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DAYTON PA - Venier Hanover, a two-year-old gelding by Well Said-Valmctorian, certainly put on a show on the first day of the 2017 Pennsylvania fair harness racing season - in the very first race of the year, the precocious baby toured the half-mile track at the Dayton Fairgrounds in 1:58, missing the all-age track record of J T Arturo by a single tick in only his second career start.   The sensational clocking also shattered the 2:00.2 divisional Dayton standard set by Marvalous Artist last year.   Early fractions in the magical mile were 31, 1:00.2, and 1:30, with Venier Hanover and trainer/driver Dave Brickell tacking on a 28 last quarter to come up just shy of the all-age record, a startling outing nonetheless for the youngster, whose only other purse start resulted in a 1:54 victory at The Meadows. Brickell and co-owner Mitchell Young are certainly no strangers to freshman stardom, as they were the team behind last season's pacing filly Camera Lady, who led all North American two-year-olds in victories with 15.   Pedigree fans can also find the seeds of greatness in Venier Hanover - sire Well Said is well-known, and Venier's third dam is Oxford Mary Ann, the dam of Cambest, whose T1:46.1 record stood as harness racing's fastest mile for 23 years before being eclipsed by Always B Miki last season.   A full recap of the rest of the two-year-old action and the three-year-old racing on Sunday will be distributed on Sunday evening.   Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 16, 2017 - I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley, $7) went up and over laboring harness racing lasses Friday night (June 16th), winning-at first seasonal purse asking-Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. This was the first local live program since a May 28th matinee and debuted the new start/finish line, which shortened the stretch by some 105 feet (660 to 555 feet). Unhurried from post position No. 4, I Said Diamonds settled sixth as Northfield expat Beyonce's Rockn (Jason Bartlett) made short work of an assigned eight-hole. That one made the lead after paying a 27-second, opening-quarter price for the privilege. The newbie was not in a giving mood, hanging Petticoat Series winner Cousin Mary (Jordan Stratton) in her attempt for the lead. A :55.1 intermission over a 'good' surface that had taken on some water put the closers in play. Down the backside, Lispatty (Mark MacDonald), as the 3-2 choice, went three-deep, but I Said Diamonds went deeper and much faster. The latter grabbed the lead passing a 1:24.1 three-quarters, then widened. She opened 3½ lengths off the final turn, whipping Lispatty by 4¼ lengths in 1:53.2. Hidden Land (Brian Sears), Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) and Freeze Out (George Brennan) settled for the minor moolah. For second choice I Said Diamonds, a now-4-year-old daughter of Well Said owned by A Piece of the Action Stable and trained by Matias Ruiz, she entered off a six-win, $304,000 season as a soph. The exacta paid $27.60, the triple returned $142.50 and the superfecta paid $400.50. Holland won a race, moving him to within four of the 5,000  win plateau (that would be 4,996 for those of you keeping score of such things). A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (June 17th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $1,845.99.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

WILKES-BARRE PA – Princess Fabulosa made her last start of the 2016 harness season on July 14, but the 11-month wait for her to come back to the races is now paying off in spades, as the Well Said mare is now 2-for-2 in the current campaign after taking a new lifetime mark of 1:51.2 despite a sloppy track Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Scott Zeron let the winner of $126,090 proceed frontward at her own pace, making the top past the 27.3 opening split, then backing off the half to 56.2. “Princess Fab” turned on the afterburners in the back half, coming home in 55 to be well clear of Family Roll Call, second to the winner for the second straight week. Mark Silva conditions the promising distaff (this was only her 19th lifetime start) for owners Lewis Whitaker and Charles Rowe. Just before the third race, the skies opened up over northeast Pennsylvania, with such heavy rain that the horses got as their chartcall at the half and 3/4s “RN,” for rain, so tough was the visibility. A near-gale-like stretch headwind developed, explaining fractions of 27.1, 57.3, 1:25, and 1:55.4 over the 5/8-mile track. As for driver Simon Allard, he figured that if he couldn’t see any horse in front of him, he was in good shape, so he sent Drivingthedragon N right to the top and went coast-to-coast at a $7.40 mutuel.   Jenn Starr was showing off her background in music by referencing The Doors' "Riders On The Storm" with the picture earlier. Maybe if The Lizard King had spent more time at Vincennes instead of other parts of Paris, the song would have been called "Drivers In The Storm."   And yes, that is a reference to a popular British TV show in the headline. ("Absolutely Fabulous," in case the reference was not there for you.)   PHHA / Pocono    

