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Columbus, OH - Four divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes 3-year-olds battled Saturday night at Scioto Downs, each vying for a purse of $40,000 in the fourth leg of this series for Buckeye-bred colt and gelding trotters and pacers. Indian Spirit prevailed in the first pacing division over rival Gray Camo in 1:52.4. The Tyler's Big Mark gelding was guided by Kyle Ater for his father, trainer Dan Ater and owner Greg Forcum of Chillicothe, OH. "This is the best horse I've ever had," an excited Forcum said in the Scioto Downs winner's circle. "This horse has a ton of heart and just never gives up. He loves chasing horses." Bred by Bruce Lane, Indian Spirit pushed his seasonal earnings to $86,810 with the win, his sixth of the season in ten starts. Lifetime, he has $121,219 in his bank account. "I turned him over to Dan (trainer Ater) late last season," Forcum explained modestly. "I thought he was a little bit better horse than I needed to be fooling with and that it might be better to give him to Dan, who has a lot more experience with top horses than I do." After eventual third-place finisher Gray Camo (Chris Page) led the field through fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.3, the younger Ater pulled his charge first over and the pacer responded with a solid burst of speed that put him two lengths in front at the wire. Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was third. Indian Spirit has now won the second, third and fourth leg of his OSS contests. The second OSS pacing division saw 4-5 favorite Imtoofastforyou and Josh Sutton emerge victorious with a 1:54 clocking. The son of Mantacular-Lady Camette-Artsplace hails from the powerful Virgil Morgan, Jr. Stable and notched career win two in his ninth try. Unraced at two, Imtoofastforyou--who was bred by Midland Acres--pushed his career earnings to $54,150. "He had some knees that were open and he just wasn't ready to race last season," noted Morgan, Jr. "And he was an orangutan to deal with as a youngster, so we gelded him, and that's helped his attitude tremendously. Unlike some of these colts, he didn't have a lot of time to prepare for this season either mentally or physically, and so he's really come a long way." Owned by Carl Howard, Powell, OH; Gerrie Tucker, Montreal, QC, CA; and Brian Kohen, Dayton; Imtoofastforyou maintained his cool despite a recall caused by Nobles Finesse. Once the wings sprang, the bay colt took the lead and never looked back, snapping off fractions of :28, :57.2, and 1:28.3 before posting a three-quarter victory over Nobles Finesse (Kurt Sugg) and Chief Talkalot (Aaron Merriman). I Know My Chip and Chris Page captured the first of two $40,000 OSS trotting divisions handily in 1:55. The gelded son of Deep Chip-Madeline's Crown-Pegasus Spur was bred by Ohio's Kim Dailey and is trained by Ronnie Burke. "This horse has just gotten better and better as the season goes on," Burke stressed. "He's turned out to be a much better horse than I originally thought." This was I Know My Chip's second win in OSS competition in 2015 and pushed his seasonal earnings to $132,875 and his career totals to $238,278 for owners Burke Racing Stable of Frerickestown, PA; Weaver Bruscemi, Cannonsburg, PA; and Paul Collura of Mountain Top, PA. He now has nine checks in all ten starts this season. The brown gelding, a 1-5 shot, took the lead away from the hard-trying Neely's Messenger (Mike Wilder) at the :58 half, and never looked back, posting a 3½ length triumph. The aforementioned rival held on for second, while Reel Deep Chip (Kayne Kauffman) was third, followed by Kick A Lot (Kurt Sugg) and Chips Starr (Hugh Beatty). It was an emotional, tear-feared winner's circle that welcomed No Whip Chip for a well-deserved photo after a gate to wire triumph in 1:57.1. The son of Victory Sam-Merediths Hope-Master Lavec notched his third win in eight starts for trainer-driver Dan Noble and his mother, owner Debbie Noble. "These are happy tears," Debbie Noble explained. "This horse belongs to a group of youngsters that Chip (the late Sam Noble III) bred and raised. He raced this horse's parents and to win with this colt is just even more emotional than it would be normally because I know he wanted so much to be here, to see what this colt has become. We feel so blessed to have this horse and we feel sure that Chip is watching over us." The victory pushed No Whip Chip's lifetime earnings to $60,440 as he nailed down his third lifetime win in eight starts. Unraced as a freshman, the bay gelding has missed only one check in his career. My Friend Jim (Jeremy Smith) was second, followed by Cooter Dunn (Louis Bauslaugh). Ohio Sires Stakes for freshmen colts and filly of both gaits continue next weekend (Sept. 4 & 5) at Scioto Downs, while the $225,000 Championships for all 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be contested on Saturday, Sept. 12 during Super Night festivities at the five-eighth's mile oval. By Kimberly Rinker, for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

Columbus, OH - Driver Dan Noble had a stellar night of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) action, piloting three of the four divisional winners at Scioto Downs on Aug. 28. The 32-year-old Kettering, Ohio native piloted both of the pacing and one of the 3-year-old trotting filly victresses for Buckeye-bred distaffs. Longshot E Ticket Ride was Noble's first score, as he guided the daughter of Feelin Friskie-Double E Hanover-Western Hanover to a 1:54.1 career best clocking for trainer David Elliott and owner Bret M. Schwartz of Washington Court House, OH. "This filly got a little bit of a rough start initially," Noble explained. "She didn't race as a 2-year-old and David (trainer Elliott) really took his time with her. She was pretty green this year and is just starting to come around into form at the right time." Bred by Midland Acres, the big, chocolate-brown filly pushed her career earnings to $52,820 with the victory, the second of her career in 12 trips postward. Returning $14.20 to her backers on a two dollar win ticket, E Ticket Ride bested favorite Karlee Sue (Kayne Kauffman) by half a length at the wire, while the gritty Hailstorm Gracie (Josh Sutton) got up for third. In the first of two OSS events for trotters (Race Three), Noble steered another longshot--Song Of The Valley-- to a career best 1:57.1 triumph for trainer Christ Hershberger. Owned and bred by Philip Baldauf of Akron, OH, the daughter of Pine Valley-Surf Song Yankee-Yankee Cruiser bested the highly regarded and multiple OSS distaff Dark Roast (Kurt Sugg) by 1¾ lengths. Chip Chip Page (Chris Page) was third with a well-steered, come-from-behind effort. "I never sat behind this filly before," Noble said. "But before the race Christ (trainer Herseberger) told me that if I was able to get her out of the gate okay, he thought she'd be super tough in here. She's a good, strong, back-half horse and the race couldn't have worked out any more perfectly for her." Song Of The Valley pushed her seasonal earnings to $33,319 with the victory, the second of the season. Lifetime she's amassed $53,827 from 17 starts, with a trio of wins, three seconds and three thirds. Noble then pulled of the perfect hat trick as he piloted 1-9 favorite Crosswinds Cupcake to a 1:55.1 clocking in the second OSS test for pacing fillies. The daughter of Stand Forever-Keystone Mulberry-Artsplace notched her fifth straight victory for Noble, pushing her 2015 earnings to $105,690. "She's much more mature and manageable this season," Noble stressed. "You can do whatever you want with her now as she's become a much more versatile filly." Bred and co-owned by Crosswinds Farm, Waynesville, OH and Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH, Crosswinds Cupcake was put on the front end early by Noble and was never challenged, finishing 1¼ lengths in front of rival Sectionlinefriskie (Greg Grismore) at the wire, while Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was third. Her career earnings now stand at $146,362. In the second OSS trotting division, Like Old Times and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., came from off the pace to score in 1:56. The daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two-Royal Troubadour was harnessed by Don McKirgan for owner-breeder Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, OH, pushing her career earnings to $192,617. "I was a little concerned because of the soft first half (:58.1)," Wrenn, Jr. admitted. "But this filly does her job and raced great tonight. She's versatile and can race anyway you want her to." After sitting through a first-quarter panel of :27.4 set by Honey B (Kyle Ater), Like Old Times made a bold power move, grabbing the lead just past the half to take the field through a 1:26.4 third panel before pacing a modest :29.1 final brush to nail down her tenth win of the year in 12 starts. Her career earnings now stand at $192,617. Expresso Joe (Dan Noble) finished second by 2¾ lengths, with Honey B held on for show honors. Ohio Sires Stakes action continues tonight with four divisions at Scioto Downs for 3-year-old pacing and trotting colts and geldings. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET. By Kimberly Rinker, for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

The fourth leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) for harness racing 3-year-old trotting and pacing colts will be contested Saturday night at Scioto Downs. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET. Each of the four divisions will vie for a purse of $40,000. The $225,000 Championships for all divisions of 2- and 3-year-olds of both gaits will be contested at Scioto on Saturday, Sept. 12. Rivals Gray Camo and Indian Spirit will battle in the first $40,000 OSS pacing test, carded as Race One on the 13-race program. Gray Camo, an altered son of Pine Valley-Cg's Gem-Shady Character leaves from post two with Chris Page in the sulky. A winner of $129,229 in his career, the roan pacer is conditioned by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable of Frederickstown, PA; Weaver Bruscemi, Cannonsburg, PA; Richard Suda, Darien, IL and Jason Melillo, Powell, OH. Gray Camo was a $10,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Blooded Horse Sale and is a full brother to Pink Camo p,2,1:52.3 ($210,766) and Dibs p,3,1:53.2f ($218,698). A winner of four races as a freshman, Gray Camo's lone victory this year came in the first leg of OSS action on May 2 at Miami Valley Raceway when he scored a career best clocking of 1:53.3. He was bred by Charles Gajda of Volant, PA. Indian Spirit has five victories to his credit this season, with triumphs in a July 17 OSS in 1:56.1; on June 20 (1:53) and June 6 (1:54.3) in Ohio Breeders Stakes (OBS); and in both his elimination (1:55.2) and $30,000 final (1:54) of the Hackett on April 25 at Miami Valley Raceway. He'll be harnessed by trainer Dan Ater and driven by Kyle Ater, the conditioner's son. Owned by Gregory Forcum of Chillicothe, OH and bred by Bruce Lane of Frankfort, OH, Indian Spirit is a son of Tylers Big Mark-Bettacular-Mantacular who has $101,219 in career earnings from eight lifetime wins, four seconds and a pair of thirds in 21 trips behind the starting gate. In the second $40,000 OSS pacing division (Race Five) favorite Nobles Finesse hails from the rail with trainer Kurt Sugg at the lines. Owned by Dean Davis, Wooster, OH; Joyce McClelland, Zanesville, OH; and the Mullet Stables, Millersburg, OH, Nobles Finesse will be trying for his seventh victory of the season. A winner of $154,321 lifetime, the bay son of Feelin Friskie-Lady Lonesome-Nobleland Sam won an OSS leg on July 17 at Northfield Park in 1:55.4 and is a five-time Ohio Fair Stake (OHFS) winner in 2014. Bred by the late Ohio driving champion Chip Noble, Nobles Finesse has half-siblings in Lonesome Attack (by On The Attack) p,5, 1:50f ($386,929) and Lonesome Cruiser (by Yankee Cruiser) p,5,1:54h ($85,715), among others. Chief Talkalot hails from the powerful Brian Brown Stable and will have America's leading driver, Aaron Merriman, in the bike. This son of Feelin Friskie-Jardin Des Arts-Jeremy's Gambit has one lone win to his credit this season-but it came in an OSS on May 2 at Miami Valley Raceway when he was clocked in a lifetime best 1:55.2. The bay gelding is co-owned by breeder Steve Stewart, Paris, KY, along with Michael Robinson, Lewis Center, OH; Robert Mondillo, Delaware, OH and Steve Cheatham, Petersburg, TN. Chief Talkalot has amassed $83,642 in career earnings from a trio of wins, two seconds and one third in 11 career trips postward. A pair of OSS trotting divisions feature a field of five (Race Two) and six (Race Three) diagonally-gaited sophomores. In the first $40,000 test I Know My Chip, a son of Deep Chip-Madeline's Crown-Pegasus Spur battles Neely's Messenger, a Neely Dun-Fun Message-Carry The Message gelding. I Know My Chip is conditioned by Ron Burke, who co-owns the gelding along with Weaver Bruscemi, Cannonsburg, PA and Paul Collura, Mountain Top, PA. Bred by Ohioan Kimberly Dailey, this bay 3-year-old has missed only one check in all nine of his starts this season-and has finished no worse than second in the other eight, with victories in Ohio State Fair (OSF) and OSS events, with seasonal earnings of $112,875. Lifetime he's amassed $218,278 for these connections. He starts from post four with Chris Page driving. Neely's Messenger was a multiple OSS victor as a freshman, with earnings of $215,945 for owners Dale and Julie Ann Sweet of Toledo and Akron, OH. Conditioned by Marty Wollam, the altered son of Neely Dunn-Fun Message-Carry The Message won seven of eight starts in 2014 and this year has four wins, one second and one third in just seven trips postward. Bred by Ohio's Albert Yoder, Neely's Messenger has won a pair of OSS tests this year, along with OBS events and an OHFS in his last start on Aug. 23. No Whip Chip in the second OSS trotting division (Race Three) is a true family horse. The son of Victory Sam-Merediths Hope-Master Lavec is owned by Deborah Noble of Xenia, OH; was bred by the late Sam "Chip" Noble, and is trained and driven by the couple's son Danny Noble. He's been assigned post five in the field of six and will be trying for victory number three of the season. Unraced as a 2-year-old, No Whip Chip captured his OSS division on July 17 at Northfield Park, stopping the timer in a hasty 1:58.2, with an impressive :27.3 final brush. Cooter Dunn, a son of Neely Dunn-Sweet Edith-Stoneking-who starts outside of No Whip Chip-will be trying for his fifth win this year in 13 tires. Bred, owned and trained by Renee Bauslaugh and driven by Louis Bauslaugh, Cooter Dunn has $99,228 in career earnings from 10 lifetime victories in 26 starts. Kimberly Rinker

Four divisions of harness racing sophomore fillies are set to wage war on Friday night at Scioto Downs Racino, vying for $120,000 in combined Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) purses. A total of 15 pacing and 19 trotting Buckeye-bred distaffs will line up behind the starting gate, beginning with a first race post time of 6:30 pm, ET. Multiple OSS victress Karlee Sue headlines the first $40,000 division of OSS pacing fillies (Race One) for trainer and co-owner AL Tomlinson. The Novi, MI-based conditioner has harnessed the daughter of Feelin Friskie-Magical Jeanie-Magical Mike to $99,227 in career earnings for partners Dennis Stolz of Midland, MI and Daniel A. Mitchell of Novi, MI. Karlee Sue, a $20,000 yearling purchase from the 2013 Blooded Horse Sale, captured the third leg of this series on Aug. 14 at Northfield Park, stopping the timer in 1:55.1. She captured leg two on June 12 at Scioto Downs, timed in 1:54.2. Bred by Midland Acres, Karlee Sue will leave form post two in the eight horse field with Kayne Kauffman at the lines. Her seasonal earnings stand at $73,088. Rival Bell Flower will leave from post four in this same race for Chris Page and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. This daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye-Our Lady Countess-Artsplace was an $8,000 yearling at the 2013 Blooded Horse Sale and has returned $198,501 to her investors. Owned by Bruce & Patricia Soulsby of Powell, OH, Dean Davis of Wooster, OH and Carl Howard of Powell, OH, Bell Flower is a multiple Ohio Fair Stake (OHFS) winner and captured the first leg of this OSS series on May 1 at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:53.1 in wire-to-wire fashion. She has ten career wins, a second and one third in 16 trips postward. In the second $40,000 OSS pacing division (Race Five), Crosswinds Cupcake, a homebred daughter of Stand Forever leaves from post four with Danny Noble in the sulky. Conditioned by David Elliott for owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH and Crosswinds Stable Farm of Waynesville, OH, Crosswinds Cupcake has seasonal earnings of $85,690 to date. She won her OSS test on Aug. 14 at Northfield Park wire-to-wire in 1:54.1 and had won the second OSS leg on June 12 at Northfield in similar fashion, timed in 1:55. A winner of $126,362 lifetime, this venerable filly is out of the unraced Artsplace mare Keystone Mulberry, a multiple stakes producer. Friskie Lil Devil starts from post seven in this same event for trainer Brian Brown and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. The daughter of Feelin Friskie-Devils Desire-Cole Muffler won the $200,000 OSS Championship and one $40,000 leg of this series as a 2-year-old, amassing $177,266 during her freshman campaign. Bred by Midland Acres and owned by the Lil Devil Stables of Findlay, OH, Friskie Lil Devil was a $20,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Blooded Horse Sale. She won the $38,000 Hackett at Miami Valley Raceway on April 24 and has added an additional $52,924 to her coffers this season. Dark Roast, who has captured every leg of this OSS series to date for diagonally-gaited specialists, will start from post nine in this fourth $40,000 leg (Race Three). The daughter of Full Count-Edens Mardi Gras-Armbro Mesquite will be reined by Kurt Sugg for trainer Marty Wollam, and owners Acadia Farm of Canfield, OH and G&B Racing of New Wilmington, PA. Bred by Marvin Raber of Baltic, OH, Dark Roast has $118,288 in career earnings, with six wins, a trio of seconds and four thirds in 16 lifetime starts. She won leg one on May 1 at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:58; the second leg on June 12 at Northfield Park in 1:57.3 and the third leg on Aug. 14 in 1:57.1, with wire-to-wire ease. To date this season she has $69,245 in earnings. Lisa Jane and driver Ryan Stahl will leave from post six for trainer Scott Cox. Owned by the Parent Racing Stable LLC, Holland, OH and G Peters of Akron, OH, Lisa Jane won her OSS test on June 12 at Northfield in 1:55.4, leading at every post. The daughter of Neely Dunn-Vanilla B-Donerail was bred by Henry Burkholder of Homesville, OH and was a $10,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Blooded Horse Sale. Lisa Jane also won an OBS on June 19 at Scioto Downs in 1:56.3 and has only missed one check all season. She last finished second to the aforementioned Dark Roast in that Northfield, Aug. 14 OSS outing, and has seven career victories to her credit in 18 starts. In the second, $40,000 OSS trotting division (Race Six) Like Old Times leaves form post four with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. aboard. Trained by Don McKirgan for breeder-owner Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, OH, the daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two-Royal Troubadour has amassed $108,512 in seasonal earnings, and has captured two previous OSS series legs. Like Old Times won her last OSS test on Aug. 14 at Northfield, leading at every post, in 1:57. She captured the second leg of this series on June 12 at Northfield Park in 1:57 and won an Ohio Breeders Stake (OBS) on June 9 at Scioto Downs in 1:56.2. This 3-year-old lass has 12 career victories to her credit with $172,617 in lifetime earnings. From 12 starts this season, she's garnered nine wins and a trio of third-place finishes. Student Of Life hails from post ten, in the second tier, for driver Kurt Sugg and trainer Marty Wollam. The daughter of Full Count-Lynn's Slider-Andover Hall has earned $86,300 during her sophomore campaign, with five wins, three seconds and one third in ten tries. She last finished second to Like Old Times in that OSS test at Northfield on Aug. 14, but had previous won a $53,150 Ohio State Fair-Pride Of Ohio Stake on Aug. 7 at Scioto Downs in 1:57.3. She also won an OHFS in 1:57.1 at Northfield on Aug.1 and had won the first leg of this series on May 1 at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:59.1. Bred by Marvin Raber of Baltic, Ohio, Student Of Life is owned by Acadia Farms of Canfield, OH and by G&B Racing of New Wilmington, PA. Kimberly Rinker

As the most successful horseman in Ohio harness racing, Scioto Downs-based trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. has license to spend his mornings lollygagging in his loungewear and his evenings hobnobbing in the clubhouse. Morgan, 49, is the first North American harness trainer to reach 5,000 victories since records were first kept in 1992. His horses have won more than $47 million in purses in his career, during which he has finished among the top-10 winningest trainers in 16 of the past 19 years. Morgan has dominated Scioto Downs so thoroughly in recent decades that the track lost count of his consecutive training titles. After double-checking, it was determined that Morgan is on pace for his 22nd straight. Clearly, Morgan is the best at his home track and one of the best in his sport. But he can be better, he said. His horses can be better, he said. So Morgan will wake at his Grove City home at 4:55 a.m., as he does most days, and there will be precious little downtime until he gets home from the track late in the evening, as he does most nights. “Your top trainers, they’re all like that,” said driver Josh Sutton, who picks up most of Morgan’s drives at Scioto Downs. “But he’s more hands-on than most trainers. That means a lot. You can tell when you sit behind the horses and see how they are.” On a typical day, Morgan will have sent a mass text message to his employees by 6:30 a.m., laying out the day’s training schedule. By 7, he has made sure his horses’ racing schedules are set. By lunchtime, he has checked in with his blacksmith and veterinarian, reviewed any health issues and has been on the track for several training sets behind multiple horses. “I don’t require a lot of sleep,” Morgan said. Nor does he require a lot of praise or pomp. Although he did show up to an event in which he was presented with the key to Grove City in 2013, Morgan is not one for winner’s circle photos or for chit-chat, unless it’s with his teenage children, son, Tre, and daughter, Kiara. “Virgil just doesn’t have time for small talk,” said owner Carl Howard, the CEO of the Fazoli’s restaurant chain who has 20 to 25 horses in training with Morgan, including many that they co-own. “That can be something that doesn’t go over too well with people. He’s nice to people, but he has to move on. He has work to do.” Morgan bought his first horse at 17 and later started working for Scioto Downs-based trainer Randy Owens before striking out on his own in the late 1980s. Morgan’s horses won more than $1 million in purses for the first time in 1998. These days, Morgan can have as many as 70 horses in his stables at a time, with 15 or 20 more based at his satellite operation in New Jersey. Although he employs a staff of about 30, including assistant trainers, grooms and caretakers, Morgan is a hands-on horseman, priding himself, he said, on giving as much personal attention to the lowliest claimer as he does a prized invitational horse. The jogging cart and equipment bag are arguably his most important tools. Some days, the staging area outside Morgan’s barn can look like “a runway at LaGuardia,” with horses waiting for and returning from their spins around the track with Morgan at the reins, said Harolene Johnston, Morgan’s sister and administrative assistant. “With some large stables, and I’ve worked for many, if you pay Joe Blow to train your horse, Joe Blow never gets behind that horse,” said blacksmith Dave Thomas, who has been working for Morgan for more than two decades. “If you pay Virgil Morgan to train your horse, you get Virgil Morgan.” What comes with that is Morgan’s knowledge of the important aspects of harness racing and an uncanny ability to produce winners that has been developed by more than three decades of experience at tracks across Ohio. Morgan prefers to keep a low profile at Scioto Downs on racing nights. He will hit the paddock to chat with Sutton or head to the clubhouse, where he often sits alone with his reading glasses perched on his nose, a pile of paperwork and closed-circuit television controls close at hand. Morgan keeps close tabs on racing throughout North America, parlaying that knowledge into an ability to expertly classify his horses, making sure they are racing at the right place at the right time and against the right competition. He has long been a major player in the claiming game, never afraid to add a new horse to his stable if he thinks it can help his operation. Morgan, too, is obsessive over the equipment and shoeing setups of his horses, and is unafraid to try new setups or training regimens. Past successes don’t matter much if he thinks a horse can do more. In fact, Morgan said, he prefers not to know much about the routine or setup of any new horse that comes to his stable. “Other trainers see a successful horse and just keep doing the same thing,” said John Reichert, a Grove City equine veterinarian who has worked with Morgan for years. “He’ll change things up and see if it makes the horse happier. He’s very perceptive of what a horse is going to respond to.” Morgan keeps himself in prime physical condition, looking much younger than 49. He loves sports — he played football, basketball and baseball growing up in Grove City — and he views his horses as athletes. Morgan is big on sports analogies, comparing Sutton to a quarterback, his grooms to offensive linemen and himself to a head coach. The horses are his skill players. “And they can’t talk, so they’re tough to coach,” Morgan said. Yet, Morgan loves the challenge. He studies their blood work, their gait and their temperament, always in search of more speed. Horses have fascinated him since he was a child, when his late father, “Big Virg,” and uncle dabbled in thoroughbred ownership and were regulars at Scioto Downs. “He’s got stopwatches, the old kind, the silver ones, all over the place,” Johnston said. “He wants to have the fastest and the best, and he’s got a knack for it. He wants the best for those horses and he gets to know them very, very well. ” Howard said Morgan would never admit it, but he is a trainer who can get attached to his horses because he is around them so much. Morgan secretly hates seeing them claimed or sold, he said. Morgan’s bread-and-butter remains overnight and stakes racing in Ohio, though he has hit it big on occasion, training six horses that won $1 million or more in their careers. Mister Big was a two-time Dan Patch winner as the pacer in his division in 2007 and 2008. Pet Rock, one of the fastest pacers in the sport’s history, won almost $2 million before retiring in 2013. Both helped ease the burden on Morgan when Ohio’s harness industry was struggling before the legalization of casino-style slots injected new life into the state’s tracks in 2012. A new era was beginning to dawn, and Morgan said he finally allowed himself to step back and enjoy Pet Rock’s run. “Usually, when a horse hits the wire, I’m immediately thinking about what I want to do with the horse the next week or if there is anything I can do to improve the performance,” Morgan said. “I think sometimes I don’t enjoy the racing as much as I should or could, but nobody really cares that you won 5,000 races or $50 million in purse money. They care about the next race.” Morgan considered moving his entire operation to the more lucrative East Coast in the 2000s but elected to stick it out. Now, he trains all year at Scioto Downs, keeping his stable there even in winter. His presence adds panache. “I’m sure some don’t want to hear it, but there would not be this quality of racing in Ohio right now if he was somewhere else,” Howard said. “He’s brought in other owners with some unbelievably talented hoses. If he was gone, it would have taken a lot longer for the quality of racing that we have to come back.” By Shawn Mitchell Reprinted with permission of The Columbus Dispatch 

Zanesville's Richard and Joyce McClelland have owned harness racing horses for decades and can usually be found at one of the Buckeye State's county fair ovals, or in the Scioto Downs or Northfield Park winner's circle. On August 8 however, the McClellands saw their years of dedication and love for the Standardbred come to fruition when their 3-year-old trotter Pinkman stepped into the winner's circle at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ. The sophomore gelding had just won harness racing's greatest trotting event-the $1 million Hambletonian-with Brian Sears driving for renowned trainer Jimmy Takter. "We've been in the horse business for 35 years and we've never had anything like this," Joyce admitted. "We're just overwhelmed right now." While this is not the McClelland's first foray into the national spotlight-they owned two-time Breeders Crown champion Call For Rain 4, 1:49.3M ($1,065,919) and have a slice of the great trotting mare Maven 4, 1:51.4H ($1,756,996)-the Hambletonian is, in harness racing's circles, the trotting race everyone strives to win. "It hasn't really sunk in yet," acknowledged Richard, Chairman of the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund. "Winning the Hambletonian is great for Ohio people like us who don't have a big stable on a national level." Pinkman's Ohio connections run deep and his story actually began in the fall of 2011, when Midland Acres' Jake Mossbarger was looking for a few, well-bred trotting broodmares. A Capitol University graduate who had spent several years working at Woodland Run Equine Facility in Grove City, Ohio, Jake had a keen eye for horseflesh, and he liked what he saw in the Angus Hall mare Margie Seelster (6, 1:55.1s $247,483). "The fact that she was an Angus Hall meant that you could breed to any Valley Victory line; that was something we were looking for," said Midland's Jay Mossbarger, Jake's father. "There are good horses in her maternal line and she was a mare I thought we could make money with, so we contacted her breeder and bought her for $25,000, in foal, in November 2011." When the bay colt arrived into this world on March 20, 2012, he was the first foal out of his dam. His sire, the Cantab Hall stallion Explosive Matter, earned $1,510,542 with a 3-year-old record of 1:52.3 and had finished second in the 2009 edition of the Hambletonian, which curiously, was won by Muscle Hill with Brian Sears driving. Interestingly, Muscle Hill is by Muscles Yankee, who is also Explosive Matter's maternal grandsire. Pinkman-then known as "Traffic Jam," spent his early days romping through Midland's lush paddocks in Bloomingburg, Ohio. He was definitely a colt with a mind of his own, Jay recalled. "He was a sharp foal and turned into a much better horse as a yearling," Jay stated. "He had certain quirks-if you went to trim his foretop, for instance, he wanted no part of it, and he would rear up and strike at you. "He was a horse who always had his head up and had that look about him," Jay continued. "He could get aggressive, but basically was very laid back until you wanted him to do something he didn't want to do. He always took care of himself, and spent a lot of time relaxing in his stall. He'd lie down, get up to eat and then go lay down again." Ever crafty, Jay never underestimated the youngster's pedigree, which was certainly an indication of Pinkman's hidden talent. Fast forward to October 2, 2013, and the colt-now a sturdy yearling-is purchased by the McClellands and four partners for $77,000 at the famed Lexington Selected Sale in Kentucky, selling as hip number 207. "To sell for $77,000 as a yearling was a big surprise for us," Jay admitted. "I thought he'd bring around $45,000 or $50,000. Having Dick and Joyce McClelland owning part of this horse makes the Hambletonian all that more special." Renamed after a character in the hit TV program Breaking Bad-Pinkman was a bit cantankerous early in his training, but not in a mean way, Richard explained. He simply didn't seem that excited about training or racing. "Jimmy (trainer Takter) only called me twice with, shall we say-not so good-reports about the horse," Richard revealed. "The first time he called me was to tell me he thought it was best we geld him. With these well-bred colts it's not always what you really want to do, but he thought it best, so I said go ahead." Unfortunately for the young Pinkman, the gelding process hit a snag, resulting in an infection that caused him to lose both weight and his fitness level. "He became a horse that wasn't real high on Jimmy's list of those to continue with and he suggested we sell him," Richard noted. "But then he took him to Lexington for one last try, and he raced alright and was second." That was the beginning of a dramatic change in Pinkman's racing style. He went from trotting languid miles in 2:00 or slower to a determined 1:57 clocking in that Red Mile overnight on Sept. 11, 2014. And therein, began a journey for the McClellands and their partners that culminated in last Saturday's stunning victory in harness racing's biggest event. "After that Lexington performance, I asked Jimmy if he'd bring the horse to Delaware during Little Brown Jug week and he did," Richard offered. Pinkman rattled off another 1:57 performance, breaking his maiden in the $59,445 Standardbred Stake for freshman trotters over the Delaware half-miler. "Jimmy laughed after that win and said, 'let's step him up a bit now and race him in a Grand Circuit event at Lexington,'" McClelland recalled. "So we took him to the Red Mile and he won, and then we took him to Canada and he won there too." Pinkman captured a $77,120 International Stallion Stake division on Oct. 3, 2014 in a heart-stopping 1:53.3, then shipped to Woodbine Raceway where he captured the $463,690 Valley Victory Final in 1:55.4 on Oct. 24, 2014. He followed that up with a victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Trot Final, timed in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53.2 at The Meadowlands. For his efforts, the durable gelding was honored with a Dan Patch Award as 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014 after earning $566,960. "He's a very durable horse, easy to get along with and he doesn't win by much but he's always there," Richard said. Pinkman's sophomore campaign began in mid-May of this year, as he began a three-race win streak in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes competition. The only blemish on his otherwise spotless 3-year-old season came in a $25,000 Beal elimination on June 27 when he finished second by half a length to Wicker Hanover at Pocono Downs. "His blood count was a little low after that race," Richard explained. "It wasn't anything serious but enough to take the edge of him." Pinkman rebounded one week later to capture the $500,000 Beal Final in front-stepping style, timed in 1:51.3. He won the $157,250 Dancer Memorial at The Meadowlands in 1:52.2 on July 18, then stormed to a 1:52 triumph in the $370,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs on July 26. Then came August 8 at The Meadowlands and trotting's biggest event of the year. The McClellands, along with Pinkman partners Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John & Jim Fielding of Toronto, ON, and Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL watched the Hambletonian eliminations with nervous excitement, never doubting their trainer's confidence in the young gelding. "We have the majority of our horses with Jimmy or his daughter Nancy," Richard acknowledged. "We've been with them nearly nine years and currently have 12 horses in training with them." The McClellands did have one previous Hambletonian contender-the Cantab Hall colt High Bridge-who finished third in his elimination but a disappointing seventh in the 2013 final to the Brian Sears-driven winner Royalty For Life. Saddled with post ten in his elimination, Pinkman, with Yannick Gingras in the sulky, left hard from the outside, took the lead and then settled into second position behind stablemate The Bank (Johnny Takter), following him through fractional splits of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:23.1 before posting a :28 final brush. The final time of 1:51.3 equaled the world record for a 3-year-old gelding on a mile oval. The second Hambletonian elimination saw Gingras pilot the Ron Burke-conditioned filly Mission Brief to victory in a front-stepping 1:51.3, besting her rivals by nearly five lengths, with apparent ease. That triumph put Gingras in an enviable, yet frustrating position of having to choose between his two elimination winners. When he chose to drive Mission Brief in the final, it opened the door for Brian Sears to climb aboard Pinkman. "I tried to tell Yannick he was making a great mistake," Takter said. "Pinkman is such a fighter. He's not impressive, but he gets the job done every time. And I thought the filly didn't look as strong finishing as my horse did." Takter knows horseflesh and he obviously knew what Pinkman was capable of that steamy afternoon in East Rutherford, as the gelding easily held off the hard-trying Mission Brief in the final by three-quarters of a length-preventing her from becoming the first distaff to win the Hambletonian since Continentalvictory accomplished that feat in 1996. Pinkman's time of 1:51 in the final was also the third fastest clocking in Hambletonian history. The win gave Takter his fourth Hambletonian victory and his second straight-he won this race last year as both the driver and trainer of Trixton. The Hambletonian victory pushed Pinkman's lifetime earnings to $1,737,925 and gave the gelding his eighth win of 2015. He now has 14 wins and two seconds in 17 career trips postward for his Ohio, New Jersey and Canadian connections. "We'll have to wait and see what's next on his plate," Richard said of Pinkman. "The fact that he's a gelding does allow us to contemplate a lot more years of racing than if he was a colt. Right now we're just enjoying the ride." By Kimberly Rinker

Seven $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) were contested Saturday night, July 25 at the harness racing meeting at Scioto Downs. This was the second in a four-leg series for Ohio-bred 2-year-old trotting and pacing distaffs. OSS Pacing Divisions In the first (Race 1) of four OSS pacing divisions, Montrell Teague steered Miss Me Yet to a lifetime best 1:53.3 clocking for his aunt, trainer Brenda Teague and his father, owner George Teague, Jr. of Harrington, DE. John's Jessi Bird (Ryan Stahl) was second with Gorgeous Road (Josh Sutton) third. The daughter of I'm Gorgeous, out of the Western Hanover mare Live Inspired, was bred by her owner and Fannin Racing, Inc. and now has $24,800 in career earnings. Miss Me Yet finished third in the first leg of OSS action on July 3 at Northfield Park, timed in 1:57.2, but had won her qualifying debut on June 23 at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:56.2 and again on July 14 in 1:57 at that same oval. Big Bad Ashley got a perfect steer from driver Dan Noble to prevail by 1¼ lengths over John's Sunny Girl (Greg Grismore) in the second OSS pacing division (Race 5) timed in a lifetime best 1:54.2. Jim Arledge, Jr., trains Big Bad Ashley, who was bred and is owned by Winchester Baye Acres, Inc., of Powell, OH. This daughter of Big Bad John-Cruise On Ashley-Yankee Cruiser won her OSS first leg at Northfield Park on July 3 in 1:56 and now has $41,657 in her career bankroll. Queen Ann M had to work a bit to nail down her triumph in the third OSS pacing division for driver Chris Page. Trained by Mike Roth, this daughter of Big Bad John-Full Fledged-Grinfromeartoear recorded her second OSS victory in a career best 1:55, finishing 2½ lengths in front of the hard-trying It's Your Fantasy (Dan Noble). Upfortydevensgirl (Aaron Merriman) notched third place money. Bred by Jay Mossbarger of Bloomington, OH, Queen Ann M had won the first leg of this series in 1:56.4 in a come-from-behind effort with Page at the lines on July 3 at Northfield for owner Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH.   Last, but not least, Give No Lip scored a front-stepping 1:54.3 triumph in the fourth (Race 11) OSS pacing division with Jeremy Smith at the lines. The daughter of Big Bad John-Loyal To My Heart-Cole Muffler picked up career victory number three in four starts for trainer Ron Steck, who owns the young lass in partnership with JA Breece of Pataskala, OH and BA & P Soulsby of Powell, OH. Give No Lip sat comfortably through fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.3 before drawing off by 4¼ lengths over NPR Nine (Aaron Merriman). Harness The Hope (Kyle Ater) was third. "I wanted to be on the front with the filly tonight and not get into any trouble with her," Smith noted. "Ronnie (trainer Steck) has her figured out now and it makes it easy on the driver when she was as good as she was tonight." Bred by Greg & Holly Martin of Ohio, Give No Lip now has $23,195 in career earnings.   OSS Trotting Divisions Kestrel and driver Aaron Merriman took the first OSS trotting division (Race 2) handily in a career best, wire-to-wire 1:57.3, finishing 3½ lengths ahead of rival Count On Kami (Kurt Sugg) and third place finisher Angel Cindy (Brad Hanners).   The daughter of Triumphant Caviar-Blackrock-Credit Winner had won the first leg of this series at Northfield Park on July 3 in similar style, trotting in 1:59 for trainer Chris Beaver of Delaware, OH and co-owner and breeder Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH.   Merriman used similar driving tactics to capture the second OSS trotting division (Race 3) in a front-stepping 1:58 with favorite Kerfuffle Cookie, a brown daughter by Chip Chip Hooray, out of the Conway Hall mare Minor Skirmish. Trained by Chris Beaver, Kerfuffle Cookie pushed her career earnings to $40,000 in just her second lifetime start for the Synerco Ventures Inc., of Toronto, ON. Bred by Ohio's Lmn Bred Stables Inc., this speedy distaff had captured leg one of this series on July 3 at Northfield Park, clocked in 2:00.1 for the one mile test. Shut Up And Dance (Ryan Stahl) was second, with Buckeye Lady One (Chris Page) nabbing show honors. Belle'svictoryring led at every call to capture the third OSS trotting division (Race 9) in a career best 1:58.4, easily putting distance between herself and rival Eye Just Expect It (Kayne Kauffman) in late stretch. Oneeyedmomma (Kurt Sugg) notched third. Trainer John Konesky, III was in the sulky behind the daughter of Victory Sam-Belle Legrand-Striking Sahbra, who was bred by Midland Acres of Bloomingburg, OH. Konesky co-owns the filly in partnership with Patrick Konesky of Bowling Green, OH. "Her mile at Bellefontaine was a really big mile," Konesky noted, referring to Belle'svictoryring's 2:06 score at that county fair oval on July 14. "She's not a very big filly, but her heart is."   Belle'svictoryring pushed her career earnings to $25,901 with this latest triumph, her fourth of the season in five trips postward. She also has a trio of Ohio Fair Stakes (OFS) to her credit. Leg three of Ohio Sires Stakes action for 2-year-old trotting and pacing fillies and colts and geldings will commence on Aug. 21 at Northfield Park. Kimberly A. Rinker  

Sixty-eight 2-year-old Ohio-bred harness racing pacing and trotting fillies are set to wage war on Saturday night at Scioto Downs in the second leg of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) competition. Of the 68 distaffs that passed the entry box, 38 are of the pacing gait and 30 are diagonally-gaited Standardbreds, all of whom will vie for a $40,000 purse in each of the seven divisions. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET for the first race. Four OSS Pacing Divisions Miss Me Yet looks to be a definitive choice in the first (Race 1) of four OSS divisions for pacers. The daughter of I'm Gorgeous-Live Inspired-Western Hanover is an all-around family filly, as she was bred by Fannin Racing and George Teague, Jr., of Harrington, DE and is co-owned by Teague. George's sister Brenda trains the filly, and his son Montrell, drives her. Miss Me Yet finished third in the first leg of OSS action on July 3 at Northfield Park, when she was timed in 1:57.2. However, she won her qualifying debut on June 23 at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:56.2 and again in a qualifying test at this same venue on July 14 in 1:57. She leaves from post five against eight rivals. John's Jessi Bird brings a trio of solid Ohio Fair Stake (OFS) tries into her first OSS test for trainer Pierce Henry, who co-owns the filly with James Heiing of Ottawa, OH. The daughter of Big Bad John won her career debut at Paulding on June 9, was second at Ottawa on June 23 and was third at London in OFS competition on July 12. She hails from post two with Ryan Stahl at the lines. She was bred by Ada M Jacobs of Gambier, OH. The second OSS division (Race 5) of pacing fillies finds three daughters of Ohio stallion and Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John squaring off. John's Sunny Girl, Big Bad Bretta and Big Bad Ashley all captured their respective OSS divisions on July 3 at Northfield Park. Doug Hinklin trains John's Sunny Girl, who won her OSS leg a blistering, gate-to-wire effort in 1:55.4 with Greg Grismore in the sulky for owners Parent Racing Stable LLC of Holland, OH. Bred by Midland Acres, John's Sunny Girl starts from post two with Grismore aboard. Also bred by Midland Acres, Big Bad Bretta, a Steve Carter trainee, won her OSS leg in 1:57 for Ohio owners CE Grubbs, RB Reid, SR Hummel and JM Beard. She'll start from post two with Chris Page up. Jim Arledge, Jr., harnesses Big Bad Ashley, who scored in 1:56 with Dan Noble in the sulky. Bred by Ohio's Winchester Baye Acres, Inc., won her OSS first leg in 1:56 after winning an OFS on June 21 at Circleville by 7½ lengths. Awakening headlines the third division (Race 7) of OSS freshman fillies. Trained by Mike Polhamus and owned and bred by Marjorie Polhamus of Fletcher, OH, this daughter of Feelin Friskie-Sidewalk Sleeper-Jate Lobell romped to a 1:57 wire-to-wire victory at Northfield on July 3 in the first leg of this series. Awakening also has a pair of OFS victories on her resume, having won at Paulding on June 9 and at Ottawa on July 23. Regular driver Kayne Kauffman will be in the sulky from post seven for this winner of $23,076 lifetime. Queen Ann M, who was bred by Jay Mossbarger of Bloomington, OH, starts from post nine for driver Chris Page and trainer Mike Roth. This daughter of Big Bad John-Full Fledged-Grinfromeartoear stopped the clock in 1:56.4 in a come-from-behind effort with Page at the lines on July 3 at Northfield in OSS leg one. Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH owns the speedy bay filly. The fourth and final division (Race 11) for pacing fillies will see first leg winner My Tweed Heart leave from the rail with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., in the sulky for trainer Jim Dailey. This daughter of Manhardt-Tweedle D-Towner's Big Guy captured her first OSS leg handily in 1:59.1 at Northfield on July 3. Owned by Carl Atley of Xenia, OH, My Tweed Heart was bred by Stanley Swango, III of Florida. Challenger NPR Nine will have Aaron Merriman in the sulky from post three. This daughter of Big Bad John-Illegally Parked-Nobleland Sam was third to Big Bad Asheley in the first leg of this series, clocked in 1:56.3 for this same driver. She then scored a solid victory on July 16 in a Scioto Downs maiden, in 1:56.4. Ran Russo of Westerville, OH owns and bred NPR Nine, who has $8,800 in career earnings. Three OSS Trotting Divisions Trainer Chris Beaver sends out a formidable pair of fillies in the first division (Race 2) for OSS trotters. Both Kestrel (Triumphant Caviar-Blackrock-Credit Winner) and Evanora (Pilgrim's Taj-Nessa Rose-Chip Chip Hooray) come off solid victories in leg one of this series at Northfield Park on July 3. Kestrel scored a 1:59 front-stepping clocking with Aaron Merriman in the sulky to record her first career win, while Evanora used similar tactics for this same driver, timed in 2:01. Evanora, who is owned and was bred by Sandra Burnett of Wilmington, OH, has the rail and Ken Holiday in the sulky for this event, while Kestrel will get Merriman in the bike from post eight for breeder and co-owner Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH and Beaver, of Delaware, OH. Count On Kami, from post ten with Kurt Sugg up, will be trying for career victory number one. Harnessed by Marty Wollam, this daughter of Full Count-Joys Second Call-Call Toll Free was second in her OSS debut at Northfield on July 3, timed in 1:58.4. She was bred by David Vannatta of Mt. Vernon, OH and is co-owned by Vannatta and Wollam, of Vienna, OH and Acadia Farms Inc., of Canfield, OH. Kerfuffle Cookie, another Beaver trainee, looks to be the solid choice in the second division (Race 3) of OSS trotting fillies. This daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Minor Skirmish-Conway Hall romped in a wire-to-wire triumph on July 3 at Northfield Park in 2:00.1 unchallenged for these same connections. Owned by the Synerco Ventures, Inc. of Toronto, Canada, Kerfuffle Cookie was bred by the LMN Bred Stables, Inc., of Ohio. Aaron Merriman will steer from post one against nine foes. If she can mind her manners, Shut Up And Dance will be Kerfuffle Cookie's main threat from post six. The Dirk Simpson-trainee posted a 1:58 solid, wire-to-wire effort in the first OSS leg at Northfield on July 3, drawing off by four lengths. However, she could not stay on gait in either of her previous or last efforts prior to that OSS win. Owned by James Bafia of Minooka, IL, the daughter of Triumphant Caviar-Passport To Love-Yankee Glide was bred by steve Stewart & Kemppi Stable of Kentucky. The third and final division (Race 9) of trotting distaffs features a slightly more open group of ten than the previous two groups. Still Sizzling, who is trained, driven and co-owned by Dale Decker, along with Douglas Vandergrift of Lambertsville, MI, is the only filly in the field to have captured the first leg of this OSS series at Northfield on July 3. The daughter of Trainforthefuture-Spotty Too Hotty-Lindy Lane romped led from every post to nail down her win in 1:59.4 as the public's choice. Bred by Florence J. Wallace of Ohio, Still Sizzling will have her trainer back in the sulky from post seven. Leavinonajettrain failed to nail a check in her OSS debut at Northfield on July 3, but since has posted a 2:03.2 clocking in a runaway effort in a Meadow's qualifier on July 16. Driven by Mike Wilder, the daughter of Trainforthefuture-Loire-Daguet Rapids won that effort by 18¼ lengths for trainer Ronnie Burke-who co-owns her along with partners Weaver Bruscemi of Cannonsburg, PA, Jason Melilo of Powell, OH and Phillip Collura of Mountain Township, PA. Chris Page will drive Leavinonajettrain-who was bred by Ohioans Steve Bateson and Jeff Shafer-from post three. The third leg of this Ohio Sires Stakes for freshman pacing and trotting fillies will commence on August 21 at Northfield Park. Kimberly A. Rinker

Harness racing two-year-old colts and geldings went postward on Saturday afternoon, July 4 at Scioto Downs in ten divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS), each sporting a purse of $40,000. Six pacing divisions and four trotting vied over Scioto's five-eighths mile oval, with a total of 92 youngsters battling.   Big Bad Cam strode to victory in dominant fashion when he won the fifth OSS division (Race 14) by nearly eight lengths in 1:53.2 for driver Peter Wrenn. Harnessed by Melanie Wrenn for owner Dorothy Miller of Delphos, OH, the Big Bad John gelding notched his first career victory. The $26,000 yearling purchase is out of the Arturo mare Camturo, a winner of $190,615 in her career with a mark of p, 6, 1:52.2f.   "I wasn't really sure we were going that fast," said the winning driver. "This was really impressive and gives us something to look forward to."   Benda Teague's Trayvon (Randy Tharps) was second best with Love Tap Hanover (Dave Palone) getting up for third.   Friskie Cruiser paced to a gutsy, first over haul to draw off and win by nearly six lengths in the fifth $40,000 OSS division (Race 15) with Chris Page in the sulky. The Feelin Friskie-Corner Cruiser colt gave Page his fourth winning drive of the day and was the youngster's first career win.   "Brian Brown races all over the country and always has his horses ready," Page noted. "You have to give him and his crew all the credit for a performance like this."   Owned by Stephen Sexton of Xenia, Ohio, Friskie Cruiser bested Onefinejimmerjohn (Dan Noble) in the stretch, with Rocknroll Wildcats (Andy Shetler) holding on for third.   Carl Howard's Primo Giovani gave an impressive showing when he rallied to win the fourth (Race 12) OSS division in 1:56.2. Given a confident steer by Chris Page, the son of Big Bad John-Jk Reunited came three-wide around the final turn after sitting quiet through splits of :27.4, :58.1 and 1:27.1. He was harnessed by Ohio's leading conditioner Virgil Morgan, Jr.   "This colt started out very slow and immature and he's just progressively gotten better at the right time," Morgan, Jr. said. "He qualified really well and today from the eight-hole, he left well and Chris (driver Paige) got out at the right time. I'm very pleased with his effort."   Gotmoneyinmypocket (Randy Tharps) finished a strong second with Aloha John and Kurt Sugg prevailing over the rest of the field for third-place honors.   Smoke Up Johnny captured the first OSS division (Race 2) of pacing colts in 1:56 en rein to driver Greg Grismore. This son of Big Bad John-Leda's Twoeleven got the lead at the head of the stretch and posted a :28.4 final brush to nail down his first career victory for the Parent Racing Stable LLC of Holand, OH. A Yankee Feeln (Aaron Merriman) finished second, 3¼ lengths behind the winner, while Forever Worth It (Ryan Stahl) was third.   Whiskey Friskie and Aaron Merriman captured the second $40,000 OSS division (Race 10) in 1:57.1 for owner Karen McGraw of Pickerington, OH. John Ryan Melsheimer conditions the son of Feelin Friskie-Be My Lucky Star, who picked up his second straight pari-mutuel victory in as many tries, pushing his career earnings to $21,200. Mighty Touch (Chris Page) finished second, while Formula Three (Josh Sutton) notched third place honors.   Dan Noble piloted the Fred Huff, Jr.-trainee Nothing Fancy to a whisker victory in 1:56, in the third OSS division (Race 11). The son of Metropolitan-Jl Cruise The Nile is owned by Huff and John Fairchild of Portsmouth, OH. It was the freshman pacer's first career victory. Mr Wiggle Pants (Kayne Kauffman), who had led for most of the mile until the final yards, was a hard-trying seconds, while Turn It On Friskie (Randy Tharps) was third.   In the four $40,000 trotting divisions of OSS youngsters, it was Kanthaka who scored the fastest mile (Race 3), turning in a 1:58.3 clocking for Dave Palone and trainer Chris Beaver. The son of Triumphant Caviar-Elena picked up his second straight career victory in as many tries for owner Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH and his trainer. One the gate folded Kanthaka left hard and never looked back, with his closest rival One Hot Future and driver Chris Page some eight lengths behind at the wire. Dusty Road (Kayne Kauffman) finished a hard-fought third.   Chips So Fast and Aaron Merriman won the third OSS division (Race 5) for colt trotters, using a perfect garden trip to score in 1:59.1. This son of Chip Chip Hooray-Stable Creek Barb is conditioned by Ryan Angus for Mark Moger of New Hope, PA and Albert Delia of Newtown, PA. Chips So Fast bested rival Deep Question (Chris Page) by three-quarters of a length, with Triumphant's Chip (Tyler Smith) holding on for third.   Chris Beaver harnessed Lone Valley Sam to capture the first OSS division (Race 1) in 2:00.1 with Chris Page in the sulky. The Iron Duke-Wallaby Wannabee colt is co-owned by his trainer along with Synerco Vent of ON and S. Zeehandelar of Worthington, OH and D. Lang of Hilliard, OH. Paige used a perfect trip behind the pacesetting Lionbacker Kidd (Aaron Merriman) to sweep by him at the wire. Fantasy League (Dan Noble) finished third.   MJB Got Faith scored a mile upset when he cruised to a photo victory in the final OSS trotting division (Race 13) in 2:00.4, over the hard-fighting Another Breath (Hugh Beatty). Overdressed and driver Kurt Sugg notched show honors. The son of Trainforthefuture-Imageofasweetgirl is trained by Steve Carter for Breana Carsey of Connersville, IN and picked up his first career victory with the Scioto Downs triumph. Kimberly A. Rinker

The first leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes for harness racing freshman pacing and trotting colts will be contested Saturday afternoon at Scioto Downs, with a first post scheduled for 2 pm, ET. A total of 92 youngsters passed through the entry box, necessitating five $40,000 pacing divisions and five $40,000 trotting divisions. All but a handful of these colts and geldings will be making their career debuts. Trotters vie early on the program, beginning with the first race. Lone Valley Sam and Lionbacker Kidd both appear ready for their respective connections. Lone Valley Sam, a bay son of Iron Duke, scored a pair of solid qualifiers-the first a winning 2:06 clocking at Delaware on June 10 and the second a second-place finish in 2:01.3 at Scioto on June 22. Trained and driven by Chris Page, Lone Valley Sam was a $2,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Blooded Horse Sale. Rival Lionbacker Kidd's credentials include back-to-back winning qualifying efforts at Northfield Park-on June 11 (2:05.2) and on June 25 (2:03). This gelded son of Lionhunter will be harnessed by Joseph Kramp for owner Jeffrey Kidd of Hartville, OH. In the second OSS division (Race 2) Forever Worth It just might be, as he comes into this event with back-to-back winning Northfield qualifiers to his credit. The first, on June 18, saw him score in 2:00.1 and the second, on June 25, saw him pace in 1:58.1, with an impressive :28 final brush. Trained by Scot Cox, this son of Stand Forever is owned by Miracle Meadows LLC of Columbus, OH and Jason Ash of Delaware, OH. As well, Kathleen Prickett's Budman, a son of Manhardt, also has a pair of winning qualifiers to his name. On June 15 he tripped the timer in 1:58.1 and on June 22 he was clocked in 1:56.2 with his trainer Jeff Nisonger in the bike. In the third $40,000 OSS division (Race 3), two of the ten entrants will be looking for their second career victories. Kanthaka comes off a maiden victory in a Meadow's $7,500 overnight on June 23, when he paced in 1:58, besting his rivals by 3¼ lengths. The son of Triumphant Caviar is trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver and Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH. Also looking for his second straight triumph in this race is Esther Crownover's Nobletucky Joe, a son of Victory Sam who scored an impressive, 33¾ length victory in a $4,440 Ohio Fair Stake on June 21 at Circleville. This bay gelding is trained by Steve Carter. Chips So Fast headlines the fourth OSS division (Race 5) from post six for trainer Ryan Angus. This Chip Chip Hooray youngster brings a trio of Northfield Park qualifying efforts into this $40,000 test. Owned by Mark Moger of New Hope, PA and Albert Delta, Jr. of Newtown, PA, Chips So Fast has been clocked in 2:05.1, 2:02.3 and 2:01-finishing a strong second each time. This same event sees Triumphant's Chip trying for his second straight victory, having won a $4,440 Ohio Fair Stake at Circleville on June 21 in 2:07.2 for driver Tyler Smith and trainer Steve Carter. Conditioner Scott Cox will harness War College in the fifth $40,000 OSS division (Race 13) for the Parent Racing Stable LLC of Holland, OH and G. Peters of Akron. This Trainforthefuture gelding has a trio of qualifiers to his credit-the last on June 25 in a respectable 2:02.2 clocking. Also impressive in his recent qualifiers was Another Breath, who paced to a pair of winning miles at Scioto Downs on June 15 (in 2:03) and June 22 (in 2:01.2). The five, $40,000 pacing divisions get started later on the card, beginning with Race 10. First time starter Beligerent, a son of Mantacular who is owned and trained by Fred Huff, Jr. of Jackson, OH, posted a 1:58.2 qualifier at Scioto Downs on June 15, the fastest winning clocking of any youngster in this nine-horse field. Karen McGraw's Whiskey Friskie, a son of Feelin Friskie, also posted a winning time of 2:05.1 en route to winning a $4,440 Ohio Fair Stake at Circleville on June 21, while Miller Racing Stable's Donald Doc won a similar stake at Ottawa on June 24, timed in 2:04.2 for the one mile test. Trainer John Oliverio sends out Feelin Lucky in rein to Josh Sutton in the second $40,000 OSS division (Race 11) for pacing colts from post five. This Feelin Friskie gelding scored a winning 1:56.3 score on June 25 at the Meadows. Whataboy, who hails from the Virgil Morgan, Jr. Stable, posted a 1:57.3 winning effort in a Scioto Downs qualifier on June 22. This son of Big Bad John will have Chris Page at the lines for his pari-mutuel debut. Morgan will then harness Primo Giovanni, another Big Bad John colt, in the third $40,000 OSS division (Race 12). Owned by Carl Howard of Hilliard, OH, Primo Giovanni will start from post eight and most recently was timed in 1:58.3 when finishing third in a Scioto qualifier on June 22. Prior to that effort, he had won his qualifying debut on June 15 in a sporty 2:02.3, with an impressive :27.4 final brush. Another son of Big Bad John, Aloha John won a Northfield qualifier on June 25 in 1:59 for trainer Eric Hamlet, who owns the gelding in partnership with Michael Osborne, of Mentor, OH. Three sons of Big Bad John have winning scores to their credit in the fourth $40,000 OSS division (Race 14). Big Bad Cam and Prince Giovanni both took marks in their qualifiers-the former at Hoosier Park in 1:58.2 on June 13 and the latter on June 15 at Scioto Downs in 2:00.3, while Au Naturel was timed in 1:58.4 in his qualifier at Scioto on June 8. World Of Gaming, a son of World of Rocknroll, brings a pair of solid tries into this race, with a victory on June 21 at Circleville in 2:04.1 and on June 29 in a Scioto qualifier when he paced in 1:58.3 after drawing away from his rivals by four lengths. The final $40,000 division for OSS pacing colts (Race 15) sees Dash Of Grace looking for his second straight pari-mutuel victory. The son of Feelin Friskie captured a Northfield Park $3,000 overnight on June 24 in 1:58, winning by four lengths in a near wire-to-wire triumph. Kurt Sugg drives for trainer-owner Kurt Lepley of Mt. Vernon, OH. Trainer Jeff Nisonger will be in the sulky behind his Rockys World, a son of World Of Rocknroll who scored a 1:58.2 qualifier on June 15 before posting a 1:57.2 score on June 22-both at Scioto Downs. Friskie Cruiser, who hails from the powerful Brian Brown Stable, will make his pari-mutuel debut against these from post two. This son of Feelin Friskie paced to a winning 1:59.4 in a Delaware qualifier on June 19. OSS action continues for 2-year-old trotting colts with the second leg of this series set for Northfield Park on July 24. Pacing colts will vie on July 25 at Scioto. Third leg action for both gaits will be raced Aug. 21 at Northfield Park, while fourth leg contests will be held Sept. 5 at Scioto Downs. The $225,000 Championship events for all the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, during Scioto Down's Super Night. Kimberly A. Rinker Ohio State Racing Commission

Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II took no prisoners and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.3 harness racing victory with King Trut in a Billings trot at Scioto Downs on Friday night, June 26. But in doing so King Trut had to rebuff a strong late challenge from YF Crasher and driver "Marlin the Magician" Smith. "The complexion of the race changed dramatically when Steve Oldford's trotter (Bold Strike) made a break before the start which allowed my horse get away with soft early fractions," Ehrenberg explained. Bold Strike, the 1-2 betting favorite- was riding a two race win streak where he was victorious on the front end both times. However with him a non-factor King Trut and Ehrenberg were able to dictate their own fractions. They passed the quarter in :29 and by the half in 1:00 flat. However Smith had YF Crasher on Ehrenberg's back from the get go and when the two leaders rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt Smith had his trotter neck and neck with King Trut. They came down the stretch like a team hooked -to-pole but YF Crasher couldn't pass the pace-setter and King Trut valiantly fought off his challenger to score a neck decision. In third place three lengths further back was Hometown Jeff driven by Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola. King Trut, a 10 year old Self Possessed gelding owned by Aimee Ranger and trained by Chris Short returned a $19.80 win mutuel. It was King Trut's sixth seasonal triumph and Ehrenberg's 47 career driving victory. With his victory Ehrenberg, now with 24 points, moves into second place on the CKG Billings mid-west region leaderboard behind Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford's 45. In third placewith 17 points is "Lawbook Larry" Farley followed by "Hurricane Hannah" Miller's 16. "Bullet Bob" Davis and Kelly "Sky" Walker are tied for fifth, each with 13 points. John Manzi

A quartet of $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters and pacers will be contested at Scioto Downs on Saturday night, June 6. A group of 17 pacers will vie in two divisions-races one and 11-of Ohio Sire Stakes, while 15 trotters will go postward in back-to-back events, slated as the second and third races on the program. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET. Trainer Ron Wagner will harness $152,877 winner Western Coby from post five in the first, 8-horse field (Race One) of OSS sophomore paces. The son of Western Spirit is looking for his first win of the season in just his fourth start this year, but did earn $142,397 as a freshman and took a career mark of 1:53.3 en route to winning the $200,000 OSS Freshman Pacing Championship last fall at Scioto Downs. The Wooster, Ohio-based partnership of Larry Acker, Dean Davis and Wagner own the bay gelding. Chief Talkalot, who won the first $40,000 OSS leg on May 2 in 1:55.2 by a nose over Western Coby, is conditioned by Brian Brown. That victory was the third career win for the Feelin Friskie gelding, who now has $83,643 for in his bankroll for owners Steve Stewart, Michael Dean Robinson, Robert Mondillo and Steve Cheatham. Gray Camo, a winner of $116,229 in his career with a mark of 1:53.3 via his victory in the $40,000 OSS test on May 2, heads up the second OSS division (Race 11) of nine pacers for trainer Ron Burke and driver Chris Page. Burke conditions the roan son of Pine Valley for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Richard Suda and Jason Melilo. The venerable gelding pushed his lifetime earnings to $116,229 with the victory, the fifth of his career in 11 starts. Seven trotters make up the first OSS division (race 2) for sophomores. All but the Jeff Cox-trained Kick A Lot will be looking for their first victory of 2015. The son of Deep Chip-Chip Mac's Dream-BJ's Mac scored his lone win this season on May 18 when he won a Northfield Park overnight in 1:57 with his trainer in the sulky. He'll be handled by Kurt Sugg on Saturday night and looks to add to his career bankroll of $153,001 from the rail. Ohio's Horse of the Year and 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014, Neely's Messenger, heads up a competitive field of eight OSS trotting colts in Race Three. This powerhouse sophomore, who was bred by Albert Yoder, scored a decisive, 1:57.1 victory in his 2015 debut in his $40,000 OSS first leg on May 2 at Miami Valley Raceway. Dan Noble was in the sulky for trainer Al Mankee, and owners Dale Sweet and Julie Ann Sweet. Last year, the son of Neely Dunn scored victories in OSS, Ohio Fair Stakes (OFS) and Ohio Breeders Stakes (OBS) with a triumph in the $200,000 OSS Championship that earned him the aforementioned honors for 2014. I Know My Chip, a three-time winner this season, hails from the powerful Ron Burke Stable and will have Chris Page in the sulky in this same race. This gelded son of Deep Chip has won his last three starts, all over Scioto Down's five-eighth's mile oval, including a lifetime score of 1:55.4 on May 19 in an overnight event. I Know My Chip is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and P. Collura and has $134,403 in career earnings. Also featured on the 14-race program will be the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot, which honors one of Ohio's finest horsemen and racing enthusiasts. Charlie Hill was the pioneer behind many harness firsts in central Ohio, having bought 134 acres of the Hartman farm just south of Columbus, and building and opening Scioto Downs in the late fall of 1959, where he ran the show there for 48 years. He also owned and operated Hill Farms, one of the Buckeye State's top breeding facilities for many years, and where the mighty Falcon Almahurst stood at stud. The Charlie Hill Memorial Trot will feature some of the nation's finest diagonally-gaited specialists, including 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, a winner of more than $2.9 million and 34 races in her career. Trained by Nifty Norman, the daughter of Kadabra is the lone female in the field of ten. Ohio Sire Stake action for 3-year-olds continues with the second of four legs for filly pacers and trotters on June 12 at Northfield Park, the same night the $180,000 Battle Of Lake Erie will be contested over the half-mile oval's "home of the flying turns." Third leg action shifts to Northfield Park on July 17 for the colts of both gaits, while the fillies go postward on Aug. 14 at Northfield. Fourth road contests will take place at Scioto Downs on Aug. 28 for the fillies and Aug. 29 for the colts. The $225,000 Championship events for all the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, during Scioto Down's Super Night. Kimberly A. Rinker

A multiple-stakes winner in 2014, the harness racing 4-year-old Il Sogno Dream is among 10 horses entered in Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs Racino. The field also includes Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and stakes-winner Natural Herbie. Il Sogno Dream will start from post No. 2 with driver Aaron Merriman. Bee A Magician, with Brian Sears listed to drive, drew post four and Natural Herbie, with owner-trainer-driver Verlin Yoder at the lines, got post eight. Modern Family won last year's inaugural Charlie Hill Memorial in a then-track-record-equaling 1:52.2. Interestingly, Il Sogno Dream won his seasonal debut on May 22 at Scioto Downs in a career-best 1:52.2. "I can't say I expected him to go (1):52 in his first start, but he was ready I guess," Beaver said with a laugh. "He's come back better than he was. Last year, he would kind of lay into the turns a bit. He's straighter this year; I could probably race him without hobbles, but I don't like to change in case they ever need them on. "He's filled out a bit. I wouldn't say he's any taller, but there's more weight on him. And it seems like he's gotten a little faster over the winter. I think (the improvement in the turns) is a part of it, but I think his stamina is better than it was last year." Il Sogno Dream won five of 18 races last year and earned $323,952 for owners Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. He captured divisions of the Currier & Ives and Circle City Trot and finished second in the Goodtimes Stakes. He also had third-place finishes in the Kentucky Futurity and Carl Erskine Trot and was fourth in the Hambletonian Stakes. For his career, the son of Cantab Hall-Le Reve has won nine of 31 starts and earned $451,601. Il Sogno Dream has raced twice this year and heads to the Charlie Hill Memorial off a second-place finish to Final Breath in the May 29 Open at Scioto Downs. Il Sogno Dream lost by a head despite starting from post eight and racing on the outside for the entire mile. "I'm really happy with the condition of the horse going into this race," said the 43-year-old Beaver, who established a career high with $1.27 million in purse earnings last season. "I think he's got a good chance to get a top-three finish in (the Charlie Hill Memorial). "I'm not sure he's not up to being able to race against the top horses, I think he can race with them; I don't think they're going to overshadow him. Is he ready to beat that kind? I don't know. He hasn't faced anything like them so far this year. But I feel pretty good about him in there." Il Sogno Dream has a limited stakes schedule this year. Among the races to which he is eligible are the Hambletonian Maturity, Maple Leaf Trot, Chip Noble Memorial Trot, Centaur Trotting Classic, and Dayton Trotting Derby. "I didn't over-stake him this year," said Beaver, who is based in central Ohio and also has 10 horses with a second trainer in Ontario. "I figured he'd be racing a few more years at least. I'm hoping he can be really good around here and compete on the Grand Circuit locally. I hope he develops into a horse that could race everywhere. I think he's well on his way." Bee A Magician has won three of four races this year and is coming off a second-place finish to Father Patrick in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 24 at Harrah's Philadelphia. The 5-year-old mare, who has raced exclusively against the boys so far this year, has won 34 of 51 career races and earned $2.90 million. Natural Herbie is winless in five starts this season, but last year won the International Trot Preview, Chip Noble Memorial and Vincennes Invitational. He has won 24 of 51 lifetime starts and $763,491. Following is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1  Final Breath, Dan Noble, Hugh Beatty 2. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver 3. Fusion Man, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Jeff Smith 4. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 5. DW's NY Yank, Chris Page, Ron Burke 6. Obrigado, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley 7. Southwind Pepino, Hugh Beatty, Hugh Beatty 8. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder, Verlin Yoder 9. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller 10. Count Me In, Mike Wilder, Ron Burke Note: DW's NY Yank and Count Me In will race as an entry. Note: Count Me In starts from the trailing position. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Columbus, OH --- On Saturday (June 6), Scioto Downs Racino will play host to plenty of harness racing stakes action featuring the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. Ten of the country’s top trotters will go to the gate, including 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. Bee A Magician will ship to Scioto Downs off a second place finish in the Maxie Lee to Father Patrick. With regular pilot Brian Sears listed to drive, Bee A Magician will try to gain a victory and push her lifetime earnings to more than $3 million. The race will also see DW’s NY Yank, Lindy’s Tru Grit and Obrigado ship in from the east to stake their claim to the $200,000 purse. Verlin Yoder will be bringing Indiana bred Natural Herbie to the High Street oval to tackle the country’s best once again after earning more than $300,000 in 2014. The stellar field will also consist of Count Me In, Final Breath, Fusion Man, Il Sogno Dream and Southwind Pepino, who have been battling week in and week out in some of Scioto Downs' finest trot races. Ohio’s top 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers and trotters will also slug it out in the second leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes with two divisions for each gait. The pacers will include Gray Camo and Chief Talkalot, who were winners in the first round at Miami Valley Raceway. Neely’s Messenger, last year’s 2-year-old trot Sires Stakes champion, will continue his quest to be Ohio’s best trotter for trainer Al Manke III. I Know My Chip will try to push his winning streak to four for trainer Ron Burke. Be sure to make it to the racetrack early as American Pharoah attempts to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed accomplished the task in 1978. American Pharoah will go postward at approximately 6:35 p.m. in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, with jockey Victor Espinoza aboard. Racing continues at Scioto Downs through Sept. 12, Super Night. Post time is 2 p.m. for Tuesdays and holiday race days and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays-Saturdays. by Myles Linderman, for Scioto Downs 

Columbus, OH --- Harness racing driver Dan Noble posted his 4,000th driving victory on Tuesday (June 2) when he piloted Tyd Theglyde to a 1:53.2 victory in the ninth race at Scioto Downs. The 32-year-old Noble drove his first winner in 1999 and has won at least 100 races in each season since 2002. He reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2011 when his 773 victories topped all drivers in North America. Noble has 150 victories in 2015, which currently ranks him 18th among all drivers on the continent. He has 29 triumphs at Scioto Downs, which places him second in the local standings behind Josh Sutton. USTA Communications Department   

Harness racing this week: Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Graduate Series leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.; Somebeachsomewhere, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Friday (June 5) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $94,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday card at The Meadows will feature a lone $119,565 division in the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old male trotters. The Saturday night card at The Meadowlands has a pair of $56,250 second leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters. The 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry takes on the boys in one of the trotting splits, while two-time Dan Patch Award winner Father Patrick leads the other event. Mohawk Racetrack will also host Grand Circuit racing on Saturday with two C$78,767 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts. Scioto Downs will offer its first Grand Circuit stake of the season on Saturday, with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters. Complete entries for the Meadows, The Meadowlands and Scioto Downs races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Molson Pace for older pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District and the Art Rooney for 3-year-olds at Yonkers Raceway. State Treasurer became the first three-peat winner of the signature race at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the $120,000 Molson Pace, and became the sport's latest millionaire, in front of a huge crowd on Friday night (May 29) at the London half-mile oval. Favorite All Bets Off, fresh off his Confederation Cup victory, was the most fleet of foot early to lead the talented field by the :26.2 opening marker for Matt Kakaley. Just past that point, Chris Christoforou pulled the right line on reigning champ State Treasurer and he was at the leader's wheel at the :55.3 half and was neck and neck with All Bets Off through the three-quarters in 1:23.1. Down the lane it became a three horse battle with Evenin Of Pleasure and Sylvain Filion added to the mix but at the wire, reached in 1:51, it was State Treasurer with the narrow victory over All Bets Off and Evenin Of Pleasure. P H Supercam and Let's Drink On It collected the final two checks. The winner's share of the purse puts State Treasurer over the one million dollar mark in life earnings for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald. Dr. Ian Moore trains the 6-year-old son of Real Desire who was a mere $6,500 purchase as a yearling. "It's fantastic, I was lucky enough to sit behind him for two of those (Molson Pace victories)," said Christoforou. "He just proved how great a horse he is. The trip he went, first up like that, to go to war with that horse (All Best Off), it was unbelievable, it was spectacular." In The Arsenal diverted ever so slightly from the shortest distance to the finish line, but held on in the final strides to win the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts on Saturday (May 30) at Yonkers Raceway in 1:51.2 by a head. Entry-mate Betting Exchange (David Miller) was second and Rock N' Roll World (Daniel Dube) was third. Rock N' Roll World and Dube were first to the lead at the :27.2 first quarter, but were soon overtaken by Betting Exchange, who worked hard for the lead by about the three-eighths-mile mark and held it coming around the second turn. In The Arsenal and Brian Sears came up on the outside to take the lead before the :56 half. Those two held that spot to the 1:24 three-quarters, with Arque Hanover pressing on the outside and Betting Exchange behind in third. As the field turned for home, Betting Exchange got free to move up on the inside and In The Arsenal drifted to the right, but just did hold off a late rush by Betting Exchange to win by a head. Rock N' Roll World was third behind those two and Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was fourth. In The Arsenal is trained by Kelvin Harrison and owned by White Birch Farm and In The Arsenal Racing. He is a perfect three-for-three in 2015; his lifetime earnings are now $581,843. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Daniel Dube - 157; 2t. Brian Sears - 148; 2t. Yannick Gingras - 148; 4. Jason Bartlett - 123; 5. Tim Tetrick - 112. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 252; 2. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 186; 3. Rene Allard - 130; 4. Jimmy Takter - 60; 5. Mark Silva - 55. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 164.5; 2. Burke Racing - 67.25; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 59.05; 4. Allard Racing - 41.6; 5. Jeff Snyder - 40. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Northfield Park and Mohawk next weekend. Northfield will host the Battle of Lake Erie for older pacers on Friday (June 12), while Mohawk will host five stakes eliminations, led by the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers on Saturday (June 13). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

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