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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

Lexington, KY --- It was another spectacular Friday (Oct. 7) for the fourth session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, not only because of the incredible weather and the energy of the crowd, but the harness racing event continues to establish new parameters in nearly every category. When the gavel falls for the final time on Saturday evening (Oct. 8), it appears this year's sale will have grossed the most in eight years and quite possibly ever, as is evidenced by the nearly $100,000 a son of Roll With Joe-Tropic's Beachgirl fetched tonight. "I have been here 23 years," said Randy Manges, co-manager of the sale. "Every year I pray for good weather and fortunately for nearly every one of those years we have been blessed. The last thing you want is for it to rain during the day so people cannot walk around and easily view the horses. Not only has the weather been perfect, but each year our breeders and consigners bring us better and better horses. We are very, very pleased with the results and feel there are quality horses available right to the end of the sale." Consigned by Spring Haven Farm on behalf of Rose Run Farm, Rose Run TJ was assigned Hip No. 419. Purchased by Bill Donovan for $97,000 the evening's sales topper is a half-sibling to the excellent stakes performer and 2015 Empire Breeders Classic victor Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven, $447,560), as well as Little Gold Ring (Western Terror, $255,189) and Real Protection (Grinfromeartoear, $135,946). Rose Run TJ's second dam, the Big Towner mare Tropic Town is a half-sister to the dams of Oriental Ave ($360,893) as well as to the granddams of John Street North ($895,912), Thunder Bay ($805,644), Paling Avenue ($677,990) and Noble Tess ($584,311). Tropic Town carried on the family tradition of productivity and was responsible for Bahama Bunny (Precious Bunny, $578,338) and Bunny Town (Precious Bunny, $118,141). Like her dam and other female relatives, Bunny Town was the dam of Memumsnotice ($325,103), Carolina Moon ($185,672), Get Around Town ($178,317), Another Dawn ($173,841) and Town Centre($106,947). Blackberry Farm, Hip No. 431, was the second highest priced yearling of the session at $80,000 and is now owned by Australians Emilo and Maria Rosati. Raised and consigned by Hunterton Farm the brown filly by Lucky Chucky is out of the Dream Vacation mare Resortful, who was second in the Hambletonian Oaks and collected $255,030 during her racing career. Resortful is a half-sister to O'Brien award winner Windsong Soprano (Windsong's Legacy, $1,231,325), The Muscler (Cantab Hall, $102,744) and is a full sister to world champion Big Boy Lloyd ($692,190). With the offspring of Muscle Hill in high demand, it was no surprise his daughter Urban Legend, Hip No. 446, sold for $70,000. Out of the Andover Hall mare Bedtime Story, who is out the Windsong's Legacy mare Bedtime Song, Urban Legend's third dam is the Donerail mare Bold Dreamer ($531,258). That mare foaled world champion and multiple Dan Patch and O'Brien award winner Pampered Princess (Andover Hall, $1,646,362), O'Brien award winner Was It A Dream (Striking Sahbra, $896,000) and Nothing But Class (Andover Hall, $350,000). The filly was consigned by Diamond Creek Farm and purchased by the Rick Zeron Stable. The total average price for the fourth session of the sale was up 19.6 percent from 2015, with the average being the greatest for pacing colts at $27,192. Through all four sessions of the sale, trotting colts still lead the way with an overall average of $69,595, which is certainly bolstered by the $800,000 bid Tactical Landing brought and strong demand for Muscle Hill progeny. Pacing colts are not far behind with a $69,307 average, despite the highest priced pacing colt selling for $450,000. A total of $7,000,000 has been spent on 101 pacing colts, $5,509,000 on 108 pacing fillies, $11,135,000 on 160 trotting colts and $6,909,000 on trotting fillies. From 491 horses sold, 60 fewer than last year, the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale has grossed more than $30 million and appears poised to obliterate the $32,111,742 2008 standard.  The average per horse for the entire sale at this juncture is up by 24.3 percent from last year and there is still eighty horses to put through the ring before the event is complete. The fifth and final session of the sale will commence Saturday (Oct. 8) at 7:00 p.m. in the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Lexington. For full results of the sale so far click on this link. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Vernon, N.Y. -- Empire Breeders Classic winner Fresh Cut lends a fair bit of star power to a stakes-laden 15-race harness racing program on Saturday (September 17) evening at Vernon Downs, as he has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in his $45,000 Excelsior Series final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, carded as the night's tenth event.   