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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The harness racing driving brothers Anthony and George Napolitano Jr. certainly held the hot hands during Wednesday morning's qualifying session at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and each teamed well with a specific trainer - Anthony guided four Jose Godinez trainees to victory, with four horses conditioned by Gilbert Garcia-Herrera brought home first by George. Two of the "ANap"-Godinez horses took the primary spotlight, as they defeated free-for-all horses Western Fame and Springsteen, both members of Team Allard. Western Fame, the 2019 Levy Final winner and a winner in morning action here last week, had to settle for second, 3¾ lengths behind the two-moving Havefaithinme N, who tripped the timer in a solid 1:52, last half :55, for the ownership of Blindswitch Racing Stable, Gary Axelrod, Good Friends Racing Stable, and Santo Farina. And if the nine-year-old Havefaithinme N's name rings a certain bell, that's because it should - the altered son of Bettor's Delight is a career winner of $1.3 million, and in 2016 he paced what was at the time the fastest mile in Australasian harness history, 1:47 5/10, in winning the Miracle Mile over the Menangle Park 7/8-mile oval. Springsteen, now five and the winner of the 2018 Hempt Memorial right here at Pocono, closed determinedly from far back, but his :55.1-:27.1 bid home came up a head shy of the American Ideal mare Sally Fletcher A, who also made two moves controlling the tempo in a 1:54.4, with Blindswitch Racing Stable doubling up in the Wednesday morning "features." The most impressive of the George Nap - Garcia-Herrera horses was the $900,000+-winning Lispatty, who stepped home in :55.2 - :27.2 as the McArdle mare toured the Pocono oval in 1:53 for owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. FINISHING LINES - After Saturday's card at 5 p.m., Pocono switches post times in March to its standard 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 4 p.m. on most other racing days, primarily Monday and Tuesday. There will be racing Sunday, March 1 at 7 p.m., and then the first Monday card of the year on the 2nd at 4 p.m., with three cards a week in vogue throughout the end of March. Racing is going into the second month of the 2020 season at the Down at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and horsemen racing at the track in Northeast PA should be aware of opening times for the Paddock and stable gate area.  Going forward, the stable gate will open one and a half hours prior to first Lasix, and the Paddock one hour prior to first Lasix.  Post Times for March are 7:00PM on Saturday and Sunday, and 4:00PM on Monday, with the addition of Tuesday at 4:00PM in April. Also, the Ship-in barn will open Monday, March 2, and training for the rest of the season will take place out of the ship-in barn. Any questions, please contact Paddock Judge Luann Sensenbach at 570.831.2125. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Im So Handsome (David McNeight III) had to battle to be the boss on the front end and then ended up winning the harness racing war in Buffalo Raceway's $11,000 Class AA-Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 22).   Getting parked for over a quarter mile, Im So Handsome ($11.80) finally got to the pylons and paced home in scoring the length victory over Beachy Dream (Kevin Cummings) in 1:55.0, the fastest of the 2020 meet thus far.   Hold The Gold, who finished in third, parked Im So Handsome through a quarter in :28.3. It was then 'catch me if you can' for Im So Handsome as went the half in a sizzling :56.3.   No one had the answer, however, as Im So Handsome stayed strong in the stretch to collect the win.   Owned and trained by Tessa Perrin, it was the second win in four starts this year for Im So Handsome (Hot Pans-Cheyenne Rose). The decision moved his seasonal earnings to $13,000 and $273,240 lifetime.   In the first of two $10,000 Class A paces, Southwind Onyx (Kyle Cummings) found the top to be the best spot for him with a 1-1/2 nod over the favored Weekend Atnannies in 1:57.1.   It was a three-way scrum at the start between Southwind Onyx, Weekend Atnannies and Utah Beach. When things finally sorted themselves out, Southwind Onyx ($10.60) set the fractions of :28.0, :57.2 and 1:27.2.   There were no problems in the stretch for Southwind Onyx as the 5-year-old gelding was able to turn back Weekend Atnannies (Renaldo Morales III) and Carlos Danger (Mike Baumeister).   Co-owned by trainer Tammy Cummings and Michael Blidy, it was the first win in four attempts in 2020 for Southwind Onyx (Bettor's Delight-It's Only Rocknroll). The win jumped him seasonal earnings to $8,700 and $88,61 lifetime.   In the second division, Lucky McTrucky (Ray Fisher Jr.) watched the pace-setting Burning Shore do all the dirty work then blew on by in the passing lane to register the neck win in the four-horse photo.   Burning Shore, who set the split of :29.3, :59.2 and 1:27.3, couldn't hold off the late charge of Lucky McTrucky ($21.40), Blue On Black (Shawn McDonough) and Don McWhite (Davis Jr.) who took the top three spots respectively.   Co-owned and trained by Perrin, Lucky McTrucky (McArdle-Truculent Lady) is an 11-year-old gelding who captured his first win of the campaign in three tries. The victory increased his earnings to $5,880 and $559,508 in his career.   Morales had a four bagger in the bike while Davis Jr. tripled and Denny Bucceri doubled. Maria Rice, Perrin and Angelo Nappo all posted a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night with a 13-race program set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Miss Irish Rose A (McArdle) sprung the upset in Thursday's harness racing feature pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Larry Stalbaum owns and drives the Tracy Tarantino-trained distaffer who wound up getting a pocket ride in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Miss Irish Rose A sat the two-hole to Yonkers invader Sandy's Beach (Billy Dobson) who made an early beeline to the lead in the feature. The race's favorite, The Charging Moa N (Jay Randall), was last of the five pacing mares when she made her move approaching the three quarter pole but her chase proved futile. Miss Irish Rose A popped the pocket on Sandy's Beach around the final turn before coming on to score the upset at odds of 16-1. Sandy's Beach held second while Bye Bye Felicia (Mark Beckwith) came on to finish third. Miss Irish Rose A paid $34.60 in her upset win and led an exacta that returned $93.50. The win was one of two on the day for Stalbaum and Tarantino as their Gina Grace N (Bettor's Delight) made good at odds of 1-5 to record her first victory of the season. Miss Irish Rose A joins stablemate Crockets Cullen N as Tarantino trainees to win an Open during the first week of the 2020 campaign at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - Hilary Barry N (John DeLong) stamped herself as the harness racing favorite in the George "Red" Owens Memorial series for green pacing fillies and mares, winning the quickest of three first round divisions on Sunday (Feb. 9) at Miami Valley Raceway. The late closer is limited to non-winners of two pari-mutuel races or $20,000 lifetime and attracted 27 nominations. Heavily favored Hilary Barry N, a 4-year-old New Zealand bred daughter of Bettor's Delight, glided over Miami Valley's damp five-eighths mile oval in 1:56.1 for DeLong to easily defeat Crowntimerockette (Brett Miller) and Vinecancruise (Chris Page) without an anxious moment. Trainer Trent Stohler also owns the winner who looked every bit the part of a 1-9 favorite, paying just $2.10 to win. Big Bad Mosa (Tetrick) captured a split of the Owens Memorial in 1:57.1 over Jazzie Babe (Trevor Smith) and Rockinattheryman (LeWayne Miller). Ronnie Roberts trains the winning sophomore filly by Ohio stallion Big Bad John for owner Watson Stable of Illinois. She paid $3.60 to her backers. Pray The Rosary (Luke Ebersole) was the other winner, besting Lookintomyeyes (Tyler Smith) and Model Number Five (Tetrick) in 1:59.1. Ebersole found a seam in deep stretch to gain the nose victory, the third in five lifetime tries for the 3-year-old daughter of Art Official. Robert Boggs owns the winner, who kicked back $6.80 to her backers at the betting windows. Racing resumes Monday afternoon (Feb. 10) at Miami Valley when four $6000 divisions of the second elimination round of the popular Survivor Series for $5000 male claiming pacers will go postward; plus three $10,000 first round divisions of the Omar Hiteman Memorial series for non-winners of two or $20,000 lifetime colt and gelding pacers. Tuesday's action at Miami Valley will feature a $24,000 Open Trot, second round eliminations in the Survivor Series for $5000 claiming mares, and three second round splits in the Robert J. Brown Memorial series for non-winners of two or $20,000 lifetime trotters. From Miami Valley Raceway    

Harness racing's greatest breeding cross - Bettor's Delight over a Christian Cullen mare - has proven time and time again that it is the most potent cross in the harness racing breeding world today. Lazarus heads the charge with over $4 million in the bank. His dam is Bethany by Christian Cullen. Next on the list is Chicago Bull ($1,744,430), his dam is Chicago Blues by Christian Cullen. Then there is Ohoka Punter ($1,177,323) his dam is Millwood Minisota by Christian Cullen. The list goes on and on with the likes of Highview Tommy ($990,015), The Fixer ($978,500), Spanish Armada ($787,470), Belle Of Montana ($587,501), Self Assured, None Bettor, Wrappers Delight, Elle Mac, Amazing Dream, Better B Amazed, No Doctor Needed, Seaswift Joy, Another Masterpiece, Heisenberg, Ashley Locaz and Chase The Dream. This cross Bettor's Delight over a Christian Cullen mare has resulted in over $20 million in progeny earnings world wide to date. The five-win Christian Cullen mare Holly Madison has an outstanding Bettor's Delight colt in this years National Standardbred Yearling Sale on behalf of Breckon Farms called Pasquale. It is Lot 124 in the catalogue. Lot 124 Pasquale Harnesslink Media  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 31, 2020 -- Bettor Than Spring fended off multiple challenges to capture Friday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $15,000 Conditioned Pace, and help his driver, Mike Wilder, to a five-bagger. Tony Hall also enjoyed a stellar afternoon, with four wins on the 13-race card. Once Bettor Than Spring was forced to a 26.2 opening panel on a "good" surface, he faced multiple threats, including a Lightning Lane brush from the pocket-sitting Do Work Son. But the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight-Spring Break gelding toughed it out and downed Do Work Son by 1/2 length in 1:53, with Mister Spot A third.   Randy Bendis trains Bettor Than Spring, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $185,746, and owns with Jack Piatt II and R. Lewis Hauber. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 3-6) and a $3,552.82 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Standardbred Canada reports that round one of the Snowshoe Series went postward Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with three divisions on tap for three- and four-year-old male pacers. The betting public hammered away at Bettor B Going, and the 1-9 favourite came through for his army of pari-mutuel supporters. The four-year-old son of Bettors Delight-JK Letitgo got away third for driver Chris Christoforou while Side Hill Gouger shot to the lead and carved out an opening panel clocked in :28.2. As soon as the field straightened into the backstretch Christoforou called on Bettor B Going to brush to the front. The Wilford Perrault pupil cleared to the engine in an effortless manner, and from there he went on to post middle splits of :58 and 1:27.2. A :27-second closing quarter earned Bettor B Going to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Side Hill Gouger in 1:54.2. Excavator was third. Grant and Joanne Curnow of Pefferlaw, Ont. share ownership on the six-time winner who pushed his overall cash stash to $63,239 with the victory. American Risk pulled off a mild upset in the second division thanks to his gate-to-wire triumph over race favourite Conboyville. Bob McClure hustled American Risk to the lead from Post 1, and together they fronted the field through fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.4. Conboyville applied first-over pressure on the leader at the mid-way point of the final turn, but American Risk used a :27.3 closing quarter to prevail over that foe by a half-length margin. Blu Crew rallied to grab third prize. The mile for American Risk was a career-best clocking of 1:53.2. Melissa Lamoureux trains the four-year-old son of American Ideal-Kissing Bandit for 8113564 Canada Ltd of Sherwood Park, AB and Jeff Boyd of Cambridge, Ont. The victory was the third straight score for the gelding who is now a six-time winner with earnings in excess of $48,000. Warrawee Vital used last second heroics to come through as the heavy favourite in the third – and final – division. Trevor Henry rallied the Rob Fellows trainee to the narrow triumph over longshot Bernie. Warrawee Vital got away fifth while Lyons Coppertop and Bernie battled to the quarter pole in :28.4. Bernie eventually cleared to the top, and he went on to carve out middle fractions of :58 and 1:26.1. Warrawee Vital commenced a rally going into the final turn, and despite spotting the leader a number of lengths he managed to use a :26.2 closing quarter to get up for the neck decision over Bernie in 1:54. D Gs Shallwedance was third. Blair Corbeil, Yolanda Fellows and M&S Racing Stable share ownership on the three-year-old son of Captaintreacherous-Great Memories. The colt is 2-for-2 to start the season and 3-for-4 in his career. The $9,000 payday bumped his overall bankroll to $25,500. To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.

LEBANON, OH. - Eliza Dushku N notched her second straight harness racing victory at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday (Jan. 10), moving successfully into Open Mares company for the first time. Driver LeWayne Miller had to be pleased when he saw the opening timer flash :26.2 while sitting fifth in the early going over a sloppy, but firm, racing strip. As the weekly feature for distaffers neared the half mile pole, Miller moved the winner into second-over position but still had four foes to pass. Advancing one spot to fourth on the outside at the 1:23.2 third stanza, Eliza Dushku N saved her best work for last. Swinging three-wide at the head of the lane the 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight wore down pacesetter Newsday (Tyler Smith) and fellow closer Colorful Sky (Sam Widger) to complete her 1:53.2 triumph. The John Ackley trainee, who races for the CT Stables LLC, paid $13.80 to win. Coupled with Colorful Sky, the exacta was worth $87.60, while the 50-cent trifecta including Newsday paid $180.20. The first leg of the Claim To Fame Series for $20,000 claiming mares split into two divisions and Ron Burke stablemates Danikova and Johns Baby Girl stole the show, with driver Chris Page sitting behind both winners. Danikova topped Model (Trevor Smith) and favored Atlantic Star (Aaron Merriman) in 1:55 in the first division. Johns Baby Girl bested Part Time Hanover (Jason Brewer) and Velocity Lana (Jeremy Smith) in 1:54.2 in the second split, but the winner will be racing for new trainer Michael Hitchcock in the second leg via the claim box. Four divisions of $12,500 horses and geldings also got their Claim To Fame series underway on Friday night. Six other Claim To Fame classes will get underway over the next four days of racing at Miami Valley. From Miami Valley Raceway

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley Raceway rang in the New Year with a stellar opening night harness racing card, a large and enthusiastic live crowd of racing fans and a best-ever opening night handle. The only thing that didn't cooperate was the weather as the 14 races were contested over a sloppy race track and through intermittent night-long rain showers. Highlight of the initial 2020 program was a $30,000 Mares Open Pace which produced a major upset when 40-1 Elysium Seelster (Josh Sutton) wore down Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) in the final strides of the 1:55.1 mile. Sutton got the winner away fourth from a two-hole start through the opening :26.4 panel, got shuffled to fifth at the :55 halfway juncture, then moved into second-over position on the outside before reaching the three quarter station in 1:24.1. When the favored pacesetter, My Tweed Heart (Brett Miller), began to shorten her stride around the final bend, Elysium Seelster was perfectly placed to battle stride-for-stride with first-over Knockout Queen all the way through the stretch. Mitchell Standardbreds Inc., Neil Goldstein and Terrance Smith plucked Elysium Seelster from an optional claiming race at Scioto Downs in August for $36,250 and entrusted the 5-year-old mare's future to trainer Zach Tackett. The daughter of Bettor's Delight now sports $181,964 in career earnings including 11 victories. She paid $82.80 in her first triumph in open company. Miami Valley resumes racing on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. with another 14-race program featuring a $30,000 Open Pace for the best males currently competing in Southwest Ohio. Matinees will begin at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday afternoons. From Miami Valley Raceway

Harness racing 2019 O'brien nominee Alicorn p,2 1:50:3 $405,569 the leading juvenile by the great sire Bettor's Delight heads back to Pinehurst with trainer Polie Mallar (L) to begin her 2020 campaign.   

MILTON, ON - December 19, 2019 - The preliminary rounds of the Valedictory and Niagara Series for three-year-old pacers concluded on a very cold Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Valedictory for colts and geldings and Niagara for fillies each required a pair of $17,000 second leg divisions ahead of next week's finals. Lyons Pegasus took advantage of hot early fractions to shoot up the rail by tiring foes for a 1:52.2 victory in the first Valedictory division. Jody Jamieson steered the Mark Goddard trainee to his sixth win in 14 starts this season. The opening half of the race saw Silver Beast and Mc Pat duel to the midway point in :54.4. Race-favourite Windsun Ricky was left first-up for the final turn grind, pacing alongside Mc Pat to three-quarters in 1:23.1. Lyons Pegasus stayed along the rail in sixth at the head of the lane, but with just under four-lengths to make up, the gelded son of Well Said had a clear lane at the inside to shoot through for a length and a half score. To watch race replay, click here.  Jknr Liketell came from third over to finish second, while Legion Seelster and Mc Pat rounded out the Superfecta. Owned by Threelyonsracing, Lyons Pegasus heads towards next week's final with a win and runner-up finish in the preliminary legs. His sixth career score brings his earnings up to $65,200. Lyons Pegasus paid $7.40 to win. Jamieson used the rail again in the second split to win with Captain Cash at 8-1 in 1:52.4. A son of Captaintreacherous, Captain Cash left well and enjoyed a two-hole ride after Virgin Storm cleared following a :26.4 opening-quarter. Virgin Storm got an easy second-quarter before being confronted by What Up Mo, as the first-up challenger held a short lead at three-quarters in 1:25. In the stretch, What Up Mo was swarmed in the final-eighth by several rivals, including Captain Cash up the rail. Cheddar Bay finished second by a length, while Conboyville and Grand Poobah completed the top-four. What Up Mo finished fifth. To watch the race replay, click here. Captain Cash, who was seventh in last week's first leg, is now one for four since being acquired by Mardon Stables and debuting for trainer Bruce MacDonald. The sophomore pacer is four for 15 this season and five for 22 overall. He now has $46,510 banked this season and $52,270 overall. A $2 win ticket on Captain Cash returned $19.50. Trip Aces Hanover wore down Cranberry Brie to win the first division of the Niagara in 1:54.4. Doug McNair guided the Herb Holland trainee to her third win in 22 starts this season. Race-favourite Cranberry Brie circled to the lead in the second-quarter and would hold the lead until deep stretch. Trip Aces Hanover got underway from fifth at the half, following cover for most of the final turn before being left uncovered nearing three-quarters. In the stretch, Trip Aces Hanover proved to be too much for Cranberry Brie to fight off, as the outside challenger muscled by for the score. Giggle Hanover came through late for second, beat a length. Cranberry Brie was third, while Fresh Eyes was fourth. To watch race replay, click here. A daughter of Bettors Delight, Trip Aces Hanover has now earned $59,740 this season for owner James Avritt Jr. She heads towards next week's final with a win in round two following a third-place finish in last week's series opener. Trip Aces Hanover paid $5.90 to win. Arya Stark won the showdown of first leg winners in Thursday's second division, converting off a two-hole ride to defeat 6/5 favourite Dreamfair Zenfire. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Arya Stark left well and settled for second, allowing Dreamfair Zenfire to show the way. The week one winners sat one-two through fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:26.2. In the stretch, Arya Stark angled to the outside and powered by for a 3 ¾ length victory over Dreamfair Zenfire in 1:54. Passport Hanover was third, while Erikas Shadow was fourth. To watch race replay, click here. Trained by Melissa Lamoureux, Arya Stark is now six for 35 on the campaign and seven for 37 overall. The daughter of Royal Mattjesty has now earned $72,162 this season for owners Lamoureux, Jeffrey Boyd and Jefferson Davis. Arya Stark, who returned $6.90 to win, will now have an opportunity to sweep the Niagara Series in next week's final. The Valedictory and Niagara Series were open to three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. Both series will conclude next Thursday (December 26) with $35,000 finals on Woodbine Mohawk Park's annual Boxing Day matinee program. Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, December 12, 2019— Harness racing trainer Peter Tritton, that fairly competent Down Under imported trainer, was asked about Bit of a Legend N, that fairly competent Down Under imported pacer. “We were coming off after a race one night and Jordan (Stratton) said to me, ‘Every driver should have a chance to sit behind a horse like this.’ ” Bit of a Legend N, who rarely ran out of real estate on the racetrack, has nonetheless run out of daylight as a racehorse. The 10-year-old double-millionaire is set to retire after a Yonkers Raceway winner’s circle send-off Saturday night (Dec. 14th). The son of Bettor’s Delight is off to Midland Acres in Bloomingburg, OH, to begin a stallion career. “I’m going to have to plan a road trip to go see him,” Stratton said. Bit of a Legend N and Stratton have gone down the road together, the number of memorable miles too numerous to mention. “He’s my favorite horse. No question,” Stratton said. Bit of a Legend N came over as advertised, having won Australian Breeders Crowns at ages 3 and 4. “Peter (Tritton) told me he was a getting a pretty nice horse,” Stratton said of the then 7-year-old who the late Harry Von Knoblauch purchased for $103,000. “I went to the farm to see him. He just looked good running in the paddock and in his first qualifier (Yonkers, January of 2016), I knew. “He didn’t go much (third, timed in 1:57.1), but the way he drove, the way he carried himself.” Rising through the overnight ranks with two wins and two seconds in four tries, it was time to wear the big-boy pants and the ’16 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Sweep. Bit of a Legend N won all five of his preliminary legs starts, including a stirring, track-record 1:51.2 dead-heat with Wiggle It Jiggleit. In the $609,000 final a week later, he drew well, took control early and won in a facile 1:51 (see accompanying photo). He was (and remains) the only Free-For-Aller to run the Levy table. The 2016 season saw Bit of a Legend N win 13-of-28 starts (with six seconds and one third), socking away $723,850. Proving he was no one-hit wonder, Bit of a Legend N threw down consecutive half-million-dollar seasons in 2017 and ’18. The 2017 Levy saw Bit of a Legend N win twice (with two seconds) during preliminary-round competition before a no-chance-trip fourth (to Keystone Velocity) in the final. He then hit the road, winning the $109,600 Molson (Western Fair, 1:51.3), $260,000 Gerrity Memorial (Saratoga, 1:50.3…at 15-1) and Quillen Memorial (Harrington, 1:52.1).  The next season saw another standout Levy-leg log (two wins, two seconds, one third) and yet another less-than-no-shot trip in the final. From post position No. 7, Bit of a Legend N charged home for second, again to Keystone Velocity. Bit of a Legend N eventually returned to Londontown, looking to defend his Molson (renamed to Camluck Classic) title. He wound up a flat, never-in-it fifth and “the only time he ever disappointed me,” Stratton said. “He’s had some EPM (parasite) issues throughout his career,” Tritton said. “We’ve been able to stay on top of it, usually, but I think that, and the ship up to Canada, was too much for him. His blood was no good, but he bounced back.” Indeed. A week later at Northfield, it was a first-up, life-best 1:49.4 effort in the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie, putting away the same horse—Rockin’ Ron—who had dusted his rivals in the Camluck. “Everyone was excited for him,” Stratton said. “There were people, wherever we went, who said he was their favorite horse.” Bit of a Legend N’s 2019 season was hampered by some poorly-timed quarter cracks, essentially costing him any shot of doing damage in the Levy. “It’s never a good time to get them, but this was a bad time for him, and us,” Tritton said. “It took about six or seven weeks to completely heal and the series doesn’t allow for any time off.”  “It not that he’s even slowed down that much, but the competition is just better,” Stratton said. “Before, you could win a race in 1:52. Now, it’s no better than third.” Stratton offered some of the same platitudes about Bit of a Legend N that were bestowed upon Foiled Again by his primary driver, Yannick Gingras. “He can relax and go a quarter in 30 (seconds), then sprint in :27. He won’t do more than what’s necessary. It’s just his way of taking care of himself. Look at his races. The margins are never that much. He knows what he has to do. That’s why he’s lasted so long.” The plan was for Bit of a Legend N to be racing Saturday nights through the end of the season, but after a second-place finish in late November, Tritton detected a bit of a problem with an ankle (“There was nothing to gain by having him go a couple of more weeks”), so the North American racing career ended with 33 wins in 99 starts and earnings of $1,909,935 (more than $2.5 million including foreign take-home). “I’ve had good horses before,” Tritton said, “but he’s different. To have the longevity he’s had and to produce in the big races the way he did, that’s what stands out.” …and they named him right, too. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Chris Ryder, as harness racing trainer and part owner, has announced that Bettor's Wish will stand to a limited number of mares in 2020 for a stud fee of $10,000. He will be collected at Walnridge Equine Clinic, Cream Ridge, N.J., making his foals eligible to the reenergized New Jersey Sire Stakes.   Bettor's Wish will remain in training and race next year against the sport's older pacers in the popular free-for-all events.   "There was a lot of interest from around the country and within our own ownership group to breed to him. I don't think there will be any issue keeping a regular collection schedule," Ryder said.   Part-owner Eric Cherry is delighted to be able to breed to Bettor's Wish next year. "I bought into him for his stallion potential and because he crosses so well with a lot of my mares. I will be breeding Breeders Crown Champion Call Me Queen Be (p,3,1:49.1f) Candlelight Dinner (p,2,1:52.2), I'm Trigger Happy (p,3,1:51.3f) and others. I'm very excited for the future."   Bettor's Wish had a remarkable 3-year-old season amassing $1,643,745--the most of any horse this year--and a record of 13 wins and 6 seconds in 19 starts. He finished the year with a field-sweeping second in the TVG Final at the Meadowlands racing against older horses, making him the first 3-year-old pacer to hit the board in the history of the TVG races.   For further details or booking information call (908) 451-4135 or email BettorsWish@gmail.com.   From the Bettor's Wish Ownership Group    

YONKERS, NY, Saturday December 7, 2019-- Harness racing driver Jordan Stratton took down both halves of Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $42,000 Open Handicaps Saturday night (Dec. 7th), doing so with Will Take Charge and big-table-debuting Raukapuka Ruler N. It was odds-on Will Take Charge ($2.90) who killed 'em softly--fractions-wise--in the week's marque trot. Winning the post positions 5-thru-7 draw, he left, working around Winning Shadow (George Brennan) right around the 28-second opening quarter-mile. After a :57.2 intermission, the returning Obrigado (Dan Dube) surprised by moving first-up from fourth. A 30-second third quarter (1:27.2) allowed Obrigado to hang around before slowing backing way. Meanwhile, Will Take Charge, who had faltered late in his past two tries, owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. He defeated a Lean Hanover (Jim Marohn Jr.) by that exact margin in 1:56.1 with a closing Swansea (Austin Siegelman), Winning Shadow and Sumatra (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder. For millionaire Will Take Charge, a 6-year-old Kadabra gelding co-owned by (trainer) Jeff Gillis, Mac Nichol and Gerald Stay, it was his sixth win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $40, the triple returned $217 and the superfecta paid $704. The weekly adult pace saw Raukapuka Ruler N ($6.80)--from post No. 3--finish what he started (:28.1, :56.3, 1:23.2, life-best-matching 1:52.3). He repelled first-up Heaven's Gait (Brennan) down the backside, then owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn. Saying Grace N (Marohn Jr.), the 17-10 fave who had angled out of the pocket, made up some ground but missed a length A late-arriving The Real One (Pat Lachance) was third, with Mac's Jackpot (Brent Holland) and Sunfire Blue Chip (Siegelman) grabbing the minors. For second choice Raukapuka Ruler N, a 6-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding owned by (trainer) Peter Tritton, it was his fifth win in 11 '19 tries. The exacta paid $23.60, the triple returned $253.50 and the superfecta paid $1,106 by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

CHESTER, PA - Perhaps the end of the 2019  harness racing season a week from this Sunday will be the only thing that can derail the Tim Tetrick Express at Harrah's Philadelphia, as the recent electee into the Hall of Fame added four more winners on Wednesday afternoon at the southeast Pennsylvania oval, including victories in both co-features and a win in one of the two co-featured contests. Both the trotter SVF Cash Deposit and the pacer Bigonpersonality N made successful brushes down the backstretch for Tetrick en route to their triumphs in the $16,000 top-level events. The Bettor's Delight gelding Bigonpersonality N ran his record to 3-for-4 in North America with a 1:53.3 victory, 2½ lengths to the good of Missile Seelster, for trainer Jim King Jr. and the partnership of Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King - the Superfecta of Shartin N fame. The Cash Hall gelding SVF Cash Deposit is also a recent addition to the local scene, though he only came from as far as Running Aces in Minnesota. But he looked very good Wednesday while taking a new mark of 1:56.3, 4¾ lengths ahead of favored pacesetter Choco Charlie, for owner Elvin Zimmerman, who had been training the improving diamondgaiter before turning him over to the care of Justin Lebo before this start. The veteran Muscle Mass gelding Rubber Duck won his third straight in the trotting sector of the $14,500 co-featured class, with Tetrick moving him to the lead in front of the stands and then just riding along behind as the favorite won by 4½ lengths over first-over Perfect Stick. The winner of $585,949 posted a sharp clocking of 1:53.4 in the cool conditions for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno and owners Blair and Erna Corbeil. The only headliner Tetrick missed was the $14,500 pace, in which the Tellitlikeitis sophomore gelding Ollie's Ztam overcame a 34-day layoff in rallying from the pocket for driver Yannick Gingras to catch a strong pacesetter in Quality Bud by a neck in 1:51, equaling his lifetime mark. Ron Burke has taken over the training of the promising sophomore for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Frank Baldachino. Tetrick has now posted 44 victories during the last nine cards on which he has competed at Philly. From Harrah's Philadelphia

For the third time this season, Caviart Ally has nosed out world champion Shartin N, this time in the $175,000 final of the TVG Series for old harness racing pacing mares. It took the photo finish camera to declare the winner at the Meadowlands Saturday. Shartin N and driver Tim Tetrick took the lead after the opening quarter mile while Caviart Ally and driver Andy McCarthy were content to sit in second place until the stretch drive. Going head and head to the wire, Caviart Ally came on to win by a nose in a stakes record clocking of 1:48.3. KIssin In The Sand was third. Trained by Brett Pelling for Caviart Farms of Vienna, VA, it was the ninth win this year for the five-year-old mare by Bettor's Delight. She paid $8.80 to win. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink ;

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