Day At The Track

The first of the $128,000 opening-heat eliminations for the Little Brown Jug took to the track for Race 15, and after some wild festivities in the opening turn, the Bill MacKenzie-trained and Brian Sears-driven Southwind Ozzi ($) paced to a wrapped-up, first-over win in 1:50.3. The majority of the field was scattered in the first turn when the Yannick Gingras-driven De Los Cielos Deo went on wild break. After the brief chaos, the Tim Tetrick-driven Shake The House was first down to the quarter pole (:27.1) and the half-mile indicator (:55). Sears, who had been sitting in third with Southwind Ozzi, called on his charge in the homestretch, as the duo tipped out for a first-over advance on Shake The House. Southwind Ozzi ranged up alongside Shake That House past the 1:22.2 three-quarters marker and along the final turn. Sears asked Southwind Ozzi to go at the head of the lane and the Somebeachsomewhere colt responded in full. He surged past Southwind Ozzi and was well within himself as he hit the wire in 1:50.3, which equalled the national season’s mark for the division over a half-mile track. The Simon Allard-driven Air Force Hanover, who had raced second-over through the back half of the mile, finished second, while the David Miller-driven Stag Party finished third. The fourth-place finisher, Shake That House, also advanced to the Jug final. When asked to comment on the mile, Sears started by giving some praise to Gingras, who had a lot on his plate with an uncooperative De Los Cielos Deo. "Yannick's horse went off stride and I thought he did a good job keeping him upright and not taking up too much track,” said Sears, who added, “we were all able to get around him pretty easily.” Given everything that had occurred in the first turn, Sears was happy with the outcome at that point. “I was confident with the three-hole spot and coming first up,” said Sears. “The horse [didn’t] mind it and I was confident from that position on." Southwind Ozzi fired for Sears when he asked. Sears explained that he expected nothing less. "He's been there for us all year and he showed up again today, so we're really happy with the effort he put out today." MacKenzie echoed Sears’ sentiments in the winner’s circle and stated that he wasn’t worried about having to race two heats with Southwind Ozzi. “He comes out of every race extremely well...I'm not worried a little bit." Southwind Ozzi is owned by Vincent Ali Jr. (Old Bridge, NJ) and Alma Iafelice (Cranbury, NJ). From the Little Brown Jug

Besides the Little Brown Jug races for three-year-old harness racing pacers, the undercard offered a variety of stakes action. The stakes will include divisions of the Standardbred for two-year-olds, multiple splits of the Ohio Breeders Championships, the Old Oaken Bucket for three-year-old trotting colts, and the $100,000 final of the Miss Versatility for female trotters. PLUNGE BLUE CHIP PREVAILS IN MISS VERSATILITY Favoured Plunge Blue Chip made every call a winning one in capturing the $100,000 final of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Leaving from post three in the field of seven, trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt floated Plunge Blue Chip beside Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) before clearing to the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter. Plunge Blue Chip backed down the tempo and stole a 29-second quarter to reach the half in :56.2 before facing the stout challenge of Custom Cantab (Aaron Merriman). The intensity picked up to start the second lap as Plunge Blue Chip and Custom Cantab raced almost as a tandem down the backstretch. With a 1:23.4 third station, those two trotting titans would not give in until the final turn when Custom Cantab lost a few strides on the leader. Plunge Blue Chip looked to have put the first-over challenger away but then faced a threat to her inside with Emoticon Hanover. Dube tried to angle Emoticon Hanover up the inside but two things prevented a late surge to the wire: a lack of room, and the will of Plunge Blue Chip, who hit the wire a neck the best in 1:52.1. Custom Cantab came back on in the stretch and was just nosed out by Emoticon Hanover to finish third. "She was great today, it was a big mile, :52 here on the half-mile track," said Svanstedt. "Her last three races, she feels good and I hope she can still race good this year." Svanstedt, who wasn't worried when Custom Cantab came to challenge, said that Plunge Blue Chip's next start would come at The Red Mile in Lexington. Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass - Dunk The Donato) is owned Ake Svanstedt Inc. of Wrightstown, N.J., Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. of Wallkill, N.Y. and Tomas Andersson of Nossebro, Sweden. The win was just the second of the year for the world champion trotter but her 19th lifetime, and it lifted her purse earnings to $1,175,784. WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT RETURNS! After having not participated in a pari-mutuel race in three years, 2015 Little Brown Jug winner Wiggle It Jiggle It returned to the scene of what was arguably his greatest triumph. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who thrilled the North America harness racing industry for 51 starts, 38 of which resulted in wins, was front and centre on Thursday, September 19, Little Brown Jug Day 2019 at Ohio’s Delaware County Fair. It had been announced earlier in the week that Wiggle It Jiggleit would be racing in an overnight race (Race 12) on Jug Day – a tilt for colts and geldings that were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019. Wiggle It Jiggleit had been prepping for a return to the races with qualifying efforts in recent weeks (he had participated in four qualifying races since August 20). The $4-million-earning son of Mr Wiggles lined up in Post 3 for his conditioned race and was ready to get it on early. The bay left well from the gate and was second into the first turn, as he chased Night Pro into the backstretch. Teague called on Wiggle It Jiggleit early in the backstretch and cleared to the lead in the vicinity of the :27.4 quarter pole. He raced on the engine through to the :56.4 half, at which point the Brian Sears-driven Celestial Arden N was calling first-up from the backfield. Wiggle It Jiggleit went on to race on the point through the 1:24.2 three quarters, with Sears and Celestial Arden N on his outside and looming large as the homestretch neared. Celestial Arden N still had a lot of pace in reserve as Wiggle It Jiggleit was starting to feel the effects of his return trip. Celestial Arden N went on to score in 1:51.2 for Sears and trainer Ned Hodkinson and returned an $8.20 win mutuel. Although defeated in the lane, Wiggle It Jiggleit fought all the way home and didn’t embarrass himself in any way. He held off the late bid of Born To Be Bad and was second under the wire. The performance proved to be a mark-lowering mile for Celestial Arden N, a seven-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding that recorded his 16th career win in the process. Hodkinson, of Blacklick, Ohio, is also the owner of Celestial Arden N. OSTERC OUTLASTS FOES IN THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET After having inherited the lead in the opening quarter of the Old Oaken Bucket (Race 8), the Per Engblom-trained and Yannick Gingras-driven Osterc ($3.60) refused to give up the point, as he went on to post a narrow victory in 1:54.4 in the $95,425 clash for three-year-old male trotters. Osterc, a son of Cantab Hall, was in the two-hole early, but he was given the lead when Union Forces made a break while on the point. After inheriting the top spot, Osterc went on to cut the fractions (:28.4, :58.3, 1:26) and hold on for a neck win. Mass Fortune K, who had taken a ground-saving trip trough the fractions, tried to sneak up the pylons late, but just ran out of real estate. Summit In Sight, who had raced first-up on the way home, was a close third when all was said and done. Osterc, a bay colt, has now won four of his 13 seasonal starts and nine of his 20 career races. Osterc races for the ownership connections of Christina Takter (East Windsor, NJ) and Goran Falk (Allentown, NJ). WORTHY OF HONOUR WIRES UP STANDARDBRED FOES The second of the program’s Standardbred splits for two-year-olds took to the track for Race 4, and it was the Julie Miller-trained and Andy Miller-driven Worthy Of Honor ($6.60) that captured the $47,100 contest for freshman trotting colts and geldings. The bay colt by Cantab Hall—Honorable Daughter started from Post 5, made every call a winning one (:28.2, :58, 1:27), and went on to stop the clock in 1:56.4. The $90,000 Lexington Selected yearling caught a bit of a break in the third quarter when the first-up Emma Town Bud ran during his move for the lead. Worthy Of Honor was followed home by Moveoutofmyway K and Altus Hanover, who finished second and third, respectively. Worthy Of Honor, who has now won two of his nine career starts, is owned by Andy Miller Stable Inc. (Millstone Township, NJ), Jean Goehlen (Aurora, I), and Louis Willinger (Louisville, KY). BIG BRUSH BY TRU LOU IN THE STANDARDBRED Stakes action kicked off in Race 1, as the Ron Burke-trained and Matt Kakaley-driven Tru Lou ($6.80) utilized a big brush in the third quarter to soar to a 1:55.2 victory in the $48,100 Standardbred for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The gelded son of Sweet Lou—Real Touch sat third through the quarter (:28.1) and opening half (:57.3) before showing his class to the field. Kakaley sent Tru Lou first-up after the half and acquired the lead just before the 1:26.2 three quarter flashed to life. The bay cruised to victory from there on out and nailed the wire in 1:55.2. Complete Kaos, who had cut the opening half, finished five lengths back in second, while Caviart Revere finished third. Tru Lou has now won two of his seven career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC (Fredericktown, PA), Knox Services Inc. (Mt Vernon, OH), Slaughter Racing Stb LLC (Prospect, KY) and Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA). From the Little Brown Jug

