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YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 26, 2016 - Favored Tessa Seelster (George Brennan, $5.60) just held off a stubborn Mach it a Par (Brent Holland) Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare harness racing open handicap pace. Put in play from her assigned post position No. 5, 'Tessa' had to wait her turn at the outset. She sat outside while Jonsie Jones (Tyer Buter) stuffed Inittowinafortune (Jon Bongiorno) in behind. Tessa Seelster then found an unimpeded path to the front, though she a paid a zippy :26.3 price for the opening-quarter privilege. After a rated :56.2 intermisision, she saw Mach it a Par, who tried it first-up from seventh. Tessa Seelster found a 1:24 three-quarters, taking a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane. She lost everyone save for Mach it a Par, who did not go away quietly. Tessa Seelster did close the sale, however, winning by a nostril in 1:51.4. Rock N Roll Xample (Dan Dube) was a crisp, ground-saving third, with Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) and Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) settling for the minor awards. For Tessa Seelster, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, it was her seventh win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $100.50, with the triple returning $671.50. Saturday night's card includes a pair of stakes for 3-year-old fillies, the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace. Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder also hits town, leading the lone, $40,000 elimination for Yonkers Trot No. 62. Frank Drucker

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - They race horses for a reason and that was very evident Sunday afternoon at the Hippodrome 3R as 14-1 Rockin Ron was able to defeat the 1/9 overwhelming favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit (WIJI) in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old pacers. It took a herculean effort by Rockin Ron and driver Yannick Gingras over a sloppy, rain-soaked track to defeat Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague, covering the one-mile race in 1:52. The 10th race feature saw Gringras, the sports leading money winning driver and a native of Quebec, fly to the early lead from post five to take control with WIJI content to sit in the two-hole going to the opening quarter mile in :27. They raced Indian-style to the half mile marker in a mild :56.3 and that was when the action heated up for the nearly 5,000 race fans that came to 3R to see the World Champion WIJI perform despite the rain. As they started down the backstretch, Teague came after Rockin Ron with WIJI and those two pulled away from the field, racing neck and neck, stride for stride to the three-quarters in 1:26 and then around the final turn. As they straighten out for the stretch drive, it seemed that everyone held their breath to see if WIJI could come back and win again as he has done so often in his career, but it was not to happen today. Coming to the wire, Gringras knew he and Rockin Ron would be victorious and did a fist-pump in triumph as they came to the finish, winning by one and one-half lengths. Rockin In Heaven (Jody Jamieson) was third with Rock N Roll World (Daniel Dube) fourth and ASAP Hanover (Louis-Philippe Roy) fifth. "Obviously Wiggle It Jiggleit was the best horse in the race," Gringas said. "Everyone knew that but we got a little advantage when I was able to get right to the lead and control the race. "I knew it was the only way I could win the race if they came first-over," Gringras explained, "If they had sat behind me maybe they could have beaten us, but I was backing it down and forced his hand. I knew the only way I could beat him was to get him to come first-over." Sired by Real Desire, Rockin Ron is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, LLC, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and the RTC Stables, Inc. of Canonsburg, PA. Rockin Ron paid $30.40 to win. Rockin Ron, who earlier this season was undefeated at 10 straight wins, picked the perfect time for win number 11 in the Prix D'Ete. His last week was also in defeating WIJI in the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. He now sports 11 wins and C$424,000 in earnings this season. It is the second straight year that the Burke Stable has won the Prix D'Ete, scoring last year with All Bets Off. "Yannick drove Rockin Ron has perfect as he could," said trainer Mickey Burke. "WIJI pulled and tried to come after him and those two put on a hellva show. I'm glad it worked out the way it did and the great crowd here got to see a heck of a race." Burke did not know what racing plans were in store for Rockin Ron. Rockin Ron's time of 1:52 over the sloppy track was the third fastest mile in the history of 3R behind the last two Prix D'Ete's that were won in 1:50.3 by Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015). TRACK NOTES: The Hippodrome 3R trackman, Sylvain Blais did a superb job with the racing surface Sunday as despite the rain, two tracks records were set early on the program before the downpours and seven of the winners on the day recorded lifetime marks. Both track records came in the third round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers. Yannick Gingras scored his first of three winners on the day in the third race Future Stars division for colts. He sent Makasi to the lead by the opening quarter mile and never looked back, scoring in 1:55.2 in his maiden victory. Trained by Helene Fillion for owner/breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable of Hudson, QC, Makasi is sired by Shanghai Phil and paid $2.40 to win. The previous track mark was set 23 years ago by Canaco Score (1993) and was tied by Hall Bro in 2013. It was the longest standing record at 3R. Then in the next division for pacing fillies, Canada's newest hall of famer, Yves Filion, also led from the quarter mile to the finish with Yaris Bayama in 1:56.4. The daughter of Sportswriter, trained by Yves and owned and bred by Filion's Bayama Farms, has been razor sharp all season. It was Yaris Bayama's third win in five starts and last week she had won the C$105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots at Mohawk Raceway in a lifetime best 1:52.4. Her clocking erased the prior record of 1:57.3 held by HP Sissy in 2015. Yaris Bayama paid just $2.10 to win. The other colt division was won also won by Filion with Yogi Bayama ($2.10) in 1:59.1 and the filly division went to Carl Duguay's Chaleurs Melodie ($6.70), driven to victory by Daniel Dube in 2:00. Live racing resumes at 3R on Tuesday evening, first race post time at 7:00 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Southwind Frank turned the tables on rival Marion Marauder (Muscle Hill), winning Saturday's $500,000 Colonial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, for harness racing 3-year-old trotters by a half-length in 1:52.4. Bar Hopping (Muscle Hill) finished third and Sutton was fourth. Marion Marauder got the better of Southwind Frank in the Aug. 6 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, beating him by a nose, but this time the winner's circle trip went to Southwind Frank. In the Colonial, Sutton took the lead as the field left the gate, with Southwind Frank second as they reached the opening quarter in :27.1. Yannick Gingras moved Southwind Frank, the 6-5 favorite, to the front exiting the first turn and led the field to the half in :56.4. By then, the 8-5 Marion Marauder and driver Scott Zeron already were on the move first up, but were unable to get past Southwind Frank. The time to three-quarters was 1:24.3. "I was glad to be inside on the (first) turn and save a little ground," said Gingras, driving Southwind Frank for trainer Ron Burke. "I wanted to control the race, so I moved to the lead. I got some decent fractions and that definitely didn't hurt. "At the half, when (Marion Marauder) came, I would have liked to had him a little further away than first over. But I kicked the plugs on my horse on the backstretch and in the last turn he felt pretty strong trot-wise. In the stretch, there were no anxious moments. It was half a length, but it was a measured half a length." Despite the victory, Gingras thought Southwind Frank was not at his best. "He was better (tonight); I don't know about much better," Gingras said. "I think he's a better horse than this even. I just believe in this horse so much and I don't think we've seen the best of Southwind Frank. That just goes to show you how dominant of a horse he is. He still gets the job done." Southwind Frank has won six of nine races this year and earned $910,023. For his career, the son of Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy has won 17 of 21 starts and banked $1.69 million. The colt is owned by the Southwind Frank Partners. Southwind Frank With three different leaders in the last 50 yards of the $200,000 Consolation I, it wasn't until the shadow of the wire until the Yankee Glide colt Lagerfeld finally took final control to win by a neck over Iron Mine Bucky in 1:53.2, a personal best, with Hollywood Highway just another half-length back in third. Iron Mine Bucky was out to the entire :27.4 quarter to get the lead, then hung early challenger Dominion Beach through fast middle splits of :55.2 and 1:23.3, with Hollywood Highway and Lagerfeld racing two-three along the inside behind the duel, moving inside and outside, respectively, for the stretch drive. Hollywood Highway surged to the lead midstretch but couldn't sustain his bid, with Iron Mine Bucky fighting back to the front, but Yannick Gingras had enough trotter in the last strides to earn the triumph. Lagerfeld, who won the 2015 PA Sire Stakes championship and a 9-2 proposition here, is trained by Jimmy Takter, and with this win he topped the half-million dollar mark career-wise, with his total now at $522,443 for the ownership of Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Mavens Way surged past stablemate Double L Lindy in the final strides to win the $100,000 Consolation II by a neck in 1:54.1. Lima Cadillac was third. Driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt, Mavens Way won for the second time in seven races this year and pushed his seasonal earnings to $93,447. The colt is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Mal and Janet Burroughs, T L P Stable and Esa Hietakangas. The son of Muscle Hill-Doris Deo has won three of 16 lifetime starts and earned $141,724. Mavens Way, the 9-5 favorite, was sixth in the first half of the race as Lima Cadillac took the field to the marker in :56.4. Mavens Way worked his way to the front heading around the last turn, but went wide and hung in the stretch, allowing Double L Lindy to take the lead on the inside. Mavens Way's late burst, though, secured the victory. PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner

Nichols, N.Y. -- A pair of 2-year-old trotters from the Ron Burke stable proved victorious in their respective Arthur Tompkins Memorial divisions on a rainy Thursday (August 11) evening at Tioga Downs, both upending heavy harness racing favorites in the last yards.   Southwind Cobra ($11.60) dueled gamely to a 1:56.4 victory in his $28,585 split for colts and geldings (race 4), pulling the pocket on approach to the far turn to engage 3-2 favorite Bill's Man (Andy Miller) after yielding with a circuit to go. While Bill's Man battled to a narrow lead off the far turn, the son of Muscle Hill and Caerphilly fought back stoutly at the pegs to prevail by half a length over sloppy going. Cagey (Mike Simons) chased well through the far turn to finish a clear third off his clear tracking trip. John Cummings, Jr. drove Southwind Cobra to his maiden-breaking victory for the Burke Racing Stable, Jack Piatt, II, Larry Karr, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership.   Burke's other winner came in a $28,410 division for fillies (race 5), as Romancing Rachel ($25.80) prevailed as the second-longest shot on the board. Mike Simons angled the daughter of Muscle Hill and Tady's Comer off the pegs with three-eighths to go, catching the cover of odds-on favorite Southwind Prius (Andy Miller) on approach to the far turn. At head-stretch, Romancing Rachel angled three-wide and swept clear to a two-length victory in 2:00.2 as Southwind Prius and Morning Glow (Jimmy Takter)--second and third respectively--dueled into defeat. The Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi share ownership of Romancing Rachel with Howard Taylor.   In the other Tompkins events on the nine-race card, Ice Attraction ($9.40) and Fly On ($2.10) both prevailed. Ice Attraction bested six fillies in 1:57.3 off a pocket trip in the $28,410 second event, angling at head-stretch to collar Southwind Avanti by three-quarters of a length. Oskar Florhed drove the daughter of Muscle Hill and The Ice Queen for trainer Ãke Svanstedt. In the $28,085 sixth for colts and geldings, Fly On posted a pillar-to-post 1:58.2 triumph, drawing clear by 4-1/2 lengths after his first-over rival Deacon Tony (Scott Coulter) broke stride at the top of the stretch. Andy Miller drove the son of Muscle Hill and Calchips Finisher for trainer Julie Miller.   Six divisions of the Geers Stakes for 2-year-old pacers--three for fillies, three for colts and geldings--headline Friday (August 12) evening's 12-race card at Tioga Downs, with first post slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Dayson (Conway Hall) shattered the harness racing track record for three year old trotters on Tuesday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Ron Burke trainee was a dominant force among two year old highsteppers in the New York Sire Stakes last year and has continued his winning ways as a sophomore in 2016. Dayson came to town fresh off his career best score at the Meadowlands on Friday when he trotted to a convincing victory in 1:51.2 with Yannick Gingras in the sulky. Gingras was on hand at the Spa on Tuesday and didn't wait long to make his move with the 1-5 betting favorite in the $88,350 New York Sire Stake for three year old colts and geldings. Dayson stretched out his lead around the final turn on major danger Dante (Ake Svanstedt) and trotted away to win by seven lengths. Dayson stopped the timer in 1:54.2 besting the previous track record for three year old geldings by a full second. Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall) won the other division of the NYSS on Tuesday as he went wire-to-wire for trainer/driver Dan Daley in a race contested for a purse of $89,950. Smalltownthrowdown scored in 1:54.4 which served as a track record of his own. The 1:54.4 is a record for three year old trotting colts (as opposed to Dayson who set the mark for geldings.) Smalltownthrowdown's convincing victory came at odds of 1-5. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

East Rutherford, NJ --- What The Hill (David Miller) came off the rail and split horses to grab the lead in the final hundred feet to win the $294,450 Peter Haughton Memorial for harness racing 2-year-old trotting colts on Saturday (Aug. 6) at The Meadowlands. The time of 1:54.4 was a career best for the son of Muscle Hill - K T Cha Cha for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing, Deo Volente Farms, Our Horse Cents Stable and J&T Silva Stables. Burke won the Haughton last year with Southwind Frank. The early pace was set by Snowstorm Hanover and driver Matt Kakaley who got to the quarter in :28,2, trailed by What The Hill. Those two were in the same order at the :57 half, with Bjorn Goop creeping up on the outside with Victor Gio and moving into the lead by the 1:25.4 three-quarters. As Goop started to move away from the field in the homestretch with Victor Gio, Rubio (Yannick Gingras) was trotting down the center of the track trying to catch him, but What The Hill trotted off the rail to dart between Rubio and the leader to overtake him in the final yards for the win by three-quarters of a length. Victor Gio held for second and Rubio was 2-1/4 lengths off the winner to be third and New Jersey Viking was fourth. “I knew he had a shot,” said co-owner Jerry Silva. “Ronnie (Burke) and I spoke about a driver. Yannick (Gingras) was really committed to a lot of Takter horses, and Ronnie spoke to David Miller. David said he would commit to What The Hill for the rest of the year, I think, and after this race I’m sure he will. That’s what is very important with young trotters. You need a consistent driver behind them.” by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ --- Hannelore Hanover posted her sixth consecutive win and 11th in 12 races this year, with a neck victory over Shake It Cerry in Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $188,350 Fresh Yankee for older harness racing female trotters at the Meadowlands. Jewels In Hock finished third. The time for the race, contested at 1-1/8 miles, was 2:05. It equaled the time of last year’s race, won by D’One, also at 1-1/8 miles. Long shot Meadowbranch Wendy was fast off the gate, but driver Yannick Gingras moved the Ron Burke-trained Hannelore Hanover, the 1-9 favorite, to the lead on the first turn. From there, the 4-year-old mare ticked off fractions of :27, :55.4, 1:23.2 and 1:51 to the mile. The time for the mile equaled Hannelore Hanover’s career best. “Yeah, you know, you’ve got to give Shake It Cerry credit; she’s a great mare too,” Gingras said. “Jimmy Takter always has them ready on Hambletonian Day. Ronnie certainly had this mare ready as well. She really dug in hard late.” Hannelore Hanover, a daughter of Swan For All - High Sobriety, is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino. She has won 20 of 33 career races and $872,354. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Friday night-before-Hambletonian card at the Meadowlands featured harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters in two divisions of the Townsend Ackerman. Dayson raised his seasonal record to six wins in eight starts, scoring from post 10 as the second choice for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. The gelded son of Conway Hall made the lead at the half and sailed under the wire an easy 4-length winner in a lifetime-best 1:51.2, paying $7.00 to win. Cufflink Hanover, the 6-5 favorite, raced well, but was a non-threatening second. Taco Tuesday got a superb steer from Scott Zeron to record an upset win in the other division. After tipping off cover after going a perfect second-over trip, the Frank Antonacci trainee rallied on the outside to nail 7-5 favorite Hititoutofthepark by a neck in a lifetime-best 1:53.1, paying $21.60 as the fourth choice in the wagering. SWEEP-STEDT: Trainer Ake Svanstedt took both divisions of the races for Hambletonian Amateur Drivers. Blue Muse ($2.80 to win, 1:54.4) was driven by Svanstedt's wife, Sarah, while Peter Arnqvist, one of the top amateur drivers in Sweden, made his Big M debut a winning one with Sky Hanover ($15.60, 1:54). HAMBO TV: The 91st Hambletonian will be televised live Saturday on the CBS Sports Network. The 90-minute program, hosted by Gary Seibel, co-hosted by Dave Brower with interviews being conducted by Justin Horowitz, begins at 4 p.m. with the Hambletonian post time scheduled for 5:15 p.m. A LITTLE MORE: All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,563,177. ... Reminder! Post time on Hambletonian Day is noon. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Columbus, OH --- He has submitted nearly several hundred names to Hanover Shoe Farms for consideration recognizing European horsemen and horsewomen and readily admits the vast majority of those have never been selected or the horses never quite panned out, but when it came to Hannelore Hanover, Dean Hoffman struck pay dirt when he suggested this then-youngster be named after quite possibly one of the best harness racing amateur female drivers of all-time. “When Dean called me and told me a horse was named after me I was honored and thrilled,” said Hannelore Würzinger. “I asked him if she would maybe race in the Hambletonian and he said he didn’t think so as she only made two starts in her career as a 2-year-old. Even though she won one, he did not think she would amount to much, but I always had faith she would be something special. He told me she would probably be a dud and not to get too excited, but I ended up being right. What a horse she is.” The 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All and the Dream Vacation mare High Sobriety was the recent winner of the Hambletonian Maturity and has won nine of 10 starts this year, with earnings of $460,105. Trained by Ron Burke, the mare is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Frank Baldachino. Hannelore Würzinger resides in Johanneskirchern, Germany, which is located outside of Munich, and commenced her harness racing career at the ripe old age of 17. She captured 470 amateur contests in the sulky during her days of competition and won such contests as the World Cup and the Europ Cup when she was at the controls. Unfortunately statistics are not available to truly demonstrate not only where Würzinger’s number of triumphs rank historically or internationally, but clearly this woman is not only a top pilot in respect to her gender, but anyone that sat behind a horse in amateur races across the globe. “My family has always been involved with trotting horses,” she said. “We owned them and bred them. At one time we had more than 50 horses. Since I have gotten older, I retired from driving because it just is not as easy as it used to be when I was young. We have also cut back on the number of horses we have and now have maybe 20. Harness racing is not as popular in Germany as it used to be or like it is in the United States, but my husband and I watch as much racing as we can. We watch all of Hannelore’s races and would love to come see her in America.” Würzinger has been stateside in her earlier years, In fact, she raced in Florida at Pompano Park where she finished second in an amateur competition that took place on the same timetable as the Breeders Crown that year. It was also where she met Hoffman and a certain other member of the Hall of Fame that was one of the highlights of her sojourn in the Sunshine State. “Do you know who this man is?” she asked after sending a picture of herself with John Campbell. “I could not believe such a famous horseman took the time to have his picture taken with me and recognize my accomplishments. I don’t think he realizes everyone around the world knows who he is and what he has done in racing. That occasion was just one of the many things we were so impressed with when we came to America. “I only finished second in that race in Florida, but we had such a wonderful time. My husband and I have always wanted to return, but we have not had the opportunity. Maybe Hannelore Hanover will provide us with that chance.” On any evening the world champion trots, Würzinger is glued to the Internet and has not missed any race Hannelore Hanover participates in. “I have watched her progress,” she said. “She only became stronger and stronger after her 2-year-old season. Dean called me and told me he did not think she would amount to much and he was sorry she would not become a top horse. Then last year when she was racing at Hoosier Park you could see with each start she was improving. She is a big, strong filly that kept trotting better with each race. “I was not surprised when she started winning, but for her to win like this and at this level...I cannot explain how fantastic it is to not only have an American horse named after me, but for her to be such an outstanding horse. I was beside myself watching her tie the world record and then beating males at the Meadowlands. “Every time she reaches new heights it makes me want to hop on a plane to America so I can be at her races in person. I can’t express enough how happy I am that Dean thought enough of my achievements to name a horse after me and then for her to be such a horse. There are no words to express it.” As the season progresses, Würzinger’s attention will remain focused on the mare that carries her name, but she harbors a secret hope that one day she will be in a position to do something much more than witness her compete online. “I told Dean I fervently hope she will come to the Elitlopp in Sweden next year,” she said. “My family and I not would not miss that for the world. We would certainly travel there and hopefully her connections would be kind enough to introduce her to us. We are her biggest fans and would just be overjoyed to root for her at a race like that. Can you imagine what kind of excitement that would bring to me? “I cannot thank Dean, the owners and Hanover Shoe Farms enough for not changing her name. This mare has been the ride of a lifetime and I am so lucky to have a horse like her named for me. Sometimes I still can’t believe this happened.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Ron Burke will get a final look at Southwind Frank prior to next week's Hambletonian Stakes when the 3-year-old trotter faces 10 harness racing rivals in Saturday's Reynolds Memorial Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Burke trained Southwind Frank, the top-ranked horse in Ken Warkentin's "Road to the Hambletonian" ratings, on Tuesday morning and was pleased with the colt's effort. The $1 million Hambletonian, also at the Meadowlands, is Aug. 6 and will be televised from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. "I was really happy with him," Burke said. "We changed his bridle the second trip, put a blinker hood on, and I thought he was more aggressive, which is what we're going for. Soundness-wise he was perfect. Blood-wise, everything's been good this week. I think he should be super sharp this week." The $53,488 Reynolds Memorial features six Hambletonian-eligible trotters: Southwind Frank, stablemate Southwind Flash, Tech Titan, Sliding Home, Honor Above All, and Desert Runner. Southwind Frank will start from post No. 11, which is in the trailing tier, in the 11-horse field. Southwind Frank has won four of five races this year, with his lone setback coming by a neck to Bar Hopping in his elimination for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Southwind Frank's victories include the Beal final as well as the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 16 at the Meadowlands. The colt was not eligible to last weekend's Hambletonian prep, the $300,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs, which was won by Bar Hopping. "This was the plan all along," said Burke, who is among Southwind Frank's owners as part of the Southwind Frank Partners. "I didn't want to race (in the Zweig) and then have the week off; I'd rather race him the week before (the Hambletonian). And I didn't want to race him both weeks. "Plus (the Reynolds) is another Meadowlands race and not a ship. I want to give him the best opportunity to be as good as he can be on August 6." Last year, Southwind Frank won 11 of 12 races and earned $786,419. His wins included the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, and William Wellwood Memorial. In addition, his time of 1:52.2 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes set the world record for a 2-year-old male trotter. He received both the Dan Patch and O'Brien awards for best 2-year-old male trotter. Southwind Frank, a son of 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, gives Burke a top Hambletonian contender for the second consecutive year. Last year, it was filly Mission Brief, who battled back issues before challenging the boys in the Hambletonian. She won her elimination and finished second to Pinkman in the final. "Compared to last year with Mission Brief when we were still putting together the pieces at this point, I think everything is coming together and hopefully we'll get through this week good, be sharp, and get a good draw (for the Hambletonian) and march on," Burke said. "He could race the way he was (prior to his equipment changes) but we want to have him as sharp as we possibly can. That's the whole goal. His best is good enough. We just have to have him at his best." Ken Weingartner

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 22, 2016 -- With expectations of him high for Saturday's eliminations at The Meadows for the 50th edition of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids -- he trains six of the 12 entrants -- harness racing trainer Ron Burke found a way to relieve the pressure. He went fishing. And just as you would expect of America's leading trainer, he was as sharp on the ocean as he is on the track. He and his fellow anglers had been trolling the Florida coast for only 30 minutes Friday morning when they reeled in a large wahoo. Burke hopes Adios 50 won't be the one that got away. His six Adios entrants may be a record, but not by much. "The last year I worked with my dad (Mickey), we had five of them in," he said. "It's been something we've been doing for a while. Out of all the races every year, this is the one we point to." Here's how Burke handicaps his six hopefuls in the two Adios eliminations, which go as races 8 and 9: More Dragon (race 8, post 3) -- "He's probably the weakest of the bunch. He's good at qualifying for finals, but he's a little overmatched when he makes the finals." Stolen Glimpse (race 8, post 4) -- "He's the one with the most potential to get better. His first race on a half-mile track was very impressive. He has serious speed." Check Six (race 8, post 6) -- "He was a little dull about a month ago, but he's super now. He was great in the Meadowlands Pace but had two awful trips." Manhattan Beach (race 9, post 1) -- "He's been drawing the worst of any of my horses. From the inside, I look for him to be more aggressive. He should be tough to beat. Historically, Check Six has been the better horse, but Manhattan Beach is coming on." Big Top Hanover (race 9, post 2) -- "We've been racing him hard, so he skipped the Meadowlands Pace to prep for the Adios. He drew into the easier division, so I look for him to get into the final." Fernando Hanover (race 9, post 3) -- "He seems to be back to himself. He has more ability than he's been able to show. This is a good spot for him. He can sit and make one move." The $400,00 Adios final is set for Saturday afternoon, July 30. The first four finishers in each elimination, plus the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings, return for the final. The Adios eliminations card offers two strong supporting stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers -- the Romola Hanover, a $159,360 Pennsylvania Sires Stake that features juvenile champion Pure Country, and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. First post Saturday is 1 PM, with the first Adios elimination set to go at approximately 3 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, July 19, 2016—Muscling up for the signature race at his home track, harness racing trainer Ron Burke has entered six horses in the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, where they’ll clash with Racing Hill, runner-up in both the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace. They head a field of 12 for the Adios, which this year marks the 50th edition of the prestigious pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings that Delvin Miller founded and named for his foundation sire. Two eliminations, each with a purse of $25,000, are set for Saturday afternoon, July 23, while the $400,000 final goes Saturday afternoon, July 30. The eliminations are scheduled as races 8 and 9, with an estimated post time of 3 PM for race 8. The most formidable of the Burke six-pack may be Check Six, who finished third in the Meadowlands Pace final and has banked $576,442 in his career. He’ll leave from post 6 in race 8. Burke also sends out Big Top Hanover, Fernando Hanover, Manhattan Beach, More Dragon and Stolen Glimpse. Yannick Gingras is listed as driver for all six Burke horses, so most of those assignments remain to be finalized. Racing Hill was beaten only a nose by Control The Moment in the Meadowlands Pace, timed in 1:48.2. Trained by Tony Alagna, the son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals captured the final of the $500,000 Max Hempt and has earned $757,528 lifetime. He goes from the rail in race 8. Alagna, the only trainer besides Burke with multiple Adios entrants, also will be represented by American Passport, who finished second in the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk but has neither won this year nor raced since July 1. He’ll leave from post 5 in race 9 for Scott Zeron. The fields for Saturday’s Adios eliminations, in post position order: Race 8 Racing Hill by Roll With Joe Western Fame by Western Ideal More Dragon by Dragon Again Stolen Glimpse by Art Major Lyons Snyder by Well Said Check Six by Somebeachsomewhere Race 9 Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere Big Top Hanover by Western Ideal Fernando Hanover by Dragon Again Another Daily Copy by Somebeachsomewhere American Passport by American Ideal Rip This Joint by Western Terror Evan Pattak

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway kicks off its final week of the 2016 harness racing season on Wednesday night (July 20) with the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers ready to clash in three $36,566 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes.   Trainer Ron Burke is bringing in four promising youngsters and they all have been tabbed the morning line favorite in their respective divisions. He's bringing in Rock It Scott, Major Key, Miso Fast and Offdahook Bluechip to the Hamburg half-mile oval for the event.   With 10 track records either tied or broken this season at Buffalo Raceway, the standard for the 2-year-old colt and geldings is on the line. He's Watching holds the colt mark of 1:55.4 established in 2013 while Roadside Delight has the gelding mark of 1:56.3 set in 2010.   In the first division, Burke has an entry of Rock It Scott (Roll With Joe-Vanite Semalu) and Major Key (Art Major-Capri Hanover).They are the 2-1 top choice.   Matt Kakaley gets the call aboard Rock It Scott who easily wired the field at Saratoga on July 8 in the Sire Stakes. Starting from the rail, Rock It Scott won by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54.3. They'll get the inside post once again in hopes of an instant replay.   Kevin Cummings will be behind Major Key who was seventh in his only start of his career after drawing the seven post. Major Key will get a better starting position this week as he got the four slot.   The main competition could come from Windsong Napoleon (Art Major-Bunny Dearest) with Jody Jamieson in the bike. Windsong Napoleon lost by a neck in 1:53.1 on July 11 at Mohawk Raceway. The Carl Jamieson-trained colt will start from the five post.   In the second leg, Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) headlines the field after burying the field on July 8 in the Sire Stakes at Saratoga Raceway. He posted an impressive 3-1/2 length decision in 1:54.3. Kakaley will steer Miso Fast, the 8-5 morning line choice, from the six spot.   Leading driver at Buffalo Raceway Jim Morrill Jr. will try and contend with Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Hanover-Armbro Savannah). In his career debut, Outkast Blue Chip started from the seven position and managed to work out a fourth place finish. They'll try their luck from the three hole this time around.   The final division finds Offdahook Bluechip the 5-2 choice after a fast closing second place finish to Music In Art on July 8 at Saratoga. Starting from the three post with Kakaley in the sulky on Wednesday, Offdahook Hanover (American Ideal-Stefani Blue Chip) should be loving the long stretch at Buffalo Raceway.   Zampara put in a stellar performance in a $15,000 Excelsior A Series event at Saratoga on July 8 with a wire-to-wire victory in 1:54.3. Pat Lachance will guide Zampara (American Ideal-Valobesta) from the inside post and could be tough from the pylons.   Outrajus Blue Chip had tough luck in his career debut. He was interfered with at the start and lost all hope but finished sixth after trailing by more than 14 lengths. Morrill Jr. will drive Outrajus Blue for trainer Aaron Lambert.   There will also be three $15,000 Excelsior A Series races and two $6,500 contests in the Excelsior B Series on the card.   The Claiming Championship finals will also be contested. The first bracket is for filly and mare pacers ($8,000-$12,500 claiming price) who will tangle for the $14,800 purse while the other final features the filly and mare pacers ($4,000-$7,000 claiming price) who will go for $10,000.   The 12-race program gets underway at 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

When 3-1 Winwood Mac captured his $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes division on Saturday night (July 16) at Scioto Downs, it came as no surprise to his driver, Chris Page. The Canyon Wind gelding tripped the timer in 1:52.1 in the last of three divisions of OSS contests for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, in Leg Three of this series for Ohio-breds. "Anytime you drive a horse for (trainer) Ronnie Burke, you have a shot to win," Chris noted. "I drove this horse as a 2-year-old and he tends to run in a bit, but he can pace like heck in the straightaways." Which is exactly what Winwood Mac did, using game, come-from-behind tactics to score his second victory of the season and his first in OSS competition in 2016. Bred by the Winwood Farm of Michigan, the bay pacer is co-owned by the Pennsylvania-based partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura. The winning time was a new lifetime record for Winwood Mac, who pushed his seasonal earnings to $51,565 and his career earnings to $90,048. What A Boy (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr), at 6-5 was just a head behind the winner to finish second, while 9-5 Mr Wiggle Pants (Kayne Kauffman) notched show honors. In the first OSS division Gotmoneyinmypocket bested eight rivals in an all-gelding field to pick up his sixth win of the year in 11 tries. Conditioned by Bill Dailey for Ohio breeders/owners Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff, the bay son of Feelin Friskie paced to a new lifetime clocking of 1:50.3 for driver Randy Tharps. Little Woody (Chris Page) was second and Nothin Fancy (Josh Sutton) was third. "The race set up perfectly for this horse tonight," Randy noted. "The fractions were fast but he was on cruise control." Gotmoneyinmypocket pushed his seasonal earnings to $79,750 and upped his career bankroll to $142,348. He is the third foal out of the Expensive Scooter mare Fran Ann p,3, 1:56.4s ($3,400) and is a full brother to Igottafeelinfran p,4, 1:51.1f, a 26-race winner of $521,665. He also has a half-brother in Gottatigerinmytank (by Panspacificflight) p,3, 1:54f ($36,250). The second OSS division saw Hustling Charley prevail with a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 for driver Kyle Ater and trainer Danny Collins. The son of Charley Barley, who interestingly was the only colt in the field of nine (the rest were geldings), went three-wide around the last turn, chasing Canadia's Bakin (Kayne Kauffman), who had led the field through fractions of :26.1, :54.3 and 1:23. Hustling Charley then bested his rival by nearly four lengths to score seasonal victory four and lifetime win number five. The bay colt, who is co-leased by Collins and Ryan Holton, was bred by Ohio's Lisa Ezzo. Hustling Charley had won leg one of this series at Miami Valley Raceway on May 7 by six lengths in 1:53.4, and then finished second by a head in leg two to Smoke Up Johnny in 1:52.2 on June 11 at Scioto Downs. He now has $85,813 earned lifetime, and $67,200 amassed in 2016 for his connections. by Kimberly Rinker, for the OSDF

The mare showed the boys.   Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras took the lead on the far turn and was much the best, capturing the $471,200 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles by 3 1/2 lengths on the Meadowlands Pace undercard Saturday night at the Meadowlands.   Hannelore Hanover, the 4-5 post-time favorite and daughter of Swan For All, recorded her ninth victory in 10 starts this year and paid $3.80 to win.   "She was even better tonight than she was in Canada (winning three straight in the Armbro Flight eliminations and final and Ms. Versatility)," said Gingras. "The second time I raced her in Canada, she was a little bit hot. They made a couple of changes on her and she usually starts out a little bit stiff, but she warms right out of it. Tonight, the minute she hit the track, she felt super. She just dominated them."   Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover brushed past Musical Rhythm, driven by John Campbell, at the half-mile mark and cleared to take the lead for good.   Fractions for the 1 1/8-mile trot were :26.3, :55.4, 1:24.4, 1:52.3 and 2:05.4.   Wings of Royalty, driven by Brian Sears, held on nicely to finish second with Crazy Wow, driven by Tim Tetrick and also trained by Burke, grabbing the show spot.   Hannelore Hanover, who was supplemented to the race for $50,000, joined Bee A Magician (second in 2014) and Shake It Cerry (third in 2015) as the only mares to start in the Maturity against the males.   Created by the Hambletonian Society and the Meadowlands as a racing opportunity solely for 4-year-olds previously eligible to the Hambletonian and Oaks, the Maturity racing conditions prohibit the use of Lasix, the only race day medication permitted in New Jersey.   The highly anticipated wagering opportunity of the season, the mandatory payout of the Super High Five wager, returned $3,269.52 for every 20¢ winning ticket. The total pool of $1,015,660 included $747,891 in new money wagered, in addition to the $267,769 carryover amount. The wager had not been hit since the Meadowlands season began in November. The 3/5 favorite Lady Shadow set a world record for 1 1/8 miles to win the Golden Girls in 2:00.3. The favorite was followed across the wire by 6/1 Solar Sister and 27/1 Inittowinafortune. Fourth place went to 42/1 Devil Child and 11/1 Katie Said rounded out the winning combination. There was a total of 276 winning tickets that were rewarded thanks to the large carryover and low 15-percent takeout rate. by Lou Monaco, for the Meadowlands        

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