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Hightstown, NJ --- When Clyde Perfect watched his cousin, trainer Ron Potter, win the Little Brown Jug with Big Bad John in 2011, he decided it was time to get involved in harness racing as a horse owner. Perfect -- who created the Perfect North Slopes ski area in southern Indiana nearly four decades ago and worked previously as a bricklayer, brick contractor, and farmer -- was a mere 78 years young at the time. “I’m just a rookie in the business,” the now 84-year-old Perfect said with a laugh. “When Ron won the Little Brown Jug, I thought, I ought to get one of them and let Ron train it. So that’s what I did.” Perfect, who lives in Indiana, along the Ohio River west of Cincinnati, raced his first horse in 2013 and has enjoyed his share of success over the years, with 80 wins and nearly $1.25 million in purses. Male pacer Ollie Pop won a division of the Ohio Breeders Championship and finished third in the Ohio Sire Stakes final as a 2-year-old in 2014 and filly pacer Pearl Crush won an Ohio Breeders Championship at age 2 in 2017. And then there is Zoe Ellasen, named after two of Perfect’s great-granddaughters. The 4-year-old female pacer has won 13 of 41 races and earned $245,465 heading into Friday’s $25,000 Fillies & Mares Open Handicap at Miami Valley Raceway. She is 9-2 on the morning line, with Tyler Smith driving for Perfect and trainer Potter. Perfect purchased Zoe Ellasen for $9,500 under the name Evil Woman at the 2015 Ohio Selected Jug Sale. She is a daughter of Santanna Blue Chip out of Spring Delight, who is a full sister to multiple-stakes-winner Bettor’s Edge. “She was raised by a guy I kind of knew and I didn’t think she was all that expensive, so why not,” Perfect said about buying Zoe Ellasen. “She’s done real well. She’s the best one I’ve had. As long as she keeps doing good we’ll keep going and seeing what she can do. “Maybe someday she will be a nice broodmare for somebody,” he continued, adding with a laugh, “That’s like buying green bananas, those broodmares.” Zoe Ellasen’s career wins include multiple divisions of the Ohio Sire Stakes series. She was third in the championship as a 2-year-old and fourth last season at 3. She finished third in last year’s Circle City, which was won by Agent Q, and she competed in the Jugette, finishing fifth in her elimination and missing a trip to the final by a quarter-length. Several races earlier on the Jugette card, Pearl Crush had won her division of the Ohio Breeders Championship. “That was really great,” Perfect said. “When I’m feeling low, I go back and watch the replay.” Of course, the Jugette is held at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio, which is also home to the Little Brown Jug. Perfect was no stranger to the Jug prior to Big Bad John’s win in 2011, but Big Bad John’s victory was not surprisingly the most impactful. “A lot of guys race all their lives and never get in that winner’s circle,” Perfect said. “I had family ties to the sport, but just never got involved until then. We had quarter horses when my kids were young. Not racing quarter horses, just pleasure quarter horses. I wish I’d gotten involved a little earlier, but it was tough with getting the ski area going and running that.” Perfect expects to have 10 to 12 horses, mostly Ohio bred, in action this year. “I just enjoy watching the horses race,” he said. “It’s been fun and exciting.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Sunbury, OH --- The 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale was held on Monday (Sept. 15) at the Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio. The sales topper was hip number 100, One Fine John, a black pacing colt by Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John-One Fine Cam. Ron Potter, acting as agent, purchased the yearling that was consigned by Spring Haven Farm, acting as agent for Gregory Triplet, for a price of $150,000. Another colt by Big Bad John also topped the $100,000 mark as Shell I Be Bad, was sold to Carl Atley of Xenia, Ohio, for $115,000. The colt is out of Shell I Shoot, the dam of the top pacing mare Shelliscape and Ohio star Shell I Attack and was consigned by Midland Acres. Complete results of the sale can be found at this link. From the Ohio Selected Jug Sale

It would be easy for trainer Ron Burke to be confident as he prepares Sweet Lou for Friday's $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park. After all, his 5-year-old pacer brings an eight-race win streak to the event, with an unprecedented stretch of speedy miles to go with it. But Burke knows Sweet Lou isn't the only horse streaking into the Dan Patch. Dancin Yankee, the last horse to defeat Sweet Lou, also is among the pacers in the nine-horse field. Dancin Yankee, racing out of the stable of trainer Amber Buter, brings a six-race victory streak to the Dan Patch. It will be the first meeting between the two horses since Dancin Yankee won the Van Rose Memorial Invitational on May 3 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Sweet Lou finished third, but since then has gone undefeated. "I think Lou is running into another horse that is racing as good as anyone in the country," Burke said. "I'm actually nervous. I think that horse is super sharp, career sharp, too. "There are other horses that could win too, but both those horses are on long win streaks. I think that's going to be a great race." Sweet Lou has won eight of 11 races this year and earned $791,500 for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. His wins include the Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, and Roll With Joe. His 1:47 victory in the Ben Franklin is the fastest ever on a five-eighths-mile track, breaking the previous mark of 1:47.2 that was shared by Dancin Yankee and Pet Rock. Sweet Lou has won each of his last five starts in less than 1:48, which is a record. He has been driven during his win streak by Ron Pierce. For his career, the son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future has won 30 of 66 races and $2.90 million. He was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer and earned $1 million at age 3, but picked up only four wins and $348,638 at 4. "I'm just so happy he's winning," Burke said. "It's enjoyable to watch him race right now. I've been such a believer all along and for him to do what we thought he could, nothing feels better." Burke, who on Saturday moved past Virgil Morgan Jr. to become the winningest trainer in harness racing history, also sends Bettor's Edge to the Dan Patch. The 5-year-old gelding has won six of 19 races this season and earned $421,781. He was second to Sweet Lou in the Franklin and Haughton and fourth in the U.S. Pacing Championship. Dancin Yankee has won 14 of 21 races this year and $315,140 for owners Baron Racing Stable and Rich Lombardo. The 6-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest won the preferred handicap at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in each of his last three starts. The remainder of the field is Thinking Out Loud, Night Pro, Carol's Comet, Heston Blue Chip, State Treasurer and Our Lucky Chip. "It ended up being a really good field," Burke said. Following is the field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Dancin Yankee, Tyler Buter, Amber Buter, 8-1; 2. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 6-1; 3. Night Pro, Peter Wrenn, Dale Decker, 20-1; 4. Carol's Comet, Aaron Merriman, Ron Potter, 15-1; 5. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 4-5; 6. Heston Blue Chip, Corey Callahan, Linda Toscano, 15-1; 7. Bettor's Edge, Ricky Macomber Jr., Ron Burke, 10-1; 8. State Treasurer, Jody Jamieson, Ian Moore, 4-1; 9. Our Lucky Chip, Trace Tetrick, Jason Miller, 30-1.  By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

ANDERSON, Ind.—August 5, 2014—A field of nine will be sent post-ward in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. In what may be the most accomplished field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m.  The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $500,000 mark.  The 2014 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $10 million and includes four millionaires, three previous Dan Patch winning drivers, two Hall of Fame drivers, and one Hall of Fame trainer. Bettor’s Edge, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud will make their way to Indiana boasting career earnings over the $1 million mark. Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, will drive Bettor’s Edge from post seven while Peter Wrenn, who won the 2012 installment of the Dan Patch, will start from post three behind Night Pro.  Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce, who was victorious in the 2005 Dan Patch Invitational with Maltese Artist, has been enlisted to drive the 4-5 morning line favorite, Sweet Lou from post five for North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke. With over $2.9 million in career earnings, the five-year-old horse is the richest horse in the field and is currently riding an eight race win streak, most recently victorious in 1:47.2 in the US Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands.  Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell, will make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in his second Dan Patch Invitational and has been enlisted to drive Thinking Out Loud for Hall of Fame trainer, Robert McIntosh from post two. Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.5 million with a record of 44-14-7-10.  Also joining the stellar cast of entrants as a main contender for the 2014 Dan Patch title is State Treasurer, with Jody Jamieson at the lines from post eight. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee has been tabbed as the 4-1 morning line second choice. A winner of over $750,000 lifetime, the five-year-old horse recently set a 1:48.1 Canadian seasons record at Mohawk and is the 2014 Molson Pace Champion.  Night Pro will play the role of local favorite from three for trainer Dale Decker. Night Pro, a former Indiana Sires Stakes champion, enters Saturday’s race after posting seven consecutive wins in the Invitational pace at Hoosier Park. The four-year-old gelding has won 22 of 30 career starts and has amassed over $350,000 in career earnings.  The 2014 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes: 1.      Dancin Yankee           Tr: Amber Buter         Dr: Tyler Buter     8-1 2.      Thinking Out Loud      Tr: Robert McIntosh  Dr: John Campbell   6-1                 3.      Night Pro                   Tr: Dale Decker        Dr: Peter Wrenn      20-1 4.      Carol’s Comet           Tr: Ron Potter          Dr: Aaron Merriman 15-1 5.      Sweet Lou                 Tr: Ron Burke          Dr: Ron Pierce    4-5        6.      Heston Blue Chip      Tr: Linda Toscano   Dr: Corey Callahan  15-1 7.      Bettor’s Edge           Tr: Ron Burke     Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr.  10-1 8.      State Treasurer        Tr: Ian Moore      Dr: Jody Jamieson        4-1 9.      Our Lucky Chip     Tr: Jason Miller     Dr: Trace Tetrick    30-1  Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch Invitational card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for Hoosier Park’s signature event is 9:30 p.m.  A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 will also be made available to racing fans in races seven through nine as part of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”.    In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.   Emily Gaskin Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist

A large crowd blanketed the apron for the activities and exciting race card on hand for the Back To The Track event. Carol's Comet and Aaron Merriman prevailed in the Saturday Night feature in 1:50.3. The John Pawlak $25,000 Open Pace was race seven on the eleven race card. John Pawlak is an Ohio native recently inducted in to the Harness Racing Hall Of Fame. He has worked at The USTA for many years in the communications department and has also been a track announcer. Scioto Downs held the race in his honor for his outstanding achievements and attributes to harness racing. Carol's Comet is a five-year-old gelding by Yankee Cruiser out of the mare, Modern Medicine. He's conditioned by Ron Potter for the connections, Whiskey Tango Stable, Martin Presser, Bill and Matthew Moore. He started from post eight in the field of nine, but that didn't stop Aaron Merriman from leaving for an up close spot. They pair found a nice spot, right on the front end and paced an opening quarter in 26.1. They had early company from Randy Tharps and Ardyne Ace, who cleared before the half in a quick 53.3. The pace didn't slow down much. A parked and pressing That'll Be The Rei applied the pressure to the three quarters and left Carol's Comet in a perfect pocket spot, again. The battling duo paced to the three quarters in 1:21.3 and Merriman waited patiently for the super stretch. Carol's Comet sprinted up the super stretch when given his command and just caught Ardyne Ace by a nose and a late rally from Special Forces and Greg Grismore rounded out the trifecta. Only three and a half lengths covered the entire field. From Scioto Downs Racino

The pacing and trotting two-year old colts and geldings took their turns for a chance at the $40,000 purse, in their respective divisions in the Ohio Sires Stakes on Fourth of July at Scioto Downs. I Know My Chip and Jason Brewer prevailed in 2:02 for trainer Jim Dailey and owner Kim Dailey. The two-year old son by Deep Chip, started from post seven, but that didn't deter Brewer from leaving for a good, early spot. The pair landed right in the two hole behind Cooter Dunn and Louis Bauslaugh.   They trotted the first quarter in a moderate 30.2. The pace quickened slightly as Cooter Dunn opened up on the rest of field and clocked the halfway point in 59.2. Going down the backside the pace setter made a mistake and I Know My Chip inherited the lead and trotted past three quarters in 1:31.1. The pair quickly sprinted away from the rest of the field and won the first division by four and a quarter lengths. Neely Dunn Super was second and Marvelous Chip was a closing third for trainer and driver, Marty Wollam.   The first division of pacing colts took to the stage in race three. A field of eight colts and geldings was spearheaded by a 6-5 morning line favorite, Gray Camo.   Gray Camo didn't disappoint his supporters, he was victorious in 1.56.1. The two-year old son of Pine Valley is trained by Ron Burke for the connections of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Richard Suda and Jason Meilillo.   Scioto Downs leading driver, Chris Page had the assignment from post two. The pair was unhurried in the early going. The tripped the first quarter in 29.2 and kept the pace moving on to the half in 58.2. That's when Page pulled on the right line. The cleared to the front before the three quarter pole, paced in 1:26.4. Nobles Finesse was sitting right on his back and gave him a run for his money down the stretch, but couldn't quite catch Gray Camo. Born Villain and Jeremy Smith were a closing third. Kick A Lot dominated his division for two-year old trotters by five and a quarter lengths in 2:01.2.   Kick A Lot is a gelded son of Deep Chip. He's trained by Jeff Cox for owner and breeder, Pius Soehnlen. There was never an anxious moment in this race. Kurt Sugg drove the colt like he was the one to beat. They set the fractions of 31, 1:02and 1:33 and cruised to an easy victory. Chips A Million and Chris Page for trainer, Virgil Morgan Jr.were second best and Chips Starr for Jim Arledge Jr were third.   Cornerback was impressive in his division for two-year old pacers, setting his mark of 1:56.4.   Brian Brown conditions the two-year old son by Feelin Friskie for Stephen Sexton of Xenia, Ohio.   Chris Page used the two post to his advantage and left for command in the field of seven. The pair were sitting comfortable to a quarter time of 29 and then an even rated half mile time of 58.1. With no pressure from the rest of the field, they paced onto three quarters in 1:27.1 and cruised to a three and three quarters length victory.   The trotters were back in action in race eleven and Crowned For Glory was minor upset in 2:03. Crowned For Glory is trained and driven by Ed Greeno Jr for Eg Trot Llc. The two-year old gelded son of His Higness kept his on mind on the prize and never looked back. Greeno guided the colt to an easy quarter of 30 seconds and then let him trot an easier second quarter in 31.4. With the young, green colts making their miscues, the pair just trotted along leisurely and clocked the three quarter mark in 1.33.1. Greeno and Crowned For Glory went to work in the final quarter, trotted in 29.4, when the pacing bred trotter, Frisk The Town came out of the pocket spot and started to close in on the leader.   The battle down the stretch came to a hault when Frisk The Town made a break and secured the win for Crowned For Glory. Frisk The Town for trainer and driver, Ammon Hershberger was second and Lanterns Chip completed the trifecta. Ollie Pop capped of the Ohio Sires Stakes action in race 12 with a 1:57 performance.   Ollie Pop is a bay colt by Feelin Friskie and is owned by Clyde Perfect of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Ollie Pop was driven by National Leading Driver, Aaron Merriman for trainer Ron Potter and started from post two in the field of seven.   Merriman steered the colt to an early third spot position. The quick opening fraction of 28.4, left Merriman content to sit tight. The paced on to the half mile mark in 57.4, set by Indian Spirit and Kyle Ater. Ollie Pop wheeled out to be first up just passed the half and would have to work for his first win. The paced down to three quarters in 1.27, but the colt dug in down the stretch and was rewarded for his hard work and valiant effort. Nashville Bound for driver, Ronnie Wrenn Jr.was pacing up a storm to grab the place spot and Western Coby was third.   Live racing continues on Tuesday (July 8) with a first race post time of 6:30 p.m. From Scioto Downs Racino              

JJ Hall and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.set a new track record for aged gelding trotters of 1.54 at Scioto Downs Saturday. The previous record of 1.54.1 was held by Dunkster, Hesza Laser and JJ Hall. JJ Hall is a six-year-old gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse and he's no stranger to the spotlight. He's trained by Ohio native, Scott Mogan for owner Doug Millard of Woodstock, Ontario. JJ Hall has earned over $240,000 and has racked up 21 victories in the 65 times he has hit the track. JJ Hall started from post seven in the field of nine after the scratch of Southwind Pepino in the condition trot race going for a purse of $18,000. He's usually driven by Kayne Kauffman, but Kauffman had one of his own trainees in the field, so Scott Mogan called upon Ronnie Wrenn Jr.for the assignment. Wrenn wasted no time as the pair left hard for early position and they found it right on the front end. The trotted the first quarter in 27.4 and grabbed a breather to the half in 57. Wrenn and JJ Hall were well in hand and trotted past three quarters in 1.25.1, the pair had it wrapped up from there. Touchmymuscles and Randy Tharps grabbed the place spot and Countmymuscles for trainer and driver Kayne Kauffman were third. The very next race on the 14-race card was the Filly And Mare Open Pace. TT's Little Lass and Jeremy Smith were a mild upset in a career best effort of 1.52. She's Shocking with post four was the post time favorite in the short field of six. She's Shocking was driven by Kayne Kauffman and they pushed the gate away, determined to set the pace. After clocking fractions of 26.4, 54.4 and 1.23.1, it was TT's Little Lass who was sitting in perfect striking position behind She's Shocking to benefit from the quick pace. She's Shocking finished second and Eve Marie Seelster completed the trifecta. Carol's Comet and Aaron Merriman prevailed in the $20,000 Open Pace in 1.50.4. Carol's Comet is a five-year-old gelded son of Yankee Cruiser. He's trained by Ron Potter for his connections. Carol's Comet started from post eight in the field of nine, but Merriman still said let's go when the wings folded. They landed right in the two hole behind the 6/5 favorite, Rockin Wizard, driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Rockin Wizard set the hot fractions of 26.2, 55.3 and 1.23.1, but couldn't fend off the closing Carol's Comet when he ducked in to the super stretch. Rockin Wizard and Special Forces for driver, Greg Grismore couldn't be split, it was a deadheat for place. Racing continues on Tuesday (July 1) With a first race post time of 6:30. From Scioto Downs Racino  

WASHINGTON, PA, Saturday, June 7, 2014 -- A loser in all seven of his previous starts, Verbal Assault broke his maiden in style Friday at The Meadows, pulling off a 16-1 upset in a $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The event was contested over five divisions, with Brioni, Avalanche Hanover, Invictus Hanover and Status Quo taking the other splits. Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke teamed for two victories in the stake (Invictus Hanover, Status Quo) while Aaron Merriman also enjoyed a stake double (Verbal Assault, Avalanche Hanover). Verbal Assault wasn't sold as a yearling due to a chip in his coffin joint and was instead entrusted to the care of trainer Sam Beegle. Beegle and his partner, Daniel Courtemanche, liked the son of Well Said-Well Read so much they purchased him privately, only to see his career get off to a rocky beginning. "He's had all bad luck -- nothing good's happened," Beegle said. "Two weeks ago, a brand new hopple hanger broke, dropped, and he stepped out of the hopple. Nothing has gone right until today. He has a lot of upside." On Friday, he followed cover to the lead and held off the late brush of Barbarian by a head in 1:52.4. Bristol Bay was third. Avalanche Hanover moved first over down the backside, clearing before the three-quarters and scoring in 1:52, 2-1/4 lengths better than Dragon's Successor. Stone Cold Shark earned show. "He looked real good on paper, so I just let him do his thing," Merriman said. "He definitely has speed, though he was a little bit green when he got away from them. He needs another second-and-a-half, and you never know what he can race with." Ron Potter trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Anadarko Hanover gelding for Clyde Perfect. Invictus Hanover, who had endured a series of lousy post positions, hustled to the pocket from post 5 and brushed late to down 39-1 bomb Ivan Bob by a length in 1:53.2, with Jackson Brady third. "He's always been a beautiful horse to drive," Palone said of the Yankee Cruiser-I Sparkle gelding. "From the word go, he's always been a pleasure. He's probably a step below the top ones, but he's a fun horse that you look forward to driving. Having been over the track a few times gives him a big advantage." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Keith Pippi and Michelle Yanek campaign Invictus Hanover, a Hanover Adios Yearling Sale acquisition whose winnings left him $62 short of $100,000 for his career. In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Sam Hill extended his winning streak to four in most improbable fashion, parked the entire mile yet prevailing in 1:50.3. Twilight Bonfire was second, a length in arrears, with Lollipop Kid third. Greg Wright, Jr. piloted the 8-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $283,389, for trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. Saturday's Belmont Day card at The Meadows features the Bye Bye Bird, a $199,000 PA Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers. First post is 11:25 AM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Carol's Comet gets a new lifetime best of 1.49.4 in the Saturday Night feature at Scioto Downs Racino.   The track was lighting fast on the 5/8 oval on Saturday and with the perfect weather the combination was a perfect setting for great racing.   The five-year old gelding by Yankee Cruiser is trained by Ron Potter and owned by Whiskey Tango Stb, Marin Presser, Bill Moore and Matthew Moore.   Carol's Comet driven by Aaron Merriman received a perfect pocket trip off hot fractions of 26, 54 and 1.21.Merriman waited patiently for the super stretch after following co-second choice, Rockin Wizard. His patience definitely paid dividends when Carol's Comet cruised to a one length victory.Rockin Wizard, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr.was second and Royal Outlook closed late for the third spot.   Racing continues Monday, Memorial Day with a special post time of 1:00.The 15 race holiday card will feature Ohio Sire Stakes action for the 3-year pacing and trotting colts. They will slug it out for a share of the $40,000 purse.   Scioto will also have a Driver meet and greet prior to first race post time.We will also have our unique National Anthem presentation. This will feature the costumed, Starry Night Star and dressed reins man. It's an exciting presentation of the versatility in our Standardbred Breed.   From Scioto Downs Racino  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 22, 2013 — Carol’s Comet stalked wicked fractions from the pocket, then zipped by in the Lightning Lane to capture Tuesday’s $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Foreclosure N took the field through a speedy three-quarters in 1:22.4 but could not shake Carol’s Comet. When Aaron Merriman pointed Carol’s Comet to the Lightning Lane, the 4-year-old Yankee Cruiser-Modern Medicine gelding poured through and downed Foreclosure N by 3/4 lengths in 1:50.2, matching his career best. Perrito Caliente earned show. Ron Potter trains Carol’s Comet, who now boasts $215,114 in lifetime earnings, for Whiskey Tango Stable, Martin Presser, Bill Moore and Matthew Moore. Dave Palone drove four winners and Mike Wilder three on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 16 – The 68th edition of the prestigious Little Brown Jug will be taking place this Thursday in Delaware, Ohio. Nineteen sophomore pacers will contest three eliminations with many Canadian connections taking part in the action. Vegas Vacation, the early favourite to win the ‘Jug,’ is trained by Casie Coleman of Cambridge and owned by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Adriano Sorella of Milton, Phyllis Saunders of Hamilton and Anthony Beaten of Waterdown. Coleman will be looking for back-to-back Jug championships after capturing last year’s edition with Michaels Power, driven by Scott Zeron from Oakville. The star pacer has banked $554,310 this season along with a 7-3-1 record from 13 starts in 2013. The son of Bettors Delight is fresh off a victory in the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk. The $32,000 yearling purchase also captured the Empire Breeders Championship and finished second in the Hempt and Adios this season. He will be driven by Brian Sears from post five in the first elimination. He has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favourite. Coleman’s other entry, Lucan Hanover, will begin from post four for driver David Miller. The son of Western Ideal took his 1:48.3 life’s best in the New Jersey Classic earlier this season at The Meadowlands. The swift pacer has a 6-1-2 record from 12 starts this season along with $216,908 in seasonal earnings. West Wins Stable also shares ownership with Christine Calhoun of Chatham. Last year’s Breeders Crown winner, Rockin Amadeus will look to give Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter his second Little Brown Jug triumph. Owned and bred by Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Rockin Amadeus boasts a 3-0-3 record from 11 starts this season. The talented pacer is fresh off a 1:53.1 victory at Yonkers Racetrack for regular pilot Yannick Gingras. Sired by the late Rocknroll Hanover, Rockin Amadeus has $615,107 in career earnings. Oakville resident and defending champion Scott Zeron will look for back-to-back Jug trophies when he begins with Mach It So in the second elimination. Trained by Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman, Mach It So has found the winners circle first in eight of 12 starts this season along with $347,575 in earnings. The son of Ontario-sired Mach Three will begin from post two in the second elimination. Also in that elim will be the Canadian-owned Word Power and Urbanite Hanover. Word Power is owned by Brad Grant of Milton, while Jody Jamieson of Moffat will be at the helm. The talented son of Western Ideal has a 4-2-2 record in 10 starts this season along with $225,802 in earnings. Word Power will start from post six. Urbanite Hanover, who will begin from the outside post seven, is trained by John Williamson of Waterdown. He also owns a piece of the horse with Daniel Haist of Ridgeville. Also a son of Western Ideal, Urbanite Hanover will look for his third victory this season. The final two Canadian starters in the third elim are Resistance Futile and Sunfire Blue Chip. Resistance Futile will begin from post two for trainer Blair Burgess of Campbellville. He has co-ownership with Champagne Stable of Toronto, James Walker of Port Perry and Deo Velente Farm of New Jersey. The speedy son of Real Desire has a 6-2-2- record from 17 starts this season and $174,991 in earnings. He took his 1:49.2 lifetime best earlier this year. Sunfire Blue Chip, who is installed as the 2-1 morning line favourite in his elimination, is co-owned by Toronto’s John Fielding, his brother, Jim, and R A W Equine Inc, of Burlington. The son of American Ideal has a terrific 6-1-2 record from 12 starts and $448,830 in earnings. Yannick Gingras will be at the helm from post three. The top three horses in each of the elimination races will advance to the $265,224 second heat. If an elimination winner scores in the second heat, he will be the Jug winner. Otherwise, the four heat-winners will return for a $110,510 race-off. The fields will line up as follows: $58,939 First Elimination HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Eddie Sweat - Dan Noble - Edward Zubkoff, Jr. - 20-1 2. Lonewolf Currier - Dave Palone - Kevin McDermott - 4-1 3. Rockin Amadeus - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 5-2 4. Right Touch - Ray Paver-Ray Paver - 6-1 5. Vegas Vacation - Brian Sears - Casie Coleman - 2-1 6. Wake Up Peter - Ron Pierce - Tony Alagna - 8-1 $58,939 Second Elimination HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Ilikeitrealhot - Matt Kakaley - Ron Potter - 15-1 2. Mach It So - Scott Zeron - Nifty Norman - 4-1 3. Emeritus Maximus - Tim Tetrick - Tony Alagna - 8-1 4. Lucan Hanover - David Miller - Casie Coleman - 5-2 5. Beach Memories - David Miller - Brian Brown - 6-1 6. Word Power - Jody Jamieson - Larry Remmen - 5-1 7. Urbanite Hanover - Tim Tetrick - John Williamson - 12-1 $58,939 Third Elimination HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Twilight Bonfire - John Campbell - Danny Collins - 5-2 2. Resistance Futile - Andy Miller - Blair Burgess - 10-1 3. Sunfire Blue Chip - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4. Johny Rock - Andy Miller - John Butenschoen - 4-1 5. Odds On Equuleus - Tim Tetrick - Tony Alagna - 8-1 6. Only The Lonely - Matt Kakaley - Nick Surick - 15-1 by Greg Gangle  

Mach It So was a last-minute addition to the Little Brown Jug field, but trainer Nifty Norman thinks the gelding fits in nicely among the 19 horses entered in Thursday's pacing classic. Held at the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio, the $552,551 Little Brown Jug is the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown and requires a horse to win twice to be declared the champion. The top three finishers from three elimination heats advance to the second heat. If a first-round winner also wins the second heat, he is declared the winner. If another horse wins, then a four-horse race-off is held to determine the winner. The last race-off was in 2000, when Astreos defeated Gallo Blue Chip, George Scooter and Profita. Mach It So, who has won eight of 12 races this year and earned $336,751 for owner Bamond Racing, is in the second of the three first-heat divisions. He will start from post two with driver Scott Zeron and is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line, behind Lucan Hanover from the stable of trainer Casie Coleman. Incidentally, the 24-year-old Zeron last year became the youngest driver to win the Jug, with Coleman-trained Michael's Power. "He's a good little horse," Norman said about Mach It So. "He won't get embarrassed. I think he fits in there pretty good. It helps when you draw inside like that. He's not the best horse in there, but I think he's good enough to get in the final and good enough to get a check in the final. "You need a lot of luck in that race, it doesn't matter how good a horse you've got. The best horse doesn't always win." Jeffrey Bamond and his son Jeffrey Jr. purchased Mach It So in a private sale last September. Mach It So, a son of Mach Three-Beach Dancer, is a half-brother to 2009 Woodrow Wilson Pace winner Windfall Blue Chip. Originally, the connections were going to skip the Little Brown Jug, but reconsidered when it was announced that top contenders Captaintreacherous and Sunshine Beach would bypass the race. Captaintreacherous, the defending Pacer of the Year who has won seven of eight races this year, captured the first jewel in the Triple Crown, the Cane Pace, on Sept. 2. Mach It So is the leader in points in the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series for 3-year-old male pacers, where he is 4-for-4 this season, and Norman wanted the horse to race prior to the Sept. 28 Super Final. "We weren't intending on going, but then a couple (horses) dropped out - like Captaintreacherous and Sunshine Beach - and the owners like to go to the race, so I said let's go," Norman said. "We've got to race him somewhere, so we might as well race him for $500,000." In his most recent start, Sept. 7, Mach It So was fourth in a division of the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Mach It So was in last place on the final turn, more than nine lengths from the front, but came home in :26 to finish three lengths from winner Fool Me Once. "He was really good," Norman said. "He just got a little bit held up, his cover wasn't that great, but the horse himself was very good. He finished up really strong." Norman doesn't anticipate Mach It So having difficulty getting around Delaware's half-mile oval. On Aug. 28 in a sire stakes event, Mach It So won at half-mile Grand River Raceway in a track-record 1:51.4. "He can get away from the gate good when you want him to," Norman said. "I think he'll be fine." by Ken Weingartner for HRC RIGHT TOUCH HOPES TO FEEL RIGHT AT HOME Delaware, Ohio, is almost home for 3-year-old pacer Right Touch. The gelded son of Always A Virgin-Touch Of Bogart was born and raised just 45 minutes east of the track, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, at the farm of his breeder and co-owner, Carolyn Brechler, and the family's Knox Services Inc. Right Touch has post four in the first of three Little Brown preliminary heats at odds of 6-1. He's coming off two straight wins, including a career-best 1:50.1 in the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes championship at Hoosier Park on Sept. 11, after four consecutive second-place efforts. He has five wins in 12 starts this year and career earnings of $448,404, made primarily in Indiana-bred company. Vegas Vacation, trained by Casie Coleman, is the 2-1 favorite in his Jug heat, followed by Jimmy Takter's Rockin Amadeus, who won last year's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers. "We'll find out Thursday if he's up to it, but we're all Buckeyes that own him so that's something you always look forward to - the Jug," said trainer Ray Paver, a Columbus native who is part of the ownership group, along with Circleville's John Rhoads Jr. "We don't know if we'll ever have another chance to get to it, so we might as well put him in." Paver says Right Touch's strengths include his diverse racing style. "You can really race him any way, but he's actually better coming off cover," Paver said. "He explodes coming out of a hole so I'm hoping he has one of those :25.4 quarters (his last quarter in a second-place finish at Hoosier on Aug. 21) on Thursday. "He races any way you can, it doesn't matter to him if he's on the front or coming from behind or first up. He likes looking at a horse, so I just play it by ear and see what happens when the gate folds." Paver will have to be on the lookout for what other horses do in the race, but beforehand, it's a different type of horse power he'll have to be alert for. "He doesn't like tractors," Paver said. "He goes to the outside fence and wants to buck and kick by them." $58,939 First Elimination HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Eddie Sweat-Dan Noble-Edward Zubkoff, Jr.