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Freehold, NJ ---- Freehold Raceway will host their fourth Preferred Handicap trot of the calendar year this Friday (January 31), and the winners of the prior three editions are coming back for another shot at glory.   Inukchuk Chuck won the Preferred on January 3, for his second win in a row at the class. Since then, he's tried his luck three times in a row at Yonkers Raceway, without much success. Trainer Nick Surick is persumably hoping the tides turn with a return to Freehold. Andy Miller is named to drive from post position four.   Magic MVP got the job done on January 17, rallying up the passing lane to win by a neck. Last week, he made a strong wide rally to finish third in the Preferred. He'll leave from post position six this week, with driver Pat Berry back in the sulky for trainer Miriam Kraemer.   Freehold-loving veteran Dot Dot Dot Dash won the Preferred last week, scoring by a neck in 1:57.2. She'll seek a repeat triumph this week from post position eight. Chase Vandervort will drive for trainer Leah Vandervort.   Two horses who qualified last week at Freehold also profile as contenders. Rock of Cashel edged Southwind Cruze by a neck in a qualifier on January 24, with both horses being timed in 2:02.1. The former will leave from post position five for trainer Mark Harder, making his first start since November 6. Last year, he won seven races and earned more than $86,000. The latter has hit the board in his last three starts at Yonkers Raceway, most recently losing by two lengths in a solid time of 1:55.3. Joe Bongiorno is in the bike from post position seven, for trainer Jenn Bongiorno.   Caviar Star, Abbie's Celticlass, and Mugshot Jess complete the field. The Preferred is scheduled as the seventh race on the card, with a listed post time of 2:30 PM EST.   The first of nine races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- They call him "Diamond Jim", and he had a gem of an afternoon on Saturday (January 25) at Freehold Raceway. Harness racing driver Jim Marshall III won four of the eleven races on the program.   He didn't waste any time, taking race 1 with Brandon Mongiello's Northern Jack ($4.40). After missing in races 2 and 3, he bounced back in the 4th race, guiding the John Bavosi-trained gelding Tie Your Shoe Ed ($5) to his second consecutive win.   Marshall completed the hat trick with Bullet Bob ($5.80) in race 6, for trainer Mark Harder. He had three chances to complete the grand slam, and did so in race 11 with R M Blackhawk ($2.60). That win also gave Mongiello his second training win of the day.   The veteran driver has gotten off to a strong start in 2020.   On the calendar year, he's won 15 races from 88 starts, good for third place in the Freehold driver standings.   Since Freehold restarted on August 30, Marshall has 40 victories in 336 drives.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST. Marshall is named to drive in every race on the card.   Northern Jack     Tie Your Shoe Ed     Bullet Bob     R M Blackhawk

Freehold, NJ --- Shneonucrzydiamnd turned in a gem of a harness racing performance on Saturday (January 25) at Freehold Raceway, taking the Preferred Handicap pace by two lengths in an excellent time.   He hadn't raced since a non-winners of $10,000 pace score at the Meadowlands on November 16, but bettors were undeterred, making him the 1/1 favorite. Driver Vinny Ginsburg initially took back from post position seven, dropping him to sixth place in the early stages. Before the half, Ginsburg pulled the trigger and sent him first-over, taking it to early leader Machiavelli. Turning for home, Ginsburg's gelding had gone by, and pulled away for the win. The time, over a sloppy track that saw heavy rain earlier in the day, was an impressive 1:53.2.   Shneonucrzydiamnd is owned by Let it Ride Stables and Dana Parham, and trained by Ross Croghan. He paid $4 to win, $3.20 to place, and $3.20 to show.   The Preferred win was one of three for Ginsburg on the Saturday card. He won the 5th race with Redneck Fortune ($7), and race 7 with Jackamino ($3.20).   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST.          

Freehold, NJ --- A change of tactics and a great trip proved the keys for Dot Dot Dot Dash, as the harness racing veteran mare won Freehold Raceway's Preferred Handicap trot on Friday (January 24).   Usually a deep closer, driver Chase Vandervort elected to try something different, and send her to the lead. She eventually tucked in the pocket behind pace-setting Lily's Swan Pond, who got through a quarter in 28.2 and a half in 58.3. As they rounded the final turn, Chase kept his drive on the inside, while Lily's Swan Pond remained clear. In the stretch, he shot "Dot" up the passing lane, and it proved the winning move. She crossed the wire a length in front, going the mile in 1:57.2.   The 10-year-old is no stranger to Freehold. Last year, six of her nine victories came at the Jersey half-miler, all of them at the Preferred level. In her career, she's won 32 times from 165 starts, and earned more than $523,000. She's owned by Bill Vandervort, and trained by Leah Vandervort. The second choice in the win pool by just $8, she returned $6.20 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3 to show.   Lily's Swan Pond held on to second, while Magic MVP, who won the Preferred last week, rallied wide and finished third. Drazzmatazz, Mugshot Jess, Zagster, and Armagedon Seelester rounded out the order of finish.   Dot Dot Dot Dash     Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a scheduled start time of 12:30 PM EST.      

Freehold, NJ --- The layoff was no deterrent for harness racing pacer Capozzo, as he won Freehold Raceway's Saturday (January 18) featured race: the Preferred pace.   Leaving from post position five, he led in the very early stages, but was quickly overtaken by Lucan Hanover. Driver Eric Abbatiello was patient, and kept his drive in the pocket. Lucan Hanover set very slow fractions of 28.3 for a quarter and 58 for a half. All the while, Capozzo stayed just off him on the inside, while rivals began to make wide moves. Turning for home, the passing lane opened for Capozzo, and he shot through to overtake Lucan Hanover and win by half a length. The final time, over a fast but snowy track, was 1:55.2.     This race was Capozzo's first start since November 16. He qualified at Freehold last week, going the mile that day in 1:55.1. That mile showed that he was in top form, and he proved it again in the Preferred. He's owned by Howard Taylor and Thomas Finelli, and trained by Tom Shay. He paid $12.40 to win, $4.80 to place, and $2.60 to show.   Dragonology flew late and got up for second, just beating out stablemate Lucan Hanover. Ginger Tree Marty, Exit Cam, Polak, and Vapour completed the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, starting at 12:30 PM EST. The 9-race card has two carryovers: the early pick 4's is $1,864.94, while the pick 5 carryover is $634.94.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Magic MVP got a superstar-quality trip in the Preferred Handicap trot at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 17), and used it to full advantage, rallying late for the harness racing victory.   Sent off as the 9/5 second choice, the 5-year-old gelding was dropped into the pocket early by driver Pat Berry. He rated off favored Zagster, as the leader set fractions of 28.3 for the quarter and 58.4 for the half. Zagster tried to get away from the field as they rounded the final turn, but Magic MVP stayed close and never left the pylons.   In the stretch, Zagster still held a 1 1/2-length lead, but Berry switched his drive to the passing lane and took his shot. Magic MVP rallied strongly toward the pylons, and got up for the victory by a neck. He trotted the mile in a sharp 1:58.0, in cold and windy conditions.     That was Magic MVP's 2020 debut, coming off a 2019 where he was 3-for-21, with earnings of more than $69,000. Most recently, he was fifth in a NW $15,000 last 5 trot at the Meadowlands. He's owned by Midnight Stables LLC and trained by Miriam Kraemer.   Zagster held on to second, while 39/1 Caviar Star won a photo for third over Dot Dot Dot Dash. Drazzmatazz, Abbie's Celticlass, Andy Ray, and Levitation completed the order of finish.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, starting at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway    

Freehold, NJ --- The Preferred Handicap Trot at Freehold Raceway is scheduled to go postward on Friday (January 17) with a full gate of eight. It's been scheduled as the sixth race, with a post time of approximately 2:10 PM EST.   Yonkers Raceway shipper Andy Ray was assigned post position eight, for trainer Anette Lorentzon. He won two of three starts back in the fall at Harrah's Philadelphia, and was most recently fourth in a NW $30,000 race at Yonkers. Abbie's Celticlass, assigned directly to his inside, was also in good form in Philly in the fall. Most recently, she was second in the Preferred at Freehold two weeks ago. Roni Vandervort is the trainer.   A pair of horses with an affinity for Freehold appear in this race. Drazzmatazz won three times at the fall/winter meet, including a win in the Preferred back on December 20. Most recently, he finished third in a NW $10,000 race at the Meadowlands last week. He'll be in post position six for trainer Tom Angerame.   Dot Dot Dot Dash won six times at Freehold in 2019, with all of those victories coming at the Preferred level. She'll be making her first start since December 20, when she was fifth behind Drazzmatazz in the Preferred. Leah Vandervort is her trainer.   Caviar Star, Levitation, Magic MVP, and Zagster complete the field.   The first race at Freehold on Friday will be at approximately 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Peter Grandich and Company is pleased to once again be the sponsor of the “Freehold Raceway Irish Heritage Driver Pace”, to be held on Friday, March 13, 2020.  Some of the possible drivers for the race are Irish Joe Hanney, George Brennan and Dublin's Jack Killeen. Special sports star from the NJ Devils 1995 Stanley Cup Champion Team will be New Jersey native Jim Dowd, a team member of PGC, and he will be greeting patrons from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. The first 100 patrons will receive a free autographed photo, have two items of their autograph, and take photos with Jim. From Perter Grandich and Company

