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WASHINGTON, PA, July 24, 2020 -- In 2013, a young Irishman determined that he would make his living in harness racing, and that to do so, he would need to leave his homeland, where the sport is largely a part-time pursuit. Thus, he left County Cork to seek success in North America. And he found it. On Saturday, that young man, Robert Cleary, will mark his first appearance in the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows when he sends out Rockin The Aces, the New Jersey Sires Stakes champion, in race 9, the final of three $25,000 Adios eliminations. The top three finishers in each elim return Aug. 1 for the $375,000 final. After leaving the Emerald Isle, Cleary landed in Canada, where he worked for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. He soon shifted to the U.S. and launched his own stable, which now includes 15 head, the majority owned by Royal Wire Products of Ohio. Cleary knows his decision to come to North America was the right one. "I grew up around horses, and that's all I really know. That's where I'm happiest," he says. "If you're going to do it, you might as well do it where there's more money." Cleary got Rockin The Aces for his sophomore campaign from owner Robert Barry, who's based in Dublin and follows his horse via the internet. The Rock N Roll Heaven-Mattaroni gelding has blossomed under Cleary's tutelage, winning a NJSS leg as well as the $160,000 final at the Meadowlands in a sparkling 1:49.4. And he's fresh, with only three starts this year. Based on those plusses, he's been installed as a 9-2 selection in the morning line. For all that, Cleary is realistic about his horse's chances. "It's a pretty big step up for him," Cleary says, "but he hasn't done anything wrong, so we have to give him a shot. I would have preferred post 3 or 4. It would have been easier for him to get away from the middle of the gate." Although Rockin The Aces is eligible for the Little Brown Jug, he isn't heavily staked for the rest of the season, so Adios orchids may be his best chance for glory. If he should win and you're trackside to greet the victorious trainer, remember: It's Robert, Rob if you must, never Bob or Bobby. "My mother doesn't mind when it's 'Rob,' but she doesn't like the nicknames that begin with 'B." And you have to make your mother happy." The action-packed eliminations card, which kicks off at 12:45 PM, also features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers -- a $188,682 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event -- and a $16,582.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. Here are the eliminations fields with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: Adios Elimination, Race 5 1. Later Dudes Brian Brown David Miller 5-1 2. Roll With JR Jeff Cullipher Corey Callahan 8-1 3. Sandbetweenmytoes Jim Campbell Dave Palone 3-1 4. The Greek Freak Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 7-2 5. Put To Right Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 6-1 6. Captain Groovy Ray Schnittker Mark MacDonald 9-2 7. Chief Mate Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 7-1 Adios Elimination, Race 8 1. Somebodyitreasure Andrew Harris Brett Miller 12-1 2. Tru Lou Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 12-1 3. Sweet Truth Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 8-1 4. Papi Rob Hanover Brett Pelling David Miller 3-2 5. Sea Of Life Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 4-1 6. Captain Barbossa Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 4-1 7. No Lou Zing Nancy Takter Josert Fonseca 7-1 Adios Elimination, Race 9 1 .Rockin The Aces Robert Cleary Brett Miller 9-2 2. No Quarter Brian Brown Dave Palone 9-2 3. Mac's Big Boy Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 15-1 4. Elver Hanover Ron Burke Chris Page 5-2 5. Capt Midnight Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 7-2 6. Seriously Hanover Ron Coyne, Jr. Scott Zeron 7-1 7. Catch The Fire John Ackley Mike Wilder 5-1 by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs are announcing several date changes for the 2020 harness racing stakes schedule. The recent cancellation of the Sun Stakes at Pocono removed a few potential conflicts and left two prime Saturdays without any stakes which led to several of the following adjustments.   First off, Tioga Downs is announcing that the NYSS 3-year-old Colt Pace scheduled for Sunday, June 14 has been delayed one week to June 21 due to NY Agricultural Fund concerns over horses getting qualified in time for the race.   Also moving to June 21 are the Roll With Joe and the first leg of the Graduate Series for Pacers.   The first leg of the Graduate Series for trotters will remain on Sunday, June 14 at Tioga where originally scheduled.   Leg #2 of the Graduate Series trot has moved one day from Friday, June 26 to Saturday, June 27 and the second leg for pacers will now be raced on Saturday, July 4. Both are at The Meadowlands.   The Graduate Series has been reduced from four legs to two due to scheduling constraints and the Finals will remain on Saturday, July 11 as part of the Meadowlands Pace elimination card.   Also being raced on the July 4 card at The Meadowlands will be the Arthur Cutler Memorial trotting stake.   All of the 2-year-old stakes at The Meadowlands remain on the 2020 schedule but the order has been rearranged to avoid as much conflict as possible. The Kindergarten Series dropped one leg, down to four and the finals.   The entire revised 2020 Meadowlands stakes list is posted on the track website.   There are two important changes to the 2020 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for 3-year-old trotters. Originally scheduled with elimination races and a Final on Memorial Day, the EBC Trots will be raced as a single stake on Saturday, July 4.   The conditions state that "if more than 11 declare to start the Host Track may adopt any of the methods of dividing the race then current in the rules and regulations". With the season shortened and dates at a premium the elimination will be discarded and if more that 11 declare for the colt or filly EBC it will go in divisions with the purse divided.     Nick Salvi  

