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This speedy son of the great Andover Hall continues to make a good impression in the trotting siring ranks in Australasia. Racing as just a two and three-year-old, Monkey Bones won six and was placed seven times from just 22 starts. Going 1:57:6 at two and 1:56 :6 at three on his way to earning over $230,000 in his very short career, Monkey Bones was purchased by prominent and well respected Canterbury stallion owner, Noel Kennard. Ensconced at Wai-Eyre stud farm , this beautifully bred son of Andover Hall was was well received by breeders with his initial crops of 35 and 23 giving him an opportunity to show his worth. With his first crop just turned four, Monkey Bones is well on his way to being a successful sire. He has already had 14 qualifiers in NZ and several look way above average. Doctor Bones (4 wins) would be the best of them to date , showing real talent when competing against Blitzemcalder and Habibti in the three-year-old classics last season. Millicent (4 wins) and Bonechip (3 wins and 3rd in Breeders Crown 2yr old trot) are two others to have looked very promising with Bonechip recently moving to the barn of Mark Purdon. With just four live foals old enough to race in Australia, he is the sire of the smart 2yr old of last season in Four Lillies who won four of nine in her debut season on her way to earning $24,000 And it is no wonder his stock can run when you take a closer look at his breeding. By the great sire Andover Hall who has left $50,000,000 worth of winners, with six millionaires including the sensational Donato Hanover (1:50:8 $3,058,000). the dam of Monkey Bones is the speedy Valley Victory mare in Milestone Hanover (1:57:3) who is a half sister to the outstanding racehorse, No Monet Hanover (1:55:2 $750,000). So it is a pedigree full of speed and class. With his first crop showing up so well, Monkey Bones served his largest book to date last year when he covered 50 mares. When you consider that only 600 trotting mares are bred in NZ each year, you can see that Monkey Bones has come of age as a sire. JC This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink are doing with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed    

"It was a lot of fun" Dr. John Kokinos said with a big grin as he approached the winners circle at Monticello Raceway after he scored a 2:02 trotting victory in the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) Charity Series with Impressive Earl on Thursday afternoon, December 5. It was Kokinos' third victory with the 10 year old Valley Victory gelding in the series and sixth overall this season. Light rain and heavy fog made for a gloomy afternoon of racing but that didn't dampen the spirits of Dr. John or Impressive Earl, nor did it deter any bettors whose confidence sent the pair away as even money favorites from pole position. As the wings of the starting gate folded Kokinos gunned his trotter to the lead on the first turn as the trailing horses ducked for cover along the pylons. With the field in straight alignment Impressive Earl showed the way buy the quarter in 30.0 and the veteran trotter had two lengths on his competition as he passed the halfway point in 1:01.3 . As Kokinos and his trotter headed up the backside the second time around they began to open daylight on Tremendous Hit and driver Bob Hechkoff, who was in the two-hole from the get-go. Moreover, none of the trotters were able to even get close to the leader as Impressive Earl opened up his lead to three lengths as he passed the third stanza in 1:32. On the final turn Impressive Earl came out of the fog which shrouded the racetrack with a four length lead. In the lane Impressive Earl poured it on and finished an easy seven length winner over Tremendous Hit. Tony Verruso got Rodeo Red up for the show dough. Owned by Jennifer Lappe the winner paid $4.00 for win. From the trotter's prowess Dr. John Kokinos will finish as the series points champion even though there is still one more leg at Yonkers next Thursday. No one is close enough to top Dr. John's 48 points. Currently Paul Minore is second with 29 points and Monica Banca's 28 is third best. They're followed by Bob Krivelin (21); Bob Davis (20), Dave Offenberg (20) and Dave Yarock (19). Three are tied for eighth each with 17 points. They are Gerry Fielding, Tony Verruso and Bob Hechkoff. However, since only eight drivers can race in the $12,000 Final set for December 19 , the last preliminary leg , also at Yonkers on December 12 , will probably define the top eight in points. by John Manzi for North American Amateur Driver Association

Akron, NY--With 2013 coming to a close and racing getting ready to take an early winter break in western New York, year-end awards are something that many people look forward to. With that in mind, the members of the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association have cast their votes for the top gait performers for the Batavia Downs meet as well as their pick for the top horse overall. UNY-USHWA has named Naked News as the western New York horse of the year. Naked News (1:54.1 $266,433 Passailed-Santiago Sissi) is a tough veteran race horse that made every one of his starts this year at either Buffalo Raceway or Batavia Downs. In those 39 outings, he had 10 wins, 7 seconds and 7 thirds for total earnings of $72,598. This 10-year-old working man started the year in high claimers and made his way to the top condition class on the grounds where he captured four Open wins between the two tracks. He took his lifetime mark of 1:54.1 this year at Buffalo on August 10 and had career high totals for starts, wins and earnings as well. His lifetime bank now totals $266,433. Naked News seemed to get better with age as his last three years were his best. And he was the only horse this year to maintain a continuous level of success at both tracks from his first win at Buffalo on February 9 through his last win at Batavia in an Open II on October 26. Naked News is owned by Joseph Caligiuri's Summer Wind Stable of Hamburg, NY and is trained by Bob Gruber. The Batavia Downs trotter of the year is Mystical Escapade (1:56.3 $149,702 Valley Victor-Armbro Orbita) Mystical Escapade had only six starts at Batavia Downs after racing at Saratoga and Yonkers earlier in the year. The 4-year-old mare shipped in after a month layoff and quickly made folks take notice. Her first start was in the Brian Schroeder Invitational on October 5 where she finished third. But her performance after that became historic. The following week Mystical Escapade drew post 7 and was the sole mare in the Open trot with a full field of horses and geldings. With two breakers in front of her off the gate, she got away 14 lengths behind the field. But pulling past the half, the daughter of Valley Victor put a circle around the group and pulled away to a two length win in 1:56.3. The time was a lifetime mark for her and a new track record for aged trotting mares for Batavia Downs. In 6 starts, Mystical Escapade had 3 wins, 1 second and 1 third, all in the top trotting class on the grounds and all as the only mare racing against the boys. Those starts also helped propel her annual earnings to over $89,000. Mystical Escapade is owned by Stephen Andzel, Mark Briandi and Stephen Grant of Empowered Racing and is trained by Carl Smith. The Batavia Downs pacer of the year is Fireyourguns (150.2 $124,561 American Ideal-Villa Hanover) Fireyourguns did not have a ton of starts at Batavia, but made the ones he did, count. He won four Open paces and was 2-lengths away from winning two more. In his 9 starts at the Downs, the speedy 4-year-old had 4 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third, all in the top pacing class. He took a half-mile seasonal mark of 1:53.4 and pocketed $27,675 in purse money from the meet. On October 5 he competed in the Kane Memorial Pace, facing off against $6-million winner Foiled Again and the national 3-year-old pacing colt of the year for 2012, Heston Blue Chip, and finished third in a 1:52 mile. Fireyourguns is owned by Terence McClory and Robert and Jennifer Lowe, and is trained by Terence McClory. All the connections of these horses will be presented their awards during the UNY-USHWA "Night of Distinction" this Saturday (Dec. 7) in the winner's circle at Batavia Downs. The driver and trainer awards will be announced tomorrow. Tim Bojarski for UNY Chapter USHWA  

Dover, Del--- Awsome Valley closed strongly along the passing lane to score a 1:54.2 victory to win the $15,500 Winners-Over trot at Dover Downs on Wednesday, Dec 4. Tony Morgan turned Barbara Boese's Awsome Valley loose along the inside to just get up to catch early leader Royal Malinda, driven by Ross Wolfenden, in the final strides for the Valley Victor-Nonnina Ambrosio gelding's ninth win of the season in lifetime fastest clocking. Ryan McInnis conditions the winner of $96,742 this year. Royal Malinda was second in her first local start since arriving from upstate New York. Baximum with Daryl Bier was the show finisher. Toby Lynch took Jailhouse Juice right to the front and was never headed in a 1:55.3 triumph in the $14,500 sub-feature trot for 3&4-year-olds. Amiga Valley (Montrell Teague) came on fast to take second with Gwally (Vic Kirby) third. Lynch, who trains the Jailhouse Jesse-Win Chip gelding, owns the winner with his son Jason Lynch. Tony Morgan and Allan Davis had driving triples, Trace Tetrick and Ross Wolfenden won twice. Meet leading trainer Wayne Givens and owner Legacy Racing Of DE and owner-trainer Art Brewer also were two-time winners. The weekly racing schedule is: Monday through Thursday starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. There is no live harness on Friday and Saturday. Meet leading driver Corey Callahan had to wait until the last race of the day to keep his streak of wins each day of the meet going at 23. Callahan drove Justherighttouch to a victory by a nose in 1:56. It was his 58th win of the meet. Thursday at Dover Downs DOVER, Del---After taking a week off, Nova Artist returns to the $30,000 Preferred/Open Handicap pace this week in a race named “In Support of Anthony Collecta, the driver seriously injured in a racing accident recently and is hospitalized. Horsemen are contributing purse distributions to this cause. A $15,500 Male pace tops the strong undercard on Thursday, Nov. 21. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Eddie and Kathy Davis’ Nova Artist has been in rare form since the current meet got underway in early November. With three consecutive victories, the six-year-old is the one-to-beat in this week’s feature pace.  Papa Ray, a recent acquisition by Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing Of DE, has consecutive feature race wins himself. Ross Wolfenden will drive the four-year-old. Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta’s Adventure Bound raced gamely for Ron Pierce finishing second beaten a nose by Nova Artist. Mary Ann Larrimore’s Believe This Bob and Montrell Teague is also in peak form. Among the newcomers are KDM Stable’s Bullet Speed (Andy Miller) returning from the Meadowlands and Mark Weaver-Mike Bruscemi and Burke Racing’s Hang Ten with Corey Callahan in from Pennsylvania with Corey Callahan in the bike. Not to be overlooked are Its All Good Stable’s Simon’s Artist, piloted by Vic Kirby and Toby Lynch’s speedy Sunshine Superman with Jason Lynch at the controls. The secondary feature is a $15,000 3,4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over pace. Three of the starters are fresh from victory, Ron Dixon’s Ken Kam (Andy Miller) from post 1, Archie Peel’s Coastal Storm (Jim Morand)  and Middle Aged Crazy (Corey Callahan) racing for O’Toole, McCaffery and the Somones', with a two-win streak. Three other have second-place finishers in their most recent outings; The Wiz Kids Stable’s Golden Gun (George Dennis), Steve Iaquinta and Bill Dittmar’s Jeremes General (Allan Davis) and Arty Foster’s Waltzking Hanover (Trace Tetrick).   Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays.    Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting opens daily at 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Marv Bachrad  

December 2, 2013 – Ray Garnett took top honors for the week in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs with a weekly net profit of $248.60, leading a trio of handicappers with triple digit profits.  Finishing second for the week was Gordon Waterstone with a net profit of $193.00 for the week with Sally Hinckley grabbing the show spot with a weekly profit of $115.00. Garnett’s biggest hit came in the Three Diamonds as he made a $30 win wager on the winner Delightful Dragon, earning him $315.00.    Overall contest leader, Richard Scott remains on top with a net loss of $127.40, $713.45 ahead of second place handicapper Earl Paulson.  With three races remaining, it appears the trailing handicappers will need to make some bold handicapping selections if they have any hope of catching Scott or to get into the top three in order to earn some money for their charities. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on December 1, 2013. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($161.00) ($127.40)   1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson ($204.00) ($840.85) ($713.45) 2nd 7 3rd Rusty Nash ($159.00) ($935.87) ($808.47) 3rd 4 4th Ann Stepien ($112.05) ($1,036.95) ($909.55) 4th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara ($168.00) ($1,228.45) ($1,101.05) 5th 2 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($240.00) ($1,427.74) ($1,300.34) 6th 10 7th Gordon Waterstone $193.00 ($2,040.60) ($1,913.20) 8th 4 8th Mark McKelvie ($210.00) ($2,349.79) ($2,222.39) 7th 9 9th Sally Hinckley $115.00 ($2,670.50) ($2,543.10) 9th 0 10th Ray Garnett $248.60 ($3,180.43) ($3,053.03) 10th 3 Ten grace days permitted.  After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits Ray Garnett - $5 Exacta Box ($30) in The Valley Victory paid $105.50, $30 Win in The Three Diamonds paid $315.00; Sally Hinckley - $20 Trifecta plus a $5 Trifecta Key ($10) in The Moni Maker paid $325.00; Dennis O’Hara - $10 Trifecta ($30) in The Moni Maker paid $130.00; Gordon Waterstone -  $10 Exacta ($30) in The Nadia Lobell paid $333.00, $10 Trifecta ($30) in The Moni Maker paid $130.00. Remaining Contest Schedule Saturday, December 7, 2013 – Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment; $58,000(Est.) Reynolds - 3yo Colt Pace, $50,000(Est.) Reynolds – 3yo Filly Pace Saturday, December 14, 2013 – Northfield Park; $130,000(Est.) Cleveland Classic - Open by Allan Schott for HANA

Muscles Network picked the perfect spot to win his second race of his young career as the 7-1 mild long shot beat the ½ favorite Nuncio to win the $494,750 Valley Victory Trot final at the Meadowlands Saturday in 1:55.1. Odds On Amethyst (Tim Tetrick) was first to show with Southwind Spirit (Yannick Gingras) in the two-hole but that was short lived as Southwind Spirit moved right out to take the lead by the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Once settled on the front end, Southwind Spirit had to give way to the race favorite, Nuncio and driver John Campbell as they took command with a burst of speed well before the half mile in :56.2. It was then that driver David Miller came out of fifth place and started moving first-over with Muscle Network and slowly worked their way up the leaders by the three-quarters in 1:25.3. Muscles Network was not only able to collar Nuncio starting down the stretch, but looked him in the eye and went on by, winning by a half length with a late closing Southwind Spirit come on for third place. "I came out last week and trained him," Miller said of Muscles Network. "And he trained very well so I thought it had a shot. It looked like John had a lot of horse but my horse felt strong on the turn and he got by John's horse. It was not a huge last quarter but he got the job done." Sired by Muscle Hill, it was just the second lifetime win for Muscles Network. He is trained by Jonas Czernyson and owned by Frank Bellino and Sons, LLC of Bronxville, NY. He now has earnings in 2013 of $300,000. At odds of 7-1, Muscle Network paid $17.00 to win. "I have only had him for two weeks," said trainer Jonas Czernyson. "So I cannot take too much credit for this. We trained him and a couple of little changes. It worked out pretty good. I think he is going to be a pretty nice three-year-old. I think he could be in the Hambletonian. By Steve Wolf for  

I went four for eight last week, some of my favorite horses got beat, which is bound to happen every now and then. I actually won $.90 (based on $2 win bet each race). We are still in the minus earning column at -$36.30 going into this weekend and we will try once again to bring that number down more. We start off the weekend at the Meadowlands Saturday will a great final stakes program of the season headed by seven major events including the TVG Series Finals and then on Sunday it's the Progress Pace final at Dover Downs. It promises to be a great weekend of racing action! $456,150 Final GoldSmith Maid 2YO Filly Trot 2nd race Saturday, Meadowlands - This race could well wrap-up year-end honors in this division as Shake It Cerry has been super throughout the season for the Jimmy Takter Stable. She should be 1/9 and rightfully so having won her last four-starts and is 7 for 10 on the year with earnings of nearly $600,000. She is a trotting machine and has beaten everyone in this field from on and off the pace. $167,500 Nadia Lobell 3YO Filly Pace 3rd race Saturday, Meadowlands - With I Luv The Nitelife out for the season with a fractured knee this race becomes a two-horse match-up with Shebestingin taking on Charisma Hanover. Both are superb fillies in their own right. Charisma Hanover come in on a five-race win streak with 13 wins this year. But I am going with Shebestingin. She has 11 wins this year, won in Lexington at a mile in world record time of 1:47 and if need be can grind it out on the outside. Will be a classic match-up! $494,750 Valley Victory Final 2YO Colt Trot 4th race Saturday, Meadowlands - With Father Patrick turned out for the season this race should belong to Nuncio. This colt has great speed, first or second in all of his nine starts this year and does not like to be passed. Look for him to get to the front and never look back and has trotting master John Campbell in the sulky too! $500,000 TVG Series Final Open Trot 6th race Saturday, Meadowlands - You can just about make a case for any of the seven horses in this field being able to win. Wishing Stone returned to his winning ways last week in the snow, Mister Herbie was super impressive in his qualifying race, Market Share is total class but I am once again going with Arch Madness. Classy "old man" in the field still has plenty of trot, has beaten this competition before and as long as Trond gets him geared up on the outside by the three-quarters he can grind it out for an upset score. $534,500 Governor's Cup Final 2YO Colt Pace 8th race Saturday, Meadowlands - This will be a very competitive race and I am looking at somewhat of a newcomer grabbing the winner's share of the purse. JK Endofanera showed a :25.4 final quarter mile in a nose lost in a Meadowlands qualifying race, his second nose defeat. Prior to that he shows winning in 1:51.4, has gate speed to insure good position to strike from and has yet to finish worse than second in six lifetime starts. $394,950 Three Diamonds Final 2YO Filly Pace 9th race Saturday, Meadowlands - I think this is a two-horse race between JK Molly and Ali Blue. JK Molly prepped for this final with two sharp qualifying races at the Meadowlands and figures to try and lead all the way in here. But I am going with Ali Blue. She needs mainly to watch her manners and stay on stride but when she is right, which she has been in her last two starts she has the speed to beat JK Molly. $512,000 TVG Free For All Final Open Pace 10th race Saturday, Meadowlands - This is the race many of us have been hoping for all season long. Captaintreacherous, king of the three-year-olds, taking on Foiled Again, Pet Rock and some of the best older pacers in the sport. A lot is riding on this race as Pet Rock and Foiled Again can claim Older Pacer of the Year honors by winning. Foiled Again can even look at possible Pacer of the Year honors with a victory, but both of these game performers have to do one thing first, beat Captaintreacherous. Even with drawing the outside post eight, I think Captaintreacherous has been pointed and primed for this race and that he can beat his older rivals. I don't think he will ever see the lead until mid to late stretch, but if he gets any live cover he will be in position to grind a victory. And when he wins he can claim not only Pacer of the Year honors for the second straight year but also have a shot at Horse of the Year honors. $253,000 Moni Maker 3YO Filly Trot 11th race Saturday, Meadowlands - What can you say about perfection? Bee A Magician looks to close out her superb three-year-old season unbeaten as she goes for her 17th straight win. She has beaten everyone she has faced and done so impressively all season long. Another strong showing in her final race of the year should all but nail down Horse of the Year honors for her...unless the "Captain" can win his race, in which it will be a nail-biter decision that won't be announced until February 23. Either way Bee A Magician has giving us her best week in week out all season long and I can't wait for her to return next year. $284,160 Progress Pace Final 3YO Colts 10th race Sunday, Dover Downs - With Vegas Vacation turned out for the year, the elimination race last week was Sunshine Beach's to win or lose and he lost! Twilight Bonfire turned the tables on Sunshine Beach with an upset win at odds of 20-1. I don't see that happening again today. Sunshine Beach may have it rough at first, having to start from the outside in post eight, but I think that John Campbell will be on the lookout and will rate his colt the best he can and still have something left for the final quarter mile.

Charisma Hanover has charmed driver Yannick Gingras with her recent form as he gets ready to race the 3-year-old filly pacer in Saturday’s $167,500 Nadia Lobell Stakes at Meadowlands Racetrack. Gingras and Charisma Hanover will leave from post seven in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, which also includes world-record-holder Shebestingin from the stable of trainer Joe Holloway. Charisma Hanover has won 13 of 19 races this season, including seven of her last eight starts. Saturday’s stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands also includes the $534,500 Governor’s Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, $494,750 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, $456,150 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, and $394,950 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Also in action is 3-year-old colt Captaintreacherous, who takes on older foes including Foiled Again and Pet Rock in the $512,000 TVG Free For All Series Championship for pacers, and 3-year-old filly trotter Bee A Magician, who looks to complete a perfect season in the $253,000 Moni Maker Stakes. There also is the $500,000 TVG Free For All Series Championship for older trotters. Charisma Hanover enters the Nadia Lobell off a 1:51.4 win in the 3-year-old open Nov. 23 at the Meadowlands. In her previous start, she beat I Luv The Nitelife by a head to capture the American-National Stakes at Balmoral Park. I Luv The Nitelife, the richest filly pacer in harness racing history, was expected to compete in the Nadia Lobell, but will miss the race because of a knee injury that will require surgery. “I think she’s gotten better as the season has gone on, but she’s raced really well all year,” Gingras said about Charisma Hanover, who is trained by Ron Burke and has earned $555,729 this season. “We’ve been racing her a little differently than early in the year. She would get a little too fired up early in the year.” Charisma Hanover got a little fired up in the Valley Forge Stakes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August, finishing seventh, but has been simply on fire in her eight starts since then. Her wins included the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, the Lady Maud and American-National in a stakes- and track-record 1:49. Her only loss during that span came when she suffered broken equipment and was pulled up in a Keystone Classic division at The Meadows in September. “She got the right trip behind I Luv The Nitelife in the American-National, but she never saw the rail either,” Gingras said. “She’s a very good horse herself, really a top horse in my mind.” Charisma Hanover, owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, is a daughter of stallion Dragon Again out of the mare Caught The Bouquet. She is a half-sister to 2004 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Runover Feeling, who finished third in the 2005 North America Cup and has earned nearly $900,000 in his career. The Nadia Lobell field, in addition to Charisma Hanover and Shebestingin, includes UF Dragon’s Queen, Mattie Terror Girl, Aunt Caroline, Jerseylicious, Somwherovrarainbow and Authorize. Shebestingin is the fastest female pacer in history thanks to her 1:47 win in a division of the Glen Garnsey at The Red Mile in October. “There are some good fillies in there that can go real fast as well,” Gingras said. “It should be a great race.” by Ken Weingartner for HRC

Southwind Farms announced today that World Champion Muscle Hill will stand the 2014 season in Pennsylvania, at Marion Farms, New Hope, Pa., under the management of Southwind. Muscle Hill's first crop of two year olds has raced successfully this year and he is currently the leading sire of 2:00 Two Year Olds with 26 (tied with Donoto Hanover) and leads with 6 in 1:55. There are six Muscle Hill colts in this Saturday's Valley Victory Final at The Meadowlands. Mike Klau, Syndicate Manager for Southwind and the Muscle Hill Syndicate, said that the stallion has bred a full book of mares during the four seasons he has stood in New Jersey, but lack of racing opportunities in the state has prompted the move. For booking information, please contact Southwind Farms at (609) 737-9067.    

This Week: Meadowlands fall stakes finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: Meadowlands Racetrack will feature eight stakes on the Saturday night (Nov. 30) card led by the $512,000 TVG FFA Series final for older pacers and the $500,000 TVG FFA Series final for older trotters. Also on tap will be the $534,500 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, the $494,750 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $456,150 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $394,950 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $253,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $167,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Sunday night (Dec 1), Dover Downs will feature the $284,160 Progress Pace final for 3-year-old male pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack's new season got underway this past Saturday night, with many of the top free for all trotters and pacers in the sport competing in the TVG FFA Series. The team of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras swept both contests as Wishing Stone captured the trot and Foiled Again the pace. In the $50,000 final preliminary leg of the TVG FFA Trotting Series, Wishing Stone and Yannick Gingras led at every quarter, hitting the first quarter in :28.3, stalked by Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer) and Uncle Peter (David Miller). That trio stayed in the same order through the :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters. With about an eighth of a mile to go, Market Share was out and moving, but could not overtake the late leaders, Arch Madness, who came off the rail to challenge and the winner in 1:54 by 1-1/4 lengths, Wishing Stone. Arch Madness was second and Market Share was third. Wishing Stone is trained by Ron Burke for owners Cowboyland Aalborg, TLP Stable, J & T Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms. "Foiled Again will not be passed." Announcer Ken Warkentin summed up the mile as Foiled Again won the $50,000 TVG FFA Pace at the Meadowlands in 1:49.3. The last chance to gain points for this week's final saw Golden Receiver (Corey Callahan) first on the lead at the opening quarter in :27.1, only to be overtaken by Sweet Lou and David Miller, who held the lead to the :53.4 half. Just past the half, Yannick Gingras had Foiled Again out and poised to advance on the stubborn Sweet Lou, who was still on the lead at the 1:22 three-quarters. As the field paced down the stretch, the advancing duo of Warrawee Needy (Tim Tetrick) and Foiled Again wore down Sweet Lou, and the battle was on between those two. Foiled Again inched ahead and would not yield to Warrawee Needy to win by a neck in 1:49.3. Modern Legend (John Campbell) was third and Sweet Lou was fourth. Foiled Again is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. The $35,000 Progress Pace elimination for 3-year-old males was held on Sunday night at Dover Downs and 20-1 Twilight Bonfire got his picture taken. In a two-colt battle down the lane, Twilight Bonfire finally passed the favorite, Sunshine Beach, in the final strides to win by a head. Dedi's Dragon closed to finish third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,827; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,580; 3. David Miller - 1,143; 4. Brian Sears - 726.5; and 5. Ron Pierce - 692.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,751.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,166.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 495.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson - 472.5; and 5. Tony Alagna - 471. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 396.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 367.35; 3. Frank Bellino - 268.5; 4. Brittany Farms - 263.05; and 5. WJ Donovan - 242.75. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadowlands will host W.N. Reynolds Memorial contests for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers.   by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit  

Whether you are a devoted harness racing fan, a purist of the Standardbred sport, a gambler or just someone who likes to watch a great event, then look no further than the Meadowlands Racetrack this Saturday, November 30. It’s a once in a lifetime match-up as Captaintreacherous, the three-year-old pacing machine, looks to close out his 2013 race season going against nine of the best older pacers in harness racing in the $512,000 final of the TVG Series. Voted the 2012 Pacer of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), Captaintreacherous has lived up to those standards again in 2013. He has competed in 15 races this season, won 13 of them and lost the other two in photo finishes. He has a record at a mile of 1:47.1 and earnings this year of $2,055,033. Trained by Tony Alagna and owned by the Captaintreacherous Racing Stable out of Versailles, KY, the son of Somebeachsomewhere was a yearling purchase for $250,000 and worth every penny and then some as he now sports career earnings of $2,973,286. Now on Saturday he will be all out to prove once again he is the best pacer in the world for the second straight year. But it will not be an easy task as he faces nine opponents, many of whom have years of experience and tons of speed. Leading the way is Foiled Again, the richest pacer in the history of harness racing with more than $5.7 million in earnings. With a victory he will be challenging Captaintreacherous for the votes in the Pacer of the Year balloting in December by the membership of USHWA and the race secretaries. For three straight years world champion Foiled Again has earned over $1 million for trainer and co-owner Ron Burke. The nine-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again never seems to know where the finish line is. He continues races first-up on the outside and if he can’t get to the lead he just grinds it out against opponents with great success. Also in the race is Pet Rock, whose displays of raw unbridled speed saw him score world records on two different sized tracks in 2013, the fastest a dazzling 1:47 mile. Other standouts in the race include the 2011 Two-Year-Old Pacer of the Year, Sweet Lou, Warrawee Needy, Golden Receiver, Bolt The Duer, Modern Legend, Dynamic Youth and Bettor’s Edge. “Of course we would be happier with post four than post eight,” said Myron Bell, spokesman for Captaintreacherous Racing. “But the racing gods of the post position draw did not hear me. I promise everyone that Captaintreacherous will be heard from in this race. Our goals this year were to win the Meadowlands Pace, win the North America Cup and win the Breeders Crown so we could get an invitation to race in the TVG Final. Now it is up to Captaintreacherous and our driver Tim Tetrick to put the icing on the cake with a win this Saturday. “I am looking to have a great night on Saturday, win or lose,” Bell said. “He’s (Captaintreacherous) record speaks for himself. Of course I think he can beat these horses and I know he could lose too. But I am also happy because this race is for the fans. Anyone who loves a good horse race has to come to the Meadowlands on Saturday.” In addition to the TVG Pace Final, the 13-race program also features the $500,000 TVG Final for trotters headlined by Market Share, Arch Madness and Wishing Stone. There is the $534,500 final of the Governors Cup for two-year-old pacing colts, the $494,750 final of the Valley Victory for two-year-old trotters, the $465,150 final of the Goldsmith Maid for two-year-old trotting fillies, $394,950 Final of the Three Diamonds for two-year-old pacing fillies and the $167,700 Nadia Lobell Pace for three-year-old fillies. By Steve Wolf for  

Ron Burke, who is preparing a number of horses for Saturday's stakes-filled card at Meadowlands Racetrack, wanted his stable to win 1,000 races and $20 million this year. On Nov. 22, Burke got victory No. 1,000, which came nine days after his barn surpassed $20 million. No trainer in history ever reached 1,000 wins or $20 million in a single season. "Of all the things we've accomplished, I think the 1,000 wins are the most gratifying and impressive," said Burke, who entered Monday with 1,013 victories. "You have to win pretty much three races a day to reach 1,000, so that shows a level of consistency throughout the full year. "Even with the number of horses we race, I didn't know if it was a possibility to even do it." Since taking the lead role in the stable from his father Mickey in 2009, Burke has led all harness racing trainers in wins and purses for five consecutive years. He was Trainer of the Year in 2011. Burke's stable has won 23.9 percent of its 4,237 starts this year. His win total broke his own record of 906 triumphs, which he set last year, and his earnings topped his record of $19.69 million, also set in 2012. "I set goals every year and 1,000 wins and $20 million were the goals this year," Burke said. "I like to set them high and give us something to work toward. But I don't know where I'm going to set them next year. I want the goals to be realistic, and I don't know if we can have any better year than this one." Burke could add substantially to his wins and money with a strong Saturday night at the Meadowlands. He sends three horses into the $534,500 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers - Carracci Hanover, JK Endofanera and Somestarsomewhere - plus JK Molly to the $394,950 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers and Southwind Spirit to the $494,750 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters. In addition, Foiled Again won the last preliminary leg of the TVG Free For All Championship Series for pacers on Nov. 23 at the Meadowlands and Wishing Stone won the last preliminary leg of the TVG Free For All Championship Series for trotters. Both horses head to their respective $500,000 finals Saturday at the Big M. Somestarsomewhere enters the Governor's Cup with four wins in his last six races. His victories include a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile and his elimination for the Breeders Crown. He was third in the Breeders Crown final over a sloppy track at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He prepped for the Governor's Cup with two qualifiers at the Meadowlands, winning the second by a nose over JK Endofanera in 1:51.4. "Coming into the year, we thought he was our best 2-year-old, but he didn't get off to a great start and we were beginning to wonder whether we guessed wrong on him," Burke said about Somestarsomewhere, who was winless in his first four races. "He got a little sick, but I think really he just needed to mature and get on the big tracks. He's a big horse and I think he just needed to stretch out a bit. We knew the mud was going to get to him at the Breeders Crown, but otherwise since Lexington (in early October) he's been as good as any horse out there. He's just been super. He's my best shot for next year to be a top colt." JK Endofanera won the $157,100 Elevation Stakes in a track-record 1:51.4 on Nov. 1 at Hoosier Park, giving him three wins in six starts this season. He also had three second-place finishes. "He's a pretty big horse and more or less has been pointed for this race," Burke said. "He's just a good horse. He's big and strong and there's no end to him." Carracci Hanover has won one of 12 starts this year and is coming into the Governor's Cup off a third-place finish in the Matron Stakes on Nov. 17 at Dover Downs. "I think all three of mine should be extremely competitive," Burke said. "They're all good horses." In the Three Diamonds, JK Molly faces a field that includes stakes winners Act Now, Ali Blue, Instant Respect, My Lady Day and Somethinincredible. JK Molly has won five of 10 races, including divisions of the Tompkins-Geers and Simpson stakes. Southwind Spirit heads to the Valley Victory off a 1:55 win in the $217,500 Kindergarten Classic final at Vernon Downs. He has won six of 12 races and $310,925 this season. The Valley Victory field includes Matron Stakes champion Nuncio. The draws for the Governor's Cup, Three Diamonds, Valley Victory and $456,150 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters will be Tuesday. by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications  

November 25, 2013 – While Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment had a stellar opening, the same cannot be said of the handicappers in this past week’s racing action in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs.  The ‘top’ handicapper was overall leader Richard Scott who had a net loss of only $14.50 for the two races on this past week’s slate.  Rusty Nash and Anne Stepien are the only other two handicappers who cashed any tickets.  Overall contest leader, Richard Scott remains on top with a net profit of $33.60, $670.45 ahead of second place handicapper Earl Paulson.   After this week, there are only three races remaining in the contest which concludes December 15, 2013. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on November 23, 2013. As of November 23, 2013 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($14.50) $33.60 $0.00 1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson ($60.00) ($636.85) ($670.45) 2nd 7 3rd Rusty Nash ($36.60) ($776.87) ($810.47) 3rd 4 4th Ann Stepien ($57.90) ($924.90) ($958.50) 5th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara ($60.00) ($1,060.45) ($1,094.05) 4th 2 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($60.00) ($1,187.74) ($1,221.34) 6th 9 7th Mark McKelvie ($60.00) ($2,139.79) ($2,173.39) 7th 8 8th Gordon Waterstone ($60.00) ($2,233.60) ($2,267.20) 8th 4 9th Sally Hinckley ($60.00) ($2,785.50) ($2,819.10) 9th 0 10th Ray Garnett ($60.00) ($3,429.03) ($3,462.63) 10th 3 Ten grace days permitted.  After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Contest Schedule This Week Saturday, November 30, 2013 – Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment - $500,000 TVG FFA Series Trot Final; $500,000 TVG FFA Series Pace Final, $534,500 Governors Cup (2yo Open Pace), $394,950 Three Diamonds (2yo Filly Pace), $494,750 Valley Victory (2yo Open Trot), $456,150 Goldsmith Maid (2yo Filly Trot), $172,500(Est.) Nadia Lobell (3yo Filly Pace), $253,000(Est.) Moni Maker (3yo Filly Trot) Sunday, December 1, 2013 – Dover Downs - $330,000(Est.) Progress Pace (3yo Open Pace) by Allan Schott for HANA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ A new era in harness racing dawned Saturday night with the debut of The Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. The gleaming $88 million track, the vision of chairman Jeff Gural, launched with a 13-race program on a blustery, chilly night with occasional snow squalls before an estimated 15,000 fans. The on-track handle exploded in the new facility, reaching a total of $530,917, an impressive 18-percent of the total $2,968,600. The evening began with a dedication ceremony in the paddock with Gural thanking the numerous members of The Meadowlands team who made the dream a reality. "To all the people who helped--and there are many of you--and for all the people who are here tonight, I hope you enjoy what you see," Gural said. "It's not only racing, it's also entertainment." Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, joined Gural in welcoming the fans on opening night. Luchento recalled how Gural came to the rescue when The Meadowlands faced closure. "Three years later, we are here in a magnificent new building, at the premier track in North America looking forward to showcasing the best harness racing presented anywhere in the world," Luchento said. There was a ceremonial ribbon breaking by a hero of yesteryear, Gallo Blue Chip. The winner of the 2000 Meadowlands Pace was also joined in the winner's circle by Foiled Again, the sport's all-time leading money earner at $5.7 million, who returned later that evening to win a TVG division. The honor of winning the first race at the new Meadowlands went to Alexie Mattosie and driver David Miller in 1:50 4/5. They were greeted in the winner's circle by Ray Remmen, who captured the first race at the original Meadowlands with Quick Baron in 1976. The opening night features were the final $50,000 legs of the inauguaral TVG Free-For-All Series. The $500,000 TVG finals are on tap next Saturday night along with a quartet of 2-year-old stakes: the $534,500 Governor's Cup, the $494,750 Valley Victory, the $394,950 Three Diamonds and the $456,150 Goldsmith Maid. The TVGs were a clean sweep for the team of driver Yannick Gingras and Ron Burke, one night after he set the single-season training record with his 1,000th win. The TVG Trot went to Wishing Stone, a race contested in a brief but blinding blizzard. He set the pace, beating Arch Madness by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:54 with Market Share, the 2012 Hambletonian winner, third. Foiled Again, a top contender for Horse of the Year, turned in yet another game effort in the TVG Pace. He ranged up first-over victory into a stiff wind to beat Warrawee Needy by a neck in 1:49 3/5. Modern Legend was third. Following the racing, the party at The Meadowlands continued long into the night as Victory Sports Bar & Nightclub was packed and in full swing into the morning. Rachel Ryan  

DOVER, Del.--- Smoother Ride, the only three-year-old in the field, closed strongly to win the $20,000 Open Handicap trot on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Dover Downs. Green Day (Trace Tetrick) cut out the mile while shaking off opposition, Ross Wolfenden waited until the stretch before gunning Smoother Ride on to catch to leader in the closing strides for a 1:54.3 victory in the week's top trot. Steve Elliott trains and co-owns the Yankee Glide-Mazda Hanover colt with Angelo Frassetto Estate. The victory puts Smoother Ride into six figures this year earning $109,397 with proceeds of his third win of 2013. Green Day held on for second while Spunky Jack (Roger Plante), a winner last week, takes third this time. Earlier, Barbara Boese's Awsome Valley (Tony Morgan) rolled away from the outside to get the early lead and never was headed in 1:55.1 victory in a $15,000 Winners-Over Handicap trot. I'm So Striking (Eddie Dennis) closed along the inside to take second. Photo Maxx (George Dennis) was third. The win for the Valley Victor-Nannina Ambrosio four-year-old gelding was his eighth of the season good for $88,992 earnings. In a $15,000 trot for 3,4&5-year-olds, Jersey Boy closed with a rush for Corey Callahan for a 1:55.3 triumph. Ed Gannon Jr. conditions the four-year-old altered son of Yankee Glide-Atlanta Games who responded with his sixth success of the season. Dawn Gannon, Yannick Gingras and Dom Costanzo own the winner. Gwally (Vic Kirby) was runner-up. Lock Tight (George Dennis) was the show finisher. The $15,000-$20,000 Claiming Handicap trot was all Up Front Ben, who notched his 10th win in 11 tries this year scoring his sixth win in-a-row in 1:54.4 giving Tony Morgan his third win of the night. The brown son of Andover Hall-Sounds Swell horse is owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta. Do It For Annie (Vic Kirby) closed to finish second in front of Ringside Muscles (Corey Callahan). Last week, 72-year-old driver Walt Layfield Jr. was overlooked at 61-1 driving David Banks' All Gold to victory. This time believers made him race favorite as the veteran driver raced parked out the mile and still won in a lifetime best 1:52.2 to win a $9,000 Male pace as the Tell All-Full Of Gold sophomore gelding won for the third time in 10 startsProudly Yours (Eddie Davis Jr.) and On The Horizon (Vic Kirby) were second and third respectively. Tony Morgan had four winners, Trace Tetrick scored with two to lead all drivers. Nova Artist shoots for his Third Straight feature win in the $30,000 Preferred/Open, the Thursday feature race. Dover Downs weekday racing starts at 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. There is no live harness is dark on Friday and Saturday. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. Reservations are suggested for dining in the 4-Star Winner's Circle restaurant. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations.   by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs

The Fall Final Four stakes required no eliminations. Below is an alphabetical listing of the horses that were declared for those races. The post positions will be drawn on Tuesday, November 26. No re-entry will be necessary. The Finals will be raced on Saturday, November 30 at The Meadowlands. Governor's Cup 2YO Colt Pace    Purse $534,500 Ari Allstar Arthur Blue Chip Beat The Drum Bushwacker Carracci Hanover Idealbeach Hanover JK Endofanera So Surreal Somestarsomewhere Stevensville Three Diamonds 2YO Filly Pace    Purse $394,950 Act Now Ali Blue Delightful Dragon Instant Respect JK Molly Kate Can't Wait My Lady Day Nine Lives Hanover Somethinincredible Valley Victory 2YO Colt Trot    Purse $494,750 Another Transcript E L Titan Expressive Action Muscle Network Musclesprinctonian Nuncio Odds On Amethyst Skates N Plates Southwind Spirit Well Built Goldsmith Maid 2YO Filly Trot    Purse $456,150 Noon Tea Party Scream And Shout Scully SAS Shake It Cerry Sweetie Hearts Valbrunella From the Meadowlands Publicity Department  

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