Day At The Track

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Kadabra harness racing gelding Noble Prize overcame the tough first-over journey for the second straight week, winning the $14,000 claiming handicap trotting feature on the Monday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. After a forward tuck early, Noble Prize started his uncovered move for driver George Napolitano Jr. on favored High Blue at the half, battling that one down the backstretch, through the turn, and into the stretch. Nearing the wire, the grinder proved the toughest horse, winning by 1¾ lengths, with second-over Keystone Sergeant just along to nip High Blue for second. The winner's time of 1:54.4 gave him a new mark. Noble Prize raced for trainer Lou Pena and owner Clinton Lugar, but he won't go for these connections next time he faces the gate, as he was taken for the $17,000 claiming price, a frequent occurrence at a track with sharp horsemen always looking to acquire fit horses. The featured trot was carded as the curtainraiser on the card; "George Nap" then completed the Early Double with the 10-year-old Cee Pee Panic (the Quebec-bred champion way back at age three) in 1:53.4. Napolitano had a total of five winners on the Monday card, and now has climbed to 299 victories during the season, putting him in fourth among North American drivers. Not bad for a driver who had a total of nine 2019 victories when Pocono opened its season on March 16; only Iron Man Aaron Merriman has won more races than Napolitano since that date.     PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2019 -- Savini grabbed the lead before the quarter and kept right on rolling, scoring his maiden harness racing victory in a stake-record 156.4 in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters was contested over four divisions, with Town Victor, Bargain Bob and Libero Hanover taking the other splits. Once Savini hit the point for Dave Palone, he encountered no serious challenges in his third career start, downing Will Power Fashion by 3 lengths, with Drop The Pilot third. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake mark set by Cufflink Hanover in 2015. "I just let him skip along where he was comfortable, and he was well within himself," Palone said. "We weren't shooting for any records, just a good experience. He's super-intelligent." Donna Marshall trains Savini, an Explosive Matter-Ivory Lindy gelding, for Robert McNerney. A growthy Winning Mister-P Town Girl gelding, Town Victor inherited the point following the leader's early break and made the most of it, cruising to his second straight victory for Wilbur Yoder in a career-best 1:58. Vulcan Hanover, who made that early miscue but recovered nicely, was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Shell Shock earned show. "He trained down in Florida, and when we got him up here, we just finished him off," said winning trainer Rich Gillock, who owns the homebred Town Victor with Barbara Richardson. "As the year progresses, with his size, we'll maybe try the bigger boys later on. For right now, we're content to do what we're doing. The Arden Downs is next for him." Bargain Bob was coming off a fourth-place finish in a Pennsylvania All-Stars split at Pocono, a performance that persuaded Mike Wilder to send the youngster to the top at the quarter. "He showed some pretty good lines, and he felt good," Wilder said. "A couple of horses I thought I might have to beat were behind me, so I thought I'd take my shot. He was professional and never missed a beat." The strategy worked beautifully, as Bargain Bob defeated the first-over Matter Of Focus by a length in 1:58.3 for his maiden-breaker. Scirocco Patrick completed the ticket. Homer Hochstetler trains the son of Donato Hanover-Frau Blucher for Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig and Allen Schwartz. Palone collected three wins on the 13-race program. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features a $188,016 PA Sires Stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters as well as a $3,137.76 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. In addition, post positions for Saturday's eliminations for the $400,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids will be announced at mid-day. First post Tuesday is 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Trenton, NJ — Jessica Smith attended last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg by herself for the first time. She was given a friendly reminder by husband Randy to purchase a trotter or pacing colt, since the Smiths already had several pacing fillies. So, of course, she brought home a pacing filly. “It was the first year my husband wasn’t with us picking out horses,” Jessica said. “I looked at all the babies myself. She really stuck out to me. When I first saw her, I was like, ‘Wow, oh my God.’ Just the look about her, she wasn’t too big, she wasn’t too small.” She was, however, a pacing filly named Sweet Style. “I kind of got a little bit of crap when I got her,” Smith said with a laugh. “My husband told me to come home with a trotter or a pacing colt. We already had a bunch of pacing fillies and I came home with a pacing filly sooo. . .” So, the $13,000 buy has turned out to be a pretty nice purchase if two races are any indication. On June 26, Smith’s first start as a trainer was Sweet Style’s first start behind the gate. It was an evening of sweet debuts as Mike Oosting drove the 2-year-old to a come-from-behind victory in 1:56 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Randy was not at the race but phoned in pre-race instructions to Oosting. “He had driven her in the qualifier, he kind of gave Mike a heads up on where she was at as far as experience wise,” Smith said. “She had one qualifier and we schooled her before. “With that he sent her off the gate, she got away real good out of the six hole. He got her in a hole, she paced along with the fillies that were leading, coming up the stretch he popped the hole. Trace Tetrick (driving Western Sierra) had a few lengths on her at the head of the stretch and she dug in and won by a neck. It was close, I didn’t even know at first that I had even won until it popped up on the screen. That was pretty exhilarating.” As it should have been, considering the circumstances surrounding the race, along with the fact that Smith absolutely loves Sweet Style, a Sweet Lou filly out of 2005 O’Brien Award winner Style. It got even better when the two made their second start together July 9, as Sweet Style won in 1:55.2. “She’s got some class in her pedigree,” Smith said. “I’m just a complete fan of Sweet Lous; I’d definitely buy another one. The work ethic, the attitude (of Sweet Style) is just amazing. She’s very tough on the track and she’s just a very, very nice filly.” And it didn’t take long for Randy to become a fan. “My husband and I have worked with her all winter,” Smith said. “We were taking things very slowly, trying to be very cautious so she doesn’t get injured or anything like that. Once we started training her down he was very happy for sure.” Just as Jessica is happy in her new career, which took root 10 years ago when she first met Randy. Prior to that, Standardbreds had always been an interest for Smith growing up in Maine. Her family owned several acres and Jessica grew up riding event horses in shows. While she enjoyed doing that, what really got her blood moving was when her mom took Smith to nearby Lewiston Raceway to watch harness racing and she fell in love with a horse. “I asked my mom about claimers, and she’s like ‘Yeah if you have the money, you put the money down and you claim the horse,’” Smith recalled. “I said ‘Well can you claim this one for me?’ I was probably 7 or 8 and I wanted a racehorse. I used to try to get her to claim that horse. It’s just one of those things that sticks with you.” Not surprisingly, her mom didn’t think claiming a horse for an 8-year-old was a good idea, and the dream drifted into hibernation. Jessica went to college and became a certified operating room nurse, and also continued to ride show horses. In 2009 she met Randy, a lifelong horseman who trained and drove Standardbreds. With horses as a common interest, the two started dating and Jessica’s urge to be part of the business resurfaced. She began helping Randy out and in 2016, the couple moved to Ohio in order to race year-round. Jessica got a per diem job at a hospital where she could select limited hours in order to help out more in the barn. Randy’s daughter Kristina — who also recently got her first training win — eventually left her dad to go out on her own. Jessica left nursing to begin working the stables full-time a year ago. It was basically a case of protecting her investments, as well as looking after her two children, ages 6 and 9. “When you own the horses, you don’t have a steady paycheck coming in and you’re more invested in trying to do well and making sure your horses are getting the right care,” Smith said. “You want to know that the overall barn management stuff is being taken care of.” Jessica got her trainer’s license last September and her driving license soon after. She finished third in her lone driving start so far, as her opportunities are limited due to managing the barn while Randy is away. The stable, under the moniker of Randy Smith Racing, is located at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio. It contains 13 racing horses, three broodmares, two babies and a yearling. And while being a trainer might seem light years away from being a nurse, Jessica feels there are some common aspects. “I think that a lot of it is time management for both of them,” she said. “You’re trying to get through your day, making sure your I’s are dotted, you’re T’s are crossed. There’s a lot of similarities in handling an operating room and managing a barn.” But surely there is more pressure when someone’s life is in your hands? “Yes and no,” Smith said. “When you’re training a horse, you have to make sure they’re trained properly. You’re really putting that driver’s life in your hands and the other drivers on the track. You’ve got to make sure the horse is safe, that you’re rigged right. You need to pay attention to what you’re doing and know your horse. “The biggest thing is knowing your horses, where to put them, where to classify them. My husband and I talk about all the horses, get the team together and plan where is the best fit for this horse this week; and honestly where the best place we can make money. We don’t have owners, it’s on us. We don’t have an income coming in other than what we’re making.” Which is one of the big differences between nursing and training. “It’s definitely stressful when you don’t have a guaranteed paycheck coming in,” Smith said. “That can be completely stressful. As a nurse I know the hours I put in I’m getting paid for.” The bright side, of course, is that Jessica loves her life in the barn. “Most definitely,” she said.   by Rich Fisher USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Boca Raton, FL — New York’s leading 3-year-old trotting filly of 2019, Quincy Blue Chip 3,1:53.2f, sold for $335,000 on Monday afternoon (July 15) at Richard Banca of New York will now campaign the daughter of Chapter Seven, after spirited bidding near the close of the auction. Consigned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc., Quincy Blue Chip record her fifth victory of the year on Sunday afternoon (July 14), winning a NYSS division at Tioga Downs. Also on Monday, Bo Mach p,4,1:51.2f, sold to Dylan Davis of Delaware for $60,000. William Hartt of Maine was the consignor. Since August of 2001, has assisted horsemen worldwide in buying and selling racehorses and broodmares, as well as stallion breedings and shares.   by

On Friday night (July 12), the last North American foal by the immortal Somebeachsomewhere was born at Hanover Shoe Farms. The bay filly with no white markings is the first foal out of the Shadow Play mare Tessa Seelster p,4,1:50 ($521,648) and was conceived via frozen semen after her father’s death. Both mare and foal are doing well. The filly will appropriately be named The Legacy Hanover.   by Bridgette Jablonsky VMD Executive Vice President Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc.

Monticello, NY - Meghan Lynn and Sulky Queen both took home their respective harness racing divisions of Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway on Monday July 15. Meghan Lynn was content to sit in fourth for the entire mile, as DD Delicious cut the mile, 27.1,57,1:26.1 just before the ¾ pole Meghan Lynn moved off the rail to swoop the field in a flash, in the paddock turn she made a quick bobble but was able to stay on gait to win by a length in 1:54.3 over DD Delicious and Chase You. Meghan Lynn is by American Ideal - Ladyotra, she is trained by Jenn Bongiorno and was driven to victory by Joe Bongiorno for owner Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY. It was her first Sire Stakes win of the season and earned a new lifetime mark in the process. Meghan Lynn                              -- Geri Schwarz photo In the second heat of Sire Stakes, racing for a purse of $56,500, Brooklyn Lilacs left strong from post 5 in the 5-horse race and tripped the timers in 27.4,55.0, 1:24.3. The eventual race winner got away last and was the first to move down the back side and grinded out a 4 length win over JK American Beauty and So Awesome. Sulky Queen, a bay filly Rock N Roll Heaven - Native Bride extended her win streak to 4, she had won 3 in a row in Excelsior B company. The win gave Matt Kakaley a driving double on the afternoon card. In Excelsior A action, Fool Me Again with Matt Kakaley scored in 1:54.2, Topville Angelina (Jason Bartlett) won in 1:55, the lone Excelsior B race went to Roll With Mimi in 1:57.4.   By: Shawn Wiles

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2019 — Adios Week, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino’s annual celebration of world-class harness racing, giveaways, contests, food-and-beverage delights and family-oriented activities, kicks off Saturday, July 20, with eliminations for the $400,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, first post 1:05 PM. The Adios final is set for Saturday, July 27, with the blockbuster card featuring six Grand Circuit stakes underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM. It’s the 53rd edition of the track’s signature event, a prestigious test for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers won last year by Dorsoduro Hanover. Over Adios Week’s eight action-packed days, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will offer a dazzling variety of events for fans of all ages. The schedule includes: Saturday, July 20. In addition to Adios elims, the card features a $165,000 (est) Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 (est) Pennsylvania Stallion Series event, both for freshman filly pacers. The first 100 fans to visit the MSOA table in the Racebook receive free T-shirts. Monday, July 22. Harness Racing Bingo is the order of the day. mychoice cardholders may compete for a $25 voucher. Live racing gets underway at 1:05 PM. Tuesday, July 23. The live card begins at 1:05 PM. Each Meadows Tuesday race program includes a “Trifecta Challenge” game card, with $50 vouchers as the top prizes. Wednesday, July 24. In addition to live racing beginning at 1:05 PM, mychoice members may try their luck in a free handicapping contest on Meadows races. The winner gets $25 in mycash. Friday, July 26. Live racing begins at the special time of 5:30 PM and features a pair of Arden Downs Grand Circuit stakes for 2-year-olds, with combined purses expected to exceed $100,000. Food trucks will patrol the apron while disc jockey A.J. Fresh spins platters from 6 PM – 8 PM and the MSOA stages a “Family Fun Night.” Activities include a bounce house, a balloon artist, a face painter, a stilt walker, paddock tours and starting gate rides. Saturday, July 27. The Adios Day card is wall-to-wall with Grand Circuit action headlined by the Adios final and the $121,000 (est) Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for sophomore filly pacers. The other four Grand Circuit stakes will offer combined purses projected to top $200,000. In addition, the program will include a $50,000 Invitational Pace and three guaranteed pools: $20,000 for the Adios Pick 4 (races 12-15), $10,000 for the Adios Pick 5 (races 11-15), $7,500 for the Early Pick 5 (races 2-6). North of Mason-Dixon (NOMaD) will perform on the apron from 6 PM – 8 PM while the Miller Lite Brewhouse and the BBQ Tent will be open throughout the races. The MSOA will sponsor a T-shirt toss, and an Apple IPad will be raffled courtesy the Standardbred Breeders Association of PA. The Adios goes as race 15 on the 16-race program. Adios Box Closes Tuesday, July 16 Washington, PA. A reminder to all horsemen the box closes for the Adios Stakes on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 9 AM. Elimination races if needed will be conducted on Saturday, July 20, with a first post of 1:05. The Adios Final will be Saturday, July 27, with a special 11:25 AM first race post time. Adios Day will also feature the $50,000 Foiled Again Invitational Pace, The Adioo Volo for 3 year old pacing fillies, as well as the Arden Downs Stakes for 3 year old trotters and 2 year old pacers. All inquiries regarding any of the races should be made to the Meadows Race Office at 724-225-9897. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

