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WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 23, 2020 -- Tuesday's Super Hi 5 harness racing jackpot at The Meadows will carry a mandatory payout. With the carryover already at $111,462.16, the final pool is projected to reach $250,000 or more. The last time The Meadows offered a mandatory Super Hi-5 payout, the pool ultimately exceeded $300,000. The Meadows offers the Super Hi-5, with a minimum 20-cent wager, on the final race of each live card. (The Super Hi-5 will not be offered Monday.) Ordinarily, the jackpot is paid only if there is a unique winning ticket. In Tuesday's must-pay situation, however, all holders of correct tickets will share the spoils. To make Tuesday's event even more challenging, the final race (race 13) will feature a field of 12, with horses 10, 11 and 12 leaving as trailers from the second tier. First post Tuesday is 12:45 PM, with race 13 scheduled to go at approximately 4:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

Pompano Beach, FL...November 22, 2020...Ideal Feeling, superbly handled byharness racing driver Dave Ingraham, held off the determined late charge from Mach West to score a narrow repeat win in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night in 1:50.4, the identical time of last week's win. The five-year-old son of American Ideal left with alacrity from his outside post (seven with a scratch) and swept into the lead with Mach West (post four with Wally Hennessey)) finding the garden spot early through panels of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:22.3. In the lane, Ideal Feeling, drifting out slightly, then used a :28.1 finale to hold off Mach West's charge along the pylons. The winning margin was a neck with Loud Splash (John MacDonald) third, two lengths away.   Dash Of Danger paced an "even-steven" mile to be fourth while Lets Roll, who put in a mild challenge around the final bend, picked up the minor award in the field reduced to seven with the scratch of Real Peace. Trained by Peter Blood for owner Rick Berks, Ideal Feeling earned his seventh win of the year in 21 starts to send his 2020 bounty to $70,688 and $267,693 lifetime to go along with his 1:48.4 Meadowlands mark this season. In a post-race interview, trainer Peter Blood related, "You know, he's just the nicest horse to be around, handy, great personality and can be handled with two fingers! He is the true definition of a 'race horse.' He likes off the pace better but, with the outside post, he had to be sent forward at the start tonight, just like last week. He's earned a week off after these two trips, that's for sure." Sent off as the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Ideal Feeling paid $3.40 to win. The Open II Pace went to Joe Chindano, Jr's Skip To My Lou, who roared home in :27.2 to score a repeat win in1:51.4 over Plus One (Wally Hennessey) with Brandon Hanover (Tyler Smith) rounding out the top three. Mac Anover and La Rockin Sampson earned the minors in the sharp septet. Skip To My Lou is a four year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou and this win was his fourth of the year in 14 starts, sending his seasonal bounty to $24,571 and $107,701 lifetime. He paid $2.60 as the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite. In other action, four $12,000 divisions of the FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes Finals for two year-olds were contested on Sunday night--two of these non-betting events--with Ifnotmewho and Prairie Sweetness capturing those on the pari-mutuel card with Shulda Hada Drink and Theflyingrock taking top honors in the non-wagering races. Ifnotmewho, a daughter of Credit Winner, earned her second straight win in the filly trot with a courageous late surge near the wire to score in 1:59 for Wally Hennessey--the margin a half-length over Prairie Virtue (Mike Simons) with Caio Bella (Alessandro Spano) third, 3 ¾ lengths away. West Haven and Prairie Trinket earned the final two awards in the field of seven. It was, indeed, Caio Bella, who blasted off the wings to take the field through panels of :29.1 and 1:00. On the backside, with three-eighths to go, Prairie Virtue left her cozy pocked to take command with Ifnotmewho following and settling back in right behind as they straightened away for the drive home. At mid-stretch, Ifnotmewho began gnawing away and got heir just in time. Hennessey also trains the filly for owner Herman Brewer with the win sending her scorecard to 2-3-2 in nine starts, good for $36,953. As the 1 to 2 favorite, Ifnotmewho returned $3.00 to her multitude of backers. Prairie Sweetness, involved in photo finishes is her first two career starts, got the nod in this her third trip back of the starting gate for Kevin Wallis in the filly pace, by edging past favored Sheza Terror (Wally Hennessey) at the wire to score in 1:56.4, lowering her lifetime best by 3 1/5 seconds. Ms Rodeo Drive (Dave Ingraham) overcame the outside post to garner third while Gator babe was next. Rocks StormyD earned the final check in the octet. At the outset, KD's Dream Girl, Sheza Terror and Prairie Sweetness were one-two-three off the wings but prior to the opening panel in :28.4, KD's Dream Girl suffered a broken hobble hanger and was forced to pull out allowing Sheza Terror to inherit the top spot with Prairie Sweetness on her tail. Prairie Sweetness, a daughter of Royel Millennium wound up stalking the leader the rest of the way through fractions of :58.4 and 1:28.3 and just did squeak by in the very last stride on the strength of her :28 finale. With a scorecard reading 2-0-1 in just three starts, Prairie Sweetheart has banked $8,286 in her first month on the racetrack. Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Sweetness paid $6.00 as second choice in the betting. Shulda Hada Drink, took top honors in the juvenile trot featuring colts and geldings as this altered son of Shibboleth Hanover took a new lifetime mark with a near gate-to-wire romp in 1:58.2 in just his third lifetime start. Driven by Mike Simons for trainer George Coblentz and owner Nick Coblentz, Shulda Hada Drink posted numbers of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:28.3 to eclipse his former mark in his only other win by three full seconds. Ifnotnowwhen (Wally Hennessey) was second, 9 ¼ lengths away, while the pocket-sitting Seeking Matthew (Sergio Corona), finished third over Jo Jo Jet, who completed the quartet. Thefly6ingrock, also driven by Mike Simons, a winner last week in 1:54.2, proved that mile was no fluke as he blazed through panels of :27, :54.3 and 1:23 before hold on late to score by 1¼ lengths in 1:53.1, of course a new career best. The very fast closing Hey Don't Tell Me (Mike Micallef) was second while Mister David C was next in the quintet. Buddha Beach and Lucky Ramsey completed that roster. Theflyingrock, a gelded son of Rockingcam, is trained by Wayne Carter, who co-owns with Jean Carter. Finally, there were several notable performances in the driver category on Sunday night with top honors going to Rick Plano, who scored a consecutive driving triple in the Late Pick-3. Plano started things off with a ninth race win with Rockin Machine ($21.20), took the 10th with Imagineuwithoutme ($7.40) and the finale with McMach ($4.00) to reward the Pick-3 Send It In Army with a $168.40 payday for the 50 cent ducat. Plano trains all three, as well, and gave wife Maryann an owners triple as sole owner of Rockin Machine and Imagineuwithoutme and part owner of McMach with Jan and Mindy Findling Repko. Wally Hennessey also had a driving triple with Ifnotmewho ($3.00), Caviart Reagan ($3.60) and Sand Sniper $9.40). Mike Simons also hit the winner's circle three times as he swept both ends of the non-wagering Sunshine State Stakes with the aformentioned Shulda Hada Drink and Theflyingrock and got the triple with How Are Yee John ($4.60). Racing resumes Monday night with a post time scheduled for 7:20 p.m and the Super Hi-5 finale carry-over ballooning to $9,678.26. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Batavia, NY --- Harness racing horsemen racing at Batavia Downs should be aware of the following draw schedule change for the races on Saturday November 28. The draw for Saturday (Nov. 28) will take place on Tuesday (Nov. 24) instead of on Wednesday (Nov. 25), with the entry box closing at 9 am. Driver choices and scratches must be received by the judges on Wednesday (Nov. 25) no later than 9:30 a.m. Programs will be printed on Wednesday (Nov. 25) due to Thursday (Nov. 26) being the Thanksgiving holiday. The draw schedule for the remaining five race days of 2020 is as follows: Race Day Draw Day Saturday (Nov. 28) Tuesday (Nov. 24) Wednesday (Dec. 2) Friday (Nov. 27) Saturday (Dec. 5) Wednesday (Dec. 2) Wednesday (Dec. 9) Friday (Dec. 4) Saturday (Dec. 12) Wednesday (Dec. 9)   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs ww.avast.com

Plainville, MA --- The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager has been one of the most popular bets offered at Plainridge Park since its introduction and also one of the toughest to hit. Since the last winning ticket was cashed here back in September, the carryover pool has now grown to $47,420 after the ninth race on Friday (Nov. 21). Now with the meet heading into the final week, the pool must be paid out. Whereas the track has been offering the wager twice on each live racing day, this week the Wicked Hi-5 will be suspended from the wagering menu all week until Friday (Nov. 27) when it will be offered only one time in race six with a mandatory payout and guaranteed pool of $75,000. If there is no unique winning combination purchased, the track will pay out on the closest winning combination(s) wagered. The Wicked Hi-5 on Friday will be part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering program and as such, a free program page for the race will be available on the USTA's website (ustrotting.com) under the "Handicapping" tab on Tuesday afternoon. The $75,000 guaranteed pool is the largest ever offered in the 21-year history of Plainridge Park. With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up on Thursday (Nov. 26), there will be no live racing held at Plainridge. However that card of racing will be conducted on Wednesday (Nov. 25) instead. Post time for the final three days of racing at Plainridge Park is 1 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

Sugar Valley Farm and the owners of the harness racing pacing standout Catch The Fire are excited to announce that The Adios victor will be joining the Sugar Valley Farm stallion roster for the 2021 season, while continuing his racing career. Catch The Fire will stand in Ohio for an introductory fee of $3,500. Catch The Fire, a son of standout stallion Captaintreacherous and out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Dream Outloud, is a top performer among the talented 2020 sophomore pacers. A Grand Circuit winner and KYSS 2-year-old champion, he has earnings of $655,001 lifetime and has proven to be a formidable competitor across the country and on all racetracks. Owner Charles Taylor is excited for this new opportunity, “Fire was exceptional right from the time he went into training. He has a flawless gait with no wasted motion. He has proven that with his sub 1:50 wins on all size tracks. He loves to race and has been very versatile in how he wins. He raced the best of his class every week. H never dodged the competition.” “He’s been a dream to drive. He’s just so smart on the track and does everything so easily. He’s incredibly versatile. To have a horse pace sub 1:50 miles on all sizes of racetracks is really something special,” said driver Mike Wilder. Sugar Valley Farm’s Joe McLead loves adding another strong pacing stallion to the Buckeye state, “He’s going to be a great addition to Ohio. He’s the Adios winner and a Jug elim winner and just an excellent individual. Being the first son of Captaintreacherous to come to the state makes it even better. He is a great addition to our roster that will allow us to cover all different maternal families. He’s the perfect fit to our puzzle. I was honored to have Mr. Taylor call to stand him. It’s going to be a lot of fun to manage his breeding career and watch him race when the breeding season is over.” For further information, contact Sugar Valley Farm at 740.363.5618 or email info@SugarValleyFarmStallions.com.   From Sugar Valley Farm

CHESTER, Pa. — Veteran campaigner Dealt A Winner ($6.80) overcame a post eight dispatch and held his ground while under siege late to take Sunday's (Nov. 22) featured harness racing event at Harrah's Philadelphia, an $11,600 upper-level conditioned pace. Dealt A Winner and driver Yannick Gingras were strung out a bit by 2-1 favorite Rock The Town (Anthony Napolitano) through a :27.3 first quarter, but cleared for sole control of the terms with well over a circuit to go. After pulling the half back a touch to :55.3, the 8-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding capably held his ground to stave off a late push up the open stretch from runner-up Rock The Town, who only missed Dealt A Winner's 1:51.2 mile by a neck. Thatswhatisaid N (Daniel Dubé) sustained a first-over grind through the final three-eighths of the mile to finish third, missing by just a half length.   Ron Burke trains 27-time winner Dealt A Winner for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. The win was his second in a row and his sixth of the season. Todd McCarthy led all drivers with three wins on the 14-race program. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 25), with a $2,769.87 carryover buoying the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 offered in the fifth race. Post time for the first of 14 races is 12:25 p.m. EST.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night saw a handful of horses lock up harness racing divisional honors Saturday night at The Meadowlands. It also saw the two most-coveted human awards more than likely cinched by a pair of the game's biggest stars. First up was Dexter Dunn, the 30-year-old native of New Zealand, who in his second year driving full time in America, left not much doubt whom the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year will be. Of the eight stakes races on the card, Dunn emerged victorious four times, guiding Manchego (TVG Open Trot), Kissin In The Sand (TVG Mares Pace), Always A Miki (Governor's Cup) and Bettor's Wish (TVG Open Pace) to victory lane. Add in the fact that Dunn won four Breeders Crown races and was the only driver in the sport with $10 million in earnings this year coming into the night, he better make room for a second DOTY trophy. Takter scored three times on the card, as her trainees - Manchego, Kissin In The Sand and Always A Miki - were all handled by Dunn. She entered Saturday with earnings of $7.3 million from just 397 starts. During 2020, in addition to the aforementioned power-packed threesome, Takter also had likely Horse of the Year winner Tall Dark Stranger - the Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup champion - in her barn. It's clear that Takter will more than likely raise the USHWA Trainer of the Year hardware again. A LITTLE MORE: Trainer Ron Burke and driver Dave Miller both reached an incredible milestone, as each pushed past the $250-million mark in lifetime earnings. Burke reached that lofty number when his Baklouva finished second in the Governor's Cup Consolation while Miller became a quarter-billionaire after scoring with Blue Diamond Eyes in the Three Diamonds. Burke is harness racing's leading all-time trainer in terms of earnings while Miller is second to John Campbell, who finished his career with $299 million in his bank account. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,744,397. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

East Rutherford, NJ -- Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's (Nov. 21) $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship, defeating Backstreet Shadow by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:48.1 at The Meadowlands. This Is The Plan finished third. Bettor's Wish led to the first turn before yielding to Southwind Ozzi in a :27.1 opening quarter. Southwind Ozzi's time on top was short-lived as driver Dexter Dunn directed Bettor's Wish back to the lead and took the field to the half in :54.2 and three-quarters in 1:22. He was never threatened in the stretch.   Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Bettor's Wish paid $3.00 to win. "I barely asked him tonight, to be honest," Dunn said. "It was all him. It's been him his whole career. He's a true racehorse. "It was a special feeling crossing the line with him tonight. He's been an amazing horse to me." Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, won 24 of 44 career starts and $2.60 million. He failed to finish among the top three only three times in his career. He received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer in 2019 and was second to Shartin N in voting for both Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Other victories this year for Bettor's Wish included the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. Bettor's Wish is owned by trainer Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. He was bred by Brittany Farms. "I'm very sad to retire the horse tonight, but it's the right time, it's the right thing to do for his stud career," Ryder said. "I'm really, really going to miss him. He's raced so good for us so many times, it's like I've got to pinch myself when I look back on those races. There are so many good memories. "I'd really like to thank my ownership group. They stood behind me 100 percent and let me race him wherever and whenever and that's made it a whole lot easier. The whole trip has just been very exciting and something I'll never forget." Bettor's Wish bred 58 mares in New Jersey this year before beginning his 4-year-old campaign. He will stand at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania in 2021. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Three months have passed since When Dovescry and Plunge Blue Chip clashed at The Meadowlands in a Steele Memorial thriller. Saturday night (Nov. 21), both million-dollar mares returned to settle the score in the $140,000 TVG Series Mares Trot. The 2019 Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry, a 4-year-old mare by Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove, set a career best mark of 1:50.0 in the Steele this past August. The Brett Pelling trainee entered off a second-place finish in her local prep race last week. She left from the outside post (6) as the even-money favorite taking on five rivals, with her adversary, Plunge Blue Chip, drawing post position three. Plunge Blue Chip, the daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato, finished second to When Dovescry when the two last met locally in the Steele. Ake Svanstedt, who trains, drives and owns the 5-year-old mare in partnership with Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc., got away well at the sound of the bell, sending Plunge Blue Chip to the early lead. Around the first turn, she relinquished the top to long-shot, Felicityshagwell S, who made the opening quarter in :27.1. Sensing a slow pace, Svandstedt pulled the pocket and brushed to the point with Plunge Blue Chip as the field linked up with the backstretch. She progressed unhurried to the half-mile marker, catching a :29.1 breather, clipping the beam in :56.2. With plenty in reserve and no serious threats, Plunge Blue Chip showed the field her heels in the stretch, kicking clear to a 1½-length victory. Pat Matters advanced from last to finish second from When Dovescry who disappointed, settling for third.   Plunge Blue Chip stopped the clock in 1:51.4, matching a stakes record jointly held by Hannalore Hanover and Emoticon Hanover. She paid $5.80 to win as the 9-5 second choice. "The best position for her today was in the front, and she made it," Svanstedt said. "She came home fast and felt good." On a night that celebrated the retirements of Manchego, Bettor's Wish and Kissin In the Sand, Svanstedt revealed in a surprise post-race announcement, that Plunge Blue Chip has made her final trip around the Big M oval. According to Svanstedt, "[Plunge Blue Chip] sold as a broodmare and she is going to Anvil and Lace farm in Kentucky." With her win in the TVG Mares Trot, Plunge Blue Chip improved her record to 23 wins from 48 career starts. She retires with $1,576,251 in earnings. By Shades Demsky, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Supporters of the harness racing betting favorites found themselves empty handed following the Fall Final Four pacing events on Saturday (Nov. 21) at the Meadowlands. Breeders Crown champ Summa Cum Laude grew leg weary off quick fractions while pocket-sitter Always A Miki vaulted with fresh legs to a 1:50.2 victory in the $371,900 Governor's Cup--sponsored by Walnridge Farm & Heritage Hill Farm. Captain Sleaze, at odds of 90-1, kicked to the front and held a brief lead by a :26.3 opening quarter as Always A Miki pulled wide from the pocket with Summa Cum Laude on his back. Always A Miki cleared command to the backstretch before yielding to Summa Cum Laude. Then Abuckabett Hanover tipped first over from fourth tracked by his stablemate, Metro Pace winner Exploit, approaching a :54.3 half. Abuckabett Hanover ranged toward the pacesetter nearing three-quarters in 1:21.4, but his advance stalled nearing the straightaway and forced Exploit to launch three wide. Summa Cum Laude clung to the lead into the stretch as a lane opened for Always A Miki to vacate pocket, and the Always B Miki-Beach Gal colt lunged to a late lead over an extended Exploit and held firm to a half-length victory. Summa Cum Laude held third with Captain Fancy closing for fourth.   "He's a very small horse, there's not much too him--but he's shown all year [that] he's a true competitor," driver Dexter Dunn said after the race. "We re-moved there at the quarter, then Yannick [Gingras and Summa Cum Laude] came and it worked out perfect. The three-quarters was pretty fast, and he was tagged on Yannick's helmet the whole trip. I knew he had something left if I could get him clear." Owned by Christina Takter, Goran Anderberg, Herb Liverman and Rojan Stables, Always A Miki collected his fifth victory from 13 starts, earning $342,418. Nancy Takter trains the $16.00 winner. Blue Diamond Eyes culled the flames of red-hot Breeders Crown champ Fire Start Hanover and emerged victorious in the $323,600 Three Diamonds Final--sponsored by Daniel Baer & South Mountain Stables. Driver David Miller had Blue Diamond Eyes revved early, powering for the front past a :27.3 first quarter to pocket Notorious Pink into the backstretch. Fire Start Hanover raced fourth into the backstretch and gradually edged off the pylons until committing first over by a :56 half. Once taken outside, Fire Start Hanover rolled towards Blue Diamond Eyes to battle the leader by three-quarters in 1:23.3. However, the far-turn blitz paid a toll on Fire Start Hanover as she retreated through the field with shortening strides. Blue Diamond Eyes meanwhile blazed to the finish while prompted by pocket-popping Notorious Pink, who settled for second by one-and-a-half lengths in the 1:51.1 mile. Thebeachiscalling wove through traffic for third with Lindy At The Beach taking fourth.   "Really where she turned her whole year around was in the Kentucky Sires Stakes," trainer Ron Burke said after the race. "She went down, re-found herself, then she came back and won the final. Then even in the Breeders Crown, we couldn't get her in the right spots. Last week [David Miller] said she's ready for a big effort and he said we'll give it to her this week. Like, we're just going to put her on the front and make them come beat her. He was very right--I knew when they came into the last turn [that] they'd have to pace hard to get around her, because she'll fight when she gets the lead." Winning her fifth race from 13 starts, Blue Diamond Eyes has banked $554,617 for owners Thomas & Scott Dillon. The filly by Captaintreacherous-Aria Hanover returned $11.40 to win. An $81,000 consolation was contested earlier on the card for the Governor's Cup. Chris Ryder trainee Beachhead bolted down the center of the track off swift fractions of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:22.4 to win by three-quarter lengths in 1:51.2 over Baklouva, who rallied from last for second. David Miller drove the $13.40 winner for owners Steve Heimbecker and Mac Nichol. By Ray Cotolo, for the Meadowlands Racetrack

East Rutherford, NJ - Kissin In The Sand took the lead at the half, fended off a challenge from Shartin N on the final turn, and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series Mare Pace championship in a stakes-record 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Three-year-old filly Peaky Sneaky was second and Shartin N was third. It was the final start of Kissin In The Sand's career. The 5-year-old mare finished the season with a seven-race win streak and pushed her lifetime victory total to 27 in 58 starts. She earned $1.74 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables and trainer Nancy Takter. "She was outstanding tonight," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "She's had an amazing career, she's an amazing mare, and I was lucky enough to get on for the last four or five starts to enjoy the last run home." Kissin In The Sand left from post nine and settled into third as Peaky Sneaky and Shartin N exchanged the lead in an opening :26.3 quarter. Kissin In The Sand made her move on the backstretch and got to the front just as she hit the half in :53.4. She remained on top to three-quarters in 1:20.3 and came home in :27.2 to win by 2-1/2 lengths over stablemate Peaky Sneaky.   "She kicked in the straight really good," Dunn said. "She knows when it's go time. Once we got the plugs out, she went to another gear and finished off a very strong mile." Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand paid $3.80 to win. Kissin In The Sand, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc., and Concord Stud Farm. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Among her wins to close out this season were her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. "When she was 3, I actually took care of her myself because I had a much smaller stable, so I had a very close relationship with her," trainer Nancy Takter said. "That's why she's so special (to me). "She's matured so much through the years. She was a pain in the butt to break. I remember four years ago when she came into my barn, I called Marvin Katz and said she's either going to be great, or she's going to be terrible. So I'm happy she decided to be great. She was just tough from day one and her performance tonight just shows how tough she really is." Kissin In The Sand will be bred to another of Takter's recently retired stars, Tall Dark Stranger. "Hopefully, they're a match made in heaven," Takter said, adding with a laugh, "I already told Marvin and Bud (Hatfield) that I get to train the first baby." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – On Nov. 21, a filly defended her crown while a gelding of regal blood scored himself high honors in Fall Final Four harness rcing action at the Meadowlands. Anoka Hanover won the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for freshman trotting fillies—sponsored by Hunterton Farms. Todd McCarthy drove the Noel Daley-trained filly to victory in 1:53.2. The Kindergarten Classic champion scored her seventh-straight win of the season and her 10th win in 14 starts. Beautiful Game was rushed to the front entering the first turn but settled for the pocket to a :28.1 opening quarter as Insta Glam cruised to the lead. Race-favorite Anoka Hanover, from the pylon post, protected position to race third, and stayed put at the pegs while Insta Glam sped to a :55.4 half. But, to the far turn and with the Breeders Crown champ Lady Chaos ranging uncovered, McCarthy moved his charge for the leader. Insta Glam began to feel the pressure of Anoka Hanover’s strong strides past three-quarters in 1:23.3 while Lady Chaos spun her wheels and gapped cover. Into the stretch, Anoka Hanover drew away from the field to score easily by two-and-a-quarter lengths. Soaring up the inside came Flawless Country, who finished second, passing Beautiful Game, third, and Wet My Whistle, fourth.    Noel Daley co-owns the daughter of Donato Hanover—Aunt Mel along with LA Express Stable LLC and Caviart Farms.  “She’s been phenomenal,” Todd McCarthy said after the race. “Noel’s done an unbelievable job managing her. The success we’ve had with her has been a dream come true for me. She’s been getting better and better all the time. I love her attitude; she wants to do the job every time.” Buck Chaffee of Caviart Farms said none of the connections thought Anoka Hanover was as classy as she raced this season. “She didn’t look great as a baby. We didn’t know she was good until she started racing,” he said. “As owners we’re happy. This is one of those pleasant surprises.” As the public’s choice, Anoka Hanover paid $2.80 to win. She increased her earnings to $599,053. Bee Forever, with Victor Kirby at the reins, pulled off an upset in the $398,650 Valley Victory for freshman trotting colts and geldings—sponsored by Kentuckiana Farms—closing with confidence down the stretch to win in 1:54.  Bee Forever was in no rush to leave, settling in ninth as Dees Red Delicous, race-favorite On A Streak, and Incommunicado stepped quickly off the gate. Incommunicado grabbed the top spot, but gave way past a :27.4 first quarter as Dees Red Delicous strode to the front. On A Streak, positioned fourth, then made his move for the lead, cruising by Dees Red Delicous through a :55.4 half before bearing a first-over charge from Zenith Stride to the far turn. Zenith Stride kept the pressure on the leader to three-quarters in 1:25.1, but grew leg weary off the turn. Storming three-wide from near last, Bee Forever found a clear path to aim at the finish line, and full of trot, Kirby did not have to urge the son of Muscle Hill—Bee A Magician to glide safely to victory by a neck. On A Streak held for second and Delayed Hanover followed to get third.   Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Bee Forever, who won his second race in nine starts.  “The first time I drove Bee Forever, Nifty told me the colt can trot really fast but he’s green and needs to be taught. Every week he got better.” Kirby said in Bee Forever’s Kindergarten Final performance two weeks ago, “if I shake free, he wins, so I knew if he gets open space it would work out.” Bee Forever has now earned $240,986 at two and Kirby feels there’s a lot more to come at three. “You’re going to hear from him next year,” he said. Bee Forever paid $30.60 to win. By Frank Cotolo, for The Meadowlands   

East Rutherford, NJ - Manchego made her final career start a winning one, capturing Saturday's (Nov. 21) $320,000 TVG Open Trot championship by 1-1/4 lengths over Atlanta in 1:51.3 at The Meadowlands. Lindy The Great finished third. Manchego, a 5-year-old mare, was retired in a ceremony in the winner's circle following the race. She ended her career with 33 wins in 56 career starts and $2.72 million in purses. Her victories included the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. Manchego is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph last month, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego, by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. She is owned by Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing and was bred by Brittany Farms. "She's just a super mare," Nancy Takter said. "She's been great since the first moment that she ever set foot on the track. "When you get the call that you get to train a horse like Manchego, those calls probably aren't going to come very many times in my life, so I appreciate every moment that I had with her. She's just an unbelievable mare. She makes my job easy, she makes all of us look good around her, because she's just such a professional." On Saturday, Manchego and driver Dexter Dunn watched from fourth as Crystal Fashion led to the quarter in :28 and half in :57. As the field neared the final turn, Dunn moved with Manchego and gained the cover of Atlanta, who had been racing in second. Crystal Fashion remained on top at three-quarters, reached in 1:24.1, but in the stretch it was all Manchego, who came home in :27 for the victory.   "It's fitting that the first time she ever went behind the gate was at The Meadowlands and she gets to finish her career here with a win," Takter said. "She started her career with a win at The Meadowlands and she's going to end it the same way." Said Guariglia, "It feels wonderful. She almost made that look too easy. She's super sharp right now. I was a little nervous when they got to the half in :57; she probably hasn't seen that since she trained back in March. Win or lose, I was ready for the emotions tonight. But, obviously, it's great to win." Manchego, the slight even-money favorite over Atlanta, paid $4.00 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

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      

Batavia, NY --- Harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. hit another milestone in his illustrious career after he steered Love The Dragon ($3.00) to victory in the third race at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 21) to reach 7,500 wins lifetime. In his typical style, Morrill went right to the front, rated a perfect mile and was a wrapped-up winner in 1:58.3. To date, Jim Morrill Jr. now has 40,273 starts with 7,500 wins, 6,220 seconds and 5,152 thirds with $108,289,933 in earnings. Morrill currently sits 13th in North America for UDR with a mark of .380. At the current Batavia Downs meet, Morrill is the leading driver with 86 wins, $426,956 in purse money and a UDR of .381. Morrill made his first start driving for his father at Foxboro Park in 1984. The family's operation eventually moved to Rosecroft Raceway where Morrill started getting many catch drives and soon found himself in high demand. In 1990 Morrill went to New York and started driving for Ray Schnittker and George Anthony at Yonkers Raceway and with much success achieved there, decided that move would be long term. During his time competing at the New York/New Jersey circuit Morrill recalled his most memorable race as being the 2004 Meadowlands Pace where Holborn Hanover was a 58-1 upset winner in 1:49 to equal the stake mark. After 15 years of driving at the highest level, Morrill left the metropolitan area in 2005 and relocated his family and business to western New York and since arriving has not only been at the very top of the driver colony on that circuit, but also an annual dominant force in the New York Sire Stakes. In 2006 at Batavia Downs, Morrill set the all-time driving standard for the track with 177 wins and a UDR of .537 for one meet. Long Train Runnin showed a lot of heart and determination as he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 21).  Long Train Runnin (Shawn McDonough) got away third as Stratosphere (Drew Monti) took the scratch-shortened, single-file field to the half in :58. As they passed that station, Long Train Runnin was already out first-over and moving fast towards the leader as they proceeded into the clubhouse turn.  Moving towards three-quarters, Stratosphere and Long Train Runnin were pacing side-by-side and had broken away from the pack by three lengths on the strength of a :27.3 third panel. As they were rounding the final bend, Stratosphere pulled clear and opened up a length advantage heading into the stretch. But the relentless urging of McDonough reinvigorated Long Train Runnin who found another gear and caught Stratosphere at the wire by a head in 1:54.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Long Train Runnin ($6.10) who has now earned $32,552 this year for owner WIlliam Emmons. Jim Clouser Jr. does the training. Emmons and Clouser teamed up again in the very next race to capture the $7,500 Open II Handicap with McSpidey (Jim Morrill Jr.) who went wire to wire by 2-¼ lengths in 1:54.4. It was also the fifth win for McSpidey ($2.40) who is now over $343,000 in lifetime bank.  Shawn McDonough had a huge night at Batavia on Saturday, driving four winners and sending two for pictures that he trained. McDonough steered the aforementioned Long Train Runnin, Are You In (1:58.2, $22.40), Santana Beach (1:56, $25.80) and Nesh Cruiser (1:58.1, $27.40), who he also trained along with PL Lester (1:54.3, $10.20).  Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 25) with post time at 5 p.m. and there will be a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 on Wednesday. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for races one through five will be available on the USTA and Batavia Downs websites early next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Freehold, NJ---The old adage 'when you're hot you're hot' could easily apply to driver John Calabrese after he scored his second consecutive driving victory in the $9000 American Harness Drivers Club series trot at Freehold Raceway on the sunny afternoon of November 21. Unlike last week when Calabrese used a pocket trip to score a 1:59.3 victory with Shoemaker Hanover today he put Ooh Rah on the engine and used the front-end route for a solid 1:58.1 triumph Having great credentials and starting from the three-hole, Ooh Rah took "all the money" when the attending crowd sent the trotter away at odds-of 1-5 ...and none of his backers was disappointed. When the starter released the field Calabrese sent Ooh Rah immediately to the lead from the three-hole and they had command when the quarter mile timer flashed :28.4. From there it was little more than a buggy ride for Calabrese as Ooh Rah passed the half-way point in :58.2 and they had no challenges up the backside and past the three quarters in 1:28.1. In the lane Ooh Rah was on cruise control all the way to the wire and scored an easy 1-1/2 length triumph over 53-1 shot Can Do, who was driven by Joe Lee. Third place went to 13-year-old Wygant Prince, driven by Paul Minore.   Ooh Rah is owned by Kathleen La Montagne and Donald La Montagne and trained by Kathleen La Montagne. He returned a paltry $2.40 for win. by John Manzi, for the American Harness Drivers Club

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