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Tim Tetrick is accustomed to having good harness racing seasons, but 2019 is shaping up to be one of his most memorable. Tetrick is the regular driver of harness racing's No. 1-ranked horse, the New Zealand-bred pacing mare Shartin, and earlier this year reached career win 11,000. And last month it was announced that Tetrick is one of four people on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. The results of the voting will be announced later this year. On top of that, Tetrick entered Friday leading the sport in earnings by a wide margin. His $9.12 million in purses were $2.8 million ahead of second-place Jason Bartlett. In addition, Tetrick had won 505 races, second to only Aaron Merriman's 579. Tetrick is on pace for more than 800 wins and more than $14 million in earnings, which are levels only one driver in history has surpassed in the same year. The driver? Tetrick, who accomplished it first in 2007 when he set the record for wins with 1,189 and earnings with $18.3 million. The following year he again surpassed the 800-victory and $14-million plateaus, winning 902 races and $19.7 million. Those earnings remain the sport's record. For his career, Tetrick ranks fourth all time in purses with $211 million and ninth in wins with 11,181. He has been named Driver of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association on four occasions. Tetrick recently took time to speak with Ken Weingartner, the U.S. Trotting Association's media relations manager, about his career, the Hall of Fame, and Shartin, who has won 17 of her past 18 races and competes in Sunday's $137,000 Artiscape at Tioga Downs. The 6-year-old mare has won 12 of 13 races this year and earned $742,927. Last year, she became the first pacing mare in history to earn $1 million in a season, reaching $1.05 million thanks to 19 victories in 24 starts. KW: You're having such a great year, on pace for over 800 wins and over $14 million, what have been the keys to success? TT: Just getting the right horses, that's all. Some years you just don't have the power. This year, I've had good stables and good horses to drive. The right horses get between my arch. KW: When you get on a roll, does it feel different? TT: It's definitely a lot easier to get out of bed and go to work when you're winning four, five, six (races), that's for sure. When you have a bad few days or couple of weeks, you start thinking you can't do it anymore, you get down on yourself. I try not to think about it. I enjoy going to work. KW: Is that the key, trying to enjoy it every day? TT: Exactly. If you over-think it, you're going to mess up. You can't over-think it. The things that can bother you, you just can't let them bother you. I tried to learn that a long time ago, but it's hard. You've got to be able to turn the page, no matter what happens. You've just got to forget about it. KW: What have been the highlights for you this year? You're getting to drive Shartin, won your 11,000th race ... TT: All of the above. (And) getting nominated for the Hall of Fame, it's a dream come true. Getting to drive great horses, like Shartin. Getting to compete at a very high level. It's pretty awesome. KW: What does it mean to you to be nominated for the Hall of Fame? TT: I never thought about it when I was younger. Over the last four or five years, I've had such great success and the numbers are good, you kind of start looking ahead. You see some of your peers that you still work with get nominated and it's pretty cool to see them go in and what it means to them. It's a Hall of Fame for a reason. They only take the best of the best. To be even considered, it's a great honor. Hopefully it will come true. KW: Reaching 11,000 wins, do those milestones mean a lot to you? TT: For sure. I know records are meant to be broken, and stuff like that, but that's a lot of wins. Most people don't get 11,000 drives in their careers and I've been able to go to the winner's circle over 11,000 times. My biggest thing, though, is the money. I've gotten to win over $200 million and there are only three guys ahead of me. And I'm only 37. But the wins are awesome. I'm racing against the top 10 guys every day, so to have that many wins is awesome. KW: Do you get extra motivation from that, knowing the competition you're facing? TT: I always want to try to beat the best. Not only are they very good at what they do, they're very safe to drive with, and they're smart. It doesn't make your job easier, but it does make your job easier racing against the best guys in the world. KW: How have you seen yourself grow over the years and what are you most proud of? TT: I still learn things every day. I heard (retired driver) Cat Manzi say one time that he learned a lot from watching the younger guys when they came up. You never stop learning, the way you sit in the bike or the way you handle a horse. I like getting a young horse and being able to come off the track and tell a trainer something that I think can make the horse better. And they come back the next week and tell you, man, that really helped. Equipment changes, or whatever it is. That is a lot of fun to me. KW: It's more than just being on the track with a horse for two minutes. TT: Exactly. I know I'm a catch driver, but I still think of myself as a horseman. I always put the care of the horse first and try to do what's best for the horse and still make them go as fast as I can. And make a lot of money. (Laughs.) KW: I wanted to talk about Shartin. Jim (trainer Jim King Jr.) and everybody around the horse say what a great job you've done helping her along, going back to the beginning last year. What has it been like to see her development and how do you view your roll in it? TT: It's awesome to watch her grow and see what she's turned into. From the first time I saw her, I could never dream she could do what she's done. She's exceeded my expectations, for sure. I think Jimmy and (his wife) Jo Ann are giving me too much credit. Good horses make good drivers look better. She's been a work in progress, a little too eager at times, but Jimmy and me work together. It's different when you race than when you train them. I hear all the time, "They didn't do that at home." Well at home you don't have a starting gate and grandstand and people cheering at you. And there are nine other drivers that are trying to beat you. On the racetrack, she's different. She wants to win and she's very eager about it sometimes. They've done a great job keeping her fit. She actually loves traveling, going places; you see her just get her game face on. KW: With a horse that can be a little overanxious, what do you do to try to keep them relaxed and focused? TT: There are different ways. You try to keep her by herself because when she gets around other horses, she wants to go after them almost. When a horse gets close to her, even in the post parade, she thinks it's race time. If you keep her by herself, she takes care of herself after that. She's a beast. KW: That type of desire, is it something you can sense in a horse? TT: In her you can. You can feel it in the lines. When you're coasting on the lead by yourself, she's actually really calm and relaxed. But she'll see other horses coming before I do. She watches. She won't let a horse pass her. She wants to fight. KW: Has she reached her full potential or is there more there? TT: There's more there. I've never hit the bottom yet. The other day, that wasn't all she had, I know that. Hopefully she doesn't ever have to go faster than that. She's a horse that might last three more years if we take care of her and pick our spots. Why show off if you can make a million dollars a year with a horse? As long as we win. It doesn't pay more if you win by four or five lengths. I just let her do what she wants to do and win by the least amount we can. KW: How meaningful was it to reach a million dollars with her? TT: The first (time) was unheard of and she might do it two years in a row. It's just awesome. She's well on her way. She's ahead of her pace from last year and I think she's stronger and more mentally stable than she was at this time last year. She just amazes me every day. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Heather Vansickle's Weslynn Quest set a new harness racing track standard of 1:53.3 in her $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes division on Friday night, August 16 at Scioto Downs. Reined by Tyler Smith for trainer Chris Beaver, the 16-1 longshot bested seven rivals in the second of two OSS events for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The daughter of Manofmanymissions had finished third, sixth and fifth in her previous OSS contests. Weslynn Quest, who was unraced as a freshman, picked up her fifth career victory in 12 starts and upped her lifetimei bankroll to $61,250 for her connections. "She's had some issues in the past and has been a little tough to manage at times," noted trainer Chris Beaver. "We switched her to an open bridle tonight and that seemed to help." Aunt Percilla, who had held off her rival until the final strides after taking command of the race just past the half, put in a game performance to be second by a neck at 4-1 for driver Danny Noble, while 7-2 Aunt Rose was third, another length back, for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. Weslynn Quest is the second foal out of the Windsong's Legacy mare Weslynn Legacy 4, 1:56.4s ($105,006) and is a half-sister to Weslynn Dancer (by Deweycheatumnhowe 5, Q1:53.2 ($398,898). In the first OSS division Only Take Cash, the 1-5 public's choice, was an easy winner for Aaron Merriman in 1:54.2, using wire-to-wire tactics to notch her fourth win of the season and 12th lifetime victory. The daughter of Cash Hall, who is trained by Bob McIntosh for Robert McINtosh Stables, Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables of Ontario, was last season's 2-year-old champion and now has $117,250 in seasonal earnings and $389,390 in her career coffers. "She's awesome," said an impressed Merriman after the win. "She's simply push-button and there's no end to her. Last year we raced her from behind a lot and I really didn't want to give her that much air tonight and would rather have had an easier trip but that was the way things worked out. She's solid and seemed to handle it well." Only Take Cash held off second-place finisher, 5-1 Refined (Brett Miller) by 1¼ lengths, with 45-1 longshot Buckeye Starlet notching show honors for Chris Page. The bay filly by Cash Hall is the fifth foal out of the Garland Lobell mare Armbro Affair 4, 1:53.4s ($430,997) and is a half-sister to Tough Affair (by Muscle Mass) 4, 1:59.2f ($69,968); A Fair Conchnito (by In Conchnito) 4, 1:58.2f ($33,866) and Fit Bit (by Muscle Mass) 2, 2:00.3f ($22,173). With the four legs of this series now complete, the top eight point and money earners of the 3-year-old trotting fillies are: Only Take Cash (141 points, $68,500); Pure Chance (109 points, $52,500); Aunt Rose (103 points, $49,500); Refined (78 points, $37,500); Weslynn Quest (71 points, $33,500); Back Splash (65 points, $31,000); Bella's Rose Power (54 points, $25,000); and Stone In Love (50 points, $25,000). Ohio Sires Stakes continue Saturday night, August 17 at Scioto Downs with three $40,000 divisions for 2-year-old pacing colts in races two, four and six. by Kimberly Rinker, Ohio State Development Fund Administrator              

Batavia, NY --- After heavy late afternoon rains degraded the track to sloppy, a very game Wheels A Turning overcame the weather, a slow start and a breaking horse to score a decisive harness racing victory in the $12,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Aug. 16). Off the gate, Dragin The Wagon (Shawn McDonough) went for the lead and in doing so, got parked three-deep around the first turn before clearing at the quarter in :27.3. Once on top, McDonough backed off the half to :57 trying to save some for later. Going past the stands before they hit the third turn, Rose Run Speedster (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Wheels A Turning (Dave McNeight III) pulled and got an outer flow going to try and take advantage of the early speed. As they trotted past the five-eighths, Keystone Apache (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from second and immediately made a break in front of Rose Run Speedster. That cleared the way for Rose Run Speedster to draw alongside Dragin The Wagon and Wheels A Turning, who was on his back, to go three-deep at three-quarters in 1:26.3. Dragin The Wagon said goodnight at the top of the stretch leaving Rose Run Speedster and Wheels A Turning engaged in a match race to the wire. After trotting in unison for almost the last eighth of a mile, Wheels A Turning finally nudged ahead before the wire and won by a length in 1:56.4. The eighth win of the season for Wheels A Turning ($5.60) was also a seasonal best effort and the winner's share of the purse boosted his earnings to $61,810 for owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the winner. In the $11,000 Open II trot, Lucky Guess (Ray Fisher Jr.) was on a mission when the gate released the field, taking control from post one like a shot. After being unchallenged to the half in a tepid :59.2, Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from third at the half with Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) behind him and they both started to push the issue. Motoring up the backstretch, Lucky Guess and Noble Legend went stride for stride to the three-quarters when Noble Legend started to fade and Southern Palms tipped three-deep and advanced. When the race moved off the turn, Lucky Guess had opened up a two-length lead and down the lane, Fisher raised the lines over his head to let his horse trot home on her own and win in 1:58.2. The time was a new lifetime mark for the 6-year-old daughter of Lucky Chucky-Athenea. It was the second win in three Batavia Downs starts for Lucky Guess ($14.20) and her owner Dennis Beaver. Kirk Desmond trains Lucky Guess. Ray Fisher Jr. was the hot driver for the night, scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Jim Morrill Jr. got the Hat Trick and Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. each had driving doubles. In a true oddity of racing, there were two dead heats for win recorded at Batavia Downs on Friday with Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer JD Perrin involved in both of them. Batavia Downs hosted a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) on Friday night. Donations by many owners, trainers and drivers along with donations from fans attending live racing combined with proceeds from the silent auction to earn a total of over $13,500, which exceeds last year's best-ever record. That money will go directly to the BCCR. Batavia Downs would like to thank everyone who participated in this great fundraiser for such a worthy cause. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 17) with post time at 6 p.m. Saturday's card features a chance for one lucky fan to win a $3,500 diamond bracelet courtesy of TAG Jewelers. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

The Friday night harness racing Open Pace for fillies and mares featured just a field of five at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The group of top-flight distaffers slugged it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and proved to be a romp for the race's favorite. Clear Idea (American Ideal) was a New York Sire Stakes star and has emerged as a top quality aged mare after following up a four year old campaign that saw her earn more than $100,000 with another season in 2019 in which she is set to eclipse that tally. The Blake Macintosh-trained mare was the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Friday night with driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Clear Idea surged out to the early lead in the feature and once she got there, it was lights out. After cruising through a first half in 57.1, Clear Idea powered away from her competition before stopping the timer in 1:53 for an open-length romp in the Open. Fellow invader Poppy Drayton N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the race's longshot but got the pocket trip behind the winner and parlayed it to a second-place finish while Itty Bitty (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Clear Idea's win was the 19th in 79 lifetime starts and moved her career earnings to over $528,000. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga. There will be a $1,438 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five starting in the evening's first race. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) wins the $11,000 featured fillies & mares open pace at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 16). Juxta Cowgirl (Aaron Byron) went to the front and controlled the pace hitting the first quarter in :27.1. Truth And Liberty ($3.90) watched from second as Juxta Cowgirl hit the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. Truth And Liberty, who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, came out of the pocket in the stretch. She took a short lead and Juxta Cowgirl fought back. But in the end Truth And Liberty was too strong and won in a seasonal best 1:51.0. Juxta Cowgirl had to settle for second. KJ's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) finished third. Truth And Liberty is a 7-year-old mare by Total Truth. It was her third straight win and seventh victory this season. She now has 42 career victories. Leading driver Wally Hennessey drover four winners on the card. He got his wins with Check Mach ($3.90), Glamorgal ($5.20), Persistent Bettor ($4.90), and Odds On Cheddar ($3.20). Mike Simons drove three winners on the night. His other wins came with Cayenne Victory ($2.50), and Lime Twist ($10.80). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 17) with a 12 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns .com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs          

Majestic Fire (Dan Daley) wins the $7,000 featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 16). First Call (Homer Hochstetler) went to the first quarter in :26.3. She was pressured all the way around the first turn by Spoiler Alert (Howard Parker). First Call finally shook off Spoiler Alert as she was first to the half in :54.4. Majestic Fire ($3.40) was fifth at the half and came first over as First Call hit three-quarters in 1:25.0. Majestic Fire, who is owned by Joshua Cukerstein and trained by Wayne Cukerstein, went to the front in the stretch and held off a late charge by second place finisher Winning Princess (Jennifer Lappe) to win in 1:54.3. First Call held on for third. Majestic Fire is a 4-year-old gelding by Majestic Son. It was his sixth win this season. He now owns 12 career victories. Gates Brunet drove two winners on the night. He trained and drove Gracie Lane ($6.70) to her first lifetime victory His other win came with the R. Nifty Norman trained Spoiled Princess ($2.30). Miriam Toland the 74-year-old phenom proved once again she can mix it up with the guys as she took Fleetwood Hall to victory in the mud and the rain. Fleetwood Hall ($12.40) was parked for over half the race and gutted out a win holding off a late charge by Lugar (Jimmy Whittemore). Toland works out daily and is fit as a forty year-old. It is a pleasure to watch her perform on the racetrack. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 17) featuring the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial trot for 3-year-old colts and its $135,000 filly companion Grand Circuit stakes. There will also be two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old pacing colts and gelding as well as a $5,000 guaranteed pick four. Free Zweig hats with a purchase of a live Vernon Downs program while supplies last. The 12 race card starts at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Plainville, MA --- After having minimal success at harness racing in Ohio as a 2 and 3-year-old, Mad Dog has turned his fortunes around as an aged horse in Massachusetts. On Friday (Aug. 16) at Plainridge Park, he set the bar for himself once again after he won the $12,000 5-year-old and under conditioned trotting feature with a personal best effort. Post eight wasn't and issue for Mad Dog (John Beckwith) as he left the gate strong and rolled up to the lead by the quarter in :27.3. As the race moved to the half, he was unchallenged and set his own pace until the five-eighths pole when Simple Kaos (Shawn Gray) and Chav Hanover (Steve Nason) came in the outer tier. Simple Kaos engaged Mad Dog at the three-quarters and the two tangled around the final bend and into the stretch just a neck apart. Trotting down the lane, Simple Kaos was joined by Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) in pursuit of Mad Dog and they both inched closer as the wire approached. Mad Dog continued to fight and held his advantage through the beam to win by a nose in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Mad Dog ($14.00) has now won four races this year and has hit the board 13 out of 18 starts. As a result he has earned $40,010 for his owners Michele Nelson and Jeffrey Nelson. Joe Nelson does the training. Also on the card were a pair of $10,000 condition races -- one on each gait -- that saw their winners both take marks in victory. In the pace, Western Thunder (Drew Campbell) pulled first-over at the half and overtook the front-running Rock The Heavens (Matt Athearn) in deep stretch to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:54.3, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the fourth seasonal win for Western Thunder ($4.40) who is owned by Kathleen Brewer and trained by Timmie Griffith. Then in the trot, Whiskey Lindy (Drew Monti) left like a rocket in :27.1, opened up five-lengths and then never looked back. Basically unchallenged during the mile, Whiskey Lindy turned for home with a length lead and held off a late charge by a fast closing Box Of Gifts (Shawn Gray) to win in 1:56.1, which was a new seasonal mark. Whiskey Lindy ($4.00) is owned by Greathorse and trained by Domenico Cecere. Drew Campbell led all drivers on Friday with three wins while Mike Stevenson was right behind him with two. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 19) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

YONKERS, N.Y. – Rodeo Rock will make his first start since June 30 when he races in the $46,000 Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers Raceway Saturday night. The 6-year-old was in the midst of his best season to date for trainer Robert Cleary before suffering from minor setbacks in the beginning of the summer. Rodeo Rock’s big 2019 season began at the end of his 2018 campaign. Although the Rock N Roll Heaven son had six wins on the season by last November, his victories had come in mid-level conditions and he didn’t make an impression with two fourth-place finishes in legs of the Levy Series last spring.  Rodeo Rock’s breakthrough came in a $29,000 overnight at Yonkers November 17. Rodeo Rock utilized a :27.2 final quarter to come from off the pace and score by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:53. Two weeks later, he returned to claim his first victory in the $44,000 Open Handicap Pace by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4. “He was super sharp,” Cleary recalled. “He won a non-winners of 30 event at Yonkers last November. Brian Sears drove him, and he was actually fifth at the top of the stretch and he won going away and Brian never touched him with the whip. You don’t normally do that in non-winners of 30 at Yonkers. In his next start, he won the Open at Yonkers. It wasn’t just the start of this year, he finished off the end of last year very sharp.” After some time off over the winter, Cleary brought Rodeo Rock back in a Meadowlands qualifier this February, which he won in 1:53.1. The gelding proved he was still sharp in winning his first pari-mutuel start of the year March 2. “He got a break at Christmas and came back and qualified late February,” Cleary said. “He was super sharp, the sharpest he’d ever been. He won his first start at the Meadowlands, took a life mark of 49-and-4, swooped the field from last to first.” Rodeo Rock then came to the Levy Series at Yonkers. He captured divisions of the first two legs of the series March 16 and 23 before finishing third and second in subsequent legs March 30 and April 13, respectively.  Rodeo Rock drew post six in the $664,000 Levy Final April 20 and despite racing seventh 10 lengths off the pace at the quarter with Andrew McCarthy in the sulky, rallied to finish second 4 3/4 lengths behind Western Fame. Rodeo Rock earned $166,000 for his runner up placing, more than the $136,350 he banked in 28 starts last year. “It was a great feeling. I thought the horse deserved to be second because I thought he was the second-best horse in the series,” Cleary said. “No doubt about it, Western Fame was the best horse in the series. I would have loved to have sat on Western Fame’s back in the final and seen if we could’ve had a shot at him from the two hole instead of sitting seventh at the half.  “My horse was racing good and he deserved to be second there,” Cleary continued. “It was very exciting. It was great to race for that kind of money and it was great to pick up a purse like we did. It’s a great series when you have a sharp horse.” Cleary has trained Rodeo Rock since 2017 when the pacer still fit the non-winners of six condition at Yonkers. He praised driver Eric Goodell for helping develop Rodeo Rock.  “I have to give a lot of credit to Eric Goodell,” Cleary said. “He drove him a lot at 4, he raced him in the 4-year-old Open at Yonkers. He did a good job with him. He raced him the way he was supposed to race him. When he was in the right spot, he got him on the front or first-up. And when he was meant to ride the fence, he rode the fence. I think he did a good job in bringing the horse along. “He was an immature big horse that had some soundness issues at 2 and 3,” Cleary continued. “When he developed into a 4-year-old, he just became a bigger, sounder, stronger horse.” After the Levy Series, Rodeo Rock went to Pennsylvania to compete in the Great Northeast Open Pacing Series. He won a leg at in a lifetime best 1:49.0 at Pocono May 18 and followed it with a second in the Commodore Barry Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia May 26. However, when Cleary shipped Rodeo Rock to Northfield Park for the Battle of Lake Erie June 8, the horse finished up the track beaten 29 lengths. “He’s actually a really calm, relaxed horse, but he just can’t handle shipping,” Cleary said. “He shipped out there, I thought he was OK. He made no noise in the trailer, drank a little bit on the way out. But when he came off the trailer out there, he was very, very uncomfortable. We did what we could to make him as comfortable as possible. The way he warmed up, I actually thought he was going to be OK, but in the stretch of the race, he didn’t want any part of it. I had a veterinarian check him out after the race and he actually had a touch of a gas colic.” Cleary gave Rodeo Rock a few weeks off to recover, but after a fifth and seventh in his next two starts at the end of June, Cleary stopped again. “He raced OK one start at Pocono after the break. I raced him once more at Chester and he was horrible. He wasn’t acting good, he wasn’t feeling good, so I sent him to the clinic,” Cleary said. “They scoped his stomach and he had ulcers. I gave him two weeks in the field and I treated him heavily for his stomach. He’s acting much better. “You just have to go back to the basics, let them be a horse, let them get back out into the field,” Cleary said. “They’ll rectify a lot of those problems themselves when they get out in the field.” Rodeo Rock returned in a qualifier over a sloppy track at Harrah’s Philadelphia August 6. He came from 8 1/2 lengths behind in fourth at the half to win by 2 1/4 in 1:55.2 with Goodell back in the bike. Despite the slow time, which Cleary attributed to the adverse conditions, the trainer was encouraged. “The biggest goal going into the qualifier was to braven him up and let him run down horses because that’s what he loves to do,” Cleary said. “It’s a little bit hard to get a reading on it because the weather was so bad. It was an absolute downpour, so I think it was hard for every horse to get around the track. Eric knows him pretty well and was happy with him. He said he was very strong, he was very pleased with him, so I’ll take his word on that.” Rodeo Rock drew post six for his return Saturday night and will be paired with Goodell again. Dr J Hanover is the 3-1 morning line favorite from post four off a nose loss on the front end in this class two weeks ago. Control Tower, who beat Dr J Hanover in that start, was sixth last week from post six, but drew post two this week and is 10-1 for Austin Siegelman and Nick Surick. Perfectly Close has been claimed three times in his last six starts and now trainer Michael Temming is bumping him up into the Open ranks. He will benefit from an assigned post one. The Real One was third in the Open last week and won it July 27; he will start from post five. Shneonucrzydiamnd, I’m Some Graduate, and Imarocnrollegend complete the lineup. “I know the horses that are in there and I want him driven the right way,” Cleary said of Rodeo Rock, who he plans to campaign at Yonkers and in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year. “We can’t overdrive him when he’s been off for two months since his last start. I’ll be more than happy to let him race like he did in the Levy Final. Let him race from off the pace and pace home hard, hopefully he’s got some pace on the end of it. “It’s not even about a check, it’s about the horse racing good and finishing up strong.” Saturday’s card also features the $46,000 Open Trot and $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.  Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Monticello, NY - The last leg of New York Sire Stakes will take place on Monday August 19 as 2 Year Old Trotting Colts close out the harness racing stakes season. 2 divisions of Sire Stakes ($51,000 each) are featured on the 8 race card. While this may be the last Sire Stakes of the season it may be one of the better fields, as it features former and current Batavia Downs track record holders Bourbon Express and Barn Holder. Race 1 on the card is the first heat of Sire Stakes action, Bourbon Express has been installed the 4/5 favorite. He won his recent Sire Stakes at Batavia Down and set the track record in 1:57.3, before the ink was dry Barn Holden lowered it by 2/5 of a second, he also scored in the same company in Buffalo Raceway. Bourbon Express will start from post 3 in the short field of 5 with regular driver Jason Bartlett for trainer Jessica Okusko. The son of RC Royalty - Kasha has earned over $78,000 and been on the board in every start for owners Salavtore Vulio, James De Armond and Jessica Okusko. Beerthirty K will start from the rail, the Bruce Borden trained son of Credit Winner, took his lifetime mark of 1:58 at Yonkers in a NYSS win, defeating Bourbon Express in the process. Leading point earner Barn Holden will start from post position 5 for trainer Steve "Barn" Pratt. The son of Conway Hall - Barn Babe has won 3 Sire Stakes event thus far in his freshman campaign, the wins coming at Yonkers, Vernon Down and he set the track record at Batavia Downs in his last start in an 8¾ length romp in 1:57.1. Andy Miller will drive the $45,000 Morrisville yearling for owners Steve & Nancy Pratt, Purple Haze and Out In The Country Stable, Barn Holden has earned $90,000 in 5 starts. DR Ackerman and Tompkins Stakes winner Saylor will start form outside post 6. Berkery J (PP4) won a division of Sire Stakes early in the season of Yonkers, the son of Chapter Seven is trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs $205,000 yearling purchase. The current Monticello Raceway track record is 1:58 set by former 2 YOTC of the year Fourth Dimension, if the weather man cooperates that record may be in jeopardy on Monday. The Excelsior series each has 2 divisions, the A class will be racing for purse of $15,000 per heat and the B heats will vie for $6,600 in each heat. Post time is 12:50 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

CHESTER, PA - The Explosive Matter sophomore gelding Chiplosive, returning to the form that helped him capture a Pennsylvania All-Stars and a PA Stallion Series division in recent outings, brushed to the lead at the half and wasn't challenged from there in the $16,000 harness racing trotting feature in 1:55.4 at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday afternoon. After a :27.3 first quarter, driver George Napolitano Jr. put the Trond Smedshammer trainee into motion, securing the lead at just about the :56.3 midpoint. None of his opposition had enough rally in the second half, with Chiplosive reaching the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and then coasting home 2¼ lengths ahead of the closing Amador to post his fifth seasonal victory for Purple Haze Stable LLC. In a $14,500 pace for high-level females, the Western Paradise mare Lovineveryminute found room on the final turn, swung wide, and got to the front late in posting a $59.20 upset in 1:51.2. Tony Morgan, second in North American lifetime driving wins with 16,000+ to his credit, got Lovineveryminute to be most photogenic in a finish where five horses were separated by a length, boosting her earnings to $515,316. Carmine Fusco trains the winner for Brian and Ira Wallach Racing. Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the day; Dexter Dunn and George Napolitano Jr. had three victories each. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $40,000 20¢ Super High Five total pool guarantee to its card on Saturday (August 17). Offered in race 13, the $40,000 Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $10,520. The evening's ninth race begins the 20¢ Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick-6) with a $386 carryover. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4s, Pick-3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a low 14% takeout rate. Saturday's post time is 6PM. by Ayres Ratliff, for Northfield Park  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Headed by the undefeated Sister Sledge, the $181,105 third preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies will be held in three divisions during the twilight card on Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. There will also be five $20,000 Stallion Series divisions throughout the card. The Father Patrick - Behindclosedoors filly Sister Sledge may be named after the musical group who had a hit with the song "We Are Family," but Sister Sledge has been distancing herself from her competition "family," winning her four races by a cumulative 13¼ lengths. A two-time Sire Stakes winner, the faster of which came in 1:55.1 for the quickest time yet posted in her PaSS division, she is also the fastest freshman trotter of either sex on a 5/8-mile track with her 1:53.4 win in a Pennsylvania All-Stars win here at Pocono. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, Sister Sledge will begin from post three in the tenth race second division for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Her two main competitors have drawn the two outermost posts in this field of seven: the Muscle Hill - Kadealia miss Sorella, a Sire Stakes and Arden Downs winner who starts from post six for trainer Staffan Lind and driver Tim Tetrick; and the Muscle Hill - Armbro Deja Vu filly Hello Tomorrow, coming off a 2-3 summary in the Doherty Memorial, beginning just to her right for trainer Per Engblom and driver David Miller. The eleventh race third division brings together three babies who have already won in the Sire Stakes: the Explosive Matter - Flyer Mel distaff Queen Of The Hill, a double Sires winner starting from post five for trainer Per Engblom and driver Yannick Gingras; the Father Patrick - Demoiselle Hanover filly Sherry Lyns Lady, second in the Doherty final, beginning from post three for trainer Jim Campbell and driver Tim Tetrick; and the Muscle Hill - Anonyme Hanover miss Aldabra Hanover, an 11-1 upsetter in her Sires win, who will start between these two rivals for trainer Julie Miller and driver/husband Andy. Sans Defaut is the only previous Sire Stakes winner in the third race first division, and the daughter of Muscle Hill - Flawless Lindy, also a PA All-Stars winner here, is sure to have many backers as she begins from post one for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. Four of the five Stallion Series divisions contains a winner from the second StS preliminary leg: Perth Angie De Vie (race 4), Burberry (race 6), Heart N Soul Deo (race 7), and Rebecca Clark (race 9). The seventh race division also contains first round StS winner Path Of Totality. The fastest of the StS winners, Dune Hill (1:56.2), is also on the Monday Pocono card - but she is upgrading to Sire Stakes competition. The Monday twilight card at Pocono is set to begin at 4 p.m. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Batavia, NY --- Friday night (Aug. 16) at Batavia Downs is noteworthy for two reasons. One, it's the first live card of harness racing held on a Friday this meet at the Downs as the track previously hosted their now completed concert series on Friday. Second, it's the night of the Batavia Down's annual "Races to Benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester" (www.bccr.org) fundraiser that will be held at the track to raise both awareness and dollars to fight this deadly disease. This annual event is one of the larger fundraisers held by this organization and Batavia Downs has been proud to put on the event with them and be a part of this very worthy cause. It will be held in the clubhouse and runs from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. "We have partnered with BCCR for several years now and each year this event gets bigger and better," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing. "It's an opportunity for us to help raise money to defeat the scourge of breast cancer in our lifetime. The generosity of our horsemen and patrons always shines through and I'm sure we will see that again this Friday." There will be a silent auction held adjacent to the clubhouse with a list of prizes that will please anyone's taste. They include two suite tickets to the Buffalo Bills versus Philadelphia Eagles at New Era Field on Sunday (Oct. 27), four suite tickets to the Buffalo Sabres versus the St. Louis Blues at Key Bank Center on Tuesday (Dec. 10), two suite tickets for the Carrie Underwood concert at Key Bank Arena on Sunday (Oct. 13), one Batavia Downs Hotel night and racing package, two Batavia Downs clubhouse racing packages, a recliner form Max Pies Furniture in Batavia and a host of other items too numerous to mention. Dozens of local owners, trainers and drivers have already committed to donating some or all of their winnings realized on Friday night with more coming on board every day. The track will also be taking cash donations from anyone willing to help that will be forwarded directly to the BCCR. "Last year we were able to raise in excess of $13,000 and this year we aim to break that record. The clubhouse has been sold out for weeks so we'll have many caring people here that night. And we will also have runners in both the paddock and grandstand area taking bids for the silent auction and also collecting any donations people may wish to make," said Haight. Post time for the first race is at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 15, 2019- The harness racing stakes season continues to roll on in the Hoosier state and saw favorites prevail in Indiana Sires Stakes action on Thursday, August 15 at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The night featured two $48,000 divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts & geldings and the betting public was heavily backing last year's trotting rivals It's A Herbie in the first division and Swandre The Giant in the second. Both provided strong performances in their respective divisions, each stopping the clock in 1:54:0. Kicking off the stakes action, It's A Herbie captured his sixth consecutive victory for trainer, driver Verlin Yoder and set a new lifetime mark of 1:54:0. With the win, It's A Herbie has captured victories in four of the five legs of stakes action for his division. Smooth Acceleration and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the quickest off the gate to grab the lead and were followed by Swan On A Mission and John De Long. It'A Herbie left just enough to grab a spot along the rail in fifth and the field remained in straight formation through opening fractions of :27:2 and :57:1. Just after the field passed the half, It's A Herbie was on the attack, first-over. Smooth Acceleration continued to call the shots through the third quarter marker in 1:25:4 but It's A Herbie had ranged up and was ready to take on the leader. When the field reached the stretch, It's A Herbie utilized a :27.4 final quarter to take the lead by a length, and stopped the clock in 1:54:0. Swan On A Mission held on for second while Sign Here N Here with Sam Widger staged a late rally for third. As the heavy 2-5 favorite, It's A Herbie paid $2.60 to win. "He doesn't care where he's at," trainer, driver Verlin Yoder explained after the victory. "Chasing horses down is his best game, though. Honestly, he just loves to win." With the win, the son of Here Comes Herbie-Psychic Image has now won nine of 19 lifetime starts. Bred by David Shmucker Jr. and owned by Verlin Yoder, It's A Herbie now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $365,875 in just his sophomore season. In the second division of stakes action, Swandre The Giant returned to his home state for the second time this season and returned to his winning ways in impressive fashion. Hall of Fame driver David Miller steered Swandre The Giant, who looked every bit the part of a 1-9 favorite, to an open length 1:54 victory. When the wings of the gate opened, Wow Lester with Trace Tetrick grabbed the front and Swandre The Giant took a pocket seat. The top pair held their positions through the first quarter in :27:2 but approaching the half in :57:3, Swandre The Giant made his move for the lead. With the third quarter clocked in 1:27:3, Swandre The Giant began to bolster his lead from the pack. Using a :26.4 final panel, Swandre The Giant trotted strong to the wire and finished under a hand drive from Miller two lengths to the good. Martini Show and Sam Widger fought gamely for second while Wow Lester held on for third. Swandre the Giant paid $2.10 across the board. "He raced very well-He was really strong," driver David Miller noted in the winner's circle. "Tonight, felt great. He got off on the right foot, and the fractions were really easy. He was strong all the way to the wire." Swandre The Giant, the Ron Burke trainee, now sports a lifetime bankroll of $461,618 for owners Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva Stables and Howard Taylor. The son of Swan For All-Adagio was bred by Dm Stables and has now won 12 of 21 of his lifetime starts. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Friday, August 16 with a 13-race card featuring two divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts. Friday's card will also be highlighted by a $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High 5 pool in race 13 and the weekly Fantastic Fridays promotions. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Unusual Clarity (Joe Nassimos) captures the $6,000 featured fillies and mares harness racing pace on Thursday (August 15). Dangerousprecedent (John MacDonald) charge to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.1. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) happily followed in the pocket as Dangerousprecedent led to the half in :56.3. Unusual Clarity ($2.50) made his move and took over before hitting the three-quarters in 1:25.1. Unusual Clarity, who is own by Nicholas Gibides and trained by Paul Minckler, led as they made the turn for home. Love Leve Laugh went first -over in the stretch but Unusual Clarity was too strong and won in 1:52.4. Love Live Laugh held on for second with Dangerousprecedent getting third money. Unusaul Clarity is a 4-year-old mare by Betterthancheddar. It was her ninth win this season. She now has 14 career victories. Jimmy Whittemore and Jennifer Lappe each drove two winners on the night. Whittemore won with Ladyyouaregorgeous ($16.80), and Blameitonthenight ($3.30). Lappe was trainer-driver for wins with Beyonces Rockn ($11.60), and Multitaskr Hanover ($11.20). John MacDonald leads all drivers with 76 winsat Vernon Downs this season. He is only three wins from 4000. Howard Parker is second with 64 winning drives. Jimmy Whittemore is third in wins with 54. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 16) with a 12 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   John Horne for Vernon Downs

Hall of Fame publicist Tom White and former Ohio Harness Horseman's Association general manager Jerry Knappenberger will be honored as the 2019 Joseph Neville Memorial Award recipients by the Delaware County Fair. White was a harness racing reporter for the Lexington (KY) Herald, Hoof Beats magazine and the Horseman and Fair World. He served as the publicity director for Scioto Downs and the Red Mile and was the Little Brown Jug's top PR man from 1996 until 2012. In 2005, White was inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. White passed away in February at the age of 84. Knappenberger began his 50-year harness racing career as a second trainer for Terry Holton. He was hired as the assistant general manager of the OHHA in 1990 and was general manager from 1998 until 2015. Knappenberger worked tirelessly for the introduction of Video Lottery Terminals in the state of Ohio. The VTLs allowed the Standardbred industry in Ohio to return to its place of prominence with increased purses. In 2015, he was elected into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame by a vote of the Ohio Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Knappenberger died at the age of 76 in June 2019.   Jay Wolf

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