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WASHINGTON, PA - April 9, 2021 -- Harness racing driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. had to use him twice, but Lunar was up to the challenge as he stretched his career unbeaten streak to four in Friday's Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Manholmes took the other $12,500 second-leg division in the event for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The series championship is set for Friday, April 23. Lunar got away fourth from post seven but didn't sit there long, moving first over after the leader, Louie. The Sweet Lou-Crescent City gelding wore down the well-meant Louie and defeated him by 1-1/2 lengths in a career-fastest 1:52.1. Twin B Edge finished third. Ron Burke trains Lunar for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, Knox Services and J&TSilva-Purnel&Libby. LUNAR REPLAY   Manholmes powered up from third past the three-quarters and drew off late to triumph for Dan Rawlings, trainer Dane Snyder and owners Linwood Higgins, Ultimate Racing Group and Jim Winske. Aime Hanover was second, 3-3/4 lengths back, while Phoenix of Fluzzy completed the ticket. The Betting Line- JK Isn'tshelovely gelding scored in 1:53.1, a lifetime mark. MANHOLMES REPLAY   The Meadows will be dark the week of April 12 to maintain the track and prepare the facility for the Saturday, May 1 kickoff of the 2021 stakes season. That day's festivities include the Kentucky Derby simulcast and the first Pennsylvania Sires Stake action of the year. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday, April 21. For full race results, click here.  by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

With two horses already guaranteed spots in the harness racing final of the MGM Borgata Series for older male pacers, trainer Ron Burke will look to add a third on Monday (April 12) when Yonkers Raceway hosts the last preliminary round of the six-week event. Based on points accumulated in the series, the Burke Brigade's Rockapelo and This Is The Plan are among five horses to have already secured places in the eight-horse final on April 19. The others are Western Joe, Hesa Kingslayer N, and Leonidas A. Burke's Backstreet Shadow is in the best position to join that group, pending the outcomes in Monday's last preliminary divisions of the series. Backstreet Shadow, sixth in points, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the first of the last three Borgata splits, starting from post one. The six-horse field also includes four of the five horses directly behind Backstreet Shadow in the standings: San Domino A and Lyons Steel, who are tied for seventh, ninth-place Raukapuka Ruler N and 11th-place Tyga Hanover. The remaining horse in the field is series leader Western Joe. Other horses that could bolster their chances of making the final with wins on Monday are Mach N Cheese and Mac's Jackpot, who are both in the second division, and Ostro Hanover, who is in the third. None are morning-line favorites. Backstreet Shadow has a win and two seconds in the Borgata. A trainer can start only one horse in a division, and Burke has four horses in the series, so Backstreet Shadow sat out last week's leg after coming up sick in his second-place finish on March 29. "He had a legitimate excuse his last start," said Mark Weaver, who is among the owners of Backstreet Shadow, as well as Rockapelo and This Is The Plan. "We had to give someone the week off, so it just made sense for it to be him. We expect him to be pretty good this start and then hopefully even better in the final." Backstreet Shadow, a 6-year-old gelding, has won 25 of 63 career races and $890,162. Last year, he won the Roll With Joe Stakes and hit the board in the Breeders Crown, TVG Open Pace Series championship, Sam McKee Memorial, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. "I think Backstreet Shadow and This Is The Plan are two of the top five or six aged pacers," Weaver said. "They've been factors the last several years. Hopefully, they are again, all season long. This is just the start of a long year, hopefully, for them." This Is The Plan, a 6-year-old gelding with $1.8 million in career purses, has a win and three seconds in the Borgata. He is the 2-1 second choice in Monday's third division. Rockapelo, a 2018 New York Sire Stakes champion who has been lightly tested on the Grand Circuit, is sitting out Monday's action. The 6-year-old gelding has two wins, a second, and a fifth in the series. Nine of his most recent 12 victories have come at Yonkers. "He's kind of a Yonkers specialist, a grinder," Weaver said. "He's surprised us. This will be his Super Bowl, so to speak, for the year. After this, it will be back to overnights." The Burke Stable has traditionally been deep with talented older male pacers. The returning group this season also includes a past Dan Patch Award winner, Dorsoduro Hanover, as well as millionaire Filibuster Hanover, Elver Hanover, The Greek Freak, and Covered Bridge. "The aged division is kind of our bread and butter," Weaver said. "If you get a couple good ones, you can really do some damage. "We try to treat them like a baseball team where you've got some major leaguers, but you're always looking to develop your minor league system. At some point, they're going to get called up to the big leagues. We're constantly trying to keep the pipeline going. Hopefully, we have some that can fill the void when the time comes." Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Monday at Yonkers. For complete entries, click here. For the Borgata standings, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

WASHINGTON, PA -  April 7, 2021 -- Filly Speaks was all out to do it, but she captured her second consecutive series win -- and fourth overall -- in Wednesday's Ruby Cook Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Peep N Weep took a similar narrow victory in the other $12,500 second-leg division of the event for 3-year-old filly pacers. Filly Speaks quarter-poled to the front for Tony Hall and opened a two-length lead past the three-quarters before Ocean's Apart began to gain ground. Filly Speaks held off that rival by a nose to score in 1:53.3, matching her career best. Defy The Odds finished third. Scott Betts trains the daughter of Artspeak-Filly's Victory for Tim Betts, Nick Catalano and Keith Pippi. FILLY SPEAKS REPLAY   Peep N Weep hadn't raced since Oct. 28, but the daughter of Captaintreacherous - Number Please came back plenty sharp, repelling the Lightning Lane charge of Captains Maid by a head in a career-best 1:54.3, with Realization third. Dave Palone drove for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Joseph Critelli, William Switala and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. PEEP N WEEP REPLAY   Wednesday's card also featured the $12,500 second leg of the Terry Altmeyer Memorial Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. There, Whiskey Blu, who saw his career unbeaten streak snapped at seven last week, rebounded with a facile front-end triumph in 1:54.1, knocking two seconds from his lifetime mark. Donato Patriot K and Stewart completed the ticket. Dan Charlino piloted the Southwind Frank-Kendall Blue gelding for trainer Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Kitefield Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. The championship legs of the Ruby Cook and the Terry Altmeyer are set for Wednesday, April 21. Burke collected five wins and Palone four on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Thursday when the 14-race program features a $6,490.50 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. For full race results, click here. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

LEBANON, OH - Pace Baby Pace (Chris Page) won Miami Valley's Mares Open Pace for the fifth time in ten 2021 tries on Friday (April 2). In doing so, the Sweet Lou lass snapped the three race win streak of Big Bad Jane (Dan Noble), who won last week's Friday feature race. Although she has been favored on most recent occasions, Pace Baby Pace has not spent any time on the front end during the first three quarters of any mile. The notorious closer used the same strategy for this win. She settled in fourth until nearing the half when Page steered her to the outside and moved up to second. Still second by less than a length as the field reached the head of the stretch, Pace Baby Pace finally assumed command mid-way down the lane and cruised to a victory by just over a length in 1:52. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC own the winner, who also won ten of her 21 starts last season. Her bankroll has swelled to $257,250 with $61,025 earned already this year. PACE BABY PACE REPLAY   For Page, the win was one of four during the first eight races on the card. His other triumphs came with Drama Act (1:51.4, $2.40), who won for the tenth time and will now need to test the waters in the Open, as well as Danikova (1:52.4, $17.20) and Baba O'Riley (1:54.4, $6). The Saturday (April 5) card at Miami Valley will begin at 4:05 p.m. and feature two Open Paces and the $30,000 championship final of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series. For full race results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The potent pair of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras were up to their usual tricks this weekend at The Meadowlands, as after teaming up to take the Friday night feature with April Ava they came right back to take Saturday's marquee event with Dojea Gizmo. Since debuting for the Burke barn on Nov. 13 of last year, the 4-year-old gelded son of Tellitlikeitis-Postmark has been perfect in six starts, visiting the winner's circle at Hoosier Park, Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia before his authoritative win at The Big M in a $22,500 high-end conditioned pace. "He is a really nice horse," said Gingras. "He could not have qualified any better [last week]. I was confident coming into tonight." DOJEA GIZMO REPLAY   Dojea Gizmo, who last raced on Dec. 20, was away quickly from post nine in the nine-horse field but was pushed wide into the first turn and had no spot to fall into as J M Mandamin sprinted to the lead at the quarter in :26.2. So the eventual winner had to go on with it. "It's not the way I wanted to race him in his first start of the year," said Gingras, who used a burst of speed to make the top while parked at the half in :54.4. "I wanted to get a spot mid-pack, but I didn't want to be first-up, so I moved to the front." Shortly after clearing the top, Dojea Gizmo was challenged by the first-over 8-5 favorite U S Captain, who won an easier assignment one week ago at The Big M in 1:50.2. Around the far turn, 'Gizmo' gave the chalk the cold shoulder and opened a 2¼-length edge as they straightened up before reporting home a safe neck winner in a lifetime-best 1:50.2. J M Mandamin, displaying speed at both ends of the mile, rallied well along the pylons to get second, with Yacht Seelster, who won this race a week ago, finishing third. "At the wire he was a little tired," said Gingras. "But I knew he was a winner." Dojea Gizmo paid $7.00 to win as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering. He now has 11 victories from 30 starts, good for earnings of $161,273 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. BEFORE THE BETTING CARD: In a pair of non-betting events before the start of the 13-race program, the John Balzer trained and driven Sound Idea took the $30,000 New Jersey Breeders Maturity for 4-year-old mares in a walkover (a one-horse race) in 2:05.4 while Rockin Jukebox, a Megan Foster trainee who was driven by Russell Foster, was 2¼-lengths better than his lone foe Bourbons Courage in 1:55.4 in the $30,000 NJBM for 4-year-old horses and geldings. A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy, Gingras and Tim Tetrick led the driver colony with three winners apiece while the red-hot Stacy Chiodo trained a pair to victory lane. ... All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,928,308. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands

When trainer Ron Burke suggested to David Miller that Miller spend the winter at Florida's Pompano Park driving several horses for him, Miller decided against it, opting to remain in New Jersey and compete at The Meadowlands. After the first full week of January, Miller reconsidered. "The first night it got down below 20 (degrees) I called Ronnie up and said, you know what, I'll go to Florida," Miller said with a laugh. Miller had spent several previous winters in Florida but drove infrequently during his visit. In his previous five winters in the Sunshine State, Miller raced a total of 29 times. This year at Pompano, Miller has made 356 starts, winning 92. Wally Hennessey leads the driver standings with 161 wins during Pompano's winter meet, which began in November. Since the start of this year, Miller tops the list with his 92. "I didn't know what to expect when I got here," said Miller, who was third in the winter standings at The Meadowlands when he departed for Florida. "People asked if I was going to drive every day, and I was like, yeah, I guess. Ronnie has like five horses here and I knew I was going to drive them. I've picked up drives and it's gone really well, way better than I expected. It's been a lot of fun." In addition to racing, Miller has had the opportunity to spend time with his daughter Devan, who is working for Burke in Florida, as well as his daughter Leigha and 20-month-old grandson, who live in Florida. Miller's stay in Florida will conclude at the end of March. "It's been fantastic," he said. "I've really enjoyed it." Wendy Ross, the U.S. Trotting Association's social media coordinator, recently caught up with Miller in Florida. Watch their "Down the Stretch" conversation here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Freehold, NJ --- Last week, harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver George Brennan won the Preferred Handicap pace at Freehold Raceway with the favorite from the outside post. For Saturday's (March 20) edition, it was like deja vu.   While Bettor Memories prevailed last week, they teamed up this time with Yankee Roller A, who crushed the field by 1 1/4 lengths in Saturday's feature race.   Despite the outside post, Yankee Roller A went off at 3/5. As soon as the race started, Brennan sent his drive towards the lead, clearing to the front before they got to the opening quarter. Once he made the front, Brennan slowed things down. He went the opening quarter in a relatively slow 27 4/5 seconds, followed by a half-mile split in 57 1/5 seconds.   Heading past three-quarters in 1:26 1/5, Brennan began to open up a bit with Yankee Roller A. With the rest of the field stuck behind the slow early pace, he turned on the jets, opening up in the stretch and getting the last quarter in 27 2/5 seconds. No one had much hope of catching Yankee Roller A from there, and he cruised under the wire as much the best. The final time was 1:53 3/5.   YANKEE ROLLER A REPLAY       Yankee Roller A has an impressive 2021 campaign so far. Since joining the Burke Brigade at the start of the year, he's won six times from eight races, while earning $32,575. His career earnings are now almost $140,000.   Dongal Rundlscrk N, Capozzo, Best Honey Hanover, Hot Deuce, Soho Chelsea A, and Tisadream N completed the order of finish.   Live racing at Freehold resumes on Friday, March 26, starting at about 12:30 PM. There will be a double pick 5 carryover on the card, $1,940.02.   For full race results, click here.   From Freehold Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – If harness racing future wagering were offered today on the Borgata Pacing Series Final, which will be held Monday, April 19, 2021 at Yonkers Raceway after five preliminary legs, the two favorites would undoubtably be Let It Ride and This Is The Plan. After 40 of the 47 eligible pacers were entered into the Borgata Series first leg and split into five divisions, those two favorites found themselves in the same split – the first one of the series – which begins tonight (March 15) in race three. Let It Ride won two Group 1 stakes in Australia in 2018, but lost his form and settled into a winless rut in 2020.  He shipped to America last fall to Nifty Norman’s stable and added Lasix, which Norman credited as a key change for the 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding.  Let It Ride is undefeated in six U.S. starts, including a 1:48.1 victory in the $28,000 Meadowlands open/preferred handicap Jan. 2 and an off the pace victory in 1:52.1 with a :26.4 final quarter in the $30,000 Yonkers open handicap Jan. 11, his latest pari-mutuel outing.  Let It Ride tuned up for the Borgata Series with a 1:54 qualifier at the Meadowlands March 6. He drew post four in the $40,000 Borgata opening division and with regular reinsman Dexter Dunn set to drive, is the 9-5 morning line favorite. While Let It Ride will make his first Grand Circuit start in the Borgata, This Is The Plan is no stranger to the series; he’s been an active player in North America’s top races since 2017. Career highlights include wins in the $176,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby in 2020, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final and $200,000 Prix d’Été in 2019 and the $260,000 Progress Pace in 2018.  In his most recent stakes outing, George Brennan found This Is The Plan a perfect second-over trip from post seven in the $125,000 Invitational Pace for Borgata Series Eligibles at Yonkers Nov. 28. The Ron Burke trainee capitalized, earning a half-length victory in 1:52. This Is The Plan then finished second in a Meadowlands preferred Dec. 5 before getting a winter break. He returned with a 1:54 qualifier at the Swamp March 6 to prepare for the Borgata Series. This Is The Plan drew post one in the Borgata first division and with regular driver Yannick Gingras in the sulky, is 3-1 on the morning line. Other players in the Borgata first division include Western Joe, American History, Stars Align, Rodeo Rock, Bronx Seelster, and Tellitsabb. The second division of the Borgata first leg features the returns of American Mercury, who switches barns to the Norman stable and finished a nose ahead of Let It Ride in the March 6 qualifier, and None Better, who is back off two qualifying wins (1:50.4 at Pompano Feb. 15 and 1:50.1 at the Meadowlands Feb. 27) and is now in the Nancy Takter stable. The third division features the Grand Circuit debut of Pat Stanley for Shane Tritton, the Yonkers return of San Domino, the beaten favorite in the Invitational for Borgata Series Eligibles last fall, and Tookadiveoffdipper, who was third in that Invitational.  The fourth division pits several stalwarts of the Yonkers open handicap pace against each other, including Hesa Kingslayer, Ideal Jimmy, The Wall, Shnitzledosomethin, and Ostro Hanover.  The final division of the Borgata first leg sees the return of Backstreet Shadow, winner of the $164,000 Roll With Joe in 2020, and the 16-1 upsetter of the 2020 $100,000 Potomac Pace, Leonidas, who captured a $30,000 Yonkers open in his pari-mutuel return March 1. Monday’s card features a $2,884 pick six carryover. The wager begins in race three and encompasses all five divisions of the Borgata first leg, plus the $25,000 preferred handicap pace. The wager features a $1 minimum stake, a 20% takeout rate, and no jackpot provision. Free full-card past performances are available here. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday through Friday with a first post time of 7:15 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

LEBANON, OH - Favored Keystone Eureka (Trace Tetrick) bested Anthem (Mitch Cushing) and Coconut Beach (Tyler Smith) to win the final of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series at Miami Valley on Friday (March 12). Her 1:52 clocking was a new lifetime best for the four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare owned by Miller Racing Stable and trained by Ryan Miller. Tetrick, Miami Valley's leading driver by a wide margin, got away third during the opening :27.2 panel, then moved first up on the outside prior to the :55.1 midway point. Still second at the 1:23 third quarter station, Keystone Eureka was able to collar pacesetting Anthem halfway down the stretch and secure the Coven championship. Anthem did hold second with Coconut Beach a fast-closing third. The Coven featured distaff pacers who were non-winners of four races or $40,000 at the series start. Next stop for Keystone Eureka is the Dr. Don Mossbarger Memorial for non-winners of six or $60,000, which starts next Friday.   The weekly $22,000 Mares Open was also featured and a familiar face found the winner's circle after a five-week absence. Pace Baby Pace (Chris Page) took full advantage of a pocket ride until coming out of the final turn and swept to a convincing triumph in 1:52.2. Mildrix (Josh Sutton) and Bettor's Up (LeWayne Miller) put in huge efforts to garner the place and show dollars. Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi own Pace Baby Pace, who sports a wide white blaze on her familiar face. She is named after notable Miami Valley handicapper Pacey Mindlin's signature slogan. The Saturday (March 13) card at Miami Valley features a $22,000 Open Pace as well as the $27,500 championship leg of the George Williams Memorial Series. Post time is 4:05 p.m. For full race results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA -  March 12, 2021 -- Heart On My Sleeve stalked Remember The Beach from the pocket, then blew by him in the lane to capture Friday's $10,000 second leg of the Wilbur Zendt Memorial Pace for 3- and 4-year-old harness racing horses, colts and geldings at The Meadows. With a win and a second in the two preliminary legs, Heart On My Sleeve assured himself a spot in the $15,000-added championship March 19. Remember The Beach cut a comfortable 57.1 half but was out-tripped by Heart On My Sleeve, who scored for Dave Palone in 1:54.1. Amazon, a 53-1 bomb, rallied for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Remember The Beach settled for show. Ron Burke trains the winner, a 4-year-old Bettor's Delight-Odds On Lassomyhrt gelding, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura.The even money second choice in the race, Heart On My Sleeve paid $4.00 to win.   Friday's card also featured a pair of $16,200 Open Handicap events. In the pace, Windsong Leo made it three straight by blistering the mile in 1:50.1, fastest performance this year at The Meadows. Palone, Burke, Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Collura all enjoyed another win. The 9-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding lifted his lifetime bankroll to $710,307. Whos Better and Carolina Beach completed the ticket. Lady's Dude overtook Icanflylikeanangel with a first-over move to win the trot for Tony Hall and continue the big day for trainer Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Johnny Yoder, The 10-year-old Victory Sam-Lady's Star gelding now has earned $870,858. Rising MVP finished third. Burke finished with four victories and Palone three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday when the program features a $1,105.42 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. For full race results, click here. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, March 4, 2021 -- Whiskey Blu stretched his harness racing career unbeaten streak to five with an in-hand victory in Thursday's Dale McConnell Memorial Trot at The Meadows. Massive Stroke took the other $10,000 opening-leg division in the series for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings. The event honors the memory of Dale McConnell, who earned the nickname "Mr. Trot" for his success developing and campaigning trotters. Unraced at 2, Whiskey Blu launched his career Jan. 21 and has waltzed through conditions; the Southwind Frank-Kendall Blue gelding has rolled up a combined victory margin of 15-1/4 lengths over those five wins. In the McConnell, Dan Charlino -- his pilot for all five starts -- sent Whiskey Blu to the point at the quarter. He drew away from The Funk late and defeated him by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:56.3. Laramie rallied for show.   Ron Burke trains Whiskey Blu for Burke Racing Stable, Kitefield Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot Palm Springs and Whom Shall I Love each took a $10,000 opening-leg split of this series for 3- and 4-year-old filly and mare trotters, which commemorates the longtime manager of the 2:00 Club at The Meadows. Hammered down to 2-5, Palm Springs justified the support with a facile front-end score in 1:58 for Dave Palone, trainer Kevin Johnson and owner Richard Briskey. The 4-year-old daughter of Father Patrick-Hot Springs captured her second straight, defeating Elysian Promise and Friday Night Storm. Whom Shall I Love provided the day's tote board theatrics, upsetting at 16-1 with a charge through the Lightning Lane for Aaron Merriman and trainer Charley Myers, who owns the 4-year-old daughter of Whom Shall I Fear-Bars Dutchess with Randy Stevenson, Dana Phillips and James Phillips. She prevailed in 1:57.1, with early leader Wonmyheart Hanover and Graymatter Hanover completing the ticket. In Thursday's $14,600 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it two straight for Palone, Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. The 9-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding triumphed on the front end in 1:51.1, extending his lifetime bankroll beyond $700,000. Palone collected five wins and Burke three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday, first post 12:45 PM. For full race results, click here. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

LEBANON, OH - After three legs, all at different harness racing distances, The First Step (Chris Page) won the $25,000 championship of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley at Miami Valley on Saturday (Feb. 20). Making a move to the top just after the first quarter was reached in :28.4 proved to be the right decision as the winner was able to control the remaining fractions of :57.1, 1:26.2, 1:54.3 before tacking on a final :28.1 panel to triumph in 2:22.4. The clocking was three seconds off the world record (2:19.4) established by Boulder Creek on November 27, 2006 at Dover Downs, but was admirable considering it is mid-February and the temperature was 28 degrees. Shagnwiththedragon (Dan Noble) finished second and Snowball's Romeo third in the added-distance event.   The First Step, shipped in by the Burke Brigade to Miami Valley from Yonkers for the Dailey Series, was fourth in the initial 5/8ths mile dash, then followed up with a win in 1:51.3 at the traditional mile. The five-year-old Betterthancheddar gelding now has 13 wins and $161,719 in earnings. The medley annually honors the memory of Bill Dailey, one of the top trainer-drivers in Ohio harness history, who died way to soon at age 57 in 2018. Dailey produced six Ohio Triple Crown winners, was named Ohio Trainer of the Year on four occasions, and remarkably was able to win at least one Ohio Sires Stakes champion in seven of the eight divisions for two and three year olds. The weekly $22,000 Open Handicap pace was won by General Dolan in come-from-behind fashion with Brandon ("Big Ticket") Bates in tow. The 1:52.2 score resulted in a $34.80 mutuel. Favorites GD Western Joe (Page), Fan Of Terror (Brett Miller) and Voracity (Noble) were battling for the lead before General Dolan flew bye on the outside, but were next to cross the line. While General Dolan did take a 1:49.3 record at Miami Valley in 2020, he had been struggling to regain his form in high condition races until recently. It was the 19th career win in 101 starts and increased his earnings to $277,425. The six-year-old by Rockin Image is owned by John and Robert Esposito. Three races after scoring the upset in the Open, driver Bates was back in the winner's circle with Beach Pro, a $15,000 claimer the paid $25.80 for the winning 1:53.2 mile. Miami Valley will race the next four afternoons (Sunday through Wednesday) will 2:05 p.m. post times each day. For full results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway

LEBANON, OH - Workinitonbroadway (Chris Page) won the $22,500 Open Trot on a special make up Wednesday program at Miami Valley Raceway. The five-year-old son of Broadway Hall got the best of Weslynn Quest (Cameron McCown), Another Breath (Dan Noble) and seven other harness racing rivals in 1:54.4. The victory was the 17th lifetime for the Burke Racing-Weaver Bruscemi LLC owned winner of just under $200,000.   Also featured on the program were championship legs of the R. J. Brown Memorial trotting series for non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime; as well as the $15,000 final of the popular Survivor Series for pacing mares. Howyadoinbub ran his win streak to three with an impressive 1:55.1 triumph from an outside post position. The four-year-old son of Dejarmbro has started 2021 with a bang after racing just once as a three-year-old. Trainer Bobbi Jo Brewer recently took over the training duties from co-owner Brian Georges, who became frustrated with the talented colt's quirks and idiosyncrasies. "When I give one to someone else to train, you know its one I don't get along with," quipped Georges. "I sure am glad Bobbi Jo doesn't have the same problems and they are getting along great!" Pick Me Upper (Brandon Bates) was runner up while Circle Of Life AS (Tyler Smith) got the show dough in the lucrative $20,000 race. Mary Catherine A (Trace Tetrick) dominated the distaff Survivor Series, winning both elimination heats and adding the final in 1:56.2. The nine-year-old Art Major mare is owned and trained by Tyler George and notched her 24th triumph in her 100th career start on Wednesday. Rockin Peggy (Josh Sutton) and Princess Oshie (Kayne Kauffman) were next to cross the line. Racing will resume on Friday at Miami Valley with the normal 4:05 p.m. weekend post time. For full results, click here.  From Miami Valley Raceway

Harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Chris Page have captured the 2020 Kaltenbach titles for the second consecutive season.  The Jerry Kaltenbach Memorial Trophies were established in 1988 and are awarded annually to the driver and trainer who have earned the most dollars competing in Ohio Sires Stakes events in a single season. Trainer Ron Burke captured his third Kaltenbach training title in 2020, sending 95 youngsters postward in the 2020 Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) legs, Championships, and consolations. His total money earnings from these OSS events were $1,392,500, surpassing his 2019 totals of $1,121,50 in OSS earnings. Burke had captured the 2014 Kaltenbach crown with $428,750 in OSS earnings and was runner-up in 2018, before winning the 2019 title.  This year his impressive assortment of 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters scored 20 wins, 19 seconds and six third place finishes in OSS competition.  Finishing in the runner-up spot was conditioner Chris Beaver with $791,600 in OSS earnings with a 12-12-12 record from 79 starts, while trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr., had a 12-3-1 record in 29 starts, amassing $508,500 in OSS earnings. A total of 130 trainers participated in the 2020 OSS events, with eight earning between $100,000 and $300,000, and four conditioning the winners of $360,700 or more. A full 56 trained the winners of $10,000 to $100,000, while 34 trainers saw their charges earn between $2,000 and $9,999. Driver Chris Page captured the 2020 Kaltenbach title for the fifth time in seven years and for the second straight season. Page piloted 91 starters who scored 18 wins, 17 seconds and seven third to $1,179,300 in earnings.  Last year he had a 23-9-11 record from 94 starts and $1,085,100 in earnings. Brett Miller was second in command for the second straight season, with 16 wins, 14 seconds and eight thirds ($1,068,600), while Danny Noble garnered a 10-10-8 record ($764,900) from 55 OSS starts. Of the 54 drivers who participated in the 2020 OSS events, 44 garnered at least one purse check; 13 notched earnings of $100,000 or more; ten earned $200,000 or more; and six earned $400,000 or better. There were 17 drivers whose OSS purse checks totaled between $10,000 and $100,000, while 14 amassed $9,999 or less. In the 30 years the Kaltenbachs have been awarded, David Miller leads all drivers with seven trophies.  In the training ranks, Virgil Morgan, Jr., has captured the title six times.  Only two horsemen have won the Kaltenbachs in both the training and driving categories—Sam “Chip” Noble, III and Dave Rankin.  Kimberly Rinker Ohio Sires Stakes OSDF Administrator                                                            Chris Page                                                                                     Ron Burke   Kaltenbach Memorial Award Winners 1988 -2020           Driver Earnings Year Trainer Earnings Chris Page $1,178,300 2020 Ron Burke $1,392,500 Chris Page $1,085,100 2019 Ron Burke $1,121,850 Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.   $987,500 2018 Brian Brown $1,075,850 Chris Page       $849,100     2017 Chris Beaver $782,200 Chris Page $1,482,300 2016 Jim Dailey $908,300 Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.   $858,350         2015        Martin Wollam     $490,500 Chris Page $743,650 2014 Ron Burke $428,750 Dan Noble 416,500 2013 Jim Dailey 319,850 Kayne Kauffman 204,268 2012 Martin Wollam 205,413 Ryan Stahl 300,532 2011 Martin Wollam 149,997 Ryan Stahl 219,647 2010 Jim Arledge Jr. 160,240 Dan Noble 238,173 2009 Jim Dailey 247,380 Sam Noble III 255,500 2008 Jim Dailey 205,400 Ryan Stahl 383,311 2007 Michael Medors 209,025 Brett Miller 584,800 2006 Virgil Morgan Jr. 332,700 Brett Miller 667,800 2005 Virgil Morgan Jr. 416,600 Brett Miller 629,140 2004 Virgil Morgan Jr. 310,255 David Hawk 399,011 2003 Virgil Morgan Jr. 318,167 Brett Miller 565,802 2002 Michael Medors 315,369 David Hawk 655,600 2001 Michael Medors 283,225 David Hawk 643,650 2000 Virgil Morgan Jr. 266,225 David Hawk 459,100 1999 Virgil Morgan Jr. 213,495 David Miller 543,869 1998 Sam Noble III 174,257 David Miller 463,002 1997 Jeff Cox 138,597 David Miller 401,277 1996 Jim Arledge Jr. 140,437 David Miller 466,335 1995 Tom Brinkerhoff 162,605 David Miller 537,739 1994 Ron Potter 132,431 David Miller 339,179 1993 Sam Noble III 164,139 David Miller 288,852 1992 Doug Hinklin 194,168 Ray Paver Jr. 293,334 1991 Debbie Paver 154,726 Dave Rankin 264,384 1990 Dave Rankin 172,972 Sam Noble III 223,955 1989 Steve Brannan 156,136 Joe Adamsky 185,303 1988 Beth Dailey 135,230  

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         

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Saturday afternoon's final card of 2020 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono contained the lure of a $239,000+ carryover into a mandatory distribution of the Rainbow Pick 5 pool for picking the winners of the last five races of the year. With anticipation of a nice payoff no matter whether a chalkplayer or longshot fancier, bettors poured $441,661 into the Rainbow Pick 5 pool, so that after the percentage deduction on the day's play, the pool distributed (carryover and "fresh money") reached $614,889. Only two of the nine favorites in races run before the Pick 5 events had emerged victorious, but those fortunes started to turn when favored Benson Boys N rallied strongly out of the two-hole to take a 1:50.4 lifetime mark in the $16,000 claiming handicap pacing feature. Hunter Oakes guided the winner of three straight for trainer Steve Brabrook and owner Alan Johnston, and the favorite paid $6.00 to win in the first Pick 5 contest.   Two more favorites followed in the next two Pick 5 events, with Anthony Napolitano guiding a $4.60 winner and brother George behind a $2.60 heavy chalk. 4-5 favorite Scootnroll, 10 for 12 in his career before the race, made a break at the start of the fourth event, but "form" players received some consolation from Billy Lincoln N, who won and paid $6.60 as the second choice. The second choice also came through in the finale to the tune of a $7.20 win mutuel. The winning combination of 5-(2,3)-4-3-4 (the #3 was scratched from the second leg, and the substituted favorite won) returned $143.58 per 20-cent investment in the giant pool. Doubtless some players forming large numbers of combination tickets had multiple "hits" with the races so living up to form, so many people found a good chunk of gold at the end of this Rainbow. The total handle on the Pocono closing day handle was added up to $845,976, with a bit over half of that brought in by the mandatory Rainbow Pick 5 payoff. Speaking of continued form, George Napolitano Jr. took his ninth straight sulky dashwinning championship and the fourteenth of his unparalleled career at The Downs, winning four on closing day to boost his yearly total to 212. His 14-4-4-0 scorecard after driving every race actually boosted his seasonal UDR to .380 with rounding up - in that category he now has seven crowns in a row and twelve overall. (George was also winningest trainer at Pocono five times.) Finally, with everything else that Ron Burke has won in recent years, Saturday saw him win his first training title in Pocono annals, with a winner on the closing card boosting his 2020 total to 67 during the 86-day meeting. From the PHHA / The Downs

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