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WASHINGTON, PA, June 16, 2018 -- Stride Of Pride busted out of jail at the top of the lane and went on to capture his second straight victory in Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Stride Of Pride was third into the final turn but in tight quarters along the cones. When Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. angled him wide off the pylons, the 5-year-old Manhardt-Apple B gelding brushed past Reggiano, who raced well first over, and downed him by a neck in 1:50.3. Rock The Nite shot the Lightning Lane for show. Ron Burke trains Stride Of Pride, who extended his career bankroll to $146,627, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and RTC Stables. Mike Wilder and Wrenn each collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

MILTON, ON - June 16, 2018 - Hannelore Hanover captured her third consecutive Armbro Flight Stakes on Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The reigning Canadian and American Horse of the Year was untouchable in the $250,000 event for trotting mares, as she completed a front-end mission with a :27.2 final-quarter to win by three and three-quarter lengths in 1:52. "Right now she couldn't be any better," said driver Yannick Gingras following Hannelore Hanover's victory. "She's sound, she's happy, I didn't even kick the plugs the last couple of weeks, she's doing it on her own." A six-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover left hard from post-five to secure the lead and proceeded to post fractions of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.3. Emoticon Hanover tracked Hannelore Hanover's every move from the two-hole, but couldn't touch the defending champion, who recorded her 40th career victory. Emoticon Hanover held second, while Caprice Hill and Dream Together rounded out the Superfecta. Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover is now perfect in four starts this season. Her three-peat in the Armbro Flight increases her career earnings to over $2.8 million for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J And T Silva Stables LLC. Hannelore Hanover has defeated male rivals on multiple occasions, including last season's Maple Leaf Trot. Gingras noted how important the easy victory was for the big plans her connections have in mind. "The more easy miles we can put on her now, we have some big races later on and maybe even some big plans over the winter." A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $2.20. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

The 2016 Armbro Flight Stakes can be looked upon as Hannelore Hanover's coming-out party, and in the two years that followed she went from an intriguing newcomer among older female trotters to the sport's reigning queen. Hannelore Hanover was a star on the Indiana circuit at ages 2 and 3, but eight races into her 4-year-old campaign made her presence felt on the Grand Circuit by winning the Armbro Flight by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:51, still the fastest mile ever by a female trotter in Canada. The next week she made her first appearance in harness racing's weekly Top 10 poll and has remained a fixture in the rankings ever since. Last year, Hannelore Hanover captured Horse of the Year honors in both the U.S. and Canada. On Saturday, she goes for an unprecedented third consecutive win in the Armbo Flight when she faces nine rivals in the C$250,000 race for older female trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 6-year-old mare, unbeaten in three starts this season, is the 2-5 morning-line favorite. Since the beginning of her 4-year-old season, the Ron Burke-trained Hannelore Hanover has won 30 of 40 races and finished worse than second only three times. "She just shows up every week and puts in a great effort," said Frank Baldachino, who owns Hannelore Hanover with the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and J&T Silva Stables. "You kind of get spoiled after a while. She's just all racehorse; all business when she goes on the track. Hopefully this week she'll be all business again." Named in honor of renowned German amateur driver Hannelore Würzinger, Hannelore Hanover is a daughter of Swan For All out of High Sobriety. She was purchased for $32,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and has subsequently earned $2.58 million on the racetrack. Her family includes Mack Lobell, who is joined by Moni Maker as the only two-time Dan Patch Award Horse of the Year honorees in the past 35 years. Hannelore Hanover, who was the first trotting mare since Moni Maker in 1999 to receive Horse of the Year honors in the U.S., will have the chance to duplicate their accomplishment this year. "Buying her as a baby we had limited expectations, hoping we had a nice Indiana Sire Stakes horse," Baldachino said. "For her to achieve the success she's had over the last two years is pretty amazing. You never think about that. Then when you get to this level everybody is gunning for you now, trying to knock you off that level, but she just keeps maintaining it. That's what is pretty special." Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras defeated male rivals multiple times last year, most notably in the finals of the Breeders Crown Open Trot and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as in the Allerage Farms Open Trot. She became the fastest female trotter in history when she won the Allerage in 1:49.2 at Lexington's Red Mile and was the first mare to beat the boys in the Breeders Crown Open Trot since Moni Maker in 1998. She finished last season with a win in the TVG Series championship for trotting mares and brings a six-race win streak to Saturday's Armbro Flight. Hannelore Hanover's victories this season include the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands, a track-record-equaling triumph in a division of the Great Northeast Open Series at Harrah's Philadelphia, and a 5-1/2 length win in 1:52 in her Armbro Flight elimination. "It's been awesome; I couldn't be happier," Baldachino said about the start of the season, which has seen Hannelore Hanover push her career record to 39 wins in 61 races. "She looks great, she's got a great way of going, Yannick's happy with her, Ronnie's happy with her -- we're all happy with her." Hannelore Hanover and Gingras start the Armbro Flight from post No. 5. The field also includes Emoticon Hanover, who also won an Armbro Flight elimination and handed Hannelore Hanover one of her losses in 2017 with a world-record mile in the Joie De Vie Stakes at Tioga Downs, and stakes-winners Celebrity Ruth, Caprice Hill, Dream Together, and Ice Attraction. Emoticon Hanover and Dream Together are both trained by Luc Blais. "(Hannelore Hanover) looks great, but Emoticon Hanover is a great horse, too, and there are other nice horses in there," Baldachino said. "All her main competitors are inside of her. I don't think they're just going to let her waltz to the lead and cut her own fractions. There's an entry in there and there could be some horses mixing it up early, so we'll see. Hopefully Yannick gets her in the right spot. We leave it up to him." The Armbro Flight is part of a stakes-rich card at Woodbine Mohawk Park that also includes the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers. The North America Cup is scheduled for 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live from 10-11 p.m. on TSN2. First race post time is 6:30 p.m. for the 15-race card. The Armbro Flight is race three. Following is the field for the Armbro Flight Stakes. For complete entries for Saturday, click here. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Caprice Hill-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-12/1 2-Celebrity Ruth-David Miller-Trond Smedshammer-3/1 3-Dream Together-James MacDonald-Luc Blais-12/1 4-Emoticon Hanover-Bob McClure-Luc Blais-7/2 5-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2/5 6-Checkmate Time-Donald Dupont-Marie Dupont-20/1 7-Southwind Tesla-Phil Hudon-Rene Dion-15/1 8-Majestic Presence-Chris Christoforou-Dagfin Henriksen-20/1 9-Ice Attraction-Jody Jamieson-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 10-P L Jill-Corey Callahan-Renaldo Morales-15/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

The inception of the idea of importing some French horses, cast in a comment to me made by Alex Dadoyan the executive director at SOA of NY over 18 months ago, became an odyssey that he and I initially never thought might ever become reality.  Originally cast as just something we would try to implement in November of 2017, we concluded that this project might fail because the finances to complete it might be too lean after the fall yearling sales and we were just too busy working on showcasing the "Day of Champions and the International Trot. Besides, all the the details had not really been thought through.More time was needed and with the break at Yonkers coming over some 10 days in May and June we thought it best to try to have the details in place by then. Alex and I decided to acquire 24 head- if possible - from France. A few questions like price; what would we ask interested parties to do; how could we make it fair to all; and how could we do our due diligence in the selection of these horses and gain the trust, of the 24 potential new owners of horses they had never seen? My first thought was to get someone like my friend Mike La Chance to come on board to help us select the horses. Then Ray Schnittker signed up and when Ron Burke was brought on board by Alex, all the expertise one could hope for was settled. Thinking that we need commitments from people, a non refundable payment was decided upon to test the real intent of the potential new buyers. That filled up quickly once it was decided that these horses would be written into a series of races just among themselves so as to avoid their being thrown in with horses taught more speed over shorter distances and harder tracks. They might never initially have had a shot. So off to management to get an agreement on the series, the number of legs and the purses. Both Bob Galterio and Steve Starr, thought that legs of $30,000 each and a $100,000 final and longer distances was the way to go. Next the details with the French Le Trot had to be worked out to get horses that were currently racing who were geldings and would only require a 24 hour quarantine, had to be found for a price of $25,000 saving an additional $3,000 for that matching cost for the shipping put up by the SOA of NY. The SOA board approved the project that has a substantial cost but provided everyone, and anyone, the opportunity to participate. The ARK at JFK -where these horses will be shipped to-is a $62,000,000 state of the art brand new facility unparalleled in the world today. That quarantine cost is being absorbed by the SOA of NY and besides saving the new owners money, more importantly it saves these horses from further shipping to Newburg, NY after traveling from France to their point of departure in Belgium . While the Le Trot or Cheval Francais as it is also referred to, had an original list of 132 horses meeting our general criteria that had to be whittled down to 60 or so head. That number, we assumed, would all be shipped for our convenience to the great training center owned by Le Trot outside of Paris known as Grosbois. Later we learned that our volunteer team of experts would travel the country by road, rail and air to get to see 12 here, 8 there, in either Paris, Nice, Normandy, Laval or Bordeaux.... France is bigger than we knew. The team of Burke, La Chance and Schnittker proved to us that not only is the harness horse breed very tough and durable but our trainers are even tougher. The schedule was very, very tight and saw unanticipated bumps in the road like a plane cancellation and a train strike that popped up 1 hour before departure. The audibles that had to be called by our French counterparts and guardians Damine and Emmanuelle came with the expected look of desperation but always an improvised last minute solution. It was always apparent to me that this was strictly a working trip but I never anticipated that our team would be subjected to this kind of a work load. Our guys nevertheless went about their business and trained all 60 or so head without a complaint. Comments like, "Oh, he's real good; too slow; may have a breathing problem; is unsound; hits his knee; interferes behind; I like him a lot; we are taking this one; I hope I get that one" was precisely the best we could hope for from this team of pros. We had vets at every place to pull bloods, scope and x-ray every horse if that was the call. In Bordeaux, Burke drew some of that racing juice out of La Chance as they had a match race while egging each other on. While there is never a guarantee how one will turn out, at least they did their best, worked like you would not believe, had a little fun and were happy to do it for the project. As Ronnie Burke commented he was intrigued with " the novel idea and felt it was creating some excitement in the game". The journeys end will be at Grosbois where all the horses selected in the draw will be beginning to arrive on Monday and will be taken care of by Le Trot, insured by them and the SOA until their arrival at the ARK at JFK . There, additional insurance will be at the option of the new buyers. While at this beautiful facility they will be under the exclusive care of the USDA until the bloods come back from the US government lab, disease free. The new owner will have to arrange shipping, either with their own individual trailers or can ask Global Horse Transport who will supervise all importing details and requirements once they are landed, or whoever is chosen, to ship them to their new homes at the new owners expense. The SOA 's financial obligation to the ARK will end at the conclusion of the time the blood results come back and any longer stay, for a spiked fever, or the failure to pick up the horse the minute the release is approved will fall on the new owner. by Joe Faraldo and John Manzi

WASHINGTON, PA, June 10, 2018 -- Action in the 3-year-old pacing fillies division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes shifts to The Meadows on Monday, where trainer Ron Burke will send out a quality quartet that already has combined for nearly $800,000 in career earnings. The $159,838 stake, known as the Adios Betty, features two divisions, races 8 and 9. First post is 1:05 PM. All four of Burke's fillies competed in the May 27 PASS opening leg at Harrah's Philadelphia. While none was a winner, they look formidable in Monday's alignments. Here's a snapshot of each, including Burke's comments and projections. Double A Mint (race 8, post 1, Matt Kakaley) The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Double Creme, a $95,000 yearling acquisition, finished fourth to Rainbow Room in last year's PASS championship and took her 1:52.4 mark in a Keystone Classic split. In her opener, she endured a brutal 26.2 opening panel and finished a good second. She races for Burke Racing Stable; Dandy Farms, Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. "She kind of fell off at the end of last year but came back strong -- probably the sharpest of them all. She comes from a really good family; it was her pedigree more than anything else that attracted us." Strong Opinion (race 8, post 3, Dave Palone) Campaigned by Burke Racing Stable; Jack Piatt II; Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi, Strong Opinion finished second last year in both the Matron Stakes and a Three Diamonds elimination. At Harrah's Philadelphia, the daughter of Well Said-Rough Sketch backed through the field and finished 21-1/2 lengths behind, but she had a valid excuse. "She was good her first couple efforts this year, but her last start was a debacle. She choked, so it was back to the drawing board. We made some bridle and overcheck changes, and