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East Rutherford, NJ - Harness Racing at The Meadowlands is down to the final two weeks of the Championship Meet and the stars are out on Friday.   The cream of the freshman trotting crop thus far is well represented in two $20,000 elimination races each for the Peter Haughton and Jim Doherty Memorials housing two-year-old colts and fillies respectively. Their collective aim is to make it through to next week's rich finals on Hambletonian Day, August 6.   The undefeated Rubio takes on six rivals in the fourth race. The tractable son of Cantab Hall has had the right answer each week for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras, most recently a 1:56.1 Kindergarten score by a widening three lengths. Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and Brixton Medical share ownership of Rubio.   The tenth race division fields eight and boasts several precocious colts yearning to advance to the $295,000 final.   Takter has a powerful presence here as well in the Italian bred son of French super horse Ready Cash known as Victor Gio IT. Blessed with tremendous speed, Victor Gio IT went off-stride in his first foray under the lights and will require careful handling. Fortunately, Yannick Gingras is able to provide that guidance for the ownership group of Christina, Takter, Antonio Somma & Frencesco Ruscigno of Italy and Nicolas Pietro De Mitri of Sweden.   He'll face Ronnie Burke's What The Hill, winner of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) final in 1:55.2 earlier this month. What The Hill has speed on both ends and may have a seasoning edge on his chief rival. Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva own the imposing son of Muscle Hill.   These Grand Circuit stakes are designed to showcase extreme talent and ideally provide the stage for intriguing match-ups. The fillies for the Doherty split into a pair of eights and if their past performance is any indicator, next week's $305,000 final has the potential to be one of those races we recall fondly.   The amazing Ariana G is clearly the one to beat in the first division, race two. She's been nothing short of spectacular thus far, romping to a 1:53.4 win in the NJSS filly final by a widening seven lengths under wraps for Gingras. She's also a Takter pupil, owned by the breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.   Those same connections will bring another prodigy to the party in race eight with That's All Moni. Add George Segal's storied Brittany Farms to the registration with Mssr's Katz and Libfeld and you have the group that shelled out $230,000 for this close sibling to the legendary Snow White. She boasts a pair of PA Sires Stakes wins coming in for trainer Takter and the Yannick Gingras may face one of those "difficult" choices a driver must sometimes face if both fillies advance as expected.   Also among the Friday features is a $25,000 Open trot which older stars like Obrigado, JL Cruze and Hannelore Hanover will use as a springboard into supporting Free For All stakes on the Hambletonian card.   For the horseplayer, we offer a free look into the $50,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 wagers each week.   Come on along and see the best of the best battle for the big money at The Meadowlands. Post time is 7:15 p.m.   Meadowlands Media Relations    

Trenton, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Ed Hart and owner Jeff Snyder might be best known for their successes with pacers, so seeing them team up with a Grand Circuit trotter might appear to be a little out of character. But Hart says training 2-year-old Another Chapter -- who is racing in the second of two Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations Friday (July 29) at the Meadowlands -- isn’t much different than what he is used to. “I don’t think so,” Hart said, when asked if he changes his approach. “A lot of time you just have to take your time. I guess what I’m saying is for both (pacers and trotters). It’s how they develop as they come along. You just have to take your time with it.” Hart has not seen enough of Another Chapter to draw any firm conclusions on his future. He likes what he has seen so far, as the colt has one third-place finish in three starts -- all on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. He heads to his Haughton elimination off a fifth-place finish on July 21 at Vernon Downs, where he came home fastest of all, in :27.4, and was beaten only 1-1/2 lengths. Brett Miller will drive Another Chapter on Friday. He is the 4-1 third choice on the morning line, behind two trotters from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, What The Hill (2-1) and Southwind Cobra (3-1). Another Chapter’s sire is Chapter Seven, the 2012 Horse of the Year. His dam is Southwind Catlin, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion at age 2 in 2004. He is a half-brother to 2013 Breeders Crown winner Spider Blue Chip and the family also includes stakes-winner Flawless Bluestone and Pine Schooner, who is the mother of 2009 Hambletonian Oaks winner Broadway Schooner. He was purchased for $125,000 by Snyder -- perhaps best known as owner of 1994 Horse of the Year Cam’s Card Shark and co-owner of 2005 Horse of the Year Rocknroll Hanover -- and Four Friends Racing Stable at the Standardbred Horse Sale. The owners changed his name from Orthodox Blue Chip to Another Chapter. “I think the owners were interested in the first crop of Chapter Seven, and this is another exciting horse coming in,” Hart said. “He’s a well bred horse. That’s what Jeff Snyder has liked.” Hart was unable to make many comparisons between Another Chapter and his parents, as he did not know Southwind Catlin and only saw Chapter Seven race. “He’s not a real big horse, just a nice, medium size horse,” Hart said. “I don’t think Chapter Seven was very big either.” The trainer did note that Another Chapter does share a major trait with his siblings. “I’ve got a few Chapter Sevens and the one thing I’ve liked is all their attitudes,” he said. “He’s got a lot of try. He’s got a very good attitude, he just tries all the time.” Asked if there is anything about the horse that concerned him, Hart said, “I don’t think so. It’s like all young trotters, he’s still a little bit of a work in progress. There are going to be mistakes and bumps down the road but overall he’s been OK. He seems to be getting better each week.” The trainer noted that in the stable, Another Chapter is quiet for a colt, saying “he’s nippy, but he’s good. He’s a happy horse. He’s sharp; not a salty type of horse.” The horse’s health has been solid so far, as he has yet to take a sick day. Immediately after reporting that, Hart laughed and said, “I probably shouldn’t say that. I better knock on wood.” Because his races have been limited so far, Hart doesn’t have a firm idea of what type of trip he likes. Another Chapter has shown a tendency to be aggressive behind the gate, so they have been taking it easy with him. “For the most part, he’s finished up pretty strong in the mile,” Hart said. “I know it’s a tough task (Friday) coming from the sire stakes, but I do like his chances (to advance). I raced him at Vernon and I think the best part of his mile was toward the wire. He’s finishing up real strong.” Hart, who had the sport’s top 2-year-old male pacer in 2004 in Village Jolt (also owned by Snyder); and harness racing’s top 3-year-old male pacer in 2011 in Roll With Joe, has Another Chapter staked up. “We’ll just see how it develops, see how he finishes out the rest of the sire stakes,” Hart said. “I think he has all the major stakes; the Breeders Crown and what not. So we’ll try and get through this week, finish out the sire stakes and see what happens towards the fall. “He’s one of those colts that just seems to get better every week. That’s what you want. We just have to keep going forward.” by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

East Rutherford, NJ --- Southwind Frank took the lead at the halfway point and was never threatened the rest of the way as he won Saturday’s (Aug. 8) $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands for 2-year-old male trotters by 2-1/4 lengths over Brooklyn Hill in 1:53.4. Earn And Burn (Johnny Takter) charged from post 10 to take the early lead in a :27.2 opening quarter-mile before Brooklyn Hill (David Miller) moved to the front on the backstretch. Yannick Gingras moved Southwind Frank to the top as the field reached the half in :56.2. Milligan’s School (Andy Miller) tried to overtake Southwind Frank with a first-over bid on the final turn, but it was to no avail as Southwind Frank, the 3-5 favorite, trotted to victory. Brooklyn Hill was second, Earn And Burn finished third and Bar Hopping was fourth. “For a colt that started out terrible, he really has blossomed into a very nice horse,” said winning trainer Ron Burke. Southwind Frank, a son of Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy, has won four of five races and earned $244,925. He is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Two horses enter Saturday's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes at Meadowlands Racetrack having already posted harness racing victories at the Big M on Hambletonian Day - colt Centurion ATM and filly Mission Brief. Centurion ATM won last year's Peter Haughton Memorial while Mission Brief captured the Merrie Annabelle, both in world-record-equaling times. On Saturday the two will compete in the Hambletonian, marking only the second time that the winners of the Meadowlands' top races for 2-year-old trotters have returned in the same year for the premier event for 3-year-olds. The first occurrence was in 1986 when filly Britelite Lobell and colt Express Ride finished third and fifth, respectively, in the Hambletonian. Mission Brief, who won the 2014 Merrie Annabelle (renamed this year the Jim Doherty Memorial) in 1:52.2, is bypassing Saturday's $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, which is restricted to 3-year-old filly trotters, to attempt to become the first female to beat the boys and win the Hambletonian since Continentalvictory in 1996. Mission Brief was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 12 of 17 career races and earned $791,417. She also holds the world record for the fastest time for any 2-year-old trotter in history, 1:50.3. This year, she has won three of four races while dealing with back woes, which have improved in recent weeks thanks to chiropractic work. Mission Brief is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the second of two $100,000 Hambletonian eliminations. Yannick Gingras will drive the filly. "Maybe financially it would have been better to go to the Hambletonian Oaks, but pride-wise and for the sport, it would be better to go to the Hambletonian," said Ron Burke, who trains and co-owns the filly with Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. "If we won the Hambletonian Oaks, we'd have been happy, but it's not going to change anybody's life. We've all done things like that before. We thought this for some of us would be a lifetime experience, so we said let's go. "If you don't believe in your horse, you might as well not even show up. I've always believed in her. She's given me every reason to believe in her. When she's sound she's as good as anyone." Centurion ATM, who won the 2014 Peter Haughton by 3-3/4 lengths over Uncle Lasse in a world-record-equaling and stakes-record 1:53.2, will try to join Donato Hanover (2007) and Muscle Hill (2009) as the only Peter Haughton winners to also win the Hambletonian. Last year, Centurion ATM won three of eight starts, missed the top three only once, and earned $241,640. This season he is winless in four races. In his most recent start in the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 18 at the Meadowlands, Centurion ATM went off stride on the backstretch but rallied to finish second to The Bank. It was the first time in his career that Centurion ATM made a break. "I don't think that's going to happen again," trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt said. "He's been good. Everything is normal. He is coming into good form." Centurion ATM competes in the first of the two Hambletonian eliminations. He will start from post No. 8 and is 9-2 on the morning line. Jimmy Takter-trained Pinkman, the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, is the 8-5 favorite despite drawing post No. 10. Pinkman's stablemate, Canepa Hanover, is 3-1 and starts from post nine. The top five finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the $1 million Hambletonian final. "When you train (Centurion ATM) he feels like just a normal horse, but if you train more, the other horses get tired and he never gets tired," Svanstedt said. "He gets better and better. I think he can handle (two races in a day). But he must go to the final first." A bay colt by SJ's Caviar out of the mare ENS Tag Session, Centurion ATM is a full brother to world champion stakes-winner Triumphant Caviar, who finished eighth in the 2009 Hambletonian. Centurion ATM was purchased for $100,000 as a yearling, under the name Triumphant Session, and is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Courant A B. Svanstedt is in his second year of competing in North America. He was Sweden's Trainer of the Year five times and Driver of the Year on three occasions prior to moving his stable to the U.S. in the winter of 2013. His father, who was in the timber business, used horses for work and raced cold-blooded trotters. Svanstedt began his professional harness racing career at the age of 24 and within several years was the champion at his home track in Bergsaker. During his career overseas, Svanstedt won many of the top races in Europe. He captured the Elitlopp twice, with Torvald Palema in 2009 and Gidde Palema in 2004; the Copenhagen Cup three times and both the Oslo Grand Prix and Olympic Trot four times. Svanstedt's hopes for Hambletonian glory do not ride solely with Centurion ATM. He also is sending Workout Wonder and Southwind Mozart to the race. Workout Wonder is 12-1 in the first elimination, with Dan Dube driving from post three, and Southwind Mozart is 20-1 in the second division, with Svanstedt driving from post eight. Workout Wonder is by Conway Hall out of the mare Dear Abs. He was purchased as a yearling for $70,000. His family includes 1987 Hambletonian winner Mack Lobell and 1930 Hambletonian winner Hanover's Bertha, as well as Marla Bar, who is the dam of 2010 Hambletonian Oaks winner Bar Slide. In his most recent start, Workout Wonder finished third behind Pinkman and Canepa Hanover in the Zweig Memorial. His two wins this year have come on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. "He was very strong, but not so fast (to start the year)," said Svanstedt, who trains Workout Wonder for Juha Paavola's All Laid Out Stable. "His last race, though, he finished in (1):52.1 and came home very fast. So he has learned to go very fast. He always was a strong horse, but now he's learned to go fast. He is improving. He was good the last race, so we will take a chance and try." Southwind Mozart is by Muscle Hill out of the mare Missymae Bluestone. He was purchased for $40,000 as a yearling and is owned by Tore Borgersen's Wolfgang A Stable. His sire, Muscle Hill, won the 2009 Hambletonian. His family includes stakes-winner Have You Ever, who finished fourth in the 2004 Hambletonian Oaks. In his most recent start, Southwind Mozart won a conditioned race in 1:54.3. Two weeks earlier, he finished fifth in the Beal Memorial. "He didn't do so much last year because he was sore," Svanstedt said. "But now he's better and he raced good in his last race." Post time for Hambletonian Day's first race is noon. Cable channel CBS Sports Network will air coverage of the Cane Pace, Hambletonian Oaks and Hambletonian from 4 to 5:30 p.m. (EDT). Following are the fields for the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: $1.2 million Hambletonian-$100,000 1st elim.-Race 8 HN-Post-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Donatomite, Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 15-1 2. The Bank, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 3. Workout Wonder, Daniel Dube, Ake Svanstedt, 12-1 4. Habitat, Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 6-1 5. Total Darkness, Tim Tetrick, Jonas Czernyson, 20-1 6. Fashion Creditor, David Miller, Tom Fanning, 20-1 7. Jacksons Minion, Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson, 30-1 8. Centurion ATM, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 9-2 9. Canepa Hanover, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 3-1 10. Pinkman, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-5 $1.2 million Hambletonian-$100,000 2nd elim.-Race 9 HN-Post-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Billy Flynn, Tim Tetrick, Staffan Lind, 15-1 2. Mission Brief, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-5 3. Cruzado Dela Noche, David Miller, Nancy Johansson, 20-1 4. Aldebaran Eagle, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson, 20-1 5. Wings Of Royalty, Tim Tetrick, George Ducharme, 12-1 6. French Laundry, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 4-1 7. Uncle Lasse, Johnny Takter, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 8. Southwind Mozart, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1 9. Muscle Diamond, Tim Tetrick, Brett Bittle, 8-1 By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

