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CHESTER, PA - More The Better N, having to come from eighth at the half in a third-over flow, was just along to win his U.S. debut, a $30,000 Great Northeast Series open pace, in 1:49.1 on Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Corey Callahan took back with his horse at the start as early command was taken by Caviart Luca, who in turn yielded to Western Joe before the 26.1 quarter. The outer tier formed as Western Joe went to the half in 54.3, with favored Split The House, Sunfire Blue Chip, and More The Better N the first three in the two-wide flow. Split The House had moved into second and a challenging position by the ¾ in 1:21.3, with the two in behind him keeping in close attendance. Turning for home Sunfire Blue Chip fanned three-wide, and through the stretch it looked as if Split The House and "Sunfire" would be the major contestants, but Callahan had More The Better N flying four-wide inside the final 1/16, getting by Sunfire Blue Chip by a head. Split The House missed taking the big end of the purse by only a neck, and Western Joe was only ¾ of a length off while fourth in the exciting drive to the wire. More The Bettor N came from New Zealand with a 32-14-12-2 record and $430,168 in earnings, and did not take long to show he can go with a very high level of pacer on these shores. Ross Croghan is handling his conditioning for the Robert Cooper Stable LLC and J&T Silva Stables LLC. The crowd's lack of familiarity with the abilities of the winner, which allowed him to be the day's big payoff at $16.60, will surely be reduced after his impressive local bow. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Destiny Hanover, holding on bravely after having to come first-over, just withstood the inside charge of Belle's Delight to be victorious in the $16,000 distaff pacing feature Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Driver Tim Tetrick started his Somebeachsomewhere sophomore filly on the first-over route nearing the half and gained on Dolphin Island, who had rushed to the lead nearing the 26.3 opener then had gotten a breather to the 55.4 half. Destiny Hanover had gained ground but still had not caught up with Dolphin Island, who passed the ¾ pole in 1:23.3, nor would she until nearing midstretch, when the pacesetting favorite tired some. But Destiny Hanover then had to stay game to hold off the passing lane move of Belle's Delight, doing so by a nose in 1:53.2. Jake Leamon guides the winning filly, whose career started but two months ago but has seen her amass four victories in seven starts including a Pennsylvania All-Stars victory, for David Van Dusen, Michael Cimaglio, and Stephen Demeter. There were also a pair of $14,500 pacing events for seasoned fast-class distaffs. In the first, the occasionally-difficult Nerida Franco N had both her best manners and best speed, rolling on the engine in 26.3, 55, and 1:22.2, then holding off a late charge from On Your Six by a neck in 1:51. Allan Davis was behind the Lis Mara mare, now a winner of $185,405 for trainer Michael Hall, who is also the co-owner with David Hamm. After the second co-feature, Tim Tetrick had as many wins on the afternoon (four, in ten drives for 40%) as did the trailing post nine for the meet (four, in 103 starts, 4%) when he guided the Roll With Joe mare Obvious Blue Chip off cover from the treacherous trailing spot for her to get home in 1:51. Tetrick managed to get to third-over, saw the two horses in front of him get to the rail by midturn as the pacesetter fell back, then paced down the center of the track to catch Valuable Art, who had cleared on her raw bid, by a half-length. Hot trainer Gareth Dowse conditions the winner of $430,659 for the NLG Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski. The wagering public was not fooled by the challenging starting spot, as they sent off Obvious Blue Chip as the even money favorite. Tetrick wound up the day with five sulky successes. In the last ten cards during which he has participated at Philly, he has won 29 races in 148 starts (20%), including four triples, two quadruples, and Friday's quintuple. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The final bell came just at the right moment for Tyson as he won one of two $14,500 featured trots at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, while in the other Ataboy Hanover stayed clear through the lane and won easily. Tyson was the even-money favorite in his division of the feature, and despite the difficult tuck-then-first-over journey it looked like he had thrown the knockout punch going into the far turn, clearing to the lead and opening a 3½ length lead by the stretch call. But the Donato Hanover gelding was getting weary late, and he had to dig down deep to withstand Golden Son, who had led early, was shuffled, and then had a furious late rally, by a neck in 1:53.1, a lifetime best. Tyson, now a winner of $171,345, is co-owned by trainer Ed Gannon Jr. and driver Yannick Gingras along with Frank Canzone. Many of the same components of the first division showed up in the second - a 1:53.1 new personal best, and a "tuck-then-grind" route that carried the leader to a 3 ½ length lead at headstretch. But there was nobody moving well late to threaten the winning Andover Hall gelding Ataboy Hanover, as his margin at the wire actually grew a bit, to 3¾ lengths, for driver Eric Carlson and trainer Mark Harder, the latter co-owner with Rick Phillips and Deena Rachel Frost. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - The leading pointwinners in both open divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) will be in action this Sunday in $30,000 events, with Rodeo Romeo going in the open pace at Harrah's Philadelphia in the afternoon and Homicide Hunter in the open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on their evening card. Rodeo Romeo raised his GNOS tally to 6-3-2-1, good for 362 points (the most of any horse in any of the three GNOS divisions), with a 1:49.4 triumph at Pocono last Saturday night. Eric Carlson will again be in the sulky this Sunday afternoon for trainer Chris Ryder as Rodeo Romeo starts from post two in a nine-horse field. Split The House, who set the pace at Pocono last week only to be caught by Romeo Rodeo by a head, was made the 3-1 favorite from post five, the best starting spot at Philly, for driver Brett Miller and trainer Chris Oakes. Two weeks back Split The House, the 2017 Breeders Crown winner for his division, was triumphant in the Franklin Consolation at Pocono. Homicide Hunter has two wins and a fifth in his three GNOS starts, putting him top of the pack with 180 points in a division where the top six horses are separated by only thirty points. Both of his GNOS wins have come at Pocono, and in between he tied the world record for older trotting geldings on a 5/8-mile track with a 1:50.3 triumph at Scioto. Homicide Hunter will start as the 5-2 favorite from post five (also tops statistically at Pocono) in the trotting event for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes (who thus has the chalk in both GNOS races Sunday); the one possible knock against Homicide Hunter is that he has not raced in 28 days. Second choice in the GNOS trot is a newcomer to the series, but certainly not a newcomer to top-level racing: Moonshiner Hanover, listed at 3-1 from post two for driver David Miller and Chris Beaver. Moonshiner Hanover had notched two straight triumphs before finishing second to champion mare Ariana G when she set a 1:50.2 world record at The Meadowlands last week. The Great Northeast Series continues with weekly events on the conditioned sheet until the weekend of August 25. The top pointwinners in each division (open trot, open pace, mares pace) will be eligible to declare in for $100,000 GNOS Championship races, to be conducted at 1¼ miles, on Sunday evening, September 2 at Pocono, which is also the night of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for three-year-olds. From the PHHA/Harrah's & Pocono Downs

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

On July 4 it was not just a special day of remembrance of our United States winning the war for independence against Great Britain, it was also a very special for a young man by the name of Anthony DeFrancesco, IV at Harrah’s Philadelphia harness racing track. Anthony, 18, of south Philadelphia, just graduated high school in June. He had perfect attendance for 12 years of school. Finished with a GPA of 3.93 and a top 1st Honors Student. And when not in school, Anthony learned about harness racing, from both his father, Anthony DeFrancesco III and from his grandfather, Anthony DeFrancesco, Jr. thus making Anthony IV a third-generation horseman. It looks like some of those training skills rubbed off on young Anthony as on July 4, he sent ABC Again out for the 6th race pace at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Along with his cousin, Joseph Laino, also of south Philadelphia, they co-own the six-year-old gelded son of ABC Garland. It was only the 