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Island Jet, driven by Stephane Bouchard, was Saturday night's $17,000 open pace winner in 1:52.3 at Saratoga Raceway.   The four-year-old homebred son of Jereme's Jet is trained and co-owned by Geoff Howles of NY with Mary and Rich Howles. He was given an alert drive by Bouchard, who was able to work a second-over trip and then take command from Let's Rock Together before sprinting home to a half length victory.   Ru Ready To Rock was second with Let's Rock Together third. Island Jet went off at odds of nearly 4-1 and paid $9.90 to win   by Melissa Simser, for Saratoga Raceway    

Art Bettor Now (Bettor's Delight) made perfect use of a pocket ride on Thursday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Margaret Spagnola-trained four-year-old followed rival Good Win Earl (Billy Dobson) every step of the way before pouncing on him in the stretch to record a lifetime best victory in the evening's $6,000 featured race at the Spa. Art Bettor Now, who was driven by Bruce Aldrich Jr, was dismissed at odds of 8-1 for his pocket sitting score which came in a career best 1:54.4. Good Win Earl held second while Tijuana Party (Stephane Bouchard) closed for the third in the optional $15,000 conditional-claimer. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Muncie parlayed his pocket ride to victory on Thursday night in the $6,000 featured pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The four-year-old pacer had finished second in three consecutive local starts in April but had yet to record a win this year before going out of town to Plainridge Race Course and registering a 1:55 victory last week. On Thursday night, reinsman Shawn Gray once again positioned Muncie (Charley Barley) In The Pocket and this week they would not be denied. The win in 1:57.1 was the first locally for the Alicia Gray-trainee. Cumulus Hanover (Jim Devaux) cut the mile but had to settle for second after being reeled in by Muncie while Tijuana Party (Stephane Bouchard) closed for third. Muncie returned $10.00 to win in the mild upset. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Smokin Band (Mattnamaras) scored a convincing victory in the $6,000 feature on Thursday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Leading driver Billy Dobson has been on a tear lately and the Smokin Band score gave him his fourth winner of the night. The Amber Buter-trained four-year-old marched out to the early lead before yielding at the quarter. Smokin Band was out and rolling heading to three quarters and wound up securing a 1:55.4 victory. Real Yankee Fan (Mark Beckwith) came on for second while Cumulus Hanover (Stephane Bouchard) closed for third. Dobson wound up piloting five winners on the Thursday card. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

The defending Filly and Mare Pacer of the Year at Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Let's Go Higher (Cole Muffler) prevailed in her return to town on Sunday afternoon. The six-year-old mare flew out to the early lead behind a fast quarter of 27.2 and never looked back. Shawn Gray piloted Let's Go Higher for trainer Heidi Rohr and secured the victory in 1:55. Aint No Dollatable (Billy Dobson) sat the pocket to finish second in the $17,000 matinee feature while Venus Delight (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Let's Go Higher, who completed a training triple on the card for Rohr, was the race's 4-5 public choice. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Panpero Firpo (No Pan Intended) recorded his first victory of the season on Thursday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Jackie Rousse-trained four-year-old recently added lasix and has shown significant improvement since doing so. Coming off of a fast second place finish in his last start, Panpero Firpo moved first over on the race's favorite in the $8,000 conditional pace feature on Thursday and overpowered his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:54.4. Stephane Bouchard, who recently hit the 8,000 career win plateau, piloted Panpero Firpo to the convincing victory. Lucky Mctrucky (Jordan Derue) charged hard late to be second while favored Aled Hanover (Shawn Gray) held on for third. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Stephane Bouchard recorded win number 8,000 for his career on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The veteran reinsman is a multiple driving champion at Yonkers and Monticello Raceways and has become a full time pilot at Saratoga in recent years. The 47-year-old Bouchard reached the historic milestone while sitting behind trotter Lotto Winner (Credit Winner) for trainer Sam Schillaci. Lotto Winner was coming off a win by more than a dozen lengths last week when she just held on for a wire to wire score for Bouchard on Sunday’s matinee. The Canadian native becomes a very rare driver to pilot as many as 8,000 winners in a career and isn’t close to being done yet. Bouchard, who finished second in the driver standings last season at Saratoga, is once again in the top five this year. He was joined by friends and family for a presentation in the winner’s circle recognizing his terrific achievement. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Slugfest (Conway Hall) continued his Open Trot dominance on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Maureen Salino-trainee scored his fourth consecutive win in the local feature behind a 1:56.4 victory from post eight. Jay Randall piloted Slugfest to the fastest time of the season for any trotter at the Spa. Despite winning three straight Opens, Slugfest was dismissed at odds of 7-1. Obrigado (Kim Crawford) was the runner up for the second straight week behind Slugfest while Just Make Believe (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot just as he did in last week’s Friday feature. The exacta returned $84.50 and the trifecta came back $356. Slugfest became the first horse in several seasons to win four consecutive Opens at Saratoga. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Even now as trainer Linda Toscano thinks about 5-year-old trotter Market Share's path to stardom, she shakes her head in disbelief. "Timmy and I were talking about it the other day," Toscano said, referring to Market Share's regular driver, Tim Tetrick. "Never, never in a million years did we dream that this horse could be this kind of horse. He's just one of those horses that enjoys his work and tries real hard. It's surprising, but that's good." Market Share, a two-time Dan Patch Award-winning division champion, is expected to be among the numerous big names heading to the Meadowlands on Saturday morning for qualifiers. Also in that group should be Jimmy Takter trotting standouts Father Patrick, Nuncio, and Shake It Cerry. As a 2-year-old Market Share won all five of his starts at half-mile-oval Freehold Raceway, but Toscano and principal owner Richard Gutnick were uncertain if he could excel at the big tracks, such as the Meadowlands. All Market Share did at age 3 was win the $1.5 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk en route to earnings of $2 million. He was named the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. Last season, his wins included the Breeders Crown Open Trot, Maple Leaf Trot, TVG Free For All Series Championship and American-National Stakes. He led all older trotters with $1.07 million in purses and received the Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. "It's a treat to be able to bring one back like that as a 5-year-old," Toscano said. "Fortunately his owner likes to race. Hopefully he'll come back as good as he was. "By bringing back the older horses, people recognize the names and the horses become the stars again. I think that's what is missing in our industry. I think it's a real good thing." Gutnick, who was harness racing's Owner of the Year in 2012 when he also campaigned Horse of the Year Chapter Seven, shares ownership of Market Share with TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. * * * Jimmy Takter expects to bring more than a dozen horses to Saturday's qualifiers at the Meadowlands, among them some of the biggest names in harness racing: Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry, Nuncio, and Lifetime Pursuit. Father Patrick was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and Shake It Cerry was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter. Nuncio, who last year raced for trainer Jim Oscarsson but joined the Takter Stable during the winter after Oscarsson returned to his native Sweden, was a stakes winner and four-time runner-up to Father Patrick. Lifetime Pursuit also was a stakes winner. In the Hoof Beats predictive rankings for 3-year-old trotters, based on projected earnings this season, Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry and Nuncio all rated in the top four. Lifetime Pursuit was No. 12. "All of them are coming back awesome," Takter said. "It should be interesting." Another of Takter's standouts, 5-year-old trotter Uncle Peter, debuts Friday night at the Meadowlands. Uncle Peter earned $519,232 last year - second to only Market Share among older trotters - and trotted the fastest mile ever by a 4-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, 1:50.3 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. * * * Market Share and Uncle Peter have both been mentioned as possible invitees for the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden, but trainers Toscano and Takter are taking wait-and-see approaches when it comes to deciding whether they would send the horses. Travel logistics are a concern, as well as wanting to see how the horses race this season. If he goes out Friday and shows me something, I might go to Denmark first and race him two weeks earlier in the Copenhagen Cup," Takter said about Uncle Peter. "We'll see. He's the world record holder on the five-eighths track. He's a good horse." The Copenhagen Cup, traditionally held the second weekend in June, is May 11 this year. The Elitlopp is May 25. * * * Five-year-old male pacer Bolt The Duer qualified for the second time this year on Thursday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, winning in 1:54.1. Regular driver Mark MacDonald was at the lines for trainer Pete Foley. Afterward, MacDonald tweeted, "Bolt The Duer sharp again today; one more fast qualifier next week then the first leg of TVG (Series) at the Meadowlands. Came back great." (You can follow MacDonald at @MarkMacRacing.) Bolt The Duer, who has set multiple world records during his career, has won 19 of 47 lifetime races and $1.72 million for owner All Star Racing. * * * After a year in which he dominated in Pennsylvania, 3-year-old male pacer Allstar Partner is taking his game on the road. The John Butenschoen trainee makes his 2014 debut as the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday's $49,015 Reynolds Memorial at the Meadowlands. Allstar Partner won last season's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers on his way to earning $282,454 for owners VIP Internet Stable and Michael Foti. He was victorious in seven of 10 races, including divisions of the Historic-Goshen Cup and Arden Downs, while making all of his starts in Pennsylvania. A son of stallion Four Starzzz Shark out of the mare Faithful Ideal, the horse was a $10,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. "I'm happy with him," Butenschoen said. "He had a very uneventful winter. He grew up like you would hope; he's a bigger, stronger version of himself." Allstar Partner, who was driven most often by Corey Callahan, had a six-race win streak stopped by a third-place finish in a division of the Keystone Classic to end 2013. "We scoped him and he had bled, so we've put him on Lasix," Butenschoen said. "That's the only difference this year compared to last year. "We've paid him into quite a few (stakes races) this year. If he's good enough, he'll get a shot. Some of the horses he beat (in Pennsylvania) last year did well in open company." The stakes races to which Allstar Partner is eligible include the Meadowlands Pace, American-National Stakes, Carl Milstein Memorial, Circle City, Matron Stakes, and Monument Circle, plus events in Pennsylvania. Here is the field for Saturday's Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers: 1. Frankandjoanne, 2. Stratos Hanover, 3. Best Said, 4. The Lunch Pail, 5. Air Force Grad, 6. Card Shock, 7. Parnu Hanover, 8. Allstar Partner, 9. Always B Miki. * * * Driver David Miller entered Friday needing 13 wins to reach 11,000 for his career. He ranks No. 8 for most victories in North American harness racing history. Stephane Bouchard entered Friday needing three wins to reach 8,000. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Cumulus Hanover pulled off a mild upset in the $6,000 featured race on Wednesday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Stephane Bouchard pulled the five-year-old pacer first over on the race's favorite and cruised by him heading to the three quarter pole. Cumulus Hanover (Dragon Again) then drew away to win in 1:57 by open lengths. The Mitch MacKenzie trained pacer returned $14.80 to win in the $15,000 claiming conditional race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Slugfest prevailed for the third consecutive week in the Friday night Open Trot at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Maureen Salino-trained trotter has started out his season on a tear. After finishing second in his first start back in March, Slugfest (Conway Hall) has rattled off three straight wins on the front end with driver Jay Randall in the sulky. This week, the local trotting star had to overcome post position eight on Friday but marched out to the early lead in :28.4 and never looked back before stopping the timer in 158.1. Pocket sitter Obrigado (Kim Crawford) finished second while Just Make Believe (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Slugfest returned $8.00 to win as he completed his hat trick. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Harness driver Stephane Bouchard is nearing his 8,000th career victory. He is currently 7,987 wins so he needs just 13 more to reach the milestone. Bouchard would become only the 24th driver in the history of racing to have won 8,000 races. Driver Wins First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Stephane L Bouchard   7,987 $70,856,272 Stga 4/6/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Gene G Vallandingham   2,987 $13,409,750 CalX 4/5/2014 Timothy W Curtin   2,985 $20,936,317 May 6/6/2013 David Floyd Carey   2,978 $2,438,403 Truro 12/8/2013 Lemoyne D Svendsen   2,976 $9,473,876 CalX 4/5/2014 Rodney J Bolon   1,996 $9,413,469 Mea 4/1/2014 Ron Paul Wrenn   1,995 $6,069,816 SpCk 10/2/2013 Todd G Trites   1,993 $2,824,943 EPR 12/8/2013 Jerry G E Landess   1,980 $2,037,837 Green 8/23/2013 Bret E Brittingham   1,971 $11,274,643 DD 4/7/2014 Kelly R Sheppard   1,971 $9,409,954 FlmD 11/20/2013 DANIEL R                             OBRIAN        997 $2,165,944 Wdb 3/17/2014 Darren R Crowe   992 $1,477,417 Chrtn 2/7/2014 RONALD I MATHESON   988 $1,054,352 Chrtn 2/7/2014 Stephen K O'Toole   986 $2,423,974 PRc 9/3/2012 GORDEN A MCKNIGHT   984 $2,909,673 Lon 4/4/2014 Clayton   Faurot Jr 981 $2,458,705 Mea 3/5/2014 Joseph   Ricco Jr 978 $3,728,352 MR 10/31/2013 Trent P Stohler   976 $5,585,333 HoP 4/5/2014 anthony P Haughan   975 $6,891,570 Wdb 4/5/2014 John D Finn   975 $3,616,740 BmlP 2/19/2014 Rocky Joe Loney   973 $2,411,599 HoP 4/4/2014 Yves   Gauthier   972 $3,959,060 RidC 2/23/2014 Nick Royce Roland   972 $3,086,220 Whtn 9/22/2013 Jeffrey A Smith   971 $2,731,809 MVR 3/12/2014 Steven B Norris   970 $2,548,332 RidC 9/19/2013                 Driver earnings First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Michel   Lachance   10,387 $189,836,627 BmlP 11/9/2013 Luc R Ouellette   8,548 $129,687,731 Wdb 4/5/2014 David R Magee   11,739 $99,739,984 BmlP 4/6/2014 Raymond W Schnittker   2,645 $39,953,345 Stga 4/6/2014 PHILLIP Alan HUDON   3,799 $39,752,078 Wdb 4/5/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Thomas D Strauss   2,552 $19,687,609 Wdb 4/5/2014 Darrell L Coville   6,584 $19,645,140 RidC 4/6/2014 Randy T Tharps   4,647 $19,644,922 MVR 4/7/2014 Jay L Randall   3,699 $19,589,536 Stga 4/6/2014 Richard Lee Farrington   1,250 $9,971,066 HoP 11/7/2013 Below that are trainers who may be approaching win milestones. USTA started tracking trainer statistics in 1991, so the trainers listed in green may have had training starts and wins prior to 1991, so the Life Wins column for those trainers may not be accurate. Trainer Milestones First Middle Last Name suffix Life Wins Life Earnings Last Track Last Start DOB Roger R Hammer   1980 $17,031,754 PcD 4/6/2014 2/18/1946 Edgar R Clarke   999 $5,421,609 PPk 4/7/2014 12/6/1955 Dirk   Simpson   976 $10,688,518 May 2/7/2014 8/2/1957 Leo   Tourigny   974 $8,178,091 RidC 11/28/2013 6/5/1939 Gabriel   Boily   973 $2,635,147 RidC 4/3/2014 4/26/1949 Trond   Smedshammer   972 $41,621,510 YR 4/4/2014 3/22/1967 From Anne Chunko, for the USTA

Muscle Beachboy (Somebeachsomewhere) became the fifth horse to win the Open Pace in five seasonal Opens at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Tracy Brainard-trained pacer went out to the early lead and had to withstand sizzling fractions on a chilly Saturday night before having plenty left in the stretch. Dan Cappello Jr piloted Muscle Beachboy to the 1:54.2, a win time that matched the fastest of the young season at the Spa. Spinarama (Austin Siegelman) finished second in the $18,190 feature while Village Jackson (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Muscle Beachboy, the race’s morning line favorite, returned $8.40 to win. By Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Harness driver Randy Waples is just one victory away from scoring his 6,000th career victory. Also of note is that Stephane Bouchard is just 15 wins away from his 8,000th career win. Driver Wins First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Stephane L Bouchard   7,985 $70,837,095 Stga 3/30/2014 Randall W Waples   5,999 $104,309,052 Wdb 3/29/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Gene G Vallandingham   2,987 $13,408,006 CalX 3/29/2014 Timothy W Curtin   2,985 $20,936,317 May 6/6/2013 David Floyd Carey   2,978 $2,438,403 Truro 12/8/2013 Lemoyne D Svendsen   2,974 $9,469,252 CalX 3/29/2014 Rodney J Bolon   1,995 $9,408,721 Mea 3/25/2014 Ron Paul Wrenn   1,995 $6,069,816 SpCk 10/2/2013 Todd G Trites   1,993 $2,824,943 EPR 12/8/2013 Jerry G E Landess   1,980 $2,037,837 Green 8/23/2013 Kelly R Sheppard   1,971 $9,409,954 FlmD 11/20/2013 DANIEL R                             OBRIAN        997 $2,165,944 Wdb 3/17/2014 Darren R Crowe   992 $1,477,417 Chrtn 2/7/2014 John J De Long   990 $5,155,722 BmlP 3/30/2014 RONALD I MATHESON   988 $1,054,352 Chrtn 2/7/2014 Stephen K O'Toole   986 $2,423,974 PRc 9/3/2012 GORDEN A MCKNIGHT   984 $2,907,989 FlmD 3/29/2014 Clayton   Faurot Jr 981 $2,458,705 Mea 3/5/2014 Joseph   Ricco Jr 978 $3,728,352 MR 10/31/2013 Trent P Stohler   976 $5,584,413 HoP 3/29/2014 John D Finn   975 $3,616,740 BmlP 2/19/2014 anthony P Haughan   974 $6,885,076 FlmD 3/29/2014 Rocky Joe Loney   973 $2,411,599 HoP 3/29/2014 Nick Royce Roland   972 $3,086,220 Whtn 9/22/2013 Yves   Gauthier   972 $3,959,060 RidC 2/23/2014 Jeffrey A Smith   971 $2,731,809 MVR 3/12/2014 Steven B Norris   970 $2,548,332 RidC 9/19/2013                 Driver earnings First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Michel   Lachance   10,387 $189,836,627 BmlP 11/9/2013 Luc R Ouellette   8,548 $129,687,731 Wdb 3/29/2014 David R Magee   11,736 $99,725,900 BmlP 3/30/2014 Raymond W Schnittker   2,643 $39,945,723 M 3/29/2014 PHILLIP Alan HUDON   3,794 $39,706,278 Wdb 3/29/2014 Trevor S Henry   5,210 $29,978,678 FlmD 3/29/2014 Michael A Forte   3,279 $19,998,367 MR 3/26/2014 Jonathan W Roberts   2,467 $19,955,492 DD 3/30/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Thomas D Strauss   2,552 $19,687,609 Wdb 3/29/2014 Darrell L Coville   6,581 $19,635,066 RidC 3/27/2014 Randy T Tharps   4,643 $19,618,610 MVR 3/30/2014 Jay L Randall   3,696 $19,563,860 Stga 3/29/2014 Allan W Davis   1,036 $9,976,990 DD 3/30/2014 Richard Lee Farrington   1,250 $9,971,066 HoP 11/7/2013 Below that are trainers who may be approaching win milestones. USTA started tracking trainer statistics in 1991, so the trainers listed in green may have had training starts and wins prior to 1991, so the Life Wins column for those trainers may not be accurate. Trainers Milestones First Middle Last Name suffix Life Wins Life Earnings Last Track Last Start DOB Roger R Hammer   1980 $17,027,784 PcD 3/30/2014 2/18/1946 Edgar R Clarke   999 $5,418,525 PPk 3/30/2014 12/6/1955 Dirk   Simpson   976 $10,688,518 May 2/7/2014 8/2/1957 Leo   Tourigny   974 $8,178,091 RidC 11/28/2013 6/5/1939 Trond   Smedshammer   971 $41,599,710 YR 3/28/2014 3/22/1967 Gabriel   Boily   971 $2,628,603 RidC 3/27/2014 4/26/1949  Statistics from Anne Chunko at USTA

The Jackie Rousse stable went three-for-three on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The former leading training at the track has gone on a tear the last few nights and has now rattled off four consecutive victories. After winning the Thursday finale with the favored B Blissfull, Rousse scored three straight upsets on the Friday card. Trotter Just Make Believe (Kadabra) scored a wire to wire upset at odds of 12-1 then Rousse pacers Smart Rokker (Rocknroll Hanover) and Ubettorbeturlife (Bettor’s Delight) prevailed at odds of 30-1 and 7-1, respectively. Stephane Bouchard, who piloted four winners on Thursday, guided both Smart Rokker and Ubettorbeturlife to victories on Friday. Mark Beckwith was the winning driver behind Just Make Believe. by Mark Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Denyittotheend (Tell All) recorded her twelfth win of the season on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Leading driver Billy Dobson piloted the four year old for trainer Rene Allard and moved the favored mare to the early lead in the $10,000 feature for fillies and mares. Denyittotheend tired late but had enough to hold on to win in a race where all six finishes were within a length of each other at the wire. A winner of the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa the last time we saw her in September, Denyittotheend has enjoyed a breakout season in which she has earnings of well over $130,000 now for the year. Blows Me Away (Stephane Bouchard) won the place photo and Queen Of Royalty earned the show spot in the scramble in the stretch in the Sunday afternoon feature. Live racing enters its final week for the season on Wednesday evening when action kicks off at 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella for Saratoga Raceway  

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