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Roll With Sparky (John MacDonald) wins the featured fillies and mares pace ($8,000) on Friday night (June 15) at Vernon Downs. Mydelight Bluechip (Ben McNeil) led the group into a first quarter of :27.3. Roll With Sparky ($6.80) who is owned by James Graham, Lee Winters with Paul Tandlmayer and trained by MacDonald, took over the lead just before the half and put up all the rest of the numbers (:56.2, 1:24.1, 1:52.2). Blameitonthenight (Jimmy Whittemore) came charging late in the stretch but had to settle for second. Delilah De Vie (Claude Huckabone Jr. was third. Roll With Sparky is a 4-year-old mare by Roll With Joe. It was her second win of the season and career victory number 12. MacDonald also won on the night with Drea's Good Powow ($6.20). Claude Huckabone III also had two wins on the night. He won with Heart Crusher ($6.80) and Marquesa Seelster ($5.60). Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a nine race card on Saturday (6-16) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - Four $15,000 events for the "rising younger set" were the features on a Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Both of the pacing events were restricted to males. In the first, Pembroke Joey proved most photogenic in a three-way picture as he lowered his mark to 1:53. Driver Tyler Buter got the Roll With Joe gelding into the pocket, then sat a two-hole trip behind pacesetting His Excellence. In a long stretch battle, Pembroke Joey used the Pocono Pike and got a nose up very late; the same margin separated second-place His Excellence over David Himself, who gained ground inside the winner and just missed taking it all deep in the Pike. Mark Ford conditions the winner and co-owns him with Bill Varney. The second pacing event's contentiousness was reflected in the fact that the favorite in the eight-horse field was 7-2, and the finish was also close, with three in the picture at the wire. Taking the major portion of the purse was the Western Ideal gelding Winston, equaling his mark of 1:52.1 for driver Tom Jackson, trainer John Butenschoen and Crawford Farms Racing. Jackson worked out a pocket trip with the winner, took the lead in the Pocono Pike midstretch, then withstood a hard-charging Terror Atthe Beach by a nose, with first-over Instructor only a neck off the top two. One of the trotting headliners saw the Federal Flex mare Passthecrownaround go a big mile on the engine after two early moves, ringing up a new mark of 1:55.4. George Napolitano Jr. kept his charge on the bit throughout, and the pair was 1¾ lengths clear on the money for trainer Mike Watson and owner Clifford Grundy. In the second trot, sister-in-law and brother-in-law trainers were 1-2, as the Cantab Hall gelding Haveitalltogether, trained by Julie Miller, caught the Erv Miller pupil Keystone Apache to win going away while tying his lifetime best of 1:55.1. Driver Eric Carlson, who had three wins on the night, kept Haveitalltogether well-placed throughout the mile, and he was strongest to the line for the Pinske Stable, the Andy Miller Stable Inc., Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Eddie Gran. Top event for the older set was a $14,000 pace for mares, taken by the Always A Virgin mare Itty Bitty, who equaled her lifetime mark of 1:51.1. Driver Simon Allard got the winner of $126,367 away nicely from post eight to tuck third, pulled her out at headstretch, and took the measure of pacesetting Juxta Cowgirl by a neck for trainer Andrew Harris and owners Evan Katz, J. Robert Darrow, and A Harris Racing LLC. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Tasmania’s star three-year-old Ignatius obliterated the Penrith track-record on Thursday night with a sensational harness racing victory in his heat of the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge. The Roll With Joe-Ashkalini gelding, owned by Lyrae Grahan and trained by James Rattray, made it seven straight wins this season with an astonishing 14.7-metre victory, returning a mile rate of 1:53.6. “The run was something special, to run those times around Penrith after he had done all the work in the death was pretty amazing,” said a highly impressed James. “He travelled sensationally in the run and it was just a matter of allowing him a little more rein inside the 400-metre pole he just accelerated beyond belief and left them standing, he was full of running in the home stretch and I eased him down near the post, he was never fully extended and still smashed the track record.” Blake Fitzpatrick and Jim Douglas combined to bring about the demise of odds-on favourite The Bus ($1.60)  with Bracken Sky in Heat Two of the Series, but a sobering thought for connections, the time recorded was an incredible three seconds slower than the Tassie champ. “He’s now won 12 of 13 starts and I will be talking with Todd and Lyrae about what the future holds, at the moment though we are just concentrating on and looking forward to the Final of the Breeders Challenge, then it’s more than likely we will tackle the Breeders Crown,” said an excited trainer. “He’s flying at the moment and its great to know everyone at home gets a thrill out of him winning as well, as they did when Beautide was at his peak.” By Shane Yates

