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After facing stout pressure in a :27.0 third quarter, Fireyourguns ($4.70) held sway in the stretch to take the featured $14,000 Open Pace on Sunday (July 13) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding wasted no time finding the top spot, clearing Bet On the Law (Tyler Buter) and Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on the first turn. After rating a :57.0 half-mile, Fireyourguns was pushed along up the backstretch by Bet On the Law, who vacated the pocket with three-eighths to go. He sustained his push through the far turn, forcing a three-quarter split of 1:24.0, but Fireyourguns was up for the task, digging in the whole way to protect his lead. He prevailed by a half-length in 1:53.0, holding off a stand-side charge from Prairie Jaguar, who angled three-wide off the late duel to take second. Bet On the Law stayed on for third.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. The win aboard Fireyourguns was one of three on the day for driver Aaron Byron, who also teamed up with Cool Like Fire (1:55.4) and 46-1 longshot winner P H Thunder (1:56.2).   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers on the day with a grand slam, turning in victorious efforts with Hurricane Howard (1:54.4), Oh My Joepa (1:55.0), Jolly Lester (1:55.2), and Western Trademark (1:55.0).   Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Friday, July 18, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Dancin Yankee (Yankee Cruiser - Dancewiththebest) returned to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs after his victory in the Invitational Pace on Sun Stakes Saturday, and made another trip to the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner's Circle. The 6-Year-Old, trained by Amber Buter and driven by Tyler Buter, left from post 7, taking the lead just past the quarter, and never looked back. With fractions of 26.4; 54.4; and 122.3, Dancin Yankee tripped the timer in 1:49 for the Preferred Handicap, winning by 1 ¾ lengths. Abelard Hanover finished 2nd; followed by Digital Z Tam, 3rd. The win is the 12th this season in 19 starts for Dancin Yankee, who paid $3 to win, and topped an Exacta of $14.80. He now has earnings of nearly $300,000 this season. In a Condition Event earlier in the card, Scott Rocks (Rocknroll Hanover - Plant A Kiss) equaled the National season's mark for 4-year-old Pacing Geldings on a 5/8 mile track with a 1:48.3 mile. Racing resumes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday with a Post Time of 6:30pm. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs  

After controlling the terms throughout, War Cry Hall ($3.80) gave everything he had in the final hundred yards to prevail in Sunday (July 6) afternoon's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall wasted no time achieving the lead, sprinting clear of Marion Mayflower (Aaron Byron) and maintaining a steady yet strong pace through a :56.3 half mile. On the backstretch, In Your Room (Mike Simons) commenced a first-over rally, pushing War Cry Hall to his limit on the far turn. Through the stretch, Howard Parker called upon War Cry Hall for every last ounce of energy, and the favorite did not disappoint, digging in to stave off not only the persistent In Your Room, but a belated stand-side charge from Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter), who rallied strongly to take second.   Jim Raymer trains War Cry Hall for the Harbor Racing Stable, LLC.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (July 7), with the first of 11 races on the special weeknight card scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media  

WILKES-BARRE PA -- $330,800 worth of Pennsylvania All-Stars action for locally-sired harness racing three-year-olds highlighted the holiday weekend action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday, with pacers of both sexes contesting four divisions and the trotting colts matched up for three splits four weeks before the Hambletonian. TROTTING COLTS Il Sogno’s Dream had a chartline with more bubbles than a kid’s bathtub, but he nevertheless overcame the brutal trip to win by 7¾ lengths in the fastest division for the diamondgaiters, 1:54.1.The son of Cantab Hall was handled by North America’s leading driver, Aaron Merriman, and the performance of the Chris Beaver-trained 3YO showed why he ventured east from his Meadows-Northfield base by winning impressively for a pair of Manes (Bill and Dan) and a pair of Christophers  (Leonard and Randy; well, three if you count trainer Beaver). Madewell Hanover seems to be peaking at an opportune time for owner/trainer/driver Chris Ryder, as the Yankee Glide gelding moved to the lead in front of the stands and never looked back, holding early leader Amped Up Hanover safe by half a length in 1:55.1, with successive back splits of 28.2. The Explosive Matter gelding Outburst burst to the lead past the quarter and never looked back again in winning his division in 1:54.4, sporting identical 57.2 halves. The Noel Daley-trained sophomore was 5½ lengths ahead at the finish for driver Andrew McCarthy, coming off his 1000th career win earlier in the week, and owners Daley, Adam Victor & Son Stable LLC, Kemppi Stables Ov Inc., and Mirva Bogucki. PACING COLTS Local sulky speed specialist George Napolitano Jr. got the Allamerican Native colt Mattamerican to the front past the quarter despite the outside post seven in his cut, and then threw a 26.2 third quarter to open up a lead he would never surrender in a 1:49.4 victory. Norm Parker conditions Mattamerican for owner/breeder Robert Key. The McArdle colt Sean Liam Q saw eight months pass between his first and second racetrack victory, but he accomplished his third just four days later in winning a four-horse blanket finish in 1:50.1. The 16-1 shot had the right local driver for the upset, as “King” George Anthony has dubbed Andrew McCarthy “The King Of The Longshots,” and McCarthy had just