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LEXINGTON, KY--The Monday (Sept. 21) card at The Red Mile featured eight $50,000 finals of the Kentucky Commonwealth--a division for freshmen and sophomores of each sex and gait. Of the eight finals, the betting favorites managed to deliver in all but one. Trainer-driver Verlin Yoder vaulted Miss Vet Hanover out of the pocket into the stretch to post the lone upset in the final of the afternoon's Commonwealth events, the Two-Year-Old Filly Trot. At the start, 9-5 favorite Hey There Delilah broke stride with 3-1 second-choice Adirondack soon going into a gallop as the field entered the first turn. Princessa pushed to lead the field by the quarter in :28.3 with Miss Vet Hanover situated in the pocket. The field rolled in line to a :57.1 half and towards three-quarters in 1:26.2, setting up for a stretch-drive sprint. Yoder angled Miss Vet Hanover from the pocket and inched towards Princessa through the stretch as Argyle gained ground to the center of the track and Shape Of Beauty surged through a seam at the pylons. Miss Vet Hanover continued to dig into Princessa, who then gave way in the final strides of a 1:54.1 mile. Shape Of Beauty finished third with Argyle taking fourth. Returning $15.40 to win, Miss Vet Hanover has now banked $35,960 for owner Verlin Yoder following her maiden-breaking score. Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. bred the Yankee Glide filly. Driver Andrew McCarthy set sail with Sail By, motoring to the front early and crushing her rivals to win the Three-Year-Old Filly Pace in 1:50.4 while giving trainer Tony Alagna his first of three victories in the Commonwealth finals. Sent the 2-5 favorite, Sail By bolted to the lead from post 6, clearing Alleyesonme As to a :26.2. She kept her competition chasing while strolling through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.2 before opening her lead into the stretch. Pristine Beauty circled Alleyesonme As as they tired to the inside and chased the winner Sail By to finish second, seven-and-a-quarter lengths behind. Pure Decadence rallied for third. Bred and owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Sail By won her fifth race from eight starts this season and her seventh from 18 overall, earning $87,680. The Captaintreacherous filly paid $2.60 to win. Scott Zeron later steered Captain Video, taking the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace with the Tony Alagna trainee in 1:49.4. Floating to the lead after a :28 first quarter, Captain Video pocketed stablemate Major Risky moving for the backstretch and maintained his speed towards a :55.4 half. Starship edged first over from third circling the final turn with Mancrush in tow towards three-quarters in 1:23.1. Mancrush kicked off his cover into the stretch and stormed after Captain Video, who then repelled the late challenger to win by a neck. Major Risky finished third with Lottery Winner closing for fourth. Bred by Riverview Breeding LLC, Visionary Breeders LLC and Joseph Di Scala Jr., Captain Video competes for owners Riverview Racing LLC, Alagna Racing LLC and Joseph Di Scala Jr. The Captaintreacherous colt scored his fifth win from six starts this season and his seventh from 13 overall, pushing his bankroll to $49,700. He paid $3.00 to win. Driver Joe Bongiorno protected the lead with 1-5 favorite Lady Midnight to score a decisive victory in the Two-Year-Old Filly Pace and complete Alagna's afternoon hat trick. Circling by early leader Classicist after a :28 opening quarter, Lady Midnight kept her speed going to a :55.4 half as Beachblanketlindy mounted a first-over bid moving to the far turn. Beachblanketlady cruised closer to Lady Midnight as she decelerated to three-quarters in 1:24.1 but began spinning her wheels into the stretch as Lady Midnight sprinted away. The Captaintreacherous filly widened her lead in progress to a 1:51.4 score over stablemate Odds On Roxette rallying for second. Odds On Badd Bunny closed down the center of the track for third. Now a four-time winner from seven starts, Lady Midnight has banked $58,715 for owners and breeders Brittany Farms LLC and Marvin Katz along with co-owner Lynn Katz. She paid $2.40 to win. Almanac sat mid-pack through most of the mile before driver Andrew McCarthy let the A Rocknroll Dance colt loose and run down pacesetter Winner Is Coming to win the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace. Winner Is Coming cleared command from Beach Party by the quarter in :27.4 with Tarkio racing third and Almanac fourth. The field continued single file to the half in :56.3 and by three-quarters in 1:24.2, where McCarthy began to roll Alamanc. Through the stretch the Brian Brown trainee narrowed on Winner Is Coming's lead to land a head in front at the finish of a 1:51.2 mile. Beach Party gave chase in third with Red Right Hand taking fourth. Bred and owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Almanac won his third race from six starts, earning $46,123. He paid $3.00 to win. Odds-on favorite Molto Bene ranged towards the top, inherited control when the tempo setter lost stride and from there strode to a 1:53.2 victory in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. Aperfectcrystal took control to a :27.3 first quarter, but yielded for the pocket up the backstretch when Graceful Winner rushed out of third to the front before a :56 half. Driver Dexter Dunn pulled Molto Bene from fourth rounding the final turn as Graceful Winner broke stride, leaving Aperfectcrystal back on the lead. By three-quarters in 1:25.4, Molto Bene matched strides with Aperfectcrystal, who then started to gallop straightening for the finish. Molto Bene cruised on the lead to the finish with Watayankee two-and-three-quarter lengths behind closing for second. Fortune Telln Lady, off a pocket trip, took third. A Father Patrick filly bred by Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee and Marvin Katz, Molto Bene competes for owner Frederick Hertrich III. She collected her third win from nine starts this season and her fifth from 20 overall--earning $73,419--and paid $2.40 to win. Even-money choice Media Mogul swept to the front approaching the half and cruised to a 1:54.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Positioned third to a :28.1 first quarter, driver Scott Zeron zipped Media Mogul off the pylons and to the lead heading to a :56.4 half. Pocket-sitter Six O'Clock News began to lose ground on the leader into the final turn, prompting Lockbox to pull first over nearing three-quarters in 1:25.3. But Media Mogul widened his lead to three lengths entering the stretch with Flemsteen rallying from fifth to finish second, three-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner, in a photo with Lockbox. Owned by W. Donovan, Thomas Dillon, Purnel & Libby LLC and Joe Sbrocco, Media Mogul won his second race from seven starts, earning $68,044. The Muscle Hill colt--bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz--paid $4.00 to win. Sermon emerged from a pocket trip and ripped to the finish to post a 1:53.4 victory in the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Cupid Hanover cruised to the lead from post 8 heading to a :28.1 quarter, but faced pressure into the backstretch when Awesomedabra marched uncovered from fourth to the front. Approaching a :55.1 half, Awesomedabra broke stride, sliding to the center of the course before regaining his gait into the final turn. Meanwhile Cupid Hanover raced unchallenged to three-quarters in 1:24.4 until Sermon tipped out for the drive to the finish. Driver Kasper Forget sent the Muscle Hill gelding after the lead at the head of the lane and drew clear to win by four-and-a-quarter lengths over Generous Pour rallying for second, with Cupid Hanover faltering to third. Competing for owners Consus Racing Stable Inc. and Longbridge Trotting Inc., Sermon won his third race from 11 starts, earning $50,545. Per Engblom trains the $4.80 winner bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC and Melvin Hartman. The regular meet at The Red Mile concludes Tuesday (Sept. 22) with races scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Racing will resume at The Red Mile on Friday (Oct. 2) to start the six-day Grand Circuit meet, culminating to Kentucky Futurity Day on Sunday (Oct. 11). Racing begins each day of the Grand Circuit meeting also at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY -- Glamour-boy phenom Tall Dark Stranger continued his winning ways when holding off stablemate Fortify to win the $250,000 Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace Final of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS), which was one of eight harness racing divisions on the $2-million championship card Sunday (Sept. 20) at The Red Mile. Securing the pocket to a :26.1 first quarter, Tall Dark Stranger slid off the pylons and around early leader Caliber to lead the field by the half in :54.2. The North America Cup champ continued on a loose lead to three-quarters in 1:21.3 as Fortify mounted a late-race challenge from pocket turning for the finish. The Nancy Takter-trained pair raced on equal terms to mid-stretch but Tall Dark Stranger surged back to the front to win by a neck in 1:48. Captain Kirk finished third with Sea Of Life fourth. Passing $1 million in earnings this season and padding his career earnings to $1,741,645 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger won his eighth race from nine starts this season and his 16th from 18 overall. Yannick Gingras drove the Bettors Delight colt--bred by James Avritt Sr. out of his mare Precocious Beauty--who paid $2.10 to win. Driver David Miller began his big day with Blue Diamond Eyes, besting 2-5 favorite Making Waves in a 1:51 mile to win the Two-Year-Old Filly Pace and his first of four finals on the afternoon. Away third as Making Waves paced to the quarter in :28.3, Blue Diamond Eyes edged off the pylons moving to the backstretch and brushed to the top heading towards a :56.4 half. Making Waves tracked the leader tightly from the pocket rounding the final turn to three-quarters in 1:24.3, where the public choice angled outside for the attack. Through the stretch Making Waves dug into Blue Diamond Eyes, but the Ron Burke trainee repelled the pocket popper and hold sway by one-and-a-half lengths. Making Waves settled for second with High Minded sliding up the pegs for third and Single Girl snagging fourth. Off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, Blue Diamond Eyes added a fourth win to her seven-start resume and pushed her bankroll to $317,042 for owners Thomas and Scott Dillon. The Brittany Farms-bred Captaintreacherous filly returned $6.40 to win. Undefeated Always B Miki colt Perfect Sting kept his record intact with a blowout 1:49.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace in rein to David Miller. Native's Filou fired from post 7 to the lead entering the first turn and took the field by the quarter in :28.2. Perfect Sting soon tipped outside from fourth and advanced towards the lead moving into the backstretch, but Native's Filou accelerated towards the half to stretch out Perfect Sting to a :55 midpoint. The 1-9 favourite cleared command heading to the final turn and led to three-quarters in 1:22.4 as Native's Filou angled from the pocket to challenge the leader late, though levelled out late while Perfect Sting strode away to a two-and-a-half length victory. Captains Place slid up the pylons for third with Fulsome taking fourth. Winning all six of his starts, Perfect Sting--a homebred for Brittany Farms LLC and Val D'Or Farms--has earned $194,400. Joe Holloway, who trained the colt's dam Shebestingin, conditions the $2.10 winner. Off a runner-up finish in the Peaceful Way Stakes, Lady Chaos returned stateside with a sweeping move late in the mile for David Miller to score at 6-1 in the Two-Year-Old Filly Trot. Race-favorite Darlene Hanover dashed by early leader Beautiful Game after a :27.4 opening quarter to lead the field into the backstretch. Dutiful raced third while Miller floated Lady Chaos slightly off the pegs from fourth as Darlene Hanover strolled to the half in :56.1. The Linda Toscano trainee flushed Dutiful for cover into the final turn but fanned three wide by three-quarters in 1:25 for the stretch drive. Darlene Hanover clung to a diminishing lead as Beautiful Game veered out of the pocket to take a short lead before Lady Chaos, towards the center of the track, stormed by to win in 1:53.1. Eazy Pass rallied to best Darlene Hanover in the final strides for third. Now a four-time winner from seven starts, Lady Chaos has banked $248,303 for owners Richard Gutnick, Thomas Pontone, Joseph Lozito Jr. and Enviro Stables Ltd. The Cantab Hall filly bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Av And Son Bloodstock LLC paid $14.40 to win. Linda Toscano and Dave Miller teamed in the following final with Baby Your The Best to upset 1-9 favorite Reflect With Me with a 1:49.3 mile in the Three-Year-Old Filly Pace. Pettycoat Business protected position from the pylon post moving to a :27.3 first quarter but yielded control when Baby Your The Best brushed first over from third into the backstretch. Baby Your The Best kept the pace hot to a :55.2 half and to three-quarters in 1:23.1 as Reflect With Me attempted to gain ground first over. Spinning for the finish Baby Your The Best scooted away from Reflect With Me, extending her lead to three-and-a-half lengths at the finish with Pettycoat Business finishing third and Gai Waterhouse fourth. A Captaintreacherous filly owned by Richard and Joanne Young, Baby Your The Best won her third race from nine starts this season and her fifth from 22 overall, earning $457,947. Steve Stewart, Conquest Acres Lp and Michael Robinson bred the $14.20 winner. Per Engblom trainee Beads trotted a paid workout at the start of the Sunday card with a 1:51.2 romp in the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Driver Brian Sears sent the Archangel colt to the point from post 2 and held a firm lead through fractions of :28.2, :56.2 and 1:24 before widening to a three-and-three-quarter length victory as the 1-9 favorite. Barley inched by pocket-sitter Ontopofthehill to take second while Simsalabim gave chase in fourth. Beads, bred by Atlantic Trot Inc. and Steve Stewart, competes for owners Renee Spahr and Christina Takter. The colt collected his fifth win from 10 starts this season and his seventh from 18 overall, earning $260,463. He paid $2.10 to win. Hypnotic AM surpassed the million-dollar plateau with a 1:51.1 victory as the 3-5 favorite in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. The Marcus Melander-trained Chapter Seven filly landed in the pocket behind Panem moving to a :27.2 opening quarter. As Tuscany parked and progressed uncovered before going offstride into the backside, Hypnotic AM vacated pocket and circled to the front heading to a :55 half. Crucial edged first over and rolled towards the leader with Ms Savannah Belle in tow circling the final turn, drawing within a length of the lead by three-quarters in 1:23.2. Hypnotic AM drifted slightly off the pylons through the stretch, leaving a seam for Panem to slide through and secure second while Crucial gave pursuit from third and Ms Savannah Belle settled for fourth. Bred by Courant A B for owner Courant Inc., Hypnotic AM won her fifth race from nine starts this season and her 12th from 18 overall, amassing $1,041,260 in earnings. Brian Sears drove the $3.40 winner. With 7-5 favorite Cuatro De Julio losing stride into the first turn, Venerate vaulted to the lead and cruised to a 1:51.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, a fifth of a second off the world record. Venerate led pylon-starter Cricket Fashion by the quarter in :28 with New Legacy racing third and Bidensky fourth. The Julie Miller-trained colt by Love You continued uncontested to the half in :56.1 and by three-quarters in 1:24.4 chased by Cricket Fashion as his lead grew. Venerate hit the finish clear of Cricket Fashion with New Legacy farther back in third and Bidensky taking fourth. Owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc., Venerate won his third race from six starts, earning $188,766. Steve Stewart and Kemppi Stable bred the $10.40 winner while Andy Miller sat in the bike. State-bred stakes action continues at The Red Mile on Monday (Sept. 21) with eight $50,000 finals of the Kentucky Commonwealth Stakes for freshmen and sophomores of each sex and gait. First-race post time for the 12-race card is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A first-over grind proved no problem for even-money harness racing favorite Darlene Hanover, who dashed away in the stretch to win the $350,300 Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands.   In his fourth victory on the day, Queensland native Andy McCarthy floated Darlene Hanover off the gate while Ixia Maculata S barreled for the lead from post eight into a :27.1 first quarter. May Karp raced in second as her stablemate Mazzarati rolled first-over towards the front and cleared command midway up the backstretch. At that point, Altar, the second choice at 3-1, galloped while uncovered heading to a :56.3 half.   Darlene Hanover ventured into the far turn with no cover, racing sixth, and began to advance towards Mazzarati. By three-quarters in 1:26.3, Darlene Hanover ranged to within a length of command and soon downed the tiring pacesetter at the head of the stretch. The Chapter Seven-Danielle Hanover filly strolled through the lane in progress to a 1:55.1 victory while chased by Material Girl, who rallied from third-over to take second. Ineffable closed for third.       "I actually didn't think I would see the inside," McCarthy said of Darlene Hanover's overland grind to victory. "The way it worked out, I was happy to be first-over. I didn't really use all of her the first half, so I kept going up there and I could just hang onto her until the head of the stretch, and she turned around nice."   Darlene Hanover won her second race from four starts and has earned $188,700 for Yankeeland Partners LLP. Brett Bittle conditions the filly who paid $4.00 to win.   by Ray Cotolo, for the Hambletonian Society

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Through quick fractions and minimal movement, Tony Alagna trainee Reflect With Me persevered and powered past stablemate Lady Lou to win the $90,525 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old harness racing pacing fillies on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands.   Driver Andrew McCarthy positioned the 1-9 Captaintreacherous filly in fourth while Peaky Sneaky shot to the front and took the field past the quarter in :26. Lady Lou drafted behind the pacesetter, with New Year sitting behind the top two in third.   Peaky Sneaky raced uncontested to a :54.1 half and maintained her speed as McCarthy cued Reflect With Me to make her move into the final turn. Reflect With Me gradually gained ground, grabbing brief cover from pocket-popping Lady Lou by three-quarters in 1:22, and had one target remaining moving through the stretch. Reflect With Me reeled in her stablemate into the final sixteenth, sliding to a neck victory over Lady Lou, with New Year finishing third and Rock Star Melinda fourth.       Undefeated in four starts this year and winning her ninth race from 15 overall, Reflect With Me expanded her bankroll to $670,385 for owner-breeder Brittany Farms LLC and co-owner Brad Grant.   Reflect With Me returned $2.10 to win.   by Ray Cotolo, for the Hambletonian Society

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With open road late in the stretch, Filibuster Hanover fired past harness racing horses to land a head in front at the finish of the $61,540 Sam McKee Memorial Consolation on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands.   Our Majordan A, the 6-5 favorite, launched to the lead from post six while Jesse Duke N pushed from the pylons to race in the pocket. Filibuster Hanover sat fourth to a :25.4 first quarter and stayed put at the pylons as Our Majordan A posted middle fractions of :54 and 1:22.2.   Rounding the final turn, Donttellmeagain advanced first over to apply mild late pressure with Trump Nation and Geez Joe in tow -- second- and third-over, respectively. Into the stretch, Our Majordan A maintained a narrow lead as Jesse Duke N squeezed through a slim opening at the pylons, edging by the tiring pacesetter to take a short mid-stretch lead before Filibuster Hanover -- angling to the center of the track off a covered trip at the pylons -- gathered momentum and charged past to win in the final strides of a 1:49.1 mile. Our Majordan A settled for third.   Returning $58.40 to win, Filibuster Hanover won his first race from five starts this season and his 14th from 75 overall and has earned $1,758,544. Ron Burke trains the 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding for owners Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. Matt Kakaley drove the winner.   by Ray Cotolo, for the Hambletonian Society    

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A sweeping three-wide stretch move earned Reflect With Me and driver Andy McCarthy a 1:49 win in the $194,400 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old pacing fillies at The Meadowlands on Saturday (July 18).   Reflect With Me was nowhere near the early competition ,as Rocknificent rushed to the early lead followed by Priceless. But just as the :26.3 first quarter was clocked, favorite JK First Lady moved to the lead. The outer tier formed behind a first-over challenge by Marloe Hanover, with Reflect With Me getting cover through the :55.2 half and passing Rocknificent for third on the inside.   JK First Lady pushed through three-quarters in 1:23 as Lyons Sentinel paved a path from cover to challenge for the lead going into the stretch. Those two dueled for control, but Reflect With Me rolled by them. JK First Lady gave way to Rocknificent, who found room on the inside to pick up third as Reflect With Me reached the finish line three-quarters of a length in front of Lyons Sentinel. Priceless finished fourth.       Tony Alagna trains Reflect With Me, a daughter of Captaintreacherous and Remember When. The filly won her second of two starts this season for owners Brittany Farms LLC and Bradley Grant. Reflect With Me paid $19.40 to win.   by Frank Cotolo, for The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Andy McCarthy motored Ramona Hill to the front from post 10 and battled all challengers for control, trotting to a 1:50.3 victory in the $253,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for 3-year-old harness racing fillies on Saturday (July 18) at the Meadowlands.   Clearing command into the first turn, Ramona Hill led the field past a :26.3 first quarter before Love A Good Story angled off the pylons to brush for the lead. Sorella, the 2-5 favorite, then moved uncovered as Love A Good Story cleared control in the backside. However Ramona Hill, sitting in the pocket, swiftly circled in front of Sorella and Love A Good Story to retake control just beyond a :54.2 half.   Rounding the far turn, Sorella marched forward to match strides with Ramona Hill, while Hypnotic AM rode second-over cover. Past three-quarters in 1:22.2, Sorella began to hang, forcing Hypnotic AM wide and the third-over Panem even wider as Ramona Hill widened her lead. Panem rolled most quickly of any down the center of the track, cutting into Ramona Hill's margin nearing the finish but still finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind. Hypnotic AM took third from Sorella.       "We had Pilot Discretion last year and we raced in the [Hambletonian]. And then, at the end of the year, Ramona [Hill] came on and she was just fantastic," co-owner Robert LeBlanc said after the race. "[Alagna] brought her along slowly -- she was a late foal -- and we wanted to give her time. We thought we had something special, and Tony said we were going to manage her for the end of the year. And Andy just drives her fantastic ... This is pretty special; she's a special animal."   A Crawford Farms-bred daughter of Muscle Hill, Ramona Hill collected her seventh victory from nine starts, amassing $539,470 in earnings for owners Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners. She returned $18.80 to win.   by Ray Cotolo, for The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Nancy Takter trainee Manchego asserted her divisional harness racing dominance once more with a 1:51 stroll in the third $40,000 preliminary of the Miss Versatility on Saturday (July 18) at The Meadowlands.   Driver Dexter Dunn eased the 1-9 favorite off the gate as a pair of Svanstedt trainees -- Felicityshagwell S and Beautiful Sin -- left for the front. Manchego landed in fourth and promptly angled off the pylons entering the backstretch, marching uncovered towards Felicityshagwell S and sliding past to lead the field after a :55.1 half.   Into the final turn, Beautiful Sin vacated the pylons and rushed to race alongside Manchego moving to three-quarters in 1:23.1. Beautiful Sin continued to pressure Manchego straightening for the finish, but began to stall as Manchego extended her lead on the competition within a matter of strides. Kenziesky Hanover rallied down the center of the track quickly enough to snag second, 3-1/2 lengths behind Manchego, while Plunge Blue Chip charged from last to beat Felicityshagwell S -- who gave chase to Manchego from the pylons -- in a photo for third.       "She felt really good," Dunn said after the race. "She's got some real acceleration for a trotter."   A 5-year-old Muscle Hill mare bred by Brittany Farms LLC and owned by Black Horse Racing, Manchego collected her third victory from four starts this season and her 30th from 47 overall. The 2018 Hambletonian Oaks champion has banked $2,217,705.   Manchego paid $2.10 to win.   by Ray Cotolo, for The Meadowlands    

HARRISBURG, PA--North American Harness Update (NAHU) has announced a weekly harness racing handicapping contest presented by Bow River Jewelry that will run through most of the 2020 season. Every week people can enter into a drawing to compete in this contest by sharing the contest announcement post on either Twitter or Facebook. A random person from every week's post will be drawn to compete in a 10-race handicapping contest against a NAHU host of their choice. The drawn contestant and their competitor of choice will pick one horse in each of the 10 selected races, with the winner determined by the total points accrued by their selection's win-place-show returns. For those who do not beat a NAHU host, they will still win a consolation prize. If they do beat a NAHU host, they will win a bigger prize to be determined the week of the contest. All who compete in the weekly handicapping contest will earn a spot into a semi-final round to be held on Jugette Day (Sept. 23). The top 5 point-earners from Jugette Day will then compete in a championship on Little Brown Jug Day (Sept. 24). The top point-earner from that contest will win the grand prize to be determined closer to the date. The handicapping contest will run every week starting on Friday (Feb. 14). Those who wish to enter into that week's drawing can find North American Harness Update on Facebook or Twitter and share the contest announcement post. Additional sponsors for the handicapping contest are welcome. For more information, contact rod@nahupicks.com. By Ray Cotolo, for North American Harness Update

MILTON, January 31, 2020 - Bettor B Going and Sugar Dance took home the gold in Friday's harness racing Winter Series finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The four-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Better B Going grabbed the front early and wired his competition in the $40,000 Snowshoe Final. Driver Chris Christoforou cleared command with Bettor B Going before a :27.2 first quarter. The Wilford Perrault trainee continued uncontested towards a :55.2 half and only faced minor first-over pressure from Warrawee Vital approaching three-quarters in 1:23.2. Warrawee Vital gained slight ground on Bettor B Going through the stretch but finished two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner in a 1:50.3 stakes record mile. Bernie, riding the pylons throughout, took third. Owned by Grant and Joanne Curnow, Bettor B Going won his seventh race from 21 starts, earning $85,399. He paid $6.00 to win. Completing a series sweep, Sugar Dance darted off cover to capture the $36,000 Blizzard Series final. Positioned in the middle of the pack from her second-tier post, Sugar Dance sat sixth while Betsea led the field passed a :28.4 first quarter. Driver Jody Jamieson then angled Sugar Dance to track cover from first-over Playa Duharas into a :58.3 half. Playa Duharas stalled into the final turn, prompting Sugar Dance to tip off cover heading to three-quarters in 1:27.2. The four-year-old Ghees House mare swept to the front spinning into the stretch and maintained control in progress to a 1:54.4 victory. Vintage Whey rallied from near-last to snag second with Betsea faltering to third. Winning her seventh race from 14 starts, Sugar Dance has collected $51,010 in earnings for owners Sandra Hennessey and Paula Sugars. Edward Hennessey conditions the $3.80 winner. Sugar Dance The Snowshoe Series and Blizzard were each open to three and four-year-old pacers (fillies & mares for the Blizzard) that were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. By RAY COTOLO for Woodbine Entertainment

$154,311 Northfield Single Six Carryover; Mandatory Payout on Wednesday The 20¢ Northfield Park Single Six has a mandatory payout on Wednesday (November 27). The mandatory payout is an extremely attractive wager due to its massive $154,311 carryover. The Single Six has a low 14% takeout rate and begins in Wednesday's ninth race. The wager's pool is expected to be the largest in Northfield Park's history. Harness racing offers no better way to start the holidays off on a better note. Many industry experts have weighed in on this wagering opportunity. Here is what the experts think: Rod Allums Jr. 3-4-5-8-9 / 1-3-4 / 1-2-5 / 1-2 / 1-3 / 7-9 = $72.00 NAHUpicks.com Contributor Garnet Barnsdale 2-3-5-8-9 / 1-3-4 / 1-4-5-7 / 1 / 1-2-3 / 2-6-7 = $108 DRF Contributor Michael Carter 2-5-8-9 / 3-4 / 1-3-5-9 / 1 / 1-2-3 / 2-6-7-9 = $76.80 Cohost Post Time Mike and Mike Frank Cotolo 2-3-5 / 4-5 / 3 / 1 / 1-5 / 3-7 = $4.80 Handicapper TwinSpires.com Ray Cotolo 2-6 / 1-2-7 / 1-2 / 1-6 / 1-8-9 / 4-9 = $28.80 NAHUpicks.com Contributor Jeremy Day 8-9 / 1-3-4 / 1-2-3-4-5-7-9 / 1 / 1-2-3-5 / 7-9 = $67.20 DRF Contributor Robert Eppich 3-5-9 / 1-2-3-6 / 2-7-9 / 1 / 1-2-5-6 / 1-2-7-9 = $115.20 Ace Handicapper "Goldsheet Bob" Mike Pribozie 2-3-4-8 / 1-4-7-9 / 3-4-5-9 / 1-5 / 1 / 2-9 = $51.20 NAHUpicks.com Contributor Ayers Ratliff 2-9 / 1-2-3-5 / 1-3-7-9 / 1-5 / 1-3 / 1-7-9 = $76.80 Track Announcer Northfield Park Bob "Railbird" Roberts All / 3-4 / All / 1 / 1-3 / 9 = $64.80 Ret. Cleveland Plain Dealer by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - A recall did not hamper the groove of EL Ideal as the late-blooming Ake Svanstedt trainee cruised to a 1:53.1 harness racing victory in the $251,460 Kindergarten Classic Colt and Gelding Trot Final--sponsored by Diamond Creek Farm--on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Meadowlands.   Beyond Kronos, sent at odds of 69-1, blasted from post 8 to the front while Sky Castles also showed speed but began to gallop rounding the first turn. Even-money favorite EL Ideal, away second, soon circled to the front passing a :27.1 opening quarter and continued unchallenged to a :56.2 half before a Melander flow crept forward.   Back Of The Neck, trained by Marcus Melander, marched first over to pressure EL Ideal with stablemate Maesteraemon in tow. EL Ideal maintained control through three-quarters in 1:24.4 and edged away from his competition in progress to a 1:53.1 victory. Beyond Kronos clung to second as Chestnut Hill rolled from the backfield for third and Maesteraemon circumvented his tiring stablemate for fourth.   "He's very good and does a great job with the horses he's got and it's always fun to drive for him," driver Andy Miller said of driving for Svanstedt after the race.   When asked about what changed in EL Ideal late in the season, Miller said the colt has "Just a lot of maturity. Ake's done a great job bringing him along slow and getting him ready at the right time. He was a little more keyed up after [the recall] but then once he got to the front he was settled down and was really good."   EL Ideal, a two-year-old colt by Muscle Hill owned by Emp Invest Oy, won his third race from nine starts and has earned $276,437. He paid $4.00 to win.   Trainer Linda Toscano claimed the top two spots in the $251,020 Kindergarten Classic Filly Trot Final--sponsored by Svanstedt Stable--with 1-2 favorite Senorita Rita winning in a career-best mile of 1:53.2 over stablemate Dip Me Hanover.   Senorita Rita and driver Scott Zeron                                                                      --Lisa photo   Driver Scott Zeron sent Senorita Rita for the lead as Hall Of Am S protected position from the pylon post and Dip Me Hanover secured a spot from post 10 in third circling the first turn. Trotting the first quarter in :27.4, Senorita Rita held an uncontested lead to a :56.3 half and past three-quarters in 1:25.1.   Creature Of Habit mounted a mild first-over bid around the final turn but lost ground through the stretch, leaving room for Hall Of Am S to vacate pocket and challenge the leader late. However Senorita Rita kept her lead intact while Hall Of Am S lost stride nearing the finish, giving Dip Me Hanover second while Creature Of Habit took third via placing. Hall Of Am S, with a lapped-on break finishing third, was disqualified to fourth.   "Tonight I let her see what we can do and down the lane asked her and she maintained her speed right to the wire," Zeron said after the race. "She's really a sensational horse. Linda's been patient with her all year. I've been on the front end but that's just because she's so easy to drive and I just want to stay out of trouble, but she's versatile. I'm excited for next year and maybe she'll have a little bit more left this year.   With five victories from seven starts, Senorita Rita has banked $190,710 for owner Kenneth Jacobs. Though she started her career late, Toscano left open the possibility of sending her two-year-old Chapter Seven filly deeper into the Grand Circuit with the Goldsmith Maid coming up at the Meadowlands.   "I think they either have or they don't, and she has it," Toscano said after the race. "I believe she's a quality filly--I've believed all along she's a quality filly. If she comes out of this race well, that's where she'll be going.   Senorita Rita paid $3.00 to win.   By Ray Cotolo, for the Meadowlands      

MILTON, ON - October 18, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park-based harness racing trainer Blake MacIntosh sends a four-pronged contingent into the Breeders Crown eliminations as he attempts to get his first shot to compete in the year-end championship. MacIntosh, whose stable has strengthened into a Grand Circuit force, rides a career-best season entering the Breeders Crown eliminations. Though he has started many in the Breeders Crown eliminations, MacIntosh has yet to send one in a final. "It'd just be a cherry on top of the sundae for the year," MacIntosh said on potentially winning a Breeders Crown. "We're close to a hundred wins and $2.6 million so winning a Breeders Crown would just be something special, especially at Mohawk--it's our home track. Winning the [Canadian Pacing] Derby this year was my biggest thrill but winning a Breeders Crown at Mohawk would probably be a little bit bigger of a thrill. They're all big wins but it'd be very special." Team Best opens MacIntosh's 'Crown' contingent on Friday (October 17) in the lone elimination for the Two-Year-Old Colt Pace. The son of Somebeachsomewhere--racing for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Touchstone Farms Inc. and Daniel Plouffe--debuted a winner at Mohawk in late June but missed some of the summer due to sickness, with which MacIntosh had to deal most of the summer. "It wasn't just the Canadian barn or the American barn--both barns seemed to get [sick] at the same time," MacIntosh said. "It was an obstacle, we worked around it [and] the horses all seem to be coming around right now. The last six weeks everything's seemed to have just gone the right way and we're pretty happy with it." Finishing seventh in the $750,000 Metro Pace final, Team Best shipped to Lexington where he finished second in a division of the Bluegrass but tried racing first over the next week in the International Stallion Stakes and folded in the final quarter. He moves into the Crown off a 1:52.1 runner-up mile in a preliminary for the Kindergarten at the Meadowlands. "We were trying to decide if we were going to go to the Breeders Crown or stay in the Kindergarten with him," MacIntosh said. "But after he raced last week, I decided to give him a shot against the top colts this week. "He doesn't like a lot of air--like if you can keep him on a helmet he will follow all day long," MacIntosh also said. "If you give him a little too much air he gets a little sulky [but] he's learning more and more every start. If he gets the right trip, there's no doubt in my mind he'll be right there at the end of the mile. James MacDonald will drive Team Best--who's 15-1 on the morning line--from post 2 against Metro Pace winner and the 7-5 morning line favourite Tall Dark Stranger. Metro Pace runner-up Papi Rob Hanover is also in the field. Sweet Chapter starts MacIntosh's Saturday-night duties as she competes against the top four competitors in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. Her regular pilot Matt Kakaley stays in the bike as the daughter of Chapter Seven starts from post 1 against Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry, runner-up Millies Possesion, third-place finisher Asiago and Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Beautiful Sin. "She can trot with them," MacIntosh said of Sweet Chapter, "and she's always right there; always gets you a cheque. I just thought that she deserved a shot to prove it again. Like in the Hambo Oaks--she was going to get a cheque but then Dave [Miller and Evident Beauty] broke and took her out and that cost her fourth or fifth. We'll hope she [can] draw well and if she can get away the way she can then she'll be right there." Earning over $200,000 from 24 starts for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh and Mortgage Boys Stable, Sweet Chapter has one other Grand Circuit mile this season: a wire-to-wire 1:54.2 victory in a $30,000 division of the Simpson Memorial. "I always thought she was a nice filly--that's why she got paid into so much because I had faith in her," MacIntosh said. "She's right on track where I think she should be and [I'm] very, very happy with her." Covered Bridge completes MacIntosh's Crown-elim starters as he competes in the second elimination for the Three-Year-Old Colt Pace. The American Ideal colt--owned by David B. Smith and James Giannuzzi--makes his second start in the MacIntosh barn after racing his other 28 starts for the Okuskos. "They just called me--they wanted him to come up to Canada and see if he's good enough for the Breeders Crown," MacIntosh said on acquiring the colt. "I trained for Jim and Dave for the last couple years. I was the underbidder on this colt as a yearling. I trained him down at Lexington before I brought him home--I made a shoeing change on him. He's a nice colt--Howie and Jessica [Okusko] did a great job with him training down and racing him for the last two years. It's made my job easier. While MacIntosh did not tinker much with equipment on Covered Bridge, the colt rebounded in his first start for the barn last week against conditioned horses at Mohawk. He popped pocket to pull a 19-1 upset in 1:50.4 under wraps and convinced MacIntosh to try the colt in the Breeders Crown. "It's a $7,500 (CAD) stake payment so it's not something cheap," MacIntosh said on deciding to try the colt in the Crown. "So I was very happy with him and I called the owners after the race and said 'I think we can go--it's up to you guys but I think at this point this group looks a little tired. At this point right now there's no standout other than Ryder's horse [Bettors Wish] and I think he can go with the rest of them so let's give it a shot.'" Covered Bridge will race against 7-5 morning line favourite Bettors Wish from post 5 with James MacDonald in the sulky. Crown supplement and Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi also competes in the second elimination from post 3 as the 9-5 second choice on the morning line. Though not entered in an elimination, Courtly Choice will prep for the Open Pace on Saturday when he starts from post 8 in the $34,000 Preferred. The four-year-old son of Art Major also battled sickness during the summer but returned to form with a 34-1 upset in the Canadian Pacing Derby. Yet he comes into Saturday making his second start after scratching sick from the Dayton Pacing Derby. "When he shipped into Lexington [for the Dayton Pacing Derby] I don't know what happened--he caught a fever of 102.5 so we scratched him," MacIntosh said. "He probably could've raced at Dayton but we wanted to race him the following week for sure. He just wasn't right that week--it's totally separate from [his earlier sickness]. His blood's back to normal now--at least back to where we want it. I don't know if he just caught something shipping from Harrington to home to Lexington--these aged horses do a lot of travelling, so they're bound to pick something up every now and then. Prior to Saturday's start Courtly Choice returned to the track in the $186,000 Allerage but faltered through the stretch in a 1:47.2 mile to finish eighth. "We wanted to make sure we had him tight for next week," MacIntosh said. "He seems to race better when he's at least had a little prep before the races like for the Canadian Pacing Derby--he raced two weeks before that." Woodbine Mohawk Park hosts two nights of eliminations for the Breeders Crown with the freshmen racing on Friday (October 18) and the sophomores and aged horses competing on Saturday (October 19). Friday's 12-race card starts at 7:50 p.m. (EDT) while Saturday's 13-race card gets underway at the regular post time of 7:10 p.m. (EDT). by Ray Cotolo for Woodbine.com    

LEXINGTON, KY--Chris Ryder harness racing trainee Bettor's Wish ground first over into the final turn and withstood a late rush from pocket-popper Captain Crunch to take the second of two divisions of the $540,000 Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace--sponsored by Michelle and Albert Crawford--on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Captain Crunch led the field to a :26.3 first quarter but settled for the pocket moving up the backstretch as American Mercury brushed from third to the lead past a :55 half. Bettor's Wish, racing fifth, followed that move but raced uncovered upon the lead change into the final turn. The son of Bettor's Delight pressed forward through three-quarters in 1:21.3 and put away American Mercury straightening for the finish. Captain Crunch vacated pocket and rallied inside of Bettor's Wish late but only gave chase from second. Air Force Hanover took third. "I was concerned about Captain Crunch," Chris Ryder said after the race. "He was second last week but he raced well. He made us go, so it was a little anxious absolutely. But we held on. There's really not much to say. [Bettor's Wish] was a nice two-year-old and he's just improved. The time off or whatever from two to three--he's just a faster animal." Co-owned by Chris Ryder with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor's Wish won his 16th race from 27 starts, earning $1,561,000. Dexter Dunn, who became the leading driver of the Grand Circuit meeting, piloted the $2.60 winner. Dexter Dunn                               --Lisa photo Dancin Lou lunged inside of 1-9 favorite Southwind Ozzi late in the stretch to take the other division of the Crawford Farms Tattersalls Pace. Driver Dexter Dunn dashed Dancin Lou to the lead while U S Captain settled for the pocket moving to a :27 first quarter. Southwind Ozzi, sitting third, soon tipped wide and brushed to the top entering the backside, leading the field past the half in :54.3. Can't Beach That flushed first over from fourth moving into the final turn, tracked by Shake That House, but stalled past three-quarters in 1:23. Southwind Ozzi clung to command as he floated off the pegs through the stretch. Dancin Lou darted through the late opening and slid past the Little Brown Jug winner to stop the clock in 1:49.4. Shake That House kicked off cover for third. "This is a dream come true I just can't believe it," said winning trainer Tahnee Camilleri, an Australian native in her first year training stateside. "I'm in shock--I'm shaking. You normally don't find me tongue tied but, oh my God. I'm just thankful [my owners] decided to give an Aussie girl chasing the American dream a shot. "He really likes the big track and I think he likes the clay surface," Camilleri also said. "He stays like a mother in law so the big track suits him." Bred by Anvil & Lace Farm and owned by David Kryway and 1362313 Ontario Ltd., Dancin Lou won his 10th race from 26 starts, earning $265,859. The Sweet Lou colt bound for the Breeders Crown paid $20.40 to win.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--In her second start for trainer Ake Svanstedt Beautiful Sin pounced from a pocket trip to win the 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity--a $267,000 single dash sponsored by the Father Patrick Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farm--on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. When Dovescry, sent the 3-5 favorite, left for the lead from the center of the gate while Svanstedt tucked Beautiful Sin onto the pacesetter's helmet heading to a :27.1 opening quarter. Golden Tricks, stablemate to Beautiful Sin, progressed uncovered from sixth up the backstretch and flushed cover from Millies Possesion moving to a :55.2 half. Millies Possesion stalled circling the final turn as When Dovescry accelerated to three-quarters in 1:22.2 and retreated into the stretch. Beautiful Sin angled from the pocket while When Dovescry drifted and tired, leaving a gap for The Ice Dutchess to shoot through. The Ice Dutchess gave late pursuit to new leader Beautiful Sin into the final eighth but settled for second. When Dovescry held third. "It's a total surprise compared to my thinking two months ago; I'm really shocked by this," said Lennart Agren, who owns Beautiful Sin through S R F Stable. "I thought I had to [switch trainers] before the four-year-old season. [Ake Svanstedt] said she was nice but he had some issues to fix. She was a really nice filly two years ago in the sales ring." Topping the 2017 Lexington Yearling Sale, Beautiful Sin--bred by Jeff Gural and Moon Goddess LLC--sold for $480,000. The sophomore daughter of Muscle Hill has five victories from 14 starts and has earned $372,867. She paid $9.00 to win. by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY--Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt darted Six Pack to the lead moving to the final turn and raced the clock to a 1:49.2 world-record harness racing victory in the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Open Trot--sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural--on Saturday, Oct. 5 at The Red Mile. Following two recalls caused by equipment issues with Trolley the starting gate sent the field to race. Eurobond left for the lead from post 4 and took the field past a :27 first quarter while Lindy The Great raced second and Crystal Fashion sat third. Svanstedt sent Six Pack from fourth nearing a :54.2 and dashed to the front rounding the final turn, opening his lead towards three-quarters in 1:21.3. Through the stretch Svanstedt urged Six Pack as the four-year-old Muscle Mass colt won by open lengths over Lindy The Great with Mission Accepted finishing third. "He had been sick for about a month but [his] last race was good--he came home fast," Svanstedt said after the race of his return to the races in the Caesars Trotting Classic. The 1:49.2 mile bests the previous record for a four-year-old trotting stallion of 1:50.1 set by Chapter Seven in 2012 and equaled by Eurobond and Southwind Chrome. "Today I thought we were going to break the record [but] he needed a little bit of help," Svanstedt also said. "It was a little bit slow but he came home good. He's a little lazy when he's on the front [but] I tried." Co-owned by Svanstedt with Little E LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmar and Lawrence Berg, Six Pack won his 18th race from 33 starts, earning $1,658,105. "It was a little nerve-racking with the recalls to tell you the truth," said Jeff Gural, who co-owns Six Pack through Little E LLC. "I've actually dreamed of giving myself a trophy because I've never done it. I've given the Hambletonian trophy the last five, six years and the trophy for this race so it's a real thrill. This horse has had a lot of bad posts and he's cut most of the miles where he got beat--he got beat at the wire. He did all the work but then somebody else gets a record. So I was really happy for him today." Six Pack paid $5.00 to win. Grand Circuit action concludes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 127th renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which goes as a single heat with a field of 12 for $450,000. The 54th Kentucky Filly Futurity also goes as a single dash with an 11-horse draw for $267,000. Two divisions of the $540,000 Tattersalls Pace, the $69,500 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Trot and $87,000 Allerage Farms Fillies and Mares Pace will also go on the eight-race card. Racing gets underway for the season finale with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For full results and entries, click here.  By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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