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After suffering through early-season issues, All Bets Off appears to be back on his game. The 7-year-old stallion, who is within striking range of $3 million in career purses, leads three horses from the stable of trainer Ron Burke into Saturday's $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. All Bets Off is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind 5-2 favorite McWicked. All Bets Off was winless in his first four races of the year, with three finishes of sixth or worse, before getting time off to regroup. After a six-week absence, All Bets Off returned with a third-place finish in the Battle of Lake Erie, a win in the preferred handicap at the Meadowlands, and a second-place finish by a nose to Sintra in his elimination of the Ben Franklin. However, Sintra was dropped to third for racing inside the pylons, giving All Bets Off the victory. For his career, All Bets Off has won 29 of 110 races and earned $2.99 million. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. "In his last three he's been back to the All Bets Off that we know," Burke said. "The beginning of the year was a complete disaster. We couldn't figure out what was wrong. But it was a bunch of things; it wasn't just one thing. We knew he wasn't sound, he wasn't breathing. For two weeks we turned him out and basically let him reset himself. He's been lights out his last three." The Franklin is one of four marquee events that make up Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono. The card also features the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, where filly Manchego is the 5-2 morning-line favorite; the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial, with Lather Up the 2-1 favorite; and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, where Sidewalk Dancer is the 5-2 choice. All Bets Off will start the Franklin from post No. 5 with driver Matt Kakaley. "I think he's ready, it's just how does he get there," Burke said. "He doesn't like to sit two holes; he'd either rather cut the mile or come off the back. But if he's sitting sixth or seventh it's probably too far to come from there." Burke's remaining two Franklin finalists are Filibuster Hanover and Rockin Ron. Filibuster Hanover was third-placed-second in the same elimination as All Bets Off and will start from post eight with driver Yannick Gingras. Rockin Ron was second in the elimination won by McWicked and will leave from post six with driver Louis Roy. Filibuster Hanover, a 4-year-old gelding, has won five of six races this year and 12 of 39 lifetime to accumulate earnings of $1.04 million. He is owned by Burke Racing, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi. "He's been super," Burke said. "Last week I was a little disappointed, I thought he should have won from the trip he got. We scoped him and he didn't scope the best, so we worked on him all week and I would expect that he'll be better." Rockin Ron, a 6-year-old gelding, has won five of 12 races this year and finished second on four occasions. For his career, he has won 33 of 93 starts and $1.26 million. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. The 28-year-old Canadian-based Roy has driven Rockin Ron three times, winning an elimination of the 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:47.2 at Mohawk before finishing second by a neck to Sintra in the final, and posting an eight-length win in May's Camluck Classic in a track-record 1:50.1 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. "Rockin Ron is the wild card," said Burke, who has won the Ben Franklin twice. "For whatever reason, the two best starts of his life have been with Roy driving so that's why we brought him down. The kid just rolls him and the horse reacts to it. I don't know if he'll change tactics, but the horse does step out of the blocks when we use that kid driving." Joining All Bets Off and McWicked as Franklin elimination winners was Australian-bred Heaven Rocks. He will start from post four with David Miller driving for trainer Ross Croghan. McWicked, trained by Casie Coleman, will be driven by Brian Sears, who also piloted the stallion to victory in his elim. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. The Franklin is race No. 11 on the card, preceded by the Lynch and Hempt and followed by the Beal. Following is the field for this year's Ben Franklin Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Mac's Jackpot-Brett Miller-Jeff Smith-15/1 2-McWicked-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-5/2 3-Donttellmeagain-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-12/1 4-Heaven Rocks A-David Miller-Ross Croghan-4/1 5-All Bets Off-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-3/1 6-Rockin Ron-Louis Roy-Ron Burke-10/1 7-Sintra-Jody Jamieson-Dave Menary-6/1 8-Filibuster Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/1 9-Western Fame-Andy McCarthy-Jimmy Takter-20/1 Complete entries for the card are available at this link. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

CHESTER PA - The Mach Three mare Maching Me Zilly received some good fortune when two scratches took her from the second-worst post at Harrah's Philadelphia (PP7) to the best (PP5), and then she made the most of the opportunity by posting her second straight harness racing win, this one in 1:54.3 to take the $17,000 featured distaff pace Wednesday afternoon at the riverside oval. Driver Yannick Gingras made two moves to control the throttle with the favored Maching Me Zilly, and then they dug in during the last 5/16 to withstand the first-over bid of second choice Oneida Blue Chip by a length. Trainer Scott Di Domenico trains the winner, who still has a start in this "nw 8 races" class as this is only her seventh lifetime triumph, for owners John McGill, Brian Carsey, and Triple D Stables Inc. The two-year-old trotting filly Sky Is Mine made her pari-mutuel debut a victorious one in 1:58.4 for trainer Noel Daley and All Laid Out Stable Inc. The daughter of Muscle Hill and Raising Roxanna (she a full sister to $595,000 winner Raising Rachel) was put on the lead past the quarter by driver Andrew McCarthy and was in control from there, with the 2-1 second choice reporting home 2½ lengths clear of favored Havree De Grace while coming her own last half in 58. FINISHING LINES - There will be a special live card at Harrah's next Tuesday, the day before the Fourth of July, with a special post of 2:05 p.m. Featured that day will be Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old trotting fillies - who will be glad not to have the looming shadow of Manchego (who's in the Beal Championship this Saturday at Pocono) lurking about. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Jimmy Takter is ready to take off Manchego's training wheels. In this case, the wheels are shoes. Manchego, undefeated in 15 career races, will attempt to become the first female winner of the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono when she faces eight male rivals in the $500,000 event for 3-year-old trotters. Last week, she captured her elimination by a nose in 1:52.4, equaling her lifetime best time and besting a field that included 2017 male divisional champs from the U.S. and Canada plus the Breeders Crown winner. She will start the Beal final from post No. 6 with regular driver Yannick Gingras and is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. "This is a good test for her, it's a very good race," Takter said. "(Last week) she had to work hard to get the lead; she fought hard. It will be tougher this week. There is going to be a lot of action in that race." Takter has won three of the Beal's seven previous editions and last year sent out the first female finalist in the event, Ariana G, who won her elimination before finishing third from post eight in the final. Takter plans to make a shoeing adjustment on Manchego for Saturday's final. "She's been racing with her training shoes," Takter said. "She's been going with a (heavier) shoe up front and she doesn't need any weight. We can lighten her up quite a bit. This is something I always do. I don't do it right away; I've been waiting to get to this point in the season. I've got another gear there." The Beal is one of four marquee events that make up Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono. The card also features the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, where Lather Up is the 2-1 morning-line favorite; $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, with McWicked the 5-2 favorite; and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, where Sidewalk Dancer is the 5-2 choice. Manchego was a $120,000 yearling buy, under the name Whispering Hills, at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. She is a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic and her family includes millionaire Possess The Magic. Manchego was a perfect 12-for-12 last year and became the first undefeated 2-year-old female trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. She also was the first unbeaten 2-year-old female trotter to win a Breeders Crown. This year, Manchego won divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania All-Stars before her nose victory over Crystal Fashion in her Beal elimination, which marked only the second time in her 15 starts that a horse was within 1-1/2 lengths of her at the finish line. In the elim, she defeated a field that had last year's male Dan Patch Award winner Fourth Dimension, O'Brien Award winner Alarm Detector, and Breeders Crown champ Fiftydallarbill. "She's more calm this year; more professional in all aspects," Takter said. "She's very handy. Whatever you want to do, you can do. That's a plus for her." Manchego, who is owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, has earned $929,688 in her career. Crystal Fashion is the 3-1 second choice in the Beal final, followed by elimination winners Mission Accepted at 4-1 and Six Pack at 5-1. Six Pack will start from the outside position, post nine. Seven of the nine finalists are eligible to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes: Manchego, Six Pack, Crystal Fashion, Lawmaker, Patent Leather, Fashionwoodchopper, and Evaluate. The only Beal champion to win the Hambletonian was Pinkman in 2015. Beal winners Devious Man and Southwind Frank finished second in the Hambletonian the past two years. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. The Beal is race No. 12 on the card and caps the stakes events. The Lynch is race nine, followed by the Hempt and Franklin. The Earl Beal Jr. Memorial honors the former president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, who was a driving force to bring casino gaming to the state's racetracks. Following is the field for this year's race. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Andrew Harris-15/1 2-Patent Leather-Brian Sears-Jim Campbell-10/1 3-Mission Accepted-Ryan Stahl-Jeff Conger-4/1 4-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-3/1 5-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-12/1 6-Manchego-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 7-Mississippi Storm-Brett Miller-Tom Fanning-20/1 8-Evaluate-Corey Callahan-Marcus Melander-6/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-5/1 Complete entries for the card are available at this link. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

WILKES-BARRE PA - A "Who's Who" of the free-for-all pacers, three-year-old trotters, and three-year-old pacers both male and female were gathered together at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, trying to perform well in elimination races and qualify for next Saturday's $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Championships race card. The expected rain thankfully never came, but there was a frontstretch headwind. FRANKLIN PACE (FFA p) Heaven Rocks A proved best in a cavalry charge to the wire, sweeping off cover to reduce his Stateside mark to 1:49.3 in the first of three $30,000 Franklin elims. Check Six moved to the lead after the 26.1 opener, got to the midpoint in 54.1, then was challenged by first-over Western Fame to the 1:22 ¾ pole. Heaven Rocks A tipped three-wide midturn, was (as has been his norm) a bit hard to keep on a maximum course late on the turn, but then showed determination to withstand late-charging Donttellmeagain by a neck, with Western Fame holding stoutly for third and a Franklin final spot. Ross Croghan trains the winner of $414,145, and driver David Miller co-owns him with the Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham. McWicked made winning look McEasy despite a first-over journey, winning handily for driver Brian Sears in 1:48.3. Mach It So set the early pace of 26 and 54.2, then had to contend with the inexorable McGrind of the winner. McWicked took the lead shortly after the 1:21.2 ¾, then finished out in 27.1, 2¾ lengths ahead of Rockin Ron, who split horses late to just get second over longshot Mac's Jackpot, who photoed Mach It So for advancement to next week's Championship. Casie Coleman conditions the veteran son of McArdle, who now is at $2,394,362 in career earnings, for S S G Stables. Sintra, sitting third headstretch, ducked far inside for the stretch drive and did get to the wire first in 1:48.4 in his Franklin elim, but he went inside the pylons in doing so and was placed third, elevating All Bets Off, who missed a nose after setting much of the pace (54.2, 1:21), to the big share of the purse. Filibuster Hanover, sitting in the pocket after taking the early lead (26.1) then yielding and to All Bets Off's immediate left through the lane, was third placed second to halt his undefeated 2018 season, with Sintra's placement back to third still enough to get him through to the Championship. All Bets Off, who sat a world record here three years ago that still stands, was another successful teaming for Team Kakaley/Burke, nudging his earnings up to $2,990,054 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and the Panhellenic Stable Corporation. BEAL TROT (3YO Open trot) Manchego kept her career record perfect after 15 starts, but in taking on "the boys" in her $25,000 Beal Trot elim she was extended further than she had ever been before, holding off a game Crystal Fashion by a nose while equaling her career best of 1:52.4. Yannick Gingras kept the filly in midpack until traffic settled late on the first turn, then got her in gear before the 26.4 quarter, brushed to the lead, and got relatively soft middle fractions of 56 and 1:24.4. But through the stretch Crystal Fashion, who had ducked inside from second-over an 1/8 of a mile out, gained steadily, with Gingras chasing after the super filly late to maintain the victory and The Streak, in only her third race of the year. Jimmy Takter trains the winning daughter of Muscle Hill, who now has earnings of $929,688 for the ownership of Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Ohio champion Mission Accepted proved he was the real deal against Grand Circuit stock by taking the first of the Beal eliminations in 1:53.2. Those who had backed the Manofmanymissions colt to 4-5 had a few anxious moments down the back as their choice significantly gapped the cover of Patent Leather, who went his third split in 26.4 to clear pacesetter Whats The Word. But driver Ryan Stahl got more out of Mission Accepted and gained on the turn, then dove down into an open Pocono Pike, trotting away late for a 1¼ length tally over Patent Leather, with Lawmaker, forwardly-placed throughout, taking third. The winner, perfect in four starts this year and the OhSS Final victor at two, now has a bankroll of $268,300 for trainer Jeff Conger, who is also the co-owner with Knox Services Inc. and David Wills. Six Pack started from post six in his Beal elim, then recorded all "1"s across his charted line, withstanding a late Pocono Pike rush from Evaluate by ¾ of a length to win in 1:53.3. Trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt put the New York star right on the lead, and after a 29.3 second quarter breather the son of Muscle Mass flew home in 56 - 27.4.   Evaluate (at .90 odds to Six Pack's .80*), in the pocket, raced strongly in the lane to maintain second, with Fashionwoodchopper showing grit to hold on for third and advancement after having to go first-over. Six Pack now shows earnings of $345,055 for Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and Stall Kalmar FF. HEMPT PACE (3YO c/g pace) They saved the best for last on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night, as the I'm Gorgeous colt Lather Up brought to mind another recent good horse (Wiggle something or other) by making the lead past the ¼, then coming home in 53.1 in hand late for driver Montrell Teague to freeze the timer in 1:49 in his $25,000 Hempt elimination. After the 26.2 opener put down by Nutcracker Suite, Lather Up, three-wide just past the 1/8, raced up to grab command, got a huge breather with a 55.4 half, and then asserted his divisional dominance with the brilliant last half, winning by 2¼ lengths over Nutcracker Suite, with Wes Delight edging Well Done to move on to the Championship. But someone will have to go a big mile in seven days time to defeat Lather Up, trained by Clyde Francis and moving his bankroll to $544,765 for owners Gary and Barbara Iles, who saw their pride and joy remain undefeated in seven seasonal starts and add a seasonal record to his ever-growing resume. Dorsoduro Hanover made a swift move to the lead before the 5/8 in the first of the Hempt elims, then held on gamely over the late charge of Springsteen by a neck, with forwardly-placed This Is The Plan, looped for the lead down the back, coming back to be another neck off the 1:49.4 winner to complete the trio to advance. The victorious Somebeachsomewhere gelding took a new lifetime mark and set a season's record (so it only lasted 55 minutes ...), running his 2018 record to 4-for-5 this season while taking his earnings to $172,668. Matt Kakaley handled sulky duties for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stables LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and the Wingfield Five. Hitman Hill paid a 26.2 price to get the lead before the quarter, put down 54.4 and 1:22.1 middle splits, then lasted to the wire by a head over inside charger Shnitzledosomethin in 1:49.3, a personal best and a tick better than Dorsoduro Hanover divisional season's record. Stay Hungry, who found all sorts of trouble, out to the quarter before tucking from PP8, then checking when the first-over broke before the ¾, rallied stoutly for third to advance. Hitman Hill is a son of American Ideal who was guided by Brett Miller for trainer Chris Oakes, and the ownership of Tom Hill and Northfork Racing Stable. LYNCH PACE (3YO filly pace) Youaremycandygirl, looking more like her 2017 championship self, took the first $20,000 Lynch elimination on the engine in 1:51.3. Yannick Gingras was out to the 27.1 quarter to make the lead behind the daughter of American Ideal, then tripped the timer at the half in 56.2 before Alexa's Power moved up to challenge. The 6-5 second choice pacesetter (the first non-favorite to win in the eliminations after five straight chalk) and the 1-2* first-over battled to and past the 1:23.2 3/4s, with Alexa's Power dropping in the pocket at headstretch and second-over Double A Mint coming quickly in the lane. The "Candygirl" (named after a line in a song by the "group" The Archies) held off Double A Mint by a neck, with Alexa's Power and Hypnotic Tale next in line. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $925,915, 2-for-4 this year and 11-for-15 lifetime, for owner W. J. Donovan. Kissin In The Sand left to the early lead, let Sidewalk Dancer go by at the half, then surged in the Pocono Pike midstretch to catch that rival by a half length in 1:51.1 in the other Lynch elim. Sidewalk Dancer was out the whole way in the 26.4 quarter and almost to the half in 55 before clearing the winning favorite, went to the ¾ in 1:23.1, but succumbed to the pocket rocket late, with I'm Trigger Happy, Sansovina Hanover, and Serene Stride (the faster 5th-place finisher) going on to the Championship. Kissin In The Sand was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Nancy Johansson, and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has earnings of $345,545 for owners Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables. GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES (top older pacers) Why did he include a $30,000 race, the Great Northeast event, in this wrapup? How about because the winner, Bettor's Edge, equaled the fastest mile of the year on a 5/8-mile track in North America by winning in 1:48.2? How about because the fractions were 25.1, 53.3, and 1:20, and the nine-year-old winner set most of the pace? Rodeo Romeo got past Bettor's Edge after the astounding quarter, but then the winner of $2,133,382 was out and retaking for Scott Zeron in front of the stands and "got a rest" to the half. Then Highalator came first-over and got a small advantage late backstretch through the smoking 3/4s, but the winner held him off, then withstood the Pocono Pike late move of Rodeo Romeo to tally by a ½ length for trainer Jennifer Lappe, also the co-owner with Robert Santagata; Highalator was only a neck further back in third. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER PA - Maching Me Zilly and Lifetime Trust slugged it out through the stretch of the $17,000 harness racing pacing feature for distaffs Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, and in the end the first-over Maching Me Zilly found the reserves to keep her rival at bay late in a lifetime best of 1:52.2. A daughter of Mach Three driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Scott Di Domenico, Maching Me Zilly came coverless off the second turn, with Lifetime Trust on her tail, and "Zilly" could not clear pacesetting Jaye's A Lady around the far turn, with Lifetime Trust tipping three-deep past midturn to launch her bid. But that bid would come up a neck short against the game winner, who is owned by John McGill, Brian Carsey, and the Triple D Stables Inc. The two-year-olds made their first pari-mutuel appearance at Harrah's for 2018; winning the contest for baby trotting fillies was Cardinale, a daughter of Cantab Hall - Mississippi Beauty, who made every pole a winning one in 1:59.1 as the chalk. Andy Miller, only nine wins away from 9000 career victories after visiting Victory Lane three times Wednesday, was in the sulky for trainer/wife Julie Miller; the Andy Miller Stable is co-owner with Willow Oak Ranch and O'Donnell Equine. Yannick Gingras also had a triple on the card, while Eric Carlson, Andrew McCarthy, and David Miller steered home a pair of winners. FINISHING LINES - The Great Northeast Open Series will gather together trotters and pacing mares on Sunday at Philly, each group competing for $30,000. The trot, an open event, is topped by a formidable pair of females, Ariana G and Broadway Donna, while the mares pace should see Blue Moon Stride and Agent Q getting their fair share of the betting attention. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

MILTON, ON - June 16, 2018 - Hannelore Hanover captured her third consecutive Armbro Flight Stakes on Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The reigning Canadian and American Horse of the Year was untouchable in the $250,000 event for trotting mares, as she completed a front-end mission with a :27.2 final-quarter to win by three and three-quarter lengths in 1:52. "Right now she couldn't be any better," said driver Yannick Gingras following Hannelore Hanover's victory. "She's sound, she's happy, I didn't even kick the plugs the last couple of weeks, she's doing it on her own." A six-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover left hard from post-five to secure the lead and proceeded to post fractions of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.3. Emoticon Hanover tracked Hannelore Hanover's every move from the two-hole, but couldn't touch the defending champion, who recorded her 40th career victory. Emoticon Hanover held second, while Caprice Hill and Dream Together rounded out the Superfecta. Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover is now perfect in four starts this season. Her three-peat in the Armbro Flight increases her career earnings to over $2.8 million for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J And T Silva Stables LLC. Hannelore Hanover has defeated male rivals on multiple occasions, including last season's Maple Leaf Trot. Gingras noted how important the easy victory was for the big plans her connections have in mind. "The more easy miles we can put on her now, we have some big races later on and maybe even some big plans over the winter." A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $2.20. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

The 2016 Armbro Flight Stakes can be looked upon as Hannelore Hanover's coming-out party, and in the two years that followed she went from an intriguing newcomer among older female trotters to the sport's reigning queen. Hannelore Hanover was a star on the Indiana circuit at ages 2 and 3, but eight races into her 4-year-old campaign made her presence felt on the Grand Circuit by winning the Armbro Flight by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:51, still the fastest mile ever by a female trotter in Canada. The next week she made her first appearance in harness racing's weekly Top 10 poll and has remained a fixture in the rankings ever since. Last year, Hannelore Hanover captured Horse of the Year honors in both the U.S. and Canada. On Saturday, she goes for an unprecedented third consecutive win in the Armbo Flight when she faces nine rivals in the C$250,000 race for older female trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 6-year-old mare, unbeaten in three starts this season, is the 2-5 morning-line favorite. Since the beginning of her 4-year-old season, the Ron Burke-trained Hannelore Hanover has won 30 of 40 races and finished worse than second only three times. "She just shows up every week and puts in a great effort," said Frank Baldachino, who owns Hannelore Hanover with the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and J&T Silva Stables. "You kind of get spoiled after a while. She's just all racehorse; all business when she goes on the track. Hopefully this week she'll be all business again." Named in honor of renowned German amateur driver Hannelore Würzinger, Hannelore Hanover is a daughter of Swan For All out of High Sobriety. She was purchased for $32,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and has subsequently earned $2.58 million on the racetrack. Her family includes Mack Lobell, who is joined by Moni Maker as the only two-time Dan Patch Award Horse of the Year honorees in the past 35 years. Hannelore Hanover, who was the first trotting mare since Moni Maker in 1999 to receive Horse of the Year honors in the U.S., will have the chance to duplicate their accomplishment this year. "Buying her as a baby we had limited expectations, hoping we had a nice Indiana Sire Stakes horse," Baldachino said. "For her to achieve the success she's had over the last two years is pretty amazing. You never think about that. Then when you get to this level everybody is gunning for you now, trying to knock you off that level, but she just keeps maintaining it. That's what is pretty special." Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras defeated male rivals multiple times last year, most notably in the finals of the Breeders Crown Open Trot and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as in the Allerage Farms Open Trot. She became the fastest female trotter in history when she won the Allerage in 1:49.2 at Lexington's Red Mile and was the first mare to beat the boys in the Breeders Crown Open Trot since Moni Maker in 1998. She finished last season with a win in the TVG Series championship for trotting mares and brings a six-race win streak to Saturday's Armbro Flight. Hannelore Hanover's victories this season include the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands, a track-record-equaling triumph in a division of the Great Northeast Open Series at Harrah's Philadelphia, and a 5-1/2 length win in 1:52 in her Armbro Flight elimination. "It's been awesome; I couldn't be happier," Baldachino said about the start of the season, which has seen Hannelore Hanover push her career record to 39 wins in 61 races. "She looks great, she's got a great way of going, Yannick's happy with her, Ronnie's happy with her -- we're all happy with her." Hannelore Hanover and Gingras start the Armbro Flight from post No. 5. The field also includes Emoticon Hanover, who also won an Armbro Flight elimination and handed Hannelore Hanover one of her losses in 2017 with a world-record mile in the Joie De Vie Stakes at Tioga Downs, and stakes-winners Celebrity Ruth, Caprice Hill, Dream Together, and Ice Attraction. Emoticon Hanover and Dream Together are both trained by Luc Blais. "(Hannelore Hanover) looks great, but Emoticon Hanover is a great horse, too, and there are other nice horses in there," Baldachino said. "All her main competitors are inside of her. I don't think they're just going to let her waltz to the lead and cut her own fractions. There's an entry in there and there could be some horses mixing it up early, so we'll see. Hopefully Yannick gets her in the right spot. We leave it up to him." The Armbro Flight is part of a stakes-rich card at Woodbine Mohawk Park that also includes the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers. The North America Cup is scheduled for 10:40 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live from 10-11 p.m. on TSN2. First race post time is 6:30 p.m. for the 15-race card. The Armbro Flight is race three. Following is the field for the Armbro Flight Stakes. For complete entries for Saturday, click here. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Caprice Hill-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-12/1 2-Celebrity Ruth-David Miller-Trond Smedshammer-3/1 3-Dream Together-James MacDonald-Luc Blais-12/1 4-Emoticon Hanover-Bob McClure-Luc Blais-7/2 5-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2/5 6-Checkmate Time-Donald Dupont-Marie Dupont-20/1 7-Southwind Tesla-Phil Hudon-Rene Dion-15/1 8-Majestic Presence-Chris Christoforou-Dagfin Henriksen-20/1 9-Ice Attraction-Jody Jamieson-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 10-P L Jill-Corey Callahan-Renaldo Morales-15/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Manchego kept her place in the spotlight intact Tuesday night in one of four $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting fillies at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, overcoming the tuck-then-first-over trip to post a 1:52.4 victory. The undefeated daughter of Muscle Hill found herself in the middle of a quintet of strong leavers, and Yannick Gingras backed the winner of $917,188 into a midpack tuck, then started first-over on the second turn after Nixie Volo, who had been responsible for the early numbers of 27.1 and 56.3. Manchego started to gain the advantage at the 1:24.4 3/4s, but for a second the upset-minded had a thrill as Nixie Volo kept the champion out on the turn. But Manchego simply increased her distance consumption in her effortless way, coming home two lengths to the good of late-closing Top Expectations, with Nixie Volo another 1¼ lengths back in third. Manchego's 1:52.4 equaled her personal mark, achieved last year at both Mohawk and Lexington. Jimmy Takter had the filly in top shape after a 22-day racetrack layoff, getting her 14th win in succession without much of a sweat for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Manchego commanded so much of the crowd's respect, she drew almost $19,000 of the $22,000+ win/place/show pool, and the Exacta she headed with 43-1 Top Expectations second returned only $15.20 (the second choice was 23-1 behind the 1-9 shot). Then, the most marked of mutuel contrasts followed 18 minutes later, as the Explosive Matter filly Highland Dynamite made the most of a pocket trip behind pacesetter Bill's Lady, going up the Pocono Pike to catch that foe in 1:53.1 while returning $250.80 to win and combining with Bill's Lady, the 5-2 second choice, for a $4878.80 exacta. Simon Allard guided the Pierre Paradis-trained shocker, who reduced her mark 5 2/5 seconds while gaining into a 55.2 back half for the Highland Thoroughbred Farm. (The other galloping reference of the night came in race four, where the winner was named Justified.) Southwind Angelica came out before the ¾ to challenge pacesetting favorite Basquiat and wore her down late in their division, posting a neck victory while taking a new mark of 1:54.2. Another daughter of Muscle Hill, the winner stepped her own back fractions in 55.4 - 27.4 in taking the decision for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Jonas Czernyson, and owner Thomas Dillon. The final All-Stars contest was taken by the Donato Hanover filly Live Laugh Love, who gained solidly from third midrace to take the lead in early stretch and win by herself in 1:54.3. The Nifty Norman trainee, a Sire Stakes winner and then second to Manchego in her two previous starts, ran her record to 4-for-5 in 2018, with earnings of $117,227 lifetime for Melvin Hartman, David Mc Duffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. *************** In other important news, George Napolitano Jr., the all-time leading horseman in Pocono Downs history, goes so fast that a mere pencil cannot stay with him - it took a check of the USTA computer to show that in Monday's 12th race, his victory with Myidealson N was the 9000th of his top-notch career. "George Nap" becomes the 21st North American-based driver to get to 9000 wins, and ranks #12 among active drivers. The leading driver in North America in 2010 with 753 visits to Victory Lane, Napolitano has won a mind-boggling 29 titles at Pocono - 11 driving win titles (including the last six, and he leads the colony right now), 9 UDR championships (including the last five), and five training win titles. He has also won nine titles "down the Turnpike" at Harrah's Philadelphia - six for sulky victories and three for UDR. George will have his entire family to the track on Saturday night, where he will join with them to be honored in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winners Circle for this milestone triumph. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Wolfgang will try to continue his rise among Hambletonian Stakes contenders when he faces nine rivals in Saturday's C$266,000 Goodtimes Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Goodtimes is one of the stakes stops on the road to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian, which is the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters. Two of the past four winners of the Goodtimes have gone on to capture the Hambletonian, Marion Marauder in 2016 and Trixton in 2014. In addition, last year's winner International Moni won an elimination of the Hambletonian. Saturday's Goodtimes is part of a stakes-filled card at Woodbine Mohawk Park, headlined by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers. The night also includes the Armbro Flight for older female trotters, Roses Are Red for older female pacers, and Fan Hanover for 3-year-old female pacers. Wolfgang, who was ranked No. 9 in last week's Road to the Hambletonian, compiled by Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and analyst Ken Warkentin, is among seven Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the Goodtimes. The others are Alarm Detector, Cruising In Style, Hat Trick Habit, Hill Street, Lawmaker, and Missle Hill. Alarm Detector, who was No. 3 in last week's Hambletonian rankings, and Wolfgang each won his Goodtimes elimination. Wolfgang, making his first start of the season, captured his division by 2-3/4 lengths over Lawmaker in a career-best 1:52.2. "I'm very happy with the way he went last week," said Yannick Gingras, who drives Wolfgang for trainer Jimmy Takter. "It was his first time out and he was loaded with trot. I think he did it the right way and I think he's got a big chance." Last year, Wolfgang won three of 10 races and earned $316,275, which ranked fifth among 2-year-old male trotters. The colt's victories included the Matron Stakes and he finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship and season-ending Valley Victory Stakes. Fourth Dimension, who was last year's Dan Patch Award winner for 2-year-old male trotters and was No. 1 in last week's Road to the Hambletonian, won the Valley Victory. Fourth Dimension is yet to race this year. "I think if I got loose a little earlier in the Valley Victory I could have given Fourth Dimension all he wanted," said Gingras, who has driven Wolfgang in his past four starts. "Even before that, I watched him race and he looked like a horse that could go a long ways. "I thought coming into the year he was probably the best trotter I had to drive for the Hambletonian. Jimmy said all along he was coming back strong. We couldn't be any happier with where he's at right now." Wolfgang, who hails from a family with chef-inspired names, is a son of My MVP out of Summer Savory. He was purchased for $60,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Brixton Medical Inc., Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables, and breeder Fair Island Farm. Alarm Detector, who was the O'Brien Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter in Canada, won his Goodtimes elimination by three-quarters of a length over Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill in 1:53.1. Alarm Detector also was making his seasonal debut. "I was okay with it, mile in (1):53, it's getting a little cooler right now at this time and you can train them as much as you want, but it's not like racing," trainer Ben Baillargeon said after the win. "He was ready and up to the task." Alarm Detector, a son of Chapter Seven out of Final Countdown, has won seven of eight career races and earned $237,032. His victories last year included the William Wellwood Memorial at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He was purchased for $110,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes Dan Patch and O'Brien awards winner Ken Warkentin, who was named in honor of the Meadowlands' announcer. The colt is owned by Thomas Rankin, Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel, and Santo Vena. Following is the field for the Goodtimes Stakes. The connections of Wolfgang and Alarm Detector, as elimination winners, selected their respective post positions. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Stormont Ventnor-Phil Hudon-Kevin Benn 2-Hill Street-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter 3-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon 4-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 5-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Jason McGinnis 6-Hat Trick Habit-David Miller-Domenico Cecere 7-Fiftydallarbill-Trace Tetrick-William Crone 8-Run Director-Sylvain Filion-Benoit Baillargeon 9-Missle Hill-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna 10-Cruising In Style-James MacDonald-Kevin McMaster by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

MILTON, ON June 8, 2018 - The return of the reigning Canadian and American Horse of the Year highlighted stakes elimination action Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Armbro Flight for trotting mares and Goodtimes for three-year-old trotting fillies both required two eliminations Friday to kick off a busy stakes weekend. Hannelore Hanover, last year's O'Brien and Dan Patch Award champion, returned to Woodbine Mohawk Park looking to give herself a chance at her third consecutive Armbro Flight title. The six-year-old superstar and driver Yannick Gingras were successful in the opening $35,000 elimination, defeating six rivals in an easy 1:52. 'Hannelore' left from post-six and was parked by the opening-quarter in :27 before clearing to command. The Ron Burke trainee proceeded to reach the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.2 before making her :27.3 final-quarter look effortless to win by five and a half lengths. Southwind Tesla finished second, while Caprice Hill and Dream Together rounded out the Superfecta. Checkmate Time was fifth to grab the final spot in next week's final. Hannelore Hanover was two for two on the season going into Friday's elimination. "That's probably the easiest race I'll win all year," said Gingras following the race. "She was wrapped up and did it very easy. She's so solid right now there is no worries, knock on wood, but she's something else." Now a 39-time winner with over $2.7 million earned, Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J And T Silva Stables LLC. The daughter of Swan For All will be looking for the Armbro Flight three-peat in next Saturday's (June 16) $250,000 final. 'Hannelore' won the 2016 edition in an Canadian Record 1:51 and last year's edition in 1:51.4. As expected, Hannelore Hanover paid $2.10 to win. The second elimination saw another superstar trotting mare find the winner's circle. Emoticon Hanover and Bob McClure was a coast-to-coast front-end winner in 1:52.4. The Luc Blais trainee posted fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:24.1 before trotting home in :28.3 to win by three and a half lengths. Friday's start was the first-time McClure sat behind 'Emoticon' in a race. The young reinsman has been driving this season for Blais and did have his choice of stablemates Emoticon Hanover and Dream Together in the May 21 Miss Versatility Stakes. "I had the option last week and I took (Dream Together), but I knew (Emoticon Hanover) was probably the better of the two," said McClure. "The other mare was race-tight, but this mare is all-class," said McClure is confident in his mare heading into next week's final. "Hannelore is going to be tons the best in there, but my mare did beat her last year, so it is a horse race." Celebrity Ruth, who was the 1/2 favourite, finished second, while Ice Attraction came up the rail to finish third. The final two spots in the Armbro Flight final were secured by Majestic Presence and Barn Bella. A five-year-old daughter of Kadabra, Emoticon Hanover hasn't impressed many during her four qualifiers this season, but she's turned it on when it counts with now two wins in two starts. Owned by Determination, Emoticon Hanover now has 18 career wins and earnings of over $1.3 million. Emoticon Hanover paid $7.70 to win. The Goodtimes for three-year-old trotters featured two $30,000 eliminations and just like the Armbro Flight, driver Gingras was back in the winner's circle following the first elimination. Jimmy Takter trainee Wolfgang was ready to go in his first start of the season, front-stepping to a career-best 1:52.2 victory. Wolfgang and Gingras left hard to claim the lead, posting a :27.2 opener. The son of My Mvp hung up fractions of :56.1 and 1:2 to lead into the lane. Hat Trick Habit, the _ favourite, came first-up from third on the far turn, while Lawmaker tracked in the two-hole. Wolfgang did not give his rivals any chance in the lane and trotted off in _ to win by _ lengths. Lawmaker finished second at 40-1, while Run Director was third. Hat Trick Habit and Stormont Ventnor rounded out the top-five to advance to the June 16 final. "Jimmy told me he trained really good at the farm and I know he didn't show a (1):52 mile, but the day he qualified at The Meadowlands it was a real good mile," said Gingras post-race. "I liked the colt. I raced him a few times last fall and I thought he was a top horse and he showed it tonight." Wolfgang won three of 10 starts last season, banking $316,275 for owners Brixton Medical Inc, Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables and Fair Island Farm Inc. A $2 win ticket on Wolfgang returned $6.20. The second elimination featured a showdown between O'Brien Award winner Alarm Detector and Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill. The two stars finished one-two with Alarm Detector taking the victory in his three-year-old debut. Driven by Trevor Henry, Alarm Detector left strong to grab the lead and that was the winning move. Henry got a soft :29.1 second-quarter to lead by the half in :57.1, while Fiftydallarbill had to angle out first-up from fourth. Alarm Detector trotted a solid :28 third-quarter before finishing up strong in :27.4 to claim the victory. Fiftydallarbill turned in a game effort, closing in on the wrapped up leader at the wire to finish second by three-quarters of a length. Cruising In Style finished third, while Hill Street was fourth. The final qualifier for next week's final was Missle Hill. Trainer Ben Baillargeon has mapped out a plan for Alarm Detector this season and was very pleased with the Chapter Seven colt's season debut. "I was okay with it, mile in (1):53, it's getting a little cooler right now at this time and you can train them as much as you want, but it's not like racing," said Baillargeon. "He was ready and up to the task." Owned by Tom & Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel and Santo Vena, Alarm Detector went six for seven during his rookie season and banked $276,870. Baillargeon hasn't been shy in pointing out what his main focus is for the season. "The game plan is the Hambletonian and hopefully we will get there, but the Hambletonian will be his number six race, so four more starts after (the Goodtimes)." Alarm Detector paid $3.30 to win. Friday's elimination winners earned the right to select their post for their respective finals. Here are the post positions for next Saturday's $250,000 Armbro Flight and $266,000 Goodtimes finals. $250,000 Armbro Flight 1. Caprice Hill 2. Celebrity Ruth 3. Dream Together 4. Emoticon Hanover 5. Hannelore Hanover 6. Checkmate Time 7. Southwind Tesla 8. Majestic Presence 9. Ice Attraction 10. Barn Bella AE: P L Jill $266,000 Goodtimes 1. Stormont Ventnor 2. Hill Street 3. Alarm Detector 4. Wolfgang 5. Lawmaker 6. Hat Trick Habit 7. Fiftydallarbill 8. Run Director 9. Missle Hill 10. Cruising In Style AE: Jula Downton by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Undefeated trotting filly sensation Manchego returns to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this coming Tuesday night (June 12), racing in one of four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars series event. Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, went 12-for-12 during her freshman campaign, of course earning divisional honors and bankrolling $873,948. Manchego made her 2018 bow at Pocono on May 21, winning a division of a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes contest in hand, and she is again expected to be the overwhelming favorite from post seven for driver Yannick Gingras. Nixie Volo, recent winner of a Currier and Ives Filly division and a PA Sires contest on the same card as Manchego, draws in against her here, but is stuck with the outside post nine for driver Corey Callahan. The filly who gave Manchego her hardest battle in 2017, the Explosive Matter miss Phaetosive, may be the choice in another division despite also having to overcome the outside nine-hole. Trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer for Purple Haze Stables LLC, Phaetosive was second, beaten only ¾ of a length in the Peaceful Way final last year at Mohawk, and in her 2018 bow she came her back fractions in 54.1 - 26.2 while coming from eighth to miss only two lengths at The Meadowlands. Two Pennsylvania Sires winners, What A Knockout (post one, driver Tim Tetrick) and Piranha Fury (post two, David Miller) will square off in another All-Stars section against Bill's Lady (post six, Corey Callahan), coming off a win in a Currier and Ives Filly division. The other division of Tuesday's stake is headlined by two recent PA Stallion Series winners, Perfect Image (post five, Charlie Norris) and Pembroke Mystery (post seven, Tim Tetrick). From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

The 2017 2-year-old filly pacer of the year, Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras), rebounded from a sixth place finish in her 2018 debut last week to win a leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 3). She won the third division of three divisions that ran Sunday afternoon. All three divisions competed for a purse of $40,600. Youaremycandygirl ($2.90) controlled the race from the start. She went to the first quarter in :27.4. Painted Lady (Scott Zeron) was content to follow her with a pocket trip. Youaremycandygirl led them to the half in :57.0 and three-quarters in 1:23.4. Painted Lady popped the pocket at the top of the stretch and pressured the leader. Gingras asked Youaremycandygirl for more in the stretch and she responded to win in 1:51.1. Painted Lady settled for second. Solitary (Marcus Miller) finished third. Youaremycandygirl is a 3-year-old filly by American Ideal. She is owned by W J Donovan and trained by Ron Burke. She is now one for two as a sophomore filly. She now has 10 wins in her career in just 13 starts. Tell Me A Joke (Jim Morrill Jr.) held on to win the the first division of the NYSS. Tell Me A Joke ($12.80) went right to the lead. The betting favorite I'm Trigger Happy (Scott Zeron) tried to challenge for the lead but backed off and settle for the pocket trip. Tell Me A Joke controlled all the fractions (:28.0, :57.1, 1:24.3, 1:53.2). As they reached the end of the backstretch Newsday (Jim Marohn Jr.) pressured Tell Me A Joke all the way around the final turn. As they reached the stretch I'm Trigger Happy was trapped in the pocket. She squeezed into an opening on the inside but it was too late and she had to settle for second. Jewels Forreal (Matt Kakaley) charged late and fininished third. Tell Me A Joke is a 3-year-old filly by Art Major. She is owned by H A Taylor, S J Taylor and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. Trained by Gareth Dowse, it was her third career win. All her wins have come as a 3-year-old. Ubettergo Go (Mark MacDonald) very impressive in the second division of the NYSS. Ubettergo Go ($4.90) took the sophomore fillies in to the first quarter in :26.4. Hurrikane Shorty (Jim Marohn Jr.) followed in the pocket. After hitting the half in :55.1. Pelican Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) took up the chase first over and was second after Ubettergo Go hit three-quarters in 1:22.0. As they hit the top of the stretch it looked like the only one with a chance to beat Ubettergo Go was Wisdom Tree (Scott Zeron). MacDonald said go and Ubettergo Go simply flew in the stretch winning going away in an eye-popping career best time of 1:50.0. Wisdom Tree was second and Pelican Blue Chip held on for third. Ubettergo Go is a 3-year-old filly by Art Major. Owned Tony Basile, Reginald Pettipas, Ozzie Mackay and trainer Blake Macintosh, it was her second win this year and career victory number five. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 8) starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne, for Tioga Downs

East Rutherford, NJ  - The 2018 edition of Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB), sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms, kicked off on a perfect Saturday morning at The Meadowlands. The skies were clear, the breeze slight and the temperature a comfortable 75 degrees. As has been the case since BWTB began, Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter sent out the first winner of the season. This year it was the highest priced yearling of the 2017 sales season at $480,000 (Lex Select), Beautiful Sin. In a short field of four, Yannick Gingras settled Beautiful Sin in second early as Isolde (Mattias Melander) took the field by the quarter in 29, then brushed her to the front by the 58.4 half. After a rated 30 second third split Gingras let the filly roll a bit through a 28.3 final quarter and she widened out to win by more than six lengths in 1:57.2. Lennart Agren's SRF Stable owns Beautiful Sin (by Muscle Hill from Sina, bred by The Moon Goddesses, Paula Gural and Monica Bencal) and if this morning's performance is any indication, she was a bargain. The Takter / Gingras duo came right back in race 2 with Whispering Oaks and the filly becomes the very first winner for first crop sire Father Patrick. She led all the way, closing out her 1:58 mile with a 29 flat final quarter and won well within herself over Starita (David Miller), by another eagerly anticipated first crop sire in Trixton, who broke early and recovered nicely to be second. Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and RAW Equine, Inc paid $100,000 (Lex Select) to breeders Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband for Whispering Oaks last fall. When Greenshoe, the $330,000 (Lex Select) Father Patrick colt from world champion Designed To Be, cruised around the oval in 1:55 / 27.3 looking like he was jogging and eliciting "Wows" from the veteran observers and various experts in attendance this morning the young sire's legend was begun. Trainer / driver Marcus Melander let Greenshoe go right to the top from post four though even fractions with Hudson River (another Father Patrick colt driven by Takter) following closely by the 1:27.2 three panels. When Melander gave his colt the "green light" he accelerated while continuing to move easily and put some air between himself and his closest rival. It was a very good 1:55. Anders Strom owns Greenshoe via his nom de course of Courant, Inc and was bred by Katz and Libfeld. This year's freshman trotters are a particularly precocious lot as in the very next race Jimmy Takter exposed a lovely Muscle Hill colt named Don't Let Him with a start to finish 1:55 mile, home in 27.4. He was tracked throughout by Gimpanzee (Melander) who made a menacing move in the stretch but could not head Takter's colt. Don't Let Him is a Brittany bred, was sold for $80,000 (Lex Select) and is owned by that nursery along with Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. The highest priced yearling ever sold in Sweden at $325,000 (USD) is here in the US racing for Courant, Inc and the Muscle Hill colt Green Manalishi S was a winner at first asking for Mattias Melander in 1:57. Taking the lead just past the quarter, Green Manalishi cruised through easy numbers then dug in nicely when Gerris Trix (Takter) ranged up alongside mid-stretch with a28.4 end to the mile. Colt pacers took the stage with the sixth race with first crop sires Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou both represented. Ray Schnittker put his "Captain" colt Latissimus Hanover on the lead and set a fair pace through a 1:26.2 three quarters. Following in the pocket was Jimmy Takter (who else) with his Sweet Lou x Blood Diamond colt Blood Money, fanning out as they straightened up and ground past by a length through the 27.2 end to the 1:53.4 mile. Zero Tolerance (D. Miller) split that pair to be second. Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Farm bred and owns the colt as Diamond Creek Racing. Diamond Creek came right back with another imposing homebred in Blacklight, trained by Takter and driven by Gingras who was a 1:56.2 winner. He's a big colt by Somebeachsomewhere from the champion mare I Luv The Nitelife and handled the assignment like a veteran. Qualifying pacers picked up with the eighth race where a very good older horse, Delta Winner, held off a very good 3 year-old in Stay Hungry. In what amounted to a match race, Brett Miller cut the mile with Delta Winner while Doug McNair sat pocketed with Stay Hungry and when they crossed the wire in 1:49.1 after a 26.3 stretch duel it was Delta the winner. Mark Silva trains for Jeff Snyder. Fourth Dimension is right at the top of the Road To The Hambletonian and he looked the part today, winning a hard fought stretch battle over the good 4 year-old mare Dream Baby Dream (David Miller) in 1:53.3 / 27.1 for Brian Sears. Fourth Dimension closed out a nice day for the Melander barn and moves on to the sophomore classics for owner Courant, Inc. Charts are available on the Meadowlands website. Live racing tonight at The Meadowlands begins at 7:15pm with the Jerseyfest Food Truck Mash-up leading the promotions. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Saturday night card features three series finals and the great Foiled Again's quest to reach 100 career wins. The $47,000 "Escort" final (race 6) pits eight 3-year-old colts & geldings with the very fast but green Thinkbig Dreambig the 9-5 choice on Dave Brower's morning line in just his second career start. Sent away as the 3-5 choice in his maiden voyage last week, Thinkbig Dreambig was ranging up toward the leader in mid-stretch but doing so somewhat erratically then suffered interference in an eventual 4th placed third finish. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take the lines tonight for owners Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk. KJ's Justine has come to hand in the Rainbow Blue series for sophomore pacing fillies and is the favorite for the $42,500 final (race 7), having swept the two preliminary legs including a 1:52.1 lifetime record last week. She races out of the Linda Toscano barn for owner Ken Jacobs and Eric Abbatiello drives tonight from post 3. The $32,500 Hot Lead final (race 8) for older pacing horses and geldings could be a dogfight and Ballerat Boomerang comes into it off a crushing 5 ¾ length win over the field in leg two. Driver Vinnie Ginsburg put up a perfect steer last week, providing a cover trip and when tipped, the "Boomerang" took flight by the field. He'll begin from post position 8 tonight for Nick Surick who trains for Engel Stable of Illinois and JL Benson Stable. The ageless war-horse Foiled Again has certainly had a storybook career for trainer Ron Burke and partners Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stables. Now facing mandatory retirement after this season at age 14, he is the richest Standardbred in history with a career bankroll of $7,573,178. It has taken 309 starts to get there with his win total stuck on 99 since January, so after a few sub-par efforts Burke prescribed a freshening of four months leading up to tonight's return. He'll face a field of six rivals in the fifth race from post two with Jim Pantaleano becoming the 36th driver over his 309 start career. All of the guaranteed wagers are in place for the card and the last race Super Hi-5 Jackpot carry-over has eclipsed $236,000. You may download free program pages here. Post time is 7:15 pm. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

When harness racing driver Yannick Gingras heard about the upcoming Trotting 4 Charity event, he knew immediately he wanted to participate. Gingras' brother-in-law, Brian Michonski, lost a battle with pancreatic cancer in 2014 and Gingras will drive in Brian's memory to raise money for the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. Trotting 4 Charity, organized by TrotCast's Ryan Macedonio, will be held May 18-20 at racetracks throughout North America. Participating drivers and trainers will wear a custom-made replica jersey of their own colors, with their selected charity logo displayed on the jersey. During the weekend, drivers will race in their jersey. After the event, auctions will be held for fans to bid on the jerseys and all proceeds from winning bids will be donated to the corresponding charities. The mission of the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation is to deliver unwavering support for patients and families fighting pancreatic cancer. It was founded in 2009. Michonski, a Maine resident who was 50 when he passed away, worked in his family's masonry business and was active in sports and the community throughout his life. He played baseball and ice hockey and coached both sports at the youth level. He also was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman and loved to travel with his family. "This is always a charity that is important to me," Gingras, who is among 40 horsemen and horsewomen participating in the event, said about the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. "I'm always willing to help out and when I heard about (Trotting 4 Charity) I thought it was a great idea and wanted to get involved. "This brings attention to these charities and the work they do, which is very important. It also brings attention to harness racing. It's just a good thing for everyone." Following is a list of drivers and trainers participating in Trotting 4 Charity, with their corresponding charities. Allan Davis - Nemours Children's Hospital Andrew Harris - The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Andy McCarthy - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - Science and Medicine Andy Miller - Pacing For The Cure Bob McClure - Children's Wish Foundation of Canada Brady Galliers - Ronald McDonald House Charities Brian Burton - Potomac Valley Boxing Association Chris Page - Jimmy V Foundation Colin Kelly - Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Corey Callahan - Harness Horse Youth Foundation Declan Donoway - St. Jude Children's Hospital Dolores Basilone Case - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Doug McNair - Autism Speaks Emily Hay - Leukemia Research Foundation Frank Milby - Talbot Special Riders, Inc. J Bradley Harris - Breast Cancer Research Foundation James MacDonald - Canadian Cancer Society Jim Morrill - Wounded Warrior Project Julie Miller - Pacing For The Cure Louis-Philippe Roy - Fondation Rêves d'enfants, Québec - Children's Wish Foundation, Quebec Marc Campbell - IWK Foundation Marcus Miller - Dogs For Better Lives Matt Kakaley - Marley's Mission Montrell Teague - St. Jude Pat Berry - St. Jude Robert Shepherd - Autsim Speaks Roger Plante - Ronald McDonald House Russell Foster - Freedom Hill Horse Rescue Ryan Macedonio - Big Brothers Big Sisters Scott Young - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Scott Zeron - Standardbred Retirement Foundation - Adoptahorse.org Sean Bier - Cardiac Kids Simon Allard - Wigs For Kids Timmy Offutt - Maryland International Harvest Foundation Tom Jackson - Lung Cancer Research Foundation Travis Henry - Breast Cancer Research Foundation Trevor Henry - The War Amps Tyler Buter - Wounded Warriors Tyler Smith - St. Jude Yannick Gingras - National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Pictures of each jersey will be available at trotting4charity.com or trotcast.com. Ken Weingartner

CHESTER PA - Windsun Glory, a mare looking to be on her way to better things, posted her second straight victory at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, posting a clear victory in the $18,000 distaff pacing mares feature at the riverside oval. Driver Yannick Gingras moved the Mach Three mare to the lead in front of the stands and held sway from there, stepping home in 55.2 to equal her 1:51.3 winning clocking of last week. Princess Fabulosa, beset by almost every form of bad racing luck known to man and horse - a second-tier draw, early interference, a shuffling to last, a three-wide move most of the backstretch continuing to two-wide on the turn - still came on to be a very good second, 2¼ lengths behind the winner. Ron Burke, the leading trainer at the young meet, conditions the winner of $260,665 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Lawrence Karr. Windsun Glory went over the quarter-million dollar plateau winning last week; the Camluck mare Cousin Mary did it today ($250,240) in the $14,500 distaff subfeature, and she went even faster than "Glory," taking a new mark of 1:51. Corey Callahan, who like Tim Tetrick had three sulky successes on the day, reserved Cousin Mary off a contested pace, made one decisive backstretch brush to the lead, and then left the field in her wake for trainer Andrew Harris and owner Jeffrey Williamson. A special Kentucky Derby Saturday card will be featured at Harrah's tomorrow at 12:40, with the inaugural events of the summerlong $1.8 million Great Northeast Open Series headlining - a $30,000 trot with the likes of Rock Of Cashel, Opulent Yankee, and Melady's Monet, and a $30,000 mares pace including Nike Franco N, Lispatty, and Darlinonthebeach.   Jerry Connors

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