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London, May 20, 2019 -- Less than 24 hours after capturing the 41st edition of the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs, trainer Ron Burke has confirmed that Done Well will participate in this year's Camluck Classic on closing night, May 31st at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The son of Well Said has now posted back-to-back harness racing wins following a 1:50.2 lifetime best over Flamboro and is sure to be a major threat in this year's $157,000 contest. The gelding has more than $583,000 earned in his career and has started off his four-year-old campaign with a record of 2-1-0 from a trio of starts. The Raceway is also proud to announce that the connections of Trump Nation and The Wall have accepted invitations to the Camluck Classic. Trump Nation, who captured the 2018 edition of the Art Rooney, is fresh off a sizzling 1:49.3 winning effort at The Meadowlands. He will line up in the Camluck Classic for trainer Andrew Harris, himself a native of Ontario who now operates a large stable in New Jersey. The pacer's sire, Betterthancheddar, competed in what was then the Molson Pace at Western Fair in 2013 finishing a strong second behind State Treasurer. Trump Nation has a 10-3-3 record from 22 starts in his career with $322,000 in the bank. The Wall, trained by Nick Surick, is also confirmed for this year's Camluck Classic. The son of Somebeachsomewhere captured two legs of this year's George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway and has nearly $340,000 banked in his young career. The five-year-old boasts a record of 1:51.2 taken earlier this year at Yonkers Raceway and will be handled by his regular pilot Joe Bongiorno on May 31st. The other big news is that harness racing's winningest driver Dave Palone will make the trip to Ontario to drive Southwind Amazon in the Camluck Classic. Palone has put up amazing numbers during his career including more than 18,800 trips to the winner's circle. Perhaps the most impressive statistic is 29 consecutive seasons of at least 400 wins or more. Below are the six confirmed starters at this point in alphabetical order. The other two starters will be confirmed this week. Done Well Ideal Jimmy Sintra Southwind Amazon The Wall Trump Nation   Camluck Classic night will also offer a powerful undercard that will include the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, a quartet of City Of London Series finals and several Preferred races. Visitors will once again have a chance to enjoy the action from the confines of the giant Infield Tent, which was a hit with guests last year. It offers a unique vantage point and entertainment experience with fantastic food and beverage offerings for just $50 plus tax. Tickets to the Infield Event are currently on sale with limited tickets available. The Party on the Patio will be back this year bigger and better than ever. Along with the delicious food and beverage offerings that will be available, popular local entertainers Sarina Haggarty and Connor Morand will be on hand performing their unique mix of new material and cover songs throughout the evening. There will be many other contests and giveaways that night with more details to come. To stay up to date on the Camluck Classic and everything happening at The Raceway, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com.   Western Fair District

MAY 19, 2019 - A few raindrops did not put a damper on the 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes season opener Sunday, as the province's top three-year-old colts impressed harness racing fans gathered at Flamboro Downs for the Dundas oval's signature Confederation Cup program. Both the trotting and pacing colts opened their sophomore season Sunday, with the trotters competing in a trio of Gold Series divisions and the pacers duelling in five Grassroots races. Only For Justice set the tempo for the evening in the first race, cruising along on the front end to a 1:56.3 Gold Series victory. Fan favourite, and last year's division champion, Forbidden Trade was three lengths back in second and Archway was well back in third. "That's a big mile here tonight, a real fast back half," said driver Chris Christoforou. "He's very good gaited and good on the turns, he's a nice horse." Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou piloted Only For Justice to the win for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. The win came in the Justice Hall son's first start of the season and was his second lifetime victory in Gold Series action. The gelding also captured a Gold event on the half-mile track at Grand River Raceway as a two-year-old. "Last year, I'm not sure, but I think he might have had the season record on a half-mile track for a two-year-old gelding," said Christoforou, referring to Only For Justice's 1:57.3 score at Grand River Raceway. "I'd like to see him progress through the year, see what happens. He's got a good gait and he's very easy to manoeuver, he does what you want... so far, so good." The second $72,267 Gold division went to Magical Journey and driver Stephen Byron, who hit the wire one-half length ahead of Northern Cavalier and driver Michiel Vanderkemp, matching Only For Justice's 1:56.3 clocking. Jumpshot and driver Daniel Dube rounded out the top three, all of whom took advantage of an early break by favourite Dream Nation. "He raced great," said Matt Bax, who shares ownership of Magical Journey with his father, trainer John Bax, Gaelic Stable of Sharon, ON and Gordon Wright of Charlotte, MI. "We knew that he was really good in the turns, and he's good off the wings, so Steve was going to probably try to get him closer to the front - half-mile racing, if you have that ability you're going to go for it - and Steve gave him a great drive." The win was the second of the season and the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Kadabra son Magical Journey, who made three Gold Series starts and three Grassroots starts at two. "At the end of the year he was really starting to figure it out, when we put him away he was strong, so that's translated into this year," said Campbellville resident Bax. "He's a little taller, a little stronger, a little smarter, a little bit of everything." The third Gold division went to Southwind Avenger, who battled to a one length victory over pacesetter Cool Clifford, hitting the wire in 1:55.4. JMR Pinarello was well behind the leaders in third. Trevor Henry crafted the win, from the outside Post 8, for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The E L Titan son also won a division of the season opener at two and never finished worse than third in six Gold Series starts during his freshman campaign. Henry also captured the first $22,800 Grassroots division, guiding sophomore pacing colt Sportsline to his fourth straight victory for trainer Jim Watt of Clinton and Harry Parrott of Goderich, ON. The fan favourites cruised along on the front end to a 1:51.4 victory, four lengths ahead of Moonshine Kisses. Gambling Terror was third. The other Grassroots divisions went to Priceless Beach in 1:54.3, Sugartown in 1:52.2, Missile Seelster in 1:55.4 and Better Than Cash in 1:55.2. The Ontario Sires Stakes colts served as the opening act for the $188,500 Confederation Cup Final, featuring nine of the best four-year-old pacers in North America. In the main event, Done Well and driver Dexter Dunn reprised their successful front-end trip from the elimination and claimed the historic Cup with a 1:50.2 clocking for trainer Ron Burke of Fredericktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA, Jandt Silva Purnel and Libb of Delray Beach, FL and Wingfield Brothers LLC of Kenton, OH. Last season's OSS champion Jimmy Freight finished second and the other elimination winner, and Done Well's stablemate, Dorsoduro Hanover was third. The sophomore trotting colts will continue their Ontario Sires Stakes Gold season on June 24 and the pacing colts will compete in their second Grassroots event on June 27, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The provincial program makes two more stops at Flamboro Downs in the fall, with the three-year-old pacing fillies and the two-year-old trotting fillies wrapping up their Gold season on Sept. 22 and Oct. 2, respectively. Complete results for Flamboro Downs' May 19 Confederation Cup program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0519flmdn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing

Chester, PA -- Despite being strung out early by rival Top Flight Angel, Crawford Farms Racing's Homicide Hunter ($4.40) had enough energy to fend off a late charge from All Champy in Great Northeast Open Series action on Sunday afternoon (May 19) at Harrah's Philadelphia, taking the day's featured $30,000 trot in 1:52.4. In their first meeting since the 2018 harness racing Breeders Crown, Homicide Hunter (Yannick Gingras) and Top Flight Angel (Marcus Miller) -- one-two in last year's season-ending classic -- threw down immediately from the outset. The pair sprinted well clear of Scirocco Rob (David Miller) on the first turn, and Homicide Hunter battled to force Top Flight Angel into the pocket through a :27 first quarter. After pulling the half back to :56.2, Homicide Hunter again accelerated up the far side, inching away from Top Flight Angel past three-quarters in 1:24.3 but also preparing for the first-over challenge of All Champy (Simon Allard). All Champy, who angled out from fifth at race's midpoint, worked to within a half length of Homicide Hunter at the eighth pole, but could get no closer at any point in the homestretch. Homicide Hunter earned the 40th win of his career by that same half-length margin over All Champy, while even-money choice Top Flight Angel finished third another 2-1/2 lengths in arrears. Ron Burke trains Homicide Hunter, whose 1:48.4 effort at The Red Mile last October is the fastest ever from a trotter. Tim Tetrick, who took the $14,500 pacing sub-feature with Rockeyed Optimist ($2.60, 1:51.1), led all drivers with a grand slam on the 14-race program. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover eclipsed the $30,000 mark after odds-on choice Crockets Cullen N ($3.80, Larry Stalbaum) won the fifth race and keyed an 8-3-5-4-1 combination which returned $98.90 on a 20-cent ticket. With multiple winners, the jackpot carryover for Wednesday's (May 22) fifth race has increased to $30,463.50. First post for Wednesday's 13-race card is 12:25 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite  Harrah's Philadelphia racing media.

