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Hightstown, NJ -- Tony Alagna entered this past weekend's Breeders Crown finals without an elimination winner, without a harness racing favorite, and, in some cases, without a favorable post position. He did, though, enter with confidence. The result was a memorable couple of nights at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Alagna became the fourth trainer in the 36-year history of the Breeders Crown to win three or more trophies in a year when Ramona Hill, Reflect With Me, and American History captured their finals at Mohawk. The other trainers in that group are Jimmy Takter, Ron Burke, and Bob McIntosh. "That's great company," Alagna said. "The horses showed up and did what we thought they could do. It turned out to be a phenomenal weekend for us. The drivers stayed confident, I stayed confident, my staff stayed confident; if you get all that together, then anything can happen." Ramona Hill got the fun started with a victory in the Breeders Crown's first race, winning Friday's 2-year-old filly trot from post 10 at odds of nearly 15-1. In the next race, the 2-year-old filly pace, Reflect With Me won from post eight at 27-1. On Saturday, American History captured the Open Pace at 5-1. "We didn't win any eliminations, but I was really happy with all the horses," Alagna said. "You don't panic. You set a goal for the horses and you don't stray from your goal even though everything is not perfect along the way. You know you have a quality horse, you do the right thing, and you hope it pays off. The majority of the time, it will. "You learn that over time. The best thing is I've got a tremendous group of owners that don't waiver. They don't want to do this or that if the horse didn't have a good race. They keep the faith and let us do our job. They know that we're going to do the right thing." Robert LeBlanc was among Alagna's owners who tasted Breeders Crown success over the weekend. LeBlanc, who grew up in Toronto and now lives in Austin, Texas, got his first-ever Breeders Crown with Ramona Hill. Robert LeBlanc (center) with Brittany Farms’ George Segal (left) and Ramona Hill’s co-owner Brad Grant (right) after her Breeders Crown victory. USTA/Mark Hall photo "I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I first came to Mohawk, so to come back here for the Breeders Crown is something special; I am on cloud nine," said LeBlanc, a retired vice president at IBM who has partnered on horses in Alagna's stable for three years. "This is what it's all about. You want to be there at the end of the year when all the best horses are there and beat the best. It's fantastic." Ramona Hill started from post 10 but was hustled from the gate by driver Andy McCarthy and landed on the lead. She was third at three-quarters before bursting through the stretch to win by four lengths over Sister Sledge. "We knew that if she could get off the gate and into a position, she would be there at the end," LeBlanc said. "But your expectation is that (post) 10 against the best fillies in the country, you're hoping to get a good piece of it. But in the back of your mind, you're thinking maybe she can do it. "What a great mile, what a great drive by Andy, and what great preparation by Tony. This is fun." McCarthy's win with Ramona Hill was his first Crown triumph, and he would add three more (including with Reflect With Me) before the weekend was finished. Joe Bongiorno, who drove American History, also picked up his first win in a Crown final. Joe Bongiorno picked up his first win in a Breeders Crown final with American History. USTA/Mark Hall photo Bongiorno put American History in front from post three in the race's early stage, marking only the second time in 18 starts this season the 4-year-old stallion was on top at the first quarter. "I wasn't planning on leaving but when (Jimmy Freight in post two) wasn't taking off, I changed my plan," the 26-year-old Bongiorno said. "I had confidence, but I knew this was a great group of horses and I had to have him in the right spot. We put him in the right spot. The whole mile he was alive and felt great. He's a special horse; he knows what his job is. "To win a Breeders Crown, I'm just so thankful to Tony and his owners for having faith in me and trusting me with their horse. It's something I didn't even dream of. It's unbelievable." Alagna's stable now has won six Breeders Crown trophies. His previous victories came with Captaintreacherous (2013), Racing Hill (2016) and Stay Hungry (2017). "It just goes to show that the barn has matured," Alagna said. "The owners kept the faith, the drivers had confidence, and everything came together." USTA/Mark Hall photos   by Ken Weingartner USTA Media Relations Manager

MILTON, ONTARIO, October 26 - Joe Bongiorno took a route up the rail late to win the $655,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace Final on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The time for the harness racing win was 1:48.3. This Is The Plan stormed to the top from post 10 off the gate, passing American Hisoty, who also showed some early foot, and taking the top. Dorsoduro Hanover took a spot on the rail third in front of McWicked. American History, bred by Brittany Farms, sat patiently through a swift quarter in :25.4 before taking the lead from This Is The Plan, with Dorsoduro Hanover poised to attack. Taking to the outside, Dorsoduro Hanover brushed to aim for an all-out charge as he had done in the elim. The half was sizzling in :53.4 as McWicked staged a challenging route near Jimmy Freight, passing him for a chase at Dorsoduro Hanover at three-quarters in 1:21.3. Into the stretch, Dorsoduro Hanover began to struggle as Always A Prince was using saved ground to get to McWicked, but on the inside, Bongiorno had a winning path before him and his charge as he passed Dorsoduro Hanover and won in 1:48.3. Always A Prince passed McWicked for third. "No words can describe how I feel winning," said Bongiorno. "I'm grateful for all the help from Tony [trainer Tony Alagna]." Alagna said he was confident about American History. "He's matured and now he is able to go with these guys." Co-owner Marvin Katz was joyful for the win and said hello to his partner George Segal, who was watching from out of town. Myron Bell of Brittany Farms said they liked American History as a yearling so much they, "bought him for a hundred-fifty thousand with one bid." American History (American Ideal--Perfect Touch) paid $12.10 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society  

