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WASHINGTON, PA, July 27, 2015 -- The Aug. 1 Adios Day harness racing card at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will feature a special race to honor the memory of Roy D. Davis, longtime Meadows-based horse owner and founder of "Team Spur," who died June 16. The Roy D. Davis Invitational for 4-year-old pacers will offer a $50,000 purse. Davis and Hall of Fame trainer/driver Dick Stillings were the principals of Team Spur, which enjoyed uncommon success, including victories in the Little Brown Jug, the Adios, the Breeders Crown, the Cane Pace and the Yonkers Trot. Davis also was a successful travel industry entrepreneur; his Royal Travel Corp. was headquartered on property adjacent to The Meadows. For the Adios, The Meadows has chosen Junior Achievement as its charity partner. JA will offer autographs from sports stars at its trackside Legends Tent and will stage a raffle and a Chinese auction. First post Adios Day is 12:20 PM. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

With the Maryland Sire Stakes still suffering from a horse shortage due to the instability in our industry a few years ago the July series of 2 YO Finals were conducted as early non-wagering events on Sunday evening at Ocean Downs.   The explosion of 75 yearlings nominated to the Sire Stakes in 2015 and well over that number in the near future should put Maryland back on track.   Star Rose (You Betcha - Ragland Road) leased and trained by Syl King Jr. crossed the wire in 2:11.2 for driver Ray Robinson Jr. in the filly trot division. She repeated her preliminary win when Rock The Game (Cam's Rocket - Game Speed) appeared to have a problem and was never in contention. Star Rose was bred by Meadow Creed Stables LLC.   The colt trot went to Sweeten Me Up (CR Renegade-Miadora) owned/trained and driven by Neal Damron in 2:10.2 over last week's prelim winner Speed It (Cam's Rocket-Hypercast). Neal Damron was also the breeder of Sweeten Me Up.   What I Say Goes (Cam's Rocket-Look Sunder) took the colt & gelding pace in 2:03.1 for reinsman Jonathan Roberts. Happy Hayward (Allie's Western-Flannel Yankee) was up for place while Toms Tae Kwon Do (Cam's Rocket-Radiant Breeze) finished third.   From the limited first crop of Dontloseyourdayjob his daughter lived up to her name in the filly pace, Fastestgirlaround repeated her preliminary win by stopping the clock in 2:02 over a fast closing Mo Power (Capitol Power-Mystery Shadow).   Frank Milby was in the bike for owners Brian Callahan and Gloria Kinnamon.   Gloria Kinnamon was also the breeder.   Little Bit Wild (Cam's Rocket-Shaaga) was third.   The 3 YO Maryland Sire Stake Finals for the first series will be Sunday August 2.   By Cheri Stambaugh

Nichols, N.Y. -- In conjunction with a United States Trotting Association initiative to boost purses for horses just beginning their racing careers, Tioga and Vernon Downs have elevated purses for select races, effective Friday, July 31, 2015.   Tioga Downs will increase purses for maiden, non-winners of two, and non-winners of five events by approximately 15 per cent. Those races will now be contested for $4,800, $5,600, and $6,400 respectively (formerly $4,200, $4,800, and $5,500).   Likewise, Vernon Downs will boost purses for maiden, non-winners of three, and non-winners of five races by approximately 10 per cent. Those races now will carry purses of $3,300, $4,000, and $5,600 respectively (formerly $3,000, $3,600, and $5,100).   For more information and current condition sheets, visit and   by James Witherite, Tioga and Vernon Downs

A new winner emerged in the weekly $8000 Open Trot at the harness racing meeting at Running Aces on Sunday night (July 26) as longshots Forceful Gale (Luke Plano), El Azteca (Gerry Longo) and Jailer (Tim Maier) finished one-two-three. Franky Provolone and Silence Son, who had each captured three of the first six open trots this summer season, finished fourth and sixth, creating unexpected large payouts in every pool. The winner paid $35.40, the exacta returned $354.40, the trifecta paid a whopping $2,191.60, and a 10-cent superfecta was worth $159.68. Forceful Gale sat third until the half-mile marker, brushed to the lead during the third panel, and stepped a :28.4 final quarter mile to stop the teletimer in 1:57. It was the first 2015 win in open company for the six-year-old Strong Gale gelding and his second straight victory following a frontstepping 1:57 win in a conditioned trot at Running Aces last week. Jeff Brewer conditions Forceful Gale for owner Ann Wrobbel. The best sophomore state-bred trotters also went postward for an $11,000 bounty. The diminutive filly Becky Badger Baby (Nick Roland) ran her seasonal slate to eight wins in ten starts with a convincing 2:00.2 triumph over stablemate Go See Lo Go (Steve Wiseman) and Sweet Nola Kate (Tim Maier). The Rail Splitter filly has won 16 in her career, including a current five race win streak at Running Aces. Gregg Keidel

The 2015 Southland Festival of Harness Racing came to a close on Sunday night at Balmoral Park with a trio of state-bred events for diagonally gaited two and three-year-olds sharing top billing on the 10-race program.   The "boys" kicked off the action in race two with a compact field of six state-bred colts and geldings battling in the $36,500 Plesac Stake.   After back to back scores to kick off his career, Quaid Racing LLC's Wrightwood was bet as though defeat was out of the question and the 1-9 favorite never really gave his legion of backers an anxious moment as he trotted off to an effortless one-length decision in 1:59.3 for driver Casey Leonard.   Confidently handled by Balmoral's leading reinsman, the son of Powerful Emotion--Racy Roz settled in comfortably at the back of the pack as Mr Strata (Mike Oosting) led the short field through pedestrian opening splits of 30.4 & 1:01.2.   Hustling up on the outside of horses as the field moved around the final bend Wrightwood swept into command just before the field passed the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:30.4. Finding another gear as the field straightened for the money, the Nelson Willis trainee trotted home in 28.4 to make it three in a row to open what looks like a promising career. Mr Strata held on for second while JD Cheese (John De Long) shook loose late to rally for the show dough. With the win Wrightwood, who returned $2.20, $2.10 & $2.10 now sports a perfect three for three slate with $24,250 in earnings for his proud connections.   Freshman trotting fillies were next on the docket as a full field of 10 youngsters squared off in the $40,000 Fox Valley Flan Stake.   After several of the top contenders made breaks early in the mile, the Joel Smith trained Shez A Devil Woman took advantage of some slow fractions as she reported home with a half-length victory in front stepping fashion while stopping the clock in 2:00.4.   Whisked to the front from post position four by driver Dale Hiteman, the daughter of Powerful Emotion--Wealthy Women stepped through splits of 29.4, 101.2 & 1:32.0 while going along unchallenged on the front end.   With plenty still in reserve, Shez A Devil Woman kept the first over Rocknprincessabbie (Todd Warren) at bay through the stretch while also staving off a bid in the passing lane from Awfully Emotional (Mike Oosting) who wound up settling for a third place check.   After three straight second place finishes to open her career, Shez A Devil Woman returned $11.60, $4.00 & $3.40 while upping her career earnings to $24,500 for owners Anthony Munoz, Christopher Mroz and Marion Ratliff. Sophomore trotting fillies closed out the weekend's action with a field of seven lining up behind the gate to battle in the $39,000 Fox Valley Evita Stake. Proving once again that she's the one to beat in this very competitive division Homer Hochstetler & Robert Buddig's Persuasive Look eked out yet another victory, holding on gamely to win by a hard fought head in 1:56.4 for Casey Leonard.   Sent right to the top by Leonard, the home-bred daughter of Powerful Emotion--Black N Bluegenes carved out splits of 29.3, 58.3 & 1:28.0 while cruising on the front end. Poised for a thrilling stretch drive, which this division has provided several times this season, the Homer Hochstetler trained miss appeared to be collared by the pocket sitting Bi Polar Rose (Travis Seekman) with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. Gamely fighting back in the final strides the good looking bay poked a head in front at the finish line to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Bi Polar Rose was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role on this night while Fox Valley Yoko (Kyle Wilfong) was a close up third in this heated battle. Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite by the betting public, Persuasive Look returned $3.60, $2.40 & $2.10 while running her career record to 8-6-5 in 24 starts with earnings of $136,492. David Baum

It was the 2015 debut for multi-stakes winner McWicked in the featured event at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (July 26), an open pace going for a purse of $30,000. After back-to-back qualifiers at The Meadowlands, the now 4-year-old son of McArdle was coming off of a memorable 3-year-old campaign, including capturing the Breeder's Crown in late November. The favorite coming in however was The Jerry Taylor Invitational winner Great Vintage. The 30-time winner took 2 of his last 3 coming in, with the latest victory overcoming the 8 hole against open company at Yonkers. Great Vintage (Scott Zeron) wasted no time getting into gear, leaving aggressively from post 4 securing the front end. The 7-year-old son of American Ideal set fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:22.1. McWicked (Dave Miller) took back at the start from post 7, taking up third over position. In the stretch, Great Vintage was able to get away, building an insurmountable lead, holding off the fast closing McWicked by two lengths in the end. The final time was 1:50.1. Great Vintage is now 5 for 8 in the win column this season, for the owning group of Takter, Fielding, Anderberg, and Falk. In other news, millionaire trotter Sevruga (Andy Miller) overcame a second tier starting spot to prevail in a winner's over $25,000 lifetime trot going for a purse of $24,000. The 7-year-old son of SJ's Caviar was able to grind first over to narrowly defeat the front stepping My Love Bi (George Napolitano Jr.), winning by a head in 1:54.3. Favorite DW's NY Yank (Matt Kakaley) overcame an early break to finish third. It was the 35th career win for Sevruga, who is owned by Joe P Racing and trained by Julie Miller. Michael Bozich

