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Harnesslink’s North America and Europe editor, Hall of Famer Steve Wolf, is putting his handicapping abilities on the line for the Breeders Crown weekend at Mohawk Park. Here are Steve’s selections with comments for both Friday and Saturday night’s Breeders Crown races. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 6th race $786,000 2YO Filly Trot #1 HYPNOTIC AM – Unbeaten streak came to an end last week in elimination division. Chapter Seven daughter had been flawless before that and feel she can avenge her defeat and wire the field in Breeders Crown final. #2 SISTER SLEDGE – Gingras gave her perfect trip last week and she beat Hypnotic AM. She should get same kind of trip again Friday and could well beat top choice in stretch battle. #5 MS SAVAHHAH BELLE – Gets first time Tim Tetrick, but filly has been so good winning four of last five starts that she figures to get a good trip and should hit the board. 7th race $786,000 2YO Filly Pace #4 NEW YEAR – Going against the big favorite here. This colt has been super for Corey Callahan/Ross Croghan and showed me plenty of true grit to win. Late bloomer has won four of his five lifetime starts and in perfect spot to score from. #1 LYONS SENTINEL – Won with ease in BC elim in 1:50.3. Currently on impressive seven-race win streak and all handicapping logic says this is the top choice. Has won from on and off the pace. #3 PRICELESS – On a four-race win streak and came to Mohawk last week from Hoosier Park and won by over four lengths. In tougher here but should be a contender all the way. 8th race $786,000 2YO Colt Trot #9 REAL COOL SAM – Undefeated with a dead heat score last start. Checking back shows he had the nine post before and won with ease in a Peter Haughton elim. Needs only to overcome outside post to win again. #8 CAPRICORNUS – Has been really competitive in Grand Circuit and needs only to work out live cover from outside post and will close at the finish. #4 AMIGO VOLO – Has been making breaks last two starts, one of which he won the race. As long as this one minds it manners it will have a shot to hit the board. 9th race $786,000 2YO Colt Pace                          #3 PAPI ROB HANOVER – First or second last six starts and has never been off the board. Won BC elim last week with authority. The kind of authority that makes him a repeat winner. #7 TALL DARK STRANGER – Saw unbeaten streak come to an end last week in BC elim. Will be gunning for the lead again and might be able to go all the way. Has been great all season. #4 CATTLEWASH – Raced well for first-time Louis Philippe Roy last week and needs only to get some live cover to be very close in here. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 2nd Race $393,000 Older Mare Pace #1 SHARTIN N – The Queen of Harness Racing saw her 14-race win streak come to a close two weeks ago. Then she wins qualifier with ease in 1:51.1. She is in fit form and ready to blow away this field as she has done all season long. #3 CAVIART ALLY – Was at her best in beating Shartin N two weeks ago. Now she faces her again and should get the trip but as most of the season she just can’t catch her every week. #4 YOUAREMYCANDYGIRL – Raced last week against some great older horses and held her own for third place finish. I see her being able to do the same here. 3rd Race $425,750 Older Mare Trot #4 MANCHEGO – Here is a 99.9% winner. Tough mare has been at her best and on a four-race win streak. She has beaten most of the mares she faces tonight and will do it again. #3 PLUNGE BLUE CHIP – First, second or third every start except when against top pick. Can race well from on or off the pace for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, just can’t seem to be able to beat Manchego. #10 EMOTICON HANOVER – Far outside post may just force this mare to leave, which she shows doing well every week. Has to get into the fray early to have any shot of getting a good check from post 10. 4th Race $655,000 3YO Filly Trot #9 ONLY TAKE CASH – Liked her last week but was beaten by another good filly. Has no choice but to leave from post nine and force her to press the front. From there she can surprise everyone with a big score. #1 THE ICE DUTCHESS – Logical top choice here after what looked like an easy score. Figures to try and wire the field again but too much on the line and will get pressed hard for control of the lead. #5 WHEN DOVESCRY – Hambletonian Oakes winner keeps racing her heart out all season with good results, just not winning all the time. May cut the mile here but at a price. Can hold on for a check. 