MILTON, ONTARIO, October 25, 2019 - The trainer-driver harness racing team of Tony Alagna and Andrew McCarthy put forth a second-straight shocker when Reflect With Me, sent off at odds of 27-1 shocked the field in capturing the $600,000 (US) final of the Breeders Crown for juvenile pacing fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday night. Unlike the victory with Ramona Hill a race earlier McCarthy chose to sit back from post eight and let others do the work. He got exactly what he was looking for when Priceless and driver Brandon Bates cut the opening quarter in :26 4/5 and then made even money favorite Lyons Sentinel with driver Tim Tetrick work a bit extra hard before releasing her to the tune of a :53 3/5 first half clocking. The race got more interesting when elimination winner New Year took up the offensive without cover past the half towing Alicorn into the race. McCarthy for his trouble had managed to work out a fourth over trip with the Captaintreacherous-sired filly and once the field passed three quarters in 1:22 1/5 McCarthy sent his filly three and then four wide to begin the long trek towards the leaders. Lyons Sentinel was hanging in determinedly as New Year flattened out from her first-over challenge but the field was closing in on the leaders and Reflect With Me had the most energy and McCarthy kept her to her task getting there in the final strides in the 1:50 3/5 mile. The clocking was a fifth off the Crown record. Lyons Sentinel held the place spot with Marloe Hanover slipping between fillies for third. New Year and Looksgoodinaromper rounded out the top five. Reflect With Me, was bred by Brittany Farms who share ownership in the filly with Bradley Grant. It was the second straight trophy for Grant as well on the evening. It was the fifth victory in 11 starts on the season for Reflect With Me who returned a healthy $56.20 for the win mutual ticket. "She got a little tired near the wire but she kept on coming," said McCarthy following the victory. "I spoke with Andy before the race and we both felt there was a lot of speed inside," said Tony Alagna. To watch the race replay, click here. From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society      

MILTON, ONTARIO, October 25 - Leaving from the farther-most post 10, Andrew McCarthy made two big moves with harness racing trotter Ramona Hill to easily win the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Trot Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday (October 25) over favorite Hypnotic AM by 2 ½ lengths in 153.2. McCarthy wasted no time as the field left the gate, firing Ramona Hill to the top confidently with Sister Sledge directly behind her, followed by Ms Savannah Belle and Hypnotic AM, cutting the first quarter in :27. Keeping the field chasing, Ramona Hill, at 14-1, drew away a few lengths, getting to the half in :56 when Brian Sears charged first over with Hypnotic AM to get the lead. May Baby inherited the first-over spot while Tim Tetrick kept Ms Savannah Belle third on the inside. Hypnotic AM cut the three-quarters mark in a fiery 1:23.4 but it did not take long for McCarthy to pull from second and easily take over Hypnotic AM's lead. Ramona Hill shot away from the field to win in 1:53.2. Sister Sledge (Yannick Gingras) closed on Hypnotic AM to take second. Madame Sherry (Matt Kakaley) finished in fourth at 99-1. Tony Alagna trains Ramona Hill for owners Bradley Grant and Robert Leblanc and as bred by Crawford Farms. "She's so talented and she was so slick tonight," said McCarthy. "Leaving from the 10 hole I said I'm going to step her out to the front and I was not surprised she could leave so quickly." Co-owner Robert Leblanc, in the Breeders Crown winners circle for the first time, said, "When we got the 10 hole we were still positive, we thought she could still get it. We think she is just goint to get better." Romana Hill (Muscle Hill--Lock Down Lindy) paid $31.80 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society

Capt Midnight trainer Tony Alagna and Catch The Fire owner Charles Taylor were both happy their horses got byes into Friday's $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old harness racing male pacers, but it was Alagna who kept smiling after Tuesday's draw came out. Capt Midnight drew post five while Catch The Fire will start out of the nine hole. Ironically, Alagna's second horse in the final - Put To Right - drew the only spot outside Catch The Fire. "With Capt Midnight, we wanted to take the bye," Alagna said. "I've had bad luck; one time I (didn't take) a bye, had to beat one horse, and she made a break going to the gate. I said I'll never do that again and we'll just have to wait and see what the draw does. We got lucky enough to get the five hole." By the time the gate folds at Woodbine Mohawk Park, it will be 20 days between starts for the Captaintreacherous-It Was Fascination colt, but Alagna feels he will be ready. "On Saturday I brought Treacherous Reign, American History and Capt Midnight (to Mohawk) to train to the bike; it was a beautiful day and a great day to be able to do it," Alagna said, adding with grin, "The hardest part was getting (drivers) Dexter Dunn and Andy McCarthy out of bed to do it. "Once we got here, we trained them a pretty good mile and were very happy with all of them. I think it sets him up good for the final." Capt Midnight, who has earned C$328,194 this year, owns five wins at Woodbine Mohawk Park, including the Dream Maker Series final, Champlain, and Nassagaweya. He heads to the Breeders Crown final off a win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile and is 3-1 on the morning line. Elimination winner Papi Rob Hanover is the 8-5 favorite followed by Tall Dark Stranger, who suffered his first defeat in the elim, at 2-1. "I thought he was a little flat the last eighth (of a mile)," Tall Dark Stranger's trainer, Nancy Johansson, said. "His blood work didn't come back perfectly, unfortunately; he's battling a little bit of sickness. Hopefully we can get that squared away. I changed his front shoes for the final, so hopefully we get a little more speed out of him. I think that he will be fine. He's a good horse. The way his blood work looked after the race, he actually put in a pretty good performance. "He trained a little bit (Tuesday) morning and he was just fine with the new shoes and everything. Hopefully he's going to have his best performance on Friday." Catch The Fire, a Captaintreacherous-Dream Outloud colt, was purchased for $15,000 as a yearling at Lexington and "showed talent right from the start," according to Taylor. Although the draw is not great, Taylor feels his horse is right in the mix. "I think we have a good shot," he said. "I think the top five or six in the class are so close with talent. I think it's going to come down to who gets the best trip. And if we can work out a good trip we've got just as good a shot as anybody in the race. "He's been a little tired the last couple starts so this extra week off getting the bye is going to help us quite a bit. It gives him a few extra days off." Catch The Fire has four firsts, three seconds and two thirds in 11 starts, good for C$252,547 in earnings. He won the Kentucky Sire Stakes final at Red Mile in 1:49.4. He also won a Kentucky Sire Stakes leg and a Pennsylvania All-Stars division. Trainer John Ackley is making his Breeders Crown debut. "Very rarely would you want to start a 2-year-old 12 times, but he (will have) 12 starts," said Taylor, who is seeking his first Breeders Crown win. "We said all year if he shows that he doesn't want to do it any more we'd shut him down. He's had a tough season and he just hasn't shown any signs. He hasn't lost any weight, his appetite is great. "There's very little training for him. He kind of maintains himself, he's easy on himself so we don't have to train him hard. He's just been all-around great. No ailments. He's a little smaller than the rest of them, I think that's actually worked to his advantage, that's why we were able to get 12 starts out of him, because he's a little smaller and not carrying as much weight as the rest of them." And while Taylor feels it's anybody's race, if he had to pick a favorite, it would be Papi Rob Hanover out of the three hole. "I just think he's raced tough throughout the year and he's raced against every single one of us and he's been first or second against every single one of us," Taylor said. "Whereas the rest of us have tended to race sporadically against each other, he's taken on all of us and the worst he's finished is second. He's just a tough horse." Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds are Friday at Mohawk. The finals for 3-year-olds and older horses are Saturday. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership is the presenting sponsor of this year's Breeders Crown. Following is the field for the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Mayhem Hanover-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair-20/1 2-Allywag Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Casie Coleman-15/1 3-Papi Rob Hanover-David Miller-Brett Pelling-8/5 4-Cattlewash-Louis Roy-Ron Burke-8/1 5-Capt Midnight-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna-3/1 6-Major Betts-Dexter Dunn-Mark Harder-15/1 7-Tall Dark Stranger-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson-2/1 8-Freedom Warrior-Brian Sears-Kevin Lare-15/1 9-Catch The Fire-Mike Wilder-John Ackley-15/1 10-Put To Right-Bob McClure-Tony Alagna-20/1 By Rich Fisher, for the Breeders Crown  

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the harness racing line-up for Thursday morning (Oct. 23) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Mark McKelvie, Tony Alagna, Chris Page, and co-hosting will be Nick Barnsdale. Woodbine Mohawk Park Director of Communications, Mark McKelvie, will join the program to discuss the happenings at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Breeders Cornw this weekend which will features great promotions for fans on track and a plethora of wagering opportunities to swing at. Trainer Tony Alagna entered last Friday and Saturday with nine opportunities to make it to he Breeders Crown Final with eight of his contingent completing the quest. He joins to discuss each of the horses entered on Friday and Saturday night, and how they have trained leading up to the big weekend. Driver Chris Page heads to Canada to compete in the 2019 Breeders Crown with a multitude of opportunities for a victory. He will drive Mission Accepted in the Breeders Crown Open Trot, featuring French Triple Crown winner Bold Eagle. He will talk about what it is like to drive in such an event, and about each of his drives coming up on the weekend. Mike Bozich will be out this week, so correspondent Nick Barnsdale will join to co-host with Michael Carter. A reminder about the Breeders Crown live remote shows taking place on Friday and Saturday night. Friday the program will begin at 8:30 p.m. while the show will begin on Saturday at 8:00. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time    

LEXINGTON, KY-- Treacherous Reign overpowered her harness racing competition in the $163,100 American Ideal Bluegrass Stakes  for three-year-old pacing fillies, sponsored by Brittany Stallion Management, on Saturday, Sept. 28 at The Red Mile as she grounded out a first-over trip to win by a length. Beautyonthebeach was sent forward from post 6, but 4-5 favorite Tall Drink Hanover quickly swooped by just after a :26.2 opening quarter. She maintained the lead to the half in :54.1 and three-quarters in 1:22.1 but could do little to resist Treacherous Reign as the field of 11 turned for home. Driver Dexter Dunn kept the Tony Alagna trainee to task down the lane and held off Beautyonthebeach to stop the clock in 1:49.4. Queen Of The Pride had late pace and moved up for third. Tall Drink Hanover, who Alagna also trains, faded and finished seventh. "A lot of people forget that she did win the Fan Hanover, defeating Warrawee Ubeaut," Alagna said after the race. "Of course, Warrawee Ubeaut has gotten better over the course of the year, but this is a very nice filly in her own right. The other filly got used pretty good--Tall Drink Hanover--to get to the front, but she definitely didn't look like she was on her game today. Not to take anything away from this filly; she came first over the hard way at the half and got the job done." The $50,000 Lexington Select yearling purchase collected her 11th win from 26 starts, and she has now earned more than $680,000 for Alagna Racing, Big Al's Stables, Let It Ride Stables, and Dana L. The daughter of Captaintreacherous, bred by White Birch Farm, paid $12.20 to win. Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 28 with seven total Bluegrass dashes. The sophomore pacing colts compete in three divisions of the $267,400 Captaintreacherous Bluegrass Stakes while the three-year-old trotting colts race in two divisions of the $192,200 International Moni Bluegrass Stakes and the three-year-old trotting fillies race in two divisions of the $218,000 Bar Hopping Bluegrass Stakes. Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Nicholas Barnsdale, for The Red Mile  

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway hosted a pair of harness racing stakes for 2-year-old pacers on Saturday (September 28). In the Renaissance Final for 2-year-old filly pacers, Lucy Lightyear was sent off as the 6/5 favorite, coming off three straight wins. However, Caviart Heather pulled off the upset, winning at 25/1. In the early stages, Joe Bongiorno and Sus kept Lucy Lightyear and Stacy Chiodo parked out through fast fractions. Lucy Lightyear managed to clear to the lead around the second turn, but had to work hard to get there. Meanwhile, Caviart Heather was well back in the early stages, and it didn't look as if she would threaten. However, George Brennan made a daring four-wide move up the backstretch the final time, and Caviart Heather zoomed by everyone and drew off to a convincing win. The final time of 1:55.4 marked a new lifetime top for the Tony Alagna-trained filly, who is owned by Caviart Farms. Earlier in the meet, she won the first two legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund for 2-year-old filly pacers, before finishing a dull fifth in the final and third in last week's elimination. She clearly regained her form here, however, as she picked up her third career win, while pushing her lifetime earnings over the $58,000 mark. Rockin Jukebox won the second stakes race of the day, the NJSS-SDF Final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. He tracked early leader and favorite Columbo most of the way, then angled out and made his move in the stretch. Despite some challenges in the stretch, he held on to win by 1 3/4 lengths at 5/2. His final time of 1:55.1 is a lifetime top. For Rockin Jukebox, it was his second career win, with his first one coming last week in the second leg of the series. He's owned and driven by Russell Foster, and is trained by Megan Foster. Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday, with a first post time of 12:30 PM EDT. The card will include a carryover on the pick five, worth $605.75. That sequence begins in race 5. For entries and race results click here.  From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harness racing's Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and American History Racing, the owners of American History ($10.20, Joe Bongiorno) saw their top pacer win the 13th Annual $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial Pace at Harrington Raceway Monday in 1:49.3. The half-mile racetrack named their richest race in honor of long time Delaware legislator Bobby Quillen, who passed away in 2006. Quillen was an avid supporter of harness racing and was also a board member at Harrington Raceway. American History, a 4-year-old American Ideal stallion wore down pacesetter None Bettor A in deep stretch for a narrow win. Sectionline Bigry was third. It was the 4th fastest mile ever at Harrington, behind Wiggle It Jiggleit (1:49), Betterthancheddar (1:49.2) and Clear Vision (1:49.2). American History was forced three-wide after cover stalled near three-quarters and continued a steady gain on None Bettor A before out kicking him late. None Bettor A set fractions of 26.4, 55 and 1:22.4 while Backstreet Shadow pressured first over before retreating. Tony Alagna trains American History.  A huge crowd was on hand in the winner's circle to greet American History Delaware Governor John Carney was in attendance, in addition to several other legislators and Delaware Secretary of Finance Rick Geisenberger, and Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse. Four $20,000 divisions for 2-year-old Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) pacers also helped comprise the 15-race card, including the early non-wagering event won by Henry Faragalli, Arthur Feeney, Bay Pond Racing Stable and Bonnuccelli Racing's Bag of Jewels (Victor Kirby) in 1:57.4. The Roddy's Bags Again filly notched her second career win over Sprinkles On Top and I'm Two Soxy. The winner was trained by Les Givens. Givens and Kirby was back in the winner's circle in the first division for male pacers as American Nitro was an easy winner over Apple Valley Art and Aidan in 1:56.2. Owned by Farragalli, Nanticoke Racing Stable, Feeney and Daniel Doane, it was the second win in three career starts for the Badlands Nitro gelding. The third DSBF division on the card was the second for male pacers as Leonard Hubbard's Leonard's Legacy ($2.80, Jon Roberts) was a dominant winner in 1:56.4 for trainer Nick Callahan. The Tobago Cays colt was a front end winner over White Lands and Bebop On The Block. The final DSBF division was for fillies as Brenda Teague's She's Got The Lynx ($2.80, Montrell Teague) was a 1:59.1 winner over Dragon My Fannie and Spin Sumthin. The Southwind Lynx filly improved to 2-for-2 in her career after breaking her maiden in an overnight event on September 10 for her owner/trainer. In the $18,500 Open, Bryan Truitt's Highland Beach Boy ($35.80, VIctor Kirby) was a 1:52.3 winner over Q's Cruise and Ideal Kiss. The Bryan Truitt-trainee notched his 8th win of the year. Racing fans were also treated to the presence of three-time Quillen Memorial winner, Foiled Again, who was available for meet-and-greet trackside. Foiled Again, the richest standardbred of all-time, is now enjoying retirement but has a generous temperament that has lent itself to a number of continued racetrack interactions with fans thanks to his generous connections which include trainer Ron Burke. Local television host Heather Vitale was instrumental in scheduling Foiled Again's visit. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

MILTON, September 7, 2019 - Harness racing trainer Tony Alagna was set up for a successful Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park and walked away with a trio of victories in the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes.   A total of five stakes races were contested on Saturday's 12-race card. Rookie pacers made up the bulk of the marquee events with four Champlain divisions, while a field of seven sophomore pacing fillies clashed in the $168,557 Simcoe Stakes.   Although the races aren't contested on paper, the Alagna barn entered Saturday's stakes with the morning-line favourite in all five races. A new saying of "three out of five ain't bad" could work following Saturday's action.   Alagna's Tall Drink Hanover ran her win streak to five races, taking the Simcoe in stakes-record fashion.   Sent on her way as the 2-5 choice, the three-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous watched the early proceedings from third spot, but was given her cue from driver Andrew McCarthy just moments after an opening quarter-mile paced in :26.4.   Setting the tone through a half-mile in :54.3, Tall Drink Hanover and McCarthy were still in command after three-quarters in 1:22.3, and then braced for the challenges of Boadicea and Sunny Dee as the field straightened for home.   'Tall Drink' dug in gamely to repel a closing Boadicea, who settled for second, crossing the wire a half-length winner in a new Simcoe Stakes standard of 1:49.1. Sunny Dee was third and Better Single was fourth.   "I was looking at the lines on that mare (Boadicea) Jonathan (Drury) was driving, and even Trevor Henry's filly (Sunny Dee) - they both looked like they've been racing terrific," said McCarthy. "Jonathan's mare sounded like she had a lot of go behind me, and mid-stretch, I kind of had to call on her and make sure she went right on because I knew she was coming."   Tall Drink Hanover arrived at the Simcoe off four-consecutive stakes tallies, including wins in a division of the Adioo Volo and the $100,362 Shady Daisy final, for owners Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC.   After a tough start to her season, the bay, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, now has seven wins from 11 starts on the campaign.   "She had an unfortunate start, a couple bad posts, a couple bad trips," noted McCarthy. "But she's really making up for lost time now. She's gotten very sharp."   She paid $2.90 for the Simcoe score.   Tall Drink Hanover   The Alagna barn also made trips to the winner's circle at the start and conclusion of the four Champlain divisions.   Reflect With Me was dominant in her capture of the first $94,299 Champlain division for two-year-old pacing fillies.   The Alagna trainee beat five foes in a stakes record 1:51.1 for her third consecutive stakes victory. Kat finished 2¾ lengths adrift of the odds-on favourite, with Karma Seelster finishing third.   Driver McCarthy sent Reflect With Me to the lead in a backstretch brush after getting away fourth from post four. He would not be required to lift a line again as his Captaintreacherous filly remained in control for the remainder of the mile. Early leader Kat turned away fourth-place-finisher Off the Press in a :27.3 opening quarter, but Reflect With Me would trip the teletimer for the remaining fractions with a half in :56, three quarters in 1:24.1, and a lively :27 final quarter. Kat was unable to make headway down the lane after riding the pocket for the majority of the mile, while Karma Seelster showed late pace to grab the show spot.   "She was very good tonight," said McCarthy. "She had a couple of weeks off to freshen her up a bit, and she was feeling really good about herself tonight once I got her to the front. Midway through the last turn the engine started revving, and she wanted me to let her pace a little bit, but I was just trying to keep her steady. Then I let her pace in the stretch and she was good."   She has now visited the winner's circle four times from six outings and earned more than $130,000 for owners Brittany Farms and Brad Grant. Her trophy cabinet also includes silverware from the Whenyouwishuponastar and the Eternal Camnation, both of which she won in August. A win ticket on her returned $2.50.   Reflect With Me   Reflect With Me   Capt Midnight triumphed in the $89,938 second Champlain division for two-year-old rookie pacers, giving trainer Alagna and driver McCarthy both a stakes hat trick on the card.   A $350,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Capt Midnight's victory boosts his win streak to four and improves his record to four victories in six starts for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing.   McCarthy and the bay colt watched an early tussle for the lead unfold, as Allywag Hanover and Aneto duked it out through brisk early fractions of :26 and :54.   After three-quarters reached in 1:22.1, a patient McCarthy roused Capt Midnight, who responded in kind.   Down the lane, the pair widened their advantage at will, crossing the wire in a stakes record-equaling 1:50.2.   "I kind of let him step out of there a little bit," said McCarthy. "There's a stampede getting into that first turn, so I just lagged back a little bit and watched it unfold. The trip worked out great for me, really."   The son of Captaintreacherous lost in his first two starts, racing from off the pace in divisions of the Kindergarten at the Meadowlands. But he got into his winning groove since he took to the racetrack at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   "He pretty much did that under wraps tonight," noted McCarthy. "The ear plugs were still in. I asked him to pace a little bit coming out of the last turn, and mid-stretch he was just kind of ambling along, doing his own thing. He's got a lot more in the tank than that."   Capt Midnight paid $2.20 for the win.   Capt Midnight     Capt Midnight   The $90,938 opening division for colts and geldings saw YS Mathis deliver an impressive performance for his second consecutive victory.   YS Mathis circled all but one of five others in a three-wide final-turn move to win going away in 1:51.3. Winning driver Louis Phillipe Roy tucked in fifth from post seven and sat there through the quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55.2; he then got going as they approached the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and flew home in :26.4 for a lifetime best-equaling effort. He went off the 6-5 favourite and returned $4.70 to win.   Second choice Captain Kirk cut the first three quarters of the contest, but could do little to repel YS Mathis and finished second, 2½ lengths back at the line. Day Delight stayed on for third after the winner stepped around him on the turn. Tattoo Artist was forced to take a seat in third after challenging for the early lead and then came back out again as they turned for home, but tired to finish fifth.   "I always think he can race from wherever we want, but even with that short field - six horses - I was kind of scared we would go slow fractions," said Roy. "So off the gate, I was kind of ready to get him into position - like leave a little bit with him - but then I saw on the inside they were leaving pretty hard. So I said 'well it's almost better for me because my horse has proven to everybody that he can race off the pace pretty good like that.'"   The Sportswriter colt took his third win in eight starts to bring his earnings above $170,000 for conditioner Richard Moreau and owner Yves Sarrazin. His other two victories came in the form of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events, one of which was on the Canadian Pacing Derby undercard on August 31.     YS Mathis     YS Mathis   The fourth Champlain division on the card saw Rose Run Vantage power by rivals in the lane to win the $95,298 second split for two-year-old pacing fillies.   With Sylvain Filion at the controls, Rose Run Vantage, owned by Wayne Mac Rae and Daniel Ross, got away fourth, as Betalady blasted off the gate and assumed control in taking the field through an opening quarter-mile in :27.3.   Mutuel favourite Lady Lou, with McCarthy in the bike, were on the move soon after, gliding up from third to grab top spot, leading her rivals through a half-mile in :55.4.   Filion took Rose Run Vantage first over and was gaining ground on the pacesetter through three-quarters timed in 1:23.4.   The duo struck front in early stretch and comfortably fended off a late rally from Peaky Sneaky, who grabbed runner-up honours. Betalady was third, with Alex Skye fourth. The winning margin was 1½-lengths.   Rose Run Vantage, a $17,000 purchase last year at Harrisburg, stopped the clock in a career-best mark of 1:51.3.   Rose Run Vantage   Rose Run Vantage   An early break by Temagami Seelster prompted Filion to call an audible, an option that would pay off handsomely for himself and the Anthony Beaton trainee.   "I was planning on the second over trip," offered the veteran reinsman Filion. "But when the horse made a break, that plan went out the window. We had to go to 'Plan B.'"   While it wasn't the preferred choice, the decision paid off with another win for the daughter of Big Jim. The Champlain is the bay's fourth win from six starts.   "I was anxious... first over, that's not the ideal trip for a two-year-old. But when I saw that horse in front (Lady Lou) was really tired, and mine still had lots of go, I knew I had a good shot."   Filion had high praise for the seasoned performance.   "She's a really, really nice filly. Ever since I sat behind her, I always really liked her. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks, too."   Sent off at 9-2, Rose Run Vantage paid $11.20 for the win.   Next up for the two-year-old pacers is next weekend's eliminations for the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady. Those eliminations are scheduled for next Saturday's (September 14) Canadian Trotting Classic card.   Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Chris Lomon & Nicholas Barnsdale for Woodbine Communications      

MILTON, ON--Tony Alagna's primary focus has been training younger horses, with his colt-turned-stallion Captaintreacherous providing him with Grand Circuit harness racing success. Now this weekend, Alagna is sitting pretty with the morning-line favourite in all four of Saturday's Champlain Stakes divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Reflect With Me starts Alagna's night in Race 3, the $94,299 first division of Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies. The Captaintreacherous filly lost in both of her starts stateside but has since been undefeated in stakes company at Mohawk Park. Yet, even in defeat in her early starts, Reflect With Me separated herself from the competition with back-to-back :25.1 final quarters in divisions of the Kindergarten. "She always showed that [speed]," Alagna said. "Training down, she would always be the filly that would be training late, coming late in the training sets in Florida. She just always had an incredible amount of finish, even from early on. I wish I could take credit for it, but that's definitely something she was born with because she just loves to chase horses down and its fun for her." Regular-reinsman Andrew McCarthy will steer the filly from post 4 for owner-breeder Brittany Farms LLC and co-owner Brad Grant. Alagna's next starter, another Captaintreacherous colt, competes from post 3 in the $90,938 first division of Champlain Stakes for pacing freshmen. Captain Kirk, who will be driven by Bob McClure for owner-breeder Brittany Farms LLC and co-owners Marvin Katz and Captain Kirk Racing, shipped north following a 22-1 upset victory in a division of Kindergarten on July 19 at the Meadowlands. "We always knew the colt had ability," Alagna said. "He was a little overshadowed by the other colts we had in that division because they had qualified a little better than him. But he was always a horse that, if he got the right kind of trip and shook loose, he had a huge turn of speed late. That's what happened that night, he got a great trip, and when he shook loose he was loaded with pace." Captain Kirk has finished third in all four of his starts at Mohawk Park. Three starts ago he finished behind OSS-star Tall Dark Stranger and in his last two starts he's given chase to his stablemates Capt Midnight and Captain Nemo. "I don't think it's so much that he's struggling. I think he's just run into two excellent colts in the other two colts of mine," Alagna said. "If you took those other two colts out of those divisions, those are the only two colts that have been able to beat him up there, so..." Capt Midnight competes in the other Champlain division, carded as Race 10 with a purse of $89,938. The Captaintreacherous colt lost in his first two starts, racing from off the pace in divisions of the Kindergarten at the Meadowlands. But the colt shifted tactics when shipping to Mohawk, winning all three of his starts either on or near the lead. "He won his first baby race in [1]:52 and change," Alagna said. "When he came back, he had some road trouble and got a little lost when he came first over in the one division of the Kindergarten, and in the other division of the Kindergarten he was too far back. Once he got to Canada it was his third start and he got his groove." McCarthy will also drive Capt Midnight, who starts from post 2, for owners Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing. Alagna also sends another frosh filly, Lady Lou, from post 2 in the $95,298 second division of Champlain for two-year-old pacing fillies, carded as Race 6. The daughter of Sweet Lou has one win on her record but has given chase to better fillies in recent starts, including stablemate Reflect With Me as well as OSS phenom Alicorn. "We had confidence in her when we sent her up there because you know I don't like to send them up if I don't think they can be a player in those stakes," Alagna said. "She's another one [who's] been overshadowed by Reflect With Me but this is a very nice filly in her own right. She's been stuck first over I think her last three starts. I think one of these days things are going to go her way and she's going to get her payday but like I said she's a very nice filly in her own right." Amid the freshmen in competition, Alagna will also send his sophomore pacing filly Tall Drink Hanover to the track in the $168,557 Simcoe Stakes, carded as Race 8. The Captaintreacherous filly, Alagna said, has had things "go her way--I don't think she was any worse than she is now; I don't think she's gotten any better. I think things have finally started to go her way as far as post-position draws and trips." She enters the Simcoe off four-consecutive victories in stakes, including wins in a division of the Adioo Volo and the $100,362 Shady Daisy final. Andrew McCarthy will sit in the sulky from post 4 for owners Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC. Saturday's stakes program at Mohawk Park is the second of four weekends of Grand Circuit racing at the Milton oval. The 12-race program kicks off with first-race post at 7:10 p.m. (EDT). by Ray Cotolo, for Woodbine Entertainment

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 28, 2019- Of the dozen 3-year-olds who entered this season's Messenger Stakes, four were trained by Tony Alagna. Students of history should not have been surprised, as Alagna has come within a dirty nose of winning Yonkers Raceway's second jewel of the harness racing Pacing Triple Crown four years in a row. In 2015, Revenge Shark (Yannick Gingras) won a three-horse photo, upsetting in the Messenger at odds of 9-1. By contrast, in 2016, Racing Hill (Brett Miller), in the midst of a $1.5 million season, fooled no one (we checked), winning this race at five-cents-on-the-dollar. In 2017, 22-1 Art Scene (Jordan Stratton) closed inside, running out of racetrack against another 1-20 winner in Downbytheseaside. Last season, Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) outgamed Jimmy Freight in what was essentially a match race. "(The Messenger) is a race that's very important to us," Alagna said from Lexington, KY. "Obviously, you have to be lucky, but also versatile and quick off the gate." Of Alagna's barbershop quartet for this season's 64th edition, three advanced to Saturday night's (Aug. 31st) half-million-dollar final...though not necessarily the one the trainer figured. "I thought Captain Trevor was our best chance, but he didn't race well (last in his elim)," Alagna said. He scoped sick and we're not sure why-maybe the shipping-but that's horse racing. We just move on." Alagna is 'moving on' with U S Captain (Jason Bartlett, post 4), Waterway (Joe Bongiorno, post 6) and Escapetothebeach (Corey Callahan, post 7). The trainer opined about the trio. " U S Captain raced very well last week (second to Aflame Hanover). It looked to me as if he lost some momentum getting jammed up behind the leader (eventual winner). "Waterway (third to Aflame Hanover) seemed to be doing his pacing at the wire, which is all you can ask. Last season, he paced in (1):50 and 1 and won the consolation of the Kentucky Sire Stakes (Red Mile), so we thought he'd come back a bit better, but he gets around Yonkers very well. "Escapetothebeach came first-up against Bettor's Wish (finishing third), and that's been the story of his season. He's had some bad posts and bad trips, but I think he's had a really good season." U S Captain and Waterway both entered the Messenger off local overnight wins, a fact that wasn't lost on Alagna. "We wanted to try them there with the Messenger in mind," Alagna said. As for the three-head monster looking to take down pole-sitting behemoth Bettor's Wish, "They came out of last week well and are coming into the final training well. "I'm looking forward to it." The Messenger goes as the seventh of Yonkers' dozen Saturday races, the card also featuring the 65th Yonkers Trot ($500,000) as the sixth race, $124,334 Hudson Filly Trot (4th race) and $122,224 Lady Maud (5th race). Those program pages accompany this release. First post is the usual 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

MILTON, ON - August 13, 2019 - Captaintreacherous filly Reflect With Me established a new series record of 1:50.3 with a dominating harness racing victory in Tuesday's final of the Whenuwishuponastar. A field of seven two-year-old pacing fillies clashed in the $50,000 series final. Round one winners Reflect With Me and Alexa Skye returned to action after a week off, while Somebeachsometime entered with plenty of momentum after a stunning victory in the second leg. The opening-quarter saw Dr. Ian Moore trainee Kat storm out to the lead and post a :27.3 opener. Stablemate Alexa Skye tipped off her back entering the backstretch to circle to the lead, but that was short-lived as driver Andrew McCarthy started up Reflect With Me from third and the Tony Alagna trainee made a powerful brush to the lead. Reflect With Me proceeded to put the series final to bed by pacing a :27.3 third-quarter followed by an easy-looking :26.4 kicker to win impressively by four-lengths in 1:50.3. Kat finished second, while Somebeachsometime rallied from sixth to finish third. "I've been pretty careful with her just racing off the pace and I kind of wanted to prove a point tonight and let everyone know how good she actually is," said McCarthy following the victory. "She's so slick gaited and smart and just does everything so easy." A $120,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Reflect With Me has two wins and $35,800 earned in four starts for owners Brittany Farms and Brad Grant. The daughter of Captaintreacherous gives her conditioner Alagna back-to-back series victories following last year's triumph by Tall Drink Hanover. A $2 win ticket on Reflect With Me returned $3.90. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

WILKES-BARRE, PA - On Sunday night, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosted three divisions of the $168,480 third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. Trainer Tony Alagna accounted for two divisions with Treacherous Reign (1:49.4) and Tall Drink Hanover (1:50.2), while last year's divisional champion Warrawee Ubeaut posted her second Sire Stakes win while posting a 1:50 mile. First up was Treacherous Reign, who started her season with four straight wins, including the Fan Hanover final on June 15, but had not won in four starts after that victory. Here driver Dexter Dunn put the Captaintreacherous filly on the lead before the :27 quarter, posted midrace splits of :55.4 and 1:22.3, then guided her home in 27.1, two lengths clear of pocketsitting Beach Bar. The winner of $482,797 is conditioned by Alagna for Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Mr. Dana Parham. Warrawee Ubeaut also had a hot start to her 2019, with four victories in her first five starts including a Sire Stakes division in the first prelim, but like Treacherous Reign she came into Sunday having not won in four straight races. Yannick Gingras got the daughter of Sweet Lou away second behind Stonebridge Soul before the :26.2 quarter, then moved her to command before the :55 half. Warrawee Ubeaut got a breather to the 1:23.3 three-quarters , then needed to turn on the afterburners with Stonebridge Soul on her back, and "Ubeaut" responded with a 26.2 last quarter which kept the pocketsitter 1 1/2 lengths in arrears to the wire. The Ron Burke-trained winner of $917,174 looked sharp for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. Alagna got his second Sire Stakes win with another daughter of Captaintreacherous, Tall Drink Hanover, who had beaten both of the other PaSS winners in the Shady Daisy Pace at The Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day. Here Tall Drink Hanover and driver Andrew McCarthy pressed on to the lead passing the 27 quarter, got a short rest while reaching the half in :56.1, and then proceeded to throw a pair of 27.3 back quarters at her opponents, which put her 1½ lengths ahead on second-place Rockin Philly at the wire and 2½ lengths better than Philly Hanover, previously the only double Sire Stakes winner, in third. Tall Drink Hanover has now amassed $545,677 and has won three straight for Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz, and Riverview Racing LLC, and she also took a new mark with the victory. Fastest of four winners in the $20,000 divisions of the Stallion Series was the Sweet Lou filly Sweet Cherry, who left quickly from the outside post seven for driver Tim Tetrick and set the pace, then stepped home in :55.1 to earn a new mark of 1:51.3, two lengths ahead of A Beach Cowgirl. Jim King Jr. trains the winner for Tim Tetrick LLC and Jo Ann Looney-King. The Sweet Lou sophomore Alkippe posted her second Stallion Series win of the campaign when she shot up the Pocono Pike to post a 1:54.4 win, catching favored pacesetter Tee's Sweet Ryde by a half-length for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Linda Toscano, and Enviro Stables LTD. Andrew McCarthy joined Gingras as a winning driver in both the Sire Stakes and Stallion Series when JK Mardi Says also took her second StS win, with the Somebeachsomewhere filly coming off cover to reduce her mark to 1:51.4. JK Mardi Says was 2¾ lengths clear of What A Fox in triumphing for trainer Brett Pelling and owner David McDuffee. In the final Stallion Series section, Annie Hill looked like she was going to be the only three-time winner in the PA-sired competitions when she came up the inside from the pocket to grab the stretch lead, but Marcus Miller swung the Captaintreacherous filly Michelon's Filly wide for the drive, and that one closed furiously to get past Annie Hill by a half-length. Michelon's Filly, who won for the first time this season, also reduced her mark by winning in 1:51.4 for trainer Erv Miller and owner/namesake Ronald Michelon, partner with Michael Anderson. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

East Rutherford, NJ -- Tall Drink Hanover and driver Andy McCarthy were dominant in capturing the $100,362 Shady Daisy for sophomore pacing fillies at The Meadowlands on Saturday (Aug. 3). McCarthy used two moves to control the race and sprinted off in a track record-setting 1:48 performance.   Stonebridge Soul and Tall Drink Hanover exchanged the lead through the :26.4 opening quarter. McCarthy cleverly backed down the half to :54.3 with Tall Drink Hanover, and when Treacherous Reign and Dexter Dunn came on the offensive to try it first-over, McCarthy was cool in the bike keeping his rival at bay with a rated 1:22 three-quarter clocking.   Tall Drink Hanover was put into high gear turning the corner. Favorite Stonebridge Soul lost contact from the pocket, and second choice Warrawee Ubeaut circled off her cover but was unable to make up ground. A final-quarter sprint of :26 did the trick for Tony Alagna trainee Tall Drink Hanover, and she needed a light drive to hold off long shot Trillions Hanover. Warrawee Ubeaut settled for third and favorite Stonebridge Soul was fourth.   Owned by Alagna Racing, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing, Tall Drink Hanover scored for the fourth time in eight starts as a 3-year-old. Tall Drink Hanover returned $9.20 with the win.   "I had all the cards in my hand," said McCarthy following the race. "I wanted to control the race and I got a breather in the third quarter."   "She's been good all year," said Alagna. "We beat a good filly in Warrawee Ubeaut last week and I was expecting a good race out of her today."   by Jay Bergman

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Trainer Tony Alagna was on target at the Meadowlands Friday night, scoring three times in the second harness racing leg of the Kindergarten Classic series for 2-year-olds. Ramona Hill got things going for Alagna in the second race filly trot. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy led at every call on the way to an easy 4¾-length score over Jula Beauty Am in 1:54.1, giving her two wins in as many Kindergarten - and lifetime - starts. Andy McCarthy was in the sulky behind the 1-9 favorite. In the very next race, 22-1 longshot Captain Kirk sat a three-hole trip before bursting through between rivals late to record a nose win over 3-5 shot Captain Nemo - who is also trained by Alagna - in a division for pacing colts and geldings. Captain Kirk, a son of Captaintreacherous-Aria Hanover who was driven by Yannick Gingras, completed the mile in 1:51.2 in winning his first career race in two tries. Alagna would have to wait until the 14th and final race on the program to complete his three-bagger, as his Chief Mate scored in 1:51.1 in another colts and geldings pace. The 2-5 public choice, who is a son of Captaintreacherous-Heaven Forbid, held on by a nose over a fast-closing Bombshell Hanover. Like Ramona Hill, Chief Mate has now made both of his lifetime starts in the Kindergarten and won them both. SATURDAY POST TIME CHANGE: Due to the anticipated extreme high heat, Saturday's 13-race program will begin at 8 p.m. A LITTLE MORE: McCarthy and Dave Miller paced the driver's colony with three wins apiece, while Gingras and Andy Miller each had a pair. ... Trainer Marcus Melander had two winners on the card. ... All-source handle on the 14-race program totaled $2,306,944. There have been 57 race dates at the Big M in 2019, and on 56 occasions, handle has exceeded the $2.3-million mark.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations  

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