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Cream Ridge, NJ - 11/4/2018 - McCauley Bros. Feed - Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) Feed Bucket Challenge is a win! For every dollar donated during the challenge, McCauley's Feed offered to match up to $7,000 with their quality feed. Thanks to all the wonderful donors, the challenge was completed in a winning way!   The adopter of Old Friends, the 15 year-old son of Blissful Hall, stepped up in a big way to complete the balance needed of just over $4,000, more than half of the challenge. Old Friends was brought to SRF in August of this year to rehabilitate and to find a home, purchased through the volunteer efforts of Save Our Standardbreds from Slaughter (SOSS) Facebook page to avoid shipping to the Canadian slaughterhouse. He is one lucky horse.   With nearly 400 horses under SRF's expense and care this much-needed challenge gift from McCauley's Feed, a company that has been supporting SRF for nearly 20 years, has been a great help and is very appreciated. SRF extends its warmest thanks to all who supported, to the McCauley's Feed for all their wonderful support, as well as to Reynolds Hay and Straw, the local distributor in SRF's area.   Visit McCauley Bros. to find out more about our wonderful sponsor.   SRF is the largest Standardbred adoption program in the U.S. It helps Standardbreds exclusively, young, aged, injured, neglected, or abused with feeding and caring for nearly 400 trotters and pacers in need of homes and are providing lifetime homes for more than 190 retirees and provides lifetime follow-up for every adopted horse, never to be at risk again.   Standardbred Retirement Foundation | | Judith Bokman   From the Standardbred Retirement Foundation  

YONKERS, NY -  Since arriving in the barn of trainer Ettore Annunziata, 8-year-old mare Barynya has shown steady improvement. Although she found herself in Yonkers Raceway's bottom class for non-winners of $5,000 last five as recently as April 24, she's earned a chance to compete in the $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace Friday night (June 8). Annunziata bought Barynya this spring as a means of replenishing his barn. After most of Annunziata's horses were claimed away, leaving him with a two-horse stable, Barynya caught Annunziata's attention. The Australian-bred by Blissful Hall out of the Perfect Art mare Lombo Anatasia began her stateside career in December 2016 and had a modest 2017 campaign, winning 3 of 26 starts and earning $39,725. Despite her average stateside performance, Annunziata believed Barynya contained hidden potential. The 83-year-old horsemen knew she was a Group 1 winner and earner of $387,631 Down Under and he believed he could bring her back to that form. "I like New Zealand and Australian horses, I seem to do very good with them. I knew I could probably get more out of her," Annunziata said. "According to what we've seen, she's a super mare. She made over $300,000 in Australia. You can't make $300,000 in Australia unless you're a champion, and she was a champion and I really believed I could get it out of her." Annunziata's super mare came to his stable off a second-place finish in a $7,500 overnight at Yonkers February 22. Annunziata believed she was sore and applied a less-is-more approach to her routine to get her sound. "There's no mystery, there's no big things. As a matter of fact, the less I do, the better she gets," Annunziata said. "At the farm, she's out 24 hours-a-day and that's what they like. It's like they're in the wild again. "I don't know what it is, but I guess the method I use is no secret," he continued. "What they do is go back to nature. What I mean is, (treat them like) a horse, don't (treat them like) people. They give this, they give that, try this, try that. All I know they eat grain and grass, all they can eat. That's it. That's the rule everybody should play by, of course everybody thinks they know better, but in this case they're wrong." Annunziata's method appears to have rekindled the champion within Barynya. She posted a 3-length win in a $7,500 overnight at Yonkers April 24 before repeating the following week in a $10,000 overnight. She finished third next out while up in class again before finding the winner's circle in her next start May 25 in a $22,000 race. Last time out, Barynya shipped to Saratoga to win the $14,500 Filly and Mare Open Handicap in wire-to-wire fashion. She stopped the timer in 1:52.1 and posted a final quarter of :27.4. "Last week, she really surprised me going 1:52.1. She was super," Annunziata said. Friday night (June 8), Barynya will step up in class again as she looks to win her first local distaff open. Barynya drew post two and is an 8-1 morning line with Joe Bongiorno in the bike. Barynya's seven rivals include 2-1 favorite Newborn Sassy, who will start from an assigned post eight. The Kim King Jr. trainee won the Matchmaker Consolation before posting three straight wins at the open level at Harrington and Yonkers. She was the beaten favorite in her last start May 25 from the outside post. Mach It A Par is a 4-1 chance after finishing second to Newborn Sassy May 18 and drawing post six while Freakonomics is 5-1 and brings a three-race win streak into the distaff feature. Annabeth, Medusa, Motu Moonbeam, and Delightful Dragon complete the field. "She's a nice mare, she got a nice post. My luck, I usually get bad posts. Hopefully we'll do good. Actually, I'm looking to beat them, how's that? I hope she wins the race. She will be good. Right now, she's very good," Annunziata said. First post time Friday night at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

One of a few Yonkers invaders to compete in the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel, Barynya A (Blissfull Hall) went coast to coast in her local debut with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. Barynya A came to the Spa as a winner of three of her last four starts but faced a strong group of distaffers in the Fillies and Mares Open on Friday night. Devaux blasted the Ettore Annunziata-trained eight year old out early and after making the lead in a first quarter in 27 seconds, never looked back. The race's top two betting favorites, Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) and Diamondtoothgertie (Phil Fluet), moved in tandem towards the leader in the $14,500 feature but neither could get to the Australian invader who has found a home at Yonkers. Barynya A paced her final quarter in 27.4 and stopped the timer in 1:52.1 in a mile that was the fastest for a mare this year at Saratoga. Spreester finished second in the feature and is still yet to be worse than third in her nine starts since returning to the Spa this spring while Diamondtoothgertie had to settle for third on Friday night. In the mild upset, Barynya A paid $11.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $40 and $80, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Her Own Land (Blissfull Hall) set a lifetime mark in Friday night's harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. In her first start off the claim for trainer Andy Sardella, Her Own Land, an Open winner earlier in the season, moved out to the early lead in Friday's $10,500 feature for fillies and mares. Despite posting sizzling fractions of 27.2 and 55.2 in the first half, Her Own Land had something left late in the mile. The six year old mare stopped the timer in 1:52.3 which goes down as a new career mark. Sometimes Graceful (Wally Hennessey) sat the pocket and was the runner-up while Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Her Own Land was the even-money favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $15.60 and $82, respectively. The win was number six on the season for Her Own Land, who was driven to victory by Bruce Aldrich Jr. Aldrich piloted three winners on the Friday card. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

Her Own Land (Blissful Hall) emerged from a scramble in the stretch to prevail in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith-trained six year old got the pocket ride in the $9,500 feature for fillies and mares. Riding the coattails of the favored Sometimes Graceful (Dan Cappello Jr) throughout, Her Own Land cruised up the passing lane in a stretch drive that saw four horses finish within one length of each other at the wire. An Open winner earlier this season, Her Own Land had finished second or third in four consecutive tries heading into Friday night when she got the job done in 1:54 with Mark Beckwith in the sulky. Our Els Dream N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) came up second best while class-dropping Sometimes Graceful had to settle for third. Her Own Land paid $6.60 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $19 and $74.50, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night with the biggest race card of the summer. The $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace highlights the fourteen race, star-studded program on a night where nearly $600,000 in purses will be given out. There is also a t-shirt giveaway in conjunction with the annual Gerrity Pace. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Her Own Land (Blissfull Hall) had rattled off three consecutive harness racing victories at Saratoga Casino Hotel before entering the Fillies and Mares Open for the first time in April. The Melissa Beckwith trainee was then the favorite in three consecutive tries in the $13,000 Friday feature but came up second best all three times. On Friday night, Mark Beckwith sat back early on with the six year old mare who was patient in the early going while the fractions were sizzling up front. Following an opening quarter of 26.3 and half in 55 seconds, Her Own Land made a methodical march up on the outside before kicking into full gear around the final turn. The distaffer moved her career earnings to over the $250,000 mark as she came on to win by a neck in 1:52.4 for a new seasonal best. Betabcool N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) was the race's favorite and came up second best on Friday night while Milky Way Rae (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. After being favored in each of her previous three tries in the feature, Her Own Land paid $8.60 to win and was on top of an exacta and triple that came back $23.60 and $64.50. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