I look for her to return to form. I would think we would be a little more cautious leaving and go from there." Sansovina Hanover (race 9, post 5, Aaron Merriman) A $70,000 yearling purchase, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Shacked Up won a Bluegrass division last year for Burke Racing Stable; Silver, Purnel & Libby, Michelle Yanek and Weaver Bruscemi. At Harrah's Philadelphia, she closed from mid-pack to be third. "We thought she was the best of our fillies, but she's underachieved a little bit. We're maybe a little disappointed with her. But she's trending upward, and I think we're heading in the right direction. Majorsspeciallady (race 9, post 6, Kakaley) She earned $331,888 at 2, a big chunk of it in the Breeders Crown final where she outperformed her 52-1 odds and finished second to her stablemate and Dan Patch Award winner Youaremycandygirl. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and J&T Silva Stables gave $35,000 for the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-See Major as a yearling. "We had let her hopples out, and she struggled in the turns last week. So I tightened them back up. Look for her to be steered more aggressively this week. She'll probably be a lot better." Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday with an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for sophomore filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's hard to say who had the better night at the Meadowlands Saturday. Was it driver Jim Marohn Jr., who drove six winners on the program? Or was it All Bets Off, whom Marohn guided to a North American season's record of 1:48 in taking the featured Preferred Handicap for pacers? Tough call. All Bets Off, who upped his lifetime earnings to $2.97 million, scorched the Big M's mile oval after leaving alertly, then yielding to a headstrong Mel Mara, who hit the quarter in :26.1. Sicily, who earlier this year won at Dover Downs in what was then a season's-best 1:49.2, made a bold move to the top at the three-eighths before reaching the half in :53.1. Enter All Bets Off, who vacated the three hole at the five-eighths and made a ferocious move to pass Sicily and secure the top just after three-quarters. The 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight then sprinted home in :26.3 to stop the clock one-fifth of a second faster than Highalator (last week at the Big M) and Easy Lover Hanover (May 5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park) did earlier in the year. Western Fame was 2¾ lengths back in second with Emeritus Maximus grabbing the show dough. All Bets Off returned $3.40 to win for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, F. Baldachino and Panhellenic Stable. Marohn's six-pack came with Rockinwiththebest ($6.80 to win, 1:51.3 for the mile) in the second race, The Fire Within ($3.00, 1:51.4) in the third, Feel The Need A ($5.40, 1:50.3) in the fourth, Wheels On Fire ($2.40, 1:51) in the sixth, All Bets Off in the seventh and Southern Pursuit N ($3.80, 1:51.1) in the 10th. A LITTLE MORE: Wagering was down once again, the result of a light entry box. On the comparable card last year, a total of 92 betting interests competed on an 11-race card (8.4 per race) that saw a total wager of $2,349,707. On Saturday, it was again an 11-race program, but only 80 horses raced (7.3 per race, a decrease of 13 percent) with betting that totaled $2,102,020 (down 10.5 percent). ... Brandon Mongiello, Burke and Scott DiDomenico all had training doubles. All were driven by Marohn. ... Victor Kirby drove a pair to victory lane. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $252,765. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

Nichols, NY - The eyes of the harness racing world shift to Tioga Downs on Sunday afternoon when that New York venue hosts the third and last preliminary leg of the $1 million Graduate series for 4-year-olds and the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old colt pacers.   The Graduate drew a strong response at the entry box, resulting in three $50,000 divisions of pacers and a pair of trotting races.   Trotters are up first, races 3 and five both sporting user friendly six horse fields.   Yes Mickey has been tabbed as the favorite in the third. The Muscle Hill gelding was third in leg #1, suffered traffic woes in the bulky 12 horse field at Mohawk in the second leg and gets Andy McCarthy to drive for trainer Ake Svanstedt and owner Melby Gard at Tioga.   Top Flight Angel, winner of the Yonkers Trot last season, is a slight morning line choice in division two. He was a good third in last week's leg and has drawn the advantageous rail position for Team Miller, driver Andy and trainer Julie who look after the son of Archangel for Legendary Standardbred Farm.   Ron Burke holds a very strong hand in the Graduate pacing events with a total of five going post ward over the three division of seven horses each.   The current scourge of the open ranks, Filibuster Hanover kicks it off for the "Burke Brigade in race 7. He's won all four of his 2018 starts including the 1st Graduate leg at The Meadowlands. He will begin from post six with Yannick Gingras driving for Ron Burke and partners Joe DiScala, J&T Silva Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.   