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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 30, 2015 - Harness racing favored In the Arsenal (Brian Sears, $2.50, part of entry) prevailed after making it interesting Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace. Eight 3-year-olds-seven colts and one geldings-went postward in the 25th Rooney, which began in 1989, a year after the death of Art Rooney Sr. In the Arsenal, unhurried early from post position No. 2, saw pole-sitting Rock N' Roll World (Dan Dube) make the first lead before a visit from the winner's entrymate, Betting Exchange (Dave Miler). That one, denied a an early pocket by the eventual winner made the lead just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. In the Arsenal then moved from third, getting around his stable buddy right around the 56-second intermission. Soon after, Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was put in play, going after In the Arsenal toward a 1:24 three-quarters. In the Arsenal eventually disposed of that one, taking a length lead into the lane. He was home free by a cozy margin...until he bore right a path or so and appeared to pull himself up. Betting Exchange was the main beneficiary, ducking inside to make it close. Not close enough, however, as In the Arsenal prevailed by a diminishing head in 1:51.2. Betting Exchange made the entry 1-2, with Rock N' Roll World third, beaten a length. Arque Hanover and National Seelster (Eric Carlson) came away with the remainder, with Cartoon Daddy (Mark MacDonald), Bet You (Tyler Buter) and Sonofa Sizzle (George Brennan) completing the order. For In the Arsenal, a $7,500 "buyback" son of American Ideal trained by Kelvin Harrison for co-owners (breeder) White Birch Farm) and In the Arsenal Racing, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (career 9-for-14, earnings of $581,843). The exacta (Rock N' Roll World 'second') paid $5.70, with the triple (Arque Hanover 'third') returning $18. It was Sears' third win in the Rooney, after Badlands Nitro (2008) and Pet Rock (2012, stakes-record 1:51. "I was thinking about letting (Betting Exchange) in early, but In the Arsenal can grab on a bit, so I kept him going. As far as what happened (with the bolt) late, I have no idea. He gave no inclination, and I have no explanation, other than to say he's learning. Luckily, no one was outside of me." Frank Drucker

Freehold, NJ --- Already a physically gifted harness racing colt, In The Arsenal added a new weapon to his cache during his offseason. A little bit of patience. In The Arsenal, racing as part of a common-ownership entry with Betting Exchange, is the even-money morning line favorite in Saturday’s $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds at Yonkers Raceway. In The Arsenal and driver Brian Sears will start from post No. 2 for trainer Kelvin Harrison. Sonofa Sizzle, who has won four of five races this year including his Rooney elimination by a neck over Betting Exchange in 1:52.1, drew post eight and is the 3-1 second choice. Saturday’s card also features the $117,724 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old female pacers. The entry of Totally Rusty, who is undefeated in four starts this year, and Strut My Stuff is the 1-1 morning line choice. Last week, In The Arsenal won his Rooney elimination by a head over Rock N’ Roll World in 1:53.1. He is 2-for-2 this season and has won eight of 13 career races while earning $431,843 in purses. He is owned by breeder White Birch Farm and the multi-partnered In The Arsenal Racing. “He’s matured a lot, as far as being a lot smarter than he was last year,” Harrison said. “Last year if you started him up you really had trouble holding him. Now he’s more manageable; his manners are a lot better. He’s way smarter. That’s the big thing for him. You can’t be wasting energy against these kinds of horses.” Last year, In The Arsenal won the Lawrence B. Sheppard final at Yonkers in mid-July before being sidelined for more than a month because of illness. When he returned, he won four of five starts before drawing post 10 in both his elimination and final for the Breeders Crown. He finished third in his elim and second in the final. In addition to his victory in the Sheppard, the colt’s triumphs included the Matron Stakes and divisions of the Bluegrass, International Stallion, and Historic-Goshen Cup. In The Arsenal is a son of American Ideal out of the mare Ladyotra. He was bred by White Birch Farm, who bought back the colt for $7,500 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. Harrison attributed the price to In The Arsenal’s then-smallish size, as well as the fact he was the 14th foal out of the then-21-year-old Ladyotra. “I think that kind of determined his price at Harrisburg, because he was really small,” Harrison said. “But he had great conformation; he was well put together.” With a win Saturday, In The Arsenal would become the first horse to capture the Sheppard at age 2 and Rooney at age 3. The list of Rooney winners includes Horse of the Year recipients Precious Bunny, Cam’s Card Shark, Gallo Blue Chip, and No Pan Intended, as well as stars One More Laugh, Pet Rock, and the filly See You At Peelers. “It’s his race to win or lose,” Harrison said about In The Arsenal. “He’s got a good spot, he’s got a good driver; if things go reasonably well for him I’m sure he’s going to be right there. “He likes a half-mile track. He can pace the turns wicked fast. He’s good on any size track, but when you pace the turns as hard as he can pace them it’s a bigger advantage to him.” Following the Rooney, In The Arsenal will head to Canada for the North America Cup. He also has the Max C. Hempt Memorial and Meadowlands Pace on his schedule in the next several weeks. “Obviously I don’t think we’re going to be doing them all,” Harrison said. “We’ll take our shots and see how it goes. If everything went perfectly you would skip the Hempt and freshen him up for the Meadowlands Pace. The Hempt is big money, it’s a great race, it’s just a shame they’re all back to back.” Following is the field in post order for the Art Rooney Pace with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Rock N’ Roll World, Daniel Dube, Mark Silva, 7-1 2. In The Arsenal, Brian Sears, Kelvin Harrison, 1-1 3. Argue Hanover, Jason Bartlett, Casie Coleman, 10-1 4. National Seelster, Eric Carlson, Chris Ryder, 6-1 5. Betting Exchange, David Miller, Tom Fanning, 1-1 6. Bet You, Tyler Buter, Jimmy Takter, 20-1 7. Cartoon Daddy, Mark MacDonald, Ron Burke, 15-1 8. Sonofa Sizzle, George Brennan, Josh Green, 3-1 by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - In the Arsenal, already with a Yonkers Raceway open stakes wins to his credit, drew post position No. 2 for Saturday night's harness racing $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The 25th edition of the Art Rooney, one of the sport's premier events for the 3-year-old male pacers, goes as the fourth of 12 races (first post 7:10 PM, approximate post for Rooney 8:15 PM). Brian Sears drives In the Arsenal, a son of American Ideal trained by Kelvin Harrison for co-owners (breeder) White Birch Farm and In the Arsenal Racing. The colt won the second of last weekend's two elimination races, defeating Rock N' Roll World by a head in 1:53.1. In the Arsenal has won eight of his 13 career races and $431,843, making him the richest of the octet the final. He first gained prominence last summer, winning the $125,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard, the Raceway's premier event for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Last week's other elim winner, Sonofa Sizzle (1:52.1), wasn't as fortunate with the open draw. He landed behind the eight-ball with George Brennan picking up the assignment for trainer Josh Green. Sears drove the son of Life Sizzles a week ago. The field for the Rooney Pace... 1 - Rock N' World (Dan Dube), 2 - In the Arsenal (Brian Sears), 3 - Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett), 4 - National Seelster (Andy Miller), 5 - Betting Exchange (Dave Miller), 6 - Bet You (Brett Miller), 7 - Cartoon Daddy (Yannick Gingras), 8 - Sonofa Sizzle (George Brennan). Note that In the Arsenal and Betting Exchange shall race as a common-ownership entry. Saturday night's undercard is led by the companion event, the $117,724 Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies (6th race, approximate post 9 PM). The half-dozen lasses... 1 - Strut My Stuff (Jordan Stratton), 2 - Bedroomconfessions (Sears), 3 - Totally Rusty (Bartlett), 4 - Sassa Hanover (Gingras), 5 - Purrfect Bags (Tim Tetrick), 6 - Special Package (Brennan). Note Strut My Stuff and Totally Rusty race as a (common-ownership) entry, with the latter of $15,000 supplemental entrant. Changes (if any) to these races are to be made Wednesday morning. Frank Drucker

Freehold, NJ --- In The Arsenal was away from the races for seven weeks this summer because of illness, but the layoff might have turned into a blessing in disguise. During the recently completed Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile in Lexington, In The Arsenal won divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He won his Bluegrass split in a national season’s best 1:49.4 for a 2-year-old pacer and captured his International Stallion division by a length over Cartoon Daddy as previously unbeaten Artspeak went off stride in the stretch and finished third. On Sunday (Oct. 12), In The Arsenal faces another undefeated colt – Yankee Bounty – in the first of three Historic-Goshen Cup divisions at Harrah’s Philadelphia. In The Arsenal, who has won four of seven races, starts from post No. 2 with driver Brian Sears at the lines for trainer Kelvin Harrison. He is 8-5 on the morning line. Yankee Bounty, who is 8-for-8 this year, leaves from post four with Yannick Gingras driving for Ron Burke. He is 9-5. “I’ve never seen one get a nice break during their 2-year-old year where it doesn’t help,” Harrison said about In The Arsenal being sidelined. “He was really sick and missed quite a bit of time before we got him back nice and healthy. His first race at Lexington was a huge mile because he really hadn’t had a good run in him in a couple of months. It was a really good race.”  In The Arsenal is a son of American Ideal out of the mare Ladyotra. He was bred by White Birch Farm, who bought back the colt for $7,500 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. Harrison attributed the price to In The Arsenal’s then-smallish size, as well as the fact he was the 14th foal out of the then-21-year-old Ladyotra. “I think that kind of determined his price at Harrisburg, because he was really small,” Harrison said. “But he had great conformation, he was well put together.” And during this summer’s respite, he matured physically. “He did grow a lot, no question,” Harrison said. “I was looking at him in the paddock the other day and thought he measured up pretty good to those other horses now. He’s a big-gaited horse too. Even if they’re a small horse, when they’re big gaited they always look bigger on the track.” Prior to his illness, In The Arsenal won two of four races, including the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace at Yonkers Raceway. One of his setbacks came when he started from post eight at Yonkers in a division of the New York Sire Stakes. Upon returning from his layoff, the colt started from post seven and went off-stride in the Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, but since then has been perfect.  “The post position kind of sets it for you at Delaware,” Harrison said. “If you’re inside, you can kind of roll, but if you’re outside you’re kind of at the mercy of it. He was just a little fired up there.” In The Arsenal is eligible to the Matron Stakes and Breeders Crown in November. Harrison thinks the colt has all the tools to remain a top performer in the 2-year-old ranks. “He’s got a good shot at it,” Harrison said. “He’s nice and sound and he’s doing everything well. He’s a good colt.” In the second Historic-Goshen Cup division, International Stallion Stakes division winner Hall Of Terror is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Reynolds Stakes division winner Dragon Eddy is the 8-5 choice in the third division. There also will be two divisions of the Historic-Harriman Cup for 2-year-old male trotters on Sunday at Philly. Don’t Mind Me is the 9-5 favorite in the first division and Ralph R is the 8-5 favorite in the second split. In The Arsenal by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

LEXINGTON, KY-- Harness racing freshmen colt pacers congregated at The Red Mile on Saturday, September 27 to compete in four divisions of the $331,000 Bluegrass Stakes, the fastest In The Arsenal in 1:49.4. In his first mile since his Metro Pace triumph, undefeated Artspeak led for nearly every step as the 1/9 favorite, winning in 1:51.3. Sicily and Blood Brother battled for the top while Artspeak floated off the gate, and got parked in fourth. He soon sprinted up to race-leader Sicily and cleared command after a :27.2 first quarter. Left alone on top, Artspeak rolled to the half in :55.4 (:28.2). Blood Brother soon edged to the outside and began to pursuit Artspeak. With Hall Of Terror tracking his move, Blood Brother paced up to Artspeak's wheel at three-quarters in 1:24.3 (:28.4). Artspeak turned away Blood Brother's challenge, and, while not drawing away, was striding towards the finish. Sicily slid up the inside to take second, and Traceur Hanover was storming down the center of the course, but had to settle for third as Artspeak crossed the line in front in 1:51.3 (:27). Owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners, trained by Tony Alagna, and driven by Scott Zeron, the divisional leader has earned $479,575 this season. A son of Western Ideal-The Art Museum-Artsplace, he returned $2.10 to win. "They got close to me because we went a soft third quarter, but when they looked him in the eye, he [Artspeak] took off like a good horse," driver Scott Zeron said. "He's pretty smart; he has a closed bridle, so he can't see them coming, but he can hear them, even through the earplugs. He was pretty full tonight." "He's a sweetheart to drive," Scott Zeron also said. "He acts like an aged pacer already, so my job is easy." Artspeak New York Sires Stakes champion Cartoon Daddy traveled patiently around the track and swept passed his cover and rivals to win in 1:50.1. David Miller sent Talking Points for the front and battled with Gallic Beach for that spot. Sprinting by her approaching the quarter, Talking Points led through a :27.4 first panel. After an uncontested half in :55 (:27.1), Jake Blue Chip tipped first over with Cartoon Daddy on his back. Jake Blue Chip stalled in his bid midway through the turn, but soon rushed towards Talking Points to apply pressure. The duo hooked into battle through a 1:23.1 (:28.1) third quarter. Jake Blue Chip quickly abandoned the battle, while Cartoon Daddy fanned wide and began to rally down the center of the course. Gallic Beach slid by Talking Points at the pylons to quickly gain control, but it was soon revoked by Cartoon Daddy in a 1:50.1 (:27) mile, a lifetime mark. Bankrolling $249,067 this year, the Art Major-Ask Alice-The Panderosa colt is owned by Burke Racing Stable and Joseph Di Scala, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. Sent off the 4/5 favorite, he paid $3.80 to win. "I knew the cover was good enough, but it was just if the horse [Cartoon Daddy] was good enough," trainer Ron Burke said. "That was a good-enough trip that he should win if he was the best. He raced good; the horse up the rail [Gallic Beach] bothered me more than the trip." Cartoon Daddy The Well Said-Thou Shalt Not-Real Desire colt Lost For Words maintained control of the field for the latter stages of the mile and sprinted to victory in 1:51.1. Bet You floated towards the front, with Penji Hanover tucking into second and Lost For Words getting away in third. After an opening split in :30, David Miller signaled Lost For Words to brush to the top. Stubborn to lose control, Bet You stretched out the 2/5 favorite to the best of his ability, but Lost For Words gained control through a :56.1 (:26.1) half. Attempting to slow down the third quarter, Berkley led a two-wide cavalry charge towards the top, tracked by Lone Survivor and Tyd Theglyde. Lost For Words was revved-up for a quarter-mile sprint after reaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 (:28.3). Edging 4-lengths clear from Bet You, Lost For Words flew down to the wire in 1:51.1 (:26.2). Bet You settled for second, Penji Hanover closed for third and Lone Survivor finished fourth. The $2.80 winner has earned $150,337 this year for owners Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and The Strollin Stables. Trained by Brian Brown, Lost For Words equaled his lifetime best of 1:51.1 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He had to work pretty good to get back there [to the lead]," driver David Miller said. "He got a third-quarter breather, and he was strolling coming home." "He's been really good all season long," Dave Miller also said. "I overdrove him in the final of the [Pennsylvania] Sires Stakes, but he's made up for it in the last couple of weeks." Lost For Words Lawrence B. Sheppard champion In The Arsenal pulled off a 25-1 upset in the closing division, doing so over Rich Wisdom in 1:49.4. Several colts contested in the early pace, with Well Well Well gaining control after a :27.3 quarter. Southwind Masimo soon edged to the outside to take the front, with In The Arsenal on his back and The Wayfaring Man. In The Arsenal took control after a :55 (:27.2) half. After a 1:23 (:28) third quarter, In The Arsenal braced for the bids of Rich Wisdom and Freedomformysoul towards the center of the course. Once Rich Wisdom came within a length of In The Arsenal, he quickly responded to driver Brian Sears' encouragement and crossed the line in 1:49.4 (:26.4). A son of American Ideal-Ladyotra-On The Road Again, he has earned $118,655 this season for owner White Birch Farms. Trained by Kelvin Harrison, his mile of 1:49.4 was a lifetime mark. He paid $52.20 to win. "He won the Sheppard earlier," Brian Sears said. "On a half-mile track, he showed some ability. His manners have been unruly at times, but he has a very good gait, very willing and loves to race horses. He tries all the way. The only thing we've had problems with is his manners at times, but he has tons of talent." In The Arsenal Live racing resumes on Sunday, September 28, with the $173,400 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly trotters and the $187,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt trotters. Post time is slated for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; John Cashman Jr. Memorial, Lady Liberty, Peter Haughton Memorial and Merrie Annabelle eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit actions kicks off this Friday (July 25) at The Meadows with four divisions in the $80,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (July 26) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final and $30,000 Adios consolation for 3-year-old colt pacers, a single division in the $114,175 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $65,310 Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $54,952 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer four sets of elimination races this week, with all the finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 2). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host two $20,000 eliminations in the Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters and a single $40,000 elimination in the Lady Liberty for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Intimidate, trained by Luc Blais and driven by Sylvain Filion, pulled off a 45-1 upset over the heavily favored Sebastian K in the $560,790 Maple Leaf Trot this past Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Intimidate won the Maple Leaf Trot by a nose over Sebastian K. Sent postward as the 1-5 favorite, Sebastian K got away in second behind post ten starter Modern Family who was sent hard to the lead over the 'sloppy' track to post an opening quarter of :26.4. In the second quarter, trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt sent Sebastian K to the lead and controlled the race through the middle half with fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.4. Intimidate got away in sixth and picked up cover in the second quarter behind Flanagan Memory and was towed around the final turn second-over and just a few lengths away from Sebastian K. In the stretch, Sebastian K continued to dig in and tried to hold off his challengers, but Intimidate in the final stride nailed the heavy favorite to win the 63rd edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in 1:54.2. Market Share, the 2013 Maple Leaf Trot winner, came off the rail and made a late charge on the far outside to finish third. The Maple Leaf Trot victory was the third win in seven starts this season for Intimidate, a 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Fabulous Tag, owned by Determination and Judith Farrow. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, Clear Vision broke the Northfield Park track record for older pacing geldings, posting a 1:49.3 win in the 29th edition of the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie. Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, The Panhellenic Stable and James Koran. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Brett Miller to drive. Clear Vision started from post four and immediately advanced a position when Bolt The Duer made an uncharacteristic break to his inside. He was still sitting third at the :26.2 opening quarter. Miller pulled Clear Vision in the second panel and he remained first-over through times of :54.2 and 1:22. Clear Vision locked horns with pacesetter Night Pro in the last turn and bested him by two lengths in the stretch, stopping the timer at 1:49.3. Foiled Again finished third. In The Arsenal (Eric Goodell) never had an anxious moment this past Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace in 1:56.4. In the Arsenal opened 2-3/4 lengths on the field in and out of the final turn. A pocketed Rock N' Roll World cosmetically cut the final margin down to three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Third went to a stubborn Parklane Eagle. Second choice In the Arsenal, a White Birch Farm homebred son of American Ideal-Ladyotra trained by Kelvin Harrison, returned $6.30 for his second win in three seasonal/career starts. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 437; 2. Tim Tetrick - 434; 3. Ron Pierce - 292; 4. Brian Sears - 205; 5. George Brennan - 174.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 767.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 397; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Ray Schnittker - 184; 5. Joe Holloway - 152. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 177.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 160.3; 3. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. Brad Grant - 79.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Tioga Downs. Meadowlands Racetrack will host nine Grand Circuit events, led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Balmoral Park will contest Hanover Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Tioga Downs will race Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit        

When no one put in a decent bid at the yearling sales for In The Arsenal, White Birch Farms of Allentown, NJ decided to buy their homebred son of American Ideal back and gave him to trainer Kelvin Harrison to prepare for the races. And that move has paid off royally as In The Arsenal was able to lead from start to finish in capturing the $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace final for two-year-olds Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Eric Goodell, In The Arsenal was sent right to the lead from start and by the first turn he not only well in command but his main rival, the 2/5 favorite Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan), could not handle the first turn, became rough gated and went off stride. From that point on no one could come close to In The Arsenal as Goodell held the field at bay through fractions of :27.4, :58.4 and 1:28.4 before sprinting home to an easy one and one-quarter length triumph in 1:56.4. Rock N’ Roll World (Eric Carlson), who had the two-hole trip at odds of 42-1, was second with Parklane Eagle (Jordan Stratton) third. “(In the Arsenal) dragged me out of there really good,” Goodell said. “I went faster than I wanted to go early, but he was able to relax after that. “I had no idea the other horse (Cartoon Daddy) made a break. I was just worried about mine and things worked out.” Goodell also won the $44,000 Open Handicap Pace with Dream Out Loud N ($9.70) in 1:51.4, with a :54.4 back half. It was the second straight win for In The Arsenal, who paid $6.30 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Louisville, KY --- It wasn’t exactly in the cards for White Birch Farms to be racing In The Arsenal, but after capturing his $25,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard elimination at Yonkers Raceway on July 12, in front running fashion, they have to feel vindicated after the colt came home from last year’s Harrisburg Sale rather than being in someone else’s barn. “He didn’t reach his reserve,” said Kelvin Harrison, the colt’s conditioner. “So White Birch bought him back for $7,500. It was because he was small, but not real small. He was also absolutely correct. “I think it was because he was the 14th foal out of this mare (Ladyotra). A lot of today’s yearling buyers will steer away from horses after they are the eighth foal for some reason. Also, the thing is they grow and that’s exactly what he did. Even if he had turned out to be a small 2-year-old that wouldn’t have bothered me as Direct Fight (a former Harrison trainee that earned $825,052 in his career) was and it never bothered him.” The son of American Ideal and the On The Road Again mare Ladyotra, In The Arsenal seeks his second consecutive triumph and the second of his three race career on Saturday (July 19) in the $175,000 Sheppard final. In The Arsenal will leave from post position two with Eric Goodell holding the lines in race five. He is the 5-2 morning line second choice in a field of eight. The colt will face some stiff competition from 8-5 morning line favorite Cartoon Daddy, who is a perfect two-for-two with more than $31,000 in the bank and was the other Sheppard elimination victor. But back to In The Arsenal’s family tree. The homebred’s dam was 21 years old when she foaled him, but Ladyotra, who earned more than $115,000 in her racing career, has been as prolific as they come in the breeding shed. From her 14 foals she has produced Exquisite Art (1998, Artsplace, p,3,1:50.4, $578,544), Otra Sign (1999, Life Sign, p,1:54.2f, $115,458), Queen Otra (2001, Artsplace, p,4,1:51, $200,837) and Premier (2007, Artsplace, p,1:51.3f, $158,233). Ladyotra has dropped nine winners and the 12 yearlings that were sold to other buyers at public auction fetched the sum of $589,000. It is still early in his racing career, but In The Arsenal certainly possesses the genetic material to be a very nice horse. “I watched He’s Watching last year in the final of the (New York) Sire Stakes,” Harrison said. “He was a small horse but he has the same sire as In The Arsenal and he certainly could go fast. I watched him again this year in the eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace and he had not grown much from last year but was really muscled out. Then you saw what he did the night of the Meadowlands Pace. 1:46.4. That time speaks for itself. “In The Arsenal has actually grown and is now probably bigger than He’s Watching. He is no longer a small horse but a medium sized one. He’s very muscular and he’s a well put together horse. He is also great gaited. The only thing that ever concerned me with him was he might get a little bit hot.” The colt was sixth in his career debut on July 5, a $15,000 2-year-old race at Meadowlands Racetrack, after having the lead at the half. “It wasn’t the greatest of trips,” Harrison said. “Brian (Sears) chased him up a little bit out of the gate and then he got him going. He put him in the hole and then he didn’t get out of the hole, then was a bit aggressive when he did let him go. He still paced nicely right to the wire. “For the elimination, I thought when the sheet came out, we would put him in the hole and race him from behind, but when I saw what was in there I told Eric (Goodell) to just not get him in trouble.” After Saturday’s engagement, In The Arsenal will appear in most of the major stakes races for his age, gait and gender. “We have him staked up to everything,” Harrison said. “He just has real, real high speed. I think he’s one of those that has enough speed to make his own race. He’s also one of those horses that has never had a bad day. Even when he was training, I trained him with a group and put him behind, etc. He just always did everything so easily. I even worked him at White Birch in 1:59 before I even qualified him. Even then he was really handy.” Here is the field for the Sheppard final, with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: 1-Rock N’ Roll World-Eric Carlson-Nifty Norman-10-1, 2-In The Arsenal-Eric Goodell-Kelvin Harrison-5-2, 3-Perfect Bet, Jeff Dauplaise, Jeff Dauplaise-12-1, 4-Mystical Pacer-Brent Holland-Erv Miller-10-1, 5-Cartoon Daddy-George Brennan-Ron Burke-8-5, 6-Parklane Eagle-Jordan Stratton-Peter Foley-20-1, 7-Lone Survivor-Brian Sears-Sam DePinto-6-1, 8-Byby Landon-Jason Bartlett-Allan Johnson-8-1. Courtesy of Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, July 16, 2014-Elimination winners In the Arsenal (Eric Goodell, post 2) and Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan, post 5) lead eight 2-year-old colts into Saturday night's $125,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace. In the Arsenal won the first of last weekend's two, $25,000 elims in a maiden-breaking 1:56.2. The White Birch Farm homebred son of American Ideal, caught three-wide early, nonetheless strode out by 2¾ lengths. "(The Sheppard) was always on our schedule," trainer Kelvin Harrison said. "He's a smallish horse, and we thought the half-mile track would suit him." Cartoon Daddy was a tick faster in his elimination, prevailing in 1:56.1. The $60,000 son of Art Major, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Joe DiScala Jr., hit town after a New York Sire Stakes win at Buffalo. "He was looking around (in his elimination), the way 2-year-olds tend to, but once I pulled the plugs, he was all business," Brennan said. The Sheppard goes as the fifth race (approximate post 8:50 PM) on the 12-race card. After the open draws, the roster is... 1-Rock N' Roll World (Pat Lachance), 2-In the Arsenal (Eric Goodell), 3- Perfect Bet (Jeff Dauplaise), 4-Mystical Pacer (Brent Holland), 5-Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan), 6-Parklane Eagle (Jordan Stratton), 7-Lone Survivor (Brian Sears), 8-Byby Landon (Jason Bartlett). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 10, 2014 - The quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two-year-olds are gems in a star-studded 13-race program, including the Meadowlands Pace, on Saturday night, July 12, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. It is early in the campaign of these two-year-olds but already some of the divisional standouts are beginning to emerge. Among the trotters - with 10 colts and geldings carded in the first race and seven fillies in the second race - the Muscles Yankee colt French Laundry has already distinguished himself with a stakes record equaling 1:56 flat mile two weeks ago in the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. The Jimmy Takter trainee, who will be driven by Takter, matched the mark set by Yankee Glide in 1996. He is rated 5-2 in the morning line, leaving from the rail. A $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he races for Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and Ontario-based John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The Takter Stable also sends out Canepa Hanover [2-1 from post three] and Falk On Hill [15-1 from post nine], both sons of Muscle Hill. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Canepa Hanover, the odds on choice in a division of last week's second leg, broke stride and finished last after winning a baby race by nearly 19 lengths in 1:56.1. Guess Whos Back by Muscles Yankee won that race in 1:57 and will once again be partnered with Brian Sears, leaving from post five and rated 7-2 in the morning line. Only seven fillies will go to the gate in their division, six of which are daughters of Muscle Hill, including 4-5 favorite Mission Brief and 2-1 second choice Saturday Mornings. Mission Brief, driven by Gingras and trained by Ron Burke, posted a stakes record 1:55.1, winning last week's second leg by nine and three-quarter lengths over Saturday Mornings. She eclipsed Act Of Grace [1995] and Southwind Cocoa [2012] who shared the 1:55.3 New Jersey Sire Stakes record. A $150,000 Lexington Selected yearling purchase, she is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Saturday Mornings, driven by David Miller and trained by Joe Holloway, won an opening round split after Mission Brief broke stride, and was second in their rematch last week. Owned by Bluestone Farms of Hopewell, NJ, she was a $32,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase. The New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals bracket the card with the pacing colts and geldings occupying the 11th race and the pacing fillies the final event on the 13-race card. In the colts division, Dealt A Winner by Cam's Card Shark captured both of his preliminary leg starts, Artspeak by Western Ideal won his debut appearance last week and Weapons Dealer, also by Western Ideal, scored two weeks ago. They are the linesmaker's top choices. Dealt A Winner, driven by Miller and trained by Ed Hart, leaves from post four and is rated 5-2. A $35,000 Harrisburg yearling owned by Jeffrey Snyder, who raced his sire, Dealt A Winner won his first start on the front end in 1:52.4 and his second from off the pace in 1:53.4. Artspeak, who debuted last week and won by two and a quarter lengths in 1:53.3, is a Tony Alagna-trainee entrusted to driver Scott Zeron. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he is co-owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In the Gym Partners. He drew post eight and is 3-1 in the morning line. Weapons Dealer, a 1:54.2 winner, starts from post seven with Brett Miller driving for trainer Isaac Waxman. He was a $10,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase from the White Birch Farm consignment for Brenda Waxman and Aaron Waxman. He is listed at 7-2 in the field of 10. The fillies close out the card with nine hopefuls, including Stacia Hanover, 2-1 in the early line from post six, with Zeron at the lines. The Western Ideal filly, trained by Steve Elliott, has won both of her New Jersey Sire Stakes starts, banking $37,750 for Ohioans David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio, who acquired her for $35,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. The Saturday night card at the Meadowlands has an early post time of 6:30 p.m. It features seven Grand Circuit stakes in addition to the four New Jersey Sires Stakes Finals, with total purses in excess of $2.5 million. The $776,000 Meadowlands Pace will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network from 9-10 p.m. and the whole card will be featured on the TVG Network. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 27, 2014 - French Laundry took the rest of the field to the cleaners, coasting to a five and three-quarter length victory in the $39,000 opening round of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for two-year-old harness racing trotting colts and geldings, the first race on Friday, June 27, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The Muscles Yankee colt, out of the Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi, trotted the mile in 1:56 flat, equaling the stakes record set by Yankee Glide in 1996. The 3-5 favorite, under a confident hand-drive by Yannick Gingras, won his pari-mutuel debut, paying $3.20, following up on a two-for-two record in baby races. The Jimmy Takter trainee was a $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase by Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and Ontario-based John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. In the battle for second, True Blue [Muscle Hill], with Tim Tetrick driving, got up and Broken Record [Muscles Yankee], with Ron Pierce, held on for third by nine lengths. Saturday Mornings, driven by David Miller, collected top money in the $38,500 New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies in the fifth race. It was a wire-to-wire effort for 6/5 Saturday Mornings [$4.40] who trotted the mile in 1:57.2, finishing a length and three-quarters ahead of Demons N Diamonds. Southwind Cartier was third by two and three-quarter lengths. Trained by Joe Holloway, Saturday Mornings was a $32,000 Lexington Selected Sale yearling purchase for Bluestone Farms of Hopewell, NJ. Mission Brief, the 4/5 favorite broke early and finished last. All seven of the starters were daughters of Muscle Hill NJSS PACING DIVISIONS TO STACIA HANOVER, DEALT A WINNER, CASHAWAY & WEAPONS DEALER Stacia Hanover by Western Ideal popped out of the pocket in the stretch and out-sprinted the pacesetter The Show Returns for a half- length victory in the $25,500 first division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies in the third race. Driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Steve Elliott, Stacia Hanover paced the mile in 1:59.1, with a last quarter in 25.4 seconds, after The Show Returns [Rocknroll Hanover], with Brian Sears driving, cut slow, unpressured fractions. Rocknroll Allnight [Rocknroll Hanover], rough in the stretch, survived an inquiry, finishing third by nine lengths. Stacia Hanover, sent off at 3-5, paid $3.20. She was a $35,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase for David Van Duse of Madison, OH and Michael Cimaglio of Lyndhurst, OH. In the second $25,500 filly pacing division, the 11th race, 3-5 Cashaway [$3.40] held off challenges from Ideal Nuggets [Western Ideal] and Smart Zone [Rocknroll Hanover] to win in 1:55 flat. Tim Tetrick guided Cashaway, a daughter of Western Ideal out of the proven producer CPA, to the neck victory with a half-length to Smart Zone in third. The Tony Alagna trainee was a $105,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase. She is owned by her co-breeder, Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY, in partnership with Marvin Katz of Toronto, Ontario. Dealt A Winner [$8.20} paced a New Jersey Sire Stakes record for two-year-old geldings when he stopped the clock in 1:52.4 in the ninth race, the $27,000 first division for pacing colts and geldings. David Miller brushed the Cam's Card Shark gelding from sixth to the lead down the backstretch, taking command from Western Pioneer, the 4/5 favorite, and would not be caught, winning by a length and a quarter. Hurrikane Ali gained ground in the stretch to finish second while Ticket To Roll was three and a half lengths back in third. Both are sons of Rocknroll Hanover. Dealt A Winner, trained by Edward Hart and owned by Jeff Snyder of New York City, was a $35,000 Harrisburg Sale yearling purchase. The 1:52.4 mile eclipsed the gelding mark of 1:53 shared by Fancy Creek Storm [1997] and Western Ace [2005]. In the 12th race, the $27,000 second division for pacing colts and geldings, Weapons Dealer by Western Ideal had the ammunition in the stretch to post a length and a half victory over Too Darn Hot [Rocknroll Hanover] in 1:54.2. Mr Censi [Cam's Card Shark] was four and a half lengths back in third. Brett Miller was in the sulky for the victory. Isaac Waxman trains for Brenda Waxman of Dundas, Ontario and Aaron Waxman of Burlington, Ontario, who acquired the White Birch Farm-bred colt for $10,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. By Carol Hodes, SBOANJ and Darin Zoccali  

Saturday morning's Breakfast with the Babies at The Meadowlands was offered up on a perfect morning with mild temperatures and little wind.   Quick impressions were that the Jimmy Takter Stable has another powerful group of freshman trotters, his fellow Swede Ake Svanstedt is a quick study with pacers and Tony Alagna chose well last fall.   Jimmy opened with a trotting filly triple, winning the first with Tangerine Bi in 2:01.3. She is a Yankee Glide from Muscovite that he drove for the partnership of Christina Takter, Marvin Katz and John & Jim Fielding who gave $70,000 for her at Lexington. Takter Stable then took the second with Wild Honey in 2:00.1 leading all the way with Yannick Gingras driving for Christina, John & Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman over Sales Office Lillie and She's On Fire. She is also a Lexington Select graduate at $35,000.   Third race, same story with the sharp looking Donato Hanover x Southwind Allaire filly Sarcy exploding from the pocket for an effortless 1:58.4 win with Gingras driving for Takter over Rules Of The Road and Wordie Hanover. It was the second impressive morning appearance for the $37,000 Lexington buy, owned again by Christina Takter and the Fielding brothers. After his entry was scratched in the fourth race, Takter resumed winning in the fifth with the $80,000 Harrisburg buy Speak To Me impressing with a closing move into a 28.3 final quarter for the 2:00.3 win. Brittany Farms paid $80,000 for the first crop Muscle Massive filly out of Ms Naughty at Harrisburg. Encora and Iluvmyjimmychoos followed the winner under the wire.   Takter later sent out the Bettors Delight x Armbro Amoretto pacing colt Bet You to win the morning's fastest race as he closed to a 1:55.3 win with Yannick driving. In a race with plenty of pace and action, Bet You sprinted home in 27.1 for a clear win over pacesetter Elwell. He cost Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and J McClelland $75,000 at Lexington last fall.   Ake Svanstedt unveiled a sample of his first crop of yearlings trained in the US with a good showing. He won the sixth with Blue Muse, a Muscles Yankee filly from Upside Blue Chip he owns in partnership with her breeder, Jeff Gural's Little E LLC. She sat just behind the lead and trotted by in the stretch in 2:01.3 with a 29.2 final quarter. Svanstedt then unveiled a really talented SJ's Caviar x ENS Tag Session colt named Centurion ATM in race eight coming first over into a 1:33 three panels then drawing off to win in 2:00.3 under his own power. He cost Courant AB and Knutsson Trotting Inc. (the Sebastian K owners) $100,000 at Harrisburg and he looks like the goods. Elusive Action and Mercury Fashion followed the winner in.   Ake came back to win a pacing race with the Western Ideal x Bold Pink colt Badix Hanover in 1:57.1. He was a $30,000 Harrisburg yearling and is owned by Svanstedt.   Trotting colt Gifted Way closed up considerable ground willingly into a 28.3 final quarter to nip Amicus in 1:58.3 for Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna. This sharp looking Cantab Hall colt from rare Gift brought $170,000 at Lexington and is owned by Brittany Farms, Little E LLC, Joe Sbrocco and Deo Volente Farms in a Myron Bell partnership. Longcat Hanover looked good too. He won from behind for Nifty Norman and Dave Miller in 2:00.3 with a good last quarter. Pinske Stables and Enzed Racing gave $40,000 for this Muscle Massive colt from Likeavirgin Lindy.   The pacers started with a pair of nice Rocknroll Hanover fillies battling through a 26.3 final quarter with Smart Zone (Open Book Test) prevailing narrowly for Marcus and Erv Miller over Wicked Little Minx from the Svanstedt barn, the mile in 1:57.1. Paymaq Racing and D&M Trading gave $48,000 for her at Harrisburg.   She's Some Treasure is the full sister to Captaintreacherous and she flashed speed and grit in her 1:57.1 trial this morning. She was out past the quarter then cut the mile, sprinting home in 27.4 for Tetrick. She is trained in the Tony Alagna barn for breeder & owner White Birch Farms. Tony had a nice pair in the last race with Trading Up winning on the lead despite going greenly for Scott Zeron, holding off stable mate Robert Hill in 1:56.1 with 26.4 on the end. He's a Somebeach from Rita J owned by Alagna, Alber and Waxman, an $80,000 but at Harrisburg.   Racing tonight at 7:15 with the third edition of the Cameltonian headlining the card.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

A total of sixteen 2-year-old baby races were contested at the Meadowlands Saturday morning under plenty of sunshine with mild temperatures and a fast track. As usual, Team Takter dominated with seven winners on the card. Tony Alagna sent out five winners while Jimmy Takter's daughter Nancy Johansson had three winners from her stable. Among the trotting fillies, Hot Start from the first crop of Lucky Chucky looked good for trainer Jonas Czernyson and Corey Callahan winning gate to wire in 2:00.1 with a 28.3 final quarter holding off Takter's Flirting Filly by a neck with both finishing well in hand. Hot Start, a $52,000 Lexington sale buy, is owned by the Green Acquisition Corporation. Takter trained 2-year-old trotting colts looked sharp including The Bank, Donato Hanover form millionaire mare Lantern Kronos, who went coast to coast in 1:58.4 with a 28.2 final quarter for breeder/owner Goran Falk. Two races later, French Laundry and Yannick Gingras used the pocket trip slingshot move to beat stable mate Uncle Lasse in 1:57.3 for Christina Takter, the Fielding brothers, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The pair trotted their last three-quarters in 1:27 with a 28.2 final split. French Laundry was a $115,000 Lexington purchase. The freshman pacing filly winners included She's Some Treasure, a full-sister to Captaintreacherous who won in hand at first asking for Tony Alagna and Tim Tetrick in 1:59.2 with a 28 final quarter. She's owned by breeder White Birch Farm. Zip Code Envy, a $27,000 Lexington sale buy, is now 2 for 2 in baby races for Takter and driver Yannick Gingras scoring in 1:57. She's from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven and is owned by Christina Takter, the Fielding's, and Brixton Medical. The Tony Alagna trained Bedroomconfessions split rivals late to win a four horse photo in 1:58.2 with a 27.3 final quarter. She's an American Ideal home-bred for the Bell's Riverview Farm and Alagna. Scott Zeron drove. The same combination won right back in the next race with She's a Hot Mess, another American Ideal home-bred, in 1:56. John Fodera is a co-breeder and co-owner. Perry Soderberg's Western Pioneer looked good again winning handily in 1:56.2 for trainer Nancy Johansson and driver Yannick Gingras. The $15,000 Harrisburg bargain buy by Western Ideal is a perfect two for two. The biggest move of the morning came from Trading Up, a Somebeachsomewhere colt, who rallied from last to win in 1:57.3 for Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. Alagna, Alan Alber and Aaron Waxman co-own the $80,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase who paced his last half in 56 seconds flat. Team Takter also won with Blood Brother, a Somebeachsomewhere colt who is a home-bred for Diamond Creek and the Silva's and the Art Major youngster Azorean Art, a $135,000 Harrisburg yearling who is owned by Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, Bud Hatfield, and Sue Grange's Lothlorien. Both freshmen scored in 1:56. by Sam McKee, for the Meadowlands  

The May 2014 Hoof Beats cover girl, Precocious Beauty, will be one of many stars to be on the track on Friday night at Vernon Downs. The Friday program includes three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, as well as eliminations for the Empire Breeders' Classic for three-year-old colts and three-year-old fillies. The stars will also be in the bikes on Friday night with Tim Tetrick, David Miller, Jim Morrill Jr., Matt Kakaley, and many others coming into Vernon to drive on the twelve-race program. Precocious Beauty makes her official return to the races for 2014 night after participating in qualifiers at Pompano Park in April and Mohawk Raceway in May. The imposing filly is owned by James Avritt Sr. of Lexington, Kentucky, trained by Gregg McNair and will be driven by Douglas McNair on Friday night. Precocious Beauty is hoping to recapture her 2013 form, which saw her win divisional honors for two-year-old female pacers at the Dan Patch Awards last season. She was a winner in seven of eleven starts last year, including a victory in the She's A Great Lady Stakes, earning purses of $446,692. She has been installed at 5-2 on the morning line in Friday's seventh race, but she appears to have plenty of competition coming her way from Blush Hanover, to be driven by Tim Tetrick. Blush Hanover has three wins in four career starts, two at Harrah's Philadelphia and has also scored a win and a second in two tries at The Meadowlands. In the other two New York Sire Stakes divisions to be run, morning-line favoritism goes to the horses on the rail. The 5-2 favorite in Race 8 is Sweetnsinful, driven by Jimmy Whittemore. Sweetnsinful is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler of Crete, Illinois and James Michels of Muncie, Indiana. Homer Hochstetler doubles as the trainer of Sweetnsinful. She was the winner of the Madison at Hoosier Park last October and paced a Qualifier at Vernon Downs on May 16 in 1:58.2. The favorite in Race 9 is Medusa, also listed at 5-2. Medusa is owned W.J. Donovan of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, trained by Paul Kelley and will be driven by Chris Lems, who was at the controls for all four impressive wins the filly has registered this season at Vernon Downs. The Empire Breeders' Classic eliminations also are on the docket for Friday night at Vernon Downs. There are two eliminations for each division. The 7-5 morning-line favorite for the first division of three-year-old colt trotters is Lukas Hall, runner-up in the Simpson at The Meadowlands on May 9 and runner-up in a New York Sire Stakes race at Tioga Downs on May 23. Lukas Hall is owned by former New York Jets Wide Receiver Wayne Chrebet of Colts Neck, New Jersey and Little E LLC of New York, New York. Little E LLC is owned by Vernon Downs owner, Jeff Gural. The second division of three-year-old colt trotters is led by 9-5 choice, Expressive Action, winner of a New York Sire Stakes race on May 23 at Tioga Downs. Expressive Action is owned by John Grasso Stable Inc. of Hawthorne, New York. Grasso is also the trainer, while the driver on Friday night is Mike Simons. The three-year-old fillies also have two eliminations on Friday. A winner of a New York Sire Stakes race at Vernon Downs on May 17, Lady With Credit, has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first division. Lady With Credit earned her first career win with that Sire Stakes score in 1:55.1. She is owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, New Jersey, and trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer. The second division also features a New York Sire Stakes winner from this season at Vernon Downs. Glowngold is 6-5 on the morning line off of a two and a quarter length win in 1:56.1 on May 17. Glowngold is owned by the Andy Miller Stable of New Jersey, S. Demeter and Blue Chip Bloodstock, both of New York, and Highland Green Farms of Florida. The Finals for the Empire Breeders' Classic races will be run as part of a special Sunday night program on June 8, which will also include the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers. The twelve-race program will kick off at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

The popular Hambletonian Monte (racing under saddle) a late-closing series for trotters will feature a $25,000 final on Hambletonian Eve, Fri., Aug. 1 at the Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ.   The inaugural Hambletonian Monte final was won by 2008 Hambletonian winning driver Ray Schnittker, who rode Flex The Muscle to victory in the $32,800 final. (attached)   Monte racing, a hybrid of harness and thoroughbred racing is a popular pari-mutuel sport in Europe, especially in France where many top trotters and drivers compete in both top-tier sulky and saddle races. It's also a rising trend in North America, as last year saw nine tracks host events worth more than $90,000 in purse money put up by industry sponsors. A celebrity appearance by star thoroughbred jockey Chantal Sutherland aboard DW NY's Yank resulted in a new under saddle world record at The Meadows in Pennsylvania.   The Hambletonian under saddle event has shown rapid growth under the direction of Helene Gregory, who won a U.S. Harness Writers Presidents Award for her efforts to bring the discipline to prominence. The organization Monte America put together the series for trotters comprising two legs worth $10,000 on July 18 and July 25 respectively and a $25,000 final showcased on the eve of harness racing's richest and most prestigious day - a night dedicated to females, fun and fashion at the New Meadowlands Racetrack.   There will be RUS qualifiers and practical tests for RUS licenses held at Gaitway Farms in Manalapan, NJ on three consecutive Mondays - June 9, 16 and 23.   "The Racing Under Saddle program has proved to be an interesting twist for harness racing," said Gregory. "The support from trainers, owners and most of all racetracks has been incredible. The Meadowlands has taken the lead with Jeff Gural personally having a big impact with his support and sponsorship. The RUS riders bring a whole new stream of fans, as families, friends and barn mates come along to cheer on these new races."   Hambletonian Monte sponsors for 2014 include Allerage Farms, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Arden Homestead Stable, Ron Burke Stable, Paul Kelley Stable, White Birch Farm, Winners Circle Blueberries and 2013 Hambletonian winning trainer George Ducharme. Sponsorships are still available by contacting Gregory at kickan@comcast.net for more information.   There are currently more than 60 licensed RUS riders in North America. Jennifer Connor who competed on the circuit last year sees the event as a real positive for harness racing.   "I like that Monte has opened a door for more women to participate competitively in harness racing and I think that it has the ability to attract fans from other equestrian disciplines. I also believe it helps these horses have a life after racing, as they are going to be trained to also race under saddle," said Connor.   A $200 nomination fee is due June 15 for those wishing to compete. Conditions, nomination blanks and more information can be found on the Monte America website http://www.monteamerica.com/ or on the Hambletonian Society website http://www.hambletonian.org/resources/RUSSeries20143.pdf. by Moira Fanning, for Monte America

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