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Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion) returned to the Vernon Downs Winner's Circle after the $6,500 feature harness racing event on Saturday night. He had won two straight before finishing third last Saturday night.   Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) sat in mid-pack throughout the early stages while You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) set the pace through a quarter of 27.3 seconds and a half-mile in 56.3 seconds. Oh My Joepa was able to catch some live cover from Western Tsunami (Roman Lopez) as the field moved on to the final turn. In fact, Western Tsunami took the lead as they paced past three-quarters in 1:25.   That lead lasted into the stretch, but then Oh My Joepa rallied past on the outside and strode away to win handily in 1:53.1. Martial Bliss (Joe Nassimos), who had been sent aggressively at the start before settling into a pocket trip behind You Bet Your Glass, closed smartly to finish second. Melvyn (Truman Gale) trailed early on, but was another sharp closer at the end and finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Martial Bliss, Melvyn, Western Tsunami, The Green Knight, Dragon Fever, Cabbie's Delight, and You Bet Your Glass.   Oh My Joepa is owned and trained by Michael Deters of Coconut Creek, Florida.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 12-race program. First post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

A Penny Earned (Conway Hall-Penny Dream) scored a front-running victory in the $10,000 Open I Trot feature at Vernon Downs on Friday night. The gelding charged to the front before the field reached the first turn and never looked back to win in a solid time of 1:53.4.   A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) grabbed the lead from Wild And Crazy Guy (John Macdonald) just after the gate opened and led through a quarter of 27 seconds, 56.1 for the half and 1:24.3 for three-quarters.   Wild And Crazy Guy sat the pocket trip behind the leader throughout the mile and did finally tip out in the stretch, but was unable to get any nearer the leader. In fact, Helios (Claude Huckabone III) came rolling up the inside to take second away from Wild And Crazy Guy in the final strides.   The complete order of finish was: A Penny Earned, Helios, Wild And Crazy Guy, Evil Urges, Jaipur, Surface Tension, Grey Ice, and War Hero.   A Penny Earned is owned by Alfred Ross, Natalia Oliva, and George Ducharme of Massachusetts and Paul Fontaine of Rhode Island. George Ducharme is also the trainer.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 12-race program. The seventh race is the $6,500 feature race on the card. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Oh My Joepa, winner of two of his last three starts at Vernon Downs. Post time on Saturday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

The Thursday night $8,000 featured pace at Vernon Downs had a tough field of five that was led by morning-line favorite Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore), but when all was said and done, the winner was Asset Management (Western Hanover-Serious Comfort) in a time of 1:53.   Love You Bye had set the early pace through a quarter of 27.2 and a half of 56.1 before Ugly Betty (John Macdonald) grabbed the lead on the backstretch and led past three-quarters in 1:23.1. Ugly Betty actually led into the stretch before the closers came calling.   Asset Management (Fern Paquet Jr.) had to go four-wide when the field hit the top of the stretch, but had momentum built up as the field reached deep stretch. She surged past longshot Ubettorbeturlife (Chris Lems), who had taken the lead shortly before the wire, and was up in the nick of time for a win. Love You Bye had actually been relegated to last before re-rallying up the inside to get third.   The complete order of finish was: Asset Management, Ubettorbeturlife, Love You Bye, Ugly Betty, and Seascape Hanover.   Asset Management is owned by J&M Racing of Finksburg, Maryland. The trainer is Alexandra Berube.   Asset Management was just one of three winners for driver Fern Paquet Jr. on the Thursday night program. He also won the seventh race with Fresh Squeezed (American Ideal-Squeeze Me) and the tenth race with Grand Majorette (Art Major-Grandiose Gal).   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs with a 12-race program. The seventh race is the $10,000 feature, an Open I Trot. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Evil Urges with Jimmy Whittemore slated to drive. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

