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YONKERS, N.Y. – Last summer, talented harness racing pacer Western Hill showed promise of becoming a top stakes 3-year-old. The Tony Alagna trainee finished second in his North American Cup elimination June 10 and fifth in the final the following week. After failing to make the Meadowlands Pace Final, the son of Western Ideal again finished second in an elimination of the Adios and earned a fourth-place check in the final. Despite the potential he showed, Western Hill fell out of form in the fall and began to toil in the conditions at Yonkers. After two seventh-place finishes at the non-winners of 8 level in November, owner and breeder Tom Hill called trainer Andrew Harris. “When I worked for Casie Coleman back in the day, Tom had a lot of horses with Casie and so obviously I had known him well through them because I took care of Western Silk on and off when she had her,” Harris said. “Over the years, we’ve talked on many occasions and it seemed like they were going to give me an opportunity here or there, but nothing ever came to fruition until all the sudden this horse. They said, ‘we want to continue on as a 4-year-old with him, we just want to give him a shot.’ Who’s going to turn down a shot on a horse like that?” When Western Hill arrived, Harris saw a sharp-looking, speedy individual. However, it soon became clear the gelding had lost his confidence amid the string of losses and tough trips, which saw him try to close from well off the pace on Yonkers’ half-mile oval. “When I first got him, the first thing I noticed was, even though he was in a brand-new barn that he had never seen before, he got in the stall and put his head in the corner,” Harris recalled. “He was a little pouty and he just wasn’t happy. “We turned him out in the field every day with other horses and let him go out and be a horse a little bit,” he continued. “I know that Alagna likes to train a little bit harder than some, so I backed off on his training and didn’t train him as hard and just tried to freshen him up that way. Not that that would work on every horse, but it seemed to happen to work on this horse.” In his first start for Harris November 27, Western Hill drew post three and picked up top driver Yannick Gingras. After a pocket trip, Western Hill finished second by a nose in the $22,000 overnight. The following week, Gingras put Western Hill on the lead and the gelding scored a 1-length win in 1:53.2. “I think Yannick was a huge factor in bringing that confidence back because he put him onto the lead and he liked it,” Harris explained. “When you lose form, drivers don’t put them in play.” With his confidence and attitude improving off two good races, Harris took Western Hill to Harrah’s Philadelphia December 17, and the gelding posted a blowout win. He again set the pace and opened a 6¼-length advantage in the stretch in a 1:51.3 mile. “When he went to Chester he was just in total command and looked like his old self where he was wanting to be a big horse. He’s not a big horse, but he wants to be a big horse,” Harris said. Off his impressive performances, Western Hill will get a shot against Open pacers tonight at Yonkers Raceway. An 8-1 longshot in the field of six, Western Hill will make his 4-year-old debut against the likes of 2-1 favorite Gokudo Hanover, who ended his 2017 season with a win in the local Open, as well as the runner-up and third-place finishers from that race, Killer Martini and Thisjetsabookin. Take It Back Terry, who won the Preferred Pace to close the season, returns in the Open as the 3-1 second choice and Shane Adam completes the lineup. The $40,000 feature is slated as race 6 on the 12-race program. “The group that he’s in with, I actually like this spot,” Harris said of the step up. “The horse on the rail of Scotty Di’s is a really nice horse (Gokudo Hanover). Hopefully we’ll sit close to that one and hopefully get a shot at him down the lane. He fits with that group.” Despite fitting the non-winners of $30,000 condition, Harris entered the Open ranks in hopes of facing his age group. With the 4-year-old Open failing to fill at this early point in the season, Harris was happy to take a shot in the aged ranks. “I did enter for the 4-year-old Open because I was hoping he could race against horses his own age. I thought that I’d have a clear advantage over them with how sharp he is right now,” Harris said. “The non-winners of 30, I think that’s as tough as the Open anyway. I knew he probably wouldn’t get handicapped the outside in the Open, he’d probably have a better shot at the inside where the non-winners of 30 is an open draw and he could have gotten the eight-hole.” Like his five rivals, Western Hill enters tonight’s Open Pace off a month layoff. Harris feels the time away from racing helped Western Hill’s soundness. “I didn’t really let him down. We jogged him all the way through and trained him up all the way through,” Harris said. “He’s fairly sound right now, so I think that way it helped him out a lot.” First post time at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m. To view entries for the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, N.Y. - Standout 4-year-old pacing mare Cousin Mary will make her debut in Yonkers Raceway’s $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace Friday night. The Andrew Harris trainee is set to return to the harness racing Hilltop Oval for the first time since she swept the Petticoat Series in March. Since then, Cousin Mary