Little Brown Jug Society president Tom Wright has announced some sweeping changes to future Little Brown Jugs and its harness racing filly companion event, the Jugette. In 2022, the Little Brown Jug will start accepting supplemental entries with a payment of $45,000 (Jugette supplements would pay $15,000). Horses will no longer have to win either the Cane Pace, the Messenger, The North American Cup or the Meadowlands Pace to supplement. Supplemental entries will be due using a five-day box and would be the first horse(s) eliminated should the field exceed the 24 horse maximum. Future eliminations of the Jug will be raced for a purse of $50,000 each ($25,000 in the Jugette), with the balance remaining for the second heat. All of the starters in the second heat will receive at least 1% of the second heat purse (starting with the 2020 LBJ). The second heat will now allow for 'also eligibles.' Horses will be ranked based on their elimination finish position and then by highest lifetime earnings. "We hope these changes will allow the best horses available to compete in the Little Brown Jug. Our goal is to make sure we have full fields and put on a great event for our fans," noted Wright. The changes were finalized by the LBJ Society executive committee and approved by the entire board. The new conditions will start with the 77th Little Brown Jug to be raced in 2022. The Yearling Nomination Payment for the Jug and Jugette remain $50 and are due May 15. A copy of the new conditions can be found at LittleBrownJug.com. May 15th Payments Due Date Remains Besides the Yearling Nomination Payment for the Little Brown Jug and Jugette, the 2022 Old Oaken Bucket and Buckette ($25) and the 2021 Standardbreds ($25) are also due on May 15. Payment forms can be found on LittleBrownJug.com.        

Columbus, OH — Due to COVID-19, the 2020 stakes schedule at North American harness racing tracks has been impacted with many postponements or cancellations. To access the latest information compiled by the USTA, click here. April 22, 2020, from the USTA Communications Department

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 13, 2019 -- Lyons Sentinel blasted through the soggy Lightning Lane to score for Tim Tetrick in 1:51, matching the stake record for the Meadow Cheer, a $183,040 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman harness racing filly pacers, Tuesday at The Meadows. Rocknificent worked hard to capture the other division, giving Tetrick a stake sweep. Trainer Jim King, Jr. received Lyons Sentinel in mid-July when owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound moved her from the stable of Gareth Dowse. King said he made only minor rigging changes for the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover. "She came to me a pretty good filly," King said. "She's kind of limber necked, so we added a pair of line poles, and we ended up putting a set of knee boots on her. I like her determination. On the front end, she'll be loose-lining. When a horse comes to her, she bucks right up. She's a fighter." In the Meadow Cheer, she yielded to the pocket once Baby Your The Best quarter-poled to the top. Though the track had been rendered "good" by intermittent rain, Lyons Sentinel had little trouble overpowering Baby Your The Best and downing her by 2 lengths. More Than Kute finished third. It was the second PASS win for Lyons Sentinel, who matched the stake record of Bettor's Up and vaulted over $100,000 in earnings. When she won a July 20 PASS split, Rocknificent was forced to close outside after a slowish 58.1 first half. On Tuesday, it was deja vu all over again; the half went in 58.1, with Rocknificent chasing outside. This time she was able to follow the live first-over cover of Beyond Ecstasy. "When I saw that half, I thought, 'here we go again,'" said Linda Toscano, who trains the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Rocklamation for Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC. "I saw her pace the last half in 54 the last time she was here. I think she can do it; I just don't want her to do it too often. "She looks the part, she has the pedigree and she acts like she likes doing what she's doing.' Rocknificent kicked by Beyond Ecstasy in the lane to defeat her by 1/2 length in 1:52.2, with Marloe Hanover third. Aaron Merriman collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the card features a $994.84 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Boca Raton, FL — New York’s leading 3-year-old trotting filly of 2019, Quincy Blue Chip 3,1:53.2f, sold for $335,000 on Monday afternoon (July 15) at onGait.com. Richard Banca of New York will now campaign the daughter of Chapter Seven, after spirited bidding near the close of the auction. Consigned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc., Quincy Blue Chip record her fifth victory of the year on Sunday afternoon (July 14), winning a NYSS division at Tioga Downs. Also on Monday, Bo Mach p,4,1:51.2f, sold to Dylan Davis of Delaware for $60,000. William Hartt of Maine was the consignor. Since August of 2001, onGait.com has assisted horsemen worldwide in buying and selling racehorses and broodmares, as well as stallion breedings and shares.   by onGait.com

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 25, 2019--As a yearling, Bettor's Wish sold for all of $20,000. "But he's not a $20,000 horse anymore." So said harness racing co-owner and trainer Chris Ryder Saturday night (May 25th) after his charge--and driver Dexter Dunn--made short work of Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. It was Kiwis on Parade during a cool and windy Westchester evening. The 29th Rooney, for 3-year-old colts and geldings (actually, it's an open event, but why quibble?), turned into a romp for the odds-on ($3.70) choice. One of the last week's two elimination winners, Bettor's Wish drew post position No. 6 in the finale. He found himself three-wide early, outside of Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald) and Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) and inside of Blood Money (Scott Zeron). Blood Money made the lead before a 27-second opening quarter-mile, then a :55.4 intermission. Going down the backside the second time, Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno) was advancing out of fifth before he broke stride. That allowed Buddy Hill a path out of third, and he was about to leave the cones, Bettor's Wish extricated himself from the pocket. The one disposed of Blood Money soon after a 1:24.1 three-quarters, preparing to bust the race wide open. Bettor's Wish slapped three lengths on his rivals in and out of the final turn, then ran it up. The final margin was a half-dozen lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Second went to Branquinho (Tyler Buter), while Air Force Hanover (Dave Miller) was third. That tandem offered solid closes, especially 'Air Force,' the faster (1:52.4) elim winner who was stuck behind the eight-ball here. Buddy Hill and Blood Money picked off the remainder, while Captain Malicious--uncoupled stablemate of the runner-up--Price Hanover (Dan Dube) and he misbehaving Rollwithpapajoe completed the order. For Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt also co-owned by Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Kenneth Solomon, he's won all three of his seasonal starts ($180,000). The exacta paid $24, the triple returned $242.50 and the superfecta paid $1,138. "I thought if I stayed in here I could get stuck in a two-hole trip," Dunn said. "It was pretty intense going in the first turn. We'd done a bit of work, but he travelled really good past the half. I decided to pop (before the three-quarters). It could've been a bad move, but the horse pulled through." "When I first qualified him, I thought he was a very good horse," Ryder said. "I drove him and he won the race, but broke a hopple. "I knew tonight was a real test. He didn't have the best of posts, but I figured if he's the best he'll get there one way or the other. I'm very thankful of the way Dexter drove him. "This wasn't an easy race for a driver and he did a great job." Ryder said Bettor's Wish is off to the North America Cup. For his part, Dunn finished off a helluva week, which began by winning last Sunday's (May 19th) Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs with Done Well. Saturday night's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Trot--Weslynn Dancer (Zeron, $5.80) in 1:54.4, --Pace--Micky Gee N (Jordan Stratton, $3.80) in 1:52.2. The Raceway now takes a hiatus until Friday night, June 7th.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity

This Week: W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (May 11) will host two harness racing divisions in the $48,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and two divisions in the $43,600 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Osterc and driver Yannick Gingras made a three-wide move on the backstretch and overtook leader Cavill Hanover on the final turn on their way to victory in Saturday's (May 4) $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old trotters at Freehold Raceway. Osterc, the 3-5 favorite, won by 1-1/4 lengths over HL Revadon in 1:57. Skyway Kon Man finished third and Cavill Hanover was fourth. The Dexter Cup is the first stakes race on the road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's premier event for 3-year-old trotters. Osterc is eligible to the Hambletonian, as are HL Revadon and Cavill Hanover. "He had plenty of go," Gingras said about Osterc, a 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who was making his seasonal debut. "He got a little bit bumpy going around the last turn, but other than that he was perfect. He had a lot of trot and he got the job done. As far as trot-wise, there were no worries anywhere." Osterc, who started from post six in a field reduced to seven horses by the scratch of Big Money Honey, got away in sixth place as HL Revadon went to the early lead. HL Revadon yielded the top spot to Cavill Hanover as the leaders reached the quarter-mile point in :28.2. Cavill Hanover continued to lead through a half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.3. Osterc, who began his move to the front just prior to the midway point and flushed the cover of Dexter Cup elimination winner Whirl Winds K, trotted the final quarter-mile in :29.1 to win for the sixth time in eight career starts. Osterc is trained by Per Engblom, who is in his first year with his own stable after spending the past six years as Jimmy Takter's top assistant. The Dexter Cup was Engblom's first stakes victory. He trains the colt, a son of Cantab Hall out of Oh Oh Hereshecomes who has earned $285,876 lifetime, for breeder-owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk. "That was nice, very nice," Engblom said. "Coming off the last turn Yannick said he hit the wheel and was close to making a break, but he had plenty of trot, so that was a good feeling. I was sure he had enough power, it was just a question of keeping him flat." Osterc paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.40. One race prior to the Dexter, Gingras captured the $66,000 Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters with 6-5 favorite Magical Beliefs. The filly, trained by Linda Toscano, won by a half-length over Cardinale in 1:57.4 with Golden Tricks finishing third. Magical Beliefs, a daughter of Cantab Hall out of Frisky Magic who was making her seasonal debut, is owned by Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables, and R-And-I Farms. She has won five of 11 career races and earned $201,989. Magical Beliefs, who is not eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks, paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.40. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 158; 2. George Brennan - 100; 3. Jason Bartlett - 87; 4. Scott Zeron - 82; 5. Daniel Dube - 77. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 122; 2. Rene Allard - 77; 3. Ron Burke - 58; 4. Richard Banca - 51; 5. Erv Miller - 50. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 45; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 41.5; 3. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 4. Robert Cooper Stables - 39.1; 5. Royal Wire Products - 37. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action resumes on May 18 at The Meadowlands Racetrack with the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open trotters and at Yonkers Raceway with eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and the Lismore for 3-year-old filly pacers.   by Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

Osterc will take his first steps on the Hambletonian trail Saturday (May 4) when he faces seven foes in the $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old male trotters at Freehold Raceway. Osterc, last season's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, is making his 2019 harness racing debut after sitting out last week's Dexter elimination thanks to a bye he received for being the field's top money-earner. The Dexter Cup is the traditional first stakes race on the road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters. Osterc is among five Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the final, along with elimination winner Whirl Winds K, Cavill Hanover, HL Revadon, and Jason's Camden. Osterc will start the Dexter Cup from post No. 6 on Freehold's half-mile oval. Yannick Gingras will drive the colt for trainer Per Engblom and breeder-owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk. Osterc qualified twice ahead of Saturday's start, winning in 1:55 on April 6 at The Meadowlands and finishing second behind pacer Albergo Hanover on April 19 at Freehold. Osterc was timed in 1:56.4. "I was very pleased with that last qualifier," Engblom said. "He was plugs in and strong in that mile. I'm hoping he can go forward from there." Osterc, a son of Cantab Hall-Oh Oh Hereshecomes, won five of seven races last year and earned $226,401. Four of his victories came in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes series, including the final. The remaining win came in a conditioned race. Engblom said he decided to accept the bye and skip the Dexter elimination in the hopes of keeping Osterc fresh through the year. He has the first leg of the sire stakes on May 11. "This is just the beginning of the season," he said. "I'm hoping he is going to have a good season; I don't want to burn him out. We're going to start out in Pennsylvania and if he's good enough he has the Grand Circuit. "I'm very happy with the way he came back. He's going to make some money this year and hopefully we can get a little bit of luck down the road too. He's coming back a little stronger than I anticipated. He doesn't have the greatest of gaits maybe, but he is very honest and gives you what he's got. His two qualifiers were very good. Let's hope that's a good sign for this week." Whirl Winds K, who won the Dexter elimination by a nose over Cavill Hanover, will start the final from post four with George Brennan in the sulky for trainer Rich Gillock. The colt is owned by breeder Bob Key. He has won four of 13 career races and earned $54,965. Two of the victories came last year when Whirl Winds K was limited to four starts. "He had a few little issues and it just took a little while to get him squared away," Gillock said. "Before you knew it, it got to be October before he was able to keep going forward. "He's a nice horse, he just has to get a little better so he can go and be competitive in the bigger races. Hopefully he will. He's got a great attitude about him, so that's a big factor." Saturday's card at Freehold also includes the $66,000 Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters. The race attracted a field of nine, including Hambletonian Oaks eligibles Rush Lane, Golden Tricks, and Presto Change O. The remainder of the group is Cardinale, Big Weezy, Magical Beliefs, Meadowbranch Vicki, Matterlei, and Atonement. Racing begins at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Freehold. The Dexter Cup is race 10 and will be preceded by the Lady Suffolk. For the day's complete entries, click here. Following is the field for the $118,950 Dexter Cup. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Cotton To You-Andrew McCarthy-Lucas Wallin 2-HL Revadon-Dexter Dunn-Harry Landy 3-Jason's Camden-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 4-Whirl Winds K-George Brennan-Rich Gillock 5-Cavill Hanover-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 6-Osterc-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom 7-Big Money Honey-Joe Bongiorno-Travis Alexander 8-Skyway Kon Man-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer Hambletonian eligible: HL Revadon, Jason's Camden, Whirl Winds K, Cavill Hanover, Osterc.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

The Red Mile will host Kentucky Super Night on Sunday, Sept. 17, with total purses of $1.7 million offered. Super Night features eight Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) finals for harness racing 2 -and 3-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. As a result of new KYSS conditions which went into effect this year that expanded eligibility and included an increase in purses, the four 2-year-old finals will each be worth $250,000, while the 3-year-old finals will be worth $175,000 each. All four of last year's 2-year-old champions are back to defend their titles. They include the 3-year-old colt pacer V Power, who won both his KYSS preliminaries and is riding a seven-race win streak heading into Sunday's final. Dave Palone, harness racing's all-time leader with more than 18,000 victories, will drive V Power for breeder-owner-trainer Donna "Lee" Gilfson-Eferstein. Other returning champs include the 3-year-old colt trotter Starlight AS, who also swept both his earlier KYSS legs, the 3-year-old filly pacer In The Dark, who has a first and third in the preliminaries, and the 3-year-old filly trotter Sheas Victory, who finished second in the prelims behind fellow finalists Almondy AS and Cassandra AS, stablemates from the barn of the Paris, Ky.-based trainer Anette Lorentzon. Full fields of 10 will go behind the gate in each of the 2-year-old finals. A competitive field in the filly trot includes Lily Stride, who captured both of her KYSS prelims after finishing third in the $330,800 Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands. The 10-filly race includes six others who won early KYSS legs: Zoe Bi, Top Expectations, Passionate Miss, Deschanel, Nixie Volo and Foxy Fantasy. In the filly pace, Band Stand has been most impressive as she swept her way through three KYSS preliminary victories. Also in the race is Pure Paradise, who is a two-time winner in KYSS legs. The field also includes Hurrikane Empress, who won the $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes final in July at the Meadowlands and is an example of the new conditions that allow for horses to have dual eligibility depending on where the mare resides and where the stallion stands stud duty. Shakewhatmamagaveu, who was fifth in the $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes final on Sept. 2 at Scioto Downs, also made the KYSS final. The field for the 2-year-old colt pace includes leg-winners Decoy, Gone Again, Grand Teton and Key Advisor. The 2-year-old colt trot finalists include prelim winners Hat Trick Habit, US Marshall, Dawson Springs, Haveitalltogether, Wolfgang and Cordoba Hall. The Red Mile is also nearing the two-year anniversary of the opening of its new gaming parlor that houses 902 Historical Racing machines as well as a remodeled simulcasting area. Post time for the first race on Kentucky Super Night is 7 p.m. The clubhouse will be open for buffet dining, with reservations available by calling (859) 255-0752. Kentucky Sires Stakes  

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs presents its biggest harness racing card of the season on Sunday, August 27 with nine stakes Grand Circuit on the day carrying total purses of nearly $750,000.   Highlights include the $170,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot, $150,000 Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot and $158,000 Artiscape Open Mare Pace supported by six divisions of the Reynolds stakes for 2-year-olds rounding out the program.   Ten of the finest trotters in the land are entered for the Crawford Farms (race 8) with the combined earnings of the field in excess of $12 million.   Resolve (PP #7) is the leading career money winner and arguably the best trotter currently racing in North America for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt and owner Hans Enggren. A winner three times in eight seasonal starts, Reslove's most recent effort was a convincing open length win in the $303,000 Cashman Memorial on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.   Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) chased Resolve home on that occasion and has drawn just to the outside of his chief rival on Sunday. He's handling the graduation to the veteran ranks nicely for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling with wins in the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate final versus 4-year-old competition. Facing this deep and talented group in only his second foray open competition is a arduous task for last year's Triple Crown champ.   The Joie De Vie (race 6) features last year's dominant division leader Hannelore Hanover (PP#5 Yannick Gingras) and her newest rival in Swedish import Pasithea Face S (PP#2 Tim Tetrick). In the initial meeting Pasithea Face vanquished her accomplished rival with a grueling first over move to win the Dr John Steele Memorial on Hambo Day. Hannelore has not raced since while Pasithea Face tuned up with an overall track record 1:50.4 at Tioga last week in a leg of the Miss Versatility.   The Artiscape (race 7) pits Lady Liberty winner Pure Country (PP#5 Mark MacDonald) against Golden Girls winner Nike Franco N (PP#2 Tetrick) in another field of six. Those two threw down for the final three eighths of a mile in the Liberty with Nike Franco wrestling the lead away by a neck at the stretch call before Pure Country rallied back to get the win.   The Reynolds stakes cover six races, two each for the trotting and pacing colts and a single division of fillies for each gait.   It's Corntastic weekend at Tioga Downs and post time on Sunday is 1:00 p.m.   Here are the fields for the three featured events:   SIXTH RACE Condition: Joie De Vie Open Mares Gait: Trot Purse: $150,000 Class: JOIEDEVIE Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 JEWELS IN HOCK L Ma Kakaley Ro Burke 1:54.0 1-9-1 8-1       2 2 PASITHEA FACE S   Ti Tetrick Ji Takter 1:50.4 1-1-2 9-5       3 3 CAPRICE HILL   Br Sears To Alagna 1:53.3 4-2-2 5-1       4 4 EMOTICON HANOVER   Da Dube Lu Blais 1:51.0 3-1-1 3-1       5 5 HANNELORE HANOVER L Ya Gingras Ro Burke 1:50.3 4-2-1 2-1       6 6 FAD FINANCE   Da Miller TrSmedshammer 1:52.1 5-1-3 12-1       SEVENTH RACE Condition: Artiscape Open Mares Gait: Pace Purse: $158,000 Class: ARTISCAPE Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 CALL ME QUEEN BE   Sc Zeron Ro Croghan 1:53.0 2-4-5 9-2       2 2 NIKE FRANCO N L Ti Tetrick Ja King Jr 1:48.0 3-2-1 2-1       3 3 FROST DAMAGE BLUES L Co Callahan Th Fanning 1:50.1 1-5-4 5-1       4 4 BEDROOMCONFESSIONS L Ya Gingras To Alagna 1:49.3 1-5-1 7-2       5 5 PURE COUNTRY L Ma MacDonald Ji Takter 1:48.0 1-2-7 5-2       6 6 PENPAL   Da Dube Pa Lachance 1:49.2 7-3-6 8-1       EIGHTH RACE Condition: Crawford Farms Open Horses Gait: Trot Purse: $170,000 Class: CRAWFORD Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 DAYSON L Ti Tetrick Ro Burke 1:52.3 4-3-4 6-1       2 2 FLANAGAN MEMORY L Br Sears Re Dion 1:52.2 1-8-2 7-2       3 3 JL CRUZE   Da Miller Er Ell 1:51.0 5-1-3 5-1       4 4 PRAIRIE FORTUNE L Ja Meittinis Mi Deters 1:53.2 8-4-1 15-1       5 5 GURAL HANOVER L Ma Kakaley Ro Burke 1:51.0 1-1-1 8-1       6 6 CUFFLINK HANOVER   Co Callahan JoButenschoen 1:51.1 4-7-2 12-1       7 7 RESOLVE   Ak Svanstedt Ak Svanstedt 1:54.2 1-4-8 5-2       8 8 MARION MARAUDER   Sc Zeron Pa Wellwood 1:51.2 2-1-1 3-1       9 9 CRAZY WOW L Ya Gingras Ro Burke 1:51.1 10-3-1 4-1       10 [10 WINGS OF ROYALTY   Ma MacDonald Ge Ducharme 1:52.4 1-11-2 15-1   Nick Salvi

Mossdale Conner, Lady Shadow win Invites

The marquee event at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 3) was the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. But harness racing history and outstanding performances in other races combined to provided a show that those in attendance won't soon forget. In the main event, Atta Boy Dan led at every post en route to a three-length victory in the 13th annual Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. Off the gate, Atta Boy Dan (Jim Morrill Jr.) rebuffed early challenges from Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) and Doctor Butch (Jim Marohn Jr.) and seated them both past the eighth pole. Then after the field followed in single file to a :27.4 quarter, Morrill backed off the half to :56.3 and took full control of the race. Royal Heart (Drew Monti) started an outer flow into the clubhouse turn and had Aslan (Sean McDonough) in tow, but no one got closer than two-lengths before they hit the head of the stretch. From there, Fireyourguns pulled the pocket for one last shot but Atta Boy Dan, pacing his last quarter in :27.4, was just too good and pulled away to an easy win in 1:52.1. Fireyourguns hung on to be second and Aslan came up to be third. "I had a smooth journey to the half and as soon as I called on him, he was on cruise right to the wire. That was a good horse (Fireyourguns) sitting on my back and I was a little worried about him, but mine felt pretty good too. I wish I could have a Burke horse off the rail every year in this race" said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr. It was the sixteenth victory of the year for Atta Boy Dan ($2.30) and the winner's share boosted his earning to $222,757 in 2015 for owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Atta Boy Dan was just part of the story for Jim Morrill Jr. on Saturday night as he won seven races out of the 11 he had on the card. Combine those with a second and third he also had and Morrill posted an amazing .717 UDR for the evening. The all-time pacing track record of 1:51.1 was not broken in the race; however trotting history was made instead. Lutetium got back to his front-running comfort zone and destroyed the field in the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot. In a late driver change, John Cummings Jr. was tapped to steer Lutetium and wasted no time earning his keep. When prohibitive betting favorite, Tall Cotton made a break in the first turn, Cummings rushed Lutetium away and opened up a gap of as much as 15 lengths between himself and the rest of the field through fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:25.1 before scooting home to a six-length victory in 1:55.2. The winning time broke the existing track record of 1:56 for aged trotting geldings that was co-held by Lutetium and Second Hand News, both who set that mark in 2014. "They said he hasn't been leaving well lately, so I scored him down fast. Once he got the front in the race; the more I grabbed him, the more he went on. I was a passenger" said Cummings Jr. It was the ninth win of the year for Lutetium and it pushed his bank account to $68,886 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw. Overlooked at 10-1, Lutetium returned $22.60. This was just one of three wins for John Cummings Jr., who scored the hat trick on the night. There were also two, $50,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation events on the card for 2-year-old colts and geldings and also fillies. The boy's division was won by Southern Palms (RC Royalty-Pacific Elegance) in 1:59.2. The post-time favorite went wire to wire and won by four-lengths. It was the first career win for Southern Palms ($4.40) who is trained by Erv Miller for owners Ronald Michelon and Anthony Lombardi. After the race, winning driver Jim Marohn Jr. said "Erv (Miller) tipped me off that he was a handful tonight; and he was!" The distaff leg went to Royal Surprise (RC Royalty-Miss Conway), also in 1:59.2. After getting away fourth, the filly tipped three-deep at three-quarters and pulled away to a two-length win. It was also the first career win for Royal Surprise ($6.50) who is trained by Dan Daley for owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, Richard Lombardo and Michael White. "She was good the whole mile and when I asked her, she just trotted away. She was good tonight" said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr. There was a huge crowd on hand Saturday night and the fans both in the stands and watching remotely, were putting some money through the windows. The total handle was up 15% this year, versus Kane night of 2014. The Paddock Room and enclosed grandstand were very crowded and the clubhouse was sold out once again. There were so many people in line to receive their free Kane Pace t-shirt, it took over two races to distribute the goods. Racing will reconvene at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) for a 12-race program that will commence at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Vernon Downs will host the Crawford Farms Open Trot, Muscle Hill Open Mare Trot and Artiscape Open Mare Pace on Friday, August 21. The draw for all three is on Tuesday, August 18 and the box closes at 9:00 am. They are Stakes Barn races with the horses due in no later than 8:00 pm the night before.   There is also a New York Sires Stake for 2YO pacing fillies on the same card.   Horsemen that plan to stay at the Vernon Downs hotel are encouraged to make those arrangements with the Racing Office sooner rather than later. The RO may be reached at (315) 829-6825.   Tioga Downs hosts the Roll With Joe Open Pace on Sunday, August 23 on the same card with the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) Finals and Reynolds Memorial stakes for 2YO trotters. The box for these stakes closes at 9:00 am on Wednesday, August 19. Phone for the Tioga RO is (607) 699-7688.   The Roll With Joe and EBC Finals are Stakes Barn races with the horses due in no later than 8:00 pm the night before.   Condition sheets are available on the USTA website.    

Sixty-eight 2-year-old Ohio-bred harness racing pacing and trotting fillies are set to wage war on Saturday night at Scioto Downs in the second leg of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) competition. Of the 68 distaffs that passed the entry box, 38 are of the pacing gait and 30 are diagonally-gaited Standardbreds, all of whom will vie for a $40,000 purse in each of the seven divisions. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET for the first race. Four OSS Pacing Divisions Miss Me Yet looks to be a definitive choice in the first (Race 1) of four OSS divisions for pacers. The daughter of I'm Gorgeous-Live Inspired-Western Hanover is an all-around family filly, as she was bred by Fannin Racing and George Teague, Jr., of Harrington, DE and is co-owned by Teague. George's sister Brenda trains the filly, and his son Montrell, drives her. Miss Me Yet finished third in the first leg of OSS action on July 3 at Northfield Park, when she was timed in 1:57.2. However, she won her qualifying debut on June 23 at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:56.2 and again in a qualifying test at this same venue on July 14 in 1:57. She leaves from post five against eight rivals. John's Jessi Bird brings a trio of solid Ohio Fair Stake (OFS) tries into her first OSS test for trainer Pierce Henry, who co-owns the filly with James Heiing of Ottawa, OH. The daughter of Big Bad John won her career debut at Paulding on June 9, was second at Ottawa on June 23 and was third at London in OFS competition on July 12. She hails from post two with Ryan Stahl at the lines. She was bred by Ada M Jacobs of Gambier, OH. The second OSS division (Race 5) of pacing fillies finds three daughters of Ohio stallion and Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John squaring off. John's Sunny Girl, Big Bad Bretta and Big Bad Ashley all captured their respective OSS divisions on July 3 at Northfield Park. Doug Hinklin trains John's Sunny Girl, who won her OSS leg a blistering, gate-to-wire effort in 1:55.4 with Greg Grismore in the sulky for owners Parent Racing Stable LLC of Holland, OH. Bred by Midland Acres, John's Sunny Girl starts from post two with Grismore aboard. Also bred by Midland Acres, Big Bad Bretta, a Steve Carter trainee, won her OSS leg in 1:57 for Ohio owners CE Grubbs, RB Reid, SR Hummel and JM Beard. She'll start from post two with Chris Page up. Jim Arledge, Jr., harnesses Big Bad Ashley, who scored in 1:56 with Dan Noble in the sulky. Bred by Ohio's Winchester Baye Acres, Inc., won her OSS first leg in 1:56 after winning an OFS on June 21 at Circleville by 7½ lengths. Awakening headlines the third division (Race 7) of OSS freshman fillies. Trained by Mike Polhamus and owned and bred by Marjorie Polhamus of Fletcher, OH, this daughter of Feelin Friskie-Sidewalk Sleeper-Jate Lobell romped to a 1:57 wire-to-wire victory at Northfield on July 3 in the first leg of this series. Awakening also has a pair of OFS victories on her resume, having won at Paulding on June 9 and at Ottawa on July 23. Regular driver Kayne Kauffman will be in the sulky from post seven for this winner of $23,076 lifetime. Queen Ann M, who was bred by Jay Mossbarger of Bloomington, OH, starts from post nine for driver Chris Page and trainer Mike Roth. This daughter of Big Bad John-Full Fledged-Grinfromeartoear stopped the clock in 1:56.4 in a come-from-behind effort with Page at the lines on July 3 at Northfield in OSS leg one. Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH owns the speedy bay filly. The fourth and final division (Race 11) for pacing fillies will see first leg winner My Tweed Heart leave from the rail with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., in the sulky for trainer Jim Dailey. This daughter of Manhardt-Tweedle D-Towner's Big Guy captured her first OSS leg handily in 1:59.1 at Northfield on July 3. Owned by Carl Atley of Xenia, OH, My Tweed Heart was bred by Stanley Swango, III of Florida. Challenger NPR Nine will have Aaron Merriman in the sulky from post three. This daughter of Big Bad John-Illegally Parked-Nobleland Sam was third to Big Bad Asheley in the first leg of this series, clocked in 1:56.3 for this same driver. She then scored a solid victory on July 16 in a Scioto Downs maiden, in 1:56.4. Ran Russo of Westerville, OH owns and bred NPR Nine, who has $8,800 in career earnings. Three OSS Trotting Divisions Trainer Chris Beaver sends out a formidable pair of fillies in the first division (Race 2) for OSS trotters. Both Kestrel (Triumphant Caviar-Blackrock-Credit Winner) and Evanora (Pilgrim's Taj-Nessa Rose-Chip Chip Hooray) come off solid victories in leg one of this series at Northfield Park on July 3. Kestrel scored a 1:59 front-stepping clocking with Aaron Merriman in the sulky to record her first career win, while Evanora used similar tactics for this same driver, timed in 2:01. Evanora, who is owned and was bred by Sandra Burnett of Wilmington, OH, has the rail and Ken Holiday in the sulky for this event, while Kestrel will get Merriman in the bike from post eight for breeder and co-owner Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH and Beaver, of Delaware, OH. Count On Kami, from post ten with Kurt Sugg up, will be trying for career victory number one. Harnessed by Marty Wollam, this daughter of Full Count-Joys Second Call-Call Toll Free was second in her OSS debut at Northfield on July 3, timed in 1:58.4. She was bred by David Vannatta of Mt. Vernon, OH and is co-owned by Vannatta and Wollam, of Vienna, OH and Acadia Farms Inc., of Canfield, OH. Kerfuffle Cookie, another Beaver trainee, looks to be the solid choice in the second division (Race 3) of OSS trotting fillies. This daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Minor Skirmish-Conway Hall romped in a wire-to-wire triumph on July 3 at Northfield Park in 2:00.1 unchallenged for these same connections. Owned by the Synerco Ventures, Inc. of Toronto, Canada, Kerfuffle Cookie was bred by the LMN Bred Stables, Inc., of Ohio. Aaron Merriman will steer from post one against nine foes. If she can mind her manners, Shut Up And Dance will be Kerfuffle Cookie's main threat from post six. The Dirk Simpson-trainee posted a 1:58 solid, wire-to-wire effort in the first OSS leg at Northfield on July 3, drawing off by four lengths. However, she could not stay on gait in either of her previous or last efforts prior to that OSS win. Owned by James Bafia of Minooka, IL, the daughter of Triumphant Caviar-Passport To Love-Yankee Glide was bred by steve Stewart & Kemppi Stable of Kentucky. The third and final division (Race 9) of trotting distaffs features a slightly more open group of ten than the previous two groups. Still Sizzling, who is trained, driven and co-owned by Dale Decker, along with Douglas Vandergrift of Lambertsville, MI, is the only filly in the field to have captured the first leg of this OSS series at Northfield on July 3. The daughter of Trainforthefuture-Spotty Too Hotty-Lindy Lane romped led from every post to nail down her win in 1:59.4 as the public's choice. Bred by Florence J. Wallace of Ohio, Still Sizzling will have her trainer back in the sulky from post seven. Leavinonajettrain failed to nail a check in her OSS debut at Northfield on July 3, but since has posted a 2:03.2 clocking in a runaway effort in a Meadow's qualifier on July 16. Driven by Mike Wilder, the daughter of Trainforthefuture-Loire-Daguet Rapids won that effort by 18¼ lengths for trainer Ronnie Burke-who co-owns her along with partners Weaver Bruscemi of Cannonsburg, PA, Jason Melilo of Powell, OH and Phillip Collura of Mountain Township, PA. Chris Page will drive Leavinonajettrain-who was bred by Ohioans Steve Bateson and Jeff Shafer-from post three. The third leg of this Ohio Sires Stakes for freshman pacing and trotting fillies will commence on August 21 at Northfield Park. Kimberly A. Rinker

Harrisburg, PA - A $1.6 million investment in Pennsylvania's harness racing industry will boost purses that strengthen breeding programs and establish a prestigious stakes race, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today. "Harness racing is a unique agritourism experience," said Redding. "From the sport's tracks and fans to its breeding and training operations, it's an industry that provides an important $92 million boost to our economy - and national bragging rights for our top horses, drivers and trainers." The racing industry supports multiple facets of Pennsylvania's economy including agriculture, Redding added, as owners purchase goods from agribusinesses like hay and feed suppliers, equipment dealers and construction contractors. The industry attracts specialists like farriers and veterinarians and supports other local businesses. Pennsylvania's tracks, casinos and off-track wagering facilities offer multiple employment opportunities because of racing, from the horse barns to the betting halls. Harness racing also takes place at 15 agricultural fairs across Pennsylvania. One half of these monies will be used to increase purses in the 2015 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes finals and consolation races. The Sire Stakes program rewards breeders of Pennsylvania-bred and Pennsylvania-owned stallions and broodmares. Each of the eight finals races will receive an additional $90,000 in purse money, generating a total of $350,000 for each race. The eight consolation races will receive an additional $10,000 apiece for purse money, bringing the total for each of these eight contested trotting and pacing races to $60,000. "With this commitment, Pennsylvania makes our sire stakes finals and consolations the top races of their kind in the country," said Harness Racing Commission Chairman Jonathan Newman. "They're part of North America's top harness horse breeding program - all based here in Pennsylvania." The other $800,000 is earmarked for the newly-established 2016 Pennsylvania Classic for three-year-old pacers. The pair of Pennsylvania Classic races will be open to Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing colts and fillies nationwide. Purses are an estimated $700,000 for the colt race and $350,000 for the filly race. Pennsylvania's three harness racing tracks - The Meadows in Washington, Washington County; Harrah's Philadelphia in Chester, Delaware County; and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County - must submit advertising and promotional proposals for the opportunity to host the inaugural event. The commission will review the submissions and select the site for the 2016 event. "These races will be among the top pacing events in the country and a source of pride for the commonwealth," Newman added. "These two races represent some of the highest purses in North America. I'm looking forward to working with one of our state's tracks to host our first-ever Pennsylvania Classics." The added purse monies for these races are from the Pennsylvania Standardbred Breeders Development Fund, established by Act 71 of 2004, which directs a portion of slot revenue to incentivize raising, training and owning Standardbreds in Pennsylvania. This investment within the state's equine industry provides funding that is distributed to the owners of Pennsylvania stallions and broodmares who produce top-level horses that race worldwide. For more information on Pennsylvania harness racing, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "harness racing." William R. Nichols | Press Aide Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Press Office 2301 North Cameron Street | Hbg PA 17110 Phone: 717.787.5085 | Fax: 717.705.8402  

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