature Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and they were three-wide the length of the stretch as well, with the Kadabra four-year-old harness racing gelding Say You Do taking his fifth straight victory in 1:52.2. The three involved early were railsitter Scirooco Rob, Very Very Fast between horses, and favored Winning Shadow three-wide in a :27 opener, with the last-named circling to the front past Scirocco Rob nearing the 3/8, going on to the half in :55.2. Very Very Fast, who backed off to tuck at the quarter, made a second move raw at the 5/8, with Say You Do moving to follow the cover, and the front ones hit the three-quarters in 1:23.4. The early hard journey struck Winning Shadow first, as he faded in early stretch as Very Very Fast went by. Scirocco Rob ducked to the Pocono Pike, while Say You Do fanned wide for driver Tyler Buter to set up the three-way stretch battle, and it was not until the last 50 feet that Say You Do finally got the lead, winning by a nose over Very Very Fast, with another picture needed to separate that one from Scirocco Rob for second. Say You Do, who had won three straight at The Meadowlands before winning a Tioga start prior to his Pocono invasion, has used this streak to run his 2019 tally to 8-for-10 for trainer Todd Buter and Oldfield Racing LLC. "Team T. Buter" then completed a sweep of the featured trots on the card when the Tyler-driven, Todd-trained Muscle Massive gelding Two AM caught favored Mississippi Storm late in 1:52.4. Two AM overcame the outside post eight with a sharp start, yielded in front of the stands to Mississippi Storm, then came back outside after that one in the lane and went on to a half length triumph. The winner of $411,605 has now won four of his last five at the mountain oval for Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs.   PHHA / Pocono

Chester, PA -- Over $50,000 in carryovers will be available to horseplayers when harness racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Monday afternoon (July 22). After no players hit Friday's (July 19) Jackpot Hi-5, the carryover for that wager has ballooned to $47,222.38. The Jackpot Hi-5 is a 20-cent wager available daily in the fifth race, with the carryover paid out in the event of one unique ticket with the first five finishers correctly selected. Likewise, the Pick-4 boasts a $3,609.40 carryover after favorites were upended in all four races of Friday's sequence. The Pick-4, which starts in race seven daily, carries a 50-cent minimum. The 14-race card consists of the races originally programmed for Sunday afternoon (July 21) but transferred to Monday as a result of extreme heat blanketing the Philadelphia region over the weekend. Post time for the rescheduled card is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

HARVEY’S LAKE PA – The first new home to harness racing in Pennsylvania in thirteen years, and the first new fair harness venue in seventeen years, came to life in spectacular fashion on Thursday and Friday, as Silver Springs Ranch, a training facility located approximately a half-hour northwest of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, applied for a 2-day Fair Sire Stakes meet this year, was granted it, and then conducted a fine program appreciated by horsemen and spectators alike. The tone was set in the very first race ever over the half-mile oval, as the Well Said – Harlow Hall freshman gelding pacer Halliwell Hanover  broke his maiden in 1:59.2 for the first 2:00 mile of the year on the Pennsy fair circuit by a two-year-old. Trainer/driver David Brickell is co-owner of the promising youngster with Mitchell York. That time would last the two days of racing as the “new track record,” although it would be equaled by the A Rocknroll Dance sophomore filly Dancin With Rosie, who defeated last year’s Fair Championship winner Sure R Lookin Good, for driver Tony Schadel and trainer Justin Lebo, who is also co-owner with Jamie Kiehl. Dancin With Rosie                                      --Seth Dowling photo The other 2:00 mile of the meet was also produced by the sophomore fillies, as Able Hanover, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, won in 2:00 flat for trainer/driver Steve Salerno, co-owner with Dean Casaday. For Salerno, who swept the Pocono driving wins, training wins, and UDR “triple crown” in 1981, it was a special moment, as he had not driven in a purse race in almost 14 years! (A Team Salerno protégé, Emily Bost, would drive in her first-ever race two heats later, but she got in the Dancin With Rosie race and had to settle for fourth.) The racing at Silver Springs brought out several Pocono drivers not normally seen on the fair circuit. 21-year-old Hunter Oakes competed away from the pari-mutuel tracks for the first time, and won with the sophomore gelding Way To Close in 2:00.2. Way To Close, four-for-four now on the fair circuit for trainer Todd Schadel, co-owner with wife Christine, did not threaten his 1:57.4 fair seasonal standard  he set at York in defeating stablemates Motive Hanover (driven by Todd) and Find One More (driver by Todd’s brother Tony). The fastest mile of the year on the circuit for trotters was notched at The Ranch, as the Muscle Massive sophomore filly Touch of Dough was victorious in 2:01 for driver Eric Neal, trainer Randal Neal, and the Neal Racing Stable LLC. The Silver Springs races showed that both the veteran and the novice can compete successfully at the fairs.  88-years-young Don Wiest won with his freshman filly trotter Tuis Shadow, with Roger Hammer completing the “161-year-old Exacta”; earlier on the card, Hammer’s deputy Branden Smith notched his first career triumph behind the boss’s freshman pacing colt Caffeine Buzz. The Pennsylvania fair circuit now moves on to Bedford PA, with racing on Monday commencing at 5:30 p.m. and then on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m   Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership  

CHESTER PA - Trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras each had three wins in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes second preliminary round harness racing action for two-year-old trotting fillies Friday afternoon on a hot day at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the pair combining twice, including with the fastest divisional winner, Sister Sledge. The Father Patrick - Behindclosedoors miss Sister Sledge won a Sire Stakes in his first purse start, then caught the eye of many when she followed by winning a Pennsylvania All-Stars division in 1:53.4 - the fastest time of the year by any baby trotter, regardless of sex or size of track. On Friday Gingras let her work her way to the top past a :28 opener, get a :58 rest to the half, pick up the pace to 1:26.4 at the three-quarters, then scooted home with her in :28.2 to complete the 1:55.1 package, holding off Sherry Lyns Lady, also a PaSS winner earlier, by a confident length. Sister Sledge won thee qualifiers before her three purse victories, and has already earned $53,020 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, along with #1 status in this section to date. The other Gingras-Burke team victory was with the debutante Crucial, another daughter of Father Patrick out of Jolene Jolene, who also raced on the lead, then was extended through the stretch by Word Of Honor. The latter popped out of the pocket at headstretch and fought hard only to miss by a nose, though Crucial was only under mild encouragement in her bow. The successful freshman, who had prepped with two winning qualifiers, is owned by much of the same team as Sister Sledge: Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, W J Donovan, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The third member of the Burke Brigade to get home first was the Muscle Hill - Flawless Lindy filly Sans Defaut, who had by far the toughest trip of the three, yet still was successful in 1:57 to follow up an All-Stars victory with another stakes triumph. Sans Defaut ("flawless" in French) was spotted fourth before the quarter by driver Matt Kakaley, then had to come first-over, but she grinded to the stretch lead, then held off 30-1 shot Decoy by ¾ of a length. The bulk of her ownership is a group of which you have already read quite a bit - Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms Racing, and J&T Silva - Purnel & Libby. Gingras' third Sire Stakes success came behind the Explosive Matter - Flyer Mel filly Queen Of The Hill, another two-time PaSS winner after leaving swiftly and controlling the tempo, then winning by 4¼ lengths while lowering her speed mark to 1:57.1, last half :58.1. Per Engblom trains the talented juvenile for owner Al Libfeld. The other stakes division produced a $64.40 upsetter in the Muscle Hill - Kadealia filly Sorella, a breaker in her purse bow, but here flat and coming her own last half in :57.2 to win in 1:58, two lengths clear of the opposition. Crawford Farms Racing, who was co-owner on an earlier Sires winner, partners with Elmer Fannin on this filly   In anticipation of the extremely high heat index forecast for Sunday, Harrah's Philadelphia announces that the card already drawn and finalized for Sunday will now be raced on Monday afternoon, with a post time of 12:25 p.m.   The Jackpot Hi-5 pool carryover will be at $47,222.38 for the Monday card's race five.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Chester, PA -- As a result of extreme heat forecasted for the Philadelphia area this weekend, the races carded for Sunday (July 21) at Harrah's Philadelphia have been rescheduled for Monday (July 22). Post time for the rescheduled program will be 12:25 p.m. Eastern. Horsemen are advised that changes for Thursday's (July 25) program are still due Sunday by 11 a.m., however qualifying entries for Tuesday (July 23) will now be accepted Monday morning until 10 a.m.   by James Witherite Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

