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YONKERS, NY, Monday, July 28, 2014 - After a couple of days worth of hiatus, New York Sire Stakes returned downstate Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $226,200 Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. The first of three, $75,400 divisions took on a different look right before post time when odds-on choice Major Dancer (Brian Sears) was scratched-lame. That shifted the role of (4-5) favoritism to Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.). "Blush" led through fractions of :26.4, 56.3 and 1:25.1. However, with a length-and-a-quarter lead entering the lane, she could not lose a pesky Delightful Dragon (Dave Miller).   That one, the Three Diamonds winner from a season ago, seated early from outside post position No. 7. Delightful Dragon engaged the leader in earnest and out of the final turn before picking her off by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. A season-debuting Ali Blue (Yannick Gingras) was third. For fourth choice Delightful Dragon, a homebred daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Adam Victor and Son Stable and trained by Noel Daley, she returned $22.40 for her fist win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $50.50, with the triple returning $260. "She's had her issues her issues this season, but she handled the track very well," Miller said. "Obviously, the race changed when the favorite scratched, but my filly earned it. She took a lot of air and was able to go by." The second NYSS event was a down-the-roader for It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron, $). Leaving from post No. 2 after an inside scratch, she held sway after intervals of :28.1, :57, 1:25.3 and 1:54.2. Spreester (Morrill Jr.), the 1-2 fave, tested the winner from the pocket, but missed a neck, with JK Molly (George Brennan) third. For second choice "Fascination," an American Ideal lass co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by (trainer) Tony Algana, (co-breeder) Riverview Racing and Bay's Stable, it was her third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $7.10, with the triple returning $27.80. "I would have perfectly content sitting behind Jimmy (Morrill Jr. driving Spreester), but she left the gate on her toes, so I just drove on, " Zeron said. "I've driven her a few times now, and the best thing about her is she's handy. She's comfortable any way you want to race her." Monday night's final statebred event saw a pocketed Medusa (Sears, $5.20) edge away as the 8-5 favorite. In play from post No. 6, Medusa sat behind pole proposition Carlota Blue Chip (Brennan) as that one set sail through subsections of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:26.1. "Carlota" opened a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, but needed more. Medusa angled out and went by, defeating a three hole-sitting Sky Artist (Eric Carlson) by a length-and-a-quarter. Carlota Blue Chip held third. For Medusa Blue Chip, a Bettor's Delight miss owned by W J Donovan and trained by Paul Kelley, she's now 7-for-11 this season (unraced at 2). The exacta paid $90.50, the triple returned $285.50 and the supefecta (Just Add Vodka [Morrill Jr.]) paid $974. "She showed she can leave the gate, and I was able to get her out of there," Sears said. "Out of the last turn, I could see George (Brennan, driving Carlota Blue Chip) having to get after his filly, so I figured it was time to go. " New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night, $201,600 Mike Cohen Trot (2-year-old fillies). Thursday night, it's the $200,900 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace (2-year-old colts/geldings). 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

The final edition of Breakfast With The Babies for the 2014 season began with Hambletonian favorite Father Patrick getting in some prep work in advance of next Saturday's big dance. His performance did nothing to encourage any Hambo fence-riders that may have been considering buying a $15,000 ticket to that dance. Yannick Gingras gave him a tour of the oval in 1:52 flat, back half in :54.4, last quarter :26.2 about as easy as it could be done. It looks like "All systems go" for team Father Patrick. Last year's champion three year old filly pacer I Luv The Nitelife made her return to the races this morning in winning fashion for owners Richard and Joanne Young. She has been nursed back to the races by trainer Chris Ryder after her season ending injury last fall and she looked sound and happy in her 2014 debut. Driver Tim Tetrick settled the mare in third through a slow 57.2 half, moved her on the last turn to a stretch lead then flashed her grit by refusing to yield to the late challenge of Bakersfield with a 27.1 close to the 1:53.2 mile. A pair of Meadowlands Pace finalists teed it up in the last race of the day and Lyonssomewhere got the best of JK Endofanera here by sprinting home in 26.2 on the end of a 1:51.1 mile. Trainer Jimmy Takter put the speedy colt on the lead through friendly fractions and had enough to rebuff JK Endofanera's close. So far as the freshmen, Habitat, a speedy Conway Hall colt that had made a pair of breaks in NYSS action recently, impressed with an effortless 1:55.3 / 27.1 win with Yannick Gingras aboard. Ron Burke trains colt for himself and partners Weaver Bruscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable. The group paid $50,000 for Habitat at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall. Trond Smedshammer won a couple this morning, the first with a nice Yankee Glide out of Calchips Finisher named Finish Line. He sat a pocket to first timer Sugarmakesmecrazy and Ake Svanstedt, nailing that one in the final strides of the 1:58.1 / 28.1 mile.He was a $50,000 Lexington buy for Trond's American Viking Stable, Diane Giuliano and Purple Haze. Trond came right back with the Andover Hall x Chez Belle filly Chezando, closing ground into a 28.4 final quarter for the 2:00.4 score. She cost Purple Haze and Michael Parisi $70,000 at Lexington last fall. The last of the baby trots fittingly saw Jimmy Takter win in 2:00.1 with French Laundry, a good Muscles Yankee colt who won a NJSS event in 1:56 a few weeks ago. He just held off the impressive closing rush of the $175,000 Cantab Hall colt Colbert who was making his very first start for Svanstedt. Pacers came around in the tenth race and ASAP Hanover won for the third time in morning trials, this one in 1:52.4 with Tim Tetrick driving. Linda Toscano trains the $150,000 Lexington sale colt by Somebeachsomewhere from Allamerican Coed for John Mehlenbacher. He has impressed and improved in each of his three outings. This time Tetrick put him on the lead and sprinted home in 26.4 in hand. Penji Hanover paced home hard to be second. Trainer Tony Alagna had a good day beginning with the eleventh where a pair of his pacing fillies went to the wire together with Cashaway tracking down Martinique in the final strides to get the 1:54.1 win. Cashaway was second in the recently contested NJSS final for Tim Tetrick, who drove the Western Ideal x CPA $105,000 Lexington sale grad today for owners Brittany Farms and Marvin Katz. New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Artspeak got some work in this morning, leading all the way and drawing off late in 1:53.2 over the pocket sitting Stover. The winner also hails from the Alagna barn with Scott Zeron doing the driving for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners (John Fodera and Steve Wienick). Racing manager Myron Bell bought the Western Ideal colt from The Art Museum for $100,000 in Lexington on their behalf and it certainly looks as though they've got a good one here. A Plus completed the Alagna natural hat trick by winning in 1:54.1 / 27.3 with Zeron aboard. She's an American Ideal filly out of the Brittany broodmare Has An Attitude that Tony bought for himself with partners In The Gym, Massey and Sbrocco for $60,000 in Kentucky. Better Said was a good second here with a late move for Toscano and Tetrick. Ed Hart's nice Cam's card Shark colt Dealt A Winner prevented an Alagna-slam when he held safe over Tony's closing Rock On The Hill in 1:54.2 for Brian Sears. Jeff Snyder owns the winner, a $35,000 Harrisburg bargain buy last fall. Live racing resumes at 7:15 this evening with the John Cashman Memorial eliminations headlining the thirteen race card. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, N.J. - Friday night at the Meadowlands celebrated the remarkable career of Cat Manzi with that Hall Of Famer meeting fans then joining friends and family for a night at the races. On the track, the night featured the eliminations for the top freshman trotting stakes of the 2014 Championship Meet, the Peter Haughton Memorial colt stake and the Merrie Annabelle for the fairer sex. The Peter Haughton required a single elimination of ten colts after three of the top seasonal earners accepted a bye into next week's $355,500 final. The first seven in the official order of finish would move on. Centurion ATM was the 1:54.2 winner here for trainer driver Ake Svanstedt. The SJ's Caviar colt settled in fourth early as his stable-mate Amicus and The Bank took turns on the lead through early splits of 28.2 and 57.2. Ake steered Centurion ATM over into the passing lane as the field trotted 'round the final bend and as he headed The Bank, that one went offstride, leaving the winner to an open length lead. At the wire it was Centurion ATM trotting home in :28 flat to be clear by three and a half lengths over Uncle Lasse with Cruzado Dela Noche third. The winner is co-owned by European interests Courant AB and Knutsson Trotting. Trainer / driver Svanstedt has had a clear impact on the scene this summer, his first in the US after moving his entire operation from Sweden. With his experience in Europe primarily training older horses, Ake has adjusted quickly to the American emphasis on early speed and clearly will be a player throughout the stakes season. The eliminated horses were The Bank, Broken Record and True Blue Stride. Joining the qualifiers for next Saturday's Hambletonian Day final will be Canepa Hanover, Guess Who's Back and Honor And Serve. Lock Down Lindy won the first of two Merrie Annabelle eliminations for the potent Tony Alagna / Scott Zeron combination in a personal best of 1:55. Zeron held the first crop Lucky Chucky filly behind cover from the three eighths forward as race favorite Gatka Hanover cut the mile after working hard to get the lead. Fanning wide in the drive, Lock Down Lindy went by willingly as Zeron rode along confidently through her personal sub 28 final quarter for the half-length score. Gatka Hanover held the place with Love Me Madly third. Lilu Hanover and Wordie Hanover took the final spots for next Saturday's $352,500 final. The winner is owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Crawford Partners, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners who bought the filly from Love Lockdown for $60,000 last fall in Lexington. The wickedly fast Mission Brief won the second elim in the dominant, front end style she has displayed for the past few weeks, this time in a track record 1:53.2. The Muscle Hill filly has a remarkable turn of foot and can carry that high speed, tacking a 27.3 final stanza on the record mile and was five lengths clear of the field at the wire with driver Gingras saying whoa the whole way. Jolene Jolene was second and Onda Di Mare third while Livininthefastlane and Sarcy both moved up a position into the final by the disqualification of Flirting Filly from fourth for a pylon violation. Mission Brief's dam is Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena. Trainer Ron Burke as Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva and Our Horse Cents Stables were compelled to pay $150,000 for the filly as a yearling last fall in Kentucky. She certainly looks like a bargain at this point. Yannick reported post-race, "She was much more rateable this week. She's figuring things out and I'm figuring her out. She's got it all." The twelfth race was the $20,000 second leg of the Ima Lula series for mare trotters aged four years and Classic Martine was a courageous winner in 1:51.2. Bee A Magician asserted herself from rail position and insisted on the lead early for Brian Sears, forcing leavers NF Happenstance and Classic Martine to take a tuck toward the 26.4 quarter. Sears was able to give his charge a nice breather in the middle half as Tim Tetrick moved Classic Martine to the outside for a long, uncovered grind. When the two met in mid-stretch, it was Classic Martine with more and she edged clear late, tacking a 26.4 final quarter on the mile, which was a mere fifth of a second from Bee A Magician's world record of a fortnight ago. The winner has now won six of eight starts for earnings of $195,732 and has the five-eighths mile world record of 1:51.2 on her resume this season. She is trained in the Chris Oakes stable for Hauser Bros Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich and Ed Gold. The night began with the well-bred three year old trotting colt Royal Ice taking advantage of an absolutely delightful evening to break maiden in a dazzling 1:51.3. Only Hollywood Heyden might be able to intelligently address the topic, but it's fairly safe to say that was the fastest any trotter has ever left the maiden ranks. The meet's leading driver Yannick Gingras was aboard for the first time on the son of Muscle Hill from The Ice Queen and he just went to the front and improved his position to an eventual eight length victory. Trond Smedshammer trains the colt (who may have just become an instant Hambletonian contender) for Marc Goldberg. An added bonus after race two was the second leg of the Racing Under Saddle series with seven trotters facing starter Danny Dale for a $10,000 purse. Stephanie Werder has come from her native Sweden to compete in the series, which culminates with a $28,000 final next Friday and she rode her mount O U Gus to a 1:59.4 win in tonight's race. Stephanie sat just behind the lead of Chinese Cuisine and Tina Duer and was patient when one of last week's winners, Flowing James and Tara Hynes moved swiftly toward the lead and sat quietly until an opening appeared mid-stretch for the win. Live racing resumes tomorrow night at 7:15 with the John Cashman Memorial FFA trot eliminations headlining the card. Find tomorrow's entries, tonight's results and video replays by visiting The Meadowlands website. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations

Three trotters from the sophomore class of 2010 have come online with their initial crops this year; Muscle Massive is standing at Hanover, Lucky Chucky at Winbak in New York and Holiday Road in Ontario. Pilgrim’s Taj is a fourth, but he only spent one year in Canada, after which he was relocated to Ohio and ultimately exported to Finland. That being the case, we’ll look at the first three. To this point restricted races have provided the only basis for judging them, but the open portion of the season commences this week with elimination rounds for the Peter Haughton and Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands as well as several splits of the Arden at The Meadows. Much of the focus has been on Muscle Massive and Lucky Chucky, beneficiaries of generous state bred programs who finished one-two in the Hambletonion. The former was a $450,000 yearling who was lightly raced at two but managed to win the Hambletonion as well as the Dancer at three, while Chucky was a precocious freshman, showing wins in the Valley Victory, Matron, ISS and Bluegrass. He was the 3/2 favorite in the Hambletonion and appeared on his way to victory when 6/1 Muscle Massive, piloted by Ron Pierce, ruined his day. Regardless, Chucky did win the Canadian Trotting Classic and Colonial at three, and he earned more money than Muscle Massive both years. Both sold close to seventy yearlings last year, with Chucky’s brood averaging quite a bit more. Both have seen their stud fees fluctuate before their first crops hit the track. Muscle Massive started at $10,000, only to have his fee cut to $7,500 and $6,000 in successive years. Cantab Hall, Donato Hanover, Andover Hall and Explosive Matter all command higher fees than their younger stablemate at Hanover. Chucky, on the other hand, started at $7,500 in New York, was dropped to $5,000 during a year spent in Pennsylvania, and came back up to $7,500 when he returned to Winbak, where nineteen-year-old Muscles Yankee stands for $2,500 more. Muscle Massive has benefited from the success of his older brother, Muscle Mass, sire of O’Brien winner Riveting Rosie and the successful OSS colt Muscle Matters. Thus far Muscle Massive has given us some outstanding fillies. Gatka Hanover, a big rugged gal out of the Conway Hall mare Girlie Tough, from the Ron Burke barn, has left many wondering where her ceiling is. Gatka rolled through a couple of baby races and has now chalked up three wins in the PA Sire Stakes, one each at The Meadows, Pocono and Harrah’s. Matt Kakaley steered her to an effortless four length win in 1:57 in her latest. She leaves from the five for Matt K in Friday’s first Merrie Annabelle elimination. Gatka takes on Lucky Chucky’s daughter, Lock Down Lindy, who drew plenty of attention with a very strong first over win in a Merrie Annabelle Prep at the Meadowlands Friday for Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna. Another Muscle Massive star in the making is Jimmy Takter’s Speak To Me, an $80,000 Harness Breeders purchase by Myron Bell. She is also three-for three in the PA Sire Stakes and has trotted in 1:55. Last time out, in a $57,000 sire stakes division at Harrah’s, Speak To Me gapped the field by ten on her way to an easy win at a stingy 1/5 price. Unfortunately this filly was not staked to the Merrie Annabelle and will be missing from the fray on Friday night. Blessings Counted is another talented filly by Muscle Massive. She was second to Speak To Me in a PASS race at The Meadows a couple of weeks ago and won a $57,000 race at Harrah’s in her latest start. She is not eligible to the Merrie Annabelle but is entered in a split of the Arden at The Meadows on Friday. Missive and Youth Gone Wild, both winners in the Stallion Series, will also race in the Arden. Jersey Strong, a talented filly with a win in the PA All Stars and a second in the PASS, isn’t entered at The Meadowlands or The Meadows on Friday. The top colt by Muscle Massive is Ake Svanstedt’s Lima Pride, who beat Jimmy Takter’s 1/9 favorite The Bank in a split of the Hickory Pride when The Bank went on a run at the three-quarters. Lima Pride, a $25,000 yearling purchase, was not nominated to the Peter Haughton. The priciest freshman trotter by any first crop stallion is Mr Lucky Luke, a $450,000 Lucky Chucky half- brother to Muscle Massive, Muscle Mass and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner, Thatsnotmyname. The Cancelliere brothers, of Detour Hanover fame, purchased him at Lexington in the fall. He has yet to make a pari-mutuel start; let’s hope he generates a better ROI than Detour has. As for the Lucky Chucky colts and fillies that have raced, there is no eye popping Gatka Hanover out there, but there are plenty of good ones. I already mentioned Merrie Annabelle candidate Lock Down Lindy, who possesses the same rugged demeanor as Gatka. She is a half-sister to 2006 HOY in Canada, Majestic Son. He has sired Harper Blue Chip, Murmur Hanover and Charmed Life. Ray Schnittker has Gabe The Bear Dean, a $105,000 Harness Breeders buy, who has an impressive wire-to wire five length win in the NYSS at Buffalo. Jonas Czernyson has a few Lucky Chucky youngsters in his barn and he’s high on all of them. At the end of June Hot Start, a half-sister to Religulous, won a $27,000 NYSS split at Vernon Downs for Corey Callahan. Next time out, at Tioga, she cut most of the mile from the outside post only to lose to paternal sister My Twisted Sister, from the Paul Kelley barn. Hot Start is entered in the second Merrie Annabelle elimination on Friday. Nunkeri is another very promising Lucky Chucky filly from the Czernyson barn. She finished second to the Muscle Hill filly Josie’s Joy at the Meadowlands the other night, race timed in 1:57.2 as the second choice. Nunkeri won her start previous to that one, a $28,000 NYSS division at Tioga. George Ducharme’s sharp looking Conway Hall filly, Concentration, pressured her all the way home in a 1:59.3 mile. On the male side Mal and Janet Burroughs’ Mambo Blue Chip, a $40,000 Harness Breeders buy, won a $28,000 split of the NYSS in 1:57.2 at Tioga last time out. Holiday Road, a $115,000 yearling who is a full brother to Ken Warkentin, was lightly raced, making only ten lifetime stars. While staying on the track was an issue, speed wasn’t; he won the Peter Haughton at two and a split of the Dancer at three. He opened his stallion career for $4,500 at Seelster Farms and now stands for $3,500. This week the Holiday Roads started to turn heads and earn respect at Mohawk as they performed admirably on the various OSS platforms. John Bax’s Hemi Seelster was long and tough winning a Grassroots division in 1:58.4 at 2/1. It was noteworthy that the gelding engaged in a head to head battle the length of the stretch with Pilgrim’s Joy, a son of first crop stallion Pilgrim’s Taj. Tony Alagna’s filly Gee O’Keeffe logged a very strong second in a $53,000 OSS Gold leg at Mohawk for Jody Jamieson, losing a length to the highly regarded Kadabra filly Juanita’s Fury. And Keith Jones’ gelding, It’s Huw You Know, was an upset Grassroots winner in 2:00.3 on Monday at 75/1, paying $159.60. And Ontheroad De Vie made a very impressive brush on the back as he came from the 10 post to finish second for Rick Zeron in a Grassroots leg. The Holiday Roads are looking good. Rock N Roll Heaven and Sportswriter are lighting it up in the freshman pacing division, but it’s expected that the trotters will take a little longer to get their bearings and hit their stride. Muscle Massive, Lucky Chucky and Holiday Road will all be prospering when they do. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

It's hard to believe, but we've reached the halfway point of the 2014 season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The first half seemed to speed by as fast as so many of the record-setting horses that have graced the Pocono stage so far this year. We can only hope that the second half holds that same kind of excitement. If the past week of racing is any indication, it surely will. Here are some wonderful performances worthy of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: QUINCY In the late 70's and early 80's, Jack Klugman played a medical examiner named Quincy who always figured out all the crimes that the cops were too dense to solve. But it's really been no mystery how this horse of the same name has reeled off such an impressive streak of late against the toughest claimers at Pocono. Early speed gives this 4-year-old stallion a great chance to win each and every time he leaves the gate. His recent stretch of nearly unbeatable racing began with a win over the $20,000 claimers on May 28. He moved up to the $27,500 claimers, the highest claiming price at Pocono, the next time out and won in a dead heat with Giddy UP Blackfly. After a hiccup with a third-place finish in his following start, Quincy reeled off three straight victories in that rugged claiming group, with a career-best mark in 1:49:3 on June 28 the highlight of that series of races. On Saturday night, it was business as usual as Quincy rejoined the barn of trainer Kevin Lare and powered to the front end early in the race. Driver Anthony Napolitano rated him well, which was important late as both BJ's Rameau and Machin Music took shots at him in the stretch. But Quincy hung tough to win by a neck in 1:50, making it four in a row and six out of seven. He's the hottest pacer around, and that case is closed. Other top pacers this week include: Skitsofrantic (Anthony Napolitano, John Barchi), who won his Third Straight start and sixth in his last seven with a conquest of the $5,000 claimers on Sunday night in a career-best 1:52; Luck Be Withyou (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), a 3-year-old whose victory against older pacers in a condition on Saturday night came in the week's fastest time of 1:48; and Mickey Hanover (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who reeled off his Third Straight win and his second consecutive sub-1:50 mile thanks to a victory on Saturday night in 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SWISS LIGHTNING This 5-year-old gelding started the year quietly, going winless in his first six races with just one finish in the money. The tide started to turn with a victory over $7,500 claimers on 1:55:2 on June 8. After breaking stride in his next start, he bounced back in his next two with back-to-back wins, the latter coming in a career-best 1:55. Following a claim that put him in the barn of trainer Marcus Marashian, Swiss Lightning stepped up in class to face the $10,000 claimers on Wednesday night. Not only did he have a tough #7 post in the field of eight, but he had to deal with Frenchmen, a trotter who had won his last start at that claiming price handily and had the inside post. That didn't seem to worry driver Scott Zeron, who quickly urged Swiss Lightning to the front end to dictate the pace. Frenchmen lurked In The Pocket all the way around, but when the stretch rolled around, it was Swiss Lightning who emerged as the class of the race. He kicked away from his competitors to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:54:4, which was a new career-best for the gelding. With that Third Straight victory, the trotter demonstrated how to move up in class in style. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Hoorayforvacation (George Napolitano Jr.-Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), whose condition victory came on Saturday night came in 1:52:1, which was not only a career-best but was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Highest Peak (Andrew McCarthy-Noel Daley), a filly who followed up a win at Harrah's with a condition victory at Pocono on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:1; and Tamasin Hall (Scott Zeron-Bill Mullin), a mare who beat the boys in Tuesday night's featured claiming handicap, winning in a career-best 1:54. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: AFTER ALIMONY With Simon Allard in the bike, this mare finagled a pocket spot out of an outside post and upended a field of claimers on Sunday night at 29-1, paying off $61 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. On Friday night, the meet's leading driver decided to hog all the glory for a good portion of the night, reeling off six consecutive wins at one point in the card. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JOHN BARCHI The veteran of the Pocono racing wars is having his finest season in years, as evidenced by four wins this week that included a training double on Sunday. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

Freedomformysoul established a new Monticello Raceway track record for freshmen pacing colts when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. drove the son of If I Can Dream to a 1:55.2 triumph in their division of the $110,000 NY Sire Stakes. The victory erased the former standard of 1:55.3 set by Share The Delight during 2007. Coming into the race off a stunning 1:53.3 track record last week at Saratoga Raceway Freedomformysoul was understandably the overwhelming betting favorite and Morrill used the front-end route for an easy victory over Rockntouch and driver Yannick Gingras. After getting looped on the first turn by Mikado Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) Morrill wheeled his colt back to the lead and they passed the first stanza in a stiff :28.0 and then paced the second quarter in :28.2 reaching the halfway point in :56.2. From there it was catch me if you can, and no one could. "I got to the half faster than I wanted to, so I didn't even pull the (ear) plugs." Morrill admitted after the race. "He's one of the best 2 year olds I've ever driven. He's the real deal." Owned by the Freedomformysoul Stable and trained by Nancy Johansson the son of If I Ca Dream paid $2.30 for win. Southwind Masimo won a division of the NYSS in 1:55.4 for Patrick Lachance. That final time was abetted by speed duel for the lead between We Think Alike (Ray Schnittker) and Old Man Cleary (Yannick Gingras) with early fractions of :27.1, :56.2. Lachance had Southwind Masimo out after the half and they swept to the front up the backside and were all by themselves at the wire some 11-lengths ahead of K Ryan Blue Chip and driver Joe Pavia, Jr. "They were playing hardball up front which worked out good for me," Lachance said in the winners circle when he stopped for a photograph. Southwind Masimo is owned in Canada by Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber and trained by Lachance. The winner paid $27.60 for win. In yet another NYSS split Americanprimetime, sent off at odds of over 78-1, lit up the tote board and paid $161.50 for win when Tyler Buter drove him to victory in a time of 1:57. They rallied from five lengths back at the top of the lane to collar Ultimate G, driven by Jason Bartlett. Americanprime time is owned by the Rock N Roll Stable and trained by Rick Dane, Jr. Jason Bartlett won a pair of $110,000 NYSS splits. His first was with Twin B Stingray in 1:56.4 pacing a :28- second final stanza en route to victory. And they needed every bit of that to hold-off Bet You and driver Yannick Gingras by a head. Twin B Stingray is owned by J & T Silva Racing Stable and C C Stables and trained by Aaron Lambert. He paid $20.20 for win Bartlett's other sire stakes victory came with My Spirit Soars in1:57.2 for owner Daniel Van Wart. After putting My Spirit Soars on the lead, Corey Braden made a quarter pole move with odds-on favorite JD He's Da Bomb and Bartlett let them take command before the half. From there Bartlett bided his time and in the lane rallied My Spirit Soars to a head victory over Berkley and Scott Zeron. "I didn't want to go with him (Corey Braden) when he came at me near the half so I let him go. If I didn't my colt would probably not have gotten a check (piece of the purse)," Bartlett admitted. Trained by Tom Fanning, My Spirit Soars paid $5.90 for win. Excelsior Series winners and their drivers included: Can't It Be Me (2:00-Bruce Aldrich, Jr.); Southwind Rex (1:58.4-Jeff Gregory); Spiritintheclouds (2:00.3-Mickey McGivern); Artistic Major (1:59.2-Brent Holland) and Hayden's Little Man (1:59.3- Phil Fluet) by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, July 20, 2014 -- Sandbetweenurtoes extended her winning streak to seven when she scored a gutsy victory in Saturday's $208,846 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for sophomore filly pacers at The Meadows. The event, known as the Romola Hanover, was contested over three divisions, with Beach Gal and Take That Hanover capturing the other splits. Sandbetweenurtoes raced only once at 2, finishing off the board. But she's won all her starts this year and was hammered down to 2-5 Saturday. Nevertheless, she had to withstand a stiff first-over challenge from Cinamony to down her by 3/4 lengths in 1:51 on a track rated "good." Allstar Rating was third. Winning driver Brett Miller, who has been aboard for six of those seven victories, said he knew Sandbetweenurtoes, was special the first time he drove her in the slop at the Meadowlands. "I got parked to the half that race, it was pouring down rain, and the fractions were wicked," Miller said. "At the half, I said to myself, this filly will stop. And she won. Right there I thought, wow, she's something else. "She's got guts. She gives 110 percent. Don't get me wrong -- she's well bred and a good-sized filly, but she has no quit in her. She is just dead game. That's what makes her special in my mind." Larry Remmen trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Al's Girl, who soared over $200,000 in career earnings, for Bradley Grant. Beach Gal moved first over from fourth and held off Also Encouraging to down her by a neck in 1:51.4 for David Miller, trainer Dave Menary and owners Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary. Early leader Marathon Day completed the ticket. "She's the type that can come first over," David Miller said. "I've raced against her before, and I know she's pretty gutsy. She's raced on the lead and got beat. So I think she races better going after them." Take That Hanover fired out to the early lead for Dave Palone and wasn't seriously threatened, scoring in 1:52.2. Southwind Silence was second, 2 lengths back, with Someislandsomwhere third. Chris Oakes conditions the daughter of Well Said-Transfer Hanover for J&T Silva Stables, Susan Oakes and Hauser Brothers Racing. $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series, 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Also featured at The Meadows Saturday night were four $20,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for the sophomore filly pacers. All of them were staged later in the card, so all were raced over a "sloppy" surface -- but the mud didn't matter to newly installed Hall of Famer David Miller, who won two of the events among his five sulky victories on the card. Oogle Google, winner of only one of her first 10 starts, has improved tremendously in recent starts for trainer Bruce Saunders, here collecting her fourth win in succession with a 1:53 score for Miller on the front end. The daughter of Real Desire was game in victory for the ownership combine of Mondillo, Robinson, Robinson, and Cheatam. Eiffel Tower was a popular "hometown" and homebred winner in her cut, moving top the lead in front of the stands and going on to victory in 1:54. It was another visit to The Meadows' Victory Lane for driver Miller, this time guiding the daughter of The Panderosa for trainer Dean Collins and breeder Glenda Collins; the latter co-owner with Janine Zito. The Meadows' - and North America's - all-time leading driver Dave Palone put Lucy's Pearl on the front at the quarter in her cut, and when she opened up a clear lead on the far turn, it looked like it might be easy for the daughter of Well Said. But first-over McVita Bella never said die, and Lucy's Pearl was all-out to hold off her onrushing foe by the minimum margin in 1:53 for "The Trotting Guru," Ron Gurfein, taking a rare excursion on the pacing side as trainer and co-owner with Elizabeth Novak. The front end was also the route for success for the Western Terror filly Do Your Job, who did her job nicely to win in 1:54. Scott Zeron guided the filly, now 6 for 11 lifetime, for trainer Tom Fanning and owners David VanWert and the Fly By Night Stables. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows                

Not even rainy conditions and a sloppy track could dampen the Adios Pace eliminations for three-year-olds colts at the Meadows Saturday as Somewhere In L A, Let’s Drink On It and McWicked all scored decisive triumphs in their respective divisions. The first three finishers from each $50,000 preliminary round return for the $400,000 final next Saturday afternoon. The first division saw driver Brett Miller give Somewhere In L A ($8.00) a golden second-over trip behind Journeyman (Scott Zeron) and they were able to top three-wide on the final turn and gun down pacesetter Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) to score by an impressive four and one-half lengths in 1:50. His mile was the fastest of the three divisions and a lifetime mark for Somewhere In L A. Second was Bushwacker (Dave Palone) and Carracci Hanover (Matt Kakaley) finished third to make the final. Race favorite Limelight Beach faded to fourth place. It was the fourth win this year for Somewhere In L A. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by J & T Stable, Deo Volente Farms and TL P Stables. Let’s Drink On It ($3.20) and driver Tyler Smith made a quarter move brush to the lead over Mattamerican (Dave Palone) and then held the field at bay to win his division by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:50.2. Beat The Drum (Brett Miller) closed well in the short field to be second and Cammikey (Brian Zendt) was able to grind it out first-over for third place and a spot in the final. “It was a little much going to the three-quarters in 1:21.4,” Said Tyler Smith after the race, “But he was up to it. “My horse is so much better from off the pace. He is wicked off the pace but did not get to do it tonight. But he was good tonight. He can do it either way as long as you don’t rough him up early. He is such a nice horse.” Sired by Art Official, it was the fifth win in nine starts this year for Let’s Drink On It. He is trained by Joe Seekman and co-owned by Tina Seekman, Larry Dond, Hal Hewitt and Vincent Boido, Jr. McWicked ($2.40) and driver David Miller went off as the overwhelming 1/5 betting favorite and did not disappoint his backers as they sped away to an easy three and one-quarter length victory in 1:50.4. Bondi Hanover (Scott Zeron) was the first on the lead, then At Press Time (Matt Kakaley) took command by the opening quarter mile and then they gave way to McWicked before the half mile marker. Brioni (Yannick Gingras) tried a first-over attempt to no avail. At Press Time was able to finish second with Stevensville (Mark MacDonald), who was third-over, closed well enough to finish third. “He was pretty comfortable,” David Miller said. “And he did it pretty easy. “He is an easy horse to rate. I knew Yannkick was just sitting out there so I took advantage of it. I didn’t want to leave real hard. I was waiting to see what would happen. He does not have to be on the lead. He can race just as well from off the pace.” Sired by McArtle and trained by Casie Coleman, it was the fifth win in eight starts this year for McWicked. In his last start he scored in 1:47.3 in winning the $500,000 final of the Max Hempt at Pocono Downs. McWicked is owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Overcast skies this morning to go with the coffee and chocolate babka for Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands. John Campbell took a pair of trots, most notably with the regally bred Muscle Diamond. The son of Muscle Hill from the very accomplished Windylane Hanover added trotting hopples this morning for trainer Brett Bittle and the result was a 1:58.4 win with a 27.2 final quarter. He was a $40,000 buy from the Lexington sale by the Kellers and Bittles who enjoyed such success with his dam. John won right back with the Lucky Chucky lass A List Lindy for Chuck Sylvester. She took over past the quarter and finished the 2:01 mile with a 29 flat final quarter. She's owned by Chuck and long-time partner Neal Goldman along with Pinstripe Stable and her breeder, Lindy Farms who sold her at Harrisburg for $60,000 last fall. Shaqline made her first start for Takter in this one and caught some eyes with her finishing kick. The $450,000 first crop topper for Lucky Chucky, Mr Lucky Luke made his debut today and was second in 2:02 with Campbell driving for the Cancelliere brothers. The winner there was Keystone Bodacious, an $85,000 Muscle Massive colt from Balanced Action. He was driven by Corey Callahan for the Jonas Czernyson barn and owners Arden Homestead, Mal & Janet Burroughs, LST Stables and W. Devan, Jr. Campbell and the Cancelliere boys paired up later with Rock N Roll Heaven colt Raylan Givens for a 1:54.2 score. Raylan set most of the pace and held off the late charge of Shades Of Bay for the win. He's $135,000 Harrisburg buy from Lisheen, thus a half-brother to the champion older pacer of a few years back Lis Mara. A Plus opened the pacing action and the American Ideal filly from Has An Attitude was impressive taking over from Better Said passing the half and sprinting home in 27 flat to close the 1:57.4 mile. Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna picked up where last night left off (they paired for a triple on the card) here with the flashy, blaze faced filly owned by Alagna in partnership with In The Gym Partners, Tangie Massey and Joe Sbrocco. She's A Hot Mess was making her fourth morning appearance and the speedy daughter of American Ideal x Sure Fun Tryin' flaunted her speed today for Alagna and Zeron with an effortless 1:54 win. With the field scratched down to three, She's A Hot Mess was left to set the pace and does wander a bit without a target but she sure covers the ground. She's a homebred owned by the trainer along with the Bell's Riverview Racing and John Fodera. Asap Hanover also turned heads this morning with his stretch sprint to win in 1:54.1 for Tim Tetrick. Making his second morning start following up an impressive 1:56.4/26.2 six length win last week, Asap ranks high on the list of colt prospects seen this summer. He's a $150,000 product of the Lexington yearling sale, sired by Somebeachsomewhere from Allamerican Coed. The colt is owned by John Mehlenbacher and trained by Linda Toscano. Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15 as we continue with Corntastic weekend. The race feature is a pair of eleven horse divisions of the $65,000 Reynolds Memorial stake featuring Hambletonian contenders Nuncio and Trixton making their final preparations for that classic two weeks hence. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - Corntastic weekend kicked off on Friday night with a nice crowd coming out to enjoy the bounty of corn and the contests, two human and an inflated total of sixteen for the equines.   The Racing Under Saddle events were held between races two and four with Tara Haynes holding on to win with Flowing James in 2:00 and Therese Lindgren getting up in the last jump with Take My Picture in 1:57.   A pair of Billings events opened the card, one a non-betting race won by Bob Davis with Teezer Bee in 1:57.3 and the first race of the regular card taken by Bob Krivelin and his own Current Cast in a career best time of 1:56.1.   The card was trot-centric and both features offered square-gaiters. The top overnight class was taken by Master Of Law in a new personal best of 1:52. The speedy gelding was making his first money start for Jimmy Takter after an imposing qualifier six days ago. Tonight's win put Master Of Law's career bankroll over $200,000 for owners Lindy Racing, Brittany Farms and Adam Victor & Son.   The $20,000 opening leg of the Ima Lula series for four year old trotting mares was on the bill and though short in size, the six mares boast over $2 million in career earnings.   Handover Belle took the top prize, trotting to a new life mark of 1:51.4 with Scott Zeron aboard. The Andover Hall mare does her best racing from off cover and Zeron had her in perfect striking position second over to chase down Mistery Woman then hold off Ma Chere Hall for the score.   She was winning for the third time this season for owners Howard Taylor and John Carver. Tony Alagna is her trainer.   Racing returns on Saturday with first post at 7:15 P.M. The 13-race program features The Reynolds Stake for three year old trotters to be races in two divisions. Headlining The Reynolds are major Hambletonian contenders Nuncio and Trixton. For more information log onto playmeadowlands.com.   by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

At this point many two-year-olds have a couple of starts in them, so it’s time to marry personal observations with wild speculation and project which ones will be stepping up to win the Cup, Jug and Hambletonion next year. This is by no means a definitive list of the best of the best; as a matter of fact I’m going out of my way to include some by off-brand stallions. That being said, here are a few early standouts. Artspeak is a Western ideal colt out of the Artsplace mare, The Art Museum. The Western Ideals have fallen on hard times at the sales of late, relatively speaking, but Brittany threw $100,000 at this guy, which matched the top price for any of his paternal brothers in North America. He has won both of his NJSS starts for Scott Zeron and trainer Tony Alagna, in dominant fashion. On Pace Day he came first over to win in 1:52.3 at odds of 3/5 at the Meadowlands. Western Ideal has given us the outstanding performers and game changing sires Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal, as well as Always A Virgin and Big Jim. His 2013 crop moves on to the slugfest that is the PASS next year. Stacia Hanover, the winner of the $100,000 NJSS final for freshman pacing fillies, is also by Western Ideal. The $35,000 Harness Breeders purchase is trained by veteran Steve Elliott and, like Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron. She has two other wins in the restricted class, aside from the high-dollar final which she won in 1:53.4 at odds of 3/5. Yankee Bounty is a two-year-old gelding by the enigmatic Artiscape stallion, Yankee Cruiser. His dam is the Allamerican Native mare Yankee Bootleg. This isn’t a combination that screams early speed. Yes, Yankee Cruiser did give is the current king of the pacing ranks, Sweet Lou, who held world records at two and three, as well as the rejuvenated speed demon Dancin Yankee, but for the most part this stallion was up against it in Pennsylvania. Yankee Bounty, a $21,000 Harness Breeders purchase, has won both of his starts in impressive fashion. He won splits of the Pennsylvania All Stars and the Albatross for Corey Callahan and trainer Kevin Lane. Yankee Cruiser stands his first year in Ohio in 2014. Bob Ben And John is one of the wave of impressive colts from the first crop of 2009 two-year-old division champ Sportswriter. Casie Coleman, who trained the son of Artsplace, and has been the leading cheerleader for his initial offering, plucked him from the Lexington sale for a modest $17,000. His dam is the Cambest mare, My Best Girl. This colt made his first pari-mutuel start last week in a $70,000 OSS-Gold leg at Mohawk. He was an easy winner by three in 1:53 at odds of 2/1 for Chris Christoforou. Sportswriter is absolutely killing it in the freshman pacing division of the Ontario Sire Stakes; he’s taking all the air; none of the others are on the same planet. SBSW shook the Pennsylvania program to its foundation with his first crop, but what’s happening with Sportswriter in his restricted program may be more dramatic. Shadow Play impressed us last year with his first crop, but he hasn’t gone on to be a factor in the open realm with his sophomores. We’ll wait and see if Sporty, a key player from the stressed Adios line, makes his presence felt outside of Ontario. Sassa Hanover is a filly from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven. Ron Burke bought her at Lexington for $50,000. Sassa’s dam, Sayo Hanover, is half to the very fast Shadyshark Hanover. Jim Morrill drover her to an easy two length win in a NYSS race at Monticello on the July 4. She won in 1:56.3 with plenty to spare. And two of her paternal sisters—She’s Heavenly and Band Of Angels—also won top dollar splits of the sire stakes that day. Heaven was held in high esteem at the sales, and thus far he is fulfilling his promise.   Dragon Eddy is a two-year-old gelding—aren’t they all—by Dragon Again, a stallion known more for throwing rugged long lasting types like Foiled Again, Atochia and Aracache Hanover than he is as a sire of early speed. My Little Dragon won her division at two, but she was an exception. Well, Eddy is something of an outlier himself. He brought $42,000 at Lexington, which is on the pricey side for Dragon Again, who now stands in Ohio. John Buttenschoen trains and Mike Simons drives. At the end of June Eddy won a split of the Pennsylvania All Starts in 1:54.3 at Pocono, and he went on to win a division of the Albatross in an eye opening 1:52.4 at odds of 2/5 at the Meadows on July 8. Mission Brief is a brown Muscle Hill filly who opened a lot of eyes when she took her $100,000 final of the NJSS by 13 lengths in 1:53.3 for Yanick Gingras and Ron Burke. This was an improvement on her previous start, where she only won by ten. Her dam Southwind Serena is by the great trotter Varenne. Mission Brief was a $150,000 Lexington purchase. Look out! The Bank is a Donato Hanover colt out of 2008 three-year-old division winner, Lantern Kronos. He won a split of the Pennsylvania All Stars for Jimmy Takter on July 4th and broke stride while leading on the last turn as the 1/9 favorite in a division of the Hickory Pride at The Meadows this week. Again, Takter drove. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry and Solvato, is another very promising Donato colt in the Takter Barn. He also won on July 4. Yesterday he was beaten in a quick 1:56.3 split of the Hickory Pride by the Cantab Hall colt Billy Flynn, driven to perfection by Brett Miller. Possess The Will and Your So Vain notwithstanding, Donato has pretty much been all filly no colt to this point. If this pair is turned over to Gingras or Pierce they could change that in a hurry. Honor And Serve, a Donato colt out of 2008 freshman division winner and world record holder Honorable Daughter, is another who might turn the tide. He just took a split of the Hickory Pride for Dave Palone and Jim Campbell. Royal Deceptor is one of numerous offspring of the New York stallion RC Royalty that sold at the Morrisville sale. The success of last year’s Hambletonion winner, Royalty For Life, inspired many to look favorably upon the eleven-year-old siring son of Credit Winner. Cheryl and Michael McGivern took this brown colt home for $11,000. Royal Deceptor won all three of his qualifiers, then went out and won a split of the NYSS in a track record 1:59.3 at Buffalo Raceway for Michael McGivern. Gatka is a big, rugged filly from the first crop of seven-year-old Hambletonion winner Muscle Massive, whose big brother Muscle Mass met with success in Ontario and has since been relocated to New York. Gatka is a sister to Ake Svanstedt’s Muscle Hill filly Heaven’s Door, who won the $100,000 NJSS sophomore final and finished second behind Shake It Cerry in the Del Miller. She won a division of the PA All Stars at The Meadows in 1:56 at 2/5 and last week she took a split of the Meadow Gladys with ease in 1:57.1 at 1/5.  