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JK Endofanera paced confidently to victory in the $227,000 American National Stake for harness racing 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, stopping the timer in 1:49.1 against nine rivals.   The son of Art Major-Presidential Lady-Presidential Ball had Ron Pierce in the sulky for trainer Ronnie Burke and owners 3 Brothers Stable of New York, NY.   JK Endofanera took the lead at the start and never looked back, pacing through pedestrian panels of :27, :55 before stepping it up to 1:22 at the three-quarters and drawing off in the stretch. The victory gave Pierce a driving double on the night and Burke his fourth victory on the evening's program.   "It was no problem at all to make the top, we got around there easy," said Pierce. "We got a good breather the second quarter and he paced on in the third quarter and in the lane, I asked him to go a bit and never touched him with the whip, I just struck the wheel discs a few times. It was the first time I drove him and I was very impressed with him. I would think he's a candidate for divisional honors."   Somewhere in LA (Brett Miller) rallied for second, five lengths behind the winner, while Let's Drink On It (Travis Seekman) nailed show honors.   JK Endofanera now has $921,145 in seasonal earnings from nine wins, two seconds and one third in 14 starts. His career earnings now total $1,292,995 from 13 wins, five seconds and one third.   The seventh foal out of his dam, JK Endofanera is a full brother to the sensational 2-year-old filly Jk She'salady p,2,1:50.1s ($421,025) and to JK Fine Art p,4,1:50.2f ($374,102). He is a half-brother to JK Matchmaker (by Western Hanover) p,3,Q1:54.2 ($116,621); JK Rocketman (by Rocknroll Hanover) p,3,1:58.3f) ($20,401) and to JK Lady Like (by Artiscape) p,4,1:56.4 ($17,835) By Kimberly Rinker for Balmoral Park  

Shake It Cerry trotted to a new harness racing stakes and track record clocking of 1:52.2 in the $150,000 American National 3-year-Old Filly Trot Saturday night at Balmoral Park. The previous record was 1:54, set in 2010 by Springtime Volo and in 2000 by Armbro Temple. Reined by Ron Pierce for trainer Jimmy Takter and the Solveig's Racing Partners of East Windsor, NJ, the daughter of Donato Hanover notched her 20th career victory and pushed her career earnings to $1,631,205.   "She's incredibly fast off the gate," said the filly's caretaker Helen Engblom. "I know that Lifetime Pursuit is a really good racehorse so I was a little concerned with her being right on her back. She is a special filly. She's a real sweetheart to be around and easy to take care of."   Shake It Cerry left hard from post nine, with stablemate and 2013 Hambletonian Oaks winner Lifetime Pursuit (Yannick Gingras) right beside her until the former cleared at the :28.1 first quarter. Those two remained tightly bunched through the :57.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters, with Broadway Socks (Dan Rawlings) and Cee Bee Yes (Scott Zeron) following.   Turning for home, Shake It Cerry began to open up on her rivals, being challenged only briefly by Lifetime Pursuit, but to no avail as the former brushed in :26.4 to keep her six-race win streak intact. Lifetime Pursuit picked notched runner-up honors, with the hard-trying Cee Bee Yes grabbing the show money.   Shake It Cerry should be a cince for divisional honors, especially off her victory in the the 49th edition of the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity just one week ago. This season Shake It Cerry has also won the $368,100 Elegant Image at Mohawk in 1:52.1; the $213,500 Miller Memorial at The Meadowlands in 1:53; the $150,000 Zweig at Vernon in 1:53.1; the $93,850 Currie & Ives Final in 1:55.3 at The Meadows; her $35,000 Hambletonian Oaks prep at The Meadowlands in 1:54.4; and the $99,997 PASS Final in 1:53.1 at The Meadows, among others.   Shake It Cerry is the fourth foal out of her dam and is full sister to Solvato 3, 1:53.2f ($300,931) and the 2-year-old Uncle Lasse 2, 1:54.1 ($203,279). She also has a half-brother in Dontyouforgetit 3, 1:52.1f ($598,049). By Kimberly Rinker

This Week's Harness Racing: Historic Series, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa., and American-National finals, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Thursday (Oct. 9) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with four divisions in the $100,680 Historic – Acorn for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 10) card at Philadelphia will feature a trio of divisions in the $104,178 Historic – Debutante for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday (Oct. 12) card at Philadelphia offers three divisions in the $102,878 Historic – Goshen Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers and two splits in the $102,380 Historic – Harriman Cup for 2-year-old colt trotters. Balmoral Park will host eight American-National Grand Circuit stakes events on Saturday (Oct. 11). The card will feature the $227,000 3-year-old colt pace, the $203,000 3-year-old colt trot, the $179,000 open pace, the $173,500 3-year-old filly pace, the $166,300 open trot, the $150,000 3-year-old filly trot, the $86,000 2-year-old colt pace and the $61,150 2-year-old filly pace. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, capped off two exciting weeks of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile.   USTA/Mark Hall photo Nuncio and John Campbell captured the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile. Team Takter provided Red Mile fans with a thrilling stretch duel between stablemates Nuncio and Father Patrick who slugged it out to the wire, with Nuncio emerging victorious by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.3 in the 122nd edition of the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotting colts. Hall of Famer John Campbell steered Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, to his eighth win of the season and his 13th career victory for owner Stall TZ, Inc. He now has $1,488,970 in career earnings. Nuncio had the lead from start to finish, trotting through splits of :27.2, :54.1 and 1:22.2 before Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) began to challenge him. It appeared that Father Patrick was going to trot right past Nuncio, but the latter dug in hard and held off his stablemate. Shake It Cerry put forth a dominating performance in the 49th edition of the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, stopping the timer in 1:52.2 for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Takter. The 1-5 public’s choice, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig, pushed her career earnings to $1,562,205 for the Solveig’s Racing Partners. Shake It Cerry took the lead handily in rein to Pierce, trotting comfortably through fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before drawing off in the stretch by 4-1/2 lengths. Vanity Matters (David Miller) made a bid first over going to the three-quarters and held on to be second, while Scream And Shout (Yannick Gingras) got up for third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,685; 2. Tim Tetrick – 850; 3. David Miller – 780.5; 4. Ron Pierce – 565.5; 5. Corey Callahan – 501. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,735.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,367; 3. Joe Holloway – 329; 4. Erv Miller – 311.5; 5. Tony Alagna – 310. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 388.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 346.35; 3. 3 Brothers Stable – 247; 4. Robert Key – 230; 5. Brittany Farms – 223.95. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Maywood Park, Woodbine Racetrack, Vernon Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Maywood Park will feature four races led by the Windy City Pace for 3-year-olds, along with the Cinderella for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Abe Lincoln for 2-year-old colt pacers and the Galt for 3-year-old trotters; Woodbine will offer eliminations in four events for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits (the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for fillies and the Governor’s Cup and Valley Victory for colts); Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; and Yonkers has four sets of eliminations in stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gats, led by the Messenger, the final leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown, and the Yonkers Trot, the final leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, along with the Lady Maud for pacing fillies and the Hudson Filly Trot for trotting fillies. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Yagonnakissmeornot, sent off the 3/2 public choice, raced from the back of the pack, and rallied strongly down the center of the course to hit the line right before Shelliscape, stopping the clock in 1:49.3 in capturing the $90,000 Allerage Farm Open Pace for mares at The Red Mile.   Anndrovette flaunted her agility by pacing from post 10 and right to the lead. Aunt Caroline also left, but sat second, with Krispy Apple sitting third and Shelliscape fourth. Anndrovette set fractions of :26.3 and :54 (:27.2).   Shebestingin attempted to brush to the top down the backstretch, but could not clear Anndrovette around the turn. Shelliscape rode her back, and was loaded with pace upon fanning three wide through a 1:21.3 (:27.3) third quarter.   Powering to the top, Shelliscape continued under strong encouragement on the lead. Krispy Apple weaved her way through competition, and dived to the inside to try and take control. Appearing on the center of the course was Yagonnakissmeornot, who began to put in a furious sprint towards the leader. She managed to gain 2 lengths in the final hundred yards, and survive a photo finish to be crowned the winner in 1:49.3 (:28). Shelliscape held on for second, with Krispy Apple finishing third.   Owned by Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Kapildeo Singh, trained by Rene Allard, and driven by Ron Pierce, the five-year-old daughter of The Panderosa-Artstopper-Artsplace has now earned $759,154 in her career. She returned $5.00 to win.   “She’s been just like a dream,” trainer Rene Allard said. “She had a bleeding issue; we put her on Lasix, and she’s just been awesome all year. She’s a beautiful, big mare, and does everything right.”   “I have to thank the owner[s] because they had the guts to follow me with supplementing her [for $9,500],” Allard also said. “I told them ‘the mare is feeling real good right now.’ Even though she has a lot of starts, she still feels really fresh. Like yesterday: we were walking her along the backside, and she was rearing up on her back leg. She feels like she’s fresh.”   “As a three-year-old, we wanted to buy her in the fall,” Allard also said, in regards to their purchase of Yagonnakissmeornot in the January Sale at the Meadowlands this year. “The Teagues [George Teague Jr.] bought her back, but I followed her since, and when she went in the sale again, I said I’ll make sure I get her this time.”   “We’re considering supplementing her to the Breeders Crown,” Allard also said. “If everything stays good. Why not; last week, she went really easy, and she was just awesome today.”   Yagonnakissmeornot     State Treasurer stalked the pace for most of the mile, and was a part of a five-horse sprint to the finish in the stretch, besting his foes in 1:48.3 in the $160,500 Allerage Open Pace.   Sweet Lou paced quickly for the front, with stable-mate Bettor’s Edge sitting in second, and Fool Me Once in third. Sweet Lou paced the opening quarter in :26.3. His other stable mate, Foiled Again, was flushed by State Treasurer down the backside. He applied pressure to Sweet Lou through a :54.1 (:27.3) half and 1:21.4 (:27.3) third quarter.   Soon under pressure from a cavalcade of closers, Sweet Lou turned for home in front. Foiled Again was game in his challenge, and continued to try and take the lead. State Treasurer tipped off his cover, and soon came alongside Foiled Again approaching the sixteenth-pole. Bettor’s Edge, riding the pocket the whole way, attempted to split horses, and Modern Legend was marching down the center of the course. At the finish, State Treasurer nipped Foiled Again to claim victory, with Bettor’s Edge holding onto third, and Modern Legend finished fourth. The mile went in 1:48.3 (:26.4).   Earning $850,856 in his lifetime, the five-year-old son of real Desire-Ideal Treasure-Western Ideal is owned by Sally Macdonald and Paul Macdonald, trained by Dr. Ian Moore, and driven by Tim Tetrick. He paid $19.00 to win.   “I got to follow the ‘Six-Million Dollar Horse’ [Foiled Again] all the way to the promise land,” driver Tim Tetrick said. “My horse never gave up. My horse kept fighting, and he got his head by him. I was real happy with his effort.”   “Doc [Ian Moore] said I could be aggressive,” Tetrick also said. “I could put him on the lead, or any way I’d want to do it. But the way the track has been playing, I decided to keep close, and try to be second over, third over, and follow live cover. It couldn’t have worked out any better.”   State Treasurer     Also contested on closing day was a non-pari-mutual Racing Under Saddle (RUS) event, carrying a purse of $10,000. In Nomine Patri, guided by Therese Lindgren, pursued tempo-setter Chinese Cuisine, claiming the prize in 2:00.3.   Tina Duer, aboard Chinese Cuisine, took command with ease, and coasted for the first three-quarters of the mile. Alone through fractions of :31.2, 1:02 (:28.3), and 1:32.1 (:30.1), she held a near 5-length lead for most of the way. In Nomine Patri, as well as Flowing James, were the lone duo attempting to gain control as they turned for home.   Within a matter of strides, In Nomine Patri came alongside Chinese Cuisine, soon trotting by at the sixteenth-pole. Flowing James gave chase in third, and Rock With It trotted fourth, as In Nomine Patri crossed the line in 2:00.3 (:27.3).   The six-year-old Credit Winner-Blue Skies Hanover-Donerail gelding is owned by trainer Liisa Vatanen and American Dream Racing Stable. 

