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Harness racing trainer/driver Richard Westerink showcased lightly raced Cocomoko (3m, Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) today at Le Cepiere and it produced a comfortable win clocked in 1.17.3kr in the Prix Aerocons Tellation (€22,000 purse, seven starters) as the 9/10 favorite. 2.8/1 Cristal des Baux was second ahead of 11.7/1 Carl des Penguen. The winner is worth tracking for the future. At Vincennes the Prix Regulus (€55,000 purse, 2850 meters, 13 starters) went to As Dore (5m Coktail Jet-Dragee d’On) for teamster Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Franck Leblanc. Timed in a sharp 1.12.7kr the 10.1/1 odds winner handled Arpont d’Ostal (5m Meaulnes du Corta-Quina Perrine) and J-Ph Mary ahead of third finishing Valmayor (5g Le Retour-Kornnaya du Bac) for Joseph Verbeeck at 4.7/1. The card also featured the Prix Leo (€55,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) resulted in a 1.11.6kr victory for 9.1/1 odds Toopie du Hetre (8g Jasmin de Flore-Ixla de Perthos) and Eric Raffin. Favorite at 1.3/1 odds Universal Rider (7m Nahar de Beval-Hanska) ended second for Mathieu Mottier with Ucapata third at 14/1. Thomas H. Hicks

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - (Saturday, March 14, 2015) There have not been many better horses in the sport of harness racing this winter than Rockeyed Optimist and his win Saturday night at The Meadowlands in the first round of the Clyde Hirt series may have been his most impressive victory yet. Fresh off his win in the $59,000 Sonsam Final, a lifetime best 1:50 performance, Rockeyed Optimist was a 1/5 favorite to win the $20,000 first round of the Clyde Hirt series and he did not disappoint. Reunited with Tim Tetrick, who returned from the World Drivers Championship in Australia, Rockeyed Optimist sat third early in the mile and was relaxed through a quarter of 26.4 before making his move for the lead. He would spring past Rock Out before the half-mile in 55-seconds and that essentially closed the book on the race. From the moment he seized command, the lead would only expand through the final three-eighths of a mile, sprinting a 27.4 third panel before setting sail for home. At the top of the stretch Tetrick asked his star for speed and the response was devastating as Rockeyed Optimist sprinted to the wire in 26.4 to win by open lengths in a lifetime best 1:49.3. Caviart Luca was the runner-up with Rock Out third. Rockeyed Optimist has now won five times from six starts this season for trainer Steve Elliot and owners Anthony Perretti, Berkner, A&B Stable and Battaglia. The $25,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers featured a competitive field and a thrilling finish. Speed Again and Yannick Gingras made an easy lead off the gate, with Doctor Butch, the 7/5 favorite securing the pocket spot into the first turn. Speed Again rolled through fractions of 27.2, 56.2 and 1:24.2, and Doctor Butch remained right behind the leader throughout the first three-quarters of a mile. Ontario Success moved first over and challenged for the lead around the far turn, effectively keeping Tim Tetrick and Doctor Butch locked in the pocket. That scenario played out in the stretch with Tetrick look for racing room as Ontario Success hit the front in the final eighth of a mile. Blatanly Best was gathering momentum from the back of the pack and began to close in as Tetrick tried to thread the needle between horses nearing the wire. There was just enough room for Doctor Butch as he slipped through and just got his nose on the wire first in 1:51.2. Blatantly Best finished second with Ontario Success not far behind in third. Doctor Butch is trained by Linda Toscano for Kenneth Jacobs. The win was the 20th in the five year olds career.   Darin Zoccali

EDMONTON, AB - The 2014/2015 Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino harness racing season came to close this afternoon with a 10-race card at the Edmonton oval. "Northlands Park is alive with action 363 days a year and the harness racing season captures some of the most exciting three months in the racing calendar," said Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands. "The 2014 and 2015 harness racing season was no exception, as some of the best Standardbreds, trainers and drivers in the nation came to the track to give our guests a great experience." The season's two biggest races at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino were the Western Canada Pacing Derby on December 6, 2014 and the Northlands Filly Pace on December 13, 2014. Rummys Command trained and driven by Keith Clark won the $70,000 Northlands Filly Pace while Outlaw Gunpowder, driven by Philip Giesbrecht and trained by Kelly Hoerdt, took the $95,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby. The 2014/2015 harness season showcased the continued dominance of the 2013 O'Brien Award winner for Rising Star, Travis Cullen. He was the runaway winner in both the trainer and driver