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One of the most anticipated races of the afternoon on Sunday, May 28th at Harrah's Philadelphia is the Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial for harness racing aged pacers. Stafford, a popular local horsemen who raced predominantly in Delaware and Harrah's Philly, passed away in July of 2016. He was 45 years old. Stafford won 693 races in his career as a driver, including Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund champion Badlands Jenna, Good Bet, Badlands Art, Mudslide and Scout Hanover. The invitational itself will feature accomplished millionaire pacers All Bets Off and Great Vintage, Tattersalls Mixed Sales topper Rock N Roll World, Levy standouts Missile J and Somewhere in LA, the red hot Canadian invader Jin's Shark, and wonders from down under Christen Me N and Mossdale Connor N. All Bets Off has an endless resume. The Ron Burke trainee has amassed over $2 million in career earnings, with plenty of high profile stakes wins in his portfolio. Aiming to be the richest son of Bettor's Delight, the connections decided against retirement in favor of the racetrack in 2017. He was headed to Hickory Lane Farm to be a stallion in Ohio, but the owners and the farm mutually agreed to terminate the agreement. He ended 2016 with a win in the inaugural Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. Millionaire pacer Great Vintage looks to rebound from a tough spot at Yonkers on Saturday (May 20) where a tough trip and bad post took its toll. The brother of $2 million dollar earner Vintage Master won this very event in 2015, a year after returning back from a knee injury. Rock N Roll World was the sales topper at the Tattersalls Spring Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands, going for $165,000 to Tom Pollack. The purchase payed immediate dividends, as the 5-year-old son of Worldly Beauty paced the fastest mile thus far in 2017, a winning effort in 1:48.3 at Hoosier Park. The Jeff Cullipher trainee is staked to the Breeders Crown, Ben Franklin, Canadian Pacing Derby, William Haughton Memorial, and Jim Ewart Memorial. Two of the major players in the lucrative George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers have been invited. Somewhere In LA and Missile J both had terrific runs leading up to the final, where they finished second and fourth respectively. Somewhere in LA, a 2016 Harrisburg Sales purchase, eclipsed the $1 million plateau in career earnings last month. He leads all horses in earnings so far this season with just under $350,000 bankrolled. Missile J is fourth in that category, with just under $200,000 earned. The Scott Di Domenico trainee was purchased for 115,000 at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale by the duo of Brian Carsey and John McGill. The 4-year-old's biggest win to date was the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers last season. Richard Poilucci's wonder from down under Christen Me N will return to the scene of his North American debut. It was a winning effort over the Harrah's Philly oval in 1:51 last Sunday. He finished a fast closing third at The Meadowlands last night (Saturday) in a 1:49.1 clocking. Christen Me N is an eleven time group one winner down under, and was the 2015 New Zealand harness horse of the year. Canadian invader Jins Shark has been red hot as of late. The Isaac Waxman trainee paced the first sub 1:50 mile of the year in Canada on April 29th at Mohawk. He has gone on to impressive victories against the top Canadian free-for-allers since. Jins Shark is owned by Aaron Waxman and Liv with Autism Stables. Perhaps a bit overshadowed by Christen Me N is another force from the southern hemisphere, Mossdale Connor N. He has looked super impressive since arriving to the United States, winning three straight including an effortless 1:51.4 (:26.3 last qtr) in his most recent effort at Yonkers. The 7-year-old pupil of Peter Tritton won 13 races in New Zealand, including the group one Taylor Mile before being sold to the current connections. Also on the all-star card next Sunday (May 28th) at Harrah's Philadelphia is the Maxie Lee Memorial for aged trotters, and the Betsy Ross for aged mare pacers. Post Time is 12:40 PM. Michael Bozich

Three millionaires, one soon-to-be millionaire, and a quartet of sharp harness racing upstarts comprise the 2017 Maxie Lee field for Aged Trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday, May 28th. It is one of three invitationals on the day's program, each going for a purse of $150,000. The leading money earner in the field is the 5-year-old Crazy Wow. The son of Crazed-Topcat Hall won over $1 million dollars as a 3-year-old, which included wins in The Colonial at Pocono and The Bluegrass at The Red Mile. Although the Ron Burke trainee had only one win as a 4-year-old, he finished the campaign strong with a narrow defeat in the TVG Free For All at The Meadowlands. So far this season, he has a pair of second place finishes, with his most recent being in The Arthur Cutler Memorial. The Cutler winner (Resolve), will compete in the Elitloppet at Solvalla Raceway in Sweden. Rene Allard trainee Charmed Life and Kevin Mc Dermott pupil Melady's Monet are also a part of harness racing's millionaire club. Charmed Life is riding a wave of sharp form. Her most recent start was a win in the Miami Valley Distaff, which spoiled the debut of 2016 Dan Patch/O'Brien Award winner Hannelore Hanover. Melady's Monet has also had a sharp beginning to his campaign. The 8-year-old gelded son of Revenue S-Keystone Melady has four wins in seven starts this season, only being worse than second once. Melady's Monet leads the potential Maxie Lee field in career wins with 44. 2015 Dan Patch winner JL Cruze will also be a part of the star-studded lineup. JL Cruze was the first trotter to clock a 1:49.4 over a mile track. Part owner Ken Wood, who owns a drilling company, began drilling in Africa 11 years ago with the hopes of getting people clean drinking water in impoverished areas. Much of JL Cruze's 2015 earnings were used for the cause. The 6-year-old gelded son of Crazed-Topcat Hall is less than $84,000 from the $1 million mark in career earnings. His most recent effort was a third place finish in The Cutler at The Big M. Canadian invader Odds On Amethyst will bring his sharp form to the Chester oval for the Maxie Lee. The 6-year-old gelded son of Muscle Hill-Mystical Sunshine has won 7 straight races on the WEG circuit, mainly against preferred types. The Pat Hudon trainee is not the only sporting sharpness however. Peter Tritton student Springback Sam N and Andrew Harris trainee Taco Tuesday fit the bills as well. The former is coming off of three narrow defeats facing the top rank at Yonkers, while the latter has won 4 of his last 6 against Open competition. The wild card is European newcomer Tuonoblu Rex. The America sired, Italian Bred son of Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex won his stateside debut in impressive fashion. He followed that up with an in-hand 1:53.1 win at Pocono, and a similar effort in 1:53 at Harrah's Philly. The Julie Miller trainee, who won a Grade 3 race at Paris's Vincennes Racecourse as a 3-year-old, has 9 wins in 17 career starts. The Maxie Lee Memorial Trot is named after long-time horsemen Maxie Lee. A native of North Carolina, Lee made a name for himself as a trainer and driver in the Philadelphia area at Liberty Bell and Brandywine. He had back-to-back Delaware Valley Harness Horse of the Year winners in the mid-1970s with Black Gamecock and Valley Ken. In 1990, Lee became the first African-American with a starter in the Hambletonian, with the Peter Haughton winner Backstreet Guy. Michael Bozich

The wait was finally over. The long-awaited debut of The Wonder from Down Under happened Sunday, in front of a sizable and vocal harness racing crowd at Harrah's Philadelphia. Christen Me N, the eleven time group one winner, and New Zealand's 2015 harness horse of the year, qualified impressively two weeks ago over the Philly oval. He did so in a 1:53.4 clocking, under minimal urging. Today's test was a non-winners of $21,100 in their last 5 starts, going for a purse of $17,500. His debut wasn't without drama however, as the 9-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen-Splendid Dreams interfered with Scott Rocks before the start, causing a recall. Trainer Jo Ann Looney-King took little time to ponder an equipment change for his next start. "We probably wont be putting anymore murphy blinds on him for starters," Looney-King said after the race. As the wings folded, Christen Me N (Tim Tetrick) settled into an early fifth, as Always At My Place (Joe Bongiorno) was sent hard to the lead. As they approached 3/8ths, the 32-time winner edged to the outside, where he traveled uncovered to the 5/8ths marker. The Josh Green trainee Poisonous (Brett Miller) angled off the cones from the 3 hole, towing Christian Me N into striking range. Tetrick bailed on cover at the 1/8thpole, sweeping past for the victory under minimal urging in a time of 1:51 flat. The official margin of victory was a head. Poisonous fought gamely for place, while Scott Rocks (George Napolitano Jr) was third. He paid $6.20 to win. Christen Me N "Tim (Tetrick) loves him at this point, and we are pleased," Looney-King continued. "When you get a horse from the other side of the world, there is a certain amount of uncertainty, so now we can continue on." As far as the future is concerned, the husband/wife team are excited. "We are looking forward to having a lot of fun with him and butting heads with the big boys in the future." The future may arrive in two weeks time, as Christian Me N has been invited to the Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial for aged pacers, which will take place on Sunday, May 28th at Harrah's Philadelphia. The purse for that event is $150,000. Michael Bozich