completed another series sweep, this time in the Bobby Weiss Series at Pocono Downs. She sports 11 wins this season from 14 starts and boasts a $135,000 bankroll. “When I first got her, I didn’t expect this,” Harris said of Cousin Mary’s success. “In December, she qualified in :57. Jordan (Stratton) wasn’t even happy with her. I waited until Yonkers opened back up and we got a couple cheap races for her and she just started building her confidence. She grew into this mare that I don’t think any of us expected her to be.” Since joining Harris’ stable last winter, Cousin Mary has blossomed from an immature filly into a confident mare. Her transformation was two-fold; not only did Cousin Mary grow physically, the Camluck daughter out of the Modern Art mare Chianti Seelster also began to understand what her trainer and driver were asking of her. “She’s not even recognizable anymore,” Harris said. “When she first came, she wasn’t near the size or the muscle mass she has now. She’s a different mare. When I first got her, she was green and didn’t care what she was doing, didn’t know what she was doing. She knows what she’s doing now and she’s all business.” Although Cousin Mary can be high-strung on the racetrack, sometimes kicking at her rivals as she jogs, she is a joy to work with in the barn, Harris explained. “She doesn’t do a thing wrong. She goes out with Jewel Lehigh; they’re best buddies. They holler at each other when they’re leaving the stalls, they hang out all the time,” he said. “My 3-year-old daughter goes in and pets ‘Mary’ all the time, brushes her legs and stuff like that. She’s just a doll to have in the barn.” Cousin Mary’s most recent race came in the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia May 28. Starting from the outside, driver David Miller was forced to take her off the pace, an uncharacteristic position for her. She raced at the back of the field before advancing one position up the pylons nearing the three-quarters. As rival Sassa Hanover tired in front of her, Cousin Mary was forced to shift outside on the final turn. Although Cousin Mary finish seventh, 9 lengths behind winner Lady Shadow, she paced her fastest mile to date, individually timed in 1:50.4. “I never expected her to win that class, but it was a situation where we didn’t know what we had and we had to go to an open somewhere and we might as well take a shot for bigger money,” Harris explained. “The thing that I liked about it, it just keeps stretching her out. She just keeps dropping time, she keeps getting faster. She comes out of the race and nothing affects her. Nothing bothers her. She can turn the page quicker than I can.” Cousin Mary will face open mares again Friday night when she starts from post six in Yonkers’ weekly distaff feature. She and driver Jordan Stratton are the 5-1 morning line third choice behind 3-1 favorite I Said Diamonds, who will make her seasonal debut, and 7/2 Lispatty. Hidden Land, Sensationalgabby, Delightful Dragon, Freeze Out, and Beyonces Rockn are also set to go postward. “I think she fits with them, I really do,” Harris sad. “If she was good enough to be in the Betsy Ross, she’s good enough to be in the Open Mares at Yonkers. I don’t think she’s in with any killers here. Some real nice mares, but I hold her in that regard as well. Jordan knows her and gets along with her really well, so I have confidence he’ll find her the right trip.” While Harris is confident in Cousin Mary and Stratton, the new track configuration at Yonkers gives the trainer pause. Friday night’s races will be the first to feature the new finish line, located 105 feet up the stretch from its previous location. The stretch drive will now be 555 feet instead of 660 and horses will have a longer drive into the first turn. “I’m really interested in this new starting line,” Harris said. “I’m going to be a fan watching it just seeing how it goes because I don’t know how it’s going to change the complexion of racing. My filly has great gate speed, but I don’t know how much this is going to change everything. I’m going to have to watch a couple race before I can even gauge how much of an affect this is going to have on the racing at Yonkers.” First post time at Yonkers is 7:10 p.m. Click here for Friday’s entries. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 26, 2017- A perfect-trip Jewel Lehigh A (Dan Dube, $55.50) lit up the harness racing tote board Friday night (May 26th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away sixth from post position No. 3 in her first try against the big girls, Jewel Lehigh A saw much action unfold in front of her. Apple Bottom Jeans (George Brennan) made the lead from post No .7 before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. She then gave it to an intermission (:56.1) move by Blacknsweet Adda A (Greg Merton), and when that one took over, She'sjustadelight N (Ron Cushing)-back locally after some fine work in the Blue Chip Matchmaker-was left naked, as the empress with no clothes. She'sjustadelight N pressed the issued in and out of a 1:24.3 three-quarters, with the heroine of this missive latching on to a perfect tow. After 'Justadelight' wore down Blacknsweet Adda A (that one backpedaling to last), Jewel Lehigh A had dead aim on the new leader and the winner's circle. She went on by a stubborn life-best, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. She'sjustadelight N was a solid second, with Al Raza N (Eric Abbatiello) third. Apple Bottom Jeans crossed the line fourth, but saw her finish flipped with Dublin Rose (Jason Bartlett) for going inside the cones. For rank outsider Jewel Lehigh A, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Cammibest owned by Michael Goldberg and trained by Andrew Harris, it was her fourth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $709, with the triple returning $2,856. The race also completed an all-Dube Pick 3, which returned $1,017.  