Day At The Track
Ellamennopee

Ellamennopee razor sharp in 2yo Filly Pace

One of the featured events on the Tuesday night harness racing program at Running Aces was the $8,000 Minnesota-Sired 2 year old Filly Pace, and Ellamennopee ($2.80) stole the show with another dazzling performance for her second straight win, delivering as the public's overwhelming choice in the contest.   This sharp freshman distaffer is by Voracious Hanover and tonight she proved that her dominating win against the boys last week was anything but a fluke. Driver Steve Wiseman guided her away from the gate in sixth position of 9 fillies in the field, and got her moving first-over at the three-eights pole. She advanced steadily down the backstretch and took command before the final turn, from there she remained strong and posted a 2 3/4 length tally in a 1:56.2 lifetime mark. Bertha Vanation (Dean Magee) was very impressive in second and Lippy Doo (Luke Plano) was home in third but well back of the winner.   Ellamennopee is Owned by Merlin Van Oterloo and Trained by Brett Ballinger, she now shows 2 wins and 1 second in 3 lifetime starts.   The $10,000 Open Handicap Trot proved to be yet another edition of the Banker Volo show, as the amazing 8 year old Trotting Stallion by Yankee Glide posted his biggest win ever, a 16 1/2 length romp compliments of some fast early fractions by his rivals.   Driver Luke Plano guided Banker Volo away in third from post one, while two of his rivals exchanged blows through early panels of 27.1 and 56.2 before he guided his square-gaited sensation to the outside and straight to the front. From there were only two questions, how fast and by how many lengths would he win. He stopped the clock in 1:54.2 to equal his all age track record. It was clear he could have gone as much as a second faster had he any competition in the late stages of the mile.   Banker Volo ($2.20) has now won six of eight races this year and bankrolled $33,700 for Owner Daniel Roland. His career numbers are now 27 wins and $319,213 after tonight's dominating victory.   The $10,000 Mares Open Pace went to Gold Star Mysti ($4.40) as she delivered as the race favorite once again for her fifth win in 7 starts this season. Tonight "Mysti-Moo" as she is affectionately called by her connections, rallied from off the pace with a first over move that allowed Trainer/Driver James (J.D.) Yoder to drop in the pocket for a breather past the 5/8 pole, and from there they were able to out-kick a very game front running Best of Jenna (Rick Magee) to the wire in 1:51.1. The super talented 4 year old is by Mysticism and is owned by Marianne Audley, who is also the breeder.   The $13,000 Minnesota-Sired 2 year old Trot went to Bragginade ($4.80) for his second win in three lifetime starts, with Trainer/Driver Nick Roland in the sulky for Set The Pace Racing, LLC. Tonight's victory was a 1 3/4 length tally in 2:03.4.   Drivers Tim Maier, James Yoder, Rick Magee and Dean Magee all completed driving doubles on the Tuesday card. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday night, July 29 with a first post of 6:00 pm CDT and a carryover in the .20 cent Jackpot Pick 5 wager of $17,404.11.   By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer  

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No in between - Chalk or longshot

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Western Ideal mare Vegas In Style was acquired by owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera after a race 35 days ago - and since then she has posted three wins and two seconds in five starts, earning $30,500, after her victory in the $16,000 distaff pacing feature Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Eric Carlson had the red-hot mare sitting in the pocket behind strong fractions of 26.4, 55.2, and 1:23.4 set by Someomensomewhere, then moved her outside headstretch and ran down the frontrunner relatively easily, although the half-length margin may not indicate that. Vegas In Style was one of eight winners paying $4.40 or less in the first nine races, with the track's leading driver George Napolitano Jr. guiding five of them - but the ninth winner, Barbara Nell, individually jumped the average price from $3.78 to $11.16 when she rallied from last at the half to post a $71.80 upset for driver Simon Allard and owner/trainer Owen Eiler Jr. The average win price went up after race ten, the $14,000 distaff co-featured pace, as the Somebeachsomewhere mare Carobbean Pacetry rallied from second-over to defeat Tipitina by a half-length for driver Andrew McCarthy at a $32.60 mutuel, raising the average price to that point to $13.30 herself. Owner/trainer Meir Geller had certainly had far-below-average luck with the winner in her last three scheduled purse starts - broken equipment and two scratches - but fortune was with Carobbean Pacetry this evening. PHHA / Pocono

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American Ideal filly - Star of the show

Youaremycandygirl (American Ideal) was the star of the New York Sire Stakes on Tuesday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Ron Burke-trained filly was the pocket-sitter in her $40,425 division of the Sire Stakes for two year old pacing fillies. Driver Yannick Gingras was aggressive and popped the pocket on the favored leader heading to three quarters. It proved to be the winning move as Youaremycandygirl powered into a lead she would not relinquish. The freshman filly broke her maiden in 1:54.1, a time that was just a fifth of a second off the track record for two year old pacing fillies. Favorites scored stakes wins in the other three divisions as All On Top Hanover (Betterthancheddar) and Marcus Miller prevailed in 1:55 while Alexis Faith (American Ideal) gave Gingras a driving double scoring in 1:55.3 in her debut in the NY Sire Stakes. Odds-on favorite Hurrikane Shorty (Art Major) wrapped up the evening with a wire to wire win in 1:55 with Jim Marohn Jr. in the sulky. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Wednesday night with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Tequila Monday

$167,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (July 28th) plays host to the harness racing ladies, with the $167,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-old fillies. The draw came up 'three sixes,' with divisions (races 4,5 and 6) worth $55,833 each. First post for the dozen-race card is the customary 7:10 PM. The Cohen-honoring the memory of the former publicity director of both Yonkers Raceway and NBC Sports-is the second local go-round for this group. Tequila Monday (Brian Sears, post 3) looms a short number in the opening event. The daughter of American Ideal drilled her statebred rivals (as fresh Lasix) here earlier this month, her fifth win in eight seasonal starts ($187,543). The Lismore champ is trained by Chris Oakes for co-owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Ponpey. Clear Idea (George Brennan, post 2) should make 'Monday' work for it. Another American Ideal miss, she's 6-for-12 this season, including three consecutive NYSS wins. Blake MacIntosh co-owns (with Hutt Racing) and trains the lass, who has hit the board in each and every '17 start. Friday's second Cohen event didn't come up nearly as potent as the opener. World Apart (Jason Bartlett, post 2) and Queen Josephine (Brett Miller, post 6) were both bridesmaids in their latest (NYSS) tries, the latter in her last couple. The final NYSS grouping includes Ann Hill (Sears, post 4), fresh of her 11-1 upset here in her latest try. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, co-owned by (trainer) Richie Silverman and Neal Oksenberg, has won twice in seven tries this season. Roaring to Go (Brett Miller, post 1), among the best in her freshman class, hasn't raced back to it at 3. The Art Major miss is winless in a half-dozen '17 starts. Friday's card also feastures the $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace, with Medusa (Miller) remanded outside her seven foes. Frank Drucker

It's a little bit hard to believe, but we are closing fast on the halfway point of the 2017 harness racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In our season of approximately eight months, we are just about four months in with four more to go. Let's hope that the downhill portion of the schedule has as many exciting weeks as this past one, with a great many horses and horsemen and women in the running for this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: ALWAYS AT MY PLACE On Saturday night at Pocono, rain started falling right at the start of the card and continued throughout the evening, so that a track that started out fast was eventually downgraded to good and finally bumped down even further to sloppy. That meant that the night's featured $20,000 condition pace would go off in the slop, but neither the weather nor the track condition could dampen the enthusiasm of Always At My Place to atone for his previous start. In that previous race, the six-year-old gelding had been favored at 1-5 to win against the very same class at Pocono, but he made a rare break of stride at the start. Although he fought valiantly to get back in it, he could only reach fifth at the end of the mile after giving up so much ground at the beginning. On Saturday night, bettors gave him another chance as the 4-5 favorite, and Always At My Place did not disappoint. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, Always At My Place set fractions that weren't for the faint of heart. None of the excellent field put any kind of a scare into him as he paced his own race on the front end. Amazingly, he rolled home 4½ lengths in front in 1:48:2, easily the fastest mile of the week at Pocono. One wonders what the time would have been had the race been contested on a fast track. Maybe next time, but for now Always At My Place has shaken off the break and is back at the top of his game. Other top pacers this week include: Trevor Win For Us (George Napolitano Jr., Hunter Oakes), who has now won three in a row, with the last two coming at Pocono after a claiming victory on Saturday night in 1:53:2; Firefox Hanover (George Napolitano Jr., Christopher Freck), who came off a layoff of a month since his maiden win and still captured his second straight condition pace on Monday night in 1:54:3; and Vegas In Style (Eric Carlson, Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who won for the second straight time on Tuesday night and the third in her last four races, this time beating a condition field in 1:52:1. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: POUNCE HANOVER Something had to give in Monday night's featured claiming handicap trot for a purse of $14,000. Hyway Marcus shipped in having won his last three starts. What A Peach had won his previous race at Pocono in the very same class. But nobody had been performing any better coming in than Pounce Hanover. The seven-year-old gelding trained by Hunter Oakes came in with four consecutive victories, including the last two against the very same claiming handicap group he was facing on Monday. All three of those stalwarts love to fly out on the front end. It wasn't meant to be for Hyway Marcus, who started slowly and was never a factor. But What A Peach and Pounce Hanover went after each other for the engine, both trying to establish a lead. Pounce Hanover ended up doing just that just past the three-eighths mile marker of the race, and driver George Napolitano Jr. was able to rate the pace well despite an early first-over attempt by talented mare Windsongmusclelady. What A Peach lost ground to the leader and wasn't able to close the gap. Sarcastic Man did come on late but could only get to second, because Pounce Hanover was simply too tough to catch. The fifth consecutive victory for the gelding came in 1:55:1. He was able to control the race pretty effortlessly, which, against all those winners in the field, was quite an accomplishment, but one we're getting used to seeing out of this red-hot trotter. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Rose Run Parker (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who returned to Pocono to capture Sunday night's $20,000 featured condition trot in 1:53; Wartech (Simon Allard, Robert Greenwood), who followed up a condition win at Harrah's with another at Pocono on Monday night in 1:56; and Rosesareexplosive (George Napolitano Jr., Linda Toscano), a filly who romped to her second straight condition victory on Tuesday night, this one coming in 1:56:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ALEXANDRIA HANOVER She was last at the half-mile marker, but this mare then began a rally with Simon Allard in the bike to shock a condition pacing group on Tuesday at 34-1, paying off $71.80 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY MORGAN The veteran driver filled in for Simon Allard to drive many of Rene Allard's trainees on Saturday night and performed well with a driving double. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MICHAEL DOWDALL Dowdall sent out four starters total on Saturday and Sunday night at Pocono, and three of them came home winners, with the double coming on Saturday's card. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to email me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia

BEDFORD PA - Sam Beegle and Roger Hammer, both of whom began their athletic careers on the wrestling mats in this southwest Pennsylvania community and both of whom are still competing on the racetracks of Pennsylvania, were jointly honored as both hometown and statewide harness heroes during ceremonies before the start of the racing program at the Bedford Fair on Monday, the first day of a two-card session here. The Keystone Chapter of the U. S. Harness Writers Association voted their highest award, the Mary Lib Miller Award for "outstanding service to state harness racing," to the two veterans, both of whom are in the Bedford Sports Hall of Fame. Bedford Fair Director of Racing Jake Hoover, upon hearing the announcement, asked Keystone USHWA if the awards could be presented at the Bedford Fair, to which the communicators were happy to comply. In addition to the writers and the local racing community, on hand to honor Hammer and Beegle on Monday were Fred Strathmeyer, Deputy Secretary of the PA Department of Agriculture and a good friend of racing, and Jesse Topper, state Congressman representing counties in and around the Bedford area. Topper read commendations from other area politicians, and also read to the public was a congratulatory letter from state Senator Scott Wagner, a possible Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate. Hammer and Beegle, for their part, chose to let their performance on the racetrack do their speaking for them. Beegle was in the sulky for the fastest mile of the week, a 1:58.4 victory by the Yankee Cruiser sophomore gelding Ginger Tree Marty, who shaded 28.1 for his personal last quarter after being three-wide from just past midbackstretch. Ginger Tree Marty, who just missed the all-age track record at Gratz by a tick when he won there in 1:55.2, is the leading magic mile producer along the fair circuit with three. Beegle also trains the fast sophomore, and his Ginger Tree Farms also co-owns him with Bob Reber. Hammer, whose stable had ten horses on the eight-race Monday card, won three races as a driver and two as a trainer, including a horse he trains and drives, along with co-owning with Vicki Fair, Toolbox Tuesday, producing a 2:02.2 mile in the Sire Stakes "B" three-year-old colt trot, equaling the clocking in the "A" division by Rockefeller Lindy, who along with Everclear Hanover gave trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. a 1-2 sweep in the top-level event. The Donato Hanover filly All Set Lets Go was catch-driven by Hammer to her fifth straight win (after starting her campaign 0 for 10) in the "A" event for sophomore trotting fillies, winning in 2:03.4 for trainer John McMullen and the McMullen Stable LLC. On Tuesday the freshmen took the spotlight, and fair wunderkind Venier Hanover became the only other Keystone twicearound performer to have multiple magic miles for the season when he won in 2:00, last quarter 29.1. The victory by the altered son of Well Said for trainer/driver Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York, was Venier's sixth, keeping him in a tie for winningest freshman in North America - as Brickell goes for a "consecutive double" after guiding the filly Camera Lady to that distinction last year. Finally, two Tuesday continuations of a theme - one in wrestling, where Nicholas Cook, Sam Beegle's grandson who like Grandpa and Hammer was a top high school grappler, won with the two-year-old Ginger Tree Mcdade; and the other in the toughness in all PA Fair Sire Stakes racing, as the "B" division of the freshman colt trot was won by Tell Me Something and trainer/driver Jim Daugherty in 2:06.1, 2/5 of a second faster than the "A" section. The fair circuit now moves midstate to the Clearfield County Fair, where a four-day program of harness racing begins this Sunday, July 30. Publicity Office, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

Plainville, MA---Nothing succeeds like success and that is what Only Passing Through has had at Plainridge Park this year since returning from Florida in May. Today (July 25) he registering his sixth consecutive harness racing victory in the $12,000 conditioned trotting event at The Ridge to remain perfect in 2017. After being taken off the gate and narrowly avoiding a breaking Just For Today (Mark Beckwith), the 3-5 betting favorite Only Passing Through was then quickly rousted to the front by driver Greg Merton to avoid any further interruptions to their day. From there the race became uncomplicated for the pair and that gave the betting faithful a sigh of relief. Only Passing Through then comfortably registered fractional times of :29, :59.4 and 1:28.3 with only minor challenges from the trailing bunch. Around the last turn and with the plugs flailing in the wind, Merton sat stoic as Only Passing Through trotted away to a four-length advantage in 1:56.4 win to remain perfect in 2017. Only Passing Through has now bankrolled $30,100 this year for owners Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolph. Frank Antonacci trains the winner. In the co-featured $10,000 conditioned trot, Earl's Last Shot (Chris Long) was a gate to wire victor, registering a new lifetime mark of 1:57.3 in the process. Earl's Last Shot ($4.20) is owned by William Mc Elvain Jr. and trained by James Dunn. Leading driver Greg Merton added four more wins to his insurmountable meet dash win total of 117 while Trainer Frank Antonacci, who sports a .696 UDR for the meet, saw two of his students cross the wire in front. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 27) with post time at 4 p.m. Don't forget, the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot is this Friday (July 28) at The Ridge with the best aged trotters in North America going postward.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

WASHINGTON, PA, July 25, 2017 — After collecting career victory 18,000 two weeks ago, Hall of Famer Dave Palone continues to roll to the next milestone.  The “winningest” driver in harness racing history piloted seven winners on Tuesday’s 14-race card at The Meadows. Palone scored a pair of victories each for trainers Rom Burke and Paul Corey and singletons for Brent Davis, Dane Snyder and John Sullivan. Also on Tuesday’s program, players finally solved the mystery of the Pick 5, which had eluded them for three consecutive cards and prompted a $75,000 total-pool guarantee, largest in track history. The Pick 5 returned $6,451 for a $2 ticket. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Saratoga Springs, NY – Jeff Gural is a tower in Standardbred Racing. As the owner of three racetracks: The Meadowlands in New Jersey (which features Harness racing and a short Thoroughbred meet), in addition to Standardbred tracks, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs, both located in New York State, he has become a driving force in keeping trainers suspected of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs and those trying to buy or sell horses to slaughter out of his three racetracks. Gural will receive the Ellen and Herbert Moelis Equine Savior Award for his commitment to the humane fate and aftercare of horses bred for racing, their safety during their racing careers and toward maintaining integrity and honesty in racing. The world-renowned equine surgeon, Dr. Patricia Hogan, who was honored by Equine Advocates at this event in 2008, had this to say about her friend, Jeff Gural:  "Horse racing faces many modern challenges today, not the least of which is a shaken public confidence in the integrity of the competition itself, but also in the racing community's ability to handle the whole host of welfare issues surrounding the care (and aftercare) of our magnificent horses. Jeff Gural has certainly been a trailblazer in implementing innovative ideas that have chipped away at these problems and started some very important conversations in racing that no one wanted to have, but were sorely needed. Oftentimes, he is doing these things alone - at great personal and financial cost. He richly deserves this recognition and more from our industry."  Also being honored are actress and author, Cornelia Guest and the Honorable Ed Whitfield of Kentucky who served in the House of Representatives from 1995 – 2016. The gala will be held on Thursday, August 3rd at the historic Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs.  Guest, who can currently be seen in the return of “Twin Peaks” on Showtime, is being honored for her equine rescue work, for her strong public stance and activism against horse slaughter and for founding the Artemis Farm Rescue in New York State for abused and slaughter-bound equines. Ed Whitfield will receive a Special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work and dedication to the protection of horses. He has been a staunch opponent of horse slaughter, horse soring and all forms of equine cruelty both personally and throughout his years in Congress where he fought hard to prevent equine abuse.  The evening includes a cocktail hour, silent & live auctions, gourmet dinner by Mazzone Hospitality, award presentations and a performance by the popular country band, Skeeter Creek. The live auction will include many exciting and unique items including authentic halters worn by champions California Chrome and Arrogate. Some tickets are still available at $250 per person. For more information, please call (518) 392-0175.  Equine Advocates – P.O. Box 354 – Chatham, NY 12037 Website: www.equineadvocates.org – Email: info@equineadvocates.org  

MANALAPAN, NJ -- July 25, 2017 -- Vincent Fusco Sr of Freehold Township, NJ passed away Monday, July 24th with his beloved family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Grace, his children Rita (Dale), Carmine (Christie), Antonia, Vincent Jr. (Michelle), Bridget (Bob), Andriana, Joseph (Dana), Paul (Robyn), Peter, Maria (Michael), Elizabeth (Jason), 26 grandchildren and his angel great grandson Noah. Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 26th and Thursday, July 27th at Clayton Funeral Home in Freehold, NJ from 5 - 9 pm. There will also be a mass on Friday, July 27th at St. Roberts of Bellarmine Church in Freehold at 10 am. The family is requesting in lieu of flowers please make any donations to St Judes Children's Hospital. Courtney Stafford PR Consultant SBOANJ 64 Business Route 33 Manalapan, NJ 07726

Schenectady, NY --- The Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund (FUND) is pleased to announce an increase to the Breeders’ Awards given through the New York Sire Stakes harness racing program. This season, the FUND approved an additional $100,000 from handles at harness tracks across New York. The FUND’s Board of Directors have made the decision to direct this funding to breeders of 2-year-old New York resident Standardbreds. These breeders invest in the New York Sire Stakes program at the highest level by raising and keeping their mares in New York State. This increase brings the total award payout to 2-year-old and 3-year-old breeders in 2017 to an estimated $1.1 million. The Breeders’ Awards program provides rewards for each level of NYSS racing: Sire Stakes, Excelsior Series and County Fairs, and are split into two categories, Resident and Non-Resident. The Non-Resident Based Awards reward breeders whose horses perform well at all levels of the New York Sire Stakes Racing program. The Residency Bonus Awards reward breeders who keep their mares in New York State, thereby contributing to the New York State economy and agricultural markets. “There are so many who play a part in the ongoing prosperity of harness racing in New York, but the role of breeders cannot be diminished. Without them, this sport could not flourish,” said Michael Kimelman, Board Trustee, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. “With this additional funding going to the breeders who support the program at the highest level by keeping their horses in New York, we’re recognizing the impact they continue to have on the industry.” The New York Sire Stakes was the first program of its kind developed in North America, featuring 2- and 3-year-old New York-bred Standardbreds. The first stakes races were held in 1961. The program has since become a model for state-bred racing programs. With the passage of the Laverne Law in 1964, the FUND began receiving a percentage of the industry’s betting handle to manage the Sire Stakes program. The New York Sire Stakes season runs through October with the finals for both trotters and pacers to be held at Yonkers Raceway on Oct. 14. The County Fair Series races are held concurrent with the season with the finals in Saratoga on Sept. 15. For complete racing schedules, visit www.nysirestakes.com. by Jason Politi, Baker Public Relations, Inc. 

WASHINGTON, PA, July 25, 2017 - Huntsville, the 9-5 morning line harness racing favorite, will leave from post 4 while Fear The Dragon, the 2-1 second choice, goes from post 3 in Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows.   The powerhouse Adios Day card begins at noon and includes six Grand Circuit stakes. The Adios goes as race 11 with an approximate post time of 4 PM. By winning last week's Adios eliminations, the connections of Huntsville and Fear The Dragon earned the right to select their post positions; a drawing Monday gave Fear The Dragon the first choice. All other slots were determined by a random draw. Trainer Brian Brown, who characterized Fear The Dragon's performance last week as "dull," said Monday he expects a return to form this week.   "We've been turning him out a lot," Brown said. "I took him to the field today, and he was anything but dull. I think he'll be sharper this week. A sign of a good horse is that he wins when he's supposed to win, so I was happy that he won and toughed it out. But it still worries the heck out of you. He's never raced like that."   Trainer Ron Burke, who sends three into the final, drew posts 1 (RJP), 5 (Eddard Hanover) and 7 (Miso Fast). The complete Adios field in post position order with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: 1. RJP by Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras Ron Burke 9-2 2. Highalator by Somebeachsomewhere - Victor Kirby - Jeffrey Long, 20-1 3. Fear The Dragon by Dragon Again - David Miller -  Brian Brown,  2-1 4. Huntsville by Somebeachsomewhere - Tim Tetrick - Ray Schnittker,  9-5 5. Eddard Hanover by Dragon Again - TBA - Ron Burke, 20-1 6. Western Hill by Western Ideal - Dave Palone - Tony Alagna, 8-1 7. Miso Fast by Roll With Joe - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke, 15-1 8. Blood Line by Somebeachsomewhere - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter, 12-1 9. Hurricane Beach by Somebeachsomewhere - Daniel Dube - Luc Blais 15-1 The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Eighteen three-year-olds entered today for the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the harness racing filly division of the Hambletonian. Hambletonian Festival week kicks off on July 29 with two $40,438 eliminations to narrow the field to 10 for the $500,000 Oaks Final on Hambletonian Day, Sat., Aug. 5, at The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ. Favorite in the field will be Dan Patch divisional Champion Ariana G. The talented homebred daughter of 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill sports a record of three wins in four tries this year, with lifetime earnings just under $1 million, at $937,839. Ariana G comes from the royal broodmare band of Marvin Katz and AL Libfeld, and her full sister All The Time, won the 2016 Hambletonian Oaks for the same team of owner/breeders Katz-Libfeld and trainer Jimmy Takter. Here are the post positions for two elims for the #HamboOaks17. Race placement still to come for Saturday, July 29 @TheMeadowlands. $40,438 Oaks Elim for Sat., July 29 (race placement to be determined) Post Position Horse Trainer Named Driver 1 HILLARMBRO Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer 2 MAGIC PRESTO Richard Norman Brian Sears 3 THAT’S ALL MONI Jimmy Takter Tim Tetrick 4 SOUTHWIND AVANTI Anette Lorentzon Tim Tetrick 5 OVERDRAFT VOLO Julie Miller Andy Miller 6 CAVIART WONDER Noel Daley Andrew McCarthy 7 FEED YOUR HEAD Jimmy Takter Yannick Gingras 8 BROADWAY IDOLE Jim Campbell Scott Zeron 9 EVELYN Ake Svanstedt Ake Svanstedt $40,438 Oaks Elim for Sat., July 29 (race placement to be determined) Post Position Horse Trainer Named Driver 1 GLITZEY GAL Richard Norman David Miller 2 ICE ATTRACTION Ake Svanstedt Ake Svanstedt 3 DREAM TOGETHER Luc Blais Dan Dube 4 ARIANA G Jimmy Takter Yannick Gingras 5 FINE TUNED LADY John Butenschoen Corey Callahan 6 DREAM BABY DREAM Rod Allen Rod Allen 7 TREVISO Charlie Norris Charlie Norris 8 COOL CATES Noel Daley Andrew McCarthy 9 SUNSHINE DELIGHT Staffan Lind Brett Miller   The top five finishers in each elim will advance to the final on Aug. 5. There is no Lasix or any race day medication permitted in the Hambletonian Oaks or Open. Elimination winners draw for inside posts 1-5 and all other finalists will then be placed in an open draw. The winner of the final on Aug. 5 is the Oaks winner, regardless of elimination finish on July 29. Post positions for the $500,000 final will be drawn and morning lines assigned on Tuesday, Aug. 1, on a Facebook live post position draw at 2:00 p.m. on the Meadowlands Facebook page. The draw will be streamed live on the Meadowlands web site.  

The harness racing 3 year old trotting colts/geldings made their final sire stakes appearance on Sunday July 23rd at Ocean Downs going for a purse of $69,800.   After and up and down start to his career the hybrid colt EI EI O (Cam’s Rocket-My Baby Momma) found his way to the winners for the second week in a row with stablemate Hybrid Henry up for place in the 1:57 mile. Brian Burton was in the bike for owner/trainer/breeder Richard Hans.   After sitting back in the field last week and getting beat by a neck in the filly pace pilot Roger Plante Jr. sent Miss Valerie (Allie’s Western) out of the gate, taking air to the quarter pole. When the clock stopped in 1:59, the favorite Miss Valerie was 2 lengths ahead of long shot A Blue Believer in the $63,700 Final.   Steve LeBlanc trains for owners Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable and William Lutz. Tom and Linda Winebrener are the breeders.   The finals continued on Monday July 24th with another large enthusiastic crowd in attendance. Their favorite Mr Ham Sandwich (Cam’s Rocket) did not disappoint setting a new stakes record for 3 year old pacing colts of 1:53 on the half opening up 9 lengths over second place Adios Muchachos in the $70,000 Final. Reinsman Russell Foster was between the wheels for owner/breeder Brian Emerson, Judy Welty trains.   Once again the combo of Roger Plante Jr. and trainer Steve LeBlanc proved successful when Holy Trout (Holy Guacamolie) remained undefeated notching her 9th win in 2017 taking the $70,150 final for trotting fillies.  Camita coming from back in the pack was the place victor the close photo over Starz And Deuces who was third. Dr. William Solomon is the owner/breeder, time for the mile was 2:01.4.   Sunday July 30th and Monday July 31st start the 2 year old Maryland Standardbred Fund (foaled) Stakes at the Ocean, come out and meet three of the drivers for autographs and photos at 6:30 prior to the races.   By Cheri Stambaugh

Lexington, KY - Harness Racing returns to Lexington, Kentucky with the historic 143rd season at The Red Mile beginning on Thursday, July 27. More than $7.5 million in purses will be offered over 32 race dates concluding on Sunday, October 8.   Thursday's offering is a ten race overnight card with a $6,200 Preferred Handicap feature pitting eight solid pacing mares in the second race.   The pre-Grand Circuit meet will cover 24 programs, racing live Thursday, Saturday and Sunday through September 17 with a post time of 7:00 p.m. each night.   This early meet will feature the enriched $2 million Kentucky Sires Stakes starting on August 17 with the foals of 2015 now benefitting from a mare residency policy. All purses for the three preliminary legs for two-year-olds will be $30,000 with all finals set at $250,000.   That policy contains language that states the resulting foals of all horses bred during the 2014 breeding season will be eligible for nomination to the KYSS if the horse is out of a mare, even if sired by an out-of-state stallion, that resided in Kentucky during the year of conception for 180 consecutive days and nominated to the fund or by a stallion that stood in Kentucky and nominated to the fund for that breeding season.   In addition to the change in eligibility, funding for the program has seen significant increases largely due to the pari-mutuel tax on historical horse racing, which is now offered at The Red Mile.   The KYSS for three-year-olds will offer two legs for a purse of $15,000 ($10,000 divided) and $175,000 finals. All finals will be raced on Sunday, September 17.   The Kentucky Sire Stakes is funded by the Kentucky Standardbred Development Fund (KSDF) and the Kentucky Standardbred Breeders' Incentive Fund (KSBIF).   The $5 million Grand Circuit meet consist of eight cards and will follow a Thursday through Sunday schedule with post time at 7 p.m. on September 28, 29 & 30 then a matinee 1 p.m. post time on October 1, 5, 6. 7 & 8.   The time-honored Bluegrass Stakes for all divisions will highlight week one. The International Stallion Stakes will provide racing for the freshmen in week two while closing weekend brings with it the 125th Kentucky Futurity, Tattersalls Pace and Allerage Farms series for the FFA set.   Information on all racing is available by calling the Racing Office at (859) 258-7670.   The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will featured the highly anticipated first crops of Captaintreacherous, Father Patrick, Sweet Lou and Trixton among others along with the top quality consignments that sell at the Fasig-Tipton Pavilion annually. The sale starts at 7:00 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, October 3.   Information on the city of Lexington including accommodations, dining and entertainment options is available from VisitLex.com.   Nick Salvi    

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One of the featured events on the Tuesday night harness racing program at Running Aces was the $8,000 Minnesota-Sired 2 year old Filly Pace, and Ellamennopee ($2.80) stole the show with another dazzling performance for her second straight win, delivering as the public's overwhelming choice in the contest.   This sharp freshman distaffer is by Voracious Hanover and tonight she proved that her dominating win against the boys last week was anything but a fluke. Driver Steve Wiseman guided her away from the gate in sixth position of 9 fillies in the field, and got her moving first-over at the three-eights pole. She advanced steadily down the backstretch and took command before the final turn, from there she remained strong and posted a 2 3/4 length tally in a 1:56.2 lifetime mark. Bertha Vanation (Dean Magee) was very impressive in second and Lippy Doo (Luke Plano) was home in third but well back of the winner.   Ellamennopee is Owned by Merlin Van Oterloo and Trained by Brett Ballinger, she now shows 2 wins and 1 second in 3 lifetime starts.   The $10,000 Open Handicap Trot proved to be yet another edition of the Banker Volo show, as the amazing 8 year old Trotting Stallion by Yankee Glide posted his biggest win ever, a 16 1/2 length romp compliments of some fast early fractions by his rivals.   Driver Luke Plano guided Banker Volo away in third from post one, while two of his rivals exchanged blows through early panels of 27.1 and 56.2 before he guided his square-gaited sensation to the outside and straight to the front. From there were only two questions, how fast and by how many lengths would he win. He stopped the clock in 1:54.2 to equal his all age track record. It was clear he could have gone as much as a second faster had he any competition in the late stages of the mile.   Banker Volo ($2.20) has now won six of eight races this year and bankrolled $33,700 for Owner Daniel Roland. His career numbers are now 27 wins and $319,213 after tonight's dominating victory.   The $10,000 Mares Open Pace went to Gold Star Mysti ($4.40) as she delivered as the race favorite once again for her fifth win in 7 starts this season. Tonight "Mysti-Moo" as she is affectionately called by her connections, rallied from off the pace with a first over move that allowed Trainer/Driver James (J.D.) Yoder to drop in the pocket for a breather past the 5/8 pole, and from there they were able to out-kick a very game front running Best of Jenna (Rick Magee) to the wire in 1:51.1. The super talented 4 year old is by Mysticism and is owned by Marianne Audley, who is also the breeder.   The $13,000 Minnesota-Sired 2 year old Trot went to Bragginade ($4.80) for his second win in three lifetime starts, with Trainer/Driver Nick Roland in the sulky for Set The Pace Racing, LLC. Tonight's victory was a 1 3/4 length tally in 2:03.4.   Drivers Tim Maier, James Yoder, Rick Magee and Dean Magee all completed driving doubles on the Tuesday card. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday night, July 29 with a first post of 6:00 pm CDT and a carryover in the .20 cent Jackpot Pick 5 wager of $17,404.11.   By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer  
WILKES-BARRE PA - The Western Ideal mare Vegas In Style was acquired by owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera after a race 35 days ago - and since then she has posted three wins and two seconds in five starts, earning $30,500, after her victory in the $16,000 distaff pacing feature Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Eric Carlson had the red-hot mare sitting in the pocket behind strong fractions of 26.4, 55.2, and 1:23.4 set by Someomensomewhere, then moved her outside headstretch and ran down the frontrunner relatively easily, although the half-length margin may not indicate that. Vegas In Style was one of eight winners paying $4.40 or less in the first nine races, with the track's leading driver George Napolitano Jr. guiding five of them - but the ninth winner, Barbara Nell, individually jumped the average price from $3.78 to $11.16 when she rallied from last at the half to post a $71.80 upset for driver Simon Allard and owner/trainer Owen Eiler Jr. The average win price went up after race ten, the $14,000 distaff co-featured pace, as the Somebeachsomewhere mare Carobbean Pacetry rallied from second-over to defeat Tipitina by a half-length for driver Andrew McCarthy at a $32.60 mutuel, raising the average price to that point to $13.30 herself. Owner/trainer Meir Geller had certainly had far-below-average luck with the winner in her last three scheduled purse starts - broken equipment and two scratches - but fortune was with Carobbean Pacetry this evening. PHHA / Pocono
Youaremycandygirl (American Ideal) was the star of the New York Sire Stakes on Tuesday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Ron Burke-trained filly was the pocket-sitter in her $40,425 division of the Sire Stakes for two year old pacing fillies. Driver Yannick Gingras was aggressive and popped the pocket on the favored leader heading to three quarters. It proved to be the winning move as Youaremycandygirl powered into a lead she would not relinquish. The freshman filly broke her maiden in 1:54.1, a time that was just a fifth of a second off the track record for two year old pacing fillies. Favorites scored stakes wins in the other three divisions as All On Top Hanover (Betterthancheddar) and Marcus Miller prevailed in 1:55 while Alexis Faith (American Ideal) gave Gingras a driving double scoring in 1:55.3 in her debut in the NY Sire Stakes. Odds-on favorite Hurrikane Shorty (Art Major) wrapped up the evening with a wire to wire win in 1:55 with Jim Marohn Jr. in the sulky. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Wednesday night with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella
YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (July 28th) plays host to the harness racing ladies, with the $167,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-old fillies. The draw came up 'three sixes,' with divisions (races 4,5 and 6) worth $55,833 each. First post for the dozen-race card is the customary 7:10 PM. The Cohen-honoring the memory of the former publicity director of both Yonkers Raceway and NBC Sports-is the second local go-round for this group. Tequila Monday (Brian Sears, post 3) looms a short number in the opening event. The daughter of American Ideal drilled her statebred rivals (as fresh Lasix) here earlier this month, her fifth win in eight seasonal starts ($187,543). The Lismore champ is trained by Chris Oakes for co-owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Ponpey. Clear Idea (George Brennan, post 2) should make 'Monday' work for it. Another American Ideal miss, she's 6-for-12 this season, including three consecutive NYSS wins. Blake MacIntosh co-owns (with Hutt Racing) and trains the lass, who has hit the board in each and every '17 start. Friday's second Cohen event didn't come up nearly as potent as the opener. World Apart (Jason Bartlett, post 2) and Queen Josephine (Brett Miller, post 6) were both bridesmaids in their latest (NYSS) tries, the latter in her last couple. The final NYSS grouping includes Ann Hill (Sears, post 4), fresh of her 11-1 upset here in her latest try. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, co-owned by (trainer) Richie Silverman and Neal Oksenberg, has won twice in seven tries this season. Roaring to Go (Brett Miller, post 1), among the best in her freshman class, hasn't raced back to it at 3. The Art Major miss is winless in a half-dozen '17 starts. Friday's card also feastures the $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace, with Medusa (Miller) remanded outside her seven foes. Frank Drucker
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