The second division, race 9 includes a pair of contenders from the Burke barn but the favorite's role interestingly goes to a former Burke horse, Miso Fast, who now races out of the Virgil Morgan, Jr barn. Despite a remarkably poor run at the post position draw thus far in 2018, Miso Fast has weathered that storm and captured his division of leg two in Canada. Tim Tetrick has the assignment from post 5 on Sunday as the 9-5 choice from Winchester Baye Acres of Ohio.   The tenth race, Graduate pace number three, is a very contentious one. Maroma Beach (Gingras) won a Graduate division last week for Burke, Highalator (David Miller) equaled the fastest mile in all of racing with a 1:48.1 score in a Meadowlands overnight for trainer / owner Jenny Bier and her partner Charlie Dombeck and Donttellmeagain (Tetrick) looks for his second score in the series for trainer Jimmy King and Paton Racing Stable.   The NYSS split into four very contentious $40,000 divisions as races 4, 6 & 8.   The beautiful new Tioga Downs hotel offers a resort feel that was not previously available as well as packages for a spa, stay, golf trifecta that has been designed especially for horsemen. Call (607) 699-3900 to make your reservation for a few days of bliss.   Post time for the big Sunday card is 1:00 pm.   by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, June 8, 2018 -- When Justify attempts to run into history Saturday by securing the Triple Crown, it will cap an exciting, festive Belmont Day at The Meadows that features tasty food from an outdoor barbecue, drawings and giveaways, live music -- and a chance to cheer on a harness racing legend. That legend is Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred ever with more than $7.5 million in lifetime earnings who's facing mandatory retirement at the end of this year when he turns 15. He'll be shooting for his 100th career victory. The Ron Burke trainee leaves from post 2 in race 11 with Dave Palone driving. That means the winningest driver all time will be driving the richest harness horse all time for the winningest trainer all time. It's a prefect storm that doesn't happen very often. The 15-race card also offers a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 11-15). Special post time is 11:25 AM. Two of the Belmont Day giveaways/drawings are Foiled Again themed. The first 100 fans to stop by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) information table in the Racebook will receive Foiled Again towels modeled after the "Terrible Towel." The MSOA also will conduct a raffle for a Foiled Again figurine produced by Breyer, a prominent name in the field. Just drop in a losing ticket from a race at The Meadows and you're entered to win. Other MSOA activities include paddock tours and jog cart/starting gate rides and a "Spin to Win" game with vouchers as prizes. For more information or to participate, visit the MSOA information table. With so much to do, fans may work up a healthy appetite. When they do, they can head for the apron and sample the Belmont Day fare from the BBQ Pit, which also will offer beverage specials. After the live card ends, the music kicks in. Ryan Cain and the Ables will perform live on the apron as part of The Meadows' "Rockin' on the Rail" concert series, which features a different band each Saturday through Sept. 1. All of that rolls right up to the track's simulcast of the $1.5 million Belmont, with an approximate post time of 6:37 PM. by Evan Pattack, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, June 7, 2018 -- He's the richest Standardbred ever with more than $7.5 million in career earnings, but in his final year of racing, 14-year-old Foiled Again would like to nail down one more accomplishment -- career win 100. He'll shoot for that elusive milestone Saturday at The Meadows when he leaves from post 2 with Dave Palone in race 11. First post for the special Belmont Day card is 11:25 AM. Foiled Again will compete in a conditioned race that generally draws horses that have been struggling for victories. Indeed, only one horse in the field has a win showing in its recent charted lines. Foiled Again has been, well, foiled again in each of his seven previous attempts for No. 100, but this Saturday's outcome could be different. "He drew in a good spot, he should have a good shot," says Ron Burke, who trains the gallant gelding, a son of Dragon Again-In A Safe Place, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and JJK Stables. "He's starting to get tight and should be ready to rock." Foiled Again last raced at Northfield Park on June 2, finishing third despite a brutal trip. Burke says he's maintaining the Old Boy's customary work schedule. "He gets trained the same as he's been trained since he was 4," Burke indicates. "He seems to thrive on work, and he's a very happy horse. If anything, he's better at it now because he knows what's expected of him." It was midway through Foiled Again's 4-year-old campaign that Mark Weaver of Weaver Bruscemi and Kevin Koury of JJK recommended his purchase to their groups. They bought him privately, Weaver recalls, for $60,000. "That was a decent amount, especially 10 years ago, and we had some decent expectations of him," Weaver says. "He was a young horse who could get around small tracks, and we thought he would fit our program. But if someone had predicted he would achieve