Leading up to his 17-1 upset in the $240,475 Classic at Tioga on August 28, the son of American Ideal enjoyed success on the Excelsior circuit, winning four of eight such events across the Empire State this summer. He looks for a third straight win and the eleventh of his career in Saturday night's event just twelve days after a 1:51.2 victory in a $59,100 New York Sire Stakes event at the Miracle Mile, and Marcus Miller will once again handle the driving duties for the Bay Pond Racing Stable and trainer Erv Miller.   In the $45,000 Excelsior final for 3-year-old pacing fillies, carded as race eight, 12-time winner Rolling Going Gone has been installed the 5-2 early choice after eight wins and a runner-up finish in nine Excelsior events on the year. Jim Morrill, Jr. will drive the capably versatile Roll With Joe filly for owner Ross Bonafield and trainer Erv Miller. Morrill will also take the lines of the other two Excelsior morning line favorites, teaming up with Tracy Brainard trainee Wendy's Girl in the 3-year-old distaff trot (race four) and Trond Smedshammer trainee Credevie in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot (race nine).   In addition to the Excelsior Series finals, a quartet of $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation events are scheduled on the Saturday Vernon card. Post time is slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 - The value of picking your post position after an elimination victory isn't getting to select your exact spot on the harness racing gate, but rather eliminating any chance of a drawing a poor post. Half a length is all that separated rookie pacing filly Happy Hannah from securing a great post position to drawing the dreaded ten-hole in the $427,000 Shes A Great Lady final at Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night. Trained by Mark Steacy, Happy Hannah entered last Saturday's 'Great Lady' eliminations with a victory and a pair of seconds in three starts. The daughter of Well Said was sent to the front by driver Randy Waples and led the field into the backstretch before heavy favourite Candlelight Dinner made a brush to the lead. Happy Hannah was in a fantastic spot to make the final following the undefeated leader. However, victory became an option when Candlelight Dinner began to fade at the top of the lane and Happy Hannah angled from the rail to take over top spot. Appearing to be on her way to a victory, the Steacy trainee got picked off in deep stretch by a charging Thats My Ticket and finished second. "She cleared a little bit too early in the stretch and being young she got lost," said Steacy. "I think if she would have just come a little bit later she would've got the job done." The second-place effort secured Happy Hannah a spot in the rich final, her connections $8,750 plus a guaranteed cheque in the final and kept her record of top two finishes intact. The downside to finishing second, landing post ten in the open draw. Staying away from the negatives, Happy Hannah appears to be a Grand Circuit player and Steacy believes she is getting stronger with each start. "Unfortunately (finishing second) cost us the post position, but she has only had three or four starts and she is getting better each time." The first foal out of Hallie Gallie, a daughter of the great Galleria, Happy Hannah sold for $90,000 at last year's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and showed her trainer talent and some sass training down. "She was a little witch," noted Steacy. "She was hard to break and she still is a little bit of a witch, but I like that little attitude in them anyways. She always showed a real nice gait and lots of ability from the start." After finishing second in her debut on July 25, Happy Hannah broke her maiden the next week in 1:53.4, pacing a :26.3 final-quarter. Through four starts, she has banked $45,637 for owners Stan Klemencic, Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. and Hutt Racing Stable. While Happy Hannah will have to overcome post ten in Saturday's final, her stablemate Obvious Blue Chip did just slightly better in the draw by landing post eight. The daughter of Roll With Joe was making just her third start in last Saturday's 'Great Lady' elimination and finished fifth to qualify for the final. A $35,000 purchase out of Harrisburg, Obvious Blue Chip is owned by Nlg Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski. A winner in her career debut, Steacy pointed out that he didn't originally plan on entering 'Obvious' in the event, but got his arm twisted by her original driver. "Actually James (MacDonald) talked me into putting her in that race because she raced pretty good the start before." Obvious Blue Chip rallied in her elimination from last at the top of the lane to finish fifth by pacing home in :27.2. She has paced a final-quarter of :27.2 or better in all three of her starts. "She raced really well," said Steacy. "She got shuffled back and still came