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East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is proud to announce its 2020 stakes schedule which will total approximately $14 million over the course of the 92 program meet.   The Meadowlands Standardbred meet will have a different look in 2020 due to Monmouth Park exercising their legislated right to race Thoroughbreds on the main track from October 2 through November 21, thus eliminating the possibility for the customary Fall harness meet.   Live Harness Racing will begin January 2 and race primarily on Fridays and Saturdays with an occasional Thursday thrown in through September 19; then pick back up on November 27 racing three days per week through year's end.   Hambletonian Day will once again headline the Championship Meet with more than $3 million in stakes purses offered on Saturday, August 8. The $1 million Hambletonian will return to the elimination format with the finest 3-year-old trotters competing for ten final berths on August 1 to return for Harness Racing's most sought after prize the next week.   The Hambletonian Oaks will follow the same course and lead the customary cast of supporting stakes that include the $300,000 Cashman FFA trot, $225,000 McKee FFA pace, $175,000 Steele FFA mare trot, $200,000 Lady Liberty FFA mare pace and the Haughton & Doherty Memorial stakes for freshman colt and filly trotters.   The $700,000e Meadowlands Pace will lead a parade of top stakes on Pace night Saturday, July 18 the includes the $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity, $400,000 WR Haughton FFA and $200,000 Golden Girls for pacing mares.   The TVG Championship Stakes and Fall Freshman Final Four are slated to open the winter meet on Saturday, November 28 headlining a $3 million card.   The longer than usual summer meet presents an opportunity to delay the start of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for 2-year-olds to mid-July with the finals on August 21. The later start to the NJSS races offer three more weeks to prepare for the enriched NJ program, a welcome benefit to both the horses and the horsemen that manage them. Those dates have recently been adjusted to race the finals two weeks earlier than originally planned in an effort to accommodate those horses that qualify to race in the Kentucky dual-eligibility program.   While on the topic of 2-year-olds, The Meadowlands schedule provides a racing opportunity for the freshman crop every week from July 3 through September 18. The Tompkins-Geers and Reynolds stakes, previously raced at Tioga Downs, have been brought to The Meadowlands with the 2-year-old divisions of those stakes blended in with the Kindergarten and NJSS to reach that goal.   The 3-year-old Tompkins-Geers trotting and pacing divisions and Reynolds trotting stakes are all at The Meadowlands and have been placed where they best provide preps for some of our major stakes.   The Graduate Series returns in the customary time frame to provide transitional races for 4-year-old pacers and trotters before they must face the top older stakes horses. The $250,000 finals will again be a part of the Meadowlands Pace elimination night card on July 11.   The Miss Versatility will offer five legs to trotting mares beginning on May 28 at Woodbine Mohawk Park then race at The Meadowlands four times before the $100,000 finals at The Little Brown Jug.   All stakes information will be available on The Meadowlands website in early January.   by Nick Salvi, for The Meadowlands        

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Last Saturday's (Nov. 23) TVG/Fall Final Four Night at the Meadowlands promised an evening of incredible racing featuring a galaxy of harness racing stars. And it delivered. The four TVG Finals for older horses yielded no winning favorites and left a somewhat blurry Horse of the Year picture even more out of focus. The biggest surprise of the night came early for the backers of 1-9 favorite Atlanta, who got gunned down by Emoticon Hanover after a thrilling stretch duel in 1:51.4, giving Emoticon a second straight TVG Mares Trot championship. In the TVG Open Pace, Always A Prince, being driven by Yannick Gingras for the first time, blasted down the road in a sizzling 1:48.2. Rallying for second was 2-1 public choice Bettor's Wish, whose record for 2019 now stands at 13 wins and six seconds from 19 starts. He is the leading money-earning horse in the sport this year with a bank account of $1.64 million and figures in the Horse of the Year conversation. Ake Svanstedt moved Six Pack at just the right moment and charged past 7-5 shot Manchego - who was seeking to beat the boys - in the TVG Open Trot in 1:50. It marked the final career start for Six Pack (the 3-2 second choice), who finished his career with 19 wins from 35 starts and earnings of $1.93 million. His 1:49.1 win in the 2018 Kentucky Futurity is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on the trot. The last of the TVG Finals - the Mares Pace - brought high drama, as 1-2 favorite Shartin N was looking to hang on to the top spot in the Horse of the Year race facing her arch-rival - and 3-1 second choice - Caviart Ally. The stretch duel was as thrilling as they get, and at the wire, Caviart Ally had her third consecutive win over Shartin N in a race of great significance (the Breeders Crown and Allerage were the other two), this time by a nose in 1:48.3. The Fall Final Four for 2-year-olds featured some pulse-pounding performances as well. Papi Rob Hanover was much the best as the 1-9 public choice in the Governor's Cup for colts and geldings on the pace while 1-2 favorite - and Breeders Crown champion - Amigo Volo went off stride early, paving the way for EL Ideal (3-1 second choice) to go wire-to-wire in the Valley Victory for male trotters. Senorita Rita, the even-money choice, got up just in time to catch Sister Sledge after a stretch battle in the Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters while 3-1 second choice JK First Lady powered home after rallying three-wide at three-quarters to take the Three Diamonds for filly pacers. Lyons Sentinel, the 1-2 public choice, finished third. In addition to Six Pack retiring, others making their final starts Saturday included Hannelore Hanover, a lifetime earner of over $3 million who goes out as one of the top female trotters in the history of the game; 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked, who finished fifth behind Always A Prince and completes his career with a staggering bankroll of $4.93 million; and 2018 Meadowlands Pace winner Courtly Choice, whose lifetime best of 1:47.1 came in the Big M's signature pacing event. TOUGH NIGHT FOR TOP 10: None of the seven horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 Poll who raced Saturday emerged victorious. In addition to No. 8 Atlanta, No. 2 Bettor's Wish, No. 10 McWicked, No. 5 Manchego and No. 1 Shartin N, No. 4 Warrawee Ubeaut - a 3-year-old who took on older - finished fourth in the TVG Mares Pace while No. 6 Gimpanzee - another sophomore that took on elders - finished fourth in the TVG Open Trot. LET THE DEBATE BEGIN: While Shartin N remains the favorite to take home the Horse of the Year trophy, there will no doubt be some voters who will cast their ballots elsewhere. In the Top 10 Poll that was released Tuesday, four horses received first-place votes: Shartin N (23), Bettor's Wish (8), Greenshoe (3) and Manchego (1). "The Meadowlands was proud to host an unforgettable night of racing," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "The TVG races showcased the best of the best and featured several much-anticipated matchups of top 3-year-olds taking on some of the outstanding older horses in training. We watched the stars of the future in the Fall Final Four and we said goodbye to some of our greatest stars who were honored in retirement ceremonies. The TVG Finals, in unison with the Fall Final Four, certainly was the perfect way to close out a sensational Meadowlands 2019 stakes season." ON THE CALENDAR: Racing resumes this weekend on Friday and Saturday with a first-race post time of 7:15 p.m. This will be the last two-card race week of the year as during the month of December, racing will be conducted on a thrice weekly basis, Thursday through Saturday. ... On Nov. 29, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. ... Bring your appetite on Saturday (Nov. 30), for the Big M's third annual Pork Roll Eating Contest. First prize is $500. TOYS FOR TOTS: Come on out to the track on Monday (Dec. 2) and bring an unwrapped toy for a child at Harlem Grown. Not only will you help a youngster have a happy holiday, but you will also get to greet New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa - the honorary Captain of the 2019 Toys for Tots Campaign - as the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots Annual Holiday Toy Drive Reception takes place at the Meadowlands. FOX5 sportscaster Tina Cervasio will host the event, where some of Enunwa's Jets teammates are expected to attend. For those who cannot make it but would like to help, they can bring a new, unwrapped toy to the track between now and the night of the event. FANDUEL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Here is the holiday operating schedule for the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook: Thanksgiving Day: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Christmas Day: Closed New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. New Year's Day: 10 a.m. - 1 a.m. For more information, go to playmeadowlands.com/fanduel. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

For the third time this season, Caviart Ally has nosed out world champion Shartin N, this time in the $175,000 final of the TVG Series for old harness racing pacing mares. It took the photo finish camera to declare the winner at the Meadowlands Saturday. Shartin N and driver Tim Tetrick took the lead after the opening quarter mile while Caviart Ally and driver Andy McCarthy were content to sit in second place until the stretch drive. Going head and head to the wire, Caviart Ally came on to win by a nose in a stakes record clocking of 1:48.3. KIssin In The Sand was third. Trained by Brett Pelling for Caviart Farms of Vienna, VA, it was the ninth win this year for the five-year-old mare by Bettor's Delight. She paid $8.80 to win. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink ;

Six Pack made the final harness racing start of his career a special one, setting a track record Saturday at the Meadowlands in capturing the $350,000 TVG Horse Trot Final with a track record 1:50 victory. Trained and driven to victory by Ake Svanstedt, Six Pack was able to gun down the filly, Manchego, at the wire. Guardian Angel AS was third. Six Pack paid 5.00 to win. Six Pack, a four-year-old stallion by Muscle Mass, is co-owned by Svanstedt, Little E Stable and Stall Kalmar & L. He will stand stud in 2020 in New Jersey at the Deo Volente Farm. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink 

Always A Prince and driver Yannick Gingras stole the show in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace Final Saturday at the Meadowlands. Starting from post eight, Yannick sent the four-year-old gelding by Always A Virgin right to the front and never looked back. The duo held the field at bay and then pulled away in the stretch for a 1:48.2 triumph. He is trained by Tyler George and is owned by Carl and Melanie Atley of Xenia, Ohio. He paid $12.00 to win. Bettor's Wish was second with American History third. "It was the first time I ever drove him was tonight," said Yannick Gingras. "He was really nice to drive." by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

With a strong closing effort, Emoticon Hanover and driver Dan Dube upset the 1/9 favorite Atlanta in winning the $175,000 TVG Mares Trot Final at the Meadowlands Saturday. Hannelore Hanover was third. The time of the race was 1:51.4, which tied the harness racing stakes record now co-held by Emoticon Hanover with Hannelore Hanover. Emoticon Hanover went off at odds of 7-1 and paid $16.40 to win. She won by a long neck. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Prior to second-place finishes in October's Allerage and Breeders Crown events for harness racing mare pacers, Shartin N had never lost consecutive starts during her North American racing career, a span of 39 races. So, trainer Jim King Jr. breathed a little easier when Shartin N snapped that skid with a win in last week's invitational for fillies and mares at Dover Downs. The 6-year-old mare, who was slowed by sickness in September, won by 2-1/4 lengths over Kissin In The Sand in 1:49.4. "That's for sure," King said. "It was concerning, trying to figure out what I might have done wrong or what else I could have done to have her back in shape. She certainly appeared in her last start to get back to being Shartin again. Everything appears to be back in order. That's how it appears. She'll have to let us know come Saturday night." Shartin N races Saturday in the $175,000 TVG Mare Pace championship at The Meadowlands, where she is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field that includes Allerage and Breeders Crown winner Caviart Ally as well as 3-year-old standout Warrawee Ubeaut. It will be Shartin N's final race of the season. The mare has won 15 of 18 starts, earned $940,177, and been ranked No. 1 in the sport's Top 10 poll for each of its 26 weeks so far. A win in the TVG would push her over $1 million for the second consecutive year; she was the first pacing mare to ever break that barrier in 2018. Shartin N will start from post one with regular driver Tim Tetrick. Caviart Ally, who leaves from post seven in the nine-horse field, is 7-2 on the morning line and Warrawee Ubeaut, the first filly to enter the TVG Mare Pace, is 4-1 from post four. "Her biggest issue is she's just a filly," King said about Warrawee Ubeaut. "I know it's late in the year, so she's almost what you would consider an aged horse, but the fact is she's still a 3-year-old and I don't remember seeing 3-year-olds doing what aged horses do. But the second half of her year has been very good. I could see why they would want to (enter). "A lot of people wanted to see Shartin go with the boys, but I don't think that's the right way to go myself. But everybody does it their own way." Shartin N has won 41 of 55 career races and $2.06 million. Since arriving in North America, she has won 34 of 42 starts and $1.99 million. In 2018, she started at least once in every month January through November. This year, she started at least once in every month March through November. She will return to the races in 2020 for owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, and Tetrick. "We're very much looking forward to it," King said. "We've had two long seasons in a row here, but she's a pretty tough girl." The TVG Mare Pace is part of a stakes-filled Saturday card at The Meadowlands. Following is a brief look at the remainder of the stakes action. $175,000 TVG Mare Trot (Race 2): Atlanta is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in a five-horse field that includes retiring 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover, O'Brien Award winner Emoticon Hanover, and 3-year-old filly Beautiful Sin. $401,850 Governor's Cup (Race 4): Papi Rob Hanover, fresh off his Matron Stakes win, is the 3-5 favorite in the race for 2-year-old male pacers. Cattlewash, the Matron runner-up, is 4-1 second choice. $505,050 Valley Victory (Race 5): Breeders Crown champion Amigo Volo is the 8-5 favorite in the race for 2-year-old male trotters. Kindergarten Classic Series winner EL Ideal is 3-1 second pick. $475,100 Goldsmith Maid (Race 6): Kindergarten champ Senorita Rita is the 2-1 favorite, with Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ and Breeders Crown runner-up Sister Sledge at 5-2 in the field of eight 2-year-old filly trotters. $350,000 TVG Open Pace (Race 8): Bettor's Wish, a 3-year-old colt facing older male foes, is the 3-1 favorite. He leads the sport with $1.56 million in purses this year and has finished no worse than second in 18 starts, with 13 wins. Retiring 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked is 7-2 and Breeders Crown champion American History is 9-2. $411,000 Three Diamonds (Race 9): Matron Stakes winner Lyons Sentinel received a bye to the final and is the 2-1 favorite in the field of 2-year-old filly pacers. Elimination winner JK First Lady is 7-2 and Kindergarten champ Marloe Hanover is 9-2. $350,000 TVG Open Trot (Race 10): Machego, the fastest female trotter in history and winner of six consecutive starts, is the 2-1 favorite. Three-year-old Gimpanzee, a Breeders Crown and Matron winner, is 5-2 followed by retiring Dan Patch Award winner Six Pack at 3-1 and Maple Leaf Trot champ Guardian Angel AS at 4-1. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EST) Saturday at The Meadowlands. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Warrawee Ubeaut and Beautiful Sin will make harness racing history Saturday when they become the first 3-year-old fillies to compete against mares in the TVG championships at The Meadowlands. Their connections hope they can add to their stories with victories in their respective races. Neither horse faces an easy assignment. Warrawee Ubeaut meets a field in the $175,000 Mare Pace that includes the sport's No. 1-ranked horse, Shartin N, and Breeders Crown winner Caviart Ally. Beautiful Sin takes on a group in the $175,000 Mare Trot that includes No. 8-ranked Atlanta, 2018 O'Brien Award winner Emoticon Hanover, and 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover. Warrawee Ubeaut, who saw an eight-race win streak snapped Nov. 14 in the Matron Stakes, and driver Yannick Gingras will start the Mare Pace from post four and are 4-1 on the morning line. Shartin N is the 9-5 favorite and Caviart Ally is 7-2. For the year, Warrawee Ubeaut has won 12 of 18 races, earned $937,170, and is ranked No. 4 in harness racing's Top 10 poll. Her victories include the Breeders Crown and Jugette. The Ron Burke trainee shares the world record for a 3-year-old filly pacer on a half-mile track (1:50.1) and last season became the fastest 2-year-old pacer in history (1:48.3). She is a daughter of Sweet Lou out of Great Memories and owned by Burke Racing, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. "She's as fast as any horse I've trained," Burke said. "It's not a question of whether they're going to out-pace her, she can pace with anybody. It's going to be a question of getting the right trip to beat them because they are very good horses. There are a lot of horses that like to be on the front or near the front in that race. Something is going to have to give. "I don't think it's going to be like in the past where they lined up and sprinted home. I think you're going to see a race where there is constant movement. It depends where she ends up. There is going to be at least one person that is going to rightly say that they got a terrible trip because we're not all going to get a good trip. I'm anxious to see how that works out." Burke also trains Mare Pace entrants Youaremycandygirl and Reclamation. Beautiful Sin starts the Mare Trot from post three in a field of five and is 5-1 on the morning line. Trainer Ake Svanstedt will handle the driving. A daughter of Muscle Hill out of Sina, she is owned by S R F Stable. She has won two of 11 races this season, including the Kentucky Filly Futurity, which made her eligible to enter the TVG. "It's a tough race for her," Svanstedt said. "It's her first time against older mares but she is good and now she can race without shoes and I think she is much better without shoes. It's always tough for a 3-year-old to go against the mares but she's fast and she's a good horse. We'll see what she can do." Svanstedt also sends Darling Mearas S into the Mare Trot. Dexter Dunn will drive the 6-year-old mare from post five. She is 7-2 on the morning line. Atlanta, trained by Burke, is the 6-5 favorite in the Mare Trot. She won the preferred last week at The Meadowlands, her eighth win in 14 starts this year. "I was thrilled with her," Burke said. "She was as good as she's been all year, maybe even better. I look for her to come back and be very good this week." Hannelore Hanover, who has won 46 of 86 lifetime starts and $3.04 million, will retire following the TVG Mare Trot. Also retiring following their TVG starts will be trotter Six Pack and pacers McWicked, who was the 2018 Horse of the Year, and Courtly Choice. Burke, who recently topped $20 million in purses for the seventh consecutive year, has at least one starter in each TVG final and Fall Final Four, a total of 12 horses in all. Dorsoduro Hanover, a Dan Patch Award winner last season at 3, is 8-1 in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace. He finished fourth in the Potomac Pace in his most recent start but was beaten by only a length. "He's really been good the last few," Burke said. "Even in the Potomac, he had pace, he just couldn't get to the outside. I like his spot (post six); he's in a spot where he can be aggressive. I think we have a shot there." Burke's Sister Sledge is the 5-2 second choice behind Senorita Rita (2-1) in the $475,100 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters and his Cattlewash is the 4-1 second choice in the $401,850 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, where Papi Rob Hanover is the 3-5 favorite. "If Papi Rob wasn't in there I'd love my chances," Burke said. "But I think Papi Rob is significantly better than the rest of us, all of us. "Sister Sledge I think has got a great shot. She's been great all year." Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EST) Saturday at The Meadowlands. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

As reported by Trot Insider and via Casie Coleman-Herlihy, the richest pacing stallion in harness racing history, McWicked, will make his final career start in the TVG Open Pace this Saturday (Nov. 23) at The Meadowlands. Coleman-Herlihy told Trot Insider that owner Ed James made the decision to shut the eight-year-old down on Thursday. "Ed phoned me just a bit ago and made his decision," said Coleman from her Florida base of operations. "He's been humming and hawing on what to do and whether to race or stand [stud]. Originally he told me that he'd race in the TVG Final Saturday and then make up his mind after that. But he just called and said it's going to be his last start Saturday." A winner of the 2014 Dan Patch and O'Brien Awards as three-year-old male pacer of the year, McWicked was the best horse in harness racing in 2018 and swept horse of the year honours in both Canada and the U.S., becoming the oldest pacer to win the U.S. Horse of the Year title. A winner of the Adios, Breeders Crown, Max Hempt, PASS Championship and Progress Pace as a sophomore, McWicked rebounded from throat surgery and battled through foot issues to capture virtually every major stakes event for older pacers. In the seasons between 2017 and 2019 McWicked prevailed in the Mohawk Gold Cup, the Jim Ewart Memorial (twice), the Ben Franklin, the William Haughton Memorial, the Gerrity Memorial, the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Allerage Open Pace (twice), the Roll With Joe, the Dan Rooney Invitational (twice), the Breeders Crown and the TVG Open Pace. His 2018 bankroll of $1.662 million made him the oldest horse to top North American harness racing's earnings standings at the age of seven. With another million-dollar season in 2019, McWicked boasts earnings of $5,086,646 in his stellar career. The start on Saturday will be his 110th, with a summary of 40-26-16 competing almost exclusively in stakes competition. The son of McArdle - Western Sahara sports a mark of 1:46.2, the third fastest race win time ever. The future home of McWicked is yet to be determined, with a number of states and provinces as possible locations for stud duty. "He does have many stud farms on the table, he's got many, many options of farms that want to take him," said Coleman. "Now [Ed's] got to sit down and talk to them and decide which one seems best." Coleman gave credit to James for keeping the horse on the track, giving both her and the fans the chance to see a superstar continue to compete when many lucrative stud offers were presented over the years. "You're never going to replace his stall, that's for sure. I've had a lot of nice horses over the years but never one that's made $5 million and races week in and week out, year after year like him. He's eight years old and still winning top open stakes, just won Horse of the Year at seven, it's just absolutely impossible [to replace]. "My first big horse was American Ideal and I thought 'I'll never get one as good as him again' and we've been very fortunate, we've had many that have came since him. Saying that, most of them when they're this top level go to stud after their three-year-old year we don't see them anymore. Ed James was willing to keep this horse racing year after year after year and we got to see late into his eight-year-old year. It was a lot of fun. Having that horse in the barn, you're never going to fill that stall again, it leaves a big empty void no doubt." Coleman's next crop of potential superstars are currently in training in Florida, including 10 from the first crop of 2016 Horse of the Year Betting Line, as well as half-brothers to Sportswriter and Captain Crunch. As hopeful as one can be with that talent, Coleman is fully aware that McWicked will be nearly impossible to replace. "I can't say enough about the horse...Even though he's a stud, he's a nice stud. He makes a lot of noise but he's a pleasure to have around the barn. It's definitely going to suck not seeing him anymore." McWicked will not only leave a void in Coleman's stable, he'll leave a void on the racetrack in the older pacing division as well. The trainer noted that she's never had a horse with such a fan following. "It's crazy how many people stop by the paddock and see him, they send me messages on Facebook asking if they can come to the barn and see the horse. It was cool to be a part of and I'm sorry to all the fans that they're not going to see him on the track anymore." The last chance to see McWicked on the racetrack comes this Saturday at The Meadowlands Racetrack. McWicked has drawn post four in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace, a race he won decisively a year ago. After a sick scratch from the 2019 Potomac Pace, McWicked qualified last Saturday at The Meadowlands to prepare for Saturday's start. Regular pilot Brian Sears guided McWicked to a third-place finish behind fellow TVG starter Geez Joe, with his mile individually timed in 1:52.2. "I admit, watching the qualifier I wasn't happy with it. I wasn't there, I was watching it at home here in Florida. But once I talked to Brian, he said 'listen, I never spoke to him once' and he didn't get to score him down because it's a qualifier, he went right to the gate, and he just came off five days antibiotics." Coleman couldn't recall the last time McWicked had a high temperature like the one that forced him to miss the Potomac, and the pacing powerhouse understandably wasn't at 100 percent in that qualifier. "Saying that, he trained much much better on Tuesday, his blood's way better, he's been off the antibiotics for a full week and he's feeling good. He's sharp, he's sound and he's healthy...I like the way everything looks. No I don't think he's 100 percent normal McWicked but I do think he's good enough to give a good showing of himself and hopefully go out with a win. I wouldn't put him in the race if I thought he wasn't right; he's definitely ready to go." From Trot Insider

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The final true monster card on harness racing's 2019 calendar takes place Saturday (Nov. 23) night, when just over $2.8 million in purses will be up for grabs in eight stakes events on Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night at the Meadowlands. Seven of the horses in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll will be in action. In three events, two of those horses will go head-to-head. The 6-year-old super mare Shartin N (No. 1 in the poll), the presumptive leader in the Horse of the Year race, will take on the top 3-year-old filly in training, Warrawee Ubeaut (No. 4), in the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace. A win by Shartin N puts her on the inside track for the HOTY hardware, a loss could put that award up for grabs. Bettor's Wish (No. 2) is another 3-year-old who will take on older foes, as he'll tackle defending Horse of the Year McWicked (No. 10) in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace. Bettor's Wish is off an impressive score in the Matron in 1:49.2 and is harness racing's high money-earner this year, with a bankroll of just over $1.5 million. A TVG win would undoubtedly help his Horse of the Year cause, but he would have to beat the standout who sealed up last year's HOTY trophy (McWicked) in the very same event last November. The final matchup of Top 10 horses comes when the sport's hottest horse, the great mare Manchego (No. 5), a winner of six in a row, takes on the boys in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot. Standing in her way will be double New York Sire Stakes and double Breeders Crown champion Gimpanzee (No. 6), who has banked $1.1 million in 2019. Atlanta (No. 8) is the other Top 10 member who will be on the card. She'll be a short price in the $175,000 TVG Mares Trot off an easy win in a prep at the Big M in 1:52.2. One of the great trotting mares of all time - Atlanta's Ron Burke stablemate Hannelore Hanover - a lifetime earner of more than $3 million, will also be behind the gate making the final start of her stellar career. The four TVG events are just half the story. The Fall Final Four races - all for 2-year-olds with divisional honor impact - include the $401,850 Governor's Cup for pacing colts and geldings (where Papi Rob Hanover is the 3-5 early favorite); $505,050 Valley Victory for trotting colts and geldings (Breeders Crown winner Amigo Volo is 8-5); $475,100 Goldsmith Maid for trotting fillies (Senorita Rita is 2-1); and $411,00 Three Diamonds for pacing fillies (Lyons Sentinel is 2-1). EARLY START, BIG ACTION: The Saturday night program, which will have an earlier-than-usual first race post time of 7 p.m., features an enhanced wagering menu. It will include: 20-cent Survivor Pick-6 (Races 1-6) $40,000 guaranteed 50-cent Pick-5 (Races 3-7) $75,000 guaranteed 50-cent Pick-4 (Races 8-11) Rolling Pick-3s GETTING IT DUNN: Driver Dexter Dunn's star continues to rise, as the regular pilot for horses such as Manchego and Bettor's Wish has been red hot during November at the Meadowlands, winning 17-of-60 drives, good for a gaudy win percentage of 28. Yannick Gingras and Tim Tetrick have more than earned their keep as well, as both have nine victories through the first three weeks of the month with still four November race cards remaining. TOYS FOR TOTS: Come on out to the track on Monday, Dec. 2 and bring an unwrapped toy for a child at Harlem Grown. Not only will you help a youngster have a happy holiday, but you will also get to greet New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa - the honorary Captain of the 2019 Toys for Tots Campaign - as the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots Annual Holiday Toy Drive Reception takes place at the Meadowlands. FOX5 sportscaster Tina Cervasio will host the event, where some of Enunwa's Jets teammates are expected to attend. For those who cannot make it but would like to help, they can bring a new, unwrapped toy to the track between now and the night of the event. FANDUEL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: With Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 28) just a week away, here is the holiday operating schedule for the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook: Thanksgiving Day: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Christmas Day: Closed New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. New Year's Day: 10 a.m. - 1 a.m. For more information, go to playmeadowlands.com/fanduel. GIVING OUT THANKS: "On behalf of Jeff Gural and I, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our employees, horsemen and officials for all they do to help us maintain a great racing product. I would also like to wish our faithful fans a joyous Thanksgiving holiday. This is a time for family and friends, and I sincerely hope everybody gets to spend some quality time with the special people in their lives," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. From the Meadowlands Media Department    

It's been decades since a 3-year-old male pacer beat older harness racing horses in a race the magnitude of Saturday's $350,000 TVG Open Pace championship at The Meadowlands, but Bettor's Wish is ready to give it a go. Gimpanzee, on the other hand, will attempt to continue a win streak for 3-year-old male trotters in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot final. The past two editions of the championship were won by sophomores, Tactical Landing in 2018 and What The Hill in 2017. The TVG open finals are part of a stakes-filled card Saturday at the Big M. There also are TVG championships for trotting mares and pacing mares plus the Fall Final Four for 2-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EST). Bettor's Wish is this year's richest horse, with $1.56 million in purses. He has won 13 of 18 races and finished second in all five of his defeats (the past four by no more than a neck). He heads to the TVG Open Pace off a victory in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers Nov. 14 at Dover Downs. The most recent 3-year-old male pacer to knock off older foes in a major race was Niatross, who won the American Pacing Classic at Hollywood Park in 1980. The only 3-year-old to previously enter the TVG Open Pace final was Captaintreacherous, who finished sixth in 2013. "I hope to win it," said Chris Ryder, who trains and co-owns Bettor's Wish. "Honestly, I never put my expectations too high. That's the way I started in the business, and that's the way I am. But this horse always, I don't want to say exceeds my expectations, but he always gets there. He gives you a lot of confidence. I'm never nervous racing this horse, he's just a high achiever. "If we could win it, it would be huge. I know it's a risk, but no risk, no gain. Things don't happen if you don't try. I'm just excited to be in. To think at the beginning of the season that we would have been in with the big boys at the end of the year, you never would have thought that. But he's earned his way in, all credit to him." Bettor's Wish, by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, will start the TVG final from post seven with driver Dexter Dunn. The 10-horse field includes returning event champion McWicked, who also is the defending Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Breeders Crown winner American History, Potomac Pace winner Endeavor, and Canadian Pacing Derby winner Courtly Choice. "We're just pleased to be in it, pleased that we're well, and that's it," said Ryder, who owns Bettor's Wish with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. "He's as good as ever." Gimpanzee will start the TVG Open Trot from post two with Brian Sears driving for trainer Marcus Melander. The colt faces a group that includes history's fastest female trotter, Manchego, and one of history's fastest male trotters, Six Pack, as well as Maple Leaf Trot winner Guardian Angel AS. "It will be an exciting race to watch," Melander said. "I don't know what to expect. I know my horse is very good at the moment. I think he's coming into the race very sharp. "It's been a long season for all these horses, so you never know. But I'm confident in my horse. I think he can step up and win this race, otherwise I wouldn't have put him in the race. I didn't want to be in the race just to be in it. I believe he is capable to win the race, but it's going to be tough." Gimpanzee, who was the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, has won eight of 13 races this season and $1.10 million. The son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows, owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, enters the TVG off wins in the Breeders Crown in October and Matron Stakes on Nov. 14. "He came out of the Matron very good," Melander said. "We trained him (Wednesday) morning and everything felt good. I'm pleased with him. "We got a good draw. You never know when you're racing against aged horses, but I was really happy with how my horse performed last week. He showed, at least, that he's in good form. There were some nice 3-year-olds in that race, and he won pretty easily." Manchego will arrive at The Meadowlands with a six-race win streak, which includes her 1:49 world-record triumph at the Allerage Mare Trot at Lexington's Red Mile and the Breeders Crown Mare Trot final. Six Pack, who owns a career mark of 1:49.1 and season mark of 1:49.2, won the Allerage Open Trot and finished second from post 10 to French star Bold Eagle in the Breeders Crown. For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (Nov. 7) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Joe Bongiorno, Jessica Otten, Tim Tetrick, and Andrew Demsky Bongiorno drove his first Breeders Crown champion home in American History at Woodbine Mohawk Park a few weeks back, and now he will get the chance to take down a TVG Open Pacing Final with him Saturday night at The Meadowlands. He will discuss him and Diva's Image (TVG Mares) with the pair, and how they have been training leading up to stakes action on Saturday. Otten will join the program to discuss each of the championship races featured on Saturday night's program. It is an action packed program filled with great racing, that has Horse of the Year implications on the line. She will talk about all of the happenings at The Meadowlands on Saturday and what fans on track can expect. Tetrick has a slew of drives on Saturday night at The Meadowlands, including world-champion Shartin N who has her eyes set on Horse of the Year honors. The pair will discuss the year with Tetrick, and also talk about his drives throughout the program. Demskey, from the PHRA joins to discuss wagering strategies in harness racing and the PHRA's Wagering Warriors which has taken shape at many of the tracks across the state. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time  

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

Hightstown, NJ — The harness racing draws for Saturday’s (Nov. 23) TVG championships and Fall Final Four at The Meadowlands were conducted Tuesday afternoon at the Big M. Accepting invitations to challenge older foes in the TVG championships were 3-year-olds Beautiful Sin (Mare Trot), Gimpanzee (Open Trot), Warrawee Ubeaut (Mare Pace) and Bettor’s Wish (Open Pace). Three-year-olds have won the past two editions of the TVG Open Trot (Tactical Landing in 2018 and What The Hill in 2017). Beautiful Sin is the first 3-year-old filly trotter to enter the Mare Trot and Warrawee Ubeaut is the first 3-year-old filly pacer to enter the Mare Pace. Bettor’s Wish is the second 3-year-old male pacer to enter the Open Pace. Captaintreacherous was the first, finishing sixth in 2013. In addition, trotting mare Manchego will tackle male rivals in the Open Trot. First-race post time is 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. Following are the draws. $175,000 TVG Mare Trot 1 – Atlanta 2 – Emoticon Hanover 3 – Beautiful Sin 4 – Hannelore Hanover 5 – Darling Mearas S $350,000 TVG Open Trot 1 – Six Pack 2 – Gimpanzee 3 – Mission Accepted 4 – Fiftydallarbill 5 – Manchego 6 – Guardian Angel AS 7 – Lindy The Great $175,000 TVG Mare Pace 1 – Shartin N 2 – Youaremycandygirl 3 – Apple Bottom Jeans 4 – Warrawee Ubeaut 5 – Kissin In The Sand 6 – Divas Image 7 – Caviart Ally 8 – Reclamation 9 – Wisdom Tree $350,000 TVG Open Pace 1 – American History 2 – Endeavor 3 – Courtly Choice 4 – McWicked 5 – Dealt A Winner 6 – Dorsoduro Hanover 7 – Bettor’s Wish 8 – Always A Prince 9 – Western Joe 10 – Geez Joe $505,000 Valley Victory 1 – Book Seven 2 – Amigo Volo 3 – St Martins 4 – Moveoutofmyway K 5 – EL Ideal 6 – Ready For Moni 7 – Southwind Fulton 8 – Chestnut Hill 9 – Rome Pays Off 10 – Patriarch Hanover $475,100 Goldsmith Maid 1 – Sister Sledge 2 – Senorita Rita 3 – Hall Of AM S 4 – Winter Olympics 5 – Queen Of The Hill 6 – Common Sense S 7 – Musclesandmascara 8 – Tricky Sister $401,850 Governor’s Cup 1 – Lake Charles 2 – Cattlewash 3 – Father Nuno 4 – Papi Rob Hanover 5 – Captain Groovy 6 – Mac’s Big Boy $411,000 Three Diamonds 1 – JK Finendandy 2 – The Bethinator 3 – Hen Party 4 – Marloe Hanover 5 – JK First Lady 6 – Lyons Sentinel 7 – Baby Your The Best 8 – Perfect Storm 9 – Looksgoodinaromper 10 – Rocknificent by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

The harness racing entries and post positions will be revealed for the TVG Finals and Fall Final Four during a live post position draw on Tuesday, November 19th at 12:30 pm. The event will be streamed exclusively on the Meadowlands Racetrack Facebook page. Fans should be sure to "Like" the Facebook page in order to view the stream.   The lineup on Saturday, November 23 for Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night is a stacked one. The four events for 2-year-olds are the $505,050 Valley Victory for trotting colts and geldings, $475,100 Goldsmith Maid for trotting fillies, $401,850 Governor's Cup for pacing colts and geldings and $411,000 Three Diamonds for pacing fillies. In addition, some of the sport's biggest names will be on the track in four TVG Finals. They include the $350,000 Open Pace, $175,000 Mares Pace, $350,000 Open Trot and $175,000 Mares Trot. Purses for the eight races total $2,843,000. Post time is 7pm. From the Meadowlands Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Atlanta tuned up for next week's TVG Mares Trot by winning the Saturday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands in dominant fashion. The fastest trotter in Big M history by virtue of her 1:49.1 clocking on July 6 of this year, Atlanta toyed with a talented field in the mile oval's featured $30,000 Preferred for trotters. Sent to the gate as the 3-5 public choice, driver Yannick Gingras put Atlanta on the early lead, hitting the quarter in :27.3. After a sleepy second fraction of :29.4 followed, it was all but over right then and there. The 4-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip never had an anxious moment, hitting the finish 2¼ lengths in front of the pocket-sitting-throughout Guardian Angel As in 1:52.2. Southwind Chrome rallied for third. The winner returned $3.40 to her backers. "I couldn't be happier with her," said Gingras. "She trotted right to the wire better than she has in a little while." "The track wasn't playing super fast," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "There might have been a bias against horses racing on the front end. It's the best performance Atlanta has had on the front this year. We could not have asked for anything more. She was straight all the way to the wire. I can't take anything bad out of the race." Atlanta has now won 20 of her 38 career starts and earned $1,866,889 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. Atlanta's stablemate, Hannelore Hanover, raced first over at the half but never threatened before weakening and finishing last in the field of eight. The lifetime earner of more than $3 million, who will face Atlanta when she makes her final career start in the TVG Mares Trot on Nov. 23, had some problems in her next-to-last race. "She bled again," said Burke of Hannelore Hanover. "It happens intermittently. That's why she's not who she was before. She's not the same because of it. That's why it's time to call it quits. We'll treat her this week and she'll be better on Saturday." A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the card. ... Dexter Dunn stayed hot, as after winning three on the Friday card, he won three more on Saturday. ... Favorites ruled for a second straight night as eight post-time choices won Saturday after a half-dozen scored on Friday. ... The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 paid $4,060.24 to the pair of players who lasted eight legs. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,412,658. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

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