The Meadowlands is pleased to announce the addition of a new wager to its wagering menu. It is a Super High-Five Jackpot that will be offered with a $.20 cent minimum on the last race of each racing program. The wager will offer an industry low takeout rate of eight-percent (8%) and the pool will be seeded with $10,000 on its first night being offered, Friday November 14th. "The W.E.G. circuit implemented this wager this past year and it has had Great Success," said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali. "The jackpot wager has really caught-on throughout North America and we will take it a step further by implementing an industry low takeout rate of just eight-percent." "We are a supporter of the low takeout movement that is currently taking place," Zoccali added. "But it needs industry-wide support to be successful. We are optimistic that this wager will prove extremely successful and will pave the way to lower takeout wagers in the future." The Meadowlands will also give back more each night. "Our carryover will be 25-percent each day as opposed to the standard 45 to 50-percent this wager typically carries," said Zoccali. "We believe that the low takeout combined with paying out a larger portion of the pool each night will create more handle and larger payouts on a nightly basis. Additionally, the pool will be seeded with $10,000 initially which further reduces actual takeout." Meadowlands General Manager and C.E.O. Jason Settelmoir explains that the 8% takeout figure has significant meaning. "Having worked at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs since 2006, I have become well versed on the 'casino' aspect of gaming. The average takeout rate of slot machines or V.L.T.'s throughout the country is 8% and while horse racing is a more intellectual game, the result is the same, more churn and more money in our customers pockets." Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural touched on the success the wager has had at Woodbine and Mohawk. "On the two nights they have had mandatory payouts, there was around $2 Million bet. Given that The Meadowlands is the highest handling standardbred signal, tied into an 8% takeout rate, with a mandatory payout on Hambletonian Day, assuming the bet carries over throughout the meet, I am certain it will be the biggest pool in harness racing history." The Super High-Five is pending regulatory approval and is scheduled to begin on Friday November 14, 2014. Details on the wager are as follows: Jackpot Super High-Five Details $.20 Cent minimum wager Offered on the last race, each race night Low takeout rate of eight-percent (8%) Individual must select the first five (5) finishers in one race in the exact order of finish. Jackpot Super High-Five Payout: Single Winning ticket The entire Jackpot High-5 net pool, plus any previous carryover pool will be paid when there is one and only one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order. Multiple Winning Tickets In the event there are multiple tickets sold that correctly select the first five finishers in exact order, 75% of the net daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be distributed to the holders of tickets with the first five finishers in exact order, and 25% of the net daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be carried over to the next scheduled Jackpot High-5 event and added to any existing carryover pool. No Winning Tickets In the event there is no ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order, the entire High-5 net pool, plus any previous carryover, will be carried in to the next scheduled Jackpot High-5 event. There is no consolation payout in the Jackpot High-5. Pool-Seeding There will be $10,000 added into the pool on the first day of the wager, by The Meadowlands, which will be Friday November 14, 2014. Mandatory Payout The entire Jackput High-5 net pool must be paid out on Hambletonian Day, August 8, 2015. The pool can carryover from one calendar year to the next. From the Meadowlands Publicity Office  

