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Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the final of five preliminary rounds of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on Friday night with an imposing 1:52.3 victory in her $35,000 division. The fleet-footed 4-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere had to work just a bit to gain control at the quarter, but from that point her four rivals chased her in vain. Alexa Skye left the gate along with Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) from the inside, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) between those two into the opening bend. Siesta Beach settled along the pylons, but McCarthy pushed Alexa Skye to the top and cleared passing a 27.4 opening fraction. Alexa Skye maintained the lead after that, setting fractions of 56.3 and 1:24.4, with Siesta Beach moving to the outside into the final turn as Monica Gallagher lost contact with the pace-setter. McCarthy let his mare do the talking, and Alexa Skye spoke volumes, cruising home effortlessly with a 27.4 kicker to win by open lengths. Siesta Beach held down the place spot, with Soho Burning Love A (Austin Siegelman) showing decent late foot for third. ALEXA SKYE REPLAY   Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in the field, Alexa Skye paid $2.40 to win. Alexa Skye won all four of the Blue Chip Matchmaker preliminary legs she participated in for co-owner Pollack Racing LLC. and co-owner/trainer Jeff Cullipher. The exacta returned $4.50, with the two favorites first and second, and the triple came back $11.40. Now a winner in seven of nine starts on the season, Alexa Skye moves into the $232,800 final on April 19 as the clear horse to beat.   In the night's first section, which was raced as a non-wagering event, Blue Ivy led a field of four wire-to-wire for driver Tyler Buter to score decisively in 1:52 3/5 over Caviart Cherie (Kakaley) and Machnhope, with Lady Dela Renta A (Jordan Stratton) fourth in the group. Blue Ivy had the pole position and discouraged leavers, blasting off into the opening bend and cutting a 27.1 quarter with no dispute. Buter was then kind to the 5-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous, allowing her to stroll the middle-half in just 58 seconds, reaching three-quarters in 1:25.1 as Machnope and Andrew McCarthy pulled to make a token bid. No one would get within a length of Blue Ivy, as Buter called on her, and she responded with a 27.2 final quarter, holding a clear advantage to the wire. Caviart Cherie had raced in the pocket throughout and fought hard enough for the place spot. Trained by Todd Buter and owned by Renee Bercury, Blue Ivy completed the five-leg preliminary round with an impressive scorecard that included three wins and two second-place finishes. Friday's 1:52.3 mile was her fastest of the series and her sixth win in 2021 in just 10 starts. Unofficially, the eight mares that advanced to the $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final are: Blue Ivy (325 points), Alexa Skye (300), Machnhope (237), Siesta Beach (234), Caviart Cherie (222), Snobbytown (195), Monica Gallagher (178), and My Ruebe Star N (143). The final leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series will take place on Monday night (April 12) at Yonkers Raceway with three $40,000 fields set, including a final preview with Leonidas A, This Is The Plan and Hesa Kingslayer N in one division. Yonkers races Monday through Friday night with first post at 7:15 p.m. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Get Legs entered last week's opening round of John Brennan Trotting Series at Yonkers Raceway with eight wins in nine starts at the Meadowlands, but miscued over the sloppy going and had to settle for rallying for third. He made no such miscues this Wednesday, though, cruising to a 1:55 2/5 harness racing victory. Driver Andy Miller didn't hustle Get Legs away from post two in Wednesday's final $20,000 division, but he didn't tuck on the inside, either, letting his horse move steadily up on the rim to get the lead from Lady Jeter (Scott Zeron) after the 28.4 opening quarter. From there, Get Legs put up the half in 57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2, navigated the far turn without any issue, and pulled away impressively in the lane on his way to defeating Lady Jeter by 5 1/2 lengths. P L Notsonice (Renaldo Morales III) came in third after a first-over try. Julie Miller trains Get Legs, a 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill, for owners Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Michael Anderson. Get Legs has earned $76,010 to go with his 9-0-2 record from 11 starts, and he paid $2.10 across the board. The exacta returned $4.70 and the trifecta was worth $14.00. GET LEGS REPLAY   In other John Brennan Trotting Series action, Tyler Buter had a pair of winners in Stinglike A B K and Timon AS. Competing in the night's first split, Stinglike A B K raced in third through opening half fractions of 28.1 and 57.3, then made a first-over move past the half that carried him into second behind leader Swiss House Onfire (Austin Siegelman) at the 1:26.4 three-quarters. Stinglike A B K and Swiss House Onfire battled around the final bend and into the lane, but Stinglike A B K gained a narrow advantage and was able to hold sway to the wire, downing a gaining Lifetime Royalty (Dan Dube) by a neck in 1:56.3. Swiss House Onfire wound up third. STINGLIKE A B K REPLAY   Stinglike A B K is a 5-year-old Andover Hall stallion owned and trained by Nicole Dicostanzo. Stinglike A B K is now a nine-time winner in his career, and he has banked $97,054. Stinglike A B K, the 2-1 second choice, returned $6.00 to win and was atop a $45.40 exacta and a $112.50 trifecta. Two races later, Buter guided Timon AS to a 1:57 decision. Timon AS pocketed up behind Look In My Eyes (Jordan Stratton) and stalked that foe through a 29.1 opening quarter and a 58.1 half, then pulled out of the two-hole as they trotted to the 1:27.2 three-quarters. Timon AS wore down Look In My Eyes coming into the stretch, then drew clear, prevailing by a length and three-quarters. Look In My Eyes held second over Blue And Bold (Brent Holland). TIMON AS REPLAY   A 5-year-old Lionhunter gelding, Timon AS is trained by Melanie Wrenn for owner Michael Guest. Timon AS now has a record of 20-3-1 from 55 attempts, and he has put away $111,280. Timon AS was the 3-2 second choice and paid $5.10 to win. The exacta kicked back $59.00 and the trifecta was worth $728.00. Buter nearly nabbed another win with first-over attacker Grinder in the second section, but Windsong Pioneer (Holland), who put up stations of 27.3, 57.1, and 1:25.3, kept Grinder at bay in game fashion, hitting the wire a nose to the good in a 1:56.1 mile. Guilty Desire (Stratton) got third after a second-over journey. The victorious 5-year-old E L Titan gelding is trained by Paul Stafford for owner Thomas Ceraso Jr. Windsong Pioneer picked up his 14th career win, and he boosted his bankroll to $110,932. Windsong Pioneer, dispatched at 7-2, returned $9.00 to win and led a $24.40 exacta and a $66.50 trifecta. The John Brennan Trotting Series has one preliminary leg remaining next Wednesday, April 14, before the final on Wednesday, April 21. Stakes action continues at Yonkers on Friday (April 9) and Monday (April 12) as the final preliminary rounds of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series and MGM Borgata Pacing Series are held. There are two $35,000 divisions in the Blue Chip Matchmaker, one a non-wagering affair and the other race two on the pari-mutuel program, and a trio of $40,000 splits of the MGM Borgata are slated as races four, five, and six. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono features harness racing announcer Jim Begivlia's Week In Review column. Here is the first edition. PACER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ROCKS It's only fitting that this eleven-year-old gelding and career millionaire should win first Weekly Honors for 2021 at Pocono, as he has been the most successful horse at the track over the stretch he's been racing. This year Scott Rocks has been reborn as a claimer, starting on the lowest rungs of the ladder at the $10,000 level at Pocono on March 7. He won that race and then followed up with two more in a row as his claiming price went up each time. On Saturday, he faced off with the top claimers at Pocono, the $30,000 to $40,000 group, as a 1-5 favorite. George Napolitano Jr., who has been aboard Scott Rocks for the vast majority of his Pocono victories, guided him first-over in this one for a hard-fought victory in 1:51:3. Trained by Hunter Oakes, the gelding shows no signs of slowing down, even as he notched his 67th career win and pushed his career earnings over $1.1 million. Honorable Mention Pacers One Eight Hundred (Joseph Fonseca, Nancy Takter), who posted the fastest winning time in the Bobby Weiss series for three-year-old male pacers on Saturday in a career-best 1:50:2 despite it being his first start of the year. The Lady Sheriff (George Napolitano Jr., Darren Taneyhill), who became the first horse in the 2021 meet at Pocono to five wins when she scored her fifth victory in a row on Monday in a claiming handicap against other mares. Peggy J (Simon Allard, Jeff Sorenson), who captured her straight condition pace against mares on Tuesday at Pocono in 1:54:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: RICH AND MISERABLE This is another trotter who has a rich, so to speak, history at Pocono, once winning Trotter of the Year honors at the track. After breaking stride as a heavy favorite in his first start of the meet, Rich And Miserable, a six-year-old gelding trained by Todd Buter, bounced back strong with a win in the slop on March 28 in 1:56:3. In Sunday night's featured $11,200 trot, he was made the 1-9 favorite despite leaving from an outside post in a field of seven. By the 3/8-mile mark of the race, Rich And Miserable had taken the lead. He had to deal with a first-over effort from Blenheim on the back stretch, and then was pushed by pocket-sitting Wilberforce in the home stretch. But Rich And Miserable responded to the challenge under the guidance of driver Tyler Buter, with his second straight victory coming in a time of 1:54:2. Honorable Mention Trotters Top Me Off (Todd Schadel driver and trainer), who followed up a condition win with a victory on Saturday in the Weiss Series in 1:54:4, the fastest time of the day in the Weiss by male trotters. King Alphonso (Jim Pantaleano, Neil Balcerak), who won a condition trot at Pocono on Sunday in 1:53:2, the week's fastest trotting time. Tuis Shadow (Simon Allard, Donald Wiest), who stepped up in class on Tuesday and won his second straight condition trot at Pocono, this one in a career-best 1:55:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: HOOLIE N HECTOR This three-year-old trotter driven by Anthony Napolitano pulled off a surprise in the Bobby Weiss Series on Saturday at 19-1, paying off $41.80 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: DEXTER DUNN Dunn was the dominant force in the Bobby Weiss Series this week, especially on Tuesday when he swept all three divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: LES GIVENS Givens had a day to remember on Monday, sending out three trainees at Pocono and winning with every one of them, including with Incaseyoudidntknow in the Bobby Weiss three-year-old pacing fillies' group. 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 The Downs                    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Rich And Miserable, the 2019 Trotter of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, moved even closer to $500,000 in harness racing career earnings with a 1:54.2 victory in the $11,200 featured event on the Sunday twilight card. Driver Tyler Buter spotted the Explosive Matter gelding third from the outside post seven before the :28 quarter, then brushed him to command and put up middle splits of :57 and 1:26. Blenheim made a good charge in the stretch, but the :28.2 last split put up by Rich And Miserable was enough to keep him 1½ lengths ahead of that rival. The Todd Buter trainee, owned by Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, William and Carol Fuhs, boosted his career bankroll to $494,636 as he recorded his 25th win in 74 trips behind the gate. The veteran has done especially well at Pocono, as his record at the mountain oval is 11 wins in 19 starts, including his last two outings. RICH AND MISERABLE REPLAY   Aflame Hanover, relishing getting away from Borgata Series company, completed a wire-to-wire 1:51 victory with a :26.3 last quarter under no urging from driver Marcus Miller, who along with Matt Kakaley had three wins on the card. The victory was the first of the year for the altered son of Russell Hanover, who now has career earnings $379,624 for trainer Linda Schadel, co-owner with husband Tony Schadel. The fillies will see their first Bobby Weiss Series action on Monday afternoon, with four $17,500 divisions of the first preliminary leg for sophomore pacers in consecutive events, races ten through thirteen. First post on Monday afternoon is 12:30 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

Blue Ivy didn't get all of the respect on the toteboard, but the 5-year-old mare had her say in a powerhouse performance, capturing the first of two $35,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker harness racing divisions on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway. Sent off as the surprising 7-5 second choice, Tyler Buter put Blue Ivy into the three-hole entering the first turn as 3-5 favorite Keep Rockin A made the lead easily for Tim Tetrick and marched to the quarter in 27.4. With just five in the field, Tetrick was able to back down the pace with the Jim King Jr.-trained import, who was in search of his first series victory. The slow half didn't shake Buter in the least as he waited to midway down the backstretch to energize Blue Ivy. It didn't take more than 50 yards for Blue Ivy to engulf and dispose of Keep Rockin A, as that mare slowed markedly into the final turn. After three-quarters in 1:25, Blue Ivy kicked home in 28 seconds flat and scored by open lengths in a 1:53 mile. Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) was able to come up the pylons late to secure the place spot, with Caviart Cherie (Matt Kakaley) third in the mile. BLUE IVY REPLAY It was Blue Ivy's second win in the series, to go along with two second-place finishes, for trainer Todd Buter. Owned by Renee Bercury, Blue Ivy, a 5-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous, paid $4.80 for the victory. The exacta with 32-1 shot Monica Gallagher in the place spot was worth $54, and the triple came in at $158.50. The upsets continued in the second Blue Chip Matchmaker division as Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) rallied from last on the final turn and rolled past the betting favorites to score her first series victory in a 1:54.3 clocking. Snobbytown and driver George Brennan out-left two others to gain control nearing the opening quarter, as Bettors Heart N and driver Dexter Dunn yielded the front. Snobbytown had the lead in 27.4, and Brennan was keen to back things down, reaching the half in 57.3 as Bettors Heart N lagged behind her in second. Dbldelitebrigade N and Todd McCarthy pulled on the third turn to challenge, towing the 1-5 favorite Machnope with her, but the cover wasn't worth much as Snobbytown marched off with a snappy 28.1 third quarter. The acceleration forced driver Andrew McCarthy to send two-leg winner Machnhope three-deep passing three-quarters to gain into contention. Siesta Beach and Kakaley used that cover through the final turn and tipped wider into the homestretch to gain a clear chance. It was a thrilling finish, with Snobbytown and Brennan working hard to maintain the lead, but powerless to stall the closers, with Siesta Beach, a 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal, doing the best work late for the win. Machnope had to settle for the place, with Snobbytown third. SIESTA BEACH REPLAY Trained by Nicholas Devita and owned by Eric Prevost, Siesta Beach returned $15 to win. The exacta with the heavy chalk paid $26.60 and the triple was an even $63. It was the third win on the season for Siesta Beach, who entered the fourth round of the series with three straight third-place finishes. Preliminary round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series concludes next Friday (April 9), with the final slated for Monday, April 19. The fourth round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series will be the feature on Monday (April 5) at Yonkers Raceway, with three $40,000 divisions highlighting the 10-race program. Leonides A is a heavy favorite to win his third straight leg in one of the splits.  Favorites were victorious just twice during Friday night’s (April 2) Pick 6 sequence at Yonkers Raceway, meaning there were no tickets with six out of six. As a result, there will be a carryover of $7,067.60 and a guaranteed pool of $15,000 in the wager on Monday night’s (April 5) program. The guarantee is being offered as part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. Free past performances for the Pick 6, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available here. The Pick 6 at Yonkers Raceway offers a takeout rate of 20 percent, as do the nightly Pick 4’s and Pick 5. Monday’s Pick 6 will include all three $40,000 divisions of the fourth leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, as well as a $27,500 Preferred Pace. Post time is at 7:15 p.m., and the Pick 6 will begin in race three. For full results, click here.   From Yonkers Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett guided the two male winners of the $12,000 pacing tri-features at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono during the Sunday twilight card, with both Nome Hanover and Gonnahaveonemore both stopping the timer in 1:54.3 over a "sloppy" oval. Bartlett used pace-controlling moves during the second quarter in winning both races by wide margins. The Mach Three gelding Gonnahaveonemore established a new lifetime mark in winning by 6¼ lengths for owner/trainer Pasquale Picca; the Well Said gelding Nome Hanover was clear by 2½ lengths on the money for trainer Mark Ford and owners George and Rose Bonomo. NOME HANOVER REPLAY   In the distaff division, the Quality Western mare Peggy J won her second straight start, also hustling to the lead in front of the stands for driver Simon Allard and winning by 1½ lengths in 1:58 for trainer Jeff Sorenson and owner Paula Sarcone. It was a big evening for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and the partnership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs, as their veteran trotters Rich And Miserable and Two AM both won $10,000 contests and pushed the two horses' collective earnings over the $1,000,000 mark lifetime. The Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable (now with $489,036) won in 1:56.1, while Muscle Massive gelding Two AM ($518,034) was home first in 1:57. RICH AND MISERABLE REPLAY   Trotters will be in the spotlight on the Monday afternoon card at The Downs, with a very competitive group set to go behind the gate in the $30,000 Game Of Claims Trotting Series Championship. First post Monday is 12:30 p.m.; program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

WILKES BARRE PA - In a classic stretch slugfest, the Sweet Lou gelding Tito Rocks nosed out Whos Better in 1:50.4 to win the $14,000 fast-class harness racing pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon. Tito Rocks got away fourth for driver Tyler Buter, while Whos Better and George Napolitano Jr. took the early lead and set fractions of :27.1 and :55.2. Buter had Tito Rocks quickly in high gear moving raw nearing the five-eighths, with the 9-5 favorite pacing his individual third quarter in :26 to engage 2-1 pacesetter Whos Better past the three-quarters in 1:22.2. Their battle continued all the way to the wire, where Tito Rocks proved slightly more photogenic for trainer Bob Cleary and Royal Wire Products Inc.   TITO ROCKS REPLAY     Another highlight of the Saturday card was the return to the races of the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Nicholas Beach, who made short work of a group of developing pacers with a 1:51.1 tally for driver Joe Bongiorno, trainer Jennifer Bongiorno, and his new connections of the Jennifer Bongiorno Stable LLC, John Lengacher, and Michael Cote Gagnon.   NICHOLAS BEACH REPLAY     Various misfortunes had limited the now-five-year-old to 13 starts in his first three years of racing, but he won 11 of them and took a mark of 1:49 at Philly last year - maybe this is the year he can deliver an extended streak, building on the large potential he has already shown. Before Nicholas Beach's win Saturday, his lifetime earnings were $70,450 - less than the $71,680 seasonal total of the Changeover gelding Glengarry Knight N, who jumped to the #2 spot in earnings among North American pacers at press time with a 1:52 win in the fastest of three divisions of the high-end claiming pacers. Now 3-for-4 since joining the William Adamczyk barn after a claim by William Emmons, Glengarry Knight N, the winner of the richest Game Of Claims Championship earlier this year, overcame the outside post nine for driver Simon Allard, who led the driving colony here Saturday with three wins.   GLENGARRY KNIGHT N REPLAY     Heading the Saturday trainers was Darren Taneyhill, who visited victory lane after three different drivers guided his horses to victory (and would have been there a fourth time if one of his horses hadn't had headstretch steering problems and was set back, with $174.00 bomber Rockin Inthe Hills the main beneficiary). Taneyhill, who is now tied with Jennifer Bongiorno for the meet lead with 12 wins, also sent out the fastest winner of the day, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Rock The Town, who toured the Pocono oval in 1:50.3 for driver Anthony Napolitano and owner Mark Jakubik. The next two cards at Pocono, Sunday at 5 p.m EDT. and Monday at 12:30 p.m., feature many three-year-olds tuning up for the $700,000 Bobby Weiss Series for up-and-coming three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; Monday's card also features the $30,000 Game Of Claims Trotting Series Championship. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From PHHA/Pocono  

Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the second of three $35,000 divisions of opening round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for harness racing pacing mares on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway with a blistering 1:51.2 victory. McCarthy took the 4-5 public choice to the lead shortly after the start, putting second choice Seaswift Joy N, driven by his brother Andy, in the pocket. Alexa Skye dictated the pace, cutting the first two fractions in identical 28 second quarters and keeping the abbreviated field of five at bay in the process. Alexa Skye picked up the pace noticeably past the half and smoked her third quarter in 27.2, gaining ample separation on the field before marching home impressively with a 28 second final kicker.   A 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa Skye won for the first time since being purchased by trainer Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing LLC., in February. Alexa Skye, who picked up her 13th victory overall and has now earned $174,890, returned $3.70 to win, with the exacta with runner-up Seaswift Joy N coming back at $7.00. Monica Gallagher held on to the show spot and finished off a $19.40 trifecta. Andy McCarthy was able to post a mild upset in the first split with Machnhope, going first-over the final three eighths to collar race favorite My Ruebe Star N in the homestretch and win comfortably by 2 1/4 lengths. Jordan Stratton put the field in post position order at the outset with My Ruebe Star N and posted very modest fractions of 28.3 and 57.4 for the opening half. The pace picked up considerably when McCarthy pulled on the right line off turn three and went on the attack, coming to even terms with the favorite at the 1:25.3 three-quarters. The two continued to battle through the final turn, but Machnhope, trained by Noel Daley, surged past into the stretch and closed out her 1:53.3 victory with a 28 second final panel. Caviart Cherie squeezed out on the final turn to earn the place spot, with Bettors Heart N making a solid three-wide charge from a difficult spot to salvage the show dough.   Machnhope is owned by Deo Volente Farms LLC., Tom Pontone, L.A. Express Stable LLC., and trainer Daley. The 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three paid $4.80 to win, the exacta returned $52.00, and the trifecta kicked back $193.00. Machnhope is now a 28-time winner from an even 100 appearances, and she has pocketed $374,544. Blue Ivy and driver Tyler Buter cashed in on a second-over trip in the third flight as a 6-1 outsider in the field of six mares. Blue Ivy was away patiently in the early stages as Siesta Beach claimed control on the first turn but relinquished command to the 4-5 favorite Soho Burning Love A prior to the 28 second opening quarter. Tim Tetrick had Soho Burning Love A under good rating and waltzed to the half in 56.4 before meeting some pressure on the backstretch when Lady Dela Renta A and Stratton came calling. Tetrick and Soho Burning Love A disposed of the first-over challenger past the 1:25 three-quarters but proved powerless in the late going as Buter pulled Blue Ivy three-wide and flashed a wicked burst of speed to win going away in a 1:53.3 clocking. Soho Burning Love A held on to the place spot, with Siesta Beach following in third.   A 5-year-old by Captaintreacherous that had mastered the Northfield half-mile track this winter, Blue Ivy won for the fourth time in six starts in 2021 for owner Renee Bercury. Todd Buter trains Blue Ivy, who now has 23 career triumphs and has put away $319,790 The bettors received a healthy $15.20 on the win end, with the exacta worth $37.80 and the trifecta good for an $86.00 return. The second leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker is slated for Friday, March 19. Preliminary round action continues in the series through April 9, and the final is slated to take place on Monday, April 19. Stakes action continues on Monday night at Yonkers with five $40,000 divisions of the opening leg of the MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers. Post time is 7:15 p.m. From Yonkers Raceway

Wednesday night's (Mar. 10) card at Yonkers Raceway featured three $15,000 divisions of the second round of the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series for colts and geldings. Dragon Said and Scootnroll both repeated their victories from the first leg, while Diamondbeach took the night's fastest flight. Dragon Said (Joe Bongiorno) was the 1-5 favorite in the opening group and didn't disappoint, winning in 1:54.3. Away second from post two, Bongiorno brought Dragon Said to the outside coming off the first turn, and he would go around early pace-setter Cigar Smoking Tony (Jason Bartlett) for the top spot after the 28.1 quarter. Dragon Said continued to show the way to the half in 57.4 and the three-quarters in 1:26.3, but Rolling With Sam (George Brennan) put some first-over pressure on him at that latter marker. Rolling With Sam stayed game on the rim around the last turn and continued to menace Dragon Said turning for home, but Dragon Said kicked it into another gear in the stretch and went on to win by a length and a half. Rolling With Sam held second, followed by Cigar Smoking Tony.       Trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Robert Devine, Dragon Said is a 4-year-old Well Said gelding. This was his sixth career win, and he has now earned $46,232. Dragon Said paid $2.60 to win and headed a $9.40 exacta and a $19.40 trifecta. The outside post was no issue for Diamondbeach (Austin Siegelman) in the second split as he went right down the road to tally in a life's-best clocking of 1:52.3. Siegelman sent Diamondbeach from the seven-hole, and he was able to get in front of Odds On Brexit (Tyler Buter) well before the 28.1 opening quarter. Diamondbeach marched on to the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:24.3, then slammed the door with a 28 second final kicker, downing Odds On Brexit by 4 1/4 lengths. Trevor's Ace (Jordan Stratton) collected third.       Ricky Bucci owns and trains Diamondbeach, a 4-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere. Diamondbeach is now a five-time winner from 18 appearances, and he has banked $44,116. Diamondbeach, a 3-1 shot, returned $8.30 to win and topped a $49.00 exacta and a $132.00 trifecta. In the final section, Sailboat Hanover (Brennan) and Salt Life (Mark MacDonald) tussled early on, with Sailboat Hanover getting to the front in a 26.4 opening quarter. He was able to back down the pace to 56 seconds at the half, but 4-5 favorite Retour Au Jeu (Stratton) was out and on the move from fourth prior to that marker, giving Got The Mojo (Matt Kakaley) a second-over trip and Scootnroll (Buter) the third-over ride. Retour Au Jeu, who was a round one winner, forged his way around Sailboat Hanover just after the 1:24.2 three-quarters. Despite losing his cover, Got The Mojo continued on and battled with Retour Au Jeu on the final turn, with Scootnroll going three-wide off the bend. Retour Au Jeu dug in determinedly and managed to hold off Got The Mojo, but he couldn't do the same with Scootnroll, as he powered by late to win by a neck in 1:53.4. Retour Au Jeu had to settle for second, and Got The Mojo ended up third.       A 4-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe, Scootnroll is trained by Todd Buter for owners Rick and Geoff Howles. Scootnroll posted his 12th victory from 22 trips behind the gate, and he has pocketed $71,764. Scootnroll, sent off at 7-1, paid $16.40 to win. The exacta returned $40.00, and the trifecta was good for $282.50. The M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series has one additional preliminary round next Wednesday (March 17), and the final will go on March 24. Stakes action resumes at Yonkers Raceway on Friday (March 12) when the track rolls out the red carpet for 18 pacing mares in three $35,000 divisions of the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Post time for the 10-race program is 7:15 p.m. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Dragon Said and Retour Au Jeu picked up new harness racing lifetime marks in winning their respective $15,000 splits in the first leg of the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series on Wednesday night (March 3) at Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Joe Bongiorno in the final division, Dragon Said moved out of the pocket to take the lead away from Sailboat Hanover (George Brennan) going to the 28.3 opening quarter. Dragon Said, sent off as the 8-5 second choice, continued on the engine to the half in 58 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.1, then drew off powerfully in the final quarter, widening to prevail by seven lengths in 1:53.1. Sailboat Hanover wound up second, and favored My Pal Joe (Alek Chartrand) had to settle for third after stalling out from first-up on the last turn.   Trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Robert Devine, Dragon Said is a 4-year-old Well Said gelding. This was his fifth career win, and he has now earned $38,732. Dragon Said paid $5.50 to win. The exacta was worth $20.00, and trifecta returned $28.00. Retour Au Jeu (Jordan Stratton) raced in the second section, and he watched from fourth as Odds On Brexit (Tyler Buter), Rolling With Sam (Brennan), and Got The Mojo (Matt Kakaley) all had a turn on the front through a snappy 27 second opening quarter. Once the dust settled, Stratton guided Retour Au Jeu to the outside, and he was able to brush to the point before the 56.1 half. Retour Au Jeu then successfully withstood a first-over try from Odds On Brexit to the 1:24.2 three-quarters before he paced away to a 2 1/2 length verdict in 1:53.4. Rolling With Sam was up for second, and Trevor's Ace (Scott Zeron) got third at 64-1. Dennis Laterza trains Retour Au Jeu, a 4-year-old He's Watching gelding, for owner Latz A Luck Stable. Retour Au Jeu now has a record of 8-5-6 from 24 lifetime starts, and he has banked $48,768. Retour Au Jeu, the 3-2 favorite, returned $5.00 to win. The exacta returned $19.80, and the trifecta kicked back $259.50. Even-money second choice Scootnroll (Buter) turned a second-over trip into a 1:56.1 triumph in the first flight. He beat Panther Time (Joe Bongiorno), who led through panels of 28.2, 58.4, and 1:27.4, by a length and a half, and Gonnahaveonemore (Brett Holland) saved third after a pocket trip. A 4-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe, Scootnroll is trained by Todd Buter for owners Rick and Geoff Howles. Scootnroll is now an 11-time winner from 21 trips behind the gate, and he has pocketed $64,264. Scootnroll paid $4.20 to win. The exacta returned $10.60, and the trifecta was good for $18.00. Rounding out Wednesday night's winners in the M Life Gents Pacing Series was Lou's Sweetrevenge (Brennan). After racing in fourth through stations of 27.1, 56.2, and 1:24.2, Brennan had Lou's Sweetrevenge off the cones before three-quarters. Lou's Sweetrevenge gained into third on the last turn, rallied past tiring leader Cigar Smoking Tony (Jason Bartlett) in the stretch, and hit the line a length and three-quarters to the good in 1:54. Diamondbeach (Zeron) advanced from last to second in the back-half of the mile, and Cigar Smoking Tony wound up third. Lou's Sweetrevenge is a 4-year-old Sweet Lou gelding trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Phil Collura, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Lou's Sweetrevenge posted his sixth win in his 36th lifetime effort, and he now shows earnings of $98,403. Lou's Sweetrevenge, who returned $5.30 to win as the 8-5 second choice, headed a $21.80 exacta and a $51.00 trifecta. The M Life Gents Pacing Series continues with preliminary round action the next two Wednesdays (March 10 and 17), and the final is slated for March 24. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Banker Volo gelding Itsonlymoneyhoney swung wide from second-over and was up late to catch the pylonskimming Remarkable De Vie and win the $10,000 trotting harness racing feature during the first Monday card of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. SVF Blusingbride took over from fast starter Remarkable De Vie past a 28.3 opener over a "good" surface, then backed off the half to :59. Heavy favorite Hashtagmadeyalook came up first-over down the backstretch and to the 1:27.3 three-quarters, with Itsonlymoneyhoney tailing the chalk's cover. In the stretch, 27-1 Remarkable De Vie went to the Pocono Pike and looked like he might pull off a big upset, but driver Tyler Buter got Itsonlymoneyhomey in high gear late and took a head decision in 1:57.1. Rob Harmon conditions the winner for Harmon Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Kittenplan, and Winners Circle Racing LLC. Itsonlymoneyhoney went off at odds of 7.90 to 1 and paid $17.80 to win.   The draws for Saturday's Championships in the higher-level Game Of Claims Pacing Series were held Monday, and even though all of the horses have to have shown good recent form just to qualify for the finals, handicapping still may be a bit difficult. In the $25,000 base-priced group, going for $50,000, eight of the nine entrants were claimed last time, while the $30,000 being chased by $15,000-level entrants will find seven of the nine starters having changed hands in the final prelim. In the $50,000 Championship, points leader Melanie's Tedy drew post five, by far the best starting slot early in the meet at Pocono with nearly 30% winners, and he will go for the barn of Dan Maier, tied with Steve Brabrook at the top of the trainers' win list. In the $30,000 contest, top two point earners Sunset Braydon and Royal Heart will get their starts from the innermost spots on the gate; those looking for an "extra factor" can find two with Royal Heart: he won his Game Of Claims Championship last year while competing at this level, and he stays in the barn of trainer Travis Alexander off of a win last time. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - They tried battling the pacesetter Crossfit at several stages of the $11,200 claiming handicap trot feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon, but the Donato Hanover four-year-old gelding is currently quite fit and turned back all challengers in a career-best-equaling 1:54.2. The victorious favorite went to the lead around Cash For Gold just past the :28 quarter, then got no respite as Pilgrims Tide moved early and pressured Crossfit, forcing midfractions of :56.2 and 1:25. When the parked horse faded, Cash For Gold came back out of the pocket, but could get no closer than 1 1/2 lengths at the wire.   Tyler Buter drove the winner, who is trained by Susan Marshall, the co-owner along with John Marshall. Crossfit has now won two straight and four of his last seven, and in three of those miles he went his lifetime best clocking of 1:54.2 - a mark which he also recorded at three last year. George Napolitano Jr. brought in six winners on the Tuesday afternoon card. With five cards left in the 2020 racing season, "George Nap" has the lead among winningest drivers, 194-144, and has all but mathematically captured his ninth straight Pocono crown, and his fourteenth overall dating back to 2003. Napolitano also figures to take home the track's UDR title, unless Dexter Dunn, David Miller, or Jim Morrill Jr. would come in and one would win about 20 races in the last five nights - the percentage title will give George seven in a row and twelve dating back to 2001. And Napolitano was also the track's winningest trainer in five of six years between 2001 and 2006. From the PHHA / The Downs

HARNESS RACING PACER OF THE WEEK: JUST N ACE Despite winning his previous two races at Pocono, this five-year-old gelding was a 9-1 at the windows for Saturday afternoon's $25,000 to $30,000 claiming handicap pace. Perhaps it was because, for one, he was moving up in class from the $20,000 claimers. And there was also the fact that Just N Ace was switching barns after a claim. Leaving from position #1 in a field of seven, Just N Ace didn't seem concerned at all about the lack of betting interest. Driver Larry Stalbaum sent him out to the front, rated him well, and let the gelding, now in the barn of trainer James Guagliardo, do the rest. Just N Ace easily dealt with a first-over challenge from Major Deception and rolled to his third consecutive win in 1:53:2 on a track listed in good condition. Honorable Mention: IYQ YQR (Anthony Napolitano, Marta Piotrow), who moved up in class on Saturday to win a $20,000 claimer in 1:52:1, giving him three victories in a row. Dafinaty (Anthony Napolitano, Tom Wine II), who rolled to his second straight claiming win on Sunday, delivering in 1:54. Talk Show Chica (Tom Jackson driver and trainer), a three-year-old filly who rolled to her second straight condition win on Sunday night, this time scoring in 1:53:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: STOP RESISTIN There are often concerns about a horse coming off a career-best mile, in that bettors worry that it won't be able to duplicate that performance. This four-year-old gelding trained by Steven Brabrook posted his career-best mile in a win in a claiming handicap trot on October 18 at Pocono in 1:54:3. On Sunday night, Stop Reistin faced the same $10,000 to $12,500 claiming handicap trotting group looking for two in a row. Leaving from post position #6 in a field of eight as a 2-1 second choice, Stop Resistin sat back off the early pace as a speed duel between Meetmeinthemiddle and EV's Girl developed. Driver Marcus Miller chose a three-wide path on the back stretch for the gelding and he zipped past the leaders. From there, Stop Resistin was clear of the field and won his second straight, managing to reset his career mark in the process with a 1:53:2. Honorable Mention Crossfit (Tyler Buter, Susan Marshall), who captured his second straight claiming handicap trot on Tuesday and matched his career-best in the process with a 1:54:2. Believer (Tom Jackson, Randy Taft), who followed up his maiden victory at Harrah's with a condition win at Pocono on Tuesday in a career-best 1:58:1. Rich And Miserable (Tyler Buter, Todd Buter), who came up with a victory in Saturday afternoon's featured condition trot at Pocono for a $14,000 purse in 1:53, which was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: HATIKVAH Coming from off the pace with driver Mattias Melander, this trotter rallied for a condition win on Saturday at Pocono at 17-1, paying off $37.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: TYLER BUTER Buter is closing out what might be his best ever season at Pocono pretty strong, as he churned out four wins on Saturday and then added multiple victories again on Sunday and Tuesday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CLAY FAUROT JR. Faurot did well by the veterans on Sunday night, picking up three training wins, all of which came with claiming pacers at least ten years old. 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 The Downs                

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Rich And Miserable, the 2019 Trotter of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, zipped to the lead at the three-quarter pole in the $14,000 harness racing trotting feature at the mountain oval on Saturday afternoon, drawing off to a 5½ length victory in 1:53. Tyler Buter was in his usual perch behind the Explosive Matter gelding, a career winner of 21 of 59 starts and $438,586 for trainer Todd Buter and the ownership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. That same grouping won two races earlier with Two AM, a Muscle Massive gelding who win in 1:55 to raise his lifetime numbers to 32 of 94 and $486,905.   In the $12,800 claiming handicap pacing headliner, the United Ace gelding Just N Ace paid immediate dividends for owner William Gordon and trainer James Guagliardo, who took the horse for $20,000 last week, stepped him up to the $25,000 level, and won his third straight in 1:53.2 when the track was rated "good" early in the card. Driver Larry Stalbaum never looked back with the streaking pacer, winning by a length despite pressure at many points in the mile. Former HHI Man of the Year and longtime USTA director Lon Frocione passed away this past Wednesday at age 88, and trainer Joe Pavia Jr. gave a proper sendoff to his longtime patron by sending out his Sweet Lou gelding Lyons Night Hawk, who rattled off fast numbers of :27.1, :54.1, and 1:22 en route to a 1:50.2 triumph, boosting his earnings to $260,158 while being driven by George Napolitano Jr. Tyler Buter and George Napolitano Jr. both paraded back to the winners circle four times during the Saturday card at Pocono, whose last Sunday night card of 2020 will begin tomorrow at 5 p.m. From the  PHHA / The Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA -Crossfit minded his manners, controlled the front end from an improved post, and easily won the $12,800 claiming handicap trotting harnes racing feature on Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Tyler Buter hustled the Donato Hanover gelding to the lead in front of the stands, rated the half, then got a 56.4 back half out of him to finish out the mile in 1:54.4, with pocketsitting Mr Houdini a non-threatening 1¾ lengths back at the wire. Crossfit can be a chancy proposition - he had run in two of his last three starts, but he won the two before that - and was on top behavior today for trainer Susan Marshall, also co-owner with John Marshall.   Trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt made a cameo appearance at Pocono to drive the sophomore Swiss House Onfire in a $10,400 contest, and horse and driver made short work of their task by stepping home in 1:54.1, last half :56.3. The altered son of Muscle Hill - Brooklyn, a $335,000 yearling with a loaded pedigree who has limited success to date, may be finding his best form right now as he took a new mark here for S R F Stable. Another interestingly-bred horse winning impressively was the Trixton four-year-old Celebrity Rolex, unraced at two and three and now a winner of four out of six starts after a 1:56.2 - :28.1 tally. The $180,000 yearling, whose sire and dam Angelette Hanover can be traced in the near past to "super dam" Amour Angus, was driven by Fern Paquet Jr. for trainer Jennifer Sansone and Celebrity Farms, who purchased the fast trotter just prior to the start of his racing career. George Napolitano Jr., Pocono's perennial leading driver, got hot near the end of the card and ended his Tuesday at the mountain oval with five victories. FINISHING LINES - 100 miles south at Harrah's Philadelphia, Caviart Ally, getting ready for her Breeders Crown eliminations this Saturday at Hoosier, won a Tuesday morning qualifier in 1:50.4 by 25¼ lengths for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Brett Pelling. In the Crown elim, Caviart Ally drew post four, while divisional queenpins Shartin N and Kissin In The Sand drew the outside posts eight and nine, respectively. From the PHHA / The Downs

CHESTER, PA - Despite drawing the outside post in the field of eight, the Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable was able to reach the top with relative ease in the $14,400 trotting harness racing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, and he was not threatened late in a 1:53.3 mile. Driver Tyler Buter hustled the winner of $438,386 to command nearing a :28 opener, then kept him rolling through middle splits of :56.3 and 1:24.4. By the latter station Rich And Miserable was far ahead of the opposition, and he maintained an insurmountable lead to the finish. Todd Buter trains the victorious trotter for Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs.   The Muscle Hill filly Hannah grinded her way to the lead at the three-eighths, then was kept rolling in the lane by driver Tim Tetrick (four wins today) to win the $12,600 co-featured trot, turning back closer Arclight Hanover by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. Julie Miller conditions the stakes-seasoned filly for the Andy Miller Stable Inc., Dumain Haven Farm, and Little E LLC. Deltasun A and driver Todd McCarthy, both recent transfers from Australia to the United States, teamed to make the trotter's local bow a winning one, overhauling favored pacesetter Max by a neck in 1:54 in an $11,600 event. Andrew Harris conditions the Tenotrump gelding, an earner of $189,634 and a high-ratio winner (20 for 54, 37% lifetime), for his A Harris Racing LLC, OB Standardbreds, and Michael Goldberg Racingllc. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

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