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CHESTER PA - A quartet of $11,200 featured events for younger horses, two on the pace and two on the trot, topped the Friday afternoon action at Harrah's Philadelphia, with harness racing trainer Rob Harmon sweeping the trotting top classes. In the first of the trotting headliners, Itsonlymoneyhoney overcame some recent bad luck and held off the late charge of favored Protostar by a length to reduce his mark to 1:56.4. A victim of a break and then an equipment break in his first two starts for Harmon, Itsonlymoneyhoney was all systems "go" for driver Marcus Miller and the combine of Harmon Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Kittenplan, and Winners Circle Racing LLC. The Banker Volo three-year-old gelding notched his eleventh lifetime triumph, most of those in the Midwest. The other Harmon winner was the Trixton sophomore filly Alyvia Deo, who brushed from fifth to first during the second quarter and went on nicely to win in 1:57 for driver Tim Tetrick. The quick miss put it all together today for Synerco Ventures Inc. In the first pacing contest, the sophomore Well Said gelding Meet The Creeper rallied nicely off a contested front end, pacing his own back half in :55.4 to lower his mark to 1:53 while returning $39.60 to win for trainer/driver Stacy Chiodo and her Chiodo Racing LLC. Pacesetter Tail Hook held for second, three-quarters of a length back. The other pacing division saw the Sweet Lou three-year-old gelding Lou's Sweetrevenge press on to early command, then sprint home in :56.1-:28 under Yannick Gingras's urging to win in 1:53.3 and capture his second straight for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The victory was the third of the afternoon for Yannick Gingras (Marcus Miller also had three driving wins), and it was an important third win on the program for trainer Ron Burke. He and trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen went into the card tied at 82 atop the trainers' win standings, and then Garcia-Owen won the early double to go ahead, but Burke's later three-bagger gives his the slimmest leads at 85-84 with nine cards to go in the 2020 Philly racing season. The $10,000 fast-class pace saw the Mach Three gelding Bo Mach take his second straight victory since returning from a layoff of almost three months. The Dylan Davis trainee, owned by Howard Taylor, was taking a double stepup in class here, but driver Andrew McCarthy sent him to the lead in front of the stands and had no problem thereafter while finishing out the mile in 1:51.2, boosting his lifetime bankroll to $290,086. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

PACER OF THE WEEK: JUXTA COWGIRL The featured condition pace for harness racing fillies and mares on Sunday night at The Downs, which held a purse of $14,000, featured some intriguing competitors. Its Mesmerise N was looking for her fourth straight win, Eclipse Me N was Mare of the Year in 2019 at Pocono, and Queen Of The Pride was a big earner as a two and three-year-old. Juxta Cowgirl, who had won her last start at Pocono and was moving up in class for trainer Mike Watson, got away at 10-1 from the #3 post in a field of six. Driver Anthony Napolitano found Juxta Cowgirl a pocket spot behind pacesetting Eclipse Me N early. From there, the six-year-old mare bided her time as Eclipse Me N dealt with a first-over challenge from Its Mesmerise N. In the stretch, Napolitano coaxed Juxta Cowgirl into the passing line, where she fired past the leaders and picked up the upset victory in 1:51:2. Honorable Mention Kerford Road A (Tyler Buter, Rob Harmon), who defeated a pair of million-dollar earners in a condition pace on Saturday in 1:50:1, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. Lachie Maguire N (Jim Marohn Jr., Justin Sodano), who won Saturday's featured claiming handicap pace in 1:51, ending the five-race winning streak of Bell I No in the process. Voracity (Todd McCarthy, David Russo), who tore up for a condition victory on Tuesday afternoon in 1:50:3. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: RICH AND MISERABLE A year ago, this five-year-old gelding trained by Todd Buter was the Trotter of the Year at Pocono as part of a 12-win season. On Saturday he returned from stints in New York and New Jersey to take on an $11,200 condition trotting group. Not surprisingly, the Pocono fans remembered him, making him the 3-5 favorite as he left from post position #6 in a field of eight. Driver Tyler Buter didn't wait long to make his move, sending Rich And Miserable from fourth to first on the front stretch. From there, the gelding remained in control, eventually coming home a winner by 2 ½ lengths over Lord Cromwell. The winning time for Rich And Miserable of 1:53:2 was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. Honorable Mention Uncle Hanover (Kevin Wallis, Kimberly Burris), who shipped in from Tioga to win a condition trot on Sunday night in 1:53:4. Need Luck N (Jordan Stratton, Jason Johnson), who arrived from Harrington and picked up a condition victory on Saturday in a career-best 1:55. Sir Cromwell (Marcus Miller, Edward Hart), who handled a condition field on Tuesday in a career-best 1:57, giving him wins in each of his last two races on the Pocono oval. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: VALRHONA Driven by Mike Simons, this condition pacer surprised the faithful with a gate-to-wire victory on Tuesday at 49-1, paying $101.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MIKE SIMONS Simons' fans walked away much richer this week, as three of his four winning drives on Monday and Tuesday came with horses at 14-1, 20-1 and 49-1. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ROB HARMON It was an excellent weekend at Pocono for the Harmon barn, as he churned out a training double on Saturday afternoon and then added another victory on Sunday night. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs        