5th Race $720,000 3YO Filly Pace #5 WARRAWEE UBEAUT – Last year’s top 2yo filly has reached peak form this year with seven straight wins. She crushed the field last week in BC elim. In case of early speed duel for the lead, this filly can also race from off the pace. #2 SUNNY DEE – This filly can be hot for the lead or sit the pocket trip to try and score form. In perfect post position for a big effort. #3 TREACHEROUS REIGN – Put in poor effort in last start at Red Mile. Rested and should be ready for strong mile in BC Final. Also, can do well from on or off the pace. 6th Race $655,000 Open Horse Pace #8 McWICKED – Last two starts for this world class pacers have been tremendous wins despite hoof problems. He seems to be able to get parked out first-over and grind his opponents down and get his nose up before the wire. Amazing $5 million winner takes another Breeders Crown. #7 DORSODURO HANOVER – Has been seeing the heels of McWicked for most of the season. Seems only to be able to win when McWicked is not in the field. That’s not the case today for this fast class top horse. Second best in here. #2 JIMMY FREIGHT – Gives it his all every week but comes up short at the wire in post cases. Game performer is in front of his home crowd and with good inside post will be heard from in this race as he always is. 7th Race $655,000 3YO Colt Trot #4 GREENSHOE – The horse to beat in here for sure. Top son of Father Patrick is on a five-race winning streak, having beaten most in this field throughout the season. As long as he minds his manners, he will be tough to beat one he gets rolling along. #8 FORBIDDEN TRADE – Hambletonian winner has done OK since big triumph, racing mainly in Ontario Sire Stakes, but tonight he faces the best in the country again. Needs to overcome outside post and get dream trip to have a chance against top choice. #2 DON’T LET’EM – Coming off big score last week in BC elim division and draws very well in here. With gate speed and post two he should cut the mile and may hold on a long way against tough opponents. 8th Race $786,000 3YO Colt Pace #5 BETTOR’S WISH – With 12 wins in his 16 starts, $1,367,000 in earning this season and on a four-race winning streak, Bettor’s Wish is heading towards Dan Patch Award honors and needs only to win tonight to seal it up. He can do it from on or off the pace as he has done most of the season for driver Dexter Dunn. #6 BEST IN SHOW – Meadowlands Pace winner has yet to win since big score in July but seems to be always in the hunt no matter what post he starts from. I see Bob McClure doing it again in here with dramatic race finish. #4 DANCIN LOU – Sports ten wins this year and last two have been super strong. Showed last week how great a closer he is with BC elim win in 1:50.1. 9th Race $655,000 Horse Open Trot #1 BOLD EAGLE – Race fans will now get to see one of the all-time great trotters from Europe here in North America. I have followed Bold Eagle’s career since he was a two-year-old and saw what great speed and ability he has. Should be a like a sprint for him going just one mile in distance and look for him to blow away the field. #6 ATLANTA – Provided this great mare does not quit by the three-quarters, she can be a real tigress in against male opposition. May not be good enough to beat Bold Eagle, but certainly second best. #10 SIX PACK – Game horse needs only to overcome far outside post to be a factor in here. Ake Svanstedt knows what to do to get his horse in the hunt despite starting from post 10 and can be on the board with some racing luck. We know Ake will be gunning him at some point in the mile. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

McWicked and harness racing driver Brian Sears were able to grind it out first-over in capturing the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace at Yonkers Raceway Saturday for the second straight year. The 11th race feature saw Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) and None Bettor A (Jason Bartlett) trade control of the lead with Jimmy Freight winning out by the first quarter in :26.2. Coming around the second turn Jimmy Freight remained in control as Sears started McWicked up first-over past the half mile :55.1 and right through to the three-quarters in 1:22.4 with The Real One (Pat Lachance) hanging in the hunt second-over. McWicked was able to grind by Jimmy Freight by the top of the stretch and then was barely able to hold off a late flying Micky Gee N (Jordan Stratton) to win by a long nose in 1:51.1. Jimmy Freight was third by a length. “I can’t say enough about the horse and the way he races,” Said Brian Sears of McWicked. “He has been battling hoof issues all summer, but he shows up every week. I was pretty pleased where I got away in the race. I did come first-up a little earlier than I like, but he battled tough and held on to the wire.” It was the second straight win and sixth of the year for McWicked. The eight-year-old stallion by McArdle is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, NY. (Ed James) and paid $6.90 to win. With the $125,000 winners share of the purse, McWicked now sports career earnings of $4,878,342. By Steve Wolf, for Harneslink

LEXINGTON, KY—Driver Dexter Dunn refused to seat Manchego in the pocket and circled the Nancy Johansson trainee to the front, speeding around The Red Mile to take the $69,500 What The Hill Allerage Farms Mare Trot—sponsored by the What The Hill Syndicate and Hickory Lane Horse Farm—in a 1:49 mile, eclipsing the all-age world record for trotting females, on Sunday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Hannelore Hanover hustled for the front moving to the first turn before Manchego moved to command past a :26.3 opening quarter. Manchego maintained her speed to a :53.3 half as Plunge Blue Chip floated first over from third moving to the final turn. Passing three-quarters in 1:21, Plunge Blue Chip ducked behind Manchego and tipped back outside straightening for the finish but gave chase in second as stablemate Ice Attraction finished farther behind in third. “Looks like it’s time to put away the summer suit and get the wet gear on,” Dunn said after the race as overcast skies in Lexington began to turn to drizzle following an evening of showers. “[I have to give] absolute credit to the track staff—I was actually out this morning having a cup of coffee at the bottom turn [and saw them] scraping the track and it was pretty bad. The condition they got it in right now is a credit to them. “She had been racing great all year [and in] tough company but she’s just a great mare and a pleasure to sit behind,” Dunn also said. “I was trying to slow it down as much as I could going to the half and it still popped up fast. I heard Ake get on my back around the turn before we straightened up but [Manchego] was never letting a horse pass her today; she was swelled up.” Besting the previous world record for trotting mares of 1:49.1 set earlier this year by Atlanta at the Meadowlands, Manchego—a four-year-old mare by Muscle Hill—won over a fast track before rains downgraded the surface to “good”. Black Horse Racing owns the Brittany Farms LLC-bred mare who has collected 24 victories from 39 starts and earned $1,847,980. She paid $4.00 to win. by Ray Cotolo, for the Red Mile

The world record price for a Standardbred yearling racehorse was set Tuesday evening at $1,1,00,000 for the full brother to harness racing trotting star Greenshoe, Hip No. 44 Maverick, shattered the record book Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Maverick is sired by Father Patrick from the mare Designed To Be. The winning bidder was Bradly Grant. The colt was  consigned by Kentuckiana Farms. The prior record price for a yearling was $825,000, purchased by the Cancelliere brothers for Detour Hanover, a full-brother to Donato Hanover who sold at the 2011 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Later that evening, Damien, by Muscle Hill out of Danae, a full brother to international $3 million-earner Propulsion as well as stakes-winner Dream Together brought $1 million. He is a half-brother to stakes-winner D’Orsay. He was purchased by Bengt Agerup’s Brixton Medical AB and will be trained by Daniel Reden, who also trains Propulsion for Brixton subsidiary Stall Zet. The colt was consigned by Cane Run Farm and bred by Fredericka Caldwell and Bluestone Farms. The record yearling price for a pacer was also rewritten as Brixton Medical also was behind the purchase of Some Terror, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Economy Terror for $800,000. The colt was signed for by Nancy Johansson, who will train the horse. He was consigned by Vieux Carre Farms and bred by Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor, and Ed Gold. Ineffable, hip No. 7, got the party started with a record price of $600,000 for a yearling filly trotter. The previous record of $500,000 was shared by Courtney Hall (2003), Future Secured (2015), and Fifty Cent Piece (2018). Purchased by Lina Alm as agent for Lennart Agren’s S R F Stable, Ineffable is a daughter of Cantab Hall out of stakes-winner Jolene Jolene. She is a three-quarter sister to stakes-winner 2-year-old filly Crucial. She was consigned by Hunterton Sales Agency for breeders Maumee River Stables, Black Creek Farm, Martin Schmucker, and Steve Stewart. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Both McWicked and Atlanta showed different harness racing tactics that worked Saturday night at Scioto Downs as McWicked won the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Pace and Atlanta won the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. And both races took the photo finish camera to declare the winner. The feature event was the Ewart Memorial and it was Filibuster Hanover (Chris Page) trading the early lead with This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) to the opening quarter mile in :25.3 with This Is The Plan on the lead. Western Fame and driver Dan Noble attacking first-over with Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) grabbing the second-over spot past the half mile in :52.4. They raced four-in, five-out down the backstretch to the three-quarters in 1:20 as horses began to fan out for the stretch drive to the finish. In the stretch, Western Fame starts to surge to the lead as a wall of horses came at him and it was driver Brian Sears and McWicked weaving their way through the field and getting up at the wire by a long nose in 1:49. Dontellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) and Western Fame finished in a dead-heat for second with Courtly Choice (James MacDonald) a neck back in fourth place. It was the first time that any horse has won the Jim Ewart Memorial twice. It was McWicked’s fourth win this year for the eight-year-old stallion by McArdle and 38th career win for trainer Casie Coleman and owner SSG Stable of North Boston, NY. He paid $6.20 to win. “I was still asking him for pace just keeping up,” winning driver Brian Sears said after the race. “He’s an amazing horse." Atlanta, with Yannick Gingras in the sulky, returned to her winning ways with a close call in the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. After taking the lead away from Mission Accepted (Chris Page) by the opening quarter mile in :27.1, Atlanta settled in on the lead as Guardian Angel AS (Tim Tetrick) started up first-over by the half in a mild :56. Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) had grabbed the second-over trip. Down the backstretch, Atlanta held firmly to the lead as the pace picked up and Guardian Angel AS could not gain ground on the race leader past the three-quarters in 1:24. Then as they came down the stretch, Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svandsted) found room and came charging up the passing lane but Atlanta was a step ahead, winning by a long nose in 1:51.4. The lone two mares in the race finishing one-two. Mission Accepted was third. It was a track record mile for four-year-old trotting mares and made Atlanta only the second mare ever to win the Charlies Hill. The daughter of Chapter Seven posted her seventh win on the year in eleven starts for trainer Ron Burke. She is owned by Crawford Farms, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor and paid $5.80 to win. Atlanta was a $10,000 supplement to the Charlie Hill Memorial. "Honestly I was kind of measuring a little bit late," Gingras said after the race. "Ake [Svanstedt and Plunge Blue Chip] was coming kind of fast. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Both horseman and employees at Plainridge Park Casino & Racing waited early into Thursday morning to find out if they should show up for work today as a legislative stalemate had put harness racing there in jeopardy for a second year in a row. Legislators Wednesday night were burning the midnight oil trying to pass last-minute legislation to keep the Standardbred races on, which they finally approved at 12:11 a.m. this morning as they recessed for this legislative session. A similar dispute caused Plainridge to stop racing for a few days last year before the Legislature acted. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced two candidates who will receive awards this year from the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarships. The scholarship was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, was the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. "Both Sarah Birkhold and Jessica Hallett will each receive $1,000 from our Chapter," said committee chair Thomas H. Hicks. "Sarah is a graduate student with a GPA of 3.9 at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Jessica is a college junior at Nova Southeastern University with a 3.4 GPA as a medical major. They are both outstanding students." Preference for these scholarship awards were given to a student(s) majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Both women have been prior winners of the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarships and are the children of harness racing parents. Sarah Birkhold of Sarasota, FL is a third-year graduate student at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinarian Medicine seeking her doctorate in veterinarian medicine and is on course to graduate in May, 2021. She is on the Honor Society for the following groups, Alpha Chi, Phi Kappa Phi and the Collegiate Leadership and Achievement Association. Sarah is also Vice-President of the Chapter Society of Theriogenology, Secretary of the Food Animal Club and was President and Secretary of the Gator Collegiate Cattlewoman Organization. Jessica Hallett of Margate, FL, has scholastic honors that include International Baccalaureate (IB), HOSA Barbara James Community Service Regional, State and National Service Awards, NSU Sharks Services Award, President's 64, NSU Honors College, NSU Dual Degree, Student Leader of the Year Award and Star Of Life Award. This past year Jessica, who writes for Harnesslink.com, wrote a story that went national and she was awarded Honorable Mention in the John Hervey Media Awards. She is also on the NSU Equestrian Club and Team, Women's Weightlifting Team, the Emergency and Disaster Medicine Club, Delta Epsilon Mu and Honors College. For more information about the Florida Chapter of USHWA and the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship, visit their website at www.ushwa-florida.com or go to their Facebook page at Florida Chapter USHWA . by Steven Wolf, for the Florida Chapter of USHWA    

Pompano Beach, FL --- Steven Wolf, president of the Florida chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association (USHWA), has announced that the chapter is now accepting applications for its 2019 Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Awards. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. Preference for these scholarship awards will be given to a student majoring in journalism, communications or veterinarian related studies. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Applicants must have demonstrated scholastic ability with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and show evidence of community service and leadership through certificates, awards and/or letters of commendation. Fully completed applications must be postmarked no later than June 3, 2019, for consideration of a July 2019 award. Recipients may reapply annually for a maximum of four years. Applications should be submitted/addressed to the Florida Chapter USHWA, Scholarship Committee, 3508 Sahara Springs Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33069. For more information or to receive an application on the internet, contact via e-mail to Thomas H. Hicks at renparlc@gate.net or Steven Wolf at stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA    

Monticello, NY --- Shawn Wiles, president of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), today named Communicators Hall of Famer Steven Wolf to serve on USHWA's Hall of Fame Screening Committee for a six-year term. The Screening Committee reviews all harness racing nominations for the Hall of Fame from the USHWA Chapters. It then decides which candidates are placed on the ballot for all eligible USHWA and Hall of Fame members to vote on. Nominees must receive 75% of the yes-no votes cast to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Wolf, currently President of the Florida Chapter of USHWA, owns and operates his own consulting firm, which provides public relations, marketing and social media needs to harness racing organizations world-wide. He also heads the North America and European operations for Harnesslink.com. He is the former Senior Director of Racing Operations at Pompano Park and the former Director of Marketing/PR at Freehold Raceway. He has been involved in the industry for 42 years. His career in harness racing started as a co-owner/breeder and groom with Leo Wolf & Son, Inc. (Steve's grandfather and father Manny) at the Meadowlands Racetrack in 1977. He then worked the Liberty Bell Park-Brandywine Raceway circuit as a publicity assistant from 1979 to 1984. Wolf then became the marketing and publicity director of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey through 1987 before working at Freehold Raceway for 13 years. In 2000, Wolf moved to south Florida where he worked ten years at Pompano Park before opening his own firm, Steven Wolf, Consultant. Wolf was the first-ever USHWAn to be voted the organization's Member of the Year twice, in 1990 and 2000. He has received the Clyde Hirt Writing Award (2004) from Harness Horsemen International and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation Service to Youth Award (2006). He was inducted into the national Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame in 2017 and was voted into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame's Communicators Corner in 2014. Wolf was elected Preisdent of USHWA at the 2014 national meetings and served the standard two-year term at the head of the organization. He has served on its Board of Directors for 15 years. Steve was a former president of the USHWA NJ Chapter and has been the president of the Florida USHWA Chapter for more than five years. He also serves on various other USHWA committees including the Integrity Committee, Dinner Committee, Location Committee and the Sponsorship Committee. Wolf will now join Tim Bojarski, Moira Fanning, Robert 'Hollywood' Heyden, Jason Settlemoir and Judy Davis Wilson on the screening committee. "I know that with his vast knowledge and superb experience in the harness racing industry, Steve Wolf will be a valuable member to the USHWA Screening Committee," Wiles said. "I also want to thank Communicators Hall of Famer Leon Zimmerman for his years of service on the committee as his six-year term has expired." From the United States Harness Writers Association Jerry Connors

Prominent harness racing owner, breeder and equestriane Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farms in Durhamville, New York, was the succefull bidder for top trotting mare, Atlanta, winner of the 2018 Hambletonian and voted the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year. The sale took place via the internet on www.OnGait.com. In order to buy out part owner and trainer Rick Zeron, who had received a six month suspension stemming from instances in Canada this past year, Atlanta was put up for auction.  The daughter of Chapter Seven, who has already earned $1,140,000, was started at $500,000 as the opening bid. Over the four-day period the bidding continued to increase. During the final five minutes of the auction, she remained at $1,550,000 until the auction was closed.  "This is a real deal," said Eric Cherry, co-owner of OnGait.com. "The other partners weren't sure how to disolve the ownership of Atlanta. Rick Zeron was speaking to me about it and one of the co-owners, Howard Taylor, has successfully sold a number of horses and that led them to us at OnGait. I understand that at least two or three of the partners wanted out on the horse and Michelle Crawford and Brad Grant wanted to keep the mare. "Once we got the page up," Cherry continued. "I started getting phone call from people wanting to know if this was for real. There were more than 23,000 views on the page. We were able to get a fair value on Atlanta as we have people around the world that were interested in her. Using OnGait.com was perfect for this special sale." Brad Grant then confirmed the deal. "Howard Taylor, Bill Holland (Holland Racing), the Crawfords and myself, we were all in to keep the mare and i thank them all." by Steven Wolf, for Harnesslink  

Pompano Beach, FL - On Thursday night the North American harness racing record for trotters going five-eighths of a mile was both set and tied in the Dash For The Cash Series at Eldorado Pompano Park. The North American record that was set was done so by Sam Stathis's Celebrity Eventsy ($7.00) in the third race trot, the third of three $10,000 Dash For The Cash divisions on the program. With trainer/driver Sam Stathis in the sulky, Celebrity Eventsy was able to grab the early lead away from Katch Kanna (Aaron Byron) by the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Celebrity Eventsy and Stathis then held the field at bay as they led at the half mile in :55.4 and then won by one and one-half lengths in 1:10 over Thundercrest (Dustin Ingraham) with Railee Workable (Bryce Fenn) third. A five-year-old mare by Manofmanymissions, the 1:10 clocking was the fastest ever by a mare going five-eighths of a mile. It was her second win this season. She is a career winner of $581,000 and is owned by Celebrity Farms of New York, NY. Earlier on the card, in the first race, second trot division of the Dash For The Cash, Bioness, with trainer/driver Hunter Oakes, also wired the field, going in a speedy 1:09. That time tied Bioness with Sooo Handsome, who set the mark in February of this year, also at Pompano Park. Bioness defeated Sooo Handsome (Rick Plano) with Fleetwood Hall (James Hysell) third. It was the second straight win and seventh of the season for Bioness, a seven-year-old gelding by Sam Bourbon, who is owned by the Northfork Racing Stable of Wilkes-Barre, PA and paid $7.40 to win. There was a pacing division of the Dash For The Cash Series in the second race and that took the photo finish camera to decide the winner. Polak A and Hunter Oakes went right to the lead and sizzled to the opening quarter mile in :26.2, then cut the mile to the half in :54 and had the lead starting down the stretch. Meanwhile, Feelin Lika Winner and driver David Ingraham got away in fifth place, then moved up to third place at the top of the stretch and keeping to the inside, gained ground with every stride and nipped Polak A at the wire by a nose. Bowedfortyova (Gregory Merton) was third. The time of the mile was 1:08 as Feelin Lika Winner posted his eighth win of the year. The eight-year-old gelded son of Feelin Friskie is trained and co-owned by Casandra Uppal with Rebecca Uppal of Middletown, IN. He paid $11.20 to win. By Steve Wolf  

The Chicago Sun Times reported today that longtime harness racing handicapper, Tom Krish, passed away on Sunday. Before coming to the newspaper, Krish was the chart caller and wrote the program race comments for the local tracks, Sportsman’s Park, Hawthorne Racecourse, Maywood Park and Balmoral Park. No details about funeral arrangements have been announced. The Chicago Sun Times will continue to run harness racing comments in the newspaper. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Sweden’s Cruzado Dela Noche made a three-wide move on the final turn and the 30-1 long shot was able to nip Norway’s Lionel at the wire in a dramatic photo finish by a head in winning harness racing’s $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway Saturday. Driven by Brian Sears, Cruzado Dela Noche got away in sixth place as Arazi Boko (Alessandro Gocciadoro) took the early lead away from the USA’s Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) going to the first quarter in :28.2. Race favorite and Elitloppet winner, Ringostar Treb and Pastore Bob both went off-stride going for the lead on the first turn. Then Canada’s Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) came first-over and was able to clear to the lead and take the field to the half mile in :57.1 as Lionel and driver Goran Antonsen came first-over with Sears and Cruzado Dela Noche followed second over past the three-quarters in 1:27. As they came to the final turn, Sears made the big move three-wide with Cruzado Dela Notche past the mile marker in 1:27 and the three-horses raced side-by-side around the turn and then the battle began down the stretch. Marion Marauder began to tire, Lionel looked if he had the race won, but with every stride, Cruzado Dela Noche gained ground and then in the final strides to the wire, won by a head in 2:24.3. Up And Quick (Jason Bartlett) was third. A six-year-old stallion by Muscle Massive, Cruzado Dela Notche was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA and raced in the states at age two before being shipped to Sweden. He trained by Marcus Melander and is leased by Courant, Inc. of Delray Beach, Florida. He paid $62.50 to win. Also, of note is that Cruzado Dela Noche had not been in a pari-mutuel race since June 10. He did have two winning qualifying races before going in the International. “I’m just so proud and happy to be here today,” said winning driver Brian Sears. “The trip I got, I could not have drawn it up any better. Maybe I should have tipped him three deep a little earlier than I did. When I did tip out it made the 9 horse (Lionel) worked a little harder. Perhaps if I had waited until the top of the stretch my horse would have gotten to him sooner. “He just raced super,” Sears said. “He got the trip that he needed. It’s just awesome today. To win the International Trot is great. This was my fourth time in the race. You don’t get that many chances to compete at this level. To win this today is quite a thrill.” “We did the qualifiers at Pocono,” said trainer Marcus Melander. “And we really did not know if they were enough for him to get ready for this race. He showed up today in good shape. “We train our horses a lot,” Melander said. “He was use to the extra distance racing from Sweden.” Warrawee Roo and Dube take $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot With a huge three-wide move from fourth place, Warrawee Roo and driver Daniel Dube was able to collar pacesetter Gruden and go on to win the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. Gruden, at 22-1, and driver Tim Tetrick grabbed the lead away from In Secret (George Brennan) to start off the seven race one and one-quarter mile race and led the field past the opening quarter in :28.1 and the half mile in :57. Yes Mickey and driver Jason Barlett had started up first-over with Warrawee Roo following the outside flow second-over as they past the three-quarters in 1:27. Then at the one-mile mark in the race at 1:56, Dube moved Warrawee Roo three-wide, clearing by Yes Mickey and then collaring Gruden as they started down the stretch. Warrawee Roo then has plenty of trot in the stretch, holding off Tap Flight Angel (Andy Miller) to win by one length in 2:25.2 with Gruden third. Winless in his last seven starts, Warrawee Roo, a five-year-old stallion by Majestic Son, posted his fourth win of the year for trainer Luc Blais and the Determination Stable of Montreal, Canada. He paid $10.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

It was a big harness racing day for driver Brian Sears at Yonkers Raceway Saturday afternoon. After capturing the $1 million International Trot with Cruzado Dela Noche, Sears then came back in the 11th race $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace to win with ease with McWicked. It was Mach It So (Jason Bartlett) who flew out of the starting gate to take command and then Nuclear Dragon and driver Tim Tetrick came right after Mach It So to control the pace at the first quarter in :27. As they came past the grandstand the first time, Sear came out with McWicked and started to grind his way towards the leaders at the half mile in :55.3. Following second-over was Bit Of A legend with driver Jordan Stratton. Then in the backstretch, McWicked was able to overpower Mach It So and take command with ease going to the three-quarters in 1:22.4. From there is was all McWicked as he pulled away in the stretch to win by four open lengths in 1:50.4. Bit Of A Legend was second with Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) third. “He always gives a great effort,” Sears said after the race. “I was OK with getting away third and I knew we would have to come first up and he just makes it look so easy. I don’t want to always come first up with him, but today he was OK. He is just so easy to drive.” A seven-year-old stallion by McArdle, it was the ninth win this year for McWicked. He is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by Ed James SSG Stable of North Boston, NY. He paid $2.90 to win as the race favorite with the scratch of Lazarus from the race on Friday. McWicked now sports 31 career wins in 90 starts and lifetime earnings of $3.500,376. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter has confirmed that Lazarus has been scratched sick from the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace at Yonkers Raceway Saturday afternoon. “He started coughing yesterday and continued today,” Takter said. “I was not going to take any chances of hurting him. Now we can make sure he is OK for the Breeders Crown.” Lazarus was to start from post six and rival McWicked drew inside of him (post 2) for their fifth battle. The score now is tied 2-2. The two horses should battle once again in the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Coral Springs, FL – Harness racing driver Bruce Ranger was once the King of the Pompano Park track in south Florida and before that was the top driver in Maine for years. During his illustrious career he competed in nearly 50,000 races with 8,916 wins and purses won at $36,453,179. Then on June 27, 2015 after he finished fourth in the last race with Master Of Puppets at Pompano Park, Bruce Ranger walked away from harness racing. “I was beat back then,” Ranger explained. “Too many accidents, too many mornings jogging or training 15 to 20 horses, then driving in ten or more races at night. My back especially was so sore that I knew it was time to stop.” Ranger returned to his home state of Maine and began rehabilitation, living in Lewiston. He rested up, started to heal and even got married on September 23, 2016 to Mary Beth Beauregard. Now enters Joe Morris in the picture. “My cousin Joe Morris is the one who owns the starting gates up here and it was him that helped get me to get my license and get the job starting the races on the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added. “If It was anyone else other than him I would have said no thank you,” Ranger said. “If anything, it gave me a reason to see him more often. He is my favorite cousin since I was a kid and has helped me in the past.” Now, gone from competing in harness racing for more than three years, Bruce Ranger is returning to the races once again as a driver. His first appearance will be aboard Miss American Bi in the fourth race trot at Scarborough Downs in Maine on Saturday. It’s the $56,437 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. He has one other drive on card in the sixth race, with Saratoga Liz (post two) in the $89,311 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies. Both horses are trained by Kim Ireland. “Here comes cousin Joe Morris again,” Ranger said. “He owns Saratoga Liz and put me down to drive and I also got another one of Kim’s (Ireland) horses.” After being away from racing for more than three years, Ranger is making his comeback with a bang in a couple of major stakes races.  “I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I was very fortunate to get the chance to learn and become a starting judge and then was able to get hired as the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit this summer. “I really enjoyed being the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added. “It peaked my interest to get back on a sulky and drive. But, first I had to get back in shape again. I ate too much of that great Fair food every weekend.” Getting back in shape for Ranger has been enjoyable. “During the winters I do a lot of skiing,” Ranger said. “And when not working during the summer I love to go biking. It has really helped me get back into shape and both the skiing and biking is great fun. “I had really missed the changing of the seasons and wintertime,” Ranger said. “I’d rather be working a snow blower than jogging horses. So, what are Bruce Ranger’s plans for his return to driving? “Since I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I’ve been considering driving at Plainridge. They have some green now and their purses are much better than what is available in Maine. “Why not go down there and race for real money,” Ranger added. “I’ve been there before when they did not have any decent purses. It’s not that far away that I can make the trip. “I have to see how things go on Saturday,” Ranger said. “I could get behind a horse and right afterwards say “no more” and walk away again. I could also love it and want to do more. We’ll know after Saturday for sure.” When asked about returning to Pompano Park in Florida where Ranger won more than half of his 8,916 career wins, Ranger said “No thank you. I don’t want to race in the heat ever again. I was born and raised up here in New England and want to say around here.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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