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When trotter Wings Of Royalty was preparing for this season, trainer George Ducharme thought the 4-year-old was acting better than at any time during his previous two campaigns. After watching the stallion nip multiple-award-winner Pinkman by a nose last Friday at the Meadowlands, Ducharme is starting to think it is more than just an act. Wings Of Royalty is 2-for-2 this year after his career-best 1:51.4 win last weekend at the Big M. On Saturday, he returns to action in the first round of the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands. The Graduate Series, which features three preliminary rounds and a $250,000-guaranteed final, is restricted to 4-year-olds. "I was very happy with the way the horse trained back," Ducharme said. "He was out for three months (during the winter) and really physically changed. He just got bigger and stronger. "Training down, he acted a lot better than he had at any time during his 2- or 3-year-old year. I wasn't sure how much he would improve speed-wise, but after the other night I think there's still a little room. Hopefully he can improve a little more, which he will have to do to go with the company he's going to be in with." A total of 13 horses entered Saturday's Graduate opener. Wings Of Royalty and driver Corey Callahan will start from post one in the first of two $50,000 divisions. The remainder of the field is Whataworkout, Canepa Hanover, Honor And Serve, Homicide Hunter, and Crazshana. The second division features Pinkman --- a divisional Dan Patch Award winner at ages 2 and 3 --- as well as two 9-for-9 horses this season, Canadian-based Musical Rhythm and Maestro Blue Chip. The rest of the group is Crescent Fashion, Fashion Creditor, Centurion ATM, and Crazy Wow. Subsequent preliminary rounds of the Graduate Series will be held June 4 at Mohawk Racetrack and June 12 at Tioga Downs. The final is July 9 at the Meadowlands. Wings Of Royalty has won 12 of 32 career races and earned $417,645 for breeder/owner Raymond "Chip" Campbell Jr. A Massachusetts resident, Campbell also bred and owns Wings Of Royalty's sire, stakes-winner RC Royalty, and owned Wings Of Royalty's dam, Sparkling Cider, for more than a decade. RC Royalty also sired 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life, who was trained by Ducharme and co-owned by Campbell. The maternal family includes 1990 Hambletonian winner Harmonious and Wings Of Royalty's fourth dam, Egyptian Jody, also is the fourth dam of recently retired star female trotter Maven. "Sparkling Cider came from a very nice family," Campbell said. "She really elevated the group of mares that I had at the time. We take pride in (breeding horses). My wife and kids are involved and my parents also before my father passed away. So you do take great pride in being able to breed them, foal them out, raise them, and then have them go off and compete with the best." Wings Of Royalty last year won eight of 20 races and hit the board a total of 15 times. He won the Massachusetts Sire Stakes championship and, thanks to dual eligibility, finished second to Habitat in the New York Sire Stakes championship. He finished fifth in his elimination for the Hambletonian and 10th in the same-day final (won by Pinkman) after drawing post nine. He finished fourth in the Zweig Memorial. "He was a good horse last year; he just was always it seems a step behind the top ones," Ducharme said. "He really impressed me the other night, coming from off the pace and everything. I'm hoping he can hang with those horses this year. "We just paid him into the 4-year-old events, so hopefully he'll be competitive in there and we can see what the future holds after that. After the other night I'm thinking he could turn into the horse that I hoped he would. I'm looking forward to it." Campbell said the plan is to race Wings Of Royalty for at least this season and next year. "We thought we better look at it as a two-year program; 4- and 5-year-old," Campbell said. "We understand how big the step is at 4. We didn't know if he was going to be able to get up two or three more notches, which he was going to have to in order to compete with the best. "Part of our schedule was not a mile like (1:51.4) in May," he added with a laugh. "He more than fulfilled any expectations we had on that night. That mile certainly impressed us enough to give it a shot against a very nice group (this weekend). We hope the horse puts on a good performance. "This game can give you a lot of thrills. If we could ever figure out how to put it in a bottle --- yeah, there are ups and downs --- but the ups are thrills that are difficult to get anywhere else." Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes the first round of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male and female pacers.  