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Three harness racing series finals made up the Winter Series Spectacular at The Meadowlands on Saturday night. The Super Bowl, Wordly Beauty and last but not least, the Escort Final with a purse of $56,000 appeared the most competitive of the three series finals on paper. Coming into The Escort Final, Tim Tetrick had what appeared to be a difficult decision to make, between Khan Blue Chip, a Linda Toscano trainee and Company Man. Tetrick decided to sit behind Company Man and it was proven that he chose wisely. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Tetrick allowed Company Man to sit third, just off the speed of Khan Blue Chip through a rather soft opening quarter of 28.1. Sensing the light tempo, Tetrick pulled his gelding as they straightened up in the backstretch and made a strong bid for the lead. Company Man hit the half-mile in 56 and three-quarters in 1:23.3, before getting separation on the field and opening up a three length lead turning for home. His main rival, Major Uptrend, was stacked up third over finding himself with five lengths to make up at the top of the stretch. Driven by Corey Callahan, Major Uptrend lengthened his stride late, along with a game JK Patriot and that pair began to close in on Company Man. But Tetrick saved just enough for the final strides and Company Man held on for the score in 1:51.4. Major Uptrend was second and JK Patriot third. Tetrick noted that his horse has the potential to move up the class ladder in the coming months. "He's tough enough," said Tetrick, "he can carry his speed for a long time and he's tough enough and that makes for a good racehorse." Up next for Company Man will be the Sonsam series which gets underway on Saturday February 7th. The top-five finishers from The Escort are all eligible to the Sonsam. Company Man is trained by Virgil Morgan Jr.for Daniel Mitchell. Company Man Tetrick was far from done as he had a major contender, Witch Dali, in the the second winter-series Final contested which was the $47,600 Wordly Beauty for three and four year old filly and mare pacers. Donttellruss was sent off as the 4/5 favorite off her pocket-rocket win over Witch Dali in round two of the series. Tonight, Corey Callahan was intent on the lead, parking out all challengers, especially the first over Just Fine. Donttellruss established a hot-pace of 27, 54 and 1:22.3 before turning for home with the lead, with Empress Deo looming off cover and Witch Dali situated third over as the field entered the stretch. Callahan called on Donttellruss for everything she had, but Tim Tetrick showed his mare, Witch Dali some racetrack and she responded, carving into the margin with each and ever stride. Nearing the wire, Witch Dali wore down a gritty Donttellruss to win the Worldly Beauty in 1:52.2. The win marked the sixth in seven starts since returning from the layoff for Witch Dali and it also made for the second winter series win for the daughter of Dali. Trainer Tony Alagna said he was "licking his chops watching his mare tracking the leaders from third over with the hot fractions up front." Alagna also made reference to a foot issue that kept his mare on the sidelines for one year saying, "we waited on her, but she has come back great and she was super tonight." Witch Dali was driven by Tim Tetrick for Tony Alagna, Alagna Racing and Bradley Grant. Donttellruss saved the runner-up spot with Empress Deo third. The top-three finishers are all bound for the Burning Point series which gets underway on Friday, February 6th. The Super Bowl looked like a four-horse race on paper and on the heels of a defeat in round two of the Super Bowl series as a 3/5 favorite, JL Cruze turned the tables once again on Opulent Yankee when the big money was down, winning the $50,000 Super Bowl Final with John Campbell. Sent off as the 2-1 third choice, JL Cruze left for position and was seemingly moving up to challenge the early lead, but was promptly looped by a three-wide Two Hip Dip going past the opening quarter of 28.4. JL Cruze was hung out on the rim, grinding it first over through a strong 27.2 second quarter. Campbell asked his gelding for speed at this point and JL Cruze responded and took over the lead from Two Hip Dip moving into the far turn. Opulent Yankee was tracking the leaders from third and he elected to remain on the pylons as his entry-mates Blocking The Way and Propulsion moved to the outside. However, Two Hip Dip got aggressive and pulled from the pocket just before the three-quarter pole to challenge JL Cruze, which enabled Opulent Yankee to advance along the pylons as Two Hip Dip flattened out in the stretch. Turning for home off three-quarters in 1:25, JL Cruze accelerated away from the field, with the three-horse entry chasing him home as Two Hip Dip faded, but no one was catching JL Cruze, who streaked under the wire a powerful Super Bowl Champion in 1:54.4. Opulent Yankee was second with Blocking The Way third. The top-five finishers in the Super Bowl Final are all eligible to the upcoming Charles Singer Memorial trotting series which begins on Thursday, February 5th. JL Cruze was driven to victory by John Campbell for trainer Eric Ell who mentioned in a post-race interview that his gelding "was battling a bit of an illness the week before and was not 100-percent, but he had a great week this week and showed up with his best effort tonight." JL Cruze is owned by W Kenneth Wood, W J Dittmar Jr. and S J Iaquinta. The Super Bowl Final was part of a pick 5 sequence that sported a $22,616 carryover, resulting in a total pool Saturday night of $146,934. Darin Zoccali    

For most, winning close to $12 million in harness racing purses would be a historic accomplishment.   However when you're one of the elite drivers in the world this is not status quo especially when Tim Tetrick set the record of $19.73 million in purse winnings back in 2008, breaking his previous record of $18.35 million in 2007. For Tim Tetrick, bigger and better results not only matter to him but to his trainers, owners and especially his fans. With 14 Breeders Crown titles under his belt and leading total purses won by a driver in North America for 7 straight years from 2007 through 2013, Tim was set to make this the eighth year in a row. 2014 was not as flattering for Tim but nevertheless he remains upbeat and focused for the 2015 season. "I didn't have the power" says Tim on his results for 2014. "I finished second in money earned and almost $12 million earned.... I thought with what I had and what I got done, it was a very good season." "Sometimes there are disappointments" Tim reflects, "When you and the horse don't perform to expectations, it's tough." Tim doesn't give himself enough credit, in my opinion. Maybe it is just his nature and his respect for others to not be boastful but this goes to show why he is a world class driver and person. "I was hoping for bigger things but I got to win a Breeders Crown which is always special and a Meadowlands Pace. I had a lot of wins and some special wins which is always good." Ti Tim won the 2014 2YO Filly Pace Breeders Crown with JK She'salady, who was named Horse of the Year for 2014. "It was a great surprise" says Tim about driving JK She'salady or as he likes to call her, JK She'sagreatlady. Tim also created a website www.tetrickracing.com where fans can be more interactive with him. There are contests through the Facebook page and there are many pages on the website where fans can read and learn about Tim, the horses he made history with and his family. "That's my best way for interacting with fans." One special moment that sticks out for Tim in 2014 was meeting a super fan in the winner's circle after a race at the Meadowlands. "Last year Sydney Weaver came down from Canada and met me in the winner's circle for a picture. That was pretty cool," Tim admits. For his stellar accomplishments in 2014, it is easy to forget that Tim had his second hip replacement surgery a year ago. It truly is remarkable on what a year he had based on the fact he’s driving regularly and at such a high level.  "Health wise I'm good to go. I'm happy to be driving three nights a week as there's not as much racing during the winter." Tim notes. For 2015 Tim is excited with what's to come. It's too early to speak to any of the 2-year-olds but some of the returning horses have extremely bright futures! "Tony Alagna has a lot of good looking horses he bought at sales. I'm not sure if I am going to be driving any of them but I would love to be a part." he explains. Tim is still looking for his first Little Brown Jug win and that's something he would love to check off his to do list in 2015. When I mentioned Tim as a Hall of Famer, his humbleness started to shine once again. "I don't think I'm a Hall of Famer. I just want to go out and compete and get as many wins as I can and I really enjoy driving really good horses." Outside of harness racing, Tim is looking forward to the upcoming Super Bowl. His pick was Peyton Manning and the Broncos, however since being trounced out; Tim's choice is the Packers. "Seattle is the best team with a really good defense. If the Packers don't win, it will be the Seahawks who win the Super Bowl over the Patriots. Defense always wins." What team is Tim Tetrick's pick to win the NBA Finals? Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. "They're the best team in the NBA." by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com  

The Worldly Beauty harness racing series for the pacing fillies and mares continued on Friday at The Meadowlands. A premier match-up of first round winners took center stage in the second division, as Witch Dali, the 1/5 favorite and Donttellruss, the 2-1 second choice, hooked up in a preview of the Final. Witch Dali went right to the lead, setting a rapid pace of 27.2, 55.1 and 1:22.3 with Donttellruss and Yannick Gingras racing right off Tim Tetrick's helmet throughout the mile. The two favorites would separate themselves from the field from that point onward and kicked home together, with Donttellruss pulling the pocket in the stretch and wearing down a game Witch Dali. It was Witch Dali's first defeat since returning to the races and snapped a five race win streak. For Donttellruss a daughter of Panspacificflight , she is a perfect three for three to start her four year old campaign. Ron Burke trains the mare for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Karr and Baldachino. The first division did not include a round one winner and thus it was very competitive on paper. Hex was sent off as the 7/5 favorite for owner driver Dave Miller off a fourth place finish the week before, but that filly went off stride while racing well off the pace into the far turn. Frame Worthy established the early pace and cut the mile through fractions of 27.3, 55.4 and 1:23.2. But 8/5 second choice, Empress Deo, was riding a perfect pocket trip every step of the mile and that mare pounced on the leader while holding off a late rally from Safe From Terror to score in 1:53.2, a new lifetime mark. Empress Deo was driven by Brett Miller for trainer Wayne Givens and owner Legacy Racing Of De Inc. The $25,000 featured B-1/A-1 Handicap Trot features a similar cast of characters to the past few weeks. Coming off a win, Lindy's Tru Grit looked like the horse to beat, but it was actually Appomattox who was sent off as the 7/5 favorite Friday night. Lindy's Tru Grit left hard from the outside post hitting the quarter in 27.4, before yielding to the pocket behind favored Appomattox, who would proceed to dictate terms through fractions of 55.3 and 1:24. Turning for home, Appomattox was clinging to the lead, but was feeling pressure from Mistery Woman and Team Six who was rallying off cover down the center of the track. Lindy's Tru Grit was looking for racing room in the stretch. He found it, but Team Six had the jump on him and scored a massive 50-1 upset over Lindy's Tru Grit with Appomattox saving the show. Mistery Woman was in contention racing first over in the stretch, but broke-stride when she put a nose in front inside the eighth pole. Team Six was driven to victory by Marcus Miller for Erv Miller and owners Peggy Hood, Mystical Marker Farms L.L.C., Paymaq Racing and Jorgen Jahre Jr. Both $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers will carry over into the Saturday program. The fifth race carryover stands at $22,146, while the last race carryover is now $47,620. Racing resumes Saturday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. The Saturday program features the second round of the Escort series with a pair of divisions. Darin Zoccali

Three second-round $15,000 divisions of the Super Bowl headlined an 11-race Thursday program at The Meadowlands. Each of the three divisions featured at least one first round winner. The first division featured first round winner Blocking The Way, who ironically was not sent off as the favorite. That honor went to Two Hip Dip at 4/5, who broke in round one but rallied impressively to get back into the race at the end of the mile. The early speed came from Bad I Am who got to the opening quarter in 28 seconds flat. He quickly yielded to the pocket behind Blocking The Way and Andy Miller who would dictate the terms through a 56.4 half-mile and a 1:25.4 third quarter. But trouble was lurking in the form of Two Hip Dip who was following dull-cover but that didn't stop him from exploding through the stretch to win going away by three-plus lengths in 1:54.1 Dave Miller was the pilot for trainer/owner Nick Salenetri. Propulsion was the headliner in the second division, and he certainly did not disappoint. A compelling winner as a prohibitive favorite in round one, Propulsion once again took all the tote action as the 1/9 favorite and while he had to work harder on this night, he still emerged victorious. Electing to sit just off the speed, set by Annapolis, Propulsion trotted along from third position through fractions of 28.4 and 58.1, before pulling first over towards three-quarters in 1:27.1 and then fighting gamely to fend over Passing Jetta to win in 1:55 flat. Propulsion was driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Brittany Farms, Katz, Libfeld, Goldband, Sbrocco and Little E L.L.C. The third division featured a showdown between a pair of round one winners in Opulent Yankee and JL Cruze. In their previous meeting, JL Cruze soundly defeated his rival, but the story played out differently Thursday night. JL Cruze was asked for speed right off the gate and made the lead through fractions of 28.2, 56.4 and 1:25.3. All the while Opulent Yankee was sitting the pocket just behind JL Cruze. Into the stretch, a first over Cue Hall was keeping Opulent Yankee pinned at the pylons, but when that trotter backed away a touch, Opulent Yankee had dead aim on the leader and came charging out of the pocket to nail JL Cruze in the final strides. The wins now stand at one-a-piece going into the rubber match in the $50,000 Final on Saturday, January 24th. Opulent Yankee is trained by Julie Miller for Little E LLC, Geiger, Settlemoir and Stolz. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 pools carried over again. The fifth race carryover now stands at $19,726.07 while the thirteenth race carryover is $42,474.52. Racing resumes on Friday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. That program features the second round of the Wordly Beauty series for the pacing fillies and mares. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

For the first time this harness racing meet, there was a back to back winner in the Free For All Handicap Pace at The Meadowlands and his name is Doctor Butch. Doctor Butch showed good speed early in the mile for Tim Tetrick, who elected to sit the pocket behind the hard-leaving Beach Memories. The pacesetter established an opening quarter of 26.3 and while not feeling any pressure on the lead, settled down and reached the half-mile in 54.4. From there Beach Memories picked up the pace, with Casimir Jitterbug stalling first over. Doctor Butch was able to stick with the leader through a third quarter of 27 seconds flat. Wake Up Peter kicked off dull cover and came with his rally in the stretch as Doctor Butch took dead aim from the pocket. The field closed in on Beach Memories nearing the wire, with Doctor Butch grabbing the lead and holding off the rally of Wake Up Peter to score in a sensational 1:48.4. A son of Art Major Doctor Butch is trained by Linda Toscano for Kenneth Jacobs. Major Uptrend may have been making his debut for the Ron Burke stable, but he picked up right where he left off, in the winner's circle, this time in the first round of The Escort pacing series. Sent off as the 2/5 betting choice, Major Uptrend settled just off the speed of Khan Blue Chip through an opening quarter in 27.2. Moving past the three-eighths pole, Major Uptrend made an aggressive move to the lead for new pilot Yannick Gingras and settled in through a half-mile of 56 seconds. Not feeling any pressure, Major uptrend coasted through a 28.2 third panel before sprinting to the wire in just 26.1 to score a compelling victory over Khan Blue Chip in 1:50.3, which established a new lifetime mark for the four year old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere. I Am Will shook free late to be third. Major Uptrend is owned by Howard Taylor. The second division of The Escort was a more competitive event on paper as it looked like a three-pronged battle between JK Patriot, Brick Bazooka and Company and it played out that way throughout the mile on the racetrack. JK Patriot showed speed and after briefly relinquishing the lead to Autobiographical, he would move back to the front past an opening quarter of 28 seconds. Big Bazooka was the next to move for John Campbell as he was launched past the three-eighths pole and cleared the lead past the half-mile in 56.3. Company Man was not far behind as he revved his engine and was the next to brush to the front and would clear the lead into the far turn, where he proceeded to widen the margin past three quarters in 1:24.3. Company Man put some daylight between himself and Big Bazooka in the stretch while JK Patriot searched for racing room. Company Man would take them all the way to the wire, winning in 1:51.4 for Tim Tetrick. JK Patriot shook free too late and was a fast-closing second with Brick Bazooka third. Company Man is trained and owned by Daniel Mitchell. The third division of The Escort featured a 3/5 favorite in What I Believe who worked on to earn the victory in 1:51.2.  What I Believe moved to the lead early, before relinquishing the lead briefly on the backstretch and then re-taking the advantage through fractions of 27.4 and 55.4.  He would lead the field through three-quarters of 1:24 before holding off the late charge of Blacktree to score in 1:51.2.  What I Believe gave Yannick Gingras his fifth victory of the night, his fourth teamed up with trainer Ron Burke. What I Believe is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Honorable mention tonight goes to Hurrikane Kingcole, widely known as one of the fastest horses this sport has ever seen.  He got back to his winning ways in a $10,000 C-1 event with a powerful first over performance, completing the mile in 1:49.4. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

Lindy's Tru Grit, who just one month ago was struggling to stay trotting at the C-1 level scored his third consecutive victory since the addition of trotting hobbles Friday night at The Meadowlands, defeating some of the best trotters on the grounds, winning the Free For All Handicap in a lifetime best 1:52.1. Sent off as the 2-1 favorite, Lindy's Tru Grit left for position from his inside post and was allowed to sit the pocket behind the pace setting Odds On Amethyst who cut the mile through fractions of 27.3, 55.2 and 1:23.1. The outer flow never developed as Appomattox attempted to rally first over, but never got close to the leaders and Odds On Amethyst was able to lead the field all the way into the stretch. That enabled Lindy's Tru Grit to pull the pocket nearing the top of the stretch, then rallied to the outside of Odds On Amethyst who he wore down coming down to the wire and scored the victory with Andy Miller in the bike. Upfront Billy maintained his position in third throughout the mile. Lindy's Tru Grit is trained by Julie Miller for Lindy Racing Stable and Robert Rudolph. With Dali did it again in the first round of the Wordly Beauty series. Her trainer Tony Alagna said in a paddock interview with Meadowlands television personality Justin Horowitz that With Dali "spent a lot of the last year practicing for her return to the races." Practice makes perfect, literally. Witch Dali has not lost since returning from her year layoff, sporting a perfect five for five record since her first start back on December 5th. She was a dominant winner at The Meadowlands Friday night and looks like the horse to beat in the Worldly Beauty following her 1:51.1 lifetime best performance. Sent right to the lead by Tim Tetrick, the 1/5 prohibitive favorite Witch Dali established a strong pace, setting fractions of 27.1, 55.3 and 1:23.1 before turning for home and pulling away to an impressive 1:51.1 score over longshot Frame Worthy, who chased from the two-hole throughout the mile. Safe From Terror completed the trifecta. Witch Dali is owned by Alagna Racing L.L.C. and Bradley Grant. The favorite-trend continued in the second division of The Worldly Beauty with Donttellruss, sent off as the overwhelming 2/5 choice, scoring the victory in a lifetime best 1:51.2. Yannick Gingras elected to keep the favorite mid-pack while the leaders took turns battling for the front end through fractions of 27.2 and 55.4. It was at that point that Donttellruss made her move for the lead going into the far turn and she had little trouble clearing the front around the turn. Taking the field past three-quarters in 1:24, Donttellruss was feeling pressure from Impatience, who she fought off before fending off the challenge of Empress Deo through the lane, while drawing clear to win decisively. Donttellruss is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Karr and Baladchino. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers continued to carry over. The fifth race carryover now stands at $14,812.80 while the thirteenth race carryover is now $34,996. Total Handle for the Friday program was $2,901,128. Post Time for the Saturday program, featuring the first round of the Escort Series is set for 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ (January 8th) - The Super Bowl, which marks the traditional start of the winter late closer program at The Meadowlands saw its first round contested at The Meadowlands on Thursday night. It featured four divisions, each worth $12,500. The first division featured an overwhelming favorite in the form of JL Cruze. Sent off as the 2/5, prohibitive choice, JL Cruze settled into third position behind a pair of longshots who set the tempo to the tune of a 28.1 first quarter and a 57 second half mile. It was at that point that John Campbell decided to make his move for the lead as he guided JL Cruze off the pylons and asked his gelding for speed. JL Cruze responded and quickly asserted command as he trotted past three-quarters in 1:27, before powering away through a 27.2 final quarter to complete the mile in a sharp 1:54.2, winning by five lengths on a bitterly cold evening at The Meadowlands. Mm's Roanie was second with Charleston Springs third. The winner is trained by Eric Ell for W Kenneth Wood, J. Dittmar Jr. and S J Iaquinta. The second division also featured a short-priced favorite, in fact Propulsion was sent off as the 1/9 choice and did not disappoint. The speed came in the form of longshot Always Quick Star who set the pace through fractions of 28 and 57.4, with Northern Secret riding the pocket trip. Propulsion situated himself second over through three-quarter of 1:26.3, while Jewels In Hock, who was leading the outer flow took the lead turning for home. As the field straightened up, Jewels In Hock broke on the lead and Propulsion inherited the lead and quickly pulled away to score in 1:54.4 for Tim Tetrick. Teach Me To Bucky was second and Northern Secret checked in third. Propulsion is trained by Tony Alagna for Brittany Farms, Katz, Libfeld, Sbrocco and Little E L.L.C. Jeff Gural made a trip to the winners circle after the second division of the Super Bowl as one of the co-owners of Propulsion, he returned quickly after the third division with Opulent Yankee. Sent off as the 2/5 favorite, Opulent Yankee was allowed to settle into third position as longshot Mass Appeal dictated the terms through an opening quarter of 28.2 and a half-mile of 57.2, before conceding the lead to pocket-pulling second choice Annapolis, who led the field around the far turn before being pounced on by a tracking Opulent Yankee, who loomed up and powered past Annapolis to draw clear and win impressively in 1:55, completing the final quarter in just 27.3. Annapolis held on to the runner-up spot with Windsun Cobra third. The final Super Bowl division was the most wide-open division on paper. Blocking The Way was sent off as the 2-1 favorite at post time and took no prisoners as he led every step of the way to score in 1:54.1. Allowed to settle on the lead early in the mile, Andy Miller established the early pace through fractions of 28.1, 56.2 and 1:25.3 without seeing much of a challenge. Bad I Am committed first over, but was only able to get up to Blocking The Way's wheel as the field turned for home. Dress For Success, who was tracking the cover of Bad I Am accelerated in the stretch and was charging late after the winner, but came up just a head short while finishing second. Bad I Am saved the show. Blocking the way is trained by Julie Miller for The Lindy Farms of Connecticut. The second round of the Super Bowl series will take place next Thursday, January 15th. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers went unclaimed with multiple tickets winning. The fifth race carryover now stands at $12,446, with the last race carryover at $31,182. Racing returns at The Meadowlands on Friday Night, featuring the first round of the Worldly Beauty series. Post time is 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

The Free For All pacers have taken turns beating each other for the majority of the meet thus far at The Meadowlands. That trend continued on Saturday night in the form of Doctor Butch. Sent off as the 4-1 third choice, Doctor Butch settled mid-pack and off the pace that was established early on by last weeks winner, Dapper Dude. After tripping the opening quarter in 26-seconds, John Campbell elected to yield the lead with Dapper Dude to the oncoming Warrawee Needy, who moved to the front, hitting the half-mile in 54-seconds. At this point, the outer-flow began to develop, led by the gritty Wake Up Peter who committed first over. Warrawee Needy went past three-quarters in 1:21.3, beginning to feel the pressure of the 9/5 favorite, Wake Up Peter who put a head in front in the stretch. Doctor Butch was hot on his heels track his cover from second over and he was able to wear down the favorite while holding off the late charge of Beach Memories, who had been tracking Doctor Butch throughout to complete the mile in 1:49, which established a new lifetime mark for the son of Art Major. The win marked the second on the card for Linda Toscano and the third for Tim Tetrick at that point, but he wasnt done yet. Doctor Butch is owned by Kenneth Jacobs. The eighth race $20,000 B-1 Pace was captured by a revitalized Odds On Equuleus. Aggressively moving to the lead after a 28.3 tepid opening quarter, Odds On Equuleus asserted himself on the lead and would carry the field through middle fractions of 56.3 and 1:24 before turning for home in front. With Long Live Rock On his back, Tim Tetrick asked the classy five year old for speed and Odds On Equuleus responded and maintained his one length advantage through the stretch to score in 1:51.1. Odds On Equuleus is trained by Tony Alagna, giving him a training double and is owned by Odds On Racing. The win marked the fourth on the card for Tim Tetrick. The sixth race, a $20,000 B-2/B-1 Handicap Pace saw Al's Hammered rally from far off the pace to score a bounce-back win in 1:51, splashing home in a powerful 26.4 seconds. Al's Hammered was coming off a season that saw him win 15 of 29 starts and he makes his first start of 2015 a winning one. The six year old Peter Tritton trainee was guided to victory by Ron Pierce for Harry von Knoblauch. There were no winning tickets in the fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5. The carryover into the Thursday program stands at $10,645.77. The thirtheenth race jackpot went unclaimed and the carryover for race 13 on Thursday is $28,076.98. Post time for Thursday night is 7:15 P.M. and features the first round of The Super Bowl trotting series. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - Melady's Monet saw his three race win streak snapped when he ran into Appomattox last time in the Free For All Handicap at The Meadowlands. Friday he turned the tables on that foe and seven others to score a decisive victory in the sixth race $30,000 Featured Trot. Sent off as the even-money favorite, Melady's Monet was aggressively moved to the lead past an opening quarter of 28.1, before relinquishing the lead to Appomattox who reached the half-mile in 26.2 and three quarters in 1:25. In the stretch Appomattox was spent and drifted off the pylons allowing Melady's Monet to rally up the pylons to score impressively in 1:52.4. The win was one of four on the card for driver Tim Tetrick and marked the fourth win in five starts for Melady's Monet. The winning trainer was Kevin McDermott for owners Melady Enterprises L.L.C. In other action, a dozen pacing mares took to the racetrack in the fifth race $22,000 B-2/B-1 Handicap. Montenegro was aggressively driven and was just a part of mass of early speed leaving from the outside of the gate. She reached the opening quarter in 26.4 before facing a challenge from Momma Rock. Montenegro stretched out that foe, as the two dueled past the half-mile in 56.1 before Momma Rock would clear and lead the field to three quarters in 1:23.4. Turning for home in the 1 1/8th miles event, Momma Rock was facing challenges from everywhere, but despite the taxing trip, the John Campbell driven mare just kept on plugging away and completed the 1 1/8th miles in 2:06 for trainer Gerard Malanga and owners Pai Gow Racing Stable L.L.C. The Meadowlands began its 2015 racing season with a $3 Million night as total handle for the 13-race program was $3,062,670, a five-percent increase from the $2,908,156 wagered on this same night in 2014. Live handle spiked over 70-percent compared to a snowy night in 2014. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed and will feature a carryover of $3,748.57 into the fifth race on the Saturday program. The thirteenth race Jackpot also was not hit and it will feature a robust carryover of $24,442 in to the thirteenth race on Saturday. Post time for the Saturday card is 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

DOVER, Del. ---  Following a holiday respite, the Stafford family had a big return day at Dover Downs Sunday, Dec. 28 led by Art Stafford Jr. driving three winners and his cousin, Ben Stafford Jr., driving the longshot winner on the card. Art Stafford Jr.'s brother Andrew and their dad, veteran horseman Art Stafford. Art Jr. own Atta Boy Bones, winner of the feature race, a Delaware $10,200 Male 3,4&5-Year-Old pace. The McArdle-Santino's Rosa sophomore gelding set a lifetime record of 1:55.2 to win for the fourth time in 10 career starts. Celtic Thunder, with John MacKinnon, sat second the mile with Heza Hot Cookie and Vic Kirby finishing quickly to take third. Another Art Stafford Jr. three-year-old gelding, Blazing Bobby Sox, which he owns with his father, won for the second-straight outing and third time in six races, a1:55.4 score in another races for young male pacers. Blazing Bobby Sox is an altered son of The Panderosa-Liamatters. His other win came giving Daiquiri Don, yet another three-year-old his first victory in 1:57.4.Wyatt Starkey owns and trains the black gelding by By A Length-Temptress Tracey. Ben Stafford Jr. got the 26-1 longshot of the card home in a career best 1:54.4 driving Matinee Dragon owned by Ed Gold and trainer  Ben Stafford to her second win of the season in a distaff pace. Ironically, Ben Jr.'s previous win on Dec. 18 came piloting a 37-1 shot, Maximum Terror, to victory in a $14,000 Male pace at Dover Downs. Montrell Teague also drove a longshot to victory at 15-1, trainer Bob Short's Stonebridge Flair to a 1:55.1 triumph in a Delaware $7,500 Male claimer. Trace Tetrick, Vic Kirby and Ross Wolfenden came through with driving doubles. Only the photo finish camera could separate winner Kiss Dont Bite and For The Ladies N in the last $18,000 Mares Open Handicap pace. They both return in this week's top female pace and start from outside posts on Monday, Dec. 29.at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Last time, on the final turn, Vic Kirby driving Kiss Dont Bite, owned by In The Red, got the jump on Harry von Knoblauch's For The Ladies N and Tim Tetrick, who had to back around and move three wide at the top of the lane. The fast females battled down the lane with Kiss Dont Bite getting his head in front for victory. Major contenders include JFE Enterprise's $1.3-million winning Handsoffmycookie with driver Trace Tetrick and Mach A Wish, a winner of five in-a-row in the Fall, has been third in her last two outings with Corey Callahan in the bike. Fresh from a win last start and now moving up is Ervin Miller's Fox Valley Hermia with Marcus Miller driving. Dave Banks' Fill My Pockets Up and Eddie Davis Jr. and Sha Delight with Tony Morgan driving for Bill Lutz, LeBlanc Racing and Count De Money Stable leaves from the rail. Wednesday, Dec. 31, New Year's Eve, will be a dark day for live racing at Dover Downs. Racing will return on New Year's Day, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. The track's regular schedule of live racing is: Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Each week, there is no racing on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing and during the football season Pick-3 NFL wagering is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

Columnist Joe Fitzgerald took a look at how the drivers in this year’s top ten (money earned) fared compared with what they did last year. The figures for 2014 run through Saturday December 27, so they’re not perfect year-end numbers, but close enough. A few end-of-year drives by Corey Callahan at Dover Downs are all that’s missing. Nine drivers repeat from 2013, in a different order, of course. Andy Miller, who missed six months after breaking his back in an accident ay Yonkers Raceway in mid-April is out, replaced by Brett Miller, who had an excellent year, moving up nine spots. Six members of the top ten earned less this year than they did last, and eight of them made fewer starts during 2014. Jason Bartlett, who supplanted Sears as the top dog at Yonkers Raceway, and Brett Miller, who was a poor man’s Yannick Gingras with the Burke and Takter stock, were the only two who won more races this year than last. Yannick Gingras, the unanimous choice for USHWA’s Driver of the Year, had 18 fewer wins through Saturday but his earnings were up 18%, which amounts to more than $3 million. All of this with about 100 fewer starts than he made during 2013. The time spent in Sweden with Maven earlier in the year and the current trip to France with that same mare, would account for some of that. Burke and Takter both had spectacular years and Gingras, having first call for both, benefited greatly. Father Patrick, JK Endofanera, Mission Brief, Sassa Hanover, Limelight Beach, Pinkman, Foiled Again, Cartoon Daddy, Gural Hanover, Band Of Angels, Lifetime Pursuit and Maven were a few of his money makers. Tim Tetrick, who will drop down to second, missed the first five weeks of the year recuperating from hip surgery. He made 266 fewer starts through Saturday and won 63 fewer races. His earnings are down a whopping 26%, or $4.2 million. Captaintreacherous’s earnings dropped from $2 million to $175,000 and Market Share saw his 2014 bankroll cut in half. I Luv The Nitelife failed to rebound from an injury and was retired. He’s Watching won the Pace in record time in mid-July, but only won the EBC after that. Classic Martine was very good and Anndrovette was solid. He won some money with Clear Vision and Sayitall BB, and Horse of the Year JK She’salady fell in his lap late in the year. Still, for the most part, the stock wasn’t competitive with the lightning bolts Yannick was steering around the track. Ron Pierce, who turns 59 in June, jumped up from the fifth spot to number three on the earnings list. He made 442 fewer starts and won 89 fewer races, however, his earnings only dropped by 5%, or $581,000. Gingras’ success took some dough from the pockets of all the top guys, but Pierce, crafty dog that he is, managed to sidle in behind $1.2 million dollar earner Shake It Cerry from the Takter barn and $1.3 million dollar earner Sweet Lou from the Burke Barn. He also drove Uncle Lasse, Wild Honey, Yagonnakissmeornot, Lyons Levi Lewis and E L Titan. David Miller has maintained his hold on the four spot on the 2014 list, however, he took a 20% haircut, earning $2.5 million less than last year on 441 fewer starts. His win total dropped by 41. McWicked was second only to Father Patrick in overall earnings with $1.4 million. And even there Miller chose Always B Miki over that one for the Breeders Crown, which didn’t work out when Miki was injured prior to the race. He did get McWicked back for the Progress though. The Buckeye drove Holloway’s pair Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow, but neither one of them lived up to expectations. Jolene Jolene was good, but like Tetrick, Miller didn’t have the stock to compete with Gingras. Brian Sears, who straddled Yonkers Raceway and the Grand Circuit again, dropped from number three to number five this year. He had 66 fewer wins in 83 fewer starts and finished more than $4 million short of last year’s total—that’s 30% less. In 2013 he had the richest pair of trotters in the sport, Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, who earned $1.5 million, and Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life, who earned $1.2 million. The latter retired early while BAM disappointed; she earned $421,000 this year. Sears drove freshman hotshot In The Arsenal, and he lucked into the drive behind McWicked in the BC when David Miller only had eyes for Miki. As was the case with Tetrick and David Miller, the stock wasn’t there to compete on the Grand Circuit. Additionally, Jason Bartlett rose up at Yonkers. Corey Callahan, who missed time to the Great Southern Star Trotting Series and the Drivers Invitational in Australia in March, found the six spot again this year. He won last year’s USHWA Rising Star Award and hasn’t looked back. Like Ron Pierce, Corey kept his losses to a minimum. He had 40 fewer winners in 189 fewer starts but only backtracked 7%, or $693,000 in purse money. This constitutes an excellent year for any driver not sitting forward on the Burke-Takter Gravy Train. He picked away at it, winning a sixth consecutive driving title at Dover Downs and soaking up that Delaware sire stakes money; he took a $100,000 final with the filly pacer Totally Rusty three weeks ago. Callahan made 28% of his starts at Dover Downs and earned $2 million there.  Smexi, D’Orsay, Harley Momma, Resolve, Drop The Ball and Tomy Terror were a few of his drives this year. Jason Bartlett stayed close to home, racking up 94% of his more than $8 million in earnings at Yonkers Raceway, where he won a fourth driving title. Busting this year’s pattern, Bartlett made 194 more starts and won 174 more races this year. He earned almost a million dollars more than he did in 2013—that’s a 12% increase over last year. He won 485 times at his Westchester base, that’s 83 and 82 more races than Sears and Brennan won. Matt Kakaley, the only under 30 driver on the list, who handles the Burke horses Yannick passes over, drove in 193 fewer races and won 78 fewer times, but he upped his earnings 7% from 2013, banking an extra $560,000. All Bets Off gave him the biggest win of his career when he took the Messenger. And he won with Cartoon Daddy on the Night of Champions at Yonkers and also drove Bettor’s Edge, Handover Belle, Wishing Stone, Quick Deal, Gatka Hanover and Camille. Brett Miller, who is number nine on the list, had a breakout year in 2014. Like most of the drivers who did well, he was a regular behind Takter and Burke horses. He drove French Laundry, Clear Vision, Donatella Hanover and Krispy Apple, among others. He won eight in a row with Sandbetweenurtoes for Larry Remmen. Wake Up Peter has earned $250,000 this year with Brett driving him. Miller won only 15 more races from almost 400 more drives, but his earnings jumped 35%. He took in $2.7 million more than he did last year. George Brennan has been a regular at Yonkers Raceway since the fall of 2010. In 2011 he won the Hambletonian with Broad Bahn and the Oaks with Bold And Fresh, but over the course of the last three years he has become less inclined to venture out on the Grand Circuit. He gets quite a few drives on Burke’s stock at Yonkers and won the Sheppard with Cartoon Daddy. This year he dropped from number seven to ten. He drove in 44 fewer races, winning 10 fewer times and earning more than $2 million less than he did in 2013—that’s 20% of what he took in last year.  by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Harnes racing trainer driver Ake Svandstedt sent three horses to the post Friday night at The Meadowlands. His trio won all three of their starts. First, the second race, a trot carrying a non-winners of 2 condition went to Annapolis. Allowed to sit a pocket trip through fractions of 28, 56.4 and 1:26, Tim Tetrick guided his three year old filly up the pylons in the stretch where she sprinted past pace-setter Maximus Deo, who would fade to third, to score a decisive victory in 1:55 at odds of 6-1. Oneida rallied for the runner-up spot. It was the first of two victories on the card for driver Tim Tetrick. Annapolis is owned by Green Acquisition Corporation. On the heels of Annapolis was Dreams Of Thunder, sent to the post at 4-1 with Matt Kakaley in the third race C-2 Trot for Svanstedt. Just like Annapolis before him, he turned a perfect pocket trip into an easy victory in 1:55.1. The win also sparked a daily double for owners Green Acquisition Corporation. Svanstedt had to wait until the 11th race for his third start of the night, but Blixtra was worth the wait. Leaving hard from post 10 with Tim Tetrick, Blixtra made the lead through fractions of 27.2, 56 and 1:24.1 with Empress Deo in hot pursuit right behind her in the pocket. Turning for home, the even money favorite and the second choice, Empress Deo kicked away from the field and hooked up in a stretch duel where Empress Deo just could not get her nose in front of a game Blixtra as the favorite hung on in a lifetime best 1:51.3. Blixtra is owned by Courant A B and gave Tim Tetrick his third winner of the night. The dice came up 10 early and often at The Meadowlands on Friday evening. In fact, four of the first six winners donned the number 10 saddle pad and five overall. One of which came in the sixth race, $16,000 B-2 Trot with Lindy's Tru Grit who graduated from his C-1 victory in style with a repeat win at the B-2 level at 8-1. The race was hotly-contested with a speed duel through opening fractions of 26.4 and 55.2 with Here Comes Numbers and Cocotier battling on the lead. Modest Prince was launched three-wide on the far turn, with War Cry Hall just off his helmet. But, it was Lindy's Tru Grit, stacked up fourth over through three-quarters of 1:24.1 who accelerated dramatically in the stretch and mowed down the field, drawing clear to win in a lifetime mark of 1:52.2. The winner was driven by Andy Miller for his wife Julie Miller and owned by Lindy Racing Stable and Robert Rudolph. The other $16,000 B-2 Trot belonged to a drop and pop winner, named Il Mago. Asserting himself early in the mile, Il Mago established fractions of 28, 57 and 1:26.1 before powering away in the stretch to win impressively in 1:54.1. The class drop paid dividends for the 2-1 favorite and driver Scott Zeron. Il Mago is trained by Mark Harder who co-owns the five year old son of Kadabra along with Chris Alexander Stables Inc. Dave Miller also had a big night, winning five races on the Friday card, including four of the last seven races. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 was hit for $12,101. That pool will start fresh on Saturday. The 13th race Jackpot Super Hi-5 will carry over into the Saturday program. That carryover now stands at $17,867. The 13-race Friday program sported a handle of $2,737,008. Racing resumes on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC

Columbus, OH --- Tim Tetrick, who has led the nation in driver earnings for the past seven years in a row, will represent the United States in the 2015 World Driving Championship in New South Wales, Australia, from Feb. 21 through March 1. It will be Tetrick's first appearance in the WDC. "It's an honor; hopefully I can make America proud and do a good job," said Tetrick. "I've never been to Australia before, so I'm definitely looking forward to that as well. "I'm sure I'll talk to some people before I go, but I'm just going to go about it the way I usually go about my business," added Tetrick. "I'm going to do my homework, have an open mind, try to do a good job -- and hopefully have a lot of fun doing it. I'm excited. I'm really looking forward to it." Conducted since 1970, the World Driving Championship will bring together 10 of the world's best harness drivers to compete in 20 races at six different racetracks in Australia. "I've known Tim ever since he started driving and we couldn't have a better representative for this event," said USTA President Phil Langley. "He is very good with both the media and the public and I know the Australians were very eager for him to compete." Nine of those 10 drivers have been named by their countries. In addition to Tetrick, the 2015 WDC drivers will be defending champion Pierre Vercruysse (France); Jody Jamieson (Canada); Knud Monster (Denmark); Tony le Beller (France); Hugo Langeweg Jr. (Netherlands); Dexter Dunn (New Zealand); Vidar Hop (Norway); and Bjorn Goop (Sweden). Only the host country has yet to name its representative. Norwegian driver Ulf Thoresen is the all-time leader with four championships (1973, 1977, 1979, 1981). With two victories each, German Heinz Wewering (1993, 1997) and Canadian Jody Jamieson (2001, 2011) are the only other drivers to win multiple championships. Following is the schedule for the 2015 World Driving Championship in Australia: Saturday (Feb. 21) - Menangle (2 races) Sunday (Feb. 22) - Newcastle (3 races) Monday (Feb. 23) - Goulburn (3 races) Tuesday (Feb. 24) - Wagga (4 races) Wednesday (Feb. 25) - Bathhurst (4 races) Thursday (Feb. 26) - Penrith (3 races) Sunday (March 1) - Menangle - (1 race) - Inter Dominion Grand Final Day From the USTA Media Department

East Rutherford, NJ (December 5, 2014) On a cold and rainy night at The Meadowlands, Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras ran the show. Tetrick was the early star on Friday night winning three of the first four races and four of the first six, but he passed the baton to Gingras who would go on to win three in a row in races 9 through 11, totaling four on the card himself. The Bionic Man guided Super Bowl hopeful Propulsion to a romp in the opener, a non-winners of 2 trot, scoring as the 1/9 favorite in 1:55.1 for trainer Tony Alagna. Propulsion was a 1:52.3 winner this fall at Lexington, was freshened up for the winter and appears to be a name we will come to know well at The Meadowlands this winter. Propulsion is owned by Brittany Farms, Katz, Libfeld, Goldband, Sbrocco and Little E L.L.C. Tetrick also guided Witch Dali to an impressive 1:53.1 score in a non-winners of 2 pace for fillies, despite making her first start in 13 months. Tetrick and Tony Alagna swept the early double as Witch Dali parlayed a pocket trip into a decisive score. Witch Dali looks like a nice fit for the upcoming Worldly Beauty series which begins on January 9th at The Meadowlands. She paid $4.40 to win and is owned by Alagna Racing L.L.C. and Aaron Waxman. Yannick Gingras guided Southwind Serenity to a rebound effort in the B-2/B-1 Handicap for three year old filly pacers. Backers who forgave last week's performance were rewarded as the filly returned $12.00 to win, while last week she was a 6/5 betting choice. Southwind Serenity and Gingras took no prisoners, whipping around the track labeled sloppy to win in 1:50.3. The rapid pace of 27-, 55- and 1:22.3 seemed to have little effect on the Ron Burke trainee as she kicked home in 28 seconds flat to win handily. The winner is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver, Bruscemi and Collura. The $22,500 B-1/A-2 Filly and Mare Handicap Pace went to Set Me Up at 3-1, who went straight to the lead and never looked back through fractions of 26.4, 56- and 1:24.4 to win in 1:52. It was the second Gingras/Burke winning connection on the card. The win was the eighth on the season for Set Me Up who went past $100,000 in earnings in the 2014 racing season for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver and Bruscemi. Upfront Billy gave Brett Miller a win in the B-2/B-1 Handicap Trot with Up Front Billy, who rallied boldly again, but this time got up rather easily to score in 1:54.1. Miller tracked cover from a position third over through strong fractions, including a 56.2 middle-half mile, angled out and powered home to win at 9/2. Super Manning was 2nd while the classy Mistery Woman who set the pace as the 4/5 betting choice faded to third. Upfront Billy is trained and co-owned by Mark Ford for Up Front Racing L.L.C. The total handle of $2,273,465 was a six-percent increase from the same Friday in 2013. Handle on harness racing at The Meadowlands has eclipsed $200 Million for the second consecutive year. For the second time in three nights, the jackpot super hi-5 was hit and returned $15,606.68 for the one winning ticket. The pool will start fresh again when racing resumes on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

Batavia, NY---It was business as usual at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 26) after a week long hiatus due to inclement weather. Although several feet of snow from the storm had already dissipated, a 32-degree temperature and flurries greeted the horses as they hit the track with mud-gear employed. The night's feature race hosted the top seven distaff pacers on the grounds in the $9,600 mares Open and when the slush had settled, Seascape Hanover had bagged her eighth win of the year. When the starter released the field, the group settled into post-position order for the first half of the mile. Rail rider Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) cut the fractions through that segment before Mondatta (Jim McNeight) came first-over into the third turn. With those two carrying the mail, Seascape Hanover (Ron Beback Jr.) sat chilly in the garden spot just waiting to make her move. That time came at the head of the stretch when the passing lane opened up and Seascape Hanover made her move and paced right by Memumsnotnice to notch the 1:59 victory. Mondatta hung on for third. Seascape Hanover ($4.60) is owned by Tessa Roland and Mark Jakubik and is trained by J.D. Perrin. The win boosted her 2014 earnings to $43,877 and now the 8-year-old Camluck mare is just shy of a quarter-million dollars earned lifetime. Driver Ron Beback Jr. scored a driving hat trick on the night while Drew Monti, Ray Fisher Jr. and Jimmy Whittemore all doubled up. Superfecta players had a heyday Wednesday night as six races returned boxcar payouts. The 4-1-6-3 combination in the second race paid $5,542.00, 6-1-4-8 in the third returned $2,010.00, 1-4-2-6 in the ninth paid $3,997.00, 2-8-6-1 in the tenth paid $1,205.00, 3-1-8-2 in the eleventh returned $2,130.00 and the twelfth race featured a monster double payout due to a dead-heat for place. 5-3-6-1 paid $6,350.00 and 5-6-3-1 returned $4,234.00. And while we're on the topic of instant jackpots, the Pick-4 in races three through six rewarded players with a $5,339.00 bundle of cash. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 28). And the first of two Saturday double-headers will be held this Saturday (Nov. 29) with post times set at 12:15 and 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

TRACEUR HANOVER TAKES COLT DIVISION

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