Day At The Track
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Philly features to Gingras & Takter

Chester, PA — Harness racing river Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Takter teamed up to capture two of the three featured $20,000 winners-over events on Sunday afternoon (July 5) at Harrah's Philadelphia.   In the week's top trot, Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolph's Eurobond ($5.60) controlled every step of a 1:51.2 mile, evading a late challenge from Ontario invader Run Director by 2-1/4 lengths. The 5-year-old Love You   stallion notched his ninth career win and his first of the season.   JK American Beauty ($4.00) completed Gingras and Takter's double in the feature for distaff pacers. With Shartin N scratched due to injury, JK American Beauty was dispatched the even-money choice, and she lived up to that billing. After brushing to the fore with a circuit to go, the 4-year-old American Ideal mare turned aside the first-over threat of Gold Orchid N before stepping 1-1/2 lengths clear of a three-wide Philly Hanover in 1:50.3 for her second consecutive win.   The afternoon's top event for male pacers saw San Domino A ($11.80) draft behind dueling leaders Highalator and Dorsoduro Hanover on the final turn before setting sail up the open stretch to win by a widening 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51. George Napoliatno Jr. drove the 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding to the 23rd victory of his career — and seventh since arriving in the States last summer — for trainer Andrew Harris and the partnership of Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing.   Takter completed a training triple on the 14-race card with No Lou Zing ($4.20), who impressively won an $11,200 conditioned event in 1:53.2 in rein to Josert Fonseca.   Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (July 8). The 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5, which is offered daily in the fifth race, boasts a $6,183.54 carryover. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Crockets Cullen N, harness racing

Open Pace to Crockets Cullen N

Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) has been an absolute force in the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the last year and continued his harness racing dominance in Sunday afternoon’s feature. Larry Stalbaum owns, trains and drives Crockets Cullen N who finished up his 2019 campaign on a nine-race win streak in the local Open Pace. He began his ’20 season in style by winning yet another feature before going on what was, for him, a cold streak. Heading into last Sunday’s (June 28) Open, Crockets Cullen N had gone four starts at the Spa without a victory but broke that rare losing streak after getting a pocket trip behind the race’s betting favorite Hudson Phil (Shawn Gray) and besting him in the stretch.   On Sunday afternoon, Crockets Cullen N took on Hudson Phil once again as the top two pacers from 2019 at the Spa wound up squaring off in the stretch for yet another time. Stalbaum moved Crockets Cullen N out to the early lead in the $8,500 feature and after setting first-half fractions of 27.1 and 56.2 cruised past three quarters in 1:24.3 before facing his first challenge. Hudson Phil came from off the pace and followed live cover into a striking spot before fanning three-wide around the final turn. The chase proved to be in vain as Crockets Cullen N dug in to win yet another installment of the Saratoga Open Pace, scoring in 1:53.1. Hudson Phil came up second-best and now has been the runner-up in all three Opens since the return from the pandemic shutdown. Deetzy (Jay Randall) earned the show spot for the second straight week in the pacing feature.   OpeCrockets Cullen N paid $4.90 to win as the 7-5 second-choice in the betting. The exacta with the favored Hudson Phil second returned $10.20 while the triple with Deetzy third came back $30.40. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon with a 13-race card featuring NY Sire Stakes action. Two year old trotting fillies will be featured on Wednesday with first post time set for 12 noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Scott Zeron, harness racing

Lifetime mark set in Pocono Downs feature

WILKES-BARRE, PA – The Betterthancheddar mare Miss You N, given a fine pocket trip by driver Scott Zeron, gained into a :54.3 last half to catch pacesetter Vorst by a half-length while taking a new mark of 1:51.2 in winning the $14,000 pacing feature for mares during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Miss You N was away quickly and stretched Vorst to a :27.2 opener, then yielded and sat in the two-hole as Vorst got a breather to a :56.4 half. Favored Apple Bottom Jeans made a good first-over move to and past a 1:24 three-quarters to challenge, but eventually the race came down to the first two inside horses, and Zeron utilized the Pocono Pike to catch the pacesetter. Ross Croghan trains the winner for the partnership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC, who saw their mare boost her bankroll to $181,430.   The Irish-bred mare Blackwell Ruby IR showed no rust after a near-four month layoff, brushing to the lead in front of the stands and going on to a career-best 1:51.2 triumph in a $13,600 distaff pacing class. Jim Marohn Jr. drove the winner of 12 for 16 lifetime for trainer Bob Cleary and owner Gavin Murdock, and she shows every indication of being a threat to tougher mares (though she can still win in this class twice more based on her meager earnings before going westward across the Atlantic). Stopping the clock a tick faster than the featured females was the Captaintreacherous sophomore colt A Positive Hanover, who was pointed right down the road by driver Corey Callahan upon coming in from Canada and kept on rolling to a convincing 1:51.1 triumph for a new lifetime best. Third in a division of the Bluegrass at two, A Positive Hanover looks ready to fulfill his potential now for trainer Blake MacIntosh, co-owner with Steve Heimbecker, Touchstone Farms Inc. and Larry Denley. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