LEXINGTON, KY—The filly equivalent of the Kentucky Futurity, the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, was contested in its 49th renewal on Sunday, October 5 at The Red Mile. With only seven sophomore filly trotters entering, the race went straight to final.   Shake It Cerry tangoed with six other fillies as the 1/5 favorite, and did not break a sweat, trotting to a 1:52.2 victory over Vanity Matters and Scream And Shout.   Scream And Shout dueled with Highest Peak for control around the first turn, with Scream And Shout emerging in front to the quarter. Setting a fraction of :27.4, Ron Pierce sent Shake It Cerry after the lead, and she commandeered the field before the half.   Trotting past the half in :56.2 (:28.3), she was uncontested on the lead. Vanity Matters was her closest rival past three-quarters, timed in 1:25.1 (:28.3), but soon grew a distance away from Shake It Cerry heading into the stretch. Under a hand drive, Shake It Cerry strode to a 4 ½-length victory in 1:52.2 (:27.1).   The daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide has now earned $1,562,205 in her career, with $734,436 credited to this season. She’s owned by Solveig’s Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Ron Pierce. She returned $2.40 to win.   “The race worked out perfect,” trainer Jimmy Takter said. “It’s a heck of a mile, going [1]:52.2 with a trotting filly. This weather is kind of windy, and it’s tough. Ron [Pierce] says that she’s so good right now that he had seconds left in her.”   “She never really did a bad race,” Takter also said, in regards to Shake It Cerry currently racing at top form. “In the Hambletonian [Oaks], she maybe got a little overdriven, but the rest of her races, in all of her life, have been very good. She’s been an absolutely wonderful horse since she started racing.”   by Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Adam Bowden was in the Kentucky Futurity winner's circle last year with Creatine and he hopes to return there following Sunday's 122nd edition of the trotting classic, this time with Father Patrick. Bowden and his father, Chris, operate Diamond Creek Farm, which is part of Father Patrick's ownership group. Father Patrick, who has won 20 of 23 career races and $1.92 million, drew post No. 1 for Sunday's $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington. Nine horses entered the Futurity, so eliminations are unnecessary. Yannick Gingras will drive Father Patrick for trainer Jimmy Takter in the one-dash-for-the-cash event. Rounding out the field in post order are Il Sogno Dream, Martiniwithmuscle, Datsyuk, Hillustrious, Nuncio, Mr Lindy, DD's Hitman, and Lightning Force. Sunday's card also includes the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Farm Open Pace, $90,000 Allerage Farm Mare Pace, and $89,000 Allerage Farm Mare Trot. Father Patrick brings a four-race win streak to the Futurity, including a 4-1/2 length victory over Lightning Force in 1:50.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Sunday. He also has won the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic, $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and $340,000 Zweig Memorial since losing by a half-length to Datsyuk in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "Last week he was on cruise control and still trotted in sub-1:51," said Bowden, who owns Father Patrick with John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, and the group of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. "Hopefully, we're in the winner's circle on Sunday. Jimmy gives me two thumbs up. I'm hoping that's going to be the case." Last year, the Diamond Creek-bred-and-owned Creatine won the Futurity for hometown trainer Bob Stewart. Bowden had planned to sell Creatine when he was a yearling, but the horse was withdrawn from the auction because of an infected hock and remained with Diamond Creek. Creatine races Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot. "We've been with Bob since the beginning and for him to be a Kentucky guy, no offense, I love Father Patrick, but I don't think anything is going to top last year," Bowden said. "That was the most exciting thing for me. It was the first time. It was a homebred with a good friend of mine. We always believed in the horse and we finally won one of the big ones. That was exciting." The Bowdens started Diamond Creek Farm in 2005 in Paris, Ky., and now have a second location in Pennsylvania. Diamond Creek will stand Father Patrick as a stallion at the conclusion of his racing career. Father Patrick, bred by Brittany Farms, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to million-dollar-earner Pastor Stephen. "We're very happy and lucky; we want to stand the best horses," Bowden said. "After his 2-year-old year, we took a huge risk that (Father Patrick) was going to come back and be dominant at 3. Right now it looks like our gamble is going to pay off. Cantab Hall is arguably the hottest sire in the sport, along with Muscle Hill, and here's his greatest son so far. It's a great sire line and we're hoping it continues with Father Patrick." The Kentucky Futurity is the second jewel in this year's Trotting Triple Crown. Trixton won the first, the Hambletonian, but has since been retired because of injury. The third jewel, the Yonkers Trot, is Oct. 25. Takter trained and drove Trixton in the Hambletonian. Another of his charges, Nuncio, finished second in the race. Father Patrick went off stride from post 10 and finished off the board for the only time in his career. Nuncio will be driven by John Campbell, his regular pilot, in Sunday's Futurity. Nuncio has won 12 of 22 career races and finished second in the other 10. Eight of those runner-up finishes have come behind Father Patrick. "Nuncio is one tough horse," Bowden said. "He's a great horse and in any other year he's the best horse. "One of these days you think he's going to beat his stablemate. But I hope it's not Sunday." Takter sends out the likely favorite in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, Shake It Cerry. She was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 10 of 12 races this season. She will start from post three with driver Ron Pierce. Scream And Shout and Heaven's Door will start inside of Shake It Cerry while to her outside are Highest Peak, Chivaree Hanover, Vanity Matters, and Yoga. Scream And Shout and Yoga also are from the Takter Stable. The Allerage Farm Open Trot features Sebastian K, the fastest horse in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 win earlier this year, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and recent Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and multiple-stakes-winner Classic Martine lead the way in the Allerage Farm Mare Trot, where they will encounter Dan Patch Award-winner and defending race winner Maven. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 15 races and nearly $1 million this year, and Foiled Again, North American harness racing's all-time money-winner, are among the 10 horses in the Allerage Farm Open Pace. Eleven horses were entered in the Allerage Farm Mare Pace, including three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette, stakes-winners Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow, world champion Shebestingin, last year's race winner Shelliscape, and 2012 winner Drop The Ball. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

LEXINGTON, KY-- In the premier afternoon card of the annual Grand Circuit fortnight, harness racing sophomore filly trotters were in the spotlight, as they competed in two divisions of the $173,400 Bluegrass Stakes. And one filly stole the spotlight as Cee Bee Yes became the fastest three-year-old trotting filly ever with her victory in 1:50.2. With Cooler Schooner setting fast fractions, Cee Bee Yes coasted in the pocket, passed her into the stretch and dueled with Hambletonian Oaks-winner Lifetime Pursuit, ultimately getting her neck in front to win in the world record clocking. The prior world mark was 1:50.4 set by Lifetime Pursuit earlier this year. Cooler Schooner took control with ease, while Cee Bee Yes sat in second and Lifetime Pursuit in third. The top trio remained in that order as Cooler Schooner set splits of :27.4, :53.2 (:25.3), and 1:21.4 (:28.2). Galloping at the top of the stretch, Cooler Schooner was passed by Lifetime Pursuit, with Cee Bee Yes circling by, too. In the final eighth, Lifetime Pursuit had a slight advantage on Cee Bee Yes, who trotted alongside, then by the world champion filly, to christen her has a champion in 1:50.2 (:28.3). Owned by Jason and Doug Allen, trained by Julie Miller, and driven by Scott Zeron, the daughter of Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee-Enjoy Lavec paid $115.40 to win, with the $2 exacta, over 1/9 favorite Lifetime Pursuit, paying $217. This victory pushed Cee Bee Yes's career earnings to $339,532. "I didn't expect her to be the fastest of all-time, but I knew the race would set up with fast fractions," regular driver Andy Miller said, whose been sidelined due to a race injury sustained in April. "She's a very tough filly. Scott [Zeron] did a great job getting her into the race. He was patient, then he got her home." "In this business, you always throw the audible, but we would talk to Ron Allen and see the plans," trainer Julie Miller said in regards to Cee Bee Yes's retirement at the end of the season. "I would think she'd be a great mother." Cee Bee Yes Shake It Cerry, clearing the lead before the half, strode through the stretch to win in 1:51.2. The other Takter-trainee in the field, Scream And Shout, took the lead, while My Inspiration got away in second and Shake It Cerry in third. After a :27.2 quarter, Shake It Cerry made her move. Controlling the pace through a :55.1 (:27.4) half and 1:23.2 (:28.1) third quarter, Shake It Cerry kicked clear of Scream And Shout chasing in second, while Chivaree Hanover was rallying down the center of the course into second, and My Inspiration weaved her way into third. Shake It Cerry crossed the line in 1:51.2 (:28). With career earnings of $1,405,205, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Ron Pierce. Paying $3.00, her 1:51.2 mile is a lifetime best. "The filly [Shake It Cerry] took me around there [The Red Mile] on her own," driver Ron Pierce said. "I just sat there, just a passenger." "She sure felt like it to me," Pierce also said in regards to Shake It Cerry's sharp form. "I was saying 'Whoa girl, whoa, girl,' and she was thinking I was saying 'Go girl, go girl.' I could have let her trot and easily broke the world record, but I didn't see any sense of it; we have the Breeders Crown coming up, the [Filly] Futurity next week. There are still some major races for her." Shake It Cerry Live racing will resume on Thursday, October 2 with the $300,000 International Stallion Series for two-year-old filly trotters. The entry box will be open until 9:30amEDT on Monday, September 29. Post time for that card is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen colt trotters occupied the Friday night card at The Red Mile, with four divisions of the $396,000 Bluegrass Stakes contested on September 26. Habitat and The Bank put in the quickest miles of the four divisions contested. William Wellwood champion Habitat once again reigned supreme, this time by ¾ lengths over Honor And Serve and Cruzado Dela Noche in 1:53.4. The early tempo setter was Honor And Serve, leading Canappealformore and Habitat through a :28.2 first quarter. Yannick Gingras soon gave Habitat the cue to circle by his foes, clearing the field slightly after a :57.4 (:29.2) half. Boots N Chains gradually progressed to Habitat's wheel around the far turn. Habitat, through three-quarters in 1:26.3 (:28.4), began to draw away from his competitors. Cruzado Dela Noche, traveling second over, fanned off cover and began a bid down the center of the course, while Honor And Serve snuck out of the pocket. Yet, they were runner-up as Habitat held on in a lifetime-best of 1:53.4 (:27.1). A son of Conway Hall-Habit's Best-Muscles Yankee, he's owned by Burke Racing Stable, Out Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. "I think he was as sharp, but he was maybe too sharp," Yannick Gingras said in regards to Habitat's margin of victory. "He was a little keen tonight. Usually, he lets me do what I want with him. He's usually two fingers to drive, but he was a little wound up tonight, and I think that cost him a little bit of energy. "Coming to the top of the stretch, I knew I had a big last quarter left in him, but Honor and Serve and that horse Dave was driving [Cruzado Dela Noche] are two quality horses as well. He was 1-5, but it was no 'gimme,' there was good horses in here." Pulling first over nearing the half, The Bank gradually grew closer to the front and eventually passed Piercewave Hanover in a 1:53.4 mile. Sent for the top was One Direction, with Piercewave Hanover taking the pocket. Past the quarter in :28.3, Piercewave Hanover swept to the top. Yannick Gingras tried to ration his speed as he trotted the half-mile in :56.2 (:27.4). Around the far turn, The Bank began to charge towards pacesetter. He remained 3 lengths off the lead through a 1:25.1 (:28.4) third quarter. Shortening in stride, Piercewave Hanover's lead slowly diminished. The Bank was rallying down the center of the track and went by Piercewave Hanover in the final strides to win by a ½ length in 1:53.4 (:28.3), a lifetime best. Earning $64,810 this season, the son of Donato Hanover-Lantern Kronos-Viking Kronos is owned by Christina Takter and Goran Falk and is trained and driven by Jimmy Takter. Sent off the public choice, he paid $4.80 to win. "I know my horse is extremely honest and I haven't used him at all," Jimmy Takter said. "I kind of got a little bit messed up at the start; I didn't want to rush him out of the gate. He can leave very good, but I just felt like I wanted to race him from behind because he's not really sharp enough for cutting it." Southwind Stryker defeated Peter Haughton winner Centurion Atm in a 1:53.4 effort. The lead was occupied by Walter White, who led Whataworkout, Mercury Fashion, Centurion Atm, and Southwind Stryker respectively past a :28.3 first quarter. He remained in control through a :57.3 (:29) half, but Centurion Atm was grinding towards him first over. Southwind Stryker tracked Centurion ATM around the far turn as he battled with Walter White for control. After a 1:26 (:28.2) third quarter, Centurion ATM gained control. Centurion ATM was trying to gain separation from Southwind Stryker, but instead began to brace for his challenge. The two were stride for stride in the final hundred yards and at the line, Southwind Stryker had a nose on Centurion ATM, with Wicker Hanover finishing fourth, but placed third due to a lapped-on break by third-place finisher, placed fourth, Whataworkout. The son of Muscle Hill-Soxeelady-Conway Hall paid $10 as he triumphed over the 1/5 favorite. He's owned by Brad Maxwell, Paul Van Camp, Herb Liverman, and, trained by Brad Maxwell, and was driven by Tim Tetrick. Breaking his maiden, Southwind Stryker established a lifetime best of 1:53.4, and has earned $99,641 lifetime. "That horse that I was following [Centurion Atm] has some go," driver Tim Tetrick said. "My horse has been racing, and his [Ake Svanstedt's] horse had a big break and only one qualifier, but my horse had to earn it. If I had been third over, it would have been tough to catch him, but the trip worked out perfectly." Billy Flynn remained undefeated after a game stretch battle with 8/5 second-choice Muscle Diamond, traveling wire-to-wire in 1:55.4. Taking the lead was Gabe The Bear Dean as the octet trotted into the first turn. Billy Flynn tracked him from second, with Suit And Tie traveling third. Pilot Brett Miller gave the cue for Billy Flynn to circle by the 30-1 shot, clearing control in a :29.2 first quarter. Billy Flynn turned the march to the half into a stroll, reaching that station in :58.1 (:29.4). Suit And Tie broke from third, causing confusion with Progression and Muscle Diamond. Regardless, Muscle Diamond began his charge towards favored Billy Flynn entering the far turn. The two hooked up to duel at three-quarters in 1:28.3 (:30.2). The battling Billy Flynn and Muscle Diamond edged 3 lengths clear of Progression trotting in third. As Muscle Diamond appeared to get a nose in front, Billy Flynn fought back at the inside and managed, not only to retake the lead, but extend his margin of victory to a length over Muscle Diamond in 1:55.4 (:27.1). A $2.80 winner, Billy Flynn, a son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones-Enjoy Lavec, is owned by Bender Sweden Inc., trained by Staffan Lind and driven by Brett Miller. He has now earned $312,057 this season. "He's done everything right so far," trainer Staffan Lind said. "I hope he can stay on track. It's a long season with a lot of races, so whenever you can steal one is good." Uncle Lasse, a full-brother to Dan Patch champion Shake It Cerry, was victorious in 1:54.1 over Guess Whos Back. Getting away In The Pocket, Uncle Lasse soon pulled two wide and circled around early pacesetter Iron. After a quarter in :28.2, Uncle Lasse cleared the front. He was uncontested through a :57.3 (:29.1) half and strolled to three-quarters in 1:27 (:29.2). Sugarmakesmecrazy began to pursuit Uncle Lasse, with Guess Whos Back following second over. Guess Whos Back managed to swing off his cover and take second, while Sugarmakesmecrazy chased in third. Uncle Lasse won by a length in 1:54.1 (:27.1), a lifetime best. Owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Ron Pierce, he paid $4.60 to win. He has earned $203,279 this season. "He was super sharp, a little on edge," Ron Pierce said. "He's good feeling colt, a little edgy, but his gait was flawless and he had plenty of trot." Racing resumes on Saturday, September 27 with the $331,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old colt pacers, $185,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt pacers, and the $146,600 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly pacers. Post time is scheduled for 7:00pmEDT. Race replays can be found on The Red Mile's YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

The sport's leading three-year-old colt trotter, Father Patrick, will race in the Bluegrass stakes at The Red Mile as the Grand Circuit meet continues on Sunday afternoon. Fifteen colts were entered in the stake, Father Patrick drew into the tenth race and will race for a purse of $93,100.   The Cantab Hall colt from Gala Dream comes in after a resounding success in the Canadian Classic at Mohawk where he dominated the field in 1:52.4 after being outside the entire mile. That win put the pride of the Father Patrick Stable over $1 million in seasonal earnings. He will start from post one on Sunday with regular driver Yannick Gingras aboard for trainer Jimmy Takter.   Also on the card are a pair of $86,700 Bluegrass divisions for the sophomore trotting fillies featuring the potent duo of Lifetime Dream and Shake It Cerry, also racing out of the Takter barn.   Lifetime Pursuit has been nothing short of sensational since her Hambletonian Oaks win at The Meadowlands. She lowered the world record for her age and gender on the mile track in that one at 1:50.4 and has since equaled the world record on a five-eighths track with a 1:51.3 score at The Meadows during her current six-race win skein.   Now a winner eight times in thirteen starts, the Cantab Hall X Gala Dream lass is approaching $1 million in career earnings for owner/breeder Brittany Farms. Yannick Gingras has driven Lifetime Pursuit to all of those successes for Takter and will have the assignment from post two in the fifth race on Sunday.   Shake It Cerry has been a model of consistency over her twenty-two race career with seventeen wins and $1.4 million earned for Solveig's Racing Partners. She was at perhaps her career best in a dazzling Elegant Image score at Mohawk her last start in a personal record of 1:52.1, winning by more than nine lengths.   Shake It Cerry is by Donato Hanover from the prolific producer Solveig. Jimmy Taker developed the family and has trained her throughout her career. Ron Pierce has been aboard last year's divisional champion for virtually all of her starts and will drive from post two in Sunday's eleventh race.   The Allerage Farms Open Pace and Trot did not require elimination races and the horses entered will go directly to the finals on Kentucky Futurity Day, Sunday, October 5.   Among the entrants are the top two horses in the current Top Ten Poll, Sebastian K in the trotting race and Sweet Lou in the pace   Sunday post time is a matinee 1:00 pm. Clubhouse dining is available for all Grand Circuit cards and reservations may be made by calling (859) 233-0814. More details are available by visiting The Red Mile website.   From the press box at The Red Mile  

Harness racing's top pacer this year -- Sweet Lou -- and the sport's top money-winner of all time -- Foiled Again -- headline Saturday's $200,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational at Scioto Downs. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke, who recently topped $20 million in purses for the year. It is the second consecutive season Burke has eclipsed $20 million, following his record-setting $22.2 million campaign in 2013. Burke broke his own record of $19.6 million established in 2012. Sweet Lou, who is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the field of eight older male pacers, is returning to action for the first time since having his 10-race win streak snapped in the Canadian Pacing Derby on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. During his win streak, the 5-year-old Sweet Lou set a record with six consecutive victories in faster than 1:48. His triumphs this year include the Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Dan Patch Invitational, and Roll With Joe. "Horses get beat," Burke said about Sweet Lou's setback in the Canadian Pacing Derby, where he finished sixth. "They went at it hard. They were 1:20.1 (to three-quarters) and every one of my horses was on his second or third move by the time we hit the top of the lane." Sweet Lou, who is the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10, behind only trotter Sebastian K, got to relax a bit following the CPD. He prepped for the Ewart with a 1:52.1 qualifier on Sept. 18 at The Meadows. "I just kind of let him mess around for two weeks and then we put him back on his normal schedule," Burke said. "He couldn't have been better. As always, the break does him wonders. He really seems sharp. I'm sure he's ready to go." Sweet Lou has won 10 of 14 races this year and 32 of 69 lifetime, good for $3.05 million in purses. He was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. Ron Pierce, who drove Sweet Lou in each of his previous 11 starts, will again be at the lines in the Ewart. Foiled Again, with lifetime earnings of $6.62 million, is still going strong at age 10. He has won back-to-back starts, including the Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in Delaware. For the season, he has won six of 19 races and finished among the top three on 15 occasions. The three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, Foiled Again will start the Ewart from post No. 1 with driver Matt Kakaley and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. "Every time he gets beat, people are saying we should retire him," Burke said. "Then we should retire everybody he beats, too, and there would be about three horses a year left. "I can't be happier with him. He's as good as he's ever been in his career. He ran into Lou when Lou was on probably as good a streak as any horse had seen, in the last decade at least. There's no shame there. A lot of horses were having trouble with him." The remainder of the Ewart field is Kanaris, Night Pro, Bigtown Hero, Bolt The Duer, Beach Memories, and Domethatagain. Now that Burke has surpassed $20 million in purses again, he seems likely to soon break the earnings record he established last year. Burke's earnings have increased every season since taking over the stable fulltime from his father, Mickey, in 2009. "I really thought (breaking the earnings record) would be the hardest thing for us to do," Burke said. "But we got off to such a good strong start this year, better than even normal, and that made a lot of difference. "If everything keeps going like it's going we should be alright." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has geared down somewhat in terms of quantity, as the schedule now features three live nights per week. But the quality hasn't let down a bit, as evidenced by a Saturday night card that included no pacing miles slower than 1:50:2 and no trotting miles slower than 1:54. We even had a world-record performance, which, of course, stands out among this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BIGTOWN HERO This 6-year-old gelding was struggling with the upper reaches of the pacing ranks when he was last here in June, but he's been performing well since then at other tracks, winning three of his last five races. The last four of those races came after he switched barns to be trained by Rene Allard, Pocono's leading trainer, including a come-from-behind win in an Open Handicap in his last race at Yonkers as a 7-1 shot. His confidence sufficiently boosted, he returned to Pocono to compete on Saturday night in a Preferred Handicap pace for a purse of $25,000. It was a stacked field, including star veteran Golden Receiver and Dancin Yankee, who had owned the oval at Pocono in his previous appearances in 2014. But driver Ron Pierce drove Bigtown Hero as if there were no other horses on the track, sending him to the front for a huge lead as each fraction ticked off proved more impressive than the one before. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero began to slow ever so slightly. It was a good thing the lead he built up was so substantial, because Dancin Yankee and Aslan came closing at him fast. Pierce urged him home for a half-length victory in a stunning time of 1:47:3. That broke the world record for aged gelding pacers on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set last June at Pocono by Foiled Again and then matched by Abelard Hanover. Other top pacers this week include: Ring Warrior (Matt Kakaley, Brewer Adams), a colt who followed up four consecutive wins at Ocean Downs with a victory at Pocono in a condition pace on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54; Cherokee Hunter (Simon Allard, Rene Allard) whose condition win on Tuesday night was his second straight and came in a career-best time of 1:52:1; and Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who scorched a condition pacing group on Saturday night in 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SEVRUGA Not all slumps are created equal. To wit, consider the struggles Sevruga had been having in the summer months. Last year he earned nearly $500,000 facing the best trotters around, and the highlight of his season was a world-record performance at Pocono with a win in 1:50:3. But he had come up empty for three months straight in terms of wins heading into Saturday night's $25,000 Preferred trot. In his last three races at Pocono, all against the most rugged trotters on the grounds, Sevruga, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Kevin Carr, had hit the board every time and had lost by just a neck in the last two. On Saturday night, he enjoyed his first quality post position in more than a month and took advantage of it, breezing to the front early with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike. Things were by no means easy from that point, as Wind Of The North put up a sustained first-over challenge to the lead. But Sevruga had been rated well enough early in the race that he was able to dig deep in the final strides and win by a nose in a rapid 1:52:1. Maybe it wasn't fair to say that Sevruga was in a slump considering the quality of his competition and the multiple near-misses, but it is fair to say that his losing streak is history and a lengthy winning streak might just be in the offing. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tui (Anthony Napolitan, Don Wiest), a Pocono fan-favorite mare who scored her first win of the season on Saturday night in a tough condition group in 1:53:1; A Cool Million (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who moved up her claiming price and won her second straight race on Tuesday night, doing so in a career-best 1:54; and Fortunista (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who beat the boys in a tough condition group on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: TRANSCENDING An outside post and long odds didn't bother this veteran pacer as he came from out of the clouds late to shock a condition field on Saturday night at 49-1, paying off an even $100 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Ron Pierce Pierce had it grooving on Saturday night, winning four consecutive races on the card, all in gate-to-wire fashion, a streak that culminated with the world-record win by Bigtown Hero. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Joe Pavia Jr. Joe still does such a great job as a catch driver that his training abilities can sometimes be taken for granted, but a training double on Wednesday night put them front and center. 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. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

An overall increase in handle (total money wagered) and seven track record performances marked a successful 2014 season at Tioga Downs, which concluded on Saturday, September 13.   Overall handle on the 61-day meet was considerably improved in comparison to the 2013 season, with all-sources handle showing a 5.4% increase. This increase was largely due to a more involved simulcast audience, whose handle was 13.4% higher than in the previous season.   "We thank our customers and horsemen for their support of our 2014 racing season," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "We are proud of the great competitive racing on our 5/8 mile track, and that it continues to be well received across the North American harness racing audience."   With respect to the record books, four-year-old distaff trotter Charmed Life and driver Jody Jamieson established a new overall record for trotters on New York State's only 5/8-mile track, winning their Miss Versatility preliminary in 1:52.2 as part of the Cane Pace undercard on Monday, September 1.   Trotting geldings Datsyuk (three-year-old, Charlie Norris), Obrigado (four-year-old, Aaron Byron), and Traverse Seelster (older, Brandon Simpson) also turned in track-record performances through the season, scoring in 1:53.1, 1:52.3, and 1:52.4 respectively. Two-year-old trotting filly Jolene Jolene (David Miller) equalled You Want Me's mark of 1:55.2 as well, completing the quintet of record established on the trotting side of the ledger.   Additionally, a pair of pacers entered the Tioga record books, with Sweet Lou's 1:48.3 triumph in the Roll With Joe on Sunday, June 1 (Ron Pierce aboard) equalling Shark Gesture's past mark for older pacing entires. Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill, Jr.) set a new record outright for two-year-old pacing fillies, proving victorious in 1:52.1.   Jim Marohn, Jr. claimed his third consecutive driving title with 91 wins on the meet, 13 more than runner-up Aaron Byron. Top training honors went to Mike Deters, who took his second training title and first outright with 33 wins. Normand Fluet and Gail Wrubel finished in a dead heat for second with 20 wins apiece.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

A field of seven winners over $25,000 lifetime pacers lined up behind the starter on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The harness racing wagering public placed their support behind last weeks winner at this class, the Ron Burke trainee Speed Again (George Brennan). At the start, it was Sparky Mark (Corey Callahan) moving out for the lead, with the favorite Speed Again finding a spot in third from the far outside post, in a fast opening quarter of 26.2. Speed Again quickly quarter-brushed however, and seized command before the half, which went in 54.1 (27.4). There was no rest for the favorite however, as the Mike Watson trainee Colby Jate ( Geo Napolitano Jr.) moved first over to challenge the leader, by three-quarters in 1:21.4 (27.3). The speed backed down in the stretch however, as Musselsfrmbrussels (Ron Pierce) who sat third over the entire middle half, swept on by, winning by a head in 1:49.3. Speed Again held gamely for second, while Sparky Mark finished third. Musselsfrmbrussels is owned by Allard Racing, Yves Sarrazin, and Ferme Bureau Et Fils Senc, and is trained by Rene Allard. The winner paid $26.80, keying an exacta that paid $108.60, and a trifecta that paid $316.80. Michael Bozich  

Bigtown Hero set a new world record for aged harness racing geldings on the pace in a Preferred Handicap victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven as the 8-5 second choice, Bigtown Hero (American Ideal-Art Account), a 6-year-old gelding from the Rene Allard barn, burned his way to the early lead. Driver Ron Pierce decided to cut the gelding loose, creating unforgiving fractions of 26:3, 53:3, and 1:19:4 and a huge lead. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero started to slow slightly, allowing for wild closing rallies by second-place Aslan and third-place Dancin Yankee, the 4-5 favorite, that came up a half-length short of the winner. The winning time of 1:47:3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set by Foiled Again in June of 2013 at Pocono and then matched a week later at the track by Abelard Hanover. Bigtown Hero, owned by Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Yonkers and now has 9 wins in 27 2014 races. It was his 24th career victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $187,823. Earlier in the night at Pocono in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Sevruga (S J's Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 6-year-old gelding from the Kevin Carr, scored his first win since the spring by flashing early speed that held up in the final strides. The 3-5 favorite in a field of six, Sevruga, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led at every pole and dug deep late to hold off Wind Of The North by a nose in 1:52:1. Not Afraid finished third. Jim Beviglia

With smart and calculated drives by Yannick Gingras, Limelight Beach won the prestigious Little Brown Jug at Delaware, Ohio Thursday in straight heats. In order to win the Little Brown Jug a horse must win two heats on one day to be declared the winner. Both Let’s Drink On It and Limelight Beach won their elimination divisions and earned posts two and one respectively in the final and they both made the most of their post positions. Gingras left quickly with Limelight Beach with Let’s Drink On It (Tyler Smith) dropping right in behind him in second place. They went to the half mile marker in an easy :57 and then the action started to begin. Somewhere In L A and driver Brett Miller came first-over and gave outside cover to Beat The Drum but it was McWicked and driver David Miller in sixth place on the outside who had the crowd on their feet as they tried to loop the field three-wide at the three-quarters in 1:23. Then on the final turn for home, Gingras looked behind him, saw Let’s Drink On It right on his helmet and backed his horse up so that when they started down the stretch, Tyler Smith would have no room to get loose with Let’s Drink on it and the tactic worked perfectly. Once starting down the stretch, Gingras urged his horse home and they won by one and one-half lengths in 1:50.4. Let’s Drink On It could find no room and was a strong second with Somewhere In L A third. Oddly, today was the first time this year after 12 starts that Limelight Beach had won a race and then to cap it off winning the Little Brown Jug in straight heats. Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, Limelight Beach is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, the M1 Stable and Wingfield Brothers. He paid $4.00 to win. They had purchased Limelight Beach earlier this season and prior owners, Charles Wingfield and his brother, stayed on as co-owners. “We just had too much fun with his last year,” said Charles Wingfield, “And we stayed through this race right here. It’s amazing. I can’t believe it.” “I had two great horses to drive in the Jug today,” Yannick Gingras said. “People asked me who I liked better and I said Lyonssomewhere over Limelight Beach, but this horse came up huge today. He went two big heats today.” “We kinda got lucky in the first heat,” Gingras said, “but in the second heat he was tremendous, he was scary. I was looking at the program and I know there was not a lot of speed in the race and my horse the people had to respect his speed. Tyler’s (Smith) horse got out of the gate better than I thought. I kept my horse moving along. I did not want to go slow and he put in an awesome performance. Let’s Drink On It takes first heat of Jug Harness racing driver and 21-year-old local native, Tyler Smith, took Let’s Drink On It three-wide in the backstretch and was able to grind it out to win the $103,600 first heat of the Little Brown Jug. The race began with Lyonssomewhere (Yannick Gingras) shooting right to the lead from the start of the race with At Press Time (Matt Kakaley) grabbing the pocket seat. They raced that way past the opening quarter in :26.4. Then going to the half mile marker in an easy :54.4, Beat The Drum (Ron Pierce) came first-over to challenge and following his cover on the outside was Let’s Drink On It and Tyler Smith. Once they hit the backstretch, Smith moved three-wide with Let’s Drink On It and after the three-quarters in 1:23, had cleared past Beat The Drum and was coming after pacesetter Lyonssomewhere. Then half way around the final turn, Let’s Drink On It had collared Lyonssomewhere when Gingras’s horse went off-stride and had to be pulled off to the inside as Let’s Drink On It shied to the outside and Matt Kakaley with At Press Time just avoided Lyonssomewhere. Let’s Drink On It was able to regroup right away and Tyler Smith urged him on home to win by one and one-half lengths over At Press Time with Beat The Drum third and also making the final was On Golden Ponder (John Campbell) in fourth place. Let’s Drink On It covered the one mile race in 1:51 and at odds of 3-1 paid $8.80 to win. “He was good today,” Smith said, this horse ain’t got a real lot of gate speed. The way it lined up I figured I would be third or fourth and have to come first-over. But luckily Ron (Pierce) came out first and we were able to get a little cover until the backside. I was able to crossover by the last turn, but Yannick’s (Gringras) horse, I don’t know if I could have beaten him but we were gonna take a good crack at him. “I am happy to win,” Smith said, “and to be in the big race. It would mean the world to me to win this race. I would give back all the races I have won just to win the Jug.” Sired by Art Official, Let’s Drink On It is trained by Joe Seekman and is owned by Tina Seekman, L. Bond, H. Hewitt and V. Boido, Jr. Limelight Beach takes second Jug elimination Limelight Beach picked the perfect spot to win his first race of the 2014 season in 13 tries, capturing the $103,600 second heat of the Little Brown Jug. Given a masterful drive by Yannick Gingras, Limelight Beach was able to sit and draft in second place behind pacesetter and 3/5 favorite McWicked and driver David Miller. They went in Indian-style to the opening quarter in :27 and then easy half mile in :55.2 before the action began to heat up. Somewhere In L A and driver Brett Miller came first-over with He’s Watching (Tim Tetrick) following the outside flow to the three-quarters in 1:22.4. Then Somewhere In L A and McWicked were ready to lock horses down the stretch but it was Gingras with Limelight Beach, pulling off the rail, sweeping three-wide and looping both horse to win by a half length in 1:51. Somewhere In L A was second with McWicked third and Sometimes Said (John Campbell) fourth and making it to the Jug second heat. Trained by Ron Burke, Limelight Beach is sired by Somebeachsomewhere and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, the M1 Stable and Wingfield Brothers. He paid $12.00 to win. “Everyone is supporting trainer Brian Brown this week,” trainer Ron Burke said, “and we are just reaping the rewards from his work as we got this colt from him. Horse was good today. We knew he was better than the other colt we have in. Having the other horse (At Press Time) in the final too is great. Yannick (Gingras) thinks we can get to the lead easy. We have won two Jugette’s and hopefully we can finally win the Jug.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Delaware, OH --- Wild Honey trotted the fastest mile in history by a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile racetrack Wednesday (Sept. 17) at the Delaware County Fair, winning the second $32,323 division of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters in 1:55.2. The recently crowned Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion left no doubt about the race’s outcome, leading from start to finish at odds of 1-9. The fractions were :28.4, :57.3 and 1:25.4 with driver Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Hot Start finished second by 7-3/4 lengths and Gee O’Keeffe was third. Wild Honey’s performance erased one of trotting’s oldest records from the books. She eclipsed the previous best time of 1:56.3 by a 2-year-old female trotter on a half-mile track set by CR Kay Suzie on Sept. 21, 1994 at Freehold Raceway. The only trotting record to stand longer is Pine Chip’s 1:54 time for a 4-year-old male trotter on a half-mile oval, set on Sept. 18, 1994 at Delaware. In addition, Wild Honey bettered the mark of 1:55.3, set by colt Dontyouforgetit in 2012 at Delaware, for the fastest ever half-mile time by any 2-year-old trotter. Wild Honey is trained by Jimmy Takter, as was Dontyouforgetit. A daughter of Cantab Hall out of the mare U Wanna Lindy, Wild Honey is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. She was purchased for $35,000 under the name Can Can Lindy at the Lexington Selected Sale. Her family includes 1994 Hambletonian winner Victory Dream. Wild Honey has won six consecutive races since finishing second by a head to Gatka Hanover in her debut. She has earned $271,031. “She won all of her (PA Sire Stakes) legs and had just one defeat by a (head) in her first lifetime start,” said trainer Jimmy Takter. “She’s just a tough filly. She’s got it. She’s the real deal.” Takter said Wild Honey is on her way to Lexington for the Grand Circuit meet next week. “When I got a first quarter of :28.4, I thought it would be hard for anybody to beat her in here,” said driver Yannick Gingras. “At the five-eighths I just let her roll along. I didn’t really ‘let her go,’ I just let her do what she wanted to do. The 1:55.2 was all her. The plugs were still in. I didn’t dig into her. She could have gone in (1):54 and change.” Sweet Shurga and driver Ron Pierce charged through the stretch and overcame favorite Smokinmombo in the final strides to win the first $32,323 division of the Standardbred Stakes. Smokinmombo, driven by Aaron Merriman, led for nearly the entire race after vanquishing Avalon Hall in a battle for the top spot coming off the first turn. Sweet Shurga was third until the final turn when Pierce moved to the outside and followed Dancewithme Chuck into the stretch. From there, Sweet Shurga cruised past her foes to reach the finish line in 2:00. Sent off at odds of 17-1, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Sweet American paid $36 to win. Sweet American is a full sister to 1993 Hambletonian winner American Winner. Smokinmombo finished second, followed by Dancewithme Chuck and Yanks Ball Girl. The fractions were :28.3, :59.3 and 1:29.3. Sweet Shurga has won two of four races and earned $19,629 for owner Bob Key and trainer Norm Parker. "She’s a green filly of Mr. Key’s,” said trainer Norm Parker. “She goes back to the family of American Winner. (Mr. Key) always liked that family. I liked her when I got her. Paul Reid trained her in Florida. When I got her she was really green. "Her manners are her biggest problem. She’s very temperamental, but I think she’s going to be a nice filly. "(Since her break on Aug. 20) we did some field time. In her last race at The Meadows, Dickie Stillings took good care of her. I just did the same thing -- gave her some field time and thought I’d bring her here and give her a shot.” by Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French & TJ Burkett/USTA

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