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WILKES-BARRE PA - 2018 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year Captain Crunch makes his 2019 harness racing debut in the middle of three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes second preliminary for the glamour division, to be held at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night in races nine through eleven - and he couldn't have found a more challenging spot in which to open his season. Captain Crunch, a Captaintreacherous colt trained by Nancy Johansson for the 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, the Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms, won six of ten starts, including the Breeders Crown here at Pocono and the Governor's Cup, en route to divisional honors while winning the most money among baby colts, $616,113, and coming within a fifth of his division's world record by winning in 1:49.1 at Lexington. Prepping for 2019, Captain Crunch has qualifying wins in 1:50.1 and 1:51.2 (the latter on a "good +1" track). The draw was kind to Captain Crunch in one respect, as Scott Zeron will be guiding him from post three in the field of nine (all three divisions have nine starters). But the draw also gave Captain Crunch a real challenge, in that many of the section's top colts, at both two and three, will be lining up against him Sunday. One example would be Proof (post eight, trainer Brian Brown, driver David Miller), second behind Captain Crunch in last year's Breeders Crown, the 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, and a good second at The Meadows in the Sire Stakes' opening leg in his first start of the year; also in this cut is the horse who conquered Proof in that event in 1:50.4, Southwind Ozzi (post one, trainer Bill MacKenzie, one of four "calls" for driver Tim Tetrick). There's Lyons Night Hawk (post five, trainer Gareth Dowse, Tetrick also listed), who was just edged in 1:50.1 in a PA All-Stars event in his seasonal bow, and Prince Of Tides (post two, trainer Ross Croghan, driver Eric Carlson), 1:49.4 winner of the Wiggle It Jiggleit final at The Meadowlands. But not all of the good horses will be facing Captain Crunch. In the eleventh race third division, two Sire Stakes winners at The Meadows will attract a good deal of attention: Workin On A Mystery (post two, trainer Brian Brown, driver Tim Tetrick), who won the fastest Sires section in 1:50.1, and Love Me Some Lou, undefeated in two starts this year and a 1:50.4 Sires winner, who will have to negotiate the difficult post eight for trainer Tom Cancelliere and driver David Miller. While the ninth race first division may not have horses who have some of the paper credentials of the other two divisions, it has some nice developing horses of its own, including Major Deception (post one, trainer Tony Alagna, driver Tim Tetrick), the easiest kind of winner at Philly over sloppy going in his 2019 return; Wild Wild Western (post two, trainer Norm Parker, driver Mike Wilder), who was second to Workin On A Mystery in the fastest PaSS division at The Meadows; and 2018 PA Fairs champion Aflame Hanover (post eight, trainer Linda Schadel, driver Tony Schadel), who has shown that he can be competitive with the most select of the state's three-year-olds. There will also be four Pennsylvania Stallion Series divisions at Pocono Sunday, including first round StS winners Captain Koine, Skip To My Lou, and Under Paid, plus Captain Panko, the 2018 Stallion Series champion who will be making his 2019 debut. First post for Sunday's 14 race card is set for 7 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WASHINGTON, PA, June 12, 2017 -- Looking for a sharp prep before tackling the best in her division, Brazuca found the right spot in Monday's Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows, where she rolled to victory in a harness racing stake-record 1:51.3. The $80,000 event for 3-year-old filly pacers was contested over four divisions, with Beach Club, Sweetest Emotion and Puff Magic Dragon taking the other splits. Tony Hall enjoyed a stake double behind Sweetest Emotion and Puff Magic Dragon. Brazuca earned just less than $90,000 at 2 and was beaten only 6-1/4 lengths in the Breeders Crown final. But Tom Cancelliere, who trains the daughter of Bettor's Delight-Knock Three Times for John Cancelliere, said he wanted to ease her back into a demanding schedule, which continues with the June 24 James Lynch Memorial eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "We wanted to start her out in a spot where she would be good and work her way up," he said. "She came back super this year, no problems at all. But it's such a long year. We'll be racing them all the way to November." On Monday, Brazuca had little trouble handling post 7, as she zipped to the lead for Corey Callahan and downed Traceuse Hanover by 3 lengths, with Stairwaytothestars third. The time erased the 1:52 mark jointly held by Icommandmyspirit and Keystone Riptide. Beach Club opened a 6-length lead at the top of the stretch but nearly lost it all to the late charge of Tori Hanover, who fell a head short. Bridge To Tomorrow finished third in the 1:53.2 mile. "I think she just waits a little bit on the point," said winning driver Dave Palone. "I would have preferred to follow, but when you're the favorite like that and you've got a chance to control the numbers, you take it. I really wasn't worried. I thought she was a winner at the sixteenth pole, I thought she was a winner at the wire. She's a big, lanky filly who shut down a little bit." Ron Burke conditions Beach Club, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Sand Speed, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo and Larry Karr. Sitting in the pocket with Sweetest Emotion, Tony Hall was pondering whether to angle outside or dive into the Lightning Lane when the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Sweet Paprika made the decision for him. "She got a little rammy in the middle of the last turn," Hall said, "so as long as I had the option, I figured I'd go outside. She dug all the way through the wire." Sweetest Emotion defeated the rallying Queen To Me by 3/4 lengths while early leader Freakonomics completed the ticket. Nifty Norman trains the winner for Pinske Stables, Enzed Racing Stable and Carter Pinske. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Shesasmokinlady shot the Lightning Lane to triumph in 1:52.1 for trainer/driver Ray Paver and owner/breeder Iris Horowitz. The 4-year-old daughter of McArdle-Smokin Pistol extended her career bankroll to $199,765. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WILKES-BARRE PA - Sweet Beach, unraced in 21 days and with only one trip behind in the gate in the last 41, paced back to his pedigree (and rumored sharp training reports) in taking the final harness racing feature race of the year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, a $20,000 conditioned pace, in 1:51.2 over "sloppy +1" going in 40 degree temperatures. The five-year-old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere - Sweet Paprika, she a half-sister to Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet with $6.2M in racetrack earnings, profited from an early break by favorite Alta Jerome N, taking early command then letting Theartofconfusion A go to the top past the quarter. Driver Anthony Napolitano bided his time with Sweet Beach, then came out of the 2-hole and wore down the pacesetter by a half-length for his second straight win, having taken his mark of 1:50 in his last race. Tom Cancelliere trains the talented pacer for brother/owner John. Rangers Sureshot, claimed by Ron Burke last week for $17,500, stepped up to $25,000/$30,000 company on Saturday and took the $18,000 high-level claiming handicap pace in 1:52.3, just a tick off his lifetime mark. Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes, who won both the dash winning and percentage titles in their respective categories, were trying for their sixth straight win in this class and had favored Freeneasy Hanover on the lead, but the victorious Palone Ranger gelding made a big sweeping move late on the backstretch to join the leader on the turn, and Rangers Sureshot proved a half-length better tonight than the gritty Freeneasy Hanover. Matt Kakaley handled the sulky duties behind Rangers Sureshot for trainer Burke and Burke Racing Stable LLC / Weaver Bruscemi LLC - and that trio went home with both the first and second-place finishers in the race, as they claimed Freeneasy Hanover for $25,000 as well. Earlier, Windsun Stetson joined Terror Aint A Fool as the only two-time "bombers" of the Pocono meet when he won race two for driver Eric Carlson and paid $50.20, as Windsun Stetson had paid $72.20 in victory only three weeks earlier. Carlson wound up with four of the last six $50+ horses in 2016 at Pocono - while Terror Aint A Fool can add the two longshot victoires here to the distinction of being the first $50+ horse at The Meadows in 2016!   PHHA / Pocono    

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 29, 2016 -- Brazuca powered to the lead near the three-eighths and rolled to harness racing victory in 1:52.2, shattering the stake record in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for 2-year-old filly pacers was contested over four divisions, with Queen To Me, Freakonomics and Pink Gardenias taking the other $20,000 splits. Dave Palone enjoyed a stake double, among his six wins on the 14-race card, behind Brazuca and Pink Gardenias. Even after Brazuca's decisive brush, she wasn't home free, as she had to fend off the menacing uncovered bid of Rockette. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Knock Three Times held off the challenger by 1/2 length, while Bridge To Tomorrow rallied for show. The time erased the previous stake mark of 1:53.4 held jointly by Tipton Teeez and Valuable Art. Trainer Tom Cancelliere indicated he expected a great deal from Brazuca, a $75,000 yearling acquisition for John Cancelliere, but not in her fifth career start. "I'm surprised," he said. "I love this filly, but we started her slow, and I thought she would need a little bit more time. She's got all kinds of stakes, but we'll see where she wants to go. If she wants to keep going, we'll keep going with her." Dismissed at 10-1, Queen To Me was fourth along the pylons as the field turned for home, with no racing room in sight. But when Sweetest Emotion pulled the pocket and promptly broke stride for Mike Wilder, that left the Lightning Lane for Queen To Me. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Arterra poured through and pulled off the upset in a maiden-breaking 1:53, a neck better than the pace-setting Emily R Hanover. Gemma's Beach Girl earned show. "They went big fractions, and I know the horse on the front is a nice horse but can get a little wobbly late," said Joe Bongiorno, who piloted Queen To Me for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Willow Oak Ranch. "Once Mike ran and Palone had to check his horse, I knew it would be me and Emily R down by the wire. My filly felt good, and she finished good." In her two career victories, Freakonomics never was ahead until the final call. Winning driver Jim Pantaleano said that's the style trainer Ross Croghan prefers for her. "When I saw the fractions come up, I thought they would come back a little," Pantaleano said. "But I was mostly paying attention to my filly. That's the way Ross wanted her raced. Clearly he's a top conditioner who knows his horses. He knows this filly." Last entering the final turn, Freakonomics followed long shot Traceuse Hanover through the stretch and nailed her by a nose in 1:55, with Beautiful Hill third. Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham campaign Freakonomics, a daughter of Western Terror-Mind Boggling. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Skippin By used two moves -- one for position from post 8, one to overpower the leader, Medusa -- to triumph in a sharp 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC Wall Brothers Stable and Bruce Soulsby. Certified Ideal was a length back in second with Spreester third. The 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Southern Magnolia extended her career bankroll to $629,479. Tuesday's card at The Meadows features the Meadow Cheer, a $183,616 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Following wins in mid-level and upper-level company, Kingofthejungle took the crown in Saturday (December 19) night's featured $25,000 Open Pace at The Meadowlands, reeling off his third consecutive harness racing win. Andy Miller settled the 4-year-old Well Said gelding into the mid-division early on, rated off a contested :27.1 first quarter. Upon yielding briefly on the first turn, 2-1 favourite Ashley's Husband (Joe Bongiorno) brushed to secure the top spot, maintaining a torrid pace through a :54.2 half while Sunfire Blue Chip (Brett Miller) would head outer flow from midfield, slipstreamed by Kingofthejungle. With three-eighths to go, UF Rockin Dragon (Corey Callahan) pulled the pocket to avoid traffic, pushing past a tiring Ashley's Husband through a :27.4 third quarter. Meanwhile, Kingofthejungle still enjoyed the aid of live cover, towed a bit closer before vaulting off his third-over trip just outside the eighth pole and accelerating to the fore in final 50 yards to just prevail in 1:50. Ontario Success (Yannick Gingras) rallied from farther off cover to just nab Sunfire Blue Chip for second. Mark Capone trains Kingofthejungle for Fox Racing, Inc. and Darius Oshidar. Earlier in the program, upper-level conditioned pacers contested a pair of $16,500 sub-featured events. In the evening's sixth race, 2-1 joint favourite Sweet Beach alternated on the lead early with Halton Hurricane, yielding and reclaiming the lead through a :55.3 initial half before edging clear of a first-over charge from fellow joint favourite Jeneral Patton (Brett Miller). After a :27.4 third quarter, Anthony Napolitano let out a notch with Sweet Beach, and the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding accelerated to a 3-1/4 length victory while in hand for a 1:50.3 triumph. Jeneral Patton checked in a clear second, while That'll Be the Rei (Jim Marohn, Jr.) took full advantage of live cover to finish third. Tom Cancelliere trains Sweet Beach, now a 7-time winner, for owner John Cancelliere. The second sub-feature, carded as the ninth event, saw David Miller send 6-5 public choice Shooter's Dream out from fourth to take charge at the completion of a :54.1 half mile before he was subsequently engaged by 17-1 outsider Mr Franklin N (Callahan). The two dueled through the entirety of the far turn, and in fact Shooter's Dream was headed briefly by Mr Franklin N in upper stretch. The 5-year-old Sand Shooter gelding would not be denied though, battling back at the pegs to reach the winning post a half-length in front, matching Sweet Beach's 1:50.3 mile from earlier. Mr Franklin narrowly held second from Duel In the Sun (Napolitano), who kicked cover to rally strongly. David M. Smith trains 15-time winner Shooter's Dream for owners Randy Bendis and Tom Pollack. Total handle for the 14-race program was $2,936,828, a gain of $107,452 over the 13-race program from the comparable Saturday card in 2014. Both Jackpot Super High 5 carryovers grew tonight, as neither pool was captured by a single 20-cent winning ticket. On the Boxing Day program, the fifth race High 5 will boast a $10,225.51 carryover, while the finale will have $40,952.10 added to the pool. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Saturday, December 26. The Boxing Day card will kick off at 6:35 p.m. EST. For further details, visit playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

I'm Some Graduate, who began his career in softer company, took another step upward when he scored the fastest win in Tuesday's $212,142 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at the harness racing meeting at  The Meadows. The event for freshman colt and gelding pacers, known as the Tyler B, was contested over three divisions, with Ideal Jimmy and Spider Man Hanover taking the other splits. Trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere often start their youngsters off slowly, allowing them to gain confidence and experience before testing them. That's the case with I'm Some Graduate, an $80,000 yearling acquisition. "He's on the schedule we wanted for him," said Tom Cancelliere of the son of Somebeachsomewhere and Jugette winner Western Graduate. "I start everything in the stallion series." "If they're good enough, they'll go to the sires stakes." "Then, with a little prayer and a little help, they'll go wherever they can go." In the Tyler B, I'm Some Graduate made the front with a quarter-pole move for Tim Tetrick, was shuffled back to third and roared through the stretch to triumph in 1:51.1, lowering his lifetime mark by 4.3 seconds. Yankee Artillery was second, 2 lengths back, with Big Top Hanover third. "He's real smart and does everything the way you want him to do it," Tom Cancelliere said. "He doesn't look like the rest of the "Beaches," he doesn't act like the rest of the "Beaches." But he races great." Ideal Jimmy has made a living coming from well back, and he was true to form Tuesday, launching a relentless first-over bid that carried him to victory in 1:52.1, 6 lengths better than Sam McSmith. Genovese rallied for show. "He was a little bumpy in the first turn in his early starts," said winning driver Marcus Miller. "But (taking him back) has been working good enough that I've been letting him do it." Robin Cruise conditions Ideal Jimmy, a homebred Western Ideal-Armbro Nectarine gelding who vaulted over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, for D.R. Van Witzenberg. Speaking of coming from well back, Spider Man Hanover was last by 9 lengths at the half before getting into gear third over for David Miller. The son of Western Ideal-Stolly Lip Bluechip was widest and fastest in the lane, tripping the timer in 1:53. McDave was second, 1/2 length back, with early leader JK Will Power third. It was the third PASS win for Spider Man Hanover, and it followed a troubling performance in the most recent leg, when he missed by 45-3/4 lengths. "He raced really, really bad last week," David Miller said. "When you take off the gate, you're taking a chance, but my main concern was trying to make sure he finished with pace." Brian Brown trains Spider Man Hanover for Country Club Acres, Kenneth Vaupel, Mike Mallett and Milton Leeman. Elsewhere on the card, Cowgirl Hall was racing off a layoff of nearly a month, and she was parked twice in the mile. Nevertheless, she dominated the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, scoring in 1:53, 4-1/4 lengths ahead of Kandian Klub. Dough Dough completed the ticket. Dave Palone piloted the 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall, who captured her third straight and boosted her career bankroll to $763,428, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. It was one of three wins on the 15-race program for Palone. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features a $100,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

There were two divisions of a non-winners of $17,500 in their last 5 starts on Sunday at Harrah's Philadelphia. In the first division, Jake Huff trainee Statesman N was sent off as the 6/5 favorite. As the wings opened, it was Bestjetyet firing fast for the lead, with Statesman N securing the pocket spot from post one. Coming off of a strong qualifier, Bestjetyet set solid fractions, overcoming a first over challenge from Hang Ten. In the stretch however, Bestjetyet made a break, allowing Statesman N to close up the inside for the victory, in a time of 1:51.1. Bestjetyet finished second, but was dis-qualified and placed sixth for a violation of the breaking rule. Dreamzzzz R for U was moved up to second, while Hang Ten was moved up to third. Statesman N is owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, P. Venturini, and J&T Silva Stables, and was one of three wins for Corey Callahan. In the second division, Emeritus Maximus sped off the wings and never looked back. The four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover faced a persistent first-over challenge from Nitro Seelster, and a late charge from National Debt, for his eleventh career win, in a time of 1:50.2. National Debt was a heart breaking second, while Nitro Seelster finished third. Emeritus Maximus is owned by John Cancelliere, trained by Tom Cancelliere, and was driven by Corey Callahan. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Classic Martine trotted faster than any distaff trotter on a 5/8-mile oval in harness racing history on Saturday night when she rolled to victory in a $25,000 Preferred trot at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Classic Martine (Classic Photo-Drinking Days), a 4-year-old mare from the Chris Oakes barn making just her second start of the season after a stellar 2013, left from post position #5 in a field of seven as the 3-5 favorite. The mare sat second early behind Fearless Man before jumping to the lead on the front stretch. She took pressure from Coraggioso first-over for most of the second half of the mile, but, with Simon Allard in the bike, held him off by three-quarters of a length for the victory. Fearless Man finished third. The winning time of 1:51:2 not only broke the world record of 1:51:4 for her age group, which was set by Maven in a Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono in October of 2013, it also broke the all-ages distaff trotting record on a 5/8-mile oval of 1:51:3, shared my Check Me Out and Cooler Schooner. Classic Martine, owned by Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, Earl Gold, and Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises, is now two-for-two in 2014. It was her 14th career win in just 29 starts, and she pushed her lifetime earnings to $566,224. In other action on Saturday night at Pocono, Emeritus Maximus (Rocknoll Hanover-Eternity's Delight) rallied late from far back for a victory in the $25,000 Preferred pace. Driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer Tom Cancelliere, the 4-year-old gelding got away at 8-1 but corralled even-money favorite All Star Legend in the stretch to win by a neck in 1:49:3a. Eighteen finished third. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs          

Bandolito might not be the biggest of horses, but Daryl Bier expects him to stand tall when he takes on some of the best older pacers in the world in Saturday night's $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The 4-year-old sensation, who owns the fastest mile of any pacer so far this season, faces eight rivals in the third edition of the Van Rose Memorial. Bandolito's foes include 2013 Van Rose winner Golden Receiver, who has earned $2.13 million during his career, as well as Sweet Lou, Dynamic Youth, and Warrawee Needy. Unraced at age 2, Bandolito has won 13 of 17 career races and $241,315. Last year, he captured the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, but it was earlier this month that he really turned heads thanks to a 1:48 win at Dover Downs. His time equaled the fastest mile ever by a horse of any age at five-eighths-mile Dover Downs and is the fastest mile of this year. He followed that victory with a 1:48.2 triumph on April 10 at Dover Downs in which he covered the final half-mile in :52.1, with a :25.4 last quarter. On Saturday at Pocono Downs, he raced first over to win the preferred handicap by a neck over Dynamic Youth in 1:50.2. "I think he will be better than he was last week," said Bier, who trains and drives Bandolito. "He was coming off a 16-day layoff and I thought he might be a little short. I was thrilled with his race. I think the field last week was a step up from what he had been facing. I expect him to race very well (in the Van Rose)." Bier, who won the inaugural Van Rose in 2012 with Special T Rocks in a world-record-equaling performance, owns Bandolito with his brother Tommy and Charles Dombeck. Tommy Bier was listed as the sole owner when the horse was purchased privately from breeder/trainer Warren Harp last May after the colt won a qualifier in 1:56 at Spring Garden Ranch. With Daryl Bier handling the training and most of the driving, Bandolito won nine of 11 races last season. He was given time off following his Kentucky Sire Stakes victory in September and returned to action in December, but Bier thought the horse was not himself in three starts that culminated with a third-place finish in an open for 5-year-olds and younger on Jan. 9 at Dover Downs. Bier discovered Bandolito was suffering from a foot abscess, which kept the horse out of action until late March. "He's been awesome since he came back," Bier said. "I've never had a horse like him. He can go a quarter in 26 (seconds) and still have another gear. He's got gears I've never seen." Bandolito is a son of the stallion Ponder out of the mare Sody's Home Brew. Bier has been impressed particularly with two Ponder offspring - millionaires Bolt The Duer and Thinking Out Loud - which contributed to his interest in Bandolito. "I really like Ponder; I bought (Bandolito) because he was a Ponder," Bier said. "He was kind of small, but I really like when a horse doesn't race at (age) 2. I think they make better racehorses; I think there's a lot more left in there." Bandolito will start the Van Rose from post six in a race that should offer no shortage of speed, or talent. Warrawee Needy won in 1:46.4 last year, which equaled the fastest race mile in harness racing history. Golden Receiver, Sweet Lou, Dynamic Youth, and Dovuto Hanover all are open stakes winners. "Everything is going to be a test," Bier said. "These are the best horses in the world. But I don't think we're in a bad spot. I'm excited about it. I'm thrilled with him, no matter what. I just hope I can get a clear shot. I don't know how fast he can go." The field in post order for the Van Rose Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Golden Receiver, George Napolitano Jr., Mark Harder; 2. Dancin Yankee, Ron Pierce, Josh Green; 3. Dovuto Hanover, Ron Pierce, Darran Cassar; 4. Dynamic Youth, Andrew McCarthy, Carl Cito Jr.; 5. Abelard Hanover, Jonathan Roberts, Donald Billings; 6. Bandolito, Daryl Bier, Daryl Bier; 7. Emeritus Maximus, Ron Pierce, Tom Cancelliere; 8. Sweet Lou, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Warrawee Needy, Mark MacDonald, Mark Ford. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

DOVER, Del.---- Elite Awards wins fastest of three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $20,000 Three-Year-Old Male pace preliminaries, with Casino Bags Carlo and Go Big Spinder, the others while Emeritus Maximus takes the $30,000 Preferred Handicap on a speed-filled Thursday, March 28 at Dover Downs. George Dennis took Elite Awards to the front and continued on for a 1:54.2 success in the first DSBF $20,000 prelim winning for the second-straight time this year and building his career record to nine wins and a second in 10 races. Karen Walls owns the Powerful Toy-Silk Slips gelding trained by Dave Rearic who now has earned $114,225 lifetime. Art Retreat (Tim Tetrick) came on strong to finish second ahead of Hawker (Jeff Fout). The second DSBF prelim was all Casino Bags Carlo as Vince Copeland sailed out of post 7 and never looked back in a 1:54.4 decision. Last November's $100,000 DSBF Final winner made his seasonal debut in this one for Cavalli Pazzi Stables. The Roddly's Bags Again-Casino Bus soph gelding won for the sixth time in his career and now has banked $108,911 in his two seasons of racing. West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) flew down the lane to finish second ahead of By A Noggin (Vic Kirby). Go Big Spinder rushed down the passing lane to score a 1:54.4 triumph in the other $20,000 DSBF prelim with Ron Pierce in the bike. Virginia Louthan, bred, owns and trains toe No Spin Zone-David's Art colt posting his second straight win and fourth of the year. Bobbies Power Play (Bryan Truitt) was second with front-pacing Lewiebyalength (Callahan), third. The DSBF second leg events will be raced Monday through Thursday, next week. The top eight point-getters in the action return the last week of the meet, April 7-10 for $100,000 finals. In the top race on the regular program, Tom Cancelliere's big buy of last Winter, Emeritus Maximus, stepped up to the $30,000 Preferred pace and Ron Pierce did the rest taking the Rocknroll Hanover-Eternity's Delight four-year-old right to the top and made all quarters winning ones for a 1:50.1 conquest. The win was the third in-a-row for the Tom Cancelliere trainee. Lindwood Player (Callahan) charged down the lane to finish second with Feel Like A Fool (Dennis) the show horse. The fastest clocking on the card came in the $17,500 4&5-Year-Old Open Handicap when KDM Stable's Tarpon Hanover made his first local start a 1:49.2 lifetime best as David Miller guided the Badlands Hanover-Tarport Herald four-year-old conditioned by Nick Surick to his second straight win and third of the year. Just A Jolt (Tim Tetrick) was runner-up. EZ Noah (Pierce) took third. . David Miller piloted his second of three wins steering Mike Horn and Bobby Rice's Dirty Devil, a Real Artist-Ms Eyes And Thighs gelding, home in 1:51.2 to win the first of two $15,000 Male Winners-Over paces. Manhattan Rusty N (Callahan) and Poker Hat (Tetrick) were second and third respectively. In another $15,000 division, Kim Vincent left hard with Varsity Hanover and sat second behind Fire In The Belly, who raced outside from the start until reaching the backstretch. Varsity Hanover then came strong in the stretch for owner-trainer Jim Whalen Jr. to get up in 1:51.3 at 8-1 odds. Finishing second was the first loss after five consecutive wins for the game Fire In The Belly. Jolt Of Fire (Allan Davis) was third. Callahan, in his first action since returning from racing in Australia last week, and Miller had three wins each. Tetrick and Pierce made the winner's circle twice. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. To watch races and dine in the Winner's Circle restaurant, call 302-674-4600 for reservations. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DOVER, Del.---- Nova Artist held off fast closing Malak Uswaad N by a nose to win the $27,500 Delaware Special Handicap in 1:51.while Emeritus Maximus came from far back to take the $17,500 Open Handicap sub-feature in 1:51/1 on a windy Thursday, March 13 at Dover Downs. Allan Davis put Nova Artist in motion heading around the clubhouse turn and moved up on the backstretch to finally take the lead in the stretch. The seven-year-old son of Real Artist-Avon Lady then had just enough to hold off fast-finishing Malak Uswaad N (Tony Morgan) at the wire. Jeremey's Successor (Sean Bier) was a solid third. Kathy and trainer Eddie Davis own the 33-time race winner of $825,142. It was his third winner of the year good for $60,575 in 2014. Emeritus Maximus tuned up for the rest of his four-year-old season by rolling from next to last in the $17,500 4&5-Year-Old Open Handicap to his third victory of the year in five starts with Ron Pierce in the bike. A four-year-old by Rocknroll Hanover-Eternity's Delight purchased after his sophomore-stakes season by John Cancelliere and trained by his brother Tom Cancelliere,Emeritus Maximus has won $315,155 lifetime. Lindwood Player (Corey Callahan) raced gamely finishing second. Mr. Dennis (Jim Morand) was the show horse. In $15,000 Male Winners-Over paces; Bill Emmons' Bad Man Sam and Vic Kirby used an overland journey to score a lifetime best 1:51.2 triumph. The Julianne Bobby-trainee, a Badlands Hanover-Greenspring Jenny gelding, just held off a fast closing Summer Camp (Callahan) by a nose. Beavercreek Artist (Ron Pierce) was third. Forrest Bartlett's Jolt Of Fire scored a 1:52.4 decision in the other $15,000 event. George Dennis guided the Ronda Galko conditioned Village Jolt-Fie Foe Fire gelding to his first win of the year. Wilbur's Z Tam (A. Davis) was second with Twincreeks Jack (Pierce) third. Fire in the Belly kept his three-year-old record unblemished as Trace Tetrick steered the Real Artist-Fire In The Sky to an easy wire-to-wire 1:53 victory finishing alone for his fourth-in-a-row in a $13,000 4&5-Year-Old Male pace. Owner Tom Kemp is reported to have turned down a six-figure offer for the gelding who now has won six of his eight lifetime races with two seconds. All Gold (Bret Brittingham) was best of the rest. MG Kid (Morand) was third. Trace Tetrick drove three winners, two for trainer Jim King. Corey Callahan and Ron Pierce had doubles. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. To watch races and dine in the Winner's Circle restaurant, call 302-674-4600 for reservations. By Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

East Rutherford, NJ --- Emeritus Maximus, who was purchased for $248,000, was the sales topper Monday at the Meadowlands January Select Mixed Sale presented by Tattersalls. Kevin McDermott bought the 4-year-old male pacer for brothers John and Tom Cancelliere. “He’s Roman, so I had to get him,” John Cancelliere said, laughing. “We’re from the same peninsula.” Emeritus Maximus was among three horses to sell for more than $200,000. Five-year-old male trotter Appomattox sold for $240,000 to Finland’s Reima Kuisla, with trainer Liisa Vatanen signing the ticket, and 4-year-old male pacer Wake Up Peter went for $210,000 to trainer Ray Remmen. A total of 17 horses sold for at least $80,000. Emeritus Maximus is a son of stallionRocknroll Hanover out of the mare Eternity’s Delight. He has won six of 35 career races and earned $292,305. His most recent victory was Jan. 18 at the Meadowlands, where he won by six lengths in 1:50.2. Last year, he won five times and banked $245,397 out of the stable of trainer Tony Alagna. He won a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and an elimination for the Hempt Memorial. He finished second to Lucan Hanover in the New Jersey Classic and was third in the Matron Stakes. “We talked to a bunch of people and we kind of liked him, so we went for him,” Cancelliere said. “He’s got to race against some of the best horses out there; it’s as tough as it’s going to get. You’ve got some killers floating around out there (in the older pacer division) and he’s still a babe in the woods. But you always have high hopes.” Alagna’s stable also raced Wake Up Peter last season. A son of Rocknroll Hanoverout of the mare Lovely Lady, Wake Up Peter earned $307,091 despite going winless in 19 starts. No 3-year-old pacer in history has ever earned as much money while failing to win a race. For his career, Wake Up Peter has won three of 29 starts and earned $604,821. Last year, he was third in the North America Cup, Cane Pace and American-National Stakes. “We liked the other horse better, Emeritus Maximus, but we couldn’t get him,” Remmen said. “We took a shot at this one. He fits some late closers here at the Meadowlands; maybe we can get a little money back. I think he’ll make a solid racehorse. “He doesn’t really match up with the good ones, we know that. But he’s solid. He raced against those good ones all year and he never really got his heart broken. A lot of horses would have called it off and said they were tired of chasing those horses, but he didn’t. He kept chasing them.” Appomattox, who won seven of 45 lifetime races and $407,858 out of the stable of Frank Antonacci, was the top selling trotter. He finished second to My MVP in the 2012 Kentucky Futurity final and was second to Market Share in that same year’s American-National. He is a son of Yankee Glide out of the mare Courtney Hall. Appomattox’s mother is a full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. “He’s just a gorgeous, good-looking, all-around nice horse,” Vatanen said. “He’s going to stay here for now and eventually he’ll probably be going overseas. He’s very well bred, he’s beautiful, and he stands good. There’s nothing bad to say about him.” Vatanen, who previously worked for trainerTrond Smedshammer and has been on her own for two years, didn’t expect Appomattox to go for such a high price. “We thought maybe $200,000, but (Kuisla) really wanted him. He’s got some nice horses at home, but he wants to own a very nice one over here. He’ll have a little bit of a break and we’ll go from there.” Breeder Steve Jones bought 5-year-old female pacer Big McDeal for $125,000. A daughter of McArdle out of the mare Ideal Gal, Big McDeal won 11 of 56 career starts and earned $818,544. As a 2-year-old, she won the Champlain Stakes and a division of the International Stallion Stakes by a head over American Jewel in a world record 1:50.2 at The Red Mile. At 3, she won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in a world record 1:49.1 at The Meadows. She finished second to Economy Terror in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Big McDeal is a half-sister to 2010 Empire Breeders Classic winner Galimony and her second dam, Before Sunrise, won the 1996 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly pacers. “She’s done racing,” Jones said about Big McDeal. “I’m going to send her to the farm and probably breed her to Somebeachsomewhere, but I haven’t really decided on that yet. “I’m just happy to get her. You never know what she’s going to do as a broodmare, but her mother has had three fillies that were all very nice fillies. She’s got everything going for her, in my opinion. She’s got great pedigree, great conformation, great racetrack performance. I don’t really know anything she doesn’t have.” Other horses to sell for at least $100,000 were female pacer Yagonnakissmeornot, male trotter Toss Cartwright and male pacer Sparky Mark. A total of 234 horses were sold for $5.97 million, bringing an average of $25,519. Those numbers were better than in 2013 when 206 horses brought $4.54 million and an average of $22,085. Pacing males topped the sale for the second straight year as 97 head sold for an average of $29,754. In 2013, 71 pacing males sold for an average of $29,341. To see all the results from Monday's sale, click here. by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications

Myron Bell will have his eyes on Captaintreacherous when the sport's top-rated pacer headlines Saturday's card at The Red Mile in Lexington, but "The Captain" will share Bell's attention with several youngsters looking to make names for themselves in Bluegrass Stakes action. That's My Opinion, Fort Knox and Journeyman will be among the horses competing in Saturday's four Bluegrass divisions for 2-year-old male pacers. That's My Opinion and Fort Knox are co-owned by Brittany Farms, for which Bell is the racing manager, while Journeyman is owned by Brittany Farms and Bell's Riverview Racing. Bell and Brittany Farms also are among the owners of Captaintreacherous, who is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the first of two Bluegrass divisions for 3-year-old male pacers. All of the horses are trained by Tony Alagna. Captaintreacherous, the defending Pacer of the Year, has won eight of nine races and $1.45 million this season. His wins include the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace and Hempt Memorial. He finished second by a nose to Sunshine Beach in the Battle of the Brandywine. He is the No. 2-ranked horse in the sport's Top 10 poll, behind only trotter Bee A Magician. "I wasn't that smart - I never thought he would go almost undefeated," Bell said. "He's exceeded all of our wildest expectations. We knew that he was a top horse, but the Captain has been super in every one of his races this year, even in his narrow defeat. You can't say anything bad about him." Still, Captaintreacherous has had his critics this season; some lamenting his connection's decision to skip the Little Brown Jug, others pointing to his lack of total domination (three wins by a neck). "(Heart) is what makes greatness," Bell said. "Speed is one facet of greatness, and he's got the will to win. People are always going to knock something that's good. I really don't worry about that. If they don't talk about you, you don't exist." For his career, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Worldly Treasure has won 16 of 19 starts, never been off the board, and earned $2.37 million. He was purchased as a yearling for $250,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. That is a big price, but not as hefty as the $350,000 paid for That's My Opinion, who was purchased under the name Blister Hanover at last year's Standardbred Horse Sale. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Boldnbrash Hanover, That's My Opinion has won one of four races and earned $13,029. He is coming off a second-place finish in a condition race at Mohawk, where he missed by a head after battling through traffic in the stretch. The Bluegrass will be his first try in stakes company and he drew into a division including New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Western Vintage, world-record-setter On Golden Ponder and stakes-placed Some Major Beach. That's My Opinion and driver Scott Zeron will start from post seven in the seven-horse field. "He was a beautiful yearling and he was very costly," Bell said. "Tony has done a phenomenal job with him. He went through a growth spurt and Tony did a very good job. I want to give Scott Zeron and (driver) Brian Sears, who baby raced him, a lot of credit too. We babied him to a certain degree and he's ready to rock and roll now. "He's in a tough division and drew a tough post, but I believe we'll make a good account of ourselves. Right now he's a nothing because he hasn't won on the Grand Circuit yet. I don't want to brag him up, but I think he's a really nice colt." As for the colt's name change, it came indirectly from Bell himself. "I have a favorite saying, 'That's my opinion,' and Tony wanted to dedicate that name to this horse for some reason, so we went along with it," Bell said. "It's a fun conversation piece." Fort Knox has won one of three races and was second in a division of the Champlain Stakes. Bred by Brittany Farms and Melvin Hartman, he is a son of American Ideal-The Art Museum and a three-quarter-brother to Acquavella. "He's a very nice horse," Bell said. "I bought the mare for Brittany for a lot of money; she never got to the races and her first two foals have been very good. Acquavella just had a career-ending injury, but she was meant to be a good filly. He raced very well when he came first over in (the Champlain)." Journeyman, also bred by Brittany Farms, has won once in five starts. He is a son of American Ideal-Cosmic Journey. "He's been a little disappointing so far, but he's got high speed," Bell said. "He had a foot problem earlier in the year; he's sound now and I expect a decent effort. I think he'll be OK this year." In addition to the colts, Bell will be watching Authorize, who is in the Bluegrass for 3-year-old filly pacers. She has won one of 13 races this year after winning the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 2012. Authorize is a daughter of Western Ideal-CPA and her granddam is Delinquent Account, who is also the mother of millionaire Artiscape. "She's only won one race this year, so I guess she's a bit of an underachiever, but I think she's going to be very good at The Red Mile," Bell said. "She had some issues and right now she's as sound as she could be. She'll race through the year and then she'll become a broodmare for next year; she has a great pedigree. "I hope she can finish up well. She's a trip horse. She can't leave the gate, so everything is predicated on the trip. But she can really close pretty good." That's My Opinion is not the only big-money yearling racing Saturday at The Red Mile. Rockstar Stride, who is in a late closer for 2-year-old male pacers, was purchased for $300,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale under the name Rock The Casbah and is owned by Emilio and Maria Rosati. Trained by Mark Harder, Rockstar Stride is winless in two starts and heads to The Red Mile off a second-place finish by a neck in a conditioned race at Yonkers. Rockstar Stride is a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Stienam's Place and a full brother to $2 million-earner Put On A Show, the fastest female pacer in harness racing history. Sweet Talkin Clyde, another 2-year-old male pacer, also will be in late closer action. He was purchased for $325,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale by brothers John and Tom Cancelliere. A son of Well Said-Sweet Future, he is a half-brother to stakes-winners Bettor Sweet and Sweet Lou. He has one win in four starts this year. by Ken Weingartner, for HRC  

The standardbred made its anticipated return to the one mile oval in East Rutherford, New Jersey Thursday morning (December 20) for the first round of qualifiers leading into the 2013 harness racing racing season. The eleven qualifiers were choc-full of horses gearing up for the lucrative winter late closing program at the Meadowlands.

It appears as if October at Woodbine is the perfect season for Bettor Sweet. The seven-year-old gelding made it back-to-back Breeders Crown Opens with an awesome 1:49 1/5 score in the $500,000 contest closing out the dozen race strong Crown harness racing card.

If you ask John Cancelliere to reflect upon Bettor Sweet's career highlights it's not the world record of 1:47.2, the second world record mile in 1:48.1f, last year's Breeders Crown triumph or the fact he's one of harness racings richest pacers of all-time in North America that's provided him with the ultimate thrill.

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