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WILKES-BARRE PA - The first stake of the year on the local scene for harness racing two-year-olds, a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for baby pacing colts, was raced in four $30,000 divisions Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with favored horses, sire Somebeachsomewhere, and driver Yannick Gingras taking three of the four contests, and trainer Ron Burke notching a double.   The intersection of Gingras, Somebeachsomewhere, Burke, and the only non-chalk winner produced the fastest winning time, as Filibuster Hanover rallied out of the pocket into back fractions of 55.4 - 27 to go by pacesetter Huntsville by a length in 1:53.2. The son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Fashion Ecstasy (a half-sister to Gallie Bythe Beach, both out of the great race mare Galleria) won for Burke Racing Stable LLC, JT45, Joseph Di Scala Jr., and Weaver Bruscemi LLC in his first purse start, which was the common element uniting all four winners.   The other winner of the Burke Brigade, also handled by Gingras, was another son of Somebeachsomwhere (this one out of the million-dollar winning mare Symphony In Motion), Normandy Beach. The triumphant colt stormed to the lead first time in the homestretch, then came home in 55.4 to fend off the pocketrallier Boogie Shuffle by a neck in 1:54.4 for owner William Donovan.   The third stakes triumph of the night for Yannick Gingras came with the one horse who technically did not take a new personal best, the Western Ideal colt Western Joe, who also moved early and then came home in 55.3 - 27.2 to tally in 1:55, which equaled the time he posted in a qualifier eight days earlier, two lengths ahead of Fear The Dragon. Chris Choate handles the conditioning of the fast baby for owner/breeder Anthony Ruggeri.   The "Kings of Delaware OH," driver David Miller and trainer Brian Brown, had the third Somebeachsomewhere colt to return to the winners circle, Downbytheseaside. The winning freshman got away fifth from post eight, made the frequent Pocono winning move of a second quarter brush, then hung a giant closing quarter of 26.4 on the board to complete the mile in 1:55.1, 1¾ lengths ahead of earlier leader Mac's Jackpot, for Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, and Richard Lombardo.   Five divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies are gathered for a PA All-Stars event that will headline the Monday card at The Downs.   PHHA / Pocono  

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18 - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras put Lady Shadow on the front and never looked back to win the $370,000 Roses Are Red Saturday night on the Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Mohawk Raceway. An impressive group of ten older pacing mares clashed in the Roses Are Red, but just like last year, Lady Shadow took home the winner's share of the purse. The Ron Adams trainee was put on the engine by Gingras from post three, as the rest of the field lined up in post position order. Lady Shadow carved out fractions of :26.3, :54.1 and 1:21 to bring the field to the top of the lane. In the stretch, the Adams trainee continued to power along and showed her class winning by a length and a half in a career best 1:48.1. "Believe me I was surprised too that there was no speed on the outside," said Gingras. "I watched a few of her replays and looked at her lines from last year and before that because I was actually thinking about racing her off the back, especially with the way the card has been playing out, the front hasn't been that good. "Obviously she is better on the front, her lines show that, but when the gate folded nobody left so it made my decision easy." Waasmula, who got a pocket trip, finished second, while Solar Sister came up the rail for third. A five-year-old daughter of Shadow Play, Lady Shadow pushed her career earnings over the $1 million mark with her 19th career win. She is owned by David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and BFJ Stable. Lady Shadow now has three wins in nine starts this season. She paid $10.50 to win. Mark McKelvie  

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18 - Hannelore Hanover crushed her harness racing rivals with a Canadian Record performance in the $267,000 Armbro Flight Final Saturday night on the Pepsi North America Cup undercard. The Ron Burke trainee toured Mohawk Racetrack in a career best 1:51 to match the World Record for four-year-old trotting mares and establish.h a new Canadian Record for older trotting mares. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Hannelore Hanover cleared to the front at the opening-quarter in :27.2. The daughter of Swan For All posted middle-fraction panels of :56 and 1:24.1 to lead the field to the top of the lane. In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover turned the race into a blowout and pulled away with ease. She trotted a :26.4 final-quarter to win by 6½ lengths in 1:51. "I knew should could go like that last week, she was totally wrapped up," said Gingras. "I knew she had a couple big miles in her that's for sure. "She's fresh and never been racing against tough horses, so she was always within herself, but it was a scary (fast) mile tonight, but she still had more." Shake It Cerry rallied from seventh to finish second, while Rules Of The Road grabbed third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Frank Baldachino, Hannelore Hanover was competing in just her second Grand Circuit event Saturday. Last season, she dominated the Indiana Sires Stakes and won 8 of 19 to bank over $295,000. The Burke trainee now has seven wins in 8 starts this season to bring her seasonal earnings to $246,000. The Armbro Flight victory gives Hannelore Hanover 16 career wins and a bankroll of over $550,000. A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $2.20. Hannelore Hanover Mark McKelvie  

The name Hannelore Hanover can be added to the growing list of horses that got his or her start on the Indiana harness racing circuit and advanced to take on top horses in open stakes across North America. A 4-year-old female trotter, Hannelore Hanover is the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$267,000 Armbro Flight Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Hannelore Hanover, who was the 2015 Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final champion, has won six of seven races this season and captured her Armbro Flight elimination last Friday by 4-3/4 lengths over Rockin With Dewey in 1:52.2. Shake It Cerry, the 2014 Trotter of the Year, finished third. For her career, Hannelore Hanover has won 15 of 28 races and earned $414,399. She has finished outside the top three only twice. She joins the likes of 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Breeders Crown champs Always B Miki, Color's A Virgin, and Freaky Feet Pete as Indiana-sired horses attracting national attention. "Hannelore is a very, very good horse," trainer Ron Burke said about the daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety, who was purchased as a yearling for $32,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and whose family includes two-time Horse of the Year Mack Lobell. "She's showed that she belongs with probably any of them right now. She's just gotten better and better. She's got plenty of go." The Burke Racing Stable owns Hannelore Hanover, along with the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino. The mare's wins this season include the Miami Valley Distaff and her only setback was a second-place finish in a parked-out mile from post eight in an Invitational Handicap at Hoosier Park. Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start from post No. 4 in the Armbro Flight, which is for female trotters ages 3 and older. Four-year-old Rules Of The Road, the 2015 Hambletonian Oaks runner-up to Wild Honey, won the second of the two Armbro Flight eliminations last week, beating Elegant Serenity by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.1. Stormont Kate finished third. Rules Of The Road has won three of seven races this season and nine of 39 lifetime. Her victories last year included divisions of the Simpson and Tompkins-Geers stakes. She has earned $274,860 for owners Arden Homestead Stable and Janice Connor, who trains the mare with her husband Chuck Connor Jr. "She's going to have to be better this week," Janice Connor said about the daughter of Muscle Hill-Right On Renee, who was a $12,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. "Even though she was great last week, don't get me wrong, she's going to have to step it up a little bit more to beat Hannelore Hanover and Shake It Cerry. But we have faith." Rules Of The Road and driver Corey Callahan will start the Armbro Flight from post three. Rules Of The Road is 6-1 on the morning line. Shake It Cerry is the 4-1 second choice behind Hannelore Hanover. "She's much better than at the beginning of the year," Connor said about Rules Of The Road, who brings a three-race win streak to Saturday's final. "But she was slow to start last year too. Her first few starts last year were not stellar. She was making some breaks and not finishing her miles. But now we're very happy with her. She trained (Wednesday) morning and trained super. Hopefully we can get a good chunk of it." Added Connor Jr., "She's kind of an overachiever anyway. She can leave (the starting gate) pretty hard and get to where she needs to go. She's been a pretty good horse." Following is the field for the Armbro Flight in post order. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Morning Line $267,000 Armbro Flight Final 1. Missys GaGa by Kadabra (Sylvain Filion) 20-1 2. Rockin With Dewey by Deweycheatumnhowe (Mario Baillargeon) 12-1 3. Rules Of The Road by Muscle Hill (TBA) 6-1 4. Hannelore Hanover by Swan For All (Yannick Gingras) 6-5 5. Charmed Life by Majestic Son (Jody Jamieson) 8-1 6. Stormont Kate by Kadabra (Trevor Henry) 15-1 7. Shake It Cerry by Donato Hanover (David Miller) 4-1 8. Elegant Serenity by Kadabra (Roger Mayotte) 8-1 9. Barn Doll by Conway Hall (Jeff Gregory) 12-1 10. White Becomes Her by Angus Hall (Mario Baillargeon) 20-1 AE: My Happiness E P by Credit Winner by Ken Weingartner

Manalapan, NJ --- When male pacer Blood Line kicked off Monday's qualifiers for 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm with a sharp 1:54.2 win on a 60-degree morning with a gusty breeze, it certainly got the attention of his harness racing trainer, Jimmy Takter. "That's a serious mile today," Takter said after watching Yannick Gingras guide Blood Line to victory in his career debut. "I would say that's like a (1):52-and-a-piece mile. You're not going to see too many go faster than him today." As it turned out, no mile went faster among the 2-year-olds in their nine qualifiers and only three older horses posted a quicker clocking in the day's remaining seven qualifiers. Blood Line, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Blood Diamond, was bred by Diamond Creek Farm and J&T Silva Stables and is now owned by Diamond Creek Racing. He is a full brother to stakes-winner Blood Brother and his family includes millionaires Western Terror, If I Can Dream, Artiscape, and Delinquent Account. "He's a little goofy," Takter said. "He's a fast horse and he's got a lot of strength. We have him staked up good so we know he's got the ability. He's a little bit like his brother, though; not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he can go." Blood Line won by 1-3/4 lengths over Ron Burke-trained Major Key (Art Major-Capri Hanover). Gingras drove two more 2-year-old winners, both from Burke's stable. The first was female trotter Waffle Cone and the second was male trotter Deacon Tony. Waffle Cone (Muscle Hill-Sugar Cone) won by four lengths over Takter's Bridal Suite (Cantab Hall-Starlet Rules) in 2:00.3. Waffle Cone was purchased for $50,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Earl Smith, and Phil Collura. Her family includes Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce. Deacon Tony (Muscle Hill-Blue Yonder) was second-placed-first when Trond Smedshammer's Mushana went off stride just prior to the finish line. Deacon Tony, timed in 2:02.1, was purchased for $85,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by JT45, Deo Volente Farms, T L P Stable, and Malvern Burroughs. His family includes 2000 Hambletonian winner and O'Brien Horse of the Year Yankee Paco. The stables of trainers Julie Miller and Aaron Lambert also produced two winners apiece. Miller won with male pacer Dances Cruiser and female pacer Annacloy while Lambert scored with male pacer Outrajus Blue Chip and female pacer Agent Q. Dances Cruiser (Yankee Cruiser-Dances On The Wind) won by three-quarters of a length over Thefoolalwaysrocks (Always A Virgin-This Fool Rocks) in 1:57. He was driven by Fredi Herrera, who notched his first qualifier win after making his debut on the track a week ago. Dances Cruiser was bred by Pinske Stables, who also owns the colt. His family includes stakes-winner Btwnyurheartnmine. "I feel good; very excited," Herrera said. "He's a nice horse. He's just young, but he qualified very good today." Annacloy (Art Major-Lislea Phia) won by 5-1/4 lengths over Takter's St Helena (American Ideal-Art's Vintage) in 1:56.2. Driven by Andy Miller, it was Annacloy's second qualifier win in as many tries. She was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Ervin Miller Stable, and Paymaq Racing. Her dam was a multiple stakes-winner. Lambert-driven Outrajus Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Some Girls Do) won by three-quarters of a length over Miller's Flight Insurance (Art Official-Cruzin Angel) in 1:58.4. He sold for $10,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Ron Coyne Stables, Blair Corbeil, and Lambert. His dam was a stakes-winner and the family also includes Dan Patch Award-winner Central Park West. David Miller-driven Agent Q finished with a :27.2 final quarter-mile, equaling Outrajus Blue Chip's mark for the fastest of the day among the 2-year-olds, to rally from the back of the pack and defeat Tony Alagna's Sweet Rockin Gia (Rockin Image-EJ's Copperstone) by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:58.2. Agent Q (Western Terror-Teenage Paige) sold for $25,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Martin Scharf, William Rochetti Jr., Tanya Rochetti, and Robert Muscara. Agent Q's family includes stakes-winner Paige Nicole Q. Smedshammer won with female trotter Diva Dejarmbro (Dejarmbro-Nordic Nymph), who beat Robert Bresnahan Jr.'s Logans Lady (Explosive Matter-Bancroft Hall) by a neck in 2:01.3. Diva Dejarmbro, driven by Smedshammer, was purchased for $27,000 under the name Impressions First at the Ohio Selected Jug Sale and is owned by Purple Haze Stables. Chris Ryder-trained and driven male pacer Tribal War (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mystical Gypsy) won the remaining qualifier for the 2-year-olds, defeating John Dally (Somebeachsomewhere-Michelle My Gal) by a half-length in 1:55.3. Tribal War, purchased for $10,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and Ryder. His family includes stakes-winners Load The Dice and The Catamount Kid. "I was happy with him," Ryder said. "He's been training pretty decent on the farm. He was a little aggressive today, but that's no big deal. We're going to go to the sire stakes in New York with him. We have him staked. He's also eligible to the Metro Pace, but we'll see. "We like him. He's very nice. He's out of the same family as a horse I had years ago, Load The Dice. He was OK, he just had the distinction of being the same year as (2005 Horse of the Year) Rocknroll Hanover." In action among the older horses, male trotter Crazy Wow won his qualifier in 1:53.2 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Burke while male pacer Dealt A Winner won in 1:53.2 for driver David Miller and trainer Mark Silva. by Ken Weingartner

