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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 21, 2017 - Caviart Luca and harness racing dtiver George Brennan, $28.60 snapped odds-on Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett) at the wire Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Open Handicap Pace. 'Twas a night better suited for Carl Sandburg (fog reference for all you academics out there), Caviart Luca found himself away from post position No. 3. He sat as 3-4 choice Blood Brother two-moved to the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. Things remained unchanged after a 57-second intermission and 1:25 three-quarters, with Blood Brother taking a 2½-length lead into the lane. Despite a mediocre tow from P H Supercam (Scott Zeron), Caviart Luca was relentless from second-up. He picked off the pace-setter by a nose in 1:52.2, with P H Supercam, Roland N Rock (Jordan Stratton) and City Hall (Tyler Buter) settling for the remainder. E Z Noah (Dan Dube) was outrun. As an aside, it was the first time Bartlett did not drive P H Supercam here since September, 2013. For fifth choice Caviart Luca, a now-6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura, he's won both of his seasonal starts. The exacta paid $65.50, with the triple returning $204. Frank Drucker

It is interesting to note that two of the top three money winning stallions in North America for the 2016 harness racing year are father and son duo Mach Three and Somebeachsomewhere. The other stallion that made the list is of course Bettor's Delight. This is how they did; Somebeachsomewhere tops the list with $20,625,147 from 339 starters.  Bettor's Delight was second on the list with $19,392,733 from 514 starters. Mach Three was third with $14,773,241 from 460 starters. Mach Three has stood in Canada for his entire breeding career and to make the overall list in third place for money won is a great achievement. There is no doubt that this stallion has gained more and more respect as a Sire as he has got older. His progeny keep getting better and better as they get older. They just keep racing. His progeny have earned around $150,000,000 world-wide to date, an incredible figure. Mach Three is the longest serving shuttle stallion in the world with now 13 years shuttling bewteen New Zealand and Canada, an incredible fact especially when the skeptics in the USA originally fought against shuttling because they thought that it would be a bad thing for the stallion himself and our Industries. Another reason the skeptics had in the early days was the fact that Mach Three retired as a late three-year-old because he twisted a bowel and nearly died as a result. He was in the Ontario Veterinarian Clinic for well over a week and it was touch and go whether he would survive. He had a piece of his Intestine removed. Some skeptics said at the time that he will never survive shuttling as a result. Well the evidence is there right now to show that all skeptics were wrong in this case. Somebeachsomewhere has always stood at Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA and has made a huge impact on the breeding scene throughout the world. Mach Three is a proven sire of sires and besides Somebeachsomewhere he has other sons at stud including the Down Under pair Sir Lincoln and Auckland Reactor whose progeny are about to start racing in Australia and New Zealand as two-year-olds. Somebeachsomewhere also has some sons at stud including the incredible Captaintreacherous 1:47.1 ($3,148,657) and Sunshine Beach 1:47.4f. Two exceptional yearlings by Somebeachsomewhere that are in the coming Australasian Classic Yearling Sale on the 20th of February are Lot 36 Fouryouonly and Lot 128 Sea Change. Lot 36 is out of a brilliant young dual Group winning mare called Onlyforyou. She was the two-year-old filly of the year in 2011/2012 and has earnings of $288,951. This yearling is a colt and it is a first foal from the dam. Lot 36 – Foryouonly The other Somebeachsomewhere yearling lot 128 in the sale that caught my eye was the super bred and outstanding looking filly called Sea Change out of the Group 1 Oaks winning and International winning mare Dancingonmoonlight. This filly is a half-sister to five winners including the Group 1 winning mare Miss Moonlight ($213,165).  Lot 128 – Sea Change These yearlings are bred in the purple and should command real respect with the buyers. For more on these two yearlings click on this link. Harnesslink Media      

Plans for promising Brisbane filly Eleniark have been shelved. Harness racing connections have been toying with the idea of sending their three-year-old south to Sydney for a shot at the Gr.3 $30,000 JL Raith Memorial this Saturday night. Eleniark is unbeaten in all three starts to date this season and looms as one of the best fillies in her home state but connections are going to wait and bypass the upcoming Sydney feature. “We gave her a trial on Friday afternoon and she performed well although she didn’t win and we discussed our options across the weekend and decided her work today (Monday) would determine whether the trip went ahead or not.” Trainer/driver Grant Dixon said. Eleniark was beaten a by a neck margin behind Sams A Champ in Friday’s trial in a time of 2:00.3 while the last half was covered in a slick 56.3 seconds. But a trip to Sydney next month for the Gr.1 Form 700 $200,000 NSW Oaks on February 25 remains a distinct possibility. The Somebeachsomewhere – Ark Monroe filly will be set for local targets later this season which includes the QBRED Triad plus the winter carnival features during July. Eleniark is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown in Melbourne at the end of the season. “This timing is just not right to make this trip now so we’ve decided to stay home and hopefully we will make the trip next month for the Oaks. “Her trial was ok and her work today was also sound but probably not as sharp in comparison to the previous weeks. It’s a long season for a three-year-old and unfortunately, you can’t race in everything.” Eleniark has won 5 of her 10 starts to date which includes a victory in 1:54.9. by Chris Barsby

