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Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce have teamed to win seven consecutive races, but Pierce believes he deserves none of the credit for the hot streak. He also believes the best is yet to come. Sweet Lou, who has won 29 of 65 lifetime races and $2.78 million in purses, is enjoying the best stretch of his award-winning career as he heads into Saturday’s $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship at Meadowlands Racetrack. Sweet Lou, who starts from post seven, faces eight foes, including Captaintreacherous, State Treasurer, Golden Receiver, and Ron Burke-trained stablemates Foiled Again, Bettor’s Edge, and Clear Vision. The race is part of a stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card at the Big M. Among the other highlights are the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters, and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. Coverage of the card will air throughout the afternoon on TVG and from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. “It’s just unbelievable how good they have him right now,” Pierce said about Sweet Lou. “The Burke crew really has him sharp. “It’s not me, believe me, it’s the horse. The horse is doing everything pretty much on his own. I’m just a passenger. I think if any of the top guys would’ve gotten on this horse he’d be doing the same thing. I’m giving all the credit to the Burkes and their crew. They’re doing all the work. All I do is sit there.” Pierce started driving Sweet Lou in May and the two have teamed to win the Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, and Roll With Joe stakes during their seven races together. It is Sweet Lou’s longest win streak, topping his 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. “I wasn’t sure [what to expect],” Pierce said, looking back to when he started driving Sweet Lou. “I’d raced against him plenty, but no I didn’t really think he was going to be winning these kinds of races so easily. I just happened to get on him at the right time. “It’s such a pleasure to race this horse because he’s so good. You can do anything you want to do. If you want to take back, you take back; if you want to go forward, all you have to do is feed him racetrack. And then he’ll come right back to you once he gets to the top. It’s just a pleasure. It’s a thrill.” Sweet Lou, owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura, still holds the world record of 1:49 for a 2-year-old pacer and this season became the fastest horse ever on a five-eighths-mile track when he captured the Ben Franklin in 1:47 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The fastest race mile in history is 1:46.4, a mark shared by Holborn Hanover, Somebeachsomewhere, Warrawee Needy, and He’s Watching. But Pierce thinks Sweet Lou could take down that mark sometime in the future. “If Ronnie tells me to shatter the world record, I will,” Pierce said. “He could do it, no problem. But I want to keep him within himself for as long as I can. It’s better for him. The longer I can go without stretching him out, the better off he’s going to be in the long run. I’m not going to be showboating or anything like that. “But I’m sure Ronnie is going to come to me one of these days under the right conditions and say to go ahead and shatter the world record. And then I will.” Following is the U.S. Pacing Championship field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Golden Receiver, Corey Callahan, Jake Huff; 2. State Treasurer, David Miller, Ian Moore; 3. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh; 4. Sunfire Blue Chip, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 5. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Bettor’s Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 7. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 9. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

The annual Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands witnessed hot and fast bidding that resulted in a 34.7% increase in average per horse sale price from the previous year.   Of the 123 racehorses that sold for a gross of $2,544,200, the average reached $20,685. The main attraction of the well-attended Harness Horse auction was the "drop-in-the-box" nature of the 30 horses that raced in the two days prior to the sale, and over 100 that raced in the last week.   The highlight of the sale was the offering of World Champion trotter Sevruga 1:50.3 who was a $160,000 post-sale purchase. A winner of over $1 million lifetime, he will start in the $300,000 John Cashman, Jr Memorial on Hambo Day for new owners Scott and Joe Pennacchio.   Long-time horse owner, amateur driver, and current president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, Joe Pennacchio noted that Sevruga "was one of the rare, great trotters around, and may be in just a little over his head in Grand Circuit stakes company. We look forward to racing him in Open and Late Closing events."   Consigned by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Sevruga was one of nearly 50 horses represented by Bob Boni. Following the sale, Boni noted pleasure with the day's events and stated that "it was a very strong horse sale. Good horses sold well, as they usually do."   The annual racehorse reduction of Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was particularly well-received, bolstered by several high-priced youngsters. Topping the overall 2-year-old sales was the PA eligible Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly, who showed consistently flat lines around 1:58 and fetched $51,000 from Barbara Boese of Milton, DE.   Preferred Equine Marketing represented another well-placed $75,000 Fashion Farm sale with the American Ideal colt, Ideal Fashion p,3,1:52.1f--`14. Kyle Spagnola signed for the 3-year-old NY eligible colt who had just won his last start at Yonkers in 1:53.4h.   