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After an early tussle with Fireyourguns, Prairie Jaguar ($5.10) made the front and did not look back, kicking clear to a four-length win in Sunday (July 20) afternoon's harness racing featured $14,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   The six-year-old Spy Hard gelding found himself embroiled in an early speed duel, forcing Fireyourguns into the pocket through a :26.2 initial quarter. After a conservative second quarter, Jim Marohn, Jr. called upon Prairie Jaguar to accelerate up the backstretch, with 6-5 favorite Fireyourguns keeping pace nicely from the pocket through a 1:23 three-quarter split. On the far turn, Aaron Byron angled Fireyourguns to the outside to challenge, but Prairie Jaguar dug in all the more, sprinting clear for a four-length win in 1:50.4. Fireyourguns held second, while Golden Gun (Tyler Buter) stayed on for third off a tracking trip.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Jaguar with Laurie Lee Poulin.   The win was one of three on the day for Marohn, who also proved victorious aboard T's Electric (another Mike Deters trainee) and Will Kane.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (July 25) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

July 20, 2014 – Sebastian K’s defeat in the Maple Leaf Trot broke many a handicappers’ heart but Anne Stepien managed to play the race right and as a result is the weekly champion in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. By having a net profit of $479.06 for the weekend, moving from 12th place to 10th.  Rusty Nash was second best with a net profit of $260 won in the Lawrence B. Sheppard ay Yonkers Raceway, moving up one slot to 13th place.  Although showing only a $5 profit for the week, Bob Zanakis remains in 1stplace with an overall net profit of $2,860.70, $517.20 ahead of 2nd place Brandon Valvo.   There were several key hits for the weekend.  Ray Garnett managed to break even for the weekend thanks to his three horse $10 Exacta Box ($60 total) in the Battle of Lake Erie, which paid $240.  Derick Giwner managed a symbolic $2 profit for the weekend thanks to his $80 Win wager in the Sheppard which paid $252.00.  Rusty Nash’s 2nd place finish came as a result of his $100 Win, Place ticket in the Sheppard which rewarded him with a $510 dividend.  The weekly champion, Ann Stepien managed to earn her victory wheeling Sebastian K in a $4 Key Exacta Box with 8 horses ($64), earning her $619.40.  Bob Zanakis made a $5 profit thanks to his $50 Win, Place ticket ($100) in the Yonkers stake which paid $255.00.  Here are the standings after Saturday night’s action. As of July 19, 2014 - Leg 18 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $5.00 $2,860.70   2nd Brandon Valvo ($210.00) $2,343.50 $517.20 3rd Derick Giwner $2.00 $417.17 $2,443.53 4th Ray Garnett $0.00 $233.85 $2,626.85 5th Mark McKelvie ($250.00) $28.00 $2,832.70 6th Brian McEvoy $12.50 ($192.50) $3,053.20 7th Earl Paulson ($250.00) ($366.00) $3,226.70 8th Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) ($798.00) $3,658.70 9th Josi Verlingieri ($150.00) ($830.40) $3,691.10 10th Ann Stepien $479.06 ($831.11) $3,691.81 11th Sally Hinckley ($250.00) ($925.00) $3,785.70 12th Gordon Waterstone ($250.00) ($1,097.90) $3,958.60 13th Rusty Nash $260.00 ($1,872.40) $4,733.10 14th Dennis O'Hara ($250.00) ($2,128.20) $4,988.90 15th Ray Cotolo ($250.00) ($3,703.40) $6,564.10 The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out visits the Meadows this weekend on Saturday, July 26, for the $400,000 Adios, $150,000 Adioo Volo, and the Arden Downs for 2yo pacers and 3yo trotters of both sexes. Further contest details may be found at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HANA

After a dominant 1:53.3 win in last week's sub-featured trotting event, Spice It Up Lindy ($6.50) sustained a first-over bid en route to a 1:54.3 triumph in Saturday (July 19) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.   With the two mares in the field--As Ya'll Like It (Brandon Simpson) and Dough Dough (Mike Simons)--assuming the pacesetting duties with a circuit remaining and Spice It Up Lindy eight lengths off the lead while trailing the sextet, Jim Meittinis angled the 11-year-old SJ's Caviar gelding first-over, progressing steadily after a :57.1 half-mile and into a :27.4 third quarter.   