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LEXINGTON, KY-- Harness racing driver Dexter Dunn secured a pocket seat for Amigo Volo and, with several horses making breaks over the "good" surface, had open road to pop and power to a 1:51 victory in the $444,000 128th Kentucky Futurity on Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile. Ready For Moni, the 2-1 second choice, made a break on his way to the gate and lagged from his second-tier starting spot while Amigo Volo pushed for position to the inside. Beads, launching from post 10, swept to the lead before a :27 opening quarter while Amigo Volo settled into second with EL Ideal third and 4-5 favorite Back Of The Neck fourth. Back Of The Neck made his move after the leader passing a :54.2 half and drew closer to the pacesetter into the final turn. Moving towards three-quarters in 1:22.3 Back Of The Neck broke stride, giving Amigo Volo room to tip out of the pocket straightening for the finish. Beads began to gallop while EL Ideal chased Amigo Volo through the stretch, settling for second. Third Shift ripped from the backfield to take third while Chestnut Hill weaved through traffic for fourth. "He was really good here last week--he was probably just a little bit short," Dunn said after the race of the Father Patrick gelding's second-place finish in the Bluegrass. "Nifty knew he was going to be better today and he was. Last year he used to shake his head bad and it cost him a couple of times. He didn't have as good of form when he came back as a three-year-old--he was a bit average. We were probably looking after him a little too much--he just likes to race. You get off the gate hard, that's when he gets excited and puts in good performances. "I did attempt to go [for the lead]--I came out for a little bit when we hit the back straight, but Beads was a little aggressive and took off so I ducked back into the two-hole there," Dunn also said regarding the trip. "Back Of The Neck came up outside of us around the last turn, and I was sort of 50-50 [on] whether I'd come out or stay in. And he ran, so that was probably a lucky trip in the last turn to get out, but the horse did a great job." Surpassing $1 million in earnings with the victory, Amigo Volo has won six races from 12 starts this season and 12 from 24 overall, banking $1,206,369 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains the gelding bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. He paid $10.00 to win. The 128th Kentucky Futurity was sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc. and Menhammer Stuteri Ab. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

By Peter Craig    This year’s inductee was announced at Addington Raceway on Thursday 8 October 2020 as part of the eighteenth Canterbury Owners and Breeders Night. The youngest ever reinsman to be inducted into the Addington Harness Hall of Fame in Dexter Dunn was this year’s recipient; already an inductee of the NZ Trotting Hall of Fame. Dexter Dunn, with a profile confirming his status as one of the hottest reinsman in North America, already has an impressive and extensive CV of achievements. Briefly these include being the youngest driver in NZ to reach 100 winners in a season/win a NZ driver’s premiership (both aged 18) and attain 1,000 and 2,000 wins. The winner of ten consecutive NZ drivers premierships (record) plus concurrent with them four consecutive junior drivers premierships (equal record), Dexter won 200 races on six occasions (twice 199) setting new seasonal records on three occasions (best 229). He has twenty eight NZ Group One winning drives and equalled Doug Watts and Tony Herlihy’s record of seven winners on race day at Forbury Park in May 2015 (six wins on six occasions; twenty three times five winners). Worldwide Dexter has driven over 3,100 winners – NZ (2,226, fifth on NZ list/585 Addington), Australia (55), Ireland (4) and 842 to date in North America (4 October 2020; current season ninth on wins [280], leader on stakes won [US$7.173m). He won the 2015 World Drivers Championship in Sydney and in his first full season in North America in 2019 Dexter was awarded USA Harness Writers Association driver of year : 460 winners (double his NZ record, eighth on NA list), US$12.071m in stakes, third behind Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras. Earlier this year he drove seven winners on a fourteen race Meadowlands programme, one short of the record as well as being second most successful driver at Meadowlands 2019/2020 (85 wins to Yannick Gingras’s 86). He was the driver of North America’s 2019 leading money winner Bettors Wish and multiple world record trotter Manchego – fastest trotting mare on mile (T1:49.0 Lexington, Red Mile) and 5/8ths (T1:49.3 Plainridge Park) tracks and latterly Jugette winner Party Girl Hill (world record 1:49.3 on half mile track for a female) part of six win day for Dunn on Jugette Day 2020. From early September 2020, leading USA stake earning driver – at 4 October 2020, US$7.173m (approx. NZ$11m) and second on Grand Circuit points table for drivers. All this and much more having just turned thirty one with plenty still to come, these are just a few of many notable achievements in the career to date of this year’s latest and youngest horseperson to be inducted into the Addington Harness Hall of Fame : DEXTER DUNN.

DAYTON, OH. - On a night when eight track records were either beaten or tied at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) edged an outstanding field of North America's top older pacers winning the seventh annual Dayton Pacing Derby in 1:49. Dancin Lou (Brian Sears) was lapped on the winner at the wire and Century Farroh (David Miller) was just beaten by a single length.   Bettor's Wish was content to settle in fifth during the opening :26 panel, moved into the outer flow at the :54.2 halfway point, advanced to fourth by the 1:21.1 third timing beam, then scooted powerfully through the lane to win it.   Ohio racing fans watched in amazement as a pair of Buckeye-bred superstars turned the field into the stretch just a nose apart on the lead. But alas the quick fractions took their toll and when a quintet of nationally ranked Derby hopefuls paced final quarters under :28 seconds Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith) and Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) couldn't fight them off.       Trainer Chris Ryder co-owns Bettor's Wish with partners Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettor's Wish Partners. The Derby triumph was just his third in eight 2020 starts, but boosted his bankroll to $2,213,033 with 21 victories in 39 races.   Handle for the Derby card was $594,093--the second highest of track history.   "Racing fans love to see great horses in full competitive fields," said Director Of Racing Jason Bluhm. "Our race office and our track crew did a tremendous job on our marquee event and adding the eight $60,000 Buckeye Stallion Series championships on the supporting card proved to be a recipe for a great night!"   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Trainer Nancy Takter thought long and hard about giving Kissin In The Sand a week off after a convincing 1:49 win in the Milton Stake at Woodbine Mohawk outside Toronto last Saturday. But a change in plans, possibly caused by a realization that Hatfield Stables of Ohio co-owns the magnificent mare with Marvin Katz of Toronto, resulted in an epic battle with Shartin N and another 1:49 score in the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby on Saturday night (Oct. 3).   The 1:49 triumph equaled the Hollywood Dayton track record for older pacing mares, set three races sooner by Miss You N in a $25,000 Mares Open. Dexter Dunn was in the sulky behind both winning mares.   Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) set sail from the get go and cut all the fractions (:26.3, :54.2 and 1:21.2) before getting snapped by Kissin In The Sand a few steps from the finish line. The winner was content to get away fourth and stayed in that spot until past the three-quarters marker, despite moving into the outer flow in second over position before the halfway juncture. Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) was third to cross the wire.       Kissin In The Sand was actually dispatched at odds of 4-5 over even money Shartin N and didn't disappoint. The five-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere now sports 23 wins in 54 lifetime starts and boosted her career bounty to $1,470,594.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

Down Under trainer and driver have unforgettable day at Delaware Ohio on Wednesday. Driver Dexter Dunn drove 6 winners on the harness racing program, with the major highlights being Party Girl Hill’s world record performance and her win in the Jugette Final. Down Under Trainer Chris Ryder was successful in 3 races, highlighted by training the quinella in the Jugette Final. The Down Under trainer / driver combination teamed up and won both of the two Jugette divisions worth $47,545 each. The first one was with New Year a 3yo daughter of Somebeachsomewhere who won in 1:52.0. The next win was with unbeaten filly Party Girl Hill who put up a freakish performance to win in a world record time of 1:49.3. This winning time was the fastest every time recorded for a female pacer around a half mile (800m) racetrack.  Following the two wins. The mares backed up in the Jugette Final approximately an hour forty minutes later where they crossed the line in quinella. Party Girl Hill and Dexter Dunn coming in 1st place in a time of 1:50.3 and New Year finishing 2nd to her with Joe Bongiorno picking up the catch drive, making it a Chris Ryder trained Quinella in the $142,635 Final.   Party Girl Hill a daughter of Captaintreacherous kept her race record unbeaten and stamped her mark in the history with her world record performance. It was only her 11th career start and 11th win and has $577,270 in the bank to date. Following Dexter Dunns successful day of driving 6 winners and 3 for Chris Ryder he said, “This is a special moment for my lifetime because the Ryders have been family friends with the Dunns for 50-odd years. Chris and (his wife) Nicola have done so much to get me over here and support me. It’s a day I’ll never forget.”.  Dunn also teamed up with Down Under trainer Nifty Norman on the day to win with Spoiled Princess, a 3yo daughter of Trixton who won the 2nd division of the Buckette in 1:55.2 trotting.    Monday 21st September Harrington Raceway DE Jacks Legend N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $15,000 Mako Banner N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $5,500 Extreme Machine N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $6,500   Monticello Raceway NY Kamwood Laughter N – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $6,600   Plainridge Park MA Naughty Maravu N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $10,500 Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $9,000 Tisadream N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $7,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Highview Conall N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $8,500 Majestic Kiwi N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $8,500 Yayas Hot Spot N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500   Tuesday 22nd September   Harrington Raceway DE Shes Pukka N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $13,500 Betterthanamisus N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $10,000 Jossie James A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,500   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Claytons Bettor N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $10,400   The Meadows PA Rollin Withholly A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $8,400 Amelias Courage A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,100   Wednesday 23rd September Harrahs Philadelphia PA English Rose N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,600 Kotare Yarra N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $6,800   Harrington Raceway DE Shared Interest A – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $7,500   Northfield Park OH Copper Coast A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $4,200   The Meadows PA Hedges Avenue A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $10,800   Thursday 24th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Sevens Hope A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $8,800 Kotare Yarra N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $6,800   Friday 25th September Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Bechers Brook A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $23,750   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Miss You N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $14,000   Meadowlands NJ Team Kiwi N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Mickey Gee N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $25,000 Hundie N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $15,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Wardan Express A, 3rd Zach Maguire N   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA The Bandit Queen N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $17,000 Tuapeka Jessie N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $20,000   Saturday 26th September Batavia Downs NY Harry Hoo N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $7,500   Freehold Raceway NJ Campora N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $4,800   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Blazen River N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $15,000   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Armabluechipboy N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $8,600 Stars Align A – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $15,500   Meadowlands NJ Whittaker N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $8,000   Northville Downs MI Stening A – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $6,500   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Firenglow A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $3,700   Scarborough Downs ME Midnight Dylan N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,200   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Our Corelli N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $8,800 Our Zak Whitby A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,800 Alluneedisfaith A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $11,200   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Persimmon A – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $24,000   Sunday 27th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Jacks Legend N – Time: 1:49.3, Stake: $14,400 Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $11,600   Dover OH Mackeral A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $1,200   Flamboro Downs CA Marty Monkhouser A – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $5,000   Rideau Carleton Raceway CA Darcee N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,000   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Delaware, OH - Harness racing driver Dexter Dunn swept both the elims and final of the Jugette. He also swept both divisions of the Buckette en route to a six-win afternoon at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. There were two divisions of the $82,200 (div) Buckette for three-year-old filly trotters and Dunn won them both. Caviart Eva took the first division by two lengths in 1:54 over Hannah (Andy Miller). Nancy Takter trains the Trixon lass for Caviart Farm.   The second $41,100 division went to another Trixon filly Spoiled Princess. Spoiled Princess defeated Deswanslittlelorie (Aaron Merriman) by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.2. Nifty Norman conditions the winner for Robert McNerney and Hauser Bros Racing. Dunn is the ten-time New Zealand champion driver, who started driving in the United States full time last year. Standardbred Filly Pace to Fighting Evil The Sweet Lou filly, Fighting Evil (Mike Wilder) took the $39,406 Standardbred filly pace in 1:54.2. Tava (Tim Tetrick) and Always B Laughin (Andy Miller) was second and third. Trainer Daniel Lee Snyder co-owns the filly with Jason Ash of Delaware, Ohio. Treasure Gems K Takes Standardbred Trot Treasure Gems K (Chris Page) broke her maiden in the $43,506 Standardbred two-year-old filly trot in 1:59. Josh Joshing (Andy Miller) and Gothic Girl (Dan Noble) rounded out the trifecta. The Encore Encore filly is trained by Paul Reid for Robert J. Key. World Mark Lower Twice in OBC Three-Year-Old Colt Trot A pair of world records were established in the Ohio Breeders Champioships for three-year-old colt trotters. In the opening division $48,421, It's Academic (Chris Page) lowered the world mark to 1:53.1 with a 3 ½ length victory over Stonefire Us (Dewayne Minor) and Big Box Hanover (Dan Noble). The Uncle Peter colt won for the fourth time in 10 seasonal starts and has amassed just short of $340,000 for Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, Joe Sbrocco and Hatfield Stables. The record stood for approximately two hours as Action Uncle (Brett Miller) lowered the world mark to 1:52.4 in the second division with 5 ¾ length score over Buxton (Dan Noble). Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the Uncle Peter colt for Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland and Larry Wills.   Action Uncle has been ultra-consistent this season with eight wins and a second in nine 2020 starts. He has won $570,035 for his career. Action Uncle already owned the two-year-old world record that he established last year at the Delaware County Fair. Firsts  There will be a trio of trainers hitching up their first Jug starter in 2020. John Ackley, Carmine Auciello and Eric Mollor all look to make their first Jug start a winning one.  The 28 year-old Austin Siegelman will be driving in his first Jug. Siegelman is nearing 1,600 career wins and $12.7 million in career earnings.  Jug Post Times  The first elimination (Race #15) is scheduled for a 4:56 PM post time. The second elimination (Race #16) should go postward at 5:19 PM. The $335,400 second heat (Race #20) is expected to go at 6:50 PM.  Baldachino to “Perform” on Jug Day  Lexi Baldachino of Millstone, NJ has been selected to virtually perform the National Anthem during the Little Brown Jug’s “Jug Day” broadcast.  Baldachino, 22, studied dance and theatre at Penn State University and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.   She currently lives in NYC and her performing credits include roles in Flashdance: the Musical and The Wedding Singer.   by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

CHESTER, PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Delishka N made a pace-controlling move in front of the stands the first time, then held off a wall of harness racing challengers the second time around to win the $14,400 featured distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon in 1:51. Dexter Dunn sent Delishka N out to early command, yielded to Bettor Joy N, then went onward again when favorite Machnhope made a move just past the :26.1 quarter. Delishka N went back to the lead around Bettor Joy N, with Machnhope, seeing a likely battle for pace control developing, got in a vacant three-hole before the :54.3 half. The winner did not receive a strong challenge past the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but as they neared headstretch, there seemed to be "live" horses everywhere. Delishka N was most "live" of all, holding off inside rallier Machnhope by a half-length, with first-over Shezallapples A showing good determination late to gain third, a photo away from second. Bettors Joy N was beaten less than two lengths and still did not get a check from finishing sixth.   Richard Johnson trains the winner of $387,864 for D'Elegance Stable IX. Still among the older females, the Well Said mare Caviart Cherie made it 3-for-3 since teaming with trainer Darren Taneyhill and the Wildcard Stables Inc., during that time going from the second-lowest condition at Pocono to the second-highest for mares here today, a $11,200 contest in which she posted a 13-1 upset in a new mark of 1:50.4. Joe Bongiorno rallied the winner of $399,947 from the pocket to overhaul pacesetting favorite Anytime N by a length. The $12,800 co-featured fillies and mares pace for the classclimbing crowd saw New Year, who was 7-5 in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake against JK First Lady at Philly recently, enjoy the drop in company here en route to a 1:51.4 triumph as a heavy favorite. George Napolitano Jr. drove the sophomore Somebeachsomewhere filly, who has now amassed $197,415, for trainer Chris Ryder and the partnership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC. Tim Tetrick won four races on the day, including with Iaquinta, who broke a 51-race losing streak dating back to June 29, 2018. She came from an unusual spot for winners at Philly, too - fourth-over, with Tetrick keeping her off an overheated pace and then rallying her for the 12-1 victory.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

PACER OF THE WEEK: SEMI TOUGH His name suggests that this four-year-old gelding trained by harness racing great Ron Burke is only partially rugged. But his career record suggests otherwise, after earning nearly $500,000 in the first two years racing. Semi Tough has been at it again lately, winning back to back starts at the Meadows and Yonkers coming into the featured $14,000 condition pace on Saturday afternoon at Pocono. Leaving from post position #5 in a field of nine as the 3-1 third choice on the board, Semi Tough was able to take the lead on the front stretch. Several horses took shots at that lead throughout the race, but driver Joe Bongiorno kept him afloat. In the end, Semi Tough gutted it out, holding off long-shot closers Branquinho and Ferdinand A for the victory, his third in a row, in 1:50;3. Honorable Mention Bakersfield (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who followed up a win at Harrah's at Philadelphia with a condition victory at Pocono on Saturday in 1:51:2. I'm Very Special (Tim Tetrick, Pete Pellegrino), a mare who shipped in from Yonkers to capture a rugged condition pace on Sunday in a career-best 1:50:4. Abuckabett Hanover (Andrew McCarthy, Tony Alagna), a two-year-old colt who picked up his maiden win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Sunday in 1:51:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: VIC'S WINNER One upset can be a fluke, but two straight upsets can sometimes mean that they might not have been upsets in the first place. Vic's Winner was coming into a $14,000 condition trot on Saturday fresh off a surprising win in his last start at 23-1 in a career-best 1:52:4. Considering he was moving up in class on Saturday, Vic's Winner received even less consideration at the windows, going off at 30-1. Driver John Kakaley was able to position Vic's Winner in the pocket early behind pacesetter Waiting On A Woman. As other horses tried hard on the outside, the five-year-old gelding trained by Chris Lakata saved ground and energy before making a burst up the passing lane in the stretch. Vic's Winner took over the lead and held off Fashion Creditor by a half-length in 1:54 for his second straight victory at long odds. Honorable Mention Wisenheimer (George Nepolitano Jr., Jenny Melander), who returned to Pocono for his second straight victory on the oval, doing so in a condition trot on Saturday in 1:55:1. Flawless Countrry (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), a two-year-old filly who followed up two straight wins at the Meadows with a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win at Pocono on Monday in a career-best 1:54:1. Zapaca (Tyler Buter, Dale Gilmour), who picked up his second consecutive condition win at Pocono on Tuesday, scoring in 1:55:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: VIC'S WINNER He was not only the trotter of the week, but, at 30-1, this trotter's $2 win ticket on Saturday at Pocono paid the most of any winning horse the past week, yielding $62.40. DRIVER OF THE WEEKP: DEXTER DUNN Dunn has enjoyed stakes action the past few weeks at Pocono, and he really rolled on Sunday night with two Stallion Series and one Sire Stakes win among the races held for the two-year-old male pacers. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: NIFTY NORMAN Norman dominated the action on Monday during the Stallion Series for two-year-old trotting fillies, as his trainees won three of the four divisions that were held. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs              

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 1, 2020 -- Unraced at 2, sophomore harness racing filly pacer Party Girl Hill launched her career this year with four straight victories, including two wins in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. The question: How would she fare when she faced Lyons Sentinel, last year's divisional champion? The answer: Very well, thanks. The two squared off in Saturday's $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo at The Meadows, and the brash contender defeated the champ by 1-1/4 lengths in1:49.4 over a sloppy surface. The event was the subfeature on the Adios Day card highlighted by the $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. To be sure, when she left from post 3, Tom Hill's homebred daughter of Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap had a distinct edge over Lyons Sentinel, who was stuck with post 8. Yet the champ all but erased that advantage by cutting leisurely fractions of 26.2/56.2. Even winning driver Dexter Dunn wasn't sure Party Girl Hill could overcome that. "I thought after that cheap quarter that it might be a hard task for my filly," Dunn said. "The way she traveled up the back, though, she seemed to have the other one's measure. She kicked away in the straight, doing it pretty easy." Dunn moved Party Girl Hill without cover from fourth, and she wore down Lyons Sentinel after a protracted duel. Pettycoat Business completed the ticket.   Winning trainer Chris Ryder said he isn't terribly surprised by the strong start this year of Party Girl Hill, who lifted her bankroll to $143,610. "I expect her to be improving, and she raced like she is," Ryder said. "You can only train them so much at home, but she always felt as good as a horse can feel." He indicated Party Girl Hill would appear next in another PASS leg. Saturday’s Adios Day card at The Meadows was rich with supporting stakes that included a pair of Grand Circuit events for freshmen and two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. Here are the highlights: $59,088 Arden Downs — 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Last week, Southwind Gendry scored with a covered trip. In the Gov. David L. Lawrence, as this stake is known, he needed no help, powering to the point at the quarter for Yannick Gingras and winning in a stake record 1:51.2. That knocked a tick from the mark set by Yankee Bounty in 2014. “He’s a little bit behind the rest of our colts, but as he figures it out, he’ll be a good colt,” said Ron Burke, who trains the Always B Miki-Gambler’s Passion gelding for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, Knox Services and J&T Silva-Purnel& Libby. “We knew watching his first qualifier that he’s something special.” Chase H Hanover was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Capt Jack Hanover third. Meanwhile, another Burke youngster, Lou’s Pearlman, continued to look like the real deal, extending his career unbeaten streak to four for Matt Kakaley and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Elizabeth Novak and Howard Taylor. Captain Sleaze was second, beaten 2-1/4 lengths, while Great Somewhere earned show. The son of Sweet Lou was so full of himself that Kakaley had him under a snug hold even while sending him on a quarter-pole move to the top. “He has a lot of high speed; he’s impressive,” Kakaley said. “In my mind he’s one of the best 2-year-olds out there. He’s absolutely perfect to drive.” Hellabalou stopped badly last week, and his trainer Eddie Dennis, thinks he knows why. “He struggled getting off the track last week, and the vet thought it was the heat,” Dennis said. “Once we got him cooled down, he was much better. He rebounded really good today.” The son of Sweet Lou-Magestic Blue Chip looked quite comfortable on the point, defeating Sweet Angel Boy by a neck in 1:53 for Andrew McCarthy. Mikibytheseaside completed the ticket. Eric Good campaigns Hellabalou. $35,690 Arden Downs — 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Uptown Hanover recovered quickly from a brief break in the final turn and went on to cross the wire first. But she was disqualified and placed back to eighth for interfering while on that break, giving the win in the Mary Lib Miller to Fighting Evil and driver Mike Wilder in 1:53.2. Wicked Ways was third-placed second while Southwind Olenna was promoted to third. “Every once in a while, you get lucky,” said winning trainer Dane Snyder. “She raced very good, but she was lost on the front end. She’d never been there before. She’s not very big, and she has a lot to learn, but she has a big heart.” The daughter of Sweet Lou-Evil Fight races for Danielle Snyder and Jason Ash. $187,182 PA Sires Stake — 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters In the faster $93,591 division of this stake known as the Meadow Bright, the Muscle Hill miss Fifty Cent Piece got to ride a pocket trip, then found clearance up the inside and went on to a 1-3/4-length victory over favored and first-over Shishito in a career best 1:52.2 despite the sloppy surface. Wilder, an hour away from his finest moment in the sport, picked up the catch drive behind the Marcus Melander-trained filly, who had had some rough racing luck in a few recent starts. But the trip worked out fine here for Fifty Cent Piece, a $500,000 yearling who is starting to live up to her pedigree for the S R F Stable. In the PASS division raced over a fast track, Sans Default brought sire Muscle Hill another credit when she also utilized the Lightning Lane for driver Matt Kakaley to stop the clock in 1:54.1. Sans Defaut, whose name translates to “flawless” from the French, lived up to her moniker for the second race in a row, now showing earnings of $180,185 for trainer Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Crawford Farms Racing, and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby. $80,000 PA Stallion Series — 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Burke started 25 horses in 12 of the races on the card; in the four $20,000 Stallion Series races, he sent out only one. But there’s little question that she was the most impressive one — the Muscle Hill miss Dune Hill, 9-1/2 lengths clear of her field at the end of a mile (while the track was still fast) in 1:52.4, a new stake mark. Dune Hill made a big uncovered move to the lead for driver Yannick Gingras and drew away at will for her third straight win for owner Joseph Di Scala, Jr. Two other stallion series winners clicked as the favorite along with Dune Hill. A popular local winner was the Explosive Matter filly Perth Angel De Vie, who took a new mark of 1:55.3 in off going for driver Bryce Brocklehurst, trainer Harold Brocklehurst and the ownership of Double R Farms LLC, David Obley and Richard Williams, who will see PA Fairs racing start a 2-day stand in their hometown of Clearfield tomorrow. The other stallion series chalk was the Donato Hanover filly Alittlebitofsugar, a 1:55.2 winner in the slop for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Sam Schillaci and owner Peter Barbato. The only non-favorite to visit the winners circle was in the opening race of the day, with the track still fast, when the Father Patrick filly Queso Fresco charged outside on the far turn and finished out taking a new mark of 1:54.3 as the second betting choice. Team Orange Crush — trainer Julie Miller and driver/husband Andy — saw the filly finish second upon acquiring her care in her last start, and she improved on that position by one here for owner Dr. John McKinley. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Amigo Volo and EL Ideal, a pair of winners of over $500,000 last year who had not yet regained their stellar harness racing form of the previous season, showed they are now headed in the right direction by easily winning their respective $95,367 divisions of the first preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting males during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Amigo Volo was not hustled early by Dexter Dunn, coming in from his 1:49.3 monster mile at Plainridge with Manchego, working him to the top past the :27.4 quarter and getting him to the half in :56.3. The gelding turned it up another notch to get to the three-quarters in 1:24.2 and kept pouring it on to hit the wire in 1:52, a lifetime best and only two-fifths off the track and world record of Pinkman.   Amigo Volo is quite familiar with world records, having set four of them in his freshman campaign for trainer Nifty Norman. The winner of $684,040 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller now must consider his next move, with that big race in New Jersey having eliminations this Saturday. The Father Patrick colt EL Ideal headed a 1-2 sweep of the other division for trainer Ã…ke Svanstedt when he posted a new best of 1:53 in winning the other Sires section. Svanstedt, handling EL Ideal, played early give-and-go with barnmate Swiss House Onfire (Dunn) past the :27.1 quarter, then posted middle splits of :56 and 1:24.1 before coming him to keep his stablemate easily at bay. The winner of $565,712 for Emp Invest Oy is not eligible for the Hambo.   The five $20,000 PA Stallion Series divisions for the sophomore trotting colts and geldings showed remarkable parity, with variance of final time ranging only from 1:54.4 and 1:55.1, and four of the five winners taking a new lifetime mark. The one who didn't reduce his mark ironically missed by a fifth the 1:54.4 Pocono freshman trotting gelding record he set here last year. That would be the Winning Mister gelding Town Victor, who looped the field early under the guidance of Matt Kakaley, set all the pace, then ran off in the last quarter for his first victory of the year for trainer Rich Gillock, who co-owns the winner with Barbara Richardson. Kakaley picked up a second StS triumph with the Father Patrick colt Cupid Hanover, who also took the short way around and earned himself a new mark of 1:54.4. Ron Burke conditions the three-year-old for Elite Trotting. Father Patrick picked up a second Stallion Series siring credit with the gelding Solar, who has a shiny new mark of 1:55.1 after racing on the engine and holding off the closing Steel Schooner and Secular. Marcus Miller was in the sulky for trainer/father Erv Miller and the partnership of Ervin Miller Stable Inc., Sara Miller, and John Koliopoulos. The other Stallion Series wins were taken by sons of Explosive Matter. First was the colt Stickler Hanover, last year's Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes champion, who handled the upgrade in company nicely, lowering his record to 1:54.4 as he has now won four of his last five for driver Brady Brown, trainer Steve Schoeffel, and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel. The gelding Arclight Hanover also matched the fastest Stallion Series time of 1:54.4, a lifetime best, as he cut the mile then held off the late thrust of S Class for driver Jason Bartlett and trainer Mark Harder, the latter co-owner with Deena Rachel Frost and Emma Pettersson. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

Three of North America’s best harness racing catch drivers — Dexter Dunn, Andrew McCarthy and Doug McNair — were featured on Wednesday evening’s (April 15) episode of COSA TV. The trio of drivers, who have taken the driving scene by storm in recent years, revisited how they got their starts in the business, family ties, answered questions from fans and relived some memorable moments of their careers while racing continues to take a hiatus due to COVID-19. Early on in the conversation, Australian native Andrew McCarthy discussed how he mapped out his rise to the top and did so in quick fashion. “The last two or three years I have hit more of the Grand Circut scene, it’s always been my plan and I finally made the decision about four or five years ago to make the move over to the Meadowlands and that was the key,” McCarthy told Greg Blanchard. “I’ve had a lot of support along the way…Noel Daley really helped me get going and in the last two or three years things have just snowballed for me. I’ve gotten to do a lot of travelling and it’s been a hell of a lot of fun.” Dexter Dunn made the decision to move from New Zealand to North America on a whim, but also discussed his rise to the top while fulfilling his childhood dreams. “I grew up in horse racing and it was always a dream of mine to come here and race so I finally made the decision to come over here. The year I had last year was a huge surprise, I’ve been very lucky to have had the support that I’ve had and I’ve been lucky to drive some great horses. I really enjoyed last year and got to experience a lot of big thrills. Moving to the USA was something that was always in the back of my head, when I was here in 2011 for the World Driving Championship and I really liked the racing here. I actually just woke up one day on my way to qualifiers and decided it was now or never. I knew that if I didn’t do it while I was still young enough to do it then I would grow old someday and wish I did it. So I did it and here we are.” For Doug McNair, his rise to the top included a more local move from Ontario’s ‘B’ tracks to the WEG Circut. The big break for McNair, who has been heavily involved in the harness racing industry for as long as he can remember, came very close to home in the 2008 Battle Of Waterloo with his father’s trainee, Trail Boss. “My dad trained the horse and it was quite the thrill to win the race that day. At the time, I really didn’t even know how big of a deal it was until it really sunk in for me a couple years later. It’s a race that most people never get to win in their career and I won it in my first year of driving. My Grandmother and Father bred the horse, my dad doesn’t usually say much but I remember him telling me when he was training him down that he really liked him so I figured he would turn out to be a nice horse. I didn’t get the best trip that day but I had the best horse in the race. My dad’s farm is less than 15 kilometres from Grand River and I went to school just down the road and spent a lot of years there as a kid. We had a big party at the farm that night, it was a really big night for my family and it just really doesn’t get much better than that.” While McCarthy is coming off an astonishing 2019 season, one horse he holds close to him would be Tony Alagna trainee, Tall Drink Hanover, winner of the 2018 She’s A Great Lady. “She is such a terrific mare. As a two-year-old she would do anything you asked her to do. You can put her on the front, race her from behind. Tony did a great job prepping her for that race, she had been over the surface four or five times before this race and I think that really helped her a lot. For me and the horse it’s nice to know that the horse has been over the track before a big race. I am a big believer in trying not to use a horse very much in the first eighth of the mile, especially if you think you have the best horse in the race. I’m also a big believer that using a horse too much in that first eighth will catch up to you in the end. Obviously you have to leave a little bit to figure out where everyone is going to land but I try to manage them and then figure it out from there.” McNair holds fond memories of another recent Alagna trainee, pacing colt Stay Hungry. “He’s a horse that’s right up there as the best I’ve ever driven for sure. I won my first and only Breeders Crown with him and I got to race in races and win some that I have ever been in before. It makes your job a lot easier having a nice horse like that to drive in big races.” For Dexter Dunn, the list of great horses he had the pleasure of driving in his career year of 2019 would be long and plentiful. However, one that sticks the most would be Chris Ryder-trained Bettors Wish. “Coming into 2019 I thought to myself that if I just had one stakes horse to follow around all year, it would be pretty cool. I started driving Bettors Wish late in his two-year-old season and had some luck with him. I knew he was good enough to chase around and drive in big races. He didn’t disappoint me last year at all and was very special to drive. I’m really looking forward to driving him again this year. His races last year speak for themselves, he didn’t have a lot of easy races but you can drive him however you want and know he is going to give you 100 percent. He’s not a big horse at all but he’s muscular and takes a big stride, he gave me a very special year and I had a lot of fun with him. I’ve trained him a couple times and he feels bigger, better and stronger.” The elite group of drivers entertained fans with answers to lots of questions while providing a different perspective on harness racing with backgrounds coming from different hemispheres. While the trio reminisced on memorable moments throughout their career, all are ambitious and eager for their 2020 stakes seasons. The feature can be viewed below. Central Ontario Standardbred Association

Ten-time New Zealand champion harness racing driver Dexter Dunn is like most people in racing – he’s waiting for its resumption. But the American-based driver is in isolation in New Jersey where there have been more than 60,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 2300 people have died. It’s all so different from his 2019 when he was named US Harness Writers’ Association driver of the year. Driving stars like three-year-old sensation Bettor’s Wish (13 wins – 19 starts) Dunn won over 450 races and $11 million in stakes. In this video Dexter Dunn talks to Greg O’Connor about life in the States now, as well as the season he’s just had.

Dover, DE - Major Occasion A was impressive in winning the $27,500 Mares Open Pace at Dover Downs on Wednesday night. Moments of Joy and Bettor Joy N left together for the early lead. Bettor Joy N aggressively pulled on Moments Of Joy at the quarter pole and cut the mile. Major Occasion A, the even odds favorite left and settled into fourth. Bettor Joy N cut the early fractions of 27.1 and :56.1. At the half, Dexter Dunn called upon Major Occasion A, who grinded up on the outside and pressured Bettor Joy N at the three quarter pole. They sprinted to the three quarters in 1:23.1, a 27 flat quarter. In the stretch, Major Occasion, who finished a disappointing 4th as the heavy favorite last week, kicked into another gear.  She wore down Bettor Joy N in the late stages of the race and won by a head in 1:50.2.    It wasn’t the time of the race that was impressive but the way she won.  Major Occasion A paced an individual last half in 53.2 and a last quarter 26.4. Temperatures were a balmy 49 degrees. Bettor Joy N finished 2nd, which proved to be her best performance of the year. Jim King Jr. was her trainer and Tim Tetrick the driver. Moment’s of Joy N. sat the pocket trip but could not gain on the leaders in the stretch. She finished third for trainer Bryan Truitt and driver Montrell Teague.  Major Occasion A, (Art Major -Fake Occasion-Fake Left), is a New Zealand bred. The 6 year old mare is owned by Enzed Racing Stable. Nifty Norman trains Major Occasion A. Tomorrow (Thursday) Dover Downs is seeking entries to compete in a $50,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, to be raced next Wednesday March 4th.  The entry box closes at noon. Post Time is 4:30 pm. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

Bettor Memories wins from off the pace and captured the $32,500 Preferred Pace at Dover Downs on Thursday night. Bo Mach (Corey Callahan) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) sprinted for early race position going to the quarter. Wiggle It Jiggleit became anxious in the pocket and took the lead away from Bo Mach. The opening quarter was paced in 27.4 over a sloppy track. Wiggle It Jiggleit was allowed to cut the mile and reached the half in 55.4, a 28 flat quarter. Down the backstretch Closing Statement marched 1st up.  Kimani N followed 2nd over and Bettor Memories was carried 3rd over as the backfield was in motion and threatening the leader. Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to lead the field to the three quarters in 1:23.3. Driver Montrell Teague was asking for more but the champ surrendered the lead at the head of the stretch. Closing Statement and Yannick Gingras sprinted clear to take a short lead into the stretch.  However, Bettor Memories and Dexter Dunn launched a three wide blast and drew clear of the field to win by a measured  1 ¾ lengths as the favorite at odds of 3/2.   Bettor Memories is owned by Gus Dovi and trained by Nifty Norman. Q’s Cruise was a fast closing 2nd for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr. Closing Statement was third. Yannick Gingras was the driver for trainer Mark Harder. Wiggle It Jiggleit finished last. Proper One was able to repeat and win the $30,000 Blue Hen Open pace.   It was  Sicily and Proper One  wholeft alertly establishing early race position. Andrew McCarthy retook the lead with Proper One and paced the quarter in 26.1 over a sloppy track. Slick Tony rushed up from third and took the lead away from Proper One, who already had been used twice  The half was paced in 54.1. Slick Tony continued to lead down the backstretch. Late Mail N pulled first over and pressured Slick Tony to the three quarters in 1:22.3 The tandem paced a third quarter in 28.2 Little Ben was in perfect position to pounce as he was 2nd over on the outside.  Sicily was caught inside and was raging with pace as the field turned for home.  Driver George Napolitano Jr. asked Slick Tony for every ounce of courage in the deep stretch. Proper One showed his toughness after being used a 3rd time in the race.  Andrew McCarthy found a seam on the inside with Proper One and won by a nose.   Proper One won in 1:51.1 and was sent off at odds of 10-1. Proper One, who won back to back weeks, is owned by Louis Tomzak Jr. and trained by Carlo Poliseno. Slick Tony picked up the place spot, for trainer George Leager. Sicily was loaded with pace but had nowhere to go and finished 3rd.  Victor Kirby drove for trainer Wayne Givens. Racing resumes at Dover Downs on Monday. Post Time is 4:30 pm.   by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

All eyes were on Major Occasion A who was sent off as the harness racing favorite in the Mares Open Pace at Dover Downs Wednesday night. Valuable Art, last week’s winner, left quickly and Delishka N accepted the pocket trip. The first quarter was paced in :26.4  Tim Tetrick rushed past the quarter pole with Ideal Lifestyle A, who responded clearing the lead.  They led the field to the half in :55 seconds flat.  Major Occasion A was the first to pull past the half. Dexter Dunn had to urge his charge on and accelerated past Ideal Lifestyle A, who offered little resistance.  The three quarters were paced in 1:22.4, a :27.4 quarter.  Baron Remy attempted to shadow Ideal Lifestyle ‘s move but could not gain any ground.  Moments of Joy, Delishka N and Valuable Art all were out paced in the late stages of the race. Major Occasion A sprinted away from the field and won by four and three quarter lengths stopping the teletimer in 1:49.4.  She was sent off at odds of 2/5 .   Major Occasion A was driven to victory by Dexter Dunn for trainer R. Nifty Norman.  The Owners are Enzed Racing Stable Inc.  Ideal Lifestyle held on for 2nd. Tim Tetrick drove for trainer Jim King Jr. Baron Remy finished 3rd and was driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer Ron Burke. After the race, trainer Nifty Norman was not sure how Major Occasion A would take to the smaller race track.  She raced on the mile track previously. The huge smile on his face provided a confident answer. Racing continues on Thursday at Dover Downs.  Highlighting the 14 race card is Blue Hen Open Pace in the 10th race.  The feature will be the Preferred Handicap Pace in race 12. Post Time is 4:30 pm by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Meadowlands is known as a track with a driver colony that's got big-time talent from top to bottom, but last weekend, two harness racing standouts stood far above the rest of the crowd. Over the course of the two-day race week at the Big M on Jan. 17-18, Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras were both at the top of their respective games, to say the least. Of the 28 races contested, the prolific pair won 18 times, with each pilot hitting the winner's circle four times Friday and five times Saturday. Dunn, a 30-year-old New Zealand native, took both features with Down Under breds, winning Friday with Major Occasion A and then Saturday with Franco Totem N. His fans were especially thrilled with Dunn's Friday success as the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year scored with longshots Bold Goddess ($43.80) and Auteur Hanover ($54.60). In addition, DD swept the $348.20 daily double that covered races seven and eight. Gingras, whose $13.4 million in earnings was good for second in North America during 2019, maintained his place as one of the most popular drivers at the Big M by scoring a half-dozen times over the weekend with non-favorites as both he and Dunn - not surprisingly - showed a flat-bet profit by the time the dust cleared Saturday night. Racing fans won't get the chance to play Gingras or Dunn this weekend, however, as neither is listed to drive. Gingras will be in France attending - not participating in - the Prix d'Amerique while Dunn has a previous commitment. Racing fans can look forward to another ace being in the fold, however, as Tim Tetrick, the leading money-earning driver from 2019 with over $15.6 million, will be in the sulky at the Big M this Friday and Saturday night. Post time is the usual 7:15 p.m. PICK-4 REPORT: The Meadowlands' signature wager, the 50-cent Pick-4, saw its usual big play last weekend, as a total of $81,661 was bet Friday and $91,480 was in the pool Saturday. Friday's final leg saw a 25-1 shot score, leading to a payoff of $3,155.05. Chalk players hit the $55.85 return Saturday as Dunn and Gingras each won twice during the sequence. FREE PPs: When it comes to the 50-cent Pick-4, the Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and the 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4, if you want to play, but prefer not to pay for past performances, all you have to do is go to or where you can access them for free. GIANT SCORE: One sharp handicapper made the score a lifetime Friday. Betting into the Oregon Express hub, that player held the only 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five ticket with the winning combination of 1-7-3-6-4 and cashed in for $118,148.72. The race was won by 2-1 favorite Lily Hammer and driver Corey Callahan. Finishing second through fifth, respectively, were Northern Swift (25-1), Moonshinecharleigh (8-1), Manhattan Play (3-1) and Justabitofcharm (30-1). MARK YOUR CALENDARS On Jan. 24, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. On Jan. 25, the Big M hosts it's annual "Chili Cook Off", which will have its usual "Homestyle Chili" division. This year, a "Chili Verde" contest has been added to the festivities. In addition, there will also be a competition for the best salsa. For complete information and registration, go to On Feb. 2, professional football's championship game - that pits the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers - kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to watch and wager in the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. On Feb. 7, come to the track and enjoy a "Brunch for Love" from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The event benefits non-profits from the Meadowlands Chamber. On Feb. 14, bring your sweetheart to the races and enjoy a fabulous Valentine's Day dinner in the Big M's Pink Restaurant. You might be one of three couples to win a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM. Meadowlands Media Relations  

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