Toward the end of the sale, prospective purchasers not willing to go home empty handed saw stars with Moonliteonthebeach p,4,1:51--`14, who was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing for Scott Kimelman and the Blue Chip Bloodstock Partners. The bidding was fierce and competitive for the handsome 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who just paced in 1:49.3 finishing second at Pocono just 12 hours before the sale. When the dust settled, Andrew Harris signed the winning $85,000 ticket for trainer P.J. Fraley and owner Jeff Bamond.   Lynch winning 3-year-old pacing filly Fancy Desire p,3,1:49 was the anticipated sale topper, and was hammered down for $195,000, however failed to reach the required reserve price.   Tattersalls sales manager David Reid was happy with the overall results of the sale, and was optimistic about the health of the industry. "Sales have been good. This was a very active group of racehorses, which always translates into active bidding. My only disappointment was the relative absence of Canadian buyers. It serves as a true indicator of the importance of the slots programs in these regional markets. Having said that, with an eye on the future, bring on the Hambletonian." by Chris Tully, for Tattersalls  

The annual Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands witnessed hot and fast bidding that resulted in a 34.7% increase in average per horse sale price from the previous year.   Of the 123 racehorses that sold for a gross of $2,544,200, the average reached $20,685. The main attraction of the well-attended Harness Horse auction was the "drop-in-the-box" nature of the 30 horses that raced in the two days prior to the sale, and over 100 that raced in the last week.   The highlight of the sale was the offering of World Champion trotter Sevruga 1:50.3 who was a $160,000 post-sale purchase. A winner of over $1 million lifetime, he will start in the $300,000 John Cashman, Jr Memorial on Hambo Day for new owners Scott and Joe Pennacchio.   Long-time horse owner, amateur driver, and current president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, Joe Pennacchio noted that Sevruga "was one of the rare, great trotters around, and may be in just a little over his head in Grand Circuit stakes company. We look forward to racing him in Open and Late Closing events."   Consigned by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Sevruga was one of nearly 50 horses represented by Bob Boni. Following the sale, Boni noted pleasure with the day's events and stated that "it was a very strong horse sale. Good horses sold well, as they usually do."   The annual racehorse reduction of Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was particularly well-received, bolstered by several high-priced youngsters. Topping the overall 2-year-old sales was the PA eligible Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly, who showed consistently flat lines around 1:58 and fetched $51,000 from Barbara Boese of Milton, DE.   Preferred Equine Marketing represented another well-placed $75,000 Fashion Farm sale with the American Ideal colt, Ideal Fashion p,3,1:52.1f--`14. Kyle Spagnola signed for the 3-year-old NY eligible colt who had just won his last start at Yonkers in 1:53.4h.   Toward the end of the sale, prospective purchasers not willing to go home empty handed saw stars with Moonliteonthebeach p,4,1:51--`14, who was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing for Scott Kimelman and the Blue Chip Bloodstock Partners. The bidding was fierce and competitive for the handsome 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who just paced in 1:49.3 finishing second at Pocono just 12 hours before the sale. When the dust settled, Andrew Harris signed the winning $85,000 ticket for trainer P.J. Fraley and owner Jeff Bamond.   Lynch winning 3-year-old pacing filly Fancy Desire p,3,1:49 was the anticipated sale topper, and was hammered down for $195,000, however failed to reach the required reserve price.   Tattersalls sales manager David Reid was happy with the overall results of the sale, and was optimistic about the health of the industry. "Sales have been good. This was a very active group of racehorses, which always translates into active bidding. My only disappointment was the relative absence of Canadian buyers. It serves as a true indicator of the importance of the slots programs in these regional markets. Having said that, with an eye on the future, bring on the Hambletonian." by Chris Tully, for Tattersalls  

Georgian Downs rolled out the red carpet on Saturday night for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series with five $18,000 dashes going behind the gate. When the dust had cleared, it was Shadios who shined brightest, turning in a career-best 1:50.3 clocking in the fourth Grassroots flight. With Billy Davis Jr. in the bike, Shadios sat in second while Warrawee Phoenix (Scott Coulter) rattled off fast fractions of :26.4, :53.4, and 1:22.2. Davis Jr. already had his charge out of the pocket at three-quarters and he took control entering the far turn. From there, Shadios set sail for the wire, which he reached five lengths to the good over runner-up Regal Babe (Mike Saftic). Twin B Spy (Robert Shepherd) finished in third. Tony Alagna trains Shadios, a Shadow Play gelding, for Great Britain-based owner Tom Hill. Shadios has won three times from six starts this year and he has four career victories. He has earned $26,860 in 2014 and $41,150 in his life. Davis Jr. also won the Grassroots opener with Some Major Beach, the Major In Art half-brother to the great Somebeachsomewhere. Making his first start for trainer Dave Menary, Some Major Beach worked out a second-over trip and then converted it into a 1:52.4 victory. He defeated Major Homer (Travis Henry) by two and three-quarters lengths with Allstar Seelster (Mike Saftic) back in third. Muscara Racing Trust of Ivyland, Pennsylvania, Robert Watson of Ashfield, Australia and Martinez Equine of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania own Some Major Beach. This was his second career win from 17 tries and he has banked $154,226. The other three divisions were all won by driver Scott Coulter. He guided Andreios Kardia to a 1:53.1 decision in the second split; Regal Son to a 1:54.1 