by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Wings Of Royalty received a perfect drive from Tim Tetrick and the pair spoiled the 4-year-old debut of Pinkman in the Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, a $20,000 conditioned event for trotters. The race looked like an easy one for 3-5 favorite Pinkman, the winner of last year's Kentucky Futurity, Canadian Trotting Classic and Hambletonian. But Wings Of Royalty, who finished last in last year's Hambo, scored some revenge on his high-profile foe. Pinkman worked his way to the top in :27.2, but was pressured by the first-over Bourbon Bay at the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.4. Pinkman finally shrugged his challenger off to lead by 2 turning for home, while Tetrick was finding open road for Wings Of Royalty, who was third at the head of the stretch. Pinkman still looked like a safe winner with a sixteenth of a mile to go, but Wings of Royalty found more in deep stretch and got up on the wire to win by a nose in a lifetime-best 1:51.4. Possessed Fashion was third. As the fourth choice in the wagering, Wings Of Royalty paid $27.40 to win for trainer George Ducharme and owner Raymond W J Campbell Jr. The 4-year-old son of RC Royalty has now won 12-of-32 lifetime outings and earned just over $417,000. STILL GROWING: The 11th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five carryover keeps getting bigger and bigger. After the official order of finish of 5-1-3-7-6 failed to produce a single winning ticket, the carryover for the next program stood at $217,277.84. ... Only two favorites emerged victorious on the 11-race card. ...The start of racing was delayed over an hour as inclement weather made extensive track maintenance necessary. ... The Big M is back Saturday with a live program that gets underway at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

Deadhead Royalty (RC Royalty) scored a first over victory in Thursday's harness racing co-feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The four year old trotter was claimed during the meet's opening weekend by trainer Don Sherman and following a second place finish last week was the race's favorite in the $9,300 co-feature for New York Sired trotters. Driver Billy Dobson moved first over with Deadhead Royalty approaching the half mile pole and wound battling throughout the race's final half with frontrunner The African (Jim Devaux). Deadhead Royalty wound up prevailing by a head in 1:59. The African held second while Dions Prayer (Phil Fluet) earned the show spot. Deadhead Royalty is owned by Jessica Roegner of Wilton, NY. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Gural Hanover, who won only two races last year, turned in his second straight trip to the winner's circle at Dover Downs on Wednesday, May 16 romping to a 1:53 harness racing victory in the $24,000 Open trot. With Andrew McCarthy driving the Crazed-Givemearing gelding, Gural Hanover final took command after a :26.3 opening quarter and proved the best from there. Weaver Bruscemi, Little E, Pahellenic and Burke Racing stables own the classy five-year-old who now has earned $78,124 in his career. War Cry Hall, last weeks winner, charged down the passing lane for Tim Tetrick to edge Somebody AS and Vic Kirby for second money. It ended Somebody AS' two-win streak. In the $18,500 sub-feature, when race-favorite Celebrity Pepgus broke stride early, Jackie Parker took over driving Jim Moore III's Royal Becca J and the four-year-old RC Royalty-Becca J gelding led the rest of a 1:55.3 mile to win for the second time in his last three starts. In fact Royal Becca J has been ultra-consistent in his last six starts with three wins and three seconds. Machuca (Ross Wolfenden) raced on the outside for most of the contest and held on for second. Royal Status (Kirby) was the show horse. Rich Pollucci's Maestro Blue Chip gave Tim Tetrick his second win holding off Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) by a head in 1:54.2 to extend his win streak to five in-a-row in a $17,000 Winners-Over trot. The Credit Winner-Up Front Hotsey four-year-old remains undefeated in 2016 and lifts his season bankroll to $30,750 and $109,173 lifetime. Awsome Valley (Tony Morgan) was third. Steel Reserve got up for his first win of the season, catching Ah Me (Carlo Poliseno) in the final strides for a 1:56 victory in a $14,500 4&5-Year-Old trot. Frank Chick owns the Credit Winner-Iron Lass gelding trained by Kevin Lare. In another $14,500 trot, Bill Cantrell's steady Deacons Valley, off at 8-1, with Ross Wolfenden at the controls scored a 1:54.4 triumph, his second of the year. The six-year-old Valley Victor-Deaconess Hanover horse was in the money for sixth straight time in 2016. Brew Master (Dennis) and Jailhouse Diva (Montrell Teague) finished second and third respectively. Drivers Tim Tetrick and Tyler Davis, trainer Kevin Lare, owner Frank Chick , all had two wins. NOVA ARTIST, MOVIE IDOL, LEYDEN TOP THURSDAY DOVER CARD Nova Artist, Movie Idol and Leyden head a nine-horse field in Thursday, March 17 St. Patrick’s Day feature race at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. Nova Artist, a two-time Horse of the Meet, owned by Eddie and Kathy Davis and driven by their son Allan Davis, has a win and two seconds in six starts this year. The nine-year-old approaching the $1-million mark lifetime takes on Breakway Stable’s classy Movie Idol, starting from post 9 in the second tier with Frank Milby in the bike and William Moffett’s steady homebred Leyden (Ross Wolfenden) should profit by a much better post position this week, in the $11,000 Male pace feature. They take on Ben Stafford’s Maximum Terror, who also has an inside post this week, leaving from the rail with Ben Stafford Jr. handling the reins. Blake and Bruce Baker’s veteran Native Art and George Dennis is alongside. Other contenders are Robin and Jay Breasure’s People Are Crazy with Vic Kirby, Ed Walls’ Tug River Prince, piloted by Tony Morgan, Hide Me Away, driven by Russ Foster for Arty Foster III and Wanda May Saulsbury and the dangerous Shiretown Pitbull with Season Bier off a strong qualifying victory last week.   There is no live racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Racing resumes Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. By popular demand the acclaimed Harness Buffet is now back in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant. Call for reservations 302-674-4600. There is no charge for parking and admission at Dover Downs. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.--- Corey Callahan and Somebody As made it look easy rolling to a second consecutive victory in the $24,000 Open/Handicap trot on a windy and chilly Wednesday, March 2, at the harness racing meeting at Dover Downs. Somebody As and Callahan got away quickly from the outside to take the early lead and continued to extend the margin until turning for home when War Cry Hall with Tim Tetrick picked up the pace in the stretch to close within a half-length at the wire in 1:54.3. Owned by Kjell Johansson and breeder ACI Stuteri, the seven-year-old altered son of Striking Sahbra-Noblesse AS, conditioned by Anette Lorentzon, recorded his third win in four starts this season and victory number 24 and $475,583 in lifetime earnings. Winemaster Hanover (Toby Lynch) edged Panamanian Hanover (Tony Morgan) for third money. Jack Parker Jr. found room along the passing lane and led a cavalcade of trotters to the finish line in a lifetime record 1:55.4 clocking to win the secondary feature $15,000 4&5-Year-Old event. It was the third win of the year with three seconds in eight starts for the RC Royalty-Becca J gelding, who now has banked $34,700 for owner Jim Moore III. Stirling Diva (Tetrick) closed for second in front of Kolbee's Star (Callahan), third. Ragazzo Dolce. a classically-bred Muscles Yankee-Bella Dolce gelding driven by Jim Morand for owners Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis, returned to the winner's circle for the first time since January when he won eight races in-a-row, poured it on in the stretch on the way to a 1:55.1 triumph in one of three $12,000 trots on the supporting card. Enrico AS (Allan Davis) was next best with Awsome Valley (George Dennis) the third-place finisher. Tim Tetrick drove PL Incoming to a lifetime best 1:57 score in a second $12,000 trot, this one for 4&5-year-olds. Winsun Cobra (Pat Berry) and Dance For Me Sasha (Vic Kirby) were second and third respectively. Rich Lombardo and JJ&M Stable own the Kadabra -Kaparah gelding trained by Josh Green, who won for the first time in 2016. Tetrick returned in the final $12,000 trot, to guide odds-on favorite Maestro Blue Chip to his fourth-straight victory in 1:54.1. The Credit Winner-Up Front Holsey horse is trained by Jim King for Richard Pollucci. A 29-1 shot Brew Master (Allan Davis) was runner-up. Eskimo Joe (Callahan) was the show horse. Tim Tetrick drove three winners and Corey Callahan had a double, Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Dover Downs is dark on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. When at the track, watch live races and enjoy dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant's acclaimed Harness Racing Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Marv Bachrad

There was a "little" something for everyone on Tuesday night at Pompano Park-fast miles, favorites and longshots-and there will be some "big" somethings when the South Florida oval hosts its Wednesday night harness racing program. First, Royal Max scored a "three-peat" victory in Pompano Park's $15,000 Open Handicap Trot and tacked on a new lifetime mark, as well-1:53.2. The five year-old son of RC Royalty, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike this night, was used hard gaining the top spot through an opener of :26.4 before yielding to the track recording holding mare Oho Diamond, handled by Wally Hennessey, who guided his charge halfway through the mile in :55.4. On the backside, Pavia was on the move again with Royal Max and he took command and opened some daylight heading into the far turn and by the third station in 1:23.3 In the lane, Oho Diamond cut into the margin but really never threatened the winner, finishing a length away. She's All In (Rick Plano) finished third while Sailer Eddie and Uriel completed a "barber pole" 5-4-3-2-1 finish. Trained by Chris Oakes for owner Albert Crawford, the lightly raced gelding won for the third time in four starts this year, sending his seasonal bankroll to $26,250. He's now 11 for 30 lifetime, good for $168,200. In a post-race interview, driver Joe Pavia, Jr. said, "This is the first time I drove this horse, so I didn't really know what to expect other than Chris (trainer Oakes) saying he was real good right now. "Boy, was he ever! I thought that opener might take some sting out of him but, when we straightened out on the backside, it seemed like he was 'begging' to go. Chris said that I'd like him. "That was an understatement. I LOVE him!" Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Royal Max paid $2.60 to his multitude of backers. The Tuesday night program also featured yet another race for the "senior citizens" in the trotting ranks with the "Over The Hill Gang" event for nine year-olds and up and, once again, the "two" senior citizens in the group-one of the equine kind and the other of the human kind-captured the event. Celtic Merchant, the amazing 13 year-old gelded son of Angus Hall, with 64 year-old Rick Plano in the bike, scored his second straight win and fourth in his past five starts with a handy score in 1:56.3. I'll Tell You What, handled by Dave Ingraham, closed with ferocity to finish second while the pacesetting Smokin Dabra, with John MacDonald driving, picked up show honors after slicing off panels of :27.3; :58 and 1:27.1. Thekeptman was fourth and Gimme The Loot picked up the nickel in the field of nine. In this very deep field with the nine starters accounting for close to 300 wins and almost $3 million in earnings, Celtic Merchant won for the fourth time this semester in seven starts and 46th time career-wise with this victory sending his lifetime earnings to $357,856. As the 5 to 2 second choice, Celtic Merchant paid $7.80 to win. It was, as track announcer Gabe Prewitt said, "bombs away" in the pentafecta fourth race as Certain Potential, driven by Sergio Corona, closed fastest of all to score a photo finish win in 1:56.1 This six year-old gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse, off at 118 to 1, scored his first win of the year in five starts-13th score lifetime-and paid $238.00 to win, keying a $638 exacta with the even money favorite second, and a $4,762.60 trifecta. The victory left the pentafecta unscathed with a $4,466 carry-over spawning a $15,000 guarantee for Wednesday night's fourth race pentafecta pool. The "bombs away" payoff also left no live tickets going into the final leg of the Pick-5 and that carry-over is $7,749 going into the mid-week program. Wednesday's Pick-5 pool at Pompano is guaranteed at $30,000. Post time is set for 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Royal Max, once again handled by George Napolitano, Jr., scored a repeat harness racing win in Pompano Park's $15,000 Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night (February 17). The lightly raced five year-old gelded son of RC Royalty, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Albert Crawford, toured the South Florida five-eighths mile oval in 1:54.1-the same time as last week's win. The margin of victory this time around was 1¾ lengths-wrapped up-with She's All In and Rick Plano teaming up for second with Diamond Dagger third for Mark O'Mara. Lucid Thoughts, who took an early lead before yielding to the winner around the first turn, was fourth while My Revenuer, last much of the mile, picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. Assigned the outside post in the field, Royal Max was on the engine when the wings opened and carved panels of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.1 while opening up a long lead-five lengths-turning for home. From there, it was a "cakewalk" as Royal Max was untouched to the wire. In a post-race interview, driver George Napolitano, Jr. succinctly said, "whatever you wrote last week, you can write the same thing this week. "He was very sharp again, in fact, maybe even a little sharper than last week as this final quarter was, I think, a bit faster than last week. "Gotta give credit where credit is due and that is to Chris (trainer Oakes) who got him back to where he is an Open trotter after nursing him back to health after an injury." Royal Max, in only his eighth start over the past two seasons, now sports a 2-1-0 scorecard in his three starts this year and, with 10 wins in 29 lifetime starts, has career bounty of $160,700. Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Royal Max paid $2.40 to his many faithful. Racing continues on Saturday night with two divisions of the continuing Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park Late Closing Series for mares. That lucrative series features a $75,000 final on March 5. Last week's first leg winner, Totally Rusty and Show Runner are paired together in the first division along with Velocity Vespa and four others while, in the second division, Just A Bee, Godiva Seelster and Mach It A Par will vie for favoritism. Post time is set for 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Royal Max, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., justified the 4 to 5 tote-board confidence of the betting crowd by scoring a handy 1:54.1 harness racing victory in Pompano Park's $15,000 Open Handicap Trot on Tuesday night. The lightly raced five year-old gelded son of RC Royalty, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Albert Crawford, brushed up strongly from his seven post to take command prior to the hot :26.4 opener then proceeded to post fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.2 in route to a victory measuring 2¾ lengths over the late surging Winding Hill, handled by John MacDonald. She's All In, prominent in the garden spot all the way, wound up third for Rick Plano while Sailer Eddie finished fourth, nine lengths away from the winner. My Revenuer, assigned the outside post off of two straight wins in the company, rallied to pick up the nickel. In a post-race interview, driver George Napolitano related, "Ya know, he was really good last week off of only one qualifier and I told Chris (trainer Oakes) that he's got an Open trotter here. He was roughed up last week and held together well in the lane so I thought he'd be even better tonight.and he was! Once he got to the lead, he was all business all the way. Chris has done an excellent job in getting him back to the races after he was injured last spring." Trainer Chris Oakes added, "When I got 'Max,' he had some problems so I really took my time in getting him healthy again. It's one of Mr. Crawford's favorites so a lot of TLC went in to getting him ready to race again. He's five now but only has 28 lifetime starts-including tonight-so he's got the fresh legs to keep going a while." Of those aforementioned 28 starts, Royal Max has won nine times with his lifetime bounty with this win now at $153,200. Royal Max rewarded his investors with a dividend of $3.80. In the $10,000 co-featured trot, Lucid Thoughts, driven by trainer John MacDonald for the J P Stables, scored an upset win in near gate to wire fashion in 1:55.1--the winning margin two lengths over Goldstar Classic, handled by Wally Hennessey. Explosive Muscles, under the tutelage of Rick Plano, finished third while Diamond Dagger finished fourth. MacKenzie's Star picked up the nickel over Majestic Won with the 2 to 5 favorite, Escuela, never "fired" this night and finished seventh and last. Lucid Thoughts, a 1:55.1 winner last week coming from off the pace, used different tactics this night as the eight year-old son of Cash Hall blasted out of the gate and out-dueled Goldstar Classic around the initial turn to take control and carve out panels of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:26 before coasting home untouched in :29.1. Not only did Lucid Thoughts score a repeat win, it was his 26th success in 165 career starts to send his lifetime bounty to $255,750. As fourth choice on the tote-board at 10 to 1, Lucid Thoughts paid $23.80 to win. Racing resumes Wednesday night with a 10 race program scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Summers Windsong (RC Royalty) scored a career best victory in Thursday's featured race at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. On an afternoon that felt more like summer than fall, Summers Windsong cruised to a wire-to-wire win in the $10,500 feature for New York Sired trotters. Phil Fluet catch drove the three year old for trainer Ray Schnittker and moved the favored filly out to the early lead. On a day in which temperatures approached the 70 degree mark in Saratoga Springs, Summers Windsong never had an anxious moment en route to a career best 1:57.3 score. It was the third win of the season for the filly who recently returned from a stint at Plainridge racing in Massachusetts Stakes competition. Fluet prevailed in both of his drives on Thursday as his Eternal Prince scored in wire-to-wire fashion on the afternoon card. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Latham, NY---62 well-bred yearlings, including 58 eligible to the lucrative New York Sire Stakes, went up for auction Sunday (Sept. 20) at the annual harness racing Morrisville College Yearling Sale at the Nancy Sears Stowell Equine Arena located on the college campus. A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered well in advance of the 1:00 p.m. start time for breakfast and to get a good look at the next generation of stars from 17 top sires in the sport before finalizing their short lists and heading into the sales arena. When everything was said and done, 48 trotters and 14 pacers produced a sales total of just under $1 million with an average price per horse of $15,540. That number is up a substantial 43% from last year’s average bid of $10,715 and a 60% increase over the average price of the last five years combined. Speculation at the sale was the smaller group of higher caliber yearlings drove the prices up. The sale topper (as well as highest priced trotter) was hip number 24, Royal Pinot (RC Royalty-Graduation Party) who was consigned by Crawford Farms. The filly was purchased for $55,000 by Burke Racing LLC The second highest bid of $40,000 was realized for hip number 68, Texican (Cash Hall-Hot Chili Girl) who was consigned by Lakeview Equine. The trotting colt was purchased by Wanda Polisseni of Fairport, NY. On the pacing side, hip number 42, Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Villa Hanover), who was also consigned by Lakeview Equine, drew a final bid of $24,000 from Ken Jacobs of Baldwinsville, NY. Chapter Seven yearlings brought the highest average price of the sale at $24,667, just ahead of Conway Hall who commanded $24,200. RC Royalty, who had the highest number of yearlings in the sale (21), was third at $18,190. The seven-horse consignment from Crawford Farms brought the highest average price of $21,143. Lakeview Equine who offered 15 head averaged $17,767 and the Morrisville College Equine Institute, who had the largest consignment of 18, realized $17,500 per horse. A complete listing of all hip number bids and other searchable information can be found at this link. (http://morrisvillesale.com/results/index.cgi ) Harness Horse Breeders of New York State

Perfect weather and a lightning fast track greeted the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters to the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 4) and those participants took full advantage of the conditions to pursue their share of the $120,400 in purses available. Heavily favored Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) rewarded his backers as he turned in a very strong performance, winning his division convincingly in 1:56.3. After pole-sitter Mythology Bluechip (Mark Macdonald) made a break in the first turn, Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) took the early lead until Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) motored on by before the quarter in :28.4. The participants then remained single-file behind the leader through a :59.1 half and 1:27.4 three-quarters. At that point Schnittker pulled Gabe The Bear Dean from second and tried to mount a challenge, but the attempt was futile. Lems let Wings Of Royalty out a notch and he flew down the stretch to win easily by three lengths with a snappy :28.4 final panel. "I knew Ray (Schnittker) would let me go (to the front) and once we made it, he was on cruise control. He was very strong finishing the mile" said driver Chris Lems. It was the fourth win in 14 starts for Wings Of Royalty ($3.20) and it raised his 2015 earnings to $178,323 for owner Raymond Campbell. The colt is trained by George Ducharme. The first division was historic as it was the only time a NYSS race at Batavia Downs ended in a dead heat. The judges camera could not separate Fashion Creditor (Credit Winner-Bon Voyage) and Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art of Deception) at the wire. There was a stiff battle off the gate when Royal Lad (Aaron Byron) would not let Maestro Bluechip (Trond Smedshammer) go, who in turn parked-out Royal Deceptor (Michael McGivern) and the three horses went three-wide to the quarter in 28.3. As they hit the turn, they all finally seated with Royal Deceptor being the best of the bunch. At this point, Fashion Creditor (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a gapped fourth watching the proceedings. After the dust had settled, McGivern grabbed leather and grabbed it hard as he gave Royal Deceptor a serious breather with 31 and 30.3 second and third quarters. During that time, Royal Lad made a break from third and Fashion Creditor advanced to that spot, creeping closer to the leader. Then Morrill pulled at three-quarters and began to force the issue. Royal Deceptor still had a three-length lead but the advantage was clearly perilous. At the head of the stretch, Fashion Creditor was trotting his hips off down the lane, gobbling up ground with every stride while Royal Deceptor was expending every ounce of energy he had left to hang on to his lead. At the wire, both horses' best efforts gained them victory in 1:58.3. It was the third win in 13 starts for Fashion Creditor ($2.10), pushing his earnings to $106,380 for the year. The gelding is owned by Joseph Smith and trained by Tom Fanning. For Royal Deceptor, it was his seventh win in 13 starts and it increased his 2015 bank to $137,163 for owners Charles Foster, Michael Sentiwany Jr., and Michael James. The colt is trained by Cheryl McGivern. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series "A" trot that went for a combined $30,000 in purses. Crazshana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) won the first division in 1:59.2 for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer. The gelding is owned by Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable. The second split was won by Bavaro (Credit Winner-Repetitions) in 1:59 flat for trainer-driver Ray Schnittker. Schnittker shares ownership of the colt with Paul Bordogna and Jonathan Kurnit. The winner returned a handsome $46.80. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept.5) with post time set at 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty) broke the track record for two year old trotting fillies at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Wednesday night. The freshman filly came to town off of back to back victories in the New York Sire Stakes and was the public's even money favorite on Wednesday as she looked to threepeat. Jim Morrill Jr. piloted Goosebump Hanover for trainer Ron Burke and moved the filly out to the early lead. She was met with a host of challengers in the stretch but held on to win in 1:57.2, a new track record for two year old filly trotters. Morrill and Burke teamed up for another NYSS winner on the night as their Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn) scored in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:58.2 in her $48,941 stakes try. Jimmy Takter's Pampered Winner (Credit Winner) prevailed in the evening's third and final of the big stakes races for two year old filly highsteppers as she stopped the timer in 1:59 for her second victory of the season. Live racing continues on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

 The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway  on Monday night hosted the $151,624 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Four divisions, worth $37,556, $37,556, $38,256 and $38,256, comprised the event. Odds-on choice Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., $3.30)-from post position No. 4--slipped out late, went wide and won the opening grouping in 1:59.1. Credit to Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), who actually beat the winner to the outside, settled for second, a half-length behind. Royal Surprise (Dan Daley) was third. For "Goosebump," a daughter of RC Royalty co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Joe DiScala Jr., Crawford Farms and J&T Silva Stables, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $21.20, with the triple returning $78. The evening's second Quaglietta event was strictly a two-lass affair, with pole-sitting Dizzy Broad (Morrill Jr., $6.90) picking off 3-5 favorite Posterity (Charlie Norris) from the pocket in a life-best/night's-fastest 1:58.1. The margin was a length-and-a-half, with Dazzling Dollars (Trond Smedshammer) a best-of-the-rest third. For Dizzy Broad, a daughter of Broad Bahn co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith Jr., she's now 3-for-5 in her first season. The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $34.80. Monday's third sire stakes event was another two-speed number, with short-price miss Non Stick (Dan Dube, $2.80) handily besting Pampered Winner (Jimmy Takter). From post No. 2, the people's preference two-moved and won by 2½ lengths in 1:59.4. Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) was a rallying third. For Non Stick, a daughter of Lucky Chucky co-owned (as Svanstedt Racing) by (trainer) Ake Svanstedt and Little E LLC, she's a perfect 4-for-4 to begin her career. The exacta paid $11, with the triple returning $23.40. The evening's final statebred division was a maiden-breaker for Franniegetyourgun (Takter, $15.60). She sat pocketed from post No. 2, then eased past Lima Playtime (Scott Zeron) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:59.2. Lucky Kristen (Brian Sears) was third. For "Frannie," a Lucky Chucky miss trained by her driver for her driver's wife, Christina, Herbert Holland, Serafino Barone and Steve Bitlisli, is was that first win in four frosh tries. The exacta paid $110.50, with the triple returning $505. The Raceway's live season continues Tuesday with a "French-centric" matinee (first post 1 PM). Frank Drucker

Locally based trotter Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty) scored a front running victory in one of the two top flight New York Sire Stakes races on Wednesday night at the harness racing meeting at Saratoga. Mickey McGivern pilots the sophomore Cheryl McGivern trainee and moved the three year old out to the early lead in his $79,687 division of the NY Sire Stakes for colt and gelding trotters on Wednesday. The public's third choice in the wagering at odds of 5-2 in the five horse field, Royal Deceptor felt only mild pressure after setting soft fractions on the front end before kicking away from his rivals in the stretch to win by four lengths in a career best 1:57. The talented trotter earned over $70,000 in eight starts as a freshman in 2014 and moved his seasonal bankroll to over $114,000 with Wednesday's front-running romp for owners Foster, Sentiwany and James. Buen Camino (Cash Hall) was the faster of the two stakes winners on the evening as Trond Smedshammer piloted his trainee to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:56. Buen Camino recorded his third win in six starts this year and did so while holding off the late challenge of rival Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) whose previous start took place in the $1 million Hambletonian on August 8th. Buen Camino earned the winner's share of the $81,187 purse for colt and gelding trotters in the NY Sire Stakes. Live racing continues on Thursday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05pm. Melissa Simser

Vernon, N.Y. -- Four New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting fillies headlined Friday (August 14) evening's harness racing card at Vernon Downs, and Lucky Chucky filly Posterity ($7.30) proved most impressive among the quartet of winners.   In the $27,250 seventh race, trainer-driver Charlie Norris floated Posterity into midfield from her outside post, rating well off odds-on favourite Dizzy Broad (Jim Morrill, Jr.) through a :27.4 first quarter before charging to the fore amid a slackening :58.1 half mile. Upon reaching the end of the backstretch, Posterity was able to clear down to the pegs, turn aside a mild challenge from the first-over Credit To Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), and draw clear of her rivals through a dazzling :27.4 final quarter. Her 1:56 mile was the fastest of the four Sire Stakes splits, and she defeated runner-up Dizzy Broad by 3-1/2 lengths.   Carrie Norris, Janine Zito, and Buck Sprinkle share the ownership of Posterity.   Ãke Svanstedt recorded a Sire Stakes driving double, teaming up with Jimmy Takter trainee Pampered Winner ($13.00) in the $27,250 fourth race for his first of two co-featured wins. The royally-bred daughter of Credit Winner kicked clear off a first-over effort, holding off a late charge from Monarchs Sequel (Mark MacDonald) in 1:56.2. Svanstedt also prevailed with his own pupil Non Stick ($6.30) in the $27,750 ninth race, kicking clear from the pocket to defeat Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3.   The greatest margin of victory went to Goosebump Hanover ($6.10), who drew off for a 4-1/4 length triumph in the $ 27,250 sixth race. After brushing to the lead on the first half of the far turn, Goosebump Hanover gradually extended her advantage over Lucky Kristen (Marcus Melander) and I Will Take Credit (Dan Daley), prevailing ultimately in 1:57.2. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the RC Royalty filly for trainer Ron Burke.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 15) evening. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

The beautiful evening at Ocean Downs opened with four early non-wagering events starting with the harness racing 2 YO filly trotters.   Bold Dresser (Explosive Matter-Pretty In Plaid) made it to the winners circle for the second time this summer in MD Standardbred Fund events for driver-trainer Oyvind Hegdal and owner Glat Kosher Racing trotting her mile in 2:01.1. Frederick Hertrich III is the breeder. Frank Milby driving Tiara (RC Royalty-Panarail) was on the move at the ¾ pole but was unable to catch Bold Dresser in time.   The colt/gelding trot was up next, with most of the freshmen acting up, Kent County (Deweycheatumnhowe-Duchess Of Kent) made a very strong showing on the track winning by almost 24 lengths in 2:01.2. Frank Milby got the driving assignment from trainer and co-owners Robert Shahan and Donald Marine. The breeder was Frederick Hertrich III. After an early break Roger Hammer was able to get High Octane (Donato Hanover-Gaytanes) back on stride to finish second.   In the first division of filly pacers, Breadcrumb Income (Nuclear Breeze-Rose Royce) charged down the stretch for reinsman Roger Plante Jr. to nip Use Your Noodle (Artzina-Lo Gophobia) at the wire in 2:00. Richard Hans is the breeder, owner and trainer of Breadcrumb Income.   The second division of filly pacers produced a stakes and track record when Corey Callahan pulled Freeze Out (American Ideal-Mr Deli's Filly) going up the backside to take the lead and hold off a strong challenge by Miss Read (Shadow Play-Yahoos) with Vic Kirby in the bike. Time for the mile was 1:55.3. Erv Miller trains for owners Paymaq Racing and Leland Mathias, Winbak Farm was the breeder.   The wagering card opened with the first division of colt/gelding pacers. Not content to sit third, driver Corey Callahan shot Power To Perform (Artzina-Shake Rattle Run) to the front before the half and never looked back stopping the clock in 1:57.4 over Canthelpbutwin (Artzina-Native Canadian). Kyle Morre trains for owner Donald Marine. The breeder was Winbak Farm.   The Erv Miller-Corey Callahan connection proved successful once again in the final stake of the night the second division of colt/gelding pacers. Redneck Rally (American Ideal-Ms Harrington) took the lead from Lissilas (Rocknroll Hanover-Lismorebella) at the head of the stretch wining by two and a half lengths in 1:56.2 for owners Anthony Lombardi , Paymaq Racing and Louis Willinger and breeder Winbak Farm. Corey Callahan picked up 4 wins for the night, 3 stakes and one overnight.   Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes continue Thursday night with 8 divisions of 3 year olds starting with non-wagering events at 6 pm. The Maryland Horse Industry Board will be in attendance making some winner circle presentations.   By Cheri Stambaugh

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