Freehold, NJ --- There was a big upset in Saturday's Preferred Handicap harness racing pace at Freehold Raceway, as 19/1 Polak A upset 1/5 Matticulous.   George Brennan blasted off with Matticulous, clearing him to the lead and setting up shop before the quarter. While he did get to the lead, he had to work very hard for it: the opening quarter was 27.1 seconds. Meanwhile, Vinny Ginsburg conceded the lead with Polak A and pocketed up behind the leader.   As they rounded the final turn, Polak A edged out of the pocket, and presented a serious challenge to the favored leader. Though Matticulous tried hard to hold him off, Polak had plenty of horse, and got by to win by a length. The final time for the mile was a blazing 1:52.     Polak A performed well in the amateur races over the fall at the Meadowlands, winning two of three in that class. Last out, he finished fifth after showing speed in the Preferred at Freehold. He's owned by Tony Beltrami and trained by Vinny Fusco Jr.   Benson Boys, Ozone Blue Chip, Bullet Bob, Gotta Go BB, The Onlyest One, and Clint Westwood completed the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST. There's a 2-day pick 5 carryover for the card, worth $2,031.83.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- A big first-over move paid off for Clarebear at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 10), as she won the fillies & mares Preferred harness racing pace by 1 3/4 lengths.   Sent off as the 8/5 favorite from the outside post position eight, she dropped into fifth place in the early stages. Approaching the half-mile pole, driver Vinny Ginsburg sent her to the outside, leading the first-over charge to challenge early leader Shecouldbegood. Heading around the final turn, Clarebear cleared to the front and kicked away from her rivals.   She had a 4 1/2 length lead entering the stretch, and although her rivals cut into the margin late, she had more than enough to hold on for the win. The final time was 1:54.3 for the mile, including a final quarter in 28.4 seconds.     The seven-year-old mare is owned by Cavalli Veloci Stables and trained by Mike Russo. She finished third by a neck last week, after getting parked out almost the whole way. For her career, she's earned more than $317,000, while winning 23 races.   Petal to the Metal closed well to get second at 11/1, while Cruisinwithmybaby was third at 12/1. She's a Billionair, Stonebridge Honey, Unspoken Promise, I Wish You Well, and Shecouldbegood completed the order of finish.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, starting at 12:30 PM EST. The 11-race card features two carryovers: the early pick 4, beginning in race 2, has a carryover of $881.11. The pick 5, starting in race 5, has a carryover of $718.39.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Andy Miller is perennially the leading harness racing driver at Freehold Raceway, and he asserted himself on Thursday (January 9), as he won five races on the nine-race program.   Miller teamed up with leading trainer Nick Surick for four of those victories: Cam's Tux ($17.80) in race 1, Always Picky ($4.80) in race 2, Ginger Spice ($2.10) in race 4, and Newbie ($3.60) in race 7. Miller completed the five-pack with Fat Boy, for owner/trainer John Urbanski, in the 9th race ($4.40).     That makes ten wins for Miller in the new year at Freehold, giving him a six-win edge over the competition. He's earned those ten wins from 29 drives, good for a 34.4% strike rate.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Friday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway      

Freehold, NJ --- He's won at the Meadowlands, Pocono Downs, and Harrah's Philadelphia since coming stateside. Now, Matticulous will take his harness racing talents to Freehold Raceway on Saturday (January 11), as he headlines a field of eight Preferred handicap pacers.   Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Matticulous began his career there, before coming to the United States for the Ron Burke barn in October. Since then, he's been on a tear, with five wins and a second from six starts. Perhaps his most impressive performance came at the Meadowlands on November 23, when he paced a winning mile in 1:50.1. He went the last quarter that night in a blazing 25.2 seconds.   Matticiulous will be making his first start since December 9 at Yonkers Raceway, when he finished second as the 3/5 favorite, behind 2018 Metro Pace winner Stag Party. On January 4, Matticulous turned in a strong qualifying mile at the Meadowlands, going the distance in 1:54.3. He was assigned the outside post position for Saturday's tilt, and figures to get strong wagering support.   The best of the challengers appear to be The Onlyest One and Benson Boys. The former won the Preferred at Freehold three starts back, and finished third at the level, behind stablemate Lucan Hanover, last week. Jack Baggitt will drive that one for the first time, for trainer Nick Surick. He was assigned post position six. Benson Boys is undefeated since coming to the United States in October, winning four straight races between Pocono and Yonkers. Joe Bongiorno is named to drive for his sister Jenn, leaving from post seven.   The rest of the field consists of, from the inside out, Polak, Bullet Bob, Ozone Blue Chip, Clint Westwood, and Gotta Go BB. It's scheduled as the eighth race, with a post time of 3:10 PM EST.   The first of eleven races on the Saturday program at Freehold will be at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway      

Freehold, NJ --- Some of the top fillies & mare pacers at Freehold Raceway will square off on Friday (January 10), in the Preferred Handicap pace. A field of eight will contest the $12,000 affair, scheduled as the seventh of nine races on the Friday card.   The two outside horses, Shecouldbegood A and Clarebear, are the likely favorites. Shecouldbegood is coming off a head victory in a non-winners of $6,000 pace back on January 3. Three starts back, she won a winners-of handicap at Saratoga Harness.   Jim Marohn Jr will be in the bike on this Patti Harmon-trained mare, from post position seven. Clarebear drew the post directly to her outside, coming off a third-place finish behind Shecouldbegood. In that race, Clarebear was parked out almost the whole way, but still closed strongly to miss by a neck. Vinny Ginsburg drives for trainer Mike Russo.   A plethora of recent upper-class Freehold winners are also here. Unspoken Promise won at the non-winners of $5,000 class two starts ago, and will seek a rebound after fading last out. She'll leave from post position two. Stonebridge Honey won two races in a row earlier in the meet, and returns here after a week's break. She'll be driven by Joe Bongiorno from post position three.   Petal to the Metal won at the $5,000 level last out, prevailing by a head in a driving finish. Stacy Chiodo is in the bike from post position four. Cruisinwithmybaby pulled off a 34/1 upset at the $6,000 level three starts ago, and returns to Freehold off two unplaced efforts at the Meadowlands. She was assigned post position five.   Dover shipper She's a Billionair and Flamboro invader I Wish You Well complete the field.   The first race on Friday at Freehold is scheduled for 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Lucan Hanover employed a different harness racing style this Saturday (January 4) at Freehold Raceway, and it worked like a charm, as he took the featured Preferred Handicap pace.   Usually, Lucan Hanover goes to the lead and tries to wire the field. However, driver Andy Miller elected to take him to the back of the pack early, sitting in sixth at the opening quarter. Nearing the half mile, he got into a live cover-flow, drafting his stablemate The Onlyest One. Heading into the final turn, Miller moved him three-wide, took charge turning for home, and held on to win by 1 1/4 lengths. He paced the mile over a sloppy track in 1:55.4.     Since coming to Freehold from Batavia Downs, Lucan Hanover has been in sharp form. he's won three times in five starts, and has been no worse than third. He's owned by Cliff Grundy and trained by Nick Surick.   Ozone Blue Chip rallied wide down the stretch and got up for second. The Onlyest One, Exit Cam, Polak, Mako Banner, and Statement Made completed the order of finish. Lucan Hanover paid $10.00 to win.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Inukchuk Chuck began his 2020 harness racing season the same way he ended his 2019 campaign: with a win in the Freehold Raceway Preferred trot. He scored in Friday's feature race by 3 1/4 lengths, stopping the clock in 1:58 over a sloppy track.   Just like last week, driver Joe Bongiorno blasted him to the lead and cleared as soon as he could. The early tempo was slow: the quarter went in 29.2, while the half mile fraction was 59.3. Favored Money Maven moved first over just before the half, and applied serious pressure to "Chuck" as they neared three-quarters. However, the leader easily dismissed the challenge and pulled away down the stretch for a convincing victory.     The winner is owned by Cliff Grundy and trained by Nick Surick. He won eleven times in 2019, while earning more than $63,000. For his career, he's accrued 22 victories, and earned more than $230,000.   Abbie's Celticlass got up for second over Money Maven at 10/1. Caviar Star, River Otter, Mugshot Jess, Barney Mac, and Boots N Chains rounded out the order of finish.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a 10-race program beginning at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway will host 10 races this Saturday (January 4), with a 7-horse Preferred Handicap harness racing pace serving as the headliner.   The winners of the past two Preferreds are back for more: The Onlyest One and Exit Cam. The former took the Preferred on December 21, then won by a nose last week for a $20,000 tag. He's finished first or second in three of his last four starts. Joe Bongiorno will steer from post position four for trainer Nick Surick.   Exit Cam has also won two in a row, most recently scoring in the Preferred by a neck last week at 15/1. He was assigned post position six for trainer Karen Garland and driver Steve Smith.   The Onlyest One is one of two in the race for Surick. The other, Lucan Hanover, has been in fine form since coming to Freehold. In four starts at this track, he's won twice, and hit the board the other two times. Most recently, he finished third in the Preferred after leading most of the way. Andy Miller was named to drive, from post position five.   Statement Made, from post position seven, is the likely favorite. He's coming off a fifth-place finish in the Preferred at the Meadowlands. Two starts back, he won an upper-condition pace at Harrah's Philadelphia, pacing the mile in a sharp 1:51. For the first time, Jim Marohn Jr. will drive, for trainer Tahnee Camilleri,   Polak, Ozone Blue Chip, and Mako Banner round out the field.   The contest is scheduled as Saturday's 7th race, with a listed post time of 2;50 PM EST. The first race at Freehold on Saturday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway

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