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Burkentine Hanover (Cam's Card Shark) recorded his first victory in the local Open Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway behind a gutsy first over effort in Saturday's harness racing feature. The five year old pacer finished third in his first try in the local Open last week but on Saturday would not be denied. Stephane Bouchard piloted the Heidi Rohr-trained pacer and moved first over on Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) who was seeking his fifth Open win of the year at the Spa. Burkentine Hanover battled the front-runner for close to a half mile before poking his nose out in time to prevail in 1:51.4. Panocchio held on for second while the race's favorite Domethatagain (Billy Dobson) had to settle for third. It was victory number seven on the season for Burkentine Hanover who returned $8.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $29 and $104, respectively. Live racing resumes on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Freehold, NJ --- Jeff Snyder knows he owns the one horse with a chance to capture this year’s Pacing Triple Crown. He also knows it’s not worth thinking about until after his horse, Dealt A Winner, competes in the second leg of the series, Saturday’s Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers at Yonkers Raceway. “If he wins Saturday, he’ll have a better shot,” Snyder said with a laugh. “Then we’ll give a lot more thought to it. It will be a lot more exciting then. “But in this business, you’ve got to go one race at a time.” Dealt A Winner won the first jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, the Cane Pace, at odds of 26-1 with a world-record performance on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Meadowlands. He will start the $500,000 Messenger Stakes from post five with Yonkers’ leading driver Jason Bartlett at the lines for trainer Mark Silva. It will be only his second career race on a half-mile track, but he won last year’s Lou Babic Pace at Freehold with Bartlett in the sulky. In addition to the Messenger Stakes, Yonkers on Saturday hosts the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, which is the second leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who won the first jewel, the Hambletonian Stakes, will start the Yonkers Trot from post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the first race. The Yonkers Trot is race six, at 8:50 p.m. approximately, and the Messenger is race eight, at 9:30 p.m. approximately. The most recent horse to win the Trotting Triple Crown was Glidemaster in 2006. The most recent horse to sweep the Pacing Triple Crown was No Pan Intended in 2003. The final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown is the Little Brown Jug, which will be held Sept. 24 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Dealt A Winner has won one of nine races this year after capturing five of six starts last season. He finished second to In The Arsenal in a Meadowlands Pace elimination and fourth in the final, when a :26 last quarter-mile left him a half-length from second. He has earned $363,439 during his career. Purchased for $35,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale under the name Lazzo Hanover, Dealt A Winner is a son of stallion Cam’s Card Shark -- who was the 1994 Horse of the Year and owned by Snyder -- and mare Lazan Hanover. His second dam, Lodi Hanover, is the mother of million-dollar-earner Timesareachanging, who also was sired by Cam’s Card Shark. Timesareachanging was the 2004 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male pacer and captured two jewels in the Pacing Triple Crown, the Cane Pace and Little Brown Jug. He finished second to Metropolitan in the Messenger. “I always look to find a Cam’s Card Shark (offspring) at the sale and (Dealt A Winner) was the one I picked,” Snyder said. “Timesareachanging attracted me to him.” Dealt A Winner won the Cane Pace after a duel for the lead between favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit and In The Arsenal resulted in a :52.1 opening half-mile. Dealt A Winner and driver David Miller rallied from fifth place with a three-wide move on the final turn and sprinted home in :26.3 to post a 1-1/4 length victory over Artspeak in 1:47.3. The time is the fastest ever for a 3-year-old gelding. Dude’s The Man, who won this year’s Adios and finished third in the Cane Pace, will start the Messenger from post one with George Brennan driving for trainer Jessica Okusko. In The Arsenal, who won the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers on May 30, got post No. 3 with Brian Sears in the sulky for trainer Kelvin Harrison. In The Arsenal has made five starts at Yonkers during his career, winning four. “If he can get into the race early enough, we’re looking for him to race very well,” Snyder said about Dealt A Winner. “Unfortunately, Dude’s The Man got the rail and In The Arsenal got the three hole, so hopefully he’ll get a good trip somehow. But this horse can go first over. He’s got a lot of heart, a lot of desire to win. Hopefully he’ll bring his ‘A’ game on Saturday night.” Following is the field for the Messenger Stakes with listed drivers and trainers: 1-Dude's The Man-George Brennan-Jessica Okusko  2-Revenge Shark-Yannick Gingras-Tony Alagna  3-In The Arsenal-Brian Sears-Kelvin Harrison  4-Roland N Rock-Daniel Dube-Rob Harmon  5-Dealt A Winner-Jason Bartlett-Mark Silva  6-Rock N' Roll World-Daniel Dube-Mark Silva  7-Rollin Ring Afire-Tim Tetrick-Charlie Norris  8-National Seelster-Eric Carlson-Chris Ryder  by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

A field of 8 upper-conditioned level pacers lined up behind the starter for the featured event of the afternoon  at Harrahs (Aug. 9), going for a purse of $22,000.    The favorite at post time was Brian and Stephen Gordon's Bestjetyet (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). The 6-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark was coming off of a gate-to-wire score against easier last week here at Harrah's Philly. He was put into play early on from post 5 today, taking the lead by the opening quarter in :26.3. Pressure arrived at the half tho, in the form of second favorite Mojo Terror (Corey Callahan). The half was accomplished in :55.1. The battle continued at three-quarters (1:22.3), but that's when Bestjetyet extend his advantage. He ended up winning by one length in the end, stopping the clock in 1:50.3.    It was the 22nd win of his career, and the 4th of the season. Mojo Terror was second, while Jeneral Patton (Vic Kirby) finished third.   Bestjetyet ($3.80) is trained by Gilbert Garcia-Herrera.   Michael Bozich    

East Rutherford, NJ --- Dealt A Winner (David Miller) dealt his backers a huge payoff when the 26-1 longshot paced across the wire to win the $319,400 Cane Pace for 3-year-old pacing males on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands in 1:47.3, a stakes record and world record for harness racing 3-year-old pacing geldings on a mile track. The Cane is the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Dealt A Winner is owned by Jeffrey Snyder and is trained by Mark Silva. It was a cavalry charge off the gate, with Yankee Bounty (Yannick Gingras) and In The Arsenal (Brian Sears) making aggressive moves to try for the lead. Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) was also on the move from post two and with four horses within a few feet of each other, he hit the quarter-mile marker on top in :25.4. Sears soon had In The Arsenal on the outside and was pressuring Wiggle It Jiggleit all the way down the backstretch. Wiggle It Jiggleit had a tenuous lead at the :52.1 half when In The Arsenal began to fall off the pace.Dealt A Winner, coming from fifth, was outside of him, moving for the lead at the 1:20.4 three-quarters. The field failed to make up ground on Dealt A Winner when he got to the lead and he held it to the wire, winning by 1-1/4 lengths. Artspeak (Scott Zeron) came up to be second and Dude’s The Man (Corey Callahan) was third. Wiggle It Jiggleit faded to fourth. “I got him away I think fifth and they were going really hard into the first turn,” said David Miller. “They kept marching pretty good up the backstretch, you know :52(.1) to the half. I never had to move him until the last turn. He actually swelled up in the hole and when I moved him, he just took right off. This horse has struggled a little this year, but he’s got plenty of ability. He got to show it today.” The victory was the first in eight starts this year and sixth lifetime for Dealt A Winner, a son of Cam's Card Shark-Lazan Hanover, who has now earned $243,560 in 2015 and $363,439 lifetime. by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

Some of the new sires from the class of pacers born in 2008 have been experiencing early success in the various harness racing sire stakes programs in the US and Canada. Roll With Joe, who we looked at in a recent piece, is the top sire of two-year-old pacers in New York. Shadyshark Hanover is turning heads in Indiana. And Big Bad John and Big Jim are drawing attention to themselves in Ohio and Ontario, respectively.  Shadyshark Hanover was very fast; the full brother to Sharky Osborne, who brought $90,000 at Harrisburg, won the Holmes in a track record 1:47.3 over Hugadragon, Roll With Joe and Big Jim. That was the fastest race mile of the year for his class. However, this was his only open stakes win at three, and the Nassagaweya was his only open stakes win at two. Although he did set a track record for his class at Pocono in his freshman BC elimination. He won six time in 28 lifetime starts, primarily eliminations and consolations. One could compare him to his speedy paternal brother from the following crop, Hurrikane Kingcole, who, despite his vaunted speed, wears the Nassagaweya as his only open stakes win. The strapping son of Cam’s Card Shark stands for $3,000 in Indiana. His current class consists of 88 registered foals, a figure that will be cut in half next year. His top performer is the chestnut filly, Ginger Shark, who is four for four in the ISS, and crushed the field in Friday’s $75,000 final. Another Shadyshark filly, Shady Caroline, was second in that race. She has won twice and banked almost $40,000. The fillies are ahead of the colts right now. Shadyshark is tenth on the two-year-old earnings list, ahead of Dragon Again, Bettor’s Delight and Rock N Roll Heaven. And he ranks twelfth in average earnings per foal, ahead of Well Said and Rocknroll Hanover. With that crop reduction to 43 next year, let’s hope we don’t see the same break in momentum that has been evident this year with fellow Hoosier Always A Virgin.  Big Bad John, a smooth going $130,000 Lexington Selected purchase from the last crop of Western Hanover, won 7 of 9 relatively soft starts at two, including splits of the Bluegrass and ISS, and he took the Jug at three, when he won 11 times. He was no factor in division voting at two and got only six percent of the vote the following year. John raced in a $12,000 open at Pompano in January as a four-year-old in order to eclipse the million dollar mark in earnings. BBJ was higher on the pecking order than Shadyshark, but he was well below Roll With Joe, who earned $1.8 million and received 85% of the Dan Patch votes cast. Overall, Big Bad John, whose stud fee jumped $1,000 to $5,000 in 2015, ranks second only to SBSW on the earnings list, with 73 starters banking more than $500,000. He’s third in the average earnings per foal category, a testament to the regeneration of the Ohio program as well as his own promise as a stallion. Friday night Virgil Morgan’s colt, Primo Giovanni, won a $40,000 split of the OHSS at Northfield in 1:55.2. Saturday night the filly Big Bad Ashley engineered a very strong wire to wire win in 1:54.2 in another OHSS split at Scioto. And Queen Ann M made a three deep brush to the top into the last turn for Chris Page, after starting from the nine post, and won another split in 1:55 at odds of 3/5.  Big Jim scored more than 95% of the Dan Patch votes as a freshman after finishing up with dominating wins in the Breeders Crown and Governors Cup. He was viewed as a blossoming star as he entered his sophomore campaign. Unfortunately, this did not come to pass, as he earned more than $700,000 in an abbreviated ten race season, but had no open stakes wins.  Jim has been standing for $4,000 after opening at $5,000. He faces the same sort of momentum issues as his brethren: this crop consists of 73 foals, but next year there will only be 41. The median price for his yearlings was only $15,750: 40 averaged $24,000. The paternal brother of Rocknroll and American Ideal can obviously pump up those numbers over the next couple of months.  Monday night at Grand River his daughter Tempus Seelster won an elimination for the Battle Of The Belles in 1:56.1 as the second choice for Travis Henry. Another daughter, Bold Amoretto, from the millionaire Artsplace mare, Armbro Amoretto, was second in another split and made the final. And the black gelding Magnum J took a Battle Of Waterloo split. There will be two in the Belles final and one in the Waterloo.  A quick mention is also due another paternal brother of Big Jim, who is sending his first crop to the races in Ontario, Vintage Master. Tony Alagna’s filly, Thatsoveryverynice, set an OSS record when she crushed a field of her peers in 1:51.2 for Jody Jamieson recently at Mohawk. There are only 47 freshmen by double-millionaire Vintage Master, but they bear watching. Joe Fitzgerald

Taking advantage of a second-over trip and a torrid pace, the invading Burkentine Hanover ($28.20) edged clear late to take Monday (July 6) evening's $10,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs in 1:49.2.   The 5-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding tracked an early duel between Golden Receiver (Fern Paquet, Jr.) and Fireyourguns (Jimmy Whittemore), keeping right behind them as Fireyourguns worked clear of his double-millionaire rival through a :25.1 first quarter.   As JK Panache (Chris Lems) commenced a first-over rally after a 52.1 half mile, Billy Dobson angled Burkentine Hanover out to follow cover past the apex of the far turn.   Fireyourguns hit the three-quarter mark in 1:21, but was engulfed by JK Panache upon cornering for home.   At the same time, Burkentine Hanover fanned off live cover, working to the lead in mid-stretch and prevailing ultimately by three-quarters of a length.   JK Panache remained a game second, while Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald) rallied from last to take third.   Pacesetter Fireyourguns, sent off the 1-4 favorite, faded through the stretch to finish at the back of the quintet.   Heidi Rohr trains Burkentine Hanover for Michele Nelson.   Later in the card, Dude's the Man finished a game second to Calvin B ($5.20, Dobson) in a $7000 upper-level conditioned pace.   Dude's the Man brushed to the lead from third after tracking a :28 first quarter, accelerating on the far turn through a :54.4 final half but ultimately giving way to his first-over rival in the final yards of a 1:51.1 mile.   The Jessica Okusko trainee made his final start before he competes in a Meadowlands Pace elimination on Saturday (July 11).   Chris Lems drove the 3-year-old American Ideal colt for owners M and L of Delaware and Victoria Dickinson.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (July 10) evening, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Bettor’s Delight is, without a doubt, the most prolific sire to come down from his granddad Cam Fella. It is his sire Cam’s Card Shark, not Camluck, Cambest, Precious Bunny, Fake Left, Goalie Jeff, Pacific Fella, or any of the others, who has extended Cam Fella in a meaningful way into the second decade of the twenty-first century in North America. Bettor’s Delight is a three-for: he has dominated the lucrative NYSS for years; he is more than competitive on the Grand Circuit; and he is a major player in the day to day sector. Seventeen-year-old Bettor’s Delight, who will see his eleventh crop race this year, is the leading money-winning sire among pacers of all-ages in North America in 2015, with more than $7 million earned. He is also the leading money winning sire among three-year-old pacers. Overall, his offspring have earned more than $126 million. Mosquito Blue Chip, who won the $225,000 Night of Champions pace last year; Steve Elliott’s Not Before Eight, who won a split of the Watson at Yonkers the other night; and Bettorhaveanother, are a few of this year’s productive sophomore fillies, while, My Spirit Soars, National Seelster, J Eagle Feather and A Bettor Hat are a few of the better colts. Sunday there were three $30,000 splits of the NYSS for sophomore colt pacers at Vernon Downs. Eleven of the 29 starters were by Bettor’s Delight and three of the four divisions were won by his sons. This is the norm. His 2015 freshman crop, which numbered 98, will race in the Ontario sire stakes program. And in 2016 and 2017 the peripatetic stallion’s freshmen will have a go at the crew in Pennsylvania. Then it will be back to Ontario. This shiftless lifestyle is of no concern to BD: for the first dozen years of his career he averaged 111 registered foals. Bettor’s Delight has 10 standard millionaires and three double-millionaires based in North America. (He also has three singles and a double Down Under).  The outstanding FFA pacer, Bettor Sweet, who won the Breeders Crown twice, is the richest male. Darlin’s Delight and Southwind Tempo, both of whom won their division at three, are the two fillies. Worldwide he has 56 $500,000 winners and 332 $100,000 winners. To put that in perspective, Dragon Again, who is three years older, and known more for his hard hitting aged stock—Wakizashi notwithstanding—than his Grand Circuit types, has 26 $500,000 winners and 97 $100,000 winners. Cam Fella is responsible for the three all-age world records by Cambest, Bettor’s Delight’s paternal brother Holborn Hanover and Bettor’s Delight’s daughter, the retired Shebestingin, who holds a 1:47 mark. The Most Happy Fella branch running through No Nukes, Western Hanover, Western Ideal, Rocknroll and American ideal is more accomplished, but Cam’s crew still holds the speed marks. See You At Peelers, who won 22 in a row, and won her division at two and three, is Bettor’s Delight’s most accomplished horse in North America. She won the Breeders Crown, Fan Hanover, Tarport Hap and Valley Forge, and beat the boys in the Rooney. The super star son is missing: the top earning son is incomplete; number two and three slots on the money chart are occupied by mares; the most accomplished offspring is a filly. Betterthancheddar, who is standing his second season in Ontario (first was in NY), is his fastest complete son. He won the Breeders Crown and Cane at three and took the Franklin in a world record 1:48 at four. He did not race at two. Cheddar bred 68 mares at a $4,500 fee his first season, in New York. This year $1,000 was lopped off his fee when he moved North. Bettor’s Delight has no Rocknroll Hanover or Captaintreacherous to carry the ball for him; the markedly  inbred Cheddar is his premier stallion. Of course, Bettor’s Delight’s full brother Roll With Joe, who will unveil his first race crop this year, will also have every opportunity to extend Cam’s Card Shark, and in turn, Cam Fella. All Bets Off was the archetypal Bettor’s Delight colt. Last year he won the Messenger, Rooney and Milstein on the Grand Circuit, and he won NYSS races at Yonkers, Monticello and Vernon Downs. And he took the Confederation Cup this year. Ron Burke is a master when it comes to playing a colt like this in both sectors simultaneously. Vegas Vacation serves as another good example. He won the high dollar EBC restricted stake in New York, as well as the Jug, Simcoe and Matron. Aside from Vegas Vacation; Fashion Delight, Bullville Powerful, Kenneth J, Shebestingin, Bettor B Lucky, Peelers and Indulge Me all augmented their GC income with EBC wins. As a broodmare sire Bettor’s Delight hasn’t yet hit the lottery. Age is obviously a major factor here, and his best days should be ahead of him. Messenger winner Ronny Bugatti (Art Major) is the top money maker in this group. Emeritus Maximus, Fast And Feisty, Ultimate Beachboy and The Real One round out the top five. That Messenger win by Ronny, in a track record 1:51.2, is the only open stakes win for this crew. It’s fair to say that BD is off to a slow start as a broodmare sire. As great a career as Bettor’s Delight has had as a stallion, he hasn’t come close to reproducing himself. He won his division twice, at two and three; captured the BC, Governor’s Cup and Nassagaweya at two; and won the Jug and Tattersalls Pace at three. None of his sons have come close to matching that record. What Muscles Yankee did with Muscle Hill, Bettor’s Delight hasn’t come close to doing. He has no North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace winners. Vegas Vacation, who only won once at two and didn’t race at four, won the Jug, as well as the Matron. He has no Tattersalls Pace, Adios or Battle Of Brandywine winners. Cheddar won the Breeders Crown at three and the Franklin in world record time the following year, but having no history at two and a narrow period of top tier performances at three, hurts. Bettor Sweet, a half -brother to Sweet Lou, won the BC twice in his aged form as well as the Bettor’s Delight/Roll With Joe, but the Progress Pace was his only significant open won at three. Tuffofthetoughest took the Hempt, while Kenneth J won splits of the Bluegrass and ISS. Island Delight also won the latter. All Bets Off won the Messenger, Rooney, Milstein and Matron. All in all, in North America, the males excel at restricted racing and overnights. They are good, but not great, on the Grand Circuit. The fillies have fared very well on the open stakes circuit: Peelers, Soutwind Tempo, Darlin’s Delight, Bettor B Lucky, Shebestingin, Eternity’s Delight, Table Talk, JK Black, JK Owhatanite and others have more than held their own. Bettor’s Delight just needs to knock one out of the park, with a complete son, to put the finishing touches on his legacy. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

Spinarama (Cam's Card Shark) scored on the front end in Saturday night's harness racing open pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Chris Marino-trained pacer usually doesn't get beat when he makes the lead and even after enduring a first quarter in 26.3 and half in 54.3 had plenty left in the tank to score in 1:52. The win time equaled the fastest of the year for a pacer at the Spa. Austin Siegelman piloted the six year old to victory as he moved his career earnings to over the $300,000 mark with the win. Ser Jon (Brian Cross) sat the pocket behind the winner and held strong for second while Ahdoughnolum (Jordan Derue) finished third in his debut in the Open. For Spinarama, it was the third victory in the $18,000 Saturday feature this year, more than any other pacer. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:45pm. Mike Sardella  

The richest ever son of harness racing super sire American Ideal is standing for the first time ever in the Southern Hemisphere at Empire Stallions. Sensational USA 3-Year-Old Pacer of the Year and Breeders Crown Champion Heston Blue Chip 2,1:50.4; 3,1:48 ($1,781,881) has been issued an international passport  and is headed to Empire Stallions in Victoria to stand the upcoming 2015/16 breeding season. Heston Blue Chip defeated the best of his generation while winning 34 times and banking over $1.8 in earnings. He set 9 track and stakes records while competing on the Grand Circuit and in the highly competitive New York Sires Stakes at 2 & 3. As a two-year-old, Heston Blue Chip won 11 of 13 starts with 2 second place finishes while earning $375,650. His most prestigious win at 2 was the $177,275 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs which he won by three-quarters of a length in a brilliant 1:50.4. That time set the stakes record, equaled the track record and was one-fifth of a second off the world record for two-year-old colt pacers on a five-eighths mile track. Other Grand Circuit wins at 2 included the John Simpson Memorial at Vernon Downs and the Tompkins Geers Stakes where he equaled the stakes record with a 1:52 effort. Also at 2, Heston was a standout in the New York Sires Stakes arena winning 7 Sire Stakes events at 6 different tracks including the $175,000 2YO New York Sires Stakes Championship with a track record 1:53.3 performance at Saratoga Raceway. Heston Blue Chip was New York’s 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year. Heston Blue Chip returned at 3 to take the harness racing world by storm. The defining moment of this stellar 3-year-old season was his victory in both the elimination and Final of the $555,000 3YO Breeders Crown. Heston Blue Chip went off as the favourite in both events and did not disappoint winning the 1:50.3 elimination over Sweet Lou and A Rocknroll Dance. In a great stretch run duel in the Final, Heston Blue Chip prevailed over Sweet Lou and Bettors Edge to win in 1:49.2.   It was an absolute romp for Heston Blue Chip in the Progress Pace elimination where he defeated Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou by more than 5 metres in 1:49.3. Heston Blue Chip was untouchable in the $270,000 Final reaching the opening quarter in a slick :25.2 – the fastest quarter ever recorded at Dover Downs. He rolled on by the half in :54 and stopped the clock in a Stakes Record 1:49 again over Bettors Edge and Sweet Lou.   In addition, Heston Blue Chip won the Historic Stakes at Tioga in a 1:49.2 track record for 3-year-old colts and swept the $270,000 Empire Breeders Classic with a 1:50.4 win in the elimination and set yet another track record with a sizzling 1:48.4 performance in the Final.   Heston Blue Chip again dominated in the New York Sire Stakes program winning 4 events. These victories were a $113,413 leg at Yonkers, a $66,848 leg also at Yonkers, a leg at Monticello Raceway in 1:52.4 with a :26.3 last quarter and a leg at Tioga Downs when he equaled his own 1:49.2 track standard.   Heston Blue Chips final start at 3 was a memorable win in the Final of the $176,663 Matron Stakes. He demonstrated his great turn of foot when he paced the fastest mile in Dover Downs’ history winning in a sizzling 1:48 over the 5/8ths mile oval. Heston Blue Chip also won eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace and the Jersey Cup.   Heston Blue Chip tallied up 14 wins and 2 placings from 18 starts while earning over $1 Million that season at 3 on his way to being awarded tops honours. Heston Blue Chip was voted the USA 3YO Colt Pacer of the Year in a crop that included Sweet Lou and A Rocknroll Dance.   Heston Blue Chip was a nine-time Open, Preferred, FFA and Invitational Winner at The Meadowlands, Yonkers, Tioga, Saratoga and Harrah’s Philadelphia at 4 & 5. He established a new track record at Tioga Downs for 4-year-old pacing stallions with a 1:49.2 victory. Heston Blue Chip was retired to commence his stallion duties and is standing his first season at Winbak Farms in New York in 2015.   Heston Blue Chip was trained by Linda Toscano, the all-time leading trainer at The Meadowlands and the first woman to ever train a Hambletonian winner. “He was clearly the best New York Sires Stakes colt at two and three setting multiple track records on all sized tracks. In his Breeders Crown win, Heston Blue Chip beat the best of the best including Sweet Lou. If that isn’t enough, he’s one of the kindest, nicest and happiest horses I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He’s a great-gaited individual who wore no boots and a 63” hobble. "He’s a special horse,” Toscano said. Tim Tetrick who recently visited Australia & New Zealand to compete in the World Driving Championship was Heston Blue Chips regular driver. “I really enjoyed racing Heston Blue Chip”, said Tetrick. “From the first time I raced him in a baby race at 2, I knew he was extremely talented,” Tetrick continued. “He is a beautiful animal, big, strong and athletic on his feet and could leave the gate lightning fast." "He had a great attitude and a will to win and that usually transfers to a stallion’s offspring." "If his offspring have his attitude and desire, they will be great colts and fillies,” Tim said. Heston Blue Chip represents one of the world’s hottest sire lines today – his sire American Ideal is by super sire Western Ideal. From his first 5 North American crops to race, American Ideal is already the sire of 201 in 1:55, 19 in 1:50 or faster, 100 winners of $100,000+ and over $35.4 Million in progeny earnings. With his $1.7 million in race earnings, Heston Blue Chip is his sire’s richest son. In the Southern Hemisphere, American Ideal is the sire of 370 winners with earnings of over $6.5 million from 5 crops to race. His top Australian performers include multiple GR1 Winner & Breeders Crown Champion Bling It On 1:51 ($829,422) and the 2015 GR1 NSW Derby Winner Ideal For Real 1:55.8 ($172,185). Heston Blue Chip hails from one of the sport’s best maternal families. He is the first foal out of the unraced Cams Card Shark mare Shot Togo Bluechip. His full brother is 2013 Adios Winner Sunfire Blue Chip ($917,374) and their half-sister sold at Harrisburg last year for $160,000. His second dam, CC’s Saleofcentury by Real Artist is a full sister to Just Wait Kate 1:54.4 ($387,931), Kiss Me Kate 1:51.3 ($283,839) and the $1.4 million winner Kikikatie 1:50.3, dam of Rockin Image 1:48.2 ($901,756) by Rocknroll Hanover, Time To Roll 1:49.3 ($781,249) by Rocknroll Hanover, Rockin Amadeus 1:48.4 ($728,392) by Rocknroll Hanover and Tellitlikeitis 1:48.4 ($490,695) by Well Said. This is the immediate family of Camluck, North America’s  leading pacing sire for many years. “Heston Blue Chip is a wonderful addition our stallion roster this season” said David James, owner of Empire Stallions. “He is American Ideal’s first and only son to stand at stud in the southern hemisphere and with the current success of the Western Ideal sire line down under, Heston is a great new option for breeders. He is just a magnificent looking dark bay stallion with a fluid gait, outstanding conformation and excellent fertility. "His credentials speak for themselves.” Heston Blue Chip will stand for a very attractive fee of $5,500 including GST and discounts apply. His progeny will be Vicbred eligible as well as eligible to the Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and the NSW Breeders Challenge. Courtesy of Empire Stallions

Pompano Beach, FL...May 23, 2015...Johnny Grippa teamed up with harness racing driver Bruce Ranger to score a handy win measuring 2 1/2 lengths in Pompano Park's $8,500 "Winner's Over" handicap pace on Saturday night in 1:51.4. The seven year-old son of Cam's Card Shark led at every junction in the mile, clocking fractions of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:25.3 before exploding home in :26.1 to pin the defeat on stablemate Hillybilly, handled by Ben McNeil, with Northern Companion, with Tom Sells handling the lines, third. Shamderock and Who's Your Maddy picked up the final awards in the quintet. At the outset, Johnny Grippa was sent right to the front from his advantageous post five with Northern Companion, one slot in, also on the engine early and settling in the garden spot with Shamderock, Who's Your Maddy and Hillybilly completing the order through the early going and over to the half. On the backside, driver McNeil sent Hillybilly winging from the back of the pack and, with no interruptions, brushed up into second around the final turn. In the lane, Johnny Grippa was doing some serious brushing of his own, scorching the last panel to seal the deal. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger, having just celebrated lifetime win number 8,888 just last Wednesday, smiled and said, "Well, that's the first of my 'next' 8,888." He continued, "This is just a hard hitting, solid performer. He loves to be in the thick of the action from the get-go and the five post here is the perfect spot to do so. He was sharp last week finishing second and he was sharp again tonight with the 'soft' fractions helping him the middle half of the mile." Trained by Stewart Nemiro for Mc Trade Enterprises, Johnny Grippa won for the fifth time this year in 18 starts, good for $40,600 so far in 2015. Lifetime, Johnny Grippa now owns 42 wins with career earnings of $194,170. As the 1 to 5 chalk on the tote-board, Johnny Grippa paid $2.40 to win. Also of interest on the Saturday night card was the winning debut of Bring On The Beach, a three year-old full brother to the great Somebeachsomewhere, Trained by Jim Mc Donald for the Mardon Stables, Paradox Farm and Dan MacIssac, Bring On The Beach scored for Wally Hennessey in 1:54.4, holding off the late surging pair of Marion and Motorcity Pawnstar in the process. Bring On The Beach was away cautiously in this, his first career outing before brushing from third around the opening turn and taking the lead right at the first marker in :29. He then proceeded through panels of :57.4 and 1:26 before holding on to score by three-parts-of-a-length on the strength of his :28.4 finale. Unraced at two--sans a Mohawk qualifier in which he made a miscue early--Bring On The Beach came into the action off of a 1:56.4 qualifying win three weeks ago. After the win, Hennessey said, "He's a nice colt, no doubt about that...but he's got about 40 lengths to make up to catch his brother...$3,000,000, too. He's got some talent. I hope he goes half as far as his brother!" As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Bring On The Beach paid $3.80 to win to his many followers. Racing continues on Wednesday night with first post tabbed at 7:30 p.m. Correction: In our last report, it was erroniously stated that the handle for last Wednesday's program was a record $1,381,817. While the single race handle of $1,299,038 proved to be a record, the aforementioned total handle was not a record as $1,435,549 was wagered on Isle of Capri night in 2003 and $1,403,907 was the total handle on Isle of Capril night in 2000. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...May 6, 2015...Senorita Santanna, a bridesmaid to Godiva Seelster in their last two encounters, finally conquered her nemisis on Wednesday night (May 6) in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares, stopping the clock in 1:53.4.   The five year-old daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, off as second choice at 5 to 2 and handled this night by Kevin Wallis, was away alertly, as usual, before yielding to Godiva Seelster, off at 1 to 5, with Wally Hennessey handling her lines, around the first turn and stalking that one through fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4.   Tilting out turning for home, Senorita Santanna began gnawing away at Godiva, drawing on even terms a sixteenth out and then on to a victory measuring three-parts-of-a-length.   Just Fine, longest chance on the board at 65 to 1, teamed up with Mickey McNichol to be thirdfour lengths away, while Artful Impulse finished fourth. Mach Me Not picked up the minors in the field of seven.   In a post race interview, driver Kevin Wallis related, "I had driven this mare before around the first of the year and won with her a couple of times so I knew of her talent. She has early speed so she left right out and I really didn't want to get in any speed duel early with a mare with the credentials of Wally's (Hennessey) mare (Godiva Seelster). He (Hennessey) rated her well to the half so I didn't know if I would be able to get by her off that, but my mare responded very well when asked and she must have paced her final quarter under :28 (actually :27.4) to get by."   Trained by Joe Sanzeri for the J L Benson Stables, Senorita Santanna won for the fifth time in 17 starts this year, sending her seasonal bankroll to just short of $50,000--$48,170 to be precise. She's banked $160,156 lifetime.   She returned a $7.00 mutuel to her faithful.   Godiva Seelster, by the way, with her second place finish, extended her streak of earning checks to 53, covering her every start as a three year-old, four-year-old and, thus far, five year-old.   In the companion $10,000 Open Handicap for Trotters, Count Speed extended his win skein to four with a 1:55.3 win for driver Wally Hennessey.   Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, the Majestic Son six year-old did not have the easiest of journeys as he went searching for the lead early, only to be out-scooted from the get-go by, first, Illusionsndreams (Andy Santeramo), and, then, Gold Savage (Mickey McNichol) through an opening panel of :27.2 with Count Speed's main rival, Increditable, handled by Kevin Wallis, finding a cozy spot in fourth after starting from the outside nine post.   But Count Speed kept pressing on, taking command halfway through the mile in :56.2 with Gold Savage second, Illusionsndreams third and Increditable fourth but on the move heading into the final turn.   With the three-quarters on the board in 1:25.2, Count Speed turned for home with a lead of 1 1/2 lengths but, through the lane, no serious threats developed and Count Speed hit the wire with that same margin over the late charging Increditable with Gold Savage third and Jailhouse Jessica rallying late for fourth. Illusionsndreams did pick up the nickel in the nine horse field.   After the event, Hennessey said, "This was not an easy trip...but, when you have an outside post with what seems to be your main rival one notch out, there is no choice but to keep pressing on. It was a pretty demanding 1:25.2 three quarters for him but, I guess it was a demanding three quarters for the others near the top, as well. He's (Count Speed) in very sharp form now and that's what got him through this one tonight."   For Count Speed, it was his fourth win--all consecutive--in six starts, good for bounty of $17,220 this semester. He's banked $215,620 lifetime.   As the 5 to 2 second choice in the betting, Count Speed paid $7.20 to win.   Other notable performances on Wednesday night were put in by My Revenuer, Cheap N Easy and Looney Dune.   My Revenuer, driven by Tom Sells for owner-trainer Tom Petri, "exploded" by his rivals in the stretch to score a 4 1/4 length in the $7,500 Open 2 Trot, defeating Goldstar Classic and Wally Hennessey in a season's best 1:55.3.   Ex King and Andy Santeramo rallied to finish third while Tyrone Showstopper was fourth after cutting panels of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:26.3. The Muscler picked up the final award in the field of nine.   My Revenuer, a seven year-old son of Revenue S, won for the second time this season--20th win lifetime--to send his 2015 earnings to $22,821. He's banked $156,596 lifetime.   As the 2 to 1 second choice, My Revenuer paid $6.20 to win.   Cheap N Easy, a seven year-old daughter of Cam's Card Shark, came into the action in her conditioned pace for mares with a mark of 1:52.2 set three season's ago at the seven-eighths Vernon Downs oval. She went into the Pompano Park winner's circle with a new mark--1:51.2--after leading at every pole--:26.4, :54.4 and 1:23--along the way.   Trained by Fred Cohen for Melvin Fink and Clifford Grundy, Cheap N Easy won for the 48th time during her career to send her lifetime bounty to $239,669.   Cheap N Easy was 3 to 5 on the tote-board and returned $3.40.   Looney Dune also recorded a new lifetime mark--1:52.1--in her conditioned pace for mares.   The Bettor's Delight seven year-old, trained by Jack Mc Neil III for owner Ellen Mc Neil, was driven by Ben Mc Neil and also led throughout the proceedings, carding fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:23.3 before repelling the stout challenge of Taylor B Swift and driver Wally Hennessey turning for home and finishing off her opponents with her :28.3 finale.   Della Bea finished third for Bruce Ranger while DVC Kahlua Breeze and Goldstar Rcokette picked up the final two awards in the field of 10.   Second choice in the betting, Looney Dune paid $6.80 to win.   In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, long shot Track Girl (12 to 1) keyed a 4-1-5-3-6 winning combination paying $211.16 to 20 astute handicappers for their 20 cent investment, sending the carryover to Saturday night's program over the $190,000 mark.   The track also announced that there will be a mandatory payout of the Super Hi-5 on Wednesday, May 20, provided no single winner cashes in prior to then.   Saturday night post time is set at 7:30 p.m with the Super Hi-5 carded as the final race on the card.   by John Berry for Pompano Park    

A full field of nine lined up behind starter Norton Shoemaker for the featured event on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. It was a pace for non-winners of $10,000 in their last five starts. In the beginning, it was co-favorite Bestjetyet (Geo Napolitano Jr.) moving out for the lead. The aged son of Cam's Card Shark was looking to give driver George Napolitano Jr. his sixth consecutive driving win on the card. He battled the parked-out Brody (Sean Bier) the entire first half (:56). At three-quarters, Howard Edward and Kathy Davis' Nova Artist (Allan Davis) drove three wide to challenge. They battled to the top of the stretch, and that's when Bettors Glass (Tim Tetrick) used the passing-lane to kick through for the win. The 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight paced a seasonal best 1:51.2, notching his 25th career win. Bestjetyet was second, while Nova Artist flattened out to finish third. Bettor's Glass ($13.20) is owned by Jfe Enterprise LLC and Triple D Stables, and is trained by Scott Di Domenico. In other notes, driver George Napolitano Jr. ended up with six wins on the card. Trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera had four consecutive training wins on the program as well. Harrah's Philadelphia will conduct a special Saturday racing program, with a post time of 12:40 PM. Michael Bozich

WILKES-BARRE PA - Ooh Bad Shark has been nothing but Ooh Good Shark since starting her 2015 harness racing campaign earlier this month, and Wednesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono she went a stunning mile in 1:49.2 to win the $25,000 handicap mares pace.   The seven-year-old daughter of Cam's Card Shark opened her season with a win at Harrah's Philly, then in her last two races had been third and second to the rampaging Show Runner, who entered Wednesday's race with a six-race winning streak. But "The Shark"'s driver Jim Morrill Jr. knew his mare was sharpening, so he made a daring quarter-move from fifth at the noted frontrunner after a 26.4 opener, and paced her own second quarter in 26.3 to go by Show Runner at the 54.2 half.   Down the backstretch Ooh Bad Shark had Show Runner literally breathing down her back, and then Valerya made a huge first-over bid that carried her to within a length of the leader at the 1:21.4 3/4s. Around the final turn, Show Runner finally began to melt a bit, but Valerya actually drew on even terms with the "Shark" as they turned for home.   In the stretch Valerya actually got a head in front, but Morrill kept asking his mare, and she had more to give, fighting back to the top past midstretch to finally eke out a neck decision. Show Runner held for third, another two lengths behind.   Veteran William Wiggins could not have a sharper distaff in his care, and Wiggins is also co-owner of the winner of $394,405 with Donna Fedorak.   '*****   Pocono will be featuring a doubleheader of racing on Saturday, Kentucky Derby Day, with the 11 a.m. card highlighted by four division of a PA All-Stars contest for three-year-old trotting colts, and the 6:30 p.m. evening session topped by the Van Rose Memorial Pace for the free-for-all set.   The northeast PA track ends a racing "holiday weekend" Sunday with three divisions of the PA All-Stars event for the Hambletonian set's filly counterparts (no slight meant, Mission Brief). Such promising sophomore misses as Livininthefastlane, third in her Breeders Crown Final last year, 1:54.2 2YO Lilu Hanover, and Goldsmith Maid elim winner Gatka Hanover will be among the fillies trying to make their marks in the early season.   PHHA / Pocono  

Spinarama (Cam’s Card Shark) became the first two-time winner of the Open Pace in 2015 at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as he scored a wire-to-wire victory in the Saturday night feature. Austin Siegelman moved the 7-5 co-favorite out to the early lead and got a comfortable first half in 57.4 before pacing away from his rivals to win in 1:53.3. Kid PK (Stephane Bouchard) got the pocket ride and finished second in his first career try in the local pacing feature while co-favored JD’s Caleb Man (Billy Dobson) had to settle for third. Spinarama pulled off the upset in the $18,000 Open Pace two weeks ago when he pulled off the upset at odds of 19-1 for Siegelman and trainer Chris Marino. The win was one of three on the night for Siegelman who currently sits fourth in the local driver standings. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:45pm.  Mike Sardella

Pompano Beach, FL...April 11, 2015...In an epic harness racing battle to the wire, Panocchio, driven by Bruce Ranger, edged by a game Duc Dorleans (Donald Dupont) in the final strides to post a 1:50 victory in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (April 11). Neptune (Aaron Byron) rallied late to finish third while favored Steelhead Hanover (Joe Pavia, Jr.) faltered and finished fourth after, once again, cutting sizzling panels similar to in his last two victories of 1:49.2 and 1:50. Northern Companion picked up the nickel in the sextet over Canadian Touch. When the gate sprung, Canadian Touch, handled by Mike Micallef, left with alacrity and briefly engaged Steelhead Hanover in a battle for the top spot early with the latter taking command right at the opener in :26.1. Meanwhile, Duc Dorleans, leaving in search of a cozy close-up spot, found one in third with Panocchio, from the outside post, settling in fourth in front of Neptune and Northern Companion. Positions remained somewhat stagnant through the lively half in :54.3 but, on the backside, Steelhead Hanover began to feel the heat with Duc Dorleans moving along side and Pancchio following live cover through three-quarters in 1:22.1. In the lane, Duc Dorleans took charge with Panocchio fanning widest of all and, finally, wearing down the "Duc" near the wire--the margin a half length. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger said, "With so much speed leaving inside of where we started, it just didn't make sense for me to get in a war early, so I kinda just floated out of there looking for a good spot in front of the two (Neptune and Northern Companion) that don't seem to want to be in the thick of it early. I was lucky to find a spot ahead of those two around the first turn...I certainly didn't want to be six or seven lengths behind early. When Don (Dupont) pulled going first up with his horse (Duc Dorleans), I just followed him and just tilted out further in the lane. We were both going some at the end...mine just a little more than his. That was the difference. Both of our horses capable of sub-1:50. Again, I have to give credit to Jim and Vicki (Mattison) because they do such an incredible job with this horse. They have taught him well...He's very well behaved and does everything asked of him." Owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with Jim Mattison, Panocchio, a five year-old son of No Pan Intended, now is two-for-three this semester and 26 for 56 lifetime with career earnings of $186,145 to go along with his mark of 1:49.3. The Florida Amateur Driving Club, having donated over $140,000 to worthwhile organizations since their inception, played host to on Saturday night, an organization dedicated to supply funding to agencies assisting those affected with HIV. has a yearly bicycle event from Miami to Key West--165 miles--that has raised over $6.4 million in its 12 year history. This year's event is held in November with 100% of all funding going to the organization, which thrives on bicycle participants and volunteers. Ranger, by the way, also had two other winners on the card, the first with the $20,000 claiming pacer Johnny Grippa, this seven year-old son of Cam's Card Shark stitching together equal halves of :55.2 to record a gate-to-wire win in a lifetime best 1:50.4 for Mc Trade Enterprises, and the other with The Three Gees Stable's First Impression, slipping through along the pylons late to earn his 41st lifetime win, this one for trainer Gary Mc Donald. First Impression's win came in Pompano Park's finale, the Super Hi-5 with 41 astute handicapper cashing in on the 4-5-2-1-3 combo paying $138.82 for their 20 cent investment. The Super Hi-5 carryover for Monday night's card now has vaulted to $130,503. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Spinarama (Cam’s Card Shark) pulled off the harness racing upset in Saturday night’s featured race at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Chris Marino-trained pacer was piloted aggressively in the $18,000 Open Pace by Austin Siegelman who moved the six year old out to the early lead. Setting first half fractions of 27.3 and 56.3, Spinarama had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive despite being dismissed at odds of 19-1. The race’s co-favorite and last week’s Open winner BJ’s Guy (Bruce Aldrich Jr) came charging hard in the stretch to be second while longshot JK Panache (Mark Beckwith) finished third. Spinarama’s first victory of the season came in 1:53.2 and served as one of four winners on the card for the 23 year old Siegelman. Spinarama returned $41.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $100 and $438, respectively. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon with a 4:00pm first post time.     Mike Sardella 

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