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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

McWicked and driver Brian Sears paced the second fastest mile in the history of harness racing with a 1:46.2 victory over Lazarus in the $179,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace at the Red Mile Saturday. The eighth race feature saw Western Fame and driver Brett Miller leave from post nine and take the early lead away from Filbuster Hanover (Matt Kakaley). Also, on the move was Australian import Heaven Rocks and driver David Miller and by the opening quarter mile in :26.1 they were in command of the field. Past the half mile marker in :52.1, Filibuster Hanover and Kakaley started up first-over and was followed on the outside by McWicked and Sears. Following McWicked third over was Lazarus (Yannick Gingras). They raced past the three-quarters in 1:19.1 as McWicked and then Lazarus started to fan out and come after Heaven Rocks. McWicked was able to collar and pass by Heaven Rocks in the stretch and then hold off Lazarus to win by one length in 1:46.2. Filibuster Hanover was third. It was a lifetime record for McWicked and the $89,500 winners share of the purse pushed his earnings over $1 million in 2018 for trainer Casie Coleman and the SSG Stables of North Boston, NY.   McWicked has now tied his rivalry with Lazarus at 2-2. To see the race click here.  Sired by McArdle, McWicked is seven years old and now sports career earnings of $3,375,376. He paid $5.00 to win. “This horse,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “I’ve never had one this old before and wow, 1:46.2, I’ve never had a horse go that fast and that makes him pretty special. “I’ve always liked this big horse,” Coleman added. “When we got him at age 3 he earned $1.5 million and won some of the big stakes races. He still racing now and going strong. “We got invited to Yonkers next week to race for a half a million,” Coleman said. “I didn’t think the owner wanted to go there but he said yes so it looks like we are going to Yonkers.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

Alexa’s Power proved to be the strong horse Wednesday as she overpowered pacesetter Strong Opinion at the top of the stretch to capture the 48th annual $230,7000 Jugette at Delaware, Ohio. The classic grand circuit event for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies saw the 19th race feature began with betting favorite Youaremycandygirl and driver Yannick Gingras going off-stride at the start of the race and was never in contention. Strong Opinion and driver Chris Page go right to the front from post one with Alexa’s Power and driver Tim Tetrick grabbing the two-hole spot as they sped to the opening quarter mile in :26.4. Then coming to the half mile marker, driver Tim Tetrick came out from the inside in post two and sit there as no one was coming from behind to force him to go on as they went to the half in :55.2. E Dee’s Well Said (Jim Pantaleano) at 62-1 odds, filled the gap behind Strong Opinion. Going to the three-quarters in 1:22.4, Strong Opinion was still in command with Alexa’s Power stalking them on the outside. Then in the stretch, Alexa’s Power and Tetrick wore down Strong Opinion and went on to win by one length in 1:51.2. E Dee’s Well Said came on for second place with Strong Opinion third. “I had about 100 ideas flowing through my head behind the starting gate,” said winning driver Tim Tetrick. “I saw Yannick’s (Gingras) horse (Youaremycandygirl) make a misstep and I didn’t want to fall too far back so we went to the two-hole and figured to outmuscle most of them from there. “She really raced her butt off today,” Tetrick said. “She was just super.” Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, it was the 9th win in 15 starts this year for Alexa’s Power. She is trained by Jim Campbell and owned and bred by Jeffery and Michael Snyder of New York, NY. She paid $3.80 to win. “This is my first Jugette,” said winning trainer Jim Campbell. “It’s so exciting. We’ve had a really good year with Alexa all season, Timmy has driven her since her first qualifier. We have had a lot of fun and this win is the best.” Jim Campbell did say that they had made an equipment change on Alexa’s Power, adding a pull-down bridle that she was using for the first time today. This year’s Jugette was named in Memory of Hall of Fame Communicator, Laverne A. Hill. To see the 2018 Jugette replay go to https://youtu.be/emEv23NX-io On Thursday is the $627,000 Little Brown Jug for the colts with two elimination divisions followed by heats until one horse has won twice. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Monticello, NY - With just seven two-year-old pacing fillies entered for the New York Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway Monday, they will race for the entire pot with a purse of $108,300. It will be quite a battle in the seventh race feature between Zero Tolerance (PP2) and So Awesome (PP5). Zero Tolerance, a daughter of Heston Blue Chip, is on a four-race winning streak for trainer Joe Holloway. She has won five of her six starts this year and her lone loss was by a neck. She has a record this year of 1:51.3 taken at Vernon Downs. David Miller is again in the sulky with Zero Tolerance. She is owned by Val D'Or Farms of Freehold, NJ and Ted Gewertz of NY. So Awesome will have Jim Morrill, Jr. in the bike as she has won three of her last four starts. Her loss coming at the hands of Zero Tolerance. Trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner William Hart of Carmel, Maine, So Awesome has yet to lose when racing on the lead and the So Surreal filly has a record of 1:53.3 at Saratoga Raceway. Another major contender in the race is ST Somewhere, who starts from the rail for driver Yannick Gingras. This American Ideal daughter has won three of her last five starts for trainer Ron Burke with a record of 1:52.2 at Tioga Downs. Her last two losses have come from both Zero Tolerance and So Awesome. Completing the field are Hurrikane Norakane (post three), Ladybeluckytonite (post four), Topville Angelina (post six) and Brooklyn Lilacs (post seven). There are two $15,000 Excelsior Series A divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies in the second and ninth races. Boogie Roll (post three) is the morning line favorite for driver Tyler Buter in the second race and is on a two-race winning streak for trainer Buzzy Sholty. She takes on Major Frost (post one) and Joe's Girl (post two). In the ninth race, Siesta Beach (post two) is the favorite for driver Jim Morrill, Jr. and two starts back scored a lifetime mark of 1:55.1. The daughter of American Ideal goes against Under The Hood (post one) and return winner Dorothy's Legacy (post eight). The race card also features one Excelsior Series B division in the fifth race where Justabitofcharm looms over the field. The Heston Blue Chip filly has won five of her last six starts, the fastest in 1:54.4 at Vernon Downs. She will be driven by Jason Bartlett for owner, trainer and breeder, Kelly Hastings of Columbus, NJ. First race post time Monday is 12:50 pm. For more information, visit www.monticelloraceway.com. By Steve Wolf, for Monticello Raceway

Stay Hungry has now won two of the three jewels of harness racing’s Triple Crown for pacers and Six Pack won the Triple Crown jewel, the Yonkers Trot, to headline an actioned packed card at Yonkers Raceway. In the seventh race $500,000 Messenger Stakes for three-year-old pacers it was Babes Dig Me and driver George Brennan getting the early lead, but driver Doug McNair had Stay Hungry on the move and they took command by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Coming around the second turn, driver Louis Philippe Roy came first-over from fourth place with Jimmy Freight and took off after Stay Hungry and that became a dogfight going to the half mile in :55.3 as McNair would not let Roy get by him. Those two continued their battle down the backstretch to the three-quarters in 1:23 and in the stretch Jimmy Freight tried but could not catch Stay Hungry who went on to win by a neck over Jimmy Freight in 1:52.1. Topville Olympian (Jim Morrill, Jr.) was third. It was the fourth win in ten starts for Stay Hungry, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, trained by Tony Alagna and owned by Bradly Grant of Milton, ON and the Estate of Irwin Samelman of Las Vegas, NV. He paid $7.80 to win. “The front end is usually not his forte,” Doug McNair said of Stay Hungry. “But he did it tonight. He’s very relaxed, you can drive him with two fingers. Tony (Alagna) does such a great job training him. “The last 16th we were both tired,” McNair said. “We had gone head and head for a half mile or so and in that last 16th my horse was lucky to hold on.” “It may not be his forte to go on the front end,” Alagna said. “But I knew he (Stay Hungry) could handle a half mile.  After he won the Cane Pace it was a no-brainer that we were going after the Triple Crown, that’s why we brought him here tonight. “Cat Manzi, who works for me,” Alagna explained,” brought him here a week before the eliminations and trained him so we had his gear set to go. He did a great job helping me get him ready.” Alagna said they would discuss whether to take Stay Hungry up north to Toronto for the Simcoe Stake next week or just give him a rest before going for the final jewel of the pacing triple crown, the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio on Thursday, September 20. Stay Hungry Stay Hungry Interview Six Pack easy winner in $500,000 Yonkers Trot Six Pack and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt were able to score a seven and three-quarters length romp in capturing the 64th edition of the Yonkers Trot, the second leg of harness racing’s Trotting Triple Crown, Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The purse was $500,000. It was Lindsey’s Pride and driver Marcus Miller who shot out to the early lead and parked out Six Pack and Svanstedt to the opening quarter mile in :28.4. Once on the lead, Six Pack was on cruise control for Svanstedt, holding the field at bay past the half mile in :58.1. Heading to the backstretch, Helpisontheway (Jim Morrill, Jr.) came first-over with Maxus (Mark MacDonald) second over. In the backstretch, Svanstedt opened up on the field with Six Pack at the three-quarters in 1:26.3 and they went on to win with ease in 1:54. Helpisontheway was second with Lindsey’s Pride third. The time of the race was the fastest Yonkers Trot ever at the track. It was the sixth win in nine starts this year for Six Pack, who paid just $2.50 to win. The son of Muscle Mass is co-owned by Ake Svanstedt with Little E LLC of NY, Stall Kalmar of Sweden and Lars Berg of DE. “The good horses (Six Pack) are good at age 2 and get better at age 3.” Svanstedt said. “The horse to beat was #1 (Helpisontheway). I was not worried about the horse in front of me early. “Now we (Six Pack) have two New York Sire Stakes to race in to make the final,” Svanstedt said. “Then we will supplement to the Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile.” Six Pack World Record tied in $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot   The fourth race Hudson Filly Trot Final for three-year-old’s saw Plunge Blue Chip, the 1/5 betting favorite and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt barely hold off Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) by a long nose in 1:53.1. The clocking was not only the all age track record at Yonkers, but it also tied the world record set in 2013 by Frau Blucher. The previous all age track record at Yonkers was set by Quick Deal at 1:53.2 in 2013. Svanstedt left quickly from post one with Plunge Blue Chip and held the field at bay through quarters of :27.3; :55.3 and 1:23.2 before Miller was able to catch up with Supergirl Riley in the two-hole. Supergirl Riley made it a horse race down the stretch but Plunge Blue Chip had just enough left to win it at the wire. Lucky Ave (Daniel Dube) was third. It was the fourth win in nine starts this year for Plunge Blue Chip, a daughter of Muscle Mass. She is co-owned by Svanstedt of Wrightowns, NJ, Blue Chip Bloodstock, NY, Tomas Anderson, Sweden and Rick Zeron of ON. She paid $2.50 to win. “She had been pulling too much the first half,” Svanstedt said. “So, we made some changes. She is very well gaited so that is why she does so well on smaller tracks. She is very good now.” Favorite wins $112,904 Lady Maud Pace The fifth race Lady Maud Final for three-year-old pacing fillies started out with Better Than Happy and driver Joe Bongiorno taking the early lead from the rail with 1/5 favorite Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill, Jr,) sitting right on their backs to the opening quarter mile in :27.4. They raced Indian-style to the half mile in :57.1 when Jewels Forreal and driver George Brennan started up first-over with Majorette Angie (Brian Sears) following second-over. Once in the backstretch, Morrill pulled from the pocket and barely got out in front of Jewels Forreal and Alexis Faith cleared to the lead past the three-quarters in 1:25.3. Opening up two lengths on the field, Alexis Faith and Morrill cruised to the wire, holding off a late charge by Solitary (Jim Marohn, Jr.) to win by a half length in 1:53.4. Jewels Forreal was third. Sired by American Ideal, Alexis Faith is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by the West Wins Stable and Jim Fielding of ON, J Robert Darrow of OH and Kevin McKinlay of ON. She paid $2.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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