Day At The Track

Horses and harness racing were big events. Squier told his Chamber of Commerce audience that after World War II there were 23 racing tracks in Vermont. Said Squier, “We would broadcast the harness racing. That was a big deal–harness racing. It was all about fairs, the horses, and agricultural life.” At a St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast celebrated on March 13, the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce honored motor sports broadcaster and Radio Station WDEV owner Ken Squier. As a boy growing up in Waterbury Village and for more than 80 years, Squier has had a continuing association with WDEV. Squier has also had an illustrious national career as a sports — and particularly a motor sports — announcer at such events as the famed Daytona 500 race at the Daytona Speedway in Daytona, Florida. Squier’s influence on how the race is broadcast has been profound. In 1979 he persuaded the skeptics that the Daytona race could be called in such a way that the listening public would thrill to the entire story of the race from flag to flag or start to finish. A few days before the Chamber of Commerce event, Squier talked with The Bridge over lunch about growing up in Waterbury and the early days of WDEV. WDEV officially took to the air on July 17, 1931. But it’s almost impossible to tell the story of how the station got going without remembering the Great Flood of November 1927 that devastated Waterbury and took a terrible toll in lives lost not to mention roads, bridges, and buildings across the state as well. Talking about the damage to Waterbury Village, Squier said, “Both ends of the town got washed out. The river came down from Stowe. The Mad River backed up into the Winooski. We lost a lot of people.” It was four years after the Great Flood of 1927 when WDEV first signed on the air,  so when Ken Squier was born in 1935, the station was already up and running. Squier grew up in a second-floor apartment over the Perkins furniture store and funeral home with the Waterbury Fire Department across the street. “I could walk up the street and around the corner,”  said Squier about the short trip from home to the WDEV radio station. But the Great Flood continued to cast its shadow over Waterbury Village. From 1935 to 1936 and afterwards, FDR’s (New Deal) Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built a massive flood control dam in Waterbury. At the height of its construction, some 2,500 CCC workers were employed on the project. Said Squier, “It was the largest earthen dam east of the Mississippi when it was built. Construction continued into 1938 and at some point after that Squier remembers his dad taking him up to see the finished project. Harry Whitehill and Lloyd Squier — were the two men who started WDEV. Whitehill was a newspaperman who published the Stowe Weekly and the Waterbury Record. And Lloyd Squier was described as Whitehill’s “reporter and printer’s devil” in a 1991 book by Peter Miller entitled A Lifetime of Vermont People. It was Whitehill, according to Ken Squier, who had said to his father Lloyd Squier, “More people can hear than read. We ought to be in the radio business.” But getting WDEV up and on the air was no simple matter. One federal requirement was that a radio station had to have an engineer and that engineer had to pass a government test. And Lloyd Squier set forth to do just that. Said Ken Squier about his father, “He got a book and read the book and flunked the test.” But he was told he could take the test again in a few months. And he did and flunked again. But there was no deterring Lloyd Squier. Eventually he found an engineer who could  pass the test and WDEV went o the air in mid-July 1931. To start with, the station broadcast an hour a day. When it went on the air and in the years that followed, WDEV was both a reflection and later an extension of local life. As Ken Squier remarked, “Immediacy and relevance” — those were the watchwords that drove the station forward. According to Squier, the local dance and music hall was the center of local entertainment scene in the 1930s. “Every town had a music hall,” said Squier. At one time, he related, WDEV had five different bands who stayed in local boarding houses. One of those early bands that attracted a wide following in the 1930s and 1940s was Don Fields and His Pony Boys. In the 1930s and 1940s Vermont was very much an agricultural state. That meant that WDEV carried farm reports. “We wanted to be relevant,” Squier said again. “We always covered the fairs which included Morrisville, Tunbridge, Essex, Barton, Rutland and Lyndonville. We’d go there and stay for three days. That’s where the locals were. “People wanted to know, ‘Who won the prizes?’ That’s where the news was.” Horses and harness racing were big events. Squier told his Chamber of Commerce audience that after World War II there were 23 racing tracks in Vermont. Said Squier, “We would broadcast the harness racing. That was a big deal–harness racing. It was all about fairs, the horses, and agricultural life.” When World War II broke out in 1941, things shifted. “People wanted to know what was going on,” Squier said. President Roosevelt had a microphone on his desk in the White House and went on the radio with his Fireside Chats. “Radio was the medium,” Squier said, “While you were knitting, working in the garden, or out in the barn–always in the barn.” It’s been a cool 87 years since WDEV first went on the air and over time much has changed in the radio and broadcasting world.  During the 1940s and 50s radio stations across the country had to meet certain federal tests in order to get their licenses renewed. Stations applying for a renewal of their licence had to to prove they were serving the public good. But over time, things changed. The federal rules softened and today, for example, you don’t have to have your broadcast studio within 25 miles of your local broadcasting area. There are some radio conglomerates that own and operate a dozen or more stations broadcasting across the country. They can put their programming up on a satellite. In essence, it can be argued that the “public responsibility” link between a local station and its local audience has been weakened if not broken. “It’s not enough to do something about the Red Cross and run a few little public service announcements,” Squier said. “It bothers me,” said Squier, “that the rules of public responsibility went out the door.” At the same time, WDEV and its partner stations were bucking the national trend and keeping their commitments to the public trust. “We do six hours of local news,” said Squier about WDEV. “We are all over the state. We broadcast 65 basketball games. Also broadcast of motorcar racing from Thunder Road. And Norwich ice hockey. And a two-hour jazz show, and a classical music show on Sunday mornings. And the amusing, unpredictable and quirky “Music to Go to the  Dump By” on Saturday mornings. On the news and political front, WDEV presents a range of opinion, commentary and ideas that spans the whole arc of public discourse or as Squier said to the Chamber of Commere crowd, “Whether it was liberal, whether it was Republican, whether it was something else,” as in “Here comes Bernie!” A very recent move on WDEV is the station’s public affairs interview program with talk show host Dave Gram, a well-known-and-liked veteran journalist. And starting Monday, March 12, WDEV will be broadcasting CBS News every hour on the hour and every half hour. At the Chamber of Commerce St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, Squier talked the attraction of a place like Daytona, Florida and the Daytona Speedway — not perhaps so much the attraction of the place, but the attraction those who loved their cars, took the risks, worked together and loved to compete. They were also the ones who went off to war. Or as Squier said, “They were common men, doing uncommon deeds.” Toward the end of his breakfast remarks, Squier reflected on the farming traditions in Vermont. Where men and women worked seven days a week and milked twice a day. “They cared about this state and cared how it was run. Nothing was easy. Nothing was guaranteed. You always plant three or four crops because one of them would fail,” he said. by Nat Frothingham Reprinted with permission of The Bridge

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono held its annual press conference in the track's clubhouse on Thursday afternoon (March 15), ahead of the harness racing track's 2018 opening night tomorrow (Saturday, March 17). Tony Carlucci, the president/GM of the Mohegan Sun complex, said he was anticipating a great season of racing and noted "that when the racing is not here, the facility just doesn't seem as 'alive' - racing is a very important entertainment part of Mohegan Sun." He also noted that this second year of Mohegan Sun Pocono stewardship was an improvement over his first in one respect - "On March 15 last year, we had thirty inches of snow, so the dusting you see in the infield of the track is really nothing!" Dale Rapson, vice-president in charge of the racing operations at The Downs, noted that this was his 39th year working at the northeast Pennsylvania facility. He spoke of the excitement of October's Breeders Crown Championships, and had special praise for the press of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton area - "Other tracks marvel at the cooperation from the media that we get, and we thank you for your service to the community in keeping them informed about Pocono" --- and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association - "At many tracks, the track operator and the horsemen are often in an adversarial position, but that has definitely not been the case here at Pocono, and to the positive side for both of us." (The PHHA had a large delegation at the luncheon, headed by President Sam Beegle.) Hall of Famer John Campbell, in his first full year of administration for the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown, handled microphone duties like the seasoned pro that he is through his many years of cooperation with the press as a driver, noting, "This is the third time the Breeders Crown has come to Pocono: 2010 was a great experience, and in 2013 the night was an even greater success. Nominations are up this year, and we come back to what is recognized as one of the best racing surfaces in the world, so we look forward to doing even better on Breeders Crown Night 2018 at Pocono." (Ticket information and seating/dining arrangements for the October 27 Crown Championship night will be announced in early summer.) An impressive video highlight montage of the 2017 season was shown to the large gathering in the clubhouse, with the focus on many of the track's top horsemen. Among those in attendance on Wednesday were the Allard brothers, trainer Rene and driver Simon, and Marcus Miller, proud father of ten-day-old Magnus Miller, who was there getting an early taste of riding in a wheeled vehicle. Another Pocono horseman in the top ranks of the driving colony, Matt Kakaley, was scheduled to attend, but unfortunately he now has to recover from injuries suffered in a Tuesday racing accident at Yonkers, and the entire Pocono community wishes him a quick and safe return to racing. PHHA / Pocono

In this addition of the New Vocations retired race horse recap, we will be featuring a former star, donated by Tom Barrett. His name is LT's Best, and he is a 15 year old brown harness racing gelding out of Davanti, by the Supergill mare, Light Tackle.   This war horse had an impeccable career as a standardbred racehorse, and is looking to excel at his new job. Although he's had a lot of people interested him, he hasn't quite found his right match yet.   "He's had a chance to settle down and has learned to be a horse while with us," New Vocations Standardbred Director Winnie Nemeth stated.   "LT" is known to love a routine, and while he was still racing, he was with two stables, Tom Barrett from Michigan and Vince Copeland in Delaware.   While speaking with the former connections of LT's Best, they made it abundantly clear that he loved to race. He is a very smart horse, maybe too smart for his own good. While talking with former caretaker Ryan Barrett, he had a lot of say great thing to say about him. One thing he made very clear was how professional he was.   LT started 117 times, making his way to the winners circle on 28 occasions earning $467,995 lifetime. In 2009 at the age of 6 he had a career high, earning over $177,000. He took his lifetime mark in the Green Speed open trot in 1:53.3 at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Barrett has many memories with LT's Best, but one that sticks out was when LT won the open trot three weeks in a row at Hazel Park Raceway in 2007.   Aside from that, LT's Best had many highlights in his career, as well as his fair share of success on the stakes circuit where he was a money earner in The American National Trot at Balmoral, The Patriot Trot at Colonial, and The Dygert Memorial Trot at Hawthorne. In 2007 and 2008 he was invited and participated in the Patriot Trot.   "LT definitely looks for his groom or rider to have confidence in their abilities, to also have confidence in him and trust they will guide him in the right direction." Barrett explained. LT loves kids and loves any kind of treats, his favorite is carrots.   "We are really excited to have had the opportunity to work with him. I think he will be great at whatever he does next, whether it's a show horse, a trail horse, or even a driving horse.   "LT is ready for his next step and a new home," Nemeth stated. You can help the cause and donate numerous ways through New Vocations. For more information visit or   NOTE: Last month's 'New Vocation's Horse Spotlight' featured Ohio State Champion JJ Hall. Post Times is happy to report that because of the article, JJ Hall was adopted by a loving family with a farm in North Carolina.   By Jessica Otten, for Post Time with Mike and Mike      

YONKERS, N.Y. – After visiting his New Jersey stable Wednesday to train his pacers bound for the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway, Ross Croghan is excited to see what the next six weeks will hold. Croghan will start four horses in the first leg of harness racing series action at Yonkers Raceway this weekend: Call Me Queen Be and Twinkle in the Matchmaker and Waikiki Beach and Hug The Wind in the Levy. Although he’d like to be with his stars full time, a barn of 44 horses in Florida keeps him away. “I’d like to be up there with them, but I just can’t be in two places at once,” Croghan lamented. “I trained all those Levy and Matchmaker horses (Wednesday) morning. I just wanted to make sure they’re all good. They all felt fantastic. I’ve got two mares in the Matchmaker, they’re both as sharp as racehorses can be.” Although $1.2 million earner Call Me Queen Be will make her seasonal debut from post three in the third Matchmaker division Friday night (March 16), Croghan’s focus will be on up-and-coming mare Twinkle. A $77,000 yearling buy out of the 2014 Lexington Select Sale, Twinkle went largely unnoticed last year after making her career debut as a 4-year-old. In the eyes of her trainer however, Twinkle has already shown hints of being something special. “She broke beautiful and she was just so smooth and even. You could put a glass of water on her back and you wouldn’t spill a drop. When you sit behind them and you feel that, you say to yourself, ‘that’s beautiful balance,’ ” Croghan recalled. “But then, by the time she had been training for three months, it was obvious she had growing pains. Usually by 3, they’re better, but she was just one of those horses that wasn’t.” Croghan talked owners Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham into letting the young filly develop. Even as the opportunity for a 3-year-old season came and went, Croghan never forgot the promise Twinkle showed early in her training and never gave up on the daughter of Bettor’s Delight. “It took her a long time to become a sound horse that you could push on with. I just kept putting her aside thinking she will eventually grow up and her growing pains will go away and last year she did,” Croghan said. “In this day and age, you get pressured because you pay for stakes and there was a point where I thought the owners were going to say to me enough’s enough. I told them I really like this filly and they just said ok and just put up with it. I think they’re going to get paid.” When she finally began racing, Twinkle showed she could carry her morning talent to the races. She went 11-for-12 last year with another second-place finish, good for $101,250 in earnings. In just her third start, Twinkle posted a lifetime best 1:51.3 victory from post 10 at the Meadowlands with John Campbell in the sulky. Croghan remembers the Hall of Fame driver gushing over the filly post-race. “He came in and said, ‘I think you have something special here. Green horses are not supposed to do what she just did.’ ” Now 5 years old, Twinkle will make her stakes debut in the first leg of the Matchmaker Friday night. Eric Goodell will drive the 4-1 shot from post two. Series veteran Regil Elektra will start to Twinkle’s immediate outside while defending Matchmaker champion Makenzie drew post seven. Although the competition is more seasoned, Croghan is confident heading into the series after watching Twinkle out-train Call Me Queen Be this winter. “I’m not a guy that steps on the gas too much training,” he explained. “You just ask them to step that last eighth and you’re looking across and you see that one horse is almost coming out of their hobbles they’re pacing so fast and you look across at the other one and she still has the bit between her teeth. I’ve trained her plenty now and she’s impressive. If you speak to her and then look at your watch, you go, ‘oh my god!’ I’ve had a lot of good mares and this might be one of the best I’ve had.” In addition to his Matchmaker duo, Croghan will start a pair of horses in the Levy Saturday night (March 17). Although Hug The Wind is an outsider in the third division, Waikiki Beach figures to be a major contender in the evening’s second split. A five-time Group 1 winner in Australia and earner of $708,019 for Mark Purdon, Waikiki Beach started his career with 17 consecutive victories from April 2015 to May 2016. Although he was winless in five starts as a 4-year-old last year, Waikiki Beach still finished second in the Group 1 Chariots of Fire at Menangle February 11 and fourth in the Group 1 Miracle Mile February 25. However, after a string of off-the-board finishes in New Zealand in October and November, Croghan learned Waikiki Beach could be for sale. “I went down there to buy some horses and he was just on my radar,” Croghan said. “Sensational 2- and 3-year-old. He hit 4 years old against some of the best horses in the world. As a 4-year-old, it’s not that he raced bad, he just didn’t beat the top-flight ones. He was just on my radar to check out to see if he could possibly be on the market. Through a lot of negotiating and a lot of time, I got a deal done.” Waikiki Beach shipped to the United States December 4, 2017 and after a stopover in New Jersey, the son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Cyclone Beach joined Croghan’s main string in Florida. The kind-mannered horse has proven a pleasure to work with thus far. “He’s just fantastic. His manners are impeccable. He’s just a lovely horse,” Croghan remarked. “He’s a typical ‘Beach;’ he’s just got that fire in his blood. He’s a very, very smart horse, that’s what he is. He’s got a little bit of fire in his blood, but he’s very smart. “ ‘Waikiki’ is just turn-key. You could send a child out to train him, he knows what he’s doing,” Croghan continued. “Most foreign horses, it’s a big change for them to leave their comfort zone, especially coming over in the middle of winter. From day one, he just went out on the track, never looked sideways, never took a hold of you. He doesn’t wear an overcheck, he holds himself in perfect balance at all times. He’s just a pleasure to get ready. He’s just got those beautiful racehorse manners.” Croghan had Waikiki Beach ready to qualify at Pompano January 21 and a week later, he made his fist start on U.S. soil in the Open Handicap at the South Florida racetrack. Waikiki Beach won his debut in 1:51.4 and returned the following week to score in 1:50.2. After a brief freshening before the grueling Levy Series begins, Croghan tuned Waikiki Beach up with a 1:55.4 qualifier at Pompano March 4. While he considered the trial a success, he was surprised at how lazy Waikiki Beach was on the lead. “His qualifier, I would have liked to have gone a little bit quicker, but it was his first time on the engine and he was just a little bit lazy,” Croghan said. “He just didn’t quite get into it, but when Scott Zeron came off the track with him, I said, ‘is he ok?’ He said, ‘he’s lazy on the front end, but as soon as he saw that horse coming to him, there was plenty in the tank.’ ” Croghan thinks the ear plugs used in the morning contributed to Waikiki Beach’s modest qualifier. The gelding doesn’t wear them on race day. “He has won on the front end plenty,” Croghan said. “I got him ready and made sure he stayed nice and quiet. It’s just in that last qualifier, he was a little too quiet. But he had his ear plugs in and he doesn’t have them in the race. When I race him, I take the ear plugs off him. I just keep them in for training and qualifying.” Waikiki Beach will start from post five in his Levy division Saturday night. He’ll face 2017 series winner Keystone Velocity, who drew post seven. Although Croghan is confident, he admits there is no standout in this year’s series. “The draw is in my favor, it’s not in his, but it’s six weeks of racing. I can’t say that he’s not going to be razor sharp because I actually think he will be,” Croghan said. “Between the qualifier and when he’ll race it’s going to be 13 days, but I trained him two trips (Wednesday) morning. He just felt fantastic. I do expect him to step out pretty close to 100 percent ready. “He’s a nice horse and I think he fits that series,” Croghan continued. “I’m not going to call him a standout or anything like that. It’s a very even bunch of horses and when the final comes around, the draw plays a massive part of it. You’ve got to be lucky.” First post time at Yonkers Friday and Saturday night is 6:50 p.m. For Friday’s entries, click here. For Saturday’s entries, click here. Yonkers Sunday Post Time Yonkers Raceway’s first post for this Sunday’s (March 18th) matinee has been set at 11:45 AM. Races 5 (post time 1:30 PM) through 11 (post time 4:25 PM) go as the ‘French’  trots, with the 12th-race finale scheduled for 4:40 PM. Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ consists of Aqueduct’s 3rd race (post time 2:21 PM) and Yonkers’ 7th race (post time 2:30 PM). Program pages accompany this release. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Licensed harness racing trainer and driver Amanda Turnbull appeals against a decision of the stewards of 14 February 2018 to impose upon her a period of disqualification of three months to operate from that date for a breach of the prohibited substance rules, and that is, as is usually the case, a breach of Australian Harness Racing Rules 190 (1), (2) and (4) and it was particularised as follows: “that you Ms Amanda Turnbull, being the licensed trainer of the horse Taihape Sunset (NZ), did present that horse to race at Dubbo on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, with a prohibited substance in its system, namely triamcinolone acetonide, that was certified by 2 laboratories approved by the controlling body.”  When confronted with that charge, the appellant pleaded guilty. The stewards then proceeded to penalty. She has maintained that admission of the breach of the rule before this Tribunal. This is a severity appeal only and accordingly the facts to be canvassed can be reduced. To read the full transcipt click here.

Freemans Reach man David Lindon has a charitable tale involving nudity, swimming, harness racing and Charlie Teo. Lindon has begun raising money for the Charlie Teo Foundation, started by the brain surgeon, and is using his lifelong hobby as a harness racer to do so. The foundation raises money for brain cancer research. Lindon lost a close friend, Greg Sarina, to brain cancer, which he said was his motivation to get involved with the charity. Lindon’s association with the charity began in 2017, when Lindon’s daughter Stacey, suggested that he take part in the Sydney Skinny, which is associated with the foundation.. The Sydney Skinny describes its event as being “...about personally challenging yourself to step ever-so-slightly outside your comfort zone - in a way that is emancipating. That strips life back to its bare essentials. That forces you to accept your real self. That momentarily frees you from the stifling shackles modern society so often puts on us. And importantly encourages you to break free from your own self-imposed limitations.” “It scares the pants off you but once you have done it, you realise we're all born the same,” Lindon said of the swim. Lindon took the plunge and he did it again this year, but also managed to raise about $4000 in the process, thanks to harness racing.  David Lindon is a hobby harness racing driver and trainer.  His family have hobby trained harness racing horses for years, and Lindon is the driver.  Thanks to a story in a national harness racing publication, many in the community chipped in with donations. At the same time, Lindon donated all the earnings from a recent second-placed finish at Newcastle from his horse Semi Sensation. Lindon was full of praise for the harness racing community, who got behind him with donations, and it has encouraged him. “It has been a resounding success. I have to take my hat off to my business associates, neighbours and the harness racing community,” he said. The plan for the future, according to Lindon, is to continue raising money for the Charlie Teo Foundation through harness racing. “Taking the clothes off was the easy part,” he said. Lindon plans to donate some money from any winnings received by Semi Sensational. At the same time, he is planning to get some Charlie Teo Foundation-themed racing silks created to wear while racing. “I'll be wearing those colours and encouraging people to do the same thing and raise more awareness and money for the foundation,” he said. Lindon said apart from raising money, he wanted to promote harness racing. He said he had been involved in the industry for 43 years. He has always run a mechanics business in Blacktown, but harness racing has always been his hobby, and it has kept him in great mental health. “Work pays the bills and my hobby keeps me totally sane,” he said. “If I didn't have the association with the harness racing I wouldn't be able to use that to raise the money, so I am very appreciative of the community.” By Conor Hickey Reprinted with permission of The Hawkesbury Gazette

DOVER, Del.--- The combination of harness racing driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Jim King and owner JoAnn Looney-King ruled both ends of the daily double, each $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 1st leg three-year-old Filly pace preliminaries while Major Uptrend was at the top of his game winning the $35,000 Preferred pace on Thursday (March 15) at Dover Downs. Burn Brighter held off Mingo to score a 1:56.1 triumph in the opening le of the DSBF prelims with Sea Bags (Tony Morgan) third. An altered daughter of Roddy's Bags Again-Tear Drop, the win came in the second start of the meet. Lightning struck again in the second $20,000 division when the driver, trainer, owner trio made the winner's circle with a 1:52.4 performance in the gelding's first appearance at three. Sired by Roddy's Bags Again from Rare Filly, it was the fifth win of his career with four seconds in nine lifetime starts and banked $101,550 in purses. Race favorite Slick Tony (Russell Foster) was second in front of Transitioning Joy (Montrell Teague). Nissl Allen and Crissman Inc.'s Major Uptrend, a Somebeachsomewhere-Tricky Tooshie gelding, overpowered six rivals in the $35,000 Proffered Ides of March feature. Tony Morgan grabbed the racetrack early and widened his margin of victory to five-lengths in a dominating 1:49.2 conquest, his third sub-1:50 win of the meet. Little Ben (Tetrick) enjoyed a 2-hole trip behind the winner but could not close on the :27.4 final panel. Sicily (Montrell Teague) did not leave from the outside this week, but closed strongly for third place. Forty five Red pulled a 7-1 surprise in a $17,000 Winners-Over pace. Mike Cole left fast for the early lead, then came on along the passing lane for a 1:51.3 victory edging fast-finishing Blazing Bobby Sox (Stafford Jr.) by a nose at the wire. Early leader Gerries Sport (Tetrick) was the show horse. The win was the second in three races for the If I Can Dream-Sakura Hanover seven-year-old. He has now won $629,365 lifetime. Bags To Riches was scratched. Never Say Never N came on in the stretch for a 1:50.4 lifetime best, to win the another $17,000 pace. It was the second win for driver Corey Callahan and leading trainer Dylan Davis. The victory was the second straight for the Bettor's Delight-Maid In Spring five-year-old owned by Tom Lazzaro. JJ Flynn (Tetrick) was a strong second with Downthehighwy (Vic Kirby) the show horse. Highalator was scratched. The third $17,000 pace went to Cash Is King piloted by Callahan for L.W. Hood, Bonuccelli and Breakaway Stable in 1:52.2. A Rocknroll Hanover-Showeherethemoney gelding was cased home by fast-closing Daiymir (Teague) and Sagebrush Sid (Kirby)Mike Casalino Jr. in the first top claiming event and Dylan Davis' Jet Airway in 1:51 took the first, and Sawbuck Hanover (Sean Bier) won the second $25,000-$30,000-$35,000 claiming paces. Next Monday through Thursday DSBF $20,000 2nd leg prelims take place. The top eight point-getters in each of the four divisions race for $100,000 finals on meet closing day, Thursday, March 29. A changing menu of fine foods is available to diners watching the races from the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races continue each day from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. Marv Bachrad

TORONTO, March 15, 2018 - No harness racing driver has won more races in Canada over the past two seasons than Bob McClure and Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack saw the young reinsman reach a career-milestone. McClure, 27, steered Princess Jewels to victory in the evening's tenth race to record his 2,000th career driving victory.   A resident of Elora, Ontario, McClure has been racking up the wins and driving titles at tracks throughout Ontario over the last few seasons.   In 2016, McClure won a nation's best 576-races and was named a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year.   McClure once again topped 500 wins in 2017 with 508 trips to the winner's circle. He also posted a career-high for earnings by driving the winners of over $3.1 million during the 2017 campaign.   The current Woodbine Fall-Winter meet has been a breakout of sorts for McClure, as he has focused more attention on driving regularly at Canada's top harness track.   McClure has amassed 38 wins during the Woodbine Winter-Fall meet and ranks among the track's top-10 drivers.   Woodbine Entertainment would like to congratulate Bob McClure on reaching 2,000 career wins.   Woodbine Communications Office

Misqued brought the partners in the East End Standardbreds ownership group together. Her success has carried them to highs they hope to repeat, or exceed, in the future. John Balzer, a trainer and former U.S. Postal Service employee, heads the group of Long Island, N.Y., businessmen that make up East End Standardbreds. He is joined by his brother Tom, who owns Slo Jacks restaurant in Hampton Bays; Don Kayser, a paper goods salesman; Tom Maloney, who owns Shinnecock Hardware; and Ron Perone, a realtor. "She started it all," Balzer said about Misqued, a 4-year-old female pacer who was a New Jersey Sire Stakes champion in 2017. "This is unbelievable to get a horse like this right off the bat. She swept the (New Jersey) Standardbred Development Fund as a 2-year-old and won the sire stakes as a 3-year-old, so it was pretty amazing." Misqued's impact goes beyond simply winning races. Maloney was diagnosed with cancer and his involvement with the stable has buoyed him during a difficult time. "He had no connection with racing; he just heard about it and wanted to try it," Balzer said. "He is doing well, but this has really helped him, to have this interest in harness racing, as something to look forward to." Misqued, purchased by Balzer for $12,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale, has won six of 34 career races and earned $128,507. Her next start is Friday (March 16) at the Meadowlands, with Corey Callahan in the sulky. The race, the ninth on the 11-race card, will be part of the winter's final "Meadowlands Harness Live" broadcast, which airs from 9-10 p.m. on SNY (SportsNet New York). "I was looking at the catalogue and thought there could be an opportunity in New Jersey," Balzer said about buying Misqued, who is a daughter of If I Can Dream out of Lu Lu Q. "I thought she was the best one available. She was out of a good mare and looked good. She just looked like an athlete. She was sleek and moved beautifully. "It worked out. She was very tough in those New Jersey races. She's not really a speed horse, but she can grind it out when she gets the right kind of trip." Misqued, a half-sister to stakes-winner Voracity, later was joined in the East End Standardbreds stable by full sister Black Stilletos. Unraced at 2, Black Stilletos is being pointed toward this year's New Jersey Sire Stakes series. The group also owns 3-year-old male pacer Seems Surreal, who is a New York Sire Stakes hopeful, and 2-year-old male pacer A Major Omen, who is a half-brother to 2016 Breeders Crown champion Someomensomewhere. "Seems Surreal has come a long way," Balzer said. "Last year he wasn't totally into it. This year he's looking good. He's a great big horse. I'm hopeful. "A Major Omen is the best prospect I've ever had. He's doing really well." Balzer got hooked on harness racing as a young fan going to Roosevelt and Yonkers with his father. After graduating from college, Balzer ended up at Florida's Pompano Park and worked as a groom before driving and training for several years. He put harness racing on the backburner while working for the post office, but returned as he neared retirement. "As I was getting toward the end of my career there, I started dabbling with the horses again," Balzer said. "It's a pretty small operation, but that's what we're doing now." Balzer trained Misqued prior to this year, but turned her over to New Jersey-based Jeff Weiner so he could focus on the stable's younger horses. "To race at Freehold or the Meadowlands is almost like an all-day affair with the traffic and everything," Balzer said. "I'm 67, so doing the overnight horses isn't that much fun anymore. I like to concentrate on the 2- and 3-year-olds. This is what I want to do. I enjoy working with them. It's a challenge, but it's fun. They're so inspiring to work with; it's just amazing how they come along." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

YONKERS, N.Y. – New Zealand-bred mare Shartin will take her first shot against harness racing stakes competition since arriving in the barn of Jim King, Jr. last fall in the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway Friday night (March 16). Winner of the Group 2 Queensland Oaks at Albion Park last July, the daughter of Tintin In American out of the Live Or Die mare Bagdarin came to the U.S. after Rick Poillucci, who owns Shartin in partnership with Jo Ann King, scouted the mare from the same connections he purchased Nike Franco from in 2016. Although Nike Franco is a multiple Grand Circuit stakes-winning mare and earner of $740,660, Australian trainer Dean Braun made a bold comparison about the two. “When we got her, the guy that trained her over there, he also trained Nike Franco and he said he felt this mare was every bit as good that she was if not more,” King recalled. “I said, ‘that’s a pretty tall order, but we’ll see about that.’ ” Although Shartin arrived in the U.S. at the end of October unraced since winning an overnight at Tabcorp Park Melton August 18, King didn’t have to start fresh with her training. Braun had already begun bringing Shartin back before she shipped across the Pacific. However, because training styles are so different in Australia, King was unsure how far along Shartin would be when she arrived. “When I got her, I couldn’t interpret what he was telling me he’d done with her. I asked him, ‘if you still had her, when would she be ready to qualify?’ He gave me a time that he thought she should be ready to qualify,” King explained. “It’s a little different when he’s telling me she’s been so far in 5 minutes, so far in 4 minutes. That doesn’t compute with me. It’s all different.” King was impressed by how well Shartin handled her transcontinental journey when she arrived at his stable in Delaware. She was in perfect health and showed no signs of stress or excessive fatigue from the trip. “She arrived very healthy, I would say she was more healthy than any other horse I’ve gotten from there,” he said. “Some horses it takes a big toll on, but some horses act like they just came from next door. For her, she took the trip really well.” Once he began working with her, King quickly realized Shartin wasn’t to be toyed with. Although she has a pleasant demeanor in the barn, she becomes pugnacious on the racetrack. Braun even warned King Shartin was “a bit bossy.” “She’s pretty aggressive, she’s pretty eager,” King said. “There’s nothing mean about her, she’s really nice to care for and she tries to do what you ask her to do, but on the track, she gets in a bit of a hurry.” Shartin’s first stateside qualifier came at Dover Downs January 10. She won by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:55.1 before posting three straight sub-1:53 victories at Dover, which culminated in a 1:52.3 score in the Filly and Mare Open Handicap February 7. Shartin tasted her first defeat when finishing second to Monica Gallagher in the Meadowlands’ first race February 17, a card that was cut short due to a blizzard. “At this time, there’s really been no end to her,” King said. “The only time she hasn’t won so far was at the Meadowlands on the snow night when they had to cancel there and at Yonkers. She didn’t know if she won or not, it was snowing so hard she couldn’t see. As far as she knew, she did win. We’re pretty pleased with the return we’ve gotten so far.” Shartin rebounded from her narrow loss to earn a half-length victory in the distaff feature at Dover in her most recent outing February 28. Shartin raced first-over in that start, grinding within 3 lengths of pace-setter Nerida Franco. However, Shartin struggled to advance as the leader posted a :27.1 third quarter and looked to kick away on the final turn. Shartin used a :27.3 final panel to wear down Nerida Franco and post a lifetime best 1:50.2 victory. The win boosted her record to 11-for-18 record with $122,492 earned. “She was out a long way. She came first-over and really looked like at best she was going to be second, but she just kept coming and coming,” King said. “She knows where the wire is and how to get there. She’s pretty tough, she can go a long ways.” Shartin will start from post one in the first division of the Blue Chip Matchmaker first leg Friday night. She is the 7-5 morning line choice with Tim Tetrick in the sulky after her major competition, Mach It A Par and Gina Grace, drew posts seven and eight, respectively. King will leave the decision making to Tetrick, but is bullish about Shartin’s chances in the series. “She’s not one that he needs to baby or trip out, I don’t think,” King said. “I feel pretty good about it. I hate to say I’m confident, but I feel pretty good about it. She’s done everything we’ve asked.” Friday night’s card at Yonkers features four divisions of the Matchmaker Series, spanning races seven through ten. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to Friday’s races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Columbus, OH --- Prior to the emergence of Hannelore Hanover there was another young lady that captured the hearts of Hoosier Park harness racing fans with her dominating performances and regal demeanor. Five years into her career, people still crowd the fences to catch a glimpse of her and will her to victory. She is none other than dual Indiana Sire Stakes champion Churita, who possesses a personality that tries her trainer’s patience, but which has propelled her to excel in elite competition. “It has been a journey since we brought her home as a yearling,” said Matt Rheinheimer, her conditioner. “At the end of the day you realize there is no sense fighting with her because she will always get her way. If you walk away from her and she turns her back to you, in her mind she has won. I have had other people take care of her and they wonder how I deal with her, but I don’t know what it would be like without her; I don’t even want to think about it.” A daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare, Churita was purchased for $3,700 at the 2013 Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale by Jack Porter. She was not Porter’s or Rheinheimer’s first selection and actually was not even on their list, but for some unknown reason the stars aligned on that particular day and the filly that initially did not warrant special attention became Porter’s property. Churita was not especially impressive training down and Rheinheimer was not sure she was even going to make it to the races as a freshman. In fact, she was only purchased to compete at the fairs, where Rheinheimer and Porter have long concentrated their efforts, but it was discovered she was not eligible to that circuit shortly after she entered Rheinheimer’s barn. Therefore, Churita was pointed to the Indiana Sire Stakes program, where she not only demonstrated her trainer might not have appropriately gauged her ability, but reeled off seven consecutive victories en route to concluding her campaign with a triumph in the $220,000 Sire Stakes final. The trotting filly picked up right where she left off as a sophomore and added nine straight wins before being defeated by Hannelore Hanover in sire stakes action on Sept. 19, 2015. She ended her 3-year-old season with two more seconds to Hannelore Hanover, including the $220,000 sire stakes final, prior to finishing behind Bright Baby Blues in a $46,750 division of the Circle City and the $140,000 Crossroads of America. At that juncture, Churita had earned just over $500,000 and her resume stood at a stellar 24-17-5-2. “Can you imagine how the guy feels that was bidding against me on her?” Porter said. “If he would only have went to $4,000 she would have been his because I was not going any higher.” Like her rival Hannelore Hanover, Churita has continued to trot consistently as both a 4-and 5-year-old. Participating primarily in Opens and Invitationals at Hoosier Park, Miami Valley Raceway and Dayton Raceway, the now 6-year-old has defeated males, came home first in front of Hannelore Hanover in last year’s $70,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for older mares and has begun this season with two wins in the Open Handicap at Miami Valley Raceway. Churita is currently on a four-race winning streak and has banked $794,710. “People have asked me why we just race her locally but the truth is she is not a very good shipper,” Porter said. “It took Matt some time to even get her to be able to go to Miami Valley and Dayton. The only way you can keep her from tearing the trailer down is allowing her to hang her head out the window as far as she can. I followed him one time to Miami Valley when her head wasn’t out and the trailer was shaking from her.” Rheinheimer concurs the only way to keep Churita happy while hauling her is to allow her to witness what is transpiring around her. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it really,” he said. “And it’s very funny to watch. If a big truck comes along, like a semi, she will just pull her head right in and wait for it to pass. One time we were stopped in traffic and there was a bunch of kids outside. They were just having a ball watching her.” Although she is generous with her time to her fans, Churita is not nearly as kind to her trainer and owner. “She used to never like being turned out and stood right at the gate,” Rheinheimer said. “Now I can’t catch her when she’s out there and she just comes in for her food. She also will not wear wraps and will chew them right off. I can’t really poultice her either because she will lick that right off and every time I go to put the first trotting boot on her she’ll kick. She will only do it once to get it out of her system and then she’s fine. But I think she does like me even though she would never admit it. My wife even says she acts differently when she feeds her than when I do.” Porter does not deal with his prized mare on a daily basis, but Churita will not even allow the man who pays for her feed to snap a photo of her. “She’ll put her head up and prick her ears for anyone else,” he said. “The girls at Hoosier Park have got some wonderful pictures of her in the paddock and many other people that stop by to see her do as well. She won’t for me though. The minute she sees me and sees I have a phone in my hand or a camera, she turns right around, then goes to the corner of her stall. I’m starting to think maybe when she sees me she knows it’s time to race, but I do know I can’t get a picture of her unless it’s in the winner’s circle.” Despite the difficulties she presents, Rheinheimer and Porter could not be any prouder of Churita and how she has blossomed. “We gave her some time off because of the EHV-1 situation at Miami Valley but we should be putting her in on Sunday,” Rheinheimer said. “She has done more than we ever imagined or dreamed of but I would have to say my proudest moment was when she won the Arnie Almahurst at the Darke County Fair. Jackie and I have only ever had fair horses; to have a horse like her good enough to win that race and for it to be her, was very special to us; it was very emotional. “I really don’t know what I will do without her. Jackie bought a farm and keeps asking me when she can be a broodmare. I just keep telling him not yet because I’m just not through with her.” While Porter’s property in Tennessee ultimately awaits Churita for her second career and eventual retirement, the mare still has plenty of races to contest in 2018. “Matt keeps telling me she is too racy to be a broodmare,” Porter said. “I just know my farm is ready for her and I can have her with me for the rest of her days. We are still looking forward to racing her this year and staked her to the Grand Circuit events at Miami Valley, Dayton and Scioto. Whatever she does now is just extra and it always was. To go from racing at the fairs to having a Grand Circuit horse is something I never thought would happen to me. She is my horse of a lifetime and my baby girl.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Guelph, ON - A high-tech horse model will provide valuable hands-on learning to student veterinarians at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College courtesy of a donation from the Equine Foundation of Canada.   Nancy Kavanagh, secretary of the EFC delivered a cheque for nearly $50,000 to OVC Dean Jeffrey Wichtel and Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph, for the purchase of the detailed and life-sized horse model produced by Canada’s Veterinary Simulator Industries.   The model opens to reveal anatomically correct latex organs that can be inflated to mimic colic, the leading cause of premature death in horses, and also certain reproductive challenges.   The detailed model will allow student veterinarians to practice clinical and technical skills, vital to improving confidence and competence. When Foundation President R.J. (Bob) Watson contacted Dean Wichtel for his wish list, the VSI model was at the top.   “The Foundation has been rotating funding proposals annually among the five veterinary colleges in Canada and 2018 is Guelph’s turn,” wrote Watson.   “Great progress has been made in learning technology for veterinary clinical skills development, and this equine model is an excellent example. Our college has committed to the use of high fidelity models and simulations in early clinical training whenever possible. When our students perform their first procedures on a live animal, they will be even better prepared and more confident,” said Wichtel. “We are very grateful to the Equine Foundation of Canada for fostering the health and wellbeing of horses through supporting veterinary medical education in this valuable way.”   The EFC is an outgrowth of the Canadian Morgan Horse Association (CMHA), founded in 1960. The purpose of the CMHA was to assist Morgan breeders and owners with promotion and registry services to protect the integrity of their pedigrees.   In 1983, the Association expanded its interest to concern for the welfare of all horse breeds and created the Foundation to assist in safeguarding their future. N.S. businessman George Wade served as its founder and president from its inception until his passing in 1997. The EFC provides for scholarships and other worthy requests. With a factory in Calgary, VSI was once a recipient of startup funding from the EFC. But the primary focus now is on the purchase of teaching equipment for equine veterinary education.     Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit   by: Karen Mantel  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 15, 2018...Pompano Park offered a pair of $17,000 memorial trotting events on Wednesday night honoring the memory of two harness racing longtime horsemen, Fred Cohen and Paul Bernardo. Ironically, both events, carded at the added distance of 1 1/4 miles, went to residents of the Mike Deters Stable--Second Sister and Prairie Fortune--with both driven to victory by the "Cardiac Kid," Jim Meittinis. Second Sister, a six year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, was given a picture perfect drive by Meittinis to score a win measuring 2 1/4 lengths over Vicki All, handled by J.D. Yoder with Diamond Dagger, last turning for home, rallying for third under the direction of Andy Shetler. Celebrity Artemis finished fourth while Explosive Jet picked up the minor award in the classy septet. At the outset, She's All In burst off the wings from post six for the early lead with Second Sister, leaving from post five, also leaving with alacrity to settle in the garden spot. With tepid panels of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28, Meittinis left his cozy pocket to take command on the backside the final time and, after reaching the mile marker in 1:57.3, used a :29.4. final panel to score the handy win. About 25 minutes later, Prairie Fortune, the six year-old gelded son of Arapa Victory, went behind the Hummer Starting Gate with the "Cardiac Kid" in his bike and, at the end of his 10 furlong event, found himself the victor by 1 3/4 lengths over the late charging Boli, handled by Wally Hennessey. The even-money favorite, Born To Thrive (Rick Plano) was a fast closing third but made a miscue deep in the lane and was placed last, leaving Foundonabeach third for John MacDonald and Lucid Thoughts and Zoraze picking up the minors in this octet. In that one, it was Foundonabeach first away with Zoraze a cozy second, Uncle Hanover third and Boli fourth, finding a good spot after leaving from post six. Meanwhile, Prairie Fortune dawdled near the back of the pack with Meittinis now questioning his own strategy after tepid opening panels of :29.2 and 1:00. "Yeah," Meittinis said, "when I saw the half in a minute, I thought I was in trouble." But the tempo quickly quickened with a :27.4 third panel as Robbie Hoffman sent his Overnight Shipper on a speed binge to take command. By now, Prairie Fortune was in high gear from the back and on a double-bubble binge of his own, reaching fourth, less than three lengths off the lead. Straightening away for the drive home, Prairie Fortune sprinted on by, holding off Boli, who only found racing room when it was too late to do damage to the winner. "He raced great," Meittinis continued, saying, "He (Prairie Fortune) can sprint forever and I thought the added distance would help his cause. But, like I said, I was worried about that 1:00 half. "As for Second Sister, well, there wasn't much happening leaving the gate so I thought I'd try and get her in a good spot early. It was a dream trip for her. "By the way, credit must be given to trainer Mike Deters because he always has them ready to compete at the highest level. And those caretakers he has are absolutely fantastic. Donna (Horly) takes care of Second Sister and Debbie (Gray-Gagnon) and Richard (Young) take care of Prairie Fortune and, believe me, you won't find any better." Trainer Mike Deters was especially gratified with the wins saying, "I was choked up with tears in the winner's circle with these two races. Fred (Cohen) and Paul (Bernardo) were both close friends of mine and this, indeed, is a night I will never forget. I miss them!" Summarizing, Second Sister won for the second time this year in eight attempts with her 2-1-2 scorecard good for $21,000 for owner Jerald Hawks. She's banked $384,299 lifetime. Off at 8 to 5, she paid $5.40 to win. Prairie Fortune won for the 40th time in his career in 93 starts with his earnings now standing at $311.360 for--$23,320 this semester on the strength of his 3-1-1 record in eight starts for Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin. Off as fourth choice at 7 to 1, he rewarded his faithful with a $17.00 mutual. Racing continues of a four night per week schedule--Sunday through Wednesday with the Sunday card featuring a carryover in the Super Hi-5 of $29,330.30. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

It promises to be just a stroll in the park for harness racing millionaire superstar Chicago Bull when he contests the $50,000 Direct Trades Supply Four And Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be five-year-old Chicago Bull’s final appearance in a race for several months before champion trainer Gary Hall sen. prepares him for feature events next spring and summer, including the Interdominion championship series in Melbourne. Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. will have plenty of options when Chicago Bull lines up behind the mobile in barrier four on Friday night. The is a strong possibility that four-year-old Maxentius, a speedy frontrunner, will be given the task of leading by ace reinsman Colin Brown. In that case, Hall could be content to rate Chicago Bull in the breeze before applying pressure in the final circuit. Hall sen. summed up his son’s possible tactics by saying: “Chicago Bull will be in front or racing in the breeze. I would say he will win, with stablemate Runrunjimmydunn finishing second. Runrunjimmydunn (Clint Hall) is getting better all the time. “Chicago Bull will be spelled for six weeks and then brought back into work. He will probably resume racing in early September.”    Hall sen. has five of the eight runners in Friday night’s event --- Chicago Bull, Runrunjimmydunn, Ima Rocknroll Legend, Zach Maguire and Campora. Runrunjimmydunn will start from barrier three and is capable of a bold showing. He was most impressive in a 2130m event last Friday night when he started from the outside barrier (No. 8) and raced three wide in the early stages before applying pressure to the pacemaker Vampiro. He fought on with tremendous determination and finished a nose behind Vampiro at a 1.55.7 rate, with final quarters in 27.1sec. and 28.9sec. Runrunjimmydunn’s past nine starts have produced five wins and four seconds and he is certain to improve considerably on his record of 30 starts for 12 wins and nine placings for earnings of $123,098. The Ross Olivieri-trained mare Sheer Rocknroll has excellent place prospects. She will be driven by Chris Lewis from the No. 6 barrier. “She went terrific last Friday (when third behind Madame Meilland and Better B Chevron in the Empress Stakes) and I was very impressed with her,” Lewis said. Ken Casellas            

DOVER, Del.--- Ibetyoucanwiggle caught favorite Go Sandy Go in the final strides in one of two $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) 1st leg three-year-old Filly pace preliminary while Pedal Power won her division easily on a windy Wednesday harness racing (March 14) program at Dover Downs. Corey Callahan had a four bagger.  Montrell Teague moved Ibetyoucanwiggle from the outside into second behind Go Sandy Go (Jason Green) after the start of her DSBF $20,000 prelim and stalked the favorite until coming out on the final turn. Following a stretch long battle, Ibetyoucanwiggle reached the finish line first with a head to spare in 1:57.1. George Teague owns the Mr. Wiggles-Betting Machine bay who won for the first time in two starts this year. She has won $64,640 lifetime. Cold N Chilly  (Vic Kirby) was third. In the second $20,000 prelim, trainer Darrell and Leah Lewis’ Pedal Power and Tim Tetrick notched a 1:55.4 decision. It was the first start for the Roddy’s Bags Again-Calico Moon filly who now has never been out of the money in 10 races. She has six wins, three seconds and a third while banking $93,443.Lydia (Ross Wolfenden) was runner-up with Studio Session (Sean Bier) the show finishers. This and next week, DSBF $20,000 preliminaries are raced:  Monday through Thursday. After the two legs are completed, the top eight point-getters return for $100,000 finals on meet closing day, Thursday (March 29). In the $16,000 Mare Winners-Over pace, Sweet Robbie pulled heading to the clubhouse turn and Art Stafford Jr. raced the Art Major-Odds On Gobye six-year-old on the outside moving up to challenge leader Empress Deo (Teague) at the three-quarters and then got-p in the closing strides for a 1:53 victory. Gary Ewing owns and trains the winner who won for the second time in 2018. She now has 27 lifetime wins and a $276,376 bankroll. Hold It Hanover (Eddie Davis Jr.) was the third place finisher. Marion Beachy’s Berazzled won the richest purse event on the card when Corey Callahan steered a 1:52.4 triumph in a $22,000 Mares Winners pace. It was the Charley Barley-Razmataz Hanover four-year-old’s second win this year and  Callahan’s fourth winning drive of the day. Goin Again (Vince Copeland) and Roselily (Stafford Jr.) finished second and third espectively.    Bryan Truitt’s homebred She’s My Rock scored a 1:55.1 triumph in the $15,000 Mares pace overtaking favorite Snappy Dresser (Tetrick) late in the stretch. A daughter of Dragon Again –Iosmio, the four-year-old won her second of the year. Littlebitrocknroll (Bret Brittingham) came on for third. Corey Callahan had four winners,  Montrell Teague, trainer Clyde Francis, breeder and owner George Teague had two wins. SICILY, MAJOR UPTREND LEAD SEVEN IN $35,000 PEFERRED AT DOVER Sicily and Major Uptrend, major factors weekly in the week's top pace meet again in the $35,000 Preferred pace, topping another standout Thursday card at Dover Downs on The Ides of March, March 15. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Sicily, who has been timed around 1:50, three wins in 1:49 and another in 1:48.4 this meet, takes on another equally talented veteran, Major Uptrend in this week's $35,000 feature. Montrell Teague drives Sicily for Reggie Hazzard and Legacy Racing from post 7. Niss Allen and Crissman Inc.'s Major Uptrend with Tony Morgan has not lost a race by more than a length since Feb. 1. Soto, a local favorite owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, is also a highly competitive fast performer. Mike Hall and Dave Hamm's Super Imposed N with Corey Callahan is racing at the top of his "game" this season. JoAnn Looney-King's Little Ben reined by Tim Tetrick is also in rare form. Bobby Glassmeyer's claim in late 2017, has resulted in four top class wins and a second last week. Jonathan Roberts is his regular driver. A newcomer this week, Cyamach N gets Pat Berry in the bike and leaves from the rail. Four $17,000 paces and two $25,000-$30,000-$35,000 Claiming paces are on the powerful undercard, The DSBF $20,000 preliminaries are found on the daily 14-race programs leading to $100,000 finals on meet closing day, Thursday (March 29). Dover Downs offers a 50-cent Pick 5 wager, starting with the 2nd race through the 6th. A late daily double is carded for the 13th and 14th races. Live racing each Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. through March 29. A fine and varied selection of food is available to enjoy while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races is featured daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Race and Sports Book. Marv Bachrad

WASHINGTON, PA, March 14, 2018 -- Aaron Merriman, harness racing's "winningest" driver in each of the last three years, collected four wins Wednesday at The Meadows, lifting his career total to 9,996. With four more wins, he'll become only the 13th driver in North American harness racing history to reach the 10,000 plateau. (He crossed the wire first a fifth time, but his horse was disqualified for interference.) Merriman, 39, who splits his time between The Meadows and tracks in his native Ohio, was scheduled to drive Wednesday night at Northfield and Friday evening at Miami Valley in pursuit of the milestone mile before returning to The Meadows Saturday. In Wednesday's feature, the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Fancytucky earned her second straight win with a long, steady uncovered move that carried her to victory in 1:58 over a "good" surface. Maewegonow was second, 3/4 lengths back, while long shot Miss Da Line rallied for show. Dan Rawlings piloted the 6-year-old daughter of Pinetucky-Beaucoup Amour, who lifted her career bankroll to $149,103, for trainer Troy McDougal, who owns with James Steuernagel. Tony Hall fashioned a three-bagger on the 10-race card. THE MEADOWS ADDS $15,000 GUARANTEE FOR SATURDAY PICK 4 On Saturday, March 17, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $15,000 total-pool guarantee for its Pick 4 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Wednesday’s Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $4,903.97. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Saturday’s program is 1:05 PM. The Meadows