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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  

The biggest day on the harness racing calendar every year in North America is Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands. With just eight weeks to go until the big day, the contenders are all stepping out and as has become the norm, Jimmy Takter trainees are at the forefront of many of the discussions concerning potential winners. Jimmy Takter needs no introduction to harness racing fans with a record of success with the straight out trotter that is second to none. A Hall Of Fame inductee in 2012 and a four time trainer of the year, Jimmy has already won three Hambletonians and last year was very special when he drove the winner of the Hambletonian and trained the winner of the Hambletonian Oaks. With over $13,000,000 in seasonal earnings in 2014, Jimmy shows no sign of slowing up and has several leading candidates for this years edition of the Hambletonian. They are headed by last seasons two year old Breeders Crown winner in Pinkman 1:52.2 ($696,925) who is three from three this season. Uncle Lasse 1:51.4 ($467,359) is another Takter trainee to start the season in the right fashion with a three from three record as well. Throw in the rapidly improving Canepa Hanover 1:51.1 ($112,150) and Jimmy will once again hold a strong hand in this years race. Recently Jimmy sat down on In The Sulky to give his thoughts on his runners this year. View here Harnesslink Media  

Two fields of 3-year-old pacing fillies vied for first money in a pair of harness racing $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) events on Friday night, June 12 at Northfield Park. Karlee Sue, a bay daughter by Feelin Friskie, took the first OSS division handily in 1:54.2 for Hall of Fame driver David Miller. After getting away at the back of the pack, Miller skillfully brought Karlee Sue up through splits of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.2, utilizing a modest :29 final brush to nail down the victory.   Friskie Tel Dawn (Aaron Merriman) finished second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, with Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) getting up to nail show honors.   Bred by Midland Acres, Karlee Sue is conditioned by Al Tomlinson of Mason, Michigan, who owns the filly in partnership with Daniel Mitchell and Dennis Stolz of Michigan. The victory pushed the filly's career earnings to $65,765.   The second OSS split for sophomore pacing fillies was captured by the public's choice Crosswinds Cupcake and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., in a lifetime best clocking of 1:55. Owned and bred by the Crosswinds Stable Farm of Waynesville, Ohio, this daughter of Stand Forever picked up her second victory of the year in six starts and now has $67,172 her lifetime bankroll.   After wrestling the lead away from Happy Jude at the :28 opening panel, Crosswinds Cupcake paced solidly through quarter fractions of :57.3 and 1:26 before brushing home in :29, drawing away from her rivals by 5¼ lengths. Corner Girl (Ryan Stahl) was second best while Happy Jude held ground to be third.   Third leg OSS action shifts to Northfield Park on July 17 for the colts of both gaits, while the fillies go postward on Aug. 14 at Northfield. Fourth road contests will take place at Scioto Downs on Aug. 28 for the fillies and Aug. 29 for the colts.   The $225,000 championship events for all the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be held on Saturday (Sept. 12) during Scioto Downs' Super Night festivities. By Kimberly Rinker, Administrator, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund    

Nine $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) action were contested on May 1 and 2 at Miami Valley Raceway in the first of four legs for harness racing 3-year-old pacing and trotting colts and fillies. On Friday, May 1 sophomore pacing fillies took center stage, with Bell Flower taking the first division in a wire-to-wire, career best 1:53.1 for driver Chris Page and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. The victory, her first in as many starts this season, pushed the daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye's lifetime earnings to $184,336. She now has eight wins in nine career starts for the quartet of Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, Dean Davis and Carl Howard. Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished second by 1¾ lengths, while Feeling Wild (Dan Noble) held on to be third. Bell Flower, was the Ohio 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2014, was bred by Ohio State ATI. Longshot Friskie Megan came from last to win the second OSS pacing division for driver Hugh Beatty by just a head over E Ticket Ride (Dan Noble) and Karlee Sue (Jason Brewer) in 1:55.3. The daughter of Feelin Friskie is trained and co-owned by Steve Bateson and Harold Moore, and pushed her lifetime earnings to $28,751. The win was Friskie Megan's second in ten career starts and she returned a whopping $212.40 to win on a two dollar ticket. She was bred by Ada Jacobs of Gambier, Ohio. Little Casino captured the first OSS division for 3-year-old trotting fillies in a career best 1:58.3 with trainer Hugh Beatty at the lines for owner-breeder Duane M. Lowe of Malta, Ohio, upping her career earnings to $39,421. The daughter of Full Count came three-wide around the final turn, using a :29.4 final brush to negotiate the victory by a length over Mid Pack (Dan Noble) and Countthechip (Ken Holiday). Student Of Life, with Kurt Sugg in the sulky, won the second division in 1:59.1 by 2½ lengths for trainer Marty Wollam. Owned by Acadia Farms, Inc., and G&B Racing, this daughter of Full Count got a perfect trip to notch her third career victory and up her earnings to $85,106. Student Of Life was bred by Marvin Raber. Bettys Sam (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished second, while UF Cashnmy Chips (Aaron Merriam) grabbed third place honors. Trainer Marty Wollam and driver Kurt Sugg teamed up again to win the third OSS division with Dark Roast, a 3-year-old daughter of Full Count, who was clocked in 1:58 for Acadia Farms, Inc., and G&B Racing. Bred by Ohio State ATI, Dark Roast used come-from-behind tactics to notch her fourth career victory in nine trips postward. She now has $69,043 in her lifetime bankroll. On Saturday night, May 2, two divisions each of 3-year-old cold and gelding pacers and trotters lined up behind the gate for Ohio Sire Stake tests. In the first OSS pacing division, Gray Camo cruised to a wire-to-wire career best 1:53.3 clocking for driver Chris Page and trainer Ronnie Burke, who conditions the roan son of Pine Valley for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Richard Suda and Jason Melilo. The venerable gelding pushed his lifetime earnings to $116,229 with the victory, the fifth of his career in 11 starts. Bred by Charles Gadja, Gray Camo finished three-quarters of a length in front of the hard-trying Roaddog Jess James (Kayne Kauffman) and Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.). Chief Talkalot and driver Jim Pantaleono used similar tactics in the second OSS pacing division to win handily in 1:55.2 by a nose over Western Coby (Wyatt Irvine) and by a neck over Rocky Express (Randy Tharps). Brian Brown trains the Feelin Friskie gelding, who picked up his third career win in nine starts and pushed his bankroll to $83,643 for owners Steve Stewart, Michael Dean Robinson, Robert Mondillo and Steve Cheatham. Steve Stewart bred Chief Talkalot. In the first OSS trotting division it was Neely's Messenger, Ohio's Horse of the Year and 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014, who scored a decisive 1:57.1 victory for driver Dan Noble and trainer Al Mankee in his seasonal debut. Owned by Dale Sweet and Julie Ann Sweet, the son of Neely Dunn scored victories in OSS, Ohio Fair Stakes (OFS) and Ohio Breeders Stakes (OBS) with a triumph in the $200,000 OSS Championship that earned him the aforementioned honors for 2014. Neely's Messenger-who was bred by Albert Yoder-was never challenged as I Know My Chip (Chris Page) finished second, while Cooter Dunn (Louis Bauslaugh) finished third. Upfront Chip Daddy and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. overtook Kick A Lot (Kurt Sugg) in the final strides to capture the second OSS trotting division in 1:57.3. No Whip Chip (Dan Noble) notched third. Upfront Chip Daddy, a gelded brown son of Chip Chip Hooray is conditioned by Kelly O'Donnell and is owned by Up Front Racing, LLC., and Mark Ford. The victory was his third in seven tries, and pushed his lifetime earnings to $26,580. Unraced at two, Upfront Chip Daddy was bred by Ohio's Spring Haven Farm. Ohio Sire Stake action for 3-year-olds continues with the second of four legs scheduled June 6 at Scioto Downs for colt pacers and trotters, while the filly pacers and trotters will vie on June 12 at Northfield Park. Third leg action shifts to Northfield Park on July 17 for the colts of both gaits, while the fillies go postward on Aug. 14 at Northfield. Fourth road contests will take place at Scioto Downs on Aug. 28 for the fillies and Aug. 29 for the colts. The $225,000 Championship events for all the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, during Scioto Down's Super Night. Kimberly A. Rinker

With his first career win now under his belt, Divisionist heads to Saturday's Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold Raceway looking to build on his success. And harness racing trainer/driver Charlie Norris believes the 3-year-old trotter is ready to put his best foot forward. Divisionist was winless in 13 races last season, going off stride four times, but had on-the-board finishes in divisions of the Reynolds and Simpson stakes plus two divisions of the Kindergarten Classic and one of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. The colt broke his maiden on April 14 with a 1:57.2 triumph at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "He had an issue last year with breaks, but he's come back well this year," said Norris, who trains Divisionist for owners Carrie Norris, G And B Racing and Acadia Farms. "It was just a matter of maturity. He was really good there in his first start. Physically he's matured a lot and we're definitely on the right track for this year." Divisionist will start Saturday's single elimination for the $133,170 Dexter Cup - the first stakes test on the road to August's Hambletonian Stakes - from post five. He is 4-1 on the morning line. The three-horse Ray Schnittker-trained entry of Switchblade Hall, HA Taylor, and Bavaro is the 9-5 morning line favorite. Rounding out the field are Handover The Money and Southwind Mozart from the stable of trainer Ake Svanstedt, Jimmy Takter's Apostles Creed, and Oyvind Hegdal's Explosiveday. The top four finishers in the $44,400 elimination will join Broken Record, Gabe The Bear Dean, Habitat, and Sixteen Encores in the Dexter Cup final on May 2 at Freehold. Those four horses received byes based on lifetime earnings. Apostles Creed, Divisionist, Habitat, Handover The Money, Sixteen Encores, and Southwind Mozart are eligible to the Hambletonian. Divisionist, who has earned $44,612 in his career, is a son of Andover Hall out of stakes-winning mare Only Lonely. He was purchased for $40,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes former Ontario standout Beer Budget. "He's out of a decent mare and he showed a lot of athleticism in his video," Norris said about purchasing Divisionist as a yearling. "I thought he might be OK. He wasn't great last year, but at different times -- even at Lexington when he made a break -- he showed a lot of raw speed." Last year in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile, Divisionist went off stride behind the starting gate, but rallied from more than 20 lengths back to get within a length of the lead while racing three wide on the final turn. He was unable to maintain his surge, but finished fifth. "Hopefully he'll just keep getting better," Norris said. "If you're in the business, everyone has high hopes. That's why we're in the yearling game. I don't know if he's a (1):51 trotter or a (1):52 trotter, but I think (1):53 is not out of his reach at all. If he keeps in the right spots and gets his confidence up, I think he'll be alright." Norris raced Divisionist with trotting hobbles last year, but has taken them off this season. "I'm going to leave them off unless he shows me otherwise," Norris said. "He's really come around. He's coming into (the Dexter Cup elimination) good and he's fit enough. I don't know if he's top caliber, but in the secondary stakes and some of the earlier ones here, I think he can prevail a little bit." By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

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