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WASHINGTON, PA, May 26, 2017 -- Caviart Wonder challenged the 1-5 harness racing favorite, Fine Tuned Lady, head on and wore her down to pull off the upset in Friday's $72,000 Currier & Ives Trot at The Meadows. Treviso and Cool Cates took the other divisions in the event for 3-year-old filly trotters. Trainer Noel Daley enjoyed a C&I double with Caviart Wonder and Cool Cates. The open division of the Currier & Ives is set for June 3 at The Meadows. Fine Tuned Lady worked out reasonable opening-half fractions of 27.3/57.1, so when Caviart Wonder pursued her first over, it's likely her driver, Jim Pantaleano, was the only observer who thought the bid would succeed. "She felt very comfortable sitting in," Pantaleano said. "I was very careful going down the backstretch because she made a break there last time she was here. I didn't need to be that careful because she ended up being real handy. I spoke to her when we got in the last turn just to keep her attention, and she was strong all the way through the wire." Caviart Winder downed Fine Tuned Lady by a length in a stake-fastest 1:55, with Sheez On A Cruze third. Caviart Farms campaigns the daughter of Muscle Massive-Won An Done. Caviart Wonder A comfortable first half also was the key to victory for Treviso, who tripped the timer in a leisurely 59.1, Still, Charlie Norris, who trains and drives the daughter of Muscle Massive-Valbonela, for Klis Brothers Stable and Carrie Norris, was taking nothing for granted. "She trained well after her last race, but you're always worried," he said. "She finished in hand again. That makes it a lot easier." Treviso scored in 1:55.1, 2-1/2 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Temple Ruins, with Broadway Idole third. Treviso triumphed for the second time in as many races to start her sophomore campaign and pushed her career bankroll to $186,350. Norris indicated Treviso will be pointed to the Hambletonian Oaks, with a pair of Pennsylvania Sires Stake engagements along the way. Treviso Cool Cates unleashed a powerful first-over move that gave her the jump on the favorite, Sianna Hanover. She downed that rival by a length in 1:55.3, while My Cherry Pie rallied for show. "They said she's a little fussy going to the gate, just be careful there and let her do her thing in the post parade," said winning driver Mike Wilder. "Once we got away from the gate, she was completely professional. She was just like driving a car. Her attitude was tremendous." All Laid Out Stable owns Cool Cates, a daughter of Yankee Glide-Dance To Market. Cool Cates It was one of three wins for Wilder on the 13-race card. Friday's program also featured a pair of Preferred events. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality worked hard for the lead but was untouchable thereafter, prevailing in 1:54.4 for Brian Zendt and owner/trainer Lisa Dunn. The 7-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding now boasts $410,682 in lifetime earnings. Classicality In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Lincolnjames survived a parked-out 26.2 opening panel and scored in an impressive 1:50.4. Dave Palone piloted the 6-year-old Northwest-Winbak Lucy gelding, who stretched his career bankroll to $219,387, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Lincolnjames After a brief break for the holiday, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 24, 2017 -- The harness racing veteran Tamarind displayed his class and toughness Wednesday at The Meadows when he sustained a first-over bid in the slop and went on to capture the featured race, a $13,000 conditioned trot. Tamarind was fourth near the half when Aaron Merriman sent him after the leader, Classic Banker. It took the 9-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos most of the back half to wear down Classic Banker, but he drew off in the stretch to prevail in 1:55. Mike The Trader rallied for second, 2-1/2 lengths back, while Classic Banker saved show. Bill Bercury owns and trains Tamarind, who boosted his career bankroll to $892,084. Mike Wilder and Merriman each fashioned a three-bagger on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes with a special Friday card that features the $72,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 23, 2017 -- Bessie stalked Goodtogo Hanover from the pocket, then blew by her in the harness racing 'Lightning Lane' to capture Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Bessie left alertly from post 7 for Tony Hall and was able to secure the pocket behind Goodtogo Hanover, who had to deal with the menacing first-over move of Dirty Secret. That challenger eventually broke stride, but Goodtogo Hanover was left vulnerable to the inside charge of Bessie, who downed her by 1/2 length in 1:54.2. Princess Pablano rallied for show. Rick Clapper trains Bessie, a 6-year-old daughter of Equinox Bi-Cantab's Chorine who now boasts $316,760 in career earnings, for Paula Clapper, Umholtz Racing Stable and Kennedy Sports Corp. Mike Wilder collected four wins and Hall three on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Fine Tuned Lady was "a model of consistency" last year. Harness racing trainer John Butenschoen is hoping for more of the same this season. Butenschoen sends Fine Tuned Lady, a multiple stakes-winner last year, to Friday's Currier & Ives for 3-year-old female trotters at The Meadows. The event attracted 21 horses, which were divided into three $24,000 divisions. Fine Tuned Lady is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the first division. Sianna Hanover is the 2-1 choice in the second division and Treviso is the 7-5 pick in the third. Last year Fine Tuned Lady won six times and finished second on five occasions in 12 starts. Her victories included the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, Matron Stakes, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. She earned $438,340 for owners Bill Wiswell and M And L of Delaware. Fine Tuned Lady began this year by winning a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on May 13 at The Meadows. "You always hold your breath when they're first coming back, but she did what she was supposed to do," Butenschoen said about Fine Tuned Lady's seasonal debut. "I was real pleased and I know that (driver Corey Callahan) was happy with how she raced. She's a nice filly. We'll see how she comes back this year; we'll see if she's improved any. I'm sure there are other ones out there that have improved, or that we didn't hear of, that will pop up. We'll find out. "She had a great year (in 2016). She was just a model of consistency. She did everything you would have hoped for. If she would have earned half the money we would have been tickled to death. As it was, she got lucky in a few races where some favorites or co-favorites made breaks and she was able to take advantage and she put up a good chunk of change on her card." Fine Tuned Lady's only off-the-board finish came in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile, where she was fourth but beaten by only 1-3/4 lengths. "I don't know if she was getting tired at that time of year already, but she wasn't quite as sharp, or didn't stack up as well as those other ones on the bigger track," Butenschoen said. "She's a real good-gaited filly, a real handy filly, and I think she's going to be a lot more suited to the smaller tracks. But it'll be interesting to see what she can do against them with a fresh set of legs under her." Fine Tuned Lady is a daughter of stallion Cantab Hall out of the stakes-winning mare Poster Princess and her second dam is Dan Patch Award-winner Me Maggie. Fine Tuned Lady was purchased for $27,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale. Interestingly, her connections had their eyes on a filly that sold earlier in the auction, but were unsuccessful in acquiring her. If they had, it is unlikely they would have bid on Fine Tuned Lady. "It comes down to luck at the sales," Butenschoen said. "You do your homework and hopefully things fall into place. That's kind of the fun of the game I guess." Fine Tuned Lady is eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks in August at the Meadowlands. Other Oaks eligible horses in the Currier & Ives divisions are Sparkle Plenty, Monee Bank, Sheez On A Cruze, Caviart Wonder, Cool Cates, Sianna Hanover, Dangle Then Deke, Amuse's, Broadway Idole, Treviso, Pennys N Dimes, and Temple Ruins. In addition, Fine Tuned Lady is eligible to the Breeders Crown in late October at Hoosier Park. "We'll keep our fingers crossed," Butenschoen said. "It's a long time between now and the end of October. We'll see if we can do things right." Fine Tuned Lady is not the only highly regarded trotter trained by Butenschoen for Wiswell and M And L of Delaware. Bill's Man, a 3-year-old colt, was last year's third-fastest 2-year-old trotter, posting a mark of 1:52.3, and is eligible to the Hambletonian among other top stakes. Bill's Man is expected to compete in Monday's first round of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs. He has a win and a second in two starts this season. "They've got a nice pair there," Butenschoen said about his owners' trotters. "He's a very fast horse. He was just a big, long, leggy thing as a 2-year-old and a little physically and mentally immature. He had a nice winter in Florida and, knock on wood, so far this year is putting everything down the way he's supposed to and acting right." For Friday's complete Meadows card, click here. First race post time is 5 p.m. and the first Currier & Ives division is race four. Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, May 22, 2017 -- Breeders Crown runner-up Moonshiner Hanover, looking for a soft opening for his sophomore harness racing campaign, found it in Monday's Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows, where he cruised to victory in a stake-fastest 1:55.3. The $80,000 event for colt and gelding trotters was contested over four divisions, with Two AM, Thisguyisonfire and Skaterly taking the other splits. Moonshiner Hanover earned $263,101 at 2 and was beaten only by Dan Patch Award winner Walner in the Breeders Crown final. But trainer Chris Beaver, who owns the son of Andover Hall-Madam Hooch with Synerco Ventures and Bill Manes, said the December removal of OCDs from the colt's left hind ankle complicated the timetable for his return. "He qualified only a week ago," Beaver said. "To put him in the sires stake, I'd have had to race him back in five days and drop him five seconds. I decided to avoid that right off the bat. I think he's come back a