Washington, PA – Four divisions of the Meadow Bright for three-year-old PASS trotting fillies were the feature races on the 14 race Meadows Saturday afternoon card.   Each harness racing division carried a purse of $42,600 with three prohibitive favorites going down to defeat.   Firedbylindie started off the upsets winning the first division in 1:54 for Matt Kakaley defeating the 1-5 favorite Asiago. The favorite moved to the front past the quarter for Yannick Gingras but was no match for the winner in the stretch eventually fading to fourth. Matter Of Fact and Magical Beliefs followed the winner home. Firedbylindie is a daughter of Explosive Matter trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Firedbylindie paid $15.80 to her backers.    Division two saw 3-5 favorite Sonnet Grace make a break in the first turn taking herself out of contention and opening the door for Jazzy Fashion and David Miller to secure the win in 1:54.1. Jazzy Fashion is a daughter of Donato Hanover owned by Fashion Farms LLC of New Hope, PA and trained by Jim Campbell. Nomo Volo finished second for Jeff Gregory with Grimmie Hanover and Dave Palone rounding out the trifecta.    Fashion Farms and Jim Campbell were not done yet as their undefeated homebred Possess The Will filly Millie’s Possesion captured the third division of the Meadow Bright. The only favorite to win a division, Millie’s Possesion is now 3 for 3 lifetime capturing her division in a lifetime best 1:54. The winning filly driven by Dexter Dunn held off Personal Paradise by a neck with Southwind Casha finishing third. Millie’s Possesion paid $2.80 to win.   The fourth and final division saw the 1-2 favorite American Kronos make a break going to the three quarters allowing Dexter Dunn and Antonia to upset the field. The second winner for Dexter Dunn and stallion Donato Hanover scored in 1:54.3 over Swizzle Sticks and Fade Into You. Trained by Nifty Norman, Antonia paid a healthy $28.20 to her backers.   On the undercard were four divisions of the PA Stallion Series for the sophomore diagonal gaited fillies.   Joplin opened the day’s festivities with an upset win n the first race for Christen and Jim Pantaleano stopping the timer in 1:56.2. Favorite Can’t Touch It made a break in deep stretch while not threatening the winner and finished 3 rd before being disqualified to 4 th place.   The second division of the Stallion Series went to Dawn of Glory for Yannick Gingras and trainer Julie Miller in 1:57.4. The winner sat a two-hole journey before collaring the front running favorite Altercation by a head at the wire.   Next up was a win for Keystone Abbey and Aaron Merriman for trainer Chris Beaver. The Cantab Hall filly led every step of the way scoring in 1:56.4 by a head over favorite Fraulein Blucher. Yannick Gingras returned to the winner’s circle in the 4 th and final division of the Stallion Series with the Steve LeBlanc trained Spring In Paris.   The pacing feature of the day was the Winners Over $10,000 life won by the hard hitting 7-year-old gelding Windsong Leo in 1:49.4 for Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke.   Racing resumes Monday with a 1:05 post.   The live schedule changes this week with live racing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and a special Friday night program starting at 5:00 PM with the 3-year-old C&G trotters back in action in the Currier and Ives Stake.     Mark J. Loewe VP of Racing Operations

HAMILTON, May 17, 2019 - The eyes of harness racing will be locked on Flamboro Downs this Sunday evening for the 41st edition of the Confederation Cup. The $188,500 event for four-year-old pacers is the highlight of an 11-race card with $538,551 in purses up for grabs. The field for this year's Confederation Cup is arguably the deepest since the race became an event for four-year-olds in 2015. Trainer Ron Burke has won three of the last four editions of the Confederation Cup and enters with a strong one-two punch of eliminations winners Done Well and Dorsoduro Hanover. Done Well (PP5, Dexter Dunn) turned many heads with a stunning 1:51.4 elimination victory over a 'Sloppy' track that was listed two-seconds off. The gelded son of Well Said is one for two this season and sports career numbers of eight wins and nearly $500,000 in earnings over 23 starts. Dorsoduro Hanover (PP1, Matt Kakaley) won a wild and much-talked about second elimination for the Burke brigade. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is the richest horse in this year's event with over $1.3 million in career earnings. The list of accomplishments for Dorsoduro Hanover includes victories in the Breeders Crown, Adios Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and a Dan Patch award. The field for the Confederation Cup also includes O'Brien Award winner Jimmy Freight (PP2, Louis Philippe Roy). The Richard Moreau trainee overcame a post-eight starting spot in his elimination to make the final with a fourth-place finish. Jimmy Freight was last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion and is an 18-time winner with over $1 million in career earnings. Sunday's Confederation Cup undercard is the start of the 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes season with a trio of Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings and five Grassroots divisions for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings scheduled. Fans attending the Confederation Cup will have an opportunity to win a share of a racehorse. Flamboro Downs is once again teaming with TheStable.ca to giveaway five shares of a racehorse. The track will cover the training expenses of those five shares for the remainder of 2019. Post time for Sunday's card is 6:55 p.m. The Confederation Cup has been carded as Race 10. The full field for the $188,500 Confederation Cup is listed below. 1. Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke) 2. Jimmy Freight (Louis Philippe Roy/Richard Moreau) 3. Pretty Handsome (Jonathan Drury/Andrew McCabe) 4. American History (Sylvain Filion/Tony Alagna) 5. Done Well (Dexter Dunn/Ron Burke) 6. The Downtown Bus (Doug McNair/Jeff Gillis) 7. Rockin Speed (Billy Davis Jr/Jared Seekman) 8. This Is The Plan (Joe Bongiorno/Ron Burke) 9. Ghost Dance (Randy Waples/Nick Gallucci) E: Courtly Choice (David Miller/Blake MacIntosh)   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

Flamborough, May 17, 2019 - Race fans are reminded that this Sunday night the Confederation Cup from Flamboro Downs will be broadcast live on Facebook beginning at 9:30 p.m. (ET). The one-hour broadcast, part of a three-race series sponsored by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA), will cover the $188,500 Confederation Cup in race 10 along with the 9th race which is a $23,150 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots division for three-year-old filly pacers. Mark McKelvie and Greg Blanchard will be on the desk while Jaimi MacDonald will provide paddock coverage during the show which will be aired via the Flamboro Downs , Grand River Raceway and Raceway at Western Fair District Facebook pages and streamed over the Standardbred Canada website. The next stop in the series will be the $157,000 Camluck Classic on Friday, May 31 at The Raceway with the final show covering the $250,000 (Est) Battle Of Waterloo on Monday, August 5 at Grand River. The Confederation Cup field is a stellar one led by the powerful Ron Burke-trained duo of Dorsoduro Hanover and Done Well, with the latter being installed as the 7-5 morning line choice by virtue of his powerful 1:51.4 elimination victory last Sunday night over an 'off' track. Jimmy Freight, Canada's three-year-old pacing colt of the year in 2018, overcame post 8 in his elimination with a fourth-place finish and has drawn much more favourably in the final, leaving from post position two. Post time for the Confederation Cup program is 6:55 p.m. (ET).   Greg Blanchard

CHESTER PA - Luminosity shined most brightly in the $18,000 featured trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, winning by 5¾ lengths in 1:53.4, just a fifth off the lifetime best of the harness racing nine-year-old. Driver Yannick Gingras reserved the Cash Hall gelding, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, off a contested :27.3 quarter, but then gave him the word to go, and Luminosity did, hitting the half in :56.3 and then staying clear the back half, past the 1:24.3 three-quarters and right through the wire. Dream Massive, who four starts ago was laboring in the track's bottom class, raced well uncovered for second, with Sky Marshal closing for third. A winner of $826,917, Luminosity raised his win percentage to 25% both for the season (4-of-16) and lifetime (45-of-180). Luminosity was the even-money favorite, not a fact conducive to producing a single ticket selector of the Jackpot Hi-5 bet, so the carryover into Friday will be $28,316.19. Tomorrow's racing at Harrah's will be in the nighttime, starting at 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, Melady's Monet, Top Flight Angel, and Homicide Hunter will face off in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series event for trotters; it is likely that off a good performance this group will be in the running for the $100,000 Maxie Lee Trot here on Sunday, May 26, a day which will also feature the $100,000 Betsy Ross Pace for mares and the $100,000 Commodore Barry Pace, along with Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts. And the Memorial Day action continues into Monday and a live 12:40 card.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

Horsemen flooded to the Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio on May 14, seeking harness racing racehorses and breeding stock among the nearly 400 catalogued horses. The sale was virtually tied with last year as the best Spring Sale in its 56 year history with a lot of happy sellers, and buyers that were grateful to get horses to stock their stables. Burke Racing Stable brought an especially strong consignment that included five of the top ten sellers. Leading the way at $65,000 was consistent Preferred pacer Arthur Pendragon. Mark Wright of Frankfort Kentucky had the winning bid on the handsome son of Dragon Again. Next in line was solid conditioned pacer Cheese Melt fresh off a 1:51.2h win at Northfield Park. Fred Linz of Indiana signed the ticket for the 4-yr-old son of Betterthancheddar for $62,000. Other heavy hitters in the Burke consignment were conditioned pacers Reagans Avenger and Aleppo Hanover purchased by Rick Bucci for $42,000 and $32,000 respectively along with Fordham Sixty Two who was picked up for $35,000 by Allard Racing. The consistent young trotter Lion King AS from the Ruddick Stables also went to Allard Racing on a $37,000 bid. A potential story in the making was the purchase of Indiana Sires Stakes eligible Mr Bigly by 15-yr-old Breana Carsey (of Ohio Champion MJB Gotta Have Faith fame) and her dad Brian for $47,000. The precocious son of Always A Virgin came from the very nice Emerald Highlands Farm consignment that also featured the competitive 4-yr-old conditioned mare McPansy purchased by A Piece of Racing for $40,000. The Summer Blooded Horse Sale will be held Tuesday and Wednesday Aug. 27-28. This sale includes a black type yearling session in addition to several hundred racehorses. The black type yearling session closes July 1. Mixed entries will be taken until full. Visit www.bloodedhorse.com to enter or order a catalogue.   Dot Morgan

Much of the racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this past week took place under less-than-ideal weather conditions, thanks to an unusually cold and rainy stretch of weather from Sunday to Tuesday. That didn't dampen enthusiasm in the least for one of the most exciting weeks of racing we've witnessed this year, as the harness racing action was spiced up with the Great Northeast Open Series and Pennsylvania All-Stars races for three-year-old colts and geldings pacers. Let's take a look at the best of the best as we check out the Weekly Awards.   PACER OF THE WEEK: TEQUILA MONDAY What a year it has been for this five-year-old mare from the Hunter Oakes barn. Tequila Monday came into the $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series race on Sunday night for pacing mares with wins in all five of her races in 2019. Included in those victories was a condition win at Pocono back on April 16. In her previous race, she captured the first leg of the GNO Series with a powerful late move from the pocket at Harrah's at Philadelphia in 1:51.   On Sunday night, she was made the 4-5 betting favorite leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven. And a powerful field it was, including Bettor Joy N, who was hungry for action after a controversial scratch in Ohio, and Percy Blue Chip, Breeders Crown champ at Pocono in 2018. Bettor Joy N hustled past Tequila Monday for the lead on the first turn, and matters looked a little concerning for Tequila Monday when Bettor Joy N was able to get away with relatively soft fractions on the front end.   In the stretch, Tequila Monday had her chance to take on the leader when the passing lane opened up. With Tyler Buter guiding her home, she absolutely exploded past Bettor Joy N, blowing by with ease to win it by 1 ¼ lengths. The winning time of 1:52:1 was impressive considering that the track was slowed by the sloppy conditions. Now 6 for 6 on the year and already having beaten many of the top competitors in her age group, Tequila Monday seems poised for a legendary season.   Other top pacers this week include: Nine Ways (George Napolitano Jr., Antonia Storer), whose third straight condition win on Saturday night came in 1:50, a new career-best and tied for fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono; Maxdaddy Blue Chip (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who moved up in condition to win his second straight on Saturday night, getting it done in 1:50:2; and JM's Delight (Greg Merton driver and trainer), who won his second condition pace in his last three at Pocono with a victory in the slop on Sunday night in 1:54.   TROTTER OF THE WEEK: GUARDIAN ANGEL AS As was the case with the mares, the field for the #30,000 Great Northeast Open Series for trotters on Sunday night was stacked. Homicide Hunter, defending Breeders Crown champ, was making his first start of the year and his debut for the Ron Burke barn. JL Cruze joined Homicide Hunter as one of two million-dollar earners in the field. La Grange A was coming off back-to-back wins at The Meadowlands, while Pappy Go Go had earlier in the season posted the fastest trotting time in the Pocono meet with a 1:52. But it was Guardian Angle AS, leaving from the #5 post in a field of eight, who was made the 3-5 betting favorite. The 5-year-old stallion was coming off a 2018 which saw him earn a robust $243,966. His first start of 2019 was only a fourth-place finish, but considering it came against brutal competition at The Meadowlands and that he had to deal with a second-tier post, it wasn't bad at all. On Sunday night, he made a quick move to the lead on the front stretch with Tim Tetrick in the bike. On the back stretch, La Grange A came flying at the leader first-over. But Guardian Angel AS, trained by Anette Lorentzon, calmly rebuffed that challenge. In the stretch, he effortlessly opened up the lead and ended up coming home a winner by 3 ¾ lengths over La Grange As, with most of the rest of the field was well back. The winner trotted the mile in 1:53:1 in the slop, making it all look ridiculously easy despite the high caliber of the field. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Mass Production (Scott Zeron, Rick Zeron), who managed to match a career-best time of 1:54:4 in a condition win on Sunday night despite the sloppy conditions; Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory driver and trainer), who followed up a condition win at Harrah's with one at Pocono on Sunday night in the slop with a time of 1:54:1; and Sylvesterameicait (Anthony Napolitano, Bob Baggitt Jr.), whose win in a condition on Monday on a sloppy track in 1:55:4 was the fastest trot of the day by almost four seconds.   LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RED MAPLE LANE Under the guidance of driver Matt Romano, this trotter led every step of the way in a condition on Tuesday afternoon at 31-1, paying off $64.80 on a $2 win ticket.   DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR George Nap just keeps plowing through the competition, extending his lead in the Pocono driving colony with another big week that was highlighted by five wins on Saturday night.   TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ANTONIA STORER Storer has been winning at an impressive rate with limited starters at Pocono, as evidenced by a training double on Saturday night with Nine Ways and Rock The Town.   That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.   Jim Beviglia

CHESTER PA – The stars of the day Friday at Harrah’s Philadelphia, where three-year-old trotting fillies contested their first preliminary harness racing round in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania Stallion Series, were driver Yannick Gingras, sire Cantab Hall – and a $200,000 yearling, never on the board in seven previous career starts, winning a Sire Stakes section and paying $100.80, or more than the other thirteen winners on the card combined. The longshot special was Hallintheclouds, who wasn’t a longshot on pedigree – sired by Cantab Hall, who added three Stallion Series credits, and out of the Yankee Glide mare Headintheclouds, the dam of the $870G+ winner Barn Girl. And she wasn’t a longshot in the mind of trainer/driver Åke Svanstedt, who sent her to the lead just after a :28 opener, then brought her back uncovered after two horses had passed her to the :57.2 half. Hallintheclouds went right up to favored Magical Beliefs, looked her in the eye to the 1:26.1 three-quarters, and went right on by headstretch, trotting out a 2 1/2 length winner over Firedbylindie, also used early and late, in a new mark of 1:55.4 for Åke Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Fayette AB, and Gabriella’s LLC. Gingras had four trips to the Philly winners circle Friday, including one in the Stallion Series and two in the Sire Stakes. The fastest mile among the sophomore misses was the 1:54 posted in the Sires by the Muscle Hill filly Asiago (also a $200,000 yearling, with My MVP close-up on her dam’s side). Gingras guided her to the early lead, set fractions of :27.3, :57, and 1:24.3, then coasted home four lengths to the good of Matter Of Fact for trainer Per Engblom, and the ownership of Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband, Al Libfeld, and Black Horse Racing. Another Sire Stakes winner for Gingras was the Muscle Massive miss Sonnet Grace, who made her 2019 debut a successful one. The well-bred filly (CR Kay Suzie is her granddam) set fractions of :27.4, :57, and 1:25, then held off the late rush of longshot Personal Pride (Svanstedt -- a foreshadowing of the next division?) by a nose for trainer Ron Burke and the Sonnet Grace Stable. The Possess The Will filly Millies Possesion, unraced at two, is undefeated in two career starts after setting an individual standard of 1:54.4 in the other Sires section. Dexter Dunn patiently worked up to the lead with “Millie” past a :28 opener, then put up middle splits of :57.2 and 1:25.3, after which she still had plenty to be three lengths clear of Jezzys Legacy on the wire for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC. All five Stallion Series winners lowered their marks in victory. The three daughters of Cantab Hall who won were Cant Touch It, a 1:55.3 winner in her seasonal debut while a neck to the good of Swizzle Sticks for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Nancy Johansson, and the partnership of Christina Takter, John Fielding, and Stephen Gordon; Altercation, who withstood Lindy Misssunshine by a neck in 1:56.3 for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Jenny Melander, and the ownership of Melander Racing Inc. Noonan Harness Racing LLC, Clark Stables LLC, and John Devito; and Keystone Abbey, a half length winner over Giant Possession in 1:56.4 for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Beaver, the latter co-owner with Donald Robertson, Martin Yoder, and R.B.H. Ventures Inc. The Donato Hanover filly American Kronos was sharp in her 2019 bow, winning by three lengths over Matterlei in 1:54.3, fastest of all Stallion Series divisions, and quicker than three of the four Sire Stakes cuts. Yannick Gingras drove for trainer Julie Miller and owners Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and David Goodrow. The final Stallion Series victress was the Explosive Matter miss Spring In Paris, now five-for-six in 2019 after downing Fashion Rachel by a three length margin in 1:55.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Steve LeBlanc, and Leblanc Racing Inc., Glenn Dyke, and Douglas Johnson. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

With the Kentucky Derby taking place this past Saturday and our traditional double-header of racing on that day, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosted five cards of live harness racing instead of the usual four for the week. As if choosing for the Weekly Awards wasn't difficult enough, there are many more possibilities this time around because of the extra races. Let's take a look at who garners the honors for this busy week of harness racing action. PACER OF THE WEEK: HIGHALATOR On Saturday night, Pocono hosted its first big stakes race of the season with the Van Rose Invitational Pace for a purse of $50,000. It was also the first race at Pocono in the Great Northeast Open series, which inaugurated last year to much acclaim and will culminate with big-money finals at the end of the summer. Saturday night's race looked on paper like it would belong to Western Fame, who was coming off a convincing victory in the $500,000 final of the Levy series at Yonkers. But the field was full of top aged pacers, including Highalator, a standout five-year-old stallion from the Jenny Bier barn who always seems to rise to the occasion when he appears at Pocono. He left from the #2 post in a field of nine as the 2-1 second choice, while Western Fame left from the #7 spot at 3-5. Western Fame grabbed the engine while Highalator, with Richard Still in the bike, found the pocket seat early. The key to the race may have been how Western Fame was hounded by long shot The Wall and his first-over bid. In the stretch, the favorite couldn't summon enough to hold off the pursuit. Highalator, on the other hand, began to erupt as soon as the passing lane opened up. He flew home just a neck in front of Bettor Memories, who came out three-wide at the end of the mile with a lot of pace. Highalator paced the mile in 1:49:4 for yet another signature win on the Pocono oval. Other top pacers for the week included: Always At My Place (Anthony Napolitano, Ron Burke), who scored a condition victory on Saturday night in 1:49:1, which is the fastest pacing time of the year to date at Pocono; Dancin Hill (Tyler Buter, Gareth Dowse), who won his third straight race, the last two at Pocono, when he beat a claiming handicap group on Saturday night in a career-best 1:50:4; and Nine Ways (George Napolitano Jr., Antonia Storer), who moved up the condition ladder for his second straight victory on Saturday night, getting it done in a career-best 1:50:1.   TROTTER OF THE WEEK: TWO AM With the exception of a break of stride on April 14, this five-year-old gelding from the Todd Buter barn has been a consistent threat at Pocono in the 2019 meet. He has hit the board in three of four races here, peaking with a condition victory in a $21,500 featured condition trot on April 21 in 1:53:2. He returned to action in the $17,500 condition feature on Sunday night following a 6th place finish at the Meadowlands in his previous start. Leaving from post position #2 in a field of eight, Two AM, who went off as the 1-2 favorite, sat back and let others battle for the early lead on the sloppy track. After some jockeying for position, Truemass Volo grabbed the engine, while Two AM idled in fifth in the early portion of the race. But driver Tyler Buter didn't allow him to sit there for very long, sending him in motion first-over as the field headed into the clubhouse turn. Buter didn't wait around for cover, urging Two AM to engage Truemass Volo with his first-over move. He corralled the leader around the final turn and then left him, and the rest of the field, behind in the stretch. Despite being parked around two turns, the gelding still was out-trotting everybody in the lane, coming to the line a 3 ¼-length winner over Truemass Volo in 1:54:3, a time which was especially impressive considering the sloppy conditions. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tiger's Too Good (Anthony Napolitano, Pete Pellegrino), whose condition victory on Sunday night in the slop in 1:57 gave him two consecutive victories; Rich And Miserable (Tyler Buter, Todd Buter), who followed up a win at Yonkers with a condition win at Pocono on Sunday night in the slop in 1:56:2; and Karets (George Napolitano Jr., James Cosenza), who powered to a condition win on Monday in 1:53:4, the fastest trotting time posted this week at Pocono.   LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SHADY CITY A flying rally in the passing lane gave this condition pacer driven by Larry Stalbaum a victory on Saturday night at 24-1, good for a $51.40 payout on a $2 win ticket.   DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO A-Nap certainly enjoyed the double-header schedule on Saturday, as he picked up four driving victories in both the afternoon and evening cards.   TRAINER OF THE WEEK: TODD BUTER The Buter barn seems to have an endless supply of excellent trotters of all ages, as evidenced by Todd's wins with Two AM and Rich And Miserable on Sunday night. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.    Jim Beviglia

LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley Raceway completed its sixth and most successful season on Monday, May 6, crowning new winners in both the harness racing drivers and trainers dash derbies. Brett Miller, in his first meet back in Ohio after an extended stay on the east coast's biggest stages, copped the drivers title with 183 wins, good for $1,852,267 in purse earnings. His next closest rival during the 87-day meet was Dan Noble, who notched 156 victories, followed in the top five by Trace Tetrick (140), Chris Page (135) and Tyler Smith (93). Each of the top five reinsmen earned over $1.1 million in purses for the owners of the horses they drove. On the training side, Ron Burke captured his first-ever dash title in Ohio. His 63 triumphs topped Virgil Morgan Jr. (47), Tyler George (40), Dan Noble (32) and Kayne Kauffman (30). A total of $14.2 million in purses were awarded, an average of over $160,000 per program. Of the 1192 races (an average of 13.7 races per card), 86% featured full fields of 8 horses or more going postward. The No. 5 starting position produced the most winners, as it usually does on a five-eighths mile oval. The 229 winners from the 5-hole yielded a winning percentage of 19.2%, approximately 5% better than the four post positions closer to the pylons which all hovered around 14%. Overall, race time favorites during the meet succeeded at a 41.44% clip. Miami Valley management and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank every owner, trainer, driver and caretaker who participated during 2019. We wish everyone continued success throughout the 2019 season and look forward to welcoming you back in January 2020. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Million dollar winner Dayson (Chris Page) made his inaugural appearance at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (April 28) and promptly notched his first win in the $25,000 Doug Stovall Memorial Open Trot. Following three straight Preferred class victories at The Meadows to start his 2019 harness racing campaign the six-year-old son of Conway Hall was shipped by trainer Ron Burke to his Ohio contingent for his latest test. Despite being assigned the outside post position in the talented nine-horse field, Dayson patiently forged forward before gaining command shortly after passing the :28 first quarter station. After getting a relative breather to the :57.1 halfway point, challengers came calling in the third stanza with Pine Dream (Trace Tetrick) hot on Page's back and Jailhouse Sam (Hugh Beatty) and No Whip Chip (Dan Noble) stacked in the outer flow. With Jailhouse Sam lapped on at the 1:25.4 three-quarter beam, Page decided to let Dayson out a notch and he responded by opening enough daylight to discourage any would-be upsetters. Pine Dream did stay in tow enough to garner runnerup laurels, while longshot Pittsburgh Hanover (Brady Galliers) trotted strong through the stretch to grab the show dough.                                                                                                      -Holton photo Earlier on the card, Sumthenforthegirlz (Dan Noble) was victorious in the Barry Langley Memorial, a condition/claiming event honoring the memory of a fellow southwest Ohio horseman lost far too soon. The local horse community was shocked and saddened by the passing of Langley, just 33 years old, earlier this year. The C.K.G. Billings series for amateur drivers also made its annual stop at Miami Valley on Sunday. Undercover Strike (Gregg Keidel) bested Super Rock (Brian Miller) and Song In My Heart (Tim Miller) in the first of over 20 Midwest Division stops at Northfield Park, Scioto Downs, Dayton Raceway and The Meadows-plus several fairs-- in the next six months. Chris Allen trains Undercover Strike, an 11-year-old son of Striking Sahbra, for owner Joe Cirasuola. This 1:57.2 score was the 33rd for the winner from 126 starts, including seven wins from just 23 starts over the last two years.   Gregg Keidel  

The Ron Burke Stable won five races on Saturday’s 14 race harness racing card at The Meadows including three of the four Late Closer Finals, and Dave Palone steered home 6 winners on a busy day in Washington, PA. Firedbylindie moved to the front for driver Dave Palone going to the half mile point and never looked back winning the $28,700 Margaret Provost Memorial by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:56.4. The winner trained by Ron Burke now has lifetime earnings of $47,500. Following the winner home were the Wilbur Yoder trained entry of Lindy Missunshine and Giant Possession. Next up for Burke was the pair of three-year-old Sweet Lou fillies, Pretty N Fast and Walk On Air. Using similar tactics as with Firedbylindie, Pretty N Fast moved to the lead approaching the half and went on to victory in the $26,300 Ruby Cook Memorial Pace by 1 ½ lengths over her stablemate in 1:53.1. Crew Sock Hanover grabbed third money for David Brickell. The third late closer winner for the Burke Stable was Capt Chaps Hanover, winning the $31,100 Ben Wood Memorial Trot in 1:56 over 50-1 longshot Explosive Form and Cash Hit. Dave Palone steered Capt Chaps Hanover for his third consecutive win on the card. Sent off at 2-5 Capt Chaps Hanover went gate to wire and paid $2.60 to win. Norm Parker trained, and Mike Wilder driven Wild Wild Western won the Tom Kirwan Memorial late closer final with an impressive wire to wire win from post 9 in a lifetime best 1:52. With a masterful drive by Mike Wilder, Wild Wild Western paced through a pedestrian half of 57.1 before pacing his last half in 54.4 for the win. The Ron Burke trained Yacht Week followed the winner home but was no match. Captain Hill grabbed the show spot. The Winners Over $10,000 life saw a classic three horse stretch duel with Atta Boy Dan and Royaltyhasarrived dead heating for the win in 1:51.1. Nitro Seelster finished a nose back in third. Racing resumes Monday with a 1:05 post. On Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 4, The Meadows will have a special 11:25 post time. Mark J. Loewe

Washington, PA — After a scheduled brief hiatus, harness racing returns to The Meadows on Saturday (April 27) with four Late Closer finals being contested. Trainer Ron Burke is loaded with talent in these races and looks to complete a sweep of the events. The $28,700 Margaret Provost Memorial Trot (race three) for 3-year-old filly trotters is led by the Ron Burke trained Firedbylindie, a daughter of Explosive Matter who was an easy winner in the first two legs of the series, with a career best 1:56 mile in her last start. Starting from post four, the filly will be driven by Dave Palone. Her main competition looks to be coming from the Norm Parker trained Sweet Madam and driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. from post eight. The $26,300 Ruby Cook Memorial (race four) for 3-year-old filly pacers looks like a match race between the two Ron Burke trained 3-year-old daughters of Sweet Lou, Pretty N Fast and Walk On Air. Both fillies have won their divisions in the first two legs of the series. Dave Palone has driven both fillies in the previous legs and has elected to go with Pretty N Fast, while Mike Wilder picks up the mount of Walk On Air in the final. The two fillies will start next to each other from posts four and five, respectively. The $31,100 Ben Wood Memorial Trot (race five) for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters is led by another Burke trainee, Capt Chaps Hanover, from post position two. Winless in nine starts as a 2-year-old, the gelded son of Explosive Matter is three-for-four in 2019, winning both of his legs in the series. His main competition looks to be from Cash Hit off the rail for trainer Steven Walters and driver Brady Brown, the Karen Fread trained Papi Hanover, post four, and Dirk Simpson’s Explosive Magic from post nine. The $25,400 Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace (race six) for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers looks to be a wide open affair led by a trio of previous series winners. Doctor Jimmy drew the coveted rail with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. for trainer Brian Brown, Doc’s Hooligan drew post two for trainer Bruce Riegle and driver Tony Hall, and Wild Wild Western drew post nine for Norm Parker and Mike Wilder. Although winless in the first two legs, the Ron Burke trained Yacht Week looks formidable after a third place finish in his only start in the series. Yacht Week starts from post eight and sports a 2-year-old record of 1:51.2 at Lexington’s Red Mile. The Meadows will be rolling out its new starting gate on Saturday, with a reduced slant of seven feet, down from the previous slant of 13 feet. Post time for the 14-race card is 1:05 p.m.   from the Meadows

LEBANON, OH - The Ron Burke Stable has another superstar on its roster having assumed the training of Mission Accepted for his four-year-old harness racing campaign. The 4-year-old son of Manofmanymissions won 12 of 21 races at ages two and three for veteran Ohio conditioner Jeff Conger, earning a hefty $370,454. Owners Knox Services Inc. and David Wills have opted to hand the reins to Burke now that the Ohio juvenile events are in Mission Accepted's past and he'll soon likely be tackling the top aged trotters in the sport. As part of the Burke Brigade, Mission Accepted has reeled off three straight impressive triumphs in Miami Valley Raceway's weekly $25,000 Open Trot, all from assigned outside post positions, to start his 2019 campaign. The latest win came Monday afternoon (April 22) in 1:52.3 for driver Brett Miller. Content to let Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Pittsburgh Hanover (Brady Galliers) each take a turn on the front end through fractions of :27.3 and :55.3, Mission Accepted gradually moved up to third on the outside at the 1:23.3 three quarters station, then breezed home in a :29 final panel to hold off fast-closing No Whip Chip (Dan Noble). Pittsburgh Hanover held on to garner the show dough. Racing resumes Tuesday afternoon at Miami Valley with a 14-race matinee commencing at 2:05 p.m. There will also be a special "make-up" matinee program on Thursday afternoon (April 25).   Gregg Keidel

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