On Sunday evening (July 14) Running Aces hosted elimination races for the biggest Harness Racing event of the summer in Minnesota - The Dan Patch FFA Pace. Fourteen contenders lined up in two fields of seven to battle it out and decide the finalists for next week's $50,000 signature event.  Defending Dan Patch FFA champion Nine Ways (Dean Magee) was a headliner in the second $15,000 elimination grouping on the card, along with last year's runner-up and 2017 champion Firedrake (Nick Roland). They were the two fastest away from the gate, with Nine Ways sprinting to the lead and Firedrake securing the pocket through the opening quarter in :26.4.  SF Donttellonme (Rick Magee) paced away in third and the rest of the field was in a line-up as Nine Ways maintained a solid tempo (:55.0 and 1:22.4). Bettor's Promise launched a first-over bid near the half, and applied pressure to the leader down the backstretch and around the far turn, with Ideal Ace (Steven White) and To The Limit (Steve Wiseman) in the outer flow - but nobody was able to get past Nine Ways, who paced home strong through the lane with a :27.4 final panel and held off Firedrake who emerged from the pocket with pace. Nine Ways dug in for a 1¼ length tally to stop the timer in 1:50.3 and register the fastest mile in the history of Running Aces. SF Donttellonme held third over Bettor's Promise, while To The Limit won a big battle for the final qualifying spot.  Nine Ways ($2.40) is a 5 year old gelded son of Delmarvelous out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Nine of Hearts. The victory tonight completed 5 wins in a row for Nine Ways for owner Antonia Storer and trainer Tim Maier, and pushed his career numbers to 23 wins and $244,906.  The first $15,000 elimination heat carried two of the most anticipated starters from the overall nomination field - Fox Valley Gemini (Steve Wiseman) the Hawthorne shipper who was looking to extend a six race win streak, and Rockin Speed (Travis Seekman) who shipped in from Indiana where he just posted a 1:49.1 career mark.  Local speedster Urgointohearmeroar (Lemoyne Svendsen) was also in the first grouping, along with the lone mare in the 2019 Dan Patch field Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee).  Rockin Speed blasted from the gate from post two to take a firm early command, forcing Fox Valley Gemini to settle for the pocket from the rail, while Urgointohearmeroar floated away in third as they completed the fast :26.3 opening stanza. Urgointohearmeroar got rolling on the outside near the half, and was first over with Juslikeaqueen in tow and Major Legacy (Nick Roland) third-over. Urgointohearmeroar continued to pressure Rockin Speed through the middle panels of :55.3 and 1:23.1 while keeping Fox Valley Gemini locked tight in the pocket.  A furious stretch battle ensued as they turned for home, with Urgointohearmeroar getting the upper hand late for a ¾-length score over Rockin Speed in a 1:51 mile. Top Notch (Rick Magee) rallied from the back of the pack to secure third at 75-1, while Annihilator (Don Harmon) also closed well to pick up fourth at 72-1 and Fox Valley Gemini completed the top five.  Urgointohearmeroar completed a five race win streak with his elimination victory, adding to his impressive total of 13 wins in 15 starts this season, for earnings of $45,765. The impressive 4 year old Mystery Chase gelding is owned and trained by Mark Anderson.  Urgointohearmeroar and driver Lemoyne Svendsen secured win number thirteen this season in his Dan Patch FFA elimination. The $15,000 Open II Handicap Pace went to Holdingallthecards ($4.80, Dean Magee) in 1:51.4 for his fourth win in sixteen starts this year, and the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot went to My Uncle Cuz ($20.60, Don Harmon) for his second win in nine season starts, and a seasonal best clocking of 1:55.4.  Heavy rains moved in to the area at Running Aces after race ten, with race eleven going to post under sloppy conditions. After a delay, and further bands of heavy rain, race twelve was cancelled due to safety concerns.  Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, July 16 with a big twelve race program, that offers two carryovers - the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot carryover is $5,310.11 and the 50 cent Hi-5 carryover is $1,655.11. Post time on Tuesday is 7:00 pm (CDT). By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Harness racing fans at Ocean Downs saw two Maryland Sire Stakes records fall on Sunday July 14. The $70,000 summer final for trotting fillies went to post as race eight on a sweltering night at the ocean. Art Stafford Jr. sent HS Judy Jetson (Great George Two-Broadway Fooling) gate to wire expanding their lead at every quarter to lower the stakes and track record to 1:57.3 for three year old trotting fillies. Current News closed for second. Joe Carroll trains for owner-breeder Cary Grady. The rivalry between Owzitgoin and Trump That Rusty continued in the $70,000 Maryland Sire Stakes final for sophomore pacing colts and geldings. Reinsman Eddie Davis Jr. pulled Trump That Rusty (Rustys For Real-Alberts Drifter N) before the quarter to challenge the pace setting Owzitgoin (Rustys For Real) finally taking command at the ¾ pole, stretching his lead to almost four lengths in the stakes record mile of 1:54.1. Owzitgoin maintained the place position. Trainer Dylan Davis co-owns the winner with Jeffrey Billings, Warren Racing is the breeder. The sophomore summer finals continue on Wed. July 17th with the pacing fillies and trotting colts and geldings. By Cheri Stambaugh, Berlin, MD

WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer Ron Burke, who won three of four $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars contests for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, came back to add two more when four harness racing divisions of All-Star freshman male pacers went postward Sunday. Tying for Sunday's fastest All-Star performer was the Somebeachsomewhere - Michelle's Jackpot colt Mac's Big Boy, who was the first horse to show off the gate, but tucked and fell back as far as fifth down the back, got room deep in the Pocono Pike and squeezed through under Matt Kakaley's guidance to win for the first time in a purse race in 1:53. Lyons Music, who was to the winner's right in the Pike, ducking inside the pacesetter, was outdashed by ¾ of a length to the wire, with closer Tell Them Lou another neck back in third. Mac's Big Boy, who had won a Gaitway qualifier in 1:55.3, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Wingfield Five LLC. Also recording a 1:53 victory was the Captaintreacherous - Dream Outloud colt Catch The Fire, who made two speed moves to control the pace for driver Mike Wilder, then sprinted home in 27 for a two length victory over Patriot Nation. A winner of two qualifiers and his purse debut before finishing second in a PA Sire stake in his last start, Catch The Fire posted his fastest time ever for trainer John Ackley and the CT Stables LLC. There wasn't much ability difference showing among the four All-Star winners, as the other two stepped home first in 1:53.1. The other Burke Brigade winner was Cattlewash, who sat in the pocket behind Team Best, who like the winner had had two qualifying wins and then a fast victory in his purse bows This time it was the Somebeachsomewhere - Road Bet colt Cattlewash who had the most kick late, gaining into a :27 last quarter to put away his game foe by a half length. Cattlewash, who had won the fastest Sire Stakes opener in 1:52.1 and who was the first Burke favorite in his quintet of weekend winners, is owned by W J Donovan. The other 1:53.1 winner was the Captaintreacherous - Lets Groove Tonite colt Captain Groovy, who ironically won his purse debut in a Stallion Series race with a time of 1:52, faster than any Sire stakes division. Here Captain Groovy took control of the situation early and really was not threatened in winning by two lengths over Caliber for driver Mark MacDonald and trainer Ray Schnittker, the latter co-owner with Ted Gewertz, Howard Taylor, and Mary Kinsey Arnold. The $21,500 fast-class trot saw the Credit Winner gelding Such An Angel take a new mark of 1:51.3, which also equaled the fastest local trotting effort of the year as well as the divisional season's record, posted twice by Rich And Miserable. Such An Angel didn't look back in this contest, stepping home in 27.3 to leave behind a talented field while raising his earnings to $327,568 for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Hunter Oakes, and owner Sam Caruso Jr.   PHHA / Pocono

STICKNEY, IL--While the older harness racing horses were on the track at Hawthorne for the leg two Night of Champions events last weekend, the babies were featured this week. On Friday night, two-year-old male pacers were the focus in a pair of divisions of the Incredible Finale. Race three was the first division as a field of six was led by RJ Wulfy as he looked for his fourth straight win to open his career. At the start, it was Ryan Anderson guiding RJ Wulfy to the lead as he passed the quarter in :28.1. On the backside, Casey Leonard wasted no time and pulled second choice Fox Valley Ren from fourth and moved to the front, covering a half in :56.3. Leading the field through the turn after three quarters in 1:27, Fox Valley Ren opened up a two length margin into the stretch. Mid-stretch, RJ Wulfy made one more move to challenge but couldn't get home in time. Fox Valley Ren covered the mile in 1:55.3. RJ Wulfy held second while Ryans Ambassador finished third. Fox Valley Ren is owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables, Inc. and trained by Nelson Willis. Race four was the second division of the Incredible Finale as a field of six was led by RG's Tracer with Travis Seekman driving. Making the early lead was the favorite as he passed the half in :29.0. On the backside, RG'S Tracer maintained his lead while chased by Canadian Mountie through the half in :58.1. After three quarters in 1:26.4, RG'S Tracer opened up a clear advantage in the stretch, winning by daylight in 1:55.2. Hello Rooster closed to finish second while Chick Magnet was third. RG's Tracer is owned by Robert Grismore and Charles Knipp. Two-year-old filly pacers were featured on Saturday night in a pair of divisions of the Incredible Tillie. Race three was the first division as favoritism moved between Fox Valley Vixen, Sleazy Gal, and Fox Valley Exploit. Making the top was Fox Valley Vixen as she passed the opening quarter in :29.2. On the backside, Sleazy Gal made her surge to the front, as she was the leader after a half in :58.3. Into the turn, Kyle Husted moved Fox Valley Exploit to the front, covering three quarters in 1:27.4. In the lane, Fox Valley Exploit held her lead as Sleazy Gal tried hard to catch her but wasn't able to do so. Fox Valley Exploit won in 1:56.0. Sleazy Gal finished second while longshot Castielle was third. Fox Valley Exploit is owned by David Brigham and Kyle Husted and trained by Kyle Husted. Race seven was the second division of the Incredible Tillie as Double Parked and Travis Seekman looked for her fourth win in a row to open her career. Leaving for the top was the favorite as she passed the quarter in :29.2. Tracked by June Dale Gram on the backside through the half in :59.1, the duo opened up some ground on the rest of the field. In the turn, Double Parked maintained her advantage, passing three quarters in 1:27.2. In the stretch, Ridge Warren guided June Dale Gram out from behind the favorite and rallied to get up in the shadow of the wire for the upset in 1:55.2. Double Parked held second while Ashlees Fine Girl was third. June Dale Gram is owned by Carol Graham and trained by JD Lewis. Four trots took place for the babies on Sunday evening with a pair of divisions of the Fox Valley Flan for fillies and the Kadabra for the boys. Race two was the first division of the Fox Valley Flan as Lous Abigail was the even money favorite. Leaving for the lead was Celone Hall as Brandon Bates guided her through the quarter in :30.0. On the backside, Fox Valley Extacy brushed to the front but the lead was brief as Celone Hall regained the lead through the half in 1:00.2. Tracked through the turn by Lous Abigail, Celone Hall covered three quarters in 1:30.4 as she headed into the lane. After one last try by Lous Abigail, Celone Hall held her off, winning in 2:00.0. Lous Abigail was second while Lous Flashy Dancer finished third. Driver Gerry Brown lodged an objection against Lous Abigail but no change was made. Celone Hall is owned in partnership by Darin Tournear, Georgeann Tournear, and trainer Mike Brink. Race three was the second division of the Fox Valley Flan as Bee See was a heavy favorite with Kyle Husted Driving. Getting away quickly was Lauren Hall as she cruised through an easy quarter in :32.1. On the backside, Kyle Husted recognized the slow pace and moved Bee See to the top. After passing the half in 1:02.0 and three quarters in 1:32.1, Bee See opened up her lead into the stretch. Chased by Lauren Hall through the lane, Bee See held sway, winning in 2:00.4. Lauren Hall was second while Olympic Hopeful finished third. Bee See is owned in partnership by Baldes, Paloma, Paloma, and trainer Steve Searle. Race five was the first division of leg two of the Kadabra as Fox Valley Kobe was the 3-5 favorite with Kyle Wilfong driving. At the start, the favorite settled in as Twin Cedars Rocket was sent to the front through a quarter in :30.4. On the backstretch, Wilfong wasted little time heading to the lead as Fox Valley Kobe took over through the half in 1:00.4. Opening up a lead in the turn, Fox Valley Kobe covered three quarters in 1:31.0. In the lane, Fox Valley Kobe extended her lead, winning easily while stopping the timer in 2:00.3. Deememorymaker finished second while Fox Valley Briton was third. Fox Valley Kobe is owned by Phil Langley, Mike Brown, and trainer Jim Eaton. Race six was the second division of the Kadabra with a field of nine led by Fox Valley Quest and driver Casey Leonard. Leaving were numerous horses as a trio passed the quarter in :29.1 led by U S Patriot. On the backside, Fitchey for Fun moved to the top, covering a half in :59.3. On the turn, Fitchey for Fun opened up briefly but Desert Sheik made a strong brush to take over through three quarters in 1:30.1. in the lane, Mike Brink got after Desert Sheik as his head start was good enough to hold off the late closing Fox Valley Quest. On Higher Ground finished third. Desert Sheik stopped the clock in 1:58.3. Desert Sheik is owned by Mark Brown, Charles Biggs, and trainer Mike Brink. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Friday, May 3. The summer harness meet opened on Friday, May 3 and races through September 22. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through December 28. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.   Jim Miller

WOODSTOCK, VA -The 2019 license application and race day request submitted by the Shenandoah County Agricultural Foundation for a fall harness racing season at Shenandoah Downs was approved by the Virginia Racing Commission this past week at its regular meeting. Operations will be conducted by the Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) and Virginia Harness Horse Association (VHHA).   A five week pari-mutuel season will begin at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock September 13th and continue every Friday at 3:30 PM and Saturday at 2 PM until October 13th. A pair of non-betting racing events will also take place on Sunday October 6th and 13th. Virginia Breeder's prep races for two and three-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes will be first up, followed by the $300,000 (est.) Breeder's Championships on closing day.   Stall/racing applications for the fourth annual Shenandoah Downs season are on line at and at Applications are due August 2nd. A $100 stipend will again be paid to owners of horses who finish out of the money --- 6th, 7th or 8th. The barn area and track will open on Wednesday September 11th. The meet will be preceded by four days of racing during the 102nd Shenandoah County Fair from August 28th-31st. More details are available thru horsemen's representative Debbie Warnick at 443-463-0917.   Opening weekend will feature a promotional appearance by legendary horse Foiled Again, who was inducted into Harness Racing's Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York on July 3rd. He is the richest standardbred of all time and last fall, earned victory number 104 at Shenandoah Downs. The now 15-year-old pacer retired January 1st with 109 wins. He will take a lap over the Woodstock oval Saturday September 14th then host a "meet and greet" with fans the rest of the afternoon. The first 600 attendees that day will receive a free commemorative Foiled Again t-shirt.   Another meet highlight is an "Own a Horse For a Day" promotion, sponsored by the VHHA. On three separate occasions --- September 14th, 21st and October 5th, eight fans will be selected via random drawings to own a horse in a $4,000 race the following weekend. They will get to visit their respective horse, trainer and driver in the stable area for photo opportunities and best of all, keep the purse earnings their horses win. One person is guaranteed to take home the winner's share of $2,000 on each occasion.   Other key promotions include Weiner Dog races on September 28th, an "Autumnfest" BBQ/Craft Beer Festival on October 5th, and the "Pink Power" Breast Cancer awareness event on October 12th which raises funds for the local American Cancer Society chapter. Every Friday, the 3:30 PM "happy hour" race card will feature one dollar draft beer and hot dogs along with karaoke in the party tent.   Shenandoah Downs is located at Exit 283 off I-81, halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg. Both parking and admission are free and the races are family friendly. More details are at     Darrell Wood  

Quncy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett) each won their harness racing division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for sophomore trotting fillies at Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 14). The two divisions each raced for a purse of $57.600. In the first division Amal Hall (Andy Miller) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :28.0. Quincy Blue Chip ($4.40) then took over the lead with a lap to go. She was first to the half in :57.0. Winndevie (Jason Bartlett) went first-over from third on the back stretch. The two rivals raced side by side going around the last turn after Quincy Blue Chip hit the three-quarters first in 1:24.4. Quincy Blue Chip, who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc, and trained by Gareth Dowse, had a slight lead as they reached the stretch. Winndevie gave everything she had but Quincy Blue Chip was too strong and won in a lifetime best of 1:53.2. Winndevie settled for second with Amal Hall getting third place. Quincy Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. She won for the fifth time this season. She now has nine career victories. In the second division, With Out A Doubt (Marcus Miller) jumped out to the lead and went to the first quarter in :28.3. Stella Jane ($6.00) followed in the pocket. With Out A Doubt hit the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.2. Gobi Princess (Andy Miller) was the first to challenge just before hitting the three-quarter mark. With Out A Doubt shook her off and continued to lead as they reached the stretch. Stella Jane, who is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by John Butenschoen, popped out of the pocket in the stretch and went right on by to win in 1:55.3. With Out A Doubt held on for second. Gobi Princess finished third. Stella Jane is a 3-year-old filly by Crazed. It was her first win in 2019. She now has four career victories. Jason Bartlett had four wins on the afternoon. He got his other victories with Divine World ($25.60), Amanda Blue Chip ($5.30), and Hanna Dreamgirl ($4.20). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 19) with a 13 race card featuring two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Post time is at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Chester, PA -- There were none better than None Bettor A ($2.20), who posted a gritty 1:49.4 harness racing victory -- his ninth straight -- in Sunday afternoon's (July 14) $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series pacing event at Harrah's Philadelphia. The 6-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding and driver Joe Bongiorno had no trouble achieving the lead in the field of five, clearing inside rival The Wall (George Napolitano Jr.) in a comfortable :27 first quarter before rating a :55.2 half. Up the backstretch, Keep On Rocking A (Pat Berry) mounted a first-over challenge to force None Bettor A to three-quarters in 1:22.3, but the streaking gelding maintained a length lead before shrugging off that foe on the final turn. After dismissing Keep On Rocking A, None Bettor A sprinted off at the eighth pole to leave The Wall in his wake, but Our Max Phactor N (Andy McCarthy) spun three-wide off stalled cover and closed boldly. Undeterred, None Bettor A held sway by a length in 1:49.4 to record his 25th career win. Our Max Phactor N was second, while Mister Ohanzee A (Tim Tetrick) improved belatedly from astern to take third. Jenn Bongiorno trains None Bettor A for Joe P Racing LLC and Oldford Racing LLC. In the sub-feature $18,000 top-level conditioned pace, Tiger Thompson N ($3.00) got back in the win column with a 1:49.4 score over Slick Tony. Dexter Dunn brushed the Josh Parker trainee out from third to clear Sunfire Blue Chip with a lap to go, and the pair parried Slick Tony's rally from third-over by a length. Jackpot Hi-5 carryover climbs past $40k For the first time in its tenure at Harrah's Philadelphia, the Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has surpassed the $40,000 plateau, as the 5-4-1-9-3 combination keyed by Billy Badger N ($4.20, Dunn) in the fifth race yielded a $290.90 dividend to multiple players and a carryover of $40,870.89 for Wednesday afternoon (July 17). The Jackpot Hi-5 is a 20-cent wager that requires players to select the first five finishers in each day's fifth race, with the carryover paid out in the event of one unique winning ticket. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 14-race program on Wednesday; post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

The Saturday evening (July 13) Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured two divisions of the Minnesota-Sired three year old pacers going for a total purse of $23,000. The $13,800 "A" division saw a talented field of six, with three fillies and three geldings going into battle, headlined by favorites SB Bodacious (Rick Magee), Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo), and Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee). As the gate sped away from the field, Windmeupnwatchmego was sent right to the lead from her outside six post, and quickly established firm command of affairs. The talented daughter of Wind Me Up posted a quick opener of 27.4, before stealing a 30 second breather in the second panel. Dean Magee got her fired back up for the final half and peeled off a 28.1 third panel to maintain a firm hold on things, and she paced home in an eye-catching 27.3 to post a career best mile of 1:53.3 while holding off a late challenge from race favorite SB Bodacious, with Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) home in third. Windmeupnwatchmego ($7.60) now has four wins in five outings this year, and ten career victories in just thirteen starts, with earnings of $77,550 for owner Richard Davelaar. The winning trainer is Gordon Graham. The $9,200 "B" split went to Trinitysfancyfilly (Brain Detgen) as she picked up her fourth win of the season in ten starts. After getting away third in the early stages, Trinitysfancyfilly ($4.80) swept to the lead near the 3/8 pole, and was never in doubt from there, She held off a host of late chargers at the wire to post a half-length score in 1:56.2 for a new career mark. Tiyaga (Steve Wiseman) picked up second, with Sweet Vivian (Mooney Svendsen) checking in third. The winner is owned by Sarah Hallberg, and also owned and trained by Brian Detgen. Saturday night was also Roger Huston night at Running Aces, an event that was a huge success. The Hall of Fame Announcer and Broadcaster met fans, signed autographs and books, toured the facility and called some Minnesota Harness action. A large and enthusiastic Saturday night crowd was treated to Huston's signature energetic and colorful calls, as he made the Running Aces stop his 145th career racetrack to announce at, and twentieth state in which to do so. Roger has now called 179,600 races over a tremendous 60 year career and is still going strong. He is now headed back home to gear up for the 2019 Adios pace at his home track (The Meadows) before heading to Ireland in August to call races at the Vincent Delaney Memorial at Portmarnock Raceway near Dublin. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (July 14) with first post at 6:00 pm (CDT) and features two $15,000 elimination races for the $50,000 Dan Patch Free For All. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack  

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs Gaming and Racetrack seeks a parade marshal/outrider for the 2019 live harness racing meet which begins on Wednesday (July 24) and ends on Saturday (Dec. 14). Applicants must have harness racing experience. Batavia Downs pays competitive wages and provides a professional work environment. Applications can be found by clicking this link. Interested parties can also contact Director/GM of Live Racing Todd Haight at 585.343.3750, ext. 322.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs