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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Real Desire mare Eclipse Me N won for the fifth time in her last eight starts on the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, defeating a strong group of mares in the $21,500 distaff pacing feature in 1:50.2. After Bettorhaveanother passed the quarter in front in :27.2, Eclipse Me N and driver Simon Allard were up and clambering for command, reaching that spot and getting a relative breather to the :56 half. From there Eclipse Me N hit a much higher gear, stepping home in :54.2 to defeat first-over Diva's Image, the slight 6-5 favorite to the winner's 3-2, by two lengths. The career winner of $292,944 is trained by the meet's leading conditioner, Rene Allard, for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae. P L Ketchup was able to come out on the "right" side of a photo after finishing second four straight times, three of them by a half-length or less, winning a $15,000 conditioned trot in a lifetime mark of 1:54. The Kadabra gelding used pure speed in accomplishing the task, posting supersonic fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23.3 in "bottoming" the field out, holding off his nearest challenger, the pocketsitter Trixar, by a neck. Pat Berry drove the winner for trainer Steven Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover. The track's perennial leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., guided five horses past the wire first on the Tuesday card. His brother Anthony accounted for the biggest win price of the night, overcoming post nine with Betabcool N by a nose and returned $50.80 to win to his scattered backers. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

LEBANON, OH. - Real Diva lived up to her name Monday afternoon (Feb. 18) at Miami Valley Raceway. The 6-year-old Real Desire mare was crowned champion when she captured the $15,000 Survivor Series final for $5000 claiming mares. The harness racing series started with 40 minimum claiming mares in four divisions two weeks ago, was narrowed to the top twenty for the second go-around last week, and then ten finalists squared off to compete for the crown and the lucrative purse on Monday. Sent off as an 8-5 co-favorite from the rail, driver Dan Noble was content to get away third in the first quarter. Real Diva was shuffled to fourth at both the half and the three-quarter stations as first Fancy Jess (Kayne Kauffman) and then Grimalkin (Trace Tetrick) pressured the pacesetter Star Of Our Show (Brett Miller). Noble was able to angle the winner three-wide at the head of the stretch and propel down the middle of the lane to secure the 1:55.4 score. Trainer Noah Garrett, who sports an outstanding .512 UTRS during the current meet, also owns Real Diva who he purchased from out East around the turn of the calendar year to 2019. She won her first start in Ohio in January, then managed a pair of show finishes in the Survivor Series eliminations. Grimalkin garnered the place money and Star Of The Show hung on for third. The Tuesday (Feb. 19) matinee at Miami Valley will feature the tandem $15,000 championship Survivor Series showdown for the male $5000 claimers. First race post is 2:05 p.m. and the Survivor Series championship should head postward approximately 5 p.m. From the Miami Valley Media Department  

ANDERSON, IN - Indiana-sired three-year-old pacing fillies were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 29 as the evening's 14-race card was highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final and $25,000 consolation for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Mildrix, with Sam Widger in the bike, used a strong stretch rally to prevail in a tight photo and pull the 15-1 upset in the featured event of the evening. Stopping the timer in 1:52, Mildrix established a new lifetime best and the victory was one of three winners on the program for Widger. Starting from the coveted rail position in the competitive field of ten, Mildrix was unhurried from the gate to get away a worrisome sixth. Elliot Deaton gave Neverforgetwhour her marching orders and she quickly grabbed the lead from post eight through the opening panel in :26.3. Virgin Eyes and Michael Oosting grabbed a pocket seat with Gate Speed and Brandon Bates followed along in third. Dee Rocks and Trace Tetrick, the heavy post time favorite, settled along the rail in seventh. Neverforgetwhour dictated middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.2 before being joined on the outside by Always Woggy and Peter Wrenn who had Dee Rocks and Trace Tetrick in tow approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Neverforgetwhour was bracing for the cavalry charge to the wire and a cavalry charge it was. Horses began to fan out across the track but the biggest threat was to the inside. Sitting last at the top of the stretch, Widger utilized the passing lane to find late racing room and Mildrix found a :27.1 final panel to get the win by a head. Two lengths separated the top seven finishers. Neverforgetwhour held on valiantly for second place honors while Let Me Fly Low and Ricky Macomber Jr. rallied well for third. Mildrix returned $33.40 to her backers at the betting windows. Trained, owned and bred by Kelly Goodwin, Mildrix recorded her first win of the season from three starts and second lifetime victory. The daughter of Real Desire-Didrickson has now amassed $57,100 in lifetime purse earnings. "We weren't expecting to go in the sires stakes in just her third start of the season but she raced really well the previous week," Goodwin mentioned after the win. "She can be a little tough, she has her own way of doing things but she's a nice filly and we're really happy with her." The upset trend continued in the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for three-year-old pacing fillies as Trace Tetrick steered Always Curious to victory at odds of 12-1. Stopping the timer in 1:51.3, Always Curious used a :27.4 closing quarter to get the win by nearly two lengths and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Jeff Cullipher trains and co-owns the daughter Always A Virgin-A Loskoz Bluegrass with Tom Pollack. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 30 with an 11-race card featuring a $20,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 Pool. The Hoosier High-5 went unsolved on Friday, resulting in a $7,503 carryover for Saturday's program. The Hoosier High-5, also known as the pentafecta, is featured in the last race of every program at Hoosier Park and features an industry low takeout of 12% with a 20 cent minimum wager. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

LONDON, ON....May 26 - The Ron Burke trainee Rockin Ron with Louis-Philippe Roy in the sulky, captured the first edition of the $150,000 Camluck Classic in a track record time of 1:50.1. The son of Real Desire was first off the car leading through an opening panel in :27.1 Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) settled in the pocket with rail starter Sunfire Blue Chip (Trevor Henry) third. Rockin Ron remained on top in comfortable fashion past the half in :55.1 with Easy Lover Hanover (Doug McNair) advancing first-over with Bit Of A Legend (Jordan Stratton) tracking him. Louis Roy began to separate himself from his rivals past three-quarters in 1:23.1 before winning by eight lengths in commanding fashion. Evenin Of Pleasure finished second, while Easy Lover Hanover. "He was as strong at the half as he was at the wire," Roy said following the race. "I wanted to leave hard and make sure I could get everyone behind me. The horse was just terrific tonight and I'm thankful for the drive." The now 34-time winner boasts his career earnings to $1,383,483. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC Stable and J And T Stable. Percy Bluechip won the first of two the two OSS splits going wire to wire in 1:54.3. The filly by Shadow Play took hold of the pace while tracked by Kendall Seelster through fractions of :28.3, :57.4 and 1:26.4. Rounding the final turn, Write Me A Song applied first-over pressure and chased the 1-9 favourite through the lane, while Kendall Seelster, lacking room, kept pace behind in third. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, Percy Bluechip, owned by Shadow Two Stable and James and Wilma MacKenzie, returned $2.10 to win. Wiring the field despite a loose saddlecloth, Big Thong strolled to a 1:55.2 victory in the latter OSS division over pocket-sitter Quite A Sight. Sent the 3-5 favourite, driver James MacDonald positioned the Scott McEneny-trained daughter of Big Jim on the lead, pacing uncontested through a :27.4 opening quarter, :59.1 half and 1:27.3 third quarter. Quite A Sight pulled pocket into the stretch, chasing in second while Cabowabocuttie shot through the inside for third. The $3.40 winner races for owners Michelle McEneny, Teresa Davidson, Martwest Racing Stable and Cora Marshall. Ezee Tiguan, fronting a field of breakers, took command past a :30.2 opening quarter and trotted unchallenged to a 2:02 win in the $24,200 City of London Filly and Mare Trot. She took the top from Miller Time, who sat pocket through splits of 1:00.3 and 1:31 while Candid Hally made a short pursuit first over into the final turn before fading. Owned by Linda Wellwood and Tammy Aspden, the Lyle MacArthur trained-and-driven Angus Hall filly paid $2.70 to win, while Windsong Ophelia rallied through horses to finish second and Miller Time held third. Following a front battle between tempo-setter Just Jewel and Sicario venturing first over after a slow start, Edstone jimmied his way in between horses around the final turn and found room to angle to the center of the track and reel in leader Daylon Phantom to win at 9-1 in the $25,200 City of London Trot. The three-year-old gelding by Glidemaster sat in the pocket while Just Jewel and Sicario carved times of :29.3, :59.2 and 1:29.2 on the lead. Trevor Henry tipped the Shannon Henry trainee off the rail rounding the final turn while Daylon Phantom circled to the lead from second over into the lane. Once shown racetrack, Edstone rallied through the center of the course and nabbed Daylon Phantom at the wire in 2:01.1. Owned by Trevor Henry Stables Inc., Shaun Baines, Dave Hudson and James Dennie, Edstone paid $17.90 to win. Luc Blais trainee and 3-2 second choice Sweet Toujours, owned by Determination Inc., swept back to the top in the stretch, taking the $28,200 City of London Filly and Mare Pace in 1:56. Following a :28.2 opening quarter, James MacDonald circled the three-year-old Mach Three filly to the lead and soon resigned to the pocket as Shadowofhersmile ambushed the pacesetter for the front and cleared after a :57.2 half. She held control through three quarters in 1:25.4 and only faced Sweet Toujours as her closest threat into the stretch, with Sweet Toujours pacing by with ease to return $5.10 to win, while Macharita, blindswitched around the final turn, emerged for third. Treasure Writer pushed first over to win the $26,200 City of London Pace in 1:55.4 over pacesetter and 4-5 favourite Blue Moose. Driver James MacDonald tipped the Mike Smith-trained Sportswriter gelding uncovered following a :27.4 opening quarter to press the pace and remained at Blue Moose's side through a :58 half and three quarters in 1:26.2 before powering past the favourite in the stretch to win, with Delorean Seelster finishing third off a pocket trip. Trainer Mike Smith co-owns the $9.70 winner with Brooke Smith. Second-betting choice Champagne Phil scored going wire to wire in the $15,000 Preferred 2 Pace in 1:54.1 over pocket-rider Mohawk Warrior. The eight-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding trained by Dean Nixon set the pace unfettered on the lead, going fractions of :28.1, :58 and 1:26 with Mohawk Warrior on his back. He held control through the lane while The Loan Ranger sneaked through the inside to finish third. Trevor Henry piloted the $4.90 winner for owner Icr Racing. Sitting off a swift pace by odds-on favourite Drunkonaplane, Adore Him, driven by Trevor Henry for trainer Curt Blake and owner Robert Blake, catapulted off the rail to the center of the course and powered through a stampede to claim victory in the $11,000 Preferred 3 Pace going a mile and a sixteenth in 2:02. Drunkonaplane brushed to the front over Bestofthebunch, clicking the first quarter in :27 and maintaining that speed through a half in :54.3. The backfield assembled in chase of Drunkonaplane into the backstretch, with Audreys Dream leading the charge from first over moving to three quarters, timed in 1:24. Audreys Dream overtook the favourite into the lane, but Adore Him fanned to the center of the course and shot through a seam to edge past Audreys Dream in the final strides to score, with Another Great Pick finishing third. The six-year-old Shadow Play gelding returned $6.10 to win. Fading Shadow flew from the grandstand side to take the $11,000 Fillies and Mares Preferred 3 Pace going a mile and a sixteenth in 2:03.3. Driver Scott Coulter positioned the Michael Carther-trained daughter of Shadow Play sixth while Teachers Vet blazed by the quarter in :27. She slowed the pace by the half in :56.2 as Pinky Tuscadero initiated the two-wide flow moving to lap two with the rest of the field bundling into contention passing three quarters in 1:26.3. Sodwana Bay circled off cover to take a narrow lead to the inside of Dazzling Rockette while Fading Shadow began her bid widest of all at the head of the stretch. Fading Shadow, the $16.80 winner owned by Malcom MacPhail, launched by Sodwana Bay in the final strides to score, while Dazzling Rockette finished third in a dead heat with Teachers Vet. Party In Rome wired her competition in the $13,500 Fillies and Mares Preferred 2 Handicap in 1:57. Driver Trevor Henry led with the Gerald Lilley-trained daughter of Big Jim through a :27.3 opening quarter while Southwind Ion sat second. Bourbon Seelster, third at the quarter, pulled first over circling the far turn and pressed Party In Rome on the lead through a :57.1 half and through three quarters in 1:26.1 before retreating in the stretch. Party In Rome, owned by Bill Manes, William Cripps and Steven Papillon, bested pocket-sitter Southwind Ion shaking loose late for second, while Request For Parole rallied off cover for third. She paid $6.20 to win. From Standardbred Canada and The Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 5, 2017-- Favored Rockin' Ron (George Brennan, $4.60) finished what he started Saturday night (Aug. 5th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $55,000 Open Handicap Pace. In play from assigned post position No. 6, 'Ron' worked around P H Supercam (Brent Holland) before a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Sunfire Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) left outside Rockin' Ron, but was relegated to a three-hole. Rockin Ron' found a 55-second intermission, then threw down a :27.2 third quarter (1:22). The maneuver lost P H Supercam as 'Sunfire' moved past him. The leader opened 2¼ lengths into the lane, holding Sunfire Blue Chip at bay by a length in 1:51...matching the fastest local mile of the season. Somewhere in L A (Jason Barlett) was third, also after solid, two-move try, with P H Supercam and Melmerby Beach (Greg Merton) rounding out the payees. For Rockin' Ron, a 5-year-old Real Desire gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and RTC Stables, it was his fourth win in 17 '17 tries (25th career victory, earnings over $700,000). The exacta paid $33.20, with the triple returning $121.50. Yonkers offers up the fourth of eight consecutive Sunday matinees (Aug. 6th), with a first post of 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

Plainville, MA--- Miami Valley Raceway shipper Hickory Icon was placed in the capable hands of harness racing driver Eddie Davis Jr. for the $15,000 Open handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 24) and the two left little doubt who was the best this day. Davis left hard from post seven with Hickory Icon and took the lead just past the eighth pole. From there they he led unchallenged to the quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55.1. At that point, My Mind Is Madeup (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) pulled first over from fourth and tried to force the issue. The challenger got his nose near Davis's helmet just before the three-quarter pole, but his advance stopped at that point. Davis raised the lines and let Hickory Icon know it was time to shift gears and the gelding responded in kind. Hickory Icon opened up two, then three, and down the lane he simply paced away with Davis sitting chilly to win in 1:50.4. The winning time equaled the 7-year-old son of Real Desire's lifetime mark. It was the fifth win in 14 starts for Hickory Icon ($7.80) and pushed his earnings for the year to $43,410 for owner Jessica Smith. Randal Smith trains the winner. The value bettors went home smiling as it was mega-payout Monday at Plainridge Park. With only three favorites winning on the 11-race card, the tote board was blown-up several times during the day. In the fourth, Ideal Race (Kevin Switzer Jr.) paid $38.20 while Mercenary (Ron Cushing) paid $98.40 in the sixth, triggering a $38,221.20 2-9-7 trifecta payout. Trelane (Ron Cushing) returned $19.20 in the eighth, Mcardle Royale N (Chris Long) returned $21.40 in the ninth and Someplace Special (Michael Stevenson) lit it up large once again in the tenth paying $69.00. Seven horsemen registered two winners on Monday's card. Ron Cushing, Michael Stevenson, Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Greg Merton all scored driving doubles. Trainers Joe Nelson, Robert Nelson and Kyle Spagnola each sent a couple stable members for pictures. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (April 25) with the first post set for 4 p.m. There is a $5,342.95 carryover for the Wicked Hi-5 wager in the sixth race. By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

After sitting out last week's round in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series because of a numbers crunch, Rockin Ron's connections hope the harness racing gelding can come back this weekend with a performance good enough to maintain a spot in the upcoming $200,000-added final at Yonkers Raceway. The preliminary divisions of the six-week Levy Series for older male pacers conclude Saturday at The Hilltop. Rockin Ron will enter the night holding the eighth-and-final spot for the April 22 championship, but might need nothing less than a win Saturday to keep his position. Rockin Ron holds a five-point edge over Wakizashi Hanover and eight-point advantage over the trio of Long Live Rock, Mach It So, and McWicked in the battle to qualify for the final. He trails both Blood Brother and Provacativeprince N by 22 points, so numerous possible outcomes are in play, but the simplest way for Rockin Ron to roll into the final is by winning his division this weekend. A horse receives 25 points each time he races in the series. He then gets points based on his finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth and five for fifth. The complete standings are available at this link. Rockin Ron, who has a win, second and fourth in the series, sat out last week's action because trainer Ron Burke could enter only three of his five eligible horses. A trainer can have only one horse in each division and last week there were three divisions. There has been a maximum of four divisions in the preliminary rounds. "To be fair we've had to space out who gets to race, which really hurts your chances to get into the final," said Mark Weaver, who is among the owners of Rockin Ron. "I wish we could have raced him because it pretty much would have assured him being in the final. But that's the situation we're in. "If he's good enough to get in, he deserves it. If he's not good enough, then he probably didn't deserve it." Rockin Ron, a 5-year-old son of Real Desire-Im All A Roan, is in the second of three divisions Saturday. He faces a group that includes series leader Missile J, third-place Keystone Velocity, fifth-place Bit Of A Legend (the series defending champion) and Blood Brother. "Fortunately he drew inside," Weaver said, referring to Rockin Ron's post No. 2 starting position with driver Yannick Gingras. "Hopefully we can get a good chunk of it." Last year, Rockin Ron won 11 of 26 races and earned $390,910 for owners Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and RTC Stables. His victories included the Confederation Cup and Prix d'Ete, defeating 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in both. He finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Dorothy Mullin Invitational. "Obviously we were high on him coming into this year and we've got him staked up to pretty much everything," Weaver said. "I think so far his year is starting off well. I think every start he's been pretty good. He hasn't been raced too hard and I think the week off should help. I'm real happy. "For some of these Levy horses, after the Levy they're back to being overnight horses. With Ron and All Bets Off, those are two that I think have a chance to go on and be competitive in the open ranks." All Bets Off, a 6-year-old stallion who has earned $2.21 million in his career, has finishes of second, third and sixth in the Levy. He competes in Saturday's third division, where Somewhere In L A is a slight 2-1 morning line favorite over 5-2 Wakizashi Hanover. All Bets Off and driver Matt Kakaley are 6-1 from post six. "We contemplated standing him at stud last year, but figured we would give him another year of racing," Weaver said. "He qualified great and his first race was super. Then he was sick and drew badly. It's a little disappointing, but at the same time we've got a long year. Matt loves him and still has confidence in him. Hopefully Ronnie can get him straightened out." Burke's other Levy competitors have been Caviart Luca, Always At My Place, and Take It Back Terry. Caviart Luca will race in Saturday's first division and is 4-1 on the morning line. "Ronnie said they all trained great, all the Saturday night horses, especially Caviart Luca," Weaver said. "Hopefully (Caviart Luca and All Bets Off) can do all right and sneak into the consolation." Complete entries for Saturday's races can be found at this link. Ken Weingartner

LEBANON, OH. - A "neck" separated the top four finishers in Saturday's featured $22,000 Open Pace at Miami Valley Raceway, with Latest Desire pushing a "nose" in front at the wire. As the 3-5 favorite off an impressive 1:50 triumph a week ago, driver Simon Allard was able to coax a 1:51 mile from Latest Desire this week to down nine rivals in 1:51. Fancy Creek Elusiv (Mike Oosting) got the first quarter mile marker call in :27.3 with Latest Desire right behind and Sparky Mark (Dan Noble) and Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater) in hot pursuit. Sparky Mark was able to clear to the front and trip the halfway beam in :55.1. Noble was able to keep his charge in front at the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but Latest Desire had pulled the pocket and was lapped on and gaining on the leader. At the head of the stretch Meadowbrookthunder (Trace Tetrick) found a seam and the four horse stampede to the wire was underway. The quartet raced on even terms in a thrilling stretch duel that wasn't decided until Latest Desire stuck his nose in front in the final stride. Lucky Lime, Meadowbrookthunder and Sparky Mark-who all raced very gamely--followed him through the wire. Virgil Morgan Jr. trains Latest Desire for the AWS Stable, the Fairway Stable and Milton Leeman, all of Ohio. It was the 31st lifetime win in 93 starts for the 7-year-old Real Desire gelding, who now has $390,936 in earnings. Miami Valley Raceway, in conjunction with the U.S.T.A. Strategic Wagering platform, announces an instant $7500 total pool guarantee in Sunday’s Lucky Pick 5 wager, covering races 10 through 14.  The matinee program begins at 2:05 p.m. with estimated post time for the 10th race at 5:00 p.m.  When the Lucky Pick 5 went unsolved for the fourth consecutive program on Saturday night, it resulted in a carryover of $2,883.57 into Sunday afternoon’s wager, prompting the $7500 guaranteed total pool. Gregg Keidel      

LEBANON, OH. - Latest Desire, a recent private purchase addition to the Virgil Morgan Jr. Stable, paid early dividends with an eye-popping 1:50 score in Miami Valley's Saturday (Feb. 4) $22,000 featured Open Pace. Harness racing driver Simon Allard worked out a second-over trip for the 7-year-old Real Desire gelding before breezing by pacesetter Angelo J Fra (Chris Page), who finished third, and nailing first-up Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater), who raced gamely to finish second, in the final strides. While Latest Desire's stretch brush was quickest of all, it also covered a little more ground as he was drifting dramatically during the final furlong of the race. The partnership of AWS Stables, Fairway Stables and Milton Leeman-all of Ohio-purchased the winner of $368,936 in early January and were making their second start with Latest Desire since he joined the Morgan Stable. In his initial start at Miami Valley a week ago, he was desperate for racing room in the stretch, but found none while pacing a 1:51.4 mile including a :27.2 final panel. Five other races were timed quicker than 1:52 on the powerful Saturday night program. Smoke Up Johnny (Tyler Smith) captured the $16,500 Open II in 1:51.4, Sir Mammo (John DeLong) won a non-winners of 10 races condition/claimer in 1:51.4, Return To Sender N (Tyler Smith) was a come-from-behind 1:51.3 winner in a $20,000 claimer, Rock Out (Jason Brewer) copped the $30,000 claimer in 1:50.3, and Hickory Icon (Trace Tetrick) the non-winners $8000 last four top condition pace in 1:50.4. There will be no racing at Miami Valley on Super Bowl Sunday, but racing will resume Monday afternoon with a 2:05 p.m. post time. Featured on that card will be four divisions of a Survivor Series for $5000 claiming mares. The 40 entrants will be reduced to 20 for a pair of $7500 second round eliminations and then culminate in a $15,000 championship on February 27. On Tuesday afternoon, 78 $5000 horse and gelding pacers will begin their Survivor Series which will feature a $20,000 final on February 28. Gregg Keidel    

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 23, 2016 -- Widest and fastest in the lane, Latest Desire captured his second straight harness racing victory -- and fifth in the last seven -- in Friday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Latest Desire was third over down the backside when Jim Pantaleano decided the 6-year-old Real Desire-Latest Design gelding needed to see racetrack. It was the winning move as Latest Desire found a new gear, tracked down the leader, Atta Boy Dan, and edged him by a nose in 1:52.2. The first-over Dapper Dude was third. Dirk Simpson trains Latest Desire, who now boasts $363,936 in career earnings, for Steven Newcom and Larry Taylor. Aaron Merriman piloted five winners and Pantaleano three on the 12-race card.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Victorian pacer Lets Elope joined a small but elite harness racing group when he powered his way to victory in the $40,000 Luxbet Tasmania Cup over 2579 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart yesterday. In winning the Group 3 event he became only the third horse in the history of the race to win in consecutive years with Motu Crusader (2012-13) and Tailamade Lombo (1998-99) the only others to have achieved the feat. It also was a double for Tasmanian-born driver Josh Duggan who delivered a brilliant tactical drive to secure victory. Five Star Anvil was the short-priced favourite ($1.40) and when driver Zac Phillips sent him straight to the front those who took the prohibitive odds would have been content while Major Callum ($31) faced the breeze with Pachacuti ($13) on his back and Lets Elope ($3.90) settled last. When Phillips allowed the favourite more rein leaving the back straight the last time the 10-year-old sped clear but Duggan had Lets Elope would up and chasing hard and Pachacuti looked a winning chance when he peeled three-wide to challenge. But when Duggan called on Lets Elope for the supreme effort the Brent Lilley-trained eight-year-old dug deep and had enough in reserve to score by two metres. "It was always going to be a race of tactics and thankfully ours (tactics) paid off," Duggan said. "It was a great thrill last year to win the race because it's my home town cup but to win it again is a bit special." Lilley said eight-year-old gelding by Real Desire had been racing well without luck in his home state and was quietly confident he had the gelding in top shape for the assignment. "We had him in a few races where he had to be driven for luck and often things didn't pan out but just prior to sending him down here to Tassie I was confident I had him in as good a condition as he's been in this prep," Lilley said. "He's been a very good horse for his owners because that his 24th win and he's been placed more than 30 times and he's won almost $500,000. "I sent the horse to Paul Ashwood who has been looking after him here in Tasmania so I think we'll leave him here for a month or so and let him go around in some of the nice free-for-alls coming up." Peter Staples

Harness racing champion New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon is full of hope that star young pacer Mr Mojito can atone for his flop in the McInerney Ford Classic last Friday night by winning the $50,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound Four-Year-Old Championship over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He was a victim of circumstances last week and I hope he can make amends this week,” Purdon said. The tyre on the gelding’s nearside sulky wheel was punctured about 600m after the start and Mr Mojito simply raced at the rear and finished in eleventh place, more than 20 lengths behind the winner Chicago Bull in last week’s feature event. “It was the result of a chain reaction, with the pace easing,” Purdon explained. “I didn’t want to over-tax Mr Mojito because he had no chance with a flat tyre … and if I had tried to stay on the back of Chicago Bull he would have run home a tired horse. “Take no notice of his run; just turn the page and hopefully we’ll see the best of him on Friday,” Purdon said. Mr Mojito has taken no ill-effects from last Friday and I’m happy with his condition. He’s had a quiet couple of days and I’m keeping him a bit on the fresh side. Mr Mojito, a son of American stallion Real Desire, has won at seven of his ten starts and Purdon has a high opinion of the gelding who will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front in Friday night’s race. “It won’t be easy with several good horses in the race,” Purdon said. “And you’ve got to respect the No. 1 horse (Nathans Courage).” The Victorian-bred Nathans Courage, trained at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, is a brilliant frontrunner who should take a power of beating. The gelding, who has won nine times from 20 starts, will be driven for the first time by Gary Hall jun., who replaces regular reinsman Michael Grantham, who is serving a nine-day suspension. Nathans Courage started from barrier two on the back line in a 2536m event last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and fought on to finish a close fourth behind A Piccadilly Princess. Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand with two talented New Zealand-bred pacers Mister Daytona and Vanquished. Mister Daytona, to be driven by Ryan Warwick from the No. 3 barrier, has impressed in winning at ten of his 12 starts, while Vanquished, to be driven by Ryan Bell from barrier five, has won at ten of his 21 starts. He raced three back on the pegs and finished fast to be second to Chicago Bull last Friday night. Ace trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by the speedy Harry Hoo, a winner at ten of his 31 starts, but at a disadvantage from out wide at barrier nine. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said that he expected an improved showing from stable newcomer Motu Gatecrasher, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier four. Motu Gatecrasher set the pace before fading to seventh behind Chicago Bull last Friday night. “He will improve on his first-up effort,” Olivieri said. “He really needed the run and has taken no harm from it. His work since then has been a mile better.” Ken Casellas

When the sharp Genuine Desire lines up for Saturday night's harness racing Bill Conlin Final, he'll be gunning for his fourth win from his last six trips to the post, including two of his last three over this layout. The sophomore son of Real Desire is owned by Rick and Marlene Thomas and George Reider, is conditioned by Reider and will be handled by David Siegel. Genuine Desire started his recent streak with a 43-1 shocker in his Hawthorne finale last month with Tim Curtain at the controls and has recorded his last two tallies after being re-united with Siegel. In last week's Conlin Prep over a sloppy track, the pair made a power move to the top on the final bend and went on to a two and a half-length decision that sets them up perfectly for this assignment. "I am glad I finally got the opportunity to get back behind Genuine Desire after his venture back to Illinois," Siegel related after last week's score. "Going by his record and speed ratings, there is little doubt he likes the going at Cal-Expo better. "He is very handy and can be driven as the situation dictates, on the front, off the pace, and has the ability to two-move if needed. "He fits the Conlin field well and hopefully we can get the right trip and get the job done for his supportive owners Rick and Marlene. I fully expect George will have him prepared for the challenge." Marie Hill Pace brings out distaffers The Marie Hill Pace, a $4,400 Open II event for fillies and mares, heads the 13-race card Friday night at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting. First post is 6:10 p.m. Lady's Art, for driver/trainer Chip Lackey; and the Robin Clements-trained, David Siegel-driven Windsun T Bird have been assigned the outside posts in the field of seven. The race is named for the memory of Marie Catherine Hill, a Canadian who fell in love with harness racing as a young girl and became an important author of books about participants in the sport. She passed away on November 22 at the age of 85 in Merlin, Ore., near the residence of her daughter, Irene, after a brief illness. Born Aug. 12, 1931, in Blacks Harbor, New Brunswick, Ms. Hill attended her first harness race at the half-mile track at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, when she was 11 years old. At 13 she wrote her first article for The Canadian Sportsman, a few paragraphs titled "Watchim on the Trot," which was about the trotting track record holder at St. Stephen. The story led to other articles for The Canadian Sportsman's Christmas editions. She also wrote for The Horseman And Fair World, Hoof Beats, The Harness Horse, and Trot magazines. Ms. Hill became one of harness racing's most prolific historians, writing six books including: Single G: The Horse That Time Forgot; Adios: The Big Daddy of Harness Racing; Gentleman Joe-The Story of Harness Driver Joe O'Brien; Mr. Harness Racing-the Story of Delvin Miller; and The Horseman from Alberton. In 1959 Ms. Hill moved to California, where she worked as an accountant and office manager for construction companies in the San Francisco Bay area. Her interest in harness racing, its horses and people, never waned. During the 1970s and early 1980s she bred, owned and raced horses in California, Kentucky and Indiana. Ms. Hill became acquainted with Delvin Miller by mail when he responded to an advertisement she had run in The Horseman And Fair World in which she had asked for historical information about Single G. Miller responded, as was his habit, and thus began a lifelong friendship. Miller subsequently asked Ms. Hill to write his biography and she delightedly agreed to the project. In 1992, when Adios was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame, Ms. Hill accepted the award at Miller's request. In 1984, Ms. Hill nominated B C Count to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The horse's subsequent election, which came in 1998 following a 14-year campaign on her part, brought her great satisfaction. In 2005 Ms. Hill was honored with the Harness Racing Museum's Pinnacle Award and in 2007 she was inducted into the Communicators' Hall of Fame. In addition to harness racing, Ms. Hill's hobbies included the Civil War and watching the New York Yankees. She loved her family, friends, animals, her Catholic faith, and was a devoted mother and daughter. In addition to her daughter, Irene (Stephen), Ms. Hill is survived by her cousin, Sheila Hurley and friend, Arlene Matheson, both of whom she called sisters; the Walker family, Hill and O'Connor cousins; and many more cousins. Ms. Hill was an avid supporter and former board member of the Stable of Memories at The Red Mile and memorial contributions may be sent to Stable of Memories, P.O. Box 11073, Lexington, KY 40512-1073, or to Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, P.O. Box 15368, San Francisco, CA 94115-0368, or to any animal shelter or rescue. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 19, 2016 -- Latest Desire made it three straight wins Saturday at The Meadows when he pulled the pocket in the stretch, overpowered the leader and captured the $20,000 harness racing Preferred Handicap Pace. Latest Desire was jumping up two classes to the Preferred, so the pocket trip Dan Rawlings gave him was a big help. The 6-year-old Real Desire-Latest Design gelding blew by Shooter's Dream and held off Kingofthejungle, who was brushing through the Lightning Lane, by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3 on a "good" surface. Shooter's Dream saved show. Dirk Simpson trains Latest Desire, who now boasts $341,186 in career earnings, for Steven Newcom and Larry Taylor. It was one of three wins for Rawlings on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

DAYTON, OH. - Despite a harness racing track dampened by a steady drizzle, Mystical Treasure ran her win streak to three by capturing the first $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night (September 16). The four-year-old daughter of Real Desire benefitted from an ideal second-over trip engineered by driver Dan Noble to sweep by pacesetting Momas Got A Gun (Chris Page) at the three-quarter pole and then hold fast-closing runnerup Town Temptress (Peter Wrenn) and Safe From Terror (Josh Sutton) in the stretch. The winning 1:52.1 clocking comes on the heels of a track record 1:49.4 effort at Scioto Downs in her last start. Bill Dailey trains the career winner of $277,000 for the Bourbon Creek Stable and his wife Kim, a partnership who purchased Mystical Treasure recently and are yet to see her lose. The win was one of three on the night for Dan Noble, who has captured seven races in the first four nights of the 2016 meet. Racing will resume Saturday night (September 17) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway with a 6:15 post time. The southwest Ohio oval will take a short hiatus during Little Brown Jug week at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds in the coming week, then resume a regular five-days-a-week schedule on Friday, September 23 through December 30. Gregg Keidel      

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 16, 2016 - The Hoosier state's top three-year-old pacing colts were in the harness racing spotlight on Thursday, September 15 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the fifth and final round of the $75,000 preliminary Indiana Sires Stakes finals. The evening's 14-race program was primarily ruled by long shots but it was Granite, with Mike Peterson at the lines, who converted a pocket trip and a break by the heavy favorite to pull the biggest upset of the night in the featured event of the evening. At odds of 44-1, Granite stopped the timer in 1:50.4 to win by nearly two lengths and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Leaving from post one in the talented field of nine, Peterson sent Granite away from the gate firing to protect their early position but would eventually relinquish the lead to the heavy favorite Duel of Truth and John DeLong at the first quarter in :27.1. Bourbon Chase and Dan Shetler also left well to grab a spot along the rail in third while Matrix of Luck and Ricky Macomber Jr. were next in line third. Duel of Truth dictated middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.1 but was soon joined on the outside by Bourbon Chase with Matrix of Luck in tow. As the field turned for home, Duel of Truth and Bourbon Chase were matching strides and the stage was set for an epic battle to the wire. Duel of Truth appeared to be up to the task as he was able to put away Bourbon Chase half-way down the lane but Granite was looming large in the pocket. Just as Duel of Truth seemed to be pacing away from the rest of the field, he made a costly break and took himself out of the race. Granite inherited the lead and paced on to the wire to win by nearly two lengths and hold off a hard charging Uncmprmising Z Tam and LeWayne Miller. Bourbon Chase held on for third place honors. As the second longest shot on the board, Granite returned $90.60 to his loyal backers at the betting windows. The exacta including Granite and Uncmprmising Z Tam, at odds of 18-1, returned $836.80. "The trip worked out great, it actually couldn't have worked out any better for us," Peterson noted in the winner's circle. "I didn't know all that much about the hors because last week was the first time I had ever driven him but he raced really well last week too." "Coming around the last turn I knew he (Granite) had pace and I was just hoping to get a good check," he continued. "Every time I asked him though, he dug in a little more. He's a very nice colt." Trained by Melanie Wrenn, the son of Real Desire-Precious Stone notched his third win from 11 seasonal starts. Owned by Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Granite has now won seven of 20 lifetime outings while bankrolling $145,252 in purse earnings in his career. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 16 with a 13-race card that is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. Friday's program will be highlighted by a $21,000 Invitational Pace and will also feature a $6,216.95 Pick-5 carryover beginning in Race 9 and a $3,896.24 Hoosier High 5 carryover in Race 13. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

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