on and got in, unfortunately she got the eight-hole, but if they go hard at the front, she could sneak in there for a piece." Obvious Blue Chip will attempt to put her strong closing speed to use and rally for a share in Saturday's final, but don't expect to see Happy Hannah at the back of the pack. "I wouldn't doubt that Hannah will probably have to go a little bit at the start," Steacy said. "You can't pull last, I don't think, but that will be up to Randy." Steacy's fillies will have to play with the hands they have been dealt for Saturday, but whether they can make some noise or not, the future appears bright. Here is the full field for Saturday's $427,000 Shes A Great Lady Final PP/Horse/Sire/Trainer 1. Candlelight Dinner - American Ideal - Casie Coleman 2. Thats The Ticket - Roll With Joe - Chris Ryder 3. World Apart - Art Major - Linda Toscano 4. Idyllic Beach - Somebeachsomewhere - Jimmy Takter 5. Everyones Watching - Artiscape - Tony Alagna 6. Agent Q - Western Terror - Aaron Lambert 7. Awash - Somebeachsomewhere - Tony Alagna 8. Obvious Blue Chip - Roll With Joe - Mark Steacy 9. Blameitonthenight - Mach Three - Tony Alagna 10. Happy Hannah - Well Said - Mark Steacy   Mark McKelvie

Batavia, NY---A heavy early rain dampened the track, but not the enthusiasm shown by the eight harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies competing for one of the largest single purses ever offered at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20). And when the all the moves were made, Robin J (Roll With Joe-Mommy Robin Q) saved her best one for last and captured the victory in the New York Sire Stake event. Artrageous (Jim Morrill Jr.) left sharply for the lead and Robin J (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled in behind her as the field moved to the quarter in :28.3. Shortly after they passed that marker the outer flow set up with American Cheer (Billy Davis Jr.) coming first over and Pleasant Roll (Chris Lems) and Roaring To go (Kevin Cummings) following right behind. At the three-quarter pole they fanned four across the track when Pleasant Roll tipped three wide and Roaring To Go went four abreast. Pleasant Roll took the lead from Artrageous by a half-length in the last turn, but Artrageous dug in and took it back before they hit the stretch. As they headed down the lane Artrageous was in the middle of the track trying to fight off Pleasant Roll when Marohn moved Robin J into the passing lane and powered by them both to take the win in 1:56. "She was real good tonight, but I couldn't have asked for a better trip. The way it set up and the way the race went; it was all about the trip" said Marohn after the race. It was the fifth win in six lifetime starts for Robin J ($4.50) and the purse enhance her lifetime total to $131,605 for owner Ken Jacobs. Robin J is trained by Linda Toscano. There were also four $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the program. The first division was won by Megyn K (American Ideal-Fantasy Jet) in 1:58 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Jean Drolet. Megyn K ($2.90) is owned by Stephen Schneider, William Siegel, Jay Lieberman and Karen Munk. The second division went to Bullvillestephanie (Roll With Joe-Bullville Ana) in 1:57.4 for driver Ray Schnittker and trainer Steve Crevani. Bullvillestephanie ($11.40) is owned by Crevani Farms. The third leg was won by Ann Hill (Rock N Roll Heaven-Taxi Fare Hanover) in 1:57.1 for driver Chris Lems and trainer Tony Alagna. Ann Hill ($3.30) is owned by Tom Hill. The final split was taken by Pirinea's Princess (Roll With Joe-Chant-a-nuka) in 1:59.1 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Dennis Laterza. Pirinea's Princess ($3.00) is owned by Latz A Luck Stable. Jim Morrill Jr. scored four driving wins on the card that included three in stake action and one in the overnight featured $10,500 Open pace with Ron Burke's multi-million dollar winner, Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) in 1:53.4, wire to wire. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 21) with post time set at 1:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Planet Rock ($7.90) remained undefeated through four career starts via a sparkling 1:52 mile in her $55,500 New York Sire Stakes event for harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday (August 6) night at Vernon Downs.   Planet Rock enjoyed a cozy midpack stalking spot early on, perching just off the top trio as 48-1 outsider Takeyourbreathaway (Billy Davis, Jr.) worked to command before rating a :56.1 half-mile. With seven-sixteenths of the mile to go, Planet Rock slid second-over to draft behind a strong middle move from even-money favorite World Apart (Tim Tetrick), only to be left uncovered on entry to the far turn. Jim Marohn, Jr. continued to progress with the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover, achieving the lead midway on the far turn.   