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WASHINGTON, PA, April 11, 2014 -- Off 6-1/2 months since wrapping up her freshman season, Seashell Hanover blitzed the field with a powerful first-over move and scored easily in Friday's Do Me Honor Pace at The Meadows. Mamas Fallen Angel and Bet On Me Hanover also took $17,500 opening-leg divisions in the series for 3-year-old pacing fillies named for Do Me Honor, a fast-class mare currently competing at The Meadows for Bill Bercury. Dave Palone and Ron Burke, who teamed for four winners on the day, enjoyed a series double with Seashell Hanover and Bet On Me Hanover. Making her first start in the Burke stable, Seashell Hanover sat fourth before launching her decisive backside move. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere - Stolly Up Bluechip scored in 1:55.3 on a sloppy surface, 5-1/4 lengths better than Marissa. Early leader Bella's Quik finished third. William Switala, James Martin and Joseph Critelli own Seashell Hanover. In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Dedi's Dragon retook the lead from Sam Hill at the quarter pole, then held on for Palone and Burke to defeat Sam Hill by 1/2 length in 1:53.1, with Top Of The Mark third. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phillip Collura and Tracy Hendler own Dedi's Dragon, a 4-year-old son of Dragon Again-Dedi's Dream who now boasts $614,459 in career earnings. Tony Hall drove five winners on the 15-race card while Eric Ledford fashioned a triple. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

On paper, the $83,000 Clyde Hirt Final appeared to be a wide open race. But on the racetrack, it was anything but. Avatartist, sent off as the 9-5 favorite, made the early lead in 26.1 prior to yielding to the pocket. Driver Dave Miller made an aggressive move down the backstretch, reclaiming the lead past a 53.3 half-mile. The Buckeye threw down the gauntlet and opened up a commanding lead heading to the top of the stretch and never had an anxious moment in the stretch winning in a stakes record 1:50.1. Alexa's Jackpot rallied very well off dull cover to be second, while Wake Up Peter came from an impossible spot to be third. The winner is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owners William Hill, Peter Harrisson, Michael Saftic and James Walker. Ironically, Avatartist is not eligible to the upcoming Whata Baron series which begins Saturday April 5th, while Alexa's Jackpot and Wake Up Peter are heading to that series next. In the $60,600 Final of The Horse & Groom, it was a perfect storm for Hldontghttoyurdrms in more ways than one. First, the 3-5 favorite Bambino Glide made a break prior to the start, never to be involved. At the start, round one winner Amigo Ranger went off-stride. Next, turning down the backstretch, with Hldontghttoyurdrms leading through a 27.3 opening quarter, pocket-sitting March Awareness broke stride, leaving the pace-setter with a six length lead heading to the half. Hldontghttoyurdrms got that half in 55.4 and three quarters in 1:24.3, while never facing a challenge and romping to an easy score in 1:53.4 for Canadian based driver Jonathan Drury. The winner had been a bit disappointing in the first two rounds of the series, but with the money down, the gelded son of Muscles Yankee got the job done. He is trained by Corey Johnson for owners Saverio Spagnolo, Frank Schimizzi and Frank Spagnolo. Longshot Magglio was second with Crosbys Clam Bake finishing third. Scott Zeron and Jim Morrill, Jr. were the Winners in Round 2 of the Legends vs. Phenoms Drivers Challenge. Scott Zeron continues to make plenty of noise at The Meadowlands as he easily led the Phenoms from gate to wire to win the second leg of the Driver Challenge with 85 points. Zeron also won the "phenom" category last week as well. While Zeron is dominating the Phenoms, the Legends category has been a battle. Tonight, Andy Miller and Jim Morrill Jr. went into the last race each with 83 points, with first round winner Dave Miller right behind with 81 points. In the end, it was Jim Morrill Jr, with 90 points winning round 2 for the Legends. For the tournament, Dave Miller (172) leads the "Legends" followed by Andy Miller (160), Jim Morrill Jr. (158), Corey Callahan (74) and John Campbell (73). Scott Zeron (163) is cruising along in the "Phenoms" category. Joe Bongiorno (90) is a clear-cut second. Rounding out the top 10 are Tony Hall (60), Jonathan Drury (54), Steve Smith (52), Jim. Marohn Jr. (49), Vincent Ginsburg (46), Tyler Smith (45), Jim Meittinis (33) and Eric Abbatiello (22). On Saturday April 26th, the top five Legends and the top five Phenoms will qualify for the Driver Challenge Final, with the winner earning $15,000. Racing resumes on Friday with the first round of the Artistic Vision series for pacing mares, with post time at 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

WASHINGTON, PA, March 25, 2014 -- A newcomer to The Meadows' trotting elite, Holy Halibut made it look easy Tuesday as he captured the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap in 1:54.1 for his second straight victory. Holy Halibut broke stride in his first two starts of 2013 but overwhelmed the field in winning his most recent outing, a conditioned event. On Tuesday, he got away third for Dave Palone and powered to the lead at the quarter pole. When he threw down a 56.4 back half, the 6-year-old Holy Guacamolie-CR Gone Fishin gelding was uncatchable. Tamarind raced well first over for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Call To Post shot the Lightning Lane for show. Ron Burke trains Holy Halibut, who now boasts $225,145 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Michelle Yanek. Tony Hall and Aaron Merriman each drove three winners on the 15-race card. On Wednesday the Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $7,500-guaranteed pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. No one has correctly picked the Pick 5 for two consecutive programs, resulting in a carryover of $2,172.08 that prompted The Meadows to offer the “instant” guarantee. Minimum wager for the Pick 5, which spans Races 11 through 15, is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post Wednesday is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows                    

Saturday, March 22nd will begin the six week long, Legends vs. Phenoms Drivers Challenge. Each race on the next five Saturday programs will be a part of the Challenge, with the following format. · The driver with the most points accumulated for each team will win a $2,000 bonus. · Points are accrued as follows: o Win - 10 points o 2nd - 9 points o 3rd - 8 points o 4th - 7 points o 5th - 6 points o 6th - 5 points o 7th - 4 points o 8th - 3 points o 9th - 2 points o 10th-12th - 1 point On the sixth Saturday, April 26th, the top 5 point earners for The Legends and the top 5 point earners for The Phenoms from the first five weeks will qualify for the Final, where the Overall winner will win $15,000, the runner-up will receive $5,000, third place will receive $3,000 and fourth through tenth will each receive $1,000. For purposes of this coming Saturday, March 22nd, the drivers will be divided as follows: Legends: Dave Miller, Andy Miller, Jody Jamieson and Jim Morrill Jr. Phenoms: Scott Zeron, Tony Hall, Tyler Smith, Joe Bongiorno, Jim Meittinis, Vincent Ginsburg , Jim Marohn Jr., Steve Smtih, Eric Abbatiello and all other drivers on the card. The Drivers Challenge will take place each Saturday through April 26th. Darin Zoccali

On what is likely to be Yannick Gingras' final night at The Meadowlands until after The Levy and Matchmaker Series, the Big M's leading harness racing driver went out with a driving double. First, he scored on Dragon Lore in the 5th race $9,000 C-2 Pace at 5-2. It was Dragon Lore's first start since February 22nd, but he was ready off a qualifier where he finished up in a strong in 26.4. Gingras scored down the son of Dragon Again aggressively and it paid off as Dragon Lore led at every call, winning in 1:53.2. Gingras guided the four year old home for trainer Mark Capone and owners T J Maggliozzo, S. Schachner and C. W. Duffy. Gingras also pulled off the mild 6-1 upset in the 9th race $9,000 C-2 Trot with Stonebridge Idol, who he guided to the lead down the backstretch, stealing a 29.1 third quarter and scoring in 1:55.1 for trainer David Duspiva and owner Fiddler's Creek Stables L.L.C. Gingras' 96 wins has him 29 wins ahead of Dave Miller. But with Gingras driving in The Levy and Matchmaker and Miller staying at The Meadowlands, that margin will become much tighter come The Championship Meet. Additionally, both Jim Meittinis and Andy Miller also scored two wins on the card. Racing resumes on Friday, featuring the second round of The Horse & Groom Series, with post time at 7:15 P.M. for the 11-race program. Saturday will feature the second round of the Clyde Hirt series, the $47,650 Final of The Winter Surivor Series and the first round of the Legends vs. Phenoms Drivers Challenge where The Meadowlands will welcome Jim Morrill Jr., Tony Hall, Tyler Smith and others to The Meadowlands driving colony. For more information, go to PlayMeadowlands.com Darin Zoccali

Harness driver Tony Hall has a pretty prestigious win column. Earlier this year, Tony notched his 4,000th career victory. The way he is racking up so many wins is quite remarkable but to achieve that level of wins, it sure takes a lot of time and Tony being a family man, he always manages to create a fine balance within the daily grind of work and family. "My wife (Ashlee) has a few horses she trains and I work with her" Tony explains. "Right now we are based at the Meadows in Pennsylvania and we are stabled off track. So that's where I am 90% of the time. I help her in the morning with the horses." For the winter season, with Tony driving at the Meadows, he hasn't had to do much traveling thanks to good planning. "Through the week, I work with her horses and as far as my son, when he is done school he comes and stays with me in the summer." Tony says. As for quality time with family, on off days, Tony always ensures they go out for an activity that is not horse related. "I have a 14 year old son, so I try to be involved with him as much as possible.... Try and take tropical vacations whenever possible." Tony says he never went to college and he hopes his son will go to college and find a career he truly enjoys. "I've always tried to lead him to something that is more stable, more consistent. In our business it's very up and down, I've had years where I've made close to $300,000 and years where I make less than $100,000. (The business) fluctuates so much... I'd like him to have the opportunity where (business) can only go up and not worry about things going down." The sense of security Tony wants to provide his family is touching, doing all he can so his son can focus on the positives and not heed the negatives. Away from the track, Tony enjoys the outdoors becoming one with nature. "I like to fish and deer hunt. I mostly get to do that in the fall, mainly deer but sometimes turkey but mainly white tail deer." Tony hasn't gotten his trophy kill yet, as he's been limited on time, but does admit he's had some close encounters. This coming Saturday, Tony will be venturing to the Meadowlands for a driver's series. The series is six Saturday nights. When at the Meadowlands, Tony predominantly drives for trainer Ron Burke's stable and if possible, try and catch on where possible. "Once I confirm with Ron that I'm going to go (to the Meadowlands), word spreads around that I'm going to be there. So truthfully, it's all word of mouth and when you commit to one guy, word spreads around." Tony explains. "One good thing about New Jersey is they have a good publicity office. Once they get the word, they spread it." Since Tony will be driving Saturday nights at the Meadowlands, he's is planning on driving at Pocono Downs on Sundays. "I'll do that for a while, so long as the opportunity is there. Pretty much, I will go wherever I am needed." Horse racing and the purses for that matter are built on gambling and the revenue from gambling patrons. Everyone has their opinion on gambling, the pros and cons and everything in between. For Tony, simply put he is not a gambler, with the exception of putting himself at risk every time he gets on to the racetrack. "Honestly, I hate gambling of any sort." Tony openly says. "If I go to a casino, it's to eat at a restaurant or go to a bar at a casino with a group of friends. I've never been one to gamble, you hear people talk about it, but I just ignore it." Tony doesn't condemn anyone nor does he look down on anyone who gambles, it's just not his cup of tea. "The way I look at it" Tony says, "to each their own and just because I don't do it, there's a million other people that do." "I understand that keeps us going but I am being honest from my standpoint as an individual. I don't consider (gambling) a disgrace." Reflecting on the idea of Tony's risk when racing doesn't really play on his mind, "I've been doing this my whole life so I don't even think about it." Tony admits. "I've been in accidents where I come back 24 hours later and drive a full card. It doesn't register, it's a part of the business that something can happen." With over 4,000 wins under Tony's belt, he says "I want to keep getting better, do the best I can do in the career I chose... and find ways to better my stats and in other ways that strengthen my weak points and I can only do that by driving more races." In all of Tony's trips, one memorable race he recalls in particular was when he was driving in a stakes race at the Meadows in 2006. "It was in the Adios, I got beat by a nose in the opening race of the Asioa in the eliminations and missed the finals. To be that close to a race of that stature was definitely it, a big moment for me." (The 2006 Adios was won by 20-1 shot, Cactus Creek, driven by Mike Lachance and trained by Erv Miller.) If Tony had a choice between driving pacers or trotters, hands down Tony would choose to drive trotters. "The trotter was the first of the Standardbreds, back in the day; the trotter was more of the natural gait. They can be more of a challenge, with a trotter you really have to watch how you handle them compared to a pacer." "A good bred trotter, when the breeding is there and it's with a good barn, it's an unbelievable feeling." Tony explains. "Just a natural that's quick on its feet is hard to find. When you do (find one), it's unbelievable and a great feeling." One trotter Tony mentions that he liked was Deweycheatumnhowe, but there isn't one currently that he can pick out and feel the same about. The race Tony hopes to win most is the highly regarded Hambletonian. Tony's other milestone he'd like to achieve is 5,000 wins. "I've always said to myself, if I could have 5,000 wins that would be a huge milestone for me and whatever happens after that would be a bonus. I never expected to be at this number (of wins) at this age when I was young." Tony continues, "I would love to win one prestigious race on the grand circuit and if I could pick, it would be the Hambletonian. It would be a great achievement." It would be tremendous if Tony won the Hambletonian as his 5,000th win. Tony expresses he is not a cold weather person and when it's time to step away from racing, he'd like to relocate somewhere warm, like Florida where his biggest decision would be where to fish. By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova  

East Rutherford, NJ: A couple of new shooters have declared their intentions to drive at The Meadowlands this coming weekend, including two that have confirmed their intention to participate in the upcoming drivers' competition at The Meadowlands that begins this Saturday.   Jim Morrill, Jr will be racing at The Meadowlands on Friday only for the next few weeks as he transitions into the summer meet at Pocono, which is dark on Friday.   Two new faces with Midwestern roots are moving their tack East on Saturday and will be competing in the contest. Tony Hall and Tyler Smith may have Siriusly Sinatra blaring "If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere..." from their satellite radio as they make the trip to compete in Saturday's first leg of the Legends vs Phenoms tournament.   With track openings and stakes races drawing some of the talent away, the next several weekends will present an opportunity for drivers to take a shot here at The Big M. Interested parties should call the judges office at (201) 460-4146.   The new condition sheet is available here Condition Sheets - Meadowlands Racetrack. Horses should be entered with a driver of the connection's choice. The drivers will make their picks by scratch time and trainers should call in to the judges to check the status.   From The Meadowlands Media Relations Department        

LEBANON, OH. - Kayne Kauffman, the leading driver at the final meet at nearby Lebanon Raceway in 2013, is not going to relinquish Southeast Ohio's top reinsman rights without a battle.   Despite the deeper and more talented driver's colony that has descended on the new Miami Valley Raceway, the 35-year-old sulky-sitter vaulted into a tie for third in the dash standings on Wednesday night by winning three of the first four races on the program.   Tyler Smith, the 21-year-old phenom who was the youngest driver ever to reach 1,000 wins, leads the standings with 28 wins through 18 nights of the 65-night meet. He is followed by Dan Noble, the North American dash leader in 2012, who has 23. Kauffman and Tony Hall are next with 19 each. All four grew up in Southeast Ohio and got valuable early lessons at Lebanon, which was appropriately dubbed the "Cradle of Drivers" due to the number of nationally acclaimed drivers who started their careers at that half-mile oval.   Noble captured the fastest race of the night when he scored with My Brother George in 1:54.3 in a $5000 conditioned pace. The Frank Bellino & Sons-owned gelding, conditioned by Virgil Morgan Jr., bested Major Marcus (Smith) and Truly The Best (Hall) for his 17th career victory.   Driver Chris Page scored the quickest trotting triumph when he guided Mischievous Jesse to a 1:57.1 tally over Good Friend (Hall) and Kiss Me I'm Loaded (Kyle Ater) in a $5000 conditioned event. The Ohio-sired squaregaiter, now owned by T C Stables and trained by Erik Jaeck Jr., has 26 lifetime wins.   A total of 45 $4,000 claimers dropped into the first elimination round of Miami Valley's Madness in March tournament set to open this Saturday night.   The large response necessitated the use of a preference system outlined in the conditions which rewarded horses and geldings which had already started at Miami Valley with spots followed by the highest money winners in their most recent five starts.   Four fields of ten will go postward for $4,000 purses on Saturday with the top four official finishers in each race advancing to next week's Sweet 16 round for $5,000 purses. In the third week of the Miami Valley Madness tournament, the Elite 8 will race for a $6000 bounty. The Final Four males will advance to the $8000 Battle of the Sexes championship on March 31 to face the four best females from a tandem tournament which will be conducted the next three Sundays.   Submitted by Miami Valley Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - Driver Jason Brewer and his partners had a huge night at Miami Valley Raceway on Thursday. Not only did the talented reinsman win three races, but he was an ownership partner on each of them.   Brewer's big night started with Brooklets Sugarland in the seventh race. Following a brief give-and-go back to the front end, the lukewarm favorite was on the engine the entire mile to beat All Tanned Up (Tony Hall) and May Street Bon (Jim Pantaleano). The $4000 claiming mare is owned by Brewer in partnership with Vince Orlando.   In the very next race Volleyball Star became the first three-time winner at Miami Valley, besting a field of $5000 claiming mares in 1:55.2. Although just mildly favored in the race, Brewer stepped alertly to the front of the class off the wings of the gate and widened to a six-length margin of victory at the wire. Co-owned by the Holland Racing Stable, the winner bested Dangerous Forever (Tyler Smith) and Dora Des Rivieres (Jeremy Smith).   Brewer proved it wasn't just favorites he could guide to victory when he returned to the winner's circle after race ten, a $5000 conditioned distaff event captured by Autumn Seelster in 1:56.2. The triumphant lass was parked on the outside much of the mile but managed to reach the finish line a length ahead of fellow longshot Bella Sophia (Randy Tharps) and Babes's Bistro (Kayne Kauffman). Bettors who thought Brewer could score the hat trick were rewarded with a $27 win ticket mutual. The $2 exacta in the race returned $960.40 while the winning 50-cent trifecta combination paid $954.70. Brewer's partner on Autumn Seelster is William Fleming.   On Wednesday night, 21-year-old Tyler Smith, who currently stands atop the driver's dash standings at the initial Miami Valley meet, visited the winner's circle four times to bring his total to 20 triumphs after 13 nights of racing. Racing continues at Miami Valley on a Wednesday through Sunday night schedule with a regular 6:30 p.m. post time. Submitted by Miami Valley Raceway Publicity Dept.

LEBANON, OH. - Heavy favorites had won the first two weekly $10,000 Open paces at Miami Valley's inaugural harness racing meet, establishing track records in each, but that certainly was not the case Saturday night as Master Of Desire pulled a giant upset and rewarded $2 backers with a $72.80 mutuel return.   The seven-year-old Illinois invader, racing for the Chupp Racing Stable of trainer Merv Chupp, sat fifth at the :27.1 quarter mile marker and :55.1 halfway point, then was guided by reinsman Josh Sutton into the outer flow. Still fourth at the 1:23.2 three-quarters and double-wide the son of Real Desire exploded with a final panel of :28 to stop the clock in 1:52, just one-fifth of a second off the track standard. I'm Feelin Good (Tony Hall) and Carmens Best (Pat Berry) were seven lengths back at the wire but earned the place and show checks.   Earlier on the card a $7000 conditioned pace produced a 1:53.2 winner as Fly Away (Berry) topped Justa Cowboy (Robert Smolin) and Spill The Beans (Kayne Kauffman). Sherif Cunmulaj trains the five-year-old son of All American Native for the Baron Racing Stable.   Racing resumes Sunday night at Miami Valley with a 6:30 p.m. post time. On Saturday, February 22, 2014 10:03 PM, Brad Conrad <bconrad516@gmail.com> wrote: attached is the photo from the open pace on Saturday night.    

Fourth in a series of stories about 2013’s leading drivers, the vehicles they drive in pursuit of victory, and other current relevant facts. 2013 North American dashwinning champion Ronnie Wrenn Jr. owes a good deal of thanks for his learning the skills that helped win him that title to his father, Michigan Hall of Famer Ron Wrenn Sr. – and he also is appreciative of his dad for providing another kind of “horsepower.” “I did most of the driving in my truck, a 2011 Ford F-150, between racetracks during last summer,” said the 27-year-old recently, “but when I decided to race at Northfield during the week and take advantage of the fact that Colonial Downs (near Richmond VA, 450 miles away) raced on weekends last fall, my dad, along with a Northfield regular named “Road Dog,’ got behind the wheel of the truck most of the time so I could get some sleep between the Friday night Northfield card and the Saturday afternoon racing at Colonial.” The truck had 160,000 miles on it by year’s end – “probably 60,000 or 70,000 miles just last year,” Ron Jr., also known as "Ronnie," adds – but also at year’s end Ron had 714 wins, clear by 69 victories for the North American crown. Among the top ten drivers, only he and another Ron (Pierce) had 50 or more wins at four different tracks, and no one but Wrenn had 20+ wins at seven different ovals. One of those tracks, Raceway Park in Toledo, isn’t back in 2014, which Ron Jr. laments (you would too if you had a .532 UDR at a track that was closing). But he’s trying his hand at the new Miami Valley oval presently, and he’s only four wins behind leader Tony Hall while driving a limited schedule as he continues to make Northfield, the track where he won 388 races last year, his base. In fact, it’s remarkable that Wrenn has climbed back to third in the Northfield 2014 standings already – considering he underwent surgery at the start of the season and didn’t race at the Cleveland oval until January 29. “I had to get my right wrist, which I broke playing football when I was younger, operated on. I had been dealing with the situation for a while – I had been going to therapy for three years for it – but it was just time to get the situation fixed properly. I’ve recovered well, and I’m feeling awesome right now.” Which is bad news for those trying to keep Wrenn from defending his dash title. Despite driving on only 17 cards this year, Ronnie has 40 victories at press time, good for 21st in North America in “half the season” the others have had available to them. (One win higher in the standings – his uncle Peter, at 9,200+ career wins.) Ron Wrenn Jr. says he tries to keep up with sports news when he is driving his truck – “My favorite is ESPN Sports, and I can usually find a station with it wherever I drive.” If he keeps up his winning rate since coming back from his injury, Ronnie may hear his name over the airwaves in ten months or so -- the national media will have to sit up and take note if a 28-year-old already has two national win titles to his career credit. Driver                      Total Wins        Tracks                           Wins Ron Wrenn Jr. 714 Northfield 388     Northville 96     Scioto 88     Raceway Park 52     Buffalo 29     Colonial 27     Batavia 21     Hazel Park 7     Monticello 4     Wooster 2 By Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

LEBANON, OH. - Despite sub-freezing temperatures Lookinforadventure scorched the new Miami Valley five-eighths mile oval in 1:51.4 on Sunday night to capture the featured $10,000 Open-Preferred pace and lower the track record.   Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. left alertly and opted to sit the pocket throughout most of the record-setting mile. Eventual runnerup I'm Feeling Good (Tony Hall) posted front-end fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:23.4 before yielding halfway down the stretch to finish 1-1/2 lengths behind. Ardyne Ace (Jim Pantaleano) raced gamely from the outside post position in the field of nine to garner the show dough.   Green Acquisition Corporation owns Lookinforadventure, a six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover out of the Jate Lobell daughter Student Driver. The winner was recently moved to the Virgil Morgan Jr. stable as he approaches the half-million dollars in career earning plateau.   Submitted by Miami Valley Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - Holiday Shopper (Jason Brewer) captured her second consecutive Fillies & Mares Open pace at Miami Valley on Saturday night, just nipping Aqua Artist (Chris Page) in the final stride in 1:55.1. Everymileamemory (Pat Berry got the show dough in the $9500 feature race.   Owned by Drs. Robert and Randall Van Hutchison, the winning mare is trained by Jeff Brewer who is off to an impressive start at the new five-eighths mile oval. The father-son Brewer tandem also won the night's first race, a $4000 distaff claiming event with Brookletssugarland.   Blind Spot Hanover (Tony Hall) won the secondary feature besting Bazooka Terror (Berry) and Sectionline Yankee (Page) in a $7000 conditioned event for mares. The 1:55.2 clocking gave the Roy Murphy Jr.-trained winner her second triumph of 2014 and 18th of her career. She is owned by Tommy Householder.   A pair of conditioned claiming races also produced quick miles as Quiteaworkofart (Kayne Kauffman) topped Real Future (Page) and Shady Maple Bullet (Rod Allums Jr.) in 1:55.1. The $6500 event was for non-winners of eight races who all carried $10,000 claiming tags. A similar race for non-winners of five with $8000 claiming prices was won by Stealth Flight (Dan Noble) in 1:55.2 over Dragon Tattoo (Berry) and Say It Ain't So (Tyler Smith).   A $7000 trot produced a very tight 1:57.3 photo finish with Kaffir Kemp (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) nosing out Team Zordin (Noble) and Baby Blaze (Page) who was also lapped on the winner. For trainer Terry Deters, who just returned to Ohio after racing at Pompano Park in Florida for several years, it was his second success at Miami Valley in two tries. Michael Guest owns the five-year-old triumphant trotter.   In addition to Jason Brewer, Dan Noble and Kayne Kauffman also fashioned driving doubles on the 11-race program witness by a packed house in the new Miami Valley grandstand.   Through the first five cards at the new venue, favorites have won 39.6% of the time despite the fact the average number of starters has exceeded eight during difficult winter weather. The average win price, however, is a very healthy $14.56 after the first 53 races as four 50-1 plus longshots have also found their way to the winner's circle.   Racing resumes Sunday night (Feb. 16) with an impressive program featuring a $10,000 Open pace. Post time is always 6:30 p.m.   Submitted by Miami Valley Raceway    

LEBANON, OH. - With Miami Valley Raceway still in its first week of live racing it is not surprising that a pair of track records were established Wednesday night. It is surprising, however, how impressive the clockings were in light of temperatures that had dipped to about 12 degrees (near zero with the wind Chill Factor) when the races went to post. Rehab Mountain clocked the fastest trotting mile in the young history of the five-eighths mile oval winning the $9500 Open Handicap in 1:57.1 to best Baby Blaze (Chris Page) and Boy Meets Girl K (Tony Hall) by just over four lengths. Brad Hanners trains and drove the Duke Of York gelding to his 19th career triumph in 71 starts, increasing his bankroll to over $166,000. The late-blooming trotter won ten times in 2013 and is now one-for-three in 2014 for the B6 Racing Stable. The standard for pacing mares was lowered to 1:54.4 when Artie's Last Party (Kayne Kauffman) bested Bazooka Terror (Dan Noble) and Eve Marie Seelster (Kyle Ater) in a $7000 conditioned event. Owned by Steven Herrick, the five-year-old Artiscape mare won for the tenth time in her life. Holiday Shopper tripped the timer in 1:55 in an $8000 Open Mares event. The father-son trainer-driver team of Jeff and Jason Brewer had the seven-year-old Camluck mare in prime shape for her initial 2014 voyage in which she bested Julie Lou (Tyler Smith) and Dazzling Diana (Dan Noble). It was the 20th career tally for the winner who is owned by Drs. Robert and Randall Van Hutchison. Brad Hanners, Tony Hall and Tyler Smith all scored driving doubles on the 11-race program. Racing resumes tonight (Thursday, Feb. 13) with the normal 6:30 p.m. post time. Submitted by Miami Valley Raceway  

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 10, 2014 — Out at the three-eighths, Certified Ideal wore down the leader and drew off to a comfortable victory in Monday’s $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace. Although she was uncovered, Certified Ideal relentlessly pursued Blissfull Romance, putting her away before the three-quarters. The 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba’s Last easily held off the late bid of Phone Terror to defeat her by 2 lengths in 1:53.4 for Tony Hall. Mystic Karissa was third. Randy Bendis trains Certified Ideal, who extended her career bankroll to $143,142, and owns with Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. Brett Miller drove four winners and Dave Palone three on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Miami Valley Raceway opens Friday night in southwest Ohio and there will be no shortage of talent on the racetrack during the opening weekend. Among the drivers expected to compete are the three most recent national dash champions: Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Dave Palone and Dan Noble. Wrenn led North America in wins in 2013 with 714 while Palone led in 2012 with 675 and Noble was tops in 2011 with 773. The new five-eighths-mile harness racing track, located between Dayton and Cincinnati, opens Friday night with an 11-race card. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. Palone, who is based at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania, has won more races than any driver in North American harness racing history, with 16,223 victories to his credit entering Thursday. Wrenn, who was the leading driver at Northfield Park last year, and Noble are expected to be regulars at Miami Valley, along with Pat Berry, Jack Dailey, Greg Grismore, Tony Hall, Kayne Kauffman, Jeff Nisonger, Jim Pantaleano, Tyler Smith, and Randy Tharps. Hall was the leading driver at Scioto Downs last year and Smith, who is the youngest driver in history to amass 1,000 wins, was the leading driver at Hoosier Park in Indiana. Kauffman was the top driver at Lebanon Raceway, which closed in December to make way for Miami Valley, a $175 million racino with a grandstand to accommodate more than 1,000 fans and a casino with 1,600 gaming machines to help increase purses. "I think everyone is looking forward to the racing," said Smith, who is from Washington Court House, Ohio. "There's going to be a lot of new faces and it should be very competitive. It's good. I think Ohio needs more drivers, new faces, to make the racing better. "Whenever you've got money (for purses) you're going to get good horses, and good horses bring good races." Miami Valley, which will offer live racing Wednesdays through Sundays until early May, held qualifiers on Feb. 1, giving drivers and horses their first trips around the oval. In the 14 prep races, nine were won by a horse that was no worse than second at the half-mile point, although it is too soon to draw conclusions about how the track's design and surface will affect racing throughout the season. "It's going to take a while to get it set up, and making it tougher is the fact this is the worst winter we've had in 12 or 13 years," said Hall, an Ohio native who earlier this year surpassed 4,000 career wins. "I think the track is probably going to be a little tiring the first few months until it gets set up." Kauffman, who lives 10 minutes from Miami Valley, said the track is not banked as much as Scioto Downs, the state's other five-eighths-mile oval, which might factor into driver strategy. "At Scioto you can pull at the quarter and live for a long time," Kauffman said. "I think here people might sit and wait a little longer." Smith said he thought speed would hold up based on what he saw in the qualifiers. "Maybe that will change, but right now it looks like a front-end track," he said. There is no inside passing lane in the stretch at Miami Valley, which also will affect strategy. "That's a big game-changer," said Hall, who plans to race regularly at Miami Valley in addition to racing at The Meadows. "Usually you get a two-hole trip and it's a great place to be, but now you might look for other positions for horses you'd like to land up close. The track does have long straightaways, so that might help closing horses out some." Added Kauffman, "The stretch is longer and you do kind of drift out more, which might open up room for horses." Miami Valley Raceway, which has a 156-stall paddock, will host the James K. Hackett races for Ohio-sired 3-year-old colts and fillies, with purses increased to $25,000 for the finals, on April 26. The track also will present the first legs of the Ohio Sire Stakes series when the state's best 3-year-old pacers and trotters compete on May 2 and May 3. In addition, the meet-ending May 4 card will include two new Grand Circuit races for older female pacers and trotters: The Sam "Chip" Noble III Memorial for the pacers and the Miami Valley Distaff Trot. "It'll be interesting to see how it all goes," Kauffman said. "They have some issues they need to address, but they're working on them and have been real receptive to suggestions. I think there will be plenty of horses. Hopefully everybody can be successful." "I think it's going to be a nice facility overall," Hall said. "People have waited a long time for an opportunity like this, and some had gone just about as far as they could go waiting for something good to happen. Like any new place, they've got some kinks to work out, but overall I think it's going to be great." By Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA  

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