Following a second-place finish last week, Dash Point Hanover, closed quickly on Monday, Dec. 12 at 7-1 to catch and pass harness racing favorite Four Staces in deep stretch for a lifetime best 1:52 to win the $20,000 4 & 5-Year-Old Claiming Allowance at Dover Downs. With Sean Bier in the bike starting from the rail, Dash Point Hanover was content to wait as first Nuclear Dragon (Allan Davis) led early and gave up the lead to the Corey Callahan-driven Four Staces on the backstretch. Four Staces continued to lead around the final turn and through the stretch before Bier turned Sash Point Hanover loose in the stretch. The Somebeachsomewhere-Dashaway Hanover gelding, trained by Crissy Crissman-Bier blew past on the way to a new lifetime mark winning for the sixth time this year for owner R.J. Thomas. Four Staces held on to finish second. Quick Shot (Ross Wolfenden) came on for third. Earlier, stakes winning five-year-old Table Talk got back in the winning register as trainer-driver Bart Dalious steered a 1:54.4 win in a $5,500 Mares pace. The victory was the second of the season for the Bettor's Delight-Place At The Table Mare owned by The Wiz Kids Stable who now has 10 career wins and earnings of $486,271. Wynnfrith (Wolfenden) and Cover Up Hall (Vic Kirby) were second and third respectively. Ross Wolfenden and Corey Callahan made three trips each to the winner's circle while Sean Bier, Tony Morgan and trainers Tim Crissman and Nick Callahan and owner Breakaway Racing, all recorded doubles. EMPRESS DEO GETS OUTSIDE IN $20,000 MARES OPEN HANDICAP Empress Deo seeks repeat in the $20,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at Dover Downs. An impressive 1:52.3 winner last week, Legacy Racing’s Empress Deo has won this event two of the previous three weeks with a just-missed second by a nose in-between. Allan Davis has been her regular driver. There is plenty of talent among the opposition. Elliesjet N, racing for Josh Parker, B Spedden, K Evans and Nanticoke Racing was a fast finishing second last week for Jonathan Roberts while Tim Tetrick-driven Scandalicious cut out the early place and had to settle for third beaten a length.  Two former Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) champions who have gone on to more success are rival distaffs in the week’s top event for female pacers. Mike Pagonas’ Inititowinafortune, trained by Mike Russo, is a $637,097 career winner while Purrfect Bags, a major stakes winner while a juvenile, is owned by JoAnn Looney-King and is driven by Vic Kirby. Fashion Showdown, owned by trainer Chris White leaves from the rail with Jim Morand. The only three-year-old in the lineup, David Banks and Layfield Horses’ sharp Sayulita with Tony Morgan, is alongside. Veteran Matinee Dragon driven by Part Berry completes the hard-hitting field.   Ed Maas, Arlene Paisley and Nanticoke Racing’s Terror At Night (Morand) and L&L Stables’ Velocity Lana (Yannick Gingras) lead a $15,000 distaff pace on a strong undercard. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are ‘dark days’ at the track. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad  

Limelight Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) made his Saratoga harness racing debut a winning one on Saturday night in the $18,000 Open Pace. The Ron Burke trainee is enjoying another terrific year and brought his talents to the Spa for the first time to take part in the Saturday feature. Assigned the outside post, Limelight Beach blasted out to the early lead in a 26.3 opening quarter but driver Stephane Bouchard gave the five year old pacer a bit of a second quarter breather before he faced his first legitimate challenge in the stretch. Limelight Beach cruised away in the final strides to prevail in 1:51.3 on a chilly December night in the Spa City. Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) came on to finish second while JK Panache (Mark Beckwith) had to settle for third. Limelight Beach was the race's 6-5 favorite in the betting and led an exacta and triple that paid $32.20 and $84.50, respectively. Burke had a training triple on the Saturday card. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella  