Planet Rock would face stern resistance from World Apart off the corner, but she started to edge away at the eighth pole just as World Apart stumbled. Planet Rock ultimately drew off to win by 2-3/4 lengths, missing See You At Peelers's track record for freshman pacing fillies by two-fifths of a second. That's the Ticket (Marcus Miller) worked into second off live cover, while Artrageous (Jim Morrill, Jr.) emerged from traffic to save third.   Planet Rock gave owner Kenneth Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano a sweep of the jointly-favored New York Sire Stakes events, as their Robin J ($5.10) vaulted off second-over cover to capture the earlier co-feature in 1:54.3. Tim Tetrick was aboard the daughter of Roll With Joe and Mommy Robin Q for the half-length triumph over American Cheer (John MacDonald) and That's How We Roll (Ray Schnittker).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Wednesday (August 10), with a special nine-race twilight card due to commence at 5:10 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

On Monday afternoon August 8 at Monticello Raceway, two year old pacing colts will be the center of attention, this is the 5th of 8 legs of the New York Sire Stake circuit. On tap on the harness racing card is 3 splits of the regular Sire Stakes and 3 each of the Excelsior A and B classes. The Sire Stake vie for $35,866 per division, the Excelsior A's race for $15,000 and the Excelsior B's go for $6,700. The highly touted Miso Fast brings with him his ultra-impressive resume, the Roll With Joe colt is unbeaten thus far in his juvenile career. He has reeled off 3 consecutive wins in NYSS competition, all in impressive fashion. The $125,000 Kentuckiana Farms yearling purchase is trained by Ron Burke and will be driven by Matt Kakaley, he will start from post 4 in the 6 horse field, and he is 4-5 morning line. Based on his last 3 outings, the Track Record for 2 Year Old Pacing Colts may be in jeopardy. The current record of 1:55:2 is held by Freedomformysoul set in 2014. Rock It Scott (PP4) and Music is Art (PP6) are the main contenders in the 1st division of Sire Stakes dash. In his 3rd lifetime start, Rock It Scott was a winner at Saratoga Raceway in 1:54:3. He earned his lifetime mark in his last start at Tioga Downs in 1:54.1 and has earned $40,000. Music Is Art (Art Major) also earned his speed badge of 1:54:3 at Saratoga Raceway. The son of Art Major is trained by Steve Elliott for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks of Florida, Jason Bartlett will drive the colt from post position 6, and is 3-1 morning line. Funknwaffles looks to extend his winning streak to 3 in a row, his last start was at Tioga Downs while competing in the Excelsior A class, the American Ideal - Hatsoff Hanover colt was very impressive by virtue of his 1:52.4 win last week at Tioga Downs. He steps up in class this week for owners Crawford Farms Racing from Syracuse NY. He will start from post 4, in the 8th race, with James Morrill Jr. driving. The bay colt is trained by John Butenschoen. Post Time for the 13 race card is 12:50. By Shawn Wiles

Harness Racing This Week: Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Lady Liberty, Fresh Yankee, Cane Pace, Shady Daisy, Peter Haughton Memorial, and Jim Doherty Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (Aug. 6) at Meadowlands Racetrack with one of the biggest Grand Circuit cards of the season. The afternoon program is led by the $1.14 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Other major stakes races to be contested that day are the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $273,600 John Cashman Memorial for older trotters, the $225,550 U.S. Pacing Championship for older pacers, the $235,950 Lady Liberty for older pacing mares, the 188,350 Fresh Yankee for older trotting mares, the $320,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the $94,675 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old pacing fillies, the $294,450 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $306,500 Jim Dohery Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Looped from the gate and forced into brutal fractions of :25.2 and :52.1 -- in the slop, no less -- Racing Hill showed his talent and heart when he drew away from the field late and captured Saturday's (July 30) $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows in a career-best 1:48.4. The pocket-sitting Check Six could not improve his position in the lane and finished second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Fernando Hanover was a ground-saving third. Racing Hill entered the 50th edition of the Adios with the flashiest credentials, including his victory in the $500,000 Hempt Memorial final and second-place finishes in the finals of the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace. But if his rivals didn't appear up to the task of beating Racing Hill, it seemed that weather and the trip might do him in. Rain punctuated by storms -- the skies cleared shortly before the Adios went off -- created a surface that proved tiring to some early leaders