Day At The Track
Bruce Ranger, harness racing

Ranger scores five winners Thursday

Plainville, MA --- After hitting the board five consecutive times heading into today's action, Pammy Jo scored her first victory of the 2021 harness racing season in the $15,000 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 15) afternoon. Driver Bruce Ranger had a huge day in the bike, winning five races on the card. Ranger scored with Frills N Lace (1:56.2, $3.20), Mach Me Onemore (1:56.1, $2.60), Hired Luck (1:55.1, $6.80), Royalty Again (1:54.3, $14.20) and Major Ted (1:57.3, $9.00). After two days of action, Ranger is the dash leading driver of young Plainridge meet. Pammy Jo (Shawn Gray) left from post four and tucked in behind a hard-charging The Fun Marshall (Bruce Ranger) then remained there for the first half of the race. After a swift :26.1 first quarter and :55.3 half, Gray pulled Pammy Jo at the five-eighths only to be quickly rebuffed back to the pylons by The Fun Marshall, who stepped up the pace again in a :27.3 third panel. After the mares rounded the final turn, Gray pulled Pammy Jo once again and this time went right by the leader. Pammy Jo marched home in :28.3 to post a 2-1/2 length win in 1:52, which was a seasonal mark. PAMMY JO REPLAY   Pammy Jo ($2.40) is owned by Jeffrey Epstein, who privately purchased the mare this past January. The Roll With Joe mare is trained by Alicia Gray. In the co-featured $15,000 distaff non-winners pace for 6-year-olds and under, the 2020 Massachusetts Sire Stake 3-year-old pacing filly champion Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) took and early lead before yielding to Maverick Fibre (John Nason) to take the pocket trip. The mare stayed patient until the top of the stretch where she pulled, went by Maverick Fibre and then held off the late closing Rockin' Ellie (Bruce Ranger) and Sweet Sue (Jim Hardy) to win by a neck in 1:56.3. RY'S RED ROCKET REPLAY   Owned by Linwood Higgins and trained by Gretchen Athearn, Ry's Red Rocket ($6.40) scored her first win of 2021 in her first attempt of the year. The second fastest mile of the day was registered by Roll With Dom (Ron Cushing) after he cleared past the quarter and then led the rest of the way en route to a 2-3/4 length win in 1:52.3, which was a new lifetime mark. Roll With Dom ($2.60) is owned by the Ed Hart Stable, Tamms Horse Farm LLC and Sweeney Downs LLC and is trained by Heidi Gibbs. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 16) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      Virus-free. www.avast.com

Sb Mikes Hot Beach, harness racing

Five straight for Sb Mikes Hot Beach

Sb Mikes Hot Beach scored his fifth straight victory in dominant fashion at Monticello Raceway in the conditioned harness racing co-feature on Apr. 15.   The 13-year-old went straight to the lead in his usual style for Greg Merton from post six. He set fractions of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:27.2 before kicking away to win by five-and-a-half lengths in 1:56.1. I'm A Gift (Cory Stratton) rode the pocket and took place, and Cee Pee Panic (Michael Merton) was promoted to third through disqualification.   SB MIKES HOT BEACH REPLAY     Sb Mikes Hot Beach is now 46-for-277 and has earned just shy of $360,000. Candace Brandstatter trains the Magical Mike stallion for Nicole Mason of Freedom.   In the first co-feature, Masterson went three-wide to upset at 10-1.   Driver Brandon Parker dropped him back to fifth through a first quarter of :28.2. The duo rolled second-over going by the half in :58.1. They then went around stalled cover heading to three-quarters in 1:27.3 and bore down on leader Art Nukem (Bruce Aldrich Jr.).   Masterson went by Art Nukem and sailed to a length-and-three-quarter win in 1:56.2. Ideal Magic (Kyle DiBenedetto) closed from last to take the place spot, and Art Nukem held onto third.   MASTERSON REPLAY     Masterson is a nine-year-old Bettors Delight gelding owned and trained by Thomas Milici of Montgomery. The horse has raked in more than $345,000 and won 34 of his 165 lifetime attempts.   In the other co-feature, the North American Amateur Drivers Association Trot fifth leg, Exarch capitalized on his inside post position to go wire-to-wire.   Anthony Verruso rushed him out to an early lead and turned away Keystone Blade (Joseph Pennacchio), who was attempting to drive on. Exarch led through the quarter in :28.3, but Keystone Blade was unable to find a hole and re-rallied through the half in :58.1, and three-quarters in 1:28.2.   The tired challenger kept going through the final quarter and Madhatter Bluechip (Joseph Lee) attempted to go up the rail, but Exarch had too much left. Exarch made it to the finish line to win by a neck in 1:59.1. Madhatter Bluechip got up for second, and Keystone Blade was a game third.   EXARCH REPLAY     Exarch is now 13-for-67 in his career with just less than $200,000 in earnings. Sean Campbell trains the six-year-old Cantab Hall gelding for Fortune Valley Stable of Ballston Spa. Verruso previously drove the horse to victory in a December 2020 NAADA event.   Verruso is enjoying his best season in the sulky already with 4 wins, 2 seconds and 5 thirds in just 16 starts for a .424 UDR. He now has 86 career driving victories.   Monticello Raceway will return on Monday, Apr. 19 with nine races starting at 12:10 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.jpg

Notice for SBOANJ owners and breeders

MANALAPAN, NJ -- April 15, 2021 -- Attention all Owners and Breeders of New Jersey Sired horses you must be a current SBOANJ member and have a W9 on file with the SBOANJ to be eligible for NJ Sired and Breeder Awards. Owners of New Jersey Sired horses 6-years-old and under racing in overnight races are eligible for an award from the SBOANJ if their horse finishes in the top five at a New Jersey racetrack. Owners must have a current SBOANJ membership and a W9 on file with the SBOANJ to receive these awards. Breeders of New Jersey Sired horses that earn purse money in NJSS and SBOANJ Sponsored races are eligible to receive breeder awards. Breeders must also have a current SBOANJ membership and a W9 on file. If you have any questions please contact the SBOANJ office at 732-462-2357. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

Harrah's Philadelphia.jpg

Tough posts don't deter favorites

CHESTER, PA - Two of the three harness racing winners in the featured trots at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday overcame the outside post seven - a starting spot that had been 1-for-60 in the first six days of 2021 racing here - to record impressive victories. Top purse event was a $12,800 contest for developing horses, and the Lionhunter gelding Banzai As reduced his record to 1:56 in defeating pacesetting favorite Rose Run Vincent by a length. Driver Tim Tetrick had to go the tough tuck-then-first-over trip with the Annette Lorentzon trainee, but Banzai As showed himself capable of going on despite the hard journey for the ownership of ACL Stuteri AB. BANZAI AS REPLAY   In one of two $11,600 co-features for fast-class trotters, the Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable went over a half million dollars in career earnings when he posted a 1:54.2 victory for trainer Todd Buter and the partnership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. With regular driver Tyler Buter not present, the horse's braintrust turned to driver David Miller - who won with him the last time Tyler wasn't present, on December 4 at The Meadowlands - and the Hall of Famer guided the winner of $500,436 to the lead after an early wide battle and kept him rolling to defeat late-closing Chaptiama by 1¾ lengths. In the other $11,600 fast-class trot, the E L Titan gelding Hayek, who started from post four in his six-horse field, rode a pocket trip behind Sylvesteramericait, then easily overhauled that one by 2½ lengths while taking a new mark of 1:53.2, a tick lower than his former best of last year when he set the all-age track mark at Ontario's Grand River Raceway. Joe Bongiorno, here for his only work of the duty with Hayek, made the old handicapping "single-drive" theory stand up as the favorite in guiding him for trainer/sister Jennifer Bongiorno and the partnership of Evan Katz, David Rovine Stable LLC, and Frank Canzone. Prompted by a carryover of $3,017.50, the Friday (April 16) Pick-5 pool at Harrah's Philadelphia will be guaranteed at $10,000. The guaranteed pool is offered in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. As such, past performance pages for the Pick-5 sequence will be available on the USTA website. The Pick-5 at Harrah's Philadelphia is a 50-cent base wager spanning races five through nine daily, and it offers a low 18% takeout. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Crawford Farms is proud to announce that Lock Down Lindy foaled a full sister to 2020 Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill on March 28. The filly is the third foal for her dam, who also has a 2-year-old filly by Chapter Seven named La Vie En Blanc.   A top racehorse of her generation, Ramona Hill has earned Dan Patch Awards from the U.S. Harness Writers Association in both her seasons on the track and was the third Hambletonian winner for sire Muscle Hill. Following in Muscle Hill's famous footsteps, Ramona Hill stopped the clock in 1:50.1 to equal her sire's record.   "We are so thrilled to announce this special arrival out of Lock Down Lindy," said Michelle Crawford. "This is a Muscle Hill full sister to Ramona Hill and we are so exciting to continue to be adding blue-blooded pedigrees to our roster!"   A four-time winner, Lock Down Lindy is also a half-sister to 11-time winner Double L Lindy. Their dam Love Lockdown is a half-sister to the great Breeders Crown winner Majestic Son, who is now a leading sire in New Zealand and Australia. There is class throughout this filly's famous family with her third dam Ramerizi a champion racemare who also produced World Champion Misterizi and 28-time winner Rams Billy Brisco.   Crawford Farms' second Hambletonian winner in three years alongside 2018 winner Atlanta, Ramona Hill was the first bred by the farm. LockDown Lindy will be bred back to Muscle Hill.   From Crawford Farms  