Dube won five races during the 11-race program. Saturday night (May 27th), the Raceway presents two of its premier stakes event of the season. $140,770 Lismore (3-year-old pacing fillies) 6th race -- approx. post 8:50 PM 1-Warrawee Sunshine             Tim Tetrick 2-Caviart Cherie                      Jason Bartlett 3-Caviart Ally                         Andrew McCarthy 4-Agent Q                               Dave Miller 5-Big City Betty                     Jim Marohn Jr. 6-Gotthisone Hanover            George Brennan 7-Tequila Monday                   Brian Sears 8-Ashlee’s Spitfire                  Dan Dube   $300,000 Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old open) 8th race -- approx. post 9:30 PM 1-Mac’s Jackpot,g                   Jason Bartlett 2-Miso Fast                             Matt Kakaley 3-Downbytheseaside              Dave Miller 4-Rollin’ About,g                    Brent Holland 5-Funknwaffles,g                    Brian Sears 6-Summer Side                       Tim Tetrick 7-Henry the Dragon                Montrell Teague 8-Stealth Bomber                    Brett Miller g-gelding, remainder are colts   There’s also a racing hat giveaway (one per Empire Club member, while supplies last). Since no one took down Friday’s Pick 5, Saturday’s gimmick begins with a carryover of $3,231.94 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 27, 2017 - You just have to admire someone who was in a sow barn by day and a Yonkers Raceway harness racing winner's circle by night. "She's the best horse we've ever had," owner Jeffrey Williamson said after not-quite-death-and-taxes Cousin Mary (Jordan Stratton, $2.70) easily disposed of her seven rivals in Monday's (March 27th) final of the $61,000 Petticoat Pacing Series. The series was open to 3- and 4-year-old pacers who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last Dec.1 and pretty much closed once 'Mary' strutted her stuff. After hat-tricking her three Petticoat prelims, Cousin Mary won the draw for the final. Yielding early to St. Kitts (Jason Bartlett), the people's choice took over eight before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. From there, is was quite simple (:57.2, 1:25.4, 1:54.3) after putting away a first-over bid from Vintage Babe (Yannick Gingras). The margin, a length-and-a-half entering the lane, was 2¾ lengths at the wire. St. Kitts was second, with a closing A Crafty Lady (Dan Dube) third. Vintage Babe and Real Diva (George Brennan) settled for the minors, while Northern Soiree (Matt Kakaley), Rei's Star Cross (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) rounded out the order. For Cousin Mary, a 4-year-old daughter of Camluck owned by Williamson-a hog farmer northwest of Toronto-and trained by Andrew Harris, it was her seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.20, the triple returned $170 and the superfecta paid $704. "Honestly, when she first came to me, I didn't think that much of her,' Harris said. "She was handling (Yonkers') lower conditions, but not going that fast. When she moved up from non-winners of four (races) to non-winners of eight, she lost but raced better than she did when she was winning. "That's when I thought she had a future. Tonight was the first time the series Jordan (Stratton) popped her plugs, and I don't know where her bottom is." A $30,000 series consolation was won by a Winners Over MacDonald, $36.60) in 1:55.1. Monday night's Pick 5, which began with a $5,353.51 carryover, attracted $22,248 worth of fresh investors. The winning combination of 4/1/4/5/1 paid $60.87 for every winning half-a-buck-wager. The $61,800 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series goes Tuesday night (March 28th). Frank Drucker

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 28, 2017) - Vegas Vacation, the 2013 Little Brown Jug champion, returned to the harness racing winner's circle for the first time since the end of the 2013 season on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Vegas Vacation was making the sixth start of his most recent comeback on Saturday night in a $13,000 conditioned pace after missing 16 months due to a soft tissue injury. Jim Marohn, Jr., who won four races on the card, put the 7-year-old millionaire Bettor's Delight gelding on the front end through a 55.1 half mile and three-quarters in 1:22.4. Vegas Vacation opened up four lengths at the top of the stretch and cruised to victory as the 1/5 favorite in 1:50.2. It is his first win since November 17, 2013 when he won The Matron at Dover Downs. "I was thrilled with him," said trainer Andrew Harris. "I think that's the first time in his career he cut a mile. So to me that shows he's back. It took four starts to get him race ready but now he seems keen, alert, and very happy to do his work." Harris added that this win confirms to him that Vegas Vacation could have some stakes engagements this season. "I think I'll talk with the crew, but I would imagine he may get staked up some," explained Harris. "As for the Levy Series, I believe he's come back good enough to get the nomination but it's up to the owners. He owes them nothing and nothing is expected of him going forward. Whatever he tells us to do, we'll listen." Hillbilly Hanover moved past the $900,000 mark in career earnings with third win in his last four starts in the $15,000 featured pace. Hillbilly Hanover, one of three winners on Saturday night for Brett Miller, held off the late charge of millionaire Alexie Mattosie. Total handle on the 13-race program was $3,028,082 - the third time this year that total handle surpassed the $3 million mark. Live racing resumes Thursday with a 9-race card. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

East Rutherford, NJ - Vegas Vacation has certainly been around during his harness racing career, he's just never been to The Meadowlands. Now seven years of age, the 2013 Little Brown Jug winner and runner up to Captaintreacherous in that memorable 2013 edition of the Tattersalls Pace has to this point never set foot on the Meadowlands mile.   In the midst of yet another comeback from injury, "Vegas" makes his Big M debut for trainer Andrew Harris in Saturday night's featured 11th race a conditioned pace for a purse of $16,000.   It's interesting to note that after having lost his entire four-year-old season to injury then making just a handful of starts at five before another 16 month absence, Vegas' most recent win was in the 2013 Matron final at Dover Downs, the last stop in his successful sophomore campaign. Despite all the missed time, his lifetime bankroll is well over $1 million on the strength of 11 wins in only 40 career starts.   Vegas Vacation's ownership reads West Winds Stable and Anthony Beaton who have stuck it out for the entire roller coaster ride and he's been with Harris since trainer Casie Coleman went south for the winter. Jimmy Marohn, Jr picks up the drive this week.   Among the six foes that he'll face on Saturday is another old class master in $1.8 million winner Bettor's Edge. This eight-year-old veteran is making his second start for new owners Robert Sanatagata and trainer Jennifer Lappe after several successful campaigns for the Burke barn. Bettor's Edge has also battled and beaten the best over the course of his distinguished career with his biggest payday the 2015 $400,000 TVG Championship Final. Brett Miller will drive.   These two warriors must contend with streaking import Elrama N and emerging force Parnu Hanover to find the winner's circle on Saturday.   Off the track, Saturday's Big Deal is the special Pink buffet wine pairing dinner with former NBA star Larry Johnson. It promises to be an evening to remember.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 14, 2017) - Jim Marohn, Jr. and Brett Miller stole the show on Saturday night at the Meadowlands, but when the 13-race harness racing program concluded, the final tally read Marohn - 5 and Miller - 4. "These are the types of nights you dream about having when you race at the Meadowlands," said Marohn, who won four races in one night at the Big M last September. "It looked like I had some horses in good spots tonight and it was very satisfying that they raced up to their abilities. It always helps to have some good horsepower." Marohn's five wins were highlighted by an upset win by The Rock in the $15,000 featured pace. The Rock paid $19.80 to win and was the only double-digit win payout of the night. In the feature, Parnu Hanover took over from Elrama after a 27.1 first quarter and continued to front the field through three quarters in 1:23.2 as he looked to win his second straight with Marcus Miller. As the field straightened into the stretch, Marohn tipped The Rock four-wide and won by a length despite drifting slightly. The Rock is owned by Travis Henry and trained by Andrew Harris, but is consigned to Monday's Tattersalls Mixed Sale as hip 224 beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the Meadowlands back paddock. "He raced giant tonight," explained Marohn, who won three of his five races on Saturday for trainer Patti Harmon. "He exploded when I pulled him off a helmet. Andrew told me he was coming into this race sharp so I drove him with confidence." Total handle on the 13-race card was $2,802,711 which was nearly flat compared to last year's comparable card that included 14 races. The Pick Five that included $10,000 in seed money from the Meadowlands returned $178.70 and attracted a total pool of $77,301. Matt Zlotkowski won Saturday's World Harness Handicapping Contest qualifying tournament at the Meadowlands. He turned his $100 bankroll into $630 to top the field and earn a spot into April's $50,000 Final. Live racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

The Standardbred Owners Association of New York and Yonkers Raceway have joined together to offer 10 harness racing fans a chance to own part of a horse racing at Yonkers Raceway. Ten lucky fans were randomly chosen through the USTA's new ownership database and each person will receive a five percent stake in the three-year-old trotter Emerald Chip. The horse is in to go in Tuesday's third race at Yonkers Raceway and is the 9-5 morning line favorite from post one in the $20,000 conditioned event. And the best part for the new owners is there won't be any bills! Trainer Andrew Harris has agreed to send the ten winners a summary of the horse's earnings and expenses on a regular basis so they can get a true sense of what the ownership experience would look like. The SOA of NY and Yonkers Raceway will give each winner five percent of what Emerald Chip earns through the end of the Yonkers meet December 18, up to a total of $10,000. "This is a great new initiative to give people the sense and experience of owning a horse", said SOA of NY President Joe Faraldo. "We want to thank Yonkers Raceway for partnering with us on this marketing venture to get more people involved in our sport." The current Yonkers Raceway schedule has afternoon racing on Sundays and Tuesdays, and the traditional 7:10pm posts Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Phil Your Boots ($10.40) overcame a first-over journey to prove most photogenic in a four-way picture deciding the harness racing $18,000 pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:50.1.   A six-year-old gelded son of Shanghai Phil, Phil Your Boots actually left well but yielded the early lead, watching three horses go by him in the first 3/8: first Soto before the 25.4 quarter, then Bushwacker, then quarter-moving favorite Southwind Amazon, who put up middle splits of 54.2 and 1:21.4. Driver Anthony Napolitano then had the unenviable task of going uncovered against his brother George, driving Southwind Amazon, but he and "Phil" wore down the leader past midstretch, then held off a deep Pocono Pike rally by Soto to win by a head, with Southwind Amazon another head behind those two and Bushwacker fourth, only a half-length behind the winner.   Trained by Andrew Harris, Phil Your Boots was purchased by current owner Louis Frascella nearing the end of winter 2015, and when the horse took a three-month hiatus before a summertime campaign last year, his lifetime record would not rate the word "distinguished": seven wins in 65 starts, earnings of $48,877, and a mark of 1:55.1.   But Phil Your Boots is the kind of horse that keep owners dreaming about "the good horse just around the corner": returning in mid-2015 as an $8000 claimer, Phil Your Boots had worked his way up to the Open ranks and taken a mark of 1:49.1 at Dover before year's end, and in total during the last 14 months the pacer's scorecard shows 18 wins in 47 starts and earnings of $195,349.   The victory was the third on the night for driver Anthony Napolitano, of course well-known to Pocono fans, but another driver, now coming to Pocono on Saturdays and quickly making a big impression, is Pat Berry, who also had three wins on the card, two of them paying over $40: P L Haymaker at $48.80 for trainer Ron Burke (Pocono's leading trainer of longshot winners with three $50+ horses at the meet) and Rainbow Romance N at $41.40 for trainer Scott DiDomenico. Berry is tied for the lead in the driving longshot category 100 miles down the PA Turnpike at Harrah's Philly, with three of his four "bombers" constituting half the track's most recent output, and Pat and DiDomenico combined at Philly on May 8 with Twin B Famous, with that $136.20 win mutuel the second-highest of the year at the Harrah's oval.   FINISHING LINES   Pocono Director of Racing Rick Kane reminds all horsemen that on August 20, $2.5M Super Stakes Saturday at Pocono, there are three $50,000 Invitational races also scheduled - for open pacers, open trotters, and filly and mare pacers - and anyone interested in participating in these contests should call him as soon as possible at 570 831 2126.   PHHA / Pocono  

Healthy dividends--including a late Pick 4 which paid nearly $4,000 on a 50¢ ticket and a 52-1 upset from Fan of Terror in the featured ninth race--contributed to a ninth consecutive harness racing card with over $3 million in handle at The Meadowlands on Saturday (February 27) evening.   A total of $3,342,144 was wagered on the 14-race program, extending the streak of racing programs with over $3 million in handle to nine. Over seven cards in the month of February, total turnover on Meadowlands races exceeded $22.4 million.   In the featured $20,000 top-level conditioned pace, Louis Frascella's Fan of Terror ($106.00) stunned at 52-1 odds, overcoming traffic trouble in mid-stretch to narrowly prevail in 1:51 over the favored pair of Jet Airway and Ashley's Husband. Andy Miller prompted the pace with the 4-year-old Western Terror gelding before yielding to dueling leaders Itrustyou (Yannick Gingras) and Aslan (Andy McCarthy) through a :27.3 initial quarter. As Jet Airway (Marcus Miller) commenced outer flow through a :55.1 half, Fan of Terror found himself hard-pressed for racing room, only able to shake free in the final 150 yards when he split mid-stretch leader Jet Airway and a flattening Calvin B (Corey Callahan). Fan of Terror lunged to the line to just collar Jet Airway, and 8-5 favorite Ashley's Husband (Tim Tetrick) charged down the grandstand side off a fourth-over trip to claim third. Dovuto Hanover (Scott Zeron), who made his seasonal debut in the race, rallied up the pegs late for fourth, just missing Fan of Terror by a length.   Andrew Harris trains Fan of Terror, now a 14-time winner.   The featured win was one of two for Miller, who took the finale as well with Rockin Jimmy ($6.80) in 1:53.2. Top driving honors on the night went to Marcus Miller, who captured three of the evening's 14 races. Andy McCarthy, Anthony Napolitano, and Tim Tetrick each also notched driving doubles.   Earlier in the program, the KJ Stables and Purple Haze Stables' Missile J ($2.60) earned his second consecutive win, holding pocket rival Connecting Flight at bay for a 1:52.2 win in a $10,000 event for non-winners of two races or $20,000. Tetrick drove the quickly developing 3-year-old American Ideal gelding for trainer Linda Toscano.   As the seventh race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 was hit for the second time in three cards--this one paying $8,016.64, only one pool carries over to next Friday's card. The final race Jackpot High 5 will see $116,448 added to the pool on Friday evening should one lone player prove successful.   Live racing returns on Friday, March 4. First post for the next two weekends of racing at The Meadowlands will remain 6:35 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

Lucan Hanover withstood a tremendous closing effort from Dapper Dude to win the $30,000 Preferred Handicap in 1:51.2 on the Washington's birthday harness racing card, Monday, Feb. 22 at Dover Downs. Newcomer Lucan Hanover, owned by West Wins Stable and piloted by Yannick Gingras, in his first local appearance had all he could handle in the stretch when Vic Kirby pulled last week's feature race winner Dapper Dude, from dead-last as the select field of seven top class pacers turned for home and came on sensational to within a short nose of victory in the week's top race on another strong Monday program. The win was one of three for driver Gingras and one of two for trainer Andrew Harris Lucan Hanover won his first start of 2016 and moved to $810,626 in career purses with his 19th lifetime win. Dapper Dude was followed by Sparky Mark (Jonathan Roberts), third. Bushwacker (Jim Meittinis) was race favorite but finished off the board. Blazing Bobby Sox driven by Art Stafford Jr. enjoyed a perfect rip following Apollo Seelster (Gingras) on the outside en route to a 1:52.2 victory in one of two $15,000 paces for young horses. Art Stafford, the trainer-driver's dad, own The Panderosa-Liamatters gelding, now a three-time winner in 2016. Sectionline Rocks (All Davis) came on in the lane to overtake Apollo Seelster for second-place money. Trainer Eric Ell, who often wins races in bunches was at it again, posting a triple. Soto closed strongly to win for the third time in his last four outings, a $14,500 Male Winners-Over pace in 1:52.1, one of two wins for Vic Kirby. Fancy Colt (Tony Morgan) a 69-1 shot was a close second with Speed Again (Gingras) third. Soto is also owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, whose Jeremes General with Allan Davis collected a 1:52.3 score in a $20,000 Male Claiming race. Earlier Ell conditioned Bill Emmons' Giant Sculpture, also driven by Davis, to a 1:51.1 victory in a $12,500 Male pace. George Dennis pulled Silver Fox J to the outside in mid-stretch and raced past leader Totally Dream (Corey Callahan) to score a 1:52.2 win in a $15,000 pace for young horses, the third win of the year for the Kenneth J-Fox Valley Backoff gelding trained and owned by Dennis, his wife Tina and The Wiz Kids Stable. Time Out I'm Tired (Montrell Teague) was the show horse. Yannick Gingras' first win came directing pacer JT to a 1:51.2 success in one of two $13,500 4&5-Year-Old Male paces for trainer Ron Burke and owners Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing Stable. Go Collect (Corey Callahan) was second in front of Suchasenseofhumor (Jim Morand). It was the first win of the season for the Badlands Hanover-Snowhite Beach gelding. Cams Director (Roberts) won the other $13,500 edition beating Swapportunity (Morand) in a 1:52 photo. Tina and Joe Clark and breeder Kovach Stables own the Art Director-Camcarol gelding. Big Secret (Ross Wolfenden) took third money. MATINEE DRAGON, SCANDALICIOUS MEET IN $20,000 MARES OPEN Market Dragon and Scandalicious, the last two winners, both longshots, meet again in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday, Feb. 23 AT Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p m. Lou Catana and Vince Bradley’s Matinee Dragon was overlooked at 56-1 in last week distaff feature when Jonathan Roberts drove the veteran pacer to a powerful 1:52.4 upset. Two weeks before JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious came from far back with Tony Morgan driving for a 24-1 upset win.  The remainder of the talented field of six females includes Chris White’s Fashion Showdown with driver Corey Callahan, fifth last week but beaten only by three-quarters of a length, has post 1 this time.. John McGill’s No Respect, and Vic Kirby, should profit from moving inside to post 4. Allan Davis will drive Bay Pond Racing’s Hearts N Flowers, a 1:52.1 winner three weeks ago. Stepping up in the top mare’s event of the week is Bob Bailey’s sharp Duneside Chella, with two wins, a second and a third in her last four races. Ross Wolfenden will drive. A $15,500, a $14,000 and a $12,000 distaff pace are on a strong undercard. During February, Dover Downs has raced five days a week. Monday through Thursday at 4:30 p.m. This Sunday is the last Sunday this meet, with post time at 5:30 p.m. No Live racing on Friday and Saturday.                                                                                Watch the races and enjoy dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs where there is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 30, 2016 - A pocketed Somebody AS (Jordan Stratton, $13.40) and a down-the-road Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter, $5.40) earned the glory Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $32,000 Open Handicaps. The weekly featured trot saw Somebody AS from assigned post position No.3 watched invading Major Athens (George Brennan) led the way. The slight 2-1 choice threw down the anvil (:28.1, :57.2, 1:26), taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Red Hot Herbie (Brian Sears), who found an early three-hole, loomed at the leader in and out of the final turn, but flattened. Somebody AS though, was waiting for his shot. He ducked inside and bested a rallying Crazshana (Jason Bartlett) by a neck in 1:54.4, fastest local mile of the season. Red Hot Herbie settled for third, with Major Athens Zooming (Buter) completed the cashers. For third choice Somebody AS, a 7-year-old Striking Sahbra gelding trained by Anette Lorentzon for co-owners ACL Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson, it was his first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $102.50, with the triple returning $703. The week's pacing feature had 17-10 choice "Phil" leave from post No. 5, steal away with a cheap (:28.0, 57.4) half. From there, the pursuers had no shot, with a :55.4 back portion (1:25.4; 1:53.3). The final margin was a length-and-three-quarters over a good effort from Melmerby Beach (Bartlett), with Texas Terror N (Matt Kakaley), Atta Boy Dan (Brennan) and Hugh Hefner N (Stratton) settling for the remainder. For Phil Your Boots, a 6-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding trained by Andrew Harris for owner Louis Frascella, he's now 2-for-3 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $12.60, the triple returning $129.50 and the superfecta paid $949. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night, with a dozen races and a first post of 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 9, 2016 - Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter, $7.40) took it to the house Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $24,000 Preferred Handicap Pace. Sent immediately to work from post position No. 5, Phil Your Boots worked around pole-sitting Cyclone Kiwi N (Jason Bartlett) and was on his way. He then led the way (:27.2; :56.1, 1:24.3, 1:52.3), with 11-10 favorite Aslan (Brian Sears) trying it first-up from third. "Phil" owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then held off Aslan by a length-and-three-quarters. Third went to Cyclone Kiwi N, with Drunken Desire A (Matt Kakaley) and Fameous Western (George Brennan) showing belated interest for the final pay envelopes. For second choice Phil Your Boots, a now-6-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding owned by Louis Frascella and trained by Andrew Harris, he won his seasonal debut. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $42.20. The Raceway's season continues with a "French-centric" Sunday afternoon (first post 12:10 PM), along with Monday (7:10 PM) and Tuesday (1 PM). Frank Drucker

The first qualifying races of the 50th Anniversary Season were held at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday, March 10th. Under a fast track and a much warmer temperature (35) than the area has seen in weeks, 7 races kicked off at 10:00am. Five pacing qualifying races were held, with Omaha Survivor, trained by Dean Eckley and driven by Tom Jackson, posting the fastest qualifying time of 1:55. Divination, trained by Andrew Harris and driven by Alex Kavoleff; and How Bout Cash, trained and driven by William Mullin, separated by a neck in race 6; as well as Socialdelight, trained by Jerry Ray and driven by Tom Jackson; all posted the fastest time of the qualifying trotters, in 1:58. Qualifying dates are also set for Thursday, March 12th, and Thursday, March 19th. Opening night is Saturday, March 21st. Jennifer Starr for Mohegan Sun Pocono                   Jennifer Starr   Racing Marketing Manager Racing Operations   p: 570.831.2195   c: 570.332.1414   f: 570.823.9407   1280 HIGHWAY 315 WILKES-BARRE, PA 18702                          

Harness racing trainer Casie Coleman is a new person in many ways. One exception is Casie is still training top flight winners and going for her unprecedented third win in a row at the 69th Jug. Casie lost 74 pounds and she admits there's still more to lose. Funny, normally the word 'lose' is rarely associated with Casie but in this scenario, losing means she's winning. What caused Casie to do a 180 degree change? "I was running three stables; one in Ontario, one in Florida and one in New Jersey. There were a lot of owners and staff." Casie says. Even though Casie was stacking up the win column, so was the pressure and ultimately the stress. "I used to be tired all the time" admits Casie. "I was known to be a b**** and very hard to get along with. I admit I was always real tense and stressed with the amount of big races I had on the go. There was staff, owners and a lot to handle and I would let stuff pile up on me." Casie acknowledges she wasn't so pleasant to work and given that she's a perfectionist, if the smallest thing wasn't right, it could get rough. "I would snap", says Casie. "I was always on edge." After cutting down to 33 horses, where at one time Casie had as many as 120 horses under her care and having fewer owners to handle, she is happier. Much happier! "I got to the point where I didn't even enjoy training the horses anymore. I even thought about getting out a few times." Casie continues, "I had some great horses and some people would die to have the stable I had, yet I wanted to get out and not (train) anymore." "The bigger my stable got, the bigger I got!" laughs Casie. Now, daily gym visits is what Casie uses to let out her frustration. Instead of lashing out, she burns calories. If it's been a rough day, this means Casie will endure a harder workout, benefiting her health. "I much more professional now, calmer in how I handle situations" Casie says. "I am a very happy person now and my owners have said I am a whole lot easier to deal with now." Casie states, "Even my staff has said that. I can't remember the last time I got mad at someone, whereas before it was happening many times throughout the day." In the past Casie was not a morning person and she admits she had a difficult time waking up. Since changing her life around Casie is up bright and early and ready to go. Now Casie jogs all her horses, no longer is she stuck in the office at a desk solely returning calls and entering horses. "Before I was tired all the time, now I have so much energy, it's unbelievable." Casie continues, "In the past I would be eating steak and pasta after the races, I was too dumb to know that was bad for me. I wasn't eating breakfast and I would have my first meal around 2pm." "I hired a personal trainer who taught me how to eat properly and how to count calories." Casie openly admits that stress caused her to gain a lot of weight. "Now I'm a whole lot happier doing my job." People walk past Casie now not realizing who she is. "Some people have a hard time believing it's me." Casie says with a laugh. "I was 205 pounds last year.... Now I'm at the Jug looking at pictures from last year and I'm like 'holy crap, I can't believe that's me. How did I do that to myself?' I was a size 16 before I started working out and now I am a size 2. It's been a big change that's for sure." Casie will keep working with her personal trainer even though she's in better shape, there's more to lose for her to win. She'll continue to jog all her horses and train opposed to being a manager. For the Jug, Casie has McWicked primed to go from the 1 spot and Casie praises one of her employees, Jeffrey Kemp for doing a standout job with McWicked. "He's been awesome" says Casie about Jeffrey's work with McWicked. Throughout the years and all the changes, Casie is grateful to her parents Phil and Linda Coleman as well as her assistant trainers (Andrew Harris, Mike Stewart and Anthony Beaton) who helped run her barns while she was away and for their hard work in all the success. By: Roderick Balgobin, for          

The annual Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands witnessed hot and fast bidding that resulted in a 34.7% increase in average per horse sale price from the previous year.   Of the 123 racehorses that sold for a gross of $2,544,200, the average reached $20,685. The main attraction of the well-attended Harness Horse auction was the "drop-in-the-box" nature of the 30 horses that raced in the two days prior to the sale, and over 100 that raced in the last week.   The highlight of the sale was the offering of World Champion trotter Sevruga 1:50.3 who was a $160,000 post-sale purchase. A winner of over $1 million lifetime, he will start in the $300,000 John Cashman, Jr Memorial on Hambo Day for new owners Scott and Joe Pennacchio.   Long-time horse owner, amateur driver, and current president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, Joe Pennacchio noted that Sevruga "was one of the rare, great trotters around, and may be in just a little over his head in Grand Circuit stakes company. We look forward to racing him in Open and Late Closing events."   Consigned by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Sevruga was one of nearly 50 horses represented by Bob Boni. Following the sale, Boni noted pleasure with the day's events and stated that "it was a very strong horse sale. Good horses sold well, as they usually do."   The annual racehorse reduction of Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was particularly well-received, bolstered by several high-priced youngsters. Topping the overall 2-year-old sales was the PA eligible Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly, who showed consistently flat lines around 1:58 and fetched $51,000 from Barbara Boese of Milton, DE.   Preferred Equine Marketing represented another well-placed $75,000 Fashion Farm sale with the American Ideal colt, Ideal Fashion p,3,1:52.1f--`14. Kyle Spagnola signed for the 3-year-old NY eligible colt who had just won his last start at Yonkers in 1:53.4h.   Toward the end of the sale, prospective purchasers not willing to go home empty handed saw stars with Moonliteonthebeach p,4,1:51--`14, who was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing for Scott Kimelman and the Blue Chip Bloodstock Partners. The bidding was fierce and competitive for the handsome 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who just paced in 1:49.3 finishing second at Pocono just 12 hours before the sale. When the dust settled, Andrew Harris signed the winning $85,000 ticket for trainer P.J. Fraley and owner Jeff Bamond.   Lynch winning 3-year-old pacing filly Fancy Desire p,3,1:49 was the anticipated sale topper, and was hammered down for $195,000, however failed to reach the required reserve price.   Tattersalls sales manager David Reid was happy with the overall results of the sale, and was optimistic about the health of the industry. "Sales have been good. This was a very active group of racehorses, which always translates into active bidding. My only disappointment was the relative absence of Canadian buyers. It serves as a true indicator of the importance of the slots programs in these regional markets. Having said that, with an eye on the future, bring on the Hambletonian." by Chris Tully, for Tattersalls  

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