throughout the card. And Racing Hill, the 2-5 favorite, couldn't take the lead from Check Six until just before the three-eighths. "The race was not going the way I wanted it to go," said winning driver Brett Miller. "I was expecting a few more people to leave and kind of shooting for the three-hole. When that didn't happen, I said to myself, we're in trouble." Once he thwarted the first-over challenge of longshot Another Daily Copy, the son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals opened up and had only the timer to beat. The win pushed his career bankroll to $970,028. Tony Alagna, who trains Racing Hill for owner/breeder Tom Hill, said he expected a swift opening half-mile if only because his colt was facing five foes from the powerful Ron Burke stable. "I didn't think they would let us get to the half in :55," Alagna said. "I knew they would make us earn it. I'm a big believer in watching drivers' body language. I was watching Brett in the bike, and he was telling me that he felt he had something left." Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 448.5; 2. Tim Tetrick - 387.5; 3. David Miller - 341; 4. Matt Kakaley - 259; 5. Jordan Stratton - 236.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 584; 2. Jimmy Takter - 354.5; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 175; 4. Clyde Francis - 152.5; 5. Peter Tritton - 149.5. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 138.25; 3. Bamond Racing - 117; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 114.3; 5. Tom Hill - 87. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Northfield Park led by the Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old pacers; at Hoosier Park with the Dan Patch for free for all pacers; at The Meadows with the Moni Maker for sophomore filly trotters; at the Indiana State Fair with the Fox Stakes highlighting 10 stakes; and at Tioga Downs with Tompkins-Geers events for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

WASHINGTON, PA, July 30, 2016 — Looped from the gate and forced into brutal fractions of 25.2/52.1—in the slop, no less—Racing Hill showed his talent and heart when he drew away from the field late and captured Saturday’s $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows in a harness racing career-best 1:48.4 The pocket-sitting Check Six could not improve his position in the lane and finished second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Fernando Hanover was a ground-saving third. Racing Hill entered the 50th edition of the Adios with the flashiest credentials, including his victory in the $500,000 Hempt Memorial final and second-place finishes in the finals of the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace—each a $1 million event. But if his rivals didn’t appear up to the task of beating Racing Hill, it seemed that weather and trip might do him in. Rain punctuated by storms—the skies cleared shortly before the Adios went off—created a surface that proved tiring to some early leaders throughout the card. And Racing Hill, the 2-5 favorite, couldn’t wrest the lead from Check Six until just before the three-eighths. “The race was not going the way I wanted it to go,” said winning driver Brett Miller. “I was expecting a few more people to leave and kind of shooting for the 3 hole. When that didn’t happen, I said to myself, we’re in trouble.” Miller had an even stronger reaction when he realized how fast Racing Hill was going. “When I saw the time flash up,” he said, “I wanted to throw up. I didn’t think there was any way he could keep going. He goes to the half in 52.1 and keeps going. Horses don’t do that.” Once he thwarted the first-over challenge of long shot Another Daily Copy, the son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals opened up and had only the timer to beat. The win pushed his career bankroll to $970,028. Tony Alagna, who trains Racing Hill for owner/breeder Tom Hill, said he expected a swift opening half if only because his colt was facing five foes from the powerful Ron Burke stable. “I didn’t think they would let us get to the half in 55,” Alagna said. “I knew they would make us earn it. “I’m a big believer in watching drivers’ body language. I was watching Brett in the bike, and he was telling me that he felt he had something left.” Alagna said he plans to give Racing Hill two weeks off before his next engagement, the Battle of the Brandywine. Manhattan Beach took fourth and More Dragon fifth, meaning that Burke, who entered six horses in Adios 50 and saw five advance to the final, finished 2-3-4-5. Did he find that frustrating or satisfying? “Definitely satisfying,” Burke said. “My horses raced well. Racing Hill was unbelievable.” ADIOS NOTES:  Miller entered Adios 50 as the leading money-winner in the history of the event among drivers who had never won an Adios final. With the victory, he vaulted to eighth on the all-time Adios earnings list with $562,286 . . . Although the track was sloppy, Racing Hill matched the time of last year’s winner, Dude’s The Man. They’re tied for the fourth-fastest Adios final . . . James Witherite, race caller at Tioga Downs and an accomplished jazz organist, showed off another dimension of his talent, entertaining fans as the Adios Day bugler. He included some subtle touches, such as playing the old Billy Joel hit “She’s always a Woman” to introduce the Adioo Volo—a stake for 3-year-old fillies. Evan Pattak

Trenton, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Ed Hart and owner Jeff Snyder might be best known for their successes with pacers, so seeing them team up with a Grand Circuit trotter might appear to be a little out of character. But Hart says training 2-year-old Another Chapter -- who is racing in the second of two Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations Friday (July 29) at the Meadowlands -- isn’t much different than what he is used to. “I don’t think so,” Hart said, when asked if he changes his approach. “A lot of time you just have to take your time. I guess what I’m saying is for both (pacers and trotters). It’s how they develop as they come along. You just have to take your time with it.” Hart has not seen enough of Another Chapter to draw any firm conclusions on his future. He likes what he has seen so far, as the colt has one third-place finish in three starts -- all on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. He heads to his Haughton elimination off a fifth-place finish on July 21 at Vernon Downs, where he came home fastest of all, in :27.4, and was beaten only 1-1/2 lengths. Brett Miller will drive Another Chapter on Friday. He is the 4-1 third choice on the morning line, behind two trotters from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, What The Hill (2-1) and Southwind Cobra (3-1). Another Chapter’s sire is Chapter Seven, the 2012 Horse of the Year. His dam is Southwind Catlin, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion at age 2 in 2004. He is a half-brother to 2013 Breeders Crown winner Spider Blue Chip and the family also includes stakes-winner Flawless Bluestone and Pine Schooner, who is the mother of 2009 Hambletonian Oaks winner Broadway Schooner. He was purchased for $125,000 by Snyder -- perhaps best known as owner of 1994 Horse of the Year Cam’s Card Shark and co-owner of 2005 Horse of the Year Rocknroll Hanover -- and Four Friends Racing Stable at the Standardbred Horse Sale. The owners changed his name from Orthodox Blue Chip to Another Chapter. “I think the owners were interested in the first crop of Chapter Seven, and this is another exciting horse coming in,” Hart said. “He’s a well bred horse. That’s what Jeff Snyder has liked.” Hart was unable to make many comparisons between Another Chapter and his parents, as he did not know Southwind Catlin and only saw Chapter Seven race. “He’s not a real big horse, just a nice, medium size horse,” Hart said. “I don’t think Chapter Seven was very big either.” The trainer did note that Another Chapter does share a major trait with his siblings. “I’ve got a few Chapter Sevens and the one thing I’ve liked is all their attitudes,” he said. “He’s got a lot of try. He’s got a very good attitude, he just tries all the time.” Asked if there is anything about the horse that concerned him, Hart said, “I don’t think so. It’s like all young trotters, he’s still a little bit of a work in progress. There are going to be mistakes and bumps down the road but overall he’s been OK. He seems to be getting better each week.” The trainer noted that in the stable, Another Chapter is quiet for a colt, saying “he’s nippy, but he’s good. He’s a happy horse. He’s sharp; not a salty type of horse.” The horse’s health has been solid so far, as he has yet to take a sick day. Immediately after reporting that, Hart laughed and said, “I probably shouldn’t say that. I better knock on wood.” Because his races have been limited so far, Hart doesn’t have a firm idea of what type of trip he likes. Another Chapter has shown a tendency to be aggressive behind the gate, so they have been taking it easy with him. “For the most part, he’s finished up pretty strong in the mile,” Hart said. “I know it’s a tough task (Friday) coming from the sire stakes, but I do like his chances (to advance). I raced him at Vernon and I think the best part of his mile was toward the wire. He’s finishing up real strong.” Hart, who had the sport’s top 2-year-old male pacer in 2004 in Village Jolt (also owned by Snyder); and harness racing’s top 3-year-old male pacer in 2011 in Roll With Joe, has Another Chapter staked up. “We’ll just see how it develops, see how he finishes out the rest of the sire stakes,” Hart said. “I think he has all the major stakes; the Breeders Crown and what not. So we’ll try and get through this week, finish out the sire stakes and see what happens towards the fall. “He’s one of those colts that just seems to get better every week. That’s what you want. We just have to keep going forward.” by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2016 -- Racing Hill, the 1-5 favorite, overpowered the field as he captured his elimination in the 50th edition of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids in 1:49.1, while Manhattan Beach found late racing room to take Saturday's other $25,000 harness racing elimination at The Meadows. Those two will be joined in next Saturday afternoon's $400,000 Adios final by Check Six, Lyons Snyder, More Dragon, Fernando Hanover, Another Daily Copy, American Passport and Big Top Hanover. Big Top Hanover earned his berth in the field of nine as the fifth place finisher with higher career earnings. Five of the six entrants trained by Ron Burke made it through to the final. The draw for Adios post positions is set for Tuesday at 12:30 PM and can be seen on Meadows Live! The connections of Racing Hill and Manhattan Beach will choose their post positions, with the others drawn randomly. Racing Hill boasted the strongest credentials in the field, having won the final of the $500,000 Hempt Memorial and finishing second in the Meadowlands Pace and the final of the North America Cup--each of those a $1 million event. If that grueling schedule of five tough races in little more than six weeks took anything out of him, it wasn't evident in his Adios elimination. The son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals made the front with an extended quarter pole move for Brett Miller and thwarted the first-over challenge of Pick Six to down him by 3/4 lengths. Early leader Lyons Snyder finished third. "He's just ultra-sharp," said Tony Alagna, who trains Racing Hill for owner/breeder Tom Hill. "He felt so good coming out of the Meadowlands Pace--he was so fresh and jogged great--that I felt good about bringing him here. "If the final had been an open draw, I probably would have preferred that he sit in so we could make the final. But with the new format this year, it's important that you get to pick your post--especially with a bunch of Burke horses making the final. You don't want to draw the 9 hole against a big entry." The victory pushed Racing Hill's lifetime bankroll over $770,000. Manhattan Beach saved ground for most of the mile before Matt Kakaley sent him through a seam in mid-stretch. He held off the Lightning Lane charge of his stablemate, Fernando Hanover, to defeat him by a neck in 1:50.2, a career best. Another Daily Copy, who fronted the mile, saved show. Kakaley said he wasn't worried about being pinned late. "If I'd had to wait for the passing lane, he'd have got through," he said. "There was no worry there. He raced really good in the Meadowlands Pace, and he raced good today. He was sneaky good a few starts before the North America Cup. Hopefully he brings his 'A' game next week." Burke conditions Manhattan Beach, a Somebeachsomewhere-Benear gelding who soared over $200,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Geoffrey Lyons Mound and Wingfield Brothers. As thoughts turned to Tuesday's draw for post positions, both camps seemed to be heading in the same direction. "The inside here is tough to get off," Miller said. "I got away fourth today from the rail, and I was leaving just about as hard as I could. I could live with post 3, but I think I'd rather have post 4, right around there." Kakaley's reasoning was similar. "I don't want the 1 or 2 hole ," he said. "Probably 3 or 4." Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2016 -- Of the 12 competitors in the 50th edition of the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows, Racing Hill may have the strongest credentials. He won the final of the $500,000 Hempt Memorial and finished second in the finals of both the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace, each a $1 million stake. Those harness racing performances pushed his lifetime bankroll to $757,528; victory in the Adios final would make him a millionaire. But the road to those laurels has been demanding -- five tough races against elite competition in a little more than six weeks. After a workload that heavy, will he be sharp in his Adios elimination? Trainer Tony Alagna says the son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Deals remains in top form. "He's come out of it in great shape, so we made the decision to take him to the Adios," Alagna said. Racing Hill is the 8-5 morning line favorite in race 8, the first of two Adios eliminations, with an approximate post time of 3 PM. He goes from the rail with Brett Miller driving. The Adios final is set for Saturday afternoon, July 30. The first four finishers in each elimination, plus the fifth-place finisher with the better career earnings, return for the final. Alagna noted that Racing Hill earned a bye into the Meadowlands Pace final, giving him a valuable week off. "He came out of that race great," Alagna said. "He ripped around the field with his tail over his back. That made the decision easier. He trains lightly between races, no kind of speed. He tells you what he wants as far as work goes. He carries his weight well, and he's good to himself. All those things help." He said Tom Hill, owner of Racing Hill, gives him considerable leeway on the colt's schedule. "The Hills are very good that way," he said. "They told me to make the decision based on what I saw." He indicated Racing Will likely would have two weeks off following the Adios to freshen for his next engagement, the Battle of the Brandywine at Harrah's Philadelphia. Alagna also sends American Passport into the Adios -- he and Scott Zeron leave from post 5 in the second elimination, race 9. The son of American Ideal-Star Of The Show finished a strong second in the June 4 Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk but is winless in five outings this year and hasn't raced since July 1. "He's had bad luck and needed to regroup," Alagna said. "He qualified very good the other day. Based on what he did last year, I don't think the Adios is a stretch for him at all." The Adios eliminations card offers two strong supporting stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers -- the Romola Hanover, a $159,360 Pennsylvania Sires Stake, and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. First post Saturday is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- What's Goin On probably had the harness racing fans asking that exact question as he shocked the field in his $36,567 division of the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 20).   In covering the mile in 1:56.4, the fastest of the three divisions, What's Goin On (Mark MacDonald) paid a handsome $37.60 to his faithful backers.   In other Sire Stakes action, driver Jody Jamieson took Windsong Napoleon straight to the lead and never looked back in registering an easy 6-1/4 length triumph over Twin B Cowboy (Jim Morrill Jr.) in 1:57.2 while the heavily-favored Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) avoided disaster down the backstretch and was able to track down the pace-setting Americanfirewater (Jamieson) in 1:57.3.   The winners were short of the track records of He's Watching (1:55.4) set for the colts in 2013 and Roadside Delight (1:56.3) established in 2010 for the geldings.   In the most shocking result of the night, What's Goin On led from the start and put up respectable splits of 29.4, 59.4 and 1:29.1. The Mark Harder-trainee had plenty left in the tank for the last quarter mile as he paced home in 27.3 to hold off any late threats. This Is My Song (Jamieson) finished in second while Offdahook Bluechip (Kakaley) finished in third.   Owned by Rick Phillips, the VIP Internet Stable, Deanna Frost and Mark Harder, it was the first victory for What's Goin On (Roll With Joe-Shipps Xclamation).   In the first leg, Windsong Napoleon was able to set fractions of 29.4, 59.3 and 1:29.1 and used a final panel of 28.1 in going gate-to-wire in disposing of Twin B Cowboy and third place finisher America's Fleet (Mark MacDonald).   Owned by trainer Carl Jamieson, Thomas Kyron and Douglas Good, Windsong Napoleon (Art Major-Bunny Dearest) now has two victories in four career tries, earning $26,879.   In the other bracket, Miso Fast ($2.30) was fortunate to avoid trouble heading to the three-quarter pole and used a 27.4 last split to collar Americanfirewater in 1:57.3. Willie Joe Hall (Pat Lachance) took the show position.   Going first over down the backstretch, Miso Fast and a heads up Kakaley were able to swing wide and avoid the pocket-sitting Outkast Blue Chip who broke stride and scattered the field.   In the home stretch, Americanfirewater could feel the pressure being applied by Miso Fast in the lane and could do nothing but helplessly watch.   Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stable and the J&T Silva Stable. It was his second straight Sire Stakes victory, now a winner of $39,896 in just two lifetime appearances.   Morrill Jr. took a pair of $15,000 Excelsior A Series events. He guided Funknwaffles ($2.50) to a 1:57.4 victory and Serious Major ($2.70) to a 1:59.1 decision. In the other leg, Percy's Z Tam ($4.60) found the winner's circle with a 2:00.0 score with Lachance in the bike.   Sargeant Reckless was a popular $4.20 winner in the $6.500 Excelsior B Series as Morrill Jr. steered him to a 2:01 victory. Watch Me Fly ($5.00) took the other division in 2:01.3 with Kevin Cummings aboard.   There were two divisions of the Claiming Championship Series contested with Fresh Squeezed ($4.50) posting a 1:56.1 victory for Kakaley in the $14,800 finale for filly and mare pacers ($8,000-$12,500).   In the $10,000 championship event for the distaff pacers ($4,000-$7,000), Mystical Danica ($3.20) cruised to a 1:57.2 victory under the guidance of Cummings.   Princess Katie (Ray Fisher Jr.) toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 1:55.2 to capture the $9,500 Open Pace for the filly and mares. She returned $4.20 for the victory.   The final week of racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 10 races going to the post at 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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