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Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Casie Coleman has said previously that Betting Line is the best horse she's ever had. On Saturday, the colt gave the harness racing trainer another reason to believe it. Betting Line paced the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, romping to a four length win over Racing Hill in 1:47.2 in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Control The Moment finished third and Boston Red Rocks was fourth. It was Betting Line's ninth consecutive victory. His only loss this year, a second-place finish, came against older horses in his first race of the season. In the Battle of the Brandywine, Racing Hill led to the opening quarter in :26.1, with Control The Moment second and Betting Line third. Driver David Miller fired Betting Line to the front prior to the halfway point, reached in :53.4, and led comfortably to three-quarters in 1:20.1. Betting Line, the 1-2 favorite, was never threatened in the stretch and coasted to the wire. "I wasn't real happy at first with getting away third with Racing Hill up front," Coleman said. "I wasn't sure what Brett (Miller with Racing Hill) would do because that horse loves the front and wasn't sure he might take us more than he did when we came. But :53.4 is pretty good to the half. Betting Line is better off a helmet, but it worked out. "It's cold, it's windy; I was not expecting a mile like that tonight, that's for sure. I knew he was going to be really good, but with the way it's cooled off, I didn't think we would go a world record. He was extremely impressive." The previous world record of 1:47.3 was held by a former Coleman trainee, McWicked. The clocking also was established at Pocono, in the 2014 Hempt Memorial. "Honestly, with all the horses I've had, and I've said this for a while, I think Betting Line is the best one I've had," Coleman said. "McWicked was a really nice horse. (World champions) Sportswriter and Betterthancheddar were better than what Wicked was. But this horse is showing he's even better than them." Betting Line has won 15 of 22 career races and earned $1.38 million. The son of Bettor's Delight-Heather's Western is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. "He's always been a powerful colt," Coleman said. "He raced great all last season; he races like a gorilla every time he races pretty much. He went some tough trips as a 2-year-old, but he always gave everything he had right to the wire. Never once have I been disappointed with this horse." Betting Line Dr J Hanover, the impeccably-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect) $300,000 yearling, streaked to his fifth straight victory in taking the $200,000 Consolation I in 1:50.1, lowering his mark by over a second and a half. Scott Zeron sent the late-developing colt to the lead well before the 26.1 opener, then let quarter-mover JJ Flynn brush around him to the top in front of the stands, that one putting up middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23. Zeron had Dr J Hanover out and on the bit just past mid-turn to go after the pacesetter, with third-inside Safensound Hanover dipping down to the Pocono Pike as JJ Flynn backed off a bit, giving Dr J Hanover his biggest challenge. But the good Doctor, at 3-1 the third choice here, stayed strong to the wire, winning by a length, with JJ Flynn another 1-3/4 lengths back in third. Tony Alagna conditions the winner, improving greatly with every start, for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, John Cancelliere, and Dr J Partners. Nocturnal Bluechip was hustled out of the gate by driver Tim Tetrick, yielded to favored Spider Man Hanover to sit the pocket, then stormed up the famed Pocono Pike to be an easy winner in the $100,000 Battle of the Brandywine Consolation II in 1:51.2. After opening in 26, Spider Man Hanover got a relative breather on the lead, posting middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23, but he came up empty in the lane and Nocturnal Blue Chip stormed up the inside to win by 1-1/4 lengths. The 35-1 shot Inspiration View, four-wide headstretch and still sixth 100 feet out, was along for second, a half-length ahead of last year's PA Sire Stakes champion Ideal Jimmy, who also shot up the Pike. A son of Bettor's Delight, Nocturnal Bluechip was sent off as the 5-2 second choice and delivered his first victory of the season for trainer Mark Steacy, also co-owner with NLG Racing Stable. PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this report Ken Weingartner

Betting Line will put his eight-race win streak on the line in Saturday's $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where harness racing multiple-stakes-winners Control The Moment and Racing Hill await the opportunity to challenge the Casie Coleman-trained standout for the first time since the North America Cup nearly two months ago. Canadian-based Betting Line won the North America Cup on June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack, with Racing Hill finishing second and Control The Moment finishing third. Since then, Betting Line has won three times on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit and won last week's Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational. Racing Hill has won four of five starts, including the Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios, and finished second to Control The Moment in the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. Control The Moment, who finished fourth in the Hempt, has won three consecutive races including the Meadowlands Pace and Cane Pace. "It will be a great race for the fans and everybody involved," Coleman said. "I'm looking forward to it. I think my horse is good coming into it and I'm sure the others will have their horses real good too. It will be a real good race." The Battle of the Brandywine, for 3-year-old pacers, is part of Pocono's Super Stakes Saturday, which also includes the $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old trotters and $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers. Betting Line and driver David Miller will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post No. 1. Betting Line, who has accumulated $1.13 million in career purses thanks to winning eight of nine races this year and 14 of 21 lifetime, is the 5-2 morning line favorite. In his most recent start, Betting Line raced first over from prior to the halfway point until the top of the stretch, overcoming a brief break of stride on the final turn, to win the Milstein by four lengths over filly Pure Country in 1:51 on a surface labeled "good" at Northfield Park. "He was phenomenal," said Coleman, whose West Wins Stable is among the colt's owners along with Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol. "I wish he didn't put in that bobble in the last turn, but we think we've got it rectified. I had his hobbles too long and I'm going to bring them in. But when David hit the turbo button, he was just gone. His speed is unbelievable and his desire to win is unbelievable." Control The Moment won the Cane Pace on Aug. 6 and Meadowlands Pace on July 16. Control The Moment, trained by Canada's Brad Maxwell, has won four of eight races this year and 12 of 17 in his career, good for $1.02 million in earnings. He is owned by the Control The Moment Stable. Brian Sears will drive Control The Moment, who will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post eight. Control The Moment is 3-1 on the morning line. "He's got his work cut out for him," said Sears, who is undefeated in three drives behind Control The Moment. "Our chances definitely would have been better with a better starting spot, but I wouldn't rule us out, that's for sure. But that track is a speed track and you've got to be up close. That's the bottom line. It's just go, go, go. "He is versatile. He can race off the pace. He's got a good mouth. You've got to have a horse that will work with you. This horse, he will let me do my job." Racing Hill will enter the Battle of the Brandywine off a three-week respite following his 1:48.4 win in the Adios on July 30 at The Meadows. Racing Hill was put through quick early fractions of :25.2 to the opening quarter and :52.1 to the half as he wrested the lead from Check Six. For the year, Racing Hill has won four of nine starts, good for a division-leading $836,702 in purses. For his career, the colt has won nine of 19 races and $970,028 for owner Tom Hill. Racing Hill will start the Battle of the Brandywine from post three with Brett Miller at the lines for trainer Tony Alagna. Racing Hill is 4-1 on the morning line. "My colt has been roughed up a few times, but Tony gave him three weeks off and I think that will help," Miller said. "I'd love to be able to give my colt a trip and not get torched like I did in the Adios. I've always loved this horse and had a lot of confidence in him, but that day he showed me what kind of heart he has. I don't know if I've ever sat behind a horse that got parked that hard and went on to win. He really impressed me. "This race is definitely going to be a tough one. With Betting Line having the rail, in my opinion, he's going to be able to do whatever he wants. He does have gate speed, but he doesn't have to use it. With Control The Moment having the eight hole, I kind of feel like he's forced to go forward out of the gate. With my post position, I think I am in a good spot; I think I can see what's going on leaving the gate and hopefully work out a trip." First race post time is 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. Below is the field for the Battle of the Brandywine, followed by the fields for the Colonial and Valley Forge. $500,000 Colonial 3-year-old trotters Race 12/Post - 10:35 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Dayson - Conway Hall - David Miller - Ron Burke - 5/1 2. Marion Marauder - Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron - Paula Wellwood - 5/2 3. Milligan's School - Yankee Glide - Brian Sears - Julie Miller - 12/1 4. Hititoutofthepark - Yankee Glide - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 15/1 5. Love Matters - Explosive Matter - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter - 20/1 6. Southwind Frank - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 3/1 7. Sutton - Donato Hanover - Andy Miller - Julie Miller - 6/1 8. Bar Hopping - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick - Jimmy Takter - 4/1 9. Waitlifter K - Muscles Yankee - Matt Kakaley - Andrew Harris - 10/1   $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine 3-year-old pacers Race 13/Post - 11:00 p.m. PP-Horse_Sire--Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Betting Line - Bettor's Delight - David Miller - Casie Coleman - 5/2 2. Boston Red Rocks - Western Ideal - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 6/1 3. Racing Hill - Roll With Joe - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna - 4/1 4. Another Daily Copy - Somebeachsomewhere - Corey Callahan - Nicholas Devita - 15/1 5. Check Six - Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 5/1 6. Western Fame - Western Ideal - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter - 10/1 7. JK Will Power - Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 12/1 8. Control The Moment - Well Said - Brian Sears - Brad Maxwell - 3/1 9. Big Top Hanover - Western Ideal - Scott Zeron - Ron Burke - 20/1   $350,000 Valley Forge 3-year-old female pacers Race 11/Post - 10:10 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Call Me Queen Be - Somebeachsomewhere - Scott Zeron - Ross Croghan - 12/1 2. Lindwood Beachgirl - Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras - Mark Steacy - 4/1 3. Kiss Me Onthebeach - Somebeachsomewhere - John Campbell - Chris Ryder - 5/1 4. JK Fannie - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Nancy Johansson - 15/1 5. Shezarealdeal - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Ross Croghan - 20/1 6. Darlinonthebeach - Somebeachsomewhere - David Miller - Nancy Johansson - 3/1 7. Blue Moon Stride - Rocknroll Hanover - Andrew McCarthy - Mark Harder - 6/1 8. I Said Diamonds - Well Said - George Napolitano Jr. - Matias Ruiz - 10/1 9. Pure Country - Somebeachsomewhere - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter - 5/2 Ken Weingartner

WILKES-BARRE PA -- This Saturday evening, the $2,279,500 Super Stakes Saturday card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono should go a long way towards the "pecking order" in the three major groups of harness racing three-year-olds featured in the main events: the Battle of the Brandywine for colt pacers, the Colonial for colt trotters, and the Valley Forge for filly pacers. The format of these stakes calls for the top moneywinners to gathered together in the "marquee event" for their divisions, with the group with the next-highest bankrolls to meet in a "Consolation I" event and, for the colts, then on down to a "Consolation II" event. The fillies did not have enough entrants to have a full field at a Consolation II level, so they will have two events, the $350,000 Valley Forge Pace as race 11 and the $150,000 Valley Forge Consolation I as race 7. Both gaits of colts will have three events: the $500,000 Colonial Trot as race 12, the $200,000 Consolation I in race 8 and the $100,000 Consolation II in race 4; working on the same purse structure as the Colonial events, the Battle of the Brandywine will be the 13th of 14 races at The Downs on Saturday, with its Consolation I as race 9 and its Consolation II as a race 5. Here's a look at the competition in each of these top sophomore stakes, followed by a preview of the three $50,000 Invitationals interspersed throughout the blockbuster Saturday card. BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE (3PC; stakes record 1:47.4, Sunshine Beach, 2013, Pocono) A "Big Three" of horses generally thought at the head of this class has emerged over the last two months, and they will all be meeting at "The Battle" on Saturday, the first time they have gone head-to-head-to-head since the final of The North America Cup Final at Mohawk on June 18. The winner that night in Ontario was Betting Line, a son of Bettor's Delight who is trained by Casie Coleman for the partnership of West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. Since the NA Cup win, a 1:47.4 triumph which still stands as the fastest clocking of the year by a 3YO, Betting Line has tacked on four victories to bring his current skein to eight: three Ontario Sire Stakes Gold events, and then a first venturing across the U.S. border last week in the Milstein Memorial at Northfield, where the colt overcame an off track and the briefest of skips in stride near the ¾ to be a clear winner. Betting Line drew post one in the nine-horse Battle field on Saturday, with hot-driving Hall of Famer David Miller again scheduled to be in the colt's sulky. Another member of the "Ohio Miller clan," Brett Miller, is set to drive Racing Hill, a son of Roll With Joe who is trained by Tony Alagna for owner Tom Hill. Racing Hill last competed on July 30 at The Meadows in the Adios Final, where he went a race that will be long-remembered, especially by Pennsylvanians: parked most of the way to the half over "sloppy" going in 52.1, believed to be the fastest half-mile clocking ever posted on a 5/8-mile track, Racing Hill showed his courage by drawing away from his opposition despite his strength-sapping opening half. Racing Hill was second in the North America Cup Final, beaten only a length despite having to make two moves, and took the Hempt Final right at Pocono, so he certainly figures to be highly-competitive Saturday. The third member of "The Big Three" is Control The Moment, a son of Well Said trained by Brad Maxwell for the "hometown" (Philadelphia's only 100 miles away) Control The Moment Stable. This colt has had hard luck at post draws on several occasions -- he was third in the North America Cup Final from post nine and then a parked-the-mile fourth in the Hempt Final from post eight - but he then beat Racing Hill by a nose in the Meadowlands Pace Final, and his last race was a win in the Cane Pace at The Meadowlands. Unfortunately, his penchant for poor luck at post draw time returned for the "Battle," as he will start "behind the eight ball" for driver Brian Sears. Last year's two-year-old champion Boston Red Rocks is in the Battle field, as is Check Six, the Pennsylvania Classic Final winner at Pocono, third in the Meadowlands Pace Final and second in the Adios Final after arguing viciously with Racing Hill early. The entire field (post, horse, driver, trainer): 1, Betting Line, David Miller, Casie Coleman; 2, Boston Red Rocks, Tim Tetrick, Steve Elliott; 3, Racing Hill, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna; 4, Another Daily Copy, Corey Callahan, Nicholas Devita; 5, Check Six, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6, Western Fame, Mark MacDonald, Jimmy Takter; 7, JK Will Power, David Miller also listed, Ron Burke; 8, Control The Moment, Brian Sears, Brad Maxwell; 9, Big Top Hanover, Gingras also named, Ron Burke. COLONIAL (3TC; stakes record 1:52.1, Googoo Gaagaa, 2012, Philly) The two horses separated by a nose at the wire in the Hambletonian Final - Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank - will draw much of the attention, will several other top contenders appearing ready to step up if those two do not bring their "A" game. Marion Marauder got the nod on Hambletonian Day for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Paula Wellwood, and owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, taking both his elimination and the final to run his current winning streak to five. The son of Muscle Hill, known for his devastating late kick, drew post two in Saturday's field of nine, but does have one unknown fact about him: he has never raced on a track size below the 7/8-milers on his home circuit of Mohawk/Woodbine. Southwind Frank, last year's two-year-old champion and the winner of the Beal Final at Pocono earlier this year, will begin from post six for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Ron Burke, and Southwind Frank Partners. Another son of Muscle Hill, Southwind Frank won 11 of 12 races at two, and this year he has five wins and three seconds in 8 starts - with the margins of defeat a nose, a neck, and a half-length. This consistency, along with his arsenal of available tactics, should again make him a difficult customer in the Colonial. But by no means do the major players stop there. There's Bar Hopping, who won his Hambo elim and actually was the favorite in the final, where he was beaten less than two lengths; Dayson, like Southwind Frank a Ron Burke trainee, a 14-time winner over two years who has never lost when he stayed flat; and Sutton, who posted the fastest time in this division in 2016, 1:51.2, in a qualifier, and who was third, just a neck off, in the Hambo Final. The entire field (post, horse, driver, trainer): 1, Dayson, David Miller, Ron Burke; 2, Marion Marauder, Scott Zeron, Paula Wellwood; 3, Milligan's School, David Miller also listed, Julie Miller (she and husband Andy are from the Illinois Millers, not the Ohio Millers); 4, Hititoutofthepark, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen; 5, Love Matters, Yannick Gingras listed, Jimmy Takter; 6, Southwind Frank, Gingras also listed and likely to drive, Ron Burke; 7, Sutton, Andy Miller, Julie Miller; 8, Bar Hopping, Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter; 9, Waitlifter K, Matt Kakaley, Andrew Harris. (An interesting sidelight to the Colonial: in the "big race" and consolations, there are a total of nine entrants, including Hititoutofthepark and Love Matters, who are scheduled to compete Tuesday afternoon in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake at The Meadows.) VALLEY FORGE (3PF; stakes record 1:48.4, I Luv The Nitelife, 2013, Pocono) After a slowish start to her 2016 season - anything would seem "slowish" after you go ten for ten as a two-year-old and are voted national champion - the Somebeachsomewhere filly Pure Country roared back to top form with five straight wins, including the Fan Hanover Final and Lynch Final, against her division's best. Trainer Jimmy Takter then tried her twice against "the boys," and she did quite nicely: a fourth in the Cane Pace, nosed out of third, and then a second to Betting Hill in the Milstein. Welcome back to the filly ranks, Pure Country! But here's the catch - you drew the extreme outside in the nine-horse field. However, the Diamond Creek Racing-owned filly has faced - and overcome - adversity many times in the past, and Brett Miller will be in charge of finding a way to get her to the winners circle on Saturday. Trying their best to stand in her way will be the likes of Blue Moon Stride and I Said Diamonds, second to Pure Country in the Lynch Final and Miss Pennsylvania Final, respectively, at Pocono; Darlinonthebeach, a two-time winner against Pure Country (the only horses who can make that statement); and the "new kid on the block," Kiss Me Onthebeach, who had never been better than third in a stake during 17 career starts prior to racing in a PA Sire Stakes at Pocono last Saturday - where she proceeded to win in 1:48.3, a divisional world record, knocking a tick off the mark set by I Luv The Nitelife in winning this race in 2013. The entire field (post, horse, driver, trainer): 1, Call Me Queen Be, Scott Zeron, Ross Croghan; 2, Lindwood Beachgirl, Yannick Gingras, Mark Steacy; 3, Kiss Me Onthebeach, John Campbell, Chris Ryder; 4, JK Fannie, Corey Callahan, Nancy Johansson; 5, Shezarealdeal, Marcus Miller (an Illinois Miller), Ross Croghan; 6, Darlinonthebeach, David Miller, Nancy Johansson; 7, Blue Moon Stride, Andrew McCarthy, Mark Harder; 8, I Said Diamonds, George Napolitano Jr., Matias Ruiz; 9, Pure Country, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter. THE INVITATIONALS The $50,000 Hanover Shoe Farms Mares Invitational Pace is first up in race 3, with Divine Caroline, last year's 3PF champion, squaring off against Anndrovette, four-time divisional champion, and Katie Said, who came from eleventh at the stretch call to finish third in the Lady Liberty at The Meadowlands in her last start. One could make a logical case for many of the starters in this field, which collectively has won over $8 million. The $50,000 Sebastian K Invitational Trot, named of course after the great horse who went the fastest trotting mile ever, 1:49, right here at Pocono, has attracted a talented group who also hs earned in excess of $8 million collectively, and has a sub-1:50 trot in JL Cruze, who was divisional champion last year. Shake It Cerry, the mare who was 2014's Trotter of the Year, is in sharpening form, but the one to beat in race 6 may be Obrigado, not off the board in 10 starts this year against the division's best, with four wins and $435,430 to his name in 2016. The $50,000 Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association Invitational Pace, slotted just before the "big three races" in race 10, features the likes of Luck Be Withyou, 2013 Breeders Crown Final winner and 2015 Franklin Final winner over the track; Always At My Place, who went a world record 1:47.2 mile in this very race one year ago; and Mel Mara, fastest of all of this field this year when winning in 1:47, just a tick off the all-time race record. First post for Saturday's superstar card at The Downs is set for 6:30 p.m. A release with driver changes and morning lines will be distributed tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon. In addition, former defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers Joe Greene will be on hand for autographs and photos from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. in the Racing Lobby. This is a wristband-only event, and wristbands will be distributed at 1:00p.m., one per fan, while supplies last. Only authorized photos will be signed and will be distributed at the signing. Fans are encouraged to get here early, with lots of great benches and tables available on the apron, and tables on the patio. As always, admission and parking is free. In addition, the trackside bars will be selling ice cold beverages, and there will be several food trucks to satisfy even the hungriest fan! Post Time is set for 6:30p.m. PHHA / Pocono

Delaware-connected horses finished 1-2-3 in last week's top event, the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at the harness racing meeting at Pocono Downs. With half of a field of eight top three-year-old pacers either owned or trained by Delaware horsemen, The Wiggle It Jiggleit victory highlighted an outstanding 50th anniversary of harness racing at Pocono Downs, located near Wilkes Barre, Pa. Wiggle It Jiggleit, trained by Clyde Francis, and Wakazashi Hanover, conditioned by JoAnn King, finished first and second in the 1:48 victory. Both pacers train at Harrington Raceway. The third-place finisher was Dude's The Man, driven by Dover Downs perennial leading driver, Corey Callahan for owners M&L Of Delaware and Victoria Dickenson of Greenville, near Wilmington. Yankee Bounty, co-owned by Harrington horseman Frank Chick was sixth. George Teague Inc. owns Wiggle It Jiggleit driven by 24-year-old Montrell Teague has now won nearly $1.5 million in purses and is expected to return to first in harness racing's Top 10 rating. Remember Me VK, a Delaware-sired pacer and former Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund champion, owned by Sharon Wyatt and Robin West and Ron Benton of Lincoln, Del., driven by Montrell Teague for trainer Bob Wyatt, was timed faster than 1:50 in his mile but finished out-of-the-money in a $200,000 Battle of the Brandywine consolation. Corey Callahan steered Bettor Be Steppin, bred by Seaford, Del. auto magnate Fred Hertrich, and trained by University of Delaware-grad, Joe Holloway, to victory in the $350,000 Valley Forge for three-year-old filly pacers. Another local favorite the remarkable trotter JL Cruze, co-owned by longtime Dover Downs horseman Ken Wood, saw his long win streak come to an end in the $100,000 Sebastian K Trot, finishing fourth, his first start in more than a month. Smyrna horseman Daryl Bier's two-horse stable, raced well in their starts. trotter, Wind Of The North and pacer Bandolito, the Dover Downs Horse of the Meet last season, raced gamely and finished third in the $50,000 USTA Invitational pace while trotter Wind Of The North was fifth in the $100,000 Sebastian K Trot. On Sunday at Vernon Downs, stakes seasoned Table Talk, owned by Frank Deliberti's The Wiz Kids Stable of Dover, finished fifth in the $194,000 Artiscape mares pacers. Marv Bachrad

Wiggle It Jiggleit made it look easy, capturing Saturday's (Aug. 22) $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old male pacers by three lengths over Wakizashi Hanover in 1:48 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Dude's The Man finished third and Artspeak was fourth. The winning time equaled Lucan Hanover's world record for a 3-year-old gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 16 of 18 races this year and pushed his seasonal earnings to $1.43 million. His previous stakes victories this season included the Hempt Memorial, also at Pocono, Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial. For his career, the son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover has won 17 of 19 starts. "You're going to see a smile on my face for the rest of the year with this horse," said Montrell Teague, who drove Wiggle It Jiggleit for his father, owner George Teague Jr., and trainer Clyde Francis. "He's got 19 races under his belt and I can't pick one that makes me more happy." "He never has thrown out a bad mile." "You've got to be happy with that." Artspeak, who started from post eight, went to the early lead with Wakizashi Hanover, who started from post seven, following behind. After reaching the quarter in :25.4, Teague began to move Wiggle It Jiggleit from fourth place to the front. When Artspeak hit the half in :54.4, Wiggle It Jiggleit was 1-1/4 lengths behind, but gaining ground with every stride. By the time he reached three-quarters in 1:21.1, Wiggle It Jiggleit was in front by a length. "I looked over (at the start) and saw a couple of them leaving on the outside; I wasn't right up on them, so I wasn't going to try to retake," Teague said. "He's good from off the pace too, so I try to do that once in a while too. "I was happy. We weren't going enormous fractions. Once I got beside the other horse, he just swelled up. When he looked him in the eye he was determined to go by." George Teague Jr. was unconcerned about Wiggle It Jiggleit's early position and need to make a first-over charge to the front. "I liked his spot there," he said. "We always trained him off the pace and he's got a great set of lungs. If he's on his game, I don't care where he's at. He could be parked the whole mile and I think he could go a great mile from even out there." Wiggle It Jiggleit's schedule includes the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 24 at the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio. His connections could supplement to the Messenger Pace (eliminations Aug. 29 and final Sept. 5) at Yonkers, but Teague Jr. said he was not inclined to go to that race. "But I reserve the right to change my mind," he said with a laugh. Battle Consolations The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Blood Brother swung wide in the stretch after a cutthroat early duel involving four horses, sprinting clear late to take the $200,000 Consolation I in a personal best of 1:50. David Miller raced the normally-forwardly-inclined sophomore from behind tonight, and the change to second-over tactics worked perfectly as Blood Brother got the decision by a length for trainer Jimmy Takter (yes, this was a pace) and owners Diamond Creek Racing and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Rollin Ring Afire, left uncovered as Rufo ducked into the pocket at the three-quarters, closed strongly to defeat that rival, who had gotten to the lead using the Pocono Pike passing lane, by a half-length while reducing his mark to 1:50.1 in Consolation II. The son of Rocknroll Hanover gave driver Tim Tetrick half of the first four races on the card while winning for trainer Charlie Norris and owners Leonard Buckner and Rebecca Ewing. (By the way, the phrase "rollin ring afire" does not appear in the famous song by Johnny and June Carter Cash -- but the check for the winner's share of the $100,000 purse will cash very nicely, thank you.) Ken Weingartner

Half of a field of eight top three-year-old pacers have strong Delaware connections in the top purse event of the week, the $100,000 Battle of the Brandywine that shifts to Northeast Pennsylvania on Saturday night where The Downs at Mohegan Sun is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the harness racing meeting at Pocono Downs, near Wilkes Barre. Two of the starters - Wiggle It Jiggleit and Wakazashi Hanover are both trained at Harrington Raceway by Clyde Francis and JoAnn King, respectively. The others are Yankee Bounty is co-owned by Harrington entrepreneur Frank Chick and Dude's The Man is owned by M&L Of Delaware and Victoria Dickenson of Greenville, near Wilmington. As last week, in the $400,000-added Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park, near Cleveland, Wiggle It Jiggleit has drawn an inside post position while his major rival Wakizashi Hanover has drawn an outside post, number 7. With that win, George Teague Inc.'s Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague moved to more than $1.1 million in purse earnings iggle It Jiggleit, will start from post 1 alongside Adios Pace winner Dude's The Man, driven by Corey Callahan, Dover Downs reigning driving champion. Meanwhile Yankee Bounty, leaves from post 6. Driver Callahan will be busy during the card. He also guides Bettor Be Steppin, bred by Seaford, Del. auto magnate Fred Hertrich, and conditioned by University of Delaware-grad, Joe Holloway, in the $350,000 Valley Forge for three-year-old filly pacers. They won Pocono's James Lynch Memorial earlier this summer Callahan will also pilot Suit And Tie, also bred by Fred Hertrich, in the $500,000 Colonial Trot meeting Pinkman, the recent $1.2-million Hambletonian champion. That victory propelled Pinkman to the top spot in the weekly top 10 poll, displacing Wiggle It Jiggleit, for first place. JL Cruze, co-owned by longtime Dover Downs horseman Ken Wood, ranked third in this week's top 10 poll, marks his first start in a month racing in the $100,000 Sebastian K Trot. Smyrna horseman Daryl Bier will send Wind Of The North against him. Bier also will start Bandolito, the Dover Downs Horse of the Meet, in the $50,000 USTA Invitational pace. Totally Rusty, a Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Champion, makes his first start since being sold by Wilmington breeder-owner Al "Rusty" Carter's Carter Racing Stable, in the $350,0009 Valley Forge three-year-old filly pace. Completing a giant week on Sunday, Frank Deliberti's The Wiz Kids Stable of Dover, runner-up earlier this month in the Lady Liberty Final at the Meadowlands, is a contender in the $194,000 Artiscape at Vernon Downs,in upstate New York. Also entered is Lady Shadow, bred and owned by Winbak Farm. Marv Bakchrad

The two top-rated horses in 2015 North American harness racing, the three-year-old geldings Pinkman and Wiggle It Jiggleit, will continue their battle for #1 status in the sport this Saturday night during the $2,435,000 Super Stakes Saturday card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, going in consecutive races – first Pinkman in the $500,000 Colonial Trot, and then Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine Pace.   The three three-year-old races, which include the $350,000 Valley Forge Pace for fillies, are filled according to 2015 moneywinnings –the nine having the highest seasonal bankrolls are gathered in the “main event” races, with the next nine in order in Consolation I, and the nine after that in Consolation II.   Another high-profile event Saturday is the $100,000 Sebastian K S Invitational Trot, a race which will double as a retirement ceremony for the trans-Atlantic champion who will be honored in special on-track ceremonies before he heads to stallion duties. Ironically, the likely favorite is the Sebastian K S is JL Cruze – the #3-ranked horse in North America, and the one who defeated “Sebastian” by a nose in his only 2015 outing before his retirement.   Here are profiles of the Big Three three-year-old events, followed by a look at the Sebastian K S Trot and other powerful races on the Saturday card:   COLONIAL TROT -- $500,000 main event race 11; $200,000 Consolation I race 7; $100,000 Consolation II race 3. Stakes record: 1:52.1, Googoo Gaagaa.   Pinkman, fresh off his two-heat, world recordsetting victory in The Hambletonian, was aided by the draw with post two in the field of nine. Yannick Gingras is listed to drive Pinkman, a son of Explosive Matter who has eight wins and one second in nine seasonal starts, with his mark the 1:51 world record for 3TG in the second heat of the Hambletonian, and his $1,170,965 in 2015 earnings raising his career total to $1,737,625. (By the way, his chief foe in the Hambletonian, the filly Mission Brief, will be racing in Pennsylvania some 27 hours earlier, heading the $174,000 Moni Maker Trot at The Meadows Friday night.)   Pinkman will be find some familiar faces on the track beside him Saturday, as five of the nine Colonial entrants are, like he, part of the trotting superstable of Jimmy Takter. The “other” quartet – Uncle Lasse (PP3, driver David Miller), The Bank (PP6, Takter listing himself), Canepa Hanover (PP8, John Campbell back in the sulky), and French Laundry (PP9, Brett Miller) – are not just “makeweight” entrants either, with combined seasonal earnings of $900,000 among them.   Crazy Wow (PP1, trainer Ron Burke, driver Tim Tetrick) and Wicker Hanover (post five, Noel Daley, Corey Callahan) seem to have the best chance to upset the Takter applecart. Crazy Wow was third in the Beal Final here in June, behind Pinkman and Uncle Lasse, while Wicker Hanover handed Pinkman his only defeat of the year, in the Beal eliminations.   BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE -- $500,000 main event race 12; $200,000 Consolation I race 8; $100,000 Consolation II race 4. Stakes record: 1:47.4, Sunshine Beach.   Wiggle It Jiggleit, an altered son of Mr Wiggles, has achieved slightly-higher earnings than Pinkman so far – $1,189,144, while winning 15 of 17 starts and showing speed, maneuverability, and courage. The winner of the Hempt Final here at Pocono early this season, Wiggle It Jiggleit will have driver Montrell Teague alert early, as he will be starting from the rail, and Teague’s job will be to get him to the front at some point without a terrific usage of resources, the fate which befell him in the recent Cane Pace, where he was involved in fractions of 25.4, 52,1, and 1:20.4 before tiring to fourth in the stretch.   The four horses who have finished ahead of Wiggle It Jiggleit in his lifetime (he raced only once at two, winning here) are all in the big Battle. Wazikashi Hanover (PP7, trainer Joanne Looney-King, driver Tim Tetrick, #7 in the North American polls) caught “Wiggle” in the stretch drive of the North America Cup at Mohawk, while the 1-2-3 Cane finishers are also here – in order of that race’s finish, Dealt A Winner (PP9, Mark Silva, David Miller), Artspeak (PP8, Tony Alagna, Scott Zeron), and Dude’s The Man (PP2, Jessica Okusko, Corey Callahan). The “Dude” also won the last big-money race for this division in Pennsylvania, the Adios at The Meadows on August 1.   VALLEY FORGE PACE -- $350,000 main event race 10; $150,000 Consolation I race 7; $75.000                Consolation II race 3. Stakes record: 1:48.4, I Luv The Nitelife.   A division desperately looking for a leader after a series of different winners in most of this year’s major events to date may find one emerge from the Valley Forge Pace.   The biggest 2015 bankroll in the collection of nine misses belongs to Bettor Be Steppin, a daughter of Bettor’s Delight who will begin from post four for trainer Joe Holloway and driver Corey Callahan. Over half of the seasonal winnings of Bettor Be Steppin came right at Pocono, when she won a multi-horse close finish to capture the $300,000 Lynch Final, taking her mark of 1:50.4.   In finding other ways to measure this evenly-matched group, the biggest career bankroll belongs to Sassa Hanover ($634,440, PP7, trainer Ron Burke, driver Yannick Gingras), while the fastest speed mark is held by Moonlit Dance (1:49 winning the recent Mistletoe Shalee Final, PP6, trainer Tony OSullivan, driver David Miller). Both of those fillies show solid credentials in their achievements and their connections, and are likely to contribute to this fairly-wide-open affair.   OTHER BIG RACES SATURDAY   The $100,000 Sebastian K S Trot (race 5) marks the return to the races after a five-week break of the Cinderella story JL Cruze, who started to build a following while winning the Weiss Series here in the spring, and has gone on to win 16 of 18 starts and over $600,000 for trainer Eric Ell, with John Campbell returning from a recent minor injury to guide “JL” from the middle of the nine-horse field. Along the way, JL Cruze has become the third-fastest trotter of all-time, behind only Sebastian K S and Enough Talk (1:49.3 at Colonial) when he won the Graduate Series Final in 1:49.4.   The card kicks off with a bang, as national stars Cinamony, Krispy Apple, Ooh Bad Shark, and Yagonnakissmeornot collide in the $50,000 Hanover Shoe Farms Pace for mares.   The $50,000 U.S. Trotting Association Pace for free-for-allers may turn out to be the national coming-out party for the unheralded Always At My Place (PP2, trainer Ron Burke, driver Matt Kalaley), who goes for his sixth win in a row after missing the world record for 4PG by a tick here last Saturday, stopping the timer in 1:48.1 while pacing his own back half uncovered in 53.1 and winning under a hold.   The 14-race card at Pocono Saturday will start an hour earlier than usual, with first post listed at 5:30 p.m. The racing is part of a weeklong celebration of Pocono’s 50th Anniversary, with fireworks after the races and an appearance by Pete Rose during the day’s activities.           Jerry Connors

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

Freehold, NJ --- The Captain is still the king, but he faces another tough challenge in Saturday’s Tattersalls Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers at Lexington’s Red Mile. Fourteen horses entered the Tattersalls and the field was divided into two seven-horse divisions. Captaintreacherous, the defending Pacer of the Year and sport’s top-ranked pacer this season, will compete in the first of the two $215,500 splits -- along with the only horse to beat The Captain this year, Sunshine Beach, and Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation. Captaintreacherous, Vegas Vacation and Sunshine Beach are harness racing’s three richest 3-year-old male pacers this season. Vegas Vacation drew post one while Captaintreacherous got five and Sunshine Beach got seven. “They sure stacked them up,” said Mark Steacy, who trains Sunshine Beach. “It would have been nice to stay away from them until the Breeders Crown, but you can’t do anything about that. Plus we drew the outside post; I guess (driver) John Campbell will just have to work his magic.” Sunshine Beach handed Captaintreacherous his only loss in 10 races this year when he beat The Captain by a nose in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 17 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The time of 1:47.4 equaled the world record for 3-year-old pacers on a five-eighths-mile track. “Yeah, but he’s got about six (wins) up on us,” Steacy said with a laugh. “I’d like nothing more than to beat him again, but we want to win every time we race no matter what horses are in there.” Captaintreacherous won his three previous encounters with Sunshine Beach this year, including in the $980,000 North America Cup and $635,750 Meadowlands Pace. He also has four wins over Vegas Vacation, including the $360,211 Cane Pace. “It shapes up like a great race,” Captaintreacherous’ trainer Tony Alagna said. “I don’t look at it like we have to beat this horse or that horse; I just want my horse to go out there and race to his capabilities and he never lets me down.” Vegas Vacation, whose last three setbacks to Captaintreacherous have come by a combined total of less than a length, comes to the Tattersalls off his straight heats victory in the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. “I’m still the underdog,” Vegas Vacation’s trainer Casie Coleman said. “(Captaintreacherous) is still the king of the castle, but we’re going to try to take him off the throne. We’re going to give it our best shot.” Captaintreacherous and Sunshine Beach, who both skipped the Little Brown Jug, won Bluegrass Stakes divisions last weekend at The Red Mile. Captaintreacherous, who has earned $1.50 million this season, won by 1-1/2 lengths over Beach Memories in a career-best 1:47.1 with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. “I was very happy with how he raced last week,” said Alagna, who trains the colt for the ownership group Captaintreacherous Racing. “And he’s trained back really well.” Sunshine Beach, who has won six of 13 races and $543,135 this season for owners Hudson Standardbred Stable, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand, captured his Bluegrass division by a neck over Resistance Futile in 1:48.2. It was his first start since a second-place finish to Vegas Vacation in a division of the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 7. “For a horse that hadn’t raced in three weeks, I thought he was very courageous,” Steacy said. “Resistance Futile is a nice horse with a good kick and he was able to fight him off. I hope he’s a little bit better this week.” Vegas Vacation has won nine of 15 races this year and earned $806,287 for owners West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders. He has won three in a row and five of his last six starts. “(Captaintreacherous) won in (1):47.1 last week, so he’s obviously awesome,” Coleman said. “But I think my guy is awesome right now too.” The second Tattersalls division includes Adios winner Sunfire Blue Chip, New York Sire Stakes champion Fool Me Once, and North America Cup runner-up Twilight Bonfire. Saturday’s card also features two divisions of the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and four divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. First race post time is 1 p.m. by Ken Weingartner for HRC

Saturday's Grand Circuit card at The Red Mile features the glamor boy division and "The Captain" is in to go. On a night when two and three year old pacing colt stakes dominate the ten race card for total purses in excess of $650,000, the weather man is predicting favorable conditions for a speed filled program.   Captaintreacherous will face a solid group of six in the $95,500 Bluegress Stakes event titled for his sire Somebeachsomewhere. He will begin from post five in the third race with Tim Tetrick aboard the pride of Captaintreacherous Racing for trainer Tony Algna .   "The Captain" had a few weeks away from racing after his Cane Pace win, then had a good tightener last week at Hoosier Park. The winner of the 2013 Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup and Max Hempt Memorial, he is harness racing's top seasonal money earner with just a hair less that $1.5 million and a career total of $2.374 million in the bank.    A second division of the Somebeachsomewhere goes for $96,500 in the eighth race with Little Brown Jug heat winner Resistance Futile facing Battle of the Brandywine champ Sunshine Beach.   Resistance Futile has long displayed high speed and seemed to put it all together winning the fastest "Jug' heat in 1:49.3, only eliminate himself from contention in the second heat by going off stride while gaining ground on the final bend. Corey Callahan retains the drive for trainer Blair Burgess, who owns the Real Desire colt in partnership with JH Walker and Deo Volente Farms.   Sunshine Beach is the only horse to finish in front of Captaintreacherous this season when he hung a narrow defeat on that one in their memorable world record  "Battle" of the Brandywine at Pocono Downs. This Somebeachsomewhere colt has been raced sparingly by trainer Mark Steacy and comes into this race three weeks stale after skipping the "Jug" due to a minor health issue. John Campbell gets the drive for owners Hudson Standardbred Stables, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand.   Supporting the sophomore stars are four divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes for two year old pacing colts where the likes of recent Delaware star On Golden Ponder, NJSS champ and Metro runner-up Western Vintage and PASS stars Limelight Beach and Sometimes Said will try their luck over the red clay carpet.   Three year old filly pacers will go in a single eleven filly division of the Bluegrass for $122,000 in the ninth race. The good Bettor's Delight filly Shebestingin is the likely choice in this one off a strong season that has seen her pick up over $300,000 on the strength of seven wins for Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L & L Devisser. Joe Holloway trains and David Miller will drive the speedy lass.   Saturday post time is 7pm, the last of the night cards for 2013. Sunday racing has a 1pm post time and that will continue through the balance of the meet. Find more at   by Nick Salvi for the Grand Circuit

With only about a month until the Breeders Crown on Saturday, October 19 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, it’s as good a time as any to start looking ahead to how some of the top competitors shape up. Because of the increase in the number of stakes races at Pocono, many more of the North America’s best horses have already traveled over the oval this season than at the same point three years ago when the Breeders Crown was last held at MSPD. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the Top 10 horses in the most recent Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown and see just how well they’ve done this year at Pocono. We’ll count them down in descending order, just like this really good Bob Dylan book I heard about lately. 10. SEVRUGA: This 5-year-old trotting gelding from the Julie Miller barn has won nine of 19 starts this year with earnings of close to $500,000. His first start at Pocono this season was a memorable one, as he ripped off a victory in an Invitational trot in 1:50:3, a new-world record for aged geldings on a 5/8-mile oval. He was upset, however, by Wishing Stone in his last Pocono appearance on Super Stakes Saturday. 9. MAVEN: This 4-year-old trotting gelding is one of the few in the Top 10 who has yet to make an appearance at Pocono in 2013, although fans with longer memories may remember him as a solid performer in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at the track as a two and three-year-old. Maven’s biggest success this season has been in Canada, where he in unbeaten in four races for trainer Jonas Czernyson. 8. PET ROCK: A four-year-old pacing stallion from the Virgil Morgan Jr. barn, Pet Rock has had an outstanding season once again in 2013 with earnings north of $600,000. But his story at Pocono has been one of near misses. He finished 3rd and 2nd in the Ben Franklin pace elimination and final in June, then came up just short behind A Rocknroll Dance on Super Stakes Saturday. 7. VEGAS VACATION: Most people have conceded the 3-year-old pacing division to Captaintreacherous, but this gelding trained by Casie Coleman pushed the super-horse to the limit in their last meeting on the Pocono oval, finishing just a nose behind him in the slop in the Max Hempt. He’s been building confidence since then, scoring big-money victories at Tioga and Mohawk. 6. A ROCKNROLL DANCE: Trainer Jim Mulinix hopes the old phrase “horses for courses” applies come Breeders Crown time, because the last two starts this 4-year-old pacer had at Pocono were memorable. In 2012, he turned around a floundering season with a win in the Max Hempt Memorial. His lone start here this season was a win on Super Stakes Saturday in 1:47:4, matching the fastest ever at the track. 5. ROYALTY FOR LIFE: As the Hambletonian winner as well as a victor in several other big stakes races, 2013 has been a great year for Royalty For Life, trained by George Ducharme. Except at Pocono. Back in June, the 3-year-old trotter broke stride in both the elimination and the final for the Earl Beal Jr. In August, he got caught up in a speed duel and faded to 7th as the favorite in the Colonial. 4. FATHER PATRICK: The most celebrated 2-year-old in the country, Father Patrick made his trotting debut at Pocono in July in Pennsylvania All Stars action with a seven-length victory. He returned a few weeks later for another easy score in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. With seven wins in eight races so far for trainer Jimmy Takter, you get the feeling he’ll be tough no matter what track hosts him. 3. I LUV THE NITELIFE: With just one loss in 11 races this season, the pride of the Chris Ryder barn has been without a doubt the class of the 3-year-old pacing fillies division. She has been especially fine at Pocono, winning all three of her races here this year. Included among those were big stakes wins in the James Lynch and the Valley Forge, the latter coming in a world record for her age group of 1:48:4. 2. CAPTAINTREACHEROUS: It took a world-record performance from Sunshine Beach to spoil his unbeaten season at Pocono in the Battle of the Brandywine, and even then it was only in a photo finish. Before that, the Captain overcame a treacherous trip, if you will, to win the Hempt in June. Will the 3-year-old  pacing colt from the Tony Alagna barn step up on Breeders Crown day? Time will tell. 1. BEE A MAGICIAN: The number-one horse in the poll is a relative unknown to Pocono fans, since she’s the only one on this list to have never raced at MSPD. The 3-year-old trotting filly from the Nifty Norman barn has done most of her damage in Canada, but she did stop at The Meadowlands this year to win the Hambletonian Oaks as part of her record of twelve wins in twelve races in 2013. Those are just some of the horses to watch come October at Pocono. With all of that firepower on display, it should be an amazing night. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia for Pocono Downs  

August 18, 2013 – For the second week in a row, Garnet Barnsdale outperformed the rest of the handicappers in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs.  With this week’s profit of $201.90, Barnsdale moves from ninth place to seventh.  In the overall contest, Richard Scott’s $18.50 profit allows him to remain in first place with a net profit of $766.09, increasing his lead to $738.64.     Barnsdale can attribute his success this week to two races Saturday evening with his winning $25 Exacta box in the Battle of the Brandywine at Pocono and $10 Trifecta partial wheel in the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial at Saratoga which took him from being down $20 to up over $200. The contest standings are:     Standings as of August 17, 2013   Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott $18.50 $766.09   1st 4 2nd Ann Stepien ($120.00) $27.45 ($738.64) 2nd 0 3rd Rusty Nash ($110.55) ($60.82) ($826.91) 3rd 1 4th Dennis O'Hara ($150.90) ($364.55) ($1,130.64) 4th 2 5th Earl Paulson ($133.50) ($489.35) ($1,255.44) 5th 2 6th Mark McKelvie ($211.80) ($834.04) ($1,600.13) 6th 3 7th Garnet Barnsdale $201.90 ($1,140.10) ($1,906.19) 9th 6 8th Gordon Waterstone ($95.50) ($1,346.10) ($2,112.19) 8th 4 9th Ray Garnett ($448.20) ($1,562.35) ($2,328.44) 7th 1 10th Sally Hinckley ($171.70) ($1,778.35) ($2,544.44) 10th 0   Ten grace days permitted.  After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits  Garnet Barnsdale - $8 Exacta partial wheel ($16 total) in 2nd division of the Harriman Cup paid $154.40, $25 Exacta partial wheel ($50) in Battle of the Brandywine paid $352.50, $10 Trifecta partial wheel ($30) in Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial paid $104.00; Sally Hinckley - $1 Trifecta partial wheel ($12) in 2nd division of the Harriman Cup paid $79.30, $10 WPS in Gold Cup and Saucer ($30) paid $90.50; Rusty Nash - $15 Win, Place ($30) in 2nd division of Nassagaweya paid $84.75;Dennis O’Hara - $1 Trifecta key in1st division of Eternal Camnation paid $49.15; Earl Paulson - $15 Exacta box ($30) in 1st division of the Harriman Cup paid $189.00, $15 Exacta box ($30) in 4th division of the Harriman Cup paid $108.00; Anne Stepien - $2 Trifecta box ($12) in 1st division of Eternal Camnation paid $98.30; Gordon Waterstone - $30 Win ($30) in 1st division of Eternal Camnation paid $103.50.   Contest Schedule This Week Wednesday, August 21 – Hoosier Park - $216,000(Div.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management (2yo filly trot) Sunday, August 25, 2013 – Vernon Downs - $180,000Est. Zweig Filly Trot (3yo Fillies), $400,000Est. Zweig Memorial (3yo Open trot) by Allan Schott  .  

Mach It So will try and make it so in Saturday's $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old pacers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The gelding enters the race having won five straight -- all in Ontario -- and will start from post No. 3 in the Battle of the Brandywine with Yannick Gingras driving. In his 14th career start, Mach It So will be going against the most talented field he has ever faced, including Captaintreacherous, who is the No. 1 horse in the sport's Top 10 poll. But if one thing can be said about Mach It So, it's that he doesn't lack for confidence. "I've owned a lot of horses in my day," owner Jeffrey Bamond said. "Some have more talent but don't have heart. He's got a big heart and he has desire. I go back to the quote that (trainer) Nifty (Norman) made about him. He's not the biggest or strongest, but he thinks he's King Kong. He's probably average size but he thinks he's King Kong. "The good part about it is, to me horses are athletes. And any type of athlete has to have confidence. When he gets on the racetrack he's a little full of himself." At this point, he should be. Mach It So has won nine of his 13 starts and earned a total of $286,988. This year he has won seven of nine and earned $252,528. Since finishing eighth in the $275,000 Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers on June 1 -- which marked his toughest competition up to that point -- Mach It So has won five straight, including the $145,500 Ontario Sire Stakes Mid-Summer Challenge last weekend and the $112,375 Canadian Breeders Championship on July 20. Bamond noted that the poor finish in the Rooney didn't necessarily translate into a poor showing. "He just didn't handle the track well that night," the owner said. "He only got beat by (5-3/4) lengths, even though he finished eighth. "It wasn't his night. When you finish eighth, in my mind, and only get beat five lengths, it's not the worst thing. Nobody wants to finish last but you can't win every time. If you could, it would be great." Bamond and his son, Jeffrey Jr., purchased the half-brother to 2009 Woodrow Wilson Pace winner Windfall Blue Chip in a private sale last September. The son of Mach Three-Beach Dancer was bred by Enviro Stables and qualified twice for trainer Bob Bloodgood at Vernon Downs prior to the sale. "In watching the replays we liked the way he went and the way he finished," Bamond said. "As a young horse you don't look for immediate speed, but the way he finishes the race. "The horse was offered to us and I decided to buy him. So far it's worked out very well." Bamond is the first to admit that a lot of Mach It So's early success was due to where he has raced, but still thinks his horse has the ability to thrive on the bigger stages as long as he keeps making progress. "He's raced exclusively up in Canada, against Ontario-sired horses," noted the Brick, N.J. resident. "He hasn't seen the competition he'll face this weekend. The Ontario circuit is a great circuit to race on. This is a little step up but he has the ability and Nifty has done a great job up in Canada with him." Scott Zeron has driven Mach It So during his win streak, but is committed to races at Mohawk this weekend. Tim Tetrick often drives Bamond's horses, but for some reason wants to stick with undefeated Captaintreacherous this weekend. "Yeah," Bamond said with a laugh. "That was a tough decision for Tim." Thus, he will be driven by Gingras, who drove Mach It So in a qualifier at the Meadowlands in April. "Yannick did comment after the qualifier that he thought the horse had some potential," Bamond said. "He had been very lightly raced at that point, he only had three or four lifetime starts but Yannick liked him in the qualifier." Mach It So, who has been trained by Norman and P.J. Fraley during the campaign, is pretty much the unknown entity at the Battle of the Brandywine and Bamond is anxious to see how he will fare against the step-up in competition. While he would like to finish in the money, the owner's biggest hope is that the horse handles himself accordingly and gives a strong performance. "In my mind, you can only gauge what type of horse you have if you race against the best," he said. "Obviously we'll be racing against the best. Not only with (Captaintreacherous) but every horse is there for a reason, because they accomplished something since the year started. "I'm just hoping he runs his best possible race. You're always looking to win. I hope he just accords himself well and we all come out of the race safe and healthy." Last year, the Mach It So team shut the horse down in September to give him time to mature, but the pacer showed enough to provide some optimism for this season. He is mellow and quiet in the stable, but switches gears on the track. "We had high hopes because we knew he had talent and we knew he had speed," Bamond said. "Scott Zeron made a comment last week that he always wants to go. Sometimes Scotty has to hold him back a little bit. He's a racehorse, he's racy." As for the future, Mach It So is eligible for the Little Brown Jug and several engagements back in Ontario. Bamond says the Battle of the Brandywine will not be the deciding factor in what the immediate future holds. "One race, good or bad, doesn't change things," Bamond said. "We're looking at a couple races to see how he comes out of them, and maybe point him to a few others. "As a 3-year-old with some talent, we're not looking to over-race him. He's had nine so far and we're only looking for 15 starts. If he continues to improve like this he should come back next year even stronger." And who knows how high a stronger King Kong could climb. Following is the field for the Battle of the Brandywine with listed drivers and trainers (and morning line odds): 1. Lonewolf Currier, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott (5-1); 2. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy (7-2); 3. Mach It So, Yannick Gingras, P.J. Fraley (4-1); 4. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna (5-2); 5. Wake Up Peter, Ron Pierce, Alagna (12-1); 6. Twilight Bonfire, David Miller, Danny Collins (15-1); 7. Beach Memories, Corey Callahan, Brian Brown (20-1); 8. Odds On Equuleus, Andy Miller, Robin Schadt (8-1); 9. Some Kinda Beach, Matt Kakaley, Erv Miller (6-1). by Ken Weingartner

Captaintreacherous returns to work Saturday night when he faces eight foes in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old pacers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Ranked No. 1 in harness racing's current Top 10 poll, Captaintreacherous is a perfect 6-for-6 this season with his victories including the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Max C. Hempt Memorial. He has not raced since capturing the Meadowlands Pace on July 13. Captaintreacherous prepped for the Battle of the Brandywine with a 1:50.1 qualifier win on Aug. 2 at the Meadowlands. He paced the final quarter-mile in :25.4 and won by 15-1/4 lengths with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. "He's really good," trainer Tony Alagna said. "I'm very happy with the way he qualified at the Meadowlands two weeks ago and he trained back good on Saturday here at Gaitway (Farm training center). I'm going to blow him out a couple easy trips (Wednesday) and he should be good to go." Captaintreacherous was named 2012 Pacer of the Year after winning eight of 10 races, including the million-dollar Metro Pace. He is one of only three horses to win the Metro, North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace, joining Presidential Ball and Rocknroll Hanover on the list. Owned by the Captaintreacherous Racing group, the "Captain" is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Battle of the Brandywine, where he starts from post four. In the Hempt Memorial, also held at Pocono Downs, Captaintreacherous started from post nine - the outermost post - and raced on the outside the entire mile, including three wide on both the first and last turns. The Battle of the Brandywine field also includes Meadowlands Pace runner-up Odds On Equuleus, who starts from post eight, and Meadowlands Pace third-place finisher Sunshine Beach, who begins from post two. Twilight Bonfire, who was second in the North America Cup, starts from post six. "Based on what he's accomplished against those other horses he's definitely the horse to beat all the time at this stage," Alagna said. "We're hoping we did the right thing by giving him a little layoff and freshening him up for the rest of the year. He put on about 75 pounds and he couldn't be any fresher, any sharper. "He really looks good condition wise. We're hoping that we did the right thing, and by the way he acts I believe we did." Captaintreacherous has won $1.12 million this year and $2.04 million for his career. Alagna said the horse's accomplishments thus far have taken off a lot of pressure for the remainder of the season. "At this point we feel like we've won the North America Cup, the Meadowlands Pace and the Hempt --- those are three huge accomplishments for a 3-year-old pacing colt," Alagna said. "If he can continue the rest of the year and rack up some more stakes wins that's what we're looking for as far as him being a stallion someday." Alagna considered sending Captaintreacherous into another qualifier last week, but decided against it after the colt's strong performance 12 days ago at the Meadowlands. "He got home in :25.4 that day and that's a big quarter for him because he's not normally a sprinter," Alagna said. "He's very sharp right now." Following is the field for the Battle of the Brandywine with listed drivers and trainers (and morning line odds): 1. Lonewolf Currier, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott (5-1); 2. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy (7-2); 3. Mach It So, Yannick Gingras, P.J. Fraley (4-1); 4. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna (5-2); 5. Wake Up Peter, Ron Pierce, Alagna (12-1); 6. Twilight Bonfire, David Miller, Danny Collins (15-1); 7. Beach Memories, Corey Callahan, Brian Brown (20-1); 8. Odds On Equuleus, Andy Miller, Robin Schadt (8-1); 9. Some Kinda Beach, Matt Kakaley, Erv Miller (6-1). by Ken Weingartner  

A Rocknroll Dance returned from a three-week harness racing layoff with a stakes - and track-record 1:48.1 win in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old pacers Sunday (Aug. 18) at Harrah's Philadelphia. Pet Rock was second by 1-1/2 lengths. Sweet Lou finished third.

If the recent past is an indication, there will be no lack of speed in Sunday's $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia.

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