Her Own Land (Blissful Hall) scored her third consecutive win on Thursday afternoon as she cruised to victory in the Saratoga matinee's $8,000 feature for fillies and mares. The six year old Melissa Beckwith trainee worked hard early and retook the lead after a first quarter in 27.3. Despite not getting much of a breather, Her Own Land powered away from her rivals in the stretch before stopping the clock in 1:54 for her third consecutive victory. Post Time Terror (Phil Fluet) got up for second while Keene Olivia (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Her Own Land was the race's 3-5 betting favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $21.20 and $54, respectively. The win was one of three on the afternoon for Mark Beckwith who entered the day second in the driver standings behind only Billy Dobson. Live racing continues on Friday evening with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

Come on Frank, the ‘People’s Champion’, has been retired. Part-owner Julie Billinger made the decision to end the harness racing career of South Australia’s favourite harness horse on Saturday morning, the final day of 2016. “It has been something we have been considering over the past month but the final decision was made today,” Julie said. “We have been having issues with his blood and his white cell count was off so the call was made to end his racing career.” Come On Frank’s last race will show he failed to beat a runner home in the Whyalla Cup at Port Pirie on Friday, December 30, but in the eyes of his owners and fans he will bow out a winner. The nine-year-old heads in retirement with a fantastic record of 61 wins, 26 seconds and 12 thirds from just 130 starts earning $404,650 in stakes. Come On Frank’s contribution to harness racing was recognised at the 2015-2016 Harness Racing South Australia’s awards when he was presented with the inaugural Chairman’s Award for an organisation, event, individual or horse which has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of harness racing in South Australia. The Blissful Hall gelding was owned by Julie Billinger in partnership with her daughter Jodie and Ian Goddard and was trained and driven by Julie’s husband Darren. His story is worthy of a feature film. Starting out as a two-year-old, Come On Frank, as was his way, didn’t see the point in over extending himself in trackwork – it was a trait he continued for the rest of his career. Darren Billinger was despairing about his racing future but Frank was already a big favourite of Billinger’s daughters Kelly and Jodie. So Julie took him for a few weeks and through away the hopples and started to gallop him. This seemed to be the turning point and he started to show on the racetrack that he had a future. Despite being born into a harness racing family, Kelly was never a real lover of horses but Frank was the exception. She got to enjoy seeing the horse win as a two-year-old and early three-year-old but tragedy struck on April 30, 2011 when Kelly lost her life in a car accident. It was then that Come On Frank began to really show the trait that made him so popular. A quality that almost made him human. “There was a look in his eye that showed to us he seemed to understand,” Julie said. Three months to the day after Kelly’s passing, Come On Frank took out the Southern Cross final for three-year-old colts and geldings as if to pay his tribute. The Billingers say the spirit of Kelly has always been with Come On Frank. And so it went on as Come On Frank stepped up. Wins came often including the Dudley Justice Plate and Vicbred final for four-year-old entires and geldings among a host of races. The Come On Frank Facebook page evolved and his legend continued to grow with fans from around Australia and the world jumping onto his bandwagon. Frank travelled Australia with wins in South Australia at Globe Derby, Port Pirie, Mount Gambier and Victor Harbor, Mildura and Melton in Victoria and Menangle and Goulburn in New South Wales to build his cult hero status. Julie Billinger said she had been amazed at how the gelding had won his way into the hearts of the general public. “One day Darren and I were going through security at Sydney airport on the way home to Adelaide and we got talking to a security guard who revealed he wasn’t a real harness fan but always had a small bet whenever he saw Frank was running,” Julie said. “That is just one of the stories of so many people who found a hero in Come On Frank.” Julie wouldn’t be drawn into picking Come On Frank’s best win. “They all have some sort of memory for me. “Every win has its own story and was special.” Come On Frank may not have won an Inter Dominion but he retires into history as a unique standardbred – a horse that captured the hearts of a nation.  by Graham Fischer