DOVER, Del.--- Easy Lover Hanover completed a modern day harness racing 'Cinderella story' by winning the $314,600 Hap Hansen Progress Pace in 1:49 at Dover Downs on Monday, Nov. 28 Purchased a year ago after a monumental fire whipped-out owner Brad Grant and trainer Ben Wallace's stable in Ontario, Easy Lover Hanover was purchased at the Meadowlands Sale early this year for $70,000 and it turned into a 15-race winner of more than $300,000, with a personal record 1:49 performance in the final major stake of 2016. Youthful driver Doug McNair made good use of starting from post 1 by trailing race-favorite Check Six (Yannick Gingras) through fast early fractions before finding room along the passing lane to finally pass the leader late in the stretch for the victory. Owner Brad Grant and trainer Ben Wallace were elated in the winner's circle. "He was a great horse to buy," said Wallace. "He won the first five races we had. While giving the horse some time off, we gelded him, which we had planned when we got him. After wins at Mohawk and Woodbine, we decided to put up $25,000 to supplement him to this race." Wallace continued, {Doug McNair had driven him all season for us and he did another good job tonight." Easy Lover Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere- Easy GoGo, completed his sophomore season with 15 wins 4 seconds and 2 thirds. He nearly equaled his seasonal earnings with the Han Hansen Progress Pace earning lifting the total to $314,124. Allan Davis, Vic Kirby and Tim Tetrick had two winners each. PURRFECT BAGS SEEKS AVENGENCE IN $20,000 MARES OPEN  Purrfect Bags, Delaware’s own Cinderella Story female pacer seeks to avenge her odds-on losing appearance in her last start in the $20,000 Fillies and Mares Open pace on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at Dover Downs. A $2,000 weanling purchase that became a Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) and stakes winning juvenile, was the overwhelming public choice last time out but after taking the early lead, the now four-year-old owned by JoAnn Looney-King faltered on the final turn and finished fourth the $20,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap pace. Her regular driver meet leader Vic Kirby will be in the bike for trainer Jim King seeking to rebound. Last Tuesday, Legacy Racing’s Empress Deo and Allan Davis scored a wire-to-wire 1:52.3 victory in this event. Elliesjet N, driven by Jonathan Roberts, was second from start to finish for Barry Spedden, Ken Evans, Nanticoke Racing and trainer Josh Parker, her second straight runner-up performance. JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious with Tim Tetrick starts from the outside post 8. Howard Taylor’s strong contender Shine N Shimmer drew post 1 with George Dennis driving for trainer Doug Lewis. Alongside is the only three-year-old in the lineup George Teague and Teague Racing Partnership’s stakes-seasoned Miss Me Yet handled by Montrell Teague. Rounding out the eight-female field are Chris White owned and trained competitor Fashion Showdown reined by Corey Callahan and the game veteran Matinee Dragon with Pat Berry driving for Lou Catana and co-owner trainer Vince Bradley.   Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are ‘dark days’ at the track. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

WILKES-BARRE PA - Sweet Beach, unraced in 21 days and with only one trip behind in the gate in the last 41, paced back to his pedigree (and rumored sharp training reports) in taking the final harness racing feature race of the year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, a $20,000 conditioned pace, in 1:51.2 over "sloppy +1" going in 40 degree temperatures. The five-year-old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere - Sweet Paprika, she a half-sister to Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet with $6.2M in racetrack earnings, profited from an early break by favorite Alta Jerome N, taking early command then letting Theartofconfusion A go to the top past the quarter. Driver Anthony Napolitano bided his time with Sweet Beach, then came out of the 2-hole and wore down the pacesetter by a half-length for his second straight win, having taken his mark of 1:50 in his last race. Tom Cancelliere trains the talented pacer for brother/owner John. Rangers Sureshot, claimed by Ron Burke last week for $17,500, stepped up to $25,000/$30,000 company on Saturday and took the $18,000 high-level claiming handicap pace in 1:52.3, just a tick off his lifetime mark. Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes, who won both the dash winning and percentage titles in their respective categories, were trying for their sixth straight win in this class and had favored Freeneasy Hanover on the lead, but the victorious Palone Ranger gelding made a big sweeping move late on the backstretch to join the leader on the turn, and Rangers Sureshot proved a half-length better tonight than the gritty Freeneasy Hanover. Matt Kakaley handled the sulky duties behind Rangers Sureshot for trainer Burke and Burke Racing Stable LLC / Weaver Bruscemi LLC - and that trio went home with both the first and second-place finishers in the race, as they claimed Freeneasy Hanover for $25,000 as well. Earlier, Windsun Stetson joined Terror Aint A Fool as the only two-time "bombers" of the Pocono meet when he won race two for driver Eric Carlson and paid $50.20, as Windsun Stetson had paid $72.20 in victory only three weeks earlier. Carlson wound up with four of the last six $50+ horses in 2016 at Pocono - while Terror Aint A Fool can add the two longshot victoires here to the distinction of being the first $50+ horse at The Meadows in 2016!   PHHA / Pocono    

