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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The sophomore harness racing pacing colt Scootnroll, unraced at two, remained undefeated in seven career starts with a 1:52.3 victory in a $10,400 conditioned pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon. A son of Roll With Joe out of the $800G+-winning mare Billmar Scooter, Scootnroll opened his career with five wins in Excelsior B races throughout New York State, including a 1:52.1 win at Vernon Downs. Purchased before his next start by Rick and Geoffrey Howles and now under the care of John Hallett, Scootnroll won an overnight at Tioga easily, and upon coming to Pocono was reunited with driver Tyler Buter, his regular pilot in New York. Roll With Dom made the lead by the :28.2 quarter; both favored Scootnroll and second choice P-Drive Hanover were soon afterward on the move, with "P-Drive" first making the top and then Buter keeping his horse in high gear to gain command by the :56.1 half. There was no further threat to Scootnroll on this day - after the 1:24.4 three-quarters, the unbeaten colt came home in :27.4 to wind up 4¼ lengths to the good of P-Drive Hanover.   The Napolitano brothers, Anthony and George Jr., again were the big winners on the card, each coming home first three times. Anthony completed the four-card week with twelve winning drives; George, the leading driver at both The Downs and Harrah's Philly, continues in amazing form - he has won 251 races over the last four months, which can be compared with the recent record of Aaron Merriman, by far the winningest driver in North America again this year, and who won 261 races over the same four months. Racing resumes Saturday at 12:30 p.m., with a $218,268.10 carryover for the Rainbow Pick 5 pool (won by having a unique ticket on the last five winners on the card). From the PHHA / The Downs

Leading harness racing driver John MacDonald continued to be red hot as he drove four winners including Brookdale Bruiser in the $4,400 featured pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 29). In the feature, Wind Blast (Josh Kinney) charged to the front and led to the first quarter in :26.4. He continued to push the pace using a :28.1 second quarter to hit the half in :55.0. Brookdale Bruiser sat patiently in the pocket the whole trip as Wind Blast led to three-quarters in 1:22.4. As they made the turn for home Brookdale Bruiser popped out of the pocket and took control in the stretch. Sofer (Leon Bailey) came charging three-wide but Brookdale Bruiser dug in and won in 1:53.0. Sofer settled for second. Yamaka came charging late to finish third.   Brookdale Bruiser is a 6-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. He is owned by the JP Stables and trained by Brandy Wine. It was his fifth win of 2020. He now has 25 career victories. John MacDonald leads all drivers with 37 wins. Howard Parker and Leon Bailey are tied for second with 30 trips to the winner's circle. Jimmy Whittemore (24) and Roman Lopez (12) round out the top five. The training title remains very tight. George Ducharme and Kerin Warner are tied for the top spot with 13 wins a piece. David Dewhurst, Claude Huckabone III, and Brandy Wine are all just one back with 12 victories each. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 4) starting at 3:00 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne for Vernon Downs

Chester, PA -- Fresh off a pair of wins at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Respect Our Flag ($4.80) made it three in a row with a sharp 1:50 score in Sunday's (Aug. 9) featured $14,400 top-level harness racing pacing event at Harrah's Philadelphia. Driver Joe Bongiorno hustled Respect Our Flag to the early lead through a :27 first quarter before yielding to Lyons Steel (George Napolitano Jr.), who handled the bulk of the pacesetting duties. While Lyons Steel controlled a :55.3 half and faced mild outside pressure from Rock The Devil (Victor Kirby) past three-quarters in 1:22.3, Respect Our Flag drafted comfortably in the pocket and awaited clearance. Once the field turned for home, Bongiorno ducked Respect Our Flag to the open stretch, and the 4-year-old Roll With Joe gelding powered clear by 1-3/4 lengths under vigorous encouragement. Rock The Devil lasted for second; Lyons Steel finished third after giving way in the final sixteenth. Breeder Barbara Bongiorno co-owns 9-time winner Respect Our Flag with Bill Lambos and Dionisios Liberatos. Jenn Bongiorno handles the training duties. Joe Bongiorno and George Napolitano Jr. led all drivers on the card with three wins apiece. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover continues to grow, now standing at $20,677.97 in advance of Wednesday's (Aug. 12) card. The Jackpot Hi-5 is a 20-cent base wager available in the fifth race each day, with the carryover only paying out in the event of one unique winning ticket. Post time for Wednesday's 14-race card is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Yonkers, NY - Starting this week, the 50 cent Pick 5 wager at Yonkers Raceway will carry a $7,500 guaranteed pool on Mondays and Tuesdays. The pick 5 begins in race five each night. Monday's Pick 5 at Yonkers features two $77,300 New York Sire Stakes harness racing divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies. In the eighth race, the fourth leg of the Pick 5 wager, Hen Party looks to remain perfect in NYSS action. Hen Party, a daughter of Roll With Joe for the Crawford Farms and trainer Tony Alagna has already won sire stakes legs at Yonkers, Tioga and Vernon. Andrew McCarthy is in the bike once again and is the 9-5 morning line favorite from post five. Yonkers is currently racing four nights a week, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with first post at 7:12pm by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway    

Tioga Downs played host to two hanress racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday (July 12). Both divisions raced for a purse of $59,000. Hen Party (Andrew McCarthy) rolls to easy win in the first division of the NYSS. The Fun Marshall (Mitchell Cushing) went straight to the lead but was quickly passed by Alleyesonme AS (Scott Zeron). Alleyesonme AS led to the first quarter in :27.3. Hen Party ($2.70) came first-over from third and grabbed the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. She led to the half in :55.1. She used a :28.4 third quarter to hit three-quarters in 1:24.0. As they made the turn for home the only one with a shot was second place finisher, Alleyesonme AS but she couldn't get close and Hen Party breezed home in a lifetime best time of 1:52.0. Rapunzel Bluechip (Jason Bartlett) finished a distant third.   Hen Party is a 3-year-old filly by Roll With Joe. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Tony Alagna, she won for the second time this season. She has five career victories. Merga Hanover (Matt Kakaley) charges late to win the second division of the NYSS. Racine Bell (Jason Bartlett) flew out of the gate and went straight to the lead. She hit the first quarter in :27.0. The filly went :28.4 in the second quarter to hit the half first in :55.4. As they reached the backstretch So Rude (Joe Bongiorno) came first up and put on the pressure. Racine Bell held on to a slight lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:22.1. So Rude wrestled the lead away as they reached the stretch. Merga Hanover ($41.20) popped out of the pocket going three-wide in mid-stretch and blew right on by to win in a lifetime best of 1:51.1. So Rude held for second with Dragon Roll (Jim Morrill Jr.) coming up to get third.   Merga Hanover is a 3-year-old filly by American Ideal. She is trained by Ron Burke for owners Joe Sbrocco, WJ Donovan, Thomas and Scott Dillon. It was her first win this season. She now owns seven career victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 17) starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs will welcome three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Sunday (June 28). In the $38,233 first division the horse to beat is the Ray Schnittker trained Splash Brother (Tyler Buter). The 3-year-old gelding by So Surreal is two for two this season after being winless as a freshman. He put in an eye popping 1:48.2 mile his last time out at the Meadowlands. His main rivals will be Major Betts (Dextor Dunn) and Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley). Major Betts (Art Major), who is trained by Mark Harder, will make his 2020 debut on Sunday. He has four wins and has earned over $130,000. Blake Macintosh trains Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe). The 3-year-colt is winless in two starts as a sophomore after seven wins and 10 starts as a freshman. He has earned over $230,000 in his career. The top choice in the $38,233 second division is the John Buteschoen trained Blank Stare (Corey Callahan). The Roll With Joe gelding has four career victories and has amassed over $50,000 in earnings. He is one for one in 2020 with an easy win at Pocono Downs. Always On The Hunt (Mark MacDonald is one for one in 2020 and should be a top rival after earning a win at Tioga Downs last Sunday. The 3-year-old colt by American Ideal is trained by Ray Scnittker and has two lifetime wins. Reagan Blue Chip (Brian Sears) should a top contender. The 3-year-old gelding by American Ideal did not race as a feshman but is one for three with two seconds in 2020. He is trained by Casie Coleman Herlichy. Freedom Warrior (Dexter Dunn) has five career wins and earnings of nearly $150,000). The gelding is trained by