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Harness Racing This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Hambletonian Oaks, Jim Doherty Memorial and Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations and Reynolds Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Spirit of Massachusetts and Clara Barton, Plainridge Racecourse, Plainville, Mass. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Friday (July 26) at The Meadows as the track will feature three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters and three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday (July 27) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final for 3-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $120,000 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $63,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $53,468 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters, two divisions in the $47,970 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers and a single $40,000 division in the Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer three sets of elimination races this week, with finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 3). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host three $20,000 eliminations in the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters and two $20,000 eliminations in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters as well as a single $81,200 W.N. Reynolds Memorial division for 3-year-old male trotters. Action concludes on Sunday (July 28) at Plainridge with the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts for older trotters and the $100,000 Clara Barton for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The defending Horse of the Year McWicked (McArdle) came to town for the first time on Saturday night (July 20) to compete in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Casie Coleman-trained McWicked earned more than $1.5 million in his award-winning 2018 campaign but recorded only one win in his first five starts in '19 before heading into the season's richest race at the Spa. Hall of Famer Brian Sears was in to drive McWicked and gave the classy 8-year-old pacer a second-over trip. With the race's favorite This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) on the front end and rival None Bettor A (Joe Bongiorno) in the pocket spot, McWicked fanned off his cover after the three-quarter time popped up in 1:23.1. This Is The Plan faced a two-pronged challenge in the stretch and it was McWicked who proved fastest of all, securing the biggest win of his season by stopping the timer in 1:50.4. This Is The Plan was the runner-up while None Bettor A had to settle for third. McWicked, who is owned by S S G Stables of North Boston, N.Y., became the 11th winner of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial since it was started in 2009. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 527; 2. Yannick Gingras - 396; 3. Dexter Dunn - 257; 4. David Miller - 244; 5. Jason Bartlett - 226. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 443; 2. Tony Alagna - 237; 3. Jim King Jr. - 209; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 169; 5. Marcus Melander - 160. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 112; 2. Brad Grant - 95.7; 3. Howard Taylor - 77.1; 4. Jo Ann Looney-King - 75.3; 5. Burke Racing Stable - 74.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The track will host ten Grand Circuit events, led by the $1 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, and the $300,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Joe Gerrity Memorial, Saratoga Casino Hotel, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Nadia Lobell, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Delvin Miller Adios eliminations, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Tompkins-Geers and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will be held this weekend at four different racetracks. Action begins on Friday (July 19) at Harrah's Hoosier Park with the $150,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. Meadowlands Racetrack on Friday hosts the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be three $10,000 divisions for 2-year-old trotting colts, two $10,000 divisions for 2-year-old pacing colts and single $10,000 divisions for 2-year-old pacing fillies and trotting fillies. On Saturday (July 20), the Meadowlands card will offer two divisions in the $100,900 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting colts and two divisions in the $93,600 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Also on Saturday, Saratoga will host their marquee event, the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial for older pacers. Finally, The Meadows on Saturday will offer a trio of $25,000 eliminations for the Devlin Miller Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers. The $400,000 Adios final the following Saturday afternoon anchors a blockbuster card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: What a week for trainer Linda Toscano. On Sunday evening (July 7), the trainer gave a gracious acceptance speech at her induction into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., and on Saturday night (July 13), she stood in the winner's circle after Best In Show pulled a 27-1 upset in the $682,650 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. It was the perfect bookend to a seven-day span she'll never forget. "This is another one I never dreamed of," Toscano said after becoming the first female trainer to win the Pace. "This is home for me. This is awesome." Best In Show rallied up the inside to edge Bettor's Wish in the 2019 Meadowlands Pace. Lisa photo. In a thrilling finish, Best In Show slipped through an opening on the rail to defeat his more heralded rivals. He got up by a head over Bettor's Wish, the brave first-over challenger who couldn't have raced much better. Right in the mix was Workin Ona Mystery in third, with the pacesetting Captain Crunch, the North America Cup winner and the 1-2 favorite in the Pace, a close-up fourth in the blanket finish. The time was 1:48 on the warm evening for the track's signature race. Brian Sears, also a Hall of Famer, gave Best In Show a perfect ground-saving drive. Best In Show left alertly before readily yielding to let the favorites duke it out while settling into fourth. "I knew they were racing pretty good," Sears said. "It was all the horses to beat and they were going at it. I was pretty content. I wanted to sneak him around there a little bit. I got a little opening, and he fired for me." And he fired up the toteboard. Best In Show paid $56.20, $14.40 and $6.80. Bettor's Wish returned $4.00 and $2.80. Workin Ona Mystery paid $3.80 to show. The time was 1:48 after clipping through aggressive fractions of :26.2, :52.4 and a blazing 1:19.3 to the three-quarter pole. It was fourth win in 12 lifetime starts for Best In Show, who competed in a non-winners of two races condition as recently as May. "We knew he was a nice colt last year and he got a little colt sore on us," Toscano said. "We shut him down, brought him back and he's done everything right." Best In Show has been rapidly making up for that lost time. The son of Bettor's Delight out of Put On A Show races as a homebred for owners Richard Young and Joanne Young. He turned in a pair of second-place finishes in his previous two starts, an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold and his Pace elimination behind Bettor's Wish. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 481; 2. Yannick Gingras - 344; 3. Dexter Dunn - 230; 4. Jason Bartlett - 226; 5. David Miller - 210. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 393; 2. Jim King Jr. - 209; 3. Tony Alagna - 192; 4. Chris Ryder - 138; 5. Marcus Melander - 125. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 107; 2. Brad Grant - 86.9; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 75.3; 4. Tim Tetrick LLC - 71.8; 5. Howard Taylor - 67.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadows, Plainridge Racecourse and Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadows will host eight Grand Circuit events, led by the final of the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacing colts. Plainridge will card the Spirit of Massachusetts for older trotters and the Clara Barton for older pacing mares. Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations for three lucrative stakes, led by the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, as well as the Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt trotters. Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager

Plainville, MA --- The Grand Circuit makes a mid-summer stop at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28) for two major harness racing stakes on its calendar this year. The first is the second edition of the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot for for 3-year-old and older trotters and the second is the new $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace for 3-year-old and older fillies and mares. Both races are presented by Plainridge Park Casino and the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE). These races will be contested on a special matinee card that will get underway at 2 p.m. and also feature some of the top local trotting and pacing talent and horsemen that compete regularly in New England. Besides offering a great slate of racing on the track, there will also be plenty of activities for those of all ages who attend that day between races and feature a special guest to help cover the event. Bob Neumeier of NBC Sports and Comcast Sports New England will be the host of the live track and simulcast feeds, covering all the action and giving his expert opinions. Neumeier's wealth of knowledge about horse racing will provide everyone with great insight to the days card and in depth analysis after each race. There will be a reception in the Boylston and Newbury Rooms, located on the second level of the grandstand from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for owners, their guests and VIP's of the two main stakes. Then there will be a full buffet provided immidiately after starting at 2:30 p.m. There will be a great giveaway item available for the fans on hand. An insulated cooler bag will be given out at the door while supplies last. This item is sponsored by Plainridge Park, the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts, the HHANE, Lindy Farms, Embroidery Unlimited, the Hambletonian Society & Hawthorne Suites (Franklin, MA) and will feature the logos of all the sponsors. The Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts will be on hand with a mare and foal on display on the grass in the homestretch park for a meet and greet with all who would wish to stop by. Their members will also be able to provide information about the robust Standardbred breeding program in the state of Massachusetts. The HHANE has invited the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association (MHHA) to join the festivities and they are bringing their wildly popular Virtual Race Simulator that allows anyone to climb into the race bike and drive their horse to victory in virtual reality. This simulator has been traveling from track to track all summer and has been a major attraction wherever it shows up. Between races you can relax and handicap the next event to the music of The Berkshire Valley Boys who are a great local band that will provide entertainment throughout the day on the apron. Finally, there will also be Caricature Artists on hand who will be drawing your likeness free of charge. The Spirit of Massachusetts day program promises to be the best ever held at Plainridge Park and one the whole family can enjoy. For more information on live harness racing at Plainridge Park and both of these stakes please log onto www.plainridgeparkcasino.com and www.hhane.com.   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Harness Racing This Week: Meadowlands Pace, Hambletonian Maturity, W.R. Haughton Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Delvin Miller Memorial, Golden Girls, Miss Versatility and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Lawrence B. Sheppard Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit week begins on Friday (July 12) at Meadowlands Racetrack with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters and a pair of $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters. The stakes heavy Saturday (July 13) Grand Circuit card at the Meadowlands features the $682,650 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds, the $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, the $423,000 W.R. Haughton Memorial for free for all pacers, two divisions in the $306,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, two divisions in the $250,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $207,700 Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $179,550 Golden Girls for older pacing mares, and a $40,000 division of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Saturday Grand Circuit action also includes the $120,250 Lawrence B. Sheppard for 2-year-old colt pacers at Yonkers Raceway. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: It appeared Lather Up barely broke a sweat as he paced his way into the history books with a 1:46 mile on Saturday evening (July 6) at The Meadowlands en route to his 20th career victory in the $250,000 Graduate final for 4-year-old pacers. Only Always B Miki, at age five in 2016 at Red Mile, has ever stopped the clock as swiftly. The mile also broke the previous mark of 1:46.4 for a 4-year-old pacer, held jointly by stallion Warrawee Needy in 2013 at The Meadowlands and gelding Dr J Hanover in 2017 at Mohawk. Lather Up paced his way into the history books with a 1:46 mile in the Graduate final. Lisa photo. Steered by Montrell Teague, the son of I'm Gorgeous-Pocket Comb enjoyed the perfect pocket journey behind Indiana champion Always A Prince (Brian Sears). That rival established torrid fractions of :25.3, :52 and 1:19.1 prior to being overhauled by Lather Up. The winner defeated a hard closing This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) by 2-1/4 lengths and Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) to procure his record-setting triumph. After his early efforts, Always A Prince held gamely for fourth. Owned by his breeders, Gary and Barbara Iles, Lather Up is conditioned by Clyde Francis. He entered this contest after a costly break at the half-mile pole in the $500,000 Ben Franklin final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 29 caused him to finish ninth. "I knew we were going to go a crazy mile," said Montrell Teague. "When I popped the pocket and my horse just sprinted I knew we were in a very good position. He throws in a couple bad races here and there but we showed how good he really is tonight. "It's monumental; it's amazing. Wiggles (2015 Horse of the Year and Teague standout Wiggle It Jiggleit) never did anything like that, but hats off to how good Lather Up really is." Lather Up has now amassed more than $1.18 million from 33 lifetime trips to the gate and sports a record of 8-5-0-1 for the season. Atlanta (Yannick Gingras) took the overland route to claim a world record triumph in 1:49.1 in the $250,000 Graduate final for 4-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands on Saturday. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip exploded in the lane to defeat world champion Six Pack (Ã…ke Svenstadt) and Indiana champion Custom Cantab (David Miller) at the wire. The time of 1:49.1 was the fastest ever for a trotting mare, besting the 1:49.2 mark put up in 2017 by Hannelore Hanover at Red Mile. It was also the fastest trotting mile ever at The Meadowlands. Leaving from post position four, Atlanta was unhurried as Manchego (Dexter Dunn) led the field of 10 through a swift opening quarter-mile of :26.2. That mare was overtaken by a first-over Six Pack shortly after that marker. Six Pack posted fractions of :54.1 and 1:22 as the field turned for home. Driven confidently by Gingras, Atlanta commenced her march on the outside from third place at the top of the stretch to best Six Pack by a neck in a cavalry charge to the finish line. "I can't say I was not worried turning for home," said Gingras. "His horse (Svanstedt with Six Pack) kicked clear and I know he's a tremendous horse too but this mare is just unreal. She just kept on digging. "Honestly I thought I was a winner at the eighth pole but his horse (Svanstedt's) just kept on fighting and at that point I wasn't so sure. When I tipped her off cover I really thought I was going to get him a little easier than I did but at the end of the day it was two great horses going at it and we came out on top." Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor, the 4-year-old mare is trained by Ron Burke. The 2018 Hambletonian winner now has earned more than $1.48 million in her career and is a perfect six-for-six in her 2019 campaign. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 391; 2. Yannick Gingras - 284; 3. Jason Bartlett - 216; 4. Dexter Dunn - 188; 5. David Miller - 160. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 333; 2. Jim King Jr. - 189; 3. Tony Alagna - 162; 4. Chris Ryder - 108; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 99. Owners: 1. Brad Grant - 81.1; 2. Jo Ann Looney-King - 68.6; 3. Tim Tetrick LLC - 65.1; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 60.4; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 60.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Saratoga Casino Hotel, Harrah's Hoosier Park, The Meadows and The Meadowlands. Saratoga will have the Joe Gerrity for older pacers; Hoosier will host the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers; The Meadows will have eliminations for the Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers; and The Meadowlands will host the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and Tompkins-Geers events for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow. publicity director, the Grand Circuit

Hightstown, NJ — Fiftydallarbill was a Breeders Crown harness racing champion at age 2 in 2017, but with most of his success coming at Indiana’s Hoosier Park, he still entered this year as a bit of an unknown as a Grand Circuit regular. But after equaling the fastest trotting mile of the season in his most recent race, the stallion could continue to enhance his recognition factor with another strong performance in Saturday’s (July 6) $250,000 Frank Zanzuccki Graduate Series final for 4-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands Racetrack. “He’s starting to make people pay attention to him a little bit,” owner John Barnard said. “He’s had a couple pretty big races, so people are giving him more respect, more attention, than when he was just in Indiana. When you trot in 1:50.2, you get a little more press.” Fiftydallarbill won his final preliminary round appearance in the Graduate Series on June 21 in 1:50.2 at The Meadowlands, beating Dan Patch Award winner Six Pack by a neck. In two earlier legs, he finished second to Crystal Fashion at Tioga Downs and second to Six Pack at the Big M. Between those starts, Fiftydallbill was third behind Guardian Angel As and Pinkman in the Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah’s Philadelphia. For the season, he has won three races and hit the board a total of seven times in eight starts. “I was really happy with his performance in the last (preliminary) leg of the Graduate,” Barnard said. “He’s shown he can compete with the best in the world. And the 4-year-olds are as tough as open company. I don’t have to go very far looking for competition, it’s right there. They’re not giving away any money. You’ve got to earn it.” Fiftydallarbill, a son of Swan For All out of CR Dixie Chick, has done his share of earning it. For his career, he has won 18 of 42 starts and banked $920,450. Prior to this year, all but one of his career victories came at Hoosier Park, including his Breeders Crown triumph and a 2018 Indiana Sire Stakes championship. Now, he is aiming to extend his success to racetracks across North America. The stallion is eligible to a number of Grand Circuit events including the Hambletonian Maturity, John Cashman Memorial, Spirit of Massachusetts, Maple Leaf Trot, Breeders Crown, and TVG Championship. “He’s been a great horse since he was 2,” Barnard said. “I knew he was something special probably three months before his race at Hoosier where he won the Breeders Crown. I went on the record with some people telling them that I thought he was a special horse and he was going to surprise people. “He gives you a total effort every time he goes on the racetrack. You can’t ask for any more than that. We’re having fun with him. He’s a great horse