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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Wagering at the Meadowlands has been on the increase in recent weeks, with last Saturday's $2.913 million the biggest number during the recently-concluded 2019 Fall Meeting. On Friday night at the Big M, on the second day of the 2020 Winter Meeting, betting surpassed the magic $3-million mark, with all-source wagering that totaled $3,069,967. Play was consistent throughout the 14-race card, with two races, the first and eighth, both seeing betting in excess of $290,000. The first was helped by a healthy 50-cent Pick-5 pool of $58,789, while the eighth saw vigorous play in the 50-cent Pick-4 of $109,615. PAPPY GO GO WINS AGAIN: Maybe the classy veteran Pappy Go Go isn't all the way back to his best just yet. But if he isn't, he sure is close. The 6-year-old gelded son of Tad The Stud-Paging Willy won his second straight after failing in his previous eight starts, scoring in the Friday night feature, a $25,000 high-range conditioned trot. Pappy Go Go was in tough, facing the likes of 9-5 favorite JL Cruze, who was off consecutive third-place finishes to the top-notch Preferred-caliber Southwind Chrome, and 2-1 second choice Sutton, the half-millionaire who was getting some class relief in his third start back from a layoff. The race played out in unspectacular fashion as JL Cruze, the first trotter ever to break the 1:50 barrier (in 2015) on the trot at the Meadowlands, sailed along on the point past the quarter in :27.2 and half in :55.2 with Sutton in the pocket and Pappy Go Go the three hole. Driver Corey Callahan moved Pappy Go Go to the outside with three-eighths of a mile to go and chipped away at JL Cruze's advantage as they hit three-quarters in 1:24.1. Through the stretch, JL Cruze was game, but could not deal with Pappy Go Go, as he edged clear in deep stretch to win by three-quarters-of-a-length over a fast-closing Kenziesky Hanover in 1:52.3 over a track labeled 'good' with a -1 variant. JL Cruze held third. Sutton weakened to fifth.   "He's at his best off the layoff," said winning trainer Andrew Harris of Pappy Go Go, who was making his third start back after three months on the shelf. "He's fresh. He has the same speed in the winter as he did in the summer, so we tried to time his break to hopefully allow us to benefit from that. Right now, the way he's looking, there's nothing in training that scares me. He's no layover by any means, but if he gets his trip, he'll pounce on them." As the third choice in the wagering, Pappy Go Go returned $8.60 to his backers, and has now won 31 of 82 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $230,797 for owners Michael Goldberg Racing. A LITTLE MORE: The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 continues to pay big numbers, and Friday was no exception. One Ontario-hub player that lasted eight legs in the bet walked away with $13,034. ... Harris trained two other winners on the program, giving him his second consecutive three-score Friday. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Circling four foes during the mile Majian Tango reached up in the stretch drive to win the featured Open Trot Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The $2,300 Open trot class saw Star Photo (Driven by Jason Hughes) strike the lead and lay down healthy splits of 30, 1:00.1 and 1:30.2 while Majian Tango and driver Jim Ripley commenced their move from fifth place in the field of sixth. The five-year-old Tad The Stud gelding found himself just two lengths back at the head of stretch in the middle of unleashing a 29.1 personal closing quarter to best the field by half-a-length in 2:00.2. Star Photo was second with Hop Up (Corey MacPherson) finishing third. Ripley trains Majian Tango for owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S. The win was number four of the season and number 17 lifetime for the trotter from just 50 career starts. The Canadian Police Knowledge Network 2019 pace saw a front stepping Bayside Alexis easily win the $1,400 event by three-and-a-half lengths in 1:59. Driver Kenny Arsenault engineered the winning score for owner-trainer Scott Dunn of Montague. The three-year-old daughter of Westwardho Hanover was the heavy favourite in the class as she finished on top of the triactor that included Sandhill Star (Ken Murphy) and Better Be In Love (Campbell). Go to www.Redshores.ca for race replays and more. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - After mild upsets in the last two Open trots Majian Tango has the target on his back for his third attempt Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 12-dash Thursday harness racing card gets underway at 6:30 P.M., with the $2,250 Open Trot lining up in race 8. Ever since the emergence of Star Photo, the rivalry has been between him and Freddie but Majian Tango added another layer to the class when he bested that pair in the last two additions. Majian Tango is now handicapped to post 5 in the field of as many Thursday evening with Jim Ripley back in the bike for owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S. The five-year-old son of Tad The Stud has yet to miss the triactor ticket in eight tries this season. Red Shores track trotting record holder Freddie has post four in line to Marc Campbell while Star Photo and Jason Hughes leave from post 3. Race analyst Les MacIsaac is siding with Majian Tango for the top spot again this week. "Majian Tango kicked home in 28 and change to win his last two and with his rallying style these short fields are proving to be right up his alley," MacIsaac said. "Don't rule out a threepeat."  Also in the field is Suicide Shift (Driven By Steven Shepherd) and Frill Seeker (Kenny Arsenault). Goodmorning Ky has rail control in the top pace of the evening in race 11 with Ken Murphy in the bike for trainer Frank Banks of Summerside. The $2,200 event has other top entries in Outrageous Spirit (Gordie Hennessey) and Miss Sangria (Adam Merner). The final dash of the card will see the East Coast debut of Eataamup Cassandra with Campbell handling the driving duties for new owner Ralph Sweet of O'Leary. The five-year-old daughter of Black Tie Hanover was just a winner in 1:57 over Clinton Raceway in Ontario with Charlottetown native Drew Neill doing the driving on that day. For race programs and live video go to redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Hop Up has dominated the Open Trot the past month but faces her biggest harness racing test to date Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the 12-dash card with Hop Up riding into the race 8 Open trot with just one blemish in the last 30 days. The $1,950 class has Hop Up racing off the rail for the dynamite duo of driver Corey MacPherson and owner-trainer Keith Campbell of Victoria West. The four-year-old daughter of Tad The Stud has four wins in her last five outings including the $2,500 Andrew Perry Invitational trot at Red Shores Summerside during Governor's Plate Week. Her competition stiffens this week though with the return of the previously dominant Freddie, who leaves from post 4 for driver Marc Campbell and trainer Bo Ford. Isabella Hanover (Driven by Adam Merner) won this class during Hop Up's lone defeat on July 19 but trainer Stephen Gass will remove the mare from the Lasix program for her Thursday start from post 2 after being outgunned her last start out. Race analyst Les MacIsaac looks to Freddie to hit the winner's circle after being freshened from his vacation. "Freddie has been on hiatus for a month which was good news for the other trotters," MacIsaac said. "Well, he's back and off that recent qualifier clearly the one to beat." Other Open Trot entries include Majian Tango (Jim Ripley), Wedgewood (Gary Chappell), Professor Gordon (Jason Hughes) and Holy Molie Maggie (Walter Cheverie). The Uncle Pat McWade Memorial is the featured pace closing the card out in race 12. Jackson K Down has drawn post 4 after demolishing his competition in his last start and again will have the services of driver MacPherson for trainer Stephen Mason. Nogreatmischief is the morning line choice form post 3 for trainer-driver Cheverie, while last year's two-year-old Red Shores Charlottetown track record holder Half Cut has rail control for driver Mark Bradley and trainer Tom Weatherbie as he takes a break from three-year-old stakes action. Race 10 is the Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation pace with Bettim Vicky the morning line choice from post 1 for driver Gilles Barrieau and trainer Jeff Lilley. Nikes Cowgirl headlines a tough group of mares in race 9 for driver Campbell and trainer Ford in the Next Gen 2 pace. For more information check out www.Redshores.ca. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