little smoother." In the stallion series, Moonshiner Hanover waited until the dust settled before moving to the point for Aaron Merriman and drawing off by 5 lengths turning for home. Geared down, he defeated Ataboy Hanover by 1-1/2 lengths, with Perseverance third. Beaver indicated Moonshiner Hanover likely will race next in the June 3 Currier & Ives at The Meadows. Two AM already knew he was comfortable in the stallion series; he captured the freshman title by a widening 4-1/2 lengths. On Monday, the Muscle Massive-Slightly Tipsy gelding set sail first over after the leader, Lars Perry, who had enjoyed a slowish 59.2 first half. But Two AM had little trouble overtaking Lars Perry and downing him by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56. Phi Alpha earned show. "This horse was real sharp in his qualifiers, and I was pretty confident in him," said Tyler Buter, who drove for trainer Todd Buter and owners Lynette Buter, Gene Oldford Farms, William Fuhs and Carol Fuhs. "We'll take his racing schedule week to week. He hasn't been tired yet; we haven't found the bottom." Thisguyisonfire appeared in trouble at the half, when he trailed by 8-1/2 lengths. But he surged when Mike Wilder asked him for trot, picking up the cover of Muay Hanover and going wide through the stretch to prevail in a career-fastest 1:56. Muay Hanover was second, 2 lengths back, while DD's Comet completed the ticket. "I was being a little cautious with him because they said he runs in a little bit in the turns," Wilder said. "I kind of got detached at the half, but I thought if I got through the last turn, he'd be pretty good. He just exploded. He couldn't have been better." Jim Campbell trains Thisguyisonfire, a son of Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall, for Fashion Farms. In the $13,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred Handicap Pace, 9-1 upstart Hurricane Calleigh, a $10,000 claimer only two races back, sustained an uncovered move to score in 1:53.1 for David McNeight III, trainer David McNeight, Jr. and owner Courtney McNeight. It was the fastest win ever for the 4-year-old daughter of McArdle-Jo Pa's Dragoness. Merriman collected four wins on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 20, 2017 -- They couldn't collar Sortie in Saturday's harness racing $146.628 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows -- literally. The Hambletonian hopeful, one of the most promising freshmen of 2016, had been racing with a Cornell Collar to help his breathing. Moments before Saturday's race, however, trainer Noel Daley was informed that Cornell Collars can't be used in Pennsylvania, and the device had to be removed. It didn't seem to bother Sortie, who raced beautifully in his seasonal debut, jogging off to victory for Andrew McCarthy in 1:53.1, fastest this year for a 3-year-old colt on a five-eighths-mile track and a life mark. The event known as the Super Bowl was contested over three divisions, with Andy M and Common Parlance also taking splits. Daley said he added the Cornell Collar for Sortie, who won a Breeders Crown elimination and finished third in the final, after a vet's diagnosis. "They said everything looked good on him, he just had a short epiglottis," Daley said. "So rather than do surgery, we just put the Cornell Collar on him. I didn't realize until five minutes before he raced that they're illegal here. "I did an interview the other day where I mentioned the collar -- I guess that's how they knew we used it. I have to watch what I say to you fellas." In the Super Bowl, the son of Explosive Matter-Win B moved first over from third and drew off smartly, downing Giveitgasandgo by 3-1/2 lengths. High Glider was third. McCarthy indicated Sortie did not experience labored or noisy breathing during the race. Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Mario Mazza and Sortie Stable campaign Sortie, who pushed his career bankroll to $146,493. Daley indicated Sortie, a $65,000 yearling acquisition, will race primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey early in the season. Sortie Andy M pulled the pocket down the backside for Aaron Merriman and quickly put away the leader, Monteverdi. Though he tired late, the son of Andover Hall-All In The Muscles held off Gustavo Fring by 1/2 length in a career-fastest 1:54.1, with Stealth Hanover fourth-placed-third. "I didn't want to have to race him that hard," Merriman said, "but this horse really impressed me today. I never got the plugs out. He was getting a little bit tired late, but he's supposed to. That's as fast as he's ever been by a couple seconds." Chris Beaver trains Andy M, who soared over $100,000 in career earnings, for Mark Moger and Albert Delia, Jr. Andy M Common Parlance performed well in the PA Stallion Series at 2, but this was his first shot at the big boys. After grabbing the early lead and enduring a slight shuffle, he poured through the Lightning Lane to score for Mike Wilder in a career-fastest 1:54.4. Brown Bear was second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Brand New Key completed the ticket. "We'll keep going with him in this series," said Joseph Skowyra, who trains the Crazed-Angevine gelding for Wade Wyatt and Francis DiMondi, Jr. "He's a nice, sound horse, well behaved, and he's fast." Common Parlance In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Knocking Around made it three straight when he survived a 26.3 opening panel and triumphed in 1:50, fastest of his career. The first-over Lincoln James raced well for second, 3/4 lengths in arrears, with Dapper Dude third. Jim Pantaleano piloted the 7-year-old Western Terror-So Completely gelding, who now has banked $312,473, for trainer David McNeight, Jr. and owner Courtney McNeight. Knocking Around Tony Hall collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 17, 2017 -- TSM Photo Bugger overwhelmed the leader with a backside burst and rolled to a 9-3/4-length harness racing victory in Wednesday's $13,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life Handicap Trot at The Meadows. TSM Photo Bugger was third when Mike Wilder sent him after Classic Banker, who had been hard used to get to the top. The 10-year-old SJ's Photo-Rewarding Wink gelding grabbed the point in a heartbeat and jogged home for Mike Wilder in 1:53.1. Ulf Hanover rallied for second while Classic Banker saved show. The hard-hitting veteran has won 43 of 215 career starts and hit the board on 74 other occasions. Karen Fread trains TSM Photo Bugger, who extended his career bankroll to $661,338, for owner/breeder Ted Tomson. It was one of three victories on the 12-race card for Wilder. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the Preakness Day card features three divisions of a $146,628 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Special post time is 11:25 AM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 16, 2017 -- Stuck three-wide through a sizzling 26.4 opening quarter, Barn Girl showed her grit when she held off all harness racing challengers to capture Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. When Barn Girl finally reached the front near the three-eighths, she shrugged off the first-over move of Bessie. A more serious threat was Princess Pablano, who went three-wide down the backside and drew even with Barn Girl into the final turn. But Barn Girl drew off for Aaron Merriman in late stretch and downed Princess Pablano by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:53.4. Bessie persevered for show. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who has won 18 times over the past two seasons and $455,108 for her career, for Renee Bercury. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 15, 2017 -- Trixie Dust was all out to nail the stubborn leader, One Class Act, but she inched past to score in a harness racing career-best 1:55.2, fastest mile in Monday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old filly trotters was contested over five divisions, with Gin's Tonic, Canwood, EZ Passer and My Cherry Pie also taking $20,000 splits. Dave Palone enjoyed a stake double behind Trixie Dust and My Cherrie Pie. One Class Act took her field through a swift 1:25.2 three-quarters but showed no inclination to yield to the first-over Trixie Dust. The even-money favorite surged late to down One Class Act by a nose, with Massive Risk third. "She's better racing from the back," Palone said of the daughter of Winning Mister-Emma J, "so I thought if I could sit tight and not have to use her until the last turn, she'd be fine. When I moved her, I thought she would win. She picked me right up like the good ones do. I drove her dad, and she reminds me a lot of him." Rich Gillock trains Trixie Dust and owns with Paula Sokol. Gin's Tonic stalked Ms Mullen from the pocket, then shot the Lightning Lane to prevail by a head for Jim Pantaleano. Great Kate earned show. "When we had her at Freehold for the Lady Suffolk, she couldn't quite get around the turns there," said J. Neal Ehrhart, who conditions the daughter of Muscle Massive-Don't Say Don't -- an $8,000 yearling acquisition -- for Virginia Ehrhart. "But she likes this track. She won a Keystone Classic division here last year. She'll stay in the stallion series, but later in the year she has the Liberty Bell and the Simpson if she's good enough." Canwood, who swept a late-closing series at The Meadows before encountering some tough older performers in an overnight event, relished the return to her division. She grabbed the lead first up for Brian Zendt and thwarted the uncovered challenge of Smartie Partie to score in 1:56.2. Igotsomethingtosay finished second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while Smartie Partie saved show. "She won pretty handy today, and they stretched her a little bit, too," Zendt said. "I was being careful with her because I'd never had her to the half in 57 before. I didn't want to be too hard on her." Bill Zendt trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-Hallywood for Judith Wolkimir and Fred Kayne. Pantaleano and Zendt each piloted three winners on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 13, 2017 -- Fine Tuned Lady, Pennsylvania's champion freshman filly trotter, took an important step to successfully defending her harness racing title when she scored in a career-best 1:54 -- in her season debut -- in Saturday's PA Sires Stake at The Meadows. The $149,852 event known as the Stenographer was contested over four divisions, with Treviso, Cool Cates and Crann Tara taking the other splits. Fine Tuned Lady hadn't raced since capturing the Nov. 3 Matron at Dover Downs, but after three qualifiers, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Poster Princess appeared in mid-season form. She sprinted to the lead from post 5 for Corey Callahan and held off Thats All Moni by 3/4 lengths for owners William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware, pushing her lifetime bankroll to $457,211. Future Secured completed the ticket. "She did that on her own," said Tyler Butenschoen, assistant to winning trainer John Butenschoen. "She was excited and happy to be back. She's maybe a little bigger, maybe a little more mature. She grew up the way you want to see one grow up." Fine Tuned Lady Treviso, who banked $155,569 at 2, also got her sophomore campaign off to a fine start for trainer/driver Charlie Norris when she grabbed the early lead from post 8 and easily downed the pocket-sitting Sianna Hanover by 1/2 length in 1:54.1. Hot Mess Hanover earned show. "She really came back good and trained down well," Norris said. "I only got one qualifier in her, but you can train her about wherever you want to go. She just loves her work." Norris rigged the daughter of Muscle Massive-Valbonela with a nasal strip for the first time but didn't see much benefit from it. "She breathes hard, although she doesn't make any noise," he said. "It's never affected her performance. I just thought we'd try something new. Any impact? Nah. Chances are she probably won't wear it again." Owners Klis Brothers Stable and Carrie Norris purchased Treviso privately as a yearling after her consignor to the Lexington sale bought her back. Treviso's next start likely will be in the Currier & Ives at The Meadows. Treviso Cool Cates provided the stake's tote board pyrotechnics, when, after trailing by 5 lengths at the three-quarters, she went three wide into the final turn and upset at 31-1. Broadway Idole finished second, 3/4 lengths back, with Vodka N Lindy third. "She's got enough speed -- her manners aren't always great," said Andrew McCarthy, who piloted the daughter of Yankee Glide-Dance To Market for trainer Noel Daley and owner All Laid Out Stable. "She's a little quieter this year. They have a little more iron in her mouth, so I can hold her a little bit more. She was a little too hot as a 2-year-old. She's starting to figure it out. If she keeps behaving herself, I think she'll go places." In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Knocking Around survived a tough first-over journey and prevailed in 1:51.3 for Jim Pantaleano, trainer David McNeight, Jr. and owner Courtney McNeight. The 7-year-old Western Terror-So Completely gelding vaulted over $300,000 in career earnings. Knocking Around Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a $100,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 10, 2017 -- Classic Banker stalked Count Me In from the pocket, then brushed by him in deep stretch to capture Wednesday's feature harness racing $13,000 trot, at The Meadows. Count Me In, making only his second start since Sept. 4, 2015, took the field through a snappy 1:25.4 three quarters but was unable to withstand the late surge of Classic Banker. The 7-year-old Classic Photo-Banker's Review gelding nailed Count Me in near the wire to down him by a length in 1:54.4. TSM Photo Bugger rallied from well back for show. Brian Zendt piloted Classic Banker for owner/trainer Joe Urban. Tony Hall, Aaron Merriman, Dan Rawlings, Mike Wilder, trainer Andy Rickert and Zendt each enjoyed a double on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features four divisions of a $149,852 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 9, 2017 -- Bessie sat patiently through three-quarters before tackling the leader, Goodtogo Hanover, and nailing her in the stretch to capture Tuesday's $20,000 harness racing filly & mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Goodtogo Hanover enjoyed a comfortable 58 opening half, which discouraged any early challenges. But when Tony Hall tipped Bessie off the cones, the 6-year-old daughter of Equinox Bi-Cantab's Chorine steadily eroded the margin and downed Goodtogo Hanover by a length in 1:55.1 Princess Pablano was a ground-saving third. Rick Clapper trains Bessie, who vaulted over $300,000 in career earnings, for Paula Clapper, Umholtz Racing Stable and Kennedy Sports Corp. Aaron Merriman collected four wins and Hall three on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 6, 2017 -- If there were any doubts that freshman harness racing champion Huntsville would come out smoking for his 3-year-old debut, he quickly dispelled them in Saturday's $151,280 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows when he roared to victory by an eye-popping 10 lengths. His time of 1:50.3 in the slop not only is the fastest this year by a sophomore on a five-eighths-mile track, but it also was at least 1.3 seconds faster than the clocking of any of the other three divisional winners Saturday. Downbytheseaside, runner-up to Huntsville is last year's Dan Patch Award voting, also fashioned a successful if less spectacular seasonal debut, scoring in 1:52.1. Filibuster Hanover and Fear The Dragon also won splits, the latter giving Brian Brown, trainer of Downbytheseaside, a PASS double. Brown also collected a Pennsylvania Stallion Series victory with Kellys Bett. Huntsville had qualified well for his sophomore campaign, but even trainer Ray Schnittker, who owns the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo and Steven Arnold, wasn't expecting a runaway. "I thought he might win by a length or two," Schnittker said, "but I guess he's right back to where he was last year. He looked really good." Huntsville quarter-poled around Highalator, opened up 5 lengths at the three-quarters and poured it on from there. Highalator, who saw his nine-race winning streak snapped, saved second, with Blood Line third. Winning driver Tim Tetrick had mixed feelings about the huge performance of Huntsville, who now boasts $708,724 in lifetime earnings. "That was all him, that was Ray getting him ready," Tetrick said. "I was hoping I didn't have to go that fast. I wanted to save that for another month. He just dragged me around there -- he's that talented." Huntsville Using Lasix for the first time, Downbytheseaside was efficient in victory, powering to the lead from fifth before the half for Chris Page and holding sway in a business-like manner -- Page never popped his earplugs -- to down the first-over Normandy Beach by 1-1/4 lengths. Boogie Shuffle earned show. "I thought he was a little dull getting out of the gate," Brown said, "but Chris kept him really quiet. Last year we had trouble taking him off the gate. This was perfect for the first start. Everything went as easy as it could." Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing campaign Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover who extended his career bankroll to $596,016. Downbytheseaside Their trainers indicated the next starts for Huntsville and Downbytheseaside likely will occur in two weeks in the PASS leg at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Filibuster Hanover defeated both Huntsville and Downbytheseaside early last year. In fact, trainer Ron Burke once regarded him as the most promising 2-year-old in his stable. But the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Fashion Ecstasy became unfocused and willful as the year progressed and so was gelded. He was fast and professional Saturday, moving three wide into the final turn for Matt Kakaley and downing Point Somewherelse by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.2, with Candell third. "He's a lot smarter and way more manageable to drive," Kakaley said. "I think he has things figured out now. The front wasn't too good in the early races, so I just tried to get him in the middle where he could make a big move on the end." Filibuster Hanover has earned $133,309 for Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala, Jr., J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Filibuster Hanover $80,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Colts & Geldings The Derby Day card also featured four $20,000 divisions of a PA Stallion Series event, with wins going to Cougar Bait, Independent One, Southwind Yukon and Kellys Bett. Mike Wilder (Cougar Bait, Kelly Bett) and trainer John Butenschoen (Cougar Bait, Independent One) enjoyed stake doubles. Cougar Bait was impressive in his seasonal debut, moving first over and grinding out a tough win in 1:55.4. Keystone Phoenix shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Cinnabar Dragon completed the ticket. "The rail today is real heavy, and he doesn't show a whole lot of gait speed," Wilder said. "I just kind of landed where I did and planned to move when they forced my hand. In the stretch, he just paced right off. That's not the ideal trip, but it sure didn't seem to bother him." Harmony Oaks Racing, Jeremey Day, Tangie Massey and VIP Internet Stable own Cougar Bait, a Western Terror-No One Is Along gelding. Southwind Yukon took the final of a late-closing series at The Meadows in his most recent outing, and he kept on rolling Saturday, retaking the lead for Dave Palone and defeating the hard-used Magritte by 1/2 length in 1:54.4. Iminurblindspot completed the ticket. "He's a big, lazy colt, only does what he has to," Palone said. "That's what I like best about him -- he's very easy on himself." Burke trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Solara for Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, Richard Suda and Weaver Bruscemi. Kellys Bett Southwind Yukon Independent One Cougar Bait The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 4, 2017 -- Huntsville and Downbytheseaside, harness racing's top 2-year-old colt pacers in 2016, will launch their sophomore campaigns -- and quest for divisional and Horse of the Year honors -- in Saturday's $151,280 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The Kentucky Derby Day card at The Meadows marks the kickoff of the spring/summer meeting after a two-week hiatus and also features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Special post time is 11:25 AM. Huntsville won the Dan Patch Award as the best 2-year-old male pacer, sealing the deal with an impressive victory in the Breeders Crown final. Pennsylvania's 2016 champion, Huntsville is the fastest freshman ever at The Meadows with a 1:50 clocking in an August PASS split. Trained by Ray Schnittker, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show earned $689,814 -- and never finished worse than second in 11 outings -- for his owners, Ted Gewertz, Charles Ianazzo, Steven Arnold and Schnittker. Schnittker indicated he was pleased with Huntsville's two qualifiers to prep for the PASS, which included a 1:51.3 mile at the Meadowlands. He said he's switched Huntsville to an open bridle this year but won't tinker much with his rigging. "With the good ones, you usually don't want to screw them up," he said. "Right now everything looks good. "I hope he gets a good trip. As long as he's closing at the wire, I'll be happy. I hope he wins, but horses like him are racing hard week after week." Huntsville goes from the rail in race 8 with Tim Tetrick aboard. The champ must contend with a new shooter, Highalator, who, after a two-race freshman season, has won nine straight this year, including the championship of the Weiss series. Highalator leaves from post 3 with Vic Kirby. Brian Brown, conditioner of Downbytheseaside, made what could be a significant change when he added Lasix for the colt's two recent qualifiers. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover, who races for Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, will use the medication Saturday. "Last year, there was a hint of bleeding after training one day, just a spot," Brown said. "Just to be on the safe side, we went ahead and did it." Lasix seemed to settle the horse in his qualifiers, when he raced off the pace -- at least for a while. "He's not two fingers to drive, so we were very happy that he could sit that long," Brown said. "And when he moved he went right by." Brown indicated he's pleased that Downbytheseaside and Huntsville didn't draw into the same division. "That's not to say Huntsville is the only horse to beat -- I have six horses to beat. They'll meet eventually; I just didn't want it to be in their first race." Downbytheseaside last year set world records on half-mile and mile tracks. He was runner-up to Huntsville in the Dan Patch Award voting but got a measure of revenge by defeating his archrival in the Governor's Cup. He leaves from post 3, with Chris Page in the sulky, in race 9. Derby Day festivities at The Meadows include live music, food and beverage specials and the annual Derby Hat Contest.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

WASHINGTON, PA, April 22, 2017 -- Canwood used the Lightning Lane to power past her stablemate, Massive Risk, and capture Saturday's $27,200 championship of the Princess Pablano Trot at The Meadows and seal her sweep of the harness racing series. On the last day of the current meeting, The Meadows hosted the finals of four series for 3-year-olds with $107,000 in combined purses. Also collecting championships were Media Buzz, Southwind Yukon and Sapphire Breeze, the latter two giving Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke a pair of titles. The Meadows will be dark for the next two weeks, using the break to undertake improvements to the racing surface and paddock. (The track and its Harmar facility will offer simulcast viewing and wagering throughout the hiatus.) Live racing resumes Saturday, May 6, when The Meadows will offer a card -- featuring Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and Pennsylvania Stallion Series races worth an estimated $195,000 -- to complement its simulcast of the Kentucky Derby. Special Derby Day post time is 11:25 AM. A recap of Saturday's championships: $27,000 Princess Pablano Trot -- 3-Year-Old Fillies Entering the series, Canwood was a pedestrian 1-8 for her career. But she sparkled when trainer Bill Zendt added Lasix before the first leg, ripping off three straight with a variety of styles. "It (Lasix) really was a big factor," said winning driver Brian Zendt. "She wasn't finishing her miles, and she acted a little sulky sometimes. Now she trots right through the wire. She loves racing off a helmet. She couldn't wait to by that horse." In the championship, she stalked Massive Risk from the pocket before blowing by late and defeating her by 3/4 lengths in 1:56.2, matching her career best. Miss Da Line, previously undefeated in the series, earned show. Brian Zendt said Canwood, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Hallywood owned by Judith Wolkomir and Fred Kayne, likely will take a few weeks off before beginning her PASS schedule, although he couldn't project whether she would compete in sires stakes or the stallion series. Canwood $28,400 Tamarind Trot -- 3-Year-Old Colts & Geldings Most trainers wince when their horses trail by 9 lengths at the half. Steve Bush had a different reaction when he saw Media Buzz in that situation. "That was our game plan all along," Bush said. "We didn't want to get caught up leaving with him. We wanted to duck him and come with him, and we weren't afraid of three-deeping him. I three-deeped him at the same spot when he was 2, and he circled them." The Explosive Matter-Lady Bar gelding justified that faith, rallying four wide through the final turn and scoring in 1:57.1 for Bryce Brocklehurst. Early leader Gee Wizz George was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Box Of Luck third. Bush, who owns Media Buzz with Alvira Fassett and Dennis Fassett, said the $12,000 yearling acquisition will be pointed to stakes engagements primarily in Pennsylvania. Media Buzz $27,200 Unlocked Pace -- 3-Year-Old Colts & Geldings In the series opening leg, Southwind Yukon led the field into deep stretch when he was outkicked by Beach House in the Lightning Lane. In the championship, the principals were aligned the same way, but this time, Southwind Yukon held off Beach House by 3/4 lengths to prevail in 1:52.2, a life mark. Dragon Striker earned show. Palone, who piloted Southwind Yukon some last year for owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, Richard Suda and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, said the difference this year in the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Solara is striking. "I liked this colt a lot last year," Palone said. "I think Ronnie (Burke) would agree with me that his attitude was a little suspect. Ronnie has done a terrific job of bringing him back this year. He's really been good about doing his work. The potential is there." Southwind Yukon $24,200 Medusa Pace -- 3-Year-Old Fillies Sapphire Breeze, the 7-5 favorite, appeared to be in trouble. Her stablemate, Emily R Hanover with Mike Wilder aboard, had zipped past her down the backside and opened a 3-length lead at the three-quarters. But Palone said that just meant it was time for the daughter of Well Said-Roller Cam to get down to business. "I thought I'd have my best chance following," he said. "In the last turn when Mike went to chasing his filly, I was pretty confident because I still had a handful. This is a fast filly." Sapphire Breeze poured it on, defeating Terrortina by 3-1/2 lengths in a career-best 1:53.4, while Emily R Hanover saved show. Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, Michelle Yanek and Weaver Bruscemi campaign Sapphire Breeze. Sapphire Breeze The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Freehold, NJ --- Beach House and Dragon Striker took different paths last season as harness racing 2-year-olds, but the Rich Gillock-trained pacing colts seem to be heading the same direction this year, which could lead to stakes engagements down the road. First, though, both horses will compete in Saturday’s (April 22) $27,200 Unlocked Pace Series championship for 3-year-old male pacers at The Meadows. The series is for Pennsylvania-sired horses that were non-winners of three races or $30,000 lifetime through March 1. Beach House, who started last year strongly before being derailed by sickness, won two of 10 races in 2016 and earned $39,798 for owner Harry Locke. So far this season Beach House has won three of four starts, including his two preliminary legs of the Unlocked Pace Series, and banked $20,400. Dragon Striker, bred and owned by Bob Key, got sick early last year but finished strongly, won two of seven races and earned $20,250. This year, the colt has won once in four starts and earned $12,155. The two horses are eligible to numerous stakes, including the Breeders Crown and The Meadows’ premier event, the Delvin Miller Adios. Beach House’s potential dance card also includes the North America Cup. “We paid a good bit of money for that Beach House colt,” Gillock said, referring to the $92,000 price tag at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale. “With that being said, we’ve got him staked somewhat this year hoping he’ll come on and improve a bit more. He’s got a ways to go before he’s that caliber, but at least we’re starting out on a positive note this year. That was our game plan. Hopefully we can do some good on Saturday.” Beach House, a son of  Somebeachsomewhere-Sara Sue, won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes last year and competed in the Metro Pace in Canada, but got sick and never regained his early form. “He started out like he could be a good colt for us,” Gillock said. “It took a toll on him and he just never came back the same colt. So we shut him down to give him some time. “This year he’s grown into being a nice-looking colt.” Dragon Striker, a son of  Dragon Again-Lady’s Portrait, won back-to-back starts to finish last year. “He trained better than he raced,” Gillock said. “It took a while, but we finally got him straightened out. He came back really good this year too. He’s staked pretty heavy. Bob likes to keep them eligible.” Gillock hopes the Unlocked Pace Series can be “a stepping stone” to stakes competition. Both horses are eligible to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, which features some of last year’s top male pacers, including world champions Huntsville (a Dan Patch Award winner in 2016) and Downbytheseaside. “They let you know pretty quickly what you have and what you don’t,” Gillock said. “They’ll come out right off the bat and be ready to roll. Hopefully we can stay healthy.” Beach House is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line in the Unlocked Pace final, behind Ron Burke’s 5-2 favorite Southwind Yukon. The championship is one of four series finales for conditioned-level 3-year-olds. Chris Beaver’s DD’s Comet is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the $28,400 Tamarind Trot for 3-year-old male trotters while Bill Zendt’s Canwood is the 5-2 choice in the $27,200 Princess Pablano Trot for 3-year-old female trotters and Burke’s Sapphire Breeze is the 2-1 pick in the $24,200 Medusa Pace for 3-year-old female pacers. For Saturday’s complete card at The Meadows, click here.   by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

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