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This Week: Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y.; and Hambletonian Maturity, Meadowlands Pace eliminations and Mistletoe Shalee eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit schedule gets underway on Friday afternoon (July 4) at Historic Track with a total of nine Landmark Stakes events for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. On Saturday (July 5), the Meadowlands has the $484,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, a pair of $50,000 Meadowlands Pace eliminations for 3-year-old pacers and a lone $25,000 elimination in the Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries are available at this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was led by the Sun Stakes Saturday card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Sebastian K opened the featured portion of Sun Stakes Saturday with the fastest trotting mile in history and McWicked, Sweet Lou, and Father Patrick followed by putting their names into the record book with stakes victories. Sebastian K won the Sun Invitational for older trotters in 1:49, setting the tone for a fast night of world-record efforts. McWicked captured the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers in 1:47.3, Sweet Lou won the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers in 1:47 and Father Patrick closed the stakes portion of the card with a 1:50.2 triumph in the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters. Fancy Desire won the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers in 1:49.2, which equaled the stakes record. Sweet Lou captured the Ben Franklin Pace by a neck over stablemate Bettor's Edge in a world record time of 1:47. Sweet Lou extended his win streak to five by capturing the Ben Franklin Pace by a neck over stablemate Bettor's Edge in 1:47, which broke the previous world record of 1:47.2 for the fastest ever by a pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Foiled Again was third as trainer Ron Burke swept the top three spots. Father Patrick made a 1:50.2 mile look easy, as he was all alone at the wire to win the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot. The mile was a world record for 3-year-old trotting colts on a five-eighths-mile track and it was one-fifth of a second off the all size world record. Father Patrick was alone at the wire, finishing the mile in front by 2-3/4 lengths. Nuncio was second and Datsyuk third. McWicked was McBest in winning the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial in 1:47.3, a world record for 3-year-old pacing colts on a five-eighths-mile track. At Press Time made a mild rally in the stretch, but it was not enough to get past McWicked, who won by 2-1/4 lengths. At Press Time was second and All Bets Off was third. Fancy Desire and driver George Napolitano Jr. grabbed the lead early and held off Sayitall BB by a head to win the Lynch Memorial in 1:49.2. Uffizi Hanover finished third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 390; 2. Tim Tetrick - 364; 3. Ron Pierce - 250; 4. Brian Sears - 170; 5. George Brennan - 164.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 628.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 285; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Joe Holloway - 137; 5. Julie Miller - 110. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 2. Burke Racing - 145.75; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 134.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 82; 5. Father Patrick Stable - 50. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at the Meadowlands, Mohawk Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Yonkers Raceway. Action begins on Friday at the Meadowlands with the third leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares and at Mohawk with eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for older open class trotters. The power-packed Saturday card at the Meadowlands features the Meadowlands Pace final for 3-year-olds, the William Haughton Memorial for free for all pacers, the Mistletoe Shalee final for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Stanley Dancer for 3-year-old male trotters, the Delvin Miller for 3-year-old filly trotters, the Golden Girls for open pacing mares, and a leg of the TVG Series for open trotters. Also holding Grand Circuit Stakes on Saturday will be Balmoral Park (Hanover events for 3-year-old colt pacers and 3-year-old filly pacers) and Yonkers Raceway (Sheppard eliminations for freshman pacers). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great new newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This past week’s newsletter contains the following feature stories: Somebeachsomewhere – It is becoming harder and harder to ignore the difference in performance that the sons and daughters of Somebeachsomewhere deliver in the Southern hemisphere compared to their record breaking feats in the Northern Hemisphere. What was the big rush at Pocono Downs Saturday? – Read about how great the Sun Stakes were at Pocono Downs this past weekend yet why did track management run the races off so fast like the building was on fire? Vindication regarding Arya disqualification? – The Judicial Control Authority in New Zealand now promises to do a thorough investigation into the questionable decision on Harness Jewels Day. How fast can Sebastian K really go? – The trotters in North American can no longer keep up with Sebastian K. What if the other top trotters from Europe were to come here and race? Grinfromeartoear Stallion Report/Review – Has he been as good in the sack as he was on the track? Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Goshen, NY -- Harness racing enthusiasts have been envisioning sub-1:50 trotting miles for a long time. Prognosticators are somewhat relieved that Sebastian K has finally eclipsed the previously held record by trotting in 1:49 last Saturday night over Pocono Downs' three-turn, five-eighths-mile track.   Immediately following this "monsters" 1:50.1 US debut on May 10, many suggested it was not a question of "if" the Swedish-bred superhorse would break the lofty barrier, but a matter of "when." No one, other than the competition, has been disappointed as Ãke Svanstedt has managed the horse perfectly since crossing the pond. With the help of Bernie Noren and staff, they look to make the Svanstedt Stable a household name in the states, as it is in their native Sweden.   Some have also suggested that the previous plateau-breaking record of 1:49.3 set at Colonial Downs should have an asterisk, as the Virginia oval is a one-turn track. Standardbreds racing over that 1¼-mile track, start from a chute on the backstretch and travel an entire half mile before they enter a turn. The fact that Colonial is the only pari-mutuel track in the United States that still has a hub rail is another anomaly.   Also, Colonial's 11/4 mile track is second only to Belmont in length, which is very telling about the propensity for horses to make speed over this oval. Nonetheless, for Harness Racing aficionados, Pocono Downs is still light years ahead. The last two Saturday nights provided the two fastest race cards in the history of the Standardbred.   Although all eyes were on Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley for Sun Stakes Saturday and the nearly $2.3 million in purses, 18 different US tracks had racing on Friday and Saturday nights. With the Friday night debut of 2-year-olds in New Jersey Sire Stakes competition at the Meadowlands, I found myself surrounded by fans on the apron. However, not all of them had their eyes fixed upon the racetrack.   $7,500 in total prize money was plenty of incentive to attract a couple dozen beautiful women to the Meadowlands for the annual Ms. Hot to Trot contest. Of course, to go along with all those perfectly proportioned gals in string bikinis was several hundred very inquisitive men of all shapes and sizes. Several M1 staffers got the call to perform the duty of judging these bevvy of babes, including Nick Salvi who may have been the most experienced of the panelists. Justin Horowitz, AKA M.C. J-Ho, provided the ladies with thought-provoking questions to ensure that the contestants had beautiful minds to go along with their ample tangible assets.   Even Yonkers Raceway's "The Manager" made a special appearance. More than likely it was to cheer for Brian Sears in the early sire stakes events. Taking the subway from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to Port Authority, and then a bus to the Big M, he arrived early and was doing his iconic dance before each race. His plan was to catch the Route 120 bus after the third and be back to Yonkers by the eighth. Now that is dedication!   In between sessions of judging hotties, some great harness racing took place, with the babies having graduated from breakfast to supper time. Eddie Hart's Cam's Card Shark colt, Dealt A Winner, is now the fastest 2-year-old pacer in the country following a 1:52.4 romp with David Miller at the controls. The Jeffrey Snyner-owned, Hanover-bred lad was a $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase who looks every bit the bargain at this stage.   Wishing Stone, the double-duty sire/racehorse removed any doubt that his particular style of breeding and breezing suits him. Going off at 10-1, the betting public was clearly not anticipating this kind of opening-night performance as the 7-year-old son of Conway Hall cruised wire-to-wire from post 10. Yannick Gingras drove the $2.23 million earner like he was the best in a 1:52.4 rout for the powerful Ron Burke stable.   And when it comes to vintage horse power, Burke Racing may have cornered the market!   Sweet Lou, Bettor's Edge and Foiled Again finished 1-2-3 in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday night. 5-year-old Sweet Lou's 1:47f performance was the fastest pacing mile ever on a 5/8-mile track and only a fifth off the mile-track mark. This was the most exciting horse race of the night, as Sweet Lou appeared headed by stable mate Bettor's Edge down the stretch. Dead game, he fought back like a champion and regained the lead in a mere two steps before the wire. Captaintreacherous finished fifth in that event. Leaving from post 8 he had a rough voyage, parked nearly every step of the way and still paced in 1:47.3.   Overall, the Sun Stakes card produced 5 world records and 11 horses set new lifetime marks. Needless to say, the awesome display of horsepower in a span of a just few hours was breathtaking. A horse that we are sure to hear a lot more about is the McArdle colt, McWicked. Trained by Casie Coleman and driven by David Miller, he set a new world mark for 3YO pacers in 1:47.3f and looks to start the "Jug three-peat" dialog.   Max J. Hempt and his wife Amy were on hand to present the Max C. Hempt trophy to the winning connections. A product of the "Keystone" legacy, Max C. runs the family's PA state-wide construction business, is an aspiring pilot, and was recently elected to the Vice President's post of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. One would be hard-pressed to meet nicer people in all of racing.   Although winning the Beal proclaimed Father Patrick as the evening's shining star of the Hambo hopefuls, it seems that his shed row disciples will be in close proximity. Perhaps Jimmy Takter has cornered the market on 3YO trotting colts this year as Trixton and Nuncio (who was second) both seem equally capable of sipping from the Hambletonian challis. Despite el Padre' lowering his seasonal mark by a full two and half seconds to 1:50.2f, it appears that the 'anointed one' has been blessed with enough speed to break the 1:50 barrier at three!   Ready to take on Godzilla himself, Sebastian K had the crowd buzzing all night following his track crushing performance. Now the talk is how fast he may trot on a hot Hambo day at The Meadowlands. Regardless of what transpires in racing between now and then, it will most likely captivate the trotting conversation until the first Saturday in August.   Speaking of New Jersey, Sunday's trek down the NE ext. of the PA pike brought this scribe to Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge for an open house featuring veterinary clinic tours with Dr. Patti Hogan, and another Svanstedt stable favorite, White Bliss. The rare 'white colt' returned to his place of foaling to dash around his paddock, much to the delight of onlookers young and old. It was a fun afternoon under clear blue skies that made the industry proud.   The festivities began with several local leaders addressing the crowd about their intentions to promote and garner support for New Jersey agriculture and the horse business. Assemblyman Ron Dancer has worked tirelessly for years to ensure that Trenton pays attention to harness racing. He plans on putting forth a resolution to bolster agricultural education in the Garden State through the Future Farmers of America.   Former mayor of Millstone Township, Nancy Grgelja, owned no horses when she originally took the oath of office. Subsequently she caught the bug, and ten years later she has had 10 Standardbreds, several of which are still racing. Lillian Burry, whose resume reads like a lady who never stops moving, is now the director of the Monmouth County Freeholders. Of course the always active Dr. Karen Malinowski of the Rutgers Equine Science Center helped coordinate the day's events, along with the gracious hosting of Mark Mullen.   With construction on the NJ Turnpike around exit 8, and Jersey shore traffic reaching epic proportions, it was my intention to complete the final leg of my 539 mile journey and make it back to the Catskills before nightfall.   by Chris Tully for Harnesslink.com

Freehold, NJ --- Sebastian K followed his world record with perfection. The 8-year-old trotter, fresh off his 1:49 win Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, received all 35 first-place votes in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Three-year-old trotter Father Patrick moved from No. 5 to second in the rankings thanks to his world-record 1:50.2 victory in Saturday’s Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Pocono Downs while 5-year-old pacer Sweet Lou improved one spot to No. 3 following his world-record 1:47 triumph in the Ben Franklin Pace. McWicked, a 3-year-old pacer who won the Max C. Hempt Memorial in a world-record 1:47.3, was the only newcomer to the Top 10. He joined the rankings at No. 8 while older trotter Market Share dropped out. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 7 – 7/1/2014                                                   Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (35) 8th 4-4-0-0 $182,500 350 1 2 Father Patrick 3tc 5-5-0-0 $352,431 262 5 3 Sweet Lou 5ph 8-5-1-1 $411,000 252 4 4 Trixton 3tc 6-5-1-0 $229,712 244 2 5 Perfect Alliance 4tm 12-11-1-0 $177,637 195 3 6 JK Endofanera 3pc 5-4-0-1 $541,667 156 6 7 Anndrovette 7pm 9-4-1-1 $362,437 90 7 8 McWicked 3pc 7-4-2-0 $393,830 83 -- 9 Somwherovrarainbow 4pm 10-6-3-1 $355,523 63 8 10 Modern Family 5th 13-6-6-1 $266,150 55 9 Also: Dancin Yankee (52), Classic Martine (24), Nuncio (21), Market Share (17), Fancy Desire, Foiled Again (12), Shake It Cerry (10), Uffizi Hanover (7), Tellitlikeitis (6), Maven (5), Captaintreacherous, Designed To Be, State Treasurer (2), Domethatagain, I Like My Boss, P H Supercam (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Sebastian K has gone faster than any trotter in history. And the 8-year-old star from Sweden might not be finished rewriting the record book. "I think it is possible to go under 1:49," said Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K's trainer and driver, two days after Sebastian K set the world record with his 1:49 win in Saturday's Sun Invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. "Maybe at the Meadowlands on the mile track, if it is warm weather and the horse is in top form." Sebastian K is unbeaten in four races since arriving in the U.S. from Sweden and has not trotted slower than 1:50.3 in any start. In fact, in addition to trotting the fastest mile in history on Saturday, his performance made him the first trotter to ever win four times in 1:50.3 or faster. Enough Talk previously held the mark for the fastest trotting mile, 1:49.3, which was set in 2008 at Colonial Downs in Virginia. Colonial Downs is a one-turn mile oval, rather than a traditional two-turn mile track, known for producing fast times. Prior to Saturday, Enough Talk's time was the only sub-1:50.1 win by a trotter in history. Pocono Downs is a five-eighths-mile oval, which has three turns to complete a mile. The previous best time on a five-eighths-mile track, 1:50.2, was set in May by Market Share at Harrah's Philadelphia. "I thought [Sebastian K] could go that fast, so I'm not so surprised," said Svanstedt, who conditions the horse for owners Michael Knutsson and Tristan Sjoberg of Knutsson Trotting Inc. "It's a big [accomplishment], both in Europe and the USA. It's a big deal." Sebastian K, who was Sweden's Horse of the Year in 2012, has won 30 of 67 races in his career and earned $2.47 million. In the Sun Invitational, Sebastian K started from the outside post, No. 7, in the field of seven. Svanstedt moved Sebastian K to the front in a :26.2 opening quarter mile and hit the halfway point in :55.3. Svanstedt pushed on the gas pedal from there, covering the final half-mile in :53.2. "I had a bad [post] and Modern Family on the inside and he is very fast," Svanstedt said. "I thought if he's going to do a record I must come to the rail before the turn. It was a perfect day. The track was very nice and the horse is in very good condition and top form. "After the half, I thought I must try to do the record and let him go. It is the first time I ever asked him to go like that and he was very strong." Sebastian K seemed focused on the task at hand, unlike previous races where he let his mind wander when he got to the lead. "He is different now," Svanstedt said. "Before when he [got the lead] he starts looking behind to the other horses and would win by one length. The last two races, he looked forward and did what I want." Svanstedt, Sweden's five-time Trainer of the Year and three-time Driver of the Year award winner, moved his stable to the U.S. late in 2013. Sebastian K's exploits have generated excitement on both sides of the Atlantic since he started his North American racing campaign with a 1:50.1 win in his first start at the Meadowlands in May. "He's not normal; he's a special horse," Svanstedt said. "There are not so many horses that can race so good when they are 8 years old. "The owners brought the horse here because they thought he can do the record," he added. "Now he has done the record." But he might not be done yet. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Pocono Downs racetrack outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania lived up to its reputation as the world’s fastest five-eighths mile harness racing track as five world records were set Saturday during their $2 million Sun Stakes. Early on the evening the trotter Sebastian K set up the string of world record performances with his all age trotting mark at a one mile distance in 1:49 and that paved the way for three more world marks to be set. The second most impressive mile was Father Patrick in winning the $500,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial for three-year-old trotting colts. Leaving from post eight, driver Yannick Gingras was parked out early on by stablemate Nuncio (John Campbell), who had beaten out Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) for control of the early lead to the opening quarter mile in a smart :27.1. Gingras took his time and got Father Patrick to the lead before the half mile marker in :56 and then just let his trotter roll. Past the three-quarters in 1:23, Father Patrick began to open up on the field. As they came down the stretch, Father Patrick was at ease as Gingras just line drove him home, but the teletimer said different as the one mile was clocking in an amazing 1:50.2. Nuncio was second with Datsyuk third. His time established Father Patrick as the fastest three-year-old trotter ever on a five-eighths mile track, surpassing Googoo Gaagaa’s 1:50.4 mark in 2012, also set at Pocono Downs. “I was very happy with both my horses,” said trainer Jimmy Takter, who also trains Nuncio. “Like I have been saying, Father Patrick is a very unique horse. We compare him with other horses and I have trained a lot of great horses but this is the best horse I have ever developed. This horse trotter here tonight in 1:50.2. I know this track is fantastic but Yannick he just sat with him and never asked him and he still had his plugs (ear) in him. He was sitting on a good second at least.” Now undefeated in five starts this year and with 15 wins in 16 lifetime starts (his only loss came last year to Nuncio), Father Patrick is sired by Cantab Hall and is owned by the Father Patrick Syndicate of East Windsor, NJ. With his victory he has surpassed the $1 million mark in career earnings at 1,097,288. The $500,000 final of the Max Hempt Memorial for three-year-old pacing colts saw McWicked and driver David Miller beat the world mark for his age and gait with a 1:47.3 victory. The son of McArtle took the early lead away from At Press Time (Yannick Gingras) and never looked back, cruising to the wire in winning by two and one-quarter lengths over At Press Time and All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley), who had tried to go first-over in the race. His time of 1:47.3 surpassed the world record on a five-eighths mile track that was set last year by Sunshine Beach at Pocono Downs in defeating two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous. “He was just awesome,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “I usually like him out of a hole but he can race on the front end. I saw Dave (Miller) tuck his whip away in the stretch so I was pretty happy.” “You know, he felt pretty good down the backstretch and around the final turn,” David Miller said. “He is just unbelievable. I had a lot of confidence in him. I didn’t want to be the last one out of the gate and it worked out pretty well.” Owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY, it was McWicked’s fourth win in seven starts this year. He paid $3.00 to win as the betting favorite. Doo Wop Hanover and driver Corey Callahan swept three-wide in the backstretch from last place and despite being parked out three-wide the entire final turn, was able to close with a burst of speed to win the $75,000 Max Hempt Memorial Consolation Pace for three-year-olds colts. Mattamerica (George Napolitano, Jr.) took the early lead away from Kingofthejungle (Brett Miller) and he set super-fast fractions. Some Playa (Brian Sears) had come first-over to no avail as it was Doo Wop Hanover come on to win by a half length in 1:49. Mattamerican held for second with Kingofthejungle third. It was the third win in six starts this year for Doo Wop Hanover. The son of Rocknroll Hanover is trained by Steve Eliott and it was a lifetime mark for the bay colt who paid $7.00 to win. He is owned by Peter Blood, Rick Berks and Gary Piontkowski. A real slugfest was expected in the $500,000 final of the Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace for older horses and fans were treated by just that. Sweet Lou, the Dan Patch award winning 2011 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year has not been living up to expectations until the last two months and tonight he showed he is the best in the business this year. Driven by Ron Pierce, Sweet Lou was not only able to come on the outside and take away the lead from stablemate Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) after a :25.2 opening quarter mile, but then held him off in a dramatic stretch drive to win by a neck in 1:47, setting a world record in the process. Another stablemate from the Ron Burke Stable, Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) was third. Captaintreacherous could do nothing with a third-over trip and was fifth. His time surpassed the world mark on a five-eighths mile track that was co-held in 1:47.2 by both Pet Rock (2013) and Dancin Yankee earlier this year. It was a lifetime mark for Sweet Lou. “I let him (Bettor’s Edge) come up to me,” said driver Ron Pierce, “and then I chased after my horse. We were never passed. He just dug in a little bit more. I felt by far he was the best horse in the race. I just had to drive him right. The only way he was going to get beat tonight is if I messed up.” A winner in his last five starts, Sweet Lou is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by The Brurke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Peter Collura. The five-year-old stallion by Yankee Cruise paid $3.20 to win. The only big final that did not set a world record was the $300,000 finale of the James Lynch Memorial for three-year-old pacing fillies. Repeating the same effort as last week, Fancy Desire and driver George Napolitano, Jr. were parked out to the opening quarter mile in :26.1 by Sayitall BB (Yannick Gingras) but once she got to the lead, Fancy Desire would not be passed again. Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell) was parked out from the start and started to come after Fancy Desire as they sped to the half in :55.3 and the three-quarters in 1:22.2 but she then began to fade. Then coming down the stretch, Napolitano went to work on Fancy Desire as Sayitall BB came right after them, neck and neck to the wire but Fancy Desire held tough to the finish to win by a head in 1:49.2. Uffizi Hanover (David Miller) was third. “I knew it was going to be a tough race,” Napolitano said. “Once I got to the front I knew Yannick was right behind me and that he had a pretty nice horse. I knew it would be a horse race to the wire. I was really confident coming into the race. She loves her work.” Sired by Real Desire, it was the second straight win and fourth victory of the year for Fancy Desire, who is owned by Robert DiNozzi of Ossining,NY. She paid $5.20 to win. Tyra and driver Tim Tetrick were able to make the most of a two-hole trip behind race favorite Someisleandsomwhere and then pull away in the stretch to win the $50,000 James Lynch Memorial Consolation race for three-year-old pacing fillies. Tyra had shot out to the early lead but a quarter move by Someislesomwhere (David Miller) gave Tyra the perfect two-hole. She moved out of the pocket at the top of the stretch and blasted away from the field to win by three open lengths in a lifetime best 1:50.1. It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) was second with Someislandsomwhere third. Trained by Jim King, Jr. Tyra is sired by McArtle and is owned by CC Racing, LLC. Of Molcena, IL. She paid $6.20 to win and it was her third win in seven starts this year. Sun Stakes Saturday got off to an early fast start at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as 4-year-old trotting gelding Wind Of The North stormed to a 1:51 victory in the second half of the Daily Double, a $21,000 trot. Driver David Miller, to be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame next weekend, left swiftly with the altered son of Cantab Hall to hit the quarter in 26.2, then yielded to Daylon Magician, who got the field to the half in 55.1. Going to the ¾ Daylon Magician made a break and went to the infield, giving Wind Of The North clear sailing and inside positioning to the 1:23.1 ¾, and Wind Of The North stormed home in 27.4 to finish the record mile, which shaded the former standard of Indian Summer, set here 51 weekends ago, by a tick. Clifton Green of Pennsylvania is the trainer/lessee of Wind Of The North, who lowered his personal best by almost three seconds, from 1:53.4. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Dancin Yankee wins $100,000 Pace

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Summarzing the awesome impact of the tremendous performances shown, primarily during the features, for the $2,271,000 Sun Stakes Saturday card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs: --The fastest trotting mile ever, without qualification, the 1:49 turned in by superstar Swedish superstar Sebastian K S and trainer/driver Ake (pronounced OH-key) Svanstedt. The overall standard was the 1:49.3 by Enough Talk at Colonial in 2008; the "f" track mark was the 1:50.2 set by Market Share at Harrah's Philly five weeks ago. His last three quarters were an awesome 1:19.4! --The fastest pacing mile ever on a 5/8-mile track, the 1:47 posted by Sweet Lou in the Franklin Final; the former record on 5/8-milers was the 1:47.2 co-held by Pet Rock and Dancin Yankee. In addition, the clocking was only 1/5 off the all-size-tracks race record of 1:46.4 co-held by Somebeachsomewhere, Holborn Hanover, and Warrawee Needy. --Divisional world records were set by 3YO trotting colt Father Patrick, 1:50.2 in winning the Beal Final; 3YO pacing colt McWicked, 1:47.3 in taking the Hempt Final; and 4YO trotting gelding Wind Of The North, who took an overnight conditioned event in 1:51. Father Patrick's time also was only 1/5 of a second off the divisional record for all sizes of tracks, co-held by Donato Hanover and Muscle Hill. --The three stakes mentioned above as setting world records of course also rewrote their stakes records. In the other major stake of the night, the Lynch Final for 3YO pacing fillies, winner Fancy Desire equaled the stakes mark of 1:49.2 first set by American Jewel two years ago. --Overall, the 16-race card rewrote the seven-day-old standard for fastest race card ever in the history of harness racing. A mark of 1:49.2 was set on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night; that ink will not get the chance to dry, as the average of tonight's races was 1:49.1 (which includes three trots on the card, although they went 1:51, 1:49, and 1:50.2). --In all, five world records were set on the card, and 11 horse set new lifetime marks. --There were three miles in 1:47.3 or better: Dancin Yankee and McWicked in that time, and then Sweet Lou's 1:47. (Has that feat ever been accomplished on one card before?) There were five other miles in 1:49 or better, and 11 miles total in 1:50 or better. From the PHHA, for Pocono Downs  

Uffizi Hanover won the biggest race of her career so far at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, the 2013 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers, after losing the previous week. Last weekend, Uffizi Hanover finished second to Cinamony in her elimination for Saturday's $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. The filly started from post seven and raced to the front in a :54.4 opening half-mile before losing the lead in the stretch. This weekend, she starts from post No. 1 with driver David Miller at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Horses from post one have a 14.5 win percentage at Pocono Downs, compared to 7.6 percent from post seven. Prior to last weekend's elimination, Uffizi Hanover led at the halfway point in just one of her previous 15 career starts. She also finished second in that race. "I think she will be better this week," Miller said. "She had the outside last week and I decided to leave with her and she got used a little bit early. That's really not her style. "This week, if I can get away close I think I'll be in good shape. She surprises us all the time." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, and the $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Uffizi Hanover has won four of 16 lifetime starts and earned $594,500 for owners Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband. She entered her Lynch elim off a victory in the Fan Hanover Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack on June 14. Fancy Desire and Weeper, who won the other two Lynch eliminations, are 3-1 and 4-1, respectively in the final. Fancy Desire drew post four and Weeper got post eight. Cinamony will leave from post six and is 6-1. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

It’s another great weekend of super star racing at Pocono Downs. Four major stakes finals, two $100,000 Invitations plus two big purse consolation races. Let’s just hope the weather is perfect like last week. So the majority of the handicapping this weekend is all at Pocono Downs. We also go to the Meadowlands on Friday night for their $22,500 overnight trot, seems that it’s the debut of world champion Wishing Stone and the debut of $1 million winner last year, Spider Blue Chip and the return of Mistery Woman, the lone mare in the field against nine male rivals. It’s not everyday you have such top quality horses racing in an overnight event AND also in the field are top notch trotters Undercover Strike, Yonkers Trot winner Deweycolorinthelines Il Mago and more. Good Luck! $22,500 Trot B-2/B-1/A-2 Handicap The Meadowlands 6th race FRIDAY – Excellent overnight race with real top class trotters. I think Spider Blue Chip should be in prime shape to cut loose in his debut for trainer Chuck Sylvester and pay a price. He was so good, ten wins last year, going against some very good trotters. Use Mistery Woman and Wishing Stone in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace James Lynch 3Y0 Filly Consolation Pocono Downs 5th race SATURDAY – Despite finishing fourth last week to Weeper in her big mile, Someislandsomewhere looks to stand out again this field. Two starts back she was on a three-race winning streak and now looks ready to win again. Use Tyra and Allstar Rating in exotic plays. $75,000 Pace Max Hempt 3Y0 Colt Consolation Pocono Downs 6th race SATURDAY – Another foal of Somebeachsomewhere heads this consolation race. Somestartsomewhere has not returned to form of last year but now draws into a race where he should be able to dominate like he did back in May when he won a PASS division. He should be primed to dominate in here. Use Some Playa and Doo Wop Hanover in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace Invitational Pocono Downs 7th race SATURDAY – Well matched field here will provide plenty of racing action. I think Dancin Yankee, even for new barn and driver, can lay over this field despite outside post having won four of his last five starts. Use Clear Vision and Meirs Hanover in exotic plays. $100,000 Trot Invitational Pocono Downs 8th race SATURDAY – After last week amazing performance I am convinced that Sebastian K is the second coming of Greyhound. Have not seen a horse with such fire and desire to win he seems to be daring the others to even consider coming after him. Despite being handicapped with post seven, the “Barefoot Wonder” should rewrite Market Share’s world record on a five-eighths mile oval of 1:50.2. Use Modern Family and Market Share in exotic plays. $300,000 Pace James Lynch 3YO Filly Final Pocono Downs 9th race SATURDAY – Although beaten last week as betting favorite, I look for Uffizi Hanover to come back stronger today from the rail. She is the class of the field and does her best racing from off the pace, which she will have to come from in this strong final. Use Weeper and Fancy Desire in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Max Hempt 3YO Colt Final Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – They will be flying in this final as everyone wants the winners share of the rich purse. I see McWicked making his big move after the opening quarter like he did last week and rolling on the rest of the mile. Use All Bets Off and At Press Time in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Ben Franklin Final FFA Pocono Downs 11th race SATURDAY – Beaten by the passing lane last week, I know that Captaintreacherous will come back with a vengeance in here despite having to start from post eight. Figure on him leaving and then getting two-hole trip behind Sweet Lou, which will make for a classic matchup in here. Use Sweet Lou and Foiled Again in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Earl Beal, Jr. 3YO Colt Final Pocono Downs 12th race SATURDAY – This is will be a great showdown between Jimmy Takter’s two top trotters. I have to give the edge to Father Patrick despite his outside post as he is the reigning champion and undefeated this season just as his stablemate Nuncio. Only difference is that Father Patrick has yet to be really tested, which could be tonight and when pushed he should score with ease. Use Nuncio and Datsyuk in exotic plays. 

Nuncio spent a lot of this past winter learning to use his natural talent in a more productive way, and it shows. The 3-year-old trotter, who is 3-1 from post two in Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is undefeated in four starts in 2014 after a barn change following his 2-year-old season. New trainer Jimmy Takter concentrated on teaching the son of Andover Hall to conserve and use his speed judiciously and driver John Campbell said he's passing the course so far. Last year, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of his 10 races. This year, he's been no better than third at the halfway point of any race and not seen the lead until the stretch. "I'm very happy with the way he's been coming along," Campbell said. "He just got so aggressive and so wound up at the end of last year that you just couldn't rate him at all. That was to his detriment in a couple races and it cost him winning. Jimmy trained him from behind all winter and we've qualified him that way and raced him that way and he's started to figure it out, so I can be a little more aggressive with him at the gate. "He left a little bit last week and didn't get wound up. I'm very happy with his manners so far. He's been very relaxed and that's important because if they're worked up and you're fighting with them, you just take away energy. He's always been able to go; speed hasn't been an issue ever with him. It's more been just manageability." Nuncio won his Beal elimination last weekend by a half-length over Datsyuk in 1:52.2. His previous three wins this season all came in divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Last year, he won five of 10 races and never finished worse than second on his way to $461,074. His earnings were third most among 2-year-old trotters, behind Takter-trained colt Father Patrick and Takter-trained filly Shake It Cerry. Four of Nuncio's second-place efforts were against Father Patrick, in the eliminations and final of the Peter Haughton Memorial and elims and final of the Breeders Crown. Nuncio won the Matron Stakes and a division of the Reynolds; he also was runner-up to Muscle Network in the Valley Victory. Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, also won his Beal elimination last week. He drew post No. 8 for the final and is the 5-2 morning line favorite with driver Yannick Gingras. "I'd certainly rather have the two hole than outside, that is for sure, but once we get in to the race, everybody will know at the quarter whether it's good or bad," Campbell said. "But going in to the race, I'd rather be down inside." Father Patrick won his Beal elim by 2-1/4 lengths over Harper Blue Chip in 1:52.4. He is 4-for-4 this year and brings a 13-race win streak into the Beal final. Last year, Father Patrick won 10 of 11 races, including the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the Wellwood Memorial and the Peter Haughton Memorial. His only setback came against Nuncio in July. "This is the first time all year that he'll be asked to go," Gingras said. "He's more than ready after four easy starts." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications  

No trotter in history has recorded four winning miles of 1:50.3 or faster, but on Saturday night Sebastian K will try to accomplish the feat in only his fourth start in North America. Sebastian K is among the seven horses in Saturday's $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The field also includes Market Share, who is history's only other trotter with three winning miles of 1:50.3 or faster. Last weekend, Sebastian K and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won for the third time in as many starts since arriving in the U.S. from Sweden. They captured the third round of the TVG Free For All Series for older trotters in 1:50.3 at the Meadowlands, beating Archangel by two lengths and third-place Market Share by 4-3/4. Sebastian K won his U.S. debut in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 on May 10 and followed that performance with a 1:50.2 victory in the $175,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial final. "It's an amazing story," said Bjorn "Bernie" Noren, who is Svanstedt's assistant. "Of course we were hoping he was going to do great, but this is - I don't want to say a surprise, really - but a good feeling that the horse can do like he's done." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Sebastian K drew post No. 7 in the Sun Invitational, which also includes Arch Madness, Sevruga, Amigo Ranger, Archangel, and Modern Family. Arch Madness, one of the richest trotters in history with more than $4 million in purses, and Sevruga also are among history's 15 trotters to win with at least a 1:50.3 time. Arch Madness, who has won twice in his career with a time of 1:50.2, Market Share, Sebastian K, and the retired Chapter Seven are the only trotters in history to win in 1:50.3 or faster multiple times. One of Market Share's 1:50.3 miles came last year in a qualifier. Earlier this year he trotted 1:50.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia, the fastest time ever on a five-eighths-mile track. Pocono Downs is a five-eighths-mile track known for its speed, so that mark could be in jeopardy Saturday. Depending on how the race unfolds, a sub-1:50 mile might not be out of the question. "It's not out of the possibility," Noren said. "It depends how the race unfolds. If they get to three quarters and everybody still has something in the tank, it could happen. If you go too much in the [first] half, of course you're going to go a little slower the last half. That's the way racing is. But that's a fast track. If the weather is good, they're going to have the track in top shape." In his most recent race, Sebastian K won from gate to wire. He got the lead with a :27.3 opening quarter-mile before relaxing in a :28.2 second quarter. He trotted :54.3 for the second half, including :26.2 for the final quarter-mile. "It was the best I ever felt him," Svanstedt said. "Usually he gets to the front and looks around for other horses, but this time he just kept going." Added Noren, "Ake was just sitting and waiting. He was waiting for somebody to come and then Market Share came first up and the last quarter he let [Sebastian K] go and he was flying home really good. It was his best race so far. He was really sharp. He really wanted to take off. "The horse looks great, he feels great. He should get better the more he's racing." Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial finals, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; and Miss Versatility, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will once again be on Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs this Saturday night (June 28) as the track will host four lucrative stakes finals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin for older pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Mohawk will host a $40,000 (est.) leg of the Miss Versatility for older female trotters on Monday (June 30). Complete entries for the Pocono races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries are available at this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action opened up on Friday night (June 20) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a $50,000 TVG Free For All Trotting Series leg and Sebastian K scored another dominating win in 1:50.3, leaving an accomplished field in his wake. Sebastian K posted another dominating win in 1:50.3. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt sent his stable star away fast from post five and he had the front instantly, crossing over and taking up by the quarter in :27.3. Left alone on the lead, Svanstedt rated Sebastian K through a :56 half and 1:24.1 three panels before sprinting again with a 26.2 close to the mile. Archangel drafted along In The Pocket and held the place while Market Share tried to advance on the outside from the half to no avail and stayed on for third. This was his third win in as many tries since landing on U.S. soil for Sebastian K, owned by Knutsson Trotting, Inc. of Vero Beach, Fla. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs hosted 10 Grand Circuit races on Saturday, all eliminations for this week's Sun Stakes Saturday card. Grabbing the headlines were the older pacers in the Ben Franklin eliminations. The first of two $25,000 eliminations was billed as "Captaintreacherous vs. Foiled Again," as the two-time defending Pacer of the Year squared off against the richest horse of all time for the first time in 2014. But nobody told Domethatagain. Driven perfectly by Simon Allard, Domethatagain, a son of Bettor's Delight, rallied up the inside to just catch Captaintreacherous by the scantest of margins in 1:48, ahead of Bettor's Edge, the game first-over Foiled Again, and fifth-placed Sunshine Beach, the faster of the Franklin fifth-place finishers and thus a Franklin finalist. Track geometry was never proven more important as Domethatagain (post one), Bettor's Edge (post two), and Captaintreacherous (post four) left in tandem, with Bettor's Edge forced to retreat to the inside and Captaintreacherous forced to go up past the :26 opener to get the lead, posting splits of :53.2 and 1:21 as he resisted the raw bid of Foiled Again. Turning for home, Captaintreacherous seemed to have clear sailing, but Allard rallied Domethatagain up the Pocono Pike to just catch the favorite in the shadow of the wire, returning $60.20 to his scattered backers. Rene Allard conditions the upsetter for Allard Racing, Robert Hamather, and Bruce Soulsby. Sweet Lou won his fourth straight race, scoring in a time of 1:47.4. In the second Franklin elim, Sweet Lou, who has been the most consistent free-for-all pacer lately, restored order to the handicapping universe as the 1-2 favorite by crushing his field in 1:47.4, equaling his life mark. Sweet Lou tucked before the :26.4 quarter, then moved frontward and had reached the lead by the :54 half. The son of Yankee Cruiser smoked a :26.4 backside, then cruised home in :27 unurged by driver Ron Pierce to win by four lengths over earlier leader Bolt The Duer, Captive Audience, and Allstar Legend for the ownership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Carr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of the weekend races, including the other eight Pocono stakes eliminations, are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 354; 2. Yannick Gingras - 345; 3. Ron Pierce - 230; 4. Brian Sears - 170; 5. George Brennan - 164.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 568.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 250; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Joe Holloway - 137; 5. Julie Miller - 110. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 2. Burke Racing - 124.5; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 114.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 82; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Historic Track and Meadowlands Racetrack. Historic Track will host eight Landmark Stakes events for 2- and 3-year-olds on Friday (July 4). The Meadowlands will contest the $400,000 Meadowlands Maturity for trotters, along with eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace, William Haughton Memorial and Mistletoe Shalee on Saturday (July 5). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Freehold, NJ --- It might run counter to trainer Ron Burke’s intuition, but less appears to be more with Sweet Lou. Burke changed Sweet Lou’s between-race routine and the 5-year-old male pacer has responded with a four-race win streak heading into Saturday’s (June 28) $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It is Sweet Lou’s longest streak since putting together six consecutive victories bridging his 2- and 3-year-old seasons. Sweet Lou was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner as harness racing’s best 2-year-old male pacer and earned more than $1 million at age 3, but endured a stretch of just four wins in 31 starts prior to his recent surge. “We’ve backed off on him and he’s become more like a Thoroughbred,” Burke said. “I can’t ask him to race four weeks in a row; I can’t ask him to train in between when he’s racing. I just give him weeks now where he basically jogs and hangs out in the field. “It kills me, because I’m thinking that he’s getting unfit. But I’ve watched him and he just blows back up and starts to look strong again. Then I’ll give him one hard fast work before he races and he seems to race great.” Saturday’s card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and the $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Sweet Lou, who won his Franklin elimination by four lengths over Bolt The Duer in 1:47.4 last weekend, drew post four in the final. Three other Burke horses -- Bettor’s Edge, Allstar Legend, and Foiled Again -- will all start inside of Sweet Lou while Domethatagain, who edged Captaintreacherous by a nose to win the other Franklin elim in 1:48, got post five. Captaintreacherous, the two-time defending Pacer of the Year, leaves from post eight. “I was very impressed with the way (Sweet Lou) raced the other day,” Burke said. “He’s come back as the horse we always thought he would be.” Sweet Lou’s win streak also coincides with Ron Pierce becoming his driver. “Pierce maybe has a different strategy of how to race him and so far it’s been good,” Burke said. “Everything right now is working good, so we’ll just keep doing it the same way until we need to make a change.” In addition to his quartet in the Franklin, Burke will send At Press Time and All Bets Off into the Hempt, Sayitall BB and Southwind Silence into the Lynch, and Amped Up Hanover into the Beal. All Bets Off, who won the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers in May, and At Press Time captured their respective Hempt eliminations. All Bets Off has won five of six starts this year; At Press Time bounced back from a third-place finish in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes with the addition of Lasix. “I knew At Press Time would be better,” Burke said. “We did some work on him in between (starts) and got him straighter and he bled very badly. It wasn’t a question of whether we should put him on Lasix, he really needed Lasix. I was happy with his performance. “(All Bets Off) is a very good horse. He’s top five; he’s as good as any horse out there, I think. He can go either way. He had to be pulled to a stop at the top of the lane (in his elim) and most of my horses if you pulled them to a stop like that they wouldn’t fire again. And he did.” The Hempt field also includes McWicked, who won the fastest elimination, in 1:48. Jimmy Takter-trained trotters Father Patrick and Nuncio headline the Beal. Both won their eliminations, with Father Patrick extending his win streak to 13 races dating back to last July. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. Nuncio was a stakes winner and four-time runner-up to Father Patrick last season. This is their first meeting as 3-year-olds. Cinamony, Fancy Desire, and Weeper all won Lynch eliminations. Cinamony and Fancy Desire were supplemented to the Lynch for $15,000. The final also includes multiple-stakes-winner Uffizi Hanover. Sebastian K, who is 3-for-3 since arriving in North America from Sweden, headlines the Sun Invitational. The race also includes Market Share, who is a two-time Dan Patch Award winner. Following are the fields in post order with listed drivers and trainers: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational – 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick,Linda Toscano; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial – 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr.; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O’Donnell; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial – 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt; 2. Allstar Partner, Tim Tetrick, John Butenschoen; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 5. At Press Time,Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace – 1. Bettor’s Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial – 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley,Ron Burke; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr.; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

WILKES-BARRE PA - One of the best evenings of the North American harness racing season will take place this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as a constellation of stars will be after big money on the $2,271,000 Sun Stakes Saturday card. Three of the races carry purses of $500,000: the Ben Franklin Pace for free-for-allers; the Earl Beal Trot for 3YO males; and the Max C. Hempt Pace, also for 3YO males. The night will also feature the $300,000 James Lynch Pace for 3YO fillies; horses racing in these four Championship events earned their spots by their high finishes in elimination races this past Saturday, on the fastest card in harness racing history, with an average winning time of 1:49.2. In addition, there will be two $100,000 Invitationals, one on each gait, and consolation races for the three-year-old pacers who did not earn spots in Saturday's Championships. Here's a short look at the four "main events," plus the two Invitationals: FRANKLIN FINAL Last week's Franklin eliminations produced two miles in 1:48 or better: 29-1 shot Domethatagain upset defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous in 1:48 in one cut, while Sweet Lou, the FFAer with the hottest current form, won the other event a tick faster. And that group does not even mention Foiled Again, the richest harness horse of all-time at $6.25M, who was fourth after the death-like "tuck-then-first-over" trip. Foiled Again got the most-inward draw of all the horses mentioned here, starting from post three for Yannick Gingras. Sweet Lou starts to his immediate right for Ron Pierce, while Domethatagain (driver Simon Allard) moves from post one, which was key to his shocker last week, to post five - which is merely the most winning post at Pocono. Captaintreacherous is behind the 8-ball in the Franklin field, starting one from the outside in the field of nine for driver Tim Tetrick - but remember that "The Captain" overcame post nine last year in heroically winning the Hempt Final. BEAL FINAL The Franklin Final is race 11 on the 16-race card Saturday; the event after that matches the Hambletonian hopefuls together. And if anyone asks you who you might like in here, you can take the easy way out and say "Jimmy Takter," as the Hall of Fame trainer sent out both Beal elim winners, Nuncio (1:52.2) and Father Patrick (1:52.4), both notching their fourth victories in an unbeaten 2014. Something will have to give there on Saturday (barring a dead heat), and on post position Nuncio would seem to have a decided edge, starting one from the inside in post two for driver John Campbell, while his stablemate Father Patrick drew one from the outside in the field of nine, post eight, for driver Yannick Gingras. But Takter has said right along that he thinks Father Patrick could be "one of the greatest trotters of this era," and with 14 wins in 15 starts, it's hard to disagree with him. (The one horse to beat him, though? Nuncio!) HEMPT FINAL Race 10 gathers together the three-year-old male pacers in the Hempt. This division is often called the "glamour division" of the sport (Captaintreacherous used it as a springboard to be the only North American harness horse to earn $2 million during 2013), but throughout much of last year and all of this so far, it has been a division looking for a leader to emerge - something that might happen in the Hempt. Most impressive in most eyes in the Hempt elims last week was McWicked, who will be starting from post three for driver David Miller. McWicked was used hard during his elim, yet still paced home in hand in 1:48, and a repeat performance might vault him to the top of this group. Sure to be in the argument for supremacy are the other two Hempt elim victors, At Press Time (1:48.2 last week, post five in this field of nine for driver Yannick Gingras) and All Bets Off (1:48.3, post eight, Matt Kakaley). LYNCH FINAL This group, taking to the track in race 9, is another still searching for its 2014 standardbearer. Up until last week, the obvious choice seemed to be Uffizi Hanover (post one, driver David Miller), who won her Breeders Crown championship last year and recently swept the Fan Hanover Stake in Ontario. But as the favorite last week, Uffizi Hanover was caught late by Cinamony (post six, Corey Callahan), and in the slowest of the three elims to boot - 1:50.3. The other two eliminations were clocked in 1:49, only a fifth of a second off the divisional world record set by I Luv The Nitelife at Pocono, and both Fancy Desire (post four, George Napolitano Jr.) and Weeper (post eight, Dave Palone) are sure to put in their bids for the section's current crown in the Lynch. SUN INVITATIONAL TROT The story here in race eight is Sebastian K S, undefeated in three starts in this country as his formerly Swedish-based trainer Ake Svanstedt transferred his stable to North America over the winter. With wins in 1:50.1, 1:50.2, and 1:50.3 and being one of the most physically-imposing trotters of recent years in the eyes of many followers, Sebastian K S will be the horse to beat, even though he will start from the outside in the field of seven for Svanstedt, also his driver. Not to go down without a fight is Market Share, the leader of his class the last two years, and the holder of the 1:50.2 record for fastest mile ever trotted on a 5/8-mile track, which he accomplished at Harrah's Philadelphia a month ago. With his main rival outside, and drawing post three for driver Tim Tetrick, Market Share may be ready to take on the current King. USTA INVITATIONAL PACE When the Franklin drew only 14 entrants and nine were to go through to the final, a consolation event was not to be in the cards, so Pocono, led by Director of Racing Rick Kane, scheduled this $100,000 contest for horses who did not make the Franklin final or were not entered last week. The entire field gathered for Saturday's race 7 has had its moments of glory, but the one of the latest and perhaps greatest one came from Dancin Yankee (post eight, driver Tyler Buter), who at Pocono on May 17 won in 1:47.2 - which put his name next to that of Pet Rock as the authors of the fastest miles ever on a five-eighth mile track. Considering that the average lifetime mark of this field of nine is 1:48.2, Dancin Yankee will have to work hard from his outer draw if he is to revisit Pocono's winners circle. Post time for the $2.2+M Sun Stakes Saturday 16-race card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will be 6:30 p.m. No true fan of harness racing will want to miss this exciting, contentious racing spectacle. From the PHHA, for Pocono Downs

Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 6 – 6/24/2014                                                Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (34) 8th 3-3-0-0 $132,500 349 1 2 Trixton 3tc 6-5-1-0 $229,712 271 2 3 Perfect Alliance (1) 4tm 12-11-1-0 $177,637 229 3 4 Sweet Lou 5ph 7-4-1-1 $161,000 221 4 5 Father Patrick 3tc 4-4-0-0 $102,431 193 5 6 JK Endofanera 3pc 5-4-0-1 $541,667 140 6 7 Anndrovette 7pm 9-4-1-1 $362,437 103 8 8 Somwherovrarainbow 4pm 10-6-3-1 $355,523 96 7 9 Modern Family 5th 12-6-5-1 $241,150 68 9 10 Market Share 5th 5-2-0-1 $151,000 34 10 Also: Nuncio (29), Foiled Again (25), Dancin Yankee (23), Classic Martine (21), Maven (15), McWicked, Shake It Cerry (13), P H Supercam, Tellitlikeitis, Uffizi Hanover (12), Captaintreacherous (11), State Treasurer (7), All Bets Off, Designed To Be (6), Domethatagain (4), Apprentice Hanover, Table Talk, Weeper (3), Cammikey (2), I Like My Boss (1). Compiled by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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