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LEBANON, OH - Shards Halo N (Trace Tetrick) became the latest "newbie" to win the weekly harness racing featured $22,500 Open Mares Pace at Miami Valley. The ten-year-old New Zealand bred daughter of American Ideal, at least three years older than all of her nine adversaries, scored in 1:51.4 over Play For Pay (Kayne Kauffman) and Talkaboutaqueen (Brett Miller). The mild favorite was making just her seventh start since the beginning of 2020, but increased her lifetime win total to 24 and raised her career bounty to $176,018. Shards Halo N, owned by trainer Tyler George and Scott George, was the fifth different winner of the top distaff race at Miami Valley in recent weeks. Play For Pay put up all the fractions (:26.4, :55.4 and 1:23.2) before Tetrick and Shards Halo N swept to the front midway down the stretch during the :28.2 final panel.   Favorites won both divisions of the final preliminary leg of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series for non-winners of four pacing mares, setting the stage for next week's $25,000 championship showdown. Keystone Eureka (Tetrick, 1:53.3, $2.20) was a handy winner over Better Days Ahead (Mitch Cushing) and My Lady Dude (Josh Sutton) in the first split. Coupled with a second place finish in the first leg, the four-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere will be highly regarded when the finalists answer the call to post. Ryan Miller trains the winner for the Miller Racing Stable, Inc. Coconut Beach (Tyler Smith, 1:52.2, $4.80) extended her win streak to three by topping Ellagator (Miller) and Anthem (Cushing). Jeff Brewer owns and trains the four-year-old daughter of Art Major who is also likely to attract the attention of a multitude of handicappers working next Friday's series finale. The nine mares who will comprise the Coven Memorial final field are: Coconut Beach, Keystone Eureka, Anthem, Real Rockin Ravi, Better Days Ahead, Ellagator, Smoknthemnbluejeans, Sara Jane and Harper. Racing resumes Saturday (March 6) at Miami Valley with a 4:05 p.m. post time. Two open paces and four divisions of the final preliminary leg of the George Williams Memorial Series will be featured. For full results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - A pair of $30,000 claiming paces highlighted the first day (Sunday, Jan. 3) of the 2021 harness racing meet at Miami Valley Raceway with driver Trace Tetrick and trainer Tyler George winning both of the $15,750 purse events. Secret Threat copped the lidlifter in 1:52.4 over Never Say Never N (Josh Sutton) and Hal N Sammy (Tyler Smith) in what proved to be the quickest mile of the day. Trainer Tyler George co-owns the nine-year-old son of Palone Hanover, who won for the 35th time in his career boosting his lifetime earnings to over $340,000. In the 12th of 14 dashes on the day, Tetrick and George were back in the winner's circle with Voracity, an eight-year-old son of Sportsmaster. It was the 23rd tally for the winner and increased his total bounty to over $630,000. Brian and Ira Wallach own Voracity, who will join Secret Threat as one of the favorites when a $30,000 "Claim To Fame" series commences at Miami Valley next Sunday (Jan. 10). Tetrick lead all drivers on opening day with a Grand Slam. In addition to Secret Threat and Voracity, the 34-year-old green and gold clad reinsman won with Friskiesonaroll (1:56.4, $7.60) and Golden Paradise (1:55.3, $3). Dan Noble and Josh Sutton had driving doubles with Jeremy Smith, Sam Widger, Randy Tharps, Brett Miller, Sandy Beatty and LeWayne Miller all getting their initial victories on the year. The Miami Valley handle of $604,280 was its best opening day to begin its eighth season of live racing. Racing resumes at Miami Valley on Monday (Jan. 4) and Tuesday (Jan. 5) afternoons with 2:05 p.m. post times. Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - In a thrilling race that wasn't decided until the final strides, Checks On The Way (Trace Tetrick) topped Sugar Dance (Brett Miller) in the featured harness racing $16,700 Open Mares Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday (Dec. 18).   The winning 5-year-old daughter of Believeinbruiser, who eclipsed the $100,000 seasonal earnings plateau, settled in third during the opening :27 quarter, then launched a first-over attack before the :55.3 midway point in the race.   Although Checks On The Way inched closer before the third quarter beam was tripped in 1:22.3, it wasn't until the stretch was reached that she stuck her head in front. Sugar Dance, foraying into Open company for the first time, dug down deep throughout the stretch duel and the outcome wasn't obvious until the final second of the 1:51.2 battle.   Scott and trainer Tyler George own the 28 time winner, who has raced 96 times in four years.   Checks On The Way   Gregg Keidel  