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OHHA to stream Turmbull County Fair

Grove City, OH – The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association (OHHA) will continue its live streaming coverage of Ohio county fair races with two races cards from the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Cortland, Ohio, July 6.   Live coverage of both race cards in Home Talent Colt Stakes will be shown on the OHHA Facebook page and the OHHA YouTube channel. Post times are 12:30 PM and 5:30 PM.  The first card will have ten races while the nightcap will have six. Replays of the races will be available on the Trot and Pace Marketing website, trotandpacemarketing.com, following the completion of racing.  The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association will be live streaming Ohio fair races throughout the summer.  For a complete schedule go to OHHA.com. by Frank Fraas, for the OHHA

Since the indictment of more than two dozen thoroughbred and harness racing trainers, assistants, veterinarians, and pharmacists in connection with a horse doping ring this March, rumors have swirled that more names could be forthcoming in connection with the federal investigation. Speaking at a status conference for the case on Tuesday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Adams told U.S. District Judge Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil that a superseding indictment could be around the corner, but did not provide details as to the timing. “We are looking seriously at superseding indictments,” said Adams. “For the moment, and I made this point at least to some defense counsel previously, the nature of what we're looking at is largely in the same kind of criminal conduct as what is in the current indictment. We're looking at expanding timeframes for certain of the conspiracies. We're looking at potentially adding different statutory charges with respect to certain of the defendants. What I do not anticipate for the moment is that those superseding indictments, if and when they come, would require the production of some substantial large set of materials not already produced to date or already in the queue of things we expect to produce.” A superseding indictment is one which replaces an existing indictment, and could add charges against already-named defendants and/or could name new defendants. Vyskocil reminded Adams that the court would not hold things up while the government finishes its investigation. Adams said he understood and that he would not ask to hold up the proceedings for that reason. The charges on the current indictments, which names former top trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, among others, focus on drug adulteration, misbranding, and conspiracy. The indictments claim a network of horsemen, veterinarians and pharmacy reps sold, distributed and used drugs in racehorses for the purpose of performance enhancement. Other than a potential superseding indictment, there are not likely to be many updates in the case until late fall. Currently, attorneys are going through the discovery process, meaning each side is requesting and providing requested evidence in the case. Adams said he believes his office will be able to provide the last of the discovery material requested by defendants by the end of September. Already, the office has provided some 90 gigabytes' worth of data to all defendants in three different volumes, and has fielded 20 additional individual requests. That data includes the results of 30 different search warrants, intercepted phone calls and text messages, geolocation information for various devices, email accounts, file transfer accounts, inventory lists, shipping records, veterinary records, drug promotional and marketing material, and much more. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is still extracting data from devices like cell phones and tablets seized from defendants at the time of their arrests. Adams mentioned that labs inside and outside the United States had been asked to conduct testing on samples related to the case, although it was not immediately clear whether that referred to samples of substances seized in searches of pharmacies or biological samples from horses, or both. Those results were not all known to the federal government as of yet, and some defense attorneys expressed a desire to work out some sort of split sampling process where possible, acknowledging there was a finite amount of some samples available to test. After the government produces requested evidence, it is sent to a coordinating discovery attorney for organization and distribution. One defense attorney pointed out that it generally takes the coordinating discovery attorney roughly a month to process large document releases before they are given over to defense counsel, so a late September target for discovery completion means they will get a look at the last of the evidence in early November. Vyskocil scheduled a status conference for Nov. 19. Most participants on the call agreed it would be impractical to set a trial date or motion schedule until the defense has seen all the government's evidence against their clients. Read more about the federal indictments in this March 9 piece from the Paulick Report. By Natalia Ross Reprinted with permission of The Paulick Report

Columbus, MN - The Sunday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces hosted a nice field of seven for the $6,700 upper-level conditioned trot which was carded as the feature of the day.    My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) was the talk of the tote-board (1-1) while dropping from the $10,000 Open Handicap last out, while Muscle Ave (Dean Magee) was jumping up in class after a sharp win in his last outing, and was also well regarded in the win pool at 8-5.    Track Record holder Pridecrest (Mooney Svendsen) offered lots of value at 7-2 and was fastest off the gate, leading for 7/8 of a mile while taking heavy pressure from Muscle Ave who was looming first-over from the three-eighths marker on. My Uncle Cuz secured the garden seat throughout and emerged with trot in mid-stretch to convert the perfect trip into a half length victory in 1:55.4 over Pridecrest. It's A Horse (Darrell Wright) closed sharply to pick up third money over a Muscle Ave.    My Uncle Cuz ($4.20) is a 6 year old son of Abc Garland and is owned by Krista Harmon and also trained by Don Harmon. It was the first win of the year for the winner of $316,079.    Twilight Tinker (Nick Roland, $3.00) rolled to a new lifetime mark (1:58.4) on Sunday, while racking up her third impressive win in a row, coming from well out of it early to sweep the field and deliver as the heavy favorite.    Drivers Nick Roland, Mooney Svendsen, Pat Berry and Don Harmon all registered two winners on the day, while trainer Jessica Johnson scored two wins. Ariel Alvarez picked up his first career training win when his pacer ER Michael (Pat Berry) posted a 2-1/4 length score in 1:54.1.    Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, July 7 at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a carryover in the Pick-5 Jackpot Wager of $5,130.26.    By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces 

Tymal Tullo (Mike Merton) goes three-wide to win the $7,000 featured harness racing trot at Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 5). Joey Pro (Bruce Aldrich) went to the front and hit the first quarter in :27.2.  He put up a :29.2 second quarter and hit the half in :56.4 as Tymal Tullo ($64.00) sat following in second.  Uncle Hanover (Kyle DiBenedetto) was the first to make a move going first-over on the backstretch.  Joey Pro hit three-quarters first in 1:25.4 but the race was on. As they came down the stretch Uncle Hanover took a short lead.  Tymal Tullo slid out of the pocket and came at them three-wide.  He would blow right on by to win in 1:56.1.  Uncle Hanover held for second.  Bjanthony (Drew Monti) fired late to finish third. Tymal Tullo is a 4-year-old horse by Kadabra.  He is owned and trained by Tony Dinges.  It was his third win this season.  He now has six career victories. Merton drove three more winners on the day.  His other wins came with Whip N Neigh Neigh ($2.90), Barrys Shelby ($7.10), and Too Much Duncan ($5.50). Jins Shark (Jim Taggart Jr.) captures the $6,500 featured pace. Fritzie Pic Up Man (Mike Merton) charges to the front and hits the first quarter in :27.0.  JM's Delight (Greg Merton) took control as they came by the stands for the first time.  He was first to the half in :55.4.  Red Dirt Rocknroll (Renaldo Morales III) came first-over and put on the pressure all the way down the backstretch.  JM's Delight held the lead after three-quarters in 1:23.4. As they made the turn for home Jins Shark (13.20) came flying down the stretch and flew right on by to win in a seasonal best of 1:52.2.  King Corona (Jim Meittinnis) came charging late to finish second.  Harry Terror (Wally Hennessey) finished third. Jins Shark is a 9-year-old gelding by Four Starzz Shark.  He is owned by Joel Warner and trained by Mike Deters.  It was his fourth win in 2020.  He now has 39 career wins. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 10) at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Exceptionally talented pacer Pat Stanley, who claimed this year’s South Australian Pacing Cup in brilliant fashion, is off to the US. The five-year-old gelding, sired by Western Ideal, out of Jaz Tanner (Artiscape), will join the in-form barn of ex-Aussies Shane and Lauren Tritton, at Pine Bush, 130 kms from New York City. Accompanying Pat Stanley will be brown gelding War Dan (Bettors Delight-Kalypso (Safely Kept), formerly prepared at Lara by Amanda Grieve. “We’re pretty excited - Pat Stanley is a terrific horse with so much ability. The other one, War Dan, is extremely honest. They will both be suited to the racing over here—we’ve got no doubts that they’ll fit in the classes nicely,” Tritton said. “We’ve known Danny (Zavitsanos) and Warren (Viney), who own War Dan, for a long time, but this’ll be the first horse they have raced in the States,” he said. “This will take us up to 17 or 18 horses in work. The two latest ones coming over are quality and as long as we keep the ball rolling, all is good.” Team Tritton continues to tick along with regular winners. Early last week they broke new ground when USA-bred trotter La Dolfina was successful at Yonkers, driven by regular reinsman Jordan Stratton. “We trained a few trotters over the years when back in New South Wales but this was something a bit different.  We really didn’t expect to pick up one that was bred and owned in the US,” Shane said. “He’s owned by the three Betts brothers.  Scott Betts, the trainer, is based and races The Meadows, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and they thought La Dolfina would be suited to Yonkers. “They actually sent another three down to us as well. They’re hoping they may be better placed down our way.” The husband and wife team travelled to The Downs, Pocono, yesterday to compete at that venue for the very first time. “It was a special day for the country being Independence Day. They are so patriotic over here—they are proud to be Americans with flags outside their homes and buildings. All those things are a new experience for us and we’re just loving it.” The Tritton’s took three runners to the Pocono meeting and got the money with Letspendanitetogetha (1.50-4). It was the pacer’s second victory since making the US his home. Jordan Stratton again took the lines. Elsewhere in the US, former Kevin Pizzuto-trained speedster Majordan (Art Major-Benelise (Vintner) won his first North American start in 1.49-3 over the Scioto Downs 5/8ths mile track at Columbus, Ohio. Part-owner Gordon Banks posted that the pacer, who this year won the $100,000 Newcastle G1 Mile when handled by Todd McCarthy, was in front before the quarter in a zippy 26.2. “He then cut the half in 54.4, pulling away to win by two and a half widening lengths,” Banks added. “Thanks to Virgil Morgan Jnr for a great training job and to Brett Miller for a nice wire-to-wire drive. Also congratulations to our new co-owners in Ned Hodkinson and Milton Leeman.”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