-20-1 2. Lonewolf Currier-Dave Palone-Kevin McDermott-4-1 3. Rockin Amadeus-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5-2 4. Right Touch-Ray Paver-Ray Paver-6-1 5. Vegas Vacation-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-2-1 6. Wake Up Peter-Ron Pierce-Tony Alagna-8-1 $58,939 Second Elimination HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Ilikeitrealhot-Matt Kakaley-Ron Potter-15-1 2. Mach It So-Scott Zeron-Nifty Norman-4-1 3. Emeritus Maximus-Tim Tetrick-Tony Alagna-8-1 4. Lucan Hanover-David Miller-Casie Coleman-5-2 5. Beach Memories-David Miller-Brian Brown-6-1 6. Word Power-Jody Jamieson-Larry Remmen-5-1 7. Urbanite Hanover-Tim Tetrick-John Williamson-12-1 $58,939 Third Elimination HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Twilight Bonfire-John Campbell-Danny Collins-5-2 2. Resistance Futile-Andy Miller-Blair Burgess-10-1 3. Sunfire Blue Chip-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-2-1 4. Johny Rock-Andy Miller-John Butenschoen-4-1 5. Odds On Equuleus-Tim Tetrick-Tony Alagna-8-1 6. Only The Lonely-Matt Kakaley-Nick Surick-15-1 by Ellen Harvey for HRC  

Hard-luck Carol’s Comet won the last $20,000 Open Pace at Scioto Downs Racino in 2013 by a nose, in 1:50.2.  The hard luck gelding finished second the last three starts at the track but this week driver Aaron Merriman had a different strategy to make the outcome different, and make his way to the winner’s circle. “I thought I was in the position last week to get the trip and they told me he really didn’t like the passing lane,” said Merriman.  “I opted to go to the outside so I think I cost myself the race with the drive.  Today, up in the passing lane the horse really appreciated it, the shorter trip around the track.”  Sitting the pocket Merriman waited patiently during the first three quarters that went in 26.3, 55.2 and 1:22. “He’s very nice, a Cadillac to race,” Merriman continued.  “He really wants to go so that really makes it nice.  He’s very good gated and good behind the gate.” Audrey’s Dream (Tony Hall) got up for second while Special Forces (Chris Page) held on for third after cutting the mile. Previous to the evening’s races, Carol’s Comet had made 16 starts and had three wins with eight seconds and one third making $77,275 just this year racing exclusively at Scioto for Delaware, Ohio based trainer Ron Potter. The striking 4-year-old gelding son of Yankee Cruiser out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Modern Medicine is owned by Martin Presser, Bill Moore, Matthew Moore and Whiskey Tango Stable (Dawn Hornsby, Dawn Potter and Kimberly Rowe). The evening’s race card also held two divisions of the “Best of the Rest” which was open to horses paid into the Sire Stakes but were not eligible for the $150,000 last week.  Majesty Dream (Chip Chip Hooray-Donna L’s Hope) and Kayne Kauffman took the 2-year-old trotting filly division in 2:00.4.  Trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. for owners Up Front Racing LLC (Ed Mullinax) and Thomas York Jr.  She is now set to race in the Ohio Breeders Championship at Delaware on Sept. 17. The 3-year-old colt pace was the only other division to fill and was won by Dusto and Kauffman in 1:55.1.  The time was a new lifetime mark for the Stand Forever-Doctor Cindy colt who now has $82,540 in career earnings for owner/trainer William Hartman and co-owner Saundra Andre’. Even though the live racing season is over at Scioto, the racetrack will still be open for simulcasting from noon-midnight.  Racing will resume in May 2014, dependent on approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission. Scioto Downs Racino

Delaware, OH --- A field of 19 sophomore pacers have dropped into the box for the $552,551 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown, set for Thursday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware County Fair.   Casie Coleman, who conditioned last year's Jug champion, Michael's Power, will be looking to make it two straight at Delaware when she sends Vegas Vacation and Lucan Hanover behind the gate on Thursday. The last trainer to win back-to-back Jugs is Tom Artandi who won with BJ Scoot in 1988 and Goalie Jeff in 1989.   Vegas Vacation is the top ranked horse in the latest "Road to the Little Brown Jug" and comes to Delaware off a Simcoe Stakes record of 1:48.3 for 3-year-old pacing males on Saturday (Sept. 7) at Mohawk. The bay colt also captured the $257,250 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga in August and was second in both the $500,000 Max Hempt and the $450,000 Adios.   Trained by Coleman for owners Adriano Sorella, Anthony Beaton, Phyllis Saunders and West Wins Stable, Vegas Vacation has won eight of 23 lifetime starts, with $646,516 in career earnings. The son of Bettor's Delight-Don't You Smile has a 7-3-1 record from 13 starts this season, with earnings of $549,905. He has drawn post position five in the first elimination for driver Brian Sears and has been listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite.   Coleman's other Jug starter will be Lucan Hanover, a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare Lauren Order. He is owned by West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun. Lucan Hanover has won six of his 12 season's starts, with earnings of $214,919. He is seven for 16 lifetime, with a bankroll of $232,284.   