14th start for DeFrancesco as a trainer. Anthony, IV, admits he was pretty nervous before the race. “The whole week I felt nervous,” Anthony explained. “because I knew he was dropping in class and he had been racing well against better horses. I just felt getting Tony Morgan back to drive and in a lower class and great post that this was gonna be the week. “And bam, we won!” Anthony said. “My heart was pounding during the race. I saw George Napolitano on the outside coming to us and I know he wins all the time, so I was sweating. But the big horse held on in a new lifetime mark. “With tears in my eyes I point up to my grand pop (Anthony, Jr. who was the first to train horses) and thanked him for looking over me. I only wish my dad didn’t have his issue and was with me, but I know mom and he were watching at home and I have their full support.” “About 10 seconds after the race my phone start blowing up from family and friends,” Anthony said. “They were just so happy for me but the horse did all the work and he deserves all the credit ABE Again. I never forget this horse or my first win.” ABC Again and driver Tony Morgan led from start to finish and won in 1:55.2. He has career earnings of $74,751. “I was so excited for my son,” said Anthony DeFrancesco, III. “I am currently on suspension right now and can’t go to the track, but we watched it on the computer and it was very emotional. Especially when I saw my son point to the sky, pointing to his grandfather. He has done that in all our win pictures in the past. I would always do it too.” Anthony trains his horse at Jjeps Training Center in Mullica Hill, NJ. So, what will Anthony now do for an encore? Well, he starts at the Community College of Philadelphia in September but will also continue to work and race his horse while in school. He hopes to get at least one more horse in the stable. Anthony also works a few nights a week at Johnnie’s Fine Foods in south Philadelphia for extra pocket cash. “I like to keep busy,” Anthony said. “So, between school and training and racing, I know that I will not have much free time, but I love what I am doing and that’s what counts.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink 

The Iron Horse, Foiled Again, has cemented his legacy in the sport of harness racing, picking up his 100th win in a mid-level conditioned event on Sunday (July 8th) afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Starting from post 1, Driver Yannick Gingras sent the 14-year-old gelding right to the front, and was able to fend off challengers in the stretch to win by a length and a half in the end in 1:53, last quarter mile in :27.3. He paid $4.40 to win.    Foiled Again has won over $7.5 million dollars in his career, making him the richest harness race horse of all time. He is the 18th horse to reach the 100 win plateau. He is owned by Jjk Stables, Burke Racing, and the partnership of Weaver Bruscemi, and is trained by Ron Burke. Back in 2006, Foiled Again won his first career race at Freehold Raceway in a NW2 going for $3,400. His driver was Jim Marshall III, and his trainer was Hermann Heirmann. In 2008, he was purchased for $62,500 by JJK Stables, Weaver Bruscemi, and Burke Racing Stables. His first start for the new connections was a 5th place finish at Harrah's Chester in a NW22,500 in the last 6 starts. In 2009, he tallied 15 wins out of 26 starts With $701,000 in earnings. His stakes wins included the Levy, Battle of Lake Erie, the Beckwith, and the Kane Invitational. He finished the following years campaign with 10 wins in 24 starts and over Made over $920,000. Notable wins included The Levy (back-to-back), and the Bobby Quillen at Harrington. He surpassed $1 million in seasonal earnings for the first time in 2011. Wins included The Graduate, the Molson Pace, Battle of Lake Erie (2), The Quillen (back to back), The Indiana Pacing Derby, and The American National. He completed back-to-back $1 million seasons in 2012, with wins in The Molson Pace (back- to-back), The Canadian Pacing Derby, and the Indiana Pacing Derby (back-to- back). FA became the richest pacer ever after winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk. Foiled Again posted his 3rd straight million dollar season in 2013, with victories in the Ben Franklin at Pocono, the Kane Invitational (2), his first Breeders' Crown, and the TVG Final. The gelding won the first 4 legs of the Levy in 2014, before settling for 3rd in the final. He also won the Quillen for the third time in his career. He made over $863,000, but It was the first time in 3 years he missed $1 million for the season. In 2015, Foiled Again won the Battle of Lake Erie for the third time, as well as the Hoosier Pacing Derby. It was the first time since 2009 that he didn't make the Levy Final. by Michael Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia      

