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Batavia, NY---Racing against Foiled Again last week must have had a positive effect on In Runaway Bay as he put a circle around the best local harness racing pacers in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 14). In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) fired off the gate and crossed over like a flash of light. Cruising unchallenged from there until the half, the leader saw fit to cut a rather casual :57.3 fraction. At that point In Runaway Bay was confronted first by Santana Beach (John Cummings Jr.) until three-quarters and then by Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) when that one faded. Try as he might Fireyourguns couldn't get closer than a length from the time he pulled and when the race hit the stretch, In Runaway Bay ran away to a three-length victory in 1:53.1, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. It was the fifth win of the year for In Runaway Bay ($26.60), all five of which were scored at Batavia Downs. Owner Super Mile LLC has received $30,010 in purses as a result of the 7-year-old Mach Three offspring's efforts this year which were achieved through the training of Angelo Nappo. In the $9,000 Open II co-feature, Show Stopping (Kevin Cummings) sat a tight two-hole trip behind the heavily favored Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) before popping the pocket off the last turn and out-pacing the leader to the wire to win in 1:52.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Show Stopping ($7.20) is owned by Resilient Racing Stable and trained by Rose Russo. Kevin Cummings led all drivers with four wins on the night and James Clouser Jr. led all trainers with three. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 18) with post time at 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---With little challenge at the start of the mile, Kahoku set pedestrian early fractions and hung on late to win the $10,500 harness racing Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 13).   The car released the field and surprisingly nobody left; giving the pylon-sitting Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) the command spot by default. Feeling right at home in that position, Kahoku slowed the fractions considerably with a :30.1 second panel and :59.3 half. Fleet Bumblebee (Drew Monti) was outside on the move at that point and came within a length of the leader by the five-eighths pole.   Pushing the issue from there, the pace quickened to :28.2 for the third quarter but that took a toll on Fleet Bumblebee, who faded as they came off the turn. However a fresh Northern Matador (Ray Fisher Jr.) who had been sitting second the whole mile found the passing lane and incrementally gained ground down the stretch on that path. Sensing the challenge, Cummings urging Kahoku to dig in and he did his best to comply, hanging on to win by a nose in 1:58.   It was the 4th win of 2017 for Kahoku ($10.60) and it raised his earnings to $37,448 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Kirk Desmond.   In the $8,000 Open II trot, Winky's Pride (Billy Davis Jr.) was also a wire to wire winner, touring the facility unencumbered in 1:58.3. Winky's Pride ($7.80) is owned and trained by Robert Hummel.   Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 14) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA---Since shipping in from Charlottetown, PEI, Osprey Impact had been undefeated in three starts in Massachusetts and he extended that harness racing streak once again on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 12) by winning the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park. Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) left and led every step of the way in race seven, setting fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:24.3. He opened up around the final turn and stretched out to a four-length margin of victory timed in 1:53.4, which was only one-fifth second off the lifetime mark he just set last week. It was the ninth win of the year for Osprey Impact ($3.40) who is owned by Paul Larrabee and trained by Robert Marston. The $12,000 conditioned undercard trot produced a very similar race and result as A Nashty Business (Chris Long) left off the wings and dictated every step from there. He barreled down to the half in :55.4 and trotted home handily with a gapped 2-length lead to win in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark by three full seconds. The win also completed a grand slam for A Nashty Business except that all the wins were at four different tracks: Grand River, Flamboro Downs, Yonkers Raceway and now Plainridge Park. A Nashty Business ($8.00) is owned by William Sartin who just privately purchased the 8-year-old Armbro Nash gelding on September 15 and is trained by Joe De Carlo. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (October 13) with post time set at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Batavia, NY---Western New York veteran harness racing trainer John Mungillo reached a major milestone at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 11) and he did it in a very convincing manner. Mungillo sent out his 3-year-old pacing filly Roll With Faith that he co-owns with Lawrence Willer and Finish Line Investors and watched her go wire to wire at 1-9 over a very sloppy race track in 1:57.3 to notch the 1,000th training victory of his career. The grand achievement didn't happen overnight, it was a culmination of a lifetime's labor. Mungillo started working as a groom for Pete Mondi at Batavia Downs in 1981 and eventually became second trainer for Don Rothfuss where he earned his driver's license and started teaming regularly. When Mungillo went on his own in 1986 his objective was to have horses from his barn win, regardless of who did the driving and didn't let ego stand in the way of success. Although he did drive regularly from 1987-1989, he focused more on training his stock from that point