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MILTON, ON - August 21, 2018 - Hambletonian champion Atlanta is set to return to action following her Hambletonian victory in this Friday's (August 24) $136,000 Casual Breeze Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Rick Zeron trained three-year-old filly won't be able to ease back into competition, as she will dance with nine rivals, including Hambletonian Oaks champion Manchego. The Casual Breeze will be the first meeting of the season between Atlanta and Manchego, a matchup racing fans have been anxiously waiting to see. Atlanta has been enjoying well-earned relaxation since becoming the first filly in 22 years to capture the Hambletonian. The daughter of Chapter Seven had an adventurous Hambletonian experience, finishing second in the first-heat after setting unheard of fractions and then coming back to go coast to coast and win the $1 million final. Capturing the Hambletonian guarantees a trotter's place in history, but Atlanta's bounce back performance following her draining first-heat will go down as one of the most memorable performances in the history of the event. "She came out of the Hambletonian really good," said Zeron Monday evening ahead of the Casual Breeze draw. "She dove right into her feedbox the night we brought her back home from The Meadowlands. She's Atlanta, she just does her own thing and we just jogged her up for a week and gave her a little down time." The magnitude of winning the Hambletonian has been striking Zeron in stages and he expects it'll continue to sink in over time. "It's there, but it hasn't really sat me down in the chair yet. It's a big feat for the girls to beat the boys, so I was very happy about that." Atlanta returned to Zeron's Ontario barn on August 12 to prepare for a stretch of stakes action at Mohawk Park, beginning with Friday's Casual Breeze. "We trained her up pretty good last Saturday and we'll train her again on Wednesday morning," said Zeron. "I'll go with her myself and see how she is. We're expecting Atlanta to show up like she always does." The return to Grand Circuit action at Mohawk Park is full-circle for Atlanta, who's first stakes victory came nearly a year ago on August 31, 2017, kicking off a tremendous run that continues today. "I always saw something in her as a two-year-old," recalled Zeron. "Courtney Hanover was always better than (Atlanta) was, but as the year progressed Atlanta stepped over Courtney. "When she won the Champlain she was really good and then we sent her over to Vernon Downs and she won in 1:54 out of the eight-hole, mile in front, and that's when I said, 'She's got it now, she understands what she has to do.'" Atlanta's two-year-old season saw her win four of 10 starts and earn $135,075. Her sophomore campaign has been nearly perfect with six wins in seven starts and earnings of $703,234. The ownership group of Atlanta consists of Rick Zeron, Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. Zeron has the Elegantimage Stakes on September 15 as his next big target and isn't lacking opportunities to race Atlanta at Mohawk Park over the next four weeks. "We got the Casual Breeze, the week after the Simcoe and then the Elegantimage elimination and final," said Zeron. "We'll probably go week by week. I'll speak to Scott about it and we'll make a decision where will race her for four-weeks or we'll give her a week off in between." Atlanta will start from post-three in Friday's Casual Breeze, while Manchego has drawn post-eight. Zeron doesn't have any plans currently to face the boys again. This year's group of three-year-old trotting fillies has been deemed the deepest in years and many intriguing battles appear ahead for Atlanta, beginning with Friday's start against Manchego. "I don't think I have to go back against the boys," said Zeron. "She's beat the boys and won the holy grail. There is nothing bigger than the Hambletonian." Zeron has full confidence in Atlanta to continue her outstanding season. The veteran trainer is excited for the battles ahead and isn't worried about any outside noise. "I don't really criticize or comment or boast up on Atlanta or whatever it is. I just let Atlanta do her talking on the racetrack and everybody else in the newspapers." by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Batavia, NY --- Linda Toscano, who is on the ballot for enshrinement in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame this year, will be bringing three of her best Empire State-bred diagonal distaffers to compete in two divisions of the $119,300 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The NYSS events are carded as race three and five. There are also three $15,000 Excelsior "A" races on the program that go as race one, seven and eight. Post time for the first race in 5 p.m. The first NYSS division goes for $59,100 and Toscano will be starting Repentance (Chapter Seven-Swan Hot Mama) who will be getting a lot of attention for several of her perfomrances this year. Repentance comes in off a big mile at the Meadowlands on Hambo day where she cut the three-quarters in 1:23.4 before finishing a respectable fourth to Basquiat who won in 1:51.2. Earlier this year she finished third in an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Tioga Downs and then fourth in the final behind eventual Hambletonian winner Atlanta, in an all-time track record time of 1:50.3. Scott Zeron, who drove Atlanta to those EBC and Hambletonian victories, will be picking up the lines behind Repentance on Wednesday from post three at 5-2. Her main competition looks to be Fury Road (Muscle Mass-Bar Ballad) who has earned just under $60,000 this year on the strength of two NYSS wins and Golden Muscle (Muscle Mass-Golden Goose) who also competed well in the EBC but has yet to win a NYSS event this year. Toscano also has two fillies in the second NYSS division that goes for $60,200. Lima Novelty (Chapter Seven-No Pictures Please) won four out of five stake events in June and July and they account for her lofty earnings of $104,093 so far this year. She also took a lifetime mark of 1:52.1 in one of those wins at the Meadowlands on July 7 from post 12. Two weeks later Lima Novelty was in an elimination of the Hambletonian Oaks where she acquitted herself well. Unfortunately she was forced to chase a :54.4 back half from mid-pack and didn't make the final. Lima Novelty's last start was on an off track at Yonkers after which she took a two week sabbatical. She comes back here rested, well spotted and looking for win number five of the season. Zeron gets the call and the pylons behind Lima Novelty and the pair is highly regarded morning line at 9-5. Stablemate Tribute To Seven (Chapter Seven-Southwind Confetti) has only missed the board one time all year going eight out of nine including three wins; two of which were in NYSS action. She is the second leading money winner in this race with $73,359 earned for the year and is currently third in points in this series, just ahead of Lima Novelty. Drew Monti drew post two with Tribute To Seven and is listed at 5-2 by the track handicapper. The main competition for Toscano's pair appears to be Natalie Hanover (Chapter Seven-Nanticoke Hanover) who comes in sharp off a NYSS win at Yonkers in 1:56.3 and will look to upset the two favorites and take the major share home with her instead. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Lexington, KY - The 2018 edition of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) got underway on Thursday evening at the historic Red Mile with five $30,000 divisions of leg #1 (3 for the fillies and 2 for colts) covering the first five races with Hambletonian winning driver Scott Zeron reprising his way with the ladies by winning all three of the filly splits. French Café was a 1:54.4 winner in the first filly division (race 2) for Zeron who was subbing for trainer Julie Miler's husband Andy. The pair rolled up uncovered then powered by for an open length win over early leader Can't Touch It (Takter) and Lindy Pearl (Brett Miller). French Café, by Father Patrick, was winning for the third time and took a new career mark here for breeder/owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Zeron came right back in the third race to score with Dreamville Stables flashy Trixton filly Dark As A Pocket for a familiar connection in trainer Paula Wellwood in 1:55.4. She was winning her third straight and was well in hand in an uncovered move around turn two for the score over Asiago (Takter) and Feel Invincible AS (Elliott Deaton). Dark As A Pocket is a Lexington Selected Yearling Sale graduate who brought $90,000 for breeders Steve Stewart, Kemppi Stables Oy and Pond-A-Acres. The cleverly named Taylor Swiftly was arguably the most impressive of tonight's winners, storming by the field through the stretch in 27.3 off a second over ride for Zeron in a 1:55.1 mile with the greatest of ease. Whispering Oaks (Gingras) was up close throughout but had no answer for the winner while Graceful (Lachance) rallied for third. Taylor Swiftly is a Lindy Farms homebred from the first crop of Trixton (his second winner on the card), trained by Domenico Cecere. Peter Haughton Memorial winner Don't Let'em went away as the prohibitive 1-9 favorite in the first race but reminded us why they race them as he went off-stride while settled in fourth midway up the backstretch, taking a significant show pool bridge jumper with him as he didn't set quickly enough to recover for a placing. Barn mate Super Schissel saved the day for the Jimmy Takter barn with the trainer driving him to a 1:56 win while triggering a mutual return of $84.40 with the exacta and trifecta both paying off on "all". Reign Of Honor (Pat Lachance) closed to be second returning $177 to place and $150 to show with Manatlas (Brett Miller) paid $90 to show. This was the first career win for Super Schissel, a son of first crop sire Uncle Peter and a $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale buy for the account of Al Libfeld and Perry Soderberg. Coyote Wind Farms is the breeder. Mike Wilder, fresh back from a trip to Ireland for the Vincent Delaney Memorial, was a winner in the other colt split with Forecast for trainer John Butenschoen. Wilder held his charge well back early then closed hard, widest of all through the stretch trotting a 28 end to the 1:56 mile over Practical Cat (Gingras) and Lindy's Crazy Hall (Zeron). The winner is owned by Wiswell, Goehlen and Schick who paid $70,000 for the Diamond Creek bred in Lexington last fall. KYSS freshman pacers will race on Saturday evening here at The Red Mile with a 7:00 pm post time. by Nick Salvi, for The Red Mile

WILKES-BARRE, PA - In the three divisions of the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakesfor three-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winners Kissin In The Sand, Sansovina Hanover, and Alexa's Power all greatly helped their chances of reaching their divisional Championship, to take place on September 2 at Pocono. Kissin In The Sand, of course, has battled with Youaremycandygirl for divisional bragging rights for the last several weeks, and many Pocono fans thought her very hard journey on the rim in winning the Lynch Championship during Sun Stakes Saturday on June 30 to be the outstanding performance of that evening.  The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere had it much easier on Saturday, as driver Scott Zeron tucked her third early, then moved to the lead in front of the stands, with the pair pacing home in 54.4 - 27 to be three lengths clear at the end of a 1:50.3 mile. The Nancy Johansson trainee, owned by Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables, now has earnings of $403,822 with an 8-5-3-0 scorecard this year and a lifetime tally of 12 wins and $634,997 in winnings. When Youaremycandygirl nosed out Kissin In The Sand in the Shady Daisy at The Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day, just a neck back in third, with the same 1:48.2 clocking as the first two, was another daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa's Power, so it seems appropriate that that filly could dominate her Sire Stakes field, winning in 1:50.4.  Tim Tetrick set sail with his filly early and the pair went right down the pike, blitzing to the wire in 54.3 - 27.1 to check home four lengths to the good of previous double Sire Stake winner Sidewalk Dancer. Jim Campbell trains the winner of $319,776, who took a new mark, for Jeffrey and Michael Snyder. While the other two winners had had a second in their only Sire Stakes showing prior to tonight, Sansovina Hanover raced in both prior legs and finished third. But Sansovina Hanover and driver Andrew McCarthy brought their "A" game to Pocono, going first-over against the other previous Sire Stakes two-time winner, Serene Stride, and then leaving her behind the last 1/8 to be 3¼ lengths in front at the finish. Completing a sweep for sire Somebeachsomewhere, Sansovina Hanover recorded both her first win of the year and a new personal best, raising her earnings to $175,160 for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Michelle Yanek; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The veteran Bettor's Delight gelding Bettor's Edge raised his career earnings to $2,161,456 as he won the $21,500 top conditioned pace, holding off the stretch surge of Music Is Art by a half-length in 1:50.3. Jim Morrill Jr. guided the pacer to Victory Lane for the 43rd time as he won for trainer Jennifer Lappe, who is also co-owner with Robert Santagata. Tomorrow night at Pocono, the fillies' Stallion Series counterparts go to the gate in three divisions. In their previous two preliminaries, there have been 10 divisions and 10 different winners; eight of those winners will be in Sunday's contest, hoping to solidify themselves slots in their Championship event. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Monticello, NY - The last leg of the 2018 Sire Stakes took place at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon August 6 as 3 Year Old Pacing Fillies closed out the season with a bang. The first heat of Sire Stakes was worth $61,300, Apothic and Mark Macdonald started from post 3 and took the field to the fastest opening ¼ of the year, hitting that station in 26.2. The duo still set the pace to the ½ in 55.2, as the outer follow developed with 4 in and 4 out. Apothic started to tire down the back side as Solitary was the new leader as the field past the ¾ in 1:24.1. As they turned for home Newsday ranged into contention after enduring a brutal trip on the outside, Better Than Happy who benefitted from a perfect 2 hole trip the entire mile took advantage of the passing lane. The pair paced stride for stride down the lane and hit the wire in a dead heat in 1:53.3. Better Than Happy is owned by Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach Florida and is trained by Jennifer Bongiorno and was driven by Joe Bongiorno. Newsday a bay filly by Art Major is trained by co-owner Richard Silverman, Scot Zeron was the driver. In the second division of Sire Stakes, also racing for a purse of $61,300, divisional point leader Wisdom Tree started from post position 8, Scott Zeron rushed the Betterthancheddar filly away from the gate, she made the front just past the ¼ in 27.4. Once on the front end, she controlled the fractions 56.1, 1:24.4 to win in 1:52.4 by 2 lengths, just a tick off the track record of 1:52.3. Wisdom Tree is owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher, she picked up her 9 win of the year for trainer Ed Hart. Bullvillekarla (Jim Marohn Jr.) scored a wire to wire win in her Excelsior A heat in in 1:55.3 -$7.20, the Bullville Powerful filly is owned and trained by Steve Crevani. Mink Pink was second followed by So Long Darling. Psychic Bluechip (Scott Zeron) overtook the early pace setters to win her division in 1:55.1, over the heavy favorite KJ's Justine. The Art Major filly is trained by Joseph Skowyra and earned her 5 win of the year. Escape Again went wire to wire in her race to win by a length in 1:54.3 for owner - trainer Troyce Thomas, the daughter of Artiscape was driven by Jim Marohn Jr. The first heat of the Excelsior B class in race 1 was a 4 horse field, Lady Orb extended her win streak to 3 and picked up her 4th seasonal win for trainer Erv Miller, the daughter of Art Major scored in 1:57.3 and returned $3.10 to win for driver Marcus Miller. Reflexionofroyalty notched her first win of the season in 157.3. the American Ideal lass is trained by Allen Sisco and was driven by Kyle Dibenedetto. On the afternoon Scott Zeron drove 3 winners and Jim Marohn Jr had 2, Art Major led all sires with 3 winning daughters on the afternoon. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- August 4, 2018 - Western Joe angled off the pylons in the stretch and fanned four- wide around a group of horses, including even-money favorite McWicked, to win Saturday's $260,100 Sam McKee Memorial for older pacers at the Meadowlands. The time for the race, contested at 1-1/8 miles, was 2:02. McWicked, the even-money favorite, finished second and Filibuster Hanover was third. Filibuster Hanover led the field to the opening quarter in :26.1 before All Bets Off got to the front and reached the half in :54.4. Miso Fast challenged All Bets Off as they reached three-quarters in 1:21, with McWicked on the move three wide on the final turn. The field hit the mile in 1:48.2. Western Joe was second behind Filibuster Hanover around the first turn and remained inside, shuffling between fifth and sixth place, before the stretch. "I didn't know what was going to happen," winning driver Scott Zeron said. "He's the type of horse that can always leave for position and just stay in. I don't think re-moving would have been the right option. At that time, sitting third on the rail with the kind of speed we were going up the backside and around the last turn was perfect. He runs out a little bit, so when I was able to feed him racetrack to the outside, I knew he was going to get up." Western Joe, a 4-year-old stallion trained by Chris Choate, is a son of Western Ideal out of Ante Fay. He has won nine of 22 races this year and 18 of 51 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $462,655 for breeder/owner Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies. Sent off at 5-2, Western Joe paid $7.60, $3.00, and $2.80. McWicked paid $2.80 and $2.60. Filibuster Hanover paid $5.40. The McKee Memorial, formerly the U.S. Pacing Championship, honors the late Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and Communicators Hall of Fame member Sam McKee, who passed away in 2017. From the Meadowlands Publicity Office      

East Rutherford, NJ- August 4, 2018 - The 2016 Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder returned to the scene of his greatest harness racing victory to win the $286,650 John Cashman Memorial for open trotters, the sixth race on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands. He is the first Hambletonian winner to take the Cashman, formerly known as the Nat Ray Trot, since Mack Lobell, who won the Hambletonian in 1987 and the Cashman in 1988. He trotted the 1 1/8 mile distance in 2:06 with a mile time of 1:51.4, matching his Hambletonian clocking. I Know My Chip (Victory Kirby) got to the 26.1 first quarter at the head of the dozen horse pack, soon overtaken by Marion Marauder, who then led the field to the 54.2 half. The 2017 Horse of the Year and the sole mare in the race, Hannelore Hanover, was three-wide and moving to the lead, going three wide, and held it to the 1:23.2 three quarters. As the field turned to go home, Will Take Charge (Tim Tetrick) came off the rail to challenge Hannelore and while those two were battling it out in deep stretch, Marion Marauder ranged up on the outside to win by a neck over Will Take Charge in 2:06. Hannalore Hanover was third by a half-length. "He just has the will to win," said winning driver Scott Zeron. "It's just a matter of me getting him into the race, which has been difficult some places. But when he's within reaching distance, doesn't he always seem to get up? "The trip couldn't have worked out any better," Zeron added. "He needed that whole quarter to get to the front. When he did, (In Secret) was at my wheel and I noticed that Yannick had made that three-wide move, which was even better. To follow him through the back half of the race was great. It was good for my horse not to have to cut the entire mile and an eighth. I couldn't be any happier with the way it went." Marion Marauder returned $10.40 $4.60 $3.00, the exacta with Will Take Charge ($5.20 $3.20) was $41.60 and the 8-1-12 trifecta with Hannelore Hanover ($2.10) was $140.00. The winner is owned by Ontario residents Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling and is trained by Paula Wellwood. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department

East Rutherford, NJ --- Eighteen 3-year-old trotters entered Saturday's 93rd Hambletonian Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack, requiring two eliminations to trim the field to 10 for the $1 million final later that afternoon. Wolfgang is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first elimination and Six Pack is the 2-1 favorite in the second. Atlanta, the lone filly taking on the boys, is the 3-1 second choice in the first elimination. The draws for the Hambletonian and companion Hambletonian Oaks, which is restricted to 3-year-old female trotters, were held Tuesday at the Meadowlands. Wolfgang drew post No. 5 in his elimination and Six Pack drew post No. 9. Atlanta will start from post No. 7. The top-five finishers from each $100,000 elimination return for the final. Manchego, who won one of last Saturday's two eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $500,000 final. Phaetosive, the other elimination winner, is the 3-1 second choice. As elimination winners, Manchego and Phaetosive drew for spots in posts one through five, with Manchego getting post four and Phaetosive getting post five. The stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card begins at noon. The Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). Atlanta is attempting to become the first filly to win the Hambletonian since Continentalvictory in 1996. In the previous 92 years, 161 fillies entered the race, with 13 winning the sport's most prestigious event for 3-year-old trotters. Atlanta is the 22nd filly to enter the race since the start of the Hambletonian Oaks in 1971. The two most recent fillies to enter the Hambletonian, Pampered Princess in 2007 and Mission Brief in 2015, both won eliminations. Pampered Princess was seventh-placed-sixth in her final, won by Donato Hanover, and Mission Brief finished second to Pinkman in her final. Atlanta is undefeated in five races this year. She trotted the fastest mile in the history of Vernon Downs, 1:50.3, in winning the Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old filly trotters on May 28 and heads to the Hambletonian off a 1:53.4 victory at Vernon Downs in a July 19 division of the New York Sire Stakes. For her career, Atlanta has won nine of 15 races and $301,645. "I have a horse that I think can win the Hambletonian, that's exciting in itself, just having a player," said Scott Zeron, who will drive Atlanta for his father, trainer Rick Zeron. "(The draw) was fine by me. My dad wanted to be in the first heat, so we got lucky with that. We drew the seven; it's not the rail, but it's not too bad. I don't mind it. We'll make it work. It will give me the option to kind of look over and see what everyone is doing. We'll play it by ear." Rick Zeron co-owns Atlanta, by Chapter Seven out of Hemi Blue Chip, with Michelle and Al Crawford's Crawford Farms, William Holland's Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Brad Grant. Scott Zeron captured the 2016 Hambletonian with eventual Trotting Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder. "For me, this is a different scenario, having the family horse," Zeron said. "I was in Florida all winter long with all the horses, so this one feels a little different having my father involved and being more involved with the barn. (Atlanta) is a super horse and I really hope she can deliver. I have no regrets about the decision." Zeron's win with Marion Marauder was for trainer Paula Wellwood, who will send out Southwind Chrome in Saturday's second Hambletonian elimination. Zeron is listed to drive that horse as well. "I have two competitive horses," Zeron said. "One is 3-1 and the other is 5-1. That's nice." Wolfgang is undefeated in three races this year, with his victories including the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. He has won six of 13 lifetime starts and $516,690 for Charles Goodwin's Brixton Medical Inc., Goran Falk, Bud Hatfield's Hatfield Stables, and Art Zubrod's and Leah Cheverie's Fair Island Farm. Four-time Hambletonian winner Jimmy Takter trains Wolfgang, who is one of four horses Takter is sending into the race. The others are You Know You Do, Tactical Landing, and Zephyr Kronos. With a win, Takter would tie Billy Haughton, Stanley Dancer, and Ben White for the most victories in Hambletonian history. Yannick Gingras drives Wolfgang. "He's very good," Takter said. "I trained him a (1):56 mile here last Friday with a good last half and he felt awesome. You try to peak them as best you can. He's been very good every start. He's so professional. He's most likely the most reliable horse I have in the Hambletonian this year." Six Pack is the fastest 3-year-old male trotter in history thanks to his 1:50 win in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 14 at the Meadowlands. He has won five of six races this year, with his lone setback a second-place finish to Crystal Fashion in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. For his career, Six Pack has won nine of 14 races and $557,840. Ake Svanstedt trains and drives Six Pack. Svanstedt won the 2017 Hambletonian with Perfect Spirit, who was elevated from second to first when What The Hill was disqualified for interference in the stretch. Six Pack, by Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady, is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Tomas Olofsson's Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. "He has raced better and better for every race this year," Svanstedt said. "He is going up the whole time. He's an all-around horse. He's nice to handle and nice gaited and can leave fast. I think he can go faster (than 1:50). He was not tired the last time. He was just lazy, so I must push him." Another highly regarded contender is Crystal Fashion, who is 7-2 in the first elimination. He has won five of eight races this year and finished second in the remaining three. For his career, the son of Cantab Hall out of Window Willow has won nine of 20 races and $523,252. He is trained by Jim Campbell, who won the 1995 Hambletonian with Tagliabue, for owner Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms. Siegel was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on July 1, the day after Crystal Fashion's win in the Beal. In the Hambletonian Oaks, Takter and Gingras team up with favorite Manchego as they attempt to win the race for the fifth consecutive year. Takter holds the record for Oaks wins with seven. Manchego has won 16 of 18 career races and $986,170 for owners Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Phaetosive, trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer, has won seven of 11 career races and $377,358. Smedshammer trained 2008 Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi and was the trainer and driver of 2004 Hambletonian winner Windsong's Legacy. Phaetosive is owned by Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. Following are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations and the Hambletonian Oaks final. Hambletonian Elimination 1 PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Shoshie Deo-George Brennan-Dewayne Minor-10/1 2-Evaluate-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-15/1 3-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 4-Lawmaker-David Miller-Andrew Harris-8/1 5-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-7/2 7-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-3/1 8-Hat Trick Habit-Andy Miller-Scott DiDomenico-12/1 9-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-10/1 Hambletonian Elimination 2 PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-10/1 2-Patent Leather-David Miller-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Classichap-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-6/1 4-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1 5-Fourth Dimension-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-10/1 6-Southwind Chrome-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 7-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-4/1 8-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-2/1 Hambletonian Oaks Final PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-4/1 2-What A Knockout-David Miller-Marcus Melander-20/1 3-Seviyorum-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-15/1 4-Manchego-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 5-Phaetosive-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-3/1 6-Hey Blondie-Andy McCarthy-Chuck Sylvester-6/1 7-Live Laugh Love-David Miller-R. Nifty Norman-8/1 8-Lily Stride-Tim Tetrick-Mark Harder-10/1 9-Blonde Magic-Tom Durand-Tom Durand-20/1 10-Nixie Volo-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-20/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

MILTON, ON - July 21, 2018 - Superstar harness racing trotting filly Atlanta will attempt to make history by tackling the boys and competing in the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday, August 4 at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Trainer Rick Zeron made the official announcement on Saturday evening (July 21) regarding his decision to race his three-year-old filly Atlanta against the boys rather than against fillies in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. A daughter of Chapter Seven, Atlanta has taken the racing world by storm and is currently undefeated in five starts this season. Zeron was not required to make a decision regarding which route Atlanta would take until this Tuesday (July 24), but noted he and his son, Scott, made their decision weeks ago. "Scott and I decided this about a month ago, but we just kind of kept it all to ourselves and mulled everything all over and did all the right do's and don'ts," said Zeron, who shared the news while preparing to race Saturday at Georgian Downs. "We came up with she's competitive enough to race against the boys." Atlanta was purchased for $60,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale in November of 2016. The Chapter Seven filly had a solid rookie season, winning four of 10 starts and earning $135,075, but was in the shadow of then-undefeated Manchego. Zeron wasn't shy about declaring high hopes for Atlanta's sophomore season during the winter training months at Sunshine Meadows in Florida. The filly immediately backed up her trainer's statements in her season debut. "We qualified her (April 28) and I told Scott to qualify her around 1:55 and he went 1:54 with her," said Zeron. "He got off the bike and said, 'She's serious.' " "10 days later we tried to get her in a three-year-old filly class at The Meadowlands and they didn't have one. They said 'There is a class, non-winners of $11,500 last five, but you'll be in against colts and a couple of aged trotters.' and I said 'Go ahead'. She sat seventh and Scott moved her at the head of the lane and she won her first start in 1:52." Atlanta's dazzling debut caught the attention of many and proved to Zeron exactly what he had thought for months about his filly. "That's when we knew that she was really special." In just her third start of the season, Atlanta established a Vernon Downs all-age track record of 1:50.3 in the Empire Breeders Classic. The victory vaulted the filly into superstar status and created a buzz among racing fans. Atlanta has since added two more victories to her career totals, which sit at nine wins and $313,309 earned. Her most recent victory occurred Thursday evening in a New York Sires Stakes event at Vernon. Zeron described the victory as a "training mile". The Hambletonian will require Atlanta to race multiple-heats on the same day, unlike the Hambletonian Oaks which has eliminations the week prior to the final. "I'm not that worried about it," said Zeron about racing heats. "She recovers about 12 or 14 minutes after each race." Zeron co-owns Atlanta with partners Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. He noted that his partners have provided full support. "All of my owners are on board with my decision to race her in the Hambletonian." Atlanta will become just the fifth filly since the year 2000 to race against the boys in the Hambletonian. The last filly to capture harness racing's most prestigious trotting event was Continentalvictory in 1996. Zeron's decision to race Atlanta in the sport's biggest trotting event adds tremendous hype to the 93rd Hambletonian and the veteran horseman expects to leave a lasting mark. "This will go down in history." by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Atlanta (Scott Zeron) won the second of two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for sophomore harness racing trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Thursday (July 19). Repentance (Jim Morrill Jr.) was first to the quarter in 27.0. Atlanta ($2.10) who is trained by Rick Zeron, stormed to the front just after the quarter and controlled the race the rest of the way (:57.0, 1:26.4, 1:53.4). Her win in the second division of the NYSS ($61,300) was never in doubt. Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt) was second best with Repentance getting third money. Atlanta is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven and is owned by the team of Rick Zeron, Crawford Farms, Howard Taylor, Holland Racing Stable, and Bradley Grant. She is now five for five this season and nine for fourteen in her career. Lima Novelty (Scott Zeron) holds off Ciao Dolce (Ake Svanstedt) to win the NYSS first division ($60,200). Ciao Dolce led to a first quarter in :27.3. Lima Novelty ($3.00) went first-over from fourth and brushed by to take the lead before hitting the half in :57.0. She continued to lead, hitting three-quarters in 1:26.1. Ciao Dolce followed in the pocket until mid stretch. She would go first over and battle down the rest of the stretch but Lima Novelty dug in and held on to win in 1:54.1. Ciao Dolce settled for second while Tribute To Seven (Matt Kakaley) fired late to finish third. Lima Novelty is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. Owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, she won for the fourth time this season and the eighth time in her career. Scott Zeron won three on the night as he added a win with the Russian Spy ($4.40). Matt Kakaley visited the winner's circle three times on the night as well. He got his wins with Talkoholic ($48.00), Byway ($10.20), and White Cheetah ($5.90). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 20) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Vernon Downs will host two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday (July 19). Including the anticipated return of Atlanta the track record holder for all trotters at the Miracle Mile. Atlanta (Scott Zeron) will compete in the second division of the NYSS ($61,300) and is installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. The last time the 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven took to the track at Vernon she won the $238,613 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) final. She trotted the fastest mile ever at Vernon Downs in a time of 1:50.3, easily beating Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass) by four and a half lengths. That is significant because Plunge Blue Chip just posted a world record time of 1:49.4 for 3-year-old trotters of either sex at the Meadowlands on Saturday (July 1$) in the second of two Del Miller Memorial races ($128,500). Atlanta who istrained by Rick Zeron for owners Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Brad Grant, is four for four as a sophomore. Her last time out she won a leg of the NYYS ($40,600) at Tioga Downs where she once again easily beat Plunge Blue Chip, setting the track record for 3-year-old fillies in 1:52.2. Her toughest competitor will be 3-1 morning line second choice, Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt). She is part of the Svanstedt trained entry along with Fury Road (Dan Dube). Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky) is owned by Savanstedt, Little E LLC., and Van Camp Trotting Corp. She has four wins in seven starts so far this season. She has won NYSS races at Yonkers ($42,975), Monticello ($30,450), and Buffalo ($29,250). In the first division of the NYSS ($60,200), the Morning line favorite is Lima Novelty (Scott Zeron) at 2-1. A 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven, she is owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano. She has three wins in 2018. She has won the Mary Reynolds Stakes ($66,200) at the Meadowlands and a NYSS race at Buffalo ($30,450). The second Morning line choice in the second division is Ciao Dolce (Ake Svanstedt) at 3-1. She is a 3-year-old filly by Credit Winner. Owned by Kjell Anderson and trained by Svanstedt. She has won NYSS races at Monticello ($29,850) and Buffalo ($29,850). The nine race card starts at Venon Downs starts on Thursday (July 19) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs          

Atlanta (Scott Zeron) adds the Tioga Downs 3-year-old trotting track record to her resume as she was impressive going gate-to-wire in the second division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) to win in 1:52.1. Scott Zeron swept the three divisions of the NYSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies. All three races ran for a purse of $40,600. Harness racing driver Zeron had six wins total on the day. In the second division of the NYSS Atlanta ($2.10) charged out of the seventh post position and as expected Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) followed in the pocket. Atlanta hit every pole first (:27.4, :57.0, 1:25.0, 1:52.1). Plunge Blue Chip came out of the pocket to make a run at Atlanta just before three-quarters. Atlanta could feel the pressure and turned it up a notch. Once she hit the stretch nobody was going to catch her. She now holds the track record for all 3-year-old trotters at Tioga, winning in 1:52.1. Plunge Blue Chip easily finished second. Lima Novelty (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished a distant third. Trained by Rick Zeron for owners Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Bradley Grant, the 3-year-old by Chapter Seven is now four for four as a sophomore filly. It was her eighth career win. Tribute To Seven (Scott Zeron) uses a late run to win the first division of the NYSS. The favorite Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt) went to the front and laid down all the early fractions (:28.4, :59.0, 1:27.1). Tribute To Seven ($9.50) went first over before the three quarter mark. Owned by Richard Gutnick and trained by Linda Toscano, she would battle second place finisher Lucky Ava, all the way down the stretch winning by a neck in 1:55.2. Getting third money was Perfect Summer K (Jason Bartlett). Tribute To Seven is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. She picked up her third win of the season and career. Repentance (Scott Zeron) zoomed by in the stretch to capture the third division of the NYSS. Fury Road (Ake Svanstedt) controlled all the early fractions (:28.2, :58.3, 1:26.3). Repentance ($7.10) was second over around the final turn and used a sweeping three wide move in the stretch to win going away in 1:55.3. Golden Muscle (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished second with Fury Road holding on for third place. Repentance is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. Owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Linda Toscano, she won for the second time this season and the third time in her career. Zeron also had wins with A Gift For You ($2.80), Ithinkthatsmine ($18.00), and Mikado Blue Chip $14.60. Tioga Downs, the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association, and the Harness Horse Breeders' of NYS joined together once again to host its Annual "Scholarship Race" for high school seniors. Paxton Jobson of Newark Valley and driver Jim Meittinis finished first with Prairie Midnight. Angel Keppler of Owego and driver Tony Dinges finished second with Stick With Cramer. Sarah Kasson of Vestal and driver Lou Ginesi finished third with College Major. Finishing fourth was Joshua Dolphin of Union Endicott and driver John Hallet with Jessica's Pride. Audra Jaye of Tioga Central and driver Vern Smith finished fifth with Candadian Chrome. All five students received a $1,700 scholarship. Before racing Tioga Downs honored horsemen that passed away over the winter and spring. Honored were Jim Perry, Dennis Payne, Paul Bernardo, Joe Juckas, Fred Cohen and Fred Monteleone. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 29) with a post time of 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs                      

The last time Atlanta competed in a parimutuel race, the 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven won the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) Final (238,6130) at Vernon Downs on May 28th. She not only won the race but set the overall track record with a time of 1:50.3. She returns to action on Sunday (June 24) at Tioga Downs in the second of three divisions in a leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). All three divisions will race for a purse of ($40,600). Atlanta driven by Scott Zeron, is the overwhelming morning line favorite in the second division at 4-5. Trained by Rick Zeron for owners Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Bradley Grant, the filly is three for three in 2018. She has seven career victories. The main rivals in the second division is the entry of Ciao Dolce (Jason Bartlett) and Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt). They are both trained by Svanstedt and are the morning line second choice at 3-1. Ciao Dolce is a 3-year-old filly by Credit WInner. Owned by Kjell Anderson, she has won her last two races. Both victories were NYSS wins. Plunge Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass. Owned by Svanstedt, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., and Tomas Andersson, she is two for three in 2018. Her only loss this season was a second place finish against Atlanta in the EBC Final. She has won 11 times in 13 starts in her career. In the first division of the NYSS, Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt) is the morning line 2-1 favorite. Owned by Svanstedt (trainer), Little E LLC., and Van Camp Trotting, she is four for five as a sophomore. The 3-year-old filly by Lucky Chucky has captured three legs of the NYSS already this season. The second morning line choice is Tribute To Seven (Scott Zeron). Trained by Linda Toscano for owner Richard Gutnick, the 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven is two for six in 2018, including winning a leg of the NYSS. In the final division of the NYSS to be run on Sunday the morning line choice at 3-1 is Fury Road (Ake Svandstedt). Trained by Svanstedt for owner Knutson Trotting Inc., the 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass has won two legs in the NYSS already this season. She has five wins and five seconds in her racing career. The second choice in the third division at 7-2 is the Chapter Seven filly, Repentance (Scott Zeron). She is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Linda Toscano. She is one for three in her sophomore season. She was fifth in the EBC Final. The 15 race card for Sunday (June 24) at Tioga Downs is set to start at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, June 21, 2018-New York Sire Stakes returned downstate Thursday night (June 21st), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $172,499 Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. There are three consecutive divisions-worth $56,833, $57,833 and $57,833, respectively-comprised the event. The opening event saw favored Newsday (Jim Marohn Jr., $4.50) do her damage from off the pace in 1:55. Unhurried from post position No. 5, she advanced from third-over behind Betterthangraduate (Matt Kakaley) and Painted Lady (Eric Goodell). The outer tier inhaled early leader Tell Me a Joke after that one's road work of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:24.4. Newsday closed widest and fastest, measuring off Painted Lady by a neck. Third went to Kimberlee (Jason Bartlett) in a good effort, with Betterthangraduate and Better Than Happy (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the payees. Tell Me a Joke faded to sixth. For Newsday, a daughter of Art Major co-owned by (trainer) Richie Silverman, Michael Gluckman, Mary Arnold and Edward McEnery, it was her second win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.80, the triple retuned $135 and the superfecta paid $523. Thursday's second NYSS division had another wagering choice, Pueblo Blue Chip (George Brennan, $5.20), outgame Ms. Cheesman (Jimmy Whittemore) in 1:54, matching her life-best effort. Away a loose third from post No. 6, Pueblo Blue Chip watched as Hurrikane Shorty (Marohn Jr.) led through intervals of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25.2. About the time Pueblo Blue Chip was approaching the leader, Ms. Cheesman bulled her way out of the pocket, forced the eventual winner three-wide. Both lasses eventually went by Hurrikane Shorty, with Pueblo Blue Chip whipping Ms. Cheesman by a half-length. Hurrikane Shorty saved the bottom of the ticket, Silk Reed (Morrill Jr.) and Azreal As it Gets (Brian Sears) came away with the minors. For Pueblo Blue Chip, an American Ideal miss trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, Michael Guerrero and Menary Racing, it was her second (NYSS) win in three '18 tries. The exacta paid $16.80, the triple (three wagering choices in order) retuned $63.50 and the superfecta paid $473.50. The evening final's statebred grouping was another formful result, as odds-on Wisdom Tree (Scott Zeron, $3.40) went down the road (:27.2, :56.2, 1:24.1, night's-fastest 1:52.1). From post No. 5, Wisdom Tree gave nothing else a chance, opening down the backside and giving last season's frosh divisional champ, Alexis Faith (Morrill Jr.), too much work to do. Wisdom Tree had three lengths off the final turn, then defeated a two-move Alexis Faith by a length-and-a-quarter. Presto Blue Chip (Stratton), Apothic (Brennan) and Believe in Me (Sears) picked off the minor moolah. For Wisdom Tree, a Betterthancheddar lass co-owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher & trained by Ed Hart, it was her sixth win in eight seasonal efforts. The exacta (two wagering choices in order) paid $8.30, the triple retuned $47.40 and the superfecta paid $400.50 The next New York Sire Stakes visit is Tuesday's (June 26th) $158,000 Jim Meagher Pace (2-year-old colts/geldings). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Monticello, NY - Trackman Anthony Desimone worked hard the prior week and over the weekend to put the best possible racing surface together for the New York Sire Stakes first visit at Monticello Raceway on Monday June 1, but it was not to be. An overnight rain made the track slick for the first 3 races. As the day went on the track got better. The afternoon saw as Scott Zeron drive 3 winners, Ake Svanstedt and Trond Smedshammer each has 2 wins, Linda Toscano had 2 training wins and Ken Jacobs had 2 owner wins. Post time favorite Fury Road made an uncharacteristic break leaving the gate, in the short field of 6 and 2 others made miscues down the back side. Red Reign and Jordan Stratton inherited the lead and took the field thru soft fraction of 31,1:04, all the while Tribute To Seven was lurking in the 2 hole, at the 5/8 marker Scott Zeron had Tribute to Seven in high gear and had the lead at the ¾ in 1:31.0. From that point the son of Chapter 7 continued to open daylight on the field to win by 6 lengths in a pedestrian like 2:01. Tribute To Seven is trained by Linda Toscano for owner Richard Gutnink. Red Reign held on for second. The 2nd division of NYSS saw Lucky Ava destroy a field of her contemporaries as she cruised to an easy 11 length victory in 1:58.4 (LQ28.3) the fastest mile of the afternoon. The daughter of Lucky Chucky picked up her 3rd win of the young season for Co-owner - trainer - driver Ake Svanstedt and owners Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting Corp, Lucky Ava was bred by co - owner Little E LLC. The win vaulted Lucky Ava over $250,00 in lifetime earnings, Jackie Newlands was second followed by Firm To Stay in the show spot Both Supergirl Riley (PP7) and Natalie Hanover (PP5) left the gate hard in the 3rd division of Sire Stakes, racing for a purse of $30,450, but it was Supergirl Riley who got there first, the duo cut fractions of 29.1, 1:00.2 1:29.2 and still remained 1-2 at the top of the stretch. Trond Smedshammer had Dew To Win in perfect position and overtook the leaders to prevail in 1:59 and returned $15.20. Dew To Win is owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC and picked up her 2 win of the year and is by Dewycheatumnhowe. Natalie Hanover hung on for second and Perfect Summer K was third. As Somedew Somedont cut the fractions of 30.4, 1:01.2, 1:31.1 Ake Svanstedt was content to sit the pocket with $300,00 yearling Ciao Dolce. The daughter of Credit Winner - Pizza Dolce popped out of the 2 hole in mid-stretch to notch the victory in 1:59.4, to score her maiden win, giving Ake Svanstead a driving and training double. Somedew Somedont finished a game second. The Excelsior A Abbie Hall (Conway Hall - Armbro Archer) made a hugh brush down the backside and won by 5 in 1:59.4 - $2.40 Pittstop Emerald tried to wire the field, but Girl Crush (Conway Hall) had other plans and won by a neck in 2:00 for driver Scott Zeron. Girl Crush is trained by the young Swede Lucas Wallin. Sassy Massy and Mark Whitcroft dodged traffic to take their division in 2:02.2 and returned a healthy $35.40 win ticket. The daughter of Muscle mass earned her 3rd consecutive win. Seven Karats went wire to wire in this field of 7 for trainer Linda Toscano in 1:59.1. The daughter of Chapter Seven is owned by Kenneth Jacobs and picked up her first pari mutual win of the year. Seven Karats was bred by Diamond Creek Farms LLC. Jordan Stratton and A Gift For You (Credit Winner) visited the winners circle after holding off White Cheetah in1:59.4, to give owner Ken Jacobs his double for the day Excelsior B Local Reisman Bruce Aldrich wired the field and skipped away by 4 lengths with Executive Decision (Conway Hall) in 2:02.2 for trainer Homer Hochstetler, she was followed by Byway and Coastie in the place and show position. Chasing Stardom (Deweycheatumnhowe) picked up her first lifetime win in 2:03.3, she is trained by Howard Okusko and was driven by Mark MacDonald. The Sire tally was Chapter Seven and Conway Hall both had 3 winners each on the afternoon. The 11-race card was well received as $689,836 was wagered on the afternoon. By Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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