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CHESTER PA - Featured at the start of the racing week at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon were a pair of $16,000 conditioned events, one on each gait. The pacers were up first, and their race was taken by the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore colt I'm A Big Deal in 1:51.3. A Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner in 1:50.2 on May 19, I'm A Big Deal was sent right to the front by driver George Napolitano Jr. and held sway the rest of the way, with No Easy Day making it no easy day for the winner of $119,594 in the stretch, but the "Big Deal" still had enough to tally by 1¼ lengths. Chris Ryder trains the colt, and he co-owns him with Craig Henderson and Robert Mondillo. On the trotting side, Scirocco Rob, third in the recent Beal Consolation, enjoyed the downturn in opposition, posting a new mark of 1:53 for driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen. The altered son of Explosive Matter, coming first-over, was resisted the length of the 27.3 third quarter by pacesetting Im Your Captain, but through the last quarter the winner of $158,210 asserted his superiority, clear by 6½ lengths over Im Your Captain at the wire. Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. are the owners of the talented sophomore. Leading driver Tim Tetrick continued his recent hot form, bringing four horses home first in the Wednesday afternoon sunshine. From PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It has been a long time between drinks for harness racing's 2015 Hambletonian champion Pinkman, but his extended wait to return to the winner's circle is finally over. The Jimmy Takter trainee, who last won on May 29, 2016 in a stakes event in Sweden, took the featured conditioned trot Friday night at the Meadowlands in 1:52 by a half-length over Misslarose. Opulent Yankee finished third. Prior to his score in Sweden, Pinkman's previous North American victory came in the October 10, 2015 Kentucky Futurity, two months after he hoisted Hambletonian hardware. Friday night, driver Andy McCarthy was in the sulky as Pinkman, who never saw the rail, was in a live second-over flow heading for three-quarters. He tipped off his cover in midstretch and rolled to his 19th career win in 42 starts for owners C. Takter, John and Jim Fielding, J. McClelland and H. Liverman. Lifetime, the 6-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter has earned $2.65 million. As the 3-1 second choice in the wagering, Pinkman returned $8.00 to win. Lindy The Great, the 3-2 public choice, broke stride before the quarter. HAMBO HOPEFULS: The Paula Wellwood-trained Southwind Chrome crushed an overmatched field in a non-winners of two earlier on the card. The Hambletonian eligible, a son of Chapter Seven, was driven by Scott Zeron and completed the mile in 1:54 as the 1-5 favorite for his first-ever win in his fifth start. Zephyr Kronos, trained and driven by Takter, won a non-winners of three later in the evening. The son of Ready Cash, another Hambo eligible, scored on the front end in 1:53 as the 5-1 third choice in the wagering. A LITTLE MORE: The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $262,148. ... One lucky player walked away with $11,470 after being the only bettor to survive eight legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-9. ... All-source wagering on the nine-race card totaled $1,767,338. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

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

WASHINGTON, PA, June 4, 2018 -- Media Buzz secured the lead past the quarter and went on to capture his second straight win in Monday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Media Buzz zipped to the front from post 6 and found himself in the pocket behind Fly Past Hanover. But Dave Palone preferred the point and moved the 4-year-old Explosive Matter-Lady Bar gelding to the front. Media Buzz held off the late charge of Mac Deeno and downed him by 1/2 length in 1:54.3 while Fly Past Hanover saved show. Steve Bush trains Media Buzz, who lifted his career bankroll to $123,510, and owns with Alvira Fassett and Dennis Fassett. Tony Hall, Mike Wilder and Palone each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the $73,835 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WILKES-BARRE PA - Five divisions of the second preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for three-year-old colt trotters went