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WILKES-BARRE, PA - A passing storm cell which twice delayed the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono resulted in a sloppy track by the time the card's features, a pair of $15,000 trots, went to post. In one trot headliner, the Cantab Hall four-year-old stallion Captain Morgan fulfilled the intermittent promise he had shown in just eleven starts at two and three combined, winning wire-to-wire in 1:54.1 in the muck for a lifetime best. Christian Lind and Captain Morgan sped to the quarter in 26.4, rebuffed midrace challenges from first the second choice Fraulein Blucher and then the favored Spectre, and finally held off inside-charging 107-1 shot P L Ketchup by half a length. A stakes winner at two and three despite his paucity of races, Captain Morgan may be one to keep an eye on as he continues for trainer Staffan Lind and the ownership of Lind Racing Stable LLC, Bender Sweden Inc., Roy Holth, and KemppiSuojalampiStable. Trixar, who is still the highest-priced winner of the meet with a $166.80 victory way back on March 26, took a new lifetime mark of 1:55.1 despite the off going in the other co-feature. Marcus Miller moved the Trixton sophomore gelding to the lead early on the backstretch and maintained control from there, thwarting an inside rally by Run Lindy Run by 1¼ lengths for trainer Bill "Moon" Mullin, who is also co-owner with Howard Taylor. Top pace was a $14,000 contest for females, which produced a three-way photo won by Empress Deo in 1:52.1. Marcus Miller yielded early with the 9-5 victorious daughter of Rocknroll Hanover to 6-5 favorite Queen Lostris N, then sat behind her to headstretch, when she moved out. Last Flight In N, third on the rail throughout, went to the Pocono Pike and joined the two favorites in a furious battle to the wire, which went to Empress Deo by a nose over the "Queen," with Last Flight In N just a neck back in third. Empress Deo, a winner of $648,265, is trained by Wayne Givens for Legacy Racing Of DE Inc. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Trenton, NJ --- As a father of two, Staffan Lind knows about raising kids; which makes him qualified to assess that training a harness racing 2-year-old colt trotter like Captain Morgan is comparable in certain ways. Captain Morgan is racing in one of two eliminations of the Peter Haughton Memorial Friday night (July 28) at the Meadowlands. The top five finishers from each race advance to the final on Hambletonian Day (Saturday, Aug. 5), at the Big M. “It’s a challenge with 2-year-olds, but when you come this far, it’s basically like having your own kid at graduation,” Lind said. “You try to make improvements in helping them along. It’s similar with dealing with kids, they need the help and you appreciate the maturation as they get better. “There’s a lot of unknown, but that’s the beauty of it too. I think most guys that develop young horses, it’s everything from finding them at the sale and developing them, and trying to figure out which is the best way forward with him.” Lind owns a share of the horse, which was purchased for $47,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, with Bender Sweden Inc., Roy Holth, and KemppiSuojalampiStable. By Cantab Hall out of Muchness, his original name was Muchadoaboutnothin. But Staffan and Marie Lind felt that a nice glass of rum is much to do about somethin’ and renamed him Captain Morgan. “We were actually talking about naming a horse that,” Staffan said. “That’s my wife’s favorite drink. I like it too. We knew we had to have a good horse to give it that name.” And Lind thinks he has a good one, as this relationship was love at first sight. “I liked this horse from the moment I saw him at the farm in Kentucky,” the trainer said. “I was doing my homework in Kentucky before the sale, it was one of the horses that really jumped out that I liked. Going into the sale I knew that I would try to get him. He’s a big, good-looking horse that I see a lot of potential in. “I liked his build and his gait; the way he was moving in the field and on the video. He reminded me a lot of Billy Flynn, another colt that we had some success with in the past.” Captain Morgan has done little to dismiss those thoughts through his first three starts, where he collected a first and a third with Brett Miller in the sulky. The horse won his debut in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars, but made a break in his next race (a PA Sire Stakes event) and finished third in his most recent, also in PASS company. Lind said of his victory, “He was good, he was up front all the time. He just did what he needed to do to win that day.” Things were going well in the second start until he broke. “He left the gate really good and Brett said once he got to the front he kind of relaxed and slowed down by himself; so he kind of lost focus there,” Lind said. “He did that in one of his qualifiers too. You have to keep him on his mind a little bit, but after that he’s usually very fast. “He’s like most 2-year olds, He’s developing as we go, it’s very hard to know who’s going to jump up more than others. I believe because of his size it should be beneficial to be on the big track (this week at the Meadowlands).” One thing the horse does not lack is the art of conversation. He’s one of those animals who’s already worldly at age 2. “He’s a big talker, but he never does anything wrong,” Lind said. “He wants to keep the conversation going with everybody, he’s a very friendly horse and nice to be around. He’s a sweetheart. He never minds his work and he knows everything about life at this point.” Lind is optimistic heading into the Haughton, noting that the horse has developed well in each start and trotted a solid 1:56.3 in his last start at Harrah's Philadelphia. “I think we have him set with the way we want him to race,” Lind said. “We have an outside post (six) but he’s good behind the gate. I think we can get into the top five.” In looking at the big picture, Lind said, “I think he’s a Grand Circuit horse for sure. He’s good sized, I think at this point he hasn’t reached his potential, I think he’s going to improve as we go along.” And if Captain Morgan does well this weekend, perhaps the Linds will celebrate with a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum? “We will, for sure,” Staffan said with a laugh. For the complete entries for the Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations, click here. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

WILKES-BARRE PA – Mr D’s Dragon left from the rail, went right to the lead, and “improved his position from there,” scoring an easy 4½ length harness racing victory in the $18,000 featured pace Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Driver Christian Lind hustled the four-year-old altered son of Dragon Again right to the top and caused wholesale tucks to the 26 quarter, then backed off the half to 55.1. Mr D’s Dragon then sped his third quarter in 27 to open up a six length lead, and cruised home well in hand to trip the timer in 1:50.1, lowering his mark two seconds and finishing only 2/5 of a second of Orillia Joe’s 1:49.4 seasonal standard at The Downs. Miso Fast, third in the Breeders Crown last year behind Downbytheseaside and Huntsville, was the 3-5 favorite in his sophomore debut, but he couldn’t catch the whirlwind winner, although he did get second in a three-way photo over Candell (third) and Johnny Q (fourth). But tonight none of them was in the league of Mr D’s Dragon, owned by Bender Sweden Inc., Elmer Fannin, and trainer Staffan Lind, who like his son Christian posted his second win of the card; Team Lind would then take a later race to wrap up a perfect 3-for-3 night at the mountain oval. In a $16,000 trot, Libertarian, limited to 12 starts in his first three years of eligibility for racing, continued to make up for lost time, running his seasonal tally to 5-for-9 by winning in 1:54.3, six lengths clear at the finish for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Rich Gillock. The royally-bred Donato Hanover gelding, a half-brother to $670,000+ winner Major Athens, is finally rewarding the patience of owners Thomas Brice and Charles Resecki. Monday’s card will feature two $30,000 Championship paces in the Bobby Weiss Series competition, with Dash Of Dragon, Highalator, and Talent Soup sure to draw attention in the event for males, with the distaff Championship likely to find Andrew Harris stablemates Cousin Mary and Itty Bitty figuring prominently in the racing action.   PHHA / Pocono