Manalapan, NJ --- Ron Burke can't say whether he has a horse similar to Southwind Frank in his group of 2-year-olds that qualified for the first time Monday (June 6) at Gaitway Farms, but the trainer was generally pleased with what he saw from his 25 harness racing rookies that went to the track. Burke won six of the day's 11 qualifiers for the 2-year-olds, finishing first with male pacers John Dally, Miso Fast, and Normandy Beach as well as female trotters Sianna Hanover and Romancing Rachel plus male trotter Southwind Cobra. Yannick Gingras drove all the Burke winners. Trainer Julie Miller, who had 14 2-year-olds make their debuts, won three races. Her winners were female pacers Pleasant Roll and Annacloy along with male trotter Fly On, all with husband Andy Miller in the sulky. John Dally and Annacloy tied for the day's fastest clocking by the 2-year-olds, both stopping the timer in 1:56.3. Southwind Cobra led the male trotters with a time of 1:59 and Sianna Hanover led the female trotters with a time of 1:59.4 on a sun-drenched morning with occasional gusty breezes in the stretch. Burke-trained Southwind Frank, this year's early-season Hambletonian favorite and last year's Dan Patch Award-winning divisional champion, made his debut a year ago at Gaitway. "That's hard to say," Burke said when asked if another horse like Southwind Frank was on display Monday. "He might be the best horse we ever had. "Overall I thought it was a good day. The wind makes it tough to get a feel for how good they were or weren't. But I thought Sianna Hanover was most impressive, followed by maybe Cobra and Filibuster (Hanover); even though he made a break, I was very happy with him and Miso Fast. The ones we thought would be better were better and the ones we thought might have a little trouble did. "What we have to watch for is that ours tend to get a little anxious so then we have to try to keep them quiet." John Dally is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Michelle My Gal, who is a full sister to Burke-trained millionaire Atochia. John Dally, a full brother to stakes-winner Beach Gal, was purchased as a yearling for $130,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. He won by a neck over Chris Ryder's Pointomygranson (American Ideal-Sangaal) despite going off stride early in the mile. Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) was purchased for $125,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is also owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. He is a half-brother to stakes-winners Thirty Two Red and Forty Five Red and his family also includes O'Brien Award winner Glowing Report. Miso Fast won by a head over stablemate Rock It Scott (Roll With Joe-Vanite Semalu) in 1:58. Bill Donovan's Normandy Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Symphony In Motion) won by 2-1/4 lengths over stablemate Southwind Yukon (Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Solara) in 1:57.3. Normandy Beach was purchased for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. His dam won $1.06 million in her career. Sianna Hanover (Donato Hanover-Simplicity) won by 3-3/4 lengths over Miller's Tanya's Dance (Donato Hanover-Celebrity Speedie). Sianna Hanover was purchased for $115,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. Her family includes Dan Patch Award winner Winky's Goal and stakes-winner Southwind Wasabi. Romancing Rachel (Muscle Hill-Tady's Comer) won by a half-length over Miller's Southwind Prius (Muscle Hill-Honey Pie) in 2:01.2. Romancing Rachel was purchased for $60,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Weaver Bruscemi. She is a half-sister to millionaire Hez Striking and stakes-winner Tady Strikes Again. Southwind Cobra (Muscle Hill-Caerphilly) won by a nose over Miller's President Lindy (Cantab Hall-True Diva). Southwind Cobra was purchased for $120,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes stakes-winner No Pan No Gain. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Jack Piatt II, Larry Karr, and Weaver Bruscemi. The Miller-trained Annacloy (Art Major-Lislea Phia) won by neck over Burke's Gotthisone Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Go On BB). Annacloy was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Ervin Miller Stable, and Paymaq Racing. Her dam was a multiple stakes-winner. Pleasant Roll (Roll With Joe-Pleasant Yet Bad) won by 2-1/2 lengths over Burke's Gypsy Rose (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) in 2:00.1. Pleasant Roll was purchased for $55,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is a half-sister to stakes-winner Weeper. The family also includes millionaire Badlands Nitro, who is a full brother to Pleasant Yet Bad. Pleasant Roll is owned by Andy Miller Stable and JT45. Fly On (Muscle Hill-Calchips Finisher) won by a neck over stablemate Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) in 2:02.1. Fly On was purchased for $55,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Arden Homestead Stable, and Gty Stable. Fly On's family includes Dan Patch Award winner Blur. "We were real pleased with most of ours," trainer Julie Miller said about her group, which included Annacloy, Pleasant Roll, and Fly On. "They've been training down good all winter long. We've had high hopes for them. Andy was real pleased with the way they went today." The remaining 2-year-old winners on Monday's qualifier card were female trotter Chezatter and male pacer Every Way Out. Chezatter, trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer for owner Purple Haze Stables, won by three-quarters of a length over Miller's Cersei Hanover (Andover Hall-Celebrity Nike) in 2:01.3. Chezatter is a son of Explosive Matter out of the mare Chez Lucie and was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. "She was professional," Smedshammer said about Chezatter. "She left, let someone go, and came back and won. You can't ask for more than that the first time." The Aaron Lambert trained and driven Every Way Out (If I Can Dream-Every Play) won by one length over Burke's Lots Of Lovin (Somebeachsomewhere-No More Loving) in 1:59.2. Every Way Out was purchased for $12,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Lambert. His family includes millionaire Cam Swifty. In qualifier action among older horses, male pacer Dealt A Winner won in 1:49.3 for driver David Miller and trainer Mark Silva. Trotter Gural Hanover won in 1:53 for Gingras and Burke and trotter Fashion Creditor won in 1:54.4 for driver Brett Miller and trainer Tom Fanning. For Monday's complete charts from Gaitway, click here. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - It came down to the very last race of the competition with four drivers, John Campbell, Jody Jamieson, Tim Tetrick and Sylvain Filion all able to win the inaugural Hippodrome 3R All-Star Driver's Tournament Sunday with a triumph in the ninth race. And when the dust (mud actually) settled, it was Jody Jamieson's second place finish in the ninth race with Matts Phil that won him the tournament. Also in the tournament were Yannick Gingras, Daniel Dube, Mario Charron and Denis St-Pierre. They all competed in eight championship races with $10,000 in prize money on the line. Jamieson, with his 25 points in the last race, ended with 160 points. John Campbell was second with 135 points and Sylvain Filion third with 128 points. "This victory is just extra special," Jamieson said. "Going against John Campbell and Tim Tetrick, local stars Denis St-Pierre and Mario Charron, Yannick, Daniel and Sylvain, I'm just ecstatic with this trophy. "I drove one really bad earlier," Jamieson said, "or else I would have left nothing to chance, but it all worked out. The track was super despite the rain. It was actually better with the hard rain as it kept the mud down and make racing good. "I had no idea of the scores going into the last race," Jamieson explained. "And maybe that was the best strategy going forward. I went into the last race not know, just trying to win it. "I am so happy to represent racing in Ontario (WEG) and to bring home the trophy!" Jamieson said with a smile. "It means that much more to me. "And what a crowd here today despite the rain." Jamieson added. "I must of signed hundreds of autographs and the management at 3R are top notch. Harness racing has such a great following in Quebec and I hope they really do well this season." The tournament started in the second race with Jamieson taking the early point lead as he gave the maiden trotter, Victor D Morgan ($9.90), a perfect second-over trip and the three-year-old son of Charlie B Morgan came on in the stretch to win by two and one-half lengths in 2:03.4. The third race was won by Charlie Drummond ($9.00) and driver Sylvain Filion, who was winless in 23 prior starts. The fourth race saw John Campbell, who had no points after the first two rounds, put a lifetime mark of 2:01 with the trotter Sexy PC ($15.00). Tim Tetrick made his presences known in the fifth race and he was able to take the early lead away from Force Seelster (Yannick Gingras) and then wire the field with Hard Rock ($3.70) in 1:59.2. "What a super facility this is," Tetrick said. "The turns here are banked perfectly. Even in the rain my horse flew around the turns as if it was a fast track. It is my first time here and I am impressed with this racetrack. The fans get right up on the fence and you can hear them cheering and shouting for you down the stretch and right to the finish." Daniel Dube then got into the tournament with his victory in the sixth race aboard My Lucky Bluejean ($3.40) in 1:58.1. Then in the seventh race, John Campbell surged back into the lead with a strong front-end victory aboard Rainbow Palace ($5.90) in 1:58.1. Jamieson then surged back to the lead in the eight race, taking full advantage of starting from the rail with Fortune Playboy ($3.8), leading from start to finish in 1:58. That put Jamieson on top by just two points over John Campbell, 135 to 133 with the final race still to be contested. Both Tim Tetrick and Sylvain Filion could also come back and take the trophy if they could win the ninth race. It was Daniel Dube in the ninth race with SOS Mach Xtreme ($4.70) who was the victor, but Jamieson, who started from post seven, had left sharply with Matts Phil, then gave away and took the cover from SOS Mach Xtreme. He then waited until the top of the stretch to come after SOS Mach Xtreme, but it was too late. The move though did insure that Jamieson finished second and that gave him the tournament victory. Jamieson was the only driver in the tournament who was able to score points in all eight of the championship races. It was also the second 3R tournament that Jamieson has won. He was victorious in the 2014 fall tournament at 3R. "This has been a fantastic day." Said Vincent Trudel, general manager at 3R. "I never dreamed that these best drivers in North America would come for a tournament at 3R. I believe this is the confirmation that we have a nice facility, a good, fast and quality racetrack and these drivers all raved about how good it was despite the rain. "The people in Trois-Rivieres and the surrounding area are coming here. They proved that today with 4,000 fans braving the bad rains to come for this tournament and to meet and see great drivers in action. "Having these drivers supporting the relaunch of harness racing in Quebec is so great." Trudel added. "We have gone through turmoil in the past and will now show our government that racing could still be a big thing for this jurisdiction. If it was a sunny day this afternoon we might have had twice the crowd we did. "And what a competition it turned out to be." Trudel said. The winner could not be decided until the final race of the tournament. Each race was exciting for the drivers and for the fans and that is what counts." TRACK NOTES: Live harness racing resumes at 3R Tuesday night with the third round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. For a free race program and live video feed of the races, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Heavy harness racing favorites were sent to the gate in four $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals Saturday night at the Meadowlands, and when the dust cleared, the results for chalk players were clearly mixed. Southwind Frank continued his march toward the Hambletonian with an easy win in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot. The son of Muscle Hill went the mile in 1:52.3 for trainer Ron Burke, upping his lifetime record to 13 wins in 14 starts. As the 2-5 favorite, Southwind Frank returned $2.80 to win for driver Yannick Gingras and finished 2 lengths in front of Brooklyn Hill. Mavens Way was third. "Frank's pretty good right now," understated Burke in the winner's circle. Blue Moon Stride crushed her 3-year-old filly pacing foes for a third straight week, winning in 1:51.2 by 2¾ lengths over JK Fannie. Rocknroll Vision was third. Sent off at 1-9, Blue Moon Stride paid $2.20 for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Mark Harder. She's now seven-for-17 lifetime. Unfortunately, things did not go as well for Boston Red Rocks and All The Time. Boston Red Rocks had the lead turning for home in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace but could not hold off a determined Katies Rocker, who prevailed by a neck over the 1-9 favorite despite racing first-over for the final three-eighths of a mile. Ideal Rocky was third. Katies Rocker paced the mile in 1:50.3 and returned $12.60 to win for driver David Miller and trainer Jim Campbell. In the 3-year-old filly trot, 1-5 choice All The Time provided live cover for eventual winner Southwind Hope, who stormed home to win by 1¼ lengths in 1:54.2. All The Time held second while Jazebel De Vie was third. Southwind Hope paid $25.40 to win for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller. Mel Mara was sensational winning in 1:47 flat beating Always Be Miki to equal the world record for a four-year-old stallion. MARVELOUS MEL Mel Mara bullied a talented field of open handicap pacers, and in the process, missed the all-time race-mile record by just a fifth of a second when the son of Lis Mara stopped the clock in 1:47, equaling State Treasurer's world-record for an older pacing stallion on a mile track. Always B Miki, the 3-5 favorite, was no match for the winner after racing first-over most of the way. Mel Mara returned $6.80 to win for driver Corey Callahan and trainer Dylan Davis. CARRRYING ON The two Jackpot Super High Five wagers offered at the Big M have carryovers that are, in one case, good, and in the other, incredible. The 5th race JSH5 carryover now stands at $12,789.86, while the 12th race version of the wager now has $246,843.80 waiting in the pool for the next program. BIG TURNOUT FOR JERSEY FEST  The return of the Big M's Jersey Fest Food Truck Mash-Up brought a crowd of 14,101 out to the track. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,883,028. ... The Meadowlands returns with live racing Friday at 7:15 p.m. Dave Little  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - If there ever was more of an incentive to win Sunday's All-Star Drivers Tournament at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, Denis St-Pierre should capture the event hands down. The Quebec native is ready to take on fellow horseman Mario Charron and throw in harness racing greats John Campbell, Yannick Gingras, Tim Tetrick, Daniel Dube, Sylvain Filion and Jody Jamieson and St-Pierre is in awe. "What great talent and ability all of these drivers are bringing to 3R Sunday." St-Pierre said. "That is enough incentive for me to be on my best game, but I guess you can say that I have a special "ace" up my sleeve for tomorrow." Sure, Denis St-Pierre knows all these horses. It's his home track where he was won the driving title the last two years. He has driven some in the past, knows their quirks and knows the ability of the other horses and drivers in the race. It's a fair advantage in his favor. "My special "ace" is coming to see me at the autograph session," St-Pierre says with a smile. "I will get up from my seat when she arrives and walk in front and give her a big hug and kisses and then I will cry." See you, Denis St-Pierre is going to meet his half-sister, Nathalie Cartier, for the very first time at the autograph session. "Six months ago this woman contacts me to be her friend on Facebook," St-Pierre explained. "Then one night she sends me personal message that she has to talk with me. I was tired and did not want to. Then she writes again and again so I call her. "She asks me if I am the professional harness racing driver," St-Pierre explains, "Then she tells me about father and that I am her half-brother. Boy oh boy I nearly fell on the floor. We have since talked and talked and she has met other members of my family, but because of my schedule between Toronto and Montreal, I have not been able to actually meet her yet. That special meeting will take place Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. "She called me and said that she is coming to meet me at the tournament." St-Pierre said. "And that she is expecting me to win it for her. If that is not enough of an incentive for me to be at my best, then nothing is. "Rain or shine tomorrow, I do not care." St-Pierre added. "I have a new angel in my life and she will be there rooting for me so I will be doing more than my very best on the track." St-Pierre said that after the races the family and newest member will all go out for dinner and catch up on a lifetime. TRACK NOTES: Track announcer Guy Lafontaine and his trademark start of every race, "Hippty Hippty Howe BOOM" will also be calling the races in both French and English. The 3R track commentator, Daniel Delisle will be joined by Harnesslink's Steve Wolf and they will do live interviews after every race also in French and English. Most racetracks, wagering website and OTB's will be carrying the Hippodrome 3R signal. There is a free program available at www.quebecjockeyclub.com along with a link to watch the races live on the internet via Roberts Communications. There are ten races on the Sunday program, the eight drivers will compete in races 2 through 9. The point system is 1st - 50 points, 2nd - 25 points, 3rd - 12 points, 4th - 8 points, 5th - 5 points, 6th - 2 points and 7th and 8th - 0 points. In the event of a scratched horse, that driver will get an average of his seven drives in the tournament. The meet and greet autograph session gets underway in the clubhouse at 12:15 pm and first race post time is 1:30 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, June 3, 2016 - With the upcoming All-Star Drivers Tournament at the Hippodrome 3R set for this Sunday, June 5, we thought to ask all the drivers for some of their thoughts heading into the competition. Featured in eight championship events, races two through nine on the 1:30 pm program, here is what the drivers had to say. Our main question we asked was "What special talent will you be bringing to 3R that will help you win the tournament?" First to respond was Toronto's Jody Jamieson from Moffat, Ontario, who has 7,300 career wins and purses won over $114 million. He was last at 3R in 2014 when he won the Fall Drivers Tournament. "Misdirection!" Jamieson said. "Ever see Monster University? Watch it to find out what I mean! With this incredibly talented group I'll need every trick up my sleeve! I've actually been to 3R twice before. I like it there. I was 3rd in the 1st Prix D'Ete with the ill-fated Apprentice Hanover. "As far as my experiences with 3R, I'd say it like this, totally incredible!" Jamieson added, "I've rarely felt more welcomed and comfy at a racetrack! I'm a bit worried about what I said in my victory speech after winning this tournament in 2014. I mistakenly said that I hate the people of Trois-Rivieres! "It was my poor attempt at expressing my appreciation to the people in the area while letting them know that I still #hate; the Montreal Canadians!" Jamieson added with a grin. "It didn't come out how I wanted so I'm cautiously optimistic about how the folks will receive me this year. "Bring it on habitants! #leafnation," Jamieson laughed. 3R's leading driver the past two seasons, Denis St-Pierre, who has over 4,000 wins and $25 million in purses, hails from Montreal and had this to say. "I'm going to bring a positive outlook that will help me to overcome any challenges I may face," St-Pierre said. "And keep going forward to the end! Being from Montreal and having raced most of my career at 3R, I am very familiar with the track. "Does this give me a special edge over the other drivers in the tournament?" St-Pierre said, "Well, it does not hurt to know the track really well, but these drivers can pick up fast on that. I look forward to representing the Hippodrome 3R and will make it a good show for my fans. It is such a pleasure to be driving against all of these talented horseman. This is going to make for a very memorable day!" Tim Tetrick is the lone American in the tournament. He currently resides in New Jersey and has nearly 9,200 career wins and nearly 168 million in purses won. Tetrick had this to say about the tournament. "I have no special talents," Tetrick said. "Just going to try my best and hope the horses respond for me. "It does not make any difference that I am the only American in the tournament. I do not speak French too." Daniel Dube is the lone native of Trois-Rivieres. He has now amassed 8,400 wins and $104 million in purses won. Back in 2012 he won the inaugural fall tournament at 3R. Dube said this about the tournament. "I am actually flying up to Montreal Thursday," Dube explained, "So I can have a little time with my family and friends. I do not get back home as much I would like. "I was born and raised in Trois-Rivieres and still have my longtime friends there. I think I will have a good number of friends and family at the track on Sunday rooting for me." Dube said. "That will help me, it will be a tough competition." Yannick Gingras is also a Quebec native and won his first race right at the Hippodrome 3R. He won the 2013 Fall Drivers Tournament at 3R with ease, capturing five of the eight races. He is now nearing his 6,000th career win and has $133 million in purse earnings. "It is always special when I come home and drive at 3R," Gingras said. "This year I am coming up with my son and daughter and with all the family members and friends that will come out, I will have the best cheering section supporting me. "I drive against most of these guys all year long." Gringras added, "So having my parents and my kids and friends and relatives all in my corner will be my edge in the tournament. Having some good horses to drive will help too!" Hall of Famer John Campbell hails originally from Canada but has been a New Jersey resident for many many years. He is the winner of 10,500 races with purses earned nearing $300 million. "I am mainly looking forward to being back in Quebec." Campbell said. "I have so many good memories of being at Blue Bonnets and the presentation they had for their big stake race days. I look forward to seeing the same at 3R on Sunday for this tournament." Mario Charron is from Quebec and this past year missed tying Denis St-Pierre for the driving title at the Hippodrome 3R by one victory on closing day. He has over 2,000 wins and purse earnings of more than $10 million. "I think my advantage is that I drive all the time at 3R," Charron said, "and I know all these horses very well so maybe that will give me a slight edge. I think that I drew very well for the tournament and have a good shot to be as they say "in the hunt." "I am also honored to be in this tournament with John Campbell." Charron added. "To me he is the Wayne Gretsky of harness