CHESTER, PA - Brunhilda, hard-used to get the lead by a fast quarter, withstood a game late charge by Dolphin Island to take the $16,000 distaff pacing feature on Friday at Harrah's Philadelphia in a lifetime best of 1:51.4. The favored daughter of Well Said was pushed by second choice Dolphin Island to make the lead off the first turn after a 26.4 quarter, then put up middle splits of 54.4 and 1:23.3. In the stretch Dolphin Island made a charge up the inside, but Brunhilda kept it together to post a neck victory for trainer Eddie Sager and the Dead Crab Stable. Brunhilda was driven by Andrew McCarthy, and the triumph was #1998 in the 32-year-old's still-young career. McCarthy looked to have a good chance to add #1999 with the freshman pacing filly Odds On Naples, but the pair were caught late by Stonebridge Soul (Marcus Miller) in 1:53.3, equaling the divisional season's record: Sweeter Lulu went in 1:53.3 in the 11th race here last Friday, and Stonebridge Soul won in 1:53.3 in the 11th race this Friday. Tim Tetrick had another big day at Philly with three victories, including putting a new mark of 1:51.2 on the Sportswriter mare Future Headlines in the $14,500 co-feature. Future Headlines parlayed a pocket journey into a visit to Victory Lane for trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. and the partnership of Bamond Racing LLC and David Heffering. The best day of all for a driver, however, was turned in by George Napolitano Jr., who came home first four times, three of them for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Hererra. From PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

The sport's richest pacer, Foiled Again, will once again try to notch his 100th career win, this time at Harrah's Philadelphia in race number 13 on Sunday afternoon (July 8th). The 14-year-old gelding is in his final year of being able to race as he must retire come January 1, 2019. He drew post one against non-winners of $7,000 in their last 5 starts going for a purse of $11,000. Foiled Again became the richest pacer ever in the sport of harness racing in 2012 with his win in the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk. He had three straight million dollar seasons from 2011 - 2013. He was purchased for $62,500 by Joe Koury, Weaver Brucemi, and Burke Racing in 2008, and made his first start for his current connections in a non-winners of $22,500 in their last 6 starts at Harrah's Philadelphia, finishing 5th. Foiled Again is seeking to become the 18th horse to reach the modern day milestone of 100 wins. Foiled Again will be making his 315th start, and has earnings of $7,578,518. Post Time for the first race is 12:40 Eastern. by Michael Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Driver Corey Callahan recorded five victories on the Thursday afternoon card at Harrah's Philadelphia, including a $30.80 upset with Wisenheimer in one of two $14,500 divisions of the day's featured trotting event. Wisenheimer raced behind the cover of Valley Of Sin as the latter attacked pacesetting favorite Crazy About Pat. The leader jumped offstride midway around the final turn, with Valley Of Sin able to go the lead and the inside, leaving Wisenheimer uncovered, but the Revenue S gelding battled on to the finish to take a 1:54.3 decision. P L Icabod, who had to dodge the breaking horse along the inside, closed to be a head shy on the money, with Valley Of Sin another head off in finishing third behind the winner, who is trained by Jenny Melander; she also races the winner of $356,236 under lease. Amid Callahan's quintet were the two highest-priced winners of the day, with Wisenheimer topped two races later by $47.40 victress Beatrice, also a trotter coming from off the pace. In the other featured trotting event, Izoh was all "go" from the start, cutting the pace then withstanding the first-over grinding move of favored Wheelsandthelegman to win by a length while lowering his mark a tick to 1:54.1. The winning Crazed gelding is trained by Frank Ingrassia and was driven by his wife Jackie, who is the co-owner with the Arden Homestead Stable, Donna Franchetti, and Thomas Doran. Driver Andrew McCarthy cut the distance to his milestone 2000th career win in half during the Thursday Philly action, reporting home first three times to bring his lifetime total to 1997. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - Hot trainer Gareth Dowse can do little wrong these days - he took over the care of Obvious Blue Chip, New York Sire Stakes champion and harness racing winner of $379G at three but a puzzlement in two starts at four, found her key, then saw her go out and overcome post eight and a 29-day break from the races with a 1:51.1 victory in the $17,000 fillies and mares pacing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon. Tim Tetrick had little trouble reaching the top despite the outer draw and rattled off fractions of 27.1, 55.3, and 1:24 with the Roll With Joe mare. In the stretch, it looked like pocketsitter Pass Line Bluechip could be a threat, but Tetrick just chirped to his horse and lifted the lines once, as Obvious Blue Chip obviously knew what to do, winning by 1½ lengths and boosting her earnings to $423,409 for the NLG Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski. Tetrick was also behind Wild Bill, the full brother to top stakes horse Huntsville ($1.7M) and a colt who had shown much promise before his two-year-old season ended after four starts. Making his first purse start in nearly eleven months, Wild Bill was victorious in a lifetime best 1:51.4 - but it was far from an easy victory. Wild Bill was settled into third early from post seven as Artifact Hanover took advantage of the rail and was sent down the road by Corey Callahan, with Tetrick putting Wild Bill into play down the back. The two were virtually inseparable from before the ¾ pole, and in the stretch one could imagine seeing mirror images - Tetrick and Callahan wearing similar green-and-yellow colors, both horses with sulkies with yellow wheel disks, and the red of post position one's saddle pad not that variegated from the pink of post seven's. It was only in the shadow of the wire that Wild Bill finally laid claim to victory, getting by his stubborn rival by a neck. Ray Schnittker is trainer and owner of the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore, and his future road will be an interesting one. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia  

CHESTER, PA - A pair of daughters of Donato Hanover, Seviyorum and Live Laugh Love, both trotted the Harrah's Philadelphia oval in 1:53.1 during Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on the pre-holiday Tuesday card at the riverside oval, and coming away co-holders of the divisional track record for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies. Andy Miller moved Seviyorum, a winner of $325,526, out raw at the half and quickly got her in gear, clearing with a 27.4 brush down the backstretch and then duplicating the clocking the remainder of the journey to lower by a tick the local divisional standard first set by Behindclosedoors in 2010 and tied by Superstar Hanover in 2012. Julie Miller trains the member of Team Orange Crush, who also established a personal best, for Story Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable Inc. Then it was David Miller and Live Laugh Love's turn in the spotlight, as she brushed to the lead in front of the grandstand, went on at a quick clip, and maintained control from there. The Nifty Norman trainee, with two Sire Stakes wins and a second to Manchego in her 2018 state campaign, took a new speed badge and boosted her bankroll to $145,467 for Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. Phaetosive, the Explosive Matter filly who gave 2017 champion Manchego some of her strongest challenges last year, won easily in her second start of the year in 1:53.2 - a time which would have equaled the track record had not Seviyorum raced earlier (and, as it turned out, Live Laugh Love later). Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and his filly both kept their heads while there were several breakers around them in the last quarter, going on true to the wire to raise her earnings to $281,393 for Purple Haze Stables LLC. (Smedshammer/Purple Haze may have given a preview of "the next generation" earlier in the card, as the freshman Explosive Matter - Hawaiian Lea filly Matterlei was successful in her purse debut in 1:58.4.) There were also five divisions of the parallel Stallion Series competition on the only Tuesday card of the year at Philly. The winners were: Mission Revealed, a Donato Hanover filly driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Bill "Moon" Mullin, also co-owner with Howard Taylor, well clear in lowering her