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CAMPBELLVILLE, May 22 - Hannelore Hanover returned to Mohawk Racetrack for the first time this season Monday and turned in a dominating 1:52.4 harness racing victory in the first leg of the Miss Versatility. A field of eight older trotting mares clashed in the $53,200 Grand Circuit event. Hannelore Hanover was sent off as the 1/5 favourite and made a winning performance look like a walk in the park. Driver Yannick Gingras let the big mare stride out early, but yielded for a four-hole spot and allowed Emoticon Hanover and Side Bet Hanover to play musical chairs with the lead. As Emoticon Hanover reclaimed the lead for the second-time at the half in :56.3, Hannelore Hanover was sent first-up by Gingras and the heavy-favourite claimed the top spot swinging into the turn. The superstar trotting mare proceeded to post a :27.2 third-quarter followed by a :28.1 kicker to secure a 5¼ lengths victory. Emoticon Hanover held her position to finish second, while Barn Girl won a Show photo over Oho Diamond. Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover came into her second start of the season Monday off a second-place finish at Miami Valley on May 7th. "They all get beat some point and for her it was her first start," said Gingras. "She's not going to go undefeated this year, but I'm not so worried about that, I'll worry about the big money races." The regular driver behind Hannelore Hanover also pointed out that he was hoping to give the sensational trotting mare an easy trip on Monday. "I was trying to take it easy on her as much as I could. They were battling a little bit early on so (I) just sat there," said Gingras. "She can race any which way. She loves tracking down horses, she's game on the front, so she makes my job really easy." A five-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino & J And T Silva Stables LLC. Last season, 'Hannelore' won 17 of 20 starts and earned nearly $1.2 million. Her victory Monday gives her 27 career wins and an additional $26,600 to her bankroll of over $1.5 million. She paid $2.40 to win. Hannelore Hanover The Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares has three preliminary legs before a rich final at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Little Brown Jug Day. The series visits Mohawk, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs. Monday evening's card also saw a record payout for a $2 Exacta. Driver Paul MacDonell steered three-year-old pacer Dubious Claim to a 103-1 shocker in the evening's fifth-race. The triple-digit longshot was followed across the finish line by Jaydens Place and driver Phil Hudon at odds of 82-1. The $2 Exacta in the fifth-race paid $3,896.50, eclipsing the old Mohawk Racetrack record of $2,515.80 set on May 21, 1984. The horses that combined for the previous record were Rock N Chris, driven by Steve Condren, and Foolish Ward, driven by Roger Mayotte. Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ariana G gave notice Friday night at the Meadowlands that the road to the Hambletonian Oaks goes through her as she crushed seven overmatched foes in a division of the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies by 7¾ lengths in 1:52.2. The Jimmy Takter trainee was more than prepared for her seasonal debut as driver Yannick Gingras put the daughter of Muscle Hill on the lead just after the quarter. Racing unpressured, the winner of 10-of-12 lifetime starts opened up an insurmountable edge after pocket-sitting Ice Attraction broke at the head of the stretch. She then sprinted home in :27.2, paying $2.10 as the 1-9 favorite for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Dream Baby Dream was second with Southwind Prius third. "She was really good," said Gingras. "I couldn't be any happier with her. She was as good as I expected her to be. I'm crossing my fingers she stays healthy and let her talent do the rest." Ariana G Glitzey Gal ($7.40 to win, 1:52.3 for the mile, David Miller driving, trainer Nifty Norman) and Colorful Jasmine ($2.40, 1:54.1, Corey Callahan, Thomas Cancelliere) were victorious in the other two NJSS filly divisions. Ron Burke trainee What The Hill lowered his lifetime best by two-and-two-fifth seconds, impressively taking one of three NJSS divisions for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Driven by David Miller, the son of Muscle Hill stopped the clock in 1:52.2 to stay perfect in two seasonal starts. He returned $2.40 as the 1-5 public choice. Every Way Out ($2.10, Dylan Davis) and Long Tom ($3.80, Marcus Melander) won the other sophomore colt and gelding divisions in identical clockings of 1:52.1. Both were driven by Tim Tetrick. JL Cruze CHALK TALK: Seven favorites scored on the card, bringing the total over the last three programs to 18 winning chalks from 32 races (56%). ... David Miller piloted four winners on the card. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,475,077. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. with the Graduate for 4-year-old trotters, featuring Dayson and Broadway Donna. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Harness racing driver Louis-Philippe Roy experienced on Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R what most drivers only dream about, scoring eight winners on a single program. Roy was down to drive in 11 of the 13 races on the card. Little did he know it would be a history making afternoon. The prior record was six wins on a program, set by Yannick Gingras in 2013. "I knew I had some competitive horses," Roy said, "but I didn't think before the races that eight of them could win. Some of them really surprised me and were feeling really good yesterday. "It was really great to have my parents in the winner circle for the eight races," Roy added, "especially my mom, as it was Mother's Day." Only three of his eleven drives Sunday were race favorites on the morning line odds, which did not prevent him from achieving eight victories. Of these eight victories, one was from the 10th post position, twice from the 9-hole (both posts are in the second tier behind the #1 & #2 horses) and twice from the 7th-post position. That is tough to do on a fast track, which was not the case at H3R Sunday as constant rains had the track listed as sloppy with a five-second allowance. "I was happy to have a break of a race to clean my face and my eyes." Roy laughed. "It was really muddy out there." In the ninth race, Roy was driving the race favorite, Code Word, who broke stride leaving from post five and Roy could not get him back on stride and was in seventh place on the outside by a dozen lengths after the start. They raced on the outside the entire mile and still was able to come on and win by a half-length. "I was just trying to get him back pacing in a hurry," Roy explained. "Because I know he is a really good horse when he feels good like he was yesterday." Roy seemed to be all over the track Sunday, racing on the front end when possible, but most of the time he was two and three-wide with horses on the sloppy track. "Some horses were feeling so good," Roy said. "that I wasn't concerned at all using them earlier to make sure that I stay close of the leaders. The track was good enough that I was not worried when I had to go three-wide with some of them." When will Roy be coming back to drive again at H3R? "I'm not a 100% sure," Roy said, "but I might be there on May 28th for the last elims of the 4-5 years old Quebec. For sure I will be back on Sunday, June 4 for the All-Stars Driving Tournament. I really look forward to competing then." So, after a long drive from Toronto to Quebec, then driving and winning eight of the eleven races he was in, what did Louis-Philippe Roy do to celebrate after the races Sunday? "We went to a restaurant with friends," Roy said, "and they then went to Karaoke afterwards, but I had to miss it, I was too tired from all the traveling. "By the way, Roy concluded, "I would like to congratulate Karaoke contest winner, Guillaume Desrochers, for his interpretation of "Femme libérée" in an even better way than Cookie Dingler!" From the Quebec Jockey Club  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Track management at the Hippodrome 3R today released the names of the eight harness racing drivers who will be competing in the second annual All-Star Drivers Tournament set for Sunday, June 4. Invited to participate in the tournament will be Stephane Bouchard, Daniel Dube, Sylvain Filion, Yannick Gingras, Jody Jamieson, David Miller, Louis-Philippe Roy and Scott Zeron. The tournament features a prize purse of $10,000 (US) as the eight drivers will compete in eight races with each driver starting once in posts 1-8. There will also be a special Meet & Greet before the start of the races where fans will be to get autographs, photos and chat will all eight of the drivers. Live interviews with all eight drivers will take place in the winner's circle throughout the afternoon. Last year's inaugural All-Star Drivers Tournament winner, Jody Jamieson, was able to pull away with the victory in the last race of the tournament and defeat John Campbell and Sylvain Filion. This year, a special newcomer to the tournament is Hall of Famer David Miller, who was last at H3R in 2014, driving Lucan Hanover in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete. Also, new to the tournament and representing H3R, is last year's leading driver at both H3R and Rideau Carlton, Louis-Phillip Roy, Montreal native Stephane Bouchard, a career winner of 8,555 races and another Quebec native, Scott Zeron, who last year won the Trotting Triple Crown with Marion Marauder, round out the rookies in the tournament. Of course, Quebec native drivers Yannick Gingras, Daniel Dube and Sylvain Filion need no introduction to race fans at H3R or anywhere in harness racing. "This is a superb group of drivers we have coming to H3R on June 4." Said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "I know the harness racing fans not just in Quebec but throughout North America will want to see these great drivers compete in our tournament. It has become one of our biggest events at H3R." More details about the All-Star Drivers Tournament will be announced shortly and you can also visit, www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

After sitting out last week's round in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series because of a numbers crunch, Rockin Ron's connections hope the harness racing gelding can come back this weekend with a performance good enough to maintain a spot in the upcoming $200,000-added final at Yonkers Raceway. The preliminary divisions of the six-week Levy Series for older male pacers conclude Saturday at The Hilltop. Rockin Ron will enter the night holding the eighth-and-final spot for the April 22 championship, but might need nothing less than a win Saturday to keep his position. Rockin Ron holds a five-point edge over Wakizashi Hanover and eight-point advantage over the trio of Long Live Rock, Mach It So, and McWicked in the battle to qualify for the final. He trails both Blood Brother and Provacativeprince N by 22 points, so numerous possible outcomes are in play, but the simplest way for Rockin Ron to roll into the final is by winning his division this weekend. A horse receives 25 points each time he races in the series. He then gets points based on his finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth and five for fifth. The complete standings are available at this link. Rockin Ron, who has a win, second and fourth in the series, sat out last week's action because trainer Ron Burke could enter only three of his five eligible horses. A trainer can have only one horse in each division and last week there were three divisions. There has been a maximum of four divisions in the preliminary rounds. "To be fair we've had to space out who gets to race, which really hurts your chances to get into the final," said Mark Weaver, who is among the owners of Rockin Ron. "I wish we could have raced him because it pretty much would have assured him being in the final. But that's the situation we're in. "If he's good enough to get in, he deserves it. If he's not good enough, then he probably didn't deserve it." Rockin Ron, a 5-year-old son of Real Desire-Im All A Roan, is in the second of three divisions Saturday. He faces a group that includes series leader Missile J, third-place Keystone Velocity, fifth-place Bit Of A Legend (the series defending champion) and Blood Brother. "Fortunately he drew inside," Weaver said, referring to Rockin Ron's post No. 2 starting position with driver Yannick Gingras. "Hopefully we can get a good chunk of it." Last year, Rockin Ron won 11 of 26 races and earned $390,910 for owners Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and RTC Stables. His victories included the Confederation Cup and Prix d'Ete, defeating 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in both. He finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Dorothy Mullin