Kevin Lare. The top contenders in the $38,934 third division appears to be JK Last Chance (Wally Hennessey), Ideal Perception (Brian Sears), Cigars And Ports (Mark MacDonald) American Rebel (Tyler Buter),and Save Me A Dance (Jason Bartlett). This appears to be the most competitive of the three divisions. JK Last Chance (So Surreal) had an impressive win at Tioga Downs last Sunday in his first career start. Jim McDonald trains the gelding. Ideal Perception (American Ideal) is trained by Casie Coleman Herlichy. He is winless in 2020 but had four wins as a freshman. He has earned over $60,000 in his career. Cigars And Ports (So Surreal) is the top money earner in this group with over $190,000 in the bank. Trained by Ray Schniitker, he won the NYSS final as a freshman. The colt has three career victories. American Rebel (American Ideal) is trained by Rob Harmon. The colt had five wins as a freshman including a lifetime mark of 1:53.2 at Tioga Downs. He owns five wins and earnings of over $140,000. Save Me A Dance (Heston Blue Chip) is coming off an impressive win in his 3-year-old debut at the Meadowlands. He has four career wins and has earned over $110,000 in his career. The colt is trained by Andrew Harris. The 13-race card on Sunday (June 28) starts at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Geez Joe was in tough in his last two races and did not fare well, but the veteran returned to his winning ways Saturday night at one of his favorite harness racing tracks, taking the $30,000 Preferred for pacers at the Meadowlands. The 5-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe-Beach Bretta finished eighth in the Nov. 23 TVG Open Pace (won by Always A Prince) and 10th in the Oct. 26 Breeders Crown (American History), but he got back to the winner's circle Saturday by wiring a short - but talented - field of six in 1:50. Geez Joe was the 8-5 post-time favorite and driver Marcus Miller sent him to the top in :27.2. There wasn't much movement in the six-horse field and Miller was able to rate the second fraction to :28.1. The flow began to form after the half with Bettor Memories leading the train at the five-eighths, but none of the horses racing on the rim would go on to hit the board. Wheels On Fire sat the pocket throughout with Windsong Leo in the three-hole, and in deep stretch, Wheels On Fire was moving to the eventual winner along the inside while Windsong Leo rallied between rivals. At the wire, it was Geez Joe by a hard-fought neck over Wheels On Fire with Windsong Leo third. "He was super game," said Miller. Geez Joe, whose last win came at the Meadowlands on Oct. 12, returned $5.40 to his backers. The Erv Miller trainee now has 21 wins from 65 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $281,520 for owners Bay Pond Racing Stable. Three of his five wins in 2019 have come at the Big M. A LITTLE MORE: The driver colony had a pair of stars: Tim Tetrick, who won four races, and Dave Miller, who recorded a natural hat trick after taking the ninth, 10th and 11th races ... A pair of winning tickets were sold in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10, with each being worth $4,678 for lasting six legs. Of those six, four were the post-time favorite. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,180,523. ... Racing resumes Thursday at 7:15 p.m. "Borrowing Ken's Binoculars" and calling the races that night will be the always entertaining Larry Lederman. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

Brookdale Bruiser (John MacDonald) wins the $7,000 featured harness racing pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 19). Brookdale Bruiser ($6.70) went to the front and hit the first quarter in :26.1. He slowed down the second quarter hitting the half in :56.1. The gelding led to three-quarters in 1:25.2. Sometimes Said (Leon Bailey) followed all the way to three-quarters. He came out of the pocket and went after Brookdale Bruiser. Brookdale Bruiser, who is owned by the J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, had plenty left in the tank as they made the turn for home. He would win easily in 1:52.3. Sometimes Said had to settle for second. Golden Brit (Howard Parker) would receive third money. Brookdale Bruiser is a 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. It was his 11th win this season. He now owns 19 career victories. Jimmy Whittemore drove four winners on the evening. He got his wins with Nanuet ($18.80), Grave Dancer ($13.00), The Royal Garden N ($23.80), and American Sweet Pea ($6.10). John MacDonald drove three winners. He got his other victories with Lady Rapidash ($16.00), and Fridaynightflight ($12.60). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (10-25) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Sweet Deisel (Dan Daley) and Brookdale Bruiser (John MacDonald) each capture their respective harness racing $6,000 co-features at Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 28). Sweet Deisel ($12.40) comes flying late to grab the first $6,000 featured pace. Golden Gun (Claude Huckabone Jr.) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :26.1. He maintained the lead at the halfway mark in :55.0. Sometimes Said (John MacDonald) hit the three-quarter mark first in 1:23.1. Sweet Deisel, who is trained by Dan Daley for owners Ann Mari Daley, James Crawford IV, and Crawford Farms Racing. was eighth at the half mile mark. He was seventh after three-quarters. The gelding weaved through the field in deep stretch and snuck by Golden Gun to win with a new lifetime best mile of 1:53.0. Golden Gun was second best with Golden Brit (Howard Parker) getting third money. Sweet Deisel is a 3-year-old gelding by Sweet Lou. It was his fifth win this season and ninth career victory. Brookdale Bruiser ($13.60) pops the pocket in the stretch to win the second $6,000 featured pace. Daliocity (Howard Parker) controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :57.1, 1:25.4). Brookdale Bruiser, who is owned by the JP Stables and trained by MacDonald, followed until they reached the stretch. He looked like a rocket in deep stretch blowing by to win in 1:53.4. Daliocity had to settle for second. Poisonous (Jimmy Whittemore) finished third. Brookdale Bruiser is a 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. It was his eighth win of 2019. He now owns 16 career victories. MacDonald drove three winners on the night. He got his other wins with Jenny Lake ($18.20), and Lyons Johnny ($6.80). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (October 6) with a starting time of 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Anythingforlove A, in his second start back since competing in the Levy Final, had anything but an easy trip, but still posted a 1:50.2 victory at 11-1 in the $17,500 pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Pat Berry got the winner of $327,308 away well and right to the lead, but after the :27 quarter he was passed in turn by second choice Sweet Rock and the 2-5 favorite, Funknwaffles, who guided the field past middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:22.1. Past the latter split Anythingforlove A vacated the third spot to begin his late challenge, and his determination carried him to a neck victory over Pocono Pike rallier Sweet Rock, with the favored Funknwaffles fading to fifth and losing a three-race winning streak. Anythingforlove A is trained by Jennifer Bongiorno for the Wish Me Luck Stables LLC. In a $16,000 claiming handicap pace, the Roll With Joe gelding Benji's Best enjoyed both a drop in company and a hotly-contested pace, as he was the eighth and final leader in a race which went in 1:50.2. Anthony Napolitano rolled the winner of $168,569 three-wide from third-over before the three-quarter pole, and the pair scooted past those horses who had been used in the early duel, winning by 2¾ lengths over Toddler Tantrum for trainer Dan Maier and owner Antonia Storer. The meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., scored four wins on the Saturday card, with Pat Berry and Eric Carlson each coming home first three times. Among the trio, they won the last ten races on the twelve-race card. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The top 2-year-old harness racing pacing colt heading into the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) proves you don't have to be rich to be successful in harness racing if you do your homework. Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) p,2,1:52f ($174,595) was a $17,000 purchase at the 2018 Goshen Yearling Sale and has turned out to be quite a find. With the bulk of his 2-year-old campaign completed, he currently sits atop the NYSS standings for points (337) and earnings ($155,270) for his age, gender and gait, has seven wins in nine starts with two seconds overall and started it all off with a five-race winning streak. His body of work ranks beyond the state border too. Groovy Joe is currently one of the sports best first-year performers sitting third in earnings among all 2-year-old male pacers in North America and has paced the tenth fastest mile of all freshman pacers after his recent career-best outing of 1:52 at Tioga Downs. Blake Macintosh trains Groovy Joe and co-owns with the Hutt Racing Stable. Macintosh is the one who picked out the colt and knew all along that he'd be a good one. "I liked him when I saw him. He was well built, well bred and was my pick of the sale," said Macintosh. "And he turned out to be everything I thought he would. He broke easily and trained down well and he's become very smart and professional with his work." The colt's first five races, all of which were wins, came over half mile tracks. Macintosh stated he seemed to thrive there and progressed sharply through those starts. "He's not a big horse and he gets around a half-mile track perfectly. You could see him get stronger with each of those wins and he came home faster each week as he went along. The race at Buffalo was what really impressed me; when he flew home in a :57.2 back-half," said Macintosh. Groovy Joe has continued to improve and show his maturity after just winning back to back starts at Tioga in 1:52.4 and 1:52 flat. Macintosh is no stranger to success on the NYSS circuit and used the series to educate and develop his millionaire star Courtly Choice (Art Major-Lady Ashlee Ann) p, 3, 1:47.1m ($1,285,054). Courtly Choice won two races in the NYSS at two in 2017 but did not compete in the final. However he came back at three and won all his races in the state series, but he also won the Meadowlands Pace and the Empire Breeders Classic. He still did not race in the NYSS final in 2018 but that was because he was busy winning the Little Brown Jug that week instead. Are major stakes in the future for Groovy Joe? His trainer thinks so. "Besides racing in the NYSS, we are going to pay him into several Grand Circuit events next year and point him towards the North American Cup. I was very excited to win the Jug but I'd love to win the Cup. It's at my home track and in my own backyard," Said Macintosh. The $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that are comprised of eight $225,000 races will be held at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 14) with a first race post time of 6 p.m. The draw for that card is on Wednesday (Sept. 11) at noon and will be live streamed on the NYSS website as well as both the NYSS and Batavia Downs Facebook pages. Batavia native and New York State Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley will serve as the honorary drawmaster. Peter Kleinhans will be the track's guest host and handicapper for the in-house and simulcast broadcast and Heather Wilder will be in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle interviewing the winners and all their connections after each stake race. There will be two $7,500 guaranteed pools in both the early and late Pick-4 wagers that night and both will be all-stake Pick-4's (races 3-6 and races 7-10). The pools are part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be available on the USTA's website and through links on the Batavia Downs Facebook page when they become available. Free full card programs will also be available for download from the Daily Racing Form starting Thursday. There will be a T-shirt giveaway courtesy of the NYSS on Saturday night as well. Fans attending the races live only need to swipe their Player's Club card at guest services starting at 4:30 p.m. to receive a ticket to get their shirt after the seventh race. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Tioga Downs will welcome two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen pacing colts & geldings on Labor Day (September 2). Both divisions will race for a purse of $52,000. Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the first division. The 2-year-old colt by Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk is owned by trainer Blake Macintosh and Hutt Racing Stable. He has won six of his eight career starts. The colt has won five NYSS races with wins at Yonkers, Monticello, Buffalo, Saratoga, and Batavia. His other win came at the Reynolds Stakes last week at Tioga. The second morning line choice is the Ray Schnittker trained entry of Cigars And Port (Schnittker) and Teton Sunset at 5-2. Cigars And Port is a 2-year-old colt by So Surreal-Sweet On Art. He is owned by Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, Ted Gewetz, and Steven Arnold. His two career wins were legs of the NYSS at Yonkers and Batavia. Teton Sunset (Tyler Buter) is a 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Gray Ghost. Owned by Schnittker, David Pepin, and Flintlock Farm Inc., he has one win in seven career starts. Freedom Warrior (Jim Morrill Jr.) is the 3-2 morning line favorite in the second division. The 2-year-old gelding by American Ideal-Chief Karen is owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare. He is a winner of his last three starts with NYSS wins at Yonkers and Vernon Downs. He won the Reynolds stakes last week at Tioga. The 2-1 second morning line choice is American Rebel (Tyler Buter). The 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Restive Hanover is trained by Patti Harmon for owners Robert Robinson and Harmon Racing Stable. He is four for eight in his career with NYSS wins at Saratoga, Yonkers, and Vernon Downs. The 12 race card starts at 1:00 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 29, 2019--Yonkers Raceway Thursday night (Aug. 29th) hosted the $161,500 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The event once again honored the memory one of the state's true get-it-done gentlemen, the long-time Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York whose contributions to the industry were way too numerous to mention here. Although only of the $80,750 divisions was bettable, both winners were quite logical. The pre-card quintet was led by Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley), disposing of his four inside rivals in 1:52.4. Taking over from Major Blake (Jason Bartlett), Hickfromfrenchlick threw down intervals of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before the final maker. He defeated a misbehaved-early Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) by a half-length, with Major Blake third. Respect Our Flag (Joe Bongiorno) and Bicorne Hanover (George Brennan) were the stragglers. For Hickfromfrenchlick, a son of So Surreal co-owned by (trainer) Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatarico, it was his seventh wins (with two seconds and a third) in 10 seasonal starts ($275,886). Last season's Sheppard winner here is now 11-for-17 lifetime, "Use whatever word you want about him," Kakaley said. "Fast, gusty, handy." Pole-sitting Rollwithpapajoe (Bongiorno, $5.80) finished what he started (:28., :57.4, 1:25.1, 1:53) a few races later. Covered Bridge (Brian Sears) chased from the pocket, missing a length-and-three-quarters, while 13-10 fave Major March (Bartlett) was a two-move third. Dealer's Table (Jordan Stratton) and Melodie's Major (Tyler Buter) brought up the rear. For 'Papajoe,' a Roll With Joe gelding co-owned by Barbara Bongiorno Stable, Bill Lambos & Dionisios Liberatos and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, it was his fifth win in 15 ' 19 starts. The exacta paid $13, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. "He has such quick speed that he can put himself in good spots," driver Bonorno said. If the sire stakes results were quite predictable, they weren't nearly the 'free space' of It's Rigged (Buter). That one had things--and the oval --all to himself, walking over a bottom-level statebred Excelsior event in 1:56.4. Thursday night's Pick 5 wager, which began with a $8,292.11 carryover and $20,000 guaranteed pool, found $32,054 of new cash. The winning combination of 6/1/3/1/5 paid $72.50 for each correct half-dollar ticket. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Roll With Joe mare Obvious Blue Chip, a winner despite being parked the mile at Saratoga on Friday, came right back to triumph in the $14,000 distaff pacing feature on the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Simon Allard got away third with the career winner of $511,324, then quarter-moved to command and did not get too taxing a middle half. This moderation left Obvious Blue Chip with plenty in the tank for the last quarter, which she stepped in :26.2 while taking a new mark of 1:50 flat, 1¼ lengths ahead of a game pocketsitting Shes Pukka N. Simon's brother Rene, the leading trainer at The Downs, conditions the winner for NLG Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski. Simon Allard and George Napolitano Jr. each drove four winners on the Tuesday Pocono card. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs   Pocono Downs Week In Review This past week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was filled with stakes action once again. We featured both Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series action for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings (Sunday) and two-year-old trotting fillies (Monday.) In addition, we enjoyed another round of the Great Northeast Open series on Saturday night, this time with the Open pacers taking a center stage. A busy week to be sure, and one that provides us with many candidates for this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: AFLAME HANOVER This three-year-old colt from the barn of Linda Schadel has been tearing it up of late in condition paces. And that’s understandable, considering the kind of competition he faced earlier in the year. Facing extremely long odds in both the North America Cup in Canada and the Max Hempt Memorial Pace at Pocono, Aflame Hanover snuck in for fourth-place finishes in both, managing to get his handlers pretty substantial payback in the process. When he returned to overnight racing, he was ready to flex his muscle. First up was a victory at Pocono on July 29 over non-winners of two. Then he headed over to Harrah’s at Philadelphia for a victory over non-winners of three. His quest for three in a row brought him back to Pocono on Sunday night, where he went off as the 3-5 favorite in a field of eight non-winners of four for a purse of $15,000. Leaving from post position #2, Aflame Hanover swooped Rickybobbyinthehaus to take the lead on the first turn. From there, there were really no anxious moments. Driver Andrew McCarthy rated the pace at a solid level, so that Aflame Hanover didn’t overexert himself but also so that nobody could put a real challenge to him with a first-over move. In the home stretch, the colt solidified his lead, holding off the closing A Bettor Beach to pick up the win by 2 ¼ lengths. The winning time of 1:51:2 on a track listed in good condition was a new career-mark for Aflame Hanover, who just keeps getting stronger each time out. Other top pacers this week include: T’s Electric (Tyler Buter, Emily Bost) who picked up his third straight claiming handicap win on Sunday night, getting it done in the slop in 1:53:4; Backstreet Shadow (Pat Berry, Ron Burke), who followed up three wins in a row elsewhere by shipping in and capturing Saturday night’s division of the Great Northeast Open Series pace in 1:49:2 in the slop; and Derecho (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who moved up in class to win his second straight condition pace on Saturday night, this one in 1:52:4 in the sloppy conditions. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: VERY VERY FAST Whoever named this trotter must have had a very good premonition of what was to come in his racing career. Now aged 10, Very Very Fast has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, back on July 14 at Pocono, the gelding set a career-best with at Pocono with a win in 1:52:2. A few weeks later, he stepped up into the $21,500 condition trotting group and managed another victory, this one in 1:53:2. Last week he very nearly missed capturing an Open Handicap trot at Tioga, finishing second from an outside post. He returned to Pocono on Sunday night to once again face off with the $21,500 condition trotters. And it was a stout field he faced. In fact, despite all his recent success at Pocono, Very Very Fast went off as a 7-2 third choice. Leaving from post position #2 in a field of eight, he was sent immediately to the front end by driver Tim Tetrick in the sloppy conditions. Even though he was rated well, however, the 6-5 favorite Scirocco Rob seemed to be a major threat as he lurked in the pocket for much of the mile. In the stretch, Tetrick asked Very Very Fast for more juice and the veteran provided it. When Scirocco Rob tried to respond, he went off-stride. There was still the matter of Pappy Go Go, who was closing very well out three-wide in the lane. But Very Very Fast held him off to win it by a half-length, posting a mile of 1:54 in the off-going. That gives him three top-flight condition wins at Pocono in a little more than a month’s time, once again living up to that speedy name of his. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Bill’s Man (Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen), who followed up a win at Tioga with a condition victory on Sunday night in 1:54:1; Zlatan (Tim Tetrick, Vincent Fusco Jr.) who shipped in to pick up a tough condition win on Sunday night in 1:55:4; and Sister Sledge (Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke), the budding superstar two-year-old filly who stayed unbeaten in her career after five races with a Sire Stakes win on Monday in 1:56:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SHARP ACTION MONEY There were a lot of live long-shot winners this week, but this pacer driven by Tom Jackson topped them all, winning a condition on Saturday night at 44-1 for a $91.80 payout on a $2 wager. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY Kakaley loved the stakes action on Sunday night with two wins apiece in the Sire Stakes and Stallion Series, with one of the Sire Stakes victories coming aboard 44-1 long shot Tell Them Lou. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: PER ENGBLOM During Monday’s stakes action for two-year-old trotting fillies, Engblom managed a Stallion series victory with Rebecca Clark and a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win with Queen Of The Hill. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me atjbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs will host the 2-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) return for their fifth of nine 2019 stops and the two harness racing divisions that will compete for a combined $107,000 in purses look to be very competitive races. The first leg (carded as race four) goes for $53,000 and has Cash Roll (Roll With Joe-Rockonomics) installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Cash Roll has won three of five starts this year, two of which were in NYSS action, and currently sits second in points and fourth in earnings. She took her lifetime mark of 1:56 last month at Yonkers in a gate to wire, 4-¼ length romp in the mud. She has outstanding gate speed and loves to cut the mile and after drawing post one for this race, must have her driver Scott Zeron feeling really good about their chances. Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) has a similar career path to Cash Roll. She also has three wins to her credit, two in the NYSS, is third in earnings and fourth in points and also likes to be on or near the lead. The only variant to her schedule this week is she picks up Matt Kakaley to drive and he knows the Batavia oval very well. Kakaley and Merga Hanover will leave from post six. If the front end pace between those two gets hectic, The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover) will be close to pick up the pieces. The Fun Marshall didn't get her year off to as fast a start of her opponents, but she certainly made a statement on July 11. After sitting a garden spot trip, she closed sharply down the lane to score a lifetime best victory of 1:55.4 at Yonkers over a sloppy track. The Fun Marshall starts from post two with Billy Davis Jr. in tow. In the second $54,000 division, Racine Bell (So Surreal-Ty's Artist) brings a stellar resume to post and has been recognized as the favorite by the track handicapper at 5-2 as a result. Racine Bell is the top money earner among her peers and is also tied for the top in points. She has three wins in six starts, hasn't missed the board all year and comes into this race off a career best tying 1:56.1 win at Yonkers. Her regular driver Jason Bartlett will be in town to drive once again and they will start from post seven for this event. Turnthefrownaround (Roll WIth Joe-Knockout Pout) is the second choice at 3-1 but appears to be a real wild card. Although she has the fastest win time of this group this year from a 1:53.3 victory over the 5/8th's mile track at Tioga Downs, she has also made two breaks at Monticello and Yonkers which are both half-milers. She will be on a half Wednesday at Batavia and will have to mind her manners to succeed. Matt Kakaley has been assigned the drive and he start that task from post five. Major Battle (Art Major-Savhorsrideacowboy) makes her first NYSS start but recent form shows her potential. Although she has exhibited gate speed in her first lifetime start, her last start shows her strong closing ability after she got away eighth by 15-lengths at Mohawk and paced the final five-eighths of a mile parked-out and closing to finish second in 1:53.3. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the drive and the pair will start from post four. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excel "A" series on the card. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Roll With Joe gelding Benji's Best, who snapped Atta Boy Dan's five-race winning streak in the top claiming handicap pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono last Saturday, handled the jump to the $21,500 conditioned company this Saturday, winning despite a first-over trip in 1:50.4. Anthony Napolitano, who had four wins on the night as did his brother George, was fifth as Another Daily Copy took the field to the quarter in :27, then yielded to Soho Wallstreet A, who fronted the group to the half in :54.4. Benji's Best moved first-over and gained steadily to a 1:23.3 three-quarters, then continued his relentless grind, made the lead in the stretch, then held off the Pocono Pike charge of Another Daily Copy by a head, with Soho Wallstreet A staying on for third. It was the fourth straight victory for Benji's Best, who was claimed for $25,000 on July 27 by the partnership of Ameer Najor and trainer Dan Maier, was passed up when offered for $30,000 last week, and now has earned $20,750 in his two starts for Team Najor-Maier and $150,769 lifetime. Atta Boy Dan bounced right back from having his winning streak snapped, winning in the $20,000 claiming handicap pacing event in 1:49.4. Despite being outside past the 3/8 in making the lead from the outside post six for Anthony Napolitano, Atta Boy Dan had enough left late to withstand inside-shooting longshot Lucbobski, with Pembroke Wildcat third behind the ten-year-old Western Terror gelding. Atta Boy Dan now has 12 victories in 23 seasonal starts, with earnings of $132,815 in 2019; his lifetime stats show 64 career triumphs and a bankroll of $876,417. He won on Saturday for owner/trainer Antonia Storer, but he was claimed from his ninth straight start (three of them for Storer), for the tenth time this meet for the local record $40,000, and for the twelfth time since he came in from The Meadows in May. His next start will be for Clifford Grundy, his third stint for that ownership. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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