Billy Flynn, a $120,000 Lexington purchase by Steffan Lind, is by Cantab Hall, arguably the best trotting stallion in North America. Another brown colt—there seems to be a run on them—he is out of the Enjoy Lavec mare Zeta Jones and was bred by Brittany farms. Billy took a split of the PA All Stars by six lengths in 1:57.2 at Pocono earlier this month and he beat the highly regarded Centurion ATM and Uncle Lasse in a division of the Hickory Pride. Brett Miller drives. Wild Honey is proving to be a $35,000 bargain for Jimmy Takter. The daughter of Cantab Hall was a close second to Gatka Hanover in that one’s first start and, like Gatka, won a split of the Meadow Gladys at The Meadows, for Yanick Gingras. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2014 -- McWicked, the winner of the Hempt final, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite to win his division in Saturday's eliminations for the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Also favored in the morning line to win their eliminations are Limelight Beach and Cammikey, each at 2-1. First post Saturday evening is 6:55 PM. The top three finishers in each elimination return for the final the afternoon of Saturday, July 26. The elimination fields, in post position order, with trainers, tentative driver assignments and morning line odds: Race 3 1. Bushwacker Chris Ryder Brett Miller 10-1 2. Journeyman Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 5-1 3. Limelight Beach Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 2-1 4. Somewhere In LA Jimmy Takter Brett Miller 7-2 5. Carracci Hanover Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 4-1 6. Kingofthejungle Dirk Simpson Tony Hall 8-1 Race 4 1. Maxi Bon Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 5-1 2. Somesizesomestyle Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 8-1 3. Let's Drink On It Joe Seekman Tyler Smith 7-2 4. Cammikey Bill Zendt Brian Zendt 2-1 5. Mattamerican Norm Parker Dave Palone 4-1 6. Beat The Drum Staffan Lind Brett Miller 10-1 Race 5 1. McWicked Casie Coleman David Miller 8-5 2. Stevensville Ray Schnittker TBA 10-1 3. At Press Time Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5-2 4. Some Playa Jennifer Sabot Jim Pantaleone 12-1 5. Brioni Robin Cruise Andrew McCarthy 3-1 6. Bondi Hanover Tony Alagna Aaron Merriman 5-1 by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2014--Hempt winner McWicked and a quartet from the powerful Ron Burke stable will lead a competitive field of 18 sophomore colt and gelding pacers into the 48th edition of the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Three $50,000 eliminations are set for the evening of Saturday, July 19 and will go as Races 3-5. The top three finishers in each split return for the final the following Saturday afternoon. Trained by Casie Coleman for SSG Stables, McWicked cruised home by 2-1/4 lengths in the final of the $500,000 Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, taking his lifetime mark of 1:47.3 and extending his career bankroll to $573,447. He also took one of the North America Cup eliminations, finishing fourth in the final. Off since the Hempt, the son of McCardle-Western Sahara goes from the rail in the third elimination, with David Miller driving. As might be expected, Burke, harness racing's leading conditioner, is well represented in the signature race of his home track. Perhaps the sharpest of Burke's four-pack is At Press Time, who chased McWicked home in the Hempt and came back with a facile score--at 1-9--in the PA All Stars at Pocono. Matt Kakaley will pilot the son of Western Terror-So Right from post 3 in the third elim for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Also part of the Burke quartet are Carracci Hanover, whose victory in a non-winners of 2 event is his only start this year; Somesizesomestyle, beaten a length while finishing fifth in the PA All Stars, and Limelight Beach, in whom Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and M1 Stable recently purchased an interest. Trainer Tony Alagna will send out a trio of Adios contenders--Journeyman, Maxi Bon, Bondi Hanover--while conditioner Jimmy Takter is seeking his third blanket of orchids in the last five years with Somewhere in LA. In addition to the Burke quartet, the banners of local owners will be carried by Cammikey, campaigned by Cam Land LLC, whose farm lies just down the road from The Meadows, and Mattamerican, owned by Bob Key. First post this Saturday is 6:55 PM. The elimination fields, in post position order, with trainers and tentative driver assignments: Race 3 1. Bushwacker Chris Ryder Brett Miller 2. Journeyman Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 3. Limelight Beach Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 4. Somewhere In LA Jimmy Takter Brett Miller 5. Carracci Hanover Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 6. Kingofthejungle Dirk Simpson Tony Hall Race 4 1. Maxi Bon Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 2. Somesizesomestyle Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 3. Let's Drink On It Joe Seekman Tyler Smith 4. Cammikey Bill Zendt Brian Zendt 5. Mattamerican Norm Parker Dave Palone 6. Beat The Drum Staffan Lind Brett Miller Race 5 1. McWicked Casie Coleman David Miller 2. Stevensville Ray Schnittker TBA 3. At Press Time Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 4. Some Playa Jennifer Sabot Jim Pantaleone 5. Brioni Robin Cruise Andrew McCarthy 6. Bondi Hanover Tony Alagna Aaron Merriman by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - July 12, 2014 -A pair of Western Ideal youngsters, Artspeak and Stacia Hanover, scored in the $100,000 finals of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacers on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Meadowlands. Artspeak [$3.40, $2.80, $2.40], a son of Western Ideal, captured the New Jersey Sire Stakes for pacing colts and geldings in 1:52.3, finishing a length and three-quarters ahead of Hurrikane Ali, by Rocknroll Hanover. Dealt A Winner by Cam's Card Shark was an early breaker who reconnected with the field and got up for third by two and a half lengths. Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Tony Alagna, was sent off as the 3-5 favorite and did not disappoint, picking up his second win in two career starts. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he races for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The Gym Partners. In the 13th and final race of the night, Stacia Hanover took command early and held the lead at every call, extending her unbeaten streak to three with a career best 1:53.4 mile. Scott Zeron guided the Western Ideal filly, who is trained by Steve Elliott and races for Ohioans David Van Dusen and Michael Ciamaglio, who purchased her for $35,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. Stacia Hanover returned $3.40, $2.40, $2.10, finishing a length and a quarter ahead of Cashaway, who was a half length ahead of Ideal Nuggets. All three are by Western Ideal. Artspeak Stacia Hanover by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

Meadowlands Pace day provided another perfect morning for Breakfast With The Babies with comfortable temperatures and little to no wind. The two-year-old trotting star of the morning was 1:57.2 winner Lock Down Lindy, a filly from the first crop of Lucky Chucky from Love Lockdown. She led through a comfortable 1:01.2 half before Scott Zeron gave her the green light resulting in a 56 flat final half with a 27.2 closing quarter. Tony Alagna conditions the $40,000 Lexington buy for the partnership of Mystical Marker Farms, Crawford Farms, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners. Alagna and Zeron came right back to win the very next race with Michelle Crawford's homebred Conway Hall x Classic Yankee colt Titanium. He left for position from his outside post then cruised through an open rail into a 28.3 final quarter to take the 2:01 record. On the pacing side, Tony also sent out the sharp looking Somebeachsomewhere colt Dreams Beachboy for his second outing, this one an effortless 1:54.4 / 27 win with Zeron aboard. Dreams Beachboy was a $150,000 Harrisburg purchase by Myron Bell for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Stillwater Partners. Ake Svanstedt continued to expose his freshmen, sending out three more colt winners this morning starting in the opener with Curfew, a Muscle Hill x After Midnight $75,000 Lexington yearling making his debut. He moved to the front past the quarter and ended the 1:59.2 mile with a 29.2 final quarter. He is owned by the Top Ten Racing Stable. Canappealformore was the