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Jimmy Takter trainee French Laundry ($2.50) proved a convincing winner in his $10,000 Kindergarten Classic preliminary at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 24) afternoon, as did other odds-on favorites Wheels Ah Smokin ($2.10) and Bee the Queen ($3.00) in their respective races.   However, freshman trotting filly Mission Brief, sent off at 1-20 after her dominant Merrie Annabelle win at the Meadowlands three weeks ago, faltered in her Kindergarten Classic event, enabling Lady Clarabella to score a 22-1 upset.   French Laundry, sent off the 1-4 favorite in the sixth race for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, wasted no time asserting himself on the lead. He forced Party on the River (Tyler Buter) into the pocket on the first turn, rated a 1:00.2 half mile, and sprinted clear upon facing late pressure from the first-over SS Poseidon (Marcus Miller). The son of Muscles Yankee kicked clear to a 2-1/2 length win in rein to Yannick Gingras, besting SS Poseidon and RG's Thunderbolt (Jim Marohn, Jr.) in 1:57.1.   The fourth race was the earlier colt division of the Kindergarten, with Chuck Sylvester trainee Wheels Ah Smokin (David Miller) repelling a late challenge from Lucky Ten K (Chris Lems), sprinting clear to a 3-1/2 length win in 1:57.3.   Fillies contested their pair of $10,000 divisions in races eight and ten, with Bee the Queen (Chris Lems) never looking back off an early brush to the fore, edging clear of Fashion Gab Alot (Scott Zeron) by 2-3/4 lengths for a 1:57.3 win in the eight race. George Ducharme trains the Donato Hanover filly.   While three of four odds-on favorites had no trouble in their respective victories, Merrie Annabelle winner Mission Brief (Yannick Gingras) was a victim of multiple breaks in the tenth race, faltering on the first turn after lagging the gate by three lengths.   Josie's Joy (Tyler Buter) assumed the early pacesetting duties, controlling a :58.2 half mile while under no pressure. While eventual winner Lady Clarabella (David Miller) commenced her first-over bid into the far turn, Mission Brief had caught the field, closing ferociously through the middle half.   Unfortunately for those backing the prohibitive favorite, the daughter of Muscle Hill broke again at the top of the stretch while the Randy Beeckman-trained Lady Clarabella pushed clear of Josie's Joy to win by 2-1/4 length in 1:57.3. Josie's Joy held second, while Cocoacabana (Jacqueline Ingrassia) stayed on for third after tracking the winner's cover.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 29) evening, with first post set for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 23...Heavily-favoured Artspeak, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, kept his perfect record intact with another facile triumph, this time in the second Metro Pace elimination Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The victory, his fifth in five outings so far in a monstrous juvenile campaign, stamped the son of Western Ideal as the one to beat in next Saturday's 667,000 final. His smallest margin of victory has been one and three-quarter lengths. Lyons Again set the early fractions of 27 seconds flat and :56.2, before Zeron popped the favourite from fourth to take over approaching the far turn. But Lyons Again wouldn't fade, parking the choice through early stretch after three-quarters in 1:23.3. Despite being out in the middle of the track, Artspeak then pulled away for the easy four and one-half length score in 1:51. Lyons Again held second, with Pierce Hanover third, Amora Beach fourth and Traceur Hanover fifth, all of whom will come back for the final. "He's an absolute freak," said Zeron, about Artspeak. "I knew I wasn't going to clear (before the three-quarters). I needed maybe a fraction of an inch to do it. So I just decided to sit with him and when we came off the top turn I chirped to him once and he was gone. I didn't have to pull the plugs. "He's progressed amazingly. Tony did a great job starting him in New Jersey Sires Stakes so it was a little bit easier competition. We were able to race him off the pace and do it the right way, second-over trips, come 26 on the end. He showed us right off the bat he's the real deal." Along with first elim winner Go Daddy Go, the win by Artspeak, who was coming off a sharp score in a Nassagaweya division last week, provided his connections with the opportunity to select a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last 10 years, the Metro, the richest race on the continent for two-year-olds, has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Alagna, of course, is the trainer of Captaintreacherous, while Zeron will be seeking his first Metro win. Sent postward the 1-9 choice, Artspeak paid $2.20 and $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with Lyons Again ($2.50) for a $5.10 (5-6) exactor. A 5-6-2 (Pierce Hanover) triactor returned $38 while a $1 Superfecta [5-6-2-3 (Amora Beach)] was worth $82.65. Artspeak Go Daddy Go, with Hall of Famer John Campbell, got up in late stretch Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack to win the first $40,000 eliminations for next week's rich Metro Pace final. Go Daddy Go, trained by another Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh, was winning his third race in seven outings in a career best 1:52.4 and has been a gem of consistency, with three seconds and one third as well. The biggest win so far this year for the son of Ponder was the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway in Elora on August 4. Sent postward a close second choice to favoured Asap Hanover, Go Daddy Go was moved up from fifth by Campbell around the far turn, after Lyons Levi Lewis had led the way through a half in :55.1, before reaching three-quarters in 1:23.4. By mid-stretch, though, Go Daddy Go had collared the leader and went on to post a gritty one and one-quarter length tally. Lyons Levi Lewis held second, with Lone Survivor third, Dudes The Man fourth and Trading Up fifth, to also qualify for the final. Asap Hanover wound up last of seven. "He just doesn't pay attention as much as he does when he's coming at horses," revealed Campbell. "We just kind of fell to the front last week (when finishing second in a Nassagaweya division). This week I made a conscious effort to have him coming at horses and he responded well. "He raced very well (the first time Campbell drove him, July 7), even though he was third. He paced a big back half and was still pacing at the wire. I told Bob (McIntosh) at the time that I thought he had a future. Since then, he's gotten sounder and easier to drive. But you never know when you come out of a Sires Stakes program just how they are going to do at the open level. But we were pretty sure he wasn't going to embarrass himself and would at least be competitive. So far he proved that. But next week will be a bigger test." By winning his elim, Go Daddy Go earned his connections the right to choose a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last decade, the Metro has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Campbell is a four-time winner of the Metro while McIntosh, who also raced sire Ponder with Great Success, earning over $1.6 million, will be looking for his first win. Go Daddy Go paid $6, $3.10 and $2.50, combining with Lyons Levi Lewis ($3.70, $2.90) for a $16.30 (3-1) exactor. A 3-1-4 (Lone Survivor, $3.30) triactor returned $65.30, while a $1 Superfecta [3-1-4-5 (Dudes The Man)] was worth $264.30. Go Daddy Go Following the eliminations, the post postions were drawn for next week's final. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post positions. PP/Horse/Driver 1.Dudes The Man - Ron Pierce 2. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 3. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 4. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 5. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 7. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 8. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 9. Lone Survivor - David Miller 10. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick AE: Sports Bettor - Randy Waples​ by Jeff Timson, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 23 - Three $35,000 eliminations for the She's A Great Lady Stakes were held Saturday night at Mohawk. 25 two-year-old pacing fillies were split into three eliminations to determine the field for next week's $480,000 final. The top three finishers, plus one fourth place finisher drawn by lot, advanced to next Saturday's final. In the first elimination, Bedroomconfessions and driver Scott Zeron had to work to make the front in the second quarter, but once on the lead never looked back to win in a career best 1:52. Bedroomconfessions got away fifth in the first turn, but when Shakai Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson made a second-quarter brush to the lead, Zeron immediately followed to clear at the half in :55.4. In the stretch, Bedroomconfessions turned aside the first up bid of Aria Hanover and paced hard through the wire for a quarter length victory, with a last quarter of :27.2. Bettor Be Steppin, who made a late charge up the rail, finished second and Shakai Hanover, who sat in the two-hole behind the winner, took the show spot. Kays Dragon Lady finished fourth, but was placed fifth because a breaking violation. The placing bumped Palette Tina from fifth to fourth. "Scott (Zeron) he didn't want to have to use her that hard up the backside, but he had to go when Jody (Jamieson) went," said trainer Tony Alagna following the race. "He said that was the strongest she has been and he was really really happy with her tonight." Alagna co-owns the daughter of American Ideal - Turnoffthelights with Riverview Racing LLC. Bedroomconfessions was a homebred and has now won twice in six career starts for earnings over $52,000. She paid $6.60 to win. Bedroomconfessions The undefeated Jk Shesalady kept her streak alive with a dominating 7 ½ length victory in the second elimination. Trained by Nancy Johansson, Jk Shesalady got away comfortably in fourth as Well Hello There cut the mile setting fractions of :26.4, :56. and 1:24.1. As the field made their way to the three quarter pole, Gingras fired up Jk Shesalady and she made a strong first over move to take the lead at the top of the lane. In the stretch, the daughter of Art Major - Presidential Lady left her rivals far behind as she opened up with every stride and strolled past the wire in a career best 1:51.1. Divine Caroline finished second, while Solar Sister just nosed out Cashaway to finish third and secure a spot in the final. Following the race, Johansson talked about what a pleasure it is to train Jk Shesalady. "She just goes out there and does her work," said Johansson. "She has tremendous determination, which you can obviously see on the track and I mean she just loves what she does." Owned and bred by the 3 Brothers Stable of New York, New York, Jk Shesalady is now a perfect five-for-five in her young career and has earnings of over $85,000. She returned $2.40 to win. Jk Shesalady In the final elimination, Gingras teamed up with another undefeated filly for an impressive victory. Band Of Angels and Gingras got away in third as Macarena Mama took the field past the opening quarter in :26.3. On the way down the backstretch, Band Of Angels made a quick brush to the lead to reach the half in :55.4 and carry the field around the final turn. Band Of Angels hit the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and began to open up a good sized lead on the field as they turned for home. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Time N Again cruised home in :26.4 for a five length victory in a career best 1:51.3. "She has always been really good, all along in New York she has done nothing wrong," said Gingras following the race. "She proved it tonight, she a top class filly." Happy Becky came from off the pace to finish second, while A Plus was third and Dancin Caroll finished fourth. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Band Of Angels is owned by William J. Donovan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The elimination victory improves her record to a perfect six for six, with career earnings of over $150,000. Band Of Angels Following the eliminations, Palette Tina was the fourth place finisher to draw into the final. The post position draw also took place, with the elimination winner's selecting their posts for next Saturday's $480,000 final. PP/Horse/Driver 1. Divine Caroline - Corey Callahan 2. Band Of Angels - TBA 3. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 4. Bedroomconfessions - Scott Zeron 5. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 6. Happy Becky - David Miller 7. Bettor Be Steppin - Corey Callahan 8. Palette Tina - Randy Waples 9. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 10. A Plus - Scott Zeron AE: Dancin Caroll - Randy Waples by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

A quartet of Kindergarten Classic events headline this Sunday (August 24) afternoon's card at Tioga Downs.   Freshman trotting fillies contest races 8 and 10 on the 13-race card, with the latter division attracting Tompkins winner Allerage Star (post 2) and Merrie Annabelle winner Mission Brief (post 6). Four-time winner Mission Brief has amassed quite a resume already, taking the New Jersey Sire Stakes and Merrie Annabelle finals both in dominant front-end fashion, taking a mark of 1:52.2 with Yannick Gingras in the bike.   Gingras is once again listed to drive the daughter of Muscle Hill for trainer Ron Burke. Allerage Star, the other multiple stakes winner in the field, drew off to a four-length win in her Tompkins division last week, taking a mark of 1:55.4 in rein to Corey Callahan. Her other victory came in a Kindergarten division at the Meadowlands, holding off Dynamite Dame for a 1:57.2 win. Scott Zeron has been nominated to handle the driving duties by trainer Jessica Okusko.   The first division for fillies, carded as race 8, features George Ducharme trainee Bee the Queen (Donato Hanover), who was a chasing fourth in her prior Kindergarten effort at the Meadowlands, turning in a 1:55.4 effort. With two of her seven rivals making their career debuts, she looks to be the filly to beat.   Two-year-old trotting colts and geldings contest races 4 and 6 , with the stakes-placed Wheels Ah Smokin a top contender in the first division. The Chuck Sylvester-trained son of Muscles Yankee most recently finished third in his Tompkins division at Tioga, and was fourth to Habitat in a prior Kindergarten Classic division at the Meadowlands. Ron Pierce has been nominated to drive Wheels Ah Smokin, who starts from post 5.   The field also drew Jimmy Takter trainee Falk On Hill S (post 4), who looks to rebound from a break in his Kindergarten split at the Meadowlands earlier in the month.   Takter sends Kindergarten winner French Laundry in the second Kindergarten division, kicking clear to an impressive 1:55.3 Meadowlands win earlier in the month. Usual driver Yannick Gingras is nominated to drive the two-time winner, and they start from post 4. Among French Laundry's six rivals is Party On the River (post 7), a Kadabra colt who took his 1:58.3 mark in an Ontario Sire Stakes event. Mark MacDonald is listed to drive for trainer Patti Harmon.   