mark over seven seconds to 1:54.3. Follow Streak, who looked like a rerun of Sire Stakes winner Seviyorum from 16 minutes earlier, with sire Donato Hanover, driver Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller, and a backstretch brush to the lead en route to a new mark of 1:54.3 and her second Stallion Series win of the year for the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Lawrence Dumain. Bella Glos, a Cantab Hall filly who had to dig in to defeat Mighty Macko to her left and Pembroke Mystery to her right in 1:56.3, taking her second Stallion Series victory for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter and Black Horse Racing. Bandol Rose, another daughter of Cantab Hall, who worked hard to get the early lead, then rolled on to a new mark of 1:55 for driver David Miller, trainer Charlie Norris, and the M T Pockets Stables. Perfect Image, a Muscle Hill distaff who provided a second Stallion Series success for the team of David Miller and Charlie Norris while lowering her mark to 1:55.1 for owner Frank Poerio Jr., racing unchallenged the last 5/8. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Chester, PA - Rockeyed Optimist ($5.20) proved strongest of all in Sunday afternoon's (July 1) featured $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series pacing event at Harrah's Philadelphia, using an extended first-over push to wear down Emeritus Maximus for a 1:49.2 score.   Brett Miller put the 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding in play from the far outside as the gates folded, and the pair were able to land in third behind the pacesetting pair of Emeritus Maximus (Andy Miller) and Sunfire Blue Chip (Andy McCarthy) through a blistering :26 first quarter. On approach to the bridge turn, Rockeyed Optimist angled off the pegs and worked into a narrow second through a :54.3 half before turning up the pressure on the backstretch.   After Rockeyed Optimist forced a :26.3 third split, it appeared as though Emeritus Maximus would be able to parry his threat nearing head-stretch, but the longtime pacesetter was engulfed a sixteenth from home. Rockeyed Optimist surged to the fore in mid-stretch, holding off a late bid from pocket rival Sunfire Blue Chip by a length in 1:49.2. Robbie Burns N (Corey Callahan) rallied down the grandstand to finish third.   Jake Leamon trains 32-time winner Rockeyed Optimist for the partnership of Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, the A and B Stable and Joseph Battaglia.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - The Sweet Lou - Well Read freshman harness racing pacing filly Sweeter Lulu made a stunning pari-mutuel debut in a contest for babies on Friday at Harrah's Philadelphia, coming uncovered from sixth and just motoring on to the wire to stop the timer in 1:53.3, which according to the tabulations would make her the fastest two-year-old, female or male, on a 5/8-mile track in North America in 2018. Stacy Chiodo trains and drove the impressive miss, who paced her own back half in 56 flat, for the Timothy Tobias Stable LLC. The previous 1:53.4f standard was shared by colt Lyons Night Hawk and filly Rose Run Uptowngirl. The Well Said mare Brunhilda was as dominant a figure at Philly as her mythological counterpoint was on the battlefield, taking the contest with the biggest purse, a $16,000 pace for fillies and mares in a lifetime best 1:52. Andrew McCarthy put the developing mare on the lead ahead of Belle's Delight and cut fractions of 27.2, 55.4, and 1:24, then guided the favorite home in a 28 sprint to hold off the potential pocket rocket by a half length. Eddie Sager conditions Brunhilda for the Dead Crab Stable. A $14,500 pace for more seasoned distaffs also fit the "speedy favorite holds off pocket horse" scenario, as the American Ideal mare Kaitlyn N made the top before the 26.3 quarter for driver Art Stafford Jr., posted middle splits of 55.3 and 1:23.3, and then withstood the late charge of Berazzled by a neck in 1:51.3. Trainer Joshua Parker co-owns Kaitlyn N with Nanticoke Racing Inc. and Barry Spedden. On May 1 and 2, Parker qualified four New Zealand imports, and the quartet have posted a record of 22-13-4-0-.695, missing one check, with Kaitlyn N's own record now going to 8-6-2-0-$43,500 in her two-month North American racing career. The meet's leading driver, Tim Tetrick, had five victories on the day, including the longest shot to come home first Friday, the $52.00 trotter Blue Swan. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - Veteran driver Andy Miller recorded the 9000th victory of his very successful career on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia when he came home first with American Filly in 1:52.1 for trainer Joe Pavia Jr. The historic occasion was really a tale of four Millers - Andy had won two races earlier in the card with horses trained by his wife and Team Orange Crush partner Julie, putting him one victory short of the milestone. When David Miller took off his Thursday drives at Philly, Andy was tapped to handle American Filly - and through the stretch Andy's nephew Marcus Miller gave valiant chase with Shady Stella, but American Filly stayed true to the finish for #9000. The 49-year-old Miller was the top driver on the Chicago circuit for several years before coming east and finding even more success, branching out to Grand Circuit horses, especially trotters. He becomes the 22nd driver in North American history to get to 9000 sulky wins (frequent competitor George Napolitano Jr. had earned the distinction earlier this month), and is 14th among active drivers. Horses Andy has driven have earned over $118 million dollars. On "Trottin' Thursday" at Harrah's Philadelphia, Moonshiner Hanover grinded first-over to a 1¾ length victory in the $17,000 feature while taking a new mark of 1:53. George Napolitano Jr. had sulky duties behind the winner of $467,982 for trainer Chris Beaver, co-owner with Synerco Ventures Inc. and Bill Manes. Behind the winning son of Andover Hall, 51-1 proposition Bands Houdini won a three-way photo over EI EI O and Arch Credit to complete the exacta. In the first of two $14,500 co-featured trots, P L Jerico went a tick quicker than the feature winner, 1:52.4, looking like a fine acquisition with upward possibility for trainer Ron Burke after taking his second straight start for his new stable. Yannick Gingras moved the gelded son of Manofmanymissions to the front off turn one, then drew off to a 5¾ length triumph for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In the other division, the Equinox Bi gelding Playboy Buddy Rose (named after the wrestler who lost the opening bout at the first-ever Wrestlemania) moved to the lead past the quarter and won with authority in 1:55. The win for driver Marcus Miller boosted the "Playboy's" lifetime earnings to $102,229 for trainer Linda Lambert and owner Lloyd Lambert. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - The Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) continues this weekend, with open pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia in the afternoon and mare pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono at night. (For the first time in the GNOS's two-month run, the open trot did not fill.) Both races will go for the series' customary $30,000 purse. For the afternoon event in Philly, Emeritus Maximus was accorded 3-1 morning line favoritism off a giant mile at the riverside oval last Sunday, where he tucked, came again first-over, and still went on to a 1:49 victory. The career winner of $573,953 will be starting from post four in the field of seven for trainer Kyle Moore and driver Andy Miller. Rockeyed Optimist is the third-highest pointwinner in this GNOS division so far including a May 12 victory, but he'll have his work cut out for him here, starting from the outermost post for trainer Jake Leamon and driver Brett Miller. On the other side of the starting gate is Robbie Burns N, who had won his first three U.S. starts at Harrah's before finally tasting defeat at The Meadowlands, though he was timed in 1:49.3 and beaten less than three lengths; he'll look to rebound for trainer Joshua Parker and driver Corey Callahan. In the evening's mare pace at Pocono, the three entrants who have won in the series have been made the morning line choices - in inverse proportion to their post position. The 5-2 favorite is Tequila Monday, who begins on the outside of the field of eight for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Hunter Oakes. The winner of $669,888 won her only start in the GNOS here on June 3, going in 1:51 over a track rated two seconds off. L A Delight, a 1:50.3 GNOS winner at Philly on May 27, comes in off a third in the Roses Are Red Final at Mohawk; she'll begin from post six for trainer Nancy Johansson and driver Yannick Gingras. Caviart Ally, who was a $72.20 upset winner at Harrah's last week, will start from the rail for trainer Noel Daley and driver Andrew McCarthy. From the PHHA at Harrah's & Pocono Down 

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