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Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway concluded the Vinny Fusco Jr Memorial Pacing Series this Friday (January 22), with a pair of harness racing finals. One saw a logical result, the other an upset.   Tall Poppy N completed a sweep of the second division, for fillies and mares with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.50 and 75.00 at the start of the series. Just like in the first two legs, George Brennan put her on the lead just after the quarter, and set comfortable fractions. In the stretch, she received a stiff challenge from Thaneeya, but Tall Poppy N held her at bay for a half-length win, in 1:56.3. The winner is owned by Curtin Anz Stable and trained by Kelvin Harrison, and paid $4.20 to win.   The first division final, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, was won by 8/1 If Ur Richimsingle. Leaving from post position two, Daniel Dube put her in the pocket early on. Not long after the quarter, Dube activated his charge, and put her on the lead before the half. She drew off and opened up nearing three-quarters, and never looked back, crossing the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front.   The winning filly is owned by John Cancelliere and trained by Tom Cancelliere. She paced the mile in 1:58.2, for her first career win.   In between those two finals, Lean Hanover defeated Melady's Monet to win the Preferred Handicap trot. Jim Marohn Jr kept him in the pocket most of the way, then activated him in the stretch and rolled by for a 1 1/4 length win. He trotted the mile in 1:57.1, for owners PC Wellwood Enterprises and Karen Carroll, and trainer Linda Toscano.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (January 23), with a 13-race card starting at about 12:30 PM. The card includes two finals of the Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- The Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series comes to a conclusion at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (January 23), as the headliners of a great 13-race card.   The series, named in honor of the great New Jersey horseman who died last fall, began on January 9, and was split up into two harness racing divisions. Over the past two weeks, New Jersey sired, owned, or foaled horses have been battling it out, and the top eight point-earners in each division have advanced to the final.   The Division I final, for horses who started the series with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, is scheduled as the sixth race, with a listed post time of 2:10 PM. The purse is set at $10,000.   The leading point earners, Officer Blue Chip, for owner/trainer John Urbanski, and Symon Spicer trainee Test Ride, loom the largest. Test Ride won the first leg impressively, drawing off by 4 3/4 lengths in a sharp 1:56.2. He'll look for a rebound after a second-place finish as the 2/5 favorite last week. Jim Marohn Jr has the drive from post position three.   Officer Blue Chip also won his division of the first leg, and narrowly missed winning leg two, leading most of the way before being caught in the late stages. He'll leave from post position five, for driver Jack Pelling.   Reuben Tune Ups, for owner/trainer Ann DePietro, Panther's Pinot, trained by Mike Russo, Frankandjoanne, for trainer Dawn Anderson, Our Art and Heaven, trained by Danielle DaCruz, and the John Wyatt pair of Pirates Alley and Odds on Daytona round out the field.   The second final, for horses who began the series with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.50 and 75.00, will go as race 8, scheduled for 2:50 PM. They will race for a purse of $15,000. Taste of History, from the inside post, looms as the one to beat. He won the first two legs of the series, going gate-to-wire both times. Freehold's leading driver, Austin Siegelman, will drive once again.   Trainers Izzy Estrada and Mike Fiumenero both send out a pair. Estrada trains Na Na Na Baatman, from post position three for driver Dan Dube, and Major Jesse, leaving from post position two. Fiumenero has Lucky Levis from the six-hole, with Eric Abbatiello in the bike, and second-leg winner I Am the Cowboy from post position seven.   Nothing to Prove, for trainer Scott DiDomenico, Go Sue Me, for co-owner and trainer Phil Jasper, and Ameriman, for owner/trainer Ernie Hendry, complete the ensemble.   Post time for the first race at Freehold on Saturday is 12:30 PM.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- The Vinny Fusco Jr. Memorial Pacing Series, for New Jersey owned, sired, or foaled harness racing fillies and mares, wraps up at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 22) with a pair of finals.   The final for the first division is for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, for a purse of $10,000. The winners of the first two legs, Duck N Roll and Southwind Tsunami, drew post positions seven and eight, respectively.   Southwind Tsunami, for trainer Mark Capone, won the first leg in a 10/1 upset, and finished fifth in leg two last week as the favorite. She'll have a new driver Friday afternoon: Jim Marohn Jr.   After a fourth-place finish in leg one, Duck N Roll won the second leg last week with a strong rally from the back of the back. She's trained by Izzy Estrada, and will be driven by Luke Hanners.   Little Dare Devil, If Ur Richimsingle, Princess Holly N, Live and Let Di, AP Emily's Dance, and Fashion Writer round out the field. It's scheduled as the eighth race, with a post time of about 3:10 PM.   A few races earlier, the final of the second division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating of 71.50 and 75.00 at the start of the series, will take place. Tall Poppy N, off commanding wins in the first two legs, looms large for trainer Kelvin Harrison and driver George Brennan. She'll leave from post position three.   Western Showgirl and Always Be Lucy, who also won different divisions of earlier legs, return in the final. Off a win last week, Western Showgirl drew post position six, for trainer Robert Ginsburg Jr. and driver Dan Dube. Always Be Lucy won leg one two weeks ago, and finished second to Western Showgirl last week. This Kelly Hastings trainee drew post position five, with Luke Hanners in the sulky.   Thaneeya, Lookatmyart, Tall Poppy N, Princess Sharktank, and Hurrikane Lori Ann complete the ensemble. It will go as the sixth race, scheduled for 2:30 PM.   Sandwiched in between is the Preferred Handicap trot, featuring a showdown between two east coast trotting stalwarts. Melady's Monet, who won the Preferred last week, squares off against Lean Hanover, coming off a second-place finish in the Open trot at Yonkers Raceway. They will leave from posts seven and six, respectively.   Lean Hanover is trained by Linda Toscano, with Jim Marohn Jr named to drive. He won the Open twice at Yonkers last year, adding to his 21-win career total. Lifetime, he's bankrolled more than $403,000.   Eric Abbatiello will drive Melady's Monet, for trainer Hermann Heitmann. In his career, he's won 68 races, while earning north of $1.7 million. Last year, he won six times at Yonkers, and will look to improve his 2021 record to 2-for-2.   Allindotime, Drazzmatazz, Hashtagmadeyalook, Meadowbranch Ricky, and Dot Dot Dot Dash round out the Preferred Handicap field.   The first of eleven races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM.   Publicity Freehold Raceway  

FREEHOLD, NJ -- January 18, 2021 -- The second leg of the SBOANJ sponsored Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series took place on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at Freehold Raceway with six harness racing divisions. Frankandjoanne took the first division for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer Dawn Anderson in 1:59.0. Driver George Brennan teamed up with trainer Scott DiDomenico winning the second division with Nothing To Prove. Steve Smith piloted Panter's Pinot for trainer Michael Russo to the winner's circle in 1:56.3 to win the third division. The fourth division went to Taste Of History for driver Austin Siegelman and trainer Edwin Quevedo. Siegelman also won the fifth division with I Am The Cowboy for trainer Michael Fiumenero. The last division on the card went to Pirates Alley for driver George Brennan and trainer John Wyatt. Freehold resumes racing on Thursday with a post time of 12:30 pm. The SBOANJ sponsored Vinny Fusco Jr. Memorial Pacing Series Finals on Friday, January 22nd, and Finals of the Harold Kelly Memorial Pace will be on Saturday, January 23rd. The top 8 horses with the most points will be drawn into each final. Courtney Stafford

Freehold, NJ--He may not have had the best harness racing horse in the race but John Calabrese put his trotter in a place where he could win and that's just what Stinglike ABK did in the $9000 American Harness Drivers Club Trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, January 16. After starting from the six-hole Calabrese hustled his charge away from the gate and they settled in second behind Caulfield and driver Todd Whitney who then led the field by the first quarter in 30 seconds over a track that was rated 'good'. Heading to the halfway point in 1:01.1 Caulfield got mild pressure from The Cuse Is Loose (Tony Verruso) who had made a break before the start but Whitney' and his trotter remained undaunted and they kept showing the way. As the field approached the three quarters in 1:31.1 Calabrese kept Stinglike AB K tight on Whitney's back and when they rounded the final turn and headed for home Caulfield's strides began to shorten and he started to fade. In the deep stretch Dawn Anderson joined the fray with Take A Wish and although they made up a lot of ground they couldn't overtake Stinglike AB K who went under the wire a length and a half winner in the 2:01.1 clocked mile Caulfield hung on for the show dough. Sent off at odds of 9-2 Stinglike ABK paid $11.00 for the win. The 5 year-old son of Andover Hall is owned by Robert Key and trained by Aaron Lambert   John Manzi

Freehold, NJ --- Melady's Monet began his 12-year-old harness racing season on a winning note Friday afternoon, taking the Preferred Handicap trot at Freehold Raceway.   Making his first start since December 11, he was sent off as the 3/1 second choice in the field of eight. In the early stages, he grabbed cover from favored The Veteran, who left to his direct inside. As soon as The Veteran cleared to the front, just before the opening quarter, Eric Abbatiello took the lead with Melady's Monet.   As they rounded the final turn, Melady's Monet continued to hold sway, but The Veteran loomed menacingly from the pocket. Entering the stretch, Dan Dube ripped The Veteran off the pylons and took his crack at the leader. However, he couldn't get by Melady's Monet, who reported home a half-length in front. The final time was 1:57.3.   This was the 68th win in the long and successful career of Melady's Monet, who pushed his earnings to $1,714,278 with this win. Although he's won top races up and down the east coast, this was his first win at Freehold since 2012. He's owned by Melady Enterprises and trained by Hermann Heitmann.   Friday's card also featured the second leg of the Vinny Fusco Jr Memorial Pacing Series. Duck N Roll won the lone split of the first division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50. She rallied wide in the stretch to get up for the 8/1 win, for owner John Foti, trainer Izzy Estrada, and driver Luke Hanners.   The second division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.50 and 75.00, was split into two races. Western Showgirl surged from behind to win the first race, for owner Michelle White, trainer Robert Ginsburg Jr, and driver Dan Dube.   Tall Poppy N won the second race, in dominant style. She swept both of the first two legs, and will look for a final win next week. George Brennan had the winning drive, for owner Curtin Anz Stable and trainer Kelvin Harrison.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a 13-race card starting at about 12:30 PM. The card is headlined by the second leg of the Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- The Friday (January 15) harness racing card at Freehold Raceway once again includes the Preferred Handicap trot. A field of eight will line up, with an east coast trotting veteran serving as the headliner.   Melady's Monet, for trainer Hermann Heitmann, was assigned the outside post for his 12-year-old debut. Although he's won at tracks all over the east coast, his greatest success has come at Yonkers Raceway. All six of his wins in 2020 came at Yonkers, including two victories in their Open Handicap trot. In his career, he's won 67 races, while earning north of $1.7 million. Perhaps his greatest moment came in 2016, when he finished the Yonkers International Trot by half a length.   This will be his first start at Freehold since 2012, when he swept his way through the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Green Acres series. Eric Abbatiello has the drive on Friday afternoon.   Although trainer Paul Kelley did not send his best trotter, Obrigado, he still looms a threat with The Veteran. He won twice in upper-level conditioned races at Yonkers in the fall, and finished fourth in the Open Handicap at that track. Last out, he showed speed against tough conditioned trotters at the Meadowlands, and looks for a rebound from post position seven. Current leading driver Daniel Dube will be in the bike.   This race will go as the ninth race, with a scheduled post time of 3:10 PM.   The Friday card also features the second leg of the Vinny Fusco Jr Memorial Pacing Series, for NJ owned, sired, or foaled fillies and mares. The first division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating of 68.00 and 71.50, features a full gate of nine, and will go as the fifth race. Southwind Tsunami, who won the first leg last week, will look for a repeat from post position one, for trainer Mark Capone and driver Jack Pelling.   The second division, for horses with a TrackMaster rating between 71.50 and 75.00, drew fourteen entries, and was split into two races. First leg winners Always Be Lucy and Tall Poppy N drew separate races, and will seek to win for the second time in a row. Always Be Lucy has post position five in race four, for trainer Kelly Hastings and driver Luke Hanners. Tall Poppy N will leave from the three-hole in race eleven, for trainer Kelvin Harrison.   Post time for the first of twelve races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

Freehold, NJ--Last week harness racing driver Tony Beltrami got a late start with Broadway Bruiser and although the veteran trotter finished with a rush he was a head short at the wire. But today Beltrami kept his trotter in contention early and the 6-year-old altered son of Muscle Mass was not to be denied when he rallied alongside the pacesetter, Wygant Prince (Paul Minore),,and went on to a 2:02.1 one length victory in the $9000 American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway on the chilly Saturday afternoon of January 9. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Minore sent his charge to the lead from the five-hole and they had command at the first stanza as the timer flashed, :30. But no sooner did Minore grab leather Beltrami was out and going forward with Broadway Bruiser. As the leaders passed the halfway point they were one-rwo and at the three quarters it was still Wygant Prince on the inside and Broadway Bruiser on the outside. But when they turned for home Broadway Bruiser was the strong horse and he took command and went on to a 2:02.1 triumph. Broadway Bruiser The betting favorite, Masster Blue (Tony Verruso), had road trouble and didn't shake loose until late and had to settle for the show dough. Broadway Bruiser is owned by Joseph Scanio, James Cozenza, Bart Foodrn ans the HDS Stable and is trained Williams Hernandez. He paid $8.40 for win. by John Manzi for the AHDC

Freehold, NJ --- Many of Freehold Raceway's harness racing regulars were in the spotlight this Saturday (January 9), as Freehold kicked off the Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series.   Local horsemen flooded the box for the first leg of this series, which is restricted to horses and geldings owned, sired, or foaled in New Jersey. The first division, restricted to horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, attracted 23 entries, and was split up into three races.   Reuben Tune Ups took his division of the first leg at 9/1, taking charge after the three-quarter point and holding on. He went the mile in 1:58, for owner/trainer Ann DePietro and driver Jim Marohn Jr. Officer Blue Chip prevailed in his split, winning a stretch battle with Our Art and Heaven for the 7/1 win. Jack Pelling had the winning drive for owner/trainer John Urbanski., stopping the clock in 1:58.3.   The third and final grouping of that division's pacers went to Test Ride, who drew off in the stretch to win impressively at 2/1. Marohn had the winning drive again, for owner Symon Spicer and trainer George Beck. The time was 1:56.4.   Meanwhile, the second division of leg 1, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.51 and 75.00, drew 25 entrants, and was also split up into three races.   Taste of History took them gate-to-wire in his division, winning at 2/1 for owner/trainer Edwin Quevedo and driver Austin Siegelman. He paced the mile in 1:56.1. Later that day, Go Sue Me retook the lead around the second turn and held on to win his division of the first leg at 7/2. Steve Smith was in the sulky; the time was 1:58.3.   The final division of the second division's first leg went to Clint Westwood, who rallied wide in the stretch to win at 2/1 in 1:58.2. The winner's owned by Alma Iafelice, trainer Bill MacKenzie, and driver Dan Dube.   Horses who competed in the first leg earned points for their division's finals, which will take place on January 23. The winners earned 50 points, with second place getting 25, third earning 12, fourth receiving 8, fifth nabbing 5, sixth picking up 3, seventh obtaining 2, and eighth getting 1. They'll have a chance to earn more points in the second leg, next week.   Dube and Austin Siegelman each won three races. In addition to his win on Clint Westwood, Dube won race 8 on Maching Time, for trainer Izzy Estrada, and the 10th race on Lyons Steel, for trainer Dennis Watson.   Siegelman won two for trainer Mike Posner, pulling the race 7 upset with 24/1 Mister Indiana, and race 9 on favored Vasari N. Siegelman's win on Taste of History rounded out his set of wins.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, starting at 12:30 PM.   For full results click here  

Freehold, NJ --- Even in a more advanced age, Obrigado's class continues to shine through. He won the harness racing Preferred Handicap trot at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 8) for the second week in a row.   Despite the assignment of the outside post position seven, bettors pounded Obrigado down to 1/5 favoritism. Driver Dan Dube had no problem getting him to the lead, clearing to the front just before the opening quarter. He set comfortable early fractions, going the opening quarter in 28.2 seconds and the half in 58.2 seconds.   As they moved towards three-quarters, the moves of his rivals began to fall flat, and Obrigado continued to cruise on the lead. Pocket-sitting Dot Dot Dot Dash made a move at the top of the stretch, but Obrigado held her off, and cruised under the line three lengths in front. The final time was 1:56.3.   Obrigado improved to 2-for-2 in 2021 with this win, and maintained his perfect career record at Freehold. In his career, he's won 54 times from 119 starts, with earnings above $1.9 million. Paul Kelley is the winning trainer; he also co-owns with SRF Stables and Linwood Higgins.   Obrigado   Friday's Freehold card also saw the beginning of the Vinny Fusco Jr Memorial Pacing Series, for NJ sired, owned, or foaled fillies and mares. The first division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse rating between 68.00 and 71.50, was conducted as one race, with eight entries. The second division, for horses with a TrackMaster rating between 71.50 and 75.00, was split further into two races, with seven starters apiece.   Tall Poppy N, for trainer Kelvin Harrison, and Always B Lucy, trained by Kelly Hastings, won their respective races in the first division. Southwind Tsunami, for trainer Mark Capone, won the first leg of her division. Tall Poppy N   Always B Lucy   Southwind Tsunami   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a 13-race card beginning at 12:30 PM. There will be a carryover in tomorrow's early pick 4, worth $2,878.      

Freehold, NJ --- Twenty-four New Jersey-owned, sired, or foaled pacing fillies and mares will take center stage at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 8), as the Vinny Fusco Jr. Memorial Pacing Series begins.   The series was split up into two harness racing divisions. The second division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.50 and 75.00, attracted fifteen entries, and was split up into two races. They will be run as races two and four on the twelve-race card.   The first division is for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50, and will be run as one race with a nine-horse field. That will be run as the tenth race on the program.   Fusco's family is well-represented in the series. His brother, Paul, has four entries. He'll send out AP Emily's Dance, from post five, and Maggnifispin, from post eight, in the first division. In the higher division, he'll have Fear My Shadow in the first split, from post position four, and Classy Chapel N in the second split, leaving from post three. Vinny's nephew, Robert Ginsburg Jr, has Fashion Writer in the first division; she drew post nine.   The Friday card also features another renewal of the Preferred Handicap trot. It attracted a field of seven, and was scheduled as the sixth race on the card.   Obrigado looms large as the one to beat. He made his 11-year-old debut a winning one in last week's Preferred, crushing the field by three-lengths in a gate-to-wire style. He'll look for a repeat effort from post seven, for trainer Paul Kelley and driver Dan Dube.   In Secret is perhaps his toughest rival. He ships down from Flamboro Downs, where he was second against open company in each of his last two races. He's enjoyed great success in the past. In 2017, he won the Open Handicap trot at Yonkers Raceway four times in a row, and earned a spot in that year's International Trot, where he finished eighth. In 2018, he finished second in the Charlie Hill Trot at Scioto Downs.   On Friday, he'll go from post position six, for new trainer Michael Hall.   The first of twelve races at Freehold on Friday will be at 12:30 PM.       Publicity Freehold Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing fans at Freehold Raceway will hear a new voice starting Thursday, January 7, when Edison Hatter begins his tenure as the race caller.   Hatter, 22, is from Annapolis Junction, Maryland, and is best-known as one of the announcers at Rosecroft Raceway. He'll announce at Freehold until March 13.   A 2020 graduate of the University of Maryland, Hatter began announcing the Wednesday night cards at Rosecroft last fall, filling in for usual announcer Pete Medhurst. He's also served as on-air analyst, photo finish timer, and assistant chart caller.   When not at Rosecroft or Freehold, Hatter works as an engineer at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He also writes for a local newspaper.   "I am extremely thankful to Karen Fagliarone and the rest of the Freehold team for giving me this opportunity, and I am really looking forward to spending the next few months at Freehold, getting to know the horsemen and the fans" Hatter said. "Ken Warkentin and Larry Lederman are two of the best announcers, and it's an absolute honor to be in the same booth they have been in"   Fans can follow Hatter on twitter at @edison_1999_   Live racing at Freehold will take place on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout the month of January, then switch to Fridays and Saturdays the rest of the way. The first race is scheduled for 12:30 PM every race day.   Publicity Freehold Raceway      

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Bill MacKenzie and driver Dan Dube are no strangers to success together at Freehold Raceway. They teamed up for a win in the Saturday (January 2) feature, as No Easy Day won the Preferred Handicap pace.   Sent off as the second choice at 2.40/1, Dube took back at the start and put his charge in fourth early on. Around the half-mile, after waiting behind a quarter in 28 2/5 seconds and a half in 58 seconds, Dube elected to make his move first-over.   As they moved up the backstretch the final time, No Easy Day began breathing down the neck of early leader Drinkin Again. Just after passing that point in 1:26 2/5, Dube seized command with No Easy Day. He then fended off a challenge from Mohawk Warrior for the 1 1/4 length victory. The final time was 1:54 3/5.   No Easy Day is co-owned by Vincent Ali and Alma Iafelice.   He's won sixteen times from 74 starts, earning more than $217,000 in the process.   No Easy Day   Dube won four races in total on Saturday. He teamed up with MacKenzie in race 3 as well, scoring with Lettuceriprita A. He got the double with Shneonucrzydiamnd in the 7th race, for owner/trainer Michael Hall. No Easy Day was his third win of the afternoon; the grand slam was completed in race 12 on Izzy Estrada trainee Na Na Na Baatman.   Freehold had a strong business day on Saturday, as the 13-race card handled $701,670. The first two days of the 2021 racing season have handled more than $1.3 million.   Live racing resumes on Thursday (January 7), with a 10-race card beginning at 12:30 PM. There will be a carryover in the pick 5, worth $1,355.51.   Freehold Publicity  

Freehold NJ -- A two-hole journey and a late rally was just what harness racing driver Marianna Monaco needed when she guided 13-1 shot Sb Fine And Dandy to a nose triumph over another longshot, 29-1 Broadway Bruiser, in the American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 2. One could say that Monaco played hardball by not yielding the lead preferring to park-out all comers and though she did, still her trotter had enough in the tank to hold-off a late charge from Broadway Bruiser and driver Tony Beltrami to score a nose decision in the 2:02 trotted mile in the first seasonal event of the 2021 amateur driving series. Starting from the two-hole Monaco first kept Wygant Prince and Paul Minore on the limb and after Minore found a hole along the pylons she braced for a challenge from 10-1 Always A Good Time, driven by Joe Faraldo. As they headed to the half-way point Sb Fine And Dandy and Faraldo's charge hooked up in a duel with Monaco's trotter still holding command all the way to the top of the stretch. As the two leaders headed for home just heads apart Beltrami came from far back with Broadway Bruiser and he and Sb Fine And Dandy charged to the finish line noses apart. It required a lengthy look by the judges but when the decision was made Sb Fine And Dandy was short-nose better than Broadway Bruiser with Faraldo's charge just a tick back in third place. The winner, a 6-year-old Iowa-bred altered son of Claudius Augustus reined supreme for the sixth time in his career. He is currently under lease to Edwin Quevedo. Sb Fine And Dandy Sb Fine And Dandy (#2) paid $29.00; $11.00 & $6.80. Broadway Bruiser (#7) returned $27.20 and $10.80. Together they teamed up for a $544.40 exacta. And the 2-7-5 trifecta was worth $2191.00 by John Manzi for the American Harness Drivers Club    

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway rang in the new year on Friday (January 1), with a pair of harness racing Preferred Handicaps. One was one by an established veteran, the other by a possible rising star.   The Preferred Handicap trot went to Obrigado, who inched his earnings closer to the $2 million mark. Sent off as the 2/5 favorite in the field of seven, he was sent to the front early on from post position six by driver Dan Dube. He cleared to the front just after the quarter, and established firm control as they went by the half-mile point. After a solid opening quarter of 28 4/5 seconds over the "good'" track, he slowed it down in the half-mile, getting that fraction in 59 1/5 seconds.   As they neared three-quarters, although his rivals made solid moves, Obrigado began to pull away. He was in front by two at the top of the stretch, and coasted under the wire three lengths clear. The final time was 1:57.0.   Obrigado's best year was 2016. That year, he won seven major stakes for older trotters, concluding his season with a win in the TVG Final at the Meadowlands. Last year, as a 10-year-old, he won seven times from 22 starts, while earning more than $85,000. He's owned by Paul Kelley, SRF Stable, and Linwood Higgins, and trained by Paul Kelley.   Obrigado   Three races later, Alexa Skye sought a repeat win in the Fillies & Mares Preferred Handicap pace. The week prior, she rallied from behind to win at 6/1. Bettors thought she would do it again, sending her off as the 6/5 favorite.   As expected, Jack Pelling took her well off the pace, rating behind a quarter of 27 4/5 seconds, and a half-mile in 58 seconds. Nearing three-quarters, she remained in last, and it looked as if she'd have to make another big comeback if she wanted her second win in a row.   Turning for home, her rivals were stacked across the track. Jack had no choice but to send her six-wide on the final turn. Despite losing so much ground, she was able to sustain her strong rally, and she surged to victory by half a length, stopping the clock in 1:55.4.   Alexa Skye has now won four races in a row, and six of her last eight. It wouldn't be surprising to see this newly-turned 4-year-old have a very successful campaign this year. She's trained by Brett Pelling, and owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and John Lengacher.   Alexa Skye   Over the past few months, Austin Siegelman has emerged as the top driver at Freehold Raceway. After finishing fifth in the standings in 2019, Siegelman looked to build on his performance in 2020.    During Freehold’s Summer/Fall meet, Siegelman took off. He won 71 races from 331 drives in that stretch, the most of any driver by 23 wins. Perhaps his best stretch came between November 27 and December 4, when he won thirteen races over three race days. He won at least four races eight times during the summer/fall portion of the season.    Abbatiello finished second in the race, with 45 wins. Jim Marohn Jr was third with 43 wins, followed by Vinny Ginsburg in fourth, with 37 victories.   In the training department, Paul Fusco led the way among trainers during the meet. He won eighteen races from 131 starters. Brandon Mongiello was second with sixteen victories, Bill MacKenzie was third with 15 triumphs.    Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (January 2), with a 13-race card starting at 12:30 PM.    Publicity Freehold Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway will ring in the new year in style, with a 12-race harness racing card on New Year's Day (January 1). The co-features are the Preferred Handicap Trot and the Fillies & Mares Preferred Handicap, with both of last week's winners seeking repeats.   Kinda Lucky Lindy won the Preferred Trot last week, coming from behind to get up in the final few strides. He drew post position eight in his bid to repeat at this level, for trainer Daniel Renaud.   He'll face some stiff competition in here, wth Sumatra and Obrigado serving as perhaps his toughest rivals. Sumatra, trained by Tom Fanning, has won three out of his last four starts at Yonkers Raceway, most recently winning a NW $10,000 event in 1:57.3. In his last race at Freehold, on September 18, he crushed the field by 9 1/2 lengths. George Brennan has the drive from post position six.   Obrigado drew post position seven, for trainer Paul Kelley. He had an epic 2016 campaign, winning seven major stakes races while earning more than $800,000. In 2020, he won seven times from 22 starts, including a solid win at the NW $15,000 level at Yonkers Raceway three races back. He's competed at tracks all over the country in his 117-race career, but this will be his first start at Freehold.   Boots N Chains, The Big Muscle, Dot Dot Dot Dash, Muscle Ave, and Gettin Messi round out the field. This will be the sixth race on the card, scheduled to go to post at 2:10 PM.   In the Fillies & Mares Preferred, Alexa Skye looks for her second win in a row at the level, and her fourth consecutive win overall. She won for the father/son team of trainer Brett Pelling and driver Jack Pelling last week, closing from behind to win going away. She once again has the outside post position.   Two of her rivals from last week, third-place finisher Angel's Pride and fifth-place finisher Ideal Classic, are back to take another shot. The primary new shooters include Golden Quest, who has been in good form lately at Yonkers and the Meadowlands, Darkrshadeofpale, who came from behind to win at Harrah's Philadelphia last out, and Bye Bye Felicia, who has hit the board in her last five races.   Windmeupnwatchmego and Bronze Over N round out the field. It will be the ninth race on the card, scheduled for 3:10 PM.   The first of twelve races at Freehold on Friday will go at 12:30 PM.      

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