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The betting fans knew that Dance With Joe would not let them down as the 2/5 favorite in the feature pace at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday and he did a fancy three-wide two-step to get the job done. This was the start of Tuesday night racing at H3R this season. The seventh race feature started off with Hot Rock Star and driver Guy Gagnon taking the quick early lead with Matt's Phil (Pierre Luc Roy) sitting the two-hole trip to the opening quarter mile in :27.3. By the half mile marker in :57.1, Hot Rock Star was pressured on the outside by El Torero and driver Denis Audet with Fortune Fella (Stephane Brosseau) second over and third over in the field was Simard and Dance With Joe. At the three-quarters, Simard swung Dance With Joe three-wide and and just about cleared the field on the final turn as Fortune Fella was also in hot pursuit. As they started down the stretch, Simard got Dance With Joe to kick in just a little more and they went on to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:56.1. Fortune Fella, an 18-1 long shot, was second with El Torero third at 9-1. It was the second straight win this year for Dance With Joe. The five-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe is trained by Christine Davignon and owned by Daniel Dulude of Ste-Martine. He paid $2.80 to win. The fastest mile on the twi-light evening card was impressively scored by Hooter Shooter and driver Stephane Gendron in the 6th race pace. They were parked out first-over from the half mile pole against pacesetter Code Word (Stephane Brosseau), getting the lead by the three-quarters and pulling away from the field to win in 1:55. Guy Gagnon was the only horsemen on the card to score a double. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday, first race post time at 12:50 pm. For more information, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Hippodrome 3R will host its first Tuesday evening card of the season May 29 and popular harness racing drivers Guy Gagnon and Richard Simard will be joining the colony for this evening. First race post time is new for this season at 6:30 pm. Guy Gagnon has drives in seven of the eight races while Richard Simard has three drives. Both drivers have been competing regularly at Rideau Carleton Raceway, where Louis-Phillipe Roy is the leading driver with Gagnon second and both Richard Simard and H3R's own Stephane Brosseau are tied for fourth place. At H3R, Brosseau is having a great start to the race meet with 14 wins in the first five days of the season. His "batting average" or UDRL is a very impressive .530. Brosseau has drives in six of the races Tuesday evening. The main event Tuesday takes place in the seventh race pace where Dance With Joe will take on the red hot Appleby Hanover. Dance With Joe and driver Jocelyn Gendron start from post five and returns from Rideau off a 1:54.4 triumph, his first of the season in four starts. The five-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe had a perfect trip in that mile for trainer Christine Davignon. He is the 5/2 morning line favorite. Appleby Hanover returns to race on just two days rest. He raced at H3R on Sunday and now starts from post eight on Tuesday night for driver Tyler Jones. The young reinsman has gotten along very well with Appleby Hanover as they are going for their third straight win. Two weeks ago, Appleby Hanover scored in 1:58.1 for Jones, but last week was something special. Sitting a two-hole trip to Sea Donkey, Jones pulled Appleby Hanover first-over in the backstretch the second time, collared the race leader by the three-quarters, cleared to the lead on the final turn and went on to win by a half-length in 1:55.1. It was a lifetime mark for Appleby Hanover, a five-year-old gelding by Well Said. He is trained and owned by Michel Allard of Saint-Esprit. For a free race program for Tuesday evening, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Roll With Sparky (Shawn McDonough) would capture the fillies and mares harness racing featured pace ($7,500) on Thursday night (October 6). Roll With Sparky (Roll With Joe) would control all the fractions :26.3, :56.1, 1:23.4, 1:51.3. Owned by Paul Tandimeyer, Lee Winters, and trainer Jim Graham, the 3 year-old filly would hold off a late charge by the favorite Love To Roll (John MacDonald) to win with ease. Love To Roll (Rocknroll Hanover) would settle for second best. Bye Bye Michelle (Chris Lems) finished third. Roll With Sparky ($7.10) would have a career best time to get win number nine of the season and pick-up career victory number 11. Leading driver John MacDonald would pick up wins number 156 and 157 at Vernon Downs this season. He would first win with ABC Crown Me Queen (ABC Garland) in 1:55.4, paying $4.00. Win two came with Strike A Chord (McArdle) taking the mile in 1:53.3. She would pay $2.90 for the victory. Vernon Downs returns to live action on Friday (October 6) with a nine race card starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Vernon Downs

