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WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Encore Encore mare Striking Encore, caught late in this class last week, made amends on the Tuesday afternoon harness racing card at a soggy The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, controlling the pace in a 1:56.2 victory in the $12,800 featured trot. George Napolitano Jr. had few anxious moments with the winner, who has now won three times in five starts since she joined up with trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen.   There was a quartet of $10,400 contests for two-year-olds, one for each sex at both gaits. On the trot, both winners posted 1:58.2 victories in the sloppy going: the Muscle Hill - Possessed By Lindy colt Lindysmusclemania, who won his debut for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Ãke Svanstedt, and Stall Droad AB, and the Explosive Matter - Miss Michelle filly Above The Clouds, who missed her mark by a fifth while triumphing for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and Bay Pond Racing Stable. Among the baby pacers, the Somebeachsomewhere - Lindy's Nightmare filly Lindy At The Beach remained undefeated in three purse starts, being brushed to the lead in front of the stands by driver Scott Zeron and maintaining the advantage to the wire in 1:56.2, last quarter :28.1. The Domenico Cecere-trained miss is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Zeron used similar tactics with the Captaintreacherous - Code One Hanover colt to gain a 1:53.1 victory - brush to the lead in front of the stands and stay clear of the closers. Crunch Hanover now has two overnight wins and a second and a third in the PA Sire Stakes on his record for trainer Linda Toscano and the ownership of Enviro Stables Ltd., South Mountain Stables, R-And-I Farms LLC , and The Bay's Stable LLC. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

East Rutherford, NJ - Seating for this Saturday's 95th Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack is going quickly. Due to limited attendance capacities and COVID protocols, onsite attendance is limited to harness racing horsemen dining on the West Deck and guests dining in the Backyard or at the Cafe. No walk-ups will gain admittance to the Grandstand without a reservation for Saturday. Five tables remain for the Café picnic tables. The Café will have waitress service and be tented for guest comfort. Guests can dine on racetrack staples including chicken wings and French fries, cheese steaks, burgers, pretzels, popcorn, ice cream and more. Reservations must be pre-paid and are $100 per table. Each table seats up to four people. The $100 is also a food credit that can be used at the outdoor Café on Hambletonian Day. The credit is valid on Saturday, August 8th only. Cafe tables can be purchased at https://meadowlandsracetrack.ticketleap.com/2020-hambletonian-day-cafe-dining/ Backyard tables are also very limited. The Backyard BBQ & Grill will have waitress service and also be tented. Guests can dine on $15 brunch specials and delicious summer-time grilled fare including burgers, sausage and hot dog along with brisket, ribs and mac & cheese. Backyard reservations must be pre-paid and are $25 per person. The $25 is also a food credit that can be used at the Backyard BBQ & Grill and Backyard Bar. Reservations for Backyard dining can be made by emailing Jennifer Jordan at jjordan@arkrestaurants.com. Please include your phone number in the email. Guests must make dining reservations for track admittance and guaranteed seating. All must wear face coverings while not at their table, have their temperature checked and complete a brief health questionnaire. No one with a temperature exceeding 100.4 will be allowed to enter. All are also encouraged to download and fill out the required the health questionnaire (available here) to speed up the check-in process. There is no valet parking available. To adhere to all COVID-19 protocols the Meadowlands has implemented the following measures: All guest seating has been 6 ft social distanced Hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the grandstand All high touch surfaces will be frequently wiped down throughout the day including all self-service machines, door handles and counter-tops No food or beverage is permitted inside the grandstand. Guests are able to order from a waitress and eat and drink outside on the apron tables. Smoking is only permitted on the outdoor apron. It is prohibited in all dining areas Face coverings must be worn at all times except when seated at a dining table. All updated racing and dining information can be found at PlayMeadowlands.com. From the Meadowlands .  

PACER OF THE WEEK: ATTA BOY DAN The 2019 Pacer of the Year at Pocono has begun to find his stride once again at his favorite track for trainer Pete Pellegrino. In his previous two races heading into a $11,200 condition pace on Saturday, Atta Boy Dan had picked up back to back victories from difficult #9 posts. His last victory even put the 11-year-old gelding over the $1 million mark in career earnings. On Saturday afternoon, Atta Boy Dan, the 9-5 second choice in a field of nine, left from the #6 post and had to work hard to get the lead on the first turn. Once there, however, he wouldn't let it go, pulling away from favorite Thatswhatisaid N and holding off closing Bettor Spirits N to win by a length-and-a-half. With driver George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, he paced the mile in 1:51:1 for his third straight win. Honorable Mention Royal Heart (Anthony Napolitano, Darren Taneyhill), who scored his second straight $20,000 claimers on Saturday afternoon, winning in 1:50:1. Bell I No (George Napolitano Jr., Tee Wine), who managed his second straight victory at the top of the claiming ladder at Pocono with a win on Saturday in 1:50:2. Golden Quest N (jim Marohn Jr., Mark Harder), a mare who captured her second straight condition win on Sunday night, getting it done in 1:53:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: BEGUIN DUGOUTIER F You don't see too many French-bred horses racing at the Pocono oval. But this 9-yeatr-gelding trained by Tee Wine is one of them. He came into his start against the $10,000 condition trotters on Sunday night off a sharp victory at Tioga, and, as a result, Beguin Dugoutier F was favored in the field of a nine at 9-5 from an inside post. Driver Simon Allard settled with Beguin Dugoutier F in 3rd early on while Meadowbranch Ricky set the pace. But the favorite made his move on the back stretch to take over a lead he would not relinquish. Beguin Dugoutier F ended up winning by a length-and-a-half over Marion Gondolier in 1:54:4, which made for a new career best. Honorable Mention: Vic's Winner (John Kakaley, Christopher Lakata), who picked up a condition win on Saturday in 1:52:4, which was a new career mark and was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. Celebrity Miracle (Kevin Wallis, Jennifer Sansone), who followed up a victory at Harrah's with a condition win here on Sunday night in 1:55:4. Striking Encore (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), whose win in a $25,000 claiming trot on Tuesday in the slop in 1:56:2 gave her three victories in her last three races. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SAINT SEBASTIAN This trotter driven by Tom Jackson enjoyed a memorable maiden victory on Monday afternoon, winning at 55-1 for a $118.60 payback on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: KEVIN WALLS Kevin was Mr. Long Shot this past week, picking up a win with 10-1 shot Celebrity Miracle on Sunday and then following it up with 33-1 bomber Sweetonthebeack on Monday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: PETE PELLEGRINO Pellegrino has been delivering winners at a very high rate this summer at Pocono, and he continued to do so with three more training victories this past week, including a double on Monday. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs          

Hanover, PA — It is with great pride and excitement that Hanover Shoe Farms announces that superstar pacer Papi Rob Hanover will be returning to the farm he was foaled and raised at to begin stallion duties in 2021. Papi Rob Hanover took a record of p,2,150f at two while earning $754,774. He won the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, his Breeders Crown elimination, the Matron and Governor’s Cup. He crossed the wire first in the final of the Breeders Crown but was subsequently placed second. He was second in both his elimination and final of the Metro Pace (pacing both last quarters in less than :27) for a freshman slate of 12 starts with six wins, four seconds and two thirds. In an abbreviated sophomore campaign, Papi Rob Hanover started four times. He was third in the Meadowlands Pace elimination from post 10 with a :26.1 last quarter and second in the final, beaten a neck in 1:47.2 from post nine. He culminated his career with an electrifying world record performance in his Adios elimination, winning by 10-1/2 lengths in 1:47.1 with a :26.3 last quarter over the five-eighths-mile oval. Papi Rob Hanover is from the second to last full crop of the legendary Somebeachsomewhere who has already displayed his ability to sire great stallions as evidenced by the dominance of his son Captaintreacherous. Papi Rob Hanover’s maternal pedigree is one of the best the business has. He is the second foal of the very fast Panera Hanover p,4,1:51.2f, she a sister to JK Panache p,1:47.3s ($662,789) and Philly Hanover p,3,1:49.2f ($334,241). Papi Rob Hanover’s grandam is the prolific Panned Out, she the dam of the winners of more than $2 million. “Papi Rob was a great looking and extremely smart yearling. He reminded me most of his father of any Beach colt we have raised. He’s very correct and powerful and has a presence about him that signifies greatness. His win in the Adios elimination was as scintillating a performance as I have ever seen. When he came flying around that last turn I had visions of Somebeachsomewhere. Combine all of that with his pedigree and I have little doubt that Papi Rob will be Beach’s next great siring son,” says Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. Owner David McDuffee, who purchased Papi Rob Hanover from the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale for $130,000 says, “I have been inundated with interest in Papi Rob from some of the largest breeding farms in the business. It’s very exciting to me that he is going back home and I am very confident that Hanover will give him every opportunity to become the great stallion that I know he is destined to become. I believe that the terms of syndication are very appealing, he is priced fairly with additional incentives, so that we can put together a great syndicate to increase his level of success even more.” Brett Pelling, trainer of such notables as Rocknroll Hanover and The Panderosa, developed and trained Papi Rob Hanover for the duration of his career. “Papi Rob is the most perfect horse I have been fortunate enough to train. He’s blessed with a flawless gait, strength and intelligence. He was fast and light on his feet. When you add in his looks, charisma, and wonderful temperament, I can’t fault him. He’s always left me in awe. He will be missed in the barn but I’m excited to see those traits in his offspring in the coming years.” Papi Rob Hanover will stand the 2021 breeding season in Pennsylvania for an introductory fee of $10,000. A limited number of shares are available. Please contact Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky at 717.578.7395 or drjablonsky@hanoverpa.com for further information and details of the syndication. From Hanover Shoe Farms

East Rutherford, NJ - On Saturday, August 8th as an added convenience for our wagering public due to reduced racetrack capacity, the Meadowlands Racetrack will offer a walk-up Teller window in Lot M off of Berry's Creek Road. Tellers will be available for wagering from 11 am through 5:30 pm. Bettors will be able to place wagers on our full live and simulcast offerings including: 12:00 PM Gulfstream Park 12:00 PM Saratoga 12:00 PM Meadowlands (H) 12:30 PM Pocono Downs (H) 12:45 PM The Meadows (H) 12:50 PM Monmouth Park 1:00 PM Woodbine 3:00 PM Tioga Downs (H) 3:00 PM Vernon Downs (H) 3:05 PM Arlington 4:05 PM Louisiana Downs 4:15 PM Golden Gate 5:00 PM Del Mar Programs will be available for sale along with past performances for the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks. For all things Hambletonian visit http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/hambletonian/ or https://www.hambletonian.com/ From the Meadowlands Media Department

The harness racing Top Ten Poll this week sees Manchego moving up one spot to 2nd place while Tall Dark Stranger, after his loss Saturday at the Meadowlands, has dropped to the number 3 spot. Gimpanzee remains No.1 for the fourth straight week since the Top Ten Poll first started. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 4 – 8/4/2020 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Gimpanzee (28) 4th 4-4-0-0 $401,200 336 1 2 Manchego (5) 5tm 5-4-1-0 $218,975 294 3 3 Tall Dark Stranger 3pc 4-3-0-0 $343,569 270 2 4 Ramona Hill (2) 3tf 3-2-0-1 $151,465 182 9 5 Atlanta 5tm 4-2-2-0 $177,950 176 4 6 Shartin N 7pm 4-3-1-0 $133,416 137 6 7 Dancin Lou 4ph 5-3-0-2 $254,661 100 7 8 Papi Rob Hanover 3pc 4-1-21 $173,205 82 5 9 Hurrikane Emperor 4ph 6-4-1-1 $171,625 69 8 10 Ready For Moni 3tc 2-2-0-0 $92,570 63 -- ALSO: Back Of The Neck 48; Reflect With Me 47; Hypnotic AM 22; Catch The Fire, Party Girl Hill 14; Bet On Becky 13; Action Uncle 10; Allywag Hanover 6; American Courage, Captain Corey, Charlie May, Tattoo Artist 5; Ocean Rock, Sister Sledge, Splash Brother 4; Backstreet Shadow 3; JL Cruze, Love A Good Story 2; Kissin In The Sand, My Ruebe Star N, Southwind Amazon 1.

Harness racing trainer Marcus Melander will send morning-line favorite Hypnotic AM to Saturday's $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks at The Meadowlands and, for the second year in a row, three horses to the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes final. Melander's Hambletonian trio last year - Greenshoe, Gimpanzee, and Green Manalishi S - were the bettor's top-three choices in the race won by Forbidden Trade. His group Saturday will lack the same backing, each of his horses is 15-1 on the morning line, but the 28-year-old Melander still relishes the opportunity to compete in harness racing's premier event for 3-year-old trotters. "We all hope for that win, even though it's going to be tough," said Melander, who will send out Capricornus, Hollywood Story, and Rome Pays Off in the Hambletonian. "I don't feel defeated with any of my horses because they're all good. They just need the right trip to get up there." Melander is looking for his first win in the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks. He was second in last year's Hambletonian with Greenshoe while Gimpanzee was third and Green Manalishi S fifth. He was fourth in last year's Oaks with Miss Trixton. The Hambletonian is the first jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. CBS Sports Network will air a delayed one-hour broadcast of the Hambletonian from 6-7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The stakes-filled card at The Meadowlands starts at noon. While Melander is sending out perceived longshots in the Hambletonian, Hypnotic AM gets the early nod in the Oaks, which is for 3-year-old female trotters. The winner of 10 of 13 career races and $624,725, she is 5-2 on the morning line. Hypnotic AM, a homebred daughter of Chapter Seven-Daydream AM S owned by Courant Inc., enters the Oaks off a 1:52.3 win in a prep race this past weekend at The Meadowlands. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Oaks, which attracted a field of 12 fillies. "I was very happy with her," Melander said. "She has a lot of speed and this year she has been handy as well. She got a little grabby and hot at the end of last year and you couldn't really control her. This year she has been much better. "She just has a great attitude and she wants to do it out there. I'm very confident with her, but there are nice horses in there. They will be tough to beat but I'm very confident in my horse." Hypnotic AM and driver Brian Sears will start the Oaks from post 12, which is in the second tier behind the starting gate. "It is what it is," Melander said. "It's up to Brian, that's why we have him. He worked it out perfectly with Gimpanzee from post 13 (in the Hambletonian Maturity on July 18) so hopefully he can work something out here as well." Hypnotic AM was last year's New York Sire Stakes champion and she opened this season with two wins on the New York circuit, including the Empire Breeders Classic. She then finished third in the Del Miller Memorial, won by Ramona Hill in 1:50.3, on July 18 at The Meadowlands in her start prior to the Oaks prep. "She got a tough trip and was interfered with, but she needed that race," Melander said. "It's been a little bit too easy on her in New York. She gets to the lead and has had some pretty soft halves and sprinted to the win. It was good that she got tired in that Del Miller race. That really helped her to get in form. We were very happy with her performance." Sorella from the stable of trainer Nancy Takter is the 7-2 second choice in the Oaks and Jim Campbell's Next Level Stuff is 9-2. As for the Hambletonian, Melander is happy with his horses heading into the final. The last trainer to have at least three Hambletonian finalists in successive years was Jimmy Takter, who accomplished it in 2013 through 2015. Rome Pays Off, driven by Melander's 24-year-old brother Mattias, was fifth in his Hambletonian elimination after racing on the outside the entire mile. He won his first two races of 2020, including the Tompkins-Geers Stakes in 1:52.3. Last season, the son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish won three times on the Pennsylvania circuit and was second in both the Peter Haughton Memorial and Breeders Crown. He has won five of 15 career races and $392,934 for owner S R F Stable. Rome Pays Off starts the Hambletonian from post eight. Tony Alagna-trained Ramona Hill, who bypassed the Oaks to challenge the boys in the Hambletonian, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. "It's going to be hard to beat Ramona Hill," said Melander, who was the 2019 Trainer of the Year in the U.S. "She's going to be the favorite and should be the favorite. Behind her I think it's pretty wide open. Rome Pays Off could be second as could anyone else in the race. It's an open race in my opinion. "(Rome Pays Off) drew a little bad but he's a nice horse and always shows up. I have nothing bad to say about that horse. He always does his best." Hollywood Story opened this year with back-to-back wins in conditioned races before finishing fourth in a division of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial and second in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. He was fifth in his Hambletonian elim. He will start the final from post three with driver David Miller. The Courant Inc.-owned son of Muscle Hill-Counter Pointe has won four of seven lifetime races. "He's still a little bit green but he develops more and more with every race," Melander said. "He started with some easier races and then we had to go to Grand Circuit competition to see if he was good enough to aim for the Hambo or not. He got a good draw. We'll see." Capricornus, who finished second in last year's William Wellwood Memorial and has won three of 15 career starts, finished third in his Hambletonian elim. He will start from post seven with driver Tim Tetrick. The son of Cantab Hall-Oh My Darlin is owned by JJ Racing Stable. "Maybe he's not the type that wins every week, but he always does good races," Melander said. "The elimination was a race like that as well. He got shuffled back and still had a lot of trot to the end." Following are the fields for the Hambletonian Oaks and Hambletonian. $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-ML 1. Crucial - Father Patrick - (Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke), 15-1 2. Next Level Stuff - Sebastian K S - (Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell), 9-2 3. Reba Blue Chip - Chapter Seven - (Verlin Yoder, Verlin Yoder), 20-1 4. May Baby - Guccio - (James Yoder, James Yoder), 10-1 5. Tricky Sister - Trixton - (Corey Callahan, Andrew Harris), 20-1 6. Whose Blues - Cantab Hall - (Daniel Dube, Luc Blais), 20-1 7. Sorella - Muscle Hill - (Yannick Gingras, Nancy Takter), 7-2 8. Fortune Starlet - Trixton -  (No Driver, George Ducharme), 15-1 9. Solsbury Hill - Muscle Hill - (Scott Zeron, Rick Zeron), 12-1 10. Ab'sattitudexpress - Trixton - (Tim Tetrick, Lucas Wallin), 20-1 11. Panem - Father Patrick - (Dexter Dunn, Nancy Takter), 6-1 12. Hypnotic AM - Chapter Seven - (Brian Sears, Marcus Melander), 5-2 NOTE: Panem and Hypnotic AM will start from the second tier. $1 Million Hambletonian PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-ML 1. Ready For Moni - Ready Cash - (Yannick Gingras, Nancy Takter), 3-1 2. Back Of The Neck - Ready Cash - (Scott Zeron, Ake Svanstedt), 4-1 3. Hollywood Story - Muscle Hill - (Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander), 15-1 4. Big Oil - Father Patrick - (Andy Miller, Julie Miller), 15-1 5. Ramona Hill - Muscle Hill - (Andrew McCarthy, Tony Alagna), 5-2 6. Threefiftytwo - Royalty For Life -  (Scott Zeron, Luc Blais), 6-1 7. Capricornus - Cantab Hall - (Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander), 15-1 8. Rome Pays Off - Muscle Hill - (Mattias Melander, Marcus Melander), 15-1 9. Sister Sledge - Father Patrick - (Brian Sears, Ron Burke), 12-1 10. Amigo Volo - Father Patrick - (Dexter Dunn, Nifty Norman), 12-1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

CLEARFIELD, PA - The Explosive Matter colt Stickler Hanover trotted the fastest mile in the history of the Clearfield (PA) County fairgrounds on Monday afternoon in Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes action, winning in 2:01.1 to reduce by a tick the mark set by Bet On Tom three years and two days previously. Trainer Steve Schoeffel had the lines behind the new track recordholder, who won his PA Fair Championship event in 2019. Stickler Hanover boosted his lifetime earnings over $100,000 and has now won both of his fair starts (with a Stallion Series victory in between) for owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel. Among Stickler's pacing counterparts, the Western Ideal gelding Full Send, who had posted the circuit's other all-age record when he lowered the Silver Springs Ranch standard and overall fair season's record to 1:57.4, was the fastest of three "A" Sire Stakes winners. He covered the twicearound at Clearfield in 1:59.2 for driver Wayne Long, trainer Eli Scott Jr., and Chesapeake Equine Clinic Inc. Another 2019 fair champ, the Ponder colt Champ Charbel, won his "A" cut in 2:01 for driver William Carter and trainer/owner Joe Karrat; Nome Hanover won the third highest-level Fair Sire Stake in 2:00.1 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with Timothy Hayes and Dr. Megan Moschgat. That wasn't the end of the "glamour division"'s 2:00 production, however, as fair newcomer Bipbopnallie posted a 1:59.4 win in a "B" division, the Artspeak gelding winning for driver Branden Smith, trainer Roger Hammer, and the partnership of Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable, and William Lutz Jr. The third fair champ of last year to win at Clearfield was Dream Dancing, a daughter of A Rocknroll Dance who won the fastest division of the filly pace in 2:00.1 for her fourth straight win, that streak including a Stallion Series triumph. Driver Dave Brickell and trainer Mitchell York are the co-owners of the fleet filly. Furious Fast set a PA fair season's record when she won her cut of the sophomore filly trot in 2:03.1, scoring for driver Shawn Johnston and trainer Rick Beinhauer, the latter co-owner with Ronnie Stamm. In Sunday's two-year-old action, Tiamogonedancen lowered the local standard for two-year-old pacing fillies while remaining undefeated in two starts with a 2:00.1 mile for Team Brickell/York, with Chrome Over's 2011 mark of 2:01.2 going by the boards; the time also made her the fastest freshman at the Pennsy fairs this year. And if her stablemate Lazy Day Hanover had raced just before instead of just after her, she would have set a track record, as she is now undefeated in four fair starts after a 2:01.1 triumph. The only other four-time fair winner, Capo Dei Capi, failed in his attempt to become a five-time success story on the cotton candy circuit when he was second to the Creatine colt Swing Batter Swing, home first in 2:07 for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer. The race before that, the Southwind Frank gelding Killer Instinct had lowered the fair divisional season's mark to 2:06.1 for driver Wayne Long, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the ownership of Brocious Racing Stable Inc. and the Lone Wolf Stable. Clearfield annually awards the Buster DiSalvo trophy to the driver with the most wins at the meet; this year the trophy was shared by Dave Brickell and Todd Schadel, each five-time visitors to Victory Lane. Todd Schadel also trained six winners to lead the meet in that category. The season has been compacted by the delayed start, and the Keystone trotters and pacers will be back in action on Thursday and Friday at 2 p.m. at the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Meadville PA. From the PFHHA, PHHA and MSOA Partnership  

Plainville, Ma --- Overlooked on the morning line and also at the windows, 36-1 shot Royalty Again turned a furious stretch drive into an instant harness racing jackpot in the $12,000 distaff pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 3). Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) grabbed the lead and took the field to the half in :54.3, and it was there things started getting interesting. Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) was parked and made her way to the leader in the second turn. Behind her was For Chips Sake (Mitchell Cushing) and Free Exchange (Drew Campbell), leaving Royalty Again (Drew Monti) last at the five-eighths. At the three-quarter pole all seven horses were now only three lengths apart from each other and fanned three deep heading into the last turn. Ry's Red Rocket put away the challenge of Rockin Ellie leaving Free Exchange now breathing down her neck. Right behind Free Exchange was Royalty Again who was swinging four wide and still four behind, but pacing like the wind down the lane. About 100 feet from the wire, Royalty Again bolted past everyone, took the lead and won by 3/4 of a length in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark.   It was the first win of the year for Royalty Again ($74.00) who is owned by Richard Knight and trained by Randy Bickmore. In the secondary $10,500 event for pacing mares, Weekend Getaway (Mitchell Cushing) came first-over from sixth at the half and chased down the leading That's Incredible (Drew Monti), eventually taking the lead at the top of the stretch and pulling away to a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:52.3. It was a new seasonal mark and the third straight win for Weekend Getaway ($17.60) who is owned by Jeffrey Kaylor and trained by Joe Therrien. Drivers Drew Monti and Bruce Ranger both scored driving hat tricks on Monday. Monti is currently the leading dash driver at the meet with 20 wins, Ranger is second with 15, Nick Graffam is third with 12 and Mitchell Cushing is fourth with 11. The 11-race card yielded new lifetime marks for seven of the winning horses. Racing resumes on Thursday at Plainridge Park with post time set for 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

A Spa staple made his return to the harness racing winner's circle on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Panocchio was the Horse of the Year at the track in 2014 and was named Pacer of the Year in both '14 and '15 as the Jimmy Mattison trainee was a dominant force for several seasons. Now at the age of ten, Panocchio (No Pan Intended) is still a talent and fairly regular participant in Opens both here at Saratoga and at Pompano Park in Florida where he spends much of his year. On Monday afternoon, Panocchio drew the rail while taking a drop in company off a third-place finish in last week's Open Pace. The veteran utilized his inside post to power out to the lead though the fractions were fast considering he was untested in the early going in the $5,750 conditional race. Despite posting first half fractions of 27.1 and 56 seconds, Panocchio was up to the task on Monday and drew away from his rivals late in the mile before stopping the timer in 1:52.4 for his third win of the season and his first since returning to the Spa.   Saratoga has been a place of consistency and at times dominance for the superstar pacer who has amassed over $640,000 in career earnings behind 71 lifetime victories. Gerry Mattison, the regular reinsman for Panocchio when he competes at the Spa, sat behind him on Monday for the wire-to-wire score. The afternoon's feature once again went the way of Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) who went coast-to-coast for owner/trainer/driver Larry Stalbaum. The defending Pacer of the Year has been the fixture in the local Open Pace and its dominant force for close to a year now. After scoring ten consecutive Open wins at one point from 2019 into the start of 2020, Crockets Cullen N has now prevailed in four of the last five installments of the Open Pace as he sparkled in a 1:51.4, a clocking which serves as the fastest of the season at the Spa. The 3-5 favorite of the bettors on Monday, Crockets Cullen N survived first lap fractions of 26.1 and 54.4 to have something left in the stretch and make yet another trip to the winner's circle for Stalbaum who has been on a tear of late. Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Chester, PA -- Harrah's Philadelphia has canceled the qualifying races scheduled for Tuesday morning (Aug. 4) due to inclement weather forecast for greater Philadelphia.   Horsemen are advised that the draw for Friday's (Aug. 7) will occur as scheduled, with entries due to the race office no later than 9 a.m. Tuesday.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 3, 2020 -- Wild Wild Western zipped to the front from post 6 and never had an anxious moment as he cruised to victory in Monday's feature at The Meadows, a $10,800 Conditioned Pace. Although Wlld Wild Western had several strong performance this year, including a pair of checks in Graduate series legs, he was without a win in four 2020 starts. The son of Western Ideal-Caila Fra changed that arithmetic when he seated Real Peace and had little trouble downing him by a neck in 1:51.4 for Mike Wilder. Mister Spot A raced well first over for show.   Norm Parker trains Wild Wild Western, who vaulted over $200,000 in lifetime earnings, for Jacobs Creek Racing, Andrew Altobelli and John Deters. Wilder collected four wins on the 15-race card, including a pair for trainer Dan Altmeyer, while Dan Rawlings fashioned a three-bagger. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race program features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3); a $4,509.21 carryover in the Early Pick 5 (race 2), a $1,096.65 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Patttak, for The Meadows  

Scarborough, ME - August 3, 2020 ... Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the state of Maine harness racing industry is once again on the ascendancy as Scarborough Downs will restart its 2020 season on Tuesday (8/4), kicking off a late summer meet that is scheduled to extend through the month of October. The Downs will race on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday with post time slated for 1:30 PM (EDT) for the next two weeks, before establishing a Tuesday, Saturday schedule beginning on August 18 when Bangor Historic Track will join the mix by hosting racing on Wednesdays and Sundays. After racing came to a conclusion in early July at the Downs, an historic agreement between the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association, The Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association, The Maine Harness Racing Commission and the two commercial tracks has created a funding vehicle to help provide operational revenues to the racing venues, enabling Maine's harness racing horsemen and women and other industry participants an opportunity to get back to work. In the midst of their 70th season, Scarborough Downs was forced to relinquish their customary April and May dates in compliance with emergency declarations from the state of Maine but then received special permission to open for racing on June 5th. Operating revenue dried up after 17 performances though as the industry attempted to function on a spectator less basis, and the Downs was forced to close their doors on July 10th. Track revenues will now become partially reestablished as new guidelines allow up to 150 spectators to attend the live harness racing cards with attendees spaced and socially distanced throughout the massive grandstand apron and new outdoor trackside beer garden. Additionally, simulcast wagering is now being conducted on a Tuesday through Saturday schedule from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM in the Winner's Circle Lounge, with simulcast attendance capped at 50 customers. Mask wearing and social distancing will be required and strictly enforced at all times at the Downs. "It's tough to overstate the Herculean effort that was put forth by the entire industry to get harness racing back up and running this year" said Denise Terry, President and Treasurer of Scarborough Downs, "The agreement that was worked out coupled with the fact that our revenue streams have been partially reestablished, gives us hope as we head back to the races on Tuesday. All industry participants will now pledge to work cooperatively to provide a safe and exciting racing experience, both in the paddock for the horsemen and women and in the grandstand areas for our patrons." In addition to the live on-track experience, people may also watch and wager on the Scarborough Downs races at Maine's OTB parlors, and online at dayatthetrack.com (Maine residents must wager at hollywoodraces.com). For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. by Mike Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The sophomore gelding Saint Sebastian, sired by the late Sebastian K, scored not only his maiden victory but that of his 59-year-old trainer Mahlon Martin with a 1:57.4 win at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Monday afternoon, in the process lighting up the tote board to the tune of $118.60 to win. Tom Jackson got the winner away in the two-hole, watched 2-1 shots Tuff To Be Lindy and Gerard battle until the stretch, and then went into the Pocono Pike to score a half-length victory for the LCL Stable. Trainer Martin has only had his trainer's license since last Decembher, a little more than a month before Pocono had its last $100+ winner, the $171.40 bomber Ben Rockin, who won on February 9, the second night of the 2020 "meet" and obviously well before the pandemic hit. Saint Sebastian may be a good "poster boy" horse in these times - in the Catholic church, the faithful pray to Saint Sebastian to protect them in times of plague. Two races before Martin scored his first win, driver Kevin Wallis  had success with Sweetonthebeach, who also took advantage of a two-hole trip and the Pocono Pike to break her maiden in 1:56.3 while returning $68.60 for a $2 win wager. Emily Bost trains the winning sophomore daughter of Somebeachsomewhere for herself and co-owner Steve Salerno. The Napolitano brothers, Anthony and George Jr., each had three victories on the card to tie for the day's honors. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

The 2020 Hambletonian is Saturday, August 8th.  Post time for the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands is 4:35 pm and can be viewed live at PlayMeadowlands.com CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, will present a delayed 60-minute broadcast of the $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks from The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J., on Sat., Aug. 8, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. [EDT] The Hambletonian is the first and most prestigious leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. CBS Sports Network has been the broadcast home of the Hambletonian since 2012.   Rank Horse Driver, Trainer, Owner Ken Warkentin’s Comments 1 Ramona Hill (Muscle Hill)  Andrew McCarthy, Tony Alagna, Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert Leblanc, In The Gym Partners  Dan Patch Award winning filly unleashed a 1:50.3 career best from post ten in the Del Miller, uncorked a :25.4 rally for the ages in to win her elimination in 1:51.2, “She’s been great,” Alagna said. “She was a very immature 2-year-old and she was still able to get the job done.  We were so happy with how she came back (in the winter) in Florida. Her first start, she raced super off the pace and two weeks ago she was sparkling and tonight she’s even better.” 2 Ready For Moni (Ready Cash) Yannick Gingras, Nancy Takter, John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Conn, Herb Liverman, Bud Hatfield Rallied to win his Team Takter debut in a Dancer division in 1:51.4, cruised to a new mark of 1:51.3 in his elimination, “The way the schedule has been this year, it’s been a little difficult to find races,” Takter said.  “We didn’t want to have him over-raced going into the Hambletonian, so he had a couple nice qualifiers to kind of let him get into his own and hopefully he’ll take this race in the right way and be even sharper for next week.” 3 Back Of The Neck (Ready Cash)  Scott Zeron, Ake Svanstedt, Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, Judith Taylor Scott Zeron looks for his third Hambo in five years, won a Reynolds division @ Big M on July 11 in 1:52 with a thunderous :26.4 rally, romped in a Dancer division in a career best equaling 1:52, second [1:51.2] to Ramona Hill in his elimination 4 Threefiftytwo (Royalty For Life) Bob McClure, Luc Blais, Determination  Last year’s Hambletonian upsetters with Forbidden Trade are back with an OSS performer who took a mark of 1:52.3 @ Mohawk on July 13, finished second [1:51.4] in his elimination 5 Amigo Volo  (Father Patrick) Dexter Dunn, Nifty Norman,  Pinske Stables, David J. Miller Breeders Crown champion won a PASS division @ Pocono Downs in a career best of 1:52 on July 26, third [1:51.4] in the first Hambo elimination, Dexter Dunn was fourth from post ten last year 6 Sister Sledge (Father Patrick) Brian Sears, Ron Burke, Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi Won her first two stakes as a 3YO @ The Meadows, second [1:52.4] in PASS @ Harrah’s Philadelphia, took a mark of 1:51.2 in a Tompkins Geers division, fourth [1:52] in the second elimination 7 Hollywood Story (Muscle Hill)  Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander, Courant Inc.  Melander said he’s a green colt with only seven starts, yet getting improving, second [1:52] to Ready for Moni in a Dancer division, fifth [1:52] in his elimination  8 Rome Pays Off (Muscle Hill) Mattias Melander, Marcus Melander,  S R F Stable 2019 Breeders Crown runner up made it two-for-two this season with a solid score in the Tompkins Geers with a career best of 1:52.3 on July 25, parked fifth [1:52.1] in the second elimination 9 Capricornus (Cantab Hall) Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander, Jj Racing Stable  Melander finished second, third & fifth in last year’s Hambletonian, second in the William Wellwood Memorial at two, rebounded with a solid third from the rail [1:52] in his elimination  10 Big Oil (Father Patrick) Andy Miller, Julie Miller, Jason, Doug & Ron Allen Team Orange Crush hit the board three straight years 2016-2018, won a PA Allstars division @ Pocono Downs in 1:53.2, third [1:52.3] in a Dancer division, fourth [1:52] in his eliminatio

US racing commissions in 2019 sent 263,783 biological samples from horses participating in professional horse races to the testing laboratories. Of those tests there were 1,461 adverse analytical findings accounting for 0.55% of all samples. 99.45% of samples tested were clear, indicating a high degree of compliance with anti-doping and medication rules based upon known information and data.. Of the adverse analytical findings, approximately 3% were clear attempts at doping as the substance detected had no reason to be present in the horse other than to provide a maximum enhancement of performance. Class 2 substances considered the next most serious level of substances that can affect performance accounted for 6.09% of all findings. Class 1 and Class 2 substances are generally considered "doping" and together they account for 9.03% of all 2019 detections. As in prior years, the overwhelming substance detections (69.75%) involved therapeutic medications (Class 4 and 5 substances) that may affect performance to a lesser extent, but are still not permitted to be present in a horse when it races. With the exception of race day furosemide to mitigate or prevent bleedings, horse racing does not permit use of these substances with a therapeutic use exemption as defined in the World Anti-Doping Code. 21.83% of the detections involved Class 3 substances. These have a greater ability to affect performance and contain substances which may be therapeutic as well as those that might indicate a deliberate attempt to cheat. This information represents the official testing results from all horse racing US jurisdictions, except Maine which did not respond to repeated requests for information. Like the testing results in human and Olympic sport, these numbers should not lessen the resolve of the sport and its regulators to pursue substances that the labs are unable to test for. This is an ongoing challenge for the anti-doping programs in all professional sport and underscores the need for intelligence based efforts in this regard as well as intelligence based out of competition testing. The RCI (ARCI) is the umbrella organization of the official governing rule making bodies for professional horse and greyhound racing. The bulk of its members are located throughout North America and parts of the Caribbean although its standards are relied upon worldwide in making regulatory policy. For 85 years, the ARCI has set international standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug testing laboratories, totalizator systems, racetrack operation and security, as well as off-track wagering entities. ARCI's regulatory authority members are the only independent entities recognized to license, enforce, and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing. From the Association of Racing Commissoners International  

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