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BEDFORD, PA - Following the afternoon annual meeting of District 7 (Pennsylvania), the Bedford Springs Omni Resort in this southwestern Pennsylvania city hosted the annual Pennsylvania Fair Banquet, co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, the U.S. Trotting Association, and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horseman's Association. New to the Fair Banquet this year was a 24-page souvenir program, put together by the Keystone Chapter of the U. S. Harness Writers Association as both a fundraiser for their own activities and a keepsake for all the people associated with the horses who were the stars of the 2019 Pennsylvania fair circuit. Harrah's Philadelphia announcer Mike Bozich served as master of ceremonies for the evening. The first group to be in the spotlight were the connections of the top pointwinners along the Pennsylvania fair circuit, who received a blanket in their stable colors: 2YO TROTTING MALE - PENANCE (g, Father Patrick - Yankee Etta), trained by Bob Rougeaux III for Brocious Racing Stable Inc. (winningest horse at the fairs with nine triumphs.) 2YO TROTTING FEMALE - LINDY PRETTY LADY (Explosive Matter - Dreamgirl Lindy), trained by Bob Rougeaux III for Brocious Racing Stable Inc. (#1 pointwinner among all fair contestants.) 2YO PACING MALE - LIFE'S MARVALOUS (g, Delmarvalous - Life'sarealbeach), trained and owned by Roger Hammer (#1 pointwinner among all males.) 2YO PACING FEMALE - RT DON'T SPEAK (Artspeak - Carousel Frame), trained by Bob Rougeaux III for Brocious Racing Stable Inc. 3YO TROTTING MALE - ANDOVERS ASSET (g, Andover Hall - Lively), trained by Linda Schadel and owned by Linda and Tony Schadel. 3YO TROTTING FEMALE - RT GLORIA DE DIOS (Muscle Massive - RT Sun Poco), trained by Bob Rougeaux III for Brocious Racing Stable Inc. 3YO PACING MALE - STRANGER THINGS (g, Western Terror - Southwind Prairie), trained by Steve Schoeffel for owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel and James Reuther. 3YO PACING FEMALE - CREW SOCK HANOVER (Well Said - Chantal Hanover), trained by David Brickell and owned by David Brickell and Mitchell York (#1 pointwinner among all three-year-olds in 2019). Then the team behind the winner of their Fair Sire Stakes Championships at The Meadows in October each received a warm jacket courtesy of MH Eby Inc.: 2YO TROTTING MALE - STICKLER HANOVER (c, Explosive Matter - Secret Credit), trained by Steve Schoeffel for owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goethe, and Michael Munn. 2YO TROTTING FEMALE - BETTER SONG (Better Caviar - Jessie's Song), trained and co-owned by Rick Beinhauer with Regina Beinhauer (set stake record of 1:57.2). 2YO PACING MALE - CHAMP CHARBEL (c, Ponder - Odds On Affair), trained and owned by Joseph Karrat. 2YO PACING FEMALE - DEAD HEAT (1st DEAD HEAT TO WIN IN A PA FAIR CHAMPIONSHIP): --DREAM DANCING (A Rocknroll Dance - Clearly Foxy), trained and co-owned by David Brickell with Mitchell York; and --SILLY BUT SERIOUS (Captaintreacherous - I Need Hotstuff), trained and co-owned by Gary Johnston with Joyce Benkart. 3YO TROTTING MALE - ANDOVERS ASSET (g, Andover Hall - Lively), trained and co-owned by Linda Schadel with Tony Schadel (tied all-time Fair Championship trot record and stake record of 1:56; only pointleader to win Championship). 3YO TROTTING FEMALE - MISTY LANE (Muscle Massive - Dundee Lane), trained and co-owned by David Brickell with Mitchell York. 3YO PACING MALE - UNDER PAID (c, A Rocknroll Dance - Upfront Cruisin), trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura (set stake record of 1:52, fastest Fair Championship ever by 3YO). 3YO PACING FEMALE - APRIL AVA (Delmarvalous - Jeneva), trained by Scott Betts for Nicholas Catalano and Timothy Betts. Mitchell York, a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who began his sulky career in June and within two weeks of his first drive set the all-time track standard at Butler (Crew Sock Hanover, 2:00.1), was honored as "Rookie of the Year" after finishing in the Top Ten in the fair dash standings with 15 triumphs. The drawings for equipment and other prizes generously donated by a host of PA fair supporters again allowed the average $40 dinner ticketbuyer to emerge with a profit on the evening, such were the value of the drawing prizes. The grand prize winner, a Spyder race bike, was Tom Loughryof the Bob Rougeaux stable. by Jerry Connors, Jr., for the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes quFair Circuit

BEDFORD, PA - The annual meeting of District 7 (Pennsylvania) of the United States Trotting Association was held Saturday afternoon at the Bedford Springs Omni Resort in this southwest Pennsylvania city. Sam Beegle, Chairman of District 7, presided over the meeting; also in attendance were District 7 Directors Rich Gillock and Tom Leasure. It was announced that Mark Loewe would be taking Mr. Leasure's place on the USTA national Board of Directors at the annual March meetings in Ohio. Fred Strathmeyer, Deputy Secretary of the PA State Department of Agriculture, attended the meeting, as did Anthony Salerno, Bureau Director, Standardbred Racing, of the PA Horse Racing Commission. USTA Director Barry Brown, Kim Hankins and Mike Harant, the Executive Directors of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, respectively, were also present; those associations' presidents are respectively Gillock and Beegle. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the USTA rule change proposals were discussed among the 41 attendees, so that the Directors could represent their wishes at the upcoming national Board of Directors meeting. Below is how the District 7 members voted: 1. Eliminate heat racing - REJECTED 2. "Ext. p/m meet" now defined as 6+ days - REJECTED 3. Prohibit "gene doping" - ACCEPTED 4. Pylon physical requirements - REJECTED 5. Standardized saddle pads - REJECTED 6. Define "proper racetrack action maintenance" at ext. p/m tracks - REJECTED 7. Claiming price after horse claimed - REJECTED 8. Purse distribution after interference - REJECTED 9. Post position conditioned by money won - REJECTED 10. Starting "pole" at starting point - REJECTED 11. Adjusting date in qualifying rule - ACCEPTED 12. Location of "fair start" pole - REJECTED 13-14. Definition of "amateur driver" - TABLED 15. Requirements for training license - ACCEPTED 16. Require "P" drivers to register colors - ACCEPTED 17. Restructuring of "whipping rule" - REJECTED 18. Mandatory notification for new geldings/spayed mares - First moved to TABLE, but that motion failed for lack of a second; then REJECTED 19. Track measurement rule - REJECTED 20. Percentage of ownership to be noted - REJECTED 21. Allowing embryo transfer donor mares to register two foals per year - REJECTED 22. Clarification of term "Standardbred" - ACCEPTED 23. Clarification of term "non-standard" - ACCEPTED It was determined that the meeting attendees were satisfied with the system by which Pennsylvania fair entries are being taken. The matter of horses wearing / not wearing trotting hopples, and consistency of their usage, along with the responsibilities of various parties in ascertaining the situation, was also discussed. by Jerry Connors, for the PHHA

The main action during the two-day meet at St-Aimé-des-Lacs, Quebec on Saturday/Sunday came on the latter card, with the most spectacular event being the obliteration of the track trotting record, as 21st century-born Bermudian Kiwon Waldron guided Missionoftheheart, a five-year-old daughter of Manofmanymissions, to a 1:59.4 victory in the Invitational handicap trot.   The mare, who won by 18 lengths, knocked two seconds off the old SAdL standard of 2:01.4, set by Revonah Hanover in 2013.   Waldron, who was discovered racing ponies in his native land by vacationing members of Team Allard, won twice on the Sunday card, and now has a driving record of 10-7-2-0, which translates to a UDR of .811.   The $10,000Cl five-mile Casino Charlevoix event was won by Appleby Hanover and driver Dany Mainguy, completing a big day for trainer Michel Allard, who is also the trainer of Missionoftheheart.   Dany Mainguy and the six-year-old son of Well Said led the entire five-mile journey, drawing clear of Bet I Can Fly to win by 15 lengths in 11:31. It was a repeat victory for Appleby Hanover in the 5 Milles after being elevated to victory over a disqualified Montana Ben in last year's race.   by Jerry Connors, for the Quebec Fair Regional Circuit

BEDFORD PA -- The harness racing card scheduled for Tuesday morning at the Bedford (PA) Fair is now announced as cancelled due to the inclement weather in the area.   Earlier, Monday's program had been cancelled; with this announcement, the entirety of the short meet at Bedford has now been lost.   Racing on the Pennsylvania fair circuit is next scheduled for the Clearfield Fair, where a four-day meet is to begin this Sunday.     Jerry Connors Jr

CHESTER PA - In a stretch battle of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winners earlier this season, the filly Nomo Volo was up in the final stride over the colt Ginger Tree Skyr to take the $16,000 trotting harness racing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon in 1:56.4. Trainer/driver Jeff Gregory got away in the middle of the field with the winning Explosive Matter sophomore as favored Navarone Hanover made the early lead, then moved outside nearing the half and got cover from Ginger Tree Skyr. That colt grinded and worked past the favored pacesetting filly in the lane, but then was nipped by the filly on his back in a very close picture. Nomo Volo, who has had breaking issues since winning a Sire Stakes event on May 26, used her best behavior and ability to raise her bankroll to $141,467 for Jeff Gregory Inc. and Jesmeral Stable. In a $14,500 event for fast-class pacers, the Dragon Again gelding Blake North quarter-moved to command, then came home in :55.3 to post a half-length victory in 1:51.3 for driver George Napolitano Jr., meet-leading trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen, and owner Gilberto Garcia-Herrera. It was 51-1 shot Emeritus Maximus who shot out to early command, yielded to the odds-on winner, and made him work hard for the triumph; even with that longshot followed in order by 16-1 shot Hudsonandbernard and 12-1 Te Kawau N (second choice Jeneral Patton did get fifth), the winning 1-6-5-7-2 Jackpot Hi-5 ticket was played by multiple players, and so the jackpot carryover climbed to $42,387.03 for Thursday's racing. Tim Tetrick, newly named as a Hall Of Fame ballot candidate for this summer's voting, built onto his lead as the winningest driver at Harrah's Philadelphia, visiting Victory Lane six times on the Wednesday afternoon program.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - The Muscle Mass sophomore gelding Cavill Hanover came off the stakes trail and promptly wired his field in the $16,000 trotting feature in a career best 1:55 during the Wednesday afternoon harness racing program at Harrah's Philadelphia. Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt never showed any intention than to race the three-year-old on the lead, and Cavill Hanover took the field through fractions of :27.4, :57.4, and 1:25.4. Favored Daylon Phantom came three-wide on the final turn and loomed menacingly, but Cavill Hanover had more than enough to turn back his late charge by 1 1/2 lengths. The Wolfgang A Stable Inc. and Boris Nasstrom share ownership in the winner with the Little E LLC of Jeff Gural, who earlier in the day was announced as being on the summer ballot for election to the Hall of Fame. In a $14,500 event for fast-class pacers, favored Ideal Wheel brushed to the lead after a :26.3 quarter, and before the :55.3 half he was challenged by Santiago Style, who was parked the mile. The two continued their fight past the 1:23.4 three-quarters and into the stretch, where it was the favorite who gave way - but Santiago Style had Western Hill on his back from the second turn, and it was that Western Ideal gelding who went by the gallant if unlucky Santiago Style late to win by ¾ of a length in 1:52.3. Corey Callahan guided the winner of two straight and $298,707 lifetime for trainer Ed Gannon Jr., also co-owner with Frank Canzone. Tim Tetrick, who literally minutes before the Early Double had his place on this summer's Hall of Fame balloting announced, then went out to sweep the Double with favorites Sweet Colt Of Mine and Turn The Paige. In all Tetrick, the leading dashwinning driver at Philly, had five victories; another came with the freshman Somebeachsomewhere - Fashion Ecstasy filly, Beyond Ecstasy, a full sister to Filibuster Hanover who won her purse bow in 1:55.3.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - Six $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars stakes harness racing action for two-year-old trotting males were featured Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with enough pedigree and precociousness showing that fans of the mountain oval may have seen a starter or two in the 2020 Hambletonian, a race 13 months to the day in the future. Two of the winners set season's records in 1:55.2; the one with the more adventurous journey was the gelding Real Cool Sam, whose sire Muscle Hill had four stallion credits in the six All-Stars races and whose mother Cooler Schooner set a 1:51.3 world record here as a freshman. David Miller settled the winner, who won his purse bow in 1:56 at Philly, in fourth early as double purse winner and favored (both were 4-5 on the board) Paulie Walnuts went down the road in :28.1, :57.4, and 1:26.2, with the winner moving right to him approaching the three-quarters. Real Cool Sam was working by Paulie Walnuts late on the turn when he suddenly bore out three-wide nearing headstretch, where the Pocono paddock is located, and Paulie Walnuts found himself back on a clear lead. But Miller soon straightened out the Jim Campbell-trained freshman, and despite the detour "Sam" won in 1:55.2, within 2/5 of a second of the world record for the division (Correctamundo, Mississippi Storm, White Tiger) - on July 9 -- and a season's record for baby geldings on any size of track. Paulie Walnuts could not respond to Real Cool Sam's resurgence and made a late break, finishing second, 5¾ lengths behind the budding star, for Fashion Farms LLC. The other 1:55.2 mile fell to Big Oil, a son of Pocono freshman track recordholder Father Patrick out of the half-million-dollar-winning Cee Bee Yes. Big Oil also took the tuck-then-first-route for driver Andy Miller, but he was the recipient of good fortune when Legion Of Honor, who moved to the lead after a :27.4 opener and set middle fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.2, made a break nearing headstretch fighting against the winner. Big Oil took a 2¼ length margin over favored Expectations under the wire in his purse bow for trainer Julie Miller and owners Joseph, Douglas and Ronald Allen while also rewriting the North American season's standard for colts. Big Oil                                 ---Curtis Salonick photo Trainer Marcus Melander, who has been dominating the three-year-old colt stakes, won the first two divisions of this freshman action with Muscle Hill colts making their purse bows. One was with Rome Pays Off, who is out of the mare Order By Wish - which makes him a full brother to Marseille, who ironically defeated Melander's big gun Greenshoe here in the recent Beal Championship. Mattias Melander raced Rome Pays Off in the pocket behind pacesetter Vinny De Vie, then went to the Pocono Pike and overhauled that rival by ¾ of a length in 1:58.1, closing into a :58.2 back half for the S R F Stable. Marcus Melander then teamed with driver Brian Sears (the Greenshoe combo) to win with Hellbent For AM S, out of the mare Nalda Nof, who came first-over, made the lead in the lane, then held off the horse on his back, Patriarch Hanover, by a neck in 1:56.1 for Courant Inc. The time was a season's record for 18 minutes until Big Oil came along, and a tick shy of the time he recorded in a dead-heat qualifying win. The Explosive Matter colt Can't Say No, a $78.60 shocker winning his purse debut here, saw the crowd back him Monday to favoritism, and he and trainer/driver Ray Schnittker responded with a wire-to-wire win in 1:55.4, a new mark. Steel Schooner was good in the pocket but at the finish could get no closer than 1¼ lengths behind Can't Say No, who is co-owned by Schnittker in partnership with Steven Arnold, Arden Homestead Stable, and Fred Hertrich III. The other of Muscle Hill's winning sons was Mister Walker, the first foal out of world champion mare D'Orsay, who was successful in his first start for a purse in 1:57.1. Corey Callahan got the youngster going quickly raw out of fifth down the back and Mister Walker gobbled up the ground (his own last half in 57.3) to reach pacesetter Dublin, then overhauled that rival by ¾ of a length for trainer Jonas Czernyson and Consus Racing Stable Inc. FINISHING LINES - The Early Double produced what might be a once-in-a-lifetime sight: George Napolitano Jr. and Tim Tetrick combining on a 3-6 ticket worth $5934.00, with George winning with Noble Prize ($42.40) and then Tim bringing home Logan Hanover ($38.20). ... Napolitano wound up with four wins on the twilight card, giving him eleven in the first three days at Pocono this racing week, and sixteen if including Friday and Sunday action at Philly.   PHHA / Pocono

HARRISBURG, PA - John Pantalone, founder of World Wide Racing Photos, the track photographer presently at Harrah's Philadelphia and Freehold Raceway and previously for most of the Delaware Valley racetracks, passed away on Friday morning at age 76 after a gradually-debilitating illness. Pantalone graduated South Philadelphia High School, and received further training in electrical engineering through ROTC. He was laid off at the Boeing aircraft manufacturing plant in suburban Philadelphia in 1972, and with a friend began a photography business; one of his first clients was Liberty Bell Park, which led to the development of World Wide Racing Photos (WWRP), which he operated with his beloved wife Pat, who survives. Pantalone's WWRP was the track photographer at Brandywine, Liberty Bell, Garden State, Freehold, and Harrah's Philadelphia. The firm acquired a reputation for quick and quality development and production of track photography, to the point that at one point WWRP processed the photography for a dozen racetracks, including as far away as Golden Bear (Sacramento) in California. WWRP and Pantalone were at the forefront of several of the innovative changeovers in the racetrack photography industry through the years - the shifting from black / white to color photography and the change from film to digital photography being the two foremost examples. John's innovative mind brought about the start of the many of the oversize "tribute" photos that owners purchased to mark especially big wins with their horses. He and his firm were known for timely and courteous service, always willing to go "the extra mile" for their clients. In 1988 WWRP received Nike Photo Award for a special effects photo taken at Garden State Park. Garden State was also the scene of one of John's favorite racetrack memories, when in 1992 a campaign bus carrying President hopeful Bill Clinton stopped for a rally at the track, and the future President got in a winner's circle photo with "his namesake," Bubba Clinton, with Pantalone one of the few photographers authorized to record the event. On March 1, 2018, the Post Time with Mike and Mike podcast hosted an interview with Pantalone, which can be found online ( Funeral arrangements were not finalized at press time. Terranova Funeral Home of Haddon Heights NJ ( will be handling these arrangements, and updates can be found on their website as they become available. by Jerry Connors  

CHESTER PA – Backseat Terror was a front-end winner for her fifth consecutive harness racing victory in the $17,000 featured pace for distaffs on Friday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, but she was all-out to hold off Rob Them Blind by a head in 1:51.4. Hurrikane Shorty took the field to the first station in :26.4, with driver Corey Callahan on the move with Backseat Terror, the daughter of Western Terror establishing command long before the :55.4 half. Favored (by $11 over the winner) Newsday applied strong pressure on the winner to the 1:23.1 three-quarters, with more horses joining the battle in the stretch. Rob Them Blind had gapped slightly in second-over but now found her best strides and made the leader do her best work, and Backseat Terror did hold off that rival to the wire. Hurrikane Shorty was third, Cardiff fourth up the inside, and even Newsday was beaten only a length in fifth. Backseat Terror, winless at two and three, now has seven victories and $76,386 amassed already this year for trainer Katricia Adams and owner John Bernard. Friday co-features were a pair of $16,000 trots. In the first, the Trixton sophomore filly Starita, third in her New Jersey Sire Stake final,  followed the cover of Navarone Hanover late on the backstretch, then trotted up to that one in the stretch and despite 29 days off was able to pass her by a half length. The time of 1:53.4 was a new mark for the Joe Holloway trainee, driven by David Miller for owners Val D’Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. Miller will be joined by Holloway and Gewertz in the sport’s Hall of Fame a week from Sunday. In the other subfeature section, the Muscle Massive gelding Massive Opulence, on his best behavior today, came first-over, trotted past favored pacesetter Boxing Gloves and drew clear of that rival by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:55.2. Steve Smith was in the sulky for trainer Bill Mac Kenzie and owners Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger.   PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - A trio of $16,000 races for classclimbing younger horses served as the harness racing tri-features on Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia - two for trotters, and one for pacing females. The faster trot saw a runaway winner in the Explosive Matter mare Pat Matters, who took a new lifetime mark of 1:53. A fast distaff (she got a check in the Kentucky Filly Futurity final last year) but one who had made two breaks in three seasonal starts, Pat Matters was all business in this contest, putting up front numbers of :28.3, :56.3, and 1:24.1 (a :55.3 middle half) en route to a decisive triumph for trainer Nifty Norman and the Patricia Stable. In the other trot, the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Faithfulandtrue went the race of his life, being sent right to the lead by driver Michael Cole and putting up splits of :28.1, :57.4, and 1:26.3, then staying clear by three lengths to the wire in a lifetime best mile of 1:55.3. It was the seventh win in the career of Faithfulandtrue, who is trained by Joseph Columbo for owners George & Tina Dennis Racing, and the victory rewarded his scattered backers with an $80.40 win mutuel. The sidewheeling fillies and mares race came down to a stretch duel between second-choice Lyons Hedgeabet and favored Abigail Dawn, with the former prevailing and lowering her mark to 1:52.1. The victorious daughter of Mach Three was very wide going to the first turn in making the lead for driver Yannick Gingras, who then left Abigail Dawn circle up after the opening :27.3 fraction to take the lead and sat in the pocket through middle splits of :56 and 1:24.2. In the stretch Lyons Hedgeabet went to the pacesetter's left and the pair fought home in :27.4, with the winner gamely taking a half-length decision for trainer Gareth Dowse and owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. In a $14,500 pace for fast-class mares, Believe In Me went to the early lead in :27, yielded to the quarter move of favorite Obvious Blue Chip to enjoy a two-hole journey behind middle splits of :54.4 and 1:23, then came out in the lane and wore down the pacesetter by ¾ of a length in 1:51.2. Andrew McCarthy drove the Brett Pelling trainee, with the Bay Pond Racing Stable owning the victorious daughter of Roll With Joe. A special Saturday live card is set for tomorrow at 2:05, as Harrah's Philadelphia will be one of four tracks in the Caesars chain to take part in the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge. The Billings amateur drivers will also be in town on Saturday.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA – On “Trottin’ Thursday” at Harrah’s Philadelphia, the Swan For All gelding Gold Medal Swan extended his harness racing winning streak to three races, closing for a 1:54.1 victory before a storm hit the area. Driver David Miller got the winner of $180,446 fourth as 72-1 shot Tough Mac bolted from post eight to the quarter in :26.3; by the time that one had moderated the half to :56.2, Cash For Gold was out from third to go first-over, with Gold Medal Swan right on his back. Cash For Gold cleared to the lead towards the 1:24.2 three-quarters, leaving the favorite uncovered on the far turn, Cash For Gold battled on in the lane, but Gold Medal Swan kept gaining on his hard-used foe, and in the end he could dash clear by 1¾ lengths. Mark Silva owns and trains Gold Medal Swan, who has now won half of his six 2019 starts. Two-year-old trotters, all making their purse debuts, contested two $13,000 races, one each for both sexes. In the filly race, held early before the storm arrived, the Muscle Hill – Viva Las Lindy miss Hannah vacated the three-hole at the three-quarters, went to the lead in the stretch, then withstood closing favorite Sherry Lyns Lady by ¾ of a length in 1:57.2, which was a North American divisional season’s record in addition to her first winning outing.  The fleet filly had personal back fractions of :57.4 - :28.4 in winning for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller, and the ownership of Andy Miller Stable Inc., Lawrence Dumain, and Little E LLC. In the race for males, the Trixton – Lima Playmate colt Play Trix On Me came to his contest with a 2:00 qualifying win at Pocono, and he came out of it with a mark of 1:58.1 despite the arriving rain for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Gareth Dowse, and owner Matthew Dugan. The chalk winner made a quarter-move and controlled the pace, showing fine end speed of :58 - :28.3 to win by 5¾ lengths.         Another freshman winner was the pacing filly Shotgun Persuasion, dropped in against one other baby and six older foes in a “nw 1” event, and again Tim Tetrick had the winning drive. The daughter of Western Ideal – Merculese spotted midpack early, went out then back in down the backstretch to avoid gapping cover, then got clearance up the inside in the stretch. Though the first-time purse starter appeared to be attracted by the tote board in late stretch, Shotgun Persuasion still had enough late kick to get her cocked-left head to the wire first by a nose in 1:57.1 (track still “fast”) for trainer Jim King Jr. and owner Jo Ann Looney-King.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - Ghost Pine could not be caught in a 1:50.3 harness racing victory in the $14,500 featured pace Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the season's first local race for freshmen producing a season's record-tying 1:54.4 win for Adriano Hanover. A son of Badlands Hanover, Ghost Pine tucked third behind outside post leavers Control Tower and Letschasethedreamn in a :26.4 first quarter, then brushed to command in front of the stands for driver Pat Berry and hit the half in :55. Favored Boogie Shuffle couldn't make much of an impact before or after the 1:22.3 three-quarters, but the two leavers behind the winner came at him hard in the lane, Control Power to his right and Letschasethedreamn to his left. It took the photo finish to determine that Ghost Pine held on for a neck triumph over Control Tower, just ahead of Letschasethedreamn. The win was the fastest of the season and the 35th in the career of Ghost Pine, who boosted his earnings to $387,674. Ron Coyne Jr. trains the veteran for owners Blair Corbeil and Mike Mcallister. The first pari-mutuel race for two-year-olds in 2019 at Philly was held Wednesday, with the $13,000 contest for male pacers won by Adriano Hanover in 1:54.4 as noted, equaling the North American season's record clocking achieved by two colts at Philly during yesterday's qualifying races, Major Betts and All Hands On Deck. Adriano Hanover did not have an easy trip, tucking fourth for driver Tim Tetrick and then having to go first-over against favored pacesetter Southwind Dredge, but the youngster showed real talent while coming home in identical 27.2 back quarters to finish a length ahead of the favorite. Adriano Hanover surely has the pedigree to be a top racer - he is a son of Western Ideal out of A And G'sconfusion, a 2YO champion, world recordsetter, and winner of almost $1.5M. Jim King Jr. trains the promising baby for Jo Ann Looney-King and Joseph Palermo III. A second two-year-old pacing colt won on the card - trainer Chris Oakes entered the freshman Hunter Hill in against older horses in a "4YO and under nw 1 race" event, and the colt came from ten lengths behind at the three-quarters under the cool handling of Tim Tetrick to win in 1:55, a neck to the good of Keystone Maxim, with an individual last quarter of :27.3. The Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Ali Blue, whose granddam produced millionaire Fashion Delight, was within a fifth of the season's record in taking a mark for the ownership group of Northfork Racing Stable, John Craig, and breeder Tom Hill.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - North American season's records were reported for both sexes of two-year-old pacers on Tuesday morning at Harrah's Philadelphia, as fifteen qualifying races were held for the further development and education of the harness racing freshmen. In four pacing colt sections, two youngsters became the first to win under 1:55 on a 5/8-mile track this season. First up was Major Betts, a son of Art Major out of Southwind Johanne, whose own mother Juliet's Fate, when mated with Art Major, produced $600G+ champion Southwind Serena. Major Betts, in his debut, rallied from four lengths out at the three-quarters to win in 1:54.4, with back fractions of :55.4 - :27.3, for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Mark Harder, with the latter sharing partnership with Joseph Jannuzelli and Deena Rachel Frost. 26 minutes later that 1:54.4 clocking would be equaled by the Captaintreacherous - All Tucked Up colt All Hands On Deck, who rallied from the pocket with closing speed of :55 - :27. Corey Callahan guided the baby, a good-closing third in his first line, for trainer Sam DePinto and owners Shannon DePinto and Peter Rizzi. The fastest of six races for pacing fillies went in 1:55.2, a time achieved by the American Ideal - Taxi Fare Hanover miss Fashion Hill. A full sister to the developing star Turbo Hill, Fashion Hill rallied to be third in her debut; here driver Andrew McCarthy put her on the engine to good effect, coming home in :56.4 - :27.4 for trainer Robert Cleary and owner/breeder Tom Hill. Two pacing fillies chalked up their second wins: Bolt Of Beauty, by Bolt The Duer - Natural Luck, who took a new mark of 1:56.1 for driver Marcus and trainer Erv Miller; and So Rude, a daughter of So Surreal - I Am A Snob who was guided to victory in 1:58.3 by driver Tim Tetrick for trainer Scott Di Domenico. Quickest of the three trotting distaff sections fell to Keystone Candace, who led throughout a 1:59.1 win, coming home in :58.2 - :29, to win her second qualifying event and take a new mark. The daughter of Andover Hall - Caitir, whose dam is a half-sister to the $2.5M-winning Wesgate Crown, reunited driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Scott Di Domenico in the winners circle for owners Triple D Stables Inc. and RBH Ventures Inc. The faster of two qualifying sections for trotting males went to the ¾ brother of undefeated Millies Possesion, Authentic Fashion, in 2:02, an individual best. The son of Donato Hanover-Fashion Athena, a Fashion Farms LLC-owned homebred, showed the poise of a veteran for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Jim Campbell, cutting the half, getting passed down the backstretch and being shuffled to fourth, yet still being able to rally with a :29.1 last quarter for a going-away triumph. Tim Tetrick topped the drivers colony with four wins during the session; Scott Di Domenico conditioned three victorious freshmen to lead all trainers.   PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - Star Studded Cast trotted to his third straight harness racing victory in the $14,000 claiming handicap trotting feature on the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, overcoming the outside post eight for a 1:55.1 victory. Trainer/driver Hunter Oakes, who acquired the winner when he was claimed by Northfork Racing Stable out of his last start, sent the Current Cast eight-year-old gelding straight to the top from the outside, hitting the quarter in :27.1. Noble Prize proceeded up to the lead passing the stands, but as soon as he yielded the top Star Studded Cast was back to reclaim the front by the :56 half. Despite these fast early fractions, the winner stayed strong on the front end, passing the three-quarters in 1:25.3 and then finishing two lengths ahead of Shivered, who had come three-wide from near the back on the backstretch and made up a lot of ground. Star Studded Cast, second in his Maine Sire Stakes final at both two and three, posted his sixth win of the campaign and 32nd in his career. He now has amassed earnings of $279,850. The track's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., had three winners on the Monday card. The trio gives "GNap" ten victories at Pocono for the first three cards of the racing week, and he has 14 triumphs since Saturday if counting the four he notched at Philly on Sunday.   PHHA / Pocono

WATTSBURG PA - The 2019 Pennsylvania fair circuit starts up this Saturday and Sunday in this northwest Pennsylvania town, outside of Erie, with two- and three-year-olds competing in Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes harness racing action, both days starting at noon - the freshmen on Saturday, and the sophomores on Sunday. Enough two-year-olds have entered to allow for nine races on Saturday. Four of the freshmen have already tasted victory in qualifying races, but now they'll get to compete for stakes money as they turn behind Clarence Martin Jr.'s gate on Saturday. The three-year-olds entered in force at Wattsburg for Sunday, with thirteen heats scheduled for the sophomores, including two divisions of each of the "A" Fair Sire Stakes events. Three of the four PA Fair Championship winners at The Meadows last October will be out for the first fair stakes of 2019 - filly trotter RT Gloria De Dios, filly pacer Sure R Lookin Good, and colt trotter Watch Me Hanover. The fourth two-year-old champion of 2018 will also be racing on Saturday, but due north of Wattsburg, about a three-hour drive - as Aflame Hanover starts from the rail in the $1,000,000 North America Cup final at Mohawk in Ontario. This is the first of twenty scheduled stops on this year's Pennsylvania fair circuit. The "A" division Sire Stakes horses try to accumulate enough high-finish points in their competitions to race on the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship card, scheduled for October 5 at The Meadows.   Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

WILKES-BARRE PA - The three-year-old trotting colt Greenshoe continued his awesome 2019 harness racing performances during a Wednesday morning qualifying session at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning in a spectacular 1:52. Brian Sears came to Pocono to guide the son of Father Patrick, and the pair hung up fractions of :28, :55.4, and 1:24.1, with the sophomore fifteen lengths ahead by the half and having a margin of 28 lengths at the wire. The Marcus Melander-conditioned trotter, owned by Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, and Morten Langli, had not raced since winning the New Jersey Sire Stakes final at The Meadowlands on May 31, and the sharp victory sets him up perfectly for the eliminations of the Earl Beal Trot at Pocono on Saturday, June 22, with the $500,000 Beal Championship a week later. Southwind Ozzi, the fastest three-year-old in a race this year at 1:48.4, was scheduled to qualify but was scratched. There were seventeen baby qualifiying races as the busy morning stretched into early afternoon at Pocono, with four races for each gait and sex except the colt trotters, who went in five sections. Among the pacing fillies, the Sunshine Beach-Oceans Motion miss Robmotion Bluechip won her second straight start, setting the pace and being extended by the pocketsitting A Rocknroll Dance miss Dances With, but able to hold on by a nose in 1:56, a North American season's record by a full second and the fastest mile by a freshman pacing filly anywhere. Tyler Buter drove the talented filly for trainer Chuck Connor Jr. and the ownership of Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Robert Lovell, and Janice Connor. In the pacing colt ranks, Ray Schnittker sent out three winners, the fastest being the first-time starter Captain Groovy, who moved to the lead past the quarter and won in 1:56.3, back fractions :56.3 - :28. The son of Captaintreacherous is the first foal out of Lets Groove Tonite, who is a ¾ sister to the $1.2M+-winning world champion Dynamic Youth. Schnittker also drove this colt, and he co-owns him with Ted Gewertz, Howard Taylor, and Mary Kinsey Arnold. Schnittker also drove the American Ideal colt Teton Sunset to his second straight win, in 1:58, coming from fourth with a back half of :56.4. The third Schnittker stablemate from this section to win was the Well Said colt Lake Charles, who debuted in 1:57, his own last half :57.1, with Mark MacDonald in the sulky. The son/father team of driver Scott and trainer Rick Zeron unveiled two winning filly trotters, including Illdoitmyself, a daughter of Chapter Seven out of Dornello. This filly proved "misnamed" in her race, as the Kadabra - Win Missy B miss She Must Be Magic posted huge fractions of :28, :58.1, and 1:27.3, opening up a 15 length lead at the last-named call, but Illdoitmyself came a last quarter of :28.1 to catch the leader by ¾ of a length in 1:58.4, a season's record by over two seconds. Illdoitmyself is owned by Rick Zeron Stables, James Walker, and Van Camp Trotting Corp. The Zerons also won with Fortune Telln Lady, a daughter of Trixton who won in 2:01 on the lead, back fractions :58.2 - :28.4. Trainers Gareth Dowse and Erv Miller each had two victories in the freshman trotting colt action, all with first-time starters. The fastest win in this group was posted by Play Trix On Me, a Trixton - Lima Playmate colt who quarter-moved for trainer/driver Dowse and stopped the clock in 2:00, :58.2 / :29 coming home, for owner-breeder Steve Jones. Dowse also piloted the Andover Hall colt Paulie Walnuts to a 2:00.4 win, coming out of the pocket with a :28.4 burst home. Both of Erv Miller's trainees are by first-year sire Whom Shall I Fear, the full brother to Father Patrick and Pastor Stephen. Scott Zeron rallied the colt Meadowbrook Chip out of the two-hole for a 2:00.3 success, with back numbers of :58.3 - :29.1, while the gelding Fear The Tiger, who overcame a hard first-over trip in his 2:02.2 victory, was driven by - Erv Miller! This was Erv's first success in the sulky since July 23, 2016, but many forget he was a two-time UDR champion in 1998-99. Ray Schnittker, Scott Zeron, and Gareth Dowse each drove three freshman winners, while Dowse as trainer also had three triumphs to lead the conditioners' grouping in the baby races. PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

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