on and really started accumulating wins as his stable grew. Mungillo's career best training year was in 2013 when he scored 155 wins with a .309 UTR and earnings of $683,812 as a result. For his entire training career Mungillo has 6,099 starts with 1,000 wins 860 seconds and 791 thirds with $4,466,409 in purses. That's 43% in the money lifetime and that's not too shabby. Currently at the Downs Mungillo is racing ten horses regularly and ranks eighth among all trainers with 13 wins, eight seconds and 14 thirds off 84 starts and has banked $66,782 in purses so far. For the entire year he has 32 wins and $202,945 in purses. Squeeze This breaks the bank in Batavia Downs feature The feature race at Batavia Downs on Wednesday was the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace and Squeeze This paid big dividends after being overlooked by the betting public and tripping-out to a narrow margin of victory. Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) went right to the front and seated all the girls behind her around the first turn. Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) who had gotten away last, became restless at the eighth pole and pulled to start a slow, methodic march to the front. With Classy Lane Rose comfortable on the lead, it took Exotic Beach another half mile outside before she reached the pacesetter at the three-eighths pole to get within striking range. Aware of the challenge at hand, Monti stepped up the third quarter with his mare but the pesky Exotic Beach would not relent. The two then argued around the last turn before Classy Lane Rose showed some fatigue at the head of the stretch. It was there the pocket-sitting Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) snuck into the passing lane and zoomed by both of them to win by a nose in 1:57.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Squeeze This ($37.80) who now has $41,591 in the bank. Garth Bechtel owns the 5-year-old Allamerican Native offspring that is trained by Jim Graham. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 13) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA---As heavy weather blew into the Commonwealth, the harness racing horses seemed to dismiss the sloppy-going and Rooster Rabbit was the epitome of that, winning the $14,000 "Plainridge Special" pace at The Ridge on Monday afternoon (Oct. 9) in a career-best effort. He's Marvelous (Nick Graffam) took an uncontested lead and flew the widely-gapped field to the quarter in :26 flat over the water-logged oval. Going past the stands and into turn three, Beautiful Lady (Greg Merton) pulled first-over from third approaching the :54.4 half and prompted Graffam to pop the plugs on the leader as a result. Her opening allowed Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) to slide up a closer fifth along the pylons. When He's Marvelous hit three-quarters in 1:22, Beautiful Lady dropped anchor and SB Mikes Hot Beach (Shawn Gray) pulled out from second, allowing Rooster Rabbit to get one step closer into third. As He's Marvelous and SB Mikes Hot Beach were matching strides at the top of the lane, Eaton pulled Rooster Rabbit three-deep into the middle of the stretch and started driving hard. He's Marvelous tagged-out along the pylons and SB Mikes Hot Beach and Rooster Rabbit hit the wire together with Rooster Rabbit getting a nose advantage in 1:51.3. With five wins and $45,827 to his credit already in 2017, now Rooster Rabbit ($23.80) also has a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 to go along with them. The 5-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Charles Franklin and Brenna Gill and is trained by Dan Gill. In the $10,000 co-featured condition pace, Lindy Beach (Greg Merton) followed third-over in a live outer-flow at the half before tipping three-deep at the three-quarters to pace away to a three-length victory in 1:53.1. Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Frank Baldassare own Lindy Beach ($2.60) who now has won five out of seven starts this year. The 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is trained by Frank Antonacci. Greg Merton won more six races during the day and pushed his win total to 198 for the year. With over seven weeks left in the meet, Merton has already eclipsed his track record numbers for wins and purses in 2016 (167-$809,012) and has set new standards for both categories. Besides the 198 wins, Merton has also earned $1.15 million in purses to this point. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 10) with post time at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Batavia, NY---The Nation's leading trainer Ron Burke shipped two of his millionaires into Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 7) and won the two biggest overnight races of the season at the oldest lighted harness racing track in America with Foiled Again and DW'S NY Yank. Burke, The Burke Brigade and driver Kevin Cummings had a very good night. The pacing feature was the $15,000 George "Duke" Dranichak Memorial named for a longtime local horseman and racing official whose career spanned over five decades. Focus Power (Drew Monti) went for the front but outpaced the turn, making a break. This left In Runaway Bay (Ray Fisher Jr.) calling the shots with five behind him in :27.3. Right at the quarter Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) pulled and sidled the leader around the turn and past the half in :55.1, but Fireyourguns couldn't clear and remained parked into the second circuit. With the outer flow stagnant, Teo Enteo A (Larry Stalbaum) tipped three-wide at the three-eighths and brought Don'tcallmefrancis (Billy Davis Jr.) into the fray with him. This left Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) hopelessly locked in at the rail fourth behind a wall of horses. Just before the three-quarters In Runaway Bay stopped, Fireyourguns finally cleared and Cummings was somehow able to maneuver Foiled Again out of the box and moved him into third behind Teo Enteo A. Halfway through the final bend, Cummings tipped the richest Standardbred of all time three-deep and had him in full gear. Foiled Again proceeded to barrel down the stretch and show his class once again, pacing by everyone under mild urging to win in 1:52.2. It was the 96th lifetime win for Foiled Again ($4.60) and his fourth victory at Batavia Downs where he won the Kane Memorial Pace in 2009, 2013 and 2016. The richest Standardbred of all time got even richer and now has an unbelievable $7,543,278 in lifetime earnings. Foiled Again is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables LLC. The top trot was the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot named in honor of the local trainer/driver who developed many great trotters and excelled on the Grand Circuit. The heavily favored DW's NY Yank left from post six and went right to the front. As the field settled behind him there were no serious challenges as they tripped the timers in :28, :57.1 and 1:27.1. But when they spun off the far turn the leader's biggest test was yet to come. Fleet Bumblebee (Drew Monti) had been sitting in the garden spot the whole race and when they straightened out, he hit the passing lane. With DW's NY Yank suddenly looking vulnerable, Monti went to work on Fleet Bumblebee inside of Cummings who was already high-lining the leader. The two drivers were highly animated all the way down the lane with Fleet Bumblebee gaining with every stride. But as they hit the wire DW's NY Yank hung on to win by a nose in 1:57 in a very exciting finish. It was the third win in a row for DW'S NY Yank ($2.40) and sixth win of the year and that effort boosted his bankroll to $140,750 for 2017. His career numbers got even more impressive, now with 46 wins and $1,156,335 in purses to his credit. The 8-year-old altered son of Dilbert Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Plainville, MA---Cumberland, Rhode Island native Mike Eaton has been racing in New England for over 30 years but he is currently enjoying what looks to be his best harness racing season yet. Proof of that is having two of his stable members capture both top trots on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 5) at Plainridge Park. In the $14,000 Open Handicap trot, Black Broadway (Mike Eaton) settled in fourth off the gate momentarily before Eaton decided to come early and rolled off the pylons before the quarter. From there Black Broadway was parked every step the rest of the mile chasing the front running Wind And A Prayer (Nick Graffam). Despite solid fractions and the appearance of tiring around the final turn, Black Broadway caught a second wind, chased down Wind And A Prayer and then held off a fast closing Bloodstockshalltab (Jimmy Whittemore) to win right at the wire in 1:55.1. It was the seventh win of the year for Black Broadway ($8.40) who now has $69,400 on her card for 2017. And in the co-featured $10,000 conditioned trot, Shorething Fashion (Jimmy Whittemore) was parked out the entire mile before tipping three and then four deep around the last turn and trot away to win by almost two-lengths in 1:55.3. Shorething Fashion ($5.60) now has eight wins on the year with $52,177 on the card. Both horses are owned by Eaton and Bob McHugh. For this year Mike Eaton trainees have won 39 races out of 179 starts and $274,564 in purses, giving him a .348 UTR. He is currently the fifth leading dash winning trainer at Plainridge with 31 wins, ninth for UTR (.323) and sixth in earnings ($205,337). For his career Eaton has 714 wins and $1.87 million in earnings. This year he has already exceeded his highest previous annual earnings total ever ($170,145) and is only nine wins away from tying his best one-year win production ever (48). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 6) with post time set at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Batavia, NY---The wind and rain blew into Genesee County prior to harness racing post time on Wednesday (Oct. 4) but the sun did come out for the first race. That combination may have helped Miss Irish Rose A bloom for a second straight week as she easily won the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs in impressive style. Larry Stalbaum fired Miss Irish Rose A hard off the gate and crossed over to the pylons before anyone knew what happened. They may as well have put the finish line there because at that point, the race was over. Leading the rest of the way with a gapped advantage, Miss Irish Rose A cut the corners in :28, :57.1 and 1:25.4 where she opened up a six-length advantage. Stalbaum shut her down at the top of the lane but Miss Irish Rose A still paced home in :28.2 to win by over a length in 1:54.1. It was the second consecutive win for Miss Irish Rose A ($3.20), her second win in North America and her second successive lifetime mark. Larry Stalbaum owns the 5-year-old McArdle progeny who is trained by Kim Asher. In the $8,000 F&M Open II co-feature the Asher/Stalbaum playbook was still opened to the same page as Exotic Beach took a quick lead and toured the facility in front from there, winning by a length in 1:56 over an even muddier track. Exotic Beach ($5.70) scored her fifth win of the year for the Man from Matamoris, who owns this one as well. It was quite a big night for the Larry Stalbaum/Kim Asher combination as they teamed up for seven wins on the card. Besides Miss Irish Rose A and Exotic Beach, they also scored with Kaitlyn Rae (1:56.4, $6.70), Rockin Kasbah (1:57, $6.70), Quicksilvercandy A (1:56.4, $7.20), Cartoonist (1:56, $5.80) and Saint William A (1:57.4, $2.50). The eighth win by Stalbaum was with Hitontheflipside (2:01, $19.00) who is trained by Jim Graham. Stalbaum had 10 drives on the card with eight wins and one third and that gave him an unbelievable .833 UDR for the evening. The wielding of wins on Wednesday by Stalbaum vaulted him into second place among drivers for dash wins for the meet. Currently Drew Monti is on top with 68 wins, Stalbaum is now is second with 60 and Ray Fisher Jr. has dropped into third. As far as Asher is concerned, she is now firmly in the lead for wins by a trainer this session with 40. That is seven more than JD Perrin who currently sits in second place as a result of the stellar night by the Asher entourage. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 6) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Plainville, Ma---After a 42-day layoff, Cherokee Hiflyzane returned to harness racxing action at Plainridge Park and wasted no time reaping the benefits of his sabbatical by winning the $14,000 "Plainridge Special" featured pace on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 3) at 60-1. Getting away seventh in the field of eight, Cherokee Hiflyzane (Mike Stevenson) watched from afar as favored Beautiful Lady (Greg Merton) and He's Marvelous (Nick Graffam) bicker to be best off the gate and that produced a :26.3 first quarter for Beautiful Lady, who had taken control. But Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) was already out and wheeling and sidled Beautiful Lady by the five-eighths. From that point on, Rooster Rabbit matched strides with Beautiful Lady while the rest of the field was stacking up in two rows. When they hit the three-quarters in 1:24.2 Cherokee Hiflyzane was last and had just pulled to the second tier. But when that outer flow went stagnant, Stevenson tipped Cherokee Hiflyzane four-wide around the final bend and had him rolling with a full head of steam. As the race went down the stretch, Cherokee Hiflyzane was picking off the horses in front of him one by one and eventually got to Beautiful Lady and bested her as well to win by a half-length in 1:52.4. It was the fifth win of the year for Cherokee Hiflyzane ($129.60) and his first since June 19. The $2 exacta of 3-8 with post time favorite Beautiful Lady returned $535.60 and the $2 trifecta of 3-8-5 returned an instant jackpot of $5,233.80. Cherokee Hiflyzane is owned by Roger Farrar II and Barrie Farrar, who also does the training. The most impressive mile of the day was the effort put in by Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam) in an $8,500 conditioned event, who with the exception of about ten strides at the quarter, led gate to wire in 1:51.2 pulling away to a four-length victory in a :27.4 last quarter. It was the sixth win of the year for Sailor Jerry ($4.40) who is owned by Christopher Hamilton, Sylvia Hamilton and Mike Graffam, who also trains the winner. Nick Graffam had a big day, winning three races on the afternoon while Shawn Gray and Mike Stevenson each won two. Mike Graffam had a training double as well. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 5) with post time at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---The second leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) was contested at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct.2) with two more record setting harness racing performances going in the books. Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) made his first series start this year in the $29,500 3-year-old colt and gelding trot and it turned out to be a very memorable one. When last week's winner Muscles Jared (Chris Lems) made a break after the start, Big Man Ev (Steve Smith) inherited the lead and made the most of it. After cutting fractional times of :28, :57 and 1:26.1, Big Man Ev trotted home in :28.2 while opening up a five-length lead and won in 1:54.3. The time of 1:54.3 was a new lifetime mark, a new stake record and a new track record for 3-year-old colt trotters. It was the seventh win in 10 starts this year for Big Man Ev ($NB) who now has $69,050 in earnings in 2017. The winner is owned by the Andy Miller Stable of Millstone Township, New Jersey and the Lindy Racing Stable of Enfield, Connecticut, who also bred him. Big Man Ev is trained by Julie Miller. In the second $14,450 division of 2-year-old colt and gelding pace, Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) got his second consecutive MASS victory and matched the current standard for this group. Latent Print (Scott Renz) left and gave Twelve (Eddie Davis Jr.) the same pocket trip he did last week. But unlike last week, Davis pulled Twelve earlier, just past the half, and kept on motoring when he cleared. He was two-lengths clear at the three-quarters in 1:27.3 and ended up seven lengths in front at the wire under wraps in 1:56. The time of 1:56 was a new lifetime mark for Twelve and also tied the stake record for 2-year-old gelding pacers. It was the third win of the year for Twelve ($2.60), all scored in the last three weeks. The winner is owned and was bred by Dean Malin of Gilbertville, Massachusetts. The $28,250 3-year-old filly pace was one of the more entertaining races as Spoxy's Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) flew home and won in a very close finish. Spoxy's Girl (Nick Graffam) got away fourth in a single-file flow led by Meadows Rosebud (Eddie Davis Jr.), that stayed that way until just before the 1:26.3 three-quarters. That's when Graffam pulled, popped the plugs and advanced towards the leader. Spoxy's Girl and Meadows Rosebud went stride for stride all the way down the lane when Spoxy's Girl got the advantage on her before holding off the late charging Delaware Heat (Mark Beckwith) at the wire in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark for the filly. It was the third win of the year for Spoxy's Girl ($7.40) who is owned by Ben Bill & Will Stable of Carmel, Maine and is trained by Mike Graffam. Richard Hartley of Newport, Maine bred the winner. And in the $28,550 3-year-old colt and gelding pace, Lindy The Kid doubled his pleasure by taking his second consecutive MASS leg this year. After sitting back in third watching Zeke (Scott Renz) and Rock The Heavens (Nick Graffam) argue hard for the lead, Lindy The Kid (Greg Merton) made a big move past the quarter, cleared the front and then cruised the rest of the way home. With no real challenge from behind to speak of, Lindy