Obvious Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) and Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) each captured a leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing sophomore pacing fillies at Tioga Downs Monday afternoon (September 4). Obvious Blue Chip (Roll With Joe) would win the first division of the NYSS ($60,200). Tequilla Monday (Brett Miller) would control all the early fractions :27.1, :55.0, 1:22.1. Obvious Blue Chip ($4.40), who won the Empire Breeders Classic two weeks ago, came out of the pocket at the top of the stretch and blew by to win in 1:50.2. Tequilla Monday (American Ideal) would hang on for second, Artrageous (Mark MacDonald) finished third. Obvious Blue Chip, who is owned by NFG Racing Stable with Stephen Klunowski and trained by Mark Steacy, would win for the fifth time this year. Roaring To Go (Art Major) would take the second division of the NYSS ($61,300). Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald) laid down all the early fractions :27.3, :56.3, 1:24.1. Roaring To Go ($6.80) would follow in the pocket the whole way. Planet Rock (Jason Bartlett) would come up first over to battle for the lead at the top of the stretch. Roaring To Go, who is owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, would come out of the pocket and go three wide charging to the front to win for the ninth time in her career, getting the mile in 1:51.4. Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven) would finish second. Clear Idea (American Ideal) had to settle for third. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 8) at 6:50 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Tasmanian two-year-old harness racing pacer Ignatius will line up in a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge Series at Menangle tomorrow (Tuesday) and his trainer-driver Todd Rattray expects him to qualify for a berth in the semi-finals on Saturday week. Ignatius scored an impressive all-the-way win in the 2YO Sweepstakes final in Hobart last start to keep his unbeaten record intact. The Roll With Joe gelding has drawn ideally in gate two in one of two heats for colts and geldings with the first six across the line in each heat to progress to the semi-finals. Ignatius is being stabled with the trainer's older brother James Rattray who prepares a big team at his training complex in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. "Ignatius went to Sydney last week and he's settled in well at James' (Rattray) place and I couldn't be happier with the barrier draw," Todd Rattray said. "It's a challenge for the horse because it's so hard to get a guide as to how he compares to a lot of the others in the race but he'll go into the heat fit and I guess we'll all know after the race whether he's up to it." Ignatius won his Sweepstakes final by almost 17 metres defeating a quality line-up and his mile rate of 1.58.2 and he scampered home his last 800 metres in 56.6 seconds without being fully extended. "He's run a really good time in Hobart last start on a track that was rain affected so I'm interested to see what he can do on the Menangle track that produces really fast times." The semi-finals will be held at Menangle on 10 June with the $125,000 Group 1 final at the same venue on 25 June. Peter Staples

There were two series finals which served as harness racing co-features on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The J P Morel Memorial Pacing Series final went for a purse of $31,600 for young colts and geldings and was won by heavily favored In A Single Bound (Roll With Joe). The Monica Krist-trained three year old set a lifetime mark of 1:52.4 in leg one of the series two weeks ago but was a beaten odds-on favorite in the prep for the final which took place last weekend. On Saturday night, Billy Dobson put the 2-5 public choice on the engine and the sophomore standout never looked back before drawing away to win by more than five lengths in 1:53.1 over a sloppy Spa oval. American Wiggle (Stephane Bouchard), who upset In A Single Bound last week, was the runner up to him in Saturday's final while Beckarama (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. In A Single Bound became the fifth winner of the J P Memorial Pacing Series which started in 2013. Nashurallability (Ameripan Gigolo) moved her record to four-for-four for trainer Joe De Carlo and driver Chris Long as she completed the sweep of the Virginia O'Brien Memorial Pacing Series on Saturday night. The race's overwhelming favorite at odds of 1-9, Nashurallability never had an anxious moment as she wired the group of fillies and mares who took part in the $31,500 final in a career best-matching 1:54.3 over the sloppy track. Sweet You (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the runner-up while Constant Factor (Jay Randall) came on to finish third. The four year old mare added her name to the short list of winners of the O'Brien memorial which now consists of Karla Art, Shesnobeachboy and Nashurallability. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Beckarama (Roll With Joe) recorded his sixth harness racing victory of the season on Friday night as the Melissa Beckwith trainee scored at odds of 1-9 at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Coming into the race with five seasonal wins in nine starts, Beckarama cruised to the lead in Friday's $6,400 contest for colts and geldings. The favorite never had an anxious moment as he coasted to an open length victory in a career best 1:55.3. The win was one of three consecutive on the card for Melissa Beckwith and trainer Mark Beckwith who wound up teaming up for four victories on the night continuing what has been a record-breaking pace for the Beckwith barn early on in the 2017 campaign. Three year old pacer Beckarama was bred (and subsequently named) by Melissa Beckwith. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Well-bred harness racing gelding Roll West delivered a knockout blow to punters in the opening event in Hobart when he led throughout at big odds ($25) to win the CUB Pace over 2090 metres. Roll West had only two starts as a two-year-old for a minor placing before being spelled for seven months. He resumed with a game second in Hobart then blotted his copybook with a near-last effort in Launceston last week but once he found the lead last night he settled well and proved too strong for his rivals. Roll West (Roll With Joe-Western Cheater) was bred by Noel and Marlene Salter at their Brighton property and is trained by their son Christian Salter. He had to work hard early to find the lea from his near-outside front-row draw (6) but once he achieved the feat he settled well for his trainer who rated the gelding superbly. The favourite Buster Bruv ($1.60) was allowed to settle last but he looked good when his driver Dylan Ford let him slide around the field at the bell but when he looked likely to cross to face the breeze nearing the top turn the last time he went from cruising to being under pressure quickly. Goggo Gee Gee loomed to run down the eventual winner but he was unable to make an impression at the business end of the race but stayed strong to hold second spot ahead of the well-backed Shesastandout ($5.30). Peter Staples