Tioga Downs will end live racing for the 2109 season on Saturday (September 21), On that night they will be giving away the 2019 Toyota Corolla as part of Horseplay Car Giveaway. Each night of live racing patrons have purchased a rubber horse for $1. All the money raised goes to a local charity each month. They attempt to throw the rubber horse into the moving Toyota Corolla. Each night three names were picked out of all the ones that landed in the car. They all received an entry to win the car. On Saturday all those entries go into a bin. We will pick the names out in reverse order until one name is left. That person will win the 2019 Toyota Corolla. To win the car you must be present. Tioga will also be giving away two Snapper XD82 volt electric push mowers (sponsored by Clinton Tractor). Fireworks will follow the 11 race card that starts at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs        

CHESTER, PA - The Yankee Glide gelding Tight Lines enjoyed not having to go first-over against the likes of Hannelore Hanover and Rich And Miserable, as he had to in the Great Northeast Series Final in his last start, winning in 1:53.1 in the $18,000 harness racing featured trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon. Trainer/driver Jeff Gregory got away third with Tight Lines in the :28.1 opener, then brushed to the lead in front of the stands, hitting the midpoles in :56.1 and 1:25 before drawing away to a 2¾ length victory over Armageddon Seelster. Owned by Jeff Gregory Inc., Jesmeral Stable and William Richardson, Tight Lines joined the Half-Million Dollar Club with the victory, raising his lifetime earnings to $506,246. Fans watching the live Philly racing might have thought they were watching the Little Brown Jug card at Delaware OH at times, as twelve of the fourteen horses who led at the half at Harrah's went on to victory. It looked like that total of twelve would be reduced by one in the $14,500 co-featured trot, as first-over Jack Vernon went past pacesetting Crazy About Pat nearing the three-quarters, but the latter was able to keep the outside challenger on the rim throughout the turn, then fought back in the stretch to earn a 1:55.1 victory. George Napolitano Jr. held the Crazed gelding together for Gilbert Garcia-Owen, the meet's leading trainer, and owner Gilbert Garcia-Herrera. Crazy About Pat went over $900,000 lifetime with his 43rd career win, with his lifetime bankroll now at $903,855. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Happy Heart (Woodstock) has been occasional participant in the Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the last few seasons. The Melissa Beckwith-trained mare scored a victory in the feature at the Spa this year back in May and following a second-place finish in the $15,000 Open last week drew the rail for her Thursday try. Driver Mark Beckwith was in the sulky and got a pocket trip for Happy Heart as they sat behind the race's favorite Eclipse Me N (Steve Genois). Eclipse Me N worked hard early, pacing the first quarter in 27.2 before getting a half in 56.3. Untested through three quarters in 1:25.1, Eclipse Me N's strides shortened around the final turn and that is when Happy Heart made her move. All the while, Come Get The Cash (Jay Randall) was closing in after tipping off cover. Happy Heart got the jump on that one and wound up prevailing in 1:54 to record her second Open win of the season. Come Get The Cash extended her "on the board" streak as she was the runner-up on Thursday while Bontz N (Billy Dobson) came on to finish third following victories in the previous two installments of the Open. H appy Heart paid $11.20 to win in the mild upset and led an exacta and triple that returned $76.50 and $269.50, respectively. Happy Heart is owned by Tom McTygue and the Masie Stable, both of Saratoga Springs. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening at Saratoga with a 14-race card featuring eight finals of the Excelsior A series of the New York Sire Stakes. Each of the eight divisions will go for a purse of $55,000. First post time is set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Yonkers, NY-- In what turned out to be an adjustment in the first leg of the third NAADA Trotting Series at Yonkers Raceway tonight, the first harness racing horse under the wire, Ladys Big Stormont driven by Alan Schwartz, was disqualified and placed second which opened the door for Soul Train and driver Joe Lee to walked away with the lions share of the $8000 purse. "Because of tight racing on the final turn I was forced by Soul Train to go over the pylons on the final turn and when I did the judges deemed it was a Euro-rail violation and my horse should not have gotten any advantage, " Schwartz related after the race. " And I didn't, because the judges disqualified my horse and placed Joe's ( Soul Train) first, even though I beat him by a head at the wire." When the wings of the mobile starting gate folded Schwartz gunned his veteran trotter to the lead and they had command in a :28.4 first quarter with Uriel and Tony Ciuffetelli, Jr. pressing hard on the outside. But after the .59.3 half Uriel began to fade and when he did Joe Lee moved Soul Train off the pylons and rallied up alongside Ladys Big Stomont. However, around the final turn with the leaders tightly side by side the infraction occurred which caused Schwartz's trotter to receive a disqualification which allowed Lee's horse to be placed first. Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore finished third, just one length behind the top two. Next Thursday the NAADA Trotting Series moves on to Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

Delaware, Ohio--She's back...and winning again. "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, the two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year today displayed the harness racing talent that propelled her to the top of the amateur driving ranks when she guided Inukchuk Chuck to a solid three-length triumph in the Hall of Fame & Museum Series Trot at the home of the Little Brown Jug. Competing in a field of gentlemen and lady drivers, most of whom are members of the Billings Series, Miller sat chilly on the limb and when the 8-horse field headed for paydirt she rallied her veteran trotter to a 1:56.1 victory holding off the betting favorite, Utopia, and driver Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. After starting from the 3-hole Miller had her sights on the front-end but "Dandy Daniele" Orsini, with Mega Moss, had different ideas and refused to let the lady take command. So being parked Miller kept charging and the two raced side by side all the way to the three quarters before she took command at the top of the lane. And when "Hurricane Hannah" and Inukchuk Chuck headed down the lane it was obvious that no one was going to catch them, not even Steve Oldford's Utopia, who ended up with second money. Mega Moss held on for the show dough. It was the second consecutive victory at the Delaware County Fair for Inukchuk Chuck and Hannah Miller, after having won a Billings Trot just four days previous. And for the trotter it was his sixth seasonal triumph. The 6-year old altered son of Muscles Yankee is owned by Cliff Grundy and trained by Nick Surick. He paid $5.60. by John Manzi  

Little Rocket Man might be on the small side, but it has not prevented the 3-year-old harness racing pacer from coming up big for trainer Missy Essig and owners Russ Beeman and Jack Freeman. The gelding, unraced at age 2, has won 10 of 14 races this season and earned $137,630 as he heads to his first career Grand Circuit event, Friday's (Sept. 20) $170,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Stakes at Harrah's Hoosier Park. "He has no idea he's small," Essig said. "He's full of himself." Entering this season, Essig expected "absolutely nothing" from Little Rocket Man. Last year, the horse was sidelined longer than expected following surgery to be gelded and his connections decided to skip the season to give Little Rocket Man additional time to heal and, perhaps, grow. He did not grow much and training down for his 3-year-old campaign showed little interest in breaking the two-minute barrier. It seemed the horse was destined for the Indiana fair circuit, until he got behind the starting gate with a field of horses. "Then, he woke up," Essig said. "He's got his own personality. He's kind of aggravating in the barn; he can be a little ornery. But on the racetrack, he's great. He's very versatile. He can leave, he can sit in the pocket; he's very easy to control that way. You can put him where you want to put him in a race. That's the best thing about him, just the way he races." Little Rocket Man is by Rockin Image out of GT Miss Royal. Essig trained GT Miss Royal for part of her 10-year career on the racetrack. "My dad (Beeman) always said he wanted a baby out of her," Essig said. Little Rocket Man, bred by Victory Hill Farm, was GT Miss Royal's first foal. Freeman signed for Little Rocket Man, then named Just Like Pete, after purchasing the horse for $18,000 at the 2017 Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale. "He's been a nice one to have in the barn, that's for sure," Essig said. Little Rocket Man has picked up four victories on the Indiana Sire Stakes circuit and swept the Jerry Landess Series as part of a four-race win streak in April. He is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line in the Jenna's Beach Boy, leaving from post five with driver Trace Tetrick. Century Farroh, who has won 11 of 13 races this year including the Simcoe Stakes over Meadowlands Pace champ Best In Show and North America Cup winner Captain Crunch, is the 3-1 favorite. "We're really pleased with the post position," Essig said. "I have a good feeling. I hope it all pans out. You don't know until the gate folds." The Jenna's Beach Boy is part of a stakes-filled card Friday at Hoosier Park. Maple Leaf Trot winner Guardian Angel AS is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $230,000 Caesars Trotting Classic for older trotters. The field also includes 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover, 2016 Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder, and stakes winners Crystal Fashion, Six Pack, and Fiftydallarbill. McWicked, the 2018 Horse of the Year, is the 3-1 favorite in the $176,000 Harrah's Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers. This Is The Plan is the 7-2 second choice followed by Jimmy Freight at 4-1. Evident Beauty, coming off a victory in the Elegantimage Stakes, is the 9-5 favorite in the $135,000 Moni Maker Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. There also are Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers and trotters and the Elevation for 2-year-old male pacers. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

