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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway has seen 10 track records either tied or broken during the 2018 season and when the 2-year-old colt and geldings step onto the racing surface Wednesday night (July 18) in a pair of $53,500 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS), a pair of long-standing marks could be in serious jeopardy.   The oldest record currently listed is for 2-year-old geldings of 1:56.3 established in 2010 by Roadside Delight while the colt's barrier of 1:55.4 was set in 2013 by He's Watching. With near perfect weather conditions in the forecast, another editing of the record book is possible.   One entrant is already in possession of a track standard at Monticello and that is Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) who will appear in the opener on the 10-race card. He's a perfect 2-for-2 in his brief career including a record time of 1:54.3 at Monticello on July 4. That time erased the previous barrier of 1:55.2 clocked by Freedomformysoul in 2014.   Melodies Major, who has captured both his Sire Stakes races, drew the two post and is the even money morning line favorite with Tyler Buter getting the call in the sulky. Melodies Major has yet to trail in any of his pari-mutual starts and has amassed $53,250 already.   His main competition could come from Jack Nation, a winner last time out in the NYSS on July 4 at Monticello in 1:57.0. Drawing the rail with Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike, Jack Nation (American Ideal-Ladyjack) was 12 lengths behind at one point but closed like a train to pull off the half-length score over Covered Bridge (American Ideal-Stonebridge Kisses).   The field of six also includes KJ Leo (Jason Bartlett), Keystone Dakota (Kevin Cummings), Covered Bridge (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Rock American (Scott Coulter).   The second division, slated for the back half of the early daily double, looks to be a wide-open event with Bicorne Hanover getting the slight 2-to-1 morning line edge from the pylons. Cummings will steer the Ron Burke-trained freshman colt. Bicorne Hanover (Art Major-Boldnbrash Hanover) has a second and fourth place finish in his two Sire Stakes appearances.   Jojo's Place (Roll With Joe-Angel Place) hopes to get out of a third place rut. Conditioned by John Butenschoen, he's had two show finishes in his pair of NYSS outings and will get the services of Bartlett out of the four spot.   Completing the field will be Shanghai Bobby (Morrill Jr.), Bean (Coulter), P Zonka (Drew Monti) and Jet Rock (Marohn Jr.).   There are also a pair of $15,000 Excelsior A Series races on the program and a $6,400 leg of the Excelsior B Series. First post is 5 p.m.   It's the last week of action in 2018 at Buffalo Raceway. For more information including the latest news, simulcast schedule, upcoming promotions, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) took center stage at the Tioga Downs Sunday afternoon (July 15). St Somewhere (Yannick Gingras) charged late to win the third division ($36,566). Zero Tolerance (David Miller) charged out of the gate and controlled all the early fractions (:27.4, :56.3, 1:25.0). St Somewhere ($2.90) who is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable & P Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby with Weaver Bruscemi, followed in the pocket until almost mid-stretch, fired like he had a jet pack on and got by just before the wire in 1:52.2. She missed the track record for 2-year-old filly pacers by two fifths of a second. Zero Tolerance settled for second. Money Shot Hanover (Tyler Buter) was third. St Somewhere is a 2-year-old filly by American Ideal-Somstreetsomewhere. It was her second win in three lifetime starts. Prescient Beauty (Doug McNair) holds on to capture first division of NYSS ($35,866). Prescient Beauty ($2.80) made every pole a winning one (:28.1, :57.1, 1:25.3, 1:54.1). Owned by James Avritt Sr. and trained by Gregg McNair, she looked like she was going to breeze in the stretch but Crazy Cute (Jim Morrill Jr.) came flying late but just fell short to finish second. Ladybeluckytonite was third. Prescient Beauty is a 2-year-old by Art Major-Precious Beauty. She is two for two in her young career. The 1:54.1 is her fastest. Long shot Boogie Roll (Tyler Buter) fires late to capture the second division of the NYSS ($36,566). Sun Viser (Tim Tetrick) went to the front and led the group to a first quarter of :28.0 and half of :57.3. Gia's Surreal (Doug McNair) flew by on the backstretch and led them to three-quarters in 1:25.3. She look like she was poised to win. Boogie Roll ($27.40) was fifth after the three-quarter mark. Owned by Joe Lee, Diamond Pride, Sholty Racing, I Goldfarb and trained by Buzzy Sholty, she went three widein the stretch and went on by to win her first career race in 1:54.0. Gia's Surreal settled for second. JK American Beauty (Yannick Gingras) finished third. Boogie Roll is a 2-year-old filly by Roll With Joe-Boogie Woogie Flu. Tioga Downs returns to live racing when they host NYSS freshman trotting colts on Friday (July 20) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Now they are even. After Classic American N ($3.90) suffered a heart breaking nose setback last week to Western Conquest in Buffalo Raceway's $11,500 Open Pace, he returned the favor on Saturday night (July 14) by pinning a demoralizing head loss on the hard charging Western Conquest in 1:56.0.   For the second consecutive week, the Open Pace was reduced to four entrants with Best Ears and Sir Ziggy's Z Tam both scratched due to illness. So that left a quartet to battle it out over the good track.   This time around, Classic American N got the upper hand early and set the tempo as Western Conquest had to give chase. With fractions of :28.4, :58.0 and 1:27.2, it ended up being a repeat of last Saturday's race between the two.   In the lane, Classic American N (Billy Davis Jr.) managed to stay in front as Western Conquest made a late surge but ran out of real estate. Focus Power (Drew Monti) took the show position.   Co-owned by the Nick Surick Stable LLC and the J L Benson Stables, Inc. and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, it was the fourth win in 21 starts for Classic American N (American Ideal-Classic Vicolo). The victory increased his seasonal bankroll to $32,270 and $271,455 in his career.   Ray Fisher Jr. had four trips to the winner's circle with Davis Jr. getting three and Monti a pair. Trainer Russell Bratt had three victories.   Buffalo Raceway will start its final week of racing this year on Wednesday at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program slated. It will be the last appearance in 2018 for the New York Sire Stakes at the Hamburg half-mile oval with the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers in action.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "That was crazy. Horses aren't supposed to go that fast here," driver Brett Miller said after Hitman Hill annihilated the Buffalo Raceway track record for 3-year-old gelded pacers with a 1:51.4 mile on Sunday (July 8) in winning his $39,000 (approx.) division of the New York Sire Stakes. The previous standard was 1:53.1 established in 2016 by Missile J.   Other winners were Rootin Tootin ($2.90) who posted a 3/4-length victory in 1:53.4 while Trump Nation ($3.00) notched a 3/4-length win in 1:54.0 on the crystal clear afternoon.   Things didn't go the way Miller had hoped at the start with Hitman Hill. "I wanted to get to the lead and go from there but they (Rockapelo and Topville Olympian) were just going too fast so I had to drop into third."   After watching splits of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:24.2, Miller guided Hitman Hill to the outside with a panel to race and used a :27.0 last quarter to secure the victory in record time. Topville Olympian (James MacDonald) took second with Rockapelo (Jim Morrill Jr.) securing the third place check.   Co-owned by Tim Hill and the Northfork Racing Stable., it was the second win in seven tries in 2018 for Hitman Hill (American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker). The win upped his seasonal bankroll to $115,870 and $262,403 in his brief 14-race career.   Rootin Tootin used the passing lane to gain the lead and managed to hold off a late rally by Twin B Tuffenuff (Miller) to post the victory in the opening leg. My Delight took the show position.   With My Delight (Scott Zeron) setting the pace with fractions of :28.0, :57.0, and 1:26.1, Rootin Tootin eventually shook free from third and poured it on with a :27.2 last frame.   Morrill Jr. said of Rootin Tootin, "He doesn't like the front end so I took him back. He gets lazy on the front end. But when we found racing room in the stretch, he sprinted to the line. It all worked out well."   Co-owned by trainer Blake MacIntosh, Stuart McIntosh, Fred Brayford and Robert MacNeil, it was the third victory in seven starts this year for Rootin Tootin (Roll With Joe, Wild Retreat). The 3-year-old colt has earned $49,195 in 2018 and $113,041 lifetime.   Trump Nation, the winner Rooney Pace earlier this season at Yonkers, never got to the lead until past the opening quarter marker and hung on late to beat Real Surreal (MacDonald) in the final division.   "I wanted to follow the four (Real Surreal) but that didn't work out so I had to go," Bartlett said of making the big brush to the top early.   With fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.3, Trump Nation needed every moment in going :27.2 in the lane to hold of the late charges of Real Surreal (MacDonald) and Major Authority (Morrill Jr.). "He dug in when he had to," Bartlett said of Trump Nation..   The 3-year-old colt is co-owned by the Crawford Racing Stable and Evan Katz. Trained by Chris Oakes, Trump Nation (Betterthancheddar-Late Flyin N) has produced $209,346 in winning this year and $259,656 lifetime.   Driver/trainer Ray Schnittker took both the $15,000 Excelsior A race and the $6,500 Excelsior B event.   Schnittker registered a $14,20 surprise with Major Sugar Rush in 1:54.1 in the "A" race and then captured the "B" bracket as Damion Diesel Hahn cruised to a $9.30 score in 1:55.4.   Bartlett, Morrill Jr. Schnittker and Ray Fisher Jr. each had doubles on the program while Oakes and Schnittker had two training victories.   Racing will return on Wednesday at 5 p.m. with a 14-race program scheduled. The card will be highlighted by the New York Sire Stakes with the 2-year-old filly trotters ready to compete.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway's co-featured $11,500 Open Pace may have been scratched down to a field of four but that didn't stop them from putting on quite a show on Saturday night (July 7).   Western Conquest ($8.90) was the headliner as he went gate-to-wire, winning a terrific stretch duel against Classic American N, to register a nose victory in 1:53.2. The time tied the track record for aged (5+) pacing horses set by Utah Beach in 2017.   In the co-main event, the $11,500 Open Trot, Empire Earl N ($3.30) had to get reacquainted with the inside post and took full advantage of it, coasting to a front-running 1-1/2 length score over Chelseas Chance in 1:57.4 over the fast surface.   With China Dream and Sir Ziggy's Z Tam both excused due to illness, it left a quartet to duke it out in the Open Pace.   Scoring from the inside, Western Conquest (Ray Fisher Jr.) zoomed immediately to the lead, setting fractions of :28.0, 56.4 and 1:25.2. With a quarter mile to pace, it appeared the first over and heavily favored Upfront Countryboy (Shawn Gray) was ready to launch a serious bid but that quickly fizzled out.   It left Western Conquest to deal with the pocket sitting Classic American N (Ron Beback Jr.) who made a valiant attempt to collar the pace-setter but lost by a nose in the photo. Best Ears (John Cummings Jr.) took the show position.   Owned by the Tanah Merah Farms LLC and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the fifth win in 12 outings for the 7-year-old horse Western Conquest (American Ideal-Aries Conquest). The victory jumped his seasonal earnings to $28,575 and $287,136 lifetime.   It's been quite a while since Empire Earl N drew the inside post and Buffalo Raceway's defending Trotter of the Year felt right at home, storming off the gate and never looked back.   Setting moderate splits of :30.0, :59.1 and 1:28.3, Empire Earl N (Monti) used a :28.4 last panel to hold off any potential threats from Chelseas Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) and Bold Dresser (Shawn McDonough) who had to settle for second and third place respectively.   Owned by Kimberly Asher and conditioned by Riley Asher-Stalbaum, it was the sixth win in 19 appearances this year for the 10-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The victory upped his 2018 earnings to $46,618 and $208,458 in his career.   Fisher Jr. and Monti completed the evening with driving triples. Trainers Steve Kiblin, JD Perrin and Swift each had a pair of victories.   Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 12-race program set. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the card with the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers set to clash. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B series.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 6, 2018-New York Sire Stakes continued downstate Friday night (July 6th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $162,000 Clyde Hirt Pace for 2-year-old fillies. Three conveniently-concocted divisions, each worth $54,000, comprised the event. The opening division saw a certified eight-hole beat down administered by St. Somewhere (George Brennan, $4.70). Wide early, as one would surmise from this impost, St. Somewhere worked around longshot Sun Viser (catch-driver Dan Dube), then gave nothing else a shot (:27.2, :56.3, 1:25.2, maiden-breaking 1:54.4). The final margin was 4¾ lengths, with JK American Beauty (Brian Sears) arriving late for second. Slight 6-5 choice Meghan Lynn (Jason Bartlett) bid, then flatted for third, with Sun Viser fourth. For second choice St. Somewhere, a daughter of American Ideal co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi, it was that first win in her second start. The exacta paid $29.60, the triple returned $70 and the superfecta paid $328.50. "I was really impressed with her, especially since it was her first time on a half-(mile track)," Brennan said, The evening's second grouping had favored So Awesome (Tim Tetrick, $3.50) do her night's work with few issues (:29.2, :59, 1:27.2, first purse-win 1:55.3). From post position No. 4, So Awesome was chased around the four turns by pole-sitting Crazy Cute (Jim Morrill Jr.), whipping that rival by 3½ lengths. Who Can You Trust (Bartlett) was third, with She's Da Boom (Jim Marohn Jr.) fourth. For So Awesome, a So Surreal miss owned by William Hartt and trained by Scott DiDomenico, it was also a first win in a pair of seasonal/career tries. The exacta paid $10.40, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $412. "I like her a lot," DiDomenico said. "She's really special." The evening's third and final get-together was by far the strangest. Brooklyn Lilacs (Morrill Jr.), the 2-5 favorite, made the lead from post No. 6 after eschewing an early three-hole. She did so after a :28.4 opening quarter-mile. Hurrikane Norakane (Dube), the first leader from post No. 4, surrendered for the pocket as the odds-on choice found a :58.1 intermission. Down the backside the second time, Brooklyn Lilacs appeared to get on one line as she bore out noticeably off the cones. That altered the paths of horses both behind and outside of her. She did own the lead at the 1:27.3 three-quarters and crossed the wire first by a half-length in 1:56.4. However, the judges were quick to take a look. Upon review, Brooklyn Lilacs was placed last (seventh) for essentially impeding all her rivals. That moved up Hurrikane Norkane ($12), Gia's Surreal (Bartlett), Money Shot Hanover (Tetrick) and Eos N Rock (Marohn Jr.) to the four wagering gimmick positions. For third choice Hurrikane Norakane, an Art Major miss trained by John McDermott for co-owners Jonathan Klee, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno, it was her initial race for money. The exacta paid $175.50, the triple returned $3,440 and the superfecta paid $16,191 (base $2 payout). Friday night's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won a repeating Magic Forces (Brennan, $4.70) in 1:51.3. The next New York Sire Stakes visit is Tuesday's (July 24th) $162,000 Frank Becerra Pace (another visit by 2-year-old fillies, purse TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The New York Sires Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers is nearing the halfway point and Sunday afternoon (July 8) at Buffalo Raceway, precious points that are needed to reach the finals are starting to come at a premium.   A trio of races, worth approximately $39,000 each, has attracted 17 sophomores looking to solidify their spots for the finals on Saturday, September 22 at Yonkers Raceway. In the current point standings, 10 of the top 20 boys will be in action on Sunday. Along with a nice check, 50 critical points will be put into the account of the victors.   Entrants include defending 2-year-old NYSS champion Jersey Jim, 2018 Rooney Pace winner Trump Nation, current NYSS point leader My Delight and Hitman Hill, a winner of nearly $250,000 in just 13 career starts.   The first leg will feature My Delight (Betterthanchaddar-Kg Delight) who currently sits atop the points standings with 87. He hasn't missed the board in six starts this season, putting $49,599 in the bank. My Delight, who has a first, second and third place finish in NYSS competition in 2018, will begin from the four post and be driven by Scott Zeron.   The major threat could be Rootin Tootin (Roll With Joe-Wild Retreat) who currently sits in second place in the points race with 55. Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Rootin Tootin from the second hole.   Others in the field include Lisburn (John MacDonald), Twin B Tuffenuff (Brett Miller) and Handsoffmychips (Jason Bartlett).   Hitman Hill (American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker) arrives coming off a third place finish the $500,000 Hempt Finals at Pocono Downs, losing by a mere head. A participant in last year's North American Cup final at Woodbine, Hitman Hill has a lifetime best of 1:49.3 at Pocono. Brett Miller will steer him from the six post.   It's a stacked field against Hitman Hill as all his foes are in the top 20 in points including Rockapelo (Morrill Jr.), Lyons Steel (Drew Monti), Topville Olympian (James MacDonald), Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron) and Rock Lights (Bartlett).   Ghost Dance was victorious in the NYSS last season at Buffalo Raceway with a 1:57.3 decision with Mike Saftic in the sulky.   The third division, scheduled as the fifth race, has reigning champion Jersey Jim (Artiscape-Jersey Pearl) entered. It's been a rather slow beginning this season for him, earning just $13,101 in seven tries this season after putting $177,483 in the bank in 2017. Things could be looking brighter however for Jersey Jim (Ray Fisher Jr.) as he comes off an impressive 4-3/4 score in 1:52.2 at Saratoga Raceway on June 30.   The main competition should come from Trump Nation (Betterthancheddar-Late Flyin N), the winner of the $300,000 Rooney Finals at Yonkers on May 26 in 1:51.3. With a bankroll of $189,746 already in 2018, Trump Nation drew the rail with Bartlett slated to drive.   Other scheduled to compete in the final bracket include Major Authority (Morrill Jr.), Cross My Mind (Zeron), Real Surreal (MacDonald) and Love Yourself (Steven Rybka).   The track records for the 3-year-old pacing colts is 1:52.3 by Steelhead Hanover in 2012 and 1:53.1 for the geldings established in 2016 by Missile J.   Also on the program will be one $15,000 Excelsior A race and a $6,500 Excelsior B event.   Post time for the 12-race card is 12:30 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

When a teenage John Fodera began owning racehorses 57 years ago, he had no idea where it would lead him. But over the ensuing years, his involvement has brought him to the winner's circle in many of harness racing's great events, including the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, Little Brown Jug and Metro Pace. He will try again this year to add the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace to the list. Fodera, a Staten Island resident who has attended races at the Meadowlands since opening night in 1976, is a partner on three horses in Saturday's eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace. All three -- American History, Babes Dig Me and Captain Deo -- are trained by Tony Alagna. Those three horses are among five Alagna hopefuls in the elims, with O'Brien Award-winner Stay Hungry and Odds On Lauderdale joining the group. The eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace, which is for 3-year-old pacers, are part of a Saturday card at the Big M that includes the $250,000 finals of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters. Racing begins at 6:35 p.m. (EDT). The Meadowlands Pace eliminations are races six and eight. The Graduate Series finals are races five and 10. "I've been in the business since I was 16 years old," the 73-year-old Fodera said. "It goes back a long, long time. The majority of years I was in the claiming business, and I did well. I prided myself on watching all the races. I didn't even know what the yearling business was all about back then. "Little by little I got involved (with yearlings) and this is where we are now. It's been fun in the game. It's been really good; I can't complain at all." Fodera got started owning horses with a $2,500 claimer named Sir Carlith that he bought with his cousin, Jim McGovern. He developed friendships with a number of owners over the years at the Meadowlands, including Brittany Farms' George Segal and Myron Bell, who helped get Fodera started with yearlings and stakes races. Since then, Fodera has been a partner on numerous stakes-winners including Luckyisasluckydoes, Yankee Skyscaper, Boulder Creek, Mr Feelgood, Tell All, Shake It Cerry, and Artspeak. Tell All was Canada's Horse of the Year in 2007 as well as a Dan Patch Award winner. Shake It Cerry was Trotter of the Year in 2014 while Boulder Creek and Artspeak were divisional champions. As for Fodera's Meadowlands Pace horses, American History heads to his elimination off a 1:47 mile in a conditioned race last week at the Meadowlands. The time was one-fifth of a second off the world record for a 3-year-old pacer. For his career, the son of American Ideal-Perfect Touch has won five of 10 races and earned $100,243 for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and American History Racing, which includes Fodera. The colt finished last season with a third-place finish behind Lost In Time and Stay Hungry in the Governor's Cup. This year, he was third in his elimination of the North America Cup and 10th in the final. American History, the No. 1-ranked horse in Meadowlands analyst Dave Little's final Road to the Meadowlands Pace, is in the second of the two eliminations, with supplemental entries Courtly Choice and Jimmy Freight plus Fashiononthebeach, Babes Dig Me, Odds On Lauderdale, Grand Teton and Dorsoduro Hanover. American History and driver Yannick Gingras will start from post one. "We were very high on him last year," Fodera said about American History. "Tony took his time with him, that's why he only had five starts. We started real late at the end of the Lexington meet and he showed he had a lot of talent. And it's come to the fore. "I thought he went a giant mile in the North America Cup elim; parked three deep to the quarter in (:26.1), and leading before getting beat by three-quarters of a length. The week after, he was as flat as could be. He couldn't beat anybody. He just didn't go. No excuses. We gave him a week off and he came back and trained great before last Friday. We're confident he will put in a very respectful mile here. I think it's going to be some race." Babes Dig Me, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Babe, has won two of 15 lifetime races and earned $122,974 for owners Brad Grant, Joe Sbrocco, Robert Leblanc and In The Gym Partners, which includes Fodera. The colt was third in the Art Rooney Pace and second to Courtly Choice in the consolation division of the North America Cup. Captain Deo is in the first Meadowlands Pace elimination, with Ideal Feeling, Hayden Hanover, This Is The Plan, Nutcracker Sweet, Stay Hungry, and Thinkbig Dreambig. Captain Deo, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Worldly Beauty, has won two of 10 career races and $30,307 for owners Alagna Racing, Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Captain Deo Partners. Elimination winners draw for posts one through six for the final. "I think the eliminations will be very exciting," said Fodera, who retired in 2017 as principal at St. Peter's Boys High School on Staten Island and now serves as the school's president. "It will be a great night." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

On a hot, sticky afternoon, Monticello Raceway hosted a special July 4th Sire Stake card, although the famous Monticello Raceway fireworks are scheduled for Friday July 6th at 10pm, Melodies Major put on his own fireworks show in the last race of the day in the 2nd division of Sire Stakes worth $54,500. Major Blake (PP4) was the first away from the gate going into the first turn, Tyler Buter carefully floated the co-favorite Melodies Major, starting from post position 7, away from the gate and around the first turn. Major Blake had not choice to relinquish the lead as Melodies Major brushed past him and got the lead on the outside at the ¼ in 28.2. Melodies Major paced his second quarter in 29 and steamed his way to the half in 57.2. Major Blake was right on Tyler Buters helmet the entire mile, the positions remain unchanged as they hit the ¾ in 1:26.2. The robust son of Art Major - Hilarious, looked like a man amongst boys down the lane and unleashed a 28.1 final stanza for an easy win in 1:54.3, eclipsing the former track record for of 1:55:2, set by Freedomformysoul in 2014. The Mark Ford trained freshman is owned by Martin Scharf and now has 2 Sire Stakes blankets in his tack trunk in 2 starts and has earnings of $53,250. Major Blake held on for second, followed by JoJo's Place who garnered the show position. The afternoons second Sire Stake ($55,500) event came in race 4, Shanghai Bobby left hard from the 6 hole and powered his way to the front and got the lead just past the ¼. He was followed by Covered Bridge, the pair had lengths on the field as they toured past the half way mark in 58.3. Jack Nation followed live cover at the half, as Shanghai Bobby was getting leg weary at the ¾ marker. Jack Nation was now ranging into contention at the 5/8 pole and at the top of the lane had 3 on the field. Although tiring, Jack Nation, just held on for the photo over Covered Bridge (Jim Marohn Jr.) in 1:57. A bridesmaid, no more Jack Nation notched his first career win, the son of American Ideal is trained by Blake Macintosh and was driven for the win by Mark MacDonald. The card offered 3 - $15,000 Excelsior A's heats, Crawford Farms and Northfork Racing Stable saw their well-bred $150,000 yearling CAL (American Ideal - Hulas Z Tam) bull his way to a wire to wire win in 1:58.2, giving Jason Bartlett his second win early in the card. So It Goes (Mike Simons) was second. Light Wind, was extended to the ¼ but made the front and reeled off fractions of 30.2, 1:01, 1:30.4 to win by 2 in 2:00.1. giving Bartlett his 3rd win of the day. The son of Art Major is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and Howard Taylor and was trained by Gareth Dowse, Scott The Great (James Devaux) was second. The front-end speed held up for most of the day as Jordan Stratton followed the winning strategy and guided Queenace Blue Chip (Art Major - Blackjack Princess) to the winner's circle in 1:59.0 for his maiden win. Queenace Blue Chip is trained by Julie Miller. In Excelsior B action, Its Rigged (Jim Marohn Jr.) was content to sit the pocket while Cheyenne Ryan Lee cut the mile by open lengths. Its Rigged had enough in the tank to overtake the pacesetter and won his heat in 1:58.4 for trainer DR Ackerman, the son of Riggins is owned by the Last Hurrah Stable of Pine Bush NY. The trotting bred Baby Maker Hanover (Jason Bartlett) who is by Crazed, out of a Donato Hanover mare won his division in 1:59.3 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock and Seth Rosenberg. Tom Grossman and Blue Chip Farms and enjoyed a banner July 4th, owner Tom Grossman had 3 winners on the Sire Stake laden card and his Stallions ruled the afternoon as Art Major had 4 winners and American Ideal had a pair. Next up on the sire Stakes Schedule is 2 Year Old Trotting Colt on July 9th, with post time at 12:50 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Kruella (Mike Simons) charged late in the stretch to win theTioga Downs Fillies and Mares Open Handicap harness racing pace ($11,000) on Friday (June 22). K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) went right to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:26.1, :56.0, 1:24.0). Kruella ($8.40) was fourth after three-quarters. Owned by Two Gals Stable LLC., and trained by Jineen Simone, she used a sweeping three-wide move to blow by to win in a lifetime best time of 1:52.2. A Wish For Wings (Fern Paquet Jr.) charged home late to finish second. K J's Caroline hung on for third. Kruela is a 6-year-old mare by American Ideal. She is two for two this season and she secured career win number 34. Aaron Byron leads all drivers in wins so far this season with 26. Jim Taggart Jr is second with 24 victories with Jim Meittis in third with 23 tallies. Mike Merton is fourth with 21 times to the winner's circle. Last year's driving champion, Mike Simons rounds out the top five with 16 wins. Tioga Downs was blessed with a flyover during tonight's National Anthem by 3 T6 Texans. They will be at the air show sponsored by Tioga Downs at the Greater Binghamton Airshow at the Greater Binghamton Airport from 12-4 on Saturday (June 23). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday with a 12 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A pair of 2-year-old filly pacers started their harness racing careers off in fine fashion on Wednesday night (June 20) by winning their respective $52,500 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway.   Brooklyn Lilacs began the evening with an impressive 4-1/2 length score over Apple Tina K in 1:57.1 while Meghan Lynn took the second leg with a 1-1/2 length victory over Ladybeluckytonite in 1:58.3.   Both wins by the freshmen fillies were well short of the Buffalo Raceway track record of 1:56.2 established in 2016 by Shes A Billionair.   While the Sire Stakes failed to produce a new standard, there was a new barrier established for the aged (5+) pacing mares as Sportsmuffler ($3.50) toured the Buffalo Raceway oval in 1:53.4, breaking the previous record of 1:54.1 set by Sarah Cola in 2017.   Brooklyn Lilacs ($2.90) started the card by cruising to the win for driver Jim Morrill Jr. After settling in second to the opening quarter pole, Brooklyn Lilacs was in command at the half and never looked back.   "I took it easy on her in the first turn," Morrill Jr. said of Brooklyn Lilacs. "She was kind of banging the bike around that first turn. But when I popped the plugs on her, she switched into another gear and was gone." Apple Tina K (Jody Jamieson) was second and Eos N Rock (Ray Fisher) was third.   Co-owned by Gerald Stuchbury and the Sombodythatiustono Stable and trained by Gareth Dowse, Brooklyn Lilacs (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sombodythatiustono) earned a win check for $26,250 in her debut.   It was safety first for driver Jason Bartlett as he guided Meghan Lynn to a $7.30 win in the second bracket.   "I played it safe with her in the beginning and let the race develop," Bartlett said.   Sitting third behind the pace-setting Ladybeluckytonite at the half, Meghan Lynn pulled to the outside and got the lead turning for home.   "I wanted to brush and clear to the lead at the five-eighths pole just like we did in her qualifier," Bartlett said of Meghan Lynn. "Once she got to the lead, I knew we weren't going to be beat."   Ladybeluckytonite (Drew Monti) took the place money with She's Da Boom (Jamieson) taking third.   Owned by the Crawford Racing Farms and conditioned by Chris Oakes, Meghan Lynn (American Ideal-Ladyotra) also earned a big payday of $26.260 in her first career try.   In the $15,000 Excelsior Stakes, Heavens Challenge ($6.00) took her leg in 1:59.1 for Morrill Jr. while Final Escape posted a $17.20 upset in 1:59.3 with Jamieson in the sulky.   Its Only Livie ($4.30) won the $6,700 Excelsior B event with a 2:00.1 for driver Shawn McDonough.   Sportsmuffler made her way into the record book with a 1:53.4 mile in the $10,000 Filly and Mare Open I-II pace. Sportsmuffler used a 27.4 final panel to help establish a new barrier, beating Hey Kobe by 2-1/4 lengths.   Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steve Kiblin, Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster Whatifthere'smore) is a 6-year-old mare that has earned $26,053 in 2018 and $238,909 lifetime.   Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card set.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com    by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Monticello, NY - It was the hottest day of the year thus far at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon as temperatures broached 90 degrees as 3 Year Old Pacing Colts and Geldings came to town. The first heat of the New York Sire Stakes ($39,200) went to post with 6 starters in the first race, post time favorite Real Surreal put in a few extra step's as the gate left and made a break leaving. Topville Olympian starting from the rail, protected his turf and was first away from the gate and took the field thru fractions of 28.3 - 58, at the half Twin B Tuffenuff (Mark Macdonald) were the first to move and mounted a challenge. At the three-quarters stanza in 1:26.4 the pair were side by side, Jason Bartlett and Mr Profeta made a mild bid in the lane but to no avail and finished second as Topville Olympian held him off to win by a length in 1:55, Twin B Tuffenuff finished 3rd. The son of American Ideal took his lifetime mark last year at Monticello Raceway in Sire Stakes competition also picked up his first win of the season. Topville Olympian is owned by Crawford Farms and Billy, Joe and Anthony Timmins. Race 7 was the 2nd heat of Sire Stakes, the post time favorite Trump Nation started from the outside post 7, as the gate left the son of Betterthancheddar was extremely wide in the 1st turn and had to be wrangled in by Jason Bartlett. Rockapelo (PP5) cut the mile for Marcus Miller and trainer Linda Toscano to the head of the stretch, covered up the entire mile and saving ground was Ghost Dance (American Ideal) won by 1 length for Scott Zeron in 1:54.4, Rockapelo would hold on for 3rd. The local connection, Ostro Hanover (Jim Taggart Jr.) finished a game 3rd for trainer by Frank Yanoti for owner Twin Bridge Racing of Monticello NY, the hard to manage Trump nation finished a disappointing 4th. The fastest race of the day came in the last race of the day, last division of NYSS, the favorite My Delight did not leave, and was content to let Rock Light and Scott Zeron show the way and try to steal a wire to wire win thru fractions of 28,56:2, and 1:25, Rootin Tootin sat the garden seat the entire mile and charged through the middle of the pack in deep stretch to overtake Handsoffmychips by a head in 1:53.4. Rootin Tootin is a son of Roll With Joe and picked up his 2nd win of the year for trainer Blake Macintosh. Excelsior A Rumble (Rock N Roll Heaven) benefited from a pocket trip following pace setter Major Offense and swooped the field of 7 past the ¾ pole to ramble to a 1 length win in 1:57.2 for Jason Bartlett. Causal Cool who made a break leaving the gate was 7th and was last by 14 lengths at the ¼ pole, regained his composure and slowly snaked his way back into contention and found room at the passing lane to close like a banshee to finish 2nd, LQ 28.1. Let's Roll did just that and won handily by 6 lengths in 1:54.1 in his dash, the Roll With Joe colt made a big move down the backside for Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer Jake Huff for his 3rd win of the year in the second heat of the A class, Imstaynalive (Pat Lachance) finished 2nd. Excelsior B The lone division of the Excelsior B saw heavy favorite Striking Reality (Jason Bartlett) cut the mile, the eventual winner Asiago Reality was poised in perfect striking position and was the first to pull down the backside at the 5/8 pole, they passed the ¾ in 1:27, the duo paced in tandem down the lane and skipped away from the field by 2 lengths. Asiago Reality then prevailed by a neck in 1:57 and paid $22.20 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. Asiago Reality picked up his maiden win for trainer Jessica Okusko, the son of Betterthancheddar is owned by Amante Standardbreds of Delray Beach, Florida. The Dan Daley trained Striking Reality finished 2nd Former Monticello Raceway regular James Marohn Jr. had 2 wins for the afternoon. Roll With Joe and American Ideal both sired a pair of winners on the card. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

CHESTER PA - The term "trainer/driver" is becoming a rare species in 2018 harness racing; even rarer still is "owner/trainer/driver." But Mike Simons occupies all three titles behind the American Ideal mare Oneida Blue Chip, winner of the $17,000 feature for distaffs Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Simons had Oneida Blue Chip perfectly-placed in second-over position behind favored Lifetime Trust, and as that one grinded to the lead in early stretch, he tipped his mare one lane wider, and "Oneida" had just enough rally to gain a nose decision, with Maching Me Zilly weaving between horses from last at the ¾ to miss the big prize by only ¾ of a length. The 1:53.3 winning clocking equaled the lifetime best of Oneida Blue Chip. A trio of $16,000 co-features were also on the Philly Wednesday card. The event for trotters went to Brown Bear, a developing son of Cantab Hall who is now three-for-four this season after finishing strongly to take this contest in 1:56. Speaking of the term "owner/trainer/driver," Francisco Del Cid has filled the term in Brown Bear's last two starts, both victories. (The driver in his other win? Mike Simons!) In the first of the two co-featured paces, Thedaythemusicdied put it all together for Don McLean fans and driver Pat Lachance, circling from sixth at the midway point while stepping his back half in 54.3 to take a new lifetime mark of 1:52.4 with a four length victory. Kathleen La Montagne trains the altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, and she also co-owns him with Donald La Montagne. In the other section, Darling's Dragon finally snapped a string of six straight seconds, and he did it with authority, controlling the early pace and then throwing successive 27.1s home while taking a new mark of 1:51.3. The son of Dragon Again completed a double for the team of driver Donald and trainer Marie Dupont; Marie also had a double as an owner, as she co-owns this winner of $211,618 with Demetre Skaoyannis. Tim Tetrick widened his lead in the Harrah's driver dashwinning derby as he piloted home four winners. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

HAMBURG, NY --- Western Conquest had plenty of courage during Buffalo Raceway's featured $11,500 Open Pace on Saturday night (June 2) as he was able to squeeze past a stubborn Focus Power by a nose at the wire to post the $14.00 victory in a season's best 1:53.3.   Focus Power (Drew Monti) was able to cut the fractions with splits of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.2 but things got tough in the final panel.   Western Conquest was first over and went eyeball-to-eyeball with never say die Focus Power the final quarter of a mile and just managed to get a nostril in front at the line. Im So Handsome (Kevin Cummings) took the show position.   Owned by the Tanah Merah Farms LLC and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the fourth victory in eight starts for Western Conquest (American Ideal-Aries Conquest). The 7-year-old has now jacked his seasonal earnings to $20,490 and $279,081 in his career.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will make its first appearance of the 2018 season at Buffalo Raceway with the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters headlining the program. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B Series as well.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

CHESTER, PA - Driver George Brennan, coming to Harrah's Philadelphia for a single drive on Wednesday afternoon, certainly picked the right horse for whom to make the journey, guiding the American Ideal mare Touchmatic to a new mark of 1:50, lowering her old standard by three full seconds, in taking the $17,000 featured pace for distaffs. Brennan moved Touchmatic out from fourth just past the half, and got the fast mare in gear quickly, pacing her personal third quarter in 26 flat to clear just past the ¾ pole and drawing off to a four length score. Kaitlyn N, undefeated in three prior North American starts, was shuffled when the lead changed hands and had to back out and then go wide, getting second ahead of favored Dr J's Kiss, who couldn't keep with the brushing winner. Touchmatic doesn't seem to mind going the raw journey - in the four wins she's posted in her last eight starts, all have come via the grinding route. Nik Drennan trains the winner of $160,097 for the partnership of Joseph Davino, Patrick O'Brien, Brad Shackman, and the Drennan Stable LLC. There were two $16,000 co-features on the card, and in the pacing sub-feature another fast time was put up by the Bettor's Delight gelding Fullback, who went gate-to-wire and lowered his mark by 2 2/5 seconds to 1:50.1. Tim Tetrick was in the sulky behind the winner of $128,675 for trainer Shaun Vallee, also co-owner with Alroy Chow and Stanley Sclar. In the co-feature for trotters, Sortie likely didn't mind dropping out of the Graduate Series, as the son of Explosive Matter posted a 1:55 victory while running his earnings to $206,822. Co-owner Noel Daley, formerly trainer of the fast horse, hadn't been able to break him of recent misbehavior patterns, so the horse went over to trainer Trond Smedshammer, who also drove the winner here for Daley, the Patricia Stable, John Fodera, and Joe Sbrocco. FINISHING LINES - The $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series event here on Sunday brings together eight fast-class pacers, including Heaven Rocks A, second to Filibuster Hanover in the 1:48.2 Commodore Barry Invitational here this past Sunday, and Bettor Memories, who won a Great Northeast event on the same card in 1:49.3. From the PHHA/HARRAH'S

WILKES-BARRE PA - Top purse events on the Tuesday card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono were a trio of $15,000 events for "nw 4 races" company, two on the trot and one for male pacers. First up was a trotting field, from which Yuge came away with a new mark of 1:54.1. Tom Jackson moved the Muscle Mass gelding to command in front of the stands and stayed in control from there for trainer Ed Lohmeyer, co-owner with Dr. Patricia Hogan and Ed Lohmeyer Jr. The pacing event came between the two trots; the sidewheeling event was won by the American Ideal gelding A Farmboys Success, who went wire-to-wire while clocking a personal best of 1:52.2. Clear much of the last quarter, A Farmboys Success saw his lead diminish rapidly late as Happy Trio extricated himself from a bad shuffle and swept wide, but his late surge came up a neck shy against the victorious Ron Burke trainee, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In the second trot, the Muscle Massive mare Striking Volo completed a "sweep" of new lifetime marks in the features when she reported home first in 1:57.1. Anthony Napolitano got away last with the winner, but had her moving at the quarter and she gained with every stride thereafter, grinding to a confident neck win over Celebrity Apollo for trainer Jody Riedel and Super Mile LLC as the only successful favorite in the tri-features. Top contest for older performers was a $14,000 pace for mares, which saw Juslikeaqueen never see the rail, be three-wide at two points, and still come on to defeat deep-Pocono Pike-shooting Shady Stella by a neck in 1:51.3. Driver Simon Allard got a second-over trip behind a wild pace and was able to rally the daughter of Palone Ranger to post a gritty victory for trainer/owner Antonia Storer. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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