JK Panache (Art Major-Paris Hanover) hadn't won a race since his last try at Vernon Downs on August 2. He returned to the Winner's Circle in emphatic fashion in the $10,000 feature race on Saturday night, pulling away in the stretch to win in 1:50.2.   JK Panache (Chris Lems) sat in mid-pack early on as T's Electric (Claude Huckabone III) set fast fractions with a 25.4 quarter and a 53.4 half. JK Panache had to move three-wide to get a clear shot at the leader as the field passed the half-mile mark.   He had plenty of momentum by the time he made the far turn and had taken the lead, going past three-quarters in 1:21.1. Moonlight Ransom (John Macdonald) sat third through the early part of the race and had been in between horses when JK Panache went three-wide. It was at this point that he also moved forwardly.   While he couldn't keep up with JK Panache, Moonlight Ransom did finish second while Cactus Jack (Truman Gale) came on for third.   The complete order of finish was: JK Panache, Moonlight Ransom, Cactus Jack, Hot Shot Lawyer, Sailing Cruise, Six Gun, and T's Electric.   JK Panache is owned by Philip Hale of New Hartford, New York and David Dewhurst of Clinton, New York. David Dewhurst is also the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs with an 11-race program on Thursday night. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Baby Boy Grin (Grinfromeartoear-Orillia Babe) held off the challengers in the $10,000 Open I Trot feature at Vernon Downs on Friday night. Driver Stephane Bouchard made an aggressive move as the field left the first turn and moved to the backstretch with Baby Boy Grin, taking a lead he would never relinquish.   That isn't to say it was a walk in the park for Baby Boy Grin. Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) had been racing in mid-pack during the early stages of the race and came charging after the leader in the stretch, just missing by a neck. Pollux Blue Chip (Claude Huckabone III) had been caught four-wide coming off the final turn, but still rallied well enough to finish third.   Baby Boy Grin was able to hold off all the closers in a finish that resembled a cavalry charge and prevail in a final time of 1:53.2. He is owned by Geoffrey and Mary Howles of Saratoga Springs, New York. Geoffrey Howles doubles as the trainer.   The complete order of finish was: Baby Boy Grin, Evil Urges, Pollux Blue Chip, A Penny Earned, War Hero, Lucid Thoughts, Cash Poor, and MC Tiny's Hope.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 13-race program. The feature event is a $10,000 Open I Pace, carded as the eighth race. The 2-1 morning-line favorite is JK Panache, whose last victory came the last time he raced at Vernon Downs on August 2nd. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs 

Tiamo (Artiscape-Incredible Sharon), who had won seven of the last nine at Saratoga Harness, and driver Mark Beckwith had to wait patiently for some racing room in the $9,000 Thursday night feature at Vernon Downs, but that wait was worth it. She worked her way loose in the stretch and exploded down the lane to win in a final time of 1:51.3.   Seascape Hanover (Aaron Byron) cut fast early fractions with a quarter of 26.2 seconds, a 55 second half, and three-quarters in 1:23, but she couldn't hold her lead in the stretch and faded to finish third. Love You Bye (Truman Gale) had stalked the leader from the pocket throughout the mile and was first to pass her, but once Tiamo got going she was much the best.   Tiamo had been pinned in at the pylons as the field made the stretch, but an opening developed and once clear, the race was essentially over.   Tiamo is owned by George and Heather Zitone of Montague, New Jersey. The trainer is Melissa Beckwith.   The complete order of finish was: Tiamo, Love You Bye, Seascape Hanover, Ugly Betty, Oceans Motion, R U Ideal.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Friday night with an 11-race program. The seventh will be the feature, a $10,000 Open I Trot, with a field of eight entered. The 5-2 morning line favorite is A Penny Earned, who won the Jack Bailey Memorial last out at Vernon Downs on August 29th. Post time on Friday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