On the far turn, Spice It Up Lindy turned up the pressure on As Ya'll Like It, taking the lead off the corner and kicking clear. In the final sixteenth, Dough Dough found room at the pegs to re-rally, but only got to within a length of Spice It Up Lindy. Mr Web Page (Aaron Byron) followed the winner's cover throughout, staying on for third.   Santo Zuzolo owns and trains Spice It Up Lindy, who scored his 30th career win.   The winning drive in the feature kicked off a hat trick on the evening for Meittinis, who tied Brandon Simpson with three driving wins on the night.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 20) afternoon, with the first of 11 races slated for 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs    

Of four New York Sire Stakes events held at Tioga Downs on Friday (July 18) evening, two-year-old sons of top trotting sire RC Royalty proved victorious in three of them.   The first division, carded as the $28,250 third race, saw Royal Lad (RC Royalty-Hostesswithmostess) kick cover off the far turn, rallying for a half-length win in 1:59.4 over Drinksforthehouse and Crazy Levi. Mike Simons drove Royal Lad in the 11-1 upset win for trainer Roman Lopez.   In the following race, Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art of Deception) made an aggressive brush to the lead with a circuit to go, widening his lead through the final three-eighths of the mile en route to a 7-3/4 length win over a late rallying Elusive Action and the first-over Commentary. Royal Deceptor, an easy winner at Buffalo in his career debut, returned a scant $2.70 to win with his effortless 1:58.2 performance. Michael McGivern handled the driving duties for trainer Cheryl McGivern.   The sixth race, devoid of RC Royalty progeny, was the next Sire Stakes event on the evening, with Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) prevailing after a slingshot move on the far turn propelled him to the lead off the far turn. He held on for a narrow 1:57.2 victory, digging in to just stave off 3-2 favorite Habitat, who was mounting a massive late rally after an early break. Jeff Gregory drove the 9-1 Mambo Blue Chip for trainer Linda Toscano.   George Ducharme trainee Wings of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) wrapped up the New York Sire Stakes portion of the program in the seventh race, edging clear for a three-length win in rein to Chris Lems. He held clear of Credit Creation and Azucar in a 1:57.4 mile, prevailing as the lukewarm 5-2 favorite.   Racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 19) evening, with a 13-race card set to kick off at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2014 Buffalo Raceway live racing season comes to an end on Sunday afternoon but the track will close with a bang as the New York State Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies highlight the final card of the year.   There will be four $27,251 divisions of the Sire Stakes along a trio of $12,600 Excelsior A Series races and a $6,700 Excelsior B race in the 11-race program that is set for 1:05 p.m.   And while there be some talented filly trotters taking to the track, it's like a 'who's who' that will be driving them. Former Western New York regulars Jeff Gregory, Ray Schnittker, Jim Morrill Jr., John Stark Jr., Phil Fluet, Sam Schillaci and John Cummings Jr. all will be returning to Western New York for day. They'll be joined by others including Dan Daley, Chuck Connors Jr., Charlie Norris, Chris Lems, Gates Brunet, Jim Meittinis, Rick Zeron, Robert Shepherd, Jim Marohn Jr. and Tyler Raymer.   The Sire Stakes will be contested in the first, third, sixth and seventh races.   The first leg features Counsellor AS (Gregory) who has a 1-1/2 length win in the Excelsior A Series at Vernon Downs on June 26 in 2:00.1. Counsellor As (Conway Hall-Cordele AS) broke stride in her last appearance at Tioga Downs on July 11. She'll look to rebound starting from the three post as the 3-1 morning line choice.   Her main threat should come from 4-1 second choice Meshugana Miss (Crazed-Daring Marisa) who start from the four post. She has a pair of second place finishes in both of her pari-mutuel starts and will be handled by Connor Jr.   The second division has Betcha (Betcha-Ruccoucou) as the 3-1 choice with Daley in the bike. Betcha cruised to an easy two length decision in the $27,250 Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs in 1:59.4 on July 11. She may play 'catch-me-if-you can' from the four spot.   