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After his mare went four-for-four in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series preliminary races, owner Tom Pollack wasn't about to get too technical about Alexa Skye's chances in Monday's (April 19) $232,800 final for older female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. "If luck's shining on you, it is. And if it isn't, it isn't," surmised Pollack of Pollack Racing LLC, which owns the horse along with trainer Jeff Cullipher. "Just as long as you put your best foot forward, and I think she will. "Obviously, we'd love to see her finish the deal on Monday night and win this series. But we're just hoping for a good effort, that's all you can do." The 4-year-old drew post six and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line behind Blue Ivy at 2-1. Pollack admitted that things broke right for Alexa Skye in her four races in the series as she was able to take charge in the short fields. "She's made her mark right at the beginning and that kind of garnered the respect of the other ones in there," Pollack said. "We've been able to get to the lead fairly easily and kind of dictate the races. From that standpoint it's been great." In Monday's eight-horse final, Blue Ivy will start from post three. She won three times and finished second twice in the preliminary rounds. Machnhope, a two-time winner in the series, is 4-1 from post one while Siesta Beach, also a prelim winner, is 5-1 from post two. "Obviously when the money's on the line, that's why they hold the race," Pollack said. "Anything can happen. All eight horses can probably win. We're going to have to earn it, for sure." Speaking of earnings, Alexa Skye has already garnered a career-high $117,250 this year by winning seven of nine starts and finishing second by a head and a nose in the other two. She has already tied her career-best seven wins (in 17 starts) from last year and far surpassed her purse money of $63,430. The mare, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Pirouette Hanover, was bought by Pollack on Feb. 17. She had already won three of four races when the transaction was completed. Pollack was contacted by an agent he hadn't previously worked with and was immediately interested after having seen Alexa Skye at The Meadowlands last year and seeing her dominance early this season. "We want to be in the game," the western Pennsylvania native said. "We're not huge yearling players outside of Indiana, we're more into the aged racehorse game. Having a chance to get one that's eligible to all these Grand Circuit races and performing at that level, she was too good to pass up. The fact she comes from a good family and has some breeding value when she's done racing made it even easier to pull the trigger." After being off for three weeks, she finished second by a nose for her new owners before rolling through the Matchmaker prelims. Pollack estimates he and Cullipher own around 70 horses together and each one has their responsibility. "I'm the legs of finding and acquiring," he said. "That's my forte. He sticks more toward training them. But when I find horses, he's watching replays or talking to folks he knows who might have been associated with the horse. That's kind of the way our partnership works." And the duo appears to have nailed it with this latest acquisition. Pollack hoped she would be good, but is pleasantly surprised about the success so far. "Obviously, you could have never predicted we'd be racing in five- or six-horse fields in the Matchmaker (prelims) for $35,000 a week and then the $230,000 final after that. It kind of looks like I knew what I was doing in buying her, with her kind of being one of the top dogs in this series." Alexa Skye is staked to the Grand Circuit in the U.S. this year, but her connections will skip Canadian stakes due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 protocols, and also because of the length of the six-week Matchmaker. But she will be a busy mare and appears ready for the grind. Asked what he likes most about the horse, the owner noted two specifics. "Number one, the fact she is so versatile; she can win at Yonkers or the Meadowlands," Pollack said. "And number two is her toughness. She's kind of all business. She's a sweetheart to be around in the barn but once she gets on the track, she's all business. Hopefully, she's ready with her A game Monday, that's all you can ask." Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Monday at Yonkers. The Matchmaker final is race seven on the card, which also includes the $514,000 final of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for older males (race eight) as well as consolations for both series. For complete entries, click here. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing driver Tim Tetrick recently returned to The Meadowlands after spending the winter racing at Dover Downs, and based on Saturday night's results, the 39-year-old Hall of Famer hasn't missed a Big M beat by winning four races on the card, including both $30,000 features, one on the pace and the other on the trot. Ana Afreet N, back from an unsuccessful stint at Yonkers racing in the Borgata series where he finished no better than fourth in three starts, held off 3-5 favorite Colossal Stride A in a thrilling finish in the Preferred for pacers back at the track where he was an impressive wire-to-wire winner on March 6. Tetrick was intent on racing on the point in the seven-horse field. "If they were going to go a half in :55," said Tetrick. "I might as well be cutting it and make that horse of Dexter's [Dunn, driving Colossal Stride A] chase me, so it just worked out. My horse is a nice horse, he just didn't like the four turns at Yonkers. It just didn't agree with him and he couldn't get around there." Around two turns at The Big M, it was a far different story. Yacht Seelster was on the move early and looped Ana Afreet N to grab the lead at the quarter in :27.2. Tetrick immediately moved Ana Afreet N back to the lead and hit the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.3. Colossal Stride A, the 3-5 favorite, moved from the four-hole just after the half and made his way closer to the leader gradually while racing first-over, and continued his constructive grind throughout the stretch drive. But at the wire, it was Ana Afreet N holding on by a diminishing nose. Vettel N was third. The time for the mile was 1:49.4. ANA AFREET N REPLAY   "I was a little nervous [in deep stretch]," said Tetrick. "Especially when you look back and have Dex coming at you. Luckily, my horse dug in and made me look good." Trained by Jeff Cullipher and owned by Pollack Racing and Cullipher, Ana Afreet N returned $8.40 to win as the second choice in the betting. The 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight - Anna Livia has now won 24 of 50 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $198,272. In the marquee trot, Scirocco Rob stayed on a roll, as the Mark Silva trainee won for the fourth time in five starts. The 6-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter - Fun At Parties stopped the clock in an eye-popping 1:50.3 to lower his previous lifetime best by a full second. Things could not have gone any better for the 4-5 favorite, who worked out an ideal pocket trip behind the speedy Nows The Moment (Mark MacDonald), who cut out fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.2 before Tetrick tipped Scirocco Rob out of the pocket with an eighth of a mile to go and roared home to an easy 4¼-length score. Nows The Moment held second with Morairtime third. SCIROCCO ROB REPLAY   "My horse is very versatile," said Tetrick. "Last week, he was second-over at Dover and won. Tonight, it worked out perfect." Sitting off quick fractions in the abbreviated six-horse field (JL Cruze was scratched), Tetrick loved his spot. "I was thinking, just don't fall off," said Tetrick. "I was pretty confident. My horse was tracking so good." "I was just trying to have a little fun," said Tetrick when asked about looking back at MacDonald as he went by in the stretch. "Mark was laughing, I was laughing, so it was kind of fun." Scirocco Rob returned $3.60 to his backers in winning for the 28th time from 81 lifetime starts. His bankroll stands at $551,604 for owners Lewis and Kathleen Whitaker. WHATTA WEEKEND: With the track's two signature Pick-4s accounting for over $240,000 of action to go along with a pair of potent carryovers, all-source wagering totaled $3,782,327. When you add in Friday's $3.23 million handle, that brought the total of $7-million wagering weekends at The Big M to four on the year. CARRYOVER CRAZY: The 20-cent Pick-6 pool started out with $9,019 before $64,105 in "new money" was added for a total of $73,124. Those who hit all six winners collected $877.14. The 10-cent Pentafecta/Hi-5 had a carryover of $32,103 before $84,462 was added for a total of $116,565. Those with tickets bearing the combination of 5-1-9-3-7 cashed in for $141.84. A LITTLE MORE: After only four favorites won on the previous two programs combined, chalk players had smiles on their faces Saturday as six post-time choices hit victory lane. ... Cullipher trained three winners on the card while Bruce Saunders had two. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands

Harness racing owner Tom Pollack and trainer Jeff Cullipher failed to get some of their targeted horses at last month's Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands, but as they prepared to return home, the airport turned out to be as good as the auction ring. Cullipher received a phone call from an agent regarding the possibility of purchasing two-time Ontario Grassroots Series champion trotter Lovedbythemasses. Cullipher and Pollack, who own dozens of horses together, watched replays of the horse's races while sitting in the airport, checked his past performance lines, and decided to pursue a deal. A day later, Lovedbythemasses was part of their stable. On Saturday, the 4-year-old gelding makes his debut for his new owners in the $22,500 conditioned trot at The Meadowlands. "It was fortuitous timing," Pollack said. "The horse looked kind of dominant up (in Canada) in the Grassroots. What we liked about him is that he also raced with the big boys and his lines were more than competitive and respectable. It looked like a chance worth taking. Time will tell. We still really don't know what we have." In addition to his success in the Grassroots Series - where he won nine of 10 races at 2 and 3 combined - the horse tested the Grand Circuit in the Goodtimes Stakes and finished fourth in his elimination and fifth in the final. In both, he started from post eight and was near the rear of the field at three-quarters before rallying to get a check. For his career, Lovedbythemasses, by Muscle Mass out of Incredibility, has won 10 of 20 starts, hit the board a total of 15 times, and earned $143,729. He was trained in Canada by Ed Peconi Jr. and driven by Mike Saftic. "It looks like he likes to race and can get the job done," Cullipher said. "We've only had him a short time, so I'm not going to say we've seen a lot or any one thing that jumps out at us, but so far we like him. He qualified well. We'll race him a few times and see what we've got." Lovedbythemasses enters his seasonal bow Saturday off a 1:55.1 win in a qualifier Feb. 6 at The Meadowlands. He is 8-1 on the morning line. JL Cruze is the 3-1 favorite. "It's a tough spot, a salty bunch he's in with, making his first start as a 4-year-old," Pollack said. "But it's good to get him on the track and see how he does. We're still deciding (on staking). We're probably leaning toward putting him in at least anything 4-year-old in nature. I don't know if he's ready for the older bunch, but I think he might be competitive with the 4-year-old bunch for sure." 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  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harambe Deo put on a show Saturday night at The Meadowlands in taking the $20,000 high-end harness racing conditioned pacing feature in a lifetime-best 1:48.4. "He's never predictable," said trainer Jeff Cullipher. "But he will come up large sometimes and then sometimes he'll get beat when you think he shouldn't." The 5-year-old gelded son of Woodstock-Tea Time came up large this time. Driver Simon Allard had the gas pedal all the way down from post six in the seven-horse field (there was one scratch), and to make sure he put 2-1 second choice Western Joe in the two-hole, paced the opening fraction in a sensational :25.4. "When I saw that quarter," said Cullipher. "I said 'he's cooked'." Geez Joe, the 8-5 favorite, sat a three-hole early before powering up to grab the top at the half in a quick :53.3 as Harambe Deo yielded and sat the pocket. But on the far turn - to his trainer's surprise - Harambe Deo pulled out of the two-hole and came after the leader at three-quarters (1:22.1), opened up a 1½-length edge turning for home, then drew clear through the stretch to defeat Geez Joe by 2¼ lengths. Wes Delight was third. "[Harambe Deo] is usually right there," said Cullipher. "But I was surprised Simon kept him alive." Harambe Deo As the fourth choice in the wagering, Harambe Deo - who paced his final quarter in :26.2 - returned $18.80 to win. He now has 15 victories from 80 lifetime starts and earnings of $242,619 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher. THREE PEATS: Cullipher's night did not merely consist of winning the feature, as he sent three to victory lane. ... Bruce Saunders matched Cullipher by also training three winners on the card. ... Corey Callahan topped the drivers with three scores. A LITTLE MORE: Franco Totem N flexed his back-class muscles in taking the first of two Fall Harvest Series Finals (for non-winners of $4,500) on the pace by 3¾ lengths, and in the process, lowered his previous lifetime best by a full second after hitting the wire in 1:49. George Napolitano Jr. drove the 7-year-old gelded son of Changeover-Treaty Franco, who was the even-money public choice, for trainer Nifty Norman. ... Decision Day and Callahan worked out a perfect pocket trip to take the other division (this one for non-winners of $7,600) as the 8-5 second choice. The Saunders trained 5-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Chief Karen hit the wire in 1:49, also lowering his previous lifetime best by a full second. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,245,221. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Tom Pollack calls Endeavor one of his favorite horses and it is not difficult to understand why. The 7-year-old male harness racing pacer possesses a tough-guy attitude and never-give-in style. "I call him The Big Boy," said Pollack, who owns Endeavor with trainer Jeff Cullipher. "He's kind of a hard-hitting blue-collar lunch-pail-type horse. He's the big, strong, grinding type. He's had very few clunkers, he just gives his all every time." Endeavor has won 19 of 49 races and $419,905 in purses for Pollack and Cullipher since they purchased the son of American Ideal-Jett Diamond privately in May 2018. He rose through the conditioned ranks to compete on the Grand Circuit, winning last year's Potomac Pace to go with a second in the Harrah's Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and third in the Dan Patch Stakes. On Saturday, Endeavor races in the preferred at The Meadowlands. He won his seasonal debut on Jan. 4 at the Big M after finishing an outside-trip second in his 2019 finale. "He's been sharp, and you hate to shut him down," Pollack said. "We're giving him until he tells us (to stop) and then he'll have a month or two off before we get into the stakes season." Last year, Endeavor raced in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, now called the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, but is unlikely to head to Yonkers Raceway for this season's event. "We probably did him a disservice putting him in the Levy," Pollack said. "He's a bigger horse and runs in some in the turns. It's not that he can't get around Yonkers, he won a leg of the Levy, but that's not really the best place for him." Endeavor caught Pollack's eye two years ago when he won a preferred handicap at The Meadowlands. Four months later when the horse became available, he made the purchase. Endeavor was sent to Harrah's Hoosier Park and worked himself up the class ladder. After a seventh-place finish in his debut for his new connections, he won six of his next seven. That included a five-race win streak in which he won each start in 1:49.2 or faster. "Jeff did a great job with him," Pollack said. "(Endeavor) took a liking to Hoosier Park and our program. He went on a heck of a run. That's when we knew we were really on to something. Since then, he's been a top-class horse. Capping the year off winning the Potomac Pace was really cool. "We thought we were buying a nice conditioned racehorse. He just got super sharp and confident and was able to maintain that. It's been great. You love to have horses like him. He gives it his all every time out. There's no cheating in him, that's for sure." For his career, Endeavor has won 32 of 110 races and $673,937. Pollack said he expects Endeavor to have a limited Grand Circuit schedule similar to 2019, minus the series at Yonkers. "He's in the class," Pollack said. "He's probably still a little 1A-ish, but we're looking forward to this year. A lot of the free-for-allers retired so we're going to give him shots, especially on the five-eighths and the mile-track races. "We'll see how he does this year. We know that as age creeps in it gets tougher. But based on how he's racing now and how he raced at the end of last year he's still got tread on the tires for sure." Another of the Pollack-Cullipher duo's stakes-winners will be in action Friday at The Meadowlands. Wisdom Tree, a 5-year-old female pacer who was a 2018 New York Sire Stakes champion, is in a conditioned race for fillies and mares. She has won 18 of 49 races and $618,181 in her career. "We're probably getting ready to shut her down for a little bit," Cullipher said. "We won't be at every (stakes) dance, but we're going to try to hit our share." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It was about two months ago when the Jeff Cullipher-trained Endeavor pulled off an 11-1 harness racing upset in the Nov. 10, $100,000 Potomac Invitational Pace at Maryland's Rosecroft Raceway, defeating some tough customers such as Dealt A Winner, American History, Dorsoduro Hanover and Courtly Choice. After that, he failed to hit the wire first in his next four outings, but Saturday night at the Meadowlands, the 7-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Jett Diamond found his way back to the winner's circle, taking the $25,000 featured high-range conditioned pace in 1:50.3 over a track rated 'good' with a -1 variant. On a night when a majority of the races saw winners on the lead or close to it, driver Jim Marohn Jr. moved Endeavor out of the three-hole after the quarter and moved to the top before the half, stopping the clock at that station in :55.1. Endeavor continued to move well over the soggy track, hitting three-quarters in 1:22.4 while clear of the pocket-sitting Shoreview and first-over American Boy N. Through the stretch, Endeavor drew clear of those foes, hitting the wire 1¾ lengths in front of a fast-closing 6-5 favorite Franco Totem N. Keystone Phoenix closed ground late for third. As the 8-5 second choice, Endeavor returned $5.40 to his backers and has now won 32 of 110 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $673,937 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher. "I was very confident in him coming into tonight," said Cullipher. "After the Potomac, right before the TVG, he popped a quarter crack. It was somewhat minor but it put a damper on things because I had him really good. It's completely healed now." Is Endeavor good enough to take on the older male pacing division's best during 2020? "He may not go in every single one of those races," said Cullipher. "But we'll take our chances in some of them." Endeavor REPLAYS ON TVG: To see the replays of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday races, tune in to TVG at 10 a.m. Monday morning. A LITTLE MORE: Fall Meeting leading driver Dexter Dunn, recently named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year, was up to his old tricks, visiting the winner's circle five times on the program. ... Joe Bongiorno had a driving triple, Ron Burke a training double. ... Wagering was strong in the track's two popular multi-leg puzzles. A total of $63,798 was poured into the 50-cent Pick-5 pool while $94,701 was pushed through the windows in the 50-cent Pick-4. ... The Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $94,800. ... All-source wagering on the 14-race card was $2,744,633. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Southwind Chrome shrugged off a late challenger once again on the way to winning a second straight Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, the Preferred for trotters. Last week, the Jeff Cullipher trainee had to deal with Muscle M Up from the far turn to the finish but dug in determinedly to win in a snappy 1:51.4. On Friday night, the 4-year-old son of Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe had to deal with Melady's Monet in the latter stages, but once again proved up to the challenge. Southwind Chrome was asked for speed from the gate from driver Dexter Dunn and provided it, racing wide around the first turn before tucking into the three-hole as JL Cruze hit the quarter in :27. Shortly thereafter, Southwind Chrome was back on the outside moving toward the leader, clearing the top just after the three-eighths and leading at the half in :55.1. Melady's Monet, the 9-5 favorite, was activated first-over at this point and gradually made up ground on the leader but was still 1½ lengths behind when they turned for home. Through the stretch, Southwind Chrome maintained his edge in a thoroughly dominant performance, hitting the wire 1¼ lengths in front of Melady's Monet. JL Cruze held on for third.   Southwind Chrome paid $7.40 to win as the second choice in the wagering after completing the mile in 1:52.1. He now has 11 wins from 31 lifetime starts and earnings of $196,085 for owners Pollack Racing and Cullipher. "I would say he was better tonight than last week," said Cullipher. "When he broke three starts ago, we'll just leave it as a driver's error. He's a little funny with his mouth. He can't stand to be pulled on too much." As for Southwind Chrome's future, Cullipher has high hopes. "(Owner) Tom (Pollack) and I are going to sit down at the beginning of the year and discuss what we are going to do. I think we are going to try many of the older trotting events, races like the Graduate, during 2020." A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Dunn upped his win total at the meeting to 37 after winning five times on the program. ... The Ettore Annunziata-trained Mister Truth pulled off a 78-1 shocker in the eighth race with Vinny Ginsburg driving, keying a 50-cent Pick-4 that came back $3,528.40 in the first of two Toys For Tots Finals (this one for a TrackMaster rating 74.5 or less on the pace) on the program. Piercewave Hanover took the other (for non-winners of $6,500 on the trot). ... All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,210,198. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Anderson, Ind.--November 9, 2019--Harrah's Hoosier Park concluded the 26th season of live harness racing with a 13-race card in front of a packed house on Saturday, November 9. In addition to the racing action, the leading driver and trainer titles were awarded. On the driving side, Trace Tetrick secured his sixth consecutive and eighth leading driver title at Hoosier Park. Tetrick, who is also currently the fourth leading driver in the country by wins, was officially recognized as the 2019 leading driver with 328 victories while amassing over $4.4 million in purse earnings throughout the 160-day season. Sam Widger finished second with 303 victories with John DeLong in third with 256 trips to the winner's circle. The Southern Illinois native started driving in 2003 and has since surpassed the $55 million mark in purse earnings in the bike. As the all-time leading driver in Hoosier Park history, Tetrick recorded his best season to date in 2017 with over $6.8 million in purse earnings and 569 victories. This season, Tetrick recorded his 5,000th career victory earlier in the year and also posted his fourth consecutive season with earnings over the $5 million mark. "I want to thank the owners, trainers, and grooms who put me in the position where I can do well every night," Tetrick noted in the winner's circle. "I'm always focusing on one race at a time and my goal is to win that race. I've had great horses to drive all season and have been lucky to be in the right spots at the right time. I am going to take a few weeks off and take a little vacation before getting back to work at the first of the year and of course, look forward to being ready to go back here in March." "The support of my family and friends has been great," he continued. "My wife Sandy and I are extremely lucky--we welcomed our daughter Chloe this year--and we are surrounded by a lot of great people." Jeff Cullipher, who took home Hoosier Park's top training honors in 2017 and 2018, was officially recognized as the leading trainer of the 2019 season. The Cullipher Stable had an impressive 108 wins and amassed over $1.7 million in purse earnings throughout the 160-day season. Peter Redder finished second in the leading trainer standings with 62 wins while Jamie Macomber finished third with 61. After recording his first million dollar season as a trainer in 2017 with his stable netting over $1.2 million in purse earnings and 102 victories, Cullipher has not looked back. In 2019, the Henderson, Kentucky native has doubled his stats from the past two seasons and is in the midst of his best season to date. Cullipher has sent out 167 winners and surpassed the $3 million mark in purse earnings this season. "I have to thank the people around me," Cullipher said. "My family, the owners, and all of my employees have gotten me to this point. My owner--Tom Pollack--keeps me sharp and has always keeps fresh horses in the barn. There is no off-season, we will continue to work hard and hopefully improve off of this season next year." The Saturday night program wrapped up an extremely successful season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino would like to thank all of the fans, bettors and horsemen who helped make the 2019 season at Hoosier Park an overwhelming success. "As we bring down the curtain on the 26th season of harness racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment and thank everyone who contributed to another amazing race meet," said Harrah's Hoosier Park Vice President and General Manager of Racing Rick Moore. "And a special thanks to our horsemen for putting on a show each and every night that we were proud to send out to over 500 wagering outlets. As I say repeatedly the racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park is as good as you will find in all of North America." "Best wishes to all as we head into the off-season," he continued. "We are already looking forward to 2020 and in particular the return of the coveted Breeders Crown!" For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park  

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 9, 2019- With earnings of over eight million dollars and 601 lifetime training wins, the name Jeff Cullipher is synonymous with harness racing and success at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Whether it's holding leading training titles or sending his horses into Grand Circuit action, Cullipher is in the midst of his best season to date as a trainer, on track to nearly double his 2018 earnings. As Indiana gets ready to host its biggest night of harness racing on Friday, October 11, it's only fitting that Cullipher is sending out six horses, the most of any trainer, into the $2 million card for the Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals. "The season really starts at the sales," Cullipher revealed. "You start training the babies down to make sure they're ready to go. It's like they're starting first grade and you're hoping to get them ready to graduate by this time next year." Even with the nature of the Indiana Sires Stakes season, Cullipher doesn't favor stakes horses to race horses. "I love the race horses because you get to race them every week. Yes, the stakes horses are fun, a little bit because racing for that kind of money tends to be a bit more fun. You have to have the race horses to have the stakes horses." It's no secret that the Indiana Sires Stakes program breeds some strong rivalries throughout the season, and Cullipher is no stranger to that concept. He spent three-year-old trotting filly Kota's Swan's sophomore season trying to give her a chance to split battling rivals Grand Swan and Measuredperfection. While those two continue to hold the favor of the betting public, Kota's Swan has held onto second place in the points standings, taking home victories in the third, fourth and fifth legs. The daughter of Swan For All-Casual Chick has won nine of 29 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $220,346. Kota's Swan will be the first Cullipher contender to grace the track Friday night guided by regular pilot Sam Widger in the sixth race on the evening's 14-race card. "I had Kota's Swan as a baby, and she's done a complete 180 on her maturity level in the last year," Cullipher had to say about the filly. "She's pretty hot and spunky, and she's much more versatile this year. I didn't get the best post position with her, but I chose to take her off Lasix for the final with the hope she'll get back to those strong finishes she's accustomed to." Trying to best another set of rivals is three-year-old trotting colt Martini Show. While Cullipher didn't train him during his freshman campaign, he's hoping this will be the year Martini Show can overcome heavy rivals Swandre The Giant and It's A Herbie. In fact, the son of Swan For All-Barmaid finished third behind the battling pair in last year's super final. This year, he hopes to pad his current lifetime bankroll of $196,515. "I think I've got Martini Show going at the right time. He's such a big colt but he's finally developed into himself, even though he's a big kid all the time. With both him and Kota's Swan, I'm hoping the heavy rivals will get focused on a battle and we can catch them at the end. He's absolutely getting better and better so I'm hoping to see him firing on all cylinders in the final." Martini Show will hope to finally best the trotting rivals for the first time in Friday's 11th race with Sam Widger at the lines. Cullipher's third sophomore contender, pacing gelding Rockin TJ, will be the last of the barn representatives in stakes action in the 13th race with Dale Hiteman in the sulky. Cullipher's current superstar is two-year-old trotting colt Tj's Top Pick. Cullipher purchased the son of Swan For All-J A's Ayd with co-owner Tom Pollack at the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale for $40,000. While Cullipher and Pollack weren't overly impressed with his pedigree, his video stuck out to them like no other had. "We weren't even going for trotters, but we felt so strongly about Tj's Top Pick, so clearly it was meant to be," Cullipher laughed. "When we were training him down this winter, I liked the way he trotted all along, but it wasn't until we got moved into Hoosier Park that he really found his stride." Piloted by co-owner Trace Tetrick, Tj's Top Pick will play the role of morning line favorite in race 9, as he looks to cap off his impressive stakes season by winning the $270,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super final. With the exception of one miscue earlier on in the season, TJ's Top Pick has won seven of eight starts this season, including a track record-setting performance in stakes action. Tj’s Top Pick will look to cap off his stakes season with a Super Final win       --Dean Gillette Photography Cullipher's other freshman gelding, My House, will attempt to best a competitive field of pacers in the 10th race with John De Long in the bike. Five-year-old pacing gelding Incredible Shark with Sam Widger will take on a field of aged horses in the 12th race as Cullipher brings him back to his home track. Cullipher has a total of six going into Friday's card, including one aged competitor. Each has its own racing style and traits that make it a great horse but if asked to pick a favorite, Cullipher gravitates toward one of the new kids in the barn. It just happens to be the favorite that has made $177,871 in their sophomore season and has won seven of eight lifetime starts. "I've got to go with Tj's Top Pick. I wish he was the only one in on Friday. I also with it was the first race so I could get it over with so I didn't have to stress, which I know my family would also appreciate. I don't know if it's his personality that made me love him or if it's because he's so good, but he's a dream horse. He's in a different league." Cullipher believes in the necessity of patience and management skills when it comes to being a trainer-skills Cullipher no doubt possesses as he's won the leading trainer title at Harrah's Hoosier Park in both 2017 (tied with Jamie Macomber) and 2018. He also moved some of his horses out east this year to get them racing on the different tracks, and has been seeing success on the Grand Circuit as well. "I feel fortunate to have the other stable. If one horse is struggling out east, I can always bring it here. I do have to attribute a lot of my success to Tom Pollack, though. He's second to none for owners," he noted. "I also couldn't be where I am without my family, who is incredibly supportive." Even with the appeal of racing somewhere new, Cullipher has no plans to leave Indiana in the rearview mirror, especially not with the Indiana Sires Stakes program. "It's a great program, though at the start of the year I wasn't sure of the new format. Obviously I don't mind it now that I'm doing well, but I'd like to see something where every horse is getting what they deserve and not just the top ones. But the bottom line is, Indiana is home for me and this is the place that made me." So while Cullipher has already established an impressive repertoire for himself at his Hoosier Park home, Friday could be when he finally secures his spot in the Indiana Sires Stakes record books. First post for Hoosier Champions night at Harrah's Hoosier Park is at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 11 with a 14-race card. With purses in excess of $2 million, the evening's racing action will feature the $270,000 Super Finals for the two and three-year-old competitors and the $50,000 Finals for the aged competitors. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   Rose Flood Race Marketing & Operations Admin

YONKERS, N.Y. – Wisdom Tree’s first three starts at Yonkers all yielded the same results. The then 2-year-old filly started from outside posts and make breaks late in her miles, failing to earn a check in New York Sire Stakes company, including the $225,000 final October 14, 2017. Since that race, the Betterthancheddar daughter is perfect at the Hilltop in four tries and made amends for her freshman defeat with a 1 1/2-length score in the NYSS final for 3-year-old pacing fillies last fall. Wisdom Tree will look to run her Yonkers streak to five when she starts in the $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Friday night. It will be the Jeff Cullipher-trainee’s first start in the Yonkers distaff feature. “I think she gets over (Yonkers) very well,” Cullipher said. “She’s just really easy. She can leave, she’s very versatile, she can do anything. She’s great-gaited, that helps. She’s just a medium to small horse, she does everything right for a half-mile track.” Wisdom Tree went 11-for-18 last year and earned $436,111 for Cullipher and co-owner Tom Pollack. The pair bought Wisdom Tree out of the 2016 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for $28,000. Out of the Artsplace mare Wisdom, Wisdom Tree caught Pollack’s eye as a half-sibling to Rich Wisdom. “Me and Tom Pollack, we go (to the sale) with a budget and she was within that. Tom actually had a brother to her and that’s how we originally noticed her,” Cullipher said. “We always try to get a couple of New York breds, we like the New York Sire Stakes. That wasn’t our forte, but we knew eventually we would branch out that way.” Cullipher, leading trainer at Hoosier Park in 2017 and 2018 and currently topping the standings, has branched out east as intended. He has about 20 horses at White Birch Farm in New Jersey and Wisdom Tree now races out of his stable when she treks east, having previously gone to Ed Hart. “Before, we would only send two, three out and we always sent them to Ed and everything always worked out good. Now, I’m enlarging my stable of my own,” Cullipher said. After Wisdom Tree’s NYSS final win last September, Cullipher took her to the Red Mile where she finished second a division of the Tattersalls in 1:48.2 October 6. She raced three more times through October 26, but only mustered two thirds and a fifth. Cullipher decided to give the filly a break. “We got pretty tough on her. We took her to Lexington and she went a huge mile, paced 48-and-2. That took a lot out of her,” Cullipher said. “We raced her a couple more times and she just wasn’t herself. She’s been good to us, so we just gave her extended time off and tried to shoot for this year.” Wisdom Tree returned with victories a pair of qualifiers at Hoosier Park in early May. Although she’s now 4, Cullipher sees much the same filly he did working with her at 2.  “She’s actually still the same today as she was training her down as a baby,” Cullipher said. “She never did anything flashy, but always did everything right. That’s still her today.” Wisdom Tree started 2019 posting a :25.3 final quarter to finish second in a distaff open at Hoosier Park May 22. She won her next start in 1:50.4 in the same class a week later, but made a break next out June 8. “She laid over those horses. The night she made a break, she came from last and was blowing right by them, but she did it coming off the turn and I think she was just going so fast she took a little dive in and overpaced herself,” Cullipher said. Wisdom Tree returned to her winning ways in her next start June 22, taking another Hoosier distaff feature in 1:50.4. After a local win in a $30,000 overnight July 5, Cullipher took Wisdom Tree to the Grand Circuit.  Wisdom Tree finished ninth with a tough trip in the Golden Girls July 13, fifth in the Lady Liberty while individually timed in 1:48.0 on Hambletonian Day, and fourth in the Artiscape in her last outing August 18. Year to date, she’s 3-for-9 with $62,971 earned. “Obviously, she’s made good money, but she’s just a tick below what she needs to be to really compete with Shartin and Caviart Ally. We’ll continue to give her a chance. She’s not getting embarrassed,” Cullipher said. “The money’s not on her card like we would like for it to be. That’s why when we can, we’re going to hit spots like Yonkers and hopefully we can do OK going for good enough money there to get some money on her card." In her return to Yonkers, Wisdom Tree will start from post two and face six rivals. Unlike in her 2- and 3-year-old seasons when she had 13 different drivers, Cullipher has tried to keep a consistent presence in the bike this year. Sam Widger drove in each Midwest start while Dexter Dunn got the call in her last three starts on the East Coast. Dunn will drive again Friday night. “I liked when Dexter called and said he would come and drive. It made me feel a lot better that he had the confidence in her,” Cullipher said. “That’s made things a lot easier this year. She’s been so easy, and easy to drive, so everybody seems to get along with her.” Apple Bottom Jeans is also dropping out of stakes company for trainer Dylan Davis. She finished second in the Rainbow Blue June 28, third in the Golden Girls, second in the Barton at Plainridge July 28, and paced 1:47.4 when fourth in the Lady Liberty. She is 5-for-18 this year with $272,015 earned and will start from post six with Corey Callahan in the sulky.  Alexa’s Power won this Open in her last start two weeks ago and drew immediately outside of Wisdom Tree for Jim Marohn, Jr. and Jim Campbell. Last week’s winner Betterb Chevron landed post four after starting from the seven last out. Jordan Stratton has the return call for Lance Hudson. Miss You was second to Betterb Chevron last week, but drew post seven this time. Feelin Red Hot was third behind Alexa’s Power and Dibaba in her last outing and will start from post five for George Brennan and Ron Burke. Nine-year-old mare Mach It A Par will start from an assigned post one. “I’m going to leave it in Dexter’s hands, but I think it’s going to work out very well. She’s versatile enough that she can do whatever she needs to do and I have the confidence in Dexter to have her in the right spot,” Cullipher said. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

CHESTER PA - The meet's leading driver, Tim Tetrick, combined with trainer Jeff Cullipher to win Friday's two featured harness racing events at Harrah's Philadelphia with promising Hoosier Park shippers. In the $17,000 distaff pace, Quite A Sight went to the lead late on the first turn and put early numbers of :26.4 and :55.3 on the board. Past the half favored Believe In Me went up to challenge the pacesetting second choice, and they were engaged in battle towards the 1:24 three-quarters. That contest lasted all the way just past midstretch, where Quite A Sight finally claimed a definite lead for good, winning by a length over her rival in 1:52.1, the fastest clocking she's ever posted. Trainer Cullipher co-owns the victorious daughter of Camluck with Pollack Racing LLC, and they saw their mare boost her lifetime earnings into six figures, now resting at $105,703. The Tetrick / Cullipher-sponsored sophomore Horns For Three got three breaks go in his favor while winning a $16,000 trot - but the second one almost ruined all the good luck. Lapped By Lindy, a winner of 4 of 6 starts lifetime, made a break at the start, and Tetrick was able to get the victorious altered son of Credit Winner to the lead before the :28 quarter. The pair then ceded the lead to Chapter Fashion, who took the field to the half in :56.4, but that one then turned over the lead to a brushing Capt Chaps Hanover just before the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Tetrick was alert to avoid Chapter Fashion when he went to a run on the turn and was able to maintain inside position, then got his best break of all when Capt Chaps Hanover lost composure at headstretch, giving Horns For Three a straight shot up the inside to complete a 1:55.4 victory, his quickest ever. Cullipher and Pollack Racing LLC also own the developing three-year-old. Both Tetrick and George Napolitano Jr. had superb showings Friday at Philly as they continue their battle atop the dashwinning standings - Napolitano won five times, Tetrick four, to make the 2019 count Tetrick 71, Napolitano 68. After Cat Manzi won the first sulky win title in 2006, the only drivers to wear the crown at season's end are Napolitano and Tetrick. It's little surprise that Tetrick put on a fine showing at Philly today, because one of his favorite days of the year is coming up here Sunday - the Super Sunday card of three $100,000 Invitationals. In 11 previous editions of each, Tetrick has won the Betsy Ross Mares Pace six times and the Maxie Lee Trot five times, so he knows the way to Victory Lane in the track's signature event. And he may even add the Commodore Barry Pace, in this fifth edition, to his trophy case, behind the talented Donttellmenomore, in addition to having defending champion Shartin N in the Betsy Ross, and Guardian Angel AS in the Maxie Lee. Captain Crunch will also be on the fantastic card Sunday in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia Jerry Connors

When it comes to reasons for admiring a horse, Wisdom Tree checks all the boxes for Tom Pollack. "She is one of my favorites," said Pollack, who owns the 4-year-old female pacer with harness racing trainer Jeff Cullipher. "She can race on any sized track, she is handy, she is tough, and she is fast. She is one of those horses that does everything right. It's hard to not love her." Last year, Wisdom Tree won 11 of 18 races, including the Nadia Lobell Stakes and New York Sire Stakes championship, and earned $436,111. On Wednesday (May 22), she will make her first start of 2019 against eight rivals in the $20,000 open for pacing fillies and mares at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Wisdom Tree, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, will start from post five with driver Sam Widger. Pollack and Cullipher had hoped to race Wisdom Tree earlier this month in the Sam "Chip" Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway, but the mare's return to action was delayed because of illness. "It took maybe a couple extra weeks to get her back," Pollack said. "We just took our time. She's qualified twice and she was sharp in both of those (winning the first in 1:54.1 and the second in 1:52.3, both at Hoosier). She's refreshed and good and ready to go." Wisdom Tree is a daughter of Betterthancheddar out of Wisdom. She was purchased for $28,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. Pollack co-owned Wisdom Tree's half-brother Rich Wisdom, who was a stakes winner, and her family also includes stakes-winner Allamerican Captor. As a 2-year-old, Wisdom Tree went off stride in three of her first six races, but then had three wins and a second in her last five starts of the campaign. Her only misstep during that span came when she made a break from post eight in the New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers. She ended her season with a win over 3-year-old fillies in 1:52.4 at Hoosier. "You could tell she had it in her, she just made a few breaks at the wrong times," Pollack said. "We kind of knew (after her season finale at Hoosier) that if she matured, she would be something to be reckoned with. Sure enough, she was." At 3, Wisdom Tree debuted with a seventh-place finish before reeling off four consecutive victories. The win streak came during a five-month span that saw Wisdom Tree, who spent her time in New York with trainer Ed Hart, capture 11 of 13 starts overall. After winning the New York Sire Stakes championship, she finished second in a division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial and third in both the Courageous Lady and a division of the Pegasus. The season concluded with a fifth-place finish in a division of the Circle City. "She cut the mile (in the Garnsey) that went (1):47.3 and it took a lot out of her, I guess," Pollack said. "The last start at Hoosier she really was tired and told us so. In hindsight, we went a little too far with her. But overall, she was a wonderful horse and it was a fun ride for sure." Pollack is hoping for another fun ride this year. Wisdom Tree is staked to several Grand Circuit races, including the Lady Liberty and Golden Girls at The Meadowlands and the Allerage Mare Pace at Red Mile. "There are some good mares, and good 4-year-old mares out there, so it's going to be a competitive bunch," Pollack said. "She's going to have to step up her game for sure. But if she can compete at a relatively high level, we'll definitely keep going with her." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday at Harrah's Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

Anderson, IN -- Harrah's Hoosier Park concluded the 25th silver anniversary season of live harness racing with a 14-race card in front of a packed house on Saturday, November 10. In addition to the racing action, the leading driver and trainer titles were awarded. On the driving side, Trace Tetrick secured his fifth consecutive and seventh leading driver title at Hoosier Park. Tetrick, who led the standings from start to finish, was officially recognized as the 2018 leading driver with 309 victories while amassing over $3.7 million in purse earnings throughout the 160-day season. Sam Widger finished second with 259 victories with John DeLong in third with 248 trips to the winner's circle. The Southern Illinois native started driving in 2003 and has since surpassed the $50 million mark in purse earnings in the bike. As the all-time leading driver in Hoosier Park history, Tetrick recorded his best season to date in 2017 with over $6.8 million in purse earnings and 569 victories. Tetrick is also ranked among the top 10 drivers in the country with 469 victories and counting. "I want to thank the owners, trainers, and grooms who put me in the position where I can do well every night," Tetrick noted in the winner's circle. "Without them I wouldn't be standing here today. I am going to take a few weeks off and enjoy this and then will most likely be racing in Ohio for a few nights a week during the off season." "The support of my family and friends has been great," he continued. "I really appreciate the opportunity to show up every night and do what I love." After tying with trainer Jamie Macomber for the leading trainer title last season, Jeff Cullipher took the next step and secured the 2018 leading trainer title outright. Heading into the evening's 14-race card just four wins separated the top pair. Cullipher secured the title after winning with Wings Up and Inverse Hanover in their respective races. Cullipher ended the season with 119 victories with Jamie Macomber finishing second with 116 trips to the winner's circle. Raised by a family rich in harness racing tradition, Jeff Cullipher has quickly made a name for himself as a trainer at Hoosier Park. The 47-year-old Henderson, KY native is no new comer to the sport of harness racing. A driver since 1988 and trainer since 1991, Cullipher has over 30 years of harness racing experience to his credit. After recording his first million dollar season as a trainer in 2017 with his stable netting over $1.2 million in purse earnings and 102 victories, Cullipher is on track to record his best season to date in 2018 as his stable has already amassed over $1.5 million in purse earnings and 124 wins. Cullipher's stable earned over $1.3 million in purse earnings at Hoosier Park this season. "It really is a team effort," Cullipher said. "It's a lot of hard work but I've got a great team and some great owners who helped make this possible. Owners like Tom Pollack have been a dream come true for a guy like me--it's an honor to have the caliber of horses I've been able to train all season." "We are going to take a little bit of time off," Cullipher continued. "We will keep a stable here in Indiana for the winter and we are also looking to have a stable in New Jersey starting in December so next year will be exciting." The Saturday night program wrapped up an extremely successful season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino would like to thank all of the fans and horsemen who helped make the 2018 season at Hoosier Park an overwhelming success. "I want to tip my hat to everyone at Harrah's Hoosier Park who made this 25th season of harness racing so special and memorable," said Harrah's Hoosier Park Vice President and General Manager of Racing Rick Moore. "And to our partners, the horsemen, who night in and night out make racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park the best there is in North America. We couldn't be more proud. We'll catch our breath and then get back to the drawing board to make 2019 even better!" For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com by Emily Gaskin, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Without question, Tom Pollack and Jeff Cullipher's filly pacer Wisdom Tree has been dominating throughout much of her sophomore season. She has won nine of twelve races as a 3-year-old, with five of those wins coming against New York Sire Stakes competition. She also has a Grand Circuit triumph to her credit. Bred by Winbak Farm, Wisdom Tree is out of the first crop of Betterthancheddar, and out of the dam Wisdom. "She (Wisdom Tree) was a half-sister of a horse I owned with Randy Bendis called Rich Wisdom," said Pollack. "We had some success with him, and he ended up getting hurt." Rich Wisdom won over $142,000 as a two-year-old. "We saw Wisdom Tree was kind of a looker out of a new sire (Betterthancheddar) and we decided to take a swing." Pollack, along with co-owner Jeff Cullipher purchased Wisdom Tree at the Lexington Select Sale for $28,000. Things didn't start well for the Jeff Cullipher trainee. After a pair of winning qualifiers, she had to wait until her 8th career start to break her maiden in a New York Sire Stakes event at Monticello. "We knew she had a ton of talent, but were concerned about her getting around the smaller ovals," Pollack said. She went on to win 2 of her next 3 starts, but finished a tough luck 7th in the NYSS Finals at Yonkers. "We drew the 8 post, and she was actually loaded with pace in the lane," said Pollack. "Her driver that night (Tim Tetrick) said she could've easily finished 2nd or 3rd if she could've stayed on her feet. She was just going too fast." As great of a 3-year-old season as she has had to this point, it didn't get off to a good beginning. "She got kind of sideways behind the gate in her first start of the season, and I thought 'oh man' here we go again," said Pollack. "Jeff (Cullipher) assured me this was different. Then she went on to catch fire." She went on to win 7 of her next 8 races, including the Nadia Lobell, a Grand Circuit event at Hoosier Park. As far as what's next, co-owner Tom Pollack maybe eying a potential Breeders Crown appearance if all goes well. "We have actually kicked around discussions of supplementing her to the Breeders Crown. We are thinking about it," said Pollack. Her next start will be at Yonkers for the last leg of the New York Sire Stakes, followed by the finals a few weeks later. She is staked to three events at Hoosier Park through October (Pegasus, Circle City, and the U.S.S Indianapolis), as well as the Matron in November at Dover Downs. Wisdom Tree's half-sister Smart Girl will be selling (Hip #239) at the upcoming Lexington Sale in October. by Mike Bozick for the Mike & Mike Show

YONKERS, N.Y. – Trainer Jeff Cullipher got to know harness racing pacer Pistol Packin Mama well this spring at Hoosier Park. The 4-year-old mare raced against his star distaffer Au D Lox Bluegrass twice, once in the Filly and Mare Invitational May 19 and again in the Filly and Mare Preferred June 9. Pistol Packin Mama got the upper hand each time, including the latter start by a nose in 1:49.4.  Tragically, Au D Lox Bluegrass, a 17-time winner and earner of $377,339 died suddenly just after the pair’s final matchup. Soon after, Cullipher had the chance to purchase Pistol Packin Mama and he jumped on it with partner Tom Pollack. “We had a mare, Au D Lox Bluegrass, a very nice mare. Au D Lox, her last race she died just after she went across the wire,” Cullipher said. “Then an agent called us about Pistol Packin Mama and obviously we wanted to replace Au D Lox Bluegrass, so I paid up and got her.” An Ohio Sire Stakes Champion at 3 and a proven winner against older females already at 4, Pistol Packin Mama came to Cullipher sharp from the stable of Tyler George. However, Cullipher was surprised to find something familiar about The Panderosa daughter when he began working with her. “It’s unreal how two horses look alike, act alike, train alike, jog alike,” he said, referring to Au D Lox Bluegrass. “Pistol Packin Mama is a little smaller than the other mare was. Just a good horse. She’s professional about everything. Grabs a little, but nothing bad.” Pistol Packin Mama won her first start for Cullipher, taking a $20,000 Filly and Mare Preferred at Hoosier June 30. She posted a fourth, second, and third in her next three tries before earning an impressive win in her last outing August 4.  Pistol Packin Mama trailed the field as rivals She’s Heavenly, Rockin Racer, and Topville Cadillac battled three wide around the clubhouse turn. Pistol Packin Mama raced 7 ¾ lengths behind a :25.3 opening panel and a :53.3 half. Driver Trace Tetrick edged to the outside at the midway point and grabbed the second-over cover of Seventimesavirign.  Pistol Packin Mama swung three wide into the stretch with just 1 ¾ lengths to make up. Tetrick pulled the ear plugs and put her to a drive. Pistol Packin Mama took the lead with a furlong to race and drew away to score by 4 ¼ lengths. The 1:49.1 clocking is the fastest of her career. “Her last start was the highlight for us. She went 1:49.1,” Cullipher said. “She doesn’t seem to be a strong leaver. Trace Tetrick said at times she can leave and she’ll let you know when she wants to go. Other than that, try to get her in the right position and as soon as they turn for home, she knows the game.” Now 15-for-30 with another 13 seconds and thirds, Pistol Packin Mama sports earnings of $352,855. Despite her impressive performances at Hoosier Park, Cullipher decided to send the mare east to compete at Yonkers Raceway for trainer Ed Hart, eyeing a more consistent schedule and a chance at the big-time next winter. “There’s just not enough racing at Hoosier Park for her,” Cullipher said. “The Filly and Mare Open doesn’t go very often and we have a little relationship with Ed Hart, so we sent her out there to race at Yonkers for a couple different reasons. We wanted to test her a little bit on the half and next year when stakes season comes, the Matchmaker, that’s in the back of our minds right now.” Pistol Packin Mama arrived at Hart’s stable in good order about 10 days ago and will make her local debut in Friday’s (August 24) $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap. Matt Kakaley will drive the 5-1 shot from post six and off the three-week break, Cullipher expects the mare to stick to the off-the-pace style she employed at Hoosier Park. “I’m sure we’ll probably give her a trip,” he said. “I don’t know if she’s 100 percent tight just yet, but we’ll see how she goes around and make adjustments if needed and go from there.” The field assembled for Friday’s distaff feature also includes last week’s winner and runner up, Newborn Sassy and Tequila Monday, who will start from posts eight and seven, respectively. Mach It A Par finished fourth from post eight last time, but was assigned post five this week. Best Of Jenna enters off consecutive wins in the conditions and will start from post three. Annabeth, Angel’s Pride, and Lispatty complete the lineup. Friday’s 10-race card also features three $52,000 divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

ANDERSON, IN - Wisdom Tree returned to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and continued her winning ways in the featured event of the evening, the $142,000 Nadia Lobell Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, on Friday, July 6. With Sam Widger in the bike, Wisdom Tree turned in a sharp, front-running effort to stop the timer in 1:49.4 and establish a new track record for sophomore pacing fillies in the process. The previous record of 1:50.1 was established in 2016 by Rockalina and driver Mike Peterson. Widger had the heavy 3-5 favorite firing away with the wings of the gate but Ricky Macomber Jr. and Strong Opinion were a step quicker and grabbed the early lead through the opening panel in a snappy :25.3. Wisdom Tree was second but not for long. Widger gave her the green light as the field approached the half and she quickly grabbed command before the second station in :53.3. Michael Oosting and Double A Mint were next in line third and would begin the long, first-over attack just before the three-quarters in 1:21.4. The blazing speed continued but Wisdom Tree appeared strong on the front. Double A Mint was matching strides with the leader but Wisdom Tree wasn't going down without a fight. Utilizing a :28 final panel, Wisdom Tree was able to put away Double A Mint to finish a length and a half to the good. Reign on Me and LeWayne Miller utilized a ground saving trip to rally for third place honors. Wisdom Tree returned $3.40 to her backers at the betting windows. "It was a little fast to the half," Widger noted in the winner's circle. "Looking at the program, I thought we were the best in the race and she has always been strong on the front. She's a really nice filly who knows her work. She just goes out there and does her job." Trained by Jeff Cullipher, who co-owns with Thomas Pollack, Wisdom Tree scored her third consecutive victory and seventh seasonal win from nine outings. The 1:49.4 clocking was a new lifetime best as the daughter of Betterthancheddar-Wisdom pushed her career bankroll to $241,660. Wisdom Tree will likely be pointed to the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands for her next stakes engagement. The stakes action continued a little later on in the evening with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals for three-year old trotting and pacing colts. Katkin American and James Yoder followed suit to deliver as the heavy betting favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Stopping the timer in 1:53, Katkin American made his game winning move down the backside to finish ten lengths in front of his next closest competitor. After a track record performance in his elimination last week, Katkin American recorded his third consecutive Hoosier Park victory for trainer Verlin Yoder and owner, breeder, Brett Boyd. Katkin American was won his last three outings by a combined 27 lengths. "We are so thankful to so many folks that helped get this horse here," Boyd said of his prodigy in the winner's circle. "It takes a lot of people to get one here and we are so thankful to everyone who helped us along the way. I trained his mother and he reminds me a lot of her. We love this colt and the Yoders have done such a great job with him." Unraced at two, the son of Guccio-Katkin has now won three of five lifetime starts. With the win, Katkin American nearly doubled his lifetime purse earnings to push his career bankroll to $62,000. On the pacing side of things, Rockinbeach and Ricky Macomber Jr. converted a pocket trip into a 1:49.4 score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Employing a :25.4 final quarter, Rockinbeach exploded to the wire to finish six lengths in front of Jeopardy and John DeLong. Trained by Jamie Macomber, Rockinbeach notched his fourth win from nine seasonal starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. The homebred son of Rockin Image-Miss Sandy Beach is owned by Wilbur Eash and has now amassed $168,940 in lifetime purse earnings. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 7 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

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