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Scirocco Rob dominated in the $20,000 Open Trot at Dover Downs on Tuesday night. Scirocco Rob proved his harness racing dominance and versatility by winning at 2 separate race tracks back to back.  Scirocco Rob won at the Meadowlands last week and traveled down the New Jersey turnpike and won tonight at Dover Downs. At the start, there was a 3 horse attack heading to the quarter pole.  Scirocco Rob settled in fourth, then attacked after being parked to the quarter in 27 seconds flat. Morairtime and Jack Parker Jr. accepted the pocket ride.  Northern Express settled in third.  Scirocco Rob and driver Tim Tetrick then led the field to the half in 55.2 Midway down backstretch, Northern Express  and driver Russell Foster pulled first over and pressured Scirocco Rob to the three quarters in 1:24. They raced as a team into the stretch.  From there, Scirocco Rob, the 4/5 race favorite powered to the top and won by a half length in 1:53.2 on a chilly 35 degree evening.   Scirocco Rob  (Explosive Matter)  is owned by Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker.  Mark Silva trains. Northern Express, raced a game 1st over bid but finished 2nd for trainer Arty Foster Jr.  Bluebird Jesse was third.  Jim King Jr. trained and Alan Davis drove. Tim Tetrick had a big night winning six of twelve races on the betting card. Racing resumes on Wednesday.  Post time is 4:30 pm at Dover Downs. For full race results, click here.   by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs

It looks like motherhood can wait for Pat Matters. The 6-year-old harness racing mare, who is this season's fastest trotter thanks to her track-record 1:51.2 mile at Dover Downs on Jan. 5, is being pointed toward a Grand Circuit campaign by owner Patricia Stable and trainer Nifty Norman rather than retirement and a career as a broodmare. "We were of two minds about what to do with her," Norman said. "There was some thought of retiring her and breeding her, but she's raced so good this year we're going to press on and stake her. The owner kind of figured she deserved a shot against those better ones." On Saturday, Pat Matters returns to The Meadowlands for the first time since her second-place finish in November's TVG Series championship for female trotters. She is the morning line's 7-2 second choice in the sixth race, a $22,500 conditioned trot. The millionaire JL Cruze is the 3-1 favorite. Pat Matters, bred by Patricia Stable, is by Explosive Matter out of Dibrizzi and a half-sister to Crazy About Pat, a 2013 New York Sire Stakes champion. Unraced at age 2, Pat Matters has won 17 of 50 career starts and $370,282. Since adding Lasix last October, she has won three of nine races and $91,610. She was fourth in last year's Breeders Crown Mare Trot. "She's been a lot better ever since (Lasix)," Norman said. "She's a very sound horse; a big strong healthy thing." Andy McCarthy will drive Pat Matters on Saturday. McCarthy has driven the mare in six of her past eight races, including the track-record mile at Dover. Pat Matter's 1:51.2 shattered the previous track standard for a trotting mare, 1:53, established by Buck I St Pat in 2008. "Dover is like that, you can be surprised by a time there," Norman said. "But I was surprised by how easily she did it. That was nice to see. I was shocked by how old that record was. That amazes me." Pat Matters will get time off to freshen up for the Grand Circuit, with Norman starting to map out a schedule for the mare. "We just have to put a plan together and see where we're going to start her off," Norman said. "There are some good horses in that division, but we have confidence in her so we're going to take a shot. If you're running in the top three, she can make a good living." Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EST) at The Meadowlands. The Big M and TrackMaster have teamed to regularly provide free past performances for each race card. Past performances can be found here on The Meadowlands website. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

CHESTER, PA - With Harrah's Philadelphia not presenting a live program on Thanksgiving Thursday afternoon, the trotters and the pacing mares both got turns in the racing spotlight, with each group having a $12,800 feature and an $11,600 co-feature. In the $12,800 events for "non-winners of 5 races," the trotters were led by the Explosive Matter sophomore gelding Arclight Hanover, who rewarded the bettors who made him the favorite by sweeping wide on the far turn and going off to a 1¾ length victory over Andela in 1:56.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Mark Harder, the latter co-owner with Deena Frost and Emma Petterson.   The Bettor's Delight mare Iron Mistress proved most photogenic in a three-way photo to take the top pacing purse and also a new mark of 1:52.3 for owner/trainer/driver Ray Baynes. Pacesetting Somebeachsomefra was engaged by first pocketpulling favorite Wayside and then by the winner up the inside; the right-hand foe she handled, but her left-handed opponent she could not withstand. In the pacing $11,600 fast-class contest, My Kiwi Lady N, a frequent winner at the Running Aces meet but off the board twice since coming east, stormed down the center of the track in posting a career best 1:51.3 for trainer/driver Chris Scicluna, a length to the good of Crazy Cute. Vinny Ginsburg, the driver of the $94.00 upsetter, is now tied with Simon Allard and David Miller in having guided three such "bombers" during the 2020 Philly action. Driver Yannick Gingras returned to Victory Lane after the trotting co-feature with the Yankee Glide gelding Max, who was solid in a 1:54 wire-to-wire victory to make him a winner of $227,156. Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC share ownership in the winner with Frank Baldachino; for trainer Ron Burke, the win was his 78th of the season at Philly. That total currently gives Burke a two-win cushion over Gilbert Garcia-Owen as he attempts to complete his first "Pennsylvania triple": Ron won the training title at Pocono for the first time this year, and he has a giant lead at The Meadows. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The veteran Explosive Matter gelding Scirocco Rob got his own way on the front end, then held off a late challenge from pocketsitter 38-1 shot Pappy Go Go to take the $14,400 handicap trotting feature Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:54. The winner of $475,629 left well from his assigned outside post seven for driver Tim Tetrick, and, certainly not hurt when race favorite Goes Down Smooth got rough past the start, made the lead in the middle of the first turn and set fractions of :27.3, :56.4, and 1:25.1. Pappy Go Go made the winner give his all in the lane, but he held off his rival by three-quarters of a length for trainer Mark Silva and owner Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr.   The faster of two $12,800 subfeatured trots went to Big Nudge, a sophomore Donato Hanover colt who was sent to the lead in front of the stands by driver David Miller and never gave up the lead thereafter. The tough first-over Willing Hanover grinded to him late in the 1:55.4 mile, but Big Nudge went under the wire a length to the good for trainer Jake Leamon and owners Charles Elliott, A And B Stable, and Hutt Racing Stable. The three-year-old Trixton filly Tricky Sister enjoyed a substantial from top stakes company and used pocket rocket tactics to overhaul pacesetting Harley K by 1¼ lengths at the end of the 1:57.1 co-subfeature. George Napolitano Jr. handled sulky duties for trainer Andrew Harris and owner Robert Key. David Miller and Tim Tetrick were the leading drivers on the day with three victories each. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia   -30-

Washington, PA, Oct. 28, 2020 -- Sixth by 3-1/2 lengths turning for home, Tuesday Morning swung to the middle of the track and roared home to pull off the 31-1 harness racing shocker in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $10,200 Conditioned Trot. As the leaders tired on the sloppy surface, Tuesday Morning found his best foot for Dan Rawlings, scoring in 1:57. Rev It Up Man was second, beaten a length, with long shot Willie B Worthy third.   Ray Romanetti trains Tuesday Morning, a 4-year-old daughter of Explosive Matter-Taboo Yankee, for Lori Romanetti and Bernadette Luketich. Rawlings and trainer Tyler Stillings each collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the 13-race program features a $93,764.44 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Rich And Miserable, the 2019 Trotter of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, zipped to the lead at the three-quarter pole in the $14,000 harness racing trotting feature at the mountain oval on Saturday afternoon, drawing off to a 5½ length victory in 1:53. Tyler Buter was in his usual perch behind the Explosive Matter gelding, a career winner of 21 of 59 starts and $438,586 for trainer Todd Buter and the ownership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. That same grouping won two races earlier with Two AM, a Muscle Massive gelding who win in 1:55 to raise his lifetime numbers to 32 of 94 and $486,905.   In the $12,800 claiming handicap pacing headliner, the United Ace gelding Just N Ace paid immediate dividends for owner William Gordon and trainer James Guagliardo, who took the horse for $20,000 last week, stepped him up to the $25,000 level, and won his third straight in 1:53.2 when the track was rated "good" early in the card. Driver Larry Stalbaum never looked back with the streaking pacer, winning by a length despite pressure at many points in the mile. Former HHI Man of the Year and longtime USTA director Lon Frocione passed away this past Wednesday at age 88, and trainer Joe Pavia Jr. gave a proper sendoff to his longtime patron by sending out his Sweet Lou gelding Lyons Night Hawk, who rattled off fast numbers of :27.1, :54.1, and 1:22 en route to a 1:50.2 triumph, boosting his earnings to $260,158 while being driven by George Napolitano Jr. Tyler Buter and George Napolitano Jr. both paraded back to the winners circle four times during the Saturday card at Pocono, whose last Sunday night card of 2020 will begin tomorrow at 5 p.m. From the  PHHA / The Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Explosivebreakaway, the full brother to the stakes filly Phaetosive, got to the lead in the last 50 feet to edge Icanflylikeanangel and win the $17,200 harness racing trotting feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:53, within a fifth of his lifetime mark despite temperatures hovering in the low to mid 50s. Tom Jackson worked out a second-over trip with the Explosive Matter gelding behind favored Scirocco Rob, who battled hard with pacesetting Icanflylikeanangel down the backstretch and through the far turn. When the uncovered horse tired, Jackson moved wide with Explosivebreakaway, and pocketsitter Warrior One took his shot up the Pocono Pike, but Explosivematter got the photo finish camera's nod by a nose, with Warrior One another neck back in third. Fred Grant trains the winner, 13 of 29 lifetime with earnings of $198,464, and he is co-owner along with Janice Rubin, Steve Katz, and Murray Brown.   In the $14,000 co-featured trot, the hard-closing mare Broadway Athena also used second-over tactics to take her third win in her last four starts, going by first-over Southwind Avenger by 1¼ lengths in a 1:53.2 mile. Anthony Napolitano drove the Broadway Hall mare for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner/son Gilbert Garcia-Owen. The pacing highlight was a $16,000 claiming handicap event, in which the Captaintreacherous gelding Major Deception paid immediate dividends to owner Joseph Riad and trainer Marc Mosher by winning his first start after being claimed in 1:50.4. This race also looked like it might go to the second-over horse, as Burning Midnight tipped off the cover of first-up Major Deception to provide a late challenge, but Major Deception, guided by Anthony Napolitano, showed courage to take a nose decision while joining the Six-Figure Winners Club. In all Anthony Napolitano had three winners on the day to lead all other drivers, and he continued his recent torrid streak of local sulky success - he has now had 29 victories over the last seven cards at The Downs. From the PHHA / The Downs

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Severus Hanover had little trouble overcoming a slow track with a three second allowance due to rain as he scored a harness racing romp in capturing the Preferred-Handicap Trot Friday at the Hippodrome 3R. Driven by Stephane Brosseau, Severus Hanover started the seventh race feature going right out to the early lead with Precieuse CC (Claude Beausoleil) grabbing the two-hole spot and forcing Bucketlist Hanover (Jocelyn Gendron) to take back to third place as they went to the opening quarter mile in :28.2. Severus Hanover led the field past the half mile marker in :59.3. That was when Bucketlist Hanover tried again and came first-over, giving Capteur De Reve (Stephane Gendron) a good second-over journey. In the backstretch, Brosseau asked Severus Hanover for a little more and the trotter started to pull away from the field at the three-quarters in 1:31. Then in the stretch Severus Hanover turned it on even more, winning by seven and one-half lengths in 2:01.3. Precieuse CC held for second place and Keepall (Pascal Berube), who made a break at the start of the race, rebounded to finish third. It was the seventh win this year for Severus Hanover. He is a nine-year-old gelding by Explosive Matter, trained and owned by Yannick Martel of L'Assumption. He paid $5.30 to win. The fastest mile of the day was in the sixth race pace where Spiderman Hanover ($5.90) and driver Stephane Gendron were able to over-come the sloppy track and wire the field in 2:00.3. It was the third straight win and sixth of the season for Spiderman Hanover, a seven-year-old Western Ideal gelding, trained and owned by Marc Lemay of Quebec City. Spiderman Hanover won by one length over Dredyl Hanover and Blackjack Soleil. Track Notes: Both Stephane Brosseau and Francis Picard had the hot hands on Friday, each scoring a driving triple. Yannick Martel led the trainers with two wins. Live racing resumes at H3R Sunday afternoon, first race post time at 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

CHESTER, PA - Both Hillexotic and Pat Matters were very impressive in taking the two top harness racing trots conducted on the Thursday afternoon card at Harrah's Philadelphia. In the $12,800 feature for classclimbing youngsters, the Muscle Hill sophomore gelding Hillexotic moved raw at the half and trotted his last half in :56.2 despite 39 days away from the races to win by 4¾ lengths in 1:55. Hillexotic, unraced at two, now has four wins in his last six outings and a $161,540 bankroll for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and Purple Haze Stables LLC.   In the $11,600 contest for fast-class trotters, the Explosive Matter mare Pat Matters also roared uncovered to the backstretch lead and won by 10½ lengths, with her time of 1:52.3 only three-fifths of a second off the Philly divisional track record co-held by Hannelore Hanover and Arabella's Cadet. Dexter Dunn was in the sulky for trainer Nifty Norman as the fast distaff raised her earnings to $284,472 for the Patricia Stable.   Dexter Dunn and Tim Tetrick, 1-2 in the 2020 moneywinning drivers standings, each had a triple on the Thursday Philly card. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Severus Hanover, given a perfect drive by Stephane Brosseau, photo'd out Capteur De Reve in capturing the Preferred-Handicap Trot at the Hippodrome 3R Friday. The closely matched race feature three co-favorites, all at odds of 2-1 and Severus Hanover was one of them. The seventh race feature started out with Capteur De Reve and driver Stephane Brosseau shooting to the early lead and was challenged immediately by Keepall and driver Pascal Berube. They went the opening quarter mile in :27.1 as Keepall cleared to the lead. That lead for Keepall was short lived as Brosseau quickly came back with Capteur De Reve on top to the half mile in :58.1. Now coming first-over as they headed to the backstretch was another 2-1 co-favorite, Bucketlist Hanover and driver Jocelyn Gendron and following their outside cover was Severus Hanover. They went to the three-quarters in 1:28.2. As they turned for the stretch drive, Brosseau tipped Serevus Hanover three-wide and despite Capture De Reve having a good lead heading to the finish, Serevus Hanover kept gaining and gaining and went on to win by a neck in 1:59. Capteur De Reve held for second with Bucketlist Hanover third. Sir Chopin was the third co-favorite in the race. It was the sixth win this season for Serevus Hanover. The nine-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter is owned and trained by Yannick Martel of L'assomption. Serevus Hanover paid $6.30 to win. Three drivers each had two winners on the card. They were Stephane Brosseau, Samuel Fillion and Francis Picard. Also, scoring a training double was Francis Richard, the leading trainer at H3R this season going for his fourth straight training title. Track Notes: Live racing resumes at the H3R Sunday afternoon with first race post time at 1:00 pm. Featured is both a Preferred-Handicap Pace for the horses and the mares. The 3yo colt Mickeymaksomespeed (post 6) heads the 6th race Preferred Pace for the horses. He won his last start at H3R in 1:56. The 7th race for the mare's features return winner Y C Easy (post 8) taking on Wild River Swan (post 9) and Godiva Mackiavelyc (post 4), also a return winner. For a free race program, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club    

CHESTER, PA - The Explosive Matter gelding Innisfallen won for the third time in his last four starts, continuing to climb the class ladder with a 1:55 triumph in the $13,600 trotting harness racing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon. Driver Vinny Ginsburg hustled the improving trotter right down the road, passing Macmorris Hanover early and stringing the field out behind splits of :29.1, :57.4, and 1:25.3. Favored Molto Bene came on late, but Innisfallen was still strong and crossed the wire a half-length to the good of the chalk for trainer Paul Fusco, who is also co-owner of the newest member of the Six-Figure Earnings Club with Brandeo Singh. The Muscle Hill sophomore filly Hannah won her second straight race in the $12,800 subfeature class, overcoming post eight here without much trouble for driver George Brennan in 1:55.4. Second in the Buckette, Hannah is trainer by Julie Miller for Andy Miller Stable Inc., Dumain Haven Farm, and Little E LLC. In an $11,600 event for fast-class trotters, the Credit Winner gelding Fashion Creditor returned to the races after a 20-day layoff in sharp form for trainer Tom Fanning, sitting the two-hole behind Rock Of Cashel and then finishing steadily under George Napolitano Jr.'s guidance to defeat that rival by two lengths in 1:53. With the win for owner Joseph Smith, Fashion Creditor joins Rock Of Cashel in the $700,000 Winners Club, as his earnings are now $700,555. Simon Allard and Marcus Miller each had driving triples on the Thursday card. Friday's Philly action will feature three $30,000 divisions of Liberty Bell stakes series action for two-year-old colts on each gait. Chase H Hanover comes to town fresh off a 1:51.1 equaling of the divisional world record for geldings at Delaware (OH); he'll have to overcome the outside draw in a field of seven at Philly. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Despite drawing the outside post in the field of eight, the Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable was able to reach the top with relative ease in the $14,400 trotting harness racing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, and he was not threatened late in a 1:53.3 mile. Driver Tyler Buter hustled the winner of $438,386 to command nearing a :28 opener, then kept him rolling through middle splits of :56.3 and 1:24.4. By the latter station Rich And Miserable was far ahead of the opposition, and he maintained an insurmountable lead to the finish. Todd Buter trains the victorious trotter for Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs.   The Muscle Hill filly Hannah grinded her way to the lead at the three-eighths, then was kept rolling in the lane by driver Tim Tetrick (four wins today) to win the $12,600 co-featured trot, turning back closer Arclight Hanover by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. Julie Miller conditions the stakes-seasoned filly for the Andy Miller Stable Inc., Dumain Haven Farm, and Little E LLC. Deltasun A and driver Todd McCarthy, both recent transfers from Australia to the United States, teamed to make the trotter's local bow a winning one, overhauling favored pacesetter Max by a neck in 1:54 in an $11,600 event. Andrew Harris conditions the Tenotrump gelding, an earner of $189,634 and a high-ratio winner (20 for 54, 37% lifetime), for his A Harris Racing LLC, OB Standardbreds, and Michael Goldberg Racingllc. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Explosive Matter gelding Scirocco Rob, who last week lost to the first-over Arabella's Cadet in a track record 1:52 for trotting mares at Harrah's Philadelphia, this week became the irresistible grinding force, making two moves en route to a 1:53.1 victory in Thursday's $14,400 top-level harness racing trot on an overcast day at the riverside oval. Leaving from post six in a field of seven, Scirocco Rob tucked third early as Mississippi Storm pushed favored Southwind Avenger most of a :26.3 quarter before ceding the lead. The "Avenger" got a breather to the :56 half, but Scirocco Rob was out and rolling down the back for driver George Napolitano Jr., going right at the leader to the 1:24.2 three-quarters and beyond, making the lead at headstretch. Scirocco Rob kept to his task to the wire, winning by a half length over Mississippi Storm, who came up the passing lane, while second-over Goes Down Smooth was third ahead of a tiring Southwind Avenger. Scirocco Rob has now won three of his last four starts for trainer Mark Silva and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr., with his career bankroll now at $452,753.   The Andover Hall gelding Grapple Hanover went to the lead in the $13,600 co-featured trot, yielded to favored Macmorris Hanover and then sat perfectly-placed as that one wrestled with first-over Hatikvah the last half, going up the inside to gain a final half-length margin over the game Hatikvah in 1:55.2. David Miller drove the consistent winner of $167,359 to the triumph for trainer Bucky Angle and owners Howard and Josh Kauffman. George Napolitano Jr. won four races on the card for Thursday honors; Dexter Dunn was next in line with three victories. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WATTSBURG, PA - The two-year-old harness racing fillies provided the most excitement during the two-day Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes meet at the Erie County Fair in this northwest Pennsylvania town. The babies raced on Monday; their older stablemates the next day. The Betting Line - Lazan Hanover pacer Lazy Day Hanover became the first two-year-old to post ten wins when she took a section of her "A" Fair Sire Stakes division, going in 2:08 on a day not particularly conducive to speed. The other "A" division winner, Tiamogonedancen, is undefeated on the fair circuit as well, taking her sixth straight in 2:05. The powerhouse fillies are co-owned by driver David Brickell and trainer Mitchell York - whose 2019 Fair Championship co-winner in this division, the A Rocknroll Dance filly Dream Dancing, is unbeaten in seven 2020 fair outings after a 2:02.2 win Tuesday. The trotting fillies also did nicely on Opening Day, with Shawn Johnston driving both winners. One of them, the Explosive Matter - Seeuinthespring miss Explosive Flower, came close to a line in the Wattsburg record book when she won the first race of the meet in 2:06, only a tick away from the local standard of Lovebeinglucky, who was trained by Rick Beinhauer and co-owned by him and wife Regina - and the same pair are behind Explosive Flower as well! Among the three-year-olds, it was no surprise that the Artspeak gelding Bipbopnallie posted the quickest mile of the meet, 2:02, as he is undefeated in seven races on the circuit for trainer/driver Roger Hammer and owners Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable, and William Lutz Jr. Hammer, as owner/trainer/driver, also backed the fastest trotter of the meet, the Possess The Will gelding No Name Yankee, whose 2:04.4 time was only 4/5 of a second off the all-age Wattsburg track trotting record. Finally, mention should be made of 22-year-old trainer Harley Delcourte of Weirton WV, who began her training career on Tuesday, and promptly won with two of her three starters: Rydia Hanover and Guys In The Band, both driven by Cory Kreiser. Shawn Johnston edged Dave Brickell 7-6 to take the leading drivers title; Mitchell York and Roger Hammer both sent out four winners to tie for the trainers crown. Todd Schadel maintains the lead among fair drivers with 49 victories, but on the training side Hammer now possesses a 49-46 edge over his partner in the storied Vivid Photo. The fields are already drawn for the next stop on the PA Fair Circuit, a Thursday-Friday meet in Stoneboro PA. From the MSOA, PHHA and the PHHA Fair partnership

YONKERS, N.Y. – Since harness racing resumed in the Northeast United States in late May, Rich And Miserable has not had much luck racing at the Meadowlands. The talented trotter drew post position 10 in his first start back June 12, got stuck following a blazing 1:50.1 mile by Guardian Angel As in his second start June 20, then drew post position 10 in the Cutler Memorial last time out on Independence Day. As a result, Rich And Miserable failed to take home a check in any of those three starts.  Rich And Miserable made one bid away from the Swamp so far this season, heading to Pocono Downs June 27. He drew post two in the featured $20,000 trot and scored a 2 1/2-length win in 1:52.4. Now, Rich And Miserable looks to capitalize again in the $33,000 open handicap trot at Yonkers Raceway Friday (July 10). He is already having better luck at the Hilltop, drawing post four, but moving inside to the three after the early scratch of Photo Bomber.  “We threw him in with the big guns and we got a couple 10 post positions and that wasn’t a very good starting point. We did take him once to Pocono and he raced very well there, so now we’re going to try the half-mile track again at Yonkers,” said trainer Todd Buter. “The first start over there in the open, he had the 10-hole and just followed along,” Buter continued. “Last week in the Cutler, had the 10-hole and in with those type of horses, it’s tough from the 10, but we’re hoping to turn things around.” Besides the advantageous post position, Rich And Miserable has the resume to compete at this level. The Explosive Matter son always showed promise for Buter, but last year at 4, had a breakout season. After posting a 5 1/2-length win and earning two other placings in the preliminary legs of the SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series, Rich And Miserable won the $73,000 series final by a nose last April.  Rich And Miserable also won a leg and the final of the Mr. Muscleman Series at the Meadowlands, won the $100,000 Great Northeast Open Series Final at Pocono, and captured a local $42,000 open handicap trot from post position eight last fall. The $305,125 Rich And Miserable earned last year boosted his career tally to $417,922 for owners Buter Farm, Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. “Last year was a very pleasant surprise. He showed good things as a 3-year-old and as a 4-year-old, things just kept falling in place and we got a couple nice draws in some big purse races, got good trips, and he lived up to what we were hoping for. It was a great year,” Buter said. “He was always a sound horse as a 2- and 3-year-old and it seemed like he just got bigger, stronger, matured more and could race either way; race on the front, race from the back,” Buter continued. “He just ended up being a very smart horse, very easy on himself. We’re hoping we can turn things around back at Yonkers.” Rich And Miserable raced through the end of December last year before getting some well-earned time off. He was ready to qualify by mid-March, but due to the response to the coronavirus pandemic, harness racing across North America shuttered. Like the rest of the industry, Buter was forced to wait. “We just got put on hold and it was, ‘maybe next week,’ so you’d train them light. ‘Maybe next week,’ so you’d train them a little harder. The next week just train them easy, maybe it will be next week,” Buter said. “Everybody was in the same boat, nobody knew what was going on, so we just had to sit back and wait for them to turn the lights back on and I tried to have him as good as we could.” Rich And Miserable was finally able to qualify May 30 before his bad-luck streak at the Meadowlands began. Friday night will be Rich And Miserable’s first local start since finishing 10th in the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot Oct. 12. Regular driver Tyler Buter will be in the sulky and the pair are 5-2 on the morning line. Rich And Miserable will face six rivals, including 2-1 morning line favorite Melady’s Monet, who will start from post four. The 11-year-old and earner of $1.6 million twice finished second in the local open trot and won a local preferred from post seven before the shutdown. He posted a front-stepping qualifying win in 1:58 at Magical Acres Training Center June 23 in preparation for his first start since March 7.  Swansea earned three wins in the local open before the shutdown and picked up right where he left off in his return June 25, tallying a fourth victory in six starts this season in 1:55.3 for trainer Scott DiDomenico. Swansea was assigned the outside post Friday night and is 3-1 with Austin Siegelman programmed to drive.  Paul Kelley’s 10-year-old Obrigado continues to deliver after emerging from retirement late last year. The $1.8 million-earner won an $18,750 overnight in 1:51.2 at the Meadowlands June 5 and was second to Rich And Miserable in his most recent start at Pocono June 27. Obrigado drew post six Friday night. Mostinterestingman, Elysium Lindy, and Lean Hanover complete the lineup.  “We’ll just have to see how it shakes out,” Buter said of Rich And Miserable’s chances. “He’s raced on the front at Yonkers and won and he’s raced from the back at Yonkers and won. He seems good and healthy and sound, so we’ll hope for the best.” Friday night’s eight-race card also features the $33,000 open handicap pace. The amended Yonkers Raceway calendar will see live harness racing conducted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights until July 17. Beginning the week of July 20, the schedule will add Saturday nights as the track returns to its normal five night per week schedule through Dec. 19. First post time is 7:05 p.m. The complete revised racing calendar is available online here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Two-year-olds were in the spotlight Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with American Courage fastest in the pacing contests in 1:54.1, while trotting speed honors were shared by Bacardi and Above The Clouds at 1:58.1. Both of the trotting winners needed the photo finish camera to confirm their victories. The Southwind Frank - Strawberry Wine colt Bacardi raced in the pocket behind favored Sevenshadesofgrey, then methodically wore down the frontrunner to post a half-length victory for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Erv Miller, whose Ervin Miller Stable Inc. shares ownership of the winner with All-Wright Racing LLC, the Engel Stable of IL LLC, and the Rock And Roll Stable Inc. Three baby filly trotters were right on the wire together in a contest taken by the Explosive Matter - Miss Michelle H miss Above The Clouds, who was game to the wire despite an uncovered journey to defeat Pocono Pike rusher Fox Valley Liza and pacesetter Myreanna for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and the Bay Pond Racing Stable. The American Ideal - Nota Fool Bluechip colt American Courage was well-placed off a backstretch duel, then swept around his field on the far turn en route to a six length victory. Matt Kakaley was in charge of the quick colt for trainer Travis Alexander and the Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC. Kakaley had the hot hands on the Tuesday card with four winners, only one of which was favored. In one race, after a foe was disqualified for going inside the pylons in the stretch, Diamondbeach and Kakaley lit up the tote board with a $54.20 win payoff, giving Matt the local lead with three $50+ "bombers" at Pocono this season. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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