The toughest leg could be the third which will go as the sixth race. It finds My Twisted Sister (Lucky Chucky-Pretzel Hanover) and Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) ready to battle it out.   My Twisted Sister (Morrill Jr.) showed plenty of heart in posting a neck victory in the $27,750 Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs in 2:00 on July 11. She'll get the inside post and should get a perfect trip.   Barn Doll drew a tough post, the seventh spot, but can overcome it after posting a pair of big victories of more than three lengths in her last two starts, including 1:59.1 decision at Tioga on July 11 in the Sire Stakes. Barn Doll gets Jeff Gregory as her pilot.   The final division has Spell That (Conway Hall-Mouche Hanover) the 3-1 early choice with Sam Schillaci in the sulky. She was last seen on June 26 at Vernon Downs where she suffered a narrow neck defeat in the Sire Stakes. She'll start out of the six post.   The main threat could come from Northern Obsession (Conway Hall-Northernpossession). This 2-year-old has a pair of competitive third place finishes in two Sire Stakes starts and gets trainer-driver Ray Schnittker on the reins. They'll score from the three post.   For more information including simulcast schedule, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway      

It'll be a great afternoon of action on Monday, July 21 when Monticello Raceway features New York-bred 2 year old pacing colts and geldings. There will be five divisions of the $110,000 New York Sire Stakes which will be joined by five splits of freshmen colt pacers in the Excelsior Series who'll compete for total purses in excess of $50,000. The day will commence with arguably the best $21,800 NYSS division on the 13 race program when two speedy freshmen, Freedomformysoul and Rockntouch, clash in the first race on the card. Both were NYSS winners at Saratoga Raceway on July 12, and both with eye-opening performances. Freedomformysoul, a son of If I Can Dream-Hello Grin, in only his second lifetime start made a quarter pole move to the front and then bristled to a stunning 1:53.3 victory for driver Jimmy Morrill, Jr. He'll start from the pole position again with Morrill in the bike. In his first lifetime start Rockntouch, sailed wire to wire for a splendid 1:55 triumph also with Morrill at the controls. However, on Monday Yannick Gingras will be in the pilot's seat when this son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Touch Of Bogart leaves from the two-hole Freedomformysoul is trained by Nancy Johansson for the Freedomformysoul Stable while Monte Gelrod conditions Rockntouch for Freddy Monteleone. In another NYSS division, race four on the card, the undefeated Oneisalonelynumber and Aimo Hanover will lock horns. Both pacers won their respective NYSS divisions at Saratoga in identical times of 1:57.3 Oneisaloneynumber, an altered son of Bettor's Delight-No One Is Alone is trained by Casie Coleman for the West Wins Stable and Adriano Sorella while Aimo Hanover, an Artiscape colt out of Allamerican Celeb, is owned by the Doug Ackerman Stable and trained by D.R. Ackerman. Jimmy Morrill, Jr. will drive the former while Jeff Gregory will handle the latter. In a third split, race eight, K Ryan Bluechip gets the nod as the early line favorite. He was a close second to Freedomformysoul at Saratoga officially timed in 1:54.1. The son of Art Major-Fool That I Am won a baby race at Pocono Downs in 1:54.2 on June 20. Joe Pavia, Jr. trains and drives K Ryan Bluechip for Steve Held, Joe Barbera, the AGC Stable, and Harbor Point Hospitality. They will leave from post four on Monday afternoon. Then fourth split, race 10, will feature K-Rock, a Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A colt who was 1:55.1 NYSS winner at Saratoga for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. From the powerful Ron Burke Stable K-rock will be driven by Yannick Gingras when they start from post three. JD He's Da Bomb, who earlier this season won two baby races at Tioga Downs- the fastest in 1:57.1- will be the one to beat in the final NYSS division which will go as race 12. Blocked and beaten just a length in his NYSS split at Saratoga and individually timed in 1:55.4 the Art Major-Cherry Bomb colt will leave from the pole position with Corey Braden at the lines. Paul Bernardo trains JD He's Da Bomb for Joe Martinelli. "These sire stakes races appear to have some of the best pacing colts we've ever seen, especially at this time of the year," noted Eric Warner the track's Sr. Director of Racing. "Fans will be in for a pleasurable afternoon." The undercard also features some nice colts in three Excelsior "A" divisions and two Excelsior "B" divisions. They'll be joined by three overnight events. The 13-race card will get underway at 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Tioga Downs extends an invitation to all horsemen and owners participating at Tioga Downs to join us in the annual horsemen's golf outing on Saturday, August 9. The golf outing will be contested in the four-man scramble format, and will take place at Pheasant Hills in Owego, New York with an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start. A steak dinner and prize ceremony at the course will follow the golf outing. The tournament is free for all horsemen and owners. To sign up, please email Garrett Madison atgmadison@tiogadowns.com or call him at 607.699.7691. We hope that you will make plans to join us on Saturday morning (August 9) for golf, and also on Sunday afternoon (August 10) for racing at 1:30 p.m. featuring divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacers, and the final for the $250,000 estimated Empire Breeders Classic, which features the top three-year-old pacing colts and fillies sired in New York. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com. From Tioga Downs racing media

Over the weekend both Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff added points to their seasonal totals each winning their respective C.K.G. Billings trotting events; Ehrenberg with TK's Karma at Scioto Downs in the midwest region and Hechkoff with Get Packin at Tioga Downs in the east. In his Midwest region event at Scioto Downs on Friday (July 11) Ehrenberg took advantage of starting from post five with TK's Karma inside of the betting favorite Catching Kate, driven by "Marvelous Marv" Raber, had to leave from post eight. In doing so Ehrenberg hustled his trotter to the lead in a :27.4 first quarter while Raber settled Catching Kate down along the pylons but in eighth position. Ehrenberg kept TK's Karma moving right along on the front end while Raber had to begin to grind toward the leader as the field headed for the half. Catching Kate finally drew even with TK's Karma as the field approached the final turn but in the lane it was all TK's Karma as the 8 year old daughter of Victory Sam trotted away to a two length victory in a time of 1:57.2. Catching Kate held on for second while What Do You Want finished third for Larry "Overhand Serve" Steenbergen. TK's Karma, owned and trained by Terry Millhoan, paid $12.20 for win. And for Ehrenberg it was his 43rd amateur driving victory. Meanwhile the following day (July 12) at Tioga Downs in non-wagering eastern region action Bob Hechkoff and Get Packin made it two in a row in Billings competition when they survived a tight three-horse photo and garnered first money in a time of 1:59.4. Hechkoff had Get Packin on the lead and they rebuffed all challenges and especially the one rallied by Mr. Jim Dandy and Dave "Yes It's True" Offenberg who came from sixth at the top of the lane and passed everyone but the winner who was a head better at the wire. Just another nose farther back in third place was Dreamnwillie driven by "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello. Get Packin is trained by Brandon Simpson and owned by Hechkoff, who drove his fourth winner this season and his 48th of his amateur driving career. by John Manzi, for the CKG Bilings Amateur Drivers Series

After facing stout pressure in a :27.0 third quarter, Fireyourguns ($4.70) held sway in the stretch to take the featured $14,000 Open Pace on Sunday (July 13) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding wasted no time finding the top spot, clearing Bet On the Law (Tyler Buter) and Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on the first turn. After rating a :57.0 half-mile, Fireyourguns was pushed along up the backstretch by Bet On the Law, who vacated the pocket with three-eighths to go. He sustained his push through the far turn, forcing a three-quarter split of 1:24.0, but Fireyourguns was up for the task, digging in the whole way to protect his lead. He prevailed by a half-length in 1:53.0, holding off a stand-side charge from Prairie Jaguar, who angled three-wide off the late duel to take second. Bet On the Law stayed on for third.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. The win aboard Fireyourguns was one of three on the day for driver Aaron Byron, who also teamed up with Cool Like Fire (1:55.4) and 46-1 longshot winner P H Thunder (1:56.2).   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers on the day with a grand slam, turning in victorious efforts with Hurricane Howard (1:54.4), Oh My Joepa (1:55.0), Jolly Lester (1:55.2), and Western Trademark (1:55.0).   Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Friday, July 18, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

July 13, 2014 - Meadowlands Pace night provided six contest races for HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Most of the handicappers availed themselves of more than one race to play but Bob Zanakis had the patience to wait until the Meadowlands Pace while Garnet Barnsdale decided to play only the first contest race, the Stanley Dancer Memorial. Patience was the word as these two handicappers exploded last night with Zanakis using his weekly gain of $2,925.20 to jump from fifth place to first , while Barnsdale rung up a $1,040 profit to move from twelfth to eighth place. Six other handicappers showed positive results to a lesser degree for the weekend. With Zanakis' performance, he now shows a net profit for the contest of $2,855.70, leading previous leader Brandon Valvo by $302.20. Zanakis unloaded on the Meadowlands Pace by earning $1,053.20 on the Meadowlands Pace Superfecta by playing $144 in $1 Supefecta tickets. Zanakis earned $2,272 by playing $240 in $5 Trifecta tickets. As for Barnsdale, he earned $1,440 by playing $400 on a an exacta of Father Patrick and Nuncio straight. When the day was over, Barnsdale showed a contest net profit of -$548. Other notable plays for the evening were successful. Derick Giwner scored $180 by playing a $50 Exacta on the Stanley Dancer Memorial. Ann Stepien's $48 in $2 Trifecta tickets on the Meadowlands Pace paid a dividend of $454.40. Handicapper Brandon Valvo played in the Stanley Dancer Memorial a $10 Exacta ($60 total) which paid $154; a $90 win wager in the William R. Haughton Memorial pad $180; a $100 win ticket on the Meadowlands Pace paid $310. In the Del Miller Memorial, Josi Verlinigeri $100 place ticket paid $390 and her $.50 Superfecta ($60 total) paid $313.50. As a result of last night's performance, the standings have had some movement. Here are the standings after last night's action. As of July 12, 2014 - Leg 17 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $2,925.20 $2,855.70   2nd Brandon Valvo $244.00 $2,553.50 $302.20 3rd Derick Giwner $20.00 $415.17 $2,440.53 4th Mark McKelvie ($390.00) $278.00 $2,577.70 5th Ray Garnett ($275.50) $233.85 $2,621.85 6th Earl Paulson $2.50 ($116.00) $2,971.70 7th Brian McEvoy $12.50 ($205.00) $3,060.70 8th Garnet Barnsdale $1,040.00 ($548.00) $3,403.70 9th Sally Hinckley ($102.00) ($675.00) $3,530.70 10th Josi Verlingieri $303.35 ($680.40) $3,536.10 11th Gordon Waterstone ($292.00) ($847.90) $3,703.60 12th Ann Stepien $398.83 ($1,310.17) $4,165.87 13th Dennis O'Hara ($390.00) ($1,878.20) $4,733.90 14th Rusty Nash ($260.00) ($2,132.40) $4,988.10 15th Ray Cotolo ($352.00) ($3,453.40) $6,309.10 The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out visits three tracks this Saturday, July 19, starting at Northfield Park for the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie. The Shoot-Out then moves on to Yonkers Raceway for the $125,000 Lawrence B Sheppard for 2yos and Mohawk for the highly-anticipated $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Further contest details may be found at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HANA  

While Aaron Byron scored a Saturday (July 12) night grand slam at Tioga Downs, he could only muster second honors in the evening's featured $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 Trot, as I Love New York ($18.40) dug in through the stretch to narrowly prevail.   The six-year-old Broadway Hall entire brushed to the lead after Obrigado (Aaron Byron) pushed clear in a :28.4 first quarter, rating a :57.4 middle half before facing pressure on the far turn. With 300 yards to go, I Love New York dug in to turn aside the first-over Stitch in Time (Jim Marohn, Jr.), and dug in late to stave off an inside rally from Obrigado, prevailing narrowly in 1:55.2. Trainer-driver Bruce Clarke co-owns I Love New York with John Coffey and Patricia Waldeck.   While I Love New York took top trotting honors on the night, Aaron Byron took top driving honors, teaming up with Muscles to Spare (1:57.3), B L Class Act (1:55.3), Joann's Princess (1:57.0), and Clearwater Hanover (1:55.1) for his quartet of wins on the card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs with an 11-race Sunday (July 13) afternoon card. First post is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Four divisions of the New York Sire Stakes headlined Friday (July 11) evening's program at Tioga Downs, with Barn Doll ($2.70) fastest of the victorious two-year-old trotting fillies.   The daughter of Conway Hall and Headintheclouds was rated well off the pace in her division, settling fifth behind Zanna Blu (Gaetan Brunet) and Kaliska (Ray Schnittker) through a :29.1 first quarter. With a circuit to go, Jeff Gregory angled Barn Doll second-over to follow the live cover of Bullville Rosie (Jim Morrill, Jr.), kicking cover on the far turn with an aggressive push to the fore. Barn Doll drew clear to prevail by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:59.1, with Kaliska saving second off a pocket trip.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables.   A pair of Lucky Chucky fillies prevailed in their respective divisions, with the Jonas Czernyson-trained Nunkeri ($17.40) holding sway late to stave off Concentration in 1:59.4 in rein to Mark MacDonald, and Paul Kelley trainee My Twisted Sister ($14.80) scoring off a pocket trip in 2:00, driven out by Jim Morrill, Jr. to just hold off the late-closing Summers Windsong. Betcha ($14.00), a Cash Hall filly trained and driven by Dan Daley, was the other division winner, edging clear late for a 1:59.4 triumph.   Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Saturday evening, with a 13-race card set to begin at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs 

Latham, NY---As the Manhattan skyline provides the backdrop for the start of the 2014 edition of the Meadowlands Pace, the Empire state will also supply the favorites for the marquee event. JK Endofanera and He's Watching are both products of the standardbred breeding program in New York. 2-1 favorite JK Endofanera (1:48.2, $938,517) was bred and is owned by Alan Katz's 3 Brothers Stable. He is a son of Art Major (1:48.4, $2,727,224) out of the Presidential Ball mare, Presidential Lady (1:54, $291,651). JK Endofanera started his two-year-old career late after developing slowly early in the year. He didn't make his first lifetime start until September, getting his first victory at Lexington. Following his third race the colt was placed in the Ron Burke Stable for the remainder of the year and continued to progress from there. After a win in an overnight and a second in the $49,300 Madison County stake, JK Endofanera closed out his campaign with identical 1:51.4 victories in the $157,000 Elevation Stake at Hoosier Park and the $534,500 Governors Cup at the New Meadowlands. Last year's late bloomer came out swinging this year capturing three consecutive stake victories. Then after finishing third in his elimination, JK Endofanera took the final of the $920,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway and earned a new lifetime record of 1:48.4 after being parked out for the bulk of the mile. Last week in the Meadowlands Pace elimination he quickly eclipsed that mark in a gutty performance, fending off deep stretch charges by Always B Miki and Lyonssomewhere to notch a 1:48.2 victory and position himself as the morning line favorite for the pacing classic. In his career, JK Endofanera is 9 of 13 lifetime with three seconds and one third. 5-2 second choice He's Watching (1:48.1 $461,957) was bred by Brittany Farms, Bob Burgess and Karin Olsson-Burgess and is owned by his trainer, David Menary, along with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. He is a son of American Ideal (1:47.4 $786,055) out of the Real Desire mare, Baberhood (1:55 $7,905). He's Watching was a $3,000 yearling purchase that turned out to be more than anyone could have imagined. Because of his low purchase price, the colt was not staked to anything except the New York Sire Stakes last year, but it was in New York that he made his mark on the sport. He's Watching was a perfect eight for eight during his freshman campaign and his blistering speed led him to be named the Dan Patch two-year-old champion for 2013. He set two world records and six track records during his domination across the state and gained much national attention without ever hitting the Grand Circuit. His freshman seasonal mark of 1.50 was achieved twice; once at Tioga Downs that made him the fastest two-year-old ever on a five-eighth's mile track and once at Vernon Downs, which was a new track record at the 7/8-mile track there. He's Watching then closed the year with an exclamation point when he scorched Yonkers Raceway's half-mile track in a world record tying time of 1:52.2. He's Watching's 2014 debut was less than stellar. Sent off as the 1-9 favorite in the $40,000 Art Rooney elimination at Yonkers, the colt finished a distant sixth in the six horse field. But after suffering his first defeat ever, the wagons were circled and he coasted to a lifetime best 1:49.3 victory in the $69,000 Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk Raceway in wire to wire fashion. He's Watching had gallant efforts in the North America Cup elimination and final at Mohawk where he got caught in late stretch both times, and was in top form last week as a gapped winner in the Meadowlands Pace elimination in a new lifetime mark of 1:48.1. Tim Tetrick followed live cover from the half before tipping He's Watching three deep around Sometimes Said in mid-stretch to clear for the victory. He's Watching is 10 of 13 lifetime with one second and one third. JK Endofanera and He's Watching will leave from post two and three respectively and both come into the race at the top of their game. They are excellent examples of the quality standardbreds being produced each year in New York State to compete with the best in the world. By Tim Bojarski, for the Harness Horse Breeders of NY State     

Newcomer and talented horse woman, Vanessa" Tall In The Saddle" Karlewicz an expert equestrian, traded her saddle for a ride behind a spirited trotter and won her maiden voyage as driver in the harness racing game when she guided Conway Cruiser to a 2:07.4 victory in a leg of the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series at the Afton (NY) Fair. In that race Vanessa went to the lead from the three-hole and never yielded command in spite of a fierce challenge by Drill Sergeant Sam and driver Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry. After shadowing Ms. Karlewicz until the top of the lane Gerry had his sights on victory when he moved his trotter out to challenge. But victory was not to come, at least for Gerry, becaus Ms. Karlewicz was ready for the challenge and hand-drove Conway Cruiser to the wire to score a neck victory over Drill Sergeant Sam. "I got away third and moved up to second behind Vanessa near the half and at the top of the stretch I thought I'd be able to beat her to the wire but she downright out-drove me. I got to her horse's neck but I couldn't get by her," Gerry related. According to Gerry, Ms. Karlewicz is and equestrian of high caliber. "She's an equestrian trainer and her specialty is Grand Prix events. She also hunts and jumps and has competed in our aces under saddle (RUS) "I think now she's been bitten by the harness racing bug and we will all benefit with her being involved in our sport," he added. The next Billings event will be on Friday (July 11) at Scioto Downs followed by another trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 12) by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

This Saturday’s Meadowlands Pace will kick off the “30 out of 30” Grand Circuit Challenge, which provides fans the opportunity to win a $1 million prize if they can pick the winners of 30 designated top races during this year’s racing season.   Contestants can enter immediately at www.harnessracingambassadors.com/million_dollar_challenge where they will find specific details of the contest, rules and access information about each race.   Participants will be provided with Track Master Platinum Plus Past Performances, as well as ‘pro-picks’ and race analysis from featured handicappers.   Aside from the grand prize for a ‘perfect 30,’ there are also prizes for the top four contestants who picked most correctly. Sign-up generally takes less than five minutes and all that is required is a valid email address.   