The 2015 Hambletonian Day card on Saturday, August 8 at the harness racing meeting at The Meadowlands has all the elements necessary to be one of the great events in harness racing history.   The races will begin at noon with a $40,000 Open Pace and over the next six hours 164 horses will compete in 16 races for purses of just over $4 million, led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian and the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks.   The story line for the Hambletonian became far more interesting when trainer Ron Burke entered the great filly Mission Brief in the open event, bypassing the Oaks and taking on last year's Hambo winning trainer/driver Jimmy Takter's five horse armada in the process.   The drama increased when Yannick Gingras, the regular driver for Mission Brief and Takter's top contender Pinkman, was named on both horses for the race.   The two drew into separate divisions of the eliminations heats which will allow Yannick to drive each in their respective elimination before having to make a choice for the final, assuming both qualify.   Pinkman's late season rally as a freshman made him the champion of the division at two and he has defended his title with nearly flawless form this season.   The most accomplished of the Takter five, Pinkman has won the Earl Beal, Stanley Dancer and Harry M. Zweig Memorials (all major stakes) in his last three start and has made well in excess of $1 million over his career for owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman.   He is saddled with the far outside post ten in the first elimination.   Mission Brief has found the form that dazzled fans last season and was really keen to go in her most recent start, the Filly Zweig Memorial.   The Muscle Hill lass is poetry in motion when on her game and has drawn the favorable post two in the nine horse second division for Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents, J&T Silva and Weaver Bruscemi.   The $1,000,000 Hambletonian final is race 13 and is scheduled to go to post at 5:15 pm.   The Hambletonian Oaks is a very well matched group of ten talented fillies.   With the defection of Mission Brief to the main event and the tragic demise of elimination winner and consensus "horse to beat" Spirit To Win in a Monday morning training mishap, the race becomes a wide-open affair.   Lock Down Lindy won her split in 1:51.4, starts from the inside for owners Mystical Marker Farms, Crawford Partners, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners and is currently doing her best work.   Wiggle It Jiggleit, currently the most exciting horse in harness, will race in the $319,400 Cane Pace, the first leg of pacing's Triple Crown (race 10).   Wiggle It Jiggleit has been absolutely monstrous all season long and is coming into the Cane fresh off three weeks rest.   He is a family project with young Montrell Teague driving the Meadowlands Pace winner for his father George's stable and trainer Clyde Francis.   The $109,500 Shady Daisy for the sophomore pacing fillies is another chapter in a season that has seen a very evenly matched group slug it out over the past two months with no filly able to rise above the others just yet.   The very best aged performers in the game are out in force on Saturday and account for several of the most competitive and entertaining races on the program.   Eleven pacing mares will race the route distance of nine furlongs in the $251,250 Lady Liberty (race 3).   These mares may parade like ladies but when the starter says "Go" the gloves come off and the girls throw down.   The Bamond family's absolutely iron-tough Anndrovette has won four division titles, $3.3 million and the Golden Girls stake last month here against many of these at the same distance when it looked like she may have lost a step. Well, she hasn't.   This year's edition of the US Pacing Championship is up next and offers a purse of $215,400 to a field of nine really good horses...make that eight really good and one great horse.   The venerable $7 million winner Foiled Again has recently shown flashes of his best form after a slow start to the season for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables.   He raced about as good as he ever has in the Haughton Memorial three weeks ago and had plenty of pace but no place to use it in last week's TVG Open.   Foiled is also being honored with a Breyer likeness giveaway to all the kids that come out on Saturday.   The $301,500 John Cashman Memorial (open) and $181,450 Fresh Yankee (mares) feature trotting's elite in bulky fields at a mile and one eighth in races 5 and 6.   All the stars of the division are on the racetrack in these trotting classics.   Magic Tonight returns home a champion, having won this year's Elitlopp in May for Swedish owner A. O J Konsult and trainer Roger Walmann.   The expatriate son of Andover Hall faces a very deep field of eleven rivals including 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share who is competing at the highest level on Hambo Day for a remarkable fourth consecutive season.   The Fresh Yankee is a brand new stake for mare trotters and the inaugural edition just could not have drawn a more stellar field.   "Queen" Bee A Magician is the undisputed monarch of her division having won seven of eight starts this year including several versus mixed company while passing the $3 million career earnings mark along the way for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and Dave McDuffee.   "What about the young horses," you may ask.   Well, the $389,450 Jim Doherty for fillies (race 2) and $349,850 Peter Haughton (race 7) for colts memorialize two of the game's legends with the first high-dollar opportunity for the freshmen.   Broadway Donna looks like a top filly, having dispensed of all competition with minimal effort thus far, including the fastest Doherty elimination last week for Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm. Woman's Will and Kathy Parker were the other elim winners and will seek the upset.   Southwind Frank is the favorite going into the Haughton, having won three of four thus far including both the NJSS final and his Haughton elimination with the greatest of ease.   He is another from the Ron Burke barn and races for the same partnership as Mission Brief on what could be a huge day for those connections.   You want Wagering opportunities? We got 'em. There are $275,000 worth of guaranteed pools spread over several horizontal wagers and the day ends with a $231,403 carryover on the 8% take-out Jackpot Hi-5.   With this the close of the 2015 Championship Meet, this wager takes on "Mandatory Pay Out" status which will create huge interest and great value, potentially driving the pool into seven figures. Programs will be available here and in the Daily Racing Form.   If you can't make it live, the Hambletonian will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network from 4:00 to 5:30pm and is available in Hi-Def on TRN.   The races are also available via live streaming from The Meadowlands website.   There are a ton of promotions going on throughout the plant all day long including the ever-popular Hambo hat giveaway.   It's the greatest day of the year in harness racing and it all happens at The Meadowlands on Saturday.   Nick Salvi  

Harness Racing This Week: Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Lady Liberty, Fresh Yankee, Cane Pace, Shady Daisy, Peter Haughton Memorial, and Jim Doherty Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Tompkins-Geers, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack with one of the biggest cards of the season. The afternoon program is led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Other major stakes races to be contested that day are the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $301,500 John Cashman Memorial for older male trotters, the $215,400 U.S. Pacing Championship for older male pacers, the $251,250 Lady Liberty for older pacing mares, the 181,450 Fresh Yankee for older trotting mares, the $319,400 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the $109,500 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old pacing fillies, the $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $389,450 Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters. Tioga Downs on Sunday will feature $65,000 (est.) Tompkins-Geers divisions for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: He was forced into a first-over challenge and skipped shadows for much of the mile, but when all was said and done, Dude's The Man captured this past Saturday's (Aug. 1) $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows in 1:48.4, fourth-fastest in the 49-year history of the event. Yankee Bounty rallied for second, two lengths back, while Lost For Words, who threatened briefly in the lane, was third. Winning trainer Jessica Okusko won the Adios orchids in her first try while winning driver Corey Callahan, who had 13 previous Adios starts including eliminations, took his first Adios title. M And L of Delaware and Victoria Dickinson own Dude's The Man, a son of American Ideal-Art's Risk who finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Meadowlands Pace final but has been hampered at times by lack of early speed. Although Dude's The Man was first up from fourth, he had little trouble clearing My Hero Ron, winner of an Adios elimination on July 25. Another potential problem for Dude's The Man vanished in the lane when Lost For Words, right on the winner's bumper, didn't finish strongly. Dude's The Man will start in this Saturday's Cane Pace at Meadowlands Racetrack. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 492; 2. Tim Tetrick - 390; 3. David Miller - 290; 4. Brian Sears - 282; 5. John Campbell - 238. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 630; 2. Jimmy Takter - 378; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 248; 4. Ray Schnittker - 187; 5. Rene Allard - 163. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 195.5; 2. Burke Racing - 145.8; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 127.60; 4. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 100; 5. Ray Schnittker - 74.9. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Northfield Park with the Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers; at Hoosier Park with the Dan Patch for older pacers; at Charlottetown Driving Park with the Gold Cup and Saucer eliminations for older pacers; and at Tioga Downs with Tompkins-Geers events for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Handover Belle just missed by a nose to Market Share one week ago, tonight, she flipped the script on her eight harness racing opponents winning the $28,500 Open Trot in 1:51.1 at The Meadowlands. Combined in the wagering with Gural Hanover, Handover Belle allowed the pace to settle down in front of her, as her stablemate did the early lifting, reaching the quarter in a sharp 26.4. As the field turned down the backstretch, Hanover Belle made her move for the lead and she cleared Gural Hanover and rolled past the half-mile in 54.1. With no challenge coming around the far turn, Handover Belle was able to back the field down a bit, trotting 28.4 on the far turn. At that point, Gural Hanover pulled the pocket to challenge his entry-mate in the stretch as the rest of the field closed in. Wind Of The North mounted a strong bid along the pylons, while Allie Labrook and Shake It Cerry came charging down the center of the racetrack. But, Handover Belle was able to hold everyone off to score a game victory. Wind Of The North rallied up the pylons for the place spot, with Allie Labrook rolling late to get up for third. Handover Belle was driven by Yannick Gingras for Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Howard Taylor. With the victory, Handover Belle surpassed $500,000 in lifetime earnings. Handover Belle The Jimmy Takter duo of French Laundry and The Bank were as-advertised in the $23,750 three year old open trot as they made their final tune-ups for The Hambletonian. Sent off as the 2/5 favored entry, The Bank cleared the lead going past the three-eighths pole, while his stable-mate, French Laundry, followed suit and took over into the far turn. French Laundry opened up daylight as the field reached the head of the stretch, but The Bank cut into that margin through the lane as the two finished well in front of the rest of the field and streaked under the line together, with French Laundry holding on by a neck in 1:52.4. It was four lengths back to Aldebaran Eagle in third. French Laundry was driven by Brett Miller for Jimmy and Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The win was the 10th in 18 lifetime starts for French Laundry and his earnings now stand at over $392,000. French Laundry The freshman trotters geared up for the first round of major stakes for the two year olds on Friday night at The Meadowlands. Twenty four fillies went behind the gate in three eliminations of the Jim Doherty Memorial (formerly The Merrie Annabelle) while 19 colts and geldings contested the Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations, split into two divisions. One of the major stars of the night was Broadway Donna, who entered the first Doherty elimination with an unblemished record and she left just the same, romping to a 1:53.3 score as the 1/9 prohibitive choice over Celebrity Eventsy and I'm Outstanding. The clocking was not only a lifetime mark, but it was the fastest mile by any two year old trotter, filly or colt, thus far in 2015. Broadway Donna was guided to victory by Dave Miller for trainer John Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC, who also bred the filly. She will undoubtedly be a short-priced favorite in the $389,450 Jim Doherty Memorial Final on Hambletonian Day after running her record to a perfect five for five. Broadway Donna The second elimination for the Doherty saw Womans Will assert her will over eight other fillies, winning in 1:55.3 as the even money favorite. She held off a late burst from the Jimmy Takter trained and driven Miss Tezsla and Silent Blessings. Womans Will was driven by Andy Miller for Julie Miller and owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, who bred the filly. Womans Will Kathy Parker got the job done as a co-favorite at 5/2 in the third elimination of the Doherty, winning in 1:56.1 for Johnny Takter. The two year old filly was guided to the lead before the half-mile pole and appeared to be an easy winner, until a 90-1 longshot, Lindy's On Fire, burst on the scene in the last sixteenth of a mile, but Kathy Parker was able to hold on by the narrowest of margins. Sunset Glider was a trapped-in third. Kathy Parker, named for the editor of the Horsemen and Fair World, was trained by Jimmy Takter for Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, R A W Equine and J. Mc Clelland. Kathy Parker The nine that have locked in their spots in the $389,450 Jim Doherty Memorial Final are: Broadway Donna Womans Will Kathy Parker Celebrity Eventsy I'm Outstanding Miss Tezsla Silent Blessings Lindy's On Fire Sunset Glider The three fourth place finishers that will be draw by lot for the final spot in the final are: Southwind Adele Gifted Lady Encore Gold The draw for the last entrant and the post position draw for the Jim Doherty Memorial will take place on Saturday afternoon. The first Peter Haughton elimination saw another favorite return dividends as Southwind Frank made short work of the field of 10, scoring his third victory in four starts in 1:54.1 as the 1/5 betting choice. Leading from the three-eighths pole to the wire, Southwind Frank easily held sway in the stretch over Earn And Burn and Alexander Hanover. Southwind Frank was driven to victory by Yannick Gingras for Ron Burke, who co-owns the colt with Weaver Bruscemi, Our Hrs Cents Stables and J & T Silva Stables. Southwind Frank The second elimination produced an 8-1 upset in Milligan's School, who sat third behind a rapid pace, moved on the far turn, opened up in the stretch and held sway rather easily in 1:54.1. Favored Bar Hopping rallied willingly in the stretch to be second with Brooklyn Hill a game third. The winner is owned by Story Inc and trained by Julie Miller. Andy and Julie Miller teamed up for their second win of the night. Milligan's School The 10 two year olds qualifying for the $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial Final are: Southwind Frank Milligan's School Earn And Burn Sliding Home Alexander Hanover Dominion Beach Bar Hopping Brooklyn Hill Southwind Flash Winter Harbor Both fields will be drawn on Saturday afternoon. The Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryover went unclaimed on Friday night and the carryover into the Saturday program will be $225,376. Post time for the Saturday program, featuring the eliminations for The Hambletonian Oaks is 7:15 P.M.   Darin Zoccali

Winter Harbor will hope to make the most of the summertime stakes - and beyond - for harness racing trainer Tony Alagna and his ownership group. A $240,000 yearling purchase, the son of Muscle Hill will make his second career start in Friday's eliminations for the Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. A total of 19 horses entered the Haughton, so two eliminations will be contested Friday with the top five finishers from each division advancing to the $349,850 final on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Meadowlands. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through six for the final in an order determined by lot. The remainder of the finalists will be part of an open draw. Friday's card also includes three eliminations for the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters. Winter Harbor won his debut on July 24 at the Meadowlands, capturing a division of the Kindergarten Series by 2-1/2 lengths over Dog Gone Lucky in 1:56.1. His time was the fastest of three divisions. He will compete in the second of the two Haughton eliminations, starting from post nine with driver Scott Zeron. He is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line, behind Jimmy Takter-trained Bar Hopping at 3-1. "We like him a lot," said Alagna, who trains Winter Harbor for owners Brittany Farms, John Cancelliere, Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, and Winter Harbor Partners. "He trained down good all winter." "He qualified really good and he was very good in his first start." "We've been really happy with him. He's been solid." Winter Harbor is the first foal out of the stakes-placed mare Spectacular Bay. The colt's family includes Dan Patch Award winner Casual Breeze as well as stakes-winner Epangeline. "We bought a horse looking for a stallion, like always with the group that bought the colt," Alagna said. "They're looking for future stallions, so we know we're going to have to spend some money to try to get one." "It doesn't guarantee success, but it sure doesn't hurt." "He was the whole package." "He is by the right stallion, Muscle Hill, and the first foal out of a mare with a good maternal pedigree." "He was a great individual." "He was fantastic in the paddock, great video." "He just had a lot of presence about him." "We were happy to get him." "I think great horses put off a little bit of an aura." "I think this horse had that kind of presence about him when we looked at him." Southwind Frank, from the stable of Ron Burke, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first Haughton elimination. Southwind Frank has won two of three races and enters his elim off a 1-1/2 length victory over Bar Hopping in 1:53.4 in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. That time is the fastest of the season so far for a 2-year-old trotter. Following are the elimination fields for the Peter Haughton Memorial in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: Elimination 1 1. Southwind Frank, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 2-1   2. Explosive Yankee, David Miller, D.R. Ackerman, 20-1   3. Brownie Hanover, Marcus Melander, Marcus Melander, 20-1   4. Sliding Home, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson, 4-1   5. Earn And Burn, Johnny Takter, Jimmy Takter, 6-1   6. Alexander Hanover, John Campbell, William Popfinger, 7-2   7. Promise Delivered, Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 12-1   8. Taco Tuesday, Tim Tetrick, Frank Antonacci, 8-1   9. Dominion Beach, Andy Miller, Nancy Johansson, 15-1   10. Dominus Hanover, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 12-1   Elimination 2 1. Southwind Flash, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 15-1   2. Celebrity Pilatus, John Campbell, Thomas Haughton, 20-1   3. Dupree, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 8-1   4. Lagerfeld, Johnny Takter, Jimmy Takter, 8-1   5. Milligan's School, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 6-1   6. Bar Hopping, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 3-1   7. Waitlifter K, Tim Tetrick, Chuck Sylvester, 6-1   8. Brooklyn Hill, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 4-1   9. Winter Harbor, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 7-2 Ken Weingartner

Caroline "Kitty" Gerry remembers the thrills she enjoyed watching Bruschette compete on the racetrack and she hopes to rekindle those feelings with a daughter of the stakes-winning trotting mare. Legal Lady, a daughter of Bruschette who Gerry bred and owns, is entered in Friday's second of three eliminations for the Jim Doherty Memorial Stakes (formerly Merrie Annabelle) for 2-year-old female trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. The top three finishers from each elimination plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $389,450 final on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Big M. Trained by Jan Johnson, who also conditioned Bruschette, Legal Lady will start her elimination from post two with Corey Callahan in the sulky. She is 15-1 on the morning line. Julie Miller-trained Womans Will, who will leave from post three with driver Andy Miller, is the 2-1 choice. Broadway Donna, from the stable of trainer Jim Campbell, is undefeated in four career races and the 4-5 favorite in the first elimination. Jimmy Takter's Kathy Parker, named in honor of the longtime editor and general manager of The Horseman And Fair World magazine, is the 5-2 favorite in the third division. Friday's card also features two eliminations for the Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters. Ron Burke's Southwind Frank is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first division and Takter-trained Bar Hopping is the 3-1 pick in the second. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $349,850 final on Hambletonian Day. Legal Lady, by stallion Deweycheatumnhowe, heads to the Doherty Memorial off a second-place finish in her career debut in a maiden race on July 17 at the Meadowlands. Legal Lady, who qualified four times prior to making her first purse start, finished a neck behind Jazebel De Vie in 1:58.3. "We haven't rushed her," said Gerry, a New York resident who is the wife of Harness Racing Hall of Fame member Ebby Gerry Jr. "I'm against that and Jan is more that way also. He doesn't like to rush them, especially at (age) 2. "She keeps bringing down her times, which is good. (Success) just depends on a lot of things. We'll hope. I'm not going to be disappointed as long as she races well." Gerry owned Bruschette during her racing career, which ended with nine wins in 48 races and earnings of $302,383. Her top victory came in the 2008 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Lexington's Red Mile. Bruschette rallied from seventh place in the final quarter-mile to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Brigham Dream in a career-best 1:53.1. "She was great," Gerry said. "I went down to the winner's circle and there was a mother and child there. The child gave me the flowers and I was crying. The little girl said to her mother, why is she crying? I got so emotional. That was a big day for me. That was the most thrilling moment." Gerry hopes for more thrills with Legal Lady, who is all lady in the barn and all business on the track. "I can pet her, I can rub her nose, I can give her carrots, and the minute she comes out of the stall and you start putting the harness on her she is ready to go," Gerry said, adding with a laugh, "Then you don't want to be petting her or anywhere near her. "I'm excited," she added. "My husband keeps saying that you can't get attached. Well, I'm already attached. I can't help it. I rode as a kid all the time and I love animals." Gerry, who is an accomplished artist, hopes Legal Lady can paint a winning picture on Friday night, but knows it is a difficult assignment. She also knows the filly could have a lengthy career ahead of her. "If she qualifies for the final it would be very exciting," Gerry said. "I don't want to get my hopes too high and get disappointed. But even if she doesn't qualify, there will be other races. She's only 2. I just hope she stays trotting and stays healthy and we'll see what happens." Following are the elimination fields in post order for the Doherty Memorial with drivers, trainers and morning line: Elimination 1 1. Broadway Donna, David Miller, Jim Campbell, 4-5 2. I'm Outstanding, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 3. Worldclass Hanover, Pat Lachance, Pat Lachance, 12-1 4. Hollywood Hill, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 7-2 5. Celebrity Eventsy, Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 8-1 6. Southwind Adele, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 10-1 7. Everything N More, Tim Tetrick, Nancy Johansson, 20-1 8. Do I, Corey Callahan, Ron Burke, 20-1 Elimination 2 1. Candle In The Wind, Jim Marohn Jr., Janice Connor, 20-1 2. Legal Lady, Corey Callahan, Jan Johnson, 15-1 3. Womans Will, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 2-1 4. Sharon's Luck, Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 30-1 5. Gifted Lady, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 9-2 6. Miss Tezsla, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 6-1 7. Twice Is Right, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 8. Hot Curry, David Miller, Ron Burke, 8-1 9. Silent Blessings, Tim Tetrick, Nancy Johansson, 8-1 Elimination 3 1. New Leaf, Jim Marohn Jr., Tom Haughton, 20-1 2. Thankful Reward, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 5-1 3. Unau S, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson, 20-1 4. Kathy Parker, Johnny Takter, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 5. Jazebel De Vie, Scott Zeron, Chris Ryder, 12-1 6. Silvia, David Miller, Ron Burke, 6-1 7. Sunset Glider, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 3-1 8. Encore Gold, John Campbell, Charlie Norris, 4-1 9. Lindy's On Fire, Marcus Melander, Marcus Melander, 20-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA      

When the entry box closed at 9:00 am today for the bevy of  harness racing stakes this coming weekend as the 2015 Meadowlands Championship Meet concludes, some required elimination races while others did not.   All of these stakes have their finals scheduled for Hambletonian Day, August 8.   The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks drew sixteen three-year-old filly trotters which split precisely into a pair of eight filly $35,000 elims carded races six and seven on Saturday, August 1.   Freshman trotters will compete in $20,000 elimination races on Friday, July 31.   The Peter Haughton Memorial (final purse 349,850) attracted nineteen colts who will vie for a final berth in races five and nine.   Freshman fillies entered for the newly christened Jim Doherty Memorial (final $389,450) numbered twenty six and will sort themselves out in races two, four and eight.   The stakes for older horses required no elimination races and although many of those entered will compete in Open classes offered in lieu, all will go directly to the Finals of their respective events.   The $301,500 John Cashman Memorial attracted an even dozen older trotters.   Those twelve will race at the route distance of a mile and an eighth in the August 8 final.   The horses entered for the Cashman are:   DW'S NY YANK Y. Gingras R. Burke FLANAGAN MEMORY T. Tetrick R. Dion GURAL HANOVER Y. Gingras R. Burke INTIMIDATE S. Zeron L. Blais LINDY'S TRU GRIT A. Miller J. Miller MAGIC TONIGHT O. Kihlstrom R. Walmann MARKET SHARE T. Tetrick L. Toscano MASTER OF LAW B. Miller J. Takter MELADY'S MONET J. Campbell K. Mc Dermott NATURAL HERBIE V. Yoder V. Yoder OBRIGADO M. MacDonald P. Kelley WIND OF THE NORTH D. Miller D. Bier     The Lady Liberty for pacing mares had eleven entered and they will also compete at the extended distance in the $251,250 final. The mares entered are:   ACT NOW J. Hanney N. Drennan ANNDROVETTE T. Tetrick J. Bamond Jr. BEACH STORY C. Callahan K. Harrison COLOR'S A VIRGIN D. Miller T. OSullivan EMPRESS DEO S. Zeron M. Givens FANCY DESIRE M. MacDonald D. Renaud ROCKLAMATION Y. Gingras R. Burke SANDBETWEENURTOES D. Miller L. Remmen SAYITALL BB Y. Gingras R. Burke TABLE TALK A. Miller W. Dalious VENUS DELIGHT J. Bartlett J. Bamond Jr.   Finally, nine older horse pacers will square off in the $215,400 United States Pacing Championship at one mile. They are:   BETTOR'S EDGE M. Kakaley R. Burke DANCIN YANKEE J. Morrill Jr G. Green DOO WOP HANOVER J. Campbell S. Elliott FOILED AGAIN Y. Gingras R. Burke JK ENDOFANERA B. Miller J. Takter MACH IT SO T. Tetrick J. Bamond Jr. SOMEWHERE IN LA C. Callahan J. Takter STATE TREASURER D. Miller I. Moore WAKE UP PETER B. Miller L. Remmen   The entries for this weekend will be available on The Meadowlands website.  

During the winter, harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter said 3-year-old trotter Canepa Hanover could be "a Trixton kind of horse." As summer approaches, Canepa Hanover is doing his best to prove Takter correct. Canepa Hanover is the 2-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$233,000 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. Last week, the colt won his Goodtimes elimination by 11-1/2 lengths over Iron in 1:51.3. The time equaled Trixton's track record set in last year's Goodtimes final. But the similarities don't end there. Both Trixton and Canepa Hanover are sons of stallion Muscle Hill, the 2009 Horse of the Year, and hail from highly regarded families. Trixton is out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994 and sister to stars Conway Hall, Angus Hall and Andover Hall. Canepa Hanover is out of the mare Cressida Hanover, who also produced 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. Trixton sold as a yearling for $360,000; Canepa Hanover for $300,000. Both trotters were limited by growing pains at age 2 and were overshadowed by some of their stablemates heading into their 3-year-old seasons. Trixton emerged early in his 3-year-old campaign and went on to capture the Hambletonian Stakes; now it is up to Canepa Hanover to write the rest of his story. "He's going the same path," Takter said about Canepa Hanover, who has won two of five races this year and hit the board in every start. "A lot of these Muscle Hills, they have tons of ability, but it just takes time sometimes. "Both Trixton and Canepa were among the better horses early (at age 2) but both are very big horses and they couldn't hold the speed together. They just weren't ready for it. You have to have a little patience with them." Canepa Hanover won one of six races last year. His victory came in a Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes prep race in 1:58.1 at the Meadowlands and he finished second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. He went off stride in three races, including the Haughton final. This year, the colt posted two second-place finishes and a third in his first three starts, then captured the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands and his Goodtimes elim in 1:51.3. Those are the two fastest win times of any 3-year-old trotter this season. "He's definitely a fantastic horse," said Takter, who trains Canepa Hanover for owners Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter, and the partnership of Sam Goldband, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. "His ability is unbelievable, as good as I ever saw. "You always worry when you have horses climbing this kind of speed staying sound. He already has two (1):51 miles and a couple (1):52 miles. It's tough racing. But he's a beautiful horse." Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start the Goodtimes final from post four. He's not Takter's only hope in the Goodtimes, either. French Laundry won the other Goodtimes elimination, beating stablemate The Bank by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:53.3. He will start from post three in the final with driver Brett Miller and is 2-1 on the morning line. French Laundry, a son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi, has won nine of 15 career races and earned $360,269 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Katz, and Libfeld. "He's not the best gaited horse, but he never gives up," Takter said. "He's a warrior. I like him." Following is the Goodtimes field in post order with sires, drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Hemi Seelster by Holiday Road, Stephen Byron, John Bax, 30-1 2. Caulfield by Kadabra, Trevor Henry, Chris Beaver, 30-1 3. French Laundry by Muscles Yankee, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 2-1 4. Canepa Hanover by Muscle Hill, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 2-5 5. Covert Operative by Deweycheatumhowe, Randy Waples, Per Henriksen, 30-1 6. Rubber Duck by Muscle Mass, Sylvain Filion, Julie Walker, 20-1 7. The Bank by Donato Hanover, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 10-1 8. Win The Day by Deweycheatumhowe, Chris Christoforou, Paul Reid, 20-1 9. Olympic Son by Majestic Son, John Campbell, Paul Reid, 30-1 10. Iron by Cantab Hall, Tim Tetrick, Frank Antonacci, 12-1 11. AE - Infiniti AS by Infiniti, Richard Zeron, Anette K Lorentzon by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

The Red Mile will play host to another powerful Grand Circuit card with eight divisions of the Bluegrass stakes drawn for Friday night. The Walnut Hall, LTD two-year-old colt trot required five races to accommodate the forty one entries and freshman filly pacers split three ways in the Crawford Farms.   All of the top trotting colts have been entered for the $393,000 Walnut Hall with Peter Haughton Memorial winner Centurion ATM, undefeated PASS champ Billy Flynn, William Wellwood Memorial winner Habitat, KYSS final winner Cinnabar Hall, American National winner Iron and the NYSS champ Crazy Wow sprinkled throughout the card.   The pacing fillies will race for a total of $287, 600 in the Crawford Farms and are evenly matched throughout the divisions. The last of the three (race 8) appears the deepest on paper with four fillies showing six-figure seasonal earnings thus far.   Bedroomconfessions has had a dreamy season thus far for Stephanie & Myron Bell's Riverview Racing and trainer/owner Tony Alagna. The American Ideal homebred has a pair of wins, five runner-ups and $187, 733 in eight starts with her last two defeats coming at the hand of division leader JK Shesalady who is sitting this one out. Scott Zeron is her regular driver and is listed for Friday.   Bedroomconfessions won't miss her nemesis here but she'll have her hooves full with the likes of Shakai Hanover who has been impressive enough to warrant her recent sale to Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham. She moves from the Carl Jamieson barn to Ross "Croc" Croghan now and leaves from post one with Jody Jamieson retaining the mount.   The field also includes a pair of high dollar earners from the Ron Burke barn in Kays Dragon Lady and Bettor N Better.   Friday's twelve race program gets underway at 7:00pm. The forecast is fine and if you enjoy the very best Grand Circuit racing has to offer, make plans to attend.   From the Red Mile press box

Freehold, NJ --- Winky’s Gill, winner of a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian, dam of 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky’s Goal (1:54.4, $844,924) and 1987 Peter Haughton Memorial winner, Supergill (1:53.3, $664,194) died at the age of 34 on August 8 at Perretti Farm, her home of 14 years.   She was buried in the farm’s equine cemetery.  The daughter of Bonefish and Lassie Blue Chip was bred by Ulf Moberg and was born January 31, 1980 in Lexington, Kentucky. Her stakes wins include the 1982 Merrie Annabelle, Acorn, Review, Hayes and Lexington Filly Stakes.  In addition to a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian against colts in which she was third overall, she won the Coaching Club Oaks, Breeders Filly Stakes, Review and the Bluegrass Stake.  Her 15 wins in 27 starts got her purse earnings of $472,154 and a mark of 1:55.2. In her later years, Winky’s Gill served as babysitter for yearling fillies at Perretti Farm, a job at which she excelled, but only after two tries.  “We tried her back when she was a young girl in her mid-twenties,” said Breeding Operations Manager Lindsay Taylor in the book Standardbred Old Friends, in which Winky’s Gill is one of 43 horses featured.  “Winky decided she really didn’t want to come in to the barn any more.  It became a problem.  She figured out that every time we were coming out, she was coming in the barn and would be separated from her charges.  “She decided she was the matriarchal mare and she was going to round up her herd and take off for the foothills.  She regarded it as her responsibility to round up the babies and take them to a safe place. It was actually pretty funny if you weren’t the one out there trying to catch them.” Given another chance a few years later, Winky’s Gill got the hang of the job and made life easier for farm staff by leading fillies in to the barn for farrier and veterinary care.  “It’s like the Pied Piper,” said Taylor.  “Where ever she goes, they follow her in a little line. She usually selects one or two favorites, or they select her, I’m not sure which way it goes.  “She’ll have a couple; we call them her lieutenants, who have a special affinity for her or she for them.  She keeps them within 20 or 30 feet.  They form a kind of bond.  When she moves, they go with her.  If not, she usually goes back and round them up and takes them with her.” Taylor said that Winky’s Gill liked those she knew well, but had a definite opinion about one particular profession.  “She’s been around enough veterinarians that she’s a little leery of them.”  Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications  Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

Staffan Lind might have felt a little sick when he saw the result of the Peter Haughton Memorial earlier this month, but the harness racing trainer is hoping Billy Flynn's future is the remedy. Billy Flynn, a 2-year-old male trotter who is undefeated in four races, was not staked to the Haughton because of an injury he suffered soon after being purchased as a yearling for $120,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. But in his second start, in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on July 15, Billy Flynn beat Haughton champion Centurion ATM by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4 at The Meadows. Haughton runner-up Uncle Lasse finished third. At first, Lind wondered what Billy Flynn might have accomplished if he was in the Haughton. But the trainer put such thoughts aside quickly. "It's better to have a good horse and have regrets that you couldn't race than the other way around," Lind said. "He has his whole life in front of him. I'm sure he can prove himself." Billy Flynn's next start is Thursday in the fourth of four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions for 2-year-old male trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia. He will leave from post three with regular driver Brett Miller and is the 8-5 favorite on the morning line. So far this year, the colt has earned $78,505 for owner Bender Sweden Inc., thanks to wins in divisions of the Pennsylvania All Stars, Arden Downs and two rounds of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. "He's a big horse with a big gait, but the best thing about him is his attitude," Lind said. "He will give you a hundred percent every time. He showed it right away. He was just waiting for me to ask him to go a little bit more." Billy Flynn is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the Enjoy Lavec-sired mare Zeta Jones. Three of Cantab Hall's five richest foals - Father Patrick, Uncle Peter, and Pastor Stephen - were out of dams sired by Enjoy Lavec and Billy Flynn's full brother Mr Chicago was a winner in both the U.S. and Europe. "He was a big, strong colt with a nice pedigree," Lind said about Billy Flynn, who was named after the smooth-talking lawyer in the musical "Chicago," which co-starred Catherine Zeta-Jones in the film version. "I like the cross with Cantab and Enjoy Lavec. We went for it. I thought he would be right around ($100,000). You never know at a sale. You try to set a limit for every horse you're bidding on, and in his case we probably would have gone a little bit more." Billy Flynn's early development was put on hold for nearly a month because the colt suffered a strained ligament behind a knee while being shipped to Lind's winter base in Florida. "When he walked off the truck he was lame," said Lind, adding with a resigned laugh, "That's the life of a horse trainer. That's the reason we never paid him into the Peter Haughton. He wasn't supposed to be racing that early." But Billy Flynn got to the races on July 4 and won his debut, in the Pennsylvania All Stars, by 6-1/2 lengths. Three weeks later, he captured his Arden Downs division in 1:56.2, equaling the stakes record. He has won his four starts by a total of 11-1/4 lengths. His remaining stakes schedule includes the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes, Valley Victory, Matron, and Breeders Crown. "We like him a lot," Lind said. "I hope by the end of the year people know about him. I wouldn't trade him for anyone else." Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications


Archangel's world-record 1:50 performance in last week's John Cashman Jr. Memorial eliminations might have surprised some observers, but not his driver, Yannick Gingras. "I kind of thought it was coming," Gingras said. "He's had a couple miles where he's shown that kind of brilliance, but he was unlucky." The 5-year-old trotter, who sat out last season because of stallion duty, is the 4-1 second choice in Saturday's $300,650 Cashman Memorial final. The Cashman, formerly called the Nat Ray, is for older trotters and has attracted a star-studded field that includes world champion Sebastian K, two-time Dan Patch Award winner Market Share, and numerous other stakes winners. Sebastian K, who won his Cashman elim in 1:51, is the 3-5 morning line favorite for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Sebastian K, an 8-year-old standout from Sweden who is in his first season of racing in North America, holds the record for history's fastest mile thanks to his 1:49 victory in June at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Archangel's 1:50 mile is the fastest ever on a one-mile oval, breaking the record of 1:50.1 that was shared by Donato Hanover, Muscle Hill, Chapter Seven, Giant Diablo, Lucky Jim, and Sebastian K. The 1:49 mile by Sebastian K in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs came on a five-eighths-mile track. Archangel was second to Sebastian K on the final turn of that race, but went off stride and finished seventh. "He was going to trot 1:49 a few weeks ago at Pocono if he didn't make a break," Gingras said. "Around the last turn he just overtrotted a little bit, but I still had the earplugs in. Ake was already driving on his and I had trot behind him. Whether I would have gone by or not, we'll never know, and the record is his. But my horse was going to trot 1:49 too." Archangel entered his Cashman elimination off a 10th-place finish in the Maple Leaf Trot, where he went off stride early in the race. Gingras was not the driver in Canada because he was racing Foiled Again at Northfield in the Battle of Lake Erie. "He's a little bit of a tricky horse, you need to know him, and unfortunately he made a break," Gingras said. "He's a little bit grabby. You've got to know him a little bit. Sometimes he'll throw in a funny step, he's got those little quirks about him, but once you know him he's pretty good." Archangel, trained by Ron Burke for owners Alan Hainsworth's Legendary Standardbred Farm and Clare Semer, has won two of 10 races this year and 16 of 41 in his career while earning $1.02 million. His top win came in the 2012 Yonkers Trot. He has two wins, two seconds and a third in his last seven starts. "He's a horse that didn't race for a full year, so you know it's going to take him six, seven, eight, nine starts to get going," Gingras said. "He was trotting a little further in the stretch each week, so I thought he was going in the right direction. Hopefully he keeps going forward from here on out. I don't think you've seen the bottom of him yet." The Cashman Memorial is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday, which also includes the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. The Cashman, Oaks, and Hambletonian will air during Saturday's national telecast, which begins at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Following is the Cashman field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 3-5; 2. Your So Vain, Mike Lachance, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1; 3. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 20-1; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 5. Uncle Peter, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 15-1; 6. Appomattox, Brett Miller, Liisa Vatanen, 50-1; 7. Mister Herbie, John Campbell, Mark Ford, 20-1; 8. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais, 8-1; 9. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 9-2; 10. Sevruga, George Brennan, Kevin Carr, 50-1. HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK John Campbell will try to extend his record for Hambletonian wins to seven when he drives Nuncio in Saturday's 89th edition of the trotting classic. The Hall of Famer has a legitimate chance to win the race, even with prohibitive favorite Father Patrick in the field, but that's not what makes Campbell most happy. "I'm just so happy anytime I get the chance to be part of the Hambletonian," said Campbell, who has raced in every Hambletonian final but two since 1983. "When you have a horse that figures in it, that makes it more special, no question about it, but it's the best we have to offer and I never take it for granted." Nuncio is the only horse to beat Father Patrick, on July 12, 2013. Father Patrick has won 15 consecutive races since then, but drew the unenviable No. 10 post for Saturday's Hambletonian. No horse has ever won a Hambletonian final from post 10. "I'm happy with the draw; it gives me options going out of the gate," Campbell said. "I'm going to be forwardly placed, or try to be, there's no question about that. I think the unknown is how many underneath me and on the outside are going to leave. I think there's going to be a lot of action in the first quarter of the mile, it just depends how hot that is and how many are involved." Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle owned by Stefan Melander's Stall TZ stable, has won 10 of 17 career races and never finished worse than second. The colt is trained by Jimmy Takter, who also is the trainer of Father Patrick and Hambletonian contender Trixton. Six of Nuncio's seven runner-up finishes have come against Father Patrick. "I know Nuncio is going into the race in good shape," Campbell said. "He's raced well every start of his life and I don't expect that to change. Father Patrick, believe me, he's earned all the accolades he's gotten. His 15-race win streak is incredible. But at the same time, I'm going to try to upset him on Saturday. "You have to race against the competition, whatever it is that year. [Nuncio] ran into a horse that has a chance to be one of the all-time greats. But I'm hoping he doesn't add the Hambletonian to his resume." Nuncio will try to give Melander his second Hambletonian victory. He was the owner, trainer and driver of 2001 winner Scarlet Knight. Part of Nuncio's success this year is because the horse has been able to relax in races. Last season, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of 10 starts. This year, it's only happened once in seven races. "He wouldn't be in the Hambletonian if it wasn't for the job that Jimmy did over the winter," Campbell said. "When he came back, we made a special effort to keep him quiet and race him from off the pace and make sure he didn't get into the same mode as last year. "Last year was just him being very talented and he got so exuberant that I couldn't rate him during the middle part of the mile and it cost him a couple of races. Now he's to the point where I can leave hard with him and still control him, and that's vital. If he wasn't that way going into the Hambletonian, it would compromise his chances dramatically." Aaron Merriman will get his first drive in the Hambletonian on Saturday. He is North America's leading driver in wins, with 452. Over the past 55 years, these are the drivers who ended the season No. 1 in wins and also drove in the Hambletonian final that same year: Dave Palone (2012, Stormin Normand, and 1999, Cherry Hills), Jody Jamieson (2009, Federal Flex), Tim Tetrick (2007, Pampered Princess), and Jack Moiseyev (1991, Giant Victory). Moiseyev is the only driver to win the Hambletonian in the same year he was No. 1. Merriman, a 36-year-old Ohio native with nearly 6,600 lifetime wins, will drive 50-1 longshot Il Sogno Dream in the Hambletonian. The horse is owned by Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. He is trained by Chris Beaver. "It doesn't matter what my odds are, it's an unbelievable opportunity and I'm just really excited," Merriman said. "I feel blessed I'm even involved in the race day. Even if I was the presenter of a trophy, I'd be happy. It's the premier event in harness racing and I'm very excited." Of the 11 drivers in this year's Hambletonian, four have won the race at least once previously. John Campbell (Nuncio) holds the record with six triumphs, followed by Ron Pierce (Royal Ice) with three, Brian Sears (Harper Blue Chip) two, and Tim Tetrick (Don Dorado) one. Sears won last year's Hambletonian with Royalty For Life. If he wins again this season, he will be the first driver to win the Hambletonian in back-to-back years since John Campbell in 1987-88. Jimmy Takter and Trond Smedshammer are the only trainers in this year's Hambletonian with previous victories. Takter - who sends out favorites Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton - won in 2010 with Muscle Massive and 1997 with Malabar Man. Smedshammer, who trains Royal Ice, won in 2004 with Windsong's Legacy. Trainer Nancy Johansson is making her first start in the Hambletonian, with Resolve, but she is no stranger to the race. She is the daughter of two-time winning trainer Jimmy Takter and was the caretaker of the 2010 Hambletonian winner, Muscle Massive. "That helps me tons," Johansson said. "I don't really feel stressed out. I think a lot of people in my situation would be a little more stressed out, but I kind of expect to be here because we were always there working for my dad. And most of the times, I took care of those horses. "There's a lot of pressure to take care of a good horse. I always say caretakers are so underrated because every day that horse is their charge. It's your job to make sure they don't get hurt, or if they're sick you need to notice in time so something can be done. I feel like I've had that pressure a lot before. I've seen my dad deal with the pressure. It doesn't really bother me because I'm used to it." Howard Taylor, who is among the owners of 20-1 Hambletonian longshot Doncango, never expected to have a starter in this year's race. Doncango has raced only once this year, winning on July 25. "I have tickets for the Billy Joel concert Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center, so I had to scramble to rearrange my plans," Taylor said with a laugh. "In about February or so, [Doncango] got injured. We have just been rehabbing him and bringing him back slowly and he got a late start. "We have a lot of year left and [trainer Ake Svanstedt] thinks he'll be heard from for the rest of the year. But I was a little surprised that he entered the horse in the Hambletonian." Taylor has had two previous starters in the Hambletonian. He is looking for his first win. "It would be a dream," Taylor said about Doncango winning. "It would be a shock, but it would be a dream." Ron Pierce can tie Berndt Lindstedt for most Hambletonian Oaks wins by a driver, with four, if he guides Shake It Cerry to victory Saturday. She is trained by Jimmy Takter, who with a triumph would move into sole possession of second place in trainer wins. Takter is tied with Glen Garnsey with three Oaks titles. Jan Johnson leads the way with six. Shake It Cerry, who has won six of seven races this year and was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. "She's good," Takter said earlier in the week. "It was good we didn't have to extend her too much [in the Oaks prep, a 1:54.4 win]. The Hambletonian Oaks won't go like that. The race next week, they're going to mix it up a little bit. "I think she's the best one. The only time she got defeated, she had a bad trip. She's sound, everything is good with her. She is ready to go a big mile. She'll take [Pierce] home. She's not known to give up in the stretch." Prior to this Saturday, trainer Julie Miller's only Hambletonian Oaks starter was 90-1 longshot Timelesswinner Two in 2009. Timelesswinner Two finished eighth. This year, she is sending out three fillies in the Oaks including morning line favorite Designed To Be. Starting from post one with driver Brian Sears, Designed To Be has won two of four starts this year. She was second to Shake It Cerry, who drew post 11 in the Oaks, in last week's prep. "She's had a little bit of traffic trouble her last two starts," Miller said. "I give a lot of credit to Brian. He knows my filly and he's been able to control her during the pedestrian second quarters we've been going. I'm excited for [the final]. Obviously, I'd like to see them go a little more [early fractions] in the race. We'll see how it plays out. I have all the confidence in the world in Brian and Designed To Be." Miller's other starters in the Oaks are 12-1 Take The Money and 20-1 Cee Bee Yes. "Take The Money had a nice win in the Reynolds [on July 19]," Miller said. "She proved to me that she should be in here. She seems to be a horse that's better with a week off in between starts. So that's why we [skipped the Oaks prep and] gave her the week off rather than go three weeks in a row. "[Cee Bee Yes] is my sleeper. She does her job, she's a sweetheart, and Marcus [Miller] gets along with her well. If they mix it up, I think she can pick up the pieces." Saturday's card, which begins at noon, features the Hambletonian Day returns of 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share and 2013 Hambletonian Oaks winner Bee A Magician. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, is the 4-5 favorite in the $52,000 Ima Lula Series final for 4-year-old female trotters. Market Share is the 9-2 third choice in the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters. Here is a look at the morning line choices for Hambletonian Day's top races. $52,000 Ima Lula: Bee A Magician 4-5, Classic Martine 7-5, Handover Belle 8-1. $100,000 Miss New Jersey: Gettingreadytoroll 2-1, Act Now 3-1, Blixtra 9-2. $225,000 New Jersey Classic: Doo Wop Hanover 9-5, Western Vintage 5-2, Bushwacker 9-2. $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship: Sweet Lou 4-5, Captaintreacherous 7-2, Thinking Out Loud 6-1. $352,050 Merrie Annabelle: Mission Brief 4-5, Lock Down Lindy 3-1, Gatka Hanover 5-1. $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial: Guess Whos Back 2-1, Canepa Hanover 5-2, Centurion ATM 3-1. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Amped Up Hanover 8-5, Southwind Poseidon 7-2, Marathon Man 9-2. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Outburst 3-1, Sumatra 7-2, Hillustrious 9-2. $75,000 Vincennes: Master Of Law 3-1, Southwind Pepino 7-2, D'Orsay 9-2. $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial: Sebastian K 3-5, Archangel 4-1, Market Share 9-2. $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks: Designed To Be 2-1, Shake It Cerry 5-2, Heaven's Door 9-2. $1 million Hambletonian: Father Patrick 4-5, Trixton 7-2, Nuncio 9-2. $177,750 Lady Liberty: Rocklamation 5-2, Drop The Ball 3-1, Somwherovrarainbow 7-2. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  

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