racing. I have driven against him a few times over my career in some stakes races and he is just super. You do not win 10,000 races and $300 million in purses and not have super talent." Sylvain Filion is another Quebec native and last year won the 2015 O'Brien Award as Canada's leading driver. He is the son of Hall of Famers Yves Filion and nephew of Herve Filion. He has over 8,000 career wins and $86 million won with the horses he has driven. "It is always special to come back to 3R," Filion said. "I look forward to seeing my old buddies and that inspires me to do well. I get to see the horsemen and friends I grew up with like Daniel Dube and Mario Charron. I do not get to meet them too often anymore and it will be good. "This will be a great competition," Filion said. "Such talented drivers. Of course I want to win it in front of my 3R track, but I will need some strong horses, and of course, some racing luck." "When asked, Hipprodrome 3R general manager, Vincent Trudel would not be put on the spot. He said "There is no way I can or will make a choice of who will win the tournament. There is too much great talent among these drivers, but I promise everyone this will be a great event." TRACK NOTES: Statistician Jerry Connors tallied up the driver's points based on just the early morning line and came up with the following:                                             Driver Points       # Favorites     # Races points earned MARIO CHARRON                   149                       1                        8 JOHN CAMPBELL                     142                      1                        8 DANIEL DUBE                            130                      2                        6 TIM TETRICK                               109                     1                          6 JODY JAMIESON                          97                       1                       5 DENIS ST PIERRE                        77                      1                         5 YANNICK GINGRAS                    60                       1                         3 SYLVAIN FILION                           52                        0                          7 A free program for Sunday's card at 3R is now available at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. Most racetracks, internet wagering sites and off track betting sites will carry the ten-race program or you can watch for free at the Quebec Jockey Club website too. From the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The most competitive field of world class drivers ever to grace a harness racing oval in the province of Quebec, will be at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday for their inaugural All-Star Drivers Tournament. Hall of Famer John Campbell, American sensation Tim Tetrick, 2015 Driver of the Year in the USA, Yannick Gingras, Yonkers sensation Daniel Dube, 2015 Driver of the Year in Canada, Sylvain Filion, World Driving Champion Jody Jamieson and 3R's leading reinsman from 2015, Denis St-Pierre and Mario Charron are the stars that will be performing. They will battle in eight All-Star races Sunday with $10,000 in prize money on the line. "What a super group of top drivers we have for this first time event," said Vincent Trudel, general manager at the Hippodrome 3R. "Never before has such a tournament like this with many of the best drivers in the world taken place not only in Quebec, but many tracks throughout racing. It will be very exciting for our fans, our horsemen and our staff to see this competition Sunday." The post positions were drawn earlier in the afternoon. All eight of the drivers will each start once from posts 1 through 8 on the afternoon card. The point system is 1st 50 points, 2nd 25 points, 3rd 12 points, 4th 8 points, 5th five points, 6th place two points and those that finish 7th and 8th get no points. If a driver loses a horse due to a scratch, that driver will get an average of his points from their other seven drives that day. For both John Campbell and Tim Tetrick, it will be their first time ever driving at the Hippodrome 3R. "I am very pleased with how the post-position draw came out today," said Trudel. "I want to thank all the trainers and owners who entered their horses today for the tournament on Sunday. "We were hoping to have at least nine races on the program," Trudel added, "and we have ten full fields, which is very encouraging. I also must thank the drivers for taking time from their busy schedules to come to 3R to participate. We feel this is a great event that will help promote the Hippodrome 3R and our strong growing race program in Quebec." TRACK NOTES: Post time is 1:30 pm but race fans will be treated to an autograph session with the eight drivers in the Clubhouse from 12:15 pm to 1:00 pm Sunday, then a special on-track introduction of all the drivers. The competition begins in the second race. Race fans that come to the track will also be able to compete in a special contest to pick the winner of the tournament. All that is needed is to selection the winning driver and deposit the entry form in the drum for that driver. After the tournament, one winning name from the driver that finishes 1st, 2nd and 3rd will be drawn to share in $500 cash. After each race on the program, there will live interviews by 3R's Daniel Delisle and USA's Steve Wolf with the drivers in the tournament. Race fans will be able to watch and wager on the 3R program at most simulcast outlets and online wagering websites. A free race program will be posted and there will be a free video feed of the race card by visiting www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

The World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) pre-Olympic tour on its "Road To Rio" made stops in both Sweden and Canada over the weekend. The WCRF is dedicated to resurrecting Chariot Racing in the Olympics while revitalization and reshaping the sport of harness racing. WCRF founder, Sam Stathis, was in Stockholm, Sweden Saturday and Sunday for the world renowned Standardbred harness horse race called the Elitloppet, where more than 28,000 fans came out Sunday to see the classic event. "What a tremendous weekend of racing at the Solvalla track," Stathis said. "The crowds were overwhelming, everyone rooting for his or her favorites. It took me more than a half hour to get from the dining room to the winner's circle just in time to see Jimmy Takter's Pinkman win his race." Stathis met with Swedish racing officials over the weekend, setting up WCRF future events for later this summer and for 2017. "I want to thank the AGT for hosting the WCRF at their tremendous VIP party," Stathis said, "My good friends Ann and Johan Lindberg (secretary general of Travsport) introduced us to racing dignitaries from as far south as Australia, Russia to the north and everyone in between. This will help pave the way for the WCRF to do some great things around the globe as I met people who now know about the goals of the WCRF and will join our team." "Pink highlighted the day," Stathis explained, "There were pink hats, shirts, pants and dresses topped off by a "pink horse" Pinkman, who won his race while defeating other US Stars. And what a great ambassador for the USA and WCRF pre-Olympic Tour as world renowned driver, Yannick Gingras joined us and his friends at the VIP party for a pre-race photo shoot and then topping it off by carrying the Olympic and Greece flags in the winner circle after Pinkman won. Stathis said they were also joined at the VIP party by Mr. and Mrs. Karl-Eric Bender, owners of the Palema Trotting Center in Vero Beach, FL along with Jimmy Takter and his wife Christina and renowned Australian breeder Duncan McPherson. "This was an amazing party," Stathis said, "and a superb weekend of racing that I will cherish in my memories the rest of my life. Everyone wanted to take a photo with the Greek and Olympic flags in support of the what the WCRF is doing for the special Olympics." The Pre-Olympic "Road to Rio" tour is being highlighted by the exotic chariots designed by Sam Stathis as the sport that the ancient Olympics were founded on in 776 BC. The tour is winding its way around the world and winding up at the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016. At Mohawk Raceway in Ontario, Canada on Saturday, one of the WCRF exotic chariots was on the track during their stakes race evening, taking children around the main track, showing off the unique two-seater design. World champion harness driver, Jody Jamieson and the trotter, Calamar, took the children for their rides. "This is what the WCRF is all about," Stathis said. "Educating children and adults with hands-on "grass-roots" experience getting to sit behind a racehorse on the track." Stathis's Celebrity Farms top racehorse, Celebrity Eventsy, was also at Mohawk Raceway Saturday, finishing third in the $174,000 final of the SBOA Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. With international support from every equine discipline, the WCRF is leading the effort to return Chariot Racing to the Olympics. Stathis is now on his way to his native country of Greece, where on Sunday, June 5 he will be at the new Olympic Stadium with special Olympic children, attending the National Show Jumping competition. For additional information, visit www.worldchariot.org. From the World Chariot Racing Federation  

All systems appear to be go for early Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank, who marched to an easy 2½-length win in his first start as a 3-year-old in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for harness racing trotting colts and geldings Friday night at the Meadowlands. "He was Frank," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "He couldn't have been any better. It's what we expect from him." The son of Muscle Hill was unhurried early, and made his way to the top shortly after vacating the four hole at the three-eighths after an opening quarter of :27.4. Meeting little in the way of resistance, driver Yannick Gingras was able to relax his colt and cut moderate fractions of :57 and 1:25 before kicking home in :27.1 to win going away in a lifetime-best 1:52.1. Brooklyn Hill was second while Bar Hopping finished third. As the 1-9 public choice, Southwind Frank, who is now 12-for-13 lifetime, returned $2.20 to win for owners Southwind Frank Partners. Earlier on the card, All The Time ($2.10), a major Hambletonian Oaks contender, crushed seven overmatched foes by 7¼-lengths in a division of the NJSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies in 1:53.2, a lifetime mark. Hillosophical was second with Southwind Pearl third. Once again, it was Gingras calling the shots, but this time it was with a Jimmy Takter trainee. The 2015 Breeders Crown champion has now won eight of 13 lifetime starts for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. STILL GROWING: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five, which has not been hit the entire meeting, failed to have a single-ticket winner again, upping the carryover to $226,527.68 for the next card. ... All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,693,370. ... Rose Run Parker ($10.40) held off 3-5 favorite Obrigado to win the $25,000 open handicap trot in a lifetime-best 1:50.4. ... The Big M is back with live racing Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

The road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes resumes this weekend with a slew of harness racing, including the first appearance of the year by early-season Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank. And trainer Ron Burke, who conditions Southwind Frank, couldn't be happier. "I'm excited," Burke said. "I'm ready to get going. I'm glad he's racing. "You want to start seeing if he's as good as you think he is. If not, you want to know what you need to work on. But I'm hoping that right off the bat it's good and it just stays good. We just need a little luck and I think he'll take care of the rest. He trained down super and seems great." Southwind Frank, who finished his 2015 campaign with 10 consecutive victories, makes his seasonal debut in Friday's opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Southwind Frank and driver Yannick Gingras will start from post four in a 12-horse field and are the 7-5 morning line favorite. Other Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the race are Bar Hopping, Brooklyn Hill, Dominion Beach, Honor Above All, Jack Vernon, Metatron, Promise Delivered, Sigmund, and Southwind Flash. Last year, Southwind Frank won 11 of 12 races and earned $786,419. His wins included the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, and William Wellwood Memorial. In addition, his time of 1:52.2 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes set the world record for a 2-year-old male trotter. He received both the Dan Patch and O'Brien awards for best 2-year-old male trotter. Southwind Frank was owned last year by the Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. This season he races for the Southwind Frank Partners, which includes the previously mentioned owners as well as Diamond Creek Racing. A son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, Southwind Frank was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale. His family includes Dan Patch Award winner Cayster as well as stakes-winners Giant Hit and Program Speed. Southwind Frank heads to the New Jersey Sire Stakes off a 1:54 qualifier win on May 14 at the Meadowlands. He finished second in an earlier qualifier, which came a week after being held out of qualifying because of a quarter crack. "Other than that everything has been picture perfect with him, totally uneventful," Burke said. "The quarter crack could have turned into an issue and it didn't. I think it's no longer a worry." This is the second consecutive year that Burke brings a top contender onto the Hambletonian trail. Last year, it was filly Mission Brief, who battled back woes before challenging the boys in the Hambletonian. She won her Hambletonian elimination and finished second to Pinkman in the final. "He's way more push-button than her," Burke said. "And so far we've had no issues. This colt just gets better and better. But honestly, with (Mission Brief), I was more emotionally involved than I am with him. She's my all-time favorite. The losses with her were horrible, the worst in the world. I like him, but I'm not as attached --- at least at this point --- as I was to her. Certain horses you just dig. You know, that's my horse. She's the one I like the most." During his 10-race win streak, Southwind Frank posted every victory by at least 1-1/4 lengths. Burke said it's hard at this point to determine where the colt's bottom is. "He did everything so easily last year and Yannick did such a nice job protecting him, not showing him off," Burke said. "I think there's a lot more there. He does things once in a while when he's training where you're like, 'What the heck?' You're reading the watch trying to figure out if what he did is possible. He might be something really special this year. "I'm just hoping he stays sound. I think the schedule we have set right now in our minds is perfect for him to be at his best when he hits (Hambletonian Day). If you win that, your whole year is made. That's the ultimate goal. Yannick doesn't have one, I don't have one, so it's very important to both of us." Other races on the road to the Hambletonian are Saturday's two Currier & Ives divisions at The Meadows and one New York Sire Stakes division at Vernon Downs. Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the first Currier & Ives division are Desert Runner, Hititoutofthepark, Iron Mine Bucky, and Steed. Hititoutofthepark is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The second division includes Hambletonian eligible Breedlove, Hollywood Highway, and Leggs Matter. At Vernon Downs, three Hambletonian-eligible trotters compete in the second of two New York Sire Stakes splits. They are Chukkar, Reve Royale, and The Perfect Lindy. For a "Hoof Beats" magazine feature on Southwind Frank, click here. Ken Weingartner      

There is an old adage in harness racing that says “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” Sometimes, though, how you start is how you finish. And in the case of Rockin Ron, how he starts and how he finishes are often fast. Rockin Ron has reeled off 11 consecutive wins since joining the stable of trainer Ron Burke in November. He will try to make it 12 in a row when he faces eight rivals in Saturday’s opening round of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands Racetrack. His most recent victory came in last Sunday’s Confederation Cup, where Rockin Ron defeated 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit by three-quarters of a length in a Canadian-record 1:50.1 mile at Flamboro Downs. As has often been the case during his win streak, Rockin Ron grabbed the lead during the opening quarter-mile and never looked back. It was the eighth consecutive race in which he paced his opening quarter in less than 27 seconds. It also was the second time in his last three starts in which he finished with a final quarter in less than 27 seconds. Since becoming a member of the Burke Brigade, Rockin Ron has been in first place at the first call in eight of his victories. Twice he was in second place and once he was in third. In 19 career triumphs, only twice has Rockin Ron come from further back than third at the halfway point. “A lot of our drivers, when they know a horse has speed like that, they want to use it,” said Mark Weaver, who is among the owners of Rockin Ron. “I don’t blame them. You don’t see horses often leave in 26 and change, come right back to you, and then come home in 26 and change.” Rockin Ron and driver Yannick Gingras will start Saturday’s $75,000 Graduate from post four. The remainder of the field is In The Arsenal, National Seelster, J Eagle Feather, Americanprimetime, Rock N’ Roll World, Split The House, Artistic Major, and My Hero Ron. Rock N’ Roll World and My Hero Ron also are from the Burke stable. “In a perfect world, I wouldn’t mind seeing (Rockin Ron) race from behind this week,” Weaver said. “It’s his first time on a big track in a while; maybe change the tactics. They’re not machines, you have to look after them a little bit. The first start we had him, we raced him out of a hole and he shook loose late and exploded. But who knows what will happen Saturday.” A son of Real Desire out of Im All A Roan, Rockin Ron has won 19 of 40 career races and earned $313,858. He is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and RTC Stables. The group thought they had a deal in place to buy Rockin Ron in early 2015, but the sale fell through. Last year, Rockin Ron won two divisions of the Indiana Sire Stakes and finished fourth in the event’s Super Final, which was won by standout and future Breeders Crown champion Freaky Feet Pete. “We love the Indiana-breds,” Weaver said. “We’ve been a huge fan of the whole program. “The secret is kind of out. When you look now, the best older pacers are Freaky Feet Pete, Wiggle It Jiggleit, Always B Miki, you could throw Rockin Ron in there I think, and they’re all Indiana-breds. I think it’s a great place; I love to try to buy horses and race them there. Rockin Ron looks like he’s another one in that same line. “The horses that race in Indiana, when you take them away from there, they produce. They’re tough. To do what (Rockin Ron) has done is the extreme aspect of that, but maybe he’s the type that likes Ronnie’s training program and likes to be put into the race.” Rockin Ron is staked lightly this season, with the Ben Franklin Pace and Prix d’Ete also on his schedule. “We usually try to take it easy with the 4-year-olds,” said Weaver, who has enjoyed success with past Pacer of the Year Award winners Foiled Again and Sweet Lou. “Midway through the spring we didn’t have him staked at all. I don’t think he was even on our staking list. After one of the races earlier this year at The Meadows, I asked if we might not want to try him in some of the 4-year-old races. I’m glad we did. “That was a pretty big mile (last weekend). We’re anxious to see how he does Saturday and then we’ll go from there. I’d be OK if Rockin Ron stepped up to be our best one, that’s for sure.” Ken Weingartner

Rockin Ron and driver Yannick Gingras established a new track and Canadian record in winning the 38th edition of the $244,000 Confederation Cup on Sunday night (May 15) at Flamboro Downs. The streaking Ron Burke trainee held off reigning Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 3-5 favored second tier starter, in 1:50.1 to set a new record for older harness racing pacers on a half-mile track. Burke, trainer of 2015 champion All Bets Off with three entrants in this year's edition, has set a new track record in the Confederation Cup for the second year that it has been contested as a race for 4-year-olds. Last year, All Bets Off won his elimination in what was a track record 1:50.4 before returning to take the final, and later won the Prix D'Ete in 1:50.3 at Hippodrome 3R for a share of the former Canadian record. Gingras left with Rockin Ron from post four as he indicated he would in a pre-race interview on the Flamboro Downs broadcast. Rockin In Heaven (Trevor Henry) also left from post seven and cleared to command heading to the first turn. However, Rockin Rock retook the lead into a :26.2 first quarter. As the 4-5 second wagering choice led the field off the turn in front of the grandstand, his stablemate My Hero Ron (Matt Kakaley) tipped first over from fourth with Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) following his cover. Rockin Ron raced past the half in :55.3 and headed to three-quarters in 1:23.3 while Teague fired Wiggle It Jiggleit three-wide down the backstretch to take over second place. Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to chase the leader as they turned for home, but Rockin Ron maintained a one length advantage down the stretch as he sprinted home in :26.3 to score the 1:50.1 triumph, equaling his lifetime mark that he took at Miami Valley Raceway in his last start. Rodeo Romeo (Brett Miller) finished 2-1/2 lengths behind in third off a three-hole trip. The finish order was completed by Rockin In Heaven, National Seelster (Sylvain Filion), Burke trainees Rock N Roll World (James MacDonald) and My Hero Ron, Drachan Hanover (Randy Waples) and Americanprimetime (Chris Christoforou). After the race, Gingras admitted that he was concerned that the front-end looked tiring, but opted to stick with his strategy after speaking with Burke. He pumped this horse up, but he sure put up," said Gingras in a post-race interview. "He went a big mile, and at the wire, he was just starting to get going. If he went around again, he was going to win anyway. I never touched him with the whip and I was ultra-impressed by him. I was able to cross right over, but :26.2 and :55.3 are no easy fractions. And 1:23.3 and then he had :26 on the end of it to come home, so you've got to give the credit to the horse, he put in a big performance." Rockin Ron has now won all 11 of his starts racing for the Burke stable, including 10 this year. The 4-year-old Real Desire gelding is owned by Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Rtc Stables Inc. Prior to the race, Burke noted that the Confederation Cup would be a good test for Rockin Ron to decide what direction he takes with the pacer. That's very impressive -- :26.3 tonight was a very good quarter and Yannick really thought that he had more left so this is another step in the right direction and we'll try to figure out where we go from here," said Burke after the victory, noting that Rockin Ron is scheduled to compete in next Saturday's Graduate Series at the Meadowlands. Standardbred Canada

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