The contest features key Grand Circuit races, including the Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown at leading tracks in North America, including Mohawk, The Meadows, The Meadowlands, Hoosier Park, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Northfield Park, Saratoga, Delaware (OH), The Red Mile, Scioto Downs, Balmoral Park, Dover Downs, Yonkers and Maywood Park.   The Harness Racing FanZone is brought to you by the USTA and our partners at Converseon as part of the ongoing social media initiative to build awareness and promote the great sport of harness racing.   To find out more visit http://www.harnessracingfanzone.com/ or join the Ambassadors at http://www.harnessracingambassadors.com/.   GET IN THE ZONE   The Harness Racing Fan Zone is for you…the fans. It’s the place to be for seeing, sharing, and connecting with harness racing fans around the world. So get in on the action and get in the zone.   Want to help promote harness racing? Earn exciting rewards and access offers by helping to spread the word about your passion for harness racing through social media by joining the Harness Racing Ambassador Program. You can join here, it takes less than five minutes.

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 8, 2014 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino has recently partnered with The Harness Racing Fan Zone, an industry wide social media initiative, and is excited to announce a new "30 out of 30" Grand Circuit Challenge, which provides fans the opportunity to win a $1 million prize if they can pick the winners of 30 designated top races during this year's racing season. The first of its' kind in the sport of harness racing, this unique handicapping contest is sponsored by the United States Trotting Association and will highlight the biggest harness races across North America. Hoosier Park's signature event, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational, will be included in the "30 out of 30" contest and will highlight the 2014 racing season on Friday, August 8. Now in its' 21st edition, the Dan Patch Invitational pace attracts the top rated horses in North America to Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval seeking the lucrative $200,000 purse and a spot in Hoosier Park's history. The contest also features key Grand Circuit races, including the Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown at leading tracks in North America, including Mohawk, The Meadows, The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Northfield Park, Saratoga, Delaware (OH), The Red Mile, Scioto Downs, Balmoral Park, Dover Downs, Yonkers and Maywood Park. "This contest is designed in the spirit of one of harness racing's most treasured traditions, the Grand Circuit," said John Campbell, president of the Grand Circuit. "The Grand Circuit has always been a traveling roadshow to success and riches for horsemen and horses alike," added Campbell. "This contest now allows fans to come along and participate, while having the chance to become a millionaire in the process." For those who miss a race and don't qualify for the $1 million grand prize, there are $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 second, third and fourth prizes available for those who choose the most correctly. Each week, entries will be posted online to give fans the opportunity to pick the winners in advance of each race. A leaderboard will help all entrants track their progress so that they can play along throughout the racing season. Fans can also participate in the optional Harness Racing Ambassador program, to connect with other fans, earn rewards and share their experiences through social media. All sign-ups for the $1 million prize must be received before noon on July 12, 2014 and are limited to one per person. Contestants can enter immediately at www.harnessracingambassadors.com/million_dollar_challenge where they will find specific details of the contest, rules and access information about each race. Participants will be provided with Track Master Platinum Plus Past Performances, as well as 'pro-picks' and race analysis from featured handicappers. The Harness Racing FanZone is brought to you by the USTA and their partners at Converseon as part of the ongoing social media initiative to build awareness and promote the great sport of harness racing. To find out more about this initiative please visit www.HarnessRacingFanZone.com or join the Ambassadors at www.HarnessRacingAmbassadors.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

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