categories, never being challenged from the outset. A few career milestones were also set at the meet. Driver Brandon Campbell recorded his 1,000th victory in the sulky, and trainer Doug Shaw recorded his 1,000th win conditioning horses. Driver and trainer Jamie Gray recorded his 1,500th training victory while closing in on his 2,300th driving win. To round out the 2014/2015 harness racing season, Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino is proud to celebrate Alberta's champions for 2014 at the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Awards Night on Sunday, February 1 in the Paddock Theatre. Harness racing in Alberta will resume after a short break on March 28 at the all new Century Downs racing facility near Calgary. Horse racing returns to Northlands Park when the 77-day thoroughbred meet kicks off on Friday, May 1 with a 6:30 p.m. post time. Chris Roberts

Out of 31 races last week, a grand total of three were won in coast-to-coast fashion, and one of those was turned in by China King and harness racing pilot Chip Lackey while capturing the Open Pace at juicy 19-1 odds. The East Coast invader, who races for Gary and Jennifer Sabot and trainer Gene Vallandingham, had suffered brutal beats at the hands of the streaking St Lads Lotto in his previous two efforts, but was able to turn the tables last weekend with his 1:52 1/5 tour. To be honest, I didnt go into that race with the same confidence I had the previous two starts when he was just nipped, Lackey explained. Hed missed a couple of starts, it looked like there was plenty of other speed in there and after a night and a half of racing to that point, there hadnt been a horse win on the front end. On top of that, Id been having some pretty bad luck with my drives. That said, I always try to be optimistic when I go out there and I will say that Jen (Sabot) and Gene were pretty confident about China Kings chances and did a terrific job to have him ready. Lackey was able to buzz the pacer right to the front and cut out fractions of :27 2/5, :54 4/5 and 1:22 3/5 en route to the three-quarters of a length upset over the 1-2 St Lads Lotto, who had his seven-race win streak snapped in the process. This is a very nice one, Chip noted. There are a lot of horses who like to roll away from there and then you have to wrestle with them, but hell pretty much do anything you want and is very ratable. Everything considered, I thought they might want me to take back with him last week, but they said to let him fire out and thats what we did. It was a tremendous effort when you remember he hadnt raced in three weeks, and it also did a lot to raise my spirits after some tough luck. High Bet Hanover eyes another snapshot Sundays distaff pacing feature goes in two divisions, with High Bet Hanover and Js Littlerockstar heading their respective races. A 10-race card is set with first post at 4:50 p.m. High Bet Hanover comes into her contest having posed for pictures following four of her last five starts, with her only setback coming two weeks ago when she took on some very tough male rivals. The Bettors Delight mare, who races for Kc C Carvalho, is conditioned by Tim Brown and will have Luke Plano guiding, rattled off three straight victories here between December 22 and January 2, then had her work cut out versus the likes of A Real Miracle at next asking. Returning to face fillies and mares last week, High Bet Hanover was hammered down to 1-2 and did not disappoint her many supporters. Plano left into a tracking trip with his charge, took aim on the leaders in the stretch and swept by when it counted for a length and a half score. Js Littlerockstar has been a gem of consistency and will be well backed in the co-feature. James Kennedy owns, trains, drives and bred the Little Steven mare, who has multiple Sire Stakes trophies on her mantle. The bay miss has accounted for the last two stakes engagements for her division, getting the January 4 score after the disqualification of arch-rival Brewski, then hung a head decision on that foe in last weeks Sire Stakes clash in another big mile. Next week will find the trotters and pacers in action under the Watch and Wager LLC banner on Friday and Saturday nights, with no racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 1. By Mark Ratzky, publicty Cal Expo Harness                                          

The old theory in harness racing of horses for courses was once again to the fore at Oamaru yesterday when the six year old Pegasus Spur mare Sarah Palin notched up another win at her favourite racetrack. Whether it is on the grass or on the grit, Sarah Palin is rarely out of the money on the North Otago racetrack having being either first or second in five of her seven starts there. Away well as usual, driver Peter Davis had Sarah Palin in front from the start of the 2000 metre stand before handing up to Martini which in turn handed up to Sunny Ruby near the 1000 metres mark. Snookered as they turned for home, Peter angled her wider on the track and she flew the last bit to win narrowly but well from another good finisher in Evander D Go. It was Sarah Palin's fifth win  and along with twenty placings took her stake earnings over the $50,000 mark. Peter Davis has a bit of a soft spot for the six year old mare. " She has got really great manners so you are always a show with her." 'She has a really nice turn of foot but just lacks that bit of toughness to win them out of turn." "You have to drive her with a sit and you need a bit of luck but she can get over the top of them with the right run," Peter said. Sarah Palin is bred to be good being from Juliana, a Sundon half sister to Ima Gold Digger 1:55 ($376,072)  Dependable 1:59.2 ($154,917) and Jo Anne 1:58.5 ($81,428) Peter Davis wouldn't another one or two from Juliana. "Juliana is doing a super job at stud." "Apart from Sarah Palin she also produced Monty Python who won his third race in a row at Addington on Friday night and Father Christmas who won his fourth race from not many starts at Northern Southland on Thursday," Peter said. Sarah Palin will now head to either Blenheim or Motukarara this weekend and how she handles the rise in grade is uncertain but there is one thing you can bank on. She is going to have a lot of followers when she next heads back to Oamaru. Harnesslink Media  

Standardbred Trainer surpasses Todd Pletcher's all-time single season earnings record East Rutherford, NJ (December 12th) - Entering the Friday night program at The Meadowlands, Ron Burke's earnings in 2014 stood right at $28.1 Million, just a few thousand dollars short of Todd Pletcher's mark from 2007 of $28,116,097. When Appomattox crossed the wire first in the Free For All Handicap Trot, Burke's season earnings moved to $28,118,465, surpassing the mark set by Pletcher seven years ago. Of course, Burke was far from done. After a third place finish by Cut A Deal, a second place finish by Hot Type and a win by Set Me Up Burke began to build the lead over Pletcher. When factoring in earnings earned elsewhere Friday, Burke's earnings by the end of Friday night totaled $28,145,885. At the end of the night, Ron Burke stated simply he was "very happy and proud" to achieve this historic accomplishment. It was Appomattox, somewhat ironically making his first start for the Burke stable, who put Burke over the top, winning the Free For All Handicap Trot in 1:53. The new acquisition for the Burke-Brigade was sent straight to the lead by Yannick Gingras, reeling off fractions of 27.4, 56.2 and 1:24.3 before turning for home with Melady's Monet, riding a three race win streak pressing him first over. However, Appomattox was able to fend off the 9/5 favorite, and denied the four-peat. Mistery Woman checked in third. Appomattox returned $6.20 or owner Reima Kuisla Stable. Burke also took hop top honors in the top-class mare pace with Set Me Up. Coming off an impressive win at the B-1/A-2 level last week, Set Me Up took control early through fractions of 27.3, 56.1 and 1:24 and dug-in all the way to the wire winning in 1:52.2 as the 1/2 favorite. Set Me Up held off a late charge from Coffee Addict and Momma Rock was a locked in third. The winner is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. On a big night for Ron Burke, it should come as no surprise that leading driver Yannick Gingras also had a big night, capturing three races. Scott Zeron had a big night after missing last Saturday with a nasty cold, winning three races as well. The Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed tonight thanks to a parade of longshots that resulted in a dime superfecta returning over $15,000. The carryover in the Super Hi-5 for Saturday stands at $6,818. Overall, the total handle for the Friday program of $2,309,728 marked a six-percent increase over the same date last year. Racing returns to The Meadowlands Saturday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations  

Adam Bowden was in the Kentucky Futurity winner's circle last year with Creatine and he hopes to return there following Sunday's 122nd edition of the trotting classic, this time with Father Patrick. Bowden and his father, Chris, operate Diamond Creek Farm, which is part of Father Patrick's ownership group. Father Patrick, who has won 20 of 23 career races and $1.92 million, drew post No. 1 for Sunday's $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington. Nine horses entered the Futurity, so eliminations are unnecessary. Yannick Gingras will drive Father Patrick for trainer Jimmy Takter in the one-dash-for-the-cash event. Rounding out the field in post order are Il Sogno Dream, Martiniwithmuscle, Datsyuk, Hillustrious, Nuncio, Mr Lindy, DD's Hitman, and Lightning Force. Sunday's card also includes the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Farm Open Pace, $90,000 Allerage Farm Mare Pace, and $89,000 Allerage Farm Mare Trot. Father Patrick brings a four-race win streak to the Futurity, including a 4-1/2 length victory over Lightning Force in 1:50.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Sunday. He also has won the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic, $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and $340,000 Zweig Memorial since losing by a half-length to Datsyuk in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "Last week he was on cruise control and still trotted in sub-1:51," said Bowden, who owns Father Patrick with John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, and the group of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. "Hopefully, we're in the winner's circle on Sunday. Jimmy gives me two thumbs up. I'm hoping that's going to be the case." Last year, the Diamond Creek-bred-and-owned Creatine won the Futurity for hometown trainer Bob Stewart. Bowden had planned to sell Creatine when he was a yearling, but the horse was withdrawn from the auction because of an infected hock and remained with Diamond Creek. Creatine races Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot. "We've been with Bob since the beginning and for him to be a Kentucky guy, no offense, I love Father Patrick, but I don't think anything is going to top last year," Bowden said. "That was the most exciting thing for me. It was the first time. It was a homebred with a good friend of mine. We always believed in the horse and we finally won one of the big ones. That was exciting." The Bowdens started Diamond Creek Farm in 2005 in Paris, Ky., and now have a second location in Pennsylvania. Diamond Creek will stand Father Patrick as a stallion at the conclusion of his racing career. Father Patrick, bred by Brittany Farms, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to million-dollar-earner Pastor Stephen. "We're very happy and lucky; we want to stand the best horses," Bowden said. "After his 2-year-old year, we took a huge risk that (Father Patrick) was going to come back and be dominant at 3. Right now it looks like our gamble is going to pay off. Cantab Hall is arguably the hottest sire in the sport, along with Muscle Hill, and here's his greatest son so far. It's a great sire line and we're hoping it continues with Father Patrick." The Kentucky Futurity is the second jewel in this year's Trotting Triple Crown. Trixton won the first, the Hambletonian, but has since been retired because of injury. The third jewel, the Yonkers Trot, is Oct. 25. Takter trained and drove Trixton in the Hambletonian. Another of his charges, Nuncio, finished second in the race. Father Patrick went off stride from post 10 and finished off the board for the only time in his career. Nuncio will be driven by John Campbell, his regular pilot, in Sunday's Futurity. Nuncio has won 12 of 22 career races and finished second in the other 10. Eight of those runner-up finishes have come behind Father Patrick. "Nuncio is one tough horse," Bowden said. "He's a great horse and in any other year he's the best horse. "One of these days you think he's going to beat his stablemate. But I hope it's not Sunday." Takter sends out the likely favorite in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, Shake It Cerry. She was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 10 of 12 races this season. She will start from post three with driver Ron Pierce. Scream And Shout and Heaven's Door will start inside of Shake It Cerry while to her outside are Highest Peak, Chivaree Hanover, Vanity Matters, and Yoga. Scream And Shout and Yoga also are from the Takter Stable. The Allerage Farm Open Trot features Sebastian K, the fastest horse in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 win earlier this year, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and recent Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and multiple-stakes-winner Classic Martine lead the way in the Allerage Farm Mare Trot, where they will encounter Dan Patch Award-winner and defending race winner Maven. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 15 races and nearly $1 million this year, and Foiled Again, North American harness racing's all-time money-winner, are among the 10 horses in the Allerage Farm Open Pace. Eleven horses were entered in the Allerage Farm Mare Pace, including three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette, stakes-winners Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow, world champion Shebestingin, last year's race winner Shelliscape, and 2012 winner Drop The Ball. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 23, 2014 -- Pecking for late racing room outside and inside, Cover Model finally found a seam and poured through to score in Tuesday's $88,600 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Alexa Said took the other harness racing division of the stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. Cover Model was sixth near the three-quarters when Dan Rawlings slipped her off the cones into the outside flow. When cover took him nowhere, Rawlings guided Cover Model back inside and hunted room, finding it between horses. The daughter of Dragon Again-Fashion Sureal rolled home to triumph in 1:53.4, 2-1/4 lengths better than Special Package. Momas Got A Gun, a full sister to Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach, was third. "I came out because I thought the outside flow was good, but it wasn't going anywhere," Rawlings said. "I basically took a shot (inside), and a seam opened up. I wasn't planning on being buried like I was, but everything worked out." Douglas Lewis trains Cover Model for Frederick W. Hertrich III and CTC stable. Alexa Said roared three wide through the lane to prevail for Eric Ledford in a career-best 1:55.3. Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion Half Past Seven was second by a length while early leader Mistup Magic earned show. It was the first stakes victory for Alexa Said although Tye Loy, who conditions the daughter of Well Said-Niki Blue Chip and owns with Michael Lowe, said she easily could have several more. "She's had bad luck and bad trips," said Loy of his $18,000 yearling acquisition. "When you warm her up, you wouldn't think she could go in 2:30 the way she's lollygagging around. When she hits the gate, it's all business; she puts her game face on." In the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Cowgirl Hall thwarted the challenge of Better Caviar and downed him by a length in 1:53.2. Major Athens saved show. Dave Palone drove for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. The 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold hall extended her career bankroll to $598,903. On Wednesday the Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $5,000-guaranteed pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Tuesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $1,239.74. Minimum wager for the Pick 5 (Races 12-16) 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 for Wednesday’s program, which features a $117,200 Keystone Classic for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

A field of eight lined up behind the starter in the featured harness racing event on Sunday afternoon (September 14) at Harrah's Philadelphia, a pace for winner's over $25,000 lifetime. The wagering public made Wake Up Peter (Brett Miller) the post time favorite, starting from post position five. At the start, Emeritus Maximus (Ron Pierce) got the first call off the wings, but his lead was short-lived, as Scott Rocks (Geo Napolitano Jr) brushed just beyond the quarter, which went in :26.1. After a second split in :28.1, Scott Rocks faced a challenge from the first-over Speed Again (Yannick Gingras). They battled to three quarters, which went in 1:21.3 (:27.1). Just beyond that point, Speed Again overpowered Scott Rocks, who folded up and finished last with the pocket-sitter Emeritus Maximus picking up the chase. At the finish, Speed Again narrowly held on to win by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:49.2, returning $11.60 to win. Emeritus Maximus finished second, while favored Wake Up Peter rallied for third. The winner keyed a $32.40 exacta. The trifecta paid $190.20, while the Superfecta returned $1,045.20. Speed Again is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and Ctc Stables, and was trained by Ron Burke. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Batavia, NY---On Sunday afternoon (Aug. 31) the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing fillies come to town to compete for their cut of $119,000 in purses. The group is highlighted by Major Dancer (Art Major-Two Steppin' Sally), who is currently the fourth highest money earning 3-year-old pacing filly in North America with $201,644 in the bank. She is a seven-time winner in twelve attempts and has only finished out of the money once this year. She won the $46,248 Town Pro stake at Mohawk Raceway earlier this year in her lifetime best time of 1:51.2 as well as an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs in 1:51.4. She finished second in the $244,875 final to Precocious Beauty in a 1:51.1 mile. Major Dancer will be driven by Jonathan Drury for trainer Casie Coleman. She is listed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the third $39,900 NYSS division carded as the eighth race that also features A La Notte Hanover driven by Matt Kakaley and Table Talk with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines. A La Notte Hanover (Art Major-All Night Long) starts for the powerful Ron Burke stable and is a two-time winner in 2014. She won her last outing at Yonkers in NYSS action with an impressive 1:55 wire-to-wire victory that brought her bankroll up to $87,733 for the year. She also competed in the Empire Breeders Classic and finished close despite having a lot of traffic to deal with in both of those races. Table Talk (Bettor's Delight-Place At The Table) took an early seasons mark of 1:51.4 at Mohawk and has competed in the $420,900 Fan Hanover Stake and $212,150 Mistletoe Shallee where she paced back-to-back 1:49 miles for driver Tim Tetrick. She has been plagued with some bad posts and a breaking issue of late but looks to be in a good spot here for trainer Brad Dalious. In the first $39,900 division carded as the fourth race, Ron Burke and Julie Miller have the one-two punch going to post. Burke sends out Jaded Dream and Miller counters with Just Add Vodka. Jaded Dream (If I Can Dream-Jaded Gal) put forth a handy effort at Yonkers in her last, winning a NYSS leg there in 1:54.4. It was a welcome sight after a series of poor post draws and the resulting tough trips. She has three wins in 13 starts and $62,586 in the bank. Matt Kakaley is back in the bike behind her for the first time since June 18. Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) only has two wins this year but has been consistently in the money; 13 out of 16 starts and that made her $74,283 for the year. Her mark of 1:55.3 was at Monticello but she has paced considerably faster than that in defeat on several occasions. Jim Morrill Jr. who has driven her several times over the summer gets the assignment. The second $39,200 division which goes as the seventh race has three very tough competitors going post-ward and looks to be the most closely contested event. It features the first, second and fourth leading points leaders for this sex and gait in the NYSS this year. Blush Hanover (Art Major-Brissonte Hanover) currently tops the leader board and comes into this race sporting five 2014 wins for trainer Linda Toscano. She finished a strong third in the Empire Breeders Classic final after a very rough parked-out trip. She has a 1:52 mark at the Meadowlands and has only failed to hit the board once out of 14 starts this year. Her $168,831 in earnings is tops in this field and she looks to add to that total in here with Jim Morrill Jr. at the helm. Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) is second in points despite also having recorded five victories. This filly can race on the front or from behind and that versatility makes her a formidable foe. Her $115,080 in earnings is also second highest in the field and driver Jason Bartlett who has driven this filly twice before with winning outcomes, opted to driver her today for trainer Paul Zabielski after having been down to steer two horses in this same race. Medusa (Bettor's Delight-Mythical) ranks fourth in points among the group but is not that far behind the leaders. She has seven wins in 14 starts and $102,723 stashed away. The Paul Kelley trainee has a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs and also had two good efforts in the Empire Breeders Classic races. Tioga Downs regular Aaron Byron gets the drive tonight from Tim Tetrick who had been at the lines for her last three starts. Post time for Sunday's races is 1:15. Batavia Downs also has a special Labor Day matinee 12-race card on tap for Monday (Sept. 1) with a 1:15 post. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - The fourth and final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies was held at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Friday night, with all three favorites winning and some idea of the Stallion Series Championship qualifiers developing. In the first cut, Somenicebeach made easy work of her career stakes debut by leading at every call en route to taking a new mark of 1:52. McVita Bella who *preliminary* calculated to be the Stallion Series pointsleader (*all official figures will come from the Harrisburg office of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission*) was second to the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, who was guided by Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Chris Oakes and owner Susan Oakes. Jim Morrill Jr. was in the sulky behind the other two winners, first with the Real Desire filly Real Drama, who was a pocket rocket in reducing her speed tab to 1:52.3. Kelly O'Donnell conditions the winning filly for the Bay Pond Racing Stable. Real Drama won her cut by three lengths; Morrill had much harder work in the third division, as he and the Well Said filly Lucy's Pearl rallied gamely from the two-hole to edge stubborn pacesetter Beach Body by a half-length in the fastest time, 1:50.3. "Trotting Guru" Ron Gurfein may train more pacers if he continues to bring out tough misses like this one, who is owned by Gurfein in partnership with Elizabeth Novak. After careful math (and again we STRESS these are NOT official figures), the following pointstandings (based on a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1 distribution) for the PAStS 3PFs emerge: 1. McVita Bella, 120; 2. Lucy's Pearl, 105; 3. Eiffel Tower, 4. Real Drama (both had 95 points, but Eiffel Tower wins the money tiebreaker $25,000 to $21,600); 5. Do Your Job, 6. Stucklikeglue (both with 70 points, Do Your Job with more money $20,000 to $12,200); 7. Beach Body, 65; 8. Baby Cat, 64; tie 9. Marathon Day and Oogle Google (both tied at both 60 points and $15,000 in earnings; if needed to split them, there would be a shake of the pills). The top nine declaring in will advance to the Stallion Series Championship, to be held at The Meadows on September 9.

WAYNESBURG PA - The annual two-day harness racing meet at the Greene County Fair in this southwestern PA town (hometown of Dave Palone) saw two three-year-old trotters run their 2014 fair records to 7 for 8, and a two-year-old trotter make a very promising debut. Fly Past Hanover opened the sophomore action with a 2:07 win, last quarter 30.2, for driver Steve Schoeffel, who had three wins each day to lead the meet, trainer Bill Daugherty Jr., and owner Susan Daugherty. The altered son of Cantab Hall is a nose shy of an undefeated fair campaign, as it took Faust edging him by the smallest margin in a Bedford all-age trot record of 2:00.4 to spoil his sheet this summer. Another Cantab Hall offspring, the filly Cantabs Lightning, is also 7 for 8 at the Pennsy twicearounds after a tally in 2:05.3, last quarter 30, winning by 19¾ lengths - imagine what she might have done if she hadn't made a break before the quarter. Wayne Long owns, trains, and drove the impressive miss. Roger Hammer trainees produced the fastest miles of the day on both 3YO day (Friday) and 2YO day (Thursday). The sophomore Yankee Cruiser gelding Fangled Hanover went the fastest mile of the meet, 2:01.4, in winning a Fair Sire Stakes division, with owner Hammer also driving the winner. Hammer didn't have the sulky seat behind Thursday's fastest baby as he was racing at Honesdale, but Steve Schoeffel more than capably deputized, as he and Rustlercafe distanced a Quaker State field in 2:02-29.2. Hammer, as usual, got the big end of the money, as he owns and trains Rustlercafe, now 5 for 6 in Quaker competition. In the 2YO Fair Sire Stakes, three horses posted a 2:06.3 time for speed co-honors, two being the pacing filly Joltstheice and the pacing gelding Jed Kidd Squawking. But the third 2:06.3 baby winner, the one that made the fans sit up and take notice, was a trotter - the Muscle Massive filly Piano Rose, who won effortlessly, and in her career debut to boot. Steve Schoeffel got the call to drive the undefeated neophyte for trainer Fred Grant and owner Ralph Del Priore Jr. The racing at Waynesburg signaled the shift of the PA fair circuit back west for the rest of August, after several weeks of being based in the central and eastern parts of the state. Next stop is at the historic Arden Downs oval at the Washington County Fair, where they'll go to the gate on Monday and Tuesday at 10 a.m. TOP FIVE PA FAIR CIRCUIT DRIVERS AND TRAINERS AFTER THE RACING of AUGUST 8 DRIVERS TRAINERS Chris Shaw 60 Jason Shaw 44 Steve Schoeffel 54 Steve Schoeffel 32 Roger Hammer 25 Roger Hammer 27 (tie) Todd Cummings 15 Bill Daugherty Jr. 15 (tie) Wayne Long Bob Krenitsky Jr. 13 Publicity Office of the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association    

Charlottetown PE- Old Home Week is here and so are the crowds. Fans packed into Red Shores' Charlottetown for the first card of Old Home Week 2014. Teddys Place in line to the recent 1,500 win man Mike Stevenson managed to sneak up in the final strides to nail C L Eighty and Kenny Arsenault at the wire. Teddys place got away in the six hole and followed the cover of second place finisher C L Eighty who cleared fraction setter Deuce Man past the three quarters, flipping off his back at the head of the stretch to win by half-a-length in 1:58.3. Deuce Man laid down fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:29.2. Talk Back rounded out the top three making it an Arsenault trainee one, two, three finish. Thane Arsenault owns Teddys place and also trains along with Talk Back, while Kenny trains C L Eighty. Jason Hughes picked up a driving and training double on the card extending his lead in both categories at Red Shores Charlottetown. He kicked off the first race of Old Home Week with Rocks Confession in 2:03.1 and followed it up with Blue Star Outlaw in 2:00. The Alpine $3, 000 claiming series highlighted the Thursday night card. Lexis Mandy laid parked every step for driver trainer and co-owner Neil Bambrick and Shawn Baglole, winning by a head in 2:00.3. Hello America and Mike Downey picked up the second division of the fillies and mares in 1:58.3 for owner Ellen Stevenson. The third division winner Machintosh was the only mare claimed on the opening night of the two leg series. She was on top at every call, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:58, for owner - trainer Patrick Shepherd and driver Steven Shepherd. Veteran pacer Cam Cool found himself back in the winer circle in the first division of horses and gelding, Jamie Copley trains for Ann Copley and Evan Gillis of Inverness. Marc Campbell handling the driving in 1:57. The second division went to another claimed horse, Ebandtheboys in line to Kenny Murphy rolled right down the highway winning in 1:57.3 for owner Clarkie Smith. Racing returns to Red Shores' Charlottetown tomorrow night at 7 p.m. By Bo Ford

August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia          

The Hambletonian Monte Series Final at the new Meadowlands and two Ontario pari-mutuel races at Grand River Raceway showcased North American monte activities this weekend. On Friday evening the $27,500 Hambletonian Monte Final took place (non-wagering) at the new Meadowlands. Sponsors were Jeff Gural, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Ron Burke Stable, Arden Homestead Stable, Crawford Farm, Aldrich Properties, George Ducharme and Winners Circle Blueberries. The final followed two $10,000 legs the previous two weekends. This week, A Penny Earned (5g Conway Hall-Penny Dream-Dream Vacation) scored for Michelle Crawford and trainer George Ducharme in 1:57.2 (last quarter :28.2), just short of the north American speed race record set by Master Pine two years ago in 1:57.1. The winner was second in a July 18 leg behind Take My Picture that was second in the final for Therese Lindgren and trainer Nikolas Drennan. O U Gus (the July 25 winner) ended third for Stephanie Werder and trainer Whitney Richards. Master Pine finished fourth for Helene Gregory and trainer Julie Miller in the competitive (seven starters timed in 2:00.1 or better) ten horse field. In Ontario, Grand River Raceway hosted two pari-mutuel events on August 1st and 4th. The August 4th International Monte was part of the raceway's Industry Day and attracted riders from Canada, Belgium and Finland. The US rider-entrant Jennifer Connor was a scratch due to travel problems. Previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad) made the fast pace, tracked and battled by eventual winner Tragically Shipp (Saara Jalasti aboard), that pulled away late for an comfortable win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Massachaele) in 2:02.4h over a rain soaked surface. Tragically Shipp (8g Shipps Speed-CH On Tour-Armbro Laser) is trained by Lee Watson for owners Lynne and David Magee. Jalasti and Massachaele regularly ride in monte races in Europe, where monte is very popular and part of most pari-mutuel racing cards at French and Scandinavian tracks. Race replay follows: The August 1 race at Grand River was billed as the Canada vs. Norway Challenge and it went to Callie Magoo (5g Magoo-Callie Alyssa-Wesgate Crown) with Norway's G. Berg up for trainer John Braid. This pair scored in 2:04.3h over King Tut (Sarah Town up for Canada) and Charlie Tuna. Both Grand River races were well received in the pari-mutuel wagering, as had been the case in previous Ontario pari-mutuel monte races. Standardbred Canada and Meadowlands files Thomas H. Hicks  

After enjoying a cozy pocket trip, Stitch in Time ($19.20) made a late push to the fore, collaring 6-5 favorite Wisenheimer to take the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 2) evening.   Brandon Simpson floated forward with the four-year-old Keystone Nordic gelding, settling behind House Money (Aaron Byron) on the first turn. As Wisenheimer brushed to the fore through a :28 first quarter, House Money broke stride, enabling Stitch in Time to inherit the pocket with just over a circuit to go. The two would continue as an uncontested leading pair throughout, but Stitch in Time was able to benefit from his tracking trip in the final eighth. Off the far turn, Simpson angled him wide, and the response was instant. Stitch in Time wore down Wisenheimer, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) was carried to the grandstand side off a stalking trip, staying on for third.   Amber Buter trains Stitch in Time for owners Lynette Buter, Carol Fuhs, and William Fuhs.   Racing returns to Tioga with a stakes-filled Sunday (August 3) afternoon card. The 13-race pari-mutuel program is slated for a 1:30 p.m. EDT start, with a pair of non-wagering events to commence a half-hour earlier.   by James Witherite

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