Invitational. "Obviously we were high on him coming into this year and we've got him staked up to pretty much everything," Weaver said. "I think so far his year is starting off well. I think every start he's been pretty good. He hasn't been raced too hard and I think the week off should help. I'm real happy. "For some of these Levy horses, after the Levy they're back to being overnight horses. With Ron and All Bets Off, those are two that I think have a chance to go on and be competitive in the open ranks." All Bets Off, a 6-year-old stallion who has earned $2.21 million in his career, has finishes of second, third and sixth in the Levy. He competes in Saturday's third division, where Somewhere In L A is a slight 2-1 morning line favorite over 5-2 Wakizashi Hanover. All Bets Off and driver Matt Kakaley are 6-1 from post six. "We contemplated standing him at stud last year, but figured we would give him another year of racing," Weaver said. "He qualified great and his first race was super. Then he was sick and drew badly. It's a little disappointing, but at the same time we've got a long year. Matt loves him and still has confidence in him. Hopefully Ronnie can get him straightened out." Burke's other Levy competitors have been Caviart Luca, Always At My Place, and Take It Back Terry. Caviart Luca will race in Saturday's first division and is 4-1 on the morning line. "Ronnie said they all trained great, all the Saturday night horses, especially Caviart Luca," Weaver said. "Hopefully (Caviart Luca and All Bets Off) can do all right and sneak into the consolation." Complete entries for Saturday's races can be found at this link. Ken Weingartner

Yannick Gingras, the 2014 Harness Driver of the Year and a winner of more than 6,300 races, is going to trade in his sulky for a saddle. In a stunning move, Gingras has said he intends to end his driving career following this year’s Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park, which will be held on the nights of Oct. 27 and 28. He plans to begin riding Thoroughbreds around Jan. 1 and will launch his new career at Gulfstream as a 10-pound apprentice. Gingras has already begun the preparations for the career move. Driving sparingly during the winter, he has spent much of the recent months at Palm Meadows in Florida galloping horses for trainer Jason Servis. “I know a lot of people think Yannick is crazy for trying this, but he’s going to prove a lot of people wrong,” Servis said. “He’s a natural horseman, a natural lightweight, has great instincts and greats hands and has already proven he knows how to get a horse to the winner’s circle.” Gingras, 37, said the primary reason for making the shift is he feels his earning potential is a lot greater as a jockey than as a harness driver. While jockeys make 10% of a horse’s earnings, drivers make only 5%. In his best year, 2014, Gingras’s mounts earned $17.3 million, tops in North America, making his approximate earnings $850,000. By comparison, Javier Castellano led all jockeys in earnings in 2016 with $26.8 million, meaning he personally made about $2.6 million. “I have great respect for people like Javier Castellano, Mike Smith, John Velazquez,” Gingras said. “They are great athletes and they deserve what they get. I may not rise to their level, but I firmly believe that I can be a top jockey and that I can earn a lot more money doing that. The system of paying drivers only 5% is ridiculous and it’s something that was devised 75 years ago when the sport was much different.” The primary reason drivers get only 5% of winnings is because up until the mid-to-late 60’s trainers almost always drove their own horses. Therefore, they would get 10%, 5% for driving and 5% for training. However, the game was revolutionized by the concept of catch drivers, drivers who do not train, focus only on driving and are, for the most part, far better at that aspect of the sport than trainers. It is now rare for a trainer to drive their own horse in a race. Gingras is not a neophyte when it comes to Thoroughbred racing. A native of Sorel, Quebec, his grandfather Phillipe Gingras was leading trainer at Blue Bonnets in Montreal three times between 1961 and 1967. He twice won the prestigious Quebec Derby, in 1961 with Poisson d’Avril (Menetrier) and in 1965 with Good Old Mort (Promised Land). Blue Bonnets stopped racing Thoroughbreds in 1975 and converted to a harness racing only. It is no longer in existence. “My family has deep Thoroughbred roots,” Gingras said. “If Blue Bonnets continued to race Thoroughbreds there’s no doubt I would have become a jockey instead of a driver. My grandfather retired when Blue Bonnets stopped racing the Thoroughbreds, but my uncle, Gilles, moved to Woodbine and became an assistant trainer to Jean-Louis Levesque. I’d hang around with him a lot at Woodbine and I did gallop horses there briefly when I turned 16. But it was not home; I struggled with English at the time and I wanted to go back to Quebec. Loving horses, my only real option was to become a harness driver.” Gingras, at 5 foot 5 and weighing 130 pounds, is small for a harness driver. He said he will maintain that weight until finishing his driving career and then hopes to get down to about 112. He knows as a 10-pound apprentice he probably should be lighter, but feels that is the ideal weight for him to succeed as jockey. “I’ll have no problem getting down to 112, 113,” he said. “Anything less and I think I may be too weak.” Gingras said he has been mulling the switch for about three years. He sought the advise of Al and Michelle Crawford, prominent harness owners who also operate a small Thoroughbred stable with Servis and trainer Jorge Navarro and they advised him that Servis would be a perfect teacher for him. Servis rode briefly but had weight problems that led him to became first a valet and then a trainer. “You know why Yannick is going to make this work?” Michelle Crawford said. “It’s simple: he’s a winner.” “I was really skeptical when the Crawfords came to me and asked that I help Yannick,” Servis admitted. “Honestly, I didn’t even know who he was, other than some 37-year-old guy who wanted to become a jockey. But you could see right away that he was different. Horsemanship is horsemanship. Yes, I had to teach him a few things. He had a little trouble getting used to the pace we want in the mornings with our horses because the trotters go so much slower, but he picked it up quickly. Once he gets his weight down, I don’t think he’s going to have any problem making this work. I’m not saying I’m going to put him up on a horse like Sunny Ridge, but I’ll definitely use him. And a couple of trainers have also taken notice down here and asked me about him. They also seem impressed.” Gingras is believed to be the first prominent harness driver to attempt to become a jockey. However, Hall of Fame jockey Manny Ycaza made the opposite move in 1977, converting to a harness driver because leg injuries forced his retirement from riding. He drove briefly at Monticello Raceway before concluding harness racing was not for him. Gingras will be leaving harness racing on top. He is a regular driver for the sport’s two top trainers, Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter, and he was leading driver by earnings in 2014 and 2015. He has 12 Breeders Crown wins and four driving titles at the Meadowlands. “I’m ready for a new challenge in life,” he said. And, of course, every word (except for the part about Ycaza) you just read is pure nonsense. Happy April Fools’ Day. By Bill Finley Reprinted with permission of The Thoroughbred Daily News

YONKERS, N.Y. - Driver Yannick Gingras felt confident in 4-year-old mare Vintage Babe when she faced the starting gate for the opening leg of the Petticoat Series at Yonkers Raceway March 6. The daughter of Vintage Master who Gingras co-owns had won four of her seven seasonal starts and hit the board in the other three, but those races were all out of town on bigger harness racing tracks. Vintage Babe’s first start on Yonkers’ half-mile oval was anything but routine. There was a recall before the race and Gingras could sense his mare was unsettled. When the wings of the gate finally folded, Vintage Babe left hard, but went off stride before the midway point of the first turn. “She caught me by surprise. She got really hot and she went into the first turn pulling hard on me and wanting to go way too fast,” Gingras remembered. “She made a break there and I kind of shrugged it off thinking she was a little too excited, a little too grabby.” Although she lost several lengths, Vintage Babe reset her gait in a matter of strides. Turning into the backstretch, Gingras found himself in a tough spot. Vintage Babe was caught wide in fifth about 6 lengths from the lead. However, as the race’s 1/20 favorite, Gingras’ decision was clear. “As soon as she got back pacing I knew I had to pull back to last or make a move to go to the front. For me, there was only really one option: it was go to the front,” he said. Although Vintage Babe sprinted to the lead and held off her challengers to the wire, she hardly lived up to her odds-on status. She won by a desperate half-length in 1:57.2 and only mustered a :30.3 final quarter. “She was really no good,” Gingras said. “Something was really off with her because once she made the front, she barely held on and that’s not her. That race, even though she made a break, she should have won by 5, honestly.” For week two of the Petticoat, Gingras and trainer Ed Gannon, Jr. made some adjustments they thought would help Vintage Babe negotiate the Hilltop Oval. Instead, she made another break while unhurried at the start from post position five. “She made a break before she even got to the turn. That really raised a red flag for me like something is really up with her. She’s not like that usually. Before she even got to the turn, she was protecting herself,” Gingras recalled. Despite her early troubles, Vintage Babe again reset and made the most of her predicament. Charging from last, she passed a rival on the outside before diving back to the pylons on the final turn. Gingras guided her into the passing lane in the stretch and she rallied to finished third 6 lengths behind winner St Kitts. In doing so, she earned enough points to make the Petticoat Final. “I never really got her going till almost the top of the stretch and from where I was sitting, there wasn’t much of a chance. She paced the stretch really good the second week,” Gingras said. Although Vintage Babe’s path to the Petticoat Final was unconventional, it comes as a pleasant surprise for her connections. Gingras partnered with longtime friends Frank Canzone, Bob Sabatini, and Gannon to buy her out of the 2016 Harrisburg sale for $40,000. “Frank Canzone, we go way, way back. He’s actually the first guy that bought horses with me when I came to Yonkers 15 years ago,” Gingras remembered. “Ed had a horse named Looking Hanover years ago. He owned him already and I was driving for him. I actually tried to buy him to give him to Burke to train, but he wasn’t interested in selling the horse. I ended up buying a piece of him and that’s how we hooked up.” The group hoped Vintage Babe could make money racing in conditioned races at Dover Downs this winter. She exceeded expectations, winning her first six starts at the Delaware speedway and set a new lifetime mark of 1:52.2 January 10. As the wins piled up, so did her earnings. Vintage Babe has already made $49,010 this year, bringing her career total to $99,591. By earning enough points to make the Petticoat Series Final in the first two legs, Vintage Babe was able to skip the last preliminary March 20. Her connections seized the opportunity to make adjustments. Now, she’s primed for Monday’s $61,000 stakes where she’s the 5/2 second choice on the morning line. “The week off will definitely be beneficial to her. She hasn’t been that good on the half and racing her four weeks in a row would have been a little too much for her,” Gingras said. “The day after that second race, we got a lot of vet work done on her and had two weeks to work. There were a lot of positives there. “We were able to train at the farm, do the equipment changes, and try them versus just trying them in a race. That was positive as well,” he continued. “She trains on a half-mile track at home and she trained quite hard at the farm this week. (Ed) said she could not have trained any better. We’re really optimistic.” Even if Vintage Babe handles the track, the Petticoat Final won’t be a walk in the park. The race’s favorite, Cousin Mary, raced in all three preliminary legs and won them by 5 3/4, 5, and 3/4 lengths, respectively. Cousin Mary drew the rail in the final and was installed as the 9/5 favorite. “On paper, the best horse got the rail. Obviously I think she’ll end up cutting the mile,” Gingras reasoned. “As far as I’m concerned, I just have to make it through the first turn and go from there. There’s no plan going in. “I’ll see how she feels in the post parade. I’ll score her down quite a bit to see how she feels. I still think that Cousin Mary is a really nice mare, but I know how good my mare is as well. If she doesn’t struggle on the turns, I think I can go with her. I’m not saying I can beat her, but I do know that my mare is in the same class as her.” The Petticoat Series Final is race 8 on a 12-race card Monday night at Yonkers. The $30,000 Petticoat Series Consolation supports the program two races earlier. Click here to view entries for the card. First post time is 7:10 p.m. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

DOVER, DE - 2014 Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach won a $30,000 Preferred photo, Blazing Bobby Sox pulled away in the stretch in the $27,500 Delaware Special in top class wins on a chilly and windy Thursday, March 16 at Dover Downs. Yannick Gingras left in a hurry from post 8 to get the early lead and then sat second behind the sharp Major Uptrend until the homestretch when the Somebeachsomewhere-Benear gelding used the passing lane to just get up in 1:52.1 by a long nose in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap pace. Major Uptrend (Montrell Teague) was second ending a three straight win streak while Jet Airway (Corey Callahan) took third money. Ron Burke, the sports leading trainer during the last decade, conditions Limelight Beach, who won for the second time this year and 21st lifetime raising his total earnings to $1,270,279. One race later, Blazing Bobby Sox showcased his usually powerful closing brush to overpower six rivals in the $27,500 Delaware Special Handicap. With Sweet Rock (Allan Davis) cutting out the pace, Art Stafford Jr. moved Blazing Bobby Sox up on the outside at the three quarters and sped into the lead reaching the final turn and then was all alone in the lane for a 1:52 triumph. Stafford and his dad, Art Stafford own The Panderosa-Liamatters gelding who won his fourth of the season and 18th lifetime, now a $199,478 career winner. Sweet Rock was second with Poisonous (Ross Wolfenden) closing fast for third. Star Messenger scored his fourth win of 2017 with Tony Morgan driving a 1:52.1 victory in one of two $15,500 Male paces. Claimed early this meet, Star Messenger lifted his seasonal earning to $35,250 for owner-trainer Gary Ewing. Star Messenger, a Jereme's Jet-Manhattan Killean gelding, has now posted 22 lifetime wins and $171,146 in purse monies. A 42-1 hot Framed Art (Stafford Jr.) rolled down the stretch to finish second. Quick Shot (Jonathan Roberts) was third. The second $15,500 division went to Richard Stansbury's All The Cookies and Yannick Gingras in an impressive 1:52.3 performance. The Rocknroll Hanover-Queen Otra four-year-old gelding won his second straight and third in his last four outings for trainer Kenny Mitchell. Tip It On Back (Bret Brittingham) came on strongly to finish second. Denslow Hanover (Davis) was the show horse. Gingras and Time Out I'm Tired came out of the pack nearing the finish line for a 1:53.2 victory in the third $15,500 event. Chris White conditions the Artiscape-Badlands Laura five-year-old for Bill Mears and Janine McIlvain. Wichita Lineman (Davis) and Black Is Back (Callahan) were second and third respectively. Corey Callahan and Yannick Gingras each tasted victory four times, Tony Morgan, Art Stafford Jr. and trainer Dylan Davis had two wins each. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:t30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission at Dover Downs is free. Reservations are suggested for the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant and its acclaimed Buffet. . For reservations, call 302-674-4600. The Dover Downs Racing and Sports Book features simulcasting of top harness and thoroughbred racing from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight daily. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

DOVER,DE -- Two newcomers Limelight Beach, a $1.2-million winner, and Rockeyed Optimist lead eight starters in the $30,000 Preferred, while Blazing Bobby Sox is the one to beat in this week's $27,500 Delaware Special Handicap on Thursday, March 16 at Dover Downs. First Post is 4:30 p.m. Yannick Gingras drives Weaver Bruscemi, M1, Wingfield Bros. and Burke Racing's Limelight Beach, who arrives from Yonkers where he had a win and two seconds, whie Rockeyed Optimist, a recent 1:51 winner at Meadowlands, will be driven by Tim Tetrick for owners Perretti, Berkner, Battaglia and A&B Stable. Major Uptrend has been sharp recording three wins in-a-row for Mildred Ventriglio with Tony Morgan driving. Jet Airway and Corey Callahan has been close lately for owners Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis. Following last week's second straight second-place finish Gary Ewing claimed Rangers Sureshot for $30,000. Henderson Farms' Bushwacker is always a contender. Niss Allen's Rockinonby and Tony Morgan has been at the top of his game fast Starsky's Dream N with Vic Kirby raced well last week in his season's debut for Richard Pollucci. Last Thursday Art Stafford and trainer-driver Art Stafford Jr.'s Blazing Bobby Sox closed strongly for second only to lose a tight photo with Reg Hazzard, G.F. Calloway and Legacy Racing's Sweet Rock (Allan Davis), a neck ahead in second by a neck in $27,500 Delaware Special. Josh Green's Poisonous (Ross Wolfenden) steps up after a 1:50.3 win. Remember Me VK (Montrell Teague) has won three of his last six including one in 1:50.2. Max Walton and Greg Papaleo's tough veteran Mustang Art (Callahan) and George&Tina Dennis Racing's Forty Five Red (Jim Morand) moving from the outside to post 1 complete the lineup. in the first of two $15,500 Male paces, Engel and JL Benson stable's Toatsmygoats (Gingras), Sicily (Davis) racing for Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing and the Dennis Racing's Seventh Secret (Morand) head one, in the other, Richard Stansbury's All The Cookies (Gingras)Betty Brittingham's Tip It On Back (Bret Brittingham) and Eric Foster's Baby Kitty (Russ Foster) head the second section. In addition ,there is a hard-hitting undercard on the 15-race card. Monday through Thursday live racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are 'dark days' at the track. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

