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ANDERSON, Ind.-September 25, 2016 - The majority of the members of the Hoosier Park audience were in attendance to witness a show of superb speed and unrivalled power. They certainly received what they traveled to the Anderson harness racing oval to witness, as Always B Miki paced yet another tour-de-force in a facile triumph in the $170,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. "I think he and Wiggle It Jiggleit are horses before their time," said David Miller, who steered the 5-year-old stallion through his mile. "They are just not like any other horses we have seen before. We will see other horses that come along like them as time goes on with their speed and how far they can carry it, but right now they stand alone." The overwhelming public selection at 1-9, Always B Miki and Miller left from the rail and went straight to the front. Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick were right on their heels from post position three as those two horses clicked off a first-quarter mile of :26.2. Miller and Always B Miki pulled comfortably away from Freaky Feet Pete to lead by a length at the half-mile pole in :55. At that juncture, Dealt A Winner with Aaron Merriman at the controls and Always At My Place in rein to Ricky Macomber Jr., made their bids for the front, with Dealt A Winner passing Freaky Feet Pete to take second and locking the 4-year-old stallion in the pocket. After three-quarters in 1:22.3, the six horse field entered in the stretch with Always B Miki and Miller still reigning supreme. As they were set down for the final push to the wire, Freaky Feet Pete's only option for victory was the passing lane, while it appeared Dealt A Winner and Always At My Place, had far too much real estate to cover to even draw even with the leader. Tetrick and Freaky Pete punched through the inside to give chase and despite a :25.4 final quarter panel on their part, it was simply not enough to relegate Always B Miki to their rearview mirror prior to the finish line. Miller and Always B Miki crossed the finish line in 1:48.2. Like Freaky Feet Pete, Always B Miki came home in :25.4, yet it appeared the stallion could have went much more swiftly if Miller had truly asked for what remained in reserve. After a valiant effort, Freaky Feet Pete was second with Always Bets Off rushing from sixth to claim the show position over the fading Dealt A Winner. Owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, world and Indiana champion Always B Miki, is conditioned by Christina's husband Jimmy. The son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper, paid a paltry $2.10 for a trip around the Anderson oval that truly demonstrated his hooves step in rarefied air, with the exacta paying $4.20 and the trifecta $18.00. After the winner's circle festivities were complete, Miller solemnly stated what over recent months is beginning to become very obvious. "I have driven a lot of very good horses over the years," he said. "I've been doing this for a long time, but this horse has to rank up there with the best of them and he may be the best." **By: Kim French, for Hoosier Park**

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 24, 2016 - On an absolutely perfect evening in Anderson, Ind. the teaming crowd packing the apron was anxiously awaiting the return of their beloved equine superstars in the co-featured $170,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and the $220,000 Centaur Trot, but they received not merely one but three powerful harness racing performances in the $246,000 Kentucky Stallion Management Stake, the $140,000 Elevation Stake and the $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy from Idyllic Beach, Fear The Dragon and JK Will Power. Idyllic Beach commenced the action in the eighth race, the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stake. The 2-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Idyllic, was hustled out to the lead by pilot Yannick Gingras immediately after leaving the gate ahead of Always Giggling and established an initial first quarter-mile split of :27.2. The filly, who is conditioned by Jimmy Takter and possessed by his wife Christina, John Fielding and Brixton Medical Inc. and Marvin Katz, effortlessly glided around the Hoosier Park oval in quarter-mile times of :56.4, 1:25.2 and stopped the clocked in 1:52.2. While her rivals attempted to collar her, their efforts were in vain and Glassine Hanover despite a valiant pursuit had to settle for second, with Awash, who also made a strong move in the stretch, in third. "She does everything you want her to do," said Gingras, who scored four wins on the evening. With her latest victory, Idyllic Beach's record improves to 8-6-2-0 and her bank account increased to $449,132. The filly, the overwhelming public select at post time, paid $2.50 to her supporters, while the exacta was $4.20 and the trifecta $10.20. Fear The Dragon certainly served notice he is colt that bears some serious watching, as the 2-year-old son of Dragon Again-Armbro Cinnamon collected his sixth career triumph in the $140,000 Elevation Stake, which was the ninth race on the card. With David Miller in the bike, the Brian Brown pupil and even money favorite was placed on the lead in the beginning of the contest from post six, but was passed after the first quarter-mile, which went in a stiff a :25.2, by Every Way Out and Corey Callahan. Miller and Fear The Dragon were content to sit in the pocket seat, as Every Way Out set fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.4 before he was overhauled by Rock N Tony and Trace Tetrick heading into the stretch. That is when Miller took action and pulled Fear The Dragon to pace for home. Although Ocean Colony and Yannick Gingras made a strong move of their own from third, the duo simply did not have enough punch to overtake the Bruce Trogdon owned colt, who hit the wire in 1:50.4. John De Long and Odds On Delray also closed strongly through the lane, but came home third. "I usually sell my colts," Trogdon said. "But I loved this colt right from the time he was a baby. His dam foaled Cinnamony ($501,394) who is an Art Official, and she has a yearling by McArdle, but she is back in foal to Dragon Again, because of this colt. We love this cross with Dragon Again and this colt has just been perfect all along. We also had high hopes for him and we are hoping we will back in the winner's circle here at Hoosier Park again with him." Fear The Dragon's resume now stands at 9-5-2-2 and he has amassed $212,016 in purse money. The colt offered $4.20 to win, with the exacta providing $15.20 for those with the correct wager and the trifecta paid $132.60. Not to be outdone by the youngsters' wins prior to his stakes engagement, JK Will Power made a statement of his own in the $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy pace. With David Miller holding the lines, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Whats New Pussycat, trained by Ron Burke, was in fifth place in the first quarter-mile behind leader Don'tcallmefrancis who set the opening fraction of :26.2. Don'tcallmefrancis led the field through the half-mile in :55.1 until he was overtaken by JK Will Power shortly before the three-quarter pole with the tote board flashing a time of 1:24. From there, it was all JK Will Power who hit the wire in 1:51.2. Granite made a bid from last to finish second, with Mystical Rock pacing from second to last to be third. Owned by 3 Brothers Stables, the 3-year-old colt paid $5.20 to win as the even money favorite. He collected his sixth lifetime victory from 26 trips to the post. "He has not won a lot of races and usually finishes second or third," said Miller, who captured three races in his trip to Anderson. "But at the top of the stretch I knew I had plenty of horse and he would come home a winner tonight." The exacta paid $134.60 and the trifecta $3,710.40 to their respective supporters. **By: Kim French for Hoosier Park**  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 24, 2016 - The Empire's harness racing best of the best converged upon Yonkers Raceway Saturday night for the $1.8 million New York Night of Champions. Eight, $225,000 New York Sire Stakes finals, each sponsored by a prominent breeding farm, feature the best 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits in the 27th NOC edition. The freshmen (and freshwomen) played out as such... (Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - Roaring To Go (catch driver Jason Bartlett), pocketed and a bit wobbly-gaited late, crossed the line first in 1:55. The wobbles didn't do her in, but the cutting the cones did. She was set down to second for leaving the course in the final turn, promoting 6-5 favorite Tequila Monday (Brian Sears, $4.50) to the win. The latter, last after an early, eight-hole break, was relentless, closing from a dozen lengths back at the half to miss a head before eventually being put up. Robin J (John Campbell) sat and was a best-of-the-rest third. Tequila Monday, a daughter of American Ideal, trained by Chris Oakes for co-owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey, has won four of her five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.40, with the triple (three wagering choices returning $41. (Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace) - Odds-on Funknwaffles (Jim Morrill Jr., $2.70) won this "match race" with second choice Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.3, a track record for 2-year-old pacing geldings. It was 10 lengths back to Twin B Cowboy (Tim Tetrick), with 140-1 shot What's Goin' On (Mark MacDonald) fourth. Funknwaffles, a son of American Ideal co-owned by Ms. Oakes & Crawford Farms Racing and trained by John Butenschoen, has been just about perfect (9 starts, 8 wins, 1 second) this season ($257,284). The exacta paid $4, the triple returned $29.60 and the superfecta paid $266. "He's an overachiever," Morrill Jr. said. "May not much to look at, but this was a tremendous mile on a cool evening." (Majestic View Farms International 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot) - He was the best in the division coming in, and Devious Man (Andy Miller, $3.20) was the going out. Working his way to the lead just before the half, he finished of his rounds in 1:58. Stick with Me Kid (Sears) chased after yielding, beaten a length-and-three quarters, with Such an Angel (Campbell) a first-up third. For Devious Man, a son of Credit Winner owned (as part of Stroy Inc.) by trainer Julie Miller, he's won six of his 10 '16 tries. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $11.20, with the triple returning $23.40. "He just zips around these small tracks," Andy Miller said. "He was getting a little tired around the last turn, but he's figured out how to win." (Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Filly Trot) - Despite 22 days off and a scratched-sick in between, odds-on Barn Bella (Jeff Gregory, $3.20) held sway. She defeated an out-a-long-way Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) by length in a division track-record 1:57.2. Heels on Wheels (Kakaley) was third. Barn Bella, a Conway Hall miss co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, has won six of her nine first-season starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.70, with the triple returning $22. "She was sick before her last scheduled start (here)," Gregory said. "Steve (Pratt) didn't want to qualify her because she's been racing regularly before that. He and Claude Huckabone Jr., who drove her earlier in the season, did a very good job with her, because she was a project when she first started." The 3-year-olds are summarily summarized… (Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Trot) – Last season’s division champ, Non Stick (Ake Svanstedt, $4.80), defending her title in wire-to-wire, 1:56.4 fashion. Swinging Royalty (Brian Sears) was a pocket second, beaten a length, with 111-1 proposition Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) closing for third. Non Stick, a daughter of  Lucky Chucky trained by her co-owner (with Little E LLC) and driver, has won six of her 10 seasonal starts ($345,907) and 12-for-16 in her career. The exacta paid $42.20, with the triple returning $841. Fad Finance (Jim Morrill Jr.), as the 3-4 choice, had a brutal strip, trying to leave, only getting a (three-hole) seat when a rival broke and eventually finishing an empty fifth. (Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace) – Wishy Washy Girl (Morrill Jr., $6) finished what she started, two lengths better than frosh champ Dime a Dance (Matt Kakaley) in a life-best 1:53.3. American Ivy (Andy Miller) was a loose pocket third. No Clouds Bluechip (Sears), the 11-10 fave, was a weak first-over and backpedaled to last. Wishy Washy Girl, a daughter of Roll with Joe trained by Tracy Brainard for co-owners Steven Demeter and Michael Cimaglio, is now 4-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $24.20, with the triple returning $129. (Blue Chip Farms, 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace) – Slight favorite Roll Away Joe (Jason Bartlett, $4.90) never had an anxious moment, whipping second choice Bottom Deals (Tim Tetrick) by 2½ lengths in 1:52.3. Craftship (Scott Zeron) picked of the rest for third. Art Rooney Pace winner Missile J (Sears) tried it uncovered, gave way readily and finished last. Roll Away Joe, a Roll with Joe gelding trained by Brainard for co-owners Demeter, Howard Taylor and Tom Lazzaro, has won six of his 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $14.80, with the triple returning $57. (Morrisville College Equine Institute 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot) – Small-priced Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley, $2.80) needed some coaxing, but finished it off in 1:56.1. Dayson (Sears) was a good, two-move, eight-hole second–beaten a length—with Dante (Svanstedt) a pocket third and The Royal Harry (MacDonald) fourth. For ‘Smalltown,’ a Cash Hall gelding trained by his driver for co-owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford IV, Donald Brenner and Richard Lombardo, it was his seventh win in 15 seasonal starts ($446,263). The exacta paid $13.80, the triple returned $33.20 and the superfecta (four wagering choices in order) paid $110. “He had issues with a pus pocket the last time he raced (Yonkers),” Dan Daley said. “I know it had to be stinging him a bit, so that’s why I had to keep after him.” Daley said Smalltownthrowdown would be in the Harrisburg sale. “He’s going to make someone some money, but I have partners and we need the money to buy more babies.” Saturday night’s pair of $45,000 Open Handicaps were won by.. --Pace, Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $4.30) in 1:52.1, and --Trot, Allerage Star (Andy Miller, $5.60) in 1:54.2. Frank Drucker

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 24, 2016 - Hannelore Hanover, with driver Yannick Gingras in the bike, returned to her home state of Indiana to turn in a dominant performance in the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $220,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24. The Centaur Trotting Classic serves as Hoosier Park's richest trotting race and for the second consecutive year, the race was won by a mare. Just as Bee A Magician did the previous year, Hannelore Hanover easily handled a field of nine male counterparts to add another stakes victory to her resume. With a final time of 1:52.4, the World Champion mare made her game winning move down the backside and coasted on to the wire to finish two lengths in front of the competition. Leaving from post six in the talented field of ten, Hannelore Hanover was eased off the gate to settle in fourth while Homicide Hunter and David Miller got the first call through the opening panel in :26.4. Muscle Up The Goal and Aaron Merriman benefitted from a pocket trip while Crazy Wow and John DeLong were next in line third. Gingras gave Hannelore Hanover the green light just past the half in :55.0 and she ranged up to reach the leader's wheel to grab command just before the three-quarter clocking in 1:24.3. As the field turned for home, Hannelore Hanover began to put her talent on display as she found another gear and started to trot away from the field. Wind Of The North and Corey Callahan rallied gamely in the stretch but had to settle for second place honors while Crazy Wow and John DeLong rounded out the trifecta. As the 1-5 favorite, Hannelore Hanover returned $2.60 at the betting window. "She's just a great, great mare," Gingras noted in the winner's circle. "I wanted to race her off the pace but that was a nice horse on the front and I had to move when I did so he didn't get away from us. She was strong turning for home and just coasted to the wire. She was unbelievably good again tonight." Trained by Hoosier Park's leading trainer, Ron Burke, the four-year-old daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety notched her 15th win from 17 seasonal outings. Hannelore Hanover has now amassed $1,201,685 for her connections of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. "I always knew she was a nice mare," Burke noted before the race. "I told Yannick (Gingras) last year that she was third best trotting filly in the country and she's proving it now." "I am very fond of Mission Brief but Hannelore Hanover is right up there with her," he continued. "Hopefully Mission Brief can come back and we can see these two racing together. They are definitely the nicest trotting mares I've ever had and that's saying a lot because I also trained Buck I St. Pat. It's been a lot of fun with Hannelore Hanover this season." The victory with Hannelore Hanover was one of four winners on the evening's 14-race card for both Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras. Burke currently leads all trainers at Hoosier Park for the 2016 live harness racing season with 64 wins on the season through 125 days of racing. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 27 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

Anderson, IN --- Fine Tuned Lady, with Corey Callahan at the lines, pulled an upset to the tune of 8-1 in the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Sept. 23). The heavily favored Jimmy Takter trainee Ariana G tasted defeat for the first time in her career after breaking stride behind the gate. Taking advantage of the costly break by the post time favorite, Fine Tuned Lady turned in a strong gate-to-wire performance to score her fourth win of the season in 1:56.2. With the post time favorite out of contention from the start, Callahan sent Fine Tuned Lady away from the gate firing from post seven. She was able to grab command and dictate soft, first-half fractions of :27.3 and :59.2. Temple Ruins and Ricky Macomber Jr. benefitted from a pocket trip while Tim Tetrick and Sianna Hanover were next in line third. Fine Tuned Lady remained uncontested to the three-quarter clocking in 1:28.4 before feeling a threat from Can’t I and John Campbell who were applying pressure first-over as the field turned for home, Fine Tuned Lady looked strong on the front and when Callahan asked her for more, she responded with a :27.3 final panel to win by 3-1/2 lengths. Can’t I trotted evenly to finish second while Temple Ruins rounded out the trifecta. Fine Tuned Lady returned $18.80 to her backers at the betting windows. “My plan was to leave all along and hopefully track Ariana G and make a run at her late,” Callahan noted after the victory. “I wanted to follow because I think my filly is actually better off a helmet but I was able to get a breather down the backside on the front tonight and she did the rest. She trotted strong all the way to the wire tonight.” Trained by John Butenschoen, the 2-year-old daughter of  Cantab Hall-Poster Princess recorded the fourth win of her young career from eight seasonal starts. Owned by William C. Wiswell and M&L of Delaware LLC, Fine Tuned Lady has now amassed $326,340 in career purse earnings for her connections. Ariana G was unable to recover from the break behind the gate and finished tenth. However, the Takter-Gingras duo rebounded in the $35,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management consolation with Princess Aurora who scored in a new lifetime best of 1:54.4. “This filly raced great,” Takter noted in the winner’s circle. “Post nine was just a little tricky for Ariana G. She didn’t like it from the start and things like that happen, especially with 2-year-olds. It was unfortunate for her but she’s such a nice filly, she will be okay.” Grand Circuit racing action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday (Sept. 24 ) with a standout card that includes the $220,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $246,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $170,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, the $140,000 Elevation Pace and the $100,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational Pace. The first races will line-up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park 

DAYTON, OH. - Rockin Finish pulled a mild upset in the $15,000 Open I Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night, beating the best horses currently competing in southern Ohio in 1:50.1. It was the second straight victory at Dayton for the seven-year-old harness racing gelding who topped the Open II bunch a week earlier. Sent off at 9-2 odds, Rockin Finish and driver Jeremy Smith held off a late charge from runnerup Angelo J Fra (Chris Page), who was dispatched at 7-1 on the tote board. Co-favorites Mykindachip (Dan Noble) and Tinhorn Creek (Josh Sutton) raced creditably and finished third and fourth respectively. Smith, who won two other races on the program, raced fourth through the first quarter in :26.4, but moved boldly into first-over position well before the :54.3 midway marker. By the three-quarter clocking in 1:21.4 Rockin Finish was lapped on to pacesetter Angelo J Fra, then looked him in the eye and went right on by in the stretch. Tyler George, whose pupil Secret Threat captured the Open II a race earlier, trains the winner for owner Gerrie Tucker. * * * * * The excitement continues to build at Hollywood Dayton Raceway as the Friday (September 30) Grand Circuit program nears. The $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby is expected to feature a much-anticipated rematch showdown between powerhouses Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki. The $160,000 (est.) Dayton Trotting Derby also has a list of distinguished nominees who rank among the best trotters currently racing in the world. Post time for the marquee program of the meet will be 6:15 p.m. Gregg Keidel

WILKES-BARRE PA - Dreams Beachboy uncorked a strong third-quarter move in the harness racing feature race Saturday evening at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, cleared to the lead and then opened up a huge margin around the final turn, crossing the wire a safe 2¼ lengths clear in 1:50.2.   After a strength-sapping 25.4 duel among foes in opening quarter and nearing the 55 half, driver George Napolitano Jr. sent the victorious altered son of Somebeachsomewhere streaking down the backside, pacing his own third quarter in 27, gaining the lead before the 1:22.4 3/4s and winning over the two horses who followed but couldn't quite keep up with his backside brush - second-over Mister Bling A photoed out third-over Clear Vision for second money.   Crawford Farms Racing owns Dreams Beachboy, who was sent off by Pocono punters as the 7 to 5 favorite and rewarded their confidence with his seventh win in 19 starts this season (37%) and his 11th career visit to Victory Lane in 37 starts (30%).   The victory was the third on the card for "George Nap," and his second successful collaboration with trainer Chris Oakes. Those two horsemen are on top of the local standings - Napolitano's win total of 272 is more than double that of his nearest rival, his brother Anthony (for whom it must be mentioned in fairness that he missed almost two months of racing after a May 31 racing mishap at The Downs), while Oakes has harnessed 76 winners at the current meet to have a slight advantage over Ron Burke (72) and Rene Allard (71) in what should be a three-way battle going all the way to the end of the Pocono meet on November 26.   PHHA/Pocono  

Batavia, NY---In the featured $10,000 Open pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 24), the only race was for second as the heavily favored invader, Scott Rocks led at all stations en route to registering the fastest pacing mile of the year at the Genesee County harness racing oval. John Cummings Jr. left with Scott Rocks and after easing him through a brutally sunlit first turn, got his horse in gear on the back straight and took the lead by the quarter in :27.4. As soon as he crossed over to the pylons, Cummings popped the plugs and took a reclined posture in the bike as he became a passenger for the rest of his ride. Scott Rocks was up by one and one-half lengths at the half in :56.2 and by two at three-quarters in 1:23.4. With the rest of the field scrambling to keep up at that point, the leader opened up three lengths under mild urging from Cummings and won wrapped-up in 1:52. China Dream (Shawn Gray) closed strong to catch second and Heaven Rocks (Kevin Cummings), who followed the winner the entire mile, hung on for third. It was the ninth win of the year, including three straight most recently for Scott Rocks ($2.50) and the purse increased his 2016 bank to $133,374 for owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey. The 6-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover is trained by Chris Oakes. John Cummings Jr. had a driving grand slam on Saturday winning with Scott Rocks ($2.50, 1:52), Keystone Dalton ($3.10, 1:55), Foreign Officer ($4.30, 1:54.1) and Untouchable One ($3.40, 1:56). Drew Monti had a driving triple while Ray Fisher Jr. doubled up. Trainer JD Perrin conditioned three winning horses on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 28) with the first post at 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Calvin B ($3.40) did not disappoint at odds-on in Saturday (September 24) evening's featured $9,100 top-level Miracle Mile pacing handicap at Vernon Downs, sustaining a first-over press to circle the harness racing field for a 1:51.4 triumph.   Chris Lems settled the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding at the back of the quintet early before angling off the pegs with just less than five-eighths of the mile remaining. Calvin B advanced the instant he was switched first-over, working into a pressing role with three-eighths to go and dueling down pacesetter Major War (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in mid-stretch. Calvin B would accelerate clear while driven and evade a late charge from Modern Gesture (Claude Huckabone, III), who worked around the tiring pacesetter to save second off his pocket trip. No Monkeys Allowed (Truman Gale) mounted belated gains from the back to take third.   Calvin B prevailed by three-quarters of a length in the end for owner Dolores Smiel and trainer Heidi Rohr. His seventh seasonal win increased his career tally to 21.   In the $5,000 C.K.G. Billings event for amateur drivers, owner-trainer-driver Tony Ciuffetelli sprung a double-digit upset with Aventure ($23.60), rallying belatedly off live cover to narrowly collar 6-5 favorite Rocket Master (Hannah Miller) in 1:57. The 5-year-old Muscle Mass gelding earned the 15th win of his career.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (September 29) evening; first post is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

MANALAPAN, NJ -- September 23, 2016 -- Despite the suspension of a statewide campaign to encourage residents to support casino gaming outside of Atlantic City, the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey today announced that it would continue its grassroots efforts to help pass the ballot question that could provide much needed revenue to bolster New Jersey's struggling harness racing horsemen. It's frustrating that the best financed advocates for casino gaming in North Jersey decided to pull the plug on their statewide campaign,' said Mark Ford, President of the SBOANJ. " Our members now must use our limited financial resources to drive the message to voters that a YES vote on Question 1 will provide our industry with additional revenue to continue offering the residents and taxpayers of New Jersey important entertainment and quality of life benefits. Even if others are stepping back from the fight, the horsemen have no choice but to step up and do our part." This November 8th, voters will choose whether to allow casino gaming outside of Atlantic City. If the ballot question passes, the New Jersey Legislature could authorize two new casinos to be built in northern New Jersey. A percentage of the state tax revenue collected from the new casinos would be dedicated to supporting the horse racing industry. The SBOANJ has scheduled series of media interviews, public appearances, and social media events to highlight the Association and the benefit its members bring to their towns and communities. Courtney Stafford

Artful Way (Artistic Fella) won the Saturday feature at Saratoga for the seventh time this season. The Jackie Rousse trainee moved out to the early lead in Saturday's $16,000 Open Pace and the harness racing four year old would not be denied. Enjoying a breakout year in 2016, Artful Way went coast to coast on a chilly autumn evening in the Spa City. Driver Frank Coppola Jr. gave Artful Way a 28.4 second quarter breather after cruising through a first panel in 27 seconds flat. After putting up a first half in 55.4, Saratoga's favorite to be Pacer of the Year posted a matching second half en route to victory in 1:51.3. BJ's Guy (Bruce Aldrich Jr) closed sharply for second while Respectable Dream (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. The race's favorite Givenupdreaming (Stephane Bouchard) was tasked with trying to go last to first in the feature but despite a late surge didn't get close to the top few finishers and had to settle for fifth. Artful Way was surprisingly dismissed at odds of 6-1 and returned $14.80 to win. The exacta paid $56 while the triple came back $248. Frank Coppola Jr, who has surged into a big lead in the driver standings, piloted four winners on the Saturday card. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee that begins at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Velocity Vespa (I Scoot Hanover) went coast to coast to capture the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. After being claimed in July by trainer Rich Banca, Velocity Vespa rattled off three consecutive wins in the Fillies and Mares Open at the Spa. The last of those victories came in a dazzling 1:51.3, a track record for a pacing mare at the Spa. The six year old distaffer didn't factor in last week's Open despite being the odds-on favorite but returned to the winner's circle after wiring the field in Friday's $16,000 feature. So Nice (Mark Beckwith) sat the pocket and finished second while Super Soph (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Velocity Vespa's 16th win of the season came over a sloppy track in 1:53.4 on Friday night. Returning $4.90 to win, Velocity Vespa, who was driven to victory by Jimmy Devaux, led an exacta and triple that came back $15.20 and $77.50, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

ANDERSON, IN - September 23, 2016 - Fine Tuned Lady, with Corey Callahan at the lines, pulled an upset to the tune of 8-1 in the featured event of the evening, the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 23. The heavily favored Jimmy Takter trainee Ariana G tasted defeat for the first time in her career after breaking stride behind the gate. Taking advantage of the costly break by the post time favorite, Fine Tuned Lady turned in a strong gate to wire performance to score her fourth win of the season in 1:56.2. With the post time favorite out of contention from the start, Callahan sent Fine Tuned Lady away from the gate firing from post seven. She was able to grab command and dictate soft, first-half fractions of :27.3 and :59.2. Temple Ruins and Ricky Macomber Jr. benefitted from a pocket trip while Tim Tetrick and Sianna Hanover were next in line third. Fine Tuned Lady remained uncontested to the three-quarter clocking in 1:28.4 before feeling a threat from Can't I and John Campbell who were applying pressure first-over as the field turned for home, Fine Tuned Lady looked strong on the front and when Callahan asked her for more, she responded with a :27.3 final panel to win by three and a half lengths. Can't I trotted evenly to finish second while Temple Ruins rounded out the trifecta. Fine Tuned Lady returned $18.80 to her backers at the betting windows. "My plan was to leave all along and hopefully track Ariana G and make a run at her late," Callahan noted after the victory. "I wanted to follow because I think my filly is actually better off a helmet but I was able to get a breather down the backside on the front tonight and she did the rest. She trotted strong all the way to the wire tonight." Trained by John Butenschoen, the two-year-old daughter of Cantab Hall-Poster Princess recorded the fourth win of her young career from eight seasonal starts. Owned by William C. Wiswell and M&L of Delaware LLC, Fine Tuned Lady has now amassed $326,340 in career purse earnings for her connections. Ariana G was unable to recover from the break behind the gate and finished tenth. However, the Takter, Gingras duo rebounded in the $35,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management consolation with Princess Aurora who scored in a new lifetime best of 1:54.4. "This filly raced great," Takter noted in the winner's circle. "Post 9 was just a little tricky for Ariana G. She didn't like it from the start and things like that happen, especially with two-year-olds. It was unfortunate for her but she's such a nice filly, she will be okay." Grand Circuit racing action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 24 with a standout card that includes the $220,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $246,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $170,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, the $140,000 Elevation Pace and the $100,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Invitational Pace. The first races will line-up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

DAYTON, OH. - Rock The Look ran her win streak to three capturing the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night. The 1:51.1 clocking lowered the track record for older pacing mares at Dayton, knocking a tick off Sectionline Aqua's previous 1:51.2 standard. The four-year-old Rockin Image mare's docket now includes five wins and a pair of runnerup finishes in her last seven starts for trainer Joe Putnam, who co-owns Rock The Look with the Suttons Bay Racing stable. Driver Jason Brewer was content to race last in the compact field of six through opening panels of :26.1 and :55. Just past the midway station the winner set sail and began steadily picking off opponents one at a time. By the 1:23 third split Rock The Look had moved up to fourth behind a first-up Watch N Be Watched (Josh Sutton) with Igottafeelinfran (Dan Noble) also in hot pursuit . At the top of the lane, those three mares fanned out for the stretch drive with Rock The Look besting runnerup Igottafeelinfran and Watch N Be Watched, who got the show dough. Sent off as the odds-on favorite based on her recent form, Rock The Look returned $3.00 to win, while the stone-cold exacta paid $11.00. Racing resumes Saturday night at Hollywood Dayton with a powerful 14-race program on tap. Excitement is building at the five-eighths mile oval as Friday, September 30 approaches. That's the night the Grand Circuit stops in Dayton featuring the $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby and the $160,000 (est.) Dayton Trotting Derby. Many of the top-rated and richest horses in North America are expected to enter, including the No. 1 ranked Wiggle It Jiggleit. From the press box at Dayton Raceway

Vernon, NY -- Margaret and Amy Butler's J A T O ($3.80) seized control of the terms early and never looked back on his way to a third consecutive victory in Friday (September 23) evening's featured $10,500 Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Trot at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems put the 4-year-old Conway Hall gelding in play from the outset, pushing clear of My Lucky Word (Fern Paquet, Jr.) and Gimme the Cash (Claude Huckabone, III) through a :28.3 first quarter before easing the tempo on the backstretch.   With five-sixteenths of the mile to go, 22-1 longshot Oh No Three O (Jeff Long) mounted a first-over challenge, working to within a length of J A T O at the completion of a :58.4 middle half but leveling off at head-stretch. J A T O maintained control comfortably while hand-driven through the straight, keeping Oh No Three O a length at bay for a 1:55.2 score.   Prairie Fortune (Mike Deters) showed mild staying power off second-over cover to save third on debut from Tioga.   Howard Okusko trains J A T O, who remains undefeated at Vernon Downs by way of his 31st career triumph.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 24) evening, with the first of 13 races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs Racing

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 23, 2016-Tessa Seelster (George Brennan, $7.70) again proved best Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from her 'inside' post position No. 5 (posts 5 thru 8 were drawn), Tessa Seelster easily worked around pole-sitting, slight 2-1 favorite Devil Child (Eric Goodell). After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, a :29.1 second substation (:56.4 intermission) served her well. Secret's Out N (Tyler Buter) took out of fourth and was originally pacing in place. She did eventually make steady advances in and out of a 1:24.1 three-quarters, though the leader maintained a length-and-a-quarter advantage entering the lane. 'Tessa' found the wire a half-length before Devil Child in 1:51.3. Secret's Out N held third, with Rock N Roll Xample (Dan Dube) and Tipitina (Brent Holland) settling for the minors. For third choice Tessa Seelster, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, it was her ninth win in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $24.80, with the triple returning $121. Saturday's card is enveloped by the 27th New York Night of Champions, the $1.8 million culmination of the sire stakes season. The Empire State's richest night of racing features eight, $225,000 NYSS, for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. They go as the first eight races during the 13-race card, with first post the usual 7:10 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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