Day At The Track
Six Pack,Harness racing

Trio of tracks to host Grand Circuit racing

This Week: Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maxie Lee Memorial, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at three harness racing locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 24) at The Meadows with the $99,430 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old open trotters. On Saturday (May 25), Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $109,234 final of the Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies). Harrah's Philadelphia will host three invitational events on Sunday (May 26), each with a purse of $100,000, in the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Commodore Barry for older pacing males and the Betsy Ross for older filly and mare pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Saturday night (May 18) at the Meadowlands, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won both $50,000 divisions of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on the trot with Six Pack and Muscle M Up. In the first division, the look of the race changed with the scratch of 2018 Hambletonian champion Atlanta, but that appeared to suit Six Pack just fine. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was on the move from the start and moved to the lead while parked past the quarter in :27.2, putting 3-5 favorite Fiftydallarbill in the pocket. A :30.3 sleepwalk of a second quarter followed as the top two betting choices raced 1-2 all the way to the wire. Fiftydallarbill rallied some in deep stretch but was no threat to Six Pack, who held on by a half-length in 1:53.1 in his 2019 debut. As the 6-5 second choice, Six Pack returned $4.40 to his backers while winning for the 16th time from 24 career starts, good for earnings of $1,383,290. A year ago, his major wins included the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot. While Six Pack has a monster resume, stablemate Muscle M Up does not, but that did not stop the son of Muscle Hill-Fashion Athena from taking the other Graduate division in a sizzling lifetime best of 1:51.2. Svanstedt once again asked his horse for early speed and got it, racing on the lead at the quarter in :27.2 before yielding to 3-5 chalk Mission Accepted. Crystal Fashion raced first-over to go after the leader around the far turn with Muscle M Up waiting for some space to race. He found it by swerving out to the four path for the stretch drive and once there was enough clearance to do so he cruised past the field to record a half-length win over Crystal Fashion. Mission Accepted was third. The winner returned $17.60 to his backers as the third choice in the wagering and won for the seventh time in 14 lifetime starts. His earnings stand at $87,972. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 188; 2. Jason Bartlett - 124; 3. Jordan Stratton - 107; 4. George Brennan - 100; 5. Daniel Dube - 94. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 144; 2. Ron Burke - 85; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Richard Banca - 61; 5. Andrew Harris - 54. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 52.7; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 49.2; 3. Richard Poillucci - 41.7; 4. Brad Grant - 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg - 40.   Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at The Raceway at Western Fair District, The Meadows, and Woodbine Mohawk Park next weekend. Western Fair will host the Camluck Classic for invitational pacers; The Meadows will feature the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters; and Woodbine Mohawk Park will host the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

The Meadowlands,Harness racing

Meadowlands statement on Lasix

East Rutherford, NJ - In light of the recent circumstances in Thoroughbred racing surrounding the welfare of the horses, all of horse racing has come under increased scrutiny. While the rate of catastrophic breakdowns in Standardbred racing is but a fraction of what it is with the Thoroughbred, the public does not make that distinction.   The health and welfare of our harness racing horses has been a top priority throughout President and CEO Jeff Gural's tenure at The Meadowlands and a great deal of time and money has been spent in efforts to eradicate Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) from Standardbred racing.   Over the past few months in response to questions on the use of the diuretic Lasix as a PED, a consortium of Thoroughbred tracks is taking steps to reduce or eliminate the use of Lasix on race day.   It is the intention of The Meadowlands as the flagship track of the standardbred industry to join that movement and proceed in such a way as to insure the best interests of our equine athletes.   A proposal to address the use of Lasix as a race day medication at The Meadowlands has been submitted to the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC). The submitted proposal states that beginning in 2020, no 2-year-old Standardbred will be permitted to use Lasix when racing at The Meadowlands. Further, in 2021 the track's signature stakes race, The Meadowlands Pace, will become Lasix free. It is noteworthy that the marquee stake in all of Standardbred racing, the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands, has not permitted the use of Lasix throughout its 93 year history. In discussion with several Standardbred trainers, the consensus was that 2-year-old horses should not race with Lasix and should instead be given time away from the track to recover if they are indeed diagnosed with Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). Over the entire 2018 season at The Meadowlands, only seven 2-year-olds raced with Lasix . At the end of the 2021 racing season we will review these changes, consider any revisions to the practice in Thoroughbred racing and adjust as necessary.   While we recognize the therapeutic benefits of Lasix, our concern is with the optics and feel it is important to show that we take the health and safety of our horses very seriously. We believe this is the best approach while we observe how even stricter measures work for the thoroughbred industry.     Nick Salvi

The Meadows racing action,Harness racing

Bessie best in feature trot

WASHINGTON, PA, May 21, 2019 -- Out well before the half, Bessie was relentless first over, wearing down the leader to capture Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot. While Missions Delight refused to go down easily on the front, Bessie persevered for Tony Hall and scored in 1:55.4. The rallying Firm To Stay was second, 3/4 lengths back, while. EZ Passer shot the Lightning Lane for show. Rick Clapper trains Bessie, an 8-year-old daughter of Equinox Bi-Cantab's Chorine who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $459,345, for Paula Clapper, Umholtz Racing Stable and Kennedy Sports Corp. Dave Palone piloted four winners on the 13-race card.   By Evan Pattak for the MSOA

Running Aces,Harness racing

Cenalta Diamond captures mares open

Columbus, MN -The Tuesday night (May 21) Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the $14,000 Mares open Pace, with a field of seven talented distaffers squaring off behind the gate. Assigned post seven, Cenalta Diamond (Tim Maier) was making her first local start of the year after a spring campaign in Ohio at Miami Valley Raceway. The talented daughter of Allamerican Merlin is no stranger to the Running Aces oval, as she had a very good meet here last summer, taking several of her dozen wins on the Minnesota track. She was sent off as the co-favorite in the field at 9-5, along with stablemate Pull The Shade (Dean Magee), who was also coming in from Miami Valley. Cenalta Diamond dominated the affair from gate to wire, and as luck would have it, the pair of Tim Maier trainees would wind up one-two at the wire, with Cenalta Diamond checking in 8 lengths ahead in 1:55.1 over a sloppy surface to capture her fifth win in 17 outings this year, and pad her bankroll to $55,974 for owner Tim Maier. Place N First (Rick Magee) was home third in the featured event. Drivers Nick Roland, Dean Magee and Steve Wiseman all completed a driving double on the Tuesday card. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, May 25 with a first post of 6:00 pm (CT) and a carryover in the .20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $1,476.59.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

Northfield Park's Pick 5 offers an exciting $80,000 total pool guarantee on Wednesday (May 22). Beginning in race two, the $80,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a large $23,617 carryover. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six begins in the ninth race with a $2,908 carryover. Northfield's Pick 5, Pick 4s, Pick 3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Wednesday's post time is 6 PM.   Ayers Ratliff

WILKES-BARRE PA - The A Rocknroll Dance mare Reclamation - foaled in Pennsylvania out of a Swedish-owned mare, sold at Lexington, then starting her career in Ireland and Wales before racing at Harrah's Philly and The Meadowlands - added another location to her already-stuffed harness racing itinerary, coming to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono for the Tuesday twilight card and promptly winning the $17,500 distaff pacing feature in 1:50.4. Despite 25 days between races, driver Matt Kakaley had no problem moving Reclamation frontward after a :26.4 opener, reaching the half in :54 and the three-quarters in 1:22.3, then finishing strongly to remain 1¼ lengths clear of another well-traveled mare, the New Zealand import American Express N. Reclamation has a 5-4-1-0 record this year and an enviable 19-11-6-1 lifetime tab, with her earnings of $72,405 sure to be rising nicely in short order for trainer Ron Burke and owners W J Donovan of Delray Beach FL and Donal Murphy of Baltimore ... Ireland. In a $15,000 trot, the Explosive Matter gelding Explosivebreakaway showed some of the talent of his full sister Phaetosive while easily winning in a lifetime best 1:54.2. Driver Tom Jackson moved the winner uncovered off the second turn and utilized the backstretch to go up to the leader and then go by, drawing off with a :28.2 last quarter to be seven lengths clear on the money. Fred Grant conditions the impressive sophomore, who has four wins and three seconds in seven lifetime starts, and he also co-owns him with Janice Rubin, Steve Katz, and Murray Brown. The Credit Winner gelding Such An Angel, who doesn't always put it all together but when he does can be quite devastating, came within a fifth of a second of the fastest local trotting mile of the year with a 1:52.1 victory, 8½ lengths to the good. That time also was within a fifth of the lifetime best of Such An Angel, who's now taken two of his last three and has earned $295,308 for trainer Hunter Oakes and owner Sam Caruso Jr. The only starter to be entered for an optional claiming price in the last race on the last day of the Pocono racing week, Rosy Outlook was haltered for $18,000, bringing the four-day raceweek's total of claiming investment to $419,250, a record for a week here this season; the total of 20 claims tied the weekly mark, now set in each of the last three weeks. For the year, 175 claims have resulted in $3,153,750 changing hands in the pursuit of winning racing stock.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

HARRINGTON, Del. - Artrageous ($3.60, Art Stafford Jr.) notched her second straight harness racing win Tuesday at Harrington Raceway with a 1:53 triumph in the $18,000 Mares Open. Trained by Andrew Stafford for the partnership group of Bonnie Benson, John Johannsen, Andrew Stafford and Holly Case, the 5-year-old Art Major mare left the gate from post position five and authored fractions of 27.2, 56 and 1:24.4 before holding off Valuable Art, who finished a game second, to the wire. Sayulita was third. It was the 16th career win for Artrageous, whose earned $326,915 in her career. It was the second straight win on the card for driver Stafford, who had previously guided Better Decision N to victory in the 5th, a sub-featured $10,000 conditioned pace for co-owner/trainer Josh Parker. Live racing continues on a Monday through Wednesday schedule. Post time is 5 p.m.   Matthew Sparacino

This week's harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono contained our first taste of both Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania Stallion Series action, while the Great Northeast Open series continued as well with the male pacers on Saturday night. There was a little bit of everything for the faithful on tap, including sudden thunderstorms, a dead heat for a win, and, of course, plenty of fantastic performances. Let's take a look at the best of those by handing out the Weekly Awards.   PACER OF THE WEEK: ATTA BOY DAN The hot streak for this 10-year-old gelding began on his way out of the Meadows on April 27 when he finished in a dead heat for the win in a condition pace in 1:51:1. He then came to Pocono and scored in a claiming handicap pace on May 11, winning that one in come-from-behind fashion in 1:51:4. On Saturday night he was at it again in that $30,000 to $40,000 claiming handicap group, only this time he was making his first start for trainer Hunter Oakes after he had been claimed in the previous race. In this race, Atta Boy Dan was saddled with the outside post in a field of seven, which was probably why he was only the 8-5 second choice on the board. Driver Eric Goodell decided he wanted his horse on the lead, and the gelding was able to achieve that with a swooping move around the first turn. On the back stretch, Atta Boy Dan faced down a first-over challenge from 6-5 betting favorite Dancin Hill, which he rebuffed with extreme prejudice. The work from Atta Boy Dan was far from done, as Concur and Boogie Nights, a pair of long shots who had been saving ground, both came charging up to challenge in the stretch. But the veteran answered the call by gutting out the win by 1 ¼ lengths over Concur in 1:51:4. At age ten, a lot of standardbreds are winding down. But Atta Boy Dan is on a blistering stretch right now and is showing no signs of giving his opponents a break and letting up. Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Rock The Town (George Napolitano Jr., Antonia Storer), who moved up in class to win a claiming handicap pace on Saturday night, his second straight victory since arriving from Delaware, in a career-best 1:50:4; Rodeo Rock (Eric Goodell, Robert Cleary), who tore it up for a victory in the Great Northeast Open pacing series on Saturday night in 1:49, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the 2019 Pocono meet to date; and Captain Crunch (Scott Zeron, Nancy Johansson), who returned to start off his three-year-old season at the scene of his Breeders Crown triumph and put on a show in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victory on Sunday night, matching a career-best with a 1:49:1 mile in the slop.   TROTTER OF THE WEEK: DI OGGI Sunday night is usually the night when trotters take center stage at Pocono, but this past week, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series for three-year-old pacers highlighted the action. Still, there were some outstanding trots that would normally have been features, including a condition trot with a purse of #17,500 early in the evening. It was a top field of seven, six of which have been campaigning regularly at Pocono this year with high levels of success. But it was Di Oggi, who had spent most of his time this year at the Meadowlands for trainer Ake Svanstedt, who went off as the 4-5 favorite. He came in on a streak of three second-place finishes, which included his lone start at Pocono this year when he came up short of Tag Up And Go. In this mile, Di Oggi, a five-year-old stallion, left from post position #5 but didn't get away quickly. He was forced to grind away first-over in the sloppy conditions, dueling away with Tyson, who set the pace. After wearing down Tyson, Di Oggi, also driven by Svanstedt, then had to deal with Lucky Colby, a 55-1 long shot who hugged the pylons most of the race and then came on strong late in the mile with a big move. But Di Oggi was up to the test, holding tight to beat Lucky Colby by a neck. His winning time of 1:54:1 was just shy of his career-best and was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono, despite the fact that it came on a sloppy track. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: CR Blazin Beauty (Anthony Napolitano, Jose Godinez), a mare who beat the boys in a condition trot on Sunday night in 1:55:4 in the off-going; Don (Mike Simons driver and trainer), who captured a tough condition trot on Sunday night in the slop despite it being just his second start of the year, matching a career-best of 1:54:3 in the process; and Explosivebreakaway (Tom Jackson, Fred Grant), who delivered a career-best performance by winning a condition trot on Tuesday in 1:54:2.   LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MYSTICAL WYNN This trotter came rocketing up the passing lane late with Mike Simons in the bike to win a condition at 35-1, paying off a hefty $73.80 on a $2-win ticket.   DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW McCARTHY McCarthy was on top of his game in his two appearances last week at Pocono, winning five times, including a pair of Stallion Series victories on Sunday night.   TRAINER OF THE WEEK: TONY ALAGNA Alagna seems to always have a deep roster of young talent, and that was proven on Sunday night when his horses took two of the four Stallion Series divisions for three-year-old pacers. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.     Jim Beviglia

Lorraine C. Muscara, departed this life peacefully at home, on Thursday, May 16, 2019.  She was ninety years of age and born in the Olney section of Philadelphia.  She was the daughter of the late Robert and Freda Eakin.  She was a longtime resident of Huntingdon Valley.   Lorraine enjoyed horse racing with her husband and family and was a member of US Trotting  Association.  She also loved spending time at her condo in Florida with her late husband and children.  Lorraine was the beloved wife of Joseph V. Muscara for sixty-five years before his death in 2014.  She was the devoted mother of Joseph Muscara (Johanna), Cheryl Rondinelli (John), Lorraine Muscara (Mark Heron), Robert Muscara (Barbara) and Mark Muscara (Kristie).   She was the loving grandmother of Denise, Gina, Matthew, Cheryl Ann, Tracy, Joseph, Mark, Isabella, Nick and Caroline.   She was very much loved by her husband, children and grandchildren and will be truly missed by all who knew her. Condolences and memories may be left at www.lambfuneralhomeinc.com.  

CHESTER PA - All three defending champions will be on hand Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, as the southeast Pennsylvania track hosts its Super Stakes Sunday of $100,000 Invitationals - the Betsy Ross Pace for mares, the Maxie Lee Trot, and the Commodore Barry Pace, going as races ten through twelve respectively on the 12:40 card. Each of these races will also count towards the pointstandings for the summerlong Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS), in which many of these harness racing stars have been competing. The giant card also has three divisions of the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. Here is a look at all four groups: $100,000 BETSY ROSS MARES PACE (12th edition; stakes record 1:48.3, Southwind Tempo, 2009.) Combined earnings of field: $7,202,760. Average lifetime mark: 1:49.3 (five in 1:50 or less). The defending champion in the Betsy Ross is the great New Zealand import Shartin N, last year's North American mares divisionwinner who is carrying on in final style so far in 2019 - five wins in six starts, including the Blue Chip Final, and earnings of $319,500, second only to Levy Final winner Western Fame. And it's hard to imagine Shartin N having more solid connections, especially in this race - trainer Jim King Jr. trained Shartin N to victory last year, and in 2017 wife Jo Ann Looney-King conditioned the victorious Nike Franco N. And their driver (and Shartin N's co-owner) Tim Tetrick has won the Betsy Ross six times: more than all others drivers combined. He also guided Southwind Tempo to the stakes record. Two potential liabilities for Shartin N: drawing post seven in the eight horse field, and not having raced for 22 days, and only twice in 53 days. The mare has seemed to thrive on an intermittent schedule in the past, however. Starting just inside Shartin N will be Tequila Monday, who is merely six-for-six this year and the only double winner in the Great Northeast Open Series so far, with Brian Sears driving for trainer Hunter Oakes, whose father Chris conditioned 2013 Ross winner Economy Terror. Add in the likes of hard-hitting veteran Caviart Ally, last year's top three-year-old filly, Youaremycandygirl, and other fast distaffs, and the Betsy Ross figures to be an interesting chess match. $100,000 MAXIE LEE TROT (12th edition; stakes record 1:50.2, Market Share, 2014.) Combined earnings of field: $9,424,706. Average lifetime mark: 1:51.1 (three sub-1:51, one sub-1:49). The defending champion of the Maxie Lee, a race honoring the superb area trainer for many years, is Will Take Charge, who will be guided from post five by Scott Zeron for trainer Jeff Gillis. Will Take Charge looks to be coming up to peak form right now, fresh off a win at Yonkers, but it is likely others will draw more mutuel attention than he will. Take, for instance, The World's Fastest Trotter, Homicide Hunter (1:48.4 at Lexington last year), who this season is guided by the Burke Brigade (who has won this race four times: once by patriarch Mickey, and the last three by the recordsetting Ron). Homicide Hunter just won his second start of the year, at Pocono, last week, taking a GNOS contest in 1:52.3, and the early sheet says he will be getting a driver change to George Napolitano Jr., with whom Homicide Hunter won the 2018 Breeders Crown (Yannick Gingras will be in Sweden this week, competing in the World Driving Championship). Guardian Angel AS, starting from post two, has also been a GNOS winner this year, and his chances will be helped by the sulky presence of Tim Tetrick, who has won the Maxie Lee five times, including with stakes recordholder Market Share. $100,000 COMMODORE BARRY PACE (5th edition; stakes record 1:47.3, Wiggle It Jiggleit, 2016.) Combined earnings of field: $5,318,913. Average lifetime mark: 1:49.1 (3 sub-1:48). Filibuster Hanover, the highest moneywinner in the Commodore Barry with just north of $1.5 million in career earnings, is the defending champion in this event, and if victorious would make trainer Ron Burke the first horseman to have two Barry titles - no driver or trainer has won twice in the race's four-year history. In his last start Filibuster Hanover set the pace in a GNOS event here, but was caught up the inside by the upstart Kiwi Tiger Thompson N; this week the "Tiger" has post six and "Filibuster" post seven, difficult assignments in a talented field. Rodeo Rock won last week's GNOS race at Pocono, defeating Tiger Thompson N and posting the fastest clocking of the year at Pocono, 1:49. Last year's highly-regarded sophomore Courtly Choice is in the Barry, and on this Harrah's day you can't ignore a Tim Tetrick-driven horse (though he has yet to win this race); Tetrick will drive the hardhitting Donttellmeagain. PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES 3YO PACING COLTS ($57,218 each in races three, seven, and thirteen). The defending champion in this group is also competing at Philly in Sunday: Proof, a winner of $450,000 and never worse than fourth in thirteen career starts, with six wins and four seconds. But Proof is unlikely to be the favorite in his thirteenth race cut - that honor will go to Captain Crunch, who was the 2018 freshman colt pace champion, and who made his 2019 debut last Sunday at Pocono, winning over a sloppy surface in 1:49.1, fastest mile of the year by a three-year-old regardless of size of track, and with a stinging last quarter of 26, with driver Scott Zeron mostly an interested passenger late. The third race division is topped by Southwind Ozzi, who won a Sire Stake two starts back and then was second behind Captain Crunch last week, only 1¾ lengths back, and Wild Wild Western, a PaSS winner last week. In the seventh race division, you can make a good case for most of the entrants to record their first 2019 Sire Stakes win. With 27 horses who have won in 1:50 or less on the card, plus 30 winners of over $500,000 lifetime, including eight millionaires, the entire Sunday card at Harrah's Philadelphia is an outstanding one.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

When it comes to reasons for admiring a horse, Wisdom Tree checks all the boxes for Tom Pollack. "She is one of my favorites," said Pollack, who owns the 4-year-old female pacer with harness racing trainer Jeff Cullipher. "She can race on any sized track, she is handy, she is tough, and she is fast. She is one of those horses that does everything right. It's hard to not love her." Last year, Wisdom Tree won 11 of 18 races, including the Nadia Lobell Stakes and New York Sire Stakes championship, and earned $436,111. On Wednesday (May 22), she will make her first start of 2019 against eight rivals in the $20,000 open for pacing fillies and mares at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Wisdom Tree, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, will start from post five with driver Sam Widger. Pollack and Cullipher had hoped to race Wisdom Tree earlier this month in the Sam "Chip" Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway, but the mare's return to action was delayed because of illness. "It took maybe a couple extra weeks to get her back," Pollack said. "We just took our time. She's qualified twice and she was sharp in both of those (winning the first in 1:54.1 and the second in 1:52.3, both at Hoosier). She's refreshed and good and ready to go." Wisdom Tree is a daughter of Betterthancheddar out of Wisdom. She was purchased for $28,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. Pollack co-owned Wisdom Tree's half-brother Rich Wisdom, who was a stakes winner, and her family also includes stakes-winner Allamerican Captor. As a 2-year-old, Wisdom Tree went off stride in three of her first six races, but then had three wins and a second in her last five starts of the campaign. Her only misstep during that span came when she made a break from post eight in the New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers. She ended her season with a win over 3-year-old fillies in 1:52.4 at Hoosier. "You could tell she had it in her, she just made a few breaks at the wrong times," Pollack said. "We kind of knew (after her season finale at Hoosier) that if she matured, she would be something to be reckoned with. Sure enough, she was." At 3, Wisdom Tree debuted with a seventh-place finish before reeling off four consecutive victories. The win streak came during a five-month span that saw Wisdom Tree, who spent her time in New York with trainer Ed Hart, capture 11 of 13 starts overall. After winning the New York Sire Stakes championship, she finished second in a division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial and third in both the Courageous Lady and a division of the Pegasus. The season concluded with a fifth-place finish in a division of the Circle City. "She cut the mile (in the Garnsey) that went (1):47.3 and it took a lot out of her, I guess," Pollack said. "The last start at Hoosier she really was tired and told us so. In hindsight, we went a little too far with her. But overall, she was a wonderful horse and it was a fun ride for sure." Pollack is hoping for another fun ride this year. Wisdom Tree is staked to several Grand Circuit races, including the Lady Liberty and Golden Girls at The Meadowlands and the Allerage Mare Pace at Red Mile. "There are some good mares, and good 4-year-old mares out there, so it's going to be a competitive bunch," Pollack said. "She's going to have to step up her game for sure. But if she can compete at a relatively high level, we'll definitely keep going with her." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday at Harrah's Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

Columbus, MN -Despite heavy participation in the Hi-5 wagering pools on Sunday night (May 19), nobody was able to solve the High-5 with all top 5 numbers correct. Longshot winners in both of the final two races triggered a double- carryover for tonight's card. A robust $8,049.09 will be added to the High-5 pool in Race #7 tonight, a $4,600 condition pace for fillies and mares. Exsqueeze Me (Steve Wiseman) has been installed as the 5/2 morning line choice from post 9, coming off a victory right here at Running Aces on opening night. Post time for the Tuesday opener is 7:00 pm (CT) and approximate post time for Race #7 is 9:15 pm (CT).   Darin Gagne For Running Aces

Plainville, MA --- On Monday afternoon (May 20) Mach Doro A asserted his dominance for the second week in a row and overpowered a full field of nine top pacers as he took the $16,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park. Avatartist (Mark Eaton) left from post nine and seated the whole harness racing field as he sped to the quarter in :25.4 over the sloppy track. As the race passed in front of the stands, J JS Delivery (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over and brought Bet You (Heath Campbell) and Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) with him in the outer flow. The race hit the half in :55 and J JS Delivery was drawing closer to Avatartist, but he wasn't doing it fast enough for Mach Doro A as Cushing tipped that one three-deep up the backside and blew past the field. By the three-quarter pole Mach Doro A had cleared in 1:23.1 and that marked the beginning of the end of the race. As he rounded the turn he started pulling away with the rest of the field double-decked behind him. Cushing looked over his shoulder at the top of the stretch and saw he was home free and Mach Doro A strode-out to an unprompted seven-length lead at the wire where he won in 1:52. The time was the second consecutive lifetime mark for Mach Doro A. Now a winner of 33 out of 83 races and $296,246 lifetime, the 8-year-old Mach Doro A is also two-for-two at Plainridge Park this year for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned pace, Passport To Art (Shawn Gray) got a perfect pocket trip behind Pokerface Bluechip (Mitchell Cushing) before tipping in the last turn to launch a strong stretch drive that wore down the leader at the wire where he won in 1:51.4, which was a new lifetime mark. Passport To Art ($12.20) is owned by Elizabeth and Dyce Spaluto and is trained by Alicia Gray. Passport To Art                     -Tom Melanson photo Shawn Gray had a huge day at Plainridge on Monday, winning five races on the card. Besides the already mentioned Passport To Art, Gray also scored with Queen For Life (1:59.2, $5.00), Jake G's Champion (1:57.3, $19.00), Chip Walther (1:52.3, $9.40) and Sir Pugsley (1:51.4, $3.00). With that performance Gray now has a commanding lead in the dash win race for the meet topping Mitchel Cushing by 12; 42-30. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 23) at 4 p.m. With now winner in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in race six or nine on Monday, there is a carryover pool of $1,995.95 for that same bet in race six on Thursday.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusett  

HARRINGTON, Del. - George Leager's Slick Tony ($6.80, Russell Foster) was a repeat harness racing winner Monday in the featured $16,000 Open at Harrington Raceway in 1:51.4. The win looked like an instant replay from his win on May 13 as he once again battled first-over against leader Blazing Bobby Sox and used a steady and sustained charge to clear the lead and draw away from his rivals late for owner/trainer Leager. Q's Cruise closed well late to be second, while Blazing Bobby Sox was third. It was the 24th career win for Slick Tony, a 4-year-old No Spin Zone stallion, who has banked more than $80,000 this year and nearly $500,000 in his career.   Matthew Sparacino  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, May 20, 2019--Air Force Hanover, who won the faster of last weekend's two harness racing elimination races, finds himself stuck behind the eight-ball for Yonkers Raceway's 29th Art Rooney Pace. The $300,000 event, for 3-year-old colts and geldings, goes as Saturday night's (May 25th) 10th race, with the dozen-race card offering its usual first post of 6:50 PM. Air Force Hanover, despite going the distance this past Saturday (1:52.4), did not overly impress his trainer. "He wasn't as good as I wanted him to be," Brian Brown said. "He did the same thing (2017 Rooney and Messenger winner) Downbytheseaside did when he was here (Yonkers). "He'd open up a lead and start waiting for someone, and (Air Force Hanover) did it, too. "I'm not saying he's going open up a lead from an eight-hole, because they are some good horses inside of him, but we're going to use an eye hood with some holes in it this time around. Hopefully, it makes him more aggressive without being out of control," Brown said. Air Force Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by County Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo & W. J. Donovan, has a pair of wins in three seasonal starts. Dave Miller again has the assignment. Last week's other $40,000 elim winner Bettor's Wish, landed post position No. 6, with Dexter Dunn driving for co-owner/trainer Chris Ryder. The son of Bettor's Delight went down the road in 1:53.2. The field for the Rooney is as such...1-Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald), 2-Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno), 3-Branquinho (Tyler Buter), 4-Buddy Hill (Brian Sears), 5-Price Hanover (Dan Dube), 6-Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn), 7-Blood Money (Scott Zeron), 8-Air Force Hanover (Dave Miller), The companion event, the 15th Lismore for soph pacing fillies, goes for $109,234 as the ninth race. It drew out this way...1-Mi Nina Bonita (Brent Holland), 2-Rock N McRoll (Dube), 3-Queen of the Pride (Jordan Stratton), 4-As Time Goes By (George Brennan), 5-Bestseller Hanover (Jason Bartlett), 6-Privacy Hanover (Bartlett also listed), 7-Rockn' Philly (Tim Tetrick), 8-Annie Hill (Sears). This story shall be updated.   Frank Drucker  Director of Publicity

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This Week: Currier & Ives, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maxie Lee Memorial, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at three harness racing locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 24) at The Meadows with the $99,430 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old open trotters. On Saturday (May 25), Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $109,234 final of the Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies). Harrah's Philadelphia will host three invitational events on Sunday (May 26), each with a purse of $100,000, in the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Commodore Barry for older pacing males and the Betsy Ross for older filly and mare pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Saturday night (May 18) at the Meadowlands, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won both $50,000 divisions of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds on the trot with Six Pack and Muscle M Up. In the first division, the look of the race changed with the scratch of 2018 Hambletonian champion Atlanta, but that appeared to suit Six Pack just fine. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was on the move from the start and moved to the lead while parked past the quarter in :27.2, putting 3-5 favorite Fiftydallarbill in the pocket. A :30.3 sleepwalk of a second quarter followed as the top two betting choices raced 1-2 all the way to the wire. Fiftydallarbill rallied some in deep stretch but was no threat to Six Pack, who held on by a half-length in 1:53.1 in his 2019 debut. As the 6-5 second choice, Six Pack returned $4.40 to his backers while winning for the 16th time from 24 career starts, good for earnings of $1,383,290. A year ago, his major wins included the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot. While Six Pack has a monster resume, stablemate Muscle M Up does not, but that did not stop the son of Muscle Hill-Fashion Athena from taking the other Graduate division in a sizzling lifetime best of 1:51.2. Svanstedt once again asked his horse for early speed and got it, racing on the lead at the quarter in :27.2 before yielding to 3-5 chalk Mission Accepted. Crystal Fashion raced first-over to go after the leader around the far turn with Muscle M Up waiting for some space to race. He found it by swerving out to the four path for the stretch drive and once there was enough clearance to do so he cruised past the field to record a half-length win over Crystal Fashion. Mission Accepted was third. The winner returned $17.60 to his backers as the third choice in the wagering and won for the seventh time in 14 lifetime starts. His earnings stand at $87,972. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 188; 2. Jason Bartlett - 124; 3. Jordan Stratton - 107; 4. George Brennan - 100; 5. Daniel Dube - 94. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 144; 2. Ron Burke - 85; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Richard Banca - 61; 5. Andrew Harris - 54. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 52.7; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 49.2; 3. Richard Poillucci - 41.7; 4. Brad Grant - 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg - 40.   Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at The Raceway at Western Fair District, The Meadows, and Woodbine Mohawk Park next weekend. Western Fair will host the Camluck Classic for invitational pacers; The Meadows will feature the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters; and Woodbine Mohawk Park will host the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association
East Rutherford, NJ - In light of the recent circumstances in Thoroughbred racing surrounding the welfare of the horses, all of horse racing has come under increased scrutiny. While the rate of catastrophic breakdowns in Standardbred racing is but a fraction of what it is with the Thoroughbred, the public does not make that distinction.   The health and welfare of our harness racing horses has been a top priority throughout President and CEO Jeff Gural's tenure at The Meadowlands and a great deal of time and money has been spent in efforts to eradicate Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) from Standardbred racing.   Over the past few months in response to questions on the use of the diuretic Lasix as a PED, a consortium of Thoroughbred tracks is taking steps to reduce or eliminate the use of Lasix on race day.   It is the intention of The Meadowlands as the flagship track of the standardbred industry to join that movement and proceed in such a way as to insure the best interests of our equine athletes.   A proposal to address the use of Lasix as a race day medication at The Meadowlands has been submitted to the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC). The submitted proposal states that beginning in 2020, no 2-year-old Standardbred will be permitted to use Lasix when racing at The Meadowlands. Further, in 2021 the track's signature stakes race, The Meadowlands Pace, will become Lasix free. It is noteworthy that the marquee stake in all of Standardbred racing, the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands, has not permitted the use of Lasix throughout its 93 year history. In discussion with several Standardbred trainers, the consensus was that 2-year-old horses should not race with Lasix and should instead be given time away from the track to recover if they are indeed diagnosed with Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). Over the entire 2018 season at The Meadowlands, only seven 2-year-olds raced with Lasix . At the end of the 2021 racing season we will review these changes, consider any revisions to the practice in Thoroughbred racing and adjust as necessary.   While we recognize the therapeutic benefits of Lasix, our concern is with the optics and feel it is important to show that we take the health and safety of our horses very seriously. We believe this is the best approach while we observe how even stricter measures work for the thoroughbred industry.     Nick Salvi
WASHINGTON, PA, May 21, 2019 -- Out well before the half, Bessie was relentless first over, wearing down the leader to capture Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot. While Missions Delight refused to go down easily on the front, Bessie persevered for Tony Hall and scored in 1:55.4. The rallying Firm To Stay was second, 3/4 lengths back, while. EZ Passer shot the Lightning Lane for show. Rick Clapper trains Bessie, an 8-year-old daughter of Equinox Bi-Cantab's Chorine who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $459,345, for Paula Clapper, Umholtz Racing Stable and Kennedy Sports Corp. Dave Palone piloted four winners on the 13-race card.   By Evan Pattak for the MSOA
Columbus, MN -The Tuesday night (May 21) Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the $14,000 Mares open Pace, with a field of seven talented distaffers squaring off behind the gate. Assigned post seven, Cenalta Diamond (Tim Maier) was making her first local start of the year after a spring campaign in Ohio at Miami Valley Raceway. The talented daughter of Allamerican Merlin is no stranger to the Running Aces oval, as she had a very good meet here last summer, taking several of her dozen wins on the Minnesota track. She was sent off as the co-favorite in the field at 9-5, along with stablemate Pull The Shade (Dean Magee), who was also coming in from Miami Valley. Cenalta Diamond dominated the affair from gate to wire, and as luck would have it, the pair of Tim Maier trainees would wind up one-two at the wire, with Cenalta Diamond checking in 8 lengths ahead in 1:55.1 over a sloppy surface to capture her fifth win in 17 outings this year, and pad her bankroll to $55,974 for owner Tim Maier. Place N First (Rick Magee) was home third in the featured event. Drivers Nick Roland, Dean Magee and Steve Wiseman all completed a driving double on the Tuesday card. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, May 25 with a first post of 6:00 pm (CT) and a carryover in the .20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $1,476.59.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces
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