The Kid won by two open lengths in 1:55. Lindy The Kid ($NB) is trained by Frank Antonacci and is owned and was bred by Lindy Farms of Enfield,Connecticut. Other MASS results and their connections include: $28,766 2-year-old filly pace Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsys Good Girl) 1:54.2, $NB Owner-Jesse De Long, Clinton, Wisconsin Driver-Greg Merton Trainer-Heidi Rohr Breeder-Jesse De Long, Clinton, Wisconsin $28,200 3-year-old filly trot Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) 1:59, $NB Owner-George Ducharme Stable LLC, Alfred Ross and Paul Fontaine of Massachusetts Driver-Chris Lems Trainer-George Ducharme Breeder- Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine and George Ducharme of Massachusetts $28,300 2-year-old filly trot Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) 1:58, $NB Owner-Raymond Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts Driver-Chris Lems Trainer-George Ducharme Breeder-Linwood Farms of Pennsylvania $30,300 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) 1:58.4, $2.10 Owner-Lindy Farms of Enfield, Connecticut Driver-Greg Merton Trainer-Frank Antonacci Breeder- Lindy Farms of Enfield,Connecticut $14,450 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Pembroke Pharoah (Baron Biltmore-Migraine) 2:00.2, $11.00 Owner-William Varney of Bangor, Maine and Valerie Grondin of Corinna, Maine Driver-Heath Campbell Trainer-Valerie Grondin Breeder- William Varney of Bangor, Maine and Valerie Grondin of Corinna, Maine   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---There will be $227,766 in purses distributed among nine harness racing events in the second leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 2). There are five non-betting races that begin at 1 p.m. and then four more contests that will go on the regular wagering menu which gets underway at 2:30 p.m. All 2 and 3-year-old divisions of both gaits and genders will compete with some very interesting contests on the slate. George Ducharme's Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) simply crushed the competition last week in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot, winning by eight-lengths after leading gate to wire by open lengths in 1:55.3. That effort was not unexpected as Muscles Jared had been racing successfully on the Pennsylvania Sire Stake circuit where he finished second in the $252,000 final just three weeks ago. But trainer Julie Miller's Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) has entered this week and comes in red-hot off the New York Sire Stakes circuit where he is the top point-getter in the Excelsior A series. He is on a four-race winning streak which includes starts at Tioga Downs, Saratoga Raceway, Batavia Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Both horses love the front end and this could shape up to be a two-horse breakaway in the short field of six. Muscles Jared has drawn post two and will have Chris Lems aboard once again and Big Man Ev has drawn post three and will seat Steve Smith for his regular reinsman Andy Miller, who did not make the trip. The race is carded as the third non-betting event before the regular pari-mutual program with an estimated post time of 1:20 p.m. Also, in the first race on that preliminary card (post time 1 p.m.) is the second round of 2-year-old pacing fillies that produced a track record last week. Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsys Good Girl) tripped-out to her first lifetime win In 1:53 and the time annihilated the old track mark by two full seconds. The trip came courtesy of Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) who carried the mail on the front-end for most of the mile, setting :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.2 fractions along the way. This week Delco Dusty drew post one and trainer Heidi Rohr has Greg Merton up once again and Rock Me Threetimes drew post two and his conditioner Kevin Switzer sticks with Shawn Gray who also drove her last week. A similar strategy scenario played out in the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace last week and those competitors will tangle again in race five (post time 3:50 p.m.) of the regular betting card. Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) got a perfect pocket trip behind Latent Print (Camluck-Affluence) before pulling in the lane and winning by a length in 1:56.1. Experience may have played a role in that win as Twelve has twice as many starts as Latent Print and has also been competing in the Maine Sire Stakes since June. But Latent Print was game in defeat and should only benefit from the outing, making this week's rematch that much more interesting. Trainer/driver Eddie Davis Jr. will start Twelve from post four at 4-5 while trainer/driver Scott Renz will get Latent Print underway from post five at 7-2. Last week's MASS action was excellent with four stake records and two track records being reset. Delco Dusty (2-year-old filly pace, 1:53, stake and track record), Bag O Chips (2-year-old filly trot, 1:57.4, stake and track record), Muscles Jared (3-year-old gelding trot, 1:55.3, stake record) and Kinda Lucky Lindy (2-year-old gelding trot, 1:58.1, stake record) all rewrote history. After week one, Chris Lems and Greg Merton are tied for most MASS driving wins with three and Eddie Davis Jr. is right behind them with two tallies of his own. George Ducharme leads all trainers in the state-bred sweepstakes, sending three of his stable for pictures while Frank Antonacci is second with two victories to his conditioning credit. Here is the remaining schedule of dates for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes: October 23 2 Year Old Third Leg $25,000 added per division October 30 3 Year old Third Leg $25,000 added per division November 6 2 & 3 Year Old Finals $85,000 est. per division   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Batavia, NY--- Harness racing horsemen be advised that Batavia Downs will draw Wednesday (Oct. 4) for the two biggest overnight races of the year; the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot and the $15,000 George "Duke" Dranichak Memorial Pace, which will both take place on Saturday (Oct. 7). The Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot has been held annually for 10 years to commemorate one of the most successful Western New York horsemen ever to race on the Grand Circuit. Schroeder was a long-time trainer and driver who passed way after a lengthy illness in 2007 at the age of 67. His career was highlighted by starts in the 1993 Hambletonian with Collier St. Joey and the 1995 Breeders Crown with Financial Paige. Other top trotters Schroeder raced throughout his career were Collier St Kathy, Top Trotter, Remind Me, Mykonos, Texas Café, Matched Pearls and Taylor T Collins. The George "Duke" Dranichak Memorial Pace was added this year to be an accompanying race for the laterally gaited. George Dranichak was born and raised in Binghamton, NY and lived most of his life in Pavilion, NY. He graduated from Niagara University in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. He became interested in harness racing and started his career working for then top trainer/driver on the circuit, Dick Welch. He would later become second-trainer for Bruce Tubin, who now serves as president of the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association. When his career on the track came to a close, Dranichak became a patrol judge, then a presiding judge and ended up retiring from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board as the Director of Racing Officials for all the harness and thoroughbred tracks in the Empire State. "In the history of Batavia Downs, Brian Schroeder and Duke Dranichak will always be considered local legends" said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at the Downs. "Their careers not only made impressions locally, but also in the National spotlight, and both for different reasons. The Downs is proud to be able to memorialize their respective careers and expose today's generation of race fans to their impact on the sport." There will also be a Batavia Downs Gaming T-shirt giveaway that night. Racing fans may go to the Players Club starting at 4:30 p.m. to swipe their card and get a ticket redeemable for one shirt after the seventh race. The Schroeder Trot will be carded as race five and the Dranichak Pace will go as race seven. There is also a $10,000 Open Handicap pace on the condition sheet that may go three divisions if enough horses declare so there will be plenty of earnings opportunities for those shipping in. The entry box closes on Wednesday (Oct. 4) at 9 a.m. You may call your entries in to Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304 or Assistant Race Secretary Shane Hoehn at 585-344-6302. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---The old wagering adage suggesting you bet the longest shot in the shortest field was right on point in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 29) as Osprey Vision scored big after being overlooked at 10-1 in the five-horse harness racing field. With the late scratch of Lutetium, Noble Legend (Jim Morrill Jr.) decided to be the leader to follow this week and took that position shortly after the start. With a sloppy track and no early opposition, Morrill took the field down to the half in :58.1 and looked comfortable in doing so. As the group was into the second circuit, Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) was motoring up on the outside with Osprey Vision (Drew Monti) second over. But halfway up the backstretch Egosnattitudes copped one and made a break, leaving Osprey Vision advancing alone towards the leader around the final turn. By the time the race hit the head of the lane Osprey Vision looked Noble Legend in the eye before trotting right by. Osprey Vision then maintained the lead while holding off the late charging Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) and BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in 1:59.2. Osprey Vision ($23.80) now has eight wins and $55,814 earned this year for owner Marissa Russo and trainer David Russo. In the $8,000 Open II trot Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) broke a six-week drought, coming from way off the pace at the half following dull outside cover before tipping three-deep off the last turn to close down the lane and win by a neck in 1:59.4. Empire Earl N ($12.00) registered his sixth win of the year and bumped his bank to $55,590 for his owner who drives him, Larry Stalbaum. The New Zealand bred son of Earl is trained by Kim Asher. Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Friday. Drivers scoring two wins included Drew Monti and Larry Stalbaum. Trainers getting two wins included Kim Asher, David Russo and Angelo Nappo. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 30) at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Plainville, MA---Despite a short harness racing field and a co-favorite's break, Winding Hill had his hooves-full capturing the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 28). Guiltywithanexcuse (Jim Hardy) shot out to a four-length lead off the gate while rolling to the quarter in :28 flat. Winding Hill (Jimmy Whittemore) was trying to keep up and took almost a half-mile to do so. However once he did, Whittemore pulled Winding Hill and drew alongside Guiltywithanexcuse who refused to give any ground when he was challenged. The two battled boldly to the three-quarters in 1:26 when Guiltywithanexcuse started to show fatigue allowing Winding Hill to gain a length advantage by the head of the lane. From there he trotted home, holding off Buff (Steve Nason) as well as his fast closing stablemate Bloodstockshalltab (Nick Graffam) to win in 1:55.1. It was the eighth win of the year, third win in a row and second consecutive victory at Plainridge Park for Winding Hill ($4.20) who is owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Dennis Whittemore. In the $10,000 conditioned trotting co-feature, Ostrich Blue Chip (Greg Merton) came in sharp off two New York Sire Stake starts and converted a perfect pocket trip behind a game Tuscanelle (Jim Hardy) into a gutsy deep-stretch drive to the wire and win by a neck in 1:54.2. Ostrich Blue Chip's fifth win of the year pushed her earnings total to $71,705 for owner the Fred Monteleone Stable LLC and trainer Frank Antonacci. The day's leading driver was Greg Merton with three wins on the card while trainer Monique Cohen added two wins to her seasonal total. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Sept. 29) with post time set at 2:30 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Two tracks records were broken and a third was just missed on the first day of Massachusetts Sire Stake (MASS) harness racing action at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 25). Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsys Good) made her first start at Plainridge a memorable one, winning the $29,766 2-year-old filly pace. Delco Dusty (Greg Merton) got away second behind Rock Me Threetimes (Shawn Gray) and stayed there for seven-eighths of a mile. Rock Me Threetimes cut speed fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.2 as the top two horses broke away from the field. Coming off the final turn, Merton pulled Delco Dusty and out-dueled Rock Me Threetimes to the wire, winning by a length in 1:53. The time was a new lifetime mark for Delco Dusty in her first lifetime win and it smashed the standing Plainridge Park track record of 1:55 for 2-year-old filly pacers set by Jordan's Jewel in 2008. Delco Dusty ($7.20) is owned by John De Long of Clinton, Wisconsin and is trained by Heidi Rohr. Another first-time Plainridge participant was Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) who dominated the $25,800 2-year-old filly trot. The race was over almost as soon as it began as Bag O Chips (Chris Lems) opened up a seven-length advantage at the quarter in :30.2. Maintaining a gapped lead throughout, Bag O Chips got to the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.4 before trotting home in hand to win by two in 1:57.4. It was the first lifetime win for Bag O Chips, a lifetime mark and a new track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies at Plainridge Park, besting the 1:58.2 set by Penny Dream in 2005. Bag O Chips is owned by Raymond Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts and is trained by George Ducharme. Another powerful performance was turned in by Muscles Jared (Muscles Massive-Tetiana) who walked away with the victory in the $26,500 3-year-old colt and gelding trot. Muscles Jared (Chris Lems) left like a rocket and opened up five-lengths on top at the quarter in :28.1. Lems then proceeded to tour the facility as his trotter set fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.2 with no resistance from behind. Muscles Jared then pulled away and opened up an eight-length lead under the wire, winning in 1:55.3, which was just one-fifth of a second off the track record for 3-year-old trotting geldings. Muscles Jared is owned by Alfred Ross of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts and is trained by George Ducharme. Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) stole the show in the $26,050 3-year-old colt and gelding pace and grabbed his second win of the year in the process. Rock The Heavens (Eddie Davis Jr.) seated the field and went to the quarter in :27.2. Quickly tiring of being second, Greg Merton pulled Lindy The Kid and took the lead before the half in :56 flat. From there things all went his way as he paced on a comfortable lead with no challenges from behind. After passing three-quarters in 1:25.1 Lindy The Kid cruised home to an easy two-length win in 1:54.4. Lindy The Kid is owned by Lindy Farm of Connecticut and is trained by Frank Antonacci. Other MASS results and their connections include $26,200 3-year-old filly trot Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) 2:01.1 Owner-George Ducharme Stable LLC, Alfred Ross and Paul Fontaine of Massachusetts Driver-Chris Lems Trainer-George Ducharme $14,450 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) 1:56.1, $3.80 Owner-Dean Malin, Gilbertville, Massachusetts Driver-Eddie Davis Jr. Trainer-Eddie Davis Jr. $14,450 2-year-old colt and gelding pace I'm A Clown (I'm Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) 1:56.3, $7.00 Owner-Nelson R. Malin III, Gilbertville, Massachusetts Driver-Shawn Gray Trainer-Kevin Switzer $30,300 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) 1:58.1, $3.00 Owner-Lindy Farms of Connecticut Driver-Greg Merton Trainer-Frank Antonacci $28,250 3-year-old filly pace Meadows Rosebud (Western Maverick-Rose Of Aquamarine) 1:55.1, $10.40 Owner-Lorraine O'Connor of Bedford, Massachusetts Driver-Eddie Davis Jr. Trainer-Ralph Anderson The second leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes for all ages, gaits and genders will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 2).   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---The first of five harness racing dates for the $1.35 million (est.) 2017 Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) program is Monday (Sept. 25) and $221,766 in purses will be up for grabs between the age, gait and gender divisions at Plainridge Park. There are a total of nine stake races Monday, four of which are non-betting and the action begins at 1 p.m. Horses that have already competed in breeding programs in New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio and Ontario will now be eligible to the lucrative Massachusetts program as a result of the resident broodmare registration that gives the breeder the flexibility to select any top stallion in any state and bring the mare to Massachusetts to foal. The foal is then eligible to the Massachusetts Sire Stakes program as well as the state program where the stallion is standing. All four 2016 MASS 2-year-old champions are back at three to try and repeat their success at three and all four look to be favored in their respective competitions. Here is a preview of the top horse(s) in each division. 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) was the 2-year-old MASS champion and this year has competed heavily on the Grand Circuit as well as in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS). He has finished second in his last four starts including the $252,000 PASS final behind Dover Dan in 1:53.3. Muscles Jared took a lifetime mark of 1:54 at Vernon Downs in June and now has $297,721 in lifetime earnings. Trainer George Ducharme has Chris Lems up to drive Muscles Jared who leaves from post two in the second non-betting race. (PT-1:15 p.m.) 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) took sophomore honors in the division last year and has been lightly raced coming into this start. After competed in Ontario at the beginning of summer, he was given a break in July and brought back with a sharp 1:55.3 qualifier that he followed up with a 10-1/2 length, 1:54 victory in an overnight event. If he minds his manners he will give his competition all they can handle. Greg Merton will pick up the lines for trainer Frank Antonacci as Lindy The Kid leaves from post two in the third non-betting race. (PT-1:30 p.m.) 3-year-old trotting fillies Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) was an undefeated champion in MASS action in 2016 but has made only one start this year back in June. Most recently the filly has qualified twice at Vernon Downs in preparation for this series; the last time finishing second to the second leading money-earning 3-year-old trotting filly in North America, Barn Bella. George Ducharme and Chris Lems once again team up as Onangelwings starts from post five in the first non-betting event. (PT-1 p.m.) 3-year-old pacing fillies Spoxy's Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) was never off the board in MASS action last year and has come back in 2017 in fine form as she has been racing in the Maine Sire Stakes (MESS) with much success. With two wins, four seconds and two thirds in the series she currently sits fourth in points there. She comes into this race winning two out of her last three starts and has the most money earned this year in the race. Trainer Mike Graffam has Nick Graffam in the bike behind Spoxy's Girl who has been made the morning line 3-2 favorite from post three in the fifth race on the regular card. (PT-3:50 p.m.) Delaware Heat (Western Ideal-Shady Sabrina) is the fourth returning champion from last year and this will be her first start back at Plainridge since she won the final last October. After racing at Harrington Raceway over the summer, Delaware Heat moved to Maine and put in two solid overnight efforts at Scarborough Downs and the Farmington Fair where she won easily in 1:59 by open lengths. Trainer Kevin Switzer has assigned Shawn Gray to drive and they are the 9-5 choice from post four. 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) has been tested hard this year racing in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and then two major stakes at Mohawk Raceway. He finished second in the $75,104 Champlain Stake before qualifying for the $328,000 final of the William Wellwood where he drew post seven and chased a runaway winner in 1:52.4. He certainly comes into this race tight as a drum and ready to roll. Frank Antonacci has Greg Merton up for the first time behind Kinda Lucky Lindy who leaves from post six at 3-5 in the fourth race on the regular card (PT-3:30 p.m.). 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings (This group goes in two divisions) Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) is the most seasoned entry in this division having competed in the MESS. There he is the fifth highest point-getter and is nine out of 10 in the money with $23,597 on his card. He comes into this event fresh off a lifetime best win of 1:57.4, wire to wire. Eddie Davis Jr. both trains and drives Twelve who is 7-5 from post three in race one on the regular card (PT-2:30 p.m.). Master Of Love (Vintage Master-Denverlove) won an Ontario Sire Stake at Mohawk on Monday (July 10) in 1:55.3 after trailing ninth by 14-lengths at the quarter. He was then off for two months before qualifying at Vernon Downs where he suffered broken equipment. Ducharme/Lems send out Master Of Love from post five at 3-5 in race three of the regular card (PT-3:10 p.m.). 2-year-old trotting fillie Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) had some early success in the NYSS finishing second, third and fifth in three starts. But the filly was rested in July and has just qualified back last week at Vernon Downs where she won handily in 2:02. Steve Smith drives from post two for George Ducharme in the fourth non-betting race (PT-1:45 p.m.). 2-year-old pacing fillies Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) finished third in her first lifetime start at Harrington Raceway the first week of September before shipping to Maine to win an overnight event at Farmington in 2:01.1 last week. Shawn Gray drives for Kevin Switzer from post five and is listed at 1-1 in the second race on the regular card (PT-2:50 p.m.). A chief rival will be Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsy's Good Girl) who just finished third from post eight in an overnight at Saratoga Raceway in 1:55.2. She is winless in nine starts but has also drawn poorly all year. Delco Dusty is 2-1 from post three and trainer Heidi Rohr has Greg Merton up to drive. Here is the complete schedule of dates for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes: September 25 2 & 3 Year Old First Leg $25,000 added October 2 2 & 3 Year Old Second Leg $25,000 added October 23 2 Year Old Third Leg $25,000 added October 30 3 Year old Third Leg $25,000 added November 6 2 & 3 Year Old Finals $85,000 est.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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