September 2, 2014 - The week off in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs gave the handicappers the opportunity to think over their handicapping strategy and by doing so, they came out guns a blazing with five instances of handicappers scoring net profits of over $1,000 on any given day. When the dust settled, Mark McKelvie was the big winner for the week showing a net profit of $2,586, leapfrogging from 8th to 3rd place. While McKelvie won the week, Bob Zanakis regained the lead over Brandon Valvo with a swing a $2,919.25 thanks to his weekly net profit of $2,094.75. Gordon Waterstone's weekly net profit of $2,103 moved him from 12th place to 6th. On Thursday, August 28, Bob Zanakis started the hit parade, playing a $6 price part wheel trifecta ($144 total) in the first division of the Champlain and it paid off handsomely as he received a dividend of $2,408.40. Other key hits on Thursday were Sally Hinckley's $10 trifecta key ($120l) in the third division of the Champlain which paid $301, Dennis O'Hara's $50 cold exacta in the same race which returned $260, and Ann Stepien's $2 four-horse trifecta box ($48) earned $143.60. On a typical day, Gordon Waterstone's $20 trifecta key ($120) in the third division would normally have been the talk of the town with its $602 return but alas, Zanakis' play overshadowed this accomplishment. On Friday, August 2, the handicappers gathered their collective breaths with no particular breakouts. While the day's action was sedate, there were some individual bets worth noting. Derick Giwner's $150 exacta in the Zweig Memorial returned $405 while in the same race, Hinckley's $25 trifecta key ($150) paid $307.50. Saturday saw three players with big nights. Mark McKelvie led the trio with a net profit of $3,226 thanks to a $20 trifecta part-wheel ($60) in the She's A Great Lady. Waterstone earned $1,403 as a result of a $10 trifecta part wheel ($200) in the same race and O'Hara's $1,097 evening was attributable to a $30 trifecta key ($360) in the Metro which grossed $1,497. Other solid plays were Ray Garnett's $14 trifecta key ($280) in the Metro paid a $698.60 dividend as was Hinckley's $10 trifecta key play, returning $499. In the first division of the Simcoe, Josi Verlingieri had two winning tickets, a $25 exacta box ($150) paid $317.50 and a $125 win, place wager which returned $943.75. With a one day break, the handicappers returned for a Labor Day stanza which belonged to Garnet Barnsdale with his hit in the Shady Daisy. While Barnsdale had listed a $1 superfecta part wheel ($42), his ticket was reduced to a $.30 ticket ($12.60) which paid $2,561.90, reflecting the size of the superfecta pool. Waterstone was the only other player who won on Sunday as his $30 exacta box ($180) paid $438. The current standings after the completion of four legs are: As of September 1, 2014 - Leg 27 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $2,094.75 $4,303.45   2nd Brandon Valvo ($824.50) $2,780.00 $1,523.45 3rd Mark McKelvie $2,586.00 $1,962.00 $2,341.45 4th Josi Verlingieri $937.40 $1,551.55 $2,751.90 5th Earl Paulson ($504.00) $240.90 $4,062.55 6th Gordon Waterstone $2,103.00 $202.70 $4,100.75 7th Brian McEvoy $67.50 ($110.00) $4,413.45 8th Derick Giwner ($715.00) ($759.23) $5,062.68 9th Garnet Barnsdale $1,331.30 ($894.70) $5,198.15 10th Ray Garnett ($480.40) ($1,102.55) $5,406.00 11th Sally Hinckley ($122.00) ($1,793.90) $6,097.35 12th Ann Stepien ($406.95) ($2,156.06) $6,459.51 13th Rusty Nash ($745.65) ($2,369.76) $6,673.21 14th Dennis O'Hara $467.00 ($2,579.70) $6,883.15 15th Ray Cotolo ($1,150.00) ($5,698.40) $10,001.85 This week, one leg of the contest will be held on Saturday, September 6 at Mohawk Racetrack with a trio of races scheduled, the Simcoe for 3yo open pacers and the Champlain for 2yo open pacers and 2yo filly pacers will be contested. As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott for HANA

Drivers Truman Gale and Jimmy Whittemore each scored three victories on the Labor Day matinee program at Vernon Downs.   Gale picked up victories in the first race with Mass Appeal (Muscle Mass-Pana Colada), the seventh race with Psyched (Conway Hall-Psychotherapist), and the tenth and final race with Funny Photo (Classic Photo-American Jean). Funny Photo was sent off as the even-money favorite and certainly trotted that way, winning by a comfortable margin of five lengths in a final time of 1:57.   Whittemore won the third race with the betting favorite, How Bout Cash (Cash Hall-Hot Chili Girl), the sixth race with Ehi Guaglione (Camotion-Her Eyes Only), and the eighth race with Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail).   The drive with Jokerman might have been the most impressive of the day for Whittemore. The horse was sent off at 26-1 and sat last in the field of seven through the three-quarter mark before weaving through traffic in the stretch to strike the front before the wire and win, returning $54 for those who backed him.   The $3,500 feature race on the Monday program was the ninth race, which was a work of art by the winner Daley Lovin (Conway Hall-Dreamsrmadeofthis).   Trainer-driver Dan Daley sent Daley Lovin immediately to the lead and was never threatened after that. The colt built up an eight-length lead through three-quarters and continued to pull away through the stretch, eventually building a winning margin of sixteen lengths. The fractions were 27.2 for the quarter, 56.3 for the half, 1:24.3 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:53.4.   The complete order of finish for the ninth race was: Daley Lovin, Sonnewald, Im-A-Gangster, Paradise Paintball, Tellmehowyoulikeit, Lucy, and Dewlalula.   Daley Lovin is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Jirl LLC of Yonkers, New York.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs 