When a horse broke in the path of the well-backed Adele Said ($10 into $5.70) soon after the start in Launceston on Friday night most harness racing punters who had invested on the filly were close to tearing up their tickets. But it's a good thing they didn't because despite losing about 50 metres in the scrimmage Adele Said recovered to go on and score a very impressive win. After the incident driver Todd Rattray had the three-year-old settled into a strong pace but he was forced to drive her for luck and as it happens the luck presented itself and the filly did the rest. Adele Said (Well Said-Catz N Ratz) burst clear of the pack in the home straight and went on to score by six metres from Only A Myth with Holly Halo almost three metres astern. Adele Said recorded a mile rate of 2.03.7 which was good given the circumstances and she ran home her last half-mile (800m) in 61 seconds. Butler, who spent the early days of his training career at Lachlan near New Norfolk in the Derwent Valley, south-west of Hobart, has long been considered one of Tasmania's most talented horsemen. He trained Joesashyguy to win the 1999 Tasmanian Derby to etch his names in the record books as one of the youngest to train a Group winner in the state at age 21. Butler recently relocated to the north of the state where he has set up a training operation at Pipers River about 50km north of Launceston and he plans to expand his training enterprise with the help of his life partner and talented driver Kristy Grant who is the granddaughter of veteran harness trainer Dick Eaves. Butler and Grant moved into their new residence, formerly owned by prominent harness racing breeders Lyndon and Gail Menegon, last month and he expects to quickly build up the number of stable tenants. "We've been on the property for about three weeks and Adele said was our first starter training from our new property and Jillibi Gigi ran second later in the night so it's a fairly good start," Butler said. "We have eight horses in work so hopefully in another month or so we'll be able to take a team of four or five to the races." Peter Staples

Pompano Beach, FL...April 30, 2017...Heart Felt, craftily handled by Bryce Fenn, put on a game harness racing performance on Sunday night (April 30), taking Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap in 1:51.4. The six year-old altered son of Well Said overcame the outside post to post a photo finish win--a neck--over Arsenal, driven by Dave Ingraham. Fritzie Pic Up Man, with Wally Hennessey in the sulky, recovered from an early miscue to finish third, a half-length away. Goldstar Raider was a fast closing fourth while Rock On Moe, prominent throughout much of the mile, picked up the nickel in the classy octet. In an early battle for supremacy, the three outside horses, Arsenal, Rock On Moe and Heart Felt, all were in search of the top spot with Heart Felt gaining the top past the :26.2 opener before yielding to Rock On Moe (Dan Daley)--briefly. Three-eighths into the mile, Fenn sent Heart Felt back to the front and carved out remaining panels of :54.2 and 1:23 before a :28.4 final panel held Arsenal at bay at the wire. After the race, driver Bryce Fenn related, "The only way I was going to get into the race was to leave out of there. After all, when you have the outside post, you cannot afford to spot an evenly matched field like this 10 lengths every week. "Last week, they were leaving all around me so I didn't have much choice but, tonight, it looked like we were the only ones with noses right on the gate, so we were rocking and rolling early. "When Dan (Daley) put his horse on top, my horse didn't seem content in the pocket, so I tipped him out and reclaimed the lead. "He went a game trip, I'll say that." Trained by Luanna Beeson for Winchesster Baye Acres, Heart Felt won for the fourth in 15 starts to push his 2017 bankroll to $33,275 and $5 short of $140,000 career-wise. As the 5 to 1 third choice, Heart Felt paid $12.00 to win. The win for driver Fenn was the third of the night, who scored a consecutive grand slam of sorts by taking the early daily double on Sunday after sweeping the late daily double on Pompano Park's last program on Wednesday night. In other Pompano Park action on Sunday, Groovey Kid, handled by Wally Hennessey, scored a decisive win in a conditioned trotting event, stopping the tele-timer in a lifetime best 1:54.3. The "hard-headed" six year-old gelded son of Cincinnati Kid began a sweeping move from sixth with one lap to go and swept to the lead three-eighths from home and went on to score a win measuring 9¾ lengths over Body Double (Joe Sanzeri) with I'll Tell You What (Kevin Wallis), making his 300th career start, third. Railee Workable recovered from an early miscue to finish fourth while Uptoa Dream picked up the final award in the field of nine. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, Groovey Kid won for the third time this semester in 15 starts, pushing his 2017 earnings to $18,975 and $136,240 lifetime. The mile eclipsed the trotter's former mark of 1:55, accomplished when he won for the first time this year. "He can be sort of 'hard-headed' on occasion," Hennessey said, "but, when he puts his mind to it, he can trot a ton. He did that tonight!" As the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, Groovey Kid paid $4.60 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Boli looking to score a three-peat in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot. This five year-old son of Kadabra will have to overcome the outside post to conquer a field including Sailer Eddie, Keystone Bodacious, Commentary, Legend Field, Caviart Griffin, McKenzie's Star, My Revenuer and Skyway Pippen. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

WILKES-BARRE PA – Anwar Hanover ($42.40), riding great second-over cover for harness racing driver Andrew McCarthy, caught the first-over Cruise Patrol by a neck to lower his mark by a tick to 1:51.1 in winning the $18,000 featured pace Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The winning son of Well Said had been highly-enough regarded to try the Levy Series in March, but breaks in three of his last four starts had discouraged the bettors, resulting in his long price here. Frank Kamine (who ironically once was the trainer of Saturday night’s Levy champion Keystone Velocity) conditions Anwar Hanover for owner Mike Romanelli. There were a trio of $16,000 co-features on the Sunday card, one each for trotters of both sexes and one for pacing males.   Libertarian, a five-year-old altered son of Donato Hanover who was making only his 20th lifetime start, continued to make up for lost time, now having won half of his eight 2017 starts after a wire-to-wire 1:55.1 victory. Rich Gillock trains the promising trotter for owners Thomas Brice and Charles Receski. (Earlier in the card, Gillock also conditioned another Donato Hanover winner, the filly Icy Crystals, who finally broke her maiden in her  15th start and paid $63.60 under the guidance of Marcus “I Don’t Want To Be Known As The King Of The Longshots” Miller.)   Libertarian’s female counterpart was the Manofmanymissions mare Haileysgonedancing, who swung wide approaching headstretch and caught the pacesetting Catch All nearing the wire while equaling her lifetime mark of 1:55.4. Tom Jackson had sulky duties for trainer Susan Marshall, co-owner with James Matheos.   The Somebeachsomewhere colt Highalator won in the first two preliminaries of his Weiss Series competition, then kept out of the box last week and dropped in the pacing co-feature Sunday to keep his confidence high. And the strategy worked for trainer Jenny Bier as Highalator went wire-to-wire for his eighth straight victory, tallying in 1:53 for driver Victor Kirby and owners Daryl Bier and Charles Dombeck.   The Bobby Weiss Series preliminary action reclaims the spotlight on Monday and Tuesday at The Downs. Pacers of both sexes will have two divisions on Monday (minus Highalator); the trotters follow the next day with three divisions for each.   PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, March 18, 2017 -- Art N Music exploded from the pocket in the lane and captured his second straight in Saturday's Walter Russell Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Town Speaker took the other $12,500 second-leg split in the series for 3- and 4-year-old colts, stallions and geldings. The Walter Russell championship, as well as the finals of three other current series at The Meadows, is set for Saturday, March 25. Art N Music stalked Dragon Striker for most of the mile before making the winning move for Dave Palone. He prevailed in a career-best 1:55.3 over a sloppy surface, 2-3/4 lengths better than the rallying Sin City Boogie, while Dragon Striker saved show. Ron Burke trains the 4-year-old Art Colony-Keystone Musical gelding for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Town Speaker, who finished third in his series opener, quarter-poled to the front for Dan Rawlings and held off the first-over Gossip Boy to score by a neck in 1:56.3, with Subliminal third. Dirk Simpson conditions the 3-year-old Well Said-Town Feather gelding for James Reynolds and Marsha Combs-Skinner. Burke enjoyed a four-bagger on the 12-race card, with Palone piloting three of the victors. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows            