It was a Breeders' Crown rivalry renewed on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The first three finishers of last year's 2-year-old filly pace were making their sophomore debuts in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at the harness racing Chester oval, with each of the four events going for a purse of roughly $40,000. The first division featured the marquee match-up between Someomensomewhere (2016 BC winner) and Agent Q (2016 BC runner-up). It was Agent Q (Dave Miller) getting the first call off the wings, with Someomensomewhere settling into fourth. Agent Q released Ron Burke trainee Sapphire Beach (Yannick Gingras) to sit pocket, while Someomensomewhere abandoned her pylon spot to grind first-over. As the field departed three-quarters, Sapphire Beach carried Agent Q to the passing lane, where she exploded down the lane to win by a length, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. The fractions were :27, :56, and 1:24. The overall clocking was just 1/5th of a second off of her lifetime best. Sapphire Breeze held third. Agent Q is owned by Martin Scharf, Rochetti Cassar Racing, and Bob Muscara, and is trained by Aaron Lambert. Idyllic Beach (Yannick Gingras) made her sophomore debut a winning one for the conglomerate of Takter, Fielding, Brixton Medical, and Katz. The third place finisher in 'Crown 16' was able to hold off a determined upset bid from V String (Andy McCarthy), who surged off cover to take the lead in the stretch. Idyllic Beach sat pocket behind the speed of Miss Jones (Corey Callahan), who barely carried the race-favorite to the passing lane. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere rallied up the pylons to win by a length in the end, stopping the timer in 1:52.3. She is trained by Jimmy Takter. In other Sire Stakes action, Mike Hall trainee Watch What You Say won her fourth straight to stay undefeated on the season. The daughter of Well Said was able to complete a long, uncovered grind to cross the wire first in a time of 1:54.1, a new mark. She is owned by CTC Stables, Bradley Grant, and Howard Taylor. She was driven by Brett Miller. Nifty Norman trainee Inverse Hanover rallied off of cover to take the final division in 1:53.4. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere remained perfect on the season (3/3) for owners White Birch Farm and the Pinske Stables. Hall of Famer Dave Miller drove. Michael Bozich

Freehold, NJ --- Last season’s three richest 2-year-old female pacers -- Idyllic Beach, Someomensomewhere and Agent Q -- will make their harness racing seasonal debuts Thursday (May 11) when Harrah’s Philadelphia hosts the first round of action in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes series for 3-year-old female pacers. Idyllic Beach was the 2016 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer after capturing eight of 14 races and earning $647,678, second to only colt Huntsville among all 2-year-olds. Someomensomewhere was the Breeders Crown winner and Agent Q was the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion. Someomensomewhere and Agent Q meet in the first of Thursday’s four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions while Idyllic Beach is in the third division. Idyllic Beach and Someomensomewhere are from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. Idyllic Beach hit the board in all 14 of her starts last year and her wins included the She’s A Great Lady and Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes in addition to a division of the International Stallion Stakes. Someomensomewhere was trained by Erv Miller last year. She won four of 14 races and earned $486,380 for then-owners Nick Surick Stable and KDM Stables. In addition to winning the Breeders Crown her victories included the Kindergarten Series championship and a division of the International Stallion. She is now owned by Diamond Creek Racing and A B M Stable. Takter also sends out Somesleazetoplease in the fourth Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division. “There are quite a few good fillies,” Takter said. “I don’t think anyone really stands out, but it’s a deep group. The fillies I have are nice fillies so hopefully they can stay with them.” Idyllic Beach, by Somebeachsomewhere out of the O’Brien Award-winning Idyllic, heads to her opening day assignment off two qualifiers. She finished second both times. She is the 2-1 morning line favorite in her division and is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc., and Marvin Katz. “She qualified good,” Takter said. “She was maybe a touch flat her last qualifier, but we’ve been qualifying with an open bridle and she maybe didn’t pay attention like she normally does. It’s her first start of the year. They’re going to need a couple starts to get their feet right. But I expect her to be right there.” Someomensomewhere won once in six races on five-eighths-mile tracks last year, but excelled on the big tracks at Lexington and the Meadowlands, posting three wins and two seconds in five starts. Harrah’s Philadelphia is a five-eighths-mile oval. She is the 5-2 choice from post one Thursday, with Agent Q at 3-1 from post five. “It’s going to be interesting on a five-eighths track,” Takter said about Someomensomewhere, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Omen Hanover. “She’s kind of had a little problem in the turns in the past. We’ve been working on that. Hopefully we can get her so she can go shorter turns. I’m happy with how she’s progressing.” Somesleazetoplease, a homebred half-sister to Takter’s two-time Dan Patch Award-winner See You At Peelers, finished second twice in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes series last season and finished her campaign with a win at Philly. It was her only victory in seven races. She has raced once this year, finishing second to 4-year-old Twinkle at the Meadowlands. “She raced really good,” Takter said. “She closed very good (in :26.4). She’s coming back very nice. She was on and off last year. But by the same token she was very immature in a lot of ways. It looks like this year she is a little stronger.” Agent Q, a daughter of Western Terror-Teenage Paige trained by Aaron Lambert for owners Martin Scharf, Rochetti Cassar Racing, and Robert Muscara, won three of 10 races last year and never finished worse than second. She missed by a nose from post 10 in the Breeders Crown and also finished second in the She’s A Great Lady. Click here for Thursday’s complete Harrah’s Philadelphia card. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  

Mister Daytona N is now a perfect two-for-two in North America. The 5-year-old pacing son of American Ideal used a well-timed move to dispose of 7 other harness racing rivals in Sunday's feature at Harrah's Philadelphia, a non-winners of $20,000 in their last 5 starts. Starting from post 5, the Brewer Adams trainee settled in mid-pack, well off the deliberate speed of Dream Out Loud N (Brett Miller). He set fractions of :26.1, :54.4, and 1:23. "He is a very cool little guy, great to drive,"  said Driver Andy McCarthy.  "Feels like you are driving a supercharged Mini Cooper. I think he has the potential to go places." The final time was 1:51.2, a lifetime achievement for the winner. Mister Daytona N (Andy McCarthy) has now won 17 races in 23 career starts. He is owned by Albert Abdala III. In other action, Randy Bendis pupil Bilbo Hanover (George Napolitano Jr) and Bill Mac Kenzie trainee Trading Up won their respective divisions of a non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 starts on the pace. Bilbo Hanover brushed to the front, and opened up to win by 4 lengths, stopping the timer in 1:51.2 to win for the 23rd time. Trading Up grinded persistently to wear down favorite Arque Hanover to win his division in a clocking of 1:51. Driver Tim Tetrick led all drivers on the day with 4 wins, while Corey Callahan, Brett Miller, and George Napolitano Jr each had driving doubles. Live racing returns on Wednesday, with a post time of 12:40 PM. Michael Bozich

Eleven time Australian group one winner Christen Me made his stateside harness racing debut a winning one Tuesday morning in a qualifier at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Driver Tim Tetrick came away third, patiently drafting until just past the half. The 2015 New Zealand horse of the year brushed on the backside, and was able to secure the victory in a qualifying time of 1:53.4.   "Chris is staked heavily but we need to get his lines and get him in an overnight for starters", said Trainer Jim King Jr. "He's not only fast but hes highly intelligent. Glad to have this qualifying monkey off our backs and of course he qualified with lasix," King continued. "We are thrilled with him and Nike (Franco) too..Hoping we can get in gear now and get owner Rich Pollucci some money back."   In 68 starts down under, Christen Me won 32 times, was second on 21 occasions and won nearly $2.5 million.   Michael Bozich