Vernon, NY --- Labor Day weekend harness racing began with a bang at Vernon Downs on Friday (Aug. 29) night as the opening leg of the Tioga-Vernon All-Star Drivers' Championship shared the spotlight with the Zweig Memorial, the Jack Bailey Memorial and the Crawford Farms Trot. All drivers advance to Tioga today (Sept. 1) for round two and the Cane Pace. Following the first four legs of round one of the drivers 'race for the cup' the lead is shared by Yannick Gingras and Ron Pierce with 20 points each. But it was not solely the lure of a $10,000 first prize that drew the top reinsmen to Vernon. With over three-quarters of a million dollars of purse money on the card, and some of the best racehorses in the country, the big guns were happy to be in town. For trainers, the day began with a noon check-in at the detention barn for the top stakes horses. Many horsemen made the most of the opportunity to attend the inaugural Open House at Crawford Farms in Durhamville, just 10 minutes north on route 31 near Verona. With plenty of yearlings to inspect, several trainers like Ron Burke, Linda Toscano, Charlie Norris, Homer Hochstetler and Gates Brunet got a head start on their evaluation rounds. Al and Michelle Crawford put out an elaborate spread of barbecue and refreshments and most attendees spent the sunny afternoon socializing and looking at colts. The crew at Vernon also had a fun-filled evening planned at the Downs, which started with an autograph session with the top drivers and included a T-shirt giveaway as well as the Jim Marohn Jr.bobblehead. Fans lined up along the apron to get the T-shirts and Marohn dolls which were individually emblazoned with the nine different drivers competing. Even the boss himself, Jeff Gural, was on-hand to greet the drivers and fans, and could be seen along the outside fence chatting with the Green Hornet before the card began. Following the third race was the ever popular Racing Under Saddle series $5,700 final. The race was won by Heather Reese who opened up a city block on the rest of the field by the time they rounded the final turn. Team Crawford packed the winner's circle to help celebrate with their colleague and farm manager who was the winning rider in 2:04 with Tymal Oh So Nice. Both Zweig finals went to Takter stable all-stars. Filly Shake It Cerry rallied in 1:53.4 with Ron Pierce driving and improved her seasonal stats to 8 wins in 10 starts and $395,036. Colt Father Patrick got back to his winning ways and eclipsed $700,000 for the season with regular pilot Yannick Gingras in 1:52.2. Despite all the 3-year-old trotting talent on tap, the elixir that the crowd was truly thirsty for was Sebastian K and the rest of the field in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot. The number one horse in North America went off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and did not disappoint, winning strategically for Svanstedt USA in 1:53, equaling the track record. The Crawford-sponsored purse put the collective earnings of the talented field just over the $15 million mark, and included Archangel (2nd), Market Share (3rd), and 2013 Dan Patch Horse of the Year Bee A Magician (4th). Gingras and Pierce will be reunited today (Sept. 1) at Tioga along with Corey Callahan, Tim Tetrick, Matt Kakaley, Scott Zeron, Jody Jamieson, Jim Marohn Jr. and Chris Lems for the final round. Along with the drivers challenge, the Miss Versatility and the Shady Daisy fill-up the Southern Tier's holiday menu. Highlighted by the $437,325 Cane Pace, first leg of the pacing triple crown, the historic event features glamour boys He's Watching and JK Endofanera. Labor Day in central New York will assuredly go out with a bang as well. by Chris Tully

There were three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers on Saturday night at Vernon Downs and driver Marcus Miller won two of them. All three divisions had purses of $37,266.   The first division went as the sixth race on Saturday and Azorean Art (Art Major-Dancin Barefoot) rallied from last place on the far turn to pass the entire field and win in 1:52.3. The early pace was fast in this division with a 25.3 quarter and a half in 54.3 for American Crossroad (Marcus Miller). Azorean Art was driven to victory by Mark MacDonald, one of four wins for him on the Saturday program. The trainer is Jimmy Takter and the colt is owned by Cristina Takter, Brixton Medical, and Hatfield Stables.   The first division also included a disqualification of third-place finisher Oneisalonelynumber, who went on a break on the first turn and caused significant interference in the field. He was placed last after the DQ. The complete order of finish for the first division was: Azorean Art, Sicily, The Spy, We Think Alike, American Crossroad, K-Rock, and Oneisalonelynumber. Southwind Masimo was a scratch (sick).   The Marcus Miller Show began with the next division of the Sire Stakes, carded as the seventh race. He drove Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) to a victory at 21-1, paying $44.80 to win and keying a $415.50 exacta. Betting Exchange was second for the majority of the mile, sitting behind the pacesetter, Americanprimetime (Jim Marohn Jr.). Miller made the winning move with Betting Exchange in deep stretch, angling out to move past Americanprimetime and get up for the victory in the final strides in a time of 1:51.1. Betting Exchange is trained by Tom Fanning and is owned by Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz, and Tom Fanning.   The complete order of finish for the second division was: Betting Exchange, Americanprimetime, Freedomformysoul, Cartoon Daddy, Yippity Hanover, and Nobettorplacetobe. Mikado Blue Chip was a scratch (sick).   The third and final division of the New York Sire Stakes was the ninth race on the program and Marcus Miller came through again, guiding Penji Hanover (Art Major-Platinum Hanover) to victory in 1:53.2. It was a well-timed drive by Miller, who sent Penji Hanover down the outside in the stretch to win just a heartbeat ahead of Bet You (Mark MacDonald), who conversely tried to come up the inside and had to wait the extra moment to get room and that proved costly. Penji Hanover is trained by Tony Alagna and the owned is W. Springtime Racing Stable.   The complete order of finish for the third division was Penji Hanover, Bet You, Berkley, K Ryan Bluechip, Ultimate G, Aimo Hanover, My Spirit Soars, and Play The Field.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Monday with a special Labor Day matinee program. First post time is 1:15pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs  

Last week for the first time in five weeks we broke even. We didn’t lose money but we were on a four-weekend winning streak for making money. But this now old news and on to this great weekend of racing. It’s the “Roaring Grand Circuit” big time this weekend and it kicks off Friday night at both Vernon Downs and Mohawk Raceway with the Zweig Trot, Crawford Farms Trot plus the Champlain Stakes. And the top horses are competing to make it even better. Then on Saturday the night belongs to Mohawk with the Metro Final, Canadian Pacing Derby, She’s A Great Lady final and the Simcoe Stakes. Super weekend and don’t forget on Labor Day Monday it’s the Cane Pace and Shady Daisy at Tioga Downs. Good Luck! $150,000 Trot Harry M Zweig 3YO Fillies Vernon Downs 6th race FRIDAY – Earlier this season she would have been 1/5 in the morning line but after a tough loss in the Hambletonian Oakes, Shake It Cerry has not yet gotten back the respect she once had. Don’t out this filly out. Last year she crushed at the end of the season and looks to be back in shape. Jump all over her if she goes off at 5/2. Class will tell. Use Broadway Socks and Avalicious in exotic plays. $124,621 Trot Champlain Stake 2YO Open Mohawk Raceway 6th race FRIDAY – Draws the rail and he is on a two-race winning streak. Habitat may be pressed a little early on but he should have things his own way in here. Can sit the pocket or go to the front and not look back. Use Muscle Diamond and Gifted Way in exotic plays. $340,000 Trot Final Harry M Zweig 3YO Colts Vernon Downs 8th race FRIDAY – How on god’s earth can you not even think of going again an entry of Father Patrick and Nuncio against this field. Two of the three best colt trotters in racing and all from the Jimmy Takter Stable. I am surprised they are allowing win betting. Use Flyhawk El Durado and Martiniwithmuscle in exotic plays. $124,621 Trot Champlain Stake 2YO Open Mohawk Raceway 8th race FRIDAY – Having won three times already this season, French Laundry is the horse to beat in here. He is usually hot on the lead and usually wires the field with ease as he can do again. Use Wheels An Smokin and Don’t Rush in exotic plays. $236,000 Trot Crawford Farms Open Vernon Downs 9th race FRIDAY – Last time this world champion was well rested he came back to win with a vengeance. Sebastian K goes for his eighth victory this year and should enjoy Vernon’s oval but wouldn’t count on a world record, just a nice easy win. Remember to watch the mare, Bee A Magician, as she has yet to face Sebastian K. use Bee A Magician and Market Share in exotic plays. $207,689 Pace 3YO Fillies Simcoe Stakes Mohawk Raceway 4th race SATURDAY – This is a very well matched field of top fillies. I am taking a shot that Beach Gal can upset. She has been razor sharp winning two of last three starts including lifetime mark of 1:49.3 right here at Mohawk. Use Precocious Beauty and Uffizi Hanover in exotic plays. $480,000 Pace 2YO Fillies She’s A Great Lady Final Mohawk 5th race SATURDAY – After watching her last couple of starts I am convinced that unbeaten JK Shesalady is the top two-year-old filly of the year and she will prove it in here. She has the ability to get geared up and once in motion she blows by everyone else. Use Band Of Angels and Bedroomconfessions in exotic plays. $667,000 Pace 2YO Colts The Metro Final Mohawk Raceway 7th race SATURDAY – Unbeaten in five starts so far, but what impressive miles they have been for Artspeak. He can just bully his way to the front and never look back, especially in his last two starts at Mohawk. Use Go Daddy Go and Lyons Again in exotic plays. $218,076 Trot 3YO Open Simcoe Stakes Mohawk Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – Since he has never been a rocket ship out of the starting gate, it really does not bother me that Trixton is starting in the second tier here in post 11. Jimmy Takter will weave his magic and once Trixton gets some clearance he will stalk down the field, take the lead and win for fun. It’s the first start back for the Hambletonian winner but he loves Mohawk Raceway. Use P L Hercules and Harper Blue Chip in exotic plays. $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby Final Mohawk Raceway 10th race SATURDAY – It’s almost not fair anymore like with Sebastian K. Sweet Lou is pretty near perfection this season and goes for his eleventh straight win. He has mowed this opponents down left and right, week after week. When is Ron Burke gonna let Ron Piece cut loose with Sweet Lou and go for a 1:45 mile? More than likely in Lexington. Use State Treasurer and Clear Vision in exotic plays.

Vernon NY - In an effort to obtain information regarding a break in and missing articles at the Vernon Downs Paddock area, Management is offering a $5,000 dollar reward for any information that will bring a satisfactory conclusion to the NYS Racing Investigation.   Please contact NYS Racing Investigator Guy Fracola at 315-829-6839.   ALL CALLS ARE CONFIDENTIAL   From Vernon Downs Managment

Monte performers were in action Friday evening with the Vernon Downs Monte Series Final contested by seven starters for a purse of $5,700. The race was non-wagering. Tymal Oh So Nice took the lead at the 5/8 mile post and drew off for an easy 13-length score in 2:04s for Heather Reese. The winner, a five year-old gelded son of Striking Sahbra-Tymal Abracadabra-Kadabra is trained by Ronald MacDonald who co-owns with Valeria Blackmore. The victory was his second in six 2014 starts under saddle. Tara Hynes teamed John-michael to be second ahead of My Irish Molly with Jocelyn Lavigne aboard. At Mohawk a $5,000 non-wagering monte event was held with eight contestants. Radical Dreamer with Marit Valstad up and Tragically Shipp with Natalie Elliot in the irons hit the wire together in a dead-heat for win. Radical Dreamer, a solid monte performer this season, is owned by Millard and trainer Ronald O'Neill of Cambridge. Tragically Shipp is trained by Lee Watson for Lynne and David Magee. The next scheduled monte events in Ontario listed below: 9/13 Mohawk 9/20 Flamboro 10/1 Western Fair by Thomas H. Hicks, for MonteAmerica  

The “barefoot wonder” did it again as Sebastian K was able to lead from start to finish and set a harness racing track record for older horses with his 1:53 triumph at Vernon Downs Friday in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot. Leaving like he was shot out of a rocket, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt has Sebastian K on the lead just moments after leaving the starting gate. Also leaving and securing the two-hold trip behind him was Archangel and driver Yannick Gingras as they sped to the opening quarter mile in an easy :28.1. Then in typical fashion, Svanstedt backed off Sebastian K to the half mile marker in :57.3 with Archangel right on their backs. It was then that Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick began to move up first-over and following their outside flow was Quick Deal (Matt Kakaley). When they passed the three-quarters in 1:26.3, Market Share was still gaining ground on the leaders and as they started down the stretch Archangel looked as if he had plenty of trot but no place to go as he was locked in behind Sebastian K with Market Share on the outside. Then in the stretch, Svanstedt let Sevastian K have his head and the world champion trotters pulled away from the group and went on to win with ease by two open lengths. Archangel was second with Market Share third. His 1:53 clocking tied the track record for older trotters that was first set in 2013 by For You Almost Free. “It was a great race,” said Bjorn “Bernie” Noren, second trainer for Ake Svanstedt, “He got an easy first half and a pretty good second half. It was an easy race for him tonight. During the off time he does what he always does. He trains twice a week intervals on the sand track and then go in the paddock the rest of the week. “It is such a great experience to have a good horse like him,” Noren said. “It is good to bring a top horse like Sebastian K here and that the fans really appreciate him. He has so many fans now and that is great for harness racing. We need that in our sport. “His next race will be at Hoosier Park on September 20 and then he will go to Lexington,” Noren said. Then we will go to Yonkers for their new International Trot and then maybe if all is OK we will supplement him to the Breeders Crown.” For Sebastian K it was his third straight win and eighth victory in nine outings here in the USA. His only loss was by a neck. The eight-year-old son of Korean was bred and is owned by Knutsson Trotting, Inc. of Vero Beach, FL. Sebastian K paid $2.30 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

After leaving strong from behind the starting gate, one could realize that Father Patrick and driver Yannick Gingras were not going to be passed by and that held to be true as the top colt wired the field in winning the $340,00 Harry M Zweig Memorial for three-year-old colt trotters Friday at Vernon Downs. With stable mate and entry Nuncio and driver John Campbell also leaving at the start it was a formidable duo that took control of the early lead to the opening quarter mile in a blazing :25.4 seconds. They raced indian-style to the half mile in an easy :56 and that was when Skates N Plates (Jim Morrill, Jr.) decided to the try coming first-over to no avail as they passed the three-quarters in 1:25.2. It was then that driver John Campbell moved out of the pocket and started to get Nuncio into high gear to mount a challenge against Father Patrick. But it was not to happen as Gingras urged Father Patrick on and he trotted a :27 second last quarter mile to win with ease by two lengths in 1:52.2. Nuncio was second with Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald) third. The time of the race was one-fifth of a second off of tying the stakes record for the Zweig Memorial. “In the post parade he felt really sharp,” said Yannick Gingras, “He was on the bit and this was one of his best races all year, the way he is supposed to be. When they popped the plugs (Nuncio) you have to worry as he is a great horse too. He tried hard too and never gives up. But once he came alongside my horse then my horse latched on even more. I was really confident with him and did not have to get after him tonight and that’s a good thing.” For Father Patrick, the son of Cantab Hall posted his seventh win in nine starts this  year for trainer Jimmy Takter. It was a sweep of the Zweig Memorial as Taker’s Shake It Cerry earlier captured the Zweig filly division. Father Patrick is owned by the Father Patrick Stables of East Windsor, NJ and he paid $2.10 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

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