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 25, 2017 -- Kingofthejungle waited patiently in the pocket behind the dueling leaders, then blazed through the harness racing 'Lightning Lane' to score the 9-1 upset in Saturday's $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. While Mykindachip was fending off the first over challenge of Latest Desire, Kingofthejungle and Tony Hall kept up, waiting for the opportunity to strike. They found it inside, where Kingofthejungle overtook Mykindachip and downed him by a head in 1:53.1. Unlocked also shot the Lightning Lane to earn show. Jack Smith trains Kingofthejungle, a 6-year-old Well Said-Allamerican Calico gelding who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $395,291, for Fox Racing Inc. and Darius Oshidar. Hall collected four wins and Aaron Merriman three on the 12-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

LEBANON, OH. - The first of four February "Survivor Series" champions was crowned Sunday afternoon (Feb. 19) at Miami Valley Raceway. A Little Starstruk (Kayne Kauffman) proved to be queen of the harness racing elimination style 'elite series' for $10,000 claiming mares, triumphing over Ginger Spice N (Brady Galliers) and Fox Valley Pipa (Randy Tharps) in 1:53.3. Kauffman put the winning 6-year-old Well Said mare on the front end early, and save for a very brief give-and-go lead change with Fox Valley Pipa around the :27.4 first quarter mile marker, A Little Starstruk never had an anxious moment. Posting comfortable mid-mile fractions of :56.3 and 1:25.1 she had plenty left to post a :28.2 final quarter while opening up daylight on the other eight finalists through the stretch. Elated owner-trainer Chris McGuire plucked A Little Starstruk via the claim box from the first leg of the claiming series for $12,000 and almost recouped his entire investment in one week with the winner's share of the $20,000 championship purse. Miami Valley will be 'dark' on Monday (Feb. 20) due to Presidents Day, although simulcast wagering will be available throughout the day and night. Live racing resumes Tuesday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. when a $22,000 Open Trot and a pair of third elimination round races for $5000 male pacers will share the spotlight. Gregg Keidel

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 3, 2016 -- Kingofthejungle moved smartly first over for Aaron Merriman and went on to capture Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows. It was one of five wins on the harness racing card for Merriman, including a pair for trainer Mike Dowdall. Kingofthejungle was third near the three-quarters when Merriman sent him after the leader, Atta Boy Dan. The 5-year-old Well Said-Allamerican Calico gelding overtook Atta Boy Dan around the final turn and held off the rallying Doctor RJ by a neck to prevail in 1:52.2. Atta Boy Dan saved show. Jack Smith trains Kingofthejungle, who extended his career bankroll to $359,316, for Fox Racing Inc. and Darius Oshidar. Rags To Riches Of PA enjoyed an ownership triple on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WILKES-BARRE PA - It may have taken her until the end of her three-year-old harness racing campaign, but the sophomore Well Said filly Eloquent Grace may have had her breakthrough mile Tuesday night at  The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in taking the $18,000 distaff pacing feature. Her final time of 1:53.1 in 48-degree temperatures did not give her a new mark (she set hers at 1:51.4 in 79 temperatures in Philly at June), but her method of winning was most impressive - sitting fourth and about five lengths off the pace at the 5/8, Eloquent Grace and driver Jim Marohn Jr. made a giant spurt to reach the leader by the ¾ pole, go by on the turn, and win by 4¼ lengths, with her final 3/8 translating to about a 1:50 mile rate. The superior victory also boosted her earnings over six figures - to $100,200. An embryo transfer foal out of Graceful Motion, who produced the millionaire Real Artist full sister/brother Ginger And Fred and Fred And Ginger (the lead name reveals the horse's sex), also embryo transfer foals who were successfully campaigned by Ed Gold, Howard Taylor, and Jerry Silva in various partnerships, Eloquent Grace continues a long history for this trio: the official ownership on her is Taylor, Gold, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and the Burke Racing Stable LLC of conditioner Ron Burke. Star driver of the evening at Pocono at press time was Andrew McCarthy, who visited Victory Lane four times, in races 3, 5, 6 and 7. Breaking up McCarthy's streak was fourth race winning driver Jim Taggart Jr., who in the eleventh race came back with an $89.80 winner in Marion Millionaire - giving The Downs seven horses paying $50 on more in its last six cards. PHHA / Pocono    

