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Royal Max, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., justified the 4 to 5 tote-board confidence of the betting crowd by scoring a handy 1:54.1 harness racing victory in Pompano Park's $15,000 Open Handicap Trot on Tuesday night. The lightly raced five year-old gelded son of RC Royalty, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Albert Crawford, brushed up strongly from his seven post to take command prior to the hot :26.4 opener then proceeded to post fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.2 in route to a victory measuring 2¾ lengths over the late surging Winding Hill, handled by John MacDonald. She's All In, prominent in the garden spot all the way, wound up third for Rick Plano while Sailer Eddie finished fourth, nine lengths away from the winner. My Revenuer, assigned the outside post off of two straight wins in the company, rallied to pick up the nickel. In a post-race interview, driver George Napolitano related, "Ya know, he was really good last week off of only one qualifier and I told Chris (trainer Oakes) that he's got an Open trotter here. He was roughed up last week and held together well in the lane so I thought he'd be even better tonight.and he was! Once he got to the lead, he was all business all the way. Chris has done an excellent job in getting him back to the races after he was injured last spring." Trainer Chris Oakes added, "When I got 'Max,' he had some problems so I really took my time in getting him healthy again. It's one of Mr. Crawford's favorites so a lot of TLC went in to getting him ready to race again. He's five now but only has 28 lifetime starts-including tonight-so he's got the fresh legs to keep going a while." Of those aforementioned 28 starts, Royal Max has won nine times with his lifetime bounty with this win now at $153,200. Royal Max rewarded his investors with a dividend of $3.80. In the $10,000 co-featured trot, Lucid Thoughts, driven by trainer John MacDonald for the J P Stables, scored an upset win in near gate to wire fashion in 1:55.1--the winning margin two lengths over Goldstar Classic, handled by Wally Hennessey. Explosive Muscles, under the tutelage of Rick Plano, finished third while Diamond Dagger finished fourth. MacKenzie's Star picked up the nickel over Majestic Won with the 2 to 5 favorite, Escuela, never "fired" this night and finished seventh and last. Lucid Thoughts, a 1:55.1 winner last week coming from off the pace, used different tactics this night as the eight year-old son of Cash Hall blasted out of the gate and out-dueled Goldstar Classic around the initial turn to take control and carve out panels of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:26 before coasting home untouched in :29.1. Not only did Lucid Thoughts score a repeat win, it was his 26th success in 165 career starts to send his lifetime bounty to $255,750. As fourth choice on the tote-board at 10 to 1, Lucid Thoughts paid $23.80 to win. Racing resumes Wednesday night with a 10 race program scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL.January 27, 2016.Velocity Vespa survived a "roughed up" opening quarter and went on to win the $12,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace in 1:53 over a sloppy Pompano Park harness racing oval on Wednesday night. The six year-old daughter of I Scoot Hanover, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., dug in late to hold off the pocket sitting Mach It A Par, handled by Dan Clements, by a neck with Classic Carpet and Wally Hennessey teaming up for show honors. Just A Bee finished fourth after moving to the flank of Velocity Vespa around the final turn while Art Frenzy picked up the minor award in the field of seven. At the outset, Mach It A Par showed alacrity leaving with Just A Bee alongside and Velocity Vespa also joining the fray from her outside post and "double bubbled" through much of a sizzling opening quarter in :26.3. Finally making the top, Napolitano lulled the rest of the field through a :30.2 second panel-a breather that put Velocity Vespa at the half in :57. On the backside, Just A Bee left her spot in third and charged up strongly as the pace quickened with "Vespa" reaching the third station in 1:25. In the lane, Just A Bee drifted out a bit allowing Mach It a Par a clear path to the leader and, while gaining a bit late, fell a neck short at the wire as Velocity Vespa notched the victory-her fifth straight here at Pompano. After the event, driver George Napolitano, Jr. said, "This was not an easy trip. That first quarter was very tough and we were fortunate that we got to take a breath or two during the second quarter. "Of course, a lot of credit has to go to (trainer) Chris Oakes, who keeps this mare sharp-and was sharp as a tack tonight." Owned by Susan Oakes, Velocity Vespa continues her 2016 perfect at four-for-four and, now, with 26 wins in 101 lifetime starts, has $190,487 in career bounty. As the 1 to 2 choice, Velocity Vespa paid $3.00 to win. The Open 2 Pace for the ladies went to Southwind Trini, handled by Brad Kramer, in 1:52.4, her winning margin a scant nose over Pertty Music, driven by Travis Cullen. Limelight, teamed up with Rick Plano, was third, 2 ¾ lengths away, while De Vins Girl finished fourth. Shortest Distance picked up the nickel in the quintet. Southwind Trini was on the engine from the get-go from her outside post five, taking the lead from De Vins Girl around the opening turn and carding fractions of :27.3, :57 through the opening half. Just a stride or two prior to that second station, Cullen moved Pertty Music out and she brushed up strongly on the backside gnawing away at the leader past the next station in 1:24.3. In the lane, Southwind Trini and Pertty Music hooked up in a classic duel to the wire with a photo necessary to determine the winner. Trained by Rob Harmon for Karma Racing, Inc., Southwind Trini, an eight year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, won for the 32nd time during her career, sending her lifetime bounty close to $400,000--$394.527 to be precise. As the 8 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Southwind Trini paid $5.40 to win. Finally, Deuces For Charity, claimed just a week ago for $10,000 won a conditioned event for mares in 1:51.4, easily a lifetime best. This five year-old daughter of Armbro Deuce, co-owned by James Stonecipher along with trainer Jamie Macomber, was driven to victory by Ricky Macomber, Jr and, as the even money favorite, paid $4.00 to win and set up a carryover for Saturday's Super Hi-5 of $61,570.16. Racing continues on Saturday night with first race post at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 24, 2016...The weather was, indeed, chilly in South Florida on Sunday night-50o-but harness racing driver George Napolitano, Jr. continued his hot hand at Pompano Park by scoring his 7,500th career victory in the $10,000 claiming ($30,000) pace with Danger Hi Joltage. Trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, the seven year-old gelded son of Village Jolt scored a handy win measuring two lengths in 1:52.1-his second straight victory after being claimed for $20,000 two weeks ago. KR's Power Surge (Dave Ingraham) finished second while King Royalty (Matt Romano) was third over Danish Dujour and Thebestofjoel. Don't Tell Rusty, prominent around the opening turn, made a miscue to lose all chance. The win, carded off fractions of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:24.1 was the 34th lifetime for Danger Hi Joltage, sending his career bankroll to $193,191. After the event, a reflective George Napolitano, Jr. said, "You know, it's pretty neat to get my 7,500th win here because here at Pompano Park is where I started. "I got my first qualifying win here back in late 1992 and my first pari-mutuel win here in 1993. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have been given. "I guess I'm not one for saying I've been blessed too much but, really, I have been blessed that owners and trainers have recognized my ability and I am thankful for that." Though Napolitano has been in the business for almost 25 years, more than 4,000 of his wins have come just since 2010. There were a multitude of Napolitano faithful in that event who also celebrated as they were rewarded with a $4.20 win mutual. Meanwhile, Pompano Park's main event-the $13,000 Open Pace-went to the favored Arthur Blue Chip, driven by Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, himself the author of over 8,900 career wins. Arthur Blue Chip, the five year-old son of Shadow Play, eked out a narrow photo finish victory in 1:51.3 over Johnny Grippa (Dan Clements) with Lyons Johnny (Mike Micallef) third, a length away, in a separate photo over Bandolito, the latter cutting panels of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.1. Invader Brees Creek rallied for the nickel in his Pompano Park debut. At the outset, Johnny Grippa and Bandolito were quickest out of the gate with Arthur Blue also showing early speed to land a comfortable spot in third. Positions remained that way until midway on the backstretch when Arthur Blue Chip pulled and went gnawing after Bandolito's lead, reaching alongside turning for home and edging clear only to be threatened by Johnny Grippa, finding clear sailing along the pylons late to just miss by a neck. In a post-race interview, driver Hennessey said, "Doc Moore (Trainer Ian Moore) has done a fantastic job with this horse. He's lightly raced, made a lot of money at two and then had a situation where he had to be nursed back to health and missed the better part of two seasons. "Now that he's back, he's as tough as ever. First up trips don't bother him one bit. He seems to know that 'it's time to go to work' when he goes first up. "He went a great mile tonight-but that's not surprising for him." In making only his 28th lifetime start, Arthur Blue Chip, owned by Moore along with the R G McGroup and Serge Savard, posted his 11th career victory sending his bounty to $496,242. Off as the 1 to 5 tote-board choice, Arthur Blue Chip paid $2.40 to win. In the $9,000 claiming ($20,000) pace, George Napolitano, Jr. picked up lifetime win number 7,501 as he guided the 2 to 5 favorite, Mr. Massimo, to a handy gate-to-wire win in 1:52.1 over Grande Seelster (Wally Hennessey) and Trevor Win For Us (Tom Jackson) with All Steinem fourth and Glammit fifth in the quintet. Mr Massimo, a 10 year-old son of Astreos trained by Chris Oakes for owner Kathleen Febbraro-Napolitano, won for the 29th time in his career stretching 118 starts with a lifetime bankroll of $444,901. As the 2 to 5 public choice, Mr. Massimo paid a $2.80 dividend to his many $2 investors. Finally, in the "Over The Hill Gang" trot for nine year-olds and up, Celtic Merchant, the senior citizen of the group at 13 years-old, scored a repeat win for Rick Plano, this one is 1:57.4. The gelded son of Angus Hall, owned and trained by Steve Oldford, was away, as usual, alertly before being out-brushed early through a :28.4 opener. Shortly thereafter, Celtic Merchant sprinted to the top spot again-this time for good -as he carded panels of :58.3 and 1:27.2 before repelling the late surging Savthelstdancforme (Steve Condren) by half length. On The Tab (Wally Hennessey) rallied for third while Adenium finished fourth in a photo over the favored Mandabra. Celtic Merchant, making only his 14th start over the past two seasons due to injury, now sports a lifetime scorecard of 44-36-24 in 211 starts, good for $351,356. As 5 to 2 second choice, Celtic Merchant paid $7.20. Racing continues Monday night with a kickoff time of 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, Fl...January 20, 2016...Velocity Vespa, withstanding severe pressure throughout much of her journey, extended her winning skein to four on Wednesday night at Pompano Park, taking top harness racing honors in the $11,500 Open Handicap Pace for Mares in 1:51.1 for George Napolitano, Jr. The six year-old daughter of I Scoot Hanover, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes was in an early war before taking command through a blazing :26 opening panel and then had to face pressure, first, from Safe From Terror (Matt Romano) through a :54.1 half and, then, from Pertty Music (Ed Hensley) binging three deep on the backstretch before the third station (1:22.2). In the lane, Velocity Vespa began edging clear from these two and only had to hold off the ground-saving Classic Carpet (Wally Hennessey), which she did by a length. Art Frenzy rallied off of the hot fractions to finish third while Safe From Terror did finish fourth with Pertty Music picking up the nickel in the million dollar sextet of mares. After the event, driver George Napolitano, Jr. said, "Geez, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at her tonight. We had to go some to get to the top and then she had to face the pressure most of the rest of the way. But she was up to the task. Obviously, Chris (trainer Oakes) has her very sharp right now. She beat a very talented group tonight." In keeping her 2016 record a perfect three-for-three, Velocity Vespa won for the 25th time in this, her 100th career start, sending her lifetime bounty to $183,487. Off at a dime to a dollar, Velocity Vespa paid $2.20 to her multitude of backers. In the Open 2 Pace for Mares, Arodasi, driven by Joe Pavia, Jr., used a backside blitz from third to overtake the favorite De Vins Girl (George Napolitano, Jr.) and then go on to post a win measuring 2 1/4 lengths over that one in 1:52.2. Jets Are On (Wally Hennessey) rallied for third over Limelight and Skyway Dusty, fourth and fifth, respectively. It was De Vins Girl away alertly to quickly take control and post opening splits of :27.2 and :56.1 with Keystone Christa in the garden spot and Arodasi next. Right at that second station, Pavia revved up Arodasi and she paced an individually timed third quarter in :27 to catch her rivals flat-hooved while opening up a daylight lead past that third station in 1:23.3, after which she was on cruise control through a :28.4 finale. Owned by Peter Shank along with the AGC Stables and the Joe Pavia, Jr. Stables, Arodasi won for the initial time this season and 29 time career-wise, vaulting her earnings to $366,466. As the 2 to 1 second choice, Arodasi paid a $6.40 dividend on all $2 investments. Racing continues on Saturday night with a nine race card scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 13, 2016...Velocity Vespa, fresh off of a lifetime best 1:50.4 performance in Open 2 company one week ago, stepped up to the top of the ladder this week and scored a handy victory measuring 1 3/4 lengths in Pompano Park's $11,500 Open Pace for harness racing mares. The six year-old daughter of I Scoot Hanover, racked up almost identical fractions as last week, as well, stopping the clock, again, in 1:50.4 for driver Kevin Wallis off of panels reading :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23. Mach It A Par, with Dan Clements in the bike, finished second after a garden journey throughout while Just A Bee and Mike Micallef teamed up for show honors. Favored Safe From Terror finished fourth after trailing in her sextet much of the mile while Wild Wanda picked up the nickel after a backside brush left her just a length back of the leader around the final turn. After the race, driver Kevin Wallis related, "she was so good last week on the front end that I thought I'd try that same strategy again. After all, you know the old saying, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it! "She was very sharp last week and she was equally sharp tonight." Trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, Velocity Vespa won for the 24th time in 99 lifetime starts sending her career bounty to $178,737. As the 5 to 2 third choice in the wagering, Velocity Vespa paid $7.20 to win. by John Berry for Pompano Park

BREAKING NEWS -- A check of the Pompano Park entry sheet for the races drawn for Sunday, December 20 shows George Napolitano Jr. listed to drive two horses for trainer Chris Oakes at the Florida track.   Oakes was the leading UTR trainer at the recently-concluded Harrah's Philadelphia meet, and he has teamed with Napolitano both at Philly and at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where the pair scored in the $500,000 Ben Franklin FFA Pace Final with former Breeders Crown winner Luck Be Withyou on July 4.   It is not known whether Oakes had consulted with Napolitano before listing him; Napolitano said in an interview with the Daily Racing Form yesterday that he had no plans for further sulky competition in 2015.   Updates will undoubtedly be available from Pompano Park, and from The Meadows and Northfield Park, the bases of operation for Aaron Merriman, who yesterday won three races to take over the lead from Napolitano in the 2015 North American dashwinning derby, with the score entering today Merriman 833, Napolitano 832.   (Noted by an inquiring fan at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday)  

Just a few days remain in the 50th Anniversary season for the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and the track in Northeast PA is honoring the standouts of the 2015 season on Wednesday and closing night, Saturday, November 21st.   Wednesday night, the award for the Pacer of the Year will be presented to four-year-old Luck Be Withyou.  The stallion from the Chris Oakes barn topped some of the world’s best pacers on July 4th, winning the Ben Franklin Pace in 1:49, going gate-to-wire from an outside post.  He also had a  spectacular fall, returning from Canada to chalk up three straight condition wins in September and October.   Trotter of the Year honors go to Proud Moment, who is enjoying his best season ever at age nine, not typical for a trotter. But this is not just any typical trotter!  Six of the wins for the veteran warrior were at Pocono, and when he didn’t visit the Winner’s Circle, he often hit the board in impressive fashion.     He beat claimers and conditioners; did it from the outside and the inside; and won his six races for five different trainers.  The high point of his outstanding year was a three-race winning streak in July and August that included his career-best mile of 1:52.2.   The mare, Kiddie McCardle, will be presented with the Mare of the Year honors on Wednesday, as well.  She has performed for several different barns at Pocono this season, picking up eight wins, including a 1:51.1 mile which set a career-mark for her at age seven. She is extremely tough, despite the fact that she’s often faced with brutal post positions in claiming handicaps; she’s been extremely competitive of late since moving over to face condition pacing mares.      The award for Leading Trainer/UTR, will be presented to Chris Oakes for the fourth time.  Accompanied by his family and friends, Oakes will accept his award on Wednesday night, as well as be in the Winner’s Circle as  Luck Be Withyou and Proud Moment are honored.     Closing night, Saturday, November 21st, the Leading Driver; Leading Trainer – Wins; Claimer of the Year; and Three-Year-Old of the Year accept their awards.  It is also a special thank you to the loyal fans with Fan Appreciation Night.  Souvenirs of the 50th Anniversary season will be given out with a  coupon from the live racing program starting at 7:00pm.    

Harness racing driver George Napolitano Jr. had eight wins on the Sunday afternoon (Oct. 25) program at Harrah's Philadelphia, including a win in the featured event behind Luck Be Withyou. The son of Western Ideal was one of eight combatants in the featured event on the fourteen race program. It was a winners over $25,000 lifetime pace going for a purse of $25,000. Starting from post eight, the four-year old son of Western Ideal left aggressively at the start, seizing the lead before the quarter-pole. He went every step of the way, setting fractions of :27, :55.1, 1:22.4. and 1:50.2 for a two length win. Duc Dorleans (Don DuPont) was second, while Dream Out Loud N (Tim Tetrick) finished third. It was the nineteenth career win for the Chris Oakes trainee, and the ninth of the season. Luck Be Withyou ($8.60) is owned by John Craig. Michael Bozich  

WILKES-BARRE PA -- McKenry, coming back to his home base of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono after an unsuccessful stint "in the big city" at Yonkers, was a pocket rocket in taking the harness racing $30,000 Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing feature Saturday.   Driver Anthony Napolitano had the 8-1 shot on top early, but then yielded to brother George and favored UF Larry Alltheway to sit behind them the pocket. McKenry came on to challenge the leader in the lane and went by by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:51.1, taking a new lifetime mark despite the 50-degree temperature. UF Larry Alltheway lasted for a dead-heat for second with another late charger, Tomy Terror.   McKenry, an altered son of McArdle, took his fifth win of the campaign and boosted his seasonal earnings to $61,900 for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, and the Wheelhouse Racing Stable.   ABC Muscles Boy made it three straight at The Downs for Team Allard as he took the $24,000 feature trot, moving to the lead after the quarter and winning by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:52.3, equaling his lifetime mark taken just last week. Purchased by Allard Racing Inc. before this month's racing, ABC Muscles Boy was not successful from post eight at Yonkers in his Lasix debut, but since then it's been nothing but visits to Victory Lane for the "Muscles Boy," driver Simon Allard and brother/trainer Rene.   PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes combined for a sweep of the harness racing pacing features Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Scott Rocks a pocket rocket in taking the $26,000 pace in 1:50.1 and Luck Be Withyou controlling the pace to report home first in 1:49.1 in a $24,000 event.   Napolitano left hard with Scott Rocks, an altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, forcing a pocket tuck from Lonewolf Currier, then surrendering the front to the brushing Bushwacker past the 27.1 opener. Bushwacker continued on the engine with middle fractions of 54.4 and 1:22.4, and held gamely through the drive, but "George Nap" guided Scott Rocks to the famed "Pocono Pike" passing lane, and wore down the frontstepper by midstretch, posting a neck triumph for the ownership of Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey; Major Uptrend charged hard late to be a close third.   Luck Be Withyou continued to show his affinity for the Pocono red clay surface, having won the 2013 Breeders Crown two-year-old colt pace and the 2015 Ben Franklin Final against top-level competition. The son of Western Ideal then had a dull patch of form, enabling him to drop down in class, and Saturday he took his third straight win on the comeback trail, moving to the front after Somethinginthewind blew to the quarter in 26, putting up 54.1 and 1:21.4 middle splits, and staying strong with a 27.2 last quarter, winning by 2 1/2 lengths for owner John Craig.   In a $24,000 trot, Ray Hall, who ascended to the top levels during the Weiss Series in the spring of 2014, showed that he might prove a worthy rival to his 2015 "successor," JL Cruze, ringing up his second win in three starts since being acquired by Team Allard (driver Simon and trainer/brother Rene, also co-owner with Giselle Hebert). The Justice Hall gelding stayed off a wild early duel (25.4, 53.4) between Somebody As and Modest Prince, moved up to a great second-over spot by the 1:23 3/4 marker, then easily outtrotted his rivals home, tallying by 1 1/2 lengths over deep Pikeshooter Doc's Tebow in 1:52.4.    Pocono now shifts to a 3-night-a-week live schedule, with the trotters and pacers under the lights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays until the meet's end on November 21.   PHHA / Pocono

Broadway Donna and Whitelake Hanover remain unbeaten — they’re a combined 13-13 lifetime — following wins in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Sires Stake action for freshman filly trotters at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows.   The $205,840 event, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over four divisions, with Kathy Parker and Womans Will taking the other splits. Though the luck of the draw has kept Broadway Donna and Whitelake Hanover apart, the two are set for a showdown in the PASS championship Sept. 11 at The Meadows, which that day will host all four $260,000 (est) finals for 2-year-olds.   Asked to compare Broadway Donna and Whitelake Hanover, David Miller, who regularly pilots both and did so in the Delmonica Hanover, said:   “They’re pretty similar, really." "They’re both real handy." "They’re pretty even, to tell you the truth." "Whitelake is probably a little quicker off the gate, but Donna makes up for it. "She can race either way."   “I was thinking how lucky I’ve been — four legs and they never met up." "Usually when I have a couple nice ones, they all get in together." "I’ll have to pick one, but it’s a nice problem to have.”   Although both fillies won easily, Broadway Donna’s victory may have been more impressive visually. After some early jockeying for the lead, she powered to the front near the quarter and drew off to triumph by 9-1/4 lengths in 1:55.2, a tick off the stake record. Winning Symbol and Lookin Sharp completed the ticket.   “She knows what she has to do, and she goes out there and does it,” said Jim Campbell, who conditions the homebred daughter of Donato Hanover-Broadway Schooner for Fashion Farms. “As I’ve said, she’s a real professional.”   With her seventh consecutive win, Broadway Donna boosted her career bankroll to $291,036.   Whitelake Hanover forged ahead by 5 lengths at the quarter and coasted home from there, prevailing by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:56.1. Maker A Yankee rallied for second, with Dancing In Thehall a ground-saving third. Chris Oakes trains the daughter of Explosive Matter-Whispering Wind, who completed her sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs, for Omar Belier, Dennis Coons and Susan Oakes.   A nose loser to Broadway Donna in the $389,450 final of the James Doherty Memorial, Kathy Parker gave the undefeated fillies something to think about when she scored for Yannick Gingras in 1:56.3 to extend her career bankroll to $171,598. She was second by 1-1/2 lengths down the backside, but Kathy Parker blue-penciled that margin when she pulled the pocket early to challenge the leader, Gracie Hanover.   “The horse on the front looked a little grabby early on,” Gingras said. “I figured it wouldn’t help either one of us if I moved earlier than that." "At that point, it was time to go. I didn’t want to have to move her into the last turn if somebody else came." "I figured it was the best place to do it. She’s right up there with the best ones.”   Synonymous Hanover was second, a length behind, while Gracie Hanover saved show. Jimmy Takter conditions Kathy Parker, a daughter of Andover Hall-Mallelujah, for Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, RAW Equine and Joyce McClelland.   Elsewhere on the card, it was her initial appearance in the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, but Dough Dough rose to the occasion, stalking Mistress Valentine from the pocket and downing her by a neck in 1:55.1. Kandian Club finished third.   Dick Stillings drove the 5-year-old daughter of CR Excalibur-Rising Dough, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, for trainer J.W. Miller and owner/breeder En Mar Stable The race featured even more dough, as the winner’s half sister, Ciao Dough, finished fourth.   Aaron Merriman and Miller each fashioned a three-bagger on the 15-race card.   Evan Pattak

There were six divisions of PA Stallion Series races for 2-year-old filly pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (July 8) each going for a purse of $20,000. In the first division, it was Sue Oakes and Chuck Pompey's Nip's Beach Girl (Yannick Gingras) winning. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere brushed to the front just beyond the quarter pole, and was able to win comfortably under wraps. The Chris Oakes trainee is now two for two in her career, pacing a lifetime's best 1:54. She paid $3.40 to win. Division two saw the heavily favored Twice An Angel (Brett Miller) notch a convincing 3 length win. The daughter of Dragon Again had to brush the lead twice before securing the victory in 1:57 for White Birch Farms. It was the first career win for the Nancy Johansson trainee, who paid $2.60. In the third division, it was Fred Grant trainee Sweet As Sugar (Tom Jackson) springing the mild upset. The daughter of Yankee Cruiser drafted behind the heavily favored Hot Spot Hanover (Andy Miller) before closing fast up the inside to win in 1:56.2. The Birnam Wood Farm's filly paid $13.60 to win. There was another upset in division four, as Dirk Simpson trainee Sea Rose (Andy Miller) took the field start to finish. The daughter of Dragon Again was able to hold off the furious late close from Ive League (Yannick Gingras) for her first career win in 1:55.3. Sea Rose ($22.40) is owned by Desyllas Racing, Ed Bromley, Wiliiam Beck, and Carol Rieken. In the fifth division, it was Howard Taylor and Ed Gold's Northern Soiree (Corey Callahan) going all the way. The daughter of Western Ideal pounced on the lead from post three and made every call a winning one, stopping the clock in 1:56.4. The Doug Lewis trainee paid $8.20 to win. The sixth and final division went to Chuck Grubbs Foolish Terror (Scott Zeron). The daughter of Western Terror drafted in the pocket behind the heavily favored Jk Isn'tshelovely until the stretch, where she was able to out close the favorite by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:55.1. The Bruce Riegle trainee returned $10.60. Michael Bozich  

"I felt good in January, and that part hasn't changed," Teague said with a grin Saturday (July 4) after watching Wiggle It Jiggleit capture the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono by 1-1/2 lengths over Artspeak in 1:48.2. "He doesn't disappoint. Even in his loss, I wasn't jumping off the bandwagon. He's a good horse. I still think he's one of the best 3-year-olds I've ever had." Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 13 of 14 career races for owner Teague, trainer Clyde Francis and driver Montrell Teague. His only loss came June 20 in the North America Cup, where he was defeated by Wakizashi Hanover by three-quarters of a length. On Saturday in the Hempt, Wiggle It Jiggleit took the lead following a :26 opening quarter-mile, fought off a first-over challenge from Pierce Hanover on the backstretch, and then pulled away down the stretch. Artspeak finished second, followed by In The Arsenal and Wakizashi Hanover. "When he cleared to the front I knew he had a pretty good shot at it," Francis said. "Wakizashi has a big kick on the end of it but he wasn't making up much ground. Halfway down the lane nobody got close to him and I knew they weren't going to catch him then." Montrell Teague, who won the Hempt in 2011 with Custard The Dragon, was taking nothing for granted. "I was looking everywhere; I was looking for anybody," he said. "I saw Timmy (Tetrick with Wakizashi Hanover) pull three wide and that's when I popped the earplugs and stepped on the gas because I know how good his horse is coming off cover." Wiggle It Jiggleit, a son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover, gave George Teague Jr. his fourth Hempt trophy. He trained Custard The Dragon as well as 2009 winner Johnny Z and 2008 champ Badlands Nitro. The gelding's next assignment will be the Meadowlands Pace. With the triumph, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $607,242. But the most important thing for Teague was the two people with whom he is sharing the ride. "Montrell and Clyde Francis are the best part for me," Teague said, adding about Francis, "We're like brothers. He works his (butt) off." Wiggle It Jiggleit  Luck Be Withyou overcomes post nine in Franklin triumph                               The $500,000 Ben Franklin free for all pace turned out to be as thrilling as a front-end win can be as Luck Be Withyou held on by the shortest of noses over Domethatagain in 1:49 on Saturday (July 4) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Domethatagain, driven by Simon Allard, left from the rail off the gate, but Luck Be Withyou and George Napolitano Jr. took command before the turn from post nine. Luck Be Withyou led through a quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55, which were favorable fractions in the eyes of the 4-year-old horse's owner, John Craig. "I didn't think it was so bad when it was :26.2, because he got the lead in :26 last week in the slop, with a half in :53 and change," he said. "When I saw :55 at the half, I said 'There are good horses back there like Foiled Again and State Treasurer and they are going to come at him. I hope he has enough.'" Luck Be Withyou kept on chugging through three-quarters in 1:21.4. He was a length clear at the top of the stretch, with only Domethatagain coming at him up the rail. It took a long look at the photo before Luck Be Withyou was declared the winner, with favored State Treasurer third. Luck Be Withyou paid $10 to win as the public's second choice. "He had just enough," Craig said with a grin. "It's hard to explain to people the adrenaline rush you get when you see a race like that." Luck Be Withyou, by Western Ideal-Trim Hanover, is trained by Chris Oakes, who got some credit from his owner. "All the credit goes to those who work on the horse," he said. "I just watch and pay the bills." Luck Be Withyou Pinkman bounces back to win Beal in world record score                                           Pinkman rebounded from his first loss of the year by posting a gate-to-wire win in Saturday's (July 4) $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, holding off stablemate Uncle Lasse by a head in a world-record 1:51.3 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Pinkman, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, and driver Yannick Gingras got the lead with a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and then controlled the race from there, going to the half in :56.2. Centurion ATM made a first-over bid on the backstretch, getting within a head of the leader, but was unable to get to the front. In the stretch, the Jimmy Takter-trained Pinkman held off Uncle Lasse to his inside to post his fourth victory in five starts this season. Pinkman's time was the fastest-ever mile by a 3-year-old gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. Crazy Wow finished third followed by Centurion ATM. Last week, Pinkman finished second to Wicker Hanover in his Beal elimination and was found to be sick. "I can't complain about the trip, the fractions, everything went his way," Gingras said about Pinkman's performance in the Beal final. "He's got that intimidating speed; he can leave the gate so good. Last week leaving the gate I knew he wasn't quite right because he didn't leave the gate like he did today. Usually the first couple steps he just snaps right out. "Today he was back to himself and I don't even think he's a hundred percent. I'd say last week he was 50 or 60 percent and he was probably like 90 today. I think Jimmy can get him even better than this." For his career, Pinkman has won 10 of 13 races and earned $924,300 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. "I saw him open up at like 5-1 (odds) tonight and Crazy Wow was 3-5 or something," Gingras said. "They've got to start giving him credit. He doesn't do it flashy, he does it the way he did it today, but he gets it done. He's a winner." Pinkman  Bettor Be Steppin wins wild Lynch Memorial  What was a wide-open race on paper became a wide-open finish as Bettor Be Steppin and Corey Callahan got up to win the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night (July 4) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:50.4. The race was heated from the start as The Show Returns gunned to the lead from post nine for driver Tim Tetrick. Favored Stacia Hanover (Scott Zeron) cleared to the lead in a first quarter in :26, with the outer flow setting up going to the half. Bettor Be Steppin wasn't a part of that forward flow, however, as she was shuffled back to last. According to her connections, stablemate Divine Caroline (David Miller) was getting the better trip "At the half I thought we were dead," said trainer Joe Holloway. "She was fourth on the rail, fourth or fifth, just totally boxed. Divine Caroline was on the outside, loaded with pace, so I was hoping to see her go. I was trying to watch them both and at the half I thought the only shot I had was Divine Caroline." Wicked Little Minx (Brett Miller), a 50-1 longshot, came first-over with Sassa Hanover (Yannick Gingras) third-over through a half in a swift :54.1. They paced through three-quarters in 1:21.4 before the leaders began to struggle and the closers came closing. Momas Got A Gun (Jim Morrill Jr.) was sitting third on the rail and somehow found room inside. She stuck a head in front before Single Me (Brian Sears) and Bettor Be Steppin came from way out. From the far outside, Bettor Be Steppin stuck a nose in front of Single Me at the wire. Momas Got A Gun finished third by a neck. The win was the fourth in seven starts this year for Bettor Be Steppin. She paid $33.60 to win. The 1-7 exacta paid $895.60 and the 1-7-6 trifecta paid $10,958.10. "This was a good horse last year," said Ted Gewertz, who co-owns the Bettor's Delight-Two Steppin' Sally filly with Val D'Or Farms and Rojan Stables. "She was having a little trouble earlier in the year. [2014 Horse of the Year] JK She'salady didn't make the final, so that helped." Bettor Be Steppin T.J. Burkett and Ken Weingartner / U.S. Trotting Association  

There were five stallion series races for harness racing 3-year-old filly trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (June 24), each going for a purse of $20,000. The fastest of which went to Albert and Michelle Crawford's Sistas (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). The Daughter of Andover Hall was able to repel the bid of six-time winner Speak To Me (Scott Zeron) to secure back to back wins in a time of 1:54.3. The Chris Oakes trainee now has six wins of fourteen career starts, with earnings close to $40,000. Trainer/Driver Ake Svanstedt had two stallion series wins on the day. Joe Lozito's Setubal closed sharply to pick up her second win in just four lifetime starts. The daughter of Yankee Glide was six lengths off the lead at three-quarters, before closing in :29.1 to narrowly defeat Seduce A Stranger (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) by a neck in 1:57.1. Svanstedt's second stallion series win came when Top Ten Racing Stable's Scented Roses took advantage of the pocket trip. The daughter of Cantab Hall edged off the pylons to out close long shot Vanity Blast (Dave Miller) to win by two lengths, stopping the clock in 1:56.4. Other stallion series winners included Hauser Brothers and Conrad Zurich's Day Lily (Tim Tetrick). The daughter of Andover Hall was a gate-to-wire winner in 1:55. Another daughter of Andover Hall Lilu Hanover (Jimmy Taker) was successful in her division. She was able to quarter-brush to the top and hold off Murderers Row (Tim Tetrick) in the late stages to win by a head in 1:55.2. Michael Bozich

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Scott Rocks yielded for the pocket after a lightning 25.2 opener, then stormed up the famed Pocono Pike to win the $30,000 harness racing Open Handicap pace Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Rainfall a half-hour before the feature was reflected in a downgrading of the red clay surface to "sloppy," but neither Scott Rocks on the inside nor Dynamic Youth just to his right seem to have gotten the news as they tore up the first turn, with Dynamic Youth finally making the top after paying the wicked price, with Dancin Yankee, 2014 Pennsylvania Horse of the Year and assigned outside in the field of seven, tucking in the big three-hole behind the streaking duo.   Dynamic Youth (driver Andrew McCarthy) moderated the middle splits to 54.3 and 1:22.4, with Scott Rocks (George Napolitano Jr.) and Dancin Yankee (Jim Morrill Jr.) maintaining their inside positions behind him, with the outer tier burning off before headstretch.   At that point Dynamic Youth went straight, Scott Rocks dove left, and Dancin Yankee angled right for clearance, and the stretch duel was on. Scott Rocks still had good energy after the early involvement and paced to the lead midstretch, but Dancin Yankee, still 2¼ lengths out at midpoint in the lane, was coming with a roar, and the winner had to stay sharp to withstand the late charger by a half-length in 1:50.1, with Dynamic Youth showing great tenacity to be only another neck behind at the wire.   Scott Point, sent off at 6-5, only $2 behind in the win pool behind Dancin Yankee, boosted his seasonal record to 8-4-3-0, and his bankroll now is $67,750 this year and $264,773 lifetime. The victorious Rocknroll Hanover gelding is trained by Chris Oakes for his wife Susan and Chuck Pompey.   PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Daughters of Andover Hall took the two fastest of five harness racing divisions of the $100,000 second leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and two of the three first leg winners entered here repeated.   The intersection of those two statements is Kirsi Hanover, who won her Stallion start at The Meadows despite broken equipment; here she made an early move to command and went on to take a new mark in 1:54.1. Jimmy Takter trains and drove the winner for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.   Sistas rallied in the Pocono Pike to overhaul another first round winner, Speak To Me, posting the second-fastest clocking and also getting a new mark by tripping the timer in 1:54.2. The powerful local pairing of driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes backed the winner for owners Albert and Michelle Crawford.   The other repeat Stallion Series winner was Manhattan Miss, who rallied from second-over for driver Simon Allard in a 1:55.3 triumph. Trainer Marty Wollam also owns the winning daughter of Broadway Hall with Acadia Farms Inc.   The other two winners Tuesday earned new speed badges with their triumphs. The Muscle Massive filly Seduce A Stranger overcame a first-over trip while stopping the clock in 1:56 for driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Dane Snyder, and owners Thomas King III and Danielle Snyder; also victorious was the Cantab Hall miss Wouldn't Itbesweet, who made the most of a sweet pocket trip to win in 1:55.2 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Jenny Melander, and the Harbor Racing Stable LLC.   Wednesday night Pocono features the Sire Stakes 3TFs in three divisions of a $222,687 second round leg, with the first of 14 races Wednesday marked for 6:30 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono

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