Due to the Cane Pace drawing only eight entries, they will head directly to the $437,325 final on Labor Day (Monday, September 1). Meadowlands Pace and Empire Breeders Classic winner He's Watching leads the octet, along with North America Cup and Geers winner JK Endofanera. The pair will be joined by Beat The Drum, Bushwacker, Doo Wop Hanover, Luck Be Withyou, Lyonssomewhere and Stevensville.   Sunday afternoon's card at Tioga is slated for a 1:30 p.m. EDT post time.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 20, 2014 -- A five-race maiden entering the race, Lilu Hanover overpowered her field in Wednesday's $160,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows, winning by 9-3/4 lengths in the stake-record time of 1:55.2. The event for 2-year-old filly trotters was contested over eight divisions, with Bright Baby Blues, Sarcy, Aarena Hanover, Fly Angel Fly, Focus On Me, Global Ice and Flirting Filly also taking $20,000 splits. Dave Palone and trainer Jimmy Takter teamed to win four divisions (Lilu Hanover, Sarcy, Fly Angel Fly, Flirting Filly) while trainer Nifty Norman fashioned a stake double (Bright Baby Blues, Aarena Hanover). Lilu Hanover, who had been taking on top youngsters in such stakes as the Merrie Annabelle, devoured her stallion series competition, moving first over easily to gobble up the leader, Devoted, and draw off. Devoted held place, with Cantabulous Julie third. The time erased Nitro Nittany's stake mark of 1:56.1. "She shows that she made a couple mistakes, so we just wanted to keep her clear of trouble," Palone said of the daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover. "She's definitely a Grand Circuit filly. It will be interesting when she goes to Lexington and faces the top ones. I don't think she'll take a back seat to too many." Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld campaign Lilu Hanover. Bright Baby Blues also dropped down a bit from PA Sires Stakes and enjoyed much the same result -- a maiden-breaking score in 1:57 when the track still was rated "good" before its upgrade later in the card. Wouldn't Itbesweet was 3 lengths back in second, with Party Right Now third. Bright Baby Blues finished with a tire that leaked most of its air during the race. "She had to come first up and do the dirty work, but I never pulled the plugs," said winning driver Mike Wilder. "What a nice filly -- straight as a string and perfect." Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee own Bright Baby Blues, a daughter of Andover Hall-Bar Slide. Aarena Hanover hadn't been on the lead at any point in the four previous starts of her career, but Scott Zeron quickly changed that when he gunned her to the front. She prevailed without a challenge in 1:57.4, 2-3/4 lengths better than Donato Babe. Red's Winner earned show. "Nifty's style is, for a main portion of the beginning of the year, to make sure they don't get rowdy and warm, so he likes to race them off the pace," Zeron said. "His assistant trainer today told me: 'This horse is smart now; do whatever you want out there.' I pulled her plugs just to get her attention down the lane, but she was real strong going across the wire." J&T Silva Stables and John Fielding own the daughter of Donato Hanover-Angel Pie. Elsewhere on the card, Ma Chere Hall moved first over in a $15,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot to score in 1:53.1, fastest ever by a 4-year-old mare at The Meadows. Prismatica was second, 4-1/4 lengths in arrears, with Dizzy Rizzy third. Zeron, who drove three winners on the 16-race card, piloted for trainer Jonas Czernyson and owners Walnut Hall Limited, Aldebaran Park Inc. and Joe Sbrocco, It was the first victory in nine tries this year for the 4-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Margarita Hall, who banked $506,869 at 3. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, when the card features the Delmonica Hanover, a $234,584 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly trotters. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

NICHOLS, NY - When nine of North America's top harness racing drivers compete at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs later this month in the 8th Annual All-Star Drivers Championship, they'll be racing for more than just prize money and bragging rights. They'll also be raising money for the charity of their choice. All nine drivers will donate their 5% driving commission to charity. The amount will be matched by Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs plus the tracks' owner, Jeffrey Gural. Last year, more than $9,000 was donated. "This event is the premier driving tournament in the country with a first place prize of $25,000," said Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing and Simulcast at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. "Anytime we can use this big stage to raise awareness and money for some great organizations, we're happy to do it." Defending champion Jimmy Marohn, Jr. will be donating his earnings to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Two-time champion Yannick Gingras and first-time participant Matt Kakaley will also support the SRF. Tim Tetrick and Scott Zeron will be competing on behalf of New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. Corey Callahan has selected the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Canadian representative Jody Jamieson will be donating to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Vernon Downs representative Chris Lems will be competing for locally based Sunshine Horses and David Miller has chosen to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Round 1 of the All-Star Drivers Championship takes place on August 29 at Vernon Downs and the final round moves to Tioga Downs on September 1. Both days will also feature a Jimmy Marohn, Jr. bobblehead giveaway, commemorative t-shirt giveaway and other fan-friendly promotions and contests. by Justin Horowitz, for Tioga & Vernon Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night hosted the $202,599 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Three divisions -- at $67,933, $67,933 and $66,933 -- comprised the competition. As was the case Monday night, driver Yannick Gingras won two of the evening's three sire stakes events. In the second division, he went the distance-from post position No. 4--with Cartoon Daddy ($4.90), holding off some unwanted advances from 32-1 proposition American Crossroad (Scott Zeron). The former kept the latter at bay, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.4. Berkley (George Brennan), at 78-1, was third, with 51-1 Ultimate G (Eric Carlson) fourth. Cartoon Daddy's job was made much easier when 7-10 fave The Spy (Tim Tetrick) broke in the first turn and division points leader coming into the night Americanprimetime (Tyler Buter) misbehaved while making a second move. For second choice Cartoon Daddy, a son of Art Major co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Joe DiScala Jr., it was his fourth win in a half-dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $53.50, the triple returned $887 and the superfecta paid $6,937. "The best thing about him is his gait," DiScala said. "We wanted a horse who could get around the small tracks, and he's been very impressive." Gingras and Bet You ($2.80) won the final statebred grouping, moving to the lead (from post No. 2) before the half and closing it out in 1:55.1. The final margin was a wrapped-up length-and-three-quarters over 25-1 Yippity Hanover (Tetrick), with 42-1 Betting Exchange (Jim Morrill Jr.) third. A breaking K Ryan Bluechip eliminated himself as the second choice. For Bet You, a son of Bettor's Delight trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, Jim & John Fielding and Joyce McClelland, he's now 2-for-5 in '14, with both wins coming here. The exacta paid $44.40, with the triple returning $390. "Ideally, you'd like to race these 2-year-olds out of a hole, but the way the races shaped up, I had no choice but to put them on the lead," Gingras said. "Cartoon Daddy tends to wait on other horses a bit, but he dug in when he had to." The evening's first division saw a formful favorite in Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance, $2.60) roll off cover to run his record to four wins in as many starts. From post No. 5, he tracked Azorean Art (Larry Stalbaum), then blew past that one to widen out by 2¼ lengths in 1:55.1. Dee's Rocketman (Brian Sears) was third. For "Masimo," a Bettor's Delight colt trained by his driver for co-owners Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber, he took over the points lead in this division. The exacta paid $12.60, with the triple returning $66.50. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 19 - The spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night as two Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, two Metro Pace eliminations and three She's A Great Lady eliminations will take centre stage. The Canadian Pacing Derby has a rich history as the oldest stakes race in Canada for standardbred racehorses and on Saturday night the sport's top stars will bring their talents north for a pair of six-horse eliminations. 2013 Pepsi North America Winner Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick will start from post five in the second $40,000 elimination. A two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous has had to make the tough transition from age three to four this season, but has still shown his grit and determination facing the big boys. Last Saturday night, 'The Captain' won the $34,000 Preferred in prep for the Canadian Pacing Derby and trainer Tony Alagna was delighted with his performance. "I was happy with his effort, it was a confidence builder he needed going into this week's elimination," said Alagna. "We drew away from Sweet Lou, but we caught Bettors Edge who has been racing really well, so hopefully the short field helps and he gets a fair shot again." 'The Captain' is a big fan of Mohawk Racetrack as he has never lost in six career starts over the Campbellville oval. "He's always been his best up here," said Alagna. "We've had him up here for major races, so he's always been on his game when he came up here. He likes the atmosphere and he seems happy up here." 'The Captain' has two wins in seven starts this season and has never finished out of the money for seasonal earnings topping $176,000 The top horse this season on the WEG circuit, State Treasurer, will line up two spots inside Captaintreacherous. State Treasurer has won the WEG Preferred six times this season and has won seven of his 12 starts for earnings of over $296,000. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, State Treasurer will be driven by WEG's leading driver Chris Christoforou. The hottest horse in harness racing headlines the first elimination. The Ron Burke trainee, Sweet Lou, enters his elimination on a nine-race win streak and having won his last seven starts in 1:47.4 or better Sweet Lou has drawn post two in his elimination and will have his regular pilot Ron Pierce in the sulky. A five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser, Sweet Lou has made over $3 million in his career, but joining him in his elimination is the richest standardbred in the history of the sport, Foiled Again. Also trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again has earned over $6.3 million and continues to compete at the top level at the age of ten. Foiled Again, who will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras, is also a previous Canadian Pacing Derby winner having won the 2012 edition. The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $650,000 final on Saturday, August 30. Elimination winners may choose their post position for the final. 15 of the sport's brightest freshman pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of eliminations for the chance to race in the $685,000 Metro Pace Final on Saturday August 30. Leading the group of 15 is the Alagna trainee, Artspeak, who is undefeated in four career starts and enters the Metro elim fresh off a victory in the Nassagaweya Stakes last Saturday night. Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron will start from post position five in the first $40,000 elimination. Alagna said he was happy with how Artspeak came out of the Nassagaweya Stakes. "Artspeak jogged back super, everything checks out good," said Alagna. "We are really happy with the way he drew and hopefully he has another good shot this week and takes another step towards the Metro final." The son of Western Ideal - The Art Museum was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase and is owned by the Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners. One of the top local rookies, Traceur Hanover, will meet up with Artspeak for the first time. Trained by Normand Bardier Jr., Traceur Hanover enters this weekend's elimination with three wins in four starts and is also coming off a victory in his Nassagaweya split. Randy Waples sits behind the son of Western Ideal - Transference for owner Richard Berthiaume, who bought Traceur Hanover for the same price as Artspeak at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The other $40,000 elimination appears to be a wide-open affair, with seven rookie pacers looking to be in the top five to secure a spot in the rich final. Sports Bettor, who will start from post position seven, is coming off a 69-1 upset victory in his division of the Nassagaweya last Saturday night. Trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Frank Gentile, Sports Bettor broke his maiden in style with the Nassagaweya upset. Before his breakthrough in the Nassagaweya, Sports Bettor had finished second in three of his five career starts. Randy Waples will drive the son of Sportswriter - Shellys Delight. Also in the field of seven is this year's Battle of Waterloo winner, Go Daddy Go, who will start from post three for the Hall of Fame connections of driver John Campbell and trained Bob McIntosh. The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $685,000 final on August 30, with elimination winners earning the right to select their post position for the final. The She's A Great Lady has attracted 25 rookie pacing fillies that have been split into three eliminations. Shakai Hanover, a division winner of last Saturday' Eternal Camnation Stakes, headlines the first $35,000 elimination. Trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson, Shakai Hanover will start from post position three and has won twice in four career starts. The daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan set a new career mark with her Eternal Camnation victory of 1:52.4 and has earned just under $83,000. The second elimination features undefeated filly Band Of Angels from the Ron Burke barn. A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Time N Again, Band Of Angels has won her first five starts of her career, with all five victories coming in New York Sires Stakes events. She will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras and ships north with over $133,000 in earnings and a mark of 1:52.3. The final elimination stars another undefeated filly that will have Yannick Gingras in the bike. JK Shesalady won her division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes last Saturday to improve her record to four for four. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, JK Shesalady has a speed badge of 1:52 and earnings exceeding $68,000. The top three finishers from each elimination and one third place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $450,000 final on Saturday, August 30. All three rich finals will take place Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The party will start at 6 p.m. and first race post time is 7:25 p.m. Here are the fields for Saturday night's stakes eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver Race 3 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Thinking Out Loud - John Campbell 2. Sweet Lou - Ron Pierce 3. Captive Audience - James MacDonald 4. Domethatagain - Ron Pierce 5. Sunshine Beach - Chris Christoforou 6. Foiled Again - Yannick Gingras Race 8 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. Ellis Park - Steve Condren 2. Bettors Edge - Matt Kakaley 3. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 4. Modern Legend - James MacDonald 5. Captaintreacherous - Tim Tetrick 6. Clear Vision - Brett Miller Race 6 - Metro Pace Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 2. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 3. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 4. Lone Survivor - David Miller 5. Dudes The Man - David Miller 6. Asap Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Sports Bettor - Randy Waples Race 11 - Metro Pace Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. The Wayfaring Man - Jack Moiseyev 2. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 3. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick 4. Some Power - David Miller 5. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 7. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 8. Rollin Ring Afire - Matt Kakaley Race 4 - She's A Great Lady Elimination One - Purse: $35,000 1. The Show Returns - Tim Tetrick 2. Bedroomconfessions - Scott Zeron 3. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 4. Strut My Stuff - John Campbell 5. Palette Tina - Yannick Gingras 6. Aria Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Bettor Be Steppin - Corey Callahan 8. Kays Dragon Lady - Matt Kakaley Race 9 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Two - Purse: $35,000 1. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 2. Divine Caroline - Corey Callahan 3. Missy Tap Tina - Tim Tetrick 4. Cashaway - Tim Tetrick 5. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 6. Well Hello There - Matt Kakaley 7. Southwind Mischief - Chris Christoforou 8. Shesastarreporter - Jonathan Drury 9. Ideal Nuggets - John Campbell Race 10 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Three - Purse: $35,000 1. Float On By - Tim Tetrick 2. Macarena Mama - Chris Christoforou 3. A Plus - Scott Zeron 4. Bin N Heaven - Doug McNair 5. Betty And The Jets - Doug McNair 6. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 7. Happy Becky - David Miller 8. Dancin Caroll - Jack Moiseyev by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications.

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 18, 2014 -- Statebred sophomore fillies took another turn downstate Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $219,700 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace. The harness racing event annually honors the memory of the former Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, whose contributions to the success of the Empire program cannot be measured. Many of Bruce's family and friends were on hand, enjoying the evening and making winner's circle presentation. Three divisions -- at $72,800, $72,800 and $74,100 -- comprised the coterie. Odds-on Major Dancer (George Brennan, $3.50) just lasted in the opening event, holding off a cone-skimming It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) by a "shrunken head" in 1:53.2. Away alertly from post position No. 2, Major Dancer-who looks anything but a professional racehorse warming up-threw down intervals of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25.1. Longshot Ken Doll J (Jimmy Whittemore) tried it first-up from sixth, but could not close. Major Dancer opened 2½ lengths in and out of the final turn, but needed some urging to close the sale. Southwind Illusions (Eric Carlson) was a best-of-the-rest third. For Major Dancer, a daughter of Art Major trained by Casie Coleman for Ontario tri-owners West Wins Stable, Mac Nichol and Adriano Sorella, it was her seventh win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10,40, with the triple returning $65.50. "Casie (Coleman) said she's gonna hop and skip warming up," Brennan said of Major Dancer. "She said I had to get her attention, so I scored her down hard, but even that didn't seem to work. "But has the talent and that was enough tonight." (Major Dancer was a late lame scratch from her last scheduled NYSS start here. She worked out the next day to become eligible for the Empire Breeders, where she won her elim and was second in the final). Driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke won the other two Hamilton groupings, both from the pole. Jaded Dream ($5.10) blew past a non-resistant Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald), then held off Supplemental Income (Jason Bartlett) by a nose in 1:54.4. Sweetnsinful (Whittemore) was a rallying third, while even-money fave Medusa (Tim Tim Tetrick) was shuffled out from the pocket when the leader caved. For second choice Jaded Dream, a daughter of If I Can Dream co-owned (as Burke Racing) by her trainer, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable, she's now 3-for-13 this season. The exacta paid $22.40, with the triple returning $129.50. A La Notte Hanover ($12) reinforced the "short distance between two points" theory in the final sire stakes sojourn, taking it to the house (:29.1, :58.1, 1:26.4, 1:55). Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.), as the 4-5 choice, tried the winner from the inside but missed a head. Spreester (Dan Dube) was third, with Delightful Dragon (Dave Miller) fourth. The first four finishers were separated by a neck at the wire. For fourth choice "A La Notte," an Art Major miss co-owned (as Burke Racing) by here trainer, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Larry Karr, it was her second win in 13 '14 tries. The exacta paid $22, with the triple returning $62.50. "The first filly (Jaded Dream) went by so easily," Gingras said. "I felt Jason (Bartlett's) horse (Supplemental Income) right on my back, but mine du in. The other filly (A La Notte Hanover), I would have been content sitting second, but no one really left against her and she was able to get some cheap fractions." New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night, with the $202,599 Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old fillies. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 16 - Undefeated two-year-old pacing colt Artspeak was victorious in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack Saturday night. Twenty-six two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into three divisions for the Nassagaweya Stakes. One of the most talked about freshmen in the sport, Artspeak, turned in another easy-looking victory in his Canadian debut to take the $91,425 final division. A son of Western Ideal - The Art Museum, Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron left from post position eight and cleared to the lead just after the opening quarter of :28. Once on the lead, Artspeak controlled right to the finish line posting fractions of :56.2, 1:25. and cruising home in :27.4 to win the fastest division of the night in 1:52.4. Lyons Again, who grabbed the early lead and got a two-hole trip, finished 2 ¼ lengths back in second, while Some Power closed up well to take third. Trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners, Artspeak is a perfect four for four and now has earnings of more than $115,000. Artspeak was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. He returned $2.90 to win. The first division for a purse of $89,924 went to Sports Bettor, who pulled off a huge 60-1 to upset. A son of Sporswriter - Shellys Delight, Sports Bettor and driver Randy Waples left from post eight and got away in the two-hole. Lyons Levi Lewis cut the mile and after a half of :57.1, hung up a third-quarter of :27. to carry a four length lead over Sports Bettor into the stretch. In the stretch, Lyons Levi Lewis continued to lead deep into the lane, but Sports Bettor grinded him down and got up in the shadow of the wire to win in 1:53.2. Rollin Ring Afire finished third, while The Wayfaring Man rounded out the Superfecta. Sports Bettor is trained by Mark Austin for owner/breeder Frank Gentile and the Nassagaweya Stakes victory was a maiden breaking score. Sports Bettor now has earnings of over $76,000 in six career starts. He paid $141.50 to win. The $91,425 second division saw Waples return to the winner's circle, this time with Traceur Hanover. Traceur Hanover left from post three and allowed Go Daddy Go to clear to the front just after the opening quarter to take a two-hole trip. Go Daddy Go led the field into the stretch off a three-quarter time of 1:24. In the stretch, Traceur Hanover came off the rail to take his best shot at Go Daddy Go and was able to power past the leader in deep stretch to win in 1:53.3. Trading Up made a late rally to finish third, while Lyons Geoffjnr was fourth. A son of Western Ideal - Transference, Traceur Hanover has now won three times in four career starts and has career earnings of over $60,000. A $100,000 yearling purchase at last November's Harrisburg Sale, Traceur Hanover is trained by Normand Bardier Jr. for owner Richard Berthiaume. He returned $9.80 to win. Trio of Eternal Camnation divisions contested Twenty-five freshman pacing fillies were on display in three divisions of the Eternal Camnation stakes. Shakai Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson took the first $76,245 division in a career best 1:52.4. A daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan, Shakai Hanover showed the most early speed leading the field past the opening quarter of :28. Bedroomconfessions made a brush to the lead in the second-quarter and controlled the tempo in the middle-half posting fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.1. In the stretch, Jamieson brought Shakai Hanover out of the two-hole to battle Bedroomconfessions, separating themselves from the rest of field. Shakai Hanover just got her nose in front of Bedroomconfessions at the wire to win a tight photo finish, with a last quarter of :28.1. Happy Becky, the 3/5 favourite, was fifth at the three-quarter pole and finished up her mile with a :27.2 final panel to take third. Shakai Hanover is trained by Carl Jamieson, who shares ownership with Winnipeg Racing and Vira Hope Johnson. The stakes victory was the second win in four starts for Shakai Hanover and it boosted her career earnings to over $82,000. She paid $9.70 to win. In the second $76,245 division, the photo finish camera was not needed as Jk Shesalady won by seven lengths in 1:53.4. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Jk Shesalady was seventh at the half and was brought to the outside behind cover that was failing to keep up. Gingras sent the daughter of Art Major - Presidential Lady three-wide on the way to three-quarter pole and Jk Shesalady responded by pacing around the field and taking the lead at the top of the lane. Jk Shesalady paced away from her rivals with a last-quarter of :27.3 to remain undefeated in four starts. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, Jk Shesalady increased her bankroll to more than $68,000 in her young career. Cowgirl Tough finished second, while Cashaway took the show spot. Jk Shesalady returned $2.90 to win. The final division for a purse of $77,745 was captured by Solar Sister and driver Doug McNair in 1:54. A daughter of Mach Three - Cabrini Hanover, Solar Sister was fourth at the half and came first up to challenge Palette Tina, getting to within half a length at three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Solar Sister took a slight lead half-way down the lane and dug in to hold off a trio of fillies that were within a length and a quarter at the wire, pacing her final quarter in :29.1. Palette Tina, who finished second beat a neck, was placed back to fourth for gaining an unfair advantage by going inside a pylon in the stretch. After the placing, Ideal Nuggets became the second place finisher, while Float On By was bumped up to third. Solar Sister is a homebred filly trained by Gregg McNair for owners David Willmot and Clay Horner. She paid $27.50 to win. For many of the freshman pacers, the Nassagaweya and Eternal Camnation Stakes served as preps for next week's eliminations for the Metro Pace and the She's A Great Lady Stakes. Saturday's undercard also saw 2013 U.S. Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous ($3.50) return to the Campbellville, Ont. oval where he remains undefeated. A winner of the Nassagaweya, Metro Pace and North America Cup at Mohawk, Captaintreacherous added a victory in the $34,000 Preferred to his $3 million resume, scoring in 1:50.1 for team Tetrick and Alagna. The 3-5 favourite took over command from early leaver Fool Me Once and Gingras down the backstretch, and after giving way to Sunshine Beach and Chris Christoforou, he came through along the pylons to prevail by one and a quarter lengths. Ellis Park and Steve Condren rallied off cover to edge out Sunshine Beach for second. The victory was Captaintreacherous' first since winning his season's debut in the Meadowlands Maturity. The four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere and Worldly Treasure is owned by Captaintreacherous Racing of Versailles, Kentucky. Springing a 30-1 surprise, Swan In A Million ($63) and trainer/driver Dustin Jones went from last to first in the matching Preferred Trot, named in honour of Kerry Davies, winning by three-quarters of a length over Charmed Life and Jamieson in 1:53.2. Pennsylvania's Diamond Creek Racing owns the six-year-old son of Andover Hall. Flanagan Memory rounded out the top three finishers over two lengths behind for Christoforou. The $685,000 Metro Pace Final and the $450,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes Final will take place along with the $650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby on Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

The third time's a charm for The Art Museum. At least that's how it's shaping up for the harness racing pacing broodmare. Her third foal is Artspeak, who has started his career with three consecutive wins, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. Artspeak, a son of stallion Western Ideal, races in the third of three Nassagaweya Stakes divisions for 2-year-old pacers Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. He heads to Canada off a 2-1/2 length win in 1:50.4 in a conditioned race Aug. 1 at the Meadowlands. No 2-year-old pacer has gone faster this season. "The mare's been knocking on the door and maybe this is the one that's going to make her a little more prolific," said Tony Alagna, who trains Artspeak. "It's too early to tell, but he's done everything we asked him to do so far. Now he'll go from the Jersey breds to open company, but he was very good in his last start at the Meadowlands. Saturday night we'll know more." Alagna is quite familiar with The Art Museum and her racing-aged offspring. The Art Museum was in the stable of trainer Erv Miller, where Alagna worked prior to starting his own barn, but never made it to the races because of an injury. Yet she made an impression. "She was a great gaited mare with a great pedigree and I had a feeling at some point she was going to throw something decent," Alagna said. "The first two foals were close, but not what this one has been. He seems like he'll be the best one the mare's had so far." The Art Museum's first foal, the filly Acquavella, at age 2 won a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and finished second in a division of the Reynolds Memorial, but struggled with health issues. Her second foal, the now 3-year-old colt Fort Knox, last season finished second to Luck Be Withyou in a Champlain Stakes division and has earned $65,241. "Acquavella was meant to be a top filly," Alagna said. "She had some health problems and never reached her full potential. I thought she was meant to be a really good filly, so I went back the next year and bought Fort Knox. He's a nice horse, but just couldn't go to the next level. Artspeak looks like he's got all the tools to be a top horse." Purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale, Artspeak's family also includes 2007 Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Artspeak is owned by co-breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners. Artspeak is the 4-5 morning line favorite in his division of the Nassagaweya, starting from post eight with driver Scott Zeron. His division includes Battle of Waterloo runner-up Sporting The Look, plus Some Power, Read The Proposal, and Pierce Hanover. Some Power sold for $270,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale under the name Way Bay Hanover. His family includes Dan Patch Award winner Popcorn Penny and he is a half-brother to stakes-winners Westwardho Hanover and Woodstock Hanover. Read The Proposal is a full brother to stakes-winners Lucky Bettor, Bettor B Lucky, and Bet On Luck. Pierce Hanover is a full brother to stakes-winner Passmaster Hanover and top open performer Philos Hanover in addition to being a half-brother to stakes-winner Panther Hanover. Artspeak is among four horses from Alagna's stable competing in the Nassagaweya divisions. Edison -- whose family includes millionaires Delinquent Account, Artiscape, and Western Shore -- is in the first division while Trading Up and Rock On The Hill are in the second split. For many of the horses in the Nassagaweya, it is either a final prep for the upcoming Metro Pace at Mohawk, or an audition. "Myron Bell picked (Edison) out of the catalog because he's got a phenomenal pedigree and he's really started to come into himself his last couple starts," Alagna said, referring to co-owner Brittany Farms' racing manager. "Rock On The Hill was much improved his last start. I want to give him a shot to see if he's ready to go in the Metro, and if he's not, we'll skip it. But he's a horse on the improve. Trading Up was very sick his last start at The Meadows. He was loaded with mucous. We'll see if he fits in, as well. "It's a lot better to spend the $1,500 starting fee in the Nassagaweya to see how you fit compared to the starting fee in the Metro." The first Nassagaweya division also features Dream Maker Series champion The Wayfaring Man, as well as Late Night, who is a half-brother to millionaire Real Nice, and Asap Hanover, whose family includes multiple Dan Patch Award winner Eternal Camnation. Mohawk hosts a stakes event in Eternal Camnation's honor earlier on Saturday's card. Battle of Waterloo winner Go Daddy Go is in the second division, which also includes Badix Hanover, who is a full brother to millionaire Big Jim. Alagna also has three horses in Saturday's Eternal Camnation divisions for 2-year-old female pacers - Bedroomconfessions, Cashaway, and A Plus. In addition, two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous is in the preferred pace. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

The harness racing action heats up on Saturday (August 16th) at Mohawk Raceway when the eliminations for the Eternal Camnation and Nassagaweya Stakes are held. There are three divisions for both the Eternal Camnation and The Nassagaweya and picking a standout in either series is tough at this point. In the first division of the Eternal Camnation, Happy Becky 1:53 looks a big chance from barrier two. The daughter of Cams Card Shark is trained by Casie Coleman and is to be driven by David Miller. In the second division of the Eternal Camnation, J K Shesalady 1:52 looks the toughest to beat although her draw of seven evens things out a bit. The daughter of Art Major is trained by Nancy Johansson and will have the brilliant Yannick Gingras in the bike. In the third division of the Eternal Camnation it is a very even field with perhaps A Plus 1:54.1 just getting the nod here. The daughter of American Ideal is trained by Tony Alagna and will have Scott Zeron in the bike on Saturday night. The most heavily represented sire in the Eternal Camnation elimanations is Art Major with four with Western Ideal next best with three. In the first division of the Nassagaweya Stakes, two of the smarter colts so far this season square off with The Wayfaring Man and Asap Hanover locking horns. The Wayfaring Man 1:52.2, a son of Dragon Again is trained by Nicky Comenga and will have the great Jack Moiseyev in the bike. Asap Hanover 1:52, a son of Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Linda Toscano and will have the outstanding Ti Tetrick in the bike. The second division of the Nassagaweya Stakes looks a bit more clear cut with the Battle Of Waterloo winner Go Daddy Go 1:54 looking the one to beat. The son of Ponder is trained by Bob McIntosh and will driven by the legendary John Campbell. The third division of the Nassagaweya Stakes contains the fastest horse in the three heats  and likely favourite in Artspeak 1:50.4. The son of Western Ideal is another one from the barn of Tony Alagna and will be driven by Scott Zeron. The most heavily represented sire in the three divisions of the Nassagaweya eliminations is Somebeachsomewhere with five with the next best being Western Ideal with four. All up we have six great races to look forward to on Saturday night. For the fields click here. Harnesslink Media  