tally in the third division; and Lucky King to a 1:53.1 triumph in the Grassroots nightcap. Andreios Kardia, a gelding by Badlands Hanover, is trained by Jeff Madill for owner/breeder Ina Madill of Innisfil, Ont. Unraced as a freshman, Andreios Kardia is four-for-16 this year with $55,350 in the bank. Regal Son, a Stonebridge Regal colt, is trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont, who also bred Regal Son with long-time partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. Gordon Wright of Charlotte, Michigan is also part of the ownership contingent. Regal Son is a four-time winner in his racing career and he has earned over $55,550. Andrew McCabe sent out Camluck colt Lucky King for owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. This was the first Ontario Sires Stakes win this year for Lucky King, who won last year’s Grassroots Championship for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. He has six career victories and he has stashed away $91,053 for his connections. The next event for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series is slated for August 3 at Hanover Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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

Batavia, NY - The first of eight visits by the lucrative New York Sire Stakes takes place Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs and for the local fans it's a chance to see some of the biggest names in harness racing. The 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers will be on hand and that means some very exciting action. There will be three legs of the NYSS and two of the Excelsior series and the entrants will be competing for combined purses in excess of $140,000. The first division goes for $39,200 and looks to be the main event as it is loaded with talent and speed. Perennial training leader Ron Burke will start 3-5 morning line favorite All Bets Off, who ships in with some impressive credentials. He won the $300,000 Art Rooney pace at Yonkers Raceway in May and after winning his elimination heat in 1:48.3, finished third in the $500,000 Hempt final at Pocono Downs behind McWicked last month. In that race, McWicked set a new world record for 3-year-old colts on a five-eighths mile track (1:47.3). This will be the third start in the NYSS for All Bets Off this year who won at Vernon Downs in 1:50.2 and just ten days ago finished second at Yonkers in 1:52.4 to Capital Account, who looks to be his toughest competition in today's race. He has earnings of $291,575 already this year. All Bets Off, who starts from post five and will be driven by Matt Kakaley, is part of an entry that includes stablemate Keystone Honor. Capital Account has competed in some high-profile stakes already but without positive results. He drew post eight in both the $69,000 Somebeachsomewhere and $45,500 North America Cup elimination at Mohawk and finished well beaten in both. But even though he does not sport the gaudy numbers of the morning line favorite, he certainly has beaten him. In his last start at Yonkers in NYSS action, Capital Account was pulled third over up the backside before tipping four-deep around the leader All Bets Off at the top of the stretch. He then outpaced the 1-5 favorite to the wire to win by a half-length. The 16-1 shot was overlooked last week but certainly won't be in here. Capital Account is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and will start from post three for leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr. The second $39,200 division is headed by Canadian conditioner Cassie Coleman's Twin B Tenacious. After getting 2014 off to an inauspicious start, Twin B Tenacious has now strung together four straight wins (the last a NYSS event at Yonkers) and registered a 1:50.3 lifetime mark at the Meadowlands in the process. Steve Smith, who has been at the helm for all four victories, will once again be in the bike and start from post four. Forty Five Red, who is another entry from the powerful Burke stable, comes in off two consecutive wins at Yonkers Raceway which includes his seasonal mark of 1:52.3 in his last outing. Although he hasn't missed a check all year, his most recent outings have probably been his best to date and indicate he will be a legitimate threat to the favorite. The third division is worth $38,500 and looks to be a wide-open affair. Stay Up Late has been made the morning line favorite but has yet to win in stake action at three. He has gone off the favorite in his last three starts but his sole victory this year came in an overnight event at Yonkers Raceway on July 8 in 1:53.3. He gets Jim Morrill Jr. up for the first time this year and starts from post four Neat draws the rail for trainer Erv Miller and is coming in off three very impressive starts. After just getting beat in 1:53.4 in a NYSS race at Buffalo on June 27, Neat finished second in an overnight at Pocono Downs in 1:50.1 over a sloppy track the following week. He was then back in Sire Stake action at Yonkers his last start where he got away sixth and chased a :56 flat last half parked out to finish third in 1:52.3. Neat is rated at 5-2 for driver Brent Holland. 3-1 third choice Sir Sam's Z Tam has the fastest seasonal mark and the most money earned of any other horse in this race, but also has the only NYSS victory this year. After hitting the board four consecutive times, he found himself parked out in a fast last half at Yonkers before finishing fifth. Sam's Z Tam will start from post three for trainer/driver the Pat Lachance. The undercard features two divisions of the Excelsior series and they are slated to go as race seven and ten. The first split goes for $12,600 and has two horses that have dominated the class; Cabbie's Delight and Murder He Wrote. 8-5 favorite Cabbie's Delight has not been worse than second in six Excelsior starts. In fact he is the point's leader to date in the series. He won four straight out of the gate before finishing two close seconds in his most recent starts. Trainer Sam Serianni has Jason Bartlett in the bike this week as he looks to get back in the winner's circle. 