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Bob Aerenson and his father Buddy have owned racehorse for 15 years, but Bob's interest in harness racing goes back to his childhood. Before he was old enough to drive, the Wilmington, Del., resident would ride his bike to nearby Brandywine Raceway and offer to jog horses in the morning before returning later to watch the races. He also would hitch rides to area tracks with childhood friend Doug Paul and his family, whose participation in harness racing stretches more than four decades. In recent years, the Aerensons, who race under the name Rojan Stables (an acronym made up of family member's names), have been among the owners of Dan Patch Award winners Captain Crunch and Divine Caroline as well as Grand Circuit stakes winners Closing Statement, Bettor Be Steppin, and Lady Rainbow. This past Saturday, 2-year-old male pacer Always A Miki added his name to the list with a victory in the Governor's Cup. And on Wednesday, 3-year-old male pacer No Lou Zing will attempt to add a second Grand Circuit triumph to his credentials when he competes in the $325,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs. "We've been very fortunate," Bob Aerenson said. "It's been a fun ride. My father just turned 90 and is in great health. He gets very excited about the horses. It's a great thing that we do together. Fortunately, we've had some success, and that makes it even more fun." No Lou Zing heads to the Progress Pace off a win in the event's single elimination last week. The gelding won by a half-length over favorite Cattlewash in 1:49.1, with Dexter Dunn driving for trainer Nancy Takter. On Wednesday, No Lou Zing starts from post seven and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Cattlewash, from post eight, is the 2-1 favorite. For the year, No Lou Zing has won seven of 15 races, hit the board a total of 14 times, and earned $442,308 for owners Rojan Stables, 3 Brothers Stables, and Caviart Farms. His victories include the Jenna's Beach Boy Stakes and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was second in the Matron and third in the Adios and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. His only off-the-board result was a fifth in the Breeders Crown, where he was beaten only three-quarters of a length in a six-horse blanket finish. "We had a little bit of bad luck at the Breeders Crown, but we've gone against some great horses," Aerenson said. "The fact that we're in the same conversation with some of these great horses just makes it even more exciting." No Lou Zing, by Sweet Lou out of Terroronthebeach, was winless in three starts at age 2. He went off stride in all three of those races but got off on a good foot this year with three victories and a second in his first four starts. Takter assistant Josert Fonseca drove the gelding in his first six races this season before handing the lines to Dunn. "He didn't have much of a 2-year-old season, but, obviously, Josert and Nancy are a great team because they got him figured out and he's peaking right now," Aerenson said. "Last week was very impressive." No Lou Zing ranks fifth among all 3-year-old male pacers in purses this season. "My expectations were for him to be a good sire stakes horse, not at the level he's at right now," Aerenson said. "The horse started out the year nicely, but they still were not against the top caliber. I did not expect to be where we are right now. This is very exciting. "Nancy has done a fantastic job keeping this horse in the right place." Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday at Dover Downs. The card also includes $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships for 2-year-old male and female pacers. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Harness Racing This Week: Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 25) for the $325,000 Progress Pace final for 3-year-old open pacers. This will be the final stake for the 2020 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's (Nov. 21) $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship, defeating Backstreet Shadow by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:48.1 at The Meadowlands. This Is The Plan finished third. Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship. Lisa photo. Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Bettor's Wish paid $3.00 to win. "I barely asked him tonight, to be honest," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "It was all him. It's been him his whole career. He's a true racehorse. "It was a special feeling crossing the line with him tonight. He's been an amazing horse to me." Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, won 24 of 44 career starts and $2.60 million. He failed to finish among the top three only three times in his career. He received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer in 2019 and was second to Shartin N in voting for both Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Other victories this year for Bettor's Wish included the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. Bettor's Wish is owned by trainer Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. He was bred by Brittany Farms. Manchego made her final career start a winning one, capturing Saturday's $320,000 TVG Open Trot championship by 1-1/4 lengths over Atlanta in 1:51.3 at The Meadowlands. Lindy The Great finished third. Manchego, a 5-year-old mare, was retired in a ceremony in the winner's circle following the race. She ended her career with 33 wins in 56 career starts and $2.72 million in purses. Her victories included the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. Manchego is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph last month, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego, by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. She is owned by Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing and was bred by Brittany Farms. "She's just a super mare," Nancy Takter said. "She's been great since the first moment that she ever set foot on the track. "When you get the call that you get to train a horse like Manchego, those calls probably aren't going to come very many times in my life, so I appreciate every moment that I had with her. She's just an unbelievable mare. She makes my job easy, she makes all of us look good around her, because she's just such a professional." Kissin In The Sand took the lead at the half, fended off a challenge from Shartin N on the final turn, and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series Mare Pace championship in a stakes-record 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Three-year-old filly Peaky Sneaky was second and Shartin N was third. It was the final start of Kissin In The Sand's career. The 5-year-old mare finished the season with a seven-race win streak and pushed her lifetime victory total to 27 in 58 starts. She earned $1.74 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables and trainer Nancy Takter. "She was outstanding tonight," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "She's had an amazing career, she's an amazing mare, and I was lucky enough to get on for the last four or five starts to enjoy the last run home." Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand paid $3.80 to win. Kissin In The Sand, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc., and Concord Stud Farm. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Among her wins to close out this season were her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,271; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,162; 3. David Miller - 815; 4. Tim Tetrick - 745.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 606. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,303; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,295.5; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 734; 4. Tony Alagna - 682; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 273.9; 2. Caviart Farms - 240.5; 3. Determination - 230; 4. Brad Grant - 217.3; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 209.8. Looking ahead: The 2020 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2021 Grand Circuit schedule will be released early next year. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Dover DE - The field for the $325,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs has been drawn.  The race features three year old colt and gelding pacers.  The race is scheduled as the 12th of 15 races off the evening. No Lou Zing and  Cattlewash, who finished first and second in the elimination race, drew post seven and post eight respectively. Trainer Nancy Takter sends out two entries in Fortify and No Lou Zin, who was supplemented to the race. Trainer Tony Alagna sends out Captain’s Barbossa and Kirk.    Also scheduled on the pre Thanksgiving card will be two, $100,000 DSBF Finals and two $15,000 DSBF Consolations. Dover Downs Post Time is 4:30 pm The field is as follows:          Horse                                                Trainer Captain Barbossa                              T. Alagna Manticore                                           Br. Saunders Captain Kirk                                       T. Alagna Fortify                                                 N. Takter Catch The Fire                                   J. Ackley Tattoo Artist                                        I. Moore No Lou Zing                                       N.Takter Cattlewash                                         R.Burke by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

Dover, DE - No Lou Zing wins the Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs on Wednesday night. Cattlewash and No Lou Zing left alertly at the start of the race and established early race position. Once Cattlewash cleared the lead,  Dexter Dunn boldly pulled the pocket with No Lou Zing and wrestled the lead away from Cattlewash. The quarter was reached in 26.4.  No Lou Zing continued on the lead and reached the half in 55.2.   Tattoo Artist, who had supplemented to the Progress Pace, pulled first over.  Fortify shadowed second over for race position on the outside.  The three quarter time was reached in 1:22.1, a 26.4 quarter.   Tattoo Artist began to weaken on the rim, past the three quarter pole.  Cattlewash and David Miller, who enjoyed the pocket journey throughout the mile, revved up his charge along the rail but could not gun down a very game No Lou Zing. No Lou Zing (Sweet Lou) won by a half length in 1:49.1 and was sent off at odds of eight to five.  The owners are 3 Brothers Stable, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms and he is trained by Nancy Takter.   Cattlewash, the race favorite at four to five, finished second for driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke. Finishing third was Catch the Fire, who forced the early pace, was driven cleverly by Mike Wilder.  John Ackley was the trainer. The top eight race finishers who are headed to the final are: No Lou Zing, Cattlewash, Catch The Fire, Fortify, Captain Kirk, Captain Barbossa, Manticore, and Tattoo Artist. The Progress Pace Final, worth an estimated $325,000, is scheduled for Wednesday November 25.  Dover Downs post time is 4:30 pm. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs    

Harness Racing This Week: Fall Four and TVG finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Progress Pace elimination, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 18) for a $35,000 elimination in the Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field off 11 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 25. On Saturday night (Nov. 21) Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters and the TVG series finals for open pacers and trotters. The Fall Four features the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. The TVG finals consist of the $340,000 Open Pace, the $320,000 Open Trot, $150,000 Mare Pace and the $140,000 Mare Trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Dexter Dunn rewrote a sizeable chunk of the Dover Downs record book on Thursday night (Nov. 12), piloting both Amigo Volo ($3.20) and Party Girl Hill ($2.60) to track record performances in their respective Matron Stakes splits in the First State. Amigo Volo's 1:50.2 effort in the $162,350 Matron for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings earned him a place in the track and world record books. Fotowon photo. Amigo Volo's 1:50.2 effort in the $162,350 Matron for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings earned him a place in the track and world record books, knocking over a second off Pinkman's world record for sophomore trotting geldings taken in 2015 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains Amigo Volo, who now has earned just over $1.5 million lifetime, for Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. The two-time Breeders Crown winner completed a sweep of the Matron Stakes as well, having won as a 2-year-old in 2019 by the same 6-1/2-length margin. Party Girl Hill may have missed Kiss Me Onthebeach's divisional world record by two-fifths of a second, but her 1:49 performance in the $154,450 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies landed her in the Dover record books. Party Girl Hill, whose only defeat in 16 career starts to date came in the Breeders Crown, has amassed $880,345 in earnings - all this season. Chris Ryder trains the Tom Hill homebred. An early break by Hambletonian winner and even money favorite Ramona Hill prevented her from finding redemption in the $163,050 Matron for sophomore trotting fillies, and it also paved the way for Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella ($5.40) to score the 10th victory of her career. Nancy Takter trains Sorella, who has now earned $848,362 in her career. Breeder Elmer Fannin shares ownership of the Muscle Hill filly with Crawford Farms Racing and Brent Fannin. The retirement of Tall Dark Stranger made the $179,600 Matron for sophomore male pacers far more wide open than most previous events within the division, and the late-blooming Cattlewash ($2.80) had to work for every penny of the winner's share of the purse. While Cattlewash shrugged off Captain Barbossa's challenge on the final turn, another pair of challengers were waiting in the wings to take their shots in the final furlong: Tattoo Artist launched for the open stretch, and No Lou Zing vaulted off cover. Cattlewash was driven out to narrowly prevail in 1:48.3. No Lou Zing lunged late for second over Tattoo Artist, who was fully extended to stay on. Ron Burke trains 10-time winner Cattlewash, who has now earned $799,777 for owner-breeder Bill Donovan. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,251; 2. Dexter Dunn - 1,072; 3. David Miller - 785; 4. Tim Tetrick - 720.5; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 586. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,248; 2. Nancy Takter - 1,215.5; 3. Ake Svanstedt - 699; 4. Tony Alagna - 662; 5. Marcus Melander - 492. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 268.8; 2. Caviart Farms - 230.5; 3. Determination - 220; 4. Brad Grant - 214; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 204.7. Looking ahead: The 2020 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 25. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $325,000 Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

After suffering respiratory issues earlier this season, Cattlewash is healthy and hitting his best stride. The 3-year-old harness racing pacing colt has won three of his last four races and finished off the board only once in his last seven starts as he heads to Wednesday's single $35,000 Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs, where he is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Cattlewash enters the elim off victories in the Matron Stakes last week at Dover and the Monument Circle Stakes on Nov. 6 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. His stretch of improved form began at the Little Brown Jug in September, where he finished second in the final from post seven, and continued with a world-record-equaling 1:46.4 victory in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last month at Red Mile. He also won an elimination of the Breeders Crown and was third in the final, beaten by only a quarter length in a race that saw the top-eight finishers separated by two lengths. For the season, the Ron Burke-trained Cattlewash has won six of 15 starts and $487,986 for breeder/owner Bill Donovan. David Miller has driven the horse since July. "He fits 2020 perfectly because it's been a challenge with him for most of the year," Donovan said. "He kept getting respiratory infections that were affecting his breathing. Apparently, by the time the Jug came, they got it under control. He's now showing us what he can do when he can breathe properly. He's been a real pleasure since the Jug." Last year, Cattlewash won four of 13 races and $311,791. He was second to Papi Rob Hanover in the Matron for 2-year-old male pacers and third behind Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover in both the Breeders Crown elimination and final. Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover finished 1-2, respectively, in voting for the division's Dan Patch Award. "There was no question that (Cattlewash) had talent," Donovan said. "Coming into this year, he was in the shadow of Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover, obviously, but I had faith in him all along that he could nip at their heels anyway. With Papi Rob Hanover and Tall Dark Stranger retired, he's moving toward the head of the class. "He's becoming a different horse. I think because his maladies are behind him, hopefully, and he's racing better, he's developed a degree of confidence. He's a handsome individual. He's got brains; he stays pretty cool, calm, and collected around the track. Not too much flusters him. On the track now, he's all business." Cattlewash is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Bettor's Delight mare Road Bet. Donovan bought Road Bet at the end of her 3-year-old season and raced her for two years before breeding her to Somebeachsomewhere with the hopes of getting a colt. After Cattlewash was born, he sold the mare. "I wanted to breed a daughter of Bettor's Delight to Somebeachsomewhere because I thought that was a really good cross," Donovan said. Donovan is exploring opportunities to stand Cattlewash in New Jersey to service a limited book of mares while continuing the horse's racing career at age 4, following the path of pacer Bettor's Wish this year and trotter Father Patrick in 2015. "We're going to see if we can put it together in the next couple weeks," Donovan said. "Kind of get a jump start on the interest that's there. "But Ronnie is pretty adamant that we haven't seen the best of him. He's excited to train him next year, so how could I go against that? Some of the miles he's gone this year have been pretty eye opening. If we were able to equal or exceed that next year, it would be pretty awesome." The top-eight finishers from the Progress Pace elimination will advance to the $325,000 final Nov. 25 at Dover Downs. In addition to Cattlewash, the field includes Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa and Adios winner Catch The Fire as well as Grand Circuit stakes winners Tattoo Artist, No Lou Zing, Fortify, and Captain Kirk. Post time for Dover Downs is 4:30 p.m. (EST). Click here for complete entries. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA         

Dover, DE - Dover Downs is set to kick-off it’s 51st harness racing season. The 83-day harness race meet opens on Monday November 2 and will conclude on Thursday April 1. Live racing will be dark on Thursday November 26 (Thanksgiving) December 18 thru December 27.  (Christmas break) Horse racing will be conducted Monday thru Thursday. Post time is 4:30 pm. The Delaware Standard Breeders Fund (DSBF) two year old stake eliminations compete from November 9th thru November 18th. The two year old finals will be contested on November 24th and November 25th. DSBF three year old eliminations race on November 30th thru December 10th.  The three year old final is on December 17.  The “Matron” series two year old eligibles will compete on Thursday November 5th.  The ”Matron” series three old eligibles will compete on Thursday November 12th.  The signature race of the season, The “Progress Pace” Final will be raced on Wednesday November 25, 2020. Elimination races will be on Wednesday November 18 if necessary. Opening draw schedule for the first week’s racing is as follows: Tuesday October 27  for Monday November 2 (opening night). Wednesday October 28 for Tuesday November 3. Thursday October 29 for Wednesday November 4 Monday November 2 for Thursday November 5 Box closes at noon. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs      

Shake That House, at odds of 9-1, was able to shake up the house, collaring harness racing favorite Captain Crunch at the wire to win the $335,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace Final Wednesday at Dover Downs. The 12th race feature for three-year-old pacing colts saw American Mercury (Tyler Buter) out leave Captain Crunch to the the early lead and then sting Captain Crunch and driver Yannick Gingras a little as they went by the first quarter in :26. Captain Crunch then sat comfortably on the lead past the half mile in :53.4 as Dancing Lou (Andy McCarthy) came first-over with Shake That House and driver Tim Tetrick were second-over and then by the three-quarters in 1:21, was first-over and gaining ground on Captain Crunch. As they came down the stretch, Shake That House proved to be the strong horse, beating Captain Crunch to the wire by a long neck in 1:50.1. U S Captain (Dexter Dunn) was third. A colt by American Ideal, Shake That House paid $20.20 to win. He is trained by Chris Oakes and is co-owned by Crawford Farms Racing, A J Johnston, and the Northfork Racing Stable. It was his seventh win on the season. “When got away from the horses inside of me,” said driver Tim Tetrick. “that was my objective, not to get away last. My horse actually closed well last week with a :25.4 last quarter and I thought if there was enough speed early on, we could be right there. “When I tipped him off the rail,” Tetrick explained. “and got some good cover he felt really good. Once I got around Andy (Dancin Lou) I knew my horse could track down Captain Crunch and he did.”   There were two $100,000 finals of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund for two-year-old pacers. The finals were named in memory of long time Dover publicist and Hall of Famer Marv Bachrad. The sixth race final for the pacing fillies saw the 1/9 favorite, Cinder Rock and driver Allan Davis shoot right out to the lead and never looked back. They cut fractions of :27, :55.1 and 1:25.2. In the backstretch, rival Bag Of Jewels (Victor Kirby) came first-over but lacked any true grit and faded after the three-quarters. Cinder Rock then pulled away in the stretch to win in a romp by ten and three-quarter lengths in 1:53.2. Sin Sumthin (Russell Foster) was second with Emma (Art Stafford, Jr.) third. It was the sixth straight win for Cinder Rock. The daughter of Rockabillie is trained by Wayne Givens for the Legacy Racing Of De, Inc. of Seaford. She paid just $2.20 to win and now has won six of her seven lifetime starts. “It was my plan all along to get to the front,” said Allan Davis. “I got there with her easy. It all worked out good today. “Early in her career,” Davis said, “Wayne (Givens) told me he was so close to just turning her out. He decided to bring her to the track with another horse and once she got behind the gate she was all business.”   In the 10th race $100,000 colt final, it was Bebop On The Block, making three moves starting from post eight to get what seemed to end up being an easy victory in 1:54.2. American Nitro (Victor Kirby) left from post seven and was stung a bit getting to the lead by Leonard’s Legacy (Corey Callahan) at the opening quarter mile in :26. Past the half in :55.3, there was no movement until the backstretch when driver Dexter Dunn moved from fourth place with Bebop On The Block, coming after pacesetter American Nitro at the three-quarters in 1:24.2. He collared the race leader and then with another gear, Dunn pulled away from the field in the stretch to win by two and three=quarter lengths. American Nitro held for second place with Undercovershamrock (Ross Wolfenden) third. It was the fourth straight win for Bebop On The Block, a gelded son of Gamblers Dream. He is trained by Josh Green for owners Debbie and Brendan Cook of Hartly. He paid $5.20 to win. “We had the eight-hole so I knew we had to get out a little for position,” said Dexter Dunn. “Once I moved him to the outside, he felt really good. He’s still immature but last four races he has been really good.”   “Very happy, what a great night,” said trainer Josh Green. “We came along slowly with him at first, preparing him for the Dover meet. Then we got Dexter to drive him and what a fabulous driver he is. We made a bit change tonight on him to try and get a little bit more leverage with him. It was Dexter who suggested it last week. It was a great idea. He was able to leave with him, get the four-hole,  made three great moves and Dexter got him home.” by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

This Week: Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 27) for the $335,000 final in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. Elimination winner Captain Crunch heads a field of eight in the Hap Hansen, the final stake of the 2019 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Six Pack went out a winner, capping his career by capturing Saturday's (Nov. 23) $350,000 TVG Open Trot championship by three-quarters of a length with a track-record 1:50 performance over a surface labeled "good" because of rain at The Meadowlands. Six Pack went out a winner, capping his career by capturing Saturday's $350,000 TVG Open Trot championship. Lisa photo. Manchego, the lone mare in the race, finished second and Guardian Angel AS was third. Gimpanzee, the 3-year-old taking on older trotters, finished fourth. Guardian Angel AS took the lead on the first turn while Six Pack, on the inside, and Manchego, on the outside, battled for second through an opening quarter in :26.3. Guardian Angel AS gave up the front to Manchego in a half of :53.4, with Six Pack third and Gimpanzee fourth. The top four remained in that order as Manchego reached three-quarters in 1:22.4, but Six Pack was on the move and came home with a :26.3 final quarter to hit the wire first. The winning time established a track record for 4-year-old stallion trotters. "It was a perfect trip for him," trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt said about Six Pack. "It was a fast first quarter and fast first half, so then I thought I had a good chance to win." Six Pack, by Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady, is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., and L Berg Inc. He was bred by Brittany Farms. For the year, Six Pack has won four of 12 races and earned $581,314. Lifetime, the 4-year-old stallion won 19 of 35 races and $1.93 million. He will stand at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey. Six Pack was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3, when he became the fastest 3-year-old trotter in history with a 1:49.1 mile. This season, he became the fastest 4-year-old male trotter, with a 1:49.2 score. Always A Prince and driver Yannick Gingras went to the front from post eight and never looked back, rolling to a 1:48.2 win in Saturday's $350,000 TVG Open Pace championship. The margin of victory was 4-3/4 lengths. Bettor's Wish, the lone 3-year-old in the field of older male pacers, finished second and American History was third. Always A Prince, trained by Tyler George, set fractions of :27, :55, and 1:22.1 on his way to the win. It was Gingras' first drive behind Always A Prince, a 4-year-old gelding, who was sent off at odds of 5-1. "He certainly left a good impression," Gingras said. "(I was told) he's really nice to drive, he can race either way, and left it up to me behind the gate. When the gate opened, there wasn't much speed. A couple horses left inside of me, but I was able to get a really good first half, and I think it made the difference. "When I looked at the race, I didn't see a crazy amount of speed. I thought there were more horses that were looking to race from behind, so I thought maybe it could work out that way. But maybe once every 20 times it works out the way I think." For the year, Always A Prince has won four of 18 races and earned $362,835. He has won 23 of 40 lifetime starts and $855,710. Always A Prince, by Always A Virgin out of Glorious Princess, is owned by Carl Atley and Melanie Atley. He was bred by Emerald Highlands Farm. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,396.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,363; 3. Dexter Dunn - 1,049; 4. David Miller - 960; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 828. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,322; 2. Tony Alagna - 887; 3 Nancy Johansson - 717; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 677; 5. Marcus Melander - 628. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 289.5; 2. Brad Grant - 271.7; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 242.5; 4. Robert Key - 226; 5. Fashion Farms - 224.5. Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2020 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand CIrcuit  

The field is set for the $335,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace for harness racing three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, on Wednesday November 27th at Dover Downs.  The race will be the 12th race on the betting card Captain Crunch has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite based upon his 1.47.3 track record performance in his last start.  He drew post #8. Breeders Crown champ Dancin Lou, is second choice at 3-1 and drew post #6. American Mercury, who finished 2nd in the Matron Stakes final, and 3rd in the Progress Pace Elimination, drew post 7, and is the third choice at 9/2 odds. There will also be two $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Finals, for two year colt and geldings as well as filly pacers. Post Time is 4:30 pm. Post positions, drivers and trainers are as follows. Semi Tough                   David Miller              Ron Burke Pyro                               Tony Morgan            Ron Burke De Los Cielos Deo         Matt Kakaley            Ron Burke US Captain                    Dexter Dunn            Tony Alagna Shake That House         Tim Tetrick               Chris Oakes Dancin Lou                     Andrew McCarthy   Tahnee Camilleri American Mercury          Tyler Buter               Chris Oakes Captain Crunch               Yannick Gingras      Nancy Johansson by Al Kraszewski, for Dover Downs

Dover, DE - Captain Crunch punished the harness racing field he faced in an all-age track record performance, capturing the elimination round for next Wednesday’s $335,000 Hap Hanson Progress Pace for three-year-old colts and geldings, at Dover Downs. Captain Crunch, recovered from last week’s break in the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs. Driver Yannick Gingras cut fractions of :26.4, :54, and 1:21.1 before stopping the teletimer in 1:47.3. The previous all-age track record at Dover was 1:48 and was co-held by Heston Blue Chip (2012) and Bandolito (2014). Captain Crunch, sired by Captaintreacherous, is owned by 3 Brothers Stables, C.Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. Trainer Nancy Takter Johansson, was involved in a vehicular accident, traveling to Dover Downs, earlier in the evening.  She arrived about twenty minutes prior to her race and was ok. US Captain finished second and American Mercury finished third. Race favorite Southwind Ozzi finished last and did not qualify for the final. The second leg of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders’ Fund for two-year-old filly pace was contested in two $20K divisions as the Daily Double on the evening card at Dover. Members of USTA District 11 who had attended the district meeting flowed over to enjoy dinner and watch. The first division was a repeat of last week as Bag Of Jewels (Roddy’s Bags Again-Artist Jewels) led from the rail post from start to finish in a lifetime record mile of 1:57.1 for driver Victor Kirby and trainer Les Givens. Spin Sumthin followed in second and I’m Two Soxy got up for show. The winner is owned by the group of Henry Faragalli,III, Art Feeney, Bay Pond Racing and Bonuccelli Racing. The breeder is Winbak Farm. The second division was another repeat of the first leg with Cinder Rock (Rockabillie-Cinderella) cruising home easily in 1:56 for driver Allan Davis and trainer Wayne Givens. She is owned by Legacy Racing of DE, Inc. and bred by Elam Esh. Top 8-point getters will race in a $100K final on Wednesday, November 27th. There is a combined $15,000 consolation for fillies and the qualifying pacing colts. From Dover Downs and the DSBF

This Week: Fall Four and TVG finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Wednesday (Nov. 20) for a $35,000 elimination in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. A field off 10 will compete for eight spots in the final slated for Nov. 27. On Saturday night (Nov. 23) Meadowlands Racetrack will host finals in each of the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters and the TVG series for open pacers and trotters. The Fall Four features the $505,050 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $475,100 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $401,850 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the $411,000 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. The TVG finals consist of the $350,000 Open Pace, the $350,000 Open Trot, $175,000 Mare Pace and the $175,000 Mare Trot. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Breeders Crown winner Gimpanzee and Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry added another Grand Circuit title to their respective résumés with victories in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old trotters on Thursday (Nov. 14) at Dover Downs. In the $208,300 Matron for sophomore trotting colts and geldings, Gimpanzee ($2.80) and Brian Sears sprinted to the early lead before yielding control to Chin Chin Hall (Dexter Dunn) at the completion of a :27 first quarter. The son of Chapter Seven was relegated to third as Don't Let'em (Yannick Gingras) brushed aggressively from midfield to clear with a circuit to go, but angled first-over to attack soon after stalking a :54.4 half. On the backstretch, Gimpanzee sustained a strong attack on Don't Let'em, taking charge effortlessly past three-quarters in 1:23 and drawing away at will for a 1:51.1 score. Chin Chin Hall emerged up the open stretch to take second, four lengths back, while Pilot Discretion (Andy McCarthy) rallied off cover for third. Marcus Melander trains 17-time winner Gimpanzee for Courant Inc. and the S R F Stable. The $176,150 Matron for 3-year-old trotting fillies saw Simon Allard send When Dovescry ($7.60) clear of Beautiful Sin (Ã…ke Svanstedt) and Only Take Cash (Tim Tetrick) into the first turn before controlling splits of :27, :56.1 and 1:23.4. With three-sixteenths to go, When Dovescry faced a bid from Evident Beauty (David Miller), who circled stalled cover to challenge on the final turn. The daughter of Muscle Hill successfully held her ground, holding off a late stand-side rally from Only Take Cash by a half-length in 1:52.2. Evident Beauty stayed on between fillies to maintain third. Rene Allard trains 10-time winner When Dovescry for the Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain. After Dancin Lou snapped his four-race win streak in the Breeders Crown, Bettor's Wish ($3.20) got back in the win column with a 1:49.2 score in the $248,350 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Bettor's Wish worked clear of American Mercury (Tyler Buter) just beyond a :27 first quarter, but faced immediate pressure from Dancin Lou (Andy McCarthy) with a circuit to go and on toward a :53.2 half. With a quarter-mile to go, Bettor's Wish began to scamper away, turning aside Dancin Lou past three-quarters in 1:21.3. The son of Bettor's Delight was kept to task through the final furlong, and he maintained 1-3/4 lengths of clearance over American Mercury. Aflame Hanover (Corey Callahan) angled off the pegs at head-stretch to chase and just missed the runner-up spot. Trainer Chris Ryder co-owns Bettor's Wish, an 18-time winner and an earner of more than $1.8 million, with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettors Wish Partners. Bettor's Wish has finished first or second in all 18 of his starts this season. Following a runner-up finish to Warrawee Ubeaut in the Breeders Crown, Tall Drink Hanover ($13.20) rode the pocket to victory in the $165,900 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies, reeling in her arch-rival in the process. Andy McCarthy put Tall Drink Hanover in play from the outset to seize early control, only to yield to prohibitive favorite Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras) just behind a taxing :26 first quarter. After stalking a :54.2 half, Tall Drink Hanover found herself boxed as Sunny Dee (Brian Sears) offered first-over pressure up the far side. Off the home turn, Tall Drink Hanover angled to the open stretch and eclipsed the dueling leaders, beating Sunny Dee by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2. Treacherous Reign (Dunn) lifted from third-over to narrowly take third over the engulfed Warrawee Ubeaut, who missed the board for the first time this year in her Matron defeat. Tony Alagna trains 15-time winner Tall Drink Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, for Alagna Racing, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,366.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,278; 3. Dexter Dunn - 1,019; 4. David Miller - 940; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 808. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,292; 2. Tony Alagna - 877; 3 Nancy Johansson - 672; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 637; 5. Marcus Melander - 623. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 284.5; 2. Brad Grant - 267.1; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 238.7; 4. Robert Key - 226; 5. Fashion Farms - 224.5. Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit season comes to a close on Nov. 27. Dover Downs will host the final stake of the season in the $300,000 (est.) Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Dover, DE — Ten harness racing horses have been entered to compete in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination race on Wednesday (Nov. 20) at Dover Downs. Eight horses will have their noses on the gate with two horses scoring from the second tier. The top eight horses in the official order of finish will return for the final, worth $335,000, on Wednesday (Nov. 27). Southwind Ozzi and American Mercury supplemented to the race at a cost of $25,000 each. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Below is the complete field. Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Dancin Lou-Andrew McCarthy-Tahnee Camilleri 2-Southwind Ozzi-Brian Sears-Bill MacKenzie 3-Shake That House-Tim Tetrick-Chris Oakes 4-U S Captain-Dexter Dunn-Tony Alagna 5-Captain Crunch-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 6-Love Me Some Lou-Brian Sears-Thomas Cancelliere 7-American Mercury-Tyler Buter-Chris Oakes 8-Pyro-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 9-De Los Cielos Deo-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 10-Semi Tough-David Miller-Ron Burke De Los Cielos Deo and Semi Tough will start from the second tier. by Al Kraszewski, for Dover Downs

Harness racing this week: Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 29) for the $260,000 final in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace for 3-year-old open pacers. Elimination winner Jimmy Freight heads a field of eight in the Hap Hansen, the final stake of the 2018 Grand Circuit season. Complete entries for the race are available at this link. Last time: Captain Crunch and driver Scott Zeron tipped three wide coming off the final turn and powered through the stretch to win the $469,300 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers by 3-3/4 lengths over Mac's Power in 1:50.3 on a wet Saturday night (Nov. 24) at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Blood Money finished third. The Governor's Cup was one of the Fall Final Four events for 2-year-old pacers and trotters at the Big M. Southwind Avenger won the $435,900 Valley Victory for male trotters while Sonnet Grace captured the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid for female trotters and Prescient Beauty claimed the $391,250 Three Diamonds for female pacers. All of the races were contested over a sloppy track as the result of persistent rain. In the Governor's Cup, Captain Crunch was fifth through the first half of the race as Escapetothebeach and Mangogh each took a turn on the lead. Captain Crunch followed the cover of Semi Tough around the final turn before moving to the front in the stretch and cruising to victory. Captain Crunch, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika, has won six of 10 races this year and earned $616,113 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. The colt, who last month won the Breeders Crown, is trained by Nancy Johansson. He was bred by Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs. "We really took our time with him," Johansson said. "He's a big growthy colt and there is a lot of money to be made toward the end of the season. We just figured we would take our time and let him come into his own." Johansson purchased Captain Crunch, then known as Captain Bean, for $85,000 at the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale at the urging of her then 12-year-old daughter, Ella. "She said, 'Whatever you do, you have to buy Captain Bean,'" Johansson said, adding with a laugh, "Great. No pressure. "Luckily I have a good group of owners behind me and we were able to put together a group and purchase the colt and it's been a fairy tale story ever since." Captain Crunch, the 9-5 favorite, paid $5.80 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,525; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,509.5; 3. David Miller - 1,254.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 754; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 668.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,446.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,200; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 449. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 304.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 300; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 278.5; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2. Looking ahead: The 2018 Grand Circuit season will conclude after this week; the 2019 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Hightstown, NJ — Dorsoduro Hanover began his season with a win and will try to go out the same way in Thursday’s $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace for harness racing 3-year-old pacers at Dover Downs. It will not be easy. In addition to facing seven talented rivals, Dorsoduro Hanover will begin the race from post No. 8, the least favorable starting spot on the gate at the track. “I’m not too happy about that,” said driver Matt Kakaley, who will try to guide Dorsoduro Hanover to victory from a post that has produced only four winners from 100 starts during the current Dover Downs meet. “The eight hole is going to be tough. But it should be a good race for everybody to watch. There is a lot of speed in there.” Dorsoduro Hanover, the sport’s richest 3-year-old with $1.25 million in purses this year, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Jimmy Freight, who defeated Dorsoduro Hanover by a neck in last week’s Progress Pace elimination, is the 2-1 favorite. He will start from post No. 7 with driver Scott Zeron. This Is The Plan and driver Tim Tetrick are 9-2 and will leave from post three. “This Is The Plan will be pushing for sure; I know Scotty will be leaving and I’m not taking back, so there’s going to be some action,” Kakaley said. “I don’t know how it will all shake out in the first turn, but there will be enough guys leaving, that’s for sure.” The Ron Burke-trained Dorsoduro Hanover has won 10 of 21 races this year, finished second on six occasions and third once. His wins include the Breeders Crown, Adios, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and an elimination of the Little Brown Jug. He finished second in the Little Brown Jug final and also was runner-up in the Meadowlands Pace and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. The gelding has finished off the board only once in his past 10 starts, a fourth in the Nov. 15 Matron Stakes at Dover, where he was beaten by a neck. He is owned by Burke Racing, the group of Silva, Purnel & Libby, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Wingfield Five. “He’s had a long year and he’s still racing good,” Kakaley said about Dorsoduro Hanover, who made his seasonal debut on May 5. “Ronnie has done an amazing job keeping him sharp like this. He raced great last week, another first-over trip and he dug in hard all the way to the wire. You can’t really fault him. He usually gives you what he’s got. “He’s had a tremendous year, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got the most money made, he’s been knocking on the door the whole year, racing hard the whole year, and he’s always right there. A couple of the other ones were good early and not so good late, or vice versa, but he’s been pretty consistent the whole year.” In addition to the Progress Pace, Dover on Thursday hosts Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. The Progress Pace was renamed in 2015 to honor the late W.E. “Hap” Hansen, a Dover Downs and Brandywine Raceway executive who passed away the previous year. Following is the field for the Hap Hansen Progress Pace in post-position order. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1 - Shnitzledosomethin - Fred And Ginger - David Miller - Dylan Davis - 15/1 2 - Heavenly Sound - Rock N Roll Heaven - Victor Kirby - Bruce Saunders - 12/1 3 - This Is The Plan - Somebeachsomewhere - Tim Tetrick - Ron Burke - 9/2 4 - Thinkbig Dreambig - Bettors Delight - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 8/1 5 - Done Well - Well Said - Corey Callahan - Ron Burke -10/1 6 - I’m A Big Deal - Somebeachsomewhere - Eric Carlson - Chris Ryder - 12/1 7 - Jimmy Freight - Sportswriter - Scott Zeron - Andrew Harris -2/1 8 - Dorsoduro Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 5/2 by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) collected his 11th victory of the season on Wednesday evening (Nov. 21) in the $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs by besting Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) in 1:49.2. This Is The Plan (Tim Tetrick) was third. Leaving from post position five, Jimmy Freight and his pilot were content to allow Thinkbig Dreambig to establish the pace with fractions of :26.1, :54.4 and 1:22.2 while biding their time in second place. Dorsoduro Hanover, however, employed an overland journey to capture the lead in the push to the wire. After enjoying primarily a pocket trip, Zeron pushed the gas pedal to send Jimmy Freight past his rival with a :26.4 final quarter-mile to assure the win by a neck. Trained by Andrew Harris, Jimmy Freight is owned by Adriano Sorella and paid $6 to win as the public’s second selection (2-1). The final field for the $260,000 Progress Pace final on Nov. 29 is: Jimmy Freight Dorsoduro Hanover This Is The Plan Done Well Thinkbig Dreambig Shnitizledosomethin I’m A Big Deal Heavenly Sound From the USTA Media Department

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