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Shamballa has clashed with Always B Miki and/or Wiggle It Jiggleit in his six most recent starts, each time finishing behind harness racing's highly celebrated superstars. With Always B Miki recently retired and Wiggle It Jiggleit on a much-deserved vacation, Shamballa will assume the starring role in Tuesday evening's $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. Trainer Rick Zeron, who owns the 6-year-old gelding in a partnership with Tao Racing, Howard Taylor and Cool Cat Racing, looks forward to participating in the inaugural Potomac Pace but expresses no feelings of frustration over Shamballa's fate in his last six outings. "I always looked at it as an honor to have a horse that good to be able to phone a racing secretary up and enter my horse to take on those horses," Zeron said. "I never ever took it as being frustrating. I looked at it as a challenge as in, 'Can we beat the big boys today? Or are we going to be second or third best.'" Of course, it's not like Shamballa always had to settle for second or third behind Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit. The son of Somebeachsomewhere, in fact, is the only horse to beat both Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit in the same race, capturing the $225,000 U.S. Pacing Championship at Meadowlands Aug. 6. The trainer's son Scott Zeron was at the controls for that day and will drive him once again at Rosecroft. "The race set up quite well, because Wiggle It Jiggleit went out there with Always B Miki. Miki didn't back up; he didn't get in the hole; he wanted the front end and Wiggle It Jiggleit didn't want to give it to him. So they were fighting, scrapping, pretty good going to the quarter-pole right through to the half," Rick Zeron recalled. "My son was sitting back about fifth with Shamballa and moved him to the inside going to the half. Freaky Feet Pete came out of the 3 Hole and took a run at Always B Miki on the front end. We just followed him, second over, and halfway down the lane Scott tipped him out and got the jump on Freaky Feet Pete and Always B Miki. Wiggle It Jiggle It at the time was caught in a hole. When Wiggle It Jiggleit broke loose, we were too far gone. We were at the wire." Shamballa's victory over 'The Big Three' was a big one but the most memorable race of the year for his trainer was his gelding's second-place finish at the Red Mile Oct. 9, when Always B Miki beat him by 1¼ lengths while pacing the fastest mile in harness racing history with a 1:46 clocking. "The big race obviously was the U. S. Pacing Championship, but the highlight of the year was when we raced in the Allerage in Kentucky with Always B Miki," Zeron said. "Wiggle It Jiggleit wasn't there that week. I told Scott, "You go on out of there. Always B Miki will come and pace around you. See if you can stay with him and try to beat him down the lane. The race went in 1:46 flat and my horse went in 1:46-and-1. We came home in 26-and-1." Shamballa has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a field of eight pacers that includes Mel Mara, rated second at 3-1 on the strength of back-to-back Open Preferred victories at Yonkers following a third-place finished behind Wiggle It Jiggleit in a $250,000 Yonkers Invitational Oct. 15. Rated third at 4-1 is Mach It So, who finished second in the Nov. 14 $400,000 TVG Pace, in which Always B Miki called it a career on a winning note. Corey Callahan is scheduled to drive Mel Mara, while Tim Tetrick is slated to guide Mach It So. Tetrick's younger brother Trace Tetrick has been named to drive Wakizashi Hanover, who is rated at 10-1 but rates consideration looking to an upset victory over Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $1 million North America Cup at Mohawk last year. The 4-year-old gelding, who was subsequently sidelined with a breathing problem that required two surgeries, returned to winning form last time out with an Open Handicap victory at Dover Downs in 1:49.2. All Bets Off, Keystone Velocity, Split the House and Dealt a Winner round out a well-balanced field. The Potomac Pace has been carded as the 10th race on a 13-race program with a first-race post time set for 6:40 p.m. Admission and parking are free. David Joseph  

TORONTO, November 19 - Downbytheseaside got one back on harness racing rival Huntsville Saturday night in the $520,000 Governor's Cup at Woodbine Racetrack. The Brian Brown trained colt delivered a powerful performance to win the final major race of the season for two-year-olds in 1:51.1. Driven by David Miller, Downbytheseaside was unhurried at the start and got away fifth, directly behind Huntsville, the 1/5 favourite. Air Strike charged off the wings of the gate from post nine and put up an opening-quarter of :27.2. Huntsville got his cue to go from driver Tim Tetrick after the opening-quarter and rushed up to grab the front. However, Miller was not going to let the favourite get away and followed Huntsville to the front, ultimately clearing to command at the half in :55.2. Downbytheseaside and Huntsville began to edge away from their competition on the far turn, as the leader paced a solid third-quarter of :27.3 to reach three-quarters in 1:23. In the stretch, Huntsville angled off Miller's back and took his shot at glory, but Downbytheseaside was fired up and turned aside his rival to win by 3¼ lengths. Saturday's contest was the first start for both colts since Downbytheseaside finished runner-up to Huntsville in the Breeders Crown. "I was just kind of waiting to see what Tetrick did and when he moved I thought I better get with him," said Miller following the race. "My horse got to the front and he swells up when he is on the lead and he was very strong, I never pulled his plugs, he paced right through the wire." The Governor's Cup was the fifth meeting of the season between Downbytheseaside and Huntsville. The season series comes to an end with Huntsville holding a three to two advantage, but Downbytheseaside now has a signature victory to be held up against Huntsville's Breeders Crown score. "I honestly thought I was second best," Miller said post-race. "But I thought if the trip worked out or one of us got used pretty hard getting where they wanted to go, I maybe could pick it up. I was able to get to the front without too big of fractions and like I said he is a good horse." A son of Somebeachsomewhere, Downbytheseaside now has eight wins in 13 starts. The Brown trainee completes his rookie season with earnings of $644,706 for owners Country Club Acres Inc, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Huntsville's two-year-old season comes to a close with seven wins and four runner-up finishes in 11 starts. The Ray Schnittker trainee also by Somebeachsomewhere pocked over $700,000 for his connections this season.  Third in the race at least seven lengths was Filibuster Hanover also by Somebeachsomewhere to make it a clean sweep by the champion son of Mach Three. Downbytheseaside and Huntsville each finish 2016 with the title of co-fastest two-year-old of all-time, as both took a mark of 1:49 in early-October at The Red Mile. The standout rookies finished one-two in all five of their meetings this season. A $2 win ticket on Downbytheseaside in the Governor's Cup returned $6.70. The top-five finishers in Saturday's rich contest were rounded out by Filibuster Hanover, Bettors Dream and Air Strike. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, November 17 - Going for his seventh-consecutive harness racing win in his 11th start of the season, Huntsville headlines the $520,000 Governors Cup Final on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The homebred Somebeachsomewhere colt for owner-trainer Ray Schnittker and Charles Iannazzo, owned along with partners Steven Arnold and Ted Gewertz, has amassed $603,234 in earnings this season, taking a mark of 1:49 at The Red Mile in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. "We had two other colts, both were [by] Somebeach[somewhere], but they just never finished their last hundred feet," Schnittker said. "Both of those horses had about $350,000, $400,000 made, but they never had that pop. [Huntsville] was second at Chester the one day; he got shuffled into the last turn and was still big enough to come home in a [1]:51 mile; he showed me he might have what it takes." Most of Huntsville's wins this year have come on the lead, with his effort in the Breeders Crown elimination being one of his few off-the-pace performances. Huntsville in Breeder's Crown "He's pretty nice to drive," Schnittker said. "He can leave, sit a hole, and he's very comfortable. He really feels like he wants to get by at the end of the mile; towards the wire." Huntsville's 1:49.1 victory in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace was his last start heading into the Governors Cup, as no eliminations were necessary. "I've had enough races the way these have been going," Schnittker said. "Other than that race in the mud [at The Red Mile in a Bluegrass division], every race he has been in or has gone [1]:51 or better. Those miles start beating up on them, but so far he has been taking them pretty well. "We trained him in a mile of [1]:57 at Goshen, and are more or less trying to keep an edge on him. He's probably as sharp as he's ever going to get right now; it's hard to keep him this good this long." Tim Tetrick will drive Huntsville from post position two. "The way they cross the track at Woodbine I don't think post matters that much," Schnittker said. "If we were at the Meadowlands, I'd like [post] two a lot better, but I think Woodbine's pretty fair that way." The Governor's Cup will be Huntsville's last race this season. "I haven't really looked at the schedule [for next year], but he's going to get a good eight to ten weeks off," said Schnittker. "We'll bring him back when he's ready." Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications      

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Lyons River Pride, second upon coming to the U.S. after campaigning at Mohawk, improved on that finish by one position in the $16,000 distaff "nw 7 races" pace Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, brushing to the lead past the 1/4 and then holding off inside harness racing rallier Mother Of Art by a head in 1:53.   The sophomore Somebeachsomewhere miss, owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound, had shown her quality by being race-timed in 1:51.1 at The Meadowlands in her last start, giving the crowd the confidence to back her down to 3-5 odds, and while that confidence may have been shaken as Mother Of Art narrowed in in the Pocono Pike, it was not broken at the wire as Lyons River Pride raised her earnings to $153,389 for driver Jim Taggart Jr. and trainer Buzzy Sholty.   Classic Carpet unleashed a strong stretch kick to overhaul her rivals by 1 1/2 lengths and win the $15,500 mares co-featured pace in 1:53. Standing out in stark relief to the rest of the card at press time -- eight of the first nine favorites won -- Classic Carpet was the longest shot on the board in race ten despite having won two of her last three starts, but the Western Terror belied the odds by storming her own last split in 27.3 to win for owner/trainer John Leggio.   We forgot to mention the driver? But you could have guessed that one -- the longest shot on the board was riven by Pocono's King Of The Longshots, Marcus Miller.   There are only three cards left in the 2016 harness racing season at The Downs -- this Saturday night the 19th, a week from today (Tuesday the 22nd), and then closing night the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the 26th.   PHHA / Pocono      

Harrisburg, PA --- Led by trotting sire Muscle Hill and harness racing pacing sire Somebeachsomewhere, the Standardbred Horse Sale enjoyed one of its strongest opening days in recent memory --- if not ever --- on Monday at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex. A total of 170 horses sold for an average of $78,676, providing the sale with a 41-percent increase compared to last year. Muscle Hill-sired colt Story Time Hanover was the day's highest priced yearling, going for $410,000 to Sweden's Melby Gard AB, with Jimmy Takter as agent. Muscle Hill had the four-highest priced yearlings on Monday, including $400,000-selling colt Hey Jock to Montreal-based Determination stable, while Somebeachsomewhere led the pacing side and had four yearlings in the top nine. Colt Dramatic Point, purchased for $260,000 by Toronto's Scott Horner, was the top pacer. For the day, 18 Muscle Hill-sired yearlings sold for an average of $168,833 while 39 Somebeachsomewhere-sired yearlings sold for an average of $88,538. A total of 40 yearlings sold for at least $100,000, an increase of 48 percent compared to last year despite 88 fewer horses passing through the auction ring this year. Standardbred Horse Sales Company Chairman Russell Williams said he could not remember the sale ever having a better day in terms of average sale. "It was a great day," Williams said. "Hip No. 1 (Cantab Hall-sired filly Pulse Hanover) started at $150,000 and it just went on from there. "The auctioneers shouldn't get paid for today because they hardly had to work," he joked. Williams said the sales company was optimistic for a strong sale following the success of sales elsewhere, including a record-setting Lexington Selected Yearling Sale in October. "We were fairly confident," Williams said. "It turned out better than we hoped. The confidence came from the quality of the catalogue and from the strong sales that everyone else has been having. They always go together." Last year's opening day in Harrisburg saw 258 sold for an average of $55,781 and was hampered by a Pennsylvania budget impasse that threatened to halt racing in the state. The sale's first day saw an 8.49 percent drop in average sale compared to 2014. "Not having the governor threatening to end racing in Pennsylvania gave us a big advantage this year," Williams said. "We appreciated that. We're grateful to be overlooked this time." This year's sale also saw fewer yearlings auctioned on the first day. "We wanted to create momentum the first day," Williams said. "You always arrange your yearlings to best advantage, but by having a little bit less today we hoped to have more sizzle and momentum going forward." Story Time Hanover is out of the mare Shared Past, who was the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion in 2013. The family also includes millionaire Dejarmbro and stakes-winners Armbro Vanquish and Manofmanymissions. Takter trained Armbro Vanquish. "Jimmy loved Armbro Vanquish," said Perry Soderberg, who handled the bidding on Story Time Hanover. "(Story Time Hanover) was the right size. He was the right type of Muscle Hill and has a great pedigree. He was probably the most complete horse in the sale among the trotting colts; conformation, the way he moved in the paddock, and the pedigree. He had a little bit of everything for sure. "There are just a few of these type horses in the sale and this is the one we thought was the best." Soderberg also was the agent for buying Muscle Hill-sired colt You Know You Do, out of the 2012 New York Sire Stakes champion You Want Me, for $350,000. The price was the day's third highest. You Know You Do's family includes Peace A Pie, the dam of Dan Patch Award winner Pizza Dolce. "He's got the size and the power," Soderberg said about You Know You Do, who will be trained by Takter for a to-be-determined ownership group. "I saw him at (consignor) Peninsula Farm and he really had that punch that I'm looking for in the paddock. "The two top trotting colts in my opinion were (Story Time Hanover) and this one. We're very happy." Hey Jock, the day's second-highest priced yearling, is out of the mare Sugar Wheeler. His family includes Dan Patch Award winner Wheeling N Dealin and stakes-winner Quick Credit. "He is a very nice horse, that's why we would buy him," said Luc Blais, who will train the colt for Serge Godin's Determination stable. Godin also owned Wheeling N Dealin. "For sure he liked that pedigree. Yeah, it's pressure (to buy a horse for that price) but I like challenges. That's a good challenge." Dramatic Point, the top-selling pacer, is out of the stakes-winning mare Heather's Western, and is a half-brother to this year's North America Cup and Little Brown Jug winner Betting Line. "He looks like a really nice horse," Horner said. "And the pedigree, it's not only Betting Line. To be frank, the chance of getting another Betting Line are slim and none. That's not why we bought him. We bought him to buy a nice horse. And we liked the back pedigree on (Somebeachsomewhere)." Owner Jeff Snyder came away with two of the Top 10 sellers on Monday, Muscle Hill-sired colt Abs Hanover for $245,000 and Somebeachsomewhere-sired colt Thomas B Hanover for $230,000. Abs Hanover is out of the mare Are You Ready and the family includes stakes-winner Blenheim, Hambletonian Oaks winner Personal Style and Dan Patch Award winner Almost An Angel. Thomas B Hanover is out of the mare Trim Hanover and is a half-brother to Dan Patch Award winner American Jewel and stakes-winners Luck Be Withyou and Source Of Pride. Snyder co-owns full-sister Tori Hanover, who last month won a Breeders Crown elimination. "I loved the pedigree," Snyder said about Thomas B Hanover. "I thought he was the best Somebeachsomewhere in the sale. (Trim Hanover) has already produced two million-dollar winners. What's not to like? He's by the hottest sire in harness racing." The sale resumes Tuesday at 10 a.m. and will look to pick up where it left off. Trotting colts (33 sold) went for an average of $98,424 while trotting fillies (44) went for an average of $84,545. Pacing colts (57) sold for an average of $74,719 and pacing fillies (36) for an average of $59,667. "All the sires in today's sale have something to be happy about in the stats," Williams said. "I don't see a pattern of pacers versus trotters, colts versus fillies; what was on the page people were buying. It was a great day. That momentum, we hope, will carry on through Tuesday and beyond." More information on the sale may be found at www.theblackbook.com. Day One Top 10 Hip–Sex–Gait–Name–Sire–Dam–Buyer–Consignor–Price 21–C–T–Story Time Hanover–Muscle Hill–Shared Past–Jimmy Takter, agent–Hanover Shoe Farms–$410,000 32–C–T–Hey Jock–Muscle Hill–Sugar Wheeler–Determination–Concord Stud Farm–$400,000 57–C–T–You Know You Do–Muscle Hill–You Want Me–Perry Soderberg, agent–Peninsula Farm–$350,000 107–C–T–Drum Hanover–Muscle Hill–Dornello–Ake Svanstedt–Hanover Shoe Farms–$270,000 127–C–P–Dramatic Point–Somebeachsomewhere–Heather’s Western–Scott Horner–Fair Winds Farm–$260,000 66–C–T–Abs Hanover–Muscle Hill–Are You Ready–Jeff Snyder–Hanover Shoe Farms–$245,000 43–C–P–Thomas B Hanover–Somebeachsomewhere–Trim Hanover–Jeff Snyder–Hanover Shoe Farms–$230,000 169–C–P–Nerd Hanover–Somebeachsomewhere–New Album–Ron Michelon–Hanover Shoe Farms–$185,000 75–C–P–Busted Hanover–Somebeachsomewhere–Bittorsweet Terror–Three Brothers Stable–Hanover Shoe Farms–$175,000 26–F–T–This Dreams On Me–Cantab Hall–Sleep Tight My Luv–Katz/Goldband/Libfeld–Peninsula Farm, agent–$170,000 99–F–T–Consuela Hanover–Muscle Hill–Cressida Hanover–Jules Siegel–Hanover Shoe Farms–$170,000 Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