WASHINGTON, PA, July 5, 2020 — Want an early read on harness racing’s freshman filly trotting division? Check out The Meadows card on Monday, July 6. A total of 59 2-year-old filly trotters are set for their stakes debut in a pair of events — a $210,221 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. The sires stake, known as the Meadow Gladys, goes as races 3, 7 and 10 while the stallion series splits are races 1, 5, 9 and 12. First post is 12:45 PM. Adding to the appeal: 10 of the fillies are from the first crops of promising stallions Bar Hopping, Creatine and Southwind Frank. Within that group, a youngster named Pub Crawl is particularly intriguing. She’s a daughter of Bar Hopping out of Myth, who already has produced such performers as Mythical Lindy, a winner of $629,104 in only 26 career starts, and Mythical Hall, who earned $587,920. Andy Miller Stable, Louis Willinger, Kapildeo Singh and Phillip Helmuth thought so much of the youngster that they gave $75,000 for her at Harrisburg. “We really liked the way she looked, and we wanted to take a chance on a Bar Hopping filly,” said Andy Miller, who’ll steer Pub Crawl from post 8 in race 7 for trainer Julie Miller. ”So far, we’re very happy with her. She’s trained well all along. Unfortunately, the post position gods haven’t been kind to her.” Indeed, she was stuck with post 8 in her June 26 debut in an overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia, but she performed admirably, making up ground steadily on the outside and beaten only a neck in 1:57.3. “She’s very versatile, so she can leave or duck,” Miller said. “We have high hopes for her; she’s pretty much eligible to everything. I guess she’ll tell us where to go with her.” On the wagering side, Monday’s 15-race program features a $9,712.33 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3). By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

HARRINGTON, DE – The apex of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund harness racing season for 3-year-olds will headline the week of racing for July 6-8 at Harrington Raceway with four $100,000 finals. The top Delaware-sired male pacers will battle Monday, female pacers on Tuesday and trotters (both sexes) will compete Wednesday. Jo Ann Looney-King’s Apple Valley Art (3/2, Tim Tetrick) is the clear favorite in the colt and gelding pacing division after sweeping his eliminations in decisive fashion for trainer Jim King Jr. The Artzina-Shake Away gelding drew post four and will pursue his third career win in just four lifetime starts. He suffered an injury that shortened his 2-year-old season but has come back in fine fashion for one of the nation’s top stables, the husband and wife team of Jim and Jo Ann Looney-King who campaigned 2019 Dan Patch Horse of the Year Shartin N and 2-year-old pacing filly of the year Lyons Sentinel. Henry Faragalli III, Nanticoke Racing, Arthur Feeney and Daniel Doane’s American Nitro (5/2, Victor Kirby) is among the rivals who will try to foil the favorite’s bid. Trained by Les Givens, the Badlands Nitro-Jet American gelding easily won his split last week and was the 2-year-old DSBF champ. Tuesday’s filly pacing final will feature Legacy Racing of Delaware’s Cinder Rock (7/5, Allan Davis), who has been the indisputable scourge of the division with more than $150,000 in career earnings for trainer Wayne Givens. Though she was upset by Brenda Teague’s She’s Got The Lynx (7/2, Montrell Teague) in her first leg elimination, Cinder Rock quickly rebounded with a 10 length romp in her 2nd leg split. The Rockabillie-Cinderella filly has won 7 of 9 lifetime starts. Wednesday’s trotting finals appear to be much more unpredictable as all four race favorites were beaten in the 2nd leg. The colt and gelding final, slated 4th on the program, will see three different elimination winners among a highly competitive group. Jane Dunavant’s Riddle Me This (Ross Wolfenden), Breakaway Racing’s Touch Of White (Corey Callahan) and Ben Brooks’ Master Of Mine (Victor Kirby) all had their pictures taken in elimination events. Master Of Mine, a Master Lavec-Dilly Dally Delia gelding, was the only one to sweep his eliminations, both from the rail. Trained by John Wilkerson, Master Of Mine went winless in his 2-year-old season but has stamped himself as a leading contender heading into Wednesday’s final. There’s also a pair of commonly-owned rivals who had ample success as freshmen, Dunavant’s Air Time (Art Stafford Jr.) and Chauffeur (Driver TBA), who were competitive in their respective eliminations. Dunavant has 3 horses in the final, all sired by Dusty Winner and trained by Carlo Poliseno. The filly trotting final pits four different elimination winners to match up among the contentious field. Linda Mac Donald’s Stella A (Ross Wolfenden), Eric Foster’s Emmys Mayflower (Russell Foster), Shirley Shand’s Blue Carats (Roger Plante Jr.) and Providence West Inc.’s Alert (Kim Vincent) each were victorious through the course of two elimination legs. Meanwhile, Ed Kimmel and Don Wiest’s Orabelle (Tony Morgan) was the 2-year-old champ and would have an opportune time to achieve her first win of the season. Post time nightly is 4:30 p.m. Spectators are not permitted in the grandstand at present time, however, Murphy’s Race and Sports Book, the on-site simulcast facility is open on the 2nd floor of the grandstand for simulcasting and dining. Sports wagering is currently unavailable. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – In what is now unquestionably harness racing’s best rivalry, Atlanta bested Manchego in Saturday night’s $170,900 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for free-for-allers at the Meadowlands in Round 2 of the rabid duel between the top two trotters in training. Two weeks ago, Manchego held off Atlanta by a nose in the Miss Versatility in the fastest trotting mile of the year of 1:50. Things panned out similarly this time around, except that Atlanta got the better of her foe this time around. Atlanta (post five) was the first away from the gate and led into the first turn. Driver Yannick Gingras was willing to yield to Manchego (post six) and Dexter Dunn, but not before extending that one ever so slightly into a sizzling opening quarter of :25.4. “Maybe not :25.4,” was Gingras’ response when asked about the fast opening fraction. “I didn’t think we’d be going that fast. I definitely wanted to stretch her out. I had drawn inside of her and wanted to take advantage of it.” That took just enough starch out of the even-money choice. While rating the middle half, Manchego took a stiff challenge from 17-1 longshot Chin Chin Hall, who was on even terms with the leader while parked at three-quarters in 1:23.1. Once straightened away in the stretch, Manchego and Atlanta – who opted to get behind Chin Chin Hall coming out of the far turn before swerving three-wide into the lane – would once again duke it out, just as they did on June 19. In deep stretch, it would be Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner, prevailing by a half-length in 1:50.1, just a fifth-of-a-second slower than Round 1. Lindy The Great rallied to get third. “There were some anxious moments around the last turn,” said Gingras. “We were going pretty slow, and there was strategy on both sides. He was trying to keep me locked in. Thankfully, I was able to squeeze out. I thought I had it won at the top of the stretch when I cleared.” Atlanta The Ron Burke-trained Atlanta, a 5-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip, returned $5.40 as the 8-5 second choice in the wagering. She’s won 21 of 41 career starts for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor, and became harness racing’s newest double millionaire, as her earnings swelled to $2,006,089. WHO WILL GRADUATE? Bettor’s Wish, harness racing’s top earner ($1.6 million) in 2019, won the third of three $50,000 divisions of the second and final leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers in 1:48.2. The Chris Ryder-trained, Dexter Dunn-driven son of Bettor’s Delight-Lifetime Star swung three-wide at three-quarters and stormed home in :25.3 to record a 2-length score over Workin Ona Mystery as the 1-5 favorite. Brassy Hanover came first over around the far turn to pull off an upset in the first division. Driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Jeff Cullipher, Brassy Hanover, sent to the gate at odds of 10-1, stopped the clock in a lifetime-best 1:48.1. Hurrikane Emperor was the 6-5 favorite and led at three-quarters before settling for the show dough. Division two was taken by 12-1 chance Bllack Hole. Tim Tetrick drove the winner for trainer Scott DiDomenico and paced the mile in a lifetime-best 1:48. Dancin Lou, the 3-5 favorite, yielded the front before three-quarters and finished third. The Graduate Finals for pacers and trotters will take place next Saturday (July 11). Each has a purse of $250,000. KEEPING PACE: Brett Pelling’s potent Meadowlands Pace pair did good things, as his Allywag Hanover was shot out of a cannon late to win in a lifetime-best 1:48, while Papi Rob Hanover, currently second-ranked in the track’s weekly Road to the Meadowlands Pace Top 10, went a tough 10-hole trip yet was still crisp late, finishing second to the sharp Tony Alagna-trained Capt Midnight, who won in a lifetime-best 1:49.3. The Meadowlands Pace Eliminations are next Saturday (July 11). A LITTLE MORE: Wagering surpassed the $3-million mark for the fifth time in 2020, as a total of $3,027,797 was pushed through the windows. …  The Late 50-cent Pick-4 took monster action, as $113,121 was put in play. The only Pick-4 to take more action during 2020 was on Feb. 1, when $117,502 in bets were taken. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. For the full results of tonight's program click here By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Vernon Downs played host to a July fourth harness racing spectacular on Saturday. It featured three Empire Breeder Classic races for sophomore trotters (colts & geldings had two divisions). Also on hand was two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshman pacing fillies. These five races combined for over half a million dollars in purse money. Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears) captures the $207,250 EBC final for 3-year-old trotting fillies. A wild start saw No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) lead to the first quarter in :27.2. Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) took the top spot right after the first quarter but that was short lived as Hypnotic AM ($3.60) took control as they went to the top of the back stretch. Southwind Fern (Jim Morrill Jr.) was parked outside first over and put on slight pressure as Hypnotic AM hit the half first in :56.1. The field was two by two following Hypnotic AM as they charged around the final turn hitting three-quarters in 1:25.4. Hypnotic AM led as they made the turn for home. Love A Good Story was trapped in the box and finally got free as they reached the stretch but Hypnotic AM was too strong and won in 1:53.4. Love A Good Story settled for second. No Mas Drama finally got free in the stretch as well and finished third.   Hypnotic AM is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. Owned by Courant Inc. and trained by Marcus Melander. She is now two for two in 2020 with nine wins in 11 lifetime starts. Hobbs (Jason Bartlett) goes three-wide to gain upset victory in $97,750 first division of  the EBC for sophomore trotting colts & geldings. Hobbs ($17.20) went straight to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.2.  Barn Holden (Jim Morrill Jr.) took over as they went around the clubhouse turn with Hobbs settling for the pocket.  Barn Holden hit the half first in :56.3.  Take the Credit (Ake Svanstedt) was the first to make a move on the backstretch going first-over from fourth.  The two battled all the way around the final turn with Take The Credit leading to three-quarters in 1:24.3.   Hobbs came out of the pocket and came at them three-wide as they reached the stretch.  As they headed to deep stretch Take The Credit muscled his way to the front.  Hobbs wore him down and went by just before the wire hitting a lifetime best mile of 1:53.3.  Take The Credit had to settle for second money with Barn Holden hanging on for third.   Hobbs is a 3-year-old gelding by Credit Winner. Owned by Runthetable Stables and trained by Jim Campbell, he won for the first time this season and the second time in his career. Third Shift (Ake Svanstedt) dominates the $97,750 second division of the EBC for 3-year-old colts & geldings. Berkery J (Scott Zeron) and Chaptiama (Trond Smedshammer) battled for the early lead with Chaptiama taking over just before hitting the first quarter in :27.2. Chaptiama led to the half in :57.1 with Berkery J in the pocket and Third Shift ($2.90) sitting patiently in third. As they headed to three-quarters Ballcapsnbluejeans (Corey Callahan) came first up and flushed out Third Shift. Chaptiama still led as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.3. Third Shift moved into second and went a little wide as they made the turn for home. Berkey J tried to split the leaders but went off-stride. Third Shift had another gear and forged to the front and won by over five lengths in a lifetime best of 1:52.4. Ballcapsnbluejeans came up to finish second with Sir Cromwell (Jason Bartlett) getting awarded third place.   Third Shift is a 3-year-old colt by Chapter Seven. Owned by trainer Svanstedt and Melby Gard Inc. He is two for two in 2020 with five career wins. Easy To Please (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Test Of Faith (Jim Marohn Jr.) each take divisions of the NYSS for freshmen pacing fillies. Easy To Please (Roll With Joe-Lorrie Please) wins the $53,100 first division of the NYSS for 2-year-old pacing fillies. She would take over just before the half and never looked back to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.2. She is owned by trainer Michael Hall, Our Three Sons Stable, Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor. She is now two for two in her young career. She paid $2.60 for the win. Test Of Faith (Art Major-Cannae Cammie) goes wire-to-wire to capture the $53,100 second division. Trained by Brett Pelling for owners Melvin Segal and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. He won in 1:52.2 in his first career start paying ($11.00) for the win. Vernon Downs returns to live racing Thursday (July 9) with a 13-race card starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs.  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 4, 2020 -- Heavily favored It's Academic cruised to a 5-3/4-length victory in Saturday's $102,245 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotters at The Meadows. When Sister Sledge and Crucial waltzed to similarly easy wins in the $64,594 filly division -- each in stake-record time -- they gave harness racing driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke a Currier & Ives sweep. Burke's big day didn't end there. He started horses in 11 of the card's 15 races and won a remarkable nine of them. It's Academic entered the Currier & Ives off two strong place finishes in Ohio Sires Stakes legs and looked to lay over the field. In this case, looks weren't deceiving, as the son of Uncle Peter-Annapolis floated to the lead and widened at will, even after Gingras had shut him down. Harley K and Coventry Hall completed the ticket. "He's just a real gentleman -- perfect to drive," Gingras said. "Down by the wire, I left him alone. He's a little bit lazy, but he's a nice horse. To be a top colt, he'll have to go a lot faster, but for Ohio and here, he's the perfect horse." Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, Joe Sbrocco and Hatfield Stables campaign It's Academic, who vaulted over $200,000 in lifetime earnings. Following last week's facile victory in her season's debut, Sister Sledge continued to roll through the soft part of her schedule, quarter-poling to the point and scoring in 1:53.2. That eclipsed the stake mark of 1:53.4 established about 15 minutes earlier by Crucial. Last year's Pennsylvania champion and Dan Patch Award runner-up, the daughter of Father Patrick-Behind Closedoors will begin a tougher stretch with the July 15 PA Sires Stake leg at Harrah's Philadelphia. Is Sister Sledge where she needs to be to handle more competitive fillies? "She couldn't have been any better today, that's for sure," Gingras said. "It will get tougher; that's coming for sure. There are a lot of good fillies that weren't here today. But her timing is right. She's really good right now." Sister Sledge Sans Defaut (trained by Burke) and Perth Angel De Vie finished second and third, respectively. Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC campaign Sister Sledge, who now boasts a career bankroll of $584,843. Although Crucial's stake record was fleeting, her win after a quarter-pole move signaled that she might be ready for more. "She had a class edge on these horses for sure," Gingras said. "She's grown since last year, of course, and she's stronger. I thought she was very professional today." Petey Sarah and Dune Hill rounded out the ticket. In keeping with Burke's huge day, he swept the top three spots in this split. Crucial, a daughter of Father Patrick-Jolene Jolene, now has banked $159,587 for Burke Racing Stable, Donovan, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. Dave Palone collected four wins Saturday while Dan Charlino and Jim Pantaleano enjoyed triples. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when 59 freshman filly trotters will make their stakes debut in a pair of events: a $210,221 PASS and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. In addition, the 15-race card will feature a $9,712.33 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3). First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