the right timing to get Sean Liam Q home first for trainer Ross Croghan and his owners and breeders, Steve Stewart, Alan Quinn, and Frank Cannon. At Press Time was knocked down to the minimum $2.10 win payout and did not disappoint, the Western Terror colt winning by 4 ½ lengths in 1:50.1 for driver Matt Kakaley and some folks you may not have heard from for a while – trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The royally-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-Bunny Lake) colt Bondi Hanover led at every pole, coming home in 27.1 to withstand Lord Of Misrule by a head in 1:50.4. Aaron Merriman added to his win total by guiding the winner for trainer Tony Alagna and the W Springtime Racing Stable, who campaigned Bunny Lake. PACING FILLIES Lynch Pace Final winner Fancy Desire returned to the site of her big stakes victory seven days previous, and the Real Desire filly triumphed again, but Lynch elim winner Cinamony narrowed in on the pacesetting winner late to miss by just a neck in the 1:50.2 mile. Kevin Carr handles the training of the fast-emerging star for owner Robert DiNozzi, with George Napolitano Jr. again in Fancy Desire’s sulky. The Well Said filly Take That Hanover needed very bit of a 27.1 last quarter to ward off first-over Marathon Day by a neck in 1:49.4. Tyler Buter returned to Victory Lane with Take That Hanover for trainer Casie Coleman and the Jack Darling Stables LTD. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. has a special knack for getting horses home first from seemingly-impossible spots, and he rallied Lucy’s Pearl, dead last at the half, to a ¾-length triumph over favored Also Encouraging in 1:50.1. Another daughter of Well Said, Lucy’s Pearl is a rare pacing foray for the “Trotting Guru,” trainer Ron Gurfein, who also shares ownership with Elizabeth Novak.  Stung past a 25.4 opener by main foe Seashell Hanover, the Somebeachsomewhere filly Bahama Blue made the lead and still had enough in the lane to hold off that rival by a length in 1:51. The familiar local team of driver Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes added another victory to their impressive stats column for owners Susan Oakes, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC. ,Jennifer Starr

Before a healthy Independence Day crowd, Antigua Hanover ($4.40) parried a late charge from Solid Queen to take the Friday (July 4) distaff feature at Tioga Downs.   The $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 pace for fillies and mares featured a field of six, with Ideal Helen (John Cummings, Jr.) dictating the pace early after clearing from the extreme outside. After rating a :56.2 half mile, Brandon Simpson advanced first-over with 6-5 favorite Antigua Hanover. Midway up the backstretch, the four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare pushed clear of Ideal Helen, carrying Sinspirational (Aaron Byron) into second through a 1:24.3 three-quarter split. While edging clear by 1-3/4 lengths off the far turn, Antigua Hanover soon found herself in the sights of Solid Queen (Corey Braden), who rallied late off cover, but only could close to within a half length of Antigua Hanover's 1:53.3 victory.   V'la Faire (Mike Merton), also a beneficiary of late live cover, sustained a late bid to take third.   Amber Buter trains Antigua Hanover for Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter.   Racing resumes at Tioga with a Sunday (July 6) afternoon program. Post time for the 10-race card is slated for 1:30 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Dancin Yankee wins $100,000 Pace

WILKES-BARRE PA - One of the best evenings of the North American harness racing season will take place this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as a constellation of stars will be after big money on the $2,271,000 Sun Stakes Saturday card. Three of the races carry purses of $500,000: the Ben Franklin Pace for free-for-allers; the Earl Beal Trot for 3YO males; and the Max C. Hempt Pace, also for 3YO males. The night will also feature the $300,000 James Lynch Pace for 3YO fillies; horses racing in these four Championship events earned their spots by their high finishes in elimination races this past Saturday, on the fastest card in harness racing history, with an average winning time of 1:49.2. In addition, there will be two $100,000 Invitationals, one on each gait, and consolation races for the three-year-old pacers who did not earn spots in Saturday's Championships. Here's a short look at the four "main events," plus the two Invitationals: FRANKLIN FINAL Last week's Franklin eliminations produced two miles in 1:48 or better: 29-1 shot Domethatagain upset defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous in 1:48 in one cut, while Sweet Lou, the FFAer with the hottest current form, won the other event a tick faster. And that group does not even mention Foiled Again, the richest harness horse of all-time at $6.25M, who was fourth after the death-like "tuck-then-first-over" trip. Foiled Again got the most-inward draw of all the horses mentioned here, starting from post three for Yannick Gingras. Sweet Lou starts to his immediate right for Ron Pierce, while Domethatagain (driver Simon Allard) moves from post one, which was key to his shocker last week, to post five - which is merely the most winning post at Pocono. Captaintreacherous is behind the 8-ball in the Franklin field, starting one from the outside in the field of nine for driver Tim Tetrick - but remember that "The Captain" overcame post nine last year in heroically winning the Hempt Final. BEAL FINAL The Franklin Final is race 11 on the 16-race card Saturday; the event after that matches the Hambletonian hopefuls together. And if anyone asks you who you might like in here, you can take the easy way out and say "Jimmy Takter," as the Hall of Fame trainer sent out both Beal elim winners, Nuncio (1:52.2) and Father Patrick (1:52.4), both notching their fourth victories in an unbeaten 