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Gimapazee (Brian Sears) wins the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) final ($215,200) for sophomore trotting colts and geldings at Vernon Downs on a special Memorial Day matinee (May 27). He won his 3-year-old harness racing debut and is a perfect 10 for 10 in his career. Mr Vicktor (Tyler Buter) went to the front and was followed in second by Cavill Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) with Gimpanzee ($2.10) in third. Mr Vicktor put up all the early numbers (:28.0, :57.3, 1:25.1). Gimapanzee, who is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant inc. and S R F Stable, went first over from third just before the final turn. He would be second after three-quarters and battle Mr Vicktor for the lead. He would take over in the stretch but Mr Vicktor would battle back gamely. Gimpanzee found another gear and put him away to win easily in a lifetime best of 1:54.0. Mr Vicktor would settle for second as Travel Winner (Trevor Henry) came up to finish third. Gimpanzee is a 3-year-old colt by Chapter Seven. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) captures EBC final ($209,500) for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) led the way to a first quarter of :27.3. Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer) took over just after the first quarter. She would lead to the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:25.3. Quincy Blue Chip ($3.40), who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and trained by Gareth Dowse, went second over as they went around the final turn. She went three-wide at the top of the stretch and flew home to a win in 1:55.0. Sensibility (Scott Zeron) charged late to finish second. Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) was third. Quincy Blue Chip                                         --Fotowon photo Quincy Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. She picked up her third win of the season. She now owns seven career victories. St Somewhere (Matt Kakaley) and Zero Tolerance (David Miller) each won legs of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Both divisions raced for a purse of $58.700. In the first division St Somewhere ($10.00) came charging late to nip the late rush of second place finisher, Meghan Lynn (Joe Bongiorno) to win in 1:52.1. JK American Beauty (Scott Zeron) was third best. St Somewhere is a 3-year-old filly by American Ideal. Trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing, P Collura, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. It was win number two of 2019. She now owns seven career victories. In the second division Zero Tolerance ($2.10) went flying in the stretch to overtake second place finisher DD Delicious (Matt Kakaley) to win in 1:51.3. So Awesome (Brian Sears) picked up third money. Zero Tolerance is a 3-year-old filly by Heston Blue Chip. She is trained by Joe Holloway for owners Val D'Or Farms and Theodore Gewertz. It was her second win this season and career win number nine. Zero Tolerance                                  -Fotowon photo David Miller won three more on the card. He got his other wins with Sports Column ($2.70), Gussy's Realdeal ($22.60), and Fool Me Again ($5.80). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (May 31) with 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   John Horne for Vernon Downs

CHESTER PA - All three defending champions will be on hand Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, as the southeast Pennsylvania track hosts its Super Stakes Sunday of $100,000 Invitationals - the Betsy Ross Pace for mares, the Maxie Lee Trot, and the Commodore Barry Pace, going as races ten through twelve respectively on the 12:40 card. Each of these races will also count towards the pointstandings for the summerlong Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS), in which many of these harness racing stars have been competing. The giant card also has three divisions of the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. Here is a look at all four groups: $100,000 BETSY ROSS MARES PACE (12th edition; stakes record 1:48.3, Southwind Tempo, 2009.) Combined earnings of field: $7,202,760. Average lifetime mark: 1:49.3 (five in 1:50 or less). The defending champion in the Betsy Ross is the great New Zealand import Shartin N, last year's North American mares divisionwinner who is carrying on in final style so far in 2019 - five wins in six starts, including the Blue Chip Final, and earnings of $319,500, second only to Levy Final winner Western Fame. And it's hard to imagine Shartin N having more solid connections, especially in this race - trainer Jim King Jr. trained Shartin N to victory last year, and in 2017 wife Jo Ann Looney-King conditioned the victorious Nike Franco N. And their driver (and Shartin N's co-owner) Tim Tetrick has won the Betsy Ross six times: more than all others drivers combined. He also guided Southwind Tempo to the stakes record. Two potential liabilities for Shartin N: drawing post seven in the eight horse field, and not having raced for 22 days, and only twice in 53 days. The mare has seemed to thrive on an intermittent schedule in the past, however. Starting just inside Shartin N will be Tequila Monday, who is merely six-for-six this year and the only double winner in the Great Northeast Open Series so far, with Brian Sears driving for trainer Hunter Oakes, whose father Chris conditioned 2013 Ross winner Economy Terror. Add in the likes of hard-hitting veteran Caviart Ally, last year's top three-year-old filly, Youaremycandygirl, and other fast distaffs, and the Betsy Ross figures to be an interesting chess match. $100,000 MAXIE LEE TROT (12th edition; stakes record 1:50.2, Market Share, 2014.) Combined earnings of field: $9,424,706. Average lifetime mark: 1:51.1 (three sub-1:51, one sub-1:49). The defending champion of the Maxie Lee, a race honoring the superb area trainer for many years, is Will Take Charge, who will be guided from post five by Scott Zeron for trainer Jeff Gillis. Will Take Charge looks to be coming up to peak form right now, fresh off a win at Yonkers, but it is likely others will draw more mutuel attention than he will. Take, for instance, The World's Fastest Trotter, Homicide Hunter (1:48.4 at Lexington last year), who this season is guided by the Burke Brigade (who has won this race four times: once by patriarch Mickey, and the last three by the recordsetting Ron). Homicide Hunter just won his second start of the year, at Pocono, last week, taking a GNOS contest in 1:52.3, and the early sheet says he will be getting a driver change to George Napolitano Jr., with whom Homicide Hunter won the 2018 Breeders Crown (Yannick Gingras will be in Sweden this week, competing in the World Driving Championship). Guardian Angel AS, starting from post two, has also been a GNOS winner this year, and his chances will be helped by the sulky presence of Tim Tetrick, who has won the Maxie Lee five times, including with stakes recordholder Market Share. $100,000 COMMODORE BARRY PACE (5th edition; stakes record 1:47.3, Wiggle It Jiggleit, 2016.) Combined earnings of field: $5,318,913. Average lifetime mark: 1:49.1 (3 sub-1:48). Filibuster Hanover, the highest moneywinner in the Commodore Barry with just north of $1.5 million in career earnings, is the defending champion in this event, and if victorious would make trainer Ron Burke the first horseman to have two Barry titles - no driver or trainer has won