Harness racing driver Mike Merton and trainer Rob Harmon sweep co-features at Tioga Downs with Coveredndiamonds N and Clarion Hall on Saturday (August 8). Coveredndiamonds N ($5.70) captures the $5,500 featured fillies & mares pace. Prairie Westerngal (Wally Hennessy) took the field to the first quarter in :26.4. Coveredndiamonds N followed in the pocket as Prairie Westerngal used a :30.2 second quarter to lead to the half in :57.1. New Number Who Dis (Michael Deruntz) was the first to make a move going first-over into third but was just sputtering on the outside as Prairie Westerngal led to three-quarters in 1:26.1. As they made the turn for home Coveredndiamonds N popped out of the pocket and charged down the stretch to win in a seasonal best of 1:53.1 Prairie Westerngal had to settle for second best. Grant Me This (Jim Meittinis) finished third.   Coveredndiamonds N is 7-year-old mare by American Ideal. She is owned by Harmon Racing stable and Joel Kahan. It was her second win this season and her 21st career victory. Clarion Hall ($4.40) wins the $5,500 featured trot. Aquillo (Jim Meittinis) charges right out to the lead and led the first quarter in :27.4 Aquillo used a :29.0 second quarter to lead to the half in:56.4. Clarion Hall made his move as they headed for the backstretch going first-over from third. He took control just before hitting three-quarters in 1:25.3. Clarion Hall was joined by Joined by Lightfootedlegend (Bruce Aldrich) as they made the turn for home. Clarion Hall dug down deep and found something extra to win in 1:55.3. Lightfootedlegend was second best with Rose Run Rudi (Corey Braden) coming up to finish third.   Clarion Hall is a 6-year-old gelding by Windsong Espoir. He is owned by Michael Spaccarelli. It was his third straight win and fourth this season. He now has 18 career victoires. Mike Merton and Bruce Aldrich Jr. each drove three winners on the card. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (August 9) with a 10-race card starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - My Lindy Winner emerged as the only double winner in the first two preliminary legs of the Bobby Weiss harness racing Series for male trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning on Sunday in 1:56.4 despite a sloppy track, considerable rain, and swirling, occasionally strong, wind. My Lindy Winner was sent to the front off the first turn by driver Jim Morrill Jr., rated a moderate half, then sprinted off to an insurmountable lead that wound up being four lengths at the finish. The four-year-old Credit Winner entire is now undefeated in five 2019 starts for the Rob Harmon stable after notching only one win at two and three combined. His ownership consists of Vincent Laurenzo, Howard Taylor, and Thomas Lazzaro. Chapter And Ruth, like many other winners this evening, found the front end a good place to be, going 27.4 down the back to build up a big advantage, then withstanding Got No Money Honey by 1½ lengths while taking a new mark of 1:56.4 despite the messy track. Simon Allard handled the assignment behind the Chapter Seven four-year-old gelding for trainer/brother Rene and Allard Racing Inc. The other Weiss section saw a pair of horses undefeated in 2019, pacesetter Omaha Omaha and pocketsitter Archway, fighting it out late, and in keeping with the speedfavoring night, the Muscle Mass four-year-old gelding Omaha Omaha held off his rival by a neck in 1:57.2 to push his seasonal tally to 4-for-4. Matt Kakaley kept the winner rolling to the wire for trainer Mark Harder, and owners Glenn Goller and Abraham Basen. Tyson gained control of the racetrack just past the quarter and was never again headed in winning the $21,500 high-end conditioned trot in 1:55.1. Andrew McCarthy drove the altered son of Donato Hanover as he came home in 57 to beat Golden Son by 1 1/4 lengths for trainer Ed Gannon Jr., who is also co-owner of the winner of $248,050 with Frank Canzone. PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

Our second full week of harness racing for the 2019 season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono witnessed the Bobby Weiss late closer series getting into full gear. For the next month or so, three and four-year-old horses of varying genders and gaits will be battling it out to make the finals of that series, which go for a hefty purse. One of those Weiss horses actually grabs Trotter of the Week honors this week, which you'll discover as you read on for this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: GILLYS BOY In Saturday night's featured condition pace, with a purse of $21,500, this five-year-old gelding trained by Ron Burke went off as a 6-1 third choice despite coming in on a two-race winning streak. That was probably because those two wins, one at the Meadowlands and one at Pocono on March 16 in 1:52:2, both came against slightly lesser competition. Many of the other horses in the field on Saturday night were either veterans of the class or were coming from similarly stiff competition at other venues. Gillys Boy, as he did in those two wins in a row, shot out of the gate quickly, grabbing the lead from post position #5 in the field of nine. But unlike those previous two starts, the gelding had to cede the lead to someone else. Stars Align A, the even-money favorite, swooped by him as they rounded the first turn. Gillys Boy had to play the waiting game, taking his chance that he'd be able to outpace the favorite in the lane. When they came to top of the stretch, it was still Stars Align A and Gillys Boy sitting first and second, respectively. That's when driver Anthony Napolitano called on a little bit more from Gillys Boy and he stormed past the favorite to win it by a half-length in 1:50:3. That makes three straight wins, with the latest win coming in a career-best time against the toughest competition on the grounds, meaning Gillys Boy has been the man so far in the Pocono meet. Other top pacers this week include: Havefaithinme N (Jim Morrill Jr., Jose Godinez), who scored a condition victory on Saturday night in 1:50:2, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time at Pocono so far in 2019; River Runs Deep (Anthony Napolitano, Marta Piotrow), who switched barns and moved up in class but still scored his third claiming win in a row on Saturday night, scoring in 1:53; and Turbo Hill (Hunter Oakes driver and trainer), who pushed his winning streak to five, two of which have come at Pocono, after handling a division of the Bobby Weiss series for male pacers on Saturday night in 1:54:2.   TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MY LINDY WINNER You can't hold it against a horse if the competition against it isn't up to snuff on a given week. That was the case for My Lindy Winner in his race on Sunday night. Considering that it was the first leg of the Bobby Weiss series for male trotters, you might have expected a pretty competitive group. But the way the draw worked out, he ended up with one of the softest fields against him. Since he was probably the divisional favorite to start, that meant he would be the heavy favorite. After all, My Lindy Winner, a four-year-old stallion trained by Rob Harmon, came into the race on a three-race winning streak, with each victory more impressive than the one before. His streak started with a win at the Meadowlands, then continued when he posted a career-best mile in a condition victory at Pocono in 1:55:1. On March 28, he overcame an early break of stride to gut out a win at Yonkers. All of those took a lot more effort than he would need on Sunday night. Facing just four other competitors after two horses were scratched, My Lindy Winner, a 1-9 favorite with Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike, quickly grabbed the lead past the quarter-pole. From there, he was never threatened, coasting to a six-length victory in an unhurried 1:57. The competition will almost certainly be tougher from this point forward. But My Lindy Winner is racing with such confidence right now that it might not matter who is up against him. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Starsaboveallerage (Anthony Napolitano, Allen Sisco), who scored a condition trotting win on Sunday night in 1:54:4, the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Archway (George Napolitano Jr, Aaron Lambert), who followed up his maiden victory at Freehold with an easy condition victory on Monday afternoon in a career-best 1:56:4; and Spring In Paris (Andrew McCarthy, Steven LeBlanc), whose victory in 1:57:4 in the second leg of the Bobby Weiss series for distaff trotters on Tuesday was her second straight in the series and her third in a row to start the season.   LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ONE MORE MIRACLE Maybe "miracle" is too strong a word, but this pacer driven by Billy Mann certainly conjured up a surprise with a victory in a claimer on Sunday night at 14-1, paying off $31.80 on a $2 win ticket.   DRIVER OF THE WEEK: JIM MORRILL JR Morrill doesn't usually stick around for the whole meet at Pocono, but he does damage while he's here, as evidenced by three straight cards of multiple driving victories this past week.   TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MARTA PIOTROW   Piotrow made the most of her two starts on Saturday night, winning with claimers River Runs Deep and JK Pridenjoy, both of whom were brand new to her barn. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at   Jim Beviglia  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, December 8, 2018-Odds-on Weona Sizzler A (Jordan Stratton, $2.90) made a successful first trip to the harness racing adult table Saturday night (Dec. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Pocketed-from post position No. 5---to Gokudo Hanover (Dan Dube) through intervals of :27.1, 56 and 1:24, Weona Sizzler A found room passing the three-quarters when a first-up Soho Lennon A (Jim Marohn Jr.) backed away. Gokudo Hanover owned a length lead into the lane, but could not stall his intruder. Weona Sizzler A rolled right by, widening to win by that length in a life-best 1:52.1. Gokudo Hanover saved second, with Christen Me N (Matt Kakaley), Voracity (Tyler Buter) and Bettor Memories (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder. For Weona Sizzler A, a 5-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned (as Harmon Racing) by (trainer) Rob Harmon and Seth Rosenberg Racing, it was his eighth win in 18 seasonal starts (five wins and three seconds in eight North American tries). The exacta paid $25.40, the triple returned $131.50 and the superfecta paid $646. There is no Sunday matinee this time around, the final one wrapping the season Dec. 16th, with first post the ever-popular TBA. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The annual Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Tuesday night (with Halloween Wednesday being a dark day on the schedule) attracted two gray horses, a white horse, and two roans for its 2018 edition. Getting his picture taken after the race was the sophomore roan colt Marc Mellow Man, who shaved over six seconds off his mark by posting a 1:54 victory. Marc Mellow Man, in rein to Tyler Buter, was the only horse not to put in a serious move in the first quarter of the race, which was reached in 26.1. The top was eventually claimed by 2-5 favorite Gypsy Leather, who cut middle fractions of 55.1 and 1:24.2 with White Rolls in behind him and $240,000 yearling purchase White Bliss on the outside pressing. Nearing the far turn Gotta Love Him moved outside and then three-wide off cover to join the main action. All this time the victorious son of Marced Card sat last, and he still was out four lengths nearing midstretch. But the constant battling took its toll on his foes, and Marc Mellow Man had only to swing wide for Buter and pace a strong last 1/16 to win going away by ¾ of a length. It was the 10th victory in the three-year-old's career, but his first at a pari-mutuel track, as owners Duane, Connie, and Roger Roland had raced him on their native Iowa fair circuit, then sent him east to trainer Rob Harmon - who all combined to with Marc Mellow Man at $46.00 as the longest shot on the board. Top purse event during Tuesday's action at The Downs was a $17,500 pace for fillies and mares, and Eclipse Me N was back in comfortable environs, which she celebrated with a 1:51.3 victory. Having been on the road at Hoosier and Batavia recently, and having been beaten here against tougher stock than she faced on this night, the victorious daughter of Real Desire posted her third straight win at this conditioned level, overcoming a first-over journey to win by three lengths. Simon Allard handled the winner of $185,119 for trainer/brother Rene and the ownership of Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

YONKERS, N.Y. – Rob Harmon was skeptical of the French American Trotting Club when the idea was announced. The trainer initially passed over the opportunity, but pressed by owners Dein Spriggs, Barbara Kurtin, and Barbara Lucarelli, Harmon took the plunge. Under the Harmon Racing Stable name, the quartet joined the program. “At first, I was kind of hesitant, I just didn’t know how it was going to be,” Harmon said. “Then I had a bunch of owners called me at the last second and there’s actually four of us that own this horse and they all just wanted to try it. When you break it down, it was only seven-grand per person, so it wasn’t that bad. We all just threw in for a quarter.” Harmon received Aigle De La Vallee, an 8-year-old son of Norginio out of the And Arifant mare Indian Queen. The gelding went 4-for-81 overseas, his last win coming under saddle at La Capelle in July 2015. Harmon wasn’t enthused when he saw the chestnut for the first time. “He was red. That was the only thing I didn’t like about him,” the trainer said. “He was OK, he’s a good-looking horse. I’m not a big red horse fan. That’s just me. If I go to the sales looking for a baby and it’s red, I’m not buying them. I just never had any luck with them.” Like his other chestnut endeavors, Aigle De La Vallee looked to be destined to disappoint after the first leg of the French American Trotting Club Series August 5. Off a pair of solid qualifiers, including a 1 ¼-mile trial in 2:31.2 with a :27.4 final quarter, Aigle De La Vallee made a break in the first leg. He finished a distant last in the 10-horse field. “He just got a little hot on Jimmy (Marohn Jr.). He got a little hot and he wouldn’t wear head poles, so we tried line poles and at 8-years-old, he’s set in his ways. He was just too hot,” Harmon said.  Aigle De La Vallee needed to requalify in order to continue racing in the series. Harmon took the gelding to Pocono August 8, but he again went off stride. Three days later, Aigle De La Vallee qualified at Tioga with hopples and got a clean line on his card. However, the hopples had the unintended effect of tiring Aigle De La Vallee and he only trotted the mile in 2:00.2. Yonkers qualifying standards dictate a horse must trot in 2:00 on a five-eighths track in order to race. “We trained him in hopples and I was actually going to do that at Pocono when we qualified him and I decided not to. Jimmy thought it was something extra to help him out, so I did,” Harmon said. “They were a little tight on him in the qualifier and he just got tired in them, so we weren’t qualified for the next leg.” Harmon sought out another spot for Aigle De La Vallee to race in order to qualify for the final leg of the series August 26. He needed a spot that would mesh with the Sunday schedule at Yonkers and that didn’t have purse caps on classes as Aigle De La Vallee raced in the $35,000 series leg in his prior start. Harmon found a $4,815 conditioned trot at Saratoga Friday, August 17 and entered, but Aigle De La Valle drew post eight with Frank Coppola Jr. named to drive. The trotter would need a 2:02 mile on the half-mile track to qualify to race at Yonkers. “I told everybody, let’s just take him to Saratoga and just let him race and he is what he is,” Harmon said. “I told Frank, ‘you’ve just got to go 2:02. I don’t care if he’s last, you just have to trot in 2:02 so I’m qualified for the last leg.’ He drove him that way and he raced good.” Complicating the time trial, a deluge hit Saratoga that evening and left the track sloppy. Devoid of any gate speed, Coppola took Aigle De La Vallee back to last and raced 10 ½ lengths behind at the quarter. Coppola guided the French trotter around two breakers in the opening half-mile and joined the outer flow in the second lap. Aigle De La Vallee advanced without cover from 7 lengths back and caught the leaders. Coppola tipped four-wide around the final turn and he swooped past the field to win by a length in 1:59.1. “He actually raced good, he had the eight hole in a monsoon. He ended up catching up to the field on the last turn, went four deep, and just trotted home good,” Harmon said. “Out of the eight hole, he overcame a lot.” Qualified for the final leg of the series, Aigle De La Vallee started from post two in the $35,000 second division August 26. He raced first-over and although he was passed by winner Versachet in the final three-eighths of the 1 ½-mile marathon, Aigle De La Vallee finished second to earn a spot in Sunday’s $120,000 final. “When we brought him back in the last leg when we were second, I told Jimmy, ‘just get away wherever you’re going to get away and just pull him and let him grind away.’ That’s what he did,” Harmon said. “He didn’t brush, he stayed first-over and just went one speed. Jordan Stratton came behind us and went around us, but we got up for second and that helped. “He’s the kind of horse who always goes :29 in three quarters,” Harmon said. “He’s just a grinder, he has no brush to him. The further we go, the better he is. He just doesn’t slow down, but he doesn’t have a big brush to him.” Aigle De La Vallee drew post seven in the series final, carded as the second of 10 races Sunday. Harmon is keeping his expectations in check for the 15-1 morning line, who will start just inside of series leader Ursis Des Caillons, who is undefeated at Yonkers in three starts. Last week’s other winner Versachet drew post four while earlier series winners Deo and Alpha d’Urzy will start from the second tier in posts 10 and 12, respectively. Bosse Du Fosse, Akhenaton, Uhlan Noir, Barry Black, Adagio De La Tour, Bioness, and Undici complete the field. “That would be unbelievable. It really would be unbelievable. I don’t see him doing it,” Harmon said of winning the final. “He’s going to have to have a lot of things go his way. That’s what we’re all in it for, don’t get me wrong.” Harmon doesn’t think the outside post will hurt Aigle De La Vallee. The trainer is rooting for action early in the 1 ½-mile race to set up for Aigle De La Vallee’s grinding style. “After he raced his last time, he showed that he’s a little more honest now. You know what you’ve got and he did trot a good race last time,” he said. “There’s just going to be a lot of road traffic for us. I’m glad I’m not driving, I’m glad I’m watching. “Even if we had the inside, he would get away in the same spot, he’s just not a big leaver,” Harmon continued. “We’re going a mile-and-a-half, I just hope everybody pulls early and tries to get position and then there’s just going to be a lot of tired horses and we can beat them at the end.” First post time Sunday is 12:15 p.m. The Empire Terrace will be open for Sunday brunch in conjunction with the series final. For free full-card past performances, click here.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Pompano Beach, FL...March 1, 2018...While Modern Mercury and Born To Thrive shared the Wednesday night spotlight with victories in their respective $11,000 Open trotting events, they played "second fiddle" to Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 finale, as one unique ticket had the correct 7-3-5-9-6 combo worth $282,244.66. Purchased through Xpressbet, the as yet unidentified winner had the 9 to 2 chance, BJ Lorado, with Andy Santeramo driving, on top with Deepwell (22 to 1) second, Savin Rock (77 to 1) third, Deli-Craze (5 to 1) fourth and Juts Like Bud (30 to 1) fifth. The even money favorite, Cowboy Hall, made an early miscue to set things in motion for the record Pompano Park payoff. Those who may have caught the other exotic offerings in the race were handsomely rewarded, as well, as the trifecta returned $4,615.00, and the 20 cent Superfecta paid $8,239.36. On the race track, Modern Mercury scored a repeat win in her event as driver Wally Hennessey sent this five year-old daughter of Donato Hanover straight to the front and recorded fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before her :29.3 finale sealed the deal in 1:54.4, a seasonal best. Trained by Rob Harmon for owner John Campagnuolo, Modern Mercury hit the wire 1 1/2 lengths to the good of the late charging Second Sister, handled by the Cardiac Kid, Jim Meittinis. Pocket-sitting She's All In, with Rick Plano in her sulky, finished third while A TC Queenie finished fourth. Celebrity Artemis picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. After the race, Hennessey said, "she (Modern Mercury) is very sharp right now. I sent her because her other two wins this year were on the front and I wanted to try and get a jump on Rick's (Plano) mare (She's All In), who seems to like the pocket, and the other Rick's (Schaut) mare, (A TC Queenie), who took a week off and was outside. Tonight, it just worked out our way." Modern Mercury won for the third time this semester in nine starts, good for $22,000 so far this young season. Lifetime Modern Mercury has banked $116,875 to go along with her mark just one tick faster than her Wednesday performance. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote, Modern Mercury paid $3.40 to win. Born To Thrive, patiently driven by Rick Plano, took the feature for the male counterparts with a very sharp come-from-behind performance in 1:54.2--trotting his last 3/4s in 1:24.4 to score by 1 3/4 lengths over a quick closing Prairie Fortune, with Jim Meittinis in the bike. Boli, handled by Wally Hennessey, was next after carving up panels of :28.3, :57.3 and 1:26.1. Uncle Hanover and Skyway Pippin completed the roster in this quintet. In a post-race interview, driver Rick Plano remarked, "Well, there's not much to add as the horse did all the talking in this one. He can grind forward a long way and he is very eager right now. Seems to love to hit the racetrack." The winner, a five year-old gelded son of Swan For All, is also trained by Plano for Victor Contento, Maryann Plano and John Campagnuolo, giving the latter owner a "daily double" of his own with the aforementioned mare, Modern Mercury, a winner in the distaff feature. Born To Thrive now sports an 6-1-0 scorecard in eight starts and $30,400 in bounty. Career-wise, the gelding now has banked $226,738. Also off at 3 to 5, Born To Thrive returned $3.40 to his multitude of followers. Racing continues on Saturday night with the Miller-Tetrick Pro-Am Challenge, a five race extravaganza feature the two super-stars benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation and New Vocations. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   John Berry for Pompano Park      

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 6, 2017 - Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton, $23.40) did his damage from second-over Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. Floating out of the gate from post position No. 6, Taco Tuesday found a home fifth while 19-10 choice Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett) walked to the lead. Overcoming his assigned eight-hole, 'Hemi' was issue-free through pokey early fractions of :29.1 and :59 and 1:28.4. Down the backside the final time, Buen Camino (Scott Zeron) took out of fourth, confronting Hemi Seelster as the pace of this trot picked up. After a 1:57.1 mile post, Hemi Seelster owned a shortening lead into the lane As Buen Camino was about to win the battle...but lose the war. Taco Tuesday, towed into it by Buen Camino, appreciated the gesture so much, he rolled right over him. Taco Tuesday won by a length, the mile-and-a-quarter going in 2:26.3. Hemi Seelster faded to third, with Sumatra (Eric Goodell) sand Georgie's Pockets (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the minors. For eighth choice (in the field of nine) Taco Tuesday, a 4-year-old Cantab Hall gelding owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Rob Harmon, it was his sixth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $107, the triple returned $489.50 and the superfecta paid $8,476. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 6-Rally Cry (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 4-Tarot (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $11.80 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $7,977. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Aug. 13th) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY - Taco Tuesday, a 4-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall, will make his first start out of Rob and Patti Harmon's stable in the 1 1/4-mile, $68,000 Open Handicap Trot at Yonkers Raceway July 30. The change comes after Rob Harmon received an unexpected call from the trotter's owner, Vince Laurenzo, after Taco Tuesday galloped most of the mile in the Hambletonian Maturity July 15. "I got a phone call on Sunday the day after he raced at The Meadowlands from Vince. He wanted to know if I would take him and start training him. I told him that would be great," Harmon explained. "I never met him before. I still haven't met him, only talked to him on the phone. He has some good horses. He wants to race at Yonkers, so that was probably the big key there." Before coming to Harmon's stable, Taco Tuesday won 10 of 42 races and banked $290,937. Laurenzo bought Taco Tuesday out of the Harrisburg sale last fall for $90,000 and the trotter has switched stables several times since. Now, Harmon is happy to have Taco Tuesday settling into his barn. "He's a nice horse. You wouldn't even know he's in the barn. Clean legged, doesn't do one thing wrong. That's a good horse," he said. For Harmon, the process of getting an established older horse in the stable is a multi-step one. He examines blood work, watches replays, and gets a feel for the horse. Mainly, he aims to make the transition as easy as possible or the horse and tries to keep them on the same routine. "The first thing I always do, I always pull their blood. I want to see what they are, especially when they're racing good, I like to maintain the blood to where they are. Then I watch a video to see how he is," Harmon said. "This horse is pretty good, just wears an open bridle and he's pretty simple. The good thing about that is, to me it's easy to follow what they've been doing." Harmon's stable is in the midst of a strong year. He has sent out 42 winners from 252 starts at Yonkers with another 57 placing. His horses have earned $929,367 at the Hilltop Oval this ' season. "We're doing good. Every winter I always do pretty decent. Usually after April or May I start shifting horses to Tioga because they either get tired or they run out of their classes, but knock on wood, horses have been holding on and we're trying to stay there and race more," he said. Taco Tuesday is a 12-1 morning line in his debut for Harmon after qualifying in 1:52.4 at The Meadowlands July 22. He posted a final quarter in :27.4 and finished fourth behind Crazy Wow, Tuonoblu Rex, and JL Cruze. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove in the gelding's first move for Harmon and the trainer was happy. "Jimmy said he was really manageable, just went around there and he trotted 1:52.4," Harmon said. "It just seems like he gets a little hot behind the gate, but that's up to the drivers. And a lot of those guys already know the horse." Taco Tuesday's trouble behind the gate will be his biggest hurdle when he starts from post six in the Open Trot this Sunday. Taco Tuesday's biggest asset is his early speed and a first-tier post position helps that, but getting away cleanly is just as important. "It looks like he's best when he goes toward the front, but it's tough with him. You have to baby him off the gate because you don't want him to run, try to keep him calm. But that first step off the gate is what we need to get in front of those good horses, too," Harmon reasoned. Jordan Stratton will drive Taco Tuesday this Sunday. It will be Stratton's first time sitting behind the gelding since they paired up to win a 1-mile, $40,000 Preferred Handicap at Yonkers April 15. After the early scratch of Springbank Sam, 10 horses will challenge Taco Tuesday, including 2-1 morning line favorite and last week's Open Handicap Trot winner Homicide Hunter. "There's horses that are nice in there. No one looks like a throw out. We just need a lot of luck in the mile-and-a-quarter race, that's all." Post time at Yonkers Sunday is 11:30 a.m. For entries for the card, click here. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Pompano Beach, FL...February 28, 2017...Modern Mercury, cleverly handled by George Napolitano, Jr., took top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's $8,500 Open Trot for mares on Tuesday night (February 28), orbiting wide past her rivals turning for home to score by two lengths in a lifetime best performance timed in 1:54.3. The four year-old daughter of Donato Hanover pinned the defeat on Serendipitious, driven by Wally Hennessey. Celebrity Artemis, with Marcello Spano in the sulky, finished third, 2¾ lengths off the winner, while She's All In, prominent throughout the mile, finished fourth. Bad Angel, last in the septet until mid-stretch, rallied to pick up the nickel. It was Serendipitious winning the initial war for the top spot as she out-dueled She's All In to the opening turn to take command and blitz an opening panel in :27.2 and half in :56.2. At this half-way juncture, She's All In remained cozy in her pocket with Celebrity Artemis next and M T Ur Pockets on the move from fourth and Modern Mercury picking up her cover. On the backside, Serendipitious began to pick up the pace as She's All In continued patient while M T Ur Pockets was stalling a bit on the outside, forcing Napolitano to make a decision on when to tilt wide. Just past the third station, "Nap" sent Modern Mercury into orbit and, turning for home, already had her sights on Serendipitious. At mid-stretch, it was virtually all over as Modern Mercury was on her way to victory with her :29 finale. After the event, driver George Napolitano, Jr. remarked, "the last couple of starts, she did race good against the boys and being in with her own kind helped a lot. "When I tilted her out wide turning for home, she was very willing to finish the job. She's a pretty solid mare." Trained by Rob Harmon for owner John Campagnuolo, Modern Mercury won for the fourth time this year in eight starts, sending her seasonal earnings to $19,075. Lifetime, she now has nine wins and career bounty of $70,175 to go along with her new lifetime mark tonight. As the 6 to 5 tote-board choice, Modern Mercury paid $4.40 to win. Racing continues on Wednesday night with a carryover in the Pick-6, a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool and a Super Hi 5 carryover of $24,307.   Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 14, 2017- Roland N Rock and harness racing driver Jordan Stratton launched a decisive backside move Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth-from assigned post position No. 2-among the half-dozen, Roland N Rock watched as 11-10 choice Limelight Beach (George Brennan) made the lead around P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett). Early intervals of :27.1 and a flat 57 seconds should have served the leader well, but alas, nope. Roland N Rock moved at the leader by the 1:25.1 three-quarters, meeting no pushback whatsoever. 'Roland' opened a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then held off the rival he dragged in-a last-early Blood Brother (Scott Zeron)-by a neck in 1:53.1. P H Supercam was a trapped third, with Sports Bettor (Dan Dube) and Somewhere Fancy (Matt Kakaley) rounding out the payees. Limelight Beach retreated to last. For second choice Roland N Rock, a now-5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding co-owned by Connie & Duane Roland trained by Rob Harmon, it was a season-debuting victory and it was win 39 from 71 lifetime starts. The exacta paid $57, with the triple returning $319.50. Saturday's Pick 5 wager did not get hit, so Sunday's gimmick begins with a double-carryover of $6,426.84 (50-cent base wager, races 6 through 10). Reminder first post for the 'French' 10-race card is 11:30 AM. Frank Drucker

Pink Pistol rocketed through the lane to pull off a 10-1 upset in the fastest division of Saturday's $161,047 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for harness racing 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. The event, known as the Stenographer, was contested over three divisions, with Ginny Weasley (13-1) and Spicedbourbongirl (9-1) completing the long shot parade in the PASS opener. Jeff Gregory enjoyed a stake double behind Pink Pistol and Spicedbourbongirl. Pink Pistol hadn't raced in a month, as Rob Harmon, who trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-August Revenue for Harmon Racing Stable, Knightstalker Stable and Lynne Mondrick, gave her an extended break to help cure her gaiting problems. "She needed to go home and not ship so much," Harmon said. "She has a little tying-up issue, and shipping is not her best thing. She'll stay right here in the sires stakes. She's eligible for a couple in Canada, but she has to show us that she's back to herself before we start going up there." In the Stenographer, she got away third, saved ground and brushed through the stretch to triumph in 1:55, 1-1/2 lengths better than Sunset Glider, with Candy Lane third. It was the fifth win for Pink Pistol in eight lifetime outings. Ginny Weasley never had won a stake, but Lucas Wallin nevertheless used her twice -- once for early position from post 8, once to pursue the leader second over. She avoided the breaking Moots out of the final turn and scored in 1:55.1, a career best. Miss Tezsla was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Black Broadway earned show. "She showed a lot of speed last year, and I won at the Meadowlands with her earlier this year," Wallin said. "So we told the owner to give her a little break and aim for the stake races. The trip went great today, but she won pretty easy." Ake Svanstedt trains the daughter of Andover Hall-Donepunk for Torp Trotting, Inc. Spicedbourbongirl also collected her first stake victory when she zipped past the 1-5 favorite, Womans Will, in the lane and prevailed in 1:55.4 for owner William B. Weaver III. Womans Will saved place, 1/2 length in arrears, while Kathy Parker completed the ticket. "She won pretty handy at Pocono in an overnight, so we thought we might as well give her a shot against the better girls," said Gregory, who also conditions the daughter of Cantab Hall-All In The Muscles. "It was only her second start of the year, so I didn't want to abuse her. I was hoping I could get lucky and save some ground." $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Saturday's card also featured a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly trotters -- yet another showcase for Goodtogo Hanover, who won her seventh consecutive race. Witnesstheprincess and Shelovesumore also took $20,000 splits. As Goodtogo Hanover zipped to the top from post 7, driver Brian Zendt, noticed an unusual problem. A GoPro camera attached to her sulky to capture live images had loosened and flipped. The images transmitted may have been upside down, but the daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall stayed atop her game, winning in 1:56.2 "I don't know if it (the GoPro) bothered her, but it was rubbing her," Zendt said. "She was a little extra hot today. I thought she was a little quieter last time. I didn't plan on being at the quarter in 27.2, but as you could see, I was a passenger." Keystone Taylor finished 3-1/4 lengths back in second, with Best Of Dreams third. Bill Zendt trains Goodtogo Hanover and owns with Gary Saul. Witnesstheprincess rebounded from a pair of break-marred outings to collect a front-end victory for Aaron Merriman and trainer Chris Beaver, who owns the daughter of Andover Hall-Mystical Moonlight with Synerco Ventures and Michael Robinson. Mystical Power earned place, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Glidinthruparadise finished third. "She had a couple good starts here earlier this year, but we had some issues with her shoeing and her feet," Merriman said. "She wasn't getting over the track. Chris made some adjustments and thought she would be better. She really showed it today." Shelovesumore emerged from several months of vexing medical issues to rally for a 1/2-length victory -- at 20-1 -- over Summer Moonshine in 1:57.1. Explosive High finished third. Tony Hall drove for trainer Sharon Donella, who owns the homebred daughter of War Paint-Wasador with Kathleen Quinn-Hodel. "It's been a torturous three months," Donella said. "She had some problems with her cycle. Then she got a real bad sinus infection. We finally got the hormones worked out, the sinuses cleared up, and we got us a horse." In the $22,500 Winners Over 10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Unlocked powered to a front-end victory in 1:49, fastest ever at The Meadows by an older pacer. Fred And Ginger held the previous mark of 1:49.2 Jim Pantaleano piloted the 5-year-old son of Duneside Perch-Miss Major Power, who boosted his career bankroll to $417,244, for trainer Norm Parker and owner Megan Rogers Racing Stables. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino    

Pink Pistol and UF Lindsay Lou Who each captured her second straight series win in Wednesday’s second leg of the Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot at The Meadows. Pink Bike took the other $12,000 second-leg division in the event for harness racing 3- and 4-year-old filly and mare trotters. Pink Pistol had the easier time of it, powering to the front for Dave Palone before the quarter and coasting to an 8-3/4-length victory in 1:55. Regal Woman and Moshannon Motown completed the ticket. Rob Harmon conditions the 3-year-old daughter of Cantab Hall-August Revenue, who has won all four starts this year, for Harmon Racing Stable, Knightstalker Stable and Lynne Mondrick. On the point after a quarter-pole move, UF Lindsay Lou Who had to deal with the serious challenge of Flowers N Songs, who entered the day undefeated in her three-race career. UF Lindsay Lou Who pulled away in the lane to down the challenger by 2-1/2 lengths, with Witnesstheprincess third. Brian Zendt drove the 4-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Sweetspellosuccess for trainer Leslie Zendt and owner Up Front Racing LLC. In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Handicap Trot, Tamarind was parked to the three-eighths from post 9 but had little trouble holding the lead once there. He scored in 1:53.2 for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury, 1-3/4 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Southwind Warsaw, while Princess Pablano rallied wide for show. The 8-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos extended his career bankroll to $775,249. Palone piloted five winners and Mike Wilder four on the 15-race card. Evan Pattak

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 12, 2015 - Harness racing pacers were on display in New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres action on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. Winning efforts were turned in by Roland N Rock and Smart Zone, both three-year-olds by Rocknroll Hanover, and LL Jackpot, a two-year-old daughter of Philos Hanover. Each division carried a $7,000 purse. Roland N Rock [$2.10], driven by Daniel Dube and trained by Rob Harmon, was the odds-on pick and delivered a length and a half victory over Artsmah [Western Ideal] in the third race. Edward Tech [Rocknroll Hanover] was third by a length in three-quarters. The mile was timed in 1:54.3. The Perretti-bred gelding took the lead at the quarter and was on top at every pole. Owned by Duane and Connie Roland of Grinnell, IA, Roland N Rock has six wins and two seconds in 10 starts this year and has won 20 of 24 career outings for a bankroll now over $160,000. In the three-year-old fillies division, the sixth race, longshot Smart Zone [$29] was a length winner over Lissan [Rocknroll Hanover]. Favorite Strut My Stuff [Western Ideal] cut the mile and faded to third by a length and three-quarters. Smart Zone, driven by Eric Abbatiello, paced the mile in 1:56.2. Bred by Winbak Farm, the filly is trained by Matias Ruiz for Roslyn Delgaudio of Philadelphia, PA. It was her third win with two seconds in 16 starts this year. She has seven wins, four seconds and two thirds in 28 career starts for a bankroll topping $80,000. LL Jackpot, co-bred and owned by his trainer, Ivan Llopez, made it two straight in Green Acres competition for two-year-old filly pacers in a non-wagering event. She finished a half-length ahead of On Top Ofthe Rock and two and a quarter ahead of Rocknroll Palz in third. The runners up are both by Rocknroll Hanover. Jim Marshall III guided LL Jackpot in her 2:02 mile. LL Jackpot has two wins in six starts and earnings of $13,900 for Llopez and Louis T. Ferdinandi's LTF Racing Stable of Clark, NJ. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

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