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Mistresswithmuscle (Muscle Hill-Nicole's Promise) was sent off at less than even-money in the $5,100 harness racing featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday night and she rewarded the faith of the betting public with a three-length victory in 1:55.4.   Mistresswithmuscle (Chris Lems) languished in mid-pack throughout the opening quarter of :27.1 while Laettner (Fern Paquet Jr.) led the way. She then moved aggressively once the field moved past the half-mile mark in :57.3 and took the lead on the far turn. From there, she led past three-quarters in 1:26.1 and went on to an easy victory.   Laettner actually rallied nicely after falling back through the field after holding the early lead to get second. Winbak Meadow (Roman Lopez) finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Mistresswithmuscle, Laettner, Winbak Meadow, Ilari, North Bay Hanover, Ski To The Max, Eightyfive Pop, and Makes Me Crazy.   Mistresswithmuscle is owned by Stephen Farrell of Ocala, Florida and trained by George Ducharme.   It proved to be an interesting evening of racing at Vernon Downs on Friday in one respect. Through the first eleven races on the 13-race card, there were eleven different winning drivers. The only repeat winner of the evening ended up being Dan Daley, who won the eighth race with No Bad Dreams after being caught three-wide on the far turn and the twelfth race with Daley Lovin by a three-length margin. When Jimmy Whittemore won the last race with Steuben Rudy, it meant that there were twelve different winning drivers in thirteen races.   Live racing resumes on Saturday night with a 13-race program that includes eight New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series races with purses totaling $360,000. First post time on Saturday at Vernon Downs is 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Hallin Cash (Cash Hall) scored a wire to wire win in the $8,000 trotting feature on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The six-year-old trotter prevailed last Friday night behind a first over journey and despite stepping up in class was the race's 8-5 favorite while looking to repeat in the conditional trotting race. The Frank Fiero-trained trotter moved right out to the early lead for reinsman Frank Coppola Jr.and never faced an anxious moment before wiring the field in 1:58.1 on a chilly but pleasant night in Saratoga. Mr Jesse (Brian Cross) followed the winner every step of the way before finishing second while Goldstar Classic (Wally Hennessey) earned the show spot in a race that wasn't very kind to the closers. For Hallin Cash it was the fourth win of the season. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 19, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps-one for distaff pacers and one for trotters of any make or model--were won by Campanile (Tyler Buter, $10.40) and Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland, $26.80). Unhurried from post position No. 6, Campanile saw Set Me Up (George Brennan) lead the conga line through early intervals of :28.2 and :56.3. Virgin Mary (Eric Goodell) was pocketed from the pole, while slight 2-1 choice Scandalous Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was first-up from fifth. Chasing that was Campanile as Set Me Up remained an unpressured leader in and out of a 1:24.2 three-quarters. Set Me Up owned a length lead into the lane, but was about to drop anchor. Scandalous Hanover went by first, then Campanile went by last. The latter whipped the former by a length in 1:52.2. Last week's victress, Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears), rallied for third here with Crazy on You (Holland) and a tiring Set Me Up completing the cashers. For fourth choice Campanile, a 5-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended trained by Allan Johnson for owner Michael Casalino Jr., it was her eighth win in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $49.40, with the triple returning $182. The week's marquee trot saw Lorenzo Dream-banished behind the eight-ball-make short work of that inconvenience. Vaulting to immediate command, he was a lonely leader through sub-stations of :28, :57.2, 1:26.3 and 1:55.3. Up four lengths turning for home, and with pocket-sitting longshot Neighsay Hanover (Jordan Stratton) and a first-up, 17-10 fave Backstreet Hanover (Bartlett) both doing nothing, "Lorenzo's" final margin was three lengths. The Triple Lindy (Eric Carlson) found room late to grab second, with Zooming (Buter), Backstreet Hanover and Rossini (Dan Dube) settling for the small change. For sixth choice Lorenzo Dream a 7-year-old Taurus Dream gelding owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Julie Miller, he's now 8-for-25 this season. The exacta paid $626, the triple returned $1,683 and the superfecta paid $15,476 (base two-dollar wager). Note that since no one hit Friday's Pick 5, Saturday night's gimmick begins with a $3,363.16 carryover. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager (races 5 through 9). Over the past number of years, employees and staff from Empire City, Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York have visited the Food Bank For Westchester in nearby Elmsford, helping out with the fine work of that organization. Friday night, the folks from Food Bank returned the favor, visiting Yonkers to enjoy dinner, a night at the races....and to receive a donation. The Raceway and the SOA made a contribution to the Food Bank, which goes toward feeding the hungry throughout the county of Westchester. "Yonkers is pleased to assist such a worthy cause," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. "So many of our employees generously donate their time every time we visit. Anything we can do to help, it's our pleasure." "We have had tremendous support from horsemen and owners throughout our organization," SOA of New York president Joe Faraldo said. "Many of Yonkers' leading drivers have been to the Food Bank to lend a hand and see what this organization does." For more information, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Batavia, NY---After watching the proceedings from last for a half, noted closer BZ Glide swooped the field for the third time in the last four weeks to take the featured $9,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 19). Even money post-time favorite Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) did what he does best and blasted to the front in :28 flat. But just as soon as he settled, Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) had pulled from fifth and was floating up the outside. As they passed the half in :57.1, Morrill's charge sputtered but the cavalry was right behind. Sack Full Of Gold (Michael Whelan) was rolling up the rim and Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) and BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) had tipped three-high and were barreling. Around the entire last turn, Lutetium, Justgottogetthere and BZ Glide were three deep from the rail out. But when they hit the head of the lane, BZ Glide became a man among boys and put away the competition under a hand-drive from Caprio. BZ Glide won by a length in 1:56.4 which was a seasonal mark for the Yankee Glide gelding and also matched his lifetime mark set last year. The winner returned $10.40. Justgottogetthere hung on for second and Serious George (Jack Flanigen) was third. It was the seventh win in 18 starts for BZ Glide and the victory topped off his 2014 bank at $52,105 for owner Mike Caprio. BZ Glide is trained by Alana Caprio. Driver Kevin Cummings scored another driving triple on the night while Jim Morrill Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. both tallied doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 20) with a 6:35 post. Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 19, 2014 - Hoosier Park will offer arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live harness racing season to-date on Saturday, September 20. Grand Circuit racing action will make its way to Hoosier Park for the second time this season and with it, bring the top rated horses in North America to Hoosier Park as they convene on the seven-eighths mile oval in search of the lucrative purses offered on the card beginning at 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park will host a standout card that includes the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $150,000 Elevation Pace and the $50,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Invitational Pace. The world's fastest trotter, Sebastian K will highlight a powerful field of ten for Hoosier Park's richest trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic which has been slated as the twelfth race on the 14-race card. Fresh off his win in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot, Sebastian K has won eight of nine outings this year with a career bankroll of over $2.9 million and will start from post six with driver, trainer Ake Svenstadt at the lines. Joining the stellar cast of entrants in The Centaur Trotting Classic will be Hambletonian Winner, Market Share who has drawn the coveted rail position. The winner of last year's edition of the Centaur Trotting Classic and Hoosier Park's current track record holder for older horses on the trot, Uncle Peter will start from post seven. "I am overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of exceptional horses that are coming to Hoosier Park," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager or Racing, Rick Moore noted. "This is unequivocally the best harness racing card to take place at Hoosier Park this season and we couldn't be more excited to showcase this night of nights to racing fans across the country." In a continued partnership with Hoosier Park, HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will provide exclusive coverage for all the Grand Circuit racing action on Saturday. HRTV will be on property to provide racing fans with exclusive coverage of all the festivities happening on and off the race track. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park on the HRTV programming. In conjunction with all the action taking place on the track, Hoosier Park will host the inaugural "Food Truck Throwdown" in Hoosier Park's yard. Starting at 5 p.m., racing fans will have the opportunity to select from a variety of the best food trucks in the area and local craft beers. The Food Truck Throwdown ticket package costs $20 and includes: $10 food truck voucher, 16 oz. Dan Patch mug, two craft beer pints, and a mystery racing voucher that could be worth up to $1,000. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Madison County United Way. Racing fans will also have the opportunity to enjoy the annual FarmTastic event, a farm themed and family friendly day at the races. The event will feature an antique tractor exhibit, a tractor parade, children's activities and farm food favorites. Free sweet corn and watermelon will be available while supplies last. Hoosier Park's stakes filled 14-race card will begin at its regularly scheduled post of 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park's live racing action will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 19, 2014 - Four two-year-old trotting fillies hit the wire together, and it took the photo finish to award a victory in the $7,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Green Acres to Contraire in the sixth race on Friday, September 19, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Contraire [$6.00], with Ake Svandstedt driving, slipped up the rail to win by a nose over four-wide Model Behavior in 2:01.2. Both are daughters of Muscles Yankee. It was a head back to 9-5 Demons N Diamonds [Muscle Hill] in third and a neck to pacesetting Prinsessa [Muscle Hill] in fourth. Contraire picked up her second win in her fifth start of the year. The Glenn Bailey trainee races in the name of Irony Alliance LLC of Gansevoort, NY. In a non-wagering $7,000 Green Acres for three-year-old trotting fillies, Shelikescandy [Chocolatier] was a length and a quarter winner over Coin Collection [Chocolatier] in 1:59.2. Revergreen [Revenue] broke stride and was a distanced third. Shelikescandy has now won two in a row and three of 14 starts this year. Driven by Steve Smith, she is trained by Dawn Anderson. Her owner is George Beck of Freehold, NJ for whom she has won just shy of $50,000 lifetime. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

Columbus, OH --- Anthony J. "Tony Mac" McDermott, 86, died Sept. 17, 2014. He was the father of two top harness racing trainers, John and Kevin McDermott. Mr. McDermott was born in Longford, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States in 1958. He lived in Kearny, N.J., for 40 years before moving to Toms River, then to Keyport. He was a bar manager at Dick O'Leary's in East Rutherford. Previously he was the bar manager at Teddy's Cocktail Lounge in Kearny for many years. Mr. McDermott loved golf, gaelic football and Standardbreds. His sons, John and Kevin, are trainers in New Jersey. He is survived by his wife, Norah (nee Kane); daughters, Maureen (John) Hansen and Eileen (Ernest) Armitage; sons, John (Nancy) and Kevin (Sheri); sister, Veronica (John) Cappelo; grandchildren, Shannon, Caitlin, John Jr., Ernest, Kane, Keely, Mary, Eilish, Liam, Kyla and Jessica; and his dog, Bigelow. The funeral will be from the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, on Saturday (Sept. 20) at 10 a.m. A funeral mass will be offered at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Visiting will be on Friday (Sept. 19) from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. From the USTA Communications Department

Trenton, NJ --- For most of her life, the extent of Shelley Johnson’s photography featured holiday and vacation photos, much like the rest of the world. About 10 years ago, her husband Jeff surprised Shelley with a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas, in hopes that nine months later she would be able to take sharp action photographs at the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. “I’m not sure what Jeff was thinking,” said Johnson, who lives 35 miles east of Columbus, Ohio. “I had never taken action shots. I took it as a challenge.” Jeff must have known something no one else did, because the challenge has been well met. A decade later, most of the cover photos on Scioto Downs programs are taken by Shelley, who has developed an eye for action and just this week enjoyed shooting another Little Brown Jug. But her efforts in photography go beyond the racetrack. She also shoots photographs for the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, which has Standardbred facilities in Ohio and Michigan. “I find great joy shooting photos of Standardbred horses retiring from the track and moving on to other careers,” she said. “New Vocations retrains Standardbred racehorses for various occupations under saddle and places them in new, caring homes. Each month I photograph these great horses going up for adoption. This is my way of promoting harness racing and helping the Standardbred horse adoption program.” While Jeff is the big horseman in the family, he did provide Shelley with a birthday present when he bought her a horse for her birthday named Master Chip in 2005. But it wasn’t like she just had to unwrap the horse at the stable. “I had to do all of my own bidding at the (Ohio Selected Jug) sale,” she said. “I had never been to an auction, let alone bid on anything. It was quite stressful. He didn't do much on the track, but I sure loved him. He has a good home now and enjoys life.” The Johnsons have also partnered with other owners on trotting fillies She’s Not Red and ML Cupcake, who are both broodmares now. They still have ML Cupcake, who was Ohio’s 2-year-old filly Trotter of the Year in 2010. “I can't wait until next spring to see her baby,” Shelley said. They also have a 2-year-old filly trotter, Carolina Charm, who has won four of six starts this season. “The racing was always Jeff's thing,” Shelley noted. “He knows horses, stallions, etc. I only enjoyed watching the races if it was a horse I knew. That's when I started taking pictures. It gave me something to do, and he was able to stay for the entire card without me wanting to go home!” It has led to a long, steady climb for the Ohio retiree who is technically a professional photographer by virtue of her sales, but still considers it a hobby. After receiving that first camera, she experimented on her feathered friends before horses, taking photos of birds at the feeder outside the dining room window. When she and Jeff bought their first horse, Shelley would try to capture him in action at the track. When she shot the Jug, it became a bit tougher as horses trying to win races traveled a lot faster than those being jogged and trained. “I took pictures, but they didn’t really turn out,” she said. Johnson kept plugging away. She took online classes for nature photography and equine photography. Neither dealt with shooting actual race action, but did help in the process. “I learned a lot about headshots and conformation shots in the equine class,” she said. “Also the proper distance to avoid distortion in the photos.” She also put in countless hours practicing at the farm of her friend Doris, who jogged and trained her own horses and taught Shelley a lot about the animals. But all the practice and all the talent in the world can only get a photographer so far without the right equipment. As her interest increased, so too did the quality of Shelley’s cameras. The big turnaround in her photos came several years ago when Jeff bought his wife a professional grade lens. “That’s made a huge difference,” Johnson said. “He even said if he had known the lens would make that much difference, he would have gotten it for me sooner.” She knew she arrived as a photographer when Scioto Downs made her a cover girl two years ago. “At that point,” she said, “I guess I thought, hey, I got this!” The monumental first cover came on June 21, 2012, with a photo of the entire field of a race on the starting gate, and an Ohio Lottery billboard behind them proclaiming “Winners Are Everywhere.” “It felt amazing to see it,” Johnson said. Aside from the program covers, she has had several photos in magazines by virtue of New Vocations using them. A week ago, Johnson was thrilled to see that one of her photos was used on the Scioto Downs billboard out front. She has discovered that she gets her finest results when not focusing on anything in particular. “I do my best when I just shoot random, with no pressure,” she said. “If I get it, OK. If I don't, OK. I will try to focus on a certain horse in a race if someone wants me to get a picture of their horse. That's hard though. The horse isn't always in view.” And as good as she has become, Johnson still feels the biggest key to her success “is probably just good luck.” “Most of the time I single-shoot the pictures,” she explained. “My camera doesn't shoot enough frames per second to use continuous mode. If I try to shoot in continuous mode and the horse has its foot planted on the track, it usually ends up planted in all of the shots. I like to try for shots with all four off the ground.” As for attempting to choose her favorite photo, Shelley said it’s like trying to pick a favorite child. She notes that when so many photos do not come out, “whenever I get one that I think looks good, I’m happy.” Judging by her success in recent years, Shelley Johnson has had quite a bit of happiness lately. To view Shelly Johnson’s work, check out her website at www.sfjohnsonphotos.com by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent  Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom    

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 19, 2014 -- Visible Gold strolled through a leisurely front half on the lead, then blitzed the back half in 54.2 to capture Friday's harness racing $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. When Dave Palone was able to give Visible Gold fractions of 28/58, the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight -Gabrielle gelding had plenty in the tank to roll home in 1:52.2, 3/4 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Exactly Black. Major Belle raced well first over for show. Ron Burke trains Visible Gold, who has won 10 races this year and $323,444 in his career, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Palone drove six winners -- three for Burke -- on the 15-race card while Aaron Merriman enjoyed a four-bagger. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

It's been almost 20 years since the International Trot was last run at Yonkers Raceway, but it's back and may be better than ever before.   With a probable field including world record holder Sebastian K, along with the 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share, the 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, the 37th running of the $250,000 International Trot will be a must race to see at Yonkers Raceway on Oct. 25.   "The timing seems right to bring it back," said Bob Galterio, the vice president and chief operating officer of Yonkers. "This year, with so many good American trotters and a couple from overseas the time just seems to be right."   When last run in 1995, it was Sweden's His Majesty who took the International Trot over S.J.'s Photo and Panifesto, both American trotters, and this year Sweden looks well represented by Sebastian K. "Of course it means a lot," said Bjorn (Bernie) Noren, the assistant to trainer Ake Svanstedt for Sweden's Sebastian K. "It's a big event for Europeans and it should be a big race getting all the good trotters together from overseas."   His Majesty - 1995 International Trot   Linda Toscano, trainer of Market Share, grew up at Roosevelt Raceway, where the International Trot was conducted from its inception in 1959 until 1988.   "I come from Roosevelt and one of the highlights I looked forward to was seeing the other horses coming from the other countries to compete in the International," Toscano said. "I think it's a real cool thing that they revived it."   The International Trot will be run along with the Messenger Stakes and the Yonkers Trot that evening, making for a super night of racing at the Old Hilltop.   "We're very excited about that evening," Galterio said. "It should be a great night of racing and we're looking forward to it."   · Yonkers Raceway hopes to keep the international flavor going on Sundays, beginning on Nov. 9 through Dec. 14, when it will host an all trotting card that will be simulcast to Europe starting with an 11 a.m. first post.   The track will offer fans many promotions for the special Sunday cards. More details about the promotions will be available as the time draws closer.   By Jerry Bossert

$154,150 Trot Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 2nd race SATURDAY – This is a tough call as you never know how young filly trotters will race. And so I am going with the class of the field in Speak To Me. She has been super consistent this season and hails from Jimmy Takter Stable. Use Gatka Hanover and Gold Cora in exotic plays. $154,400 Trot Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 4th race SATURDAY – Despite having just one win in eight starts this year I am going with Smexi. She never makes breaks, has the rail and has been game all season long. Use Livinthefastlane and Sweet Hana in exotic plays. $266,000 Pace Milton Final Older Mares Mohawk 7th race SATURDAY – Classic final with many of the top older mares in the sport going to post. I like Krispy Apple as draws well, has won her last two starts in this company both on and off the pace and if need be can wire the field as she did two starts back in 1:48.4. Use Yagonnakissmeornot and Anndrovette in exotic plays. $153,200 Pace Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 9th race SATURDAY – With more than three times the purse earnings of anyone else in the field you have to go with Southwind Roulette. She comes into the race on a four-race winning streak and should not be beaten. Use She’s A Hot Mess and Cashaway in exotic plays. $151,950 Pace Kentuckiana 2yo Fillies Hoosier Park 11th race SATURDAY – Fans will get to see a filly in here who is the leading contender for Horse of the Year honors in her division. JK She’salady has the breeding and ability to be a world champion. She is undefeated in six starts and will lay over this field with her great pacing speed. Use Bedroomconfessions and Mr Leland’s Filly in exotic plays. $238,500 Trot Centaur Classic FFA Hoosier Park 12th race SATURDAY – The last time Sebastian K took this much time off he came back and nearly set a world record. Super class trotter should be able to toy with this field and put on a great race for Hoosier fans who should be flocking to the track to see this world champion perform. Use Market Share and Uncle Peter in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Prix D’ete 4YO Hippodrome 3R 9 th race SUNDAY – What a great match-up for the revival of the Prix D’ete, one of Canada’s premier events for many years. So tough to make a firm pick. Yannick Gingras comes back to his home track and after his impressive victory in the Little Brown Jug I think he can overcome starting from post 8 with Sunfire Blue Chip. He is on a four-race winning streak and has overcome starting this far out before. Use Mach It So and Lucan Hanover in exotic plays.

Veteran harness racing horseman Todd Warren joined another rank of elite reinsmen to reach the 4,000 mark in career driving victories on Thursday, September 18th at Maywood Park when the Beecher, IL resident guided the three-year-old pacing filly Stage Star to a decisive 5 ¼ length victory in Maywood Park's 10th race. The milestone victory was part of a big five win night for the 49-year-old veteran of the Illinois circuit.   Born in Mattoon, IL on New Year's Day, 1965 Warren was introduced to the sport at an early age by his father and embarked on his driving career on the county fair circuit in 1981.   Like a fine wine, Warren has been getting better with age, notching more than 200 driving victories in five of the past seven years in the bike. The career winner of $17.7 in purse earnings while in the bike has also been doing "double duty" as a trainer, posting an amazing U.T.R.S. of more than .300 in all but one year dating back to 2000 with 875 career training victories.   "It makes for some very long days like today (Sept.18)," said Warren. "I started training horses before 8 a.m. this morning, caught a quick break and some lunch before shipping to Maywood with my horses. Now after getting these horses put away and back home it will be at least 1 a.m. so it makes for a pretty quick turnaround. But I'm not complaining. If I don't have that kind of workload I get a little bored really."   When asked if he knew that he was getting close to reaching another milestone the superstious Warren was quick to "tune-out" to his impending mark.   "I had heard from a trainer or two that I was getting close to the mark," he said. "But after winning the first two on Thursday night and not hearing anything else it just sort of left my mind. The next thing I know I won with Stage Star and here comes everybody down to the winner's circle and the sign comes out. It was really a great feeling I have to say."   Tom Kelley

LEXINGTON, KY-- A trio of divisions for round four of the Kindergarten Classic Series were held at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18, with 24 freshmen colts entered on the late stages of the weekday harness racing card. First-time starter Whataworkout defeated 1/5 favorite Airman Batten in a 1:56.4 gate-to-wire effort.   Keystone Bodacious made a bid for the front, as well as Suit And Tie to the inside and Whataworkout taking the outer route towards the top. Keystone Bodacious broke as they began to turn, taking Suit And Tie out of contention, as well as impeding Airman Batten, causing him to run for a moment. Whataworkout trotted to the quarter in :30.1.   Strolling to a 1:00 (:29.4) half-mile, Whataworkout soon had Airman Batten challenging for command. True Blue Stride sat In The Pocket third and Whom Shall I Fear tracked the favorite's move from fourth. Stalled first over, Airman Batten remained 1 ½ lengths off leader Whataworkout through three-quarters in 1:28.4 (:28.4).   Whataworkout began to extend his stride into the final eighth. Airman Batten backed into the pocket, admitting defeat to 48-1 Whataworkout in 1:56.4. Whom Shall I Fear finished third and True Blue Stride, galloping into the stretch, recovered his stride to finish fourth.   A $99.60 winner, Whataworkout is owned by Lindy Farms, trained by Frank Antonacci and was driven by Domenico Cecere. Sired by Muscle Hill, out of the Chocolatier mare Southwind Sofia, the 1:56.4 effort is a lifetime and season best.   French Laundry, sent off the 1-2 favorite, won by lengths in 1:54.4.   Special Action left from the center, with Image Of Luck sliding into the pocket, and French Laundry opted for the overland route as they rolled into the turn. Special Action had a slight advantage over French Laundry through a :29.3 quarter.   Clearing the lead in the backstretch, French Laundry coasted his way to the half, with Special Action now second, Image Of Luck third and P Mac Attack trotting fourth, nearly 5 lengths off the lead. French Laundry traveled past the half in :57.2 (:27.4) and three-quarters in 1:26.1 (:28.4).   P Mac Attack took to the outside after French Laundry, while Special Action and Image Of Luck continued to chase. Under minimal urging, French Laundry drew clear of his foes and won by 5 lengths in 1:54.4 (:28.3) over Special Action, Lucky Ten K and P Mac Attack.   Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, and trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, the son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall paid $3.00 to win.   Wicker Hanover, victorious in the third leg of the Kindergarten, returned to Lexington and claimed victory in the final division of the Kindergarten in 1:57.   Bighandsbiggloves got the lead, while Divisionist sat the pocket, Dapper Don trotted third and Boots N Chains stalked from fourth. The front quartet remained in that line-up through fractions of :29.1 and :59.2 (:30.1).   Boots N Chains pulled first over and engaged with Bighandsbiggloves for command. Wicker Hanover traveled second over while Divisionist sat the pocket.   After three-quarters in 1:29.3 (:30.1), Boots N Chains had a slight lead. Wicker Hanover fanned three wide, while Divisionist attempted to split horses. Wicker Hanover, in the final sixteenth, swept by Boots N Chains and won by a half-length in 1:57 (:27.2) over Boots N Chains, Divisionist and Bighandsbiggloves.   Owned by Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable, the son of Explosive Matter-Won An Done-Conway Hall is trained by Noel Daley and was driven by Kyle Bolon. He returned $6.40 to win.   French Laundry remains on top of the leader with 162 points. Wicker Hanover moved into second with 100 points and Airman Batten is third with 75 points.   Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen filly trotters gathered for four divisions of the Kindergarten Classic Series at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18. The fourth preliminary of the harness racing series attracted 38 contestants for purses totaling to $40,000. Allerage Star, despite galloping at the start, recovered nearly 13 lengths to weave past rivals and get a nose in front of Saturday Mornings and Cocoacabana in 1:56.2.   Cocoacabana was the pacesetter with Sweet Thing and Fly Angel Fly sitting behind. She set fractions of :29.1 and :57.4 (:28.3). Challenged around the far turn by Sweet Thing, Cocoacabana remained in control as the backfield approached. Fanning three wide came Fly Angel Fly, with Lady Winona four wide and Saturday Mornings five wide.   After a 1:27.3 (:29.4) third-quarter, Saturday Mornings rallied down the center of the course, while Allerage Star strolled onto the scene from in-between horses. Cocoacabana battled Allerage Star and Saturday Mornings up to the finish, where Allerage Star got a nose in front, going a mile in 1:56.2 (:28.4).   Returning $3.20 to win, the daughter of Angus Hall-Starry Eyed-Muscles Yankee is owned by Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, A. Geiger and D. Stolz, trained by Jessica Okusko and Corey Callahan was aboard.   Lilu Hanover rebounded after failing as the favorite in last week's prelim with a 1:55.3 victory over 24-1 Annaliina.   Scott Zeron piloted Lilu Hanover to the front, while Aarena Hanover gunned for the pocket from post 10. Lilu Hanover set a opening quarter of :27.4. She remained uncontested through a :57.3 (:29.4) half.   Rules Of The Road was flushed first over entering the far turn, with Annaliina drafting 2 ¾ lengths off the lead. Rules Of The Road remained at Lilu Hanover's throat through a 1:27 (:28.2) third-quarter.   Kicking to a 2-length lead into the stretch, Lilu Hanover kept to her task as Annaliina gradually progressed towards the leader. Starting her bid a few yards too late, Lilu Hanover had a neck advantage at the wire over Annaliina, with Waiting Room and Lady Clarabella rounding out the top four respectively.   Owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, the daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail paid $5.00 to win.   Sarcy, upon brushing to the top after the first quarter, led the field to the finish in 1:55.3.   Bright Baby Blues swept across the track to claim command around the first turn, while Josie's Joy sat the pocket and Sarcy trotted third. After a :28.2 quarter, Jimmy Takter pulled Sarcy two wide to claim command before three-eighths. She was uncontested at the half, timed in :57.1 (:28.4).   Sarcy remained unchallenged around the far turn. Bright Baby Blues, stalking from the pocket, tipped first over at three-quarters, with Josie's Joy and Armatrading tracking her move. Timed in 1:26.1 (:29), Sarcy remained in control. Despite bids from Bright Baby Blues, Josie's Joy, Armatrading and Fashion Lover in the late stages of the mile, Sarcy held command and sailed to a 1:55.3 (:29.2) victory; Fashion Lover finished second, Armatrading was third and Josie's Joy was fourth. Sarcy, sent off the second choice, is owned by Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding and trained by Jimmy Takter. The Donato Hanover-Southwind Allaire-Valley Victory daughter paid $7.20 to win. Bee The Queen, entering off a 30-1 upset in the Kindergarten last week, was victorious at odds of 1/5 in 1:56.1. Catherine's Melody showed early speed, while Bee The Queen floated towards the front, and Bright Eyes sat behind in third. The opening quarter was timed in :29.3. Bee The Queen made her move before the half, trying to sweep around Catherine's Melody as Bright Eyes, Flirting Filly and Shafina Hanover began their bids. Bee The Queen had a head in front through a :58.3 (:29) half. Although Flirting Filly broke traveling first over, Shafina Hanover made her way to Bee The Queen's wheel through a 1:26.1 (:27.3) third-quarter. Corey Callahan pulled the plugs on Bee The Queen and she kicked 3 lengths clear of Shafina Hanover, Bright Eyes and Catherine's Melody, and eventually winning by 3 ½ lengths in 1:56.1 (:30). A daughter of Donato Hanover-Bee Line-Self Possessed, Bee The Queen is owned by Alfred Ross and is trained by George Ducharme. She returned $2.60 to win. Bee The Queen extended her lead on the Kindergarten leaderboard with 158 points, with Allerage Star second with 125 points and Lady Clarabella in third with 111 points. Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Luca Derrico's Holy Halibut picked up his third straight win in the featured harness racing event at Harrah's Philadelphia, a winner's over $25,000 lifetime trot. Starting from post two, Holy Halibut (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) took back off of the speed displayed by Ron Burke trainee Whata Donato (Andrew McCarthy). Just past the opening quarter (27.2) driver Geo. Napolitano Jr. brushed to the lead with the favorite, and went on to rate the second quarter in 29.2. After surviving a first-over challenge from Crosbys Clam Bake (George Brennan) the leader kicked clear to win by three lengths, stopping the clock in 1:53.1. Whata Donato finished second, while Opening Night (Eric Carlson) closed mildly for third. The winner returned $4.20 to win, keying a $30.40 exacta, and a $83.60 trifecta. Holy Halibut is also trained by owner Luca Derrico, and was one of five driving wins for Geo. Napolitano Jr. Michael Bozich

Arodasi (Western Terror-Do Me Justice) rallied in the stretch to score a victory in the feature $10,000 Open Preferred Pace at Vernon Downs on Thursday night. Park N Orchard (Claude Huckabone III) actually stormed to the lead when the gate opened and dictated the pace of 28 seconds for the quarter, 56 seconds for the half, and 1:24.1 for three-quarters.   Arodasi (Joe Pavia Jr.), who had been in fourth place in the field of five throughout the early stages, moved to the outside at the top of the stretch and steadily wore down the leader to prevail in a final time of 1:52.3. Park N Orchard was able to hold on to second and Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Arodasi, Park N Orchard, Love You Bye, Air Miles Hanover, and Asset Management.   Arodasi is owned by Peter Shank and AGC Stables of Florida, Joseph Barbera of New York, and Joe Pavia Jr. Stables of Pennsylvania. Driver Joe Pavia Jr. doubles as the trainer.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs with a 13-race program on Friday night. First post time is 6:45pm.    by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

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