Beautiful weather and a great crowd made for an exciting day of harness racing on Sunday (April 30) afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. The featured event of the day was race eight, a pace for non-winners of $20,000 in their last 5 starts, going for a purse of $17,500. The heavy favorite going in was Ron Burke Trainee Always At My Place (Yannick Gingras). The 6-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin was coming off of even efforts in the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway. He finished second in his most recent effort at the Hilltop against established aged pacer Santa Fe Beachboy. The race-favorite got away in mid-pack position early, beginning a long-uncovered grind just shy of the half. A duel ensued with the red-hot Bettor Memories (Dave Miller), who brushed to the lead past the quarter. A 4-year-old son of Bettor's Delight, Bettor Memories began to pull away at the top of the stretch to win by a little more than a length, stopping the clock in 1:50.4 for his second straight win. He is owned by Gus Dovi, and trained by Nifty Norman. Longshot Gallic Beach (Jonathon Roberts) finished second, while Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) was flying late to be third. The winner paid $6.20. Always At My Place tailed off to finish fourth. In other action, Gilbert Garcia-Herrera trainee Dojea Solo (George Napolitano Jr) overcame post 8 to win one of two divisions of a non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 races on the pace. The 5-year-old gelded son of Palone Ranger used the pocket trip to his advantage, out finishing the grinding Jeneral Patton (Dave Miller) and the leader El Bloombito (Tim Tetrick) in the final strides. The mile was completed in 1:51.2. He paid $26.80 to win. The second division was taken by Mister Daytona A (Andy McCarthy). The 5-year-old was making his North American Debut, after winning 15 of 21 starts in Australia. He overcame a long-uncovered trip to defeat Ron Burke pupil Voracity (Yannick Gingras) in 1:51.4. He is owned by Albert Abdala III, and trained by Brewer Adams. Harrah's Philadelphia races live every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday with a first post of 12:40 PM. Harrah's is also racing live this Saturday (Derby Day) with a 12:40 PM Start. Michael Bozich

The Sunday harness racing action at Harrah's Philadelphia was centered around upper-conditioned level pacers, featuring two divisions of both non-winners of $21,500 in their last 5 starts and non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5, going for purse monies of $17,500 and $15,000 respectively. The first division of the non-winners of $21,500 went to the Ron Burke trainee Rock N' Roll World (Yannick Gingras). The 5-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover was able to clear the lead before the quarter, before yielding to Blaise MM Hanover (George Napolitano Jr.). After a slight second quarter rating (28.2), Rene Allard Trainee Crafty Master (Simon Allard) floated out first-over, but was unable to make serious headway. As they turned for home, Rock N' Roll World used the passing lane to get up in time over Blaise MM Hanover (2nd) and a closing Fashion Bythebeach (3rd), stopping the clock in 1:51, a seasonal mark. Rock N' Roll World is owned by Burke Racing, M1 Stable, Larry Karr, and Silva Stable 45. The second division went to the upset minded Mattamerican (Dave Miller). The 6-year-old son of Allamerican Native was able to use the cover of Validus Deo (Yannick Gingras) to get into position, before unleashing a sweeping move in the stretch to score by a head in 1:52.1. Second place finisher Hall Bro (Brett Miller) had powered his way to the front past the quarter, but came up just a head short. Dojea Solo (George Napolitano Jr.) settled for third. It was the second straight win for the Andrew Harris trainee, who payed $24.00 to win, keying a $130 exacta payoff. He is owned by Rob Key. Robbins Nest Farm's Gallic Beach sprung the upset in the first of two divisions of the Non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 races. The John Wilkerson charge went right to the front and set a deliberate pace (:26.4, :55, 1:22) before stopping the clock in 1:50.2. That clocking was tied for the fastest of the day with Bettor Memories (Dave Miller) victory in the second division. Bettor Memories enjoyed a pocket journey behind the speed of Katies Rocker (Andy McCarthy) before powering away to win by 5 lengths in the end. The 4-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight is owned by Gus Dovi and trained by Nifty Norman. Drivers Tim Tetrick, Dave Miller, and George Napolitano Jr. each had three wins on the program. Trainers Ron Burke and Matias Ruiz each had two. Live racing returns Wednesday, with a first post of 12:40 PM. Michael Bozich

Mother Nature was kind to the suburban Philadelphia area on Thursday (April 20th) afternoon. The rain held off long enough to provide a delightful mix of sun, light wind, and comfortable temperatures for the 14-race harness racing program at Harrah's Philadelphia. The featured event was a trot for non-winners of $20,000 in their last 5 starts, positioned as race 5 on the program. In a wide-open wagering board, the slight favorite was Blair and Erna Corbeil's Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno). The 5-year-old son of Muscle Mass was coming off of a break from an outside post in an upper-conditioned level event at Yonkers. He performed solidly in his two outings before the miscue. The versatile Rich Johnson trainee settled into an early sixth shy of the quarter, as hall of fame driver Dave Miller fired Skates N Plates sharply off the wings. The 6-year-old Andrew Harris charge set deliberate fractions of :27, :55. and 1:24, enjoying an uncontested lead for most of the mile.   In the mean time, the $3.7 million dollar earner Market Share (Tim Tetrick) was progressing mildly first-over, after finding a good early spot just off the speed. Rubber Duck was able to latch-on to that cover at race's midpoint. Bongiorno sent the lukewarm public choice 3 wide at the eighth, and was able to storm past the leader willingly to win by 3 lengths, stopping the clock in 1:52.2. It was the first seasonal victory for Rubber Duck, and his 9th career triumph out of 51 starts. Skates N Plates finished second, while My Love Bi (Napolitano Jr.), who sat a loose pocket for a majority of the mile, settled for third. In other action, Craparotta and Berry Racing's Glenferrie Dreamer (Pat Berry) sprung the upset (7-1) in the very next race, a trot for non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 starts. He defeated the heavily-favored Crosby's Clam Bake, who was sent out at odds of 1-5. He finished third after setting the tempo. Glenferrie Dreamer, who is trained by Traci Berry, set a lifetime mark of 1:52.4 with his 21st victory. On the pacing side, 3-year-old filly pacer Dr J's Kiss continues to impress since her arrival from South Florida. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere turned heads in her local debut last week, coming from off the pace to score in 1:53.2 in-hand in a race for fillies which have never won 3 starts . She faced similar competition on Thursday, and as expected, was the heavy favorite. The result was similar. The Joe Pavia Jr. trainee quarter-brushed on this occasion, and once again was the easiest of winners in 1:53.3. "She's been handling like a real professional," said Driver Dave Miller. "She's been very strong both races. I don't know the reason, but she's come back very good this year." When asked what the future plans were for this potential filly star, Miller said the Sire Stakes in May are a good possibility. Live racing continues Friday afternoon, with a first post of 12:40 PM. Harrah's Philly races live every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday with that 12:40 EST start time. Michael Bozich

Barimah A's overall lack of strong early speed was a non-factor in the featured event on Sunday (April 9, 2017) at Harrah's Philadelphia. The 7-year-old harness racing gelding by Bettor's Delight was making his third start for Trainer Scott Di Domenico, in what figured to be his toughest test to date, a pace for non-winners of $20,500 in their last 5 races. Starting from post 8, Barimah A lumbered up wide of leavers Bettor Memories (Dave Miller) and Bushwacker (Brett Miller), but eventually got the lead after being parked the quarter (:26.2). After Driver Tim Tetrick rated the half (:55.1 / :29) a fresh challenger emerged in the form of Blaise MM Hanover (George Napolitano Jr.). The 4-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding pulled to within a head of the leader, tripping three-quarters in 1:23.1. The duel continued until the eighth-pole, when Barimah A edged away to win by one length, stopping the clock in 1:50.4. Blaise MM Hanover settled for second, while Bushwacker finished third. It was the gelding's 16th career win, and 4th of the season. "He raced really well I thought," said Di Domenico. "It looked like he was going to get collared in the last turn, but fought off the competition which was really good." Barimah A is owned by Brian Carsey, John McGill, and Adam Friedland. He paid $4.00. There were also two divisions of a non-winners of $15,000 in their last 5 races. The first division (race 4) was taken by Joe Trice's Hall Bro (Brett Miller). The gelded son of Blissfull Hall was driven aggressively past the quarter. He brushed to the lead and held on gamely for the win in a day's fastest 1:50.1 for his 30th career win. He is trained by Brewer Adams. Hall Bro returned a handsome $18.20 to his pari-mutuel supporters. The second division (race 8) went to Lou Frascella's Phil Your Boots (George Napolitano Jr). The 7 year old gelded son of Shanghai Phil made the top before yielding to the speed of Trading Up (Dave Miller). As the outer flow started to labor, The Andrew Harris trainee abandoned his pocket position and out dueled the leader to win by a head in 1:50.3. He paid $2.80. Both division winners went over the $300,000 mark in career earnings with their respective victories. Live racing continues Wednesday with a post time of 12:40. There is no live racing on Easter Sunday (April 16th). Michael Bozich

Harrah's Philadelphia opened it's eleventh season of harness racing on Sunday, April 2, 2017 with moderate temperatures, an abundance of sun, and a brand new wager. The .50 cent pick 5 was added to this year's wagering menu. The multi-race bet will start in Race 6 every live card. Like the pick 4, it boasts a low takeout of just 15%. The .50 cent pick 4 sequence will now begin in race 2.   2016 leading trainer Ron Burke got off to a fast beginning by striking pay dirt with the 9-year-old gelding Eastend Eddie (Yannick Gingras) in the meet's opener. The class dropper stalked the leader until the top of the stretch, where he powered by in a time of 1:53 for owners Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing. It was his 33rd career win, with earnings just under $440,000.   The Burke/Gingras duo would team up again in the featured event of the day, a Pace for non-winners of $20,000 in their last 5 starts. This time, it was Validus Deo getting the call. The 7-year-old gelding by Lis Mara-Madam Countess made the top early, before yielding to the speed of Arque Hanover (Corey Callahan) just beyond the quarter. He would gradually wear down his foe, completing the mile in 1:51, a seasonal best. Validus Deo is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and Jerry and Theresa Silva. He paid $8.40. It was one of 3 total wins on the card for Yannick Gingras. Tim Tetrick also had 3 wins, while Dave Miller, Brett Miller, and 2016 meet leader George Napolitano Jr each had 2 victories.   Validus Deo     The fastest mile of the day came in the final race, as Sal Vumbaca's Late Night Joke (Napolitano Jr) won a thrilling stretch battle with David's Dream (Brett Miller) in a Non-Winners $2500 last 5 event. The time of the mile was clocked in 1:50.2, a lifetime's best for the winner. A few races before, veteran pacer Casimir Jitterbug stopped the clock in 1:50.3 for owners Bellino and Sons LLC, trainer Andrew Harris, and Driver George Napolitano Jr.   The biggest price of the afternoon was Elrama N's surprise victory in Race 8. Driver Corey Callahan showed off his driving skills by weaving through traffic in the late stages after a ground saving journey, prompting a $34.40 win payoff, and an uncovered Superfecta.   Live racing returns on Thursday, April 6, with a first post of 12:40 PM. Harrah's Philly will then begin it's regular schedule of 4-day a week racing every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with the 12:40 PM Eastern start time.   Michael Bozich    

Harness racing horsemen should be advised of the following draw schedule for Opening Week 2017 Draw day -- Race day Wednesday March 29th draw for Sunday April 2nd No Live Racing on Wednesday April 5th Friday March 31st draw - for Thursday April 6th The box closes at 9:00 a.m. all mornings. Qualifiers will be held on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m., with entries accepted on Sunday mornings until 11:00 a.m. The 2017 Opening Day program is slated for Sunday April 2, with first post at 12:40 p.m. Barry Brown | Director/Racing Operations O (484) 490-1770 777 Harrah's Blvd | Chester, PA 19013 www.caesars.com    

Harness racing horsemen are reminded that Harrah's Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack will hold pre-meet qualifiers on March 28 (Tuesday) and March 31 (Friday) mornings, with first post at 10:00 a.m. each day. Entries will be accepted the day prior on both occasions, with the box scheduled to close at 11:00 a.m. Following the April 2 Opening Day card, qualifiers will be held weekly on Tuesdays, with entries accepted on Sunday mornings until 12:00 noon. Horsemen are once again reminded to provide the Race Office with all applicable health documents for their horses, including Coggins and rabies paperwork dated 2016 and a health certificate from the last 30 days. They may be faxed to the race office at 484.490.2230. Additionally, racing applications are available through the Harrah's Philadelphia website: www.harrahsphilly.com, and following the "Horsemen" link. Barry Brown | Director/Racing Operations O (484) 490-1770 777 Harrah's Blvd | Chester, PA 19013 www.caesars.com    

CHESTER PA - On a day when the wind howled down the Delaware River and caused a 25mph+ stretch obstacle at Harrah's Philadelphia, it seems only appropriate that "Hurricane" Hannah Miller blew into town, and the 2015 harness racing  Amateur Driver of the Year won the 2016 $25,000 C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Gold Cup with Jacks To Open by 8½ lengths in 1:58.2.   One of the few disappointments of Hannah's 2015 racing year was racing Jacks To Open as the favorite in the Gold Cup, sitting in with the horse early, and the trotter unfortunately making a break. This year, with Jacks To Open again the favorite, Miller made sure there would be no missed opportunity, leaving and tucking third, then pulling before the 29 quarter to challenge frontstepping Keystone Thomas.   "Thomas" and driver Bob Hechkoff were not willing to surrender the lead easily, though, and Jacks To Open and Miller were left out in the chilly air, blowing into their faces to the 59.1 half and then aiding them as they grinded on and made the lead by the 1:28.1 3/4s. Through the last quarter there was no question who was going to the winners circle, as Jacks To Open drew off to win with daylight behind her, with pocketsitting Celebrity Stimulus (David Glasser, winner of the Billings Eastern Final at Pocono a week ago) just getting up for second, a half-length ahead of Celebrity Stimulus.   "He trained well this week, and he was pulling a bit, and I was not sitting in," Hurricane Hannah noted, the relief visible that last year's race was finally exorcized. "The other horse and driver didn't want to let me go, but I thought my horse could overcome being parked, so we went up to challenge," and the last quarter told its own story.   Miller co-owns the winner of over $250,000 with the horse's trainer and Hannah's friend Nick Surick. She is matching her sterling statistics of 2015 again this year, having achieved 32 wins and a .418 UDR last year, and 30 wins and a .415 batting average this season - and she has added getting a trainer's license to her resume this year.   "Yankee" Joe Lee, who works in clubhouse management for the Bronx baseball dynasty, worked out a perfect pocket trip with the 12-year-old gelding Captain Primeau, and the pair came up the inside to pass frontstepping Star Studded Cast and win by a length in the $15,000 Billings Silver Cup. The "Captain" left well enough to sit in the pocket behind the "Star" and a parked Rocket Master as the latter two dueled through fractions of 28.3, 59, and 1:27.3, with the threesome leaving the rest of the field far behind. Captain Primeau then trotted through the wind, took over in midstretch, and finished the mile in 1:59.1, with Star Studded Cast (Tony Ciuffetelli) holding very gamely for second and Rocket Master (2004-2005 Amateur Driver of the Year Dein Spriggs) showing his grittiness in holding for third despite the overland route.   Lee, who has the familiar intertwined "N" and "Y" of the Yankees on his driving helmet, wasn't sure his veteran diamondgaiter, who had raced and won just two days ago at Freehold, could leave enough for top position, "but he did, and it was a great trip behind the two up front. I knew I had horse turning for home, and he was able to go past" for trainer Connie Svensson, co-owner with Anneli Svensson. Lee won't have time to rest on his laurels, though - as he and Spriggs have horses in an amateur race at Pompano tonight.   (Final bit of perspective: Lee now has 20 career driving victories, half of them coming during his best year, the current one, and his horses have earned over $133,000; Captain Primeau posted his 41st lifetime triumph with the Silver Cup win, and now has a bankroll nearing $375,000 - the perfect blend of youth and experience.)   C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Publicity Office  

The Delvin Miller CKG Billings Gold Cup Championship will be contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (November 20), going for a purse of $25,000. Born on July 5, 1913, Delvin Miller was the only professional in any sport whose career spanned 8 decades. Miller was the founder of The Meadows Racetrack, and was inducted into the harness racing living Hall of Fame in 1969. He formed the Delvin Miller Amateur Driver's Association in 1985. In the Gold Cup, carded as race 5, 'Hurricane Hannah' Miller will be the pilot behind the Nick Surick owned and trained Jacks To Open. Miller was a multiple award winner last year, which included the USHWA National Amateur Driver of the year, as well as the Post Time with Mike and Mike Horsewoman of the year. She was once again nominated for the Post Time award. Miller won 12 Billings Races last year, earning the overall point title. Miller also competed in Amateur Driving events overseas. Billings Series Vice President Steve Oldford will also be competing in the Gold Cup. He will have to overcome post 8 with his 5-year-old Starsaboveallerage. Oldford is a Hall of Famer and multiple Billings champion. The remainder of the Billing's finalists includes the Bob Davis trained and driven Mack's Gold Band, who won a Billing's event four starts back. Heza Rube, with driver Bob Troyer, who is looking to repeat his magic from a half a dozen starts back. Celebrity Stimulus, which David Glasser (also the owner) drove to victory last week at Pocono. Keystone Thomas, who is coming off of back-to-back seconds for driver Bob Hechkoff, and I'm Fabulous, who is looking for an upset win for Billings President Tony Verruso. The Silver Cup, which goes for a purse of $15,000, will go as race 3 on the 14 race program. Post time is 12:40 Eastern time. Note: Harrah's Philadelphia will not have qualifiers next Tuesday, November 22 (Thanksgiving week), but will host qualifiers the following Tuesday, November 29.  

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