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In an amazing display of handicapping prowess, Jay Hochstetler has opened up an over 400-point lead in the 2016 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Hochstetler earned 405.15 points for a grand total of 1,070.45. The nearest competitor is Russ Adams with 661.33 points with Mark Deutsch taking the show position with 632.55 points. Hochstetler's incredible weekend started Friday evening, selecting the winner of 4 out of 6 races topped with Dominion Beach ($80.00) in the Tompkins-Geers for 3yo trotting colts and geldings, earning him 172.03 of his 207.6 points for the evening. Adam Friedland also tabbed 4 winners, alas minus Dominion Beach, earning 61.98 points. Although lacking price, Hochstetler made up for it with volume as he nailed down 6 of the 8 contest races on Saturday. Topping the list was Earl Beal Memorial Jr. Consolation winner Milligan's School ($21.80) which gave the contest leader 81.9 of his 197.55 points for the evening. With the exception of the Beal Final and the Cleveland Trotting Classic, he won all the consolations and finals, namely Call Me Queen Be ($3.40), the aforementioned Milligan's School, Luck Be Withyou ($6.60), Pure Country ($4.80), Racing Hill ($3.20), and Always B Miki ($5.20). Also with 6 winners on the card was Gordon Waterstone, earning 94.35 points for his evening's work. Here are the standings after this weekend's racing action: July 2, 2016 - Leg #27 Pos Handicapper Total Points Prior Week Points Earned This Week Overall Total Points Position Last Week Points Back 1st Jay Hochstetler 665.30 405.15 1,070.45 1st - 2nd Russ Adams 599.63 61.70 661.33 2nd                409.13 3rd Mark Deutsch 514.25 118.30 632.55 3rd                437.90 4th Rusty Nash 507.03 110.65 617.68 4th                452.78 5th Gordon Waterstone 467.98 132.20 600.18 7th                470.28 6th Adam Friedland 466.90 108.93 575.83 8th                494.63 7th Dennis O'Hara 500.05 72.50 572.55 5th                497.90 8th Anne Stepien 474.23 65.48 539.70 6th                530.75 9th Matt Rose 444.83 71.90 516.73 9th                553.73 10th Ray Cotolo 411.18 69.70 480.88 10th                589.58 11th Bryan Owen 401.10 77.45 478.55 11th                591.90 12th Sally Hinckley 355.10 76.85 431.95 13th                638.50 13th Ray Garnett 370.73 28.60 399.33 12th                671.13 14th Michael Carter 326.58 60.75 387.33 15th                683.13 15th Joe Bengston 336.30 20.00 356.30 14th                714.15 With more than half of the races remaining, there is plenty of contest remaining so all positions including the top spot remain up for grabs.  This week’s contest races will be contested on the 4th of the July with Tioga Downs hosting the Tompkins-Geers for three-year-old pacers of both sexes and on Saturday, July 9 at the Meadowlands where the Reynolds for 3yo Filly Trotters will be contested along with the finals of the Graduate Series for 4yo open pacers and trotters. For further information regarding the handicapping challenge, visit HANA Harness’ contest website, where you will find the handicappers’ selections and results, updated standings, as well a schedule of upcoming contest races. by Allan Schott, for HANA

Always B Miki shines in Ben Franklin Trainer Jimmy Takter says Always B Miki is a horse that will be long remembered in the future. For now, Takter and the 5-year-old pacer’s connections are more than enjoying the stallion’s present. Always B Miki won his highly anticipated showdown with Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete in Saturday’s (July 2) $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Always B Miki defeated Freaky Feet Pete by three-quarters of a length in a stakes- and world-record-equaling 1:47, with Wiggle It Jiggleit finishing third. The time equaled the fastest mile in history on a five-eighths-mile racetrack. Always B Miki, who also won in 1:47 last week at Pocono, shares the record with Sweet Lou. Wiggle It Jiggleit went to the lead off the starting gate, but Freaky Feet Pete left quickly from post six and got to the front following an opening quarter-mile in :25.4. Always B Miki, who started from post seven, was moved to the lead by driver David Miller prior to the halfway point, reached in :53, and then was pressured on the outside by first-over Wiggle It Jiggleit. Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit battled each other around the final turn, but Always B Miki repelled the challenge before holding off an inside bid from Freaky Feet Pete. “I knew David was going to be aggressive,” Takter said. “We talked about it and he said he wasn’t going to sit and wait for something to happen. He was in it to win it. “The way the race unfolded, he had to work hard. It wasn’t given to him. I knew that Wiggle It (Jiggleit) would come right away. He did the right move. He hoped the :53 (half) would have stung my horse a little bit and then he’d come at him. But I have to say all three of those horses raced a heck of a race. They all raced fantastic.” Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete both got warm ovations from the large crowd at Pocono as they made their ways back to the paddock. History’s fastest pacing mile is the 1:46.1 time-trial mark established by Cambest in 1993. The fastest time for a race mile is 1:46.4, which is shared by four horses. “The track is not really as fast as it was last week and it’s a colder evening,” Takter said. “If it was a warm evening, I think they would have gone a second faster. This is not Miki’s favorite (track size). He’s more a big track horse. But he’s handling the small track better and better.” Always B Miki has won five of seven races this year and nine of 11 since returning from injury last October. He is owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter. For his career, Always B Miki has won 23 of 42 starts and earned $1.56 million. “He’s one of those horses that people are going to remember for a long, long time,” Takter said. Sent off as the 8-5 second choice behind favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit, Always B Miki paid $5.20, $3.00 and $2.20. Montrell Teague, Wiggle It Jiggleit’s driver, said his trip didn’t work out as he envisioned. “He raced good, it just wasn’t the ideal trip that I thought I was going to get,” Teague said. “Like I said, you can’t go in there with a game plan. It’s a horserace, you never know what’s going to happen. “The biggest surprise was there weren’t as many leavers. I was thinking five of them were going to come out of there, but it was just the main three. (Always B) Miki left the gate good and got his good trip.” Trace Tetrick, the driver of Freaky Feet Pete, was happy with his horse’s effort. “It was a great race,” Tetrick said. “The trip kind of worked out like I thought it would. I was hoping to press and land on the front and control it, or get moved on by either Montrell or David. “David took me as long as I needed to go, I just needed a little longer stretch to beat him.” The Western Ideal 5-year-old stallion Luck Be Withyou continued his career-long love affair with Pocono, taking the $75,000 Ben Franklin consolation in 1:47.4. Luck Be Withyou, who had an outside post in his Franklin elim and couldn’t enter contention, drew the rail for the consolation and would not cede the lead through amazing fractions of :25.4, :52.4, and 1:19.4, then was kept alive through the stretch by Pocono’s leading driver, George Napolitano Jr. while also lowering his lifetime best by a tick. Winner of the 2013 Breeders Crown and the 2015 Franklin championship at Pocono, Luck Be Withyou, conditioned by Chris Oakes when on the local scene, has earned the majority of his $1,195,281 career bankroll over the red clay oval for owner John Craig. Southwind Frank wins Earl Beal, Jr, Memorial Driver Yannick Gingras tucked his whip and breathed a sigh of relief at the wire as he and Southwind Frank won the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial in 1:52.4, part of Sun Stakes Saturday (July 2) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. After coming out of last week's elimination with a virus, Southwind Frank-Gingras' best hope for his first Hambletonian win-was back to his championship form. Last year's divisional champion got away fourth as Hollywood Highway took the lead from post 2. After a break by Hollywood Highway near the quarter pole, reached in :27.3, Southwind Frank took the lead the first time past the grandstand. Southwind Frank led the field through the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.4 before holding off stablemate Dayson-who made a break-and coming home in :28 flat to win by 2-1/4 lengths. Trolley was second with Bar Hopping third. Southwind Frank paid $2.40 to win. A son of Muscle Hill out of Flawless Lindy, Southwind Frank is trained by Ron Burke for Southwind Frank Partners. The Gingras-Burke combo narrowly missed their respective first Hambletonian win last year when the filly Mission Brief was edged by Pinkman. "I've been thinking about Hambo since the Peter Haughton last year," said Gingras. "We are aiming for that first Saturday in August. All these starts just build up to that. We want to win them all, but the main goal is Aug. 6." Co-owner Jerry Silva of J&T Stables was part of the Muscle Hill ownership team when he won the 2009 Hambletonian, but is looking forward to another Hambletonian win with this colt. "This is the 'Frank' that we had last year," he said. Mr. Beal, a former owner, trainer and driver who died in 2009, served as president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, where he was instrumental in bringing casino gaming to Pennsylvania racetracks, fought for increased simulcasting opportunities in the Keystone State, and ensured that county fair racing continued in Pennsylvania through tough times. This is the sixth edition of the Beal Memorial, which was won last year by eventual Trotter of the Year Pinkman in 1:51.3. Milligan's School, winner of his first two seasonal efforts but then offstride in his next two, raised his 2016 record to three for five with a $21.80 upset in the $75,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial consolation. Driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller had their son of Yankee Glideon his best behavior and in top form for this event, as he came first-over, then held off Love Matters, who followed his cover, by three-quarters of a length. The final clocking of 1:53.2 lowered his speed badge by a tick for the ownership of Stroy Inc. Racing Hill is much the best in Max Hempt As fireworks popped overhead, Racing Hill made some fireworks of his own in winning the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial final in a rated 1:49, part of Sun Stakes Saturday (July 2) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite off a 1:49.1 elimination win last week, Racing Hill took the lead from Boston Red Rocks shortly before the quarter in :25.4. Driver Brett Miller then took the son of Roll With Joe – Chasing Ideals through a second quarter in :29. “That’s what makes this colt such a tremendous colt,” said Miller. “He can go very fast and then the next quarter he can go very slow. Being that handy makes him very deadly.” No one was catching Racing Hill tonight, as he led the field to the three-quarters in 1:22 and sprinted home to win by 2-1/2 lengths. JK Will Power was second with Boston Red Rocks third. “I’ve got so much confidence in this colt, and every week he is giving me even more confidence,” said Miller. “Coming down the stretch, I was saying to myself, ‘I don’t even need to pull the earplugs,’ and he’s the kind of colt that when I pull the earplugs, he just takes off. He’s just sharp.” Tony Alagna trains Racing Hill for owner-breeder Tom Hill of the United Kingdom. He now has two wins, three seconds and a third in six starts this year, good for $450,340 in seasonal earnings. Alagna said the colt’s next engagement will be the Meadowlands Pace. “Hopefully we get another shot to go to the Meadowlands on his home track and have some luck there,” he said. Mr. Hempt was the man behind Hempt Farms in Mechanicsburg, Pa., whose horses with the “Keystone” moniker won nearly every major race in the sport. A Hall of Fame inductee in 1980, Mr. Hempt was also a USTA director and president of the Hambletonian Society. He died in 1999 at age 79. Formerly known as the William E. Miller Memorial at Rosecroft Raceway from 1955-1994 and the Joseph B. Banks Memorial from 1995-1999 at Pocono, the Hempt Memorial has been contested since 2000. Wiggle It Jiggleit won last year’s edition in 1:48.2. Pure Country is at her best in James Lynch Pure Country and driver Brett Miller made their way to the front near the midway point and never relinquished the lead from there, winning Saturday’s (July 2) $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers by a half-length over Blue Moon Stride in a stakes-record-equaling 1:49.2 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. I Said Diamonds led the field to the opening quarter-mile in :27, but soon gave up the top spot to Darlinonthebeach. Pure Country was on the move ahead of Blue Moon Stride in the outside flow and made her way to the lead as the group reached the half in :54.2. Darlinonthebeach slowed on the backstretch and did not finish. Pure Country reached three-quarters in 1:22.1 and paced home from there to win for the fourth time in seven starts this season. Blue Moon Stride was followed by Lindwood Beachgirl in third and I Said Diamonds in fourth. It was Pure Country’s third major victory of the campaign, having captured the Miss Pennsylvania and Fan Hanover earlier this year. “She’s just classy,” winning trainer Jimmy Takter said. “Brett didn’t have any other choice than to go forward. I was a little worried. I know (Blue Moon Stride) is a pretty good horse sitting in the back there. We had to work very hard to go to our spot, but I know (Pure Country) is tough to get by.” A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Western Montana, Pure Country has won 14 of 17 career races and earned $1.19 million. She is owned by Diamond Creek Racing. Last year, Pure Country won all 10 of her races and was named the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female pacer. “She’s getting more professional,” Takter said. “As a 2-year-old it’s a little easier to be a little dominant. There are a lot of good fillies out there. They have to work for every race.” Pure Country, the 7-5 favorite, paid $4.80 to win. Darlinonthebeach’s trainer Nancy Johansson told DRF Harness’ Derick Giwner that her filly suffered from atrial fibrillation. Call Me Queen Be, forced to go :26 to the quarter in her Lynch elimination and understandably tiring, was very strong coming off a fast pace in the $50,000 Lynch Consolation, moving to the lead on the far turn past backstretch brusher Sail To The Beach and going on to a two length triumph, equaling her lifetime mark by stopping the timer in 1:50.3. Scott Zeron handled the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, the 3-5 choice of the large group of fans gathered for the giant card, for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham. The Lynch Memorial is named in honor of the late James M. Lynch, who did some amateur driving and worked as a groom as a teenager, but made his mark years later as a race official, most notably as the director of racing at Liberty Bell for its entire 23-year existence. Lynch, who passed away in 2000 at the age of 78, also was a horse owner and director of the U.S. Trotting Association. by Ken Weingartner, T J Burkett and PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - Part of the $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday supercard at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono were consolation races for the card's major events: the $75,000 Ben Franklin Consolation for free-for-all pacers, the $75,000 Earl Beal Consolation for three-year-old trotting colts, and the $50,000 James Lynch Consolation for three-year-old pacing fillies.   The Western Ideal five-year-old stallion Luck Be Withyou continued his career-long love affair with Pocono Downs, taking the Ben Franklin Consolation in 1:47.4.   Luck Be Withyou, who had an outside post in his Franklin elim and couldn't enter contention, drew the rail for the Consolation and would not cede the lead through amazing fractions of 25.4, 52.4, and 1:19.4, then was kept alive through the stretch by Pocono's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr while also lowering his lifetime best by a tick.   Winner of the 2013 Breeders Crown and the 2015 Franklin Championship here at Pocono Downs, Luck Be Withyou, conditioned by Chris Oakes when on the local scene, has earned the majority of his $1,193,291 career bankroll over the red clay oval for owner John Craig.   Milligan's School, winner of his first two seasonal starts but then offstride in his next two, raised his 2016 record to 3 for 5 with a $21.80 upset in the Beal Memorial. "Team Orange Crush," driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller, had their son of Yankee Glide on best behavior and in top form in the Beal Consolation, coming first-over, then holding off Love Matters, who followed his cover, by ¾ of a length, lowering his speed badge by a tick for the ownership of Stroy Inc.   Call Me Queen Be, forced to go 26 to the quarter in her Lynch elimination and understandably tiring, was very strong coming off a fast pace in the Lynch Consolation, moving to the lead on the far turn past backstretch brusher Sail To The Beach and going on to a two length triumph, equaling her lifetime mark by stopping the timer in 1:50.3. Scott Zeron handled the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, the 3 to 5 choice of the large group of fans gathered for the giant card, for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham.   From the PHHA Media Department  

Trainer Tony Alagna thought Racing Hill came into this year flying under the radar, but the colt is getting his share of attention now following a second-place finish in the North America Cup and a win in his Max C. Hempt Memorial elimination last weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Racing Hill is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's $500,000 Hempt final. The event, for 3-year-old pacers, is part of Pocono's Sun Stakes Saturday card that also features the Ben Franklin for older pacers, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters, and James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female trotters. A homebred colt for owner Tom Hill, Racing Hill has won six of 15 career races and earned $333,666. He won his Hempt elimination by three lengths over Katies Rocker in 1:49.1, which is the fastest mile of the season by a 3-year-old pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Racing Hill will start the Hempt final from post No. 2 with regular driver Brett Miller. "He came out of his elimination good and trained back good (Wednesday)," Alagna said. "It's a competitive field of horses so we'll see how it works out. A lot of the horses that drew outside are speed horses so I think there is going to be plenty of activity. "As long as I bring the horse there in good shape, I'll let Brett do the rest." Last year, Racing Hill won five of 10 starts, including divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes as well as his elimination for the Breeders Crown. He finished eighth in the Breeders Crown final, but was only 5-3/4 lengths back after a first-over bid around the final turn on a "good" track at Woodbine. "He kind of got a messed up trip in the Breeders Crown otherwise I think he would have done better," Alagna said. "He had some really good races last year and kind of flew under the radar coming back this year for no real reason. He's a quality horse and he's showing that now." Racing Hill began this year with a nose loss to 4-year-old Major War in 1:49.2 at the Meadowlands. In his next start, he was second to War-N-Munn in a conditioned race at Mohawk despite a :25.4 final quarter-mile. Then he finished third from post nine in his North America Cup elimination despite going off stride briefly in the stretch. "I've always liked the horse," Alagna said about Racing Hill, who is a son of Roll With Joe out of the mare Chasing Ideals. "He raced good last week and hopefully we have similar luck this week." Control The Moment, who was voted Canada's top 2-year-old male pacer last year, won the remaining Hempt elimination and will start the final from post No. 8 with Randy Waples driving for trainer Brad Maxwell. Control The Moment, who captured his elim by a half-length over Boston Red Rocks in 1:49.3, is 7-2 on the morning line. New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Katies Rocker is 4-1 and Boston Red Rocks, who received the U.S.-based Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male pacer last season, is 5-1. Below is the Hempt Memorial field followed by the fields for the remaining stakes Saturday at Pocono: $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial (Race 10; estimated post time 9:31 p.m.) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - More Dragon - Jim Morrill Jr. - Ron Burke - 20/1 2 - Racing Hill - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna - 5/2 3 - Western Fame - George Napolitano Jr. - Jimmy Takter - 12/1 4 - JK Will Power - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 6/1 5 - Talk Show - Scott Zeron - Steve Elliott - 8/1 6 - Boston Red Rocks - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 5/1 7 - Katies Rocker - David Miller - Jim Campbell - 4/1 8 - Control The Moment - Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell - 7/2 9 - Big Top Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 15/1 $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial (Race 9; estimated post time 9:08 p.m.) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - JK Fannie - Jim Morrill Jr. - Nancy Johansson - 10/1 2 - I Said Diamonds - Matt Kakaley - Matias Ruiz - 5/1 3 - Newborn Sassy - Tim Tetrick - Jo Ann Looney-King - 4/1 4 - Lindwood Beachgirl - Yannick Gingras - Mark Steacy - 12/1 5 - Skinny Dipper - Scott Zeron - Ross Croghan - 20/1 6 - Darlinonthebeach - David Miller - Nancy Johansson - 3/1 7 - Pure Country - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter - 5/2 8 - Blue Moon Stride - Andrew McCarthy - Mark Harder - 6/1 9 - Penpal - Pat Lachance - Pat Lachance - 15/1 $500,000 Ben Franklin (Race 11; estimated post time 9:55 p.m.) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Mel Mara - Corey Callahan - Dylan Davis - 6/1 2 - Shamballa - Scott Zeron - Rick Zeron - 8/1 3 - Wiggle It Jiggleit - Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis - 5/2 4 - State Treasurer - Tim Tetrick - Ian Moore - 15/1 5 - Sunfire Blue Chip - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter - 12/1 6 - Freaky Feet Pete - Trace Tetrick - Larry Rheinheimer - 3/1 7 - Always B Miki - David Miller - Jimmy Takter - 4/1 8 - All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 20/1 9 - Rock N' Roll World - Jim Morrill Jr. - Ron Burke - 30/1 10 - Always At My Place - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 10/1 Always At My Place starts from the second tier $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (Race 12; estimated post time 10:20 p.m.) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Reigning Moni - Scott Zeron - Jimmy Takter - 10/1 2 - Hollywood Highway - John Campbell - Staffan Lind - 15/1 3 - Truemass Volo - Eric Goodell - Douglas Hamilton - 12/1 4 - Dayson - Jim Morrill Jr. - Ron Burke - 3/1 5 - Trolley - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 6/1 6 - Brooklyn Hill - David Miller - Jonas Czernyson - 5/1 7 - Southwind Frank - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 5/2 8 - Dice Man - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 20/1 9 - Bar Hopping - Tim Tetrick - Jimmy Takter - 4/1 by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA  

Next week in this space we'll be reviewing the eliminations for Sun Stakes Saturday, races which will feature some of the very best harness racing horses on the planet. Before we get to that though, we just witnessed another excellent week of racing here at Pocono, featuring Sire Stakes, Stallion Series, and overnight races all conducted under sizzling early summer temperatures. Let's see who really stood out in those races as we hand out our Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: KEYSTONE VELOCITY This 8-year-old stallion trained by Austin Brubacker had an excellent racing career interrupted in 2015 when he sat out the entire season. But it didn't take long for him to return to top form in 2016, as he burned up the track to win a condition pace on May 28, just his third start back off the layoff, in a career-best 1:48:2. He moved up to the $25,000 condition pacers his next time out but got caught up in a speed duel and ended up last of six. In Saturday night's $20,000 featured condition pace, Keystone Velocity went off as a 5-1 fourth choice despite the back class. This time around driver Andrew McCarthy wanted no part of the hot fractions laid down by 9-5 favorite Badiou Hanover. Instead the gelding waited to move until the back stretch, following the cover of Nitro Seelster. In the home stretch, Badiou Hanover started to labor. Meanwhile McCarthy guided Keystone Velocity, trained by Austin Brubacker, three-wide in the stretch for a clear look at the finish line. From there he wasn't about to be held back, as he hustled past Badiou Hanover and held off Starlite Kid by three-quarters of a length to win it in 1:50:2. There appears to be no lingering rust on Keystone Velocity from the year off, and, with wins in two of three against stiff competition, he might just be reaching a career peak. Other top pacers this week include: Girllookatthatbody (Andrew McCarthy, Todd Buter), who moved up in class to win the featured condition pace for mares on Tuesday night in 1:52:2, her second straight victory; McCedes (George Napolitano Jr., Daniel Maier), an 11-year-old veteran who moved up in class to win a $15,000 claimer Saturday night in 1:52:3, his second straight victory and third in his last four; and Southwind Amazon (George Napolitano Jr., Paul Holzman), whose condition victory on Saturday night in 1:49:3 was the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: PITTSTOP KIP Trained by Steve Salerno, this 5-year-old gelding shocked a $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap trotting field on June 12 for a victory at 40-1. In that race, driver David Miller kept Pittstop Kip well off the pace, only to rally him and make up a ton of ground on the final turn, eventually winning by a length in a career-best 1:55:3. Pittstop Kip had a solid #2 post position for the rematch against that claiming handicap group on Sunday night, but it almost cost him. David Miller was once again aboard and he was able to secure a third-in spot behind a hot pace set by 5-2 favorite Prayer Session. But the horse directly in front of Pittstop Kip slowed enough on the back stretch to allow another to squeeze in, leaving Pittstop Kip fourth-in around the final turn and seemingly stymied. As they rounded the last turn, however, the outer flow dropped away, leaving room for Miller to guide his horse to a clear lane on the outside. Pittstop Kip, reserving energy all that time, exploded through the lane, passing out a stunned Prayer Session to win it by a length-and-a-half. The winning time of 1:53:4 easily bested the career mark he had set just a week previously. And although it wasn't 40-1, the 6-1 odds attached to Pittstop Kip proves that the bettors weren't completely sold. They might be the next time he takes the track. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Rose Run Parker (Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke), who captured the week's featured $25,000 condition trot on Sunday night in 1:53, which was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Mr Lucky Luke (Joe Pavia Jr., Thomas Cancelliere), who moved up the condition ladder to win his second straight race on Tuesday night, this one coming in a career-best 1:56:1; and Rule Of Hall (Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen), who followed up a condition win with an easy Stallion Series victory against other three-year-old fillies on Monday night, posting a career-best time of 1:54:4 in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: TROTTING R T This gelding, who just missed at 47-1 his previous race, finished the job Monday night, beating a claiming group at 16-1 with Andrew McCarthy in the bike to pay off $35.80 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SIMON ALLARD Simon had an outstanding week, highlighted by a four-win Saturday night that included a sweep of the late Daily Double. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ANETTE LORENTZON Lorentzon works magic with the trotters, and she scored a pair of trotting wins with her two starters on Sunday night, including a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victory with three-year-old filly Ultimate Shopper. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at Jim Beviglia

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