Day At The Track

Millionaire pacer Beaudiene Boaz gets his chance to return to the winners' list in Friday night's $35,000 Winter Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park. The Gary Hall-trained five-year-old Badlands Hanover harness racing entire has had four runs back since finishing sixth behind stablemate Chicago Bull in the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup (2936m) last January. Beaudiene Boaz hasn't saluted since late December last year, but he did finish a game third behind Smolda and Hectorjayjay in the Inter Dominion grand final (2936m) earlier in December and Hall has always had a high opinion of the horse. "You know I always thought (Beaudiene) Boaz was better than the Bull," Hall said. "But somewhere along the line Chicago Bull has overtaken Boaz. I lost Boaz for a while there, but I think he's starting to show some of his old ability. He was a little disappointing but then he finished third in the Inters final. And hey you can't be too disappointed with a horse who has won more than a million dollars in prize money." Beaudiene Boaz was sent out as a $2.10 favourite at his last start, but was caught in a speed battle with mare Sheer Rocknroll in the early stages of the race. The lead time was run in a blistering 35.4 and driver Gary Hall Jr sent Beaudiene Boaz to the fence behind Sheer Rocknroll after his unsuccessful attempt to wrest the lead away from the mare but the damage had been already done with the early speed burn and the race was set up perfectly for the backmarkers with the mile rate for the 2130m journey being carved out in a slick 1:55.3. The Bucket List and Our Jimmy Johnstone were the beneficiaries of the hot early pace and finished all over the top of their rivals. Beaudiene Boaz boxed on gamely to finish third, some 8.7m behind The Bucket List. He again takes on The Bucket List on Friday night, along with his stablemate Run Oneover. Beaudiene Boaz comes out of gate eight, while The Bucket List (6), Run Oneover (9), Bettors Reward (the pole) and Our Jericho (2) appear the main chances in the nine-horse field. Junior will be looking to give Beaudiene Boaz a "softer" run in transit this week and that could be vital in assessing his chances. He can get home fast off a quick pace and will appreciate not being involved in any speed battles. Run Oneover, a noted frontrunner, is expected to inject some speed into the race and this will suit Beaudiene Boaz. The two Hall runners, the Michael Brennan-trained The Bucket List, the Justin Prentice-trained and driven Bettors Reward and the Ross Olivieri-trained Our Jericho can all figure in the finish with the right run. Wayne Currall Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 23 June 2017 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 23 June 2017

Harness racing trainer Emma Stewart qualified 10 two-year-olds for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Finals last night at Bendigo. The Cardigan trainer presented 12 horses at the 10-race card and won five races. "They were terrific," Stewart said of her team. "You always go into these nights hopeful so we were really pleased." Stewart’s winners were Concealment (an Art Major-Trojan Fire colt), Nostra Villa (an Art Major-Crystal Journey filly), Tam Major (an Art Major-Magic Z Tam colt), Poster Boy (a Somebeachsomewhere-Aston Villa colt) and Nostra Beach (a Somebeachsomewhere-Amarillen filly). Vicbred sponsor Empire Stallions had a strong night on the track with Somebeachsomewhere registering two Super Series heat wins and Artistic Fella one (Regal Cheval for trainer Bill Galea). It was also a big night for Art Major, who sired four Super Series heat winners. Champion driver Chris Alford drove three of Stewart’s winners last night in Nostra Villa, Tam Major and Poster Boy. Alford said all three winners were precocious youngsters but highlighted Poster Boy’s potential brilliance. “He’s pretty untapped at the moment,” Alford said of the half-brother to Yankee Rockstar and Born To Rocknroll. Poster Boy paced a 1:55.8 mile rate, making him the quickest winner of the night. His trainer agreed. "Poster Boy is a freak, so Major Times (stablemate) went bloody super to run second like he did after copping some pressure," Stewart said. Nostra Villa remained unbeaten with a 2.4-metre victory over recent Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic winner Imprincessgemma in 1:58.9. “Normally if they have to run a lead time of 37.3 they don’t even get to the finish, so to still finish it off in 27.4 up the straight was pretty impressive,” Alford said. Alford described Tam Major as “very strong”, adding “he looked gone at the 600 but kept on whacking away”. Tam Major refused to yield under driving for the bulk of the last lap as stablemate Tapthekeg sprint-laned to run second and Beltane grinded away from the chair for third. Other winners in Super Series heats last night were Passions Delight (Bettors Delight-Passions Promise) for trainer Nicole Molander and driver John Caldow in the fillies’ second heat, Regal Cheval (Artistic Fella-Star Cheval) in the second of the colts and geldings’ heats for trainer Bill Galea and reinsman Darby McGuigan, and Craig Turnbull trained-and-driven filly Major Occasion. Given the quality of horses he is driving it is little wonder Alford enjoys the Vicbred series. “There’s a bit of pressure driving all these good horses but that’s all good as long as they stay well and get to the finals night.” The Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series spotlight turns to Kilmore tomorrow night for the three-year-old pacing heats where Stewart and Alford are expected to dominate again. “Miss Graceland probably looks the pick of the fillies but Tell Me Tales is going very well, too,” Alford said. “Our Little General is top-line, but the other one (Stars Align, from the Dean Braun stable) felt good the other night, too. I don’t think there’s much between them.” The Super Series heads to Ballarat on Friday night for the four-year-old heats and Alford was most confident about Rocknroll Magic (in Race 8). The Vicbred two-year-old semi-finals will be run at Tabcorp Park Melton on June 30. Click here for full results from last night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 2YO Heats Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harness racing owner Jo Ann Looney-King, trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Victor Kirby swept all three $20,000 divisions of the second leg of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) stakes Tuesday at Harrington Raceway. King's Lillisbagsrpacked ($3, Victor Kirby) prevailed in the first split in 1:55.1 over Giga Spin and A Lady Sizzling. Trained by Jim King Jr., the daughter of Roddy's Bags Again notched her third career win. The same connections prevailed in the second division with Logan's Girl ($2.40, Kirby) who was a 1:55 winner over Lunar Phase and Diva Demands. The Roddy's Bags Again filly completed a sweep of her elimination divisions, as she did at Dover Downs before finishing second in the $100,000 final on April 11. The King connection struck again in the final division with a 1:55.1 win with Spanish Dream ($11.40), who narrowly defeated Free Flight Fran, who had won five straight, and Westwind Roddylee. The $100,000 DSBF finals will be contested on July 27 during the Delaware State Fair. Allan Davis and Tony Morgan joined Kirby with a driving triple. Roberts had a double. One of the races not won by King, Kirby, Morgan or Davis was the overnight feature, in which Mike Hall's St Kitts ($38, Jon Roberts) won the $16,000 Mares Open in 1:53.1 for trainer Doug Lewis. Four divisions of DSBF 3-year-old trotters will headline the Wednesday program. Matthew Sparacino

Freehold, NJ --- Fear The Dragon roared into first place in this week’s Hambletonian Society / Breeders Crown poll. The 3-year-old harness racing male pacer won last Saturday’s North America Cup, where Huntsville finished second and previously top-ranked Downbytheseaside was third. Roses Are Red Stakes winner Lady Shadow remained No. 2 in the rankings while Armbro Flight Stakes champ Hannelore Hanover vaulted from seventh to third. Huntsville slipped a spot to fourth while idle Ariana G dropped a notch to fifth and Downbytheseaside fell to sixth. Goodtimes Stakes winner International Moni joined the rankings at No. 9. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Fear The Dragon (22) 3pc 6-6-0-0 $455,703 329 5 2 Lady Shadow (12) 6pm 4-4-0-0 $271,000 291 2 3 Hannelore Hanover (1) 5tm 4-3-1-0 $146,138 247 7 4 Huntsville 3pc 5-3-2-0 $238,529 224 3 5 Ariana G 3tf 2-2-0-0 $60,000 196 4 6 Downbytheseaside 3pc 5-4-0-1 $286,000 190 1 7 Crazy Wow 5th 5-2-3-0 $231,500 135 6 8 Resolve 6th 1-1-0-0 $93,000 74 8 9 International Moni 3tc 2-2-0-0 $102,565 50 -- 10 Dr J Hanover 4pg 12-2-1-1 $89,907 22 9 Also: Devious Man (21); Bit Of A Legend N, Mossdale Conner N (19); Barn Bella, Keystone Velocity (16); Somewhere In LA (15); Bettor’s Up (13); McWicked (11); Mel Mara (7); Marion Marauder, Western Fame (5); Clear Vision (4); Missile J, Jagersro (3); Last Gunfighter, Nirvana Seelster (2); All Bets Off, Charmed Life, Magic Presto, Safe From Terror, Tequila Monday, Western Joe (1).  North American statistics only. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

What looked possible a week ago now looks almost certain for champion Kiwi reinsman Dexter Dunn. The sensation of the sulky went into last weekend's racing needing 22 more wins from around 17 South Island race meetings to break his own national record of 220 wins in a season, more than any other horseperson of either code. But after a seven-win streak, Dunn would be long odds-on to set a new mark before he misses the last weekend of the season on his way to the World Drivers Champs. Before last Thursday Dunn sat on 199 wins but then reeled off four wins at Forbury Park, two at Addington the next night and one at Oamaru on Sunday. That puts him on 206 for the season, needing just 15 to break his record - just over one per meeting in the 14 he expects to drive at in the next five weeks. That starts with a bonus 12-race card at Forbury Park tomorrow night as well as the two-day Marlborough meetings on the weekend likely to provide at least a handful of wins. So setting a new record now looks near certain and if (when) Dunn does, it will come as a double achievement as that 221st win would also be his 2000th in New Zealand, joining a club with four other members. Meanwhile, one of the first really major races Dunn ever won, the Victoria Cup, has undergone a controversial change. The group one, won by Lazarus this season, will move from being the cornerstone of the Victorian summer carnival in late January to October 14, having its stake halved to A$200,000 in the process. Harness Racing Victoria rightly believe having the Victoria and Hunter Cups a week apart during the summer carnival caused them to cannibalise each other, with most of the really big names starting in only one. So the Hunter Cup will now be clearly Victoria's biggest race, expected to still be worth around A$500,000. But the Victoria Cup could struggle to attract the absolute glamour pacers from New Zealand because it will be less than a month before the New Zealand Cup. One big-time Grand Circuit player who won't be at either carnival is Bling It On, with this season's Hunter Cup winner suffering a horror fall in Brisbane on Saturday night. He was rushed to a vet clinic needing surgery after cutting both front legs and getting grit from the track in the wounds. "Hopefully he will be all right, if he doesn't get an infection, but I doubt you will see him racing again this year," driver Luke McCarthy told the Herald. Courtesy of Michael Guerin The New Zealand Herald

WILKES-BARRE PA - The following is a listing of the harness racing contestants in Saturday's elimination races for The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono's $2M Sun Stakes Saturday, to take place on July 1. The listing contains this Saturday's three elimination races for each of the four rich Championships of July 1, as noted in each heading; the top three finishers in each elim will progress on to their Championship. Listed are the post position, horse, driver (underlined if changed at today's scratch time), and trainer, with the morning line odds added on.   EARL BEAL TROT: $500,000 Championship; $25,000 eliminations in races 2, 9, and 14   BEAL RACE 2 ELIMINATION (PP, horse, listed driver, trainer): 1, Common Parlance, Jim Marohn Jr., Joseph Skowyra, 6-1; 2, Snowstorm Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 3, Rubio, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 4, Giveitgasandgo, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 5-2; 5, Lucky Matter, David Miller, Christopher Beaver, 15-1; 6, Long Tom, Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander, 4-1; 7, Sortie, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 9-2; 8, President Lindy, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 10-1.   BEAL RACE 9 ELIMINATION: 1, Southwind Woody, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2, Dover Dan, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 3-1; 3, Don Dream, Brian Sears, Chris Oakes, 4-1; 4, Andy M, David Miller, Christopher Beaver, 6-1; 5, Meteoric, Joe Bongiorno, Richard Johnson, 9-2; 6, Devious Man, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 5-2; 7, Perfect Spirit, Yannick Gingras, Ã…ke Svanstedt, 15-1; 8, King On The Hill, Jim Marohn Jr., Jimmy Takter, 12-1.   BEAL RACE 14 ELIMINATION: 1, What The Hill, David Miller, Ron Burke, 3-1; 2. Ei Ei O, Matt Kakaley, Richard Hans, 12-1; 3, Backstage Pass, Tim Tetrick, Mike Simons, 10-1; 4, Bill's Man, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 7-2; 5, Muscles Jared, Brian Sears, George Ducharme, 5-1; 6, Ariana G (*filly), Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 2-1; 7, Moonshiner Hanover, Scott Zeron, Christopher Beaver, 6-1.     BEN FRANKLIN PACE: $500,000 Championship; $35,000 eliminations in races 5, 7, and 11   FRANKLIN RACE 5 ELIMINATION: 1. Dealt A Winner, David Miller, Mark Silva, 9-2; 2. Check Six, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2; 3. Boston Red Rocks, Tim Tetrick, Steve Elliott, 5-2; 4. Split The House, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes, 3-1; 5. Soto, Matt Kakaley, Eric Ell, 8-1; 6. Dude's The Man, Corey Callahan, Jessica Okusko, 12-1; 7. Shamballa, Scott Zeron, Rick Zeron, 6-1.   FRANKLIN RACE 7 ELIMINATION: 1. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 2. Freaky Feet Pete, Trace Tetrick, Marty Rheinheimer, 7-2; 3. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 4. Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr., 8-1; 5. Keystone Velocity, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 6-1; 6. Lyons Snyder, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 12-1; 7. Rockeyed Optimist, Andy Miller, Steve Elliott, 9-2.   FRANKLIN RACE 11 ELIMINATION: 1. Mel Mara, Corey Callahan, Dylan Davis, 2-1; 2. Wakizashi Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Jo Ann Looney-King, 10-1; 3. Anwar Hanover, Jim Marohn Jr., Frank Kamine, 12-1; 4. Rockin Ron, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2; 5. Rock N' Roll World, Brian Sears, Jeff Cullipher, 5-1; 6. Sunfire Blue Chip, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 6-1; 7. Luck Be Withyou, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes, 3-1.     MAX C. HEMPT PACE: $500,000 Championship; $25,000 eliminations in races 3, 10, and 12   HEMPT RACE 3 ELIMINATION: 1. Blood Line, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 2. Santafe's Coach, Anthony Napolitano, Leo Iordan, 12-1; 3. Boogie Shuffle, Scott Zeron, Mark Harder, 5-1; 4. Every Way Out, Tim Tetrick, Dylan Davis, 2-1; 5. Air Strike, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway, 10-1; 6. Ozone Blue Chip, Brett Miller, Ron Coyne Jr., 6-1; 7. Western Joe, Matt Kakaley, Chris Choate. 7-2.   HEMPT RACE 10 ELIMINATION: 1. Summer Side, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 7-2; 2. Fear The Dragon, David Miller, Brian Brown, 8-5; 3. Ponderingjacksfame, George Napolitano Jr., Les Givens, 10-1; 4. Miso Fast, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-1; 5. Pointomygranson, Brett Miller, Chris Ryder, 6-1; 6. Funknwaffles, Brian Sears, John Butenschoen, 4-1.   HEMPT RACE 12 ELIMINATION: 1. Eddard Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 9-2; 2. Heaven's Gait, David Miller, Nicholas Devita, 3-1; 3. Donttellmeagain, Tim Tetrick, Jo Ann Looney-King, 7-2; 4. Photobombr Hanover, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 8-1; 5. Downbytheseaside, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 5-2; 6. Highalator, George Napolitano Jr., Jenny Bier, 6-1; 7. Talent Soup, Scott Zeron, Bruce Saunders, 12-1.     JAMES LYNCH PACE: $300,000 Championship; $20,000 eliminations in races 1, 4, and 13   LYNCH RACE 1 ELIMINATION: 1. Tequila Monday, Brian Sears, Chris Oakes, 2-1; 2. Idyllic Beach, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Inverse Hanover, David Miller, Nifty Norman, 7-2; 4. Kate Is Well Said, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell, 6-1; 5. YS Tallia, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Pittstop Danika, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-1; 7. V String, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 12-1.   LYNCH RACE 4 ELIMINATION: 1. Brazuca, Corey Callahan, Thomas Cancelliere, 5-2; 2. Misqued, Steve Smith, John Balzer, 7-2; 3, Big City Betty, Jim Marohn Jr., Steve Salerno, 6-1; 4. Gallic Sea, Brian Sears, Jim Campbell, 5-1; 5. Roaring To Go, Brett Miller, Kevin Lare, 2-1; 6. Risky Romance, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 10-1.   LYNCH RACE 13 ELIMINATION: 1. Agent Q, David Miller, Aaron Lambert, 2-1; 2. Hail Damage Blues, Tim Tetrick, Tom Fanning, 6-1; 3. Bettor's Up, Doug McNair, Scott McEneny, 5-2; 4. Caviart Ally, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 7-2; 5. Concerto, Yannick Gingras, Kelvin Harrison, 10-1; 6. Miss Jones, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway, 5-1.   Sun Stakes Saturday Eliminations and Finals Saturday, June 24th, the very best of the best trotters and pacers in North America will descend upon the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Northeast PA for the Sun Stakes Saturday eliminations.  The star power for this night is dazzling! There will be three eliminations of each for the $500,000 Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace; the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial Pace for three-year-old colts and geldings; the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot for three-year-olds; and the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial Pace for three-year-old fillies.  The top three finishers from each advance to the rich championship finals on Saturday, July 1st with over $2 million in purses on this prestigious night. On Saturday, July 1st, Sun Stakes Saturday, the day begins with a special Meet and Greet with former college basketball coach Bobby Knight in the Racing Lobby from 5:00PM to 6:30PM.  This is a wristband-only event, with wristbands being distributed at 1:00pm.  Only authorized photos will be signed, and will be available at the signing.  A professional photographer will be on hand to capture photos, which will be displayed on the casino Facebook page after the event.  Also on July 1st, the first 300 fans will receive a souvenir laptop bag sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania and the Downs.  Coupon is required and in the live racing program, available starting at 5:30PM.  Redemption is between 9:00PM and 10:00Pm in the lower Grandstand bar.  The promotion is one per fan, while supplies last with their Racing Rewards card. Post Time for both nights is 6:30PM, with plenty of seating on the apron and patio,  as well as free parking and free admission.  Dining in Pacer’s Clubhouse is by reservation only and can be secured by calling 1-888-WIN-IN-PA. Racing for the track in Northeast PA continues on Sunday nights at 7:30PM; and Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday at 6:30PM.   PHHA / Pocono

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There are two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for the harness racing 3-year-old filly pacers Wednesday night (June 21) at Buffalo Raceway but there's still plenty of talent ready to tangle in the pair of legs worth more than $60,000 each.   Besides looking for a big pay day, they'll be trying to break the track record of 1:53.3 established in 2015 by Mosquito Blue Chip. The Sire Stakes will go off as the third and fourth events on the 13-race program that begins at 5 p.m.,   The first division looks to be the most competitive on paper. The two main contenders in the race, Clear Ideal and Playing Favorites, drew the seven and eight holes respectively which should really make things interesting.   Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) was tabbed the 3-to-1 morning line favorite with Mark MacDonald scheduled to be in the bike. In her last appearance on June 9 in Sire Stakes action at Vernon Downs, Clear Idea went gate-to-wire in a snappy 1:52,0 in posting the 1-1/4 length victory over Gurl Band K. She's been in the money in all eight of her starts in 2017, amassing $57,851 in earnings.   Playing Favorites arrives on a two-race winning streak in the Sire Stakes.The sophomore pacer won at Saratoga on June 2 in 1:55.1 and followed that up with a 1:52.3 decision at Vernon Downs on June 9. Jason Bartlett is expected to take the reins of Playing Favorites (Roll With Joe-Odds On Lassomyhrt).   Planet Rock, a winner of $202,511 last season, has yet to get in gear in 2017. But she has found success at Buffalo Raceway in the past by capturing a NYSS race last year as a 2-year-old in 1:58.0.   If her last race is any indication, she may make a return visit to the Buffalo Raceway winner's circle. Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Villa Hanover) finished a hard-charging second just a length behind Playing Favorites on June 9. Scoring from the three post at 7-to-2, Scott Zeron will be aboard.   Major Master Piece has shown some life in her last two tries. picking up a second and third in the Sire Stakes. Drawing the rail, Major Master Piece (Jim Morrill Jr.) sits at 4-to-1 in the morning line.   The remainder of the first division includes Little Hanover (Daniel Dube), Ann Hill (Larry Stalbaum), Pirinea's Princess (Kevin Cummings) and American Cheer (Rick Zeron).   The second division has Obvious Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Out On A Clinic) as the 2-to-1 morning line choice. She'll start from the two post with Bartlett in the bike. Obvious Blue Chip has a 1:53.2 victory in the books in Sire Stakes competition at Saratoga but was overwhelmed last time out in a leg of the Fan Hanover at Mohawk Raceway. She has won two out of her last three outings.   Artrageous is the second choice with Stalbaum to guide the Art Major-In Deep Thought filly around the Buffalo Raceway oval. She won a Sire Stakes event at Saratoga and notched a third at Vernon Downs. Drawing the five post, Artrageous has $133,780 in the bank for her career with $102,005 coming last season.   St Helena (American Ideal-Art's Vintage) drew the rail and hopes to take full advantage of it with MacDonald. Trained by Jimmy Takter, St Helena has been in the money in all four of her starts this season including a victory at Yonkers in 1:55.4.   The rest of the field includes OK Jasmine (Morrill Jr.), Studio One (Cummings), World Apart (Scott Zeron) and Gurl Band K (Dube).   There will also be a trio of $15,000 Excelsior A Series races and a $6,600 Excelsior B Series contest.   Horsemen are also reminded of the double draw on Wednesday for the Saturday and Sunday cards. The Sunday program includes New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series races for the 3-year-old filly trotters.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

WILKES-BARRE PA - EZ Passer stands alone atop the Pennsylvania Stallion Series three-year-old trotting filly rankings after overcoming post nine to win her division of the third SS prelim leg Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, keeping her undefeated in the harness racing competition after a trio of starts.   Jeff Gregory sent the daughter of Crazed right to the top despite the outermost stating slot and maintained control throughout, winning by 1¾ lengths over pocketsitting Decadence and stopping the timer in 1:55.1, fastest clocking in all of the six divisions. Mark Harder is the conditioner of the winner for owner Joseph Jannuzzeli as she boosted her earnings over six figures to $106,588.   The only other double winner entering Monday's Pocono action was Canwood, but after opening up a sizable lead on the final turn this filly had to settle for third behind the Cantab Hall filly Ellerie Hanover, who was victorious in 1:56.2. Andrew McCarthy rallied the winner to the victory for trainer Anette Lorentzon and the SRF Stable; she now has two Stallion Series wins after trying the Sire Stakes horses in the first leg but making a break.   Following the same racing pattern as Ellerie Hanover - breaking in the Sire Stakes in leg one, and now winning two straight at the Stallion level - was the Lucky Chucky filly Lexi Marie, who moved to the lead past the quarter and went on to a 1:57 triumph for driver David Miller, trainer Trond Smedshammer, and owner Diane Giuliano.   David Miller posted a driving double in the Stallion Series action with one of two victorious daughters of Muscle Massive, Onda Su, who like EZ Passer didn't let a little thing like post nine deter her, coming home as a pocket rocket for a 1:57 victory for trainer Jim Campbell and owners Fred and Shirley Schwartz and the Onda Racing Stable LLC.   The other Muscle Massive winner was Itsgoodtobequeen, who enjoyed a pocket trip then burst home to win by 3¼ lengths in 1:56, knocking five seconds off her lifetime mark. Marcus Miller had sulky duty behind the winner for owners Jon Erdner, Martin Garey, and Henry Wieseneck.   The "Queen" was a 13-1 upsetter for trainer Doug Hamilton; the veteran Hamilton came back in the last of the six divisions to post a 10-1 upset with Out Of Luck, who gave Lucky Chucky a siring double. Out Of Luck closed well from second-over to hold off the horse on her back, 94-1 Ridge Speed, by 1¼ lengths in a 1:57 victory for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and owners Sandbur Farms, Valarie Sutton, and Joseph Hemingway.   PHHA / Pocono  

Manalapan, NJ --- Dave Van Wart walked away from Gaitway Farm wearing a broad smile this morning, but that's not unusual. Van Wart, who grew up near the training facility and still lives in the area, has owned harness racing horses for the past six years and spends as much time as possible watching them prep for the races at trainer Tom Fanning's stable. "This is my stress relief," he said with a grin. "It's really enjoyable for me." But his smile was a little extra special Monday after watching his 2-year-old female pacer Zuluwarriorhanover win one of the morning's 10 qualifiers for freshmen at Gaitway. Zuluwarriorhanover, driven by Andy Miller, beat Step Beyond by a nose in 1:56.1 in her first qualifying try of the season despite a gusty headwind. "I thought she raced fantastic," said Van Wart, who owns a nursery and landscape business. "She was very good, very strong. Tom does an excellent job. I was excited to watch her. Anytime you buy a yearling it's nice to see them do that. We've staked her to a few nice races. I really enjoy the horses." Van Wart wasn't alone in having reason to smile. Trainer Ron Burke sent out six winning 2-year-olds, including colt pacer JK Wildfire, who won in 1:55.3 with driver Yannick Gingras to set the day's best time by a pacer. Trainer Julie Miller won two qualifiers, both with colt trotters, including day's best Met's Hall in 1:57. Trond Smedshammer, who won with filly trotter Chaperess, rounded out the list of trainers with wins. Zuluwarriorhanover is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Zellweger Bluechip. She was purchased for $52,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is a full sister to stakes winner Zane Hanover. The family also includes millionaire Fashion Delight as well as 2016 Empire Breeders Classic 3-year-old filly champion No Clouds Bluechip. "Dave had her on a very short list of horses he liked," Fanning said. "It worked out well because we both liked her. She was a little small, but I loved her pedigree." Burke's JK Wildfire (Somebeachsomewhere-Bittorsweet Terror) won in 1:55.3 after finishing second in his first qualifier on June 5. He was purchased for $175,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by 3 Brothers Stables. He is a half-brother to stakes winner Chip Walther and his second dam, stakes-winner Swifty But Nifty, is the mother of millionaire Cam Swifty and multiple-stakes-winner Lonesome Day. Other winners for Burke were filly pacers Youaremycandygirl, Let's Fall In Love and Belle's Delight, colt pacer Go West Go Fast, and filly trotter D'Bomb. Bill Donovan owns Youaremycandygirl, Let's Fall In Love, Belle's Delight, and D'Bomb. Youaremycandygirl, driven by Gingras, won her second qualifier of the month, this in 1:55.4 after going 1:58.4 on June 5. Youaremycandygirl (American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane) was purchased for $150,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. The filly's second dam is Sweet Future, who is the mother of Pacer of the Year Sweet Lou (a former Burke Stable star) and multiple-stakes-winner Bettor Sweet. Let's Fall In Love (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) and Gingras won in 1:56.3. She was purchased for $150,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is a full sister to New York Sire Stakes champion Band Of Angels and a half-sister to millionaire Romantic Moment. Go West Go Fast (Western Ideal-Female Champs) and driver Joe Bongiorno won in 1:56.4. He was purchased for $32,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Silva Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. He is a full brother to stakes winner Ideal Champ. Belle's Delight (Bettor's Delight-Sanabellevalentine) won in 1:58.3 with driver Matt Kakaley. She was purchased for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and her second dam is millionaire Sanabelle Island. D'Bomb (Explosive Matter-Machita) and Gingras won in 1:59.1. She was purchased for $65,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is a half-sister to stakes winner Blue Porsche. "It was another good day," Burke said. "It's tough to get a read because of the headwind today. It's hard for babies to come off a turn and face a 20-mph wind and just keep hammering through it. Any that hung in are good horses. I think it was a little easier to sit and try to slingshot past late. But whatever they're getting home is legit. It's not wind-aided, it's wind-impaired. "Now it's race time." Met's Hall (Cantab Hall-Met's Inn) won in his first qualifier of the year. He was purchased for $132,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Racing Stable. His family includes 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill. Can't Afford It also won in his first qualifier, stopping the timer in 1:59. The son of Cantab Hall-Nothing But Moni was purchased for $120,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Stable Why Not. His second dam is two-time Horse of the Year Moni Maker and his family includes newly-minted Goodtimes Stakes champion International Moni. Both horses were driven by Andy Miller. "Met's Hall has been a nice horse training down the whole time, a model of consistency," Julie Miller said. "We have high hopes for him and so far so good. I've liked him since the word go. He's got an aura about him. He's built well and he's got a good head on him. He's got that 'it' factor. "Can't Afford It trained down in the Netherlands, so he came to us a little late. He's not staked until later in the year and we're really taking our time with him. Andy said he was super today. He's a really nice colt." Chaperess (Chapter Seven-Wedding Dress) won in 1:59.1 for driver David Miller and owner Purple Haze Stable. The filly trotter was purchased for $55,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. "It was her first time behind the gate and she was very good, very professional," Smedshammer said. "She was training good all winter, but she got set back three weeks because we found out she had a chip in a hind ankle and we had to operate in March. That's why she is a little bit behind the other ones. But I like her." For the complete charts from Monday's qualifiers, click here. Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, June 19, 2017 -- Shesasmokinlady quarter-poled to the front and widened her lead late en route to her third straight harness racing victory in Monday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Shesasmokinlady withstood a serious challenge from the first-over Lakeisha Hall and, under the urging of trainer/driver Ray Paver, drew off in mid-stretch to down the rallying Hurricane Calleigh by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.2. Lakeisha Hall saved show. Iris Horowitz bred and owns Shesasmokinlady, a 4-year-old daughter of McArdle-Smokin Pistol who soared over $200,000 in career earnings. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 12-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

HARRINGTON, Del. - The second leg of Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) action for harnbess racing 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings was completed Monday at Harrington Raceway with three $20,000 divisions. The first division pitted a match-up between the class's two heavyweights, Bags To Riches and Daiymir, both of whom won their eliminations impressively last week. When the dust settled, Daiymir ($2.80, Montrell Teague) was the victor via a controlling speed in 1:53.4 for trainer Clyde Francis and owner George Teague Jr. Bags To Riches sat in the pocket throughout and was second. Hallie's Comet was a fast closing third. Daiymir, a son of Mr. Wiggles, notched his fourth career win in seven lifetime starts. In the second division, Tina Clark and Brian Clark's Automatic Dragon ($3.40, Victor Kirby) completed a sweep of his eliminations with a 1:54 triumph over Henry The Dragon and Wake Up And Go. Trained by Bobby Clark, the Art Director gelding was a front end winner for his fourth straight victory. It was one of five wins for Kirby. The lone upset came in the final division as George Teague's Ain't It Fun ($11.00, Montrell Teague) prevailed over the favorite James Isaac and Suspinder in 1:56.2. The winner was sired by Custard The Dragon and notched his third career win. In the overnight feature, the $15,000 Delaware Special, Sean Bier and Joan Hamstead's Im Supersonic A ($12, Kirby) prevailed in 1:54.2 for trainer Crissy Crissman-Bier. A rain storm hit the area after the fifth race and the balance of the program was run over a sloppy racetrack. DSBF pacing fillies will complete their second leg in three divisions on Tuesday with trotters rounding out the week on Wednesday in four divisions. Matthew Sparacino  

James Beluscak and Bob Carson's Lord Of The Reigns creeped up the rail to win in a lifetime best 1:55.2 at odds of 14-1 in the first of two $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) on a blustery June 19 harness racing afternoon at Scioto Downs. Conversely, the 1-5 favorite, Fraser Ridge, did as expected by capturing the second division handily in 1:56. A total of 16 diagonally-gaited 3-year-old colts and geldings battled in round two of the four-leg series that culminates with a $250,000 Championship for 2- and 3-year-olds of both gaits and genders on Saturday, Sept. 2 at the central-Ohio five-eighths mile oval. Conditioned by Marty Wollam, Lord Of The Reigns, a 3-year-old son of Dejarmbro, had won OSS-Leg One on May 2 at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:57.3 in his first career triumph, but had not visited the winner's circle in three starts following that victory. However, this uber-consistent diagonally-gaited athlete was second once and third twice in his aforementioned outings after that first OSS score. The homebred sophomore now has two wins in five starts this year and upped his seasonal earnings to $55,380 and his career bankroll to $77,096. Lord Of The Reigns returned $31.00 on a two dollar win ticket, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Star Buster (9-5, Ryan Stahl), with Always A Good Time (6-1, Chris Page) a length back in third. Full Surge, the 4-5 favorite, made a break behind the gate for driver Mike Wilder and never recovered, spotting the field of eight more than two dozen lengths and finishing last. Lord Of The Reigns is the first foal out of the Cantab Hall mare Mariko Hanover 3, 1:59F ($45,141). Fraser Ridge used come-from-behind tactics to emerge victorious for driver Chris Page, overtaking the determined 13-1 Magic Vacation (Kayne Kauffman) in the final strides. Speed Lane (8-1, Dan Noble) picked up show honors, 1¼ lengths back. The Chris Beaver trainee, a son of Triumphant Caviar, notched his third victory this season and sixth career win for the partnership of Donald Robinson, Cardington, OH; Robert Mondillo, Delaware, OH; Chris Beaver, Radnor, OH; and RBH Ventures of New York, NY. Bred by Steve Stewart of Paris, KY, Fraser Ridge now has $202,595 in his career bank account from six wins in 17 starts, with $64,564 in seasonal earnings. The third foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Classical Mary 3, 1:55.2M ($207,811) Fraser Ridge is a half-brother in Guy Fox (by Glidemaster) 4, 1:55.2f ($119,405). Ohio Sires Stakes action resumes July 1 as 3-year-old colt pacers (Leg Three) vie at Northfield Park; 2-year-old filly trotters (Leg One), July 3, Northfield; 2-year-old pacing colts (Leg One), July 4, Scioto Downs; and 2-year-old filly pacers (Leg One), July 5, Scioto Downs. Kimberly Rinker

WILKES-BARRE PA - The very best trotters and pacers in North American harness racing will be converging on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono the next two Saturdays, with elimination races being held this Saturday in order to qualify horses to participate in the Sun Stakes Saturday supercard on Saturday, July 1.   The $500,000 Franklin Pace for free-for-allers, the $500,000 Hempt Pace for three-year-old colts and geldings, the $500,000 Beal Trot for three-year-olds, and the $300,000 Lynch Pace for three-year-old fillies all drawn sufficient entrants that there will be three eliminations for each event this Saturday night, with the top three finishers in each elim advancing to their rich Championship event on July 1.   Here's a look at the elimination events for the four big races, starting with the one where a top filly is going to try "the boys":   EARL BEAL TROT: $500,000 Championship; $25,000 eliminations in races 2, 9, and 14   This may be the case of "saving the best for last," as super filly Ariana G will test male opposition in the Beal, contributing factors being a lack of top-money events in her division right now and the still-awaited return of top colt Walner, and she will be the next-to-last horse to post parade on Saturday, starting from post six in a field of seven in the 14th and final race.   Ariana G is a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jimmy Takter for owners/breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfield. She was named divisional champion as a two-year-old off the strength of 9 wins in 11 starts, earnings of over $700,000, and a win in the Breeders Crown. This year Ariana G has been perfect in two starts, winning her last race, a New Jersey Sire Stakes final for fillies, in a career-best 1:51.1.   Two state champion colts will square off in the second race elimination, which has eight entrants. Giveitgasandgo, a Yankee Glide ridgling, won the 2016 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship and comes off a PaSS victory in his last start; he'll begin in post four for driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen. Two starting slots to his right will be Long Tom, recent New Jersey Sire Stakes final winner, with the son of Muscle Hill backed by the team of driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Marcus Melander. Rubio (post three, Yannick Gingras for Jimmy Takter) will also get respect off a sharp PaSS win in his 2017 bow.   The state of New York weighs in in the ninth race Beal elimination, as the Credit Winner colt Devious Man comes to the mountain oval off a win Sunday in the Empire Breeders Classic final. Devious Man will be behind slot six in the eight-horse grouping for Team Orange Crush - driver Andy Miller and trainer/wife Julie.   BEAL RACE 2 ELIMINATION (PP, horse, listed driver, trainer): 1, Common Parlance, Jim Marohn Jr., Joseph Skowyra; 2, Snowstorm Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 3, Rubio, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 4, Giveitgasandgo, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen; 5, Lucky Matter, David Miller, Christopher Beaver; 6, Long Tom, Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander; 7, Sortie, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley; 8, President Lindy, Andy Miller, Julie Miller.   BEAL RACE 9 ELIMINATION: 1, Southwind Woody, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 2, Dover Dan, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen; 3, Don Dream, Brian Sears, Chris Oakes; 4, Andy M, David Miller, Christopher Beaver; 5, Meteoric, Joe Bongiorno, Richard Johnson; 6, Devious Man, Andy Miller, Julie Miller; 7, Perfect Spirit, Yannick Gingras, Ã…ke Svanstedt; 8, King On The Hill, Jim Marohn Jr., Jimmy Takter.   BEAL RACE 14 ELIMINATION: 1, What The Hill, David Miller, Ron Burke; 2. Ei Ei O, Corey Callahan, Richard Hans; 3, Backstage Pass, Mike Simons, Mike Simons; 4, Bill's Man, Corey Callahan also listed, John Butenschoen; 5, Muscles Jared, Brian Sears, George Ducharme; 6, Ariana G (*filly), Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 7, Moonshiner Hanover, Scott Zeron, Christopher Beaver.   BEN FRANKLIN PACE: $500,000 Championship; $35,000 eliminations in races 5, 7, and 11   The two horses likely to attract much attention in the 11th race elimination will be starting at opposite ends of the gate in the seven-horse field. Getting the innermost draw is Mel Mara, a son of Lis Mara scheduled to be handled by Corey Callahan for trainer Dylan Davis and owners Robert Cooper Stables LLC and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Mel Mara has a mark of 1:47, was fourth in the Franklin Final last year, and comes off of a 1:48 victory at The Meadowlands in which he paced his last quarter in 26.   The Western Ideal stallion Luck Be Withyou had no luck at the pill shake with the outside draw, but the outer fringes of the starting gate are nothing new to him: he won his 2015 Franklin elim from post eight and then the 2015 Championship from post nine! Also a winner of the 2016 Franklin Consolation and his Breeders Crown event here as a two-year-old, Luck Be Withyou is truly a "horse for the course," with 15 wins in only 22 starts at Pocono, and over $700G of his $1.3M lifetime bankroll earned locally. George Napolitano Jr. will have sulky duties for trainer Chris Oakes.   The charismatic Freaky Feet Pete, second to Always B Miki in the Franklin Championship last year, will be making his seasonal debut in the seven-horse seventh race elimination, starting from post two for driver Trace Tetrick and trainer Marty Rheinheimer. His prime opposition could come from McWicked, the 2014 Hempt champion, and the razor-sharp Rockeyed Optimist, second to Mel Mara last week.   The fifth race looks the most wide-open of the three Franklin eliminations; if anyone has an advantage, it may be the "home cookin'" of Napolitano and Oakes behind Split The House, who starts in the middle of the field of seven, and who won his last race here at Pocono in 1:48.2 - 27.2.   FRANKLIN RACE 5 ELIMINATION: 1. Dealt A Winner, David Miller, Mark Silva; 2. Check Six, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Boston Red Rocks, Tim Tetrick, Steve Elliott; 4. Split The House, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes; 5. Soto, Art Stafford Jr., Eric Ell; 6. Dude's The Man, driver TBA, Jessica Okusko; 7. Shamballa, Scott Zeron, Rick Zeron.   FRANKLIN RACE 7 ELIMINATION: 1. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman; 2. Freaky Feet Pete, Trace Tetrick, Marty Rheinheimer; 3. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 4. Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr.; 5. Keystone Velocity, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 6. Lyons Snyder, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 7. Rockeyed Optimist, Andy Miller, Steve Elliott.   FRANKLIN RACE 11 ELIMINATION: 1. Mel Mara, Corey Callahan, Dylan Davis; 2. Wakizashi Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Jo Ann Looney-King; 3. Anwar Hanover, Jim Marohn Jr., Frank Kamine; 4. Rockin Ron, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 5. Rock N' Roll World, Brian Sears, Jeff Cullipher; 6. Sunfire Blue Chip, Mark MacDonald, Jimmy Takter; 7. Luck Be Withyou, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes.   MAX C. HEMPT PACE: $500,000 Championship; $25,000 eliminations in races 3, 10, and 12   "Fear The Dragon" is not just the name of a three-year-old colt - it's the watchword of everybody campaigning a high-class sophomore pacer right now. The son of Dragon Again, trained by Brian Brown for the Emerald Highlands Farm, won the "big showdown" this past Saturday in the $730,000 (U.S.) North America Cup, closing strongly to notch a 1:48.4 victory for driver David Miller, and establishing himself as the leader in the sport's glamour division. In going five-for-five this year, the Dragon has shown he can overcome obstacles in his road: tough posts (he does have PP2 in a field of six here), first-over trips, and even an errant head number thrown to the track that caused him to skip in the stretch of his N.A. Cup elim, but he quickly righted and even won that contest.   Fear The Dragon's stablemate in the Brian Brown Stable, Downbytheseaside, suffered his first seasonal defeat in finishing third in the North America Cup, but in his defense he was pushed to brutal middle fractions of 52.1 and 1:19.3, the latter the fastest clocking at the ¾ on the continent in 2017. The Somebeachsomewhere colt will look to regain his winning ways as he starts from post five in the seven-horse twelfth race elimination, with Brian Sears driving.   Trainer Dylan Davis, who has Mel Mara in the Franklin elims, saw his Every Way Out sweep two eliminations and then the final of the New Jersey Sire Stakes series at The Meadowlands, and he will turn the lines over to Tim Tetrick in hopes of remaining undefeated in 2017 as they begin from post four in the seven-horse elim.   HEMPT RACE 3 ELIMINATION: 1. Blood Line, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 2. Santafe's Coach, Anthony Napolitano, Leo Iordan; 3. Boogie Shuffle, Scott Zeron, Mark Harder; 4. Every Way Out, Tim Tetrick, Dylan Davis; 5. Air Strike, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway; 6. Ozone Blue Chip, Brett Miller, Ron Coyne Jr.; 7. Western Joe, Matt Kakaley, Chris Choate.   HEMPT RACE 10 ELIMINATION: 1. Summer Side, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 2. Fear The Dragon, David Miller, Brian Brown; 3. Ponderingjacksfame, Brett Miller, Les Givens; 4. Miso Fast, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 5. Pointomygranson, Brett Miller also listed, Chris Ryder; 6. Funknwaffles, Brian Sears, John Butenschoen.   HEMPT RACE 12 ELIMINATION: 1. Eddard Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 2. Heaven's Gait, David Miller, Nicholas Devita; 3. Donttellmeagain, Tim Tetrick, Jo Ann Looney-King; 4. Photobombr Hanover, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning; 5. Downbytheseaside, Brian Sears, Brian Brown; 6. Highalator, George Napolitano Jr., Jenny Bier; 7. Talent Soup, Scott Zeron, Bruce Saunders.   JAMES LYNCH PACE: $300,000 Championship; $20,000 eliminations in races 1, 4, and 13   Bettor's Up defeated Agent Q by a nose in last Saturday's Fan Hanover final at Mohawk, and the two figure to be slugging it out again as they are matched up in the six-horse race 13 Lynch elimination. Bettor's Up, who starts from post three for driver Doug McNair and trainer Scott McEneny, has been victorious in half of her 16 career starts, while Agent Q, the 2016 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who will begin from the rail for driver David Miller and trainer Aaron Lambert, has been first or second in all but one of her 15 career trips behind the gate.   In the first race elimination, a seven-horse field, Tequila Monday and Idyllic Beach look to rebound: they were the favorite and second choice in the Fan Hanover, respectively, but respectively finished third and fourth. They have the advantage of inside starting positions on Saturday: Tequila Monday starts off from the rail for driver Brian Sears and trainer Chris Oakes, while Idyllic Beach, the 2016 North American champion for this division, begins just to her right for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter.   Misqued eked out a nose victory in her New Jersey Sire Stakes final on June 2, and perhaps that race will be a better sign for her as she begins from post two in a grouping of six for driver Steve Smith and trainer John Balzer. This Lynch elim appears to be the most wide-open of the event's trio of races.   LYNCH RACE 1 ELIMINATION: 1. Tequila Monday, Brian Sears, Chris Oakes; 2. Idyllic Beach, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 3. Inverse Hanover, David Miller, Nifty Norman; 4. Kate Is Well Said, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell; 5. YS Tallia, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 6. Pittstop Danika, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 7. V String, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley.   LYNCH RACE 4 ELIMINATION: 1. Brazuca, Corey Callahan, Thomas Cancelliere; 2. Misqued, Steve Smith, John Balzer; 3, Big City Betty, Jim Marohn Jr., Steve Salerno; 4. Gallic Sea, Brian Sears, Jim Campbell; 5. Roaring To Go, Brett Miller, Kevin Lare; 6. Risky Romance, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley.   LYNCH RACE 13 ELIMINATION: 1. Agent Q, David Miller, Aaron Lambert; 2. Hail Damage Blues, Mike Simons, Tom Fanning; 3. Bettor's Up, Doug McNair, Scott McEneny; 4. Caviart Ally, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley; 5. Concerto, Andrew McCarthy also listed, Kelvin Harrison; 6. Miss Jones, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway.   THE UNDERCARD: A $25,000 winners-over pace in race 8, with a field of eight with combined earnings of $3.8M and an average lifetime mark of 1:49, and a $22,500 "nw22500L5" pace where the field of nine has amassed over $2.4M in earnings and an average speed badge of 1:50. (Six horses in each race took their marks at Pocono.)   First post for this first-rate Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night card, with action literally from beginning to end, is listed for 6:30 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono

If civil actions had bookies, these horse folks might be 100-to-1 longshots. Three years ago, a group of Ontario racehorse breeders took Kathleen Wynne’s government to court over claims the province made a “bad faith” decision in 2012 to abruptly end a lucrative revenue-sharing agreement with the horse racing industry. The standardbred breeders allege cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program damaged their livelihoods. But the rural plaintiffs — who in 2015 notched a legal victory in obtaining government documents tied to the agreement cancellation, as court-ordered disclosure — continue to battle the government. On Monday, the sides are back in a Guelph courthouse. Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Emery will hear motions from the province and co-defendant Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to quash summonses for 13 witnesses — including Wynne, her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, former finance minister Dwight Duncan and economist Don Drummond. “The evidence shows that these are the folks who are the only ones who can bring any level of transparency to the decision that was made and imposed in 2012,” said Toronto lawyer Jonathan Lisus, who represents the breeders seeking $65 million in damages. “They were directly and personally involved in the decision, its implementation and the response to the harm that was caused.” The province and the OLG deny all allegations of wrongdoing in their statements of defence. Earlier this year, both filed motions to have the case summarily dismissed, a matter scheduled for a November hearing. Emilie Smith, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General, said in a written statement that “Ontario has brought a summary judgment motion” to proceed in Superior Court “to have the action dismissed on the basis that it does not raise a genuine issue for trial.” “After Ontario confirmed that it would be bringing a summary judgment motion, the plaintiffs served fifteen summonses to witness,” Smith said. “Ontario has brought a motion to quash thirteen of the fifteen summonses on the basis that the evidence of the summonsed witnesses is not relevant to the summary judgment motion and that the summonses are an abuse of process.” She continued: “As this matter is subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.” OLG also declined comment. “It would be inappropriate for OLG to comment on matters before the courts,” said spokesperson Tony Bitonti. The defendants have already deposed 17 plaintiffs. Lisus said his clients want the opportunity to examine current and former senior government officials on their witness list, under oath. “I understand the government may not want this decision-making process to be scrutinized but it (ending the slots agreement) caused a lot of harm to a lot of people,” Lisus said. “The documents and evidence demonstrate they (the defendants) knew it would cause a lot of harm to a lot of people.” Around 1998, the slots agreement grew out of the Ontario government’s interest in installing the machines at racetracks. In 2012, then-finance minister Dwight Duncan announced the revenue-sharing deal would be scrapped. With a year’s notice to the horse racing industry, it officially ceased in 2013. Up to that point, horse racing’s share of slots revenue was about $4 billion. A key component of the breeders’ allegations hinges on the five-to-seven-year cycle needed to produce a standardbred racing horse from conception to the start gate. They claim the breeding cycle was well-known to the defendants, who also understood that breeders plan their businesses on this timeline. Lisus said the government’s one-year notice to end the slots deal devastated breeders, noting “the value of horses completely halved overnight.” “It’s not the plaintiffs’ position that the revenue share had to continue forever or could never be renegotiated,” the lawyer said. “The way the government did it, which was to essentially give no notice and say revenue sharing is going to stop, caused the bottom to fall entirely out of the market, and it never came back,” Lisus continued. “The documents show they knew that would happen.” The breeders claim that information contained in the court-ordered disclosure shows senior government officials were planning to cancel the slots program “without warning” even while the province was reassuring the horse industry that the partnership would continue, according to the plaintiffs’ responding factum to the motion to quash summonses. The disclosure documents also contain emails between government officials. Another aspect of the civil action pertains to the government compensating racetrack owners and not those who produce the racing animals after the slots deal was scrapped. “Ontario and OLG paid $80.6 million in compensation to those racetrack owners, while refusing to even discuss compensation for the standardbred breeders,” are among the allegations contained in the breeders’ statement of claim. The standardbred breeders were not a party to the slots contracts, which were signed by individual racetrack owners and OLG. However, Justice Emery, in his 2015 decision to order broad document access for the plaintiffs, wrote that “reports by (the Ontario Racing Commission) and other publications reflected the long-term nature of the commitments Ontario and OLG were making to racetracks and stakeholders in the horse racing industry.” The province, in its statement of defence filed by the attorney general’s office, denied “all allegations of liability and wrongdoing referred to in the plaintiff’s claim” and said at all times “the Crown acted in the public interest.” In addition, government decisions “made in relation to the implementation and termination of the Slots at Racetracks Program were core policy and fiscal decisions made in the public interest and made at the Ministerial and Cabinet level of government and are, accordingly, immune from suit,” according to defence pleadings filed by the attorney general’s office. The province also contends: “If the plaintiffs suffered any losses, which the Crown denies, those losses resulted from something other than actions of the Crown.” By Mary Ormsby Reprinted with permission of The Star        

June 17, 2017 - The great Vivid Wise As (3m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) took Saturday’s Gran Premio Nazionale (purse €187,000, 2250 meters autostart) at Milano over their 1050 meter oval. Enrico Bellei was the pilot for trainer Marco Smorgon. Allev. Della Serenissima SS bred the front-stepping winner of 10 of 11 career starts, and three for three this year, now for €260,821 earned. Timed in 1.12.7kr, the winner bested Vitruvio (3m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) driven by Pietro Gubellini and third went to Vessillo As (3m Mondiale OK-Yankee Dapple-Donerail) with Edouardo Baldi at the lines. This one was bred by the same farm as the winner. The undercard showcased the Gran Premio Nazionale Filly (purse €66,000, 1650 meters autostart) and the 1.13.7kr timed winner was Valdivia (3f Adrian Chip-Love On The Rocks-Donerail) driven by Roberto Vecchione. The winner recorded her fifth career victory in 13 starts, as she defeated Villa Santina Jet (3f Igor Font-Lunigiana Jet-Supergill) and Vale Capar (3f Conway Hall-Madame Capar-Supergill).  Scuderia Sant’Andrea SM bred the winning filly. Thomas H. Hicks

Plainville, MA---During its 18-year history, Plainridge Park had been considered mostly a harness racing "B" track, hosting horses that may have been overmatched at other venues. However as a direct result of the Race Horse Development Fund, expanded gaming in Massachusetts and the persistent hard work of all the horsemen and horsewomen in the state, Plainridge Park has now positioned itself as one of the more competitive tracks in the northeast. Over the last three years the track has been going through a very swift renaissance. Since opening in 1999, the track filled the void left in Massachusetts harness racing when Foxboro Park closed in 1997 after 50 years in operation. Evidence of this rebirth since 2014 is 45 more racing dates, purses which in some cases have doubled, a $10 million increase in live handle and another $3 million increase from simulcast. These numbers clearly indicate that Plainridge Park is a vital racing jurisdiction. The main goal of management moving forward was to make sure the local horsemen who supported the track in the lean years had the opportunity to benefit now. But they also wanted to put Massachusetts harness racing back on the map nationally and the best way to do that was with a Grand Circuit event. Track management looked at the racing calendar for a spot they could host a signature race during the summer where it wouldn't clash with another stake and allow them to draw the best horses to Plainridge for it. They identified an opening for aged trotters in late July leading up to Cashman Memorial and the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot was born. The inaugural edition of the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot will be presented on Friday (July 28). The purse is by far the largest ever offered for a Standardbred race in the state, more than tripling the $81,000 Colonial trot held at Foxboro Park in 1995 and the $75,000 Beckwith Memorial held at Plainridge in 2009. And it will bring the best horses and drivers in the sport to Massachusetts for an event unparalleled in New England harness racing history. Steve O'Toole is the General Manager and Director of Live Racing at Plainridge Park. He has been associated with the track for many years and is pleased they are able to host such a prestigious race. "The success of Plainridge Park Casino, Massachusetts first expanded gaming facility, is the catalyst for this event. Racing is an important part of the operation at Plainridge Park and it is an important industry in Massachusetts and New England. The Spirit of Massachusetts Trot seemed to fit well with the effort to keep harness racing viable in the Commonwealth" said O'Toole. "The day in, day out racing program at Plainridge Park has been solidified over the past couple of years and we wanted to take the next step and create an event to let the industry know harness racing in Massachusetts is back on the map. Also by offering this race, we hope to boost the local fan base as well as strengthen the relationship with our simulcast customers." Horsemen have taken notice of the race as the connections of 38 eligibles have made the final sustaining payment in May and those eligibles include the very best Open trotters in the U.S. and Canada, including five millionaires among the plethora of stake winners. "Pretty much every track that is successful today has some type of signature race; it's a chance to sell our sport to the fans. The Spirit of Massachusetts will do just that. We will be hosting the best aged trotters in North America the week prior to Hambletonian Day so you would have to think there will be a lot of eyes on Plainridge Park that Friday afternoon" said Paul Verrette, Race Secretary at Plainridge Park. "Hosting a race like this is an honor and quite an accomplishment when you think about where this track was less than four years ago. The fact that this event is taking place is a testament to so much hard work by so many people in Massachusetts both inside and outside of the harness racing industry." And those people are on both sides of the fence. The horsemen partnered with track management to work on the growth at the facility and as a result, everyone is now reaping the fruits of their labor in a successful and professional atmosphere. "As we get closer to the big race, our members are excited to showcase an industry which has experienced significant growth and renewal over the past few years. The buzz is palpable; our owners and trainers are excited to participate on a card hosting such a significant event as the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot" said Bob McHugh, President of the Harness Horse Association of New England. "There has been a realization that this race will let the public know that harness racing is back in Massachusetts. And since there is talk about the state taking some money from the Race Horse Development Fund for other purposes, this race sends a message to the legislature that our industry is alive and well." Besides the signature event, plans for the rest of the July 28 card are to showcase the best local horsemen and horses that have been supporting and racing at the track for years. "The most important thing to me is that the other races that day are exclusively for regular Plainridge participants. We will have a handful of special races as we try to involve organizations such as the New England Amateur Drivers Club, the Massachusetts Breeders and the U.S.T.A, but it will be built around the Plainridge regulars" said Verrette. Harness racing in Massachusetts has been making history for well over 100 years. In 1903 the Readville Trotting Park was the site of the first 2:00 trotting mile when the little red mare, Lou Dillon became the queen of the turf. And Readville was also the first track to offer a $50,000 purse for a special American Handicap trot in 1908, the largest money ever offered in North American harness racing at that time. Now just 25 miles down I-95 from that historic site, Massachusetts harness racing looks to make history once again at Plainridge Park. A complete list of all 38 eligibles to the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot can be found by clicking here. A landing page for the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot has been created and will be updated with news and information as race day approaches. You can visit that by clicking here. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park