The field for the 2014 Tioga / Vernon Drivers' Championship is taking form, with 2013 champion Jim Marohn, Jr. poised to defend his title against some of the top harness racing drivers across North America.   "We are excited to unveil a new format for this annual event," said Jason Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga and Vernon Downs. "With top drivers from circuits across North America taking part, we're truly showcasing some of the best drivers in the world."   In addition to Marohn, top Meadowlands drivers Yannick Gingras, David Miller, and Tim Tetrick return to the Drivers' Championship. Jody Jamieson, the winner of this event in 2011 as well as the 2011 World Driving Championship, will represent the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit. The aforementioned quintet will be joined by newcomers Chris Lems (Vernon Downs), Scott Zeron (top driver aged 25 or younger), and Matt Kakaley (Harrah's Philadelphia/Pocono Downs). Corey Callahan, who represented the USA in the 2011 World Driving Championship en route to a second-place finish, has been named the sponsor's exemption, and will complete the field of nine.   The Championship kicks off on Friday, August 29 at Vernon Downs, sharing the spotlight with the Zweig Memorial and Crawford Farms trotting events. The second round is slated for Monday, September 1 at Tioga Downs, as part of the Cane Pace program. As in past years, the overall winner will take home a $25,000 check, and the leader after the first round will win $10,000. Second place overall earns a driver $5,000, while third place $4,000. No driver will leave with less than $1,500 in the two-day Championship.   All nine drivers will also be competing for a charity of their choice, with their 5% commission from their Championship drives going directly to charity. Tioga and Vernon Downs will match each driver's charity commission, as will Jeff Gural.   The Drivers' Championship is made possible thanks to the following sponsors:   Allerage Farms,   the Binghamton Mets,   the Binghamton Senators,   Bow River Jewelry,   Bud Light,   Cameo Hills, Ltd.,   Capital OTB,   LP Ciminelli,   Climans Green Liang Architects, Inc.,   Community Press,   Coon & Sons,   L. V. Harkness & Co.,   Ferris, Finn Tack,   Global Graphics,   The Horseman and Fair World,   HUB International,   Lexington Selected Yearling Sale,   the Little Brown Jug,   Maine Source Food & Party Warehouse,   McCullagh Coffee Roasters,   Roberts Communications Network,   the Southern Tier Harness Horseman's Association,   Tioga Downs,   Tioga State Bank,   V.I.P. Structures,    Vernon Downs,   and Winner's Choice Racing Programs.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs Racing Media

August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia          

Angel Of Terror posted the fastest winning time among the winners in Stallion Series harness racing action on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion Series held for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Angel Of Terror (Western Terror-Angel Falls), driven by Jason Brewer and trained by Brian Brown, won her split in 1:54:2. Other Stallion Series winners on the night were: Icapella Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-I'm Sassy), driven and trained by Joe Pavia Jr., in 1:55:2. Angel Plus (Quik Pulse Mindale-Crew Angel), driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Steve Cook, in 1:55:3. Terror Ain't A Fool (Western Terror-Aint A Fool OK), driven by Corey Callahan and trained by Douglas Lewis, in 1:55:2 Serious Filly (Somebeachsomewhere-Seriously), driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Brian Brown, in 1:55:3. Hillary's Style (Somebeachsomewhere-Style), driven by David Miller and trained by Danny Collins, in 1:54:2. Jim Beviglia    

Classic winners He's Watching and JK Endofanera gave a thrilling battle through a :54.3 last half-mile in their $12,500 Empire Breeders Classic elimination on Sunday (August 3) afternoon at Tioga Downs, and while He's Watching eked out a half-length win, the rivalry will continue in next week's $255,525 final. With a mid-card rain squall downgrading the track to sloppy, He's Watching ($2.90) made a first-over push against pacesetting JK Endofanera (Brian Sears) after a :56.3 half mile. The two champions were locked in battle for the final three-eighths of the mile, tracked intently by Capital Account (Yannick Gingras) through three-quarters in 1:24.0. In the final hundred yards, He's Watching pushed his head just past, prevailing in 1:51.1 in rein to Tim Tetrick. JK Endofanera proved valiant in defeat, while Capital Account kept pace well enough to hold third. Western Conquest (Marcus Miller) stayed on for fourth from a midpack stalking trip, guaranteeing a berth in the final. He's Watching, trained by David Menary for Menary Racing, Inc., Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero, and the Muscara Racing Trust, will start from post 3 in next week's final, as selected by his connections. Earlier on the card, Tetrick took the other Empire Breeders Classic elimination for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, sustaining a first-over bid with Winds of Change ($18.00) en route to a three-quarter length win over a late-charging Neat (Marcus Miller) in 1:50.2. Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald) and Forty Five Red (Yannick Gingras) completed the first four finishers of the earlier elimination. Linda Toscano trainee Winds of Change will start from post 1 in the final for owners Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. Of the fifth-place colts and geldings, Ideal Magic was drawn by lot into the final, while Archetto Hanover will be the also-eligible. While "The Intimidator" swept the colt eliminations, the two eliminations for three-year-old pacing fillies both went to Brian Sears. Sears's first-over drive aboard Precocious Beauty ($5.40) was enough to wear down pacesetter It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) and subsequently stave off a stalking charge from Delightful Dragon (David Miller) in the 1:51.4 second elimination, while It Was Fascination and the ground-saving Just Fine (Jimmy Whittemore) rounded out the top four. Precocious Beauty, trained by Gregg McNair for owner James Avritt, Sr., will start from post 3 in next week's $244,875 distaff final. Sears teamed up with Major Dancer ($4.40) to win the earlier elimination for fillies, sweeping to the fore in the final yards for a 1:51.4 victory, chased home by Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.). Pacesetting longshot Medusa (Tim Tetrick) held third after being gathered in, while A La Notte Hanover (David Miller) mounted a late rally to round out the top four. The Casie Coleman-trained Major Dancer will start from post 2 in next week's final for Coleman's West Wins Stable, Mac Nichol, and Adriano Sorella. Of the fifth-place fillies, Suplemental Income was drawn by lot into the final, while Table Talk will be the also-eligible. Both Empire Breeders Classic finals will be contested next Sunday afternoon, August 10. In addition to the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, a pair of Geers Stake events were held for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies, respectively. Cashaway ($4.60, Tim Tetrick) held sway in 1:53.1 in her $31,607 division, narrowly holding off a late charge from Crescent City (Mark MacDonald), who was blocked from the pocket until all but the final 40 yards. JK She'salady (Yannick Gingras) triumphed in the earlier division, making a bold first-over move to beat Single Me (Tim Tetrick) in 1:54.0. In a $39,182 division for colts and geldings, Dealt a Winner ($2.50, Brian Sears) pushed clear late off a first-over trip, edging clear from Western Pioneer (David Miller) and keeping a chasing My Hero Ron (Marcus Miller) at bay for a 1:54.2 win, while Rock n' Roll World (David Miller) pounced from the pocket to beat Sonofa Sizzle (Dan Daley) 1:54.2 in a $38,682 split raced as an early non-wagering event. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 9) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

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