Talented harness racing reinsman Troy Hillier had hoped to secure a cosy run in a race in Launceston last Sunday night that would have given his charge These Days every opportunity to emerge triumphant. These Days drew barrier eight which meant he started from the inside of the second row and even though he knew the horse that drew directly in front of him, Red Sun Bliss, had no genuine early speed he never expected to be shuffled back to near last and four-back the fence after the field had traveled 300 metres. These Days was still last leaving the back straight the last time with race leader Regal Idea travelling comfortably without having exhausted too much energy. But when Vander Jenkins eased out three-wide turning for home Hillier latched onto the back of that horse for a cart home. When Hillier eased These Days four-wide to challenge the six-year-old charged home and hit the line with a half-metre to spare over Vander Jenkins with Regal Idea a distant third. "At one stage I thought I might be in a bit of trouble because there was no way out and I really didn't want to ease right back to last," Hillier said. "But I was able to her hi off the fence turning for home and when he balanced up in the straight he worked home well." These Days is trained by Kate McLeod at Bridport and given how he gelding hit the line there should be more wins in store for the son of Blissfull Hall in the coming weeks. These Days has won five and been laced a dozen times from 28 starts for close to $33,000 in stakes. Peter Staples

Charlottetown, PE - Fresh off his harness racing track record tying performance in the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Invitation, D Gs Camme will return to home turf on Saturday night at Red Shores Charlottetown. The six-year-old son of Blissfull Hall, who toyed with his rivals last time out clocking a season best score of 1:53.2, has drawn into post 7 for the Race 11 Preferred 1 pace on Saturday night. Owned by Quentin and Hal Bevan, Ron Matheson and Tom Clarke, D Gs Camme has yet to miss the board from his six starts in 2016. The Jackie Matheson trainee who will be piloted by Gilles Barrieau will square off with Smiley Bayama, Oh To Be Me, Waterside Light, Athletic Putnam, All Turain and Cecil Ladner winner OK Galahad. The 12-dash card gets under way at 6 p.m. and will feature six of the best mares the Maritimes has to offer in the $2,350 Open Mares Race 7. Matheson trainee Shadows Mystery is labeled as the 5-2 morning line choice for owner Gord Ford. Barrieau handles the driving assignment. Ramblinglily has drawn post 5 with Walter Cheverie in the bike for trainer Alan Jones. Open Mares mainstay Best Risque scores post 4 for trainer Brian Ladner and driver Jason Hughes. Some of the best three-year-old colts the Maritimes has to offer this season will head post ward in race 9. Magical Cowboy will put his three-race win streak on the line against stable mate Beaus Cowboy and the Kenny Arsenault trained and driver Lukes Cowboy. 'King of the Rock' set to take on Summerside bearcats; Willie searches for 60 Another action packed card is set for Sunday afternoon at Red Shores Summerside with the 12-dash card getting underway at 1 p.m. The Backstretch Beat has landed on Inspired Art as their top billing in the Allison 'Hook' Walsh Memorial, for owner Elizabeth Courtney, trainer Marc Campbell and catch-driver Ryan Desroche. "The 'King of the Rock' is back in Summerside and he's had three bang up performances, in which he has yet to miss the board," said the Beat. "Despite the youngster getting the catch drive, the old horses class will kick in to cover that off." The Newfoundland invader who won nine of ten races last season will have to content with the hometown horse Motorino from the rail. The Terry Gallant trainee has been no worse than third in his past three starts and has finished second at the $12 , 000 claiming ranks in his past two outings. Ken Murphy picks up the catch mount. Veteran free-legged pacer Blu Meadow Willie will search for his 60th lifetime win for the ownership group of Bob and Brenda Macinnis of Summerside. The winner of over $91, 000 lifetime has drawn into post 5 in the 12th race finale with Walter Cheverie handling the driving duties. By Bo Ford

Fall Bliss, driven by last year's Rookie of the Year harness racing driver, Dr. Mitchell Downey reigned supreme on Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Leaving from post-two, Downey sent the eight-year-old son of Blissful Hall to the lead after a scorching :27.2 opening quarter. Downey handed driver Todd Trites and Magical Alex the parking ticket after battling early in the mile.   He was never to be denied after that as he cruised to an easy 2:00 victory over City Of The Year with Magical Alex holding on for third.   Exhibition Park also saw it's first two-year-old winner of the season as first-time starter Puthecherryontop scored a maiden voyage. Tommy & Cindy Gunn bred the filly from the tough race mare Wylde Cherry. She now sports a 2:06.4 win race record.   Racing in New Brunswick will continue on Friday, July 1st at Fredericton Raceway with the prestigious Walter Dale Memorial as the headlining event.            

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, June 12, 2016 - It was an "unofficial" Pascal Berube Day at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday as the harness racing driver won both divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers. And both winners would have to be considered long shots. Berube's winning ways began in the horse division of the Quebec-Bred Series, which was a non-wagering race held between the 5th and 6th races on the program. There were just five horses entered and when the starting gate pulled away, Berube was first on the lead with Mach On The Beach, stinging D G's Justlikethat and driver Gaetan Lamy through the opening quarter mile in a speedy :27.3. Once D G's Justlikethat settled on the lead, Berube came right back to the front with Mach On The Beach and led the field to the half mile in :56.3. And that is when the action really began to heat up. After the half mile, Half A Billion (Mario Charron) came first-over and following the outside flow was Sugarsam (Denis St-Pierre). With momentum, Sugarsam rolled three-wide at the three-quarters in 1:26.1 but was unable to clear by Half A Billion and was parked out around the final turn. Then in a dramatic three-horse battle to the finish, Mach On The Beach would not be denied, holding off Sugarsam and Half A Billion to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.4, fastest mile on the program Sunday. It was the first victory in four starts this year for Mach On The Beach. The four-year-old gelded son of Mach Three is trained by Dany Fontaine for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal, QC. "Yes, I guess you can say it was my day at 3R today." Berube said. "Today Mach On The Beach was much better than last time. I raced him in his last start behind the field and he was no good. After that trainer Dany Fontaine gave him a week off and he was pretty good today." Then in the sixth race division of the series for pacing mares, Pascal Berube saw his margin of victory even tighter. Chaleurs Fantasy, the overwhelming 1/5 betting favorite left from post six for trainer/driver Carl Duguay, was parked early by Hawaiian Drummond (Richard Veilleux) and settled on the lead at the first quarter in :29. Louis-Philippe Roy tried coming first-over with HP Rubis Joyce, but was stuff back into third position after the first quarter. It seemed that Chaleurs Fantasy and Duguay had things their own way to the half mile in :58.2. Then the action began to heat up as the field entered the backstretch. Berube was not content to sit and wait with Miss Bro and came first-over from sixth place at the half mile to challenge Chaleurs Fantasty. Following their cover second-over was Voodoo Charm (Mario Charon) to the three-quarters in 1:28.2. By the three-quarters, Berube had Miss Bro in third place on the outside and was able to collar Chaleurs Fantasy by the top of the stretch. Then in a dramatic stretch drive to the wire, Miss Bro would not give up and nailed Chaleurs Fantasy at the wire to win by a head in 1:59. Hawaiian Drummond was a close third. "She was very good today," Berube said of Miss Bro. "She was OK last week and they did some work on her back legs and she came back strong today. At the five-eighths mile today I could see that Carl's mare was not responding so good and my mare was sharp. I also can say that I was lucky today too. It's always good to be lucky." It was just the second win in 16 starts this year and a lifetime mark for Miss Bro. She is a four-year-old mare by Blissfull Hall trained by Antonio Valentel and owned by Ferme Brodeur of Terrebonne, QC. Miss Bro paid $22.80 to win. TRACK NOTES: Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at the Hippodrome 3R with the fourth and final preliminary round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. Post time is 7:00 pm. For a free race program and live internet feed of the race program, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

Classy harness racing mare Barynya now calls Queensland home. The proven Group One winning mare has raced at the highest level in Tasmania, Victoria and more recently in New South Wales where she had little or no luck. Her future looked destined for North America with connections fielding several offers in recent times but ultimately no deal was struck or finalised. So, owners Lloyd and Judith Whish-Wilson decided to send her further north where she has joined the stables of in-form trainer Jack Butler. The Blissfull Hall mare makes her Brisbane debut this Saturday night in the Listed $25,000 Flashing Red, a race named in honour of the dual New Zealand Cup champion. And while Butler is optimistic, he’s convinced she’ll perform well against the boys. “There’s no doubt she is a classy type, her record proves that and she’s always competed at a very high level throughout her career. I know she’s the only mare in this field but I think this is a good start point for her, she’ll improve on whatever she does this weekend.” Butler said. A winner of the 2014 Victoria Oaks, Barynya is yet to race under standing start conditions and takes on proven Grand Circuit performers like Ideal Scott, Mach Alert and Majestic Mach among others. Barynya will start from a 10m handicap. “The stand is a little unknown but she qualified safely back in Tasmania and I have spoken with her original trainer Dick Eaves and he gave me a good report about her qualifying trial. Having the class she has, she’s got brains and she’s sensible so I’m confident she’ll handle it. “She’s only been here for about two weeks and I haven’t given her a trial but she’s been racing so her fitness levels are pretty solid. I just thought this race would be a better option because it should be a steady tempo early rather than a flat-out mile race where they never back off. “There are some nice options coming up for her during the winter carnival including some mare’s only type races. I think the plan is to race till the end of the season before heading off to stud but her form will ultimately decide which path they go down.” Another classy mare in the care of Butler is Shes A Runa, a winner of the Gr.1 2014 New South Wales Oaks at Menangle. And the Jeremes Jet mare looks extremely well placed in the Burwood Stud Mares Pace over the 2138m distance despite having a second-line draw. “We discovered a little issue following her first start for me last month and I’m confident she’s ready to go this weekend, the first-up run was really good and her recent work has been really pleasing. I think she will do a very good job up here over the coming months.” Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 14 May 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 14 May 2016

The Classic Photo gelded trotter Zooming became the first two-time winner of the nascent 2016 harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday, making two early moves in the $15,500 trotting feature and then storming off to a 5¾-length victory in 1:53.1. George Napolitano Jr., who had six wins on the card in the first 13 races, was again in the sulky as last week's trotting feature winner repeated despite the outside post eight tonight for trainer Amber Buter and owners Steve Oldford, Gene Oldford Farms LLC, and Tyler Buter.   In the $15,500 featured pace, the well-traveled Hall Bro checked into Pocono and promptly became a pocket rocket, equaling his mark of 1:50.1 for driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Brewer Adams, and owner Joseph Trice. The altered son of Blissfull Hall was a Quebec champion at two, first went in 1:50.1 at The Meadowlands at three, and traveled cross-state from The Meadows before making his 2016 mountain debut a successful one.   Eighteen turned in the first of what should be many sub-1:50 performances at Pocono in 2016 when he took a $12,500 pace in 1:49.1, leading at every call while taking a new mark at age eight. George Napolitano Jr. was in the sulky behind the winner of $740,000+ for trainer Daniel Renaud and owners J M F Racing LLC.   As noted, the track's defending driving champion George Napolitano Jr. had six victories Saturday; his brother Anthony, who is also second-leading driver at The Meadowlands, wasn't far behind him with four visits to Victory Lane -- and of course that put the family in double digits for the evening   '*****   This coming week Pocono expands is schedule to three days a week with the addition of Sunday racing on April 3. Sunday's new post time at Pocono this year will be 7:30 p.m. The Downs will then settle into its basic schedule for the year when Monday racing is added on April 11.   The $600,000 Bobby Weiss Series of races for developing younger horses kicks off on that Sunday, April 3 date. A 2015 Weiss Series Champion was JL Cruze, who went on to be voted Older Trotting Gelding of the Year after winning 16 races and more than $600,000, and becoming one of the sport's few sub-1:50 trotters when he won in 1:49.4.   PHHA / Pocono  

TORONTO, January 22 - The finals of the Blizzard and Snowshoe Series highlighted harness racing action Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The $45,200 Blizzard final for three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares featured a field of nine, while a full-field of ten three and four-year-old pacers competed in the $47,200 Snowshoe final. Rafa and Shades Of Bay entered the Snowshoe final both seeking a series sweep and the anticipated matchup lived up to the hype. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Rafa, 3/2, fired out from post three to grab the lead, while Shades Of Bay, 4/5, and driver Phil Hudon left from post nine and found a spot in fourth. After posting an opening-quarter of :26.2, Rafa was quickly confronted by Shades Of Bay, who made a quick brush to the lead. The two favourites sat one-two through middle-fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3. In the stretch, Filion tipped Rafa off the back of Hudon to set up a stretch duel. Rafa was able to get within less than a length of the lead, but Shades Of Bay would not be denied a series sweep and held off his rival to win by a length and a quarter in 1:52.2. Shippen Out finished third, while Tylers Beach Boy was fourth. A son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher for owner Timothy Kim. The Snowshoe Series sweep improves the four-year-old to three for three in 2016 and six for seven since joining the Mehlenbacher barn. Friday's Snowshoe victory was the second series victory for Shades Of Bay in less than a month. The Mehlenbacher trainee also won the Valedictory Series final on Boxing Day. Shades Of Bay now has seven career victories and earnings exceeding $92,000. The runner-up finish by Rafa is the Richard Moreau trainee's first defeat after starting his career four for four. A $2 win ticket on Shades Of Bay returned $3.80. Shades Of Bay A week after capturing a second leg divison as the favourite, Double Olives turned in another game effort to win the Blizzard final at 10/1. Driven by Mike Saftic, Double Olives was taken back in the early stages and got away eighth. Twin B Sweetheart, who was parked around the first turn, finally cleared to take command ahead of Cracklin Rosie, the 8/5 favourite, and Amazing Control entering the backstretch. After posting a half of :55.2, Twin B Sweetheart relinquished the lead to Dontbruisecarrie and began to jam things up along the inside. Saftic was able to situate Double Olives third-over around the final turn, as Naughty Lady B closed in on the leader first up. In the stretch, Naughty Lady B took over the top spot, but Double Olives came off cover and charged by her rival to score a length victory in 1:53. Naughty Lady B held on for second, while Bad As Leader and Cracklin Rosie rounded out the Superfecta. A four-year-old daughter of Blissfull Hall, Double Olives is trained by Dave Matson for owners John Taylor and Jeffrey Ruch. The brown pacing mare entered Friday's final with a victory and runner-up finish in the preliminary legs. Double Olives now has two wins from three starts this season and seven overall in her racing career. The Blizzard Series victory pushes her career bankroll to $72,810. A $2 win ticket on Double Olives returned $23.80. Double Olives The Blizzard and Snowshoe Series carried the same conditions, as the pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Winter Series action continues on Monday night (January 25) with the $44,200 Lifetime Dream final. Live racing continues Saturday at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Del. --- Harness racing driver Jim Morand rolled down the passing lane to edge Ken Kam in the Thursday Male pace feature at Dover Downs, Jan. 20. With a move from post 8 to the rail, Simon's Artist came through with his first win of 2016 for owner-trainer Rich Ringler. The seven-year-old Blissful Hall-Claris gelding won the tight 1:53 photo on the rail from Ken Kam (Allan Davis) with Allstar Preview (George Dennis), third, also in the photo. Tony Morgan drove his second winner Niss Allen Inc.'s Ima Rebel to a 1:53.1 success in a 4&5-Year-Old Male pace. Following a just missed, nose loss in his previous start, Ima Rebel, a Skydancer Hanover-Ali Cat gelding recored his second win to go with a second and three thirds in his last six races. Western Young Gun (Dennis) was a fast finishing second with Jetski Lolouie (Ross Wolfenden) third. Tony Morgan had a triple while Vic Kirby, Allan Davis and Jonathan Roberts had two win nights. Dover Downs is dark on Friday and Saturday. Live racing resumes Sunday, post time is 5:30 p.m. Weekday racing - , Monday through Thursday, begins at p.m. 4:30 p.m. When at the track, watch the live races and enjoy dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant's acclaimed Harness Racing Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs where there is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

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