CHESTER PA - Photobombr Hanover never looked back from his outside post six in taking the final harness racing event in the John Simpson Sr. stakes series, the $74,000 two-year-old colt pace, on Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, winning in a lifetime best 1:52.4.   Hall of Fame driver David Miller hustled the freshman to the top in 27, then took a 30 second breather in the second quarter. Photobombr had to step it back up to 27.3 down the back to hold off a huge rush by first-over Point Somewherelse, did so successfully, and then kept pocketsitting Maconupwiththedragon at bay by 1¼ lengths through the lane with a final split of 28.1, with Pointsomewherelse another length back in third. Tom Fanning trains the four-time seasonal winner, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms (which Simpson Sr. helped grow and prosper for so many years), who increased his earnings just over the $80,000 mark, for owners Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Pilgrim's Witchie has a pedigree to show even more improvement, as his dam was one of four to win $200,000 out of six foals by his second dam Witchtree (who herself won $199,000+), and his fourth dam is the double-gaited world champion Countess Adios , whose brother has also had some impact on the breed - Meadow Skipper.   Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association

East Rutherford, N.J. - October of 2016 has been quite a month for harness racing driver Scott Zeron--first, a Trotting Triple Crown with Marion Marauder, and now his first ever Breeders Crown title. Zeron sustained a first-over push through the far turn with Call Me Queen Be ($27.80) to duel down Jugette winner L A Delight for a 1:49.4 score in the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday (October 29) at The Meadowlands. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was forced to change tactics from a post 9 dispatch, settling into midfield on the first turn while Pure Country (Brett Miller) won a :27.2 first-quarter duel before yielding to L A Delight (John Campbell) midway up the far side. With just over half the journey remaining, Zeron moved Call Me Queen Be first-over and applied heavy pressure to L A Delight with three-eighths remaining. Of the new strategy, Zeron was pleased things worked out as well as they did. "I'm happy she was on her game tonight," he remarked. "That's not her style [going first-over], but things really worked out to her advantage, getting a soft third quarter and then just turn it into a sprint to leave [out] some of those horses that were following behind." While able to stick a head in front upon reaching head-stretch, Call Me Queen Be faced heavy resistance the length of the straight, forced to duel L A Delight through a :26 closing quarter to ultimately prevail by three-quarters of a length. Glen Garnsey Memorial winner Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) stayed on for third after directly tracking the winner's cover off the far turn. Ross Croghan trains Call Me Queen Be, now a 10-time winner, for the Let It Ride Stables and Mr. Dana Parham. by James Witherite, Meadowlands

East Rutherford, N.J. - Huntsville ($3.60) used a bold middle move to secure command in a fast pace before heading off two challengers--including rival Downbytheseaside--to capture the $600,000 Breeders Crown for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:49.1, missing the stakes record by a fifth of a second. Tim Tetrick settled the son of Somebeachsomewhere and Wild West Show into midfield early on, remaining in the two-path before accelerating to clear Downbytheseaside (David Miller) with nine-sixteenths to go. Unfazed by a strenuous :54.1 first half mile, Huntsville would be pressed through a :27.4 third quarter by the first-over Filibuster Hanover (Brett Miller), turning him aside before facing a late challenge from Downbytheseaside, who found room to vacate the pegs and make a late bid upon cornering for home. Despite Downbytheseaside's ability to push to within half a length in mid-stretch, Huntsville responded at first asking to repel that foe, edging away to prevail by two lengths. Downbytheseaside held second, and Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) rallied from third-over to take third. Trainer Ray Schnittker, who shares ownership with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, and Steven Arnold, was worried by the fast pace, but his 7-time winner quelled any concerns in the last yards. "I got a little concerned at the :54.1 half, and around the last turn, I said 'Well, let's separate the men from the boys,' and he was the man." Huntsville has one more dance for his freshman campaign before coming back at three. "He's got the Governor's Cup up in Canada, and that will be it [for the season]," concluded Schnittker. The win with Huntsville earned Tetrick his second Breeders Crown title of the weekend. by James Witherite, Meadowlands

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Someomensomewhere, by Somebeachsomewhere from the Western Hanover mare Omen Hanover, angled towards the center of the track into the stretch and rallied by pacesetter and the harness racing 1-2 favorite Roaring To Go to win the $600,000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old Filly Pace in 1:51.2 at odds of 17-1.   Taking command into the first turn, Someomensomewhere soon yielded for the pocket to Idyllic Beach (Yannick Gingras) through a :26.4 first quarter. Roaring To Go (Brett Miller), getting away third, tipped off the pylons and brushed to the top before the half, timed in :55. She maintained control around the far turn and through a 1:24 third quarter before being pursued by Idyllic Beach from the pocket, Someomensomewhere from third, and Agent Q (David Miller) from off cover.   Idyllic Beach reached a narrow lead through the stretch, but Someomensomewhere closed to her outside and grabbed the front. Despite Agent Q gradually gaining ground and drawing alongside Someomensomewhere in the final strides, Someomensomewhere showed the determination of a champion, maintaining a slight advantage in a photo.   Idyllic Beach finished third and Roaring To Go was fourth.   Someomensomewhere, returning $36.00 to win, won her third race in 11 starts, amassing $407,771 in earnings for owners Nick Surick Stable LLC and KDM Stables Corp. She gave trainer Erv Miller his sixth career Breeders Crown win and driver Marcus Miller his first.   "[The trip] worked out, maybe not exactly as I hoped, but as good as it could," Marcus Miller said. "The way everybody drew, she was really sharp tonight. David [Miller on Agent Q] does a good job but he couldn't quite get by me tonight. I wasn't sure and he [David] wasn't sure [who won] either. We decided while we waited for the photo that we would be all right with a dead heat as long as they gave us both a trophy."   "It's unreal," co-owner Nick Surick said. "I never want to sweat a photo like that again in my life . . . [winning is] a good experience."     by Ray Cotolo, Hambletonian Society  

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