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LEXINGTON, KY -- Glamour-boy phenom Tall Dark Stranger continued his winning ways when holding off stablemate Fortify to win the $250,000 Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace Final of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS), which was one of eight harness racing divisions on the $2-million championship card Sunday (Sept. 20) at The Red Mile. Securing the pocket to a :26.1 first quarter, Tall Dark Stranger slid off the pylons and around early leader Caliber to lead the field by the half in :54.2. The North America Cup champ continued on a loose lead to three-quarters in 1:21.3 as Fortify mounted a late-race challenge from pocket turning for the finish. The Nancy Takter-trained pair raced on equal terms to mid-stretch but Tall Dark Stranger surged back to the front to win by a neck in 1:48. Captain Kirk finished third with Sea Of Life fourth. Passing $1 million in earnings this season and padding his career earnings to $1,741,645 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger won his eighth race from nine starts this season and his 16th from 18 overall. Yannick Gingras drove the Bettors Delight colt--bred by James Avritt Sr. out of his mare Precocious Beauty--who paid $2.10 to win. Driver David Miller began his big day with Blue Diamond Eyes, besting 2-5 favorite Making Waves in a 1:51 mile to win the Two-Year-Old Filly Pace and his first of four finals on the afternoon. Away third as Making Waves paced to the quarter in :28.3, Blue Diamond Eyes edged off the pylons moving to the backstretch and brushed to the top heading towards a :56.4 half. Making Waves tracked the leader tightly from the pocket rounding the final turn to three-quarters in 1:24.3, where the public choice angled outside for the attack. Through the stretch Making Waves dug into Blue Diamond Eyes, but the Ron Burke trainee repelled the pocket popper and hold sway by one-and-a-half lengths. Making Waves settled for second with High Minded sliding up the pegs for third and Single Girl snagging fourth. Off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, Blue Diamond Eyes added a fourth win to her seven-start resume and pushed her bankroll to $317,042 for owners Thomas and Scott Dillon. The Brittany Farms-bred Captaintreacherous filly returned $6.40 to win. Undefeated Always B Miki colt Perfect Sting kept his record intact with a blowout 1:49.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace in rein to David Miller. Native's Filou fired from post 7 to the lead entering the first turn and took the field by the quarter in :28.2. Perfect Sting soon tipped outside from fourth and advanced towards the lead moving into the backstretch, but Native's Filou accelerated towards the half to stretch out Perfect Sting to a :55 midpoint. The 1-9 favourite cleared command heading to the final turn and led to three-quarters in 1:22.4 as Native's Filou angled from the pocket to challenge the leader late, though levelled out late while Perfect Sting strode away to a two-and-a-half length victory. Captains Place slid up the pylons for third with Fulsome taking fourth. Winning all six of his starts, Perfect Sting--a homebred for Brittany Farms LLC and Val D'Or Farms--has earned $194,400. Joe Holloway, who trained the colt's dam Shebestingin, conditions the $2.10 winner. Off a runner-up finish in the Peaceful Way Stakes, Lady Chaos returned stateside with a sweeping move late in the mile for David Miller to score at 6-1 in the Two-Year-Old Filly Trot. Race-favorite Darlene Hanover dashed by early leader Beautiful Game after a :27.4 opening quarter to lead the field into the backstretch. Dutiful raced third while Miller floated Lady Chaos slightly off the pegs from fourth as Darlene Hanover strolled to the half in :56.1. The Linda Toscano trainee flushed Dutiful for cover into the final turn but fanned three wide by three-quarters in 1:25 for the stretch drive. Darlene Hanover clung to a diminishing lead as Beautiful Game veered out of the pocket to take a short lead before Lady Chaos, towards the center of the track, stormed by to win in 1:53.1. Eazy Pass rallied to best Darlene Hanover in the final strides for third. Now a four-time winner from seven starts, Lady Chaos has banked $248,303 for owners Richard Gutnick, Thomas Pontone, Joseph Lozito Jr. and Enviro Stables Ltd. The Cantab Hall filly bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Av And Son Bloodstock LLC paid $14.40 to win. Linda Toscano and Dave Miller teamed in the following final with Baby Your The Best to upset 1-9 favorite Reflect With Me with a 1:49.3 mile in the Three-Year-Old Filly Pace. Pettycoat Business protected position from the pylon post moving to a :27.3 first quarter but yielded control when Baby Your The Best brushed first over from third into the backstretch. Baby Your The Best kept the pace hot to a :55.2 half and to three-quarters in 1:23.1 as Reflect With Me attempted to gain ground first over. Spinning for the finish Baby Your The Best scooted away from Reflect With Me, extending her lead to three-and-a-half lengths at the finish with Pettycoat Business finishing third and Gai Waterhouse fourth. A Captaintreacherous filly owned by Richard and Joanne Young, Baby Your The Best won her third race from nine starts this season and her fifth from 22 overall, earning $457,947. Steve Stewart, Conquest Acres Lp and Michael Robinson bred the $14.20 winner. Per Engblom trainee Beads trotted a paid workout at the start of the Sunday card with a 1:51.2 romp in the Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Driver Brian Sears sent the Archangel colt to the point from post 2 and held a firm lead through fractions of :28.2, :56.2 and 1:24 before widening to a three-and-three-quarter length victory as the 1-9 favorite. Barley inched by pocket-sitter Ontopofthehill to take second while Simsalabim gave chase in fourth. Beads, bred by Atlantic Trot Inc. and Steve Stewart, competes for owners Renee Spahr and Christina Takter. The colt collected his fifth win from 10 starts this season and his seventh from 18 overall, earning $260,463. He paid $2.10 to win. Hypnotic AM surpassed the million-dollar plateau with a 1:51.1 victory as the 3-5 favorite in the Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. The Marcus Melander-trained Chapter Seven filly landed in the pocket behind Panem moving to a :27.2 opening quarter. As Tuscany parked and progressed uncovered before going offstride into the backside, Hypnotic AM vacated pocket and circled to the front heading to a :55 half. Crucial edged first over and rolled towards the leader with Ms Savannah Belle in tow circling the final turn, drawing within a length of the lead by three-quarters in 1:23.2. Hypnotic AM drifted slightly off the pylons through the stretch, leaving a seam for Panem to slide through and secure second while Crucial gave pursuit from third and Ms Savannah Belle settled for fourth. Bred by Courant A B for owner Courant Inc., Hypnotic AM won her fifth race from nine starts this season and her 12th from 18 overall, amassing $1,041,260 in earnings. Brian Sears drove the $3.40 winner. With 7-5 favorite Cuatro De Julio losing stride into the first turn, Venerate vaulted to the lead and cruised to a 1:51.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, a fifth of a second off the world record. Venerate led pylon-starter Cricket Fashion by the quarter in :28 with New Legacy racing third and Bidensky fourth. The Julie Miller-trained colt by Love You continued uncontested to the half in :56.1 and by three-quarters in 1:24.4 chased by Cricket Fashion as his lead grew. Venerate hit the finish clear of Cricket Fashion with New Legacy farther back in third and Bidensky taking fourth. Owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc., Venerate won his third race from six starts, earning $188,766. Steve Stewart and Kemppi Stable bred the $10.40 winner while Andy Miller sat in the bike. State-bred stakes action continues at The Red Mile on Monday (Sept. 21) with eight $50,000 finals of the Kentucky Commonwealth Stakes for freshmen and sophomores of each sex and gait. First-race post time for the 12-race card is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Delaware, Ohio---Two harness racing trotting divisions in the Great Lakes Amateur Drivers Association Series were contested at the home of the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio on Sunday (9-20) and when both were declared official Alesha Binkley and Daniel Jones each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Binkley won with odds-on favorite Hititputofthepark in 1:57.1 while Jones was victorious with Dont Forget Muscle in 1:58.4. Both trotters were victorious after starting from the coveted pole position. A seasoned veteran even at her young age, Binkley knows that if one has the best horse in the race the place to be is on the front-end. And that's exactly where she put her trotter and once on top they controlled the race. Hititoutofthepark sped by the first stanza in :28.4 and by the half in :57.4. From there Binley played catch-me-if-you can and nobody could as the 7-year-old Yankee Glide ridgling cruised to a oh -so-easy 5-1/4 lengths victory in 1:57.1 over Favorite Uncle and driver Bob Troyer. Fleet Cessna garnered the show dough for Billy Muggleston.   Hititoutofthepark is owned by the Trent Stohler Stable along with Ben and Tim Graber and trained by Stohler. He paid $3.00 for win. A second division followed and saw driver Daniel Jones notch his second consecutive GLADA triumph this time winning with Dont Forget Muscle in 1:58.4. But unlike Binkley's triumph Jones came from off the pace. When the gate sprung Jones allowed Eddie Miller and Star Chip to gain command and with two trotters hung on the limb from the get-go Dont Forget Muscle ended-up with a two hole journey. However when Star Chip's stride shortened as he trotted around the final turn it allowed Jones' charge to get first call, a position Dont Forget Muscle held all the way to the wire as the veteran trotter held off a late rally by A Royal Line, with Steve Oldford at the controls. Third place in the tight three- horse photo, went to Stormont Wizard, driven by Ron Cusimano.   The winner, owned by Robert Beachy, is trained by Jones. He returned a $21.60 win mutuel. by John Manzi for the Great Lakes Amateur Drivers Association

WOODSTOCK, VA  ---- Driver/trainer Bill Carter swept both Open classes in back-to-back fashion Saturday in Woodstock as Shenandoah Downs concluded its fifth annual opening harness racing weekend festivities.   Carter, last year's winningest reinsman, piloted Pilgrims Lass to a wire-to-wire effort in the $7,000 Open Trot and reached the winners circle again the next race ---a $7,000 Open Pace --- with Captain McKee.   The former, who faced a full field of seven others, got away strong and authored fractions of :28 3/5, :59 1/5 and 1:28 1/5 before crossing in 1:57 1/5. The four-year-old Muscle Mass mare beat Beguin Dugoutier F by 1 1/4 lengths in earning her third win of the year.   Unlike the Open Trot, Captain Mckee only reached the front of a full field around mid-stretch. Track record holder John's Dream (1:52 1/5) took control early in the Open Pace and maintained the lead until Carrer's charge caught him just before the finish.   After an initial quarter of :28 1/5, Captain Mckee came first over before the half and remained outside of King Corona and John's Dream the next two panels. Once the leader triggered :58 2/5 and 1:26 2/5 fractions, Carter guided his four-year-old Captaintreacherous pacer past King Corona in the final turn and bested John's Dream by one length at the wire in 1:55 2/5.   Both Open winners are co-owned by William Daggett Jr. and Lawrence Vukovic.   Six Virginia Breeder's elimination races for three-year-olds kicked off the Saturday card. A trio were decided by one-half length or less.   Both of Arlene Cameron's filly trotters crossed together in the first race. Cate's A Keeper --- winner of a 2019 Virginia Breeders divisional championship as a two-year-old --- and K J Deb crossed together in 2:02 1/5. Eddie Davis Jr. and John Wagner drove respectively. The pair are both owned by Pamela Wagner and Dr. Scott Woogen.   Breeze Away B wired the field in the filly pace division in 1:56.0. Hillbilly Kisses was a game second and lost by just a half-length. The winner is seeking to repeat her championship path of last year when she won both the prep and final as a two-year-old. Breeze Away B is owned and trained by William Fletcher and was driven by Allan Davis. The runner-up was piloted by Frank Milby, is trained by Amamda Jackson and owned by her Hillbilly Haven Farms.   Caviart Sage passed front stepping Virginia Cruiser at the quarter pole, held the lead until the end but had to fend off a pesky K J Michael in deep stretch in a three-year-old colt pace elimination. The Artspeak colt crossed in 1:56 3/5, a head in front of Arlene Cameron's runner-up. The winner was driven by Tyler Shehan and is trained by Marna Shehan for the Caviart Farms of Vienna, Virginia. Dr. Scott Woogen owns the second-place finisher.   Two-year-olds will compete in a series of elimination races on Saturday, September 26. Finals of both age groups will be held on Saturday October 3.   The Shenandoah Downs meet will continue through October 17 with racing every Friday and Saturday at 2 PM. The meet is being run spectator-free and without wagering, but races are streamed live at   by Darrell Wood, for Shenandoah Downs

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – We’ve seen this before. And before the year is out, it’s almost a certainty we’ll see it again. Allywag Hanover, a close-up third in The Meadowlands Pace two months ago, ended a personal three-race losing streak with authority Saturday night at The Meadowlands, exploding home in the final eighth of a mile to take a high-end conditioned harness racing pace in 1:49.2. “We’ve seen him get airborne before,” said trainer Brett Pelling. “He gets going faster than most horses go.” Heading into the ninth race, it was difficult to know which Allywag Hanover would show up, given his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship as the 3-5 favorite at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sept. 6. “When he came back from Canada [after finishing sixth in the North America Cup on Aug. 29], he coughed a little on the Monday before the Sire Stakes,” said Pelling. “He had some clear mucus, and he had the same thing Friday, which was very acceptable. But at Philadelphia, he came up sick, so that was pretty devastating.” After taking antibiotics and getting some rest, Allywag Hanover was ready to go Saturday after taking 12 days off. Rodeo Rock, a veteran hard-hitter with a lifetime bankroll of over $723,000, grabbed the lead at the half after brushing from an early three-hole and the 6-5 second choice had things his own way after getting clear of the field through a third fraction of :27.1 saw him reach three-quarters in 1:22.3. At the head of the stretch, Rodeo Rock was sailing along on a 2½-length advantage while Allywag Hanover was a non-threatening fourth racing with cover with plenty to do. But then he did it. At the eighth pole, Rodeo Rock still looked like the winner, but Allywag Hanover, much like he did on July 4 when he kicked home in :25.3 to win in 1:48, found another gear to nail Rodeo Rock at the finish by a neck after pacing a final quarter in :26. Like Clockwork was third. “It looked to me like he moved twice,” said Pelling. “[Driver Tim] Tetrick said the same thing. He was going, then it looked like he spotted [Rodeo Rock] and started going again.” In upping his lifetime stats to eight wins from 19 career starts, Allywag Hanover returned $3.60 to his backers as the 4-5 public choice. His earnings now stand at $234,163 for owners Allywag Stable. Pelling revealed what the plan is for his prized 3-year-old colt, who is a product of Captaintreacherous-Anderosa Hanover. “He’s going to Hoosier Park Friday for the Jenna’s Beach Boy Stakes,” said Pelling. “And he has other races, too. He’s Breeders Crown eligible. Beyond that, I’m pretty sure he’ll race beyond this year, but it hasn’t been spoken about yet.” A LITTLE MORE: Todd McCarthy continued to make a big impression at The Meadowlands, driving three winners on the program. Andy McCarthy’s 27-year-old little brother has now won nine races over the last three Big M programs. … All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,448,703, capping a second straight weekend where wagering exceeded the $5-million mark. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Batavia, NY --- Despite a jump in class, a return to an inside post proved to be the harness racing ticket as Stratosphere went the route in the $8,500 Open I Handicap on Saturday night (Sept. 19) at Batavia Downs. Percy's Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) took a quick early lead but as soon as he crossed over, Stratosphere (Drew Monti) left the pocket, took the lead and called all the shots from there. After hitting the half in a rated :57.3, Stratosphere saw Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) at his flank as that one tried to apply pressure to the three-quarters. When they hit that station in 1:25.2, Under Paid had enough and started to fade, allowing Percy's Z Tam a clear path to pull. Morrill pulled the trigger and Percy's Z Tam took his best shot. But his best wasn't good enough this night as Stratosphere kicked away and kicked away hard, opening up a two length advantage at the top of the stretch and pacing home in hand to win by 2-½ lengths in 1:53.4. It was the third win in the last five starts and the fifth win of the year for Stratosphere ($5.80) who is owned by Drew Monti and trained by Darrin Monti. In the undercard $7,000 Open III pace, McSpidey (Denny Bucceri) was never headed after taking command off the gate and cruised home to a 2-¾ length, 1:53.3 win, which was a new seasonal mark. William Emmons owns the Jim Clouser Jr. trained McSpidey ($3.20) who scored his third win of the year, all of which were at Batavia Downs. Drivers Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. each had three winners on the card while Jim Morrill Jr., Denny Bucceri and Ray Fisher Jr. had two wins apiece. Trainers Don Rothfuss and Don Niles both had two winners as well. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 23) with post time at 5 p.m. There will be a $3,000 guaranteed pool in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday that is part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering program. The Pick-5 starts in race one and runs through race five and free program pages for those races will be available on both the USTA and Batavia Downs websites early next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Freehiold, NJ --- Saturday's harness racing Preferred Handicap pace at Freehold Raceway featured a perfect clash of names. Springsteen was competing for the first time at Freehold, located in Bruce Springsteen's hometown. His fiercest competition was Imarocnrollegend, which the human Springsteen certainly is.   Fittingly, the two hit the wire together, with Imarocnrollegend winning by a head.   Leaving from post three, Joe Bongiorno put Imarocnrollegend right on the early lead, while George Brennan was forced to take back with Springsteen from post eight. Brennan didn't sit for long, however, and rushed Springsteen up from last to first going up the backstretch the first time.   Around the final turn, Springsteen maintained a clear advantage, while Bongiorno sat patiently with Imarocnrollegend in the pocket. Heading into the stretch, Springsteen began to tire,after going the third quarter in a sharp 27.3 seconds. Bongiorno's horse began to make up ground on the inside, while Brennan was all out on Springsteen. In the end, Imarocnrollegend got the nod, stopping the clock in 1:53.2.   This marks the second week that Joe and Jenn Bongiorno won the Preferred pace, having scored with Hot Deuce last week. Jenn co-owns the horse with Robert Weinstein and Blair Corbeil.   That win was one of four for Joe on the Saturday card. He won race 1 on Albert a'Scootin, for trainer John Bavosi, race 2 with Brandon Mongiello's Power Dreaming, and the 8th race on Its Just Too Much, for Allie Reynolds.   Earlier in the day, Rockin the Gates scored a 26/1 upset in the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund Final for 3-year-old pacing colts & geldings. He sat in the pocket early off leader Rock N Teen, then stormed on in the stretch to get up by a length. He went the mile in 1:54.4, for his first win of the year. Pat Berry was in the bike, for trainer Steve LeBlanc, who co-owns with Glenn Dyke and Doug Johnson.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday (September 25), starting at 12:30 PM.      

DAYTON, OH. - With the $200,000 (est.) Dayton Pacing Derby just two weeks away, Dorsoduro Hanover—fresh off an upset harness racing win in the Canadian Pacing Derby—dropped into town for a prep race and left with an impressive 1:50 triumph.    The 5 year old son of Somebeachsomewhere left the gate with alacrity, hitting the quarter mile marker in :26.3 before turning Hurricane Emporer (Mark MacDonald) loose for a pocket ride for the next half mile.    With Turbo Hill (Brett Miller) ranging up to challenge the leader down the backstretch, driver Chris Page elected to sit in with Dorsoduro Hanover before swinging three wide at the head of the stretch. From that point the winner of close to $1.9 million accelerated to a three quarter length triumph over Turbo Hill, with Shagnwiththedragon (Trevor Smith) a creditable third.    Ron Burke trains Dorsoduro Hanover for Burke Racing, J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi and the Wingfield Five. Through the first week of the 2020 meet at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Brett Miller has raced out to a commanding lead in the Dash Derby. Jeremy Smith is a solid second, while Trevor Smith has opened the meet on fire, including a Grand Slam on Friday night, to be third.   Racing will not be on tap Monday through Thursday of this coming week, in deference to Little Brown Jug week, but will resume on Friday, Sept. 25.     Gregg Keidel

Golden Gun takes the $3,600 pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 29).  Golden Gun ($19.80) squeezed in between horses and took the lead with a lap remaining and led to the first quarter in :26.3.  He used a :28.4 second quarter to hit the half first in :55.2.  Rise Up Now (Leon Bailey) followed in the pocket as Juxlivin My Dream (Chris Long) was the first to make a move going first-over but could not gain much.  Golden Gun led to three-quarters in 1:23.3.  As they made the turn for home Rise Up Now popped out of the pocket but was just spinning his wheels.  Chatelroll (Truman Gale) found an opening in deep stretch and came charging late but Golden Gun held firm and won in 1:52.4.  Chatelroll had to settle for second.  Clouseau Hanover (Jennifer Lappe) came up to finish third.  Golden Gun is a 10-year-old gelding by Headmaster.  He is owned by the Wiz Kids Stables and trained by Sorenson.  It was win number two of 2020.  He now owns 37 career victories.  Truman Gale, Chris Long, and Josh Kinney each had driving the doubles on the night.  Gale won with Ladyyouaregorgeous ($17.60) and Mama’s Gift ($5.10).  Long got wins with Wishyou’dtellme ($10.20) and Johnnysfirecracker ($16.40).  Kinney reach the winner’s circle with Rocknroll Captain ($11.40) and Star Track Hanover ($32.20).  As we head to the last weekend of racing Leon Bailey pulled ahead with 44 wins to lead all drivers in victories.  He leads Vernon Downs legend John MacDonald by just one race.  Kerin Warner got a victory and leads all trainers with 18 victories just one ahead of George Ducharme.  Just two live racing dates left at Vernon Downs this season.  They will race on Friday (September 25) and Saturday (Saturday 26) starting at 3:00 p.m.  For more information go to     John Horne for Vernon Downs

Marie Ortolan Bar can succinctly sum up the fairytale she is living with colt Cuatro De Julio, this season's fastest 2-year-old trotter thanks to his near harness racing world-record-equaling 1:51.4 mile two weeks ago, and winner of eight of 10 races as he heads to Sunday's $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship at the Red Mile. "It's a story about faith, love, and friendship," said Marie, who trains Cuatro De Julio. "He is a gift. It is a wonderful story." Cuatro De Julio arrived in Marie's life when she most needed a gift like him. The colt was bred by partner Jean Pierre Dubois' Dream With Me Stable and raised by Marie in Kentucky. She realized quickly he was different. She realized, too, he was a horse to change her life. For more than a decade, Marie battled a variety of debilitating health conditions, from blood disorders to a rare congenital heart defect known as Ebstein's anomaly. She nearly died on multiple occasions and was forced to give up training horses for the better part of eight years. She still worked with babies at Dubois' breeding farm, but her illnesses had taken a toll on her physically and mentally. "When you fall very sick, they fix one problem but then another one comes," Marie said. "It is not fun to be sick. Your spirit wants to go, but your body says no. I was so weak. One day you say enough." Marie's faith helped sustain her during this period. "If you do not have God in your life, you have nothing," she said. And on March 22, 2018, a colt by Trixton out of the Ready Cash mare Clarabelle arrived and renewed her strength and outlook. It was Cuatro De Julio, or Fourth of July, which is Dubois' birthday. "I would say when he was one month old, he was very special; very special, very smart," Marie said. "When he was four months, he would follow me everywhere. I would say, go play with your friends. But he followed me everywhere. He was the dominant one. He was always the first for everything. "The way he moved was not so beautiful, there were others more elegant, but what I loved was the shoulder, the neck, the bottom, and he was never sick. He was never weak. I told everybody, when he was seven months, I have a good horse. I told everybody that this one is special. If you meet Cuatro, you will fall in love." So special, Marie decided to get her trainer's license again. With the help of numerous friends, including Judi and Henry Lunsford and Lee and Al Eferstein, she began training Cuatro De Julio. "This horse gave her the thrill and happiness and the will to come back and train again," said Lee Eferstein, whose husband Al has become Cuatro De Julio's regular driver. "He brought all of that back for her. He is just so special for so many reasons." Said Marie, "You never train a horse alone. You train a good horse with good people around you, people who love the horse. Without Lee, I'm nothing. She gave me my confidence back. Without all the friends and advice, I'm nothing. Everybody helps. We are a team." Cuatro De Julio's career began on the Kentucky fairs circuit, where he won six of seven races including the season-end final at Lexington's Red Mile. His only loss came in his debut when Marie drove him at the Ballard County Fair. "That was a very bad idea," Marie said, laughing. "This horse is not easy. If you fight with this horse, you will lose." Following that first start, Al Eferstein, a veteran of the Kentucky fairs, took the seat behind Cuatro De Julio. After sweeping the remainder of their fair circuit starts, they tackled the Kentucky Sire Stakes. Cuatro De Julio won his first KYSS start, made a misstep in the second, and rebounded by nearly matching Walner's world record for a 2-year-old trotting colt on a mile track in the most recent. "People are always asking me, when are you going to put up a catch driver?" Marie said. "He goes very well with Al. We won eight races easy. When something works, why would you change?" Following the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, Cuatro De Julio is eligible to the Grand Circuit races at Red Mile and the Breeders Crown at Harrah's Hoosier Park. But there is no reason to look to the future. The present is a wonderful story as it is. "Working with horses is a passion," Marie said. "We all have a dream and we have to follow the dream, but there is a lot of sacrifice. The recompense now is Cuatro. This horse saved my life." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Red Mile and the Kentucky Sire Stakes finals are the first eight races. Following are the morning-line favorites in each final, in race order. Three-year-old male trotters, Beads, 1-1. Two-year-old filly pacers, Making Waves, 4-5. Two-year-old male pacers, Perfect Sting, 6-5. Three-year-old filly trotters, Hypnotic AM, 5-2. Three-year-old male pacers, Tall Dark Stranger, 4-5. Two-year-old filly trotters, Darlene Hanover, 5-2. Three-year-old filly pacers, Reflect With Me, 6-5. Two-year-old male trotters, Dancinginthedark M, 2-1. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Bell I No had won five straight races in the $16,000 top claiming handicap pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, all with George Napolitano Jr. driving (all after being claimed out of the previous race), but on Saturday the track's leading harness racing driver selected off the streaking pacer in favor of Daamericansky, with whom he had won in 1:50.2 at Philly last time out and who was sent off as favorite. For 5200+ feet of this week's featured claimer, it looked like GNap and the crowd had made a winning selection as Daamericansky led from the go, but suddenly the Bettor's Delight gelding Lachie Maguire N and driver Jim Marohn Jr. came flying late and caught the chalk in the last step in 1:51. Bell I No, who had to go first-over, settled for third here, and he will again be changing barns for the $30,000 claiming price. Lachie Maguire N, a ten-year-old who took his mark of 1:50.2 here earlier this year, now has a lifetime bankroll of $462,357. Justin Sodano trains the consistent veteran for owner Anthony Ventriglio. A foursome of $11,200 conditioned features, two on the trot and two on the pace, served as co-featured events; drivers Tyler Buter and Jordan Stratton both captured one of each. One of the trots went to the 2019 Pocono Trotter of the Year, the Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable, who was an easy winner in 1:53.2 for Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and the partnership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. In the other trotting section, the Great Success gelding Need Luck N came uncovered from sixth, going his own last half in :56.4, to win in a lifetime best 1:55 for Stratton, trainer Jason Johnson, and owner David Neilson (who, interestingly, was the owner claiming Bell I No today). In the first of the two co-headline paces, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Kerford Road A took full advantage of the rail, not letting anyone go, including early-moving favorite Dealt A Winner. And after all that, he still had enough to withstand closing Peace Out Posse while recording a lifetime best of 1:50.1 for Tyler Buter, trainer Rob Harmon, and the ownership of Harmon Racing Stable LLC, Winners Circle Racing LLC, and John Campagnuolo. Jordan Stratton repeated his uncovered tactics in the co-featured trot to secure the victory in the other top pace, just rallying the A Rocknroll Dance gelding Itsrocknroll A past stubborn pacesetter Lying In Cash in a 1:51.4 lifetime mile best for trainer Dylan Davis, the latter co-owner with Michael Casalino Jr. Buter, Stratton, and Anthony Napolitano each guided three horses back past the winners circle on the Saturday afternoon program. Racing resumes at Pocono tomorrow at 5 p.m., with a $204,904.38 carryover in the Rainbow Pick 5 pool (have a unique ticket with winners of the last five races). From the PHHA / The Downs

The 2020 Delaware (OH) Grand Circuit meet gets underway on Sunday (September 20) with 18 races, including the $130,000 (div.) Ohio Breeders Championship for two-year-old harness racing filly pacers. Summer Touch looks become an Ohio Triple Crown winner with a win in the first $65,000 division of the OBC two-year-old filly pace. The Well Said lass previously won the $50,000 Ohio State Fair Stakes and the $300,000 Ohio Sire Stakes Final, amassing $255,000 this year. Ron Burke trains Summer Touch for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and breeders Knox Services and Slaughter Racing Stable. Chris Page will make the driving decisions. The second $65,000 division looks to be a battle between Rainy Day Chic (Brett Miller) and Leave Her Wild (Mike Wilder). The pair recently finished second and third respectively in the September 6 $300,000 OSS Final. Rainy Day Chic has not finished worse than third in her nine career starts. She has earned $136,110 for Marjorie Polhamus. The Rockin Amadeus filly is trained by Dan O'Mara. Leave Her Wild is owned and trained by Danielle Snyder and has a pair of first, second and third place finishes in seven starts. Bllack Hole leads a field of six in the $8,300 Ohio Breeders Championship for aged pacers. The four-year-old Mr Apples gelding hasn't raced since August 15 due to sickness, but prior to that he won four of nine seasonal starts, including a 1:48 win in the William Haughton Final at the Meadowlands. Bllack Hole is trained by Clarence Foulk for the L&L Stables and will be driven by Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. Gold Digger King (Brett Miller) will provide the stiffest competition. The Pet Rock gelding has finished second in his last three starts, the last two defeats were both by a neck. He is owned by Linda Van Camp and trained by Scott Mogan. Four divisions of the Buckeye Stallion Series for sophomore colt trotters and three divisions of the three-year-old filly trot highlight the undercard. Races 11 - 14 will be a $2,500 guaranteed pool Pick 4. Free past performance programs and a list of watch and wagering locations will be available at The first post is 1:00 PM. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug  

DAYTON, OH - Harness racing driver Trevor Smith leaped into third place in the dash standings at the recently commenced Hollywood Dayton Raceway meet on Friday (Sept. 18).   The upstart reinsman scored four consecutive wins from the eighth through eleventh races, giving him nine through the first five days (including the Montgomery County Fair staged at Dayton) of the 75-day 2020 meet.   Brett Miller, the early dash derby leader, also notched four wins on the night, giving him fifteen thus far. Runnerup Jeremy Smith, nine wins to date, managed a hat trick on the program as the three early meet leaders dominated the Friday action.   Smith's consecutive triumphs started with The Dark Shadow (1:51.1, $2.80) followed by Canadia's Bacon (1:53, $22.60), Letme Fly Low (1:53.4, $5) and Rocking Zoe (1:53.2, $6). Trevor also steered four runnerup finishers on the card, including the two races immediately following his natural Grand Slam.   Racing continues on Saturday night (Sept. 19) with a 6:15 p.m. post time, then takes a hiatus in deference to Little Brown Jug Week at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds before resuming the regular five-times-a-week schedule on Friday, Sept. 25.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

Circleville, OH - Standardbreds by highly sought-after first crop harness racing sires, coupled with a considerable increase in auction attendance, resulted in Friday's (Sept. 18) Ohio Selected Jug Sale enjoying a 17.4 percent increase in average over last year's figures. A total of 272 Ohio-bred yearlings passed through the sales ring at the Pickaway Agriculture and Event Center in Circleville, Ohio for a sales gross of $6,709,000 resulting in an average price per yearling of $24,665. Prices were strong throughout the day as the median of $20,000 gained $3,000 from 2019. In addition to the strength and secure opportunities inherent in the Buckeye state harness racing program, a handful of first-crop sires significantly bolstered the coffers of the premier sale's flagship consignors. As they have done for six years in a row, Jeff and Senena Esty's Spring Haven Farm sold the sale topper. Hip# 175, SPRINGBRIDGE DRAGN was hammered down to Burke Racing of Fredericktown, PA for $120,000. From Stonebridge Damsel p,1:53.2h ($206,000), the half-brother to Springbridge Duel p,2,1:51.3-'20 ($92,000) was by Midland Acres' sire Fear The Dragon. Also the co-breeder, Senena Esty was ecstatic following the sale. "Our job is our hobby. It's our's our love. We bred this colt with our partners from Ontario, Dr. Cal Stiller and his wife Angie, and we couldn't be more thrilled." Also one of the biggest consignors at the sale, Spring Haven sold over 50 horses for a gross of $1.286 million. Esty added, "The success of this sale is shared across the board. These are our friends...and our family. The Ohio breeders are a close knit group. Many of the consignors that sold here today under their own banner, they also send horses with Spring Haven to sell in Lexington. We all root for each other." Through much of the first half of the sale, the buzz was all about pacing yearlings sired by Downbytheseaside. Boasting an average over $40,000 for 37 sold ($44,833 for 24 colts), the son of Somebeachsomewhere had three colts bring $100,000 each. The first to break the six figure mark was Hip# 78, SEASIDE TEA TEA, when he was bought by Brian Brown for a cool $100,000. The first colt from the Western Hanover mare Tea Pot Hanover p,3,1:52.3f ($188,000), he was consigned by Albert and Mark Adams' Winterwood Farm, Agent. Diamond Creek Farm, who manages the stallion career of Downbytheseaside, but stands him in at Sugar Valley Farm, Delaware, Ohio, consigned Hip#102, MOSCOW MITCH, the first foal from WICKED INTENTIONS p,4,1:53.1f ($221,000), she from a half-sister to MYSTICAL MADDY p,4,1:50 ($1.4 million). Greg Luther, Reynoldburg, Ohio signed the ticket. Prominent breeder and racehorse owner Adam Bowden was quick to confirm his stallion's place in the hierarchy. "This is the type of sale we thought that Downbytheseaside would have. They look the part and I think that people in Ohio, and outside of Ohio, are looking for this kind of horse. I don't think you can consider him a regional horse at this point." Behind the Auction Ring at the Pickaway Ag Center   In addition, Hip# 103, FIRE BY THE SEA sold for $100,000 by Spring Haven Farm, Agent, for Enos Weaver, and was purchased by Brian Brown, Agent, Ostrander, Ohio. The big numbers began with Ohio Standardbred breeding stalwart Midland Acres, who teamed up with Hanover Shoe Farms for this auction and sold Hip# 57, SEASIDE HANOVER, a Downbytheseaside half brother to The Little Brown Jug heat winner WESTERN FAME p,1:48.1f ($1,747,000) for $90,000 to Peter Wrenn, Agent, Carmel, IN. Midland Acres also enjoyed success with two first crop sires: Fear The Dragon, with 33 sold that averaged $26,700 ($32,800 for 15 colts); and Long Tom, the son of Muscle Hill that had 17 go through the ring for an average of $24,000 ($27,750 for 10 colts). Midland Acres also sold the most horses (64) of any consignor, for a gross of $1.4 million, which included a dozen for Hanover Shoe Farms. The highest priced trotter of the day was a colt by Long Tom that sold for $80,000 to Dennis Owens, Hamilton, OH. Hip# 198, BAMBOO, was consigned by Anvil and Lace Farm, Agent, for Walstan Farm. Another trotter with a great first showing was Hickory Lane's What The Hill, whose 44 colts and fillies averaged $26,693, the highest of any trotter in the sale with more than three offered. "From beginning to end it was just a very solid sale...all the way through the catalog. We were up nearly 20 percent and it truly shows the steady growth we have had over the last five or six years," stated Kevin Greenfield of Hickory Lane Horse Farm. "The enthusiasm was off the charts. I have never seen a crowd as big as we have had in Ohio this year." Ohio Harness Horse Breeders president Randy Haines of Cool Winds Farm agreed. "The buyers clearly wanted the product we had to offer. The first crop stallions were extremely well-received. Ohio is a great place to race. The buyers were here in full force, and they showed that they were ready to pay good money for our product." Complete auction results can be found at the link below:   by Chris Tully, for the Ohio Harness Horse Breeders    

Ocean City, MD - Ocean Downs hosted four Maryland Sire Stakes Finals for two year old harness racing pacers and trotters on cool and breezy Friday night Sept. 18th. The opener was the $45,000 Hubert Jackson Memorial for trotting colts and geldings. Trents A Lock (Lockkeeper) was parked out, taking the lead from Sunshineonmyshoulder before the half with favorite Funnyfunnyriddle (Lockkeeper) taking the lead at the ¾ pole, leading to a stretch battle with Trents A Lock stopping the clock a half-length in front in the 2:04.2 mile. Jared Moyer was in the bike for trainer Arlene Cameron and owner-breeder Pamela Wagner. The $45,000 Ronald C. "Doc" Banning Memorial for the trotting fillies went to post as race 3. Reinsman Montrell Teague tucked Pride Of Windswept (Charlie De Vie) in the pocket until the head of the stretch, crossing the wire in a stakes record mile of 2:01.1 a length and a quarter in front of a fast closing Paislees Future (Trainforthefuture). Pride of Windswept picked up her third win in four starts for her owners and breeders, 95 year old John Swart Jr, and his wife Sarah. Shaun Callahan was the trainer. The pacing colts and gelding went to post in race 5 in the $45,000 Dale Massey Memorial. Driver Kim Vincent steered long-shot Whep (Rusty's For Real) to his first lifetime win in the 1:59.2 mile, four lengths ahead of Dream Weaver (Capitol Power) Whep is owned-trained-bred by Elwood Tignor. The summer stakes season at Ocean Downs ended with the $45,000 W.W. "Pete" Shaw Memorial in race 6. Wowie Zowie (Cam's Rocket) with Russell Foster between the wheels, came first over from fifth past the half to challenge the front running Sjs Special Kay (Russell Hanover). Wowie Zowie crossed the wire four lengths ahead in the 1:58.3 mile. Russell Foster is also the owner, Megan Foster the trainer and Michale Hans the breeder. The Maryland stakes move to Rosecroft for the fall series starting Sept. 27. By Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Sire Stakes

Grove City, OH - The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) will kick off "Five Days in Delaware" Sunday morning with two Trackside Live harness racing interview shows. Trackside Live is a half-hour interview show hosted by OHHA Outreach and Public Relations Coordinator Frank Fraas. Fraas' first guest will be Little Brown Jug Publicity Director Jay Wolf. Trackside Live with Wolf is scheduled for 10:30AM. That will be followed at 11:30AM when trainer Brian Brown joins Fraas. Brown was the trainer of Lost For Words who finished second in the epic battle with Wiggle It Jiggleit in the 2015 Little Brown Jug. Racing fans can submit their questions for Wolf and Brown by sending them to The OHHA will kick off Sunday's 18-race card with a half-hour pre-race show, Countdown to Post Time at 12:30PM. The first post time for Sunday, is scheduled for 1:00PM. The OHHA's full slate of "Five Days in Delaware" programming can be found on at,, the OHHA Facebook page, and the OHHA YouTube Channel. Trackside Live presented by Hagemeyer Farms. Race coverage is presented by Big Dee's Tack and Vet Supply, Cool Winds Farm, The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, and Midland Acres. by Frank Fraas, for the OHHA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Marcus Melander shined brightest at The Meadowlands Friday night, as his trainees scored three times among the 10 harness racing divisions of the first leg of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gait. Moonstone S was the first winner of the night for Melander in the third race colts and geldings trot. The son of Muscle Hill-Moonlight Kronos, who finished second in the Aug. 8 Peter Haughton Memorial, pulled the pocket after the half and sailed off to an easy 2½-length score as the 6-5 favorite with Tim Tetrick driving. He recorded his first win in five lifetime starts after stopping the clock in 1:55. Melander and Brian Sears teamed up to take the fourth race filly trot with Ineffable, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Jolene Jolene, who won for the second time in five lifetime tries. The 6-5 public choice, who was third in the Aug. 8 Jim Doherty Memorial, emerged from the pocket to win by a half-length in 1:56.2. In race seven, Melander completed his three-bagger with a second score in a colts and geldings trot as his Sonofamistery, with Sears driving, rolled to an easy 1¾-length win in 1:56.1 after racing parked out for the final half mile. The son of Muscle Hill-Mistery Woman, who broke in each of his first two seasonal starts, paid $3.00 after being sent off as the heavy 1-2 favorite. He’s now won twice from four outings. BIG ACTION: Betting was vigorous in the two multi-leg wagers that offered carryovers. The Late 20-cent Pick-5, which had $21,811 in the hat to start, attracted $123,810 in “new money” for a total pool of $145,621. Those who had tickets with the combination of 5-8-6-6-5 cashed in for $414.64. The Late 20-cent Pick-4 sported a total pool of $172,828 after $134,438 was added to the $38,390 carryover. Tickets reading 8-6-6-5 returned $344.30. … All-source wagering totaled $2,618,071. A LITTLE MORE: Lindysmusclemania stayed perfect in three starts after taking a Kindergarten division for trotting colts and geldings. The Ake Svanstedt-trained son of Muscle Hill-Possessed By Lindy hit the wire in a lifetime-best 1:54.4, 3½ lengths to the good with Andy Miller driving the 6-5 favorite. … Speaking of favorites, they scored in nine straight races beginning in race two. By night’s end, 10 post-time choices had visited the winner’s circle from 13 races. … Live racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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