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A large crowd blanketed the apron for the activities and exciting race card on hand for the Back To The Track event. Carol's Comet and Aaron Merriman prevailed in the Saturday Night feature in 1:50.3. The John Pawlak $25,000 Open Pace was race seven on the eleven race card. John Pawlak is an Ohio native recently inducted in to the Harness Racing Hall Of Fame. He has worked at The USTA for many years in the communications department and has also been a track announcer. Scioto Downs held the race in his honor for his outstanding achievements and attributes to harness racing. Carol's Comet is a five-year-old gelding by Yankee Cruiser out of the mare, Modern Medicine. He's conditioned by Ron Potter for the connections, Whiskey Tango Stable, Martin Presser, Bill and Matthew Moore. He started from post eight in the field of nine, but that didn't stop Aaron Merriman from leaving for an up close spot. They pair found a nice spot, right on the front end and paced an opening quarter in 26.1. They had early company from Randy Tharps and Ardyne Ace, who cleared before the half in a quick 53.3. The pace didn't slow down much. A parked and pressing That'll Be The Rei applied the pressure to the three quarters and left Carol's Comet in a perfect pocket spot, again. The battling duo paced to the three quarters in 1:21.3 and Merriman waited patiently for the super stretch. Carol's Comet sprinted up the super stretch when given his command and just caught Ardyne Ace by a nose and a late rally from Special Forces and Greg Grismore rounded out the trifecta. Only three and a half lengths covered the entire field. From Scioto Downs Racino

Dancin Yankee (Yankee Cruiser - Dancewiththebest) returned to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs after his victory in the Invitational Pace on Sun Stakes Saturday, and made another trip to the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner's Circle. The 6-Year-Old, trained by Amber Buter and driven by Tyler Buter, left from post 7, taking the lead just past the quarter, and never looked back. With fractions of 26.4; 54.4; and 122.3, Dancin Yankee tripped the timer in 1:49 for the Preferred Handicap, winning by 1 ¾ lengths. Abelard Hanover finished 2nd; followed by Digital Z Tam, 3rd. The win is the 12th this season in 19 starts for Dancin Yankee, who paid $3 to win, and topped an Exacta of $14.80. He now has earnings of nearly $300,000 this season. In a Condition Event earlier in the card, Scott Rocks (Rocknroll Hanover - Plant A Kiss) equaled the National season's mark for 4-year-old Pacing Geldings on a 5/8 mile track with a 1:48.3 mile. Racing resumes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday with a Post Time of 6:30pm. by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs  

Sparkling Yankee crossed the finish line faster than any mare in the history of Northfield Park when she won the $12,000 Fillies and Mares Open in 1:52 on Thursday (July 10). The clocking is a new track record for five year-old and up pacing mares, breaking the 1:52.1 set by Don't Blame Her (Dan Noble) in 2011. Joseph J. Miller of Dundee, Ohio and Michael Yoder of Fredericksburg, Ohio own Sparkling Yankee. Miller also trains the six year-old and called upon Ronnie Wrenn Jr. for the winning drive. Sparkling Yankee (Yankee Cruiser-Northmedo Tam-Stand Forever) started from post four. She was content in fourth through the initial :26.1 and :54 sizzling initial fractions. Wrenn pulled Sparkling Yankee to the outside and she sustained a successful first-over bid through times of 1:22.4 and 1:52. The clocking placed her two-lengths clear of her closest competitor at the finish. Sparkling Yankee now has nine wins in 22 starts this year. Thursday's victory represents her 21 career score and bolstered her bankroll to $95,101. She returned $5.80 to win. She was one of five winners on the night for Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $7,500 Pick-5 total pool guarantee to Monday’s (July 14) program.  Beginning in Race 3, the $7,500 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $1,222.25. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.  