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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – It mattered little to Harambe Deo that he was facing the hottest horse at the track as well as one of the best harness racing mares of this or any generation Saturday night at The Meadowlands, as he took down Highalator and Shartin N in the Preferred Handicap for pacers. The race panned out similarly to last week, when Harambe Deo put up fast quarters at both ends of the mile in a spectacular score. The Jeff Cullipher trainee sprinted away from the gate and went to the quarter in a blistering :25.4 for a second consecutive week. A horse known as a stone closer before the last two weeks has now become a front-end lover. “Before Simon [Allard] started driving my horse, leaving wasn’t the way to go,” said Cullipher. When the trainer saw the quarter time last week, he thought his horse was finished. Not so Saturday night. “I didn’t think he was cooked,” said Cullipher, “but you don’t want to see that too often.” The field of six was in straight alignment past the half (:54.2). Shortly thereafter, 2-1 second choice Highalator, seeking a fourth straight score in a Big M feature, vacated the four-hole to come after the leader, and as he advanced, 3-5 favorite Shartin N received a live tow. But on the far turn, the look of the race changed dramatically as Highalator uncharacteristically struggled, backing up in Shartin N’s face, leaving Harambe Deo on a 3-length lead at three-quarters (1:22.3). “I knew the race was over then,” said Cullipher. “Highalator bothered Shartin N a little on the turn. Obviously, she’s not 100 percent herself and we took advantage of everything we could.” Harambe Deo finished the job by pacing home in :26 to stop the clock in 1:48.3, lowering the lifetime best he had established one week ago by one-fifth of a second. Western Joe was fourth lengths back in second with Geez Joe third. Shartin N finished fourth with Wes Delight fifth and Highalator sixth. “He’s easy on himself,” said Cullipher of his prized pupil. “He doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary. He had a good week. We knew he had to have a performance like last week if he was going to beat this field, and that’s just what he gave us.” A 5-year-old gelded son of Woodstock-Tea Time who is owned by Pollack Racing and Cullipher, Harambe Deo now has 16 wins from 81 lifetime outings, good for earnings of $253,869. As the 6-1 third choice in the wagering, he returned $15.00 to win. A LITTLE MORE: Cullipher, who had three winners on last Saturday’s card, saw his Ana Afreet N score one race after Harambe Deo’s win to complete a training double. Ana Afreet N hit the wire in 1:49 after winning last week in 1:48.3. … Izzy Estrada also trained a pair of winner’s circle visitors. … Yannick Gingras led the driver colony with four scores on the program. … All-source wagering totaled $2,256,292. … Favorites ruled over the course of the 26-race weekend, winning 16 times. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Returning to the scene of her two biggest career wins, When Dovescry destroyed her foes in the Friday night harness racing feature at The Meadowlands, a high-end conditioned trot. The 4-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove, who won the 2019 Hambletonian Oaks and 2020 Steele Memorial at The Big M, was on the go early, securing the top out of the first turn in a field reduced to six starters after a pair of scratches, and hit the quarter on the point in a leisurely :28. There wasn't much action as the half went in :56.2. Longshot Arabella's Cadet tried to apply pressure around the far turn but was turned away as they turned for home. A final quarter of just :28 was more than enough for the Brett Pelling trainee to score by 3¼ lengths over Mississippi Storm in 1:52.1. Felicityshagwell S, the 7-5 second choice, finished third. "We wanted to get a race in her," said Pelling, "since she is going to the [Oct. 31] Breeders Crown Mares Trot [at Hoosier Park]. She was perfectly straight tonight." Pelling sees a fabulous future for his horse. "Her whole game is getting through being 4-years-old. When she comes back next year, she'll go 20 times (she's started only six times in 2020). At 4, you race aged horses, and I think at that age, they are not mature. You are going against horses that are fully developed. It takes a special horse to take on horses that are fully developed when you are just 4." When Dovescry, who was driven by David Miller, paid $3.80 to win as the 4-5 public choice. She is owned by Yves Sarrazin, Dumain Haven Farm, Singh & Soulsby and John E Lengacher and now has 12 wins from 26 career starts and earnings of $1,065,186. ONE FOR THE THUMB: Captain Corey remained unbeaten in five lifetime starts by taking the $61,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial Judge Moore division for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot as the 1-9 favorite. The Ake Svanstedt trained and driven colt, a product of Googoo Gaagaa-Luv U All, never had an anxious moment, drubbing three overmatched foes by leading at every call before hitting the wire 3¾ lengths in front of second-place finisher Royson's Punch in 1:54.1. Lindysmusclemania was third. Captain Corey, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, now has earnings of $295,313 and is being pointed to the October 30 Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park. In a non-betting event before the regular card, Insta Glam (Father Patrick-Hollywood Hill) won the Reynolds Meda division for juvenile trotting fillies. The Nancy Takter-trained, Dexter Dunn-driven miss raised her lifetime record to five wins from 10 starts, good for earnings of $240,170. A LITTLE MORE: Favorite players wore out a path to the windows on the night, as nine straight post-time choices scored starting in the second race. A total of 10 chalks scored on the 13-race card. ... Dunn was red hot on the night, guiding five winners. ... All-source handle totaled $1,853,232. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Adorabella and Century Ferrari were the winners Friday night at The Meadowlands as the mile oval hosted a pair of Fall Harvest Series Finals for pacers as the co-featured harness racing events on the card. Adorabella, a 4-year-old by Pet Rock-Bella Marta, took the division for fillies and mares in a lifetime-best 1:53.1 for driver Victor Kirby. The Don Niccum trainee, who won for a third straight start, never saw the rail around the first turn and blew past early leader Rock N Roll Rosie just after the quarter, which went in :26.3. Now a nine-time winner from 40 lifetime starts, Adorabella ($8.00 to win as the second choice) led past the half and took pressure from Streak The Lawn around the far turn while Streak The Lawn was providing a live tow for even-money favorite Jazz Fest. A final quarter of :28.3 proved to be enough for the winner to hold on by three-quarters-of-a-length. Justabitofcharm went the inside route to get second. Jazz Fest tipped off cover at just the right time with a little more than an eighth of a mile to go but sputtered from there in a no-excuse third-place finish. Century Ferrari, trained and driven by Bill Mann, won the dash for horses and geldings in 1:52.3, giving the offspring of American Ideal-Sounds Perfect seven wins from 38 lifetime starts. The 4-year-old gelding had things go his way, thanks to a perfect steer from Mann. After 9-5 favorite Thunder Some Where cleared the top before the half, Pembroke Joey rushed up into contention around the far turn while providing a perfect tow for the eventual winner, who tipped off his cover at the eighth pole and needed every inch of the stretch to get past a pesky Pembroke Joey by a neck. Thunder Some Where held third. As the 2-1 second choice, Century Ferrari returned $6.20 to win. A LITTLE MORE: Kirby, who won four last Friday after his trip up the NJ Turnpike, guided three to victory lane. … Leon Bailey, the leading driver this year on the New York County Fair circuit, proved he can hack it in the bright lights of the big city, winning twice on program, his first two victories at The Meadowlands. … All-source wagering totaled $1,776,958. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Freehold, NJ --- Going into the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund finals for 2-year-old trotters at Freehold Raceway on Friday (October 9), Ake Svanstedt looked loaded for bear. He had five horses between the two races: three males and two fillies. He won one final, and just missed winning the other.   In the final for colts and geldings, Svanstedt's Calle Palema prevailed by three lengths. He went to the lead early on, and encountered no serious challenges. Torrey Pines sat in the pocket the whole way, but as they went past three-quarters, Calle Palema pulled away. He coasted under the wire in 1:58, for owner Bender Sweden Inc and driver Steve Smith. That's his second career win, both of which have come in the NJSS-SDF series. Svanstedt also sent out fourth-place finisher Swan By Land and seventh-place finisher Capital T Storm.   Earlier in the day, Svanstedt finished second by a head with Illuminata, losing to Trond Smedshammer-trained Duchesspedia. Smedshammer put his filly in the pocket early, allowing Illuminata to set the tempo. As they turned for home, Duchesspedia came towards the outside, and loomed large over Illuminata. They hit the line together, with Ducesspedia getting the nod in 1:58. The winner is owned by Purple Haze Stables.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (October 10), starting at 12:30 PM. There is a carryover in the pick 5, worth $702.05.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – With many Meadowlands regulars in Lexington racing at The Red Mile, opportunities for other harness racing drivers were there for the taking at the mile oval Friday night. Making the most of his chances was Delaware regular Victor Kirby, no stranger to the Big M winner’s circle, who won four times on the card, all in the Fall Harvest Series, a late closer for horses of moderate class. Kirby recorded a “natural hat trick” by taking the fourth, fifth and sixth races in succession, scoring first with Adorabella in a division for pacing fillies and mares. The Don Biccum trainee, who was the 3-1 third choice, hit the wire in 1:53.3, lowering her previous lifetime best by two-and-four-fifth seconds. Next up was 7-1 sixth choice in the wagering Pirates Alley, a John Wyatt-trained gelding who scored in a division for male pacers in 1:56, before Walks Of Life (5-1 third choice) took another pacing males event in 1:53.2, completing an all-Kirby Pick-3 that returned $514.60 for $1. But Kirby’s fans had one more score in store. The 48-year-old pilot, currently fourth in the standings at Harrington Raceway, kept 20-1 long shot Thunder Some Where close to the action in the 11th race, another male pacing division, and got up nearing the wire in 1:53.1 for trainer Paul Blumenfeld. 11s WILD IN PICK-5: Horses that went off at odds of 11-1 scored in both races two and three on the card, setting the stage for an Early 20-cent Pick-5 that yielded but one winner – who was betting into the Elite Turf Club hub – that walked away with $35,515.06. The lone winning favorite during the sequence was a lukewarm 5-2 choice in the first race. The 20-cent Pick-6 failed to yield a winning ticket, which means a carryover of $4,577 will be available Saturday night. A LITTLE MORE: Simon Allard, currently fifth in the Pocono Downs standings, and Marcus Miller, who’s in sixth, each drove two winners on the card. … Nice job by the Big M TV fill-in team of Brett Risi and Andrew Demsky, who both gave out winning Early 50-cent Pick-4 tickets on the in-house simulcast presentation. … All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,304,358. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Neither three weeks off nor a horse grabbing the lead off the far turn could stop Highalator from continuing his winning ways at The Meadowlands, as the 6-year-old won his second straight after being under siege throughout the stretch at the mile oval Saturday night. For those who bet on the Jenny Bier trainee, who last raced on Sept. 5 at The Big M, it looked almost too good to be true in the early going, as driver Ricky Still urged the harness racing son of Somebeachsomewhere-Higher And Higher to the lead from post 10 without having to work too hard to do it. The quarter was reached in a leisurely :27.1 before the half was hit in a sleepy :55.3. But on the far turn, Jesse Duke N made a race of it after popping out of the three-hole on the far turn, and came after the leader with good momentum, actually grabbing a half-length advantage with three-sixteenths-of-a-mile to go. But Highalator had more. Through the stretch, Highalator and Jesse Duke N went at it toe-to-toe while U S Captain on the outside and Ideal Feeling at the rail made their way into the scrum. At the wire, Highalator determinedly prevailed in 1:50, finishing a head in front of Ideal Feeling. U S Captain, the 2-1 public choice, was third while Jesse Duke N was fourth. Owned by Jenny Bier, Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc., Highalator, who has won three of four 2020 starts at The Big M, returned $11.60 to win as the third choice in the wagering. He now has 37 victories from just 81 lifetime starts and earnings of $604,614. A LITTLE MORE: Brian Sears and Dexter Dunn sat atop the driver's colony for the evening, as each guided three winners. ... One of Sears' wins came with Exotic Dance, a 4-year-old pacing mare from the Jenn Bongiorno stable who increased her winning streak to four in a $15,000-$20,000 claiming handicap. ... Despite favorites winning both races, each 10-cent Pentafecta brought handsome payouts. The fifth race paid $1,404.70 and the 13th race came back $1,633.47. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,251,836. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.     By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Fire Start Hanover, Commanding Officer and Summa Cum Laude all remained perfect through two harness racing legs of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds at The Meadowlands Friday night. Fire Start Hanover had an easy time of it in the first race filly pace, sailing down the road in a lifetime-best 1:52.1 to win by 1¾ lengths with driver Victor Kirby calling the shots. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Fit To Frame, who is trained by Nifty Norman, paid $3.20 to win as the 3-5 favorite and ran her overall winning streak to three. Commanding Officer completed an all-chalk Early Daily Double for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. The 2-5 favorite cleared to the lead before the three-eighths on the way to a 1½-length romp in 1:52.1 in a division for colt and gelding pacers. The son of Captaintreacherous-Turnoffthelights returned $2.80 to win. Summa Cum Laude stayed unbeaten in taking another division for male pacers in race nine. Driven by Simon Allard for trainer Ron Burke, Summa Cum Laude took over the lead after Bettor Not Talk went off stride while racing on the point on the way to the half. The winner, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate, scored by a length in 1:52.2 and returned $4.00 as the even-money post-time choice. A LITTLE MORE: Allard was the top driver of the night. Currently fifth in the standings at Pocono Downs, Allard won three races on the night, two of them for Burke. … Kirby guided a pair of winner’s circle visitors for Norman. … Mark MacDonald and Zeron also steered two to victory lane. … Big M TV personality Jessica Otten correctly selected the $267.40 Early 50-cent Pick-4. She also gave out best bet Mazzarati, who returned $9.80 to win. … Despite the 4-5 favorite scoring easily, the 13th race Pentafecta failed to yield a winning ticket. The next Late 10-cent Pentafecta will start out with a carryover of $14,331. … All-source wagering totaled $1,878,489. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – We’ve seen this before. And before the year is out, it’s almost a certainty we’ll see it again. Allywag Hanover, a close-up third in The Meadowlands Pace two months ago, ended a personal three-race losing streak with authority Saturday night at The Meadowlands, exploding home in the final eighth of a mile to take a high-end conditioned harness racing pace in 1:49.2. “We’ve seen him get airborne before,” said trainer Brett Pelling. “He gets going faster than most horses go.” Heading into the ninth race, it was difficult to know which Allywag Hanover would show up, given his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship as the 3-5 favorite at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sept. 6. “When he came back from Canada [after finishing sixth in the North America Cup on Aug. 29], he coughed a little on the Monday before the Sire Stakes,” said Pelling. “He had some clear mucus, and he had the same thing Friday, which was very acceptable. But at Philadelphia, he came up sick, so that was pretty devastating.” After taking antibiotics and getting some rest, Allywag Hanover was ready to go Saturday after taking 12 days off. Rodeo Rock, a veteran hard-hitter with a lifetime bankroll of over $723,000, grabbed the lead at the half after brushing from an early three-hole and the 6-5 second choice had things his own way after getting clear of the field through a third fraction of :27.1 saw him reach three-quarters in 1:22.3. At the head of the stretch, Rodeo Rock was sailing along on a 2½-length advantage while Allywag Hanover was a non-threatening fourth racing with cover with plenty to do. But then he did it. At the eighth pole, Rodeo Rock still looked like the winner, but Allywag Hanover, much like he did on July 4 when he kicked home in :25.3 to win in 1:48, found another gear to nail Rodeo Rock at the finish by a neck after pacing a final quarter in :26. Like Clockwork was third. “It looked to me like he moved twice,” said Pelling. “[Driver Tim] Tetrick said the same thing. He was going, then it looked like he spotted [Rodeo Rock] and started going again.” In upping his lifetime stats to eight wins from 19 career starts, Allywag Hanover returned $3.60 to his backers as the 4-5 public choice. His earnings now stand at $234,163 for owners Allywag Stable. Pelling revealed what the plan is for his prized 3-year-old colt, who is a product of Captaintreacherous-Anderosa Hanover. “He’s going to Hoosier Park Friday for the Jenna’s Beach Boy Stakes,” said Pelling. “And he has other races, too. He’s Breeders Crown eligible. Beyond that, I’m pretty sure he’ll race beyond this year, but it hasn’t been spoken about yet.” A LITTLE MORE: Todd McCarthy continued to make a big impression at The Meadowlands, driving three winners on the program. Andy McCarthy’s 27-year-old little brother has now won nine races over the last three Big M programs. … All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,448,703, capping a second straight weekend where wagering exceeded the $5-million mark. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Marcus Melander shined brightest at The Meadowlands Friday night, as his trainees scored three times among the 10 harness racing divisions of the first leg of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gait. Moonstone S was the first winner of the night for Melander in the third race colts and geldings trot. The son of Muscle Hill-Moonlight Kronos, who finished second in the Aug. 8 Peter Haughton Memorial, pulled the pocket after the half and sailed off to an easy 2½-length score as the 6-5 favorite with Tim Tetrick driving. He recorded his first win in five lifetime starts after stopping the clock in 1:55. Melander and Brian Sears teamed up to take the fourth race filly trot with Ineffable, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Jolene Jolene, who won for the second time in five lifetime tries. The 6-5 public choice, who was third in the Aug. 8 Jim Doherty Memorial, emerged from the pocket to win by a half-length in 1:56.2. In race seven, Melander completed his three-bagger with a second score in a colts and geldings trot as his Sonofamistery, with Sears driving, rolled to an easy 1¾-length win in 1:56.1 after racing parked out for the final half mile. The son of Muscle Hill-Mistery Woman, who broke in each of his first two seasonal starts, paid $3.00 after being sent off as the heavy 1-2 favorite. He’s now won twice from four outings. BIG ACTION: Betting was vigorous in the two multi-leg wagers that offered carryovers. The Late 20-cent Pick-5, which had $21,811 in the hat to start, attracted $123,810 in “new money” for a total pool of $145,621. Those who had tickets with the combination of 5-8-6-6-5 cashed in for $414.64. The Late 20-cent Pick-4 sported a total pool of $172,828 after $134,438 was added to the $38,390 carryover. Tickets reading 8-6-6-5 returned $344.30. … All-source wagering totaled $2,618,071. A LITTLE MORE: Lindysmusclemania stayed perfect in three starts after taking a Kindergarten division for trotting colts and geldings. The Ake Svanstedt-trained son of Muscle Hill-Possessed By Lindy hit the wire in a lifetime-best 1:54.4, 3½ lengths to the good with Andy Miller driving the 6-5 favorite. … Speaking of favorites, they scored in nine straight races beginning in race two. By night’s end, 10 post-time choices had visited the winner’s circle from 13 races. … Live racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - McCarthy, McCarthy, McCarthy, McCarthy! No, not Andy of Hambletonian fame, but little brother Todd, who stole the show at The Meadowlands Saturday night. The recent Australian invader won four times on the 13-race card to record his first harness racing victories at the mile oval. There figure to be many more to come. McCarthy, 27, arrived from Down Under at the end of August and has made an immediate impact racing in the States, winning 11 times from 87 starts entering action Saturday. "Australia was good to me. It's been great for years," said McCarthy. "I was the top driver at Menangle Racetrack in Sydney for the last five years. The timing was tricky [to come to the States] the way things are in the world right now, but it was a good time to come over and give it a go. The racing here is definitely faster and a little more aggressive, but so far it's been great and I'm really enjoying it." So did those who bet him Saturday night. McCarthy got the ball rolling in the third race, finishing first in a dead heat. Guiding A Major Omen, he managed to catch Griffon Hanover at the wire to record his first career Big M win in 1:52.2 in a low-end conditioned pace, paying $7.20 to win. Both horses went off at odds of 6-1. Somebodyitreasure and McCarthy hooked up to destroy their foes in a non-winners of two pace by 5¾ lengths in 1:49.4 as the 6-5 favorite in race four before Flyingevenbettor N gave McCarthy his third win of the night in the sixth race non-winners of four pace in 1:51.2 as the 1-2 public choice. Completing McCarthy's grand slam was 7-1 chance The Bettormack N, who got the better of 3-5 favorite Ocean Colony nearing the finish of race seven. The time for the mile in the mid-range conditioned pace was 1:50. "I've had a good night," the understated McCarthy said. "With a lot of help from some good horses and some good trainers. I've been a lot busier than I thought I'd have been. I think for anyone in the harness racing industry, you look at America, The Meadowlands is the pinnacle. To crack one tonight and then to get a few more after that, it was pretty awesome." Big brother Andy has been in his corner. "Andy's been a key factor in throwing a lot of work my way," said Todd. "The fact that he's been away [racing in Canada] has been a help. He's told some of the trainers, 'I'm away, you can throw my brother down on something'." McCarthy said he plans to race at Philadelphia, Pocono Downs and The Meadowlands in the coming months. "I've enjoyed every track I've raced at," said McCarthy. It shows. BOMBS AWAY! Driver Pat Berry, aka "The Blueberry Bomber", was up to his old tricks again, guiding three winners on the card, none close to being the post-time public choice. Berry scored with Always The Sun ($15.20 to win) in the first race and Imageofarocker ($12.00) in the fifth before saving his best for last, winning with 33-1 shot Harambe Deo ($68.40) in the 10th. On March 7, the last night of racing before the coronavirus shutdown, Berry swept the late double that paid $2,700.40 with horses who went off at 47-1 and 27-1. A LITTLE MORE: With a carryover of $37,159 serving as the catalyst, Early 20-cent Pick-5 players got to shoot for a total pool of $188,387. Those correctly selecting five winners cashed in for $271.46. ... With Harambe Deo providing the big upset, neither the Late 50-cent Pick-4 nor the Late 20-cent Pick-5 were hit. When racing resumes, the Late Pick-4 will have a carryover of $38,390 while the Late Pick-5 will start out with $21,811 in the hat. ... All-source wagering on the 13-race card totaled $2,744,326. ... The Big M's next live racing program is Friday. Post time is 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Over the past two years, Highalator has impressed time and again at The Meadowlands, and Saturday night at the mile oval, he brought his ‘A’ game once again in defeating a talented harness racing field in the featured $18,500 high-end conditioned pace. Unlike his Big M score on June 6 at odds of 42-1 from post 10 from off the pace, driver Ricky Still had the 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere-Higher And Higher on the go early from post 8, following 6-5 favorite Angers Bayama around the first turn. Angers Bayama – seeking his fourth straight win – led at the quarter in :26.2, but Highalator surged to the top shortly thereafter, securing the lead at the three-eighths before being permitted to rate the half in :54.4. Donttellmeagain was now on the move as Tim Tetrick asked that one for pace, and the pair made up ground racing on the rim down the backside and around the far turn, and were just off the leader’s flank at the head of the stretch. But just as he did while sweeping the 2019 Golden Receiver Series at The Big M, Highalator found more. Through the stretch, Highalator had to contend with a pesky Donttellmeagain to his outside and Angers Bayama to his inside. But Highalator was up to the task, fending off that two-pronged attack to score by a safe head after pacing his final quarter in :26.4. Angers Bayama finished second with Donttellmeagain third. The Jenny Bier trainee, who paid $11.00 to win as the third choice, stopped the clock in 1:49 and now has 36 wins from 80 lifetime starts for owners Jenny Bier, Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc. His earnings are now just shy of $600,000. A LITTLE MORE: Hambletonian champion Ramona Hill qualified Saturday morning, winning from off the pace in 1:53.1. … The program marked the start of The Big M’s new 10-cent Pentafectas. The fifth race combination of 9-3-4-10-1 was good for a payoff of $689.34, while the 13th race paid $132.07 for a ticket bearing the combination 3-8-5-2-4. The second and third choices finished in the top two in both races. … Wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,594,313. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Freehold, NJ --- As a man from Freehold once said, "it's been a long time coming, but now it's here". Idle since March 7, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and their typical summer break, Freehold Raceway is back in action this Friday (August 28), with a 10-race program. The harness racing card is highlighted by the first division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund for 3-year-old filly trotters. The likely favorite in the field of eight is Tricky Sister, for trainer Andrew Harris and driver Pat Berry. She's been keeping good company this year, most recently finishing third in the Zweig at Vernon Downs, ahead of Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella, and behind Ramona Hill and Hypnotic AM. Last year, she won the NJSS-SDF Final for 2-year-old trotting fillies over this track, and followed it up with a score in the New Jersey Futurity. She'll leave from post position eight on Saturday. That race will go as the seventh race, with a scheduled post time of 2:30 PM EDT. In addition, the card also features the Preferred Handicap trot, scheduled as the eighth race. A pair of Yonkers Raceway invaders headline the field: Melady's Monet and Stormy Kromer. The former is coming off a win in the Preferred at Yonkers, where he trotted a mile in a season's best 1:53.3. He's got post seven for Hermann Heitmann and George Brennan. The latter won four in a row earlier in the year before fading after a wide trip last out. Daniel Dube drives from post position eight, for trainer Paul Stafford. First post time on Friday at Freehold is 12:30 PM EDT.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Southwind Tyrion continued his impressive winning ways Friday night at The Meadowlands, upping his lifetime record to three wins in as many starts after taking the $60,000 Garden State - sponsored by the Standardbred Owners and Breeders of New Jersey - for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot in 1:54.3 over a track labeled 'good'. The popular 1-9 favorite swung wide off the far turn and sprinted past his foes through the stretch to record a safe 1-length win for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Cricket Fashion was second with Red Redemption third. Two weeks ago, Southwind Tyrion took the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final in a lifetime-best 1:54. He now has earnings of $122,500 for owners S R F Stable, Ake Svanstedt, Knutsson Trotting and Brittany Farms.   In the first of two Garden State divisions for 2-year-old fillies on the trot, Lindys Dollywood, the 4-1 third choice in the wagering, came from off the pace to nail Beautiful Game at the wire. The George Ducharme-trained, Scott Zeron-driven daughter of Muscle Hill-Lindys Crazy won for the first time in three career starts after stopping the clock in 1:54. The Svanstedt-trained Presto made it two wins in three lifetime outings in the second division, hitting the wire in a lifetime-best 1:56.2. Yannick Gingras guided the product of Trixton-Susie's Magic to an easy score as the 1-5 favorite. Dune Hill ran her winning streak to four in the Continentalvictory for 3-year-old filly trotters, holding off Ms Savannah Belle by a nose in 1:53.4 in winning for the sixth time in 16 starts for trainer Ron Burke with Gingras in the bike. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Quite Possible paid $9.20 as the third choice in the betting. Hillexotic, a Muscle Hill-Exotic Destination colt trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer held off the late-charging 3-5 favorite Play Trix On Me in the Muscle Hill for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. The winner, who was sent to the gate as the fourth choice in the betting at odds of 6-1, won for the first time in four career starts, hitting the wire in 1:53. A LITTLE MORE: Gingras recorded three wins on the program while Dexter Dunn had one. Heading into the last day of the meeting, Dunn leads Gingras 83-82 in the driver standings. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,377,908. ... Racing resumes Saturday, Hambletonian Day, at a special early post time of noon. ... There will be a 60-minute Hambletonian show telecast on tape delay on the CBS Sports Network at 6 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – It was a Meadowlands Pace harness racing rematch, where third-place finisher Allywag Hanover was looking for some revenge against Pace champion Tall Dark Stranger. But Captain Kirk did not get the memo that said one of the two favorites would emerge victorious. A son of Captaintreacherous-Aria Hanover, Captain Kirk went directly to the top from post 8 before going directly down the road in the $84,800 Tompkins Geers for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the pace at The Meadowlands Saturday night. Driver Joe Bongiorno was aggressive with the Tony Alagna trainee, and while he never had a moment’s peace, Captain Kirk recorded a determined three-quarter-length win nonetheless in a lifetime-best 1:48.3. Allywag Hanover (the 3-2 second choice) was second, Sandbetweenmytoes third and Tall Dark Stranger fourth. Sent off as the 16-1 third choice in the betting, Captain Kirk led at the quarter in :26.4 while taking bitter pressure from 131-1 chance Rogerthat Bluechip. The duo continued to trade blows to the half as Rogerthat Bluechip had a nose up in :54.2. Rogerthat Bluechip was done soon thereafter, and it was now Allywag Hanover’s turn to turn up the heat on the outside, but Captain Kirk kept on rolling, hitting three-quarters in 1:22.1, before extending his edge to two lengths for the sprint home. It was no problem from there. Captain Kirk ($35.60 to win), who finished seventh in The Pace, still had enough gas in the tank to pace his final quarter in :26.2 to get his second lifetime win in 13 starts. Tall Dark Stranger, the 3-5 favorite, had things go anything but smoothly from post 10, and did not fire after going a second-over trip. In the $53,100 Tompkins Geers split for 3-year-old fillies on the pace, Rocknificent sat in the pocket behind dueling leaders Peaky Sneaky and Alexis’s Beach before swinging three-wide on the far turn. The Scott Zeron-driven, Linda Toscano-trained daughter of Captaintreacherous-Rocklamation, who returned $4.80 as the 7-5 public choice, had to contend with a fast-closing Lady Lou along the rail, and just got up to record a head win in a lifetime-best 1:49.1. Peaky Sneaky was third. The fourth leg of the $40,000 Miss Versatility for open mare trotters went to 2-5 favorite Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato), who needed every inch of the stretch while racing extremely wide to record a nose win over Kenziesky Hanover in 1:52.2 for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. The 5-year-old lifted her lifetime earnings to $1.267 million. A LITTLE MORE: Three of the Big M’s most popular puzzles took big action, as the 20-cent Pick-5 ($106,654), 50-cent Early Pick-4 ($95,893) and 50-cent Late Pick-4 ($97,996) accounted for a total of $300,543 worth of wagers. … Betting blew past the $3-million mark for a second straight card and ninth time this year, as $3,242,000 was pushed through the windows. … Alagna finished the night with three winners, including American History, who took the Open for pacers in 1:47.1, just a fifth of a second off the national season’s record. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. … Saturday’s (August 8) huge Hambletonian Day card gets underway at noon.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - They might have taken different paths to get there, but Altar and Southwind Tyrion both found their way to the harness racing winner's circle in a pair of $160,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals at The Meadowlands Friday night. Altar, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Swan Hot Mama, led at every call in taking the 2-year-old filly trot for driver Dave Miller and trainer Per Engblom. After heading to the gate as the 4-5 public choice, Miller urged Altar to the top and never surrendered the lead in a thoroughly dominant performance, hitting the wire 2¾ lengths in front of Material Girl in a lifetime-best equaling 1:54.4. Presto finished third. "I actually wanted to get out of there and get on Yannick's [Gingras, driving Presto] back," said Miller. "I thought that would be better. She finished real strong." After hitting the half in a rated :58, Altar accelerated and opened up 2½ on the field at three-quarters and had no anxious moments from there. "Not particularly," said Miller when asked if he intentionally sped clear of the field. "She was so relaxed, I did chirp to her on the far turn, and she did everything on her own from there."   Altar returned $3.60 to her backers, and now has two wins in three lifetime starts, good for earnings of $92,500 for owners Diamond Creek Racing. In the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, the Ake Svanstedt trained and driven Southwind Tyrion stayed perfect in two lifetime outings after scoring in a lifetime-best 1:54 coming from off the pace. The son of Muscle Hill-Taylor Jean was pushed wide into the first turn and took back to mid-pack before emerging from the five-hole approaching the half, flushing cover from Mon Amour, who was looking for a three-race Sire Stakes sweep. Miller and Heartbreak Hill were sailing along on the lead at three-quarters but brought little from there. After tipping off his cover, Southwind Tyrion exploded home in :27 to record a 3-length win over Locatelli, who did well from post 10 as the 2-1 favorite. Spy Booth grabbed the show dough. Southwind Tyrion, who returned $16.40 as the fifth choice in the wagering, now has earnings of $92,500 for owners S R F Stable and Ake Svanstedt Inc. STAYING PERFECT: A pair of $96,000 NJSS Finals for 2-year-old pacers were contested before the betting card, with both winners completing three-race sweeps after taking both of their respective preliminary legs. First up was Anna Jeans (Great Vintage-Early Go Hanover), who won the filly event in 2:05.2 for driver Jason Thompson and trainer John Urbanski. Fika Time (a Sunfire Blue Chip-Raiders Favorite gelding) stopped the clock in a lifetime-best 1:55.4 in the division for colts and geldings for Tim Tetrick and Chase Vandervort. There were also a pair of New Jersey Breeders Maturity events for 4-year-old pacers, the first of which - for horses and geldings - went to Hurrikane Emperor in 1:50. The son of Hurrikane Kingcole-Hurrikane Schmumma, the fastest horse in the sport this year by virtue of his 1:47 clocking in the Graduate on July 11, was piloted by Mark MacDonald for John McDermott. A Beach Cowgirl (Somebeachsomewhere-Limestone Cowgirl) established her lifetime best of 1:50 in holding off JK American Beauty by a half-length for Dexter Dunn and Annie Stoebe in the division for mares. A LITTLE MORE: 2016 Hambletonian champion Marion Marauder won the overnight feature - a high-end conditioned trot - in a lifetime-best 1:50.2. ... Miller led all drivers with four wins on the card. ... Betting surpassed the $2.5-million mark for the 29th time in 35 Big M programs this year, as a total of $2,759,620 was pushed through the windows, including $100,394 of action in the 50-cent Late Pick-4. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Gusting winds and drenching rains from Tropical Storm Fay could not extinguish the harness racing fire that is super mare Atlanta at The Meadowlands Friday night. Facing an easier task than in her first two starts of the season not having to face arch-rival Manchego, the Ron Burke-trained Atlanta had an easy time of it in the $40,000 second leg of the Miss Versatility for open mare trotters over a sloppy track. Driver Yannick Gingras kept Atlanta off the early action, sitting fifth past the quarter and half. He then got the 5-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip in gear after leader Kenziesky Hanover. With Atlanta gaining quickly, Plunge Blue Chip swerved out of the three-hole, which provided a live tow for the eventual winner. Plunge Blue Chip was just off the leader's flank at three-quarters, and out of the turn, Gingras swung Atlanta three-wide for the drive and easily coasted by Plunge Blue Chip to record a 3¼-length score in 1:51.2. Plunge Blue Chip, the 5-1 second choice, completed the $5.20 exacta. Felicityshagwell S was third. "I wasn't concerned about the sloppy track because I knew Yannick would adjust to the conditions," said Burke. "The truth is, she prefers to get the kind of trip she got tonight. I wanted to follow Plunge Blue Chip, and as long as we could outkick her, we'd be alright. I am going to give Atlanta next week off. I don't want to over-race her. She's more thoroughbred than standardbred. She'll go next in two weeks in the Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge." Atlanta has now won 22 of 42 lifetime outings, good for earnings of $2,026,089 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. NJSS ROUNDUP: The New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds kicked off Friday with its opening leg, and in the filly pace, the John Urbanski-trained and driven Anna Jeans, a product of Great Vintage-Early Go Hanover, won in a "walkover" (a one-horse race) in 2:15.2 over the sloppy surface in a race conducted before the betting card. In another early non-bettor, Fika Time took the colt and gelding pace for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Chase Vandervort. The gelded son of Sunfire Blue Chip-Raiders Favorite stopped the clock in 2:01.1. In the first of three colt and gelding trots on the betting card, Southwind Tyrion, a son of Muscle Hill-Taylor Jean, came from off the pace to score as the 4-5 favorite for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt in 1:56.1. The Dexter Dunn-driven, Per Engblom-trained Mon Amour, a colt by Muscle Hill-Mind Meld, went wire-to-wire in 1:56.4 as the 3-1 second choice in division two before Beyond The Hill took advantage of a late break by leader Sonofamistery to score in the final division in 1:59.1. Driven by Dave Miller and trained by Jim Campbell, the son of Muscle Hill-Beyond Blue paid off at odds of 10-1. The filly trotters had two divisions, and taking the first was Hot As Hill, who won from off the pace for driver Joe Bongiorno and Burke. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Smarty Pants went off at odds of 17-1 and went the mile in 1:58.3. The second division gave Svanstedt a trainer-driver NJSS double as another longshot, 39-1 chance Presto, upset the apple cart in 1:57 from off the pace. The winner is a daughter of Trixton-Susie's Magic. A LITTLE MORE: Melissa Arbia, who guided Take It Back Terry to victory in the first race GSY Series pace for amateur drivers, combined with Bongiorno to complete a rare husband-wife driving double on the card. The last to do it were Ake and Sarah Svanstedt. ... Despite the bad weather and multiple 2-year-old races, wagering on the 13-race card totaled $2,373,660. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. The Meadowlands Pace Elimination and a pair of $250,000 Graduate Finals highlight the program.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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