gateward Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and the current parity in the group was reflected by the fact that three divisions went in 1:55 and the other two in 1:55.1. Two of the 1:55 winners were altered sons of Explosive Matter, and that pair also became the only members of the group to win in both Stallion Series prelims. The first to earn this distinction was Lindy's Big Bang, who made every pole a winning one while coming home in 28.1 to take a new speed badge for trainer Nifty Norman and driver David Miller, the latter co-owner with Melvin Hartman and David McDuffee. With all the great stakes racing in Pennsylvania on Sunday between Harrah's and Pocono, the other double StS winner, Rich And Miserable, was the only visitor to either Victory Lane to come from behind cover and go on to win. Driver Tyler Buter tipped the winner wide from second-over headstretch and handled him confidently through the lane in lowering his mark for trainer Todd Buter and owners Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. Sire Cantab Hall also saw two of his sons trot to victory in the Stallion Series action. First up was For A Dreamer, who gained command in front of the stands and went on to be the other 1:55 winner, a time which equaled his mark taken in a qualifier. Corey Callahan handled the sulky assignment for trainer Bob Stewart and the partnership of Bluestone Farms, S. Steven Arak, Brianna Fenn, and Norman Corn. Cantab Hall is also the sire of the gelding Mississippi Storm, who went coast-to-coast in taking his division in 1:55.1, only a tick off his career fastest. Mississippi Storm tacked on a 28 kicker for driver Jim Morrill Jr. to raise his stats to wins in half of his dozen lifetime starts for trainer Tom Fanning and owner Joseph Smith. The other 1:55.1 winner was the Muscle Hill gelding Spartan, who made an early move to control the throttle and went on to post his second straight victory and lower his mark. Andrew McCarthy was in the sulky for trainer Anette Lorentzon, who co-owns the sophomore with ACL Stuteri AB. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association announces that Hanover Shoe Farms has donated a breeding to Explosive Matter, to benefit the MSOA's Collegiate Scholarship Fund.   Hanover Shoe Farms has been a longtime partner with the MSOA's scholarship program, donating breedings for the past several years that have helped the sons and daughters of area horsemen with their college expenses.   "We can't thank Hanover enough for their continued support," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "Our scholarship program would not be as successful as it is without the support of partners like Hanover."   Explosive Matter took a lifetime mark of 1:52.3 and earned over $1.5 million in his career. The son of Cantab Hall stands for a fee of $5,000.   The breeding will be auctioned on the website starting today (Thursday, February 22) at 12PM. The auction will run for seven days. Jeff Zidek          

Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc. announces that Explosive Matter will stand at Hanover for the 2018 harness racing breeding season.  Terms will be announced when Hanover publishes service fees for 2018.  Frozen semen will be available as in prior years. Hanover is gratified by the warm reception Explosive Matter yearlings are receiving in the 2017 market, and we wish purchasers the best of luck. Vivian Jewitt Standardbred Horse Sales Company P. O. Box 339 Hanover, PA 17331 Phone: (717) 637-8931 Fax: (717) 637-6766 Email:

Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc., as Syndicate Manager of Explosive Matter, has received notification of an offer from harness racing syndicate members Global Farm AB and Boko Stables to purchase all of the other shares in Explosive Matter for $25,000 per share. The Syndicate Manager has asked syndicate members whether they desire to accept that offer and their response is due on October 28, 2017. Upon receipt of responses from the syndicate members, the Syndicate Manager will apply the procedures required by the Explosive Matter Syndication Agreement dated October 30, 2009, regarding transfer of interests in the stallion, which include a right of first refusal. The Syndicate Manager will shortly be in touch with syndicate members regarding those contractual procedures. Contrary to public reports, no determination as to the ownership or location of the stallion has yet been made. Jim Simpson Syndicate Manager Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc.

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 6, 2017 -- Shuffled to fifth into the final turn, Goodtogo Hanover swung wide and powered through the lane to capture Wednesday's $15,000 harness racing filly & mare winners over $10,000 Life Trot at The Meadows. After dueling for the early lead, Goodtogo Hanover settled into third for Brian Zendt but had no hope of finding a seam or the Lightning Lane late. When Zendt showed the 4-year-old daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall a clear path, she caught the rallying Fawn De Savage and downed her by head in 1:55, with early leader Classical Annie third. Phillip Zendt trains Goodtogo Hanover, who extended her career bankroll to $229,457, for Gary Saul. Live racing at The Meadows continues with a special holiday-week Thursday card, first post 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

DAYTON PA - The two-year-old trotting filly Nicole Hanover won her harness racing career debut in June at the Dayton Fairgrounds, and on Thursday she returned to the track and posted a new track record for age, sex, and gait with a 2:03.4 victory. The daughter of Explosive Matter, driven by trainer Robert Rougeaux III for the Brocious Racing Stable Inc., came home in 29.4 en route to shaving 2/5 of a second off the previous local standard, set by Lovebeinglucky one year, one month, and one day previously. The time was also faster than the best clocking produced by a baby colt trotter or a sophomore filly trotter. Her colt counterpart in winning the "A" Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stake was the Andover Hall gelding Grapple Hanover, whose 2:05.4 victory enabled him to remain second in that division's standings behind Hockey Hanover, winningest freshman trotter in North America with eight. Trainer Wayne Long guided the fast youngster for owners Bill Kreutzer and Denton Barrett. (It's appropriate that the first two horses featured were under the guidance of Long and Rougeaux - Wayne was the leading driver at the meet with four wins, while Bob conditioned an equal number of success stories to take that crown.) On the freshman pacing side, Venier Hanover returned to the track where the legend started, when he paced in 1:58 in his second lifetime start to miss the all-age track record of J T Arturo by a mere fifth. On Thursday Venier Hanover stepped home identical back quarters of 29.1 to stop the timer in 2:01.1 for his sixth fair win for trainer/driver Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York. Venier Hanover came back on short rest, having on Monday been third in a pari-mutuel Sire Stakes at The Meadows after having the lead in the stretch. The two-year-old filly pacers rate a mention since one of their "B" cuts went from a "Krenitsky walkover" to a "Krenitsky walkover." Trainer Bob Krenitsky Jr. dropped in the only two starters declared, Boys Move Over and TSM Gusta T, so he was assured of 100% of the $2600 purse; then TSM Gusta T was scratched, so Boys Move Over completed a "traditional walkover" in 2:13 for trainer Krenitsky Jr., driver Eric Neal, and owner Julie Krenitsky. The three-year-olds had their day on Wednesday, with the Yankee Cruiser pacing gelding Ginger Tree Marty pacing to his fifth 2:00 mile of the fair season and seventh fair victory (the last six in a row), motoring home in 57 - 28 to complete the 2:00 triumph for trainer-driver Sam Beegle and the ownership of Ginger Tree Stable LLC and Bob Reber. And finally - remember the point above where we noted Wayne Long was the meet's leading driver and Bob Rougeaux III the leading trainer? The race that assured that split was the fastest trot mile of the session, when the Lucky Chucky gelding Vegas Chuck tallied in 2:03.1 for Brocious Racing Stable Inc. and Lone Wolf Stable -- and driver Long and trainer Rougeaux! Next stop on the PA fair circuit is at the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Meadville PA, with two cards starting at 11 a.m. - the Wednesday races featuring two-year-olds and the Boots Dunn Memorial FFA Pace, and the Thursday card spotlighting three-year-olds and the Boots Dunn Memorial FFA trot. Publicity Office, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association    

Pinkman returns to harness racing action for the first time in nearly 10 months on Friday, facing five foes in the preferred handicap at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The 5-year-old gelding, whose last visit to the winner's circle at the Big M followed his victory in the 2015 Hambletonian, was absent because of surgery to correct chronic throat issues. "I'm excited to have him back," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "He's probably the most low-profile top horse I've ever had. I think if he gets back to what he's supposed to be, everyone knows he's a heck of a tough horse. He's got it. "It's great to have him racing again." Pinkman, a son of Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster, received divisional Dan Patch awards at ages 2 and 3 and also was 2015 Trotter of the Year. He won 17 of 25 races and earned $2.45 million during his first two seasons, highlighted by his 3-year-old campaign in 2015 that produced victories in the Hambletonian, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity, and Beal and Zweig memorials. Last year Pinkman won a Group 2 race for 4-year-olds in Sweden, but was winless in six U.S. starts. He last raced in early October. "He basically missed all his 4-year-old season," Takter said. "It is what it is. But his throat looks better now. Knock on wood, so far it seems like everything is working. We took our time with him. There's no rush. I want to be careful. No matter where you go, these races are hard." Pinkman is 5-1 on the morning line for Friday's race at the Meadowlands. Tuonoblu Rex, who has won four of six races in the U.S. since arriving from Europe, is the 2-1 favorite. Flanagan Memory, the 2016 Breeders Crown Open Trot winner, is the 5-2 second choice. Completing the field are Dayson, Muscle Diamond, and Lookslikeachpndale. "He's a big track horse so we're going to try to find the right races for him," said Takter, who trains Pinkman for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. "If he is good enough by October, he could go to the Breeders Crown. That's the goal, but that's a long way down the road. We'll see how he does Friday." Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, May 31, 2017 -- Goodtogo Hanover zipped to the lead from post 8 and turned back a pair of serious challengers en route to a harness racing victory in Wednesday's $15,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Homepage was the first to take on the leader when she moved first over down the backside. Goodtogo Hanover thwarted that thrust, then had to deal with the late charge of Dirty Secret. The 4-year-old daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall found more for Jim Pantaleano and downed Dirty Secret by a neck in 1:55.2, with Bags For All third. Phillip Zendt trains Goodtogo Hanover, who extended her career bankroll to $194,427, for Gary Saul. Mike Wilder piloted three winners on the 13-race program. Live racing at The Meadows resumes June 1 with a special Thursday card, first post 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Sortie, Noel Daley's Hambletonian Stakes hopeful, begins his 3-year-old harness racing campaign Saturday by competing in the first of three Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions at The Meadows, near Pittsburgh. Sortie is among 18 Hambletonian eligible trotters entered in the three divisions, with each race featuring six. Last year, Sortie won his elimination for the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. He also finished second in the Matron Stakes, but Daley believes the colt wasn't at his best because of trouble breathing. Daley has made an equipment addition in the hopes of correcting the issue. "He didn't finish off the race properly in the Breeders Crown; I know he was third, but he wasn't any good," said Daley, who trains and co-owns Sortie. "He should have jogged in the Matron and he wasn't any good. This year he came back and I've put a Cornell Collar on him, because mechanically they said his throat was fine. "He's been real good so far. I've been very happy with him." Sortie is a son of former Daley star Explosive Matter out of the stakes-winning mare Win B. Daley was interested in Sortie because of his familiarity with the colt's family and purchased the horse for $65,000 at the 2015 Lexington Selected Sale. The colt is owned by Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Mario Mazza, and Daley's Sortie Stable. Last year, Sortie went off stride in three of his first four starts (he won the only race in which he did not) before starting to put it all together. He finished fourth in a division of the International Stallion and then hit the board in his final three races of the campaign. For the year, he finished with $122,055 in purses from eight starts. "He always showed talent, but he would throw his head or when you pulled him off a horse he just wanted to go a hundred (miles per hour)," Daley said about last year's breaks. "We've been concentrating on that. When we qualified him, (driver Andy McCarthy) pulled him out, put him back, pulled him out, put him back, a couple of times. He seems better. You just have to watch that he doesn't want to spin his wheels too quickly. He's a good gaited horse. He just wanted to get going." Sortie prepped for his seasonal debut by winning two qualifiers, one at the Meadowlands and the other at Harrah's Philadelphia. Daley said the horse will stay near his base in central New Jersey as he works toward the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands. "We'll try not to overdo it," Daley said. "It's a heavy schedule; I don't want him to be in everything. I'd rather keep him here. He can go (to Canada) later. If he's good enough, he's got everything late. I don't want to have too many tough trips when we're just trying to get him set up." The early favorite for the Hambletonian is Linda Toscano-trained New York-bred Walner, who won seven of eight starts last year and received the Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter. Walner won each of his races by at least 1-3/4 lengths, including a 4-1/2 length triumph in the Breeders Crown. Linda's horse is obviously the horse to beat, but I legitimately think that if (Sortie) can breathe he's a top five horse, definitely," Daley said. "After Linda's horse, there's no one else I'd swap him for. We'll see. It depends who steps up. He's got to step up and do it now." Following are the fields for Saturday's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions in post order with Hambletonian eligible horses in bold. Division 1: Perfect Spirit, Di Oggi, Meteoric, Gee Wizz George, Sortie, High Glider, Giveitgasandgo, Coogan, Dover Dan. Division 2: What A Cantab, Stealth Hanover, Monteverdi, Simply Volo, Andy M, Gustavo Fring, Snowstorm Hanover, Media Buzz, Don Dream. Division 3: Brown Bear, Limerence, Brand New Key, Meme Hanover, Common Parlance, Affair Of Honor, Iron Mine Johnny, Explosive Ridge, Backstage Pass. Giveitgasandgo, from the stable of John Butenschoen, was last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion. Snowstorm Hanover, trained by Ron Burke, won the Matron Stakes and Valley Victory. Ken Weingartner

WILKES-BARRE PA – The $30,000 Championship of the Bobby Weiss Series for harness racing trotting distaffs, held at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Tuesday, was shaping up normally just past the half: Connie Jean, with a win and three seconds in the prelims, was on the lead, with Sunrise Avenue, the top prelim competitor with three wins and a second, first-over, and 1-9 favorite Checkmate Time, off a sensational 1:53.3 win in her only prelim, well-placed second-over.   Then early in the backstretch, it was as if somebody sent a phonograph needle skidding and scratching across a vinyl album, as racing dissonance grew louder and louder. Checkmate Time made a break at that point; later Connie Jean would give up the lead to Sunrise Avenue in early stretch, only to see the latter tire, as 47-1 Abbie’s Celticlass – eighth when the needle started to skid early backstretch -- closed steadily to win in a shocker in 1:55.2, with the four outer-tier horses a very Pocono-atypical 1-2-3-4 at the wire.   Connie Jean forced tucks and hit the quarter in 27.2; Checkmate Time pulled from sixth at the ¼ and soon flushed the cover of Sunrise Avenue, who worked up to the leader nearing the 57 half. Checkmate Time made her misstep as the speed sharpened down the back, with Whambamthankumaam, Abbie’s Celticlass, and Gin’s Tonic moving to second-/third-/fourth-over by the 1:25.4 ¾ pole.   The inner tier started to collapse headstretch, unusual over the this speed-favoring oval, and though Sunrise Avenue went to the top, she did not open much distance, and it would be Whambamthankumaam going by her towards midstretch, only to see Abbie’s Celticlass and driver Matt Kakaley rallied of “Maam”’s back to get the ½-length decision while lowering her mark by two seconds. Sunrise Avenue lasted for third over Gin’s Tonic; Talkin Tootsie used the deep Pocono Pike to get the last check.   The victorious Explosive Matter mare was no slouch in the series prelims, with a first, second, third, and fourth, but she was double digits behind Checkmate Time last week, prompting her long-odds dismissal. But the tote board was no factor to winning trainer Ken Hess Jr. and the winning ownership of Stop The Jade Farm LLC, although it may have shocked others, with $2-based payouts of $96.00 to win, $672.80 for the Exacta, $3754.60 for the Trifecta, and $41,822.40 for the Superfecta (though the actual pool was nowhere nearly that big).   The trotting distaffs’ male counterparts began their Weiss action a week later, so on Tuesday they raced their fourth and final preliminary leg, going for $15,000 in each of two divisions. Ooh Rah and Hilarious Hero, both winners in prelims one and two before losing last week, regained their winning ways during this card.   The Credit Winner four-year-old gelding Ooh Rah, who broke before the start as the favorite last week, minded his manners this outing and led at every call to take his Weiss cut in 1:56.2. George Napolitano Jr. sent Ooh Rah to the lead, where he remained strong to the wire, winning 2½ lengths over Bend In The River, the other double winner in the early prelims who came up short the third week. Kathleen La Montagne trains the five-time seasonal winner, and she co-owns him with Donald La Montagne.   Hilarious Hero, as noted, bounced back in Tuesday’s second section, rallying from the pocket to post a half-length victory in 1:56. Matt Kakaley vacated the two-hole with the four-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe four-year-old gelding past midturn, keeping circling Muscles On Fire three-deep through the curve, and that move may have made the difference in the outcome as Hilarious Hero outfooted his rival home, posting his fourth win in five 2017 starts (after going 0-for-24 at two and three) for trainer Jenny Melander and the ownership of Melander Racing Inc. and Clark Stables LLC.   After the preliminaries, the ranking of the competitors, with top-listed here first, are: Hilarious Hero, Ooh Rah, Bend In The River, Uncle Leroy, Muscles On Fire, Gustavo Fring, Tech Titan, Perseverance, and Armbro Hall. Gustavo Fring was second in a Dexter Cup elim last Saturday at Freehold; watching tomorrow’s Freehold draw for this Saturday’s final with interest will be AE1 Mister Photogenic.   Next racing at Pocono will be Saturday, Kentucky Derby Day, with a doubleheader of racing: a 10-race “brunch” card starting at 11 a.m., and then a 13-race card after the Derby, topped by the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace, with of field of eight who average over $1 million in lifetime earnings; Sunfire Blue Chip, McWicked, and Somewhere In L A are the three early choices.   PHHA/ Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, April 11, 2017 -- Gee Wizz George set a national season's mark Tuesday at The Meadows, only to see it broken about an hour later by Media Buzz. Each captured a $15,000, second-leg division of the Tamarind Trot for harness racing 3-year-old colts and geldings. Gee Wizz George hadn't been on top at any point in his last four starts, but when Brady Brown hustled him to the front from post 3, he opened up a 4-length lead out of the final turn. Though he tired late, Gee Whiz George downed DD's Comet by 2 lengths in 1:56.2, fastest this year by a 3-year-old gelding on a five-eighths-mile track. Box Of Luck earned show. Jean Rastetter trains the son of Great George Two-Caviar Girl for Maryann Rastetter. Media Buzz bettered that when he moved powerfully first over for Bryce Brocklehurst and rolled home in 1:55.3, a length ahead of Lars Perry, the 4-5 favorite. Nick Of Time finished third. Steve Bush conditions Media Buzz, a son of Explosive Matter-Lady Bar, and owns with Alvira Fassett and Dennis Fassett. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-- Yielding to Ariana G for the pocket in the backstretch, Chezatter, a filly by Explosive Matter out of the Malabar Man mare Chez Lucie, sprinted out of the pocket in the stretch, advancing to a 1:53.4 victory in the first of two $20,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for harness racing two-year-old trotting fillies on Friday, October 21 at the Meadowlands. Claiming the lead through a :28 first quarter, Chezatter led into the backside as Ariana G tipped first over from fourth. She brushed to the lead, setting fractions of :57.1 and 1:26 before being pursued by Chezatter mid-stretch. Ariana G held on for second, while Princess Aurora, Sunshine Delight, and Broadway Idole also qualified for the final. Trained by Trond Smedshammer, Chezatter races for owner Purple Haze Stable LLC. She has earned $175,062 and won four races out of 10 starts this year. Going off the 4-1 second choice to 1/9 favorite Ariana G, she returned $10.60 to win. "This filly has been good all year," Smedshammer said. "She just loves to chase down horses." Thats All Moni wins second Crown elim Thats All Moni, a Jimmy Takter-trained daughter of Cantab Hall from the Pine Chip mare Mom’s Millionaire, grinded first over to the front and maintained control in a 1:54.1 mile to take the second of two $20,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old trotting fillies at the Meadowlands on Friday, October 21.   Clearing the lead in :27.4, Thats All Moni was shuffled to third as Cameron Hill brushed to the lead, followed by Treviso, who led to the half in :55.3 She was pressured by Thats All Moni around the far turn and past three-quarters in 1:24.4 before settling for second in a stretch-long duel. Hillarmbro, Cameron Hill, and Evelyn also qualified for the final.   Owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, Thats All Moni won her fifth race in 10 starts, earning $220,773. She was driven by Tim Tetrick and paid $5.60 to win.   “[The race] definitely went the way I thought it was going to work out,” Tetrick said. “That was one of her gamer efforts. She’s still green and has the talent to go with anybody, but she has to get the right trip. She raced really well.” By Ray Cotolo  

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