ANDERSON, IN— July 4, 2020—After a week’s worth of Indiana Sires Stakes action where favorites ruled the harness racing tote board, it was the three-year-old pacing fillies turn in the spotlight at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 4 and they provided the fireworks with upset victories in both divisions. Two $33,500 divisions highlighted the evening’s 14-race card that was held in front of spectators for the first time this season. In the first division, Dale Hiteman steered Rock It Out to victory to spring the 23-1 upset.  Utilizing a ground saving trip and a :26.2 closing kick, Rock It Out bested her rivals and stopped the timer in a new lifetime best of 1:51.4. Grace Rocks and Sam Widger were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27 but yielded the lead to the heavily favored Foxy Rigger and Trace Tetrick just before the half in :55.2. Rock It Out was well placed along the rail in third. Foxy Rigger continued to call the shots through the three-quarters in 1:24.3 but the rest of the field was closing in quickly turning for home. Seventimesacharm and John DeLong were applying pressure from first-over but it was Rock It Out who was winding up to strike. Hiteman found late racing room and Rock It Out surged forward to get the win over Seventimesacharm by a head. Atoritotell and Peter Wrenn rallied well late in the lane to finish third. Rock It Out returned $49.60 to win. Trained by Donna Holt, Rock It Out recorded her fourth consecutive victory and remains undefeated at three. The daughter of Rockin Image-Musette Mindale pushed her lifetime earnings $55,775 and is owned by D&R Racing Stable. Rock It Out was bred by Cornerstone Stock Farm. In the second division of the stakes action, Genie Rockwell and Marlin Fry utilized a similar ground saving strategy to pull the 13-1 upset.  With a final quarter in an eye-popping :25.2., Genie Rockwell found late racing room up the inside and powered home a winner to stop the timer in a new lifetime best of 1:50.2. Heavily favorited Priceless and Brandon Bates went straight to the front through the opening panel in :26.4. Mystical Carrie and Trace Tetrick grabbed a pocket seat while Genie Rockwell settled along the rail in third. Bates was able to slow the tempo just a touch as Priceless clicked off fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.2. When the field turned for home, Mystical Carrie tipped from the pocket and was able to stick a nose in front of Priceless. Just as Mystical Carrie stuck a nose in front, Fry found late racing room and Genie Rockwell found another gear. Genie Rockwell got the win by a quarter of a length over Mystical Carrie. Priceless finished third. Genie Rockwell returned $28.40 to win. Trained by James Yoder, Genie Rockwell has now won two of three starts this season and pushed her lifetime bankroll to $58,185. The daughter of Always A Virgin-Norma Rockwell is owned by Marlin Fry who also bred the filly with Glen Hershberger. Live racing will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 7 with a 14-race card. Tuesday’s 14-race card will feature a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-5 pool with $2,355 in carryover money after there were no winners in Saturday’s pick-5 sequence. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 21. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Emily Ratliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Black Is Back ($3.90) has now posted 'back to back' harness racing victories at Buffalo Raceway with a neck win over China Dream in the $11,000 Class AA Pace on a steamy Saturday evening (July 4).   After scoring the decision in the Class A bracket last week, Black Is Back (David McNeight III) was nudged up another level and was able to just get past the tough luck loser China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) in the shadow of the wire. Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) took the show spot.   As expected, China Dream set up shop on the front end and posted fractions of :28.0, :58.0 and 1:27.0 over the fast track. Black Is Back in the meantime sat in the pocket and was able to sneak on by in deep stretch.   Co-owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr., and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr., Black Is Back (Western Terror-Magic Moments) has now won twice in four attempts this season. The triumph moved his 2020 earnings to $11,460 and $254,310 lifetime.   McNeight III swept the features as he guided the heavily favored Daylight Rush ($2.40) to a 3/4-length nod over Stratosphere in 1:55.0 in the $10,000 Class A pacing event.   Stratosphere (Drew Monti) zoomed off the starting gate to grab the early lead but Daylight Rush wanted no part of a pocket journey and retook the advantage before reaching the quarter marker in :28.3.   Sizzling Summer (Davis Jr.) made a first over trip down the backstretch the final time and was on even terms with Daylight Rush at the three-quarter pole. But his rally fizzled out as Daylight Rush was easily able to fend off a mild threat from Stratosphere in the lane while Rock The Dream (Ray Fisher Jr.) grabbed the show spot.   Owned by Cassandra Johnson and conditioned by McNeight III, it was the second victory of the year for the 7-year-old gelded Daylight Rush (Art Colony-Pass With Caution). The win pushed his seasonal bankroll to $17,100 and $238,584 in his career.   Daylight Rush holds on for popular victory   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with a 13-race program slated for 6 p.m.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

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Chester, PA — Harness racing river Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Takter teamed up to capture two of the three featured $20,000 winners-over events on Sunday afternoon (July 5) at Harrah's Philadelphia.   In the week's top trot, Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolph's Eurobond ($5.60) controlled every step of a 1:51.2 mile, evading a late challenge from Ontario invader Run Director by 2-1/4 lengths. The 5-year-old Love You   stallion notched his ninth career win and his first of the season.   JK American Beauty ($4.00) completed Gingras and Takter's double in the feature for distaff pacers. With Shartin N scratched due to injury, JK American Beauty was dispatched the even-money choice, and she lived up to that billing. After brushing to the fore with a circuit to go, the 4-year-old American Ideal mare turned aside the first-over threat of Gold Orchid N before stepping 1-1/2 lengths clear of a three-wide Philly Hanover in 1:50.3 for her second consecutive win.   The afternoon's top event for male pacers saw San Domino A ($11.80) draft behind dueling leaders Highalator and Dorsoduro Hanover on the final turn before setting sail up the open stretch to win by a widening 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51. George Napoliatno Jr. drove the 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding to the 23rd victory of his career — and seventh since arriving in the States last summer — for trainer Andrew Harris and the partnership of Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing.   Takter completed a training triple on the 14-race card with No Lou Zing ($4.20), who impressively won an $11,200 conditioned event in 1:53.2 in rein to Josert Fonseca.   Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (July 8). The 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5, which is offered daily in the fifth race, boasts a $6,183.54 carryover. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia
Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) has been an absolute force in the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the last year and continued his harness racing dominance in Sunday afternoon’s feature. Larry Stalbaum owns, trains and drives Crockets Cullen N who finished up his 2019 campaign on a nine-race win streak in the local Open Pace. He began his ’20 season in style by winning yet another feature before going on what was, for him, a cold streak. Heading into last Sunday’s (June 28) Open, Crockets Cullen N had gone four starts at the Spa without a victory but broke that rare losing streak after getting a pocket trip behind the race’s betting favorite Hudson Phil (Shawn Gray) and besting him in the stretch.   On Sunday afternoon, Crockets Cullen N took on Hudson Phil once again as the top two pacers from 2019 at the Spa wound up squaring off in the stretch for yet another time. Stalbaum moved Crockets Cullen N out to the early lead in the $8,500 feature and after setting first-half fractions of 27.1 and 56.2 cruised past three quarters in 1:24.3 before facing his first challenge. Hudson Phil came from off the pace and followed live cover into a striking spot before fanning three-wide around the final turn. The chase proved to be in vain as Crockets Cullen N dug in to win yet another installment of the Saratoga Open Pace, scoring in 1:53.1. Hudson Phil came up second-best and now has been the runner-up in all three Opens since the return from the pandemic shutdown. Deetzy (Jay Randall) earned the show spot for the second straight week in the pacing feature.   OpeCrockets Cullen N paid $4.90 to win as the 7-5 second-choice in the betting. The exacta with the favored Hudson Phil second returned $10.20 while the triple with Deetzy third came back $30.40. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon with a 13-race card featuring NY Sire Stakes action. Two year old trotting fillies will be featured on Wednesday with first post time set for 12 noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
WILKES-BARRE, PA – The Betterthancheddar mare Miss You N, given a fine pocket trip by driver Scott Zeron, gained into a :54.3 last half to catch pacesetter Vorst by a half-length while taking a new mark of 1:51.2 in winning the $14,000 pacing feature for mares during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Miss You N was away quickly and stretched Vorst to a :27.2 opener, then yielded and sat in the two-hole as Vorst got a breather to a :56.4 half. Favored Apple Bottom Jeans made a good first-over move to and past a 1:24 three-quarters to challenge, but eventually the race came down to the first two inside horses, and Zeron utilized the Pocono Pike to catch the pacesetter. Ross Croghan trains the winner for the partnership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC, who saw their mare boost her bankroll to $181,430.   The Irish-bred mare Blackwell Ruby IR showed no rust after a near-four month layoff, brushing to the lead in front of the stands and going on to a career-best 1:51.2 triumph in a $13,600 distaff pacing class. Jim Marohn Jr. drove the winner of 12 for 16 lifetime for trainer Bob Cleary and owner Gavin Murdock, and she shows every indication of being a threat to tougher mares (though she can still win in this class twice more based on her meager earnings before going westward across the Atlantic). Stopping the clock a tick faster than the featured females was the Captaintreacherous sophomore colt A Positive Hanover, who was pointed right down the road by driver Corey Callahan upon coming in from Canada and kept on rolling to a convincing 1:51.1 triumph for a new lifetime best. Third in a division of the Bluegrass at two, A Positive Hanover looks ready to fulfill his potential now for trainer Blake MacIntosh, co-owner with Steve Heimbecker, Touchstone Farms Inc. and Larry Denley. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs
Grove City, OH – The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association (OHHA) will continue its live streaming coverage of Ohio county fair races with two races cards from the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Cortland, Ohio, July 6.   Live coverage of both race cards in Home Talent Colt Stakes will be shown on the OHHA Facebook page and the OHHA YouTube channel. Post times are 12:30 PM and 5:30 PM.  The first card will have ten races while the nightcap will have six. Replays of the races will be available on the Trot and Pace Marketing website, trotandpacemarketing.com, following the completion of racing.  The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association will be live streaming Ohio fair races throughout the summer.  For a complete schedule go to OHHA.com. by Frank Fraas, for the OHHA
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