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Freehold, NJ --- Lyons Steel made his first harness racing victory of 2020 a dominant one on Saturday (February 15) at Freehold Raceway, winning the Preferred Handicap pace by three lengths.   After a brief layoff, Lyons Steel returned to the races last week, finishing fifth in the Preferred with a strong closing rally. Off that big effort, he was made the 3/5 choice in this week's Preferred.   Dropped into sixth in the early stages, driver Pat Lachance took him to the outside nearing the half-mile point, then went three-wide at the 5/8 marker to get around a stalled rival. He continued his move nearing three-quarters, effortlessly moving by early leader Smileandsaycheese and getting a clear advantage as they turned for home. With no serious competition in the stretch, he coasted home a three-length winner. The final time over the fast track was an impressive 1:53.3.     Lyons Steel made waves at Freehold last year, winning the Preferred three times. He picked up where he left off Saturday afternoon, continuing his impressive ways over that track. He's owned by BD Racing LLC and trained by Dennis Watson.   Live racing resumes on Friday at Freehold, starting at 12:30 PM EST. There will be a double carryover in the pick 5, worth $1,474.46.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Phil Jasper's Drinkin Again has quickly taken a liking to Freehold Raceway, with three wins over the track in his last eight races. Last out, he won the Preferred Handicap pace by half a length at 12/1. He'll seek to defend his title on Saturday (February 15), lining up against seven contenders.   Jack Baggitt will be back in the sulky on the 6-year-old, who will seek to become the first pacer to win the Freehold Preferrred Handicap twice in 2020. He'll leave from the outside post position eight. It will be interesting to see if Jack takes back, or tries to send like he did last week.   Two others drew for the outside post positions, and they'll line up directly to Drinkin Again's inside. Lyons Steel turned in a strong closing effort in his 2020 debut last week, rallying to finish fifth with a final quarter of 28 seconds. During the fall/winter portion of the Freehold season, he won the Preferred three times. Pat Lachance will leave from post position six for trainer Dennis Watson.   Winning Linc drew post position seven, for driver Eric Abbatiello and trainer Richard Johnson. He caught fire at the Meadowlands last fall, with three wins in his last four starts of the year. This will be his 2020 debut.   Smileandsaycheese, Ozone Blue Chip, Gotta Go BB, Solo Story, and Ginger Tree Marty complete the ensemble. The Preferred will go as the seventh race, with a listed post time of 2:50 PM EST.   Saturday's Freehold card also features another renewal of the American Harness Drivers Club amateur trot, which will go as the fifth race. Wygant Prince, for owner/driver Paul Minore, will seek to make it two in a row at the class.   In addition, the hottest pacer based at the track, Jackamino, will seek his fifth win in a row in the sixth race, a NW $8,000 last 5/NW 9 pace. Vinny Ginsburg will drive from post position four for trainer Taylor Gower, who also trains Wygant Prince.   The first of ten races at Freehold on Saturday will be at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway      

Freehold, NJ --- In hopes of being able to fill a 3-day race week, Freehold Raceway will conduct a double draw on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.   The box for both Thursday (February 13) and Friday (February 14) will close on Tuesday, February 11 at 9:00 AM. The board for Thursday's card will close at 2:00 PM the same day, while the board for Friday will close at 10:00 AM the next day.   Horsemen with questions should call the race office at (732) 252-2322.   From Freehold Raceway      

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway will host a 13-race program this Saturday (February 8), with full harness racing fields in every race. The co-headliners will be the Preferred Handicap Pace and the Preferred Handicap Trot.   The Preferred Trot is scheduled as the seventh race, with a post time of approximately 2:30 PM EST. The top two finishers from last week's Preferred, Caviar Star and Dot Dot Dot Dash, will do battle once again. Caviar Star scored a 39/1 upset in last week's Preferred, saving ground after a pocket-sitting trip for owner and trainer Tom Lail. Dot Dot Dot Dash came from way out of it to narrowly miss last week, losing by a head at 17/1. Two weeks ago, she won the Preferred by a length. Chase Vandervort will be in the sulky for trainer Leah Vandervort.   The Preferred Pace will go as the ninth race, with a scheduled post time of 3:10 PM EST. Lyons Steel, who won the Preferred three times at the fall/winter Freehold meet, will make his 2020 debut, leaving from post position eight for trainer Dennis Watson and driver Pat Lachance.   Another Daily Copy, who put in a big qualifying mile at Freehold last week, Vapour, who was second in the Preferred last week, and Rancousy, who came in third in the same race, also profile as contenders.   Saturday will also feature qualifying races, beginning at 11:00 AM. The box will close on Thursday at 10:00 AM.   The first race at Freehold on Saturday is scheduled for 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway announced that their harness racing card scheduled for Friday, February 7, 2020 had been cancelled due to a lack of entries. All horses entered for Friday can be re-entered for Saturday; anyone with questions should contact the race office. Racing for Thursday, February 6, 2020 will continue as scheduled with a first race post of 12:30pm.   From Freehold Raceway          

Freehold, NJ --- Statesman was bet down to favoritism in the Preferred Handicap harness razcing pace at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (February 1), and lived up to his 8/5 billing, winning by a length.   Driver Joe Bongiorno took him back in the early stages, sitting in fourth place most of the way. As they neared the five-eighths point, Bongiorno activated his charge, sending him first-over after early leader Machtu. Statesman grabbed firm control as they turned for home, and despite a late rally from Vapour, Statesman had enough for the victory. The time was an impressive 1:53.2 over a fast Freehold track.     Statesman is co-owned by Joe and Jenn Bongiorno; Jenn handles the training. This was the first start of the year for the 13-year-old veteran, and his 50th career triumph. In 261 races, he's won 50 times, while bankrolling more than $890,000.   Statesman's win was one of three for Bongiorno on the Saturday card. He also won race 9 with J M Mandarin and race 10 with Hardts or Bettor. The former gave Jenn a training double; Mike Russo trained the latter.   Rancousy, Exit Cam, Fox Valley Inferno, Machtu, and Declan Seelster completed the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, starting at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Not many bettors could predict Caviar Star's win in the Preferred Handicap harness racing trot on Friday (January 31) at Freehold Raceway. Those that did were well-rewarded, as the 7-year-old won at 38/1.   Driver Jim Marshall kept him in the pocket early on, drafting off leader Inukchuk Chuck. While rivals began to move to the outside to take on the leader, Marshall continued to save ground.   Turning for home, "Chuck" tried to pull clear of the rest, but got leg-weary and began to come back to the field. Sensing the opportunity, Marshall activated Caviar Star towards the passing lane, and trotted up a storm towards the wire. At the same time, Dot Dot Dot Dash, who had been last most of the way, was rallying four-wide around the turn and closing with fury. It was close, but Caviar Star got up to win by a head over Dot Dot Dot Dash.     This was Caviar Star's tenth career win, in his 70th start. He was third at the Preferred level two starts ago, and was able to break through and it done in Freehold's top class here, trotting the mile in 1:57.4. Tom Lail is the winning owner and trainer. He paid $78 to win, $30.80 to place, and $9.40 to show.   Inukchuk Chuck managed to hold third after setting the pace. Abbie's Celticlass, Magic MVP, Rock of Cashel, Southwind Cruze, and Mugshot Jess completed the order of finish.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, starting at 12:30 PM EST. There will be a double pick 5 carryover, starting in race 5, worth $2,832.31.   From Freehold Raceway    

Freehold, NJ ---- Freehold Raceway will host their fourth Preferred Handicap trot of the calendar year this Friday (January 31), and the winners of the prior three editions are coming back for another shot at glory.   Inukchuk Chuck won the Preferred on January 3, for his second win in a row at the class. Since then, he's tried his luck three times in a row at Yonkers Raceway, without much success. Trainer Nick Surick is persumably hoping the tides turn with a return to Freehold. Andy Miller is named to drive from post position four.   Magic MVP got the job done on January 17, rallying up the passing lane to win by a neck. Last week, he made a strong wide rally to finish third in the Preferred. He'll leave from post position six this week, with driver Pat Berry back in the sulky for trainer Miriam Kraemer.   Freehold-loving veteran Dot Dot Dot Dash won the Preferred last week, scoring by a neck in 1:57.2. She'll seek a repeat triumph this week from post position eight. Chase Vandervort will drive for trainer Leah Vandervort.   Two horses who qualified last week at Freehold also profile as contenders. Rock of Cashel edged Southwind Cruze by a neck in a qualifier on January 24, with both horses being timed in 2:02.1. The former will leave from post position five for trainer Mark Harder, making his first start since November 6. Last year, he won seven races and earned more than $86,000. The latter has hit the board in his last three starts at Yonkers Raceway, most recently losing by two lengths in a solid time of 1:55.3. Joe Bongiorno is in the bike from post position seven, for trainer Jenn Bongiorno.   Caviar Star, Abbie's Celticlass, and Mugshot Jess complete the field. The Preferred is scheduled as the seventh race on the card, with a listed post time of 2:30 PM EST.   The first of nine races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- They call him "Diamond Jim", and he had a gem of an afternoon on Saturday (January 25) at Freehold Raceway. Harness racing driver Jim Marshall III won four of the eleven races on the program.   He didn't waste any time, taking race 1 with Brandon Mongiello's Northern Jack ($4.40). After missing in races 2 and 3, he bounced back in the 4th race, guiding the John Bavosi-trained gelding Tie Your Shoe Ed ($5) to his second consecutive win.   Marshall completed the hat trick with Bullet Bob ($5.80) in race 6, for trainer Mark Harder. He had three chances to complete the grand slam, and did so in race 11 with R M Blackhawk ($2.60). That win also gave Mongiello his second training win of the day.   The veteran driver has gotten off to a strong start in 2020.   On the calendar year, he's won 15 races from 88 starts, good for third place in the Freehold driver standings.   Since Freehold restarted on August 30, Marshall has 40 victories in 336 drives.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST. Marshall is named to drive in every race on the card.   Northern Jack     Tie Your Shoe Ed     Bullet Bob     R M Blackhawk

Freehold, NJ --- Shneonucrzydiamnd turned in a gem of a harness racing performance on Saturday (January 25) at Freehold Raceway, taking the Preferred Handicap pace by two lengths in an excellent time.   He hadn't raced since a non-winners of $10,000 pace score at the Meadowlands on November 16, but bettors were undeterred, making him the 1/1 favorite. Driver Vinny Ginsburg initially took back from post position seven, dropping him to sixth place in the early stages. Before the half, Ginsburg pulled the trigger and sent him first-over, taking it to early leader Machiavelli. Turning for home, Ginsburg's gelding had gone by, and pulled away for the win. The time, over a sloppy track that saw heavy rain earlier in the day, was an impressive 1:53.2.   Shneonucrzydiamnd is owned by Let it Ride Stables and Dana Parham, and trained by Ross Croghan. He paid $4 to win, $3.20 to place, and $3.20 to show.   The Preferred win was one of three for Ginsburg on the Saturday card. He won the 5th race with Redneck Fortune ($7), and race 7 with Jackamino ($3.20).   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST.          

Freehold, NJ --- A change of tactics and a great trip proved the keys for Dot Dot Dot Dash, as the harness racing veteran mare won Freehold Raceway's Preferred Handicap trot on Friday (January 24).   Usually a deep closer, driver Chase Vandervort elected to try something different, and send her to the lead. She eventually tucked in the pocket behind pace-setting Lily's Swan Pond, who got through a quarter in 28.2 and a half in 58.3. As they rounded the final turn, Chase kept his drive on the inside, while Lily's Swan Pond remained clear. In the stretch, he shot "Dot" up the passing lane, and it proved the winning move. She crossed the wire a length in front, going the mile in 1:57.2.   The 10-year-old is no stranger to Freehold. Last year, six of her nine victories came at the Jersey half-miler, all of them at the Preferred level. In her career, she's won 32 times from 165 starts, and earned more than $523,000. She's owned by Bill Vandervort, and trained by Leah Vandervort. The second choice in the win pool by just $8, she returned $6.20 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3 to show.   Lily's Swan Pond held on to second, while Magic MVP, who won the Preferred last week, rallied wide and finished third. Drazzmatazz, Mugshot Jess, Zagster, and Armagedon Seelester rounded out the order of finish.   Dot Dot Dot Dash     Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a scheduled start time of 12:30 PM EST.      

Freehold, NJ --- The layoff was no deterrent for harness racing pacer Capozzo, as he won Freehold Raceway's Saturday (January 18) featured race: the Preferred pace.   Leaving from post position five, he led in the very early stages, but was quickly overtaken by Lucan Hanover. Driver Eric Abbatiello was patient, and kept his drive in the pocket. Lucan Hanover set very slow fractions of 28.3 for a quarter and 58 for a half. All the while, Capozzo stayed just off him on the inside, while rivals began to make wide moves. Turning for home, the passing lane opened for Capozzo, and he shot through to overtake Lucan Hanover and win by half a length. The final time, over a fast but snowy track, was 1:55.2.     This race was Capozzo's first start since November 16. He qualified at Freehold last week, going the mile that day in 1:55.1. That mile showed that he was in top form, and he proved it again in the Preferred. He's owned by Howard Taylor and Thomas Finelli, and trained by Tom Shay. He paid $12.40 to win, $4.80 to place, and $2.60 to show.   Dragonology flew late and got up for second, just beating out stablemate Lucan Hanover. Ginger Tree Marty, Exit Cam, Polak, and Vapour completed the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, starting at 12:30 PM EST. The 9-race card has two carryovers: the early pick 4's is $1,864.94, while the pick 5 carryover is $634.94.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Magic MVP got a superstar-quality trip in the Preferred Handicap trot at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 17), and used it to full advantage, rallying late for the harness racing victory.   Sent off as the 9/5 second choice, the 5-year-old gelding was dropped into the pocket early by driver Pat Berry. He rated off favored Zagster, as the leader set fractions of 28.3 for the quarter and 58.4 for the half. Zagster tried to get away from the field as they rounded the final turn, but Magic MVP stayed close and never left the pylons.   In the stretch, Zagster still held a 1 1/2-length lead, but Berry switched his drive to the passing lane and took his shot. Magic MVP rallied strongly toward the pylons, and got up for the victory by a neck. He trotted the mile in a sharp 1:58.0, in cold and windy conditions.     That was Magic MVP's 2020 debut, coming off a 2019 where he was 3-for-21, with earnings of more than $69,000. Most recently, he was fifth in a NW $15,000 last 5 trot at the Meadowlands. He's owned by Midnight Stables LLC and trained by Miriam Kraemer.   Zagster held on to second, while 39/1 Caviar Star won a photo for third over Dot Dot Dot Dash. Drazzmatazz, Abbie's Celticlass, Andy Ray, and Levitation completed the order of finish.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, starting at 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway    

Freehold, NJ --- The Preferred Handicap Trot at Freehold Raceway is scheduled to go postward on Friday (January 17) with a full gate of eight. It's been scheduled as the sixth race, with a post time of approximately 2:10 PM EST.   Yonkers Raceway shipper Andy Ray was assigned post position eight, for trainer Anette Lorentzon. He won two of three starts back in the fall at Harrah's Philadelphia, and was most recently fourth in a NW $30,000 race at Yonkers. Abbie's Celticlass, assigned directly to his inside, was also in good form in Philly in the fall. Most recently, she was second in the Preferred at Freehold two weeks ago. Roni Vandervort is the trainer.   A pair of horses with an affinity for Freehold appear in this race. Drazzmatazz won three times at the fall/winter meet, including a win in the Preferred back on December 20. Most recently, he finished third in a NW $10,000 race at the Meadowlands last week. He'll be in post position six for trainer Tom Angerame.   Dot Dot Dot Dash won six times at Freehold in 2019, with all of those victories coming at the Preferred level. She'll be making her first start since December 20, when she was fifth behind Drazzmatazz in the Preferred. Leah Vandervort is her trainer.   Caviar Star, Levitation, Magic MVP, and Zagster complete the field.   The first race at Freehold on Friday will be at approximately 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

Peter Grandich and Company is pleased to once again be the sponsor of the “Freehold Raceway Irish Heritage Driver Pace”, to be held on Friday, March 13, 2020.  Some of the possible drivers for the race are Irish Joe Hanney, George Brennan and Dublin's Jack Killeen. Special sports star from the NJ Devils 1995 Stanley Cup Champion Team will be New Jersey native Jim Dowd, a team member of PGC, and he will be greeting patrons from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. The first 100 patrons will receive a free autographed photo, have two items of their autograph, and take photos with Jim. From Perter Grandich and Company

Freehold, NJ --- There was a big upset in Saturday's Preferred Handicap harness racing pace at Freehold Raceway, as 19/1 Polak A upset 1/5 Matticulous.   George Brennan blasted off with Matticulous, clearing him to the lead and setting up shop before the quarter. While he did get to the lead, he had to work very hard for it: the opening quarter was 27.1 seconds. Meanwhile, Vinny Ginsburg conceded the lead with Polak A and pocketed up behind the leader.   As they rounded the final turn, Polak A edged out of the pocket, and presented a serious challenge to the favored leader. Though Matticulous tried hard to hold him off, Polak had plenty of horse, and got by to win by a length. The final time for the mile was a blazing 1:52.     Polak A performed well in the amateur races over the fall at the Meadowlands, winning two of three in that class. Last out, he finished fifth after showing speed in the Preferred at Freehold. He's owned by Tony Beltrami and trained by Vinny Fusco Jr.   Benson Boys, Ozone Blue Chip, Bullet Bob, Gotta Go BB, The Onlyest One, and Clint Westwood completed the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST. There's a 2-day pick 5 carryover for the card, worth $2,031.83.   From Freehold Raceway  

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