Day At The Track

ANDERSON, Ind.--April 20, 2018-- Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is set to host its annual Talk Derby To Me celebration highlighted by a live simulcast of the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5 from Churchill Downs. The day will include a full simulcast race schedule, official Derby merchandise, Kentucky Derby mega-bets, live harness racing starting at a special post time of 7:10 p.m., a derby hat contest, and a $10,000 drawing. Known as The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports, the Kentucky Derby is a $2 million one-and-a-quarter mile race featuring the very best three-year-old horses in racing. Hoosier Park offers convenient wagering for all races held at Churchill Downs. Advanced wagering will be available at Hoosier Park for the Kentucky Oaks on Thursday, May 3 and the Kentucky Derby on Friday, May 4. The signature Kentucky Derby race has an estimated post time of 6:35 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 5. A Grand Derby Day buffet will be offered, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Kentucky Derby Day, for $26.95 per person. The Dan Patch Brewhouse will feature $3 craft beers and $3 pizza by the slice throughout the day. The official 144th Kentucky Derby collector glass will be available with the purchase of a traditional Mint Julep for $9. The official 144th Kentucky Oaks collector glass will be available with the purchase of a traditional Oaks Lily for $9. Kentucky Derby $500 mega-bet drawings will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on derby day. Guests will also have a chance to win a share of $10,000 by entering at a promotional kiosk starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 4 through 9:59 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. A special Kentucky Derby Day hat contest will take place at 5 p.m. on The Terrace Showroom stage with a first-place prize of $500. The top three winners will be determined by best presentation, originality and overall appearance. And starting at noon in the Terrace, guests may also donate $2 to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation for a chance to win $100 in wagers or free slot play between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Premium reserved seating is available for $50, and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet on Hoosier Park's lower level, a Kentucky Derby Day race program, two complimentary drinks, and a $10 racing wager. More information on Talk Derby to Me is available at About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino holds multiple awards for customer service, entertainment, gaming, dining, and team member culture. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully-integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year. Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner's Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Downtown Indianapolis and Winner's Circle OTB & VooDoo BBQ & Grill in New Haven/Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information on upcoming entertainment and promotions at Hoosier Park visit Hoosier Park Racing & Casino  

Plainville, Ma---State-bred Muscles Jared was a champion at two and runner-up at three in Massachusetts Sire Stake action. But it appears that the best may be yet to come as he is now two-for-two as an aged performer, notching his second harness racing victory in a $10,000 conditioned event at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 19). Starting from post one, Muscles Jared (Truman Gale) took a quick lead before yielding to Cincinnati Miss (Greg Merton) at the quarter in :27.2. After that one seated, Gale quickly pulled his gelding, went right back to the front and became a passenger for the rest of the mile. The sharp-stepping Muscles Jared dictated back to back quarters of :28.4 and :28.3 while extending a lead that eventually became insurmountable. When Gale popped the plugs at three-quarters, Muscles Jared responded in kind and opened up a seven-length advantage rounding the final bend. With the race all but locked-up, Gale sat chilly down the lane and Muscles Jared hit the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:55.2 over a wet track rated "good", which was a new seasonal mark. Muscles Jared now boasts $359,346 in lifetime earnings for owner Al Ross of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts and has a perfect race record for his new trainer Robert Gale. Shawn Gray and Drew Campbell each drove two winners on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (April 23) with an 11-race card that kicks off at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

