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LEBANON, OH - All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) dominated the $25,000 Open I Trot at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (March 17), establishing a new lifetime mark in the process. The 6-year-old Ken Rucker-trainee grabbed the front end during a :27.1 first quarter, then proceeded to trip the subsequent timing beams in :56.1 and 1:25.2 before scooting home in :28.1 to record the 1:53.3 victory. The gelded son of Swan For All towed pocket sitter Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) through the finish line in second with Andy Ray (Elliott Deaton) rallying from fifth to third in the stretch. The triumph was the 16th in 91 career starts for All About Cowboys, who blew past the $200,000 earnings plateau with the win. Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas of Illinois own the ultra-consistent winner who has banked $58,180 in eight 2019 starts at Miami Valley. A $20,000 Open II Trot was captured easily by Mugshot Man (Chris Page), who was open lengths better than Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Impressive Chief (Brett Miller) in 1:54.4. It was just the second win in the last two seasons for the 6-year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse, but was the quickest of his ten lifetime victories. Fred Morgan Jr. trains Mugshot Man for owner John Holman. The Red Owens Memorial late-closer for green fillies and mares got underway on Sunday as well. Heavily-favored Ben's Jenna (Trace Tetrick) lived up to the public's expectations, but only narrowly. The Mach Three-sired sophomore won for the third time in just six lifetime starts in 1:56.3. Delight Kate (Tyler Smith) and Respect (Kyle Ater) were next best in a tightly bunched field at the finish. Tyler George conditions the winner for David Kryway and the Ontario LTD stable.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - All About Cowboys was all about business on Sunday (Feb. 17) afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway, winning the $22,500 Open I Trot in a front-stepping 1:55 effort. The 6-year-old black son of Swan For All has now put together a streak of four weeks with two wins and two place finishes in the weekly harness racing top trot. Driver Jason Brewer guided the winner through a well-rated mile that included checking in at the early stations in :27.3, :56.4 and 1:25.4. Sent off at 3-1, All About Cowboys had to hold off a furious late rally by Pine Dream (Chris Page) to notch the narrow victory. Monopoly Blue Chip (Kayne Kauffman) was best of the rest, while Another Breath (Dan Noble) and Trotting Grace (Brett Miller) picked up the remaining paychecks. Ken Rucker trains All About Cowboys for owners Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas. The victory was his 15th in 88 career starts and raised his lifetime earnings to $186,000. Mystical Power (Chris Page), moving up from the $20,000 claiming level, garnered to honors in a $20,000 Open II Trot. The 6-year-old Yankee Glide mare bested Impressive Chief (Miller) and Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) in 1:55.4. It was the winner's tenth win overall and fourth in her last five starts, but the first in open company. Clarence Foulk conditions Mystical Power for L & L Stables. Racing resumes Monday afternoon (Feb. 18) at 2:05 p.m. at Miami Valley. Featured will be the $15,000 Survival Series championship leg for $5000 claiming mares, slated as Race 10 on the program.   From the Miami Valley Media Department

DAYTON, OH - Despite 24 degree temperatures and never seeing the pylons Granite captured the $18,500 Open Handicap Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night (Dec. 8) in 1:49.2. /The clocking was the fourth fastest in the five year history of harness racing's newest track, following only Donttellmeagain (1:47.4), State Treasurer (1:48.4) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (1:49.1)-all marks taken in editions of the Dayton Pacing Derby, a lucrative Grand Circuit event for older pacers in late September each season. Granite, driven by the meet's leading driver Jeremy Smith, left the gate with alacrity but had to settle for second-over position throughout the fray. Night Pro (Dale Decker) assumed his normal position on the front end through the first two fractions of :26.1 and 54.0 with Sadiq Hanover (Dan Noble) in the pocket and Winwood Mac (Chris Page), the winner of two of the last three weekly features, challenging the leaders on the rim. Granite, a son of Real Desire, was in tow in the outer flow until Winwood Mac cleared to the front off the final turn leaving the pair of 5-year-old stalwarts in a stretch-long duel to the wire. The winning Ken Rucker trainee surged ahead a couple strides from the finish to establish a new lifetime mark. Sadiq Hanover, claimed last week for $37,500, gave up little ground and raced gallantly to finish very close in the show position. The Panhellenic Stable owns Granite, who won for the 7th time this season, 19th time in his career, and boosted his lifetime bounty to $348,910. Next Saturday night (Dec. 15) Hollywood Dayton Raceway will present the fourth annual "Hoosiers vs. Buckeyes Drivers Challenge" with Hoosier Park's top five available reinsmen taking on Hollywood Dayton's current leading dash drivers in a six-race competition. The Hoosiers will be represented by Trace Tetrick, Ricky Macomber Jr., Lewayne Miller, Mike Oosting and Brandon Bates. The Buckeye squad will be comprised of Jeremy Smith, Dan Noble, Chris Page, Josh Sutton and Kayne Kauffman. From the Press Box at Dayton Raceway  

STICKNEY, IL - Saturday evening at Hawthorne saw a pair of divisions in leg two of the Incredible Finale. The Incredible Finale is for Illinois-bred two-year-old colt and gelding pacers as the pair of races were contested over a fast track. Race three was the first division of the Incredible Finale as Meyer On Fire and The Bucket battled for off time favoritism. Sent away as the favorite was The Bucket with Casey Leonard driving. Making the early lead was Meyer on Fire as he cruised through the opening quarter in :30.2. Chased by longshot Coming Up through a half in :59.1, Meyer on Fire maintained his lead while The Bucket was well positioned in third. Opening up a three length lead through three quarters in 1:28.3, Meyer on Fire led the field into the lane as The Bucket started to move. Mid-stretch, The Bucket moved alongside Meyer on Fire as Meyer on Fire broke stride and dropped back. At the wire, The Bucket was six lengths clear, winning in 1:57.2. Coming Up held second while Meyer on Fire got back on stride, finishing third. The Bucket is owned by George Dremonas, along with trainer Ken Rucker. Race five was the second division of the Incredible Finale as a competitive field of seven was led by favorite Maximus as Casey Leonard and Ken Rucker looked to sweep both divisions. Leaving quickly was Holden Steady, passing the opening quarter in :29.2. On the backside, Fox Valley Julius moved quickly to take over, passing the half in :59.0. After three quarters in 1:28.3, Fox Valley Julius held a three length lead into the lane. Mid-stretch, both Voila and Maximus tipped out and went after the leader as Maximus was closing fastest of all, winning in 1:57.2. Voila finished second while Fox Valley Julius held third. Maximus is owned by The Panhellenic Stable Corporation and Ken Rucker. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through September 24. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 5 through December 29. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim MIller for Hawthorne Race Course  

On Saturday night the circuit’s Invitational returns to Maywood Park for the first time in three weeks while the 2008 Springfield Review stake trot champion competes in Illinois for the first time in six years. Big Boy Lloyd, now just days away from his being a 10-year-old, will go postward in Saturday’s $11,000 “Winner’s Over” Trot for owner Ken Rucker, who is back in town with the season closing of Pocono and Chester in Pennsylvania. Big Boy Lloyd took the Springfield Review under the care of Rucker in 2008 and a few years later was bought by Ken. The Dream Vacation gelding has earned over $600,000 in his career racing out of the Rucker stable and that’s despite missing two full years of racing. “He suffered a leg injury in the summer of 2012,” said his Balmoral Park trainer Catrina Rucker. “We qualified him a year later and while he qualified he good, we didn’t like the way he came out of it and my husband felt that he needed more time off. The horse had been so good for us Ken wanted to give him all time he needed to come back 100 per cent. “The horse didn’t start racing again until the July this past summer, so he was off two full years. He did well in Pennsylvania, making over $47,000 in a half-season of racing and now he’s back home in Illinois with some of our other horses Ken brought back.” Big Boy Lloyd’s best year in purse earnings was in 2009 as a 4-year-old when he banked over $208,000 and was a frequent Open winner on the Pennsylvania circuit. As a 5-year-old he picked-up checks at the Meadowlands in the Su Mac Lad Series and Final against the likes of Lucky Jim (1:50.1, $1.9 million), Arch Madness (1:50.2, $4.2 million) and Enough Talk (1:49.3, $1.8 million), the 1-2-3 finalists finishers. Todd Warren gets the catch-drive behind Big Boy Lloyd in Saturday’s eighth race trot when he opens as the 6-1 fourth choice in the morning line behind the streaking Fox Valley Veto (3-1, John De Long), winner of the last trio of  “Winner’s Over” trot; Justice Jet (7-2, Ryan Anderson) and Master of Excuses (9-1, Mike Oosting). Ants Iner Pants (12-1), Time Outa Jail (10-1), Repeat Your ABC’s (15-1), Salutation Hanover (12-1) and Surclasser (12-1) complete the competitive field. James Behrendt’s Ice Scrapper (p.p. 7, Brian Carpenter), who has finished first or second in his last six starts, is the 5-2 programmed choice in the $15,000 fifth race Invite where he’ll try to avenge a defeat to Artache Hanover, who is 2-for-2 on the local scene since being shipped to town by trainer Jim Eaton. Artache Hanover (pp 6, Sam Widger) will be coupled with Mosse Terror (Mike Oosting). Both seasoned pacers are owned by Robert Silberberg of Farmington Hills, Michigan and are the 7-2 early third choices. Best Man Hanover (pp 4, Todd Warren) is the 3-1 second choice. The first three slots will be manned by Time To Roll (5-1, Dave Magee), Firstclassallthway (8-1, John Delong) and Fort Silky (8-2 Casey Leonard) with posts 1, 2, 3, respectively. The third headliner of the evening is the $11,000 “Winner’s Over” for filly and mare pacers with last week’s beaten favorite Always’s About Katey (pp 1, Todd Warren) the 2-1 first-flash favorite. Early Xmas Gift: The longshot $25.00 winner The Bruzilian Blur (Bobby Smolin) was my top 11th race selection last night at Maywood Park. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Saturday’s re-scheduled Sue Fee stake at Balmoral Park came up with enough harness racing entries to split the ICF filly and mare event into a pair of $13,250 divisions, something I projected to likely occur a few days ago. What I didn’t expect was for the one-time Super Night champion Party Hangover to come in from Pennsylvania for the race. The 5-year-old mare, owned by former Illinois trainer Ken Rucker, sent Party Hangover back to Illinois under the care of his wife Catrina for the Sue Fee. The Party At Artsplace mare has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite in the ninth face, the first division of Sue Fee and is being reunited with Todd Warren who guided the mare to six consecutive Chicago circuit victories earlier this year, including the $21,400 Parklane Powerful back in mid-June. Party Hangover left Illinois after a disappointing sixth place finish in the Propes Final on Super Night when she was parked-out to a 27.1 first quarter shooting out from the 10-hole. “Her blood word was all mussed up for that race,” said Catrina. “It still wasn’t right when she raced later at Saratoga but it looks like she’s good again. She wouldn’t let anybody pass her last week in Pennsylvania." Party Hangover dropped her first five decisions when she left Illinois, a pair of Open Handicaps at Saratoga in upstate New York, and a trio of conditioned paces in Pennsylvania, before winning her last start (1:55.1) at Philadelphia in front-stepping fashion. “We sent her back out east after Super Night because there weren’t any races here in Chicago for her. They weren’t writing the “Winner’s Over.” Now that they are we plan on keeping the mare in Illinois through the end of the year,” added the one-time Maywood Park Trainer of the Year. As a 3-year-old, Party Hangover came away with the Grandma Ann 3-year-old filly title on Super Night when she raced out of the Jesse De Long stable. She was acquired by the Rucker’s in 2013. “We bought Party Hangover privately near the end of last year and sent her out East to race,” said Catrina. “She did very well there but she was ever better when she came back to Illinois, winning a lot of races with Todd. “We trained her Thursday for Saturdays’ stake and she trained like a monster. She likes being back home and she likes having her boyfriend Sage Ruck in the stall next to her. You can see he’s happy to have his girlfriend back, too.” Party Hangover will leave from post three tonight with State Street Liz (3-1, Bobby Smolin) and Fox Valley Amanda (6-1, Dale Hiteman) on her inside and Tamarac Sassy (8-1, Casey Leonard), Ryleigh’s Lilly (4-1, Mike Oosting), Schmatie (10-1, John De Long) and Financial Effort (10-1, Ross Leonard) on her right. The fifth race first Sue Fee division looks to be wide-open according to the program odds with Just Be Design (3-1, Dave Magee), Dallas Jones (7-2, Tim Curtin) and Auniqueaquisition (4-1, Dale Hiteman) the first flash favorites. Then it’s Whistle Pig (Ross Leonard) at 5-1, Molly Go Lightly (Mike Oosting) at 8-1, Rev Me Up (Brian Carpenter) and Kimberley R (Bobby Smolin) both at 10-1, and the 15-1 longshot Toshie Special (Jacob Fox). by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

With one major Super Night championship on her résumé the year-old ICF mare Party Hangover is looking to add another next Saturday on Illinois’ most anticipated evening of racing at Balmoral Park. Party Hangover, the 2012 Grandma Ann champion for trainer Jesse De Long, had won her first six first pari-mutuel starts after owner-trainer Ken Rucker sent Party Hangover back to Illinois under the care of his wife Catrina and driver Todd Warren before her second place finish last night in her Propes elimination. Dune In Red (1:51.2), given a pocket trip by Dave Magee, overtook Party Hangover in the lane to win the second elimination while defending Propes champion Let’s Go Higher breezed in 1:52 flat in the first split. I asked Catrina to fill me in about Party Hangover. “We bought Party Hangover privately near the end of last year and sent her out East to race,” said Catrina. “She did very well there this year making almost $28,000. But she’s been ever better since she’s been back in Illinois.” In her seven starts ion the Chicago circuit this year Party Hangover has raked in almost $40,000 for the Rucker family. What has made the mare so good in her home state? “In Pennsylvania there was no consistency with drivers,” replied Catrina. “You would get a different driver every week. A couple of times our mare got locked-in with a ton of pace but nowhere to go. You look at those lines it would appear she wasn’t racing well but she was racing great. “Here in Illinois it’s a different type of racing on a different type of track. Party Hangover is a mare that you can race any way you want, on the front or out of a hole. “Todd (Warren) has been great with the mare and he likes her a lot, too. He told us she’s done everything he’s asked her. “We scratched her out her Springfield race when the day of race got moved because of the rain they had down there. We wanted her fit and ready for the Parklane Powerful and she was, coming up with her second new lifetime mark (1:51.2). “We put her in a qualifier last Wednesday to keep her sharp because there wasn’t a race for her last Saturday and we didn’t want to go three weeks in between starts. “Party Hangover is kind of like the barn star right now and she likes being pampered. “A baby can jog her but once you turn her she’s all business on a racetrack. If you train her with another horse she won’t let that horse get past her. She’s just a monster on the track.” As a 3-year-old Party Hangover was an eight-time winner for the De Long stable and put over $161,000 on her card with the bulk of that money coming with consecutive wins in the Springfield and Du Quoin State Fair championships, and triumphs in both her Grandma Ann elimination and its final. Nailing Down Another: Al’s Hammered (Bobby Smolin) uncorked a season fastest 1:49.1 mile last night in his Maurello elimination victory, avenging his recent loss to Fort Silky in the Egyptian stake at Maywood. The win was No. 13 of the season for Al’s Hammered, owned and trained by Bob Phillips, and likely sewed up his role as the morning line favorite for Saturday’s $120,000 Championship. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Bred by Rita and Rod Williams, this son of Art’s Conquest out of the dam Cold Fusion, was foaled in North Henderson, Illinois and sold for $40,000 at the 2002 Cottonwood Farm Sale as a yearling to the Erv Miller Stable. Coldheartedrevenge only made five starts as a 2-year-old, winning twice and making a modest $22,650. However as a 3-year-old he made 11 stops in a winner’s circle, banking $169,074 with $51,000 of that amount coming in his Maywood Pace Final triumph with driver Andy Miller. The horse was sold to east coast interests later in 2004 after his second place finish in the Super Night Langley Consolation and went on to rattle off 6 wins in 7 starts for his new connections. Coldheartedrevenge’s best year in earnings came in 2006 as a 5-year-old when he raked in $205,032. The gelding came back to Illinois that year and raced for the Joe Anderson Stable, winning a trio of Free For All events including the race in the above photo. As a 7-year-old in 2008 the ICF pacer spent the Spring and Fall out east but campaigned in between at Balmoral for the Ken Rucker Stable, taking in over $122,000 while winning 11 races that season. Three of his four Free For All victories in the summer of ’08 on the Crete one-miler were sub 1:50 performances, including a lifetime best 1:48.3 victory with Mike Oosting in early September. The horse would go on to capture the Maurello Consolation on Super Night with Oosting in 1:49.3. Coldheartedrevenge last raced as an 11-year-old in 2012 where he was winless in three trips postward. The rugged ICF pacer ended his career with 58 career victories and earnings of $847,817. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

With Super Night a little more than one week away let’s reflect on the Marty Engel home-bred who posted back-to-back champions on Illinois gala evening in 2007 and 2008. A son of Sportsmaster out of Engel’s broodmare Something Sleazy, Mucho Sleazy earned over $902,000 in 91 career  starts, winning 20 races, with 20 more seconds and 14 third place  finishers. As a 2-year-old Mucho Sleazy captured the Springfield  Championship before dropping a photo to King Of Kings at Du  Quoin in the Governor’s Cup. The gelding made a break in his  Orange and Blue elimination but then rebounded in a big way by winning Balmoral’s $145,000 American National Final, beating  freshman like Art Official, Lets Get It Stared and Sand Shooter. After a first season campaign that saw Mucho Sleazy earn $180,0546, the pacer had an even more spectacular sophomore season when he raked in $474,255 and he did it not only facing the best in the Midwest but the top pacers throughour North American. Mucho Sleazy picked-up fourth place checks in the finals of both $1 million-plus stakes, the North American Cup at Mohawk in Canada and the Meadowlands Pace in New Jersey. The horse took Maywood’s $50,500 Cardinal Final, won a second straight Springfield championship, this one with a sizzling 1:48.4 mile, and then avenged his loss as a freshman at Du Quoin to King Of Kings with a seven-plus length win in the Dudley Hanover on the Southern Illinois clay track in 1:49 flat. The Ken Rucker trainee then bagged his first Super Night title with a 1:50 flat clocking in the Pete Langley Memorial Final. As a 4-year-old Mucho Sleazy campaigned the first eight months of the year out east before he came back to Illinois for Super Night 2009 and captured the Maurello Championship with Andy Miller at his lines. Mucho Sleazy put another $151,940 on his card in his 4-year-old campaign and added $96,205 more in 2010 as a 5-year-old his last season of racing for his Buffalo Grove, Illinois owner. Pick 4 Pool at 25 Grand: Maywood Park will offer a guaranteed Pick-4 pool of $25,000 Thursday night which is on races 9 through 12. There’s a $12,271 carryover into the pool with a 15 per cent take out. All Is Well: One of the two Mike Price Shots for Wednesday came through at Balmoral when All Dune popped at an even $15 in race three with Casey Leonard. Mike Oosting drove 5 of the10 winners on the card. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

In about two months it’ll be the 16th anniversary of the closing of Sportsman’s Park to harness racing. The old Cicero, Illinois track’s final Standardbred program was Friday, October 10, 1997 and attached is that night’s front page of its program. As you can see by the top headline Dave Magee was the leading driver in the Sportsman’s Park final meet while Joe Anderson took the trainer’s title for a sixth consecutive year. After finishing second to Tony Morgan in the Sportsman’s driver race the previous two years (1995 and 1996), Magee reclaimed the driving crown in 1997 for an unprecedented 11th time. Earlier Magee won the Sportsman’s Park driving titles in 1981 through 1983, in 1987, 1989, 1991 through 1994 and in 1997. The final stake race was the $20,000 Rambling Willie for ICF pacers 3 and up. There were 12 horses battling on the seven-eighth’s track, The 35-1 longshot Oliver G Slim, trained and driven by Merv Chupp was the $73.60 upset winner of that stake, coming from 10th with a :26.1 final quarter in 1:53 flat. Oliver G Slim that night beat the likes of Broadway Preview, Hot Chilli Pepper, Bingo Johnnie and Jeffrey’s Pet. The last harness race contested before the demise of Sportsman’s Park was an $8,000 ICF claiming event with a $5,000 purse on the 10-race card. It went to Rose and George Bonomo’s Lake Hills Doc, driven by Andy Miller. The Top 10 drivers on the 1997 and last Sportsman’s Park meeting were Dave Magee, Tony Morgan, Andy Miller, Dale Hiteman, Joe Anderson, Lavern Hostetler, Dean Magee, Dan Knox and Jim Curran. A year earlier (1996) Joe Anderson became the first trainer in Sportsman’s Park history to win over 100 races and $1.2 million in purses and he did it again in 1997. From second through 20th the final trainer’s race it was Brian Pinske, Doug Larsen, Jim Eaton, Dave McCaffrey, Gerry Hansen, Julie Miller, Jim Meade, Ken Rucker, Merv Chupp, Andrew Patterson, Roger Welch, Mitch McKenzie, Perry Smith, Mark Fransen, John Butenschoen, Ronnie Roberts, Homer Hochstetler, Lloyd Daulton and Neil Coleman, in that order. Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association  

As quoted word for word from the Wikipedia entry for The Salem Witch Trials: The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before local magistrates followed by county court of trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties of colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693.

The cream of this years harness racing crop of 3-year-old trotting fillies will be in action at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, September 15 when the Mighty M presents four $44,000 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes.

Big Boy Lloyd, a four-year-old Dream Vacation gelding, pushed his lifetime earnings over the $200,000 mark Tuesday night (July 14) in winning the $25,000 open trot at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The win was the sixth in 16 starts and the first in open or open handicap trot competition since June 2 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Aaron Merriman, currently the nation's leading dash winner with close to 400 wins, will venture to the Meadowlands on Saturday for a busy night of drives. Merriman, 30, of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, comes off a career season in 2008 with 614 wins, which placed him sixth in North America. He has been the leading driver at Northfield Park in Cleveland for the past three years.

When Jack Baggitt Jr. was in grade school, he had no idea where life would take him. Jack wound up on a stage that had a stonedust carpet. In the just completed Freehold harness racing meet, Baggitt captured his first driving title in his 29 year career.

Big Boy Lloyd ran his winning streak to four with a win in the featured Open Handicap trot on Tuesday Night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Big Boy Lloyd, a 4-year-old stallion from the barn of Ken Rucker, came into the race having won consecutive conditions at The Meadowlands and a condition trot at Pocono.

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