CHESTER PA - Six $20,000 divisions of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for two-year-old trotting fillies headed the harness racing card at Harrah's Philadelphia Thursday. Intermittent rain caused three changes in track condition during the hot afternoon, but five of the six winners still produced lifetime marks. The fastest winner in the freshman sextet was the Muscle Hill - Quite Possible miss Dune Hill, who posted a clocking of 1:56.2 over a "good" surface. The filly had been having some breaking difficulties, but here driver Yannick Gingras let her ramble down the road, keeping opponents three-wide to the quarter before they tucked, then powering off to win by five lengths for trainer Ron Burke and owner Joseph Di Scala Jr. Gingras had a second winner in another Muscle Hill filly, Rebecca Clark, whose dam, About To Bee, is a half-sister to champion Bee A Magician. Rebecca Clark raced out of the pocket and won by 2½ lengths in 1:59.1, also when the track was rated "good." Per Engblom handles the winner for Christina Takter, Goran Anderberg, Herb Liverman, and Bivans And Bruni Racing. Driver David Miller also paraded back a pair of StS winners, including the only one who did not take a mark, the Explosive Matter - Gossip Hanover freshman Caviart Guilia. However, she did win in 1:57.4 after a second wave of rain had regressed the track to "sloppy," and she became the only repeat Stallion Series winner after going a tick faster on a fast track in her first StS win. Brian Brown trains the quickly-developing miss, who pulled from the pocket to go on to a 2¾ length score for Caviart Farms, who saw their filly remain perfect after three purse starts. Miller's other winner was another daughter of Explosive Matter, Perth Angel De Vie, out of the mare Dream Angel. After high finishes in two Pennsylvania Fair Stakes, Perth Angel De Vie put it all together on Thursday with a six length triumph in 1:57.3 - :57.1 - :28.2 when the track was still "fast." Harold Brocklehurst trains the easy winner for owners Double R Farms LLC, David Obley, and Richard Williams. Also racing when the track was still "fast," the Father Patrick - High Heels filly Burberry posted the only real surprise in the six stakes outings, making every pole a winning one for a two length triumph in 1:58.1. She returned $43.80 in winning for trainer/driver Rick Zeron and the partnership of Rick Zeron Stables, James Walker, Howard Taylor, and Herb Liverman. The other Stallion Series winner completed a triple for sire Muscle Hill: Heart N Soul Deo, a daughter of Yursa Hanover, who won in 1:58.4 - :29 over a good surface by 3¾ lengths. Tim Tetrick, who continued his hot run at the southeast Pennsylvania track with five more victories today, drove the Linda Toscano trainee, who now is 2-for-2 in purse starts for Thomas Pontone, Richard Gutnick, and Joseph Lozito Jr.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, July 17, 2019 -- Rosemary Rose let Touchamatic do the heavy lifting in the slop, then roared by her in the lane to score a decisive harness racing victory -- her fifth in her last seven starts -- in Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace. Rosemary Rose yielded the early lead to Touchamatic, who had to go a 26.2 opening panel to make the front. When Dave Palone moved Rosemary Rose outside in the stretch, she was by far the stronger mare, defeating Touchamatic by 1-3/4 lengths in a career-best 1:50.3. Keystone Riptide finished third. Ron Burke trains the 5-year-old daughter of Foreclosure N-Pantathlon, who now boasts $496,867 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Aaron Merriman and Mike Wilder each piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features three eliminations of the $475,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids as well as a pair of stakes for freshman filly pacers and a $4,051.60 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. EDITORS: Attached is a finish-line jpg of Rosemary Rose winning Wednesday's feature at The Meadows.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

CHESTER PA - In a stretch battle of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winners earlier this season, the filly Nomo Volo was up in the final stride over the colt Ginger Tree Skyr to take the $16,000 trotting harness racing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon in 1:56.4. Trainer/driver Jeff Gregory got away in the middle of the field with the winning Explosive Matter sophomore as favored Navarone Hanover made the early lead, then moved outside nearing the half and got cover from Ginger Tree Skyr. That colt grinded and worked past the favored pacesetting filly in the lane, but then was nipped by the filly on his back in a very close picture. Nomo Volo, who has had breaking issues since winning a Sire Stakes event on May 26, used her best behavior and ability to raise her bankroll to $141,467 for Jeff Gregory Inc. and Jesmeral Stable. In a $14,500 event for fast-class pacers, the Dragon Again gelding Blake North quarter-moved to command, then came home in :55.3 to post a half-length victory in 1:51.3 for driver George Napolitano Jr., meet-leading trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen, and owner Gilberto Garcia-Herrera. It was 51-1 shot Emeritus Maximus who shot out to early command, yielded to the odds-on winner, and made him work hard for the triumph; even with that longshot followed in order by 16-1 shot Hudsonandbernard and 12-1 Te Kawau N (second choice Jeneral Patton did get fifth), the winning 1-6-5-7-2 Jackpot Hi-5 ticket was played by multiple players, and so the jackpot carryover climbed to $42,387.03 for Thursday's racing. Tim Tetrick, newly named as a Hall Of Fame ballot candidate for this summer's voting, built onto his lead as the winningest driver at Harrah's Philadelphia, visiting Victory Lane six times on the Wednesday afternoon program.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, July 17, 2019 — Working Ona Mystery (2-1), De Los Cielos Deo (5-2) and Southwind Ozzi (5-2) have been installed as morning line favorites for Saturday’s eliminations for the $475,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. The card begins at 1:05 PM, with the eliminations scheduled as races 7, 8 and 10. The top three finishers in each elimination return for the $400,000 final on July 27, with elimination winners choosing their post positions for the final. The other post positions will be determined by random draw. The Adios Day card, which includes six Grant Circuit stakes and a $50,000 Invitational, kicks off at 11:25 AM, with the Adios going as race 15. Adios Day also will feature a guest appearance by one of harness racing’s most revered celebrities — Foiled Again, who retired as the richest Standardbred ever with earnings exceeding $7.5 million. Foiled Again will lead the post parades for the Adios and the Invitational, which has been named in his honor. Here are the eliminations fields with drivers (now final), trainers and morning line odds:               Elimination #1, Race 7 1. Odds On Boca Raton-Dexter Dunn-Tony Alagna-4-1 2. Workin Ona Mystery-Tim Tetrick-Brian Brown-2-1 3. Captain Victorious-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-3-1 4. Mangogh-Brian Sears-Bruce Saunders-20-1 5. Love Me Some Lou-Andrew McCarthy-Tom Cancelliere-12-1 6. Wild Wild Western-Mike Wilder-Norm Parker-10-1 7. Branquinho-Tyler Buter-Ray Schnittker-12-1 8. Covered Bridge-Corey Callahan-Jessica Okusko-20-1 9. Captain Trevor-David Miller-Tony Alagna-6-1   Elimination #2, Race 8 1. Prince Of Tides-Dave Palone-Ross Croghan-7-2 2. Quatrain Blue Chip-David Miller-Chris Oakes-8-1 3. Reigning Deo-Andrew McCarthy-Brett Pelling-6-1 4. Latissimus Hanover-Tyler Buter-Ray Schnittker-10-1 5. U S Captain-Dexter Dunn-Tony Alagna-9-2 6. Marco Beach-Matt Kakaley-Travis Alexander-8-1 7. De Los Cielos Deo-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5-2 8. Volley Ball Beach-Tony Hall-Norm Parker-10-1   Elimination #3, Race 10 1. Can’t Beach That-David Miller-Brett Pelling-12-1 2. Highlandbeachlover-Aaron Merriman-Kelly O’Donnell-15-1 3. Stag Party-Dexter Dunn-Casie Coleman-5-1 4. Brassy Hanover-Corey Callahan-Eddie Dennis-6-1 5. Semi Tough-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-8-1 6. Escapetothebeach-Tim Tetrick-Tony Alagna-3-1 7. Captain Cash-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-6-1 8. Captain Malicious-Tyler Buter-Ray Schnittker-15-1 9. Southwind Ozzi-Brian Sears-Bill MacKenzie-5-2   Evan Pattak

The Weekly Awards returns after a bit of a hiatus to our coverage of the harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. While we took a break from chronicling the overnight action to put a focus on some big stakes races at Pocono, there were many outstanding performances that might have made the cut. We’re back to it this week, with many horses deserving of the honors but only a precious few lucky enough to be awarded them. PACER OF THE WEEK: SLIPIN SKIP If you think that claimers are somehow inferior to condition pacers and trotters, you need to watch the action a little bit more closely. It’s not uncommon at Pocono for claimers to put up times that would actually be comparable with Open competition. Such was the effort put together on Saturday night by Slipin Skip, a five-year-old gelding new to the Hunter Oakes barn following a claim from his previous start. Since arriving at Pocono on June 23, Slipin Skip had won two of his three races with identical winning times of 1:50:4. His lone loss in that span came when he moved up into the $30,000 to $40,000 claiming handicap pacing group, a hard-luck second by a neck. He moved back up into that class on Saturday night and went off as a 2-5 favorite from post position #4 in a field of nine. Driver Dave Palone was aggressive with the favorite, sending him after the lead in a spirited three-way battle on the first turn. Slipin Skip was able to win that duel. The fractions that he set from that point were not for the faint of heart. Yet he wasn’t able to shale Rock The Town, who came into the race having won three of his las four in the same class. It came down to Slipin Skip and Rock The Town, with Slipin Skip holding up well in the lane to win it by a length. The winning time of 1:48:4 was not just a career-best, but it was also the fastest time by anyone at the track over the past racing week, yet another impressive notch in the belt of Slipin Skip on his own and of Pocono claimers as a whole. Other top pacers this week included: Duel In The Sun (George Napolitano Jr., Hunter Oakes), who rolled to his third straight claiming victory on Sunday night, getting it done in 1:51:3; Always At My Place (Jim Morrill Jr., Ron Burke), the decorated veteran making his way back up the condition ladder after scoring his second straight win on Saturday night, this one in 1:50; and Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter, Chris Oakes), a three-year-old filly who captured her second straight condition pace on Sunday night, winning in 1:50:4. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: NOBLE PRIZE The nature of the victory that Noble Prize managed in his previous race on July 8 didn’t engender much confidence from the bettors at Pocono. In that race, he made a first-over move just as the pacesetter pretty much stopped on the back stretch. Noble Prize built a big lead, which he held onto for the win at 20-1 in 1:55. Maybe that’s why he was let go at 8-1 odds on Monday, despite the fact that he was facing a field very similar to the one he just beat in a $15,000 to $20,000 claiming handicap. Leaving from post position #6 in a field of nine with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, Noble Prize, a five-year-old gelding trained by Lou Pena, sat back early while the 4-5 favorite High Blue set the pace. Once again Napolitano decided on a first-over trip for his horse, only this time the leader did not falter. Instead, High Blue stood his ground on the back stretch as Noble Prize battled with him. To win this one, Noble Prize would have to earn it without any help from a faltering horse. And, as it turns out, that’s just what he did. High Blue finally relented in ths stretch, while Noble Prize handily held off any pursuit from the closers to pick up the victory by a 1 ¼ over Keystone Sergeant. His winning time of 1:54:4 was a career-best, making the triumph even more special. Those who have believed in Noble Prize the last few weeks are likely counting their winnings right now. My guess is he’ll have a lot more folks on his bandwagon next time around. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Such An Angel (Matt Kakaley, Hunter Oakes), who scored a win in Sunday night’s featured condition trot in 1:51:3, a new career-best which matched the fastest trotting time posted at Pocono this season; Very Very Fast (Tim Tetrick, Jennifer Bongiorno), who lived up to his name with a condition won on Sunday night in a career-best 1:52:2; and Let’a Be Honest (Simon Allard, Lou Pena), who followed up a win at Harrah’s with a claiming handicap victory on Tuesday afternoon at Pocono in 1:56:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ARCH CREDIT Nobody saw this gelding coming in a condition trot on Monday’s card, but, with Kyle Di Benedetto in the bike, he upset the field at 46-1 to pay off $95.80 on a $2 wager. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: JIM MORRILL JR. Jim made the most out of his one-off appearance on Saturday night at Pocono, leading all drivers with five victories out of 14 on the program. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE Burke flexed his training muscle during Pennsylvania All-Stars action this week, as his trainees won five of the eight total divisions held for two-year-old pacers on the weekend. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at   Jim Beviglia

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Kadabra harness racing gelding Noble Prize overcame the tough first-over journey for the second straight week, winning the $14,000 claiming handicap trotting feature on the Monday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. After a forward tuck early, Noble Prize started his uncovered move for driver George Napolitano Jr. on favored High Blue at the half, battling that one down the backstretch, through the turn, and into the stretch. Nearing the wire, the grinder proved the toughest horse, winning by 1¾ lengths, with second-over Keystone Sergeant just along to nip High Blue for second. The winner's time of 1:54.4 gave him a new mark. Noble Prize raced for trainer Lou Pena and owner Clinton Lugar, but he won't go for these connections next time he faces the gate, as he was taken for the $17,000 claiming price, a frequent occurrence at a track with sharp horsemen always looking to acquire fit horses. The featured trot was carded as the curtainraiser on the card; "George Nap" then completed the Early Double with the 10-year-old Cee Pee Panic (the Quebec-bred champion way back at age three) in 1:53.4. Napolitano had a total of five winners on the Monday card, and now has climbed to 299 victories during the season, putting him in fourth among North American drivers. Not bad for a driver who had a total of nine 2019 victories when Pocono opened its season on March 16; only Iron Man Aaron Merriman has won more races than Napolitano since that date.     PHHA / Pocono

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