STICKNEY, IL - The summer harness racing season at Hawthorne Race Course culminates this weekend as eleven stakes finals will compromise Night of Champions on Saturday night. Four legs of preliminary events have led to the finals for two and three-year olds while eliminations were contested last weekend for the aged divisions. With a 7:20 PM post time Saturday, events will begin earlier in the night, including a driver autograph session at 6:30 PM and the ability to meet past Illinois Champion horse Mini Me on the Hawthorne apron. The $45,000 Robert S. Molaro Handicap kicks off the stakes evening as reigning Illinois-bred Horse of the Year Fox Valley Gemini leads the field of six. A winner of 29 of 38 lifetime starts, the Terry Leonard trainee has won 10 times this year, including last week's preview. Owned by Jim Ballinger, Casey Leonard will be in the bike. Unlocked returns to Hawthorne as he recently surpassed $600,000 in lifetime earnings. A winner at Hawthorne last year, he races for trainer Nelson Willis with Jim Pantaleano driving. Two-year-old filly trotters follow in the $82,000 Fox Valley Flan Championship. The full field of ten is led by of pair of Steve Searle trainees in Bee See and Lous Abigail. Bee See draws post position two and she enters the race a winner of five of nine starts on the year. Regular driver Kyle Husted will be in the bike. The second Searle trainee, Lous Abigail, isn't helped by her post draw as she will start from the outside of the field of ten. Leading driver Casey Leonard gets the call as Lous Abigail has finished first of second in all nine of her starts. Juvenile filly pacers are next up with a wide open field of ten in the $115,000 Incredible Tillie Championship. Different horses have won legs in this series as Fox Valley Exploit leads the way from the inside. Trained and driven by Kyle Husted, Fox Valley Exploit has won half of her eight starts on the year, including the Directors Award two races back. Sign Her Up races for trainer Charles Arthur as Juan Franco drives. A winner of three of her last five, Sign Her Up comes in off a victory in the most recent leg of the Incredible Tillie. Sleazy Gal draws the outside for owner Engel Stable of IL, LLC and trainer Erv Miller. A winner from the outside in the final at the Illinois State Fair last month, Kyle Wilfong returns in the bike. Aged trotters take to the track in the $45,000 Plesac Championship. The field of five features top mare Annas Lucky Star as she faces the boys once again. The track record holder is owned by Danny Graham and races for Nelson Willis. A 32-time winner from 56 starts, Annas Lucky Star was impressive in last week's preview victory. Kyle Wilfong returns to drive. Talk About Valor poses the biggest threat to Annas Lucky Star. Casey Leonard drives the Gerald Hansen trainee as he has found the board in all 18 starts this year. The $95,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship for three-year-old filly trotters has a field of ten as the favorite draws the rail. Flacco Family Farms LLC owned Louzotic starts from the inside for trainer Steve Searle and driver Kyle Husted. A winner of 10 of 14 starts on the year, Louzotic rides a four race win streak into this final. Another in fine form is Skippymalou as the second of four starters in the race for Flacco Family Farms. A six time winner on the year, she enters this final a winner of three of her last four starts. Casey Leonard drives Skippymalou. Three-year-old male trotters follow in the $92,000 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Championship. Flacco Family Farms LLC is featured prominently once again with a pair in this race. Lousraptor has six victories on the year and has hit the board in 13 of 16 races. Casey Leonard returns in the bike. Lourhianon pulled off the upset of Lousraptor in the final leg leading into this final for trainer Kennedy Lindsey. He draws the outside in the final for driver Luke Plano as he looks for his seventh victory of the year. The $108,000 Kadabra Championship for two-year-old male trotters is led by the talented Fox Valley Quest from the barn of trainer Tom Simmons. A winner of nine of 11 starts, Fox Valley Quest looks to show his speed and control this field from start to finish for driver Casey Leonard. Crooked Creek has arrived late on the scene, but comes in off an impressive win on the front end in his most recent start for trainer Mike Brink. Ryan Anderson picks up the drive once again. Male juvenile pacers race in the $102,000 Incredible Finale Championship as the top contenders are stuck on the outside of this full field. Megan Rogers Racing Stables Incorporated's Fox Valley Ren is the one to beat for trainer Nelson Willis. A winner of seven of nine starts this year, he has good early speed and has shown past ability to overcome the outside draw. Kyle Wilfong remains in the bike. One slot to Fox Valley Ren's outside is He'zzz A Wise Sky from the barn of Don Filomeno. Getting a later start to his season, He'zzz A Wise Sky has been ultra-impressive, winning four straight races coming into this final. The most competitive race of the evening looks to be the $109,000 Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial Championship. Three horses have traded punches for supremacy at this level led by Maximus, from the barn of Ken Rucker. The seven-time winner on the year was third in the final at the Illinois State Fair and was game in victory in the final leg of the Carey leading into tonight's race. Trainer Erv Miller sends out Meyer on Fire, who got the best of Maximus at the Illinois State Fair. With four wins on the year, Meyer on Fire has hit the board in 10 of 12 starts this season. Fox Valley Triton races for Terry Leonard. The runner-up at the State Fair and in the most recent leg of the Carey, he has hit the board in 12 of 14 this season. $100,000 is on the line in the Plum Peachy Championship for three-year-old filly pacers. A pair that has battled throughout the season meet up again as Fox Valley Torrid and Perch look to settle who is best in this class. Fox Valley Torrid races for Sox Valley Standardbreds and trainer Rodney Freese. A winner of seven of 15 starts on the year, he has won three of his last four entering this final. Casey Leonard drives. Perch has been on the wrong end of the battle with Fox Valley Torrid recently, but did get the best of her in winning the final at the Illinois State Fair in August. She has won six of 15 starts this year for trainer Jay Garrels as regular driver Kyle Wilfong returns to drive. The Night of Champions closes out with a full field of aged female pacers in the $45,000 Tony Maurello Championship. Trainer Dirk Simpson sends out Fox Valley Charm who comes off a victory in the elimination last week. Whiskersonkittens won the second elimination last week as trainer Kim Roth looks to have her in fine form leading into this final. Driver Luke Plano has been a good fit for her in recent starts. 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 www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course

World champion Warrawee Ubeaut turned in an impressive two heat performance to win the $259,600 Jugette for three-year-old filly pacers Wednesday (September 18) at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. At the start of the $155,760 final heat, Treacherous Reign (Dexter Dunn) protected his rail position forcing Warrawee Ubeaut and Yannick Gingras to sit second. As the field passed the 1/8 mile pole, Gingras sent Warrawee Ubeaut after the lead but Treacherous Reign forced the eventual winner back into the two-hole at the quarter in :26 2/5. The field raced in post-position order past the half in :55 2/5. As the field approached the same point as the failed clearing attempt, Warrawee Ubeaut exploded out of the pocket and cleared Treacherous Reign past the three-quarter pole in 1:23 3/5. Gingras sat cool in the bike as the duo sprinted home in :26 3/5 to stop the timer in 1:50 1/5, which equaled the stakes and world record. Ideation Hanover (James MacDonald) rallied to take the place spot, Treacherous Reign held on for third and Bestseller Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was fourth. The win was trainer Ron Burke and Gingras' third Jugette title. The swift daughter of Sweet Lou is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel-Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. Warrawee Ubeaut leaves Delaware with a five race win streak and $1,175,393 in career earnings. Warrawee Ubeaut with all the happy connections (Brad Conway Photo) The second $51,920 elimination, Stonebridge Soul (Tim Tetrick) was sent hard off the gates wings and led the field briefly until Warrawee Ubeaut retook control before the opening quarter of the mile. Warrawee Ubeaut was not seriously challenged and cruised to a 6¼ length win over Stonebridge Soul with Carbon Capture (Chris Page) and Under The Hood (Joe Bongiorno) also advancing to the final heat. In the first elimination, Treacherous Reign was sent off the starting gates wings and took control of the field with Bestseller Hanover sitting in the pocket. Treacherous Reign turned back a challenge from Ideation Hanover and cruised to a 1¼ length victory in 1:52. Bestseller Hanover and She's Allright (Chris Page) finished third and fourth respectively to advance to the final. Jay Wolf

Morton Grove, Illinois (USA) – September 18, 2019 – The Night of Champions (NOC) – the biggest night of standardbred racing in the State of Illinois at Hawthorne Racecourse in Stickney, Illinois, this Saturday night, September 21, 2019, at 6:30 PM CDT ,The Horseman’s Voice will be covering the harness racing event from strictly a grass-roots level.  “The information age is upon us, for it is now time for us to showcase and highlight the beauty of standardbred racing from all aspects as we plan our efforts for 2020 and beyond,” stated Publisher/Podcaster Eric M. Poders, “The international horse racing community has waited long enough and the people of the State of Illinois will be excited for the future prospects of Illinois racing will be in the next 2-3 years.” Due to the uncertainty of racing over more than a decade, Illinois racing is at the forefront of revitalizing the sport internationally, “The time has come as Illinois racing has spiraled and as they say ‘when you get to the bottom you go back to the top’ will be our new drive in re-vitalizing efforts in promoting strictly Illinois racing worldwide,” Poders continued, “Moving forward for 2020 we’re anticipating lots of new technological advances for promoting the sport all while keeping it local, and grassroots – and we’re excited moving forward. Hawthorne Racecourse is planning to invest $500 million all whilst preserving live racing and building a facility suitable for all breeds of horse people and we’re excited to showcase to the world their efforts statewide.” The Horseman’s Voice is an international online media source that originated in 2003 as a small tri-fold brochure then quickly grew into an international podcast within six (6) months within the Standardbred (Harness) Racing Industry. For more information contact Publisher Eric M. Poders at +1.847.530.2222 or publisher@horsemansvoice.com

Delaware, OH - Two-year-old filly trotter Hannah and harness racing driver Andy Miller cruised to a 3½ length victory in the $46,000 Standardbred trot in Wednesday (September 18) action at the Delaware County Fair. When the field of six was sent on their way, Miller sent the eventual winner right to the front and was able to control the fractions of :28 4/5, :58 1/5 and 1:27 1/5. Hannah used a :28 4/5 last quarter to defeat Skyway Tinacious (Peter Wrenn) and Mizzy Brenda K (Mike Wilder) in 1:56, a new lifetime mark. The Muscle Hill lass is trained by Julie Miller for the Andy Miller Stable, Dumain Haven Farm and Little E LLC. Much like the filly trot, Keystone Eureka (Tim Tetrick) used a late brush to collar the pacesetters in the deep stretch to take the $46,800 Standardbred two-year-old filly pace. Don't Speak (Brett Miller) received the first call, but relinquished the lead to Dance Club (Matt Kakaley). As the field turned for home, Don't Speak looked to be the winner but Keystone Eureka timed her last rush perfectly to win by ¾ of a length over another fast closer, Coral Reef Hanover (Mike Wilder). Don't Speak and Dance Club rounded out the top four. Ryan Miller trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere for the Miller Racing Stable. Sophia Lia Takes Buckette Sophia Lia (Tim Tetrick) and French Cafe (Andy Miller) traded the lead in the first quarter of a mile, but Sophia Lia passed French Cafe in the final eighth of a mile to take the $76,125 Buckette for three-year-old trotting fillies. The final time of 1:54 3/5 established a new lifetime mark for the Guccio filly. Sophia Lia is trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver, Donald Robinson, RBH Ventures and William Rufenacht. Sophia Lia Ohio Breeders Championship Action Two-Year-Old Filly Trot Guinevere Hall (Peter Wrenn, Jr.) sat back and watched Delovely Hall (Aaron Merriman) and Lights Down Low (Yannick Gingras) battle through the majority of the race and swooped past the tiring leaders to capture the first division in 1:56 4/5. Lights Down Low held on for second, Can't Break Rosie (Chris Page) rallied for third and Delovely Hall completed the superfecta. Guinevere Hall is conditioned by Melanie Wrenn for M T Pockets Stable and David McDuffee. Alan Leavitt bred the Cash Hall filly. The $55,850 second division was greatly affected by breaking trotters. The 3-5 bettor's choice, Globetrotting (Anthony MacDonald) broke at the start, giving the lead to the 3-2 second choice, Uncle Peter's Uncle (Brett Miller). Uncle Peter's Uncle led the field into the final turn until she took a bad step and went off-stride. Aqua Lillies (Yannick Gingras) pounced on the opportunity and sprinted past Lima Gold (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) in 1:58 3/5. Norm Parker trained the Break The Bank K filly for breeder/owner Robert J. Key. Aged Trot The $14,600 event was decided in the first sixteenth of a mile as A Tc Queenie grabbed the lead from post position five and never looked back to defeat the field of 10 in a stakes record 1:53 2/5. The six-year-old Triumphant Caviar mare is owned by Trish Soulsby and Richard Schaut and trained by Ron Steck. A Tc Queenie is just a few dollars short of $400,000 in career earnings. She became a three-time OBC champion with the win. Three-Year-Old Colt Trot Voyage To Paris (Dan Noble) survived a long battle with Lane Of Stone (Jeff Nisonger) through sizzling opening fractions and held of late rally from Bully Boy (Aaron Merriman) to win in a track and stakes record 1:53 2/5. Voyage To Paris scored for the seventh time in 2019 for Stephen Richard and Lana Jo Pollock. Jim Pollock, Jr. trains the Dontyouforgetit gelding. New Zealand reinsman Dexter Dunn guided Homer Hall to a then stakes record victory in the opening division of the three-year-old colt trot in 1:53 4/5. Homer Hall has 11 seasonal wins in 20 starts and has earned $223,667 during his career. The Cash Hall gelding is owned by Tammy Carter, Jay Mossbarger, Cass Gallagher and Breana Carsey and is trained by Steve Carter. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

World class harness racing pacer Nat Lobell, actress Cheryl Tiegs, New York Studio 54, what a life John Kopas has had.  It's all discussed on this week's Harness Racing Alumni Show with our special guest, outstanding trainer/driver John Kopas.  This week's show is brought to you by Hunterton Farm and The Cheyenne Racing Stable. From the Harness Racing Alumni Show    

