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Odds-on favorite harness racing Fat Man's Alley (Brian Sears, $2.70, part of entry) read the memo just in time Tuesday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $70,500 final of the Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series. The series featured base $20,000 claiming males in three preliminary legs leading to this final. A gapping third early from post position No. 3, the 'Fat Man' saw Bubbie Boy (George Brennan) stroll through sedate early fractions of 28-seconds flat and :57.2. Bubbie Boy then threw down a :27.1 third quarter (1:24.1) right as Fat Man's Alley was getting his work order. The leader had a length-and-a-half advantage entering the lane, but the Fat Man Cometh. He wore down Bubbie Boy mid-stretch, eventually beating him by that length-and-a-half in 1:52.3. Innocent Victim (Dan Dube, winner's entrymate) nosed out pocket-sitting Colonial Road (Scott Zeron) for third, with Can't it Be Me (Jason Bartlett) getting the final pay envelope. For Fat Man's Alley, an 8-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Jack & Ferne Frydman, it was his sixth win in 17 seasonal starts (career earnings over $734,000). The exacta paid $7.10, with the triple returning $20. A $30,000 series consolation won by So Good I'm Bad (Eric Abbatiello, $10.40) in 1:53.2. Frank Drucker

After heading off to Vernon Downs for a two-race stint, Wanna Rock N Roll was ready to give Buffalo Raceway another try on Wednesday night (May.18). She made it a successful return in the featured $8,200 pace for the harness racing ladies.   Going gate to wire from the inside, Wanna Rock N Roll had little trouble in disposing of five other rivals in scoring a 1-1/4 length over Voltina in 1:56.1.   While the trip down the Thruway to Vernon Downs was worthwhile resulting in a win and fourth place finish, Wanna Rock N Roll looked more than comfortable back at Buffalo.   The heavily-favored Wanna Rock N Roll ($2.80) was able to take the lead midway down the backstretch to the opening quarter. Driver Billy Davis Jr. sat back from that point on with Wanna Rock N Roll and posted fractions of 29.0, 58.8 and 1:27,2,   There looked to be some challenges coming in the stretch from second place finisher Voltina (Kevin Cummings) and Ugly Betty (Drew Monti) but neither managed to pose a serious threat in the end.   Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Mike Carrubba, it was the fifth win of the season in 15 starts for Wanna Rock N Roll (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady). The win pushed the 5-year-old mare's earnings to $39,975 in 2016 and $201,594 lifetime.   Davis Jr. finished the night with a triple while Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Trainers JD Perrin and John Mungillo had two victories apiece.   Racing will continue on Friday night with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m. There's a $856 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Peter Paul Venturini, Peter Venturini III and Brian Malone's Smart Rokker ($3.80, Tony Morgan) cruised to an easy 1:52 harness racing triumph in the $15,000 featured Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway. Trained by Malone, the 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding led every call and drew clear by six lengths at the wire over Sparky Mark and Just A Jolt, who rounded out the trifecta. Smart Rokker notched his seventh win of the year, which matched his win total from 2015. The win was one of three for Morgan. Coaster ($45.60, Montrell Teague) was a long shot winner for the second straight start for trainer co/owner Buddy Bright. Getitoffyourchest ($26, Ross Wolfenden) was the fastest winner on the program with a 1:51.3 triumph for trainer Richard Lewis and owners David Banks and Layfield Horses LLC. Teague, Wolfenden and Bret Brittingham each had a double. Matthew Sparacino  

Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia featured a high-powered racing program, topped by a winner's over $25,000 lifetime (race 7). The event featured harness racing's richest pacer Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras), millionaire pacer P H Supercam (Tim Tetrick), the dominant free-for-aller so far this season Rockeyed Optimist (Brett Miller), and the red-hot Rene Allard trainee Jins Dragon (Simon Allard). At the start, P H Supercam got the front, with Jins Dragon settling into second. Foiled Again was flushed out by Rockeyed Optimist, who took up second over position just past the half. As longshot Rather Swell (Eric Carlson) began to tire from the 3 hole, Foiled Again ducked to the cones to save ground the final turn. As they entered the stretch, Jins Dragon vacated the pocket, while Foiled Again attacked up the passing lane. Rockeyed Optimist had the freshest legs however, as he was able to sweep on by in deep stretch to win by a little more than a head, stopping the timer in 1:50.3. Jins Dragon was second, while Foiled Again finished third. It was the seventh win this year for the 5-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover, and the twenty-second of his career. Rockeyed Optimist ($5.60) is owned by Peretti, Berkner, Battaglia, and the A&B Stables, and is trained by Steve Elliott. Elsewhere on the card, 2012 Levy winner Atochia looked good in victory in the days opener. After only posting a handful of starts the past few seasons, the 11-year-old gelding has now won 2 of his last 3. Today's win for the Burke trainee was in a non-winners of $7,500 in the last 5 starts. The mile went in 1:52.3. There were also three divisions of a non-winners of $15,000 on the pace. The division winners were Giveupdreaming (Burke-Gingras), Caviart Luca (Dailey-McCarthy), and Get Outta Eyre N (Dilloian-S. Allard). Caviart Luca's win was the fastest of the three divisions, with a clocking of 1:51.3. Michael Bozich

After rising steadily through the harness racing  ranks amid three wins in as many starts, the J P Stables' Damon Blue Chip ($5.90) extended his streak to four in Saturday (May 14) night's $7,500 top-level pace at Vernon Downs.   Trainer-driver John MacDonald sent the 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding to the front, but had to work clear of Pantehon Hanover (Chris Lems) through a :26.4 first quarter. Once clear, Damon Blue Chip maintained a blistering pace over off going, reeling off middle fractions of :54.3 and 1:22.4 before gaining some separation in upper stretch. The now 31-time winner ultimately drew off from Pantheon Hanover by 2-1/4 lengths for a 1:52.1 score, while The Green Knight (Truman Gale) was a farther 10-1/4 lengths back in third after a mild rally out of last on the far turn.   Jimmy Whittemore led all drivers with three wins on the nine-race card, teaming up with Mower'sbigmike ($14.00, 1:56.1), Veal Marsala ($5.50, 1:55.1), and Western Toro ($9.70, 1:56.4).   The 50¢ Pick 5 once again evaded the Vernon punters, leading to a $1,626.50 carryover to Thursday (May 19) evening. A 10-race program is due to commence at 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

With the temperature at 55 degrees at post time for the $15,500 featured mares pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Tuesday night, investing at the win window on a horse named The Summer Wind might have seemed a bit of a mercurial stretch, but that 5-1 shot got the lead in the last three strides to post a nose harness racing triumph in 1:52.2.   Jim Marohn Jr. had the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover placed just behind an early fight behind the two favorites, Request For Parole and Life Is A Beach, and kept to the inside throughout. When Life Is A Beach moved outside to challenge the pacesetting Request For Parole in the stretch drive, The Summer Wind was able to utilize the famed Pocono Pike, and Marohn was able to rally her up the inside in the last few steps to edge out Life Is A Beach, with All About Kisses a closing third as Request For Parole faded to fourth. Greg White trains the career winner of over $310,000 for owners Charles Rowe and Lewis Whitaker.   The weekend cards for Saturday and Sunday at The Downs, which serve as "the start of the racing week" under the current Saturday through Tuesday schedule at the mountain oval, promise some fine racing. On Saturday, Bigtown Hero, whose 1:48.1 win here last Saturday is the fastest mile in North American harness racing so far in 2016, returns in the $25,000 winners-over pace slotted for race 10, and this horse is noted for being able to hold a "winning grove" an extended period of time when he's in top form. Aslan, a bang-up second to the "Hero" last week, and McArdles Lightning, in razor-sharp form both here and at The Meadowlands lately, figure to be his chief opposition.   On Sunday, the Pennsylvania All-Stars series returns with three $30,000 divisions in races six, eight, and ten for top state-bred three-year-old pacing colts. The most-watched division should be the first one, matching as it does The Catamount Kid, who beat out every colt in last week's $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic that wasn't trained by a person named Burke (he was fourth behind the powerhouse stable's 1-2-3 finish), will do battle with Ideal Jimmy, last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship winner who is due for some improved racing luck in his third start of the season.   PHHA / Pocono

The much anticipated harness racing match up between State Treasurer and Wiggle It Jiggleit developed around the final turn Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but neither horse came away with a victory. Nickle Bag spoiled the Horse of the Year showdown with his 10th victory of the season in Saturday's seven-horse $34,000 Preferred. State Treasurer showed good early speed and cleared to the front ahead of Nickle Bag heading into the first turn. The 2015 Canadian Horse of the Year posted opening-fractions of :26.2 and :55. Wiggle It Jiggleit left alertly, but was quickly dropped into fourth by driver Montrell Teague. The 2015 U.S. Horse of the Year got his cue to charge first up heading into the final turn. State Treasurer and Wiggle It Jiggleit went toe-to-toe by the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, but waiting patiently in behind the superstars was Nickle Bag and driver Trevor Henry. Wiggle It Jiggleit wrestled the lead away from State Treasurer and had a few lengths on Nickle Bag with an eighth of a mile to go, but the classy veteran tracked down the Teague stable star to win the Preferred by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.1. State Treasurer battled hard to finish third. A six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag scored his eighth Preferred victory of the season Saturday. The Bill Robinson trainee has now won two of his last three starts to improve his overall 2016 record to 10 wins from 16 starts. Nickle Bag has earned $184,860 in 2016 for owners Linda and Harry Loyens. His latest Preferred victory gives him 29 career wins and pushes his career earnings over $640,000. Nickle Bag paid $14.90 to win. Nickle Bag Wiggle It Jiggleit's second-place finish was just his sixth loss in 33 career starts and trainer Clyde Francis admitted he was disappointed. "We thought he would race a little better than he did," said Francis. "He didn't look as good as he did when we trained him the other day. I hope there is not much to it." Francis indicated that Wiggle It Jiggleit never really found comfort during the course of Saturday's race and at moments appeared to be close to going off stride. "He's always had a little funny way of going, but he was worse tonight." Wiggle It Jiggleit's next start is just a week away in the Confederation Cup on Sunday, May 15 at Flamboro Downs. Francis has full confidence the 2015 U.S Horse of the Year will bounce back. "You just back up and regroup and try to find out what the problem is." Wiggle It Jiggleit last start at Mohawk before Saturday's contest was a second-place finish in last year's Pepsi North America Cup. Also on Saturday, War N Munn recorded the WEG Series hat-trick with a huge performance in The Diplomat final. A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battled in the $57,600 Diplomat final and it was action packed from start to finish. Dreamfair Mesa fired out from the middle of the gate to grab command and post a hot opening-quarter of :25.3. Several rivals began to charge up on the outside in the second-quarter, including the 1/5 favourite Gerries Sport. Dreamfair Mesa surrendered the lead to Worthy Art moments after posting a half-mile time of :54.3. Gerries Sport and Sylvain Filion were left first-over, while War N Munn, who had yet to see the pylons after leaving from post-nine, sat second-over. Gerries Sport took a narrow lead at the three-quarter pole in 1:22. The heavy-favourite tried to seal the deal in the stretch, but War N Munn and driver Jonathan Drury fired off cover and grabbed the lead midway down the lane. War N Munn finished the job in a career-best 1:50.2 for a two-length victory over Shocking Image and Worthy Art. Gerries Sport dropped back to finish fourth. Trained by Carmen Auciello, War N Munn turned in a massive parked-out effort for his sixth win in 10 starts this season. The three-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal has now scored victories in The Count B, Youthful and The Diplomat Series finals this season. "He shows up every night," said Auciello following the victory. "I knew tonight was going to be tough with the nine-hole, but J.D. (Jonathan Drury) couldn't have done a better job at working out a trip." War N Munn pushed his seasonal earnings over the $100,000 mark with the victory for owner George Munniksma. The sophomore pacer now has career totals of eight victories and earnings exceeding $148,000. War N Munn paid $11.50 to win. War N Munn Pacing fillies and mares also shared the spotlight on Saturday night. Chris Matthews trainee Lay Lady Lay went gate-to-wire to win the $57,400 Princess Series final for three-year-old fillies in 1:54. Doug McNair guided the daughter of Up The Credit to her first win in three starts this season. Lay Lady Lay is owned by 1posse2steves3brothersstb of Guelph, Ontario. She paid $5.60 to win. Lay Lady Lay Waasmula posted the fastest mile of the night in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred. The Bruce Goit trainee stopped the clock in 1:49.3 for her fifth win of the season. Driven by Trevor Henry, Wassmula has now recorded victories in three of her last four starts. She has banked $88,240 this season for owner Brent Vincent. Waasmula Henry finished the night with four driving victories. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Peter Venturini and Peter Venturini III and harness racing trainer Brian Malone's Smart Rokker ($9, Tony Morgan) was a 1:52 winner in the $16,000 Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway. Bandolito (Daryl Bier) battled Bad Boy Matt for the early lead before the former made the lead in 27.1 under pressure from Vapour N (Pat Berry), who eventually cleared at the half-mile in an action packed 54.2. Special T Rocks (Ross Wolfenden) mounted a first-over attack with Smart Rokker (Rocknroll Hanover) perched perfectly second-over before tipping three-wide and prevailing in 1:52. Special T Rocks held second gamely while Sparky Mark, whose three-race win streak was snapped, finished third. George and Tina Dennis' Allstar Preview (George Dennis, $31.20) sprang an upset in 1:54.2 in the sub-featured $12,500 Open. Trained by his co-owner/driver, it was his second straight win. Morgan had four winners on the program, while Dennis had three. Victor Kirby and Allan Davis had a double. Matthew Sparacino  

Canada's reigning Horse of the Year made his season debut Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but Nickle Bag spoiled the party with the nation's fastest harness racing mile of 2016. A strong field of nine older pacers competed in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap pace. State Treasurer, last year's Canadian Horse of the Year, was making his 2016 debut and started from the outside post-nine. Driven by Chris Christoforou, State Treasurer was able to float out and drop in sixth as the even-money favourite. Nickle Bag, the 8-5 second choice, left hard from post-six for Trevor Henry to grab the front and post an opening-quarter of :26. Nickle Bag kept the pace honest in the second-quarter and reached the half in :54.3. Christoforou started up State Treasurer nearing the half and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee was sent first up entering the final turn. However, cover did develop for State Treasurer rounding the final turn, as stablemate Arthur Blue Chip angled out from third at five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3, Nickle Bag brought the field into the lane and waved goodbye. The Bill Robinson trainee finished off his mile with a blazing :26.2 final-quarter to win by 4¾ lengths in a career-best 1:49. State Treasurer came off cover in the stretch, but was unable to gain any spots and finished fourth in his season debut, pacing home in :26.4. Mohawk Warrior came from sixth at the top of the lane to finish second, while The Rev turned his two-hole trip into a third-place effort. A six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag secured his ninth victory of the season Saturday. The Robinson trainee has picked up seven of his nine victories this year in the Preferred. Owned by Linda and Harry Loyens, Nickle Bag surpassed his 2015 earnings total with Saturday's victory. The veteran pacer has banked $167,860 in 15 starts this year, compared to $162,790 in 26 starts last year. Nickle Bag's victory Saturday was his 28th career triumph and it brings his career earnings to $627,490. He paid $5.30 to win. Nickle Bag Although State Treasurer was unsuccessful in his season debut, history shows that may not be a bad thing. The Dr. Moore trainee finished sixth last year in his debut (May 2, 2015 - Preferred Pace) before going onto divisional and Horse of the Year honours. Also on Saturday, the second leg of The Diplomat Series was contested. A group of 13 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two $20,000 divisions. War N Munn continued his WEG Series success with a 1:52 victory in the first division. The Carmen Auciello trainee got away fourth in the field of six for driver Jonathan Drury. Mach Power posted an opening-quarter of :28.3, but was quickly passed in the second-quarter by Shocking Image. The new leader reached the half in :57.2 and led the field around the final turn, while War N Munn charged first up to pull to within a length of the lead at the three-quarter pole. Shocking Image reached the third marker in 1:25.3, but quickly surrendered the lead in the lane to War N Munn. The 2-5 favourite rocketed home in :26.1 for a 2 ¼ length victory. Shocking Image was second, while Mach Power finished third. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn now has five wins in nine starts this season. The sophomore pacing colt has signature victories this season in The Count B and Youthful Series finals. War N Munn now has seven career victories and earnings of $119,261 for owner George Munnuiksma. His mile of 1:52 knocked three-fifths of a second off his previous career mark. The Auciello trainee paid $2.80 to win. War N Munn In the second division, Gerries Sport got his own way in the middle-half and finished up strong for an impressive victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport, the even-money favourite, left from post-seven and touched down on the front just after passing the opening-quarter in :26.1. Flaherty, the 7-5 second-choice, got a two-hole trip behind the favourite. Gerries Sport went unchallenged in the middle-half and posted panels of :55.4 and 1:25.1. The soft middle-half was the turning point, as the public's choice left his rivals behind and charged home in :26.4 for a 3½ lengths victory in 1:52. Flaherty maintained his position to finish second, while Worthy Art was third. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport is trained by Richard Moreau for Gerrie Tucker. The three-year-old colt is now two for two to start 2016 after posting three wins in 12 starts as a rookie. Just like War N Munn in the first division, Gerries Sport lowered his lifetime mark by three-fifths of a second. The son of Mach Three now sports a career bankroll of $56,845. Gerries Sport paid $4.20 to win. Gerries Sport The first leg of The Diplomat did not fail, therefore the 10 horses that earned money Saturday night have landed spots in next Saturday's $57,600 final. In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Rockeyed Optimist worked out an ideal close-to-the-action trip, wore down the leader in deep stretch and held on despite the explosive late charge of Always B Miki to take the $25,000 harness racing Open Handicap Pace at the Meadowlands Saturday night. McArdles Lightning was third. Driver Tim Tetrick hustled the 5-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover into the three hole early behind McArdles Lightning and Atta Boy Dan. After an opening quarter of :27.2, Rockeyed Optimist, the 6-5 second choice, moved to the outside and began to grind away at the leader's advantage at the half in :55.2. By the time the stellar field reached three-quarters, Rockeyed Optimist was up to the wheel of McArdles Lightning while 4-5 favorite Always B Miki, who had raced in a fourth-over flow, was dead last in the field of seven. Rockeyed Optimist continued to inch his way closer to the top and finally got past the pacesetter with a sixteenth of a mile to go. Up on the far outside came the airborne Always B Miki, who won all four of his starts a year ago in sub-1:50, pacing a sensational final quarter of :25.4 only to come up half a length short to Rockeyed Optimist in what was a superb seasonal debut. The winner returned $4.40 to his backers, scoring for the sixth time in eight starts this year and went the mile in 1:50 for trainer Steve Elliott and owners Perretti, Berkner, A&B Stable and Battaglia. STILL CLIMBING: Those hoping to hit the big one will have their chance on the next live race card as the 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not get hit again, upping the carryover to $194,741.03. Total wagering on the program was $2,589,150. Racing resumes at the Big M Friday. Post time for the first race is 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Stunning harness racing colt The Storm Inside achieved what for long has appeared his two-year-old destiny and won the Group 1 $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Emma Stewart’s freak by Rocknroll Hanover out of Spirited Storm appeared to do it easy, with Greg Sugars taking the lead and clearing out on the straight, requiring only a flick of the reins and a tap of the whip to claim the mantle of Australia’s finest. “He’s an absolute pleasure to drive,” Sugars said. “Clayton (Tonkin) and Emma have done a wonderful job with this horse.” The race appeared in The Storm Inside’s keeping throughout, with Sugars driving it to the lead from barrier two while Weona Sizzler took the sit on his back. Chris Alford temporarily put Our Little General, Stewart’s other runner, into the breeze, but an unsettled Three Of The Best kicked up first time down the main straight, looping Alford as Gavin Lang wrestled with the Queensland gelding. He eventually settled in the breeze, but there was little respite with Geoff Webster hooking Wrappers Delight three-wide with almost 1000m to go and there they remained to the final bend. Having raced fiercely, Three Of The Best’s bid appeared done at the final turn, on his tail Alford and  second-favourite Our Little General struggled to find a run while San Domino made ground four-wide and Weona Sizzler moved up on the pegs. The latter two would run into second and third, but removed from the commotion was The Storm Inside, who Sugars urged clear at the turn and who advanced to win by 6.8m in a mile rate of 1:55.6. “Bit of a relief to get it out of the way. I’m sure it’s a big weight off the shoulders of Emma and Clayton,” Sugars said. “He proved the best horse tonight and it all went to plan. He had a good draw and he’d probably already shown before tonight that he was the best horse in the field, but it’s still never as easy as just turning up. You’ve got to earn it.” While it may have appeared oh-so-easy for the bay colt, many hands have gone into crafting The Storm Inside, who improved to six wins from as many starts. That began with Helen Head of Manna Lodge in Congupna, who ventured to America to purchase a filly, which she brought back to Australia and utilised to breed a champion. “I’m thrilled to bits tonight to win,” Ms Head said. And then there were the owners, strong in numbers and bursting with pride, none more so than Justin Baker. “To win a race like this, wow, this is just a dream come true,” Baker said. And, of course, Stewart herself, who not only claimed the night’s grandest crown, but produced five of the card’s 10 winners. “It’s just a fantastic series,” she said. “I know sales time is Clayton’s favourite time and we really appreciate the Australian Pacing Gold.”  Michael Howard

WILKES-BARRE PA - Bushwacker, under full-out assault by Cooperstown down the backstretch in the $25,000 winners-over pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, turned back that rival on the far turn, then held off second-over Badiou Hanover by a neck in 1:49.3.   Driver Larry Stalbaum had no problem w(h)acking out the pace with the altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, passing the first two striped poles in 26 and 54.3. Shortly after the half Cooperstown, gunning for his fourth straight victory, came roaring up to the leader and got a half-length by before the ¾ but could not clear as the timer read 1:21.1, a 26.3 third quarter into an atypical backstretch headwind at Pocono.   Bushwhacker fought off Cooperstown and regained the lead, then had enough left when Badiou (pronounced ("BAD-I-O-U") Hanover circled wide and menaced nearing the finish. Cooperstown settled for third; favored Bettor's Edge raced in the pocket but may have been bottomed out chasing the whirlwind front end duel, as he faded in the last quarter and finished fifth.   Bushwacker posted his first victory since February 20, but he has been facing some pretty mean hombres in the interim: foe one example, he finished third behind Wiggle It Jiggleit and Rockeyed Optimist, arguably the two best pacers at the races at this moment, on March 28 at Dover. Chris Ryder trains the winner, who raised his bankroll to nearly $460,000 lifetime for Henderson Farms.   The Angus Hall mare Allerage Star went the fastest trotting mile year at Pocono in a $15,500 conditioned event, going right to the top for driver Marcus Miller and steaming home in 56 to complete a 1:52.3 victory, also a lifetime mark. Julie Miller conditions the winner of two straight for Little E LLC (also the breeder), Arthur Geiger, David Stoltz, and Jason Settlemoir.   With a temperature reading of 72 degrees at first post time, speed was the order of the day, as three other miles in 1:50 were paced, with Achilles Blue Chip (Marcus Miller), Simply Business (Anthony Napolitano), and Allbeef N Nobull (Mike Simons) all freezing the timer at exactly the new standard for the "magic mile." The Downs seasonal pacing standard of 1:49.1, set by Eighteen on March 26, did stand up to the speed-producing card (ironically, that win came in "nw9000L5," about four classes below the winners-over level).   The third round of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacers highlights the Sunday card at Pocono, which has a post time of 7:30 p.m. Both the males and females will contest three $15,000 divisions; hoping to making their Weiss records 3-for-3 will be, for the males, Options Are Adream (race 10, looking for his ninth win of an undefeated career) and Midnight Leader (race 11, the fastest Weiss winner in 1:51), and for the females, Candy Corn Hanover (race seven, her two Weiss wins the first two starts of her career.)   From the PHHA

The Storm Inside’s reputation as a freak two-year-old was only heightened when the colt produced an outstanding win in the second Australian Pacing Gold semi-final at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s Smythes Creek stable claimed both semi-finals with Our Little General (Mach Three) and The Storm Inside (Rocknroll Hanover) , and it was the latter that again dropped jaws having been tested early before finding the lead and still having plenty in the tank to draw clear and win by 9.5m. “He’s showing start-by-start that he’s an improved horse,” driver Greg Sugars said in the wake of The Storm Inside’s win. “He’s the real deal. He’s a top horse and I’m looking forward to next week.” He’ll likely start a short-priced favourite after Saturday night’s outstanding showing. In the first semi-final, Our Little General, renowned for his sprint, was instead called on to produce a dogged run to win the first of the semi-finals. With heat on in the early going Our Little General was the third of four-wide to the first corner, eventually claiming the lead inside Jilliby Kung Fu. By the bell Geoff Webster’s fancied Wrappers Delight had cornered the field and sidled next to Our Little General in the breeze, and they cooled their heels from a 27.7 first quarter to a 29.3 second. Our Little General and Wrappers Delight gained separation at the final bend but the latter lost touch and $21 shot Three Of The Best was the best of the swoopers, almost pinching the race from Stewart’s short-priced favourite. Driver Chris Alford had Our Little General hold on to win from Three Of The Best by a half-head, with Wrappers Delight third and Weona Sizzler (fourth) and None Bettor (fifth) also qualifying for the final.  “He’s a good little horse and had to earn it tonight,” Alford said. “Being in front is not ideal for him. You never know when they get pressure how they will handle it. He is probably better with the sit. Hopefully next week we can get a draw and a bit of luck.” Our Little General won in a 1:55.4 mile, a time eclipsed by 0.8s in the second semi-final.  Alford, chasing a fourth win from as many races on the night, made The Storm Inside earn the lead by pushing Redbank Blaze along early before handing up to Greg Sugars when they entered the straight for the first time. Sugars settled in on The Storm Inside but was kept honest when Bettor Be Gold loomed into the breeze on the back straight. Any thought that the $1.20 favourite was under threat though was soon erased with Sugars again barely moving as The Storm Inside rattled down the final straight to win in 1:54.3. Redbank Blaze ran second from Atomic Red, Bettor Be Gold and fifth-placed San Domino, who all qualified for Friday night’s $322,000 final. by Michael Howard

Seventy six lots will be on offer at the Alabar Blue Ribbon Sale on Sunday April 24th and there promises to be a horse for every budget. Wrappers Delight has stamped himself as one of Australia’s best two year olds with two victories in as many starts to date including his last start win in a heat of the APG 2yo C&G Series. You will be able to purchase his mother, Charlotte Church, in foal to leading sire Mach Three at the sale. Another of the highlights will be Golden Showgirl 1:55.9 in foal to Art Major. The resultant foal will be a full sibling to the Group One winner Smooth Showgirl 1:52.3 - $210,149. Bruce Edward will be selling six lots including mares by Somebeachsomewhere, Rocknroll Hanover Art Major, Holmes Hanover and Badlands Hanover. Three of his mares will be sold with foals at foot. Jim Connolly will be selling three mares by the leading sires Pine Chip and Skyvalley. Included among these is a half sister to Australian Two and Three Year Old Trotter of the Year Kyvalley Road. Jack Munnerly has one entry and she is a half sister to the Group One winner Secret Desire and in foal to new season sire Heston Blue Chip. There will also be 20 weanlings on offer and these are by such stallions as Art Major, Mach Three, Shadow Play, ,Auckland Reactor Betterthancheddar as well as the first crop stallions Alta Christiano and Caribbean Blaster. This is a sale not to be missed. The sale will be held at Alabar Farm and begins at 1pm. The catalogue can be viewed online (http://bit.ly/1VhBLvg) or please contact us for a hard copy – (03) 5859 2201 or brett@alabar.com.au.  

The Kilmore, Cranbourne and Stawell pacing cup champion, Yankee Rockstar, has been crowned the harness racing Country Cup Championship winner. Trained by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin at Smythes Creek, 15 minutes south-west of Ballarat, Yankee Rockstar’s three cup wins and a third at Shepparton saw the five-year-old amass 13 points in the series and record a two-point win ahead of Kotare Roland. VIDEO: RELIVE YANKEE ROCKSTAR'S SUPER CUPS SUCCESS Stewart said it was a great result for the horse and the stable. “Safari won it when he was around, so it is good to win because it is hard racing in the cup circuit,” Stewart said. “It is really a feather in his cap. Making the feat all the more remarkable was the depths of illness Yankee Rockstar experienced in the lead-up to the season. “He has had a terrific season. He has really come back well from a bad illness, so that just adds to what has been a terrific job.” Yankee Rockstar suffered from an illness that required a throat operation. Then when returning from Sydney after running seventh in the Chariots Of Fire in March 2015, the gelding was struck with travel sickness owing to his throat alteration. “We nearly lost him,” Stewart said. “It was 50-50 and he was at the vets for a two weeks.” Yankee Rockstar bounced back to not only win the three country cups, but to finish fourth in the Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup. Yankee Rockstar is now spelling “for a month” before he will resume, with Grand Circuit racing front of mind. Final standings: Yankee Rockstar 13 points, Kotare Roland 11, Almost El Eagle 9, Im Corzin Terror 9, Ideal Sucess 8, Keayang Steamer 8, Barimah 7, Lennytheshark 6, Ohoka Punter 6, Five Star Anvil 6.  For full standings click here. Michael Howard

"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?" In the case of Rodeo Romeo (Brian Sears, $2.50), try the harness racing winner's circle, which he found with the greatest of ease Tuesday afternoon after Yonkers Raceway's $63,000 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The Raceway's annual testament to Teddy Roosevelt-richest local race of the season to date-was open to 3- and 4-year-old gentlemen who were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1. Rodeo Romeo made short of his foes here. In play at the outset from post position No. 2, he easily worked around pole-sitting Toni's Affection (Scott Zeron), making the lead well before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. From there (:56.4, 1:25.2, 1:54), no issues whatsoever. "Romeo" owned a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, then opened to 4¾ lengths at the wire. Toni's Affection held second over a two-move J T (George Brennan), with lone 3-year-old Don'tcallmefrancis (Jason Bartlett) and Secret Delight (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. Sports Bettor (Mark MacDonald), AM Magic Man (Dan Dube) and B Well (Andy Miller) rounded out the order. For Rodeo Romeo, a 4-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover trained by Chris Ryder for co-owners Oompa's Farm, Michael Day and Robert Mondillo, it was his third win in four seasonal/series starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.70, with the triple returning $32.60. "He's a good-gaited, handy horse," Sears said. "They did give me a lot of respect up front and there wasn't much to it." A $25,000 series consolation was won by BB's Harley (Dube, $13.80) by open lengths in 1:55.2. Frank Drucker

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