Day At The Track

Monticello, NY--Each year amateur harness racing becomes a bigger part in the Standardbred sport with many talented drivers displaying impressive abilities guiding spirited steeds to victory. And this season has been no exception especially with the expansive opportunities available with the ever-growing number of amateur organizations dotting the landscape. In spite of the talents of a multitude of amateur drivers the USHWA National Committee unanimously voted Joe Pennacchio this years recipient of National Amateur Driver of the Year. Although having prominent stats, which "Joltin' Joe " has, it takes more than that for consideration. Besides being a member of many amateur organizations Pennacchio is the president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and sits on the Board of the USTA. Since he purchased his first horse in 1987, over the years Joe has owned more than a hundred standardbreds and in 2004 his 3-year-old trotter, Yankee Slide, won the prestigious Breeders Crown at Woodbine in Canada with Brian Sears in the sulky. " Yankee Slide was trained by Steve Elliot and was sent off at odds of 40-1 and man we were pleasantly surprised with his victory," Pennacchio recalled. But Pennacchio still can remember the first horse he ever purchased. "In 1987 I bought a pacer by the name of Skipper Marlow and raced him at Monticello under the care of Craig Mosher. In 1995 I drove for the first time and had two wins in three starts. That year both wins were with a trotter by the name of Fox Valley Trump. I won at Delaware ,Ohio and then at the Red Mile. After that I was hooked," Pennacchio said. The next year Pennacchio and Fox Valley Trump won the $30,000 Billings Series Final at Freehold Raceway covering thr 1-1/4 mile distance in a time of 2:31.3 Since then "Joltin' Joe (his Billings nickname) has won 176 races. This past season he had 65 starts with 14 wins, 11 seconds and four thirds for a .330 UDR. He currently owns 14 race horses. Pennacchio's Florida contingent is handled by Jim McDonald while Allen Sisco trains his stock in New York. Over the years Joe has won races on all size racetracks and has enjoyed some nice horses along the way. He has even won races in Europe and thoroughly enjoys the sport and the horses he's owned. But arguably his favorite is Super Manning, who is still racing today. The veteran trotter has won $650,000 thus far in his career and earned a record of 1:54.1 taken at Yonkers Raceway. Pennacchio is a retired CEO who spent most of his career in department store retailing. His last assignment was as the president of Jordan Marsh department stores in Boston. He has had significant experience in running companies with both United States and foreign facilities and has served on several boards for both private and public companies. He will receive his National Amateur Driver of the Year Award when the US Harness Writers Association holds its annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida on February 24, 2019. For room and ticket information, visit www.ushwa.org. by John Manzi, chairman of USHWA's Amateur Driver Committee

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will have harness racing just two nights this week with the Saturday card a casualty of a NY Jets late afternoon game in Met Life stadium. As a result, we are left with a particularly strong Thursday program featuring ten full fields of what would be the usual Friday fare.   The twin features are $15,000 conditioned races for pacing mares (race 6) and trotters (race 7), both competitive blends of veteran performers.   Fan favorite Melady's Monet (Dave Miller) will make his return to the races in the seventh coming in off a pair of impressive qualifiers after a five month hiatus. Hermann Heitmann is now training the $1.3 million winner, who is just a few weeks from his 10th birthday, for Melady Enterprises.    "Borrowing Ken's Binoculars" for this Thursday's card is Meadowlands' GM and Little Brown Jug second announcer Jason Settlemoir. He'll be followed by Pete Kleinhans next Thursday with Dave Little closing out the month at the mic.   Thursday may also be "Your Lucky Day" with the lead promotion returning gambling losses for the day to one fortunate Players Club member and double points on all live harness wagers.   The usual array of guaranteed wagers are in place and free program pages for some of those are available via the world wide web.   Post time is 7:15 PM.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Akron, NY --- She was born to harness racing and hit the ground running this, her first year of training. And hard work and perseverance has paid instant dividends for Riley Asher-Stalbaum and that is why she was named the 2018 Rising Star at Batavia Downs by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Asher-Stalbaum was brought up in the business, the daughter of accomplished trainer Kim Asher and longtime driver Larry Stalbaum. And having them first as parents and then as tutors have helped her to become very successful in life as a young lady and also in harness racing in her first venture as a full-time conditioner. This year, Asher-Stalbaum has raced a small but powerful stable that featured win-machines Quicksilvercandy A, Kaitlyn Rae and Empire Earl N who combined have a total of 38 victories and $231,488 in purses earned in 2018. At Batavia Downs her numbers showed 124 starts with 17 wins, 15 seconds and 17 thirds and $133,409 in earnings. All those statistics are very impressive for a first year trainer only 11 days removed from her 19th birthday. Asher-Stalbaum aspires to make a living doing what she loves and follow in the footsteps of her parents. And if the results of her first year are any indication, the business better take notice of the girl in the red and white silks in the coming years. Riley Asher-Stalbaum will receive her trophy in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 14). by Tim Bojarski, for UNY USHWA Chapter    

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 10, 2018 -- Aided by a second-quarter breather, Dayson drew away from the pocket-sitting Wind Of The North in the lane and captured Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Dayson was looped from the gate and had to work hard for the lead on a subfreezing day. But the 5-year-old Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus gelding was refreshed by the 30.3 second panel Dave Palone gave him and downed Wind Of The North by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3. TSM Photo Bugger rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Dayson, who lifted his career bankroll to $987,712, for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Rossie Smith. Dan Rawlings collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

FREEHOLD, NJ — December 10, 2018 — With sports betting up and running at the  Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, it appears that Freehold Raceway is ready to join the action. According to Christopher McErlean, vice president at Penn National - which co-owns the track, “We are in negotiations with vendors for both retail and online, and we hope to have a decision by the end of the month.” Freehold plans to follow the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park sports betting set up by having one vendor handle both in house and online operations. The goal is to have a vendor by December 31 but that does not mean that everything will be up and running by NFL playoff weekend.  Freehold is watching how things have been playing out in New Jersey and is approaching sports betting for the long game. For more information on Freehold Raceway and sports betting read the Full Article https://www.njonlinegambling.com/freehold-raceway-sports-betting-coming/?fbclid=IwAR2oSOUmxbaM5g-roryVbFAQU1fn_nd9zcfRAj7RiaiQh1MIQePyosinjSQU8 From Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

The best of harness racing journalism in 2018 will be honored with the 57th edition of the John Hervey Awards for writing, the 35th edition of the Broadcasters Award and the 19th edition of the George Smallsreed Awards for photography. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. today (Dec. 10). Entries will be accepted for news/commentary writing, feature writing, broadcasting, race photography and feature photography. Entries published or broadcast between Dec. 1, 2017 and Nov. 30, 2018, are eligible. All entries must be in English. Judges in each category will select a winner and, where appropriate, up to two honorable mentions. There are no entry fees or cash prizes. Winners will be announced in January and will be recognized at the U.S. Harness Writers Association's annual Dan Patch Awards festivities Feb. 24 in Orlando. Winners will receive a plaque/trophy as well as two dinner tickets to the Dan Patch Awards dinner. Photo and written submissions must have appeared in a paid-circulation publication or on the website that is the same-name affiliate of a paid-circulation publication, recognized broadcast news organization or established industry/news website. Content that appeared on personal websites, message boards or lists and similar entities is not valid for inclusion in the competition. The final decision on eligibility is in the hands of the Hervey Committee. Broadcast entries will be accepted feature or live racing segment no longer than 10 minutes. The entry must have aired on a network television or cable station, recognized news and/or industry website, or have been included in a racetrack's simulcasting presentation. Documentaries or other long-form productions are not eligible although one segment of that documentary, edited only to fit the length limitations of no more than 10 minutes, may be submitted for consideration. The awards are not open to entries that are fiction, in the form of Q&As, or were prepared for commercial purposes (for advertisements/promo/publicity purposes). There is a limit of one submission per person per category. A person may enter more than one category, but not with the same submission. An entry may only be submitted in one category and the category must be indicated clearly. The Hervey Committee, at its discretion, may disqualify an entry at any time in the process, and reserves the right not to bestow an award in a particular category based on the quality and quantity of entries. All entries must originate with the author/photographer/producer and must include a signed cover letter expressing the wish to enter materials in the contest and granting permission for the materials to be used for promoting the awards in press releases. The letter must also include the following contact information for the writer/producer/photographer: name, full address, telephone numbers (home, office, cell) and email address. The letter must also include the date that the media organization published/aired the submission and specify the category for which the entry is being submitted. Editors may submit entries provided the cover letter includes contact information for the writer/producer/photographer as well as for the person submitting the entry. All other third-party entries will be rejected. Written entries must specify the category - news or feature - for consideration. All print entries must include a tear sheet of the entry (a PDF is acceptable) as it appeared in print and a plain text version with no identifying information (bylines, publication name, graphs, photos or other graphic elements). Broadcast entries must not exceed 10 minutes and must not contain commercials. Each submission (one per person or organization) should have a cover letter. Photography entries must include a cover letter designating the category for the photo - race or feature - and a tear sheet of the published photo, showing the date, name of publication and photographer's name. Tear sheets for Internet-based submissions will consist of a screen shot. Photographs should not be digitally enhanced beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance and sharpness. Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification. The decisions of the Hervey Committee and the judges are final. Email entries, or file shared for broadcast, should be sent to ken.weingartner@ustrotting.com. Questions can be directed to Ken Weingartner, chairman of the Hervey Committee, at the above email address. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Batavia, NY --- After being involved in harness racing accident at Batavia Downs late last week, perennial western New York driving leader Kevin Cummings will not return to action until next year. While driving in the first race on Friday night (Dec. 7) Cummings horse made a break causing the horse directly behind to collide into him, hitting Cummings on the left-side back at full speed. The two horses became entangled but were brought to a stop in the clubhouse turn just past the half. Cummings and the driver of the other horse, Mike Caprio (who also became unseated), were evaluated on site immediately after the track was cleared. Caprio returned to drive the remainder of the night however Cummings was sent for further medical evaluation. After being examined in the hospital it was determined that Cummings had three broken ribs, torn cartilage and internal bleeding. He was sent home and is in the process of healing under the care of his personal physician. Given the severity of his injuries, Cummings estimated his time away from the sulky to be two to three months. "I always wear my safety vest under my colors. It's paid off in the past and it certainly paid of Friday. If I didn't have that thing on I would have crushed my entire rib cage and had extensive organ damage," said Cummings. "I always tell the young guys to make sure they use theirs because you never know when you are going down." Cummings, who is a four-time dash champion at Batavia Downs, is currently second in the standings this year with 102 wins and had a legitimate shot at taking a fifth title. This season saw him earn over $1.2 million in purses which is the tenth straight year he has gone over the million-dollar mark. For his career Cummings has won 3,820 races and over $17 million in earnings. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Cream Ridge, NJ - 12/10/2018 - Only hours left to purchase tickets to win a trip to the famous Prix d'Amerique race in Paris or to Ride in Ireland to benefit Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF). The drawing is today, Monday, December 10, 2018 at 5:30pm, the winner does not have to be present to win.   The Prix d'Amerique trip for 2 includes a 5 day/4-night stay at a four-star hotel including a visit to Grosbois, the Standardbred training center, it is like no other. There is a city sightseeing tour of Paris to the Arch of Triumph, Place de la Concorde, Eiffel Tower and more. Among other things, an airfare voucher up to $1,200, and tickets to the famous race, a cocktail party are also included during Jan. 24 - Jan. 28, 2019.   The Ireland trip for 2 includes a 5 day/4-night stay at a fabulous eighteenth century castle, up to $1,200 airfare voucher, and $200 allowance for airport transfer or car rental. Lessons or riding are included for beginners to advanced for three hours a day in many disciplines. There are 1,000 miles of trails through forests, and fields. The castle has a full spa, and other activities are available as well including golf. The dates can be decided at your leisure based on availability. Don't ride, then take lessons right there!   Every day SRF spends approximately $3,000 to feed the horses under its care and supports nearly 380 more horses than any other organization with Standardbreds. Also, different than any other organization, SRF has a lifetime follow-up program in place since 1989 so no adopted horse is ever at risk.   All raffle ticket sales support the 403 trotters and pacers SRF has under its full expense. SRF has no regular funding to support these horses. For raffle tickets call the SRF office at (609) 738-3255, or email us at SRFhorsesandkids@gmail.com.   From the Standardbred Retirement Foundation  

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of our improved website. Now easier to use both for potential summer program participants and donors, the address remains the same www.hhyf.org. Allison Conte, chairperson of HHYF Public Relations Committee, explained "HHYF is changing and evolving and as a group, the trustees recognized that our image needs to reflect that. The website redesign is one of the first steps in our work to make sure that we reflect what we stand for. It is meant to be accessible, easily navigated and show the very best that HHYF has to offer.  "The new website is the product of the enthusiasm and dedication of the HHYF board and staff," Conte added. "and we all hope that the community will share it with their friends, both in and out of the industry, to help us continue our mission of exposing youth to the passion of harness racing." The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976; its programs include interactive learning experiences with racehorses as well as offering scholarships and creating and distributing educational materials relating to harness racing. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. From the Harness Horse Youth Foundation    

Akron, NY --- The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced that Steve Pratt will receive their Lifetime Achievement Award during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 14). Pratt first got his grooms license in 1970 and from there has been involved in harness racing ever since. He has been training and racing horses in western New York since the late seventies when the star of his barn was an Open trotter named Willow Hill Boy who under the reinsmanship of the legendary Gaston Guindon, won 42 races in only five years against the best horses on the grounds at the time. Pratt moved on from racing overnights to concentrate on breaking and developing young horses. He became a presence on the New York county fair circuit but made the move to the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) in the mid-nineties. There he found early success with horses like Sal The Barber (1:58.2, $114,887) and Choyote's Miss (1:59.1, $121,785). But he really got on a successful roll in the NYSS starting in 2012. For the last seven years Pratt has been a trotting force in the state-bred series with a string of "Barn" named horses that have competed in the NYSS, the Excel series and also at the county fairs. The parade of his champions is led most prominently by Barn Doll (1:52.1, $874,083), Barn Bella (1:51.3, $742,350), Barn Girl (1:52.3, $734,668), Barn Babe (1:54.2, $350,463) and Barn Winner (1:56, $165,273). During those seven years Pratt-trained horses have earned over $2 million in only 227 starts, winning 97 races which gave him a phenomenal 42% win percentage. Pratt's Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) for that same period is a stellar .558 and all this was accomplished racing primarily in stake competition. Steve Pratt will receive his trophy in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle between races during the live card. By Tim Bojarski, president, Upstate New York USHWA

Chester, PA -- A mere three weeks away from mandatory retirement, Foiled Again ($2.20) withstood three strong challenges en route to a gritty 1:54.2 win -- the 108th of his career -- in Sunday's (Dec. 9) $10,000 Foiled Again Farewell Tour Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia.   The richest pacer of all time and usual driver Yannick Gingras were tested from the outset by Cabbie's Delight (George Napolitano Jr.), but held their ground through a :27.4 first-quarter duel. After rating a comfortable :57 half, the 14-year-old son of Dragon Again faced first-over pressure from Machtu N (Brett Miller) up the far side of the course. Machtu N worked to within half a length of the lead past three-quarters in 1:25.4 before dismissing that challenger, only for Cabbie's Delight to re-emerge up the open stretch.   Driven out to the winning post, Foiled Again refused to lose, parrying Cabbie's Delight's inside challenge by a quarter length for his tenth seasonal score. Hypothetical (Tony Morgan) made late inroads to take third.   "There's tears every time I get to sit behind him, and it gets harder every time," said an emotional Gingras after the win over the same racetrack Foiled Again made a name for himself in 2008 with ten wins, eight of them against open competition.   "There's no doubt that he's helped me to get to where I'm at."   Trainer Ron Burke expressed similar sentiments of the veteran, whose farewell tour will wrap up on Dec. 31 at The Meadows.   It's really energized us as a barn and made us enjoy everything," Burke said about the tour before reminiscing about his star pacer's legacy.   "Probably at seven, he was better than everyone out there. All of a sudden, there wasn't anyone better, and he went for two or three years where he was the best horse in the country." In his 2011 campaign, Foiled Again won six $100,000 events en route to amassing well over $7.6 million in career earnings.   The Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables own Foiled Again, and have have campaigned him since acquiring him in July of 2008.   Live racing resumes at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (Dec. 12); first post is slated for 12:25 p.m.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, December 8, 2018-Odds-on Weona Sizzler A (Jordan Stratton, $2.90) made a successful first trip to the harness racing adult table Saturday night (Dec. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Pocketed-from post position No. 5---to Gokudo Hanover (Dan Dube) through intervals of :27.1, 56 and 1:24, Weona Sizzler A found room passing the three-quarters when a first-up Soho Lennon A (Jim Marohn Jr.) backed away. Gokudo Hanover owned a length lead into the lane, but could not stall his intruder. Weona Sizzler A rolled right by, widening to win by that length in a life-best 1:52.1. Gokudo Hanover saved second, with Christen Me N (Matt Kakaley), Voracity (Tyler Buter) and Bettor Memories (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder. For Weona Sizzler A, a 5-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned (as Harmon Racing) by (trainer) Rob Harmon and Seth Rosenberg Racing, it was his eighth win in 18 seasonal starts (five wins and three seconds in eight North American tries). The exacta paid $25.40, the triple returned $131.50 and the superfecta paid $646. There is no Sunday matinee this time around, the final one wrapping the season Dec. 16th, with first post the ever-popular TBA. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - K Ryan Bluechip used an amazing final half-mile to win the Saturday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands - an $18,500 conditioned pace - for a second straight week. Driver Brett Miller was in no hurry early with the Virgil Morgan Jr. trainee, but the fans who bet him as the 2-1 favorite probably wish he'd been closer at the half. K Ryan Bluechip was last in the field of seven past the quarter- and half-mile markers, as the pace-setting Bell I No was being pressured on the front end, setting the stage for an off-the-pace winner. K Ryan Bluechip, a 6-year-old gelded son of Art Major-Fool That I Am, was activated by Miller with just over three-eighths to go, using a quick burst of speed to get into a third-over flow around the far turn and past three-quarters. Instead of opting to stay in the fast lane, KRB swung three-wide for the drive to the wire and that proved to be the right move, as K Ryan Bluechip sprinted past the field during his :26.3 final quarter, recording a three-quarter length win in 1:50.1. A determined Bell I No and Clouseau Hanover - who had plenty of late pace - finished in a dead heat for second. The winner, who is owned by Carl Howard and Brian Witt, returned $6.00 to his backers, and now has seven victories in 31 starts this year. Lifetime, he's won 30-of-97 and banked just over $378,000. PICK-5 TURNAROUND: After Friday night's 50-Cent Pick-5 paid $60.15 as favorites won every leg of the wager, things went much differently Saturday evening. In the third race on the program (Leg one of the Pick-5), Too Much Hanover and driver Vinny Ginsburg scored at odds of 29-1, paying more to win ($61.00) than the Pick-5 returned on Friday. After the next four winners in the sequence were sent off at 'useable' odds of 8-1, 3-5, 6-5 and 2-1, the Saturday Pick-5 came back a handsome $21,640.30. A LITTLE MORE: In addition to getting the Pick-5 off to a good start, Ginsburg also had a big hand in the Early Daily Double ($194.80), scoring with 14-1 chance Rock Star in the opener. ... Andy McCarthy made three winner's circle visits, raising his meet-leading dash-win total to 30. ... All-source handle totaled $1,943,975 for the 11-race program. ... Racing resumes Thursday at 7:15 p.m. ... Live action will be conducted on a Thursday-Saturday basis at the Big M during December, with one exception. There will be no live racing on Saturday, Dec. 15, with the New York Jets hosting the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is 4:30 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Batavia, NY --- Lucky McTrucky got back to his winning ways taking the $11,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec.8). The feature field got away in post position order leaving Cultural Paradise (Jim McNeight Jr.) on top calling the shots and with no pressure to the half, it was a soft fraction of :58 flat. However that would soon change when In Runaway Bay N (Truman Gale) came calling first-up on the outside where the race began to get interesting. In Runaway Bay N paced along with Cultural Paradise up the backstretch in a quick :28.3 third panel and while that was going on, Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) joined the party late but came with lots of pace. Halfway through the turn Monti tipped Lucky McTrucky three-deep and caught the leaders by the top of the stretch and then went right by in the lane to win by two-lengths in 1:55.4. It was the 55th lifetime win and 13th of the season for Lucky McTrucky ($10.60) who now has earned $93,405 in 2018 for owner Tessa Roland. JD Perrin trains the winner. The $9,900 Open II pace saw Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) close sharply after chasing an early speed battle between Linkjack Hanover (Bob Verney) and Littlebitofabrat (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull the upset in 1:56.2. Western Rockstar A ($24.00) captured his fifth win of the year for owner Super Mile LLC. Angelo Nappo is the trainer. Three drivers won 10 of the 12 races on Saturday evening. Drew Monti was the big dog copping a Grand Slam of wins. Then Shawn McDonough and Denny Bucceri were right behind, each having a triple on the card. Next week is the final week of racing at Batavia Downs and it starts on Friday night (Dec. 14) with post time set at 6 p.m. There is no racing on Wednesday (Dec. 12) next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

DAYTON, OH - Despite 24 degree temperatures and never seeing the pylons Granite captured the $18,500 Open Handicap Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night (Dec. 8) in 1:49.2. /The clocking was the fourth fastest in the five year history of harness racing's newest track, following only Donttellmeagain (1:47.4), State Treasurer (1:48.4) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (1:49.1)-all marks taken in editions of the Dayton Pacing Derby, a lucrative Grand Circuit event for older pacers in late September each season. Granite, driven by the meet's leading driver Jeremy Smith, left the gate with alacrity but had to settle for second-over position throughout the fray. Night Pro (Dale Decker) assumed his normal position on the front end through the first two fractions of :26.1 and 54.0 with Sadiq Hanover (Dan Noble) in the pocket and Winwood Mac (Chris Page), the winner of two of the last three weekly features, challenging the leaders on the rim. Granite, a son of Real Desire, was in tow in the outer flow until Winwood Mac cleared to the front off the final turn leaving the pair of 5-year-old stalwarts in a stretch-long duel to the wire. The winning Ken Rucker trainee surged ahead a couple strides from the finish to establish a new lifetime mark. Sadiq Hanover, claimed last week for $37,500, gave up little ground and raced gallantly to finish very close in the show position. The Panhellenic Stable owns Granite, who won for the 7th time this season, 19th time in his career, and boosted his lifetime bounty to $348,910. Next Saturday night (Dec. 15) Hollywood Dayton Raceway will present the fourth annual "Hoosiers vs. Buckeyes Drivers Challenge" with Hoosier Park's top five available reinsmen taking on Hollywood Dayton's current leading dash drivers in a six-race competition. The Hoosiers will be represented by Trace Tetrick, Ricky Macomber Jr., Lewayne Miller, Mike Oosting and Brandon Bates. The Buckeye squad will be comprised of Jeremy Smith, Dan Noble, Chris Page, Josh Sutton and Kayne Kauffman. From the Press Box at Dayton Raceway  

The sensational Artful Way (Artistic Fella) was at it again on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Greene trainee was last year's Horse of the Year and is a two-time defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa. He is poised to take home both honors again in 2018. Artful Way is a regular favorite in the local feature but on Saturday night was dismissed at odds of 5-1 in the $20,000 Open Pace. Frank Coppola Jr. marched Artful Way out early and wound up getting a pocket ride for the local superstar. Starznheaven (Jimmy Devaux) cut the mile and set a sensible pace throughout but proved no match for Artful Way once that one popped the pocket around the final turn. Getting up to prevail in 1:53.2, Artful Way recorded his seventh win of the year and his tenth in the local Open! Starznheaven finished second while invader Hug The Wind N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Artful Way paid an unheard of, for him, $13.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $71.50 and $324, respectively. Artful Way may well be on his way to becoming the first horse in track history to earn Pacer of the Year honors in three consecutive years and perhaps just the second horse ever to be named Horse of the Year in successive seasons at the Spa. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway