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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 7, 2017 - Two Am wore down Yes Mickey in the stretch to capture the harness racing $50,000 Townsend Ackerman by two and a half lengths, the tenth race on Saturday at the Meadowlands. At odds of 7-1, Two Am, driven by Tyler Buter, caught 3-5 Yes Mickey with Ake Svanstedt driving, at the top of the stretch in 1:52.2, paying his backers handsomely at $17.20, $5.80, and $3.80, his third straight win and fourth in his last five starts. Yes Mickey paid $2.20, $2.10, and $3.40 for second and Fly on with Andy Miller finished third, paying $3.40 to show. Two AM, three-year-old gelding by Muscle Massive, is trained by Todd Buter.   by Lou Monaco      

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 4, 2017) - Harness racing duo Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras will team up to go for their unprecedented fourth straight Hambletonian Oaks on Saturday with morning line favorite Ariana G. The duo tuned up Friday night at The Meadowlands by partnering to win the $50,000 Townsend Ackerman with 7/5 wagering choice Sir John F in a lifetime-best 1:53.4. Gingras, who won four races on the card, steered the Donato Hanover colt to a textbook second-over trip while Snowstorm Hanover cut out the fractions of :27.1, :56.3, and 1:25.3. In deep stretch, Sir John F struck the front while longshots Simply Volo and Thisguyisonfire gave chase. Sir John F hung on with a :28.1 final quarter mile to score his fourth lifetime victory and raised his career bankroll to $108,242 for owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, R A W Equine, and Kevin McKinlay. Sir John F In the $30,000 Duenna, Evelyn was aggressively moved to the front by Andy Miller. The Muscle Hill filly, who finished sixth in her Oaks elimination last week, held off the pocket-sitting Decadence (Corey Callahan) to win in 1:52.3. It was her first win of 2017 in eight starts and third lifetime. She has earned $124,666 for trainer Ake Svanstedt who shares ownership with Little E LLC, B Nasstrom, and Silva Stable 45. The ladies starred in two divisions of the Hambletonian Amateur Drivers as Sarah Svanstedt and Hannah Miller score wins with Real DJ Hanover and Danish Durango, respectively. Evelyn Total handle on the 12-race card was $2,629,799 Hambletonian Day is Saturday with a 16-race stakes-filled card beginning at 12:00 p.m. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. The Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, and Sam McKee Memorial will be broadcast during a 90-minute live telecast on CBS Sports Network beginning at 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Friday night-before-Hambletonian card at the Meadowlands featured harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters in two divisions of the Townsend Ackerman. Dayson raised his seasonal record to six wins in eight starts, scoring from post 10 as the second choice for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. The gelded son of Conway Hall made the lead at the half and sailed under the wire an easy 4-length winner in a lifetime-best 1:51.2, paying $7.00 to win. Cufflink Hanover, the 6-5 favorite, raced well, but was a non-threatening second. Taco Tuesday got a superb steer from Scott Zeron to record an upset win in the other division. After tipping off cover after going a perfect second-over trip, the Frank Antonacci trainee rallied on the outside to nail 7-5 favorite Hititoutofthepark by a neck in a lifetime-best 1:53.1, paying $21.60 as the fourth choice in the wagering. SWEEP-STEDT: Trainer Ake Svanstedt took both divisions of the races for Hambletonian Amateur Drivers. Blue Muse ($2.80 to win, 1:54.4) was driven by Svanstedt's wife, Sarah, while Peter Arnqvist, one of the top amateur drivers in Sweden, made his Big M debut a winning one with Sky Hanover ($15.60, 1:54). HAMBO TV: The 91st Hambletonian will be televised live Saturday on the CBS Sports Network. The 90-minute program, hosted by Gary Seibel, co-hosted by Dave Brower with interviews being conducted by Justin Horowitz, begins at 4 p.m. with the Hambletonian post time scheduled for 5:15 p.m. A LITTLE MORE: All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,563,177. ... Reminder! Post time on Hambletonian Day is noon. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ Jimmy Takter kicked off his Hambletonian weekend with a victory as Whom Shall I Fear produced a dominant win Friday night in the $50,000 Townsend Ackerman Stakes at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment.   It was the prelude to Saturday, a warm-up act for the biggest afternoon in harness racing anchored by the $1 million Hambletonian and the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks.   First post is noon on the fun-filled day that also features pony rides, face painters and live music. Paid admissions can take home a baseball cap for adults or a Foiled Again Breyer Stablemate for kids, while supplies last.   Takter has five entrants in the Hambletonian in the bid for a fourth training victory in the classic for 3-year-old trotters.   The win by Whom Shall I Fear, a full brother to Takter star Father Patrick, could be an omen of good things to come on Saturday. The victory was an encouraging effort by a colt who has failed to meet lofty expectations following a $475,000 purchase as a yearling by the Whom Shall I Fear Stable. The win in the Townsend Ackerman for Hambletonian eligible colts and geldings snapped a six-race losing streak. Whom Shall I Fear took charge immediately with Yannick Gingras at the lines. He dictated the fractions in the lifetime-best 1:52 4/5 mile as the 7-10 favorite, beating Crescent Fashion by 2 ¾ lengths with Iron third. He paid $3.40 to win.   The evening also featured a pair of $30,000 divisions of the Duenna Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Both were also career-best victories Ontario invader Muscle Baby Doll was an easy winner of the first split in 1:52. She was not eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks, so this was her chance to strut her stuff here on trotting’s biggest weekend.   She is 6 for 7 this year for trainer Tony O’Sullivan and Bellino & Sons. David Miller picked up his third driving win of the night.   Muscle Baby Doll took charge down the backstretch and drew off to a 6 ¾ length over Marion Millionair with Scented Roses third.   Her Canadian reputation preceded her to the Big M as she paid only $2.80 to win.   It was much closer in the second division as Meadowbranch Wendy held off Lindy Land by a neck in 1:53 3/5.   It ended a string of three straight hard-luck losses for the filly trained by Jenny Melander and owned by Hans Enggren.   Brett Miller guided her to a third win in 19 starts. She paid $21.40 for the upset victory.   Pick 5 Carryover Leads To Massive Pool   Entering the Friday racing program, there was a $29,460 carryover in the Pick 5, beginning with the first race.  The bettors came out in force and despite four scratches there was $131,164 wagered into the sequence, bringing the total pool to $160,624.  The sequence proved formful, returning $170.15 for a $.50 cent ticket.   Hambletonian Day features a carryover of its own and one that will also sport a mandatory payout.  The Jackpot Super Hi-5 in the 16th race, features a $231,000 carryover with just an eight-percent (8%) takeout rate.  The pool will pay out in it's entirety.   Hambletonian Day also features no less than five guaranteed pools, all with fifty-cent minimums all.  The first race kicks off a $50,000 Guaranteed Pick Five.  Race three starts a $50,000 Pick 4.  Race three begins a $75,000 Pick Five while races nine and 13 kick off $100,000 Guaranteed Pick Four wagers.  All five guaranteed pools include a takeout rate of just 15-percent.   Darin Zoccali

Louisville, KY --- Even before they purchased him for $13,000 at this past January's Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale, the 3-year-old trotting gelding Wheelsandthelegman had made quite an impression on Beth and Walter Carroll. Unraced at 2, Wheelesandthelegman jumped it off at the top of the stretch in his first qualifier as a 3-year-old on Jan. 10 at the Meadowlands, but still managed to come home third ahead of trainer Walter Carroll’s horse Spectator K. Carroll took note of that performance and although Wheelsandthelegman broke behind the gate in his second qualifier the following week, he and his wife, Beth, still thought enough of the gelding to purchase him at the Sale last January. “Walter had his eye on him ever since he qualified and when we saw him at the sale, we both liked him,” Beth Carroll said. “We didn’t know why he had not raced last year but he had absolutely no issues.” The Carrolls did not have super high expectations for the son of Donato Hanoverand the Malabar Man mare Carmita, but after two qualifying contents at Spring Garden Ranch in March and April, they brought him back to Pennsylvania to get his career started. That was when the couple began to realize their horse possessed some serious ability. “The winter was horrible here (in New Holland, Pa.) so we missed a lot of time with him,” Carroll said. “So we sent him down to our good friend Jim Raymer at Spring Garden Ranch for five weeks. Then when he won his first race we started to get really excited about him.” With Raymer in the irons, Wheelsandthelegman, named after the alter ego crime fighting duo from American Dad, captured his first three races, all non-winners events, before triumphing in a $74,900 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes contest at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 15. His next engagement, a third to Hambletonian second place finisher Nuncio in another Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race on May 30, would be his first time tasting defeat. After a little time off, Wheelsandthelegman got back to the winners’ circle on July 17 in a $13,000 non-winners race at Harrah’s Philadelphia prior to another victory in a $32,855 division of the Arden Downs stake at The Meadows on July 26, where he defeated Il Sogno Dream, the fourth place finisher in the Hambletonian, in 1.54.1. Although he did not compete in the Hambletonian, the gelding did make an appearance on that day in a $50,000 Townsend Ackerman division where he finished off the board for the only time in his short career. Wheelsandthelegman was sixth but placed 11th after leaving from the nine hole and he seemingly was not particularly fond of the Meadowlands oval. “It was a tough trip for him against some really nice horses and that fast first quarter (:27.1) certainly did not help him, but he does have really good gate speed,” Carroll said. “He also didn’t seem to be getting over the track very well and he had been sick the week before. He got stung by something and we don’t know how or by what, but he was all swollen. That might have still been affecting him a little bit.” The gelding, however, will attempt to return to his winning ways when he leaves from post position two in a $60,000 division of the Currier and Ives Stake on Friday (Aug. 8) at the Meadows. Dick Stillings will be holding the lines rather than Raymer for the card’s eighth race. Wheelsandthelegman is the 3-1 morning line second choice. His lifetime mark of 1:53.4 and bankroll of just over $88,000 is tops in the field of six. “We are very good friends with Jim Raymer,” Carroll said. “He and his wife Terry are wonderful people and we are very grateful every time Jim drives him for us. We also feel lucky for all they have done for us. Jim really likes this horse and I think he likes driving him more than some of his own horses.” Named for a television character, Wheelsandthelegman definitely has some personality to him. “He’s bossy,” Carroll said. “But he’s not mean at all. He’s really just a very busy horse and is always in motion. He’s always doing something and is never still for a second.” After the Currier & Ives is in the books, the Carrolls will keep Wheelsandthelegman in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year and then shut him down in the fall. “He has the PA Sire Stakes and hopefully he makes the final,” Carroll said. “Then he has the Keystone Classic. After that we are just going to give him a nice, long break over the winter and take it from there. “We were really surprised by him and are just thrilled. Although we didn’t name him, it is something to have a horse that even has his own ringtone.” Below are the fields for Friday's Currier & Ives divisions. $60,000 Currier & Ives First Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Amped Up Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5-2  2-Wheelsandthelegman-Richard Stillings-Walter Carroll-3-1  3-Jett Star-Dan Rawlings-Steve Owens-5-1  4-Choco Sun-David Miller-Orjan Torstensson-6-1  5-Frost Free Hanover-Brian Zendt-Leslie Zendt-7-2  6-Axios-Dave Palone-Rich Gillock-4-1 $60,000 Currier & Ives Second Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Tea Party Politics-Brian Zendt-William Zendt-5-1  2-Skates N Plates-Yannick Gingras-Trond Smedshammer-4-1  3-Sarcastic Man-Tony Hall-Rich Gillock-8-1  4-Il Sogno Dream-David Miller-Christopher Beaver-2-1  5-Southwind Spirit-Dave Palone-Ron Burke-7-2  6-Andover The Gold-Brett Miller-J C Miller Jr.-10-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Archangel's world-record 1:50 performance in last week's John Cashman Jr. Memorial eliminations might have surprised some observers, but not his driver, Yannick Gingras. "I kind of thought it was coming," Gingras said. "He's had a couple miles where he's shown that kind of brilliance, but he was unlucky." The 5-year-old trotter, who sat out last season because of stallion duty, is the 4-1 second choice in Saturday's $300,650 Cashman Memorial final. The Cashman, formerly called the Nat Ray, is for older trotters and has attracted a star-studded field that includes world champion Sebastian K, two-time Dan Patch Award winner Market Share, and numerous other stakes winners. Sebastian K, who won his Cashman elim in 1:51, is the 3-5 morning line favorite for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Sebastian K, an 8-year-old standout from Sweden who is in his first season of racing in North America, holds the record for history's fastest mile thanks to his 1:49 victory in June at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Archangel's 1:50 mile is the fastest ever on a one-mile oval, breaking the record of 1:50.1 that was shared by Donato Hanover, Muscle Hill, Chapter Seven, Giant Diablo, Lucky Jim, and Sebastian K. The 1:49 mile by Sebastian K in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs came on a five-eighths-mile track. Archangel was second to Sebastian K on the final turn of that race, but went off stride and finished seventh. "He was going to trot 1:49 a few weeks ago at Pocono if he didn't make a break," Gingras said. "Around the last turn he just overtrotted a little bit, but I still had the earplugs in. Ake was already driving on his and I had trot behind him. Whether I would have gone by or not, we'll never know, and the record is his. But my horse was going to trot 1:49 too." Archangel entered his Cashman elimination off a 10th-place finish in the Maple Leaf Trot, where he went off stride early in the race. Gingras was not the driver in Canada because he was racing Foiled Again at Northfield in the Battle of Lake Erie. "He's a little bit of a tricky horse, you need to know him, and unfortunately he made a break," Gingras said. "He's a little bit grabby. You've got to know him a little bit. Sometimes he'll throw in a funny step, he's got those little quirks about him, but once you know him he's pretty good." Archangel, trained by Ron Burke for owners Alan Hainsworth's Legendary Standardbred Farm and Clare Semer, has won two of 10 races this year and 16 of 41 in his career while earning $1.02 million. His top win came in the 2012 Yonkers Trot. He has two wins, two seconds and a third in his last seven starts. "He's a horse that didn't race for a full year, so you know it's going to take him six, seven, eight, nine starts to get going," Gingras said. "He was trotting a little further in the stretch each week, so I thought he was going in the right direction. Hopefully he keeps going forward from here on out. I don't think you've seen the bottom of him yet." The Cashman Memorial is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday, which also includes the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. The Cashman, Oaks, and Hambletonian will air during Saturday's national telecast, which begins at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Following is the Cashman field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 3-5; 2. Your So Vain, Mike Lachance, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1; 3. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 20-1; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 5. Uncle Peter, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 15-1; 6. Appomattox, Brett Miller, Liisa Vatanen, 50-1; 7. Mister Herbie, John Campbell, Mark Ford, 20-1; 8. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais, 8-1; 9. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 9-2; 10. Sevruga, George Brennan, Kevin Carr, 50-1. HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK John Campbell will try to extend his record for Hambletonian wins to seven when he drives Nuncio in Saturday's 89th edition of the trotting classic. The Hall of Famer has a legitimate chance to win the race, even with prohibitive favorite Father Patrick in the field, but that's not what makes Campbell most happy. "I'm just so happy anytime I get the chance to be part of the Hambletonian," said Campbell, who has raced in every Hambletonian final but two since 1983. "When you have a horse that figures in it, that makes it more special, no question about it, but it's the best we have to offer and I never take it for granted." Nuncio is the only horse to beat Father Patrick, on July 12, 2013. Father Patrick has won 15 consecutive races since then, but drew the unenviable No. 10 post for Saturday's Hambletonian. No horse has ever won a Hambletonian final from post 10. "I'm happy with the draw; it gives me options going out of the gate," Campbell said. "I'm going to be forwardly placed, or try to be, there's no question about that. I think the unknown is how many underneath me and on the outside are going to leave. I think there's going to be a lot of action in the first quarter of the mile, it just depends how hot that is and how many are involved." Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle owned by Stefan Melander's Stall TZ stable, has won 10 of 17 career races and never finished worse than second. The colt is trained by Jimmy Takter, who also is the trainer of Father Patrick and Hambletonian contender Trixton. Six of Nuncio's seven runner-up finishes have come against Father Patrick. "I know Nuncio is going into the race in good shape," Campbell said. "He's raced well every start of his life and I don't expect that to change. Father Patrick, believe me, he's earned all the accolades he's gotten. His 15-race win streak is incredible. But at the same time, I'm going to try to upset him on Saturday. "You have to race against the competition, whatever it is that year. [Nuncio] ran into a horse that has a chance to be one of the all-time greats. But I'm hoping he doesn't add the Hambletonian to his resume." Nuncio will try to give Melander his second Hambletonian victory. He was the owner, trainer and driver of 2001 winner Scarlet Knight. Part of Nuncio's success this year is because the horse has been able to relax in races. Last season, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of 10 starts. This year, it's only happened once in seven races. "He wouldn't be in the Hambletonian if it wasn't for the job that Jimmy did over the winter," Campbell said. "When he came back, we made a special effort to keep him quiet and race him from off the pace and make sure he didn't get into the same mode as last year. "Last year was just him being very talented and he got so exuberant that I couldn't rate him during the middle part of the mile and it cost him a couple of races. Now he's to the point where I can leave hard with him and still control him, and that's vital. If he wasn't that way going into the Hambletonian, it would compromise his chances dramatically." Aaron Merriman will get his first drive in the Hambletonian on Saturday. He is North America's leading driver in wins, with 452. Over the past 55 years, these are the drivers who ended the season No. 1 in wins and also drove in the Hambletonian final that same year: Dave Palone (2012, Stormin Normand, and 1999, Cherry Hills), Jody Jamieson (2009, Federal Flex), Tim Tetrick (2007, Pampered Princess), and Jack Moiseyev (1991, Giant Victory). Moiseyev is the only driver to win the Hambletonian in the same year he was No. 1. Merriman, a 36-year-old Ohio native with nearly 6,600 lifetime wins, will drive 50-1 longshot Il Sogno Dream in the Hambletonian. The horse is owned by Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. He is trained by Chris Beaver. "It doesn't matter what my odds are, it's an unbelievable opportunity and I'm just really excited," Merriman said. "I feel blessed I'm even involved in the race day. Even if I was the presenter of a trophy, I'd be happy. It's the premier event in harness racing and I'm very excited." Of the 11 drivers in this year's Hambletonian, four have won the race at least once previously. John Campbell (Nuncio) holds the record with six triumphs, followed by Ron Pierce (Royal Ice) with three, Brian Sears (Harper Blue Chip) two, and Tim Tetrick (Don Dorado) one. Sears won last year's Hambletonian with Royalty For Life. If he wins again this season, he will be the first driver to win the Hambletonian in back-to-back years since John Campbell in 1987-88. Jimmy Takter and Trond Smedshammer are the only trainers in this year's Hambletonian with previous victories. Takter - who sends out favorites Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton - won in 2010 with Muscle Massive and 1997 with Malabar Man. Smedshammer, who trains Royal Ice, won in 2004 with Windsong's Legacy. Trainer Nancy Johansson is making her first start in the Hambletonian, with Resolve, but she is no stranger to the race. She is the daughter of two-time winning trainer Jimmy Takter and was the caretaker of the 2010 Hambletonian winner, Muscle Massive. "That helps me tons," Johansson said. "I don't really feel stressed out. I think a lot of people in my situation would be a little more stressed out, but I kind of expect to be here because we were always there working for my dad. And most of the times, I took care of those horses. "There's a lot of pressure to take care of a good horse. I always say caretakers are so underrated because every day that horse is their charge. It's your job to make sure they don't get hurt, or if they're sick you need to notice in time so something can be done. I feel like I've had that pressure a lot before. I've seen my dad deal with the pressure. It doesn't really bother me because I'm used to it." Howard Taylor, who is among the owners of 20-1 Hambletonian longshot Doncango, never expected to have a starter in this year's race. Doncango has raced only once this year, winning on July 25. "I have tickets for the Billy Joel concert Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center, so I had to scramble to rearrange my plans," Taylor said with a laugh. "In about February or so, [Doncango] got injured. We have just been rehabbing him and bringing him back slowly and he got a late start. "We have a lot of year left and [trainer Ake Svanstedt] thinks he'll be heard from for the rest of the year. But I was a little surprised that he entered the horse in the Hambletonian." Taylor has had two previous starters in the Hambletonian. He is looking for his first win. "It would be a dream," Taylor said about Doncango winning. "It would be a shock, but it would be a dream." Ron Pierce can tie Berndt Lindstedt for most Hambletonian Oaks wins by a driver, with four, if he guides Shake It Cerry to victory Saturday. She is trained by Jimmy Takter, who with a triumph would move into sole possession of second place in trainer wins. Takter is tied with Glen Garnsey with three Oaks titles. Jan Johnson leads the way with six. Shake It Cerry, who has won six of seven races this year and was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. "She's good," Takter said earlier in the week. "It was good we didn't have to extend her too much [in the Oaks prep, a 1:54.4 win]. The Hambletonian Oaks won't go like that. The race next week, they're going to mix it up a little bit. "I think she's the best one. The only time she got defeated, she had a bad trip. She's sound, everything is good with her. She is ready to go a big mile. She'll take [Pierce] home. She's not known to give up in the stretch." Prior to this Saturday, trainer Julie Miller's only Hambletonian Oaks starter was 90-1 longshot Timelesswinner Two in 2009. Timelesswinner Two finished eighth. This year, she is sending out three fillies in the Oaks including morning line favorite Designed To Be. Starting from post one with driver Brian Sears, Designed To Be has won two of four starts this year. She was second to Shake It Cerry, who drew post 11 in the Oaks, in last week's prep. "She's had a little bit of traffic trouble her last two starts," Miller said. "I give a lot of credit to Brian. He knows my filly and he's been able to control her during the pedestrian second quarters we've been going. I'm excited for [the final]. Obviously, I'd like to see them go a little more [early fractions] in the race. We'll see how it plays out. I have all the confidence in the world in Brian and Designed To Be." Miller's other starters in the Oaks are 12-1 Take The Money and 20-1 Cee Bee Yes. "Take The Money had a nice win in the Reynolds [on July 19]," Miller said. "She proved to me that she should be in here. She seems to be a horse that's better with a week off in between starts. So that's why we [skipped the Oaks prep and] gave her the week off rather than go three weeks in a row. "[Cee Bee Yes] is my sleeper. She does her job, she's a sweetheart, and Marcus [Miller] gets along with her well. If they mix it up, I think she can pick up the pieces." Saturday's card, which begins at noon, features the Hambletonian Day returns of 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share and 2013 Hambletonian Oaks winner Bee A Magician. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, is the 4-5 favorite in the $52,000 Ima Lula Series final for 4-year-old female trotters. Market Share is the 9-2 third choice in the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters. Here is a look at the morning line choices for Hambletonian Day's top races. $52,000 Ima Lula: Bee A Magician 4-5, Classic Martine 7-5, Handover Belle 8-1. $100,000 Miss New Jersey: Gettingreadytoroll 2-1, Act Now 3-1, Blixtra 9-2. $225,000 New Jersey Classic: Doo Wop Hanover 9-5, Western Vintage 5-2, Bushwacker 9-2. $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship: Sweet Lou 4-5, Captaintreacherous 7-2, Thinking Out Loud 6-1. $352,050 Merrie Annabelle: Mission Brief 4-5, Lock Down Lindy 3-1, Gatka Hanover 5-1. $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial: Guess Whos Back 2-1, Canepa Hanover 5-2, Centurion ATM 3-1. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Amped Up Hanover 8-5, Southwind Poseidon 7-2, Marathon Man 9-2. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Outburst 3-1, Sumatra 7-2, Hillustrious 9-2. $75,000 Vincennes: Master Of Law 3-1, Southwind Pepino 7-2, D'Orsay 9-2. $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial: Sebastian K 3-5, Archangel 4-1, Market Share 9-2. $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks: Designed To Be 2-1, Shake It Cerry 5-2, Heaven's Door 9-2. $1 million Hambletonian: Father Patrick 4-5, Trixton 7-2, Nuncio 9-2. $177,750 Lady Liberty: Rocklamation 5-2, Drop The Ball 3-1, Somwherovrarainbow 7-2. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  

Centurion ATM is the type of horse that seems ready to step up when it's time to race. The 2-year-old trotter didn't do much to impress trainer Ake Svanstedt before beginning his rookie campaign, but Svanstedt has been happy with the colt since he started going behind the gate. Last week, Centurion ATM won the single elimination for the $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial by 3-1/2 lengths over Uncle Lasse in 1:54.2. It was Centurion ATM's first victory after second-place finishes in his first two races. "He's a racehorse," Svanstedt said. "He trained from the beginning and he was a normal horse until he qualified. Then he was something special. Before the qualifier, he did the job and was a nice and friendly horse, but he was nothing special. He loves to race." Centurion ATM will start the Haughton Memorial from post one, with Svanstedt handling the driving, as usual. The colt is 3-1 on the morning line, which makes him the third choice behind New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Guess Whos Back (2-1) and NJSS runner-up Canepa Hanover (5-2), who received byes to the final. The race is part of a stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card at the Big M. Among the other highlights are the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters, and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. Coverage of the card will air throughout the afternoon on TVG and from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Centurion ATM is a son of SJ's Caviar out of the mare ENS Tag Session. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and is a full brother to stakes-winner Triumphant Caviar. He is owned by Knutsson Trotting and Courant AB. "I hope he can do a good race," Svanstedt said. "If everything is normal, he can do a good race. I think he has potential. We'll see." Svanstedt, who was Sweden's Trainer of the Year five times and Driver of the Year on three occasions, will have nine horses racing on Saturday's card. "Absolutely, I'm looking forward to it," he said. In addition to Centurion ATM, he sends out Amicus in the Haughton plus Doncango in the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, Heaven's Door in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters, Sebastian K and Your So Vain in the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters, Home Front and DD's Hitman in $50,000 divisions of the Townsend Ackerman for 3-year-old trotters, and Blixtra in the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui SBOA Miss New Jersey for 3-year-old female pacers. Sebastian K, the fastest trotter in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in June, is the 3-5 favorite in the Cashman Memorial. He has won six of seven races this year and is coming off a 3-1/4 length triumph over Mister Herbie in 1:51 in his Cashman elimination. "Everything was good in the last race," Svanstedt said. "And he loves the Meadowlands and the big track. He feels very good at the Meadowlands. He is a different horse at the Meadowlands." Sebastian K's only loss came by a nose to Intimidate in the Maple Leaf Trot on a sloppy track at Mohawk. "He didn't win in Canada, I think he left too fast and the track was very heavy," Svanstedt said. "We opened in :26.4 in the first quarter and that's too fast on that heavy a track, so he would be tired. He was tired, but he lost by just a nose, so he was good. He fought." Svanstedt did not plan to train Sebastian K during the week. "He is just going to go in the paddock every day for the whole day," Svanstedt said. "This is four weeks [of racing] in a row and he's never done that before. It's very different for him. But I'm not worried because he felt so good in the last race." Heaven's Door is the 9-2 third choice in the Hambletonian Oaks, behind world champion Designed To Be (2-1) and Delvin Miller Memorial winner Shake It Cerry (5-2). Heaven's Door has won two of five races this year, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly trotters, and finished second in the Miller. "There are tough horses in there, but I have a good horse too," Svanstedt said. "She has everything. She pulls a little, but she is getting better with that. Some races she pulls a lot and I cannot drive slowly. The one time [in a race in May] she galloped at the start because she is pulling so much. But she is getting better." Doncango, a 20-1 longshot in the Hambletonian, has only raced once this year - winning in 1:54 - after battling leg woes throughout the winter. "It's tough for him," Svanstedt said. "We had a lot of problems with him at the beginning. But he trained tough and feels good. He's trained three months without problems and feels sound. "If he can earn money, we'll be really happy." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

On Sunday, two days before the box closed on the $1 million Hambletonian, owner Marc Goldberg had a conversation with his trainer Trond Smedshammer about Royal Ice. "I told him I thought the Townsend Ackerman was a good race for him," said Goldberg of the conversation. "He thought that there weren't going to be enough horses entered and that if it was just going to be one heat why not take a chance." Smedshammer's opinion matters to Goldberg. The pair has been closely connected most notably to the betting public with the $4.2 million winning Arch Madness. A week ago it might have appeared to be pure madness to consider Royal Ice entered for anything but a non-winners of one race. Everything changed for the horse, trainer and owner this past Friday (July 25) at the Meadowlands. Royal Ice broke his maiden in 1:51 3/5 with catch-driver Yannick Gingras in the bike. The son of Muscle Hill reached the winner's circle for the first time in his career surprising both the trainer and owner. "I didn't think he was sharp enough and I told Marc he might be a little short," said Smedshammer, well aware that the horse hadn't raced in four weeks. "We really didn't get to see how good he was in some of the earlier races. He was always racing on a sloppy track," said Goldberg. But everyone got to see just how strong a horse Royal Ice was this past Friday. "He definitely has the desire," said Smedshammer who admitted that earlier this season he was concerned that the horse was having trouble breathing. With but seven career starts, Royal Ice lacks experience going into Saturday's Hambletonian. He landed post six between two of the Taker's three stable stars Nuncio (post five) and Trixton (post seven). "I think he has enough experience," said Smedshammer unconcerned about whether the horse could be competitive. "Takters horses are better than him but anything can happen," he said. It's somewhat ironic that both trainer and owner hadn't given much consideration to the Hambletonian. As a matter of fact they hadn't given much consideration to staking the horse as a three-year-old. "He's really not in very much," said Goldberg. "It can get very expensive to stake a three-year-old. I don't want an owner to spend $20,000 staking a horse that hasn't shown that much," Smedshammer said. Yet surprisingly the trainer managed to keep Royal Ice eligible to one major race. "I had to talk him into keeping him eligible for the Hambletonian, but it's not as expensive as some of the other races," the trainer said. For Goldberg purchasing the colt for $70,000 as a yearling was not a surprise. "Barry (Goldstein) and I raced his dam The Ice Queen and this was her first foal by a great horse: Muscle Hill, said Goldberg. "Geoff Stein and David Reid bred the colt." What appears paramount to both Goldberg and Smedshammer on Saturday is not to do anything that would hinder the development of the colt. He's stepping up in class in a major way and even the trainer is not blown away by his final time in last week's race. "They are going much faster and I don't take much stock in that. I like the fact that he's a horse that's very willing and wants to go," said Smedshammer. Ron Pierce gets the assignment on Saturday with Gingras committed to Hambletonian favorite Father Patrick. "I think Ron's a good choice," said Smedshammer, "He's not afraid of the moment." Smedshammer's Arch Madness landed post three in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial on Saturday and the ten-year-old. "Brian (Sears) wanted to leave with him in the eliminations but then he had to take him off when others left," said Smedshammer, "That wasn't good for the horse but he fought back late." The wins have not come as often this year for Arch Madness, but his owner hasn't lost faith. "He's still going the same kind of miles he's always gone but it seems the other horses are going faster," said Goldberg. The owner is excited to come out to the Meadowlands on Saturday to watch his favorite horse compete win, lose or draw. As for his new kid on the block Goldberg sounded as if he would do whatever it takes to see Royal Ice race against the best if he's up to it. "We put up $62,500 to supplement Arch Madness to the Breeders Crown against an undefeated horse," the owner reminded. That gamble paid off rather well when Arch Madness defeated Donato Hanover in the Breeders Crown sophomore trot at the Meadowlands in 2007. Seven years later Arch Madness is still going strong and will join his three-year-old stablemate Royal Ice on the big stage Saturday. by Jay Bergman, for the Hambletonian Notes Team  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands has been a proud host to The Hambletonian for the past 34 years as America's Trotting Classic has been calling East Rutherford, New Jersey home since 1981. This year delivers a new and exciting aspect to The Hambletonian as it will be the first to be raced out of the brand new $100 Million facility which opened November, 2013. Hambletonian week begins on Saturday July 26th with the eliminations for The Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship and Lady Liberty. The evening will be centered around the theme of "Ladies Night," including a concert in the Backyard by Lisa Matassa, Macy's Gift Card and Ladies Handbag drawings as well as a special Ladies' Night cocktail. Reserved seats and packages for Hambletonian Day, Saturday August 2nd will be on sale all week at a price of $10.00 for an outdoor seat. Indoor grandstand seating is already sold out. Please call (201) 460-4079 for tickets. Tuesday, July 29th will feature the post position draw for the 89th Hambletonian. Once again, the draw will be raced in "heat format", with same day eliminations. If 13 horses or less enter The Hambletonian, it will be contested as one dash for $1.2 Million. The post position draw will take place at Victory Sports Bar at 4:00 P.M. After the post position draw, Casino Night will follow in The Lounge and The Gallery, beginning at 5:30 P.M. Casino night will benefit The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame as well as the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Racing begins on Friday August 1st at 7:15 P.M. The racing program will feature the Townsend Ackerman, Duenna Invitational, Hambletonian Amateur Drivers, Kindergarten Classic and Hambletonian Racing Under Saddle event. Advance wagering on the entire Hambletonian Day program will begin at 12:00 P.M., Friday. Hambletonian Day begins with doors opening at 10:00 A.M, with admission of $5. All paid adult guests will receive a Hambletonian baseball cap, while paid children will receive a Hambletonian lunch bag. WFAN will be broadcasting in The Backyard from 10:00 through 12:30 P.M. For our younger guests, there will be Kiddie Rides, Face Painters and Pony Rides from 11:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M. First race post time is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. Live music will begin at 12:00 P.M. as well. The Hambletonian national broadcast will be aired on CBS Sports Network from 4:00 - 5:30 P.M. TVG will be on-site and broadcasting live the entire afternoon. The Hambletonian Final is scheduled for race 13, with post time at 5:11 P.M. Following the 14th race will be the Horseplay Car Giveaway where someone will drive out of The Meadowlands in a brand new car. Guests have many options when it comes to dining. Victory Sports Bar will be open at 10:00 A.M. featuring a buffet at a price of $44.95 per person. The East Apron tent also features a buffet, with a carving station at a price of $44.95 per person. Trotters is members-only for Hambletonian Day and a reservation is required. Lastly, Pink will feature a prix-fixe menu at a price of $49.95 per person. For all things Hambletonian, visit playmeadowlands.com and hambletonian.org. From the Meadowlands Media Relations

If The Hambletonian Eve card is any indication, it is going to be a great Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands. Once again, The Meadowlands posted increases across the board. First, the total handle of $2,605,779 marked an increase of 33-percent from the night before The Hambletonian last year. Next, the attendance showed an increase of 34-percent. Last but not least, the live handle was up $106,518 over 2012 or 43-percent, the largest live handle increase of the meet. All signs are pointing to a huge Hambletonian Day. Tonight, The Meadowlands played host to the Townsend Ackerman and Duenna stakes for three year old trotting colts and fillies respectively that did not declare for the Hambo or Oaks on Saturday. The Ackerman field a pair of $50,000 divisions for the colts with Valley Of Sin and Exemplar both emerging as winning favorites. Trainer John Butenschoen added the trotting hopples to Valley Of Sin for this race and the Yankee Glide colt came from far back to win in 1:55.1 for Corey Callahan. VIP Internet Stables and Harmony Oaks Racing Stable own the winner. Exemplar is a lightly raced Andover Hall gelding who has found his form recently for trainer Per Henriksen. Now a winner in three of his last four, Exemplar equaled his career best of 1:54.3 for John Campbell, forwardly placed throughout his first Meadowlands start. Andrea Lea Racing Stables and Asa Farm share ownership. The fillies raced for $30,000 in each division and both went faster than their male counterparts with Lady Broadway and Cupcake both being driven to 1:53.4 personal records by Ron Pierce. Lady Broadway ground her way up to the leader in mid-stretch and rolled on by late for the win. She is a Broadway Hall filly trained by Chris Oakes for his wife Susan, Hauser Brothers Racing and Conrad Zurich. Cupcake, by Glidemaster, rallied from just off the lead for Pierce to score. Don Swick trains her for his longtime patron Bill Peshina's Royal Wire Products. Tomorrow is closing day of the 2013 meet and it is the greatest day in harness racing. The Meadowlands Racetrack proudly presents the $1.2 Million Hambletonian as the marquis event of a blockbuster 15-race program with total purses over $3.6 Million. Gates Open at 10:00 A.M. and first post is 11:50 A.M.  

East Rutherford, NJ – Lady Broadway and Cupcake, both driven to victory by Ron Pierce, showed they are faster than the colts in winning their respective $30,000 divisions of the Duenna Trot at the Meadowlands Friday, both fillies winning in lifetime best identical times of 1:53.4 The sixth race first Duenna division saw True Valentine (Yannick Gingras) led the field through the opening panels of :28 and :56.1 and then True Day Dream and driver Mike Lachance came first over and took command at the three-quarters in 1:25 but also had given good live cover to Lady Broadway and Pierce. As they came down the stretch, True Day Dream seemed to be the strong horse but not for long as Pierce was able to get Lady Broadway into high gear and she mowed down True Day Dream and won going away by three-quarters of a length in a lifetime best 1:53.4. It was the sixth win this year for Lady Broadway, who is trained by Chris Oakes and is owned by Susan Oakes, Hauser Bros Racing and Conrad Zurich. She paid $10.80 to win. True Day Dream was second with Curtsy Hanover (Corey Callahan) third. Then in the 10th race second Duenna division, John Campbell sent the gray filly, Silver Credit, right to the lead with Cupcake and Piece gapping in second as Silver Credit cut fractions of :27.4, :55.2 and 1:24.2. But Cupcake slowly had gained on the pacesetter and by the top of the stretch pulled to the outside and collared Silver Credit. Those two then raced neck and neck down the stretch but Silver Credit began to wire before the wire as Cupcake went on to win by two lengths. Déjà vu Too (Corey Callahan) was third. It was the second win this year for Cupcake, who is sired by Glidemaster and is trained by Don Swick and is owned by the Royal Wire Products of Ohio. She paid $9.80 to win. The fastest of the two $50,000 divisions of the Townsend Ackerman Trot went to Exemplar and driver John Campbell in the 8th race second division. The race was marred by numerous breaking horses early in the race as Bloodstockshalltab (Yannick Gingras) took the early lead in :28.2 with Exemplar on their back. But Campbell moved right out after the first quarter and took command for good, cutting the mile to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.4 before going on to win by one and one-half lengths in 1:54.3. Deadliest Catch (John Duer) has come first-over on the final turn and was second with Bloodstockshalltab third. Sired by Andover Hall, Exemplar posted his third win this year and tied his lifetime mark for trainer Per Henriksen and the Andrea Lea Racing Stable and Asa Farm of Canada. In the sixth race first division of the Townsend Ackerman, Valley Of Sin, who was eighth on the outside at the three-quarter mile marker, was able to swing three-wide on the final into second place at the top of the stretch and then surge on to the wire to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:55.1. Driven by Corey Callahan, Valley Of Sin had followed the outside flow of Amalfi Coast (Dewayne Minor) who ended up third. Second place went to Smoother Ride (John Campbell), who has cut the mile early and was shuffled back to sixth at the three-quarters but rallied again to be second. For Valley Of Sin, who is sired by Yankee Glide, it was his fifth victory on the year. He is trained by John Butenschoen and is owned by the VIP Internet Stable and the Harmony Oaks Racing Stable. By Steve Wolf  

'The Minister of Speed' aka George Brennan came from last at the half with Jersey As to get up and nail harness racing favorite Buck I St Pat in the shadows of the post to win the $100,000 Perretti Farms Matchmaker Free-For-All Trotting mares at the Meadowlands today (Saturday August 6).

The husband and wife harness racing duo of Andy and Julie Miller got off to the best possible start on Hambletonian Day 2011 when 6-5 favorite Whatever it Takes won the opening event - the $50,000 Townsend Ackerman for 3-year-old colts and geldings at The Meadowlands.

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