Trenton, NJ --- Christian Lind was long uncertain about being a harness racing driver, but it took just one race to convince him the sulky is the place to be. Winning a debut race out of post nine will do that for a guy. The son of trainer Staffan Lind, all but one of Christian’s 32 rookie drives came with his dad’s horses. The first was on July 19 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, when Lind and 3-year-old female pacer Rock Me Baby started from the nine hole and triumphed at odds of 15-1. Welcome to the show, kid. Feeling no pressure because of the draw, the 25-year-old Lind’s hopes were to just make a good showing, maybe work his way up toward the front. “I was sort of thinking OK, maybe finish in the top four or something, then move on to the next one,” he said. Instead, he ended up savoring that one. We’ll let Christian tell the tale. “I left a little bit and saw that everybody was leaving on the inside, I sort of just drifted,” he said. “I ended up fifth through the first turn. On the backside I pulled my horse and the horse in front of me pulled out in front of me and I just rode off that until the stretch. “I pulled three wide at end of the turn and just went by them down the stretch. She felt amazing.” A pleasant surprise? “Yeah, especially out of post nine,” Lind said. “I was just elated at that point; I didn’t see it going that way necessarily. I was very happy but very surprised.” He also had an awakening about what he wanted to do with his life. “Before that first start I was kind of wishy-washy -- is this something I want to do or not?” Lind said. “It’s a lot of pressure, especially racing for my dad. I want his horses to do good. “But I sort of proved to myself I could do it just by winning that first race. I thought after that, maybe I have a chance of doing this full-time and I was looking forward to racing after that.” Lind was not done surprising himself. During a late-October night at Pocono, three drivers each won twice in the first six races -- George Napolitano Jr. (8,138 lifetime wins), Marcus Miller (2,610 wins) and Lind, who entered the night with three wins. He stood tall with the big boys, driving his dad’s trotter, Promise Delivered, and pacer, Mr D’s Dragon, to victories. Lind finished his first season with a 15.6 percent win rate, garnering five victories in 32 starts. Four were at Pocono and one at Lexington’s Red Mile. He also had five seconds and one third. “I thought I knew how to drive horses, but to win a race, that’s a little different,” Lind said. “Before I started I felt I probably had a good chance, but when you get in there you see it’s tough enough to finish first, second or third. So yeah, I was surprised that I got a few wins.” For a while it seemed unlikely Christian would follow in the footsteps of his dad, who bought his first horse with the money he and some buddies won in Sweden’s V65 (akin to the Pick-6). Growing up in Vasteras, an hour west of Stockholm, Christian was a soccer player. The family moved to Florida when he was 9 and by then Staffan’s profession was harness racing. Christian continued to play soccer in high school but issues with heel spurs made it nearly impossible to walk after games, so he gave up the sport. Upon graduation, his family needed help at their stable so Christian volunteered his services. He planned on working there only as needed but, before he knew it, Lind was still working there and began training horses. “In the beginning it was a little trying on me to wake up every morning right after high school to come help in the barn and all that stuff,” Lind said. “But starting to drive and train horses you really do fall in love with it. I thought I should help out until they got more help but it just turned into me sticking around.” The family goes back and forth from Florida to their Celebrity Farms Stable in Goshen, N.Y. In Florida, where they will be until April, they are stabled at the Palema Trotting Center. This year, something clicked inside of Christian. “He’s been working with us since he left high school and he’s trained a lot of horses, but it wasn’t until this year that he really wanted to start to drive,” Staffan said. “So far he’s been doing real good.” Lind had qualified more than 10 horses at Pocono and got his license in early July, a week before his first race. He got his training license around the same time but right now he is focusing on driving. “I’d been training horses since I started, and I’d spent a couple years in the bike where I’m comfortable enough with it,” Christian said. “It’s a big difference (racing) but I feel like I got used to the actual driving of the horses very early on.” Leading up to his first race, Lind said he got tremendous encouragement from his dad, who was stoking his confidence. “He was telling me I could do it and he was giving me a lot of encouragement,” Christian said. “He’s been a tremendous help. Ever since we started doing this, he’s worked super hard and sort of instilled in me to also work hard. He’s especially doing it now that I want to do this.” Staffan has been extremely impressed by his son. “He is very calm and cool; he never gets too excited,” said the dad. “So far he’s been handling the horses good and putting them in position in the races.” One of the main things Staffan would like to see is his son to start driving for other trainers besides himself. “He had some opportunities to drive for Tony Alagna out in Kentucky and hopefully he can pick up some more drives,” Lind said. “If he had the opportunity I’d tell him to drive for someone else if he could. It’s the way you broaden your horizons and get contacts. He can always drive my horses whenever he wants to, but if he can get an opportunity he should take it.” Christian understands his dad’s thinking and realizes he is just looking out for his best interests. He knows that the more trainers he drives for, the more drives he will get. “Instead of two drives a night, it will be more than that, I’ll get more used to it and hopefully turn it into a career,” Lind said. “He’s just thinking of the opportunities it would give me. Of course, if he needs me, I’ll drive for him.” Lind is uncertain about training, as he feels it’s stressful. He wouldn’t mind owning a horse, saying “It’s always a little more fun when you’re driving a horse you have a stake in.” The bottom line is, after wavering about being in harness racing, Lind’s complete focus is now on being a driver. And he will probably be a little more aggressive after a lot of near misses. “I got a bunch of fourths this year,” he said, referring to six fourth-place efforts. “It’s a little bit frustrating but you just get used to it. “In the beginning you just sort of get into the rhythm how other people drive and you fit yourself into that. You don’t want to be in the way and you’re just trying to get by.” He also got five firsts, which were enough to make him yearn for the sulky. Come to think of it, one win was enough to do that. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Side Bet Hanover and Celebrity Eventsy registered upset victories in their respective Hambletonian Oaks Eliminations Saturday night at the Meadowlands, and as a result, may select posts one through five for next week's $500,000 final for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies. Side Bet Hanover lit up the board as a 38-1 chance in the first elim. After leaving quickly from post one, the Jonas Czernyson trainee settled into a three-hole trip down the backstretch. All eyes were on 2-5 favorite Caprice Hill, who trotted past the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:25 and was clear of the field by 3 lengths at the eighth pole. Driver Corey Callahan then moved Side Bet Hanover ($78.20 to win) off the rail, found a seam late, and sprinted the final 50 yards to catch the odds-on choice and win by a head in a lifetime-best 1:53.2. Earning the final three berths in next week's final were Dream Child, Black Broadway and Windowshopper. "I guess they have no respect for me," said Czernyson of his horse's odds. "It looks like we have her peaking at the right time." Also peaking at the right time is the Staffan Lind-trained Celebrity Eventsy ($12.60), who scored for driver John Campbell after taking the early lead before working out a pocket trip behind 8-5 second choice Broadway Donna. In deep stretch, she charged up the rail to register a neck win in a lifetime-best 1:53.1 over the sloppy going. All The Time, the 3-2 favorite, got within a length of the leader racing first-over at the head of the stretch, but went evenly from there. Broadway Donna finished a neck in back of the winner, but was off stride at the wire, was disqualified and placed third, behind All The Time. Double Exposure and Wildflower earned the final two tickets to the final. "We've been aiming for this all along," said Lind. FRANK READY FOR HAMBO: Southwind Frank overcame a track bias that played to closers all night long and took the Reynolds Memorial in a lifetime-best equaling 1:52.1 after brushing with authority to the lead at the half for his 16th win in 18 lifetime starts, setting him up perfectly for next week's $1M Hambletonian. HAMBO TV: The 91st Hambletonian will be televised live Saturday (August 6) on the CBS Sports Network. The 90-minute program, hosted by Gary Seibel, co-hosted by Dave Brower with interviews by Justin Horowitz, begins at 4 p.m. with the Hambletonian post time scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,487,230. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. ... Remember! Post time on Hambletonian Day is noon. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

LEXINGTON, KY -- The Red Mile hosted four divisions of the $268,000 International Stallion Stakes (ISS) for harness racing 2-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday, Oct. 7.   Celebrity Eventsy was uncontested in her wire-to-wire effort of 1:54 in the first division of the ISS. Sent off the 1-9 favorite, the filly by Manofmanymissions, out of the American Winner mare Little Ms Queenie, held off a late challenge by first-over rallier Lookin Sharp after setting fractions of :28.2, :57, and 1:25. Finishing third was Silvia, with Encore Gold claiming fourth.   Owned by Celebrity Farms and trained by Staffan Lind, Celebrity Eventsy obtained her fourth win in nine starts this year, returning $2.20 to win. She was driven by Brett Miller.   "She really is [talented]," Staffan Lind said. "Alot of times, it looks like she's going really hard fractions, but she does them easily." When asked about the Breeders Crown as her next step, Staffan Lind said that's what he's aiming towards. With a patient drive from Dave Palone, Haughty made her victory-worthy move in the final turn to take the second ISS split in 1:55. Stalking tempo setter Hot Curry and pocket-sitter Franniegetyourgun, Haughty waited through fractions of :28.2 and :57.1 before edging off the pylons. She approached Hot Curry in a 1:26.4 third-quarter before advancing to the lead. Franniegetyourgun tipped off the pylons and attempted to pursue Haughty, but settled for second, while Hot Curry faded to third. Also sent off a 1-9 favorite, Haughty, a filly by Donato Hanover out of the Self Possessed mare Letsjustalkaboutme, paid $2.20 to win. She's owned by Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Sam Goldband, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Dave Palone. She maintained her undefeated record, extending it to six wins in six starts. "She's just a pleasure to drive," Dave Palone said. "I didn't have to pull the plugs out. It's nice to prove the kind of horse she is." "We have confidence in Jimmy Takter," Marvin Katz said. "He was careful bringing her along, and once she started racing, he really liked her." "If she comes out of the race well, I think so [going to the Breeders Crown], but it's up to Jimmy [Takter]," Katz also said. Favorite Sunset Glider battled with Sweet Ashley T for control and faltered, allowing Dancing In Thehall to slide by with ease to a 1:55 win. In their conflict, Sunset Glider and Sweet Ashley T put up the first quarter in :29 and the half in :56.1 before Sweet Ashley T began to retreat. Hollywood Hill began to rally first-over around the far turn towards a 1:25.3 third-quarter, and Dancing In Thehall was winding up his move, which granted him the lead by the eighth pole. He slid clear of Hollywood Hill, closer Lindy's On Fire, and Sunset Glider. Paying $19.40 to win, the daughter of Cantab Hall from the Donerail mare Doin' The Town racked the second win of her season. She competes for the interests of Vanersol Inc. and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "She raced very good last week, and it helped that they raced very fast to the half. She has the Goldsmith Maid. She's getting better with every start. The Anette Lorentzon-trained Ultimate Shopper sat off a mile pace established by Womans Will before pulling towards the center of the course and pursuing the lead en route to a 1:54 victory. Making her move after stalking a pace of :29, :58, and 1:26.2, Ultimate Shopper fanned wide of pocket-sitter and even-money favorite Kathy Parker. She was stride for stride with Womans Will about midway through the stretch until she edged by and advanced to a length and a half victory. Womans Will held on for second, Kathy Parker finished third, and Wildflower finished fourth. Owned by Acl Stuteri Ab, Anette Lorentzon, and Kjell Johansson and driven by Tim Tetrick, the filly by Yankee Glide out of the Conway Hall mare Adelaide Hall scored her first win in seven starts this season. "I mean, she almost beat Broadway Donna last week, so I knew she'd give me a good run if I could just get out," Tim Tetrick said. "The slow fractions didn't really hurt her because she's not really big and really likes to sprint fast on the end, so it actually worked out perfect for her." "She was sick [in the Peaceful Way] elimination and they [Lorentzon and owners] decided that they really like the filly and want to try to protect her and get her ready for Lexington and the Breeders Crown," Tetrick also said. Live racing resumes tomorrow, Thurs., Oct. 8, with the highlighted event being five divisions of the $264,000 ISS for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First-race post is at 1:00pm. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Celebrity Eventsy has turned a good number of her races into memorable occasions and trainer Staffan Lind hopes the 2-year-old female trotter continues to step out in style when she competes in the first of four International Stallion Stakes divisions Wednesday afternoon at the harness racing meeting at The Red Mile in Lexington. The International Stallion Stakes splits for 2-year-old female trotters kick off a busy week at The Red Mile, which also hosts five International Stallion Stakes divisions for 2-year-old male trotters on Thursday, International Stallion Stakes divisions for male and female 2-year-old pacers on Friday, and a stakes-filled card on Saturday highlighted by the Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old male trotters. Celebrity Eventsy is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her International Stallion Stakes division on Wednesday, with Brett Miller driving. A daughter of Manofmanymissions out of the mare Little Ms Queenie, Celebrity Eventsy has posted three wins and four second-place finishes in eight races. She heads to the International Stallion off a victory in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last week at The Red Mile. "She's a tough filly," Lind said. "She has a mind of her own, but she's using it very well on the racetrack. I think anytime you have a filly that wants to go forward at all times, that's a good thing. She can go high speed and she can do it effortlessly. She has a great gait." Celebrity Eventsy is owned by Sam Stathis' Celebrity Farms. Stathis bought the filly privately in January from Caviart Farms, which had purchased broodmare Little Ms Queenie in foal to Manofmanymissions for $10,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. The winner of $167,212 so far this season, Celebrity Eventsy has posted victories in three of her most recent four races. Her only setback during that span was a second-place finish to Caprice Hill in the Peaceful Way final on Sept. 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. Her only off-the-board finish this year came in the final of the Jim Doherty Memorial on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Meadowlands. Celebrity Eventsy went off stride from post one at the start, which Lind attributed to being distracted by photographers at the rail. "She looks at everything," Lind said. "But other than that time, she's never made a break ever." Following the International Stallion Stakes, Celebrity Eventsy will be pointed toward the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. Eliminations for the 2-year-old female trotters will be Oct. 16 and the final is Oct. 24. "We're going to take it one start at a time, but for right now that's the plan," Lind said. The favorites in the three remaining International Stallion Stakes on Wednesday all hail from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. Haughty (Donato Hanover-Letsjustalkaboutme), a perfect 5-for-5 this year and half-sister to stakes-winner Aldebaran Eagle, is the 6-5 morning line choice in the second division. Sunset Glider (Cantab Hall-Highland Glider), the Kentucky Stallion Management winner, is 2-1 in the third division. Kathy Parker (Andover Hall-Mallelujah), runner-up in the Doherty Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, is the 9-5 pick in the fourth division. Thursday's International Stallion Stakes for the 2-year-old male trotters is highlighted by the appearance of Southwind Frank (Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy), who has won eight of nine races this season including the Peter Haughton Memorial and William Wellwood Memorial stakes. Complete entries for the Lexington cards can be found at this link. Ken Weingartner

Lexington, KY - The Kindergarten Trotting series continued on Thursday evening at The Red Mile.   The colt divisions began the evening with Mavens Way scoring a $37.20 upset for young Oskar Florhed taking a nice record of 1:55.3 in the process. The son of Muscle Hill from Doris Deo sat close up early then wore down Dominion Beach in the shadow of the wire for the win. He is trained by Ake Svanstedt for his own interests along with partners al & Janet Burroughs and TLP Stable.   Charlie Norris worked out a perfect pocket trip for Cloud Nine Hanover in the next division for a huge $54.40 upset after favored Southwind Flash broke on the final bend. Charlie trains the son of Muscle Massive who was winning for the first time on behalf of his wife Carrie, Acadia Farms and G&B Racing. Celebrity Express rallied from well back for the place.   Hollywood Highway struck a blow for favoritism winning right back for Dave Palone in a new record of 1:55.2 in the third and last colt split. He's another by Muscle Massive who has found his best form here on the clay for trainer Staffan Lind. Marvin Katz and Al Goldband share the ownership.   Palone won the very next race with Haughty, who has clearly been the class of the Kindergarten filly races in Lexington. Jimmy Takter conditions the winner and had the second place finisher as well in Hollywood Hill. Haughty was well within herself tonight in a measured 1:55.4 tally. She races for the ownership group of Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband.   Howie Okusko, Jr steered Sweet Ashley T to yet another upset in the last of the Kindergarten races returning $38.60 to her small legion of backers. The Conway Hall filly took a 1:56 record in the process for trainer Homer Hochstetler who owns her with South Of The Tracks Racing.   The Kindergarten goes on hiatus until leg five set for October 23 at Vernon Downs with the finals the next week.   Red Mile racing resumes on Saturday before going dark for week. The Grand Circuit kicks off on Wednesday, September 30 racing at 7pm through Saturday, October 3 then matinee racing the following Wednesday through Saturday.   Find all the info you'll need on all things Red Mile on the website.   Nick Salvi

Hall of Fame driver John Campbell prevailed in two of five $10,000 preliminary Kindergarten Classic events on Sunday (August 30) afternoon's harness racing program at Tioga Downs, while Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter scored a double-double--driving a pair of his own trainees to victory.   Campbell kicked off the card in style, brushing aggressively to the fore with Waitlifter K ($3.50) in the opener, edging clear on the backstretch and ultimately holding off a late challenge from pocket rival Macy's Big Boy (Jimmy Takter) for a 1:55.3 win. Chuck Sylvester trains the 2-year-old Muscles Yankee colt for Robert Key.   While Waitlifter K was the fastest of all 10 colts and geldings to take to the track, filly Celebrity Eventsy ($5.50) matched that 1:55.3 mark in the seventh race to be fastest of 19 fillies on the program. Campbell was also aboard the daughter of Manofmanymissions, sprinting through with her at the pegs to force Coco Truffles (David Miller) into the pocket, ultimately turning her aside off the far turn to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Staffan Lind trains Celebrity Eventsy for Celebrity Farms.   Trainer Jimmy Takter accounted for two of the five Kindergarten Classic winners at Tioga, and he drove them both to victory. He took the lead with Haughty ($2.40) through a :28.4 opening quarter in the day's fifth race, ultimately ceding control to Lookin Sharp (Mike Simons) through the middle stages before angling from the pocket on the far turn. After a brief duel, Haughty edged away to a three-quarters length win, prevailing in 1:56. Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz, and Sam Goldband own the 2-year-old Donato Hanover filly.   Takter's other winner, Gifted Lady ($8.80) wasted no time assuming command in the ninth race, turning aside a mid first-over challenge from Dream Child (Mark MacDonald) before edging clear of pocket rival Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) for a two-length triumph in 1:56. Silver Linden Farms owns the daughter of Muscle Hill.   David Miller and Nik Drennan teamed up for the other Kindergarten winner on the day, as Labatt Hanover ($14.80) crossed and cleared for an easy lead before holding off a mild late challenge from pocket rival Hillman (Jimmy Takter) for a 1:57.3 victory. Joseph Davino, Brad Shackman, and the T L P Stable co-own the Muscle Hill gelding.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 4) evening, with post time at 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Harness racing driver Brett Miller has suffered few anxious moments this season with undefeated 2-year-old male trotter Billy Flynn, but the minutes prior to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship were difficult to endure. Billy Flynn, in the midst of enjoying himself as the field warmed up for the race, accidentally took off his right front shoe. Miller tried to locate the shoe, but muddy track conditions that night made it impossible. So Miller brought Billy Flynn back to the paddock, where the blacksmith put on a random shoe moments before racing for $260,000. "I was sick to my stomach," said Miller, who is able to laugh now as he retells the story. "It felt like it took an hour. For him to go through all that and then go out and annihilate the field, it was pretty amazing." Billy Flynn won the race, held Sept. 6 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, by 2-3/4 lengths in a career-best 1:55.2. He rallied from fourth place after three-quarters with a three-wide move around the final turn. "He races great on the front, but I think he's better from off the pace," Miller said. "When he's following horses and has a target to go after, he's unreal." Billy Flynn puts his 8-for-8 record on the line Friday in the third of five International Stallion Stakes divisions at The Red Mile in Lexington. Billy Flynn will start from post six with Miller at the lines for trainer Staffan Lind. Last week, in his first start since the sire stakes championship, Billy Flynn won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes by a half-length over Muscle Diamond in 1:55.4. "I thought he raced great," Miller said. "He felt as good as he's felt all year. He was a little wound up, a little more grabby than usual, but I think being at Lexington he was just feeling good." Billy Flynn is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Zeta Jones and was named after the smooth-talking lawyer in the musical "Chicago," which co-starred Catherine Zeta-Jones in the film version. Owned by Bender Sweden Inc., the colt was purchased as a yearling for $120,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and is a full brother to Mr Chicago, who was a winner in both the U.S. and Europe. "Staffan has done some kind of job training him, manners-wise," said Miller, who has driven Billy Flynn in all eight of his races, earning $312,057 in purses. "I know a lot of that, too, is the horse himself, but Staffan has done a great job with him. "He's like an older horse because you can do anything you want with him in a race. He's so handy. His manners are so good. And he gives 110 percent. When a horse is near him, he tries so hard to fight that horse off. So far, he has (fought them off)." Billy Flynn's International Stallion Stakes division includes stakes-winner Pinkman and New York Sire Stakes champion Crazy Wow. Also part of the field is Canepa Hanover, a $300,000 yearling purchase who is a half-brother to 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. "I'm realistic," Miller said. "I know there are some colts out there that he could have a tough time with. I love the colt, he's the best 2-year-old trotting colt I've ever sat behind, but he hasn't faced everybody. I'm sure he's going to get beat one day. "It's just been a fun ride so far, that's for sure." Stakes-winner French Laundry and New York Sire Stakes championship runner-up Wings Of Royalty are among the trotters in the first division of the International Stallion Stakes. Shoot The Thrill, who won a division of the Arden Downs, is in the second split. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to standout 3-year-old female trotter Shake It Cerry and a Bluegrass division winner last week, is in the fourth division. The fifth division finds Peter Haughton Memorial champion Centurion ATM and Bluegrass division winner The Bank, plus Whom Shall I Fear, a full brother to star 3-year-old male trotter Father Patrick. Friday's card at The Red Mile also includes three divisions of International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers. by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen colt trotters occupied the Friday night card at The Red Mile, with four divisions of the $396,000 Bluegrass Stakes contested on September 26. Habitat and The Bank put in the quickest miles of the four divisions contested. William Wellwood champion Habitat once again reigned supreme, this time by ¾ lengths over Honor And Serve and Cruzado Dela Noche in 1:53.4. The early tempo setter was Honor And Serve, leading Canappealformore and Habitat through a :28.2 first quarter. Yannick Gingras soon gave Habitat the cue to circle by his foes, clearing the field slightly after a :57.4 (:29.2) half. Boots N Chains gradually progressed to Habitat's wheel around the far turn. Habitat, through three-quarters in 1:26.3 (:28.4), began to draw away from his competitors. Cruzado Dela Noche, traveling second over, fanned off cover and began a bid down the center of the course, while Honor And Serve snuck out of the pocket. Yet, they were runner-up as Habitat held on in a lifetime-best of 1:53.4 (:27.1). A son of Conway Hall-Habit's Best-Muscles Yankee, he's owned by Burke Racing Stable, Out Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. "I think he was as sharp, but he was maybe too sharp," Yannick Gingras said in regards to Habitat's margin of victory. "He was a little keen tonight. Usually, he lets me do what I want with him. He's usually two fingers to drive, but he was a little wound up tonight, and I think that cost him a little bit of energy. "Coming to the top of the stretch, I knew I had a big last quarter left in him, but Honor and Serve and that horse Dave was driving [Cruzado Dela Noche] are two quality horses as well. He was 1-5, but it was no 'gimme,' there was good horses in here." Pulling first over nearing the half, The Bank gradually grew closer to the front and eventually passed Piercewave Hanover in a 1:53.4 mile. Sent for the top was One Direction, with Piercewave Hanover taking the pocket. Past the quarter in :28.3, Piercewave Hanover swept to the top. Yannick Gingras tried to ration his speed as he trotted the half-mile in :56.2 (:27.4). Around the far turn, The Bank began to charge towards pacesetter. He remained 3 lengths off the lead through a 1:25.1 (:28.4) third quarter. Shortening in stride, Piercewave Hanover's lead slowly diminished. The Bank was rallying down the center of the track and went by Piercewave Hanover in the final strides to win by a ½ length in 1:53.4 (:28.3), a lifetime best. Earning $64,810 this season, the son of Donato Hanover-Lantern Kronos-Viking Kronos is owned by Christina Takter and Goran Falk and is trained and driven by Jimmy Takter. Sent off the public choice, he paid $4.80 to win. "I know my horse is extremely honest and I haven't used him at all," Jimmy Takter said. "I kind of got a little bit messed up at the start; I didn't want to rush him out of the gate. He can leave very good, but I just felt like I wanted to race him from behind because he's not really sharp enough for cutting it." Southwind Stryker defeated Peter Haughton winner Centurion Atm in a 1:53.4 effort. The lead was occupied by Walter White, who led Whataworkout, Mercury Fashion, Centurion Atm, and Southwind Stryker respectively past a :28.3 first quarter. He remained in control through a :57.3 (:29) half, but Centurion Atm was grinding towards him first over. Southwind Stryker tracked Centurion ATM around the far turn as he battled with Walter White for control. After a 1:26 (:28.2) third quarter, Centurion ATM gained control. Centurion ATM was trying to gain separation from Southwind Stryker, but instead began to brace for his challenge. The two were stride for stride in the final hundred yards and at the line, Southwind Stryker had a nose on Centurion ATM, with Wicker Hanover finishing fourth, but placed third due to a lapped-on break by third-place finisher, placed fourth, Whataworkout. The son of Muscle Hill-Soxeelady-Conway Hall paid $10 as he triumphed over the 1/5 favorite. He's owned by Brad Maxwell, Paul Van Camp, Herb Liverman, and, trained by Brad Maxwell, and was driven by Tim Tetrick. Breaking his maiden, Southwind Stryker established a lifetime best of 1:53.4, and has earned $99,641 lifetime. "That horse that I was following [Centurion Atm] has some go," driver Tim Tetrick said. "My horse has been racing, and his [Ake Svanstedt's] horse had a big break and only one qualifier, but my horse had to earn it. If I had been third over, it would have been tough to catch him, but the trip worked out perfectly." Billy Flynn remained undefeated after a game stretch battle with 8/5 second-choice Muscle Diamond, traveling wire-to-wire in 1:55.4. Taking the lead was Gabe The Bear Dean as the octet trotted into the first turn. Billy Flynn tracked him from second, with Suit And Tie traveling third. Pilot Brett Miller gave the cue for Billy Flynn to circle by the 30-1 shot, clearing control in a :29.2 first quarter. Billy Flynn turned the march to the half into a stroll, reaching that station in :58.1 (:29.4). Suit And Tie broke from third, causing confusion with Progression and Muscle Diamond. Regardless, Muscle Diamond began his charge towards favored Billy Flynn entering the far turn. The two hooked up to duel at three-quarters in 1:28.3 (:30.2). The battling Billy Flynn and Muscle Diamond edged 3 lengths clear of Progression trotting in third. As Muscle Diamond appeared to get a nose in front, Billy Flynn fought back at the inside and managed, not only to retake the lead, but extend his margin of victory to a length over Muscle Diamond in 1:55.4 (:27.1). A $2.80 winner, Billy Flynn, a son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones-Enjoy Lavec, is owned by Bender Sweden Inc., trained by Staffan Lind and driven by Brett Miller. He has now earned $312,057 this season. "He's done everything right so far," trainer Staffan Lind said. "I hope he can stay on track. It's a long season with a lot of races, so whenever you can steal one is good." Uncle Lasse, a full-brother to Dan Patch champion Shake It Cerry, was victorious in 1:54.1 over Guess Whos Back. Getting away In The Pocket, Uncle Lasse soon pulled two wide and circled around early pacesetter Iron. After a quarter in :28.2, Uncle Lasse cleared the front. He was uncontested through a :57.3 (:29.1) half and strolled to three-quarters in 1:27 (:29.2). Sugarmakesmecrazy began to pursuit Uncle Lasse, with Guess Whos Back following second over. Guess Whos Back managed to swing off his cover and take second, while Sugarmakesmecrazy chased in third. Uncle Lasse won by a length in 1:54.1 (:27.1), a lifetime best. Owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Ron Pierce, he paid $4.60 to win. He has earned $203,279 this season. "He was super sharp, a little on edge," Ron Pierce said. "He's good feeling colt, a little edgy, but his gait was flawless and he had plenty of trot." Racing resumes on Saturday, September 27 with the $331,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old colt pacers, $185,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt pacers, and the $146,600 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly pacers. Post time is scheduled for 7:00pmEDT. Race replays can be found on The Red Mile's YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Post No. 7 proved lucky for Lyonssomewhere in the Cane Pace and his connections will hope for the same good fortune Thursday when the colt starts from the same spot in his first-round elimination heat in the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair. The outside post positions at Delaware's half-mile oval are historically regarded as difficult starting spots, but driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter are hopeful that Lyonssomewhere can overcome the draw. The colt, who supplemented into the race thanks to his victory in the Cane Pace, is the 5-2 favorite in his heat. A total of 16 3-year-old male pacers entered the $647,500 Little Brown Jug, presented by Fazoli's, but the number was reduced to 15 on Tuesday when Cammikey scratched because of illness. The field was divided into two first-heat elimination divisions and the top four finishers from each group will advance to the second round. If a first-heat winner also is victorious in the second heat, he is declared the Little Brown Jug champion. If not, there will be a race off between the three winners of the heats. "He ended up, on paper anyway, in a little softer division than the others," said Takter, who won the Little Brown Jug in 2006 with Mr Feelgood. "What are you going to do? "The horse is in good form. We'll give it a try." Gingras was able to put Lyonssomewhere in front early in the Cane Pace at five-eighths-mile Tioga Downs and held off favorite He's Watching by a half-length for the win. "In the Cane, I wasn't planning on leaving," Gingras said. "It's not like I had him wound up. He looped them, but I went to the gate thinking I was going to race him from off the pace. The gate was picking up speed and no one was leaving, he's a very handy horse, and I just had to put the whip on his tail and he went. "In the Jug, from post seven, I'll wind him up a little bit. He can leave a little faster than he did in the Cane. There's no doubt the plan is to go forward and I'll make my mind up in the first turn." Lyonssomewhere has won five of nine races this year and earned $370,892 for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. The horse wasn't eligible to the Little Brown Jug, but the conditions allow the winner of the Cane Pace to supplement to the Jug for $45,000. The Cane Pace is the first leg in the Pacing Triple Crown, the Jug is the second. Since supplements were first allowed in 1999, three horses have used that route to enter the Jug field: Four Starzzz Shark in 2001, Art Official in 2008, and Betterthancheddar in 2011. All three finished third in the Jug. "I think (Lyonssomewhere) has got a great chance," said Gingras, who is North America's leading purse-earning driver and is seeking his first Jug. "It would be awesome to win it. This is a race everyone wants to win. With the fans there, it's a different atmosphere. The Jug is different than any other race. It's been a great year for me and it would add to what an unbelievable year it's been." The last horse to win the Pacing Triple Crown was No Pan Intended in 2003. The third and final leg, the Messenger Stakes, will be raced on Oct. 25 at Yonkers Raceway. Lyonssomewhere is not Takter's only chance to win the Jug. He sends out Capital Account and Somewhere In L A in the second division of opening-round heats. Capital Account starts from post four with driver Ron Pierce and is 10-1 on the morning line. Somewhere In L A starts from post six with driver Brett Miller at odds of 7-2. The favorite in the elimination is Casie Coleman's McWicked, who drew post No. 1 and is the 7-5 choice. Somewhere In L A has won six of 15 races this year and earned $301,502 for owners Deo Volente Farms, J&T Silva Stables, and T L P Stable. The gelding finished second to McWicked in the Delvin Miller Adios. "He's a very good horse," Takter said about Somewhere In L A, adding with a laugh, "He's been consistently racing against McWicked, and McWicked has got to be the luckiest horse I ever saw at getting a good post position. We have six or seven and McWicked has all these good posts. "But he's been racing gamely. I'm really proud of him. This race is going to be interesting. Hopefully they're going to mix it up a little bit and there will be some action." Capital Account has won four of 16 races this season and earned $114,744. He is owned by Brittany Farms. "If he would have been in the other division, he would have had a better shot to make the final," Takter said. "He's a quick little horse. He's a good horse. But in that division, it's tough. He's a longshot." Following are the first-round elimination heats for the Little Brown Jug in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds. Elim One: 1. Let's Drink On It, Tyler Smith, Joe Seekman, 5-1; 2. Winds Of Change, Brett Miller, Linda Toscano, 8-1; 3. Three Of Clubs, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 10-1; 4. On Golden Ponder, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 7-2; 5. At Press Time, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1; 6. Beat The Drum, Ron Pierce, Staffan Lind, 15-1; 7. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 8. Rediscovery, Chris Page, Ben Davis, 20-1. Elim Two: 1. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 7-5; 2. Limelight Beach, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 3. Avalanche Hanover, Aaron Merriman, Ron Potter, 12-1; 4. Capital Account, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter, 10-1; 5. Somewhere In L A, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 7-2; 6. He's Watching, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary, 5-2; 7. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 10-1; 8. Cammikey, scratched. The Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli's will air live from 5-6:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The last Jug elimination heat will be shown live at approximately 5:11 p.m. The remaining elimination will be covered on a tape delay basis. The second heat of the Jug will be shown live at approximately 6:15 p.m. If a race-off is necessary, CBS Sports Network will cut into its regularly scheduled program at 7 p.m. to show the race-off live. Post time of the race-off would be approximately 7:02 p.m. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

It's happened several times recently. Casie Coleman leaves for the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio and ends up elsewhere. She doesn't mind, though. In fact, she hopes it happens again. After all, there's nothing like ending up on Cloud Nine. Coleman has won the last two editions of the Little Brown Jug, the second jewel in harness racing's Pacing Triple Crown, and on Thursday will try to become the first trainer in history to win three in a row when she sends McWicked into the $647,500 Little Brown Jug presented by Fazoli's at the Delaware County Fair. The race, offering the richest purse in its 69-year history, attracted 16 3-year-old male pacers, a number reduced to 15 earlier today when Cammikey was scratched due to illness. The field was divided into two first-heat elimination divisions and the top four finishers from each group will advance to the second round. If a first-heat winner also is victorious in the second heat, he is declared the Little Brown Jug champion. If not, there will be a race off between the three winners of the heats. McWicked will start from post No. 1 in the second opening-round division with regular driver David Miller and is the 7-5 morning line favorite to win his heat. "No one has won three in a row before and we're going to give it our best shot and see what happens," said Coleman, who trains McWicked for owner Ed James' S S G Stables. "It's a thrill for me just to be in it each year, let alone have a shot to win it. If we actually won it again, that would be pretty awesome. It would be surreal." Coleman, a 34-year-old from Canada, won the Little Brown Jug with Michael's Power in 2012 and Vegas Vacation in 