9-5 co-favorite Murder He Wrote has won his last two starts, including a NYSS event at Buffalo Raceway where he blew up the tote board at 45-1. The roan gelding drew immediate respect after that when he went off the prohibitive favorite the following week at Yonkers where he won wire to wire in 1:54.1. Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Murder He Wrote and starts from post five for conditioner Linda Toscano. The final $12,600 Excelsior contest is headlined by 2-1 choice Believeinthespirit. After having negligible success in four straight NYSS races, trainer Ed Lohmeyer reclassified his charge to the Excelsior and the change has proven fruitful. Believeinthespirit has won his last two starts in convincing fashion and looks to continue the streak from post two. 5-2 second choice Archetto Hanover is the second highest point getter in the Excelsior series behind Cabbie's Delight and has three wins and two seconds to show for his efforts. Trainer Erv Miller has Brent Holland up for this trip and will depart from post five. Post time for the first race is 1:15. For more racing information or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon to www.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon to www.bataviabets.com and open an account. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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  

  Ohio Sires Stakes and Opens highlight the Friday night card at Scioto Downs Friday. The two and three year old fillies in their respective divisions went post ward for their share of the $40,000 purse. There were nine total divisions for the trotting and pacing fillies and many favorites prevailed. The Sire Stake action kicked off in race one on the 14-race card with two-year old pacing fillies. A field of eight went behind the wings, including the 1-9 favorite, Bell Flower. Bell Flower showed her talent and dominated the field in 1:55.3. She's a daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye and Our Lady Countess. She's trained and partially owned by Fred Huff Jr and John Fairchild. Coming off her impressive qualifier of 1:54.4, she didn't disappoint her supporters. Chris Page had the lines and started from post two. The pair left for command and were the uncontested pace setters. Page clicked fractions of 27.1, 57, 1:26.1 and cruised to a four and three quarter length victory. Zoey's Lemon Tart and Aaron Merriman closed for second and Medoland Kendolin was third. The second race on the program featured a field of seven two-year old trotting fillies. Student Of Life for trainer and driver Marty Wollam prevailed in an impressive 1:58.3. Student Of Life is by Full Count out Lynn's Slider. She's owned by Acadia Farms Inc and G&B Racing of Ohio. The filly started from post three and that's were they got away. The heavy favorite, Bet On Chip and Chris Page for trainer, Devan Miller set the fractions of 29.2, 58.2 and 1:27.4. Giving Sammy Star and Aaron Merriman a perfect pocket trip, but it wasn't enough to fend off the late brush of Student Of Life. Bet On Chip was second and Sammy star was third. Only a neck separated these three fillies. The third race was a mild upset in the three year old trotting fillies first division. Sandys Victory and Josh Sutton rallied in 1:57.2. Sandys Victory is the daughter of Victory Sam and Amessageforsandy. She's conditioned by Larry Tinch who also owns with John E Reames. The filly started from post eight in the field of eight and was the post time second choice. In The Grippers was the 3-5 favorite and she started from post one. Page used the inside to his advantage and clocked favorable fractions of 28.3, 59 and 1:27.4 with In The Grippers. He had company going to the three quarters in the form of Sandys Victory. The filly wrestled the lead away in the stretch and trotted on to a one and a quarter length victory. Majesty Dream and Kayne Kauffman rallied for place and In The Grippers completed the trifecta. Three year old filly pacer Crown Time Keeper kept her stellar season going with a career best effort of 1:54. Crown Time Keeper and driver Chris Page were the post time favorite at 2-5 and rightfully so. The three year old filly by Feelin Friskie out of Crowntime Noreturn is trained by Steve Carter for owner and breeder, Esther Crownover. The filly didn't have her usually front end spot, but it didn't derail her. The fractions of 28 and 56.2 flushed her and she started her first over grind. Crown Time Keeper hit the three quarters in 1:24.1 and finally cleared the game, Lady Julie in the stretch and paced clear by two lengths. Lady Julie for trainer Jim Dailey was a solid second and God Only Knows was a closing third. Novascotia Hanover and Aaron Merriman collar the $25,000 Filly and Mare Open pace in 1:51.3. A full field of 10 went behind the gate. Novascotia Hanover started from post three and used her lucky draw to her advantage. The four year old mare by Somebeachsomewhere out of Northern Sky received a perfect pocket trip behind the heavy favorite, Continual Velocity. She set the fractions of 27, 54.2 and 1:22.3 with the steady pressure from a parked, Betterluvnexttime and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Novascotia Hanover had some left in the tank when Merriman showed her racetrack and she responded by her one length victory over Continual Velocity and Better Think Twice for trainer Danny Collins who was a fast closing third. Karlee Sue and Josh Sutton took the second division of the two year old filly pace in 1:56. The daughter of Feelin Friskie is trained and partially owned by Al Tomlinson along with Dennis Stolz and Daniel Mitchell. Sutton and Karlee Sue stole the fractions of 28.3, 59.1 and 1:27 and fended off a strong rally by Friskie Lil Devil who was second and Hailstorm Grace for trainer Tom Blankenship was third. Its Complicated and Josh Sutton wired the field in the $25,000 Open Trot in 1:53.4. This win gives Its Complicated five wins in his last six starts. The four year old gelding by Sj's Caviar out of Before The Rain is trained by Brent Davis for breeder and owner Hatfield Stables. The upset minded Turbochargedroxie rallies in a division of the three year old filly trot in 2:00.4. The steady rain that continued to fall quickly turned the fast track into a sloppy one. The filly by Cayenne Turbo was driven by Danny Noble for trainer Danny Collins for owners, Joyce McClelland, DM Stables Llc, Dean Davis and William Rufenacht. She drew post nine in the field nine, but she had some luck and talent on her side. Getting away seventh in the full field as the heavy favorite, Anniesbluejeanbaby set the fractions of 29.3, 1:00.4 and 1:30.2.  Noble was unhurried in the early going and he finally started making his bid at the three quarters, but it was more than enough time. The filly caught Jim Lupton's, Dellou by a head and Anniesbluejeanbaby was a tiring third. Heavy favorite Paydaze On The Way and Josh Sutton got the job done in1:56 in her division of Sires Stakes. Paydaze On The Way is a three year old daughter by Look Sharp out of Shantytown Girl. She's trained by nation leading trainer Ron Burke for Howard Taylor,Edwin Gold,Richard Lombardo and Karen Rose Greg Grismore and A P P Panda was placed second and Shakin Friskie was second placed third for going inside the pylons in the last quarter. The final two divisions of the two year old filly trot rounded out the evening and the favorites prevailed. Lisa Jane for trainer Scott Cox and Driver Ryan Stahl took her division in 2:03.3. The filly by Neely Dunn is owned by Parent Racing Stable Llc and G.Peters of Ohio. After mild fractions of 30,1:02.1 and1:33, set by Talissa and Jonas Hershberger, Stahl angled the filly out and got her underway from the back. Lisa Jane swallowed up race track and beat Song Of The Valley by a neck. Bettys Sam was third. Sunrise Nibbles dominated her division for driver Chris Page and trainer, Chris Beaver. The two year old trotting filly by Iron Duke is owned by Chris Beaver, Synerco Ventures Inc, Steven Zeehandelar and David Lang. The perfect filly went to the front and never turned back. She drew clear by three and a half lengths from Dolly Dunn for trainer Brian Brown and Honey B for trainer Dan Ater took the show spot. From Scioto Downs Racino

WASHINGTON, PA, July 19, 2014 -- A filly and her driver may be asked to do many things to win a stake race, but finding a path through a flock of truculent geese typically isn't among them. That was the case Friday at The Meadows, however, when Southwind Roulette and Yannick Gingras avoided the geese and captured a division of the Sand Tart, an $227,160 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman filly pacers. The event was contested over three divisions, with Aria Hanover and Shakai Hanover also taking splits. Gingras enjoyed -- if that's the word -- a stake double, as he also piloted Aria Hanover. The geese, perhaps 15 of them, had "honkered" down around the three-quarter pole; as the field approached, they seemed determined to maintain their newfound territory. To complicate matters, a deer outside the fence was trying to match strides with the field. Dave Palone, sitting In The Pocket with Gold Beach behind Southwind Roulette, vacated the two hole and went wide when he noticed the birds. "I don't think Yannick knew they were there at all," Palone said. "I'm following him and I'm like, I better not be dead on his back in case his horse sticks her toes in. So I moved out in the two path. I figured, if he fell inside and mine fell outside, at least we wouldn't trip over them. I think we went right through them." Gingras indicated that by the time he saw the geese, there was no way to change course. "I've never seen geese and a deer at the same time," he said. "David screamed behind me when he saw them, but it was too late to move. My filly didn't care one bit. She just went right through them." The birds reluctantly scattered, and there were no injuries to humans or animals. The judges stamped the race official only after speaking with the drivers involved. Southwind Roulette defeated the rallying Kays Dragon Lady by 2 lengths in 1:53.2, with the unlucky Gold Beach third. Ron Burke trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Rio for Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. Gingras' other stake victory was more conventional, as Aria Hanover followed the cover of Doctor Terror and prevailed in 1:53.4 for her second straight PASS win. Doctor Terror fell a head short while Arielle Lynn was fourth-placed-third. "About five horses left inside me," Gingras said. "I figured, if they mix it up enough, I'll be okay. But when I saw the first quarter in 28.2, I was a bit worried and wondered if I should have left harder. But it worked out. If they're good enough, they'll get it done." Jimmy Takter conditions the daughter of Well Said-Allamerican Cognac for Brittany Farms. Shakai Hanover was shuffled to fifth approaching the final turn but found late room outside and stormed through the stretch to score in 1:53.2, a head better than Ginger Tree Alexis. Eloquently Stated completed the ticket. Mark MacDonald drove the daughter of Well Said-She's A Fan, who broke her maiden with the victory, for trainer Carl Jamieson, who owns with Winnipeg Racing and Vira Johnson. "I was a little worried I might be too far back to win," MacDonald said. "She really paced hard when I showed her some racetrack. They're not supposed to win from there -- maybe third. At the wire, she really wanted it. She was sticking her head out and digging hard." Palone drove four winners on the 15-race card. Saturday's program at The Meadows kicks off Adios Week with three $50,000 divisions (races 3-5) of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite. Also featured are two events for sophomore filly pacers -- a $208,846 PA Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

TORONTO, ON, July 17 - The 38th Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Fundraising Dinner on Wednesday, August 6th promises to be an evening of celebrations as fourteen new members, including Wando, Rocknroll Hanover, Wally Hennessey, Albatross, Dreamfair Eternal, Dr. Ted Clarke, Robert Murphy, Bill Galvin and Robert Landry, join the best of Canadian Horse Racing.  Held at the Mississauga Convention Centre, the evening will be emceed by Jim Bannon, Woodbine Entertainment Group Thoroughbred Racing Analyst and will feature a cocktail reception, a fantastic auction lineup with TSN Radio personality Matt Cauz as guest auctioneer, a four course gourmet dinner and the Induction Ceremony. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame acknowledges the generous sponsorship support of this year’s event:  Event Sponsor – OLG; Reception and Wine Sponsor – Central Ontario Standardbred Association; Photography Sponsor - Ontario Standardbred Alliance Tracks and Woodbine Entertainment Group for producing the video tributes to each of the 2014 inductees. The CHRHF Planning Committee is putting together an impressive list of live and silent auction from donors and supporters including Adena Springs, The Royal Horse Show, Equilease Corp., Greenhawk, the Toronto Maple Leafs and many others.  All proceeds from the auction will go directly toward helping the Hall of Fame recognize the achievements of those that have built and established the roots of horse racing in Canada. Live Auction Halter worn by two-time US Thoroughbred Horse of the Year “Wise Dan” (donated by Charles LoPresti) Halter worn by 2014 Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate winner “Lexie Lou” (donated by Casse Racing) Dinner for 2 at the Turf Club & 2 tickets to the Nashville Predators vs Toronto Maple Leafs (donated by Woodbine Entertainment Group) Silent Auction 4 box seat tickets to The Royal Horse Show, Friday November 8th including Tanbark Lounge access (donated by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show) 2 tickets to Toronto Raptors game during the 2014-15 season (donated by Equilease Corp.) Golf for 4 at Angus Glen Golf Course (donated by Angus Glen Golf Course) Framed limited edition print by Linda Shantz of 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Somebeachsomewhere Framed limited edition print by Debbie Goldring of 1976 Hall of Fame inductee Northern Dancer, the original of which hangs permanently in the Hall. Golf for 4 at Ballantrae Golf Club (donated by Schonberg Farm & Ballantrae Golf Course) Plus many more items from sports memorabilia and tickets to equine art and collectibles, there’s a little something for everyone. The Auction item list is being updated as new items are added and can be viewed at:  www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com  To order tickets contact Linda Rainey – 416-417-9404 or by email at linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com by Linda Rainey, for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

TORONTO, ON, July 17 - The 38th Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Fundraising Dinner on Wednesday, August 6th promises to be an evening of celebrations as fourteen new members, including Wando, Rocknroll Hanover, Wally Hennessey, Albatross, Dreamfair Eternal, Dr. Ted Clarke, Robert Murphy, Bill Galvin and Robert Landry, join the best of Canadian Horse Racing.  Held at the Mississauga Convention Centre, the evening will be emceed by Jim Bannon, Woodbine Entertainment Group Thoroughbred Racing Analyst and will feature a cocktail reception, a fantastic auction lineup with TSN Radio personality Matt Cauz as guest auctioneer, a four course gourmet dinner and the Induction Ceremony. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame acknowledges the generous sponsorship support of this year’s event:  Event Sponsor – OLG; Reception and Wine Sponsor – Central Ontario Standardbred Association; Photography Sponsor - Ontario Standardbred Alliance Tracks and Woodbine Entertainment Group for producing the video tributes to each of the 2014 inductees. The CHRHF Planning Committee is putting together an impressive list of live and silent auction from donors and supporters including Adena Springs, The Royal Horse Show, Equilease Corp., Greenhawk, the Toronto Maple Leafs and many others.  All proceeds from the auction will go directly toward helping the Hall of Fame recognize the achievements of those that have built and established the roots of horse racing in Canada. Live Auction Halter worn by two-time US Thoroughbred Horse of the Year “Wise Dan” (donated by Charles LoPresti) Halter worn by 2014 Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate winner “Lexie Lou” (donated by Casse Racing) Dinner for 2 at the Turf Club & 2 tickets to the Nashville Predators vs Toronto Maple Leafs (donated by Woodbine Entertainment Group) Silent Auction 4 box seat tickets to The Royal Horse Show, Friday November 8th including Tanbark Lounge access (donated by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show) 2 tickets to Toronto Raptors game during the 2014-15 season (donated by Equilease Corp.) Golf for 4 at Angus Glen Golf Course (donated by Angus Glen Golf Course) Framed limited edition print by Linda Shantz of 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Somebeachsomewhere Framed limited edition print by Debbie Goldring of 1976 Hall of Fame inductee Northern Dancer, the original of which hangs permanently in the Hall. Golf for 4 at Ballantrae Golf Club (donated by Schonberg Farm & Ballantrae Golf Course) Plus many more items from sports memorabilia and tickets to equine art and collectibles, there’s a little something for everyone. The Auction item list is being updated as new items are added and can be viewed at:  www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com  To order tickets contact Linda Rainey – 416-417-9404 or by email at linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com by Linda Rainey, for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

WASHINGTON, PA, July 17, 2014 -- When Cammikey won a PA Sires Stake division at The Meadows on June 7, he showed both the promise and the peril associated with this 3-year-old colt. When he tried to jump over the starting gate, Brian Zendt had to snatch him up and take him far back. Then, with amazing speed and determination, he charged through the Lightning Lane to win in a career-best 1:49.4. That eye-popping performance helped make him the 2-1 morning line favorite in his elimination of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite. Three eliminations for the $600,000 (est.) Adios will go as races 3-5 Saturday evening at The Meadows, with the top three finishers in each returning for the final the afternoon of July 26. Cammikey leaves from post 4 in race 4 with Brian Zendt aboard. Part of Cammikey's erratic behavior in that electrifying victory may be attributable to greenness, as trainer Bill Zendt and owner Cam Land Inc. shut down the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Always Cam after only four starts at 2. "He had some breathing problems, so we just quit with him early," Bill Zendt says. "A year helped him. He always handled himself and got over the ground. He felt like a pretty good horse in the lines. I thought that if we took care of him, he'd make a pretty good horse." And that he has become, with $163,788 on his card and a fourth-place finish in the $500,000 final of the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 28. The farm of Cam Land -- the nom de course of Nan Cameron and her daughter Wendy Cameron -- sits just down the road from The Meadows, so Cammikey will have plenty of support on hand. Locally owned horses haven't fared particularly well in the Adios, but the Camerons are no strangers to harness racing's highest levels. They bred and campaigned Always Cam, who won the Jugette in 2002 and captured the Breeders Crown for mares in 2004. Many years earlier, Nan Cameron and her late husband, Pete, bred and sold a granddaughter of Adios named Nan Cam, who subsequently produced Cam Fella, the Horse of the Year in 1982 and 1983 and a champion whose exploits have withstood the test of time. Cammikey gives the Camerons perhaps their best shot yet at the blanket of orchids, and Bill Zendt indicates his colt may have a home-track advantage. "He's not a great shipper, and he seems better right here," he said. "You have to ship him early, and it takes a lot out of him." Cammikey also will be well rested, as he hasn't raced since the Hempt. "I trained him real good last Saturday," Bill Zendt said. "He doesn't take a lot of work. He lost a lot of weight at Pocono, shipping and racing. He's not one of those big, stout horses. Little speed horses don't take a lot of work." It all adds up to a trainer who is cautiously optimistic about his colt's Adios chances. "Our first objective is to make the final, and that's not guaranteed," he said. "After the first couple in there, they're all pretty equal. There are no duds in there." by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 16, 2014 -- Seeking Nirvana, who had lost her previous two career outings by a combined 18-1/4 lengths, grew up quick Wednesday at The Meadows when she went first over to score in a $120,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for freshman filly pacers. The event was contested over six divisions, with Apricot Sour, Filly Buster, Showtime Terror, Hashtag Quick and Hillary's Style also taking $20,000 splits. Aaron Merriman fashioned a stake triple (Apricot Sour, Showtime Terror, Hashtag Quick) among his four wins on the 16-race card. Seeking Nirvana last raced against some of Pennsylvania's best in a PA Sires Stake, and she seemed to relish the change in company. She moved from third for Mike Wilder and scored in 1:54.4, 1-3/4 lengths better than Half Past Seven, with Hot Chica Boomba third. "She didn't get the easiest trip in the world, but she did the work great," Wilder said. "When I called on her and asked her for pace, she dug in very nicely for a green filly. When I pulled the plugs at the top of the lane, she paced away. I couldn't have asked her to do it better." Andrew McCarthy trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Endless Delight for Patricia Stable and Barbara Matthews. Filly Buster grabbed her second straight in the stallion series and remained undefeated with a front-end victory in 1:55.2 for Eric Ledford, trainer Ross Croghan and owners Let It Ride Stables, RBH Ventures and Howard Taylor. The pocket-sitting Angel Plus was second, 1/2 length back, while Angel Or Terror earned show. "She's a beautifully bred filly," Croghan said of the daughter of Well Said-Loyal Opposition, the 2005 Breeders Crown winner for pacing mares. "I don't think she's as good as her mom, but she's decent. She has some conformation flaws, but she's been perfectly sound so far -- hasn't missed a beat. We'll leave her in the stallion series; it's getting more competitive with each round. I don't think she'll go undefeated this year, but she'll have a little fun." After launching her career by breaking stride in a stallion series split, Apricot Sour looked quite professional Wednesday, making a power move to the front past the quarter and downing Dobre Povedane by a length in 1:55.3. Safe From Terror completed the ticket. "We know she's fast enough, but she's very green," said Anna Lorentzon, assistant to winning trainer Anette Lorentzon. "We don't know why she broke last week. She put in some bad steps, but we don't know why. She'll be in the next stallion series stake." Ted Gewertz owns and co-bred the daughter of Well Said-Artcotic, a Breeders Crown winner at 3. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features the Sand Tart, a $227,160, Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

The $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie has drawn an impressive field of eight horses [field summary below] and goes postward this Saturday evening, July 19 as Northfield Park's twelfth race. Approximate post time for this event is 11:00 p.m. The Battle is a contest for North America's top open pacers. Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday's twelfth race, the Battle feature. Saturday's first race post time is 6:00 p.m. Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip and Maltese Artist. Foiled Again has drawn post 7 in Saturday's feature and has been named the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Foiled Again will appear in the Battle an unprecedented six times, and Saturday will reveal if he is successful in becoming the first horse in Northfield Park history to win this event three times. The 10 year-old son of Dragon Again (2000 Battle Champion) won in 2009 and 2011, joining Jaguar Spur (winner in 1988-89), Peruvian Hanover (winner in 2002-03) and Maltese Artist (winner in 2005 and 2007) as the only four horses to win the Battle of Lake Erie twice. Age does not seem to be slowing Foiled Again. He has paced his last four races in under 1:50. Foiled Again is trained by Ronald Burke and has garnered 80 career victories and sports earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in the history of harness racing. The 2014 $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie Field: #1 - Night Pro enters this race with a six-race win streak, the last four all being paced sub-1:50, and earnings of $308,929. He is the son of Pro Bono Bests (Sire of Bono Bests, 2008 Battle of Lake Erie champion). His dam, Midnight Jewel was a standout race mare at Northfield Park and throughout the Midwest. This four year-old has won 21 of 28 career starts and is 9 of 11 this year. He makes his second local appearance. He won his career debut here in a $2,000 NW1 in 1:57.4 in March of last year. Dale Decker of Temperance, Michigan owns and trains this horse, who has been terrorizing his competition in Michigan and Indiana. He has a career best of 1:49 (HoP 7/8) and Peter Wrenn, who won the Battle with Dare You To in 1991, has been given the driving assignment with a morning line of 4-1. #2 - Beach Memories is one of two sons of Somebeachsomewhere in this year's edition of the Battle of Lake Erie. He has won 11 of 39 career races, taking a 1:48.3 (ScD 5/8) mark and bankrolling $450,214. This four year-old is owned by the partnership of Strollin Stables of Marion, Ohio, AWS Stables of Lima, Ohio, King McNamara of Naples, Florida and Country Club Acres of Findlay, Ohio. Beach Memories is the winner of last year's $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final. He is conditioned in Delaware, Ohio by Brian Brown and was victorious in his most recent effort in the Buckeye State in a $20,000 Open at Scioto Downs in June. Brown has enlisted Northfield Park's leading driver, Josh Sutton, to drive this 15-1 morning line contender. #3 - Bolt The Duer sports career earnings of $1,770,095 and is one of three millionaires in this year's Battle of Lake Erie field. He has 54 lifetime starts and 20 career victories. He is a five year-old son of Ponder with a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 (Mea 5/8). Bolt The Duer is owned by All Star Racing, Inc. of Towaco, New Jersey and is trained by Peter Foley. This is the second local appearance for Bolt The Duer, who won the $130,000 Cleveland Classic here is 2012. His richest win came in the $500,000 Adios Final at The Meadows in 2012. He has been assigned a morning line of 7-2 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Canadian Mark Mac Donald. #4 - Clear Vision is one of two starters from the powerful barn of Ron Burke. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. of Oyster Bay, New York. He has won 25 and has been on the board in 80 of 151 career races, taking a 1:48.2 (TgDn 5/8) mark and bankrolling $1,912,868. 2014 marks Clear Vision's second Battle of Lake Erie appearance, finishing third in last year's edition. His richest victory was in the $223,500 Bobby Quillen Memorial Harrington Raceway in 2013. Burke has named Ohio-native Brett Miller to drive this 9-2 morning line competitor. #5 - Fool Me Once will start for Canadian owners Mark Austin Stables of Fergus, Ontario and Daniel Smith of London, Ontario. He has 16 career victories in 32 lifetime starts. This four year-old son of Art Major has career earnings of $654,371 and enters this race off of two straight wins at Mohawk, where he took his 1:48.1 lifetime mark. Fool Me Once is last year's New York Sires Stake Champion, winning the $225,000 final at Yonkers Raceway. This 6-1 morning line selection is trained by Mark Austin and is scheduled to be driven by North American leading driver, Aaron Merriman. #6 - Twilight Bonfire is owned by Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. This four year-old has 49 career starts, winning 10 races. He has earned a 1:50.1 (Mea 5/8) lifetime mark and has career earnings of $965,140. Twilight Bonfire makes his second local appearance. He started as the favorite, but ended as the runner-up in last year's $126,000 Cleveland Classic. This Richard Gillock trainee's biggest win was at Dover Downs in the $165,975 Matron Stakes in 2012. Buckeye-native Tony Hall has been called upon to drive this 12-1 morning line starter #7 - Foiled Again is attempting to become the first horse to win this even three times and makes his sixth Battle of Lake Erie appearance. He won this event in 2009 and 2011, finished third in the 2010 and was second in this event in 2012. Ron Burke trains foiled Again for owners Burke Racing Stable of Fredricktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA and JJK Stables of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Foiled Again has garnered 80 career victories and has been in the money 161 times in 210 career starts, earning a mark of 1:48 (PcD 5/8) and earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in history. Yannick Gingras is scheduled to pilot this 3-1 slight morning line favorite. #8 - Apprentice Hanover is the 2013 Cleveland Classic Champion and makes his second local appearance. The $126,000 Classic also represents his richest triumph. He has 43 lifetime starts and 17 career victories. He is a four year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere with a lifetime mark of 149.4 (Mea 5/8) and career earnings of $824,675. Apprentice Hanover is owned by Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario, Canada and is trained by Benjamin Wallace. He has been assigned a morning line of 10-1 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Dan Noble. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

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