2014. Something will have to give there on Saturday (barring a dead heat), and on post position Nuncio would seem to have a decided edge, starting one from the inside in post two for driver John Campbell, while his stablemate Father Patrick drew one from the outside in the field of nine, post eight, for driver Yannick Gingras. But Takter has said right along that he thinks Father Patrick could be "one of the greatest trotters of this era," and with 14 wins in 15 starts, it's hard to disagree with him. (The one horse to beat him, though? Nuncio!) HEMPT FINAL Race 10 gathers together the three-year-old male pacers in the Hempt. This division is often called the "glamour division" of the sport (Captaintreacherous used it as a springboard to be the only North American harness horse to earn $2 million during 2013), but throughout much of last year and all of this so far, it has been a division looking for a leader to emerge - something that might happen in the Hempt. Most impressive in most eyes in the Hempt elims last week was McWicked, who will be starting from post three for driver David Miller. McWicked was used hard during his elim, yet still paced home in hand in 1:48, and a repeat performance might vault him to the top of this group. Sure to be in the argument for supremacy are the other two Hempt elim victors, At Press Time (1:48.2 last week, post five in this field of nine for driver Yannick Gingras) and All Bets Off (1:48.3, post eight, Matt Kakaley). LYNCH FINAL This group, taking to the track in race 9, is another still searching for its 2014 standardbearer. Up until last week, the obvious choice seemed to be Uffizi Hanover (post one, driver David Miller), who won her Breeders Crown championship last year and recently swept the Fan Hanover Stake in Ontario. But as the favorite last week, Uffizi Hanover was caught late by Cinamony (post six, Corey Callahan), and in the slowest of the three elims to boot - 1:50.3. The other two eliminations were clocked in 1:49, only a fifth of a second off the divisional world record set by I Luv The Nitelife at Pocono, and both Fancy Desire (post four, George Napolitano Jr.) and Weeper (post eight, Dave Palone) are sure to put in their bids for the section's current crown in the Lynch. SUN INVITATIONAL TROT The story here in race eight is Sebastian K S, undefeated in three starts in this country as his formerly Swedish-based trainer Ake Svanstedt transferred his stable to North America over the winter. With wins in 1:50.1, 1:50.2, and 1:50.3 and being one of the most physically-imposing trotters of recent years in the eyes of many followers, Sebastian K S will be the horse to beat, even though he will start from the outside in the field of seven for Svanstedt, also his driver. Not to go down without a fight is Market Share, the leader of his class the last two years, and the holder of the 1:50.2 record for fastest mile ever trotted on a 5/8-mile track, which he accomplished at Harrah's Philadelphia a month ago. With his main rival outside, and drawing post three for driver Tim Tetrick, Market Share may be ready to take on the current King. USTA INVITATIONAL PACE When the Franklin drew only 14 entrants and nine were to go through to the final, a consolation event was not to be in the cards, so Pocono, led by Director of Racing Rick Kane, scheduled this $100,000 contest for horses who did not make the Franklin final or were not entered last week. The entire field gathered for Saturday's race 7 has had its moments of glory, but the one of the latest and perhaps greatest one came from Dancin Yankee (post eight, driver Tyler Buter), who at Pocono on May 17 won in 1:47.2 - which put his name next to that of Pet Rock as the authors of the fastest miles ever on a five-eighth mile track. Considering that the average lifetime mark of this field of nine is 1:48.2, Dancin Yankee will have to work hard from his outer draw if he is to revisit Pocono's winners circle. Post time for the $2.2+M Sun Stakes Saturday 16-race card at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will be 6:30 p.m. No true fan of harness racing will want to miss this exciting, contentious racing spectacle. From the PHHA, for Pocono Downs

The New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies were the feature events on a special 15-race program of racing at Tioga Downs on Monday night. The Sire Stakes races were carded as the seventh and ninth races on the program and both offered purses of $62,400.   The first division was won by Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers), who moved past the early pacesetter, Glowngold, past the half-mile mark and actually built a decent lead entering the final eighth of a mile.   Avalicious (Mark MacDonald) did have to hold off a closing charge from Annie's List (Tyler Buter), who followed the cover of Avalicious on the second turn as she worked her way into the lead. However, Annie's List was unable to keep pace with Avalicious, which turned out to be the deciding factor, as she could only manage a second-place finish.   The fractional times for the mile were 28.2 for the quarter, 58.4 for the half, 1:26.2 for three-quarters and a final time of 1:56.   The complete order of finish for the first division was: Avalicious, Annie's List, Lady With Credit, Lindys Crazy Dolly, Slice Slice Baby, Driving Miss Crazy, Maud Blue Chip, Glowngold, and Bryan's Angel. Avalicious is owned by M.C. Crawford, A.C. Crawford, and P.C. Crawford of New York and the trainer is Leigh Raymer. The second division provided one of four wins on the night for driver Jim Morrill Jr. He was in the bike for Market Rally, who overcame being parked for the middle section of the race to score an emphatic eight length victory.   Market Rally (Cash Hall-Supreme Dish) has now won two Sire Stakes races in a row, following a win at Buffalo Raceway on June 15. Market Rally followed live cover from L Dees Scripture (Chris Lems) in pursuit of early leader, Crediama.   Once the field made the final turn, Market Rally just kept right on going and built a big lead over her competition. The fractional times for the mile were 28 seconds for the quarter, 57.2 for the half, 1:25.3 for three-quarters and a final time of 1:54.4.   Beauty Of Gray (Jim Meittinis) closed strongly to prevail in a three-way photo for the second spot. L Dees Scripture finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Market Rally, Beauty Of Gray, L Dees Scripture, Cutup Hanover, Crediama, Flyhawk Falina, Fashionableapple, Bertaux, and Winning Pursuit. Market Rally is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Pennsylvania and Our Horse Cents Stables and Panhellenic Stable Corporation of New York. The trainer is Ron Burke.   Live racing will resume at Tioga Downs on Friday with a 6:15pm post time.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Tioga Downs

You Rock My World (Muscle Mass-Disco Inferno) has apparently found the right form in 2014.   After winning just one of nineteen starts in 2013, You Rock My World (Jim Morrill Jr.) not only picked up win number nine in eighteen starts this year, he set a track record at Tioga Downs in winning the $43,200 Final of the Morrisville College Trotting Series for 3-5 Year Old Colts.   The final time of 1:53.1 broke the former track record for 4-year-old geldings by a second and two-fifths. You Rock My World moved to the front before the field made it to the first turn. He then proceeded to set strong fractions of 27.4 for the quarter, 55.4 for the half, and 1:23.3 for three-quarters.   Deacons Valley (Ross Wolfenden) was really the only other horse to stay anywhere near the leader during the race, getting to within a length before eventually fading to finish fourth after such a strenuous effort.   You Rock My World ended up winning by an impressive margin of six lengths. Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter) rallied to finish second and Cal Chips Brother (Corey Braden) also finished nicely to get third.   The complete order of finish was: You Rock My World, Stitch In Time, Cal Chips Brother, Deacons Valley, BZ Glide, Spaced Out, Sweet Ben, Jaipur, and Winwood Scout. You Rock My World is owned by John Smiel of Rutland, Vermont and trained by Heidi Rohr.   The 3-year-old trotting fillies headline a 15-race program at Tioga Downs on Monday night. The New York Sire Stakes will take place with two divisions, carded as the seventh and ninth races, on the program. Both divisions offer purses of $62,400. In the seventh race, Glowngold is the 3-1 morning-line favorite after Sire Stakes victories at Vernon Downs and Buffalo Raceway recently. In the ninth race, Market Rally is a slight 2-1 morning-line favorite after a Sire Stakes win at Buffalo, while Crediama, the Empire Breeders' Classic winner at Vernon, is second choice at 5-2. Post time at Tioga Downs on Monday night is 6:15pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may be Father's Day on Sunday afternoon (June 15) but it will be the ladies taking center stage at Buffalo Raceway as the New York State Sires Stakes comes to town with a pair of $59,100 divisions on tap for the 3-year-old trotting fillies. The day will feature the return of NYSS 2-year-old trotting champion Market Rally to Western New York along with past Buffalo Raceway regular drivers Jim Morrill Jr, and Jeff Gregory along with trainer Ray Schnittker. The 12-race card gets underway at 1:05 p.m. Market Rally returns to her home base in 2013. John Yoder and Megan Wilson co-owned Market Rally with Wilson handling the training duties and John Cummings Jr. the driving. But things are different in 2014 as the 3-year-old Cash Hall-Supreme Dish filly is now owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stakes, Weaver Buscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable and trained by Ron Burke. She was the winner of the $225,000 NYS Sires Stakes final at Yonkers by a neck over Maud Blue Chip on September 28 in 1:59.1. Later in the season, Market Rally finished third in the $500,000 Breeders' Crown race at Pocono Downs. She finished with earnings of $281,816 in 2013. She'll be scoring off the rail in Sunday's eighth race for Morrill Jr. and will be looking to regain her winning form. Market Rally, installed as the 3-1 morning line choice, has struggled in her first two appearances thus far in 2014, finishing six and seventh. In the $62,400 Sires Stakes at Vernon Downs on May 17, she set the tempo but tired badly and finished in seventh. Annies Lite seems to be the top foe for Market Rally. A winner of $147,205 lifetime, she has been in the money in all four of her starts in 2014 with a trio of second place finishes and a third. She'll start from the five post for Tyler Buter. Maud Blue Chip leads the first division, scheduled as the fourth race. As mentioned earlier, she lost by a head to Market Rally in the Sire Stakes finale. She bankrolled $232,215 last season and will start from the three post with Buter in the bike. Maud Blue Chip is at 9-2 in the morning line. Her main rival should be Avalicious (8-5 morning line) who finished in second place in the $217,725 EBC finals at Vernon Downs in her last start on June 8. Avalicious has won two of her first five starts in 2014 and had been in the money two other times, earning $70,173 on the season. She will start from the six position with Doug McNair in the sulky. With mild temperatures along with a fast half-mile racing oval expected, the track record for the 3-year-old trotting fillies of 1:59.1, set by Brandnewgirlfriend in 2009, could be in serious jeopardy. Besides the two featured Sires Stakes events, there will be also be a pair of $12,500 Excelsior Class A trotting events for the 3-year-old fillies and two $6,600 Excelsior Class B races. There will also be three CKG Billings Amateur races sprinkled in among the races. The Father's Day card will also feature free sno cones, cotton candy and pony rides. For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to By Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

New York sired three-year-old trotting colts and fillies were in the harness racing spotlight at Vernon Downs Sunday competing in the $432,000 finals of the Empire Breeders Classic. The harness racing series for state-breds featured elimination divisions last week with the top nine finishers returning for the rich finals. The sixth race first final was for the fillies and they raced for a purse of $217,735. Cutup Hanover and driver Jeff Gregory left quickly from post six to take the early lead and then give way to Winning Pursuit (John MacDonald) at the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Then as the field past the half mile in :57, Glowngold and driver Jim Morrill, Jr. came first-over to challenge and following second-over was Crediama with driver Tim Tetrick. Winning Pursuit looked to be the strong horse as the past the three-quarters in 1:25.3 but once they started down the stretch it was Crediama and Tim Tetrick collaring Winning Pursuit and passing them by for a one and one-half length victory in 1:54.1. Winning Pursuit was second with Annies List (Tyler Buter) third. Crediama covered the one mile race in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54.1. “She felt super tonight,” Tim Tetrick said, “Last week was the first time I ever driven her and I really liked her. She trotted well, very nice mannered and she likes to get her job done. She did everything right today. I got a second-over trip behind Julie Miller’s horse (Glowngold) and she responded well. I kicked out the plugs and went right by them. She did everything right. She is very handy, very smart and a talented filly.” It was the second win in just three starts this year for Crediama. She is sired by Credit Winner, is trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by the Purple Haze Stables of Fairport, NY. Crediama paid $6.90 to win. In the ninth race final for the colts with a purse of $215,125, it was the 4/5 betting favorite, Expressive Action and driver Mike Simons who waited until the field settled down by the opening quarter mile in :27.1 and then sent his colt to the front for good. There were three lead changes right after the start of the race as Wild And Crazy (Ron Pierce) left hard from post eight to get to the front. They were then passed by Cash For Gold (Michael Vanderkemp) and then they were passed by Cashamatic and driver Jim Morrill, Jr. Expressive Action then became the fourth horse to have the lead before the half mile marker in :56 and he would remain in front, past the three-quarters in 1:24.4 and no one even contemplating a first-over move against the race leader. Coming down the stretch Simons kept Expressive Action alert and they went on to win by two lengths in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54.1. Wild And Crazy closed well to be second with Hallanet (Trond Smedshammer) was third. “He has been very good this season,” Mike Simons said, “He’s just super, he’s nice and sound and he has a good head on his shoulders. As always, everyone had an interest in leaving so I kinda just let everyone sort things through. I figured Jimmy (Morill, Jr.) wanted a two-hole trip behind the best horse in the race so I took a shot and it worked out. There are no limits to his talents. His strength is in the stretch as he thrives on passing horses. He is a little weak on the front end but when going for over $200,000 you don’t want to make the wrong move.  He really digs in and likes to come off cover and then he finds another gear to kick-in.” Bred, owned and trained by John Grasso of Hawthorne, NY, Expressive Action is sired by Conway Hall and is unbeaten in 2014 in three starts. He paid $3.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for

Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($12.00) controlled the pace throughout in Friday (June 6) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 Handicap distaff pace at Tioga Downs, turning aside a first-over challenge from 3-5 favorite Little Santamonica en route to a 1:52.4 victory.   The six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare achieved the lead easily, clearing Miss Annie J (Jason Bartlett) through a :28.1 first quarter and controlling the terms through a rated :57 half. On the backstretch, Aaron Byron moved Little Santamonica first-over, but her attempt at a sixth consecutive win was rebuffed by Rock N Load on the entry to the far turn. With the favorite fading, Rock N Load was left to stave off a late rally from Passion R Virginie (Jim Marohn, Jr.), digging in to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths. Miss Annie J stayed on for third off the pocket trip.   John Cummings, Jr. drove Rock N Load for trainer Daniel Gill.   Four $12,500 first-round divisions of the Morrisville College late-closing series were also on the card, with Cal Chips Brother (1:54.3, Corey Braden) fastest of the four winners. Stitch in Time (1:56, Tyler Buter), Spaced Out (1:56.3, Mike Simons), and You Rock My World (1:56.2, Jason Bartlett) prevailed in their respective divisions, as well.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Faced with a host of challengers in the final 300 yards, Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter's Antigua Hanover ($8.20) had just enough left in reserve, digging in to stave off three late-charging rivals en route to a 1:53.3 score in Friday (May 31) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was beaten to the first turn by Canaco Star (Mike Merton), but brushed to the fore immediately upon Canaco Star's clearing at the apex of the first turn. After setting sensible early splits of :28.2 and :56.3, Antigua Hanover turned aside a first-over challenge from If I Didnt Care (Rick Dane), edging clear to the top of the stretch.   After dismissing If I Didnt Care's challenge on the approach to the far turn, Antigua Hanover withstood late charges from eventual runner-up Bazooka Terror (Aaron Byron) and third-place finisher Dirty Girty (Greg Merton), digging in late to prevail by a diminishing three-quarters-length margin.   Brandon Simpson handled the driving duties aboard Antigua Hanover for trainer Amber Buter.   Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, with the Roll With Joe Pace headlining the card. Non-wagering events begin at 12:45 p.m. EDT, with the first of 13 pari-mutuel races scheduled for 1:30 p.m. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Larry Karr hopes the "sweet" is back in Sweet Lou. Karr, who is among the owners of the 5-year-old male pacer, has watched Sweet Lou win back-to-back starts for the first time since June 2012, a span of 44 races. Sweet Lou heads to Sunday's $160,000 Roll With Joe for older male pacers off consecutive victories in the TVG Free For All Series at the Meadowlands, with his most recent triumph coming from post 10 in 1:48 over a track labeled "good" on May 24. For his career, Sweet Lou has won 24 of 60 races and earned $2.18 million for owners Karr, Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Phil Collura. Sweet Lou, trained by Ron Burke, was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer and still holds the world record of 1:49 for fastest mile ever by a 2-year-old pacer. Sweet Lou and stablemate Clear Vision, who won the 2012 Roll With Joe (known then as the Bettor's Delight), will race as an entry and were made the 6-5 morning line favorite in this year's event. Sweet Lou starts from post two with driver Ron Pierce. "He's looking as good as ever," Karr said. "I know it's a long year, and there are a lot of very tough horses out there, but he looks the part. It looks like he's put it all together. It's not going to be easy, you have all these good horses coming out of the woodwork, but as long as Lou is healthy I'll put him against anyone." Sweet Lou's season started with a second-place finish by a nose to Bettor's Edge in the Levy Series at Yonkers, but after a sixth-place finish in the series the following week, March 29, the horse was given time off. He returned on May 3 with a solid third-place effort in the Van Rose Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs before winning the first two rounds of the TVG Free For All Series. "Early on, when we tried him in the Levy, I didn't have a lot of optimism," Karr said. "Ron decided Yonkers wasn't going to be his forte and freshened him up and got him ready for the Meadowlands. During that time, he really matured and filled out. He looks fantastic now. He looks strong." Karr, a corporate lawyer from New Jersey, has enjoyed success with a number of horses over the years - he was among the owners of 2007 Jugette winner Western Graduate as well as several sire stakes champions - but nothing compares to Sweet Lou. "No horse I've had ranks up there with Lou," Karr said. "None has the kind of aura he possesses. Whenever he races, I'll always plan my night around it. Horses like him are why I'm in the business. It's exciting to feel you have a horse that's at the top of his class. "Hopefully now he'll get on a roll and validate the belief we've always had in him." Karr knows any successes go beyond the horse, the trainer and driver. It extends to the grooms who take care of the horses on a daily basis. "These people put everything they've got into these horses," Karr said. "I'm extremely grateful to them." Following is the Roll With Joe field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Dovuto Hanover, Scott Zeron, Darran Cassar, 5-1; 2. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 6-5; 3. Doctor Butch, Jim Marohn Jr., Linda Toscano, 6-1; 4. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 9-2; 5. Warrawee Needy, David Miller, Mark Ford, 10-1; 6. Moonliteonthebeach, Tyler Buter, Ed Hart, 12-1; 7. Heston Blue Chip, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 6-1; 8. Olde Time Hockey, Mike Simons, Tom Fanning, 15-1; 9. Clear Vision, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-5; 10. Word Power, Jim Morrill Jr., Larry Remmen, 10-1. Sweet Lou and Clear Vision race coupled as 1 and 1A. Doctor Butch and Heston Blue Chip race coupled as 2 and 2A. Word Power starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

It was another extraordinary week of harness racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, one that featured a world record performance and some exciting Grand Circuit races. But the two horses that won the major honors this week are a pair of veterans who appear to be peaking at a time when most others are either winding down their careers or already retired. Let's take a look at their exploits as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: ANDERLECHT While it's not unusual for a nine-year-old pacer to be winning races, most of those veterans do so in the lower claiming ranks. Since arriving from Yonkers, this stallion has taken on some top-flight condition pacers and showed them how it's done. On May 17, he absolutely blitzed a group of non-winners of $15,000 in the last five races with a monster mile of 1:48, which would have been a track record were it not of Dancin Yankee beating him to the punch a few races earlier with a 1:47:2 mile. After a mile like that, it was obvious that he would be the favorite facing the same condition group on Saturday night. Yet the concern for Anderlecht, trained by JD Lewis, was that the ripping time from the previous week would leave him a bit winded this time out. When Getitoffyourchest made an aggressive move past him on the back stretch, it looked like maybe those fears would be realized. Driver Simon Allard didn't panic though, biding his time until the stretch when he cut loose Anderlecht for another move. He rallied past Getitoffyourchest to win by a 1 ½ lengths, posting another scorching winning time of 1:49:1. Can this veteran move up in class off these two wins and beat even more accomplished pacers? Based on these performances, it seems like horses of all ages and classes should be wary. Other top pacers this week include: Somwherovrarainbow (Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway), whose win in a Preferred pace for mares on Sunday night came in 1:48, the fastest time ever posted by a female pacer on a 5/8-mile oval; Stanhope (Anthony Napolitano, Steve Salerno), who moved up in class to win his second straight condition pace on Sunday night, this one coming in 1:51:4; and Ella's Twin (George Napolitano Jr., John Barchi), a mare who churned her way to her third straight claiming win on Wednesday night, this one in 1:54:3. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: CHERRY TREE NICOLE For a trotter to be a consistent winner week after week, it generally has to have a decent amount of getaway speed. Being close to the early lead takes a lot of variables out of a race, so the horses that can fire out of the gate well every race usually give themselves a good chance to win. Cherry Tree Nicole has virtually no leaving speed, yet the mare has been one of the most consistent winners since arriving from California in April. The pattern for her races has been pretty much identical. She tends to start slowly, out-pacing just a couple horses in the large field around the first turn. On the back stretch, the mare starts to make steady advancement, and, in the stretch, she blows by everyone. That strategy led her to victories in three of her first four races at Pocono. Tuesday night was a tougher test because she was moving up in class to the $10,000 claimers. Plus, she was switching barns, racing for the first time under the banner of trainer Steve Salerno. Yet for all the changes, the results turned out to be strikingly similar. Cherry Tree Nicole, an eight-year-old mare with an impressive 65 career wins coming into the race, started in her usual lethargic way. When it counted though, driver Matt Kakaley had her in gear, and she coasted by the tiring leaders for a win in 1:57:2. Who said you can't come from off the pace and win consistently? This gritty mare will have none of that nonsense. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter), who captured Tuesday night's featured condition trot with a flying rally in a career-best 1:54:4; A Crown For Lindy (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who picked up his second straight claiming win on Wednesday night with a victory in 1:55; and Broadway Socks (Dan Rawlings, David Wade), who followed up a Stallion Series win at The Meadows with a victory here on Sunday night against other three-year-old fillies in the Historic Series, posting a career-best 1:55 in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: PRINT IT After winning at 22-1 on April 26, this 12-year-old pacer did it again on Saturday night with Tyler Buter in the bike, defeating a claiming group at 32-1 for a $66 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Tyler Buter One of a seemingly endless cadre of excellent drivers plying their trade at Pocono, Buter was hot this week, racking up five wins including a three-bagger on Saturday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: STEVE SALERNO Year in and year out, Salerno is a force at Pocono, and he's been picking up steam of late, including a training double on Sunday night and three wins for the week. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

Well Built looks to bounce back from going off stride in the Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold on April 26 when he faces 10 rivals in Friday's $51,543 John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Part of a Chris Ryder-trained entry with Walk The Walk, Well Built is 7-2 on the morning line and will start from post No. 1 with driver John Campbell. The field also includes, in post order, Sarcastic Man, It Really Matters, Lukas Hall, Deweykeepumnwhy, Keystone Wasabi, Who Wants Soup, Hot Type, Flyhawk El Durado, Trixton, and (from the second tier) Walk The Walk. Trixton is the 5-2 morning line favorite from post 10. Last year, Well Built won a division of the Simpson and his elimination for the Matron Stakes. He is a son of stallion Muscle Hill, who was the 2009 Horse of the Year, and his dam is Working Girl, who is a half-sister to stakes-winner Poster Pin Up. "He got jammed up in the Dexter," said Ryder, who owns Well Built with Robert Mondillo. "I was mortified about that. But he's fine; he's training fine. "I like the horse. He's got good speed. He doesn't usually make a break. I'm not going to say he's reliable - he was just unreliable - but he shouldn't have made a break. He had a horse alongside him and got a little anxious." Walk The Walk, owned by Ryder, Mondillo, Sidney Korn and Max Wernick, was unraced as a 2-year-old. The son of Muscle Hill-Letsjustalkaboutme has won two of four starts and $13,500 this season. "He's coming out of weaker company, but I like him," Ryder said. "He just didn't make it last year. He was ouchy last year, a big growthy horse. But here he is. I like the horse. He's alright. He might be a little understaked for what I think he might be, but we'll see. He's still immature. He'll be a good 4-year-old, I think." Ryder's Odds On Amethyst, owned by Diamond Creek Racing, is not eligible to the Simpson and is preparing for the start of the New Jersey Sire Stakes on May 16 at the Meadowlands. The gelding is a son of Muscle Hill out of the standout mare Mystical Sunshine, who was trained by Ryder during her racing career. "I'm really looking at the Hambletonian with that horse," Ryder said about stakes-winning Odds On Amethyst, who made his 2014 debut on May 2 by winning in 1:53.2. "I'm not going to say he's a top one, but he's got a shot. I think he's going to improve on his (1):53. I know he's going to have to, but I think he will. If he gets much better he's right there. "He's been a bit of a problem child. He's his own worst enemy," Ryder added. "The last two or three weeks he's improved. He's starting to realize he's a racehorse." Trixton, the Simpson favorite, finished second to Odds On Amethyst on May 2, also in his seasonal debut. Trixton is a son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994. Trixton's family also includes past stars Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall. Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf, was the New York Sire Stakes champion last season and also captured a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. He finished third in the May 2 race that included Odds On Amethyst and Trixton. Sarcastic Man, bred and owned by Bob Key, won the Dexter Cup elimination on April 26 at Freehold Raceway. He finished fifth in the final after getting stuck outside for the entire mile from post eight. Ron Pierce will drive for trainer Gail Wrubel. Sarcastic Man is 4-1. Lukas Hall is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural and former New York Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet. His second dam is stakes-winner Mars Bar, who is a half-sister to Dan Patch Award winner Pizza Dolce. Trained by Kevin McDermott, he won twice on the New York Sire Stakes circuit last season. Keystone Wasabi, owned by Peter Gerry's Kitefield Stable, last year won a Landmark Stakes for trainer Janice Connor and won twice on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit. * * * Dexter Cup winner Sumatra will get the weekend off and then head to the New Jersey Sire Stakes. "It's early in the year and I just thought we'd point him toward the sire stakes," trainer Tom Fanning said. "Really, the Simpson was going to be my starting point with him, but when he was ready early, we put him in the Dexter; I thought that was a good start. He did well and we just want to keep him fresh and be good all year. "We're just looking long term." Sumatra fits a similar profile as Possessed Fashion, a now 4-year-old trotter for the Fanning Stable and owned by Joseph Smith, as is Sumatra. Possessed Fashion was an $87,000 purchase late in his 2-year-old season who made $230,780 as a 3-year-old. Fanning cited the success of keeping that horse calm and relaxed by frequent turnout with another gelding from his stable. He's not quite ready to try that strategy with Sumatra, who has won six of 13 races and $169,095 lifetime. "We just gelded (Sumatra) in December and he's really still kind of a tough guy," Fanning said. "He's not quite as ready to get along with others yet." He then laughed and joked, "If I could have a nice, big Belgian draft horse that could just put a thumping on him one day, then he'd be OK after that. That's what he needs." * * * Rockingcam Park is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Friday's Reynolds Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers at the Meadowlands. She starts from post No. 6 for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick. Starting inside of Rockingcam Park will be, from post one, McVita Bella, Blixtra, A La Notte Hanover, Gettingreadytoroll, and Fanticipation. To her outside are I Need Hotstuff, JK Molly, and Table Talk. Rockingcam Park won last week's four-horse Simpson Stakes, beating Ken Doll J by a nose in 1:53.2. It was her first start of 2014 after winning three of 10 races and $67,378 last year. "That was a nice win," Coyne said. "Last year was kind of a mixed bag. It's nice when you have a filly that you have a lot of hopes for, but she found herself in some unlucky spots and things didn't turn out the way we dreamed." Rockingcam Park finished second to Precocious Beauty in a division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and was second in a division of the Reynolds. She went off stride in the She's A Great Lady Stakes and drew post nine in the Breeders Crown, where she finished seventh. She also made a break in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. "She's got big ability and a lot of upside," Coyne said. "She's a nervous filly, but if she gets herself where she's squared away, she has a lot of talent. A lot of it is just mental maturity." The filly is owned by Rockingcam Park Stable, Blair Corbeil, Erna Corbeil, and J&T Silva Stables. She is a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, the 2005 Horse of the Year, out of the Camluck-sired mare Cameron D Art. She is a full sister to recent Clyde Hirt Series winner Avatartist. Her family also includes 2005 She's A Great Lady Stakes winner Little Miss K. "Blair has a passion for Camluck broodmares," Coyne said. "That's the reason we looked at her. She was nice sized and stood correct; I couldn't fault her. We liked what we saw and took a shot." * * * The $33,516 Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters attracted a field of three horses and will be contested as a non-wagering event at 6:50 p.m. Friday at the Meadowlands. Annies List makes her 2014 debut, racing this season out of the stable of trainer Amber Buter after spending last year with Julie Miller. Annies List, who starts from post two, was purchased for $2,500 as a yearling and earned $92,969 for then-owner Andy Miller Stable. She is now owned by Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter. In 2013, Annies List won four of nine starts, including the $50,000 Fall Harvest for 2-year-old filly trotters at Yonkers Raceway and two legs of the New York Sire Stakes. Sweetie Hearts, owned by Bob Key, starts from post one for trainer Paul Reid. Sweetie Hearts, a homebred daughter of Angus Hall-Sweetheart K, has won four of 11 races and $56,505 in her career. Her family includes Key's 1993 Hambletonian winner American Winner. Thisgirlisonfire leaves from post three with driver/co-owner Jeff Gregory at the lines for trainer Linda Toscano. Gregory owns the filly with William Richardson. A daughter of Angus Hall-Back On Track, she will be looking for her first career win in her 10th start. She finished second in a division of the Reynolds last year. By Ken Weingartner and Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications/USTA

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