The first events of 2016 race season took place for the Atlantic Sires Stakes - Meridian Farms trotting series at Summerside Raceway on Tuesday, with five events being featured on the evening harness racing card. Windemerepartyman captured the first two-year-old trotting event for owners Ralph Annear and Jack Panting of Montague, PE. Panting took care of the driving duties for the black colt by Nureyev in the $6400 division. Gary Chappell drove home Wicked Nick for a first place finish in their two-year-old event. The two-year-old trotter by Tad The Stud is owned by Peter Buchanan of North Wiltshire, PE and Cameron Trial of O'Leary. The final two-year-old event went to Play Along and owner-trainer-driver Trevor Easter. The duo crossed the finish line in 2:05.4. This two-year-old is also by Tad The Stud. Meanwhile, two $8820 divisions for the three-year-old trotters also took place on the evening card. Mr Bower (Meadowagogo) and trainer-driver Kenny Arsenault captured their division for owner Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PE. The final Atlantic Sires Stakes - Meridian Farms event went to Dunmore Ace (Black River) and driver Jack Panting. Ownership papers on the three-year-old trotter are held by Ralph Annear. Atlantic Sires Stakes racing action continues this evening at Summerside Raceway with the two-year-old pacing fillies. First race post time is 7 pm. Lynne MacLennan  

A few fresh faces along with the top stallions in Atlantic Canadian harness racing dot the list of eligible horses for the 2016 Atlantic Sires Stakes breeding season. A total of 21 studs are paid into the program with the deadline on Jan. 31 to pay horses in for the breeding season, though late nominations can be made. On the trot side, the sire of the top money earning two-year-old trotter of the 2015 season is back in the game after a one-year hiatus from the program. Neal is back at stallion duty for Meridian Farms of Milton after siring top two-year-old trotter High Bid. From just his first racing crop in 2015, Neal, a grand circuit stakes winner in his own right, sired five stakes winners from just eight foals. A new addition to the program for 2016 is Striking Lindsey, standing at Blair Campbell's Camco Farms in North Wiltshire. The 10-year-old son of Striking Sahbra was a winner of 18 races and $628,128 in purses while taking a mark of 1:54.1 at Mohawk Raceway. He was trained exclusively by Gregg McNair in his career, while winning a $120,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final and finishing second in the $300,000 O.S.S. Super Final. The horse is owned by Howmac Farms of North Wiltshire. Tad The Stud returns to stud for another year at Meridian Farms. The Windsong's Legacy stud has his first crop of 12 two-year-olds currently training down while he bred 14 mares last season. Millionaire trotter Armbro Barrister also returns at Meridian Farms for 2016. The richest son of Malabar Man, Armbro Barrister bred 26 mares during the 2015 season. Black River stands in Kensington for owners Sandra and Garth Cole. The 19-year-old son of Donerail has a long list of top stakes performers, including Maritime champions like 2005 champion two-year-old trotter Maple Leaf Noble, 2004 champion Dunmore TCB, 2006 champion Dunmore TKO and 2004-2005 champion Rustico Red River. The trotting side has a real rarity as the sires of both 2015 Atlantic Breeders Crown trot final winners are not paid into the program for the 2016 breeding season. Paymenowpaymelater captured the three-year-old Atlantic Breeder's Crown trot last season but her sire, Northern Bailey, is no longer standing stud on P.E.I. and is not paid into the program after being sold to Wisconsin. Northern Bailey had been one of the most successful trot stallions in the past eight years of the program with Maritime champions Waiting On A Woman, Oceanview Kate, Seanchai, JK Blaze, Tyne Valley, My Daisy Duke and Rash Statement. Not to mention Est Non Ila Dulcis, the fastest Maritime Bred trotter ever in the Maritimes. Northern Bailey bred 11 mares in 2015 while standing at Camco Farms. Last year's two-year-old trot winner Glencove Zani also has his father, Bo W, absent from the program this breeding season. Owned by Carl Bagnall of Stratford, Bo W had just one foal in 2015 and was bred to four mares. Besides Glencove Zani, Bo W has also sired 2012 Maritime Champion Sweetwater Rukkus. Also missing from the program after standing in 2015 is Delcrest Julian. Last season was the first year at stud for the son of Oaklea Julian, who bred just four mares while stationed at Meridian Farms. Next week, we will take a look at the pacing side of the 2016 stallion roster. Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at nicholasoakes@hotmail.com. By Nicholas Oakes Reprinted with permission of the theguardian.pe.ca  website  

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