After his mare went four-for-four in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series preliminary races, owner Tom Pollack wasn't about to get too technical about Alexa Skye's chances in Monday's (April 19) $232,800 final for older female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. "If luck's shining on you, it is. And if it isn't, it isn't," surmised Pollack of Pollack Racing LLC, which owns the horse along with trainer Jeff Cullipher. "Just as long as you put your best foot forward, and I think she will. "Obviously, we'd love to see her finish the deal on Monday night and win this series. But we're just hoping for a good effort, that's all you can do." The 4-year-old drew post six and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line behind Blue Ivy at 2-1. Pollack admitted that things broke right for Alexa Skye in her four races in the series as she was able to take charge in the short fields. "She's made her mark right at the beginning and that kind of garnered the respect of the other ones in there," Pollack said. "We've been able to get to the lead fairly easily and kind of dictate the races. From that standpoint it's been great." In Monday's eight-horse final, Blue Ivy will start from post three. She won three times and finished second twice in the preliminary rounds. Machnhope, a two-time winner in the series, is 4-1 from post one while Siesta Beach, also a prelim winner, is 5-1 from post two. "Obviously when the money's on the line, that's why they hold the race," Pollack said. "Anything can happen. All eight horses can probably win. We're going to have to earn it, for sure." Speaking of earnings, Alexa Skye has already garnered a career-high $117,250 this year by winning seven of nine starts and finishing second by a head and a nose in the other two. She has already tied her career-best seven wins (in 17 starts) from last year and far surpassed her purse money of $63,430. The mare, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Pirouette Hanover, was bought by Pollack on Feb. 17. She had already won three of four races when the transaction was completed. Pollack was contacted by an agent he hadn't previously worked with and was immediately interested after having seen Alexa Skye at The Meadowlands last year and seeing her dominance early this season. "We want to be in the game," the western Pennsylvania native said. "We're not huge yearling players outside of Indiana, we're more into the aged racehorse game. Having a chance to get one that's eligible to all these Grand Circuit races and performing at that level, she was too good to pass up. The fact she comes from a good family and has some breeding value when she's done racing made it even easier to pull the trigger." After being off for three weeks, she finished second by a nose for her new owners before rolling through the Matchmaker prelims. Pollack estimates he and Cullipher own around 70 horses together and each one has their responsibility. "I'm the legs of finding and acquiring," he said. "That's my forte. He sticks more toward training them. But when I find horses, he's watching replays or talking to folks he knows who might have been associated with the horse. That's kind of the way our partnership works." And the duo appears to have nailed it with this latest acquisition. Pollack hoped she would be good, but is pleasantly surprised about the success so far. "Obviously, you could have never predicted we'd be racing in five- or six-horse fields in the Matchmaker (prelims) for $35,000 a week and then the $230,000 final after that. It kind of looks like I knew what I was doing in buying her, with her kind of being one of the top dogs in this series." Alexa Skye is staked to the Grand Circuit in the U.S. this year, but her connections will skip Canadian stakes due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 protocols, and also because of the length of the six-week Matchmaker. But she will be a busy mare and appears ready for the grind. Asked what he likes most about the horse, the owner noted two specifics. "Number one, the fact she is so versatile; she can win at Yonkers or the Meadowlands," Pollack said. "And number two is her toughness. She's kind of all business. She's a sweetheart to be around in the barn but once she gets on the track, she's all business. Hopefully, she's ready with her A game Monday, that's all you can ask." Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Monday at Yonkers. The Matchmaker final is race seven on the card, which also includes the $514,000 final of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for older males (race eight) as well as consolations for both series. For complete entries, click here. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is announcing that a previously unscheduled leg will be added to the Graduate Series for harness racing pacers to be raced on Saturday, May 15 in response to the cancellation of the Confederation Cup for 2021.   Horses that are fully paid up and eligible for the Graduate will be eligible to race in the added leg and it will be considered for points toward the final just as the the scheduled legs.   This added leg will make a total of four $75,000 ($50,000 div) preliminary legs for the pacers and three for the trotters heading into the $250,000e finals.   There will not be a leg added for the trotters as it would conflict with existing stakes.   "We scheduled the Graduate around the Confederation Cup to provide the 4-year-olds the best chance to race in stakes against their own age before moving into the open stakes," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "Without the Confederation Cup, which provided an elimination and final for them, there's a month between stakes. We'll add a Graduate leg same day as Cutler Memorial to give them a race and make a nice card on that night."   Graduate Series Schedule (at The Meadowlands unless otherwise indicated)   PACE: Saturday, May 1 Saturday, May 15 Saturday, June 5 (Woodbine at Mohawk) Saturday, June 26 Final on Saturday, July 10   TROT: Saturday, May 22 Saturday, June 5 (Woodbine at Mohawk) Saturday, June 26 Final on Saturday, July 10   From The Meadowlands    

Vernon Downs is set to begin their 68th year of harness racing on Saturday (April 17). Vernon Downs will feature The Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) with separate races for both 3-year-old filly trotters and 3-year-old trotting colts on Friday (June 18). Vernon Downs is also proud to once again play host to the Zweig Memorial races featuring the 3-year-old Open Trot and the 3-year-old Fillies Trot on Saturday (August 28). On Saturday (September 11) Vernon will present the New York State Excelsior Finals for 2 and 3-year-old filly and colt trotters and pacers. In 2020 Leon Bailey was the top driver. He will get to tangle with former driving champions John MacDonald and Jimmy Whittemore. These three and other great drivers should make it exciting as they all vie for the 2021 title. Kerin Warner took top trainer honors at the Miracle Mile in 2020. Former training champion Marissa Chadbourne returns along with other top contenders like Claude Huckabone III and new comer Brandi Wine. Live racing will be continuing through closing night (November 6). Post time will be 6:10 pm every night with the exception of Derby Day (May 1) which will start at 4:30 pm. The Miracle Mile will also offer four new awards for 2021. We will honor our top driver of the week with the Winning Wheels driver of the week. The best trainer of the week will also be recognized as the Black Stallion trainer of the week. We will also have an award for grooms. It is called the Bourbon Express groom of the week. We have also added a monthly award called the Golden Gro longshot of the month. This will go to the horse with the largest $2.00 payoff of the month. On opening day there will be no fans. However, starting on Friday (April 23) Vernon Downs fans will be permitted. More details next week. Post time for the 12-race card is 6:10 pm. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs 

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers on Monday (April 19) features the $514,000 final of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers and the $232,800 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The card will also have the $100,000 MGM Borgata Pacing series consolation and the $60,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker consolation. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Preliminary round action in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series concluded on Monday night (April 12) at Yonkers Raceway with a trio of $40,000 divisions that were won by Backstreet Shadow, Mach N Cheese, and Leonidas A. Backstreet Shadow was able to get to the wire a half-length to the good in a 1:52.1 mile. Chris Brokate photo. Backstreet Shadow (Yannick Gingras) took full advantage of the pole position in the first split, going to the lead and putting up fractions of :27.3, :56.1, and 1:24.1 over a surface that was rated "good" and a second off. Western Joe (Dexter Dunn) took up the chase by going first-over out of third in the backstretch, but he couldn't make any headway on the outside, allowing Backstreet Shadow to turn into the lane with a clear advantage. Once they hit the stretch, Western Joe suddenly hit top gear and began to gain on Backstreet Shadow, but Backstreet Shadow was able to get to the wire a half-length to the good in a 1:52.1 mile. Tyga Hanover (Jason Bartlett) came in third. A 6-year-old gelding by Shadow Play, Backstreet Shadow is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. Backstreet Shadow, who won twice in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, now has a record of 26-12-6 from 64 starts and he has earned $910,162. The 3-5 favorite, Backstreet Shadow paid $3.40 to win. Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the fifth and final preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway with an imposing 1:52.3 victory in their $35,000 division on Friday night (April 9). The fleet-footed 4-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere had to work just a bit to gain control at the quarter, but from that point, her four rivals chased her in vain. Alexa Skye left the gate along with Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) from the inside, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) between those two into the opening bend. Siesta Beach settled along the pylons, but McCarthy pushed Alexa Skye to the top and cleared passing a :27.4 opening fraction. Alexa Skye maintained the lead after that, setting fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.4, with Siesta Beach moving to the outside into the final turn as Monica Gallagher lost contact with the pacesetter. McCarthy let his mare do the talking, and Alexa Skye spoke volumes, cruising home effortlessly with a :27.4 kicker to win by open lengths. Siesta Beach held down the place spot, with Soho Burning Love A (Austin Siegelman) showing decent late foot for third. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in the field, Alexa Skye paid $2.40 to win. Alexa Skye won all four of the Blue Chip Matchmaker preliminary legs she participated in for Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher. Now a winner in seven of nine starts on the season, Alexa Skye moves into the $232,800 final on April 19 as the clear horse to beat. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 4-12-21): Drivers: 1. Todd McCarthy - 60; 2. Austin Siegelman - 56; 3t. Andrew McCarthy - 49; 3t. George Brennan - 49; 5. Tyler Buter - 44. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 109; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 40; 2t. Todd Buter - 40; 2t. Sheena McElhiney - 40; 5. Nicholas DeVita - 38. Owners: 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 40; 1t. Renee Bercury - 40; 3. Eric Prevost - 38; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 31.1; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 31.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place on April 24 at Freehold Raceway with the Dexter Cup eliminations for 3-year-old open trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Harness racing driver-trainer Pat Lachance is this week's guest on the Harness Racing Alumni Show.   Pat drops by and candidly discusses his stable, while mentioning to Freddie, Trade and Bob that he has a couple of American Ideal two-year-old's that he expects to be nice racehorses. One of the youngsters he's training, Anthony Perretti and show co-host Bob Marks were the under bidders on at the sale.   His famous driver-trainer dad, Michel "Mike" Lachance, works with his son at the barn on a daily basis. Pat also shares his personal views about the future of American harness racing. It's an interesting broadcast. Listen to it on this week's Harness Racing Alumni Show.   From the Harness Racing Alumni Show      

Just two days away from making his Meadowlands debut, 20-year old driver  Luke Hanners warmed up for his first drive at the mecca of harness racing by taking four races on the Wednesday night card at Rosecroft Raceway. Hanners' Meadowlands baptism will come aboard All American N from Post 10 for trainer Williams Hernandez in Race one on Friday. Two of Hanners' wins came for trainer Brian Callahan aboard the talented young three-year old Thor And Dr Jones ($2.60) as well as veteran mare Hillbilly Jet ($8.40). Hanners won with Brian Tomlinson's Always A Blue Sky who blew up the tote board paying $63.80 and Billy Andrews' new acquisition, Just Sayin ($8.20), trained by Hanners. The features on Wednesday night were won by familiar characters, as Skyway Cobra ($6.40) won the featured $11,000 Open Trot in 1:55.1 on a track labeled sloppy. SKYWAY COBRA REPLAY   It was one of two wins for Davis Jr, both for trainer Janet Davis. Arlene Cameron owns the winner who picked up his third Open win of the meet. The other win came aboard Steven and Nicole Nason's Express Delight N. John Wagner won the $11,000 Open Mares pace with Bet You Im Rockin ($6.20) who he owns and trains and it was her fifth win at the top level and she has been in the top three in 10 of 11 2021 starts. Handicapped with post nine, Wagner sent his charge right to the top and was never headed in 1:53.1. It also gave Wagner a training double as Jared Moyer scored with Scott Woogen's K J Janna ($19.60). BET YOU IM ROCKIN REPLAY   Jonathan Roberts won the first three races on the card, and Timmy Offut won twice. For full race results, click here. by Pete Medhurst, for Rosecroft Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - While the harness racing handle throughout all of 2021 has been on the fast track at The Meadowlands, it reached warp speed again last weekend, as a total of $7 million was bet over the course of last Friday (April 9) and Saturday's (April 10) race cards, the fourth time this year betting has busted that lofty barrier. All-source wagering totaled $3,237,137 on Friday - the biggest Friday of business this year - followed by a Saturday that saw $3,782,327 of action, for a total of $7,019,464. There have been 29 programs conducted in 2021, and 20 of them have seen betting of at least $3 million. During all of 2020, the $3-million plateau was reached a total of 11 times. Whether the winners paid big or small, the betting remained prolific. On Friday, there were but two winning favorites, while the next night saw a half-dozen public choices visit the winner's circle. The Saturday night chalks did not make the average payouts of some of the more popular bets unappealing, however. The average win payout was $17.73 while the exactas averaged $114, trifectas $829 and Pick-3s $804. The biggest scores were to be made by hitting the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($7,625) and 20-cent Pick-5 ($3,083). Not surprisingly, much of the action on Saturday's card was over the top. Average play in the two 50-cent Pick-4s - the track's signature bet - was $120,192. That number in the exacta, AKA Old Reliable, was $77,340. Two wagers sporting carryovers took big play as well, as a $9,000 carryover led to a total pool of $73,124 in the 20-cent Pick-6 and a $32,000 carryover served as the catalyst for a total pool in the 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta of $116,192. "The Big M has been on a great roll in 2021," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "The horseplayers have compelling races and an excellent wagering menu with huge pools to bet into. Those with the lower takeouts have been especially popular. The lower minimums and free programs have allowed more and more people to stay in the action all night long. Last weekend, The Meadowlands provided horseplayers around the world with many opportunities to make some nice scores." COUNTDOWN TO DERBY DAY: The May 1 Kentucky Derby is just over two weeks away, and the place to watch and wager on the "Run for the Roses" is The Meadowlands, which has one of the best simulcast facilities anywhere. Doors will open at 9 a.m. with the first race at Churchill Downs slated for 10:30 a.m. Post time for The Kentucky Derby is 6:57 p.m. There are many admission and dining options available at The Big M on Derby Day. For all the details, go to playmeadowlands.com. GET SOCIAL: You can always check in with the team at The Meadowlands on Twitter. For early changes, racing information and staff selections, go to @themeadowlands or #playbigm. On race nights, stay in touch with the Big M's Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). GET YOUR FREE PROGRAM: Need a program but don't want to spend any green? The Big M has you covered, with free programs on every race of every race card. Just go to playmeadowlands.com to get your no-cost past performances. A HALF-DOZEN CHANCES: The Big M offers players six chances every night to make a score, betting on the track's popular wagers that offer a low 15 percent takeout. They are: Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5 Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6 Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 13: 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta $100,000 GUARANTEED: Every night, The Meadowlands guarantees big green on both editions of its signature wager, as each 50-cent Pick-4 sports a guaranteed pool of $50,000. CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to see track oddsmaker and analyst Brower's selections and commentary. Click on the "handicapping" tab and go to "race reviews". Brower's input is generally available 48 hours before every card. THE SCHEDULE: Live racing continues every Friday and Saturday with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m. Big M TV's live "Racing from The Meadowlands" pre-game show, which provides news and notes, a look at that evening's featured action and staff selections, gets underway at 5:47 p.m. THE MAD HATTER: Edison Hatter, the 21-year-old track announcer at Freehold Raceway, will be joining The Meadowlands TV team Friday night when he will be serving as analyst and handicapper on TVG for The Big M's races. On Saturday, Mike Bozich, the track announcer at Harrah's Philadelphia who did a great job on the microphone last week filling in for Warkentin at The Big M, will be downstairs on set sitting alongside Brower as the co-host for the pre-game show and between-race segments during the card. GET YOUR SPORTS ACTION: The Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook, the leading facility of its kind in the entire country, offers fans a chance to bet on MLB, the NBA, NHL, professional soccer and golf and much more. Baseball bettors may want to stay with the hot Los Angeles Dodgers, who are -320 to defeat the Colorado Rockies Thursday (April 15) night. Don't want to bet a game at short odds like that? Play the Dodgers and lay 1½ runs and your odds jump to -144. Local hockey fans may want to take a shot with the New York Islanders, who are a slight +108 underdog taking on the Boston Bruins. The sportsbook is open Sunday-Friday from 10 a.m.-midnight and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. The cash counter is open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. From the Meadowlands  

MANALAPAN, NJ -- April 15, 2021 -- Yearling nominations and sustaining payments for SBOANJ sponsored stakes are due May 15, 2021. Garden State Trot #4 and Home Grown Pace #4 sustaining payments for 2YO due May 15, 2021. Garden State Trot #5 and Home Grown Pace #5 yearling nomination payments are due on May 15, 2021. Visit sboanj.com for payment forms, schedules, and a list of eligibilities. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

Harness racing betting favorites Get Legs and Timon AS won for the second straight week, and Tad Krazy Hanover pulled a 25-1 upset in the three $20,000 divisions of the third and final leg of the John Brennan Trotting Series on Wednesday night (April 14) at Yonkers Raceway. Get Legs (Andy Miller), dispatched at odds of 1-9, started from post one in the second flight, and he raced in fourth to the 28.2 opening quarter before Miller brought him to the outside late on the second turn. Get Legs moved up into second as Lady Jeter (Yannick Gingras) reached the half in 58 seconds, then took over command past that marker. Get Legs cruised over to three-quarters in 1:26.3, negotiated the final turn without incident, and kicked away in the lane to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:55.3. Lady Jeter held second over Mcmatters (Mark MacDonald), who raced in the first-over position after Get Legs hit the front. GET LEGS REPLAY   Julie Miller trains Get Legs, a 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill, for owners Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Michael Anderson. Get Legs has earned $86,010 to go with his 10-0-2 record from 12 starts, and he paid $2.10 to win, place, and show. The exacta returned $4.30 and the trifecta was worth $13.20. Timon AS (Tyler Buter) went off as the even-money choice in the third split and after leaving quickly from post three, he would be overtaken and put in the pocket by Grinder (Greg Merton) before the 29 second opening quarter. Grinder then proceeded to give a parking ticket to a two-wide Look In My Eyes (Jordan Stratton), who had fired out from post eight, through the 58.4 half and the 1:28 three-quarters. It looked like Timon AS was in big trouble at three-quarters and on to the last turn as he was stuck on the pylons and Look In My Eyes was hanging around enough to keep him pinned in. Then, Lifetime Royalty (Dan Dube) moved out three-wide from second-over, giving Timon AS even more traffic to deal with. Fortunately for Timon AS, his connections, and his backers at the windows, Grinder drifted out in the lane and couldn't keep the inside closed, giving Timon AS a seam to shoot through. Once he had the space, Timon AS had the trot to go with it, getting up to tally by half a length over Grinder in a final time of 1:57. Lifetime Royalty could only finish evenly and had to settle for third. TIMON AS REPLAY   A 5-year-old Lionhunter gelding, Timon AS is trained by Melanie Wrenn for owner Michael Guest. Timon AS picked up his 21st career victory, and he has put away $121,280. Timon AS returned $5.10 to win and was atop a $13.40 exacta and a $33.60 trifecta. Back in the opening section, 4-5 favorite Windsong Pioneer (Brent Holland) figured to be tough after he put up comfortable fractions of 28.3, 58.1, and 1:27, but driver Scott Zeron moved Tad Krazy Hanover out three-wide late on the far turn after following Kasha V (Jason Bartlett) from second-over, and Tad Krazy Hanover kicked home strongly to chase down and defeat Windsong Pioneer by a head in a 1:56 mile. P L Notsonice (Renaldo Morales III) tracked Tad Krazy Hanover's cover and finished well for third. TAD KRAZY HANOVER REPLAY   Tad Krazy Hanover, a 5-year-old Donato Hanover mare, is owned by Barbara Terranova. Tad Krazy Hanover is now an eight-time winner in her career, and she has pocketed $76,262. Tad Krazy Hanover paid $52.00 to win and keyed a $151.00 exacta and a $539.00 trifecta. The John Brennan Trotting Series will conclude next Wednesday (April 21) with a $69,000 final and a $30,000 consolation. Nobody had six-of-six in Wednesday's Pick 6 sequence at Yonkers, so when action resumes on Thursday (April 15), there will be a $2,355.38 carryover in that wager. The Pick 6 will begin in the third race.  Stakes action picks back up at Yonkers Raceway on Monday (April 19) with the $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final and the $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final. There are also consolation events for both series, with the MGM Borgata consolation carrying a purse of $100,000 and the Blue Chip Matchmaker consolation going for $60,000. For full results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The usual tactics by Wonderful World paid off once again as she went gate-to-wire in posting a 3/4 length victory over Xenia's Chip in Buffalo Raceway's featured $9,600 Filly and Mare Class A-B Optional Claiming Handicapped Pace on Wednesday night (April 14). She toured the half-mile harness racing oval in 1:56.4.   The win was bittersweet however as Wonderful World ($4.60) was claimed away from owner/trainer Sabrina Shaw by Michael Gentner for $21,000.   Using her early gate speed, Wonderful World cruised immediately to the top and registered splits of :29.0, :57.2 and 1:26.3 in her typical front-running style.   Turning for home, Wonderful World (Billy Davis Jr.) had little to worry about in crossing the wire. Xenia's Chip made a mild bid extremely late but had to settle for second place while Greenhilldebatable (Shawn McDonough) captured third.   It was the second victory in five starts this season for the 8-year-old mare Wonderful World (If I Can Dream - Smilefortheofficer). The win upped her seasonal earnings to $13,612 and $178,533 lifetime.   McDonough had a superb evening as he drove and trained three winners on the card while Davis Jr. had a trio of driving victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com.   For full race results, click here.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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Plainville, MA --- After hitting the board five consecutive times heading into today's action, Pammy Jo scored her first victory of the 2021 harness racing season in the $15,000 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 15) afternoon. Driver Bruce Ranger had a huge day in the bike, winning five races on the card. Ranger scored with Frills N Lace (1:56.2, $3.20), Mach Me Onemore (1:56.1, $2.60), Hired Luck (1:55.1, $6.80), Royalty Again (1:54.3, $14.20) and Major Ted (1:57.3, $9.00). After two days of action, Ranger is the dash leading driver of young Plainridge meet. Pammy Jo (Shawn Gray) left from post four and tucked in behind a hard-charging The Fun Marshall (Bruce Ranger) then remained there for the first half of the race. After a swift :26.1 first quarter and :55.3 half, Gray pulled Pammy Jo at the five-eighths only to be quickly rebuffed back to the pylons by The Fun Marshall, who stepped up the pace again in a :27.3 third panel. After the mares rounded the final turn, Gray pulled Pammy Jo once again and this time went right by the leader. Pammy Jo marched home in :28.3 to post a 2-1/2 length win in 1:52, which was a seasonal mark. PAMMY JO REPLAY   Pammy Jo ($2.40) is owned by Jeffrey Epstein, who privately purchased the mare this past January. The Roll With Joe mare is trained by Alicia Gray. In the co-featured $15,000 distaff non-winners pace for 6-year-olds and under, the 2020 Massachusetts Sire Stake 3-year-old pacing filly champion Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) took and early lead before yielding to Maverick Fibre (John Nason) to take the pocket trip. The mare stayed patient until the top of the stretch where she pulled, went by Maverick Fibre and then held off the late closing Rockin' Ellie (Bruce Ranger) and Sweet Sue (Jim Hardy) to win by a neck in 1:56.3. RY'S RED ROCKET REPLAY   Owned by Linwood Higgins and trained by Gretchen Athearn, Ry's Red Rocket ($6.40) scored her first win of 2021 in her first attempt of the year. The second fastest mile of the day was registered by Roll With Dom (Ron Cushing) after he cleared past the quarter and then led the rest of the way en route to a 2-3/4 length win in 1:52.3, which was a new lifetime mark. Roll With Dom ($2.60) is owned by the Ed Hart Stable, Tamms Horse Farm LLC and Sweeney Downs LLC and is trained by Heidi Gibbs. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 16) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      Virus-free. www.avast.com
Sb Mikes Hot Beach scored his fifth straight victory in dominant fashion at Monticello Raceway in the conditioned harness racing co-feature on Apr. 15.   The 13-year-old went straight to the lead in his usual style for Greg Merton from post six. He set fractions of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:27.2 before kicking away to win by five-and-a-half lengths in 1:56.1. I'm A Gift (Cory Stratton) rode the pocket and took place, and Cee Pee Panic (Michael Merton) was promoted to third through disqualification.   SB MIKES HOT BEACH REPLAY     Sb Mikes Hot Beach is now 46-for-277 and has earned just shy of $360,000. Candace Brandstatter trains the Magical Mike stallion for Nicole Mason of Freedom.   In the first co-feature, Masterson went three-wide to upset at 10-1.   Driver Brandon Parker dropped him back to fifth through a first quarter of :28.2. The duo rolled second-over going by the half in :58.1. They then went around stalled cover heading to three-quarters in 1:27.3 and bore down on leader Art Nukem (Bruce Aldrich Jr.).   Masterson went by Art Nukem and sailed to a length-and-three-quarter win in 1:56.2. Ideal Magic (Kyle DiBenedetto) closed from last to take the place spot, and Art Nukem held onto third.   MASTERSON REPLAY     Masterson is a nine-year-old Bettors Delight gelding owned and trained by Thomas Milici of Montgomery. The horse has raked in more than $345,000 and won 34 of his 165 lifetime attempts.   In the other co-feature, the North American Amateur Drivers Association Trot fifth leg, Exarch capitalized on his inside post position to go wire-to-wire.   Anthony Verruso rushed him out to an early lead and turned away Keystone Blade (Joseph Pennacchio), who was attempting to drive on. Exarch led through the quarter in :28.3, but Keystone Blade was unable to find a hole and re-rallied through the half in :58.1, and three-quarters in 1:28.2.   The tired challenger kept going through the final quarter and Madhatter Bluechip (Joseph Lee) attempted to go up the rail, but Exarch had too much left. Exarch made it to the finish line to win by a neck in 1:59.1. Madhatter Bluechip got up for second, and Keystone Blade was a game third.   EXARCH REPLAY     Exarch is now 13-for-67 in his career with just less than $200,000 in earnings. Sean Campbell trains the six-year-old Cantab Hall gelding for Fortune Valley Stable of Ballston Spa. Verruso previously drove the horse to victory in a December 2020 NAADA event.   Verruso is enjoying his best season in the sulky already with 4 wins, 2 seconds and 5 thirds in just 16 starts for a .424 UDR. He now has 86 career driving victories.   Monticello Raceway will return on Monday, Apr. 19 with nine races starting at 12:10 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink
MANALAPAN, NJ -- April 15, 2021 -- Attention all Owners and Breeders of New Jersey Sired horses you must be a current SBOANJ member and have a W9 on file with the SBOANJ to be eligible for NJ Sired and Breeder Awards. Owners of New Jersey Sired horses 6-years-old and under racing in overnight races are eligible for an award from the SBOANJ if their horse finishes in the top five at a New Jersey racetrack. Owners must have a current SBOANJ membership and a W9 on file with the SBOANJ to receive these awards. Breeders of New Jersey Sired horses that earn purse money in NJSS and SBOANJ Sponsored races are eligible to receive breeder awards. Breeders must also have a current SBOANJ membership and a W9 on file. If you have any questions please contact the SBOANJ office at 732-462-2357. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  
CHESTER, PA - Two of the three harness racing winners in the featured trots at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday overcame the outside post seven - a starting spot that had been 1-for-60 in the first six days of 2021 racing here - to record impressive victories. Top purse event was a $12,800 contest for developing horses, and the Lionhunter gelding Banzai As reduced his record to 1:56 in defeating pacesetting favorite Rose Run Vincent by a length. Driver Tim Tetrick had to go the tough tuck-then-first-over trip with the Annette Lorentzon trainee, but Banzai As showed himself capable of going on despite the hard journey for the ownership of ACL Stuteri AB. BANZAI AS REPLAY   In one of two $11,600 co-features for fast-class trotters, the Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable went over a half million dollars in career earnings when he posted a 1:54.2 victory for trainer Todd Buter and the partnership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. With regular driver Tyler Buter not present, the horse's braintrust turned to driver David Miller - who won with him the last time Tyler wasn't present, on December 4 at The Meadowlands - and the Hall of Famer guided the winner of $500,436 to the lead after an early wide battle and kept him rolling to defeat late-closing Chaptiama by 1¾ lengths. In the other $11,600 fast-class trot, the E L Titan gelding Hayek, who started from post four in his six-horse field, rode a pocket trip behind Sylvesteramericait, then easily overhauled that one by 2½ lengths while taking a new mark of 1:53.2, a tick lower than his former best of last year when he set the all-age track mark at Ontario's Grand River Raceway. Joe Bongiorno, here for his only work of the duty with Hayek, made the old handicapping "single-drive" theory stand up as the favorite in guiding him for trainer/sister Jennifer Bongiorno and the partnership of Evan Katz, David Rovine Stable LLC, and Frank Canzone. Prompted by a carryover of $3,017.50, the Friday (April 16) Pick-5 pool at Harrah's Philadelphia will be guaranteed at $10,000. The guaranteed pool is offered in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. As such, past performance pages for the Pick-5 sequence will be available on the USTA website. The Pick-5 at Harrah's Philadelphia is a 50-cent base wager spanning races five through nine daily, and it offers a low 18% takeout. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia
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