WILKES-BARRE PA - The photo-finish system at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono stayed hard at work during the $16,000 harness racing distaff pacing feature Tuesday night, as the Well Said sophomore filly I Said Please reduced her mark by a tick to 1:53.1 in defeating Rock Me Baby by a nose, with Eloquent Grace another nose back in third.   Those three formed the outer tier down the backstretch, helped by a tailwind, with Eloquent Grace going to the lead on the far turn, only to be overhauled late by second-over I Said Please, who just did withstand the foe on her back, Rock Me Baby, for driver Andrew McCarthy (one of his two wins on the night), trainer Travis Alexander, and the Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC, who saw their filly run his earnings to $121,433. It was just another race at the office for the photo finish operation - the rules officially call for a photo for any race decided by a half-length race or less, and in the first eight races six of the margins added up to three noses, a head, a neck, and a half-length.   Windsun Glory became another horse traveling a pattern familiar to Pennsylvania horseplayers - from Ontario to the Ron Burke Stable, then winning at first asking after a layoff -- in taking the $15,500 co-featured pace. The sophomore daughter of Mach Three made an early move to command for Matt Kakaley, then stepped home in 55.3 in lowering her mark to 1:51.2 while crossing the six-figure bankroll threshold to $101,886 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Lawrence Karr.   After winning a Breeders Crown race on Saturday night with 17-1 Someomensomewhere, Marcus Miller was reminded that in Pennsylvania he is known as "King Of The Longshots," to which he replied, "I would love to be king of the favorites; that's my next goal!" Well, Marcus, who had three winners on this card, may have to delay that ambition a trifle if he keeps bringing home horses like Terror Aint A Fool, who won the first race by, what else on this night, a nose, and paid $59.00 - giving young Miller ten winners of $50 or more at Pocono this year, double his nearest competition in that category.   The horse defeated by a nose in the opener was 31-1 shot Irish Kath N, who was driven by about the only sulkysitter currently hotter than Miller, Jim Marohn Jr., who captured four races Tuesday to mark the eighth consecutive Pocono card where he's had multiple wins. He's now risen to sixth in the Pocono standings, with the three drivers battling for fifth being familiar names if you've read all this story - Marcus Miller 112, Jim Marohn Jr. 111, Andrew McCarthy 110. Marohn had 35 wins at Pocono during the month of October just at Pocono, and 53 in all for the month counting Philly, Freehold, and The Meadowlands.   Marohn's so hot right now, he won a race where he didn't cross the wire first - his Low Card was caught by a neck by Anwar Hanover, but that horse made the third of his three breaks (one an "ix") during the race in the shadow of the wire, putting Marohn and his horse up via the lapped-on break rule.   PHHA / Pocono  

Harness racing owner Bob Tambur enjoys watching his horses compete, but even more than that he delights in simply watching them grow up. "I just have a love for raising these horses; I get a big kick out of it," said Tambur, a northeast Pennsylvania resident whose homebred Boogie Shuffle races out of the training stable of Mark Harder in Saturday's first of five Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 2-year-old male pacers at Lexington's Red Mile. "I tell Mark all the time, I get as big a kick out of breeding these horses as I do watching them race. I get a kick out of seeing how they turn out. It's more special when they do well, but I'm just so happy to be competitive." Boogie Shuffle has been competitive for Tambur's Fox Hollow Farm, with a total of six on-the-board finishes in eight starts and earnings of $72,633. He has one win and four second-place finishes, with three of the runner-up efforts coming on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit to Huntsville, Downbytheseaside, and Fear The Dragon. Huntsville went on to win the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, with Downbytheseaside second and Fear The Dragon third. Those three horses also are among the four fastest 2-year-old male pacers of the season; the other is Ocean Colony. Boogie Shuffle and driver Scott Zeron will see Huntsville, Fear The Dragon, and Ocean Colony in their seven-horse Bluegrass division Saturday. Huntsville, from the Ray Schnittker Stable, is the 2-1 morning line favorite while Boogie Shuffle is 6-1. The division features five horses with at least $69,000 in purses; no other division has more than two. "If you want to be a top horse you've got to race with the top horses," Tambur said about Boogie Shuffle's difficult draw. "There are no breathers, not in today's world. I'd like to win them all, but that's not how it goes." Tambur, whose business ventures include a financial company and real estate development, got started in harness racing a little more than 20 years ago and enjoyed success in the mid-1990s with stakes-winning female pacer Sweetgeorgiabrown. Other notable horses have included stakes-winner Sutter Hanover (in partnership) and hard-knocking homebred Bullet Bob, who has earned $359,095. Boogie Shuffle is a son of stallion Well Said out of Tambur's mare Ciela Hanover. Boogie Shuffle's 3-year-old full brother Senator Charlie has earned $77,690 for Fox Hollow Farm and a Well Said-Ciela Hanover yearling named Kaboom Pow will soon start preparing for his racing career. Ciela Hanover this year produced a Sweet Lou-sired filly named Sweet Anna Banana. "I have high hopes for the two on the ground, the filly and the colt," Tambur said. "The brother to Boogie is bigger at this stage. He's a good-looking colt. We hope he does well. We hope he's got the speed and the desire Boogie has. It's all about the heart." Tambur thought highly of Boogie Shuffle from the time he was born. "I saw that horse an hour after he was born and he was standing up and he was so correct," Tambur said. "From day one, he looked fabulous; from hour one. I always felt because of how correct he was that he was going to be a well-gaited horse." Boogie Shuffle heads to the Bluegrass off a fourth-place finish in a division of the Liberty Bell Series in which he encountered traffic trouble in the stretch. The colt's remaining stakes schedule includes the International Stallion, Breeders Crown, and Matron. "We're hopeful, but we know the competition is keen," Tambur said. "He is getting stronger and he's grown a little bit. We just hope he continues to get faster and get better. He's got a good motor, and he's got a good heart, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully he continues to do well." The favorites in the remaining four Bluegrass divisions for 2-year-old male pacers are, in race order, Erv Miller's R J P, Jimmy Takter's Blood Line, Brian Brown's Downbytheseaside, and Ron Burke's Miso Fast. There also are four divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers, headlined by Takter's She's A Great Lady champion Idyllic Beach. For Saturday's complete card, click here. Ken Weingartner  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 2, 2016 -- Techtor Hanover worked out a comfortable pocket trip, then roared through the harness racing Lightning Lane to capture Friday's $13,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life Pace at The Meadows. Techtor Hanover had been performing well against top competition but settling for checks rather than wins. The 4-year-old Well Said-Tempest Blue Chip gelding elevated his game Friday when he kicked past the venerable Sam Hill to down him by a neck in 1:50.1, fastest of his career. The first-over Kingofthejungle earned show. Aaron Merriman piloted Techtor Hanover, who extended his lifetime bankroll to $135,908, for trainer Jack Smith and owner Tommy Mucci. It was one of three wins on the 13-race program for Merriman. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday with a Labor Day card that begins at the special post time of 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WILKES-BARRE PA - Better Said ($23.80) overcame a speed-grinding first-over trip to take the harness racing $15,500 featured pace Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Jim Taggart Jr. was able to take away the lead from favored frontstepping Single Me in early stretch, but 2014 Breeders Crown winner Sayitall BB came clear in the Pocono Pike and charged hard, extending the winning daughter of Well Said, but she remained game to hold off her oncoming rival by a neck. Better Said also took a new mark of 1:51.2 with the victory, in which she came her own last half in 55 flat despite the first-over grind. Kyle Spagnola trains the winner of $194,552 for owner Michael Polansky.   Two other distaffers of note winning on the Tuesday Pocono card were the Royel Millennium filly Prairie Sweetheart, now 9 for 9 lifetime as she prepared for the fall stakes season in Florida by lowering her mark to 1:50.4 for driver Anthony Napolitano and trainer Mike Deters, the latter co-owner with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler, and 2014 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2PF champion Southwind Roulette, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere who raised her stack of chips to $562,655 while lowering her speed mark to 1:50.1 under the guidance of Mike Simons for trainer Ron Burke and owner Frank Poerio Jr.   PHHA / Pocono

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 - The value of picking your post position after an elimination victory isn't getting to select your exact spot on the harness racing gate, but rather eliminating any chance of a drawing a poor post. Half a length is all that separated rookie pacing filly Happy Hannah from securing a great post position to drawing the dreaded ten-hole in the $427,000 Shes A Great Lady final at Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night. Trained by Mark Steacy, Happy Hannah entered last Saturday's 'Great Lady' eliminations with a victory and a pair of seconds in three starts. The daughter of Well Said was sent to the front by driver Randy Waples and led the field into the backstretch before heavy favourite Candlelight Dinner made a brush to the lead. Happy Hannah was in a fantastic spot to make the final following the undefeated leader. However, victory became an option when Candlelight Dinner began to fade at the top of the lane and Happy Hannah angled from the rail to take over top spot. Appearing to be on her way to a victory, the Steacy trainee got picked off in deep stretch by a charging Thats My Ticket and finished second. "She cleared a little bit too early in the stretch and being young she got lost," said Steacy. "I think if she would have just come a little bit later she would've got the job done." The second-place effort secured Happy Hannah a spot in the rich final, her connections $8,750 plus a guaranteed cheque in the final and kept her record of top two finishes intact. The downside to finishing second, landing post ten in the open draw. Staying away from the negatives, Happy Hannah appears to be a Grand Circuit player and Steacy believes she is getting stronger with each start. "Unfortunately (finishing second) cost us the post position, but she has only had three or four starts and she is getting better each time." The first foal out of Hallie Gallie, a daughter of the great Galleria, Happy Hannah sold for $90,000 at last year's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and showed her trainer talent and some sass training down. "She was a little witch," noted Steacy. "She was hard to break and she still is a little bit of a witch, but I like that little attitude in them anyways. She always showed a real nice gait and lots of ability from the start." After finishing second in her debut on July 25, Happy Hannah broke her maiden the next week in 1:53.4, pacing a :26.3 final-quarter. Through four starts, she has banked $45,637 for owners Stan Klemencic, Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. and Hutt Racing Stable. While Happy Hannah will have to overcome post ten in Saturday's final, her stablemate Obvious Blue Chip did just slightly better in the draw by landing post eight. The daughter of Roll With Joe was making just her third start in last Saturday's 'Great Lady' elimination and finished fifth to qualify for the final. A $35,000 purchase out of Harrisburg, Obvious Blue Chip is owned by Nlg Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski. A winner in her career debut, Steacy pointed out that he didn't originally plan on entering 'Obvious' in the event, but got his arm twisted by her original driver. "Actually James (MacDonald) talked me into putting her in that race because she raced pretty good the start before." Obvious Blue Chip rallied in her elimination from last at the top of the lane to finish fifth by pacing home in :27.2. She has paced a final-quarter of :27.2 or better in all three of her starts. "She raced really well," said Steacy. "She got shuffled back and still came on and got in, unfortunately she got the eight-hole, but if they go hard at the front, she could sneak in there for a piece." Obvious Blue Chip will attempt to put her strong closing speed to use and rally for a share in Saturday's final, but don't expect to see Happy Hannah at the back of the pack. "I wouldn't doubt that Hannah will probably have to go a little bit at the start," Steacy said. "You can't pull last, I don't think, but that will be up to Randy." Steacy's fillies will have to play with the hands they have been dealt for Saturday, but whether they can make some noise or not, the future appears bright. Here is the full field for Saturday's $427,000 Shes A Great Lady Final PP/Horse/Sire/Trainer 1. Candlelight Dinner - American Ideal - Casie Coleman 2. Thats The Ticket - Roll With Joe - Chris Ryder 3. World Apart - Art Major - Linda Toscano 4. Idyllic Beach - Somebeachsomewhere - Jimmy Takter 5. Everyones Watching - Artiscape - Tony Alagna 6. Agent Q - Western Terror - Aaron Lambert 7. Awash - Somebeachsomewhere - Tony Alagna 8. Obvious Blue Chip - Roll With Joe - Mark Steacy 9. Blameitonthenight - Mach Three - Tony Alagna 10. Happy Hannah - Well Said - Mark Steacy   Mark McKelvie

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