everything he did, you would've called him crazy." Those accomplishments are the stuff of legend. He won the Dan Patch Pacer of the Year Award three consecutive times (2011-2013), was the first pacer to record three consecutive million-dollar seasons and, in 2013 at the age of 9, he became the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown (a mark eclipsed the following year by 11-year-old trotter Commander Crowe). With that unprecedented resume, career win 100 might seem just a round number. Weaver and Burke don't see it that way. "He's done so much for all of us," Weaver says. "He's literally changed our lives and allowed us to invest back in the game. No. 100 would allow us to appreciate him one more time. Listen -- you have the winningest driver in the history of the sport driving for the winningest trainer in the history of the sport on the richest horse in the history of the sport. If they were to win, that would be kind of big." Says Burke: "Every win of his is important to us; you appreciate it now because you know there won't be many more. When he won his last stake race (the 2016 Robert J. Kane Memorial at Batavia Downs), we were all crying because we thought, this could be it." Win or lose Saturday, Burke plans to race Foiled Again through the end of the year, when he faces mandatory retirement, with his final race Dec. 31 at The Meadows. "That will make a great New Year's Eve party -- for us and his fans," Burke says. "It will be really cool for the sport." The Belmont Day card features many fan festivities, including a pair tied to Foiled Again. The first 100 people at the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) table in the Racebook will receive Foiled Again towels, a la the "Terrible Towel," and one lucky raffle winner will take home a Foiled Again figurine produced by Breyer. Other activities include: Food and beverage specials at the BBQ Pit on the apron; Paddock tours and jog cart/starting gate rides courtesy MSOA; The MSOA's "Spin to Win" contest, with vouchers as prizes; A "Rockin' on the Rail" live concert featuring Ryan Cain and the Ables. The music begins at the conclusion of the live card. For more information, stop by the MSOA information table. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows          

Trois-Rivieres, QC - A near record number of 27 four-year-old harness racing pacers have made the final nomination payment to the $200,000 fifth renewal of the Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R in Quebec on Sunday, August 19. The 27 remaining is just one-horse shy of the record of 28 set last year. Headlining the list of nominees is the unbeaten Filibuster Hanover, who is now four for four in 2018 for the Ron Burke Stable. Burke and company will be seeking their third Prix D'Ete victory in 2018. Of the top ten money winning three-year-old colts and geldings from 2017 that are returning to race in 2018, eight of the ten are nominated to the Prix D'Ete including the first six money winners. The final eight that will race for the $200,000 purse will be the top money earners in 2018 at time of entry. The Prix D'Ete was the most prestigious race in all of Canada from 1966 through 1992. World champions Bret Hanover, Albatross, Niatross, Hot Hitter, Cam Fella, On The Road Again, Ralph Hanover, Matt's Scooter and a host of other top pacers have won the Prix D'Ete. In the past four editions of the Prix D'Ete at H3R, the all-age track record was set and then tied as both Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015) both won in 1:50.3. Then in 2016, Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, came to 3R for the Prix D'Ete and after a dramatic neck and neck battle the final half mile of the race, was second in an upset by Rockin Ron (1:52) over a sloppy track. Rockin Ron made it two straight Prix D'Ete victories for the Ron Burke Stable. Last year's Prix D'Ete saw the Jimmy Takter Stable win for the second time (Sunfire Blue Chip was the first), with Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wiring the field in 1:53.2. "We are very pleased with the quality of the horses that have nominated to this year's Prix D'Ete," said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "The revival of this Grand Circuit event has developed to the great race it was before." This year, Filibuster Hanover, a gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, has been on fire. In his last start, the $150,000 Commodore Barry, he won in a lifetime mark of 1:48.3. That victory sent Filibuster Hanover over the one million dollar mark in career earnings at $1,016,000. Last year he won the Little Brown Jug, The Bluegrass Stakes and the Pegasus Pace while racing against the best three-year-old's in the country all season long. Miso Fast got back to his winning way for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. last week at Mohawk Raceway, winning a division of the Graduate Pace in 1:50.2. He is a son of Roll With Joe, a career winner of $685,000 and a record taken last year of 1:49.2. Western Joe had gotten off to a strong start early this season and already has seven wins for trainer Christopher Choate. This son of Western Ideal has earned $110,000 this year with a record of 1:49.3 taken last season. Other contenders that are eligible include Art Scene, Beckhams Z Tam, Blood Line, Eddard Hanover, Funknwaffles and Photobomber Hanover. Quebec-owned nominees include Quebec-bred Sire Stakes champion Wildriverbumblebee, plus Art Scene, Histoire Enchantee, American Wiggle and Tymal Peacemaker. "I want to invite everyone to come to Trois-Rivieres the weekend of August 19," Levesque added, "as we want everyone to come out and enjoy our great racing and Quebecoise hospitality." For more information visit 2018 Prix D'Ete Nominees AMERICAN WIGGLE ART SCENE BAGS TO RICHES BEACH BOOGIE BECKHAMS Z TAM BEYOND DELIGHT BLOOD LINE CALVIN K CLASSIC PRO DREAMFAIR B J EDDARD HANOVER FILIBUSTER HANOVER FUNKNWAFFLES HISTOIRE ENCHANTEE HURRICANE BEACH MISO FAST MODERN REFLECTION NORMANDY BEACH ODDS ON DELRAY PHOTOBOMBR HANOVER ROCK N TONY STEALTH BOMBER SUMMER SIDE TYMAL PEACEMAKER WESTERN HILL WESTERN JOE WILDRIVERBUMBLEBEE From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Plainville, MA---After making a break over an off-track in his last start at Yonkers Raceway 23 days ago, Starznheaven shipped into Massachusetts and regained his winning ways in taking the $14,000 Winner-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (June 4). Starznheaven (Greg Merton) got away sixth in the field of seven as Pretty Boy Hill (Ron Cushing) seated One To Draw To (Shawn Gray) and took the group to the quarter in :26.4. At that station Electric Western (Mitchell Cushing) came with a rush and an outer flow in tow that consistied of Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) and Starznheaven. Now with four in and three out stacked up on the backside, Pretty Boy Hill gave way at the three-quarters and the outside horses took turns taking the lead. First Electric Western cleared and then Quick Shot drew alongside and went by him at the top of the lane. But Starznheaven was next to challenge for the lead, coming three deep on the outside to do it. Campbell and Merton were rocking and knocking Quick Shot and Starznheaven all the way down the stretch before Starznheaven got a slight advantage and won by a head in 1:51.2. It was the sixth win of the year and fourth in the last seven starts for Starznheaven ($5.20) who now has bankrolled $63,375 in 2018 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Donald Emond and Lawrence Carr. Jim Nickerson trained the winner. In the co-featured $12,000 condition pace, Mysharona Bluechip (Greg Merton) left like a rocket off the gate and led at every station after that to win again easily by two lengths in 1:51.3. It was the fourth win in the last five starts for Mysharona Bluechip ($5.00) who is owned by A Piece of the Action LLC and trained by Eric Beach. Greg Merton, Shawn Gray and Nick Graffam each had a driving hat trick on Monday afternoon. Whereas Merton's winners were not unexpected by the betting public, Gray and Graffam opened some eyes by posting big payouts in two separate races. In the second race, Gray urged Sounder Hanover from worst at the half to first at the wire in 1:55.1 at 39-1. Owner/trainer Don Billingsley Jr. saw his Sounder Hanover set a new lifetime mark, return $80.00 for the win and top the 7-8-3-2 Superfecta that paid $18,911.20 for a two-dollar bet. And not to be outdone, in the fourth race Graffam steered Mic Woodrow in the exact same fashion to win in 1:55 at 67-1! Mic Woodrow, who is trained by Mike Graffam that co-owns with TFD Shadewood LLC, took a new lifetime mark for himself while returning $137.80 in the upset. The win also triggered a 9-3-5-8 Superfecta payoff of $20,650.80 for a two-dollar wager. The dash driving leaderboard looks like this after Monday's card of racing: Drew Campbell-47 wins, Greg Merton-44 wins, Shawn Gray-42 wins and Nick Graffam-23 wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (June 5) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Breeders of Massachusetts        

WASHINGTON, PA, June 1, 2018 -- Many 10-year-old horses with nearly $1.7 million in their bank accounts would back off a little, perhaps enjoy a cozy retirement or a frolic in the breeding shed. Not Dancin Yankee. This old gent is still competing and winning at top levels. In fact, he'll be seeking his fourth straight victory in Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. A $17,000 yearling acquisition, Dancin Yankee showed some promise at 3 when he won a pair of Ohio Sires Stakes legs and was the beaten favorite in the championship. But he's blossomed since then, winning back-to-back OSS titles in 2014-2015, and he's a three-time Ohio Aged Pacer of the Year. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC purchased the son of Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest last year via Internet auction. "He's always been a good horse, but he definitely got better as he aged," says trainer Ron Burke. "I've always paid attention to him. I think he can race another year or two in top company." (Burke, by the way, will miss the race. He's in France, helping the French American Trotting Club and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York purchase trotters to race at Yonkers later this season.) Mark Weaver of Weaver Bruscemi indicates his partnership gave about $74,000 for Dancin Yankee. "We figured he's worth a good portion of that as a stallion in the right market," Weaver says. "We've had a number of dominant aged horses over the years, such as Foiled