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WASHINGTON, PA, April 24, 2018 -- Refreshed by a second-quarter breather, Fox Valley Charm blazed the back half in 55.1 over a sloppy harness racing surface to score decisively in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Pace at The Meadows. Fox Valley Charm left the gate in a fury, pocketing Magic Forces rather than turning her loose to the lead, yet Aaron Merriman still was able to slow the second-panel pace to 29.2. From there, Fox Valley Charm easily repelled the first-over thrust of Camera Lady and drew off to win in 1:52.1. Magic Forces used that pocket trip for second, 3-3/4 lengths back, while Albany Girl rallied for show. Dirk Simpson trains Fox Valley Charm, a 6-year-old daughter of Yankee Skyscaper-Fox Valley Cherub who extended her career bankroll to $256,750, for Peter Karras. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with a special twilight card, first post 5:30 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

It might be uncommon for recent travels to play a role in buying a racehorse, but such good fortune led harness racing trainer Tim McKoy and his partners to Up Front Flor Ida at the 2016 Buckeye Classic Yearling Sale. Kevin McKinney, who co-owns the female pacer with McKoy's wife Virginia, had just returned to Ohio from Florida and took notice of Up Front Flor Ida. "That's the only reason we got her," McKoy said. "She looked like a million bucks in the sales ring; she looked great. But the only thing that first drew attention to her was her name." Up Front Flor Ida, whose family includes 2005 Little Brown Jug winner P-Forty-Seven, was purchased for $3,200. Last Friday, the daughter of Woodstock-Up Front Dr J won the James K. Hackett Memorial in 1:52.4 at Miami Valley Raceway, establishing the track record for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Friday, she will face eight other Ohio-sired 3-year-old fillies in the $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational at Miami Valley. For her career, Up Front Flor Ida has won four of 10 races, finished third on four occasions, and earned $43,324. She is 2-for-3 this year, with her Hackett victory preceded by a nose victory at odds of 22-1 in her elimination a week earlier. "They said she was a big upset winner the first time, but I knew she was going to get better and better," McKoy said. "She's a good horse. I think she's hopefully just getting started. "She's just a blessing." Up Front Flor Ida was slow to get to the races as a 2-year-old because she required surgery, performed at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Kentucky, for an entrapped epiglottis. She raced seven times and closed out her 2017 campaign with a win at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway. After three months to freshen up, she was ready to get started on her 3-year-old season. She is eligible to all the stakes for Ohio-sired 3-year-old filly pacers. "She's just a pleasure to be around," McKoy said. "She's real easy on herself, just relaxed and easy going. And I like that she's fast." Part of Up Front Flor Ida's personality is her fondness for a certain food -- bananas. She acquired a taste for them because one of McKoy's previous horses, The Ladies Man, ate bananas frequently. "She picked up on it," McKoy said. "She just loves bananas. Maybe we can get some kind of deal with Dole or something, have some bananas in the winner's circle." McKoy, a retired factory worker from Springboro, Ohio, is involved in harness racing as a hobby. He trained a small stable before stepping away for the better part of 14 years to focus on his job, but got back to the sport with Up Front Flor Ida and several other horses. Going forward, he plans to keep only Up Front Flor Ida. "I'm going to concentrate on her," McKoy said. "I'm going to try to enjoy it. I've always raced claimers in my life. This is my first time with the young horses. It's rewarding. It's all a thrill." McKoy is hoping for more thrills with Up Front Flor Ida on Friday, and beyond. "I think she's going to race well," McKoy said. "She's getting into her groove, I believe. This will be her fourth start. The sky is the limit." Ken Weingartner

Over 400 horses are catalogued for the Spring Blooded Horse Sale that will be held for the first time at the Champions Center in Springfield, Oh. Located at the intersection of I-70 & SR 41, the sale takes place Tuesday May 15. There is a vast array of race horses and green prospects, as well as, yearlings and broodmares. A used tack sale including stall gates, jog carts, race bikes and trailers runs from 8:30-9:30am and resumes with the bigger items sellling after the last horse. "We have a lot of competitive racehorses and very attractive green prospects," said Sale Manager Jerry Haws. "There is also a nice selection of broodmares, some with foals by their side. I think buyers and sellers are going to be really happy with the facility change to Springfield. Everything is paved; the stalls are roomy, well-lit and safe; and there is dining and a bar adjacent to the arena." Visit bloodedhorse.com to view the catalogue beginning Friday April 27 or to order a copy. Dot Morgan

Goshen, NY - When the Monticello-Goshen chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association held their annual meeting on Sunday, April 22, it was confirmed by the officers that the Chapter would host a Motorcycle Poker Run to benefit Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 26. Newly elected chapter Vice President/Secretary, Janet Terhune noted, "We are thrilled to host this exciting inaugural event, the Iron Horse Poker Run, which will bring well over 100 new visitors to the Museum and introduce them to Harness Racing." The Harness Racing Museum has agreed to be the start and finish venue for the ride, a 70-mile loop with three additional checkpoints located throughout Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Terhune, the Museum's Director, continued, "We will serve the participants lunch in beautiful Haughton Hall during the event registration, and welcome them back for prizes, raffles and additional refreshments following the run. This is a great opportunity to reach out to a relatively untapped demographic that enjoy taking part in benefit activities." Shawn Wiles, the chapter's Vice President/Treasurer agreed. "Once this event becomes popular, it will grow into a great kick-off for the Goshen Historic Track season, with matinee racing beginning the following weekend." In other business, long-time Chapter leader John Manzi was elevated to the office of Chairman of the Board, stating, "We work hard to raise money for the Hall of Fame and the (Historic) Track. This year certainly illustrates our commitment ...it's our 60th annual awards banquet. The Chapter has been giving local horsemen and women awards since 1959!" The popular event will be held at the usual location, The Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club, on Sunday, December 2, 2018. This year, the Chapter's lifetime achievement award honoree will be Frank "The Elder" Antonacci of Lindy Farms fame. Of course, the primary beneficiaries of the funds raised by the Chapter are the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track...two distinct entities that share the same hallowed ground and a mutual purpose of preserving and promoting harness racing. Lifetime donations by the chapter to these iconic organizations are approaching $100,000. For more information about the Iron Horse Poker Run go to ironhorsepokerrun.com or for opportunities to sponsor our Annual Awards Banquet please contact Chris Tully at tullytrot@yahoo.com or call 845-807-7538. by Chris Tully, President, Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

Pompano Beach, FL...April 24, 2018...Second Sister, catch-driven by John MacDonald, sizzled over the Pompano Park oval on Monday night (April 23), stopping the harness racing timer in 1:54.2 in the Open II Handicap Trot. The six year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, leaving from the outside post in the bulky nine horse field with a trailer, forged her way to the front a stride or two before the :28 opening panel and then tacked on subsequent fractions of :57.2 and 1:25.4 before her :28.3 finale soundly put the finishing touches on her victory. Diamond Dagger, handled by Dave Ingraham, was second, almost six lengths away while Modern Mercury, with Wally Hennessey in her sulky, was another neck back in third. Vicki All and Celebrity Artemis also earned minor awards in the classy field. Driver MacDonald, catch-driving the mare after regular driver Jim Meittinis chose to drive stable mate Prairie Diamonds, had high praise for Second Sister remarking, "Well, this is a very fast mare and a pleasure to drive. I thought I might have a tougher time trying to make the lead but we got there easier than I thought. Once we got to the front, we didn't really have much pressure and she did this all on her own. She was very impressive and her manners were impeccable." With regard to Johnny Mac's last statement, trainer Mike Deters said, "She (Second Sister) was bred a short time ago to Cantab Hall and, since then, she's been very happy and very calm. This mile was tremendous and, overcoming this type of competition and the outside post, was very impressive. I am very proud of her." Deters trains the mare for owner Jerold Hawks. Second Sister, who won her last start in 1:55.3 over a track labeled "good," extended her streak to two with the win and now sports a 4-1-3 scorecard in 12 starts, good for earnings of $35,750 this semester and $399,049 lifetime. Off as the second choice at 2 to 1, Second Sister paid $6.60 to her many faithful. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Boli and Prairie Fortune locking horns in the featured Open Trot. Thundercrest, Celebrity Eventsy, Overnight Shipper, Entranced,Jack Rules and War Cry Hall complete the talented $2 million field. IN the "better for the bettor" department, there is a $4,281 carryover in the tracks Pick-6, which begins in race three. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park        

The C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series kicks off its 37th season on Sunday April 29 at Miami Valley Raceway followed by a leg at Freehold Raceway on Saturday May 5 . And six days after that, the talented amateur drivers will compete at the Meadowlands on Friday, May 11.. Then, almost weekly, there will be competitions at various racetracks in the United States and Canada through late November. Again the Billings will be run under the auspices of the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association. The series which began in the early 1980's is considered the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing. Known for its constant traveling sideshow over the years some of the best amateur drivers in North America compete, or have competed, in it. And because of the success of the Billings a multitude of amateur clubs have now become part of the harness racing landscape. "Amateur racing has never been more popular than it is now" noted Tony Verruso, the CKG Billings Series president. "Just look at the handle at the amateur races and you can see we are a good bet. And not only that, amateur races are needed to help fill overnight cards at many racetracks. "Last year amateur racing action was with weekly record braking handles in races at the Meadowlands and at Pompano Park. Wagering was also strong in the NAADA Trotting Series at Yonkers, Freehold, and Monticello.' Various amateur clubs are now organized to help maximize the number of races and add benefits to the tracks that host them as well as abetting the various charities that each club represents. "Tens of thousands of dollars are raised each year through amateur driving for the benefit of each clubs charity. The CKG Billings is proud to contribute its driver's earnings to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame," Verruso added." This season being no exception Billings president Verruso has once again worked diligently and as a result has put-together another outstanding series of races at venues both in the United States and Canada. "You'll find that the current schedule has limited Canada dates as Billings member Dave Drew is still working tirelessly at getting us squared away up North", Verruso acknowledged. "So hopefully there will be some dates to add to our seasonal schedule." According to Verruso most rules remain the same except for the following: *The yearly earnings per start average has been lowered to $1,500 per start. * Because of the number of amateur clubs in the East, it is getting harder to fill two fields at any one venue and we never get two in the Mid-West. So this year we are going to let any horse entered for the $10,000 claiming price draw inside any horse entered for $15,000. " "It does not mean the $10,000 claimer will draw the inside post, just that said horse will draw inside of any $15,000 claimers," Verruso explained. "If need be, the race may be seeded and drawn in lots as is done in some of our races already." At season's end the Gold & Silver Cup Finals will be held at Yonkers Raceway on November 26th.. "Yonkers has graciously offered to host the races at our normal purse level. They will feature the Gold Cup on their France Simulcast Program which should be a great showcase for Amateur Racing here in the States. "There is a very big amateur colony in Europe so it will be very nice to put on a good show for them. We will have to go with 10 horses at 1 1/4 miles as all the French Races do," Verruso stated. To become a member of the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association or for a complete listing of conditions and nominating costs please contact Verruso at sulkyracer@hotmail.com or Billings Series VP, Steve Oldford atsteveoldford@oldford.biz. One can also get pertinent information on the Delvin Miller Harness Driving Series on the USTA website under amateur racing. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

This Saturday, April 28, 2018 the top horseplayers in North America will compete for $75,000 in prize money in the 2018 World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars.com, at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. The WHHC is a one-day tournament, with a welcome reception the evening prior. This Thursday, DerbyWars.com is offering a final qualifier with two $1,000 seats in the Final up for grabs. Players can register at https://www.derbywars.com/tournaments/list/whhc Through Tuesday, 73 players have qualified via DerbyWars.com online tournaments, TVG/Betfair, and on-site track tournaments held at the Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs, Buffalo Raceway and Standardbred Canada. Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $1,000. The $1,000 entry fee includes a $300 bankroll, with the remaining $700 going to the prize pool. The WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of seven Meadowlands races, plus three designated mandatory races (one each) from Buffalo, Vernon Downs and the Meadowlands. Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings. Prize payouts are to the Top 10, with a guaranteed prize pool of $75,000. If more than 108 players enter the Championship, the prize pool will exceed the guarantee. Walk-up registrations will be accepted for the WHHC Final presented by DerbyWars.com until 7 pm on Saturday, April 28. For the contest entry form and complete rules visit http://playmeadowlands.com/contest_detail.aspx?id=8240 Rachel Ryan

Plainville, MA---After finishing a respectable fifth in his seasonal bow in the Open here last week, Cherokee Hiflyzane took full advantage of a drop in class to score his first win of 2018 in the $14,000 conditioned pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 23). He's Marvelous (Nick Graffam) left from the rail at 50-1 and played give-and-go with Jackson's Image (Jim Hardy) to the quarter in a swift :26.3. From there Graffam continued to drive aggressively to the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:22.3, fending off a challenge from Windsong Jack (Greg Merton) for most of that time. As the race rounded the final turn, Cherokee Hiflyzane (Michael Stevenson), who had been sitting on Windsong Jack's back since the half, tipped three-deep just as they approached the top of the stretch and started a furious rush down the center of the track passing Windsong Jack and He's Marvelous en route to a two-length victory in 1:52. Cherokee Hiflyzane ($5.60) posted his seasonal best and 20th career win for owners Barrie Farrar and Roger Farrar II of Wrentham, Massachusetts. In the co-featured $10,000 mid-level conditioned pacing event, Commondiscourtesy (Drew Campbell) found himself parked out to the quarter in :26.1 by Mysharona Bluechip (Pat Curtain) before clearing and leading the rest of the mile before holding off a late challenge from Mysharona Bluechip once again and a late-closing Sinners Prayer (DT Sumner) to win by a neck in 1:52.3. It was the third 2018 win for Commondiscourtesy ($4.00) and first for his new owner Richard Knight of Westbrook, Maine, who privately purchased the gelding on April 9. Irwin Rosenthal is the winning trainer. Don't touch him, he's hot! That's all you could say about Greg Merton on Monday as he visited the winner's circle five times. Merton finished first with Forever Worth It (1:55.1, $3.20), Riproy (1:53, $9.80), Mr. Blissful (1:54, $3.20), Avogadro Hanover (1:57, $16.80) and Dr C's Z Tam (1:53.3, $7.40). Drew Campbell also posted a driving hat trick. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (April 23) with a 4 p.m. post time. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

(Yonkers, NY )- The Kentucky Derby is often described as the "most exciting two minutes in sports," but there will be four hours worth of excitement trackside at Empire City Casino on "Derby Day" on Saturday, May 5th. Highlighted by the annual Derby Hat Contest, the festivities begin at 3:00 p.m. with food & beverage specials, live simulcast of the big race from Churchill Downs, and musical entertainment. The highlight of the event is Empire City's Derby Hat Contest, overseen by Greg T. from the Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show. Empire City's viewing party for the 144th renewal of Kentucky Derby officially launches the summer racing & simulcast season. The first post-time of the day is at 10:30 a.m. with the Kentucky Derby race expected around 6:30 p.m. Wagering on the "Run for the Roses" from Churchill Downs is available at simulcast locations throughout the casino including outdoor trackside and in Dan Rooney's Sports Pub. In addition to the Derby, Yonkers Raceway will simulcast more than 30 of the premier harness and thoroughbred tracks from across North America throughout the day and night, as well as host live harness racing beginning at 6:50 p.m. As the racing season continues, Empire City will also simulcast the Derby's companion events - the Preakness Stakes, held May 19th in Maryland, and Belmont Stakes, held June 9th on Long Island, NY. A multitude of major stakes races throughout the summer and into the fall will also take place at the racetrack including two signature Triple Crown harness races - the Yonkers Trot and the Messenger Stakes, both on September 1st - as well the Art Rooney Pace on May 26th and the Dan Rooney Pace & $1-million Yonkers International Trot, which puts an exclamation point on the stakes season, in October. Registration for the Derby Hat Contest is from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contestants must be Empire Club members to claim prizes - new members can sign up to join the Empire Club for free at any Promotions Booth. The finalists will be announced at 5:00 p.m. when Greg T. selects his "Celebrity Prize Pick" to win a cash prize of $750. First place will win $500, with $250 going to the runner-up and $100 for third place. DJ LAX will provide the musical entertainment, and Z100 will be on-site giving away swag. Guests can indulge in the signature Derby cocktail - a classic Mint Julep made with bourbon, mint leaves and sugar and available in a commemorative glass for the first 700 to purchase. A variety of traditional raceway food will be available for purchase trackside, or guests can experience classic raceway dining in the Empire Terrace, open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. race day, where the Derby can be viewed on a private screen at the party's table. Reservations for the Empire Terrace are now being accepted for parties of six or more by calling 914-968-4200 ext. 649. After experiencing Kentucky-in-New York, guests can try their luck on the casino's IGT Wheel of Fortune Triple Stars® slot machine jackpot, now over $1.1-million. Just this past March, Theresa P. of Westchester, NY won a life-changing jackpot of $2.9-million, the highest-ever jackpot at any of New York State's regulated casinos. For more information on Empire City Casino, the Kentucky Derby Party & Hat Contest, and directions visit www.empirecitycasino.com. Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, 810 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, New York 10704, 914-968-4200 John Cirillo

HARRINGTON, Del. - Soto ($9, Art Stafford Jr.) improved to 2-for-2 this year at Harrington Raceway with a 1:52.4 triumph in the $17,000 Open Pace. Overlooked at odds of 3-to-1, Soto settled third on the rail until near the three-quarters when he challenged pacesetter Major Uptrend and eventually cleared. Soto made the lead in mid-stretch and would not relent as Major Uptrend held second and Silver Fox J was third. Trained by Eric Ell for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, it was the 26th career win for the son of Rock N Roll Heaven. The sixth race was named in recognition of the James Eveland Stables, where Jim and his wife Roberta have raced a horse at Harrington Raceway for each of the last 50 years. A large gathering of friends and family were in the winner's circle for a blanket presentation. Matthew Sparacino  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Kimberlee and Sharen Hanover both became three-time winners in the preliminaries of the Bobby Weiss Series for harness racing pacing mares at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Monday, as the track hosted two $15,000 divisions of the fourth and final Weiss preliminary. Kimberlee is 3-for-3 in the Weiss, and 4-for-4 in 2018, after a ¾-length victory in her prelim, which was timed in 1:55. The Rock N Roll Heaven filly won the first Weiss week, skipped the second, and now has victories last week and this. Driver Marcus Miller sent Kimberlee to the lead after the first quarter, and the sophomore came home in 57 to win for trainer Ãke Svanstedt and owners Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Asa Sjoberg. The four-year-old Well Said mare Sharen Hanover, second in the Weiss first round and then entrusted to the care of trainer Rene Allard, remained undefeated in three starts for Rene and driver/brother Simon after posting a crackling 1:52.2 mile, a lifetime mark. The opposition tried to make it hard for "Sharen" as Jewels Forreal refused to let her get the top early, and after she took the pocket Carly Girl came with a quick quarter-move, leaving Sharen Hanover in the undesirable third-inside spot. But the fast distaff patiently awaited the famed Pocono Pike, then showed a big stretch burst to be an easy winner for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. Jewels Forreal photoed Carly Girl for major minor honors. In unofficial standings (please check with the Pocono Race Office for the official list) calculated immediately after the races, the top ten pointwinners in the preliminaries, in order, are: Sharen Hanover, Kimberlee, Miss Hill, Line Dancer, Unnreal, Pretty Angel Eyes, Carly Girl, Jewels Forreal, Sweetest Devotion, and Sing Along. The top horses declaring in will race for $30,000 in their Weiss Championship during the evening portion of the doubleheader of racing on Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 4; if enough horses declare in, there will be a $15,000 consolation event held during the afternoon racing that day. The Allard brothers also triumphed in a $14,000 claiming handicap pace for mares, with the Stonebridge Regal mare Strawb's Chippie N posted her second straight wire-to-wire win since being claimed by Team Allard, in this victory lowering her lifetime mark over three seconds to 1:52.3. But there won't be a third straight win from the mare for the ownership of Allard Racing Inc. and Ameer Major - there were four claims in the seven-horse field, including the 1-2-3 finishers. PHHA / Pocono

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 23, 2018 - After three preliminary rounds and sufficient whittling, the field is set for Tuesday night's (Apr. 24th) harness racing  $85,000 final of the Bonus Trotting Series. The event, co-sponsored by Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of the New York, goes as the ninth of 11 races. Post time is the usual 6:50 PM. Seasoned Saint (Jim Marohn Jr., post 2) was the only perfect participant, winning all three of his series starts. The 5-year-old Dewycheatumnhowe gelding, co-owned by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby and Alan Weisenberg, has won six of his 10 seasonal starts and half of his 32 career efforts. Allard also co-owns (with Blue Chip Bloodstock and John Lengacher) and trains the lone lass, Romancing Rachel (Mark MacDonald, post 3). The 4-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill won her first two starts before a tiring pocket third in the final leg. 'Rachel' has hit the board in nine of her 11 '18 tries. Due to overlapping ownership, Optimist Blue Chip (Andy Miller, post 4) completes this three-pronged posse. The 4-year-old Dewycheatumnhowe gelding, owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and trained by Julie Miller, has gone 1-2-3 in his series starts. Bluebird Jesse (George Brennan, post 1) was another prelim 'two-timer,' the wins sandwiching a race mired by incessant road trouble. The 4-year-old Jailhouse Jesse gelding is trained by Scott DiDomenico co for-owners Brian Carsey, John McGill and Adam Friedland. Ei Ei O (Scott Zeron, post 8) also won twice before being victimized by an interference break a week ago. The 4-year-old son of pacing stallion Cam's Rocket is owned and trained by Arlene Cameron. Aces and Eights (Ray Schnittker, post 5), Icanflylikeanangel (Jeff Gregory, post 6) and Tyson (Yannick Gingras, post 7) each had a win in the series, the first two of this set at 14-1 odds. The 'bonus' portion of the series title is an additional $10,000 SOA payday to the winner, provided the owner(s), trainer and driver(s) of the horse throughout the series were association members before the first draw of the series. A $35,000 series consolation goes as the fourth race. Frank Drucker

WASHINGTON, PA, April 23, 2018 -- Lady's Dude attacked the leader, Classicality, near the three-quarters and drew away from him late to capture Monday's $20,000 harness racing 'Preferred Handicap Trot' at The Meadows. Lady's Dude was third when Dave Palone tipped him off the cones and asked him for trot. The 7-year-old Victory Sam-Lady's Star gelding dueled with Classicality through mid-stretch before putting him away, downing Classicality by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.2. Early leader Wind Of The North was third. Ron Burke trains Lady's Dude, who now boasts $680,258 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Johnny Yoder. Jim Pantaleano piloted three winners on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Hightstown, NJ --- Domenico Cecere might be a new name in the program, but he is a familiar face when it comes to Lindy Farms and its racehorses. Cecere, a 36-year-old native of Italy, is beginning his 11th year as a member of “Team Lindy” while starting his first full season succeeding Frank M. Antonacci as the organization’s harness racing trainer. The Antonacci family, which owns Lindy Farms and competes under a variety of stable names, enjoyed a strong 2017 thanks to trotters such as International Moni, Lindy The Great, Mambo Lindy, Shake It Off Lindy, and Night Rhythm. And Cecere hopes more good times are on the horizon. “I’m very happy where we are,” said Cecere, who guided seven horses through qualifiers Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. “I feel good. I think we have a nice group of horses. We are very excited, me and Frank and all the team. We need to keep doing a good job, hard work, and we will get results. “I don’t feel more pressure,” Cecere said about his new role. “We have always been close, me and Frank. It’s exciting to see your name on the program; it’s nice. But we’ve been working together for 10 years; I don’t see much different. He trusts me, I trust him; whatever we do will be together. That is great. That is a team. It makes you strong.” Mambo Lindy, a late-blooming 7-year-old trotter, is expected to make his 2018 debut this week as he prepares for a possible trip to the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial on May 5 at the Meadowlands. Stakes winners International Moni, Lindy The Great, and Night Rhythm were among Cecere’s seven horses that qualified Saturday. International Moni and Lindy The Great, both 4-year-old stallions, are preparing for next month’s start of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters. “They will stay with the 4-year-olds to start the year,” Cecere said. “There are nice aged horses out there and we don’t want to push these nice 4-year-olds that we have. When we see that we can compete, then we will go. I’m not saying we’ll not, but not right now. The year is long.” International Moni qualified in 1:56.1 with a final quarter-mile in :28.1 as he faced a group that included defending Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover, who won in 1:53.2. Lindy The Great also faced a seasoned group, including Crazy Wow and Caprice Hill, as he trotted in 1:55 with a final quarter of :28.4. Both horses were qualifying for the first time this year. “I’m in no rush,” Cecere said. “Just do your mile. Let (others) go fast. We don’t need to go fast right now. We will start to build on the qualifiers. When it is time for the money, we’ll be there.” Night Rhythm, a 3-year-old trotting colt, is among a group of Cecere trainees eligible to this year’s Hambletonian Stakes, the sport’s top prize for 3-year-old trotters. Others include American Moni -- the final foal from the great mare Moni Maker and a half-brother to International Moni -- as well as Eurobond, Kinda Lucky Lindy, and Hat Trick Habit, a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion owned by Fred Monteleone Stable. Eurobond, who finished second in 1:57.3 in his qualifier Saturday with Cecere at the lines, was winless in six races last year but is an unheralded colt to keep an eye on. “He was green and made breaks last year; this year he is better,” Cecere said. “He will learn. He has a lot of talent.” For Saturday’s complete results from qualifiers at the Meadowlands, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Ft. Washington, MD --- Rosecroft's leading harness racing driver Frank Milby scored a hat trick on the Sunday night (April 22) card in Fort Washington, Md., as he guided Abelard Hanover to a win in the $11,000 Maryland Open Handicap. Milby now has a meet best 41 wins. The 10-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover picked up career win 52 and his lifetime earnings now sit at $757,082. Milby outsprinted Hickory Aloha to the opening quarter in :26.1 and rolled on in :55.1, 1:22.4 and finished the mile in 1:51 to win by just over two lengths. Hickory Aloha (Timmy Offutt) held for second and Whirl Monroe (Russell Foster) was third. Milby also scored with his own trainee, Artic Adventure, who sprinted to a 1:53.1 score for his mom, Candy Milby. The $80,000 Lexington Selected purchase who did not start as a 2-year-old, is now three-for-four in his brief career. Milby also took a picture with Beammeupscottie for owner Gloria Kinnamon and trainer Jamie Vance, winning in 1:53.2. Gene Long made a triumphant return to the Rosecroft winner's circle with a terrific drive aboard Wet Shark in race five. Five horses heading to the three-quarter pole were either three-wide or four-wide and Long who was well positioned off the fifth from post seven, sat patient and weaved through the carnage to the inside and was the fresh shooter in the stretch and caught the pacesetting Tom's Titan at the line in 1:55. It was the first win of the year for the 5-year-old Shadyshark Hanover gelding in his first start for new owner-trainer Melissa Smith. Ricky Still had a driving double, winning race three with DBS Rosco in his debut for owner-trainer Brittany Bounds and race four with No Humble Jumble for owner-trainer Jason Walters. by Pete Medhurst, for Rosecroft Raceway 

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands and the SBOA of NJ will again cooperate to provide access to the racetrack for those horsemen wishing to train their young horses over the harness racing oval during the month of May beginning on Thursday, May 3.   The track will be open each Thursday in May from 7am to 11am and the paddock is open and available during those hours.   The cost for these sessions will be covered by the SBOA of NJ.   Please call the Race Office at 877-782-2537 by noon each Wednesday with an estimated number of horses so preparations may be made.   Nick Salvi        

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