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WILKES-BARRE PA - Dash Of Danger and Highalator each took their second straight win in Bobby Weiss Series action during the second preliminary round of the $750,000 Weiss Series Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but it was Dakota Jack who established the speed standard for the night's Weiss action by capturing the first race on the harness racing card, one of four $15,000 divisions for male pacers, by winning in 1:51.3.   The son of Duneside Perch saw Western Tyrant pass him early, but then driver George Napolitano Jr. moved Dakota Jack to the lead in front of the stands and never relinquished his advantage, holding off a late bid by Western Tyrant by ¾ of a length while taking a new mark for trainer Matias Ruiz and A Piece Of The Action LLC.   The Western Terror four-year-old gelding Dash Of Danger had to overcome the outside post seven in his Weiss cut, but "Dash" never seemed in real danger while coming home in 55.3 - 27.3, winning by 2¼ lengths and equaling the 1:51.4 lifetime best he took in the first Weiss leg. Matt Kakaley handled sulky command for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Marc Reynolds.   Highalator used pocket rocket tactics to record his seventh victory in succession, storming home to win by 2¾ lengths in 1:53.1. The Somebeachsomewhere colt was again handled by Victor Kirby for trainer Jenny Bier and owners Daryl Bier and Charles Dombeck.   The Bettor's Delight colt Rough Odds, making his 2017 debut, was sent to the track ready by trainer Chris Ryder, having to come first-over and still able to step his last quarter in 26.4 to catch pacesetting Art N Music by a neck and reduce his best time to 1:53.2. Andrew McCarthy was in the sulky for owners Robert Mondillo, Craig Henderson, and Oompa's Farm Inc.   On the female sidewheelers side, the Camluck mare Cousin Mary came to town after winning all four of her starts in Yonkers's Petticoat Series including the Championship, but she had to work hard for her initial Pocono and Weiss victory, pacing home in 27.1 to catch the previously-unbeaten Warrawee Sunshine, making her 2017 debut, by a half-length in a personal best of 1:53.1. Driver Anthony Napolitano and trainer Andrew Harris were the winning team behind Cousin Mary, who is owned by Jeffrey Williamson.   "A Nap" and Harris also took another of the distaff prelims, also worth $15,000, with the Always A Virgin filly Itty Bitty, sharply-improved in her second seasonal start while lowering her personal best to 1:52.4, shaving off almost seven seconds from her old mark. Itty Bitty stormed past pacesetter I Deal In Kisses and won by a not-itty-bitty margin for Evan Katz, Robert Darrow, and A Harris Racing LLC. In all, Anthony Napolitano had four sulky successes Sunday, in three of them teaming with Harris. George Napolitano Jr. had four winners as well.   The Art Major filly Twist Of Fate made every pole a winning one in her Weiss split, taking a new mark of 1:53.4 under the guidance of Corey Callahan (#2 driver in North America in the 2017 win category, behind Aaron Merriman). Joe Holloway handles the conditioning of the promising sophomore for Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, and Four J's Stable LLC.   The first Monday card of the season will be held at Pocono tomorrow/tonight, with the first post at 6:30 p.m. This establishes the basic Pocono seasonal setup of four consecutive cards between Saturday and Tuesday in the normal racing week.   PHHA / Pocono

STICKNEY, IL - On a beautiful Saturday evening at Hawthorne, two divisions of leg three of the Robert F. Carey Memorial Stakes took place over a fast track. The Carey Memorial is for Illinois-bred harness racing three-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Race five on the card was the first division of the Carey as a field of eight lined up. Sent away as the favorite was Dr Drake Ramoray (Duneside Perch) as Jim Pantaleano flew in for the drive. Leaving for the lead early was He Gone Jack and Dale Hiteman through the quarter in :28.3. Early on the backstretch, favored Dr Drake Ramoray took over, covering the half in :57.3. On the turn, Chlo's Richess moved to challenge Dr Drake Ramoray through three quarters in 1:26.3. In the stretch, Dr Drake Ramoray battled on and held sway, winning by two lengths in 1:53.4. Holdonwe'rerolling got up for second while Chlo's Richess finished third. Owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc and trained by Norm Parker, Dr Drake Ramoray paid $5.20, $3.00, and $2.20. Holdonwe'rerolling returned $3.20 and $2.40 while Chlo's Riches paid $2.40 to show. The second division of the Carey went as race seven on the Saturday card. Favored at post time was Royale Rose for driver Matt Krueger. Leaving from the inside for the lead was Caffeine Kid for Dale Hiteman through the quarter in :28.2. On the backside, Royale Rose was first to move as he took over through the half in :57.1. In the turn, Royale Rose met the challenge of Goinduneside after three quarters in 1:25.2. In the lane, Royale Rose opened up a two length lead but Dan D Dune (Duneside Perch) came flying down the center of the track and drew clear by four lengths for driver Casey Leonard. Royale Rose finished second while IYQ YQR was third. Owned by Cynthia Kay Willis and trained by Nelson Willis, Dan D Dune paid $10.00, $4.20 and $2.80. Royale Rose paid $2.80 and $2.40 while IYQ YQR paid $5.00 to show. Jim Miller

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 30, 2015 -- Unlocked found the key to victory Monday at The Meadows -- a clean journey on the front with plenty of pop late. That was his formula for success in the $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace. Mike Wilder hustled Unlocked to the lead from post 5 in 27.2. When no credible outside challenge developed, the 4-year-old son of Duneside Perch-Miss Major Power was able to relax, then blaze home in 27.2, matching his opening panel. He scored in 1:51, 3/4 lengths better than Bestinthebusiness in the Lightning Lane, with the pocket-sitting My Hero Ron third. Norm Parker trains Unlocked, who extended his career bankroll to $350,844, for Megan Rogers Racing Stables. Aaron Merriman, Dave Palone and Wilder each collected three wins on the 15-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

DOVER, Del.--- George Dennis had his biggest win night of his career at Dover Downs reaching the harness racing winner's circle six times on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Duneside Chella and Tony Morgan drew off to victory in the $15,500 Mares pace. Dennis, who had a drive in all 15 races, guided the winners of six of his first eight starts. In the $15,500 Mares pace feature, Tony Morgan added another victory to his career total more than 15,000 wins, moving Duneside Chella into the lead on the backstretch and then pulled away to a open lengths triumph for trainer Ryan Bailey. The victory was the sixth this season for the Bob Bailey-owned Duneside Perch-Graceful Model four-year-old. She has won three of her last five outings. Feeding Frenzy (John MacKinnon) was runner-up. Quik To Fool You (Vic Kirby) took third. In the semi-feature,$14,500Filly and Mare pace, Fashion Showdown (Ross Wolfenden), sixth turning for home, rushed down the passing lane to nose-out Shine N Shimmer (Corey Callahan) was second while Tyra (Vic Kirby) also came from far back to finish third. In addition to Dennis' six winners, defending champions driver Corey Callahan and trainer Dylan Davis posted two wins each. Don Reed and George Wagner owned both winners of the daily double, Frank Chick also owned two winners. Wednesday is top trot day at the track. Prayer Session, Powerful Charger and Tough Mac head a strong field of eight in the $20,000 Open Handicap. Marv Bachrad

Looking to bring his sophomore season to a close the same way that he started his second season James & Teri Blackman's Dixie's Boy came flying through the open stretch to post an impressive neck decision over six other ICF harness racing sophomore's in Saturday's $8,060 Xpressbet Stake at Balmoral Park. The final time was 1:54.2 over the sloppy going.   Reserved through the early stages of the race by driver Casey Leonard as Earndawg (Ridge Warren) zipped through splits of 28.4, 57.3 & 1:25.3 Leonard moved the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dingy's Model into the outer flow as the field neared the top of the stretch.   Fit, fresh and loaded with pace, Leonard then maneuvered the Joel Smith trainee towards the inside where he spotted a seam along the pylons as the field hit the open stretch. With clear sailing in front of them Dixie's Boy quickly swallowed up the pace-setter with 100 yards to go and began to draw clear in the shadow of the wire to notch his second straight win here and his seventh win in 29 starts this year. Earndawg was forced to settle for the runner-up role on this night while Lucpark (Mike Oosting) rallied late to get the show dough.   After a quick start to his sophomore season then a bit of a "summer lull" Dixie's Boy now boasts career numbers of eight wins, five seconds and eight thirds in 36 starts with earnings of more than $55,000.   Sent off as a close second choice in the wagering Dixie's Boy returned $6.80, $4.00 & $3.20.   Tom Kelley

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 25, 2015 - After any number of predictable results in Yonkers Raceway's weekly Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace, harness racing longshots ruled the roost Friday night. Dune in Red (Mark MacDonald, $21.80) photoed Justhaven'tmetuyet (Jason Bartlett) in 1:52.4 after 3-10 choice Cinamony (George Brennan) couldn't sustain a second move. Dune in Red, assigned post position No. 4, gained the first lead before Skippin' By (Jordan Stratton) left over her. That one fronted the fray through early fractions of :27.1 and :55.2, while eight-hole ordered Cinamony found a seat fourth. The fave was out and moving between intermission and 1:23.3 three-quarters, but the dozen-to-one leader wasn't overly impressed. Skippin' By stood her ground in and out of the final turn, but the swarm was coming. Dune in Red ducked in, while Justhaven'tmetuyet went wide. When the dust settled, "in" whipped "wide" by a short nose, with Carobbean Pacetry, Cinamony and Strings (Eric Carlson) rounding out the payees. For third choice Dune in Red, a 5-year-old daughter of Duneside Perch owned (as Hero Stables) and trained by Bob Krivelin, it was her fifth win in 20 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $109, with the triple returning $504. Saturday evening, it's New York Night of Champions (Part II), with Yonkers hosting a quartet of $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-year-olds (races 2 thru 5 included in the dozen-race card). Frank Drucker

The top state-bred pacers in the Prairie State had the chance to strut their stuff on Saturday, August 22nd at Balmoral Park as a pair stake events shared top billing on a very strong Saturday night harness racing program   First on the docket were the state's top older pacers as a very evenly matched field of eight squared off in the $29,600 Big Tom Stake.   When the smoke cleared after a heated stretch drive it was Megan Rogers Racing Stable Inc.'s Unlocked who once again returned to the local scene in a big way, as he prevailed by a hard fought half-length in 1:49.4 for driver Lewayne Miller.   Given a perfect steer by Miller the four-year-old son of Duneside Perch used his inside post to save ground in third while the speedy Ice Scraper (Brian Carpenter) ripped through splits of 26.0, 54.0 & 1:21.1.   Engaging the pace setter with a first over bid as the field hit the top of the stretch these two prolific pacers battled tooth and nail through the lane before Unlocked finally forged to the front in the closing strides to notch his fourth win of the season. Ice Scraper was hard fought second while 66-1 outsider Cole Heat (Dale Hiteman) rallied to be third.   The win was the 16th in 45 career starts for the Erv Miller trainee who returned $4.40, $2.60 & $2.80 while upping his career bankroll to $310,692.   An overflow field of 11 distaffers, 3yo old and up, closed out the night's stake action as they lined up behind the gate for the $30,200 Parklane Powerful Stake.   Using an aggressive steer and a little "racing luck" to their advantage driver Robert Smolin hustled Jesse Ferge and Ron Phillips Fox Valley Aubry to the front and the speedy three-year-old made every call a winning one, hanging on gamely to score by a head in 1:53.2.   Sprinting away from post seven in the big field the daughter of Yankee Skyscaper--Assailed made the top without too much trouble leading the ladies through opening splits of 27.4 & 57.1.   That's when disaster struck for most of the field as a first over Joyful Game made a nasty break, taking herself out of the race and severely impeding seven of the trailing horses in this battle.   With things all her own way on the front end Fox Valley Aubry cruised by the three-quarter-mile mark with a two-length lead in 1:24.3.   Through the lane the Bob Phillips trained miss continued to show the way while bracing for the challenge of the pocket sitting Just By Design (Dale Hiteman). With the lead starting to evaporate in the final sixteenth of a mile, Fox Valley Aubry dug in gamely keeping Just By Design at bay just long enough to record her third victory of the year. Just By Design was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role on this night while Financial Effort (Casey Leonard) turned a ground saving trip into the show dough.   The third choice in the wagering Fox Valley Aubry returned $10.80, $6.20 & $4.20 while running her lifetime record to 14-5-5 in 32 starts with earnings of $67,714.   Live racing continues on Sunday, August 23rd at Balmoral Park. Once again all the action gets underway at 7:10pm on Sunday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 (races 7-10) features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The 10-cent Hi Five (race 10) also features a guaranteed pool of $15,000 while the highly successful trifecta guarantee on race nine will give fans the chance to play into a $25,000 guaranteed pool. Tom Kelley

Employing a first-over push into the far turn, the Megan Rogers Racing Stables' Unlocked ($15.40) accelerated clear of his four rivals en route to a 1:50 minor upset in Monday (August 17) evening's $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   Marcus Miller settled the 4-year-old Duneside Perch entire just off a pressured early pace, tracking Believe This Bob (Aaron Byron) and Steelhead Hanover (Mike Simons) through a 54.3 initial half mile before making his first-over bid in the final five-sixteenths of the mile   Unlocked worked his way into the lead at the top of the stretch, pushing clear at will.   Steelhead Hanover was able to vacate the pocket to give chase, rallying into second over the tiring Believe This Bob, but still giving up 3-1/2 lengths to Unlocked in the end.   Erv Miller trains Unlocked, now a 15-time winner.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 21) evening, as does the annual Corntastic festival, which lasts all weekend.   Post time is 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite    

The 2015 Hanover Stake season is officially underway as Balmoral Park played host to a pair of trotting stakes for three-year-olds as part of an action packed harness racing July 4th program.   The action kicked off with a non-wagering event as a field of five colts lined up behind the gate to battle for a purse of $20,600.   The battle between Illinois bred stars Captain Greedy and Fox Valley Qatar resumed in this event and for the third straight meeting between these two it was Charles Dowering and John D Finn's Captain Greedy who came out on top as he reported home with a one-length victory in 1:56.2.   Confidently handled by driver-trainer J D Finn the son of Yankee Valor--Tropical Trixie was sent right to the top where he proceeded to stroll through splits of 28.2, 58.3 & 1:28.4.   Sprinting home in 27.3, Captain Greedy shook off the challenge of a pocket sitting Fox Valley Qatar (Todd Warren) to record his fourth win in seven starts this season. Fox Valley Qatar was forced to settle for the runner-up role again while Bulldog Benji (Mike Brink) was third. The victory pushed Captain Greedy's career bankroll up to $90,796.   Sophomore trotting fillies also took to the track for Hanover action as a compact a field of five battled for a purse of $23,900.   After being content to sit near the back in the compact field, Ronald Phillips My Mini Snickers exploded through the stretch to win by a widening 3½ lengths in 1:56.3 for "provisional" driver Clifton Bell.   Content to bide their time near the back as Fox Valley Harrah (Todd Warren) put up pedestrian splits of 29.4, 59.1 & 128.1 Bell moved his filly to the outside as the field neared the top of the lane.   Trotting up a storm as she moved down the center of the track, the Bob Phillips trained daughter of Muscle Mass--Milky Way rolled home in 27.4 to notch her second win in 10 starts this season. In what is believed to be a "first" in harness racing history, Fox Valley Yoko (Kyle Wilfong) and Persuasive Look (Casey Leonard), who finished in a dead-heat for the win in an ICF stake here last week, wound up on even terms once again as they dead-heated for the place spot.   With the victory My Mini Snickers now boasts seven wins in 21 career starts with earnings of $45,319.   A pair of state-bred events were also contested on Saturday night as part of the big 12-race betting card.   In the first of these battles, the $8,000 Hot Head Stake for sophomore pacing colts, James & Terri Blackmon's Dixie's Boy picked a nice time to come up with a career best as he blew by his rivals in the lane to post a one-length victory in 1:52.0 for driver Casey Leonard.   Using a perfect second over trip the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dingy's Model circled rivals after watching Dinky Dune (Pat Curtin) put up some brisk splits, speeding home in 26.4 while holding division leader Earndawg (Todd Warren) at bay. Longshot Casey At Bat (Mike Oosting) wound up with the show dough.   The Joel Smith trainee now sports a career record of 5-5-5 in 24 lifetime starts with earnings of $31,522 after Saturday's victory.   In the nightcap Kay Willis's Lex had no problem overcoming the dreaded 10-hole as she posted a 1¾ length triumph over nine rivals in the $8,000 Ohyouprettything Stake for ICF three-year-old pacing fillies.   Hustled right to the front by Kyle Wilfong, the Nelson Willis trained daughter of Lexington Legend--I Bet U put up splits of 28.4, 58.2 & 1:26.4 while relatively unchallenged on the front end.   With plenty left in the tank the division leader in 2015 sealed the deal with a 26.4 final panel to notch her fifth win in nine starts this year. Fox Valley Charm (Tim Curtin) rallied late to be the bridesmaid while Sportsmuffler (John De Long) shook loose to finish third.   With Saturday's victory Lex now boasts a career record of 9-4-4 in 18 starts with earnings of $107,123.   The ICF stake action continues on Sunday, July 5th with a field of six freshmen trotting fillies getting the action underway in a non-wagering test as they battle in the $6,000 Vaporize Stake which will go at 6:45 p.m. (central). The second division of that stake has also drawn a field of six and will go as race three on the regular 10-race card. An overflow field of 11 2yo trotting colts will battle in race four which is the $8,000 Psychic Spirit Stake and a field of seven sophomore trotting fillies will close out the stake action in race six as they battle in the $8,000 Source Ann Stake. Once again the wagering action gets underway at 7:10pm on Sunday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick 4 is on races seven through 10 on Sunday night.   Tom Kelley

Despite a five week layoff and a sick scratch last week Dane May's Dinky Dune proved that he's a force to be reckoned with among this year's Illinois conceived and foaled harness racing three-year-old pacing colts as he rolled to a 2¾ length victory in 1:53.1 over five other state-bred sophomore pacing colts in Saturday's $8,000 Xpressbet Stake at Balmoral Park. Given a perfect steer by driver Pat Curtin the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dream Hand settled into the garden spot as Dixie's Boy (Casey Leonard) led the compact field through pedestrian splits of 29.0, 58.0 & 1:26.4.   With the action heating up in the lane Curtin maneuvered the Dane May trainee to the outside of horses where he quickly gobbled up the pace setter with a sixteenth to go. Effortlessly opening up an insurmountable advantage Dinky Dune easily kept heavily favored Earndawg (Todd Warren) at bay while rolling to his fourth win in seven starts this season. Earndawg, the 2-5 favorite in the race was forced to settle for a runner-up role on this night while longshot Casey At Bat (Mike Oosting) grabbed the show dough.   The second choice in the wagering Dinky Dune returned $7.00, $2.80, $2.40 while running his career record to 4-1-1 in 10 starts with earnings of $22,852.   The state-bred stake action continues on Sunday, June 28th with a pair of battles sharing top billing. Sophomore trotting colts kick off the festivities in race one as Fox Valley Qatar and Captain Greedy renew their rivalry in the $8,000 Xpressbet Stake. Later in the evening, sophomore pacing fillies will square off in the $8,000 Mystical Victress Stake which has attracted a full field of 10 led by division stalwarts Lex and Sportsmuffler. The wagering action gets underway at 7:10pm on Sunday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick 4 is on races seven through 10 on Sunday night. Tom Kelley

After opening their harness racing careers on the mile oval at Balmoral, this season's two-year-old pacing crop had their first tests on the tight turns of a half-mile oval as Maywood Park played host to a pair of Illinois conceived and foaled stake events on Friday night. With a total of 12 freshmen pacing colts dropped in the box, the Enzo The Baker Stake was split into a pair of $4,000 divisions. The girls were also in action on the sloppy track Friday night as a field of seven was sent postward in the $5,000 Juxtaposition Stake.   In the opening division of the Enzo The Baker, the Kay Willis owned Dan D Dune rolled to an impressive 6¼ length victory in 1:59.0 for driver Mike Oosting.   Content to save ground in third while Sagebrush Sid (Pat Curtin) led the field through splits of 30.2 & 1:00 Oosting pounced on the pace-setter as the pair raced head and head by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.4.   Quickly opening up an insurmountable edge around the final turn the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Witch Hanover continued to widen his margin through the lane in route to his first career win. Eddie Eddie Eddie (Clifton Bell) who was forced wide by a breaking horse on the final bend still managed to rally in time for the place money while Dakota Road (Robert Smolin), salvaged the show dough despite a miscue in that last turn.   Hammered at the betting windows the Nelson Willis trained Dan D Dune, who was a $9,500 Classic Yearling purchase, returned $3.20, $2.10 & $2.10. The second division produced a wire to wire performance as Stephen Mc MacKin, Marilyn Kelly and Lorna Roush's Wondrous Sport used the inside starting spot to perfection leading every step of the way as he reported home with a 1½ length victory in 1:59.0. Given a confident steer by driver Casey Leonard the gelded son of Sportsmaster--Wondrous Grace shot right to the front from the pole position, putting up splits of 29.3, 1:00.3 & 1:30.2 while relatively unchallenged on the front end. With plenty still in reserve, the Gary Rath trainee kept his rivals at bay through the lane with a 28.3 final quarter to notch his maiden breaking victory. Sagebrush Sam (Kyle Husted) enjoyed a perfect two-hole trip but was no match for the winner while Fox Valley Aramon (Todd Warren) saved ground throughout the mile to finish third. The second choice in the wagering Wondrous Sport returned $5.20, $4.00 & $3.20 while opening his account.   The Juxtaposition Stake figured to be a showdown between Lexington Lady and Fox Valleytiramisu who had traded first and second place finishes in their first two meetings and it proved to be just that with Lexington Lady getting the better of her main rival on this night as she cruised to a four-length victory in 1:57.2 for driver Brian Carpenter. Gunned right to the top from post five the Hosea Williams owned and trained miss rattled off splits of 27.3, 57.0 & 1:27.3 while Fox Valleytiramisu sat right on her back. These two were some 10 to 12 lengths in front of the rest of the fillies for most of the mile and things were no different in the late going as the daughter of Lexington Legend--Stephie Kay drew off in the lane for her second straight stakes win. Fox Valleytiramisu (Robert Smolin) was a clear cut second while Burry Me Inthesand (Gary Rath) was a distant third, 11½ lengths behind the winner. Looking like quite the bargain buy for her proud owner-trainer the $2,500 Illini Classic Yearling purchase returned $2.60, $2.10 & $2.10 while running her record to 2-1-0 in 3 lifetime starts with earnings of $6,000.   Tom Kelley

On a night in which temperatures plummeted into the low 40's and were accompanied by strong winds and soaking rains that made it seem more like mid-October than the end of May, a pair of Cardinal Stakes put Illinois conceived and foaled trotters and pacers in the harness racing spotlight at Balmoral Park on Saturday, May 30th.   Trotters were first on the docket as a field of eight diagonally gaited sophomore colts lined up behind the gate to battle for a purse of $16,200.   Once again the Herman Wheeler owned and trained Fox Valley Qatar proved that he's just too much for this division as he came powering through the slop to post a two-length victory in 1:57.4 under some confident handling by driver Todd Warren.   Ducking off the gate after showing high speed in his first two starts of the year the gelded son of Pizzazzed -Armbro Bahrain was content to trot along in sixth as longshot Allpowernoemotion (Ronnie Gillespie) led the field through splits of 30.0 & 1:00.1.   "There was no way I was leaving with him for a third straight week," explained Warren. "He was really "hot" last week and it's a long year so I didn't want him to get roughed up again."   Continuing to sit in mid-pack, Warren finally moved last year's division champ to the outside, picking up cover while third over as a hard charging Tricky Nick (Mike Oosting) quickly opened up a two-length advantage as he rolled by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.2.   With a 20mph tailwind in the homestretch Fox Valley Qatar quickly found his best stride and began gobbling up ground on the far outside of horses. Zipping right by the leader with a sixteenth of a mile to go Fox ValleyQatar left his rivals in his wake as he reported home in 27.3 to post his third win in as many starts this season. Captain Greedy (J.D. Finn) rallied to finish second while Tricky Nick held on for third.   Bet as though defeat was out of the question the 2-5 favorite returned $2.80, $2.20 & $2.10 while running his career numbers to 11-1-0 in 12 starts with earnings of $100,315.   In the winner's circle Warren was quick to sing the praises of his trotting star.   "He's just a pleasure to drive and he's perfectly fine sitting in a hole like he did tonight," said Warren. "He's very easy on himself and he's come back great after that awesome two-year-old season. I would expect him to have a lot of success with this group."   Sophomore pacing colts were featured in the second Cardinal Stake of the night as a field of 10 three-year-olds braved the elements for a purse of $18,400.   In a thrilling hotly contested affair the Dane May owned and trained Dinky Dune shook loose very late in the mile then came flying on the outside of horses to win by a head in a career best of 1:53.1 despite the sloppy surface.   Leaving alertly from post eight driver Pat Curtin had control of the early proceedings, battling Lucpark (Mike Oosting) through an opening quarter of 27.4.   "Going into the night Dane and I were kind of undecided on whether to wrangle him off the gate or to charge out of there and try to be up close," said a very happy Curtin. "With the weather and track conditions turning out the way they did we figured we better have him right up there in contention every step of the way."   Sitting in the pocket while Lucpark continued through middle splits of 56.3 & 1:25.1 the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dream Hand was raging with pace as the bunching field began to move through the lane.   With Lucpark, Dixie's Boy (Casey Leonard) and Earndawg (Todd Warren) battling three across the track a patient Curtin was still searching for room with the fit and fresh Dinky Dune.   "I thought about trying to split those three because there was an opening for just a minute but I figured they would close that up on me in a hurry," explained Curtin. "So I just decided I was going to have wait a little longer until I could slide to the outside of all them because this horse can really rattle once he gets in gear."   Finally securing room on the outside of horses Dinky Dune unleashed a wicked kick, putting up a 27.4 final quarter to nip the favored Earndawg in the final strides. Last season's champ was forced to settle for the runner-up role on this night while Dixie's Boy finished third.   Coming off an impressive elimination win the previous week Dinky Dune took plenty of action at the windows returning $6.40, $3.60, $2.80 while running his career record to 3-1-1 in nine career starts with earnings of $18,852. Tom Kelley  

With some good sized crowds filling the apron for a festive Memorial Day weekend of fun-filled activities at Balmoral Park, a pair of harness racing Illinois conceived and foaled stake events for three-year-olds shared top billing on the racing oval.   Trotters grabbed the spotlight on Sunday, May 24th as a very evenly matched field of nine diagonally gaited fillies squared off in the $16,400 Violet Stake.   Continuing the fast start she's enjoyed in her second season Cynthia De Marlie and Jason Van Winkle's Bi Polar Rose shot right to the top and proceeded to make every call a winning one as she reported home with a four-length decision in a career best of 1:57.3 for Travis Seekman.   Gunned away from post six the daughter of Polar Winner--I Still Owe carved out splits of 29.4, 59.2 & 1:28.4 while rolling along relatively unchallenged on the front end.   With plenty still in reserve, the Ronnie Roberts trained miss trotted home in 28.4 while drawing away from stretch challenges by Persuasive Look (Casey Leonard) and Fox Valley Yoko (John De Long) who wound up second and third respectively.   Hammered at the betting windows, Bi Polar Rose returned $4.60, $3.00 & $2.40 while running her career record to 6-3-3 in 15 starts with earnings of $93,457.   On Saturday, May 23rd a total of 12 state-bred colts and geldings met in a pair of $7,500 Cardinal Stake eliminations. The top five finishers in each division will return next Saturday night to battle in the $18,400 final.   In the first division the Dane May owned and trained Dinky Dune continued his second season improvement as he came charging through the passing lane to record a two-length triumph in 1:53.4 for driver Pat Curtin.   Given a perfect steer, the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dream Hand settled in third early on but as the pace slowed Curtin zipped the bay gelding to the front leading the field through an opening quarter in 30.0.   The action continued to heat up through middle splits of 58.0 & 1:26.4 as a hard charging Dixie's Boy ( Casey Leonard) showed the way with Dinky Dune right on his back in second.   Through the lane Dixie's Boy managed to fend off the first over challenge of 6-5 favorite Lucpark (Mike Oosting) but a fit and fresh Dinky Dune was full of pace and ready to roll as he moved down to the passing lane. Sealing the deal with a wicked 26.4 final quarter Dinky Dune cruised right on by the pace setter to notch his second career win in eight starts. Lucpark came on again late to edge Dixie's Boy for the place and show spots. Rockin Cassinova & Mighty Hot Shot also earned spots in next week's final.   In the second elimination last year's division leader Earndawg showed that he's ready to defend his crown as he posted a very comfortable 1 ½ length victory in 1:54.1 with Todd Warren at the controls.   After easing away from the gate in third while stablemate King Of The Swamp (Ridge Warren) led the field through opening splits of 28.4 & 58.2, the Roger Welch trained gelding grabbed command of the proceedings as the field moved around the final bend.   After taking the field by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.4 the son of Sportsmaster--Pacific Sister K gamely held off his rivals with an impressive 27.2 final quarter to notch his 10th win in 20 career starts for the partnership of Bo & Pat De Long and Ernest Miller. Frosty Dune (Casey Leonard) saved ground throughout then rallied nicely to finish second while King Of The Swamp held on for third. Also gaining spots in the final were C Note and Comecatchme.   The 50 Cent Pick 5 wager was not hit on Sunday, May 24th so there will be a carryover of $11,081.42 added to next Saturday's (May 30th) Pick 5. Because of the carryover BalmoralPark will guarantee a $25,000 pool for next Saturday's Pick 5. Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 10 line program pages for the guaranteed pool courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at beginning on Thursday, May 28th.   Tom Kelley  

Sophomore pacing colts kicked off Saturday's harness racing stake action at Balmoral Park with a field of seven lined up behind the gate for the $8,000 Betzotic Stake. This battle wound up being nothing more than a stroll in the park for James & Teri Blackmon's Dixie's Boy as he posted a decisive 3 ¾ length front stepping score in 1:54.4 over the "good" surface.   Getting away fourth as Dakota Roadster (Robert Smolin) led the field through an opening quarter in a pedestrian 30.0 driver Casey Leonard moved Dixie's Boy to the front as the field settled onto the backstretch.   Gliding along comfortably on the lead through middle splits of 59.2 & 1:27.2 the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dingy's Model had plenty in reserve for the stretch drive, cruising home untouched in 26.4 to secure his fourth career win in start number 17. Last year's divisional leader Earndawg (Todd Warren) finished up well to edge Dakota Roadster in a tight photo for the place money.   The Joel Smith trained bay returned $8.40, $3.80 & $3.00 while upping his career bankroll to $19,814.   Older pacers were next on the docket as a field of six veterans renewed acquaintances in the $14,000 Rambling Willie Stake.   As he's done so many times over the years James Behrendt's Ice Scraper managed to get loose on the lead and there was no catching the speedball on this night as he reported home with a three-quarters of a length victory in a snappy 1:50.0 on the wet chilly evening.   Gunned to the front by Brian Carpenter the six-year-old son of Yankee Skyscaper rattled off splits of 26.3, 55.2 & 1:22.1 while going along unchallenged on the "engine".   After widening his advantage at the top of the stretch the Mike Brown trainee gamely dug in through the lane, sealing the deal with a 27.4 final panel to post his fourth victory of the season. Big Brad (Robert Smolin) rallied nicely to finish second while the pocket sitting FortSilky (Casey Leonard) was forced to settle for the show dough.   The win was the 26th of this gelding's illustrious career and with Saturday's payday Ice Scraper now boasts career earnings of almost $310,000. The third choice in the wagering in his return to the local scene Ice Scraper returned $7.80, $3.60 & $2.60 to his backers.   A number of last season's top freshmen pacing fillies were also in action on Saturday night's third race.   Renewing the rivalry they established last season Kay Willis's Lex wound up getting the best of last season's champ Mr Leland's Filly, posting a 4 ½ length wire to wire victory in 1:53.0 over a track listed as good. The win was the fifth in 11 career starts for the Nelson Willis trained miss. Mr Leyland's Filly was a late charging second while Galley Wench was third in this prep.   Live racing continues on Sunday, April 26th, at BalmoralPark with a 10-race card getting underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). Sunday's $1 Pick 4 features a guaranteed pool of $25,000. The state-bred stakes action will also continue on Sunday with a field of seven sophomore trotting fillies slugging it out in the $8,000 Koochie Stake which goes as race two.   Tom Kelley      

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 24, 2015-Pole-assigned Dune in Red (Tyler Buter, $16.80) held off the cavalry Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing featured $31,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace After seeing Fanticipation (Mark MacDonald) grab the first glory, Dune in Red edged from the pocket. The one made the lead just at a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, then rated a :57.3 intermission. Sweetnsinful (Jason Bartlett) then moved from fourth as the 3-2 favorite, prompting the pace through a brisk :27.4 third quarter (1:25.2). Delightful Dragon (Brian Sears) tried to match strides with Sweetnsinful, but found herself gapping down the backside. It was Dune in Red widening to 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn. She would need just about all that margin in a very slow (:29.2) final quarter, before lasting by a neck in 1:54.4. RD IOU and Fanticipation wound up in a dead-heat for second, with a late-arriving Delightful Dragon and Sweetninsful rounded out the payees. The first five finishers were separated by a length-and-a-quarter. For fifth choice Dune in Red, a 5-year-old daughter of Duneside Perch owned by Hero Stables and trained by Chris Marino, it was her first win four seasonal starts. The exactas paid $30.40 (with RD IOU second) and $160 (with Fanticipation second), with the triples returning $287.50 (RD IOU second) and $448 (Fancipation second). The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the sport's two richest races of the season to date-finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000)-highlighting a $1.2 million purse card. GEORGE MORTON LEVY MEM. FINAL - SAT'S 8TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/7 MACH IT SO Tim Tetrick 1A/8 P H SUPERCAM Jason Bartlett 2/1 DOMETHATAGAIN Dan Dube 3/2 LUCAN HANOVER Dave Miller 4/3 WINDSONG JACK Eric Carlson 5/4 BEACH MEMORIES Yannick Gingras 6/5 TAKE IT BACK TERRY George Brennan 7/6 POLAK A Brian Sears BLUE CHIP MATCHMAKER FINAL - SAT'S 6TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/1 VENUS DELIGHT Jason Bartlett 1A/7 KRISPY APPLE Tim Tetrick 2/2 YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT Brian Sears 2A/4 CAROLSIDEAL Dan Dube 3/3 FANCY DESIRE Yannick Gingras 4/5 MONKEY ON MY WHEEL Dave Miller 5/6 STRINGS Eric Carlson 6/8 CAMILLE George Brennan The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the two richest races of the season to date, finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, $66,500 final of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

The veteran harness racing pacer Don’t Worry B Happy looks to get revitalized Friday night with a drop to a mid-level conditioned when he revisits Maywood Park. The 7-year-old Nelson Willis trainee faces an above average field in the eighth race for non-winners of $4,000 last five but if you go by past history Don’t Worry B Happy looms large for his driver Brian Carpenter. Maywood Park is what I like to call a “get-well” track for Don’t Worry B Happy. Every time the son of The Panderosa can’t find a winner’s circle for Barrington Hills, Illinois owner Shirley Le Vin, his trainer ships the horse to Maywood Park where Don’t Worry B Happy usually “gets well.” Don’t Worry N Happy didn’t make his Maywood Park debut until 2013 as a 5-year-old. The horse had won an $18,000 Hoosier Park Open that April and then went into a long slump, dropping 11 straight races in either Indiana or at Balmoral Park. However in October of that year he ended the losing streak in his initial Maywood start. The horse would make 3 more starts in 2013 at Maywood and hit the board each time. After a winter break of 3 and 1 1/2 months off Don’t Worry B Happy started off his 2014 season at Maywood and was a winner, this time with Sam Widger at his lines. The horse then dropped his next 9 decisions but “got well” in a late July starts with driver Todd Warren, when the pacer returned to—you guessed it—Maywood Park. Don’t Worry B Happy then raced at Balmoral in August, September and into October, this time take a licking 8 races in a row. However, the horse as expected “got-well” in a mid-October race at Maywood. The gelding then went back to his home base at Balmoral and dropped 5 uninterrupted decisions before taking the hour-plus long van ride from Balmoral to Maywood where, to no one’s surprise, won two December starts after a second place finish in late November. With three successive losses at Balmoral to start the 2015 season, the horse is back on the circuit’s half-miler where he hopes to “get well” against a nice field comprised of Total Sin (programmed 6-1), Silver Devil (7-2), Cotton Eyed Joe (10-1), So Be It (8-1), Fox Valley Norman (3-1) and Montero Blue Chip (12-1). Silver Devil (John De Long) is making his 2015 debut for trainer Nick Giberson. Last year the son of Duneside Perch captured the $34,380 Aged Cardinal and was second to Fort Silky in the Cook County stake, the opening leg of the Maywood Pacing Series. As a freshman Silver Devil won a Betzotic stake at Maywood and followed that up with victories in the Circuit City and Grey Ghost at Hoosier Park. Cotton Eyed Joe (Bobby Smolin) took the Orange and Blue Colt Championship as a freshman on Super Night 2013 and opened his 2014 season with back-to-back wins in small Maywood Park ICF stakes. The Bob Philips trainee was second-best to Unlocked in last year’s Super Night Langley Final. By Mike Paradise

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