by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 4, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 tri-featured Open Handicaps-a double dose for trotters and one for the pacing ladies-- were won by Coraggioso (Brian Sears, $7.60), Tober (Jason Bartlett, $12.80) and Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $30.40). Coraggioso, ordered outside his seven rivals, saw dysfunction erupt all around him. Half the field-You Rock My World (Eric Goodell), Harbor Point (Dan Dube) and Wishing Stone (George Brennan)-all jumped it off by the time the first turn was done. That left pole-sitting 8-5 favorite Zooming (Bartlett) on the lead through soft fractions of :28.3 and :59.1. Coraggioso, after settling fourth, engaged Zooming in and out of a 1:27.3 three-quarters. Coraggioso moved to a short lead entering the lane, then held off a stubborn, 41-1 The Triple Lindy (Stratton) by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.2. Zooming and pair of "recoverers"-My Love Bi and Harbor Point-grabbed the remainder. For third choice Coraggioso, a 5-year-old homebred/statebred son of Conway Hall co-owned by Tom Durkin & Joe Spadaro, and trained by Julie Miller, it was his seventh win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $104.50, with the triple returning $183 The week's other marquee trot unfolded with Tober-perfectly-pocketed from post position No. 2--watching as out-of-town scourge NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) grabbed the lead and threw down the gauntlet. "Happenstance," as the 17-10 choice, hung last week's Open Handicap winner Lorenzo Dream (Sears) for his life (:27.2; 56.3; 1:26.2) before that one gave up the ghost. NF Happenstance was able to win the battle, but lose the war. Tober eased from the two-hole and rolled by, winning by 3½ widening lengths in 1:56. Awesome Valley (Goodell) skimmed the cones for second, with a fading NF Happenstance, DW's NY Yank (Brennan) and Bound for Fame (Stratton) rounding out the payees. For fourth choice Tober, a 6-year-old statebred gelding co-owned by (co-breeder) Kristie Leigh Farm & Joseph Betro and trained by Ed Hart, he's now 7-for-19 this season. The exacta paid $103, the triple returned $348.50 and the superfecta paid $4,409. The lasses saw Robin Cruiser, from post No. 3, worked out a second-trip behind 13-10 fave Monkey on My Wheel (Sears). That one, from an assigned eight-ball, floated in fifth as Summertime Lea (Brennan) marched around Virgin Mary (Goodell). After some tepid times of :27.2 of :57.1, Monkey on My Wheel was out, and making steady inroads. "Lea" remained the leader at the 1:24.3 three-quarters, opening to 2½ lengths turning for home. However, she began to hit the wall, outgamed by a wide "Robin" in 1:53.1. The margin was a half-length. Summertime Lead photoed Monkey On My Wheel for second, with Virgin Mary and Fashion Mystery (Carlson) settling for the small change. For sixth choice Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stable and trained by Ms. Miller, it was her seventh win in 16 seasonal starts (career earning just shy of $1.5 million). The exacta paid $307.50, with the triple returning $631. Note that Friday's 50-cent Pick 5, with its $25,000 guaranteed pool and $7,500 carryover, attracted $21,304 of Red, White and Blue green. The sequence of 3/8/3/2/5 returned a take-the-day-off $7,826 for each half-a-buck winner. 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

Shake It Cerry bounced back from her first loss of the 2014 season with a victory in a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars on Sunday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were three $33,800 divisions of the All Stars races held at Pocono for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Shake It Cerry (Donato Hanover-Solveig), who was stymied by a world-record performance by Designed To Be in her last start, improved to four-for-five in 2014 with a well-rated victory in 1:54:1. Ron Pierce was aboard the 2013 Breeders Crown champ for trainer Jimmy Takter. Other division winners in the age group on Sunday night were Ocean Love Potion (Yankee Glide-Sole Mate), driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt, who scored her maiden win in 1:54:3; and Lifetime Pursuit (Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace), driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Jimmy Takter, who scored in 1:53:3. There were also four $32,650 divisions of Pennsylvania All Stars Races held at Pocono on Sunday night for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace. Tomy Terror (Western Terror-Mib Hanover), a 10-1 shot trained by John Butenschoen and driven by Corey Callahan, posted the fastest winning time of the freshmen with a victory in 1:53:3. Other division winners: Dragon Eddy (Dragon Again-Jaska Hanover), driven by Mike Simons and trained by Butenschoen, in 1:54:3; Trading Up (Somebeachsomewhere-Rita J), driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Tony Alagna, in 1:53:4; and Yankee Bounty (Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee), driven by Callahan and trained by Kevin Lare, in 1:53:4. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

JJ Hall and Ronnie Wrenn Jr.set a new track record for aged gelding trotters of 1.54 at Scioto Downs Saturday. The previous record of 1.54.1 was held by Dunkster, Hesza Laser and JJ Hall. JJ Hall is a six-year-old gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse and he's no stranger to the spotlight. He's trained by Ohio native, Scott Mogan for owner Doug Millard of Woodstock, Ontario. JJ Hall has earned over $240,000 and has racked up 21 victories in the 65 times he has hit the track. JJ Hall started from post seven in the field of nine after the scratch of Southwind Pepino in the condition trot race going for a purse of $18,000. He's usually driven by Kayne Kauffman, but Kauffman had one of his own trainees in the field, so Scott Mogan called upon Ronnie Wrenn Jr.for the assignment. Wrenn wasted no time as the pair left hard for early position and they found it right on the front end. The trotted the first quarter in 27.4 and grabbed a breather to the half in 57. Wrenn and JJ Hall were well in hand and trotted past three quarters in 1.25.1, the pair had it wrapped up from there. Touchmymuscles and Randy Tharps grabbed the place spot and Countmymuscles for trainer and driver Kayne Kauffman were third. The very next race on the 14-race card was the Filly And Mare Open Pace. TT's Little Lass and Jeremy Smith were a mild upset in a career best effort of 1.52. She's Shocking with post four was the post time favorite in the short field of six. She's Shocking was driven by Kayne Kauffman and they pushed the gate away, determined to set the pace. After clocking fractions of 26.4, 54.4 and 1.23.1, it was TT's Little Lass who was sitting in perfect striking position behind She's Shocking to benefit from the quick pace. She's Shocking finished second and Eve Marie Seelster completed the trifecta. Carol's Comet and Aaron Merriman prevailed in the $20,000 Open Pace in 1.50.4. Carol's Comet is a five-year-old gelded son of Yankee Cruiser. He's trained by Ron Potter for his connections. Carol's Comet started from post eight in the field of nine, but Merriman still said let's go when the wings folded. They landed right in the two hole behind the 6/5 favorite, Rockin Wizard, driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Rockin Wizard set the hot fractions of 26.2, 55.3 and 1.23.1, but couldn't fend off the closing Carol's Comet when he ducked in to the super stretch. Rockin Wizard and Special Forces for driver, Greg Grismore couldn't be split, it was a deadheat for place. Racing continues on Tuesday (July 1) With a first race post time of 6:30. From Scioto Downs Racino  

Dancin Yankee wins $100,000 Pace

This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial finals, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; and Miss Versatility, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will once again be on Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs this Saturday night (June 28) as the track will host four lucrative stakes finals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin for older pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Mohawk will host a $40,000 (est.) leg of the Miss Versatility for older female trotters on Monday (June 30). Complete entries for the Pocono races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries are available at this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action opened up on Friday night (June 20) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a $50,000 TVG Free For All Trotting Series leg and Sebastian K scored another dominating win in 1:50.3, leaving an accomplished field in his wake. Sebastian K posted another dominating win in 1:50.3. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt sent his stable star away fast from post five and he had the front instantly, crossing over and taking up by the quarter in :27.3. Left alone on the lead, Svanstedt rated Sebastian K through a :56 half and 1:24.1 three panels before sprinting again with a 26.2 close to the mile. Archangel drafted along In The Pocket and held the place while Market Share tried to advance on the outside from the half to no avail and stayed on for third. This was his third win in as many tries since landing on U.S. soil for Sebastian K, owned by Knutsson Trotting, Inc. of Vero Beach, Fla. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs hosted 10 Grand Circuit races on Saturday, all eliminations for this week's Sun Stakes Saturday card. Grabbing the headlines were the older pacers in the Ben Franklin eliminations. The first of two $25,000 eliminations was billed as "Captaintreacherous vs. Foiled Again," as the two-time defending Pacer of the Year squared off against the richest horse of all time for the first time in 2014. But nobody told Domethatagain. Driven perfectly by Simon Allard, Domethatagain, a son of Bettor's Delight, rallied up the inside to just catch Captaintreacherous by the scantest of margins in 1:48, ahead of Bettor's Edge, the game first-over Foiled Again, and fifth-placed Sunshine Beach, the faster of the Franklin fifth-place finishers and thus a Franklin finalist. Track geometry was never proven more important as Domethatagain (post one), Bettor's Edge (post two), and Captaintreacherous (post four) left in tandem, with Bettor's Edge forced to retreat to the inside and Captaintreacherous forced to go up past the :26 opener to get the lead, posting splits of :53.2 and 1:21 as he resisted the raw bid of Foiled Again. Turning for home, Captaintreacherous seemed to have clear sailing, but Allard rallied Domethatagain up the Pocono Pike to just catch the favorite in the shadow of the wire, returning $60.20 to his scattered backers. Rene Allard conditions the upsetter for Allard Racing, Robert Hamather, and Bruce Soulsby. Sweet Lou won his fourth straight race, scoring in a time of 1:47.4. In the second Franklin elim, Sweet Lou, who has been the most consistent free-for-all pacer lately, restored order to the handicapping universe as the 1-2 favorite by crushing his field in 1:47.4, equaling his life mark. Sweet Lou tucked before the :26.4 quarter, then moved frontward and had reached the lead by the :54 half. The son of Yankee Cruiser smoked a :26.4 backside, then cruised home in :27 unurged by driver Ron Pierce to win by four lengths over earlier leader Bolt The Duer, Captive Audience, and Allstar Legend for the ownership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Carr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of the weekend races, including the other eight Pocono stakes eliminations, 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. Tim Tetrick - 354; 2. Yannick Gingras - 345; 3. Ron Pierce - 230; 4. Brian Sears - 170; 5. George Brennan - 164.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 568.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 250; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Joe Holloway - 137; 5. Julie Miller - 110. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 2. Burke Racing - 124.5; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 114.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 82; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Historic Track and Meadowlands Racetrack. Historic Track will host eight Landmark Stakes events for 2- and 3-year-olds on Friday (July 4). The Meadowlands will contest the $400,000 Meadowlands Maturity for trotters, along with eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace, William Haughton Memorial and Mistletoe Shalee on Saturday (July 5). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Jimmy Taggart, Jr. drove five more winners on Thursday (June 18) at Monticello Raceway after reining four here yesterday. On Wednesday four of Taggart's wins came from the Gary Messenger barn and today (Thursday) three more were harnessed by Messenger. Now with 94 driving victories Taggart is fourth in races won on the local leaderboard but no one is currently as hot as he is. Taggart began the day with a 2:01.4 front- end victory with Blameless, a 3 year-old Crazed gelding owned by Dr. Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger. The good looking trotter from the Gary Messenger barn notched his second lifetime victory and paid $2.30 for win. Then beginning in the fifth race Taggart went on a tear with three consecutive victories two of which were trained by Messenger. In the fifth Taggart guided Brenda Messenger's sophomore trotting colt Enzo Pezza to the 2:02.2 come-from behind score and returned a $13.20 win mutuel. Taggart then won the sixth race with Bob Petitto's veteran trotter Stay All Day ($5.40) in a time of 2:02.1 and then scored his third victory for Gary Messenger when he guided Putnam's Art home first in 1:57.1. Sent off the favorite in the race, the pacer, a 6 year old Southwind Balsam gelding owned by Brenda Messenger and Dr. Scott Woogen, paid $4.90 for win. Win number five on the card came in the 10th and final race when Taggart sat the pocket and rallied down the passing lane to score a 1:57.3 victory with the Dennis Laterza owned and trained, Lola's Cruiser. It was the 6 year old Yankee Cruiser gelding 's first win in 15 seasonal starts and he paid $6.60 for win. "I've had a real good couple of days Taggart admitted. "Gary's (Messenger) youngsters are rounding into form and everything seems to be going my way now. I've been putting my horses in the right place and thankfully they're been responding." by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Sweetheart Dance was successful, despite being parked the entire mile, in the $12,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap on Thursday (June 12) in Northfield Park's 10th race. She is trained by Kent Sherman for Pittsburgh, PA owner Keith Kippi. Dan Rawlings was aboard for the winning drive. Sweetheart Dance (Yankee Cruiser-Somkindasweetypie-Life Sign) started from the outside and was parked every step of the way, through fraction of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.4. Sweetheart Dance struck the lead at the top of the stretch and bested her competition by ¾-length in 1:53.4. Completing the race were Ride A Cowboy, Eradikate, Ashtoreth Hanover, Viewish, Stacked Deck, African Violet, So Long My Love and Haley Louise. Thursday's win was the fifth victory this year in 13 starts. It bolstered her career win tally to 17 and her lifetime earnings to $193,491. She returned $20.80 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

HARRINGTON, Del. - Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo's Dancin Yankee ($3, Ross Wolfenden) broke the track record for aged pacing stallions Monday with a 1:50.3 win in the $17,000 Open Pace at Harrington Raceway. The 6-year-old Yankee Cruiser stallion left alertly from post six and found an early seat in third behind pacesetter Rock On Moe and pocket sitter Teresa's Beach. Rock On Moe marched to the opening quarter in 27.3, half-mile in 56.2 seconds while Dancin Yankee mounted his attack first-over and started to edge clear of Rock On Moe to the three-quarters station in 1:23.1. Wolfenden was just a passenger in the stretch as Dancin Yankee drew clear by open lengths in the stretch. Rock On Moe held on for second over Teresa's Beach. Dancin Yankee is trained by Josh Green. The win established a new record for aged pacing stallions, formerly held by Keystone Rodeo (1:51) in 2006, one of the longest standing records at Harrington. Dancin Yankee has been battling with some of the sport's top free-for-all pacers in recent weeks in the Molson Cup at Western Fair (Canada), and George Morton Levy Memorial at Yonkers Raceway (NY). Earlier on the program, Bob Shahan's Shopping With Art ($2.60, Allan Davis) improved to 3-for-3 in 2014 with a 1:52.3 front-end triumph. Trained by his owner, the 6-year-old Shopping With Art registered his 11th win in just 17 lifetime starts. Driver Montrell Teague had three wins on the program. Victor Kirby had a double. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway    

WASHINGTON, PA, Saturday, June 7, 2014 -- A loser in all seven of his previous starts, Verbal Assault broke his maiden in style Friday at The Meadows, pulling off a 16-1 upset in a $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The event was contested over five divisions, with Brioni, Avalanche Hanover, Invictus Hanover and Status Quo taking the other splits. Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke teamed for two victories in the stake (Invictus Hanover, Status Quo) while Aaron Merriman also enjoyed a stake double (Verbal Assault, Avalanche Hanover). Verbal Assault wasn't sold as a yearling due to a chip in his coffin joint and was instead entrusted to the care of trainer Sam Beegle. Beegle and his partner, Daniel Courtemanche, liked the son of Well Said-Well Read so much they purchased him privately, only to see his career get off to a rocky beginning. "He's had all bad luck -- nothing good's happened," Beegle said. "Two weeks ago, a brand new hopple hanger broke, dropped, and he stepped out of the hopple. Nothing has gone right until today. He has a lot of upside." On Friday, he followed cover to the lead and held off the late brush of Barbarian by a head in 1:52.4. Bristol Bay was third. Avalanche Hanover moved first over down the backside, clearing before the three-quarters and scoring in 1:52, 2-1/4 lengths better than Dragon's Successor. Stone Cold Shark earned show. "He looked real good on paper, so I just let him do his thing," Merriman said. "He definitely has speed, though he was a little bit green when he got away from them. He needs another second-and-a-half, and you never know what he can race with." Ron Potter trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Anadarko Hanover gelding for Clyde Perfect. Invictus Hanover, who had endured a series of lousy post positions, hustled to the pocket from post 5 and brushed late to down 39-1 bomb Ivan Bob by a length in 1:53.2, with Jackson Brady third. "He's always been a beautiful horse to drive," Palone said of the Yankee Cruiser-I Sparkle gelding. "From the word go, he's always been a pleasure. He's probably a step below the top ones, but he's a fun horse that you look forward to driving. Having been over the track a few times gives him a big advantage." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Keith Pippi and Michelle Yanek campaign Invictus Hanover, a Hanover Adios Yearling Sale acquisition whose winnings left him $62 short of $100,000 for his career. In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Sam Hill extended his winning streak to four in most improbable fashion, parked the entire mile yet prevailing in 1:50.3. Twilight Bonfire was second, a length in arrears, with Lollipop Kid third. Greg Wright, Jr. piloted the 8-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $283,389, for trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. Saturday's Belmont Day card at The Meadows features the Bye Bye Bird, a $199,000 PA Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers. First post is 11:25 AM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

This Week: Currier & Ives filly division, The Meadows, Washington, Pa; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Hanover Stakes (3-year-old colt and filly trot), Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Wednesday (June 4) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $93,860 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will host Grand Circuit racing on Friday (June 6) with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 7) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will offer its second Grand Circuit stake of the season on Saturday, with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters, while Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Saturday with the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old colt trotters and the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the Meadows, Scioto Downs and Balmoral Park races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Molson Pace for older pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway and the Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer (#1) gets up on the outside to narrowly defeat Apprentice Hanover (#4) and Foiled Again (#7) in the Molson Pace. In one of the most exciting editions of The Raceway at Western Fair District's signature race, the $138,000 Molson Pace, last year's winner State Treasurer defended his title despite a terrible start and an inquiry on May 30 at the London half-mile track. Driver Chris Christoforou had State Treasurer three wide down the backside and picked up the cover of Apprentice Hanover and Jody Jamieson heading into the stretch. It was a great race to the finish with State Treasurer getting up on the outside to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a close second followed by the always game Foiled Again, just a half-length back in third. The winning connections, trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald, had to wait out an inquiry regarding the start before the race was declared official. "I sweated a little bit last year too, but this is a little different this year," noted Moore. "He's a real good little horse, he tries his heart out and he showed that tonight for sure." Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective on May 31, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. All Bets Off was a 1:52.2 winner in the Art Rooney Pace. All Bets Off collared leader Maxi Bon early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third. All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, is now three-for-four this season with earnings of $180,250. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do. Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Maxi Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last. "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile, but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too. Every start (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on June 1, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt The Duer in the early stages, brushing to the front after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half-mile. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter. Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have been too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip found room to chase after being locked in. Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Bolt The Duer stayed on to be third. Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of 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 - 291; 2. Tim Tetrick - 255; 3. George Brennan - 164.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 143: 5. Brian Sears - 121. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 485.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 117; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller- 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 111.05; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 103.55; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 60; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Mohawk and the Meadowlands next weekend. Mohawk will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 14), while the Meadowlands will card the Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old open pacers and a leg of the TVG Free For All series for open trotters on Friday (June 13). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Carol's Comet gets a new lifetime best of 1.49.4 in the Saturday Night feature at Scioto Downs Racino.   The track was lighting fast on the 5/8 oval on Saturday and with the perfect weather the combination was a perfect setting for great racing.   The five-year old gelding by Yankee Cruiser is trained by Ron Potter and owned by Whiskey Tango Stb, Marin Presser, Bill Moore and Matthew Moore.   Carol's Comet driven by Aaron Merriman received a perfect pocket trip off hot fractions of 26, 54 and 1.21.Merriman waited patiently for the super stretch after following co-second choice, Rockin Wizard. His patience definitely paid dividends when Carol's Comet cruised to a one length victory.Rockin Wizard, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr.was second and Royal Outlook closed late for the third spot.   Racing continues Monday, Memorial Day with a special post time of 1:00.The 15 race holiday card will feature Ohio Sire Stakes action for the 3-year pacing and trotting colts. They will slug it out for a share of the $40,000 purse.   Scioto will also have a Driver meet and greet prior to first race post time.We will also have our unique National Anthem presentation. This will feature the costumed, Starry Night Star and dressed reins man. It's an exciting presentation of the versatility in our Standardbred Breed.   From Scioto Downs Racino  

Harness racing longshot players could not have been happier than they were in the 12th race at Northfield Park on Thursday (May 22), when (1) Attackatooforu received a perfect trip and closed up the passing lane to win at odds of 57-1. David Lake drove the pacer for owner/trainer, Jim Kiesel, of Litchfield, Ohio. It was the first win this year in four starts and represents Attackatooforu's ninth lifetime score. (1) Attackatooforu (57-1) was followed across the wire by (4) Southern Susie (7-1) and (6) Minor Wisdom (1-1). Attackatooforu returned $116.80 to win; the 1-4 Exacta paid $1,029.60; and the 1-4-6 Trifecta returned $4,715.20. Earlier on the night, Sweetheart Dance paced to her third consecutive victory, capturing the $11,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace in the fifth race. She is trained by Kent Sherman for Pittsburgh, PA owner Keith Pippi. Northfield Park leading driver, Josh Sutton, was aboard for the winning drive. Sweetheart Dance (Yankee Cruiser-Somekindasweetiepie-Life Sign) started from post seven. She left hard at the start and was hung three wide through the opening :27.2 quarter. She made the lead in the second turn and never looked back. She continued to post impressive fractions of :56.1, 1:24.3 and 1:53.4. The mile clocking bested her competition by 1 ¼-lengths. Completing the race were Power Everywhere, Eradikate, Ashtoreth Hanover, Deliciouslynaughty, Bubbler and Tame The Dame. Thursday's win was the fourth victory this year and 16th career score for Sweetheart Dance. It bolstered her lifetime earnings to $184,741. She was heavily favored and returned $2.80 to win. Ayers Ratliff

Dancin Yankee won the $25,000 Preferred pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, but the real story was his time, which was the fastest ever at Pocono and matched the harness racing world record for fastest pace on a 5/8-mile oval. Fresh off a win in the Van Rose Memorial pace at Pocono in his previous start, Dancin Yankee (Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest), the 4-5 favorite from an outside post in a field of six, took over the lead with a blinding burst of speed on the front stretch. With Brett Miller in the bike, the 6-year-old stallion from the Josh Green barn had to endure a first-over challenge on the back stretch from Mach It So and a home stretch battle from pocket horse Clear Vision, eventually prevailing over the latter by a neck with Feel Like A Fool finishing third. The fractional times for the mile were :26, :52:2, 1:20:1, and 1:47:2. That winning time broke Pocono's all-time mark of 1:47:4, which was accomplished three times in 2013. It also matched the fastest mile ever paced on a 5/8-mile oval, which was first set last year by Pet Rock at Scioto Downs. In addition, Dancin Yankee sets a new world record for aged stallions on the pace with the winning time. Dancin Yankee, owned by Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo, won for the 8th time in 14 races this season. He now has 32 lifetime victories and career earnings of $778,922. Jim Beviglia

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