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In many cases, winning seven harness races in a row would be the most notable achievement of any harness racing driver's day. But for Yannick Gingras, such a streak got him to an even more noteworthy accomplishment --- career victory No. 6,000. On Sunday, the 36-year-old Gingras won his final four drives at Harrah's Philadelphia before heading north to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where he had three drives in Pennsylvania All-Stars action. Gingras won all three, finishing the day with 6,000 lifetime triumphs. Gingras notched his milestone win with Ron Burke-trained 2-year-old male pacer Normandy Beach in the seventh race at Pocono. "That's just neat that it worked out that way," Gingras said. "Someone mentioned to me yesterday that I was getting close, but I wasn't sure how close I was. "At this stage, it's a good number --- it's always nice to get these milestones --- but at this point we race so many horses they come quite often, honestly. But it's definitely nice. I'm sure it's something that later on it will be nice to talk about these numbers. Hopefully, I'll have made it higher than 6,000." Gingras was harness racing's Driver of the Year in 2014 and has led the sport in purses each of the past two seasons. This year, Gingras has won 164 races and $3.12 million, which ranks fifth in North America. His top wins this season include the Pennsylvania Classic with Check Six, Roses Are Red with Lady Shadow, Armbro Flight with Hannelore Hanover, Confederation Cup with Rockin Ron, New Jersey Sire Stakes championship with Southwind Frank, and a Group 2 race in Sweden with Pinkman. Other stars driven by Gingras during his career include Foiled Again, Mission Brief, Father Patrick, JK She'salady, Maven, Pastor Stephen, and Darlin's Delight. This weekend, Gingras will turn his attention to Pocono's Sun Stakes Saturday card, where his drives include Southwind Frank in the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Southwind Frank, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, saw a 12-race win streak halted by Bar Hopping last Saturday in their Beal elimination. Bar Hopping won by a neck in 1:52.1. "He's good," Gingras said about Southwind Frank, who has won 13 of 15 career races and is the early Hambletonian Stakes favorite. "He wasn't a hundred percent on Saturday. That's pretty scary to get beat a neck when he's not at his best. I think he'll be ready to rock on Saturday night." Gingras also is anticipating the $500,000 Ben Franklin, where older male pacing stars Always B Miki, Freaky Feet Pete, and Wiggle It Jiggleit all head to the final off impressive elimination victories. "That's going to be an unbelievable race," said Gingras, who is listed on Burke trainees Rock N' Roll World and Always At My Place. "I'm looking forward to, not only being a part of it, but seeing who is the king of the division now. I hope it's everything we hope it's going to be. "There will be a lot of good racing there at Pocono on Saturday night. I have some good ones, so I'm definitely looking forward to it." Ken Weingartner

HARRINGTON, Del. - Howard and Judith Taylor's Verdad ($7.20, Tony Morgan) was a 1:51.2 winner in the $15,000 featured harness racing Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway. In a consolidated field of three as a result of two scratches, Verdad, a 7-year-old Western Ideal stallion, sat third most of the mile before wearing down pacesetter and race favorite Dancin Yankee and edging clear in narrow fashion late. It was Verdad's 31st career win for trainer Ron Burke. Dancin Yankee was second with Singing Saint third. Janet Hudson's Just A Jolt ($5, Victor Kirby) prepped for a likely Governor's Cup performance in July with a 1:51.3 victory in a $10,000 conditioned pace for trainer Jim King Jr. The 6-year-old Village Jolt gelding and 2015 Governors Cup winner set all the fractions in his narrow win over Soto and Raritan Bay. The Governor's Cup, held on July 28, is a $40,000 annual event with local bragging rights on the line for Delaware owned aged horses. It is held as the centerpiece for older horses on the biggest day of the year for the state's harness racing industry, Governor's Day during the Delaware State Fair. Live racing continues through Thursday. Post time is 5 p.m. Matthew Sparacino  

WILKES-BARRE PA - There will be over $2 million on the line this Saturday evening at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on its harness racing Super Stakes Saturday harness racing card, but while the races for the three-year-olds will provide exciting contests and help provide early season pecking order, the main focus will be on one event.   The Showdown.   The Clash of the Titans - Always B Miki, Freaky Feet Pete, and Wiggle It Jiggleit - in the $500,000 Ben Franklin FFA Pace Championship, race 11 on the 14-race card Saturday at Pocono, which is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first post.   Here's an overview of the evening's activities, led of course by the Franklin:   $500,000 BEN FRANKLIN FFAP CHAMPIONSHIP (race 11 of 14 - consolation race 7)   Defending Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit got the best of the post draw among the three Indiana-sired winners in the Franklin eliminations - but then again, the other two are not noted for their quick starting speed, although they may need to show some to get the major share of the purse in the Franklin, which became a field of ten when Shamballa and Always At My Place deadheated for third in an elimination.   The four-year-old son of Mr Wiggles, trained by Clyde Francis for George Teague Jr. Inc. and Teague Racing Partnership LLC, shows five "clean" calls of "1" (no parked-out symbols) at the quarter among his charted lines, and being somewhere near the front has been part of driver Montrell Teague's basic modus operandi as "Wiggle" has won 31 of 38 career starts and $2.630,760 lifetime, including an easy-looking 1:48.1 score in his Franklin elimination (in which he drew over $73,000 of a $76,500 show pool). What might happen after Wiggle It Jiggleit gets the top (if he goes for the lead) makes for the drama of the story.   The five-year-old Always A Virgin stallion (are the last two words an oxymoron?) Always B Miki will start from post seven for driver David Miller, trainer Jimmy Takter, and his ownership of Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter. "Miki" has forged much of his reputation as an unstoppable finisher deluxe, with several pace-controlling moves made midrace on the straightaway of a big track. He shows only one "clean 1" at the first split on his lines, in a field of six when he was 1-20* in a Meadowlands race earlier this year, but he also has shown the ability to sit outside and still be razor-sharp in the stretch, as he was at Pocono last week when he was hung the better part of ¾ of a mile, mostly uncovered, and still had strong strides to the wire to equal the 1:47 world record for 5/8-mile tracks, set by Sweet Lou in the Franklin Championship here in 2014. He may face a similar trip on Saturday - but he's shown he can handle it.   The horse that hung Always B Miki, Mel Mara (driven by Corey Callahan), should be mentioned here, as the seven-year-old Lis Mara stallion, trained by Dylan Davis for Robert Cooper Stables LLC and J&T Silva Stables LLC, drew the rail for the Franklin Championship. But Mel Mara has seldom shown early speed racing recently -which may be a strange thing to say for a horse who's been ahead at the half in 3 of his last 5 races, but he has been parked at the quarter in all three, making second-quarter moves to the top. "Mel" does not figure to benefit from the "inside geometry" of post one as much as many would.   Freaky Feet Pete was in front most of his Franklin victory, with the son of Rockin Image setting a world record of 1:47.1 for his division in his easiest of triumphs (you heard a lot of "He didn't look like he was going that fast!" comments after his elim). But again, like Always B Miki, the only raceline he shows with a "clean 1" at the quarter was a 1-20* early-season win at Hoosier. Trace Tetrick, Tim's brother, who will be putting his 1.000 lifetime UDR at Pocono on the line here (last week was his first visit to the mountain oval) for trainer Larry Rheinheimer and owners Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer.   With all these horses of superior and variable mid-race tactics - gathered together in a powerpacked field that collectively has earned $11.8M in their careers and has an average mark of 1:47.4 - the trip, combined with some racing luck, will probably tell the tale in this great free-for-all showdown.   (By the way, Luck Be Withyou, the defending Franklin champ, will be racing in the Consolation this year, from post 1. He won his 2015 elim from post 8 and his final from post nine - and went wire-to-wire, with "clean 1"s, in both contests.)   $500,000 EARL BEAL JR. 3CT CHAMPIONSHIP (race 12 -- consolation race 5)   Lost a bit in the uproar about the speedy Franklin elimination show last Saturday was the fact that Southwind Frank, the favorite for the August 8 Hambletonian, suffered only the second loss of his career. The three-year-old son of Muscle Hill, driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Ron Burke and Southwind Frank Partners, was limbed out most of the first 3/8s before getting the top and went on to fast fractions before getting edged at the end by a game Bar Hopping in 1:52.1. The Beal elim was only "Frank"'s third start of the year, and first since June 4, and he figures to be a bit better this week, although again needing to overcome post seven in a field of nine.   Bar Hopping, who caught Southwind Frank late in posting the upset last week, may have an even more difficult road to hoe on Saturday, as the pillshake was unkind enough to give him the outside in the field of nine for trainer Jimmy Takter and the ownership of Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. But the son of Muscle Hill will be driven by Tim Tetrick, who showed the best ability to cope "against the odds" on Elim Saturday - of the nine eliminations, seven were won by favorites, and Tetrick drove the other two: Bar Hopping ($24.60) and 3PF Newborn Sassy ($8.20).   If these two get involved in vicious early dueling, there is a horse who has proven he has a wicked closing kick - and he lives right down the shedrow from Southwind Frank. That would be Burke trainee Dayson, an altered son of Conway Hall who has never lost in his career when flat (11 for 14, with three breaks). That pattern looked in serious jeopardy as late as midstretch last week, but driver Jim Morrill Jr. got a furious late kick out of Dayson for a 1:52.3 tally, and from post two he might again be in prime position to "pick up the pieces" for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Rossie Smith.   $500,000 MAX C. HEMPT 3CP CHAMPIONSHIP (race 10; no consolation - only 13 in elims.)   Racing Hill and Control The Moment were 2-3 behind Hempt non-eligible Betting Hill in the recent $1MC North America Cup at Mohawk, and both followed on their fine showing in Canada by winning their respective Hempt elims. For the Hempt Championship, Racing Hill has the better draw, PP2 vs. PP8, and the Roll With Joe colt, trained by Tony Alagna for owner Tom Hill of the U.K., was the faster elim winner, winning in 1:49.1 under a hold the last 1/16 by driver Brett Miller.   However, few people would be surprised if the Well Said colt Control The Moment gave a giant accounting of himself despite landing behind the 8-ball at the post draw. The Brad Maxwell trainee, owned by the Control The Moment Stable, won in 1:49.3 last week, snapping home in 27 last Saturday to hold off 2015 divisional champion Boston Red Rocks, who has post six in the Hempt Final.   If one were looking for an upsetter in the Hempt, one could make a case for the Art Major gelding Talk Show, who starts in the middle of the field of nine for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Steve Elliott (also the trainer of Boston Red Rocks). The timer malfunctioned during his elim, and it wasn't until after the race that it was noted that Racing Hill blitzed the third quarter in 26.3 to hold off a spirited challenge from Talk Show - who was four lengths off the lead at the half, meaning he went his third quarter raw in 25.4! Such pure speed, under perfect circumstances, could find Talk Show in the thick of things in the Hempt final.   $300,000 JAMES LYNCH 3FP CHAMPIONSHIP (race 9 - consolation race 6)   Last year's division champion Pure Country went 10-for-10 in her freshman campaign. This year, largely due to some early-season sickness, the road has not been as easy for the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, owned by Diamond Creek Racing, but as trainer Jimmy Takter notes, "She's won the two biggest races of the season for her division so far, the Miss Pennsylvania (at Pocono) and the Fan Hanover." Last week Pure Country showed her grittiness by overcoming a first-over trip to win in 1:50.1 for driver Brett Miller, as she looks to raise her "majors" record to 3 for 3; the two foes who were within a half-length of her at the wire start on either side of her Saturday: Blue Moon Stride, getting post eight after a second, and Darlinonthebeach, in post six after closing for third.   We mentioned Newborn Sassy earlier as one of two non-favorites, both piloted by Tim Tetrick, to win an elim, and on Saturday the Western Ideal miss, trained by co-owner Jo Ann Looney-King for herself and partner CC Racing LLC, will begin from post three off her 1:51.3 elimination tally. I Said Diamonds, that elim's chalk who came up just short after not having raced in 29 days, certainly has a license to be better off of that race, and will start from post two.   ANOTHER STAR WILL BE AT POCONO SATURDAY   Well-known baseball superstar Pete Rose will be making an appearance at The Downs at Mohegan Sun at Pocono before the evening's races (and may well stay and bet a few, if his past performances are any indication).   Wristbands to attend the session with Rose will be distributed starting at 1 p.m. in the Racing Lobby. There are a limited number of wrist bands, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The session with Rose will take place between 4 and 6 p.m. Only authorized photos will be distributed.     AND TO END, THE FIELDS FOR THE "BIG FOUR" ON SUN STAKES SATURDAY (post, horse, driver, trainer):   $300,000 JAMES LYNCH 3FP CHAMPIONSHIP, race 9:   1, JK Fannie, David Miller, Nancy Johansson;   2, I Said Diamonds, Matt Kakaley, Matias Ruiz;   3, Newborn Sassy, Tim Tetrick, Jo Ann Looney-King;   4, Lindwood Beach Girl, Yannick Gingras, Mark Steacy;   5, Skinny Dipper, Andrew McCarthy, Ross Croghan;   6. Darlinonthebeach, David Miller also listed, Nancy Johansson;   7, Pure Country, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;   8, Blue Moon Stride, McCarthy also listed, Mark Harder;   9. Penpal, driver/trainer Pat Lachance.   $500,000 MAX C. HEMPT 3CP CHAMPIONSHIP, race 10:   1, More Dragon, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke;   2, Racing Hill, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna;   3, Western Fame, George Napolitano Jr., Jimmy Takter;   4, JK Will Power, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke;   5, Talk Show, Scott Zeron, Steve Elliott;   6, Boston Red Rocks, Tim Tetrick, Steve Elliott;   7, Katies Rocker, David Miller, Jim Campbell;   8, Control The Moment, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell;   9, Big Top Hanover, Gingras also listed, Ron Burke.   $500,000 BEN FRANKLIN FFAP CHAMPIONSHIP, race 11:   1, Mel Mara, Corey Callahan, Dylan Davis;   2, Shamballa, Scott Zeron, Rick Zeron;   3, Wiggle It Jiggleit, Montrell Teague, Clyde Francis;   4, State Treasurer, Tim Tetrick, Dr. Ian Moore;   5, Sunfire Blue Chip, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter;   6, Freaky Feet Pete, Trace Tetrick, Larry Rheinheimer;   7, Always B Miki, David Miller, Jimmy Takter;   8, All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke;   9, Rock N' Roll World, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke;   10 (2T), Always At My Place, Gingras also listed, Ron Burke.   $500,000 EARL BEAL JR. 3CT CHAMPIONSHIP, race 12:   1, Reigning Moni, Scott Zeron, Jimmy Takter;   2, Hollywood Highway, John Campbell, Staffan Lind;   3, Truemass Volo, Eric Goodell, Doug Hamilton;   4, Dayson, Jim Morrill Jr., Ron Burke;   5, Trolley, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller;   6, Brooklyn Hill, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson;   7, Southwind Frank, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke;   8, Dice Man, driver/trainer Ãke Svanstedt;   9, Bar Hopping, Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter.   There will be a release sent out shortly after noon tomorrow, with any scratches, final driver changes, and morning line odds.   PHHA / Pocono          

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association announce that there will be $30,000 divided by order of finish among the horses finishing sixth through tenth in the Ben Franklin Free For All Pace Championship on this Saturday night's $2M+ Sun Stakes Saturday harness racing card at The Downs.   There were three eliminations of the Franklin Pace this past Saturday night at The Downs, with the first three horses in each to move on to this Saturday's rich Championship. But Shamballa and Always At My Place finished in a dead-heat for third in their elimination, and the decision was made to go with a ten-horse field in the Franklin Championship, with the standard nine horses on the gate and whoever drew "10" starting as a trailer in the second tier. The PHHA and Pocono jointly made the decision to have all starters receive some form of compensation in view of the unusual circumstances.   Here is the field for the Franklin Championship, which will be race 11 on Saturday's 14-race program:   1 - Mel Mara 2 - Shamballa 3 - Wiggle It Jiggleit 4 - State Treasurer 5 - Sunfire Blue Chip 6 - Freaky Feet Pete 7 -- Always B Miki 8 - All Bets Off 9 - Rock N' Roll World 10 - Always At My Place   Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association / The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Bob Davis enjoyed his best day ever competing in harness racing amateur races when he won both Billings Series races at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday, June 26. Davis won the first event - a pace--with Goddess's Justin in a time of 1:59.4 and came back cop the second Billings race- a trot--with Christina Victory in 2:03.2. When this seasons Billings Series began Bob Davis carried the moniker of "Bullet Bob", but since he won both Billings contests at Buffalo Raceway he'll now be known as "Buffalo Bob" Davis. And according to Davis himself, in five races that he's had over the Erie County double-oval he has won four times, certainly enough to encourage a change his nickname. For a sportsman who travels far distances just for the opportunity to drive competitively in one, or two, races some might wonder why Davis does this since he receives no remuneration. "I do it because I love the sporting aspect of amateur driving", "Buffalo Bob" said. "After all, in what sport do you know where amateurs can compete on the same level as the professionals? So what if we don't get paid for our services, it's the sport of the completion that's the driving force" It took Davis nine hours overall to go to Buffalo for the two races and then return home to Saratoga. "That's nothing" Davis said. "Last year I drove 14 hours round-trip to race at on Prince Edward at Charlottetown (Driving Park)," But it was days like he had yesterday in Buffalo that supplies the impetus. In his first outing Davis was up behind 7-5 favorite Goddess's Justin, an 11 year old altered son of Western Hanover. When the gate sprung Davis sent his charge to the lead from the three-hole and they got away with relatively slow early fractions. Goddess's Justin passed the first stanza in a soft :30.2 and remained unchallenged past the three quarters which was clocked in 1:30.3 But by then it was too late for the competition as Davis' pacer kicked in a :28.2 final quarter which turned out to be enough to hold off Hawaiian Joe and driver Richard "the Wolverine" Roach, who enjoyed two-hole journey the entire way. At the wire heads separated the first two finishers while eight lengths in the rears in third place was Ahead Of The Crowd, driven by Nadine 'the Outrider" Habke. Goddess's Justin is owned by Spalluto, Spalluto, and Dylo and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar. He paid $5.30 for win. In the second Billings race Davis employed a come-from-behind strategy. After starting from post six Davis found a spot along the pylons in fourth positions as the field trotted by the quarter in :30.1. Content to follow the leaders until the field approached the third stanza Davis then moved out to challenge and Christina Victory was second over as they passed the three quarters. In the lane the 11 year old altered son of Victory Sam trotted on to a length victory over Armbro Casino, driven by Richard Roach. And yes it was odd that the same two drivers finished one-two in each Billings race on Sunday. Fashionableapple was third for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. Christina Victory is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by J D Perrin. Backers of the winner each received $3.50 for each two-dollar ticket. By John Manzi for the Billings Amateur Driving Series

The 4 & 5 YO Maryland Sire Stakes for pacers went as an early non wagering event due to the harness racing entry of Toms Typhoon and Toms Tornado.   Toms Typhoon the winner of the May series at Rosecroft cut fractions of 27.2, 56.1 and 1:25.2 to the ¾ pole when Toms Tornado came up to challenge, head to head in the final turn with the crowd cheering them on, Toms Tornado stopped the timer in 1:53.2 winning by a length over Toms Typhoon and Spinout.   This was a Maryland Sires Stakes record at Ocean Downs for 4 & 5 year olds. Jonathan Roberts drove for owner Tom Cooke and trainer Roger Hans.   Race 3 saw the 4 & 5 year old trotters set a Stakes record of 1:58.4 at Ocean Downs.   Whitesville Dixon cut the first half with Doggone Slots coming up to challenge just passed the half, racing side by side thru the last turn, Doggone Slots crossed the wire in front for reinsman Roger Plante Jr. Whitesville Dixon held on easily for second.   Tom Morris Jr. trains and co-owns with Gregg Morris.   This was a sweep of the series for doggone Slots as he won in May at Rosecroft also.   Maryland Stakes action continues with the Maryland Standardbred Fund Stakes for 2 year olds on Sunday July 3rd.   By Cheri Stambaugh

In a first-of-its-kind agreement, the United States Harness Writers Association announced Monday (June 27) that Centaur Gaming-owned Hoosier Park will be the lead title sponsor of next year's Dan Patch Awards banquet in Las Vegas. The event, to be held at Planet Hollywood on Feb. 26, will be named "The 2017 Dan Patch Awards presented by Hoosier Park." The Dan Patch Awards are for top equine and human performers, Harness Horse of the Year honors, as well as the first introduction of the newest member(s) to the Hall of Fame. The spotlight will shine on Hoosier Park in the fall of 2017 when the Breeders Crown makes its first visit to the Indiana racetrack. But several months prior to that big event, Hoosier Park will help direct the limelight toward harness racing's equine and human stars thanks to a new partnership with another of the sport's premier festivities. The awards, first presented in 1947, are named in honor of one of the great stars of the early 20th century --- in any sport --- the Indiana-born pacer Dan Patch. Born in 1896 in Oxford, Ind., Dan Patch attracted huge crowds wherever he traveled and set numerous world records. His mark of1:55-1/4 set at age 9 in 1905 stood for more than three decades and his name and image endorsed products from breakfast cereals to washing machines. Indiana-sired horses have also garnered national attention more recently, with the most notable examples including 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Breeders Crown champions Always B Miki, Color's A Virgin, and Freaky Feet Pete, all hailing from the Hoosier State. "Hoosier Park and Centaur could not be more honored to serve as the first title sponsor for these prestigious awards," said Jim Brown, president and COO of Centaur Gaming. "Considering Dan Patch was an Indiana-bred made the opportunity feel even more appropriate. "Indiana harness racing is being recognized nationally, with some of the top horses and racing in the country, and sponsoring the 2017 USHWA awards and hosting the 2017 Breeders Crown races should both contribute to making this a year to remember for Indiana racing." The 2017 Dan Patch Awards will honor this season's top performers, including divisional champions plus Trotter, Pacer, and Horse of the Year. "This is a great opportunity for USHWA to team up with an outstanding racing organization like Hoosier Park to present our 2017 Dan Patch Awards banquet," said Tim Bojarski, president of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. "We believe the synergy of this partnership will better enhance the promotion of harness racing and its stars throughout the upcoming year and hope it will lead the way for other entities of the sport to work together for the same reason. "I can promise everyone a night to remember at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Feb. 26, 2017." For more information on the Dan Patch Awards presented by Hoosier Park, log onto, where all the latest news and announcements will be available throughout the year. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

WILKES-BARRE PA - The first stake of the year on the local scene for harness racing two-year-olds, a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for baby pacing colts, was raced in four $30,000 divisions Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with favored horses, sire Somebeachsomewhere, and driver Yannick Gingras taking three of the four contests, and trainer Ron Burke notching a double.   The intersection of Gingras, Somebeachsomewhere, Burke, and the only non-chalk winner produced the fastest winning time, as Filibuster Hanover rallied out of the pocket into back fractions of 55.4 - 27 to go by pacesetter Huntsville by a length in 1:53.2. The son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Fashion Ecstasy (a half-sister to Gallie Bythe Beach, both out of the great race mare Galleria) won for Burke Racing Stable LLC, JT45, Joseph Di Scala Jr., and Weaver Bruscemi LLC in his first purse start, which was the common element uniting all four winners.   The other winner of the Burke Brigade, also handled by Gingras, was another son of Somebeachsomwhere (this one out of the million-dollar winning mare Symphony In Motion), Normandy Beach. The triumphant colt stormed to the lead first time in the homestretch, then came home in 55.4 to fend off the pocketrallier Boogie Shuffle by a neck in 1:54.4 for owner William Donovan.   The third stakes triumph of the night for Yannick Gingras came with the one horse who technically did not take a new personal best, the Western Ideal colt Western Joe, who also moved early and then came home in 55.3 - 27.2 to tally in 1:55, which equaled the time he posted in a qualifier eight days earlier, two lengths ahead of Fear The Dragon. Chris Choate handles the conditioning of the fast baby for owner/breeder Anthony Ruggeri.   The "Kings of Delaware OH," driver David Miller and trainer Brian Brown, had the third Somebeachsomewhere colt to return to the winners circle, Downbytheseaside. The winning freshman got away fifth from post eight, made the frequent Pocono winning move of a second quarter brush, then hung a giant closing quarter of 26.4 on the board to complete the mile in 1:55.1, 1¾ lengths ahead of earlier leader Mac's Jackpot, for Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, and Richard Lombardo.   Five divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies are gathered for a PA All-Stars event that will headline the Monday card at The Downs.   PHHA / Pocono  

The Winnin Dollar (by Sos Lunar Eclipse) remained unbeaten in four starts in 2016, after Sunday’s first Race at Running Aces, The $7,500 Minnesota sired harness racing three-year-old gelding Trot. Heavily-favored at 1-2 in the wagering, Driver Nick Roland wasted no time finding the top with his charge, and after clearing to the lead easily from post 6, the dynamic duo set very leisurely fractions of 30.1, 1:03.0 and 1:33.0 before charging home in 28.4 to win easily in 2:01.4. He paid $3.00. Tonight’s victory was his 11th lifetime win, in just 15 starts, and pushes his career earnings to $37,090 for Owner Jesse DeLong , and Trainer Justin Anfinson. The $7,500 3 year old Minnesota-Sired filly Trot went to Bombshell Betty ($3.80) for the second consecutive week , Steve Wiseman did the driving tonight and she equalled her mark of 2:00.3 set here last week, she now sports 5 lifetime wins from her 15 starts. She is owned by Jesse DeLong and Tabatha Canarr, and Trained by Justin Anfinson, this was his third training win on the night, as he swept the first 3 races, also winning with Just Blitzed (Nick Roland) in race 2 in 1:59.2, paying $3.00 The $11,000 Open Handicap Pace was the Sunday night Feature, and it was a thrilling contest, with Ideal Art (Steve Wiseman) charging off the gate to the early lead, then yielding to TheBestofJoel (Tim Maier) past the 27.1 quarter. The lineup remained that way through the next two splits of 56.1 and 1:24.3, before the cavalry came charging down the lane … when the dust settled it was OfficerNaGentelman (Brian Detgen) who pushed his head to the front at the wire, besting a hard charging Bettor In The Bank (Dean Magee), with Ideal Art holding third and TheBestofJoel home in fourth, in the 1:53.2 mile. It was the tenth win in 25 starts this year for the 8 year old gelding by Royal Mattjesty, and pushed his seasonal bankroll to $47,875 for his owners A Piece of The Action, LLC and Trainer Tim Maier. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tueday night, June 28 at 6:00 pm CDT. Darin Gagne

Scarborough, Maine (June 26, 2016) ... Dan Deslandes, a 23-year-old state of Maine native, recorded the 500th driving win of his career on Sunday (6/26), keeping the harness racing rookie pacer Golden Tree brave on the lead and holding off a finish line onslaught to reach the milestone victory at Scarborough Downs. Golden Tree was the very same pacer with which Deslandes gained his 499th career score just six days earlier at Bangor Raceway, and despite 20 winless drives sandwiched around the pair, the wait certainly seemed worth the bother, in order to secure the landmark win in rein to such an up-and-coming colt. Deslandes, who has called Scarborough Downs and the New England circuit home in recent years, learned his trade on the backstretch of Saratoga Raceway as a teenager, where he jogged for his father while earning a reputation of responsibility as an in-demand warm up option on race nights. Simultaneously, the aspiring driver was putting in his required time in the morning qualifying events at the SpaCity oval in order to be in position to earn his provisional drivers license immediately upon turning 18 years of age. Once elevated to "P" status, he wasted precious little time in finding the winners circle for the very first time, teaming Miss McIvor N down Saratoga's Victory Lane in August of 2010. Deslandes currently resides in fourth place in the standing of Scarborough Downs drivers colony with 31 seasonal wins; and with the man in red and green colors trailing only the likes of Eddie Davis, Jr., Drew Campbell and Kevin Switzer, Jr. - That's pretty good company to keep. Scarborough Downs features live harness racing with twilight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 4:30 PM (EDT). The Sunday matinees get underway at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

HAMBURG, N.Y. ---Smalltownthrowdown threw down the gauntlet early and held on late to win his $61,300 leg of the New York Sire Stakes for the harness racing 3-year-old trotting colt and geldings in a track record 1:56.2 at steamy Buffalo Raceway Sunday afternoon (June 26).   The previous record for 3-year-old trotting colts was 1:56.4 established in 2014 by Cash Me Out.   In the other division, The Royal Harry led every step of the mile and beat Crazycat by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:59.4 over the fast track.   Smalltownthrowdown opened up a commanding six length lead to the quarter pole and was cruising, maintaining a two length cushion turning for home the final time.   But after putting up splits of 29.2, 59.0 and 1:28.0, Smalltownthrowdown ended up beckoning for the finish line and held on for a diminishing half length victory over the never-say-die Drazzmatazz (Francisco Del Cid). Do The Deal (Ake Svanstedt) managed to take third.   "He's good on a half-mile track," driver Dan Daley said of Smalltownthrowdown. "The main thing was getting around the turns here and getting to the lead. That was key."   The relieved Daley smiled when asked about the close finish saying, "He flattened out a little bit in the end but he got the job done."   It was the third victory in eight starts this season for Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Me Out-Ann's Promise) and moved the Daley-trainee's earnings to $73,108 in 2016 and $195,073 lifetime.   The Royal Harry also went to the winner's circle in coast-to-coast fashion in the first division with a relatively comfortable decision over Crazycat (Drew Monti).   Setting fractions of 28.4, 59.2 and 1:30.0, The Royal Harry seemed worry-free in the stretch run but driver Svanstedt said there was an anxious moment. "I thought he was going to break stride in the lane but he got himself back before he did."   Crazycat made a brief rally in passing lane and settled for second while A Jersey Contract (Jim Morrill Jr.) took third.   Co-owned by Michael and William Pozefsky and trained by Svanstedt, The Royal Harry (RC Royalty-Wilsonator) now has two victories in four attempts in 2016. The win sent his seasonal earnings to $65,624 and $79,254 lifetime.   In the $15,000 Excelsior A Series, Reasinforpleasin ($6.60) turned in the fastest time with 2:01.2 with Kevin Cummings in the sulky while Morrill Jr. guided Boxall ($4.60) to a 2:01.3 victory.   Chargin Cadet (Ray Schnittker) took a $6,500 division of the Excelsior B Series with a 2:03.1 time and Thanks For Playin (Chris Lems) got the job done in 2:03.3 in the other leg.   Robert Davis took both divisions of the C.K.G Billings Amateur Driving Series as he steered Christina Victory ($3.50) and Goddess's Justin ($5.30) to wins.   Morrill Jr. finished with a double as well while Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin had two victories.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 12 race card set. The New York Sire Stakes returns once again with the 2-year-old trotting fillies highlighting the program.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob ($4.10) made all the pace en route to a 1:51.1 harness racing triumph in Sunday (June 26) afternoon's $11,000 Open 1 Pace at Tioga Downs, holding off a belated rally from the rising Andreios Kardia to prevail at even money.    Mike Simons wasted no time with the 8-year-old Beach Romeo gelding, sprinting clear of Theseyesrcrying (Justin Huckabone) through a :26.3 first quarter. Believe This Bob would escape pressure through splits of :55 and 1:22.2, maintaining an uncontested lead and accelerating clear on the backstretch.   His biggest threat would come from the second-over Andreios Kardia (Aaron Byron), who circled three-wide in the final three-sixteenths of the mile as the first-over P L Idaho (Dan Clements) weakened after only mild gains.   The :27.2 third quarter was enough for Believe This Bob to keep the other seven at bay, as he held off Andreios Kardia by three-quarters of a length. Knocking Around (John Cummings, Jr.) rallied from a rearward trip to take third, and Theseyesarecrying faded to fourth from his pocket trip. Mike Simons   Joe Skowyra trains Believe This Bob, now a 35-time winner.   In addition to Believe This Bob, Simons teamed up with Big Jer ($2.30, 1:52.3) and Lucky Man ($3.10, 1:53.2) to lead all drivers with three wins on the 11-race card.   The Tompkins-Geers Stakes headline Week 9 at Tioga Downs, with 3-year-old trotters taking the spotlight on Friday (July 1) evening. Post time is slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Just Make Believe (Kadabra) scored his second harness racing victory in the last three weeks as the John DiStefano trainee went coast to coast in Sunday's $15,000 feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Jimmy Devaux piloted the six year old trotter in the 1 1/16 mile Open and moved him out to the lead after an opening quarter of 27.1. Just Make Believe got a bit of a breather in the middle half but braced for the late surge from the race's favorite Boli who came charging hard in the final quarter. Boli's move was too little too late as he ended up second best to Just Make Believe who covered the 1 1/16 miles in 2:02.4. Boli was the runner up for the second consecutive time while Stirling Cadet (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Just Make Believe, who returned $7.40 to win on Sunday, scored for the fifth time in his last seven starts. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with a 4:00pm first post. Mike Sardella

This is just a picture of the freezefame at the end of Pocono's harness racing replay for race 11 last night.   You can see it by watching the replay of Always Be Miki's race last night here    See where it says "Stream has ended" at the top of the picture?   Just a fluke -- a fan watching a replay, and a technological accident/miracle occurs.        

(June 26, 2016) - In an abbreviated set on Friday night, Rusty Nash came out the weekly winner in the 2016 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. While Nash was the weekly leader, it was the same old same old as Jay Hochstetler remains in front with a total of 665.3 points; 65.68 points over second place Russ Adams. With the AJ Cutler Memorial being the featured race for the week coupled with the supplemental F-M Open Handicap Pace each won by heavy favorites, there was no movement in the overall standings but Nash came out on top earning 21.75 points as he played a pair of sevens; tabbing Resolve ($4.20) in the Cutler and Medusa ($3.00) in the Open tilt. The only handicapper who came close to Nash for the week was Dennis O'Hara whose 17.4 points was good enough for second place for the week. Mark Deutsch edged out three other handicappers for the show position with 11 points. Here are the standings after this weekend’s racing action: June 24 2016 - Leg #25 Pos Handicapper Total Points Prior Week Points Earned This Week Overall Total Points Position Last Week Points Back 1st Jay Hochstetler 655.90 9.40 665.30 1st - 2nd Russ Adams 589.23 10.40 599.63 2nd           65.68 3rd Mark Deutsch 503.25 11.00 514.25 3rd         151.05 4th Rusty Nash 485.28 21.75 507.03 4th         158.28 5th Dennis O'Hara 482.65 17.40 500.05 5th         165.25 6th Anne Stepien 468.23 6.00 474.23 6th         191.08 7th Gordon Waterstone 460.58 7.40 467.98 7th         197.33 8th Adam Friedland 457.50 9.40 466.90 8th         198.40 9th Matt Rose 434.43 10.40 444.83 9th         220.48 10th Ray Cotolo 407.58 3.60 411.18 10th         254.13 11th Bryan Owen 393.10 8.00 401.10 11th         264.20 12th Ray Garnett 363.33 7.40 370.73 12th         294.58 13th Sally Hinckley 344.70 10.40 355.10 13th         310.20 14th Joe Bengston 328.90 7.40 336.30 14th         329.00 15th Michael Carter 326.58 0.00 326.58 15th         338.73 With the holiday weekend almost upon us, there will be plenty of racing action for the handicappers to consider.  On Friday, July 1, the handicappers will be matching wits on the Tompkins-Geers for three-year-old trotters of both sexes at Tioga Downs while Mohawk Racetrack closes out the Friday night action with a leg of the Miss Versatility Trot.   Saturday night is a power-filled set of races with the Sun Stakes (Hempt, Lynch, and Beal Memorials; Ben Franklin) at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs with Northfield Park hosting the Cleveland Trotting Classic.  With a day off on Sunday, the action resumes on Independence Day as Tioga Downs hosts the Tompkins-Geers for three-year-old pacers of both sexes. For further information regarding the handicapping challenge, visit HANA Harness’ contest website, where you will find the handicappers’ selections and results, updated standings, as well a schedule of upcoming contest races.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator   Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 25, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway had its harness racing version of Old Home Week Saturday night... ...provided "Old Home" was Chicago. All that was missing was deep-dish pizza and Oprah. Tony Morgan-making his first Westchester appearance since September of 2012-and Brent Holland each had three wins during the dozen-race card. Morgan, he of the 15,400-plus career victories, earned a place in the local record books when pole-sitting Go Daddy Go ($13) won the $30,000 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace in a spiffy 1:50.1. The Ponder gelding, co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Bruce Soulsby, became the fourth member of the all-age-track-record club, joining Crombie A, Forty Five Red and Limelight Beach. It was also the swiftest local mile of the season. Morgan also won the co-featured $45,000 Open Pace with favored Doctor Butch ($5.30) in 1:51.2, and the $26,000, 11th race trot with a left-alone Major Athens ($4.10) in 1:53.3. That effort matched the fastest Westchester trot mile of the season with E R Ellie. Connecting the dots, "Ellie" (Larry Stalbaum, $14.40) won the co-featured $45,000 Open Handicap Trot from the pocket in 1:55. As for Holland, he upset the apple cart with American Venture ($57) in the $18,000, second-race pace (1:52), then escorted Mah Sish N ($9) in the $18,000, third-race pace. The Holland Hat Trick was completed with Moonliteonthebeach ($23.80) was a first-up winner in the $26,500 pacing finale (1:52.2). Frank Drucker

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