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What a difference a week makes.  Last Saturday’s Direct Balance stake for ICF 3-year-old pacing fillies wasn’t raced when only four distaffers were entered. The Balmoral Park Race Office smartly wrote the stake back for tonight and was rewarded when twice as many horses were dropped into the harness racing entry box. If you want to watch eight-horse field of state-bred sophomores’ slug it out you’ll have to stick around close to the midnight hour because the $8,000 stake was placed as the 12th and final race of the program. The first step to Super Night’s Grandma Ann stake should be worth the wait. Making her second season debut is Kay Willis’ Lex, last year’s Filly Orange and Blue bridesmaid who made nearly $65,000 in her freshman season. Lex finished worse than third only once in 9 tries, winning 4 of those races. This will be the homebred first start since last Super Night. The daughter of Lexington Legend out of the Willis’ Artsplace broodmare I Bet U, had an impressive 1:58.2 winning qualifier on Wednesday morning, drawing off by seven lengths with Brian Carpenter had driving her to the wire. Brian liked what he saw from the Nelson Willis Stable’s filly. “Lex qualified super,” said Carpenter. “She was on idle in her qualifier. The filly is like a Cadillac to drive. “I never drove her in her 2-year-old season. Kyle Wilfong drove her and the filly had a very good year. This was the first time I was ever sat behind her. “At first Nelson wanted to leave out of there with her but when we had a bunch of trotters leaving inside of her who might go out and scatter the field he told me to go easy taking her out. It turned out that nobody left and we ended up on top pretty easily. She was just pacing through the bridle at the finish. She looks like she’s just a push-button filly.” Among the 3-1 morning line favorite seven rivals in the Direct Balance is the fast-improving Southern Girl (Casey Leonard), trained by Bob Rittof, the 7-2 programmed choice, and the Roger Welch Stable’s Galley Wench, a 1:56 flat victor in her initial career start on March 22 at Balmoral. Southern Girl was taken back in her March 22 debut and was tenth and last, some 10 lengths behind at the three-quarters, but when she was asked for pace she delivered a wicked :26.1 last quarter in her fifth place finish. The Sportsmaster filly then served up back-to-back first-over triumphs, the last a 1:56.1 clocking. Galley Wench, a $30,000 yearling purchase by Bo and Pat De Long, went to Hoosier after her strong winning local bow. The filly finished a solid third in her first leg of a Series but was saddled with the 10-hole in the Final, raced on a sloppy track, and was a non-factor. The 4-1 early third choice, Galley Wench, will also take on her Welch-trained stable-mate Sporty Project (6-1, Pat Curtin). She’s also owned by Bo De Long but will race uncoupled on the wagering. Gracie On My Mind (8-1, Bobby Smolin), Duneside Perttie (6-1, Mike Oosting) and The Doe (5-1, John De Long) leave from posts 1, 2 and 3, in that order while Simply Burbon (15-1, Richard Finn)with the outside 8-slot complete the Saturday finale field. Mike Paradise

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 4, 2015 - Yonkers Raceway offered up Round 3 of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Saturday night. Four, $50,000 divisions featured 30 of the best harness racing Free-For-Allers, with last season's winner emerging as this season's target. Odds-on P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett, $3.20), from post position No. 2, outsprinted Lucan Hanover (Tim Tetrick) in the first event, winning out of the pocket by a half-length in 1:51.2 (early intervals of :27.1, :56 and 1:23.2). It was four lengths back to 104-1 McErlean (Tyler Buter) in third. For P H Supercam, an 8-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeff Bamond Jr., it was his fifth win in eight seasonal starts (3-for-3 in this series). The exacta paid $9.70, with the triple returning $216. The mile was a season's-best effort. "Ideally, you want to win while at the same time, not use the horse very hard," Bartlett said. "I've been fortunate with him thus far." The second event was a sharp, first-up effort from veteran statebred Domethatagain (Dan Dube, $24). Sitting a chilly fourth from post No. 4, the 11-1 proposition engaged 3-5 choice Bettor's Edge (Yannick Gingras) after that one laid down the law through fractions of :27.2, :57 and 1:25. Domethatagain, despite drifting wide through the final turn and early in the lane, put away the leader. He then defeated a pocketed Sapphire City (Bartlett) by a half-length in 1:53.2. National Debt (Eric Carlson) was a second-over third, with Bettor's Edge fading to fourth. For fourth choice Domethatagain, a 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bob Hamather and Bruce Soulsby, it was his first board finish in four '15 tries. The exacta paid exacta paid $84.50, with triple returning $529 Saturday's third Levy grouping was won by a draw-winning/pocket-protecting Fat Man's Alley (Bartlett, $13.40) in 1:53.4, Stinging 13-10 choice Foiled Again (Gingras), he then released harness racing's richest-ever horse after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. It was a 57-second intermission before Polak A (Brian Sears)-a winner in his first two series/stateside tries, moved from third. The two slugged it out passing a 1:25.2 three-quarters, but neither was going to be around when it counted. Foiled Again was done off the final turn, but not before carrying Fat Man's Alley where he needed to go. It was "Fat Man" whipping a two-move Michael's Power (Dube) by a length, with Texican N (Carlson) a ground-saving third and Mach's Beach Boy (Pat Lachance) fourth. Foiled Again faded to fifth, while Polak A wound up seventh. For fourth choice Fat Man's Alley, a 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding co-owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was his second win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $79, the triple returning $626 and the superfecta paid $2,043. As for Foiled Again, "He just wasn't himself," Gingras said. "When Polak A came up alongside, he didn't grab the bit and fight the way he always does. I'm sure (trainer) Ronnie (Burke) can figure it out. He's bounced back from these efforts before. I've learned never to count him out. "Hopefully, we see the real Foiled Again next week." The evening's final series event saw Take it Back Terry (George Brennan, $7.60), prevail from the two-hole in a season's-best 1:51.2....and matching P H Supercam for fastest local effort of 2015. Leaving from post No. 2, "Terry" beat a first-up Beach Memories (Dube) by a neck. Third went to 11-10 choice Dancin' Yankee (Brett Miller), who tired on the lead (:26.4, :55.3, 1:23.1). Heez Orl Black N (catch-driver Gingras) was fourth. Ironically, the winner was trained by Burke, as was the runner-up-2-for-2 in the series coming in-before that one's exodus (to trainer Scott DiDomenico). For second choice Take it Back Terry, a 6-year-old Western Terror gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Larry Karr and Phil Collura, it was his third win in 11 '15 tries. The exacta paid $46.40, the triple returned $103 and the superfecta paid $1,027. Series standings, through third leg...1-P H Supercam (225 points), 2-Beach Memories (200), 3t-Michael's Power (175), 3t-Polak A (175), 5-Fat Man's Alley (150), 6-Sapphire City (137), 7-Domethatagain (135), 8-Bettor's Edge (133). Note that since no one took Saturday night's Pick 5, Monday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $4,529.90 ($10,000 guaranteed pool). The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (post time 7:10 PM), a French-centric Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM, with Matchmaker and Levy series continuing Fridays and Saturdays). Afternoon simulcasting available daily (none Easter Sunday). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 3, 2015 -- Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker of harness racing "Open Pacing Mares". A pair of small-but-select fields of five were subsected into $40,000 divisions. Carolsideal (Dan Dube, $4.30), no one trick pony she, rallied from second-over after going down-the-road in her first two series starts Starting outside her four foes, "Carol" watched as 11-10 favorite Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick), getting some early encouragement from her escort, left and pocketed Medusa (George Brennan). After early intervals of :27.3 and :56.3, For the Ladies N (Brian Sears) offered a fair amount of first-up pressure in and out of the 1:24.4 three-quarters. Anndrovette maintained a short lead into the lane, but company was coming. Carolsideal vaulted wide off her tow, then went by to win going away. The margin, over 19-1 outsider Fancy Desire (Matt Kakaley), was a length-and-a-half in 1:53.1. Anndrovette, snapped for second, settled for third. For second choice Carolsideal, a 6-year-old daughter of Western Ideal trained by Rene Allard for co-owners himself (as Allard Racing), Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her eighth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $57, with the triple not offered to the abbreviated assemblage. The second Matchmaker event was barely more than a public workout for 4-5 fave Yagonnakissmeornot (Dube, $3.70). In play from post position No. 2, she easily went around pole-sitting longhsot Strings (Eric Carlson), them had no issues whatsoever. Pedestrian fractions of :28.3 and :58.2 were going to make "Yagonnakissme" very tough to catch, and a :55.1 back half (1:26.1, 1:53.3) made it impossible. A season's-best effort whipped first-up Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett) by a comfortable length-and-a-half, with Strings third. For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 6-year-old daughter of The Panderosa trained by Allard for co-owners himself (as Allard Racing), Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh--the same contingent behind Carolsideal--she's now 2-for-4 this season. The exacta paid $15.40, with again no triple wagering due to the quintet. Series standings, through three of five prelims legs...1-Carolsideal (225 points), 2-Yagonnakissmeornot (158), 3t-Camille (125), 3t-Venus Delight (125), 5-Monkey on My Wheel (120), 6-Fancy Desire (113), 7-Anndrovette (111), 8-Krispy Apple (105). Special Friday props to Luminosity (Brennan, $6.20), whose 1:55, open-length romp in the $21,500 second race was fastest local trot mile of the season. Friday's Pick 5 wager, vitamin-enriched by a $4,667 carryover, attracted $12,602 of fresh money. The formful combo of 2/1/5/2/2 (all wagering favorites) returned $111.87 for every correct half-a-buck wager. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the third round (four, $50,000 divisions) of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (save for Easter Sunday). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 27, 2015--Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the second round of the harness racing Blue Chip Matchmaker. A baker's-dozen worth of of Free-For-All pacing mares went it in two, $40,000 divisions. The opening Matchmaker event was an early series two-fer for pole-sitting, odds-on Carolsideal (Dan Dube, $2.80). Outdrawing her rivals for the second consecutive start, "Carol" gave it up to a parked-early Sayitall BB (George Brennan) passing a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. The people's choice then retook in Turn 2, finding a 57-second intermission before Monkey on My Wheel (Brian Sears) took her shot from fourth. Carolsideal held that one at bay in and out of a 1:25.1 three-quarters, as "BB" dropped anchor. "Carol" owned a measured half-length lead into the lane, then widened to close the sale, winning by a couple of lengths in a season's-best 1:53. Monkey on My Wheel held second, with Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) a rallying third for the second week in a row. For Carolsideal, a 6-year-old daughter of Western Ideal trained by Rene Allard for co-owners himself (as Allard Racing), Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her seventh win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.10, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $18.20. The second sojourn was won by a first-up Camille (George Brennan, $5.60), snapping pace-setting, 11-10 fave Yagonnakissmeornot (Dube) on the money in 1:53.1, also a season's-best effort. Winning the draw, Camille saw longshot Coffee Addict (Jordan Stratton) grab the first lead before Yagonnakissmeornot worked around that one. The advantage belonged to "Yagonnakissme" through early intervals of :27.4 and :57.1. Camille slipped out from third, just in front of For the Ladies N (Sears). It was Camille prompting a :27.3 third quarter (1:24.4), with Yagonnakissmeornot taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, Camille wasn't ready to throw in the camisole. She engaged the leader in earnest in the late going before sticking her tongue out just in time. The final margin was a head, with For the Ladies N holding third. For second choice Camille, a 7-year-old millionaires daughter of Camluck co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable and Jack Piatt III, she's 2-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $12.40, with the triple returning $59. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the second round (four, $50,000 divisions) of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM, $54,800 final of Petticoat), Tuesday (1 PM, $62,200 final of Sagamore Hill), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series opening legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. These are the opening harness racing events of the 2015 Grand Circuit season. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 20) in the first round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 21) card at Yonkers will see five $50,000 divisions in the opening round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. There are 17 pacing mares entered in the first leg of the six-week Matchmaker event, which concludes on April 25. Defending Matchmaker Series champion Somwherovrarainbow is in the third division and series runner-up Yagonnakissmeornot is in the first division. Four-time Dan Patch Award winner Anndrovette is in the middle division, as well as 9-5 morning line choice Carolsideal, a winner of five of six so far this year. The 11-year-old Foiled Again, harness racing's richest-ever horse ($6.9 million), begins his 2015 season Saturday night, leading 35 of the best Free-For-Allers into Yonkers Raceway for the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Five $50,000 seven-horse divisions are on tap with Foiled Again -- who won this series consecutively in 2009 and 2010 -- drawing outside his six rivals in a power-packed third event. Those looking to stall Foiled Again's 84th win photo include last season's Levy winner P H Supercam and runner-up Apprentice Hanover. Foiled Again cut the mile in that race before finishing third. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next four weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 25. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

For older female pacer For The Ladies N, it's not how you start, but how you finish. The 6-year-old New Zealand harness racing import is not the quickest mare off the starting gate - only twice in 11 lifetime U.S. races has she been better than fifth after the opening quarter-mile - but she still can find her way to the winner's circle on a regular basis. For The Ladies N, trained by 64-year-old Australia native Peter Tritton, has won six times in the States and hit the board a total of nine times since arriving in the U.S. last November. She has earned $76,500 for owner Harry Von Knoblauch during that span. On Friday night, For The Ladies N will step up in class when she competes in the opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. She was one of 17 pacing mares to enter the first leg of the six-week event, which concludes on April 25. There will be three $40,000 Matchmaker divisions Friday. For The Ladies N is in the second division and is 5-1 on the morning line with Eric Carlson at the lines. Four-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette also is in the division, as well as 9-5 morning line choice Carolsideal. Defending Matchmaker Series champion Somwherovrarainbow is in the third division and series runner-up Yagonnakissmeornot is in the first division. "It's a step up to race against these horses, but I think she's probably as good as them if she gets the right trip and I've got her at 100 percent," Tritton said about For The Ladies N. "The only chink in her armor is that she doesn't like to be used early, which I know is a bit harder at Yonkers, but that's just the way she likes to race. She likes to find her feet and then come. "She's strong the last three-quarters of a mile. As long as you let her relax early she'll keep coming and she's got speed. All the drivers that drive her love her; she's just a lovely, good, honest mare. I had to give her a shot at it because she's got the ability to go with them if she gets the right trip. So we'll keep our fingers crossed." For The Ladies N finished second to Somwherovrarainbow in a January start at the Meadowlands and won an Open Handicap at Yonkers on Feb. 6. She finished fifth in the Open Handicap the following week, but Tritton discovered the mare was sick and gave her time off to freshen up for the Matchmaker. "She might need the first week, but from then on she should be good to go," said Tritton, who was based in Delaware but now calls upstate New York home. "I've moved up here now with this series and the Levy (Series) in mind. I'm hoping that will benefit (the horses), not having to do all that travel." Tritton has enjoyed success bringing horses from Down Under to the U.S., with some of his recent imports being Mainland Key N, Malak Uswaad N, and Second Wind N. That trio has combined to earn $1.28 million. "I've always got a few people looking over there for horses," Tritton said. "They know exactly what I want. I'm lucky I've got good connections over there. That's why I stick with the horses over there. I know who to deal with. It's been working for me so far. "I like horses that have got good back class, but have gone off the board for one reason or another. If you can resurrect them when you get them over here, you know that the ability is there. They're the ones I seem to have the best results with. If they're sound enough, they can make a lot of money if they're the right horse." In addition to racing For The Ladies N in the Matchmaker Series, Tritton will send 7-year-old male pacer Texican N into the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, which begins Saturday night. The field also features the sport's richest horse of all time, Foiled Again, and defending series champ P H Supercam. Last year, Texican N finished sixth in the Levy final. He has won eight of 37 races in the U.S., with earnings of $180,430 for owner Von Knoblauch. "I don't know whether he can win it or not," Tritton said. "He's probably not as good as the big boys, but if he gets a good trip he can follow pace and still keep coming. I think he'll earn good money in there and probably has a good shot to get into the final." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

An important sustaining payment is due March 16 in order to keep New Jersey-sired two-year-old pacers eligible to the 2015 Lou Babic Memorial Paces sponsored by the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program. The deadline is extended this year because March 15 falls on a Sunday. Due on March 16 are sustaining payments of $700 for the Babic Pace open and $400 for the Babic filly division. These payments should be mailed to NJSS, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. The Babic Open Pace, with an estimated purse of $75,000, and the Babic Filly Pace, with an estimated purse of $50,000, are scheduled for September 26 at Freehold Raceway. Elimination heats, if necessary, are scheduled for September 19 for both open and filly divisions. For further information: Christopher C. Castens (609) 292-8830      

Saturday nights Cal Expo harness racing program features a $53,142 carryover in the 10-cent Jackpot 6, meaning one ticket could come away with an awfully sweet payoff. The Jackpot 6 is one of four wagers on the program that come with a reduced 16% takeout rate. The others are the Hi-5, which like the Jackpot 6 is a 10-cent minimum bet; the 50-cent Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which has a $25,000-guaranteed pool. To give an example of what the reduced takeout really means, last Saturday nights Hi-5 saw the 34-1 Cosmos winning and the 19-1 Im Confident checking in second, followed home by the 7-5 Art Genta, 14-1 Chewy Baca and 6-1 Toucam Sam, triggering a $5,600 payoff for each winning 10-cent ticket. Using the normal takeout rate, it would have paid an even $5,000, a difference of $600 to each winning ticket holder. Thats not just numbers, but real dollars. Taking a closer look at the Jackpot 6, the wager finds 70% of the net pool paying out to tickets with the most winners, with 30% of the net pool designated for the carryover. If there is one unique ticket selecting six winners, the entire pool and the carryover is paid to the holder of the ticket. If that should happen Saturday night, they would receive the entire net pool and a $53142 bonus. With the 10-cent minimum, putting together healthy-sized tickets without spending a lot of money makes the Jackpot 6 even more attractive. Jump right in, the pool is going to be fine. Sire Stakes, Distaff Open have the spotlight A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old pacing males and a $6,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares are the main events on Saturday nights Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo. A 14-race card is on tap and things get underway at 6:10 p.m. The Sire Stakes is scheduled as the fifth event on the evening, immediately followed by the Distaff Open in the sixth-race slot. King Of The Crop, Rikybrnthegaragdwn and Laissez Moi Passer are all multiple trophy earners who figure to have their share of backers in the Sire Stakes. King Of The Crop was third in the most recent stakes clash for this group back on January 17 and is coming into this assignment off back-to-back conditioned scores. The Little Steven homebred carries the banner of Frank Nevarez with Gordie Graham training and Bruce Clarke guiding from the cozy rail slot. He established his lifetime mark of 1:53 2/5 on February 20 and came right back with another sharp tally last weekend. Rikybrnthegaragdwn is a son of Living It Up out of the top racemare and producer Sports Bra who races for Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson with Luke Plano reining and training. His most recent victory came in the February 7 Shelly Goudreau, where he romped home and established a new mark with his 1:52 4/5 tour of the oval. Laissez Moi Passer was posing for pictures after upsetting his peers in the most recent Sire Stakes for this group in January. Sal and Georgette Wenceslao own the son of Disco Devil with Sal the conditioner and Williams Hernandez in his usual spot in the sulky. Completing the field are Lil Steve Oneder with Chip Lackey at the controls; Tony Cheesecake, who will have the services of James Kennedy; and Full Moon Rising, who leaves from the outside post with Dave Siegel handling the lines. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

Live Love Laugh, fresh from two powerful victories for Tim and Denise Maier, looks to keep the momentum going in Sundays nights Open II Pace for fillies and mares. She will do her work from the assigned No. 10 post position. An 11-race program is on tap Sunday and things will get underway at 4:50 p.m. There will also be a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes that will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Live Love Laugh is a 5-year-old daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels out of the Little Steven mare Prettylittlerebel who is owned and trained by Denise Maier with husband Steve handling the lines. She was a 1:52 2/5 winner at Pocono Downs last season. The bay mare proved in the January 30 Open while doing her work from the No. 7 slot that evening. She was hard used to the early lead, did the give-and-go by the half and went on to a two and a quarter-length score. Wheeled back with this group last week, Live Love Laugh was bet down to 50 cents on the dollar and did not disappoint her many backers. Maier left into a tracking trip with his protege, attacked once straightened away for the drive and proved clearly best while once again coming a :27 1/5 final quarter. Looking for an upset this weekend are Blue Gem, who leaves from the cozy rail slot for trainer Harold Herrera; Internal Check, who gives the Maier barn two looks at the outcome; My Little Bit and Someislandsomewhere from the Gene Vallandingham shedrow; the Lino Pacheco-trained Lexies Delight; High Bet Hanover from Tim Browns barn and the Steve Wiseman-trained Part Time Lady. ******* For this week and the next, the trotters and pacers will be in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, Feb 13-15 and 20-22. Antoniades lends expertise On Windy City simulcasts Mike Antoniades, who was a Cal Expo visitor last month, is the racing analyst at both Balmoral and Maywood Park and was asked for some handicapping tips when it comes to navigating the Chicago simulcasts. Balmoral is a mile track like Cal Expo, while the other harness racing in the area is conducted over the sister half-mile track Maywood Park. Both are offered to Cal Expo players as part of the simulcasting package. As far as Balmoral and Cal Expo are concerned, they are very similar when it comes to handicapping the races, Antoniades explained. Balmoral is one of the few East Coast tracks where you dont have a distinct speed bias and you can close from far back in the six or seven path and win. Thats something the track has in common with Cal Expo, where speed isnt always golden. Mike also had a handicapping tip when it comes to comparing horses who are racing at Balmoral and those who are doing their work on the smaller Maywood Park layout. Generally speaking, the horses who are racing at Balmoral have to be athletic, because they have to race the entire mile, while the Maywood races are more about racing early and late. Having said that, Antoniades tends to give horses moving from Balmoral to Maywood an extra look. They get extra credit, and conversely, those who last raced at Maywood Park have a bit more to prove to me when they come to Balmoral. ****** A reminder that there are four wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the 20-cent Pick which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool; and the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5, which are both 10-cent minimum bets. By Mark Ratzky        

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 11, 2015 — The Meadows Racetrack & Casino would like to remind harness racing trainers and owners that payments for the 2015 Delvin Miller Adios and for two new stakes, the Meadows Maturity Trots for 4-year-olds, are due by Feb. 15. Payment for the “Pace for the Orchids,” a premier event for 3-year-old pacers with an estimated $500,000 purse, is $600. That payment also maintains the eligibility of sophomore pacing fillies to the $150,000 (est) Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo. Eliminations for the Adios take place Friday, July 25, with the Adios final and the Adioo Volo set for Saturday, Aug. 1. The Meadows Maturity Trots include an event for mares (Friday, April 24) and a stake for stallions and geldings (Saturday, May 2), each with an estimated purse of $50,000. A $300 nomination fee is due by Feb. 15, with a second payment of $600 due by March 15. Checks for all events should be made payable to the Hambletonian Society. For more information, please contact the office of the race secretary, 724.225.9897.

The 2015 stake schedules for both Balmoral and Maywood Park have been released by harness racing secretary Doc Narotsky. The action kicks off at Balmoral on March 28th with the Taurus Bomber Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing colts. Maywood's stake season gets underway on Friday, April 10th with sophomore pacing colts slugging it out in the Sportsmaster Stake. The first "major" state-bred stake of the season will be contested on Sunday, May 17th with three-year-old pacing fillies squaring off in the $45,000 Violet Stake at Balmoral. There will also be Violet and Cardinal Stakes for Illinois conceived and foaled sophomore pacers and trotters on Sunday, May 24 and Saturday, May 30th at Balmoral Park. Maywood's first big event of the season will be the $70,000 Filly Maywood Pace for ICF three-year-old fillies on Friday, June 12th. The $70,000 Maywood Pace for ICF sophomore pacing colts will be held the following Friday, June 19th. The first Hanover Stakes of the season at Balmoral Park will feature a pair of events for three-year-old trotters on Saturday, July 4th. Another pair of Hanover Stakes for sophomore pacers will be contested the following week on Saturday, July 11th. The Southland Festival of Racing will provide a weekend filled with state-bred action at Balmoral on Saturday, July 25th and Sunday, July 26th with pacers and trotters squaring off in $40,000 battles like the Mini Me Stake, Loyal Opposition Stake, Incredible Finale Stake, Ann Vonian Stake, Kadabra Stake, Fox Valley Evita Stake, Fox Valley Flan Stake and Plesac Stake. A pair of $30,000 Hanover's for two-year-old colt and filly pacers are scheduled for Saturday, August 1st at the Crete oval while another pair of $30,000 events for freshmen trotters will be contested on Sunday, August 2nd. The prestigious American National's kick off on Sunday, Sept. 6th, with a pair of $90,000 trotting stakes for two-year-olds. Balmoral will also play host to one of Illinois' biggest nights of racing & festivities as another edition of Super Night will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12th. As always, the state's top pacers and trotters will be on display as they square off in a bevy of six-figure events with more than $1 million in purse money on the line. Late September and early October will be a busy month for the youngsters as the $80,000 Lady Lincoln Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies takes place on Sunday, Sept. 27th, while their male counterparts battle in the $80,000 Lincoln Land Stake on Sunday, Oct. 4th at Balmoral Park. Maywood will also host the $50,000 Cardinal and Violet Stakes for two-year-old colt and filly pacers on Friday, Oct. 2nd. Racing fans will need to circle Saturday, November 7th & Friday, Nov. 13th on their calendars as some of North America's best pacers and trotters are once again expected to visit the Chicagoland area as the Grand Circuit comes to town. Balmoral Park will play host to the $250,000 three-year-old colt pace, $225,00 American National three-year-old colt trot, $190,000 American National Aged Pace, $180,000 aged trot, $175,000 American National three-year-old filly pace, $150,000 three-year-old filly trot, $80,000 two-year-old colt pace and the $80,000 two-year-old filly pace in what should be another huge night of racing excitement. Maywood's biggest card of the season is just six days later on Friday, Nov. 13 with the $180,000 Windy City Pace for three-year-old pacing colts, the $100,000 Abe Lincoln Stake for two-year-old pacing colts, the $100,00 Galt Trot for three-year-old trotting colts and the $75,000 Cinderella Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies sharing the spotlight. The $20,000 Associates-McKeever Stake for ICF pacers is also scheduled for that same night. *All stakes scheduled after July 1st can be moved by plus or minus two days due to any changes in the Chicagoland area harness racing schedule. Below is a complete list of both tracks stake schedules. All purse values are estimated. Date Day Track A-S-G ICF Name Est Purse 3/28/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Taurus Bomber 8,000 4/4/2015 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Song Cycle 14,000 4/4/2015 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Direct Balance 8,000 4/10/2015 Fri May 3cp ICF Sportsmaster 8,000 4/12/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Trotting Tilly 8,000 4/12/2015 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Speedy Rodney 8,000 4/17/2015 Fri May 3fp ICF Desperate Lady 8,000 4/25/2015 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Rambling Willie 14,000 4/25/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 8,000 4/26/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Koochie 8,000 5/1/2015 Fri May 3cp ICF Taser Gun 8,000 5/2/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Iggy Magoo 8,000 5/3/2015 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Betzotic 8,000 5/10/2015 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet Eliminations 7,500 5/10/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 8,000 5/15/2015 Fri May 3cp ICF Gosox 8,000 5/16/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 8,000 5/17/2015 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet 45,000 5/17/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet Eliminations 7,500 5/23/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal Eliminations 7,500 5/23/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal Eliminations 7,500 5/24/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet 40,000 5/30/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 5/30/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal 45,000 6/5/2015 Fri May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace Elim 8,000 6/6/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Jimmy Sunshine 4,000 6/7/2015 Sun Bal 2fp ICF Egyptian Grande 4,000 6/12/2015 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace Elim 8,000 6/12/2015 Fri May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace 70,000 6/13/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Bingo Johnnie 4,000 6/13/2015 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Broadway Preview 14,000 6/13/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Southern Rocketop 8,000 6/14/2015 Sun Bal 2fp ICF Misty Misty Misty 4,000 6/20/2015 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Wicked Brew 6,000 6/14/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Million Dollar Bye 4,000 6/19/2015 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace 70,000 6/20/2015 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Sue Fee 14,000 6/21/2015 Sun Bal 2fp ICF Incredible Tillie 6,000 6/21/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Star Slinger 4,000 6/21/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 8,000 6/25/2015 Thur May 2fp ICF Juxtaposition 5,000 6/26/2015 Fri May 2cp ICF Enzo The Baker 5,000 6/27/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 8,000 6/28/2015 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 8,000 6/28/2015 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Mystical Victress 8,000 *------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 7/3/2015 Fri May 3+p ICF Cook County 20,000 7/4/2015 Sat Bal 3ct Hanover 35,000 7/4/2015 Sat Bal 3ft Hanover 35,000 7/4/2015 Sat Bal 3ft ICF Sorce Ann 7,000 7/4/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Hot Head 7,000 7/4/2015 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ohyouprettything 7,000 7/5/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Vaporize 5,000 7/5/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Psychic Spirit 5,000 7/9/2015 Thur May 2fp ICF My Metallica 5,000 7/10/2015 Fri May 2cp ICF Fox Valley Barzgar 5,000 7/11/2015 Sat Bal 3cp Hanover 30,000 7/11/2015 Sat Bal 3fp Hanover 30,000 7/12/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Diva 7,000 7/12/2015 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Brandenburg 7,000 7/18/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me Elim 7,000 7/18/2015 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition Elim 7,000 7/18/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale Elim 7,000 7/18/2015 Sat/Sun Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra Elim 7,000 7/18/2015 Sat/Sun Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian Elim 7,000 7/18/2015 Sat/Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita Elim 7,000 7/19/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac Eliminations 7,000 7/19/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan Elim 7,000 7/25/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me 40,000 7/25/2015 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition 40,000 7/25/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale 40,000 7/25/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra 40,000 7/25/2015 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian 40,000 7/26/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita 40,000 7/26/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac 35,000 7/26/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan 35,000 8/1/2015 Sat Bal 2cp Hanover 30,000 8/1/2015 Sat Bal 2fp Hanover 30,000 8/1/2015 Sat Bal 3+T ICF Mikes A Mystery 18,000 8/2/2015 Sun Bal 2ct Hanover 30,000 8/2/2015 Sun Bal 2ft Hanover 30,000 8/15/2015 Sat Bal 3+P ICF Big Tom 25,000 8/15/2015 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Parklane Powerful 25,000 8/28/2015 Fri May 3+p ICF Egyptian 20,000 9/5/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Elim 12,000 9/5/2015 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Eliminations 12,000 9/5/2015 Sat/Sn Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Elim 12,000 9/5/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Elim 12,000 9/5/2015 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Elim 12,000 9/5/2015 Sat/Sn Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Elim 12,000 9/6/2015 Sun Bal 2ct American National 90,000 9/6/2015 Sun Bal 2ft American National 90,000 9/6/2015 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Elim 12,000 9/6/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Elim 12,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Cons 20,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue 200,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Cons 20,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B 200,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Cons 20,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello 110,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Cons 20,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem 160,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad 100,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Cons 20,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann 160,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed 100,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Cons 20,000 9/12/2015 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes 110,000 9/13/2015 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Cons 20,000 9/13/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Cons 20,000 9/19/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Yates Eagle 10,000 9/19/2015 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Thrifty Way 10,000 9/20/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Elim 12,000 9/25/2015 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal Elim 8,000 9/25/2015 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet Elim 8,000 9/26/2015 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Bye Bye Byrd 10,000 9/27/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Elim 12,000 9/27/2015 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Direct Dottie 10,000 9/27/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Cons 18,000 9/27/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land 80,000 10/2/2015 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal 50,000 10/2/2015 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet 60,000 10/4/2015 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 7,000 10/4/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land 80,000 10/4/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Cons 18,000 10/11/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet Elim 8,000 10/17/2015 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Beecher 7,000 10/18/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal Elim 8,000 10/18/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet 40,000 10/23/2015 Fri May 3ct ICF Lifes A Holiday 7,000 10/24/2015 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 7,000 10/25/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 10/29/2015 Thur May 3ft ICF Speed N The Tunnel 7,000 10/30/2015 Fri May 3cp ICF Betzotic 7,000 10/30/2015 Fri May 3fp ICF Giggles The Clown 7,000 10/31/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Crete 7,000 11/1/2015 Sun Bal 2fp ICF Betzotic 7,000 11/1/2015 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Monee 7,000 11/1/2015 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Betzotic 7,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal 2cp American National 80,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal 2fp American National 80,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal 3cp American National 250,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal 3ct American National 225,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal 3fp American National 175,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal 3ft American National 150,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal ap American National 190,000 11/7/2015 Sat Bal at American National 180,000 11/13/2015 Fri May 2cp Abe Lincoln 100,000 11/13/2015 Fri May 3+p ICF Associatesâ€┬ÉMcKeever 20,000 11/13/2015 Fri May 3cp Windy City Pace 180,000 11/13/2015 Fri May 3ct Galt 100,000 11/13/2015 Fri May 3fp Cinderella 75,000 11/20/2015 Fri May 3fp ICF Betzotic 7,000 11/20/2015 Fri May 3cp ICF Cole Muffler 7,000 11/21/2015 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Betzotic 7,000 11/21/2015 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Fox Valley Memory 10,000 Tom Kelley  

One Maywood Park pacing record that hasn’t been bettered in the last 20 years belongs to She’s A Great Lady. Her mark of 1:51.2 back in June of 1995 with harness racing trainer / driver Joe Anderson in the bike was a world record at that time for a 3-year-old filly pacer on a half-mile track. Through the years that mile has been lowered a number of times at a number of places but not at Maywood Park. Interesting She’s A Great Lady paced her record mile in what may be the biggest romp by a racehorse in in an open stake on the local circuit’s half-miler. Certainly no other Cinderella, a stakes fixture at Maywood since 1985 has ever seen a filly dominate that race the way She’s A Great Lady did. Her winning margin was a whopping 16 lengths over runner-up Keystone Mia. The third place horse Blue Mesa finished 24 lengths behind the Joe Holloway trained winning filly owned by L & L Devisser of Holland, Michigan. However, one week later She’s A Great Lady and “Little Joe” didn’t get the job done when she was bet down to 3-5 odds in the $100,000 American National Filly Pace at Sportsman’s Park. She’s A Great Lady went off stride before the start on that June 24 night and by the first quarter mile pole was over 16 lengths behind. The filly still trailed by almost a dozen behind at the half before rallying for fourth, beaten four-plus lengths by Teen Talk and Tony Morgan, who paid $37.60. She’s A Great Lady would bounce back in a big way by winning 8 of her final 12 starts that year including the $496,000 Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands and put $610,930 on her 3-year-old card. The daughter of Dexter Nukes racing career ended after only two starts in 1997 as a 5-year-old but with a gaudy career winning clip of 50 per cent, taking 26 of 52 lifetime starts and earning $973,383. She’s A Great Lady, currently owned by Diamond Creek Farm of Wellsville, PA has been a mama 11 times since her retirement from racing. Her first foal was Lady Macbeach, a son of Jenna’s Beach Boy who made over $800,000. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

Reminder that sustaining forms and possible payment are due Feb. 15, 2015 for the new harness racing  4 & 5 year old Open Maryland Sire Stakes for trotters and pacers (foals of 2010 & 2011).   Three Year Old payments (foals of 2012) are due to the Maryland Standardbred Fund and the Maryland Sire Stakes on Feb. 15, 2015.   All stallion pedigree's, staking forms, and stake dates are now available online including a printable calendar! Please use our website for all your current MSRF info and any updates as they become available.   We recommend that all payments be sent by certified mail. Please remember to check and make sure you use this address for the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund, P.O. Box 540, Union Bridge, MD 21791.   As per regulation: If the due date for a payment falls on a weekend or a holiday observed in this State, the payment shall be timely if: Mailed bearing a postmark which is not later than the next business day. Since we have both a weekend & holiday a postmark of Feb. 17, 2015 will be accepted.   Regulations can be found on our website at or you may call 410-775-0152 (o) or my cell at 240-285-0326.   By Cheri Stambaugh

The deadline for New Jersey Sire Stakes first sustaining payments is the last chance for owners of NJ-sired two-year-old and three-year-old pacers and trotters to be kept eligible to the 2015 Premier and Green Acres harness racing programs. Because February 15 falls on a Sunday this year and Presidents' Day will be observed on the following Monday, the deadline for mailing purposes will be February 17. The NJSS Premier Division will be contested exclusively again at The Meadowlands in 2015 starting in May for three-year-olds and in late June for two-year-olds. The Green Acres Division begins September 4 at Freehold Raceway. Once again this year, the NJSS rule is that the Green Acres Program is limited to horses that have earned less than $25,000 in New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Division earnings during the current calendar year. The NJSS Premier Division's first sustaining payment remains $300 for both two-year-olds and three-year-olds. The initial Green Acres Division payment remains $100 for both two- and three-year-olds. Also on February 17, a $650 supplemental 2013 yearling nomination (for foals of 2012) can be made for eligibility to the New Jersey Sire Stakes. That fee is in addition to the sustaining payments for two-year-olds also due on February 17. If the foal is produced by an out-of-state breeding, the supplemental fee is $850. The two-year-old sustaining payment must be made in order to keep the horse eligible as a three-year-old in 2016, even if the horse does not race in 2015 as a two-year-old. Supplemental yearling nominations are also due February 17 for the NJSS-sponsored 2015 Lou Babic Open Pace ($500) and Babic Filly Pace ($400).  These payments must be in U. S. funds. No late payments will be accepted and no billing notices will be mailed. Certified mail is strongly recommended to NJSS, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. For further information: Christopher Castens (609) 292-8830        

The Meadowlands has added several important new stakes to its existing harness racing menu for 2015 with the nomination payment due by February 17 (February 15 falls on a Sunday, so postmarked by the 17th is acceptable) on the whole slate.   Leading the parade of new races is the return of the $1,000,000E Graduate Series, resurrected to provide an opportunity for four year old trotters and pacers to compete against horses of their own age before taking on older. The series opens at Tioga Downs on Monday, May 25 then moves to The Meadowlands for legs two and three in June with the $250,000G finals at The Meadowlands on July 3 (Pace) and July 11 (Trot).   Mare divisions have been added to the TVG FFA Championships for 2015 with each purse (Trot & Pace) set at a Guaranteed $200,000. The trotting mares also pick up another big purse opportunity with the Fresh Yankee set to go on Hambletonian Day for $175,000E.   The fall meet will see the addition of a pair of new races for three year old fillies with the purse for each estimated at $175,000. These stakes have been named for a couple of the greatest mares in Meadowlands history, Continentalvictory and Tarport Hap.   A new web page has been added to The Meadowlands site with all pertinent stakes information and nomination forms available. Questions may be directed to the Racing Office at 201-460-4214.   Nick Salvi

Vanessa Gilliam is the owner of the promising 3-year-old pacing colt Hi Hos Little Rev, the Bob Johnson trainee who was runner-up in the first stakes race for his division earlier this month and will suit up once again in Saturday nights harness racing opener. She is also the operator of Second Wind Rescue, Inc., doing a terrific job giving horses the second chance they deserve. I didn't grow up with horses, Vanessa explained. I was a competitive volleyball player, and my parents encouraged me to pursue athletics instead of equines, because they felt horses were not only dangerous, but wouldnt pay for college. Gilliam ended up playing college volleyball for five years and for a short period some professional volleyball in Greece, eventually buying her first horse in 2007. It was a 4- year-old Overo APHA mare, she related. In March of 2008, I starting rescuing by purchasing three unbroken 2 year olds Quarter Horse type horses for $150 apiece. Fast forward to the summer of 2010, when Vanessa met veterinarian Dr. Audrey Clifton in Paso Robles at a restaurant where she was working a couple of nights a week. She vacations at Lake Nacimento every summer with her family. We got to talking about our occupations and instantly become friends. She offered to help me with dental work and stock me with essential medical supplies at cost when she was down here. We stayed in touch and I went up to Cal Expo to visit her in 2011. During my visit, I got to jog two horses around the track on a Saturday morning and I was hooked! Later that year she called me to see if I had room for three pregnant mares at my ranch. I was able to take two of them, Prettylittlerebel and Sharps and Flats. Both mares were bred to Hi Ho Silverheels. Hi Ho's Little Rev, who is out of Prettylittlerebel, was born at Second Wind Rescue, Inc. in 2012. When he was getting close to turning 2, Gilliam contacted Clifton to help her get the ball rolling with his harness training. Audrey has been very instrumental in making this journey possible, Vanessa noted. She got him a spot in Leon Smith's barn for the first half of training. With all the groundwork I did with him at my place, Rev was ground driven his first day there and hooked up to a cart by the end of the week. It also goes to show the great minds that this breed possesses. Being part of this process has been a huge learning experience which will help me better understand the industry and also the horses that are involved. It's stressful being a racehorse owner, but I'm enjoying the excitement of the journey. As for Second Wind, it has been a 501(c)3 non-profit organization since 2011. Vanessa has had 62 horses, representing 20 different breeds, come through the rescue facility over the last seven years. After owning a few Standardbreds, she noted, I'd put them as one of my top three favorite breeds, along with Friesians and Mustangs. In addition, she currently owns a cleaning business called Mo Betta Cleaning Services, waits tables a couple nights a week, and runs the rescue. I care for 15 horses, four llamas, two sheep, two goats, a potbelly pig, three dogs, two cats, nine chickens and 14 ducks, pretty much all by myself. On occasion, I have volunteers here helping with ranch chores and training. Our goal at Second Wind is to take unwanted, abused, and/or neglected horses, get them healthy, add value to them with training, and adopt them out to forever homes. Noble work, indeed. Introducing Second Wind Rescue Open Pace, sophomore Sire Stakes in spotlight An Open Pace that rematches St Lads Lotto and China King and a $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing colts get the marquee treatment Saturday night at Cal Expo. The Sire Stakes goes as the first and the Open Pace as the fourth event on a 14-race card that is scheduled to get underway at 6:10 p.m. Four wagers are offered at a reduced 16% takeout rate, including the Pick 4 that comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool. Looking at the Sire Stakes, Urungoodhands, a powerful winner of the first added-money event for the 3-year-old males pacers; and Hi Hos Little Rev, his most immediate victim that evening, loom the major players. Uringoodhands is a homebred son of Kents On Nuke who campaigns for Mark Anderson, is trained by Gordie Graham and will once again have the services of James Kennedy.After finishing second in his debut, the dark-hued performer suited up for the first stakes engagement for the division two weeks ago. He sat a tracking trip for Kennedy, exploded off the final bend and won going away by three lengths in a 1:57 1/5 mile. Hi Hos Little Rev is a son of Hi Ho Silverheels who is owned by Vanessa Gilliam with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen in his usual position in the sulky. He was a powerful winner of his second trip to the post on January 4, then had to settle for second in the aforementioned January 17 Sire Stakes after looming large at midstretch. Racing will be conducted this week on Friday and Saturday nights, with no racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 1. Next week, there will be Saturday and Sunday night programs, February 7 and 8. Following that, there will be back-to-back three-night weeks with cards on Friday through Sunday, February 13, 14, 15; and Friday through Sunday, February 20, 21, 22. Mark Ratzky

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