twice in the race's four-year history. In his last start Filibuster Hanover set the pace in a GNOS event here, but was caught up the inside by the upstart Kiwi Tiger Thompson N; this week the "Tiger" has post six and "Filibuster" post seven, difficult assignments in a talented field. Rodeo Rock won last week's GNOS race at Pocono, defeating Tiger Thompson N and posting the fastest clocking of the year at Pocono, 1:49. Last year's highly-regarded sophomore Courtly Choice is in the Barry, and on this Harrah's day you can't ignore a Tim Tetrick-driven horse (though he has yet to win this race); Tetrick will drive the hardhitting Donttellmeagain. PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES 3YO PACING COLTS ($57,218 each in races three, seven, and thirteen). The defending champion in this group is also competing at Philly in Sunday: Proof, a winner of $450,000 and never worse than fourth in thirteen career starts, with six wins and four seconds. But Proof is unlikely to be the favorite in his thirteenth race cut - that honor will go to Captain Crunch, who was the 2018 freshman colt pace champion, and who made his 2019 debut last Sunday at Pocono, winning over a sloppy surface in 1:49.1, fastest mile of the year by a three-year-old regardless of size of track, and with a stinging last quarter of 26, with driver Scott Zeron mostly an interested passenger late. The third race division is topped by Southwind Ozzi, who won a Sire Stake two starts back and then was second behind Captain Crunch last week, only 1¾ lengths back, and Wild Wild Western, a PaSS winner last week. In the seventh race division, you can make a good case for most of the entrants to record their first 2019 Sire Stakes win. With 27 horses who have won in 1:50 or less on the card, plus 30 winners of over $500,000 lifetime, including eight millionaires, the entire Sunday card at Harrah's Philadelphia is an outstanding one.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - Captain Crunch, last year's two-year-old champion, had people asking "What's he going to do when he gets tighter?" after taking his 2019 debut by an effortless 1¾ lengths in a harness racing division of the second preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts Sunday at Mohegan Sun Pocono, negotiating a sloppy track in an amazing 1:49.1, last quarter :26. 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Proof left hard from an outer post to clear to the lead just after the :27 quarter, with Scott Zeron already having given the word to Captain Crunch and the Captaintreacherous colt powering right to the lead before reaching the half in :55.2. Southwind Ozzi, a first-round PaSS winner, made a bold move from fifth to challenge the leader towards the 1:23.1 three-quarters, but then, without a race in 145 days, over off going, Captain Crunch charged home with the powerhouse :26 blitz, with Zeron mostly an interested passenger. Southwind Ozzi, the second choice, held extremely well in second, a length in front of third choice Proof, who also stayed on nicely after the early usage. Though some people have been known to complain about soggy cereal, Captain Crunch has no apparent aversion to moisture, having won the Breeders Crown (here) and the Governor's Cup on sloppy ovals, and now posting this off-track victory, which equaled his lifetime mark and is the fastest mile of the young season by a three-year-old on any size of oval. Nancy Johansson trains the divisional favorite and winner of $645,322 for 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. The major challenger to Captain Crunch may emerge to be Workin Ona Mystery, another Captaintreacherous colt who won his first five starts at two, then ended his season after having a horrible trip in his Breeders Crown elimination and not advancing. A 1:50.1 PaSS winner in his 2019 bow, Workin Ona Mystery traveled the sloppy Pocono oval in 1:49.3 to match his lifetime best. Tim Tetrick reserved his colt in fourth as Love Me Some Lou needed most of the :26.4 quarter to make the top. Workin Ona Mystery quickly moved and worked his way to command, but then got a very hard challenge from 40-1 Volley Ball Beach, who recovered from an early miscue to race as a team with the winner to a :54.2 half and got a short backstretch lead before his bid ended just past the 1:21.4 three-quarters. Despite the hard middle half, nobody could get near Workin Ona Mystery late, with Love Me Some Lou 4 3/4 lengths back at the wire. The Brian Brown trainee seems to have recovered well from his one hiccup for owners Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith, and Wingfield Brothers LLC. The third division of Sire Stakes produced the only non-favorite in the Sires and Stallion Series events, as 6-5 "longshot" Wild Wild Western, a Western Ideal colt who was unraced at two but now has posted a 10-6-4-0 scorecard at three after equaling his mark of 1:52. Driver Mike Wilder used the popular frontstretch brush tactic with the Norm Parker trainee after the :26.3 opener, put up middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:24, then had to hold off two late threats to his left, 26-1 Caviart Stetson in second and Semi Tough in third, both a neck back; even money favorite Major Deception was another half-length behind the top trio. Wild Wild Western is owned by Jacobs Creek Racing LLC, Andrew Altobelli, and John Deters. Fastest of the four Stallion Series winners was the Sweet Lou gelding Warrawee Unique, who got the evening off to a fast start by posting a lifetime best of 1:50.2 while doubling his lifetime win total and equaling his division's North American season's record. Warrawee Unique made two moves to control the pace for driver Yannick Gingras, then used identical :27.2 back quarters to win by 2¾ lengths for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The Captaintreacherous colt Odds On Boca Raton had the biggest win margin in the Stallion Series competition, coming home first by four lengths in 1:51.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy while like the first winner lowering his mark and doubling his career win total. The Tony Alagna trainee looks to be seriously on the improve for Odds On Racing. The only one of the seven stakes winners who did not beat or lower his mark was U S Captain, but since the Captaintreacherous colt won his first start of the year in 1:50.4 and was racing in sloppy going here, the 1:51.1 final clocking, including :55 - :27.2 back fractions, was quite acceptable. Andrew McCarthy and Tony Alagna combined again with a developing colt, as U S Captain was winless last year but here showed his mettle by withstanding a tough Stienams Beach by ¾ of a length for Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Joseph Barbera, and U S Captain Racing. The first three Stallion Series winners were all six-figure yearlings with glittering maternal sides; the final StS winner, the Sweet Lou gelding Skip To My Lou, is the only one of the four to have two Stallion Series victories to his 2019 credit. Like every other stakes winner tonight, Skip To My Lou moved to the lead in quarter two, and driver Eric Goodell had things under control through the stretch, with Rockme Rollme good late but not really threatening the half-length winner, who reduced his mark as second to 1:51. Robert Cleary, he of the 40% victory rate, trains the sophomore who has four wins in his last six starts for Royal Wire Products Inc. ATTRIBUTION - PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

East Rutherford, NJ - It was a perfect Saturday morning for qualifiers at The Meadowlands with sunny skies, a slight cross breeze and temperatures in the 70's. The track was rated as fast when the races began at 10am. Hannelore Hanover is back! The 2017 Dan Patch Horse of the Year and career winner of $2.8 million made her 2019 harness racing debut an impressive winning one over current "Road to the Hambletonian" list topper Gimpanzee (Sears). Settled in fifth through the early poles, Hannelore had advanced to third via a few breakers by the 1:25.4 third panel, fanned wide and engaged the leading Gimpanzee then prevailed on the wire in 1:53 flat with a sub 27 final quarter under her own power. Super Schissel (Scott Zeron) was right in between the top pair in third. Ron Burke trains Hannelore Hanover for his interests as Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva and Joe Bongiorno picked up the drive this morning. Beautiful Sin was ultra-impressive this morning, not only beating a field of quality male rivals but doing so authoritatively. Driver Tim Tetrick moved the Muscle Hill lass first over from fourth as they passed the 59.2 half and brushed past the leader Gerry (Marcus Melander) through the 29.1 third panel, leaving the boys behind with a 27 flat close to the 1:55.3 mile. Gerry stayed on for second while White Tiger (Sears) was a rated third. Lennart Agren's S R F Stable owns Beautiful Sin who at $480,000 was the highest priced yearling of 2017 and Per Engbloom trains. Trainer Domenico Cecere brought a string of Lindy Farms 3-year-old trotting colts in for their first foray of the new season and drove the Chapter Seven colt Refi to a front stepping 1:56.2 / 28.2 win under wraps over stable mate Signor Cardin (Brian Sears). Wing Suit (Zeron) was comfortably third. Refi is owned by Lindy Farms and Bob Rudolph. Sophomore pacing colts came around next and a pair of trainer Tony Alagna's Captaintreacherous colts finished 1-2 with Captain McKee (Tetrick) prevailing from the pocket in 1:52.3 / 27.1 over mile cutter Captain Cash (Andy McCarthy) with Magic Joe Lindy (Zeron) third. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing own the winner. Another round of Captains swept the first three spots in the next race with Latissimus Hanover (Tetrick) leading throughout under restraint and holding Captain Ahab (McCarthy) and Shipshape (Matt Krueger) at bay in 1:51.1 / 28.1. Trainer Ray Schnittker owns the speedy colt with Mary Kinsey Arnold and Ted Gewertz. Tall Drink Hanover (McCarthy) completed the "Captain sweep" for the sophomore pacers, winning handily in 1:51.4 / 27.1 under complete wraps. Key West (Tetrick) was a good second. Alagna trains both and owns the winner as Alagna Racing along with Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing (Stephanie & Myron Bell). Western Joe was pacing out of his skin through a 26.1 end to a 1:50.1 mile this morning, looking like he's ready to roll after this, his third qualifier. He tracked Shnitzledosomethin (Tetrick) throughout and roared past that rival under some Zeron rousing in the stretch. Chris Choate trains the 2018 Sam McKee Memorial winner for Anthony Ruggeri and Joe Tosies. It's a huge night at The Meadowlands with Graduate Series trotters on the track and BeerFest in the Back Yard. Live racing gets started at 7:15pm.   Nick Salvi

WILKES-BARRE PA - 2018 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year Captain Crunch makes his 2019 harness racing debut in the middle of three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes second preliminary for the glamour division, to be held at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night in races nine through eleven - and he couldn't have found a more challenging spot in which to open his season. Captain Crunch, a Captaintreacherous colt trained by Nancy Johansson for the 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, the Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms, won six of ten starts, including the Breeders Crown here at Pocono and the Governor's Cup, en route to divisional honors while winning the most money among baby colts, $616,113, and coming within a fifth of his division's world record by winning in 1:49.1 at Lexington. Prepping for 2019, Captain Crunch has qualifying wins in 1:50.1 and 1:51.2 (the latter on a "good +1" track). The draw was kind to Captain Crunch in one respect, as Scott Zeron will be guiding him from post three in the field of nine (all three divisions have nine starters). But the draw also gave Captain Crunch a real challenge, in that many of the section's top colts, at both two and three, will be lining up against him Sunday. One example would be Proof (post eight, trainer Brian Brown, driver David Miller), second behind Captain Crunch in last year's Breeders Crown, the 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, and a good second at The Meadows in the Sire Stakes' opening leg in his first start of the year; also in this cut is the horse who conquered Proof in that event in 1:50.4, Southwind Ozzi (post one, trainer Bill MacKenzie, one of four "calls" for driver Tim Tetrick). There's Lyons Night Hawk (post five, trainer Gareth Dowse, Tetrick also listed), who was just edged in 1:50.1 in a PA All-Stars event in his seasonal bow, and Prince Of Tides (post two, trainer Ross Croghan, driver Eric Carlson), 1:49.4 winner of the Wiggle It Jiggleit final at The Meadowlands. But not all of the good horses will be facing Captain Crunch. In the eleventh race third division, two Sire Stakes winners at The Meadows will attract a good deal of attention: Workin On A Mystery (post two, trainer Brian Brown, driver Tim Tetrick), who won the fastest Sires section in 1:50.1, and Love Me Some Lou, undefeated in two starts this year and a 1:50.4 Sires winner, who will have to negotiate the difficult post eight for trainer Tom Cancelliere and driver David Miller. While the ninth race first division may not have horses who have some of the paper credentials of the other two divisions, it has some nice developing horses of its own, including Major Deception (post one, trainer Tony Alagna, driver Tim Tetrick), the easiest kind of winner at Philly over sloppy going in his 2019 return; Wild Wild Western (post two, trainer Norm Parker, driver Mike Wilder), who was second to Workin On A Mystery in the fastest PaSS division at The Meadows; and 2018 PA Fairs champion Aflame Hanover (post eight, trainer Linda Schadel, driver Tony Schadel), who has shown that he can be competitive with the most select of the state's three-year-olds. There will also be four Pennsylvania Stallion Series divisions at Pocono Sunday, including first round StS winners Captain Koine, Skip To My Lou, and Under Paid, plus Captain Panko, the 2018 Stallion Series champion who will be making his 2019 debut. First post for Sunday's 14 race card is set for 7 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Pennsylvania All-Stars harness racing series began its annual run at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday night, with three $30,000 divisions of sophomore pacing males in the spotlight. The first All-Stars division was taken by the heralded and well-bred Sweet Lou colt Blood Money, but only by a nose in 1:50. It was an interesting strategic "chess match" between Scott Zeron, guiding Blood Money, and George Napolitano Jr. behind Escapetothebeach: Zeron gradually guided Blood Money to the lead past a :26.4 opener, only for Napolitano to brush in front of the stands with his first-time 2019 starter to have the lead before the :55 half. Zeron didn't want to be caught in with his 1-5 shot, so he regained command before the 1:22.3 three-quarters, only to have Escapetothebeach hang right behind him, take the Pocono Pike, and only get beaten by the slightest of margins. Brassy Hanover, ducking inside fading cover on the far turn, rallied up the far inside and missed by only ¾ of a length in third. Blood Money had won his seasonal debut at The Meadowlands in 1:50; this mile was the fastest of the year by a sophomore on a 5/8-mile track, and tied Blood Money with himself as the fastest "glamour division" colt on any size track. Nancy Johansson trains the winner of $372,244 for Diamond Creek Racing. Branquinho, winless at two but a full brother to Huntsville, looks like he may flourish in his sophomore campaign - he's now undefeated in three 2019 starts, following up on a Stallion Series win last week with an All-Stars victory in 1:50.1, his fastest ever. The Somebeachsomewhere colt bypassed an enormous hole mid-first turn and went on to the lead near the :27.2 quarter; favored Lyons Night Hawk also chose to press forward and grabbed the top halfway to the next station, which was reached in :54.4. The chalk had repelled outside competition by the 1:22.4 three-quarters; Branquinho (the 9-5 second choice) would be his major challenger in the lane, and the winner responded sharply when tipped out from the two-hole by Tyler Buter, winning by ¾ of a length for owner/trainer Ray Schnittker (note: Buter and Schnittker share brown-and-gold colors). Somebeachsomewhere picked up a second sire credit when Air Force Hanover, parked a good way for the lead and not getting a breather up front, was still able to draw clear in the lane to take a new mark of 1:50.1. Air Force Hanover and George Napolitano Jr. (who drove five horses to Victory Lane on the card) were still outside past the :26.3 quarter, then ranged up to the lead in the frontstretch towards the :55.2 midway clocking. Aflame Hanover, the 2018 PA Fair champion, forced the winner to go an all-out :26.3 third quarter to keep the lead, and after the challenger started to fade past the 1:22 three-quarters, "George Nap" kept the winner's mind to business as he posted a 2¾ length victory over fast-closing Highlandbeachlover, who was hampered by a nonflowing outer tier. Brian Brown is the conditioner of the four-time career winner for Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and W. J. Donovan. Pocono's love affair with the claiming box produced a "new track record" on Saturday, as the Mach Three seven-year-old gelding Raksmach N was claimed for $40,000, a record for the mountain oval. A winner of three straight before a very hard-fought third from the outside post eight on Saturday, he leaves owner Mark Akins with a $2400 purse check and a $5000 profit on his haltering of the horse for $35,000 last week, minus the week's training fee; the horse now goes to the Oakes barn and the Northfolk Racing Stable. In all for the night, 12 claims totaled up to $304,500, running the seasonal totals to 147 claims, with $2,642,500 changing hands. Tomorrow night marks the 2019 debut of The World's Fastest Trotter, the locally-based Homicide Hunter, in a $30,000 open trot event in the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS); Tequila Monday and Kissininthesand seem likely to renew their first-round GNOS rivalry in the $30,000 mares open pace.   ATTRIBUTION - PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 9, 2019-It was Scott Zeron Night at the Races Thursday (May 9th), as the lad won 60 percent of Yonkers Raceway's 10 harness racing events. Zeron swept the $8.40 early daily double with imported favorites Zach Maguire N ($4) in the $10,000 pacing opener (1:54.4) and Whether or Not Fi ($3.80) in the $20,000, second-race trot (life-best 1:56). The consecutive Zeron three-peat was finished when people's preference Rock Icon ($4.40) won the $10,000, third-race pace (1:54.2). His fourth winner came behind a sharp Vegas Rocks ($6.70) in the $17,500, sixth-race pace (1:52.3), while No. 5 was a just-up Don'tforgetmaster ($3.60) in the $16,000, seventh-race trot (1:58.1). Zeron's happy half-dozen concluded in the $17,500 pacing finale, with an odds-on Zoe Ellasen ($3.50) holding sway (1:53.2). Special Thursday props to the venerable veteran Great Vintage (Austin Siegelman, $4.40), who scorched the $17,500, eighth-race pace in a season's-best 1:51. The 11-year-old son of American Ideal widened to 5¾ lengths for a 49th career victory.   BY FRANK DRUCKER Publicity Director Yonkers Raceway

CHESTER PA - This Sunday promises some spectacular racing at the two tracks served by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA), with the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) staging a trio of $30,000 events, for open pacers at Harrah's Philly in the afternoon and for mare open pacers and open trotters at Mohegan Sun Pocono at night. In the open hanress racing pacing event at Philly, Rodeo Rock has been installed as a tight 7-2 favorite in a well-matched field of nine which will be the fifth race. The Robert Cleary pupil, to be driven by Andrew McCarthy, is one of only four North American horses to have earned over $200,000 already this year, the bulk of his bankroll coming when finishing second in the $664,000 Levy Final at Yonkers. Starting just to his outside will be Donttellmeagain for trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick. A state favorite since winning the PA Stallion Series Championship in 2017, Donttellmeagain holds the distinction of being the last horse to win against 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked, and he comes off a 1:49 victory at The Meadowlands. The two GNOS races at Pocono will come consecutively, in slots ten and eleven. The ladies will come first, with the 1-2 finishers from last week's first GNOS group for this group, Tequila Monday and Kissininthesand, ready to bump heads again and vie for favoritism. This will be the second start of the year for Kissininthesand (post one, trainer Nancy Johansson, driver Scott Zeron), last year's three-year-old champion, and she might be just that much better with a race under her girth. But knocking off Tequila Monday (post six, trainer Chris Oakes, driver Tyler Buter) has never been an easy task throughout that mare's career, and might be even more hard to bring off this year, as Tequila Monday has started the year with five consecutive victories, and she has shown she can win on, off, or near the pace. The World's Fastest Trotter, Homicide Hunter (1:48.4 at Lexington last year), is entered in the open trotting event, and he returns to the races both for a new stable, the Burke Brigade, and off two fine qualifying wins, the latter a photo victory over 2018 sophomore champion Six Pack. One big obstacle facing Homicide Hunter and driver Yannick Gingras will be the outside starting spot in the field of eighth, but he is still the early favorite. Guardian Angel AS (post five, trainer Anette Lorentzon, driver Tim Tetrick) won a Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono last year, and in his seasonal debut last week at The Meadowlands he came from ninth at the three-quarter call to miss less than two lengths. Pappy Go Go, who has two of the four fastest North American trotting miles of the year, a pair of 1:52 wins both here and at Philly, has the advantages of post one and Pocono's top driver George Napolitano Jr. Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, in conjunction with The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia racetracks

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 7, 2019-New York Sire Stakes season began Tuesday night (May 7th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $163,499 Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The lasses went as three harness racing divisions, two six-horse fields--purses $54,833 each-and a five-horse event at $1,000 less. The opening quintet saw Hanna Dreamgirl (Brian Sears, $13) waltz around the oval (:29.3, 1:00.1, 1:29.3, 1:59) as the only leaver. From post position No. 3, she never had any grief, disposing of first-up, 2-5 choice Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett), then hold pocket-sitting Sweet Chapter (Dave Miller) at bay. The final margin was three-quarters of a length, with Stella Jane settling for the bottom of the ticket. For third choice Hanna Dreamgirl, a daughter of Chapter Seven owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by George Ducharme, it was her seasonal debut (2-for-15, $115,204 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $29.20, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. The first of two happy half-dozen sire stakes events was won by With Out a Doubt (Andy Miller, $10.20). Making the first lead from post No 5, she gave it up to Sensibility (Scott Zeron) That lass worked through intervals of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:27, with minimal annoyance from Thanks for Leaving (Jordan Stratton) and even less from 17-10 favorite Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris). Sensibility owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, but With Out a Doubt edged by with purpose. She drew out, winning by a length-and-three-quarters in a life-best 1:56.2...by far the night's fastest effort. Sensibility was a safe second, with 'Kellyanne' and Thanks for Leaving completing the gimmicks. With Out a Doubt                  -Mike Lizzi photo For fourth choice Without a Doubt, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (breeder) Ross Bonafield, Robert McCarthy & James Moran and trained by Erv Miller, it was also her '19 purse bow (1-for-9, $51,536 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $27, the triple returned $107 and the superfecta paid $199.50. "She's quick off the car and very handy," Andy Miller said. ...and down came the rain before the final statebred event, reclassifying the track as 'sloppy'. It was done in time defending sire stakes champion Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer, $4.60) to prevail-barley-snapping he nearly 39-1 rank outsider Pilgrim Lass (Mike Simons) by a head in 1:59.1. 'Pilgrim,' one of three that didn't jump it off early, led the remaining trio (:30.3, 1:01.1, 1:30.2). Winndevie, pocketed from post No. 5, took out early but found the leader quite stubborn. Winndevie did get past very late, with Amal Hall (Andy Miller) third. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.), the 7-10 choice, did beat the other breakers. For second choice Winndevie, a Credit Winner miss trained by her driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, she began her sophomore season after going 6-for-7 ($227,878) as a frosh. The exacta paid $102, the triple returned $286 and the superfecta paid $771. New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Tuesday night (May 14th), with the Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com.   by Frank Drucker Director of Publicity 810 Yonkers Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704

East Rutherford, NJ - Foul weather caused the postponement of today's Meadowlands qualifiers until 3:00 pm. By then, despite overcast skies and a slight helping breeze in the stretch, the harness racing track was fast and dry with a temperature of 64f at post time. The session quickly turned into Nancy Johansson day as she brought big power to the table and got the results she and driver Scott Zeron were hoping for from several potential stars of the 2019 Grand Circuit season. Nancy unveiled the sophomore edition of her Dan Patch award and Breeders Crown winning freshman pacing sensation Captain Crunch (Zeron) and he was absolutely fabulous. Moving comfortably on the lead through a 56.1 half and 1:24.4 three quarters, "Crunch" sprinted home in a sizzling 25.2 under his own power to win by 4 or 5 lengths over Major March (Tim Tetrick) in 1:50.1 with Zeron motionless in the sulky. The Captaintreacherous colt won more than $600,000 at two for owners 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stable and Caviart Farms who plucked him from the Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) for the bargain price of $85,000. Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs are the breeders. The 2018 Doherty Memorial winner The Ice Dutchess (Yannick Gingras) returned to the racing wars today for Johansson and looked fantastic in her debut. Gingras sat in third with the filly as stable mate Can't Touch It (Zeron) rated even fractions while Speed Titan (Mattias Melander) ground up uncovered. As they trotted home, the rail opened and The Ice Dutchess bolted through to score an four length win moving away from her rivals unasked in a 26.1 close to the 1:54.4 mile. Speed Titan was second while Can't Touch This stayed on for third. The Muscle Hill lass was a $320,000 Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) purchase by Canyon Wind Farm from breeders Stephen Dye and David Reid. She paid for herself as a 2-year-old and appears ready to add to that booty at age three. Six Pack is back! The Dan Patch award winner and fastest 3-year-old trotter in history by virtue of his KY Futurity win was awesome in his returning qualifier for Ake Svanstedt. The pair sat a pocket to an old rival in Fashionwoodchopper (Gingras) past the 1:28.3 six panels and roared by that rival when tipped out at that station to a 1:55.2 mile easily. The Muscle Mass 4-year-old is owned by Svanstedt in partnership with Little E; LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmer and I. Berg this season. Svanstedt also won with Galixton in 1:59 for himself, Little E and Joe Sbrocco. Kissin In The Sand may have looked better this week than last, if that's even possible. Zeron sat behind the early pace of Izzy Hanover through a 56.1 half, passed that rival and the three quarters in 1:24.3 with top pacing mare Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy) following up and dropping in behind as they sprinted home in 25.3 for a 1:50.1 mile. Both mare had plenty left and were well ahead of the others. Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield own the exciting Somebeachsomewhere 4-year-old returning divisional award winner and Nancy Johansson trains. Blood Money (Zeron) closed in 25.2 to run down Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) the mile in 1:52.2. Johansson trains last year's Matron Stakes winning homebred for Diamond Creek Racing. Johansson and Zeron capped their memorable afternoon with Thinkbig Dreambig zipping around the oval in 1:52.2, holding American History (McCarthy) at bay with a 26 flat final stanza while both were in hand. This imposing Bettor's Delight 4-year-old was a winner of multiple Grand Circuit stakes in 2018 including a division of the Tattersalls Pace in 1:48.2 for Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk. Sharp Action Money (Gingras) won the last of the day's races, ending a 1:52.4 mile with a 25.3 final quarter for the Burke barn. Charted results may be found on the Meadowlands website. Nick Salvi

Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) collected his 11th victory of the season on Wednesday evening (Nov. 21) in the $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs by besting Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) in 1:49.2. This Is The Plan (Tim Tetrick) was third. Leaving from post position five, Jimmy Freight and his pilot were content to allow Thinkbig Dreambig to establish the pace with fractions of :26.1, :54.4 and 1:22.2 while biding their time in second place. Dorsoduro Hanover, however, employed an overland journey to capture the lead in the push to the wire. After enjoying primarily a pocket trip, Zeron pushed the gas pedal to send Jimmy Freight past his rival with a :26.4 final quarter-mile to assure the win by a neck. Trained by Andrew Harris, Jimmy Freight is owned by Adriano Sorella and paid $6 to win as the public’s second selection (2-1). The final field for the $260,000 Progress Pace final on Nov. 29 is: Jimmy Freight Dorsoduro Hanover This Is The Plan Done Well Thinkbig Dreambig Shnitizledosomethin I’m A Big Deal Heavenly Sound From the USTA Media Department

Wilkes-Barre, PA - Scott Zeron drove Captain Crunch to a definitive 3-length win in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Final at The Downs at Mohegan Pocono on Oct. 27. The time for the mile on the track rated "sloppy" was 1:51.3. From the far outside, Blood Money left with Captain Crunch, followed by Captain Trevor and flushing to the outside, Proof took an early shot at challenging. The first quarter was clocked in :26.4 as Proof took the lead into the half. Proof rolled to a :55.1 half with Captain Crunch sitting in the cat-bird seat as Captain Trevor went first over, aiming at the top two inside. No Mas Amor went three-wide in an attempt to charge late. Three-quarters went in 1:23.2. With a clear path to come out of the pocket, Zeron guided Captain Crunch into the second lane and the son of Captaintreacherous--Sweet Paprika (by Artiscape) catapulted past Proof and extended his winning lead to 3 lengths in 1:51.3. Proof held on for second, Love Me Some Lou passed tired ones to catch the third spot and No Mas Amor was fourth. Nancy Johansson trains Captain Crunch for owner Rojan Stables, Caviart Farms, 3 Brothers Stables and Christine Takter. The colt was bred by Walnridge Farms and Sherri K. Meirs. The win was driver Scott Zeron's second in a Breeders Crown Final. Captain Crunch paid $11.20 to win. by Frank Cotolo, For The Breeders Crown

Plainville, MA --- The third leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) for first-year state-breds resumed at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 22) after a one week break and offered four divisions vying for $163,434 in total purse money. First-time series starter Taylor Swiftly and two-time series winner Simple Kaos took different paths to victory but both turned in dominating performances. $40,300 2-year-old filly trot Winner: Taylor Swiftly (Trixton-True Diva) 1:58.2 Owners: Lindy Farms of Connecticut Trainer: Dominico Cecere Breeder: Lindy Farms of Connecticut Mutuel: $2.10 Scott Zeron took Taylor Swiftly off the gate to settle in fourth and watched as Crystalline (Shawn Gray) took command by the quarter. The race progressed to the five-eighths before Ev's Girl (Steve Smith) pulled first-over and Taylor Swiftly was happy to follow with the cover. Crystalline was beginning to trot away from the field around the last turn, opening up a three-length advantage. So Zeron tipped Taylor Swiftly three-deep around Ev's Girl and really got the filly in gear. Taylor Swiftly drew alongside Crystalline at the head of the stretch and as soon as she did, Crystalline broke; leaving Taylor Swiftly to trot home alone under wraps by three-lengths in 1:58.2. It was one start and one win in the MASS for Taylor Swiftly who now joins Ev's Girl and Just Enuf Sass who each have the same win record in this division heading into the final. $40,500 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) 1:57.4 Owners: George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson Trainer: George Ducharme Breeder: Michelle Larson Mutuel: $3.00 Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) left nothing to chance as he bolted for the lead and headed his group at every station during the mile. After going :28.3, :58.1 and 1:27.2 by a gapped two-lengths on top, Simple Kaos trotted away effortlessly to a four-length victory in 1:57.4 while The Fixer (Mark Athearn) outdueled Precision (Steve Smith) for place. Simple Kaos won his three MASS legs by a combined 14-lengths and looks to become a champion next week. $42,334 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner: Victorias Maverick (Western Maverick-Perfect Launch) 1:55.3 Owners: Leighton Property and Bruce Plouffe Trainer: Valerie Grondin Breeder: Lynn-Marie Plouffe Mutuel: $3.40 It was gate to wire once again for Victorias Maverick (Heath Campbell) who got little challenge from anyone else in the race. Cutting the quarters in :27.3, :56.4 and 1:26, Victorias Maverick was on top by four heading into the lane and cruised home an easy winner in 1:55.3. Victorias Maverick won by a total of 16-lengths in his three MASS victories and should be heavily favored next week in the final. $40,300 2-year-old filly pace Winner: Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) 1:58.1 Owner: Al Ross Trainer: Jim Hardy Breeder: Al Ross Mutuel: NB Karan's Choice (Jim Hardy) sat second behind Cominrightatyou (Ron Cushing) in a two-horse breakaway through fractions of :30, :59.2 and 1:28.4 before pulling in the lane. From there it was a hard fought stretch battle between the two all the way to the wire where Karan's Choice got the advantage to win by a neck in 1:58.1. Karan's Choice will join Victoria's Maverick and Simple Kaos as undefeated MASS finalist. The MASS continues at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 23) when the 3-year-olds get together for their third and final leg. Five divisions will compete for a total of $163,000 in purse money as they all try to make the final next week. One MASS leg on Tuesday is a non-betting race and goes off at 1:45 p.m. The regular betting card has a post time of 2 p.m. with the MASS events going as race one through four. The MASS finals will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 30) at Plainridge Park with a record $800,000 in purse money to be distributed. Eight divisions will go for $100,000 each and state champions will be determined for age, sex and gait. For more information on the Massachusetts Sire Stakes, log onto www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

North American drivers participating in Saturday's (Oct. 13) $1 million Yonkers International Trot face several challenges as they prepare for the event, most notably learning about their rivals -- and in some cases their own horse -- in addition to contemplating the best path to victory in a 10-horse field going 1-1/4 miles. "My deal is to know the competition the best I can and make decisions as it plays out," said Brian Sears, who is driving in the International Trot for the third time since its renewal in 2015 at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. Sears will be behind Cruzado Dela Noche, starting from post six, on Saturday. "My job is to learn some of these horses, which is what makes this race so difficult to win. You don't really know the competition as well as you'd like. As the race unfolds, you'll see things happen and you try to make decisions to put your horse in the best spot. But I think you have to be aggressive. You have to be as aggressive as you can get away with." Winners of the three most recent International Trots each accomplished the feat in different ways -- one of which no longer exists. In 2015, Norway's Papagayo E got a ground-saving trip behind leader Creatine and used the passing lane to earn the victory. The passing lane has since been eliminated at Yonkers. In 2016, U.S. representative Resolve led virtually from start to finish en route to his triumph. Last year, Italy's Twister Bi raced on the outside and methodically chased down leader Resolve before powering away to win by 5-1/2 lengths. Marion Marauder, who is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's race, finished second last year. He started from post No. 1 and got away in seventh place around the first turn. He will start again from post one on Saturday. "When I had the rail last year it was a learning experience," said Scott Zeron, who drives Marion Marauder. "I pushed him off the wings enough to get him well situated, but I had to have a lot of luck on my side as well with not being able to pull the right line and go to the outer flow. "It could end up like that again this year, but I know I have a horse that's capable of winning this race. I let him leave at his own comfort. It will be playing it by ear when I go off the wings. We'll see two steps off the gate where I'm going to get situated. Hopefully I have an opportunity to race him." Trotting races at the distance of 1-1/4 miles are nothing new at Yonkers and looking back at 37 such races on Sundays in July to September shows horses that were no worse than third at the half-mile point won nearly 84 percent of the time. Horses that led at the half won 18 times while horses that were second won seven and horses third won six. Posts one and six produced the most winners, with seven each, followed by post five with six. "It's a benefit," Zeron said about the extra experience of racing 1-1/4 miles at Yonkers. "The difference with this race compared to a regular Sunday is having 10 horses that all can win. There are no long shots. These are the best of the best." Jason Bartlett, who has won seven driving titles at Yonkers including the past four, is making his first appearance in the International Trot. He will drive France's Up And Quick, who counts the 2015 Prix d'Amerique among five career Group 1 wins in Europe. Up And Quick will start from post two. "I thought the draw was very good," Bartlett said. "It gives me options. I don't really know the horse, but I'll do a little homework on him and go from there. I've talked to Bjorn Goop who drove him three starts ago. I'll watch some replays on him. That's all I can really do. I'll get a feel for him going into the turn when I score him down and that's it. "I think the biggest part I've got to learn is a little bit about the competition, each horse in the race. It's the best trotters in the world, the best drivers; you can't really go in with a game plan. "For me, it's my first time in this race. Winning it would be very special to me being that it's my home track. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity. It's going to be an interesting race." Sears will be driving Sweden's Cruzado Dela Noche for the first time. Cruzado Dela Noche raced in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3, winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes and finishing third in the Peter Haughton Memorial. In Europe, his victories include the Group 1 Copenhagen Cup. "I just hope that he's on his toes and puts up a good race," Sears said. "(To win) would be a feather in your cap. It's one of the biggest races and it's very hard to get done. To be able to accomplish that would be quite a victory, no doubt." Yannick Gingras, with Ariana G, and Tim Tetrick, with Will Take Charge, are both making their second appearances in the International Trot and enter with horses they drive regularly. It will be the first time on a half-mile track for Ariana G, a two-time Dan Patch Award-winner who is the lone mare in the race. "She's very square gaited, she's two fingers to drive, so I don't see (the half) being any problem at all," Gingras said. "I think if anything it will work in her favor. She's got it all, honestly. She's got the speed, you can stop-and-go anytime you want, and she's great gaited. I keep saying about her being great gaited, I hope I don't jinx her. "She's just so smart," he added. "Maybe that's her best attribute. I think I've got as good a shot as anybody." Racing at Yonkers begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. The day also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot, featuring the fastest trotter in history, Homicide Hunter, plus the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace, featuring the continued rivalry between McWicked and New Zealand-bred Lazarus. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Jason Bartlett-Antoine Lherete-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wim Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 * Lionel and Slide So Easy start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

CHESTER, PA - Over $190,000 in stakes purses were on the line as three-year-old fillies of both gaits each contested three division of John Simpson Sr. series stakes action on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Trotters were first to the track on the Wednesday card, and the Lucky Chucky filly Lucky Ava was first to the finish line, posting splits of 27.3, 56.4, and 1:26.2 en route to a 1¾ length wire-to-wire victory in a lifetime best of 1:55.1. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, straight off a monumental Sunday at Lexington which may be part of a Trainer of the Year title possibility, was in the sulky for Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and the Van Camp Trotting Corporation, whose trotter has now won $382,264. Driver Scott Zeron tucked the Chapter Seven filly Lima Novelty fourth early, then saw that become a 3-tuck as a rival broke, and was content to chase longshot Winbak Noelle, who set good fractions of 27.1 and 55.4. Lima Novelty moved down the backstretch, got to the lead by the 1:24.4 3/4s, then went on strongly through the stretch to have a 2½ length advantage at the end of a 1:54.1 mile. Linda Toscano trains the winner of $278,964 for owner Ken Jacobs. Zeron and Toscano came right back to take the final trot division with another daughter of Chapter Seven, Repentance, who crossed the wire 2 1/4 lengths to the good in 1:54.4. Once again first-over proved the winning route, as Hey Judy Judy, second choice to the victress, set fractions of 28.1, 57.2, and 1:26.1, but could not hold on against the winner the last 1/8 and faded. The winner, who lost a three-race win streak with an "untimely break" in her NYSS final (but what's "a timely break," anyway?), started a new winning streak while raising her bankroll to $247,327 for Diamond Creek Racing. On the sidewheeling side, Scuola Hanover looked the part of a 1-5 favorite, moving after a 26.2 opener to command, putting up middle numbers of 55.1 and 1:22.4, and then staying clear by 2¼ lengths at the end of a mile in a lifetime best of 1:50.4, which was only 3/5 of a second off Put On A Show's 2010 divisional standard for Philly. David Miller handled sulky chores behind the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, who now has a bankroll of $207,298 for trainer Andrew Stafford, co-owner with Arthur Stafford and Thomas Ireland. The American Ideal filly Solitary, right back on the track after winning at Freehold on Saturday, was out most of a 25.4 quarter for driver Brett Miller before getting the lead in her section. Aldine Hanover, who forced that rough quarter, came back to take command and went middle splits of 54.4 and 1:22.4, with Solitary waiting in the two-hole and favored E Dees Well Said swinging wide into the lane. Through the stretch the battle was inside (Solitary) and outside (E Dees Well Said), with Solitary taking a neck decision while reducing her mark to 1:51.2. The winner went 17 starts in 2018 before getting to the winners circle, but now she has won three of her last four for trainer Nick Surick and the partnership of William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic, and the J L Benson Stables Inc. while raising her bank account to $199,097. In the final pacing cut, Alexis Faith got a tick closer to the local track record than did Scuola Hanover, as she lowered her mark to 1:50.3 while looking like a 1-20 shot should. Driver David Miller, taking two of the three pacing stakes divisions on the afternoon, kept her fourth in a five-horse field until the 5/8, then charged up raw and came a 54.2 back half with the filly to be 3¼ lengths clear on the money. Speaking of money, Alexis Faith gave both her sire American Ideal and her dam Cannae Cammie a new $500,000 credit as she pushed her earnings lifetime to $502,001 for trainer Casie Coleman and the ownership quartet of West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow, and Kevin McKinlay. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

New York, NY --- Marion Marauder, who finished second in last year's $1 million Yonkers International Trot, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's (Oct. 13) 40th edition of the invitational, which will be raced at 1-1/4 miles at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. The 5-year-old stallion, representing Canada, was made the top choice after getting post No. 1 on Tuesday at the event's draw and press conference at Manhattan's 21 Club. Scott Zeron will drive Marion Marauder for trainer Paula Wellwood. Marion Marauder has won six of 10 races this year and finished no worse than second in any start. He heads to the International Trot off a win in the Caesars Trotting Classic on Sept. 21 at Hoosier Park. Other victories in 2018 include the John Cashman Memorial and Cleveland Trotting Classic. He was second in the Maple Leaf Trot and Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. "It beats the heck out of the seven or eight hole, that's for sure," said Mike Keeling, who shares the training duties on Marion Marauder with his wife, Paula Wellwood, about drawing the rail. "At least we won't be parked. "He loves three weeks between races and this works out perfectly from his last start. I think he's probably a touch better than he was for the Hoosier race. We're really pleased with him right now. As long as he's in good shape and the race sets up for him, we'll be fine. "I follow the Europeans a little bit. I know Lionel, I know Ringostarr Treb. The other horses I'm not so familiar with. We'll look at the program pages. We can only do what we can do, it's up to Scott to figure out the rest." For his career, Marion Marauder has won 20 of 48 races and earned $3.08 million for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. He was the 2016 Trotter of the Year after winning the Trotting Triple Crown and captured another Dan Patch Award in 2017 as best older male trotter. Marion Marauder has enjoyed success at Yonkers, with three wins and two seconds in five career starts. One of the victories came in the Yonkers Trot on his way to the Triple Crown. Ariana G, the U.S. representative and lone mare in the field of 10, drew post three and is 5-1 on the morning line. The International Trot has been won by a mare 11 times, most recently by Peace Corps in 1991. The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected in 2015. A Dan Patch Award divisional champion at ages 2 and 3, the 4-year-old Ariana G has won five of 11 races this year and heads to the International Trot off a win over male rivals in the Dayton Trotting Derby on Sept. 28. Other victories this season include the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship. She also won her elimination for the Maple Leaf Trot and finished third in the final. For her career, Ariana G has won 26 of 37 races and earned $2.36 million for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Yannick Gingras will drive the mare for trainer Jimmy Takter. "You have to be happy with the draw," said Gingras. "But I think most of the good horses got good spots too. It will be a tactical race, but we can't complain about where we'll start. "I think she's super sharp. She raced really good in Ohio in her last start. Jimmy skipped Lexington pointing toward this race. I think it was a smart move, no doubt. I think she's got as good a shot as anybody." Will Take Charge, a second Canadian representative as a late replacement for the Netherlands' Dreammoko, drew post seven and is 6-1. The Jeff Gillis-trained 5-year-old gelding, who will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky, has won nine of 21 races this year, including the Crawford Farms Open Trot and Maxie Lee Memorial, for owner Mac Nichol. For his career, he has won 21 of 71 starts and $848,116. Elitloppet winner Ringostarr Treb, one of two horses representing Italy, leads the international contingent. The 8-year-old stallion is trained by New England native Jerry Riordan, who conditioned last year's International Trot champion Twister Bi. Ringostarr Treb, who has won 30 of 86 career races and $1.57 million, will start from post four with driver Wilhelm "Wim" Paal and is 4-1. The stallion is owned by E.V.A.M. Racing. "I'm very happy about the post," Paal said. "It keeps me a little bit out of the traffic in the first turn. I can choose my own race. I think there are four or five horses that have a good shot in this race --- Marion Marauder, Up And Quick, Ariana G. For me, Lionel is a horse you should not underestimate because he shows his best at a mile-and-a-quarter and he is a classy horse. "I think the small track gives a big opportunity to the four (inside) horses. They are all good horses and were lucky in the draw." Up And Quick, who won the 2015 Prix d'Amerique, drew post two and is 10-1 with top Yonkers driver Jason Bartlett in the sulky for trainer Antoine Lherete. The 10-year-old stallion, representing France, has won 16 of 74 career races and $2.81 million. He is owned by Ecurie Quick Star. Lionel, representing Norway, drew post nine in the second tier and is 10-1 with owner Goran Antonsen set to drive. The 8-year-old stallion, trained by Daniel Reden, won his Elitloppet elimination and finished fifth in the final. He has won 23 of 69 races and $1.67 million. The remaining International Trot participants are Italy's Arazi Boko, Sweden's Cruzado Dela Noche and Pastore Bob, and Denmark's Slide So Easy. For video of the post draw click here. Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Antoine Lherete-Jason Bartlett-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wilhelm Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

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