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WILKES-BARRE  PA - The recent Australian import Stormont Czar A unleashed a furious rally in the last 100 yards to hit the wire first in the $21,500 pacing feature on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning a three-horse photo in a lifetime best of 1:50.4. The field got away in post position order, with rail horse Lawrencetown Beach setting fractions of 27, 55.4, and 1:23, with Maxdaddy Blue Chip sitting the pocket. Stormont Czar A, from post three and sitting third, did not go first-over, then was able to back out to third-over position late on the final turn. It took half of the stretch for driver Tyler Buter to angle the winner widest into a clear path, but after that the gelded son of Bettor's Delight was just a blur, rallying from fifth when clear to be up just on the money over Pocono Pike utilizer Maxdaddy Blue Chip, with Lawrencetown Beach lasting until the final couple of steps and also just a nose off the winner. Stormont Czar N now has two wins in four U.S. starts for trainer Amber Buter and has already bankrolled 29,300 American dollars for the ownership of Tyler Buter and Oldford Racing LLC. The $20,000 claiming handicap pace went over a second faster than the headliner, as the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss was awesome in a six-length victory while taking a new mark of 1:49.3. The winner of four of his last five and trained by Hunter Oakes for Northfork Racing Stable, Ideal Kiss shot out to the lead in 26.2, got a breather to the half in 55.1, increased the tempo to reach the ¾ in 1:22.4, then had his earplugs popped and bid goodbye to the field, streaking home in 26.4. The driver for Ideal Kiss was George Napolitano Jr., who is on as hot a driving streak as can be imagined. This victory was his sixth of the night, giving him 13 at Pocono the last two Saturdays, and 23 over the last five cards at The Downs. In his last four appearances at Harrah's Philly, George has visited Victory Lane 15 times, for 38 successes since a week ago Friday. One of the best cards of the year will take place at The Downs on Sunday night, with the mountain track hosting a $1.5 extravaganza hosting four $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for three-year-olds, their attendant consolations, and three $100,000 Great Northeast Open Series Championships, to be conducted at 1¼ miles, one each for open pacers, open trotters, and pacing mares. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - It's safe to predict that Rodeo Romeo, the leading pointwinner in the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) in the open pacers division, will not get as rough a trip as he did in his last start when he begins from the rail in a $30,000 GNOS divisional event Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Rodeo Romeo, who is featured in this month's edition of Hoof Beats as a horse using recently-developed technology to keep him in consistent peak form, had no chance to show that form in the Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga last time, parked three-wide past the quarter on the half-mile track and then two-wide throughout, ample excuse to tire. The Chris Ryder-trained pacer will be handled by George Napolitano Jr., who had his pick of the three morning line favorites and chose Rodeo Romeo, is quoted at 4-1, and could well be both an early and a late factor. The morning line favorite in the GNOS is Split The House, winner of the Franklin Consolation and then photoed out in his last two races, both in the Great Northeast series. Trainer Chris Oakes will have Tyler Buter, in hot driving form, handle Split The House from post three as the early 5-2 choice. The 2-3 horses in the GNOS pointstandings, had quite different results at the post draw. Bettor's Edge drew post two for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and was tabbed at 3-1; the horse just ahead of him in the current rankings, Rockeyed Optimist, drew the outside post eight and was set at 6-1, with Marcus Miller slated for sulky duty. The top pointwinners in GNOS action after the last August 25-26 prelims will be eligible to draw in for their $100,000 GNOS Championship event, to be held over 1 1/4 miles at Pocono on Sunday, September 2, the same night as the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for three-year-olds. From the PHHA/Harrah's & Pocono

CHESTER, PA - Rich And Miserable kept himself in position for a possible sweep of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for three-year-old trotting colts on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, running his record to three-for-three in the competition with a 1:54.1 lifetime best effort. Tyler Buter kept the Todd Buter trainee in the two-hole as favored pacesetter Max's Beast and first-over New Plymouth argued through a 27.3 third quarter, then dipped to the inside for the stretch and went by under confident handling. The crowd wasn't so confident about the winner, though, as he was coming off a 26-day layoff, so the double-now-triple winner returned a generous $8.60. The Explosive Matter gelding is owned by the Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs; they are the exact same partnership who owned 2016 Stallion Series 2YO champion Two AM - who just happened to win the very next race after Rich And Miserable's victory. Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer now faces a difficult decision with his Donato Hanover gelding Donatover, who overcame a first-up journey to tally in 1:55. The sophomore, owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC, had a first and a third in the Sire Stakes, one level up, earlier in the campaign, and for the fourth leg at The Meadows Smedshammer will have to decide which level to commit to - and whether he'll have enough points to make the series' respective Championships. Im Your Captain, after a third and fifth in Sire Stakes racing, enjoyed the drop to the Stallion Series, taking a new mark of 1:54 in a wire-to-wire victory. The win by the Muscle Hill colt, owned by the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Black Horse Racing, came in the middle of a "natural hat trick" for driver Andy Miller, and was the start of a consecutive double for trainer/wife Julie. ("Team Orange Crush" also had two seconds in the other Stallion Series legs.) The Muscle Hill gelding Spartan now has won three in a row and five of his last six after powering strongly the last 3/8 for driver Tim Tetrick to tie his personal best of 1:55.1. A Stallion Series leg winner earlier, Spartan and his victory may have cheered the day of trainer Anette Lorentzon, co-owner with Fayette AB and ACL Stuteri AB, whose family patriarch John Erik Magnusson recently passed away. Tomorrow the three-year-old trotting colts will be on display at Philly in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes - races whose impact includes both the horse who could make the Sire Stakes Championship and, more immediately, contemplation of entering The Hambletonian on August 4. Beal Championship winner Crystal Fashion is among the three fields of seven in the Friday feature. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Melodies Major has been nothing but spectacular thus far in his brief career and he continued to sparkle on Wednesday night (July 18) at Buffalo Raceway by toppling the 2-year-old pacing colt record with a 1:54.2 victory over Jack Nation in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for the freshman pacers.   Cruising to an easy 3-3/4 length win in his $53,500 division, Melodies Major ($2.10) crushed the old mark of 1:55.4 set in 2013 by He's Watching.   In the other NYSS leg, Bicorne Hanover went gate-to-wire in 1:56.3 and held off Jojo's Place by three-quarters of a length.   But is was Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) who stole the show. Driver Tyler Buter said after the race, "I drove him with two fingers. He's such a pleasure to drive. When I asked him to go, he just went faster."   Getting splits of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:26.0, Melodies Major never was asked for more in the lane as Buter tucked away the whip and enjoyed the view of the Buffalo Raceway home stretch. Despite being in cruise control, he still put up a :28.2 last panel. Jack Nation (Jim Morrill Jr.) took second while Covered Bridge (Mike Simons) nailed the show position.   Melodies Major is a perfect 3-for-3 in his brief career and has two track records now with the first coming at Monticello on July 4 with a 1:54.3 clocking. Owned by Martin Scharf and trained by Mark Ford, Melodies Major has put $80,000 in the bank already in 2018.   Bicorne Hanover (Kevin Cummings) took advantage of the inside draw and wired the field in a solid 1:56.3.   Leaving from the rail, Bicorne Hanover established fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:28.0. Jojo's Place (Jason Bartlett) made a valiant charge at the end but came up three quarters of a length short at the line. Bean (Scott Coulter) took third place.   Co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi, James Martin and William Switala, Bicorne Hanover (Art Major-Boldnbrash Hanover) is trained by Ron Burke. It was the first victory in three starts this season for Bicorne Hanover, now a winner of $44,110 in 2018.   Murrow Boy (Drew Monti) was the fastest in the $15,000 Excelsior A Series races with a 1:55.4 time, returning a healthy $17.00 to his backers. Mark Witha K ($6.20) took the other leg with a 1:59.0 victory for Morrill Jr.   Morrill Jr., who completed the evening with a driving triple, captured the $6,400 Excelsior B event with a 1:58.4 win aboard Baby Maker Hanover ($5.10)   Cummings had a double in the bike while trainer Russell Bratt notched a pair of victories.   Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a nine race program scheduled and the 2018 season will come to a close on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 10-race program set.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Future Life swept from sixth just past the ¾, steadily coming on three- and four-wide through the turn and in the stretch to catch Unbeamlieveable by a half-length while taking the $14,000 claiming handicap distaff pacing feature Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Unbeamlieveable, the 9-5 favorite and winner of four of her last five, was parked well past a hot 26.4 quarter by LK's Nancy Lee, who finally ceded the lead to the chalk, and Unbeamlieveable could get a bit of a rest to the 56.1 half. With Sew Psyched advancing first-over, and Cinder Rita and Future Life right behind her, Unbeamlieveable stepped it up to a 1:24.4 ¾. Early in the stretch it looked as if the pacesetter might've gotten away from her opposition, but Future Life continued her strong rally under Tyler Buter's guidance to take the decision in 1:53.4 while returning a $35.20 mutuel. Andrew Adamczyk trains and owns the victorious daughter of Life Sign, who certainly has been able to find the winners circle in her career - this was her 66th lifetime victory, boosting her earnings to $265.040. Tomorrow two-year-old pacing fillies get the spotlight at Pocono, with four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for this group. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER PA - A two-time divisional champion mare and a driver who is undefeated in his entire racing career dead-heated for the win in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, and came very close to the divisional world record for a trotting tie. Broadway Donna, tops in her class at two and three, was driven aggressively by Tyler Buter, spotting early then making a move after the 28 quarter to follow Lagerfeld, driven by Josert Fonseca, who had cleared to the lead in front of the stands. Broadway Donna went on to the lead before the half in 56.2, shook off the first-over bid of Fashion Creditor near the 1:25 ¾ pole, then braced for a stretch battle as Fonseca moved Lagerfeld outside for the dash to the wire. Broadway Donna held her ground staunchly even as the margin of advantage was eaten into by Lagerfeld with every step, and on the wire the pair could not be separated in 1:53.2. A check of what materials are available on this phenomenon showed a 2014 trotting dead heat in 1:53 between Crosbys Clam Bake and World Cup - also at Harrah's. Broadway Donna, a daughter of Donato Hanover, is now 19 for 35 in her career, with earnings of $1,297,823 for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC. Josert Foseca, now 3-for-3 lifetime, guided Lagerfeld, a son of Yankee Pride, as he equaled his mark and brought his bankroll to $718,400 for trainer Jimmy Takter and the ownership of Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. The $17,000 pacing co-feature saw Last Gunfighter circle wide off of cover on the far turn, then stride away in the lane to record a victory in 1:52 over a track that had been downgraded to "sloppy." Vinnie Ginsburg handled the son of Rocknroll Hanover as he won impressively for trainer Jake Leamon and owners David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio. From the PHHA/Chester's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - Four $15,000 events for the "rising younger set" were the features on a Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Both of the pacing events were restricted to males. In the first, Pembroke Joey proved most photogenic in a three-way picture as he lowered his mark to 1:53. Driver Tyler Buter got the Roll With Joe gelding into the pocket, then sat a two-hole trip behind pacesetting His Excellence. In a long stretch battle, Pembroke Joey used the Pocono Pike and got a nose up very late; the same margin separated second-place His Excellence over David Himself, who gained ground inside the winner and just missed taking it all deep in the Pike. Mark Ford conditions the winner and co-owns him with Bill Varney. The second pacing event's contentiousness was reflected in the fact that the favorite in the eight-horse field was 7-2, and the finish was also close, with three in the picture at the wire. Taking the major portion of the purse was the Western Ideal gelding Winston, equaling his mark of 1:52.1 for driver Tom Jackson, trainer John Butenschoen and Crawford Farms Racing. Jackson worked out a pocket trip with the winner, took the lead in the Pocono Pike midstretch, then withstood a hard-charging Terror Atthe Beach by a nose, with first-over Instructor only a neck off the top two. One of the trotting headliners saw the Federal Flex mare Passthecrownaround go a big mile on the engine after two early moves, ringing up a new mark of 1:55.4. George Napolitano Jr. kept his charge on the bit throughout, and the pair was 1¾ lengths clear on the money for trainer Mike Watson and owner Clifford Grundy. In the second trot, sister-in-law and brother-in-law trainers were 1-2, as the Cantab Hall gelding Haveitalltogether, trained by Julie Miller, caught the Erv Miller pupil Keystone Apache to win going away while tying his lifetime best of 1:55.1. Driver Eric Carlson, who had three wins on the night, kept Haveitalltogether well-placed throughout the mile, and he was strongest to the line for the Pinske Stable, the Andy Miller Stable Inc., Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Eddie Gran. Top event for the older set was a $14,000 pace for mares, taken by the Always A Virgin mare Itty Bitty, who equaled her lifetime mark of 1:51.1. Driver Simon Allard got the winner of $126,367 away nicely from post eight to tuck third, pulled her out at headstretch, and took the measure of pacesetting Juxta Cowgirl by a neck for trainer Andrew Harris and owners Evan Katz, J. Robert Darrow, and A Harris Racing LLC. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

This past week brought the hottest temperatures of the year to Northeastern Pennsylvania. Needless to say, that also meant that the harness racing was faster than it has been all season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. It seemed like each new race brought another career-best mile. In addition, the fastest pacing time of 2018 was matched, while a new fastest trotting time of the meet was laid down as well. Those are some of the accomplishments that were in the running on a competitive week for the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: PA'S CORN SQUEEZIN It isn't often that we get shippers from California at Pocono, so this six-year-old mare was a bit of an anomaly right from the start. Her performance since arriving is the true reason that she stands out. Pa's Corn Squeezin immediately began dominating the distaff claiming pacers upon her arrival, winning her first four races. She picked up wins for three different barns during that streak, with the latest of those victories on May 21 coming in a career-best 1:52. On Monday night, Pa's Corn Squeezin faced a $12,500 to $15,000 claiming handicap group from a #8 post in a field of nine in her first start under the guidance of trainer Jake Huff. She went off as the 7-5 second choice and made the lead around the first turn, but it took some effort to get by race favorite Macho Chick. She then had to deal with a persistent first-over charge from LK's Nancy Lee. All of that meant that the fractions were quite burdensome, certainly faster than any she'd had to deal with in her winning streak. By the home stretch, Pa's Corn Squeezin had shaken both Macho Chick and LK's Nancy Lee but was getting leg-weary. 40-1 long shot Dilly Dali, on the other hand, had stayed back from the early speed and was rallying heartily. Driver George Napolitano Jr. asked Pa's Corn Squeezin for just a little bit more in the final strides, and she held off Dilly Dali by a head in 1:53.1. It was her fifth consecutive win since coming from the West Coast wasn't her fastest, but it just might have been her gutsiest. Other top pacers this week include: Lawrencetown Beach (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), whose condition victory on Saturday night came in a career-best 1:49, which also matched the fastest time of the 2018 meet at Pocono; Nocturnal Beach (Yannick Gingras, Gareth Dowse), who moved up the condition ladder to win his second straight on Saturday night, doing so in a new career mark of 1:49.1; and Major Trick (George Napolitano Jr., Hunter Oakes), who outpaced a claiming handicap group on Saturday night for his third straight win and did it in a career-best 1:50.2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: EVALUATE The racing in the early part of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit has been especially spicy, and Saturday night's three divisions for three-year-old colts and geldings on the trot was no different. In the very first split of the night, the even-money favorite was Captain Morgan, who had won his first two starts of the year, including a Sire Stakes at The Meadows in convincing fashion. Among the horses that Captain Morgan beat in that race at The Meadows was Evaluate, who closed well but came up short in second in what was his first start of the year. On Saturday night, Evaluate left from post position #1 in a seven-horse field as a 7-2 second choice, with the favorite Captain Morgan starting right to his outside in the #2 post. Once again Captain Morgan fired out to the early lead. The difference this time around was that Evaluate was able to stay a bit closer early in the race, so that when he moved first-over for driver Corey Callahan on the back-stretch, he didn't have nearly as far to come to corral the pacesetter. The fractions were ripping throughout the mile as Captain Morgan tried to shake Evaluate, the colt from the Marcus Melander barn. But Evaluate stayed after it despite getting parked around the final turn, and he eventually surged past the favorite late. He ended up winning by 1 ¼ lengths and put up a sizzling winning time of 1:51.4 in the process. That was easily his fastest trotting time of his young career and set the mark for the fastest in the 2018 meet to date at Pocono. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Whats The Word (Corey Callahan, Janice Connor), who won a Sire Stakes race on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53.2 to give him two straight in the Sire Stakes and three in a row overall, with two of those victories coming at Pocono; Fraser Ridge (George Napolitano Jr., Christopher Beaver), who handled a condition trotting group on Saturday night in a career-best 1:52.1; and Rich And Miserable (Tyler Buter, Todd Buter), who followed up a Stallion Series win at The Meadows with one at Pocono on Sunday night, the latter coming in a career-best 1:55 to match the fastest Stallion Series split of the night. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: HALLIE'S COMET In a condition pace on Sunday night, this Comet came rallying through the night sky with Tom Jackson in the bike for the upset win at 19-1, paying off $40.40 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: TYLER BUTER Buter has been making the most of limited driving opportunities, including on Sunday night when he led the entire Pocono driving community with three victories. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ANETTE LORENTZON Lorentzon sent out two trotters on Sunday night and they both came back with big wins: Spartan in a Stallion Series race for three-year-olds and Perfect Stick in a $17,500 condition. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs  

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      

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 29, 2016 - Jonsie Jones and harness racing driver Tyler Buter was up at the wire Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. From the outset, the distaffers threw it down in a hotly-contested affair. Triple millionairess Anndrovette (Jordan Stratton), as the 13-10 favorite, was caught three-wide leaving. She eventually worked around Know it All (Eric Abbatiello), making the lead after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. It was a :56.4 intermission before Sheeza Shark N (Brent Holland), who closed an early hole, tried it first-up from fourth. That one pestered the leader in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters, with Secrets Out N (George Brennan) second-up and Jonsie Jones-from post position No. 6-operating from third-over. Anndrovette owned the slimmest of leads into the lane, but then an impromptu convention broke out. The ladies all came together before 'Jonsie' found the wire first in 1:53.1. She whipped Secrets Out N by a head, with a wide-side Mach it a Par (Brian Sears) charging from last to grab third. Anndrovette was fourth-beaten a neck for the big check-with Sheeza Shark N getting the final pay envelope. The five cashers were separated by a half-length, while the entire octet was two lengths front-to-back at the finish. For fourth choice Jonsie Jones, a 9-year-old daughter of Tulane owned by Lrl Racing and trained by Amber Buter, it was her eighth win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $112, the triple returned $734 and the superfecta paid $1,739. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 23, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway's pair of Saturday night $45,000 co-featured harness racing Open Handicaps were annexed by Undercover Strike (Tyler Buter, $43.60) and Sapphire City (Brent Holland, $8). Undercover Strike, from post position No. 5 in the weekly featured trot, closed from third-over in the lane to pick off a solid, first-over Shake it Cerry (Dan Dube) by a half-length in 1:54.1. Invading Muscle Up the Goal (Brian Sears) led through early stations of :27.2 and :56.3 before 'Cerry' upended him. She owned a length lead into the lane, only to be nailed late. Resolve (Ake Svanstedt), in his first local start since the 2014 Yonkers Trot, was third. It wasn't the smoothest of trips for the 3-5 choice. Assigned outside his six rivals, he floated from the gate, but found no seat and took back to last. Out and moving by the half, he wound up second-over behind Shake it Cerry, who left the cones right at the same time. Resolve wound up gapping the lass, then flattening late to be beaten two lengths, with E R Ellie (Larry Stalbaum) and Lady's Dude (George Brennan) rounding out the payees. For sixth choice Undercover Strike, an 8-year-old Striking Sahbra gelding owned by Gerard Stuchbury and trained by Tom Milici, it was his ninth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $164, with the triple returning $622. The week's featured pace saw Sapphire City, put in play from post No. 6, stalk Great Vintage (Dube). After subsections of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.1, Great Vintage was about to wear out his welcome. Before he did, he towed Sapphire City to the passing lane, which he used to whip a second-over, slight 2-1 choice Keystone Velocity (Sears) by a nose in 1:52.2. Polak A (Andy Miller) was a credible, first-up third off the layoff, with Dream Out Loud N (Buter) and UF Rockin' Dragon (Eric Abbatiello) settling for the remainder. For second choice Sapphire City, an 8-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Centaur Stables and Jordan Sklut, he's now 5-for-20 this season (50 career wins). The exacta paid $38.40, the triple returned $153 and the superfecta paid $852. Frank Drucker

WILKES-BARRE PA - Iwillmakeyousaywow parlayed a pocket trip into a new lifetime mark of 1:51 in the fastest of three $15,000 divisions of the Bobby Weiss Series for male pacers Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while in the distaff section, also with three cuts, Candy Corn Hanover proved most photogenic - barely -- to take her division and keep her Weiss and career records unblemished after three starts.   Last week Iwillmakeyousaywow, a first week Weiss winner, drew post eight against Midnight Lightning and saw that foe rush by late for a 1:51 decision and two straight Weiss wins. This week the Manhardt gelding Iwillmakeyousaywow, who had the 4-5* mutuel confidence of the wagerers, parlayed a draw inside of "Lightning" into a pocket trip behind that one, snapped out nearing headstretch, and gained into 55.1 - 27.2 back numbers to won by a half-length over a late-closing Maxdaddy Blue Chip, with Midnight Lightning holding for third.   Iwillmakeyousaywow, a four-year-old Todd Buter trainee, now has four wins in 2016 and 15 in a career which saw him the Michigan program's champion at two and three. Tyler Buter handled sulky duties behind the talented pacer, whom he co-owns with Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Lynette Buter, and James Marion.   The other two divisions carried the common themes of driver Scott Zeron, sire Bettor's Delight, and the winners rallying from the pocket as the second choice to take a new lifetime mark. First to fit that script was the four-year-old gelding Perfect Bet, who just caught pacesetting favored Sentencing Memo by the shortest possible margin in 1:51.2. Perfect Bet made his first Weiss start a winning one for trainer Jeffrey Smith and owner Aimee Scheid.   In the other cut, Options Are Adream entered the race perfect in eight career starts, the last two in Weiss competition, but the "Dream" was shattered early when the horse made a break before the start and was five lengths off the last horse at the word "go."   Zeron had sent the sophomore gelding Bettor Memories, a first leg Weiss winner, to the early lead, then let Options Are Adream complete a daring last-to-first second quarter move to sit the pocket behind a horse who had used a tremendous amount of energy. When tipped out of the two-hole nearing headstretch, Bettor Memories was full of pace and lowered his mark a tick to 1:51.4 for trainer Nifty Norman and owner Gus Dovi. Options Are Adream tired to fourth.   On the distaff side, Candy Corn Hanover made it 3-for-3, in both Weiss Series action and in her career, but the pocket rocket almost got defused by Southwind Tango, who set the pace and just missed beating the victorious Dragon Again filly by a nose in 1:53.4. Anthony Napolitano guided the 1-5 favorite "Candy Corn" to victory for trainer Travis Alexander and the Fiddler's Creek Stables. (For the other side of the Anthony Napolitano mutuel coin, read on.)   American Image had been third, then second in her first two Weiss starts, and carried the logical progession through to a new lifetime mark of 1:52.3 in taking her division, though not all of the bettors noticed the "logical progession" as she was dismissed at 14-1 odds. Sitting third on the rail most of the way, the Rockin Image filly got room in the famed Pocono Pike to register a neck tally for the father/son team of driver Marcus and trainer Erv Miller, and her owners: Paymaq Racing, George Golemes, Red Barn Stable, and Louis Willinger.   "Miller" and "longshot" were also the watchwords in the third female Weiss action; this time it was driver Brett Miller and 9-1 shot She Can Cruise circling from second-over to just catch pacesetting favorite Black Widow Baby in the shadow of the wire to take a maiden mark of 1:54.2. Chris Ryder conditions the Yankee Cruiser filly for owners Philip and Dana Steinberg.   In sum, the Weiss Series was quite a spectacle Sunday at Pocono - the winning margins in the six races were nose / nose / neck / 1¼ lengths / ½ length / head.   Majo Just Do It came from sixth at the stretch call in the second race this evening and just did it to the wire and the winners circle, taking a neck decision while paying the longest dividend for a $2 win bet here this year, $197.00. It's not often you get 97-1 odds on the second-leading driver at your track, but The Downs' scattered faithful received that return for backing Anthony Napolitano, second behind his brother George here and also second in wins at The Meadowlands.   Monday's action, starting at 6:30 p.m., will be highlighted by the second round preliminary of the Weiss Series for trotting males, with four $15,000 divisions set to go.   From the PHHA

Iwillmakeyousaywow lived up to his name, winning one of five $15,000 divisions of the first round of the Bobby Weiss Series for 3-4YO pacing males in 1:51.4 during the first Sunday harness racing card of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   How does a horse record his 14th career win on March 29 in a series whose entry condition is "non-winners of two pari-mutuel races life as of January 1"? You do it primarily by being a tough horse on the Michigan Fair Circuit at two and three, which Iwillmakeyousaywow was, winning his championship event both seasons without anybody cashing a winning ticket on him through his sophomore final. The son of Manhardt, now four, came east and showed a 1:54 tally at Yonkers, but Sunday he lowered his lifetime mark by over two seconds, rattling off splits of 26.1, 55, and 1:23.1 despite the temperature being one degree above freezing in winning by 8 1/2 lengths for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and owner Kelly Goodwin and Libby Myers.   Options Are Adream visited the winner's circle for the seventh time in his life after a 1:52.1 mile in another cut, but the answer to "How'd he do that given the series conditions?" is easier - he was unraced at two, but this year at three he is making up for lost time. The altered son of If I Can Dream had won six in a row at Dover, but wasn't accorded favoritism upon coming to the Downs, going off as the 2-1 second choice to 7-5 chalk Rollaroundtheworld, who had won his only previous start in 1:52.3 at The Meadowlands. Something had to give in the battle of the two undefeated horses, and Options Are Adream used a 27.1 third quarter to brush to the lead and then fend off his main foe by a half-length for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Richard Lewis, and owners David Banks and Layfield Horses LLC.   In another highly-anticipated battle, the Bettor's Delight sophomore gelding Bettor Memories, coming off a 1:52 Meadowlands win, got the early jump on recent 1:52.4 Downs winner Settlemoir after leaving from a better post, and then kept him at bay in a 56.1 back half to win by 1¾ lengths in 1:52.4. Scott Zeron sulky sat for trainer Nifty Norman and owner Gus Dovi.   The Sportswriter four-year-old gelding Maxdaddy Blue Chip won a qualifier at Philadelphia on Tuesday, and that was a winning formula to have him ready for his seasonal bow five days later, as he brushed to the lead early then held off favored Sentencing Memo in 1:52.2 for driver Brett Miller, trainer Keith Armer, and the Fred Monteleone Stable LLC.   Midnight Lightning, coming off three checkgetting efforts in the Sagamore Hills Series at Yonkers, didn't let a first-over trip bother him as he won easily in the last cut for males in 1:52.2. Matt Kakaley handled driving duties behind the four-year-old Camluck gelding for trainer Shaun Vallee, who is also co-owner with D P V Racing Stable.   There were also four $15,000 first prelim events for the female Weiss counterparts, and driver David Miller came out of the box hot, winning the first two divisions - one with 24-1 shot, and the other a 2-5 favorite.   In the first race of the night, Miller posted the big upset with Some Fancy Filly, proving the strongest in the last eighth to take a maiden mark of 1:53.2 by a half length over the favored Mystery Writer. Speaking of mysteries, how a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of a two-year-old divisional champion (Fancy Filly), trained by the only conditioner to guide a baby pacing filly to Horse of the Year honors (Nancy Johansson with JK She'salady) could pay $50, even in her sophomore seasonal bow, is puzzling, but her backers are happy with their return, and the winner's owners, Courant A B, now have a filly pacing back to her pedigree.   Miller took the next cut in a more conventional manner, sending the Bettor's Delight filly Southwind Tango to the lead in the second quarter and rolling home with the chalk from there to take a race mark of 1:54.4. Trainer Chris Ryder saw his own filly make a satisfying 2016 debut.   A first-time starter also reported home in 1:53.2 in upset fashion in another Weiss female cut, as the Dragon Again filly Candy Corn Hanover proved a sweet treat to her scattered 15-1 backers, rallying to win by a nose over favored Albany Girl for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Travis Alexander, and the Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC.   The final female cut saw favored Winners Over get sire Bettor's Delight a third siring credit in Weiss competition Sunday, being the "last horse to the top" at the 3/8 and then fending off a good challenge by Pandaman Sea in the last 1/8 to lower her speed badge to 1:53.4. Mike Simons guided the victorious filly for trainer Michael Sinclair and owner Brianne Good, and hinted she may eventually wind up in the lofty class whose name she bears.   ***   On Tuesday the female trotters will take to the track for their first Weiss Series action, while six days later their male counterparts will race their first Weiss preliminary on the track's inaugural Monday card of the season.   Pocono / PHHA

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 30, 2016 - A pocketed Somebody AS (Jordan Stratton, $13.40) and a down-the-road Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter, $5.40) earned the glory Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $32,000 Open Handicaps. The weekly featured trot saw Somebody AS from assigned post position No.3 watched invading Major Athens (George Brennan) led the way. The slight 2-1 choice threw down the anvil (:28.1, :57.2, 1:26), taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Red Hot Herbie (Brian Sears), who found an early three-hole, loomed at the leader in and out of the final turn, but flattened. Somebody AS though, was waiting for his shot. He ducked inside and bested a rallying Crazshana (Jason Bartlett) by a neck in 1:54.4, fastest local mile of the season. Red Hot Herbie settled for third, with Major Athens Zooming (Buter) completed the cashers. For third choice Somebody AS, a 7-year-old Striking Sahbra gelding trained by Anette Lorentzon for co-owners ACL Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson, it was his first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $102.50, with the triple returning $703. The week's pacing feature had 17-10 choice "Phil" leave from post No. 5, steal away with a cheap (:28.0, 57.4) half. From there, the pursuers had no shot, with a :55.4 back portion (1:25.4; 1:53.3). The final margin was a length-and-three-quarters over a good effort from Melmerby Beach (Bartlett), with Texas Terror N (Matt Kakaley), Atta Boy Dan (Brennan) and Hugh Hefner N (Stratton) settling for the remainder. For Phil Your Boots, a 6-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding trained by Andrew Harris for owner Louis Frascella, he's now 2-for-3 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $12.60, the triple returning $129.50 and the superfecta paid $949. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night, with a dozen races and a first post of 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 9, 2016 - Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter, $7.40) took it to the house Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $24,000 Preferred Handicap Pace. Sent immediately to work from post position No. 5, Phil Your Boots worked around pole-sitting Cyclone Kiwi N (Jason Bartlett) and was on his way. He then led the way (:27.2; :56.1, 1:24.3, 1:52.3), with 11-10 favorite Aslan (Brian Sears) trying it first-up from third. "Phil" owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then held off Aslan by a length-and-three-quarters. Third went to Cyclone Kiwi N, with Drunken Desire A (Matt Kakaley) and Fameous Western (George Brennan) showing belated interest for the final pay envelopes. For second choice Phil Your Boots, a now-6-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding owned by Louis Frascella and trained by Andrew Harris, he won his seasonal debut. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $42.20. The Raceway's season continues with a "French-centric" Sunday afternoon (first post 12:10 PM), along with Monday (7:10 PM) and Tuesday (1 PM). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 23, 2015 - Favored Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter, $5.30) was put to work early and in hand late Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play at the outset from post position No. 5, Jonsie Jones made the first lead before yielding to Inittowinafortune (George Brennan). The one, in turn, gave way to Justhaven'tmetuyet (Jason Bartlett) right at the :27.2 opening quarter-mile,. Wanting nothing to do with a three-hole, "Jonsie" made her second advance, reclaimed the baton soon after and rating a :56.4 intermission. Envious Hanover (Brian Sears) then moved from fourth, making only minimal impact toward a 1:25.1 three-quarters. Jonsie Jones owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then whipped a closing Sell a Bit (Jordan Stratton) by a length in 1:54 Third went to Justhaven'tmetuyet, with Sensationalgabby A (Dan Dube) and rank outsider Strings (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. For Jonsie Jones, an 8-year-old daughter of Tulane co-owned by LRL Racing and trained by Amber Buter, it was her ninth win in 34 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $46.40, with the triple returning $263. YONKERS' SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $4,100 CARRYOVER YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 23, 2015--A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday night's (October 24) Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover of $4,102.18. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker

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