Anderson, IN - Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino closed the curtain on its 27th season of live harness racing on Saturday, November 21. In conjunction with a dynamic 14-race card, the leading driver and leading trainer honors were awarded. Driver Trace Tetrick took home his ninth leading driver title and trainer Tyler George broke through a competitive group to take home his first title. Tetrick seemed to have his sights set on the leading driver honors as soon as the 2020 meet kicked off, spending the rest of the season bolstering his lead on his competitors to earn 273 seasonal wins in his 1311 starts. As it has been in seasons past, the top 3 drivers consisted of Tetrick, Sam Widger and John DeLong. Widger held the silver title with 165 wins from 1202 starts while DeLong took third with 145 wins from 1096 starts. Taking home his seventh consecutive leading driver title, Tetrick currently resides in fifth place for top drivers nationwide with his 386 this season. Since 2008, the Illinois native has continually earned over $2 million a season, contributing to those lifetime earnings of $61,086,842. Tetrick has driven three Breeders Crown victors, sitting behind Freaky Feet Pete in 2015, as well as Blazin Britches and Fiftydallarbill in 2017. "Getting to come in and drive great horses for great trainers and owners makes my job fun," Tetrick chuckled in the winner's circle. "I just remember that every night's a new night and it's important to come back fresh the next day. It's a privilege to get to race here in such a great environment." When asked what goals he has set for himself? "I am already looking toward that 10th title," he said. In years past, Jamie Macomber and Jeff Cullipher owned the battle for the leading trainer title but after a hallmark season, Tyler George bested the two with his 70 wins from 233 starts. Macomber and Cullipher tied for second with 60 wins each. While George has been training since 2004, he began consistently bringing in over $1 million in yearly earnings in 2016. The Ohio native is no stranger to the Indiana Sires Stakes circuit, training horses like Golden Paradise and Always A Prince. While 2020's earnings sat just under 1 million at $932,957, George has had a standout year earning a 30% win clip as well as recording his 1000th training win at Hoosier Park in September. "I feel like this is such an accomplishment," George noted. "This is a very competitive track to race, so I'm grateful to have such a great team who puts all their time and effort into the game. I'm very proud to have earned this title." The Saturday night program wrapped up an extremely successful season at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino would like to thank all of the fans, bettors and horsemen who helped make the 2020 season at Hoosier Park an overwhelming success. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Harrah's Hoosier Park      

What a difference a year makes. Last January, the female harness racing pacer Golden Paradise was competing in the Claim to Fame Series at Miami Valley Raceway. This January, she is already a two-time winner of the fillies-and-mares open at the same track, where on Friday she will try to capture her third in a row. And, in between, she won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship for pacing mares. So, it's safe to say trainer/co-owner Tyler George is very grateful Golden Paradise was not claimed a year ago. "No kidding," George said with a laugh. "I would have been kicking myself, that's for sure." Golden Paradise, a 6-year-old daughter of Allthatgltrsisgold out of Paradise Island who began her career on the Indiana fairs circuit, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Friday's $22,500 fillies-and-mares open handicap. She will start from the outside, post No. 7, with driver Trace Tetrick. For her career, Golden Paradise has won 30 of 86 races and $259,302. Her current ownership group, made up of George, Sam Schillaci, and Wrenn Jr. Racing, came together in November 2018. After working with the mare to resolve tying-up issues and changing her routine, she began to click on a more consistent basis. Since the beginning of 2019, she has won 12 of 28 starts and $157,675. "She hasn't really changed physically much," George said. "She calmed down a little bit, just kind of matured. She's become a professional. We've had some nice mares that are faster than her, but she just never has a bad day. She just always puts in a good effort every time. "I really appreciate that about her. She's very consistent. And she's very easy to drive. Trace said the other day he could drive her with no handholds right now. That's hard to find. Plus, she's very versatile. She'll race just as well off a trip as if you put her in play." Golden Paradise's current form shows three wins and two seconds, both by a head, in her past five races. George, who was among the horse's trainers prior to owning the mare with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Schillaci, said her breeding also might be a factor in her development. "She's out of an Abercrombie (sired) mare, you don't see that very often in the program anymore, and those horses, years ago, just got really good when they got older," George said. After the mare began to show improvement last year, her connections supplemented her to the Indiana Sire Stakes. She will compete in the sire stakes again this season. "She fits pretty good with those horses, I think," George said. "Beyond that, it would probably be hard for her. We'll just keep her around here and have a little fun with her. We'll race at Miami Valley and Hoosier a little bit, maybe Scioto. She's already exceeded all our expectations." Regardless of where Golden Paradise does compete, it is safe to say where she will not race anytime soon. "No more claimers," George said, laughing. Racing begins at 6:05 p.m. (EST) Friday at Miami Valley Raceway. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

LEBANON, OH - The Lionking AS scored the biggest harness racing victory of his young career Monday afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway by copping the $25,000 championship of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial late closer. The series featured trotters who were non-winners of four races or $40,000 at the series start. Trace Tetrick, the leading driver at the current Miami Valley meet, put the 4-year-old son of Lionhunter on the engine early and coasted through fractions of :28.3, :57.3 and 1:26.2 before tacking on a :29.1 final split to complete the 1:55.3 triumph, a new lifetime mark. The Lionking AS was three lengths better than Missprimetimemel (LeWayne Miller) with favored Air Assault (Brett Miller) completing the trifecta despite an unfortunate outside post position draw. Trainer Tyler George was the high bidder, for his own account, on the winner during an OnGait online auction in February. He has recouped a large majority of his $21,100 bid during the three-week Paver Memorial series, earning $19,500 on the strength of a first and fifth place finish in preliminary legs plus the lion's share of the lucrative final. Bred by ACI Stuteri AB of Kentucky, The Lionking AS was broke and raced through his two juvenile campaigns by trainer Anette Lorentzon. The Lionking AS was three lengths better than Missprimetimemel Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - Another pair of Claim To Fame Series champions were crowned Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 29) at frigid Miami Valley Raceway. Giovanni (Trace Tetrick) completed a clean sweep of the division for male $8000 claiming pacers, winning for the third straight week in the $22,500 final. Using the same come-from-behind tactics he employed in the two preliminary legs, Tetrick was content to ease away from the starting gate-falling in fifth along the pylons before the :26.4 quarter pole. The winner moved into the third-over position in the outer flow prior to the :55.2 midway point. Still in the same position at the 1:23.4 third teletimer, Tetrick moved Giovanni wider yet and swept easily to the lead in the stretch while clocking a 1:53.1 mile. Longshot Star Guitar (Kayne Kauffman) came up with a furious late rally to finish second ahead of show finisher Trixsen Gram (Dan Noble). Owner-trainer Tyler George claimed Giovanni just prior to the series and has earned $20,250 in the month of January with his new pupil. The fillies and mares $12,500 claiming champion Ginger Tree Alexis was claimed in each of the two preliminary legs and raced well for all three of her connections during the series. Following place and win finishes in the first two weeks, it was new owner-trainer Adam Short that got the biggest chunk of cheese by winning the $22,500 final. Driver Josh Sutton managed a perfect pocket trip for the 7-year-old winner, sitting snug behind pacesetter Golden Paradise (Tetrick) for most of the 1:55 mile. Always A Vision (Brett Miller) had the most pace in the stretch but fell just short as runnerup. Golden Paradise held on for the show dough. From the Miami Valley Media Department    

ANDERSON, IN --September 14, 2018--Indiana's top three-year-old pacing colts were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as they squared off the final round of preliminary stakes action on Friday, September 14. After sitting out of the eliminations last week, divisional leader Always A Prince returned to the track in a big kind of way in an $18,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Eligible event. With regular pilot Trace Tetrick in the bike, Always A Prince powered home a winner in 1:48.3 to score his third consecutive victory and lower his own track record in the process. Always A Prince established the previous mark of 1:48.4 in Indiana Sires Stakes action earlier this season. The track record performance served as a prep race for his next start as Always A Prince is expected to be supplemented to take on Grand Circuit company in the $175,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Pace. The Jenna's Beach Boy Pace will be part of the star-studded card slated for Friday, September 21 at Hoosier Park that will also feature the $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic, the $175,000 est. Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, and the $125,000 Elevation Pace. Tetrick took no chances and sent the overwhelming favorite to the front just after the first quarter in :26.1. Always A Prince strolled through fractions of :53.3 and 1:21.1 before he began to put his talent on display. With a six length lead at the top of the stretch, Always A Prince was in a race against the clock and used a:27.2 final panel to coast on to the wire under a hand drive from Tetrick. "We entered him in a race last week and it didn't fill so we missed the sires stakes eliminations," trainer Tyler George said after the victory. "The Jenna's Beach Boy fits well with his schedule and it ended up working out for us to get a race this week so we are looking at supplementing. He deserves a shot." With the victory, Always A Prince has now won 14 of 17 lifetime outings and has only finished out of the money twice in his career. Unraced as a two-year-old, the gelded son of Always A Virgin-Glorious Princess pushed his lifetime bankroll to $196,500 for owners Carl & Melanie Atley. The victory was also one of six victories on the program for Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick. Tetrick found the winner's circle just a few races later in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, behind the 8-1 upset winner, On Duty. Uninvolved in the early stages of the race, On Duty utilized a :26.4 final panel to surge past his rivals late in the lane to secure the win in a new lifetime best of 1:49. Trained by William Crone, the gelded son of Rockin Image-Lady Luck Killean recorded his second win of the season from 12 outings. With the win, On Duty pushed his lifetime purse earnings over the $100,000 mark for owner John Barnard. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 15 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, ID  - August 24, 2018- After being sent off as the 1/5 post-time favorite, Always A Prince, with Trace Tetrick in the bike, continued his divisional dominance in the three-year-old pacing colt ranks, winning with authority in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Friday, August 24 at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. With the win, Always A Prince scored his second consecutive victory and made a clean sweep of the fourth round of stakes action. Tetrick wasted no time and sent Always A Prince right to the front from post three and easily grabbed the lead. With the first quarter in 26:2 and the half and 53:2, Michael Oosting and Too Hot To Stop took the pocket seat while the rest of the field waited to take aim at the leader. Once the pacers hit the third quarter with Always A Prince still leading in 1:20:4, the Ron Burke trainee GD Western Joe and driver John DeLong were the first to commit to the outer flow and were on the attack first-over. As the field turned for home, the top pair was battling it out but Always A Prince ultimately prevailed, gliding across the wire in 1:49:1. GD Western Joe held on gamely for second while Rockin Speed with LeWayne Miller closed hard for third. Always A Prince paid $2.40 to win for his backers at the betting windows. "He's better off of the front but I just let Trace do his thing," trainer Tyler George noted after the victory. "The horse has great mannerisms and he's all business. We plan to keep him here for the rest of the stakes season and maybe look at a few of the Grand Circuit races at the end of the year." With the victory, Always A Prince brought his lifetime purse earnings to $187,500 for owners Carl L. and Melanie D. Atley. Unraced as a two-year-old, the son of Always A Virgin-Glorious Princess has now won 13 of his 16 lifetime starts. The victory was also one of five winners on the evening's 13-race card for Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick and one of two winners for trainer Tyler George. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, August 25 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Freshman trotting colt superstar Swandre The Giant will look to score his seventh consecutive victory and remain undefeated this season from post five for trainer, driver Brandon Bates. The evening's 12-race card will also feature two Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for the three-year-old pacing fillies and a $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Hoosier Park

DAYTON, OH. - Despite a 24-day layoff, Gloire Dream swept to an impressive 1:54.3 harness racing triumph in the $18,500 Peak Performance Open Trot at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Thursday night (Oct. 26). The 6-year-old chestnut gelding was unhurried from the innermost post position in the early going. After getting away sixth through an opening quarter in :27.2, driver Jeremy Smith angled Gloire Dream into second-over position during the :29.1 second panel, then swung three-wide around the final turn approaching the 1:25.1 third station teletimer. Penn (Josh Sutton), the winner the last two Opens at Dayton, had reached the top with relative ease but yielded uncharacteristically easily at the head of the stretch, with both the winner and first-over Cantab Lindy (Tyler Smith), the runnerup, moving past the even-money favorite. It was the fifth seasonal victory for Gloire Dream and raised his 2017 bankroll to $52,690 in 23 starts. Tyler George trains the winner, who was winless in just five starts last year, for owner CC Racing LLC. Gregg Keidel      

LEBANON, OH. - Gerries Sport (Trace Tetrick) equaled the Miami Valley track record for 4-year-old male pacers with a dominating 1:50 triumph in the Saturday night (May 25) $22,000 Open I Handicap Pace. Despite a double jump up in class, Tetrick handled the talented son of Mach Three confidently, allowing a trio of gate leavers to move ahead of him early before immediately moving back to the outside following a :26.4 opening quarter mile. Clearing to the front just past the :54.3 halfway station, Gerries Sport sprinted to the three-quarters in a quick 1:21.4, then had enough left in the tank to cruise under the wire a length and a half better than Kiss Of Terror (Kyle Ater) and Franzo (Dan Noble). It was just the tenth lifetime win for Gerries Sport, from just 36 starts, but increased his career earnings to $238,371. He is owned by the partnership of Richard Lombardo, Carl Atley and Josh Green. Leading trainer Tyler George has conditioned the winner since he was sent from Ontario to Ohio in January. Evergreen Elite (Trace Tetrick) and Heisenberg Z Tam (Tyler Smith) were winners in a pair of $12,500 divisions of the first leg of the Tom Tharps Memorial late-closing series for non-winners of six pari-mutuel races or $60,000 lifetime. Tharps is one of nine deceased "Lebanon Legends" who are honored annually with memorial series in their names. In addition to being an accomplished horseman in his own right, Tom Tharps was the patriarch of the Tharps racing family, which includes his son Randy (the winningest African-American driver in history with over 6,000 victories), as well as a host of other sons and grandsons who followed in his footsteps. Evergreen Elite lived up to his odds-on favoritism, prevailing over Sossy's King Kong (Tyler Smith) and Cracker Cam (John DeLong) by four lengths in 1:50.2. Ken Rucker trains the 5-year-old Duneside Perch gelding for The Panhellenic Stable of New York. Heisenberg Z Tam upset heavily favored Hustling Charley in the second split, using a pocket trip to shove a neck in front in the final strides in 1:52. The 4-year-old Rockin Image gelding returned $30.40 at the windows. He is owned by the Z Tam Stables, also of New York, and trained by Jim Arledge Jr. Driver Josh Sutton had a Grand Slam on the Saturday program, winning four races for four different trainers. His successes came behind the trotter Extracurricular ($11.20), and pacers Holy Chip ($9.20), Yippitty Hanover ($4.00) and Achilles Blue Chip ($24.40). Gregg Keidel

YONKERS, N.Y. - When harness racing trainer Tyler George planned to ship his filly Angelinmyway to Yonkers Raceway for the Petticoat Series, he knew he’d have room on the trailer for another horse. Rather than waste the opportunity, George nominated aged pacing mare American Girl to the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series and planned to ship her east for the first time.  “The races in Ohio are getting tougher all the time, so I thought, ‘well, since I’m coming, I’ll bring [American Girl] along and give her a shot in there,’ ” George explained. “If she can catch a break here and there, maybe we can make some good purse money with her because she’s tough and she has pretty good gate speed to get into position.” Although she’s never raced outside Indiana and Ohio and has never competed on the Grand Circuit, American Girl has the credentials to take on the sport’s best mares in the Matchmaker Series. The 8-year-old has won 39 of her 149 races and hit the board in another 70. The daughter of Art’s Chip out of the Dragon Again mare L Dees Lourdes has earned $765,388 and posted a mark of 1:50.3 last year at Hoosier Park. Early in her 2017 season, American Girl boasts one victory from seven starts and another six on-the-board finishes in Miami Valley Raceway’s Filly and Mare Open Pace. George credits American Girl’s remarkable consistency over the years to her mental and physical toughness. “She’s a very sound horse; she doesn’t take a lot of work and she’s just really smart,” he explained. “She loves her job every day. I’ve had her for almost a year-and-a-half now. I gave her a little rest over the summer, but she just doesn’t ever really seem to mind doing her work. She likes to race. She’s a real competitive animal.” Since shipping to Mark Ford’s Training Center in Middletown, New York, American Girl and her trainer have adapted well to the east coast. While American Girl will get her first taste of the Hilltop Oval in Friday’s $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace, George acclimated Monday night when Angelinmyway charged from a 13-length deficit to finish second beaten just 1 1/4 lengths in the first division of the opening leg of the Petticoat Series at odds of 12-1. “This is my first time here. It’s great. The ship to Yonkers wasn’t bad at all from here. It took me about an hour; it’s a piece of cake,” he said. “The track was good at Yonkers, the people were nice. So far so good.” American Girl drew post position five for her Yonkers debut and she’ll encounter a host of new challenges Friday night. She’s never shipped this far to race, she’s never raced on a half-mile track, and she’ll have a new driver in the sulky as Scott Zeron will take the lines for the first time. One by one however, her trainer dismissed them all. While the 30-year-old isn’t cocky, the confidence and admiration he holds for his mare is apparent. “She shipped out here well; she handled that good, she’s eating and all that stuff. She’ll take it all in stride like she has pretty much everything else in her life,” George began. “Before she started going to Ohio in 2015, she had never been on a five-eighths and she seems to handle that really well. She’s phenomenally gaited. She wears boots, but she doesn’t really need them, doesn’t seem to run in and out at all. I don’t think the half-mile track will be a problem at all,” he continued. “She’s easy to drive. If you pull her hard, she’ll come right back to you. She’s pure class. She’s made a lot of money in her life and she’s had a few different drivers, not a ton, but she’s easy,” he finished. While American Girl does her best work racing on or near the lead, she has shown versatility in Ohio. She’s won from the pocket and from first-over and races well from nearly any position in the Buckeye State, where the racing action can be intense. George thinks that versatility will be even more apparent on a half-mile track. “With her gate speed, if she draws right that would be beneficial for her because I think if they tend to race more conservatively here, she would be a lot more versatile than she will be in Ohio just because they race so much harder,” he explained. “I think she can be a little more versatile here if she has to race up into some slower fractions compared to first-up into 1:22.” American Girl is a 15-1 outsider on the morning line in Friday’s Filly and Mare Open Handicap, the final regular distaff feature before the Matchmaker Series commences next week (March 17). Regil Elektra, who drew the comfortable post position two, is the race’s 2-1 favorite and seeks her second victory of the season for trainer Keith Armer. Fifty-time winner and earner of $1.8 million Krispy Apple will make her first start of 2017 for Bamond Racing at odds of 5-2, but must negotiate post position eight. Change The Rulz N, Empress Deo, Sail To The Beach, Know It All, and Delightful Dragon complete the field. First post time is 7:10 p.m. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

LEBANON, OH. – It’s not every day that harness racing $10,000 claimers get to race for a $25,000 purse, but that is exactly what happened when the Elite Survivor Series championship final went postward at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (March 3).  Each of the ten finalists had survived three preliminary knockout rounds when half of each field was eliminated and only the five check-getters advanced.  Six of the championship participants had won at least one race during the prelims, including last week’s pair of identical 1:53.4 winners—John Jay and Blueridge Doc. Due to drawing the rail for the final, John Jay was bet down to 9-5 favoritism and the 4-year-old altered son of Dali did not disappoint.  Driver Trace Tetrick allowed a pair of his adversaries to clear him in the early going, but moved out and reclaimed the lead just past the quarter-mile station.  The Tyler George trainee lead the rest of the way, despite mild first-up pressure the last half, to triumph in 1:53 and bank the largest paycheck of his still young career.  The victory was the 11th of his life and boosted his bankroll to $77,985.  Owner Steven Price of Georgia claimed John Jay for $15,000 on February 17 and has been rewarded with $20,000 in earnings in two weeks. Safe From Terror (Chris Page) sped to a 1:52.1 score in a $22,000 Fillies & Mares Open pace on the same program.  The 5-year-old Western Terror lass exploded from the gate, despite an outermost post position, before dropping in third along the pylons early in the :26.4 opening split.  The richest horse in the race with almost $700,000 in purse earnings was out and moving shortly thereafter, pushing a nostril in front at the :55.1 halfway station.  The taxing first half didn’t seem to bother Safe From Terror, though, as she cruised past the three-quarters in 1:23.1 before stopping the clock :29 seconds later.  Endeavors Fantasy (Mike Oosting) made a gallant first-over bid that resulted in a runnerup finish, while Jerseylicious (Trace Tetrick) was closing ground quickly in the lane to garner the show dough.  Winchester Baye Acres LLC owns the winner, who is trained by Mike Conklin. The Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series, a late-closer for distaff non-winners of four races or $35,000 lifetime, also kicked off on Friday in two full-field divisions.  Friskie Zena (Ken Holliday) was an upset winner in the first heat, topping Alwayssmoothraigin (Josh Sutton) and Glorious Delight (Trace Tetrick) in 1:55.1.  Sherri Holliday conditions the 4-year-old Feelin Friskie mare for Black Magic Racing LLC.  She paid $24.80 to win. Powered By Pink (Josh Sutton) went a tick quicker beating Sun Belle Sadie (Aaron Merriman) and Stirling Cameo (Jeremy Smith) in 1:55.  Owner-trainer Jack McCall Jr.’s 6-year-old Village Jolt daughter returned $10 to her $2 supporters. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - American Girl was on her 'A' game Friday night (Feb. 10) at Miami Valley Raceway, pacing the third fastest time by a distaff pacer in the harness racing track's four-year history to capture the weekly $22,000 Mares Open Pace in 1:51. The only quicker ones came in the last two editions of the Sam 'Chip' Noble Memorial Grand Circuit Stake by Yagonnakissmeornot and Shebestingin. Driver Trace Tetrick left alertly with American Girl from the No. 5 post position, opting for a two-hole trip when he let Jackie's Rocket (Brady Galliers) clear to the lead approaching the :27.1 first quarter mile marker. Content to sit chilly in the pocket through middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:23, Tetrick sighed with relief when the outer tier started to falter and he found racing room at the head of the stretch. American Girl gained steadily on Jackie's Rocket until passing the pacesetter with less than a furlong to go, then held off the furious late charge of runnerup Endeavor's Fantasy (Mike Oosting) in deep stretch. With the win American Girl's lifetime bankroll grows to $754,388. It was the initial 2017 win for the 8-year-old Arts Chip mare who is owned by Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt and trained by Tyler George. After a 10-win 2016 season, American Girl had finished second once and third three times in her first four outings this year. Six divisions of a 'Survivor Series' for $10,000 claiming male pacers were also contested with the top six finishers in each qualifying to return for Round 2 next Friday in four divisions. Winners were Keystone Memphis (Chris Page, 1:54.1, $17.20 to win), Lexington Avenue (Jeremy Smith, 1:55.3, $70.80), Greatheart Hanover (Tyler Smith, 1:55, $8.40), Sand Summerfield (Mike Oosting, 1:55.3, $21.60), Ahdoughnolum (Tyler Smith, 1:54.3, $24.60) and Whoyoucallingafool (Jason Brewer, 1:53.3, $4.80). A total of 15 of the 59 horses in Round One were claimed, eight of whom advanced to Round Two when they will carry 20% higher price tags. Gregg Keidel  

Despite dueling through a very taxing :26.1 first quarter, harness racing favorites American Girl (Trace Tetrick) and Aniston Seelster (Josh Sutton) finished one-two in 1:54 in the $15,000 Mares Open pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night (Dec. 16). Sutton, driving even money Aniston Seelster, who was last week's feature race winner, left the gate with the petal to the metal in an attempt to seat Tetrick and American Girl behind his charge. But Tetrick had other ideas and forged forward with 2-1 American Girl until Sutton finally decided he had to relinquish the lead and accept the pocket trip just before the initial timer beam was tripped. Following a :30.4 second quarter breather, the leader sped through subsequent closing quarters of :28.4 and :28.1 to seal the deal, with a widening length and a half victory at the finish. It was the tenth 2016 triumph for American Girl, raising her seasonal bounty to $142,180 and her career bankroll to $729,968. Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt own the ulta-consistent 7-year-old daughter of Art's Chip and entrust the conditioning to Tyler George, who is enjoying a banner meet at Hollywood Dayton with a .400-plus UTRS average. In fact, American Girl's open class score produced a natural hat trick for both George and Tetrick as the trainer-driver duo had scored in the two previous races with pacer Sly Velocity and trotter Sheatrottin Kid. Tetrick added another victory earlier on the card with MG's Summer Angel, giving him a grand slam overall. With just two weeks remaining in Hollywood Dayton's 75-night meet over $6 million in purses have already been doled out. Favorites have won 36.4 percent of the races with the No. 5 post position the most advantageous, winning at an 18.6 percent clip. Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - Despite never seeing a pylon and still racing sixth at the three-quarter mile marker, Rockin Finish angled four-wide at the head of the stretch and swept to a 1:51.3 harness racing victory in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $15,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (Oct. 22). Driver Eric Goodell, recently relocated to southwest Ohio and planning to compete on the Hollywood Dayton-Miami Valley circuit throughout the winter, was in the sulky of the 7-year-old gelding who notched his 8th win of 2016 and 36th of his career. The half-million-plus purse earner is a son of Rocknroll Hanover, owned by Gerrie Tucker, and trained by Tyler George. Hawk's Red Chief (Chris Page) was hustled from the outside post position directly to the front, clearing to the pylons just past the :26.4 quarter-mile clocking. Tail Gunner Hall (Kyle Ater), who was last week's feature race winner, settled into the pocket spot as favored My Buddy Ninkster (Josh Sutton), who paced the third fastest mile in track history (1:50) in a conditioned race his last start, moved first-over into the outer flow early in the second quarter. Eventual runnerup Sports Sinner (Dan Noble) took up residence in the second-over position throughout the middle stations with Rockin Finish in tow. The half was reached in :55 and the three-quarters in 1:22.1 before Rockin Finish collared the pacesetters during a :29.2 final panel. Dispatched at 7-1, Rockin Finish returned $17.60 to win, the $2 exacta coupled with Sports Sinner kicked back $67.80, while the 50-cent trifecta paid $79.25 with My Buddy Ninkster holding on for third. Gregg Keidel

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