Lucan Hanover had won three of his first 10 career races before Coleman put him in the Summertime Pacing Series at Mohawk Racetrack. He swept two preliminary legs and the final as a precursor to his lifetime-best 1:48.3 win from post eight in the $250,000 New Jersey Classic at Meadowlands Racetrack, his biggest win to date. In his last start, Lucan Hanover was third in a Simcoe contest at Mohawk. He is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the second elimination and will score from the four hole for driver David Miller.   "Everything is going great," said Coleman of her two Jug starters. "I trained both of them yesterday (Friday) and they are real good. After I jog them tomorrow (Sunday), we are shipping to Delaware.   "The draw was good; with six- and seven-horse fields you can't draw the eight."   Adios champion Sunfire Blue Chip will be among the other leading contenders in Thursday's Jug. The Jimmy Takter trainee has won six of 12 starts this year and earned $448,255. The son of American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical AB and RAW Equine.   One of two Takter trainees in the field (the other being Rockin Amadeus), Sunfire Blue Chip will start from post three in the third elimination for driver Yannick Gingras and is the morning line choice at 2-1.   The top three horses in each of the elimination races will advance to the $265,224 second heat. If an elimination winner scores in the second heat, he will be the Jug winner. Otherwise, the four heat-winners will return for a $110,510 race-off.   The exact race numbers and post times for the LBJ will be announced after the balance of the Thursday program is drawn on Monday.   For more information on the Grand Circuit racing, please visit www.littlebrownjug.com.   Below is the field for the $552,551 Little Brown Jug, in post position order, with drivers, trainers and morning line odds.   $58,939 First Elimination   HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line   1. Eddie Sweat-Dan Noble-Edward Zubkoff, Jr.-20-1   2. Lonewolf Currier-Dave Palone-Kevin McDermott-4-1   3. Rockin Amadeus-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5-2   4. Right Touch-Ray Paver-Ray Paver-6-1   5. Vegas Vacation-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-2-1   6. Wake Up Peter-Ron Pierce-Tony Alagna-8-1   $58,939 Second Elimination   HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line   1. Ilikeitrealhot-Matt Kakaley-Ron Potter-15-1   2. Mach It So-Scott Zeron-Nifty Norman-4-1   3. Emeritus Maximus-Tim Tetrick-Tony Alagna-8-1   4. Lucan Hanover-David Miller-Casie Coleman-5-2   5. Beach Memories-David Miller-Brian Brown-6-1   6. Word Power-Jody Jamieson-Larry Remmen-5-1   7. Urbanite Hanover-Tim Tetrick-John Williamson-12-1   $58,939 Third Elimination   HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line   1. Twilight Bonfire-John Campbell-Danny Collins-5-2   2. Resistance Futile-Andy Miller-Blair Burgess-10-1   3. Sunfire Blue Chip-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-2-1   4. Johny Rock-Andy Miller-John Butenschoen-4-1   5. Odds On Equuleus-Tim Tetrick-Tony Alagna-8-1   6. Only The Lonely-Matt Kakaley-Nick Surick-15-1   by Paul Ramlow for The Grand Circuit  

It was a dead heat in the 11 horse Open at Scioto Downs Racino Friday. Previous track record holder, if only for three races at the time, Bakin on the Beach and perpetual groomsman Carol’s Comet battled it out down the stretch and the judges could not separate them. The mile went in 1:51.3, and while it was not a new record in harness racing, it was a sight to see for the crowd that graced the apron at the track. Bakin on the Beach and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. tied the track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings just two weeks ago when he won in 1:50.3, but just a couple races later, I Found My Beach broke that record by one-fifth of a second. The son of McArdle is trained by Ron Steck for owners Bruce Soulsby and Mark Harder. This week Bakin on the Beach took the two hole trip to come up on pace-setting Carol’s Comet and Tony Hall. The latter lead at every point of call, leaving from the eight hole and hitting the opening quarter in :26.1.  “Actually on the front end last week, he (Bakin on the Beach) tried pulling up twice,” explained Wrenn. “But I really had to grab into him down the stretch to keep the horse next to me so he would pace on. He acted like he could pace a lot more, I just couldn’t allow him do it. I thought tonight with the two hole trip he’d win; I mean he did, but we just had to share it. He’s a lot better on a helmet or tripping him out.” The flashy 4-year old gelding Carol’s Comet has raced in either the Open or the Invite every start he’s had since the track opened, but it was the first time leading driver Tony Hall got the call. Trained by Ron Potter, the son of Yankee Cruiser is owned by Martin Presser, Whiskey Tango Stable, Bill & Matthew Moore. “He (Potter) just said he likes it up close but he’s never been on the front ever in his life, said Hall. “So he didn’t know how he’d be if he ever got caught on the front. But it worked out good tonight. “It was pretty close, I couldn’t call it. Sometimes I can tell, but in this case I had no clue.” Wrenn “thought Tony held on to be honest. But I was happy to hear the dead heat.” There will be no racing Saturday due to the Jamey Johnson concert that is set up on the track. Racing will resume next week with a 6:30 p.m. post time for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; a 1:00 p.m. post for Saturday and a special Sunday card with first post at 5:00 p.m. Highlighting the week’s racing card will be the Ohio State Fair races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for 2 and 3-year-old Ohio bred horses. Scioto Downs Racino

If the first mile for the 2013 Scioto Downs Racino harness racing meet was any indication, the season should be on fire.

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