Batavia, NY --- HP Sissy has been racing in the shadows of the mares competing in the top distaff class at Batavia Downs of late, settling for minor harness racing spoils since her only win in Genesee County this year on August 7. But with a renewed sense of purpose and a driver change that reunited her with the reinsman she scored her first win of the year with in February, HP Sissy went a dominating mile in gate to wire fashion to win the $12,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 18). HP Sissy (Drew Monti) left fast and hard and towed the abbreviated field of six to the quarter in :27.2. Tailed closely by Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.), HP Sissy backed down the second panel to :29.3 which pushed the favored Blue Bell Bonnie (Jim Morrill Jr.) off the cones and into the breeze. Although there were horses in pursuit, they really weren't a challenge to HP Sissy who was loose on the front up the backstretch. After hitting three-quarters in 1:25.2 by an open two-lengths, she rounded the turn and extended her lead to three with Monti sitting statuesque and from there, HP Sissy scooted home an easy wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. It was the 10th win of the year for HP Sissy ($5.70) who has now earned $85,093 in 2019 for owner Finocchario's Dream Stable. Mike Ohol trains the winner. The co-featured $11,000 fillies and mares Open II pace saw Kaitlyn Rae (Billy Davis Jr.) outmuscle several leavers for the top and finally settled there to cut speedy fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.2 before turning for home and stretching out to a 1-½ length victory in 1:55.3. It was the 65th lifetime win for Kaitlyn Rae ($4.00) who now has won $442,878 in her career. The 10-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-I C U Lookin is owned and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum. The venerable Lightning Raider N (Jim Morrill Jr.) won his 62nd career race, timed in 1:56.3 on Wednesday and pushed his career earnings to over $650,000. The uber-game 14-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen-Talent Hanover will retire on January 1, 2020 but continues to show that his heart and ability has not diminished with time. Several horsemen had multiple wins on Wednesday led by Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. with three wins each followed by Drew Monti with two. Trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum also had two wins on the conditioning side. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 20) with post time set at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The favorites thrived in the $9,000 harness racing co-features for New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Lucky June Bug (Lucky Chucky) brought a five-race win streak into his Wednesday try from the rail and was the public's 4-5 betting favorite. The Chip Zombick Jr. trainee had a big summer while competing mostly in the Excelsior B division of the NY Sire Stakes and proved worthy in the $9,000 level at the Spa as he won in 1:57.2 last week with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. On Wednesday, Lucky June Bug was once again on the front-end and felt very little pressure in the early going. The three year old had longshot Royal Lady (Mark Beckwith) sitting on his back throughout the mile. That 30-1 outsider took her shot at the favorite in the stretch but had to settle for second-best as Lucky June Bug stopped the timer in 1:57.4 for his sixth victory in a row and ninth in fifteen starts in 2019. Though Lucky June Bug was the race's odds-on favorite, the exacta with Royal Lady second paid $78.50. The other $9,000 division of the co-features went the way of another odds-on favorite. Alek Chartrand's Halliama (Conway Hall) drew the rail as he sought his third consecutive win. Content to sit the pocket, Halliama blasted by his race's front-runner in the final furlong before trotting away to score in 1:58.1. The sophomore trotter is now five for eleven in the '19 campaign leading up to a try in this Saturday night's Excelsior A Final when he will go for a purse of $55,000. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Four $20,000 divisions of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) for 2-year-old harness racing trotters headlined the Wednesday program at Harrington Raceway. The first division saw an impressive front end effort by Linda Macdonald's Stella A ($7, Ross Wolfenden) score a 2:03 victory over Alert and Dabigspookybootah. The Anders Bluestone filly is trained by Joe Macdonald. The second filly division went to Elizabeth Kimmel and Donald Wiest's Orabelle ($6, Tony Morgan) over Pretense and Wolfcat in 2:04.3. The Keystone Activator filly is trained by co-owner Wiest. The first split for male trotters resulted in Rod Allen's Zulu ($2.60, Allen) prevailing over Air Time and Shiloh in 2:04. Zulu (Cr Commando) is a full brother to Disco Soliel, reigning 3-year-old filly DSBF champ. Five different stallions were represented in the final division, which was won by Breakaway Racing's Touch Of White ($5.40, Corey Callahan) over Chauffeur and Master Of Mine in 2:03.2. Touch Of White (Keystone Activator) is trained by Nick Callahan. In the overnight feature, the $17,500 Open Trot, Wade Wyatt's Common Parlance ($9.60, Sean Bier) was a 1:56.3 winner over Murmur Hanover and Jammin Jack. Trained by Crissy Crissman-Bier, it was his fifth win of the season. The second leg of DSBF action will get underway Monday September 23 with the pacing colts. Tuesday will feature the pacing fillies with the trotters in action again Wednesday. The $100,000 final events will take place October 2. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway