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Two new harness racing track records were established Monday night, August 6 in Ohio Sires Stakes divisions for 2-year-old trotting colts and fillies at Northfield Park. Wittyville and driver Chris Page trotted confidently to score a new track record clocking of 1:56.2 for 2-year-old colts in the fourth $40,000 OSS division, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:56.3 set by Buckeye Boss and driver Aaron Merriman in a 2016 OSS event. Trained by Ronnie Burke for Burke Racing, Knox Services and Weaver Bruscemi, the Manofmanymissions colt had previously finished sixth and third in the first two OSS legs. Wittyville left the gate at odds of 4-1, besting 5-2 Lane Of Stone (Jeff Nisonger) by three lengths, with 9-2 Cravin For Cash (Greg Grismore) notching third-place honors. Bred by Knox Services, he now has $28,510 in career earnings. Burke also harnessed Dylan The Great to a 1:58 victory in the second OSS colt division, as the 3-5 favorite. The Break The Bank K youngster was given a perfect steer by Chris Page to prevail by 2¾ lengths over 6-1 Yes (Anthony MacDonald), with 5-1 Here Comes Moony (Tyler Smith) third. Owned by Burke Racing, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi, Dylan The Great had finished fourth in leg two and second in leg of OSS competition, and now sports career earnings of $56,400. He was bred by Midland Acres. Cumberland Gap captured the first OSS colt division in a speedy 1:57.4 with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., at the lines. Conditioned and co-owned by Renee Bauslaugh and breeder and co-owner Chuck Stillings, the Wishing Stone colt was on the front end nearly every step of the way, holding on to win by half a length over 3-1 Shake N Back (Greg Grismore), with 3-2 favorite Oh So Pine (Anthony MacDonald) third. Cumberland Gap now has a first, second and eighth-place finish in the first three OSS legs, with $53,570 in his coffers. Peter Trottintail notched his first OSS and career victory in the third OSS test, timed in 1:59.4 for driver Aaron Merriman. The Uncle Peter colt is conditioned by co-owner Miles Wollam for partner Rhett Roll and left the gate as the 7-1 choice, chasing the front-stepping, 9-1 Bosley (Ryan Stahl), before brushing past in the stretch to nail down his first career win. Pattis Main Man, a 30-1 longshot steered by Kyle Ater, picked up show money. Bred by the Steiner Stock Farm, Peter Trottintail now has $32,000 in career earnings. Only Take Cash established a new track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies at Northfield Park by capturing the second OSS filly division in 1:56.4. The previous mark was set by Letsgetitstarted and driver Josh Sutton in 2016 in an OSS leg. Only Take Cash is a Cash Hall filly trained by Robert McIntosh for the Canadian ownership trio of McIntosh Stables; Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables. Aaron Merriman was the lines behind 1-5 Only Take Cash, who scored her fourth career victory in wire-to-wire fashion, besting 13-1 Stone In Love (Chris Page) by nearly five lengths, with 12-1 See Me Sparkle (Tyler Smith) getting up for third. This speedy filly, who was bred by McIntosh Stables and CSX Stables, has had two wins and one second in OSS competition thus far, and sports a bankroll of $77,370. Back Splash and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., also used front-stepping tactics to win their OSS division, clocked in 1:57.3 as the 5-1 choice. This Chris Beaver trainee is a daughter of Triumphant Caviar with a fourth and third-place finish in her previous OSS legs. Bred by Atlantic Trot and Steve Stewart, Back Splash is owned by Beaver, D. Robinson, Steven Zeehandelar and RBH Ventures and has $33,292 in earnings to date. Pure Chance was second at 5-2, half a length behind the winner, for Aaron Merriman, while 1-2 Feel Invincible As was third for Chris Page. Princessofpink was the queen of her division for driver Kurt Sugg and trainer Marty Wollam, who owns the daughter of Full Count in partnership with Toni Dean and Lori Manke. Leaving hard from post five, Princessofpink took command and never relinquished the lead, trotting to a 1:58 mark in her first lifetime victory in her fourth try. She finished three-quarters of a length ahead of 4-5 Vivi D (Kyle Ater), with 6-1 Bella's Rose Power (Aaron Merriman) third. Bred by Steiner Stock Farm and Acadia Farms, Inc., Princessofpink now has $35,825 in career earnings and was sixth and third in her previous two OSS outings. by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 1, 2018 -- It was another harness racing day at the office for Barn Girl, as she rolled to her 11th victory in 15 starts this season in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Barn Girl has finished first or second in each of those 15 outings. Assigned the outside post position as usual, Barn Girl had little trouble grabbing the point for Aaron Merriman, thwarting the first-over bid of her stablemate, Delcrest Magicstar, and downing the pocket-sitting Cincinnati Miss by 1-3/4 lengths in 1: 54.1. Whambamthankumaam rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who extended her career bankroll to $716,158 and her lifetime winning percentage to 51.5, for Renee Bercury. Merriman collected three wins on the 13-race card while Tyler Stillings fashioned an unusual "double-triple" -- three driving victories, three training victories. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, with a special Hambletonian Day post time of 12 noon. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Electric Lad paced home for his 50th career victory, winning the 6th race at Northfield Park on Wednesday (August 1). The 13 year-old veteran, with 346 career starts, also has 51 seconds and 44 third place finishes. Electric Lad (Electric Yankee-Figmental-Precious Bunny) has career earnings of $436,459 with a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Hoosier Park at age nine. The pacer's richest win was for a purse of $19,300 in a claiming race at Hoosier Park in 2013. Electric Lad is a well-traveled campaigner -- his 50 wins have been spread across 11 different racing surfaces. Electric Lad started from post-4 and led his competition at every call through fraction of :27.1, :56.3, 1:25 and 1:54.1, besting his competition by a 1 ¼-lengths. He was the race favorite and returned $4.60 to win. Ryan Bellamy of Anderson, Indiana owns and trains Electric Lad. Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Late Monday evening at Northfield Park in the $19,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap, the harness racing world record for four-year-old pacing mare on a half mile track was tied by Bye Bye Felcia in the 11th race on the program. The daughter of Woodstock, from the Camluck mare, Tea Time, left from post seven for driver Aaron Merriman, was parked out to the opening quarter mile in :27 and then took control of the lead to the half mile in :54.2, the three-quarters in 1:22 and pulled away to win by three and one-half lengths in 1:50.3. The world mark is now co-held with Lakeisha Hall (Matt Kakaley), set in 2017, also at Northfield Park.   The $232,000 career winning mare is trained by William Rhodes, owned by Leah Rhodes of Clarksville, PA and was bred by Billy Walters and Joe McLead of Sugar Valley Farm in Ohio, where Woodstock stands stud. She went off as the betting favorite paying $5.00 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Sass trotted home for his sixth straight win Monday (July 30) in Northfield Park's 10th race, the $19,000 Open Trot. The five year-old harness racing stallion is owned by Paul and Patricia O'Neil of Saratoga Springs, New York and trained by Jessica Roegner. Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. Sass was assigned post eight and was parked through fractional times of :28 and :56.1. He made the lead in the third quarter and never looked back through times of 1:25.1 and 1:55. Despite the tough trip, he bested his competition by 2¼-lengths. Monday's triumph increased Sass' lifetime earnings to $252,536. He was the favorite and returned $4.00 to win. Merriman also won the evening's $19,000 F&M Open with Bye Bye Felicia, who tied the 1:50.3 four year-old-pacing-mare track and world records. The clocking tied a 2017 record of Lakeisha Hall (Matt Kakaley) at Northfield Park. Leah Rhoades of Clarksville, Pennsylvania owns Bye Bye Felicia and William Rhoades is her conditioner. Bye Bye Felicia (Woodstock-Tea Time-Camluck) now has six wins in 28 starts this year. Monday's victory represents her 13th career score and bolstered her bankroll to $232,356. She paid $5.00 to win. Bye Bye Felicia and Sass were just two of the eight wins on the night for North America's leading driver Aaron Merriman. His other triumphs were with Gotta Laugh Again ($2.60) in race six, Anoche ($6.00) in race seven, Khan Blue Chip ($5.00) in race nine, Beach Boy Brody ($2.20) in race 12, Crusoe Hanover ($4.60) in race 14 and A Bettor World ($3.40) in race 16. Although Aaron Merriman was not the pilot, in the evening's fourth race Joyfulntriumphant crossed the finish line as the fastest four year-old-trotting-mare ever at Northfield Park when she won a $12,500 conditioned event in 1:54.2. The former 1:54.4 record was held in a tie by Like Old Times (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) from 2016 and Rose Run Sydney (Ryan Stahl) in 2018. Christopher Beaver of Radnor, Ohio leases and trains Joyfulntriumphant. Chris Lems was in the sulky for the winning drive. Joyfulntriumphant (Triumphant Caviar-Happy Everything-Ken Warkentin) now has 13 lifetime wins and a bankroll of $89,159. She paid $12.80 to win. Ayers Ratliff

WASHINGTON, PA, July 18, 2018 -- Parked past the quarter in 27.2, Barn Girl still was so dominant that she drew off late and notched her fourth win in the last five starts in Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Ready Any Time, who vanquished Barn Girl last week, zipped to the front from post 5, intent on stretching Barn Girl out. But when Aaron Merriman asked the 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie for more, she found it and defeated the rallying Delcrest Magicstar by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:54, giving trainer Bill Bercury and owner Renee Bercury the exacta sweep. Chapter Too finished third. With the victory, Barn Girl vaulted over $700,000 in career earnings. Dave Palone collected five wins on the 14-race card, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke, while Tony Burke enjoyed a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features eliminations for the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids as well as a pair of stakes for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Cooler temperatures and a lovely summer atmosphere at Northfield Park set the stage for a trio of $40,000 Leg two Ohio Sires Stakes for freshman pacing fillies. A total of 23 laterally-gaited distaffs lined up behind the Cleveland starting gate at the Home of the Flying Turns. Rylee Roo, a Pet Rock lass, set a new track record of 1:53.3 in the first OSS division, taking a tick off the previous mark of 1:53.4 set by Shakewhatmamagaveu in 2017. The 4-1 choice left the gate deftly for Aaron Merriman, stalking the leading 1-2 favorite Mi Nina Bonita (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) to the :56.4 half, before taking over the lead and sprinting home to prevail by 1½ lengths over her aforementioned rival. Jason Thompson guided 60-1 longshot Officially My Way up to notch third-place money. Bred and owned by Steven Price of Sandy Springs, GA, Rylee Roo has $20,000 in career earnings. The OSS victory was her first in two lifetime starts, as she was sixth in OSS Leg One on July 6 at Scioto Downs to Lofty Beach. Rylee Roo is the second foal out of the Western Hanover mare Moonlite Delight p, 6, 1:51.3f ($278,548) and is a full sister to Tenwillgetutwenty p 3, 1:55f ($20,125). Delaware owner Frank Chick's Queen Of The Pride didn't disappoint her backers after leaving the gate as the 1-9 overwhelming public favorite, scoring a wire-to-wire triumph in 1:54.3, making her a two-time OSS victress. The big, rangy filly, equipped with spreaders, appeared at times to struggle in the turns, but then seemed uber-confident in the straightaways for driver Tony Hall as she upped her career earnings to $46,500 in an unchallenged effort. Trained by Kevin Lare, Queen Of The Pride held off a determined 7-2 Carmen Ohio (Ryan Stahl) by 1½ lengths, with 50-1 longshot How About Murph (Jeff Nisonger) getting up for third. Bred by Brad Wallace, Queen Of The Pride is by McArdle, out of the Western Ideal mare Lionness Hanover p,2,1:53 ($21,280), making her a half-sister to: Roaring To Go (by Art Major) p, 2, 1:50.4 ($431,999); Well Lets See (by Well Said) p, 4, 1:54.4h ($89,382); and Well Excuuuse Me (by Well Said) p, 4, 1:53f ($76,035). The final OSS division of the evening proved to be the most exciting as a blanket finish saw 25-1 longshot Sugar And Spite (Tyler Smith) best 13-1 Twinsburg (Anthony MacDonald) by a neck in 1:55.2. Rose Run Uptowngal (Chris Page) was third at 5-2 odds, a quarter length back. Trained by Mary Birkhold for Tom Lehmann of Sarasota, FL, the Pet Rock filly sat mid-pack behind the leading Twinsburg before moving three-wide at the three-quarters to prevail with a gutsy :28 final brush. Sugar And Spite had finished third in OSS Leg One at Scioto Downs on July 6 and now has career earnings of $26,000. Bred by Midland Acres, she is the 12th foal out of the prolific Towner's Big Guy mare Tre Cress and has half-siblings in: Peenie (by Real Artist) p, 4, 1:50.4 ($710,021); Chotat Milk (by Jate Lobell) p, 3, 1:51 ($602,852); Tre Bien (by Nobleland Sam) p, 7, 1:52f ($383,181); The Big Beast (by Mister Big) p, 4, 1:52.1s ($57,712); Gucci Mane (by Art Official) p, 4, 1:55f ($37,350); Gaston (by Art Official) p, 3, Q1:54.3h ($25,937). Ohio Sires Stakes continue this coming Friday night at Scioto Downs, with nine $40,000 divisions for 2-year-old trotting colts and fillies. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET at Ohio's Showplace of Racing. by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

WASHINGTON, PA, June 30, 2018 -- Showing no ill effects from a month's layoff, Phoenix Warrior N outkicked the game Reggiano and captured Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Trainer Scott Betts treated Phoenix Warrior N for a variety of minor ailments during his time off. The improvement showed, as the 8-year-old Jereme's Jet-Never Walk Alone gelding peeled off cover into the final turn for Jim Pantaleano and nailed Reggiano by 1/2 length in 1:50.2. Early leader Dapper Dude finished third. Timothy Betts, Nicholas Catalano and Stephen Moss campaign Phoenix Warrior N, who lifted his career bankroll to $289,913. Aaron Merriman piloted four winners on the 13-race card. Monday's program at The Meadows features an $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for freshman filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, June 25, 2018 -- Wind Of The North stalked Trustworthy Kid from the pocket, then blew by in the Lightning Lane to capture Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Customarily a closer, Trustworthy Kid was on a speed mission, throwing down three-quarters in 1:24.2 and giving the favorites, Lady's Dude and Classicality, little chance to overtake him outside. However, he could not shake Wind Of The North, who surged at the wire for Aaron Merriman and edged Trustworthy Kid by a neck in 1:53.1. Lady's Dude finished third. Bill Bercury owns and trains Wind Of The North, an 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding who now boasts $924,848 in career earnings. Dan Rawlings collected three victories on the 13-race card while Rick Beinhauer notched a training double and a winning drive. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

In late February the initial Pro-Am Competition was staged at Pompano Park and today (Tuesday, June 19) at Scioto Downs, the second edition of the challenge where the amateur drivers competed in races with and against some of the industry's top reinsmen was showcased. The competitions are the brainchild of Stacy Cahill, the director of racing at both Pompano and Scioto Downs. And from the participants at each venue monies were raised for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and for New Vocations. Participating professionals included Tim and Trace Tetrick, Dan Noble and Aaron Merriman while the remainder of drivers in each event were all amateurs. And to the surprise of no one, every one of the four contest races was won by a professional. The first contest race was won by Dan Noble with amateur driver, Steve Oldford second and Tim Tetrick third. Noble came back to win the second Pro-Am event as amateur driver Joey Putnam finished second. And Tim Tetrick was again third. Then in the third Pro-Am event Trace Tetrick turned back Aaron Merriman for the victory. Amateur driver Michelle Ruvola took home the show dough. And in the final Pro-Am event Trace Tetrick again emerged victorious with Aaron Merriman second and Michelle Ruvola third. But the amateur drivers had their day in the sun with a race strictly for Billings members late on the card. NED HODKINSON WINS THE BILLINGS TROT  Ned "the Insurance Man" Hodkinson and his trusty steed, Mutinyonthebounty, remain a perfect two-for-two this year after they out-footed nine others to score an impressive victory in a 1:58.1 clocking. After racing on the front-end relatively unchallenged the wire came just in time as a host of trotters were closing in on Mutinyonthebounty. But the veteran Mutineer gelding refused to lose and kept Winbak Charles M and driver "Lawbook Larry" Farley at bay for a head victory.. Better Call Saul was a neck farther back in third for "Michelle The Belle" Ruvola. Sent off the favorite in the race Mutinyonthebounty paid $5.90 for win. Hodkinson, who owns and trains the winner, notched his 61st lifetime driving victory. by John Manzi, for the Billing Series     

COLUMBUS, OH - The trio of 3-year-old trotting colts who captured their respective $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes on Friday night, June 15 at Scioto Downs couldn't be more different. All three are by different Ohio-registered stallions; none were trained or driven by the same person; and all have ownership connections from three different states. Mission Accepted, who captured Leg 1 of this series on May 6 at Miami Valley in 1:53 by four lengths, put forth a similar effort in his OSS division at Scioto, this time winning by two lengths in a track, personal best and national season's record clocking of 1:52. The unaltered son by Manofmanymissions used similar, wire-to-wire tactics for driver Ryan Stahl to nail down his third win in as many tries this season, upping his 2018 earnings to $65,000 for the Ohio-based partnership of trainer Jeff Conger, breeders Knox Services and David Wills as the 1-2 favorite. Two OB Wonkenobi was second for driver Sam Widger at 9-2 odds, while 7-2 Get The Cash and driver Greg Grismore picked up third-place money. Mission Accepted, who captured the $250,000 OSS Championship for freshman trotters on Sept. 2, 2017 at Scioto Downs, now has seven wins and a third in ten career starts and $255,800 in his bankroll. The bay colt is the fifth foal out of the SJ's Photo mare Witty Girl and is a half-brother to March Awareness (by Ken Warkentin) 7, 1:53f ($398,059) and to Witty's Winner (by Jailhouse Jesse) 5, 1:54.4s ($95,757) and has a full brother in the 2-year-old Wittyville, who recently qualified in Q2:01.2f. In the second OSS division, 4-1 Uncle Buck took Aaron Merriman to a spirited 1:54.3 new lifetime mark victory, besting 10-1 longshot MVP Luke (Danny Noble) by 1¼ lengths, with 31-1 longer shot Secret Bro finishing third for Sandy Beatty. Trained by Steve Bauder for Mokena, IL-owner Wayne Temple, the bay gelded son by Stormin Normand grabbed the lead at the 1:25.2 three-quarter marker, and never looked back en route to his fourth victory of 2018. He now has five wins, six seconds and a trio of thirds in 19 career trips postward. Uncle Buck's seasonal earnings stand at $53,150, with $64,429 earned lifetime. Bred by Illinois' Orville Rursch, he is the third foal out of the Brilliant Victory broodmare Brilliant Linda and has half-siblings in Brilliant Winner (by Polar Winner) 2, 2:07.2h ($10,104) and Polar B (by Polar Winner) 2, 1:57.2h ($49,114). Pennsylvania-owned and trained invader Rising MVP, who was making his first start in the OSS series, captured the third and final division in 1:56.2 with Chris Page at the lines. Trained by William Daugherty, Jr. for his wife, owner Susan Daugherty of Mercer, PA, the altered son by My MVP left the gate at odds of 7-1, besting 22-1 longshot Manny L (Jeff Nisonger) by a neck with 1-5 favorite Sultan Of Cash (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) getting up for third, half a length back. Rising MVP returned $16.40 on a two-dollar ticket as he picked up his first win this year. His seasonal earnings stand at $24,048 with his lifetime bankroll at $89,268 from ten wins, two seconds and two thirds in 18 starts. Bred by Mahlon A. Miller of Sugarcreek, Ohio, Rising MVP is the third foal out of the unraced Credit Winner mare Nutmeg's Winner and is a half-brother to Rail Kat (by Muscle Native) 4, 1:56f ($137,454) and Rally In The Hall (by Amigo Hall) 3, 2:00f ($18,480). After the first two Ohio Sires Stakes legs in this division, the following horses are the top point earners: Mission Accepted (102), Sultan Of Cash (64), Uncle Buck (64), Northmedo Mission (52), MVP Luke (52), Two OB Wonkenobi (52) and Rising MVP (51). Leg 3 for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be contested on July 9 at Northfield Park and Leg 4 on Aug. 24 at Scioto Downs, with the $275,000 Championship set for Sept. 8 at Scioto Downs and the $60,000 Consolation Oct. 13 at Northfield Park. by Kim Rinker, for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

WASHINGTON, PA, June 13, 2018 -- Barn Girl thwarted the late challenge of Ready Any Time and went on to capture Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Trot at The Meadows, her eighth win in 11 starts this year and the 50th victory of her career. Barn Girl endured a demanding opening quarter -- three wide in 27.1 -- before reaching the front, a trip that could have made her vulnerable. But in characteristic fashion, she dug in for Aaron Merriman when Ready Any Time loomed boldly and defeated her by 3/4 lengths in 1:54. The pocket-sitting Expose Yourself finished third. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $683,668, for Renee Bercury. It was one four wins on the 13-race program for Merriman. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $12,500 for the Pick 4, $5,000 for the Pick 5 -- as well as a $2,404.55 carryover in the day's first Superfecta and a $2,517/70 jackpot in the final-race Super High 5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Cams Valentino crossed the finish line faster than any other four year-old pacing gelding on a half-mile track in the history of harness racing when he won the $14,500 Open II in 1:49 on Monday (June 11). The clocking also tied the all-age track on Northfield Park's half-mile oval. The former four year-old gelding world record was held by Wiggle It Jiggleit (2016, Nfld, Montrell Teague) and the Northfield record was solely held by Scott Rocks (6, 1:49, Aaron Merriman). Arold, Drury, Kohut LLC owns Cams Valentino. Kent Sherman is his conditioner and Aaron Merriman was in the sulky for the winning drive. Cams Valentino (Art Official-Cam's Valentine-Cam Fella) started from post one. He left from the gate and led the entire mile through times of :27, :54.2, 1:21.2 and 1:49, dominating his competition by 11 ½-lengths. Cams Valentino now has five wins in 16 starts this year. Monday's victory represents his 12th career score and bolstered his bankroll to $88,634. He was heavily favored and returned $2.20 to win. by Ayres Ratliff, for Northfield Park $50,000 Ohio Sire Stake at Northfield When Tyler Smith steered Spunky Bottom Girl to victory in the first of two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for sophomore trotting fillies on Monday night, June 11 at Northfield Park, it brought to fruition a long history of genetic luck for owner/breeder Ed Teefey.   “I bought the granddam of this filly, Princess Pan, 2, 2:01.1M  ($14,205) some ten years ago at the Meadowlands Sale,” said Teffey, a retired banker, harness announcer and auctioneer from Mount Sterling, IL.    “She was a daughter of Supergill who was in foal to Classic Photo. I was standing next to trainer Tony Alagna, who told me he had bid on her yearling the year before for $70,000.  I was just standing there and made one bid of $5,700 and she, and her unborn foal, were mine.”   The following year, Teefey christened Princess Pan’s eleventh foal, a filly, Princess Addie, named after his first granddaughter.  Princess Addie is a full sister to the $384,105-winning mare Firstclassprincess 6, 1:53; and a half-sister to the gelding Peaceful Prince (by Lindy Lane) 7, 1:56.2f ($228,909), among others.   “She really didn’t have a lot of talent and then she broke a sesamoid at three,” Teefey recalled. “But she comes from the family of Illinois champion Lady Ann Reed, who was a prolific mare some four decades ago. So, on the advice of Tony (Alagna) and Myron (Bell), I bred her to My MVP, who stands here in Ohio (at Sugar Valley Farm) in Delaware.”   The resulting foal was Spunky Bottom Girl, who, Teefey noted, is named after a bluegrass band in Teefey’s hometown.   “We raced her ten times last year as a 2-year-old in Illinois,” Teefey explained. “She did okay for us (earning $15,225).  Trainer Mike Brink had her then and I kind of thought she’d step up a bit this year and mature, and so we decided to race her mainly in Ohio.  Two friends—Dean Beachy and Carl Becker—suggested I leave her with (trainer) Brent Davis in Zanesville, so that’s what we did.”   Spunky Bottom Girl left the gate at 7-1 odds and sat quietly mid-pack, while 3-2 Sesame (Aaron Merriman) and 20-1 Alana’s Ways (Josh Sutton) slugged it out, taking the field of seven to a :28 first panel clocking. Around the final turn Spunky Bottom Girl moved three-wide, with 4-5 favorite Impinktoo (Kayne Kauffman) four-wide, with the former drawing off to win by two lengths in a career best 1:55.4.  Impinktoo held on for second, while Sesame nailed down show honors.   The win upped Spunky Bottom Girl’s career earnings to $57,215 and was her first win of her 3-year-old career. She now has four wins in 17 career starts, along with four second-place finishes.   In the second $50,000 OSS division, rivals California Love (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Non Smoker (Danny Noble) hit the finish line together, in a 1:56.2 dead-heat for the win.    Californian Love, a 17-1 shot trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver and Steve Zeehandelar, Marion Beachy and Moger-Delia Racing, is a Storming Norman lass bred by Beachy who has eight wins to her credit in 20 starts, with $96,752 in career earnings.  She was a solid fourth to Red Storm in Leg 1 of this series at Miami Valley on May 4.   Non Smoker captured her OSS Leg 1 division at Miami Valley on May 4 in 1:54 for owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH.  Trained by Noble, the grey daughter by My MVP has a career bankroll of $76,601 from five wins in 12 starts.    Leaving the gate at 7-2, Non Smoker repelled challenges by 1-2 Looking For Zelda (Tony Hall) and 9-2 Red Storm (Aaron Merriman), before getting caught by California Love at the wire.  Red Storm held on for third, three-quarters of a length behind the two victresses.   by Kim RInker, for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

Jim Kunkel celebrated his 71st birthday on Monday, but that wasn't the day this week he was most looking forward to enjoying. Not when his homebred trotter Moosonee is racing. Moosonee, a 3-year-old gelding bred by Kunkel and his wife Sandra, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first of two Currier & Ives Stakes divisions Wednesday (June 6) at The Meadows. Moosonee, who is eligible to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes, has a win and a second in two starts this season for trainer Chris Beaver. "I just want to get up and enjoy every day at this stage of my life," said Kunkel, who lives in south-central Massachusetts and breeds and races under Winterbeary Farm. "The greatest thrill will be sitting and watching that baby race tomorrow afternoon because if you're into horseracing there's nothing better. This has been such a pleasant surprise that we're numb. I'm just in awe of him. "We're just two average country bumpkins here that probably don't deserve this kind of horse." Moosonee is a son of Explosive Matter out of the Kunkels' stakes-winning mare Lady Andover. His second dam, Lost Lady One, was a New York Sire Stakes champion and Breeders Crown runner-up. Last year, Moosonee won a division of the Keystone Classic, his only victory in 10 starts, and was second in the Madison County and divisions of the Bluegrass and Arden Downs stakes. The gelding hit the board a total of seven times and earned $64,710. "Chris took him along slowly," Kunkel said. "He always raced good. He didn't have much racing luck, but he was always around the finishing line." This year, Moosonee debuted at The Meadows with a win in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes over returning series champion Fashionwoodchopper and then finished second to You Know You Do, last year's Peter Haughton Memorial winner, in a division of the sire stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In his victory at The Meadows, driver Aaron Merriman made a three-wide move off the final turn to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54 on a sloppy track. "When you're racing against those horses, you're going to find out how good you really are," Kunkel said. "When (Merriman) took that horse off the turn that day and came three wide with him, he just blew by them. I just sat in shock watching it on the computer." Kunkel's uncle Joe and father John were involved in harness racing and Kunkel, who is retired after working in the automobile, school bus, and insurance businesses, has enjoyed horses for as long as he can remember. "I've been around Standardbred racehorses since I was born," Kunkel said. "I worked every summer when I was in high school at the old Foxboro Raceway. I went to college in Boston and spent more time at Suffolk Downs than I did in the classroom. Once you get hooked, you're hooked." Moosonee is one of seven Hambletonian eligible horses in Wednesday's Currier & Ives. The others are Rich And Miserable, Patent Leather, and Banker Twentyfive in the first division and Meadowbranch Ricky, Crystal Fashion, and I Know My Rights in the second division. Kunkel is not thinking about the Hambletonian at this point. "I've been around this long enough to know you don't get too high, you don't get too low," Kunkel said. "I think he can compete. Whether he can dominate, that's a whole different story. But it's been a dream come true for us. It's been nothing but a tremendous thrill. I can't wait for tomorrow when he races again. The best driver, a great racetrack; what more could you ask for." For Wednesday's complete Meadows entries, click here. Racing begins at 1:05 p.m. (EDT). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

HARRISBURG PA - Aaron Merriman, who was won more races than any other harness racing driver in North America for each of the last three seasons and who recently became the 13th - and youngest - sulkysitter in continental history to record 10,000 career victories, has been voted the Mary Lib Miller Award, the most prestigious award given by the Keystone chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. "Ironman" Merriman commutes on many racing days between The Meadows near Pittsburgh and Northfield Park on the outskirts of Cleveland - a lot of miles, and on a tight schedule that is hard to maintain (in winning an award in Florida recently, the "background music" as he approached the stage was the wail of a police car's siren). But Aaron has much more success on the racetrack than he does on the interstate - last year he won 1095 races, second-highest yearly total ever and almost 500 victories ahead of his nearest competitor. The Mary Lib Miller Award is named after the wife of The Meadows' founder, Hall of Fame horseman Delvin Miller, who was the goodwill ambassador and hostess to scores of dignitaries who raced at The Meadows. (How much she would have seen of Merriman, who always seems to be racing a horse or racing to a car to drive at another track, is difficult to say.) Hannelore Hanover, 2017 Harness Horse of the Year, was the logical choice for Pennsylvania-bred Horse of the Year. Raised at the renown Hanover Shoe Farms (another Keystone Chapter honoree after breaking their own record for yearly earnings with $31.5M), the trotting mare posted the second-fastest mile on her gait, a 1:49.2 mile at Lexington, and often defeated male company. The Meadows-based horse, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing, Weaver / Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables, bankrolled just over a million dollars in a championship campaign. A filly who many think may soon rank in the stratosphere is Manchego, a Jimmy Takter-trainee who was voted Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Horse of the Year. Last year at two she was undefeated in 12 outings, including two prelim wins in the Sire Stakes and then an authoritative victory in the Championship, with her 1:54.2 time in the final matching the stakes record of Wild Honey. Horses purchased by the Bill Bercury stable after successful stakes campaigns in their youth were named the PA Overnight Pacer and Trotter of the Year. The sidewheeler is Dapper Dude, who beat Sweet Lou in his PaSS championship at two and now has gone in 1:50 in each of the six years since, with 13 wins and $163,000+ at age eight in 2017; the trotter is Barn Girl, who has won 19 times since being acquired by Team Bercury in October 2016, including 15 triumphs last year while amassing over $200,000. Team McMullen added their second Small Stable of the Year award to the one they earned in 2012. Headed by patriarch John McMullen Jr., the three-horse stable ran up a UTR of .660 at the fairs, and had two Fair Final champions: Hockey Hanover, a two-year-old trotter who became the first PA horse to win his Stallion Series Championship and his Fair Championship in the same year, and All Set Lets Go, the only repeat Championship winner from two to three in 2017, and the top pointwinner at the fairs this summer. The freshman pacing colt Venier Hanover earned a Special Achievement Award for the unprecedented speed show he put on at the fairs this season, setting eight track records, going seven times in 2:00 or better, and tying the all-age track record of 2:00.1 at Wattsburg under the guidance of Dave Brickell. This elite group of Keystone State campaigners will be awarded their trophies in racetrack ceremonies throughout the state's pari-mutuel tracks, and at the fairs when they resume in early summer. Keystone Chapter, U. S. Harness Writers Association

The Miami Valley drivers colony congratulates Aaron Merriman on his 10,000th career win a day after he became just the 13th reinsman in history of harness racing to accomplish the feat. A regular on the Friday night programs at Miami Valley, Merriman has also won the national dash title three years in a row.

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