CHESTER PA - NF Happenstance, the leading moneywinning harness racing horse in North America so far in 2018, added to her bankroll today (Thursday) by winning the $22,500 winners-over handicap trot at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:54.2. Assigned the outside post in the field of seven, NF Happenstance made the lead before the 28.1 quarter for driver Jack Parker Jr., then rested to the half in 57.3. The victorious daughter of SJ's Caviar, trained by Carol Jamieson-Parker, had to get to the ¾ in 1:25.2 to see off the bid of the first-over Jack Vernon, and then through the stretch was chased by the horse riding Jack Vernon's cover, Rock Of Cashel. But NF Happenstance showed her determination and held off Rock Of Cashel by a neck, with Jack Vernon another 1¾ lengths back in third. Owner James Moore III now has a mare who has eight wins and three seconds in 13 seasonal starts, and is a winner of $140,450 this season. NF Happenstance has only two more days to wear her crown - Yonkers has the $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Final and the $532,000 Levy Final on Saturday - but it's not likely you'll hear Moore or the Parkers complaining. In the $17,000 co-feature trot, the Holiday Road mare Holiday Promise made it three of her last four, going wire-to-wire, with the "Promise" exacta completed by Broadway Promise, who was a half-length back at the end of the 1:56 mile. Tony Morgan handled the sulky duties behind the winenr for trainer Josh Green and owners Howard Taylor and Richard Lombardo. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Thursday served as the rubber match for the USA/Hungary Friendship Competition for harness racing Amateur Drivers at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Hungarian drivers came to the States and competed this week in two races at Monticello and two at Yonkers in the "challenge" versus the American amateurs. Heading into Thursday's rubber-match, the score was two-to-two so the $7,000 trotting race at the Spa would decide this year's winner. Last year, the American drivers went to Budapest for the first annual Friendship Competition with the Hungarians prevailing. The 2018 edition also went the way of the Hungarians as Tamas Tanczer piloted Leave Your Mark (Yankee Glide) to a wire-to-wire victory in 2:00.2 on Thursday at Saratoga to lock up the title for Hungary. Autumn Estelle and Armbro Hall finished second and third, respectively, with their American drivers in tow but they were no match for Leave Your Mark whose victory was his first in two seasons. There will be several installments of the NAADA (North American Amateur Drivers Association) and the CKG Billings Amateur trotting races coming up this season at Saratoga as well for amateur drivers. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Melissa Simser      

Hannelore Hanover is ready to get back on the racetrack and trainer Ron Burke thinks harness racing's defending Horse of the Year is entering her upcoming campaign feeling as good as she did at the end of last season. And that was pretty darn good. The 6-year-old female trotter closed 2017 with a three-race win streak that included the Breeders Crown Open Trot, making her the first mare since Moni Maker in 1998 to claim the trophy, and the lady's division of the TVG Series championships. Two weeks prior to beginning her streak, Hannelore Hanover recorded the fastest mile in history by a female trotter when she captured the Allerage Farms Open Trot in 1:49.2. On Saturday morning, Hannelore Hanover will qualify at the Meadowlands with regular driver Yannick Gingras as she prepares for the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial on May 5 at the Big M. "Everything seems really good," Burke said. "She feels like the way she felt at the end of the year last year, so I'm happy with that. Right at the end of the year she finally put it together. She was winning, but didn't feel right. By the end of the year, she got herself sounder, sharper. "This year right from the get-go she seems better, stronger. I'm hoping last year carries over into this year." Hannelore Hanover won 10 of 17 races last year, finished second five times, and earned $1.04 million for owners Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. For her career, the daughter of Swan For All out of High Sobriety has won 36 of 58 races and $2.47 million. Burke said Hannelore Hanover did not change much during the winter. "She is who she is now at this point in her career," he said. Hannelore Hanover is one of 14 horses from the Burke Brigade that will qualify Saturday. Among those joining her are 6-year-old male trotter Crazy Wow and 5-year-old male pacer Check Six, both multiple-stakes-winners last season; 2017 Little Brown Jug winner Filibuster Hanover; 3-year-old male trotter U Need Stones, a New Jersey Sire Stakes champion; 3-year-old male pacer Seeing Eye Single, an Ohio Sire Stakes champion; and 4-year-old male pacer Rock N Tony, an Indiana Sire Stakes champion who joined Burke's barn in November. "Right now I'm happy with everybody," Burke said. "Hopefully it will be a good year." Others entered to qualify Saturday include multiple Dan Patch Award-winning female trotter Broadway Donna, multiple O'Brien Award-winning female trotter Caprice Hill, stakes-winning male trotters International Moni, Lindy The Great, and Yes Mickey, stakes-winning male pacers Blood Line, I'm A Big Deal, This Is The Plan, Pedro Hanover, and Closing Statement, stakes-winning female pacers Darlinonthebeach, Blue Moon Stride, and Reign On Me and stakes-winning female trotter Plunge Blue Chip. Qualifiers begin at 10 a.m. (EDT). For the complete list of entries, click here. Ken Weingartner

Saturday night's $10,000 Lloyd Arnold Pace at Cal Expo has lured a solid cast of nine, with Allymx'sliventexas, Bettor's Promise and I'm An Athlete among the major harness racing players. The Arnold will go as the 7th event on an 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program that is set to get underway at 6:40 p.m. The co-feature is a $6,500 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing fillies which occupies the 2nd-race slot. Allymx'sliventexas is having a strong meet for his owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and regular pilot Mooney Svendsen and will likely be favored in the main event. The son of Hi Ho Silverheel's has five wins from his 12 starts on the year, including a lifetime-best 1:50 4/5 performance on March 9, and recently went over the $100,000 earnings mark. In last week's Open, Allymx'sliventexas proved a very game winner as he was first-over into the pace-setting favorite Bettor's Promise at the half, engaged that one in the stretch and prevailed by a nose while coming a :26 4/5 final quarter. Bettor's Promise is very sharp right now and will be gunning for some revenge after doing all the heavy lifting last week and ending up on the wrong end of that photo. He established his 1:50 3/5 mark in his previous outing at the Open II level and goes about his business for owners Richard Morita and David Yamda with Lino Pacheco conditioning and Steve Wiseman guiding. Completing the field are Julerica, Pancella, Almost Cut My Hair, To The Limit, Eastender, I'm An Athlete and Lil Orphan Elmer. Pacing fillies battle in co-featured Sire Stakes In addition to the Lloyd Arnold Pace, Saturday's card will find the sophomore pacing fillies in action in a $6,500 California Sire Stakes. The added-money events for the 3-year-old pacing fillies have seen three different winners, with Brigitte Bordeaux taking the initial clash, followed by back-to-back trophy earners for Goturnumber and then Glad to Meet Ya taking bows after the most recent gathering two weeks ago. Goturnumber will not be in the starting line-up, leaving Glad to Meet Ya as the probable favorite in the cast of five after her big win where she earned her initial stakes tally with a six and a half-length romp. Brigitte Bordeaux will look to pull off an Arnold/Sire Stakes parlay for owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and driver Mooney Svendsen, while Glad to Meet Ya is owned and was bred by Billie Schwartz and Junior Wilkinson with Wilkinson training and Luke Plano once again at the controls. Looking for an upset this weekend are Lucky Seven Oflodi, who has the cozy rail post with Tony Succarotte; Holy O'Neill, to be guided by Tim Brown; and Rhythm, who will have William Hernandez giving directions. There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races on the evening, and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $50,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

John MacDonald has won three straight driving championships at Vernon Downs. He will begin his Quest for four in a row as Vernon Downs opens for live harness racing on Friday (April 20) starting at 6:10 pm. MacDonald won 185 races last season. His main competition the last three years came from Chris Lems, who was runner-up all three years. Lems will be on hand opening day but will only be there part time this season. Also returning is another former track champion, Jimmy Whittemore, who was third with 82 wins a year ago. Truman Gale (54) and Leon Bailey (30) round out the top five from last year. MacDonald will go for his third straight training title. He trained 57 winners in 2017. Andy Gardner returns to take another crack at the training title. He was just six wins behind MacDonald last season. Opening day features free t-shirts and schedule magnets while they last. Fireworks will follow the 11 race card. For more information go to John Horne for Vernon Downs

East Rutherford, NJ - Friday night at The Meadowlands brings with it a ten race live harness racing card featuring the $52,500 final of the Shiaway St Pat series for trotters. An interesting field it is, with the ultra impressive leg #1 winner Deep Impact getting a slight 3-1 nod from the oddsmaker after skipping last week's leg #2. The carefully managed 5-year-old rolled right on by the field in a career best 1:53.1 a fortnight ago, looking like there was plenty left in the tank. He'll begin from post 9 for trainer driver Ake Svanstedt and owner the Van Camp Trotting Corporation. Deep Impact, however, is not in by himself and faces another fast, fresh horse in the speedy Sutton, leaving from post 7 for Andy Miller. After missing an entire season, Sutton disappointed as the heavy favorite in the first leg but redeemed himself with a scorching 1:51.3 last week and will have to be dealt with in the final. Julie Miller trains the accomplished 5-year-old for Andy's interest as Andy Miller Stable and partners Jason and Doug Allen. We're giving away lawn mowers, too via the "Spring Spruce Up" promotion. The guarantees are in place and the Jackpot Super Hi-5 carry over is way up to $192,943. Get your free pp's for selected wagers here. Post time is 7:15 pm. BIG M HIGH-FIVE CARRYOVER NEARING $200,000  Meadowlands players will have an opportunity Friday night unlike any other in harness racing: Wager a measly 20 cents and walk away at the conclusion of the 10th race with almost $200,000. “When live racing resumes this Friday,” said Jason Settlemoir, the Big M’s chief operating officer and general manager. “The Meadowlands will offer the second-largest carryover in horse racing, behind only the Rainbow Six at Gulfstream Park. The final race on the program will offer a Jackpot Super High-Five carryover that has now grown to $192,943. The popular wager has a 20-cent minimum.” “April has been a very good month at the Big M as the pools continue to grow,” said Settlemoir. “The competitive GSY Spring Fling Series amateur driving club trot was the first race of last weekend and handled $241,407. We never looked back. Our Pick-4 pool exceeded the $100,000 barrier for the third time this year ($105,082) and our average handle per race for the week was $226,917, compared to $188,099 for the comparable weekend a year ago. In addition, our 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 pool was an all-time best $25,061. We can’t thank our fans enough for their incredibly loyal support.” Free program pages are available here. Live racing at the Big M is this Friday and Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. MEADOWLANDS HAPPENINGS PARKING DURING VOLTA: Those heading to the Big M for live racing need to be aware of what to do when they arrive at the track to avoid a $20 parking fee, which is for those attending the Cirque Du Soleil Volta show. Volta will have performances on the same nights as live racing through Saturday, May 5. When track patrons arrive, they should stay to the right-hand side of the toll plaza to avoid the $20 fee. OWN A HORSE! The Big M’s popular “Own a Horse” promotion offers fans a chance to own a piece of a Standardbred risk free. Sign up on or before Saturday, April 28, and if you are one of 10 lucky contestants chosen during live racing that night, you’ll get a chance to own up to 10 percent of a Big M horse’s earnings during the month of May. CALLING ALL HANDICAPPERS: The World Harness Handicapping Championship, presented by, is scheduled for Saturday, April 28 at the Meadowlands and has a guaranteed prize pool of $75,000. The WHHC is a one-day tournament and has a welcome reception the evening prior.  Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $1,000.  The WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of seven Meadowlands races, plus three designated mandatory races from Buffalo, Vernon Downs and the Meadowlands.  Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings.  Prize payouts go to the top 10 finishers. Players interested in purchasing a buy-in for the WHHC can visit ‘SURVIVE’ THE SUMMER: The Meadowlands’ Summer Survival Challenge kicks off on Friday, May 4, with registration scheduled to begin next week. Contestants will need to pick a winner in one of three selected races in a given week to advance and the player at the end of the contest with the largest mythical bankroll will win a grand prize of $1,500 and a spot in the 2019 WHHC final. DERBY COUNTDOWN: The 144th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs is the main simulcast attraction at the Big M on Saturday, May 5. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Post time for the Derby is 6:34 p.m.  BEER HERE: The third annual Spring Beer Fest takes places on Saturday, May 19. The beer will be poured until 9:30 p.m. with VIPs welcome to arrive at 4:30 p.m. and those with general admission at 5:30 p.m. Those taking part will be treated to the best craft beer, cider, music, live harness racing and food the state of New Jersey has to offer. To purchase tickets click here.  Meadowlands Media Relations Dave Little

WASHINGTON, PA, April 19, 2018 -- When she takes to The Meadows racetrack in Saturday's $26,000 championship of the Margaret Provost Memorial Trot for the harness racing 3-year-old fillies, Kenziesky Hanover will bring an unusual name -- and an unusual amount of talent -- to the fray. The Margaret Provost (race 2) is one of four series finals for 3-year-olds that The Meadows will host Saturday, with a combined $101,900 in purses up for grabs. Also featured are: the Ruby Cook Memorial Trot for filly pacers (race 3), the Ben Wood Memorial Trot for colts and geldings (race 4) and the Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace for colts and geldings (race 9). First post Saturday is 1:05 PM. The naming of Standardbreds is a phenomenon that's part science, part art, part frustration. All names proposed in this country must be approved by the United States Trotting Association, the breed registrar, which limits names to 18 characters -- including spaces. Hanover Shoe Farms, perennially the sport's leading breeder, always uses "Hanover" in foal names. Add the space before it, and you're left with only 10 characters to fashion colorful, creative names. Hanover's Website lists well over 300 broodmares; naming their foals is a challenge that Hanover meets in part by inviting harness racing fans and Hanover staff to suggest names. Jodi Markle estimates that she's named about 40 foals in the seven years she's worked in administration at Hanover. She named Blaise MM Hanover for her son, for example; that horse has banked more than $285,000 and continues to race. In similar fashion, she named Kenziesky Hanover (Cantab Hall-Kandor Hanover) for Kenzie Sky, the 4-year-old daughter of her cousin, Mike Wolf. Weanling/yearling purchasers have the right to change the names bestowed by breeders, so even the most clever or appropriate monikers may not last. That's where the frustration can come in. "That's happened to me a couple times, but it doesn't bother me," Markle says. "I'll just reuse the original names somewhere down the line." Her colorful name won't allow Kenziesky Hanover to win the Margaret Provost championship, but her talent might. She was purchased for a modest $7,000 by J. Patrick Huber and Glenn Congrove, and her trainer, Bill Zendt knows what shut down the auction so soon. "I like her body and the way she looks, but her conformation is not the best," Zendt says, "I was a little leery, but when she went for so little, Pat Huber wanted her. She showed signs of being a nice filly last year, but she got a little sore, and we quit with her early." Indeed, she had only two starts at 2, but after a pair of in-the-money finishes to begin this season, she added Lasix and put it all together in last week's series leg and scored impressively on the front end in 1:57.2, fastest mile in the series thus far. "She raced good on the front, but I don't think it really matters," Zendt said. "There are three or four in the final who are real even, so it should be competitive. I don't know where we'll go with her after the series, but if she stays healthy, I think she'll compete." Kenziesky Hanover goes from post 5 with Brian Zendt aboard. Also on Saturday, Mychoice members can compete in a Thoroughbred handicapping contest, with Laurel Park the featured track. More information is available at the retail counter in the track's Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

For the third year in a row Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is the host venue for the 3rd Annual Miracle Art Show taking place this Sunday, April 22 in Victory Sports Bar & Club. This is a family-friendly, dress to impress red carpet event. There will be over 50 artists displaying their work in this year's show, 16 of which will be performing live. Admission is $20 with 100% of ticket and art sales proceeds donated to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital of Mountainside, New Jersey. The hospital helps children of all ages fight cancer, injury and other illnesses. Event founder, Eslam Negm, created this event after the passing of his two cousins due to cancer. As a resident of New Jersey for 26 years, Eslam wanted to help other children in need by partnering with his local children's hospital. The first Miracle Art Show raised a total of $6,725 & last year's event raised a total of $13,660. For more information please visit Rachel Ryan

Pompano Beach, FL...April 19, 2018...On the heels of a very successful Pro-Am event with Tim Tetrick and David Miller, the Florida Amateur Driving Club has secured the services of harness racing Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey and Dave Ingraham for a now highly anticipated Pro-Am event on Sunday, April 22. Hennessey and Ingraham are "one-two" in the wins category at Pompano Park this meet and will be hosting the event as the FADC edges closer to the $200,000 mark in charitable donations. The first of two events features a full field of trotters with combined earnings of over $1.7 million, which will be led by Cashahallic ($394,062), who, ironically, will be driven by Wall Hennessey. Hennessey will have team support from amateur drivers Robert Krivelin, Dein Spriggs, Joe Pennacchio and John Campagnuolo Ingraham will pilot Bad I Am in the event and has Leon Cable, Tony Dinges, Billy Muggleston and Steve Oldford on his roster. That event will also have a $5,752 superfecta carryover going in and kicks off a Pick-5 with a carryover of $6,403 and a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The final Pro-Am event will be conducted on the pentafecta fourth race, featuring a full field of 10 with combined career earnings of over $2.5 million with The Budster the richest of the group at $665,905. Hennessey will be in the bike back of Its Payday Friday in that event and has Joe Pennacchio, James Quinn, Roger Goldstein and Dein Spriggs on his team roster while Ingraham will drive Royal Hawaii with Steve Oldford, Ron Cusimano, Jamie Marra and Billy Muggleston completing his team. In announcing the event, FADC President Spriggs said, "Just as Tim Tetrick and Dave Miller did, Wally (Hennessey) and Dave (Ingraham) were eager participants in this to show just what our sport can do for worthy causes, as we have done for so many years. We can't thank them enough for competing in this event!" Sunday's program also features a classy field in the Open Pace as a $3,000,000 field has been assembled including Doo Wop Hanover ($792,919), Duc Dorleans ($657,789), Arsenal ($500,396) and Sing For Me George ($494,826). Post time for the Sunday program is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park  

CHESTER PA - Petal To The Metal and harness racing trainer/driver Stacy Chiodo watched many contenders expend much energy in battling for command, then swung three-wide late on the far turn and went by everybody en route to a 1:55.3 victory in the $17,000 distaff conditioned pace feature Wednesday at Harrah's Philadelphia. The five-year-old daughter of Art Official was in fact the sixth different leader in the race (in a field of seven), but she was the leader when it counted most, winning by a length over race favorite Lifetime Trust, who edged Never Back Down for third. Chiodo Racing LLC owns the come-from-behind specialist. Driver Marcus Miller, the day after he brought home $39.60 and $60.80 winners and missed a head with a 43-1 shot at Pocono, got the 2018 local "longshot season" off to a flying start in the day's second race, rallying Invested In Lindy from just off a contested pace to post a head winner while lighting up the tote board with a $113.20 payoff for a $2 win ticket. The victory was one of two on the day for Miller, who is currently sixth in the driving standings at The Meadowlands, fifth at Pocono, and tied for third locally three days into the meet. Invested In Lindy's win came in a $16,000 co-feature for "nw 5 races," and the trotter stopped the timer of 1:58.1 for trainer Marc Mosher and owners Edward Hall and James Hall Jr. There was a companion "nw5" class for pacers, and it went to Machiavelli, the full brother to 1:46.4 pacer Dr J Hanover, who took a new mark of 1:52.1 for trainer Gareth Dowse and co-owners Glenn Golter and Abraham Basen. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A disappointing second place finish last week left a bitter taste in the mouth of Sportsmuffler. But on Wednesday night (April 18), she bounced back nice and tasted sweet victory by registering a two length decision over Aritzia Hanover in the featured $10,400 Open Pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway.   After watching Aritzia Hanover reel off fractions of :28.4 and :58.4 to the half, Sportsmuffler (Drew Monti) began her first over journey to the lead. Getting to the top with a quarter mile to pace, Sportsmuffler ($3.10) used a :28.0 final panel to seal the deal in going the mile in a seasonal best 1:56.3.   Aritzia Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) held on for second place while Hey Kobe (David McNeight III) rallied late for third.   It was the second victory in five starts in 2018 for the 6-year-old Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere'smore). Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steven Kiblin, Sportsmaster has now earned $14,309 this season and $227,165 lifetime.   Monti completed the evening with a triple in the sulky while Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Kiblin finished the night with two training wins.   Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to     Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway   Photo: Sportsmuffler taste sweet victory at Buffalo Raceway. Photo by Steve Roth  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, April 19, 2018 - Sometime about a decade ago, a meeting of the minds took place. The purpose of the skull session was to put an end to rampant equine gender discrimination and 'invent' a harness racing companion event for Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The Levy, honoring the memory of harness-racing visionary and Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, was and remains a staple stop for the sport's best Free-For-Allers. The event, started in 1978 (as a one-dash affair), had been resurrected in 2007 after a decade-long hiatus, and the brain trust decided there was no reason the guys should have all the fun. Accordingly, Yonkers Raceway race secretary Steve Starr reached out to the good folks at Blue Chip Farms in not-too-far-away Wallkill, NY, with the idea of putting together a 'ladies only' Levy companion event for standout pacing mares. Hence, 2009 saw the beginning of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. It was/is as long (five preliminary legs) as the Levy Series, also for serious coin ($40,000 per division, per leg) with an rich, added-money final. Then, there's the 'Matchmaker' part of the equation, a lovely carrot at the end of the stick where the first three finishers in the final get a free breeding to one of the farm's pre-selected roster of world-class stallions. The winner gets first choice, runner-up gets second choice, third gets third. With this Saturday night's (Apr. 21st) $373,000 final going as the 10th Matchmaker, what better time-with apologies to Mr. Peabody and Sherman-to make use the WABAC Machine? It was the first Saturday in May, 2009, merely hours after Mine That Bird pulled off a 50-1 stunner in the Kentucky Derby. The first Belle of the Ball turned out to be a 5-year-old daughter of Noble Ability named Pancleefandarpels. "First time I drove her came after Jason (Bartlett) picked off in an Open Handicap here," Jordan Stratton said. "She was a fairly big mare who could take air and was easy on herself." Stratton and Pancleefandarpels won consecutive local distaff derbies-the latter from an assigned eight-hole-leading into the '09 Matchmaker. Competing in the all five prelims, the duo went 1-3-1-5-1 before drawing post position No. 3 in the $229,000 final. Stratton, who hadn't turned 22 years of age, remembered that night. "There was an early breaker (2-5 favorite Chancey Lady [Cat Manzi]) and I had to go a bit wide," he said. "I was able to get in (fourth), then moved first-up. "As I said, she could take air. She put away the leader (Omen Hanover [Eric Abbatiello]) and was sharp." Pancleefandarpels defeated Double Dream N (Brent Holland) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54.4, becoming the first name in the annals. After winning his second Matchmaker last season with Mackenzie A, Stratton tries for the hat trick Saturday with Sell a Bit N from post position No. 2. Now an 'over-the-hill' 30, Stratton has fond memories of Pancleefandarpels. "It was my first big stakes win, so definitely" he said. "People sort of forget about her, but she was very talented." Pancleefandarpels, a Peter Pan Stables homebred trained by Erv Miller, raced through 2012, ending her career with 35 wins and earnings of $1,057,244. This Saturday's Matchmaker goes as the ninth of a dozen races, right before the 31st finale of the Levy, worth $532,000. First post for the $1.3 million card is the usual 6:50 PM. Frank Drucker

HARRINGTON, Del. - Wade Wyatt and Francis Di Mondi Jr.'s Common Parlance ($18.60, Sean Bier) was an upset winner in the $15,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:56.2.  A field of six went post ward in the weekly trotting feature with I Like My Boss marching to the early lead toward the opening quarter mile in 27.4 before yielding to race favorite Tough Mac. Tough Mac led the six-pack to the half mile in 56.2 seconds and three-quarters in 1:26.2 as Murmur Hanover mounted a first-over attack. Murmur Hanover cleared the tiring leaders before Common Parlance charged hard on the outside and hit the wire first. Murmur Hanover held second with I Like My Boss third. Trained by Crissy Crissman-Bier, it was the second straight win for "Parlance," who is a 4-year-old son of Crazed.  Victor Kirby had three wins on the program. Matt Sparacino

WASHINGTON, PA, April 18, 2018 -- Expose Yourself put away the venerable Barn Girl with a quick backside burst and earned a convincing harness racing victory, her third straight, in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. The 2017 Horse of the Year at The Meadows, Barn Girl entered the race off three straight wins but had to work hard from post 9 to get the early lead in 27.2. When Dave Palone moved Expose Yourself from fourth, she exploited the favorite's vulnerability and scored in 1:55.1, matching her career best. The game Barn Girl persevered and earned place, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Ameliosi third. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, a 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mile Wilder collected four wins on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, first post 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino