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CHESTER, PA - Itzalldowntoluck N and Extrilla Hanover were victorious in their $11,200 harness racing divisions of the featured pace on Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Itzalldowntoluck N ($2.40) made every pole a winning one in the division of the headliner for males, having little trouble in mastering his foes in the 1:53.2 mile. The five-year-old son of Auckland Reactor N, driven by Simon Allard for Philly's top trainer Kelvin "Red" Harrison and Curtin ANZ Stables, was making only his eighth lifetime start, but half of them have wound up in victory. ITZALLDOWNTOLUCK N REPLAY   In the distaff feature division, the sophomore Betting Line filly Extrilla Hanover ($4.20) made a successful seasonal debut while lowering her mark to 1:53.3. David Miller tipped the filly off of cover and won going away for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Howard Taylor, Brad Grant, and Steve Heimbecker. EXTRILLA HANOVER REPLAY   In the $10,000 top pace for fast-class older horses, Trojan Banner N would not let anybody get by him in a 1:53 mile. Tim Tetrick, who led all drivers on today's card with three, was behind the son of Bettor's Delight as he won his third straight start for trainer Jim King Jr. and owner/wife Jo Ann Looney-King. Disturbia proved aptly-named when he circled his field from last in the last quarter to pay $132.20 to win, the first big-figure payoff at the top of the ticket during the meet. Andrew McCarthy, the meet's winningest driver, guided the son of Rock N Roll Heaven for trainer Trevor Stafford and owner Jody Cahall. Sunday's card, which begins at 12:40 p.m., is topped by a $14,400 pace for the older fast-class horses; the field of six has an average lifetime mark of 1:50, and that time could be threatened under dry and slightly warmer conditions. Program pages for the card will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html. For full race results, click here. by the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - When harness racing longshot Lotus Seelster lit up the tote board in Friday night's 13th race at The Meadowlands, handicappers no doubt got right to work on the Saturday program given the opportunities that await. The 83-1 shot, driven by Simon Allard and trained by Mark Capone, paid $168.20 to win, and in the process, set up a pair of tantalizing carryovers for Saturday's card. No one had a winning ticket on the 20-cent Pick-6, creating a carryover of $9,019. Those with five correct collected $85.90. The 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta also went unhit, as no one had the winning combination of 9-1-3-10-4, resulting in a carryover of $32,103. Free program pages for the Saturday card - as well as every Big M program - are available by going to the track's website, playmeadowlands.com. A FABULOUS FRIDAY: Thus far in 2021, handle numbers have been superb at The Meadowlands, and that trend continued Friday night, as the Big M saw its biggest night of wagering this year on a Friday as all-source betting totaled $3,237,137 on the 13 races. The sixth race served as the catalyst for yet another $3 million night of betting, the 19th out of 28 cards this year, as a total of $383,474 was put in play, $104,470 of that in the Early 50-cent Pick-4. The eighth race took in a total of $305,550 before the 10th race saw $295,705 of action, with $94,445 of that bet on the Late 50-cent Pick-4. 'ART' WINS ANOTHER: Preppy Art was claimed by trainer Kyle Spagnola for $12,500 last week and paid immediate dividends to his connections by crushing his foes in the second leg of the GSY Series on the pace. The 9-year-old gelded son of Art Colony - Electric Smile was clear of the field by 4¾ lengths at the conclusion of a season's-best 1:53.2 mile. As the 9-5 second choice, Preppy Art returned $5.80 after using a huge brush down the backside when called upon by driver Robert Hechkoff to win for the fourth time in his last five starts. PREPPY ART REPLAY   THE KIDS ALRIGHT: Tyler (T.J.) Miller made his parents proud by winning twice on the card. The 23-year-old son of Andy and Julie Miller guided Gottalovemyshadow (race eight, $12.40 to win) and Bettor Notbitter A (race 12, $7.80) to victory lane to up his numbers at the meeting to four wins from just 23 starts (17 percent) Both of Miller's victories were with horses trained by Edwin Quevedo, who finished the night with three victories. A LITTLE MORE: Mark MacDonald and Scott Zeron joined Miller with two driving victories apiece. ... Chalk players took it on the chin, as for a second consecutive card only two public choices went to the winner's circle. Favorites have won just four times over the last 26 races (15 percent). ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by Dave Little, for The Meadowland  

WILKES BARRE PA - In a classic stretch slugfest, the Sweet Lou gelding Tito Rocks nosed out Whos Better in 1:50.4 to win the $14,000 fast-class harness racing pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon. Tito Rocks got away fourth for driver Tyler Buter, while Whos Better and George Napolitano Jr. took the early lead and set fractions of :27.1 and :55.2. Buter had Tito Rocks quickly in high gear moving raw nearing the five-eighths, with the 9-5 favorite pacing his individual third quarter in :26 to engage 2-1 pacesetter Whos Better past the three-quarters in 1:22.2. Their battle continued all the way to the wire, where Tito Rocks proved slightly more photogenic for trainer Bob Cleary and Royal Wire Products Inc.   TITO ROCKS REPLAY     Another highlight of the Saturday card was the return to the races of the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Nicholas Beach, who made short work of a group of developing pacers with a 1:51.1 tally for driver Joe Bongiorno, trainer Jennifer Bongiorno, and his new connections of the Jennifer Bongiorno Stable LLC, John Lengacher, and Michael Cote Gagnon.   NICHOLAS BEACH REPLAY     Various misfortunes had limited the now-five-year-old to 13 starts in his first three years of racing, but he won 11 of them and took a mark of 1:49 at Philly last year - maybe this is the year he can deliver an extended streak, building on the large potential he has already shown. Before Nicholas Beach's win Saturday, his lifetime earnings were $70,450 - less than the $71,680 seasonal total of the Changeover gelding Glengarry Knight N, who jumped to the #2 spot in earnings among North American pacers at press time with a 1:52 win in the fastest of three divisions of the high-end claiming pacers. Now 3-for-4 since joining the William Adamczyk barn after a claim by William Emmons, Glengarry Knight N, the winner of the richest Game Of Claims Championship earlier this year, overcame the outside post nine for driver Simon Allard, who led the driving colony here Saturday with three wins.   GLENGARRY KNIGHT N REPLAY     Heading the Saturday trainers was Darren Taneyhill, who visited victory lane after three different drivers guided his horses to victory (and would have been there a fourth time if one of his horses hadn't had headstretch steering problems and was set back, with $174.00 bomber Rockin Inthe Hills the main beneficiary). Taneyhill, who is now tied with Jennifer Bongiorno for the meet lead with 12 wins, also sent out the fastest winner of the day, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Rock The Town, who toured the Pocono oval in 1:50.3 for driver Anthony Napolitano and owner Mark Jakubik. The next two cards at Pocono, Sunday at 5 p.m EDT. and Monday at 12:30 p.m., feature many three-year-olds tuning up for the $700,000 Bobby Weiss Series for up-and-coming three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; Monday's card also features the $30,000 Game Of Claims Trotting Series Championship. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From PHHA/Pocono  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Simon Allard has taken full advantage of his opportunities at The Meadowlands over the last two months with many of the track’s regulars out of town racing on the Grand Circuit, and the Big M’s leading harness racing driver at the current Fall Meeting kept doing what he’s been doing of late by winning four times on the Friday night card. Allard, currently fifth in the standings at Pocono Downs, upped his victory total to 24 at the New Jersey mile oval, with two of his scores coming in the fourth and final leg of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds. The 38-year-old pilot got his night started with 9-5 second choice Hot As Hill (Muscle Hill-Smarty Pants), who came back along the rail to win the second race after yielding the front after the quarter. The Ron Burke trainee stopped the clock in 1:57 in the division for filly trotters, winning a second straight Kindergarten preliminary and marking herself as the one to beat in one of four finals (to take place on Nov. 7) which have purses totaling approximately $800,000. Cash For Gold gave Allard his second winner in a low-end conditioned trot in the fourth race as the 5-2 second choice in 1:54.2 before his second Kindergarten score came in race eight with 9-1 outsider Three Way Split (Somebeachsomewhere-Take Into Account), a filly who won for the first time in five career starts. The Tony Alagna trainee paced the mile in 1:53.1. Allard completed his “grand slam” by taking the 11th race low-end conditioned filly and mare pace with 2-1 favorite Avaya Hanover in 1:53.3, a lifetime best. HE’S STILL GOT IT: Nine-year-old gelding JL Cruze, who five years ago became the first trotter ever to break the 1:50 barrier at The Meadowlands (1:49.4), was seen in the winner’s circle for the 39th time from 118 career starts after taking the ninth race mid-range conditioned overnight feature in 1:52.3. The Eric Ell trainee, a son of Crazed-Topcat Hall who was driven by Corey Callahan, returned $3.40 to win as the heavy favorite. A LITTLE MORE: Anoka Hanover upped her win streak to five in a Kindergarten filly trot in 1:56 for driver Todd McCarthy and trainer Noel Daley. Another good-looking Kindergarten winner was colt pacer Simon Says Hanover, who scored in 1:52.2. Driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by Alagna, he’s now won four straight. … Napolitano had a big night, visiting the winner’s circle three times. … The 20-cent Pick-6 went unhit, creating a carryover of $5,181, leading Big M management to guarantee the next pool at $15,000. … All-source wagering totaled $1,881,656. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

PACER OF THE WEEK: CLOSING STATEMENT Coming into a $10,000 condition pace on Saturday afternoon, this five-year-old harness racing gelding trained by Randy Bendis had picked up back-to-back victories, one at the Meadows and one at Pocono. Closing Statement was stepping up in class for the race on Saturday. Perhaps that's why he went off at middling odds of 6-1 with the inside post in a field of seven. In the previous two wins, Closing Statement had lived up to his name with come-from-behind efforts. But driver Larry Stalbaum had other ideas on Saturday, sending the gelding to the front and setting nasty fractions. Closing Statement never let up, rolling to a romping victory in 1:49.3, which was a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. Honorable Mention R Gauwitz Hanover (Kevin Wallis, Kevin Reynolds Jr.), who picked up his second straight claiming win on Sunday night in 1:53.4. Scootnroll (Tyler Buter, John Hallett), who captured Sunday night's feature condition pace in a career-best 1:51.1, giving him wins in eight of his nine career races. Full View (Tyler Buter, Scott Blackler), who scored his second straight condition win on Tuesday afternoon, getting it done in 1:52.4, which matched his career-best. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MUSCLE M UP The featured $17,200 condition trot on Saturday afternoon was stacked with top competitors. Even though Muscle M Up, a five-year-old stallion trained by Ake Svanstedt, had won a featured trot in his last start at Pocono, he went off as a 5-2 third choice. Early on he sat third while Explosivebreakaway, the 9-5 favorite, set the pace. On the back stretch, driver Anthony Napolitano sent Muscle M Up first-over after Explosivebreakaway. The two hooked up for a great duel, with Muscle M Up eventually wearing down the favorite and getting the better of it. The stallion trotted away at the end to win by two lengths in 1:52.2, which was the fastest trotting time posted at Pocono this past week. Honorable Mention Sylvesteramericait (Mike Simons, Robert Baggitt Jr.) who came in from Harrah's for a condition victory on Saturday in 1:54.1, his second win in his last three races. Winning Legends (Justin Huckabone driver and trainer), whose win at Pocono in a condition on Saturday came in a career-best 1:53.2. Mighty Surf (Mike Simons, Jake Huff), a mare who handled a $20,000 claiming trotting group on Tuesday in 1:56.2 on an off-track. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MAC ANOVER This one paid a nice price after scoring a condition pacing victory on Saturday with Simon Allard in the bike at 11-1, yielding a $24.80 payback on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SIMON ALLARD Allard rolled to five wins on Saturday at Pocono, and then arrived late Sunday night to dash off victories in the last three races on the program. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MARTA PIORTOW The Piotrow barn has been a factor all year long at Pocono, and she continues to roll as the season winds down after earning a training double on Sunday. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs                

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Harness racing drivers Simon Allard and Anthony Napolitano had the hot hands at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon, with Simon bringing in five winners and Anthony just behind him with four. Surprisingly, the crowd did not catch on to the successful drivers, as each only numbered one favorite among their victories. Simon Allard finished just ahead of Anthony Napolitano three times and his brother George once, with Anthony was first in races where George was second three times and another where Simon was second. George did get a winner in the last race on the card and as usual has far and away the highest seasonal total at The Downs. The $17,200 featured trot was won by the Muscle Hill gelding Muscle M Up, driven by Anthony - and in this race the Napolitano "family theme" was continued, as the winner is trained by Ãke Svanstedt, for whom George drove two stakes winners at Philly Friday. Muscle M Up went first-over and still won by two lengths over Scirocco Rob (Allard) in 1:52.2 for Knutsson Trotting Inc.   There was a pair of $14,000 co-features, with Simon Allard guiding the American Ideal Casual Cool gelding to victory in 1:50.1 despite also having to take the grinding uncovered route. Joesstar Of Mia A (A Nap) was a half-length behind the Daniel Renaud trainee, who raised his earnings to $330,009 for the Dune Road Stables LLC. In the trotting co-headliner, area newcomer Justin Huckabone continued to impress with the Winning Mister gelding Winning Legends, who ran his eastern Pennsylvania record for his trainer/driver and owner Jonathan Applebaum to 6-3-2-0 since coming to the area two months ago. Winning Legends won by a neck in a career best 1:53.2 over Broadway Athena (ANap), who charged home from last to come up just shy. Finally, Larry Stalbaum celebrated his first return to Pocono since July 19 and only his second card here since March 9 with a pair of sulky successes. The double included the fastest mile of the day, with Stalbaum and the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Closing Statement blasting down the road under duress in :25.4, :53.4 and 1:20.4, yet still making a decisive closing statement in winning by 6¼ lengths in a lifetime best 1:49.3 for trainer Randy Bendis, co-owner with Pollack Racing LLC. From the PHHA / The Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Pilgrims Tide, who had been first and second in his last two starts at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono but not faring as well in excursions to Yonkers, returned to the mountain oval on Tuesday afternoon and during the last half left his foes in the red dust, going on to a new mark of 1:54.1 in the $12,800 claiming handicap trotting feature. Several horses took a shot at the victorious Muscle Massive gelding during early fractions of :27.2 and :56.3, but none succeeded; from there, Pilgrims Tide was all alone on the lead (except for driver Simon Allard), passing the three-quarters in 1:24.2 and coasting home to a 7½ length victory. Shane Tritton trains the winner of $175,657 for owner Nicholas Catalano.   Another Muscle Massive gelding, the sophomore Focus Pocus, got in a solid prep race for his $25,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship this coming Monday at The Meadows, going to the lead and holding off the field in 1:55.4 in a $10,400 trotting contest. First and second in his last two fair starts against all-time PA Fair trot recordholder Manhattanup No Ice and third in a recent Keystone Classic division behind Amigo Volo, Focus Pocus looks in prime form for his owners, trainer Linda Schadel and driver Tony Schadel. Trainer Jim Ray has sent out only 27 starters in 2020, winning four times, but he's a conditioner to watch out for, as a $2 bet on each his charges would have returned a 526% profit. Tied with Tom Wine II as the only trainers with three $50+ horses at the meet, Ray's latest "bomber" was Frac, who came from ninth and last off a hotly-contested pace for driver Kevin Wallis, getting up late to pay $98.60 to his very scattered $2 win backers. Ray co-owns the winner of $259,615 with David Wisser. Anthony Napolitano led all drivers with three victories during the Tuesday afternoon card, giving him thirteen during the present three-day Pocono workweek of Saturday-Sunday-Tuesday. From the PHHA / The Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Simon Allard, Matt Kakaley, and George Napolitano Jr. each had a harness racing driving triple on the Tuesday afternoon card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and among them they swept the Rainbow Pick 5 bet's races, the last five on the card. Since the biggest win price in the sequence was $14.60 and three were under $6.00, the carryover pool for Rainbow Pick 5, which requires a bettor to have a unique ticket with all five winners to take down the big jackpot, grew to $239,477.19 for Saturday afternoon's card as there were multiple consolation winners. Tuesday's driving triple brought Napolitano's tally for the week at Pocono to seventeen in four cards. "George Nap" has driven exactly 250 winners in the period since July 1 (for comparison, North American leader Aaron Merriman has had 208 in the last three months through the Tuesday afternoon card at The Meadows), and George will be in action on the last day of September tomorrow at Harrah's Philadelphia. With the coming of October, Pocono reduces its basic schedule to three cards a week during the month, with racing starting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Tuesdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays. From the PHHA / The Downs

Chester, PA -- On Friday afternoon (Aug. 14), harness racing driver Simon Allard recorded the 4,000th driving win of his career, doing so with Anythingforlove A ($2.10) in the ninth race at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Allard yielded for the pocket with the 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, and the pair drafted Skip To My Lou before reclaiming the lead on the backstretch and holding off a late charge from 23-1 outsider Mr Profeta to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:51. Allard also won with Rock The Town ($23.20) and Diamond Head ($11.20), and his hat trick gave him top honors among all drivers on the 14-race program. The 38-year-old Quebec native has driven almost exclusively in the United States since 2016 and has earned over $39 million in purses. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 16), with a 14-race card featuring two $94,967 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings, as well as a $22,990.90 carryover in the fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5. Post time is 12:40 p.m. by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Betterthancheddar mare Shes Pukka N, despite hard usage in a fast pace, was durable to the wire to take the victory in the $14,400 featured pace for distaffs on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia in a lifetime best 1:51.1. Simon Allard hustled Shes Pukka N early to get around Wishy Washy Girl, reaching the quarter in :26 even before Abigail Dawn progressed up to challenge. The last-named finally got to the front approaching the second turn, but with race favorite Dont Think Twice A hustling forward, Allard moved the winner outside again at the :55 half time, and quickly sent her to regain the lead. Dont Think Twice A continued a steady grind uncovered to and past a 1:22.1 three-quarters; midturn My Last Bet tipped wide off her cover to loom. But Shes Pukka N made her speed stand up to the wire for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC. The Kiwi mare now has ten lifetime wins and earnings of $140,563. She's Nun Bettor N also honored the pride of New Zealand pacing mare imports with a 1:52.4 mile despite post eight. George Napolitano Jr. drove the Bettor's Delight mare, second in her first U.S. start and now with two consecutive triumphs, to victory for trainer Kelvin "Red" Harrison and Curtin ANZ Stables. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

We have slowly worked our way into the 2020 season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing just two nights a week throughout the month of February, a much earlier start to the season than normal. But the action hit the ground running, in large part due to the Game of Claims series, a fun late closer affair making its debut at Pocono this year. Each weekend in February at Pocono, four different groups of claimers met in preliminary legs with the intent of making the high-stakes finals. They were eligible to be claimed in those preliminaries, with the claiming price rising each week to make it more expensive for owners who wanted to jump in late on a hot horse. The finals took place this past Saturday and Sunday. Let's see who came out on top. CLAIMING PRICE $15,000 to $20,000 (Final Purse $30,000) Royal Heart went off as the 9-5 betting favorite after winning his previous leg. He grabbed a pocket seat early behind second choice Horsing Around, who came in with wins in both of his previous Game of Claims races with front-end speed. But Horsing Around couldn't get away with an easy lead in the Saturday night final, as he was hounded by a first-over effort from Pop's Romeo. Even though Horsing Around fended off that effort, it left him vulnerable in the stretch drive. That's when driver Simon Allard tipped Royal Heart to the outside and he came up strong to win it by a half-length in 1:53:3 over Horsing Around. American Music finished third. Royal Heart moved to two-for-two since joining the Rene Allard barn. CLAIMING PRICE $25,000 to $30,000 (Final Purse $50,000) After winning the first two legs of the series, Trente Deo took last week off after being claimed and joining the barn of trainer William Adamczyk. He went off as the 2-1 second choice in Saturday night's final, with Polak A getting the favorite's attention at 9-5. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. had Trente Deo in motion first-over pretty early in the mile, but that proved to be the right move when he picked up cover from Classy Hill on the back stretch. When the rounded the final turn, Trente Deo shrugged off the cover and came charging up at Polak A, who was setting the pace. Trente Deo blew right past Polak A and then held off late kick from What's Goin On to finish second, with Beach Pro nabbing the show. Trente Deo won by 1 ½ lengths in 1:52:3 to finish a perfect three-for-three in the series. CLAIMING PRICE $7,500 to $11,000 (Purse: $15,000) In his back-to-back wins in preliminary legs, Always B Magic benefitted from inside post positions and pocket trips. For the final on Sunday night, he had to leave from post position #5 in a field of nine, still a good spot but a decidedly different look. Tough Mudder set the pace, while driver George Napolitano Jr. decided on a first-over path for Always B Magic, the even-money favorite, when he couldn't get the pocket. It was by no means an easy journey for Always B Magic, considering he was parked out for two of the three turns. He eventually wore down Tough Mudder, but Naked City came up strong late after the favorite provided his cover. Always B Magic managed to gut it out to win it by a nose for new trainer Susan Marshall, staying perfect in the series with a winning time of 1:55. Naked City just missed in second while Mystery Island picked up the show. CLAIMING PRICE $10,000 to $15,000 (Purse: $20,000) In the preliminary legs of this group, Charger Blue Chip was arguably the top performer, going win, show, win in the three races. Yet he found himself at 9-1 on the odds board in Sunday's final, primarily because he was saddled with the outside #9 post. Driver Jim Marohn Jr. drove him aggressively, sending him early and retaking the lead from Carmens Best on the front stretch. A lot of times a speed duel like that would leave a horse vulnerable to closers. And, indeed, Grandpa Don, the 7-5 favorite, came up with a first-over threat. But Marohn kept summoning up reserves of energy from Charger Blue Chip, leaving Grandpa Don and the rest of the field struggling in his wake. Charger Blue Chip, trained by Marc Mosher, came home a 2 ¼-length winner in 1:54:1, with Grandpa Don second and Carmens Best third. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs          

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Even as a certain well-regarded harness racing mare qualified at Dover in what was likely preparation for early season work, two horses who were very prominent in last year's Levy Series action turned in top qualifiers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Wednesday morning. Western Fame, the 2019 Levy Series winner who would go on to take a Franklin elim and finish third in the Franklin Championship here at Pocono, went straight to the lead for driver Simon Allard and trainer/brother Rene Allard, winning in 1:57.1. A last quarter of :28.4 made the winner of $1,745,185 clear at the wire for Go Fast Stable, Stephen Klunowski, B & I Stables LLC, and Gilbert Short. Later, former Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Champion Ideal Jimmy, a three-time Levy prelim winner last year, put in a sharp 1:53.4 mile on the engine, with a :27.3 last quarter leaving him 8¼ lengths in front of his field for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Erv Miller, and the Van Witzenburg stable. Also deserving mention are the team of driver Eric Carlson and trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, who combined on the first three qualifiying winners. Garcia-Herrera sent out a total of eleven horses in the prep races, a few times with two in the same race, and in addition to the three wins he had four second-place finishers and two third-place finishers. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Game Of Claims Series continued on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the temperature dropping through the 20s throughout the twilight harness racing card but the contested action featuring hot contests and hot horses. Both winners were claimed out of the $25,000 second preliminary leg for horses this week valued at a base price of $27,500, as horsemen want the right horse ready to take the throne in this group's $50,000 Game of Claims Championship on Saturday the 29th. The only double winner in this Game Of Claims section is the four-year-old Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Deo, but if he sweeps his prelims, he'll be doing for somebody other than trainer Rene Allard and owners Allard Racing Inc. and Earl Hill Jr. Trente Deo, an engine winner last week for those connections, here rallied from the pocket to post a 1:52.4 victory for driver Simon Allard. Also winning in this company, and also moving to a new stable, is the veteran Pacific Fella gelding Polak A, who came from off the pace to win in 1:52.1 while exceeding $800,000 in earnings for driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Darren Taneyhill and owner Eric Prevost (these two having the horse only this one week). Polak A had a second last week and a win here, so like two-time winner Trente Deo he is likely to make their Championship and may be eyed by several stables, even though the base price of claiming for this group goes up to $30,000 in next week's last preliminary. There were three divisions of the second preliminary round for the Game Of Claims group valued at a $17,500 base price Saturday, and the rail proved the common launching pad for the three victors of the $15,000 races. Simon and Rene Allard combined to take two of the cuts: with Horsing Around, who had been claimed in the first prelim, the Shadyshark Hanover gelding winning for Allard Racing Inc and Neal Moase in 1:53.2; and with the Roll With Joe gelding Stirling Escort, picture-perfect in tallying for A-1 Racing in 1:54.3. Neither Allard winner was claimed this time, but the winner of the other cut, the Make My Day gelding Ancle, is changing hands for the second straight week after becoming the only two-time Game Of Claims winner in this price class. Jim Morrill Jr. guided Ancle to victory in 1:53.3 for trainer James Guagliardo and owner Steven Celinsky. In all, six horses were claimed for $105,000 at this level with an eye towards the group's February 29 $30,000 Championship, bringing the night's total barnchangers to a dozen, with $278,775 changing hands. In the $17,500 top conditioned pace, last year's Pocono Pacer of the Year and the winningest harness horse in the United States with nineteen, the eleven-year-old Western Terror gelding Atta Boy Dan, joined the repeat series victors as the only two-time winners at the meet with a 1:51.3 victory. Tyler Buter kept the greybeard just off a wicked :25.4 opening duel, brushed to the lead, and then the pair won as they pleased for trainer Peter Pellegrino and owner Stephen Larkin. The victory was the 74th in Atta Boy Dan's career, and he now sports a bankroll of $982,752. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. visited Victory Lane four times Saturday, giving him ten triumphs after three days in the young Pocono season. The PHHA and the Pocono community extends its sympathies to trainer Andrew Harris, to his two daughters, and to the extended family upon hearing that Andrew's wife Amanda passed away at age 34 after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE. PA - The Big Jim sophomore colt Bronx Seelster, fresh off racing in his Breeders Crown harness racing final, went to the top against mostly older foes in the $17,500 feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs Saturday night, then responded gamely to post a 1:50.3 victory in 40-degree temperatures. Simon Allard, who had three victories on the night, hustled the sophomore to the top before the :26.2 initial split, then got him to the half in :55.1 and the three-quarters in 1:23.2 without too much pressure. In the stretch, though, Twin B Tuffenuff ducked in from the pocket to the Pocono Pike and menaced in midstretch, but Bronx Seelster dug in and held a neck advantage at the wire. The pacer is now campaigned by Allard Racing Inc., Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg, and Dr. Stephen Klunowski, who acquired him before his Breeders Crown elimination. Bronx Seelster is trained by Rene Allard, who was recognized during the card for being the winningest trainer at Pocono in 2019, a feat which now gives him six of the last seven local titles. The 32-year-old native of Quebec ranks third among North American trainers in the seasonal victory category. Keystone Steam joined an early-forming two-wide tier, went three-wide down the backstretch and went back to two-wide on the far turn, then was just along over the pacesetting Tom's Arockin in 1:51.3 in the $16,000 claiming handicap pace co-feature. The gelded son of Bettor's Delight, who won by a half-length, got the job done for trainer James Guagliardo, owner Steven Cetinsky, and driver George Napolitano Jr., who also won with Pocono's Pacer of the Year Atta Boy Dan on the card among his five wins on the night. The Great Britain-bred Hasty Hall gelding Matticulous GB remained undefeated in three starts on this side of the Atlantic, and he took his lifetime record to 21-17-4-0 with a 1:51.1 victory in a $14,000 pace. Matt Kakaley put the Ron Burke trainee, owned by Brett Thompson, on the lead going to the quarter and was unstoppable - literally: after coming home in :27, Matticulous GB and Kakaley "came back" and sailed right past the winners circle and in the general direction of the paddock. Pocono now will next race on Tuesday, as the track will alternate Saturday and Tuesday programs until the meet's closing night of Saturday, November 16. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Sombeachsomewhere mare Lyons River Pride held off foes to both sides during a :27 last quarter to lower her mark to 1:50 while winning the $17,500 feature for harness racing distaff pacers during the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Simon Allard hustled the winner of $331,271 to the lead mid-first turn, with Medusa defending the pocket and forcing favorite Divas Image into the 3-hole. Lyons River Pride took the field through fractions of :26.2, :55, and 1:23, with Divas Image pulling to the outside nearing the last-named marker and Medusa joining that pair in the Pocono Pike through the lane. Any of the three battlers seemed to have a chance, but Lyons River Pride proved the best by a neck over Divas Image, with Medusa just another neck back in third. Simon's brother Rene, the meet's leading trainer, conditions the winner for Geoffrey Lyons Mound. Simon had four winners on the card, three of them his brother's trainees. A $14,000 co-feature for distaff pacers saw the recent Australian import Imprincessgemma A run her U.S. record to 2-for-3 with an authoritative score in 1:51.3, her North American best. George Napolitano Jr. sent the daughter of Village Jolt to the lead after the quarter, then brought her home in :55.2 - :27.1 for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno and the ownership of Joseph Bongiorno, Jennifer Bongiorno Stable, Steve Manzi, and Wish Me Luck Stables. In a $15,000 trot, the Muscle Mass gelding Conman Crown overcame the outermost starting spot to record his second straight victory, here in 1:56.1. Eric Carlson guided the winner as he trotted past pacesetting favorite Trix Are For Kids late to win by a length for trainer Rob Harmon and Pine Hill Stables. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Real Desire mare Eclipse Me N won for the fifth time in her last eight starts on the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, defeating a strong group of mares in the $21,500 distaff pacing feature in 1:50.2. After Bettorhaveanother passed the quarter in front in :27.2, Eclipse Me N and driver Simon Allard were up and clambering for command, reaching that spot and getting a relative breather to the :56 half. From there Eclipse Me N hit a much higher gear, stepping home in :54.2 to defeat first-over Diva's Image, the slight 6-5 favorite to the winner's 3-2, by two lengths. The career winner of $292,944 is trained by the meet's leading conditioner, Rene Allard, for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae. P L Ketchup was able to come out on the "right" side of a photo after finishing second four straight times, three of them by a half-length or less, winning a $15,000 conditioned trot in a lifetime mark of 1:54. The Kadabra gelding used pure speed in accomplishing the task, posting supersonic fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23.3 in "bottoming" the field out, holding off his nearest challenger, the pocketsitter Trixar, by a neck. Pat Berry drove the winner for trainer Steven Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover. The track's perennial leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., guided five horses past the wire first on the Tuesday card. His brother Anthony accounted for the biggest win price of the night, overcoming post nine with Betabcool N by a nose and returned $50.80 to win to his scattered backers. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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