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YONKERS, N.Y. – The husband and wife team of Michel Heijnen and Maria De Bruijn have just three horses in their racing stable, and French trotter Versachet is one. De Bruijn wanted to add a horse to the roster earlier this year. Heijnen wanted to claim a horse, but De Bruijn took a less conventional path, much to the chagrin of her husband.  “I was looking for another horse, and my husband said to buy a claimer,” De Bruijn said. You never know what you’re going to get with a claimer, so I said, ‘you know, I’m going to try a French horse,’ and he started laughing. But you never know.”  Heijnen and De Bruijn are natives of the Netherlands and came to the United States three years ago. De Bruijn sought a change from their life on the farm at home and after Heijnen made a trip to the Harrisburg Sale, an opportunity arose. Heijnen developed a bond with Chuck Sylvester and the Hall of Fame trainer asked them to work with him in Florida over the winter. “He went with a friend to the Harrisburg Sale and he went to Chester and met Chuck Sylvester,” De Bruijn said. “He liked it and he was joking with Chuck and Chuck called him and asked him what he was doing in the winter. He said, ‘you can come help me out in Florida.’ He went working for Chuck and we got our visa, sold our farm, and we’re here.” The French American Trotting Club was a gamble, as Heijnen and De Bruijn both understood. The Standardbred Owners Association of New York program brought 22 French-bred trotters to the United States to race in a series on the half-mile track at Yonkers Raceway. As the horses were randomly allocated to their new owners, De Bruijn wouldn’t get a chance to research her horse before he arrived.  De Bruijn drew Versachet, a 9-year-old son of Kaiser Soza out of the Podosis mare Houlette with 10 wins from 78 starts with another 19 seconds and thirds and $263,796 earned. The black gelding made an immediate impression on De Bruijn when he arrived stateside in June. “I picked him up and oh my god, he’s so big. He’s huge,” she said. “He was a little shy and a very friendly and nice horse. Sound horse. He doesn’t make a break up until now. I’m happy with him.” Versachet qualified at Yonkers July 13, finishing fourth and completing the 10 furlongs in 2:30.1 with Heijnen in the sulky. Heijnen and De Bruijn qualified him again at the Meadowlands 15 days later, but Versachet underperformed. He finished sixth beaten 9 ¼ lengths in 1:55.1 and Heijnen knew something was off.  “We qualified him first at Yonkers and he went OK. Then we qualified him at Meadowlands and Michel said he wasn’t so satisfied with him in the stretch, so we scoped him and we thought that he might bleed a little,” De Bruijn said. “We scoped him after the qualifier at the Meadowlands and the lady said he’s bleeding. We asked how bad it was and she said, ‘if it was my horse, I’d put him on Lasix.’ ” Heijnen and De Bruijn had never used Lasix in a race before as the medication isn’t permitted in Europe. Because he bled, Versachet was unable to race in New York for 11 days and he was forced to miss the first leg of the French American Trotting Club series August 5.  Versachet qualified with Lasix at Harrah’s Philadelphia August 7, finishing second in a 1:56 clocking. Ready to join the series, he started in a $35,000 division going 1 ½ miles August 19. After drawing post five, Heijnen had two options, to go forward and put himself in the race, or to take back. De Bruijn wanted him to be aggressive, but the move didn’t pay off. Versachet was parked the entire race, but finished sixth beaten just 3 ¼ lengths by Deo. De Bruijn was encouraged. “My husband drove him and he didn’t want to. He wanted a Yonkers driver to go with him, but I like it when he drives, so he did,” De Bruijn said. “Parked outside. He could have gone back or he could have given him a race and I said to just go from there. So he was parked all the way out one and-a-half miles. I think he raced nice.” Versachet drew post five again in Sunday’s sixth race, the second of two $35,000 divisions of the series’ third leg, the last before the $100,000 final September 2. Jordan Stratton will drive the 6-1 morning line shot. A first or second-place finish would likely earn Versachet a place in the final. “I think if he doesn’t get a bad trip like he had last week, he’s one, two for sure,” De Bruijn said. “Honestly, maybe I have too much confidence in him, but I think he’s one of the better French horses.” Versachet will face six rivals, including 8-5 favorite Uhlan Noir, who was third beaten a nose by Deo and Boss Du Fosse last week and starts from post four Sunday. Akhenaton finished seventh with a wide trip from post eight last time out, but drew the inside post Sunday and is 6-1. Aigle De La Vallee broke in the first leg of the series, but requalified and won a Saratoga overnight August 17. He’s 5-2 from post two. Aladin Du Dollar, Bolide De Nuit, and Verdi D Em complete the field. The first division of the third leg features both of last week’s winners in Ursis Des Caillons and Deo, plus first leg winner Alpha D’Urzy, and series-placed Undici, Bioness, and Boss Du Fosse. Adagio De La Tour and Very Very Fast complete the lineup. First post time Sunday is 12:45 p.m. The 11-race card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Trot in race one. For entries to the races, click here.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Hightstown, NJ --- Chuck Sylvester believes he’s got a nice trotter returning from last season in 3-year-old filly Hey Blondie. He’s hoping to discover additional nice ones among the six harness racing 2-year-olds joining Hey Blondie in his winter stable at Spring Garden Ranch in Florida. That group includes $240,000 yearling purchase Girl With A Past. Hey Blondie won five of 13 races and earned $295,595 last year, ranking No. 3 in purses among all 2-year-old female trotters in North America. Her victories included the Kindergarten Series championship and a division of the International Stallion Stakes. Her best win time of 1:53.1, set in her International Stallion triumph at Lexington’s Red Mile, was tied for fourth fastest among 2-year-old female trotters. “She just came back into training,” Sylvester said. “If we handle her like last year I think she should have a real nice year. We let her race from behind and she liked that; she passed horses all the time. When it was right toward the end (of the season) we let her roll and she responded. She’s just not a filly that can go to the front and race every week. But I think in spots she’ll do fine.” Hey Blondie, who flashed final quarter-mile speed as fast as :26.4, led at the halfway point of a race only three times last season, winning twice. Her loss came in the season-ending Goldsmith Maid, where she went off stride and finished 10th. The race was won by Plunge Blue Chip. “I didn’t have her quite right her last start or she would have had some more money,” Sylvester said. “It was my fault. (Plunge Blue Chip) was sharp right then; I don’t know if we would have beaten her, but we should have been an easy second.” Hey Blondie is a daughter of Cantab Hall out of Winbak Blondie -- who is a full sister to 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill -- and sold for $125,000 under the name Whovian Hanover at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale. Andy McCarthy drove her throughout last year. The filly is owned by Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Paul Bordogna, and David McDuffee. Last season’s group of 2-year-old filly trotters was led by undefeated Dan Patch Award winner Manchego, trained by Jimmy Takter. Other fillies at the top of the division in earnings included Ake Svanstedt’s Plunge Blue Chip, Julie Miller’s Seviyorum, and Trond Smedshammer’s Phaetosive. “If Manchego comes back as good as she was last year, she’s going to be tough,” Sylvester said. “Ake, I’m sure he’ll have his filly right when the time comes. It won’t be easy, but we’ll pick up some piece and we’ll be OK.” Sylvester’s group of 2-year-olds is made up of four filly trotters and two colt trotters. Girl With A Past (Cantab Hall-Shared Past) sold for $240,000 under the name So Diane Hanover at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Her dam was a New Jersey Sire Stakes champion and her family includes millionaires Dejarmbro and Manofmanymissions. The remaining fillies are Chanel De Vie (Cantab Hall-Lola De Vie), Lollipop Lindy (Cantab Hall-Dana Boko) and Shes A Bronxbomber (Donato Hanover-Housethatruthbuilt). Lola De Vie was an Empire Breeders Classic champion. Housethatruthbuilt was a Dan Patch Award winner and is the dam of three horses to earn six figures, including stakes winners Real Babe and Murderers Row. The colts are Gardepat (Father Patrick-My Dream Gar It; original name Patrick’s Diamond) and Lucky Weekend (Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation). Sylvester trained Lucky Chucky, a two-time Dan Patch Award winner and earner of $2 million lifetime. “Right now they’re all training and nobody is on the shelf, so that’s good,” Sylvester said. “We’ve been in the (2):40s, that’s all, which is OK. “The weather hasn’t been very favorable. We’ve had a lot of rain and we’ve missed a lot of days. It’s just been nice the last 10 days where we’ve been able to train more consistently. But it seems like no matter what, when it’s time to go the good ones will be ready. I’m not one that’s going to drop one from (2):40 to (2):25, but if we have good weather and nothing happens we’ll be ready whenever the time comes.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

The Meadowlands is pleased to announce that the inaugural edition of the track's newest harness racing stake will be titled "The Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff" celebrating the memory of that great trotter. The purse is estimated to be $150,000.   Mack Lobell achieved legendary status in a racing career that spanned six seasons. He was owned during his early career by the One More Time Stables (principally Lou Guida) while being trained and driven by Hall of Fame horsemen Chuck Sylvester and John Campbell. Mack was Horse of the Year in 1987 and 1988 and won virtually all of the classics including the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, International Trot, three Breeders Crowns and the 1988 Elitlopp for those connections. He was later sold to Swedish interests, went on to win Elitlopp again 1990 and retire with career earnings of nearly $4 million.   The race itself was born of a discussion Solvalla Racetrack Directors Markus Myron and Christer Haggstrom had with Meadowlands brass Jeff Gural and Jason Settlemoir during Hambletonian week last summer. Ideas were exchanged and through their joint efforts a trotting bridge between continents has resulted. A group of twenty or so is expected to travel from Sweden to America to attend the race while The Meadowlands will send representatives to Sweden for the Elitlopp.   International interest in the event is very high. The Meadowlands' Sam McKee is working closely with ATG in Sweden on commingling wagers into the Meadowlands pools, which seems a distinct possibility. The Meadowlands is planning to simulcast a block of seven races to Europe, headlined by the Elitlopp Playoff which will be the first race on the Mother's Day matinee card set for Sunday, May 8 at 12:40 p.m. There have been discussions of having the Elitlopp Playoff race as part of the V75 wager.   Nominations to the inaugural race number fifteen and include many of the finest trotters in North America. Among them is 2015 Dan Patch "Trotter of the Year" JL Cruze who makes his first start of the season on Friday at The Meadowlands. Also nominated are 2015 Breeders Crown winner Creatine, TVG FFA Championship winner Resolve and millionaire mares Bee A Maician and Shake It Cerry. The complete list is available on the track website.   The winner will be rewarded with an invitation to participate in the 2016 Elitlopp at the Solvalla Racecourse outside Stockholm, Sweden on Sunday, May 29.   Harness racing fan Ken Burgdorf submitted the idea to name the race for Mack Lobell via a message sent to the Harness Racing Fan Zone website.   Meadowlands Media Relations

A field of six contested the $400,000 TVG Pacing Championship at The Meadowlands Saturday night. Off the wings of the gate, five of the six free for all pacers tried to leave for position. The only horse content to watch the action early was Bettor's Edge. That strategy by harness racing driver Matt Kakaley turned out to be the winning one as Bettor's Edge stormed down the center of the track, from dead last, to score a 19-1 upset in the TVG Pacing Championship. The first horse to the lead was Mach It So, who took all the late-money being released as the 4.5 favorite. He used every ounce of his speed to clear the lead from the widest post in the field, reaching the opening quarter in a sharp 26.1. But the second-choice in the wagering, JK Endofanera was already on the move and he quickly challenged for the lead down the backstretch and would clear the front before the half mile in 54 seconds. Meanwhile, Somewhere In L A was headstrong in the three-hole and Corey Callahan could not hold his gelding and was forced to commit first over. Foiled Again picked up the cover in the outer flow, while Bettor's Edge inched closer into the third over position. JK Endofanera led past three-quarters in 1:22.2 while facing pressure from Somewhere In LA. As the field turned for home, the free for all pacers spread across the track and all took their shots. Mach It So found room at the pylons, Foiled Again tried to kick off cover, JK Endofanera reached for the wire and Mach It So was rallying down the center of the track. In the end, Bettor's Edge out-sprinted the talented field to win going away in 1:50 with Matt Kakaley. Mach It So rallied up the pylons for the runner-up spot while Foiled Again finished third. Matt Kakaley was pleased to finally get a trip for his six year old getting. "He really has had a lot of bad luck," said Kakaley. "We have been trapped in a few times where he was finishing with pace, but we just had bad luck in those races. Tonight they were mixing it up early and it really set up well for us. It worked out absolutely perfectly." Trainer Ron Burke confirmed that both Bettor's Edge and Foiled Again will head to North Carolina for the winter and will return for the 2016 racing season. The win in the TVG Pacing Championship was the third stakes win on the night for trainer Ron Burke. The win was the 26th in the career of Bettor's Edge, sending his lifetime earnings to nearly $1.8 Million. Bettor's Edge Resolve Trots the Race of His Life in TVG Trotting Championship There have been a lot of questions regarding the older trotters and just who would assume command of the division. After Saturday night, Resolve answered all those questions and jumped to the head of the class, winning the TVG Free For All Trotting Championship in 1:51.4 for Ake Svanstedt. In similar fashion to his win in the final preliminary leg last week, Resolve moved to the lead shortly after the opening quarter, which was reached in 27 seconds by longshot DW's NY Yank. Once on the lead, Resolve was allowed to relax. The same could not be said for E L Titan who got caught in some traffic down the backstretch and ended up three wide, trotting toward the half mile. Tim Tetrick guided E L Titan to the first over position after racing three wide, crossing in front of Obrigado with The Bank in the outer flow. But Resolve was able to back the field down with a 29.3 second quarter, reaching the half-mile in 56.3. E L Titan, in the final start of his career was applying pressure, but Ake Svanstedt had plenty of horse in front of him and Resolve began to edge away, trotting past three-quarters in 1:25. The stretch drive was a mere formality as Resolve began to pour it on, winning by three lengths in the end, trotting a final quarter of 26.4 to complete the mile in 1:51.4. "He's a very good horse," said owner/trainer Ake Svanstedt. "He is getting closer and closer to Sebastian K with every start. He is just a four year old beating the older horses, he should be really good next year." Obrigado held the runner-up position while Flanagan Memory rallied from last to be third. The win was the fourth of the season for Resolve. He finishes his four year old campaign with earnings of $706,938 this season. Resolve was trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt for owner Hans Enggren. Resolve Boston Red Rocks makes his case for Divisional Honors Going into the Breeders Crown Final, Boston Red Rocks wasn't on anyone's radar in terms of the two year old pacing championship. It is safe to say that over the past month, that has changed. Sent off as the even-money favorite, Boston Red Rocks was allowed to settle mid-pack while elimination winner, Big Top Hanover established the pace through an opening quarter in 27-seconds. When the field straightened away in the backstretch, driver Tim Tetrick popped the plugs and Boston Red Rocks unleashed his turn of foot and flew to the lead, reaching the half-mile in a sharp 55-seconds. The outer flow was slow to develop, but that didn't prevent the race favorite from sprinting a 27.3 third quarter, with the 8/5 second choice Big Top Hanover on his back. Into the stretch, Boston Red Rocks got separation on the field and reached for the line, holding off the other elimination winner Katies Rocker to win in a lifetime best 1:50.3. The win was the fourth in nine starts for the two year old son of Rocknroll Hanover. Tim Tetrick has been impressed with the colt over his past few starts. "He doesn't do his best work on the front end, it's really not where he wants to be," said Tetrick. "But, I knew I had to go forward off the gate. He really likes to chase horses though." Looking ahead to next year, Tetrick said the upside is there. "He can shoot for the skies next year." Boston Red Rocks is trained by Steve Elliot for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Katies Rocker was second and Big Top Hanover held on to the show spot. Boston Red Rocks Win Photo Cannot Separate Winners of Valley Victory They say there are few moments in sports that can rival the photo finish and the $489,400 Valley Victory Final certainly was representative of that statement. In the end, the win photograph couldn't decide a winner, because the noses of Dog Gone Lucky and Make Or Miss hit the wire together, a dead heat in the richest race of the night. For Dog Gone Lucky, the win belonged to Chuck Sylvester and for Make Or Miss, the story was his young pilot Joe Bongiorno. The irony, Sylvester was winning Hambletonians before Bongiorno was born and now they both set their eyes on harness racing's greatest prize in 2016. Dog Gone Lucky made an aggressive move to the lead, after Mavens Way made a break after a quarter in 27 seconds. In the meantime, Make Or Miss had nearly 10 lengths to make up, trotting in eighth position down the backstretch. Then, the outer flow began to develop as Taco Tuesday committed first over passed the half in just 57 seconds, a 30-second second quarter. Marion Marauder picked up that cover and Make Or Miss tracked the pair on the far turn while Dog Gone Lucky reached three-quarters in 1:26. Dog Gone Lucky opened up a clear lead in the stretch after a 59-second middle half, but just as he did, Make Or Miss found his best stride and put that electric turn of foot on display as he began to reel in the favorite. However, the wire was also coming quickly and it came just as both noses hit the wire, a dead heat in 1:54. Joe Bongiorno was nearly speechless in the winner's circle. "This is beyond amazing, I can't believe it," said Bongiorno. "I just want to thank all the connections for giving me the opportunity, this is the best moment in my life." Not to be out-done, trainer Chuck Sylvester reminded that he isn't done yet. "I'm not retired yet," Sylvester joked. "These horses will get a well-deserved break and hopefully we'll back (for the Hambletonian) next year. The win was the first major stakes win for Bongiorno and the fifth win in the Valley Victory for Sylvester. It was the second victory for Make Or Miss, the son of Donato Hanover who now has earnings of over $223,000 while Dog Gone Lucky won for the seventh time and his fifth in a row, with his earnings now beyond a half-million dollars. Make Or Miss is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Weaver Bruscemi and Jerry and Theresa Silva. Dog Gone Lucky was driven by Corey Callahan for trainer Chuck Sylvester and owners Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles E Stansley. Dog Gone Lucky and Make Or Miss Mission Brief Concludes Season with a Statement The buzz around the $144,000 Continentalvictory was centered on two fillies, Mission Brief and Wild Honey, hoping to earn divisional honors with a compelling performance. Mission Brief seized that opportunity and performed like a champion. Sent off as the prohibitive 1/9 choice, Mission Brief was hustled to the lead early in the mile and it was a lead she would never relinquish. Sprinting past a quarter in 27.4, Mission Brief and her pilot Yannick Gingras kicked away from Wild Honey down the backstretch and Wild Honey felt whip taps from her driver John Campbell just to try to keep up. In the meantime, Mission Brief was trotting smoothly on the lead past the half-mile in 56 seconds and she began to open up on the field on the far turn, reaching three-quarters in 1:24.1 while leading the field by four lengths. From there, Mission Brief had the Meadowlands homestretch all to herself and she trotted a 27.2 final quarter under no urging to win the Continentalvictory in 1:51.3 in the final start of her season, a win that put Mission Brief past $1 Million this season. "She's the best trotter in training," exclaimed driver Yannick Gingras in a post-race interview. "No disrespect to any of the older trotters, but I wish she was in that race tonight. I don't think any of them want any part of her." Ron Burke was beaming with pride in the winner's circle as well. "She's the best horse I've ever had," said Burke. "Next year is going to be tough, she is going to face all the good ones and I am not going to duck anyone. We are going to find out if she is as good as we all think she is." With the win, Mission Brief concludes her season with 10 wins from 14 starts and earnings of $1,001,317. For her career, the star filly has 19 wins from 27 races and earnings of nearly $1.6 Million. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Jerry and Theresa Silva and Weaver Bruscemi. Wild Honey completed the exacta with Kelsey's Keepsake and Lady Winona completing the field. Mission Brief Divine Caroline Triumphant in the Tarport Hap An overflow field of 12 contested the $173,500 Tarport Hap at 1 1/8th miles on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. The race was hotly contested with no less than five lead changes from start to finish. The last lead change belonged to Divine Caroline, who took over in the shadow of the wire and scored the victory in 2:05.1 after the mile was paced in 1:50.1. There was plenty of speed early, with Single Me launching from post 10 and reaching the first quarter in 26-seconds. From there, Rock Me Gently would move to the lead briefly, before Bettor N Better cleared the front past the half-mile in 54.4. Next to the lead would be the 9/5 favorite Bedroomconfessions, who guided the field past three-quarters in 1:22.2. That move left Sassa Hanover uncovered first over with Divine Caroline stalking from a second over position. It took the length of the stretch, but Divine Caroline would use the long Meadowlands stretch to wear down Bedroomconfessions to earn the victory. Bettor N Better finished third. The victory was the eighth on the season for the three year old daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven for trainer Joe Holloway who was very pleased with the win. "I think that wrapped up the division for her with this win," said Holloway. "I thought she was in a good spot and it took her a while to get there but she got it done." Holloway confirmed that Divine Caroline would return to the racetrack in 2016 as a four year old. Divine Caroline is owned by Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables and M.A. Ouriel. Her seasonal earnings conclude at $673,339. Divine Caroline It was worth sticking around for the last race for Wallington, New Jersey resident Joseph Bohnarczyk, whose $20 Win and $10 Place and Show Wager on Buckeye In Charge at 39-1 launched him to a win in the World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier that took place on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. He earned a berth into the Championship event on April 30, 2016 at The Meadowlands and took home $1,764 in prize money in addition to his bankroll which was over $1,100. Total handle for the 14-race program was $2,941,258. Racing resumes on Friday night, with first post time at 7:00 P.M. Darin Zoccali

East Rutherford, NJ - They say there are few moments in sports that can rival the photo finish and the $489,400 Valley Victory Final certainly was representative of that statement. In the end, the win photograph couldn't decide a winner, because the noses of Dog Gone Lucky and Make Or Miss hit the wire together, a dead heat in the richest race of the night. For Dog Gone Lucky, the win belonged to Chuck Sylvester and for Make Or Miss, the story was his young pilot Joe Bongiorno. The irony, Sylvester was winning Hambletonians before Bongiorno was born and now they both set their eyes on harness racing's greatest prize in 2016. Dog Gone Lucky made an aggressive move to the lead, after Mavens Way made a break after a quarter in 27 seconds. In the meantime, Make Or Miss had nearly 10 lengths to make up, trotting in eighth position down the backstretch. Then, the outer flow began to develop as Taco Tuesday committed first over passed the half in just 57 seconds, a 30-second second quarter. Marion Marauder picked up that cover and Make Or Miss tracked the pair on the far turn while Dog Gone Lucky reached three-quarters in 1:26. Dog Gone Lucky opened up a clear lead in the stretch after a 59-second middle half, but just as he did, Make Or Miss found his best stride and put that electric turn of foot on display as he began to reel in the favorite. However, the wire was also coming quickly and it came just as both noses hit the wire, a dead heat in 1:54. Joe Bongiorno was nearly speechless in the winner's circle. "This is beyond amazing, I can't believe it," said Bongiorno. "I just want to thank all the connections for giving me the opportunity, this is the best moment in my life." Not to be out-done, trainer Chuck Sylvester reminded that he isn't done yet. "I'm not retired yet," Sylvester joked. "These horses will get a well deserved break and hopefully we'll back (for the Hambletonian) next year. The win was the first major stakes win for Bongiorno and the fifth win in the Valley Victory for Sylvester. It was the second victory for Make Or Miss, the son of Donato Hanover who now has earnings of over $223,000 while Dog Gone Lucky won for the seventh time and his fifth in a row, with his earnings now beyond a half-million dollars. Make Or Miss is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Centes Stables, Weaver Bruscemi and Jerry and Theresa Silva. Dog Gone Lucky was driven by Corey Callahan for trainer Chuck Sylvester and owners Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles E Stansley. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands    

Dog Gone Lucky will try to finish his season with a fifth consecutive win when he faces nine rivals in Saturday’s $489,400 Valley Victory Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The colt, who last week won his Valley Victory elimination by one length over Make Or Miss, will start the final from post five with Corey Callahan driving for trainer Chuck Sylvester. For the year, Dog Gone Lucky has won six of 13 races and earned $331,493 while finishing off the board only twice. His victories include the Matron Stakes and Kindergarten Classic championship, plus two preliminary divisions of the New York Sire Stakes series. Dog Gone Lucky is owned by Sylvester’s daughter Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and her cousin Charles Stansley. The colt was bred by Mike Stoltzfus, who is Amy’s husband, and Sam Stoltzfus Jr. Amy named the horse, a son of former Sylvester star Lucky Chucky out of the Stoltzfus’ broodmare Ebbtide Hall, in honor of her late brother Troy Sylvester. Troy, who passed away in 2009, was known by the nickname “Dog.” “He’s our family horse,” Mike Stoltzfus said. “He’s kind of special. We didn’t really expect what he’s been doing the last few starts. We thought we had a nice sire stakes horse, but he seems to have jumped up to the next level. He’s been pretty impressive. He’s beaten some pretty nice horses.” The Stoltzfus family bought Ebbtide Hall, a daughter of Cash Hall, for $8,000 at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale’s Mixed Sale. Dog Gone Lucky was Ebbtide Hall’s first foal. “We bought her to breed to Lucky Chucky because we thought it might be a good cross for Lucky Chucky,” Stoltzfus said. “It’s worked out all right for us. He’s been a pretty good horse all along. He’s got good manners, and that means a lot. We’ve just been enjoying the ride with him.” Dog Gone Lucky is not the only Valley Victory contender from Sylvester’s stable. Waitlifter K also won his Valley Victory elimination, beating Milligan’s School by a neck at odds of 24-1, and will start the final from post three with driver Tim Tetrick. Waitlifter K, bred and owned by Bob Key, has won three of 13 races and earned $105,379. He has gone off stride three times behind the starting gate, but been competitive in his remaining races, hitting the board seven times. “I wasn’t really surprised by his win,” Sylvester said. “He’s had trouble going to the gate. If he gets off on the wrong foot, he gets pacing. He won’t make the gate if he’s on the pace. It’s either over before you start, or he’s going to be competitive. “When I saw him come to the gate on the trot (in the elimination) I knew he was leaving. And once he gets to the front he’s a good horse. Tim, once he got him out of there, he let him roll, which is OK. He needed that. He was very good last week. I was happy with him.” The Valley Victory is part of a busy weekend at the Meadowlands. Other top races Saturday include the $413,000 Governor’s Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, $173,500 Tarport Hap for 3-year-old female pacers, $144,000 Continentalvictory for 3-year-old female trotters, plus $400,000 TVG Free For All Series championships for male pacers and trotters. Elimination winners Big Top Hanover and Katies Rocker lead a field of 10 in the Governor’s Cup, which also includes Breeders Crown champion Boston Red Rocks. In the TVG championship for male trotters, 3-year-old The Bank will face seven older foes for the title. The Bank, trained by Jimmy Takter, accepted an invitation to the event as a Breeders Crown winner. On the pacing side, series points leader JK Endofanera, also trained by Takter, leads a group of six finalists. The Continentalvictory attracted only four starters, but features harness racing’s top money-earning 3-year-old female trotters: Wild Honey, with $1.11 million, and Mission Brief, with $929,317. Mission Brief defeated Wild Honey in last week’s Matron Stakes with a world-record 1:50.2 performance at Dover Downs. Wild Honey had won her two most recent previous encounters with Mission Brief, in the Breeders Crown and Kentucky Filly Futurity. For Saturday’s complete Meadowlands card, click here. Post time is 7 p.m. for the night’s first race.   by Ken Weingartner   Harness Racing Communications   USTA

DOVER, Del. ---- Dover Downs "Novemberfest of Stakes' spotlights the prestigious Matron Stakes with four lucrative freshman events and two consolations plus three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old Male Paces on Thursday, Nov. 5. Dog Gone Lucky, fresh from winning the $191,500 Kindergarten final at Vernon Downs last Sunday, drew the rail in the $216,300 Matron Two-Year-Old Colt Stake. Corey Callahan will again drive the Chuck Sylvester trained youngster for Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley, Love Matters, a six-time winner in eight starts this year, driven by Yanick Gingras owned by Liverman, Fielding, Brixton Medical and Christine Takter along with Julie Miller-trained stakes winner Milligan's School and Andy Miller lead the contenders. Synerco Ventures, Leo Fleming and trainer Chris Beaver's Deweylovernleaver handled by Aaron Merriman; Two Bob Key-owned starters are driven by Hall of Famers, David Miller guiding Waitlifter K and John Campbell steering Treasure Keys K. Taco Tuesday leaves from the outside with Tim Tetrick for owners Rudolph, Baldassare and Lindy Farms and the lone local starter Don Marine and trainer Bob Shana's Kent County reined by George Dennis. Kathy Parker (Gingras), owned by Takter, McClelland, Brixton Medical and RAW Equine, is top money earner at $293,348 in the $185,400 Matron frosh trot. Katz and Libfeld's Womans Will (A.Miler) finished fourth in the Breeders Crown while the only locally owned filly M&L Of Delaware and Bill Wiswell's Lookin Sharp (Corey Callahan) drew post 8. Windowshopper, co-owned by driver Ray Schnittker and Charles Iannazaro, has the rail with Arrhythmic's Radiant Beam (D.Miller) alongside. Melby Gard's Keep It Classy (jimmy Takter), Bob Key's Encore Gold (Campbell) and Charles Iannazzo's Casino Cutie It (Tetrick) complete the lineup. In pacing Matrons, razor-sharp Newborn Sassy (Tetrick) has won six-in-a-row and seven of nine races for CC Racing and trainer Jim King in the $183,400 filly division. Shezarealdeal (Campbell), already a $308,031 winner at two, starts from post 1. Takter, Fielding and Sbrocco's Albany Girl (Brett Miler) and KDM Stable's Major Millie (Matt Kakaley) head eight starters. Trainer-driver Pat Lachance and M&M Harness Racing's Penpal, Let It Ride Stable's Skinny Dipper (Andrew McCarthy) and Brittany Farms' Sonoma Valley (D.Miller) round out the starters. Big Top Hanover (Gingras), owned by JT45 and Burke Racing, is the one to beat in the $201,400 Matron Colt Stake. Autotune Hanover (Tetrick) is a New York Sire Stakes standout racing for Phillips, Venturini and Harder, and Fashion Farms' Katies Rocker (D.Miller) won the New Jersey Futurity edging Wiswell, Goehlen and Schick's Ideal Rocky (Callahan) by a nose. The rest of the field consists of 3 Brothers Stable's JK Willpower (Tetrick), Miller and Andray Stable's Sam McSmith, Beach Ogre (McCarthy) has the rail for vSWchnittker, Bordogna, Arnold and Taylor. Alongside is Tom Hill's Pretty Boy Hill (Gingras). Two $20,000 Matron Consolations and three DSBF 1st leg prelims are also on the powerful 15-race program. Tough Mac romps in Open Wednesday Tough Mac, one of last season’s top trotters at Dover Downs romped to an easy 1:54.2 lifetime fastest victory in the first $20,000 Open Handicap of the meet. Trained by last meet’s leader, Dylan Davis, and driven by perennial champion Corey Callahan, the six-year-old altered son of Lockkeeper-Traditional Lady owned by Mike Casalino recorded his ninth win of the season and moved into the six-figure column now earning $107,855 this year and $233,7999 lifetime. Callahan rolled away to a :26.3 first quarter lead and never looked back pulling away to an easy victory with woth a :28.2 final panel. Winbak Charles M (Allan Davis) closed fast to nip Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) by a long nose to finish second. In the $15,000 semi-feature trot, Adrenalin Junkie won the photo finish in 1:57.4 to take the $15,000 3,4&5-Year-Old trot. It was the first of two wins for Jim Morand. Gary Simpson trains and co-owns with Eric Good, the Broadway Hall-Pure Adrenalin N three-year-old gelding. Eskimo Joe (Tony Morgan) was a close second. Lighter Hanover (Vic Kirby) finished third. Morand also guided Lou Man to victory in a $12,500 conditioned trot in 1:55.1. The Indiana-bred four-year-old scored his third consecutive victory. Jim King trains the altered son of Lou’s Legacy-Relyea, for owners John McGill and Brian Carsey. The Poliseno family had consecutive trips to the winner’s circle. Cody Poliseno, 21-year-old son of trainer Carlo Poliseno won for the first time a Dover Downs driving Island Jet from way back with a driving finish to victory in 1:55 in a Delaware pace. One race later, Carlo’s brother, Tony Poliseno trained Broadway Delores, owned by his wife, Mary Lou Poliseno, to a 1:59.1 victory in a $9,500 trot. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark days. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

Dog Gone Lucky is proving himself to be doggone good. A harness racing 2-year-old male trotter, Dog Gone Lucky heads to Thursday's $216,300 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs off a win in last weekend's Kindergarten Classic Series championship. He has won his most recent two starts and finished second by a neck to Brooklyn Hill in a stakes race at The Red Mile three races ago. Dog Gone Lucky drew post No. 1 for the Matron. Corey Callahan, Dover Downs' six-time leading driver, will be at the lines for trainer Chuck Sylvester. "He seems like he's getting a little bit better toward the end of the year," said Sylvester, who trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley. "We prepped him for the sire stakes and took our time with him. He's developed more than we thought he would." Dover Downs also hosts Matron Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters and 2-year-old male and female pacers on Thursday. Post time is 4:30 p.m. for the day's first race. The Matron for female trotters features Kathy Parker and Womans Will, who finished 2-3 in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Kindergarten Series championship runner-up Lookin Sharp. Stakes-winners Big Top Hanover, Ideal Rocky, and Autotune Hanover are among the eight horses in the Matron for male pacers while stakes-winner Shezarealdeal leads a field of eight female pacers. Big Top Hanover and Shezarealdeal both finished second in the Breeders Crown. Dog Gone Lucky is a son of former Sylvester star Lucky Chucky out of the mare Ebbtide Hall. He won the Kindergarten from post nine, beating fellow Sylvester-trainee Waitlifter K by two lengths in 1:54.2. Dog Gone Lucky has won four of 11 races and earned $213,343. "He leaves the gate well and he got a nice trip after he went to the front at Vernon," Sylvester said. "Some of the best colts aren't in (the Matron) so he'll be OK I think. Our plans were not to race him so early, but in these late races. If everything goes good he'll be in the Valley Victory." Waitlifter K also is in the Matron and will start from post five with driver David Miller. The colt, who has won two of 11 races and earned $95,379, is owned by Robert Key. Waitlifter K is a son of Muscles Yankee, another former Sylvester standout, out of the mare Treasure Forever. "He's a horse I just couldn't race every week, so we took our time with him," Sylvester said. "Mr. Key said it was OK to do whatever was best and to do it at our own pace. He raced very good last week and he'll be sharper this week. If all goes well, he'll be going to the Valley Victory too." Sylvester is looking forward to seeing how the horses develop over the winter. "I don't think we've over-raced them," he said. "They'll have two more starts and then get a nice rest. We'll keep our fingers crossed for next year." Among the horses joining Dog Gone Lucky and Waitlifter K in the Matron are stakes-winners Milligan's School and Love Matters. For Thursday's full card at Dover Downs, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Vernon, N.Y. -- In addition to the annual Turn Back the Clock races and the Four One One for grey pacers, Vernon Downs hosted the harness racing finals of the Kindergarten Classic series--worth a combined $366,000--on Saturday (October 31) evening.   The $191,500 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old colts and geldings saw eventual winner Dog Gone Lucky ($4.80) vault clear from his post 9 dispatch, controlling a :57.2 half mile before yielding briefly to a rapidly-advancing Celebrity Express (John Campbell) before exiting the back straight. As Celebrity Express started to struggling upon exiting the far turn, Corey Callahan edged off the pegs with Dog Gone Lucky, pressing to the lead just past reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:25.3. Dog Gone Lucky, narrowly in front on his own accord, inherited two lengths clearance over the others when Celebrity Express broke stride off the far turn. The son of Lucky Chucky and Ebbtide Hall would hold that lead intact over a late-rallying Waitlifter K (David Miller) and Mavens Way (Ã…ke Svanstedt), prevailing in 1:54.2.   Chuck Sylvester trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley.   In the $174,500 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old fillies, the complexion of the race changed when both halves of the Jimmy Takter-trained 1-10 entry--Haughty and Hollywood Hill--broke stride on approach to the far turn. An extended duel between Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) and Radiant Beam (David Miller), joined at the quarter pole by Lookin Sharp (Callahan), ultimately dissolved as 91-1 outsider Wildflower ($185.50) split foes in the final sixteenth to just prevail in 1:55.4. Trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt shares ownership of the daughter of Muscle Hill and Lightning Flower with Douglas Sipple along with Mal and Janet Burroughs.   Earlier in the program, Artic Byrd ($22.40) took advantage of a ground-saving trip to take the Four One One for grey pacers, taking over late in 1:54.2 under trainer-driver Truman Gale. The pair of Turn Back The Clock races, contested clockwise at seven furlogns, went to trotter Mystical Con ($29.40, Claude Huckabone, III, 1:43.1), and pacer Sucrose Hanover ($17.40, Chris Lems, 1:39.3).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (November 6) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern standard time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs   Attached: Dog Gone Lucky (Corey Callahan up) and Wildflower (#7, Ã…ke Svanstedt in white cap) take their respective Kindergarten Classic finals. Fotowon photos.

Harness racing three-year-olds took front and center stage at Harrah's Philadelphia on Labor Day afternoon (Sept. 7th). The PA Stallion Series Championships each carried a purse of $40,000. In the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot, it was Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting's Colbert (Ake Svanstedt) getting the victory. The son of Cantab Hall settled in to an early pocket spot behind the speed of Julie Miller trainee Mesmerized (Andy Miller), by the opening quarter in :27.2. After a rated :30.2 second quarter (:57.4 half), race favorite Jackson's Minion (Tom Jackson) rushed up to challenge for the lead, with Colbert committing to the outside. The battle continued past three-quarters (1:26.1), and that's when Jackson's Minion went off stride. Colbert was able to move wide past the breaker, and out duel a game Mesmerized in the stretch to win by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:57. It was the 3rd career win for Colbert, who now has over $82,000 in career earnings. He paid $7.60 to win. The 3-year-old filly trot went to Chuck Sylvester trainee Murderers Row (Tim Tetrick). The daughter of Donato Hanover settled into an early third behind the speed of 9-time winner Sistas (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) who was first to the quarter in :28. After a rated half (:57.3) Murderers Row moved up to challenge for the lead. They were on even terms at three-quarters (1:26), and the battle continued all the way through the stretch drive. Murderers Row was able to get the neck out in front at the wire for the win, stopping the timer in a career's best 1:55. Sistas settled for second, while Wouldn't Itbesweet (Corey Callahan) finished third. It was Murderers Row's 3rd straight win, and 6th career tally, moving her lifetime earnings just shy of $150,000. She is owned by Steve Jones, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey. She paid $8.00. Owner Ted Gewertz was in the winner's circle once again, this time with Apricot Sour (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). The daughter of Well Said had a brief encounter with long shot Eloquently Stated (Yannick Gingras) at the quarter-pole (:27.2), but was able to steer past and rate the second quarter (:28.4). After sprinting away at three-quarters (1:23), she found herself all alone at the wire, winning by 6 lengths stopping the clock in a career best 1:52. Favorite Dobre Povedane (Corey Callahan) finished second, while Repeat Please (Dave Palone) was third. It was the 6th career win for the Anette Lorentzon trainee, who now has earnings just short of $85,000. She paid $6.80 to win. The upset of the day came in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace, as Shirley Le Vin's Parklane Eagle was given a clever Brett Miller drive to win. The son of Somebeachsomewhere was able to establish early position behind the speed up front. Julie Miller trainee Badiou Hanover (Andy Miller) and race favorite Trading Up (Yannick Gingras) battled by the quarter in :26.4. After Badiou Hanover secured the lead from post 8, he had to deal with parked out long shot Techtor Hanover (Corey Callahan) at the half (:55.3). As Techtor Hanover started to fade, Jo Pa's Well Said (Dave Miller) drove aggressively three-wide up to challenge at three-quarters (1:23.3). As they came into the stretch, Brett Miller was able to weave Parklane Eagle through traffic, out sprinting Trading Up in the final 70 yards to win by a head, stopping the clock in 1:52.3. Badiou Hanover finished a game third. It was the 7th win for Parklane Eagle ($28.80) pushing his career totals to over $132,000. He is trained by Pete Foley. Michael Bozich

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 29, 2015--"I told (driver) Jason (Bartlett), 'Just get the same trip as last week.' " Bartlett obliged as harness racing trainer Chuck Sylvester asked Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $149,240 final of the Hudson Filly Trot with a pocket-sitting Murderer's Row ($8.50) in a season's-best 1:56.3. A week after skimming the cones to win her elimination (at 11-1), the 3-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover and Housethatruthbuilt offered an encore in the sport's richest race of the evening. With tepid, 2-1 choice (and other elim winner) Bright Baby Blues (Brian Sears) making a break while looking for an eight-hole seat, Lady Winona (Andy Miller) made the lead. Murderer's Row, starting in one notch from "Winona" at the pylons, settled in behind. Only five lasses remained in contention after Katniss (George Brennan) and Marion Millionair (Yannick Gingras) also misbehaved. Lady Winona led through substations of :28.2, :58.1, 1:27.4, getting heat from a three-hole vacating Scented Roses (Ake Svanstedt). That one couldn't sustain her bid, but "Winona" couldn't stall Murderer's Row. The latter angled in and won a protracted stretch battle by a nose. Third went to Scented Roses, barely holding off a closing Wouldn't Itbesweet (Larry Stalbaum), while Oh My Darlin' (Dan Dube)--stablemate to the third-place finisher--earned the last pay envelope. For fourth choice "Murderer's," co-owned by Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey and Ted Gewertz, it was her second (consecutive) win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.40, with the triple returning $62.50. "Quite frankly, she's been a disappointment," Sylvester said of the pre-Hudson seasonal maiden. "I wasn't sure she could step up, but she did." Murderer's Row's dam, Housethatruthbuilt, won this race in 2004 when it was contest at Hawthorne. The lone big-track edition of the Hudson resulted in the stakes record of 1:53.4. Frank Drucker

Harness Racing Update has reported that Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester has been hit with a Cobalt positive in Pennsylvania after a horse he trained tested for an excess level of the banned substance. Sylvester has been handed a 15-day suspension and a $500 fine by the Pennsylvania Harness Commission. An even bigger problem for Sylvester could be his status at the Jeff Gural-owned racetracks. Gural said yesterday that if a split sample taken from the horse also tests positive for the drug then Sylvester will no longer be allowed to compete at The Meadowlands, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs. He also said the two horses Sylvester trains for him will be moved to a new barn. "This is a total shock to me and very disappointing," Gural said. The horse Murderers Row, a 3-year-old filly, tested positive for Cobalt after a June 16 race at Pocono in which she finished third. A week later she was second in a June 24 race at Chester and has not raced since. Sylvester said yesterday he did nothing wrong. "It was shocking to me," he said. "I have no idea how this happened. All I know is that I'm the trainer on record and that I'm going to get 15 days. That's all I can tell you. I am embarrassed that something like this happened and I have no idea why it happened. It's a horrible thing to have it happen to you. I know some people do get positives and they haven't done anything wrong. That's absolutely what happened to me." To view the rest of this story click here. 

Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester is a name familiar to everyone in the sport of harness racing. The 4-time Hambletonian winner excels at developing young trotters. Sylvester will once again have some of his young trotters on display at Yonkers raceway this Tuesday afternoon. The 3yo trotting colt Talbot Hercules leaves from post 4 in Race 5 and the 3yo trotting filly A List Lindy leaves from post 4 in race 10.   But the lure isn't a New York Sire Stakes event; it's the increased purses that have been implemented at the hilltop oval for horses that are non-winners of two, four and six pari-mutuel races. Beginning in July, Yonkers significantly raised purses for younger horses. The new purse levels mean the nw2 class races for $20,000 each week, the nw4 for $25,000 and the nw6 for $30,000.   Grand Circuit horsemen that might not routinely race at Yonkers took immediate notice of the purse increases and of those Sylvester and Frank Antonacci, Jr. picked up their first wins of the season at Yonkers during the inaugural week the increased purse levels were implemented.   The recently concluded USTA summit on finding ways to increase breeding and attract new racehorse owners unanimously supported what Yonkers had already put in place: directing more purse funds to younger horses. The thought being that yearling buyers need an attractive place to race horses that don't end up being stakes winners.   On the Tuesday afternoon card at Yonkers Raceway, eight of the 12 races are comprised of these newly elevated nw2, nw4 and nw6 classes.   There have also been other recent changes on the Yonkers Raceway condition sheet. The Yonkers race office incorporated some recommendations from the SOA of NY membership for more high priced claiming races. With the approval of Yonkers GM Bob Galterio, the Yonkers race office carded and filled $40,000, $50,000 and $75,000 claiming races this past week, which provide a new dynamic to the weekend cards.   The next major change coming to Yonkers will be the return of the finish line to its more traditional half mile location. If approval can be received from the New York Gaming Commission soon, the change could be implemented prior to the $1 million International Trot on October 10.   Interest in the International Trot continues to grow, with inquiries coming in from New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Belgium and other parts of Europe. Some invitations for the International Trot should begin to be extended in the not too distant future.    

Murderers Row is ready to step to the plate. Or, perhaps more accurately for a harness racing horse, step to the gate.  Murderers Row is one of nine 3-year-old female trotters entered in Friday's $39,816 John Simpson Memorial Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The filly - whose name is a reference to the moniker bestowed upon the famed New York Yankees lineup in the late 1920s - will start from post one with John Campbell driving for trainer Brett Bittle. The race also includes stakes-winners Allerage Star, Model Behavior, and Shaqline. It will be the first start of the season for Murderers Row, who last year struggled at the beginning of the campaign but closed out 2014 by winning three of her final four races. "We know she's not top of the hill, but we're hoping she's in the middle somewhere," said Steve Jones, who is among the group that bred and owns Murderers Row. "It took a little while for her to figure it out, but now she seems like she has (figured it out) hopefully. Time will tell." Murderers Row's father is Donato Hanover, who was Horse of the Year in 2007, and her mother is million-dollar-earner Housethatruthbuilt, who received the 2004 Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old female trotter. Murderers Row is a full sister to stakes-winner Real Babe and her family also includes 1999 Dan Patch Award winner Master Lavec. Last year, Murderers Row finished second in a division of the Reynolds Memorial Stakes in her second career start, but was winless in her first five races - going off stride in two. She got her first victory in 1:56.1 in a late-closer at Lexington's Red Mile and followed up with back-to-back triumphs in the preliminary rounds of a series for 2-year-old female trotters at The Meadows. Unfortunately for her connections, the filly returned to her breaking ways and went off stride and finished eighth in the $31,500 final. "The last race of the year she was 1-2 (odds) and made a break for really no reason," said Jones, who named Murderers Row and owns the filly with Mary Kinsey and Ted Gewertz. "She did that a few times last year. It wasn't a soundness issue, it was more maturity; more between the ears and being immature. "John Campbell said he thought her gait is better now. We're hoping she gets off on the right foot. Every time she goes to the gate you wonder about the breaking part, but she didn't break in her qualifiers." Chuck Sylvester trained Murderers Row for much of last year. Jones said Bittle is racing the filly to start this season because Sylvester is still in Florida. He joked that Bittle was an appropriate choice because his grandfather, Charlie Keller Jr., was a star for the Yankees in the 1940s and later founded harness racing's Yankeeland Farms. "I am very close with Charlie Keller (III)," Jones said. "Brett and Charlie's background is pretty much all Yankees." Yankeeland Farms bred 1998 Hambletonian winner Muscles Yankee, who is the father of Murderers Row's dam Housethatruthbuilt. Yankee Stadium is known as "The House that Ruth Built." The Yankees' legendary 1927 Murderers' Row included Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, and Earle Combs. Jones hopes his version can knock out a few victories this year. Murderers Row is not eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks, but does have the Currier & Ives Stakes, Landmark, Reynolds, Arden Downs, Tompkins-Geers, and Hudson Filly Trot on her schedule. "She's a well-bred filly, out of a very nice mother, and we're hoping she's going to be OK this year as a 3-year-old," Jones said. "She looks like she's going to be a decent horse." Friday's Meadowlands card also includes the $43,106 Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. The field includes stakes-winners Bettor Be Steppin, Divine Caroline, and Happiness as well as She's A Great Lady runner-up Bedroomconfessions and New York Sire Stakes championship runner-up Bossers Joy. Weeper, last season's Matron Stakes winner, makes her 4-year-old debut in the $27,500 Open for female pacers. The race also includes Breeders Crown champion Sayitall BB plus stakes-winners Gallie Bythe Beach and Fancy Desire. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Here is the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village Standardbred 2015 stable roster Part III. Sunshine Meadows is located on route 4441/SR 7 in Delray Beach, FL. EARL, JR. & LISA AVENATTI STABLE Three-year-olds JN’M Jessie Combo t f by Jailhouse Jessie – Bo Nina OLDER HORSES Mach Made Her 7 p m by Mach Three – Raider Made Her BASTTISTA NEGRI STABLE Two-Year-Olds Arbor Rose Hanover f t by Muscle Massive – Always A Starlet Three-Year-Olds Benedetta Rastelli f t by Sand Vic – Doin The City CONTINETAL STABLE Trainer – Jan Johnson Two-Year-Olds I’m Volo t f by Yankee Glide – No I’m Not Lady Athans t f by Muscle Massive – Miss Athens Legal Lady t f by Deweycheatemnhowe – Brusche He Noble Miss t f by Deweycheatemnhowe – Prime Mistress Algonac t c by Muscles Yankee – Cartier Hall Mission’s Volo t c by Manofmanymissions – Likable Oakie t c by Conway Hall – Mystical Oaks Three-Year-Olds Maggie’s Bed t f by Muscles Yankee – Meadow Ambassador Slivermass Volo t c by Muscles Yankee – Silver Springs Libertarian t c by Donato Hanover – Miss Athens Older Horses Silverhill Volo 4t g by Muscle Hill – Silver Springs MARTY COOPER STABLE Older Horses My Immortal 6 p m by Admirals Galley – Tina’s Joy REL Cash Clown 6 t m by Cash Hall – Golden Crown RON GURFEIN STABLE Two-Year-Olds Cash Five Hanover t f by Donato Hanover – Celebrity Niki Maeve Quaider t f by Cantab Ball – Angel Pie Stick Of Butter t f by Lucky Chucky – Winbak Roberta Older Horses Lucy’s Pearl 4p m by Well Said – Remember When JAROLD HAWKS STABLE Two-Year-Olds Cadillac Sally t f by Muscle Mass – The Lady Money Archery t g by Muscle Hill – Sister Sammy Muscles For Lie t c by Muscle Mass – Serenity Girl Three-Year-Olds Second Street t f by Older Horses Rocky De Vie 4t g by Conway Hall – Ecstatic STEPHEN OLDFORD RACING Assistant Trainer – Buck Goldschmidt Two-Year-Olds Justa Girl t f by Federal Flex – Homesick Ranger Older Horses Bold Strike  6t g by So Striking – Bold Print Insider Access 5t g by Conway Hall – Nikki’s Game Royalty On High  5t m by RC Royalty – Sparkling Cider SCOTT RENZ STABLE Two-Year-Olds Pastor Dudley t c by Cantab Hall - Coughackgagnwheze Playing In The Rain p f by Older Horses Magic Spice 9 g by Kadabra – Spicy Image Memphis Mobster 8p g by Memphis Flash – Armbro Robin CHUCK SYLVESTER STABLE Two-Year-Olds American Spa t f by Muscles Yankee – American Holiday Coco Truffles t f by Muscle Hill – Pilgrims Truffles Credit Lover t f by Credit Winner – Amour Hall Donatela Lightning t f by Donato Hanover – Flash Lightning U F Andover Again t f by Andover Hall – Armbro Espionage Boyz N Guitars t c by Muscle Massive – My Winning Way K Dog Gone Lucky t c by Lucky Chucky – Eddtide Hall Giant Muscle t c Muscle Hill – Giant Step Granite State t c by Donato Hanover – Bella Dolce Happy Go Lucky t g by Lucky Chucky – Bandbox Hanover Multitaskr Hanover t c by Explosive Hanover – Mrs Ronerail Yes Sir Officer t g by Donato Hanover – Celebrity Speedy Waitlifter K t c by Muscles Yankee – Treasure Forever Three-Year-Olds A List Lindy t f by Lucky Chucky – Lindy’sleadinglady Image Of Luck t g by Lucky Chucky – Imageofasweetgirl From Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village

January 27, 2015 - The Monday January 26 Vincennes card continued the excellent Prix d’Amerique weekend of harness racing. The Prix D’Issoice (€37,000 purse, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) went to the Jerry Riordan trained, Lisa Riordan owned Sylvester America (4m Varenne-Armbro Voice) clocked in 1.14.9kr and reined by Bjorn Goop. The even-money,  Chuck Sylvester namesake, favorite defeated Suerte’s Cage (Igor Font - Fuanziska’s Cage) for Roberto Vecchione for trainer H.K. Ehlert at 48/1 with third to 10/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (4m Magnificent Rodney - Nymphe du Dollar) with trainer Sylvain Roger at the lines. Winner’s dam Armbro Voice by Garland Lobell is also dam of Laurel America (US$341,000), Michael America (US$113,000) and Red Rose America (US$261,000), each developed by Riordan. Une de Villetot (7f Canada-Oste) took the Prix de Rethal (€48,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) at 38/1 for owner, trainer, driver Sebastian Baude timed in 1.14.9kr. 45/1 Una Fix (7f Kiwi-J’y Pense) ended second for trainer/driver Franck Ouvrie ahead of 63/1 Uka Pellois (7f Coktail Jet-Lady Square) with Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Rony Kuiper in this Quinte+ event. The Prix de Fleurance A (€33,000 purse, 2200 meters, 13 starters) produced a 1.18.4kr victory for well-bred Cottie Cash (3f Sam Bourbon -Kidea) for Jerome Ruaults up for trainer Philippe Allaire. This 1.8/1 favorite handled Crista Maris (3f Kiwi-Prima Maris) for trainer, driver Sylvain Roger at 9/1 with third to Crazy Queen (3f Let’s Go Along-Rydding Star) and Julien Dubois. Philippe Moulin trains this one for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The winner is from the Extreme Dream mare Kidea (from a Workaholic dam), dam of double Prix d’Amerique winner Ready Cash plus Suricate (US$169,000) and Upper Class (US$398,000). The lightly raced three year-olds also contested the Prix de Fleurance B (€33,000, 2200 meters, 12 starters) and Julien Dubois teamed Café Rossa (3f Let’s Go Along -Lee Nova) to the win clocked in 1.16.6kr. The 2.7/1 winner is trained by Philippe Moulin for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 36/1 Chapella Phedo (3f Little Crack-Romanaisa Phedo) was second for Franck Nivard ahead of 2.9/1 odds Carla Love (3f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonnas) with trainer J-M Bazire aboard. Tuesday at Vincennes continued with a card that included European eligible events and first-time training win for Julien Dubois. Summaries follow: The Prix de Vittel A (€50,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 European starters) went to Primula Brazza (6f Oiseau de Feux -Erbanoza Brazza) trained by Fabrice Souloy and reined by Roberto Andreghetti. The 2.3/1 favorite was clocked in 1.15.5kr in defeat of Voila Marine (6f Infant du Bossis-Lady Danae) with David Thomain up for trainer/owner Franck Harel. 9/1 Vany des Loyaux (6f Vivaldi de Chanu-Morie des Loyaux) was third for owner/trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard. The Prix de Laval (€70,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) went to 3/2 odds Aupiquaria (5f Goetmals Wood -Illys Way) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire, clocked in a sharp 1.12.5kr. This Quinte+ event saw 9/1 Ardente du Clos (5f Reve des Vallees-Lumiere du Clos) end second for owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard. 50/1 Roxanne Bar (5f Explot Caf-Guendalina Bar) was third for Roberto Andrghetti and trainer Catello Savarese. The Divine Miss F (5f Kiss Francis-Fast Wise As) was a 25/1 fourth for Pierre Vercruysse with fifth to 19/1 Ruguaida Dei Rex (5f Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex) for reinsman Robin Bakker, trainer Paul Hagoort and owner Arnold W. Mollema. The Prix de Laval was the Quinte+ race of the day. The Prix de Sarlat (€44,000 purse, 2700 meters. 18 European starters) went to owner/trainer/driver Julien Dubois and his 28/1 Always Perfect (5m Prodigious-Oh Butterfly), his first training win. Scoring in 1.16.1kr the winner defeated Atout de Montbrun (5g Otello Pierji-Dame Montbrun) with trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard and American Charm (5m Password-Question de Charme) at 45/1 for reinsman Jean-Philippe Dubois for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Thomas Hicks

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