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It may only be Thursday but Ocean Downs in Maryland will be holding one of the richest harness racing programs in North America with the $117,700 Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Stakes. There will be six divisions for three-year-old trotters and pacers. The first two divisions are early, non-wagering races starting at 6:40 pm. The first division is for three-year-old pacing fillies for a purse of $17,100. Featured is Stylish Lady from post four for driver Tony Morgan. The daughter of By A Length is currently on a two-race winning streak for breeder, owner and trainer George Leager of Sudlersville, MD.  Stylish Lady has won three of her last four starts including a lifetime best 1:57.4 record at Harrington Raceway. The second non-wagering division has a purse of $16,250 and is for sophomore trotting fillies. Heading the field are recent winners Irish Sport (post 2) for driver Brett Brittingham and Glitter Galore (post 4) for driver Sean Bier. The pari-mutuel race card gets underway with MSRF stakes right in the very first race with the $16,400 second division for pacing fillies.  Starlit Eyes looks to be the overwhelming favorite as the daughter of CR Commando sports earnings this year of $128,000 with her big triumph coming on July 25 for driver Ross Wolfenden in winning the $100,000 DSBF Final at Harrington. The first $17,150 division for pacing colts is race 3 Rebel Soldier starts from post five for driver Steve Warrington. The gelded son of Quik Pulse Mindale, who is bred, owned and also trained by Warrington of Galena, Delaware, is on a two-race win streak and has won four of his last six starts, the fastest a lifetime mark of 1:55.4 right at Ocean Downs. The richest of the six division is the eight race for trotting colts and gelding for a purse of $32,550. The entry from trainer/driver Les Givens is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite and rightly so. Solo Command, who will be driven by Jim Morand, starts from two and has won $69,000 this year with three wins. He was second in the $100,000 DSBF Final and has a record of 1:59.1 at Ocean Downs. The tenth race $17,250 final division is for pacing fillies and headlining the field is Art Frenzy from post four for driver Jonathan Roberts. The filly by Art Major is owned and trained by Bill Popfinger of Lighthouse Point, FL and was undefeated at age two going 7 for 7. Now three, Art Frenzy has six wins in 2013 and earnings of more than $55,000. She also has a record of 1:53.2 and has won three of her last four starts. By Steve Wolf  

The members of the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association are proud to announce that Kayla Prentice is the recipient of the 2013 Dewey Degree Scholarship.   Prentice graduated from the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School with high honors this year and stood out among her peers for several reasons. She carried a 4.0 GPA for four consecutive years, was a scholar athlete in two sports and received the school’s President’s Award for excellence as well. During her time there, she was described as “a joiner” and was very active in school and community service activities as a member of the National Honor Society, the Red Cross Club, LEAD USA and Relay for Life. She was also a member of the cross country and track teams where she served as Captain for both. Besides her school activities she also worked several part time jobs for small businesses and families in her community as well as helping her family with their stable both in the morning and on race nights.     In her application, Prentice pointed out that “Not many kids can say they grew up with parents in the harness horse industry, and even fewer can say that they had the experience of nursing a harness horse with a broken leg back to health. Perhaps this is where my love for helping others developed” And it was that experience that prompted her to pursue a career in physical therapy. Prentice will be attending Syracuse University this fall majoring in health and exercise science as well as pre-med.    Kayla Prentice is the daughter of Jessica and Howard Okusko, Jr. who are both longtime trainers (and driver) at Vernon Downs and will receive her $1,500 check in the winner’s circle that her parents so often visit, on Sunday August 25th, the same night that will feature the $700,000 Zweig Memorial trot and the first round of the $50,000 Drivers’ Championship.   The Dewey Degree Scholarship is funded through generous donations from Ray Schnittker and Jeff Gural and is administered by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. It was named after Schnittker’s great Hambletonian winning trotter   Deweycheatumnhowe.   by Tim Bojarski    

Quoumba de Geuz (9f Urfist des Pres-Vanina de Mareuil) with trainer J-M Bazire aboard for Ecurie Vautors scored an upset victory in the 150,000 euro Gr. II International UET Masters Prix J.L. Lagardere. The game mare, a winner of 1.1 million euro lifetime, nailed Commander Crowe (10g Juliano Star-Somack-Mack Lobell) and Franck Ouvrie at the line in 1.15.5kr. Roxane Griff was third for Eric Raffin with Quinoa du Gers (Franck Nivard) and The Best Madrik (J. Et. Dubois) finishing fourth and fifth. The undercard was also closely contested. The Gr. III Prix Presse Hippique (2875 meters. Gr. II European, 85,000 euro purse) went to Vagabond du Mag (4g Ozio Royal-Perle du Ravary) and J-M Bazire over Village Mystic (4m Love You-Netchka d'Orgeres) and Louis Baudron in 1.14.4kr. Voltigeur de Myrt (Dominik Locqueneux), Clint W. Boko (Robin Bakker) and Villeroj (J-Et. Dubois) took spots three through five in a driving finish among this talented group of four year-olds. The Gr. III Prix de la Porte Versailles (75,000 euro purse, 2150 meters autostart) produced an all Italy finish with the top five being Italian registered invaders. Nephenta Lux (6f Pine Chip-Miss Camelia OM) won this event with relative ease for Franck Nivard and trainer Fabrice Souloy, over Noir Desir (6g Daguet Rapide-Ocanelle) with Michel Lenoir up. Nene'Degli Uliva (Alexandre Abrivard), Oibamba Effe (Pierre Levesque) and Orione Degli Dei (Pierre Vercruysse) were next across the line. by Thomas H. Hicks  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Owner Jesse De Long's She's A Foxie Lady (driver John De Long) chopped a full second off the Running Aces track record for two-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday night to capture a $13,500 race restricted to state-bred freshmen trotters.  The daughter of Sos Lunar Eclipse, trained when in Minnesota by Justin Anfinson, stormed home in 2:00.2 to lower the record that was set earlier this summer by Babygetyershineon.  Chewy Dunkerton (Steve Wiseman) and Al-Mar Passion (Rick Magee) were both within a length at the wire in the record-setting mile. A pair of $9000 Open Paces were also contested on the program with familiar names coming up winners.  In the horses and geldings split it was Restless Yankee (Nick Roland) resuming his winning ways after a pair of near misses in the weekly feature race.  It was the 39th career win for Ron Emerson and Mark Holtan's prize possession who is trained by Bob Lems.  He will be the likely favorite in his division when all the best Minnesota-sired horses line up for eleven $20,000 state championship races on August 31.  Ya U Betcha (Gerry Longo), another Minnesota-sired gelding, finished second with Six Gun (Wiseman) rounding out the trifecta. In the distaff feature, the outstanding three-year-old filly Show Runner beat the best older mares racing in Minnesota for the fifth time since moving up to the open ranks eight starts ago.  The daughter of Little Steven now boasts 11 seasonal triumphs and over $60,000 in 2013 earnings.  She is trained and driven by Tim Maier and owned by his wife Denise in partnership with Eileen Brodbar.  The winner overcame the assigned outside post to beat Still Electric (De Long) by a head with Cheese Plumper (Rick Magee) third. Racing resumes Wednesday night with just ten programs remaining in the Running Aces season. Gregg Keidel

Forbes harness racing trainer Phillip Thurston is preparing for an exciting weekend after his talented two year old filly Freedom Is qualified for Sunday's Breeders Crown Final. Thurston is enjoying his post work life after retiring nine months ago and is relishing the opportunity to travel with the daughter of Courage Under Fire. "In the past I have had to transfer my horses to professional trainers because I had a full time job as a school principal but when I retired at the start of the year it allowed me to stay involved a lot more and I've had a good time while travelling with Freedom Is," Thurston said. "I took her to Queensland and she qualified for the Nursery Final, finishing second in the final and although she might still be a maiden after having twelve starts she has earned a cheque every start." Freedom Is has drawn barrier one on Sunday afternoon and Thurston couldn't have been happier. "She has tremendous gate speed and the sprint lane at Melton is a bonus for her as well, as a racehorse she is faultless, she is relaxed when she arrives at the track, she has an old head on young shoulders and in my opinion is the full package." "When we got back from Queensland I actually put her in the paddock for five days thinking that she had done enough this season but she was bucking her brand off so I put her straight back into work for the Breeders Crown." The filly's dam is Alegria which makes Freedom Is a full sister to the well performed Glenferrie Alexis. "I flew to the New Zealand sales with a long term plan of building up a small but strong band of broodmares, I bought two well bred fillies, Freedom Is was one of them, the other one was by Elsu and is half sister to Terrorway but she hasn't made it as a two year old because of her size but I really like her as well." "I'm staying in Victoria with David and Lisa Miles and they have made us feel very welcome."   Courtesy of Harness Racing New South Wales  

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 13, 2013-Horseman should be advised that there will be no qualifiers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, August 14. Qualifiers will resume on Saturday, August 17 and will follow the regularly scheduled post time of 10:00 a.m. Entries for the Saturday qualifiers can be made to the Hoosier Park race office by 1 p.m. on Friday, August 16. Qualifiers will continue to follow a Wednesday and Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet; with an estimated start time of 10 a.m. Horsemen are advised that the condition sheets and entries can be found on Hoosier Park's website at . Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues on Wednesday, August 14 with a 13-race card highlighted by two-year-old late closing events. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all-harness racing meet will be conducted through November 9. by Emily Gaskin  

Commander Crowe headlines a fine, well-balanced field in Wednesday's Gr. II Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Hippodrome d'Enghien. A winner of almost 30 million SEK, the 10 year-old gelded son of Juliano Star-Somack-Mack Lobell is part of four horses entered by trainer Fabrice Souloy in this European Masters Series event for a 150,000 euro purse. Franck Ouvrie will drive the Commander in the 2875 meter contest. Significant competitors include The Best Madrik, Roxane Grif, Main Wise As and Quoumba de Guez. Napoleon Bar (D. Thomain) F. Souloy Marielles (P. Vercruysse) F. Souloy Roi Vert (A. Abrivard) J. Bazire Roxana de Barbray (D. Locqueneux) R. Donati Quinoa du Gers (F. Nivard) F. Souloy Quoumba de Guez (J.M. Bazire) J. Bazire The Best Madrik (J.Et. Dubois) J.Et. Dubois Main Wise As (P. Levesque) M. Lenders Roxane Grif (E. Raffin) S. Guarato Commander Crowe (F. Ouvrie) F. Souloy On August 10, in Italy, the GP Citta di Cesena went to Probo Op (4m From Above-Elimara-Lemon Dra) for driver Edy Moni. He took the winners share of the 45,100 euro purse by covering the 1660 meter course in 1.12.9kr. To view video click here by Thomas H. Hicks  

Hi, my name is John Holland, and I am a data-holic. I usually spend my day furtively downloading statistics and information; analyzing it, graphing it, correlating it and trying to glean insights into the true workings of the horse world. But today is different. Today, I was inspired to opine by a thing of great rarity in our struggle; a well researched article. It appeared in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch titled Horse slaughterhouse plans stalled in Missouri and it convinced me we are winning this struggle, at least for the moment. No, the article did not contain a new revelation about the outcome of a court case, or the result of a vote. It contained something even more telling: It documented Sue Wallis slipping beyond the gravitational pull of reality and into an alternate universe of anti-logic, where up is down and dark is light.  Sue begins the interview with her now familiar claim that she chose Missouri because, “If you draw a 500-mile circle from western Missouri you encapsulate 30 percent of the horse herd in the U.S.” After musing over the concept of the US horse population constituting a single “herd”, I began wondered where she got this statistic. You see, Sue and I share different forms of compulsion. I am a compulsive fact checker while Sue is a compulsive fact creator. So I ran the numbers and the result I got was 23.6% of the US horse population being within 500 miles (as the crow flies) of western Missouri. This means Sue’s exaggeration coefficient for this statement is 27% (i). This modest exaggeration would prove to be her perigee with reality before she would slingshot past it and off into the abyss of deep space. After describing the law suit that had resulted in the Cole County judge’s directive to the Department of Natural Resources to hold off on issuing Rains the discharge permit, the story returned to the interview with Sue. “The horse industry has been decimated,” Wallis said. “We have worthless horses being turned out and abandoned.” As I read this, I again felt compelled to calibrate Wallis’ definition of decimation. The original term came from quaint custom of the Roman army by which they would execute every tenth soldier of a disgraced unit so as to improve morale. Was every tenth horse in America being abandoned? The only state I could find that keeps abandonment data is New Mexico. During my research, they provided me with a very detailed list of all the estray horses they had picked up since 2006. Last year they picked up exactly 124 horses. Given the estimated 147,181 horses in New Mexico, this means that the abandonment rate is 0.06% or one horse in every 1,186. Since decimation would be one in ten (10%), Sue’s exaggeration coefficient had suddenly rocketed from 27% to 16,666%. Parroting the discredited 2011 GAO report, Wallis went on to say “People take care of animals that have value. It’s when they don’t that they neglect them.” This was the conjecture used to excuse why the GAO studied horse prices instead of actually studying neglect as it had been assigned to do. It is, of course, utter nonsense. Few household pets have any monetary value, yet most people take good care of them. It gets better. “Every breed registry is down 70 percent since 2007. Fewer colts are being born,” Wallis said. Apparently Wallis has data I have not seen; data showing among other things that only the birth rate of colts is in decline. Is there some strange gender asymmetry going on here? Or is it possible that the Executive Director of the International Equine Business Association, the expert of CNN interviews and countless articles does not know that colts are males and the proper term would have been foals? As for “every breed registry being off 70% since 2007”, Sue’s exaggeration coefficient is pretty substantial. According to the Jockey Club, thoroughbred foal registrations are off 34.5%, not 70%. Some breeds appear to have been almost unaffected, but the AQHA’s annual report does show about a 49% reduction in foal registrations from its peak in 2007. The pattern with Quarter Horses is a familiar one for those of us who have been around the horse world for a few decades. Breeds come into favor, resulting in indiscriminant breeding spurred on by the greed of their breed registry. Then the bubble bursts. Just before the decline began, the then executive vice president of the AQHA, Bill Brewer, gave an impassioned speech at their annual convention urging more breeding so there would be “enough good horses in the future”. A great breed has been degraded in the process. Quarter Horses now commonly suffer from a wide range of maladies such as GBED, HERDA, HYPP, and Navicular. The most common complaint of owners is that they “bred the feet off them.” This could explain why AQHA membership is down 18.6% since 2007. I wondered to myself, would Sue suggest killing off a bunch of their remaining members as a solution to the decline? Sue continues, “That’s 70 percent less feed being sold, 70 percent fewer jobs, 70 percent fewer veterinarians.” Apparently Sue believes that a short term drop in foal (excuse me colt) births means that the whole horse population suddenly drops by the same percentage. Despite Sue’s best efforts, horses do often live well into their 20s and beyond, meaning that recent foal crops would represent only a few percent of the population. With a nearly 50% decrease in foals, the population of registered quarter horses dropped from 3,218,113 in 2007 to 2,978,776 in 2012 according to the AQHA annual reports, a decline of just 7.4%. Here Sue gets an exaggeration coefficient of 945%. But at this point her thinking turns to what I will call anti-logic, because if it came into contact with rational thought the two would annihilate each other with a thunderous clap, probably decapitating their host. She is proclaiming that all of this devastation is because we have too few horses as a direct result of not killing enough of them! This would be laughable if 2012 had not seen more US horses slaughtered than any year since 1994! One survival strategy of prey animals is to synchronize their birthing so as to overwhelm their predators. Sue has adopted this strategy with her spontaneously created facts. She spews so many at one time that at least a few have a good chance to get past us unchallenged. At this point in the interview, Sue seems to sense her interviewer is not buying her nonsense. So she throws her hyperbole engine into warp drive, saying “This has wrecked communities — all because of the elitist snooty arrogance of this bunch of people telling us what’s culturally acceptable to eat.” The community of Boggy Bottom, the neighborhood behind the Dallas Crown slaughter house, was truly devastated by the pollution, stench and crime caused by the plant. I witnessed it firsthand. But where is Sue’s example of a community devastated by a lack of slaughter? Apparently with anti-logic you automatically get an anti-logic twin to Boggy Bottom, at least in the brain of Sue Wallis. It is impossible for me to calculate the exaggeration factor for this statement because, since there is no truth at all to be exaggerated, it would require dividing by zero. I think I now fully understand Einstein’s quote about only the universe and human stupidity being infinite. Yet the second half of the outburst is the most interesting of all. Sue had apparently learned that the influential Busch brothers (former owners of Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch) had thrown their considerable weight into the battle on the side of the horses. Victoria McCullough had sent them a link to our report How the GAO deceived Congress, and Victoria said she thinks the outrage at this government deceit had caused them to weigh in. Lately there has been an avalanche of high profile support for ending horse slaughter completely. In the government sector; President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Vilsack have all come out against horse slaughter. At the state level, New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez, former governor Bill Richardson, Attorney General Gary King and others have spoken up for the horses. Celebrities such as the incredibly influential Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg have also taken a stand. But most aggravating of all for Sue are the “snooty, arrogant billionaires”. This is because Sue knows that the money from big agriculture was the only advantage she had in this battle. Internationally known equestrian Victoria McCullough and her “snooty arrogant” friends, are serving to balance the scales by using their resources to multiply the impact of the tireless grass roots work of thousands of horse lovers and animal welfare organizations. This combination may well bring Slaughterhouse Sue crashing back to reality. (i) How does a 6.4% error become an exaggeration factor of 27%? Use this formula ((30-23.6)*100)/23.6), or ask your friendly local nerd. John Holland Equine Welfare Alliance

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 10, 2013--Statesman N (Brian Sears) prevailed from a loose pocket Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 Open Handicap Pace. Sent off as the even-money favorite from the pylons, Statesman N was content to play understudy to Sapphire City (Jason Bartlett) through soft early intervals of :27.3 and :56.2. It was Dancin' Yankee (Eric Goodell) prompting first-up through a :27.1 third quarter (1:23.3). Sapphire City repelled that one, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Statesman N edged out, and did get there..barely, winning by a neck in 1:51.3. Sapphire City held second over a pylon-skimming American Rage (Jim Pantaleano), with Clear Vision (George Brennan) and Fat Man's Alley (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. For Statesman N, a 6-year-old Down Under Christian Cullen gelding trained by Mark Harder co-owners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables and Peter Venturini, he returned $4 for his sixth win in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15, with the triple returning $85. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. Frank Drucker  

ANDERSON, Ind.—August 10, 2013—Hoosier Park’s track surface continues to sizzle as track records continue to fall this season. The 14-race card on Saturday, August 10 was highlighted by two track record performances in the second round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action. For the third time in one week, the track record was lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval, marking the eleventh track record that has been re-established this season. Night Pro became Indiana’s newest sub 1:50 pacer and Hoosier Park’s newest track record holder after he powered home a winner in 1:49 in the second round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and gelding. With Pete Wrenn at the lines, Night Pro used a perfect pocket trip to establish a new lifetime best mark and lower the track record by a full second. The previous track record for three-year-old pacing colts was 1:50.0, a mark set by Custard The Dragon and driver Montrell Teague in the Hoosier Cup on June 25, 2011. Using a :26.2 final quarter, Night Pro was able to wear down the tiring leader, Sweet Talkin Satin, late in the stretch to finish a nose in front. Right Touch and Ray Paver also staged a big rally late in the lane but only managed to finish second while Sweet Talkin Satin and Trace Tetrick held on for third.  As the heavy betting favorite, Night Pro returned $3.60 at the window. Scoring his eleventh win of the season, the sophomore colt was also victorious in the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes championship at Hoosier Park on Saturday, July 20. Unraced at two, Night Pro is trained and owned by Dale Decker of Temperance, MI. A $14,000 yearling purchase, the son of Pro Bono Best is the first foal from World Champion, Midnight Jewel. Night Pro has now won 11 of 14 lifetime starts while amassing over $180,000. Lady Blitz followed suit in her division of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies when she stormed home a winner in 1:54.2. With Verlin Yoder at the lines, Lady Blitz used a sharp, front running score to establish a new lifetime best mark and notch her sixth win of the season. Using a :28.3 final panel, Lady Blitz was able to hold off a late surge from the pocket sitting Playful Innocence to win by four lengths. Playful Innocence and Dan Shetler finished second while Express Justice rallied gamely to round out the trifecta. The previous track record of 1:55.2 was established by Playful Innocence and Dan Shetler just one month ago in the first round of the Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained, owned and driven by Verlin Yoder, Lady Blitz has now won six of ten lifetime starts while bankrolling over $150,000. Sired by Keystone Blitz, the sophomore filly has won seven of 22 lifetime outings. Live racing resumes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, August 13 with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. Live racing will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9.

Scarborough, Maine (Thursday, August 8, 2013) - CCC, the undefeated Maine Sire Stakes star du jour, will bring his five-race win streak to Scarborough Downs on Friday afternoon set to test his mettle against all the top contenders in the freshman colt trotting division which, for the first time this season, draws into one single 9 horse field going for the enhanced purse offering of $10,809. Driven and trained by Kim Ireland for owner Dennis and Deborah Foss, the prolific winner will match strides for only the 2nd time this season with his chief rival, Bickmore, a trotter who himself will ride a three-race win streak into the much anticipated battle. In their only other meeting, CCC defeated Bickmore by the margin of a head back on July 5th at Scarborough Downs - that was the last time that Bickmore tasted defeat. Maine Sire Stakes rules have innocently conspired to keep these two trotters apart for much of the season as the numerically challenged division has been split and raced in dashes containing as few as 4 or 5 horses. When the box closed at Scarborough this week though, while 9 colts were entered only 8 were declared eligible and the division was drawn into one split. Stephen La Casse, trainer of Icantelluonething, the horse declared ineligible, challenged the ruling alleging an incorrectly charted line from the Northern Maine Fair, an allegation which was proved correct, and the race was then ordered redrawn into a 9-horse field scoring 8 abreast with one trailer. This redraw dramatically changes the complexion of the race with CCC trading in the coveted post 3 for a seat behind the 6 screen. Bickmore lost his spot on the gate as he was forced to trade in the favorable post 4 for the uncertainty of the trailing 9 spot. Both CCC and Bickmore have relied on early gate speed to dominate their opponents this season but that strategy now becomes a bit more risky as the two-year-old trotters will be asked to do something they have never done before; CCC perhaps to leave from the outside wing in a 9-horse field and Bickmore to navigate the possible traffic and confusion sometimes found from the second tier. In any event, the race becomes a much more interesting contest from a wagering perspective as the two Stakes stars, who have generally been sent to the post at 10 or 20 cents to the dollar, should command significantly more relative value at the mutuel windows on Friday and with steady starters posted to the inside on the gate, a major upset is certainly not out of the question. First post for Friday's card at Scarborough is slated for 4:00 PM (EDT) with the showdown between CCC and Bickmore scheduled for race five. Live racing continues throughout the weekend with Saturday's card going postward at 4:00 PM and the Sunday matinee, featuring the 9th annual Family Fun Day festival, getting underway at 1:05 PM. by Mike Sweeney  


Lady Rev was victorious in the $6,000 Open Trot on Monday (August 5) in Northfield Park’s opening race.  Oliver Hepner Jr. trains and co-owns the mare with Kathleeen Duszynski and John Caterinacci.  Hepner called upon Frank Harris to drive the six year-old trotter.    Lady Rev (Revenue S-Red Mile Lane-Lindy Lane) started from post four.  Harris took her off the gate and sat fifth through an opening quarter of :28.1.  Lady Rev pulled second over nearing the :58 half and tipped three wide approaching three-quarters in 1:27.4.  Lady Rev took the lead in the stretch and bested her competition by 1 ¼-lengths, stopping the clock at 1:57.4.  Completing the race were Senator Sam, Buckeye Patty, Norma’s Rose, La’sent, Giulio and Action SJ.         Monday’s win was the eighth victory in 2013 for Lady Rev, who now has 24 career successes and earnings of $96,158.  She returned $14.20 to win. by Ayers Ratliff

Tioga Downs held the Empire Breeders’ Classic eliminations for 3-year old pacing colts on Sunday afternoon. Vegas Vacation and Sunfire Blue Chip each captured their respective $12,500 divisions sent off by the betting public as the heavy favorites. In the first division, Vegas Vacation (Brian Sears) got away third as Odds On Equuleus (John Campbell) took the field by the opening quarter in 26.4. Campbell then got away with a second quarter breather of 28.4 to reach the half mile mark of the race in 55.3. At the half, Sears sent Vegas Vacation first over and at the three quarter mile mark he was head to head with Odds On Equuleus by three quarters in 1:22.2. Around the final turn, Vegas Vacation eased away from the leader to draw clear in the stretch and win by two and a half lengths on cruise control in 1:49.2. “We had sort of an eased first up trip today and he finished very strong on the end of the mile. He is a major contender in the division this year, and he will get one of the big ones this year” said winning driver Brian Sears following the victory. In the second division, Sunfire Blue Chip fresh off of his Adios victory, quickly left the gate from post position number four and was in control by the quarter in 27.3. The duo then put up fractions of 55 and 1:23.2 before easily pacing clear of the field to win by a length and a quarter in 1:50.2. Jimmy Takter trains the 3-year old son of American Ideal – Shot Togo Bluechip, who has won six of ten seasonal starts good for more than $370,000 in earnings. “He won real easy today and we saved a good bit for the final next week so I was really happy with him today” said winning driver Yannick Gingras following the victory. “He has been getting better all year long and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else going into the second half of the season, including Captaintreacherous” said Gingras. Qualifying for next week’s $257,250 Empire Breeders’ Classic final were: Vegas Vacation, Sir Cary’s Z Tam, Doctor Butch, Odds On Equuleus, Sunfire Blue Chip, Captive Audience, Bet The Moon, Olde Time Hockey, and drawing the last spot from the fifth place finishers was Source Of Pride, Swift As A Shadow will be AE1 for the final.     Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Friday, August 9th with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us on our website at . by Dustin Ross

August 4, 2013 – While all eyes were centered on the Meadowlands in the afternoon, Handicapper Anne Stepien was able to take advantage of the three Hanover Colt Stakes at Balmoral Park in the evening to take the week’s top honors from Garnet Barnsdale in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs.  At the end of the nine races conducted at the Meadowlands, Barnsdale led Stepien, but where Barnsdale was shut out at Balmoral Park, Stepien managed to pick up $162 in the Hanover Stakes turning her $109 deficit to a $53.10 victory for the week showing a weekly net profit of $446.60 to Barnsdale’s $393.50.  Perhaps more importantly, Stepien managed to move this week from fifth place to second place in the overall standings, behind leader Richard Scott who was idle this week and leads by $647.  Besides Stepien’s weekly net profit of $446.60 and Barnsdale’s profit of $393.50, Dennis O’Hara joined the duo with a weekly profit of $144.20.    The contest standings are:     Standings as of August 3, 2013   Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott $0.00 $792.29   1st 4 2nd Ann Stepien $446.60 $145.45 ($646.84) 5th 0 3rd Rusty Nash ($11.22) $20.03 ($772.26) 2nd 1 4th Dennis O'Hara $144.20 ($159.45) ($951.74) 3rd 2 5th Earl Paulson $0.00 ($435.35) ($1,227.64) 8th 2 6th Mark McKelvie ($36.00) ($607.24) ($1,399.53) 4th 0 7th Ray Garnett ($67.20) ($1,044.15) ($1,836.44) 6th 1 8th Gordon Waterstone ($205.90) ($1,225.60) ($2,017.89) 9th 3 9th Garnet Barnsdale $393.50 ($1,487.00) ($2,279.29) 10th 6 10th Sally Hinckley ($287.10) ($1,584.90) ($2,377.19) 7th 0   Ten grace days permitted.  After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race.     Key Hits (Hanover Stakes at Balmoral Park, all others at Meadowlands)  Garnet Barnsdale – Peter Haughton Memorial - $15 Trifecta Box ($30 Ticket) paid $109.50, U.S. Pacing Championship - $30 Win Wager paid $744.00; Ray Garnett – Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division $5 Exacta Box ($30) paid $160.00; Mark McKelvie – Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division $10 Win, Place, and Show ($30) paid $106.00; Rusty Nash – U.S. Pacing Championship - $2 Exacta Wheel ($18) paid $259.00; Dennis O’Hara – Hambletonian 2nd Elimination - $8 Exacta Partial Wheel ($24) paid $176.00; Hambletonian Oaks - $4 Trifecta Key ($48) paid $168.40; Anne Stepien – Hambletonian 2nd Elimination - $10 Win, Place ($20) paid $98.00, Hambletonian Oaks - $5 Trifecta Key ($30) paid $210.50, U.S. Pacing Championship - $1 Exacta Box ($12) paid $192.50, $9 Place and Show ($18) paid $124.20,  Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division - $10 Win, Place, and Show ($30) paid $106.00. Contest Schedule This Week Wednesday, August 7, 2013 – Harrah’s Philadelphia - $97,323(Divided) E.H. Harriman Cup (2yoC&G Trot) by Allan Schott  

East Rutherford, NJ – Creatine, a 5-1 mild long shot, was given an alert drive by Mike Lachance and easily captured the 8th race $70,000 second elimination division of the Hambletonian with a 1:52.4 victory. He paid $13.80 to win. Leaving strong from post eight, Creatine and Lachance went right out and took the early lead away from Wheeling N Dealin (Sylvain Filion) and then got down to business of cutting the mile with quarters in :27, :55 and 1:23.4. Wheeling N Dealin stayed right on their back as Aperfectyankee (Jim Oscarsson) came first over late but could not catch up to the race leader.  Lachance had no trouble coming down the stretch Creatine went on to win by two open lengths. Wheeling N Dealin was second with Aperfectyankee third and also having a chance to make the final was fourth place finisher Dontyouforgetit (Yannick Gingras). Trained by Bob Stewart, it was the third win this year Creatine, a son of Andover Hall, who is owned by Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Pa.  “ I know my horse,” Lachance said, “And he can be good and has been good, but not perfect. His last two starts have been good but he was at his best today.” by Steve Wolf  

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