2013. "It's hard to say what you're feeling at the time," Coleman said. "It's just you're on Cloud Nine for quite a long time." McWicked has won nine of 13 races, finished second on three occasions, and earned $908,266 this year. He has won seven of his last eight starts, including the Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios. He enters the Jug off a win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He's been real good," Coleman said. "I trained him myself a couple trips over the weekend and he was very good, I was extremely happy. His blood is clean, he seems healthy and sound. "He went a trip (at Delaware on Monday morning) and he got over the track great. He seems to have settled into the Jug Barn without any problems. He seems happy. He's pretty easy on himself. He doesn't stress me out too much because he's a pretty easy horse to take care of." While Coleman is looking to make history with McWicked, Miller is hoping to add to his total of Jug victories as well. Miller has won the Jug three times and could tie Stanley Dancer and Ron Pierce for second place on the career wins list. Billy Haughton and Mike Lachance share the top spot with five victories. McWicked's first-heat division also includes Meadowlands Pace winner He's Watching and the second- through fourth-place finishers from the PaSS championship, Limelight Beach, Somewhere In L A, and Sometimes Said. "We hit the toughest division by far, but we got the rail so we can't really complain," Coleman said. "We've got David Miller, who knows Delaware better than anybody, I think, in the bike. I think things are looking good. We've had pretty good luck." Coleman's success at Delaware hasn't been limited to the Little Brown Jug. She won the filly companion race, the Jugette, in 2010 with Western Silk and in 2011 with Idyllic. This year, she sends Also Encouraging and Someislandsomwhere into Wednesday's $298,100 Jugette. Also Encouraging drew post seven in the first of three eliminations while Someislandsomwhere got post four in the third division. The top three from each group advances to the same-day final. "Also Encouraging doesn't have a whole lot of gate speed, which isn't a good thing for the Jugette," Coleman said. "But she's been racing phenomenal all season. She's been pretty much top three every time she goes behind the gate. She gives it everything she's got every time she goes out there. "Someislandsomwhere hit kind of a tough division. If anyone watches her races, it's unbelievable how bad her luck has been. She's due to get some good luck here. She's been racing great, it's just one thing after another with her and bad luck. I'm hoping she can come around. "I realize we're kind of longshots coming in, but we're going to give it a whirl." Following are the first-round elimination heats for the Little Brown Jug in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds. Elim One: 1. Let's Drink On It, Tyler Smith, Joe Seekman, 5-1; 2. Winds Of Change, Brett Miller, Linda Toscano, 8-1; 3. Three Of Clubs, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 10-1; 4. On Golden Ponder, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 7-2; 5. At Press Time, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1; 6. Beat The Drum, Ron Pierce, Staffan Lind, 15-1; 7. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 8. Rediscovery, Chris Page, Ben Davis, 20-1. Elim Two: 1. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 7-5; 2. Limelight Beach, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 3. Avalanche Hanover, Aaron Merriman, Ron Potter, 12-1; 4. Capital Account, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter, 10-1; 5. Somewhere In L A, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 7-2; 6. He's Watching, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary, 5-2; 7. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 10-1; 8. Cammikey, scratched. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Pennsylvania Championship night is always one to which we look forward at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. All summer long, we get to watch the best young pacers and trotters compete in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action, and only the finest of those get to reach the finals. This year Pocono hosted the 2-year-old championships, four stakes races separated by gender and gait and each carrying a lofty purse of $260,000. For a little extra spice, the night also included a pair of $50,000 invitational races for older horses, one of which allowed us to honor a standout performer who was taken from us far too soon. That's a lot of action, so let's get right to the performances. ADIEU TO THE ALMOST SUMMER PACE Yes, summer is fading from us fast, but 4-year-old stallion Sunfire Blue Chip is just warming up. Up against a field that included seven-figure earners Golden Receiver and Bolt The Duer, Sunfire Blue Chip, with Yannick Gingras in the bike for Jimmy Takter, followed up three straight wins in New York with an overpowering performance on the front end for a 3 ½-length win in 1:49:3. 2-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP Gingras continued his big night with a win aboard Southwind Roulette, who came into the night with wins in four of her five lifetime races. She got a challenge in the stretch from her stablemate Kays Dragon Lady, who closed to within a half-length win at the line but couldn't get to Southwind Roulette. She came home in 1:52:3. Trainer Ron Burke produced the top three finishers in this division. 2-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES CHAMPIONSHIP Wild Honey had swept the preliminary legs of his group, but the filly had never dealt with a post as far outside as her #7 hole on Saturday night. She had also never lost the lead in that winning streak like she did in the championship to an aggressive move by Speak To Me on the front stretch. Yet Gingras, this time teaming up with Takter, didn't panic and neither did his filly, who retook the lead on the final turn and trotted away to win by two lengths in 1:54:2. 2-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS CHAMPIONSHIP Billy Flynn, named after the character from the hit Broadway and movie musical Chicago, had flashed all that jazz in winning the first six starts of his career. He was only mid-pack early on in Saturday night's final, but once he kicked into gear for driver Brett Miller, there was no stopping him. Trained by Staffan Lind, Billy Flynn, who will looks the horse to beat in this division come Breeders Crown time, rolled away from his competitors to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:55:2. 2-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS CHAMPIONSHIP In the tightest race of the night, Yankee Bounty, unbeaten after six career starts for trainer Burke, faced pressure on the front end, leaving him vulnerable to pocket horse Tomy Terror. Tomy Terror actually briefly took the lead in the stretch, but Gingras, who else, somehow coaxed more out of Yankee Bounty in the final strides to surge past by his foe by a nose in 1:50:3, a new track record for two-year-old pacing geldings on a surface listed in good condition on a rainy night. THE MODERN FAMILY TROT Modern Family was an exceptional trotter who came up with big wins against elite competition at several tracks in his career, including some impressive victories at Pocono. Following a race in Canada this summer, he died suddenly, a great tragedy to not just those horsemen who took such wonderful care of him but also to those racing fans who were lucky enough to witness his talent and courage on the track. This standout trotter was honored on Saturday night with a race that lived up to his lofty standards. At the top of the stretch just about every horse in the top-notch field had a chance still to win. But Gingras, his magic touch on the night impeccable, managed to squeak Wishing Stone, a 7-year-old warrior from the Burke barn, through a small hole in between horses in the stretch for a rallying win of 1:52:4. It was a fitting, poignant end to a spectacular night of racing, one which the spectators, yours truly happily included, won't soon forget. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Sire Cantab Hall completed a Championship double, and another horse joined the select club of being a Sire Stakes “sweeper,” when Billy Flynn roared off cover to win in 1:55.2 in the off going for driver Brett Miller and trainer Staffan Lind. Billy Flynn raced atypically off the pace tonight, with Walter White on top at the 27.3 quarter, then yielding to Hurrikane Jonny K as that one put up middle splits of 57 and 1:26.1. Piercewave Hanover provided cover from first-over, and when Billy Flynn tipped off that cover, “he was great tonight – he felt great,” noted driver Miller, the colt not showing any of his previous bearing-out tendencies. Off-the-pace tactics proved best in this event, as Honor And Serve and Ralph R closing strongly for second and third, respectively. Billy Flynn joins Stormin Normand (2011) as the only freshman colt trotters to notch the “4+1” Sire Stakes  season. Bender Sweden Inc own the emerging star, who is now undefeated in seven starts. Billy Flynn and Yankee Bounty are both now seven for seven in their careers, and both completed Sire Stakes “4+1” sweeps. That’s where the similarities end. Whereas Billy Flynn came off the pace to win easily, Yankee Bounty made an early move to take the lead near the 55.1 half (Dragon Eddy had insisted on the early lead in an astounding 26 before yielding), then fought off a nose-to-nose challenge from Lost For Words by and past the 1:22.2 3/4s. Maybe it’s good Yankee Bounty had the practice in winning duels – because another one soon loomed in the Pocono Pike in the form of Tomy Terror. The two geldings battled on even terms much of the stretch, with Yankee Bounty showing great heart to put his nose over first in 1:50.3 – a Pocono track record for 2PG, and just a tick behind the stakes mark of One More Laugh, whom Yankee Terror now joins in the 2PC Sire Stakes sweeping ranks. The victory made Yannick Gingras a three-time PASS winner on the card, giving him 10 in his career and moving him to (a distant) second behind Dave Palone (34) on the career list. Two of those victories came for trainer Ron Burke, who recently engineered the new ownership combine of Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick. The FFA trot was named the “Modern Family Trot” after the late Pocono-based world-class trotter, with Pocono-based trainer Daryl Bier and the horse’s connections on hand for winners circle ceremonies. Modern Family, always a game horse, would have admired the stretch tenacity of his frequent for Wishing Stone, who raced third on the rail and cleared “about three strides before the wire” according to his driver to edge out Not Afraid in 1:52.4 for Wishing Stone Syndicate. That driver, by the way, was Yannick Gingras, who along with trainer Ron Burke was in Pocono’s winners circle for the fifth time on the night. Wishing Stone also “saved” the 1-5 betting entry, as the more fancied horse, Market Share, made a break early.   From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association    

Well it was bound to happen but last week was the first time in five weeks that I did not have a winning weekend with my selections. Oh well, on to bigger and better this weekend! Tons and I mean tons of great racing action both sides of the border this weekend. We will be covering the PASS Championships at Pocono Downs plus some of the Simcoe and Champlain action at Mohawk then off to Harrah’s on Sunday for their excellent PASS Championship card. It’s amazing how some of these championship finals for state-bred trotters and pacers feature the top of the class in some great battle. Just a testimonial to how strong the Pennsylvania breeding program is. Good Luck! $123,120 Pace Champlain Stake 2YO Open Mohawk 4th race SATURDAY – While there is only one return winner in this field it is still very competitive. I’m going with Lyons Levi Lewis, who despite showing just one win in seven starts this year he has been racing against the best and is coming off a decent second place finish in the $667,000 Metro Pace last week. Use Thinkofagameplan and Freedomformysoul in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Open Pocono Downs 8th race SATURDAY – Really nice field assembled here. I am going with the “old man” Golden Receiver as he has been on a roll as of late and still can show his heels to his younger rivals. Won last two starts against this group and can take another one. Use Sunfire Blue Chip and Mach It So in exotic plays. $260,000 Pace PASS Final 2YO Fillies Pocono Downs 9th race SATURDAY - With four wins and a third in only her five lifetime starts and a 1:51.4 lifetime mark two starts back right here at Pocono Downs, it’s tough to even think about going against Southwind Roulette. She is on a three-race win streak and has beaten most of these fillies already. Use Aria Hanover and Ginger Tree Alexis in exotic plays. $107,538 Pace Simcoe Stake 3YO Open Mohawk 11th race SATURDAY – After watching both Jet Airway and Melmerby Beach go at each other the last two weeks this was a tough call. But last week Melmerby Beach showed he can win in here and with any kind of live cover today he could score again. Use Jet Airway and Three of Clubs in exotic plays. $260,000 Trot PASS Final 2YO Fillies Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – When it comes to young trotters there is none better in the business than Jimmy Takter and he has a very good one here in Wild Honey. She is on a four-race winning streak, already has a record of 1:55 and always wins when she cuts the mile, four of five times this year. Use Speak To Me and Gatka Hanover in exotic plays. $260,000 Trot PASS Final 2YO Colts Pocono Downs 11th race SATURDAY – You cannot, of course, ignore perfection, and that’s Billy Flynn this season. The son of Cantab Hall is 6 for 6 for trainer Staffan Lind and has beaten everyone else in this field already. Can score from on or off the helmet and continue winning ways. Use Piercewave Hanover and Honor And Serve in exotic plays. $260,000 Pace PASS Final 2YO Colts Pocono Downs 12th race SATURDAY – Here is one of the top colts in the nation. Yankee Bounty is undefeated in six starts but last week was really tested and still held on. Gets tested once again with big money on the line but should get the job done. Use Wakizashi Hanover and Tomy Terror in exotic plays. $50,000 Trot Open Pocono Downs 13th race SATURDAY – From a betting standpoint you just can’t go against the entry today of Wishing Stone and Market Share. May be separate trainers but both are world class trotters and should be able to handle this decent group. Use Sevruga and Arch Madness in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace PASS Consolation 3YO Fillies Harrah’s 7th race SUNDAY – Had to include this field even though it’s not a final, it’s still jammed with top fillies. Katie Said gets the nod as she has been razor sharp as of late with three wins in last four starts on the Grand Circuit including a lifetime best 1:49.2 clocking. Use Marathon Day and Tyra in exotic plays. $260,000 Trot PASS Final 3YO Fillies Harrah’s 9th race SUNDAY – Since her big score in the Hambletonian Oaks, Lifetime Pursuit has yet to lose either in the PASS or on the Grand Circuit. She is razor sharp for the Takter Stable and while this race is no cake-walk she should still be able to win off her recent form. Use Designed To Be and Take The Money in exotic plays. $260,000 Pace PASS Final 3YO Colts Harrah’s 10th race SUNDAY – What a great line-up for this final as nearly every horse has had a major score this year. McWicked is the horse to beat in here and rightly so off his championship season and he draws the rail to boot. He is most likely using this race as his final prep before heading out to the Little Brown Jug and thus will be all out for the rich purse. Use Somewhere In L A and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $260,000 Trot PASS Final 3YO Colts Harrah’s 11th race SUNDAY – Despite his Hambletonian nightmare, Father Patrick has been nearly perfect his entire career. Last week he vented against same in Zweig Memorial and held the field at bay with an easy impressive score. He should be able to do the same inhere. Use Nuncio and Datsyuk in exotic plays. $260,000 Pace PASS Final 3YO Fillies Harrah’s 12th race SUNDAY – After her 20 length qualifying romp last week I have no doubt that Sandbetweenurtoes will leave from the rail in here and not look back and that no one will catch her. Undefeated filly is super and goes for her ninth straight win. Tough field but she has shown this season that she is one of the best in the nation. Use Allstar Rating and Weeper in exotic plays.      

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