to be around. He’s got a great attitude and a great personality. He wants to go out every week and race. He loves to race, he loves the competition, and he loves what he does. To me, he’s turned out to be a warhorse. He’s shown a lot of heart.” Fiftydallarbill will start the Graduate final from post three with Corey Callahan in the sulky for trainer Katricia Adams. The 10-horse field also includes returning Trotter of the Year Atlanta, who is undefeated in five races this season, Six Pack, and millionaires Crystal Fashion and Manchego. “I don’t know how good (Fiftydallarbill) is yet,” Barnard said. “I guess we’re going to find out. I just want him to have the opportunity. I just want him to be in a position to win every week and then what happens, happens. That’s what horse racing is all about.” Saturday’s card also includes the $250,000 Dennis Drazin Graduate Series final for 4-year-old pacers, featuring Ben Franklin Pace winner This Is The Plan along with O’Brien Award winner Jimmy Freight and millionaires Courtly Choice and Lather Up. In addition, there will be two eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace. Racing begins at 6:35 p.m. (EDT). It is Fan Appreciation Night and fireworks will follow the races. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Harness Racing This Week: Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y.; Graduate Series finals, Meadowlands Pace eliminations, W. N. Reynolds Memorial, and Kindergarten Series, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Lawrence B. Sheppard eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: This week's Grand Circuit action opens on Friday (July 5) as Historic Track hosts six Landmark Stakes events. Races will be contested for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, as well as for 2-year-old trotters and 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit races will be contested this Friday and Saturday (July 6) at the Meadowlands. On Friday the Meadowlands will host two $10,000 divisions in the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt pacers and three $10,000 divisions in the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly pacers. The stakes heavy Saturday card features the $250,000 Graduate Series finals for 4-year-old pacers and trotters; a pair of $50,000 Meadowlands Pace elimination for 3-year-olds; and three divisions in the $96,999 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters. Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway has carded three $25,000 eliminations in the Lawrence B. Sheppard for 2-year-old male pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: This past weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Sun Stakes Saturday (June 29) program at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Marseille won the Beal by a head over Greenshoe. (Curtis Salonick photo). Ake Svanstedt expected his colt Marseille to follow heavy favorite Greenshoe in Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, but his plan never came to fruition. Instead, Marseille led from start to finish in the event for 3-year-old trotters to spring a 55-1 upset. Marseille won the Beal by a head over Greenshoe, the 1-9 favorite whose furious rally in the final sixteenth of a mile came up a stride short, in a time of 1:52.3 over a track labeled "good" to spark a $116 payout on a $2 win ticket. Green Manalishi S finished third. Marseille, a son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish, has won two of four races this season and two of eight in his career. He has earned $317,758 for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Order By Stable, and Howard Taylor. Shake That House and driver Brian Sears found a good spot early and an even better spot at the end of Saturday's $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers. Benefiting from a pocket trip behind pacesetting Captain Victorious, Shake That House moved off the pylons heading into the stretch and marched to a two length win over Brassy Hanover in 1:49.2. Captain Victorious finished third. Shake That House, a son of American Ideal-Shake That Junk, has won five of six races this year and eight of 14 in his career. He pushed his lifetime earnings to $410,903 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Alan Johnston, and Northfork Racing Stable. The colt paid $19.40 to win. The pocket rocket This Is The Plan prevailed on Sun Stakes Saturday night. He ducked inside pacesetting favorite Western Fame, went to the lead, then held off defending Ben Franklin champion McWicked to take this year's $500,000 Franklin final in 1:48.2, with the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding setting a new mark. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $917,915 for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Lawrence Karr. The Somebeachsomewhere filly Stonebridge Soul sat behind a wicked backstretch duel between pacesetting second choice Treacherous Reign and favored first-over Warrawee Ubeaut, then used the Pocono Pike to earn a three-quarter length victory in 1:49.3 in the $300,000 James Lynch final for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Stonebridge Soul has six wins and six seconds in 16 career starts, with earnings of $347,266. Chris Ryder trains the improving filly for owners Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 364; 2. Yannick Gingras - 229; 3. Jason Bartlett - 181; 4. David Miller - 145; 5. Dexter Dunn - 141. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 286; 2. Jim King Jr. - 189; 3. Tony Alagna - 130; 4. Chris Ryder - 98; 5. Rene Allard - 97. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 68.6; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 65.1; 3. Brad Grant - 57.6; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 55.4; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 55.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway. The July 12 Meadowlands program will feature the opening leg of the Kindergarten Series for freshman trotters, while the massive July 13 Meadowlands card will offer the Meadowlands Pace final, the William Haughton Memorial, the Hambletonian Maturity, the Stanley Dancer Trot, the Del Miller Memorial, the Mistletoe Shalee, the Golden Girls and a leg of the Miss Versatility. Yonkers will host the Lawrence B. Sheppard final for 2-year-old pacing colts, also on July 13. by Paul Ramlow. publicity director, the Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Armbro Flight and Goodtimes finals, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Woodbine Mohawk Park this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 15) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$454,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$330,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$256,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters and the C$247,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: None Bettor A ($6.60), a newcomer from Down Under, continues to take the U.S. by storm and won the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie on Saturday (June 8) in 1:49 at Northfield Park. The clocking tied the all-age track record at the Ohio half-mile oval. The victory marked the sixth straight sub-1:50 victory for the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding. None Bettor A captured the Battle of Lake Erie in 1:49, which equaled the all-age track record. Raymond Lance Photo Joe Bongiorno drove None Bettor A for his sister, Jennifer Bongiorno, who trains the pacer for co-owners Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing. None Bettor A started from post six and fired to the lead from the gate and remained in control the entire mile through fractions of :26.4, :55, 1:22 and 1:49, besting his closest rival, Jimmy Freight, by 1-1/4 lengths. "He (None Bettor A) feels good and does everything on his own," Joe Bongiorno said. "He puts his head down and really has fun out there." None Bettor A increased his career bankroll to $229,245 by taking home the lion's share of the healthy $200,000 purse. Completing the 2019 Battle field were Jimmy Freight, Southwind Amazon, The Wall, Filibuster Hanover, Bully Pulpit, Rodeo Rock and Always A Prince. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 248; 2. Jason Bartlett - 154; 3. Yannick Gingras - 122; 4. Daniel Dube - 111; 5. George Brennan - 110. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 169; 2. Ron Burke - 150; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Tony Alagna - 66; 5. Andrew Harris - 64. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 61.9; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 58.4; 3. J L Benson Stables - 53.2; 4. Richard Poillucci - 48.4; 5. Brad Grant - 47.6. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and The Meadowlands. Pocono will host eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 22). The Meadowlands will feature the fourth leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters on Friday (June 21). Paul Ramlow

Harness Racing This Week: Battle of Lake Erie, Northfield, Park, Northfield, Ohio; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Pepsi North America Cup, and Fan Hanover eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Graduate Series third leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week begins on Friday (June 7) at Woodbine Mohawk Park with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 8) card at Mohawk features a pair of C$50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Eliminations were not required in the Roses Are Red for older pacing mares. Northfield Park will also host Grand Circuit racing on Saturday as the Ohio oval features the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie for older pacers. Tioga Downs will round out a busy Grand Circuit weekend on Sunday (June 9) with $75,000 (est.) third leg contests in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the U.S. races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The road to the Pepsi North America Cup made a final stop on Saturday (June 1) at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. A group of 16 sophomore pacers, 13 of them eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup, were split into two $59,200 Somebeachsomewhere divisions. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Century Farroh remained undefeated in 2019 with a 1:52.4 score in the opening Somebeachsomewhere division. The son of Mach Three was sent off as the 1-9 favorite, circled to the top for driver Sylvain Filion from the deuce entering the backstretch and never looked back. Century Farroh posted fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.4 to lead by 1-1/2 lengths entering the homestretch. Caviart Rockland was the only threat for the heavy favorite in the lane, as driver Scott Zeron had the Nancy Johansson trainee in a perfect second-over spot. In the stretch, Century Farroh's lead proved to be too much for his rival, as he paced a final quarter in :27 for the victory. Caviart Rockland ran out of real estate and finished a hard closing second by a neck. Better Up finished third, while Captain Trevor was fourth. Century Farroh is now four-for-four with $83,266 earned this season for owner Ratchford Stable NS. Tyga Hanover pulled off a 19-1 upset in the second division by prevailing in a thrilling stretch battle. Also driven by Filion, Tyga Hanover started strong by cutting out a :27.1 opening quarter. Best In Show circled from second to first and led the field through middle half fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.2. Stag Party came first-up on the far turn and was pressuring Best In Show turning for home. In the stretch, Stag Party took a short lead while Best In Show continued to battle at the rail. Filion slipped Tyga Hanover to the far outside and the Ben Baillargeon trainee powered up in deep stretch to win by a length. Best In Show came back at the rail for second, while Stag Party tired late to finish third. Owned by Tom, Elizabeth and Glen Rankin, Tyga Hanover now has three wins in four starts this season after going winless in six starts as a rookie. The Baillargeon trainee has now earned $51,093 in 10 career starts. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 238; 2. Jason Bartlett - 144; 3. George Brennan - 110; 4. Jordan Stratton - 107; 5. Daniel Dube - 104. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 169; 2. Ron Burke - 105; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Nick Surick - 62; 5. Richard Banca - 61. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 61.9; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 58.4; 3. J L Benson Stables - 52.5; 4. Richard Poillucci - 48.4; 5. Royal Wire Products - 47. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place at Mohawk next weekend as the track will host five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 15). Paul Ramlow

LEBANON, OH - Millionaires Atlanta and Shartin N, arguably the finest active female trotter and pacer on the planet, are headed to Miami Valley Raceway for a pair of harness racing $100,000 Grand Circuit races on Monday afternoon, May 6. The closing day features have been carded as races eight and ten on the 14-race program which begins at 2:05 p.m. Atlanta, last year's Hambletonian winner, will be making her initial 2019 start after an impressive 1:52.3 qualifier at The Meadowlands in her first effort for new trainer Ron Burke. Yannick Gingras, who qualified Atlanta without trotting hopples for the first time, will be following the daughter of Chapter Seven-who has earned $1,140,689 in her career-to Ohio for her first seasonal test. The likely odds-on favorite is owned by Crawford Farms, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. A quartet of accomplished challengers will go postward, all inside of Atlanta on the starting gate in the Miami Valley Distaff. Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) was a winner of 13 out of 17 starts in 2018, including the Matron Stake at Dover, earning over half a million dollars for trainer Chris Beaver. The three others have each won three races already this season. Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) recently won the Open Trot at Yonkers, Churita (Trace Tetrick) is three-for-three at Hoosier Park to open her year, boosting her career earnings to $924,225. Red Rose Swan (LeWayne Miller) already has three wins and four place finishes in seven trips to post this year, including capturing the prestigious Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial Series championship at Miami Valley. Shartin N is the defending champion of the Sam 'Chip' Noble III Memorial, having captured the 2018 edition in 1:49.3-still the fastest mile by a distaff pacer in the six year history of Miami Valley. Co-owner Tim Tetrick will be in the bike for partners Richard Poillucci and JoAnn Looney-King, the wife of trainer Jim King Jr. The six-year-old New Zealand bred mare won 19 of 24 races last season, including most every marquee event for the division. The reigning Breeders Crown champion and runnerup to McWicked for Horse Of The Year laurels has won four of five times in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers, including the $402,600 final, to kick off her 2019 campaign. Her lifetime bounty has reached $1,393,853. Tim Tetrick and Jim King Main competition is likely to come from Baron Remy (Chris Page), who captured the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship at Scioto Downs as well as the Courageous Lady at Northfield Park in her 2018 sophomore season. Shartin N stablemate Bettor Joy N (Trace Tetrick), who finished second in the Blue Chip finale, will also pose a threat; while $918,093 winning Medusa (Gingras) and Always Giggling (Brett Miller) are also formidable foes. The Noble Memorial pays homage to the memory of one of Ohio's finest-ever horsemen, Chip Noble from nearby Xenia, who passed away shortly before Miami Valley Raceway opened its doors in 2014. Gregg Keidel  

Harness Racing This Week: Lady Suffolk and Dexter Cup, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.; Arthur Cutler Memorial and Graduate Pace first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Chip Noble Memorial and Miami Valley Distaff, Miami Valley Raceway, Lebanon, Ohio. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features the $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters and the $75,000 (est.) Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters on Saturday (May 4). Meadowlands Racetrack offers the $175,200 Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters and two $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers, also on Saturday. Miami Valley Raceway will feature the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares and the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares on Monday (May 6). Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Robert Key's Whirl Winds K took advantage of a pocket trip to nip Cavill Hanover by a nose in 1:59.3 in the $39,650 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old trotters on Saturday (April 27) at Freehold Raceway. The Dexter Cup is the season's first stakes race on the road to the Hambletonian, which is harness racing's premier event for 3-year-old trotters. A total of nine horses entered the Dexter Cup, and one horse - Osterc - received a bye based on career earnings and advanced directly to the May 4 final at Freehold. Whirl Winds K was among the eight horses that competed Saturday for the remaining seven spots in the Dexter Cup final. Trained by Rich Gillock and driven by George Brennan, the son of Donato Hanover-Pacific Winds K sat second behind Cavill Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) as that one cut fractions of :29.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30. HL Revadon (Dexter Dunn) came first-over past the half to challenge the leader, before slipping to fourth at the finish line. Whirl Winds K was 1-1/2 back at the top of the stretch, then got up in the final strides for the nose triumph over favored Cavill Hanover. Skyway Kon Man (Trond Smedshammer) was third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 158; 2. George Brennan - 100; 3. Jason Bartlett - 87; 4. Daniel Dube - 77; 5. Scott Zeron - 75. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 122; 2. Rene Allard - 77; 3. Ron Burke - 53; 4. Richard Banca - 51; 5. Ross Croghan - 43. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 45; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 41.5; 3. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 4. Robert Cooper Stables - 39.1; 5. Royal Wire Products - 37. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit racing next week will feature W.N. Reynolds Memorial contests at Yonkers Raceway for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers. Paul Ramlow  

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 12) in the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 13) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the fifth and final round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker saw its fourth preliminary round conducted over Friday night's (April 5) 'sloppy' surface. Three $40,000 groupings of Free-For-All mares went at it, down one from a week ago. Shartin N was a 1:54.2 winner on April 5.  Shartin N, the defending series champ (Tim Tetrick, $2.20) was (from post four) the lone leaver, with a highly-predictable result (:28.3, :57.4, 1:26.2, 1:54.2). The margin was a length. Second went to a pole-protecting Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley), while Medusa (Jason Bartlett) sat third and wound up there. Sell A Bit N (Jordan Stratton) and a first-up Freakonomics (Scott Zeron) settled for the smallest envelopes. Second choice Seaswift Joy N (Jim Marohn Jr.) could not get involved from behind the eight-ball. For Shartin N, a 6-year-old Tintin In America miss co-owned by her driver, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her third win in four seasonal/series starts. Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (April 6) hosted the next-to-last preliminary get-together of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four $50,000 Free-For All events were carded, one fewer than a week ago. Odds-on Western Fame (Dan Dube, $2.40) restored some normal to the gathering with an as-expected romp (:27.2, :56, 1:23.4, 1:50.4). From post three, the series points leader drilled his foes by 5-1/2 lengths, a personal '19 best and matching Lyons Steel for the fastest Westchester mile of the Levy and season. Gokudo Hanover (George Brennan) was a very loosely-pocketed second, with Rock The Nite (Mark MacDonald), Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Joe Bongiorno) earning the minor moolah. Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast Stable, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, is now three-for-five this season (three-for-four in Levy). Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 112; 2. George Brennan - 83; 3. Jason Bartlett - 67; 4. Scott Zeron - 56; 5. Matt Kakaley - 46. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 77; 2. Rene Allard - 42; 3. Ron Burke - 39; 4t. Ross Croghan - 34; 4t. Andrew Harris - 34. Owners: 1. D R Van Witzenburg - 30; 2. Robert Cooper Stables - 28.3; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 27.5; 4t. J L Benson Stables - 25; 4t. Richard Poillucci - 25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the finals and consolations of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy on April 20. Paul Ramlow

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series third legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 harness racing divisions on Friday (March 29) in the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 30) card at Yonkers will see five $50,000 divisions in the third round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Saturday night's (March 23) second round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series didn't do a whole lot to establish a clear favorite, though some of the contenders did indeed state their cases. Another half-dozen, $50,000 Free-For-All groups were contested, with a pair of repeaters leading the way. Odds-on Rodeo Rock (Andrew McCarthy, $3.50) - from post position five - 'ran down' loose leader Gokudo Hanover (George Brennan), prevailing first-up by a head in 1:52.1. The 13-1 latter had open lengths through intervals of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:24. Rock The Nite (Mark MacDonald), More The Better N (Scott Zeron) and Major Crocker A (Dan Dube) picked off the remainder, while an amiss Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) lost tough from a pole-sitting pocket and finished sixth. For Rodeo Rock, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Royal Wire Products and trained by Robert Cleary, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (two-for-two in series). Ideal Jimmy was a 1:53.3 winner in the second leg of the Levy Series.   - photo Mike Lizzi "I was hoping Scotty (Zeron) with More The Better N would pull from third, but he was happy where he was and I just had to go on with it," McCarthy said. "It was a long way (from fifth) in the wind, but he was actually more comfortable tonight than in last week's race." After wiring his opening-leg rivals at 9-1, favored Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $4.10) had more acquaintances at the windows. From post three, it couldn't have been less simple (:28, :57.4, 1:26, 1:53.3), going the distance by 3-1/4 lengths. Polester Lochton Luck A (Matt Kakaley), as the 29-1 outsider, and Bellows Binge (Jason Bartlett) finished the tickets, while Always At My Place (Brennan) and Bettor Memories (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the remainder. For Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenberg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his fifth win in 10 tries in 2019. "I thought he should have been the favorite last week," Holland said. "He's very handy and I'm not surprised he's stepped up in this series." Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards.   Here are the leaders following this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. George Brennan - 56; 2. Tim Tetrick - 52; 3. Jason Bartlett - 48; 4. Scott Zeron - 42; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 27. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 37; 2. Richard Banca - 21; 3t. Robert Cleary - 20; 3t. Ross Croghan - 20; 3t. Dylan Davis - 20; 3t. Erv Miller - 20. Owners: 1t. Royal Wire Products - 20; 1t. D R Van Witzenburg - 20; 3t. Tahnee Camilleri - 15; 3t. Robert Cooper Stables - 15; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 14.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next two weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association     

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series second legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 22) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 23) card at Yonkers will see six $50,000 divisions in the second round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series for Free-For-Allers began Saturday night (March 16) with six $50,000 divisions. Dan Dube posted his 9,000th career win with Western Fame. Mike Lizzi photo. Say this much for Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's opener of the Levy. His open-length romp with favored Western Fame ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season. From post position four in the first division, Western Fame gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5-3/4 lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett) avoided the happenstance to end up second, with Mach It So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast Stable, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts. Beware the Ides of March (Friday the 15th), provided you weren't mesmerized by the start of Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker. Five $40,000 groupings were consecutively contested, featuring the best pacing mares around. Defending series champ Shartin N (Tim Tetrick, $2.20), began her purse season by fooling very few. From post No. 2, she found herself away third before finding the front. From there (:27.4, :56, 1:24.3, 1:52.2), she was a puny pari-mutuel proposition. Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett) made the first lead, yielded and missed, beaten a half-length. Bettorb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) closed for third, with Dudesalady (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Mach It A Par (George (Brennan) settling for the small change. For Shartin N, a 6-year-old Tintin in America Kiwi lass, co-owned by Tetrick, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King, she comes off a 19-for-24, million-dollar season. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards.   Here are the leaders following the opening weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1t. Jason Bartlett - 22; 1t. Scott Zeron - 22; 3. George Brennan - 21; 4t. Joe Bongiorno - 20; 4t. Tim Tetrick - 20. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 20; 2. Ross Croghan - 15; 3t. Tony Alagna - 10; 3t. Rene Allard - 10; 3t. Jen Bongiorno - 10; 3t. Tahnee Camilleri - 10; 3t. Robert Cleary - 10; 3t. Dylan Davis - 10; 3t. Erv Miller - 10; 3t. Nifty Norman - 10; 3t. Nick Surick - 10. Owners: 1. Robert Cooper Stables - 12.5; 2t. Tahnee Camilleri - 10; 2t. J L Benson Stables - 10; 2t. Enzed Racing Stable - 10; 2t. Brad Grant - 10; 2t. Royal Wire Products - 10; 2t. D R Van Witzenburg - 10; 2t. Wish Me Luck Stable - 10. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next three weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series opening legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. This is the opening event of the 2019 Grand Circuit season. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features five $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 15) in the first round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 16) card at Yonkers will see six $50,000 divisions in the opening round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Defending Matchmaker series champ Shartin N begins her 6-year-old season from post position two in the final event. Mike Lizzi photo. Defending Matchmaker series champ Shartin N begins her 6-year-old season from post position two in the final event. Tim Tetrick takes his usual seat for co-owners himself, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. Keeping it in the family, Jim King Jr. trains the lass, fresh off a 19-for-24, million-dollar season. Double-millionaire 10-year-old Bit Of A Legend N, the 2016 Levy winner, begins this season’s marathon from behind the eight-ball in the third division. Jordan Stratton again does the honors for owner Von Knoblauch Stable and trainer Peter Tritton. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Saturday (April 20). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next four weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20. by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

East Rutherford, NJ - With stakes payments for this season's Grand Circuit events currently being accepted, The Meadowlands advises those harness racing owners who are nominating horses to these races to be aware that the stakes conditions contain language requiring the nominated horse(s) be in the stable of an approved trainer by the date listed in those conditions.   Please contact the Racing Office at 877-782-2537 with questions.   The Articles that address trainer requirements are below;   Disputes: All owners, trainers and drivers of horses nominated to this event must be accepted to participate at the Host Track or the nomination/entry may be denied without refund of previous payments. Any change of trainers made fewer than 30 days or within four starts of the date of this race will be reviewed by the sponsor and if not accepted, may result in refusal of entry. Sponsors reserve the right to amend conditions as deemed necessary without liability.   Rules: A minimum of seven (7) separate interests may be required in any event or the event may be cancelled. All starters are subject to the detention policy of the Host Track. The rules of the Host Track and its state Racing Commission along with the USTA shall govern unless otherwise specified in these conditions. These races are subject to the Stallion Restriction Condition (SRC) see Meadowlands website for details.   Any horse nominated to any Meadowlands stakes/event must be in the care of an approved trainer by April 15, 2019 for any stake/event raced during the month of May and by May 15 for all other 2019 stakes/events.   In addition, any owner who participates in a Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event (with added money greater than $25,000) with a trainer who has an outstanding Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test having occurred on or after January 1, 2019 and under appeal in any jurisdiction will be declared ineligible to participate in any Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event for 12 months following the conviction if such trainer is subsequently found guilty relating to the Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test.   Nominator also agrees that any horse paid into any Meadowlands stake/event may be required to be stabled for up to 14 days at an approved facility within a 150 mile radius of The Meadowlands or the Tioga or Vernon Downs stable area or an approved facility in a state that agrees to cooperate in an out of competition testing protocol by the date set by The Meadowlands for that stake/event for the purpose of out of competition testing.   Failure to comply with these conditions may result in any agreement created by the acceptance of any stakes payment to be declared void at the discretion of The Meadowlands rendering the horse(s) in question ineligible to race in those stakes/events with no liability to The Meadowlands and no assurance of a refund of payments previously made to the stake/event in question.   A nomination to these events is an agreement to the above terms and conditions.   Nick Salvi          

Harness Racing This Week: The 2018 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2019 schedule will be released in January. Last time: This Is The Plan, steered by Tim Tetrick, snuck up the inside several hundred yards from the finish line to best Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final on Thursday (Nov. 29) at Dover Downs. This Is The Plan stopped Jimmy Freight by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final. Fotowon photo. This Is The Plan, who dead-heated with The Downtown Bus to capture the $193,750 Matron Stakes final over this very same oval, broke on top from post position three. After establishing a first quarter-mile fraction of :26, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-That's The Plan yielded the lead to Jimmy Freight and settled in the pocket spot while that rival posted splits of :55 and 1:22.3. After Jimmy Freight repelled the first-over bid of Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley), it appeared the Sportswriter-Allamerican Summer colt would cross the wire in front. Tetrick and This Is the Plan, however, had other intentions. Tetrick shifted his charge to the pylons after being shuffled back slightly to third from Dorsoduro Hanover's advance. The colt responded by striding past Jimmy Freight with a last quarter of :27.3 to collect his triumph. Dorsoduro Hanover, after a tough overland journey, was a strong third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva, Purnel & Libby and Lawrence Karr, This Is The Plan paid $5.40 to his supporters as the public's second selection. This Is The Plan, who was third in the $35,000 elimination for this contest behind Jimmy Freight a week prior, boosted his career bankroll to $642,540 and his lifetime record to 33-7-8-7. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the final leaders. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,529.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,525; 3. David Miller - 1,254.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 764; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 668.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,471.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,200; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 449. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 306.3; 3. Diamond Creek Racing - 304.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 284.8; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2. Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, The Grand Circuit

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