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Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) wins the $59,800 first harness racing division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting colts & geldings at Tioga Downs on Friday (July 19). Gimapanzee ($2.10) hit the first quarter in :28.1. Mr Vicktor (Tyler Buter) followed in the pocket the whole trip. Gimapanzee hit the half in :56.2. Cruised to three-quarters in 1:24.3 and then found another gear to win by over four lengths in a lifetime best of 1:52.4. Mr Vicktor had to settle for second money. Livinonthedash finished a distant third. Gimpanzee is a 3-year-old colt by Chapter Seven. He is three for three this season. He now is a perfect 12 for 12 in his career. Cavill Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) wins the $60,900 second division. Lucky Weekend (Brian Sears) went to the first quarter first in :28.4. Cavill Hanover ($7.90) took over the lead after they went by the stands for the first time hitting the half in :58.2. He led to three-quarters in 1:26.2. Cavill Hanover, who is trained by Ake Svanstedt for owners Little E LLC., Wolfgang A Stable Inc., and Borje Nasstrom, held off a late charge by second place finisher Lucky Weekend to win in 1:55.2. Quiksilver Bluechip (Wally Hennessey) was third best. Cavill Hanover is a 3-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass. He won for the second time this season. He now owns five career victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (July 20) with a 10 race card starting an hour later than usual at 7:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com.   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

ANDERSON, Ind.--July 19, 2019--Sylph Hanover and driver Sam Widger saved their best for last as they stormed home a winner in the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $150,000 Nadia Lobell Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 19. Scoring in 1:50.2, Sylph Hanover rallied from well off the pace to make her Hoosier Park debut a winning and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Leaving from post four in the talented field of ten, Sylph Hanover was unhurried from the gate and settled off the pace in eighth. It was hotly contested opening quarter as a host of fillies fired away from the gate. Rockin Philly and Trace Tetrick, sent off as the heavy post time favorite, won the early battle for the lead and reached the first quarter in a snappy :25.4. Glorious Virgin and Brandon Bates benefitted from a pocket trip while the Ohio Sires Stakes Champion, Queen Of The Pride with Tony Hall in the bike, was next in line third. Queen Of The Pride wanted her turn on the front and she quickly marched up to grab the lead just past the half in :53.3. The quick pace continued as the field hit the third station in 1:21.1 with Queen Of The Pride still calling the shots. As the field turned for home, Sweet Heaven and John DeLong were applying pressure first-over with St Somewhere and Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow. Lady Capulet and Andy Shetler moved into the outer flow and were well placed third-over with Sylph Hanover waiting to pounce from fourth over. As the leaders began to retreat on the front, it was a cavalry charge to the wire. Lady Capulet tipped off tiring cover to surge forward but it was Sylph Hanover on the far outside who would find the wire first. Lady Capulet had to settle for second place honors while Queen Of The Pride held on gamely for third. Slightly dismissed at 5-1, Sylph Hanover returned $13.20 to her backers at the betting windows. "She felt really good tonight," Widger noted after the victory. "I had to nurse her around the turn a little but once she got straightened away and she got her head down, she really got going." Trained by Ron Burke, the three-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-She's A Fan recorded her second win of the season from 8 starts. Owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable, W. Switala, J. Martin, and J. Critelli, Sylph Hanover pushed her lifetime bankroll to $448,311. The victory was also one of five winners on the evening's 13-race card for Hoosier Park's leading driver, Sam Widger. Live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, July 20 with an 11-race card. Saturday's racing action will be highlighted by the first annual Empire of Hope event at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Through a variety of promotions, donations, and activities, Harrah's Hoosier Park will launch this new program designed to help raise awareness and funding for the care of horses after their racing careers are over. Racing fans attending the event will have the opportunity to make contributions and learn more about aftercare efforts. Developed with support from accredited racehorse aftercare programs, Empire of Hope will directly assist efforts to relocate, rehabilitate and repurpose retired horses. The live racing action will get underway at 6:30 pm. For more information on Empire of Hope or upcoming entertainment at Harrah's Hoosier Park, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   Emily Ratcliff Race Marketing Manager and Commentator

Baron Remy excelled in Friday's (July 19) sweltering heat to score in 1:50.3, equaling the harness racing track and world record for 4-year-old pacing mares in Northfield Park's ninth race. The Ron Burke trainee bested six rivals in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open to match the record set by both Lakeisha Hall (Matt Kakaley, 2017) and Bye Bye Felicia (Aaron Merriman, 2018). Baron Remy and driver Kurt Sugg started from post six and got away sixth through a brisk :26.3 opening quarter. Sugg tipped Baron Remy to the outside just past the quarter-pole and brushed to the lead, posting a :55.1 half. The tempo picked up in the third quarter as Sugg urged on Baron Remy, who tripped the beam in 1:22.4. Baron Remy completed her mile with a :27.4 final quarter, opening up by 4-3/4 lengths over stablemate Libby's Idea (Jason Thompson). My Tweed Heart (Keith Kash, Jr.) finished third. The track and world record-equaling performance gives Baron Remy three victories in seven starts this season. The partnership of Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Lawrence Karr, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC own Baron Remy, who is now an 11-time winner in her career, earning $547,232. She was favored in the race and returned $4.40 to win.   Ayers Ratliff

HARVEY’S LAKE PA – The first new home to harness racing in Pennsylvania in thirteen years, and the first new fair harness venue in seventeen years, came to life in spectacular fashion on Thursday and Friday, as Silver Springs Ranch, a training facility located approximately a half-hour northwest of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, applied for a 2-day Fair Sire Stakes meet this year, was granted it, and then conducted a fine program appreciated by horsemen and spectators alike. The tone was set in the very first race ever over the half-mile oval, as the Well Said – Harlow Hall freshman gelding pacer Halliwell Hanover  broke his maiden in 1:59.2 for the first 2:00 mile of the year on the Pennsy fair circuit by a two-year-old. Trainer/driver David Brickell is co-owner of the promising youngster with Mitchell York. That time would last the two days of racing as the “new track record,” although it would be equaled by the A Rocknroll Dance sophomore filly Dancin With Rosie, who defeated last year’s Fair Championship winner Sure R Lookin Good, for driver Tony Schadel and trainer Justin Lebo, who is also co-owner with Jamie Kiehl. Dancin With Rosie                                      --Seth Dowling photo The other 2:00 mile of the meet was also produced by the sophomore fillies, as Able Hanover, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, won in 2:00 flat for trainer/driver Steve Salerno, co-owner with Dean Casaday. For Salerno, who swept the Pocono driving wins, training wins, and UDR “triple crown” in 1981, it was a special moment, as he had not driven in a purse race in almost 14 years! (A Team Salerno protégé, Emily Bost, would drive in her first-ever race two heats later, but she got in the Dancin With Rosie race and had to settle for fourth.) The racing at Silver Springs brought out several Pocono drivers not normally seen on the fair circuit. 21-year-old Hunter Oakes competed away from the pari-mutuel tracks for the first time, and won with the sophomore gelding Way To Close in 2:00.2. Way To Close, four-for-four now on the fair circuit for trainer Todd Schadel, co-owner with wife Christine, did not threaten his 1:57.4 fair seasonal standard  he set at York in defeating stablemates Motive Hanover (driven by Todd) and Find One More (driver by Todd’s brother Tony). The fastest mile of the year on the circuit for trotters was notched at The Ranch, as the Muscle Massive sophomore filly Touch of Dough was victorious in 2:01 for driver Eric Neal, trainer Randal Neal, and the Neal Racing Stable LLC. The Silver Springs races showed that both the veteran and the novice can compete successfully at the fairs.  88-years-young Don Wiest won with his freshman filly trotter Tuis Shadow, with Roger Hammer completing the “161-year-old Exacta”; earlier on the card, Hammer’s deputy Branden Smith notched his first career triumph behind the boss’s freshman pacing colt Caffeine Buzz. The Pennsylvania fair circuit now moves on to Bedford PA, with racing on Monday commencing at 5:30 p.m. and then on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m   Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "He may not win every time but I know he's going to empty his tank and give it his all," harness racing driver Ray Fisher Jr. said after Lougazi went from last to first again to capture the $13,000 Class A-Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (July 19).   Lougazi had plenty of fire power as he covered the mile in a seasonal best 1:57.4 over the good track, beating Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) by 3-/4 lengths. Wheels A Turning (David McNeight III) took the show spot. It was Lougazi's second straight come from behind win in the Class A-Open Trot.   Sitting in seventh and nine lengths back at the opening quarter, Lougazi followed the live cover provided by Wheels A Turning. In the stretch, he was on high octane as all the remainder of the field could do is watch.   "I just sit back with him," Fisher Jr. said of being patient with Lougazi. "The first time I drove him last year at Batavia, I got itchy with him and it didn't work out well. But tonight, everything was perfect for him."   Owned by Mary Warriner and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the fourth win in 18 starts for Lougazi (Lou's Legacy-Winning Blade). The 5-year-old gelding has now produced $43,500 in earnings in 2019 and $!47,989 lifetime.   Artacus (Davis Jr.) answered the bell in the $20,000 Opportunity Knocks Series finale by wiring the field in a seasonal best 1:55.4.   Starting from the rail, Artacus ($9.30) immediately sped to the lead and put up some spunky fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.3. Turning for home, Artacus enjoyed a four length edge and was able to take the 1-3/4 length dialed down win over a hard charging Rock The Dream (Fisher Jr.). Well Well Well (Denny Bucceri) took the show position.   Artacus captures title in Opportunity Knock Series   Owned and trained by Sabrina Shaw, the 9-year-old gelded Artacus (Artiscape-Pumped) has now won four times in 16 appearances, pushing his seasonal earnings to $22,095 and $195,049 lifetime.   Glow Boat (McNeight III) took the $10,000 Opportunity Knocks consolation event with a 3/4 length score over No Talking (Fisher Jr.) in 1:56.3. Glow Boat returned $7.70 to his backers.   Davis Jr. finished the evening with three wins in the bike while Kevin Cummings had two victories. Shaw had a training double.   The 2019 season will conclude on Saturday night with a 12-race program scheduled for 6 p.m. Buffalo Raceway's simulcasting center will be closed from Monday, July 22 through Tuesday, August 20 due to the Erie County Fair. It will reopen on Wednesday, August 21.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

It's testament to the grit of champion South Australian harness racing driver Danielle Hill that there's not a hint of nerves in the leadup to her much-anticipated comeback to race driving at Globe Derby tonight. It's the second time that Hill has faced a comeback after horrific - potentially career-ending - injury but for the premiere reinswoman there's only excitement about getting back to the sport she loves. "I'm fine now but I'll probably be a bit edgy when I get there no doubt. I'll settle in though - I'm just excited to be back," Hill said. "It just all happened really quickly in the end. I've been hoping to get back but the doctors haven't given me the green light. But then this week they just told me that I'm good to go," she said. "I haven't been to the trials, but I did have a little fast-work test-run there (Globe Derby) mid-week and it felt great. I'm just jumping straight back in!" Danielle Hill takes the reins for three drives at Adelaide's Globe Derby Park tonight - the same track where five months ago, in the Group Three SA Pacing Derby she suffered a tibial plateau fracture (to the shin and knee) in a sickening crash. Hill was leading on Im Sir Blake when the pacer choked down and veered out before crashing into Major Exclusive (Darby McGuigan) and leaving Culture King (Paul Cavallaro) with nowhere to go. The horrific pile up left Hill and Cavallaro seriously injured, Cavallaro with a broken wrist and severe lacerations to his face and Hill requiring surgeons to later insert 12 pins and two plates to repair bones, ligaments and cartilage in her left knee and shin. In a strange twist of fate, Hill and Cavallaro had been involved in another shocking crash in 2010 at almost the same spot at Globe Derby - on that occasion, Hill was off the scene for an extended period, again with traumatic injuries including a broken jaw and head and facial injuries. Hill's return to the spider has been no walk in the park with months of rehab needed to strengthen the muscles supporting the damaged bones and ligaments. "I was hoping for swimming and massages - that would have been nice! The rehab team have been great, but they basically just told me to hit the gym, three days a week, so that's what I've done," Hill said. "I needed to bear weight and create and strengthen muscles to support a long-term recovery. And strangely enough I've actually turned into a bit of a gym junky. "It's not something I have ever done before, because with horses you don't really need exercise and let's face it, you don't have the time - but definitely it makes you feel different and stronger and I've really loved it. I'll probably need to keep it up, but that's not a bad thing at all." Hill and her brother Wayne followed the family trade of harness racing and she shares a passion for horses with her partner, trainer David Harding. Danielle and Wayne Hill combined to finish second at Mildura yesterday with Robbo She said being away from the stables was one of the things she found hardest about her layoff. "It was hard to stay away. You can only watch so much TV and I'm not into just sitting around anyway," she said. "I had a gopher and I just used to putt around the stables and around the horses and keep up with what was going on. "People said to me don't you think about getting hurt again, or if something goes wrong, but you just want to get back to it because it's what you love. "Yes, sure it's in the back of my mind, but I'm not worried about my leg - you can still drive with a prosthesis! It's the head you've got to worry about, and I'll worry about looking after that first. "But the thing with both of my bad accidents is that they were just that - freak accidents. They were no one's fault and that's part of what we do in our job. "I hear people every day talking about having to deal with this or that client, or this or that customer, or some terrible workplace. That's not me. I get to come out here and work with these guys - the horses. "How lucky am I that I can do this for a living? I just can't wait to get back out there." Hill has won the past three South Australian Driver's premierships, and, at the time of the February incident was a runaway leader for the 2019 title. It took her brother Wayne until June 8 to reel in his sister's lead in the title. Ken Rogers has since claimed the lead with 98 (Hill on 95 - and Danielle will take up where she left off in February, on 82 wins.) "I've still got time to catch them, don't you reckon?" Hill quipped. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

CHESTER PA - Trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras each had three wins in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes second preliminary round harness racing action for two-year-old trotting fillies Friday afternoon on a hot day at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the pair combining twice, including with the fastest divisional winner, Sister Sledge. The Father Patrick - Behindclosedoors miss Sister Sledge won a Sire Stakes in his first purse start, then caught the eye of many when she followed by winning a Pennsylvania All-Stars division in 1:53.4 - the fastest time of the year by any baby trotter, regardless of sex or size of track. On Friday Gingras let her work her way to the top past a :28 opener, get a :58 rest to the half, pick up the pace to 1:26.4 at the three-quarters, then scooted home with her in :28.2 to complete the 1:55.1 package, holding off Sherry Lyns Lady, also a PaSS winner earlier, by a confident length. Sister Sledge won thee qualifiers before her three purse victories, and has already earned $53,020 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, along with #1 status in this section to date. The other Gingras-Burke team victory was with the debutante Crucial, another daughter of Father Patrick out of Jolene Jolene, who also raced on the lead, then was extended through the stretch by Word Of Honor. The latter popped out of the pocket at headstretch and fought hard only to miss by a nose, though Crucial was only under mild encouragement in her bow. The successful freshman, who had prepped with two winning qualifiers, is owned by much of the same team as Sister Sledge: Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, W J Donovan, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The third member of the Burke Brigade to get home first was the Muscle Hill - Flawless Lindy filly Sans Defaut, who had by far the toughest trip of the three, yet still was successful in 1:57 to follow up an All-Stars victory with another stakes triumph. Sans Defaut ("flawless" in French) was spotted fourth before the quarter by driver Matt Kakaley, then had to come first-over, but she grinded to the stretch lead, then held off 30-1 shot Decoy by ¾ of a length. The bulk of her ownership is a group of which you have already read quite a bit - Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms Racing, and J&T Silva - Purnel & Libby. Gingras' third Sire Stakes success came behind the Explosive Matter - Flyer Mel filly Queen Of The Hill, another two-time PaSS winner after leaving swiftly and controlling the tempo, then winning by 4¼ lengths while lowering her speed mark to 1:57.1, last half :58.1. Per Engblom trains the talented juvenile for owner Al Libfeld. The other stakes division produced a $64.40 upsetter in the Muscle Hill - Kadealia filly Sorella, a breaker in her purse bow, but here flat and coming her own last half in :57.2 to win in 1:58, two lengths clear of the opposition. Crawford Farms Racing, who was co-owner on an earlier Sires winner, partners with Elmer Fannin on this filly   In anticipation of the extremely high heat index forecast for Sunday, Harrah's Philadelphia announces that the card already drawn and finalized for Sunday will now be raced on Monday afternoon, with a post time of 12:25 p.m.   The Jackpot Hi-5 pool carryover will be at $47,222.38 for the Monday card's race five.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, July 19, 2019 -- With its rich purse and tradition, the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows usually attracts a mix of top national performers and emerging local harness racing hopefuls. Such is the case with the 53rd edition of the Adios this year. The 26-horse field loaded with prominent talent includes two locally connected contenders, Wild Wild Western and Volley Ball Beach, each trained by The Meadows-based Norm Parker. "I've been pretty lucky over the years to come up with horses for the Adios," Parker says. "We're here, it's our home track, and it's nice to take the shot." The $475,000 Adios kicks off Saturday at The Meadows with three $25,000 eliminations (races 7, 8, 10); the top three finishers in each elim return for the final. The card, which begins at 1:05 PM, also features a pair of stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. The $400,000 final anchors a July 27 program that includes a total of six Grand Circuit stakes as well as a $50,000 Invitational Pace. Foiled Again, who retired as the richest Standardbred all time with more than $7.6 million in earnings, will lead the post parades for the Adios and the Invitational, which has been named in his honor. First post Adios Day is 11:25 AM, with the Adios final scheduled as race 15. Locally based horses long have made noise in the Adios, but it wasn't until 1986 that one of them, Barberry Spur, captured the orchids. Team Spur -- including owner Roy Davis and trainer/driver Dick Stillings -- campaigned Barberry Spur. The late Davis' business, Royal Travel, was headquartered just off the main entrance to The Meadows, so Barberry Spur couldn't have been much more local. When Pine Valley won the 2001 Adios for The Meadows-based trainer David Knight, his ownership group included western Pennsylvanians Daniel Miller and Charles Gajda. And the Burkes of nearby Fredericktown have won a pair of Adios titles -- in 2007 with May June Character when family patriarch Mickey Burke headed the operation, and last year's event, won by Dorsoduro Hanover for Mickey's son Ron, harness racing's perennial leading conditioner. Parker has started four horses in the Adios before this year, with mixed success. In 2013, Mattamerican failed to reach the final but took the consolation; he continues to perform in fast classes today. In 2015, Angelo J. Fra reached the final but broke stride there and finished ninth. On paper, the Adios elims look wide open, and Parker considers his horses live. "There are a lot of competitive colts in here -- that's why we got 26 of them," Parker says. "I know neither one of my horses is the best, but they're competitive with the others. They could make it interesting." Unraced at 2, Wild Wild Western (race 7, post 6, Mike Wilder) has earned more than $112,000 this year, third best in his elimination. Jacobs Creek Racing, Andrew Altobelli and John Deters purchased the son of Western Ideal-Caila Fra for $55,000 as a yearling. Deters, by the way, is no stranger to big races. He was part of the ownership group for Numeric Hanover when she won the 2003 Jugette. Wild Wild Western winning a March 15 late closer series leg at The Meadows Wild Wild Western took a Pennsylvania Sires Stake leg this year; in another, he was second to the speedy Southwind Ozzi, the morning line favorite in the third Adios elim. "He has good gate speed, but gate speed is relevant to who else is in the race," Parker says. "He's calm and well mannered. I'm looking forward to racing him for years to come. You know how hard nice horses are to come by." Bred and owned by Bob Key, Volley Ball Beach (race 8, post 8, Tony Hall), has blistering speed, which Parker calls "the best and worst attribute at the same time" for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Alladorable (a full sister to Mattamerican). "When you move with him," Parker says, "he wants to go 1,000 miles per hour the rest of the way -- even if a horse is covering him up. We've made a lot of equipment changes to try to get him to respect the way we want him to race. Our job is to get him to use his speed at the right time." While Parker is confident his colts can go with their opponents, he's more worried about a more traditional foe -- the weather. With forecasts calling for a 100+ heat index for the next few days, Parker has trained his horses earlier in the morning, reduced their workload and increased their fluid intake. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

YONKERS, N.Y. – Mike Napoli hit 267 home runs during his Major League Baseball (MLB) career, has 28 victories as a Thoroughbred racehorse owner, and now the 37-year-old is chasing his first win as a harness racing owner in the claiming ranks at Yonkers Raceway. A first baseman and catcher during a 12-year MLB run that included stints playing for the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians, Napoli is also a lifelong horse racing fan. Growing up in South Florida, Napoli frequently attended the races at Calder Race Course with his grandfather as he chased his dreams of becoming a professional baseball player.  Napoli was drafted in 2000 at age 19 and played in the minor leagues until 2005. Napoli made his MLB debut in 2006 and hit a homerun in his first MLB at-bat. Napoli was behind the plate for the post season in 2011 with the Rangers, in 2013 for the Red Sox, and in 2016 for the Indians.  When Napoli retired from baseball in December 2018, he sought action of a different kind. Through mutual friends, Napoli met a racing manager at Gulfstream Park during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Napoli realized for the amount he was wagering on the races, he could get involved as an owner. The pair hit it off and exchanged numbers.  Napoli claimed his first Thoroughbred in January 2019. One quickly grew to seven and seven grew to 12. Within four months, the stable stood at 25-strong. Year-to-date, Napoli’s runners have won 28 races from 65 starts and placed another 19 times, good for $553,170. Napoli’s horses compete mainly in Florida, New Jersey, and New York.  Napoli took his first owner’s title at the Gulfstream Park meet that concluded June 30, topping the list with 16 victories. He also won his first stakes race when Heading Home took the $75,000 Jersey Girl Handicap at Monmouth Park July 7.  An avid racing fan and bettor, Napoli and his racing manager were enjoying an evening watching harness racing at the Meadowlands and Yonkers via simulcast. Whether fueled by the need for more action, the desire to try something new, or just too many beers, Napoli and his manager decided to dive into the harness game. New to the harness business, Napoli’s racing manager received Jenn Bongiorno’s number from a friend. He saw the trainer’s high win percentage and Italian heritage and was sold. Bongiorno recommended claiming the roan 10-year-old pacer Gypsy Leather and Napoli, a particular fan of gray horses, and his manager concurred. Knowing Yonkers was the place they wanted to be due to the good drivers, trainers, and purses, Napoli was in the box June 14. He claimed the 42-time winner from Brittany Robertson for $20,000.   Gypsy Leather debuted for Bongiorno and Napoli June 21, finishing second for a $25,000 tag after a pocket-sitting trip. He was the runner up again July 5 after setting the pace in a $25,000 claiming handicap and last out July 12, closed from 12 lengths behind to finish second by a nose from post eight. Napoli and his manager immediately noticed the primary difference between owning a Thoroughbred and a Standardbred is the timing between races. They often wait a month between starts at the flat track, but get action every week at the harness track. Although their business and expertise are anchored in the Thoroughbred game, Napoli’s racing manager conceded the economics of harness ownership appear to make more sense. Gypsy Leather will be back in action Friday night (July 19) at Yonkers. He will start from post four in a $25,000 claiming handicap and is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the six-horse field. Should Napoli get his first win as a harness owner in this spot, his racing manager, who wished to remain anonymous, predicts the star will be celebrating from South Florida. “I would say he’ll probably jump through the TV. He gets real excited,” he said. “We’ve had discussions about hitting a home run or about winning a race. He says it’s close to being the same. The racing, he gets butterflies in his stomach, he gets real excited and nervous. We discussed hitting a home run with 50,000 people in the stands and millions watching on TV. He says that was his job, it wasn’t really the same thing. Even though we’re a claiming operation right now, to us, you get that ‘W’ and it’s still a great feeling to win.” With continued success, Napoli could expand his harness stable. He is looking forward to visiting Bongiorno’s New Jersey stable, where he will doubtlessly enjoy another perk of harness racing: jogging his own horse. If his brief history as a Thoroughbred owner is any indication, Napoli could be at the top of the harness owners’ leaderboard in no time. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY    

No 2-year-old trotter was faster than Cantab Fashion last season, but it's been a slow trek back to action for harness racing trainer Jim Campbell's colt. Cantab Fashion will make his 2019 debut Saturday (July 20) in the first of two $50,450 divisions of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes at The Meadowlands, where his performance will help determine whether he can be ready for the sport's premier event for 3-year-old trotters, the Hambletonian, Aug. 3 at the Big M. Last year, Cantab Fashion put together a five-race win streak, including two stakes victories at Lexington's Red Mile, during his seven-start campaign and tied for the season's fastest time with a 1:51.4 mile. "He's definitely a talented colt, has got a lot of speed, but it hasn't been easy this year, that's for sure," said Campbell, who trains Cantab Fashion for breeder/owner Fashion Farms. "I wish we were coming in under different circumstances, but he's had some issues, which is why we're starting in the middle of July instead of the middle of May. "I've got no bold predictions or anything like that. I don't know how he's going to be. The Hambletonian is coming up in two weeks and I don't know if we're going to make it, or not make it, or what the deal is. That's why we want to get him raced on Saturday and see how he does. If he goes good Saturday night, we could come back and get a race into him the following week as well. "It's hard to get a good reading on him because he doesn't train as well as he goes in a race. You'll know (how he is) when I know." Cantab Fashion is among 17 Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the two Tompkins-Geers divisions. Following this weekend's action, there is one more stakes prep for the Hambletonian, the Reynolds on July 27 at The Meadowlands. Campbell is not alone in wanting to get a look at a Hambletonian hopeful prior to the big event. Aldebaranwalkabout, who won two of seven races last year for trainer Jonas Czernyson, is making his second start of 2019 in the first division of the Tompkins-Geers. He finished fourth in a conditioned race June 28 at The Meadowlands, timed in 1:53.1 with a final quarter-mile of :26.3. "We got a slow start with him, but I think he's pretty nice right now," said Czernyson, who trains the colt for Aldebaran Park Inc. "I let him tell me when he was ready, and it looks like it's paying off. I like him a lot the way we are right now. I think we're going in the right direction. I wanted to have one more start in him, like last week, but I couldn't get him in. I trained him up good and he's having a very good week at home, so I'm excited. "I'm going to see how he races Saturday and make up my mind from there. I don't know if I want to go three weeks in a row (prior to the Hambletonian). But I might race him in the Reynolds to make sure he's tight and ready." Aldebaranwalkabout was second-placed-first in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last year. "We had some issues last year; he was growing a lot," Czernyson said. "He was tall and gangly. He's filled out now. He needed a little more time last year, but he showed me a couple of times that he acted like he wanted to be a good horse." Cantab Fashion is 10-1 on the morning line while Aldebaranwalkabout is 12-1. The first division's 2-1 favorite is Green Manalishi S, who finished second to Swandre The Giant last week in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. Green Manalishi S has won six of 13 career races, with six seconds and a third. "We thought he raced OK," said trainer Marcus Melander, who trains the colt for Courant Inc. "You always want to win but I think he needed that race. It was only his third start of the year and after the race we decided we wanted to race him one more time. He's a big horse and he needed one more race. I think this race was the perfect race to be in because we'll have two weeks to the Hambo." Green Manalishi S is No. 5 on Meadowlands Racetrack announcer/analyst Ken Warkentin's Road to the Hambletonian Top 10. Pilot Discretion, who is No. 3, and Marseille, who is No. 9, are in the second division of the Tompkins-Geers. Saturday's Meadowlands card also includes two divisions of the Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old female trotters, with 15 Hambletonian Oaks-eligible fillies in action, and the final of the Mr Muscleman Series for open trotters. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The $430,000C Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotters and pacers gets underway this weekend at the Hippodrome 3R with seven divisions of competition. The series features three weeks of preliminary competition with the top eight point earners in each division returning on Sunday, September 8 for their respective $55,000C finals. The young trotters are first in the spotlight Friday evening with two divisions, one each for the fillies and colts. The fillies see action first in the third race. Muscle Beauty is the early favorite from post six for driver Pascal Berube and trainer Serge Nadeau. This daughter of Muscle Mass, the only foal from the game raceway mare, Ocean Mist Beauty, already has a win in the Quebec Regional Fair last week at H3R. She is co-owned by Nadeau with Scott-Marcel Brouillard of St-Marcel-De Richelieu. She will be taking on three daughters from the great racehorse, Wheeling N Dealin, the best of which is Persue Justice from post five for driver Daniel Laflamme and Miss Sofia (post two) for driver Stephane Gendron. The colts are in action in the sixth race where another foal of Wheeling N Dealin, Kenogami Coco, is the overwhelming favorite from post one. A half-brother to 2,1:59.2 winner Kenogami Darling, Kenogami is trained by Dany Fountaine and was bred by Jean Francois Reid, who co-owns the gelding with Marie Claude Reid of Anjou. He ships to Quebec from Mohawk Raceway, where he finished seventh, timed in 1:59.1, in the $108,000C Ontario Gold Cup. He will be driven by Stephane Brosseau. Other contenders include Major Bay (post 5), a son of Amigo Hall, Babidibou (post six), sired by Royalty For Life and Indi (post three), a son of Val Taurus. Post time on Friday is 7:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. On Sunday there are four divisions (two for fillies and two for colts) of the Future Stars Series for the pacers. Standouts include undefeated Whitecookie (post one) in the third race for the colts. This son of Windfall Blue Chip has won twice in 1:58.2, and 1:58.3 at Rideau Carleton Raceway for owner, trainer and driver Marie Claude Auger. Another top colt is the Bettors Delight son, My Bettors Del (post five) in the sixth race. Although winless in three starts this season, he has been racing against the best in Ontario for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation and Gestion Ham Audet, Inc. of Portneuf. My Bettors Del won a qualifier in 1:57 but just last week was second in a $23,500C Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots division race-timed in 1:54.2. He will be taking on three recent winners, Kinnder Big Boss (post one), Eclat De Rire (post three) and Saloon Magic (post four). Post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

MILTON, JULY 18, 2019 - Fillies of both the pacing and trotting persuasion invaded Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday night for six Grassroots and two Gold Series divisions and sophomore trotting filly Bright Eyes M delivered a standout harness racing performance in the first $105,600 Gold contest, romping to a four length victory in 1:53. Sent off as the heavy favourites, regular reinsman Stephen Byron and Bright Eyes M went straight to the front from Post 7 and reached the quarter pole in :27.1. Byron eased off the accelerator in the second quarter, reaching the half in :57.2, which allowed Royal Esteem to catch Bright Eyes M and lead the field to a 1:25 three-quarters. Royal Esteem's lead was short lived however, as Bright Eyes M powered down the stretch to her third straight Gold Series victory. Royal Esteem was a comfortable second, one length ahead of Mercedes Talma. "You get a little nervous when that happens, but I was always worried about her being on the front end because she can stop up on you. She's getting a little more manageable all the time, but she's certainly got her own mind," said trainer John Bax of Royal Esteem rolling past the fan favourite. "She's got the desire, you can't teach that," the Campbellville resident continued. "She digs in and she says, 'I'm taking this, get the heck out of my way'." In her seven sophomore starts Bright Eyes M has posted five wins and two seconds, banking $208,505 for owners Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. Her next Gold Series start is on August 13 at Georgian Downs and Bax says the Kadabra filly will likely make one overnight start before then. "I've got to decide what to do on that, but so far it's been like every two weeks and that's pretty nice," said the trainer. "I think she could use it and I think it's good for her mental state as much as her physical state. I'll play it by ear, give her a week off and then see where we go from there." The other $105,600 Gold Series split saw Teddys Littleangel catch fan favourite Haveoneforme in the stretch to record her second straight Gold win. Driver Doug McNair moved Teddys Littleangel smartly away from Post 6 and the filly led the field to a :28.2 quarter before yielding to the heavily favoured Haveoneforme. Haveoneforme marched on to a :57.4 half and 1:26.1 three-quarters and turned for home one and one-half lengths in front, but Teddys Littleangel had something in reserve and got a neck in front at the wire to claim the 1:54.4 victory. Haveoneforme settled for second and Angies Luckeylady closed hard for third. "She was really good tonight, nice easy fractions and she kicked home when she had too," said Ted MacDonnell, who trains Teddys Littleangel for owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, ON. Teddys Littleangel was also a narrow winner in the July 3 Gold Series event at Grand River Raceway and MacDonnell is relieved to see the winner of $266,893 getting back on track after a shaky start to the sophomore campaign. "It's just been a work in progress. Her blood kind of got out of kilter on me and just a few little things," said Allenford, ON resident MacDonnell. "I think we've got her back now, she seems back to her hold self." Like Bax, MacDonnell will be looking for one start for the Archangel daughter before the August 13 Gold Series event. Flanking the Gold Series divisions were six Grassroots splits for the two-year-old pacing fillies and fractional ownership venture TheStable.ca captured two of them with Capistrano and Wiggle Delight. Capistrano made it back-to-back Grassroots victories with an impressive effort in the first $23,150 division. The Warrawee Needy daughter and driver Phil Hudon controlled the tempo from Post 1, rolling through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.1, but appeared to be bested in the stretch before clawing their way back to a head victory in 1:53.4. Challenger Landry Seelster settled for second and Look N Fabulous finished third. "Capistrano clearly has no quit in her. From Day 1, being a smaller filly, everyone cheered for her in the barn," said TheStable.ca founder and president Anthony MacDonald of Guelph. "Her popularity has only grown with the addition of Doug Gilmour to the ownership and her hard fought victory tonight." NHL Hall of Famer Gilmour joined TheStable Capistrano Group after the filly won her division of the July 9 Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a commanding effort from Post 9. Phil Hudon drove Capistrano for the first time in her debut and has clearly hit it off with the filly, who is trained for TheStable.ca by Harry Poulton of Milton, ON. Wiggle Delight won the fifth division with a 1:54 effort over fan favourite Got Power and No Where To Hide. It was the Bettors Delight daughter's first lifetime win after starting her career with a seventh-place result in the July 8 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Acton, ON resident Mario Baillargeon trains and drives Wiggle Delight for TheStable.ca clients Panic Stable LLC of Itasca, IL. "Wiggle Delight found some class relief to her liking tonight," noted MacDonald. "Mario and James (MacDonald) have always thought very highly of her and she certainly looked good tonight." The other Grassroots winners were Sportswriter fillies Coqui Coqui and Preeminence who both stopped the clock at 1:54.2, Sunshine Beach daughter Sunshine Hall in 1:55.1 and Shadow Play filly Scotians Shadow in 1:54.4. The two-year-old pacing fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Hanover Raceway on August 24. Woodbine Mohawk Park fans will be treated to a second round of two-year-old pacing filly action on Friday, July 19 as the Campbellville oval hosts a pair of $106,400 Gold Series divisions. Friday's program gets under way at 7:50 pm and the fillies will be featured in Races 3 and 8. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0718wbsbsn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

Shake That House (Brian Sears) did just that as he set the harness racing track record for 3-year-old pacing colts in 1:47.4 at Vernon Downs (July 18). It was during the $58,700 first of two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Major March (Jason Bartlett) went to the front and led to a first quarter of :26.1 and the half in :54.0. Shake that House ($2.30) went first over just before the half and zoomed right by to take over as they headed around the final turn. He hit three-quarters in 1:20.2. It was a :26.2 third quarter. Shake That House, who is is trained by Chris Oakes for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Alan Johnston, and Northfork Racing Stable, made the turn for home and breezed to a last quarter of :27.2 to easily set the track record for sophomore colts in 1:47.4. He beat the mark of 1:48.4 that was set by Courtly Choice last season. He was just one-fifth of a second off the overall track record. Hickfromfrenchlick (Mark MacDonald) finished second. Major March was third best. Shake That House is a 3-year-old colt by American Ideal. It was his sixth win of seven starts this season. He now has nine career victories. Trainer Chris Oakes swept both divisions of the NYSS as American Mercury (Tyler Buter) won the $59,800 second division. American Mercury ($2.90) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter. He controlled all the fractions (:26.4, :56.0, 1:23.3, 1:49.4). He is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chris Pompey, and Scott Bice. Second Place finisher World On Edge (Matt Kakaley) tried to make a run in the stretch but never got close to American Mercury. Magic Joe Lindy (Scott Zeron) finished third.                                                                       --Fotowon photo                                               American Mercury is a 3-year-old gelding by American Ideal. He is five for seven this season. He now has seven career victories but none faster than tonight's 1:49.4. Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a 10 race card on Friday (July 19) with a special starting time of 7:10 p.m. Saturday (July 20) will also start at 7:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com .   John Horne for Vernon Downs.

A former Kiwi pacer destined to become a star in NSW has a huge fan in ace Sydney harness racing horseman Robert Morris. Three-year-old gelding Balraj NZ (Art Major-Mahendra (Courage Under Fire) has burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion, with three spine-tingling undefeated runs. Prepared by astute hobby trainer Shaun Simiana, who trains at Hawkesbury, Balraj has not only got faster at each of his three appearances on Australian soil, but his winning margins have got bigger. Morris was understandably impressed with Balraj's first two runs, but his most recent start at Newcastle took the cake when he absolutely blew away his rivals to set a new track record of 1.50-9 and a winning margin of 55.9 metres! "The horse has been a bit of a surprise packet because he's still got a lot to learn, which might sound scary," Morris said. "He's still a little green and certainly not your typical horse that glides along. He can get on one rein at times, as well as become a little rough," he said. "But incredibly, while there's a lot for Balraj to learn, there doesn't seem to be an ending to him. The horse is quite unreal in the way he just gets the job done. "There's certainly some fun times ahead for Shaun (trainer) and his three mates who purchased the horse. He's certainly exciting and Shaun has him looking an absolute picture." Newcastle Harness Racing Club secretary-manager Wayne Smith believed Monday's winning margin was the biggest seen at the track, beating the effort of the Shane Tritton-trained Arms Of An Angel (32.4m) in 2015. Balraj blitzes them!  The photo finish of this week’s record-breaking Newcastle run Prior to crossing the Tasman Sea, Balraj had three unplaced runs at Addington, Rangiora and Omakau, but then turned it around with two wins at Forbury. Two months later, Simiana produced his newly-acquired pacer at Penrith where they won a qualifying trial over 1720m in two minutes. It was four weeks later when they returned to Penrith, but this time it was at the races. Morris worked forward in the early stages, and despite having to balance him up on the final bend, Balraj was too good. He won by 7.1 metres in 1.58-7. The next assignment was Newcastle on June 14. After galloping for a few strides at the start, the youngster again went forward. Morris allowed him to stretch out over the final stages and they recorded a 25.7m victory in an impressive 1.52-7. But it was his latest performance at Newcastle that has everyone, rightfully so, touting Balraj as a shining star of the future. In taking out the $6360 Tooheys Pace by one of the biggest winning margins ever seen at the venue, the pacer eclipsed the previous track record of 1.51-4 held by Majordan, by half a second. "I knew we were running along, but the time did surprise me," Morris said. "The third quarter was 26.4 and he went a bit awkward around the bend, but then he straightened up and dug in again with a final split of 27.9. He's got some class about him." Morris said Simiana had only ever worked small teams of horses. "He's always had one or two going around and does them as a hobby around his work. "They decided to buy one from New Zealand with the idea of having a bit of fun. They all love the sport and I'm certain they are in for some great times." Morris, 27, who began driving professionally just over a decade ago, has now landed more than 1250 winners. The Menangle Park based reinsman forms a formidable combination with his talented, horse training wife Kerry Ann.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Scarborough, Maine - July 18, 2019 ... Bruce Ranger pieced together a remarkable performance on Thursday (7/18) as the veteran harnes racing driver and "comeback kid" won six consecutive races at Scarborough Downs while completely dominating the nine race mid-week card. The fans, apparently sensing an epic performance in the making, sent Ranger to the gate as the post time favorite in all nine of his appearances, but their faith in the state of Maine native pilot did not begin paying dividends until the Ranger rampage was set loose in the fourth, as he guided Smart Balance through a gate-to-wire victory march for trainer Nicole Hardy. The juggernaut continued with a 1:57.2 score behind a headstrong Shrinkwrap (the second training win of the day for Hardy); Tricia Star (the fifth consecutive win for the Aaron Hall trainee); Plus One (the fourth consecutive win for the Buddy Burke trainee); Pop A Top Pop (one of two wins on the card for trainer Eric Davis); and concluded with San Antony-O (the 63rd career victory for the 14-year-old veteran pacer). Ranger, who is in the midst of his first full season back at the races after coming out of retirement in October of 2018, passed the 9000 career win plateau just last month at Bangor Raceway and sits as the third leading state of Maine native in career wins, trailing only Billy Parker, Jr (11,311) and Walter Case, Jr (11,049). After his six-pack performance on Thursday, Ranger now resides in third place on the Scarborough Downs leader's board with 37 seasonal scores, just 2 wins back of Kevin Switzer, Jr who resides in second place and 14 wins shy of the perennial powerhouse, Drew Campbell, who leads the driving colony at the Downs with 51 top tallies. Live harness racing is featured three day a week at Scarborough Downs with 4:30 pm (EDT) twilight cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays while the popular Sunday matinees go to post at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Haras des Trotteurs are delighted to announce that Swedish Group 1-winning stallion Volstead, who went 1.51.5 on a 1000m track, will stand the coming harness racing season at Cardigan (Ballarat) and will be available to both New Zealand and Australian breeders. This will make the beautifully American-bred stallion the first son of Cantab Hall to be available as a chilled semen option in the Southern Hemisphere. Cantab Hall has become an outstanding sire of sires with with his sons Father Patrick, Explosive Matter and Uncle Peter all in the top 10 of 3YOs US sires this season An outstanding competitor in Sweden’s elite gold division Volstead raced out of the top Swedish barn of Stefan Melander and won 5.87M SEK from 23 of his 72 race starts including the Group 1 King’s Cup and the prestigious Sweden Cup, or Little Elitlopp, in 2017. Volstead Sweden Cup He qualified for the Elitloppet the following year where he just missed out on the final (won by his stablemate Nuncio) and was also an unlucky second to Nuncio in the Group 1 Swedish Sprint Masters, after sitting parked the whole race, getting to the front in the shadows of the post only for his stablemate to come off his back and nab him on the line. Volstead and Johnny Takter “Volstead was very fast from the beginning when we started training him and was a very very strong horse.” said his Swedish owner-trainer Stefan Melander. “Volstead could race on the outside the whole race. If it was a distance race or a mile race, it didn't matter and he could still win racing outside the entire race. Melander bought Volstead as a yearling because of his great conformation and excellent pedigree (by Cantab Hall from a Yankee Glide mare) with a tremendous number of stakes winners and race horses he said. ‘I have retained breedings to breed my own mares in USA as I can see Volstead within the next five years becoming highly successful and one of the top trotting Stallions in the world,” said Melander. Volstead will stand for $A5500 (gst inclusive) and $NZ5000 + gst  at Haras des Trotteurs in Cardigan, Victoria, alongside successful group winning French stallion Used To Me. Both stallions will be available in chilled semen form in Australia and New Zealand. Multi-mare discounts are available, with a special single mare discount available for Volstead for VSTA  and NZSBA members.   In Australia contact; Karen Starr karen@harasdestrotteurs.com.au M: +61 459 342 525 ‚Äč In New Zealand contact; Dave Sanders dave@harasdestrotteurs.com.au M: +64 212 452 584  

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