While 3-year-old trotting filly Barn Doll ($4.60) kicked cover to beat older company in Sunday (July 26) afternoon's $12,000 Open Trot at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs, it was trainer Joe Skowyra who shone most brightly on the nine-race card, with all three of his trainees on the program proving victorious.   The first race, a $3700 first-level conditioned trot saw He Belongs Here ($4.70, Brandon Simpson) mount a rally on the backstretch after settling well off a quick early pace, working into the lead on the far turn before staving off a late charge from Maggie O (John Cummings, Jr.) to prevail in 1:58.4.   In the sixth race, a $5000 claiming event, Master in Charge ($4.70, Aaron Byron) took charge from the outset, rating a soft :59.4 initial half.   When a first-over bid from Dance With Molly (Gary Clark) came up short and a three-wide push from Psyched (Sean McAleese) lasted no longer than the entry of the far turn, Master In Charge drew off to a 5-length win, staying well clear of a late-rallying Ashcroft (Mike Simons) in 1:57.2.   After a flash deluge caused a brief delay before the late double, the afternoon's final race saw Justherighttouch ($9.50, Byron) enjoy a pocket trip behind Highland Yankee (Cummings), emerging once free off the far turn to take the lead in upper stretch.   Justherighttouch subsequently held off a late charge from P L Houdini (Ronnie Morales, III), who circled the stalled cover of Aruba Vacation to miss by just a half length.   The 8-year-old gelding won in 1:58.3, giving Skowyra a training hat trick on the afternoon.   Barn Doll kicks cover to triumph in trotting feature   Not to be outdone, Barn Doll utilized a :27.1 final quarter to defeat her five rivals in the featured $12,000 Open Trot. Beginning from post 6, the Conway Hall filly came away second from last, just detached of the top quartet through a soft :57.1 first half.   On the backstretch, Jim Meittinis moved her second-over to draft behind Oho Diamond (Morales), inching closer as pacesetter Six Bax (Jim Taggart, Jr.) accelerated through a :28.4 third quarter.   Barn Doll would do her best work without the aid of cover, though, as she stormed home after losing Oho Diamond's cover, collaring Six Bax in the final yards and prevailing by a half length in 1:53.4.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables.   Live racing returns at Tioga for a special Monday evening card tomorrow (July 27).   Post time for the 10-race card is 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite

When the harness racing fields are drawn Monday morning for Hambletonian Day, Mission Brief's name won't be among the entries for the Hambletonian Oaks. On Sunday night, trainer Ron Burke confirmed to The Meadowlands Racetrack that his star three year old filly will take on the boys in the 90th Hambletonian on Saturday, August 8th. "We're going," said Burke. "The plan has always been to go as long as she was good and today at Vernon she was as good as she has been. She had to be super and she was." The Hambletonian is raced in heat format, which means if at least 14 horses enter, the winner of the Hambletonian would have to race twice in the same day. But Burke said that was not a concern. "I'm really not worried about that. She is just so athletic, I really don't think it will be a problem." If there are 13 horses or less entered in The Hambletonian, it will be raced as one dash for the cash. As for the reason why Burke and his ownership chose The Hambletonian over the Oaks, it came down to a simple notion. "If we win this race, it will change our lives and it makes her career." "I know the Oaks is $500,000 and she would be odds-on to win that race, but it wouldn't change our lives." "Winning The Hambletonian changes lives." The sportsmanship of Ron Burke and the ownership of Mission Brief was on display with this decision as well. "It will be great for the sport." "To have a filly like this trying to beat all of Takter's horses." "This will be a great story." "I think we have the filly to do it." "If I am wrong, I'm wrong and I have been wrong and criticized before, but I really think she can do it." There is one question that remains, who will Yannick Gingras drive? Gingras pilots both Mission Brief and the best three year old colt in the country, Pinkman. As of now, Ron Burke says that Gingras has not committed to either horse. "If they both race huge in the eliminations (assuming they are in separate eliminations), he might not be able to decide until after the first heat." That storyline is one that may go down in the annals of harness racing history. A decision of a lifetime some might say. Gingras may literally have to choose between two dynamic trotters in the sport's biggest race in the hour leading up to the race. Gingras has done it all in the sport, but still seeks his first Hambletonian, adding to the pressure of this decision. Gingras was quoted in an interview after winning the Zweig stating he "hoped Mission Brief went in the Oaks." But, given that he also drives Pinkman, it is certainly understandable why Gingras shared that sentiment. Gingras was reached Sunday night and confirmed a decision on his part has not been made as of yet. The last filly to win The Hambletonian was Continental Victory in 1996. Mission Brief looks to add her name to the list of fillies that have accomplished this most herculean fete. The Hambletonian will headline what may prove be one of the greatest days in harness racing history that will also include Wiggle It Jiggleit in the first jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, The Cane Pace. Hambletonian Day is Saturday, August 8th at The Meadowlands. Post time is 12:00 P.M The Hambletonian Final will be race 13 on a 15-race program with a post time of 5:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

When Yannick Gingras makes an appearance at a harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs, he has a strong tendency to be mightily successful on the racetrack.   Such was the case on Sunday (July 26) afternoon, when he swept the filly and colt divisions of the Harry M. Zweig Memorial stakes.   In the $185,000 Zweig for 3-year-old trotting fillies, Gingras settled Mission Brief ($2.60, part of entry) into the third spot out of her midpack post, tracking Wild Honey (John Campbell) and Magic Marker (Brian Sears) through a :27 initial quarter before brushing to the fore at race's midpoint.   Just as Wild Honey slackened through a :56.1 half mile, Mission Brief charged past, opening up her lead to two lengths on the far turn.   The daughter of Muscle Hill and Southwind Serena would hold that margin through a :55.3 final half, defeating Wild Honey in 1:51.4.   Magic Marker stayed on to be third, while Gatka Hanover (Brett Miller) rallied mildly off cover to take fourth.   Ron Burke trains Mission Brief for the Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, the J&T Silva Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi. Now a 12-time winner, Mission Brief has amassed $791,417 in career earnings.   Mission Brief     A mere hour after Mission Brief asserted herself in the $185,000 Zweig division for 3-year-old trotting fillies, Pinkman ($2.10, part of entry) found room up the inside to strike late from a pocket trip in the $370,000 Zweig event for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings.   Beginning from post 7 as part of a four-horse Jimmy Takter-trained entry, Pinkman left strongly, stringing out Habitat (Brian Sears) in the early going before yielding to stablemate Canepa Hanover (Takter) after a :27.3 initial quarter.   The gelded son of Explosive Matter and Margie Seelster drafted comfortably behind his stablemate through a :56.1 middle half, but was boxed at the apex of the far turn when Habitat attempted a first-over bid.   With racing room at a premium in upper stretch, Pinkman found room up the inside, passing Canepa Hanover in the final sixteenth.   He prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:52, a stakes record.   Canepa Hanover held second, while Workout Wonder (Daniel Dubé) rallied late to take third past Wings of Royalty (Tim Tetrick).   Also taking career win number 12, Pinkman stretched his career bankroll to $1,187,139 for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman.   Pinkmam   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (July 31) evening, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Maine Sires Stakes action returned to the harness racing meeting at Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/26) as the two-year-old colt pacers supplanted their freshman sisters who had toiled their trade before the fans just the day prior. Fifteen rookies headlined the matinee card, split into two division, each going for purse money in excess of $11,000. Ball Don't Lie "tipped off" the action as Gary Mosher teamed the son of Neutralize-Ms Jeanne Marie to an imposing 3-1/2 length margin of victory in the $11,742 opening stakes split, timed in 2:01.3. The colt won in his very first career start for the Ben Bill & Will Stable and trainer Eric Bickmore and delivered the 5992 career driving win for Mosher who is fast closing in on the 6000 win milestone. Wish Granted (Ruel Goodblood, Jr.) and The Irish Maverick (John Nason) finished in lockstep to dead heat for runner-up honors. Seeley Man remained undefeated on his young career as the Western Maverick-Perfect Launch gelding impressively imposed his will during the $11,566 second division with Kevin Switzer, Jr teaming for trainer Gerald Smith. Owned by Florence O'Keefe, the precocious youngster extended his win streak out to three in a row while equaling his lifetime Mark of 1:59.4. Lord Maverick (Kevin Switzer) rode the deuce to gain the bridesmaid share while Pembroke Willie (Heath Campbell) finished 18-length back in third. Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30. Michael Sweeney

The 2015 harness racing season came to a close at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 26) and driver Ron Beback Jr. capped the 91-day meet with a four-bagger.   Beback Jr. was aboard Lotto Ticket ($4.00), Almost Midnight ($3.10), Boots N Bourbon ($5.90) and Four Starz Trump ($3.70)   The victory for Four Starz Trump was the 50th in the 12-year-old gelding's career and moved his lifetime earnings to $371,951. Beback Jr. finished the week with eight wins.   Driver Kevin Cummings made a run at Jim Morrill Jr.'s all-time win mark of 214 set in 2006 but came up a dozen victories short.   All was not lost however.   Cummings did win his second consecutive driving title with 202 wins, the third most in Buffalo Raceway history.   Morrill Jr. (214) and Shawn Gray (206) are the only drivers to go over 200 victories in a season at the Hamburg half-mile oval.   Cummings was also the leading purse earner with nearly $1.1 million.   Drew Monti took second place in the driver's standings with 140 wins while Gray was third with 123.   JD Perrin captured his third straight trainer's title by conditioning 70 winners.   John Mungillo took the runner up spot with 54 victories and Kirk Desmond third with 49.   The Prophet Mary had the most trips to the winner's circle on the season as the pacer scored nine times.   Justgottogetthere was the top trotter with eight wins and $48,217 in earnings.   Jettison was the leading money earner as the pacer collected $50,314.   Live racing is tentatively scheduled to resume in January, 2016.   For more information including the latest news, simulcast schedule, race replays and results, go to   Brian Mazurek

Batavia, NY---As the western New York harness racing scene switches back to the oldest lighted harness track in America on Monday (July 27), Batavia Downs wasted no time welcoming back the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) to its schedule. The series makes the first of eight stops at the Genesee County oval with a group of lightly-raced state bred 2-year-old trotting fillies who will compete in four divisions, vying for purses totaling $109,500. The first leg is led by Dolly Drama PV (Lucky Chucky-Massive Drama) from the Mark Harder stable. This filly has made two starts this year, finishing third and first respectively while banking $16,241. Last week at Buffalo Raceway, she left sharply to gain early position and then trotted home in a snappy 29.4 to win by two-lengths in a lifetime best 2:03.4. Dolly Drama PV is 5-2, leaves from post two and will be driven by local favorite Jeff Gregory. The royally bred Pampered Winner (Credit Winner-Pampered Princess) ships in from the Meadowlands to make her first NYSS start for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. After qualifying three times at the iconic New Jersey track, she made her first lifetime start there in a juvenile overnight event where she finished five and one-half lengths off the pace in 1:59.3. Pampered Winner is the track handicapper's selection at 2-1. The second split features Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) who won the fastest (2:01.4) of four divisions at Buffalo last week for the top money-earning trainer in North America, Ron Burke. After getting away second, she went to the front past the quarter and then led the rest of the way for an easy one and one-half length victory. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for this week's outing. Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) made an unfortunate break at the start of her race last week that took her completely out of contention. That, after posting a win through disqualification at Monticello Raceway in an Excelsior A level race the week before. Steel Wheels, who is trained and driven by Gates Brunet, is coupled as a betting interest with Goosebump Hanover and they go postward as the morning line favorites at 2-1. Royal Encore (RC Royalty-Spin The Planet) sat out last week after posting a solid second-place finish at Monticello on July 3. Now ready to make her second lifetime start, Royal Encore looks to improve for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer. They leave from post four and are listed at 5-2. Ron Burke's Winning Princess (Credit Winner-Cabaret Princess) is the 2-1 early choice in the third division and looks to get back to her winning ways. She made a break at Buffalo last week that she couldn't overcome after posting two convincing wins prior. In those starts she was victorious in 2:00.2 and 2:00.3 by a combined 10 lengths. Jim Morrill Jr. is back in the bike for the third consecutive time. Winning Princess starts from post 2, and is coupled as a betting interest with Starlingmoon (Prayer I Am-Meadow Dion) who leaves from post 7 with Brett Miller aboard. Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Chip) looks to pose the greatest threat to the favorite after having scored a first and second place finish in NYSS action this year. Charlie Norris both trains and drives Posterity who leaves from post three as the 5-2 second choice. In the final leg, Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious) is moving up from Excelsior A action after two solid wins over that group to take on the top level trotters here. Her 2:01.2 win at Buffalo last week was actually faster than the fastest NYSS leg which was won by Goosebump Hanover (2:01.4). She has proven to be a versatile performer; racing both on top and from off the pace, and her gate speed will suit her well this week as she leaves from post six. George Ducharme, who won the 2013 Hambletonian with Royalty For Life, conditions Lindylicious and her regular driver Chris Lems is back up for the ride. They are rated as a 5-1 shot to win. Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) is coming off a NYSS win in her first lifetime start at Buffalo last week. It was a convincing victory, but also the slowest of the quartet that day (2:05.1). Western New York's leading driver, Kevin Cummings, will be aboard the 5-2 handicapper's choice for the second time. Love Crazy Love (Crazed-Love U Overandover) drew the rail for the second straight week and has one win in NYSS action this year for trainer-driver Gates Brunet. She is a solid competitor that is listed at 3-1 morning line. There are also two divisions of Excelsior A action that offer $30,000 in purses and two divisions of Excelsior B horses that will go after their share of $13,500. Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m. Opening night at Batavia Downs also features free programs and free magnetic schedules to all fans attending the races live. (While supplies last) For more information on all the events at Batavia Downs this year, log on to . There you can get full race schedules, entries, results as well as watch all the race replays immediately after each race is declared official. Live streaming video of all the races is available by becoming a member of . By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – July 25, 2015 – Split The House gave harness racing trainer James “Friday” Dean his third Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic victory and Wicked Little Minx overcame post 10 and a first-over trip to win the Thomas D’Altrui Miss New Jersey as the spotlight was on New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers on Saturday night, July 25, 2015 at the Meadowlands. In the hands of Randy Waples, Split The House [$8.60], a son of Rocknroll Hanover – Shake The Junk, got up for a half-length tally over Revenge Shark [Cam’s Card Shark] while 6-5 favorite Artspeak [Western Ideal], the Dan Patch divisional champion at two, was third by a length and a quarter in the 11th race. The $200,000 New Jersey Classic and the $100,000 Miss New Jersey are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.  Friday Dean harnessed previous winners Big Jim in 2011 and Panther Hanover in 2012 “He’s a nice horse with all the parts,” said Waples of Split The House.  “His only flaw was that he was silly behind the gate, But he’s turned the corner [after some equipment changes]. “I just wanted to draft as long as I could [behind Artspeak],” Waples added.  “Then he swelled up and dug in.”  Split The House, bred by Fair Winds Farm of Cream Ridge, NJ, paced the mile in 1:48.3 A $60,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase, Split The House was unraced at two and has now won seven of nine starts, including three straight.  He has banked $162,158 for Ontario owners Scott Horner of Toronto, Peter Milligan of Mississauga and James J. Dean of Guelph. Split The House Wicked Little Minx captured the filly companion race, the Miss New Jersey, the seventh race. “She’s like a big diesel truck,” said winning trainer Nancy Johansson of the Rocknroll Hanover – Beachy Lady filly who was driven to her second win of the year by Brett Miller.  She coasted past Stacia Hanover [Western Ideal], who cut most of the mile.  It was two and a half lengths to 6-5 favorite The Show Returns {Rocknroll Hanover], who had limited room trying to slip up the rail and finished third. Wicked Little Minx [$6.60], a $50,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase by Courant AB of Stockholm, Sweden, improved her record to two wins, one second and three thirds from eight starts this year and 10 of 19 in-the-money lifetime.  Her $109,199 earnings this year lifted her total to $157,234.  She was bred by Perretti Farms of Cream Ridge, NJ. Wicked Little Minx In other racing action, Graceful Vision put forth a sparkling debut, winning a maiden event for two year old filly pacers in 1:52.3.  The 1/2 favorite made a backstretch brush to the lead, dueled around the far turn and sprinted away from the competition to score and impressive maiden-breaking score with Steve Smith in the sulky.  She is owned and trained by Erv Miller. Graceful Vision Sayitall BB was a drop and pop winner, scoring an emphatic 1:50 triumph in the upper level condition event for the pacing mares.  On the heels of a troubled trip, the Breeders Crown winning mare earned a nice confidence building win which could set her up nicely for the Lady Liberty on Hambletonian Day, with eliminations (if necessary) next Saturday night.  Sayitall BB was driven by Joe Bongiorno, one of two wins on the program for him and is trained by Ron Burke who co-owns the mare with Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Sayitall BB The Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed again on Saturday night and that carryover now stands at $219,579 into the Friday, July 31st racing program. Darin Zoccali

A mix of the state's top harness racing youngsters shared Saturday night's spotlight at Balmoral Park as the Crete oval presented five big money finals as part of the Southland Festival of Racing. Freshmen pacing fillies kicked off the fast paced action in race four as a field of 10 gathered behind the gate for the $50,000 Loyal Opposition Stake.   It was "bombs away" in this battle as Finn Racing and Tami Michi's Likeafireballshot parlayed a perfect pocket sitting trip into a half-length victory at odds of 12-1 for driver-trainer Jared Finn in 1:54.1.   Perfectly positioned after leading the field through an opening quarter in 28.3 Finn elected to let a hard charging Narcissistic (Mike Oosting) grab control of things as the fillies moved through middle splits of 58.0 & 1:26.0.   Patiently waiting for racing room in the lane the daughter of Sportsmaster--Major Philly moved to the outside with a sixteenth of a mile to go where she proceeded to wear down the favorite, rallying in the closing strides for her first win in lifetime start number three. Another longshot, 42-1 outsider Fox Valley Gypsy (Clifton Bell) unleashed a huge late rally to finish as the bridesmaid while LK's Nancy Lee (Tim Curtin) was a game third.   The winner returned $26.40, $13.40 & $6.40 while helping to key a $3,800 trifecta payout.   Next up were freshmen pacing colts as a field of 10 lined up behind the gate for the $52,000 Mini Me Stake.   Fresh off three straight stake scores Stephen Mc MacKin, Marilyn Kelly and Lorna Rousch's Wondrous Sport made it four in a row over the competition as he recorded a neck decision in a career best of 1:52.2 with Casey Leonard at the controls.   Sweeping to the front after watching BS Tyrrific (Kyle Wilfong) lead the field through an opening quarter in 28.0 Leonard continued to let the Gary Rath trainee roll through swift middle splits of 55.4 & 1:24.3.   Gamely digging in through the stretch the altered son of Sportsmaster--Wondrous Grace paced home in 28.1 while holding off the pocket sitting BS Tyrffic in a thrilling stretch duel. Dan D Dune (Mike Oosting) held on for third after making a strong first over bid as the field neared the top of the lane.   Sent off as the 2-1 favorite by the betting public Wondrous Sport returned $6.20, $4.80 & $3.00 while running his record to 4-0-0 in 5 starts with earnings of $35,000.   A field of eight sophomore trotting colts met in the third event of the night the $38,000 Kadabra Stake.   This battle provided another big price as William Wright and Geis Enterprises Bulldog Benji, a 20-1 outsider with just one career win to his credit, picked the right night to come up with a lifetime best, trotting to a convincing 5¾ length triumph in 1:55.0 for driver Mike Oosting.   Placed in mid-pack as a "fired-up" Tricky Nick led the field through splits of 28.3, 57.0 & 1:25.3 Oosting moved the Mike Brink trained son of Powerful Emotion--Ms Brittania to the outside as the field approached the head of the stretch.   With plenty of open space available after early miscues took Southern Appeal, Fox Valley Qatar and Southern Special out of the race Bulldog Benji seemed to find another gear as he quickly left the rest of the field in his wake while cruising to his second win in 11 starts this season. Captain Greedy (J D Finn), who had been riding a five race winning streak was forced to settle for the runner-up role on this night while Tricky Nick held on for third.   Bulldog Benji returned $42.80, $7.40 & $4.20 while upping his career bankroll to $29,720.   Next up were sophomore pacing fillies as field of 10 renewed acquaintances in the $45,000 Ann Vonian Stake.   Once again Kay Willis's home-bred filly Lex came up big when the cash was on the line as she rolled to a 2½ length victory in 1:52.1 for driver Kyle Wilfong.   Storming into the lead on the backstretch after watching Fox Valley Charm (Tim Curtin) and Fox Valley Aubrey (Robert Smolin) slug it out through an opening quarter in 28.0 Wilfong put Lex on the "engine" where she proceeded to put up middle splits of 57.0 & 1:24.3 while going along comfortably on the front.   Sprinting away from her rivals in the lane the Nelson Willis trained daughter of Lexington Legend--I Bet U effortlessly opened up a three-length advantage by the mid-stretch call as she rolled to her sixth win in 11 starts this year. Sportsmuffler (Todd Warren) shook loose late to rally for the place check while Southern Girl (Casey Leonard) was forced to settle for the show dough.   The 3-2 favorite of the betting public Lex returned $5.00, $3.60 & $3.20 while running her career numbers to 10-4-4 in 26 starts with earnings of $131,703.   Sophomore pacing colts closed out the Saturday stake action as a field of 10 three-year-olds knocked heads in the $45,000 Incredible Finale Stake.   After getting a week off and a bye into the final Bo & Pat De Long and Elmer Miller's Earndawg returned fit and fresh as he roared to a three-quarter-length victory in a lifetime best of 1:51.0 for driver Todd Warren.   Benefitting from a perfect steer by Warren, the Roger Welch trained son of Sportsmaster--Pacific Sister K enjoyed a pocket trip while longshot Engine One O One (Brian Carpenter) put up fractions of 27.1, 55.4 & 1:23.0.   After pulling the pocket as the field neared the top of the lane, Earndawg proceeded to blow right by the pace setter sealing the deal with a 28.0 final quarter to earn his fourth win in 10 starts this season. Fox Valley Elijah (Robert Smolin), a 26-1 outsider rallied sharply to get the place spot while Lucpark (Mike Oosting) finished third.   The second choice in the wagering at 2-1 Earndawg returned $6.60, $4.00 & $2.80 while running his career record to 12-7-4 in 27 starts with earnings of $277,188.   The Southland Festival action continues on Sunday, July 26th, with a trio of finals sharing the spotlight on the 10-race card. Freshmen trotting colts start the action in race two as a field of six will slug it out in the $36,500 Plesac Stake. Their female counterparts will hit the track in race four as a field of 10 meet in the $40,000 Fox Valley Flan Stake. Closing out the action will be sophomore trotting fillies as a field seven go postward in the $39,000 Fox Valley Evita Stake.   Once again the action gets underway at 7:10pm on Sunday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 (races 7-10) features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The 10-cent Hi Five (race 10) also features a guaranteed pool with a minimum of $15,000 on the line in the "ultimate get out wager!   Tom Kelley  

P H Supercam (Million Dollar Cam) overcame a first over journey to score in the seventh annual harness racing Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. The Jeff Bamond Jr. trainee drew post position four and after leaving to get away third, came first over on the race's favorite Dancin Yankee (Jim Morrill Jr) in the $260,000 free-for-all pace. Dancin Yankee, the Saratoga track record holder after winning the 2014 Gerrity in 1:48.4, returned to town to defend his title and came up just a neck shy of repeating. Jason Bartlett piloted P H Supercam, who wore down Dancin Yankee in the final strides to secure the win in 1:50.1, easily the fastest mile of the '15 campaign at the Spa. Dancin Yankee had to settle for second while longshot Domethatagain (Billy Dobson) came on to finish third. P H Supercam returned $11.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $33.40 and $647, respectively. The victory was the eighth in seventeen seasonal tries for millionaire pacer P H Supercam. Live racing takes place every Tuesday through Saturday at Saratoga for the next six weeks with first post times set for 7:05pm each night. Mike Sardella  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 26, 2015 -- Saturday's Adios eliminations card at The Meadows was supported by three other compelling stakes that, along with the elims, comprised 13 of the 15 races. Yannick Gingras and harness racing trainer Ron Burke each scored five times in those stakes while Tim Tetrick enjoyed a stake four-bagger. Highlights from Saturday's stakes: The Albatross, $217,340 PASS - 2-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pacers Manhattan Beach zipped to the lead for Tetrick and rolled home in a stake-record 1:51.1, bettering the mark of 1:52 held jointly by Limelight Beach and Seventh Secret. Sossy's King Kong was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with McPhil third. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Geoffrey Lyons Mound and Wingfield Brothers campaign the Somebeachsomewhere-Benear gelding, a full brother to the former record-holder, Limelight Beach, winner of the 2014 Little Brown Jug. Check Six powered to the point with a quarter-pole move for Gingras and held off the late thrust of McDave to down him by a neck in 1:52.3, with Mr Right Hanover third. Burke trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Vanna for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, William Switala and James Martin. "That was a horse race down the stretch -- he wouldn't let them go by him," Gingras said. "He has all kinds of potential, He has the size, a nice gait, speed and guts. He has the package. Pacing colts are a little fickle at this stage. In another month, they'll separate the men from the boys." Do Over Hanover pulled the pocket down the backside to avoid the faltering leader, Genovese, and held off Another Daily Copy by a neck to triumph in 1:52.4. Allie's Cruiser earned show. "He's very versatile and good mannered," said Jim Campbell, who trains the son of Western Ideal-Driven To Sin -- a $25,000 yearling acquisition -- for Jeffrey Snyder, Michael Snyder and Robert Unice. "I'll give him a week or two off because he's gone hard the last three weeks. We'll probably get him ready for the next sires stake leg." Spider Man Hanover and The Catamount Kid took the other Albatross divisions. The Romola Hanover, $182,016 PASS, 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Doctor Terror unleashed a huge uncovered bid from sixth that carried her to victory in 1:50.4 for Corey Callahan and trainer Blake MacIntosh, who owns the daughter of Western Terror-Doctor Seth with Stuart McIntosh. Imagine Dragon was second by a head, with Momas Got A Gun third. With the victory, Doctor Terror soared over $200,000 in career earnings. The other Romola Hanover split also went to a daughter of Western Terror, as Safe From Terror and Gingras edged her stablemate, Storm Point, by a neck to win in 1:51.1. Macarena Mama completed the ticket. Burke conditions Safe From Terror for Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and J&T Silva Stables. $60,000 PA Stallion Series - 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Off a layoff of more than two months, Dobre Povedane matched Icommandmyspirit's stake record of 1:51.3 when she followed cover and brushed home to defeat Lean On Yourself by 1-3/4 lengths, with Angel Or Terror third. Callahan drove for trainer John Butenschoen and owners David Prushnok and John Prushnok. "We thought she could use a little time," said Tyler Butenschoen, the winner's assistant trainer. "She raced good her last race but maybe seemed a little sore afterward. Nothing major, but we gave her a little time, and she trained back great. I expected her to race good, but a 1:51.3 mile was an eye-opener." Mezzanine Fashion and Repeat Please captured the other stallion series splits. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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