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Illinois' top two-year-old pacers were in action on Friday night as a pair of state-bred stake events helped bring the curtain down on the 2015 harness racing season at Maywood Park.   Fillies kicked off the night's action with a compact field of five lining up behind the gate for the $20,500 Violet Stake.   Fresh off her win in the Filly Orange & Blue on Super Night division leader Char N Marg had no trouble disposing of this group as she hustled to the front from post three and made every call a winning one in a leisurely 1:58.0 for driver Casey Leonard.   Taking advantage of a break by Sara's Terror (Matt Krueger) as the wings of the gate folded Leonard sent the daughter of Sportsmaster-Zip Up Your Pans right to the top where she strolled through pedestrian like splits of 29.1, 1:00 & 1:29.1.   After shrugging off a first over bid from Sara's Terror as the field moved around the final bend the Nelson Willis trained miss was on cruise control through the lane as she paced under the wire with a 1¾ length decision. LK's Nancy Lee (Kyle Wilfong) turned a pocket sitting journey into a second place check while Sara's Terror did well to finish third after the miscue and the first over trip.   The win was the sixth in 12 starts this year for Char N Marg who returned $2.20 & $2.10 to her legion of backers while upping her career bankroll to $106,541 for Quaid Racing LLC.   A full field of eight freshmen pacing colts were entered for the $23,900 Cardinal Stake and once again the public was right on in this tussle as Nicole Potts' Royale Rose, the 2-5 favorite in the wagering went "right down the highway" for driver Matt Krueger posting a three-length triumph in 1:56.2.   Zipped away from post position two by Krueger the gelded son of Ashlee's Big Guy--Caribe Royal sped through the opening quarter in 28.2 before slamming on the brakes while leading the field through an opening half-mile in 59.2.   With pressure coming from a first over Dan D Dune (Mike Oosting), the top two were neck and neck as they raced by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.4. That's when the Lyle Scurlock trainee found another gear, quickly leaving his rivals in his wake on the final turn and then drawing away to his eighth win in 11 career starts. JB's Hero (Robert Smolin) shook loose late to rally for the place money while Wondrous Sport (Casey Leonard) finished third. Bet as though defeat was out of the question Royale Rose returned $2.80, $2.40 & $2.10 while upping his career earnings to $53,879. A couple of familiar faces toted home the 2015 driving and training awards as Mike Oosting, who is rapidly approaching 6,000 career driving wins, took home the driving title while David Mc Caffrey led the training ranks.   Tom Kelley

LEXINGTON, KY-- Earning his second win of the season, American Passport took the first of three divisions of the $292,200 Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace in wire-to-wire fashion over the sloppy harness racing track at The Red Mile on Friday, Oct. 2.   The Tony Alagna trainee cleared the top easily and generated fractions of :29.1, :59, and 1:28 on the lead. The only challenge came from Rodeo Rock first over, with Big Top Hanover and Pretty Boy Hill tracking him two wide. American Passport easily kicked away at the top of the stretch, leading by 2 lengths over Big Top Hanover and Pretty Boy Hill, who began their bids down the center of the track. The two merely followed American Passport to the line and finished second and third, respectively, to the 7-2 third choice in his 1:56.1 win.   A $9.40 winner, owned by Brittany Farms, Riverview Racing LLC, Alagna Racing LLC, and Jodi Siamis, Scott Zeron steered the son of American Ideal out of the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star Of The Show to victory. He has earned $156,046 this season.   Jim Campbell's Katies Rocker also pulled off a wire-to-wire score, but did so in 1:57 at odds of 7-1. Andrew McCarthy sent the Rocknroll Hanover-Just Wait Katie-Real Artist colt for the lead, putting up times of :30.2, :59.3, and 1:29.1. Approaching the top of the stretch, Mr Right Hanover edged out of third and began a move first over, carrying 8-5 favorite Mindtrip behind. The two faded in the stretch, however, and were overtaken for the second and third spots by closers Talk Show and Fine Diamond.   Katies Rocker was a 3 length winner, paying $16.60 to win in his fourth win of the season. He pushes his earnings to $119,348.   Racing Hill, stalking in the pocket behind pacesetter Owen Hanover, drifted in his pouncing-stretch move but still managed to pull off a 2 length victory in the final division, doing so in 1:57.2. Owen Hanover led the field through panels of :30, :59.3, and 1:28.3 before losing control. Ideal Rocky, the 8-5 favorite, led the two-wide movement after Owen Hanover in the far turn, where Racing Hill began to edge off the inside and towards the center of the course. Once fed racetrack, he surpassed the 37-1 race leader and advanced to the wire in front, while Ideal Rocky finished third.   Driven by Brett Miller for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill, the Roll With Joe colt, out of Chasing Ideals by American Ideal, paid $10.40 to win. This was his third win of the season, banking $83,576 in earnings.   Live racing at The Red Mile continues tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 3, with the $189,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, $144,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly trot, $220,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt trot, and $185,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt pace. First race post is at 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY-- Jimmy Takter's Pure Country, who has won all six of her tries this season, continued her harness racing streak over the sloppy track at The Red Mile on Friday, Oct. 2 by claiming one of three divisions of the $243,000 Bluegrass 2-year-old filly pace.   Getting away fourth through a :30.2 quarter set by Lyons River Pride, driver Brett Miller pulled the 1-5 favorite first over after a :58.4 half. Pure Country progressed towards the leader to within a length of the top at three-quarters in 1:28 and managed to pass the tempo setter in the stretch despite drifting in her bid, and advanced to a three-length 1:56.1 victory.   Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, out of Western Hanover mare Western Montana, Pure Country pushes her seasonal earnings to $342,618. Competing for Diamond Creek Racing, she paid $2.10 to win.   Tipton Teeez circled race leader Blue Moon Stride around the far turn en route to a 1:56 win at 16-1. Setting splits of :28.3, :57.1, and 1:27.2, Blue Moon Stride was uncontested on the front until the top of the stretch, when Tipton Teeez pulled from third and charged first over. The two hooked into a duel midway through the stretch, with Tipton Teeez prevailing and edging to a neck victory over Blue Moon Stride, with pocket-rider and 1-5 favorite Call Me Queen Be finishing third. Returning $34.20 to win, Tipton Teeez collected her fifth win of the season, with her seasonal earnings now at $103,871. She's owned by Jennifer Brown and Richard Lombardo, conditioned by Brian Brown, and driven by Tim Tetrick. Shezarealdeal, who brushed past race-leader East Side Hanover after sitting in the pocket for the first quarter, gained the lead nearing the top of the stretch and sustained control in her 1:56.4 win. Stationary of a :28.1 initial quarter, driver Scott Zeron tipped out of the pocket after a :56.3 half-mile and soon overtook the leader into the far turn. Edging closer into the 1:26.4 third-quarter were Skinny Dipper and Mother Of Art, who could only chase Shezarealdeal in the stretch and secure third and second, respectively.   Shipped off the 1-5 favorite, the Western Ideal filly out of Real Artist mare Shezarealceasar paid $2.40 to win. She is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham and trained by Ross Croghan. This was her fourth win this season, with her seasonal earnings accumulating to $163,067.   Live racing at The Red Mile continues tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 3, with the $189,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, $144,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly trot, $220,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt trot, and $185,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt pace. First race post is at 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

DAYTON, OH. - Despite howling winds, at times reaching 30 miles per hour, as well as intermittent rain showers all day and night, the two Grand Circuit races at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night (October 2) produced harness racing track records on both the trot and pace. Native Ohioan and Hall-Of-Fame driver David Miller was aboard both winners, reminding the locals who watched him master his craft at nearby Lebanon Raceway and Scioto Downs before moving east to The Meadowlands to ply his trade why he was annointed with the nickname "Purple Jesus" before ever leaving the Buckeye state. Il Sogno Dream upset favored Shake It Cerry (Yannick Gingras) in the $135,750 Dayton Trotting Derby, establishing a track record for four-year-olds of 1:53.2. In a post-race interview, Miller revealed that trainer Chris Beaver (also from Ohio) had told him the horse was in top form and "don't be afraid to race him aggressively." Miller obliged with a first-over journey that resulted in racing over a half-mile side-by-side with odds-on favorite Shake It Cerry before pulling away in the final strides. Ontario owners Bill and Dan Manes and Leonard and Randy Christopher benefitted from Beaver and Miller's confidence as they were rewarded with their horse's twelfth career win and one of his largest paydays. Southwind Pepino (Hugh Beatty) garnered the show dough. Miller used a much different strategy in the $138,500 Dayton Pacing Derby, sending favored State Treasurer directly to the front and never looking back in an all-age track record 1:48.4 performance. Shamballa (Rick Zeron) raced gamely to finish second, with Let's Drink On It (Travis Seekman) next across the line. The winning six-year-old son of Real Desire now has nine seasonal wins, including the Graduate Series final and the U. S. Pacing Championship in addition to the Dayton Derby. Canadians Sally and Paul MacDonald own the sport's current top-rated older pacer and entrust his training to Dr. Ian Moore. The pair of races enticed stellar fields of outstanding horses and many of the sport's top reinsmen. The combined earnings of the nine horses in the Pacing Derby exceeded $13 million. The races showcased the winningest driver of all time (Dave Palone), fellow Hall Of Famers John Campbell and David Miller, the top money earning driver this season (Yannick Gingras) and the leading dash driver the past two seasons (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) Hollywood Dayton Raceway would like to thank all the participants in the 2015 Derbies and compliment the exceptional job the track maintenance crew did to keep the racing surface in lightning fast shape despite trying day-long weather conditions. Gregg Keidel

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 2, 2015-Second choice Inittowinafortune (Dan Dube) held off 7-5 Skippin' By (George Brennan) in two-speed number Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's soggy, $48,000 harness racing Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Involved early from post position No. 6, Inittowinafortune left around the people's preference, then went the distance (:27.2, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:55.3). "Init" prevailed by a neck, with Envious Hanover (Jason Bartlett)-last the three-quarters-rallying for third. Carobbean Pacetry (Brent Holland) and Strings (Eric Carlson) rounded out the payees. For Inittotinafortune, a 5-year-old daughter of Cam's Fortune trained by Michael Russo for owner Michael Pagonas, it was her 11th win in 30 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $23, with the triple returning $316. Frank Drucker

WILKES BARRE PA -- Fancy Desire, a harness racing four-year-old pacing mare who had won the $300,000 Lynch Final on June 28 of last year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono but who had fallen on hard times since, seemed to relish the rain, 48-degree chill and sloppy track offered at The Downs Friday and won the $24,000 distaff pacing feature in 1:52.1.   The daughter of Real Desire, trained by Daniel Renaud for owner Robert Di Nozzi, won only twice more in 2014 after the Lynch and hadn't won at all in 2015 prior to this race, and she sported a 23-race losing streak coming in. But a second-over trip after relatively fast fractions allowed Fancy Desire to rally from fifth, catching Ooh Bad Shark, who had gained the lead midstretch in the Pocono Pike, while posting a neck decision. Fancy Desire gave driver George Napolitano Jr., who also piloted her in the 2014 Lynch Final, his fourth win of five on the night at The Downs at press time.   FINISHING LINES -- Mach It So, coming off a dramatic sweeping victory in the Quillen Memorial at Harrington last week, will be among the favorites in the $30,000 Open pace headliner at The Downs Saturday. The winner of $1.08M, who took his mark of 1:48 locally, will start from post five, with driver Andrew McCarthy listed by trainer Jeff Bamond Jr.   PHHA / Pocono  

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 2, 2015 - Three Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for the aged pacing divisions will highlight the 14-race harness racing card slated for Saturday, October 3 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The elimination for the aged pacing mares division drew a field of twelve while nineteen entered in the aged stallions and geldings elimination and will be contested through two divisions. Making his 2015 pari-mutuel debut and headlining the list of entrants in the aged stallions and geldings division is pacing sensation, Always B Miki. With trainer Jimmy Takter enlisted to drive, Always B Miki will start from post nine and has been enlisted as the 4-5 morning line choice. He will face nine other rivals in the 10th race of the program. Always B Miki will make his return to Hoosier Park fresh off a world-record equaling qualifying victory at The Red Mile last week. He cruised to a ten and a half length victory, scoring in 1:48.2, with Jimmy Takter in the sulky. The time of the mile equaled the fastest qualifying mile in the history of harness racing, which was recorded by Shark Gesture over the Meadowlands Racetrack in June of 2010. Always B Miki was a winner of 12 of 19 starts at three with seasonal earnings in excess of $794,000 for Bluewood Stable and Roll The Dice Stable. In 2014, Always B Miki's victories included the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings and the $275,000 Monument Circle at Hoosier Park and he had not finished worse than second in his last 12 starts. The son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper was the morning line favorite in the 2014 Breeders Crown final before being a late scratch due to a left hind pastern fracture and required surgery. As he was making his 2015 comeback for trainer Jimmy Takter, he fractured a right hind pastern in May and required another surgery. "He's just a lovely horse," trainer Jimmy Takter noted of the pacer. "I'm very happy with him. He's come back extremely well. Right now, we are taking it one week at a time with him but he seems really good and really sharp. He's an extremely fast horse, just a great horse to have in the barn." "The owners wanted me to drive," Takter continued. "I want to make sure everything is okay with him. We're pointing him to the Breeders Crown and we needed a couple of starts to prepare him for that. This should be a good race for him." The 2015 Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate at Hoosier Park on Saturday, October 10 with the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals; the four finals for the aged competitors will compliment the 14-race card, each carrying a purse of $50,000. The top five finishers from the two eliminations in the aged male pace will return for the final while the top ten finishers from the aged mares elimination will make up the final. The aged trotting divisions did not require eliminations. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Gaskin

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 2, 2015 -- Dismissed at 37-1, Toddler Tantrum blew up the tote board Friday at The Meadows when he roared by the favorite in the lane to capture a Keystone Classic division at The Meadows. The $108,000 stake for harness racing 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers was contested over three divisions, with Fernando Hanover and Allie's Cruiser taking the other splits. Toddler Tantrum saved ground for most of the mile and trailed the 1-5 favorite, Ideal Jimmy, by 4 lengths turning for home. But the son of Western Terror-Ubetterthink Think brushed wide through the lane for Eric Goodell and scored in 1:53.2. Bank Shot Hanover rallied for second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Ideal Jimmy, weary from an extended first-over move, saved show. "I really thought he had a chance," said Tim Twaddle, who trains Toddler Tantrum for Don Tiger and Birnam Wood Farms. "This was the toughest division on paper, and I thought he'd need some luck to win. But he was outstanding. He'll go to the Simpson at Vernon Downs, and that will be it for him this year." Sent off at 8-1, Fernando Hanover got the jump on favorite Sam McSmith when he pulled the pocket down the backside for Mike Wilder and defeated his rival by 6-1/2 lengths in a career-best 1:52, fastest of the stake. Early leader Blake North finished third. "He felt very nice in the two hole; I was hoping he wasn't playing possum with me," Wilder said. "With the conditions today, windy and cool, I thought that was a heckuva mile." Ron Burke conditions the Dragon Again-Fashion Ecstasy gelding, who collected his first stake victory, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and JJK Stables. Burke notched another Keystone Classic victory when the pocket-sitting Allie's Cruiser kicked by the favorite, McDave, in the stretch to down him by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:54. Safensound Hanover earned show. "He's a little more aggressive than he was early in the season, but I've loved this colt," said winning driver Dave Palone. "I think he'll make a top 3-year-old. He has a great attitude, and he's great gaited." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables and Larry Karr campaign the son of Yankee Cruiser-Santastic's Filly. $122,800 Keystone Classic, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Southern Cross, Major Matter, Iron Mine Bucky and Treasure Keys K each took a division of Friday's co-feature, a $122,800 Keystone Classic for freshman colt and gelding trotters. Southern Cross hadn't been on the lead at any point in his three-race career, but he blasted to the top for Aaron Merriman and broke his maiden handily in a stake-fastest 1:56.4. Nathaniel was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Mr Right third. "They told me he might be a little grabby in the post parade; he was pretty grabby all the way around," Merriman said. "But his gait is flawless. He dragged me right out of there, and I let him do his thing." Ake Svanstedt trains Southern Cross, a Donato Hanover-Temple Of Heaven gelding, for Vanersol Inc. Iron Mine Bucky converted a pocket trip to victory in 1:57.1 for George Dennis, and he also may have punched his ticket to a pair of rich late-season stakes. "He's come a long way," said Greg Haverstick, who trains the son of Explosive Matter-My Foolish Dream for Iron Mine Branch. "He's getting better, faster, stronger. He has the Breeders Crown and the Matron, and if George says he's good enough to go, we'll go." Cufflink Hanover was second, 1-1/2 lengths in arrears, while Can We Have Fun completed the ticket. When Alexander Hanover drifted off the pylons down the backstretch, Major Matter shot through the opening -- a bold yet risky move that paid off when Major Matter defeated Alexander Hanover by a length in 1:57.2. Roccos Tacos was third. "If a man moves over, I'll certainly try to take advantage of it," said winning trainer/driver Rick Beinhauer, who bred and owns the Explosive Matter Tahiti Springs gelding with Regina Beinhauer. "You could have got two horses up inside. I'll take my chances when I get them." Goodell and Burke each enjoyed a four-bagger on the 15-race card. Monday's program at The Meadows feature a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old fillies -- a $91,800 trot and a $69,000 pace. The card also offers a $10,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, races 4-7. First post is 12:55 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Hidden Land crossed the finish line faster than any harness racing female in the history of Northfield Park when she won the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace in 1:51.4 on Friday (October 2).  The clocking formally broke the 1:52 four year-old pacing mare record by Lease Ness Monster (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) set earlier this year. The partnership of William Sartin and Mark Salerno owns Hidden Land.  Brad Irvine is her conditioner and Don Irvine, Jr. was in the sulky for the winning drive.       Hidden Land (Badlands Hanover-Armbro Ocasey-Abercrombie) started from post eight.  She led her competition through fractions of :26.4, :55.3, 1:23.4 and 1:51.4.  There was never really an anxious moment for the winner, who bested her competition by 2 ½-lengths.       Hidden Land now has four wins in 28 starts this year.  Friday’s victory represents her ninth career score and bolstered her bankroll to $89,157.  She returned $18.00 to win.    Ayers Ratliff     

Super Soph (Admirals Galley) set a lifetime mark while wiring the field in the $17,900 in the Winners Over Pace for Fillies and Mares on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Jackie Rousse-trained mare won the local feature for the first time back in August while coming from off the pace. On Friday night, driver Frank Coppola Jr wasted no time putting the public's 6-5 betting favorite on the front end and the mare cruised to a career best victory in 1:52.3. It was win number seven on the season for the five year old distaffer who bested pocket sitting Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) by a length and a quarter while La Fiesta (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

On Friday night the finish line will come down, the horses stalled and harness racing at Maywood Park will cease. At the end of the year, so will harness racing at Balmoral Park. A decision by the Illinois Racing Board ends the scheduled meets at the financially troubled tracks, both of which are in bankruptcy. The closures are all about money, jobs and casino gambling --- add to that concern that some healthy horses could be led to slaughter as the parks close. Standarbred horses have been racing at Maywood Park, located on 1st Avenue in Melrose Park, since 1946, providing jobs for trainers, grooms, farriers and backstretch workers. “I support my family this way. I love this business,” said trainer Joe Cassano. “When this place closes there are a lot of people that will be out of work.” “This is how I’ve made my living my whole life,” said trainer Hosea Williams. “Sent three kids through school.” Maywood Park had originally been scheduled to end its racing season at the end of the year. The new closing date, says long-time trainer Angie Coleman, is a hardship for families who live on the backstretch. “They are going to lose their home,” she said. “These kids are not going to have school. They are going to be displaced.” Illinois Racing Board Commissioner Kathy Byrne also worries about what will happen to those most in need. “It’s a crisis of decency,” she said in an interview. “These people need to be treated decently.” For years the Johnston family has run both Maywood and Balmoral Parks. And the purses at Maywood, Duke Johnston said, have grown paltry. “Right now we earn about $20,000 a night in purses and are paying $45,000. I can’t keep doing that,” Johnston said. “We’re burning through a cash flow loss of about, you know, a substantial amount.” For years the horse racing industry has pushed to allow slots and other casino-type gambling at Illinois racetracks, turning them into so-called racinos. The industry points to other states where casino gambling is allowed at horse tracks and where racing, they say, is flourishing. Twice controversial gaming bills passed the legislature but were vetoed by then governor Pat Quinn amid security questions and concerns about too much gambling. A new casino bill remains in Springfield budget limbo. “We’re trying to compete against casinos, five video poker machines in every bar, it’s dooming us,” Johnston said. Year-round harness racing has been divided in the past between Maywood and Balmoral. Now it will shift to Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero in 2016, but for a much-shortened season lasting for just over 5 months a year. What to do with the horses that have been racing year round in two facilities is a real concern among trainers like Angie Coleman who say “it’s very much a reality,” that some horses will eventually go to slaughter. “Yes, yes there will be horse slaughter involved,” said worried trainer Hosea Williams. Both Duke Johnson and executives at the Illinois Racing Board strongly disagree that any horses will go to slaughter. But what is crystal clear is that the final race at Maywood goes off Friday night. By Carol Marin and Don Moseley Reprinted with permission of NBCUniversal Media

Cree [Muscle Hill] overcame heavy rain and a sloppy track to win the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres Final for two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday, October 2, 2015 at the harness racing meeting at Freehold Raceway. George Brennan drove the Trond Smedshammer trainee to her second win with two seconds and one third in eight starts. She trotted the mile in 2:03 in the non-wagering event. It was nine lengths back to Jazebel De Vie [Muscles Yankee] in second, nine and three-quarter lengths to Casino Cutie It [Muscles Yankee] in third and 10 ½ lengths to Heal The World [Muscle Hill] in fourth. Southwind Hope [Muscle Hill] broke stride at the start and finished last in the field of five. Cree, bred and owned by Michael D. Andrew of Gorham, ME, had a win and two seconds in the three preliminary legs of the Green Acres and overall earnings of $27,300. Swedish-born Lucas Wallin, 22 years old and based in Wrightstown, NJ, guided Blue Muse [Muscles Yankee] to a half-length victory in a $7,000 preliminary leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for three-year-old trotting fillies, also contested prior to the betting program. Blue Muse held off Marion Millionair [Muscle Hill], who broke stride near the wire. Riley's Dream [Muscle Hill] was distanced in third-place in the field of three, taking missteps at the start. Blue Muse trotted the mile in 2:00.1 and posted her fourth win with one second and three thirds in 10 starts this year. Lifetime, she has finished on-the-board in 10 of 16 starts, banking more than $43,000. Blue Muse is owned by her trainer, Ake Svanstedt, in partnership with Little E LLC of New York City. Carol Hodes  

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation's Drive for Youth, the organization's annual fall fundraiser, is just around the corner, but there is still time for and trainers, drivers, horse owners and others from across the country to participate. Drive For Youth is a week-long national effort, kicking off on October 4 and running through October 10, culminating on Kentucky Futurity Day at The Red Mile. Owners, trainers and drivers can pledge either a percentage of their earnings during Drive for Youth week, or they can pledge a flat amount as Executive Director Ellen Taylor explains. "We always appreciate the support of horsemen at the local level and we invite the horseman across the country to participate. This broad based support ensures the continued success and expansion for our programs including our summer camps and scholarships, as we head into our 40th anniversary year." To make a pledge to Drive for Youth, download the pledge form from, You may also contact Ellen Taylor by phone at 317- 867-5877, or by e-mail: for additional information. Additionally, HHYF representatives will be at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale on Tuesday evening. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to Keith Gisser  

Assuming Hurricane Joaquin continues on its projected path east of the Mid-Atlantic, the first 2-year-old stakes of the year for Delaware sired horses will get underway Monday (October 5) at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway. Four divisions of filly pacers will go to post Monday, slated as the 3rd, 5th, 9th and 10th races on the 13-race program. The fastest thus far, though she hasn't made a pari-mutuel start to date, would be Mr Apples-sired Apple Bottom Jeans (3-1, Montrell Teague), who comes off a sporty 1:55.2 triumph in a qualifier at Harrah's Philadelphia on September 15 for trainer Kevin Switzer. Pacing colts and geldings will have their turn on Tuesday with three divisions, while both sexes of trotters will compete on Wednesday in two divisions apiece. The newly dubbed Delaware Showcase night on October 21 will display the top performers from the two rounds of elimination races in four $100,000 final events, and $20,000 consolations. Live racing continues Monday through Thursday with a 5:30 p.m. post time. Matt Sparacino              

Building upon the successes of the 2015 harness racing meet, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino announced a series of enhancements to the remainder of its 2015 season. Effective Oct. 6, all purses will reflect a 20 percent increase and the first-race post time will be changed from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The 160-day all harness racing season will continue to follow the Tuesday through Saturday schedule and end on Saturday, Nov. 14. Additionally, Hoosier Park's commitment to improve its wagering product has led to wagering format changes going forward. In an effort to consolidate the wagering menu and offer bigger pools on the mainstay wagers, Hoosier Park will no longer offer rolling pick-three's or rolling daily doubles. "These changes are a direct result of Hoosier Park's and the Indiana Standardbred Association's commitment to present Indiana's harness racing program in the best of light," said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park's vice president and general manager of racing. "With a renewed focus on fresh marketing efforts, facility enhancements, specialty wagers, and an increase in overall quality of racing, we believe these steps will bolster Hoosier Park's remaining 2015 race dates and help prepare for a successful 2016 season." Hoosier Park will play host to the second of three million dollar nights this season on Saturday, Oct. 10 with the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super finals for the two and three-year-old competitors. Grand Circuit racing action will return to Hoosier Park on Friday, Oct. 23 and make its final stop on Friday, Oct. 30. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino kicked off on April 2 and will continue through Nov. 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Gaskin

Post positions for Yonkers Raceway's million-dollar International Trot, set for the harness racing meeting on Saturday afternoon (Oct.10th ) shall be drawn this Tuesday (Oct. 6th). Here is the pertinent draw-related information... What...$1 Million International Trot Press Conference luncheon & post-position draw Where..Tavern on the Green "South Wing", Central Park West @ West 67th Street, New York City When...Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 12 Noon Who...Scheduled attendees include Timothy J. Rooney, President, Empire City Casino @ Yonkers Raceway, along with the connections of the 10 entrants (listed alphabetically here, with driver and "home" country) BBS Sugarlight - (Johan Untersteiner/Norway) Bee a Magician - (Brian Sears/Canada) Creatine - (Johnny Takter/United States) Mosaique Face - (Adrian Kolgjini/Sweden) Natural Herbie - (Verlin Yoder/United States) Oasis Bi - (Orjan Kihlstrom/Italy) On Track Piraten - (Erik Adielsson/Sweden) Papagayo E - (Ulf Ohlson/Norway) Rod Stewart - (Enrico Bellei/Italy) Timoko - (Bjorn Goop/France). Media members are cordially invited to attend, but are asked to RSVP to any of the names listed here. Frank Drucker, 914-968-4200, April Pesick, 914-968-4200, Taryn Duffy, 914-457-2431, Christina Barry, 914-457-2442 John Cirillo, 914-260-7436, The "International" highlights a special matinee card, with first post at 2 PM and the race itself going at approximately 3:10 PM (4th race). It's at the mile-and-a-quarter distance, with the purse matching the richest in the history of Yonkers Raceway. Frank Drucker

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