next Svanstedt winner. This one is a Brittany bred by Cantab Hall from Appeal To Reason, haltered at Harrisburg for $60,000 by LGJ Invest. Ake held him in a loose pocket then wore down the leader with a 29.4 end to a 2:00.2 mile. A bit later, One Direction was a 1:59.2 front end winner for Svanstedt and owner / breeder Ernst Gerbaulet of Germany. He's a Deweycheatumnhowe from Angelina Chip. Tangerine Bi looked strong for Jimmy Takter, closing considerable ground into a 27.3 last quarter for a 2:00.1 win. She's a Yankee Glide that cost Takter, Katz, Fielding & Fielding $70,000 last fall in Lexington. John Campbell directed a pair of winners. On the trot it was the Donato Hanover filly Love Her Madly he steered though a quick 27.4 end to a successful 2:00.1 mile for Ross Croghan. She belongs to Let It Ride Stables, RBH Ventures and Joseph Myers who spent $65,000 on her at Harrisburg. Campbell later scored with the pacing filly Game Theory, a $75,000 Rock N Roll Heaven first cropper from Best Laid Plans for the Cancelliere brothers with a sharp 27.2 end to a 1:55.3 mile while holding off the good looking Sportswriter filly Capela. Owner / trainer Troyce Thomas drove his own Village Jolt filly Fie Fy Fo to a 1:56 flat win. She cost just $9,000 at Harrrisburg. The pacing colts sprinted some fast halves in their trials. Asap Hanover was a winner in his very first try for Toscano and Tetrick with a 56.1 back half, 26.2 quarter on the end of a 1:56.4 mile. He's a $150,000 Lexington Somebeachsomewhere colt owned by John Mehlenbacher of Ontario. Two fast and expensive Somebeach colts hooked up through a vicious 54.4 last half of a 1:57.1 mile with the $100,000 buy Southwind Torque holding off the $215,000 bonus baby Mohegan Blue Chip. Dave Miller handled the winner for Chris Ryder and owners Bob Mondillo and Craig Handerson. Qualifiers closed out the day with the speedy but erratic Master Of Law making his debut for the Takter barn. He wowed the crowd of veteran onlookers with a wicked close from well back into a :55.3 on the board final half of a 1:52.3 mile to get by Spider Blue Chip in the last few strides. Master Of Law was well back at the 57 half, he must've trotted his last half in the :53 range for Takter. Frank Antonacci of Lindy Farms declared post-race that, "Nobody has a faster horse than Master Of Law. He needed a change of scenery, a fresh approach so we took him to Jimmy. Look out Sebastian K, we're comin' for ya!" Tonight's races begin at 6:30 and will be one of the best offerings of the season. Watch the WR Haughton FFA final and Meadowlands Pace on CBS Sports Network from 9:00 to 10:00pm. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands    

I love to take credit when I do something right. Those of you that read my column last week or saw me at the Meadowlands knew how much I thought that Your So Vain could win the Hambo Matturity and he did at 7-1 and that Bee A Magician was the play in exacta’s and that came back a very nice $71.00. Now the action is almost all at the Meadowlands on Saturday headed by the Meadowlands Pace and other top stakes event, but Friday there are eliminations for the Maple Leaf Trot and thus we must see what magic Ake and Sebastian K can wow the crowd with. Good Luck! $40,000 Trot Maple Leaf Eliminations Mohawk Raceway 3rd race FRIDAY – No place or show wagering and rightly so as Sebastian K is the premier trotting star in the world of harness racing this year. After his amazing 1:49 world record victory in his last start everyone will be wondering if he can surpass that at Mohawk. Maybe not this week but perhaps next week. Use Flanagan Memory and Wishing Stone in exotic plays. $40,000 Trot Maple Leaf Eliminations Mohawk Raceway 8th race FRIDAY – Without Sebastian K in this field it becomes very competitive. Only Modern Family has been able to stay somewhat close to him so look for this good trotter to get out early to the lead and not look back. He usually can win when Sebastian K is not in the race. Use Market Share and Intimidate in exotic plays. $100,000 Trot NJSS Final 2YO Colts Meadowlands 1st race SATURDAY – Tough to go against a trotting colt from the Jimmy Takter Stable that has yet to face defeat and drops a few seconds every time he races. That’s the case in here with French Laundry who has been perfect early on and should reap some big rewards in here. Use Stonebridge Force and Canepa Hanover in exotic plays. $100,000 Trot NJSS Final 2YO Fillies Meadowlands 2nd race SATURDAY – Surprised at such a short field going for $100,000. Going with Mission Brief over Saturday Mornings as last week Mission Brief put on a trotting clinic for Ron Burke Stable in posting a ten length romp in 1:55.1. What a mile in only her second lifetime start! Use Saturday Mornings and Demons N Diamonds in exotic plays. $317,000 Trot Stanley Dancer Memorial Meadowlands 4th race SATURDAY – Let’s see if this will be an early prep for the finish of the Hambletonian as Jimmy Takter has all three of his top colts in the race. I nearly selected Trixton as he is not a great leaver but once he gets going he is too tough to beat. But after Father Patrick’s world record mile I think he may be in a class by himself. Going to be a great race. Use Trixton and Nuncio in exotic plays. $213,500 Trot Del Miller Memorial Meadowlands 5th race SATURDAY – Going to take a shot in here that trainer Ake Svanstedt has Heaven’s Door primed and ready to take on Shake It Cerry. Last two starts this filly has been awesome with a lifetime mark of 1:52. A repeat of that mile will make her a winner again. Use Shake It Cerry and Designed To Be in exotic plays. $212,150 Pace Mistletoe Shalee Final Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – Last week Sandbetweenurtoes showed true grit in grinding out a very impressive elimination division victory in 1:49.3. She is unbeaten in her five starts this year and same effort will get her back in the winner’s circle. Use Table Talk and Uffizi Hanover in exotic plays. $178,450 Pace Golden Girls FFA Mares Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY – Another classic match-up of the best open mares in racing. I am going with Shebestingin as she has seemed to return to her winning ways and last week popped a 1:50.3 score against lesser competition but sometimes a win like that will wake a horse up. Use Anndrovette and Somwherorainbow in exotic plays. $463,300 Pace William Haughton Memorial Meadowlands 8th race SATURDAY – Here comes the best open pacers in all the land and heading the lineup is none other than Sweet Lou. He has been unbeaten in his last five starts against the very best and once he gets rolling I don’t think anyone will be able to catch him once again. Use Captaintreacherous and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $776,000 Meadowlands Pace Final 3YO Colts Meadowlands 9th race SATURDAY – Gentlemen, start your engines! This will be a classic race as it always is. JK Endofanera is the favorite and rightly so after his impressive win last week but He’s Watching impressed me the most. He showed that with any live cover he can beat the best and I think that is what is going to happen tonight. Either way it will be a great race. Use JK Endofanera and Lyonssomewhere in exotic plays. $40,000 Trot Miss Versatility Older Mares Meadowlands 10th race SATURDAY – What a great group of world class trotting mares in this race. I have to go with Bee A Magician after she wove her way around the best older trotters in the world last week and came away with a strong second place finish showed me she is back to winning form. Use Perfect Alliance and Maven in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace NJSS Final 2YO Colts Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY – If Artspeaks continues to improve over his last two starts he will mop up this field once again. His late moves have been pretty sharp, especially last week when he scored in 1:53.3 for Scott Zeron. Use Dealt A Winner and Weapons Dealer in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace NJSS Final 2YO Fillies Meadowlands  13th race SATURDAY – When you show last quarters in :27.4 and :25.4 in just your first two pari-mutuel starts, then you are a force to be reckoned with. That’s what Stacia Hanover has done and she is undefeated in her early career and looks to stay that way for a while. Use Cashaway and Ideal Nuggets in exotic plays. 

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