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CHESTER PA – Donttellmeagain, the last horse to have won a race against 2018 Harness Horse of the Year McWicked (at Dayton in late September), came out sharp in his 2019 bow at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a Tuesday morning qualifier, coming his own back half in 53.4 to trip the timer in 1:52.2. Tim Tetrick was behind the Jim King Jr. harness racing trainee, and the pair got away fifth from the outside seven post, then moved with a backstretch flow and retucked third as Sicily brushed to the lead. Donttellmeagain moved out again in the stretch, but the $500,000+-winning Sicily proved hard to overhaul, but overhauled he finally was by the five-year-old Dragon Again gelding, a neck to the good for Paton Racing Stables Inc. Among the three-year-olds who qualified impressively were: -- The McArdle filly Queen Of The Pride, who won her Ohio Sire Stakes Championship last season, coming home in 27.4 to post a 1:52.4 victory for driver David Miller and trainer Kevin Lare; -- Practical Cat, a Muscle Hill $230,000 yearling, who won handily in 1:55.2 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Per Engblom; -- And the “Philly fillies at Philly,” Pennsylvania Sire Stakes misses Philly Hanover and Rockn Philly, with the former edging the latter by a half-length in 1:56.3 for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Ron Coyne Jr.   PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia Jerry Connors

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - After settling for a close second in each of his first two starts of the season coming from off the pace, harness racing driver driver Tim Tetrick thought he'd try something different with Beckhams Z Tam in the $25,000 featured Preferred Handicap for pacers at the Meadowlands Saturday night. And Tetrick was right on the money. Beckhams Z Tam, the 2017 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt and gelding pace champion, has come back sharp as a 5-year-old, and after racing eighth and last most of the way a week ago, Tetrick had the son of Always A Virgin-Sara's Lucky Charm on the go from the start this time around. After Rodeo Romeo reached the quarter in a snappy :27, Beckhams Z Tam took over shortly thereafter and hit the half in :55.1. Mindtrip, a recent $50,000 claim by trainer Dylan Davis, was now creeping his way toward the leader while parked out as Beckhams Z Tam continued to cruise on the point at three-quarters in 1:23.1. It was blowout city from there. With minor urging from Tetrick, Beckhams Z Tam sprinted his final quarter in :27 to hit the finish 3¼ lengths in front of Rodeo Romeo. K Ryan Bluechip rallied for third. "Timmy asked me if I cared how he drove him," said winning trainer Bruce Saunders, "and I thought it would be a good opportunity to see if he had any gate speed. Leaving the gate was Timmy's idea. Really good horses can race any way and win, and Beckhams Z Tam can be competitive with any field right now." Beckhams Z Tam, who is on his way to next week's Levy Series at Yonkers, returned $3.40 as the 3-5 public choice after completing the mile in 1:50.1. He now has 16 victories from 47 lifetime starts and earnings of $727,597 for owners Z Tam Stables. A LITTLE MORE: Sams Triple Crown and driver Tyler Buter lit up the toteboard while rocking the clock in the eighth race. The 25-1 chance scored in 1:49.4, becoming the third horse in 2019 to break the 1:50 barrier at the Big M. ... Just two races later, New Talent flexed his class muscles from post 10, scoring in 1:49.2 with Tetrick calling the shots in the fastest Meadowlands mile of the year. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 pool surpassed the $100,000 mark for a fifth straight race card. ... Tetrick and Yannick Gingras were the kings of the driver colony, with Tetrick winning five times on the program and Gingras four. ... All-source wagering was $3,175,007, the second-highest total of the year and the fourth time betting has gone past the $3-million mark. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman won 1141 races in 2018 to post the second-highest single-season total of all-time.   As this is written (Sat 6 p.m.), the USTA computer has Merriman second in North America in 2019 with 11 wins.   Ahead of him is a driver who won 14 races at Dover Downs earlier this week ... Tim Tetrick, who is the only driver to have eclipsed the 1141 figure posted by Merriman last year, with 1189 in 2007!   ... If only the horses were that easy to handicap! ...   Jerry Connors Jr

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - She's done all she can do. Now, she hopes the Horse of the Year voters are in her corner. Shartin N became the first older pacing female to earn $1 million in a single season by taking the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace in 1:50.3 in a dominant performance over a sloppy track at the Meadowlands Saturday night on the biggest night of racing on the fall calendar, as four TVG Finals as well as the Fall Final Four for 2-year-olds were contested. The 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin was used hard into the first turn by driver Tim Tetrick, putting 2-1 second choice Caviart Ally in the pocket. Shartin N was permitted to rate the second fraction in :29.2 as Blue Moon Stride made progress racing first-over, getting within a neck of the eventual winner nearing three-quarters, which was timed in 1:23.2. The 4-5 favorite then turned it on, sprinting clear of Caviart Ally as Blue Moon Stride faded. At the wire, Shartin N was 1¾ lengths clear of a fast-closing Apple Bottom Jeans, who was 55-1 on the tote board. Pure Country was third. "She's been great. It's been a great trip with her," said Richard Poillucci, who owns the horse with Jo Ann Looney-King, wife of trainer Jim King Jr. "It was a little tough in the beginning with (her going off stride) when we got her here but she's just been an incredible mare." "McWicked has been a tremendous horse," said Poillucci when the subject of Horse of the Year was brought up. "I'm just happy that she's done what she's done." Shartin N, who won the Breeders Crown four weeks ago, paid $3.60 as the 4-5 public choice and has won 19-of-24 starts this year, good for earnings of $1,053,236. Earlier in the evening, in the $175,000 TVG Mares Trot, Breeders Crown champion Emoticon Hanover sealed up divisional honors by holding off the late-charging Hannelore Hanover by a neck in 1:52.4. Celebrity Ruth was third. Driver Daniel Dube hustled Emoticon Hanover to the lead in the abbreviated five-horse field with Hannelore Hanover racing right behind. Over a track rated 'good' as heavy rains fell, the moderate fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:25.4 set the stage for a sprint to the wire. "Everything went well with those fractions," said Dube in the winner's circle. "But I was not sure I had it won because (Hannelore Hanover) is a great horse, but my horse was good to the wire." Emoticon Hanover trotted her final quarter in :27, and it was just enough, as Hannelore Hanover - who started the year six-for-six but is now six-for-13 - was in tight quarters in mid stretch. Nearing the wire, Ice Attraction started to flatten a bit after grinding toward the leader during the final half-mile, allowing Hannelore enough room for one final surge. But she would come up just short. Trained by Luc Blais, Emoticon Hanover, a 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Emmylou Who, returned $4.00 as the even-money favorite. She has now won 22-of-53 lifetime starts and earned $1,454,576 for owners Determination of Montreal. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations    

YONKERS, N.Y. – A few hours before the start of the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, trainer Jeff Gillis found himself stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. Sleet, snow, and freezing rain made the typical 3 ½-hour drive to Dover Downs a 5 ½-hour ordeal and Gillis was in a race against the clock to get The Downtown Bus to the track in time to avoid scratching out of the $193,750 stakes. “The turnpike was a disaster,” Gillis said. “I wasn’t even sure I was going to make Lasix. Anything after that was a bonus.” Gillis and The Downtown Bus arrived at the track with just 30 minutes remaining in his window to receive the race day medication. Three hours later, Gillis stared up at a television screen in the paddock as his 19-1 longshot charged into a blistering pace and ended up on the far outside in a three-way photo finish with This Is The Plan along the pylons and Jimmy Freight between horses.  “The announcer called the two on the inside, (This Is The Plan) and Jimmy Freight, so I said to someone under the TV, ‘is there an inside bias here,’ because to the naked eye, I thought he might have gotten up,” Gillis said. “And then, when the announcer called it that way, I thought we were third.” The Downtown Bus did get up in time, but so did This Is The Plan. The pair tied for a dead heat victory in 1:49.1 over the sloppy track, a lifetime mark for both horses. The victory improved The Downtown Bus’s record to 11-for-25 with $287,837 earned. Gillis bred The Downtown Bus with longtime owner Ellen Ott and was overjoyed to see the Mach Three gelding win his first start outside Canada. “I was ecstatic,” he said. “We go back a couple generations with this horse and it was a big thrill.” The Downtown Bus is out of Slimsplace, a mare who has special meaning to Gillis. She is named after his father, Raymond “Slim” Gillis, who was killed in a car accident in June 2007. The mare by Artsplace out of the Jennas Beach Boy mare She’s Beachy earned $139,019 on the track for Gillis and became a part of the family. “I don’t desire to be in the breeding industry, but there’s some sentimental value. She was born six weeks before my dad was tragically killed in a car accident,” Gillis explained. “I always liked her, I liked the family, she’s quality, so it made it easier as well.” The Downtown Bus is Slimsplace’s second foal to race and the first to win a stakes race. The gelding is similar to his dam in temperament and complexion. “She was kind of relaxed. He’s got kind of a hair-trigger almost. To jog him, you have to take a whip or pack a lunch, one or the other because he mopes along as slow as can possibly be,’ Gillis explained. “He wears earplugs in a race because once you stir him up, he’s gone. He’s a little bit funny like that. Build-wise, they’re a little bit similar. They’re not very tall, but they have a lot of substance to them, they’re thick and muscular.” Gillis kept The Downtown Bus in Canada at 2 and 3, racing in Ontario Sire Stakes. He was winless in seven starts last year after suffering a series of minor setbacks, but put everything together this season. After finishing third in the Ontario Sire Stakes Final in October, Gillis tried his luck abroad. “I would have to be absolutely, supremely over-the-moon, in love with a horse that’s Ontario bred to pay him into stakes in the United States prior to the Super Final in Canada,” the trainer said. “You almost have to bypass a goal and I don’t particularly see the value in it, so I didn’t stake him that way.” After his successful stateside debut in the Matron, The Downtown Bus will test the waters on the half-mile track at Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (November 24) in the $35,000 3- and 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace. He drew post seven and with Tyler Buter in the sulky, is the 3-1 morning line favorite. The start worked out as Gillis is in the area to start Yonkers International Trot participant Will Take Charge in the TVG FFA Trot at the Meadowlands. “He’s not an overly big horse, he should get over a half pretty good and I do plan on racing him there in the future. This is intended to be his final start of the year,” Gillis said. “I thought it was worthwhile to see how he liked the track and whether there was something there for him in the future, just to see how he gets over it and have a bit more info before I put him away for the year.” The Downtown Bus’s rivals include Mac’s Jackpot, a winner of two straight including a wire-to-wire score in this class last time out. He is the 7-2 second choice from post eight. Air Strike finished second to Mac’s Jackpot two weeks ago and is 5-1 from post five for Brent Holland and Erv Miller. Machiavelli, The Wall, Pretty Boy Swag, Maroma Beach, and Avatar J complete the field. “I don’t really know a lot of those horses very well. The seven-hole on a half is never ideal, but he is the morning line favorite,” Gillis reasoned. “He looks like he should be competitive in there, we’ll see how it turns out. He’s pretty versatile. Tyler can leave with him or take back. If we take back, obviously we’re at the mercy of the pace, so we’ll see. “I am curious to see how he gets over the track,” Gillis continued. “It’s maybe something that we’ll look to down the road, maybe he’ll be a Levy-type horse. Who knows?” Saturday’s 12-race card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace and a $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Harness racing's top-ranked horses, No. 1 McWicked and No. 2 Shartin N, head to their respective TVG Series championships Saturday at The Meadowlands Racetrack looking to bolster their Horse of the Year credentials while closing out historic seasons. The Meadowlands hosts four TVG Series finals Saturday, with events also for male and female trotters, and four stakes races for 2-year-olds - the Governor's Cup for colt and gelding pacers, Valley Victory for colt and gelding trotters, Three Diamonds for filly pacers, and Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters. McWicked faces six foes in the $350,000 TVG Series final for male pacers. He starts from post one with Brian Sears driving for trainer Casie Coleman. Shartin N meets seven rivals in the $175,000 TVG Series final for female pacers. She also starts from post one, with Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Jim King Jr. Shartin N, who has won 18 of 23 races this year, has already set the record for single-season earnings by an older female pacer, with $968,361, and is attempting to become the first pacing mare to reach $1 million. The New Zealand-bred 5-year-old is owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. McWicked has won 11 of 18 races and earned $1.40 million in 2018. The 7-year-old stallion leads all horses in North America in purses and will be the first horse older than the age of 5 to finish atop the annual money standings since 7-year-old trotter Savoir in 1975. He is owned by Ed James' S S G Stables. Last week, McWicked won the five-horse preferred handicap at The Meadowlands by 2-1/4 lengths over Filibuster Hanover in 1:47.3. He brings a four-race win streak to his TVG final. "I couldn't be any happier," Coleman said. "He was off for three weeks and when we drew the five hole in a five-horse field I expected they would go slow fractions trying to get away on him late. When they hit the half in :53.4 I was pretty happy. I wasn't expecting that fast a mile out of him, but he did it real easy. "He came out of it really good. He was feeling good the next day. Everything seems good. Hopefully we can have a little bit of luck with him on Saturday." McWicked, who was a Dan Patch Award-winner at the age of 3, counts the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Dan Rooney Invitational, and Allerage Open Pace among his wins this year. Two fourth-place finishes are his only off-the-board results in his 18 starts. If he were named Horse of the Year, McWicked would be the oldest pacer to ever receive the honor. "To think he was going to do what he did this year would be impossible," Coleman said. "I felt confident he would have a big season, but he's made almost $1.5 million and barely missed the top three. In the starts he got beat, he only got beat from the way the trip went. I've never seen anybody as consistent as he's been week in and week out. "It's not like he has easy miles and he's been at the top of his game since the time he started the season. The horse is 7 years old and racing against the best of the best in the open (class) every week. It's fun every time he goes to the gate. As long as he's healthy and sound we're definitely planning to race him next year." Shartin N prepped for her TVG final with a 1:52.2 win in a qualifier Nov. 14 at Dover Downs. She last raced Oct. 27, winning the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. She also brings a four-race win streak to her TVG event. "She qualified really good the other day, very pleasing," King said. "She doesn't seem to mind the time between races. I think she's OK." In addition to the Breeders Crown, Shartin N's victories this year include the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship, Roses Are Red, Lady Liberty, Artiscape, Betsy Ross Invitational, Chip Noble Memorial, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. If she were named Horse of the Year, Shartin N would be the first pacing mare to ever receive the honor. "I think that's a pretty tall order; McWicked is so sharp right now," King said. "A few weeks ago, I thought it was going to be all about (3-year-old trotting filly) Atlanta, but people have short memories. It's really something just to be even considered, to be in the running. She's gone all year since the Matchmaker (beginning in March) and she hasn't missed yet where she didn't have an excuse or real good reason. Every time she didn't win, something went wrong. "There are so few things through the year that didn't make me smile. It's just a thrill to be around one like her and to think you were a part of it. I'd really love to get over that million-dollar mark; that would be something. You never want to see a year like this end, but she's had quite a year. She's just a horse of a different color. She's pretty damn special." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. First-race post time is 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

CHESTER, PA - Mr Houdini needed little magic to win the $16,000 trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon - he just needed his native ability, which enabled him to come home in 57 over a "sloppy +2" surface to take a new mark of 1:56. Andrew McCarthy quickly had the altered son of Kadabra on the lead, and the winner of three straight rattled off splits of 29.1, 59.1, and 1:27.3 on the engine. Girl Talk had stayed close to the winner throughout and tried to rally from the pocket late, but Mr Houdini saw that one's late bid off by 3/4 for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The top pacing event of the day was an event for distaffs worth $14,500, and heading to the wire three of the four involved in the drive were New Zealanders, with the import Nike Franco N (handled by Flora IL's Tim Tetrick, the lone non-Kiwi) withstood a big late charge from Delightfulmemphisn and the "Down Under Wonder," driver Dexter Dunn, to prevail in 1:52.4 in the off going. Tetrick had moved the victorious daughter of McArdle past early leader Oceania past the 27.1 quarter, put up middle fractions of 56.3 and 1:24.2, and looked free and clear at headstretch. But Delightfulmemphisn angled four-wide and cut into the lead with every stride in the lane, only to come up a half-length short on the money. The winner, trainer by Scott Di Domenico, recorded her second straight win, and now has lifetime earnings of $822,029 while raising her career win ratio to 43% (32 for 75). She is owned by William Hartt, Foulk Stables Inc., JFE Enterprise LLC, and Triple D Stables Inc. From the PHHA/Harrah's Chester

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (October 31) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Matt Kakaley, who scored his first career Breeders Crown victory; Tim Tetrick, regular driver of Shartin N; Ryan Clements, from Catch Driver; and Derrick Giwner, from the Daily Racing Form. Kakaley, who scored his first ever Breeders Crown win, joins to talk about the emotions of winning his first Crown. Kakaley who had two victories on Saturday night (Percy Bluechip & Dorsoduro Hanover) discusses both trips and what the wins meant to him follow a near career-ending injury earlier in 2018. Tetrick, regular driver of Shartin N, will join to talk about the storied mare pacer who dominated her Breeders Crown Final. Shartin N scored her 18th win in 23 starts since coming to the United States and is trained by Jim King Jr. Clements, who created Catch Driver, joins to talk about his experience at EGLX, the largest gaming expo in Canada. He will discuss his experience and some of the new ideas he learned from the expo. Giwner, from Daily Racing Form, will appear to talk about some of the highlights from the great weekend of racing and help interact some fan questions following an eventful Breeders Crown. Also, Mike and Mike have a big announcement on Thursday regarding the 2018 Post Time with Mike and Mike Awards. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. By Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike

Wilkes-Barre, PA - The $500,000 three-year-old Breeders Crown Filly Trot figured to be a battle among Atlanta, currently top-ranked in the sport's top ten poll, Manchego (seventh), and Phaetosive. However, longshot Lily Stride, at 31-1, had other ideas and pulled the upset in the $500,000 event, winning in 1:53.2. Lily Stride paid $65.40 to her backers. Plunge Blue Chip pressured favored Atlanta early, but she cleared to the lead at the 26.4 quarter. She was immediately pressured by Manchego, who was followed by Phaetosive in the outside flow. Atlanta posted fractions of 54.2 and 1:23.4 as Manchego tired and Phaetosive moved three-wide. Meanwhile, Plunge Blue Chip moved outside, opening up the passing lane for Lily Stride and Tim Tetrick, who posted his second consecutive Crown win on the evening. The win over the sloppy surface did not surprise driver Tim Tetrick, who said, "Ever since the first week of Lexington she's really been charging. She got taken out in the (Kentucky) Futurity Final, or she would have been second or third, and last week came home in 27.1. I thought she was setting on a good race. I'm really surprised she paid 31-1. They all went to the outside and we took a shortcut, which I have been doing with her the last few starts. The track is holding up really well. The footing is good." Harder, who posted his first Breeders Crown win, said the filly's season is not over. "The monkey off my back is great. You know, I am really happy to do it with this filly because the group she hit this year are great, great fillies. I thought I had a great, great filly until I qualified her and these other ones started showing up and they are vicious, they're really tough. She's going to go down under and the owners will race her down there, which will be, you know, a feather in their cap, to race a Breeders Crown winner." Owned by Emilio and Maria Roasti of Condell Park, New South Wales, Australia, Lily Stride is a bay filly by Muscle Hill from the Donato Hanover mare Sterling Volo. Bred by Kentuckiana Farms and Jorgen Jahre, Jr., Lily Stride posted her 12th career victory as she claimed the John Simpson Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Hanover Shoe Farms, and pushed her career earnings over $700,000. by Keith Gisser, For The Breeders Crown

Wilkes-Barre, PA - Shartin N, aggressively driven by Tim Tetrick, won the $270,000 Breeders Crown Mares Pace Final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun on Oct. 27. The time for the mile was 1:52 over the "sloppy" track. Supplemented to the race, the New Zealand-bred five-year-old mare Shartin N, by Tintin In America--Bagdarin, flew from the wings of the gate and denied the lead from a quick-leaving Twinkle. Call Me Queen Be took a spot in third on the inside while outside-launching Caviart Ally got the fourth spot. Shartin N cut the first quarter in :26.1 as Twinkle drafted behind her. Heading for a :54.3 half, Lakeisha Hall made a bid that brought her close to the leader, but she could not get farther from there. Caviart Ally took a shot three-wide, chasing Shartin N in a brisk 1:23 three-quarters. Twinkle was stuffed on the inside and Pure Country began to make an impression closing as Caviart Ally pushed Shartin N to her limit. This was enough to get over the finish line first in 1:52. Pure Country made it into the show spot behind Caviart Ally. Jim King Jr. trains Shartin N for owners Richard Pollucci and Jo Ann Looney. She paid $3.00, $2.20, and $2.10. by Frank Cotolo, For The Breeders Crown      

CHESTER, PA - A trio of $14,500 contests headlined the "Trottin' Thursday" card at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the final division producing the fastest winner and giving driver Tim Tetrick victories in the final two of the three features. Patent Leather, a Broadway Hall sophomore colt who had won a division of the Liberty Bell stake here in September, went in 1:53.3 to win the third cut of Thursday's top class for Tetrick, trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC (the last two teaming for their second victory on the card). Patent Leather came his own last half in 56.2 uncovered, but needed to go all of that to hold off the resurgent Majestic Presence by a length to send his earnings to $176,314 this season and $254,306 lifetime. The recent French import Very Very Fast had been very very unlucky in his last two attempts to leave the starting gate quickly, getting hung out the mile both times. But today he faced only five rivals, and despite the outermost six-slot he was able to get to the front and commanded the second group from there, a half-length ahead of pocketsitter Bands Houdini at the finish in 1:56. Tetrick guided the gelded son of Quero, who now has combined earnings of $368,123 on both sides of the Atlantic, for trainer Robert Bresnahan, who is also co-owner along with Tom Sulkowski, Richard Vecchio, and Richard Lombardo. Lily's Swan Pond, allowed to go off at 8-1 despite finishing second at a higher level at Yonkers just six days ago, overcame a first-over journey to win in 1:55.3, just a tick off his life mark, in the first of the tri-headliners. Brett Miller got a 57.2 individual back half out of the Swan For All gelding as they defeated pocketsitter Celebrity Pegasus by a half-length, boosting his 2018 earnings to $119,576 and his career accumulation to $351,513 for trainer Nick Surick and the Second Chance Stable Inc. David Miller led all drivers with three victories on Thursday; Tetrick, Dexter Dunn, Tony Morgan, and George Napolitano Jr. each had a double FINISHING LINES - Harrah's Philadelphia will not have live racing this Sunday, so the Friday week-ending card at the riverside oval has the feature horses from two days: the top fillies and mares, and the best of the fast-class set. It should provide enjoyable and competitive action tomorrow, starting at 12:25 p.m. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - At Harrah's Philadelphia, "Trix" isn't for kids - but she might be for the Open mares class soon, as the Bettor's Delight mare Bettor Trix N remained undefeated in four North American starts after a 1:53.2 triumph in the $17,000 distaff featured pace Wednesday. Driver Tim Tetrick, a three-time winner on the day, sent Bettor Trix N to the lead just past the 27.4 quarter, then got a rest of 57.2 to the half before the sophomore miss Mink Pink ranged alongside to challenge. Mink Pink got by Bettor Trix N before the 1:24.3 3/4s, but Tetrick kept the Kiwi import's mind on her game, and she rallied in the stretch to catch Mink Pink for a 1½ length victory. Tetrick, trainer Jim King Jr., and owners Donna Pollucci and Jo Ann Looney King do know a thing or two about imported New Zealand mares, as they are all part of Team Shartin N as well. There were three $16,000 co-featured events on the card - one for male pacers, and two for trotters. In the pace, Macadoodledoo, who has been performing well against stakes company, quarter-moved to command and posted a 1:52.4 victory for driver George Napolitano Jr. (coming off 15 wins in four cards at Pocono), trainer Mark Silva, and owner Jeffrey Snyder. He's Electric was second behind the winning son of Somebeachsomewhere, two lengths back; another neck behind was Talbotcreekwhiskey, who is in a Breeders Crown elimination in the 3PC category on Saturday. Talbotcreekwhiskey's shedrow neighbor in the barn of trainer Luc Blais, the Cantab Hall filly Ex Hanover, had more success over the Philly oval, taking the first division of the trot co-feature while lowering her mark to 1:55.3. Daniel Dube had to go first-over with the sophomore, but she was determined in the stretch and defeated Armageddon Seelster by a half-length for the Determination ownership entity. In the second trot, the Muscle Massive three-year-old gelding Meadowbranch Ricky made the lead at the quarter for driver Tony Morgan, then withstood a long first-over bid from Fashion Forever to be a 2¼ length winner, lowering his lifetime mark by a fifth by hitting the wire in 1:54.3. Jenny Melander conditions the winenr for owner Hans Enggren. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

As trainer Mike Deters prepares for his first start in the Breeders Crown, he's got a good feeling about Ideal Feeling. Deters sends out Ideal Feeling in Saturday's first of three $25,000 eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The colt is out of the family of Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue and a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Zero Tolerance, who races Friday in an elimination of the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace. Ideal Feeling and driver Tim Tetrick start their elimination Saturday from post two in a field of seven. The field also includes Adios winner Dorsoduro Hanover, Max C. Hempt Memorial champ Springsteen, and Carl Milstein Memorial winner Thinkbig Dreambig. The top-three finishers from each elim for the 3-year-old male pacers return Saturday (Oct. 27) for the $527,500 final. "I'm pretty excited," said Deters, a Florida resident who is in the state's harness racing Hall of Fame and also operates a stable in upstate New York during the summers. "I think he will put in a very good effort. I think he can go with them. Is he an absolute contender? I think he has to have a trip to do it. I don't think he can do the heavy lifting, but he's shown where he can be highly competitive with them." Ideal Feeling, by American Ideal out of Feelinglikeastar, has won six of 18 races in 2018 and hit the board a total of 12 times for Deters and owner Rick Berks. His most recent five starts featured a three-race win streak, which included the consolation final of the New York Sire Stakes, before finishing fifth in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and sixth in a division of the Tattersalls. In the Bluegrass he finished 1-3/4 lengths behind winner Stay Hungry. In the Tattersalls, he was a parked-out first in an opening quarter-mile of :26 and second through three-quarters in 1:20.1. "He'd never been three-quarters in 1:20 before and I think it was a little more than he could handle," Deters said. "Hopefully he'll come off of that with a good effort (Saturday). "He's only gone a couple shaky races all summer," Deters added about Ideal Feeling, who in his five most lucrative races this year never started inside of post six. "I would say post position had a lot to do with it. It wasn't really that he raced bad, he just really didn't have any luck. This is the first time we've had a favorable post position when we've had a chance to go for money, so hopefully it pays dividends." Ideal Feeling got a late start last year at age 2, debuting with a third-place finish at Vernon Downs in mid-October. He only raced three times last season, capping his brief campaign with a win in a conditioned class at The Meadowlands. "He had some issues early where we didn't know if he was even going to make the races," Deters said. "I got him straightened out and he qualified real well here at Pocono. At Vernon, he paced the back half in like 54 seconds and just raced tremendous. Right then we knew he was a pretty nice horse." Deters, who is stabled at Tioga Downs during the summer, is more than pleased with Ideal Feeling's development. "There is nothing not to like about him," said Deters, who has won four training titles at Tioga. "He's a big, good-looking, great gaited colt. He's got gate speed, he doesn't mind coming first up, he's great off a helmet, he's a perfect gentleman; he has no faults." The second elimination for 3-year-old male pacers includes Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug winner Courtly Choice as well as Tattersalls division winner American History. The third elim finds returning Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry, whose victories this season include the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes, plus North America Cup winner Lather Up (a supplemental entry for $62,500) and Tattersalls division winner Grand Teton. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. For the night's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Meadowlands returned from summer vacation with fall-like temperatures and eight divisions of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds Friday night. Two teams stood out on a clear evening that saw temperatures in the mid-50s as Team Orange Crush (driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller) and the pairing of driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano each won two Kindergarten events on the program. The Millers scored with a pair of trotters: In race four with colt No Drama Please (Trixton-Female Drama) in 1:54.3, who now has four wins in 11 starts after returning $12.20 to her backers. Filly American Kronos (Donato Hanover-Glide About) won the sixth race in 1:57.1, upping her lifetime record to five wins in six starts. She paid $3.40 as the odds-on choice. Tetrick and new Hall of Famer Toscano scored in the opener with filly pacer Alkippe (Sweet Lou-Capelo Rose), who stopped the clock in 1:53.4, paid $4.40 as the post-time choice and upped her record to three wins in nine starts, with seven on-the-board finishes. Trotting filly Sister's Promise (Father Patrick-Amourato) won for the third time in seven tries in race five, scoring in 1:55.4 and returning $5.40 as the second choice in the betting. A LITTLE MORE: Andy Miller finished the night with four winners on the 10-race card after scoring five times earlier in the day at Freehold Raceway, giving him nine trips to the winner's circle over the course of his doubleheader. ... All-source wagering on the Big M card totaled $1,569,887. ... Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. Donttellmeagain tops the Preferred Handicap for pacers for Tim Tetrick and Joann Looney-King. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

LEXINGTON, KY--Advancing uncovered into quick fractions set by pacesetter Caviart Ally, Shartin N powered to the front into the stretch and finished under wraps to take the $98,500 Fear The Dragon Allerage Farms Mare Pace, sponsored by Midland Acres, on Sunday, Oct. 7 at The Red Mile. Caviart Ally left for the top with Pure Country tucking into the pocket ahead of Inverse Hanover yielding for third. Past the quarter in :26.3, Caviart Ally continued unchallenged to the half in :54.3 while Shartin N, positioned fifth, began her charge first over. Matching strides past three-quarters in 1:21.3, Shartin N edged past Caviart Ally into the stretch and maintained a length advantage to the line while Caviart Ally gave pursuit to hold second. Pure Country finished third ahead of Blue Moon Stride rallying from last for fourth. "She's got big lungs," driver Tim Tetrick said after the race. "We got her off the gate good today but then going into the backside she kind of jammed up and I had to move her. She's used to sitting on the outside so I wasn't too worried especially when I could head Andrew's mare [Caviart Ally]; I knew my mare was going to give me a good run." Winning her 16th race in 21 starts since shipping from New Zealand and her 23rd from 34 overall, Shartin N has earned $623,978 for owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. Jim King Jr. conditions the five-year-old mare by Tintin In America and paid $4.80 to win. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

When 3-year-old filly harness racing pacers Kissin In The Sand, Youaremycandygirl, and Alexa's Power get together, the race has the potential to be memorable. And twice already this season, they've fulfilled that potential. The three fillies have met three times this year and finished 1-2-3 in each race. Their first encounter resulted in Kissin In The Sand's gutsy parked-out victory by a neck over Youaremycandygirl in the James M. Lynch Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The next was Kissin In The Sand's win by three lengths over Youaremycandygirl in the Mistletoe Shalee, at 1-1/8 miles, at The Meadowlands. Most recently, on the Aug. 4 Hambletonian Day card at the Big M, they finished three across the wire separated by a neck in the Shady Daisy Stakes at The Meadowlands. Youaremycandygirl won that encounter by a nose over Kissin In The Sand in a stakes- and track-record 1:48.2. Round four is Saturday at Lexington's Red Mile in the second of two divisions of the Glen Garnsey Stakes. "They're three exceptional fillies," said Jim Campbell, who trains Alexa's Power. "We're going to need our 'A' game. It's a very tough division, but at this time of the year you're going to race tough. It's just part of the game. She's an honest filly and she gives us a great effort every time we put her out there." Kissin In The Sand drew post No. 6 in the eight-horse field and is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Youaremycandygirl will start from post four and is the 2-1 second choice while Alexa's Power will start from post seven and is 3-1. "It's going to be an interesting matchup with me getting the middle of the three on the gate," said Scott Zeron, who drives Kissin In The Sand. "It's up to me because Kissin In The Sand is definitely as good as she's been all year. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up. We're in Lexington with a mile track and we're all going to get a fair shot." Kissin In The Sand leads all 3-year-old female pacers in purses with $673,620 thanks to nine wins and four second-place finishes in 13 starts. The Nancy Johansson-trained filly, owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, has won five of her past six races, including the Bluegrass Stakes last weekend at Red Mile and over older foes in the fillies-and-mares preferred Sept. 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "She's gotten better every start this year," Zeron said. "It's pretty exciting. A few of the times she's done it the hard way, too. It's not like everyone lays down for us and we go slow fractions and then take off late. Even beating the open mares was impressive. Everything is pointing toward a good weekend." Alexa's Power is the second-richest 3-year-old filly pacer this season, with $429,891. She has won nine of 16 races for owners Jeff Snyder and Michael Snyder and finished off the board only once. Since the Shady Daisy, she has won four of five starts, including the Jugette in her most recent outing Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Tim Tetrick will drive the filly Saturday, as he has for all but one of her races this season. "She came out of the Jugette really good and she acts good," Campbell said. Youaremycandygirl, the 2017 Dan Patch Award-winner for best 2-year-old female pacer, has won six of 12 races this season and earned $367,921 for owner Bill Donovan. She won five times and finished second twice during a seven-race span from mid-June to mid-August. She heads to the Garnsey after going off stride in the Jugette. "We just had a bad thing at the Jugette, but everything will be all right with her," trainer Ron Burke said. "She had a little tie-up incident, that's all it was. We knew exactly what was wrong with her. I thought I had gotten through it, but I didn't. You try to do the best you can, but sometimes it doesn't work out. "She's seems like she's gotten herself turned around now." Last year at Red Mile, Youaremycandygirl became the fastest 2-year-old filly pacer in history with a 1:50 win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. In the first Garnsey division, New York Sire Stakes champion Wisdom Tree is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. Saturday's card also includes the Allerage Farms Open Pace, which features another clash between New Zealand-bred star Lazarus, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, and McWicked (5-2) as well as Dayton Pacing Derby champ Donttellmeagain (4-1); the Allerage Farms Open Trot, with International Trot-bound Will Take Charge as the 2-1 choice; and five divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. For Saturday's complete entries at Red Mile, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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