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YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, February 24, 2015- Harness racing driver Dan Dube, who finds himself leading Yonkers Raceway's early-season driver standings by a wide margin, is closing in on another plateau. Dube won four races-three consecutive--Tuesday afternoon, bringing his career total to 7,998. Dube's personal Pick 3 began with Aquanilla ($3), a horse he owns, romping in the $9,000, fourth-race trot (1:58). Next, Winwood Scout ($22.80) wired the field from the eight-hole in the $9,000, fifth-race trot (1:58) before Vegas Rocks ($6.90) went the distance in the $9,000, sixth-race pace (1:56.4). (Author's was not actually a wagering Pick 3, but...) Dube's fourth win of the day was with a cone-skimming Larussa STL ($8.30) in the $13,000, eighth-race pace (1:56.4). The lightly-raced statebred won for the first time since July of 2013. "I don't really look at (the numbers)," Dube said. "I don't put any pressure on myself. I'm happy the season has gone well so far, and (8,000) is going to happens when it happens." He has 10 scheduled drives here Thursday night. The 45-year-old Dube, a native of Charlesbourg, QC, is nearing $95 million in career purses. He is best known as the primary driver for two Harness Horses of the Year, Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). The Raceway's live season continues Thursday (with a Pick 5 carryover of $2,884.58) through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (provided Mother Nature cooperates). Frank Drucker

DOVER, Del. ---- The highly thought-of Wind Of The North makes his seasonal debut meeting the razor-sharp Tough Mac and Tirade Hanover in the $18,000 Open/Handicap trot on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. After a successful 2014 season, Daryl Bier and Joann Dombeck purchased Wind Of The North. Bier has given the Cantab Hall gelding plenty of time and after three qualifying races is ready to go. Mike Casalino's Tough Mac has been near perfect since the start of the New Year, winning four and finishing second following a pared out mile with Corey Callahan at the controls. Hard hitting Tirade Hanover and Vic Kirby have also been right there for owners Steve Moss, the Solomons and trainer Leigh Raymer. Six Gun Hal, a two time winner with two seconds this meet for owners Don marvel and trainer Bob Shahan drew the rail with George Dennis in the bike. Tina and Joe Clark's Baximum handled by Allan Davis has been a fast finishing factor in each of his local starts. Eddie Dennis will drive consistent I'm So Striking owned by E&K Stable and Lois and Earl Walters. Mystical Dew, a new acquisition for Niel Gargiulo and veteran trainer-driver Donald Dancer, has strong Ohio successes to his credit. Hey Pancho (Tim Tetrick), whose four race win streak was marred breaking stride last time out, leaves from the rail in a $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. His biggest threat should come from Rosemary Smutz's Man Of Muscle (Davis) riding a two-straight win streak. In another $14,000 division, Gregg and Tom Morris' Juanna Be The Man (Roger Plante) has a two-race win streak. Everyone's Talkin (Tetrick) has won two of his last three while Tina and Joe Clark's Derby (Davis) cannot be overlooked. A strong supporting card featuring several other wide-open trotting events on the Wednesday card. Just Bettor got better Just Bettor, who had started from the outside in eight straight starts, scored a 1:54 victory in a $20,000-$25,000 4&5-Year-Old Claiming/Handicap on a chilly and windy Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Dover Downs. Vic Kirby left fast with Just Bettor to get the early lead before relenting the front. The Bettor's Delight - Just Great five-year-old gelding closed strongly for his second win of the year to go with four seconds and a third in seven races. Ken Wood and Minisink Farms own the winner of $26,625 in 2015 and $178,011 lifetime. UF Dragons Cruiser (Allan Davis) edged fast finishing Swift As A Shadow (George Dennis) for second. Kirby led all drivers with three wins. Corey Callahan drove both ends of the daily double. Allan Davis and George Dennis had two wins each. Marv Bachrad

In the 1980s there were a number of memorable race track confrontations on the local harness racing circuit and one that has always stuck out in my mind came in the latter part of 1988 at Sportsman’s Park. It was the $384,000 American National on the first Saturday of November, a 3-year-old pacing stake that was billed nationally as the “Showdown of the Tear. A victory by Matt’s Scooter would clinch 3-year-old of the year honors and put the Direct Scooter colt in strong positon to win Pacer of the Year Honors. However the task wasn’t going to be easy for Matt’s Scooter. All the big guns in the sophomore division came to town and each one wanted to leave with the winning $192,250 check Unfortunately the weatherman didn’t co-operate on November 5, 1988. The evening was very chilly and the track was sloppy from a steady day-long rain but that didn’t put a damper on the race or the enthusiasm of a jam-packed crowd in attendance at the Cicero, Illinois facility. Matt’s Scooter and driver Mike Lachance earlier that year became the fastest harness horse in the sport’s history with a 1:48.2 time trial at Lexington, smashing the old record of 1:49.2 set by the great Niatross 8 years earlier. In The American National showdown Lachance got Matt’s Scooter to the top on the rain-soaked racing strip and put away a bid from Camtastic, one of his chief rivals, at the three-quarter pole. He then held off a spirited rally from another major rival, Albert Albert, finishing 1 and 1/2 lengths ahead in the 1:55.3 mile in the slop. Matt’s Scooter would go on to earn $1,783,588 in his second season winning 11 of 22 starts with 7 seconds and 2 thirds, failing to hit the tote board only once in 1988, earning both Three-Year-Old and Pacer of the Year honors. A season-later as a 4-year-old Matt’s Scooter was named the 1989 Harness Horse of the Year when he captured 23 of 30 starts. often against the very best pacers in the U.S. and Canada for trainer Harry Poulton while adding another $1.14 million to his bankroll for his Canadian owners Illa Rumpel and Charles Juravinski. Matt turned in at that time the fastest mile ever in Canada when he captured the Mohawk Gold Cup in 1:51. He also won the Breeders Crown, William Haughton Memorial, Driscoll Free-For-All, and legs of the U.S. Pacing Championship, George Morton Levy Memorial, and Graduate Series. In a 1989 media interview his trainer Harry Poulton had this to say about Matt’s Scooter: “He never really did anything bad. He didn’t break any carts, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He was always bucking, kicking or doing something. We shipped him home 12 hours one day, and the next day he was on his hind legs in the yard. I don’t know where he got his energy.” Matt’s Scooter was retired at the end of his 4-year-old campaign and went on to be an splendid stallion. In his 22 years at stud—all but one standing at Perretti's flagship farm in New Jersey—Matt’s Scooter sired the winners of more than $76.3 million, with five millionaires. His greatest legacies as a sire were Mach Three (1:49, $2,376,700), who won the 2002 Meadowlands Pace and produced the great Pacer of the Year and world record holder Somebeachsomewhere (1:46.4, $3,221,299), Royal Mattjesty (1:48.4, $1,840,681); the 1996 Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year Mystical Maddy (1:50 $1,436,325) and His Mattjesty (1:50 $1,038,861). As a broodmare sire, Matts Scooter's credentials include the million-dollar winning mares Glowing Report, Economy Terror, Yellow Diamond and Drop The Ball. The horse was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the U.S. Living Hall of Fame in 1996. Matt’s Scooter was euthanized on June 30 of 2014 at the age of 29. 1989 Breeders Crown 1998 Meadowlands Pace 1998 Confederation Cup By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

HINSDALE, Ill. - Juniors and seniors from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences took the reins this month at Maywood Park in Chicago's near west suburbs when they job-shadowed local harness racing trainers for a day. All students participating in the shadow days are seniors and juniors who gain hands on experience by working directly with trainers and horses. High School Junior Paulina Arellano studies animal science and hopes to one day work in the horse racing industry. Paulina said that during her trip she and the other students "learned a lot about what exactly happens to the horses, trainers, and workers off the horse track." In 2010 The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences embarked on a Standardbred breeding program spearheaded by local horse owner Denny Pietranduono. The school's first yearling was sold in 2013 for $6,200 at public auction. The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association is a vocal supporter of the breeding program at the High School and was eager to help students learn more about horse racing. "It was a great opportunity to spend time with young people who are excited to learn about the horses and the sport," said IHHA President Dave McCaffrey. "Even though Standardbred trainers are part of the agricultural community in Chicago, we don't always think about them that way. These students were a reminder that even in a big city, agriculture and agribusiness employs people and supports the economy." Arellano said that her favorite part of the trip to Maywood Park was when students were allowed to jog a horse around the track. "To me, it was like heaven," she said. "Because I love race horses and working with them." McCaffrey said that the IHHA is excited to participate more with students in the animal science program at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. "It's great to see the passion in the students' faces," he said. "I think it helps remind us of why we got into the business in the first place." Andrew Mack

DOVER, Del.--- Odds On Alpha wins the $14,000 Mares feature, her fourth win in five starts on a windy and cold Monday, Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. Harness racing driver Ron Pierce who drove five winners Sunday, repeated the effort. With Ron Pierce in the bike, Megan Rogers Racing's Odds On Alpha, trained by Nick Surick, had a perfect drive sitting behind raced favorite Velocity Sonja (Allan Davis) until turning for home and the Somebeachsomewhere - Odds On Arttoheart five-year-old rocketed down the lane for a 1:53 lifetime fastest victory. Velocity Sonya, no stranger to the winner's circle herself this meet with five-wins already, finished second for the second straight time. Seawind Ginger (Jonathan Roberts) who won her second straight last Monday, closed strongly for third money. Meet leading driver Corey Callahan piloted check getter Lindysbathinbeauty to victory in 1:55.4 to win another $14,000 distaff pace. Tina Clark and Joe Clark own the winner, also by Somebeachsomewhere from Sunshine Sister, in her second win of 2015 for trainer Bobby Clark. Hidden Land (Roger Plante) continued her fondness with second place. It was the second in a row, fifth time second in six starts and seven times second this meet. Skinnydip Hanover (Daryl Bier) was the show finisher. , Vic Kirby pulled Jeremes Sweetheart, owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, to the outside at the top of the stretch and streaked to a 1:53 score in a$13,000 Mares Winners-Over test. Twin B Heartland (Callahan) overtook front-pacing Scootin For Joy (Pierce) for second place. . Winning horses continue to add victories. Green Valley Training's A Wild Money Maker (Kirby) won for the fifth time in her last six outings in a $12,500 4&5-Year-Old pace. Foulk Stables' Valerya notched her third win in four for Jonathan Roberts winning an $8,000 Mares pace in 1:52. Al Moor and trainer-driver Eddie Davis Jr.'s Givetheladyabeer won for the third time in four starts and fifth time this meet coring a 1:54.4 triumph in a Delaware $7,500-$10,000 Claiming/Handicap. Virginia Louthan made the winner's circle twice with mares she bred from her own stallion No Spin Zone and also owns and trains; Spin Vision a 1:54.4 winner of three in-a-row and five times this meet, and Megginspin for a second win in five races. Both Ms. Louthan horses were driven by Ron Pierce. Pierce duplicated his Sunday performance driving five winners. Callahan, Roberts and Kirby had two wins apiece. JUST BETTOR DRAWS OUTSIDE IN TUESDAY $20,000-$25,000 CLAIMER Just Bettor is back where he has raced so well, starting from the outside in a $20,000-$25,000 4&5-Year-Old Claiming Handicap pace. This week he leaves from post 7 in the Tuesday Feb. 24 feature race at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. During the span of eight races, the Eric Ell-conditioned gelding owned by Ken Wood, Bill Ditmar and Steve Iaquinta, and driven by Vic Kirby, boasts two wins, five second and a third In most starts Just Bettor has been involved in nose, head and neck finishes.  Better And Bold drew the rail for two weeks straight, one of which ended with a victory. Trace Tetrick will drive the young gelding for his brother, Tim Tetrick and CC Racing.  Allan Davis will drive Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing’s UF Dragons Cruiser, from the rail with Wade Wyatt’s good finishing Swift As A Shadow will be handled by George Dennis. Ed Maas, Arlene Paisley and Nanticoke Racing’s. King Royalty and Jim Morand should profit from post 2. The rest of the field is made up by Jim Jacobs’ Button Fly, driven by Jason Lynch and Wayne King’s LA Camcharger with Tony Morgan. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are "dark" days. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

Pompano Beach, FL...February 23, 2015...With the "Queen Bee"- Just A Bee-out of the lineup this Monday night, J. L. Benson Stables' Senorita Santanna did some stinging of her own in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Pace for the mares. The five year-old daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. for trainer Paul Holzman, led every step of her mile and stopped the tele-timer in a seasonal best 1:51.1, pinning a defeat measuring seven lengths on the late surging De Vins Girl (Jason Dillander) with Southwind Trini (Bruce Ranger) next in the quintet over Always Dee One and Keystone Christa.Carding panels of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:23 along the way, Senorita Santanna never had an anxious moment as the 1 to 5 choice, opening a 2 ½ length lead at the opening quarter and blitzing away from her foes on the backside, enjoying a six length advantage by the time they reached the final turn. In a post race interview, driver George Napolitano, Jr. said, "She (Senorita Santanna) is a very rugged mare that can brush for the whole mile. She was nice and relaxed once we got to the front and, when I asked her for a bit more on the backside, she kind of exploded with pace and that was that!" Senorita Santanna now has a 4-2-1 scorecard in eight starts this young season and $29,185 to show for it. The classy mare now has five wins since she was claimed for $10,000 by the aforementioned J L Benson Stables back in mid-December with bounty of $32,685 since the claim. She paid $2.40 to win. The co-featured $10,000 pace for mares went to Mach Me Not with Wally Hennessey handling the lines. This nine year-old daughter of Mach Three came from well off the pace to score in 1:53 over the late surging Glow Stick (Dave Ingraham) with Market Dynamics (Peter Wrenn) third. Art Frenzy finished fourth while Winbak Heavenly, the 4 to 5 favorite, finished fifth after taking a clear lead turning for home. Owned by the S S G Stables and trained by Jim McDonald, Mach Me Not won for the second time this season and pushed her lifetime earnings to $309,302 on the strength of her 29 career wins. She paid $10.80 to her $2 backers. McDonald also drove the winner of the second race, steering the four year-old trotting gelding Looney to a 38 to 1 victory-his maiden win in 17 lifetime starts. Also on the Monday card was the first leg of the "Happy Wife, Happy Life" Late Closing Event for claiming pacing mares and Taylor B Good, handled by Rick Plano gutted out a courageous first over victory in 1:54.4. This six year-old daughter of Kilowatt, trained by Bernie Wolin for owner Hilda Wolin, was away fifth early as, first, Flying Topless, then, Hot Latte and, then, Newsmaker, traded places for the lead through hot panels of :27.1 and :56.3 with Taylor Be Good grinding first over the entire last lap, reaching the top turning for home and holding off the late charging A and G Covergirl (Ed Hensley) to score by a length. Moon Is On Fire closed from last turning for home to garner show honors while Hot Latte and Newmaker tied for fourth. For Taylor B Good, it was her initial success of 2015 and sent her lifetime bounty over the $80,000 mark. She paid $4.40 to win as the public choice. Finally, the popular Pompano Park Pick-5 went unscathed on Monday night with management guaranteeing a $15,000 pool for Wednesday night's program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. John Berry  

Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, February 22, 2015...Thirtyeightspecial and Jailhouse Jessica were the harness racing stars under the stars at Pompano Park, each taking new lifetime marks in their respective wins on Sunday night.   Thirtyeightspecial, handled by Ed Hensley for Richard and Carol Macomber, took honors in the $13,400 Battleground Late Closing Final by scoring a gate to wire win in a lifetime best 1:55.4 performance.   The 10 year-old son of Dream Vacation led through panels of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:26 before sealing the issue with a :29.4 finale to score by 1 1/2 lengths over the pocket sitting Wishin Iwas Fishin and Jason Dillander. Northern Inferno and Kevin Wallis teamed up for third while Go Jesse Go and Overwhat earned the final two awards in the octet.   Thirtyeigthspecial not only won in a career best performance, it also vaulted him over the $200,000 mark in lifetime bounty with the win, his 41st in 229 career trips to the starting gate worth $202,545.   It was also the grand gelding's richest payday during his career and only the second time he has raced for a purse of this magnitude--the other being in Goshen, N.Y. on Independence Day of 2008 when he finished second in a NY Sire Stake with a purse of $14,771.   In a post race interview, when told of the new lifetime mark, driver Ed Hensley said, "Man, you could have fooled me. He raced like a three year-old tonight. He was strong gate to wire. He did this all on his own. Ya know Dick (trainer Richard Macomber) is no stranger to training champions. He's been doing it for 50 years. He had this one razor sharp tonight. It's not often you see a 10 year-old taking a new lifetime mark!"   AS the 9 to 5 public choice, Thirtyeightspecial paid $5.60 to his faithful.   Jailhouse Jessica, trained by Dale Gilmour for Karma Racing, wore down a stubborn Mc Tiny's Hope to capture the $12,000 Open Trot for mares on Sunday night.   This five year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jesse, driven by Bruce Ranger, was almost six lengths away half way through the mile as Mc Tiny's Hope, handled by Ben McNeil, cut sharp panels of :28; :56.3 and 1:24.4 before Jailhouse Jessica wore her down late to hit the wire in 1:54.2--also a lifetime best performance.   Trot Fudge Sundae finished third for Dave Ingraham while Little Bitty Lies and M T Ur Pockets finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to earn the final awards in the field of eight.   After the event, driver Bruce Ranger said, "I was a bit concerned when Ben's (McNeil) mare got a way from us around the final turn but this mare of Dale's (trainer Gilmour) can rock and roll late and she did it tonight. Her last quarter had to have been :28 and change." (It was :28.4).   A $7,200 claim in mid-January, Jailhouse Jessica earned her second win of the season in five starts and shows 2015 earnings of $12,813 and $72,845 lifetime.   Jailhouse Jessica paid $5.40 as the second choice on the board.   In the $10,000 pace for $20,000 claimers, JJ's Doughnut, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. and off at 1 to 2, made a sharp quarter move to the front and went on to score in 1:51.4--his margin 1 1/2 lengths over the 59 to 1 chance Remissionofsins (Peter Wrenn) with Premier (Rick Plano), off at 22 to 1, third.   Claimed for the fourth time in the past month, this eight year-old son of Yankee Cam raced Sunday night under the Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor. He's now five-for-eight this year with $23,164 in the bank.   Finally, in the $8,500 pace for $15,000 claimers, Machinist won in 1:51.4 for Joe Pavia, Jr., scoring in a five horse blanket finish. Red Hot Yankee finished second for George Napolitano, Jr. while Hurricane Howard (Tom Sells) finished third. Major Stone and Fearless Chip were next with the first five just 1/2 length apart at the wire.   Machinist, Red Hot Yankee and Fearless Chip were all claimed in the event as claiming has been at a record pace here over the past several weeks.   Machinist, racing for the Just Win Stable this night, earned his initial win of the season in five starts and, as third choice, paid $9.20 to win.   John Berry

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, February 22, 2015 - Not even an assigned eight-hole in a Sunday expanded field could stop favored Not Afraid (Dan Dube, $4.90) from dominating Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 featured Open Handicap Trot. The week's marquee trot was the third of the seven, French-themed trotting events to begin the card, all at the added (1¼-mile) distance and all with overflow (12-, 11-, four 10- and a nine-horse) fields. Leaving but having to wait his turn, Not Afraid took over from On the Podium (Eric Carlson) just past a 29-second opening quarter-mile. Another pair of identical intervals (:58, 1:27) ensued before Count Me In (George Brennan) moved meekly from fourth. That one never came close as Not Afraid rolled through a 1:55.4 milepost. He owned a three-length lead entering the lane, then widened. The final margin, over Lorenzo Dream (Brian Sears), was 4½ length in 2:25.3. Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter), Murmur Hanover (Pat Lachance) and Awesome Valley (Brett Miller) rounded out the payees. For Not Afraid, a 6-year-old S J's Caviar gelding trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding and Goran Andeberg, he's 4-for-6 this season (career earnings up and over a half-million dollars). The exacta paid $42, the triple returned $1,008 and the superfecta paid $3,503. Note that the next two "French" Sunday matinees are March 8 and 15, with post times TBA as of this writing. The Raceway's live season continues Monday (7:10 PM), with a $10,000 guaranteed pool Pick 5 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). After that, it's Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (all provided Mother Nature cooperates). Frank Drucker

To those harness racing owners, trainers, drivers and grooms that were affected by last night's cancellation; "We apologize for the inconvenience of those that traveled to M1 last night for live racing. The weather forecast that we monitored all day indicated 1-3 inches of snow, followed by rising tempatures and turning to rain. Obvisouly that forecast was wrong. Our intention is always safety first and we appreciate the support of all that traveled to the track." Regarding the weather cancellation of racing at The Meadowlands on Saturday, February 21 the 3 Winter Series finals (Charles Singer, Sonsam and Burning Point) as well as the 2 divisions of leg one of the Buddy Gilmour series and the final of the $12,500 claimer mini series will all be raced as they were drawn with the same posts next Saturday, February 28. There is no re-entry needed for those races.   All overnight races will be redrawn and you must re-enter for those. The condition sheet for next weekend is here.   Meadowlands Media Relations Department

Pompano Beach, FL...February 21, 2015...Raji's Blue Line, skillfully handled by harness racing driver Mike Micallef, took top honors in Pompano Park's $12,500 Open Pace on Saturday night, eking out a photo finish win in a race where two lengths separated the entire field at the finish. The seven year-old son of Artiscape, owned by Lew and Kathleen Whitaker along with W.B. Schopf, made a bold move first up on the backside from fifth and, after grinding to the front turning for home, held off the ground saving P L Hellcat, driven by Dan Clements, to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Fancyfreeshark, with Bruce Ranger in the bike, finished a half length away in third after cutting panels of :26.4, :55 and 1:22.4 along the way. Lyons Johnny, in the garden spot most of the journey, finished fourth with Dont Tell Rusty next in the sextet, just 1 1/2 lengths off the winner after pacing the fastest final quarter in the race. In a post race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, "Last week, the winner (Duc Dorleans) got away with a soft half (:56) and was able to get home in :55.3. This time, I thought I had nothing to lose by letting 'Raji' have the track and let him go. He does have a strong brush and can sustain it for a good, long time. He did exactly that tonight and he was very game to the wire. "Dan's horse (P L Hellcat) went a big mile and benefitted by saving all the ground sneaking through on the inside. Gotta give him credit, too." For Raji's Blue Line, it was his second success of the season in six starts and his 2-2-1 scorecard now shows $18,750. He's banked $ 193,450 lifetime. As fourth choice on the tote-board, Raji's Blue Line rewarded his faithful with a $10.20 win mutuel. The co-feature on the card was the $10,000 conditioned pace and that went to Luca Derrico's Cadillac Phil in 1:51.3. This five year-old son of Shanghai Phil, finally escaping the top Open company, took command for George Napolitano, Jr. right at the opening marker in :27.1, got to the half in a rated :56.1 and then sprinted home in :55.2 to hold off a determined Heart Felt (Rick Plano) by a neck. Hillybilly (Bruce Ranger) finished third after threatening around the final turn while Shamderock finished fourth. Always N The Money picked up the nickel in the octet. Cadillac Phil won for the second time this season in seven starts to send his 2015 earnings to $16,525. Lifetime, he's banked $166,580. As the 3 to 5 chalk, Cadillac Phil paid $3.40 to win. Finally, the second leg of the Midnite Hardy Late Closer went to M G Home Run, smartly driven by Joe Sanzeri. This eight year-old some of Astreos, owned by the J L Benson Stables, found a seam along the pylons in deep stretch to score a half length win over the late flying First Impression (Bruce Ranger) in 1:54.3. Whata Hooligan (Peter Wrenn) finished third while Cascata and pacesetter Tivoli Hanover picked up the final awards in the field of nine in a dead-heat for fourth. While it was the initial success of the year for M G Home Run in seven starts, the game gelding scored his 36th lifetime win, sending his career bounty to $213,799. As co-third choice in the betting, M G Home Run paid $11.20 to win. After the event, M G Home was claimed for the third time during the past month, this time going to trainer Randy Bickmore for owner Emory Pellitier. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Due to inclement weather and worsening track conditions, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment cancelled their Saturday (February 21) evening harness racing card after completing one race.   Live racing resumes on Thursday, February 26, with first post at 7:15 p.m.          

Despite a two-month layoff and a not-so-easy journey the venerable Fort Silky made his initial start as a 9-year-old a winning one in last weekend’s headliner at Balmoral Park. Tonight the pride of the Leonard Stable goes after career victory No. 52 in the ninth race “Winner Over” for older male pacers. Merle Finn Jr’s Wings guns for her fifth triumph in her last six starts in the co-featured third race “Winner’s Over” for fillies and mares. Fort Silky (p.p. 5) will be the 3-1 first-flash favorite on the tote board in the eight-horse field. The homebred son of Ft Apache Hanover has had a superb career for his Paw Paw, Illinois owners John Prentice and Neva Jane Keller, earning $729,931 and making 51 stops at a winner’s circle. Fort Silky’s 1:52.4 triumph on a cold (7 degrees) night with a wind chill factor that hovered at 15 below zero was a more difficult mile that driver Casey Leonard anticipated. “I thought with a five-horse field “Silky” wouldn’t have had to race as hard as he did but things didn’t turn out the way I thought they would,” said the 37-year-old Harvard, Illinois native. “Silky likes to leave and even though it looked like John’s (De Long) horse (Cam B Zipper) had some early speed I decided to take him out of there. Major Monet was also used hard in the (:26.4) first quarter and dropped into third behind us but when Dale (Hiteman) came out and took over the lead it put us in a tough spot. “If I didn’t move ‘Silky’ out of there and race first up we would been third on the inside with a longshot on the front that had already been used twice. I didn’t like our chances that way so I moved ‘Silky”and raced him first up” Fort Silky held off a fast closing Lennox Blue Chip (Ridge Warren) by a neck. Tonight Lennox Blue Chip (pp 6) is the programmed third choice behind Best Man Hanover (pp 4, Todd Warren) who is at 4-1. Rounding out the competitive field are Extravagant Art (8-1, Kyle Wilfong), Major Monet (6-1, Dale Hiteman) and Firstclassallthway (6-1, John De Long) in the first 3 slots and Fashion Delight (6-1, Dave Magee) and newcomer Sammy’s Cool Win (8-1, Ryan Anderson) with posts 7 and 8, respectively. Wings has been nothing short of sensational for the driver-trainer team of Tim Curtin and Merle Finn Jr who also owns the 7-year-old mare. Wings dominated a comparable field last Saturday with a 4 and ½ length triumph and was overlooked in the wagering. Even though she was victorious in 3 of her last 4, all high-level distaffs events, Wings popped at 5-1 odds. Making her first start of the 2015 season is former Indiana champion mare Always About Katey (pp 6, Todd Warren), the early 7-2 second betting choice. The seven horse field also lured Love This Place (8-1, John De Long), Seeyouatthefinish (10-1, Pat Curtin), State Street Liz (6-1, Bobby Smolin), Just By Design (3-1, Dave Magee) and Ryleigh’s Lilly (9-2, Casey Leonard). By Mike Paradise

Pompano Beach, FL - A trio of harness racing longshots hit the line in a photo finish in the Wednesday night (Feb 18) finale at Pompano Park, with 20-1 shot WFN emerging as the winner after the dust settled. He was followed in by Your My Boy Blue (13-1), Terrys Star Dragon (21-1), and Elkhorn Damien (7-2). The longshots keyed a trifecta payout of over $11,147 for 50 cents. Despite having only a 20-cent minimum, no one had the winning superfecta combination (2-10-9-1) and the result is a $7,009 carryover into Saturday night's (Feb 21) first race. Track officials have placed a $20,000 guarantee on the first race superfecta pool. Ironically, the Jackpot Hi-Five combination (2-10-9-1-3) had one unique winner in the same race, with the ticket holder picking up over $6,588. The winning combination was purchased on a 'Quick Pick' where the patron spent a mere 20-cents. It was the second time the Jackpot Hi-Five has been hit in the last three race nights, after a two month carryover netted one lucky fan over $146,000 on Sunday, February 15th. Live racing continues at the Isle Casino Pompano Park every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evening with a first post of 7:30 p.m. Gabe Prewitt 

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 21, 2015 - Yonkers Raceway has cancelled its live harness racing program (and evening simulcasting) for tonight (Saturday, Feb. 21), due to the impending snow/wintry mix anticipated for the greater New York area. It is the seventh weather-related cancellation this season. Saturday afternoon/early evening simulcasting is continuing until approximately 6 PM. Live racing is scheduled to resume Sunday (Feb. 22), with first post at 12:10 PM.

LEBANON, OH. - Shine N Shimmer was stunning Friday night at Miami Valley Raceway, treating the quick five-eighths mile oval as if someone laid a red carpet around it-just for her. It was just the second local race for the seven-year-old daughter of American Ideal and produced the second gate-to-wire victory against the best open class mares competing in southern Ohio. Driver Chris Page took full advantage of drawing the inside post position by exploding off the wings and forcing all rivals to find a seat during a :27.2 opening panel. With no one pressuring on the outside in the scratch-shortened field, Page managed an unexpected respite during the second quarter when the timer flashed :57.4 at the halfway station. The pace quickened from that point home with All Terror (Kayne Kauffman) launching a first-over bid and Carlina Hanover (Tyler Smith) getting a snug pocket journey. When the 1:26 flashed at the three-quarters Page called on his winning mare and she responded with a :28.2 last quarter, despite 10 degree temperatures, to put the 1:54.2 triumph in the books. Shine N Shimmer is trained by Jim Ellison for the Dandy Farms and Howard Taylor. She now has 19 career victories and $321,742 in lifetime earnings. The feature race win was one of four on the night for Chris Page, whose other tallies came with Camphor Hanover (1:56.1), trotter Over And Out (1:58.1) and Rev Me Up (1:54.2). Racing resumes Saturday night with a powerful 14-race card offering $127,500 in purses. Gregg Keidel  

Sunday night’s $7,200 feature is the Jim Grundy Trot, named for the driver/trainer harness racing fixture in California harness racing for over 30 years who passed away in 2009 at the age of 74. Jim Grundy made 2,617 trips to the charmed enclosure as a driver, with more than $10.3 million in career purses. Originally a hockey player in his native Canada, a knee injury forced Jim to hang up his skates and stick in 1958. Going into the family business of harness racing, he found his second niche in life as a driver/trainer. Grundy apprenticed under famed horsemen Eddie Cobb, Clint Hodges and Frank Popfinger before going out on his own in the early 1960s. He was the leading driver at Monticello for three straight years beginning in 1971 before heading west with his wife Deborah, a former schoolteacher and bookkeeper for the stable. It was here that Grundy blossomed into one of the state’s top harness horsemen. Teaming with owners like Chris Bardis, Lloyd Arnold and Ron Zumbrun, he won countless stakes races with the likes of Googie, Hugabear, Steam and Easel. He was especially noted as an outstanding trainer of young trotters. Steve Desomer, Gene Vallandingham and Rick Kuebler competed against Grundy for many years and have high praise for his skills.J im was not only our friend, but partners with us on many memorable horses,” Desomer said. “He was an exceptional horseman and that resulted in a long and successful career.” Vallandingham related, “I knew Jim from the time he came to California. He was a nice guy and a great horseman and I always enjoyed his company.” Kuebler also did battle with Jim on many occasions at Cal Expo, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos. “I’d have to say he was the most accomplished trainer of young trotters we’ve ever had in the state. Even after his retirement, horsemen would seek him out to get advice in shoeing and balancing a trotter. It was all about his expertise and passion.” Brussel Sprout heads Jim Grundy Trot Brussel Sprout, an overpowering winner of the prep for this race two weeks ago, looms a solid choice in Sunday evening’s $7,200 Jim Grundy Trot at Cal Expo. There will be nine races on Sunday with a first post of  4:55 p.m. The main event is set go as the sixth contest on the evening with a field of six facing starter Kenny Fowler. Brussel Sprout is a 6-year-old son of Glidemaster out of the Prakas mare Elana Hanover who races for Clint Lugar and Matias Ruiz, is conditioned by Ray Burt and will have Luke Plano at the controls. Sent off the 3-5 favorite in the Jim Grundy Trot prep in his most recent appearance on February 8, Brussel Sprout did not disappoint his many backers. He was used early and again at the half, took command for good once straightened for home and went on to a three and a quarter length decision over the sloppy going. Taking him on Sunday are Vari Forgetful with Bruce Clarke; Silverlode, who will have Steve Desomer in the sulky; Hooray Katie with Steve Wiseman; Timmy T, Steve Farrell Jr; and Lodi Dorian Blues with Pierre Girard guiding. A reminder that there are four wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5, which are both 10-cent minimum bets; the 50-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool on Sunday.                                                ******** Next week will find the trotters and pacers in action on Saturday and Sunday nights, February 28 and March 1. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity – Cal Expo Harness

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