Again and Sweet Lou. This guy always was very competitive with them. ""The way he carries himself, the way he looks on the track, you can tell he's a classy animal. I feel fortunate that we get to own him, even late in his career. He's becoming one of my favorites in a short time." His current streak includes wins at Scioto Downs and Yonkers, but Dancin Yankee will need his 'A' game to extend his skein. He'll be facing such stalwarts as fellow millionaire Dapper Dude; Phoenix Warrior N, who also has won three straight; Down-Under wonder Anythingforlove A, and Rancousy, a hard knocker who captured his last start at Pocono in 1:49.1. Dancin Yankee leaves from post 3, with Dave Palone driving. First post is 1:05 PM, with the Preferred Handicap as race 8. Also on Saturday, The Meadows will introduce the Super High 5, a winner-take-all-type wager that has generated huge jackpots and fan excitement wherever it's been offered. The Super High 5 will be featured on the final race of each card. In addition, the program includes a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 8-12). Fans may enjoy and participate in a number of special activities, including "Rockin on the Rail," a series of live musical concerts that will take place on the apron each Saturday through Sept. 1. The music begins at the conclusion of the live card, projected for 5:30 PM. Featured band Saturday is Johnny Angel & The Halos. During the live card, fans on the apron can meet the active Standardbred Bellows Binge from the Dirk Simpson stable, an event organized by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA). The MSOA also will conduct paddock tours, starting gate rides and a "Pick the Winners" contest, with a $100 voucher up for grabs. For more information or to register, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, May 30, 2018 -- Lakeisha Hall blistered the back half in 53.4, putting away a distinguished field en route to a front-end 1:50.4 victory in Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. After she seized the lead from post 6, Dave Palone gave Lakeisha Hall a 29.4 second-quarter breather. That enabled the 5-year-old daughter of Third Straight-Lantana Hall to thwart the first-over bid of Fox Valley Charm and down the pocket-sitting Shesasmokinlady by 1-1/2 lengths. Fox Valley Charm held gamely for show. Ron Burke trains Lakeisha Hall, who extended her career bankroll to $520,379, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and Jack Piatt II. Brady Brown, Aaron Merriman and Palone each collected three wins on the 13-race program. Live racing at The Meadows resumes with a special Thursday card, first post 1:05 PM. PICK 5 GUARANTEED AT $10,000 The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has doubled — to $10,000 — the total-pool guarantee for its special Thursday, May 31 Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 5 guarantees are offered each card, The Meadows sweetened the pot when Wednesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $3,407.11. In addition, Thursday’s card includes a $7,500 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, also a regular feature of each program at The Meadows. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) and Pick 5 (races 8-12) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

The Tuesday evening Paris-Vincennes program was highlighted by the Gr. II Prix Victor Cavey (monte, purse €120,000, 2850 meters, eight starters) with victory, in decisive fashion, to 9/1 Durzie (5f Jag de Bellouet-Shall We) with Alexandre Abrivard up.  L.Cl. Abrivard trains the winner for Ecurie Augustin Normand that was timed in 1.15kr.  The 3/5 favorite Dexter Fromentro (5m Qwerty –Princesse d’Ombree) was second for jockey Camille Levesque, trainer Thomas Levesque and owner Ecurie Pierre Levesque. The 14/1 Darthey du Rib (5f Ganymede-Quille Castelets) was third for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. Dominator Blond and Dhikti Vedaquais were fourth and fifth. As many know a group of three USA trainers are in France training and inspecting FR trotteurs that may be exported to the USA to compete in races at Yonkers Raceway for the FR imports there. The FR program is shown below along with a few Facebook pics at Grosbois, Cagnes Sur Mer and Tuesday evening at Vincennes. Monday : Reims/Grosbois Tuesday : Cagnes sur Mer (plane) Wednesday : Argentan (train) Thursday : Meslay du Maine (train) Friday : Bordeaux (train) The French journey began May 26, 2018. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  


WASHINGTON, PA, May 29, 2018 -- Call For Justice zipped to the front from post 5 and never had an anxious moment en route to a facile 1:54 victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Preferred Trot at The Meadows. Dave Palone gave Call For Justice a 29.3 second-quarter breather, keeping would-be challengers seated. Classic Banker took up the chase first over near the three-quarters and raced well for second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while the pocket-sitting Wind Of The North earned show. Ron Burke trains Call For Justice, a 6-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika's Mazurka who lifted his career bankroll to $479,967, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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