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CHESTER, PA - The Deweycheatumnhowe mare Arabella's Cadet equaled the 1:52 Harrah's Philadelphia track record for older harness racing trotting mares established by Hannelore Hanover last year when she defeated the favorite Scirocco Rob in the $14,400 trotting feature on Thursday afternoon at the riverside oval. The top two finishers had shown excellent form recently; Scirocco Rob may have been installed the chalk because he had been able to control the pace in recent victories. It looked like that scenario might play out again as Scirocco Rob set the early fractions of :27 and :56, with Arabella's Cadet launching uncovered for the sixth straight time. Here driver Joe Bongiorno was able to get a giant backstretch burst (her own third split was :26.4) out of the mare that got her by the pacesetter to the 1:23.2 three-quarters, and though Scirocco Rob was rallying back inside in the lane, the "Cadet" withstood his comeback by a neck.   Arabella's Cadet, trained by Joe Bongiorno's sister Jennifer and owner by the partnership of Glenn Goller and Abraham Basen, has now won five times this year and seventeen times in fifty lifetime starts, and she now has a bankroll of $180,248 in addition to a new mark and a track record. Joe and Jennifer Bongiorno would later win with the veteran Muscle Mass gelding Rubber Duck, now with $609,074 in lifetime earnings, in an $11,600 trot. Rubber Duck went to the lead in front of the stands and, despite making his first start in six months, was able to motor home in :56 to complete a 1:53.2 tally for owners Blair and Emma Corbeil. In the $13,600 co-featured trot, Spee Club was able to control the throttle from the rail and go on to a nose victory over favored Grapple Hanover in 1:55.4, with Yankees Beast third and Lucky Mae Hanover fourth, both only a half-length behind the winner. Corey Callahan kept the son of Cantab Hall ahead in the tight fight to notch the triumph for owner/trainer Dawn Erin Neilson. The meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., reported home first four times on the Thursday card. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 4, 2020 -- Enjoying relief from tougher company, Maewegonow took full advantage of the opportunity with a comfortable front-end harness racing victory in Tuesday's feature at The Meadows, a $10,400 Conditioned Trot. Although Maewegonow more than held her own against stiffer competition, she clearly relished this spot, as Dan Rawlings sent her aggressively to the point from post 7. The 6-year-old daughter of Dewetcheatumnhowe-Mauresmo knifed through the rain and defeated the pocket-sitting Kellie's MVP by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4, with the first-over Wildfire Seelster third.   Richard Perfido trains Maewegonow, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $377,623, for Thomas Mattingly. Aaron Merriman and Dave Palone each collected three wins on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 15-race program features a $2,632.08 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 28, 2019 -- Unraced at 2 and unheralded at 3 when he burst on the scene with outstanding performances in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, Wild Wild Western is the 2019 Horse of the Year at The Meadows. He also was named Pacer of the Year and 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year. Maewegonow, a hard-hitting mare who took on the track's best all season, was named Trotter of the Year and Older Mare Trotter of the Year. The awards were announced and presented at Saturday's "Day of Champions" at The Meadows, when 10 other divisional champions also received their awards. The winners were selected by a vote of Meadows Standardbred Ownership Association (MSOA) members. Trained by Norm Parker for Jeff Weaver's Jacobs Creek Racing, Andrew Altobelli and John Deters, Wild Wild Western began his season in late-closing series at The Meadows. With Mike Wilder at the helm, he was so impressive he was promoted to the PASS, where he won a split and finished second in two others. That earned the son of Western Ideal-Caila Fra, a $55,000 yearling acquisition, a ticket to the Adios. He showed he belonged with top competition by finishing third in his elimination and fourth in the final captured by Southwind Ozzie. He locked horns with Southwind Ozzie again in the PASS final, finishing a more-than-respectable third to the champ. Wild Wild Western won eight times this year and took a mark of 1:51.2, compiling a bankroll of $189,593. Whether in against fillies and mares or facing the track's top male trotters, Maewegonow was strong and consistent all year. The 5-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Mauresmo, who's trained by Richard Perfido for Thomas Mattingly, won seven races and more than $95,000 this year to extend her career earnings to $366,456. A modest $18,000 yearling purchase, she took her life mark of 1:53.4 this year in an Open 2 Handicap that included males. In Saturday's racing, Camera Lady blazed the back half in 55.2 -- over a "good" surface -- and notched an easy 1:53.3 victory for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   The winner's stablemate, McDazzle, finished second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Amelias Courage A third. A five-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go, Camera Lady now boasts $435,038 in career earnings. Jim Pantaleano, Burke and Wrenn each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a mandatory payout of the $105,000.96 jackpot in the final-race Super Hi 5. The day's final Pick 4, Pick 5 and Superfecta also are "must pay." First post Monday is 1:05 PM. Others receiving Day of Champions awards were: 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer -- Dracarys Z Trainer: Carl Cocciolone; Owners: Carl Cocciolone, Mark Sosovicka, Nick Catalano, Dana Kahrig 2-Year-Old Filly Pacer -- Coral Reef Hanover Trainer: Dan Altmeyer; Owners: Dan Altmeyer, Richard Kelson; Lone Wolf Stables, Walter Gesek Stable 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trotter -- Stickler Hanover Trainer: Steve Schoeffel; Owners: Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle, Michael Munn 2-Year-Old Filly Trotter -- Friday Night Storm Trainer: Ray Romanetti; Owners: Lori Romanetti, Bernadette Luketich-Sikaras 3-Year-Old Filly Pacer -- April Ava Trainer: Scott Betts; Owners: Nick Catalano, Tim Betts 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trotter -- Explosive Form Trainer: Norm Parker; Owners: George Romanoff, Mark Goldstein, Norm Parker Stable 3-Year-Old Filly Trotter -- Lindy Misssunshine Trainer: Wilbur Yoder; Owner Richard Hess Older Horse Pacer -- Dapper Dude Trainer: Tim Twaddle; Owner: Micki Rae Stables Older Mare Pacer -- Touchamatic Trainer: Bill Bercury; Owner: Renee Bercury Older Horse Gelding/Trotter -- Bluebird Jesse Trainer: Sarah Andrews; Owners: John McGill, Adam Friedland By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

CHESTER, PA - Driver Tim Tetrick continued his blistering winning streak at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, capturing seven of the day's twelve races to give him 22 harness racing victories during the last four cards in which he participated locally. Six of Tetrick's seven wins came on the front end, which went 10-for-12 on the day, but his win in the $16,000 co-featured trot with Grover Hanover did not. The Andover Hall gelding was a pocket rocket in catching frontstepping Choco Charlie by 1¼ lengths while taking a new mark of 1:56.4 for trainer Bucky Angle and owners Howard and Joshua Kauffman. Tetrick moved Missile Seelster to the lead past the stands in the $16,000 co-featured pace, but Cecil Casanova, who had had early command, made a quick brush at the half for driver Scott Zeron to control the throttle and then withstand Missile Seelster by 1¾ lengths in 1:53.4 for his second straight win. Peter Foley trains the Ponder sophomore gelding for All Star Racing Inc. The public was aware that Tetrick and just about whomever he drove might be tough to beat; all seven of his winners were favored. However, the crowd was not attuned to the chances of the Deweycheatumnhowe gelding One Direction, who took his field on the engine by 3 3/4 lengths for Pat Berry in 1:56.1 - and returned $195.80 for a $2 win ticket. Two Jackpot Hi-5 players, however, filled tickets behind the mega-longshot with the right favorites, so that the 7-8-3-5-2 winning combination was not on a unique ticket, bringing the Jackpot Hi-5 carryover to $7009.65 for the Thursday card. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

HARRINGTON, Del. - Leading harness racing driver and trainer honors headlined the Wednesday closing night program at Harrington Raceway. The training title was up for grabs in dramatic fashion after In Secret ($2.40, Allan Davis) prevailed in the featured $20,000 Open Trot with a 1:56 effort. Owned by Mike Hall, L A Express Stable and Tamara Williams, the 7-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding notched his 10th win of the year for trainer/co-owner Hall. The win deadlocked the trainer standings between Hall and reigning champ Joe Columbo with 39 wins apiece. One race later, however, Columbo clinched the title, prevailing with Middle Aged Crazy, for owners George and Tina Dennis and driver Mike Cole. It was the second straight title for Columbo, who manages a stable of approximately 40 horses. After race four, driver Art Stafford Jr. was recognized as the meet's leading driver. Stafford Jr. had six wins on Tuesday, which added to his healthy win total of 111 to secure his first driving title. Stafford has passed multiple milestones this year, surpassing 2,000 career wins and $20 million in career purses. Ross Wolfenden, Allan Davis, Mike Cole and Tony Morgan rounded out the top five in the driver standings. Meanwhile, behind Columbo and Hall in the trainer race were Wayne Givens, Joe Hundertpfund Jr., and Jim King Jr. On the closing program, Davis had four wins, while Stafford, Cole and Jon Roberts each had a double. Jeff Beauchamp and Ronald Short's Totally Dreamy ($4, Tony Morgan) won his fifth straight race in 1:55.3. The Delaware racing circuit shifts to Dover Downs, which will open on November 4. by Matthew Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

CHESTER, PA - The Deweycheatumnhowe gelding In Secret, glad to be away from the likes of Homicide Hunter, Guardian Angel AS, and Marion Marauder and in the $18,000 featured trot on Thursday at Harrah's Philadelphia, showed his appreciation by taking a new mark of 1:52.3. Yannick Gingras let Gold Medal Swan and Tyson argue through and past the 27.3 opening quarter, then moved quickly to gain the lead at the 3/8 and went on to the half in 55.4. There was not a serious outer flow to the 1:24.1 3/4s, and In Secret was able to open up some space into the stretch, then stayed clear of a resurgent Gold Medal Swan by 2¼ lengths, with Tyson holding for third. The six-year-old Ron Burke trainee continues to work on his second straight $200,000+ season: he now has a bankroll of $222,001 this year and $594,882 lifetime for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables Inc., and Lawrence Karr. The $14,500 co-featured trot was taken in strong wire-to-wire fashion by the Chapter Seven mare Chapter Too, who reduced her lifetime best to 1:53.4. George Napolitano Jr. had Chapter Too on the point before the 27.4 opener, rated the half to 57.1, then came home unthreatened in 56.3 - 28 for her eighth seasonal victory, raising her 2018 earnings to $107,925 and her lifetime accumulation to $253,333. Jenny Melander trains the winner for Belmar Racing & Breeding LLC. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

MILTON, ON -  September 11, 2018 – Dancer Hall flexed his muscles to win Tuesday’s $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A deep field of 10, featuring Maple Leaf Trot finalists Ariana G, Dancer Hall, Pinkman and Warrawee Roo, clashed in this week’s edition of the top-level trot. Paul Reid trainee Dancer Hall, making his first start since finishing fourth in the Maple Leaf Trot, came first-up on the far turn for driver Sylvain Filion after a relatively soft opening-half and grinded his way to a 1:53.3 score. Longshot B Yoyo sprinted off the wings of the gate from post-10, securing the early-lead and posting a :28 opening-quarter. Double-millionaire Ariana G floated away from post-eight and worked her way to the top, clearing entering the backstretch. After posting a :57 half, Ariana G carried the lead around the far turn and by the three-quarter pole in 1:25.4, while Dancer Hall was working his way closer after committing first-up from fifth. In the stretch, Ariana G tried to fight off Dancer Hall, but surrendered the lead entering the final-eighth of the mile. Several others put themselves in the mix for a top spot, as B Yoyo slipped up the rail, while Dunbar Hall, who got a three-hole trip, was searching for room behind the leader and Warrawee Roo was on the far outside after being second-over. Dancer Hall reached the wire first to win by three-quarters of a length. Dunbar Hall found room late to finish second, while B Yoyo and Warrawee Roo were third and fourth, respectively. Owned by 1187422 Ontario Inc, Dancer Hall scored his ninth win of the season and fifth in the Woodbine Preferred. The four-year-old son of Deweycheatumnhowe has had a breakout season, earning $247,372 in 16 starts. Tuesday’s victory was the 17th career win for Dancer Hall and pushes his career earnings to $347,022. He paid $4.60 to win. Live racing resumes Thursday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

Too Much Man (Deweycheatumnhowe) proved too much for his competition in Wednesday's co-feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The four year old harness racing trotter came to the Spa for the first time earlier in the month after a connection change to trainer Scott Mongeon. Too Much Man scored in his local debut in the conditional ranks on August 7th before moving to the level where he competed on Wednesday night. The co-feature for New York sired trotters went for a purse of $9,630 and Too Much Man wound up as the public's 6-5 second choice in the wagering while riding a three-race win streak. Driver Brian Cross moved the up-and-comer out to the early lead in the feature and enjoyed pretty comfortable fractions throughout. Too Much Man drew away a bit around the final turn before checking in at the wire in 1:57.4 for his fourth consecutive victory. Miss Muscle (John Stark Jr) surged late to be second while the race's favorite Alex The Great (Billy Dobson) had to settle for third. The win time matched the seasonal mark for Too Much Man who is now four-for-four since coming to the Spa. The other co-feature on Wednesday night was won by Video Chic who held on to prevail in 1:59. The three year old filly was one of two winners on the card for trainer Homer Hochstetler and driver Bruce Aldrich Jr as they also teamed up for a victory earlier in the evening with young trotter If I Must. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Mind Your Manners (Deweycheatumnhowe) sprung the upset in the Wednesday feature for New York-bred trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The four year old was one of the nominees for Three Year Old Trotter of the Year at Saratoga last season but has not had a big follow-up campaign in 2018. Mind Your Manners was winless on the season heading into Wednesday's $9,630 feature but driver Mickey Mc Givern piloted aggressively in the early going and put the longshot on the front-end. Enjoying pretty comfortable fractions throughout, Mind Your Manners fended off the challenge of the race's second choice in the betting before drawing clear in the stretch to win in 1:59.3 to upset at odds of 12-1. Amazing Sevens (Bruce Aldrich Jr), who was the public's 6-5 top choice, came from a long way back to finish second while Mass Confession (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot. Mind Your Manners, who recorded six wins as a sophomore last year, is trained by Cheryl Mc Givern. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with New York Sire Stakes action highlighting the card as three year old trotting colts and geldings take center stage. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Front Street (Deweycheatumnhowe) moved his record to two-for-two since joining the stable of Melissa Beckwith when on Wednesday evening he scored in the co-feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Beckwiths acquired Front Street a few weeks ago and the four year old cruised to victory in the low level condition race last week at the Spa. On Wednesday night, Front Street once again drew the rail but this time while competing in the $9,630 co-feature for New York bred trotters. Driver Mark Beckwith moved Front Street out to the early lead and the 9-5 second choice in the wagering would not look back. Met with the late challenge of the favored A Gift For You (Frank Coppola Jr), Front Street held strong in the stretch before scoring in 1:58.2 on a rainy evening in Saratoga. The win came just one week after the young trotter set his lifetime mark of 1:58. The other co-feature was won in upset fashion by Activist (Credit Winner). The Wayne Cukerstein trainee left alertly before getting a pocket ride. Reinsman Phil Fluet pulled the two-hole in the stretch and the sophomore trotter Activist stormed past the leader to win in 1:58.3, a new lifetime mark. Activist was dismissed at odds of 13-1 while registering his first local victory. Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

YONKERS, NY - Favored In Secret (George Brennan, $6.60) did it in style Sunday afternoon (June 17th), fashioning a Father's Day track record in Yonkers Raceway's $54,800 Open Handicap Trot The overflow field of 10—including two in the back of the bus—went as the opener and the first of four, mile-and-a-quarter ‘French’ trots. Quite eager from assigned post position No. 7, In Secret worked around Fearless Man (Jason Bartlett) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. From there, he let the good times roll (:56.1, 1:25), widening his lead while losing Fearless Man down the backside the final time. Dewycolorintheline (Mark MacDonald) took up the chase nearing the 1:53.3 milepost (note the all-age, flat-mile trot record is 1:53.2), as did a handful of other closers. Meanwhile, In Secret had a 2½-length lead off the final turn. He'd need a fair amount of that, holding off Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory) by a neck in 2:23.2...track record for aged geldings at the distance. Back markers Bluebird Jesse (Brent Holland) and Buen Camino (Jim Marohn Jr.) were third and fourth, respectively, with Dewycolorintheline salvaging the final pay envelope. For In Secret, a 6-year-old Dewycheatumnhowe gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva Stables and Larry Karr, it was his fourth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $34.60, the triple returned $134 and the superfecta paid $889. It was one of Brennan’s four wins during the 10-race card. Sunday's return of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 6-Tombelaine (Belmont's 3rd race) and 2-Windsong Leo (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $11.90 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $4,651. The next Sunday matinee is July 1st (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 27, 2017 - A harness racing three-peating In Secret (George Brennan, $4.10) gave nothing else a chance Sunday afternoon (Aug. 27th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Open Handicap Trot. With a seven-horse field (after a defection), the weekly trotting feature went at the flat mile. The scratch moved the eight-hole assigned In Secret in one notch, and he was long gone (:27.4, :56.4, 1:24.4, 1:54.1). The life-best effort was also the fastest local tot mile of the season. Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton) tried to stay within sniffing distance from a loose pocket, but tired. In Secret, dismissed at 12-1 in winning a week ago, fooled very few here. He opened a trio of lengths in and out the final turn, winning by 3¼ lengths. Georgie's Pockets (Jim Marohn Jr.) extricated himself from third to chase home the runaway, with Dewycolorintheline (Jeff Gregory), Taco Tuesday and Sumatra (Eric Goodell) rounding out the payees. For In Secret, a 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, J&T Silva Stables, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his seventh win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $30.40, with the triple returning $122. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 5-Portfolio Manager (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 2-Madman Hall (Yonkers' 5th race) returning $8 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,688. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Sept. 3rd) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 20, 2017 - In Secret (George Brennan, $27) earned it Sunday afternoon (Aug. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 harness racing 'Open Handicap Trot'. With 'only' a seven-horse field (after a scratch), the weekly trotting feature went at the flat mile. From post position No. 6 (in one notch with said defection), In Secret---and half the field-was pointed forward. In Secret's job was made that much more difficult when Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno) broke directly inside of him. That forced In Secret very wide, eventually taking over from Buen Camino (Jordan Stratton) after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. Once In Secret made the lead, he rebuffed even-money choice Homicide Hunter (Brent Holland). Even though they weren't going much in the middle half (:57.1, 1:25.4), Homicide Hunter was in trouble. In Secret opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn and Buen Camino couldn't do anything with him. The former whipped the latter by a length in 1:55. Homicide Hunter was an out-the-mile third-ending his marque trot 'run' at three-with Dewycolorintheline (Jeff Gregory) and Taco Tuesday (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the remainder. For fifth choice In Secret, a 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, J&T Silva Stables, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his sixth win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $108, with the triple returning $273. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a 'double nickel' winning combination of 5-Empressof the Nile (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 5-Auspicious Hanover (Yonkers' 5th race) returning $29.25 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,807. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Aug. 27th) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

Miriam Toland the 72-year-old harness racing owner, trainer, and driver took command of Fleetwood Hall ($39.80) to go from last to first at Vernon Downs Thursday night. The 7-year-old Deweycheatumnhow gelding found himself already behind by 12 lengths after the first quarter. ABC Crown ((Joe Nassimos) would charge out to the early lead and set the early fractions of :27.0, :56.3, 1:26.3. The African (John MacDonald) rode in the pocket and looked poised to takeover after the top of the stretch and would take a short lead in deep stretch. Then came the late charge by Fleetwood Hall who looked like a speeding bullet in deep stretch to go by and just nip The African (second) at the wire in 1:57.0. ABC Crown held on for third. For Toland it was her first win this season at Vernon Downs, holding the reins like a thirty year-old, she proudly strolled Fleetwood Hall into the winners circle. Is harness driving a young mans sport? Not on this night! Earlier in the night Special Princess (John MacDonald) would win in her debut. The 2-year-old Art Major filly charged to the front right out of the gate. Owned by 4 for 3 Stable and trained by Donna Reidel, Special Princess ($11.40), would put up fractions of :28.1, :59, 1:27.1, 1:56.0 while going gate-to-wire. Hayleighs Hat (Ben McNeil) would be second best and Bonita Island (Truman Gale) would finish third. Truman Gale would get a couple winners on this night. Gale would win race number one with Tea Party Tempest ($12.40) winning in 1:54.1. Gale would capture the last race of the night with Southwind Vixon ($6.80) in 1:55.0 There will be no racing Friday night (6/30) because of a 38 Special concert at Vernon Downs. The miracle mile will return to live action on Saturday (7-1) with a nine race card starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Vernon Downs.  

Northern Courtney (Mike Simons) captures M&J Oil Lube Trot Final ($25,000) for harness racing 3 year-old fillies at at Tioga Downs Saturday night (May 20). The 3 year-old Deweycheatumnhowe filly marched out to the lead and never relinquished it. Trained by John Butenschoen,the filly was trailed by Seven Magic Words (Tom Jackson) who road the pocket the entire way to finish second. Northern Courtney (2.20) captured her third straight win doing in a career best 1:55.0. However she was not the fastest 3 year-old filly tonight. That honor went to Barn Bella (Jim Taggart Jr), who captured the Open II trot. The Conway Hall filly trained by Steven Pratt, equaled the track record for 3 year-old fillies in 1:54.0. Barn Bella ($3.10) is three for three in 2017.   Tioga Downs returns to live action tomorrow (May 21) at 1pm.   For more information go to   John Horne for Tioga Downs      

OCT. 6, 2016 - After finishing third in five straight Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series starts, stretching back to September 2015, three-year-old trotting gelding Dia Monde grabbed a win in the last regular season harness racing event of his career at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. In rein to Milton resident Randy Waples Dia Monde left smartly from Post 6 and landed second behind early leader Dunvegan Don, who led the field to a :27 opening quarter. Waples continued to sit on the rail as fan favourite Bee In Charge took control heading for the :57.1 half, and then tipped Dia Monde into the outer lane heading by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. With a clear look at the finish line, Dia Monde shifted into overdrive and powered under the wire a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:54. Tony Soprano also closed well to be second, leaving Bee In Charge the third-place finisher's spoils. "He raced good, we're pretty tickled with him finally getting that win," said Puslinch resident June Durand, who shares ownership of Dia Monde with her husband, trainer Tom Durand, and Allan Smith of Oakville, ON. The victory boosted Dia Monde into fourth spot in the division standings, with 98 points, heading into the Oct. 15 Super Final. Through all 13 of his sophomore starts the son of Deweycheatumnhowe and Lady Bar has three wins, two seconds, five thirds and earnings of $163,612. Dia Monde is the second foal out of Lady Bar - a half-sister to former Durand trainee Clarice Marie ($313,400) - that Smith and the Durand's have owned, and it was their long familiarity with the family that first drew the partners to Dia Monde. "We had Littlejack Hanover and he was small, he was a Donato (Hanover), and then when we went to look at this colt he was twice the size, a big, strong colt," recalls June Durand. "And the thing we liked about him is, Looking Hanover ($1,125,136) was the other good horse out of the family and he's a Muscles Yankee and Deweycheatumnhowe is out of Muscles Yankee, so it's kind of going back to that same cross, and he's a big beautiful horse. We paid lots for him, but I think he was worth it." The gelding was a $70,000 purchase at the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, and Smith says he has repaid their investment in ways that cannot be reflected on a balance sheet. "We've been fortunate enough we've had some good stakes horses and done well financially, but it's more the fun of winning," said Smith. "Being with Tom and June - all the work they do to pick out the right horses and get them where they do with a small stable - I'm pretty impressed with what they do and I've always supported it and always will." Dia Monde The partners will be hoping Dia Monde can continue his winning ways into the $250,000 Super Final, where he will face division point leader Muscle Hustle, the winner of the other $105,000 Gold division on Thursday. Sent off as the fan favourite, and also in rein to Waples, Muscle Hustle took control just after the :28 opening quarter and rolled through a :58.1 half and a 1:26.3 three-quarters without facing a challenge. Muscle Hustle hit the wire one length ahead of Holiday Party and two more up on Will Take Charge in 1:54.1. "Muscle Hustle, he was awesome, last quarter :27.3, won fairly handy, and everything is good with him," said trainer Per Henriksen of the division point leader. "He's healthy and everything." Thursday's outing was Muscle Hustle's first in just over a month, he was sidelined with his second bout of sickness this season following a third-place result in the Sept. 3 Simcoe Stakes, but Norwood resident Henriksen expects the colt to be in top shape for next week's finale. "He didn't race for four weeks, but his race here should make him even better," said the horseman, who conditions the son of Muscle Mass and Crown Laurel for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood. In his five Gold Series starts Muscle Hustle logged three wins, one second and one fifth for 180 points, and trotted to an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:52.2 over the five-eighths mile surface at Georgian Downs. Through 12 starts this season he has tallied seven wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $239,832. Henriksen also trains Bee In Charge, who finished third behind Dia Monde, and said the fan favourite tested sick after the race. "Bee In Charge didn't race as good as I thought he was gonna do, and we scoped him and he had some mucous so he is obviously a little sick," said Henriksen. "We've just got to get him healthy for the Super Final." Muscle Hustle Heading into the Super Final off wins aboard both Muscle Hustle and Dia Monde puts Waples in the difficult position of choosing between two horses that appear to be prime shape for the post season. "They're both really nice horses. I really haven't made up my mind. It'll probably just go by post position, I think that's the way it will go anyways," said Waples. "We'll see what happens, see how they come out of it. "I was really happy with the pair of them you know. I thought Muscle Hustle was the best in his class as long as things went his way and he was healthy," the reinsman continued. "And Dia Monde, I know that horse can beat anybody out there, but he just hasn't really been putting it all together his last couple, but tonight he really showed up, he put a big, big effort in tonight." Waples is also the regular reinsman for superstar sophomore pacing filly L A Delight and trotting filly Caprice Hill. Both fillies were victorious in their freshman Super Finals and both head into this year's test undefeated in regular season Gold Series action. With a total of $2 million up for grabs in eight divisions, Super Final night gets under way at 7:30 pm at Mohawk on Saturday, Oct. 15.. Ontario Racing

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