TORONTO, November 19 - Thats The Ticket charged home to win the $427,000 Three Diamonds for harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies at odds of 5-1 Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The Chris Ryder trained pacing filly was able to convert off a perfect third-over trip from driver David Miller for her second win in 14 starts. Idyllic Beach, the 6-5 favourite, left out hard to grab command ahead of a pesky Someomensomewhere. The public's choice posted an opening-quarter of :27.2 and was unchallenged in the second-quarter to lead the field by the half in :56.4. Caviart Ally came first up just after the half and supplied cover to Candlelight Dinner from fifth and Thats The Ticket in sixth. The first-over challenger pulled up along side Idyllic Beach at three-quarters in 1:25.2. In the stretch, Thats The Ticket shot off cover and delivered a stunning stretch rally to fly by her rivals with powerful strides. The Ryder trainee crossed the wire first in 1:53.4, 3¼ lengths ahead of runner-up Idyllic Beach. Candlelight Dinner edged out Caviart Ally for third. Known as a front-end favouring racetrack, Thats The Ticket completely ignored the Woodbine track bias to win the Three Diamonds. "We had planned on just racing her off the end of it there and hopefully get some cover that takes us where we needed to go," said Miller post-race. "Passed the half when they all started moving I was hoping they would get up with the leader, which they did and everything worked out good, but I moved her over at the head of the stretch and she really dug." Thats The Ticket, a daughter of Roll With Joe from the Artsplace mare Art Account, has shown big closing speed throughout her rookie season, including last week's :26.4 kicker to finish second in her elimination. Miller was confident victory was within reach with an eighth of a mile to go. "About half way through (the stretch) she was almost up to the leader and starting to get wound up," noted Miller, who did not drive the Ryder trained filly in the elimination. "I was feeling pretty comfortable and she won pretty handy." Owned by Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo and Lawrence Minowitz, Thats The Ticket now has two wins in 14 starts and earnings of $331,824 this season. She paid $13.70 to win. by Mark McKelvie    

WILKES-BARRE PA - The annual Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace, consisting entirely of grey or roan horses with the exception of the famous all-white horse White Bliss, was the feature of the Monday night harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and everybody went all-out for the $10,000 event in the holiday spirit.   Pocono marketing manager Jennifer "Elvira" Starr was in charge of the festivities, which included a theme-decorated winners circle, marshal Tia Shafer appropriately costumed, the spookiest between-races music heard north of the Bloomsburg Fair, and Pace contestant JS McFlash wearing a unique equine "costume" of a white "skeleton" on his grey coat, showing his bone structure.   As for the race itself, favored White Rolls, wearing an appropriate white shadow roll extension, held off pocketsitting Gotta Love Him by a neck in 1:53.1, the gelded sophomore by Roll With Joe brought in from Rosecroft by trainer Mike Hall and carrying the lead from the 3/8 onward to tally for owner Tammy Crescenze.   Second, but no less loved after the race, was Gotta Love Him, who was competing in his fifth Pocono Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace, having won the 2013 and 2015 editions. Matt Kakaley, who drove him to those wins, worked out a good pocket trip, but just came up shy of catching the winner, with the local Weitoish family getting another good performance out of their pacer in his 187th career start.   Earlier the pari-mutuel goblins struck in consecutive races. Pat Curtin, longtime Chicago mainstay who has come east after Hawthorne's closing last month, made his first trip to Pocono's winner circle a memorable one. He and his charge Keson Avaia rallied from last late on the backstretch by coming up a clear inner path, then pouring it on in the last 1/16 with the mare to win over Kayla's Dream by a nose and pay $111.40. Then in the very next race, Todd Schadel sent OMG Hanover to the front and never looked back, coasting home to an open length victory in 1:57.3 and returning $52.80.   The Daily Double with Keson's Avaia, by the way, paid $176.60, and there was little spooky about that - except maybe that it was the third straight Pocono card that driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes had combined to take the curtainraiser. (And tonight Pat was the Curtin-closer, Double-wise.)   PHHA / Pocono    

East Rutherford, N.J. -- In an impressive and record fashion, the last Breeders Crown winner of the harness racing season is Racing Hill.   Racing Hill took the lead with an eighth of a mile to go and held off 60-1 Manhattan Beach to capture the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in a stakes record of 1:48 on Saturday (Oct. 29) at The Meadowlands.   The previous record of 1:48.3 was held by Somebeachsomewhere, which he took in 2008.   The 2-1 second choice, driven by Brett Miller and trained by Tony Alagna, paid $6.40, 5.40, and 2.80 to post his fourth win in his last six tries.   "I was loving every bit [of the battle on the front]. They were still pacing hard around the last turn, and this colt felt like his old self tonight. I had a big handful of horse into the last turn, and coming off of the last turn, I knew he was a winner," said Miller. "This was special here. I have loved this colt all year, and I had so much confidence in him, and I knew Tony would get him back good again."   The win was the second Breeders Crown title for both Miller and Alagna.   "To say [the last few months] have been easy would be a downright lie. We had bad luck in the [Little Brown] Jug; he got parked the whole mile. Last week, I was there when he got off the truck for the detention barn, and he was wringing wet with sweat, and I said 'We just left our race on the truck tonight.'," said Alagna. "He raced that way on Saturday, so I put the groom, who has done a tremendous job with the horse, on the truck, and we shipped him in a boxed stall by himself on a dull truck yesterday just so he wouldn't get all worked up, and it did the trick. I knew he was a good horse, and he showed it tonight. We had some troubles getting his earplugs out in the last turn [in] the Meadowlands Pace. Not to take anything away from the winner, but this horse has just been a model of consistency all year." Split times were 26.3, 53.0, and 1:20.2, with a final time of 1:48. Manhattan Beach, driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, paid a solid $23.40 and $12.40 for second. "Not bad, but not what we wanted. We wanted to win this race; this is the race I thought we had the best chance to win tonight. You know what the thing is, sometimes you make the lead, you want the lead," Burke said. "I give Yannick (Gingras) credit, he made everyone try to pace around him and the horse dug in and was game all the way to the wire. I think it might be Check Six's best mile ever. My horses were ready tonight, I'm happy with them all, but things just didn't work out." Check Six, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, finished third and paid $3.40 Fernando Hanover, driven by Tim Tetrick and also trained by Burke, finished fourth. The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings was the last of the 12 championship races held over the two-day weekend at The Meadowlands. by Lou Monaco, for Hambletonian Society  

Stirling Electra (Roll With Joe) pulled off the harness racing upset in Saturday night's $31,000 Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series Final at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Phil Fluet trains and drives the three year old filly who sprung the shocker in leg one of the series, swooping the group at odds of 40-1. Following a sixth place finish in leg two, Stirling Electra was dismissed at odds of 9-1 in Saturday's Final and got away last in the eight horse field as a host of leavers squared off in the early going. With a late power surge around the final turn, Stirling Electra set her sights on leader Southwind Ricardo (Jim Devaux), the only horse to secure victories in both series' legs heading into the Final. Southwind Ricardo opened up a pretty big lead around the final turn but it was Stirling Electra who poked her nose up in time to win it in 1:55.3. Southwind Ricardo came up second best while Silverhill Lover (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Stirling Electra went last to first and paid $21.40 to win. The exacta and triple returned $114 and $806, respectively, in the third annual Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

In A Single Bound (Roll With Joe) continued his dynamic freshman harness racing campaign on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Monica Krist-trained two year old got his season off to a bit of a late start but after winning an early September qualifier, has yet to be defeated. In A Single Bound went two-for-two in his pari-mutuel races after an impressive 1:54.4 score in his final start in September and handled his move to an outside post with relative ease on Thursday. Driver Billy Dobson once again moved the freshman pacer first over to take on the race's odds-on favorite Sofer (Mark Beckwith). In A Single Bound looked to be clearing around the final turn before getting rough gaited at the head of the stretch. Dobson righted the ship and guided the two year old to his third consecutive victory. Sofer had to settle for second while Rockin Indy (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot in the mile paced in 1:56. In A Single Bound, who is owned by Dennis and Simone Noud of Saratoga Springs, was dismissed at odds of 6-1 despite being the 9-5 favorite in the morning line. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

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