DOVER, Del.--- For the third straight start, Emeritus Maximus toyed with a sub-1:50 harness racing victory, and this week he did it pacing a 1:49.3 mile to win the $30,000 Delaware Special Handicap on Thursday, March 9 at Dover Downs where fast times were the norm led by a 1:49.3, two in 1:50.1, two in 1:50.2 and a 1:50.3 clocking. Yannick Gingras was in the bike behind the seven-year-old Rocknroll Hanover-Eternity's Delight horse and despite his toughest trip, he posted his seventh win in 10 starts in 2017. Leaving fast from the outside, Gingras elected to back Emeritus Maximus into third during a :25.4 opening quarter. Quickly on the move in front of the grandstand the pacer took over at the half in :54. There was plenty of activity on the backstretch zooming past the three-quarters in 1:21.2. Rounding the final turn, art Stafford Jr. and Blazing Bobby Sox were four wide and coming on strongly. At the wire, Emeritus Maximus held on to beat Sweet Rock (Allan Davis) with Blazing Bobby Sox third. Claimed by Don Marine and Brent Hall on Jan. 19, Emeritus Maximus, trained by Kyle Moore, has started seven times and now has stepped up the ladder winning five times including the last three Del Specials. He now won $65,645 this year. A former expensive yearling and juvenile stakes threat before setbacks. He has now won 21 races in his career banking $470,125 lifetime. Montrell Teague and Mildred Ventriglio's Major Uptrend are also streaking. The Somebeachsomewhere-Tricky Tooshie gelding won for the third consecutive start chalking up a 1;49.4 triumph in the $20,000 Open Handicap. Jet Airway (Corley Callahan) was a strong second in front of Rockinonby (Tony Morgan). Tim Crissman conditions the winner of four of eight starts this year. The win was the 28th lifetime for the $291,333 earner. Richard Stansbury's All The Cookies, trained by Kenny Mitchel and driven by Yannick Gingras, put on a game effort reducing his personal best winning time to 1:50.2 winning the first of three $15,500 4&5-Year-Old Male paces. Tip It On Back (Bret Brittingham) finished second ending a two-race win streak while McJagersonthemove (Tim Tetrick) was the show horse. In the second $15,500 event, Poisonous and Ross Wolfenden came from far off-the-pace to overtake Rangers Sureshot (Gingras) and front pacing Little Ben (Tetrick) for a lifetime best 1:50.2 victory. Josh Green owns and conditions the Art Major-She's Poison five-year old. The third division went to Cloud Speed with Art Stafford Jr in 1:50.1. Stafford hustled the Dragon Again-Cams Exotic gelding, owned by Ben Stafford and Bill Daggett, into the lead before the half and continued on for his fourth win in eight starts this season. Steady Warrior made it four straight wins scoring a 1:50.1 decision in a $12,000 Male Pace. Yannick Gingras piloted the victory for Frank Canzone and owner-trainer Ed Gannon Jr. A six-year-old son of Royal Mattjesty-Latin Liftoff, he held off Toatsmygoats (Pat Berry), second and Smart Rokker (Morgan), third. Gingras had a driving triple, Corey Callahan and owner-trainer Dylan Davis had two wins each. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:t30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission at Dover Downs is free. Reservations are suggested for the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant and its acclaimed Buffet. . For reservations, call 302-674-4600. Simulcasting of top harness and thoroughbred racing is available in the Dover Downs Racing and Sports Book, from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight daily. Marv Bachrad

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 6, 2017-- It wasn't all 'death and taxes' for Yonkers Raceway's first 'death and taxes' proposition of the harness racing season. Vintage Babe (Yannick Gingras, $2.10) did indeed win her fourth and final, $20,000 division of Monday night's opening round of the Petticoat Series, though it was far from attractive. Leaving from post position No. 2, she jumped in the first turn, then righted the ship, Vintage Babe made the lead from Southwind Ion (Joe Bongiorno) right at a :28.4 opening quarter-mile. The 1-20 proposition did complete her appointed rounds (:57.3, 1:26.4, 1:57.2), holding off Southwind Ion by a half-length. Phyllis Jean (Matt Kakaley), as the 47-1 rank outsider, was third in the field of six. "It became more interesting than I wanted," Gingras said of his minus-pool miss. "(Vintage Babe) just seemed to get excited in the first turn and outpaced herself. Fortunately, she caught herself and was able to make the lead. "It was her first start on a half (-mile track), so we're going to have to play around the hopples before next Monday." For Vintage Babe, a 4-year-old daughter of Vintage Mater, co-owned by her driver, her trainer (Ed Gannon Jr.), Frank Canzone and Ronald Sabatini, it was her fifth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.90, with the triple returning $49.20. Monday night's other Petticoat events went to... -- Real Diva,4 (by Real Desire); co-owners (as Burke Racing) (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Knox Services/driver Gingras; 1:56.1/$3.70; -- Cousin Mary,4 (by Camluck); owner Jeffrey Williamson/trainer Andrew Harris/driver Jordan Stratton; 1:54.1/$3.50; -- Northern Soiree,4 (by Western Ideal); owner Seth Rosenberg Racing/trainer Scott Blackler/driver Kakaley; 1:56/$9.70. The Petticoat, along with its male counterpart Sagamore Hill (beginning Tuesday night, March 7th), are open to 3- and 4-year-old pacers who are/were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through this past Dec. 1st. Frank Drucker

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (March 4, 2017) - Harness racing drivers Yannick Gingras and Brett Miller combined to win nine of the 12 races at the Meadowlands on Saturday night with Gingras winning five and Miller four. Miller took home the biggest prize of the night, piloting multi-millionaire Clear Vision to an open lengths win in the $18,000 featured event for upper level conditioned pacers. Miller took no prisoners from the beginning and put the Jennifer Lappe trained 11-year-old right on the front. He blazed away through a half mile in :54.4, three quarters in 1:22.3 before drawing away to win by five lengths in 1:51.3. Alberto Contador, who had won back-to-back Big M starts earlier this winter was second. 6/5 favorite Rockeyed Optimist was third. Miller teamed up with trainer Amber Buter for a pair of dominant wins with City Hall and Dateline Hanover. Gingras's five wins included a pair for leading trainer Ron Burke. Jim Marohn, Jr. won two races including the Dash For the G-Notes series final with Prince Palani. Marohn also won the finale with P L Idaho that helped one lucky ticket purchased through the Oregon Hub hit the Jackpot Super High Five for $52,744. Total handle was $2,581,495 on the 12-race card. Live racing resumes next Thursday with a 9-race card. It is the final Thursday program of the season. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz  

DOVER, Del.--- Outside post 8 was no problem for Earl's Speed who chalked up his second straight harness racing featured trot at Dover Downs on March 1. After a win from the rail last week, Yannick Gingras drove Earl's Speeder from the outside this week with the same result, a victory in 1:55.1, over a sloppy track. The Earl Of Stormont-Trapezius gelding made it two wins in his last three starts for trainer Dylan Davis and owner Mike Casalino to give him three wins, two seconds and a third in eight starts this year. Streamsong (Jonathan Roberts) was second best edging Marley's Guy (Tim Tetrick) third. 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share made the winner's circle for the first time in 2017 with regular driver Tim Tetrick piloting a 1:54.1 victory in the sub-feature trot. The victory is the 29th in his career lifting his bankroll to $3,756,576 for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Blueberry Man Bill Augustine. Buddy Hally (Montrell Teague) hustled home second in front of Deacons Valley (Gingras). Tim Tetrick had three wins, Montrell Teague, Yannick Gingras, Tony Morgan, trainer Dylan Davis and owner Mike Casalino had doubles. WAKIZASHI HANOVER, ALWAYS AT MY PLACE, MISSLE J MEET IN $30,000 FEATURE Three starters – Wakizashi Hanover, Always At My Place and Missle J - who won their previous starts collide in this week’s $30,000 Preferred Handicap, the top event at Dover Downs on Thursday, March 2. First Post is 4:30 p.m. Wakizashi Hanover makes his first start since late December as he prepares for his 2017 season with Tim Tetrick driving the five-year-old $1.4-millon winner for Buce Kennedy and Tri County Stable of Nova Scotia. Always At My Place won by a nose for Yannick Gingras from post 8 last start in the seasonal debut for the gelding owned by Weaver Bruscemi, Karr, Collura and Burke Racing Stable. Meanwhile the red-hot Missle J steps up after a 1:49.1 success last Thursday in the $20,000 Open pace. Jonathan Roberts has driven the four-year-old in all four of his consecutive wins. Henderon Farms’ Bushwacker has a history of Dover successes including three already this meet with Corey Callahan at the controls. Hall of Famer John Campbell, the all-time leading money-winning driver who is approaching $300,000,000 lifetime, will drive Lightning Stable’s McCardles Lightning. Cajon Lightning was a solid third in last week’s Preferred with Art Stafford Jr. driving for Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms. Arque Hanover already has three feature race wins this meet and leaves from post 1 with Vic Kirby in the bike for Abe Basen, Tom Lazzaro, and Robert Cooper Stables. Emeritus Maximus (Gingras), fresh from a 1:50 conquest returns in the $27,500 Delaware Special Handicap and starts from the outside in an eight-horse field. He has won three of five starts since being claimed by Don Marine and Brent Hall. The fast finishing Blazing Bobby Sox driven and co-owned by Art Stafford Jr. with his dad, Art Stafford, also has a glittering record of three wins and two close-up finishes. Sweet Rock (Allan Davis) won his previous start racing for Reg Hazzard, G.P.Callolway and Legacy Racing. Local favorite Mustang Art (Campbell) usually is a factor in the week’s top pace. Driver George &Tina Dennis’ Seventh Secret with be tough from the rail after several weeks of tough racing luck. Rounding out the starters are Al Carter and Doug Lewis’ Captive Audience (Tetrick) and Jenny Bier’s Im Supersonic A (Sean Bier). Nike Franco N (Tetrick), a highly touted New Zealand import who has won all four of her starts in the U.S. also makes her first start this year for owner Rich Pollucci   in the $20,000 Open Handicap pace. Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing’s Sicily (Davis), a winner last time out, heads the strong opposition. There is a hard-hitting undercard on the 15-race card. Monday through Thursday live racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are ‘dark days’ at the track. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del---- Tessa Seelster made her first Dover Downs appearance a winning one in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap pace on Tuesday, Jan.31. Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras had a quartet of winners. With Yannick Gingras in the bike, the five-year-old Shadow Play-Titania Seelster brown mare made her local debut an impressive one turning back six foes in 1:51.2 in the week's top female pace. Gingras had to hold off a strong two horse challenge in deep stretch to beat Mischief Maker N (Ross Wolfenden) and Sweet Bobbie (Art Stafford Jr.) in the photo. Tessa Seelster is owned by Jonathan Newman, Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing Stable and won for the 19th time in her career. A $225-thousand winner last season, she now has banked $399,703 in her career. Elliesjet N was scratched. OTC Stables' Dismissal, reined by Corey Callahan) won her third in-a-row ending Vintage Babe's (Gingras') six straight winning streak in the secondary feature, $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Mares pace. Fresh from a six-length win last week, Dismissal, a four-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Her Mattjesty, won easily again with Vintage Babe second best. In The Shadows (Tony Morgan) took third. Gingras completed the day with four winners. Meet leader Vic Kirby and defending champ Corey Callahan had triples,, Ross Wolfenden won two races while trainer Clyde Francis and owner George Teague along with trainer Brain Malone and co-owner Carrie Malone also had two wins. MOONLIGHT COCKTAIL AIMS FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT WEDNESDAY Moonlight Cocktail puts her three-race win streak on-the-line in the Wednesday, Feb. 1 feature trot at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Tony Morgan drives Moonlight Cocktail, trained by Linda Toscano, from post 8 in the $13,500 4&5-Year-Old feature  for owners TLP Stable and Richard Gutnick, who is best remember for the outstanding !-million winner Chapter Seven, who completed his career winning the Matron Stake at Dover after winning the Hambletonian. The sharp Streamsong, owned and trained by Bobby Glassmeyer, with Jonathan Roberts in the bike finished second last time a two consecutive wins. Iron mine Branch’s Royal Surprise circled the field to win his previous start and will be driven by George Dennis. Barbara Kirby’s Myclaimtovictory and Kim Vincent has be solid in his last few races. Tom and Gregg Morris’ Doggone Slots handled by Roger Plante must start in the second tier from post 9.Eric Good and trainer Gary Simpson’s Nebraska Jack gets the services of Pat Berry in the bike. Howard and Linda Dege’s Five Below drew the rail with Art Stafford Jr driving. Marley’s Guy with  Vic Kirby driving for Steve Meltzer and Medinah Racing and Don Marine’s Luck Ten K and Ross Wolfenden leave from inside posts. Weekday post time for Monday through Thursday racing is 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission are free. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant’s acclaimed Buffet and for the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Marv Bachrad

East Rutherford, NJ - The Green Hornet returns to work at The Meadowlands on Friday night as harness racing driver Yannick Gingras will don his familiar green and white colors and drive in eight of the thirteen races.   Yannick's on several Ron Burke horses with a chance on Friday including the solid trotting mare Classical Annie in the featured second race and Abbijade Hanover in the top class for pacing mares (race 11).   Classical Annie starts from post six in the $18,000 feature trot, just inside the main competition of Crosby's Clam Bake and Muscle Diamond. The now five-year-old mare was a winner two back and always gives an honest effort for Burke Racing, LLC.   Abbijade Hanover won this same class from well back at long odds last week and remarkably faces exactly none of the mares she vanquished on that occasion. Many in this field are moving up a class making a strong case for the possible repeat, leading to the role as morning line favorite for Abbijade from post six for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi.   Friday's is another solid card with ample opportunity to continue the current string of $3 million plus handle on that day which has been the case the past few weeks.   Free program pages for the Late Pick 4 (currently averaging over $8,000 in payoffs) are available for those who plan ahead.   More money will be given away as the "Pay Off Your Holiday Bills" promotion continues, though there's nothing in the rules prohibiting the lucky winners from adding those funds to their gambling bankroll.   Pink offers exceptional fare for your culinary pleasure should you wish to make an evening of it. On Saturday night, former NY Knick star Larry "Grandmama" Johnson will host a special Pink dinner and wine pairing and you're all invited to join in the fun. Reservations are suggested.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.   The Meadowlands        

DOVER, Del.--- Streaking Enhance Your Mind stepped up in class to score a 1:51.3victory in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap pace while Vintage Babe lengthened her harness racing win streak to six-in-a-row over a sloppy track on Tuesday, Jan.17 at Dover Downs. Yannick Gingras had five wins. Vic Kirby drove the Delaware-sired Riggins-Enhance The Night six-year-old who loves the front end to an impressive 1:51.3 triumph in the week's top distaff event. Owned and trained by Bryan Truitt, Enhance Your Mind came into her own last season winning nearly $100,000 in purses. She won her third of 2017, fourth straight and seventh win in her last eight starts this meet, turning back seven rivals with a :27.1 final panel. Nat A Virgin (Corey Callahan) was a game second challenging the winner from the backstretch to late in the stretch. The sharp Sweet Bobbie (Art Stafford Jr.) was third. One race earlier, Yannick Gingras guided Vintage Babe home first for the sixth consecutive time to post a 1:52.2 decision in a $13,500 4&5-Year-Old Mares contest. Ed Gannon Jr. trains Vintage Babe and co-owns with Frank Canzone and Bob Sabatini the four-year-old daughter of Vintage Master-Bunkhouse Babe. Barbara's Shadow (Kirby), who has won her previous two races, finished second. Valuable Art (Callahan) was the show horse. Yannick Gingras made the winner's circle five times, Corey Callahan had a triple. George Dennis, owner-trainer Trish Foulk and Foulk Stables had two winners. FROST FREE HANOVER SEEKS 3RD STRAIGHT IN $20,000 OPEN TROT Frost Free Hanover has used consecutive come-from-behind performances to win the last two Tuesday feature races and again is the one-to-beat in the $20,000 Open/Handicap trot at Dover Downs. So far this meet, Rich Pollucci’s Frost Free Hanover’s strong closing brushes for driver Vic Kirby, including three wins, two seconds and a third in eight starts. Previously, CC Racing’s Il Mago with Pat Berry in the bike, had consecutive feature race wins.  Uva Hanover is also razor sharp with two wins, a second and a third in his last four outing with Tony Morgan driving for owners Martin Sternberg and Stake Your Claim Stable. Corey Callahan pilots Mike Casalino’s veteran Tough Mac, who also has two feature trot wins this meet. The other starters are Ed Gannon’s hard-hitting Winbak Charles M with Yannick Gingras. Owner-trainer Antonino Buttitta’s Muscerene, with Allen Davis and Geore&Tina Dennis’ Uwantapieceofme (Dennis), from the rail, complete the starting lineup.  A $15,500 Winners-Over trot for 4&5-Year-olds leads the undercard. Bluebird Reverend (Montrell Teague) owned by Davis,  Johannsen, Holly Case and trainer Bobby Reeser, was a wire-to-wire 1:53.4 winner last Wednesday. Celebrity Pegasus (Art Stafford Jr.) has been a close-up second in his last two for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms. The nine-horse field includes Delbert Cain and Nanticoke Racing’s fast Go Byem (Jim Morand) was a game second last start. Owner-trainer Bobby Glassmeyer’s Tymal Signature (Jonathan Roberts), Chris Giaccio and driver Vic Kirby’s Steel Reserve. Jim Moore’s steady Royal Becca J (Jack Parker Jr.), Jovanni Vilanova’s Gillie The Kid (Morgan), Mike Casalino’s newcomer Earl’s Speeder (Callahan) drew the rail with Gregg and Tom Morris’ Doggone Slots (Roger Plante )leaves from outside post 9  in second tier.  Weekday post time for Monday through Thursday racing is 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission are free. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant’s acclaimed Buffet and for the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Marv Bachrad          

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